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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Free Agent Forecast: Week 10
Thomas Casale
November 5, 2013
Follow Follow @ThePigskinGuy
 
SYMBOL LEGEND
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.

In addition to scouting “rock star” free agents who had breakout performances in the previous week, the Forecast will dig deep to identify players who may be worth a spot start or a roster stash.

Quarterbacks

Nick Foles, Eagles
Rock StarWhen a guy throws for 406 yards and seven touchdowns, he’s the definition of a Rock Star Free Agent. Foles had one hiccup against Dallas which is surprising because the Cowboys have the worst pass defense on the planet. However, going back to last season Foles has been impressive pretty much every time he’s had a chance to play. This season even with the awful performance against Dallas Foles has thrown 13 touchdowns and zero interceptions. Mike Vick has played well but Foles is a good fit for Chip Kelly’s offense because he’s a more accurate passer. In two starts against Tampa Bay and Oakland, Foles put up huge fantasy numbers. This is the last week he’ll be available on the waiver.
Availability: Owned in ~ 40% of leagues.
FAAB: $$-$$$
Forecast: Foles will be the Eagles’ starter the rest of the season and put up strong fantasy numbers.

Jay Cutler, Bears
Rock StarReports are Cutler could be back for next Sunday’s game against the Lions. Cutler suffered a groin injury in Week 7 and is ahead of schedule in his recovery. Josh McCown has played well in his absence but there’s no quarterback controversy right now in Chicago. With Aaron Rodgers injuring his shoulder, some owners may be looking for a quarterback. Cutler has topped 20 fantasy points five times this year and he should be one of the hottest commodities on the waiver wire this week.
Availability: Owned in ~ 60% of leagues.
FAAB: $$-$$$
Forecast: Cutler will continue to put around 20 points a week for fantasy owners.

Case Keenum, Texans
Grab & StashSome guys you watch and they just look like they belong in the NFL. Keenum looks to be one of those guys. He feels pressure in the pocket, he moves away from the rush, he keeps his eyes downfield and gets the ball to his playmakers. It’s still way too early to put Keenum in the Hall of Fame but after two starts he’s thrown for 621 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions. If nothing else, Keenum is getting the ball to Andre Johnson and his outside receivers, unlike Matt Schaub who zoned in too much on his tight ends. Keenum has given the Texans’ offense a shot of life and he’s worth a spot on your fantasy roster if you need quarterback help.
Availability: Owned in ~ 18% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Keenum is a QB2 whose arrow is on the rise. He could be valuable come fantasy playoff time to owners who have injuries at the quarterback position.

Jason Campbell, Browns
Grab & StashCampbell has now played well in two consecutive starts against a couple of strong defenses (Chiefs, Ravens). On Sunday Campbell completed 23-of-35 passes for 262 yards and three touchdowns. He’s thrown for five touchdowns in his two starts and Campbell is doing a good job of spreading the ball around to different players in the Browns’ offense. Cleveland heads into its bye but Campbell is firmly entrenched on the QB2 radar after two productive outings.
Availability: Owned in ~ 19% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Campbell will continue to be a QB2/Plug & Play as long as he doesn’t start turning the ball over.

On the Radar: E.J. Manuel (13%)

Running Backs

Mike James, Buccaneers
Rock StarJames’ first start in place of the injured Doug Martin didn’t go very well because Tampa Bay fell behind early and had to abandon the run. On Sunday against Seattle we saw what the piledriving James can do when Tampa Bay is in the game for longer than 5:00. James rumbled for 158 yards on 28 carries. Brian Leonard handled most of the passing down work but James is going to be Tampa Bay’s workhorse as long as Martin is out, which looks like it could be the rest of the season. If James is still available in your league, he should be owned immediately.
Availability: Owned in ~ 72% of leagues.
FAAB: $$$-$$$$
Forecast: James will be a RB2/flex play the rest of the way depending on the match-up.

Chris Ivory. Jets
Rock StarIvory and Bilal Powell were splitting carries but after the last three games there’s no doubt which one is the preferred Jets’ fantasy back. Ivory ripped his old team on Sunday when he ran for 139 yards and a touchdown against the Saints. Ivory has now gone over 100 yards in two of his last three games and while Powell still has a role in the offense, Ivory is the kind of sledgehammer Rex Ryan likes at the running back position. Ivory is now clearly the Jets’ back to own.
Availability: Owned in ~ 68% of leagues.
FAAB: $$-$$$
Forecast: Ivory will be inconsistent because the Jets’ offense only plays well every other week but he’ll be a viable flex option.

