There are some very good targets this week in free agency. The running back wheel kept on spinning, and we may have witnessed a switch at the top in both the Seattle and Chicago backfields. The Seahawks will be tempted to make Christine Michael their lead back going forward, Sadly, Michaels’ ownership is very high already, so he’s an option in less than 30 percent of leagues. However, fantasy owners can find help in the Bears backfield, where the Jordan Howard era may have begun. Starter Jeremy Langford was ineffective and now is out (ankle) for 4-6 weeks and may not have a job when he returns.
As always, I will be updating this list and adding more players for those of you playing in deeper formats. Just head over to Rotobahn on Tuesday afternoon. I’ll be back on Friday with the Starts and Sits and a fresh Fantasy Football Podcast with my good buddy Jim Hackett.
The ownership percentage listed for each player was sourced from Yahoo!
Jameis Winston, Buccaneers, 79 percent
He’s owned in most leagues, but I want to mention him because he needs to be owned in all leagues. This is a guy with a great postseason schedule, with two games against the Saints in Weeks 14-16. He’s getting better every start and he has a very solid supporting cast around him. Go get Winston if you can.
Carson Wentz, Eagles, 20 percent
Did you listen to me last week? I hope so. If not, you’ll have to pay for him now, but he’s worth an investment if you need help at quarterback. Wentz has been very good and he has good weapons all around him. And, as I mentioned the last two weeks, he has a very favorable schedule going forward.
Sam Bradford, Vikings, 11 percent
He’s 2-0 as the starter and he plays a schedule without too many killer matchups. In fact, the Vikings’ playoff matchups are downright tasty, so he’s worth an add in deeper leagues with adequate bench space.
Dak Prescott, Cowboys, 45 percent
He can be used as a streaming option, but I do believe Tony Romo will reclaim the starting gig sometime around Week 8. The Cowboys have a Week 7 bye, but the schedule is favorable until then. He adds points with his feet, and that’s good for his scoring floor.
Trevor Siemian, Broncos, 6 percent
He is worthy of a roster spot in deeper leagues, and his regular-season schedule is very friendly. You probably don’t want to use him during the playoffs with the Patriots and Chiefs in Weeks 15 and 16, but he makes a very solid QB2 until that time. He is playing very steady and he has great talent to throw the ball to.
Tony Romo, Cowboys, 12 percent
He should be the starter again by Week 8, and he should have a ton of fantasy appeal at that time because the Cowboys have a great offense and an excellent schedule. The only week I want Romo on my bench would be Week 13 against the Vikings in Minnesota.
Christine Michael, Seahawks, 72 percent
An easy add if he is somehow on your waiver wire. Michael is on the verge of being the guy in Seattle, and that gig obviously is worth something. Sell out to get him if he is available in your league.
Jordan Howard, Bears, 25 percent
Hopefully you already have him based on my recommendation in last week’s waiver wire. If not, then this is the guy to go after this week. Howard is the best back in Chicago and I really doubt he coughs this thing up going forward. If he loses this gig to something other than injury, it will most likely be a guy who the Bears will draft next year, not Jeremy Langford or Ka’Deem Carey. Howard is a power runner, but he can catch a few balls as well. His value is somewhat limited unless the Bears can start playing better football. Getting Howard going as the main runner is actually a step in the right direction.
Kenyan Drake, Dolphins, 16 percent
If I could only own one Dolphins running back, it would be Drake. He’s the future, and the Dolphins don’t have much of a present to speak of at 1-2 — just barely having escaped defeat against a minor league Browns squad on Sunday. At some point this team will turn to the future in full, and that will lead to a lot of Drake in the second half of the season. I’d be adding him now in leagues with adequate bench space.
Wendell Smallwood, Eagles, 2 percent
They are talking committee in Philadelphia, but if you step back a bit you can see there’s a youth movement underway, and the new regime’s guy is Smallwood, not Ryan Mathews. He’s versatile and he fits the offense. He won’t be an alpha back, because Mathews and Darren Sproles will have roles, but he’s a player to own in all 12-team formats.
Kenneth Dixon, Ravens, 12 percent
He could make his return in Week 4, but even if he ends up coming back for Week 5 he’s worth picking up right now. Dixon has an excellent chance to be Baltimore’s lead back by midseason, and that could mean a lot of touches and plenty of fantasy appeal. Dixon has a complete skill set and can be as effective in passing situations as he is on early downs. He’s the one Ravens back who can be a true playmaker. Go get him.
Orleans Darkwa, Giants, 3 percent
He could take this gig right now if he plays well enough, but more likely he will be part of a multi-back committee with Rashad Jennings, Bobby Rainey and rookie Paul Perkins. That said, for now Darkwa should be worth a flex play in deeper leagues and a roster spot in all leagues if you need short-term running back help.
Dwayne Washington, Lions, 23 percent
The Lions will continue to give Washington meaningful snaps and touches behind new starter Theo Riddick. There’s still no firm word on how long Ameer Abdullah will be out, but he could return around Week 11, after the Lions’ bye. So, Washington’s value has some shelf life if he does well.
