Free agent forecast: Week 8

Free agent forecast: Week 8

Lineup Management

Free agent forecast: Week 8

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

Quarterbacks

1 Week Plug & Play/Grab & Stash

Josh McCown, New York Jets
McCown threw for 209 yards, three touchdowns and one interception against the Dolphins on Sunday. He has 563 yards and six touchdown passes over his last two games. Over that span, McCown has been a better fantasy option than Matt Ryan, the quarterback he goes up against this week. The Jets still don’t have enough weapons for McCown to be counted on as an every-week starter but he’s established himself as one of the better fantasy streaming options. He can be used again this week in a game where the Jets should have to score some points.
Availability: Owned in ~ 15% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: McCown is a QB2/streaming option vs. the Falcons this week.

Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals
Dalton struggled on Sunday against a tough Steelers pass defense. He should find things much easier this week when facing an injury-riddled Colts secondary that just allowed 330 yards to Blake Bortles. Before Sunday, Dalton had put up three strong games in a row against the Packers, Browns and Bills where he threw seven touchdowns and just two interceptions. Dalton is an easy quarterback to figure out. When the matchup is favorable, play him. When the matchup is tough, bench him. The matchup is favorable this week.
Availability: Owned in ~ 55% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Dalton is a low-end QB1 this week.

On the Radar: Jacoby Brissett (15%), Matt Moore (2%)

Running Backs

Rock Star Free Agent

Latavius Murray, Minnesota Vikings
Just when you thought it was safe to start Jerick McKinnon, Murray rushes for 113 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries against the Ravens. Coming off two strong fantasy games, McKinnon was limited to 57 total yards on 17 touches. Murray was getting carries even before Sunday’s breakout game. In his prior two games, he had 27 carries but only 59 yards, so he was already being used. The only difference is he produced against the Ravens. McKinnon is still going to be a big part of the Vikings offense going forward. Expect both backs to see touches. The only thing Murray’s big game does is further muddy the Vikings backfield for fantasy owners. McKinnon is still the better start in PPR formats but Murray should be picked up in most leagues at this point with waiver wires thinning out.
Availability: Owned in ~ 40% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Murray is an RB3/Flex option.

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 has a hearing set for Oct. 30, so he’s eligible to play Week 8. Beyond that, who knows? 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
Lewis continues to take charge of the Patriots backfield. He ran the ball 13 times for 76 yards Sunday night against the Falcons. Mike Gillislee got eight carries, while Rex Burkhead saw six carries. Lewis isn’t putting up dominant numbers but over his last three games he has 181 yards rushing and a touchdown on 31 carries. The Patriots backfield is still a mess but outside of James White but Lewis looks to be the best fantasy option going forward. He has an appetizing matchup this week versus a Chargers defense that allows 12th most fantasy points to opposing running backs.
Availability: Owned in ~ 30% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Lewis is a Flex option for Week 8.

Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts
How much longer can the Colts keep Mack on the sidelines? Frank Gore has been a warrior and a great NFL running back but with the Colts season spinning out of control, it’s time to get the explosive Mack more touches. Mack gained 66 total yards against the Jaguars on Sunday and was really the only bright spot in an otherwise miserable offensive performance. Robert Turbin is out for the year and Mack is at least been elevated to the 1B with Gore. He faces a Bengals defense this week that just allowed 194 total yards to Le’Veon Bell. Mack isn’t Bell but he’s the best option in the Colts backfield. He should start to see more touches as we get into November.

Availability: Owned in ~ 40% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Mack is a Flex play in PPR formats vs. the Bengals.

