Free agent forecast: Week 2

Free agent forecast: Week 2

Roster Management

Free agent forecast: Week 2

Free Agent Auction
Bid (FAAB) Scale
$ $0 – $5
$$ $6 – $15
$$$ $16 – $25
$$$$ $26 – $40
$$$$$ $41+
Based on $100 cap,
12-team league.

Quarterbacks

Rock Star Free Agent

Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
Wentz makes the list for the second straight week. He had a favorable matchup against the Redskins to begin the year and Wentz delivered, completing 26 of 39 passes for 307 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Wentz played well but he’s still a work in progress. He completed just one of six deep passes (20+ yards). Luckily the one was a 58-yard touchdown pass to Nelson Agholor. Wentz has a couple of tough matchups coming up against the Chiefs and Giants but he’s a QB2 on the rise.
Availability: Owned in ~ 60% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Wentz is a QB2 that may become a weekly QB1.

Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
Smith lit up the Patriots defense in the opener. He completed 28 of 35 passes for 368 yards and four touchdowns. Smith played probably the best game of his career, forcing the ball down the field to his offensive weapons. He threw touchdown passes of 75 yards to Tyreek Hill and 78 yards to Kareem Hunt. We’ll have to see if Smith remains aggressive going forward. Sixty percent of his completions still came within five yards of the line of scrimmage. Smith has the Eagles, Chargers and Redskins coming up. He’s a high-end No. 2 going into next week.
Availability: Owned in ~ 25% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Smith is a QB2 who has the weapons to be a consistent QB1.

On the Radar: Jared Goff (5%)

Running Backs

Rock Star Free Agent

Tarik Cohen, Chicago Bears
John Fox is at it again. Raise your hand if John Fox has destroyed your fantasy football team in the past? Cohen had a tremendous preseason but the rookie was expected to be a change-of-pace option to Jordan Howard. Instead, we got a split backfield in Week 1. Howard played 38 snaps and got 16 touches, while Cohen saw 28 snaps and 13 touches. The difference is Howard was a Top 20 fantasy pick and Cohen is still available in 90 percent of leagues. Cohen finished with 113 total yards and a touchdown. He was Pro Football Focus’ No. 4 rated running back after Week 1 (with two games to play). If history is any indicator with Fox, this sure looks more like a trend than a trap. With the Bears down their top two receivers, expect Cohen to be heavily involved in the passing game for the rest of the season. He’s this week’s top waiver target. Spend the money.
Availability: Owned in ~ 10% of leagues.
FAAB: $$$-$$$$
Forecast:

Theo Riddick, Detroit Lions
We mentioned last week to pick up Riddick because he’s always going to have a role in the Lions offense. It doesn’t matter how badly the fantasy community wants Ameer Abdullah to dominate touches in Detroit, it’s just not going to happen. It’s not how the Lions offense works. On Sunday, Abdullah played 35 snaps and Riddick played 22. Riddick caught six of seven targets for 27 yards and scored a touchdown. Riddick doesn’t have a high ceiling but he’s good for 10 to 15 points most weeks in PPR leagues. He scored 10 or more fantasy points in eight of 10 games last season. Grab Riddick if he’s still available.
Availability: Owned in ~ 60% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Riddick is a weekly Flex play in PPR leagues.

Injury Replacement

Javorius Allen, Baltimore Ravens
Danny Woodhead got off to a quick start on Sunday, catching three passes for 36 yards. Unfortunately, Woodhead suffered a hamstring injury and he’s out indefinitely. After Woodhead went down, Terrance West and Allen split carries. West finished with 80 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries (4.2 YPC), while Allen recorded 71 yards on 21 carries (3.4 YPC). Allen played half of the Ravens offensive snaps (33). West doesn’t offer much in the passing game, so expect Allen to take over Woodhead’s role in the Ravens offense. The last time Allen played regularly in 2015, he caught four plus passes in six of his final seven games. He should be added in most PPR leagues.
Availability: Owned in ~ 2% of leagues.
FAAB: $$-$$$
Forecast: Allen will be a weekly Flex play in PPR leagues.

