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2014 Fantasy Football: Early Player Rankings

Jeff Mans gives his early Fantasy Football Player Rankings for 2014

Slide 1 of 5 2014 Fantasy Football: Early Player Rankings | Slide - 1 FantasyAlarm.com

It has been a long season full of sleepers, busts, joy and heartache. There is more drama in a Fantasy Football season then there is in a daytime soap opera. The 2013 season has chewed us up and spit us out. If you were the last man standing, congratulations!! If not, that fire and fury that you feel is normal. In my 23 years of experience playing Fantasy Football the best medicene is to dive into preparation for next year. It's time to figure out what exactly you did wrong and how you can correct it for 2014. 

What better way to do that then by hitting the drawing board. Let's blow us last season and officially put it in the rear view mirror. To do this we must look ahead and figure out which players were part of the problem and which will be our solution in 2014. There will be thousands of revisions in the coming days, weeks and months but here are my first Fantasy Football Rankings for 2014. 

 

 

Searching for answer for the 2014 fantasy baseball season? Turn to a trusted source to enlighten you – Fantasy Alarm – and pick up your very own copy of the 2014 Fantasy Alarm Baseball Draft Guide. After reading the 200 pages of information you will be ready to dominate the competition in the coming season on your way to a fantasy baseball championship.

Slide 2 of 5 2014 Fantasy Football: Early Player Rankings | Slide - 2 FantasyAlarm.com

QUARTERBACKS

1.  Peyton Manning – Broncos

Second Super Bowl ring or not, Manning will still have a massive arsenal or weapons at his disposal and gets to play the Raiders twice a year. Expecting 50+ TD’s is foolish but another 35+ is almost automatic.

2.  Drew Brees – Saints

Brees would be the top rated QB on my board if he played better on the road. Still, he’ll be able to carry your Fantasy team on his back for at least 10 games every season.

3.  Aaron Rodgers – Packers

The difference in the Packers offense with Rodgers as opposed to with anybody else is massive. The running game behind Eddie Lacy will be an even bigger help in 2014.

4.  Cam Newton – Panthers

He was my #1 QB going into 2013 but I just didn’t see the fire in him late in the season. Newton really should be the best Fantasy QB year in and year out but until I see him take over games I am going to discount him a bit.

5.  Andrew Luck – Colts

I love that people are going to blame Luck for his subpar numbers in 2013. Give him a healthy Reggie Wayne and any kind of running game and he’ll put up 4400+ yards and 30+ TD’s.

6.  Matthew Stafford – Lions

I don’t like Jim Caldwell or the fact that Stafford doesn’t think he needs to work with a QB coach. But I do like Calvin Johnson and as long as he’s there I will enjoy the massive numbers that Stafford puts up.

7.  Colin Kaepernick – 49ers

If only Kaepernick would play as aggressively during the regular season as he does in the playoffs and he’d be a huge Fantasy asset. He should be able to surpass 700 yards rushing and 3500 yards passing in 2014.

8.  Tom Brady – Patriots

The nature of the Patriots offense is changing due to an aging offensive line, a young receiving corps and the constant health issues of Rob Gronkowski. He may not be the Fantasy star he was back in 2007 but Brady is still a very consistent performer on a perennial powerhouse.

9.  Tony Romo – Cowboys

There will come a day when Cowboys fans and Fantasy Players realize just how good Tony Romo really was. In 2014, he’ll once again be one of the best QB values you’ll find in every single draft.

10.  Jay Cutler – Bears

Bears QB’s threw for 4447 yards, 32 TD’s and 13 INT’s in 2013. This offense may be the most talented in football with Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Martellus Bennett and Matt Forte. If Cutler plays in 16 games this season he can surpass the numbers he and Josh McCown accounted for last year.

11.  Andy Dalton – Bengals

I must admit that I wasn’t the biggest fan of Dalton in the past but with Hue Jackson taking over as offensive coordinator I believe the Bengals will be a Fantasy dynamo in 2014.

12.  Matt Ryan – Falcons

Ryan proved that he isn’t capable of carrying an offense by himself in 2013. Still, with the return of Julio Jones and a healthy Roddy White there will be plenty of production to go around next season.

13.  Ben Roethlisberger – Steelers

What Roethlisberger does year in and year out is truly impressive. I have issues with him always wanting to be a drama queen but he’s a very productive guy in Fantasy Football.

14.  Phillip Rivers – Chargers

I won’t be hopping on the hype train of Phillip Rivers this year but still feel he is one of the best Fantasy backups you can own.

15.  Nick Foles – Eagles

Defenses will be ready for Foles and for Chip Kelly’s offense in 2014. A significant decrease in production should be expected.

