Free Agent Forecast: Week 7

Free Agent Forecast: Week 7


Free Agent Forecast: Week 7


Rockstar Rock Star Free Agent
Injury Injury Replacement
Grab & Stash Grab & Stash
1 Week Plug & Play 1 Week Plug & Play
Dumpster Dive Dumpster Dive
Free Agent Auction
Bid (FAAB) Scale

$ $0 – $5
$$ $6 – $15
$$$ $16 – $25
$$$$ $26 – $40
$$$$$ $41+
Based on $100 cap,
12-team league.

Given the diverse scoring systems and sizes of fantasy leagues, producing a weekly list of free agents that satisfies the masses can be challenging. For the most part, the column will hone in on players who are available in at least 35% of all fantasy leagues. If you play in a small league (8 teams), chances are there may be better players to pick up than you see listed here. If you play in a large league (16 teams), the majority of the players highlighted may already be on a squad; however, expect to find hidden gems, as well.


Joe Flacco, Ravens
1 Week Plug & PlayFlacco is coming off a huge game against Tampa Bay throwing for 306 yards and five touchdowns. While those numbers certainly aren’t the norm for Flacco, he gets another pathetic pass defense to feast on this week in the Falcons. Atlanta ranks 29th in the NFL at defending the pass. The Falcons allow 277 yards per game. He won’t throw five touchdowns again but Flacco will have another big game versus the Falcons on Sunday.
Availability: Owned in ~ 66% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Flacco will throw for 250+ yards and at least two scores.

Carson Palmer, Cardinals
1 Week Plug & PlayGrab & StashPalmer returned on Sunday against Washington and looked sharp. He was 28-of-44 for 250 yards and two scores. Palmer isn’t one of the elite fantasy quarterbacks but he’s always a good plug and play or strong QB2. Palmer also has a passer friendly schedule on the horizon. His next four games are against Oakland, Philadelphia, Dallas and St. Louis. If your quarterback has a bye coming up Palmer is a good fallback option, starting this Sunday against the Raiders.
Availability: Owned in ~ 60% of leagues.
Forecast: Palmer will post QB1 numbers this week against the Raiders.

On the Radar: Mike Glennon (15%), Kyle Orton (10%), Ryan Tannehill (40%)

Running Backs

Jerick McKinnon, Vikings
Rock StarIt took a few weeks but McKinnon has finally passed Matt Asiata on the depth chart. It was only a matter of time. While Asiata is more experienced, McKinnon has much more physical ability. You have to think Minnesota is starting to look ahead to the future with McKinnon and Teddy Bridgewater. The Lions defensive front was dominant on Sunday, so McKinnon only carried the ball 11 times for 40 yards. However, he also added six receptions for 42 yards and out-touched Asiata 17-3. McKinnon is a player to target if he’s still available on your waiver wire.
Availability: Owned in ~ 55% of leagues.
FAAB: $$-$$$
Forecast: McKinnon is a weekly flex play with upside.

Storm Johnson, Jaguars
Rock StarOwners aren’t going to run out and grab Johnson based on what he did against Tennessee. Johnson only ran the ball 10 times for 21 yards and a score. However, Johnson started on Sunday and with the other options in Jacksonville’s backfield; he looks like the best long-term prospect. The Jaguars view Jordan Todman and Denard Robinson as more change-of-pace backs, while Toby Gerhart has been a major disappointment since coming over from Minnesota. This leaves Johnson – a rookie out of Central Florida – as the best bet to be Jacksonville’s top fantasy runner over the second half of the season. Starting running backs are hard to find and Johnson was a star playing with Blake Bortles in college. He’s worth a shot.
Availability: Owned in ~ 44% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Johnson will be the Jaguars best fantasy option over the second half of the season.

Brandon Bolden, Patriots
Injury ReplacementThis is a tough call. Stevan Ridley is out for the year and Bolden is the obvious choice to replace him as the Patriots big back. However, Bolden is injury prone and plays a lot on special teams. New England also has rookie James White and practice squad running back Jonas Gray. Bolden will probably get the first chance to replace Ridley but keep an eye on Gray too. He’s a 230-pound bulldozer out of Notre Dame. If he’s been impressive in practice, Gray could get a shot as well.
Availability: Owned in ~ 2% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Bolden will get his chance, but it could get crowded trying to replace Ridley.

Isaiah Crowell, Browns
1 Week Plug & PlayGrab & StashBen Tate is clearly the Browns starting running back but the talented Crowell has been so impressive this year that the Cleveland coaches are finding ways to get him touches as well. Against Pittsburgh, Crowell carried the ball 11 times for 77 yards and a touchdown. He did fumble twice – losing one – so Crowell needs to be more careful with the football. Talent-wise though, Crowell is the real deal. Crowell is averaging over 5.0 yards per carry on the season and he’s scored four touchdowns. Crowell is a flex play option this week against Jacksonville and he would be a strong RB2 if Tate got hurt again.
Availability: Owned in ~ 32% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Crowell is a flex play this week and a valuable stash for the rest of the year.  

