|Rock Star Free Agent|
|Grab & Stash|
|1 Week Plug & Play|
|Free Agent Auction
Bid (FAAB) Scale
|$||$0 – $5|
|$$||$6 – $15|
|$$$||$16 – $25|
|$$$$||$26 – $40|
|Based on $100 cap,
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.
Drew Stanton, Cardinals
Carson Palmer is out for the season after tearing his ACL. Stanton has played well while filling in for Palmer this season. He led Arizona to two wins earlier this year. Stanton was also 3-of-5 for 85 yards and a touchdown in relief Sunday against St. Louis. However, Stanton is more of a game manager and won’t be anything higher than a QB2 for fantasy purposes.
Availability: Owned in ~ 2% of leagues.
Forecast: Stanton is a QB2 for the remainder of the year.
Teddy Bridgewater, Vikings
The Bears defense is pathetic right now and it appears that the entire team has already made tee times for early January. Bridgewater has played well against the weaker defenses he’s faced (Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Washington). In those three games he’s thrown for at least 241 yards, while accounting for three touchdowns and no interceptions. There’s an outside chance Bridgewater could have both Adrian Peterson and Kyle Rudolph on the field with him but either way, he should have a strong performance against Chicago.
Availability: Owned in ~ 18% of leagues.
Forecast: Bridgewater will throw for 250+ yards and two scores.
Kyle Orton, Bills
Orton has flown under the radar but he’s been putting up solid numbers since being named the starter in Buffalo. Orton has thrown for at least 250 yards in four of his five starts. He’s also recorded three multiple touchdown games. Orton is similar to Carson Palmer. He’s not going to throw for 350 yards and four touchdowns. However, like Palmer, Orton is almost an automatic 250 yards and two scores every time he steps out on the field. That makes him a great bye-week replacement or emergency starter.
Availability: Owned in ~ 40% of leagues.
Forecast: Orton is a valuable QB2/match-up starter.
Mike Vick, Jets
Vick is nearing the end of his career but against Pittsburgh, the former Pro Bowler showed he could still make plays. Vick only completed 10 passes on Sunday for 132 yards but he threw two touchdown passes and added 39 yards rushing. We could be seeing the new Vick. One who’s asked to manage the game and make plays when the opportunity presents itself. Vick will always have some fantasy value because of his rushing numbers. He has a bye and then two tough games against the Bills and Dolphins but Vick is worth adding if you’re struggling at quarterback.
Availability: Owned in ~ 25% of leagues.
Forecast: Vick is worth a look as a reserve QB.
On the Radar: Ryan Mallet (8%), Josh McCown (15%)
C.J. Anderson, Broncos
The Broncos backfield has gotten more muddled after Sunday. Ronnie Hillman had separated himself a couple of weeks ago after three impressive outings. However, Hillman was slowed by a foot injury against the Raiders. That allowed Anderson to get an opportunity and he made the most of it. Anderson ran for 90 yards on 13 carries. He also caught four passes for 73 yards and a touchdown. Anderson displayed a good combination of power and speed. It’s difficult to say what Anderson’s role will be going forward. Hillman has played well but now has a sprained foot. Reports say Hillman could miss at least two weeks. Montee Ball is expected back Sunday and will be in the mix again. Anderson is still a must-add this week though. He’s earned more touches with his performance against the Raiders.
Availability: Owned in ~ 3% of leagues.
Forecast: Anderson will get first crack to lead Denver’s committee this week against St. Louis with Hillman out.
Terrance West, Browns
Speaking of muddled backfields, the Browns are the epitome of one. On Thursday, Cleveland used a three-man rotation in its backfield to perfection. West, Isaiah Crowell and Ben Tate combined for 48 carries against the Bengals. Still, it was West who led the charge with 26 carries for 94 yards and a touchdown (Although, all three backs found the end zone). While this is a situation where any of the three backs could lead the team in rushing on any given week, West looks like he has a nose in front. West is a third-round draft pick who has 41 carries over his last two games. Out of the three Cleveland running backs, West has the most upside.
Availability: Owned in ~ 74% of leagues.
Forecast: West is a flex play option who could emerge as a RB2 over the final month of the season.