Jalen Richard, Oakland Raiders
Marshawn Lynch has been suspended one game. Richard and DeAndre Washington will split touches against the Bill. After Lynch was kicked out of the game Thursday night, Richard got 13 touches and gained 76 yards. Washington received 12 touches and gained 40 yards but also scored a short touchdown. Neither back is a great fantasy option but if you play in a PPR format, Richard is the better play because of his pass-catching ability. Washington could see goal line carries but the Raiders also throw the ball a lot in the red zone. Richard is the better bet to catch four or five balls and rack up around 70 total yards. Richard doesn’t have a high ceiling but he’s a safe bet to put up 10-15 points in PPR leagues this week.
Availability: Owned in ~ 10% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Richard is a low-end RB2/Flex option in PPR leagues this week with Lynch out.

Grab & Stash

Rex Burkhead, New England Patriots
While Burkhead isn’t a fantasy option right now, he’s a player to monitor for the future. Mike Gillislee hasn’t been impressive in over a month. Gillislee and Burkhead saw the same number of snaps on Sunday night. Burkhead only got six carries (31 yards) and played 13 snaps but he had missed the previous four games with a rib injury. He’s behind Lewis right now but things change quickly in New England’s backfield. We’re halfway through the fantasy season and owners are looking for stashes that may hit later in the year. The Patriots backfield is a fluid situation. Burkhead could offer some upside in deeper leagues if an injury hits to one of the other Patriots running backs.

Availability: Owned in ~ 10% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Burkhead is a stash in deeper leagues.

On the Radar: Chris Ivory (55%), DeAndre Washington (5%), T.J. Yeldon (2%)

Wide Receivers

Rock Star Free Agent

Kenny Stills, Miami Dolphins
Stills caught six balls for 85 yards and two touchdowns against the Jets. He has 10 receptions, 134 yards and three touchdowns in his last two games with DeVante Parker (ankle) out of the lineup. Stills has always been a dangerous deep threat but this year he’s already scored four touchdowns in six games. He was targeted nine times on Sunday. Stills’ fantasy value takes a hit when Parker returns from a sprained ankle but he’ll remain on the WR3 radar as long as he’s a starter.

Availability: Owned in ~ 20% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Stills is a WR3/4 depending on Parker’s health.

Ted Ginn Jr., New Orleans Saints
Ginn is known for having big games but he’s now had two of them in a row. He caught seven passes for 141 yards against the Packers. Ginn has 11 receptions for 207 yards and one touchdown in his last two games. Like Stills, Ginn’s fantasy value could take a hit once Willie Snead (hamstring) returns but due to suspension and injuries, Snead has only played one game this season. Right now, Ginn is clearly the second option in the Saints passing game behind Michael Thomas. One other note about Ginn is he’s been known to drop passes but this year that hasn’t been an issue. He’s caught 22 of 26 targets through six games.

Availability: Owned in ~ 50% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Ginn is a WR4 in the Saints offense.

Injury Replacement

Bennie Fowler, Denver Broncos
Emmanuel Sanders is dealing with a high-ankle sprain. He missed Sunday’s game against the Chargers and could be out this week as well. He’s listed as day to day. Fowler started for Sanders but only caught five passes for 45 yards. However, the entire Broncos offense did nothing in a game where they were shutout for the first time since 1992. Fowler should find more success this week against a Chiefs defense that’s bleeding fantasy points to receivers. Trevor Siemian is struggling but Fowler has been targeted 13 times in the last two games. He’s on the radar this week in deeper leagues if Sanders is out again.
Availability: Owned in ~ 15% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Fowler is a WR4/5 this week vs. the Chiefs.

1 Week Plug & Play/Grab & Stash

Mohamed Sanu, Atlanta Falcons
Sanu returned from a hamstring injury Sunday night against the Patriots. He caught 6 of 10 targets for 65 yards and just missed a touchdown by a half a yard. Sanu has been targeted at least six times in four of five games this season. The Falcons offense is a far cry from what it was last season but Sanu gets a Jets secondary that just got lit up by Matt Moore. With six teams on byes this week, Sanu is a solid replacement if you need a starter.
Availability: Owned in ~ 40% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Sanu is a WR4/Flex play this week vs. the Jets.