Kerwynn Williams, Arizona Cardinals
Our darkest day is upon us. Well, it is if you own David Johnson. Johnson dislocated his wrist and will miss significant time. By significant time, most of the season. By most of the season, it could very well mean the rest of the season. How good is Johnson? It may take three backs to replace him: Williams, Andre Ellington and Elijhaa Penny. Williams is the back to go get now, even though he was out-snapped by Ellington on Sunday. Ellington will take over as more of the pass catching back and Penny could see goal line touches. Of course, Johnson did everything. The Cardinals backfield went from fantasy football’s biggest lock to completely in flux in one week. Williams will get first crack to replace Johnson between the tackles but this is more likely to be a committee than a one-man show. Don’t overspend on Williams. If anything, keep an eye on Penny. Go after bigger fish instead.
Availability: Owned in ~ 2% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Williams will be a Flex play in deeper formats.

1 Week Plug & Play/Grab & Stash

Shane Vereen, New York Giants
The Giants offense was flat-out ugly on Sunday night. If there was a small bright spot for fantasy owners, it’s Vereen. He led the Giants in targets (10) and catches (9) against the Cowboys. He played on 31 snaps compared to Paul Perkins’ 18. Some of that had to do with game flow and the Giants being behind but can we admit that Perkins isn’t great? Granted, the Giants offensive line is weak but Perkins is the epitome of a JAG (Just A Guy). Vereen isn’t going to more than a flex play in PPR leagues but given the state of the Giants backfield, he’s worth adding. This week he faces a Lions defense that allowed nine receptions to Cardinals running backs in the opener.
Availability: Owned in ~ 15% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Vereen is a low-end Flex play in PPR formats.

Grab & Stash

Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks need to find a running game. With Thomas Rawls out, Russell Wilson was the team’s leading rusher with 40 yards. Carson was impressive in the preseason and he showed promise again on Sunday, gaining 39 yards on six carries (6.5 YPC). Carson got 27 snaps, compared to Eddie Lacy’s seven. Lacy averaged 0.6 YPC against the Packers. It’s time to move on and admit Lacy is no longer the running back he was three years ago in Green Bay. Rawls is certainly going to get touches when he returns but Carson has earned more playing time as well. Given Rawls’ injury history, Carson has a good chance to become the Seahawks starting running back soon.
Availability: Owned in ~ 15% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Carson will be the Seahawks starting running back by the end of the season.

Dumpster Dive

Samaje Perine, Washington Redskins
Rob Kelley struggled on Sunday. In fairness to him, the entire Redskins offense struggled. However, Kelley is going to need better numbers than 30 yards on 10 carries if he wants to keep Perine on the bench. Perine didn’t play an offensive snap against the Eagles, so Kelley is still the clear starter. He’s never been anything special though. Joe Mixon got all the hype coming out of Oklahoma but Perine is a 235-pound power back with speed. He ran for 4,122 yards and 49 touchdowns in three seasons at Oklahoma. Perine may not have fantasy value right now but he’s a guy who could win owners championships in four months. Stash him.
Availability: Owned in ~ 25% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Perine is a roster stash for the second half of the season.

On the Radar: Marlon Mack (10%), Chris Thompson (15%), Mike Tolbert (2%), Charcandrick West (10%)

Wide Receivers

Rock Star Free Agent

Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams
It’s still shocking that Kupp is only owned in around 30 percent of fantasy leagues right now. That’s sure to change this week. Kupp caught 4 of 6 targets of 76 yards and a touchdown against the Colts. The Colts may be the worst team in football but Jared Goff looked like a real NFL quarterback. Kupp is going to be a factor every week if Goff doesn’t implode. This is likely your last chance to get him.
Availability: Owned in ~ 30% of leagues.
FAAB: $$$
Forecast: Kupp is a weekly WR3 in PPR leagues.

Nelson Agholor, Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles have been waiting for their former first-round pick to deliver. On Sunday with Josh Norman on Alshon Jeffery, Agholor caught six of eight targets for 86 yards and a touchdown. Agholor’s eight targets tied for the team lead. He rotated with Torrey Smith in two-receiver sets and was the Eagles primary slot receiver. Agholor played 41 snaps and ranked as Pro Football Focus’ No. 3 receiver with two games remaining in Week 1. The Eagles had the worst receiving corps in the NFL last season. They’ll have a much more diverse passing game this year with Agholor, Smith, Jeffery, Zach Ertz and Darren Sproles. If Agholor can hang onto the football, he can turn into a dangerous slot receiver for the Eagles.
Availability: Owned in ~ 15% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Agholor is a WR4 in an improving offense.

