Free Agent Forecast: Week 12

Free Agent Forecast: Week 12


Free Agent Forecast: Week 12


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.


Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins
1 Week Plug & PlayTannehill has been a good spot-starter for fantasy owners this season. He’s posted six games with at least 240 yards passing, four games with over 40 yards rushing and six games with multiple touchdown passes. While Tannehill hasn’t cracked weekly QB1 status, he’s rewarded owners when the matchup has been favorable. That’s the case this week. Denver is allowing more than 18 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Expect a strong game from Tannehill.
Availability: Owned in ~ 68% of leagues.
Forecast: Tannehill will rack up 275+ total yards of offense and throw at least two touchdown passes.

On the Radar: Josh McCown (35%), Drew Stanton (30%), Mike Vick (22%)

Running Backs

Alfred Blue, Texans
Rock StarBlue started in place for an injured Arian Foster and set a franchise record with 36 rushing attempts. He ran for 156 yards. Blue has now run for 234 yards in two starts this season. Foster said he’s going to play in Week 12 against Cincinnati but he was expected to play versus Cleveland and didn’t suit up. As we have been saying for a couple of weeks, regardless of whether Foster plays or not, Blue needs to be owned in all leagues as insurance for the remainder of the season.
Availability: Owned in ~ 60% of leagues.
FAAB: $$-$$$
Forecast: Blue is an RB2 when Foster is out.

Tre Mason, Rams
Rock StarMason is now clearly the Rams feature back. On Sunday against Denver, Mason carried the ball 29 times for 113 yards. In his last five games, Mason has carried the ball 18, 7, 19, 14 and 29 times. Benny Cunningham is still around to steal a few touches but Zac Stacy is an afterthought. The bottom line is this is no longer a committee. Mason is the lead back in St. Louis and player fantasy owners can start every week with confidence knowing he’ll see double-digit touches.
Availability: Owned in ~ 65% of leagues.
FAAB: $$$
Forecast: Mason is an RB2/flex play going forward.

Jonas Gray, Patriots
Rock StarWe recommended keeping an eye on Gray back when Stevan Ridley first was injured. Gray has always had the skills to replace Ridley as New England’s big back. However, after he rushed for 199 yards and four touchdowns on 38 carries against the Colts, some people will overreact a bit. The Patriots were coming off a bye week and obviously came in wanting emphasis their power rushing attack against a Colts defense that gave up 4.2 yards per carry. Gray is certainly worth adding. Although, he won’t be that involved in the gameplan every week like this Sunday against a dominating Lions defensive front that allows an NFL best 68 yards per game on the ground. Gray is a player on the rise but like others before him, he’ll be a weekly crapshoot depending on the Patriots offensive gameplan.
Availability: Owned in ~ 30% of leagues.
FAAB: $$$
Forecast: Gray is a weekly flex play with upside based on weekly matchups.

Bryce Brown, Bills
1 Week Plug & PlayGrab & StashBrown hasn’t done much as a runner but he’s been getting the job done for fantasy owners as a receiver. In his last two games, Brown only has 49 yards rushing on 13 carries. However, he’s caught 13 passes for 122 yards on 17 targets. Those are wide receiver numbers. Fred Jackson is still recovering from a groin injury. He missed Thursday’s game against Miami but the coaches said Jackson could have played if it wasn’t for the short week. Even when Jackson returns though, Brown will still have plenty of value in PPR leagues. He’s taken over C.J. Spiller’s role in the Bills offense.
Availability: Owned in ~ 50% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Brown will score double-digits this week against the Jets in PPR leagues.

Charles Sims, Buccaneers
Grab & StashThere isn’t much to like about Tampa Bay’s running game this season, regardless of which back is getting the touches. However, Sims is finally healthy and on Sunday he got his most extensive work of the year. Sims had 16 touches against Washington. He didn’t do a lot with them, gaining a total of just 44 yards. Keep in mind though, Sims is still getting used to game action after missing training camp and the first two months of the season. The Buccaneers are in evaluation mode, so they’ll likely want to get a look at Sims over the final six games. He should be Tampa Bay’s primary ball carrier for the rest of the year.
Availability: Owned in ~ 45% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Sims will be a weekly starting option during fantasy playoffs.

