15 Fantasy Football Transactions for Week 12
The rule with Christmas music is that you can't listen to it until after Thanksgiving.
That's the rule. I just enforce it.
Fortunately, my wife is firmly on #TeamChristmasMusicAfterThanksgiving, so I don't have to worry about hearing Andy Williams' beautiful voice in my house until late November. My friends, though, probably hate me at this point. "Bro, turn off the Mariah Carey," I'll say in the most manly way possible. "It's November 14th."
When it comes to pre-Thanksgiving Christmas music, I'm obnoxious. I'm annoying. And I totally get it.
I kind of feel the same way with advice surrounding Kareem Hunt.
Hold Kareem Hunt
There's a chance no player has been featured in this 15 Transactions column more this season than Hunt, going from a "hold" at the beginning of the year to a "buy" over the last few weeks. And some of you are sick of it. Some of you are searching for a "beating a dead horse" gif on your dual monitor while reading this.
Look, I wish I didn't have to write about Hunt all the time. Not just because I've been wrong about Hunt over the last two instances I've written about him, but because I don't want a portion of readers to be bothered over the situation. My intent isn't to to be irritating. It's to help owners who are struggling to wrap their heads around one of the biggest storylines in fantasy football.
So what the hell is going on with Kareem Hunt?
Well, let's start with the foundation that was set in Week 10, when Hunt was a "buy" candidate.
Hunt's Week 9 was troublesome. He played just 54% of the team's snaps, which was his lowest snap rate of the season. And it was the first time he was on the field for fewer than 70% of the team's snaps since Week 4. As a result, he carried the ball just nine times.
Hunt's stat lines have left something to be desired, mostly because he started the season off so hot. Probably the biggest thing owners are annoyed with are the lack of touchdowns, as he hasn't scored since Week 3.
To be fair, though, the Chiefs haven't exactly been in great scoring situations for Hunt. Despite averaging 26.67 points per game during this time when Hunt hasn't found the end zone, they've run just 19 plays from within the opponent's 10-yard line. That's fewer than 19 other NFL teams, and the Chiefs haven't even had a bye week during this time, meaning that number should hypothetically be higher than the rest of the league. Moreover, they've run only seven goal-line plays (within the opponent's 5), which is the third-lowest number in the NFL.
That's kind of crazy, to be honest. Scoring that many points and rarely having an opportunity close to the goal line isn't normal. And we should expect some regression.
Since then, the Chiefs have played one game against one of the worst teams in the league (the Giants), and they looked pathetic offensively, totaling nine points. They actually didn't even run a single play within New York's 10-yard line on Sunday.
If you want some good news, Hunt ended up playing 67% of the team's snaps, which isn't awful when you consider Charcandrick West gets some run in negative game scripts. That was the fourth-lowest rate of Hunt's season, so it wasn't anything out of the ordinary. On top of this, Hunt still had over 62% of Kansas City's rushing attempts, and he finished with 18 of a possible 23 running-back attempts. Those rates are both in line with what you'd want from a top running back.
The sad truth, though, is that Hunt's effectiveness has dipped over his last five games versus his first five. Over his first five contests this year, Hunt had a ridiculously high 47.42% Success Rate, or the percentage of positive runs made by a running back according to our Net Expected Points (NEP) metric. That's well above average. During the last five, that's been 28.94%, or well below average.
Some of that has to do with matchups (some of that Success Rate is skewed by a game against Denver where he had just 3 successes on 22 carries), but we also have to point to the team overall (there haven't been as many favorable game scripts, as the Chiefs have lost four of these games) and Hunt himself. Like, if there was more confidence surrounding the Chiefs' current trajectory, Hunt could be considered a buy. The peripheral numbers are mostly there. But that's not really the case -- they're not playing well as a team.
The good news for Hunt owners is that Kansas City's upcoming schedule is a cakewalk. Sincerely, it's amazing. They'll be taking on a Bills team that looks lost, then they get the Jets, Raiders, Chargers, and Dolphins through the end of the fantasy football season.
Selling Hunt right now probably won't yield the right type of return. You just have to hope the Chiefs can get it together offensively, because Hunt will indeed be a big part of things regardless.
Add Samaje Perine
Samaje Perine was an add in last week's column, but that was before Chris Thompson's season-ending injury. Now, Perine's value's skyrocketed, as he'll be the featured back in the Washington offense (if you recall, Rob Kelley's out for the year, as well). On Sunday, Perine ended up carrying the ball 23 times, seeing 69.69% (super nice) of Washington's carries. Though there are some relatively tough matchups upcoming for Washington's ground game (they'll face Arizona in Week 15 and Denver in Week 16), the volume Perine's about to grab hold of will make him very fantasy viable from here on out. He's still on 66% of Yahoo! waiver wires, too. Snag him.
