15 Fantasy Football Transactions for Week 14
Fantasy football content should provide utility. You should walk away after reading a column and say to yourself, I feel like I can manage my team a little better now.
For anyone who's consumed 15 Transactions this season, first off, thank you. It's greatly appreciated. But, second, you'd be right to assume that the article loses a bit of its luster once trade deadlines pass.
If you can't actually act on a buy or sell recommendation, then what's the point?
Well, I'd argue that confidence still matters this time of year -- if a player is a sell, then you should feel less confident in said player over the next four weeks of football. So those transactions will still take place until the season's done.
With that being said, it's clear that, to make this thing worthwhile, waiver wire-focused transactions are most important this time of year. And that includes forward-thinking moves that you can make, not just ones that'll help you in the current week.
So that's what you'll be looking at in this column from Weeks 14 through 17: fewer buy and sell moves and more transactions that deal with adding players off the waiver wire.
Cool? Cool. Let's do it.
Add Russell Gage
Your goal in fantasy football is to obtain as much value as possible on your roster, and Russell Gage has value. He's finished in the weekly top-20 at wide receiver in PPR formats in three of his last five, and he's hit at least a 25% target share in four of those games. In Week 13 specifically, Gage hit a 30% target share and tallied 22 PPR points, a season high in both statistics.
Now, to be fair, the Falcons don't have a single good matchup for wide receivers through the rest of the fantasy football season, according to my adjusted fantasy points allowed methodology. All four games feature opponents who rank in the bottom half of the league in adjusted points allowed. But given his peripherals and production, Gage should still be added.
Add KJ Osborn
So, enter K.J. Osborn. Osborn's seen 12.5% of Minnesota's targets this season, but he's had some spiked weeks here and there of target shares in the upper teens. Without Thielen for the majority of Sunday's game, Osborn saw 17.1% of the Vikings' targets, finding the end zone and scoring 14.7 PPR points. Per Pro Football Focus, Osborn ran just one fewer route than Justin Jefferson on Sunday.
He's worth an add in an offense where he has a shot to see a decent amount of volume without Thielen.
Sell Michael Pittman
Again, I understand that your trade deadline is in the rearview, but shouting out Michael Pittman here has to do with how good you should feel about him during the fantasy playoffs. And the answer to that is: you shouldn't feel the best.
Pittman hasn't been super dominant in fantasy over the last month, but his work within the offense continues to be there. He has a 24.2% target share on the season, and he's coming off a game against the Texans where he was on the receiving end of 36.4% of the team's targeted attempts. He failed to find the end zone but still scored 17 PPR points.
My issue moving forward isn't the talent (I'm a Pittman stan) or the volume (it's generally there). It's the schedule.
Indy gets a bye in Week 14, so there's no usability for Pittman there. In Week 15, they get New England, a team that's been one of the best against wide receivers this year in adjusted points allowed. Then, in Weeks 16 and 17, they'll face Arizona and Las Vegas, two teams that rank in the bottom-10 as opponents for the position.
Volume trumps matchups -- there's no doubt. Pittman is still someone you should be rostering. It's just not the easiest stretch for him to produce.
Drop Carson Wentz
Along those same lines, Carson Wentz can be let go in most formats. He's rostered in 70% of Yahoo! leagues, but with the aforementioned schedule, things aren't looking great.
When looking strictly at the fantasy football playoffs -- so Weeks 15 through 17 -- Indianapolis has the toughest quarterback schedule in the league according to adjusted fantasy points allowed. So if you've been rostering Wentz as a QB2 for your squad, you're better off using that roster space with someone else. And this is the general approach you should be taking with your bench until the season's over.
Add Marquez Valdes-Scantling
Marquez Valdes-Scantling is still available in over 80% of Yahoo! leagues, but it seems like that number should be lower. He's seen target shares of 32.3% and 20.5% over his last two games, and we know he's got big-play ability -- since his return in Week 9, he leads the Packers in air yards. From Weeks 9 through 12 (the Packers had a bye this past week), he ranked third in the entire NFL in air yards.
The Packers have a pretty favorable fantasy playoff schedule, too. They'll face the Marlon Humphrey-less Ravens in Week 15, then the Browns, and then the team allowing the most adjusted fantasy points per game to wide receivers, Minnesota. If you recall, MVS already had a big outing against the Vikings this year, accumulating a 32.3% target share and 22.3 PPR points.
He's not a bad add for those looking for a wide receiver.
Add Jordan Howard
The Eagles backfield has been a mess to figure out at times this year, and that's where we're at today, too. Miles Sanders had a great workload on Sunday, carrying the ball a career-high 24 times, but he suffered yet another ankle injury during their contest against the Jets. The Eagles fortunately have a bye this week, but it's become a lingering issue.
That's what makes Jordan Howard a little appealing at the moment. Sanders is and will likely be the lead back for the Eagles, but Howard was still stealing work from Sanders in Week 11 against the Saints, and he was productive without Sanders for a stretch earlier in the season. In Weeks 8, 9, and 10 -- games without Sanders -- Howard averaged 13 PPR points per game, had a running back rush share of 46.4% per contest, and carried the ball almost 14 times in each game. He also had eight carries from within the opponent's 10-yard line over this stretch, more than double any other player on the Eagles.
He's been banged up with a knee injury, but to me, aside from Sanders, Howard has the most upside in the Philly backfield. He's worth a dart this week just in case Sanders isn't ready to roll in Week 15. Howard may also just steal work naturally if he's healthy.