16.  Robert Griffin III – Redskins

At least there will be some stability with the Redskins coaching staff in 2014. RGIII should run more but the fact remains that he just isn’t a prolific passer.

17.  Russell Wilson – Seahawks

Russell Wilson will never lead a Fantasy team to a championship. He’s a great fit for the Seahawks but not for your starting lineup.

18.  Eli Manning – Giants

If his name was Eli Weinstein he would have been benched last year and competing for his job in 2014. There is hope for a rebound here but two straight seasons of misery is enough for Fantasy owners to take.

19.  Jake Locker – Titans

Locker has a very talented group around him and Ken Whisenhunt should be able to squeeze some production out of this offense. But there is a chance that there is a QB competition in Tennessee this Summer.

20.  Brian Hoyer – Browns

Who the hell knows what is going on with the Browns. But Hoyer played extremely well before tearing his knee up on Thursday Night Football. The Browns will probably draft a QB to compete with him for the starting job in which case he’ll drop a few spots in my rankings.

 

 

Searching for answer for the 2014 fantasy baseball season? Turn to a trusted source to enlighten you – Fantasy Alarm – and pick up your very own copy of the 2014 Fantasy Alarm Baseball Draft Guide. After reading the 200 pages of information you will be ready to dominate the competition in the coming season on your way to a fantasy baseball championship.

Slide 3 of 5 2014 Fantasy Football: Early Player Rankings | Slide - 3 FantasyAlarm.com

RUNNING BACKS

1.  Adrian Peterson – Vikings

He’s simply the best RB in the NFL hands down. Give him an upgrade on the offensive line and Norv Turner’s offense and he’ll challenge the 2000 yard mark once again in 2014.

2.  Jamaal Charles – Chiefs

I love him in Andy Reid’s offense. His pass catching ability makes him unstoppable in a full point PPR format.

3.  Matt Forte – Bears

Forte is like a fine wine in that he keeps getting better and better. His jump cut may be the single best move in the NFL. If he gets more goal line carries he could be the top RB in Fantasy Football next year.

4.  LeSean McCoy – Eagles

McCoy is a wonderful talent but is clearly behind the other three heading into next year. I am skeptical on how Chip Kelly’s offense will function after a full offseason of defensive coordinators preparing for it.

5.  Marshawn Lynch – Seahawks

“Beast Mode” is bound to break down eventually but as long as you handcuff him to either Robert Turbin or Christine Michael you are all set.

6.  Eddie Lacy – Packers

The landscape at RB is tumultuous at best right now. Lacy is a strong runner in a great offense who will very likely crack 10+ TD’s next year. He’s as safe a bet as there is in the rest of the RB’s.

7.  Le’Veon Bell – Steelers

There are very few full service RB’s left in the NFL and Bell is one of them. The Steelers are likely to upgrade the offensive line this offseason which will help the offense out tremendously.

8.  DeMarco Murray – Cowboys

Check back with me in three months and I may have a different opinion on Murray. But for now I have to respect what he was able to do in 2013 both running and catching the football. 

9.  Doug Martin – Buccaneers

I am comfortable enough in Martin to make him a low level RB1 going into next year. I like the addition of Lovie Smith as head coach and Jeff Tetford as the offensive coordinator down in Tampa.

10.  Ray Rice – Ravens

I’ll end up with Rice in just about every league I bet. Improvements to the offensive line and the Gary Kubiak zone blocking scheme is going to jump start this running attack like nobody’s business. Buy low on Rice in 2014 my friends.

11.  Reggie Bush – Lions

It is unclear what happens to Joique Bell this offseason but Bush remains a very solid focus of the Lions offense heading into 2014.

12.  Montee Ball – Broncos

It’s his show now that Knowshon Moreno is likely gone. Ball isn’t a dynamic runner by any stretch but playing in this offense will afford him plenty of opportunities to produce at a RB1 level.

13.  C.J. Spiller – Bills

The good news is that Spiller never threw up in 2013 because the Bills never fed him the ball enough. He is going to bust out one of these years as Fred Jackson just gets older and takes more of a pounding. At this point in time I am betting that Spiller could be a top 5 Fantasy RB next year.

14.  Zac Stacy – Rams

There will be competition brought in for Stacy as I get the feeling the team isn’t as sold on him as they say out loud. Still, the Rams found their offensive identity in the second half of last season and should run the football a ton in 2014.

15.  Chris Johnson – Titans

I would like to rank Johnson in the top 10 of Fantasy RB’s but rumors of him “tanking it” last year and a minor offseason knee surgery have me a bit concerned.

