NFL

15 Fantasy Football Transactions for Week 11

Is Aaron Jones a good bet from here on out, or should fantasy football managers be afraid of a split backfield?

The one thing to always remember about the game of fantasy football is that it's cruel, and it hates you.

When Nick Chubb ran out of bounds at the one-yard line against Houston on Sunday with no Texan defender in sight, he changed the outcome of thousands of fantasy matchups. His decision led to lost money for sports bettors. He didn't do anything wrong -- he actually did what was best for his team -- but the fact still remains: that choice to go out at the one-yard line instead of walking into the end zone changed a hell of a lot in the fantasy and sports betting world.

It impacted a lot of you specifically. You lost your fantasy matchup because Chubb didn't get you those six extra points. You lost a bet on that game.

And it's tilting. It's frustrating. It makes you want to not watch football ever again.

But hear me out. (This is going to sound like I'm your parent. I'm still going to go for it, though.)

When you lose, someone wins. When Nick Chubb failed to get you the six points you desperately could've used to get a win in your home league, your pal Greg, who was facing you, was benefitting. And others -- not just Greg -- won as a result, too.

As much as you want those victories, you've got to realize that you can't have them all. Your week will happen. It'll come. For now, at least try to find some joy in the fact that those types of bad beats are lucky wins for others.

Or just keep tilting. Sometimes that's OK, too.

Buy Aaron Jones

The start of the Packers game in Week 10 was pretty frustrating for anyone who had Aaron Jones in their lineup. It seemed like Green Bay was focused on feeding Jamaal Williams early on, with Williams out-attempting Jones 7 to 5 in the first half against Jacksonville. Things turned around in the end, with Jones handling 13 carries to Williams' 8. Jones also out-targeted Williams 6 to 4.

That split may feel a little too close -- a little too dangerous -- for Jones managers. That creates an opportunity to potentially buy, especially after two below-average performances from Jones in back to back weeks.

The thing is, Jones' 63.1% snap rate on Sunday was actually quite good. It was his second-highest mark of the season. And, in the end, his running back rush share (59.1%) was right in line with what we've seen from Jones all season long.

In other words, the Williams split on Sunday, even if it seemed like it mattered, actually didn't. The start of the game was just wacky, and that anchoring bias may be enough to get a slight discount on Jones this week.

There's also another reason to buy: Green Bay's fantasy playoff schedule. In Weeks 14 through 16, the Packers will face the Lions, Panthers, and Titans. Each of those teams rank in the bottom-seven in adjusted points allowed to running backs, making it one of the best schedule stretches imaginable for Jones. And for Jamaal Williams, too, I suppose.

Sell James Robinson

You may recall that, a couple of weeks back, James Robinson was featured as a 15 Transactions sell. There was recognition that his Week 9 and 10 matchups were good and that he could produce as a result, and he has. Over the last two weeks, Robinson's rushed for over 200 yards. He's only tallied three receiving yards, but he's done work on the ground.

Robinson's now scored double-digit PPR points in every single game this year. No one is trying to sell -- or should be trying to sell -- that Robinson's bad or won't produce moving forward. He's good.

It's just that now, officially, may be the time to sell. Before, you could've waited for his Week 9 and 10 matchups to pass. But now, moving forward, Robinson will face Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Minnesota, Tennessee, Baltimore, and Chicago. The Titans, Ravens, and Bears matchups will happen in the fantasy playoffs.

To put into perspective how much more difficult things are going to get for Robinson and the Jags' rushing attack, consider this: from Weeks 1 through 10, Jacksonville's opponents' average favorability rank in adjusted fantasy points allowed to running backs was 10.3. In other words, their average opponent ranked as about the 10th-most advantageous matchup for running backs in fantasy. So far this season, Robinson's faced each of easiest five opponents within the statistic, meaning over half of his games have been cakewalk matchups.

From Week 11 through Week 16, that ranking drops to 21.5. There's only one top-10 matchup for Robinson (versus the Titans), and in the fantasy playoffs, he'll get the Ravens and Bears, two of the hardest defenses to run on.

There's a chance your leaguemates won't even realize how good Robinson's been this season. In that case, you likely can't sell, because it's not like he won't still be a really strong fantasy asset. You can't ignore that, even with the tough schedule.

You just need to be prepared for what's to come.

Add Michael Pittman Jr.

We finally got the Michael Pittman Jr. breakout game. And it was gorgeous.

Last Thursday, the rookie hauled in 7 of his 8 targets for 101 yards. He ended the game with a strong 22.2% target share, building off of his 17.5% share from his previous game.

So he's worth an add on that alone. It doesn't hurt that Indianapolis wide receivers have a pretty favorable schedule through the end of the fantasy season, with just one matchup (which comes this week) against a team that ranks unfavorably in adjusted points allowed.