Dumpster Dive

Demarcus Robinson, Kansas City Chiefs
Robinson caught 5 of 8 targets for 69 yards in Thursday night’s loss to the Raiders. It’s by far the most targets Robinson has seen in his two seasons with the Chiefs. He’s been forced into a bigger role over the last two weeks because Kansas City has suffered so many injuries to the receiver position. Robinson has played well though. He only caught one pass against the Steelers but Robinson was targeted five times. Alex Smith missed Robinson when he was wide open for an easy touchdown. Chris Conley is out for the season and Albert Wilson is nothing special. Robinson will have opportunities to make some plays in the Chiefs passing game behind Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. He’s a name to monitor in deeper leagues.
Availability: Owned in ~ 2% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Robinson is a deep stash in 14-team leagues.

On the Radar: Kenny Golladay (15%), Allen Hurns (40%), Jeremy Kerley (5%), JuJu Smith-Schuster (15%), Deonte Thompson (1%), Robert Woods (40%)

Tight End

1 Week Plug & Play/Grab & Stash

Tyler Kroft, Cincinnati Bengals
Kroft caught four passes for 23 yards and a touchdown against the Steelers. He’s scored three touchdowns in three games since Tyler Eifert went down with a back injury. Kroft isn’t going to catch a ton of passes or rack up a lot of yards but that’s the case with most of the tight ends outside of the top five guys. Cameron Brate and Austin Seferian-Jenkins are in the same boat. Kroft is getting red zone targets and given the options at the tight end position, he’s knocking on the door as a low-end weekly TE1 when the matchup is favorable. It’s favorable this week against the Colts.

Availability: Owned in ~ 15% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Kroft is a low-end weekly TE1.

Grab & Stash

O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Howard had a breakout game Sunday against the Bills. The rookie tight end caught all six targets for 98 yards and two touchdowns. Howard has loads of talent and his role should continue to expand in the coming weeks. However, his fantasy ceiling in capped this year with the presence of Brate. Brate is a favorite of Jameis Winston in the red zone. He ranks first among tight ends in both red zone targets and touchdowns. Howard is likely still a year away from being an every-week fantasy starter but he’s worth adding if you’re in a deeper league and desperate for tight end help. It’s tough to gauge Howard right now because he has Top 5 talent but Brate is still there to steal targets. Howard’s day is coming. It’s just a matter of if it’s this season or 2018.
Availability: Owned in ~ 15% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Howard is a high-end TE2 on the rise.

On the Radar: A.J. Derby (2%)

Kickers

1 Week Plug & Play

Kai Forbath, Minnesota Vikings
It was a good week to be a Kai Forbath owner. The Vikings offense moved the ball on Baltimore’s defense Sunday but drives kept stalling, allowing Forbath to connect on 6 of 6 field goal attempts. Two of Forbath’s field goal were from beyond 50 yards. It was a dream fantasy day from Forbath. While a repeat performance can’t be expected out of Forbath, he should put up another strong fantasy outing versus a Browns defense that just allowed four field goals to the Titans Ryan Succop.
Availability: Owned in ~ 40% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Forbath is a Top 10 kicker for Week 8.

On the Radar: Harrison Butker (40%)

Defense/Specials Teams

1 Week Plug & Play

New Orleans Saints
The Saints defense disappointed last week against the Packers and Brett Hundley but they get a chance for redemption at home versus the Bears. Chicago has won two straight games with rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky completing a total of 12 passes. Last week the Bears had more punts (6) than first downs (5) and pass completions (4). That won’t be good enough versus the Saints in New Orleans. In its last four games, the Saints defense has recorded 14 sacks, eight interceptions and three touchdowns. It’s going to be a long afternoon for Trubisky and the Bears offense on the road Sunday. The Saints defense is a top play this week.
Availability: Owned in ~ 50% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: The Saints defense is a Top 5 play this week.

On the Radar: Buffalo Bills (50%), New York Jets (10%)

THE LATEST

More Huddle
Home