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Free Agent Forecast: Week 10
Paul Sandy
November 8, 2011
Rockstar Rock Star Free Agent
Injury Injury Replacement
Worth a Look Worth a Look
1 Week Plug & Play 1 Week Plug & Play
Sleeper Sleeper
Free Agent Auction
Bid (FAAB) Scale
$ $0 - $5
$$ $6 - $15
$$$ $16 - $25
$$$$ $26 - $40
$$$$$ $41+
Based on $100 cap,
12-team league.


Commonly owned QBs worth adding: Tim Tebow (77%)

Andy Dalton, Bengals
Rock StarDalton, who was last week’s top QB recommendation, notched his first career 3-TD performance in Sunday’s victory over the Titans. It was the third time in the last four games that Dalton has posted multiple touchdown passes. He’s starting to get in a groove and is making a late push for Rookie of the Year. Yes, Cam Newton is the clear frontrunner but Dalton has been outstanding in his own right. Plus he has his team in the postseason hunt—something Newton can’t say.

Availability: Owned in ~63% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Dalton should be considered a top 15 fantasy QB and owned in all leagues.

Carson Palmer, Raiders
Rock StarThe Raiders took the loss against the Broncos in Week 9 but QB Carson Palmer showed there’s still plenty of life in his arm. Palmer passed for 332 yards and three touchdowns, displaying good arm strength and touch. It wasn’t all smooth sailing; he also had three interceptions. The Forecast isn’t ready to declare Palmer is ready to be an every-week starter for fantasy but he certainly makes sense as a matchup-based option. The Raiders have a handful of favorable games left on the schedule.

Availability: Owned in ~61% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Palmer will continue to have value as a spot starter or backup.

Matt Hasselbeck, Titans
Worth a LookHasselbeck has thrown at least one touchdown pass in every game this season. He’s also thrown for 220 yards or more in every game except one. QBs as consistent as Hasselbeck are difficult to find. They also make excellent backup QBs because if your regular starter goes down, you know you have a safe alternative. Add Hasselbeck for your playoff run. You’ll be challenged to find a QB who has an easier stretch of schedule from a passing perspective to close out the season (CAR, ATL, TB, BUF, NO, IND, JAC).

Availability: Owned in ~75% of leagues.
Forecast: Hasselbeck’s ownership is trending downward but he continues to be a consistent performer who’s still worth owning.

Christian Ponder, Vikings
1 Week Plug & PlayPonder has been efficient in his first two NFL starts. Two games ago, against the Packers, he put up 219 yards and two touchdowns. In Week 8 against the Panthers, he posted 236 yards and one touchdown. This week, he’ll face Green Bay again. The Packers have ceded multiple QB scores every game this season but two. Ponder is a savvy stopgap option if you don’t like your current QB situation.

Availability: Owned in ~31% of leagues.
Forecast: Looking for a QB who will throw a couple TDs this week? Ponder is a safe bet.


Commonly owned RBs worth adding: Ben Tate (79%)

Roy Helu, Redskins
Rock StarMike Shanahan officially made finally made the switch from Ryan Torain to Roy Helu this week. You knew it was coming. The Forecast predicted it weeks ago. And the results? Helu made a huge fantasy impact. He piled up 146 total yards, including 14 catches for 105 yards. With the season slipping away from Washington, look for Helu to continue to carry the load. Consider him a solid RB2 going forward. His receiving skills could make him a top 15 fantasy RB in PPR leagues. 

Availability: Owned in ~52% of leagues.
FAAB: $$-$$$
Forecast: Helu is a top free agent pickup in the leagues in which he’s available.

Kendall Hunter, 49ers
Worth a LookFrank Gore is on pace for 344 touches this season. His heavy workload is a cause for concern considering the injury issues he’s had in recent years. (He reportedly tweaked his ankle on Sunday but says he’s okay.) With the 49ers running away with the NFC West, don’t be surprised if the team starts giving more work to rookie Kendall Hunter in an effort to keep Gore fresh for the playoffs.  And should Gore go down with an injury, Hunter would become an instant RB1 for fantasy. He’s a terrific RB to stash for the second half of the season.

Availability: Owned in ~40% of leagues.
Forecast: Hunter is one of the three most valuable backup RBs in the NFL from a fantasy perspective and should be owned in all leagues.

