Free-agent Forecast: Week 6

Free-agent Forecast: Week 6

Roster Management

Free-agent Forecast: Week 6

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Free-agent recommendations refer to 12-team league formats, unless specifically stated. FAAB $ amounts are based on a $100 budget.

Bye weeks: Buffalo, Chicago, Indianapolis, Oakland

(Jeremy Brevard, USA TODAY Sports)

Quarterbacks

1-Week Plug & Play/grab & stash

Teddy Bridgewater, New Orleans Saints

This is a lukewarm endorsement for a number of reasons. Primarily, Bridgewater’s strong game in Week 5 came against a pathetic Tampa Bay defense. Another issue is Drew Brees is already throwing, so it appears to be only a matter of a few games before he returns. Then there’s the schedule: at Jacksonville (pretty good, actually), at Chicago, and vs. Arizona (really good, ish). Game plans will dictate Bridgewater’s utility. The Jaguars were the 11th-best matchup to exploit entering Week 6, especially with CB Jalen Ramsey still on the mend, but Carolina chose to attack on the ground. The same could happen in this contest. Arizona is favorable in Week 8, but CB Patrick Peterson will be back to help. Then there’s a Week 9 bye, and we’re likely to see Drew Brees after that, if not sooner. Long story short, add him but only at a reasonable cost.

Availability: 61%
FAAB:
$4-5

1-Week Plug & Play

Kyle Allen, Carolina Panthers at Buccaneers

It’s a tough pill to swallow starting a guy with a shade over 25 fantasy points in total over his past two starts. However, matchups are where it is at, and this one is about as good as they come. The reasoning is Carolina has a strong run defense, which will force the Panthers to put it in the air more than desired. Teddy Bridgewater looked like Drew Brees in Week 5 vs. this unit, and Allen will be much closer to his Week 3 stat line (261-4-0) than what we’ve seen since. Only Miami is a better matchup for quarterbacks in Week 6.

Availability: 54%
FAAB:
$1-2

Grab & Stash

Sam Darnold, Jets

Darnold belongs on fantasy benches for depth purposes as we enter the heart of bye weeks. After the Week 5 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, it doesn’t get much easier — Dallas, New England, Jacksonville — before a cake schedule against Miami, the Giants, Washington, Oakland, Cincinnati, and Miami again. Darnold could have a surprisingly strong second half of the year.

Availability: 47%
FAAB:
$0-1

(David Kohl, USA TODAY Sports)

Running Backs

1-Week Plug & Play

Chase Edmonds, Arizona Cardinals

Reactionary approaches tend to rule the waiver game, but this one borrows a bit from Week 5 and applies it to the Week 6 meeting with the Atlanta Falcons. Edmonds is a change-of-pace option for David Johnson and won’t see many touches, so don’t get overly excited. That is, unless, Johnson’s back locks up on him again. It’s not considered to be anything serious — but warrants monitoring. Edmonds managed to score vs. the Cincinnati Bengals, yet gamers should be more interested in the opportunities. The Cards have given him 14 carries and four targets in the last two games. Houston’s Duke Johnson — a similar weapon — saw 10 touches in Week 5 vs. Atlanta and produced 6.7 yards per handle of total offense. Edmonds could make it two in a row and warrants consideration if you’re desperate with four teams on bye weeks for the first time in 2019.

Availability: 61%
FAAB:
$3-4

Grab & Stash

Ito Smith, Atlanta Falcons

A few things are at play here: The Falcons have struggled to move the ball on the ground, so turning to the short-area passing game acts as an extension of the running game. The offensive line woes also factor into Smith’s increased role. Less time to pass typically results in more dump-offs. It is only increased with such a poor defense putting Matt Ryan in must-throw scripts. Smith has been targeted 10 times in the last two games, registering seven rushes and a touchdown in that time. PPR owners should roster him for depth to cover bye weeks and injuries.

