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Rotobahn Top 200

Rotobahn Top 200

Now we're getting somewhere
By: Pete Davidson : July 13, 2014 11:37am

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Welcome to the deepest set of rankings so far in 2014…. The Rotobahn Top 200. These are the 200 most valuable assets in redraft leagues with the kickers are defenses omitted. Next week I’ll be back with the Top 300, which will include the DEF and K positions and some more skill talent as well.

Once the 300 is out, it will be updated and reposted on a weekly basis as we work our way up to and through the drafting season. In early August, we’ll release our positional draft plans and in mid-to-late August, I’ll have this year’s version of Drafting In Reverse ready for consumption. Jim Hackett and I will also being doing several podcasts and radio shows on WEEI and WEEI.COM, and I will post links to all that content on our site so you can check it out. We plan to do some very useful podcasts that will highlight some 2014 draft strategy as well as some draft theory. I hope you’ll tune in if you live in the Boston area and check it all out online if you are not.

As for the rankings…. We are still evaluating and watching film. We’re still analyzing depth charts and coaching changes too. These rankings will be highly fluid for the next few weeks, and I will be updating and tweaking them regularly. I will also be posting cheat sheets soon. Probably some time this week. Those will be updated weekly until drafting season is over.

As I have said a few times already, this material is easy to navigate by using the search function.  It’s over there to your right and it searches instantly. No page reloads. It’s not just a way to search for individual players. Try typing keywords like “camp battle”, “handcuff”, “value” or “training camp.”

Stay with us for 2014, folks. We’re just getting started. Go to The Rotobahn and check out all of our offseason content if you haven’t already. There are 63 individual rookie scouting reports waiting for you plus my notes from The Combine, which Rotobahn attended in 2014. We also have rookie rankings for dynasty and more.

 
Rank Pos Rank PLAYER POS TEAM BYE THE SKINNY
1 1 Adrian Peterson RB MIN 10 I’m putting AP up top to make a point about how good he could be this year. If you want to go with Charles or McCoy, that is completely reasonable. We project all three to post similar elite numbers in standard leagues. We bump AP back a bit in PPR formats. The future HOF RB will be great in Norv Turner’s offense.
2 2 Jamaal Charles RB KC 6 There’s no reason to doubt him in year two of the Andy Reid Era. He’s healthy and we’ve already seen him dominate in the new system. He could lose a little bit of volume as they increase Knile Davis’ role, but he’ll still be elite.
3 3 LeSean McCoy RB PHI 7 Like Charles, we’ve seen how good he is in a new system, and we expect HC Chip Kelly to continue featuring the mercurial back. And, as with Charles, we also expect a slight down tick in playing time. The addition of Darren Sproles should allow them to rest McCoy a little bit more than they could in 2013. McCoy is still elite … even with a slight reduction in snaps.
4 4 Eddie Lacy RB GB 9 We’ve fully bought into Lacy. With the seeming retirement of Johnathan Franklin, Lacy becomes the obvious best option in all situations. He’ll get rest, but not as much as he’d have gotten with a healthy Franklin behind him. He projects as a fantasy stud in 2014. He’s ahead of Forte in standard scoring.
5 5 Matt Forte RB CHI 9 The last of the high probability bell-cow guys. Forte is entrenched in a system that plays to his strengths. He’s top five in all scoring formats and perhaps top three in PPR.
6 1 Calvin Johnson WR DET 9 Megatron makes a good pick anytime after the five elite backs are off the board. Calvin has more help this season with the additions of Golden Tate and Eric Ebron. He’ll be a little harder to double and should continue to dominate statistically. He’s our top receiver in all formats.
7 1 Jimmy Graham TE NO 6 As long as there are no reports of foot trouble, we like taking Graham very high and locking up one of the bigger differential players in fantasy football. Tight end is not deep with elite talent and Graham stands alone among the elite options that do exist. To me, he becomes a viable selection as soon as the top five backs are off the board.
8 2 Demaryius Thomas WR DEN 4 The loss of Eric Decker could allow teams to lean even harder on Thomas, but he should still see tons of volume and scoring chances. He’s an elite talent with an elite QB. A no-brainer selection late in round one. Draft Demaryius with confidence.
9 6 Demarco Murray RB DAL 11 Long time Rotobahn readers know that we’re big fans of Murray’s game and his ability to stay healthy in 2013 was encouraging. What’s also encouraging is the Cowboys’ improving offensive line and a scheme that should really play to Murray’s strengths in the receiving game. The Cowboys’ new OC Scott Linehan is another positive as he’s coached some very productive backs from a fantasy perspective. Murray’s PPR value is even higher than his standard value. I am ok with taking Murray in round one, especially in PPR leagues.
10 7 Montee Ball RB DEN 4 He's young with fresh legs and he’s going to play major snaps behind Peyton Manning. That’s essentially the argument for Montee Ball and I can’t say that I disagree. He showed enough as a rookie to buy into him now that Knowshon Moreno is a Dolphin. This team will move the ball as they did in 2013 and Montee Ball is going to see tons of scoring chances. He’s a very solid RB1 option worthy of a round one selection.
11 3 AJ Green WR CIN 4 He's a highly stable asset and a high-end talent. The only downgrade would be at QB, but Andy Dalton’s been the guy over the last two seasons and Green’s been an elite option during that time. He’s a very safe option as a WR1. Draft AJ with confidence.
12 4 Dez Bryant WR DAL 11 I worry a bit about injury. Dez had back issues last year and he is always willing to put his body on the line to make a play. If there’s a receiver that could out-stat Calvin Johnson this season, it’s Bryant, but he needs to play 16 games to pull it off. If you like those odds, then take him in round one.
13 8 Marshawn Lynch RB SEA 4 Age and mileage are becoming issues, and his contract situation clouds his status in 2015. That said, he’s the man and Seattle will run the ball plenty as they always do. While we expect Christine Michael and Robert Turbin to get work, we also expect Lynch to lead the way and get the bulk of the goal line work. He’s still a RB1 option, but I am leaning towards elite receiving options like Dez or Marshall in PPR formats.
14 9 Le’veon Bell RB PIT 12 He's great in any format because he will catch plenty of passes and he’ll get plenty of goal line love. If you read Rotobahn last year, you know we’re big fans of Bell’s game. With his foot injury seemingly in the rear view mirror, we are liking Le’Veon as a solid RB1 option in all formats. He’s a good pick at the round one/two turn and early on in round two of twelve team drafts. LeGarrette Blount is a nice handcuff option for Bell, especially in performance scoring leagues.
15 5 Julio Jones WR ATL 9 As long as you can stomach the risk of losing him to another foot injury, you will get one of the highest statistical ceilings in fantasy football by drafting Julio. It’s a play-to-win pick, but you better build some receiving depth just in case.
16 6 Brandon Marshall WR CHI 9 We do envision a bit more spreading of the football this year in Chicago and for a few reasons. The big one is that they want Jay Cutler getting rid of the football and taking fewer big hits. Cutler’s health is crucial to Chicago’s season. The Bears give Cutler great pre-snap advantages with size everywhere and potential mismatches all over the formation plus a reliable target out of the backfield. Marshall will be great and he’ll be a WR1, but he should see a slight drop from his 2013 numbers.
17 7 Jordy Nelson WR GB 9 He's healthy and so is his HOF QB. Nelson is a reliable WR1 as things currently stand. He’s got high-end potential in all the receiving categories. He’s a WR1 in both standard and PPR scoring.
18 10 Arian Foster RB HOU 10 We are avoiding Foster if we can. He’s past his prime and the injuries have begun. He will have to reinvent himself to some extent in a new offense though the blocking scheme should be similar in the running game. Arian still has RB1 upside, but we just don’t trust him enough overall to pull the trigger in the early rounds and certainly not at his ADP of 11. We also have concerns that new QB, Ryan Fitzpatrick, will not be able to get defenses out of the box with enough consistency as Matt Schaub could in his prime.
19 8 Alshon Jeffery WR CHI 9 How are teams going to stop him? Brandon Marshall draws extra coverage and the Bears have talent all over the formation. Jeffery is going to get his unless he gets hurt. He’s a safe option in the 2nd or 3rd round of any draft.
20 9 Antonio Brown WR PIT 12 He's worth even more in PPR, but we like him in all formats because he’s the one receiving option in Pittsburgh that you know is going work. We like a lot of the young talent in Pitt, but they are young and they have yet to actually do it. Brown is the centerpiece of the passing game and a very stable fantasy option.
21 10 Randall Cobb WR GB 9 He's healthy and that’s all we need know. He’s a high-end weapon with a HOF QB slinging him the ball. Look for WR1 caliber production in 12-team leagues and give him a little bump in PPR scoring. He’s got 100 catch potential and he’ll score about ten times too.
22 11 Andre Ellington RB ARI 4 Ellington leads a big tier of backs ranked near the end of round two for 12-team leagues. The reason he’s out front is because he is so entrenched as the lead back on his team. Arizona should give him ample opportunity in terms of volume and his OL is going to be significantly improved compared to his rookie season. Remember, the Cards lost OG Jonathan Cooper (7th overall selection) last August. He returns from a broken leg at 100 percent.
