|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
|Long-Shot Free Agents
||Could emerge as every-week contributors in 3-4
|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
Quentin Griffin, RB, Broncos
Upcoming Opponents: @GB
Griffin led all Denver running backs with 136 yards rushing
Sunday against the Colts. With starter Clinton Portis
still ailing from knee and ankle injuries, Griffin will
likely once again see the bulk of the carries this week.
The Packers field an above-average run defense, but Denver’s
offensive line is playing with authority. Acquire Griffin
and start him for your championship.
Drew Bennett, WR, Titans
Upcoming Opponents: TAM
There are two reasons to make Drew Bennett your top wide
receiver acquisition this week: 1) he had a great game
Sunday, catching five passes for 84 yards and a touchdown;
2) starting wideout Derrick Mason suffered a cracked
rib against the Texans. While Mason will likely be fit
enough to play, the Titans may not want to risk further
injury to their star wideout, especially with the playoffs
so near. Acquire Bennett and use him this week against
the floundering Buccaneers.
Jerome Pathon, WR, Saints
Upcoming Opponents: DAL
Karma came back and bit Joe Horn in the you know what.
After his highly-criticized cell phone celebration, Horn
returned to the field this week only to suffer a season-ending
shoulder injury. In his place, veteran Jerome Pathon
put together some nice statistics – four receptions
for 65 yards and a touchdown. Pathon should continue
to see plenty of looks this week against the Cowboys.
Derrick Blaylock, RB, Chiefs
Upcoming Opponents: CHI
By the time their game kicks off Sunday afternoon, Kansas
City’s playoff fate may very well already been
decided. If New England wins Saturday, the Chiefs will
have no chance of earning a better playoff seed. Likewise,
they can’t drop down a spot either. Therefore,
there’s a very good chance that the team will rest
its MVP Priest Holmes. Blaylock brings a lofty 4.9 yards
per carry average to the table. Acquire the second-year
back now and consider using him Sunday if the stars align
for him to see the bulk of Kansas City’s carries.
Brandon Lloyd, WR, 49ers
Upcoming Opponents: SEA
With Terrell Owens out for the season and their playoff
dreams shattered, the 49ers will take a good, long, hard
look at rookie wide receiver Brandon Lloyd this week.
Lloyd is the heir apparent to Owens, who has likely played
his last game in San Francisco. He has been praised for
his leaping ability and was seen Sunday elevating over
defenders and grabbing a 33-yard touchdown reception.
While there’s certainly some risk involved in starting
Lloyd this week, he should match up well against the
Seahawks. Start him if you need a number three or four
Ashley Lelie, WR, Broncos
Upcoming Opponents: @GB
Quentin Griffin isn’t the only Broncos player who
as seen a boost in production since the injury to Clinton
Portis. Receiver Ashley Lelie, who has been a colossal
fantasy bust in 2003, had a breakout game Sunday. He
caught everything that was thrown his way, five passes
for 115 yards. He has now posted two solid games in a
row. It’s worth noting that he suffered a shoulder
sprain Sunday. However, if he plays, don’t be afraid
to acquire Lelie and use him as a third wide receiver
this week against the Packers.
Todd Pinkston, WR, Eagles
Upcoming Opponents: @WAS
Like Lelie, Pinkston has re-emerged as a serviceable
receiver late in the season. Pinkston posted 78 yards
receiving in Week 15 and followed it up with 115 yard
and a touchdown Sunday. This week the Eagles face a Washington
defense that, despite having some big-play cornerbacks,
is merely average. Pick up Pinkston and start him if
you’re desperate for a number three or number four
One Week Wonders
Corey Bradford, WR, Texans
Upcoming Opponents: IND
It’s kind of an oxymoron to list a player three
or four times in the One Week Wonder category, but here
I am advising owners to stay away from Bradford again.
He caught a touchdown Sunday, but isn’t a good
bet to see the endzone again this season.
Kassim Osgood, WR, Chargers
Upcoming Opponents: OAK
This rookie may have a very bright future in the NFL.
But despite his 102-yard, one-touchdown performance Sunday,
he remains too risky a play at this point.