Alfred Blue, Texans
The Texans come out of their bye week with Arian Foster nursing a groin injury. However, all signs point to Foster playing this week against Cleveland. Still, owners will want to keep a close eye on Foster’s health. The Browns are allowing just under 140 yards per game on the ground, so Blue would have a strong matchup if Foster suffers a setback in practice. Even if Foster plays, Blue should be picked up for insurance at this point in the season. The odds that Foster stays healthy for the rest of the season aren’t high.
Availability: Owned in ~ 33% of leagues.
Forecast: Blue will be a weekly RB2/flex play if Foster misses time.
Damien Williams, Dolphins
Lamar Miller wasn’t 100 percent against Detroit with a shoulder injury and now has a short week to prepare for Buffalo. Early reports say Miller will play on Thursday night but it’s a situation to monitor. Williams saw some playing time after Daniel Thomas fumbled. He had seven carries for 34 yards and added 27 yards on three receptions. The Dolphins also signed former 49er LaMichael James from the practice squad but expect Williams to be the No. 2 running back with Miami being on a short week and Miller not fully healthy.
Availability: Owned in ~ 2% of leagues.
Forecast: Williams will see 10-12 touches against the Bills.
Bryce Brown, Bills
We recommended Brown as a Plug & Play last week and he came through by catching six passes for 65 yards. Brown also rushed for 35 yards on seven carries. He should have scored a touchdown as well but fumbled just before crossing the goal line. Brown will need to hang onto the football because he’s had fumbling issues in the past. If he can, Brown has fantasy value going forward even with Fred Jackson getting healthy. Jackson will be the primary back but Brown is taking over the C.J. Spiller role in Buffalo’s offense. Brown will be an intriguing flex play in PPR formats both this week and beyond.
Availability: Owned in ~ 38% of leagues.
Forecast: Brown will post a double-digit scoring week in PPR formats.
Joseph Randle, Cowboys
Randle ran for 56 yards and a touchdown on just seven carries Sunday while spelling DeMarco Murray. It’s surprising that Randle isn’t owned in more leagues at this point. Murray has a history of injuries and the Cowboys have arguably the best offensive line in the NFL. If Murray goes down, Randle would put up big fantasy numbers. Not all running backs are worthy to be owned as handcuffs but Randle should be picked up as insurance for fantasy playoffs. We’re at the time of year where playoff strategy starts to come into play, so pick up Randle if you have the roster room.
Availability: Owned in ~ 12% of leagues.
Forecast: Randle would be a strong RB2 play if Murray went down.
On the Radar: Latavius Murray (1%), Juwan Thompson (24%)
Jordan Matthews, Eagles
Last week Matthews was a Grab & Stash. We recommended him because certain receivers shine when a new quarterback is under center. After one game with Mark Sanchez as the starter, Matthews certainly shined. He caught seven passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns. Remember that Matthews caught a touchdown pass from Sanchez against Houston after Nick Foles was injured as well. It’s obvious the two have chemistry, likely from working together on the second-team offense in practice. Matthews is loaded with talent and now that Sanchez is the starter, he’s clearly passed Riley Cooper as the No. 2 receiver behind Jeremy Maclin.
Availability: Owned in ~ 44% of leagues.
Forecast: Matthews is a weekly starting option.
Markus Wheaton, Steelers
Martavis Bryant has turned into a fantasy stud, making Wheaton expendable in many leagues. While Wheaton isn’t putting up the eye-popping numbers of Bryant, he’s producing as well. Wheaton is also still seeing more snaps than Bryant is, at least right now. Wheaton has scored in two of his last three games. In a PPR formats, he’s had scoring weeks of 16, 14 and 8 points over that span. If you’re scouring the waiver wire for a receiver this week, Wheaton is putting up respectable numbers and he’s going up against a Titans secondary that gives up big plays.
Availability: Owned in ~ 24% of leagues.
Forecast: Wheaton is a flex option this week in PPR formats.
John Brown, Cardinals
Brown is one of the most talented young receivers in the NFL. He’s going to be a fantasy star for many years to come. That’s the good news. The bad news is he’s been boom or bust. Brown doesn’t see a ton or targets, although he doesn’t need 10 targets to make an impact. On Sunday, Brown caught all five of his targets for 73 yards and a touchdown. He caught the touchdown from Stanton, who will now be the starter in Arizona. In Stanton’s three starts earlier this year, Brown saw 17 targets. He also caught two touchdowns in one game against the 49ers, so Stanton does look his way. If you’re still looking for receiver help at Week 11, Brown is worth serious consideration.
