15 Fantasy Football Transactions for Week 15
It's hard to believe that your team -- your semifinal fantasy football roster -- needs that much help at this point. If you've been winning, and if you've gotten this far, then your squad is more than likely looking pret-tay strong.
Perhaps there's a hole or two, though. Maybe you need, say, the right defense to add off the waiver wire. If that's the case, I've got you.
Add Jalen Hurts
If you didn't start Jalen Hurts in Week 14, don't beat yourself up over it. It was tough to trust a rookie passer in the fantasy playoffs who was getting his first NFL start. And, thankfully, he didn't go absolutely nuts -- a top-10 outing was great to see, but he still scored fewer than 20 fantasy points.
That performance was exactly why he should've been added last week, though. Hurts ended up running the ball 18 times for over 100 yards against the Saints, which shows us that he's likely to have a nice floor each week for fantasy purposes. Mobile quarterbacks, after all, are a cheat code in fantasy football.
And he's not going to face New Orleans every week -- over the Eagles' final two fantasy-relevant games, they get Arizona and Dallas, two plus matchups when looking at adjusted fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks.
Drop Todd Gurley
Despite playing the last couple of weeks, Todd Gurley hasn't looked totally healthy. And that's reflected in his workload: he's handled about 35% of Atlanta's running back rushes over his last two games while playing no more than 37% of the Falcons' snaps in a single game. He's got a game this week against the Buccaneers where he's highly unlikely to do much given they're a top-five team against fantasy running backs this year, and then because of a potential down performance, you're probably not going to have much confidence in him in Week 16. To avoid the headache, you can drop him in most casual leagues.
Hold Diontae Johnson
Trust me, I know how frustrating it was to see Diontae Johnson get benched in the first half of Sunday night's game because of his issues with drops. But one thing to always keep in mind when a player is struggling with butterfingers: targets are earned. Johnson may be having a hard time catching the ball, but he's still seeing a lot of volume. Even with limited playing time against the Bills, Ben Roethlisberger targeted Johnson on 19% of his targeted throws.
Don't get rid of Johnson because of this issue. He's still a strong fantasy asset.
Add DeAndre Washington
There was a Saturday surprise when we learned that Myles Gaskin had tested positive for COVID-19, and he's now going to miss Week 15 as well thanks to the diagnosis. With Salvon Ahmed banged up, DeAndre Washington managed to carry the ball 13 times against the Chiefs on Sunday, which accounted for almost 77% of the team's running back rushes. He also saw a target share of 8.7%. Even though his fantasy day wasn't great -- he scored 7.2 PPR points -- Washington is an intriguing option if Ahmed is out again this week since the Dolphins get a Patriots team that was gashed by Cam Akers a handful of days ago.
Add Lynn Bowden
Over the last two weeks, no Dolphins player has seen more snaps in the slot, per Pro Football Focus, than rookie Swiss Army knife Lynn Bowden. He's got running back eligibility on most sites, but he's playing the role of slot receiver for the Dolphins, a role that was briefly being done by fellow do-it-all rookie Malcolm Perry. Across the last two weeks, though, Bowden's seen a target share per game north of 15%, resulting in 13 targets and 123 yards. Considering the flexibility he can provide and the banged up pass-catchers on this Dolphins team, Bowden is a strong option off the wire this week in PPR formats.
Drop Jonnu Smith
Across Jonnu Smith's first four games of the 2020 season, he averaged 17.5 points per game while finishing no worse than the ninth-best tight end in a given week. Since then, he's finished no better than the TE9 in weekly scoring while averaging 5.8 points per game. Injuries have played a part in that, but so has a healthy pass-catching group.
He's still rostered in 69% (nice) of Yahoo! leagues when his target share per game average since that Week 5 contest is just a little over 10%. And now, over the next two weeks, the Titans get the Lions and the Packers. For what it's worth, those are two teams who have been well above average at stopping tight ends in fantasy according to adjusted fantasy points allowed.
Add Irv Smith
Without Kyle Rudolph in the lineup on Sunday, Irv Smith caught all 4 of his targets for 63 yards and a score. He did that all while playing on limited snaps -- he had a 35.4% snap share -- since he was coming off an injury of his own. That marked Smith's second top-five performance over his last three games, and he's actually hit double-digit fantasy points in four of his last six. If Rudolph continues to miss time, Smith becomes a nice streaming option.
Add Darnell Mooney
The best lower-key rookie season happening in the NFL this year may be coming from Chicago's Darnell Mooney. He's seen about a 15% target share this season, and since the Bears have been pretty pass-friendly -- they're fourth in the NFL in pass attempts -- that's equated to 73 targets, a near top-40 number at the wide receiver position.
