Free Agent Forecast: Week 3

Free Agent Forecast: Week 3

Fantasy football roster management tips, strategy and advice

Free Agent Forecast: Week 3


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.


Matt Ryan, Falcons
Rock StarRyan threw for 396 yards and three scores Sunday against the Raiders. Through two games he’s now passed for 730 yards, five touchdowns and just one interception, yet he’s still available in over half of fantasy leagues. Ryan has struggled with inconsistency over the last couple of seasons but he’s off to a hot start in 2016. With a matchup against the Saints on deck, that’s not likely to end this week. Now is the time to scoop up Ryan if you’re unhappy with your quarterback situation.
Availability: Owned in ~ 45% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Ryan is a low-end QB1/streaming option.  

Joe Flacco, Ravens
1 Week Plug & PlayGrab & StashFlacco is in a good situation. He plays on a team that can’t run the football at all, so he’s going to have to throw most weeks. Flacco has 78 pass attempts in his first two games. He faces the 0-2 Jaguars this week. The Jaguars are looking to get their offense on track and come in allowing the fifth most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Expect the Ravens to ride the arm of Flacco on Sunday once again. He’ll be a strong streaming option all season when the matchup is favorable.
Availability: Owned in ~ 25% of leagues.
Forecast: Flacco is a strong streaming option vs. favorable matchups.

Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins
1 Week Plug & PlayGrab & StashTannehill got off to a slow start this season but he turned it on in the second half against the Patriots. He finished with 389 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Tannehill has a good chance to keep his momentum going this week when he takes on the Browns. Cleveland’s defense allows the 13th most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks after two games. Tannehill runs hot and cold but he has a good matchup this week to exploit if you need a quarterback.
Availability: Owned in ~ 20% of leagues.
Forecast: Tannehill is a high-end QB2 this week against the Browns.

On the Radar: Brock Osweiler (25%), Dak Prescott (40%)

Running Backs

Charles Sims, Buccaneers
Rock StarDoug Martin is dealing with a strained hamstring and said he’s not sure how long he’ll be out. It’s surprising Sims is only owned in 60 percent of leagues even when Martin is healthy. Sims caught 51 passes and racked up over 1,000 total yards last year. He has some standalone fantasy value, especially in PPR leagues. Sims should certainly be added considering Martin is dealing with a hamstring issue. He’s also a valuable bench player in most 12-14 team leagues regardless of Martin’s health.
Availability: Owned in ~ 60% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Sims is a Flex play option in PPR formats.

Isaiah Crowell, Browns
Rock StarDuke Johnson got all the hype this summer but it continues to be Crowell who is the Browns lead back early in the season. Crowell rushed for 133 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries against the Ravens. Much of Crowell’s total came on his 85-yard touchdown run but he’s still getting the majority of the carries. Through two games Crowell has 30 carries compared to Duke Johnson’s six. He’ll be leaned on even more now with rookie Cody Kessler under center. Crowell should be owned in a majority of leagues.
Availability: Owned in ~ 65% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Crowell is a RB2/Flex play.

Jerick McKinnon, Vikings
Injury ReplacementRock StarAdrian Peterson suffered a torn meniscus against the Packers. The timetable for his return is unknown but Peterson could miss multiple games. Matt Asiata out-touched McKinnon 7-3 after Peterson’s injury but it was late in the game when the Vikings were protecting a lead. Minnesota has gone down the Asiata road before and the results haven’t been good. McKinnon is a freakish athlete and a good receiver out of the backfield. He’s caught 48 passes the last two seasons. He has the ability to put up good fantasy numbers for as long as Peterson is out. Asiata will still have a role but McKinnon is the better overall player.
Availability: Owned in ~ 22% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: McKinnon has RB2 upside with Peterson out.

Jay Ajayi, Dolphins
Injury ReplacementArian Foster lasted all of a game and a half before suffering a groin injury. He’s expected to miss a minimum of one game. Ajayi has had a rocky start to the 2016 season. He was a healthy inactive in Week 1 and fumbled against the Patriots after Foster got hurt Sunday. However, Ajayi is expected to now lead Miami’s running back committee with Foster injured. He’s an enigma but Ajayi also has the chance to put up solid fantasy numbers if he gets enough touches. He’s worth adding just don’t go overboard trying to get him this week.
Availability: Owned in ~ 45% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Ajayi will start off as a RB3/Flex option with Foster injured.

Fozzy Whittaker, Panthers
Injury ReplacementJonathan Stewart left Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury. He’s expected to miss at least a week or two. Whittaker came in for the injured Stewart and rushed for 100 yards on 16 carries. Cameron Artis-Payne has been a healthy scratch for the first two games. Artis-Payne will surely be active against the Vikings this week. It’s a tough matchup but Whittaker is the back to own. The Panthers coaching staff has more confidence in him right now and he’s a better receiver out of the backfield. If Stewart is out for an extended period of time, the best Panthers running back to own is probably Cam Newton.
Availability: Owned in ~ 2% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Whittaker is a Flex play with Stewart out.