16.  Marcus Lattimore – 49ers

No, I am not just trying to be “different” here rather I truly believe Lattimore is the 49ers starting RB in week one. Now that the Texans system is blown up the 49ers are by far the best running team in the NFL with a superior offensive line. Whoever runs the ball here is an every week starter in Fantasy Football. 

17.  Gio Bernard – Bengals

I am not a fan of small running backs but I love the Hue Jackson system. Bernard is going to catch a ton of passes and have plenty of opportunities to make big plays in this offense.

18.  Maurice Jones-Drew – Free Agent

No matter where MJD winds up this offseason, he will be better off than in Jacksonville. I think MJD has one or two really good seasons left in him and he’ll be anxious to show his new team what he can do in 2014.

19.  Arian Foster – Texans

The biggest laugh I will have in drafts next year will be at the expense of those who think that the Texans running game will be as productive under Bill O’Brien as it was under Gary Kubiak. Research the schemes people and realize Foster never really was a difference making running back.

20.  Ryan Mathews – Chargers

I’ll never buy into Mathews. He is a player who will always be injured and so many will be fooled by thinking he finished all 16 games he started in 2013.

21.  Alfred Morris – Redskins

Morris was another system RB who’s system is now gone. It wouldn’t surprise me if he isn’t even the starter in 2014.

22.  Stevan Ridley – Patriots

No, I don’t feel safe with any of the Pats RB’s either but Ridley is atop the food chain for now. If he can hang onto the ball he has proven himself to be tremendously more effective than Shane Vereen.

23.  Steven Jackson – Falcons

The Falcons offense will bounce back next season and a healthy Jackson could find the endzone quite a bit as a result.

24.  Trent Richardson – Colts

Part of me wants to take a chance on Richardson knowing he has a ton to prove in order to even stay in the league after 2014. The other part of me though remembers just how horrible he has been since being drafted third overall in 2012.

 

 

Searching for answer for the 2014 fantasy baseball season? Turn to a trusted source to enlighten you – Fantasy Alarm – and pick up your very own copy of the 2014 Fantasy Alarm Baseball Draft Guide. After reading the 200 pages of information you will be ready to dominate the competition in the coming season on your way to a fantasy baseball championship.

Slide 4 of 5 2014 Fantasy Football: Early Player Rankings | Slide - 4 FantasyAlarm.com

WIDE RECEIVERS

1.  Calvin Johnson – Lions

Anybody who doesn’t rank Megatron number one is either mentally ill or just trying to be controversial.

2.  A.J. Green – Bengals

Many factors here in putting Green at number two. His size, speed, hands, health and new offense are at the top of the list.

3.  Brandon Marshall – Bears

Jay Cutler absolutely loves Brandon Marshall to the point that he will never, ever have two “subpar” games in a row. The Bears offense could be the best in all of football too in 2014.

4.  Demaryius Thomas – Broncos

One of the best WR’s in the game without a doubt and its really just a matter of opinion on where you slot him in the top five.

5.  Dez Bryant – Cowboys

To love Dez Bryant is to hate Dez Bryant. He is one of the most frustrating players to own at times but is so incredibly talented that its ridiculous.

6.  Josh Gordon – Browns

I was higher than literally everybody on Gordon going into 2013 but we need to realize that he is still a WR on the Browns. The departure of Chudzinski and the revolving door at QB should tell you to pump the brakes a bit on Gordon right now.

7.  Andre Johnson – Texans

Johnson is going to have a lot to prove next year to a new coaching staff and QB. I love it when AJ is playing inspired so I’m betting high on big things out of him in 2014.

8.  Julio Jones – Falcons

Modern science is wonderful and I have the utmost faith in the doctors to deliver Julio Jones back to us in even better shape possibly then he left in. Before the knee surgery he likely would have been my #2 WR going into next season.

9.  Antonio Brown – Steelers

I was completely wrong about Brown coming into 2013 so I am not going to let history repeat it self next year.

10.  Victor Cruz – Giants

Cruz gets one more season before I turn my back on him for good. He is so electric that if the Giants offense can get it together he’s a good bet as a top five Fantasy WR.

11.  Randall Cobb – Packers

Cobb is my not so secret crush heading into 2014. I am hoping that many downgrade him because of the time he missed last season. Alas, I will be there to scoop him up in the third round of every draft that he is still available in. Even if I am not in the draft…I’ll literally crash it, scoop him up on my shoulder then feed him bread crumbs like a baby bird. I’ve thought this out people!!

12.  Larry Fitzgerald – Cardinals

There are certain players that you just feel comfortable going to war with and Larry Fitzgerald is one of them for me. If I can somehow get him as my WR2, that would be heaven.