Availability: 39%
FAAB:
$2-3

Watch List

RB Jon Hilliman, New York Giants

Saquon Barkley realistically could return this week from his ankle sprain. If he does not, Wayne Gallman would be the replacement, but he suffered a concussion and was removed from Week 5 action and has already been ruled out with the short week. The next man up is Hilliman, an undrafted rookie. While any running back with a path to significant carries should be owned, there is virtually nothing to like about the matchup in Week 6 against the New England Patriots. I cannot recommend him in good faith. Monitor the injury of Barkley. Unless you’re in some crazy scenario in which desperation for a warm body is the driving force, Hilliman shouldn’t be in lineups. Snatch him up on the cheap for the off-chance he plays well enough to earn the start in Week 7 if Barkley is still on the mend.

Availability: 99%
FAAB:
$0-1

DUMPSTER DIVE

Jay Ajayi, free agent

Purely speculative, but Ajayi is worthy of a low-cost addition in deeper leagues. He recently notified teams around the league that he is healthy. Given the volatility of the position, it would be wise to stash him before he lands on an NFL roster.

Availability: 70%
FAAB:
$0-1

(Denny Medley, USA TODAY Sports)

Wide Receivers

Priority Free Agent

Byron Pringle, Kansas City Chiefs

His stay on rosters may be brief, but Pringle should be owned at least until Tyreek Hill returns in a week or two. The Chiefs could be without Sammy Watkins (hamstring) and Hill in Week 6. Houston offers a top-six matchup for PPR purposes, but it’s also quite favorable in standard scoring with six touchdowns granted to the position in five games. It may be tough to justify starting Pringle beyond Week 6, since the upcoming matchups are unfavorable, even for KC’s vaunted aerial attack (@DEN, GB, MIN, @TEN, @LAC).

Availability: 97%
FAAB:
$2-3

1-Week Plug & Play/grab & stash

Willie Snead, Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Four teams on their bye weeks forces gamers to take chances. Conversely, the same way as coaches often are forced to take the points with a field goal rather than gamble for it on fourth down, fantasy gamers sometimes just have to settle for whatever we can get. Snead is a field goal. He’s going to give you something more often than not. He has been targeted only 12 times in the last three weeks but has managed nine receptions for 159 yards and a score — good for at least 7.7 PPR points in each contest other than Week 2.

Availability: 35%
FAAB:
$2-3

Auden Tate, Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens

Tate has stepped up with injuries to John Ross and A.J. Green. The former is on IR, and the latter could return in the next few weeks. Tate has seen at least six targets (22 in total) in the last three weeks, and while his receptions and yardage have dipped the past two games, Tate finally found the end zone in Week 5. His 6-foot-5 frame suggests there could be more of that in the cards. Baltimore has allowed averages of 13.4 receptions and 200.8 yards per contest to receivers in 2019, ranking as the 10th-best matchup in PPR vs. the position. One in 16.8 catches has scored, highlighting a mostly “bend but don’t break” approach.

1-Week Plug & Play

KeeSean Johnson, Arizona Cardinals vs. Atlanta Falcons

The Cardinals could once again be without Christian Kirk, which is the driving force behind recommending the rookie. Johnson has seen 14 targets over the past three games, including seven in Week 5 with Kirk sidelined. The Falcons offer the best one-week matchup opponents to exploit. No team has given up more touchdowns to date, allowing one every 6.9 catches. The matchup rating is tops in PPR, not exclusively due to Will Fuller crushing them. This defense has granted 10-plus fantasy points to 10 different receivers, including 24-point days to Nelson Agholor and A.J. Brown.

Availability: 71%
FAAB:
$1-2

grab & stash

Demaryius Thomas, Jets

Thomas’ debut in New York was ho-hum, and that’s perfectly fine. The well-traveled veteran landed four balls for 47 yards on nine targets. The Jets were outmatched in just about every sense, playing with third-string QB Luke Falk. Sam Darnold is probably a week away, although there is no guarantee he favors Thomas as much as Falk did in Week 5. At least the matchups get so much easier down the stretch. With bye weeks heating up, Thomas is a low-tier option for gamers struggling for cheap flex points in PPR.

Availability: 70%
FAAB:
$0-1

(Mitch Stringer, USA TODAY Sports)

Tight Ends

Priority Free Agent

Chris Herndon, New York Jets

Here’s a friendly reminder to check your wire to see if Herndon is available ahead of his Week 6 return to the field. The athletic playmaker has a chance to emerge as a weekly lineup fixture given the offense’s vertical struggles and a glaringly thin position across the league. New York has a difficult stretch before closing out with one of the easiest schedules in football over the second half of the year. Herndon could be erratic, but his downfield ability puts splash production in play any given week.

