2014 Fantasy Football Team Preview: The Detroit Lions

Calvin Johnson

NoteThis piece was originally written on July 15th by Andrew Miller and is one of many unique pieces that can be found in our 2014 fantasy football draft guide. None of this information has been updated since it was originally published.

Detroit took several steps to improving its football team this offseason both through additions on the field and on the sideline. The Lions traded for Golden Tate and drafted tight end Eric Ebron out of North Carolina with the 10th overall pick. Jim Caldwell was hired as head coach after being Peyton Manning’s quarterback coach during Indy’s championship season in 2006 and Baltimore’s offensive coordinator in its title-winning season. Joining Caldwell is new offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi, formerly of New Orleans where he spent seven years as an offensive assistant and quarterbacks coach. Detroit’s offseason moves should improve most if not all production on the field this season.

Quarterback
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2014 Fantasy Football: Potential Wide Receiver Busts To Avoid In Your Drafts

Wes Welker

The definition of a sleeper or a bust has drastically changed over the years. Access to the Internet — and instant news feeds such as Twitter — have ultimately provided equal access to relevant cutting edge information to all fantasy football enthusiasts.

The following list of names may guide you to a few wins this season. However, these guys may not return a profit based on their ADPs, and you may want to avoid them on draft day.

All ADP data is found in parenthesis (ADP) and taken from FantasyPros.com. All commentary reflects a 12-team league.

You can get our #FrontOffice package, which includes the kit ($20 value) for FREE by depositing $10 at DraftKings here. 

Andre Johnson | Texans (36)

An aging pass catcher whose failed to eclipse five receiving touchdowns in each of the past three seasons is the concern here. Johnson is one of the best receivers of the current generation, no one should dispute that. He’s hit for more than 1,000-yards and 100 receptions five times in his career, which is incredible. But the dip in touchdown totals — especially considering three of last season’s five came from within the five yard line parlayed with the dip in yards per receptions could be a concern. A new coaching staff and Ryan Fitzpatrick behind center could also be a concern. I’m passing, unless ‘Dre falls to me in the fourth or fifth rounds.

Wes Welker | Broncos (41)

In each of the last three seasons, Welker has seen his touches, receiving yards and yards per reception take a hit. He does have Peyton Manning calling plays who likes to spread the ball around pretty evenly, but the Broncos still have a ton of talent going out for passes even after the departure of Eric Decker. Aging and recent concussions are also a cause for concern — as it is for most players — but, I’m going to be playing it safe and steering away from Welker in year-long formats.

DeSean Jackson | Redskins (49)

Jackson is coming off of a career year in terms of receiving yards (1,332) and receiving touchdowns (9). But the Eagles released him, then he landed with their division rival Washington Redskins? What gives? I’m not so sure, but Jackson is a deep-threat receiver that will need to share the rock with Pierre Garcon and Robert Griffin favorite, Jordan Reed, this season. With Alfred Morris also needing the pigskin out of the backfield, I’m just not sure there will be enough touches to go around each week. I know it only takes one deep connection, but the uncertainty week-in and week-out will likely cause me to pass on him this year.

Eric Decker | Jets (89)

For Decker, a well-deserved payday came his way. He earned it. He’s hauled in more passes, for more yards in each of the last three season. And that’s with a stable of wide receivers around him! But, two of those three season were also with Peyton Manning behind center. Yes, Peyton Manning. That’s a lot different than second-year man Geno Smith. While Smith could work out in the long-term for the Jets, he’s not exactly someone I want to put faith in this season to get one of my top pass catchers the ball. There are way too many other options with way better signal-callers. Thanks for the memories, Mr. Decker.

Hakeem Nicks | Colts (122)

A change of scenery sounded like the best option for former Giants’ wideout Hakeem Nicks. But based on preseason reports, Nicks hasn’t been all that impressive and will be fighting for targets with Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton. Add in a couple of talented tight ends and Nicks may not see enough looks to warrant your attention in a 12-team league. But in a 12-team league, not many selections after the tenth round could be considered a bust, so some may be willing to take on the risk. Not me, I’d rather reach for some young guns in a good situation with a high ceiling. Happy Drafting!