There's no reason to sell Mooney as this, like, fantasy football stud. And that's not the point to this transaction. It's just that we've seen him be involved in this offense, and the Bears get Minnesota and Jacksonville over the next two weeks, two plus matchups for fantasy wideouts. So if you're in a deeper format, Mooney could have some flex appeal.
Drop Kirk Cousins
It's been a pretty good couple of months for Kirk Cousins in fantasy football, all things considered. Since Week 6, Cousins has averaged over 20 standard fantasy points per game, falling below the 17-point mark just once. He's done his job. The problem is that, over the next two weeks, Minnesota's schedule is a little rough, as they get the Chicago and New Orleans. The Bears haven't been as good defensively of late, but it's still not a super desirable matchup. And the Saints haven't allowed a multi-touchdown game since Week 8. In most leagues, you're probably better off streaming than using Cousins.
Hold Jared Goff
It wasn't the best performance from Jared Goff in Week 14, but that was sort of expected against the Patriots. The good news is, over the next two weeks, Goff won't have the same type of issues. He gets the Jets this week, who rank as the third-most advantageous matchup for fantasy quarterbacks in adjusted points allowed, and he'll follow that up with a game against the Seahawks. Seattle's played a bit better defensively of late, but they've also faced Colt McCoy and Sam Darnold over the last two weeks. Across the season, they've been the fourth-best matchup for fantasy signal-callers.
Add Chad Hansen
When the Will Fuller suspension was announced, the obvious add off the waiver wire was wideout Keke Coutee. He's come through and been strong, but a surprise beneficiary of the whole situation has been Chad Hansen. Over the last two weeks -- the two without Fuller -- Hansen's tallied target shares of 18.9% and 25.9% en route to two straight top-30 fantasy performances. Now, Brandin Cooks sat out Sunday's game, but even in Week 13, Hansen was on the field for over 92% of Houston's snaps. That type of volume and usage in a Deshaun Watson-led offense is worthy of being rostered and potentially started.
Add Nelson Agholor
The second half of the season has been pretty kind to Nelson Agholor. Derek Carr started targeting Agholor more out of the Raiders' bye, and since that point, he's averaged a target share per game of almost 20% while giving fantasy managers three top-15 performances. (And, for the record, that sample includes a game where the Raiders and Browns played in horrific weather conditions.)
He's now seen target totals of 9, 6, 11, and 9 over the last four weeks thanks to Vegas' ineptitude on defense -- they've allowed 37.5 points per game over this time, leading to Carr seeing his pass attempts per game increase by about 8. So a strong target share in an offense that's throwing the ball more should give Agholor more of a baseline each week than he was seeing earlier this season.
Add Philip Rivers
Another 15 Transactions column, another week of touting Philip Rivers.
Rivers is still available in about 60% of Yahoo! leagues, and he's been a model of consistency. Since Week 6, Rivers has ranked lower than QB16 in weekly scoring just once, and that came against a good Baltimore Ravens defense. He's averaging 18.3 points per game over this time.
Now he gets a Houston secondary that's been completely blasted this year, especially when they've been without the suspended Bradley Roby. Without Roby this season, we've seen Jake Luton post over 21 fantasy points versus the Texans, Mitchell Trubisky hit 25 this past week and, two weeks ago, Rivers himself threw for 285 yards and a pair of scores against them. That makes Rivers a strong streaming choice in Week 15.
Add the Minnesota Vikings Defense
The Vikings get the Bears in Week 15, and even though Mitchell Trubisky is playing better football than he was at the beginning of the year, it's still a beatable matchup. Trubisky's now played three games since becoming the starter again for Chicago, and in those games, we've seen the Packers, Lions, and Texans compile 3, 2, and 3 sacks, respectively.
The main reason Detroit and Houston weren't able to score many points as fantasy defenses (Green Bay posted a solid 15) was because they allowed 30 and 34 points, but that's less likely to happen against Minnesota this weekend because Vikings opponents have hit that total once since their Week 7 bye. Really, this is just about not allowing yourself to overemphasize what the Lions and Texans did against the Bears with Trubisky. Those two defenses rank as numberFire's worst and fourth-worst units. Minnesota isn't on that level (15th), making them a safe option as a streamer.
Add the Los Angeles Chargers Defense
If you're looking ahead to Week 16 for a defensive streamer, well, hopefully you planned a lot sooner than doing it a week before your league championship. If you didn't, you could look to add Los Angeles right now. The Chargers haven't been a special unit this year, but they get the Broncos in Week 16, and Denver, despite a good performance this past Sunday, are the third-best matchup for a fantasy defense in the league when analyzing by adjusted fantasy points allowed.