Hold Travis Fulgham

There's plenty of frustration on social media around Travis Fulgham's Week 10 performance, where he tallied just a 13.9% target share in the Philadelphia offense. After averaging a target share north of 29% over his previous four outings, the dip against the Giants was significant. And, naturally, with Jalen Reagor and Dallas Goedert back and healthy, it raises a lot of questions about Fulgham's place in the Philly offense.

That's all understandable, but mediocre games happen all the time to wide receivers. And, remember, Goedert and Reagor played back in Week 8 before their bye, too. In that game, Fulgham was the leader in targets for the Eagles' O.

As I've noted in this column many times over the last month, Philadelphia also has a great schedule for the passing attack from here on out. It's one of the five best when looking at adjusted points allowed.

Don't give up on Fulgham completely after one bad game.

Add Jalen Reagor

To this point, Jalen Reagor's roster percentage on Yahoo! is criminal. He's still available in well over 70% of leagues despite seeing 23% and 19% of Philadelphia's targets in his last two games, which were the two contests he's played in since coming off an injury. As I just said with Fulgham, the schedule looks great for the Eagles' pass-catchers, and Reagor appears to be the top option in the passing game moving forward. The 15 Transactions truthers out there may think that I sound like a broken record -- Reagor's been mentioned in this column a few times already this year -- but he needs to be re-emphasized thanks to a percent rostered figure that's way, way too low.

Buy Jarvis Landry

Odell Beckham's now been sidelined for two games, and in those two contests, Jarvis Landry has seen target shares of 44.0% and 26.3%. That's a target share per game average of 35.2%, which far exceeds his 19.5% average with Beckham.

Why hasn't he produced? Well, those two games have been horrific weather-wise. There was a combined 22 points scored against the Raiders a couple of weeks back, and then against Houston on Sunday, there was 17. Baker Mayfield's averaged just 127 yards per game over this time -- that makes it tough for his pass-catchers to compile fantasy points.

As long as the weather cooperates, things will be better for Landry. The Browns not only have a decent rest-of-season schedule for wide receivers, but in the fantasy playoffs -- in Weeks 15 and 16 -- they get both New York teams. Those are top-half matchups in adjusted fantasy points allowed.

Sell Kareem Hunt

With Nick Chubb's return on Sunday, Kareem Hunt saw a different type of workload in the Cleveland offense. He handled half of the team's running back rushes, but he also saw over 21% of the team's targets, which allowed him to post a top-15 outing at the position in Week 10.

I'm skeptical that all of this is sustainable.

As a refresher, Chubb played all of Weeks 1 through 3 before getting injured in Week 4 -- we now have four total games of Nick Chubb this season with Kareem Hunt. In those contests, Hunt's averaged a 45.3% running back rush share and a 15.3% target share. Outside of those games -- and ignoring the game where Chubb was injured -- those numbers are 77.0% and 12.0%.

That's not all that surprising since Chubb has been largely an early-down guy thus far in the NFL -- we'd expect Hunt to have a much lower rush share with Chubb active. And the difference in target share isn't that significant given the samples we're working with.

What is surprising is that Hunt's averaging about three more PPR points per game with Chubb than without him this year.

Is there an efficiency piece to this equation? I mean, yes, technically, there is. Hunt's averaging 5.3 yards per carry with Nick Chubb this season versus 3.9 without him. But, again, our sample sizes are pretty small here, so we can't just sit back and say, "Kareem Hunt is much more efficient with Nick Chubb than without him, therefore he can sustain his production."

The bottom line in fantasy football is volume. And while Hunt did maintain pretty strong market share numbers in Week 10, it was also Chubb's first game back from his MCL injury, and Hunt likely benefitted in target share due to the weather. Even if you don't want to attribute Hunt's 21% target share to anything but variance, that still tells you that it's likely unsustainable, since it was his highest share of the season.

To put this all another way: the fear is that Chubb will continue to dig into Kareem Hunt's ground-game workload, and that Hunt may not be able to keep his target share pace. That's enough for me to at least entertain offers, in case someone's buying the narrative that Hunt is better with Nick Chubb than without him.

Add Josh Reynolds

Over Josh Reynolds' last four games, his target share per game average has been 20.7%. That's up from 10.7% across his first five contests. He's now hit double-digit PPR points in three of his last four games, when his single-game high was 8 PPR points during his first five.

Why is this happening? Honestly, he's just playing more. From Weeks 1 through 5, per Pro Football Focus, Reynolds ran 109 routes. That was 34 fewer than teammate Cooper Kupp and 43 fewer than Robert Woods. Since, Reynolds has run just three fewer routes than Kupp and has run the exact same number (158) as Woods. And, actually, he's seen more targets than Woods straight up since Week 4 ended all while being targeted 15-plus air yards eight more times than both Kupp and Woods.

