15 Fantasy Football Transactions for Week 14
Welcome to the fantasy football playoffs.
If you're reading this, chances are you've got one of the better teams in your fantasy league and are ready to compete for a title. If not, you're most likely a degenerate who's bored at work. That's still OK.
Like last week in this column, I'll focus mostly on guys to add to your fantasy squad during this playoff stretch. There's no more trading, so there's no reason to look at buy-low and sell-high candidates, after all.
Are you ready for the playoffs? I am. Let's go.
Add Kenny Stills
He now has 33 receptions since the Saints' Week 6 bye, including 9.7 full-point PPR points or more in six of those seven games. Most importantly, in the two games since Brandin Cooks' season-ending injury, Stills has 13 catches on 15 targets for 260 yards and a touchdown.
The Saints get the Panthers, Bears and Falcons down the stretch, who rank 23rd, 28th and 31st against the pass according to our Net Expected Points (NEP) metrics, respectively. Stills should continue to have great value in the fantasy playoffs.
Add Johnny Manziel
Is it just a coincidence that we're all playing for fantasy titles at the same time Johnny Manziel may finally be getting his shot as starter for the Browns? The fantasy gods are begging you to pick him up and play him.
In all seriousness, quarterback streamers should be rejoicing over the fact that Manziel may start for Cleveland moving forward. We saw what he can do with his legs against Buffalo, and with Josh Gordon back at it, he has one of the best weapons in the game to throw to. His running ability should outweigh his mistakes, and a Week 14 matchup against a Colts team that continues to drop in our pass defense rankings makes Manziel a top streamer. That is, if he plays.
Drop Darren McFadden
Remember when Darren McFadden was awesome in fantasy football? Well, he's not anymore. At all.
This season, McFadden has seen 11 or more rushes in nine of his games. He's yet to rank higher than 17th in PPR formats in a given week at the running back position. According to Rushing NEP, only Andre Ellington has accumulated a worse total than McFadden this year, and that's simply because Ellington's seen more touches -- DMC has a worse per rush NEP average.
The Raiders get the 49ers, Chiefs and Bills to end their season. Of those teams, only the Chiefs are an exploitable matchup. And do you really want to trust Darren McFadden in any sort of playoff game?
Add Donte Moncrief
He's also a lot better than teammate Hakeem Nicks. According to our Reception NEP per target metric, which looks at how many expected points a player adds on all catches and divides it by volume, Moncrief leads the Colts with a 1.01 average. That's not surprising because, when he does catch it, he's doing big things.
Only the aforementioned Kenny Stills has a better rate than Moncrief this year, while Nicks, among the 116 wide receivers with 10 or more catches, ranks 105th in Reception NEP per target. Which player would you want to feed the ball to?
Moncrief is still a risky play during the fantasy playoffs because his volume and playing time hasn't been super consistent. He does, however, provide a lot of upside in a high-powered offense.
Add Marqise Lee
Wide receiver Allen Robinson has now been out for two weeks after suffering a season-ending injury. Over this time, fellow rookie Marqise Lee has 9 receptions, 127 yards and a score. More importantly, he's seen one more target than teammate Allen Hurns, and two more than Cecil Shorts.
While the Jaguars passing attack is nothing to write home about, it does see relatively high passing volume -- through 13 weeks, only 11 teams have dropped back to pass more than Jacksonville.
Upcoming in the fantasy playoffs for Lee and the Jags is Houston, Baltimore and Tennessee. While the Texans are really good at defending the pass according to NEP, they're still surrendering a ton of fantasy points to the position. Baltimore's had their fair share of troubles in the secondary since Jimmy Smith's season-ending injury, and the Titans just let Ryan Fitzpatrick drop six touchdowns on them. There's some upside here.
Add Khiry Robinson
I had Dan Herron in this spot when I first started writing this column, but adding him is too obvious at this point -- if he's out there on your waiver wire, get him yesterday.
Instead, I'll mention that Khiry Robinson is likely to return for the Saints this week. Though I'm not expecting him to dig deep into Mark Ingram's workload for the Saints, I do think it's important to note that New Orleans gets Carolina, Chicago and Atlanta over their next three contests, all defenses that can be run on. There's a chance Robinson still sees 10 or so total touches in those games, making him a viable option in deeper leagues. At the very least, he's good insurance for Ingram owners.
Add Harry Douglas
It appears as though the Falcons are optimistic about Roddy White returning to the field this weekend, but if he doesn't, Harry Douglas deserves a look. Without White this past weekend, Douglas caught 9 balls on 12 targets for 116 yards. That production is obviously solid, but adding Douglas is especially important if you're a White owner, as the Falcons play on Monday night and you'll want a backup plan. And, if your opponent has White, snagging Douglas could be a nice block. Because it's the playoffs, and you need to be a jerk.