Cameron Artis-Payne, Panthers, 19 percent
If you need some help at running back this week, Artis-Payne is a good source of stats. He got 12 carries in Week 3 and split snaps evenly with Fozzy Whittaker. He ran well and should find more room to move this week in a better matchup at the Falcons. Starter Jonathan Stewart is expected to miss at least one more week but could be back as soon as Week 5, based on reports.
Phillip Dorsett, Colts, 52 percent
He ended up having a tough matchup last week and actually lost targets based on what he did in Weeks 1 and 2. That’s going to change going forward, and the Colts have better matchups on three out of the next four weeks. Dorsett should be owned in all leagues because of his upside.
Corey Coleman, Browns, 59 percent
In bigger leagues he simply must be stashed, and you probably ought to do the same in smaller leagues if you have adequate bench space. Coleman has really looked the part so far, and his injury should not affect him much once he returns. It’s a hand injury, not a leg injury.
Michael Thomas, Saints, 48 percent
He seems to be getting better each week, and he finally found the end zone on Monday Night Football. He’ll have plenty of opportunity this week against the Chargers and he should keep developing his role in the red zone, where his skill set can really shine. This kid is no bust. Go get him if you can.
Davante Adams, Packers, 10 percent
The Packers, due to efficiency and some odd game flow, only had 54 offensive snaps. Adams played less than half of those as the Pack got out to a huge lead. Still, Adams clearly was the third receiver and he found the end zone for the second time this season. He’s under-owned because of his struggles last season, but he has a big ceiling and should be owned in all 12-team leagues and some smaller ones as well.
Kevin White, Bears, 49 percent
He is getting a lot of grief for his play so far, but I liked what he saw last week and he has the chops to keep improving. The Bears have plenty of good matchups in the coming weeks, so I’d be adding White where I can, and that includes trades if I can get him on the cheap.
Tyrell Williams, Chargers, 63 percent
He will be a great start on a lot of weeks in deeper leagues. He does have matchups with the Broncos in Weeks 6 and 8, but he is startable in most other weeks and there just isn’t much of a threat to his playing time at this point.
Quincy Enunwa, Jets, 34 percent
Enunwa has really stepped his game up in 2016, and he is a great fill-in or flex option in deeper formats. His role will not change much week to week because the Jets need his presence inside. He is averaging over eight targets per game and had 11 in Week 3. He’s a player who needs to be owned in 12-team leagues.
Chris Hogan, Patriots, 28 percent
His targets have been a little sporadic, but he’s been open often and I like the potential for pass volume to explode once Tom Brady is back under center in Week 5. I’d be adding Hogan now in all leagues. He’s proven to be a very solid fit for the New England offense.
Terrelle Pryor, Bears, 23 percent
He is playing almost all of the offensive snaps, and that will continue for one more game as both Josh Gordon and Corey Coleman remain out for Week 4. Pryor is a good option in all formats next week based on volume alone. They are even getting him some snaps at quarterback.
Jamison Crowder, Washington, 16 percent
He has scored two games in a row, and his targets have been consistent, with seven being his lowest total this season. He has the look of a player who has arrived, and his production should continue with rookie Josh Doctson battling an Achilles injury that could keep him out another week or so. DeSean Jackson is banged up as well, so Crowder is a player to own in 12-team PPR leagues.
Kendall Wright, Titans, 3 percent
I would start adding him now, because the Titans have a huge need at receiver, and it’s a primary weapon they have been lacking. Wright has that kind of talent, and they almost have to give him a good look when he gets back. My guess is that he returns Week 5, but Week 4 still is possible.
Kyle Rudolph, Vikings, 42 percent
His targets have been very consistent and he has found the end zone twice already. Rudolph seems to be settling in as the second option in the passing game and I see no reason why that should change any time soon. He can start for you in all leagues.
Dennis Pitta, Ravens, 62 percent
As I have been saying, he will be a consistent source of points in PPR scoring for as long as he can stay healthy. He’s still out there in some leagues, so go get him.
Zach Miller, Bears, 40 percent
He broke through last week with two scores and he should be a decent start for as long as he can stay healthy. I like the matchups over the next few weeks, so use him now if he isn’t on the injury report this week. Miller did take a major pop on his second score on Sunday Night Football, so that could be something to watch, as he’s had some concussion issues in the past.
Clive Walford, Raiders, 19 percent
Walford took a step back in Week 3, but he is locked in as Oakland’s tight end, so he’s worthy of an add in all 12-team leagues. The key stat for Walford is snaps, and his snap percentage has risen every week and was up to 68 percent in Week 3.
Cameron Brate, Buccaneers, 2 percent
He played more snaps in Week 3 than in the first two weeks combined and that is going to continue because Austin Seferian-Jenkins has been released. Brate is a must-add talent in deep leagues and a potential add in all leagues. He’s had a good connection going with Jameis Winston since last season and he should continue to see targets in the red zone.