15 Fantasy Football Transactions for Week 10
Since Bryant entered the Steelers lineup, the team has scored 30, 51 and 43 points, and he now has three more touchdowns than anyone not named Antonio Brown on the team. In fact, the rookie wideout has been historic - he now has five touchdown receptions, which ties him with Eric Green for the most all time in a player's first three games.
Bryant's been important for the Steelers, but how important is he for your fantasy team?
Add Martavis Bryant
Hopefully you were able to snag Martavis off your waiver wire last week, but he's still available in roughly 80% of ESPN.com leagues. (Side note: If you didn't see, ESPN updated their percentage owned data, so this should be very accurate.)
What do the numbers say about him? Well, obviously he's efficient - he's scoring a touchdown on every other catch. As a result, his Reception Net Expected Points (NEP) per target is a ridiculous 1.16, which is best among wideouts with at least 10 grabs.
The reason to add him is pretty obvious - he's scoring touchdowns, and has seen 17 targets in his three games as a pro. That number should only become greater as he grows with the offense.
Sell Ben Roethlisberger
Selling a player who's coming off back-to-back six-touchdown performances seems foolish, I know. But I do think it's important to look at the greater picture here - one that includes a quarterback who had ranked higher than 10th in weekly quarterback scoring zero times prior to Week 8. In other words, while he's been irreplaceable over the last two weeks, Ben Roethlisberger really isn't a high-end fantasy quarterback. And he never really has been throughout his career-long sample size.
I do think he'll be fine from here on out, especially with the Jets and Titans over the next two weeks. But this is fantasy football, where quarterbacks are replaceable and buying and selling is an art.
The bottom line is that, if you can get solid value for Big Ben since he's gone off the last two weeks, go for it. In the absolute worst-case scenario, you'll be streaming your quarterback position. In a best-case one, some moron in your league gives up Matt Forte. It's worth seeing what Roethlisberger's market price looks like.
Add Kenny Stills
Though he'll be a volatile play - like any non-Jimmy Graham target in the Saints offense - the Saints have a decent enough upcoming schedule (plenty of games at home, too) to warrant an add.
Buy Matt Ryan
Speaking of schedules, I mentioned this last week, but the Falcons have a cakewalk schedule through the rest of the fantasy season. And that's why you should be buying Matt Ryan (and his receivers), despite their poor play of late.
Through nine weeks, Ryan ranks 11th in Passing NEP. Ben Roethlisberger's topped Ryan's season total in Passing NEP in the past two weeks alone. But with games against Tampa Bay (32nd against the pass according to our metrics), Carolina (20th), Cleveland (22nd), Arizona (12th), Green Bay (16th), Pittsburgh (19th), New Orleans (23rd) and Carolina (20th)? Yes, please.
Add Mike Glennon
If you need a quarterback streamer this week, Mike Glennon's not a bad option. He'll face Matt Ryan's Falcons in Tampa Bay and, as we all know, Atlanta's struggled against the pass over the last year and a half. According to our Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP metric, they rank 30th this season.
The Falcons have been alright in terms of fantasy points surrendered to quarterbacks mostly because their rush defense is so poor that teams can run all over them (they rank 29th against the run). But the metrics dictate that the matchup is still strong enough for a good desperation quarterback play.
Note: Josh McCown is now starting for Tampa Bay, so treat this transaction as if it's McCown.
Add Tyler Eifert
Remember him? Eifert went on short-term injured reserve after dislocating his elbow, and while he may not play against Cleveland this week, he should be back the week after. That's important because, as we showed in the preseason, Eifert is capable of being a top-12 tight end in fantasy football.
The less talented Jermaine Gresham has seen 42 targets this season, which ends up being over 5 looks per game. The problem is that Gresham's been wildly inefficient with his volume, ranking worst in Reception NEP per target among tight ends with 15 or more catches. That's another reason Eifert is needed.
The Bengals had big plans for Eifert entering the season (as you can see from the link above), and adding him could bring great results in fantasy.
Buy Kelvin Benjamin
I can't quit Kelvin Benjamin. Though his Week 9 performance was a weak 2 catches for 18 yards, the Panthers' wideout was targeted 10 times against New Orleans and very easily could've gone for 15 fantasy points - things just weren't working between him and quarterback Cam Newton.