23 12 Doug Martin RB TB 7 Like Stacy, Martin’s a guy who could move up or back depending on how his role shapes up in camp. The Bucs drafted Charles Simms, a player who could take the 3rd down role at some point. The Bucs are talking up a RBBC, but we’re still leaning heavily towards Martin because he’s the back with the most talent. Just don’t expect him to dominate the snaps as he was expected to in 2013.
24 13 Zac Stacy RB STL 4 Stacy could move up a spot or two if he locks up his job in camp. We have some mild concerns that rookie Tre Mason could cut into Stacy’s role in the near term. It’s more likely that it will happen over time, but a good August for Mason is bad news for Stacy’s value. In that scenario, Zac could get a downgrade. The one thing we don’t question is Stacy’s ability, which we liked quite a bit going into last year’s draft.
25 14 Giovani Bernard RB CIN 4 Gio is another back who might get a preseason bump. It’s all about how well Jeremy Hill comes along. If Hill is all they expected when they selected him in the 2nd round ahead of Carlos Hyde, Gio is going to lose a lot of the goal line and significant snaps between the 20s. This is a situation to watch very closely in August.
26 15 CJ Spiller RB BUF 9 Spiller is an elite talent and all he needs to do is stay healthy to post robust RB2 stats. What makes Spiller such a value is that he can often be had in the late second or early third round and that’s a great place to draft a back with round one upside.
27 2 Julius Thomas TE DEN 4 He could become the second weapon in the offense with Decker gone and Welker showing some signs of decline. Newcomers Cody Latimer and Emmanuel Sanders are both potentially productive, but Thomas has the experience with Manning and the system and perhaps the most TD potential on the team. The one concern I have is with his feet. His ankles cost him the bulk of his first few seasons and he missed two games in 2014 with a typical sprain. He’s a very reasonable option in the 3rd round on 12-team drafts and I would not fault you for taking him late in round two if you have enough confidence to draft well late. That’s the thing about taking a TE early. You will need to find some value at RB or WR later on because you pass up on an elite option to take the tight end.
28 1 Peyton Manning QB DEN 4 As our readers know by now, we are not big on drafting QBs early. Late third round is where I start to consider them if there are elite options on the table. Of course, if your league awards 6 points for all touchdowns and a point for every 20 yards, you might consider the elites a little bit sooner. I’m still waiting for the 3rd round though perhaps earlier in the 3rd. Manning is our first choice, but we can see good arguments for both Rodgers and Brees. I have no qualms with any of them as the first QB off the board.
29 11 Michael Floyd WR ARI 4 Yes, this is a bold ranking, and you may be able to steal him in the 5th round of many drafts. I just want people to understand how good we think this guy is … and he is ready to bust out in Bruce Arians’ offense. Teams can’t lean on him with Fitz on the other side and the Cards have strengthened the offense overall this offseason. Good vibes here.
30 2 Aaron Rodgers QB GB 9 He's got a revamped (in a good way) receiving group and a stout ground attack. If the OL holds up, he could be the top QB when all is said and done in 2014. There’s very little chance of him being outside of the top five. Barring another bad injury, Rodgers will reassume his perch among the fantasy elite.
31 12 Keenan Allen WR SD 10 He's getting a lot of love from early drafts and understandably so, but I am somewhat concerned with his schedule, which includes two games with an improved Denver D and four games against the oh-so-nasty NFC West. The rest of the news is good for Allen, who showed legit WR1 chops in 2013. He’s the focal point of the San Diego passing attack.
32 3 Drew Brees QB NO 6 I was ready to downgrade ( just a little) Brees this year after seeing some signs of decline last season. Then the Saints went out and drafted Brandin Cooks to more than make up for the loss of Darren Sproles. Brees now has a young trio of offensive weapons in Jimmy Graham, Kenny Stills and Cooks and he still has a productive Marcus Colston, which adds stability. Brees should post great numbers once again in 2014. He’s in a dead heat with Manning and Rodgers for the top spot based on our numbers, so trust your gut.
33 3 Rob Gronkowski TE NE 10 Here’s an extremely volatile asset. Gronk’s a reasonable selection a lot earlier than I have him ranked, but understand the risks of taking him there. Start by drawing a quick picture of the body. Now draw some x marks on all the areas that Gronk’s had surgery. Yikes. And, let’s face it, he’s going to keep getting hit by defenses that understand the value of getting him off the field. Ok, now the positive…. Gronk is probably the most valuable TE going when healthy. He’s on par with Jimmy Graham and perhaps even a shade better when you look at how he dominates in the Patriots red zone offense. It’s a play-to-win pick with huge downside if you take him in round two or even early in round three.
34 16 Ryan Mathews RB SD 10 Mathews is a back I want to push higher but there are a few key red flags to be mindful of. First, he’s still a back with an injury history though he played through pain in 2013 and deserves some credit for that. Second, Danny Woodhead really carved out a role last year and he should get plenty of snaps again in 2014. Third, the Chargers paid decent bucks for Donald Brown and we’re not sure how they plan to use him at this point. Last but not least, Mathews and the Chargers play a pretty nasty schedule this year. The Chargers posted nice numbers going against the NFCE in 2013. They get the NFCW in 2014—starting with Seattle in Week 1. All that said, Mathews played very well in 2013 and we like his chances of posting RB2 numbers in 2014. He’s better in standard scoring.
35 13 Larry Fitzgerald WR ARI 4 I like Fitz as a WR1 or high end WR2 for 2014. He’s healthy and this is the best offense he’s had around him in a long, long while.
36 14 Andre Johnson WR HOU 10 He's a huge talent, so I can’t drop him much farther than this, but I worry about his QB situation and the new offense plus the fact that he’s at odds with the organization. He’s also at an age where there is risk of decline. I like AJ as a WR2 with WR1 upside and that’s what he is if you can nab him in the late 3rd or early 4th.
37 15 Vincent Jackson WR TB 7 V-Jax is the lone established option in the Bucs’ offense and we expect him to thrive as usual. Teams will actually have a harder time throwing extra coverage at him with a deeper group of skill talent in Tampa this season. Mike Evans will also command respect and Austin Seferian-Jenkins could be a red zone monster. This is all excellent news for the Bucs QBs.
38 16 Pierre Garcon WR WAS 10 Will he get the same kind of volume in a new offense and with DeSean Jackson in town? Probably not, so we are not banking on a repeat of 2013 for Garcon. That said, he is a fine receiver and has the trust of his QB. We view Pierre as a very desirable WR2 option.
39 17 Cordarrelle Patterson WR MIN 10 This is a player I am looking to draft if I can. I’m having trouble saying “no” once I get into the 4th round. It’s a rare situation where I am ok with reaching because we love Patterson’s potential working with Adrian Peterson in Norv Turner’s offense. Last year’s coaching staff had some trouble using both AP and Patterson at the same time. Once Peterson was banged up, Patterson started going off. Norv Turner will get these two great talents working off of each other’s abilities. It’s not rocket science, folks. Check out our original scouting report on Cordarrelle if you haven’t already. His college game film never gets old.
40 17 Reggie Bush RB DET 9 He’ll be in a time share, but he’ll also be playing in an offense that throws to its backs as he was last year. With a bolstered receiving group, there will be plenty of room to work underneath for Bush and for Joique Bell. Bush has significantly enhanced value in PPR formats.
41 18 Percy Harvin WR SEA 4 I love Harvin, but he has to prove he can stay healthy. Ankles, hips and migraines lead the list of concerns and his style of play puts him in harm’s way consistently. He’ll be a big producer as long as he’s out there.
42 19 Roddy White WR ATL 9 Throw 2013 out. The guy played hurt all year. Last season is not in any way indicative of what White brings to the table. He lacks the TD potential that he had in his hey day, but Roddy is still going to catch a lot of balls and will see the zone enough to give him solid WR2 value. He gets a small bump in PPR formats.
43 20 Michael Crabtree WR SF 8 Injury is always a concern and there is more competition for targets in Frisco than at any other time in Crabtree’s career. Still, he’ll be the lead dog in the passing game and he’s healthy now. He makes a nice WR2 in any format, but you’ll want some extra depth if you are leaning heavily on Crabtree.
44 21 Torrey Smith WR BAL 11 He's got some post-hype appeal, and it’s not like the guy’s been disappointing. The only people reasonably disappointed with Smith are those who over-drafted him. We see a player making yearly strides and he should post his finest season to date in 2014. He’s a very nice value at his current ADP of 65. So you won’t need to draft him where I have him ranked. If you are patient, you can get him in the 6th round of 12-team leagues. For those in PPR, I think you can expect 70 plus receptions this season and an increase in touchdowns. He’ll get back to the 7-8 range and perhaps better.
45 18 Alfred Morris RB WAS 10 You can make an argument for taking him a lot higher, but we are very concerned that new HC Jay Gruden will revamp the offense in a way that will reduce the reliance on Morris, who is mediocre as a receiver to put it mildly. He’s a RB2 in standard league with RB1 upside if Gruden uses him as he’s been used in the past by Mike Shanahan.
46 19 Bishop Sankey RB TEN 9 He's young and unproven but he projects to handle the bulk of the snaps in the Titans’ backfield and that’s worth plenty. The Titans blocked pretty well over the season’s second half and they don’t have to face the NFC West as they did in 2013. We see an improvement over 2013 on offense and Sankey will lead the way along with Kendall Wright and Justin Hunter. Check out Sankey’s scouting report if you haven’t already.