13.  Julian Edelman – Patriots

Danny Amendola can suck a bag of dicks. There is no way the Patriots can let Edelman go with the shape their receiving corps is in currently. I am banking on Edelman being back as Tom Brady’s slot receiver in 2014.

14.  Alshon Jeffery – Bears

The catches this guy makes are breathtaking. It’ll be another year or so before he passes up Brandon Marshall but the time is coming when Jeffery’s a top 5 Fantasy WR.

15.  Vincent Jackson – Buccaneers

It comes down to consistency for V-Jax. If he and Mike Glennon can stay consistent in 2014 V-Jax will make many Fantasy owners very happy.

16.  Wes Welker – Broncos

With the expected departure of Eric Decker this offseason there will be even more opportunities for Welker in Denver next season. It is worth noting his concussion history though and understanding that if he suffers another one he could miss a fair chunk of the season.

17.  Keenan Allen – Chargers

Phillip Rivers top receiver always posts good Fantasy numbers. Allen came on slowly last year but finished the season as a surefire every week starter.

18.  Jordy Nelson – Packers

Nelson proved a lot to me last season while Aaron Rodgers was out. Even though the numbers weren’t great he continued to be a focus of the offense and not the one trick pony I had him pegged as the past couple of years.

19.  Pierre Garcon – Redskins

Garcon led the NFL in receptions last season but only scored five times. I expect there to be a fair trade off in receptions versus touchdowns for him in 2014.

20. Reggie Wayne – Colts

I am curious on how many people will forget about or underestimate Wayne going into next season. I have made myself a promise that I will not make that mistake and hopefully can get Wayne at a very nice value next season.

21.  Roddy White – Falcons

Can we forgive White for completely ruining our seasons last year? I don’t know. The Falcons offense will rebound but White proved to me he isn’t somebody that I can count on as a WR1 or even high end WR2 anymore.

22.  DeSean Jackson – Eagles

There isn’t a bigger big play WR in the NFL. But he disappears for games as well when matched up against bigger, stronger cornerbacks.

23.  Kendall Wright – Titans

He caught 94 passes last year but only managed two scores. There is no way he is kept out of the endzone this much in 2014.

24.  Michael Crabtree – 49ers

I’ll be paying close attention to Crabtree during OTA’s and in training camp. He lost quite a bit of speed coming back from Achilles surgery so quickly last year. I am going to need to see that speed return if I am going to make him a WR2 in 2014.

25.  Justin Blackmon – Jaguars

Yeah I am crazy but I am quite sure that Blackmon will be reinstated by the NFL prior to next season. If and when he is reinstated I can absolutely see a monster season by him in an effort to get his career and life back on track.

26.  Marques Colston – Saints

He is Old Man River but until the Saints bring in another big receiver he is the best that they’ve got.

27.  Torrey Smith – Ravens

He is what we thought he was and that is a big play receiver who can’t be the focal point of a passing game. Still, Smith is a very professional player who will produce at a high end WR3 level for many years to come. 

28.  Mike Wallace – Dolphins

If Ryan Tannehill can ever find the arm strength on his deep ball, Wallace could have much better numbers then he did in 2013. Everybody in South Florida is hoping for more out of this connection in 2014.

29.  Terrence Williams – Cowboys

Williams was Tony Romo’s number two option for most of last season anyway.  So the obvious departure of Miles Austin really isn’t a big deal. Williams will be an excellent mid to late round “get” for Fantasy owners next year.

30.  T.Y. Hilton – Colts

Nope…not going to do it folks. If you’re thinking of making Hilton your WR2 or god forbid your WR1 you are entering a world of pain. A world of pain.

31.  Steve Johnson – Bills

I’m a sucker for players like Stevie Johnson. He is just a grinder who makes tough catches, plays through injuries and is a true professional. There is a spot on my team for Stevie Johnson every year.

32.  Sammy Watkins – Rookie (Clemson)

Watkins is as polished a WR as there has been coming out of College in awhile. People will find character flaws with his Marijuana possession charge back in 2012 but this guy in the real deal. It all comes down to what situation he is drafted into but at a minimum he should be looked at as a WR3 in his rookie season.

33.  Cordarrelle Patterson – Vikings

The Vikings should be ashamed of themselves for not getting the ball in Patterson’s hands more often in 2013. It is obvious that should not be a problem for the new coaching regime in Minnesota in 2014.

34.  Marvin Jones – Bengals

I love Jones in this offense but cannot expect him to out produce his 10 TD’s last season. I’m expecting a fair trade off between TD’s and reception/yards for him in 2014.