Juwan Thompson, Broncos
Grab & StashRonnie Hillman is still out for the next few weeks and Montee Ball re-injured his groin on Sunday, costing him 2-3 more weeks. That leaves Thompson and C.J. Anderson as the Broncos only healthy running backs. Anderson will move into the lead back role but he’s unproven. As the new No. 2 back in Denver’s offense, Thompson now has fantasy value. It’s unclear how Denver will use its backs going forward but we saw Thompson vulture goal line carries from Hillman a couple of weeks ago. Either way, with all the injuries to the Broncos backfield right now, Thompson is someone to target on the waiver wire. He’s now an Anderson injury away from being Denver’s starter.
Availability: Owned in ~ 16% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Thompson will have short-term RB2 value if Anderson goes down.

Latavius Murray, Raiders
Dumpster DiveAfter weeks of watching declining, overpriced veterans Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew go nowhere, the Raiders finally gave Murray a shot on Sunday. He responded by rushing for 43 yards on four carries. Murray also added three receptions for 16 yards. Murray may be just a former sixth-round draft pick with no real NFL future. However, the Raiders are averaging an anemic 63 yards per game rushing so far this season. It’s obvious neither McFadden nor MJD are in the team’s long-term plans. Murray should start getting more touches over the final six weeks.
Availability: Owned in ~ 1% of leagues.
Forecast: Murray could develop into a flex option if the Raiders give him a legitimate shot to be the starter.

On the Radar: Anthony Dixon (25%)

Wide Receivers

Kenny Stills, Saints
Injury ReplacementRookie Brandin Cooks will be out 4-6 weeks with a broken thumb. That give Stills a big bump in fantasy value. Stills has 21 receptions and two touchdowns in his last five games, which isn’t bad considering he was being used mainly as a vertical threat. Expect the Saints to use Stills more as an underneath receiver to replace the production they’ll lose with Cooks likely out for the remainder of the regular season. Stills should be added to any fantasy roster in need of receiver help. 
Availability: Owned in ~ 30% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Stills will emerge into a weekly WR3/4 with Cooks out.

Jarvis Landry, Dolphins
1 Week Plug & PlayGrab & StashLandry has started to carve out a nice role as Miami’s primary slot receiver. Over his last three games, Landry has produced stat lines of 5/46/1, 7/53/0 and 5/46/1 while seeing a total of 21 targets. Landry is going to be a future stud but he’ll also help fantasy owners for the remainder of this season, especially in PPR leagues. Landry’s role in Miami’s offense should continue to grow starting this week against the Broncos in a game Ryan Tannehill will have to throw a lot.
Availability: Owned in ~ 18% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Landry will produce another double-digit scoring week in PPR formats against Denver.

Rueben Randle, Giants
1 Week Plug & PlayGrab & StashIt’s been an up and down year for Randle. Sunday’s performance against San Francisco epitomized Randle’s season. On the bright side, Randle caught seven passes for 112 yards. Looking at the negative, Randle and Eli Manning still don’t seem to be on the same page sometimes. Randle was targeted 12 times, so that’s a positive. In his last three games, Randle has been targeted 33 times, so targets aren’t the problem. The problem is he’s only caught 16 of those 33 targets. That speaks to Randle and Manning not being on the same page for some reason. Still, Randle is seeing the ball come his way. The first time Randle played the Cowboys he caught six passes for 74 yards. Expect a similar stat line this time around.
Availability: Owned in ~ 72% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Randle is a WR3 this week against the Cowboys.

John Brown, Cardinals
1 Week Plug & PlayGrab & StashBrown is having a strong rookie season playing the T.Y. Hilton role in Bruce Arians offense. His production didn’t drop off with Drew Stanton under center. Hilton caught 5-of-9 targets for 69 yards against Detroit. It was the second week in a row Brown has seen nine targets and he’s totaled 33 targets in his last five games. Brown is becoming a bigger part of the Cardinals offense and with Larry Fitzgerald dealing with an MCL sprain, that’s not likely to change. Fitzgerald will try to play through the strain but if he can’t go this week against Seattle, Brown will see get a fantasy bump, even though it’s a tough matchup. Regardless, Brown is a great addition for the rest of the year if you’re searching for receiver depth.
Availability: Owned in ~ 60% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Brown is a weekly WR3/4 depending on the matchup.