2014 Fantasy Football Team Preview: The Seattle Seahawks

Lynch

Note: This piece was originally written on July 15th by Justin Mandaro and is one of many unique pieces that can be found in our 2014 fantasy football draft guide. None of this information has been updated since it was originally published.

For many years the NFC West was the butt of everyone’s jokes, and the Seahawks scraped the bottom of the barrel. Enter Pete Carroll, former New York Jet and New England Patriot HC before taking his talents to SoCal to coach the USC Trojans. Following Carroll’s arrival to the great Northwest in 2010, the Seahawks began bolstering their roster, trading for guys like Marshawn Lynch, Chris Clemons and Percy Harvin, drafting Kam Chancellor, Earl Thomas, Russell Okung, Richard Sherman, Golden Tate and most notably Russell Wilson, while also signing guys like Zach Miller and Doug Baldwin among others. All of these building blocks turned a once 5-11 team in 2009 to the Super Bowl Champions in just four seasons.   But with the wins, the rings and the notoriety comes a big target as teams gear up this off season looking to knock the Hawks off their pedestal.

Quarterback

For almost a century ,the prototypical NFL QB stood at least 6’2” tall, but in 2012 that all changed when the Seahawks took a chance on Wilson in the 3rd round. Although he came up short in the playoffs a year ago, it was proven the decision was the right one. With a monster 2013 campaign, Wilson took the Seahawks to where they had never gone before with a Super Bowl victory. The 5’11” signal caller surpassed 3,100 passing yards, 25 passing TDs & 485 yards for the second straight season. Wilson won’t miraculously turn into the second coming of Peyton Manning but Wilson is one of the most consistent players on the field. It should be noted the Seahawks went out and traded for Terrelle Pryor this off-season. Pryor doesn’t have the level of talent Wilson does but is a solid back up option for the Hawks if Wilson were to go down.

Running Back

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2014 Fantasy Football: Checking In On The ADP of Rookie Running Backs

Andre Williams

With just over two week left until the start of the 2014 NFL season, I felt compelled to look into the average draft position (ADP) of rookie running backs for the home stretch of fantasy football drafts. Average draft position and statistics were taken on August 20, 2014.

Rookie RB ADP

Bishop Sankey | Titans (4.12)

Throughout the preseason, fantasy football pundits have been riding the Bishop Sankey train thanks to an excellent opportunity for the former Husky to excel as a member of the Tennessee Titans. The Sankey/Titans marriage seems to be as-close-to-a-perfect-opportunity for a rookie running back as one could hope — for fake football purposes, but will he get the work? Sankey may be the best running back of the bunch in Tennessee — although that doesn’t really say much considering he’s only battling Shonn Greene, Leon Washington and to an extent Dexter McCluster — and could emerge as the primary ball carrier at some point during the season. The Titans did pay a pretty penny for McCluster’s services this offseason so they will find a way to get the ball into this hands, which is also something important to consider.

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2014 Fantasy Football: Potential Running Back Sleepers To Target in Your Draft

ellington land

Note: This piece was originally written on July 15th by Alan Harrison and is one of many unique pieces that can be found in our 2014 fantasy football draft guide. None of this information has been updated since it was originally published.

The definition of a sleeper has drastically changed over the years. Access to the Internet — and instant news feeds such as Twitter — have ultimately provided equal access to relevant cutting edge information to all fantasy football enthusiasts.

The following list of names will sound familiar to you, so you may not consider them a sleeper. However, these guys are a sure bet to outperform their ADPs, and you should target them on draft day.

All ADP data is found in parenthesis (ADP) and taken from FantasyPros.com. All commentary reflects a 12-team league.

Andre Ellington | Cardinals (31)

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2014 Fantasy Football Team Preview: The Baltimore Ravens

rayrice3

Note: This piece was originally written on July 15th by Mark Morales-Smith and is one of many unique pieces that can be found in our 2014 fantasy football draft guide. None of this information has been updated since it was originally published.

The defending champs looked like anything but champions in 2013. The defense sputtered after losing an abundance of key players, including longtime cornerstones Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco looked lost without his trusted targets Anquan Boldin and Dennis Pitta. The biggest disappointment of all may have been Ray Rice and the Ravens rushing attack. The Ravens were obvious victims of the dreaded Super Bowl hangover. They’ll look to get back on track in 2014 and return to their winning ways.

