Free agent forecast: Week 3

Free agent forecast: Week 3

Roster Management

Free agent forecast: Week 3

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
It depends on where you play but Wentz is still available in a few leagues. If he is, grab him now. Wentz is the No. 3 fantasy quarterback through two games. He’s topped 300 yards in each of his first two games with four touchdowns and two interceptions. The Eagles can’t run the football at all and as the season goes on, they likely won’t even try in most games. Wentz is going to lead the NFL in pass attempts. He’s a weekly QB1.
Availability: Owned in ~ 65% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Wentz is a weekly QB1 for the rest of the year.

1 Week Plug & Play/Grab & Stash

Jay Cutler, Miami Dolphins
Cutler put up a workmanlike effort in his first start with the Dolphins. He completed 24 of 33 passes for 230 yards and a touchdown. Cutler also showed the willingness to push the ball down the field to DeVante Parker. He should find things easier this week against a Jets defense that allowed three passing touchdowns to Derek Carr on Sunday. Cutler will be facing a Jets defense that allows the sixth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. He’s a strong QB2 if you need a streaming option this week.
Availability: Owned in ~ 30% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Cutler is a high-end QB2/streaming option.

Grab & Stash

Trevor Siemian, Denver Broncos
Siemian has been one of the top fantasy quarterbacks over the first two games. He’s thrown for 450 yards and accounted for seven touchdowns. Siemian has played both of his games at home though. He faces a tough road test at Buffalo on Sunday. The Bills have allowed just one touchdown pass in two games. Leave Siemian on the bench this week but he has a home game with the Raiders on deck. He’ll be a good streaming option in that matchup. If you’re hurting at quarterback and thinking ahead, grab Siemian now for Week 4.
Availability: Owned in ~ 10% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Siemian is on the QB1 radar for Week 4.

On the Radar: Alex Smith (50%)

Running Backs

Rock Star Free Agent

Javorius Allen, Baltimore Ravens
Allen was one of the most popular pickups last week but more owners went after players like Tarik Cohen and Kenny Golladay. He’s still available in some leagues. If Allen is on your waiver wire, he should be your No. 1 target this week. Allen didn’t just replace Danny Woodhead on Sunday, he took over as the Ravens starting running back. Allen ran the ball 14 times for 66 yards against the Browns. He also caught three passes for 35 yards and a touchdown. Allen out-snapped Terrance West 43 to 15. West is dealing with a soft tissue injury and is questionable for Week 3. Allen went from waiver wire to weekly fantasy starter. In leagues where Allen is still available, he should be your top target.
Availability: Owned in ~ 60% of leagues.
FAAB: $$-$$$
Forecast: Allen is a weekly RB2/Flex play, especially if West is out.

Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks
We’ve been pushing Carson in this column since the start of the season, so hopefully he’s on your roster by now. If he isn’t, there’s still time. One more week. Carson looked to be in a committee with Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls but he’s been by far the Seahawks best running back all summer. On Sunday, Lacy was inactive and Rawls got five carries. Carson was the clear lead back with 20 carries for 93 yards. We thought it might take a month or so for Carson to win the starting job. We were wrong. It took two games. Grab him.
Availability: Owned in ~ 30% of leagues.
FAAB: $$-$$$
Forecast: Carson is the Seahawks starting running back for the rest of the season barring injury.

Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints

Sean Payton has no idea what he’s doing with the Saints backfield right now. Kamara didn’t have a big game on Sunday but he did play a lot of snaps for the second week in a row. Kamara finished with three receptions for 51 yards. He dropped a couple of other balls or his day would have been even bigger. Kamara is the one Saints running back that appears to at least have some sort of role in the Saints offense, unlike Mark Ingram and Adrian Peterson who randomly rotate into the game. Kamara is worth owning in PPR formats. His role will continue to grow throughout the season.
Availability: Owned in ~ 40% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Kamara is a weekly Flex play in PPR leagues.

Injury Replacement

Samaje Perine, Washington Redskins
Last week we suggested stashing Perine. Rob Kelley suffered a rib cartilage injury against the Rams. He’s listed as day to day. Perine and Chris Thompson will replace Kelley if he misses any time. Perine ran for 67 yards on 21 carries last week after Kelley was injured. Game flow will dictate who will see more touches between Perine and Chris Thompson if Kelley is out but expect the rookie to see the early down work unless the Redskins fall behind early. Like we said last week, he’s worth stashing even if Kelley plays this week.
Availability: Owned in ~ 20% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Perine will be a RB2/Flex play if Kelley doesn’t play.

