FREE-AGENT FORECAST: WEEK 2
Free-agent recommendations refer to 12-team league formats, unless specifically stated. FAAB $ amounts are based on $100 budgets.
Priority Free Agent
Matthew Stafford, Lions
Last year’s disastrous offense, injury-ravaged personnel, and Stafford’s own back ailment are in the past. A new system, albeit one that prefers to run, gives the veteran a balanced approach. Under the Jim Bob Cooter offense, everyone knew what was coming. Stafford has weapons, even if his protection is questionable, but the arm is as lively as ever. He belongs in all league formats and should have a much higher ownership percentage. Check your wire if a proven backup or fringe starter is a need.
Andy Dalton, Bengals
Keep in mind, even though Dalton is a priority addition, some owners are still trying to replace Andrew Luck or simply want to upgrade their backup situation (like if you drafted Derek Carr before the AB release). Dalton will have ups and downs, but it is clear this new offense suits his skill set, and the Bengals offer plenty of weapons — even without A.J. Green. If Joe Mixon’s ankle injury limits or costs him time, look for more action from Dalton. He even could work as a one-week play against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 2.
1-week Plug & Play/Grab & Stash
Marcus Mariota, Titans
Been here before? It sure feels that way. The fifth-year veteran is in a make-or-break year, and Tennessee has a rather creative offensive system under new OC Arthur Smith. There’s not a lot of long-range hopefulness in adding Mariota, giving his injury history and major limitations as a passer. Week 2 will be a good barometer for Mariota’s lineup potential: Indy, a division rival, gave up more than 300 yards and a trio of scores to Philip Rivers in Week 1, suggesting the Hawaii product is a fringe starter.