Free agent forecast: Week 7

Free agent forecast: Week 7

Roster Management

Free agent forecast: Week 7

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

Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals
Dalton is the top quarterback still left on the waiver wire in many competitive leagues if you lost Aaron Rodgers. After a slow start, Dalton has thrown for seven touchdowns and two interceptions in his last three games. He has a tough schedule coming up with four of his next five games on the road but if you need to pick up a quarterback right now and the waiver wire is slim pickings, grab Dalton. He does have some favorable matchups coming up against the Colts, Titans and Browns.
Availability: Owned in ~ 50% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Dalton is QB1 streamer vs. favorable matchups.

Grab & Stash

Brett Hundley, Green Bay Packers
Hundley takes over the Packers offense with Rodgers likely out for the rest of the regular season. We don’t know what to expect from Hundley but he’s surrounded by a lot of weapons and he can also make plays with his legs. Against the Vikings Sunday, Hundley threw for 158 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. It’s not fair to judge Hundley on that performance. He came in cold off the bench and had to face a tough Minnesota defense. After playing the Saints this week, the Packers are on a bye where they can get Hundley more comfortable in the offense. Hundley could end up being one of those quarterbacks that’s inconsistent in real life but more valuable to fantasy owners. He’s worth grabbing if you lost Rodgers and the quarterback options on your waiver wire aren’t very exciting.
Availability: Owned in ~ 1% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Hundley will be a QB2/streaming option.

On the Radar: Jacoby Brissett (20%), C.J. Beathard (1%), Josh McCown (10%)

Running Backs

Rock Star Free Agent

Orleans Darkwa, New York Giants
The award for most impressive performance on Sunday goes to Darkwa. Facing the NFL’s top ranked rushing defense that shut down Ezekiel Elliott, Melvin Gordon and LeSean McCoy, Darkwa rushed for a career-high 117 yards on 21 carries. Over his last two games, Darkwa has 176 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries. The Giants are literally using receivers off the street. They’re going to lean on Darkwa, Evan Engram and their defense for the rest of the season. He’s one of the top waiver wire targets this week.
Availability: Owned in ~ 10% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Darkwa is an RB2/Flex option depending on the matchup.

Injury Replacement

Darren McFadden/Alfred Morris, Dallas Cowboys
We don’t have a category for suspensions, so we’ll treat Ezekiel Elliott like an injury. The Elliott situation continues to be a mess for fantasy owners. Elliott’s suspension was reinstated…sort of. The NFL said Elliot’s suspension began immediately but the NFLPA has asked for a rehearing with the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. The bottom line is Elliott’s status remains uncertain. So which Cowboys running back should owners target? Morris has been Elliott’s backup this season, while McFadden has been inactive for every game. Both backs are likely to see touches but one thing of note is Cowboys.com Bryan Broaddus predicted McFadden will be the lead back. It’s important to know which beat writers are the most plugged into the team they cover and no one has more inside knowledge of the Cowboys than Broaddus. If he feels McFadden will get most of the work, he’s not just guessing. Each back is owned in roughly 50 percent of leagues but given reports by both Broaddus and Adam Schefter that the Cowboys will rely more on McFadden if Elliott serves his suspension, he’s the back fantasy owners should target first.
Availability: Owned in ~ 50% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: McFadden will be an RB2/Flex play if Elliott serves his suspension. Morris will be an RB3.

1 Week Plug & Play/Grab & Stash

Dion Lewis, New England Patriots
Last week we recommended starting Lewis against the Jets. He responded with 52 yards rushing and a touchdown on 11 carries. It wasn’t a huge game but Lewis’ volume has gone up in each of the last three weeks, as Mike Gillislee continues to struggle. Gillislee was benched for a while last week after he fumbled in the first half. That won’t impact his status Sunday against the Falcons. The problem for Gillislee is Lewis has been the better player over the last couple of games. Lewis could be in line for 15 touches versus a Falcons defense that allows the ninth most fantasy points to opposing running backs.
Availability: Owned in ~ 10% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Lewis is a Flex option vs. the Falcons this week.

