|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.
Zach Mettenberger, Titans
Most owners probably aren’t scouring the waiver wire for a starting quarterback at this point in the season but if you are, give Mettenberger some consideration this week. Take away one bad game against Baltimore and Mettenberger has put up decent fantasy numbers. In his three other starts, Mettenberger has thrown for 299, 263, 245 yards and multiple touchdowns each time. They may not be Aaron Rodger numbers but Matthew Stafford owners would kill for that production right now. This week Mettenberger gets a Houston Texans pass defense that gives up over 270 yards per game through the air. The rookie should have another strong outing.
Availability: Owned in ~ 5% of leagues.
Forecast: Mettenberger will throw for 250+ yards and at least two touchdowns.
On the Radar: Josh McCown (52%)
Latavius Murray, Raiders
The Raiders finally gave Murray touches early in a game and he responded in a big way against the Chiefs. Murray gained 112 yards and scored twice…on just four carries. Unfortunately, Murray’s big night was cut short by a concussion but if the Oakland coaching staff didn’t see enough to be convinced that he should be the starter, they never will. Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew have little left in the tank. Murray provides some much needed big-play ability out of the backfield for the Raiders offense. Murray should be Oakland’s starter once he’s cleared from his concussion but he’s not guaranteed 20+ carries a game just yet.
Availability: Owned in ~ 28% of leagues.
Forecast: Murray is a flex play right now with RB2 upside.
Daniel Herron, Colts
Heron – not Trent Richardson – started for the Colts on Sunday with Ahmad Bradshaw out for the season. Herron ran 12 times for 65 yards. He also caught five passes for 31 yards. Richardson got 13 carries too and scored a short touchdown, so this looks like a full-fledged committee going forward. However, Herron has more upside than Richardson and getting a back that will see 15+ touches a week on one of the NFL’s most explosive offenses just before fantasy playoffs is well worth it.
Availability: Owned in ~ 35% of leagues.
Forecast: Herron is a weekly flex play option with upside.
Andre Williams, Giants
Rashad Jennings has returned to the Giants lineup but that may not necessarily be a bad thing for Williams in terms of his fantasy value. With Jennings returning to the lead back role, Williams is now once again getting around 10 carries a game, including the goal line touches. Williams struggled with Jennings out. He appears to be more effective as part of a 1-2 punch, similar to Shonn Greene back in the day. Williams is still available in almost half of fantasy leagues. He has value as a flex play over the final six games, starting this week against a Jacksonville defense that allows over 130 yards per game on the ground.
Availability: Owned in ~ 52% of leagues.
Forecast: Williams is a touchdown dependent flex option.
Marcel Reece, Raiders
While Murray was the breakout star last Thursday night, Reece’s performance was a telling sign. While McFadden and Jones-Drew continue to struggle, Reece ran for 37 yards on eight carries once Murray went out of the game. Tony Sparano said Reece has earned more carries and he could be the starter should Murray be unavailable in Week 13. Reece is a versatile back who has performed well in the past as a spot starter. The former college tight end is an excellent receiver and an underrated runner. Reece has likely elevated to the No. 2 back on the Raiders depth chart and if he gets a chance to start, he’ll put up good fantasy numbers.
Availability: Owned in ~ 2% of leagues.
Forecast: Reece is a solid stash and a strong flex play option should he start any games.
LeGarrette Blount, Patriots
That didn’t last long. Jonas Gray was New England’s star last week after rushing for 201 yards and four touchdowns. Then the Steelers released Blount, Gray showed up late for practice and the Patriots re-signed Blount. A week later, Gray didn’t play a snap and Blount looks like he might take over the Patriots big back job. A lot can happen in seven days. Blount ran the ball 12 times for 78 yards and two scores. It’s not clear what Gray’s role will be going forward but Blount was a major factor in the Patriots offense late last season. Things change weekly in New England but Blount needs to be picked up in all formats.
Availability: Owned in ~ 42% of leagues.
Forecast: Blount went from irrelevant to flex play radar in one week.
On the Radar: Theo Riddick (30%)
Jarvis Landry, Dolphins
Landry continues to produce over the second half of the season. Against Denver, Landry caught seven passes for 50 yards and two scores on a team-high 11 targets. Landry now has four touchdown receptions in his last four games. His yardage totals won’t blow you away but for owners who play in PPR leagues, Landry has 24 receptions and four touchdowns on 32 targets in the month of November. That’s not bad for a guy still available in a majority of leagues. Landry is a rising star and someone worth strong consideration if he’s still available on your waiver wire.
Availability: Owned in ~ 30%% of leagues.
Forecast: Landry is a weekly WR3 in PPR formats.
John Brown, Cardinals
Larry Fitzgerald could miss more time with a sprained MCL. That means Brown will continue to be a big part of the Cardinals offense. In a tough matchup against the Seahawks, Brown led Arizona in receiving Sunday, catching three passes for 61 yards. It’s the third consecutive game that Brown has eclipsed 60 yards receiving. Brown is a year away from being a fantasy superstar but he’s doing enough right now in 2014 to help owners as a weekly WR3/flex option.
Availability: Owned in ~ 60% of leagues.
Forecast: Brown is a weekly WR3 with Fitzgerald out.
Andrew Hawkins, Browns
Hawkins will need to do more with less now that Josh Gordon is back. Two games ago Hawkins saw 13 targets without Gordon in the lineup and Sunday he saw five. However, his yardage total was similar (97 to 93). The one positive for Hawkins with Gordon returning is the superstar receiver draws so much attention from defenses, it will help open things up for Hawkins to make plays over the middle of the field. Hawkins isn’t going to score many touchdowns but he has 70+ yards receiving in seven games this year. He’s been undervalued all season.
Availability: Owned in ~ 58% of leagues.
Forecast: Hawkins will catch five balls against the Bills, making him a flex option in PPR leagues.
Charles Johnson, Vikings
Johnson has come off the Vikings practice squad to provide a spark at receiver over the last two weeks. He’s caught nine balls for 139 yards and a score on a team-high 18 targets over that span. Johnson is a physical freak who is still developing but he offers some intriguing upside for the rest of the season. Greg Jennings is declining and Cordarrelle Patterson has been a major disappointment. Last week Johnson and Teddy Bridgewater only connected on 3-of-11 targets but the looks have been there over the last two weeks. Johnson is a player on the rise for a team in desperate need of playmakers.
Availability: Owned in ~ 2% of leagues.
Forecast: Johnson is a WR4 who could have a couple of big games down the stretch.
On the Radar: Stedman Bailey (1%), Justin Hunter (40%), Marqise Lee (8%), Donte Moncrief (8%), Cecil Shorts (50%)
Tim Wright, Patriots
Wright had a breakout game against the Lions, catching five passes for 36 yards and two touchdowns. More importantly, Wright played on 61 offensive snaps. His previous season high was 21 snaps. We know from previous examples that the Patriots would never use a player specifically for one game and then we won’t hear from him the following week, right Jonas Gray? The Lions are tough against the run, so New England’s gameplan was to spread out Detroit’s defense and throw the ball. That allowed Wright to play more snaps. If you’re weak at tight end, pick up Wright and stash him. It can’t hurt.
Availability: Owned in ~ 25% of leagues.
Forecast: Wright is a touchdown dependent TE2 whose value is tied to the Pats weekly gameplan.
On the Radar: Brent Celek (10%)
Greg Zuerlein, Rams
Zuerlein had a huge game two weeks ago when he made 5-of-5 field goal attempts against the Broncos. He then slipped back to making just one field goal last week. Unfortunately, those kind of poor performances have been the norm for Zuerlein this year but another good game could be in the cards against the Raiders. Oakland ranks second to last in the NFL in allowing fantasy points to opposing kickers. Look for Zuerlein to have his second big game in three weeks.
Availability: Owned in ~ 20% of leagues.
Forecast: Zuerlein will score double-digit fantasy points this week.
On the Radar: Dan Carpenter (40%)
The Colts are purely a matchup play defense. They shine against poor offenses and struggle against good ones. For example, last Sunday versus Jacksonville, the Colts defense racked up four sacks, an interception, forced a fumble and allowed just three points. The good news from a fantasy perspective is Indianapolis’ next three opponents are the Redskins, Browns and Texans. All three of those teams have questionable quarterback play. The Indianapolis defense won’t be a great option in Week 16 when it faces Dallas but up until then the Colts should pile up the fantasy points.
Availability: Owned in ~ 72% of leagues.
Forecast: The Colts will field one of the better fantasy defenses over the next three weeks.
St. Louis Rams
The Rams defense has been hot over the last four weeks. St. Louis has recorded 16 sacks, four interceptions, recovered four fumbles and scored a touchdown over that span. The Rams defense should continue to reward fantasy owners with the Raiders, Redskins, Cardinals and Giants over their next four games. Only Arizona hasn’t been a great matchup for fantasy defenses and the Cardinals are starting a backup quarterback, so it’s not an awful spot for the Rams defense. Even if owners use St. Louis as a matchup defense, playing games against Oakland and Washington over the next two weeks makes the Rams a Top 10 option.
Availability: Owned in ~ 55% of leagues.
Forecast: The Rams are a Top 10 fantasy defense the next two weeks.
On the Radar: Cincinnati Bengals (50%)