Antone Smith, Falcons
Grab & StashSmith has scored five touchdowns on 23 touches this season. Falcons Head Coach Mike Smith keeps saying he needs to get his explosive running back more touches. On Sunday Antone touched the ball six times. Apparently, that’s more touches. Of course, Smith turned his six touches into four catches, 69 total yards and a score. Smith is worth adding because at some point the Falcons will realize what the rest of the world already knows: Antone Smith needs more touches.
Availability: Owned in ~ 50% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Smith‘s touches will continue to increase and so will his fantasy value.

On the Radar: Jonas Gray (1%), Theo Riddick (2%), James Starks (30%), Juwan Thompson (7%), James White (2%)

Wide Receivers

Odell Beckham, Giants
Rock StarNow that Victor Cruz is out for the year, Beckham will move into the starting lineup, with Preston Parker likely taking over in the slot. Preseason star Corey Washington will also get more playing time when Beckham moves inside. Beckham is the player to target in all leagues this week though. The talented rookie will now have a much larger role in the Giants offense for the remainder of the season. Beckham is still growing as a receiver but he has all the tools to become a fantasy star. He’s one of the top adds in fantasy leagues this week with Cruz going down.
Availability: Owned in ~ 52% of leagues.
FAAB: $$$-$$$$
Forecast: Beckham will emerge as a weekly WR3/4.

Mike Evans, Buccaneers
Rock StarEvans only missed one game with a groin injury but surprisingly he’s only owned in 55 percent of leagues right now. It’s surprising because Evans was being drafted in the Round10 range on average and he’s been solid so far this year. Evans has at least four catches in every game he’s played his year, 50+ yards in his last three games and he’s scored a touchdown in his last two games. Evans is a matchup problem and his numbers are going to continue to get better throughout the season. If Evans is still available in your league, he should be a high waiver priority.
Availability: Owned in ~ 55% of leagues.
FAAB: $$$
Forecast: Evans is a WR4 who could have a big second half if Tampa Bay gets consistent QB play.

Mohamed Sanu, Bengals
Rock StarWith A.J. Green injured, Sanu was the Bengals No. 1 receiver against Carolina. He responded by catching 10 passes for 120 yards and a touchdown on 14 targets. Green is expected to miss a couple more games with a toe injury, so Sanu will continue to be Andy Dalton’s top target. Sanu faces the Colts, Ravens and Jaguars over the next three weeks. He’s a must add in all formats.
Availability: Owned in ~ 74% of leagues.
FAAB: $$$-$$$$
Forecast: Sanu is a WR2/3 as long as Green is out of the lineup.

Andre Holmes, Raiders
Rock StarA Dumpster Dive two weeks ago before the Raiders bye, Holmes busted out against San Diego for 121 yards and two touchdowns on four catches. Holmes has shown flashes before but has never been able to put it all together. Holmes is now getting his chance with the Raiders. Over his last two games he’s seen 20 targets, catching nine balls for 195 yards and three touchdowns. Holmes will be up and down because of Oakland’s inconsistent offense, but he’s definitely worth adding.
Availability: Owned in ~ 8% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Holmes is a WR4/flex play option as long as Derek Carr continues to play well.

Brandon LaFell, Patriots
1 Week Plug & PlayGrab & StashLaFell caught four passes for 97 yards and two touchdowns against Buffalo. It’s the second time in two games that LaFell had a strong fantasy outing. Two weeks ago versus Kansas City LaFell caught six passes for 119 yards and a score. He’s kind of hit or miss right now, as evidence by his one-catch for four yards performance sandwiched between the two big games. However, the Jets secondary is struggling right now and it just lost Dee Milliner for the year, so LaFell is worth a look if you need a receiver this week.
Availability: Owned in ~ 16% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: LaFell will catch four passes for 70+ yards against the Jets.

Justin Hunter, Titans
1 Week Plug & PlayGrab & StashAfter a slow start to the year, Hunter has made an impact in his last two games. Over that span, Hunter has caught six passes for 176 yards and a score. The receptions don’t jump off the page but Hunter is starting to make some big plays. This week Hunter faces a Washington defense that’s allowed 13 passing touchdowns this year. Hunter is up and down but he has a good matchup this week. He’s also a good stash for the rest of the year.
Availability: Owned in ~ 32% of leagues.
Forecast: Hunter will put up WR3 numbers against Washington.  

