Free agent forecast: Week 5

Free agent forecast: Week 5

Roster Management

Free agent forecast: Week 5

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

Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
It appears Watson is the real deal. One week after lighting up the Patriots for 301 yards, Watson threw for 283 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. He also ran for 24 yards and a score. Watson has seven touchdowns in his last two games. Things will get a little tougher for Watson coming up. He plays the Chiefs and Seahawks in two of the next three games but the rookie has shown the ability to make plays with both his arm and his legs. Like Dak Prescott last year. Watson is emerging as an every-week fantasy starter.
Availability: Owned in ~ 30% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Watson is a weekly QB1.

Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams
Goff has gone from the butt of jokes to fantasy starter. Jeff Fisher is just butt of jokes. Goff threw for 255 yards and two touchdowns Sunday against the Cowboys. He has five touchdowns and no interceptions in his last two games. They were both good matchups versus the 49ers and Cowboys weak pass defenses but there’s no denying Goff is vastly improved over last year. We’ll find out if Goff is for real. His next six games are against the Seahawks, Jaguars, Cardinals, Giants, Texans and Vikings. Yikes.

Availability: Owned in ~ 20% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Goff is a weekly QB1 but he has a tough stretch coming up.

1 Week Plug & Play

Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis Colts
Brissett was in a tough spot last week at Seattle. After a solid first half, the Seahawks smothered Brissett and the Colts offense in the second half, outscoring them 36-3. Two weeks ago, Brissett threw for 259 yards and accounted for three touchdowns against the Browns. Brissett has another favorable matchup this Sunday when the Colts host the 49ers. Don’t let last week’s game shy you away from Brissett if you play in a deeper league and need a quarterback. Brissett will bounce back against the 49ers and put up strong fantasy numbers.
Availability: Owned in ~ 5% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Brissett is a streaming option vs. the 49ers.

On the Radar: Andy Dalton (40%)

Running Backs

Rock Star Free Agent

Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints
Kamara is a player we’ve discussed since the start of the year. He’s the one Saints back who was guaranteed a role in the offense. We saw that again on Sunday when Kamara caught 10 passes for 71 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 25 yards. Kamara isn’t going to catch 10 passes every week but he’s now scored in two straight games. The pass-catching back on the Saints is a safe start most weeks in PPR formats.
Availability: Owned in ~ 50% of leagues.
FAAB: $$-$$$
Forecast: Kamara is a weekly Flex play in PPR formats.

Latavius Murray/Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings offense suffered a big blow when Dalvin Cook was lost for the year with a knee injury. As is often the case when a talented running back goes down, it’s going to take two players to replace him. Murray and McKinnon will split touches in Cook’s absence. Murray was signed in the offseason before the Vikings drafted Cook. He’ll likely take over as the early-down runner with McKinnon dominating snaps on passing downs. The best way to think of it is how the Redskins use their running backs with Rob Kelley and Chris Thompson. Both players should be added in most leagues now with Murray being the slightly higher waiver wire priority given the fact he’ll see more volume and goal-line carries.
Availability: Owned in ~ 15/5% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Murray and McKinnon are Flex options based on matchups and league scoring systems.

Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals

Ellington isn’t doing much as a runner but he’s been able to replace David Johnson’s production as a receiver out of the backfield. In his last two games, Ellington has only rushed for 40 yards but he’s caught 14 of 22 targets for 145 yards. The Cardinals can’t run the football at all and so Ellington has led the backfield in snaps each of the last two weeks. That’s not likely to change unless Arizona is playing with a lead and leans on Chris Johnson to kill the clock. Ellington should be owned in all PPR formats.
Availability: Owned in ~ 20% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Ellington is a Flex play in deeper PPR leagues.

Injury Replacement

Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers
It looked like Ty Montgomery suffered a serious rib injury Thursday night but now it appears he may start in Week 5. Jamaal Williams (knee) was also injured against the Bears. Jones will draw the start against Dallas if both Montgomery and Williams can’t play Sunday. He performed well last week, rushing 13 times for 49 yards and a touchdown. Jones put up big numbers in college at UTEP and will be an RB2 in the Packers fantasy friendly offense if given the opportunity. He needs to be added this week, especially as insurance for Montgomery owners.
Availability: Owned in ~ 10% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Jones will be an RB2 in Week 5 if Montgomery and Williams don’t play.

1 Week Plug & Play/Grab & Stash

Alex Collins, Baltimore Ravens
There hasn’t been much to like about the Ravens offense the last two weeks. Collins has been one of the only bright spots. Take away a fumble and Collins played well against the Steelers, running for 82 yards on nine carries (9.1 YPC). That’s two games in a row Collins has looked like the Ravens best running back. Collins has a favorable matchup versus the Raiders coming up this week. Terrance West and Javorius Allen have both been a disappointment. This should be the week Collins finally sees double-digit carries.
Availability: Owned in ~ 10% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Collins is on the Flex radar in deeper leagues this week.

