15 Fantasy Football Transactions for Week 16
When looking back at the start of this year's fantasy football journey, it's almost like we're now in a brand new season. Back before Week 1 began, I was out here recommending you add Andy Dalton, sell Ronald Jones, and drop Dez Bryant. That doesn't even feel like 2018.
But that's the fantasy football voyage for you. You go from thinking you have the answers, to realizing that this game of probability is just that -- it's a game of probability. You're playing the odds and crossing your fingers that a strong process leads to positive results. Sometimes things will go south, but over the long run, with a thoughtful process, you'll be a winner.
And hopefully you've got a chance to win it all this week. It's the last relevant week of the fantasy football season, which means it's the final list of 15 transactions.
Let's bring home that title.
Add Jamaal Williams
It's hard to remember a fantasy playoff week where so many start-worthy players were injured early on in their games, leading to zeroes across lineups. Aaron Jones was unfortunately one of those players, as he left Week 15's matchup against Chicago in the first quarter after seeing just four touches.
Without a lot of depth in the Green Bay backfield, Jamaal Williams stepped in as the lead back for the Packers. He played about 87% of their snaps, and he saw all 12 of the team's running back carries after Jones left the game. Aaron Rodgers targeted him five times through the air, too.
With a game against the Jets in Week 16 where the Packers are three-point favorites, Williams could be a decent start.
Add Robby Anderson
Speaking of the Jets, Robby Anderson has come on strong over the last few weeks. He's got 25 targets over his last three games, and he hit a season-high 94.7% snap share in Week 15 versus Houston. He's also scored in each of his last two contests. Against Green Bay this week, he could be a WR3-type play given the Packers have given up the fifth-most fantasy points per game to the wide receiver position. So, sure, add him -- he's out there on about 75% of Yahoo! league waiver wires.
Add Kenneth Dixon
Gus Edwards led the Ravens backfield in attempts again in Week 15, but don't let his 19 carries overshadow what's sort of happening in that backfield. Kenneth Dixon actually played seven more snaps than Edwards on Sunday, and he's now seen his snap rate go from 21% in Week 13 to 32% in Week 14 and all the way up to 52% in Week 15. You can't necessarily trust him over Edwards given their usage, but Dixon continues to be an intriguing flex option in deeper formats. And if your fantasy league plays through Week 17, maybe Dixon gives you more predictable production by then.
Drop Dion Lewis
Where was this Derrick Henry all year?
This is Henry's backfield now, when it was Dion Lewis' pretty much all season long, at least from a snap share standpoint. In Week 15, Henry was on the field for 70% of Tennessee's snaps, marking the first time he's even reached a 60% snap rate, let alone a 70% one. And it was the first time Henry out-snapped Lewis since Week 3. The result? A punishing Titans win with Henry running the ball 33 times for 170 yards and a pair of scores. Lewis, meanwhile, ran it just seven times and was targeted on three occasions through the air. There's no reason to believe the Titans will change things up in Week 16, especially given their matchup against Washington should generate a positive game script for the offense.
Add Elijah McGuire
With Isaiah Crowell on IR, Elijah McGuire was the clear lead back for the Jets on Saturday, handling 18 of a possible 25 running back attempts while playing roughly 75% of the team's snaps. In Week 15 alone, McGuire's snap share was a top-10 one among all NFL running backs. And he had four targets, too, so they're not using him in a one-dimensional way. With the aforementioned game against Green Bay this week -- an average matchup on paper -- McGuire has a shot to be in a lot of fantasy lineups. Volume is king, after all.
Add Robert Foster
Admittedly, Robert Foster isn't the type of player I usually go after in fantasy football, at least in redraft fantasy football. He's an athletic player, but his college production was basically non-existent, and now he's playing in an NFL passing offense that's one of the lower-tiered ones in football. But credit to him -- he's been balling out. He now has 13 targets over his last two games, and he's hit 94-plus receiving yards in four of his last five. Over these five contests, he has more receiving yards than both DeAndre Hopkins and Antonio Brown.
So I suppose he should be on more fantasy rosters. It's hard for me to trust this type of production -- Hopkins and Brown, for instance, have 22 and 30 more targets than Foster over their last five, respectively -- but if you're in a deeper format and need a high-variance wideout, Foster could be it.
Drop Jameis Winston
Winston had a rough matchup on the road against Baltimore this week, so his struggles were understandable. The problem is that Week 16 isn't a ton better. Tampa Bay will be traveling to Dallas, and the Cowboys have been strong against fantasy quarterbacks for most of the season, especially at home. They're eighth-best in fantasy points against to the position, and in Dallas, only Marcus Mariota has posted a top-12, QB1 performance against them this year. And for Mariota to do that, it took a rushing touchdown. Considering they've faced Carson Wentz and Drew Brees at home, that's fairly impressive.
