Free Agent Forecast: Week 4

Free Agent Forecast: Week 4

Roster Management

Free Agent Forecast: Week 4

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.


Carson Wentz, Eagles
Rock StarWentz continued to impress on Sunday with another strong performance against the Steelers. He threw for 301 yards and two touchdowns. Wentz now has five touchdowns and no interceptions on the year. The Eagles are averaging just under 31 points per game with the rookie under center. Philadelphia is on a bye but Wentz is a strong starting option against the Lions in Week 5. Owners not happy with their quarterback production should grab Wentz now.
Availability: Owned in ~ 18% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Wentz is a low-end QB1.

Andy Dalton, Bengals
1 Week Plug & PlayDalton opened the year with back-to-back 366 yard outings but he predictably struggled Sunday against the elite Broncos defense. He was held to just 206 yards and no touchdowns. Things will get easier for Dalton on Thursday night when he faces a Dolphins defense that has made backups Jimmy Garoppolo and Cody Kessler look like seasoned veterans in their last two games. Miami’s defense also struggles to cover receivers, so A.J. Green should have a big game. Dalton is a good bet to bounce back this week.
Availability: Owned in ~ 60% of leagues.
Forecast: Dalton is a streaming option this week.

Dak Prescott, Cowboys
1 Week Plug & PlayGrab & StashPrescott is getting better every week, both in real life and in fantasy football. Against the Bears, Prescott threw for 248 yards and his first career touchdown. He also added 36 yards rushing and scored on a one-yard touchdown run. Like Wentz, Prescott has yet to throw an interception through three games. He gets a 49ers defense this week that was just lit up by the Seahawks. Prescott’s fantasy numbers have been going up every week. That trend has a good chance to continue Sunday with a favorable matchup.
Availability: Owned in ~ 45% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Prescott is a low-end QB1/streaming option this week. 

On the Radar: Trevor Siemian (5%)

Running Backs

Jordan Howard, Bears
Rock StarJeremy Langford injured his ankle against the Cowboys. He’s expected to miss 4-6 weeks. Howard replaced Langford and rushed for 45 yards on nine carries. He also caught four passes for 47 yards. Langford was off to a slow start this season. Howard was starting to eat into his workload but now with Langford sidelined, the rookie has an opportunity to take over as the Bears lead back for the rest of the season. Howard showed a good combination of speed and power in college. He’s the top waiver wire pickup this week.
Availability: Owned in ~ 15% of leagues.
FAAB: $$$-$$$$
Forecast: Howard will take over as the Bears lead back and be a RB2.

Jerick McKinnon, Vikings
Rock StarMatt Asiata got the “start” on Sunday but McKinnon out-touched him 17-7. McKinnon had a tough matchup against the Panthers but the fact that he saw most of the touches in the first game without Adrian Peterson is encouraging. McKinnon is the Vikings back to own for the long-term. He should be rostered in most leagues at this point.
Availability: Owned in ~ 65% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: McKinnon will be on the RB2/Flex radar most weeks.

Orleans Darkwa, Giants
Rock StarShane Vereen is out for at least two months with a triceps injury and Rashad Jennings was inactive Sunday with a sprained thumb. Jennings is questionable for Week 4 against the Vikings. Whether he plays or not, Darkwa is a hot pickup this week. Darkwa gained 53 yards and scored a touchdown versus the Redskins. He has a tough matchup going up against the Vikings on Monday night but Darkwa will be a big part of the Giants offense now that Vereen is out.
Availability: Owned in ~ 5% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Darkwa is a Flex option this week and moving forward.

Dwayne Washington, Lions
1 Week Plug & PlayGrab & StashWashington only rushed 10 times for 38 yards against the Packers but there were some encouraging takeaways from the game. Washington got 10 carries in a game the Lions trailed from the start. He also had a couple of good looking runs where he showed off his combination of power and speed. Theo Riddick is a great receiver out of the backfield but Washington is going to be the guy who replaces Ameer Abdullah. He has a great matchup this week against the Bears. Sunday could be Washington’s coming-out party if he gets enough carries.
Availability: Owned in ~ 20% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Washington is a Flex option this week who is on the rise.

