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Fantasy Football Tips: Week 16 Free Agent Focus

Chad Henne, QB, Jaguars (available in 99.2% of ESPN leagues)

Henne has quietly tossed 2 TDs in 4 straight games, while finishing just 1 of those contests with more than 1 INT.  He’s posted exactly 237 passing yards in each of his last 2.

Week 17 brings a rather unpredictable matchup, though.  The Colts have grabbed 2 INTs from 3 of the past 4 QBs they faced, while holding that quartet to just 4 TD passes (3 from Andy Dalton).

LeGarrette Blount, RB, Patriots (available in 93.9%)

Blount ran for a season-high 76 yards and 2 TDs on a season-high 16 carries Sunday against a tough Ravens D.  Baltimore entered as the 5th toughest matchup for fantasy RBs on the year.

Blount brings big workload uncertainty, especially when you consider that Stevan Ridley also carried 15 times in the game.  But Sunday marked the 3rd time in 4 games that Blount garnered 11+ rushing attempts.

Next Sunday's matchup with a leaky Bills run D presents upside -- especially in light of New England's passing struggles.  If Shane Vereen's groin injury keeps him out, there could be more touches available.

Shonn Greene, RB, Titans (available in 51.7%)

It was a near-even split in Tennessee’s backfield this week.  Chris Johnson carried 22 times to Greene’s 19.  But Greene led the way with 91 yards.  He also received the majority of the red-zone work and popped in a 1-yard TD.

Note that Greene saw just 3 carries last week, but he totaled 19 in the previous 2.  He also rushed for a pair of TDs just 2 weeks before at Denver.

He’ll be a risk/reward fantasy play against the Texans next Sunday.

Edwin Baker, RB, Browns (available in 99.9%)

Even with Willis McGahee back for Sunday’s game, Baker held on to lead-back duties.  In fact, he received 17 carries, while Cleveland’s other RBs totaled only 1.

Baker managed just 64 yards but caught 2 balls and scored a 5-yard TD.  There’s not much upside here, but Baker’s workload puts him on the RB3 radar for the finale against the Steelers

Nate Washington, WR, Titans (available in 70.0%)

Sunday was Washington’s first 100-yard game since Week 4, but it followed last week’s 7-catch, 92-yard performance.  He caught 6 balls for 117 yards and a TD in the win over Jacksonville.  That was also his 1st score since Week 4.

Washington's reception totals the past 2 weeks rank 2nd and 3rd among his weekly tallies for the season.  He has caught 5+ in 4 of his past 5 games and drawn 17 targets over the past 2 weeks.

Week 17 finds a Houston D that has allowed 2+ TD passes to 4 straight opponents and 7 of the past 8.

Jerrel Jernigan, WR, Giants (available in 99.9%)

Jernigan drew a team-high 12 targets Sunday at Detroit, catching a team-best 6 passes for a team-leading 80 yards and the Giants' only offensive TD.  (Notice a theme here?)

With Victor Cruz done for the season, Jernigan appears entrenched in the pass offense.  He caught 7 balls for 67 yards in the Week 15 home shutout loss to Seattle.  A Week 16 neck injury for RB Andre Brown should only increase the pass lean against Washington come Sunday.

Jarrett Boykin, WR, Packers (available in 59.7%)

Boykin caught a pedestrian 5 passes for 54 yards in Sunday's OT loss to the Steelers.  But that was his 2nd straight game with at least 5 receptions.  He has caught 5+ passes in 5 of the 7 games since QB Aaron Rodgers fractured his collarbone.  That makes for a pretty steady PPR value.  His 13 targets Sunday also paced the team.

Week 17 brings a rematch with the Bears, who stand as just a neutral matchup for WRs and pass offenses in general.  But Chicago has surrendered 23+ points in 5 straight games, including 28+ in 4 of those.

Brandon LaFell, WR, Panthers (available in 94.8%)

LaFell will be elevated to #1 WR duties if Steve Smith can’t make it back for next Sunday’s game against the Falcons.  That’d mean a healthy dose of targets against the league’s 17th-ranked WR defense.  LaFell still carries a low ceiling, though, with just 1 game of more than 74 yards all year.

Marvin Jones, WR, Bengals (available in 70.4%)

Jones went for 85 yards on 6 catches against the Vikings on Sunday.  Both marks ranked 2nd on the team behind only A.J. Green.

That follows back-to-back games with a TD for Jones.  He’s now seen 16 targets over the past 2 weeks and will be on the WR3 radar in the finale against the Ravens.  Jones caught just 1 pass in the 1st meeting but drew 7 targets in that game.

Andre Holmes, WR, Raiders (available in 99.6%)

Holmes led Oakland with 5 receptions and 71 yards in Sunday's loss at San Diego.  It marked his 4th straight game with at least 7 targets and 58 yards.  Holmes has gone a little inconsistent with 7, 3, 4 and 5 catches over that span, but that's to be expected between the inexperienced wideout and his undrafted rookie QB.

Holmes will carry some PPR upside in Week 17 against the Broncos, who come in as the #25 WR defense.  We'll be curious to see what kind of role he can carve out in the offense heading into next season.

Ryan Griffin, TE, Texans (available in 99.9%)

Neither Garrett Graham nor Owen Daniels practiced at all this week.  Both guys seem iffy for the finale.  That means Griffin might get another start.

The rookie led the Texans in catches (5) and receiving yards (66) for the 2nd straight game on Sunday.  He’ll be a viable TE1 against the Titans’ 19th-ranked TE defense in Week 17, assuming Graham and Daniels are out.

Saints D/ST

A win over Carolina would have wrapped up the #2 seed and rendered Week 17 less important for the Saints.  But they lost and now must play for the division title in the finale.

They'll do so against a Bucs team that has scored 14 points or fewer in 3 of the past 4 weeks.  Even when Tampa racked up 27 points in beating the Bills in Week 14, it did so with just 246 total yards of offense.  The Bucs also surrendered 7 sacks in Sunday's loss to the Rams, making 21 total allowed over the past 5 weeks.

New Orleans is inconsistent on D but has tallied 4+ sacks in 3 of its past 5 games.  The Saints need some help generating turnovers, but the Bucs can provide that.  They've given the ball away 8 times over their past 4 games.