Drop Buck Allen
Danny Woodhead -- who's been out since Week 1 -- returned to the Ravens' lineup and out-snapped Allen 13 to 10. Alex Collins led the way with a 64% snap rate, which isn't a shock given he's the early-down back and there was a very strong positive game script for Baltimore. But this isn't a good sign for Allen, given it was Woodhead's first game in 10 weeks and he still saw more snaps. It should be expected that Woodhead's role only increases, leaving Allen as just a handcuff in the team's offense. And that would make him not even a high-end handcuff in fantasy football. So in shallower leagues, he can be cut.
Add Tyrod Taylor
There's no need for me to get into the abomination of a coaching job Sean McDermott has done for Buffalo and their quarterback situation. You guys don't come here for real football takes. You need fake football ones.
As of right now -- I'm writing this on Monday -- no quarterback decision has been made for the Bills. All rational human beings know that it would be ridiculous to throw Nathan Peterman under center, but we don't know for sure if Tyrod Taylor will get the nod in Week 12. At least not yet.
If Taylor does indeed go, he's not in a bad spot against the Chiefs. Kansas City's allowing the ninth-most fantasy points per game to the quarterback position, and they've proven to be a defense that's given up a high ceiling to opposing passers, surrendering four top-three performances this year. They've also allowed 15 or more rushing yards to all but three passers faced. Those three were Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, and Ben Roethlisberger -- grandpa runners of the league. Kirk Cousins had 38 rushing yards against KC. Carson Wentz had 55. Trevor Siemian had 20.
That could be a place for Taylor to exploit, if he does indeed get the start. The Bills are big underdogs, but Taylor should have a decent floor in this game. If he gets the start. (Please start him, Buffalo.)
Add Corey Coleman
Coleman's return from injury was a success, as he caught 6 of 11 targets for 80 yards. Those 11 targets accounted for more than 34% of Cleveland's pass attempts, which is great to see. Regardless of the upcoming schedule -- he could have a tough time against the Chargers and Ravens -- Coleman should be scooped up off the waiver wire this week. You don't see that type of target share often in free agency.
Buy Demaryius Thomas
There are plenty of teams out there who are looking for a last-second playoff push, which means they're in search for players with studly Week 12 and 13 matchups who can put them over the edge. That's what this is about.
I'm fully aware that Brock Osweiler is Demaryius Thomas' quarterback, and that the Broncos just fired Mike McCoy, their offensive coordinator. It's not as though they're all of a sudden going to run a completely new offense in a week, and as long as Osweiler's under center, Thomas should be fed in some way. Thomas has seen an uptick in target share of roughly 2% since Osweiler took the starting job in the Denver offense three weeks ago, and over this time, he's got a 26.61% target share in Denver's offense.
Upcoming in Weeks 12 and 13 for Denver are the Raiders and Dolphins (two bottom-10 secondaries, according to our numbers), giving Thomas arguably the best schedule for a wide receiver in the NFL over the next two weeks. It's a risky move to go after him because of the moving pieces in the Broncos' offense, but it could help you get into the playoffs.
Drop Jordy Nelson
We're at the time of year where you have to ask yourself, Is this player really going to help me win a fantasy championship? For Jordy Nelson, the answer may end up being yes, but it won't be a predictable yes. During Brett Hundley's last three starts, Nelson's seen 17.53% of Green Bay's targets, which substantially trails Davante Adams' 28.87% share. Nelson's overall target share has gone up with Hundley by about 0.5%, but Adams' has increased by well over 5%. And on top of this, Nelson doesn't even have a red zone target with Hundley as his quarterback. Adams has four.
Adams has been Hundley's go-to, but the bigger issue is that the Packers' offense is just terrible in general. Hundley's only thrown 6 red zone balls in four starts, while Aaron Rodgers had 31 during the first five games of the season. That's just a glimpse as to how different things are with and without arguably the best player in the universe.
At this point, it's just really hard to trust Nelson in a shallower league as you enter the playoffs. So if you've been wondering if you can drop Nelson, allow me to help: you can do it.
Add Kenny Stills
According to numberFire's own Jim Sannes, in the six games where Matt Moore has 10 or more attempts over the last two years, Kenny Stills has seen 22.96% of Miami's targets. Outside of that split, you're looking at a 15.69% share. With Moore, Stills has averaged a touchdown per game and more than double the amount of half PPR points (16.21 versus 7.52) than without him. And his deep ball market share in the Dolphins' offense rises nearly 12%, going from about 30% to 42%. Essentially, if Jay Cutler ends up missing time with a concussion, Stills should be on your radar if you need a quick wide receiver fill-in. There could be a lot of passes against New England this week, too.
Buy Alfred Morris
In two games without Ezekiel Elliott, Alfred Morris has seen 28 of a possible 40 running-back carries (70%), accounting for over 58% of Dallas' overall rushing market share. That number's pretty decent, and it's significant because both of those contests featured a strong negative game script for the Cowboys, which forced pass-catching back Rod Smith onto the field. Morris has actually been out-snapped 47 to 68 by Smith during these games.
A world where Dallas has the lead -- or even one where Dallas has a neutral game-flow situation -- is a world where Morris could approach 20 touches in a game. And that could happen down the stretch, as the Cowboys will be facing the Chargers, Skins, Giants, and Raiders through Week 15 -- or through Elliott's suspension. They may not get many victories, but the hope is that they don't lose a lead like they have during the last two games against two strong teams.
Sell Ameer Abdullah
Ameer Abdullah's now scored in each of his last three games, with Week 11's touchdown coming via the air. He's seen an uptick in red zone rushing attempt market share of about 12% during this stretch, but his share still isn't on the higher end of the league. And it's not as though his total production has been fantastic -- in the split, he's rushed for no more than 52 yards and has a 27.91% Success Rate, which is borderline atrocious.
On top of this, like other transactions, if you're looking for a player to help boost you into the playoffs, he's probably not the guy. Not only has his efficiency been poor, over the team's next two games, they get Minnesota (one of the best rush defenses in the league) and Baltimore (one that's allowed 147 rushing yards combined to running backs over their last three games). If you can sell him off before the deadline, feel free to do so.
Add Devontae Booker
We've seen evidence of Devontae Booker's potential emergence in the Broncos' backfield, which is why he's been featured in this column in the past. From Week 8 through Week 10, Booker played 34%, 34%, and 37% of Denver's snaps, which was up from his previous season high of 28%. He'd been seeing touches, too, carrying the ball six, six, and eight times over this span.
On Sunday, Booker ended up rushing the ball 14 times (more than C.J. Anderson's 13) while out-snapping Anderson 48 to 29. If the trend continues, he could end up being a flex play from here on out, especially with nice matchups against the Raiders, Dolphins, and Colts to come.
Hold Dak Prescott
I feel your pain, Dak Prescott owners. This week was brutal. And I think you could argue -- pretty easily, actually -- that it was Prescott's worst game of his NFL career. But as I noted with Morris, things do get better for Dallas. He may not be a good start this week against a good Chargers defense and secondary, but Dak shouldn't have a ton of trouble against the Redskins, Giants, and Raiders from Weeks 13 through 15. Each of those teams rank in the bottom 10 in fantasy points allowed. You just have to be patient, and you've got to hope Tyron Smith -- whose absence has played a role in the Cowboys' poor offensive play -- can get healthy.
Add Case Keenum
Keenum makes for a solid streamer this week against the Lions, who've given up 14-plus fantasy points to an opposing quarterback in all but one of their last six games. And they've faced some bad passers, like Brett Hundley, DeShone Kizer, and Mitchell Trubisky.
This game figures to be a close one (there's a 1.5-point spread), and in neutral game scripts this year (when the scoring margin is six points or fewer), both the Lions and Vikings have run at top-10 paces in football. In addition to this, Detroit's 1.94 pass-to-rush attempt ratio under these circumstances (neutral game scripts) is the highest in the league. That means there's a potential for a fast-paced game with lots of passes, which would increase the overall number of plays run. Against a beatable secondary, that makes Keenum -- a quarterback who's scored 17 or more points in each of his last three games -- a good play. The biggest worry here is that it's a short week and the game is within the division.
Add Tyler Kroft
Tyler Kroft is out on 55% of waiver wires on Yahoo!, which is kind of shocking considering his matchup this past week against Denver. Nevertheless, he gets Cleveland this week, a team that ranks fourth-worst in fantasy points allowed to the tight end position. Kroft only has 16 yards over his last two games, but he played 100% of the team's snaps in Week 10 and 86% of them in Week 11 while running the eighth-most tight end routes in the NFL. The peripherals are there, and so is the matchup. He's a good streamer this week.
Add the Washington Defense
As bad as the Chiefs were in Week 11, the defense still was a top-15 one in fantasy football. And that's thanks to the Giants and their offensive ineptitude. Since New York's bevy of wide receiver injuries in Week 5, the Giants have allowed at least four standard fantasy points to every defense they've faced. While Washington's defense shouldn't frighten anyone, they'll be at home as seven-point favorites. That's exactly the scenario you want from a streaming defense.