Rashad Jennings, Raiders
Injury ReplacementGrab & StashDarren McFadden hurt his hamstring…again. This could be the one that sidelines McFadden for the long haul though. Surprisingly Jennings was dropped in over 60 percent of leagues when McFadden returned from his last hamstring injury. Apparently owners forgot his hamstrings are made out of Silly Putty. Jennings replaced McFadden on Sunday and rushed for 102 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. He also caught seven balls for 74 yards. There’s no telling how long McFadden will be out after re-injuring his hamstring, so Jennings should be owned in all leagues now.
Availability: Owned in ~ 12% of leagues.
FAAB: $$$
Forecast: Jennings is now a weekly flex play until McFadden returns, which could be a while.

Donald Brown, Colts
1 Week Plug & PlayThe Colts play the Rams on Sunday and this could be a game where Indianapolis tries to get its running game going, especially Trent Richardson. Richardson has been a disaster since coming over from Cleveland but he should be able to find some running room against St. Louis. Brown will also see his share of carries as well. While Richardson continued to struggle against Houston, Brown ran for 8.2 yards per carry. The Colts could get up early on the Rams, so don’t be surprised if Brown sees double-digit carries in this game.
Availability: Owned in ~ 48% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Brown will put up 70 total yards and touchdown against the Rams.

Shonn Greene, Titans
Grab & StashChris Johnson had a big game on Sunday but Greene did his part as well, rushing for 38 yards and a touchdown on nine carries. The Titans’ coaching staff said they want to get Greene 10-15 carries a game. While that may not be a realistic goal every week, it’s clear that Greene will have a role in the offense going forward. Greene was dropped in a lot of leagues because he was dealing with a knee injury. However, if you need depth at running back, Greene is one of the more valuable guys available on the waiver wire at this point in the season.
Availability: Owned in ~ 20% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Greene will see 10-12 carries a game and become a Mike Tolbert-like player near the goal line for Tennessee.

Andre Brown, Giants
Grab & StashThe Forecast has been advising owners to grab Brown for a couple of weeks now and he’s still available in some leagues. Brown will be active on Sunday and the Giants won’t wait long to get him involved in the gameplan. Brown instantly becomes the most talented option in New York’s backfield over Peyton Hillis and Brandon Jacobs. He’ll split carries early on but expect Brown to be involved on passing downs and near the goal line right away. It won’t take long for Brown to establish himself as the Giants’ primary running back once again.
Availability: Owned in ~ 64% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Brown will be the Giants best fantasy back for the remainder of the season as long as he’s healthy.

Jonathan Stewart, Panthers
Grab & StashIf you want to see a fantasy nightmare, check out the Panthers’ backfield on Sunday. Stewart got nine carries for 43 yards, DeAngelo Williams saw 13 carries for 42 yards and Mike Tolbert got six carries for 24 yards and stole a touchdown. How’s that for a headache? Still, one positive with Stewart is he looked healthy. He was able to cut on those injured ankles with no problem at all. Stewart also caught three passes for 22 yards, so all and all it was a successful first game back. If Williams were to go down, Stewart’s fantasy value would go up.
Availability: Owned in ~ 40% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Stewart is a good guy to have on your bench but he’s nothing more than a plug in flex play in Carolina’s backfield.

On the Radar: Lance Dunbar (4%), Fozzy Whittaker (2%), Brian Leonard (3%)

Wide Receivers

Riley Cooper, Eagles
Rock StarCooper loves it when Nick Foles starts and he proved that again on Sunday by catching five passes for 139 yards and three touchdowns. In the three games Foles has started Cooper has 15 receptions for 347 yards and four touchdowns. Foles and Cooper likely built a connection when the two worked together on the second-team offense and that has carried over now that they’re starting. Foles is doing a great job of exploiting single coverage and playing opposite of DeSean Jackson, Cooper should continue to see plenty of that going forward.
Availability: Owned in ~ 22% of leagues.
FAAB: $$-$$$
Forecast: Cooper has recorded double-digit fantasy points in the three games Foles has started. He’s now worthy of flex play consideration.

Aaron Dobson, Patriots
Rock StarIt was thought that when Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola came back Dobson’s role in the offense would decline but on Sunday it went the other way. Dobson caught five passes for 130 yards and two touchdowns on nine targets. The return of New England’s big guns may actually help Dobson because now he won’t have the pressure of being in a role he’s not ready for yet. Instead, he’ll be seeing a lot of single coverage that Tom Brady can exploit like he did on Sunday because defenses will be more focused on stopping Gronkowski and Amendola. Dobson’s fantasy value is actually on the rise because his role in the offense is now better suited for him to be a big-play receiver in the Patriots’ offense.
Availability: Owned in ~ 45% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Dobson will be Brady’s big-play receiver and a WR3/flex play for fantasy owners.