Wendell Smallwood, Eagles
Grab & StashRyan Mathews injured his ankle early in the Eagles blowout win over the Steelers and didn’t return. Smallwood came in and rushed for 79 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. He also handled a majority of goal line carries. The Eagles are on a bye, so Mathews will have two weeks to get healthy. It’s worth noting though that Mathews has had trouble staying on the field in the past and Smallwood is the handcuff to own. Eagles coach Doug Pederson also said he’ll continue to rotate running backs moving forward. Smallwood is worth stashing now for later in the year.
Availability: Owned in ~ 3% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Smallwood is a valuable bench stash.

Kenneth Dixon, Ravens
Grab & StashThe Ravens are 3-0 despite their running game being atrocious through the first three games. Baltimore averages 3.3 yards per carry as a team. Terrance West isn’t the answer. Everyone knows that. Dixon suffered a knee injury in the third preseason game. He’s been targeting Week 4 as his return but Dixon has yet to practice. He could still be a couple of weeks away. Dixon is a good stash right now if you need running back help. He could be a fantasy factor over the second half of the season.
Availability: Owned in ~ 15% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Dixon will be the Ravens starter over the second half of the season.   

On the Radar: Jay Ajayi (55%), Cameron Artis-Payne (20%), Orleans Darkwa (5%), Kenyan Drake (30%)

Wide Receivers

Terrelle Pryor, Browns
Rock StarAfter two quiet games, the Browns utilized Pryor as their main offensive weapon against the Dolphins. Pryor threw for 35 yards, rushed for 21 yards, caught 8 balls for 144 yards and scored. Whenever a team goes to a new quarterback, you don’t know which receiver will become his favorite target. With Corey Coleman injured, Pryor dominated looks with 14 targets. Josh Gordon will be back in two weeks but the fact is Pryor is one of the Browns most dynamic offensive weapons. He’ll be inconsistent playing on Cleveland’s offense but Pryor is one of the top waiver wire pickups this week.
Availability: Owned in ~ 25% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Pryor is a WR4 in the Browns offense.

Tyrell Williams, Chargers
Rock StarWilliams is still available is some leagues. He should really be owned in all formats at this point. On Sunday Williams caught 6-of-9 targets for 69 yards. Williams has been targeted a team-high 15 times over the last two weeks. His role in the offense is only going to grow in the future. Williams gets the Saints in Week 4. This will be your last chance to snag him off the waiver wire if he’s still available in your league.
Availability: Owned in ~ 60% of leagues.
FAAB: $$-$$$
Forecast: Williams is a weekly WR3/Flex play.   

Jamison Crowder, Redskins
1 Week Plug & PlayGrab & StashCrowder is only owned in 10 percent of fantasy leagues but he’s scored 11, 15 and 17 points so far in PPR formats. He’s caught at least six passes in two games and scored in two games. Crowder has another good matchup this week against the Browns. He may not be a fantasy stud but it’s time to start taking him seriously in PPR leagues. Crowder has been targeted 25 times in three games.
Availability: Owned in ~ 10% of leagues.
Forecast: Crowder is a Flex option in PPR leagues this week.

Kevin White, Bears
1 Week Plug & PlayGrab & StashWhite received a lot of preseason love. He actually had an ADP in Round 6 at one point. White hasn’t lived up to that hype but he could start coming on, especially with Alshon Jeffery dealing with a knee injury. White caught six passes for 62 yards on 14 targets against the Cowboys. The Bears are an awful football team right now. They’re going to be playing from behind a lot. White will have an opportunity to rack up some meaningless fantasy stats this season. White was overrated this summer but his fantasy arrow is pointing up playing on a bad team. He’s worth a look this week in deeper leagues.
Availability: Owned in ~ 60% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: White is a WR4/Flex play who could emerge as a WR3.

Michael Thomas, Saints
Injury ReplacementWillie Snead was inactive on Monday night with a toe injury. Thomas saw more playing time and made the most of his opportunity. The rookie caught seven passes for 71 yards and a touchdown on 11 targets. The 11 targets tied for a team-high. Thomas has loads of talent, he just needs looks in the Saints offense. It’s tough for him to get them when Snead and Brandin Cooks are both healthy. Thomas’ role in the offense should continue to grow. He’s a starting option as long as Snead is out.
Availability: Owned in ~ 50% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Thomas is a WR3 as long as Snead is out of the lineup. 