Kenny Golladay, Detroit Lions
Golladay lit it up in the preseason. He carried over his impressive preseason to Week 1. Golladay finished with four receptions for 69 yards and two touchdowns on seven targets. He’s supposed to be splitting time with T.J. Jones for the No. 3 role but Golladay is the superior player. He got 44 snaps compared to Jones’ 19. That’s a big deal because Anquan Boldin was the Lions No. 3 receiver last season. He was targeted 22 times in the red zone and scored six touchdowns. Golladay already has one. Pick him up.
Availability: Owned in ~ 20% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Golladay is a WR4 with the potential to turn into a WR3.

Injury Replacement

Allen Hurns, Jacksonville Jaguars
Allen Robinson was lost for the season after tearing his ACL. The Jaguars are down to Hurns and Marqise Lee. Hurns had fallen out of favor in Jacksonville and was reportedly on the trade block a couple of weeks ago. So, who is the better pickup, Hurns or Lee? The answer is probably neither because they play in the Jaguars offense but we’ll lean with Hurns. He had 64 receptions, 1,031 yards and 10 touchdowns just two years ago. He’s better suited to replace Robinson as the Jaguars No. 1 receiver. Don’t run to go get Hurns but he’s worth adding in deeper leagues.
Availability: Owned in ~ 10% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Hurns is a WR4/5 in deeper leagues.

1 Week Plug & Play/Grab & Stash

Sterling Shepard, New York Giants
If there’s one big thing we can take away from the Giants performance Sunday night it’s that Brandon Marshall is toast. It appears that Marshall has retired but just failed to notify the league office and is still collecting a paycheck. Shepard was clearly the Giants No. 1 receiver with Odell Beckham out. He caught seven of eight targets for 44 yards. Beckham is questionable for Week 2 but either way, expect Shepard to be heavily targeted once again against the Lions. Let’s be honest, the Giants offense has nowhere to go but up.
Availability: Owned in ~ 50% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Shepard is a WR4 for Week 2.

Grab & Stash

Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans
Davis missed all of training camp with a hamstring injury but he had a promising first game. Davis led the Titans with 10 targets, catching six passes for 69 yards. He played on 42 of 64 snaps. Davis is the most talented receiver on the Titans roster and they selected him No. 5 overall to make an immediate impact. It’s still a little early to tab Davis as an every-week fantasy starter and he faces a tough Jaguars secondary this week, but his fantasy arrow is trending upwards.
Availability: Owned in ~ 50% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Davis will eventually become a weekly WR3.

Dumpster Dive

Kendall Wright, Chicago Bears
We gave out Wright last week, suggesting that “some receiver on the Bears has to catch passes.” Perhaps that’s not true. Kevin White is now likely out for the season, leaving Wright, Deonte Thompson and Josh Bellamy as the Bears top receivers. That’s not a misprint. Wright caught three passes for 34 yards late in the game after White got hurt. He played behind Thompson but Thompson only saw two targets. Wright will face the Buccaneers this week. He’s on the fantasy radar in deeper PPR leagues based on pure necessity in Chicago.
Availability: Owned in ~ 10% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Wright is a WR4/5 radar in deeper PPR leagues.

On the Radar: Jermaine Kearse (3%), Marqise Lee (15%), Paul Richardson (15%), Mike Williams (10%)

Tight Ends

Rock Star Free Agent

Austin Hooper, Falcons
Hooper only caught two balls against the Bears but he made them count. The receptions went for 128 yards and a touchdown. One of Hooper’s catches was an 88-yard touchdown strike from Matt Ryan where he outran the Bears defense. He played 80 percent of the snaps. Hooper isn’t likely to see a big target share in the Falcons offense but he’s loaded with potential and he should be a factor in the red zone. If you’re weak at tight end, you can do a lot worse than Hooper’s upside in your lineup every week.
Availability: Owned in ~ 50% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Hooper is a high-end TE2.

