15 Fantasy Football Transactions for Week 16
Well, it's been real.
It's championship week. For most, at least. And that means the weekly buy, sell, add and drop period has officially come to an end. This is it.
If you're fortunate enough to be playing for a championship title this week, good on you. I can only hope that this column has helped you throughout the season. And if somehow, someway, you need add or drop advice, I've got you covered.
Thanks for a great season, everyone -- let's win a championship.
Add Joseph Randle
After 351 carries, DeMarco Murray has hurt his...hand. Naturally.
Clearly this is a big deal for Murray owners, who have ridden the Cowboys' running back all season long. In PPR formats, he's finished worse than eighth in weekly scoring just twice this season. He's arguably been fantasy football's MVP.
The matchup against a 19th-ranked Colts rush defense, according to our Net Expected Points (NEP) metrics, is attractive enough to add one or both of the Dallas backs. Let's just hope the backfield picture becomes a little clearer as we approach Sunday.
Add Mark Sanchez
Trusting Mark Sanchez in your championship seems like a foolish thing to do after failing to produce in a plus matchup last week, but there's reason to believe that he'll bounce back in Week 16.
The Eagles will face Washington on Saturday, which places Sanchez in the best matchup imaginable for a quarterback. The Redskins rank 32nd against the pass according to our schedule-adjusted metrics, have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, and have given up six top-five weekly quarterback performances this season. No quarterback has scored fewer than the 11.4 fantasy points Chad Henne scored on the Redskins in Week 2, giving Sanchez a nice floor as well.
I would trust him in your championship game -- get him if he's available, which he appears to be in nearly 60% of ESPN.com leagues. Owners may drop him this week out of frustration, too.
Drop St. Louis Rams' Wide Receivers
Rams wide receivers haven't been the most reliable bunch since Brian Quick's season-ending injury. In fact, they've produced just two top-10 performances since Week 5, and in PPR leagues, those two outings are the only that have reached 14 fantasy points. It's not the time of year to get cute with your lineups, so feel free to drop a guy like Stedman Bailey or Kenny Britt for other players on this list. And, remember, adding players to block your opponent is just as important as adding them for your own lineup.
Add Carlos Hyde
Frank Gore, who once won you fantasy championships, left Week 15's game with a brutal concussion, and his status is up in the air for Week 16. Enter rookie Carlos Hyde, who's dealing with an injury himself after going down awkwardly in the same contest.
If Hyde ends up going without Gore in the backfield, he could have a decent day against San Diego. San Francisco, despite being inefficient, is still one of the run-heaviest teams in the NFL (ninth-lowest pass-to-run ratio in the league), while San Diego ranks 16th in rushing attempts faced this season. Gore's seen double-digit touches in all but two games this year, and many of those would hypothetically go to Hyde.
If Hyde doesn't suit up, be prepared to add Alfonso Smith.
Add Doug Martin
Remember Doug Martin? Well, he now has 11 or more carries in three of his last four games, and has ranked as a top-20 running back in PPR formats in two of his last three.
You just know he's going to burn you if you pick him up and start him in Week 16, but he does have a favorable matchup against Green Bay. The Packers have generally struggled against the run this season, especially on the road, which is where they'll be this weekend. Martin's a good add for running back-needy teams, but again, be prepared for potential disappointment.
Add Alex Smith
As I said last week, using Alex Smith in fantasy football is like driving your car with a helmet on. Rather than going 60 on the highway this past weekend though, Smith decided to drive 5 miles per hour over the speed limit. Progress.
He gets a great matchup in Week 16 against Pittsburgh, a team that's had their fair share of struggles against the pass this season. Since facing Brian Hoyer in Week 7, fantasy signal-callers have ranked 10th, 3rd, 9th, 8th, 9th, 3rd, 7th and 4th against the Steelers in weekly quarterback scoring. It's not as though they've only faced high-caliber passers, either -- this list includes Ryan Fitzpatrick, Joe Flacco, Michael Vick, Zach Mettenberger and Andy Dalton.