So despite the Buccaneers, as a team, averaging the second-most points per game at the quarterback position, Winston isn't a lock to produce during championship week. You may have a better option on your waiver wire.
Add Nick Foles
Would I play Nick Foles over Jameis Winston this week? Probably not, but Foles is a traditional streamer (someone with low ownership) who you can plug and play off your waiver wire this week. The Eagles are playing at home, and they're facing a Texans squad that's been average in the fantasy points allowed column this year. But Houston's also not faced a lot of top quarterbacks. In fact, Andrew Luck is the only one they've gone up against who ranks in the top-10 in points per game, and in his two contests against the Texans, he posted 35.7 and 23.6 standard fantasy points.
It's not that scary of a matchup. And like I said, this game's being played in Philly, which is a plus.
Drop James White
This is probably the craziest transaction of the week, but hear me out.
On Sunday, White was pretty much used solely as New England's third-down back. When you look at the team's snap share report, it does show that he played more snaps than both Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead, but a large number of those snaps were on the Patriots' final drive when they were in comeback mode.
In the end, White finished with seven targets (and two rushes), but three of those targets came on said final drive. Meaning, had the script not been negative for New England, we may not have seen a whole lot of James White against Pittsburgh.
And that's the fear I have with him in Week 16. New England's hosting Buffalo as a 13-point favorite, which means the likelihood that they'll have more of those hurry-up moments is small.
Not only that, but it's not as though White's been performing at the same level that we saw earlier in the season. Not even close. Over his last two games, he's got a combined 65 rushing and receiving yards. And since Rex Burkhead returned from injury, White's seen his snap rate drop by about 20% while his touches per game has gone down by 4.
There are a ton of usable running backs out there thanks to injury, and a lot of them have more weekly upside than White at this point.
Add John Kelly
Todd Gurley was banged up against the Eagles on Sunday night, and rookie John Kelly carried the ball a couple of times in the game as a result. It doesn't sound like Gurley's knee injury is serious, but if something pops up and Gurley can't go, then Kelly should be in store for a nice workload in a plus matchup versus Arizona. Considering it's the Cardinals and the Rams are 13.5-point favorites, there's always the chance the Rams don't give Gurley a normal workload, anyway. It's a situation to monitor this week.
Add Kalen Ballage
Frank Gore left Week 15's contest against Minnesota early, and he's now expected to miss the rest of the season. You'd think Kenyan Drake would benefit, but rookie Kalen Ballage was the player who saw the biggest bump after Gore left, as he carried the ball 12 times. Drake finished with just one attempt. Ballage was out-snapped by Drake 28 to 26 in the contest, but it's pretty clear that the rookie -- not Drake -- is going to benefit most from this Gore injury. So he should be scooped up off the waiver wire.
Drop Baltimore Ravens Wide Receivers
Since Lamar Jackson took over as Baltimore's starting quarterback, the Ravens have had a pass-to-rush attempt ratio of 0.51. That means they've been running the ball about twice as much as they're throwing it, which is unheard of in today's NFL.
It's working for Baltimore, but it's not a good thing for the team's pass-catchers. We've sort of known this for a while now. But since Week 11, Ravens wideouts have zero top-30 performances at the position. None. Zero. They can't help your fantasy football squad.
Add the Indianapolis Colts' Defense
Because it's Week 16 and there aren't a lot of transactions to make, I figured listing three defensive streaming options would be helpful for you lovely readers.
The first is Indianapolis, who's coming off a dominant shutout performance against the Cowboys. This week, they're huge 9.5-point home favorites against the Giants, and New York could be without Odell Beckham once again. The Giants have played in five games where they've lost by a touchdown or more this season (remember, Indy is more than a touchdown favorite), and in those games, opposing defenses have an average finish of DEF5, or the fifth-best defense of the week. It's a good spot for this Colts' D.
Add the Miami Dolphins' Defense
The switch to Cody Kessler hasn't been pretty for the Jaguars. They've scored 6, 9, and 13 points over his three starts, and they're averaging just 20.4 yards per drive, a steep drop from the 29.0 yards per drive rate they had from Weeks 1 through 12. In Week 16, they'll get the Dolphins in Miami in a game with a low over/under, making Miami an obvious streaming choice. Defenses against this Kessler-led Jacksonville team have yet to finish outside of the top-10 in weekly scoring.
Add the Cleveland Browns' Defense
Lastly, there's the Browns. Cleveland's a 6.5-point home favorite against the Bengals this week, and Cincinnati is likely to be without slot wideout Tyler Boyd due to an MCL sprain. That means they'll have their backup quarterback throwing to backup wide receivers all game long. Yes, please.