Mike Brown, Jaguars
Injury ReplacementGrab & StashIt’s not exactly an injury an injury but with Justin Blackmon suspended for the season, Brown now goes from the fantasy fringe to a must-add in most leagues. Brown had already been showing signs of becoming a fantasy factor by catching 20 passes for 212 yards and a touchdown in his last three games. The one good thing about owning a Jaguars’ receiver is owners can pretty much bank on them playing from behind every week, so there’s always the possibility of fantasy garbage points.
Availability: Owned in ~ 23% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Brown will be a weekly flex play option on a team that has to throw the ball a lot.

Kenny Stills, Saints
1 Week Plug & PlayIt only took Dallas eight weeks to give up an NFL record four 400-yard passer and now Drew Brees comes calling. Brees may not reach 400 yards but he’s going to throw for 300 easy and Stills should be on the receiving end of some of those passes. The Cowboys’ safeties do a terrible job at diagnosing plays and providing their corners with help down the field. Stills should have a field day running through that secondary while the safeties are preoccupied with trying to stop Jimmy Graham. A couple of the Saints’ receivers are going to have big games it’s just a matter of which ones. The Forecast likes Stills to be one of them.
Availability: Owned in ~ 72% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Stills will go over 100 yards and score against the Cowboys.

Eddie Royal, Chargers
1 Week Plug & PlayThe Chargers are playing Denver on Sunday and The Forecast is predicting there to be a few points scored in that game. Philip Rivers may have to throw the ball 60 times. Royal scored his seventh touchdown against Washington. This comes down to pure numbers. The Chargers are going to get a lot of offensive possessions in this game and Rivers is going to have to throw the ball to keep up with Peyton Manning. Royal should have himself a nice fantasy day.
Availability: Owned in ~ 68% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Royal will find the end zone for the eighth time on Sunday.

Marlon Brown, Ravens
Grab & StashBrown caught five passes for 54 yards and two touchdowns against Cleveland. Brown has now scored five touchdowns on the season. The undrafted free agent has been a pleasant fantasy surprise this year, catching at least four passes in five games. Brown isn’t going to win owners their match-ups all by himself but he’s kind of like Royal where he has a knack for getting into the end zone. There are worse receivers to start in a pinch.
Availability: Owned in ~ 34% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Brown is a solid plug and play if you need him off the bench.

Cole Beasley, Cowboys
Grab & StashBeasley makes The Forecast for what seems like the 10th time but he’s still owned in just 5 percent of leagues. Beasley caught six passes for 68 yards on nine targets Sunday. He basically came out of nowhere but since October Beasley caught at least four passes in a game four times. Beasley now has 25 receptions on the year. To put that in perspective, Greg Jennings has 31 receptions on the season. If you play in a deeper PPR league, Beasley is worth owning.
Availability: Owned in ~ 5% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Beasley will continue to catch 4-6 passes most weeks in Dallas’ offense.

Lance Moore, Saints
Grab & StashMoore returned to the Saints’ lineup two weeks ago and scored. On Sunday he saw 10 targets, catching six passes for 70 yards. This week Moore goes against a Dallas defense allowing more than 300 yards through the air. Moore is always a good receiver to have on the bench. He’s inconsistent but Moore plays in an explosive offense and he can put up some big fantasy weeks. Now that Moore is healthy, he certainly deserves to be rostered in more than 48 percent of fantasy leagues.
Availability: Owned in ~ 48% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Moore is a valuable bench/plug in fantasy receiver to have over the final two months of the season.

Doug Baldwin, Seahawks
Dumpster DiveBaldwin made his first start since Sidney Rice was injured and produced by catching six balls for 75 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets. It’s tough to trust a Seattle receiver from week-to-week but Baldwin is worth adding if you have the room and seeing what happens. Percy Harvin should be returning soon but either Baldwin or Jermaine Kearse is going to have to step up with Rice out.
Availability: Owned in ~ 12% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Baldwin will be a WR4/WR5 option in Seattle’s offense.

