15 Fantasy Football Transactions for Week 10
Don't feel bad if you had a tough Week 9.
It was wacky.
Tyreek Hill scored just 7.3 PPR points despite a target share north of 30%. The Giants finally had Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney healthy together, and Kyle Rudolph led the team in targets. Malik Turner was by far the highest-scoring Cowboys wide receiver.
We should change our opinions when we get new information, but we should also recognize that football is a game of small samples. What we see in one week shouldn't drastically change our view on teams and players.
Let's act accordingly.
Sell Alvin Kamara
A couple of things have happened recently that will hurt Alvin Kamara's season-long outlook.
First, as we know, Jameis Winston tore his ACL. He's done for the year. The Saints opted to use Trevor Siemian on Sunday, and while his performance could've been worse, Taysom Hill is looming. Sean Payton was even non-committal on Monday when asked about Siemian starting in Week 10.
If Hill ever gets a shot, it likely won't be a good thing for Kamara. During Hill's four starts last season, Kamara watched his target share per game drop to just 13%, dipping below a 10% mark in two of those four contests. Through Week 9 this year, Kamara's target share per game average is over 20%.
Rushing quarterbacks can help running backs be more efficient, but as I talked about on The Late-Round Podcast this offseason, more often than not, they hurt the skill players on their team in fantasy football. The basic reason as to why is that they collect more work in their offense for themselves, leaving their running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends with less of it. And volume is what drives fantasy football numbers.
If the Saints ever go to Hill, it's going to hurt Kamara.
The other issue with Kamara right now is Mark Ingram. The Saints traded for Ingram a couple of weeks ago, and he's now played two games for them. In those two games, Kamara's running back rush share per game has been about 65%, with his target share per game rate at 14%. He's had snap shares of 67% and 68% with Ingram.
Pre-Ingram, Kamara's running back rush share per contest was 83.5%. His target share per game average was 22.3%. His lowest snap share in a single game was 72.6%.
Those are, uh, pretty dramatic differences.
Kamara's coming off a pretty big Week 9 game where he was a rock-solid RB1 in fantasy. Now seems like the perfect time to sell at a premium when you consider how his environment has changed. He'll still be plenty usable, but he'll likely not be as usable as he's been.
Buy Dallas Goedert
The game environments for Philadelphia over the last couple of weeks haven't led to a ton of negative game script action. Two weeks ago, we saw them completely destroy the Lions, leading to just 14 Jalen Hurts pass attempts. In Week 9, Hurts attempted 17 passes in a game that was pretty tight throughout.
Hurts has now averaged 15.5 pass attempts per game over his last two, when that number was 34.6 from Weeks 1 through 7.
We should expect the Eagles to continue this ground-heavy approach moving forward, especially since the results have been pretty good. At least compared to what things were looking like during the first seven weeks of the season.
But can they? To this degree? Can they really sustain 15 pass attempts per game through the rest of the season?
When no team has come close to that number per game across a season over the last decade, I have my doubts.
So, enter Dallas Goedert.
The Eagles have now played three games this season without Zach Ertz. In them, Goedert's averaged a target share per game of 32.5%. That number was 11.1% with Ertz.
This is a continuation of the trend from last year, too, where Goedert saw much more consistent, worthwhile production when Ertz was sidelined.
We can't assume Goedert will keep up this target share, but he's clearly going to be heavily looked at in the offense. When that offense inevitably becomes a little more pass-heavy, and when the offense starts to score more touchdowns through the air -- they have one passing touchdown versus six rushing touchdowns over the last two weeks -- Goedert should benefit big time.
Hold Elijah Mitchell
A couple of weeks ago, yours truly had Elijah Mitchell as a sell candidate. It wasn't that I didn't believe in the talent, or that he wouldn't be able to provide RB2 production in fantasy football. It was that there was a subset of people who viewed him as a high-end RB2 and even a lower-end RB1, and it was tough to back that stance. Mostly because he just wasn't seeing passing game work, limiting his upside.
Mitchell went Weeks 7 and 8 without a target, while JaMycal Hasty saw eight of them during that timeframe.
On Sunday, though, things shifted. Mitchell saw a 12.8% target share, easily his highest of the season. He also ran more routes than JaMycal Hasty for the first time this year when they've both been active.
Hasty may have been banged up a bit in that game, but he was seeing touches late and in garbage time. This seems like it could've been a conscious shift by the 49ers coaching staff, which bodes well for Mitchell's rest-of-season outlook. He should be viewed as a mid- to high-end RB2 from here on out now.
Add Elijah Moore
We go from one rookie Elijah to another, this time focusing on Elijah Moore. For those of you who are new to me, my work, and my process, Moore was a draft-day favorite of mine, ranking as a 96th percentile prospect in my wide receiver model. He was right there with Rashod Bateman score-wise, coming in below Ja'Marr Chase and DeVonta Smith. Anyone with that high of a score is generally very good at football.