Add Colt McCoy
Colt McCoy now has a Passing NEP total of 19.15 with a 0.19 per drop back NEP average. To put this into perspective, only 10 quarterbacks with 50 or more passes have averaged that kind of efficiency this season.
McCoy gets the Rams defense in Week 14, which now ranks 10th against the pass according to our metrics. They've also not been the matchup to exploit in fantasy of late, giving up zero top-10 quarterback performances since Week 7. McCoy, to me, makes for more of a desperation add and play, but know that he gets the Giants and Eagles, two teams who have given up a decent amount of fantasy points to opposing signal-callers, in Weeks 15 and 16.
Drop Teddy Bridgewater
OK, so Teddy Bridgewater has a cake matchup in Week 14 against the Jets. Would I trust him with my fantasy season on the line? No way -- give me some of the other guys in this article. If you're desperate though, I understand his matchup allure.
But if you own Bridgewater and aren't playing him, use that bench space for something more useful, like a running back handcuff or one of the other waiver wire adds this week. In Weeks 15 and 16, Bridgewater will face Detroit and Miami, two of the best defenses in the NFL. You're not playing him then.
Add the Minnesota Vikings' Defense
Again, the Vikings are playing the Jets this week, and it's in Minnesota. Not only is the Vikings' defense a respectable 15th in terms of Adjusted Defensive NEP, but the Jets offense has allowed five fantasy defenses finish in the weekly top five this season. The floor is pretty significant against the Jets, too, as all but two defenses have scored five or more standard fantasy points against them. The Vikings are a great one-week streaming option.
Add Jarvis Landry
It seems like I've said this for the past few weeks, but if you're in a PPR league and Jarvis Landry is available, you should be adding him. Though he doesn't get looks deep down the field very often, he has an absurd 22 targets over his last two games, and 43 over his last five. In terms of weekly wide receiver results in PPR leagues, Landry's finished 21st, 30th, 29th, 7th and 30th over this time. He has a great floor thanks to his volume, and if he finds the end zone, he has top-10 upside.
Add Robert Woods
Fun fact: Two weeks ago I was on the verge of winning a daily fantasy tournament, but Robert Woods decided it was a good time to catch 9 passes for 118 yards and a touchdown, knocking me out of first. Fun fact: Because of fantasy football, I don't really like Robert Woods.
But he makes for a great add right now. Owned in just 4.2% of ESPN.com leagues, Woods has 31 targets over his last four games, and has scored 11 or more PPR points in three of those contests. The team's upcoming schedule is against Denver, Green Bay and Oakland -- the Bills will be playing catch-up against the first two opponents, while Oakland is, well, Oakland.
Woods makes a solid add this week, especially in PPR leagues.
Add Marion Grice
Andre Ellington's been a sell candidate for some time in this column, mostly because his quarterback situation is horrendous and the Cardinals' schedule for running backs is just as bad. However, Ellington now has hip issues, which opens up the Cardinals backfield.
Perhaps it could be Marion Grice's turn to see volume - and among the runners for Arizona, my money would be on him to see the most touches - but beware that the schedule is still brutal down the stretch, facing St. Louis and Seattle in Weeks 15 and 16. I'm mentioning Grice here though because you always have to add a running back who could see an uptick in volume, even if the situation is awful.
Add Ryan Fitzpatrick
Ryan Fitzpatrick threw six touchdowns on Sunday. Six. That alone deserves a little waiver wire love, but he'll face the Jags in Week 14, a middle-of-the-road secondary against the pass in terms of fantasy points against and Net Expected Points. Don't be fooled by Jacksonville in thinking they're a super easy opponent though. Since Week 5, Ben Roethlisberger, Ryan Tannehill, Andy Dalton, Andrew Luck and Eli Manning have all failed to finish as QB1s (top-12 weekly quarterbacks) against the Jags. Fitzpatrick should have a high floor, but I wouldn't bank on the ceiling he had in Week 13.
Add the Green Bay Packers' Defense
Green Bay faces Atlanta this week, so you may want to hold off on using them. However, I can't blame you if you do considering the Falcons will be on the road, and the Packers' D has performed well at home this season.
The real reason to snag Green Bay right now is because they get Buffalo and Tampa Bay in Weeks 15 and 16. According to our numbers, the Bills have the 22nd-best offense, while the Bucs rank 30th. Neither game is in Green Bay, which makes them a bit of a risky play, but they're now on a lot of waiver wires after facing New England this week.