47 20 Chris Johnson RB NYJ 11 I'm tempted to rank him a lot higher, but this is the Jets we’re talking about and you just don’t know what they’ll do with their backfield. Right now, with an ADP of 58, Johnson is a freaking steal. People get all worked up over his 3.9 YPC in 2013, but there are two big things to remember. CJ was still a RB1 when all was said and done, and he played all four NFC West teams during his 16 game fantasy schedule. The Jets are actually a better offense than the Titans were in 2013. Johnson is getting hugely disrespected right now and is a steal in the 5th round or even a round earlier. His knee situation (scope/cartilage repair) should be all cleared up by camp but we’ll be monitoring it. Johnson has missed just a single game over the last six seasons and has never come in under 1,000 yards in his career.
48 22 T.Y. Hilton WR IND 10 I want to push him higher but the Colts have an annoying tendency to play the wrong players at times. Just look at how long they stuck with DHB. Hilton is the best receiver in Indy now, but we have no confidence that he’ll play more then 70 percent of the snaps and that could limit him in terms of challenging the elite producers.
49 4 Jordan Cameron TE CLE 4 He's a proven playmaker and he’s the clear number one target on his team. I have no qualms about taking Cameron a little ahead of his ADP of 59, as long as you have a well stocked backfield when you pull the trigger. We like him in round five or later in 12-team drafts.
50 21 Shane Vereen RB NE 10 He gets a large bump in PPR and I’d have him a lot higher if he’d EVER given us a good run of health. Vereen has huge upside, but he’s also suffered way too many injuries to trust as a core player. I like him in round five, but I’d go at least a round earlier in PPR, where he could really rack up points.
51 22 Toby Gerhart RB JAC 11 You could argue that Gerhart deserves more love and you could reasonably argue the opposite based on career production and a young talented depth chart in Jacksonville. We are TG believers because he’s a big back with legit football skill. He can play effectively on all three downs (very good receiver) and he was paid the kind of money that says he will get used heavily. Gerhart is not a sexy pick, but if you are in need of a RB in the middle rounds, he’s a solid option and we think he’s equally good in PPR formats … maybe even a shade better. Just don’t get too excited and reach for him in the early round. I would not consider him until the fourth and he’s better left for the fifth or later. The Jaguars line is not a strength yet.
52 4 Matthew Stafford QB DET 9 He's our 4th QB this year, but I don’t plan on taking him at his current ADP of 50. Not when I can get Andrew Luck ten picks later, Nick Foles 20 picks later and RGIII 25 picks later. Stafford should be a lock for QB1 stats barring injury, but you need to wait for him and hope he slips a bit.
53 23 Trent Richardson RB IND 10 T-Rich could move up our board with a strong camp. We are not scared to draft him and we still believe in his considerable talents. His film from 2012 and during his Alabama years is very good. The Colts went all-in on Trent and they almost have no choice but to trot him back out there as their starter in 2014. Then you have to consider the positives of playing with Andrew Luck, who should be able to get Richardson involved as a receiver. He’s a value right now with an ADP of 54.
54 23 Mike Wallace WR MIA 5 All of Wallace’s fantasy arrows are pointing up from 2013. He’s in his second season with Ryan Tannehill and they’ve changed the offense in a way that should help Wallace with new OC Bill Lazor. Wallace seemed mis-cast in Mike Sherman’s offense. Not that many Dolphins excelled. The guy was canned for good reason. The last bit of good news for Wallace is his ADP of 69. We’re just fine with taking Wallace as our WR3 (a strong one) if we can get him in that area of the draft.
55 5 Vernon Davis TE SF 8 He should produce at his usual level. He may have to share more with so much new talent around in San Francisco, but he’ll also see less double coverage with more depth and a healthy Michael Crabtree.
56 5 Andrew Luck QB IND 10 He's a stud with better surrounding talent than he had in 2013. Draft him with confidence in round six or later, but don’t fret if he gets taken. QB is incredibly deep this year.
57 6 Nick Foles QB PHI 7 Luck and Foles are the guys I want if I can’t get a top four QB at a bargain price. He’ll be just fine without DeSean Jackson and he’ll be even better in year two of Chip Kelly’s scheme. He may not post the same absurd TD-to-INT ratio, but he’ll roll up good numbers.
58 24 Eric Decker WR NYJ 11 Decker’s currently carrying an ADP of 87, which is almost comically cheap. We’re targeting him between where we have him ranked and his ADP. I am drafting him in the 7th round or the 6th in tougher drafts and I am getting him almost every time. “Do likewise, gents. Draft him, he’s yours. You don’t, I got no sympathy for you.” Yes, Decker loses Manning, but he’s also going to get lead receiver targets. He’ll be a huge part of the Jets’ passing game and he’s proven to be a durable player. We’re not a stat-based site, but check this…. Decker was the 18th most targeted WR in the NFL last season, but he scored the 9th most in standard scoring and PPR as well. He out-produced for his target total. Now it’s fair to point out that Peyton Manning was his QB, but that’s still great production. He’ll be less valuable as a Jet, but he’s still a very solid WR3 (the price you pay right now) option with WR2 upside.
59 25 DeSean Jackson WR WAS 10 D-Jax was outstanding in 2013, but you’d be silly to assume that 2013 is a representative sample. It’s more likely an outlier. Outside of Chip Kelly’s offense, D-Jax has averaged 54 receptions as a pro. Do you really want to assume he’ll catch 82 again as he did in 2013? And, do we really want to bank on a second consecutive 16-game season? Jackson missed time in all five seasons before 2013. The odds say he’ll miss some time in 2014. Stay sober my friends. D-Jax has serious game, but don’t reach for him.
60 26 Victor Cruz WR NYG 8 I am not targeting Victor Cruz this season, but I am willing to take him if he slips a bit off of his ADP of 38, which we view as too high. While we do expect a bounce back season, we also see a player that’s flattened out a bit. He’s no longer drafting behind other talents and he’s not a lead dog. The good news is that he’s got some talented guys to run with in 2014. We expect Rueben Randle’s growth to continue and we expect Odell Beckham Jr. to be an outstanding receiver. That should make Cruz very effective out of the slot … but not at 3rd round prices. Not even in PPR.
61 6 Jordan Reed TE WAS 10 We worry about the concussions. Rotobahn led the charge last year with Reed. Nobody was talking about him as early as we were, but the concussions cannot be disregarded. If we were 100 percent sold on Reed’s durability, he’d be ranked a full round earlier. As it is, we have him ranked a round ahead of his ADP, so looking for him in round 7-8 is a good strategy that lessens the risk of taking him. Reed’s concussions risk could become more well known as the summer heats up, so his ADP should be closely monitored.
62 7 Robert Griffin QB WAS 10 I can’t help but be tempted by Griffin’s upside, which he’s already proven. He should be 100 percent this year and he has some really good match ups. If I can get a good core built before I need to take him, I am giving him very strong consideration in or around the 7th round. The key is to get a solid plan B at the position because RGIII has four games against the NFC West this year and he’s an obvious injury risk.
63 24 Joique Bell RB DET 9 I‘ll bump Bell up a bit as soon as he shows that he’s 100 percent. He’s been struggling with knee soreness and his cuts are crucial to his game. Joique gets a nice 1-2 round bump in PPR formats.
64 25 Frank Gore RB SF 8 Gore has started to show signs of age and we are very concerned about how much playing time rookie Carlos Hyde could earn. Hyde is a damn near perfect fit for the 49ers. The coaching staff will love his game and his willingness to block as hard as he runs. Still, until we hear differently, Gore is the starter and should go over 200 carries again in 2014. He's a startable back as long as he's getting the touches. Rostering Hyde in the 11th or 12th round is a very good idea for those who choose to rely heavily on Gore.
65 26 Ben Tate RB CLE 4 He's got a lot of upside if he can stay healthy, but he’s always a bit risky that way and he also has substantive talent behind him on the Cleveland depth chart. He could be a nice option early on, but 16 weeks of productivity is far from a lock.
66 27 Golden Tate WR DET 9 Welcome to the show, Golden. Tate has a Super Bowl ring and now he’ll have a chance to post some numbers in the Lions’ pass-happy offense. Well, ANYTHING is pass-happy after what Tate experienced in Seattle. He has a strong chance to post his best stats ever in 2014. Golden saw a lot of number one cornerbacks in 2013. That won’t happen much this season, with Megatron on the other side of the field. I like Tate a shade better than his ADP of 79. He’s got WR2 upside and a WR3 floor barring injury.
67 28 Marques Colston WR NO 6 We like him a bit better than his ADP in standard scoring formats. Colston closed out 2013 pretty well and should be able to tease ten scores if he can stay healthy in 2014, but he’s had knee woes for a while now, so don’t bet the farm on him as a WR2. Get him at WR3 prices or let somebody else have him.
68 29 Wes Welker WR DEN 4 We are concerned about the concussions and the totality of all the hits this dude has absorbed. That said, he’s still going to perform at a WR3 level or better when healthy, so he’s worth a look, but his ADP of 44 is way too expensive for us.
69 27 Stevan Ridley RB NE 10 Ridley could move up a bit with a big camp, but he’s hard to consider for a big move up our board when you look at his history of coughing of the football and his job along with it. What Ridley has is big upside, especially in standard scoring. He could get a lot of scores and pile up the yardage as LeGarrette Blount did down the stretch in 2013. He could also fumble himself into a reserve role.