Quarterback

Joe Flacco enjoyed a major pay day after winning the Super Bowl MVP. He did not live up to his monster contract. With expectations higher than ever, he threw 22 interception (t-2nd most in the NFL) and just 19 TDs. Regardless, Flacco is the man in Baltimore and rightfully so. He has been an efficient QB who until last season had never been eliminated prior the second round of the playoffs. Much like Eli Manning, he is a game manager and steps up in the playoffs. While he was over-paid, he’s a proven winner that should bounce back to form in 2014. The addition of veteran Steve Smith and a healthy Dennis Pitta should go a long way in helping the Ravens passing game. His backup is former Hokie Tyrod Taylor. He has completed 19 NFL passes and has no fantasy relevance as of now.

Running Back

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2014 Fantasy Football: Potential Running Back Busts To Avoid In Your Draft

lynch land

Note: This piece was originally written on July 15th by Alan Harrison and is one of many unique pieces that can be found in our 2014 fantasy football draft guide. None of this information has been updated since it was originally published.

The definition of a sleeper or a bust has drastically changed over the years. Access to the Internet — and instant news feeds such as Twitter — have ultimately provided equal access to relevant cutting edge information to all fantasy football enthusiasts.

The following list of names may guide you to a few wins this season. However, these guys may not return a profit based on their ADPs, and you may want to avoid them on draft day.

All ADP data is found in parenthesis (ADP) and taken from FantasyPros.com. All commentary reflects a 12-team league.

Marshawn Lynch | Seahawks (8)

This guy has been amazing, especially since joining the Seahawks. But he’s got an awful lot of wear-and-tear on the body for just 28 years of age. Just shy of 2,000 career touches, Lynch has played in at least 13 games in each of his seven season in the league. And in each of the last five years, Lynch’s workload has spiked. I’m not betting on an injury here, I’m just not sure I’d be willing to invest a top eight pick on a back with so many miles on him. Much respect for this man on his career achievements, but I’m passing on him for fantasy football in 2014.

Toby Gerhart | Jaguars (48)
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2014 Fantasy Football: Potential Wide Receiver Sleepers To Target In Your Draft

Wes Welker

Note: This piece was originally written on July 15th by Jake Ciely and is one of many unique pieces that can be found in our 2014 fantasy football draft guide. None of this information has been updated since it was originally published.

Wes Welker (25th among WR/62nd overall) – Everyone knows Peyton Manning is still the quarterback right? Maybe not. Maybe they also forgot that Eric Decker is gone and Emmanuel Sanders needs to prove that he’s an equitable replacement (early reports are good). They seemingly don’t remember that Welker finished 20th last year with three games missed. I understand the age/injury concern, but dropping Welker down into the mid-20s is a bit much. Last year was only the third season Welker even missed time, and he’s never missed more than three games in a year. Peyton + 16 games = another Top 15 WR finish, and even if Welker misses a few games, you’ll simply get your draft value in return.

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2014 Fantasy Football Team Preview: The Carolina Panthers

Cam Newton

Note: This piece was originally written on July 15th by Justin Mandaro and is one of many unique pieces that can be found in our 2014 fantasy football draft guide. None of this information has been updated since it was originally published.

In almost twenty years of existence the Carolina Panthers have only had a winning record five times. Notwithstanding their 12 – 4 record last year, there wasn’t much to write home about in Carolina from a fantasy perspective. Besides Cam Newton and the Panthers defense, there weren’t many highlights to think of in their 2013 crusade. But damn that defense was good.

Quarterback

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2014 Fantasy Football Team Preview: The Green Bay Packers

Eddie Lacy

Note: This piece was originally written on July 15th by Ryan Noonan and is one of many unique pieces that can be found in our 2014 fantasy football draft guide. None of this information has been updated since it was originally published.

Despite getting just eight games from their franchise quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, the Green Bay Packers won the NFC North and look primed to repeat heading into 2014. Rodgers came back in week 17 and led the Pack to a dramatic win in Soldier Field against the Bears that sealed each team’s fate. You can expect those two teams to battle it out again, with the high octane Lions keeping things interesting in the North. The Packers fantasy playoff schedule shouldn’t scare anyone either (ATL, @BUF, @TB in weeks 14-16).

Quarterback

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