Kenny Britt, Rams
Grab & StashBritt had a big game against Denver. He caught four passes for 128 yards and a score on seven targets. Britt’s day was helped by a 63-yard touchdown reception. There’s a chance this was a fluke but the quarterback change in St. Louis is a positive for Britt. After a fast start, Austin Davis had struggled. Shaun Hill is a veteran who should be able to get the ball to his No. 1 receiver on a more consistent basis. Britt will be up and down but if you’re waiver wire is thin right now and you need receiver help, he’s worth a flier.
Availability: Owned in ~ 12% of leagues.
Forecast: Britt will be inconsistent but the QB change makes him worth an add and hold this week.

On the Radar: Davante Adams (32%), Andrew Hawkins (45%), Chris Hogan (1%), Charles Johnson (1%)

Tight Ends

Coby Fleener, Colts
Rock StarDwayne Allen is dealing with an ankle sprain, so Fleener could see an increase in targets if he’s out. Fleener is coming off a career game against the Patriots where he caught seven passes for 144 yards. Fleener has been producing over the last month even with Allen in the lineup. He’s recorded three strong fantasy performances in his last four games. Fleener should continue to put up strong fantasy numbers, especially if Allen is less than 100 percent.
Availability: Owned in ~ 60% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Fleener is a strong TE2 who moves up to a TE1 if Allen misses any time.  

Niles Paul, Redskins
Injury ReplacementJordan Reed injured his hamstring again and early reports suggest he could be out for Sunday’s game against San Francisco. That would propel Paul back into the starting lineup against a 49ers team that ranks in the bottom half of the league when it comes to giving up fantasy points to opposing tight ends. Washington’s offense is anything but humming right now but Paul played well when subbing for Reed earlier in the season. He posted four games with at least 60 yards receiving. Paul is worth a look if Reed is going to be out for an extended period.
Availability: Owned in ~ 8% of leagues.
Forecast: Paul is a high-end TE2 if Reed misses time.

Jacob Tamme, Broncos
Injury ReplacementEarly reports don’t have the Broncos too concerned with the ankle injury that Julius Thomas suffered against the Rams. However, if he does miss Sunday’s game with Miami, Tamme will get the start. Tamme is what he is. He could catch a few balls and possibly find the end if he’s lucky. Tamme isn’t a great start, even in Denver’s offense. However, his value would increase if both Thomas is out and Emmanuel Sanders isn’t cleared from his concussion by Sunday.
Availability: Owned in ~ 1% of leagues.
Forecast: Tamme will be a desperation start if Thomas is out against Miami.

On the Radar: Jim Dray (1%), Jermaine Gresham (10%), Luke Wilson (3%)


Cairo Santos, Chiefs
1 Week Plug & PlaySanto racked up consecutive double-digit scoring games back in Weeks 7 and 8. Since then, he hasn’t been a great fantasy option, connecting on just one field goal in each of his last three games. However, there’s reason to expect a big game out of Santos this week. The Raiders are allowing over nine fantasy points per game to opposing kickers. Teams get plenty of scoring chances against Oakland, giving kickers opportunities to rack up the points. If you’re looking for a kicker this week, don’t shy away from Santos.
Availability: Owned in ~ 32% of leagues.
Forecast: Santos will score double-digit points for the first time since Week 8.

On the Radar: Matt Bryant (52%), Dan Carpenter (40%)

Defense/Specials Teams

Green Bay Packers
Rock StarThe Packers defense is red hot right now. Over their last two games, the Packers defense has scored four touchdowns, recorded seven sacks, four interceptions and recovered three fumbles. That hot streak is likely to continue this week when Green Bay faces the struggling Vikings offense. The Packers then face the Patriots but get three favorable matchups during fantasy playoffs. Green Bay will host Atlanta, and then travel to Buffalo and Tampa Bay. That’s a Falcons team that struggles outdoors in the cold and two teams with questionable quarterback play. If you’re looking to pick up a defense for a possible playoff run, the Packers are one of the best options left on the waiver wire.
Availability: Owned in ~ 60% of leagues.
Forecast: The Packers defense will be a difference maker during fantasy playoffs.

On the Radar: No one.


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