Free Agent Forecast: Week 16

Free Agent Forecast: Week 16


Free Agent Forecast: Week 16

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.


Robert Griffin, Redskins
1 Week Plug & PlayGriffin has had a miserable 2014 season but he’s expected to get the start against Philadelphia on Sunday and there’s reason to believe he’ll post solid fantasy numbers. The Eagles rank in the bottom three when it comes to allowing fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Kirk Cousins (427), Austin Davis (375) and Zach Mettenberger (345) all posted career-best yardage games against Philadelphia’s defense this year. Griffin is a viable desperation play for Fantasy Super Bowls.
Availability: Owned in ~ 35% of leagues.
Forecast: Griffin is a solid QB2 this week but should you need a flier, the matchup is favorable.

On the Radar: No one

Running Backs

Joseph Randle, Cowboys
Injury ReplacementDeMarco Murray broke his hand against the Eagles and had surgery. It’s the worst possible timing for both the Cowboys and fantasy owners. Murray was set to feast on a Colts rush defense that allows 4.3 yards per carry and 17 rushing touchdowns on the season. Emmitt Smith had the same surgery when he played and it cost him one game, so Murray should be considered highly questionable for Sunday. If he can’t go, Randle is scheduled to get the start with Lance Dunbar being sprinkled in on passing downs. The Cowboys offensive line vs. the Colts defensive front is one of the biggest mismatches of the NFL season, so pick up Randle and start him with confidence if Murray is out.
Availability: Owned in ~ 15% of leagues.
FAAB: $$$-$$$$
Forecast: Randle is an RB2 against the Colts if Murray is out.

Carlos Hyde, 49ers
Injury ReplacementThe 49ers backfield is a mess right now. Frank Gore is dealing with a concussion and Hyde is getting an MRI on his ankle as this column goes to print. Both players are uncertain for Week 16. However, should Gore not get cleared and Hyde is healthy enough to start, fantasy owners would be wise to take advantage of the situation. It’s a bit perplexing why Jim Harbaugh hasn’t given Hyde more carries this season. While Gore has been a warrior throughout his great career, it’s obvious he’s nearing the end of the road. If neither Gore nor Hyde can go this week against the Chargers, Alfonso Smith would get the start. He’s much further down the fantasy trough. 
Availability: Owned in ~ 55% of leagues.
FAAB: $$$
Forecast: Hyde is a Flex option if he plays and Gore isn’t cleared.

Jonathan Stewart, Panthers
1 Week Plug & PlayStewart rushed for 73 yards on 22 carries against Tampa Bay. That comes out to just 3.3 yards per carry. Expect that YPC average to increase this week when Stewart faces the dreadful Browns rush defense. Cleveland is allowing 138 yards per game on the ground and just got run over by Jeremy Hill Sunday for 148 yards. DeAngelo Williams could return this week after missing two games but it won’t matter. Stewart has a chance to see 20+ carries against Cleveland, which should equal a 100-yard game.
Availability: Owned in ~ 72% of leagues.
FAAB: $$$$-$$$$$
Forecast: Stewart is a strong RB2 this week against an awful Browns rush defense.

Latavius Murray, Raiders
1 Week Plug & PlayThe Raiders coaching staff must have a problem with Murray. The second-year back averaged almost 5.0 yards per carry against the Chiefs on Sunday, yet he only saw 12 carries in a game that was close midway through the third quarter. It’s hard to trust Murray because Tony Sparano and the rest of Oakland’s coaching staff is laughable right now. However, if you made the championship of your league and need a running back, Murray should get around 15 carries this week against Buffalo. As he showed versus Kansas City, Murray has the ability to be a playmaker. It’s a shame he doesn’t get more opportunities.
Availability: Owned in ~ 64% of leagues.
FAAB: $$-$$$
Forecast: Murray is on the Flex radar for Week 16.

