15 Fantasy Football Transactions for Week 16
Just a handful of months ago, this wasn't guaranteed.
We didn't know if this fantasy football season would totally play out. What would happen when a team inevitably had a coronavirus outbreak? How many players needed to test positive before the NFL would just cancel everything? On a less meaningful level, how would things impact our week to week management of our fantasy football teams?
Back in August, we didn't know.
We do now.
We've watched 15 weeks of surprisingly entertaining no-fans-in-the-stands football. Which means, of course, that we've made it to fantasy football championship week.
It was a season where we didn't know if the plug would be pulled before the finale, but the finale is here now, at least for fantasy football purposes.
Let's make the most of it. And let's remember that no matter what happens, at least we got to come together during some of the toughest times of our lives and enjoy the game about a game we all love.
Add Le'Veon Bell
Le'Veon Bell is rostered in 53% of Yahoo! leagues, which is a lot. It's a higher percent rostered rate than I'll typically feature as an add in this column. But it's championship week and, to be honest, I've got to fill 15 transactions here. Without buy and sell recommendations, I've got to loosen the restrictions a bit.
But, yes, Le'Veon Bell. You should add him. Clyde Edwards-Helaire is likely going to miss the rest of the regular season with hip and ankle injuries, which would make Bell the 1A in the Kansas City backfield moving forward. And, this week, the Chiefs get the Falcons. The matchup itself is actually pretty bad on paper (Atlanta's given up the third-fewest adjusted fantasy points to running backs), but Kansas City has almost a 32-point implied team total according to FanDuel Sportsbook. Like Leonard Fournette in Week 15, there should be scoring opportunities for Bell.
Add Tony Pollard
Like Le'Veon Bell, there's a decent chance Tony Pollard isn't available in your league. According to Yahoo!'s data, Pollard's out there in 55% of leagues, and most of them are likely casual. Because after Ezekiel Elliott was ruled inactive on Sunday, league managers should've been gobbling up Pollard as quickly as they possibly could.
If you watched football in Week 15, you likely saw what Pollard did. He finished his day against San Francisco with 31.2 PPR points, tallying 75% of Dallas' running back rushes to go along with an impressive 27.3% target share. That target share number was far higher than Elliott's season-long high of 21.2%.
Since Elliott was somewhat of a surprise inactive in Week 15, there's a good chance he's back in Week 16. But there's no reason to keep Pollard on the waiver wire just in case.
Add Devine Ozigbo
James Robinson hurt his ankle in Sunday's loss to the Ravens, and if he misses Week 16, Devine Ozigbo is likely to get a lot of run as the team's early-down guy. The problem? Dare Ogunbowale, who's been stepping in recently as pass-catching relief to Robinson, would probably see the bulk of the receiving work in this scenario. Ozigbo is worth an add because he's a running back who could be in line for work, but against the Bears, the expectation shouldn't be any more than high-end RB3 production.
Add Chad Hansen
The Texans have now played three games without Will Fuller this season. In those contests, Chad Hansen has seen target shares of 18.9%, 25.9%, and 7.9% while finishing as a top-30 wide receiver in each contest. It's a little discouraging to see his low target share in Week 15 (7.9%), but you can take solace in the fact that he played 91.3% of Houston's snaps in their contest against Indianapolis while, per Pro Football Focus, running the second-most routes at the position for the Texans. In Week 16, he gets a decent matchup against Cincinnati, so there's some usability there for your championship matchups.
Drop Christian Kirk
Kyler Murray balled out against the Eagles on Sunday, throwing for 406 yards.
Christian Kirk accounted for just 33 of them.
Kirk hasn't finished higher than WR48 in weekly scoring since Week 9, and his single-game target share high over his last three contests is just 12.5%. That's not going to cut it in the championship, no matter the matchup. He's still rostered in a ton of leagues, but you can safely drop him.
Add Jalen Hurts
We've got a Jalen Hurts transaction for the third consecutive week thanks to a percent rostered number that's south of 40% over on Yahoo!.
Folks. Add him. Add Jalen Hurts.
In his two starts for Philadelphia, Hurts has casually dropped 19.3 and 37.8 fantasy points while running the ball 29 times for 169 yards and a score. We saw him compile fantasy points via the air on Sunday, too, which was good to see, where he threw for 338 yards and 3 touchdowns. He's the real deal, and in a game against Dallas this weekend -- a plus matchup -- he could win you a fantasy football championship.
