FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Free Agent Forecast: Week 15
Thomas Casale
December 10, 2013
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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.

Quarterbacks

Jason Campbell, Browns
1 Week Plug & PlayCampbell has played well as the starting quarterback for the Browns. He’s coming off his best performance to date against New England where Campbell threw for 391 yards and three touchdowns. Campbell has another favorable matchup this week when Cleveland faces the Bears’ struggling defense. If you play in a two quarterback league or are scrambling for a starter in the playoffs, Campbell is worth a look.
Availability: Owned in ~ 13% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Campbell will continue to put up strong fantasy numbers this week.

Carson Palmer, Cardinals
1 Week Plug & PlayPalmer played well again on Sunday throwing for 269 yards and a touchdown. Palmer has now thrown for over 250 yards in four straight games with eight touchdowns and just two interceptions over that span. If you need a quarterback, Palmer has been putting up strong fantasy numbers over the last month.
Availability: Owned in ~ 77% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Palmer’s streak of throwing for over 250 yards will continue and he’ll add a couple of scores.

On the Radar: Alex Smith (80%)

Running Backs

James Starks, Packers
Injury ReplacementEddie Lacy hurt his ankle against Atlanta and while he played through it, he was hindered by the injury. Mike McCarthy said Lacy would be evaluated later in the week. If Lacy can’t go against the Cowboys, Starks would get the start in a favorable matchup. Dallas has given up a lot of yards and receptions to running backs this year. Considering Aaron Rodgers probably won’t play again this week The Forecast believes Lacy will tough it out and start but add Starks just in case.
Availability: Owned in ~ 45% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Starks would be a strong Plug & Play option if Lacy is out.

Toby Gerhart, Vikings
Injury Replacement1 Week Plug & PlayAdrian Peterson suffered a foot sprain against Baltimore and his availability for next week and beyond are in serious doubt. The Forecast suggested a couple of weeks ago that Peterson owners go out and grab Gerhart for the playoffs. No one is Peterson but Gerhart can put up RB2 numbers when he plays. He showed that again on Sunday by running for 89 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. However, Leslie Frazier revealed on Monday that Gerhart tweaked his hamstring at the end of Sunday’s game, so as this goes to print, his status is be up in the air as well. Gerhart would be a must-start next week against the Eagles if Peterson is sidelined. If Gerhart can’t go, Matt Asiata would get the call. He has three carries in his career.
Availability: Owned in ~ 18% of leagues.
FAAB: $$-$$$
Forecast: Gerhart will put up high-end RB2 numbers if he’s the starter. 

Jordan Todman, Jaguars
1 Week Plug & PlayMaurice Jones-Drew hurt his hamstring late in last Thursday game against Houston. MJD said he’s going to play Sunday but that still remains to be seen. The reason Jones-Drew probably wants to get on the field so badly is to face the Bills’ matador-like rush defense. Two weeks ago Buffalo made Steven Jackson look five years younger and on Sunday Bobby Rainey ripped them for 127 yards. If Jones-Drew can’t go Todman has a great matchup to exploit. However, if MJD plays Todman should get a decent amount of carries that he’s worth considering as a flex option in deeper leagues because of the favorable matchup.
Availability: Owned in ~ 1% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: If Jones-Drew is out Todman will be a RB2 against Buffalo.

Daniel Thomas, Dolphins
1 Week Plug & PlayLamar Miller left Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh with a concussion. Daniel Thomas took advantage of his absence by running for 105 yards and a score on 16 carries. Check Miller’s status for next week because Thomas has a great matchup against a Patriots’ rush defense allowing 136 yards per game. Miami gets caught up throwing the ball too much under offensive coordinator Mike Sherman but they have been running more over the last two weeks. It’s hard to trust a Miami running back but if Thomas gets his carries against New England, he can do some damage.
Availability: Owned in ~ 24% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: If Thomas gets double-digit carries, 70+ yards and a score are realistic expectations.

Marcel Reece, Raiders
Grab & StashIn one of the more shocking developments of the year, Darren McFadden is hurt again. However, when Rashad Jennings didn’t get cleared to play Sunday because of a concussion, Reece got the start. One of the more underrated players in the league, Reece produced like he always does when his number is called racking up 161 total yards and a touchdown on a tough Jets’ defense. Jennings has been cleared for next week’s game against the Chiefs but Reece should be picked up as insurance for the final couple of weeks if you have the roster room. He’s not spectacular but Reece is a productive fantasy player.
Availability: Owned in ~ 11% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Reece is a flex option in all formats if he gets another start this year.

On the Radar: Shonn Greene (21%)

Wide Receivers

Cordarrelle Patterson, Vikings
Rock StarIt took the Vikings long enough but they’re finally starting to get the ball into the hands of their exciting rookie. On Sunday Patterson caught five passes for 141 yards and a touchdown. He’s now had strong fantasy outputs in three straight games. The Eagles’ defense has been playing better but fantasy owners shouldn’t hesitate to put the red-hot Patterson in their lineups this week.
Availability: Owned in ~ 21% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Patterson’s hot finish to the season will continue over the final couple of weeks.

Rod Streater, Raiders
Rock StarIf you’re in need of a receiver Streater has become by far the Raiders’ most consistent and productive pass catcher over the last month. In his last four games, Streater has caught 21 balls for 364 yards and two scores. That’s pretty impressive given Oakland’s quarterback situation. There aren’t a lot of receivers left on the waiver wire at this point who are going to make a huge impact for your fantasy team but if you’re weak at the position, Streater can help.
Availability: Owned in ~ 44% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Streater is a WR3/flex play for the rest of the year.