Andre Williams, Giants
1 Week Plug & PlayRashad Jennings re-injured his ankle on the first carry of the game against Washington and there’s a chance he could be shut down for the rest of the season. Williams has been the lead back the last two weeks and will be in that role again Sunday against the Rams assuming Jennings can’t go. It’s a tough matchup but Williams will see around 20 carries, including all of the work near the goal line.
Availability: Owned in ~ 70% of leagues.
FAAB: $$$$
Forecast: Williams is an RB2/Flex option this week despite the tough matchup.  

On the Radar: Chris Polk (2%), Kerwynn Williams (35%), Donald Brown (15%)

Wide Receivers

Harry Douglas, Falcons
1 Week Plug & PlayDouglas caught 10 passes for 131 yards on 14 targets against the Steelers with Julio Jones out nursing a hip injury. Mike Smith said Jones will play in Week 16 but that remains to be seen. If he does, Douglas’ fantasy value takes a big hit. However, should Jones miss another game, Douglas is a strong WR2 versus the Saints. Douglas is fantasy football’s hired gun. Whenever Jones or Roddy White is hurt, he produces big numbers. It’s hard to believe the Falcons coaching staff can’t find a bigger role for Douglas when Jones and White are both healthy, especially with Atlanta not having a threat at tight end. If Jones doesn’t play, ride Douglas in your Fantasy Super Bowl.
Availability: Owned in ~ 52% of leagues.
FAAB: $$$-$$$$
Forecast: Douglas will be a WR2 if Jones is out again and a WR3/4 if he’s less than 100 percent.

Charles Johnson, Vikings
1 Week Plug & PlayJohnson continues to be a bright spot on the struggling Vikings offense. Since coming of Minnesota’s practice squad, Johnson has played five games and put up 50+ yards receiving in four of them. In his last two games, Johnson has nine receptions for 175 yards and a touchdown. Teddy Bridgewater has thrown for over 300 yards in his last two outings, mainly because the Vikings ground game is so inept. Johnson won’t win owners their Fantasy Super Bowls but he’s firmly on the WR3/4 radar if you need to start him this week.
Availability: Owned in ~ 40% of leagues.
FAAB: $$-$$$
Forecast: Johnson is a WR3/4 for Fantasy Super Bowls.

On the Radar: Stedman Bailey (32%), Cole Beasley (5%)

Tight Ends

Dwayne Allen, Colts
1 Week Plug & PlayAllen was dropped in some leagues when he was injured and Coby Fleener took over as the full-time tight end. If that was the case, now is the time to add Allen again. The Cowboys rank last when it comes to allowing fantasy points to opposing tight ends. In PPR leagues, tight ends are scoring over 16 points per game against Dallas. Now, the Colts have two tight ends to split up targets but there’s a good chance Allen will find the end zone this week. Allen has scored in eight out of the 12 games he’s played in this season.
Availability: Owned in ~ 74% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Allen will score double-digit fantasy points in PPR formats this week.

On the Radar: Owen Daniels (45%)


Conner Barth, Broncos
1 Week Plug & PlayBarth has kicked 11 field goals in his last three games as the Broncos have turned into a running team that controls the football. That philosophy has sent many fantasy owners packing thanks to poor outings by Peyton Manning and Co. but if you’re still playing and want to upgrade at kicker, grab Barth. He’s connected on five field goals in two of his last three games and the Bengals rank in the bottom third at allowing fantasy points to opposing kickers.
Availability: Owned in ~ 42% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Barth will be a Top 10 fantasy kicker this week.

On the Radar: Dan Carpenter (35%)

Defense/Specials Teams

Buffalo Bills
1 Week Plug & PlayThe Bills have been a good fantasy defense all season but Sunday Buffalo really stepped it up against Green Bay’s explosive offense. The Bills harassed Aaron Rodgers all game long, picking him off twice, scoring a touchdown and recording a safety. Buffalo has an enticing matchup this week when they travel to take on the Raiders. Oakland’s offense has been a gift all season for fantasy defenses and that’s not likely to change Sunday against the aggressive Bills.
Availability: Owned in ~ 72% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Buffalo will record at least four sacks and cause two turnovers against Oakland.

On the Radar: No one

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