Free Agents to Target - Week 8

by Richard Garcia and Tim Heaney on October 24, 2007 @ 16:04:26 PDT


Free Agents to Target Key

Acquire: Players you should target to add to your team immediately.

Look to Acquire: Players you should consider adding if you have a need at the position, are looking to build depth or have the available roster space to block other owners from capitalizing on building the talent on their team.

Watch List: Players you should keep an eye on based off current trends or developing situations.

One-Week Play: Players you should pick up for a spot play due to their matchup.

Quarterbacks: Acquire

Brian Griese, Chicago Bears - Griese has settled in to the starting quarterback position since throwing three interceptions in his debut against the Detroit Lions in Week 4. Since that game, Griese has thrown six touchdown passes and three interceptions over the last three weeks; he is averaging just over 300 yards and two touchdowns passing per game over the last four weeks. Griese is available in 85 percent of casual and 73 percent of competitive leagues polled.

Quarterbacks: Watch List

NEW - Sage Rosenfels, Houston Texans - Rosenfels replaced injured starting quarterback Matt Schaub (ankle, thigh, hip, back) in Week 7, throwing for 290 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions. Schaub has a plethora of injuries and may be forced to miss Week 8. If so, Rosenfels could be an interesting option. He's available in nearly all leagues so keep him on your radar.

Running Backs: Acquire

Kenny Watson, Cincinnati Bengals - Watson has started the last three games for the Bengals, replacing the injured Rudi Johnson (hamstring). His last was by far his best: He rushed for a career-high 130 yards and three touchdowns. With Watson proving that he can carry the load in Johnson's absence, the team may look to let Johnson heal a bit longer. Watson should be picked up - he is available in 94 percent of casual and 32 percent of competitive leagues polled.

Kevin Jones, Detroit Lions - In Week 7 Jones made his first start of the season for the Lions and saw a significant amount of action. Jones carried the ball 15 times for 76 yards and a touchdown. He also recorded six receptions for 34 yards. Offensive coordinator Mike Martz made an effort to run the ball, something that he's not known for doing. Jones has several favorable matchups coming up and is available in 61 percent of casual and 9 percent of competitive leagues polled.

Jesse Chatman, Miami Dolphins - Chatman seems likely to take over the starting job for running back Ronnie Brown (knee), who is done for the season after sustaining a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Chatman carried the ball well after Brown's injury, running for 73 yards and a touchdown on seven carries. Chatman has rushed for 117 yards this season and is gaining 5.9 yards per carry. Chatman is available in 99 percent of casual and 93 percent of competitive leagues.

Earnest Graham, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Graham made a strong case to continue as the team's starting running back, rushing for 92 yards and catching a team-record 13 passes for 99 yards against the Detroit Lions last week. Graham's versatility as both a runner and a receiver has given him extra value, although it's not certain that such production will continue with running back Michael Bennett in the fold. Nonetheless, Graham is the man of the moment, and fantasy owners should grab him. He is available in 54 percent of casual and 16 percent of competitive leagues polled.

NEW - Jason Wright, Cleveland Browns - Starting running back Jamal Lewis (foot) continues to be hampered by a foot injury, and Wright could be the feature back in Week 8. Wright rushed 20 times for 59 yards and caught three passes for 39 yards in place of Lewis in Week 6 before the bye week. Wright is available in 93 percent of casual leagues and 52 percent of competitive leagues. He should be owned if Lewis continues to ail.

Running Backs: Watch List

NEW - Patrick Cobbs, Miami Dolphins - Cobbs quietly ran three times for 14 yards and a score in Week 7. Now that starter Ronnie Brown (knee) is done for the year, Cobbs is Jesse Chatman's primary backup. He could see some minor work, but he's just a player you want to watch for now. He's available in nearly all leagues polled.

Wide Receivers: Acquire

Kevin Walter, Houston Texans - Walter has quietly been one of the most productive wide receivers in the league recently. After a huge game two weeks ago, in which he caught 12 passes for 160 yards, Walter followed that up with a six-catch performance for 97 yards and a touchdown in Week 7 against the Tennessee Titans. He is averaging 7.25 receptions for over 100 yards over the last four weeks. He has a weak-play matchup this week, but his production shouldn't be overlooked. Walter is available in 93 percent of casual and 71 percent of competitive leagues polled.

