NFL

15 Fantasy Football Transactions for Week 7

Typically, when a player is a "buy" or a "sell" in 15 Transactions, it's based on performance. If a wide receiver is seeing lots of volume and generating a ton of yards, but he's barely scored, then you might expect him to be a buy candidate. When the opposite is true, he's a sell.

Anyone who's read this column over the last five or so years -- however long yours truly's been writing it -- knows how things work.

Sometimes, though -- sometimes the recommended transactions are based off of the vibe of the fantasy football market. When you're active on social media, you can see what people are saying about certain players. And sometimes there are serious disagreements about what's being said.

That's the case for the first transaction this week.

Buy Diontae Johnson

After Chase Claypool's big Week 5 breakout, there were multiple people in my Twitter mentions asking if they should drop Diontae Johnson.

No. The answer is no. In fact, because of this thinking, this could be an opportunity to buy Johnson.

Typically, I'm not one to trade for an injured player, and Johnson missed Week 6 with a back issue. Pro Football Doc seems to think it's not a major injury, though, so we can have confidence that he'll be back on the field soon.

And when he's been on the field this year, he's produced. In Week 1, Johnson had a 32.3% target share for Pittsburgh. In Week 2, it was 31.7%. But over the Steelers' last three games, Johnson missed most of a game with a concussion, missed another huge chunk with a back injury, and then missed an entire game with that same back problem. It's not like his lack of production has had anything to do with skill.

I'll also repeat what I said last week in this very column: Claypool hurts James Washington more than anyone else on the Steelers, as long as everyone's healthy. In Weeks 1 and 2 -- the two games where Johnson's been healthy -- the snap split between Johnson and Washington was 109 to 68 in Johnson's favor. The reason we've seen a spike in Washington's production -- especially this past week -- was because Johnson's been sidelined.

In other words, Claypool can still ball out all while Diontae Johnson gets his, too. And then JuJu Smith-Schuster can sit there in the slot with his obnoxiously low average depth of target.

Considering the sentiment around Johnson, it's not a bad idea to try to trade for him.

Add Boston Scott

Miles Sanders exited Sunday's game with a knee injury, and Adam Schefter reported on Monday that he's likely going to be sidelined for one or two weeks. That leaves us with Boston Scott as a fill-in. He and Corey Clement shared the backfield back in Week 1 when Sanders was out, and in that game -- one where the Eagles weren't very good offensively -- Scott saw a snap share of 55.9% versus Clement's 36.8%. He handled nine carries to Clement's six, and they each had a pair of targets.

I'd expect Scott to be the 1A in the backfield once again, and they've got a relatively good matchup on Thursday against the Giants. According to FanDuel Sportsbook, the Eagles are four-point favorites in that game, and a positive script could lead to more rushing than what we saw from the duo back in Week 1.

Sell or Hold D'Andre Swift

This is one of those transactions where context really can matter.

On Sunday, D'Andre Swift ran the ball 14 times for 116 yards and a pair of scores. Most importantly, he saw three goal-line touches after tallying just one across the first five weeks of the season.

That's the good news. The bad news is that he still played just 37.7% of Detroit's offensive snaps, and even though we did see an increase in running back rush share, he still only saw about 42% of the Lions' running back rushes.

To put this another way, Swift is trending up, but his Week 6 stat line, based on his peripherals, is a little inflated.

So here's your plan: if you've got Swift and you're a one-, two- or maybe even three-win team, you could go out and try to see if you can sell him high off of this performance. Now, if you can afford to wait this out -- and a winning team probably can -- then it might not be a bad idea to do so. Swift is a talented back who's already shown he can catch the ball out of the backfield -- he's got a target share north of 12% so far this year. If that running back rush share keeps trending up, then we're looking at a potential strong back during the second half of the season.

If you're a bad team with Swift, you should try to sell him. If you've got a strong record and he's just chilling on your bench, I'd wait it out.

