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Free Agent Forecast: Week 15
Paul Sandy
December 13, 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: Mark Sanchez (89%)

T.J. Yates, Texans
Rock StarIn his second NFL start, Yates led his team to a come-from-behind win on the road against the Bengals. In the process, he passed for 300 yards and two touchdowns. This kid is becoming more comfortable with the Texans offense and using all the weapons available to him. With matchups against the Panthers and Colts on tap next, Yates merits consideration for QB needy fantasy clubs. Carolina has allowed 22 passing touchdowns this year—tied for eighth-most in the league.

Availability: Owned in ~8% of leagues.
FAAB: $-$$
Forecast: Yates has shown enough to be worth a start if you’re desperate for QB help.

Rex Grossman, Redskins
1 Week Plug & PlayGrossman posted 252 yards and two touchdowns against the Patriots. It was his third multi-touchdown line in the last four weeks. Up next, he’ll face a Giants team he torched for 305 yards and two touchdowns way back in Week 1. Following the Giants, he draws an awful Vikings secondary. If you want to upgrade your backup QB spot for the remainder of the playoffs or just need a QB to plug and play this week or next, Grossman isn’t a bad option. Look for him to put up at least four touchdowns over the next two games.

Availability: Owned in ~27% of leagues.
Forecast: Grossman merits starting consideration against a Giants team he toasted in the season opener.

Jake Locker, Titans
1 Week Plug & PlayLocker took over for the injured Matt Hasselbeck (leg) on Sunday. He threw for 282 yards and a touchdown, adding 36 yards and a touchdown on the ground. In his two most extensive appearances this season, Locker has looked like he belongs. Both times he posted two touchdowns. Both times he made explosive downfield plays. With the Titans slipping out of playoff contention, the team may ride out Locker the rest of the way. If he gets the start this week against the Colts, he’s a legitimate fantasy option in leagues with 12+ teams.

Availability: Owned in ~5% of leagues.
Forecast: Locker has tremendous upside in a dream matcup against the Colts.


Commonly owned RBs worth adding: Pierre Thomas (90%) and Marion Barber (85%)

Felix Jones, Cowboys
Rock StarInjury ReplacementJones came on for the injured DeMarco Murray in Sunday night’s loss to the Giants. He looked impressive, racking up 137 total yards on 22 touches. Available in a quarter of all fantasy leagues, Jones has the look of a RB who will take the fantasy world by storm and post huge numbers the final two weeks of the season. Dallas faces a woeful Bucs run defense this week. Tampa has allowed 19 rushing touchdowns this season—most in the NFL. Jones is a RB1 the rest of the way.

Availability: Owned in ~75% of leagues.
FAAB: $$$$
Forecast: Jones is a no-brainer pickup in any league in which he’s available.

Ryan Grant, Packers
Rock StarIn Week 15, the Packers rush offense looked better than is has at any time this season. Ryan Grant got the start with James Starks (ankle) sidelined. Grant carried the ball just 10 times but amassed 85 yards and two touchdowns. He’s worth adding and starting if you’re desperate for RB help. The Packers travel to Kansas City this week to face a Chiefs outfit that ranks seventh-worst in the NFL against the run. Grant will likely get the start as Starks rests up for the postseason. Third-stringer Brandon Saine suffered a concussion and his status is up in the air.

Availability: Owned in ~65% of leagues.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Grant is worth picking up but he’s a low-end RB2.

Chris Ivory, Saints
Injury Replacement1 Week Plug & PlayWith starter Mark Ingram (toe) out on Sunday, Chris Ivory was active and saw 13 carries. He ended the day with 53 yards. The numbers aren’t remarkable but if Ingram sits again, Ivory will get another shot in Week 15 when the Saints face Minnesota. Although the Vikings are better against the run than the pass, they can be run on. In recent weeks, Willis McGahee and Michael Bush had huge games against the Purple. If New Orleans jumps out to a big lead, Ivory could be a difference maker in the fourth quarter. He’s worth a look in deep leagues

Availability: Owned in ~2% of leagues.
Forecast: Ivory has intriguing potential in what should be a high-scoring game against Minnesota.

Kahlil Bell, Bears
Worth a LookBell was a safety valve for QB Caleb Hanie on Sunday. He caught five passes for 24 yards and added 40 yards on the ground. Although his upside is limited by the fact that Marion Barber gets all the goal-line work, Bell needs to be a part of the fantasy discussion. He received 14 total touches and is on the field for all the passing downs. Chicago faces a tough Seattle run defense in Week 15 so Bell is more of a flex option.