1 Week Plug & Play/Grab & Stash

Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills
It’s not a newsflash that the Bills are weak at receiver. Buffalo has Jordan Matthews, rookie Zay Jones and little else. The beneficiary might be Clay. In the opener versus the Jets, Clay was targeted a team-high nine times. He caught four passes for 53 yards and a touchdown. Dating back to last year, Clay has scored a touchdown in four of his last five games. Tyrod Taylor doesn’t throw it a lot but when he does, Clay is one of his favorite targets. Clay doesn’t have a high ceiling but he’s turning into one of the more dependable fantasy tight ends. Clay should be a focal part of the passing game again this week with the Broncos corners locking down the Bills receivers.
Availability: Owned in ~ 10% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Clay is a low-end TE1 this week vs. the Broncos.

On the Radar: Evan Engram (25%), Jesse James (5%), Zach Miller (5%)

Kickers

1 Week Plug & Play

Greg Zuerlein, Los Angeles Rams
Zuerlein connected on 3 of 3 field goal attempts against the Colts. He made one from 40 plus yards and one from 50 yards. Now that the Rams can get the ball over the 50-yard line, Zuerlein will get more scoring chances. This week Zuerlein faces a Redskins defense that gave up three field goals to the Eagles Caleb Sturgis in the opener. Zuerlein is back on the fantasy radar with an improved Rams offense.
Availability: Owned in ~ 10% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Zuerlein is a Top 12 kicker for Week 2.

On the Radar: Giorgio Tavecchio (3%)

Defense/Specials Teams

Rock Star Free Agent

Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens defensive front abused the Bengals offensive line on Sunday, putting constant pressure on Andy Dalton. Baltimore’s defense finished with four interceptions, five sacks and a fumble recovery on its way to a shutout. The Bengals have one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL but the Ravens defense is the real deal. They have talent on all three levels. Baltimore has the Browns, Jaguars, Steelers, Raiders and Bears on deck. Looks pretty good.
Availability: Owned in ~ 50% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: The Ravens are a Top 10 fantasy defense.

Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars defense dominated the hapless Texans offense. Tom Savage lasted only a quarter before getting pulled in favor of Deshaun Watson. It didn’t matter. The Jaguars defense piled up 10 sacks, one interception, three fumble recoveries and scored a touchdown. Jacksonville underperformed last year but their defense is loaded with talent. They have the Titans, Ravens, Jets, Ravens, Jets, Steelers, Rams and Colts coming up. Grab them now before it’s too late.
Availability: Owned in ~ 40% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: The Jaguars are a Top 12 fantasy defense.

Los Angeles Rams
The Rams defense was a popular play this week with Scott Tolzien replacing an injured Andrew Luck. Sometimes things don’t go according to plan. This was not one of those times. The Rams defense dominated from the opening kickoff. They sacked Tolzien four times, picked him off twice and returned both picks for scores. Oh, and they got a safety. The one difference between the Rams and the other two defenses on the list is this is as good as it’s going to get for Los Angeles all year. The Colts were a laughing stock on Sunday. Wade Phillips knows how to coach defense though. Their best player, Aaron Donald, didn’t even play in Week 1. The schedule gets tougher with the Redskins, 49ers, Cowboys and Seahawks in the next month.
Availability: Owned in ~ 60% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: The Rams will be a strong streaming defense all season.

1 Week Plug & Play

Oakland Raiders
It’s hard not to like any defense playing the Jets. The Raiders held the Titans to 16 points but only recorded one sack. The Bills defense was a popular play versus the Jets last week. Buffalo put up an average outing with 12 points allowed, one sack and two interceptions. The one thing that could play in the Raiders favor is they have a much better offense than the Bills. If they get a lead, it will allow Khalil Mack and Co. to tee off on Josh McCown. Fade the Jets until they give us a reason not to.
Availability: Owned in ~ 30% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: The Raiders are a Top 12 defense for Week 2.

On the Radar: Buffalo Bills (50%), Cincinnati Bengals (25%), Dallas Cowboys (10%)

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