Chris Ivory, Saints
Worth a LookIvory led all New Orleans RBs with 15 carries in Sunday’s win over the Bucs. He ended the day with 67 yards. The Saints are among the most imbalanced offenses out there. They attempt the most passes in the NFL per game (42.1) compared to 26.7 rushes per game. The lack of a ground game and the number of RBs the Saints have in the stable will limit Ivory’s upside. However, he still merits a roster spot as a backup especially with rookie Mark Ingram (heel) sidelined.

Availability: Owned in ~3% of leagues.
Forecast: Ivory is running as the lead ball carrier for the Saints and should be owned in the majority of leagues.

Marion Barber, Bears
1 Week Plug & PlayBarber, a plug-and-play recommendation last week, came through as promised. He notched a goal-line touchdown along with some token yardage. It was the fourth touchdown Barber has scored in the last five games. Although he doesn’t get every carry inside the five-yard line, he gets most of them. If you’re ever desperate for RB help, you can always turn to Barber. That includes this week against the Lions.

Availability: Owned in ~40% of leagues.
Forecast: Barber is a TD machine and worthy of a spot start on any given Sunday.

Chris Ogbonnaya, Browns
1 Week Plug & PlayOgbonnaya was one of the top pickups last week—his ownership went from zero to 64% in a matter of a few days. Unfortunately, his performance in Week 9 against the Texans was a disaster. He rushed for just 28 yards (two points in most leagues). In other words, Ogbonnaya dropped a deuce. Despite the poor numbers, he continues to hold value. In fact, he might have more value now than he did at this time last week. Peyton Hillis and Montario Hardesty have both been declared out for this week’s tilt against the Rams. St. Louis has shown improvement in recent games but they’re still vulnerable against the run. Ogbonnaya should net 50-60 yards at a minimum this week.

Availability: Owned in ~64% of leagues.
Forecast: Ogbonnaya is worth a desperation play this week against the Rams.
Donald Brown, Colts
Worth a LookColts rookie RB Delone Carter got the start on Sunday against the Falcons. After fumbling on the opening series, veteran Donald Brown took over. Brown racked up 70 yards on 16 carries. Joseph Addai appears to be closer to returning to action so Brown’s fantasy value is hanging by a thread. However, if your roster lacks RB depth, Brown is worth considering. Just don’t get delusional. Starting him in Week 10 against Jacksonville would be a sign of desperation.

Availability: Owned in ~17% of leagues.
Forecast: Consider adding Brown for bench RB depth.

Deji Karim, Jaguars
1 Week Plug & PlayFive of the last six No. 2 RBs who have faced the Colts have posted at least 50 total yards. While that’s not the type of production you’re looking for every week, it’s helpful if you’re facing an injury situation. If you’re in a pinch, plug and play Jaguars backup RB Deji Karim, who will face those Colts this week. Karim hasn’t performed especially well this season but if guys like Thomas Jones, Jacquizz Rodgers and Javon Ringer can put up 50+ on the Colts, so can Karim.

Availability: Owned in ~11% of leagues.
Forecast: Based on Indy’s inability to stop the run game, Karim is a sneaky plug-and-play option.


Commonly owned WRs worth adding: Antonio Brown (86%) and James Jones (83%)

Laurent Robinson, Cowboys
Injury ReplacementRock StarCowboys starter Miles Austin suffered a hamstring injury in Sunday’s win over the Seahawks. He will likely miss at least two weeks. Laurent Robinson will take his place in the starting lineup opposite Dez Bryant. Robinson has been a bit of a surprise this season, posting quality numbers in two straight games and three of his last five. With a matchup this week against the Bills, Robinson will provide instant offense for WR-deficient fantasy owners. Buffalo’s defense ranks 27th in the NFL against the pass.

Availability: Owned in ~15% of leagues.
FAAB: $$-$$$
Forecast: Robinson can be relied upon for solid WR3 numbers over the next few weeks.

Earl Bennett, Bears
Rock StarAfter missing much of the season with a chest injury, Bennett returned to action on Monday night and made an immediate splash. He ended the game with 95 yards and a touchdown. QB Jay Cutler looked his way early and often against Philly. In particular, Bennett was the guy Cutler targeted on third down and in the redzone. Chicago faces the Lions in Week 10. Bennett burned Detroit for 104 yards the last time the two clubs met.