Smith should have opportunity to play a little catch-up against one of the league's best offenses, making him a great streaming option in Week 16.
Add Harry Douglas
Without Julio Jones in the lineup against the aforementioned terrible Steelers secondary, Harry Douglas saw 14 targets in Week 15, catching 10 for 131 yards. He's generally not a scoring threat, but the volume and opportunity alone makes him a smart add off the wire if Julio doesn't dress again. He'll also face a Saints secondary this weekend that's been porous this season, ranking 28th against the pass per our metrics.
Drop the Arizona Cardinals' Offense
Everyone. Drop everyone on the Cardinals' offense.
Rather than dig into the obvious reasons why, I'll direct you to a recent piece I did on Ryan Lindley's historically bad numbers. That'll give you enough reason to not want to own or use any Arizona Cardinal.
Oh, and did I mention they'll face Seattle in Week 16?
Add Donte Moncrief
Moncrief continues to be a player to target off the waiver wire for his athletic and big-play ability, but he's first and foremost a massive boom-or-bust play. This was going to be a bigger add this week given a hamstring injury to TY Hilton, but it looks as though Hilton will be just fine.
Moncrief's a player who's capable of posting big numbers, and against Dallas' secondary, that could very well happen in Week 16. Just to be safe, add him off your waiver wire and don't let your opponent beat you with him.
Add CJ Spiller
If I'm going to mention Doug Martin, I might as well bring up fellow fantasy football third-round bust CJ Spiller too, right?
Spiller's returning from an injury that's kept him sidelined since Week 7, and it's coming at a good time -- Buffalo faces Oakland in Week 16.
Don't go plugging Spiller into your lineup though. Not only did he fail to produce big numbers when he was healthy this season, but there's no telling how the Bills will use him in their already-crowded backfield. A little like Moncrief, I'd look to add Spiller just so that your opponent can't. There's nothing worse than losing to obvious boom-or-bust players, watching them go boom against your team.
Add Robert Griffin III
If you can't get Alex Smith and need a quarterback streaming option this week, using Robert Griffin III, though it will feel unbelievably uncomfortable, isn't a bad idea.
The Redskins get the Eagles this week, and while Washington's secondary is terrible, the Eagles' have been torched this year by fantasy quarterbacks, too. The unit has been opportunistic and ranks well in terms of NEP, but Philly's allowed the third-most points to opposing signal-callers this season, including five weekly top-five performances. If you roll out RGIII, just make sure you don't watch the game.
Drop Philip Rivers
Philip Rivers' 2014 has been a weird one. After starting the year with five straight top-six performances, the Chargers' signal-callers hasn't finished higher than 10th in weekly quarterback scoring. He's now failed to reach 15 fantasy points over his last seven games. With contests against San Francisco and Kansas City upcoming, there's no way I'd trust him in my quarterback spot.
Add Matt Asiata
It was weird to see Matt Asiata score in a game and not do it two more times, but his outing in Week 15 was bigger than just a touchdown. He saw double-digit rushes in his third straight contest, and caught seven passes on seven targets from quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. He's the clear back to want in Minnesota, and the team gets a reasonable matchup this week against a Miami defense that's been struggling. He's still out there in 75% of leagues -- add him.
Add the Panthers' Defense
Johnny Manziel finished Week 15 with the worst NEP total a quarterback has posted all year long, and will travel to Charlotte to face a Carolina defense that looks rejuvenated after starting the season slow. Turnovers should be there, and Manziel's tendency to leave the pocket could create sack opportunities, too. Carolina's a good streaming option.
Add the Jaguars' Defense
You know who else can be streamed this week on defense? Jacksonville. Yes, Jacksonville.
The Jags will play at home on Thursday night against the Titans, who have allowed five top-10 defensive performances over their last six games. Tennessee will be starting Charlie Whitehurst, too. Yes, please.