Add DeVante Parker
The Dolphins got DeVante Parker back in Week 13, and he ended up running a route on almost 75% of Tua Tagovailoa's drop backs. He ran just five fewer routes than Jaylen Waddle, according to Pro Football Focus.
Parker saw 5 targets and caught all of them for 62 yards. He had just a 12.2% target share, but in his five games prior to this one, he was averaging a target share per game of nearly 25%. Perhaps that's inflated by the aforementioned Waddle having not totally broken out, but it's a positive sign.
Parker is still out there in about half of Yahoo! leagues, and your leaguemates may not be into adding him this week because Miami's got a bye. But when they come back, they'll face the Jets, Saints, and Titans, three very good opponents for wide receivers. The Titans and Saints actually rank in the top-five this season in adjusted points allowed to the position.
Add Tua Tagovailoa
The plus schedule for Parker is a plus schedule for Tagovailoa, as well. At the very least, he'll face the Jets in Week 15, a team that's ranked as the fourth-best opponent for quarterbacks in adjusted fantasy points allowed. If you're looking ahead and have been streaming quarterbacks, Tua's a good add this week since they're on a bye. Not as many managers will be looking to add him off the waiver wire.
Buy Brandon Aiyuk
It was a pretty average to below average Sunday for Brandon Aiyuk in Week 13, where he caught 3 of his 6 targets for 55 yards. On the plus side, he saw yet another 20% target share, marking his sixth straight game hitting that mark. Across his first six, his target share per game average was 8%.
And he's getting called out this week in the column because of San Francisco's playoff schedule -- in Weeks 15 through 17, the 49ers will face the Falcons, Titans, and Texans, three very good matchups for wide receivers. When looking at adjusted fantasy points allowed, San Francisco has a top-five schedule during the fantasy playoffs. That makes Aiyuk a nice buy low. Or, of course, someone to feel more confident in than you probably currently do after an ordinary outing this past weekend.
Add Trey Lance
For those of you who need quarterback upside and have bench space, it's not a bad idea to add and stash Trey Lance this week. There's still a very good chance that Jimmy Garoppolo plays out this season as the starter, but if he doesn't, that same favorable schedule for Aiyuk looks good for whoever's under center, as well. The Falcons and Titans are top-three teams in adjusted points allowed to quarterbacks, and the Texans are average, which mostly is the result of game script.
Garoppolo himself could be fine as a streamer through the playoffs, but Lance, thanks to his rushing that was showcased against Arizona earlier this season (he had 16 carries for 89 yards in Week 5) is absolutely the ceiling play.
Add Ricky Seals-Jones
Logan Thomas played two games after missing most of the season with a hamstring injury before suffering another setback. In Week 12, Thomas had a 17.6% target share against the Seahawks. This past weekend, that number was 17.2%, but he finished with 13.8 PPR points after finding the end zone.
That doesn't mean he won't miss time.
Enter our old pal, Ricky Seals-Jones. RSJ has been dealing with a hip injury and was inactive in Week 13, but he did get some limited practices in last week. Because of the Thomas injury, the Football Team may push it with Seals-Jones, since he was effective without Thomas earlier in the year. In his four completed games without Thomas, Seals-Jones averaged a 16.4% target share per contest and scored 11-plus fantasy points twice. He'd make for a decent streamer.
Add Breshad Perriman
Breshad Perriman definitely didn't fill the stat sheet on Sunday with a 1-catch, 5-yard performance, but the Buccaneers clearly utilized him differently. Over the last handful of weeks, Tyler Johnson has been running the third-most routes and playing the third-most snaps at wide receiver for the Buccaneers.
But in Week 13, Perriman operated as Tampa Bay's third wide receiver with Antonio Brown out. He didn't do a whole lot while Mike Evans and Chris Godwin did, but that was likely because the Falcons put A.J. Terrell on him for the majority of the game. According to ESPN's Mike Clay, they did the same thing with Brown earlier in the year, and the same thing happened: Evans and Godwin had usable weeks, but AB had 1 catch for 17 yards.
The fact that Perriman saw a bump in playing time is a great sign. He was on the field for 84% of Tampa Bay's snaps, and he ran just two fewer routes than Godwin and three fewer than Evans. He likely won't become some plug-and-play option, but there could be some usability there given the offense we're talking about, especially in deeper formats.
Add Cam Newton
Does it feel good recommending Cam Newton after he posted one of the more atrocious quarterback starts of the season back in Week 12? No. No, it doesn't.
Can he rebound? It's certainly possible. The Panthers face the Falcons this week, a team that now ranks second in adjusted points allowed to quarterbacks. We've seen players like Taylor Heinicke and Tua Tagovailoa finish as top-five options against Atlanta this season. It's an incredibly risky play, but the matchup is there to make him a traditional streamer.
Add the Green Bay Packers Defense
The Packers get the Bears this week. According to FanDuel Sportsbook, they're 12.5-point favorites in a game with a 44-point over/under. In other words, the defense is likely going to be playing in a positive game script against a Bears offense that's allowed three-plus sacks in six of their last seven games. And they've given up a top-10 performance in two of their last three. This is a process play: you always want big home favorites for your defensive streamer.
Buy the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defense
If you were considering dropping the Tampa Bay defense in Week 14 because they face the Bills... don't. Please don't. Not only has Tampa Bay's defense been solid in fantasy this season, but their playoff schedule is arguably the best in pretend football. In Week 15, they get the Saints. In Week 16, it's the Panthers. And in Week 17, it's the Jets. None of those opposing offenses should scare you, and two of them -- the Panthers and Jets -- rank in the top-five as opponents in adjusted points allowed. Hold onto the Bucs defense.