Availability: Owned in ~2% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Bennett merits roster consideration in all leagues based on his strong MNF showing.

Lance Moore, Saints
Worth a LookMoore has come on strong of late, scoring touchdowns in back-to-back games. He ended Sunday’s contest against the Buccaneers with a modest but useful three catches for 20 yards and a score. As teams have increasingly shifted their coverage to defend against Jimmy Graham, QB Drew Brees is looking in Moore’s direction with greater frequency. Trust him as a WR3 or flex player this week against the Falcons. In two meetings with Atlanta last season, Moore posted 197 yards and two touchdowns.

Availability: Owned in ~68% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Moore should be owned in all leagues with 10+ owners.

Torrey Smith, Ravens
Worth a LookSmith is surprisingly still available in over 35% of fantasy leagues. He is a boom-or-bust WR that typically gets one or two deep targets per game. Think DeSean Jackson. On Sunday night against the Steelers, he caught five passes for 71 yards and a touchdown. He had a few chances to add to those numbers, including a drop that would’ve been another touchdown. He’s the type of player you should want on your bench. When you’re facing a team that has you outmatched on paper, plug him in as a WR3 in the hopes he can carry you with a monster stat line.

Availability: Owned in ~64% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Smith is worth adding in advance of Sunday’s matchup against the Seahawks.

Jerome Simpson, Bengals
Worth a LookSimpson has been a Forecast favorite in 2011 but after putting up his third straight helpful fantasy stat line, his ownership is bound to finally spike upward. He posted 43 yards and a touchdown against the Titans. Up next, the Bengals face the Steelers in an AFC North grudge match. Simpson is a risky option in that matchup but he clearly has long-term value. A cushy schedule during the fantasy playoffs (HOU, STL, and ARZ) makes him an attractive pickup.

Availability: Owned in ~34% of leagues.
Forecast: Simpson should start getting some more attention now that he’s rattled off three straight useful performances.

Early Doucet, Cardinals
Worth a LookStill available in over half of all fantasy leagues, Doucet has rolled off four significant fantasy performances in a row. He tallied 78 yards Sunday against the Rams, catching all six passes that John Skelton threw his way. Doucet is developing into a legitimate WR3. He’s proving he can be trusted on most weeks. Arizona faces the Eagles and 49ers over the next two games—both have quality pass defenses but don’t dismiss Doucet.

Availability: Owned in ~49% of leagues.
Forecast: Doucet is a shaping up to be a steady WR3 or flex option.

Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore, Raiders
Worth a LookJust when we thought we were starting to figure out Oakland’s receivers, Carson Palmer turns our expectations on their head. Palmer favored wideouts Denarius Moore (13 targets) and Jacoby Ford (five targets), while Darrius Heyward-Bey was a complete nonfactor (one target). Ford led the way with five receptions for 105 yards. Moore put up four receptions for 61 yards. In deeper leagues, it’s worth taking a chance on one of these wideouts. The Forecast prefers Ford, who has shown flashes before and just needs to find a way to stay healthy. 

Availability: Owned in ~18% and 32% of leagues, respectively.
Forecast: Add Ford or Moore in case one of them becomes Carson Palmer’s go-to WR.

Austin Pettis and Mark Clayton, Rams
Injury ReplacementSleeperSt. Louis slot WR Greg Salas broke his leg in Sunday’s loss to the Cardinals. He’s out for the year. His spot in the lineup will likely be filled by rookie Austin Pettis or Mark Clayton. The Forecast rang the Clayton bell several weeks ago—far too early, it turns out. St. Louis has yet to pull him off the PUP list. They have until Wednesday to do so. Keep your eye on the situation to determine how the Rams fill Salas’ spot in the lineup. Whoever gets the job is worth stashing on your bench.

Availability: Owned in ~1% and ~2% of leagues, respectively.
Forecast: Pettis or Clayton is worth a speculative pickup this week.

Jason Hill, Jaguars
1 Week Plug & PlayHill has recorded a touchdown in three of his last four games. There aren’t any teams on bye but if you need a WR this week give him a look because of his friendly matchup. Jacksonville faces a Colts defense that has allowed 18 passing touchdowns—most in the NFL. Hill has overtaken Mike Thomas as the team’s top receiving threat, at least from a fantasy perspective. Look for him to contribute at least 60 yards with a score in Week 10.