70 28 Rashad Jennings RB NYG 8 Preseason could affect his value quite a bit, but right now he looks like the Giants main guy. I have my doubts about Jennings ability to put an entire season together, so be careful about placing too much faith in him. We’re balking at his current ADP of 47. He’s never carried the ball more than 163 times in a single season, and he’s broken down a few times while getting medium to light work. He’s also got plenty of competition and a HC that’s shown a quick hook.
71 29 Lamar Miller RB MIA 5 Miller is placed softly right now. He could move up or back based on how the summer plays out and how healthy and in-shape Knowshon Moreno proves to be. Miller’s a talented back and could excel with enough touches.
72 30 Kendall Wright WR TEN 9 All he needs to do is start finding the end zone with a little frequency and I think we’ll see it happen this season. Wright gets a bump in PPR formats, but I think he’s got WR3 value in all leagues.
73 31 Julian Edelman WR NE 10 Edelman’s role should stay close to the same because Tom Brady trusts him and trust is huge in the NE offense. We still have some concerns about Edelman’s durability, but he toughed out plenty of nicks and bruises in 2013, so we trust him more than we did going into last year. He gets a bump in PPR scoring.
74 8 Colin Kaepernick QB SF 8 We see his arrow pointing decidedly up. They’ve improved his supporting cast he’s got his top target back on the field. CK can beat you with his feet and his arm and that helps his fantasy floor. There will be some tough match ups because of his division, so getting a capable backup is advisable, but we think Kaepernick’s being undersold much the same way Russell Wilson is being undersold. You can usually get him in the 8th round and that’s good business from where we sit.
75 9 Matt Ryan QB ATL 9 He's a solid option though he lacks big upside in the wake of Tony Gonzalez’s departure. He’ll post respectable QB1 numbers and you can get him in the 7th round of most drafts. He’s not my top target at that stage, but I can live with him … no problem.
76 7 Greg Olsen TE CAR 12 I like Olsen a little bit better than his ADP though I am not predicting a huge breakout. What I do predict is a safe TE1 option with some nice upside as the top option in the Carolina offense. He should have a slight improvement on last year’s numbers.
77 10 Cam Newton QB CAR 12 Cam has been given nothing to work with in Carolina and his OL is a bit of a mess. While we still view him as a QB1 with elite upside, we aren’t going to bet on it with conviction this year—with him breaking in a rookie as his #1 WR.
78 11 Jay Cutler QB CHI 9 Cutler is a potential steal in 2013 with an ADP of over 100. If you can get him as your starter in round nine as I have been doing, you are ahead of the fantasy curve. His weapons are outstanding and he's in a very QB-friendly scheme. Perhaps most importantly, he is getting better protection up front. Only Jay's injury history is a worry at this point. Major value.
79 8 Jason Witten TE DAL 11 He's getting on in years and a decline is expected but he should still post TE1 numbers in 2014. He’s a bit better in PPR versus standard. We’re not the biggest fans of Gavin Escobar, but if he is to take over, we see it happening in 2015, not 2014.
80 30 Khiry Robinson RB NO 6 He's being taken right around the 100 mark, so you don’t need to take him this early. Nevertheless, we see Robinson taking a big step in 2014 and being a startable back in 12-team formats. He’s got more bankable value in standard scoring, but we’re not at all afraid to take him in PPR. He should catch a lot more balls this year.
81 31 Ray Rice RB BAL 11 Rice could move up considerably if his expected suspension is shorter than expected. The rumor is 4-6 weeks, and that opens up potential problems if the Ravens run the ball well while he’s out. Right now, I am hoping someone else drafts Rice before I have to consider it. I’ll firm up Rice’s value once the length of his suspension is known.
82 32 Terrance West RB CLE 4 West could move up or back depending on how he performs at camp, but we are excited about this kid. He’s got some special traits for a back his size. He could take this job at some point but Ben Tate has an edge with all his time in the scheme. Right now, I like West at his ADP of 90 a whole lot better than Tate at his ADP of 65. Both are potential bargains, but Tate’s more risky. I start considering West as early as round seven in 12-team leagues.
83 12 Russell Wilson QB SEA 4 As I said in my Early Look at ADP, Wilson is one of the better value out there right now. He’s been a top 12 QB in both of his seasons to date and that’s not going to change.
84 32 Terrance Williams WR DAL 11 He has the ability to trash weaker corners and he’ll see a fair amount of those. He’ll also have some tough match ups against the NFC West, so he’s a WR3 who you may want to bench on occassion. His 81 overall ADP seems about right to me.
85 13 Tony Romo QB DAL 11 We are believers when it comes to Romo’s fantasy value in 2014, but I am not going to invest much in him at such a deep position (startable QB depth is at an all time high) until he proves that his back is fully healthy. If he can do that, he’s got huge weekly potential with such a talented offense around him and that includes the OL for a change.
86 14 Tom Brady QB NE 10 He's being ignored a bit because his weaponry is not what it once was. That said, we like Brady's chances of being better than he was in 2013. Gronk should be back for Week 1 and the rookie receivers are not rookies anymore. Brady can still be your QB1 in 12-team leagues, and you don't need to burn a premium pick to get him.
87 33 Steven Jackson RB ATL 9 It’s the mileage. After 2,552 carries, it’s hard to buy into Jackson when he’s coming off of his least effective season as a pro. 2013 could have been a lot different if both Julio Jones and S-Jax had stayed healthy, but now we’re a year down the line. Things have changed. We’re more scared of rookie Devonta Freeman stealing carries and snaps than we were of Jacquizz Rogers last year.
88 33 Mike Evans WR TB 7 Anytime you have this much TD potential, you are going to rank in the top 100. Evans could start slowly and he could have a learning curve. He could also rip things up against #2 corners and we think Tampa can give him enough red zone looks to yield WR3 value by year’s end. Evans is a special talent and his skills are well suited for fantasy value. Evans is an ideal high-upside WR4 option. His ADP has dipped a bit in recent weeks. He can often be had after 100 players have been taken. That’s good risk/reward if you can pull it off.
89 34 Rueben Randle WR NYG 8 Randle is a guy we like as most Rotobahn readers know. He should be locked in as a weekly WR3 or flex option this year with the potential to get into the WR2 discussion if the Giants get their act together. Randle is the most proven red zone weapon on the team.
90 35 Emmanuel Sanders WR DEN 4 He's never had so much upside, but he’s also had issues staying healthy and is not an exceptional talent. He could be susceptible to a challenge from rookie Cody Latimer at some point. Still, with Manning comes upside so we like him as a WR3. The problem is that he’s currently being drafted at the WR2 level ( ADP 63) and that’s too rich for my blood.
91 9 Kyle Rudolph TE MIN 10 He's going around 100 (8th - 9th round) or so in most drafts and that’s a solid value. Rudolph can start for you if he’s heathy. He’s very capable of posting career year numbers in 2014. Rudolph is a nice talent and Norv Turner’s tight ends tend to produce good numbers.
92 10 Dennis Pitta TE BAL 11 Pitta’s a TE1 in 12-team leagues and TE1 caliber in 10 team formats as well. There’s some risk with Pitta in terms of the new scheme, but on its face, the new scheme looks like a plus, so we’re ok with some risk if there’s some extra upside on the table too.
93 34 Bernard Pierce RB BAL 11 He'll move up a bit if Ray Rice’s suspension is a significant one. We suspect that Pierce could do well in Kubiak’s stretch scheme. He’s a pure one-cut runner.
94 36 Cecil Shorts WR JAC 11 I have all the faith in the world that Cecil Shorts will post good numbers when healthy, but I have reservations about his concussion history, so I will only pay WR3 or WR4 prices for him. He’s a solid buy at his current ADP of 99.
95 37 Riley Cooper WR PHI 7 Cooper is a serious touchdown threat because of his size and the way Philly can run the football. He was underrated in 2013 as we pointed out at the time and he’s still a shade better than his ADP of 99.
96 11 Martellus Bennett TE CHI 9 He's a player who is still getting better. He’s an every down TE that is a big part of the passing game and his red zone chops are top shelf. Martellus is a huge bargain at his current ADP of 145. Take him in round 10 or 11 if you want to push for value, and enjoy the stats.
97 38 Brandin Cooks WR NO 6 A good camp could move him up a bit, but we’re already buying in with this ranking. Cooks is legit and he’s just what the Dr. ordered for the Saints. We expect WR3 production.
98 35 Jeremy Hill RB CIN 4 He has the potential to move up a lot with a good camp, but with Gio Bernard in place, they have no need to rush Hill. BenJarvus Green-Ellis is still an option as well. Read our scouting report on Hill if you have not already done so. He’s a serious talent.
99 39 Kenny Stills WR NO 6 With an ADP of 124, you can probably get Stills a bit later on, but we think he’s a WR3 when all is said and done, so his value is somewhere inside the top 100. He picked up the Saints’ scheme quickly last season and they will use him even more in 2014.
100 40 Marvin Jones WR CIN 4 As long as he’s listed as the starter, we see him as a top 100 talent. If they go back to Sanu for some odd reason, we will adjust, but we expect more consistency from Jones in 2014 and plenty of single coverage thanks to AJ Green on the other side and Tyler Eifert’s downfield ability.
