15 Fantasy Football Transactions for Week 11
Flukey things happen in fantasy football each week. But some weeks feel a little different. Some weeks feel a little more flukey than others.
That was Week 10.
On Sunday, we saw the Jets look like a Big 12 defense against a quarterback who was signed off the street a week ago. We watched the Patriots' offense get manhandled. We witnessed an offense total more than 500 yards while scoring 3 freaking points.
And then there was Eric Ebron. My goodness, Eric Ebron. Let's kick off this week's transactions there.
Sell Eric Ebron
Ebron has now scored in all but two games this year, and he found the end zone three times on Sunday against the Jags. That puts him at 10 total touchdowns on the year, with 9 coming via the air. On a targets-per-touchdown basis, Ebron's scoring on every 7.2 targets, when the NFL average this season at tight end is a touchdown on every 17.1 targets.
All the while, Ebron's not playing a whole lot of snaps. At least not with Jack Doyle back from injury. Over the Colts' last two games, Ebron's been on the field for 38 snaps. Doyle's played 105, and Indy tight end Mo Alie-Cox has even out-snapped Ebron, playing 48. Ebron's tallied 6 targets during this time, when Doyle's seen 10. And Ebron's run just 22 routes during this time, according to Pro Football Focus, when more than 10 tight ends ran more routes in Week 10 alone.
You probably didn't need me to tell you this, but what Ebron is doing isn't sustainable. Yes, he's seen top-10 red-zone volume this season, but he's also converted 7 of his 8 receptions into touchdowns. Only Davante Adams has more red-zone scores, and Adams is the only player with decent volume in that area of the field who's converting at Ebron's rate.
Tight end is a mess, so Ebron can still have season-long appeal. But he's a very obvious touchdown regression candidate, and I'd rather have Doyle than Ebron from here on out.
Hold Corey Davis
Corey Davis' performance against New England on Sunday wasn't a fluke. He was a "buy" in this column a couple of weeks back after seeing great peripheral numbers across the first half of the season, despite the production not really being there. But the lack of numbers was partially due to an injured Marcus Mariota and a really tough schedule.
Davis has seen 10 targets in each of his last two games, and Mariota finally looks healthy, having posted his two best games from a yards-per-attempt standpoint during this time. Davis now has an elite 30.3% target share in the Tennessee offense, and he really has only one tough matchup left on the schedule, when he'll face Jalen Ramsey and Jacksonville.
Maybe the league manager who's rostering Davis believes he'll be a headache across the rest of the season given what we saw across the front portion of the year. If so, send him an offer. At the very least, if you've got Davis yourself, you shouldn't be selling this performance.
Add Josh Reynolds
Cooper Kupp is out for the year with an ACL tear, which means Josh Reynolds is the next man up in the Rams' offense. When Kupp missed Weeks 7 and 8, Reynolds played about 85% of LA's snaps. But do know that he ran about 20 fewer routes than Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods. He should be the biggest beneficiary of the injury, though, making him a top waiver add this week. And don't sleep on the team's tight ends as streamers as we move through the rest of the season.
Buy OJ Howard
Thankfully, Howard was on the field plenty against Washington. He played slightly more than 65% of Tampa Bay's snaps, and per Pro Football Focus, Howard ran 31 routes on Sunday, a top-five number at the tight end position. Over the last two weeks, only Austin Hooper and Travis Kelce have run more routes.
This is just what goes down at the tight end position. Variance happens. But I wouldn't want many tight ends over Howard moving forward.
Add Josh Adams
On Monday, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said that Josh Adams will be getting more carries moving forward. And it makes sense. According to numberFire's expected points model, Adams has a Success Rate of more than 48% this season, when Corey Clement's is around 31%, and Wendell Smallwood's is at 45%. The three backs essentially split the Eagles' snaps up into thirds on Sunday night, but Adams saw the most carries (7) of the trio. He was also the most effective, rushing for 47 yards, while Clement and Smallwood combined for 17. The arrow is pointing up for the rookie.
Buy Cam Newton
In last week's 15 Transactions column, I wrote up Devin Funchess as a cheap buy and talked about how awesome the Carolina Panthers' fantasy playoff schedule is. And that still holds true. Maybe not so much the Funchess recommendation given his recent play, but you should want a piece of the Carolina passing attack in December. That includes Cam Newton, who's coming off a sub-200 passing-yard performance, making him somewhat of a buy-low option.
To reiterate, the Panthers' schedule next month is amazing. They'll get the Buccaneers in Week 13, then they'll face the Browns, Saints, and Falcons. Tampa Bay, New Orleans, and Atlanta all rank in the bottom four in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks this year, while Cleveland is completely average. I'm generally not one who spends to get a quarterback, but I'd make an exception for Newton.
Add Lamar Jackson
Joe Flacco has a hip injury, and that could prevent him from playing in Week 11 and beyond. But his poor play may also force Lamar Jackson onto the field sooner rather than later, and if that happens, Jackson becomes a strong quarterback option off your waiver wire thanks to his rushing ability.
Jackson already finds the field at times in the Baltimore offense -- he's run the ball 28 times this year for 139 yards and a score. In the preseason, he threw 68 attempts and ran the ball 23 times. He actually finished the 2018 preseason as fantasy football's top quarterback.
Sure, the game is different against second- and third-string players, but we know running quarterbacks are a cheat code in fantasy football. And Jackson may be able to succeed -- at least moderately succeed -- down the stretch if he's thrown under center. Because on the Ravens' schedule through Week 15 are the Bengals, Raiders, Falcons, Chiefs, and Bucs. That list includes the four-worst teams against fantasy quarterbacks along with Oakland, who ranks 10th-worst.
Jackson should provide you a nice floor each week with his legs, and given Baltimore's upcoming matchups, there's a nice ceiling there, too.
Buy Alex Collins
If you're an avid 15 Transactions reader, first off, thank you. You're the best. But if you've read this column each week in 2018, then you know that Alex Collins has consistently been a sell candidate. He's in a split backfield, he doesn't see all of the team's goal-line work, his target share is under 6%, and he's scored far more touchdowns than he should have based on his yardage totals this season.
But I just stated why I'm intrigued by Collins as we inch towards the fantasy football playoffs. Lamar Jackson's dual-threat ability may open up the Baltimore running game, and the team's schedule is awesome. Each of the teams I listed above are also not so great against opposing running backs in fantasy football.
If Joe Flacco was under center, Collins would be more of a hold. He can perform like an RB2 with Flacco, but that's not saying a whole lot in today's fantasy landscape. With Jackson, though, there's upside. And the schedule should help Collins to provide a nice floor if things go south at quarterback.
Add John Ross
Without A.J. Green in the lineup, John Ross stepped up and played the second-most snaps on the Bengals while running the second-most routes. It really wasn't close, either -- he played as Cincinnati's number-two receiver on Sunday behind Tyler Boyd. Green may be out until December, so Ross deserves your attention off the waiver wire this week. He'll be tough to trust against Baltimore in Week 11, but the Bengals have a few plus-matchups upcoming where Ross may be able to find his way into your lineup.
Sell Derrick Henry
On the season, Derrick Henry has played just 34.2% of Tennessee's snaps, and since the team's Week 8 bye, Henry's snap share has been below 25%. On 30 snaps over the last two weeks, he's carried the ball 17 times. His teammate, Dion Lewis, has been on the field for almost 80% of the Titans' snaps during this period, and Lewis has more than doubled Henry's rushing volume. The only reason Henry's been fantasy relevant at all of late is touchdowns. He's scored in each of the Titans' last three contests, including two touchdowns against New England this past Sunday. You can't bank on that week in and week out, especially from a back who's playing a clear backup role on his team.
Add Anthony Miller
Since Week 6, Anthony Miller has led the Chicago Bears in targets. It's helped that Allen Robinson's been banged up, but even still, it's a positive sign for the rookie, who finished Week 10 with 5 catches on 6 targets for 122 yards and a score. During this four-game stretch, no quarterback has thrown it 15-plus air yards more than Mitchell Trubisky has, and Miller is sixth in football in deep-ball targets. If this type of usage continues, Miller could be huge for fantasy teams, especially considering the Bears get the Rams, Packers, and 49ers in the fantasy football playoffs, three teams they should be able to beat through the air.
Buy Mitchell Trubisky
To this point, Mitchell Trubisky makes for an interesting trade target for any quarterback-needy teams. Since that Week 4 game against Tampa Bay, we've seen Trubisky really shine as a fantasy quarterback -- he's finished as a top-10 weekly option in five of his last six starts. And a lot of that has to do with his aggressiveness down the field. From Weeks 1 through 3, Trubisky was throwing it deep (15-plus air yards) on 15.4% of his passes. Since then, that number has almost doubled to 30.1%.
Trubisky also brings it with his legs each week. He's averaging almost 36 rushing yards per contest, which wipes out a turnover and a half per game. So even if he's interception-prone, it matters a lot less.
That's why he's been such a beast in fantasy football. He's heaving it deep, and he's running the ball well, too.
The Bears' schedule, as I just noted, is pretty strong the rest of the way. Week 11 features a semi-tough matchup against Minnesota, but that's about it. And two of his three games during the fantasy playoffs are at home against teams who can post points in the Rams and Packers. In other words, Trubisky won't be asked to be conservative. That's great news for fantasy footballers.
Add Ricky Seals-Jones
The Chiefs have been friendly against opposing tight ends this year, but that shouldn't take everything away from Ricky Seals-Jones' Week 10 outing. RSJ saw 9 of a possible 39 Josh Rosen targets, easily marking a season-high from a volume standpoint. And he ran 37 routes, a top-five number at tight end this week. Against a soft Oakland defense that's surrendering the fourth-most fantasy points per game to tight ends, Seals-Jones is a pretty decent streaming option for Week 11.
Add Dak Prescott
The first five outings for Dak Prescott this year resulted in four performances in which he ranked outside the top-20 in fantasy scoring, and one where he finished as QB17. Over his last four, he's finished as a top-eight quarterback three times.
Prescott's passing efficiency has been better over his last four outings versus his first five games. Across those first five contests, he averaged 6.7 yards per attempt. That's risen to 7.5 during his last four games. But there's also his rushing and, more specifically, his rushing scores. He's found the end zone on the ground in three of his last four, and while this may seem a little unsustainable, Prescott's averaging one rush per game within his opponent's 10-yard line during his good stretch, when he didn't have a single one of those attempts from Weeks 1 through 5.
So not only is Dak's arm looking better, but he's providing more upside with his legs. And that's what makes him a strong streaming choice against Atlanta this week, a team that's allowed a top-15 quarterback performance in each game since Week 1.
Add the Arizona Cardinals' Defense
The Raiders have failed to score a touchdown in three of their last four games. And over their last five, defenses are averaging 4.2 sacks per game against them. So hello, Arizona. The Cardinals are facing the Raiders this week in Arizona as 4.0-point favorites with a low 41.0-point over/under. They're an easy streaming choice.