Availability: Owned in ~18% of leagues.
Forecast: Exploit Hill’s favorable matchup this week and look for a helpful stat line.


Commonly owned TEs worth adding: Kellen Winslow (69%)

Jake Ballard, Giants
Rock StarThe Forecast has been harping on Ballard for weeks now.  He’s still available in 40% of fantasy leagues but has rattled off solid TE numbers in five straight games. On Sunday, he caught four passes for 67 yards and the game-winning touchdown. If Ballard is still lurking on your waiver wire, make a push to grab him. Right now there aren’t more than eight TEs that should be starting over him every week.

Availability: Owned in ~60% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Ballard should be owned in all leagues as a legit starting TE.

Heath Miller, Steelers
Worth a LookMiller’s value has seen a substantial uptick over the last two games. After catching seven passes for 85 yards two games ago, the Forecast chalked up the performance as a mirage. However, Miller followed it up with five catches for 73 yards against the Ravens on Sunday. Although he’s typically been considered a blocking TE, Miller is starting to take on a larger role in the passing game. QB Ben Roethlisberger has thrown his way 15 times in the last two games. Add him as a backup or low-end starter.

Availability: Owned in ~61% of leagues.
Forecast: Miller is worth a look in all TE-mandatory leagues.

Dennis Pitta, Ravens
SleeperPitta has quietly logged 11 receptions in his last two games. He’s out-producing fellow Ravens TE Ed Dickson right now and becoming an important piece of the team’s offense. Pitta is actually seeing time as a slot receiver and QB Joe Flacco is starting to throw his way more frequently. The 6-4 second-year TE out of BYU is worth considering in deeper leagues. He can also be used as a plug-and-play option against Seattle this week. The Seahawks have allowed TE touchdowns in three of their last five games.

Availability: Owned in ~0% of leagues.
Forecast: Consider adding Pitta in deep leagues.


Commonly owned PKs worth adding: N/A

Alex Henery, Eagles
1 Week Plug & PlayHenery struggled with field goal accuracy early in the season but he’s connected on his last six attempts and is getting plenty of extra point opportunities. He’s an excellent free agent addition for the stretch run. Philadelphia’s offense is clicking right now so Henery should net you a minimum of 7-8 points on most weeks. And with an upcoming home game against the Cardinals, he should go over double digits.

Availability: Owned in ~64% of leagues.
Forecast: Add Henrey in advance of his Week 10 matchup against the Cardinals.

Ryan Longwell, Vikings
1 Week Plug & PlayWith Christian Ponder under center, Minnesota kicker Ryan Longwell is returning to fantasy relevance. Longwell put up nine points against the Packers two games ago. He added six points last time out against the Panthers and would’ve had nine had he not missed a field goal. With Green Bay on the schedule for next Monday night, fantasy owners can grab Longwell and confidently expect 8-10 points. The Packers have allowed 56 points to opponents in the last two weeks. Look for another high-scoring affair on MNF.

Availability: Owned in ~30% of leagues.
Forecast: Longwell will deliver useful numbers on Monday night.


Commonly owned DSTs worth adding: Cincinnati Bengals (89%)

Jacksonville Jaguars
1 Week Plug & PlayThe Jaguars DST draws a dream matchup this week against the Colts. While not an elite defense, Jacksonville has shown the ability to dominate at times. Two games ago they rattled Joe Flacco, sacking him three times, forcing two turnovers, and holding the Ravens to just seven points. Indianapolis? Well, they’re just bad. After showing some promise early in the season, QB Curtis Painter has been abysmal in his last four starts. Play the Jaguars with confidence.

Availability: Owned in ~10% of leagues.
Forecast: The Jaguars are a solid plug-in option based on a favorable matchup.

Miami Dolphins
1 Week Plug & PlayThe 1-7 Dolphins may seem like a strange recommendation but their defense has recorded 20 sacks and they face an awful Redskins offense in Week 10. QB John Beck has been sacked 10 times in the last two games to go along with three interceptions. Miami is coming off a performance in which they harassed Chiefs QB Matt Cassel, sacking him five times in the upset win. Roll the dice with the Dolphins this week if you’re desperate for a DST with upside.

Availability: Owned in ~11% of leagues.
Forecast: Depoly the Dolphins as a sneaky Week 10 sleeper defense.

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