15 Fantasy Football Transactions for Week 13
Here's the deal. I know your fantasy football trade deadline has already passed -- probably, at least -- so buying and selling players isn't exactly an actionable thing anymore.
But the idea of buying and selling is still important. I think it is, at least. Knowing which players have good rest-of-season schedules, or which players are trending up or down is still important to your every week mindset in fantasy football. It helps with confidence.
So moving forward -- at least for the next couple of weeks -- 15 Transactions will still talk about buying and selling. It'll still feature that element of the game. Hopefully that'll give you confidence, then, when setting your lineup and planning ahead each week.
Drop TY Hilton
The things we worry about in fantasy football are how a player has performed and how a player will perform. The former is important when building a case for the latter, but the latter will oftentimes miss a key ingredient in analysis: predictability.
How predictable is a player's performance?
Enter T.Y. Hilton. Hilton sits as a low-end WR2 in fantasy football when looking at total points scored, which makes him a starter in most leagues. However, he's done most of his damage against bottom-tiered defenses. Three of them, in fact. In a trio of games against Cleveland, San Francisco, and Houston -- three teams who've struggled against the pass this year -- Hilton averaged 9.00 targets, 6.33 receptions, 168.33 yards, and 1.00 touchdown per contest. Against every other NFL team he's faced, that stat line is 5.88 targets, 2.38 receptions, 29.38 yards, and no scores.
Now, through the end of the fantasy season, Hilton's going to face the Jaguars, Bills, Broncos, and Ravens. Jacksonville and Baltimore are pretty much off limits when it comes to start him during those weeks, and while the Bills and Broncos have been porous throughout the year, Hilton's faced far easier matchups without any sort of production.
Again, you have to ask yourself, how predictable is a player's performance? To me, there's far more risk than reward with Hilton moving forward, making him a drop candidate.
Add Devontae Booker
This isn't close to the first time Devontae Booker's been mentioned here this year, but at 34% ownership on Yahoo!, he needs to be discussed again. He's played no fewer than 34% of Denver's snaps since Week 8, and he's now outsnapped teammate C.J. Anderson in each of the Broncos last two games. Booker now has the same rushing attempt market share as Anderson over the team's last three games, but while that's a near 20% increase for Booker versus the rest of the season, it's been a 13.37% decrease for Anderson. Everything has trended in the right direction for Booker, and even though his offense is a trainwreck, he could have some value down the stretch.
Sell DeMarco Murray
Everyone outside of the Tennessee Titans organization seems to know that Derrick Henry is a better running back option than DeMarco Murray, but the Titans continue to give the rock to Murray. Henry's outsnapped Murray just twice this year, and it was only by 3% and 2% in snap rate. Meanwhile, only Kareem Hunt and Devonta Freeman have seen a larger margin -- on the plus side -- between their Success Rate (percentage of positive expected point runs made by a running back) and their teammate's Success Rate this year. To put that another way, they're outperforming their teammates more than any other backs.
On top of this, Murray has just 19 yards rushing on 20 carries over his last two games -- two contests against beatable rush defenses. If you're planning on using him in the fantasy playoffs, you're banking strictly on touchdowns. And you don't want to do that.
Add Dede Westbrook
Since coming off IR, Dede Westbrook has seen 16 targets while capturing 25.39% of Jacksonville's targets. And this has come despite playing just 45% and 70% of the Jags' snaps over the last two weeks, respectively. If that snap number increases, Westbrook could be more than usable from here on out with games against the Colts, a banged-up Seahawks' secondary, the Texans, and the 49ers.
Buy Philip Rivers
Plug-and-play quarterbacks aren't very common in fantasy football due to the supply and demand of the position and how easy it is to predict good performances when passers are in plus matchups (streaming). With that being said, Philip Rivers could end up being pretty close to a start-and-forget-it quarterback over the next four weeks, as he'll face the Browns, Redskins, Chiefs, and Jets through Week 16. Those are all bottom-half teams in the league when it comes to points allowed to the quarterback position. With the Chargers playing like one of the better teams in the league, too, Rivers should have plenty of positive game scripts. That's huge for any quarterback.
Add Josh Reynolds
Without Robert Woods in the Rams lineup this week, rookie Josh Reynolds saw six targets and scored his first career touchdown. He actually was on the field for an impressive 79% of LA's snaps, and what's probably most intriguing about the pickup this week is that he'll face the Cardinals in Week 13, where Patrick Peterson will shadow Sammy Watkins. That could leave a lot of looks to Reynolds, similar to what we saw with Dede Westbrook this past week (10 targets).
Hold Joe Mixon
Will you be able to trust Joe Mixon in the fantasy football playoffs? That's a good question, because I don't fully know. It could go a lot of different ways.
But I'll dig into his situation and let you decide. It'll be like a choose your own adventure book, except you're dealing with a talented running back behind a garbage offensive line instead of some crazy mystery.
Since Jeremy Hill's season ended, Mixon's been pretty effective on the ground. His four games include Success Rates of 38.46%, 44.44%, 25.00% and, this past week, 60.87%. That's at least about league-average (roughly 39%) in three of four games. During this time, Mixon's carried 87.83% of Cincinnati's running back carries and almost 75% of the team's total carries. Both of those are super elite numbers.
