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Free Agent Forecast - Week 13
By Paul Sandy
November 25, 2003
 

Value Scale

Elite Free Agents These players will provide immediate production and have excellent long-term potential.
Upside Free Agents Could emerge as every-week contributors in 1-2 weeks.
Long-Shot Free Agents Could emerge as every-week contributors in 3-4 weeks.
Wait-and-See Free Agents They have the potential to repeat their breakout performance, but hold off on acquiring them for now.
One Week Wonders Others may be singing their praise, but don’t buy into the hype.

Elite Free Agents

Marcus Robinson, WR, Ravens
Robinson checked into the 2003 fantasy football season this week, catching seven passes for 131 yards and four touchdowns. He now has more TDs this season than Donald Driver, Plaxico Burress and Eric Moulds combined. The former Chicago Bears wideout is worth acquiring this week and don’t be afraid to plug him into your lineup if you have injury issues. Robinson played with quarterback Anthony Wright in college at South Carolina, so the two have a natural rapport. The Ravens likely won’t see another 44-41 shootout anytime soon, but Robinson has the talent to put up solid numbers for the remainder of the season.

Kevin Johnson, WR, Jaguars
Johnson was recommended here last week as an Upside Free Agent. In his first game as a Jaguar, he looked comfortable and finished the day as Jacksonville’s leading receiver with 77 yards. He deserves immediate consideration for a starting spot.

Charles Lee, WR, Buccaneers
As a Green Bay Packer, Charles Lee could never seem to get playing time. Now with the Keyshawn-less Buccaneers, Lee has been given the opportunity of a lifetime. He certainly didn’t disappoint Monday night, catching five passes for 91 yards and a touchdown. Acquire Lee this week and start him as needed. Tampa travels to Jacksonville this week to face a Jaguars defense that ranks in the bottom half of the league defending the pass. Count on Lee to be involved in a couple more big plays in Week 13.

Joey Galloway, WR, Cowboys
After starting the season with two 100-yard games in the first three weeks, Galloway hit the skids. Between Weeks 4 and 11, he was nicked up with various injuries and didn’t have a game with more than two receptions. But last week, he broke out of the slump, catching three passes for 50 yards and a touchdown. While it wasn’t the type of performance that will have you polishing a fantasy trophy come January, Galloway is worth acquiring this week if he’s available. With a lack of a consistent running game, the Cowboys will likely rely on Quincy Carter to make plays through the air.

Boo Williams, TE, Saints
With starting tight end Ernie Conwell out for the season, Boo Williams seized opportunity in Week 12, catching nine passes for 110 yards and a touchdown. It’s been tough to get consistent play from the tight end position all year, so don’t hesitate to grab Williams this week. The tight end plays a reasonably significant role in the New Orleans offense. Before getting hurt, Conwell had put up some decent statistics, including five straight weeks with four or more fantasy points (Huddle scoring).

Upside Free Agents

Aaron Moorehead, WR, Colts
The Colts have been besieged with injuries to their receivers and tight ends. While Marvin Harrison played last week, Marcus Pollard, Brandon Stokley and Troy Walters were sidelined. In addition, Dallas Clark suffered a back injury during the game and will likely miss playing time in the coming weeks. Amidst all the carnage, Aaron Moorehead had himself a solid game Sunday, posting five catches for 71 yards. With the team’s top two tight ends expected to miss Sunday’s game, expect the Colts to use more three and four receiver sets. That could mean another strong week for Moorehead.

Frank Wycheck, TE, Titans
Wycheck has struggled to get on the field all season because of concussions. Now healed, he looks fresh and ready to become a major contributor to Tennessee’s offense. Sunday against the Falcons, Wycheck was a force inside the redzone, catching two touchdown passes – both six yards or less. he would be an Elite Free Agent this week were it not for a significant calf injury to Steve McNair. Monitor McNair’s progress. If it looks like he’ll play Monday night, elevate Wycheck up a notch.

Kurt Warner, QB, Rams
Judging by their record alone, you’d think everything was just peachy in St. Louis. But despite winning three straight, Marc Bulger is struggling. In his last four games, Bulger has just a 62.7 passer rating. Translated into stats closer to the heart of fantasy owners, over that four-game stretch, Bulger has only four touchdowns and he’s been intercepted 10 times. If Bulger’s struggles continue this week, Kurt Warner may be called upon to rejuvenate the offense. Warner is a must-have for playoff teams that typically start Bulger.

Artrose Pinner, RB, Lions
It’s Week 13 and the Lions are in an all too familiar position. They’re reserving tee times for January. With the playoffs out of reach, don’t be surprised to see Artrose Pinner get some carries by Week 14. Starter James Stewart may have played his last game with the Lions and could be gone in 2004. Head coach Steve Mariucci will likely want to see what kind of a player he has in Pinner before next spring’s draft and free agency. He likely won’t see action this week because the Lions will have a short week of practice due to the Thanksgiving Day game.

Long-Shot Free Agents

Orande Gadsden, WR, Dolphins
After being rumored for several weeks, Orande Gadsden finally re-signed with the Dolphins last week. Gadsden only saw limited playing time Sunday night against the Redskins, but he may soon reclaim his position as Miami’s number two receiver opposite Chris Chambers. Currently that position is held by Derrius Thompson, who has been a bust since signing as a free agent. Gadsden has fresh legs and could make an impact as soon as Thanksgiving Day against the Cowboys.

Wait-and-See Free Agents

Anthony Wright, QB, Ravens
Wright hooked up with the aforementioned Marcus Robinson for four touchdowns in Sunday’s comeback win against the Seahawks. I expect Wright to post some more good games before the season is over, but at this point I wouldn’t recommend dropping any of the mid-tier quarterbacks (i.e. Tommy Maddox, or Brad Johnson) for him until he backs up his breakout game with another solid effort. However, if you’re holding onto Drew Bledsoe or Brian Griese, don’t hesitate to swap in Wright.

One Week Wonders

James McKnight, WR, Dolphins
McKnight caught three passes for 96 yards Sunday night against the Redskins, including an 80 yard touchdown reception. I’m chalking up McKnight’s big night as an aberration. In the three games preceding this week’s performance, McKnight had zero catches, zero catches and one catch respectively.