1 Week Plug & Play/Grab & Stash

Chris Thompson, Washington Redskins
Whether Kelley plays or not, Thompson is in line to see more touches going forward. Against the Rams, Thompson piled up 106 total yards and scored two touchdowns on just six touches. Thompson is the primary receiver out of the backfield but he should now see some more carries with Kelley injured, increasing his fantasy value. If Thompson doesn’t start seeing around 10 touches a game after his impressive performance against the Rams, Jay Gruden owes us all an explanation.
Availability: Owned in ~ 30% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Thompson is a PPR Flex play for Week 3 and beyond.

Grab & Stash

D’Onta Foreman, Houston Texans
Texans coach Bill O’Brien promised to get Foreman more involved after he got just one carry in the opener. O’Brien kept his word. Foreman carried the ball 12 times for 40 yards in Week 2 against the Bengals. Miller saw more touches (21-12) and snaps (49-17) than Foreman, so he’s in no danger of losing his starting job. However, Foreman is an explosive runner who is already eating into Miller’s carries. The Texans want to control the clock all year with their running game. Foreman is an intriguing bench stash in 12-team leagues.
Availability: Owned in ~ 15% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Foreman is a stash who will be a weekly RB2 if he becomes the starter. 

On the Radar: Rex Burkhead (20%), Chris Johnson (10%), Duke Johnson (50%), Marlon Mack (15%), Jalen Richard (5%)

Wide Receivers

Rock Star Free Agent

J.J. Nelson, Arizona Cardinals
Nelson has been the Cardinals lone fantasy bright spot through two games. On Sunday, he caught 5 of 7 targets for 120 yards and a touchdown. He now has nine receptions, 163 yards and two touchdowns through two games. Nelson is the No. 2 fantasy receiver through two games behind only Michael Crabtree. John Brown missed Sunday’s game with a quad injury and is expected to be out for Week 3 as well. Nelson’s fantasy value takes a hit when Brown plays but the Cardinals run a lot of three-receiver sets. Nelson has games with the Cowboys, 49ers and Eagles coming up. Now is the time to grab him.
Availability: Owned in ~ 20% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Nelson is a WR3.

Injury Replacement

Geronimo Allison, Green Bay Packers
Jordy Nelson (quad) and Randall Cobb (shoulder) both left Sunday night’s game with injuries. Nelson exited early in the first quarter, so Allison got extended playing time against the Falcons. He didn’t do much with the opportunity, only catching 3 of 5 targets for 24 yards. However, Allison is in line for an expanded role if Nelson or Cobb are out this week. Ty Montgomery and Davante Adams will be the biggest beneficiaries to an injury to Cobb or Nelson but a potential expanded role for Allison makes him worthy of a pickup this week.
Availability: Owned in ~ 1% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Allison is a Flex play in deeper leagues if Cobb or Nelson is out.

Rashard Higgins, Cleveland Browns
Higgins went from the practice squad to seeing 11 targets on Sunday. He caught seven passes for 95 yards. This could be just the beginning for Higgins. Corey Coleman is going to be sidelined for two months with a broken hand and Kenny Britt is trying to play his way out of Cleveland. Higgins may end up being the Browns top receiver with Coleman out. Of course, he’s playing with a rookie quarterback on an inconsistent offense but Higgins is worth picking up in deeper leagues.
Availability: Owned in ~ 1% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Higgins is a WR4 in deeper leagues.

1 Week Plug & Play/Grab & Stash

Jermaine Kearse, New York Jets
In a shocking twist, Kearse currently has more fantasy points than former Seahawks teammate Doug Baldwin. While that is almost guaranteed to change, Kearse is the one Jets offensive player worth starting consideration right now. Against the Raiders, Kearse caught four passes for 64 yards and two touchdowns. He has 11 receptions in the first two games. Kearse is clearly the No. 1 receiver on a team that’s going to be playing from behind all year. In fantasy football, you don’t have to be Julio Jones, you just have to put up stats. Kearse will have an opportunity to do that in garbage time most weeks.
Availability: Owned in ~ 5% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Kearse is a WR4 this week versus the Dolphins.

Grab & Stash

Allen Hurns, Jacksonville Jaguars
Hurns was being shut down against the Titans until 1:47 in the third quarter. Then garbage time king Blake Bortles took over and Hurns saved his fantasy day. He finished with six receptions, 82 yards and a touchdown. Hurns is worth adding if you’re desperate for receiver help but keep your expectations in check. He plays in a run-based offense with Bortles throwing to him. It will be hard to rely on Hurns for consistent fantasy production. Leave him on the bench this week versus the Ravens defense.
Availability: Owned in ~ 25% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Hurns is a WR4/5 depending on the matchup.