Dwayne Washington, Lions
Dumpster DiveWashington is an interesting player with Ameer Abdullah suffering a foot injury. Theo Riddick will take over as the Lions starter but he’s not much of a runner. Riddick is primarily a receiver out of the backfield. The 225-pound Washington had an impressive preseason and should see around 10 carries a game, including the short-yardage and goal-line work. Riddick will see most of the touches right now but there’s an opportunity for Washington to carve out a role if Abdullah is out. He’s an intriguing pickup in 12-14 team leagues.
Availability: Owned in ~ 2% of leagues.
Forecast: Washington is a bench stash in 12-14 team leagues if Abdullah misses time.

On the Radar: Cameron Artis-Payne (1%), Matt Asiata (2%), Alfred Morris (25%), Robert Turbin (2%)

Wide Receivers

Quincy Enunwa, Jets
Rock StarEnunwa caught all six targets for 92 yards against the Bills. Through two games Enunwa has 13 catches for 146 yards and a touchdown on 14 targets. Enunwa is stuck in the Jets third receiver role but in the Jets offense that’s almost like being a starter. Because the Jets don’t have a viable pass catching tight end, offensive coordinator Chan Gailey is utilizing Enunwa as a flanker, slot receiver and H-Back. In Week 1 Enunwa played 63 of 71 offensive snaps. That number dipped to 46 snaps (61 percent) against Buffalo but Enunwa aggravated a rib injury that caused him to miss some time. As long as Enunwa stays healthy, he’s going to be a big part of the Jets offense moving forward. If Brandon Marshall misses time with an injury, Enunwa will be bumped up to a starter. He’s one of this week’s top waiver wire targets.
Availability: Owned in ~ 5% of leagues.
FAAB: $$-$$$
Forecast: Enunwa is a WR3/4 on the rise.

DeVante Parker, Dolphins
Rock StarParker has trouble staying on the field but when he does play, he produces. In his last four games, Parker has caught 21 passes and put up at least 87 yards receiving. Parker is a hamstring injury waiting to happen. He’s also extremely talented. Parker is still available in a handful of leagues. His upside on an offense that will throw the ball a lot is worth a roster spot.
Availability: Owned in ~ 65% of leagues.
FAAB: $$-$$$
Forecast: Parker is a WR3/4 when healthy.

Tyrell Williams, Chargers
Rock StarWilliams was expected to take on a bigger role with Keenan Allen out for the season and that was the case against Jacksonville. Williams tied Travis Benjamin for a team-high six targets Sunday, finishing with three receptions for 61 yards and a touchdown. In two games Williams has receptions of 44, 38 and 33 yards. He’ll continue to get quality looks in the Chargers offense. Williams should be owned in all leagues at this point.
Availability: Owned in ~ 40% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Williams is an emerging WR4.

Phillip Dorsett, Colts
Rock StarDorsett has a ton of talent and he plays in one of the NFL’s top passing offenses. He just needs more looks to have a bigger fantasy impact. Those looks could be on the way. Donte Moncrief injured his shoulder against the Broncos. Dorsett has major upside in the Colts offense with his big-play ability. If Moncrief is out and Dorsett moves into the starting lineup, he’ll be a weekly fantasy starter. Dorsett is a good receiver to grab right now even for owners looking for depth at the position.
Availability: Owned in ~ 40% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Dorsett is a WR4/5 who moves up to a WR3 if Moncrief misses time.

Mike Wallace, Ravens
Rock StarWallace followed up his strong Week 1 performance by catching four balls for 41 yards and two touchdowns against the Browns. Wallace now has three touchdown catches in two games. Wallace isn’t going to see a ton of targets but the big-play receiver is a perfect fit playing with a strong-armed quarterback like Flacco. Wallace will have some lean weeks but with Flacco averaging just under 40 attempts in the first two games, he’ll have plenty of opportunities to make plays.
Availability: Owned in ~ 55% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Wallace is a WR3/Flex play most weeks.

Victor Cruz, Giants
1 Week Plug & PlayGrab & StashCruz has now put up two solid fantasy games in a row. He’s not having huge games yet but the looks are starting to come his way. Cruz was targeted eight times on Sunday and now has 12 targets through two games. The Redskins have been torched by receivers early in the year. Washington’s defense allows the eighth most fantasy points to receivers after two games. Cruz is worth a look if you need a receiver this week.
Availability: Owned in ~ 40% of leagues.
Forecast: Cruz is a Flex option this week.

Cole Beasley, Cowboys
1 Week Plug & PlayGrab & StashIt’s time to start taking Beasley seriously. He caught five passes for 75 yards against the Redskins. Beasley has 13 receptions on 18 targets in the first two games. No receiver has a lower ceiling than Beasley but if you need a stop-gap receiver in a PPR league, Beasley is a safe bet for 12-14 points this week with Prescott under center.
Availability: Owned in ~ 5% of leagues.
Forecast: Beasley is a Flex play consideration in PPR leagues vs. the Bears.