Availability: Owned in ~ 28% of leagues.
Forecast: Brown is a WR4 who always has a chance to find the end zone.
Allen Robinson, Jaguars
UPDATE: After publication it was announced that Robinson suffered a stress fracture in his foot and has been lost for the season. Robinson has been a target monster all season long. If Blake Bortles can learn to be more accurate, Robinson’s fantasy value will go way up. Robinson has seen at least seven targets in each of his last eight games. He also has at least four receptions in every game this year other than Week 1. Robinson is already a viable flex option in PPR formats but if he and Bortles can turn a couple more of those targets into receptions, he’ll move into the WR3 conversation. Robinson is definitely worth adding for the rest of the year in PPR leagues.
Availability: Owned in ~ 50% of leagues.
Forecast: Robinson is a flex play with enough weekly targets to turn into a WR3 over the final month of the season.
On the Radar: Jermaine Kearse (5%), Jarvis Landry (7%), Preston Parker (2%), Cecil Shorts (38%), Robert Woods (10%)
Kyle Rudolph, Vikings
We’ve been promoting Rudolph for a couple of weeks now and it’s hard to believe he’s still only owned in 30 percent of leagues. Rudolph has returned to practice and could play this week against Chicago. However, even if Rudolph doesn’t play until Week 12, he’s going to be available for fantasy playoffs. Picking up a TE1 off the waiver wire at this point in the season is a no-brainer. Unless you already have a combination at tight end of Jimmy Graham and a No. 2 like Dwayne Allen, strongly consider adding Rudolph for the stretch run.
Availability: Owned in ~ 30% of leagues.
Forecast: Rudolph will be a TE1 during fantasy playoffs.
Mychal Rivera, Raiders
Rivera has become Derek Carr’s favorite receiver over the last three games. Over that span, Rivers has seen 26 targets and posted stat lines of 7/83/0, 8/38/2 and 6/64/1. Like most of the Raiders, some of Rivera’s stats come in garbage time but that doesn’t matter to fantasy owners. The bottom line is he’s been out-producing more heralded tight ends like Vernon Davis. Rivera won’t put up huge yardage totals but the receptions and red zone looks will continue to be there.
Availability: Owned in ~ 58% of leagues.
Forecast: Rivera is hurt by the offense he plays in but he’s a low-end TE1/high-end TE2 in PPR leagues right now.
Jared Cook, Rams
Cook scored his first touchdown of the season against Arizona. After a strong start to the season, Cook hit a three-game slide before Sunday’s 84-yard performance. Cook has a chance to put up two strong fantasy games in a row when the Rams face Denver. The Broncos are one of the worst teams in the NFL at covering tight ends, giving up around 16 fantasy points per game. Like Rivera last week, Cook will have opportunities to rack up stats in garbage time as well.
Availability: Owned in ~ 35% of leagues.
Forecast: Cook will post TE1 numbers this week against the Broncos.
On the Radar: Jace Amaro (15%), Charles Clay (62%), Austin Seferian-Jenkins (7%)
Matt Bryant, Falcons
Like most of the Falcons, Bryant had been in a slump until he faced Tampa Bay. He connected on 4-of-4 field goal attempts against the Buccaneers. It was the first time since Week 6 that Bryant has made multiple field goal attempts in a game. There’s reason to be optimistic that Bryant will have two consecutive strong fantasy games. The Panthers rank in the bottom half of the NFL when it comes to allowing fantasy points to opposing kickers and Carolina’s defense has been anything but imposing this year. Bryant should have some scoring opportunities this week.
Availability: Owned in ~ 52% of leagues.
Forecast: Bryant will reach double-digit scoring for the second straight week.
On the Radar: Caleb Sturgis (40%)
The Vikings have been an underrated fantasy defense this year. Minnesota has recorded 30 sacks through nine games. They are certain to add to that total this week against Jay Cutler and the freefalling Bears offense. Cutler has been sacked nine times, thrown four interceptions and lost two fumbles over the last three games. Mike Zimmer’s aggressive defense must be licking its chops. The Bears might hit a couple of big plays but Minnesota’s defense will cause havoc for Cutler on Sunday.
Availability: Owned in ~ 28% of leagues.
Forecast: The Vikings defense will record at least four sacks and cause a couple of turnovers.
On the Radar: Green Bay Packers (60%)