Wayne Gallman, New York Giants
Fantasy owners probably aren’t dying to start anyone in the Giants non-existent running game. Paul Perkins and Orleans Darkwa have both been major disappointments running behind the Giants Swiss cheese offensive line and now Perkins is hurt. Gallman, however, brings a little something different to the Giants offense. He’s a tough inside runner with the versatility to catch passes out of the backfield as well. No Giants back is going to run for 100-yards a game but Gallman at least has enough talent to make a blip on the fantasy radar. Gallman faces a Chargers defense this week that just allowed 214 yards rushing to the Eagles. The Eagles.
Availability: Owned in ~ 3% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: This is the week Gallman takes control of the Giants starting RB job, for better or worse.

Grab & Stash

Matt Breida, San Francisco 49ers
It’s Week 5 so owners are looking to cash in on running back lottery tickets. Breida is a good player to put your money on. Carlos Hyde is already dealing with a hip injury. On Sunday, Hyde played and got 16 carries but Breida did get a season-high 10 touches too. Hyde is clearly the lead back in San Francisco but given his injury history, Breida should be added in a majority of leagues right now. He would be a weekly RB2 if Hyde goes down.
Availability: Owned in ~ 15% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Breida is a valuable stash for the second half of the season.

On the Radar: Giovani Bernard (20%), Eddie Lacy (20%), J.D. McKissic (1%), Elijah McGuire (2%), Thomas Rawls (20%)

Wide Receivers

Rock Star Free Agent

Devin Funchess, Carolina Panthers
Funchess caught seven passes for 70 yards and two touchdowns against the Patriots. It’s hard to judge what any player does against the Patriots high school-like defense but Funchess now has at least four receptions and 58 yards receiving in three straight games. That’s encouraging when you consider the Panthers offense was struggling before Sunday. It’s hard to trust the Panthers passing game every week but Funchess is on the fantasy radar when the matchup is favorable.
Availability: Owned in ~ 25% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Funchess is a weekly WR4.

Will Fuller, Houston Texans
Fuller made his season debut on Sunday after missing the first three games while recovering from a broken collarbone. He made an instant impact. Fuller caught 4 of 6 targets for 35 yards and two touchdowns. The Texans passing game has been rejuvenated with Watson under center. Fuller gives Houston a legitimate No. 2 receiver opposite DeAndre Hopkins. Grab Fuller if he’s available in your league. He should remain a weekly WR3/4 for the rest of the season depending on the matchup.
Availability: Owned in ~ 30% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Fuller is a weekly WR3/4 depending on the matchup.

Jaron Brown, Arizona Cardinals
Brown is starting to become a real factor. Against the 49ers on Sunday, he caught eight passes for 105 yards. Over his last three games, Brown has 14 receptions, 205 yards and one touchdown on 29 targets. In two of those games, Brown has been targeted 12 and 11 times. Furthermore, Carson Palmer leads the NFL in red zone passing attempts with 32 and Brown ranks fourth with six red zone targets. The Cardinals can’t run the football at all. John Brown and J.J. Nelson are more speed receivers, whereas Brown gives Palmer another possession guy to go to with Larry Fitzgerald. Brown has a great matchup this week against an awful Eagles secondary. Ride him.
Availability: Owned in ~ 5% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Brown is emerging as an every-week WR4.

Injury Replacement

Taylor Gabriel, Atlanta Falcons
Gabriel didn’t catch a pass on Sunday. However, Julio Jones (hip) and Mohamed Sanu (hamstring) both left the game with injuries and didn’t return. Jones’ injury isn’t believed to be serious but Sanu is expected to miss 2 to 4 weeks. The Falcons have a bye this week, so it’s possible Sanu only misses one game. Gabriel’s fantasy value is tied to big plays but he’ll see more targets with Sanu out.
Availability: Owned in ~ 20% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Gabriel is a WR4/5 with Sanu out of the lineup.

1 Week Plug & Play/Grab & Stash

Danny Amendola, New England Patriots
You may have heard but the Patriots have a problem on defense. New England plays the Buccaneers on Thursday in what should be another high-scoring game. Amendola caught 6 of 7 targets for 42 yards and a touchdown. He’ll face a defense this week that allows the most fantasy points to receivers. Amendola is still behind Chris Hogan and Brandin Cooks for targets but on a team that needs to score on virtually every possession, Amendola is in the starting conversation this week.
Availability: Owned in ~ 50% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Amendola is a WR4/Flex option this week in a great matchup vs. the Bucs.

Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams
Kupp had been quiet since the opener but he woke up against a Cowboys defense that struggles to defend slot receivers. He caught five passes for 60 yards and a touchdown. Kupp isn’t going to catch 90 balls like some predicted but he’s a good play when the matchup is right. The Seahawks are a tough matchup on paper but the best way to attack them is in the slot. Kupp should be heavily targeted once again this week. Either way, he deserves to be more highly owned in PPR leagues.
Availability: Owned in ~ 40% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Kupp is a Flex option this week and beyond in PPR formats.