Andre' Davis, Houston Texans - After taking a backseat to his fellow receiver, Walter, two weeks ago, Davis stepped out this past week, making four receptions for 88 yards and a touchdown. He has been one of the Texans' most reliable receiving options while No. 1 wide receiver Andre Johnson (knee) has been out. The Texans offense has been distributing the ball well of late, with either quarterback Matt Schaub or Sage Rosenfels behind center. Like Walter, Davis has a weak-play matchup this week against the San Diego Chargers, but Davis is worth picking up. He is available in 50 percent of casual and 44 percent of competitive leagues polled.

Amani Toomer, New York Giants - Toomer caught a touchdown pass during the Giants' first possession for the second consecutive week, the later one coming against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 7. In the past four weeks, he has been getting more looks: six per game (9.8 percent), including 1.5 per game (15.6 percent) in the red zone and 0.75 per game inside the 5. He is averaging 3.5 catches per game for 44.8 yards over the last four weeks. Toomer has been getting three times as many looks in the red zone as wide receiver Plaxico Burress in that time. Toomer has a strong-play matchup against the Miami Dolphins this coming week, too. Toomer is available 64 percent of casual and 48 percent of competitive leagues polled.

Muhsin Muhammad, Chicago Bears - Muhammad is in an offense that can't rely on the running game and has many weapons, from rookie tight end Greg Olsen to wide receiver/return man Devin Hester. Despite an overcrowding in the receiving game, Muhammad has been able to increase his value by catching a touchdown pass in back-to-back weeks. Despite his age (34), Muhammad continues to be effective and is a big target (6-foot-2, 215 pounds), especially in the red zone. He is available in 50 percent of casual and 49 percent of competitive leagues polled.

Lee Evans, Buffalo Bills - Evans had his best game of the season last week against the Baltimore Ravens, pulling in five receptions for 98 yards. Though he didn't score a touchdown, and still hasn't to this point, it is encouraging that he finally had a productive game. With rookie quarterback Trent Edwards looking his way, Evans is beginning to regain some of the fantasy value he lost. Evans is available in 30 percent of casual and 25 percent of competitive leagues polled.

Brandon Stokley, Denver Broncos - Stokley's value takes a big jump after No. 1 wide receiver Javon Walker (knee) had knee surgery that will sideline him for at least four weeks. Stokley was already filling in at the No. 2 spot opposite wide receiver Brandon Marshall, and in Week 7 the move produced dividends: He grabbed five passes for 70 yards and a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers. It was his best game as a Broncos receiver, and with the live arm of quarterback Jay Cutler, he could see plenty more. Stokley is available in 96 of casual and 84 percent of competitive leagues polled.

NEW - Isaac Bruce, St. Louis Rams - Bruce was dumped in a lot of leagues after suffering a hamstring injury that kept him out for a few weeks. He's available in 52 percent of casual leagues and 60 percent of competitive leagues. While the Rams' offense has been atrocious, they are starting to get healthier with quarterback Marc Bulger (ribs) returning last week with Bruce (hamstring) and running back Steven Jackson (groin) slated to return this week. Bruce should be owned in most leagues.

Wide Receivers: Look to Acquire

Arnaz Battle, San Francisco 49ers - Battle is probably the only one that has benefited while quarterback Trent Dilfer has been the starter. He has caught a touchdown pass in each of the last two games and has been one of Dilfer's favorite targets. Battle is a strong play this week against a New Orleans Saints defense that has allowed a total of 10 touchdowns and 192 yards per game to receivers this season. Battle is available in 97 percent of casual and 90 percent of competitive leagues polled.

Reggie Brown, Philadelphia Eagles - After seemingly falling off quarterback Donovan McNabb's radar, Brown has seen his looks and catches pick up over the last two weeks. Brown has nine catches for 133 yards since the team's Week 5 bye and looks to have regained his quarterback's confidence. He is noticeably the No. 2 receiver behind Kevin Curtis, but his value is starting to pick up. Brown is available in 43 percent of casual and 35 percent of competitive leagues polled.

Roydell Williams, Tennessee Titans - Williams posted the best totals of his three-year career this past week against the Houston Texans, registering five receptions for 124 yards. In the game prior to their matchup with the Texans, Williams also had five receptions, that time for 44 yards. Williams has made the most of his opportunities. Wide receiver Brandon Jones (knee) could return this week, but it's not a certainty. Quarterback Vince Young could as well, and that may limit Williams value, which seems to be higher with the more pass-oriented Kerry Collins at quarterback. Nonetheless, Williams is a third-year man on the rise. He is available in 98 percent of casual and 95 percent of competitive leagues polled.

