Free Agent Forecast: Week 15

Free Agent Forecast: Week 15


Free Agent Forecast: Week 15

Rockstar Rock Star Free Agent
Injury Injury Replacement
Grab & Stash Grab & Stash
1 Week Plug & Play 1 Week Plug & Play
Dumpster Dive Dumpster Dive
Free Agent Auction
Bid (FAAB) Scale

$ $0 – $5
$$ $6 – $15
$$$ $16 – $25
$$$$ $26 – $40
$$$$$ $41+
Based on $100 cap,
12-team league.

Given the diverse scoring systems and sizes of fantasy leagues, producing a weekly list of free agents that satisfies the masses can be challenging. For the most part, the column will hone in on players who are available in at least 35% of all fantasy leagues. If you play in a small league (8 teams), chances are there may be better players to pick up than you see listed here. If you play in a large league (16 teams), the majority of the players highlighted may already be on a squad; however, expect to find hidden gems, as well.


Eli Manning, Giants
1 Week Plug & PlayEli runs hot and cold but he should have one of his better outings against a Washington defense that has allowed 28 passing touchdowns this season. The first time these two teams met back in September, Manning threw for 300 yards and four touchdowns. He may not repeat that production Sunday but expect Manning to post QB1 numbers once again against the struggling Redskins secondary.
Availability: Owned in ~ 72% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Manning is on the QB1 radar for Week 15.

Johnny Manziel, Browns
Grab & StashWe may as well cut and paste what we wrote about Manziel last week. Hopefully the Browns coaching staff has seen enough of Brian Hoyer, so let’s try this again: It’s hard to gauge a quarterback’s fantasy impact when he hasn’t started all season but Manziel is worth adding if you’re shaky at the position. The Browns have Josh Gordon and a No. 1 caliber tight end if Jordan Cameron. Plus, Manziel provides owners with the added bonus of weekly rushing yards/touchdowns. Manziel is certainly on the radar in two-quarterback leagues now that he’s the starter (we think).
Availability: Owned in ~ 15% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Manziel will be a high-end QB2 due to his rushing numbers.

On the Radar: Shaun Hill (7%), Kyle Orton (28%)

Running Backs

Jonathan Stewart, Panthers
Rock StarStewart finally got a chance to dominate the touches in Carolina’s backfield against New Orleans Sunday and he delivered. Stewart ran over the Saints for 155 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. Stewart is finally healthy again and he’s outplayed DeAngelo Williams this season. In the last two games with Williams out, Stewart has revitalized Carolina’s running game with 240 yards on just 32 carries (7.4 YPC). Stewart’s fantasy value increases with Williams out but even if he returns this week, Stewart should see a majority of the touches.
Availability: Owned in ~ 65% of leagues.
FAAB: $$-$$$
Forecast: Stewart is an RB2 this week against Tampa Bay.

Latavius Murray, Raiders
Rock StarMurray didn’t have a huge game against San Francisco (76 yards) but his volume was an encouraging sign. Murray had 23 carries, compared to Darren McFadden’s four. The only other running back that was a factor was Marcel Reece and he made his impact lining up as a receiver. Murray is clearly the best option in the Raiders backfield right now and it appears the coaching staff has finally realized it. Murray now faces a Chiefs defense that he ran for 112 yards and two touchdowns against three weeks ago before leaving the game with a concussion. Murray should be owned in all leagues right now.
Availability: Owned in ~ 62% of leagues.
FAAB: $$-$$$
Forecast: Murray is a RB2/flex play for the remainder of fantasy playoffs.  

Andre Williams, Giants
1 Week Plug & PlayGrab & StashWilliams started for an injured Rashad Jennings against Tennessee. He ran for 131 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries. The Titans rank last in the NFL at defending the run, so it was a dream matchup for Williams. As we’ve stated for the past couple of weeks, Williams should be owned in all leagues during fantasy playoffs as insurance for Jennings. Keep an eye on Jennings’ health again this week. Williams will be worth starting if Jennings isn’t 100 percent against Washington.
Availability: Owned in ~ 70% of leagues.
FAAB: $$-$$$
Forecast: Williams either is an RB2 or flex option this week depending on Jennings’ health.