On the Radar: Brandon Coleman (2%), Phillip Dorsett (5%), Marqise Lee (30%), Kendall Wright (15%), Paul Richardson (15%)

Tight Ends

Rock Star Free Agent

Coby Fleener, New Orleans Saints
Fleener is still available in a handful of leagues. There were a lot of injuries to the tight end position last week with Gronk, Jordan Reed, Greg Olsen, Jimmy Graham and Tyler Eifert all going down. If Fleener is still on the waiver wire, he’s likely one of the top tight ends available at the position. Fleener has burned fantasy owners in the past but he’s scored in each of the Saints first two games. He’s caught eight passes and been targeted 10 times. Grab him if you need help at tight end.
Availability: Owned in ~ 25% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Fleener is a low-end TE1 with all the injuries to the position.

1 Week Plug & Play/Grab & Stash

Benjamin Watson, Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens need pass catchers and on Sunday Watson stepped up with eight receptions for 91 yards. He led the team in catches, yards and targets. Watson was invisible in the season opener against the Bengals but Joe Flacco only needed to attempt 17 passes in that game. The Ravens have little at receiver outside of Jeremy Maclin and Mike Wallace. Their top weapon in the passing game is the running back. Watson has a chance to become a big part of the offense, the only problem is some weeks Flacco won’t be asked to do much. Consider Watson a TE2/streaming option this week against the Jaguars.
Availability: Owned in ~ 2% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Watson is a TE2 in Week 3 versus the Jaguars.

Injury Replacement

Vernon Davis, Washington Redskins
Here we go again. Jordan Reed is already injured with a bruised chest. Davis replaced Reed on Sunday and caught one pass for 13 yards. Davis has been mildly productive in the past while filling in for Reed. Last season he posted five games with at least five receptions and six games with 50 plus receiving yards. The fact that Reed is already injured isn’t a good sign. Davis is likely to see more snaps sooner than later.
Availability: Owned in ~ 2% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Davis will be a high-end TE2 if Reed misses time.

Ed Dickson, Carolina Panthers
The Panthers offense hasn’t been great early in the season and it was dealt a big blow on Sunday when Greg Olsen broke his foot. Dickson will now take over as the Panthers starting tight end. He’s not Olsen but Panthers offensive coordinator Mike Shula said he won’t change the playbook. Dickson caught 54 passes for 528 yards and five touchdowns back in 2011 with the Ravens. He’s been mainly a blocker with the Panthers but now he’ll get more opportunities as a receiver. He’s worth adding if you lost Olsen but remember, even Olsen wasn’t doing anything in the Panthers struggling offense.
Availability: Owned in ~ 2% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Dickson isn’t anything more than a TE2/streaming option in the Panthers offense.

Dwayne Allen, New England Patriots
Rob Gronkowski injured his groin late in Sunday’s win over the Saints. The injury isn’t believed to be serious but the Patriots will obviously be cautious with Gronk. If he misses time, Allen becomes a TE1 in the Patriots offense against the Texans. Allen isn’t going to rack up receptions but the Patriots are thin at receiver and he’s a threat in the red zone. Grab him as insurance.

Availability: Owned in ~ 10% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Allen is a low-end TE1 if Gronk doesn’t play.

On the Radar: O.J. Howard (30%), Jesse James (30%), George Kittle (2%), Austin Seferian-Jenkins (2%)

Kickers

1 Week Plug & Play

Cody Parkey, Miami Dolphins
Parkey connected on 4 of 4 field goal attempts in his first game of the season against the Chargers with a long of 54 yards. The Dolphins offense is loaded with playmakers and it didn’t show any decline with Jay Cutler at quarterback. Fire up Parkey if you need a kicker this week.
Availability: Owned in ~ 5% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Parkey is a Top 12 kicker this week.

On the Radar: Nick Folk (10%)

Defense/Special Teams

1 Week Plug & Play/Grab & Stash

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Vikings offense struggled without Sam Bradford on Sunday. Meanwhile, the Buccaneers defense picked up where it left off last season by suffocating the hapless Bears offense. Tampa Bay’s defense gave up just seven points and recorded a sack, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and scored a touchdown. The Buccaneers defense is a worthy starting consideration either way but if Bradford sits again, they’re an elite play.
Availability: Owned in ~ 5% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: The Buccaneers defense is a Top 12 defense even if Bradford starts.

1 Week Plug & Play

Miami Dolphins
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. We’ll keep streaming any defense that’s available against the Jets. Last week, the Raiders defense racked up four sacked and recovered two fumbles against the Jets. Miami’s defense didn’t do anything in its first game versus the Chargers but it will have more opportunities this week. If you’re looking to pick up a defense this week, fade one of the worst offenses in the NFL.
Availability: Owned in ~ 5% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: The Dolphins are a Top 10 defense this week.

On the Radar: Buffalo Bills (15%), Green Bay Packers (30%)

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