101 36 Carlos Hyde RB SF 8 Carlos is a serious talent and he’s on a team that opens up serious holes in the defense. Only time will tell as far as how much he can earn as a rookie, but we like his chances at making an impact because impact talent is something the 49ers lacked in the backfield last season. One thing is for sure, if you are using Gore as your RB2, you will sleep a lot better at night if you have Hyde rostered as a handcuff. Hyde has RB1 upside as a starter in the 49ers offense. He’s one of our top dynasty priorities. Check out his Rotobahn scouting report.
102 41 Hakeem Nicks WR IND 10 He's got major talent if he can find his game and some health. He’s also got a great QB to work with. We may bump him up if he wins a starting gig and shows off healthy wheels, but this is a deep receiving group in Indy, so I’ll stay conservative for now.
103 42 Jeremy Maclin WR PHI 7 Maclin is a good player in a good system, but there are some concerns. He’s now a guy whose had an ACL, so his agility is not necessarily what is was. He’s also proven to be a player who gets hurt. It was mostly just nicks and sprains until the ACL, but will he get more durable with age? I also have some questions as far as how he fits in Kelly’s offense. He may be more of a bridge to the younger players. Maclin could be a nice fantasy producer, but no way am I paying the going rate (ADP 63.)
104 12 Zach Ertz TE PHI 7 He's no lock but he has a high ceiling in Philly’s offense. Ertz is one of the potential TE1s who you can target after the tenth round, but you need a plan B to go with him.
105 43 Aaron Dobson WR NE 10 Dobson is a guy I am willing to bump up a bit, but I need some good information on his injured foot before I do so. If he’s 100 percent, he could be a ten score receiver and he could tease or even surpass the thousand yard mark. He has that much ability and he’s got that Brady guy tossing him the ball.
106 44 Odell Beckham Jr. WR NYG 8 We have a strong vibe that OBJ will be a useful fantasy option in 2014. Draft him as a WR4 or WR5 and expect flex level results early on and WR3 level production over the second half. Beckham is the kind of receiver who can do it as a rookie. He combines speed, quickness and technique with top shelf hands. Eli Manning is going to love him. He’ll be Manning’s security blanket and his best deep threat by 2015.
107 45 DeAndre Hopkins WR HOU 10 Hopkins is a good player who will be a fantasy asset at some point, but he’s not the greatest fit with his new interim QB, Ryan Fitzpatrick. He’s a shaky bet to be a WR3 at this point unless the offense clicks.
108 46 Justin Hunter WR TEN 9 His 164 ADP reeks of opportunity. Hunter has a bust factor, but he has WR2 upside right now if he has a good camp. I expect his ADP to rise between now and drafting season, but it would have to rise quite a bit for him to be over-priced. Right now, you can take him as a WR5 or even WR6.
109 47 Tavon Austin WR STL 4 We’re bullish on Tavon, who certainly struggled as a rookie. Still, for those who read Rotobahn last year, you know we expected some growing pains in Brian Schottenheimer’s sometimes overly verbose offense. Austin still has some risk, but we think his huge upside is being widely ignored. These kids get better as they learn, and Austin can create a score on almost any play. The Rams will find more ways to get him involved. They are crazy if they don’t. If you can draft him as your WR4, we like it.
110 48 Dwayne Bowe WR KC 6 Bowe is another receiver who could move up with a strong camp. We’re not loving his upside but his chemistry with Alex Smith seemed to improve as the year progressed and he is the clear cut top receiver in KC. If you draft him as your WR3 in 12-team leagues, he can probably deliver for you. He’s reasonably priced with an ADP of 108.
111 49 Reggie Wayne WR IND 10 Reggie could move up our board if he is showing off healthy wheels in camp, but at his age and with such a major injury, there’s little chance we’ll be targeting him if he moves up any higher than his current ADP of 87. Wayne’s obviously got more appeal in PPR formats. Wayne coming back at his age after such a serious injury is a great story that we’d love to see, but we’re not going to bet on it.
112 15 Ben Roethlisberger QB PIT 12 Big Ben has better weapons around him than he’s had in some time. We are big on their rookie acquisitions and the addition of LeGarrette Blount solidifies the backfield on early downs if something happens to Le’Veon Bell. In fact, the combination of Blount on early downs and Dri Archer in passing downs could be scary. The Steelers also added some beef to the receiving corps with Martavis Bryant, and crazy speed with Archer if they choose to use him in a hybrid role. We think they will. The Steelers now have a wonderful assortment of size and speed throughout their skill positions. They can attach you in a number of ways and that should give Big Ben an edge he’s been lacking for some time.
113 16 Andy Dalton QB CIN 4 We are not big fans of his game, but his fantasy output is really underrated. He’s posted QB1 numbers the last two seasons because he is surrounded with talent. Wherever he throws the ball, it’s being caught be a legit playmaker. This year, folks will be scared off by new OC Hue Jackson, but with an ADP of 138, there is no reason to fear, only value to be had.
114 50 Sammy Watkins WR BUF 9 We love his game and that’s why he was our top ranked WR heading into the draft. Sadly, of our top five receivers, Sammy landed with the worst QB. Buffalo’s a tough enough place to play with the wind and the cold, but with a weak QB and the rookie curve, we see some risk drafting Sammy as a starter. He’s a 4th or 5th fantasy receiver with nice upside in our view. His long term is outstanding.
115 51 Jarrett Boykin WR GB 9 Rookie Davante Adams will have his day, but we expect Boykin to hold off the rookies for this season, because he’s proven that he can play and fits in well with Nelson and Cobb in 3-wide sets. And, the Pack play plenty of 3-wide sets.
116 13 Ladarius Green TE SD 10 Green’s a controversial asset because he’s a total projection at this point. Based on what we’ve seen on film at both the TE and WR positions, the Chargers should be looking to use Green’s downfield talents a lot more in 2014. Green has the kind of ability that folks wanted to believe Jared Cook had last year. Green is a better athlete with more ability after the catch. He’s also a serious red zone weapon. Don’t forget to factor in Philip Rivers and his willingness to trust his big targets. Keenan Allen is going to face double teams every week. The Chargers must find some more weapons. Green is the next best guy they have in terms of talent. I like him as an upside option right around his 12th round ADP (135).
117 52 Kelvin Benjamin WR CAR 12 They are going to force feed this kid and his role in the offense. Carolina went all in on Benjamin, whose size and athletic ability is exceedingly rare at the position. He has a lot of scoring potential because of his red zone ability and the lack of other options in Carolina. And, he has a QB. That helps. We also like the veteran receivers they have put around him. There are no better lead-by-example-types than Jerricho Cotchery and Jason Avant. Benjamin has big upside and a weak floor, so he’s not a guy to take as your WR3.
118 53 Danny Amendola WR NE 10 When healthy, this guy still has plenty of fantasy appeal, especially in PPR formats. The injury risk we spoke of last season was dead on, but his price tag is not nearly as high this year, so his weekly upside has more appeal. We’ll be watching Amendola closely this summer.
119 37 Maurice Jones-Drew RB OAK 5 The Raiders backfield has a lot of options and that’s our biggest worry with regards to MJD. Not only will he give up snaps to Darren McFadden, he could also lose time to Latavius Murray, who is an explosive back as we told you leading up to last year’s draft. MJD has some upside, but we are wary of the investment at his current ADP of 78. There’s better talent on the board at that stage of most drafts.
120 38 Knile Davis RB KC 6 He'll play more this year and could be on the fringe of flex value during the bye weeks. What Knile really has is handcuff value … and he’s got a ton of it. Look at what he did last year when Jamaal Charles was out. Davis is the rare handcuff who will replace a lot of what the starter leaves behind. While outlets like Rotoworld may love Davis now, remember what they said last year….. “We've studied Davis' 2010 (not very good) and 2012 (even worse) tape, and feel the same. (Davis) doesn’t run with burst or power.” Yikes. Davis does have some issues. They are ball security and durability. The idea that has no burst or power is hysterical. Check out our 2013 scouting report on Knile.
121 17 Philip Rivers QB SD 10 He plays a nasty schedule, but apart from that, he’s a solid matchup play at QB this season. Rivers was up to his old tricks in 2013 and we expect more of the same this season.
122 39 Chris Ivory RB NYJ 11 I don’t trust his ability to stay healthy and he’s not much of an option on passing downs. Ivory has upside if the Jets are scoring touchdowns on a regular basis, but that’s not something you want to bet on at this point. We expect incremental improvement on offense, but the Jets have nothing to hang their hat on offensively. No proven QB and a mediocre OL to go with average skill position talent. The Jets project as a below average offensive unit, so having their goal line back is not exactly fantasy gold.
123 14 Tyler Eifert TE CIN 4 Eifert is another Ladarius Green-type in that he could easily solve your TE1 position but he’s not a lock because he’s never done it before. It’s a pure projection. Eifert also has more competition for targets and does not have a top QB like Green does. On the other hand, Eifert is a more polished talent and was a high draft pick. Cincy wants to use him. I like Eiftert as much as Green, but he’s a much better value. Often lasting 4-5 rounds longer. Eifert’s competition for snaps comes from the FB position, the WR position and from the 3rd TE Alex Smith, who played 22 percent of the offensive snaps in 2013. If Eifert (played 60 percent of offensive snaps in 2013) can steal the 32-year old vet’s snaps, he can play the bulk of the offensive snaps in 2014. There’s plenty of room for both Eifert and Jermaine Gresham in the Bengals’ offense. Think Gronk/Hernadez in terms of how they function.