Moore finally had his big breakout performance in Week 9, catching 7 of 8 targets for 84 yards and a pair of scores.
Now, keep in mind that Corey Davis was out for a second straight game, and Moore's peripherals still weren't amazing against the Colts. He had a modest 15.4% target share while playing fewer than 60% of the Jets' snaps. But he did play the majority of his snaps from the perimeter, something that was a question mark with Moore entering the season. That's great to see.
Essentially, you want to add Moore this week because he's talented, and there's a chance he builds off of this performance.
Buy Jerry Jeudy
The Broncos seem to be taking it a little slow with Jerry Jeudy as he returns from his ankle injury, but it's hard to not get excited. He's now played fewer snaps than both Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick in his two games played since the injury, but he has 12 targets in those contests versus Patrick's 8 and Sutton's 6. Jeudy captured a 32% target share against the Cowboys on Sunday, a number Courtland Sutton hasn't hit since Week 2.
The fact that Jeudy is seeing this type of target share without playing as many snaps as he could shows you that the ceiling is pretty high.
Hold Melvin Gordon
Javonte Williams was a buy candidate in this column a couple of weeks back, and there were a few reasons behind it. One of those was that he's good -- he's been really impressive as a rookie this year. He also had a shot -- it wasn't a lock, but he at least had a shot -- to take over more of the Broncos' backfield as we got closer to the end of the year. And then there was the schedule, with Denver facing favorable opponents for running backs down the stretch.
Much of that logic could've applied to Melvin Gordon. Not that we should expect him to totally capture the Broncos backfield, but we know Gordon's a solid back. And we know he shares the same great schedule as Williams.
Gordon's now scored four touchdowns over his last three games, and the immediate thought for fantasy managers might be to sell. I'm not sure that's the route to go. The most likely outcome for this backfield is that it's still split through the rest of the season. Williams has more upside in that he has a better chance to take it over -- we see that with younger players -- but we can't assume that's a lock to happen, especially with Gordon producing.
In turn, there's some intrigue with Gordon. When looking at Weeks 14 through 17, no team has a more favorable running back schedule than the Broncos when looking at adjusted points allowed to the position. Each one of their opponents ranks in the top half of the league in points allowed to the position (adjusted for strength of opponent).
It'd be tough to go out and actively trade for Gordon, but if I had him, I wouldn't automatically sell high. There's a chance for him to provide RB2 numbers in the fantasy playoffs.
Buy Jarvis Landry
Process still says Landry is a buy. The Browns played with a really favorable script against the Bengals, and it's one we can't count on week in and week out. The good news for Landry is that he was still heavily involved within the context of his offense. He finished the day with a 26.3% target share, marking the third straight game where he saw a quarter or more of Cleveland's targets.
We know the ceiling is capped for Landry in a run-heavy offense with strong running backs. That doesn't make him unusable. Better days are ahead.
Add Donovan Peoples-Jones
I don't know if Donovan Peoples-Jones is the biggest winner of the Odell Beckham saga, but he's at least getting a boost.
Peoples-Jones hadn't played since Week 6, but he returned on Sunday and caught 2 of his 3 targets for 86 yards and a score. He had a big 60-yard touchdown that saved his fantasy day, but the secondary numbers didn't look so bad. He ran as a starting wide receiver when looking at both snap share and routes run, and his target share was about 16%. Like I just said with Landry, we shouldn't project the Browns to always play in the type of game environment they played in against the Bengals, so that type of share should yield more volume in the future.
Don't expect the world from Peoples-Jones in this run-friendly Cleveland offense, but grab him off the wire and see if he can develop into a potential WR3 in fantasy.
Sell Damien Harris
Over 38% of Damien Harris fantasy points have come from touchdowns. Among the more than 50 running backs with 40 or more carries this year, that's the third-highest rate, trailing only James Conner and Latavius Murray.
Harris is the type of running back I rarely invest in. He's one that doesn't just find the end zone, but he needs to find the end zone in order to hit any sort of ceiling. In his three games without a rushing score this year, he's ranked as the RB27, RB57, and RB50 in weekly scoring.
He's seeing plenty of goal-line work, and it's not like he's never going to score again this year. It's just that for him to maintain RB2 status, he absolutely has to continue scoring touchdowns. Because there's zero evidence showing us that the Patriots are going to utilize him as a pass-catching back in the offense. His highest target share in a single game came back in Week 1, where he hit a 7.9% share.
Something else changed a bit in Week 9: New England used Rhamondre Stevenson more on the ground.
