15 Transactions for Week 2
It’s not a sprint, but it’s not really a marathon, either.
Sure, fantasy football is a four-month long game where we make weekly decisions to help build a championship roster. But those decisions can be for a single week only, too. You’re not just thinking through Week 16; you’re thinking about manipulating your lineup each week in order to maximize your team's point output.
numberFire’s founder and CEO already gave you six guys to pick up this week. Some of this might be redundant (Hey, Terrelle Pryor!), but this weekly piece will help you make the moves – not just waiver wire ones – that not only will make the most of your yearlong team, but your weekly one as well.
Buy Maurice Jones-Drew
I may opt to watch a full hour of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” rather than the Jacksonville Jaguars offense at this point. My goodness was that a disaster. As a team, the Jaguars compiled a -29.83 NEP against the Chiefs, meaning an average offense would have put up 30 points as opposed to the two that Jags posted on Sunday.
So why buy MJD? Well, his rushing net expected points per rush – a metric that looks at how many real points a player was adding for his team on a per attempt basis – wasn’t as bad as you’d expect. On Sunday, MJD compiled a rush NEP of -.16, which was in line with Eddie Lacy and Trent Richardson. Factor in Blaine Gabbert – the absolute worst offensive player from Week 1 – and his injury, and you’ve got yourself a little bit of upside.
MJD has a nice Week 2 matchup against Oakland, a team that ranked 31st efficiency-wise at stopping the run in Week 1. You’re buying him low, and he could become a hot commodity after the Jags face the Pryor-led Raiders.
Drop Zach Sudfeld
One target. One. If you were to capture all of the hype surrounding Zach Sudfeld entering the season, he was the complete opposite of that in Week 1.
As I mentioned previously, Sudfeld’s only target resulted in a Tom Brady interception. With Gronkowski coming back soon and the general fantasy tight end surplus, there’s no reason for Sudfeld to be on your team.
Add Terrelle Pryor
The Terrelle Pryor experiment produced magnificent results this week, as he finished as a low-end QB1 option in standard scoring leagues. Pryor rushed for 112 yards against the Colts, and added over 200 more through the air. From an advanced metrics standpoint, the Raiders signal-caller was the ninth-best passer in terms of passing net expected points, adding over nine points for the Raiders this week. And that’s just passing, too. Of the players with 10 or more rushing attempts, Pryor was second best behind only LeSean McCoy in rushing efficiency.
Rich Hribar pointed out before last week’s games that, in terms of fantasy, this is no fluke; running quarterbacks finish high if they see a moderate volume of rushing attempts. Against the Jags this week, Pryor is a near must start unless you’ve got elite options.
Trade DeAngelo Williams
We’ve been down on DeAngelo for a while now, and his 16 carry, 86-yard stat line against a solid Seahawks defense is going to make fantasy owners think they did the right thing by drafting him. Not so fast, buddy. This is why we like looking deeper than yardage at numberFire.
Williams’ accumulated a -4.90 rushing NEP during Week 1, which on a per play basis equates to -.31. Of the 32 double-digit attempt runners, Williams was only better than Lamar Miller, C.J. Spiller and Chris Johnson running the ball.
On the other hand, Mike Tolbert, a super sleeper of mine, finished with a -.13 rushing net expected points per attempt and had more passing down upside. I fully expect him to become more involved in the Panthers offense, as DeAngelo simply isn’t running the ball effectively.
Trade for Josh Gordon
Remember him? If there’s an owner in your league who’s stacked at wide receiver and has Gordon on the bench, I’d try to trade for him. The reason: Brandon Weeden was lost outside of Jordan Cameron on Sunday.
The Browns signal-caller finished only ahead of Blaine Gabbert (again, Gabbert was so beyond dreadful on Sunday) this week in passing NEP, losing 7.06 points compared to an average passer in his situation. He needs Gordon, and he needs Gordon bad.
Buy Eric Decker
I mentioned this after Thursday Night’s game, but it’s good to reiterate: Eric Decker is a great “buy low” candidate. He played a bad game, and it just so happened to come Week 1 – a week weighted more than any other in terms of fantasy perception. Don’t be fooled: Decker still saw seven targets, and will be relevant in fantasy this season.
Add Julian Edelman
It’s not looking good for Danny Amendola on a short week, as it’s been reported that he’s likely to miss the game against the Jets on Thursday. Enter Julian Edelman, who scored twice in the Patriots victory against the Bills, and who also finished the game with nine targets. Edelman is a must add this week, and has a lot of upside if Amendola is sidelined.
