2014 Fantasy Football Mock Draft, Standard Scoring: Round 6
Finishing 10th in the league in targets (151), Edelman's full-year numbers were 105 receptions, which was fourth-most in the NFL, for 1,056 yards and six touchdowns. That's more than he had in his first four NFL seasons combined (69/714/4).
In Edelman's final eight games counting both playoff games, he had a minimum of six receptions and 64 yards in every game. During that span, he racked up a stat line of 69/729/5. Purely to illustrate how productive he was over the past half-season, maintaining that pace for a full 16-game season would equate to a stat line of 138/1,458/10!
Patterson tops the list of receivers with the potential to breakout in 2014. After watching Josh Gordon have a huge sophomore campaign with Norv Turner last year, it would be unrealistic to expect Gordon's league-leading numbers for Patterson but perfectly reasonable to expect a big year-over-year jump for Patterson in Turner's offense.
One of the league's most dangerous players in the open field, Patterson led the NFL in kickoff return average (32.4 Y/R). In the final eight games of the season, Patterson had 29 receptions for 323 yards, 10 carries for 156 yards and a total of seven touchdowns.
One season after rushing for 1,263 yards, seventh-most in 2012, and 12 touchdowns, Ridley fumbled his way to a reduced role within the Patriots backfield rotation in 2013. Even though LeGarrette Blount, who has eight TDs in his past three games, signed with the Steelers, it's hard to have a ton of confidence in predicting Ridley's workload in 2014.
Provided he doesn't, um, drop the ball, however, he at least has the talent as a runner to put up numbers like he had in 2012. Whether he gets that opportunity remains to be seen, but he's worth the risk in the sixth round as the 30th running back off the board.
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The Giants re-signed Peyton Hillis, drafted Boston College's Andre Williams and expect David Wilson to be medically cleared for training camp. That said, Jennings should have an opportunity to lead the Giants running backs in touches and fantasy points.
When given the opportunity that resulted from a Darren McFadden injury last year, Jennings had 127 carries for 593 yards and six touchdowns and 24 receptions for 195 yards in the final eight games of the season.
After playing a full 16-game season from 2002 to 2012, Wayne missed nine games due to a torn ACL. Before the injury, Wayne had 38 catches for 503 yards and two touchdowns, which would have put him on pace for 87 catches and 1,150 yards. Even though he will turn 36 in November, Wayne has a good chance of reaching the 1,000-yard milestone provided he stays healthy.
In his second NFL season, Floyd caught 65 passes for a team-high 1,041 yards, nearly double his 562 yards as a rookie, and five touchdowns. With the wide receiver position so deep, I have Randall Cobb (third round), Percy Harvin (fifth) and Floyd (sixth) as my WR1-3 on this team.
Except for setting a career high in passing touchdowns (24), Newton set career lows in passing yards (3,379), rushing yards (585) and rushing touchdowns (six) last season. Even so, Newton finished as a top-three fantasy quarterback last season.
In an unpopular move with its fan base, the team released its No. 1 wide receiver (Steve Smith), but they drafted big-bodied wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. The receiving corps was already a team weakness so I am not so concerned about the (still) relative weakness for 2014, but the Panthers also lost left tackle Jordan Gross to retirement.
It was a tale of two halves for Cameron. In the first half of the season, Cameron finished with 49 receptions for 596 yards and six touchdowns. While he had a huge Week 14 vs. the Patriots (9/121/1), the second half was a huge disappointment overall: 31/321/1. From Weeks 9 to 16, Week 14 was the only week he had more than four fantasy points.
With Josh Gordon potentially facing a season-long ban, however, it should open up the opportunities for Cameron. Cameron has plenty of upside if he is able to produce consistently throughout the whole season this year.
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One of the league's faster receivers, Smith set career highs in receptions (65) and yards (1,128) but a career low in touchdowns (four) last season. In addition, Smith was nearly as productive in his first five games (27/556/1 — 20.49 Y/R) as he was in the final 11 games (38/572/3 — 15.05 Y/R).
Meanwhile, Joe Flacco had a career-worst season: 19-to-22 TD-to-INT ratio, 73.1 rating, 6.4 yards per attempt and 48 sacks. All of those numbers were the worst of his career. With better protection for Flacco, only Ryan Tannehill was sacked more often, the Ravens' pass offense should be better in 2014.
Wright took a big step forward in his second season with 94 catches for 1,079 yards, both of which vastly exceeded his rookie numbers, but his low touchdown total (two) kept the joy his fantasy owners in check. Consistently solid, but not spectacular, with 13 games of 50-plus receiving yards, only two players had more such games than Wright — Antonio Brown (16) and Demaryius Thomas (14).
6.11 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Brandin Cooks, WR, New Orleans Saints
Maybe a round or two early for Cooks here, I really like his upside even though rookie receivers tend to struggle. When the Rams traded up in the first round for Tavon Austin, the possibilities of getting him the ball in space seemed unlimited. They weren't. I have much more faith in a Sean Payton-led and Drew Brees-quarterbacked offense to utilitize Cooks the way that the Rams should have used Austin last year.
While I would still prefer a few receivers over Cooks (including fellow rookie wideouts Mike Evans and Sammy Watkins), I can see the ultra-quick and ultra-productive Cooks finishing with a line close to 80/900/5 in his rookie season. In addition to their eight home games, the Saints have a couple of road dome games as well (Atlanta and Detroit).
Witten set seven-year lows in receptions (73) and yards (851) last season, but he finished with eight touchdowns, the second-highest total of his career. Two seasons ago, Witten set a single-season tight end record for receptions (110).
In an offense that should be one of the league's best (unfortunately due in part to a defense that should be one of the league's worst), I see a bounce-back season for Witten in the range of 80-90 receptions and 900-975 yards.
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2014 Fantasy Football rankings from Kevin Hanson:
- 2014 Fantasy Football QB rankings
- 2014 Fantasy Football RB rankings
- 2014 Fantasy Football WR rankings
- 2014 Fantasy Football TE rankings