Add Salvon Ahmed
There was no Myles Gaskin for the Dolphins on Sunday because of a positive COVID-19 test last week, and that allowed Salvon Ahmed (remember him?) to work as the lead back in the Miami backfield. And, against New England, Ahmed carried the ball 23 times for 122 yards and a score. He also was able to capture a really strong 12.0% target share. If Gaskin isn't able to make it back in Week 16, Ahmed would be a strong start against a leaky Raiders rush defense that's given up the fourth-most adjusted fantasy points to running backs this season.
Add Sony Michel
The Patriots were without Damien Harris in their contest against the Dolphins on Sunday, leaving Sony Michel with the most work in the team's backfield. And he was pretty effective, running the ball 10 times for 74 yards. Per numberFire's expected points model, 5 of Michel's 10 rushes were deemed successes, giving him a super solid 50% Success Rate. If Harris misses next week, Michel will be slotted in as an RB3.
Drop Jerry Jeudy
Similar to the Christian Kirk remarks above, Jerry Jeudy just hasn't gotten it done. And his percent rostered number doesn't really reflect that. He's still on 62% of teams over on Yahoo!, but he's finished no better than WR57 in weekly scoring over his last five games. The Broncos' matchup against the Chargers isn't a terrible one on paper, but how can you possibly trust Jeudy with the season on the line this week? He's the exact player you should be clearing in order to stash players who could get a boost from a mid-week injury.
Add Russell Gage
Russell Gage has now seen a target share per game of 21.4% over the last three weeks while averaging a solid 17.2 points per game. During this timeframe, he's scored no fewer than 15 points and no more 19 points. In other words, he's been incredibly consistent in the Falcons' pass-heavy offense.
Julio Jones is banged up, and the Falcons are staring at a probable negative game script in Week 16 when they face the Chiefs. After all, Kansas City is a 10-point favorite in that game. That could lead to some volume being funneled Gage's way, giving him a nice floor in PPR formats.
Add Baker Mayfield
It'll be tough for Mayfield to sustain his numbers, sure. He's got a 7.1% touchdown rate over this time, and that's a number that's above his season and career average. But he gets the Jets this week. And even though New York played their you know whats off against the Rams in Week 15, across our larger sample this year, they've been beat frequently by fantasy quarterbacks. In fact, even when you consider what they did in Week 15, the Jets have allowed the seventh-most adjusted fantasy points to quarterbacks this season.
Add Tua Tagovailoa
You could look to Tua Tagovailoa this week as well. He's rostered in fewer leagues than the aforementioned Hurts and Mayfield, and he gets a decent matchup against the Raiders. Las Vegas now ranks in the bottom half of the league in adjusted points allowed to quarterbacks this season, and they're coming off a game where their banged-up defense was torched by Justin Herbert. The Dolphins have a solid 25-point total, and Tagovailoa is averaging almost 21 fantasy points per game over his last three. He's a solid option.
Add the Arizona Cardinals Defense
If you're not set at defense this week, you could look to Arizona. They're out there in about two-thirds of leagues, and they're facing a San Francisco offense that's surrendered a top-10 defensive performance in six of their last seven games. Over the last two weeks, Washington and Dallas have been the top defense in weekly scoring against the 49ers. The Cardinals are at home and they're 3.5-point favorites, too. They're a strong option.
Add the Washington Football Team Defense
Washington also works as a streamer this week. They're rostered in a similar number of leagues as the Cardinals are, and they'll face the Panthers at home in Week 16. With Washington, we're always intrigued by their ability to get to opposing quarterbacks -- they're top-10 in pressure rate this season, and only five teams (including the Cardinals, by the way) have more sacks. Carolina's been totally average this year at limiting sacks and limiting fantasy points (they're 19th as an opponent in adjusted points allowed). That likely makes Washington a fairly safe, high-floor option. Arizona's got more of a ceiling, though, so prioritize them.
Add the Los Angeles Chargers Defense
Another defensive streaming option for you is the Chargers. Denver continues to be an awesome matchup for opposing defenses -- they're the friendliest when looking at adjusted points allowed. The Chargers are at home, and they're three-point favorites according to FanDuel Sportsbook in a game with a 49-point over/under. It's not an ideal spot, but if defenses are being hoarded in your league, they work.