Adam Humphries, Buccaneers
Grab & StashHumphries is overtaking Vincent Jackson as the Buccaneers No. 2 receiver. Over the last two games Humphries has caught 15 passes for 167 yards on 20 targets. The slot receiver is second on the team to only Mike Evans in targets this year. Humphries has a tough matchup this week against the Broncos lockdown secondary but he’ll be an asset as a Flex play in PPR formats moving forward.
Availability: Owned in ~ 2% of leagues.
Forecast: Humphries is a bench stash/bye-week replacement in PPR formats.

On the Radar: Cole Beasley (14%), Victor Cruz (40%)

Tight Ends

Kyle Rudolph, Vikings
Rock StarLast year Zach Ertz emerged as a weekly TE1 with Sam Bradford at quarterback. Rudolph could be this year’s Ertz. In the last two games with Bradford under center, Rudolph has 10 receptions for 101 yards and two touchdowns on 18 targets. Ertz only scored twice last season but Rudolph is a much bigger red zone target. He should be a viable weekly TE1 option as long as Bradford stays healthy.
Availability: Owned in ~ 40% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Rudolph is a weekly TE1 with Bradford at quarterback.

Dennis Pitta, Ravens
Rock StarPitta saw his ownership shoot up last week and it should continue to rise after he caught six balls for 42 yards against the Jaguars. It wasn’t a huge game but Pitta has been targeted 20 times in the last two games. Joe Flacco loves throwing to this guy. If Pitta can stay healthy, he’ll be a TE1 for the rest of the season.
Availability: Owned in ~ 55% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Pitta is a TE1.

Hunter Henry, Chargers
Injury ReplacementHenry filled in for an injured Antonio Gates on Sunday and caught all five of his targets for 76 yards. He did have a crucial fumble when the Chargers were trying to mount a late drive but overall it was an encouraging performance for the rookie. Gates isn’t expected to play against the Saints this week. If he’s out, Henry will be a solid streaming option.
Availability: Owned in ~ 10% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Henry is a strong streaming option as long as Gates is out.

Cameron Brate, Buccaneers
1 Week Plug & PlayGrab & StashBrate was splitting snaps with Austin Seferian-Jenkins for the first two weeks. Seferian-Jenkins was released last week after he got arrested for a DUI. Brate took advantage of his expanded role on Sunday, catching five passes for 46 yards and two touchdowns on 10 targets. Buccaneers tight ends have now caught four touchdown passes in three games. Brate is a sneaky strong pickup this week. Jackson is on the decline and the Buccaneers defense is awful. Winston is averaging 47 pass attempts in his first three games. He likes to target the tight end in the red zone. In a down year for tight ends, the stars are aligning for Brate to emerge as one of the better options.
Availability: Owned in ~ 2% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Brate is a high-end TE2 on the rise.

On the Radar: Jack Doyle (10%)


Matt Prater, Lions
1 Week Plug & PlayThe Bears gave up the second most fantasy points to kickers heading into Week 3. Chicago’s defense is in shambles right now. The Lions should have plenty of scoring opportunities on Sunday. Prater has connected on four field goals of 40+ yards in three games this year. He’s a strong play against a depleted Bears defense that allows a lot of points to kickers.
Availability: Owned in ~ 20% of leagues.
Forecast: Prater is a Top 12 kicker this week.

On the Radar: Cairo Santo (45%)

Defense/Specials Teams

Philadelphia Eagles
Rock StarThe Eagles are only owned in 20 percent of leagues. That’s going to change after Philadelphia’s demolition of the Steelers. The Eagles defense allowed three points, registered four sacks, an interception and a fumble recovery on Sunday. The Eagles are heading into their bye week but get the Lions, Redskins, Vikings and Cowboys coming up. This defense is for real.
Availability: Owned in ~ 20% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: The Eagles are a Top 15 fantasy defense.  

Buffalo Bills
Rock StarThe Bills defense has played two good games and one poor one so far this year. On Sunday Buffalo’s defense suffocated Carson Palmer and the Cardinals. The Bills recorded five sacks, four interceptions, a fumble recovery and scored a touchdown. Buffalo plays the Patriots with quarterback issues next then get the Rams, 49ers and Dolphins. Rex Ryan’s unit looks like a good fantasy option over the next month.
Availability: Owned in ~ 20% of leagues.
Forecast: The Bills defense is a starting option over the next month.

On the Radar: Rams (30%)


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