Availability: Owned in ~6% of leagues.
Forecast: Give Bell a look in PPR leagues.

Keiland Williams, Lions
Injury Replacement1 Week Plug & PlayDetroit’s top RB Kevin Smith missed Week 14 with an ankle injury. While he was out, Williams rushed 12 times for 43 yards, leading all Detroit ball carriers. He added 17 yards receiving. Smith says he will return to the field this week but the ankle has nagged him for a few weeks now. Grab Williams in case Smith suffers a setback in practice. The Lions face Oakland on Sunday. Only two teams have allowed more rushing scores than the Raiders. They were just gutted by a formerly lifeless Green Bay rushing attack. If Smith can’t go, Williams might split carries with Maurice Morris, who injured his chest on Sunday. Check the status of all three RBs later in the week.

Availability: Owned in ~6% of leagues.
Forecast: If Kevin Smith remains out, Keiland Williams has the upside to start as desperation RB2.


Commonly owned WRs worth adding: Nate Washington (81%), Mario Manningham (84%) and Lance Moore (81%)

Demaryius Thomas, Broncos
Rock StarThomas backed up his breakout in Week 13 with a nifty 7-78-1 stat line on Sunday. The numbers could’ve been even more impressive if it wasn’t for a costly dropped pass that would’ve resulted in a 55-yard touchdown. He has clearly overtaken Eric Decker as the team’s top WR. With a juicy Week 15 matchup against the Patriots and the NFL’s worst pass defense, Thomas is bordering on a must-start. Any receiver with a pulse can score on New England’s patchwork secondary.

Availability: Owned in 15% of leagues.
FAAB: $$-$$$
Forecast: Acquire and start Thomas is if you’re shorthanded at WR 

Donald Driver and James Jones, Packers
Injury ReplacementThe Packers received good news on Monday when Greg Jennings’ MRI revealed an MCL injury that should be healed in three weeks. However, fantasy owners weren’t quite so lucky since Green Bay’s top wideout will miss the rest of the regular season. With the injury, Donald Driver and James Jones become important pieces to the postseason puzzle for fantasy. Driver has seen increasing looks over the past few weeks. He has posted decent numbers in three of the last four games. Jones has been more hit or miss, delivering just one useful line over the last month. The Forecast advises owners to go with the hot hand (Driver) but at the rate Rodgers is spreading the ball, you can’t go wrong with either.

Availability: Owned in 17% and 69% of leagues, respectively.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: Look for Driver and Jones to see an uptick in production until Jennings gets back.

Jabbar Gaffney and Santana Moss, Redskins
Worth a Look1 Week Plug & PlayThe Redskins passing attack was clicking on Sunday as wideouts Jabbar Gaffney and Santana Moss rang the bell with 6-92-1 and 3-81-1 stat lines. Washington closes out the season with a favorable slate of games. In Week 15 they face a Giants defense that ranks 29th in pass defense. In Week 16 the Redskins draw the Vikings, who rank 27th versus the pass. Both Gaffney and Moss are serviceable WR3s for the duration of the fantasy season.

Availability: Owned in 58% and 73% of leagues, respectively.
FAAB: $$
Forecast: If you need WR help in Weeks 15-16, Gaffney and Moss should be sufficiently productive.

Damian Williams, Titans
1 Week Plug & PlayWilliams was recommended here last week and while it didn’t work out as planned (2-62-0), the Forecast is willing to go back to the well. No. 1 WR Nate Washington injured his back on the second-to-last play of the game. He’s also been battling a sore ankle. If Washington can’t go on Sunday, Williams would assume the top spot in an offense that can at times be potent through the air. Tennessee faces an Indianapolis defense is tied for fourth-most passing touchdowns allowed. Roll the dice with Williams as a WR3 or flex him.

Availability: Owned in 49% of leagues.
Forecast: Williams is worth a flier as a WR3 with a favorable matchup.

Doug Baldwin, Seahawks
Worth a LookBaldwin was the Monday night MVP, catching six passes for 81 yards and a touchdown against the Rams. He also blocked a punt that was returned for a score. Although he hasn’t been as consistent as you’d like in a WR3, Baldwin’s cumulative numbers are starting to add up. He’s just a low-end option for Sunday’s game against the Bears. However, in Week 16 Seattle faces the Packers. Fantasy owners who are already looking ahead to the championship round should consider stockpiling Baldwin based on this favorable matchup.

Availability: Owned in 40% of leagues.
Forecast: Grab Badwin in one week in advance of a favorable Week 16 matchup against Green Bay.

