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Free Agent Forecast: Week 16
Paul Sandy
December 20, 2011
Rockstar Rock Star Free Agent
Injury Injury Replacement
Worth a Look Worth a Look
1 Week Plug & Play 1 Week Plug & Play
Sleeper Sleeper
Free Agent Auction
Bid (FAAB) Scale
$ $0 - $5
$$ $6 - $15
$$$ $16 - $25
$$$$ $26 - $40
$$$$$ $41+
Based on $100 cap,
12-team league.


Commonly owned  QBs worth adding: Ryan Fitzpatrick (90%)

Rex Grossman, Redskins
1 Week Plug & PlayGrossman disappointed in Week 15, passing for just 185 yards and a touchdown against the Giants. Despite the downturn in production, He’s worth a look this week against an atrocious Minnesota pass defense. The Vikings have allowed at least 34 points in each of their last three games. Most of that production has come through the air as opposing passers amassed nine passing scores against them. On the season, they’ve allowed 31 passing touchdowns—by far the most in the NFL. Grossman should be able to put up 275 yards and 2-3 touchdowns.

Availability: Owned in ~36% of leagues.
Forecast: Hopefully you’re not this desperate for a QB but if you are, Grossman is worth a shot.

Matt Moore, Dolphins
1 Week Plug & PlaySince Week 9, Miami QB Matt Moore has been a useful spot starter. He’s contributed a handful of decent stat lines against below-average defenses. Take his numbers against the Bills this past Sunday for example. Moore put up 217 yards with two scores. It’s nothing spectacular but anytime you can snag two scores from a waiver-wire level QB, it’s not too shabby. With an upcoming matchup against a Patriots unit that has allowed more points to fantasy QBs than any other team, Moore is a plug-and-play passer you can use for your championship game.

Availability: Owned in ~44% of leagues.
Forecast: Look for 250 yards and a touchdown or two from Moore.

Kyle Orton, Chiefs
1 Week Plug & PlayIn his first start with the Chiefs, Orton passed for 299 yards. Although he failed to throw a touchdown pass, the numbers were still impressive enough for him to merit a closer look. Kansas City will face the rival Raiders in Week 16. Oakland has allowed multiple QB touchdowns (pass or run) in 12 of their last 13 games. This includes bottom-barrel QBs like Caleb Hanie, Colt McCoy and Christian Ponder. Against almost any other opponent, Orton would be a dicey option but he should deliver a useful line on Saturday.

Availability: Owned in ~20% of leagues.
Forecast: Orton merits starting consideration based on his matchup alone.

Jake Locker, Titans
1 Week Plug & PlayLocker came on for the inefficient and gimpy Matt Hasselbeck (calf) in Sunday’s loss to the Colts. He completed 11 of 16 passes for 108 yards and a touchdown in about one quarter of work. Locker continues to impress each time he takes the field. Heach coach Mike Munchak has indicated Matt Hasselbeck will remain the starting QB if healthy. It’s unclear whether Hasselbeck fits that description at this point so monitor the situation. If Locker starts, he’s fantasy relevant. The rookie looks like a QB that Tennessee can hitch their wagons to for the next decade.

Availability: Owned in ~8% of leagues.
Forecast: Consider Locker a high-risk, high-reward option for Week 16 if he starts versus the Jaguars.


Commonly owned RBs worth adding: C.J. Spiller (91%) and Pierre Thomas (88%)

Kahlil Bell, Bears
Rock StarAfter two costly mental lapses last week, Marion Barber took a back seat to Kahlil Bell in Week 15. Bell ended the day with 20 touches for 108 total yards while Barber had 11 for 33. Although Barber got the start, it’s clear the team wanted to take advantage of Bell’s versatility. His skill-set is much closer to Matt Forte’s. Add Bell in advance of Sunday’s game against the Packers and look for another 12+ touches from the third-year RB. Green Bay has allowed at least one RB touchdown in eight straight games. 

Availability: Owned in ~15% of leagues.
FAAB: $$$$
Forecast: Bell should be among the hottest Week 16 pickups.

Donald Brown, Colts
1 Week Plug & PlayBrown posted a season-best 161 yards and a touchdown against the Titans. He did most of the damage on an 80-yard scoring scamper. With touchdowns in three of his last four games, Brown needs to be given more attention from fantasy owners. He will likely be the featured RB in Sunday’s game against the Texans and get at least 15 touches. Unfortunately, Houston possesses one of the NFL’s stingiest run defenses. Consider Brown to be a serviceable RB2 based on his projected workload but realize that a difficult matchup will limit his upside.

