15 Fantasy Football Transactions for Week 14
One of the things that separates good fantasy football managers from great ones is patience. We play a week to week game, which means we've got a lot of time to just...think. We've got seven days to make moves and trade for players before another set of games is played.
As a result, it's easy to get anxious and want to shake things up after one of your running backs comes through with another down week, even if it doesn't make sense to do so. You're often tempted to trade an underperforming receiver only because you're sick of that player, not because it's the logical thing to do.
In the end, it usually pays to be patient.
But then there's Darwin Thompson levels of patience. The Chiefs' rookie runner was hyped to the single-digit rounds of fantasy drafts in August, and until this point of the season, he's barely done anything.
Could that change when fantasy managers need him most?
Reminder: Any buy or sell recommendations mean that you should or shouldn't have confidence in that player moving forward.
Add Darwin Thompson
It's only taken 14 weeks and injuries to two Kansas City running backs for Darwin Thompson to finally get a shot. Maybe.
We still don't know the status of Damien Williams, who missed Week 13's game with an injury to his ribs, and the severity of Darrel Williams' non-contact injury that was sustained against the Raiders on Sunday is unknown. Andy Reid did say that there's a good chance Williams (Darrel) doesn't go this week, though. If both players miss time, then the Chiefs backfield is just LeSean McCoy and Darwin Thompson, making Thompson an intriguing waiver wire add. After all, during Sunday's blowout, Thompson touched the rock 11 times for 44 yards and a score.
A Kansas City running back has handled more than 60% of the team's running back rushes in just four games this year. They've been mostly running a committee. And of those four instances where a back had a running back rush share north of 60%, three came from Damien Williams. McCoy hasn't exactly been a workhorse for them, which is a big reason why Thompson should be added.
Drop Sammy Watkins
If you've been holding onto Sammy Watkins all year long, you can go ahead and let him go. Not only has his target share dropped to just 10% over his last two games, but Watkins still has just one top-24 (WR1 or WR2) performance on the year, and that came all the way back in Week 1. He's been in plus matchups, he's played with and without Tyreek Hill. Maybe he provides a usable performance down the stretch, but how predictable will that performance be? For the majority of you reading this, your league isn't deep enough to keep Watkins -- you're better off with a running back handcuff.
Sell Bo Scarbrough
The peripherals aren't horrible for Bo Scarbrough. He's averaged a 77.6% running back rush share over his last three games for the Lions, but he's barely been utilized in the passing game. He's the quintessential early-down running back.
That dings him from a fantasy perspective, but so does the fact that Detroit's upcoming schedule is brutal for running backs. They'll face the Vikings, Buccaneers, and Broncos to close out the fantasy season, giving Scarbrough three matchups against teams that rank seventh-, fourth-, and second-best against fantasy running backs when adjusted for strength of opponent. Considering his lack of receiving involvement, he's going to be hard to trust down the stretch.
Add Zach Pascal
In five games without T.Y. Hilton this season, Zach Pascal has averaged a 22.1% target share per game, turning that into 11.2 PPR fantasy points per contest. The points per game average isn't anything to write home about, but the volume is there. Considering Hilton had a setback last week with his injury, there's always a chance that he misses more time. And if he misses this week, Pascal could be a strong option, as the Colts get the Buccaneers, the absolute worst team in fantasy football at covering wide receivers.
Add Raheem Mostert
Raheem Mostert led the 49ers backfield in touches on Sunday, accounting for 79% of the team's running back rushes and almost 10% of the team's targets. He'd seen that high of a target share in the past, but the 79% running back rush share was by far the highest from any San Francisco running back this season. If Matt Breida continues to miss time, Mostert could be viable for running back-needy teams as we head into Week 14. A matchup versus the Saints isn't ideal, but it's tough to find good running back usage off the waiver wire this time of year.
Sell Ronald Jones
After Sunday's win against Jacksonville, Bruce Arians was asked about Ronald Jones' usage, when he said, "RoJo missed a blitz pickup and that's it." Later adding, "You don't get to play no more.''
So that's how short Jones' leash is, apparently.
For those of you who missed it, after seeing 11-plus carries in four of his previous five games, Jones carried the ball just 6 times in Week 13. He also didn't see a single target after averaging 4.2 per contest over his last five. Naturally, he didn't play a ton of snaps on Sunday, either -- his 27.6% snap share was his lowest since Week 8.
The reason for the "sell" recommendation here is pretty obvious: how are you going to confidently play Ronald Jones in the fantasy playoffs when we now know one failed blitz pickup can result in minimal usage?
Buy Jameis Winston
It wasn't a strong outing for Jameis Winston in Week 13 from a fantasy perspective, but he wasn't so bad from a real football standpoint, completing 21 of his 33 pass attempts for 268 yards. He just didn't cash in with a passing touchdown. That's not the norm for Winston -- he's thrown a touchdown pass in every game this year, and his Week 13 output was the lowest since facing San Francisco in Week 1.
Better days are ahead of Winston. In Week 14, he gets a below-average matchup against the Colts, but Weeks 15 and 16 feature games against the Lions and Texans. When adjusted for strength of opponent, those are two top-seven matchups for the Bucs' passing attack. Winston should be fine.
Add James Washington
So far this season, Devlin Hodges has thrown for 530 passing yards and 3 touchdowns. James Washington has been on the receiving end of 203 of those yards and 2 of the 3 touchdowns.
Is this because JuJu Smith-Schuster's been sidelined with an injury? Sure, that helps. Over the last two weeks, Washington's averaged a strong 26.4% target share. But don't ignore the "hunting buddies" narrative, either. Washington and Hodges are besties now.
In all seriousness, Washington's worked his way to more consistent playing time (he's led Steeler wideouts in snap share these past two weeks), and he could help fantasy managers as early as this week in a good matchup against the Cardinals.
Add Anthony Miller
One of the trends on last week's Late-Round Podcast (which you should subscribe to) "10 Trends" episode was that Anthony Miller had seen back to back weeks with at least a 22% target share. That was up significantly from what he'd been seeing during the first 10 weeks of the season. Then, on Thanksgiving, Miller's target share jumped to 34% in a strong matchup versus the Lions. He's being utilized more, and teammate Taylor Gabriel is still in concussion protocol. This all makes Miller a worthy add off the wire this week.
Sell John Brown
After hitting at least 50 yards receiving in each of his first 10 games this year, John Brown's averaged just 32.5 receiving yards per game over his last two outings. Throughout his first 10 contests this year, he had a target share of 27%. During his last two? 17%.
Things aren't exactly trending in the right direction for Brown, and left on the Bills' schedule during the fantasy season are games against the Ravens, Steelers, and Patriots. New England's the best team against fantasy wideouts when adjusted for strength of opponent, while Baltimore and Pittsburgh rank 11th-, and 12th-best. It could be tough for John Brown to score points during the fantasy playoffs.
Buy Ryan Tannehill
Ryan Tannehill had his worst fantasy outing as the Titans' starter on Sunday, scoring just 13.8 standard points. Part of that was due to rushing for just 5 yards when he had averaged 38 rushing yards per game over his last three contests, but Tennessee also didn't ask Tannehill to do a lot -- he attempted just 22 passes.
Like I talked about last week, Tannehill's Weeks 14 and 15 matchups are some of the best you'll find across the league. He gets Oakland this week, a team allowing 4.3 more fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks versus their season-long average. And then in Week 15, they get Houston, a team giving up almost three points more than their opponent's average. If Tannehill can get his legs going -- or if the Titans find themselves in a negative game script -- then he has legitimate top-five upside both weeks.
Drop David Johnson
On Sunday, we finally saw Chase Edmonds, David Johnson, and Kenyan Drake active and healthy in the same game for the Cardinals. And we officially saw that Drake is the running back you want out of the Arizona backfield.
Johnson found the field on just 23.4% of the Cardinals' snaps, while Drake's snap share was almost at 80%. Drake saw 13 rushes to Johnson's 4 (Edmonds didn't have any), and he had 5 targets to Johnson's 2.
It's a sad day, but David Johnson has essentially become a higher-end handcuff. And it's not because of an idiotic coaching staff -- Kenyan Drake has been the better player.
Add Mike Gesicki
Since going back to Ryan Fitzpatrick in Week 7, the Dolphins offense hasn't been terrible. They're ninth-worst in yards per drive, but 20 of their offensive drives have ended in a touchdown, the fourth-highest mark in the league. They've scored a touchdown on 25.6% of their drives, a number better than teams like the Texans and Cowboys during this time.
That's made the receivers in the offense a lot more reliable in fantasy. That includes Mike Gesicki, who's now averaged a 17.1% target share over his last five games. During this time, he's had three top-five fantasy performances at the position. If you need tight end help -- or even if you want to block another playoff team for getting that help -- you should add Gesicki this week.
And if you can't get Gesicki, make sure to watch Greg Olsen's recovery from a concussion he suffered on Sunday. Backup Ian Thomas is almost definitely on your waiver wire.
Add Gardner Minshew
It gets harder and harder to find viable lower-rostered quarterbacks each week. Jacoby Brissett's rostered in just 38% of Yahoo! leagues, and he gets Tampa Bay this week, making him a strong streaming option.
But digging deeper, you could add Gardner Minshew. His matchup against the Chargers this week isn't very good, but in Weeks 15 and 16, the Jags face Oakland and Atlanta, two teams that rank towards the bottom of the league in adjusted fantasy points allowed to the quarterback position. So if you've got a bye and have been streaming quarterbacks, Minshew, who was named starter again, could be your man.
Add the Houston Texans Defense
After facing New England in Week 13, the Texans' defense was dropped in a lot of fantasy leagues. To be fair, they shouldn't have been rostered in many given how they've played without J.J. Watt, but their matchup in Week 14 is favorable against a Drew Lock-led Broncos' offense. Lock didn't take any sacks against the Chargers, but Houston's at home, and according to FanDuel Sportsbook, they're 9.5-point favorites against Denver. They should, at the very least, come away with a high-floor game.
Note: If Alexander Mattison is on your waiver wire, you should add him as well. Dalvin Cook banged up, but you should also be adding all handcuffs this time of year. The reason he's not a transaction this week is because adding handcuffs has been a transaction for over a month.