All of this means that he's really undervalued in season-long leagues right now. If Woods is rostered in 97% of Yahoo! leagues, Reynolds should be rostered in way more than 5% of them.

Buy Marquise Brown

The buy and sell recommendations in this column don't have to only focus on studs. They can focus on completely underwhelming players, too. You know, like Marquise Brown, who's given us one single top-24 wide receiver performance this season.

The tilt is real.

This is one of those situations where I'd be willing to send off a bench piece to get Brown in return. He's still seen a 23.6% target share, which is necessary in such a run-heavy offense. And if you want to look strictly at targets, he's 34th in the league in the category at wide receiver. It's not great, but it's not bad for a player who ranks in the top-15 in deep-ball targets and air yards.

This is really about conversion rate. Hollywood hasn't scored a touchdown on any of the deep balls that have gone this way, and his 35% catch rate on those passes ranks in the 21st percentile among players with 10 or more deep-ball targets. Last season, Brown converted 45% of his 20 deep-ball targets -- the same he has right now -- into 4 touchdowns.

We shouldn't assume some switch is going to be flipped and Lamar Jackson is all of a sudden going to be reliably hit Marquise Brown down the field game after game. But we've got a few weeks leading up to the fantasy playoffs where we can wait things out. If the numbers start to get a little better, then we'll have more confidence playing him as a big-play option in the playoffs, when the Ravens face the Browns, Jags, and Giants.

Buy the Baltimore Ravens Defense

We don't often trade for defenses in fantasy football, but there are exceptions to every rule. As I just alluded to, Baltimore will face the Browns, Jaguars, and Giants from Weeks 14 through 16. They've got arguably the best matchups for any defense in the fantasy playoffs, with those teams ranking as the 14th-best, 5th-best, and 9th-best matchups in adjusted fantasy points allowed. If you're looking ahead, they're likely your top defensive priority that would allow you to set and forget that position throughout the fantasy playoffs.

Add Logan Thomas

The best tight end that has a shot to be on your waiver wire this week is Logan Thomas. He hasn't seen any sort of uptick in target share since Alex Smith took over as Washington's quarterback, but he's now finished with a top-10 tight end performance in three of his last four games. He's got a 16.1% target share on the season, and he's a breathing human being. That's enough to make him a worthwhile play at the dumpster fieriest position in fantasy football.

Sell Jerry Jeudy

Nothing's analytically wrong with Jerry Jeudy. A big reason he was a buy in this column just a few weeks ago was because he was drastically underperforming versus his overall usage, and since then, he's been a little more consistent -- he's averaged about 16 PPR points per game over his last three, including a monster 25.5-point outing against Atlanta in Week 9.

Even though Jeudy's left a little meat on the bone (and we can probably place a lot of blame on Drew Lock for that), I'm pretty concerned about the Broncos rest-of-season schedule. In total, it's the seventh-toughest for wide receivers in adjusted points allowed, and they'll face the Panthers, Bills, and Chargers in the fantasy playoffs. Those are all bottom-10 matchups for fantasy wideouts.

Jeudy's got a great career ahead, but it's tough to bank on production from him for the rest of his rookie season.

Add Salvon Ahmed

Salvon Ahmed was featured in last week's 15 Transactions column after stealthily finishing Week 9 with the highest snap rate in the Miami Dolphins backfield. Then, in Week 10, he handled 84% of Miami's running back rushes, the highest mark any Dolphins back has seen this season. Even with some running backs eventually returning from injury, Ahmed might have carved out a role in that backfield. That's especially believable with Jordan Howard's release on Monday.

Add Jameis Winston

Drew Brees suffered multiple rib fractures and a collapsed lung on Sunday against the 49ers, so it's now Jameis Winston's offense in New Orleans. Winston looked kind of bad in his second-half action against San Francisco, and numberFire's expected points model backs that up. But we should be a little forgiving of a guy who hasn't played meaningful football in some time.

The good news is he gets Atlanta in Week 11. The Falcons rank as the absolute best matchup in adjusted fantasy points allowed -- quarterbacks against the Falcons are averaging 7.2 more points against them versus their season-long averages. The matchup alone makes Winston a viable streamer.

Add the Cleveland Browns Defense

The Browns face off against the Eagles this week as three-point favorites according to FanDuel Sportsbook, and they're a viable streaming option. Philadelphia's been the sixth-best matchup for opposing defenses this season in adjusted fantasy points allowed, and no team that's faced the Eagles has ranked outside the top-14 in weekly scoring. The Eagles have allowed the highest sack rate in football this year, while the Browns rank in the top half of the league in sacks. They're a good option.

And you might want to hold onto them for a while, too. As I noted earlier, in the fantasy playoffs, Cleveland gets both New York teams in Weeks 15 and 16. You may have to stream a different defense in Week 14 as the Browns face the Ravens, but in Week 15 and 16, you're good to go.