Sell San Diego Receivers
It was surprising to anyone with an ounce of football knowledge to see the Chargers put up 28 points so easily against the above average Houston defense. Head coach Mike McCoy has had a history of doing well with passers, but to expect Philip Rivers to do that each week is probably not the safest assumption.
The Chargers will spread the ball around to Malcom Floyd, Eddie Royal and Vincent Brown, making them a predictable nightmare. Just to give you a glimpse of what’s to come, the highest ranked Chargers wideout for Week 2 is Malcom Floyd. He’s ranked 38th among fantasy receivers.
Buy the Eagles Offense
LeSean McCoy broke our database. No, not really, but his 11.83 rushing NEP score from Monday night was over nine points better than the second most efficient Week 1 runner, Joique Bell. McCoy’s advanced metrics were so good last night that, if he were to keep this up over 16 games, he would easily outperform any running back in rushing NEP since 2000.
But that’s not all. Chip Kelly’s offense brought DeSean Jackson back to fantasy relevancy, as he posted a top-10 receiving performance. Michael Vick, his quarterback, also had a positive NEP score and tallied the fourth-highest fantasy total among quarterbacks.
Imagine if Kelly didn’t slow things down in the second half when the Eagles had such a big lead. Imagine what this offense is capable of. Invest in it; the amount of plays they run will bring forth massive fantasy volume.
Add Joique Bell
Hopefully you were looking through our content in the offseason, because we wrote two articles on Joique Bell before the season even started. Now everyone knows who Joique is, and he’ll be a hot commodity off the wire.
Should you buy?
Yes. As we’ve noted, Bell was great through the air last year, and he’s the clear number two back behind Reggie Bush in Detroit. If you’re in a PPR league, Bell is a great fill-in as a flex player.
Buy Kenbrell Thompkins
We hated Kenbrell Thompkins' cost entering 2013, but didn’t think he’d be a completely worthless fantasy asset. We liked his daily value in Week 1, and although his four receptions for 42 yards was nothing special, he was targeted 14 times, the same as teammate Danny Amendola.
Thompkins will show growing pains as a rookie, but the quantity should be there as there’s not enough weapons in New England to threaten his position. If there’s an owner willing to get rid of him at a cheap price, go for it; chances are, Thompkins will be a nice filler WR3 throughout the season.
Buy Steeler Wideouts in PPR Leagues
Since I compared the Jaguars offense to “Keeping Up With the Kardashians”, I suppose I should relate the Steelers offense to a show, too. How about MTV’s “Buckwild”? After all, that’s what Pittsburgh’s opponents get to go when they face the miserable Steelers’ line.
But despite such a bad performance offensively, Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders were still quite relevant in PPR leagues. Brown finished the game with five receptions for 71 yards on seven targets, while Sanders had seven receptions for 57 yards on 12 of them. Todd Haley’s short-pass offense is perfect for a PPR wideout, and we should expect this type of production to continue moving forward.
Sell Jerome Simpson
He was probably started in .00056 percent of leagues throughout the major fantasy sites this weekend, so only the risky (or incredibly lucky) were rewarded with his seven reception, 140-yard performance.
Why sell him? He’s not going to do that again. I can almost promise you that. Our algorithms even think it’s not possible: Simpson is our 89th-ranked receiver for Week 2.
Add the Cowboys Defense
They forced two David Wilson fumbles against the Giants on Sunday night, ending his night early. Now, in Week 2, they get the Alex Smith-led Chiefs. Though Smith and the Chiefs were good on Sunday, they were good against the Jaguars. I’m pretty sure you, me, my dog Henry, and the woman at the deli counter can post at least 10 points on Jacksonville.
And if you’re worried, Dallas won’t be giving up the deep ball, either. Why? Because Alex Smith doesn’t throw the deep ball. He’ll spread that thing around like butter on toast, throwing five yard outs like it’s his job (I guess it kind of is). Dallas is a great streaming defense this week, and the fifth-ranked one according to numberFire projections.
Buy Matt Schaub
No, seriously – we’re not surprised by his fantasy performance against San Diego. We’ve been touting him here at numberFire since July, as his efficiency scores were incredibly underrated and the Texans added stellar pass-catcher DeAndre Hopkins through April’s draft. The Texans defense didn’t look the same against Philip Rivers’ Chargers, which is actually good news for Schaub owners – he may get more opportunity to strut his stuff throughout the season. If he’s on your waiver wire, get him. If he’s someone’s backup, trade for him. Schaub is underrated in fantasy.