Availability: 46%
FAAB:
$2-3

Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Rams

There isn’t a great deal of faith to be placed in Everett, given the offense has so many weapons. Brandin Cooks is in the concussion protocol, which could result in more looks for the athletic tight end. Everett has been good for 36 PPR points over the past two games. LA has been forced to pass a bunch in those games, and the matchups were favorable. He’s worth a look with four teams on the bye this week, so stash him away for depth or play him in a desperation situation. The 49ers, entering Monday night, have given up 13 receptions for 86 yards and a touchdown to tight ends over three games.

Availability: 70%
FAAB:
$1-2

1-Week Plug & Play

Ricky Seals-Jones, Cleveland Browns vs. Seattle Seahawks

In Week 4, the former Cardinals tight end caught a line of 3-82-1 and demonstrated his athleticism. The Seahawks — a familiar opponent for RSJ — rate as the fourth-best matchup of the week, and this secondary will have all of its defensive attention paid to all of Cleveland’s other weapons. Seals-Jones is a true risk-reward decision, and volume won’t be on his side, but he has utility with a strong matchup for gamers facing byes or injury issues.

Availability: 75%
FAAB:
$0-1

Dumpster dive

Jeremy Sprinkle, Washington Redskins at Miami Dolphins

Desperation is key for this recommendation. There are four teams on bye, and Sprinkle draws the Miami defense in Week 6. The Redskins could once again be without Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis as both are recovering from concussions, which leaves Sprinkle as the primary weapon from the tight end spot. The Dolphins have given up 15.1 points, on average, in PPR this year. There’s little reason to spend on Sprinkle, however, so look to add him as a first-come, first-served free agent. He has no worth if Davis returns.

Availability: 99%
FAAB:
$0

Kickers

Priority free agents

Mike Nugent, New England Patriots

Stephen Gostkowski is on the Reserve/Injured list, and Nugent is his veteran replacement. The Pats put him to the test in Week 5, when Nuge missed an extra point but redeemed himself to connect on three PATs and a pair of field goals. Look to add him in all conventional formats.

Availability: 78%
FAAB:
$1

1-Week Plug & Play

Austin Seibert, Cleveland Brows vs. Seattle Seahawks

The rookie has made all seven of his field goal kicks entering Monday Night Football, missing one of his nine extra point tries. Seattle has given up 12 field goal attempts this year, allowing eight, and 10 of the 11 extra points have connected. Three of five kickers have accounted for at least eight points.

Availability: 88%
FAAB:
$0-1

Matt Gay, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers

Another rookie foot to consider, Gay has made all three of his field goal kicks and 10 point-afters following a disastrous third game of his young career. The Bucs have afforded him a pair of three-point chances per game, and the offense has averaged a trio of touchdowns each game this season. Carolina has permitted 8.2 fantasy points, on average, stemming from 10-for-13 field goals and 11 of 11 single-point kicks.

Availability: 65%
FAAB:
$0-1

Defense/Specials Teams

priority free agent/1-Week Plug & Play

Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jameis Winston is as erratic and unpredictable as they come. He had two interceptions called back on defensive penalties in Week 5 after being sacked six times by the New Orleans Saints, bringing the average to three per contest over the past trio of games. Carolina racked up eight sacks vs. Arizona in Week 3, added six more against the Houston Texans the next week, and took the ball away from Jags QB Gardner Minshew thrice in Week 5.

Availability: 63%
FAAB:
$0-1

Dallas Cowboys at New York Jets

Regardless of whether Sam Darnold indeed starts, Dallas has a favorable match as a one-week play off the wire. There’s no telling how rusty he may be after several weeks away, and it’s not like he hasn’t been prone to mistakes in his short career. The Jets are leaky along the offensive line, having allowed 23 sacks in four games, or more than any team with five games played. Six total turnovers have led to a pair of defensive scores vs. this group.

Availability: 54%
FAAB:
$0-1

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