124 40 Christine Michael RB SEA 4 He's going to be active on game day this year and he’ll certainly be worth something, but unless Marshawn Lynch gets injured, it’s hard to envision Michael being more than a flex option. The other issue is Robert Turbin, who gets forgotten by too many. While we don’t project him to be as good as a healthy Michael, Turbin is a fine back with better passing game ability. He played ahead of Michael last year and he’ll have a role in 2014. The reason Christine is ranked so high is because of his value as a handcuff to Lynch owners and his upside.
125 41 Mark Ingram RB NO 6 He needs to have a healthy camp and preseason to hold onto this ranking, but we think the Saints want Ingram more involved along with Khiry Robinson. Pierre Thomas played too many snaps for a “glue” player. They need more production on early downs. Ingram and Robinson are the Saints backs to be watching right now.
126 42 Ahmad Bradshaw RB IND 10 Health is the key for Bradshaw. If he has a strong, healthy camp and outperforms Trent Richardson, he could be a trendy riser in drafts. We’ll be watching closely. Right now we project him to handle 30-40 percent of the workload behind Richardson, but that could change. The Colts are not going to give a season away and a healthy Bradshaw is a proven winner and an outstanding pass protector.
127 54 Greg Jennings WR MIN 10 He should be an asset in 2014. We expect a bump in production and a bit more weekly consistently in a better offense and with a potentially better quarterback. Jennings has one good year left if he can stay healthy.
128 55 Marqise Lee WR JAC 11 This kid is currently under the radar, but he’s got enough talent to become the Jaguars number one option some time this season. He’s definitely worth a look as a WR5 in fantasy as long as he wins a starting job and we think he will. Check out our scouting report on Marqise if you have not already.
129 15 Antonio Gates TE SD 10 We love Gates’ game and we do not rule out a return to glory by any means, but his second half was just horrid. There’s no way around it. At age 34, you have to wonder if what we saw was the beginning of the end. Gates averaged 42 yards per game over the final twelve weeks and scored only twice during that span. The hope is that, as teams begin to clamp down on Keenan Allen and as the Chargers use more of Ladarius Green, Gates will have an easier time getting open himself. It could happen, and that could get him back into the TE1 discussion, but we are drafting him as a TE2 for now.
130 43 Jonathan Stewart RB CAR 12 He's in great shape according to reports, but will it matter much behind the Carolina OL? Will his health last if he’s constantly facing resistance on his side of the LOS? He’s probably the Panthers RB to own, but be careful to fall victim to preseason buzz.
131 56 Markus Wheaton WR PIT 12 Wheaton has talent as we noted in his scouting report last year. Sadly, his rookie season was derailed by injury. The good news is that, with Emmanuel Sanders in Denver, Wheaton should be starting opposite Antonio Brown. That should make him fantasy relevant as long as he doesn’t cough the job up in training camp. Rookie Martavis Bryant is the player most likely to make a move on Wheaton’s projected job. The more likely scenario has Bryant playing a more limited role as a rookie.
132 44 Danny Woodhead RB SD 10 We like him, especially in PPR, but we do worry a bit about what the arrival of Donald Brown might mean. The former Colts has three down talent and the ability to cut into the role of both Ryan Mathews and Woodhead. Don’t just blindly assume that Woodhead will retain all of his role. San Diego doesn’t care about his PPR value.
133 57 Andrew Hawkins WR CLE 4 He needs to get through camp healthy, but we like his chances at being a weekly option in deeper formats. The key in Johnny Manziel. Johnny Football’s ability to buy time with his feet could be huge for a talent like Hawkins, who can “uncover” quickly when things break down. That and the fact that Cleveland is woefully thin at receiver make Hawkins and player to pay close attention to. He has a nice weekly ceiling.
134 58 Jordan Matthews WR PHI 7 A strong training camp could move him up and a poor camp could move him in the other direction. Matthews was one of our favorite receivers pre-draft and we’re excited about what he can do in Philadelphia. The thing is, both Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin got contract extensions, so they may not force feed Matthews. We expect the Vandy star to be the Eagles #1 receiver at some point, but that point could be 2015, so don’t reach for him too much.
135 59 Anquan Boldin WR SF 8 He's a money performer and he probably still can be, but the 49ers will give him more snaps off this year and Michael Crabtree will be back as the number one receiver. That alone should prevent Anquan from reaching last year’s numbers, but the addition of Stevie Johnson plus the development of Quinton Patton should also cut into the veteran’s stats. We expect the 49ers to spread the ball around more than ever in the passing game. The guy who should gain value is the quarterback, because there will be more targets in 2014.
136 45 Darren McFadden RB OAK 5 Maybe he wins the job in preseason and we move him up, but I tend to doubt it. He’s also far more injury-prone than Jones-Drew, and we’ve factored that into his valuation. Lastly, we are concerned that Latavius Murray could steal carries from one or both of the older backs. That’s a potential value killer. Draft McFadden with caution.
137 46 Devonta Freeman RB ATL 9 We like his game and we like the fact that he’s got only Steven Jackson ahead of him. If Jackson goes down again, Freeman could be a fantasy starter. He could earn flex value even if Jackson stays healthy. We’ll hopefully get a better feel for this situation in training camp.
138 47 Pierre Thomas RB NO 6 PT led the Saints backfield in snaps last season and fantasy footballers have learned all the wrong lessons from that fact. Yes, Thomas’ inflated reception total made him a fantasy option in PPR formats and he had some flex value in larger non-PPR formats as well. Here’s the rub…. While playing 50 percent of the team’s snaps, Thomas posted numbers well below his career averages both running and receiving. His yards per catch was an ugly 6.7 (he was 9.1 in 2012) and his yards per carry was an even uglier 3.7. The idea that they will give him 50 percent of the snaps again is steeped in wishful thinking. It would take injuries to Khiry Robinson and Mark Ingram for that to happen. We see Thomas as more of a 3rd down passing specialist in 2014. His fantasy value should decline in all formats. Pierre turns 30 in December.
139 48 Roy Helu RB WAS 10 Helu is an underrated talent and he could cut into Alfred Morris’ role even more than he did in 2013. Jay Gruden likes backs with all-around talent and Helu has it. He can run, block and catch the football. He’s a player to watch in training camp and is currently the best available handcuff for Morris.
140 49 Knowshon Moreno RB MIA 5 Moreno needs to get healthy or he could end up playing in a backup role behind Lamar Miller. Right now, we are higher on Miller, but Moreno still has a shot to take over in camp. Knowshon has better all-around skills, but Miller is younger, healthier and more dangerous as a ball carrier.
141 50 Fred Jackson RB BUF 9 Jackson could move up some if he’s projected to start or play ahead of Bryce Brown, but we worry about Brown cutting into the 34-year old’s workload as the power option. Jackson is the most workload dependent back in Buffalo, and he’d lose the most value in a 3-back rotation.
142 51 Darren Sproles RB PHI 7 He's on the wrong side of 30 and he’s in an offense that features a true stud back. While anything’s possible, and while Sproles is still a very good player, we are not betting on him playing the same number of snaps from scrimmage as he did in New Orleans. He’s being taken in the 70s (usually 7th round) in most drafts. We strongly recommend that you don’t do that … even in PPR. Don’t draft the name.
143 18 Johnny Manziel QB CLE 4 Right now, the media situation has the potential to kill his ADP and that could spell opportunity. Of course, we’re concerned about Manziel’s immature off-field antics ourselves. We still have full faith in his game, but this kid can’t get into camp soon enough. He obviously benefits from the structure of athletic life. Being rich and on his own is not something he’s apparently ready to do well. If he survives the next month or so, he’ll have a good shot, because future off seasons will be more structured. The bottom line is that, if he starts, he’s got a lot of fantasy upside. I like Manziel as an upside option if I don’t get a QB in the first ten rounds or so. Draft him along with a few solid vets and you can play week-to-week with your QBs and compete quite nicely. Of course, there’s still the possibility that Manziel is not named starter right away. In that scenario, he’s a late-round flier with big upside.
144 19 Eli Manning QB NYG 8 We like Eli to bounce back strong in 2014. Odel Beckham will raise the level of play at the receiver position and we expect better things out of both Reuben Randle and Victor Cruz compared to 2013. Manning should also get adequate pass blocking in 2014 after getting hit too early and too often in 2013. Right now, he’s a nice value with an ADP of 145.
145 60 Brian Hartline WR MIA 5 I have some concerns, albeit mild ones, that Hartline could lose snaps and targets to rookie Jarvis Landry. I also worry that Mike Wallace will get a larger share thus shrinking Hartline’s targets. Hartline’s a solid commodity, but do not buy into a breakout. It could just as likely go the other way. He’s a WR4 or a WR5 to us.
146 20 Carson Palmer QB ARI 4 Palmer misses too many throws and plays in too tough a division to be considered an elite option, but he has real value as a matchup quarterback, because he only has five games against the NFC West during the standard fantasy season. This year, the Cardinals play at SF in Week 17. That’s a nice bonus. It’s also worth noting that Arizona is at Rams in Week 15 and hosting Seattle in Week 16, so playoffs match ups are looking bad. Draft this guy late in bigger leagues. Get some use out of him for 8 or 9 weeks and trade him before the deadline for more than he’s worth. That’s a decent blueprint for Palmer owners. The Cards have plenty of cake match ups through the first nine weeks.