35.  Dwayne Bowe – Chiefs

Bowe is no longer a top shelf NFL receiver but he’s Alex Smith’s main target in Kansas City for now.

36.  Anquan Boldin – Free Agent

Boldin has another year or two in him no matter where he winds up this summer. He’ll likely amass 70+ receptions, 1000+ yards and 6+ TD’s in 2014.

 

 

Searching for answer for the 2014 fantasy baseball season? Turn to a trusted source to enlighten you – Fantasy Alarm – and pick up your very own copy of the 2014 Fantasy Alarm Baseball Draft Guide. After reading the 200 pages of information you will be ready to dominate the competition in the coming season on your way to a fantasy baseball championship.

Slide 5 of 5 2014 Fantasy Football: Early Player Rankings | Slide - 5 FantasyAlarm.com

TIGHT ENDS

1.  Jimmy Graham – Saints

Graham is so far and away above anybody else at the position that his agent is literally trying to challenge an NFL rule for the franchise tag. He is a first round pick in 2014.

2.  Rob Gronkowski – Patriots

Gronkowski should be recovered in time for training camp from his torn ACL injury. He has been unable to stay healthy the past two seasons but when on the field he is one of the most impactful players in the league.

3.  Vernon Davis – 49ers

If Davis could ever be consistent he’d be an early round pick. As it stands now the difference between the first and third TE is dramatic.

4.  Julius Thomas – Broncos

Thomas emerged as one of the best young TE’s in the league in 2013. With the expected departure of Eric Decker, Thomas’ targets should increase even more in 2014.

5.  Greg Olsen – Panthers

Olsen is in the prime of his career and plays with one of the best young QB’s in the NFL. This makes him an every week starting TE in Fantasy Football.

6.  Kyle Rudolph – Vikings

There are a couple of reasons to be high on Rudolph in 2014. The first is Norv Turner, the new offensive coordinator of the Vikings. The second is he is in the final year of his rookie contract and needs a big year to secure himself a lucrative second contract. The third reason is that the Vikings QB situation promises to be much more stable then it was at any point in 2013.

7.  Jason Witten – Cowboys

Witten has officially hit the downside of his career. He will still be productive especially in PPR league formats but we’ve see the best of Witten already.

8.  Martellus Bennett – Bears

Bennett was Jay Cutler’s preferred red zone target early on in the season before missing five games with an injury.

9.  Jordan Reed – Redskins

Reed was on his way to a breakout rookie season before going down with a concussion that ended his season in week 11. A new regime should bring more opportunities for Reed and the entire Redskins offense in 2014.

10.  Dennis Pitta – Ravens

People rave about Pitta and many believe he could be a top five Fantasy TE. I do not share those sentiments and think number ten is as high as I would go on Pitta.

11.  Jordan Cameron – Browns

But Jeff, you loved Jordan Cameron last year. Why isn’t he a top five TE for you again in 2014? It’s simple. The firing of Rob Chudzinski destroyed the incredible value of the TE position in Cleveland now.

12.  Delanie Walker – Titans

Walker is a solid all around player but not a great Fantasy option. He can start for you but ideally you would want a player with some more upside.

13.  Heath Miller – Steelers

I was very disappointed in Miller last year as he caught just 58 passes for 593 yards and 1 TD. I fully expect the TD number to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 5-7 in 2014.

14.  Antonio Gates – Chargers

I may value LaDarius Green more than Gates by the time the season gets here. But for now we have to respect the aging veteran as a very solid bye week replacement.

15.  Owen Daniels – Texans

I have a real good feeling about Daniels in Bill O’Brien’s offense next year. We still don’t know which QB will be throwing him the ball but Daniels is definitely an interesting player to keep an eye on this offseason.  

 

 

Searching for answer for the 2014 fantasy baseball season? Turn to a trusted source to enlighten you – Fantasy Alarm – and pick up your very own copy of the 2014 Fantasy Alarm Baseball Draft Guide. After reading the 200 pages of information you will be ready to dominate the competition in the coming season on your way to a fantasy baseball championship.


COMMENTS

  • 64x64

    Goat 26 Jul 01:27 / Reply

    Julio Jones had foot surgery - not knee surgery. Wow. Unbelievable. Really!?!?


  • 64x64

    micah 22 Jul 15:02 / Reply

    your read on cutler is atrocious. McCown accounted for half those yards, 13 of the tds and only 1 of the interceptions, leaving cutler in the mid 2000s for yards with only 19tds and 12 ints... not that good, and though his numbers will go up if he makes it all season, his ints will sky rocket as well. The dude has proven to be a head case every year but one, his breakout with Denver in 08


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