On the Radar: Brandon LaFell (41%), Jerricho Cotchery (7%), Leonard Hankerson (11%), Jermaine Kearse (2%), Robert Meachem (2%), Rod Streater (13%), Greg Little (6%)

Tight Ends

Tim Wright, Buccaneers
Rock StarAfter catching four passes for 58 yards and a touchdown Sunday, Wright’s fantasy value continues to be on the rise. Similar to Nick Foles and Riley Cooper, Mike Glennon and Wright have obviously built a chemistry working together on the second-team offense. Wright has now scored in two straight games and he’s caught at least four passes in four of his last five games. Only Wright’s game against Atlanta turned out to be a fantasy dud. Since the end of September he’s delivered for fantasy owners every other time he’s stepped on the field. The Bucs are depleted at receiver and Wright has now become the second option in the passing game behind Vincent Jackson. If you need a tight end, grab Wright.
Availability: Owned in ~ 34% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Wright won’t be elite but he’ll hover around upper TE2, lower TE1 numbers for the rest of the year.

Jacob Tamme, Broncos
Injury ReplacementJulius Thomas and Joel Dreessen both missed practice on Monday. Thomas is dealing with a mild ankle sprain and could still play Sunday against San Diego. If he doesn’t though, Tamme offers some mild upside as a replacement. Dreessen is more of a blocking tight end and would be in line for a possible short touchdown, so he’s an option as well. However, if Thomas can’t go, Tamme will draw some targets from Peyton Manning. If you own Thomas and are desperate for a replacement should he miss Sunday’s game, Tamme could get you 10 points if everything breaks right.
Availability: Owned in ~ 3% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Thomas is still expected to play on Sunday but if he’s out, Tamme is worth a flier.

Garrett Graham, Texans
1 Week Plug & PlayGraham hasn’t been a great fantasy play since taking over for Owen Daniels but if you’re desperate for a tight end this week, he’s worth a look because of his opponent. The Cardinals have been dreadful at defending the tight end this season. Jared Cook, Greg Olsen, Tony Gonzalez and Jimmy Graham all had big games against Arizona. The Cardinals also allowed two touchdowns to tight ends when they faced Seattle. Graham may not rack up the receptions but he has a good chance to find the end zone against Arizona.
Availability: Owned in ~ 36% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Graham will catch four passes and find the end zone against Arizona.

On the Radar: Zach Ertz (3%), John Carlson (1%)

Kickers

Nick Folk, Jets
Rock StarFolk makes The Forecast as a Rock Star Free Agent for the third time but he’s still only owned in just over half of fantasy leagues. Owners should finally buy into Folk after he kicked another four field goals on Sunday. Folk has now kicked at least three field goals in his last three games. He’s a perfect 23-of-23 on the season and that includes 11-of-11 from between 40-49 yards. The Jets are heading into their bye week but if you want a kicker that’s routinely scoring double-digit fantasy points, Folk is your man.
Availability: Owned in ~ 56% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Folk will be one of the top fantasy kickers all season long.

Josh Brown, Giants
1 Week Plug & PlayBrown has connected on 8-of-8 field goals in his last two games. The Giants’ offense is playing better and moving the ball but it still struggles to score touchdowns inside of the red zone, which is good for Brown owners. The return of Andre Brown could help New York’s red zone woes but Brown should still get plenty of scoring opportunities this Sunday against a reeling Raiders’ defense.
Availability: Owned in ~ 13% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Brown will score double-digit fantasy points for the third consecutive game.

On the Radar: No one

Defense/Special Teams

Cleveland Browns
Rock StarCleveland’s defense has been solid all year. They had another strong showing on Sunday against the Ravens recording five sacks, an interception and recovering a fumble. Ray Horton would like to be causing more turnovers but Cleveland goes into its bye with 33 sacks. The Browns face teams coming up with offensive line issues like Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Jacksonville, so Horton’s attacking unit should continue to rack up the sacks through the month of November. If the Browns can create a few more turnovers, fantasy owners will really be happy.
Availability: Owned in ~ 43% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: The Browns next three games set up for them to reward owners with strong fantasy weeks.

Tennessee Titans
1 Week Plug & PlayIf you follow The Forecast you know we like to take defenses that go up against the Jaguars. Hey, if isn’t broke, don’t fix it. The Titans have actually been very inconsistent this year as a fantasy defense and they’re on a bit of a downswing the last two games. However, getting a struggling Jacksonville offense at home should be just what the doctor ordered. Jacksonville comes in with no Justin Blackmon and should have trouble moving the football on Tennessee. The Jaguars had a bye week to fix things. It likely won’t matter.
Availability: Owned in ~ 82% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: The Titans’ defense has been a disappointment of late but that will change Sunday against Jacksonville.

On the Radar: New York Jets (20%)


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