Jerricho Cotchery, Steelers
1 Week Plug & PlayThe Forecast has suggested Cotchery as a Plug & Play a couple of times this year. The reasons are Pittsburgh throws the ball a lot and Cotchery has scored nine times in 13 games. If you’re in a bind and need a receiver, why not start a guy who has a good chance to score? The Steelers play Cincinnati on Sunday and the Bengals have been struggling to stop the pass. It should be another big game for Ben Roethlisberger, which means Cotchery’s 10th touchdown is a strong possibility.
Availability: Owned in ~ 61% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast:  Cotchery is a strong flex play this week.

Ace Sanders, Jaguars
1 Week Plug & PlayIf you play in a PPR league and are looking for 10-12 easy points this week, Sanders should deliver. Sanders has now scored at least 10 points in PPR leagues in four straight games. With Jacksonville’s offense playing much better and Sanders seeing 32 targets in his last four games, he’s a solid start if you need him.
Availability: Owned in ~ 6% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Sanders will put up another double-digit scoring day in PPR formats.

Da’Rick Rogers/LaVon Brazill, Colts
Grab & StashIt’s a little late to be stashing players but the Colts finally realized Darrius Heyward-Bey has no business playing in the NFL and gave a couple of their young receivers an opportunity instead. The result was Rogers catching six passes for 107 yards and two touchdowns, while Brazill hauled in three balls for 53 yards and two scores. Both receivers are currently owned in just 1 percent of leagues and are worth grabbing for the next couple of weeks if you have an open roster spot. Rogers is the more preferred add of the two if you’re looking for a flier over the next two weeks.  
Availability: Owned in ~ 1% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Rogers and Brazill will see more snaps over the next couple of games but are still too risky to start this week.

On the Radar: Marlon Brown (23%), Justin Hunter (7%), Aldrick Robinson (1%)

Tight Ends

Garrett Graham, Texans
Rock StarGraham took advantage of a Jacksonville defense that struggles to cover tight ends by catching eight passes for 73 yards and a score. The Texans are in shambles right now but Graham continues to see the ball come his way. In his last four games Graham has seen a ridiculous 47 targets. If you lost Rob Gronkowski, Graham is a guy you should consider picking up as a replacement.
Availability: Owned in ~ 63% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Graham will put up low-end TE1 numbers for the rest of the year.

Dennis Pitta, Ravens
Rock StarIt didn’t take Pitta long to make an impact. The Forecast suggested grabbing Pitta last week and after his performance on Sunday along with Rob Gronkowski’s injury, there will be a mad dash to get him now. Pitta didn’t look quite 100 percent yet and he was only on the field for 36 offensive snaps but still caught six passes for 48 yards and a score on 11 targets. The bottom line is Joe Flacco love throwing to Pitta so if he’s on the field, he’ll see targets.
Availability: Owned in ~ 16% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Pitta is a TE1 as long as he’s healthy.

Jacob Tamme, Broncos
1 Week Plug & PlayEven though Julius Thomas is healthy again, Tamme could be a sneaky play this week if Wes Welker is out with a concussion. The Broncos play on Thursday and Welker suffered his second concussion in four weeks. It’s unlikely he’ll get cleared in time to play against San Diego. When Welker went out Sunday against Tennessee, Tamme took over as the slot receiver and caught four passes for 47 yards. Tamme will get a lot of playing time in the slot Thursday if Welker is inactive, making him a decent option if you need a tight end.
Availability: Owned in ~ 11% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Tamme will catch 5-6 passes in the slot if Welker is out.

On the Radar: Brandon Myers (23%), Luke Wilson (2%), Andrew Quarless)

Kickers

Josh Scobee, Jaguars
1 Week Plug & PlayScobee isn’t on the fantasy radar but he should be. Now that the Jaguars’ offense is playing better Scobee has been solid over the last month of the season. Depending on your scoring system, Scobee has put up at least nine fantasy points in four of his last five games. Now he goes up against a Bills team that ranks in the Top 10 at giving up fantasy points to opposing kickers. There are some bigger names out there but Scobee has made at least two field goals in seven of his last nine games, he connects from long range and he has a great matchup. Sounds like a recipe for success.
Availability: Owned in ~ 2% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Scobee will kick three goals against Buffalo.

Caleb Sturgis, Dolphins
1 Week Plug & PlaySturgis hasn’t been the most accurate kicker this year but he has been scoring. Sturgis has made at least two field goals in six straight games and put up double-digit fantasy points three weeks in a row. He has a chance to put up strong numbers again on Sunday when Miami faces New England. The Patriots’ defense can’t stop anyone right now, so Miami will be able to move the ball consistently and give Sturgis plenty of opportunities.
Availability: Owned in ~ 21% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: Sturgis will put up another double-digit scoring day.

On the Radar: Ryan Succop (61%)

Defense/Special Teams

Philadelphia Eagles
1 Week Plug & PlayThere aren’t a lot of great options to pick from this week in terms of waiver wire defenses but if you need to pick one up, the Eagles are probably your best bet. Philadelphia’s defense has been playing better of late. Before Sunday the Eagles had nine sacks in their previous two games. It was tough to mount a pass rush in the snowy conditions last week. They’ve also created eight turnovers in those three games. Now Philadelphia gets a Minnesota team coming off a crushing defeat that could be without their best offensive player. The recent trend of sacks and turnovers should continue this week for the Eagles’ defense.
Availability: Owned in ~ 18% of leagues.
FAAB: $
Forecast: The Eagles may give up some points but the sacks and turnovers will be there.

On the Radar: No one


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