NEW - Marty Booker, Miami Dolphins - Booker hasn't done much this season with 23 catches for 274 yards and a touchdown. However, after Chris Chambers was traded to the Chargers, Booker is now the No. 1 receiver. He's available in 75 percent of casual leagues and 74 percent of competitive leagues. He should be owned in more leagues, especially since the team lost surging running back Ronnie Brown (knee) for the season.

NEW - Chris Henry, Cincinnati Bengals - Henry is eligible to return from suspension in one week. Henry is such a dynamic player in an explosive offense that he should start being picked up off waivers. He was amazing in the preseason with 14 catches for 195 yards and two scores. He is available in 94 percent of casual leagues and 85 percent of competitive leagues polled.

Wide Receivers: Watch List

NEW - Devery Henderson/David Patten, New Orleans Saints - Henderson has been a huge disappointment this season, but he's still arguably the most explosive receiver on the team. He found the end zone on a 37-yard pass last week, but he still has just nine catches for 183 yards on the year. Patten had a huge game two weeks ago with eight catches for 113 yards. However, he followed that up with two catches for 29 yards last week. Henderson can be found in 61 percent of casual and 77 percent of competitive leagues. Patten is available in nearly all casual leagues and 78 percent of competitive leagues.

NEW - Justin Gage, Tennessee Titans - Gage has come on strong over the last two weeks with nine catches for 130 yards in the two games combined. This is clearly his most productive stretch since 2005. You can find Gage in nearly all leagues, but he is just worth watching for now.

NEW - Rod Smith, Denver Broncos - Remember him? Smith (hip) practiced with the team Wednesday for the first time in 10 months as the Broncos' all-time leading receiver worked out while sitting on the Physically Unable to Perform list. Still recovering from hip surgery in February, the 37-year-old wideout participated in drills and ran several passing routes. Fellow Broncos wide receiver Javon Walker (knee) is expected to miss five to six more weeks after having surgery of his own, and the Broncos could use a more-than-familiar offensive presence. The good news is that the Broncos have some time to analyze his performance as he will be eligible to be activated in three weeks. Owners hungry for a wideout should look into picking up and stashing Smith as he could help if he returns healthy. He's available in nearly all leagues. Keep posted on his progress. 

Wide Receivers: One-Week Play

NEW - Joe Jurevicius, Cleveland Browns - Jurevicius has a solid matchup against the St. Louis Rams in Week 8. He could easily sneak into the end zone with so much attention needed for No. 1 receiver Braylon Edwards and stud tight end Kellen Winslow. Jurevicius stung the Rams for nine catches, 137 yards and a touchdown in 2005 when with the Seattle Seahawks. He's available in more than 72 percent of all leagues polled.

Tight Ends: Acquire

Donald Lee, Green Bay Packers - Quarterback Brett Favre loves to spread the ball around, especially to his tight ends. Lee should become his primary target at the position will fellow tight end Bubba Franks (knee) expected to miss a couple of weeks. Lee is averaging 3.33 receptions per game for 54.67 yards over his last three games. With Franks out of the picture for a while, Lee's value gets a jolt, especially in the red zone, where Franks was averaging close to a full look more per game. Lee is a strong play this week, available in 83 percent of casual and 60 percent of competitive leagues polled.

Desmond Clark, Chicago Bears - The tight end position for the Bears has become quarterback Brian Griese's favorite option, whether it's Clark or Greg Olsen. Clark has the edge over Olsen bringing in an average of 4.5 receptions for 46.5 yards per game over the last four weeks, including two touchdowns in that span. Clark is on the field more at this point, and although Olsen is getting more playing time, the coaches believe that Olsen is pushing Clark to perform at a higher level. Clark is available in 19 percent of casual and 29 of competitive leagues polled.

Greg Olsen, Chicago Bears - Olsen is the team's most dynamic tight end and has been seeing his role increase to include lining up as a wide receiver several times during a game. He has all the tools to be an elite tight end, and team's are having to game plan around him already. Olsen is bringing in 3.25 receptions per game for 42 yards over his last four games and should be added immediately, especially in keeper leagues. Olsen is available in 50 percent of casual leagues and 32 percent of competitive leagues polled.

Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers - Davis (knee) made his return to the 49ers starting lineup after missing their previous two games with a knee injury. Last week, Davis caught four passes for 22 yards and should become a focal point for either quarterback Trent Dilfer or Alex D. Smith (shoulder) when he returns. Davis is a weak play this week, but he should be picked up. He is available in 41 percent of casual and 34 percent of competitive leagues polled.