Dumpster Dive

Aldrick Robinson, San Francisco 49ers
Marquise Goodwin left Sunday’s game against the Cardinals with a concussion. With Pierre Garcon being shadowed by Patrick Peterson, Robinson led the 49ers in targets with 12. However, he only caught three of those targets for 52 yards. Goodwin has struggled this season as the 49ers No. 2 receiver. If he doesn’t get cleared by Sunday, Robinson will get the start in a much easier matchup versus the Colts. He’s a player to watch with Goodwin struggling.
Availability: Owned in ~ 3% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Robinson will emerge as the 49ers No. 2 receiver.

On the Radar: Geronimo Allison (15%), Adam Humphries (2%), Zay Jones (15%), Paul Richardson (25%), JuJu Smith-Schuster (2%)

Tight Ends

Rock Star Free Agent

Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers coaching staff did a good job attacking the Giants weakness on defense Sunday. New York came in struggling to defend tight ends and the Bucs exploited that weakness. Brate caught four passes for 80 yards and a touchdown, while rookie O.J. Howard caught two passes for 63 yards and a score. The Patriots struggle to stop everything, including tight ends. Brate won’t put up 80 yards every week but he’ll continue to be a factor in the red zone if you need help at tight end.
Availability: Owned in ~ 50% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Brate is a low-end TE1.

Evan Engram, New York Giants
Engram is one of the few rookie tight ends who is making a fantasy impact in his first season. He caught six passes for 62 yards against the Buccaneers. Engram has put up at least four receptions and 44 yards in every game this season. In his last three games, he’s been targeted at least seven times. Engram hasn’t had a monster fantasy performance yet but the early volume is encouraging. He should only get better as the season goes on.

Availability: Owned in ~ 50% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Engram is a TE1 most weeks for the rest of the year.

1 Week Plug & Play/Grab & Stash

Austin Seferian-Jenkins, New York Jets
Seferian-Jenkins caught four balls for 46 yards in his second game back from suspension on Sunday. He has nine receptions on 10 targets in two games. The yardage and touchdowns aren’t there yet but the Jets passing isn’t the most explosive in the NFL. ASJ gets a Browns defense this week that allowed two touchdowns to Tyler Kroft last week. He’s a streaming option.
Availability: Owned in ~ 5% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Seferian-Jenkins is a high-end TE2 for Week 5.

On the Radar: A.J. Derby (1%), Tyler Kroft (1%)

Kickers

Rock Star Free Agent

Greg Zuerlein, Los Angeles Rams
It’s not often that we have a rock star kicker but Zuerlein is by far the top scorer at the position through four games and he’s still available in many leagues. If you don’t stream kickers, drop who you own and pick up Zuerlein. The only thing lacking in the past for Zuerlein were opportunities. Now that he’s getting more opportunities, Zuerlein is an elite fantasy kicker.
Availability: Owned in ~ 20% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Zuerlein is a Top 5 fantasy kicker.

1 Week Plug & Play

Jake Elliott, Eagles
Elliott has been quite a find for the Eagles. The rookie connected on four field goals from at least 40 yards last week. For the season, Elliott has made seven kicks from 40+ yards. This week Elliott faces a Cardinals defense that gave up five field goals on Sunday to the 49ers Robbie Gould and ranks in the bottom half of the NFL in allowing fantasy points to kickers. Elliott is a top play this week and he’s still available in most leagues.
Availability: Owned in ~ 15% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Elliott is a Top 10 kicker for Week 5.

On the Radar: Robbie Gould (10%)

Defense/Special Teams

Rock Star Free Agent

Buffalo Bills
The Bills defense has been on fire over the first month of the season and it continued last week in Buffalo’s upset of the Falcons. The Bills defense recorded one sack, two interceptions, a fumble recovery and scored a touchdown. For the season, Buffalo’s defense now has 11 sacks, six interceptions, a fumble recovery and a touchdown. The Bills have a strong matchup this week against the Bengals but if there’s a downside to Buffalo’s defense, it’s their schedule toughens late in the year. From Weeks 10 to 16 the Bills face the Saints, Chargers, Chiefs, Patriots, Colts (with Andrew Luck potentially), Dolphins and Patriots. That’s a tough closing slate but with the way their playing, the Bills defense is worth picking up right now.
Availability: Owned in ~ 10% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: The Bills are a Top 15 fantasy defense with a tough final month.

1 Week Plug & Play

New York Jets
The Jets defense hasn’t been great for fantasy purposes but they have a strong matchup this week versus the Browns. Cleveland is allowing the third most fantasy points to team defenses. DeShone Kizer is struggling with turnovers. He has two touchdowns and seven interceptions in his last two games. The Jets defense has four sacks and three interceptions in its last two games. They’re worth a look this week against a limping Browns offense.
Availability: Owned in ~ 5% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Jets are a Top 12 defense for Week 5.

On the Radar: Oakland Raiders (30%)

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