Robert Meachem, Saints
1 Week Plug & PlayOn a normal week, there’s no way the Forecast would recommend Meachem or his teammate Devery Henderson. They just don’t see enough targets. However, Meachem (or Henderson) could be a sneaky play this week against the Vikings, particularly if TE Jimmy Graham sits out. Graham played in Week 14 but he was clearly hampered by a back injury. Monitor the news out of New Orleans to see if Graham is practicing. Should Graham sit, Meachem is worth a look as a WR3 if you’re desperate.
Availability: Owned in 50% of leagues.
Forecast: If you can live with a boom-or-bust WR, Meachem a good choice.


Commonly owned TEs worth adding: Brandon Pettigrew (85%) and Owen Daniels (82%)

Dallas Clark, Colts
1 Week Plug & PlayClark returned to action on Sunday against the Ravens after a three-week layoff with a leg injury. His impact in the game was minimal. He caught just one pass. However, fantasy owners shouldn’t have expected much against the Ravens. If there’s a silver lining, it was the fact that QB Dan Orlovsky threw Clark’s way six times. Clark is a sneaky option this week versus the Titans. Tennessee has been one of the leakiest teams against opposing TEs.

Availability: Owned in 44% of leagues.
Forecast: Look for Clark to put up 60+ yards versus the Titans.

Joel Dreessen, Texans
1 Week Plug & PlayDreessen has scored a touchdown in three straight games. Production like that is difficult to ignore. QB T.J. Yates clearly has an affinity for throwing Dreesen’s way in the redzone. That said, he only has five receptions over the last three games. It’s tough to start a TE who’s getting so few targets week to week. However, the TE position isn’t nearly as deep as it was at the beginning of the season. If you’re TE depth chart is in dire need of a boost, Dreessen is worth a roll of the dice. Houston faces a Panthers defense that is very average against TEs.

Availability: Owned in 6% of leagues.
Forecast: Consider starting Dreessen this week versus Carolina, especially in TD-heavy formats.


Commonly owned PKs worth adding: Neil Rackers (87%)

Matt Prater, Broncos
Rock StarPrater has been red hot of late, connecting on multiple field goal kicks in three straight games. This includes two clutch 50+ yard boots in Sunday’s win over the Bears. Take a chance on him this week at home against the Patriots. Denver will need to open up the offense a bit to keep pace with New England. Fantasy owners can expect Prater to chip in at least eight points.
Availability: Owned in 10% of leagues.
Forecast: Prater’s cannon leg will continue to make him a valuable fantasy asset in favorable matchups.

Lawrence Tynes, Giants
1 Week Plug & PlayNew York’s offense has come to life, putting up 72 points over the last two games. Kicker Lawrence Tynes has accounted for 18 of those points. He’s worth a look this week against the Redskins. Washington has given up double-digit points to the last two kickers they’ve faced. On the season, the ‘Skins have been one of the most generous teams to opposing kickers—allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to the position. Look for Tynes to put up at least eight this week.

Availability: Owned in 19% of leagues.
Forecast: With New York’s offense clicking, Tynes is worth a spot start.


Commonly owned DSTs worth adding: Detroit Lions (89%)

Arizona Cardinals
Rock StarIn case you hadn’t noticed, Arizona is playing some inspired football right now. Winners of five of the last six games, the Cardinals are frustrating opponents with a swarming defense. In the last three games, they’ve registered 12 sacks, three turnovers and one touchdown. Fantasy owners should be salivating at a home matchup this Sunday against the Browns. Cleveland may be without starting QB Colt McCoy. Backup Seneca Wallace has plenty of game experience but the Browns offense is unlikely to put up much of a fight. Play the Cardinals DST with confidence.

Availability: Owned in 27% of leagues.
Forecast: Look for the aggressive Cardinals defense to make some things happen against a banged up Browns offense.

Tennessee Titans
1 Week Plug & PlayAlthough the Titans defense didn’t make much of a mark in Week 14 (2 sacks, zero turnovers), they still merit a roster addition in advance of Sunday’s meeting with the Colts. With poor play at the QB position, it should come as no surprise that Indianapolis has been one of the most generous teams for opposing fantasy DSTs. QB Dan Orlovsky is a step up from Curtis Painter but he took four sacks against the Ravens last week and threw an interception. With their season on the line, Tennessee should come to play. Look for a useful fantasy contribution.

Availability: Owned in 62% of leagues.
Forecast: Trot out the Titans against the Colts and good things are bound to happen.

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