On the Radar: Devontae Booker (5%), Matt Breida (20%), Alex Collins (30%), D’Onta Foreman (15%), Chris Ivory (5%), Samaje Perine (40%)

Wide Receivers

Rock Star Free Agent

Nelson Agholor, Philadelphia Eagles
Agholor caught 4 of 7 targets for 55 yards and a touchdown last Thursday night against the Panthers. He now has four touchdowns on the year and Agholor has scored in each of his last two games. He’s also the only receiver in the NFL with two touchdowns of over 50 yards this season. Agholor doesn’t see a ton of targets (only two games with at least seven) but he’s making the most of his opportunities on one of the NFL’s top offenses. He should be owned in a majority of leagues at this point.
Availability: Owned in ~ 50% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Agholor is a weekly WR3/4.

John Brown, Arizona Cardinals
The pecking order behind Larry Fitzgerald is starting to take shape now that Brown is healthy again. He’s emerging as the clear-cut No. 2 receiver in Arizona’s offense. Brown has eight receptions for 136 yards and two touchdowns on 18 targets over his last three games since returning to the lineup. His fantasy value is still tied to big plays but Brown is ahead of Jaron Brown and J.J. Nelson on the fantasy radar. Injuries are always a concern with Brown but right now he’s trending in the right direction. Pick him up if you need help at receiver.
Availability: Owned in ~ 40% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Brown is a weekly WR4 with an arrow pointing up.

Injury Replacement

Bennie Fowler, Denver Broncos
Emmanuel Sanders suffered a sprained ankle Sunday night and he’s already been ruled out for Week 7. It sounds like Sanders is dealing with a high-ankle sprain, which is typically a multi-week injury. Fowler caught 3 of 8 targets for 21 yards against the Giants. He’ll move into a starting role opposite Demaryius Thomas. His fantasy upside is limited with Trevor Siemian at quarterback but Fowler is worth adding is 12 and 14 team leagues. He already has six red zone targets and two touchdowns as the Broncos third receiver this season.
Availability: Owned in ~ 1% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Fowler is a WR4 as long as Sanders is out.

1 Week Plug & Play

Taylor Gabriel, Atlanta Falcons
Gabriel caught 4 of 8 targets for 39 yards against the Dolphins Sunday. He got more targets with Mohamed Sanu (hamstring) inactive. Sanu is questionable to play this week versus the Patriots. If he’s forced to sit again, Gabriel is an intriguing option. The Patriots defense can’t stop anyone right now. They rank in the Top 5 in allowing fantasy points to every position. Bill Belichick will no doubt try to slow down Julio Jones, leaving opportunities for other receivers like Gabriel to make plays. The Falcons offense has been a disappointment early in the year but this projects to be a high-scoring game. Gabriel is worth a look this week, especially if Sanu doesn’t play.
Availability: Owned in ~ 30% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Gabriel is a WR3/4 this week if Sanu is inactive.

Grab & Stash

Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers
Williams made his NFL debut against the Raiders. He only caught one pass for 15 yards and played nine offensive snaps. That’s not surprising considering Williams didn’t participate in training camp and sat out the first five games of the season. The fantasy regular season is almost half over. It’s time to start stashing players who may be able to help over the final month of the year to help offset busts like Amari Cooper. Williams doesn’t have any fantasy value now but should Keenan Allen or Tyrell Williams go down, he has the ability to make an impact.
Availability: Owned in ~ 20% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Williams is late-season stash with upside.

On the Radar: Corey Davis (20%), Josh Doctson (5%), Ted Ginn (40%), Jermaine Kearse (40%), Roger Lewis, Aldrick Robinson (1%), (20%), JuJu Smith-Schuster (15%), Sterling Shepard (50%), Kenny Stills (20%)

Tight Ends

Rock Star Free Agent

Austin Seferian-Jenkins, New York Jets
Seferian-Jenkins finished with eight receptions for 46 yards and a score on 11 targets Sunday. He could have had a second touchdown but the officials ruled that he fumbled the ball out of bounds just before crossing the goal line. ASJ now has 18 receptions and two touchdowns on 23 targets over the last three games. He’s not putting up big yardage numbers but the targets are there and Seferian-Jenkins is a top red zone option. He’s a weekly TE1.
Availability: Owned in ~ 60% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Seferian-Jenkins is a weekly TE1.

Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons
Hooper has started to come on over the last two games. During that span, he’s caught 12 passes for 98 yards on 16 targets. The Falcons offense is much less dynamic under Steve Sarkisian. Through five games, it’s been less imaginative with fewer passes to the running backs down the field and more short passes to the tight ends. That’s good news for Hooper. He has a great matchup on deck against a Patriots defense that allows the fourth most fantasy points to tight ends. This is a good week to add Hooper if you need a tight end.
Availability: Owned in ~ 50% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Hooper is a low-end TE1.

Injury Replacement

Nick O’Leary, Buffalo Bills
Charles Clay suffered a knee two weeks ago versus the Bengals. He underwent surgery and is expected to miss multiple weeks. It’s a big blow to the Bills passing game. Already extremely thin at wide receiver, Clay had emerged as Tyrod Taylor’s top weapon in the passing game. O’Leary will take over for Clay. He caught 5 of 6 targets for 54 yards after replacing Clay against the Bengals. The Bills are coming off a bye week. Expect O’Leary to be one of Taylor’s top targets with the team down Clay and so thin at receiver.
Availability: Owned in ~ 1% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: O’Leary is a TD-dependent TE2.

1 Week Plug & Play/Grab & Stash

George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers are going with C.J. Beathard at quarterback and that’s good news for Kittle. Kittle ranked second to only Pierre Garcon in targets on Sunday with eight after Beathard replaced Brian Hoyer. Kittle finished with four receptions for 46 yards. Over his last two games, Kittle has 11 catches for 129 yards and a touchdown on 17 targets. Kittle has a great matchup this week against a Cowboys defense that struggles to stop tight ends. He’s a streaming option in deeper leagues.
Availability: Owned in ~ 10% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Kittle is a low-end TE1 this week vs. the Cowboys.

On the Radar: Darren Fells (2%), Tyler Kroft (10%)

Kickers

1 Week Plug & Play

Jake Elliot, Philadelphia Eagles
Elliot hit two more field goals last week against the Panthers. They were from 48 and 50 yards. He’s now made 10 straight field goals this season. Elliot has made at least two field goals in every game this season. He gets Washington this week. The Redskins rank in the Top 10 in allowing points to kickers. Kicking on one of the top offenses in the NFL, Elliot should continue to reward fantasy owners this week.
Availability: Owned in ~ 30% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Elliot is a Top 10 kicker for Week 7.

On the Radar: Kai Forbath (40%)

Defense/Specials Teams

Rock Star Free Agent

New Orleans Saints
The Saints defense has been on a roll. Against the Lions, New Orleans’ defense recorded five sacks, three interceptions, two fumble recoveries and scored three touchdowns. Over their last three games, the Saints defense has 13 sacks, seven interceptions and a shutout. This week they get Brett Hundley making his first start. Then they face the Bears, Buccaneers and Bills. In one of the surprises of the 207 season, the Saints are winning because of their defense. They’re a top play this week.
Availability: Owned in ~ 5% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: The Saints are a Top 15 fantasy defense.

1 Week Plug & Play

Buffalo Bills
The Bills come out of their bye week and host a Buccaneers team that will have either Jameis Winston or Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback. Winston left Sunday’s game against the Cardinals with a shoulder injury and didn’t return. He’s expected to play versus the Bills. It probably doesn’t matter since both quarterbacks turn the ball over. Buffalo’s defense has 12 sacks and eight interceptions in five games. They’ll be a strong start at home this week.
Availability: Owned in ~ 25% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: The Bills are a Top 10 defense for Week 7.

On the Radar: New York Jets (10%)

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