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Free Agent Focus

Week 3 Free Agent Focus

By Staff 7:09am EDT 9/18/17



Jay Cutler, QB, Dolphins

Blind-bid recommendation: 3-5%

He played well in his Fins debut, completing 24 of 33 passes (72.7%) for 230 yards and 1 TD in the win over the Chargers. That puts Cutler on the Week 3 spot-start radar against a Jets defense that’s allowed 5 passing scores through 2 games.


Derrick Henry, RB, Titans

Blind-bid recommendation: 75-95%

He’s owned in a surprisingly low 60% of ESPN leagues, so it’s worth checking to see if he’s available in yours. Henry out-carried and out-played DeMarco Murray on Sunday, toting it 14 times for 92 yards and a score. Murray, meanwhile, mustered just 25 scoreless yards on 9 carries, missing most of the 2nd half with a hamstring issue.

The veteran looks like he’s lost a step and is now averaging 3.3 yards per carry on the season. We’re expecting this backfield to be at least a 50/50 split going forward. Henry could even become the leader of a committee.


Chris Carson, RB, Seahawks

Blind-bid recommendation: 40-50%

Seattle’s backfield is coming into focus. Eddie Lacy was a healthy scratch on Sunday. Thomas Rawls carried 5 times; C.J. Prosise 0. Carson, meanwhile, ripped off 93 yards on 20 carries. He added 1 catch for 7 yards. He’s earned lead-back duties going forward for an offense that still wants to run the ball.

Games against the Titans, Colts and Rams over the next 3 weeks should provide the Seahawks opportunities to do so.


Samaje Perine, RB, Redskins

Blind-bid recommendation: 20-25%

The rookie will have a big opportunity in front of him if RB Rob Kelley’s rib injury costs him time. But Perine hasn’t looked ready for it yet. He didn’t touch the ball in the opener and then sputtered to just 3.2 yards per carry on 21 totes against the Rams on Sunday.

Volume potential makes him worth adding, though. Washington also gets a plus matchup against the Raiders in Week 3.


Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints

Blind-bid recommendation: 18-20%

Kamara drew just 1 carry in Sunday’s loss to the Patriots while watching Mark Ingram and Adrian Peterson log 5 apiece. But his 7 targets ranked 2nd on the team behind only WR Michael Thomas.

With Peterson showing nothing through his 1st 2 games and the Saints defense continuing to look very Saintsy, Kamara should continue to find opportunities and could see his role grow further. In a PPR league, he’s a better bench stash than the straight handcuffs to your starting RBs.


D’Onta Foreman, RB, Texans

Blind-bid recommendation: 12-15%

He looked like Houston’s best RB for stretches of Thursday night’s win over the Bengals. Foreman finished with just 40 yards on 12 carries. But that 3.3 yards-per-carry average just barely trailed Lamar Miller’s 3.4 on his 18 totes.

Miller has now failed to reach 4 yards per carry in 5 straight games dating back to last season. The offensive line is partly to blame, but don’t be surprised if this moves closer and closer to a 50/50 backfield split. Foreman is certainly worth stashing.


Tyler Lockett, WR, Seahawks

Blind-bid recommendation: 12-15%

After a quiet opener, Lockett led or tied for the team lead in targets (9), catches (6) and yards (64) in the win over the 49ers. Paul Richardson, meanwhile, caught just 2 of 5 targets.

Lockett out-snapped Richardson 60 to 39 and appears to have already reclaimed the #2 WR job.


J.J. Nelson, WR, Cardinals

Blind-bid recommendation: 12-15%

Nelson led Arizona with 5 catches for 120 yards and a score in Sunday’s overtime win over the Colts. His 7 targets trailed only Jaron Brown’s 11.

With John Brown struggling to get healthy, the speedy Nelson could continue to play a significant role in passing game that needs a spark.


Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns, WR, Jaguars

Blind-bid recommendation: 10-12%

Jacksonville’s starting WRs were busy on a day when QB Blake Bortles attempted 34 passes. Lee (12) and Hurns (7) combined for 19 targets. Lee came away with a 7-76 line, while Hurns posted a 6-82-1.

Both guys look like WR3s going forward — albeit with low floors in a low-volume and inefficient passing game.

A Week 3 meeting with Baltimore doesn’t look overly promising. But the ensuing 4 weeks include friendlier matchups with the Jets, Rams and Colts.


Kendall Wright, WR, Bears

Blind-bid recommendation: 8-10%

Wright paced the Bears with 10 targets in Sunday’s loss to the Bucs, corralling 7 of them for 69 yards. QB Mike Glennon was forced to chuck it 45 times as Chicago trailed throughout.

We can’t expect that much passing volume on a weekly basis. But it sure looks like this Bears team will find itself playing from behind a bunch this year. The matchups certainly don’t get easier the next 2 weeks, vs. Pittsurgh and then at Green Bay.