Add La'Mical Perine

There hasn't been a 15 Transactions column since last week's Le'Veon Bell news, but with Bell no longer on the Jets, the team's backfield includes a good bit of Frank Gore, a little bit of Ty Johnson, and some La'Mical Perine.

Perine, a rookie, saw the most work of his young career on Sunday, running the ball seven times while picking up a few targets. In terms of market share, he finished the game with 33.3% of the team's running back rushes and a 7.7% target share.

Those aren't really usable numbers, but you're not adding Perine -- who's still available in 82% of Yahoo! leagues -- this week because you want immediate production. You're hoping his role grows. And that could happen. Despite a pretty bleh backfield share, Perine played 16 more snaps than Gore, who out-rushed him 11 to 7.

He's worth a stash, and he could be a possible flex play during upcoming bye weeks. The Jets should get Sam Darnold back soon, and, hey, maybe Adam Gase will be let go at some point this season. That could free up the offense a bit.

Buy Jerry Jeudy

Jerry Jeudy's rookie season could be going better. Through five games, he's finished as the WR44 or worse in weekly scoring four times. If not for a really nice and long touchdown against the Jets in Week 4, he'd likely be five for five.

His peripheral numbers tell us that he should be better.

Jeudy ranks in the top-20 in air yards per game among all skill position players, and he's seen a target share of at least 18% in all but one of his games played this year. On the season, he's got a 20.6% target share, a number matched by just 25 other wideouts. It should be noted, too, that not only has Denver essentially played three games without their starting quarterback, they've also seen below-average wide receiver matchups in three of five games played.

Jeudy shouldn't be tough to acquire, and it seems now isn't a bad time to try to get him.

Sell Ryan Tannehill

Ryan Tannehill's average draft position was a little wild this offseason considering his production in 2019. Regardless of the regression that was likely to hit, Tannehill was a top-three quarterback in fantasy from the time he took over as starter in Tennessee through the end of the year. And then, in 2020, he was being drafted a lower-end QB2. It was surprising considering how reactionary the fantasy world can be, but it was also a little irresponsible. And this isn't a hindsight take -- I said it often on The Late-Round Podcast over the summer.

I'm prefacing this transaction with that narrative to show that I'm not a hater. Tannehill is the real deal, and he's exactly what the Titans need.

That doesn't mean you shouldn't try to sell him right now.

Trading away a quarterback is almost always a good idea in most leagues, but there's additional reason to get rid of Tannehill aside from "he plays quarterback." One reason is his touchdown rate. During his incredibly efficient 2019 season, he threw a touchdown on 7.7% of his attempts. Given history, we'd expect a number like that to regress closer to 6% (or lower) the following year. So far in 2020, Tannehill's touchdown rate is 7.5%.

His passing yards per touchdown mark is a little out of whack, too. From 2011 to 2019, quarterbacks threw a touchdown on every 162.6 yards. In 2020, that number's closer to 150 yards, since the league's scoring has been so high to start the year.

No matter how you look at things, Tannehill's overperforming. He's tossed a touchdown on every 105 yards this season.

He's a better-than-average quarterback, and good quarterbacks tend to have better marks in all the statistics that were just cited. They just aren't able to keep up this pace for a long period of time.

Considering the Titans get Pittsburgh, Chicago, Indianapolis, and Baltimore across four of their next five games, and with Taylor Lewan's season-ending ACL tear, now might be the time to send Tannehill away.

Drop Marvin Jones

If you need someone to tell you to drop Marvin Jones, I can be that person. But, to be clear, I'd only do it in shallower leagues. We've seen Jones with a high ceiling -- especially a high weekly ceiling -- in the past, so the threat is always there. And his Week 6 target share wasn't horrendous at 16.1%.

Since Kenny Golladay's returned from injury, though, Jones is averaging a 10.9% target share per game and, on the season, he's yet to finish higher than WR38 in weekly scoring. It took a touchdown to get there, too.

