Back to TheDailyBlitz.com Home Page (All categories)

July 26, 2014

Fantasy Football Mock Draft Per Day (July 26th): 10 teams, No. 10 pick, 2-QB league

Back on May 27th, we began our 2014 fantasy football mock draft per day series using our site's mock draft simulator (powered by FantasyPros).

As we continue through the offseason, I will continue to complete a mock draft every day as I vary the scoring format, league size, draft slot, etc. and today's mock is a 10-team, two-QB league using standard scoring and I have the No. 10 pick.

Here are my picks in today's mock draft:

1.10 - Eddie Lacy, GB, Green Bay Packers
2.01 - Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions
3.10 - Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers
4.01 - Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears
5.10 - Toby Gerhart, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
6.01 - Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona Cardinals
7.10 - Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Minnesota Vikings
8.01 - Trent Richardson, RB, Indianapolis Colts
9.10 - Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions
10.01 - Kendall Wright, WR, Tennessee Titans
11.10 - Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings
12.01 - Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins
13.10 - Hakeem Nicks, WR, Indianapolis Colts
14.01 - Brandin Cooks, WR, New Orleans Saints
15.10 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers D/ST
16.01 - Dan Bailey, K, Dallas Cowboys

Some notes about my team (view full mock here):

  • QBs: Five QBs were off the board before my first pick. As I've noted before, I consider QBs 4-10 to be in the same tier with less than one fantasy point per game separating QB4 to QB10 based on my fantasy football projections. In addition, I have Kaepernick ranked higher than most as my QB6. While I was a bit concerned that neither Kaep nor Cutler would make it to me at pick 3.10, I'd be happy with that duo as my starting QBs after going Lacy/Megatron to start. Tannehill provides some depth and he has some upside if the team's revamped offensive line can protect him better as the team transitions to a new up-tempo offense under OC Bill Lazor.

  • RBs: The trio of Lacy, Gerhart and Ellington give me three top-15 running backs based on my rankings. I considered adding my WR2 with pick 6.01, but I couldn't pass up Ellington with the 51st pick. Lacy was a workhorse and highly productive back last year and as the team hopes to speed up its offense, it could signify an even larger workload for Lacy. The Jags want Gerhart to be their three-down workhorse and the Cardinals keep talking up the high volume of work they plan to give to Ellington, who recently added 8-10 pounds. I won't need to count on much production from T-Rich as my RB4, but he has upside as the Colts certainly want him to succeed after giving up this year's first-rounder to acquire him.

  • WRs: No wide receiver has been as dominant as Megatron over the past several seasons and he's still my hands-down No. 1 wideout. I'd like more of a sure thing as my No. 2 wide receiver, but Patterson has breakout potential in Year 2 (his first season with Norv Turner). Meanwhile, Wright had a breakout season last year and Tate should post career numbers in his new offense. Nicks and Cooks provide some depth and upside late in the draft.

  • TEs: Like Patterson, Rudolph should prosper in Norv's offense, which has seen many TEs prosper including Jordan Cameron last year as well as Antonio Gates and others before him. Rudolph has had some red-zone success with 12 TDs in his past 24 games, but his overall production could be career-best numbers in 2014.

Mock Draft Simulator: Complete your own mock drafts on our site for free.

Our 2014 fantasy football rankings:

Tomorrow's mock draft will be a 16-team league using point-per-reception (PPR) scoring with and the No. 3 overall pick. Follow me on Twitter (@EDSFootball) to keep track of our updates.

2014 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: Round 9

Another round of our new fantasy football PPR mock draft is complete. Here are Round 9 results:

9.01 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

By drafting Hill, it would appear that The Law Firm's days in Cincy are numbered. Either way, I would expect Hill to get a sizable amount of touches behind Giovani Bernard. A big and powerful runner, Hill rushed for 2,156 yards (6.2 YPC) and 28 touchdowns on 345 carries over the past two seasons at LSU.

9.02 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys

With the depth at the position, there are a lot of excellent quarterbacks available in the middle-to-late rounds including Romo. Although Sean took Colin Kaepernick a few picks earlier, I've found myself using a similar strategy of taking a couple of quarterbacks late like this. While I'd be happy with either guy as my only quarterback, the Kaep/Romo duo gives Sean increased flexibility to take advantage of their matchups.

One season after throwing for 4,903 yards, Romo threw for only 3,828 yards with 31 touchdowns and 10 interceptions last season. With an atrocious defense and Scott Linehan calling the plays, Romo could be in store for a huge season as the offense tries to keep up with what the defense gives up.

9.03 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Brandin Cooks, WR, New Orleans Saints

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's ability to utilitize Cooks the way that the Rams should have used Austin last year.

I can see the ultra-quick and ultra-productive (in college) 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 (Atlanta and Detroit), where he could be especially dangerous.

9.04 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Fred Jackson, RB, Buffalo Bills

Nobody will be (or should be) excited to draft F-Jax in any round as a 33-year-old running back, but he's one of my favorite players in real football. Making a career out of exceeding expectations, Jackson had 1,283 YFS and 10 touchdowns last season.

I don't expect him to repeat last year's production with the addition of Bryce Brown, especially if C.J. Spiller stays healthy. But can he outperform his draft status as RB38 in this mock? Absolutely.

9.05 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Martellus Bennett, TE, Chicago Bears

In his first season with the Bears, Bennett set career highs with 65 receptions for 759 yards and tied a previous career high of five touchdowns. Competing with Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Matt Forte for targets, however, Bennett is no more than the team's fourth best option on offense.

There are a couple of tight ends still on the board that I'd prefer over Bennett, most notably Kyle Rudolph, who should flourish in Norv Turner's TE-friendly offense.

9.06 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): DeAngelo Williams, RB, Carolina Panthers

Based on the opinion of Williams himself (joked he should be a first-rounder), I'm getting a bargain here in the ninth round as the 39th running back off the board. In all seriousness, Williams should lead the team once again in carries and rush attempts and he provides some relatively uninspiring but solid running back depth.

9.07 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Terrance Williams, WR, Dallas Cowboys

As a rookie, Williams had 44 receptions for 736 yards and five touchdowns. Like most rookie receivers, Williams was a bit inconsistent as half of his production came in just five games (21/384/4 from Weeks 4 to 8). Going into the 2014 season, however, Williams will be the unquestioned No. 2 wideout opposite Dez Bryant and will have another year of building chemistry with Tony Romo.

9.08 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Rueben Randle, WR, New York Giants

Randle is a relatively cheap option on draft day with upside as the team installs a new offense that uses fewer option routes. While Randle led the Giants in TD receptions in his second season with the team, he and Eli often failed to get on the same page. Based on reports, Randle had an excellent offseason.

9.09 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Darren McFadden, RB, Oakland Raiders

Stop me if you've heard this before, but McFadden has yet to play a full 16-game season in his career. It's actually been worse over the past three years (29 total games) than it was in his first three seasons (38 games).

While I expect Maurice Jones-Drew to lead the team in touches and production when both are healthy and McFadden has huge durability risks, as noted above, but if things fall right, he could certainly outperform his ninth-round draft status.

9.10 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Christine Michael, RB, Seattle Seahawks

More than likely, Marshawn Lynch will end his holdout at some point, but he certainly beats to his own drum so who knows who it will ultimately play out. Regardless of whether he reports/plays, Michael, the team's talented second-round pick from 2013, will be much more involved in the team's offensive game plan this year.

9.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

With a new quarterback and new coach, Bowe set five-year lows in receptions (57) and yards (673) and a career low in yards per reception (11.8) last season. Over his past eight games counting their playoff loss, however, Bowe had 39 receptions for 521 yards and four touchdowns, which would equate to a full-season pace of 78/1,042/8.

While he may not produce at the 78/1,042/8 level this year, I think he comes closer to those numbers than last year's stat line. Bowe has shedded some weight and hopefully that will help him play faster in 2014, but his upside will always be capped by Alex Smith.

9.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): David Wilson, RB, New York Giants

Wilson (neck) has received medical clearance and he's a full-go during training camp, which is excellent news for Wilson. Unlike last year, there won't be huge expectations of a breakout season as he will be the change-of-pace back to starter Rashad Jennings. Depending on his improvements in pass protection and ball security, Wilson has some upside due to talent as a runner.

> Continue to Round 10
> Go back to Round 8

2014 Fantasy Football rankings:

More fantasy football resources:

Keep track of our site's updates: (1) follow us on Twitter, (2) LIKE us on Facebook and/or (3) add us to your Google+ circle

July 25, 2014

Andre Ellington has added 8-10 pounds this offseason

Set to receive a significant bump in workload in 2014, Cardinals second-year running back Andre Ellington has added some weight this offseason.

General manager Steve Keim said today that Ellington has added 8-10 pounds in the offseason, per Mike Jurecki of Fox Sports 910.

Coach Bruce Arians suggested earlier this offseason that Ellington would get "25-30 touches per game" this season. Of course, that was an overstatement with the lower end of that range equaling 400 touches for the year; LeSean McCoy led the league last year with 366 touches.

As a rookie, Ellington, my 15th-ranked fantasy running back in 2014, rushed 118 times for 652 yards and three touchdowns while adding 39 receptions for 371 yards and a score.

Only a quartet of quarterbacks — Terrelle Pryor (6.9), Colin Kaepernick (5.7), Robert Griffin III (5.7) and Russell Wilson (5.6) — averaged more yards per carry than Ellington (5.5 YPC) last season.

Provided it doesn't slow him down, the additional weight could help him better withstand the pounding that will go with the additional volume of work that he's expected to get in 2014.

July 24, 2014

2014 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: Round 8

We have completed another round of our new fantasy football PPR mock draft -- Round 8 is in the books.

In addition to viewing our mock draft by round, you can also view the mock draft broken down by team as well.

Here are Round 8 results:

8.01 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots

It was an up-and-down season for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. To be more accurate, it was a down-and-up-and-then-back-down season for Brady from a fantasy perspective. To be fair, Brady began the season without five of the team's leading receivers from 2012.

Brady's production seemed to match the presence (or absence) of tight end Rob Gronkowski. Beginning with Gronk's third game back, Brady began a six-game stretch with five games of at least 344 passing yards that also included two games with more than 400 yards. In the seven games that Gronkowski was active, Brady averaged 315 passing yards and 1.86 touchdown passes compared to averages of 237.56 yards and 1.33 touchdowns in games he missed.

With training camp opening this week, all indications seem to point toward Gronk being ready for the season opener as he was cleared for the start of training camp.

8.02 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos

What's not to like about a free-agent wide receiver signing with the Broncos? Well, perhaps the selection of Cody Latimer in the second round, but at least to start the season, Sanders will have an opportunity as the team's third receiver behind Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker. And we've seen how productive DT, Welker and Eric Decker could be as a trio last season.

8.03 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Nick Foles, QB, Philadelphia Eagles

Entering last season as the team's backup, Foles did not throw his first pass until Week 4 against the Broncos. With a near flawless beginning to his season, Foles did not throw his first interception until Week 14 against the Lions in a weekend that was full of inclement weather around the league. Foles had entered that game with a 19:0 TD-to-INT ratio.

Even though he threw only 317 passes, Foles finished the season with 27 touchdowns, eighth-most in the NFL, and just two interceptions. While nobody will confuse Foles for Michael Vick, he did have success running the ball last season. Among quarterbacks, Foles ranked 10th in rush attempts (56) and 12th in rushing yards (225) while also scoring three touchdowns.

Of course, it will be nearly impossible for him to duplicate last year's efficiency, but he will be a viable QB1.

8.04 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Often compared to new teammate Vincent Jackson when it comes to NFL comparables, Evans has great size (6-foot-5, 35-inch arms) and excellent athleticism for his size. While it's typically difficult for rookie receivers to make a major impact, Evans should be able to make an immediate impact in the red zone although there are a few receivers I'd prefer here over Evans.

8.05 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers

In the past two seasons, Olsen has 142 receptions for 1,659 yards and 11 touchdowns. While he lacks the upside of some tight ends, he's extemely safe and should be a lock for 70/800/5 or better.

One of four tight ends to lead his team in receiving last season, Olsen should benefit again from the lack of elite options at wide receiver. All of the wide receivers that had a reception last season for the Panthers are no longer on the roster. Even though the Panthers signed a few, as Richard Sherman would call them, mediocre receivers in free agency and drafted Kelvin Benjamin in the first round, Olsen should once again lead the team in receiving.

8.06 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Bernard Pierce, RB, Baltimore Ravens

Only a handful of teams, specifically five of them, posted a worst run-blocking grade from Pro Football Focus last season. In turn, both Pierce and Rice struggled last season. Among the 49 running backs with at least 25 percent of his team's snaps, no running back was worse than Pierce (48th) or Rice (49th) in yards after contact per attempt with 1.75 and 1.52, respectively. Pierce finished third in that category as a rookie in 2012 — Rice was 28th of 48.

Both Pierce and Rice have lost some weight this offseason, which could lead to an improvement in elusiveness and better production this season. With Rice suspended for two games, Pierce will have the opportunity to get a couple of starts but perhaps fewer than most had expected.

8.07 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Oakland Raiders

Once a potential first-overall pick (and perhaps still by MJD himself) in fantasy drafts, Jones-Drew heads to the Bay Area to play professional football where he grew up. Only a few years removed from a league-high 1,606 rushing yards (in 2011), MJD rushed for a career-low 3.4 yards per carry last season.

For various reasons (suspension, injury, talent, etc.), the supporting cast was lackluster in Jacksonville and that led to part of his struggles. Unfortunately for Jones-Drew, the supporting cast isn't much better in Oakland and he will compete with Darren McFadden for touches (when McFadden is healthy). Pocket Hercules turned 29 in March, however, and his 2,139 career touches is also beginning to take a toll.

8.08 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Cecil Shorts, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars used two second-round picks on receivers Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson as well as their first-round pick, third overall, on quarterback Blake Bortles. The organization has often discussed its desire to allow Bortles to stay on the bench in his first season, however.

With Justin Blackmon not expected to play for the Jaguars this season (or maybe next season after his arrest on Wednesday), Shorts should lead the team in receiving, but the team should utilize a run-first offense with Chad Henne still under center.

8.09 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins

The good news is that Reed has been cleared from the concussion symptoms that forced him to miss an extended period of time last season. The bad news is that it took so long to gain that clearance and he's had a number of concussions dating back to his days with the Florida Gators.

When he was on the field, however, he was highly productive: 45/499/3 in nine games. That's a full-season pace of 80/887/5, which would be especially impressive as a rookie. As I tweeted a while back, only two rookie tight ends — Mike Ditka and Jeremy Shockey — have ever finished with 887-plus receiving yards in their rookie seasons. If he can stay healthy, Reed has top-five upside at the position.

8.10 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles

There are a few tight ends still on the board that I have ranked ahead of him, but Ertz has tons of potential for a breakout in Year 2. As noted with the previous pick, it's typically difficult for rookie tight ends to make huge impacts, but Ertz was solid as a rookie (36/469/4). Chip Kelly has cited Ertz as one of the biggest potential beneficiaries of DeSean Jackson's departure from the standpoint of being more involved in the offense.

8.11 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers

A fantasy disappointment in 2013, Kaepernick hit his stride down the stretch with three consecutive games of 20-plus fantasy points to close the season.

One of four quarterbacks to rush for 500-plus yards last season, Kaepernick should have much more success as a passer in 2014. The loss of Michael Crabtree (Achilles) for most of last season hurt Kaepernick, but Crabtree is healthy now and the team has added upgraded their overall depth at the position via trade and draft.

Kaepernick is my sixth-ranked fantasy quarterback for 2014, but the 11th quarterback off the board in this mock.

8.12 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Dennis Pitta, TE, Baltimore Ravens

The hopes of a breakout season that many had expected were dashed in July when Pitta suffered a hip injury that nearly kept him out for the entire season. Back in 2012, Pitta finished with 61/669/7 and I expect him to set career highs across the board in Gary Kubiak's offense in 2014.

> Continue to Round 9
> Go back to Round 7

2014 Fantasy Football rankings:

More fantasy football resources:

Keep track of our site's updates: (1) follow us on Twitter, (2) LIKE us on Facebook and/or (3) add us to your Google+ circle

Fantasy Football Mock Draft Per Day (July 24th): 14 teams, No. 6 pick

Back on May 27th, we began our 2014 fantasy football mock draft per day series using our site's mock draft simulator (powered by FantasyPros).

As we continue through the offseason, I will continue to complete a mock draft every day as I vary the scoring format, league size, draft slot, etc. and today's mock is a 14-team using standard scoring and I have the No. 6 pick.

Here are my picks in today's mock draft:

1.06 - Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions
2.09 - Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
3.06 - Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona Cardinals
4.09 - Roddy White, WR, Atlanta Falcons
5.06 - Joique Bell, RB, Detroit Lions
6.09 - Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers
7.06 - Pierre Thomas, RB, New Orleans Saints
8.09 - Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings
9.06 - Tre Mason, RB, St. Louis Rams
10.09 - Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
11.06 - Rueben Randle, WR, New York Giants
12.09 - Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee Titans
13.06 - Cleveland Browns D/ST
14.09 - Dan Bailey, K, Dallas Cowboys
15.06 - Greg Jennings, WR, Minnesota Vikings

Some notes about my team (view full mock here):

  • QBs: The 12th QB off the board, Kaepernick is my sixth-ranked fantasy quarterback in 2014. With elite rushing ability for a quarterback, Kaep enters the season with a much better group of pass-catchers than he had last season. Not only is Michael Crabtree healthy, the team added Stevie Johnson via trade and Bruce Ellington, Andre's cousin, via the draft. Based on my fantasy football projections, there is only 13.62-point (less than one fantasy point per game) difference between my QB4 (Matthew Stafford) and QB10 (Tom Brady). In other words, I'd be happy with any in that group — or more specifically, the one that I can get the latest.

  • RBs: Too bad this league didn't use PPR scoring as my top-four backs — Gio, Ellington, Bell and Thomas — would be even more valuable. Especially considering I went Megatron in Round 1, I'm happy with that foursome in non-PPR leagues as well. Bernard, Ellington and Bell are all set to see expanded workloads, and perhaps substantially larger ones. Mason provides some depth late as my RB5.

  • WRs: Megatron and Roddy give me two top-11 wideouts based on my fantasy rankings so I'm feeling really good about this duo. Of course, Megatron and should always form one of the top duos in any fantasy league. As I've noted numerous times, White was dominant in December as only two receivers had more yards than he did over those five games to close out the season. Bowe has lost some weight and should be better in 2014. Both Randle and Hunter have upside as late-round picks and Jennings provides some additional depth.

  • TEs: While he has had success in the red zone (12 TDs in his past 24 games), Rudolph is a prime breakout candidate in Norv Turner's TE-friendly offense.

Mock Draft Simulator: Complete your own mock drafts on our site for free.

Our 2014 fantasy football rankings:

Tomorrow's mock draft will be a 12-team league using standard scoring with a super flex (QB-eligible flex) and the No. 7 overall pick. Follow me on Twitter (@EDSFootball) to keep track of our updates.

July 23, 2014

2014 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: Round 7

With our new fantasy football PPR mock draft going 14 rounds (no kickers / team defenses), we are now officially halfway through it as Round 7 is now in the books.

Here are Round 7 results:

7.01 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Eric Decker, WR, New York Jets

Decker had 172 receptions for 2,352 yards and 24 touchdowns over the past two seasons combined. In each of those seasons, he has finished with at least 85 receptions, 1,000-plus yards and double-digit touchdowns. In fact, only two other receivers had a line of at least 172/2,352/24 over the past two years: teammate Demaryius Thomas (186/2,864/24) and Dez Bryant (185/2,615/25).

That's the good news. Not only does Decker go to an offense that is much less explosive, however, his new role as a team's No. 1 wide receiver means he will draw a more difficult assignment every week.

7.02 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Mike Wallace, WR, Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins made a splash in free agency two offseasons ago by signing 60 Minutes, but he failed to live up to expectations and his monster contract last year. Wallace had a career-high 73 catches, but he averaged a career-low 12.7 yards per reception and failed to reach 1,000 receiving yards for a second year in a row. While he is one of the league's fastest receivers, Wallace and Ryan Tannehill never seemed to get on the same page.

Wallace has another year/offseason to develop better chemistry with Ryan Tannehill, who was sacked a league-worst 58 times last year. Not only should the the Dolphins protect Tannehill better, but new OC Bill Lazor has brought his up-tempo offense from Philadelphia and early reports have been positive for Wallace.

7.03 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Stevan Ridley, RB, New England Patriots

With more value in standard-scoring formats, Ridley has some upside appeal as an RB3 in either format. 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. Provided he doesn't drop the ball (literally), Ridley 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.

7.04 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions

Going from a run-first offense in Seattle to Detroit's pass-first offense could lead to a significant boost in fantasy production for Tate. Without a real (healthy) No. 2 receiver opposite Calvin Johnson for several seasons, Tate helps take some pressure off Megatron. But, of course, Megatron's presence on the other side will open things up more so for Tate, who should always see single coverage.

Tate set career highs in receptions (64) and yards (898) to go along with five touchdowns last season, but I would expect the 25-year-old receiver to set new career highs in 2014.

* Yahoo Fantasy Football - Sign Up For Free Today!

7.05 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons

Sacked a career-worst 44 times and throwing a career-high 17 interceptions, Ryan still managed to throw for 4,515 yards and 26 touchdowns on a career-high 651 pass attempts. In addition to poor offensive line play, Ryan was without Julio Jones for 11 games and Roddy White was slowed by injuries until the final month of the season.

Jones was having a breakout season — 116.0 YPG through five games — before a foot injury ended his season. White closed the season nearly as strong as Jones began it — 43 catches for 502 yards. Only two receivers had more yards in the final five games.

With improved health from his top two receivers, Ryan will have an opportunity to bounce back in 2014 although Tony Gonzalez has retired. (This time for good, I think.)

7.06 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins

Poised for a bounce-back season with better health (thank you, Shanny) and the free-agent addition of DeSean Jackson (thank you, Chip), it's possible that Griffin III finishes as a top-five fantasy producer. If tight end Jordan Reed (concussions) can stay healthy, RG3 has one of the league's better young trios of pass-catchers with Pierre Garcon, D-Jax and Reed. After all, Andy Dalton finished as the No. 5 fantasy quarterback in Jay Gruden's offense last year.

7.07 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Steven Jackson, RB, Atlanta Falcons

There are a couple of reasons to be concerned about Jackson: (1) Jackson turns 31 in July and (2) nearly 3,000 touches (2,552 carries and 440 receptions) in his career. On a positive note, the Falcons took some steps to improve their offensive line by drafting Jake Matthews with the sixth-overall pick. They also drafted his likely long-term replacement in Devonta Freeman, however, who is a back that has been compared some to Frank Gore.

If Jackson stays healthy for the full season, something he didn't do last year, there is the potential for upside. Given his age and cumulative workload, however, I wouldn't bank on a full 16 games from S-Jax in 2014.

7.08 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Reggie Wayne, WR, Indianapolis Colts

After playing a full 16-game season from 2002 to 2012, Wayne missed nine games due to a torn ACL last year. 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 chance to reach the 1,000-yard milestone once again provided he stays healthy. The good news is that Wayne received medical clearance from his torn ACL already even though the team will likely limit his work during camp.

* DraftKings: Get a 100-percent bonus (up to $600) when you sign up.

7.09 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Sammy Watkins, WR, Buffalo Bills

The most complete rookie receiver in this year's draft class, Watkins has big-time speed, great hands and is a dangerous runner in the open field. While he should lead the Bills in targets and production, it's disappointing that he ends up in a cold-weather environment with a less-than-ideal quarterback situation on a run-firsts team. After all, it's already difficult for rookie receivers to make significant impacts in Year 1.

7.10 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Darren Sproles, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

After five years in San Diego and three years in New Orleans, Sproles was traded to the Eagles this offseason. Over the past three seasons, Sproles has averaged 77/660/5 receiving and 63/356/2 rushing. That said, Sproles is now 31 years old and joins an offense with one of the league's best running backs.

7.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Danny Woodhead, RB, San Diego Chargers

One of the league's better receiving backs and therefore better in PPR formats, Woodhead had a career-high 76 receptions last season and totaled 1,035 yards from scrimmage with eight total touchdowns. The only running back with more receptions than Woodhead last season was Pierre Thomas (77).

7.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Hakeem Nicks, WR, Indianapolis Colts

Once again, Nicks finds himself in a contract year. Without question, Nicks was disappointed with the financial terms offered to him in free agency as he settled for a one-year deal with the Colts.

Will we get a motivated and rejuvenated Nicks similar to the guy we saw in 2010 and 2011? Or the one that was a major disappointment in 2012 and 2013? I think Nicks could be in store for a bounce-back season, but the presence of Hilton and Wayne could all limit each other's upside.

> Continue to Round 8
> Go back to Round 6

2014 Fantasy Football rankings:

More fantasy football resources:

Keep track of our site's updates: (1) follow us on Twitter, (2) LIKE us on Facebook and/or (3) add us to your Google+ circle

Fantasy Football Mock Draft Per Day (July 23rd): 12 teams, No. 4 pick, PPR

Back on May 27th, we began our 2014 fantasy football mock draft per day series using our site's mock draft simulator (powered by FantasyPros).

As we continue through the offseason, I will continue to complete a mock draft every day as I vary the scoring format, league size, draft slot, etc. and today's mock is a 12-team using point-per-reception (PPR) scoring and I have the No. 4 pick.

Here are my picks in today's mock draft:

1.04 - Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings
2.09 - Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
3.04 - Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots
4.09 - Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals
5.04 - Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots
6.09 - Joique Bell, RB, Detroit Lions
7.04 - Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore Ravens
8.09 - Fred Jackson, RB, Buffalo Bills
9.04 - Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
10.09 - Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
11.04 - Sammy Watkins, WR, Buffalo Bills
12.09 - Hakeem Nicks, WR, Indianapolis Colts
13.04 - Rueben Randle, WR, New York Giants
14.09 - Kansas City Chiefs D/ST
15.04 - Matt Bryant, K, Atlanta Falcons

Some notes about my team (view full mock here):

  • QBs: Even though I waited relatively late on QB, I could have waited another round for either Jay Cutler or Tony Romo. In a 12-team league, there are (at least) 13 QBs that I'd be comfortable as my starting QB so it's rare that I will draft one early. While it was a disappointing season for Brady, he was much better with Gronk than without him, which would seem obvious. In the seven games that Gronkowski was active, Brady averaged 315 passing yards and 1.86 touchdown passes compared to averages of 237.56 yards and 1.33 touchdowns in games he missed and it looks like Gronk will be ready for the opener.

  • RBs: Peterson and Bell give me two RB1-caliber backs as my starters. Based on my fantasy RB projections, I have this duo projected for 94 receptions, 3,146 YFS and 21 TDs combined. Finishing as an RB2 last season, the other Bell, Joique, could see a larger workload in 2014. While Rice is facing league discipline to begin the year, he has lost weight and should be more productive on the field this season. F-Jax provides some depth as my RB5.

  • WRs: By taking Gronk in the third round, my starting WRs are relatively weak as I view Fitz and Edelman as WR2 types in PPR formats. I was really hoping that Roddy White, my 11th-ranked wideout, would last one more spot to 4.09. With WR being the deepest position in fantasy, it's always comforting to wait on WR and land guys like Bowe, Watkins, Nicks and Randle from Rounds 10 to 13.

  • TEs: I'd be comfortable taking Gronkowski in Round 2, but he will never make it out of Round 3 in the drafts that I'm in. It appears that he will be ready to go for Week 1 and Gronk is as dominant as any TE when healthy. While he set career highs in both Y/G and Y/R last season, Gronk has scored 43 TDs in 50 career games.

Mock Draft Simulator: Complete your own mock drafts on our site for free.

Our 2014 fantasy football rankings:

Tomorrow's mock draft will be a 14-team league using standard scoring and the No. 6 overall pick. Follow me on Twitter (@EDSFootball) to keep track of our updates.

July 22, 2014

Fantasy Football Mock Draft Per Day (July 22nd): 16 teams, No. 9 pick

Back on May 27th, we began our 2014 fantasy football mock draft per day series using our site's mock draft simulator (powered by FantasyPros).

As we continue through the offseason, I will continue to complete a mock draft every day as I vary the scoring format, league size, draft slot, etc. and today's mock is a 16-team using standard scoring and I have the No. 9 pick.

Here are my picks in today's mock draft:

1.09 - DeMarco Murray, RB, Dallas Cowboys
2.08 - Alshon Jeffery, WR, Chicago Bears
3.09 - Roddy White, WR, Atlanta Falcons
4.08 - Joique Bell, RB, Detroit Lions
5.09 - Stevan Ridley, RB, New England Patriots
6.08 - Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears
7.09 - Jordan Reed, TE, Washington
8.08 - Bernard Pierce, RB, Baltimore Ravens
9.09 - Rueben Randle, WR, New York Giants
10.08 - Roy Helu, RB, Washington
11.09 - Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee Titans
12.08 - Carson Palmer, QB, Arizona Cardinals
13.09 - Cleveland Browns D/ST
14.08 - Steven Hauschka, K, Seattle Seahawks
15.09 - Andrew Hawkins, WR, Cleveland Browns

Some notes about my team (view full mock here):

  • QBs: As quickly as the talent thins at other positions in a deeper league, the plan was to wait as long as I could to still get one of my top 13 or 14 QBs. Cutler (my QB11) turned out to be the 14th QB off the board. While he missed several games last season, the Cutler/McCown duo combined for the third-most fantasy points through Week 16 last season. With a talented core of offensive weapons, there is plenty of upside for a top-five season at bargain prices as he enters his second season in Trestman's offense. Palmer provides some depth although I don't always add a second QB in 16-team leagues.

  • RBs: Durability risk is a greater concern in a deeper league, but Murray had a career-best season as he played 14 games last year. From Weeks 10 to 16 (span includes their bye), Murray had double-digit fantasy points in all six games with 20-plus fantasy points in half of those games. With an even larger workload expected this year, Bell saw a big year-over-year jump in volume as he finished among the top-20 fantasy RBs in 2013. If Ridley keeps his ball-security issues in check, he could be a steal as my RB3/flex and Pierce, who has been medically cleared for camp, should benefit from Ray Rice's looming suspension. Helu provides some depth.

  • WRs: Granted, I'm higher on Roddy than most, but the Alshon/Roddy duo give me two top-11 receivers in a 16-team league. Randle, Hunter and Hawkins all have some upside from where they were drafted. Randle should benefit from the change in offensive scheme, Hunter is an explosive athlete that added 15 pounds of muscle in the offseason and Hawkins will benefit from Josh Gordon's looming suspension.

  • TEs: Anxious about Reed's concussion history (both in Washington and college), I'm equally excited about his upside if he stays healthy. In nine games as a rookie last season, Reed had 45 receptions for 499 yards last year. That equates to an 80/887 pace. Only two rookie tight ends have ever exceeded 887 receiving yards.

Mock Draft Simulator: Complete your own mock drafts on our site for free.

Our 2014 fantasy football rankings:

Tomorrow's mock draft will be a 12-team league using point-per-reception (PPR) scoring and the No. 4 overall pick. Follow me on Twitter (@EDSFootball) to keep track of our updates.

2014 Fantasy Football Tight End Rankings: July 22nd update

Earlier today, I updated my fantasy football quarterback, running back and wide receiver rankings. Last but not least (ok, maybe least), I've turned my attention to tight ends.

Here are my updated fantasy football tight end rankings (standard scoring):

1. Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints

Looking back to last year, Graham arguably had the best season of his career even though he fell short of his previous career highs in both receptions and yards. He finished the season with 86 catches for 1,215 yards, but he had a career-best 16 touchdowns. It was only the second time in NFL history that a tight end had at least 16 touchdowns.

Not only did Graham lead all tight ends in all three statistical categories, but he had nearly 300 yards more than the tight end with the second-most yards (Cleveland's Jordan Cameron, 917). In addition, he led all players, regardless of position, in touchdowns; Denver's Demaryius Thomas was second with 14.

Over the past three seasons combined, Graham has a total of 270 receptions for 3,507 yards and 36 touchdowns; that equates to an average stat line of 90/1,169/12. A lock for a monster season at a position with only a few studs, Graham is worthy of consideration at the end of Round 1 of fantasy football drafts.

2. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots

As Yogi Berra would say, it's déjà vu all over again. While the injuries are different, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is coming off a season-ending injury that required surgery for the second year in a row. One year after a total of five forearm and back surgeries, Gronkowski suffered a torn ACL in early December, but early indications are that he will be ready for the 2014 season opener.

Missing games to start and end last season, Gronk played in only seven games, but he averaged 84.6 yards per game and 15.2 yards per reception, both of which were career highs. More than anything, Gronkowski is a dominant force in the red zone as he has a total of 43 touchdowns in 50 career games.

3. Julius Thomas, Denver Broncos

Among tight ends, there was no bigger fantasy bargain than Denver's Julius Thomas as TE23 in 2013. Despite ranking ninth at the position in targets (89), only two tight ends had more fantasy points than Thomas last year: Graham and San Francisco's Vernon Davis.

Of course, Thomas won't be nearly as cheap (or cheap at all) in 2014 after last year's breakout season. Along with Graham and Davis, he was one of three tight ends with double-digit touchdowns and finished with 65 receptions for 788 yards and 12 touchdowns in his 14 regular-season games last year.

4. Jordan Cameron, Cleveland Browns

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 (almost definitely) facing a season-long ban, however, it should open up the opportunities for Cameron to produce TE1 numbers on a more consistent basis.

5. Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers

Davis finished with 52 receptions for 850 yards and 13 touchdowns last season. It was the second time that he finished with double-digit touchdowns and he tied his previous career high of 16.3 yards per reception. If there is a frustrating part of owning Davis, however, it is that Davis doesn't get the amount of targets on a weekly basis that I'd expect considering how much of an athletic mismatch he is.

In addition, Davis is clearly not happy with his contract situation as he skipped OTAs, which are voluntary, and the team's mandatory mini-camp in June. It's unclear how long his holdout will last, but he's expected to extend his holdout into the start of training camp.

6. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys

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.

7. Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins

The good news is that Reed has been cleared from the concussion symptoms that forced him to miss an extended period of time last season. The bad news is that it took so long to gain that clearance and he's had a number of concussions dating back to his days with the Florida Gators.

When he was on the field, however, he was highly productive: 45/499/3 in nine games. That's a full-season pace of 80/887/5, which would be especially impressive as a rookie. As I tweeted a while back, only two rookie tight ends — Mike Ditka and Jeremy Shockey — have ever finished with 887-plus receiving yards. If he can stay healthy, Reed has top-five upside at the position.

8. Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers

In the past two seasons, Olsen has 142 receptions for 1,659 yards and 11 touchdowns. While he lacks the upside of some tight ends, he's extemely safe and should be a lock for 70/800/5 or better.

One of four tight ends to lead his team in receiving last season, Olsen should benefit again from the lack of elite options at wide receiver. All of the wide receivers that had a reception last season for the Panthers are no longer on the roster. Even though the Panthers signed a few, as Richard Sherman would call them, mediocre receivers in free agency and drafted Kelvin Benjamin in the first round, Olsen should once again lead the team in receiving.

* DraftKings: Get a 100-percent bonus (up to $600) on your initial deposit.

9. Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens

The hopes of a breakout season that many had expected were dashed in July when Pitta suffered a hip injury that nearly kept him out for the entire season. Back in 2012, Pitta finished with 61/669/7 and I expect him to set career highs across the board in Gary Kubiak's offense in 2014.

10. Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings

While injury cut his season short after Week 9, Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph was a bit of a disappointment in the first half of the season when he did play. In eight games, Rudolph finished with only 30 receptions for 313 yards and three touchdowns. In half of his eight games, Rudolph had two fantasy points or less.

Things are looking up for Rudolph as new offensive coordinator Norv Turner's offenses have typically allowed tight ends to prosper like Cameron last year and Antonio Gates (and others) before him. In addition, the days of Christian Ponder starting are over. With 12 touchdowns in his past 24 games, Rudolph has had red-zone success, but we should see an all-around improvement in production from him in 2014.

11. Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers

If you're looking for a tight end with tremendous upside and flash, Miller's not your guy. If you're looking for an undervalued option if you wait on the position, then he fits the bill. Another year removed from his knee injury, Miller should be frequently targeted by Ben Roethlisberger and I have him projected for a stat line of 71/795/5.

12. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles

Not as safe as Miller, but Ertz has a lot more upside. He was solid as a rookie (36/469/4), but big things could be in store for him in his second season. It's typically difficult for tight ends to make a huge impact as a rookie (as noted earlier), but Ertz has also focused on his blocking to help keep him on the field for more snaps. Meanwhile, Chip Kelly has cited Ertz as one of the biggest beneficiaries of DeSean Jackson's departure from the standpoint of being more involved in the offense.

13. Charles Clay, Miami Dolphins

With the injury to Dustin Keller last season, it opened up an opportunity for Clay, who scored more fantasy points than all but six tight ends with a 69/759/6 line last season. Going into 2014, Clay is a borderline TE1/TE2 and a solid late-round option for those in deeper leagues.

14. Martellus Bennett, Chicago Bears

In his first season with the Bears, Bennett finished as the 10th-highest scoring fantasy tight end and set career highs with 65 receptions for 759 yards and tied a previous career high of five touchdowns. Competing with Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Matt Forte for targets, however, Bennett is no more than the team's fourth best option on offense.

15. Ladarius Green, San Diego Chargers

We saw a glimmer of Green's upside last year when he had nine catches for 206 yards and two touchdowns in a three-game span. Especially with the relative lack of depth at receiver behind Keenan Allen, Green has the potential for a breakout season in 2014.

More TEs: Continue to TEs 16-50

More 2014 Fantasy Football rankings:

More of our 2014 fantasy football resources:

Keep track of our site's updates: (1) follow us on Twitter, (2) LIKE us on Facebook and/or (3) add us to your Google+ circle

2014 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings: July 22nd update

Exceeding even the expectations from his strongest advocates (like me), Browns receiver Josh Gordon broke out in a huge way in 2013.

Despite a two-game suspension to begin the season, the second-year receiver set a franchise record with a league-leading 1,646 yards, which more than doubled his rookie season total of 805 yards. With a 87/1,646/9 line, Gordon led all wide receivers in fantasy points despite a less-than-ideal situation at quarterback and missing two games due to suspension.

Not only did Gordon have 100-plus yards in exactly half of his 14 games last season, he had at least 67 yards in all but two games in 2013. In addition, he became the first player in NFL history to have back-to-back 200-yard receiving games as he broke the team's single-game receiving record (as Buggin' Out once said, "two times").

That's the good news. The bad news, however, is that it is unclear whether Gordon will even play at all this year ever again.

Failing another drug test this offseason, Gordon is facing a year-long suspension and his appeal hearing is set for the end of the month. To make matters worse, Gordon was arrested on DWI charges over the July 4th holiday weekend.

If it it weren't for the looming suspension, Gordon would be drafted as a top-five receiver in 2014. If he ends up being suspended for only eight games, he would be worth the gamble as a late(r)-round pick as a guy that could immediately morph into a WR1 from Games 9 to 16. Assuming a full-season ban, however, I currently have him out of my rankings.

Stay tuned: Gordon's meeting with the league is expected to occur over the next week or two.

* DraftKings: Get a 100-percent bonus (up to $600) on your initial deposit.

Here are my updated fantasy football wide receiver rankings (standard scoring) for 2014:

1. Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions

With tremendous size and athleticism, no receiver can take over a game like Megatron. Only Hall-of-Famer Lance Alworth has as many career games with 200 receiving yards as Johnson (five). Over the past three seasons, Johnson has averaged a statistical line of 101/1,712/11.

2. Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos

In his second with Peyton Manning, DT's numbers were nearly identical to his first season. After finishing with 94/1,434/10 in 2012, Thomas had 92 catches for 1,430 yards and 14 touchdowns last year. Thomas should be a lock for 90/1,400/10 (or better) in 2014.

3. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys

Although he saw a year-over-year drop in yardage from 1,382 to 1,233 yards, Bryant set career highs (barely, by one in each case) in receptions (93) and touchdowns (13). Battling a back injury, Bryant still played in all 16 games this season.

Despite some (im)maturity concerns (e.g., walking off the field in the Packers game), Bryant is one of the most physically-gifted players in the league and should be a lock for another 1,200-yard season with double-digit touchdowns.

4. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals

Through his first three seasons, Green has 260 receptions for 3,833 yards and 29 touchdowns. In a three-year span to start a career, no player has had more receptions than Green and only Randy Moss has more receiving yards (4,163) than he does.

In each of his three seasons, Green's numbers have improved — 65/1,057/7 (2011), 97/1,350/11 (2012) and 98/1,426/11 (2013). As the team transitions from a pass-first offense under Jay Gruden to a run-first scheme led by Hue Jackson, that trend may not continue but Green remains an elite and safe WR1.

5. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons

Before his foot injury sidelined him for the remainder of last season, Jones had at least six receptions and 76 yards in all of the games in which he appeared. During that five-game stretch, he hauled in 41 catches for 580 yards and two touchdowns. Compared to 2011 (73.8 yards per game) and 2012 (74.9 YPG), Jones had made huge strides, no pun intended, in 2013 (116.0 YPG).

6. Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears

Since his reunion with quarterback Jay Cutler, Marshall has a total of 218 receptions for 2,803 yards and 23 touchdowns over the past two seasons combined. In his past five seasons with Cutler going back to his days in Denver, Marshall has a minimum of 100 receptions and 1,120 yards each season.

7. Alshon Jeffery, Chicago Bears

Jeffery broke out in a big way in 2013. Along with Gordon, Jeffery was one of only two players to record multiple 200-yard receiving games last year and he also set his franchise's single-game record for most receiving yards.

With career highs across the board, Jeffery finished with 89 receptions for a team-high 1,421 yards and seven touchdowns and added 105 rushing yards. The only receiver with more yards from scrimmage than Jeffery (1,526) was Gordon (1,734).

As one-half of the league's best wide receiver duo, Jeffery is protected by the fact that opposing defenses will focus on slowing down the receiver opposite him (Marshall) as much (or more) as they will focus on Jeffery himself. Even though Marshall is ranked just ahead of Jeffery, both receivers are stud WR1's in terms of fantasy outlook.

8. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers

With 60 Minutes signing a free-agent deal with the Dolphins last offseason, Brown had a breakout season as the team's No. 1 receiver even though he previously had an 1,100-yard season a couple of years ago as well.

Brown became the second receiver in franchise history to finish with triple-digit receptions (110) and was only two shy of tying the club record. Only Gordon had more receiving yards than Brown (1,499), who also scored a career-high eight touchdowns.

Perhaps the most amazing part of Brown's huge success in 2013 was his consistency. Brown had a minimum of five receptions and 50 yards in all 16 games last season. No other player has ever done that in all 16 games of a season. Only one player in league history has a longer streak of 5/50 games, but that streak spanned two seasons (2002-03).

9. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers (Nelson's 2014 fantasy profile)

The loss of Aaron Rodgers for a huge chunk of the season had an adverse affect on Nelson's season, but he still managed to finish as the 11th-highest scoring fantasy receiver in 2013. Nelson had 85 receptions for 1,314 yards and eight touchdowns, but he had a line of 49/810/7 in the nine games that Rodgers started and finished. In other words, his yardage and touchdown totals would have likely been even higher had Rodgers had never broken his collarbone.

Since his breakout season (2011), Nelson has averaged 73 receptions for 1,208 yards and 11 touchdowns per 16 games. Along with Megatron and Dez, Nelson is one of only three wide receivers with at least 3,000 yards and 30 touchdowns over the past three seasons combined.

10. Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers

Not only did Rodgers miss several games due to injury, so did Cobb, who played only six games last season. The dynamic 23-year-old receiver averaged career highs in receiving yards (72.2 per game) and rushing yards (13.0 per game) when he was on the field.

With good health in 2014, Cobb should have a huge season. Based on last year's averages, Cobb would have finished with 1,363 YFS had he maintained that pace over a full 16-game season.

11. Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons (White's fantasy profile

Having never missed a game in his NFL career, White did not allow a high-ankle sprain suffered last preseason to keep him out of the lineup in Week 1. That said, he wasn't himself and was more of a decoy for the first half of the season. Eventually White sustained a knee injury as well and missed a few games.

While the injuries kept White from having one of his typical seasons, he hit full stride by season's end. In five games in December, White finished with 43 receptions for 502 yards and two touchdowns. (That's comparable to a pace of 137.6 receptions and 1,606.4 yards.) In the last five games of the season, there were only three receivers with at least 500 yards: Gordon (658), Jeffery (561) and White (502).

Even though Julio Jones has emerged as the team's No. 1 receiver now, White is only 32 years old and should have a couple more outstanding seasons in him assuming good health. Before last year, White had 1,153-plus yards in six consecutive seasons and I think 1,100-1,200 yards is a reasonable expectation in 2014.

12. Andre Johnson, Houston Texans

There have been two primary knocks on Johnson: durability and lack of touchdowns. While he has played in 16 games in back-to-back seasons, it is shocking that he has never caught double-digit touchdowns in his 11-year career.

When he has played 16 games in a season, however, he has been extremely productive. He has played 16 games in four of the past six years and in those four seasons, Johnson has a minimum of 101 receptions (2009) and 1,407 yards (2013).

Although Johnson didn't attend any of the team's OTAs or mandatory mini-camp last month, it's unlikely that the team trades him even though he has requested a trade or that he misses any games.

13. Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

In his second season with the Bucs, Jackson set a career high with 78 receptions and once again exceeded 1,200 receiving yards with seven touchdowns. While he has more than his fair of inconsistency from week to week, a 70/1,200/7 season (or better) should be a lock for Jackson.

14. Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers

Along with Cincinnati's A.J. Green, New Orleans' Marques Colston, Allen became the third rookie receiver to reach the 1,000-yard milestone in the past nine seasons.

Allen led the Chargers in receiving across the board with 71 catches for 1,046 yards and eight touchdowns. Once the calendar turned October, Allen was especially good. In the 14 games played in October through January including the playoffs, Allen had six 100-yard games and scored 10 touchdowns.

15. Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins

While Garcon set career highs in receptions (a league-high 113) and yards (1,346), the addition of DeSean Jackson means that Garcon will likely get fewer than the 182 targets he had last season. That said, I don't expect a huge drop in production and can see him finish with around 1,200 yards in 2014.

More WRs: Continue to WRs 16-30

More 2014 Fantasy Football rankings:

More of our 2014 fantasy football resources:

Keep track of our site's updates: (1) follow us on Twitter, (2) LIKE us on Facebook and/or (3) add us to your Google+ circle

2014 Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings: July 22nd update

Earlier today, I posted my updated fantasy football quarterback rankings and the process continues as we move to the running back position.

Here are my updated 2014 fantasy football running back rankings (standard scoring):

1. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs

Charles led the league in total touchdowns with 19 — 12 rushing and seven receiving scores. As great as that was for his fantasy owners in 2013, it will be unlikely for Charles to repeat. If you remember back to 2011, LeSean McCoy scored a league-high 20 touchdowns and then followed that up with just five total touchdowns in 2012.

It certainly wouldn't be a knock on Charles if he does not repeat last year's scoring fest and I'm not projecting a drop to five total touchdowns for him. That said, what he did last season is rare as the only running backs with 19-plus touchdowns in the past seven seasons are: Charles (2013), McCoy (2011) and DeAngelo Williams (2008).

Playing one less game than McCoy as the Chiefs rested their starters in Week 17, Charles set a career high in yards from scrimmage (1,980) and that ranked second only to McCoy. In addition, no player had as many games with 100-plus YFS than Charles (13) last season.

2. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles

McCoy led the NFL in rushing yards (1,607), yards from scrimmage (2,146) and touches (366) in his first season playing in Chip Kelly's offense. With the addition of Darren Sproles to the team's backfield, McCoy should see a few less targets in the passing game and it's unlikely he duplicates his career-high 314 carries this year. That said, I still have McCoy projected for a healthy 330 touches in 2014.

3. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings

While he's unlikely to ever duplicate his historic 2012 season, Peterson has put up monster numbers despite battling injuries and facing eight- or nine-men fronts over the past couple of seasons.

And while touchdown production tends to fluctuate for (most) running backs, Peterson has rattled off double-digit rushing scores in all seven of his NFL seasons. If there are some concerns with Peterson, it's the fact that he's now 29 years old and has racked up more than 2,000 career rush attempts.

Then again, doubt All Day at your own peril.

4. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears

In his first season with Marc Trestman as coach, Forte set career highs across the board: 1,339 rushing yards, 74 receptions and 594 receiving yards. He tied his previous career high in touchdowns (12).

With a talented duo of outside receivers in Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall, Forte has protection from consistent eight-men fronts looking to slow down the run. In addition, both of those receivers are big-bodied wideouts that excel as blockers down the field. Based on PFF grades, Marshall and Jeffery were the best and ninth-best blocking wide receivers, respectively, last season.

5. Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers

While the Packers have long been able to beat you through the air, their ground attack has left much to be desired — until this past season, that is. As a rookie, Lacy finished with 1,178 rushing yards, which ranked eighth in the NFL, and 11 touchdowns, only two RBs had more. From Week 5 through the end of the regular season, only McCoy (1,139) had more rushing yards than Lacy (1,127).

No running back had more games with 20-plus carries last year than Lacy. Counting their playoff loss, Lacy had 20-plus carries in 11 of his final 14 games last season. As productive as he was as a workhorse back, Lacy averaged only 4.15 yards per carry last season.

Provided that Aaron Rodgers stays healthy for a full season, however, I expect better numbers from Lacy on a per-carry basis and I wouldn't be surprised if he rushed for double-digit scores once again.

6. Arian Foster, Houston Texans

From 2010-2012, Foster rushed for 4,264 yards, added 159 receptions for 1,438 yards and scored a total of 47 touchdowns in 45 games. During that span, no player had more YFS or touchdowns than Foster.

Before an injury ended his 2013 season prematurely, Foster was hitting his stride with 82 touches (68 carries and 14 receptions) for 487 yards from scrimmage (341 rushing and 146 receiving) over his final three full games. Ironically, his injury — and subsequent reduction in workload — may help to keep him healthy and fresh in 2014..

7. DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys

Murray has long been associated with the injury-prone tag. While he did not play a full 16 games last year, Murray was still very productive and played a career-high 14 games. Eclipsing the 1,000-yard mark (1,124 rushing yards) for the first time in his career, Murray set career highs in receptions (53), receiving yards (350) and touchdowns (10).

During a six-game stretch from Week 10 to 16 (team's bye was in Week 11), Murray scored double-digit fantasy points every week and had three games with at least 20 fantasy points. Only two running backs — McCoy (152.5) and Charles (144.33) — averaged more YFS per game than Murray (123.67) during that span. Only Charles (11) had more touchdowns than Murray (seven) over that stretch as well.

There will always be injury risk for Murray, or any running back for that matter, but he could be in store for a monster season provided he maintains as good (or better) health in 2014.

8. Montee Ball, Denver Broncos (Ball's 2014 fantasy profile)

Seemingly out of nowhere, Knowshon Moreno finshed as a top-five scorer among running backs in fantasy points last year. While Moreno lacks elite talent, playing in a Peyton Manning-led offense leads to huge rewards. Moreno's free-agency departure to Miami creates an enormous opportunity for Ball in the league's most explosive offense.

Ball, the Broncos' second-round pick in 2013, got off to a relatively slow start: 3.26 yards per carry (68 carries for 222 yards) in first 10 games. From Weeks 11 to 16, however, Ball averaged 6.48 YPC (52 carries for 337 yards).

Provided he gets as much work as Moreno received last year, Ball's ceiling is a top-five finish (or better).

9. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks

For a third consecutive season, Lynch rushed for more than 1,200 yards with double-digit touchdowns. Over that three-year span, he has 901 carries for 4,051 yards, 87 catches for 724 yards and a total of 39 touchdowns.

Although there were reports that Lynch could retire, he did report to the team's mandatory minicamp despite his desire for a new contract (that he won't receive) with two years to go on his current deal. In fact, the most likely scenario is that he won't be back under the current terms of his contract next season.

Either way, the Seahawks will likely get Christine Michael, their second-round pick in 2013, more involved this year although offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell has backtracked on his RBBC comments at the team's town hall.

10. Le'Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers

In 13 games as a rookie, Bell got nearly 300 touches (244 carries and 45 receptions) and had 20-plus touches in all but two games. That said, Bell averaged only 3.52 yards per carry on the season. On a positive note, he averaged at least 4.0 YPC in four of his final five games after doing so only twice in his first eight games.

Even though the team added LeGarrette Blount, who was productive for the Patriots down the stretch, Bell should remain the team's workhorse back.

11. Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals

As a change-of-pace back, Bernard had a productive rookie season and finished inside the top 20 fantasy running backs for the full season in standard-scoring formats. Averaging just shy of 15 touches per game on the year, his carries increased every month — 8.0 per game (Sept.), 9.8 (Oct.), 12.0 (Nov.) and 13.0 (Dec.). Finishing eighth among all running backs in receptions (56), he was an even better option in point-per-reception (PPR) formats.

Going into 2014, Bernard should be ready for his workload to continue its ascension. Before the draft, coach Marvin Lewis referenced the jump in workload and production that Ray Rice had from his rookie to second season and hopes Bernard "can take those same steps."

While the team drafted LSU's Jeremy Hill in the second round, they will likely move on from The Law Firm and I still expect Bernard's touches to increase from last season. With the change in offensive scheme (from Jay Gruden to Hue Jackson), the Bengals should be much more of a run-first team in 2014.

12. Zac Stacy, St. Louis Rams

With only one carry in the team's first four games, Stacy was given 250 of them in the final 12. In the final nine games of the season, Stacy had exactly 200 carries for 759 yards (only 3.80 yards per carry), 20 receptions for 96 yards and a total of seven touchdowns.

Stacy should get a larger (overall) workload in 2014. GM Les Snead was quoted as saying in February that Stacy "should be more productive (in '14) because he should have more carries."

Drafting Auburn's Tre Mason in the third round won't do anything to help Stacy's fantasy value, but Stacy should remain the team's workhorse back in 2014. What should help Stacy is that St. Louis also drafted Mason's teammate, Greg Robinson, the best run-blocking prospect in this year's draft class.

13. