15 Fantasy Football Transactions for Week 7
Fantasy football is a game about incredibly frustrating bad beats, screaming at your laptop, and rooting for individual players over a team, but most of all, it's a game about volume.
Rush attempts and receiving targets drive this game about a game that we all love. If a player is underperforming, as long as he's seeing enough of a workload, things should eventually even out.
DeAndre Hopkins managers have been ready for things to get back to normal for weeks now. The volume is there, but the production isn't. Should they stop waiting?
Buy DeAndre Hopkins
Hopkins hasn't lived up to expectation this season -- he was a first-round pick in almost every fantasy football draft, and he's performed like a fifth- or sixth-rounder this year -- but it's not all bad. Really, it's not. He still ranks 25th in fantasy points per game, he's seen at least 20% of Houston's targets in every contest this year, and he's playing with one of the best quarterbacks in football. His 28.1% target share is actually third-highest among all NFL wideouts.
These things generally do even out. If a player is consistently seeing that type of volume -- let alone a player of Hopkins' caliber -- they'll begin to see results, regardless of schedule. And the good news is that Hopkins has improved over the last two weeks when in plus matchups. Week 5 against the Falcons saw him with a WR17 finish, while Week 6 versus the Chiefs has him as a top-25 wideout. No, it's not ideal, but it's better than his WR48 average from Weeks 2 through 4 when he faced Jalen Ramsey, Casey Hayward, and James Bradberry.
The annoying part with Hopkins right now has been his work close to the end zone. He has just one target within the opponent's 10-yard line this year, when he led the league with 15 of those targets last season. If you think that type of usage will continue, then perhaps Hopkins is more of a "hold" than a "buy." To me, we've got a large enough sample outside of the six games we're working with in 2019 -- even with a healthy Will Fuller -- that tells us that he's a great red-zone threat.
Things should get better.
Sell Terry McLaurin
Over the last five seasons, wide receivers have scored a touchdown for every (roughly) 164 yards receiving. Unsurprisingly, touchdowns correlate pretty strongly with yards -- the more yards a player has, the more touchdowns we should expect him to score. McLaurin now has five touchdowns on the year, which is about double the number he should have based on his yardage total.
And it may not be easy for him to find the end zone over the next three weeks. Washington gets the high-flying 49ers defense in Week 7, and then they'll face the Vikings and the Bills on the road. So not only is touchdown regression likely to hit McLaurin, but the upcoming schedule could be brutal for his production as well.
Hold Jared Goff
Jared Goff's thrown three or more touchdowns in a single contest just once over his last 14 games (including the playoffs). On the year, he's given fantasy footballers three top-12 performances and three forgettable ones, where he finished QB23 or worse. Production-wise, he's sort of a headache.
You may be inclined to drop him after his ridiculously-bad 78-yard passing performance on Sunday against San Francisco, but you may want to think twice. The Rams get the Falcons in Week 7, who are allowing the third-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. Since Keanu Neal went down for Atlanta, they've surrendered three top-five quarterback performances in three games while allowing 3.7 passing touchdowns per contest. And it doesn't hurt that LA will face Cincinnati the week after, a team surrendering the seventh-most points per game to opposing passers.
After those two games? Sure, you can probably drop him.
Sell Damien Williams
After Damien Williams saw 90% of Kansas City's running back carries and over 10% of the team's targets in Week 5, he ended up with an 11.1% running back rush share with a 2.9% target share in Week 6. You really do hate to see it.
Considering he was able to find the end zone, you may be able to sell him off to a running back-needy team.
Buy Josh Allen
Take that same logic and apply it to Josh Allen.
Upcoming for Buffalo are games against Miami, Philadelphia, Washington, Cleveland, and then Miami once again. Each of those teams rank in the bottom half of the league in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks, with four of the matchups coming against teams ranking in the bottom 10. Trading for a quarterback is usually an unnecessary thing to do, but Allen not only could be had for cheap, he may just be on your waiver wire.
Buy Devin Singletary
Singletary was close to playing in Week 5, but with Buffalo's bye in Week 6, the team likely just made a cautious decision to allow him to rest his hamstring that's sidelined him since Week 2. Entering Week 7, he may be able to find the field once again.
And this creates an interesting buy-low opportunity.
Again, the Bills have a juicy schedule over the next month, which should create favorable circumstances for the team's running backs. Our two-game sample with Singletary this season showed a 70% snap share in Week 1 followed by a 33% one in Week 2. In that Week 2 game, though, he left in the middle of the fourth quarter with the hammy injury.
His rushing usage wasn't there during that Week 1 contest -- his one full game -- but the Bills used him heavily as a receiver, as he saw a 17% target share. And the high snap rate is a good indicator of a stronger workload in the future.
In the end, though, you're really buying Singletary right now because he'll likely be cheap, he's already had his bye, the schedule is great, and there's not a whole lot in the way for him to see more work. As he develops, there's a chance he's a bell-cow back by the time the fantasy football playoffs hit.
Sell or Hold the Cleveland Browns Passing Attack
Maybe this recommendation seems a little late to some of you, and maybe you're thinking that things for Cleveland's passing attack can't get much worse. But I assure you: it can.
One thing that does scare me about selling off the Browns' aerial attack is that Baker Mayfield has severely underperformed in the touchdown column to start the year. Not just because of bad play, either. Based on his near 1,500 passing yards, he should have well over 9 touchdowns this season. He currently has five. That's the largest discrepancy in "actual" versus "should have" touchdowns in the NFL this season.
In most cases, a situation like this would make a team's passing attack a buy, not a sell. But Cleveland's next four games make me nervous. After their Week 7 bye, they'll face New England on the road, then the Broncos in Denver, then Buffalo, and then they'll wrap things up with a divisional game in Cleveland against a good Pittsburgh D.
If you're needing a win or have just an average team, you'll want to sell them before their bye, not after it. So this is the week to do it.
With that being said, they're also a "hold" because they get Miami, Cincinnati, and Arizona down the stretch and into this year's fantasy playoffs. They could pay off later in the season, especially if they make some changes.
Add Auden Tate
Rostered in 23% of Yahoo! leagues, Auden Tate is one of the better adds off the waiver wire this week, especially for a team in need of wide receiver help. He's seen at least 16% of Cincinnati's targets in each of the team's last four games, including a near 32% target share on Sunday against Baltimore. A.J. Green may be back eventually, which will hurt Tate, but until then, buy the volume.
Hold D.J. Chark
D.J. Chark is one of the bigger touchdown regression candidates in football right now. He's scored five times, but given his yardage total, that number should be closer to three. But just because a player is bound to regress scoring-wise doesn't mean that same player should be traded away. If the peripheral numbers are present and consistent, then we should expect a player to continue to perform.
And that's the case with Chark. Since Week 1, he's fallen below a 25% target share in just a single contest. He now accounts for over 22% of Jacksonville's targets on the year. And the Jags have a decent schedule for the passing game over the next few weeks, with contests against the Bengals, Jets, and Texans.
He's not a player to target in a trade because there is some regression that's coming his way, but Chark should still be more than fine.
Buy D.J. Moore
Another D.J. to be relatively high on versus the consensus right now is D.J. Moore, who just can't seem to find the end zone. He should have 2.6 touchdowns according to his 425 receiving yards, but he's only scored once this season. That 1.6 touchdown difference is one of the bigger ones in the league.
Moore's also been more involved in the Carolina passing attack of late. After seeing about 11% of the Panthers' targets during Kyle Allen's first two starts for Carolina this year, the last two games have seen Moore with a 26.7% and a 32.3% share. So regardless of who's under center, we can finally feel confident that Moore's going to see volume and, in turn, fantasy production.
Since he's on a bye in Week 7, you may be able to get him at a more cost-effective price than usual.
Add Jamaal Williams
After an Aaron Jones fumble and dropped touchdown, Williams saw the field more against the Lions, and he looked pretty damn good with the ball in his hands. He ended up playing 52.7% of Green Bay's snaps -- he played more than Jones -- and he out-rushed Jones 14 to 11. Not only could he have some standalone value moving forward, but if an injury were to happen to Jones, then all of a sudden Williams is a borderline RB1. He's worth a roster spot right now.
Sell Miles Sanders
As much as yours truly wants Miles Sanders to be a thing, and as great as it was to see him show off his receiving ability against Minnesota on Sunday, we've got to be realistic. The secondary numbers weren't great for Sanders in Week 6.
Against the Vikings, Sanders played just 29% of the Eagles' offensive snaps, while teammate Jordan Howard found the field on 63% of them. In a negative game script -- which should favor Sanders over Howard -- that was Sanders' lowest snap rate of his season. As a result, he saw just 15% of Philly's rushes and a little over 7% of the team's targets. Considering he had 86 yards receiving and a touchdown, he's an easy sell-high option heading into Week 7.
Add Darrell Henderson
Things can change quickly in fantasy football, and it's important to always be one step ahead.
We've been through this before with Gurley, so it makes sense to be proactive. Grab Darrell Henderson off the wire. He played about one-third of LA's snaps on Sunday, and he was more effective than teammate Malcolm Brown per touch. Henderson was someone my prospect model liked quite a bit, and he was one of the most efficient college running backs in history. That's the type of flier you want sitting on your bench this time of year.
Buy Jamison Crowder
A couple of weeks ago on The Late-Round Podcast -- my fantasy football podcast that you should absolutely, positively subscribe to -- I mentioned a statistic that placed Jamison Crowder with elite company. At the time -- this was heading into Week 5 -- only six wide receivers had seen a 20% target share or better in all four games played this year. Since Crowder had already had his bye, he wasn't part of that cohort. But Crowder, in three games, had hit that mark in every contest.
He had a down game in Week 5 (as did the entire Jets offense), but Week 6 was a friendly one for Crowder, as he saw 29% of the Jets' targets in Sam Darnold's return to action. He now has almost a 27% target share this season, the sixth-highest mark at wide receiver.
And he hasn't scored yet. Based on his receiving yardage total, Crowder should have 1.7 touchdowns this season, making this somewhat of a buy-low moment.
Add the Kansas City Chiefs Defense
Defensive ownership is all over the place this season, but one streaming option that should be on your waiver wire in Week 7 is the Chiefs. They'll be in Denver on Thursday night, and the Broncos rank in the bottom half of the league in sack rate allowed, they're 11th-worst in yards per play, they're 23rd in points scored, and Kansas City is a 3.5-point road favorite. There are other defenses to like more, but the Chiefs should be able to get the job done.