Add or Buy Dallas Goedert

Dallas Goedert is still available in about 60% of Yahoo! leagues when he's eligible to come off of IR this week. Even if he doesn't come back, he needs to be on your radar -- not only was he out-producing Zach Ertz before his Week 3 injury, but Ertz is now sidelined for three to four weeks with an injury of his own. So not only could Goedert return soon, but he'll be the clear top target at tight end when he does. After having roughly a 20% target share during his first two games this year, Goedert needs to be rostered in every single league, especially given the state of the tight end position.

Add Travis Fulgham

Speaking of the Eagles, Travis Fulgham is still out there in 70% of Yahoo! leagues. Across the last two games, Fulgham has seen a 36.1% and a 26.3% target share in the Philly offense, and he's been targeted 15 or more yards down the field six times, one of the higher marks in the league. Even when the other pass-catchers in the Eagles' offense are back, Fulgham could easily still get a lot of run. He's playing well and should be rostered.

Buy Myles Gaskin

I'm not sure the fantasy football world realizes how good Myles Gaskin has been. He's now seen almost 62% of Miami's running back rushes to go along with a 14.8% target share on the season. And what's better is that those numbers keep improving. Jordan Howard's been a healthy scratch in each of the last two games for the Dolphins, and in those contests, Gaskin has averaged a 70% running back rush share and a 16% target share per game.

More importantly, he's taken on the role of being the goal-line back -- he's seen all three running back touches at the goal line during this time, and within the 10-yard line, he's captured six of seven running back touches.

It doesn't look like Gaskin is going away. And, in a lot of instances, it takes time for these players who emerge from nowhere to be widely accepted by the fantasy football world. It's not a bad idea to throw an offer for Gaskin this week.

Add Sterling Shepard

Another player who could return from injury this week is Sterling Shepard, who's been out with a toe injury since Week 2. He didn't do a whole lot against Pittsburgh and Chicago back in September, but he's coming off a 2019 campaign where his target share per game average hit over 24%. With a soft-enough schedule upcoming for the Giants, Shepard could have flex appeal as early as Week 7.

Buy Tyler Boyd

The Bengals are throwing the ball a lot. We saw this coming given how pass-heavy they were last season in neutral game scripts, but so far on the year, they rank second across the league in pass attempts.

That's going to help their pass-catchers, including Tyler Boyd, who hasn't finished higher than WR20 in weekly wide receiver scoring since Week 3. I wouldn't be concerned about that -- he's hit at least a 20% target share in each of his last four contests. The Bengals also have a pretty awesome upcoming schedule for their passing attack, where the scariest matchup from here on out might be Pittsburgh. The Steelers, though, aren't super tough for slot guys.

Hold Mike Gesicki

After a goose egg in Week 6, plenty of you are probably considering dropping Mike Gesicki.

I'd give it a little time.

Gesicki still ran a solid 24 routes on Sunday, per Pro Football Focus, which was significantly higher than any other tight end on the team. He actually ran more routes than wide receiver Preston Williams. It didn't result in anything more than a 7% target share, but Gesicki still ranks in the top-15 in target share among tight ends this year. The position is trash -- it's not a cakewalk to find the type of usage Gesicki sees. Hold tight.

Add Teddy Bridgewater

The Carolina Panthers' offense had a down game in Week 6 against Chicago, but things look at little better here in Week 7. They'll face the Saints in a game, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, that has a solid 51-point over/under. The Saints rank as the second-best matchup in adjusted fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks this year, and Bridgewater continues to be a pretty huge regression candidate on the positive end. He's thrown for 1,677 yards, but he's only got 6 passing touchdowns. On that total, he should be closer to 10 or 11, which is the biggest discrepancy on the negative side of things in football.

Add the Philadelphia Eagles Defense

The Eagles' defense is rostered in 31% of Yahoo! leagues, making them a viable streamer for most of you this week. They'll be facing the Giants on Thursday night in a game with a low 44.5-point over/under, and with Philadelphia as 4-point favorites, they've got a shot to see a positive game script defensively. That'd be nice against Daniel Jones, since he and the Giants' offense has allowed a top-eight defensive performance in each one of their five losses this year.