Jermaine Kearse, WR, Jets

Blind-bid recommendation: 8-10%

The former Seahawk led his new team in targets for the 2nd straight game in Sunday’s loss at Oakland. This time, Kearse scored twice among 4 catches for 64 yards.

This will probably stand as his best fantasy day all season, but Kearse has topped 12 PPR points in each game so far and should continue to benefit from his team trailing opponents … pretty much all season.

The Jets get Miami and then Jacksonville back home the next 2 games before a Week 5 trip to Cleveland.


Vernon Davis, TE, Redskins

Blind-bid recommendation: 5-8%

He caught just 1 ball for 13 yards in Week 2. But Davis will become a legitimate fantasy option if Jordan Reed’s sprained shoulder costs him time. Davis posted lines of 2-50-1, 6-79, 5-47 and 1-13 in the 4 games Reed missed last year.


Zach Miller, TE, Bears

Blind-bid recommendation: 3-5%

He tied for 2nd on the Bears with 9 targets in Sunday’s loss in Tampa, turning them into a 6-42 receiving line. That followed a 6-target opener for Miller.

There’s not much upside here, but you could do worse as a PPR spot starter.


Dwayne Allen, TE, Patriots

Blind-bid recommendation: 3-5%

Rob Gronkowski came away from Sunday’s big outing with a groin injury. Allen isn’t likely to come close to Gronk’s target share even if the top guy misses a Week 3 home game against the Texans. But we’d at least see a boost to Allen’s TD potential.

Of course, if we find out before your waiver run that Gronk’s groin issue is no big deal, then don’t bother with Allen. Gronk told reporters “I’m good” after the game.


Eagles D/ST

Blind-bid recommendation: 3-5%

Even after a big Week 1 at Washington, Philadelphia’s defense started Sunday owned in just 17.3% of ESPN leagues. You’ll want the Eagles for the Week 3 home meeting with the Giants – as well as Week 5, when the Cardinals come to town.

And beyond that sits an attractive stretch: at Carolina (9 points vs. Buffalo on Sunday) and then home for Washington, San Francisco and Denver before a Week 10 bye. If you have the Philly D, then Week 4 (at the Chargers) might be the only time you don’t use it for a while.



Deep-League Options:


Chris Thompson, RB, Redskins

Blind-bid recommendation: 8-12%

He racked up 106 yards and 2 TDs in the win over the Rams. That came on just 6 touches, though. And the Redskins showed no desire to increase Thompson’s volume when RB Rob Kelley exited with a rib injury. He did, however, lead the team with 7 targets.

Thompson is a dynamic player, but his usage keeps him reserved for deeper PPR leagues only.


Chris Johnson, RB, Cardinals

Blind-bid recommendation: 8-10%

Kerwynn Williams got the start, but Johnson ended up leading Arizona with 11 carries and 44 yards vs. the Colts. Williams finished with just 22 yards on 9 totes.

Expect something close to a 50/50 split going forward — in what figures to be a mostly ineffective rushing attack. Johnson is worth rostering in deeper leagues but won’t be a recommended starter most weeks.


Devin Funchess, WR, Panthers

Blind-bid recommendation: 5-7%

He should pick up some extra targets if TE Greg Olsen’s injury cost him time. Funchess posted a 4-68 line on 7 targets in Sunday’s win over the Bills.


Geronimo Allison, WR, Packers

Blind-bid recommendation: 5-7%

Jordy Nelson (quad) and Randall Cobb (shoulder) both exited Sunday's night game in Atlanta. If either is forced to miss more time, Allison will become something close to a full-time player in 1 of the league's best passing games. He caught 8 balls for 157 yards and a score in an expanded role over the final 2 games of last season.


Jaron Brown, WR, Cardinals

Blind-bid recommendation: 3-5%

With John Brown sidelined by a quad injury and Larry Fitzgerald unable to get anything going against the Colts, Jaron led the way with 11 targets. He finished with just 4 grabs for 73 yards, though, against a burnable secondary.

Don’t bank on this type of volume going forward, but Jaron is worth stashing as John struggles getting and staying healthy.


Rashard Higgins, WR, Browns

Blind-bid recommendation: 3-5%

Higgins was promoted from the practice squad on Saturday and then led the Browns with 11 targets on Sunday. He finished with a 7-95 line.

Higgins isn’t a reliable fantasy starter yet — even in deep leagues — but he’s at least worth a speculative stash with Corey Coleman likely looking at a lengthy absence.


Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Jets

Blind-bid recommendation: 2-3%

He’s set to return from his 2-game suspension this coming week and will find plenty of target opportunity. Jets TEs — all much less talented than Seferian-Jenkins — have combined for 9 targets through 2 games.


Ben Watson, TE, Ravens

Blind-bid recommendation: 2-3%

He led Baltimore with 8 targets, 8 catches and 91 yards in Sunday’s easy win over the Browns. That followed a 1-target, 0-catch opener, so we’re not ready to call Watson a reliable fantasy play just yet. But there’s opportunity for him to emerge as the Ravens’ clear lead TE.


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