Davante Adams, Packers
Grab & StashAdams replaced Jarrett Boykin as Green Bay’s No. 3 receiver and the rookie has been producing over the last couple of weeks. Against Miami, Adams caught six balls for 77 yards on eight targets. This comes a week after he scored his first NFL touchdown. Obviously, playing with Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, Adams will have to fight for targets, but he’s starting to establish himself as another threat in the Packers offense. Adams is a nice addition to improve receiver depth at this point in the season if you’re weak in that area.
Availability: Owned in ~ 10% of leagues.
Forecast: Adams is a valuable bench player who will have a lot of value should Cobb or Nelson get hurt.

Jarvis Landry, Dolphins
Grab & StashLandry might still be a year away from really exploding as a fantasy receiver but he’s starting to come on as Miami’s slot receiver over the last two games of this season as well. Over that span, Landry has caught 10 passes for 113 yards and a score. Landry has all kinds of talent and for some reason the Miami coaching staff has been slow to get him involved in the offense. That won’t be a problem in 2015 considering there will likely be a new coaching staff in Miami. Landry is worth adding if you have the room because of his upside. He’s also a player to be all over in dynasty leagues. Landry is a future fantasy stud.
Availability: Owned in ~ 3% of leagues.
Forecast: Landry could be a second half sleeper if he gets more opportunities.

Brian Tyms, Patriots
Dumpster DiveOwners looking for a lottery ticket might want to take a shot on Tyms. While he only caught one pass against Buffalo, it went for a 43-yard touchdown. Tyms had a strong preseason before he was suspended for the first four games of the season. It says something that the Patriots just didn’t part ways with him. New England is need of a deep threat in its offense and Tyms could fill the role. He’s a guy to watch over the next couple of weeks.
Availability: Owned in ~ 1% of leagues.
Forecast: Tyms could fill the deep threat role that the Patriots expected from Aaron Dobson.

On the Radar: John Brown (22%), Malcom Floyd (35%), Louis Murphy (6%), Allen Robinson (40%), Cecil Shorts (32%), Robert Woods (7%)

Tight Ends

Jace Amaro, Jets
Rock StarAmaro was expected to have a big role in the Jets offense this year. However, the rookie out of Texas Tech struggled in training camp and got off to a slow start to the regular season. It looks like things are starting to click for Amaro though. He’s topped 50 yards receiving in three of his last four games. On Sunday, Amaro had the best performance of his young career, catching 10 passes for 68 yards and a score on 12 targets against Denver. The Jets badly need someone to step up as a threat besides Eric Decker. Amaro could be that someone. He’ll be a little inconsistent because of the Jets quarterback play but this is a good time to grab Amaro if you need a tight end.
Availability: Owned in ~ 10% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Amaro is a TE2 on the rise.

Tim Wright, Patriots
1 Week Plug & PlayGrab & StashWright is an interesting player. He’s starting to produce for the Patriots but he’s still not playing very much. Wright played only 16 snaps on Sunday and he’s seen just 53 snaps in New England’s last three games. The good news is Wright has scored in consecutive weeks, including turning his only target into a touchdown against Buffalo. Wright will begin to see more time in the Patriots offense over the second half of the season, so he’s worth adding for tight end-needy owners looking for an upgrade. If you need someone this week, Wright is risky but the Jets secondary is decimated and they’ve been getting killed by tight ends. Wright has a good chance of finding the end zone again.
Availability: Owned in ~ 52% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Wright will have a good game against the Jets and a nice second half of the season.

On the Radar: Scott Chandler (5%), Clay Harbor (2%), Austin Seferian-Jenkins (10%)


Chandler Catanzaro, Cardinals
Rock StarHe’s back. We’re going to start naming this the “Chandler Catanzaro Section.” How can he still be owned in just 25 percent of fantasy leagues? Catanzaro is being started in less than 20 percent of leagues despite the fact he’s reached double-digit fantasy points in 3-of-5 games this year. He’s made at least two field goals in every game, and at least three kicks three times. Oh, and the rookie is a perfect 14-of-14 on the season and has made 5-of-5 attempts from 40+ yards. Catanzaro is one of the top fantasy kickers and he’s probably available in your league if you want him.
Availability: Owned in ~ 25% of leagues.
Forecast: Catanzaro will continue to reward fantasy owners throughout the season.

On the Radar: Brandon McManus (22%)

Defense/Specials Teams

Buffalo Bills
1 Week Plug & PlayThe Bills have rewarded fantasy owners with six interceptions, 19 sacks, four fumble recoveries and a touchdown. Buffalo hit a bump in a road last week against the Patriots but it should get back on track Sunday when Minnesota comes to town. Other than ripping the hapless Falcons defense, the Vikings have struggled offensively this season. Things came to a boil after last week’s loss to Detroit when Mike Zimmer ripped his team for only scoring three points. The Vikings are without Adrian Peterson, Kyle Rudolph, have injuries along the offensive line and are starting a rookie quarterback. Look for the Bills defense to take advantage and have a big fantasy day.
Availability: Owned in ~ 55% of leagues.
Forecast: The Bills defensive front will dominate with at least five sacks.

On the Radar: No one


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