147 52 DeAngelo Williams RB CAR 12 The OL has slipped with two retirements and no high-quality additions. We also expect more of Jonathan Stewart in 2014 and that should reduce Williams touches. You never know, but DeAngelo looks like a depth player for fantasy purposes unless Stewart goes down in camp. Even if Stewart does go down, do not expect improvement from last year due to the OL and mediocre options outside. Teams will be jamming the box against Cam Newton and the backs.
148 53 De'Anthony Thomas RB KC 6 We love his skill set in Andy Reid’s offense, but we’ll have to see how quickly he picks things up in camp. The “Momba” could be a PPR monster at some point this year or next. He’s a player to know about, especially if you play in PPR formats.
149 54 James Starks RB GB 9 With a stud like Eddie Lacy ahead of him, Starks is a strict backup, but he’s a good one who performed well for the Packers last season. Starks knows the system cold and has the trust of the coaching staff and Aaron Rodgers. He’s the guy Eddie Lacy owners should be targeting as a handcuff.
150 55 Lance Dunbar RB DAL 11 Dunbar could be a playable asset this season in PPR formats and he looks like the back to own after DeMarco Murray in Dallas.
151 21 Alex Smith QB KC 6 Who knows. We worry that the foot points dry up a bit and they haven’t gotten him much new support. Smith is a decent QB2 who you can get cheap, but don’t over-draft him.
152 16 Dwayne Allen TE IND 10 Allen missed last season with an injured hip, so we need to see him playing and practicing before we move him up our board. Having said that, Allen can be an every down tight end and he’s got Andrew Luck as his QB. Do not sleep on this guy in deeper leagues. He could end up surprising some people if things break right.
153 56 LeGarrette Blount RB PIT 12 He projects as a backup to Le’Veon Bell and he would make a very solid handcuff option for those who invest in Bell. Blount is not likely to have much stand-alone value in large redraft leagues.
154 61 Jerricho Cotchery WR CAR 12 Assuming he wins the starting job, Cotchery will have some value in deeper leagues as a WR4 or WR5. He’s the kind of sticky-handed tough-minded receiver who Cam Newton has never really had outside of Steve Smith. Cotch is currently an underrated asset with an ADP of 199. He’s worth more than that.
155 22 Josh McCown QB TB 7 He has to win the starting job though that appears likely at this point. We think the Tampa skill players are very underrated. It’s possible that their starting QB will be able to post relevant fantasy numbers. His ADP of 155 is reasonable though there are a few other good options in that same area. McCown doesn’t stand out as a good or bad value.
156 17 Jermaine Gresham TE CIN 4 Health is a big key for Gresham (offseason hernia surgery.) We have no doubt that he’ll play a significant role if healthy. There is a big media-fed misconception that Gresham and Tyler Eifert are in competition with each other. Reality is that, Eifert is as much in competition with the receivers as he is with Gresham. Eifert’s future is as a receiving-first TE, while Gresham is a traditional in-line tight end. They can play together all game long if both are healthy and on top of their game. Gresham missed two full games last year and still played 79 percent of his team’s offensive snaps. This includes the post season. He’s essentially an every-down player. Tyler Eifert played just short of 60 percent of the offensive snaps. It’s pretty obvious, even without watching game film, that Eifert and Gresham usually play together when Eifert is in the game.
157 23 Sam Bradford QB STL 4 I want to hear good things about his knee before I consider him any higher than this. Bradford is yet another reason why waiting at QB has a lot of merit. His offense looks better this year, but the knee has to be accounted for.
158 57 Shonn Greene RB TEN 9 His value is still somewhat up in the air. He could move up if Bishop Sankey struggles in camp, but we doubt that happens as Sankey’s a good fundamental player.
159 58 Chris Polk RB PHI 7 Polk is the back to own if you want to handcuff LeSean McCoy, and we think he’s worth the roster spot in deeper formats. Since we expect him to be splitting what’s left behind McCoy with Darren Sproles, we don’t see much stand-alone value.
160 24 Ryan Tannehill QB MIA 5 They helped him a little but their OL is a mess and it’s another new offense in 2014 though it’s at least a projected improvement over Mike Sherman’s mess. The guy’s never had an OC gig that lasted for more than a season. Tannehill should be as serviceable as he was last year.
161 59 Jerick McKinnon RB MIN 10 AP owners have a new handcuff option and we think McKinnon will do a very nice job if he’s pressed into action. He does have to win the job, so he has the potential to be moved back with a mediocre training camp, but we are pretty high on this kid. He’s an athletic freak with a blue collar mentality. Check out Jerick’s scouting report if you haven’t already.
162 60 Ka'Deem Carey RB CHI 9 Assuming Carey wins the backup job (training camp battle with Michael Ford), he is a very nice handcuff option for Matt Forte owners. Carey has the varied skill set that will play very well in Marc Trestman’s offense. If your league gives you adequate bench space, this is a player well worth handcuffing. He was a good get by the Bears in the 4th round.
163 61 Tre Mason RB STL 4 He could move up our boards a lot with a strong training camp, but remember that rookie backs have often struggled to pick up Brian Schottenheimer’s offense. For example, Zac Stacy was inactive 2 out of his first 3 weeks last year. Mason is our best guess in terms of drafting a handcuff for Stacy. He’s also the one reason we’re a bit leery of investing too heavily in the Rams’ starter. The Rams used a 3rd rounder on this kid. They obviously like him. Tre was our 2nd ranked back going into the draft. Check out his scouting report if you haven’t already.
164 25 Joe Flacco QB BAL 11 There's change with Gary Kubiac being brought in as OC. Flacco has a nice chance to bounce back in a proven system, and we think he has enough weapons.
165 62 Kenny Britt WR STL 4 Britt could move up significantly if he takes control of the number one role in camp, but the Rams are deep, so this entire group is worth monitoring. Britt has a lot of TD potential if he’s anywhere near 100 percent healthy.
166 63 Robert Woods WR BUF 9 If he can beat out Mike Williams cleanly, he could have significant fantasy value. This is a camp battle to watch for sure. Woods and Sammy Watkins are a potentially awesome pairing down the road. Put Marquise Goodwin in the slot and this team is a matchup nightmare. Don’t forget about CJ Spiller’s speed in the backfield or Bryce Brown’s for that matter. The Bills have done some over-paying, but they do have an impressive array of speed and athleticism at the skill positions.
167 64 James Jones WR OAK 5 He's a good player with something left, but as long as Matt Schaub is the QB and the Raiders are a poor team in pass protection, he could have trouble posting numbers. A switch to Derek Carr has some potential to help, but Carr may need some time.
168 65 Steve Smith WR BAL 11 We're read to bump him up a few pegs if he’s having a big camp, but we worry about him playing in a lesser role and how he’ll adjust to a new offense. The Ravens have some other younger talent they want to get involved and that could be a factor as well.
169 18 Heath Miller TE PIT 12 He could be a bit better this year. His ACL injury occurred late in 2012. He’ll be a full season removed now and could be moving a bit better than he was in 2013. Miller could get back to being on the fringe of TE1 status in large formats. He’s one of the few established skill players the Steelers will return this season.
170 62 Jonathan Dwyer RB ARI 4 This guy is a legit sleeper. He knows the offense from his time with Arians in Pittsburgh, so that is not much of a projection. He’s also a nice contrast with starter Andre Ellington and could get a role at the goal line. His prime competition is Stepfan Taylor and this is definitely a camp battle to watch closely.
171 63 Bryce Brown RB BUF 9 This may not be the year for Brown in redraft, but with an aging Fred Jackson and with CJ Spiller headed into free agency next year, Bryce could have a huge boost in value by 2015. He’s also not a bad handcuff idea for Spiller owners if you can get him late in deep leagues. That said, without an injury to Spiller, Brown’s role should be limited.
172 19 Jared Cook TE STL 4 There are two arguments to be made with Cook. The anti-Cook will say that he basically hit his career numbers in 2013, and that means he is what he is—a player who will never really break out. The pro-Cook argument gives the player some slack for losing his QB early in the season and for having some trouble with Brian Schottenheimer’s offense, which is not uncommon. Cook could take a step forward if he settles and Bradford stays healthy. He could also benefit from better surrounding talent. Cook is a big play guy, but he needs some room to work. I could see him being a little more playable than he was in 2014, but I also think his ceiling is limited.
173 20 Eric Ebron TE DET 9 How quickly can he become a consistent contributor? We have little doubt that Ebron will make some plays and tease fantasy GMs at the bare minimum. However, we’ve seen rookie tight ends struggle so many times. It’s a rare bird that can fly from day one as Rob Gronkowski did. Ebron is not Gronk, but he does have a few advantages like Megatron and an established QB who can make the throws. Ebron should have some space to work. He absolutely has a chance, but draft him as a TE2 with upside. Don’t invest too heavily. He’s currently being taken in or around the 11th round and that’s a bit pricey for our tastes unless he starts really ripping it up in camp and preseason.
174 66 Cody Latimer WR DEN 4 He's ranked here based on his talent and his proximity to Peyton Manning. Latimer could become a major factor if there are any injuries in Denver. He could also force his way into the lineup by playing better than Sanders on the outside, which is possible. As we said with Julius Thomas last year, all of Peyton Manning’s targets must be owned.