Availability: Owned in ~59% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: As the lead dog for the Colts, Brown is good for 15 touches, decent yardage, and good chance for a score.

Chris Ivory, Saints
Injury Replacement1 Week Plug & PlayIvory was the featured RB for the Saints on Sunday. He carried the ball 18 times for 74 yards in a blowout win over the Vikings. He now has at least 13 carries in three straight games. With rookie RB Mark Ingram dealing with a turf toe injury, expect more of the same from Ivory. He figures to post decent yardage totals against the Falcons but his value is limited by a lack of touchdown opportunities. The team leans on Pierre Thomas at the stripe.

Availability: Owned in ~6% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Ivory is good for modest yardage but his chances of scoring a touchdown are slim.

Lance Ball, Broncos
Worth a LookDenver starting RB Willis McGahee didn’t see much action during the second half of Sunday’s loss to the Patriots. John Fox said it wasn’t injury-related even though McGahee limped off the field in the first half. If you’re a McGahee owner, it’s best to play it safe and add Ball for insurance. He racked up 105 total yards with a touchdown, proving he’s a capable fantasy contributor if he’s given enough opportunities. A juicy Week 16 matchup against the Buffalo Bills could make Ball a surprise championship game hero for fantasy. The Bills rank among the five worst defenses in terms of fantasy points allowed to RBs.

Availability: Owned in ~34% of leagues.
Forecast: Grab Ball if you’re a McGahee owner just to play it safe.

Jamie Harper, Titans
Injury ReplacementChris Johnson sprained his ankle on Sunday. Head coach Mike Munchak indicated Johnson would get the questionable tag heading into Week 16. Given the short week, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he misses the game. CJ2K owners who are in the championship game—granted, there likely aren’t many of you—should clear a roster spot for backup Jamie Harper. He hasn’t shown much this season but if your waiver wire is devoid of starting RBs, Harper might be the best you can do.

Availability: Owned in ~1% of leagues.
Forecast: Harper is worth adding in case Chris Johnson sits out with an ankle injury.

Sammy Morris, Cowboys
Worth a LookIn his Dallas debut, Sammy Morris carried the ball 12 times for 53 yards. The 12-year veteran RB looked surprisingly shifty and quick when he came into the game to relieve Felix Jones. Morris’ workload was no doubt bolstered by the fact that the Cowboys had a two-touchdown lead against the Bucs. Nonetheless, he’s worth a pickup for owners who rely on Jones and who play their fantasy championship in Week 17. He won’t be a helpful fantasy option unless Jones gets injured.

Availability: Owned in ~2% of leagues.
Forecast: Morris is worth as a handcuff to Felix Jones in leagues that play the championship in Week 17.


Commonly owned WRs worth adding: Lance Moore (80%) and Torrey Smith (90%)

Demaryius Thomas, Broncos
Rock StarThomas has been a beast the last three weeks, averaging 112.7 yards and a touchdown per game. The fact that he’s owned in less than 50% of fantasy leagues is an injustice to the game. Even if you can’t fit him into your starting lineup this week, pick him up to ensure your opponent can’t use him against you. The Broncos face the Bills in Week 16. Buffalo has allowed five passing touchdowns in the last two games. Based on the matchup and his recent output, Thomas merits consideration as a WR2 or WR3.

Availability: Owned in ~46% of leagues.
FAAB: $$$$
Forecast: Thomas should be owned in all leagues.

Malcom Floyd, Chargers
Rock StarFloyd is the textbook boom-or-bust receiver. He’ll carry your squad one week and let you down the next. In three of his last four games, he’s been on an upswing, posting 100 yards and/or a touchdown. In the other game he only caught two passes for 29 yards. With a matchup this week against the Lions, Floyd is worth starting. The game should be one of the highest-scoring contests of the week. In their last four games, the Lions have been burned for four long touchdown receptions—a specialty of Floyd.

Availability: Owned in ~64% of leagues.
FAAB: $$$
Forecast: Floyd is a strong play against the Lions, especially if your team is an underdog and you can afford to gamble.

Santana Moss and Jabar Gaffney, Redskins
1 Week Plug & PlayMoss has scored in two straight games. Gaffney has tallied 12 receptions for 177 yards and a touchdown over the same stretch. With an upcoming tilt against the Vikings, both players are good bets to continue their productive ways. Minnesota’s secondary can stop no one. They’ve allowed 11 WR scores in the last six games. Moss and Gaffney should be looked at as solid WR3 options.