Kerwynn Williams, Cardinals
1 Week Plug & PlayGrab & StashStepfan Taylor got the start for the injured Andre Ellington against Kansas City. However, he was quickly replaced by Williams. The former Colt was just signed off Arizona’s practice quad last week but made the most of his opportunity, rushing for 100 yards on 19 carries. Bruce Arians said Taylor will start again versus the Rams Thursday night and the team will continue to ride the hot hand. The straight-ahead running Taylor will almost certainly be shut down by the Rams front seven, making Williams the best bet to lead the Cardinals backfield in touches once again in Week 15.
Availability: Owned in ~ 1% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Williams will lead the Cardinals backfield in touches this week and is a flex option in deeper leagues.

Juwan Thompson, Broncos
Grab & StashThe Broncos have turned into a running team over the past two weeks. That probably won’t last and even if it does, C.J. Anderson is the top dog in Denver’s backfield. However, Anderson was dinged up Sunday against Buffalo. It’s a reminder that during this time of year owners need to be prepared. There’s no telling when Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman will be back or how effective either will be immediately upon their return. Thompson rushed for 63 yards on just four carries versus the Bills. If you’re in the fantasy playoffs and own Anderson, grab Thompson as insurance.
Availability: Owned in ~ 12% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Thompson is valuable insurance for Anderson over the next 2-3 weeks.

Ben Tate, Vikings
Grab & StashMatt Asiata got 19 carries last week but managed just 54 yards against a tough Jets rush defense. After the game, Mike Zimmer admitted he gave Asiata too many carries. In all honesty, 10 carries is too many for Asiata. He’s a serviceable backup that gets the most out of his abilities. He’s not a 20+ touches a game running back. Asiata has another terrible matchup this Sunday against Detroit’s top ranked rush defense. Adrian Peterson is unlikely to see the field even if he’s reinstated and Jerick McKinnon is out for the year. Look for Tate to start seeing more carries in the coming weeks. If it’s enough to make a fantasy impact remains to be seen but he’s worth rolling the dice on given the state of Minnesota’s backfield.
Availability: Owned in ~ 62% of leagues.
Forecast: Tate will start seeing double-digit carries this week against Detroit.

On the Radar: Marcel Reece (4%), Stepfan Taylor (22%)

Wide Receivers

Marquess Wilson, Bears
Rock StarBrandon Marshall is out for the season with broken ribs and a collapsed lung. While losing Marshall is a big blow to the struggling Bears offense, it presents a major opportunity for Wilson. The Bears coaching staff had high hopes for Wilson this summer but a broken collarbone sidetracked him. Alshon Jeffery and tight end Martellus Bennett are likely to see an increase in targets with Marshall out of the lineup. However, Jeffery is battling injuries himself and the Bears defense is terrible. Chicago’s next two games are against New Orleans and Detroit. Jay Cutler will have to throw the ball plenty in both of those games. Wilson is stepping into a great situation. He should be one of the top-targeted players on the waiver wire this week.
Availability: Owned in ~ 2% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Wilson will be a WR4/flex for the remainder of fantasy playoffs.

Charles Johnson, Vikings
Rock StarJohnson is the only Vikings receiver with any fantasy value right now. It’s hard to believe considering Cordarrelle Patterson was being drafted as a WR2 in many leagues this summer. While Patterson sits on the bench, Johnson has come off the Vikings practice squad to emerge as Minnesota’s No. 1 receiver. Johnson caught four passes for 103 yards and a touchdown against the Jets. Johnson just missed scoring another touchdown when he fumbled at the 1-yard line. He’s now scored in two of his last three games and gone over 50 yards receiving in three of four. Johnson is also averaging eight targets over his last three games. If you play in a competitive league and need a receiver, Johnson is one of the better options still available.
Availability: Owned in ~ 20% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Johnson is a weekly flex play option.