The upcoming schedule is amazing. Benjamin and the Panthers passing offense will only face one secondary - Minnesota - that ranks even close to the top of the league against the pass. And in the fantasy football playoffs, Benjamin will get his revenge against New Orleans in Week 14, face Tampa Bay in Week 15 and then Cleveland in Week 16.
He's an even better "buy" candidate this week than last after a stinker on Thursday night.
Add Alfred Blue
Though it doesn't sound like Arian Foster is going to miss any time with his groin injury, this is a friendly reminder that having his handcuff isn't a bad idea. I'm not always a huge handcuff advocate, but as you approach the later weeks in your fantasy season, the waiver wire gets tougher to navigate and backing up your starters becomes important. If Foster does indeed go down, Blue should end up seeing a good portion of his touches.
Add Terrance West
Perhaps this is more of a "buy" depending on league size, but Terrance West needs to be owned in one way or another. He ended up seeing 15 carries to Ben Tate's 10 on Sunday, continuing the Cleveland Browns' annoying running back carousel. But coach Mike Pettine seems optimistic about West's performance, making it seem that the rookie runner will continue to get touches in Cleveland's backfield.
The main problem is that the Browns offense just hasn't run the ball well, especially since the injury to center Alex Mack. In the three games Cleveland has played since the team's victory over Pittsburgh, they've watched their rush offense drop from the 7th-ranked one to the 25th-best one in the NFL. It's why you can't expect the world from West even if he keeps seeing the highest number of touches in the Browns offense, despite the great schedule.
Sell Marshawn Lynch
Like some of the other players in this column, I've mentioned Marshawn Lynch in the past because of the team's poor upcoming schedule. Obviously Oakland in Week 9 wasn't one of them, but go ahead and take a look at what Lynch is about to see, especially in the fantasy playoffs. If you're a Lynch owner, try not to cry.
The Seahawks offense isn't playing well to begin with, and their Week 10 and Week 11 matchups against the Giants and Chiefs aren't bad for Lynch. But they'll then see the Cardinals (7th against the run according to our metrics), 49ers (15th), Eagles (10th), 49ers (15th) and Cardinals (7th) through Week 16. That's a brutal stretch in the fantasy playoffs.
Add or Buy Ryan Mathews
Does Branden Oliver deserve to keep the starting gig for San Diego? I'm not so sure. Among the 26 runners with 90 or more carries this season, Oliver's per rush NEP is fourth worst. He's been pretty good in the passing game though, so he should hold some value once Ryan Mathews returns.
Speaking of Mathews - he's out on a decent number of waiver wires right now (over 50% of ESPN.com leagues) due to an injury that's kept him out since Week 2. His owners may not realize that there's a good chance he comes back and takes the bulk of the carries in the San Diego backfield, too, making him a trade target. The San Diego schedule isn't fantastic for running backs moving forward, but let's not forget that Mathews has proven that he can play like an RB1 in fantasy.
Add Mark Sanchez
You'll hate doing it, but if you're in need of a quarterback - at least for this week - you could do worse than Mark Sanchez.
Against Houston, Sanchez was the best quarterback on the field - better than Nick Foles and better than Ryan Fitzpatrick. Though he's had some of the worst seasons our database has encountered, we can't overlook the offense he's in, the weapons he has and the matchup he has in Week 10.
Carolina, said matchup, ranks 20th against the pass according to our schedule-adjusted Defensive Passing NEP metric. They've also surrendered the eighth-most fantasy points to the quarterback position, sixth-most on a per week basis.
It'll be painful, but you can do it if your team needs a signal-caller.
Drop Zac Stacy
Popular third-round fantasy selection Zac Stacy didn't record a single snap against the 49ers in Week 9, with Tre Mason seeing most of the work for St. Louis. If you haven't done this already - and judging by ownership numbers, you might not have - you can drop Zac Stacy. Everything is trending in the opposite direction that you want it to.
Add the Dallas Cowboys Defense
The Cowboys are in London this week against the Jaguars, but chances are, Blake Bortles will still throw interceptions overseas. This, like most defensive streaming plays, is more about the matchup than the defense itself - every team outside of the Bengals has finished as a weekly top-10 defense in fantasy football against Jacksonville.
Add Adrian Peterson
I understand if you're against adding Adrian Peterson for ethical reasons, but AP is currently considering a plea deal that would make his felony charge a misdemeanor. This still doesn't mean he'll return to the field this year - and my money is on the fact that he won't - but considering who he is, he's worth an add if you have any roster space. Don't be silly with this transaction though and drop something of value.