Jamison Crowder, Redskins
Grab & StashCrowder is the Redskins version of Beasley. He hauls in passes but doesn’t rack up many yards or score much. Crowder did score a touchdown on Sunday and could have had another one if Kirk Cousins didn’t overthrow him. Still, touchdowns aren’t his game. Crowder has seen a team-high 18 targets through the first two weeks. He’s converted them into 12 catches for 97 yards and a score. Crowder will continue to work the underneath routes in the Redskins offense but Jordan Reed, DeSean Jackson and even rookie Josh Doctson will start to eat into his targets. Like Beasley, Crowder’s ceiling is limited but he’s worth a look in PPR leagues.
Availability: Owned in ~ 3% of leagues.
Forecast: Crowder is a Flex option/bench stash in 12-14 team PPR leagues.

Tyler Boyd, Bengals
Grab & StashIt’s only a matter of time for Boyd. Like Dorsett, he just needs the looks to be a weekly fantasy starter. Against the Steelers Boyd caught 6-of-8 targets for 78 yards. He had a controversial fumble late in the game where it appeared his knee was down before the ball came out. Boyd is still behind Brandon LaFell for some reason. Apparently the Bengals coaches like him in the slot. Either way they’re going to need to get him on the field more because it makes the Bengals tougher to defend. Boyd is more of a stash right now but he has a chance to pay off big later in the year.
Availability: Owned in ~20% of leagues.
Forecast: Boyd is a WR4/5 stash with potential later in the year.

On the Radar: Anquan Boldin (15%), Greg Salas (2%), Sammie Coates (10%), Torrey Smith (60%)

Tight Ends

Rock StarDennis Pitta, Ravens
Pitta is finally healthy again and it showed on Sunday. He caught nine passes for 102 yards on a team-high 12 targets. The tight end position is lean for fantasy owners right now after you get past the top few guys. Pitta has always been a favorite target of Flacco when healthy. He’s one of the best options in a weak tight end waiver wire crop.
Availability: Owned in ~ 10% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Pitta is a low-end TE1 moving forward.

Martellus Bennett, Patriots
1 Week Plug & PlayGrab & StashBennett bounced back from his Week 1 dud on Sunday. He caught five balls for 114 yards and a touchdown on six targets. Rob Gronkowski is questionable to play Thursday night and the Patriots are down to third-string rookie Jacoby Brissett at quarterback. Bennett will probably be asked to say in and block a lot against the formidable Texans defensive front but he should still see six or seven targets again if he gets the start. He’s a low-end streaming option as long as Gronk is out.
Availability: Owned in ~ 60% of leagues.
Forecast: Bennett is a low-end streaming option if you’re hurting at tight end.

Jacob Tamme, Falcons
1 Week Plug & PlayGrab & StashThe Falcons haven’t had a viable tight end option since Tony Gonzalez retired. After two games, Tamme is establishing himself as one of Ryan’s top targets. Tamme has 11 receptions for 126 yards and a touchdown. He’s been targeted eight times in each of the first two games. Tamme’s volume may decline but it’s certainly encouraging enough that he deserves to be owned in more than 10 percent of fantasy leagues. Tamme gets the Saints defense this week. If you’re unhappy with your current tight end situation, give him a look.
Availability: Owned in ~ 10% of leagues.
Forecast: Tamme is a low-end TE1 this week vs. the Saints.

Clive Walford, Raiders
Grab & StashWalford has all kinds of physical ability. The only question is consistency playing in Oakland’s offense. In Week 1 Walford caught three passes for 25 yards on six targets. Sunday Walford hauled in six balls for 50 yards and a touchdown on seven targets. That kind of roller coaster is what owners will have to get used to with Walford. He’s on his way to becoming a very good NFL tight end but with Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree eating up targets, Walford will be relegated to a talented up and down streamer this season.
Availability: Owned in ~ 30% of leagues.
Forecast: Walford is a valuable TE2/matchup play this season.

On the Radar: Jordan Cameron (10%), Jesse James (20%), Vance McDonald (5%)


Nick Folk, Jets
1 Week Plug & PlayFolk has scored in double-digits in each of his first two games. He’s connected on 6-of-7 field goals, including one of 40+ yards. The Jets offense is moving the ball and giving Folk opportunities. That should continue this week against the Chiefs.
Availability: Owned in ~ 40% of leagues.
Forecast: Folk is a streaming option for Week 3.

On the Radar: Matt Bryant (20%)

Defense/Specials Teams

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1 Week Plug & PlayIt’s not often we recommend a defense that’s allowing 32 points after two games. The only time it would happen is if the defense is playing at home against an offense that’s averaging 4.5 points and hasn’t scored a touchdown yet this season. The Rams may have gotten a win on Sunday and the Buccaneers may have looked awful but the NFL is a week-by-week business. The Rams offense is still dreadful. Look for the Bucs defense to get right this week.
Availability: Owned in ~ 5% of leagues.
Forecast: The Bucs are a Top 12 defense this week.

On the Radar: Steelers (20%), 49ers (5%)


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