Donte Moncrief, Colts
1 Week Plug & PlayGrab & StashMoncrief is a tough guy to peg because he’s the Colts No. 3 receiver. However, Reggie Wayne is dealing with multiple injuries right now and coming off a terrible outing against Cleveland. Wayne caught one pass on eight targets. There’s a good chance the explosive Moncrief sees an increase in targets this week against Houston. It’s a gamble but a move that could pay off big for fantasy owners. There’s even talk that Wayne could be shut down for the rest of the season, which would instantly vault Moncrief into a WR2/3. Monitor Wayne’s health throughout the week but the fact is he’s injured and hasn’t topped 31 yards receiving in his last three games despite a total of 22 targets.  
Availability: Owned in ~ 35% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Moncrief is a flex option this week and gets a big fantasy boost if Wayne misses time.

Chris Hogan, Bills
1 Week Plug & PlayGrab & StashHogan isn’t owned in many leagues but he’s worth a flier this week if you play in a PPR league and are looking for a WR/flex. Hogan caught seven passes for 54 yards and a touchdown against the Broncos. Buffalo got down early and Kyle Orton had to pass the ball 57 times. The Bills play Green Bay Sunday, so a similar scenario could be in the cards. Hogan has now scored in consecutive games and three of his last five. If you’re in a PPR format, Hogan has scored at least 14 points three times in his last five games. Hogan isn’t the worst receiver to roll the dice on if you need a receiver this week.
Availability: Owned in ~ 3% of leagues.
Forecast: Hogan will score 10+ points this week in PPR leagues.

On the Radar: Kamar Aiken (1%), Stedman Bailey (32%), Cole Beasley (2%), Marqise Lee (12%), Preston Parker (2%)

Tight Ends

Jordan Cameron, Browns
1 Week Plug & PlayCameron returned from a concussion Sunday after missing five games. He caught four balls for 41 yards. Cameron has had a disappointing season but with the tight end position a crapshoot for many fantasy owners this season, he’s back on the TE1 radar against Cincinnati. The Bengals rank in the bottom 10 of the NFL at giving up fantasy points to opposing tight ends. The quarterback situation in Cleveland is unsettled but regardless of who starts, Cameron should be heavily targeted this week.
Availability: Owned in ~ 55% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Cameron is a TE1 option this week against the Bengals.

Jared Cook, Rams
1 Week Plug & PlayCook caught four passes for 61 yards and two scores against Washington. This came after Cook had a combined three receptions for 27 yards in Shaun Hill’s previous two starts, so it was good to see him get involved in the offense again. Cook has another chance for a good game this week. Arizona has struggled to defend the tight end the last two years and Cook has taken advantage. He had a huge game against the Cardinals in last year’s opener, while catching two passes for 84 yards and a touchdown in Week 10 of this season. The matchup and prior history suggests Cook is a TE1 option this week.
Availability: Owned in ~ 32% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Cook will put up 50+ yards receiving and a touchdown against Arizona.  

On the Radar: Scott Chandler (20%), Mychal Rivera (40%)


Nick Folk, Jets
1 Week Plug & PlayFolk connected on 5-of-5 field goal attempts against Minnesota. He’s now seen nine attempts in his last two games despite playing on one of the NFL’s worst offenses. Folk should continue to get opportunities this week when he faces Tennessee. The Titans rank last in the NFL when it comes to allowing fantasy points to opposing kickers. The Giants Josh Brown converted on 5-of-5 field goal attempts himself Sunday when he played against Tennessee, so expect a big game from Folk this week.
Availability: Owned in ~ 12% of leagues.
Forecast: Folk will score 10+ fantasy points this week.

On the Radar: Connor Barth (42%)

Defense/Specials Teams

Kansas City Chiefs
1 Week Plug & PlayThe first time the Chiefs and Raiders played three weeks ago, Oakland’s offense actually performed well when the Raiders recorded their first win of the season. However, this game is in Arrowhead Stadium where the Chiefs traditionally play tough defense, especially against inferior opponents. The Raiders still rank in the bottom three when it comes to allowing fantasy points to opposing defenses, so the matchup is favorable on paper. The Chiefs defense has been a fantasy disappointment in 2014 but this is a good week to call upon it if you need them.
Availability: Owned in ~ 72% of leagues.
Forecast: The Chiefs are a Top 12 fantasy defense this week.

On the Radar: No one

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