Availability: Owned in ~76% and 67% of leagues, respectively.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Look to the Redskins receiving corps if you’re shorthanded this week.

Nate Burleson and Titus Young, Lions
1 Week Plug & PlayDetroit’s No. 2 and No. 3 wideouts both made a box-score impression in Week 15. Burleson checked in with a 7-81-1 line while Young posted 5-21-1. Burleson was targeted 11 times and Young 10. Given the frequency with which the Lions throw the football, both players are worthy starters in 12-team leagues. Detroit matches up with San Diego on Saturday. The Chargers have allowed 24 passing touchdowns this season—tied for seventh most in the NFL.

Availability: Owned in ~55% and ~16% of leagues, respectively.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Expect continued steady production from Burleson and Young in Week 16.

Greg Little, Browns
Worth a LookLittle, who was a popular preseason sleeper, finally had a breakout performance. Turns out maybe all he needed was some competent play at the QB position. With Colt McCoy (concussion) on the sideline and Seneca Wallace under center, Little caught five passes for 131 yards and a touchdown. It was his first career 100-yard performance. Wallace threw Little’s way a team-high nine times. Keep your eye on the QB situation in Cleveland this week. If Wallace draws the start again, Little would be an intriguing PPR option even against a tough Baltimore Ravens defense.

Availability: Owned in ~29% of leagues.
Forecast: Little is worth a flier in PPR leagues based on his chemistry with Seneca Wallace.


Commonly owned TEs worth adding: Dustin Keller (82%)

Brent Celek, Eagles
Rock StarCelek exploded for 156 yards and a touchdown on Sunday against the Jets. It was his highest production of the year and his first touchdown since Week 8. With a matchup on Sunday against the Cowboys, he’s worth starting. Dallas has allowed the seventh-most TE points this season. Celek torched the Cowboys for 94 yards and a touchdown in the October meeting between these two clubs.

Availability: Owned in ~70% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Play Celek with confidence against Dallas.

Anthony Fasano, Dolphins
1 Week Plug & PlayFasano continues to be a productive fantasy TE. He’s posted a touchdown and/or 55+ yards in seven of his last nine games. With a Week 16 meeting against the Patriots, he’s worth acquiring and starting. Fasano has been highly productive versus New England historically. In his last four meetings with the Pats, he’s tallied at least 67 yards. In the 2011 season opener, he caught five passes for 85 yards against them.

Availability: Owned in ~20% of leagues.
Forecast: Consider playing Fasano as a low-end TE1 this week versus New England.


Commonly owned PKs worth adding: N/A

Graham Gano, Redskins
1 Week Plug & PlayMinnesota’s last three opponents have averaged 37 points per game. Kickers have posted a robust 25 points during that three-game swing, an average of over eight per contest. Minnesota’s lackadaisical defense makes Washington kicker Graham Gano a sneaky Week 16 pickup. Gano has averaged 11 points per outing in December. He’s a lock for eight points here with plenty of upside to go for double digits.

Availability: Owned in ~9% of leagues.
Forecast: Gano is an excellent Week 16 plug-and-play kicker.


Commonly owned DSTs worth adding: Philadelphia Eagles (82%)

Washington Redskins
1 Week Plug & PlayWashington’s defense came to play on Sunday against the Giants. In addition to damaging New York’s playoff hopes, the Redskins recorded three interceptions and three sacks. Take your chances with them this week against the Vikings. In his last three games, Minnesota rookie QB Christian Ponder has turned the ball over nine times to go along with ten sacks. Plus the Vikings have allowed three DST touchdowns in those three games.

Availability: Owned in ~24% of leagues.
Forecast: Exploit a favorable matchup against Minnesota and start the ‘Skins.

Kansas City Chiefs
1 Week Plug & PlayWhatever interim head coach Romeo Crennel is selling, the Chiefs players are buying. The team pulled off the upset of the season, knocking off the undefeated Packers. Although they didn’t rack up many DST points, Kansas City’s defense played inspired football. They are worth a look this week against the Raiders. Back on October 23, the Chiefs dialed up shutout performance versus Oakland. In the process, they recorded six interceptions and two touchdowns. Give them a look if you’re desperate for DST help.

Availability: Owned in ~24% of leagues.
Forecast: Kansas City is worth a look in a rivalry game against the Raiders.

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