175 67 Marlon Brown WR BAL 11 We like Brown’s game and we were somewhat disappointed when the Ravens brought in Steve Smith, who could cost Brown snaps. Still, Smith can play inside and Brown can still force his way into the action if he plays well. We think he’s a worthy risk late in medium to large drafts.
176 68 Rod Streater WR OAK 5 Another Raider receiver with a hope and a dream. Streater can play and he may end up with flex value in 12-team leagues. Why the Raiders went out and paid James Jones is a mystery. They need to develop the younger talent.
177 69 Harry Douglas WR ATL 9 Douglas has some upside and we like what we saw last year when he had to step in for the injured Julio Jones. One very reasonable line of thinking has Douglas retaining a lot of his newfound targets with Tony Gonzalez retired and the Falcons looking for options after Jones and Roddy White. The question is, can Douglas do it as a third receiver, and can he find the end zone with more regularity? We give a maybe to both. We’ll be keeping an eye on the Falcons in August. Will the Falcons 3rd weapon be Douglas or perhaps new TE Levine Toilolo? We want to get a better feel for this.
178 70 Doug Baldwin WR SEA 4 Doug Baldwin earned his contract extension. We’ve always been fans, but despite his current status as the starter opposite Percy Harvin, we can’t help but think that Seattle has some other plans on the outside. Nobody is talking about it, but rookies Paul Richardson and Kevin Norwood are really talented players. Norwood brings a little size to the table and that could get him involved at some point.
179 64 David Wilson RB NYG 8 Wilson is a very high upside wild card right now. He’s the most talented back on the Giants roster but his neck injury and issues with the finer points of the offense kept him from fulfilling his promise in 2013. If the neck isn’t declared a non-issue, Wilson could go the way of Jahvid Best. More likely is that he gets cleared and then has the potential to really muddy the Giants backfield waters. He’s just a late-round flier for now, but he could move up fast if things break right.
180 65 Lache Seastrunk RB WAS 10 Lache could move way up with a strong preseason, but, based on the depth chart in Washington, he could be in for a season of learning. The thing you need to know is that this kid has major jets and is madly elusive. His upside playing with RGIII is very enticing. Right now, he’s a late-round flier in deeper formats, but training camp is huge, so stay tuned. Read Lache’s full scouting report if you haven’t already.
181 21 Jace Amaro TE NYJ 11 He has some real upside in PPR leagues, but he could easily struggle week-to-week as a rookie, so don’t go hog wild and reach for him as your starter.
182 22 Garrett Graham TE HOU 10 He should be the tight end to own in Houston and he could have some fantasy value. He’s worth a look late as a TE2.
183 71 Paul Richardson WR SEA 4 Here's a rookie who gets the love from dynasty owners but not redrafters. If you play in a large format, I can think of two very good reasons to draft our guy Richardson. First, he’s a great handcuff for those who take the risk on Percy Harvin. If Harvin gets hurt, Richardson’s value could explode. At some point, it will explode anyway. People don’t know about this kid yet. Most folks are asleep on Kevin Norwood too. This is probably one of the reasons Russell Wilson is so under-valued right now.
184 66 Andre Williams RB NYG 8 It's all about camp for the big banger out of BC. If Williams can play at 100 percent, he could wreck the balance of power in the NYG backfield. Right now, he’s a longshot for rookie value, but he could turn heads in camp and change that.
185 67 Dri Archer RB PIT 12 The groupthink on Archer is that he’s not an option as a rookie and is just a special teamer at the NFL level. We disagree … vehemently. Dri Archer is a special talent in much the same way that Tavon Austin is a special talent. The only difference is that Archer wasn’t over-drafted and Archer got taken by a team that eats at the adult table. Pittsburgh didn’t use a 3rd rounder in a deep draft to take a kick returner. You can get those guys in Canada for the minimum salary. Archer is a player with blinding speed and quickness. He runs with great vision and he loves the game. He’ll have a rookie curve like anybody, but he should be getting drafted in deeper redraft formats and he’s not. He’s even being largely ignored in dynasty and long term leagues. Big mistake, folks. If you don’t know this player, do your homework. Start with his scouting report.
186 68 Latavius Murray RB OAK 5 He has to get through camp healthy but we think he’s worth a flier in deep formats. He could also be a handcuff option for those who choose to invest in MJD. Murray is a big back with serious wheels.
187 26 Jake Locker QB TEN 9 He needs to do several things to become relevant, but he has a chance because we like the talent they have these days in Tennessee. The Titans drafted a young QB recovering from an ACL injury, so 2014 pretty much belongs to Locker if he can stay healthy himself. That’s number one. Number two is continuing the improved accuracy he showed glimpses of in 2013. If both things happen, Locker could be a viable fantasy option in deeper leagues.
188 72 Denarius Moore WR OAK 5 Moore could get bumped down, but the thing is, he might be the Raiders best receiver and he has top 100 talent, so we’re keeping him up in the top 200 for now—even without knowing his role. If he regains his job as a starter, he moves up significantly. The Raiders top four receivers are all close. They could kill each others’ value.
189 73 Allen Robinson WR JAC 11 Robinson is a rookie so his season could go in a number of directions. We expect some big plays if he stays healthy, but finding consistency could be difficult and we’re not sure what his role will be early on. He has the talent to be a starter, and a good one. He’s got WR2 upside long term and WR3 potential as a rookie based on what we’ve seen on film.
190 23 Marcedes Lewis TE JAC 11 He's got touchdown potential in an improving offense, but he’s still a deep option on draft day and only with a permanent roster spot in large leagues.
191 74 Andre Holmes WR OAK 5 Another Raider with potential and an uncertain role. If Holmes gets the snaps and targets, he could be a weekly fantasy option. The Raiders are one big camp battle.
192 75 Steve Johnson WR SF 8 We expect a smaller role than he’s used to though injuries can change things quickly and Michael Crabtree is oft-injured. Johnson could be a unique WR handcuff option in deeper formats.
193 24 Charles Clay TE MIA 5 Clay was a product of an odd 2013 in Miami and we’re not yet certain that the Dolphins want him playing such a big role in 2014. That being said, Clay has proven that he can post some fantasy numbers, especially in PPR leagues. He’s a player to monitor over the summer for sure. Right now, he’s a low end TE2 in our view. That could change.
194 69 Charles Sims RB TB 7 The Bucs have a deep stable of backs with ability, but Sims has a real shot at playing time because of what he might bring to the team on passing downs. Sims has receiving skills that are rare for a RB. He’s definitely a player for PPR leaguers to play close attention to in training camp. He should eventually play in a 2-man backfield with Doug Martin.
195 76 Davante Adams WR GB 9 Anybody with Adam’s talent that plays with Aaron Rodgers is going to be on my radar. His time may end up being 2015, but if he has a big camp, who knows. He’s also one injury away from the regular rotation. He has some appeal in deep leagues even if he can’t beat out Jarrett Boykin. He’s a player to watch in camp.
196 77 Mike Williams WR BUF 9 The deal for Williams was yet another inexplicable move by the Bills, who seem bent on overpaying for talent as a way to make the EJ Manuel pick work. That being said, Williams is a talented player. If they can refasten his head, he could put his career back together. The problem is that Robert Woods is just as talented and Sammy Watkins is going to play no matter what. And, don’t forget to factor in Flash Gordon. You have to give the Bills credit for one thing … they are fast as hell. Spiller, Sammy, Bryce and Flash. That’s a whole lot of giddyup for one offense to have. Williams’ value will depend on whether he beats out Woods. Our money is on the kid, but we’ll have to see how it plays out.
197 70 C.J. Anderson RB DEN 4 He's a compact power runner who was playing ahead of Ronnie Hillman at the end of last year. Unless Hillman gets his act together with pass protection and ball security, we think Anderson could be the more sensible handcuff option for Montee Ball owners. This is a position battle to watch closely in camp.
198 27 Teddy Bridgewater QB MIN 10 They are assembling a team full of great athletes and they needed a quarterback that can get them the ball. That’s what Teddy does. He’ll get the ball out and hit the playmakers in stride. OC Norv Turner is a steadying influence with a proven track record. Teddy is a safe long term play in our view, and he could have a lot more fantasy value in 2014 than people realize. The issue right now is, will he start? We’ll move him up a rung if he earns the job. If he starts as the number two, then he’s a candidate to be a string free agent at some point during the season or a stash option in deeper formats.
199 71 Denard Robinson RB JAC 11 We still love his ability and we think he could surprise a lot of people now that he’s fully healthy. Robinson will be a full time RB in 2014 and we think he has more talent than any of the other backs behind Toby Gerhart. In fact, he’s more talented that Gerhart too. The two could form a formidable 1-2 punch in time—perhaps some time this season. Denard is worth a deep flier in bigger drafts.
200 78 Vincent Brown WR SD 10 I'm surprised that the world has given up on this kid. He’s still very young and he has enough talent, but he’s also the kind of receiver who needs to find his way. Brown missed a full season with a major injury. 2014 represents his 3rd full season (factoring in a missed 2012) and his second season post injury. With a gaping void opposite Keenan Allen, I’m surprised that more people aren’t at least pointing out Brown’s opportunity. He’s the kind of receiver who could thrive working underneath with monsters like LaDarius Green and Allen stretching the field. Malcom Floyd was never a great talent and he’s well past his prime. Brown’s got more fantasy upside, especially in PPR formats. This is a potential position battle even though most outlets have already given the job to Floyd. We’ll know more in a month or so.