Tight Ends: One-Week Plays

NEW - Matt Schobel, Philadelphia Eagles - Schobel snuck into the end zone for his first touchdown of the year last week, but he only has six catches for 57 yards. He faces the pass-defense deficient Vikings this week and is worthy of a one-week play if your tight end is on a bye. He's available in virtually all leagues.

NEW - Matt Spaeth, Pittsburgh Steelers - Spaeth continues to score touchdowns. He has four catches on the year, and three of them have hit paydirt in 2007. Spaeth will face the Bengals this week, which can't stop tight ends very well. If you need a bye week replacement, give him a shot as he's available in 96 percent of casual leagues and 99 percent of competitive leagues.

NEW - Kyle Brady, New England Patriots - Brady caught a touchdown for the second week in a row last week, which prompted owners to scramble to acquire him in 26 percent of competitive leagues polled. He has five catches and two scores over the last month. Brady can be acquired in nearly all casual leagues and 74 percent of competitive leagues as a one-week play against Washington.

Tight Ends: Watch List

NEW - Justin Peelle, Miami Dolphins - Peelle practiced with the Dolphins first team Wednesday as starter David Martin (ankle) sat out of practice. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported that Martin had played the last two games with a high ankle sprain, and he sat out today because he was bothered by a strained groin. This could open a door for Peelle as Dolphins quarterback Cleo Lemon has frequently utilized Martin since taking over the starting job. If Martin can't go on Sunday against the New York Giants at London's Wembley Stadium, then Peelle would get his looks. Peelle has 107 yards on 11 catches with two touchdowns this season and would slide into the starting spot. Note that he has a Bye in Week 9 after crossing the Atlantic Ocean this week, so plan accordingly based on your needs. He's available in nearly all leagues.

Place Kickers: Acquire

Rob Bironas, Tennessee Titans - Bironas set an NFL record by kicking eight field goals, including the game-winner from 29 yards out against the Houston Texans Sunday. His recent outburst is a little shocking, but Bironas has been averaging four field goals attempts and close to two extra point attempts. This equates to an average of 12.67 points per game over the last four weeks. The Titans offense didn't lose a step and, in fact, seemed to gain a step in quarterback Vince Young's absence. Bironas is available in 99 percent of casual leagues and 84 percent of competitive leagues polled.

NEW - Nate Kaeding, San Diego Chargers - San Diego's bye week in Week 7 prompted a lot of owners to dump Kaeding. In fact, he's available in 39 percent of casual leagues and 24 percent of competitive leagues. This is a big no-no as he faces the Houston Texans, who just allowed eight field goals last week. Pick him up!

Place Kicker One-Week Play

Mason Crosby, Green Bay Packers - Crosby has proven that he has the leg to compete at the NFL level, but his recent inaccuracies have dropped his fantasy value of late. Crosby has missed three field goals this season, including two as many weeks ago against the Washington Redskins. Despite the poor outing, he is averaging close to three attempts per game and two extra points for an eight-point average over the past four weeks. Crosby has a favorable matchup this week at Mile High Stadium. He has a strong play matchup while being available in 74 percent of casual and 57 percent of competitive leagues polled.

Defensive Team One-Week Play

Cleveland Browns, Team Defense - The Browns defense is far from being a top fantasy option, but this week's matchup against the St. Louis Rams is favorable, and they could be looked at as a solid bye week fill-in. The Rams offense is in shambles, and the return of quarterback Mark Bulger last week didn't make the impact coaches had thought. Bulger committed five turnovers, including three interceptions and two fumbles lost. The Browns are averaging an interception and close to one sack over their last four games. The Browns defense is a strong play, available in 99 percent of casual and 96 percent of competitive leagues polled.

NEW - New Orleans Saints, Defensive Team - The Saints go marching to San Francisco to face the dysfunctional offense of the 49ers. There's a chance quarterback Alex D. Smith (shoulder) could return, but does it really matter right now? Incumbent starter Trent Dilfer threw two picks, lost two fumbles and was sacked six times last week by the New York Giants. New Orleans can be found in 97 percent of casual leagues and 74 percent of competitive leagues as a one-week play.

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About Richard Garcia

Garcia served as a managing editor for KFFL. Prior to his time with KFFL, Richard worked in managerial roles with both Frito-Lay Inc. and UPS. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in public relations from California State Polytechnic University-Pomona and fulfilled his internship requirements with the Los Angeles Kings Hockey organization in 2001.

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