Both Harris and Stevenson left Sunday's tilt against the Panthers with fourth-quarter injuries, but Stevenson finished with his highest running back rush share since a Week 5 game where Harris suffered a chest injury. And he looked good with the ball in his hands -- he had a 60% Success Rate versus Harris' 27% Success Rate, per numberFire's expected points model.
I'd rather not have to bank on touchdowns in an average Patriots offense. And I'd rather not have to worry about how the Patriots' coaching staff splits the backfield moving forward. That's why Harris makes sense to trade away if you can get a good return.
Add Eno Benjamin
It sounds like Chase Edmonds is going to miss multiple weeks with a high ankle sprain. That'll allow the touchdown-making machine James Conner to take on a bigger role -- Conner saw a season-high 67.7% running back rush share and 19.2% target share in Week 9 -- but there's likely still going to be somewhat of a split in the Arizona backfield.
Eno Benjamin is the next man up, a player that my prospect model liked quite a bit coming out of school because of his ability to catch out of the backfield. He had a best-season reception share of over 18% in college, a number hit by just 6% of the running backs in the model's dataset.
He's not totally unlike Edmonds, so forecasting a Diet Chase Edmonds role makes sense.
Buy or Add Van Jefferson
DeSean Jackson's last game for the Rams came in Week 7, and even in that contest, he only ran three routes, per Pro Football Focus. Unsurprisingly, that's coincided with Van Jefferson seeing more work in the Rams' offense. In Week 7 and 8, Jefferson had target shares of 17.1% and 17.6%. He finished as fantasy football's 22nd- and 33rd-ranked wide receiver in those contests, running a similar number of routes as Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods.
LA's offense couldn't get anything done on Sunday night against Tennessee, but Jefferson once again ran a similar number of routes as the two high-end wideouts in the Rams offense -- they ran 55 to his 53. His target share was about 15%, and he led the team in air yards. He actually has just 11 fewer air yards than Cooper Kupp over the last three weeks, and he's led the team in end-zone targets during that time.
Jefferson is going to be more productive than most realize during the second half of the fantasy season.
Sell Devonta Freeman
Anytime a Ravens running back has a stretch of strong performances, I'm looking to sell. Devonta Freeman has had three straight weeks where he's ranked as an RB2 (top-24 running back) or better, but let's not pretend it's because of anything more than touchdowns. His running back rush share per game over this stretch is just 41.7%, and his target share is a little above 7%. Week 9 was the first time Freeman saw double-digit touches in a game this season.
There's nothing unique about what he's doing at all.
Latavius Murray will eventually be back, too.
Use this as a reminder to sell these types of situations. But if you have Freeman, throw him in a trade to see if you can upgrade a spot in your lineup.
Add Rashod Bateman
OK, OK. I promise this is the last time I'll talk about Rashod Bateman in this 15 Transactions column. But, man, his percent rostered number over on Yahoo! is still just way, way too low.
Bateman's now played three career NFL games, and in those contests, he's seen target shares of 22.2%, 14.6%, and 19.5%. That's equalled 6, 6, and 8 targets. Baltimore's been more pass-heavy this year, but they still rank 27th in pass rate. What's helped their pass-catchers is their 70 plays run per game, the highest mark in the league.
We still shouldn't sell this as a super advantageous situation -- it's not like he's playing for Tampa Bay. Sammy Watkins should be back soon, too, which could throw off a healthy target share projection for Bateman.
But you can't just wait around to see how everything unfolds. Talented players who are seeing good work in a high-end offense need to be rostered. So if Bateman's still out there, add him this week.
Add Dan Arnold
Arnold joined Jacksonville in Week 4. He ended up splitting time with other Jaguar tight ends that week, but the following week, he took over as the team's primary pass-catching tight end. From Week 5 through Week 9, Arnold's run nearly 100 more routes than any other tight end on the team. He's also seen a target share per game average of 20.5%, a number that's not easy to find at all at the tight end position. And that's generated fantasy points -- he's been a top-10 tight end in three of his last four outing.
Since D.J. Chark's season-ending injury -- which coincides with Arnold's arrival in Jacksonville -- Arnold's seen 30 targets. That's more than Marvin Jones and Laviska Shenault over this time, and just one fewer than Jamal Agnew.
Finding volume is tough at tight end, but Dan Arnold is sitting there waiting to be picked up.
Add the Philadelphia Eagles Defense
Week 10 may be the most difficult streaming week of all time. That's not hyperbole: there are no good quarterback or defensive options that are rostered in a low number of leagues.
You could look at Philadelphia, I guess. The Eagles face the Broncos in a game with a low 44-point over/under, per FanDuel Sportsbook. Denver's been a pretty advantageous matchup this year for opposing defenses, ranking as the eighth-best matchup in adjusted points allowed.
You could do worse?