Things are 100% pointing up for Joe Mixon. So why the hesitation?
Well, three of the last four games for Cincinnati have featured either a very neutral or positive game script. That'll naturally help a running game, especially one with a terrible offensive line. And upcoming for Cincinnati are games against Pittsburgh (could see a negative script), Chicago (a relatively underrated defense), and Minnesota (a negative script against a top rush defense). That would be my overall fear -- that things have generally worked in Mixon's favor of late, but the Bengals may struggle more moving forward.
So I have no super strong opinion here, but I felt that, since he's a hot topic right now, talking about his situation would be beneficial for readers.
Add J.D. McKissic
After playing 68% of Seattle's snaps in Week 11 versus the Atlanta, J.D. McKissic was on the field for 43% of them against the 49ers in Week 12. That's big news, because the Seahawks weren't trailing throughout their contest against San Francisco -- you'd expect the pass-catching McKissic to be on the field a lot in a negative game flow situation, but to see him capture that snap share in Week 12 was important for his potential from here on out. He'll more than likely never see a big workload on the ground due to his size (though he does have a Success Rate that's 12% better than his running back teammate's average), but with the Seahawks' defense banged up, there could be a good bit of passing situations moving forward. McKissic has 18 targets over their last three games, so that should definitely benefit him.
Sell Josh Doctson
Doctson's now played 80% or more of Washington's snaps in each of his last five games, which is definitely a good thing, but he's also grabbed hold of just 14.94% of the team's targets over this time. That's not a good thing. He's seen some tough coverage -- he faced Janoris Jenkins and Xavier Rhodes, for instance -- but that's part of the reason he's a sell here, too. Washington's schedule after Week 13 -- so, the fantasy football playoffs -- features games against the Chargers (Casey Hayward), Cardinals (Patrick Peterson), and Denver (whichever corner isn't ripping gold chains off of wide receivers' necks). That's a brutal, brutal stretch.
Add Austin Ekeler
But he's also got some standalone value, too. Ekeler's played 30% or more of the Chargers' snaps in every game since Week 7, and over the last two weeks, that number has risen to at least 40%. That's led to more volume -- he has 22 carries and 10 targets over the team's last three games. He's worth an add not just because he's seeing this volume, but because he serves a dual purpose as a handcuff, too.
Hold Marcus Mariota
One of the strangest not-talked-about-enough storylines of the 2017 season is Marcus Mariota's play. He's been...kind of bad. And that's translated to a lack of fantasy success, as he currently ranks outside the top-20 in points per game at the position. Much of this -- as I've mentioned in a past 15 Transactions article -- is his unusually low touchdown rate that's yet to regress. He's thrown a touchdown on just 2.9% of his attempts this year, when that number was 5.1% and 5.8% over his first two seasons in the league.
And it's not because Mariota has this absurdly low yards per attempt rate or anything -- it's only 0.2 yards lower than his first two seasons. In fact, if you regress his passing yard total this year based on how quarterbacks have performed over the last decade with a similar number, he should have more than 14 passing touchdowns when he's currently at 9.
This isn't normal. And I'm very intrigued by the bounceback potential as the Titans face the Texans and 49ers in two of their next three games.
Add Tyrod Taylor
It looks like Tyrod Taylor will remain starter for Buffalo (as he should be), and that means fantasy owners could benefit from a juicy schedule from here on out. The Patriots are playing better defensively, but still offer a plus matchup for Taylor in Week 13. Then, the Bills will face a Colts secondary that ranks as one of our worst when adjusted for strength of schedule. In Week 15, you're looking at a matchup against the Dolphins, who've surrendered the ninth-most fantasy points to the quarterback position this year. And Tyrod will run it back with New England in Week 16. At the very least, you should get a couple worthwhile performances from him through the end of the year.
Drop James White
Rex Burkhead has officially made James White irrelevant in fantasy football. Burkhead returned to action from injury in Week 7, and since that point, White's seen his snap rate dwindle. After playing no fewer than 40% of New England's snaps without Burkhead to start the year, he hasn't hit the 30% mark since that Week 7 game. That's resulted in about a 3% rushing share decrease and, more importantly, a near 5% target share decrease over the last five weeks. Unless an injury happens, it'll be tough to know which game James White ends up blowing up, if there even is one.
Add Ricky Seals-Jones
While adding Ricky Seals-Jones isn't a bad idea this week, there are plenty of signs telling us that this three-touchdown, two-week stretch is sort of flukey. I want him to be a thing -- and his rapport with Blaine Gabbert looks pretty legit -- but he's only played 25 total snaps for Arizona over this time while running just 18 routes. That's not close to sustainable, but you're adding him this week because, if those playing time numbers go up, he could end up being a nice add off the wire.
Add the Chargers Defense
It's kind of hard to believe that the Chargers are owned in only 34% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues when they've ranked as a top-seven defense in weekly scoring in four of their last six games, and their only mediocre fantasy outing came against the Patriots. With the Browns upcoming this week (the Chargers are 13-point home favorites), they're in an unbelievable spot.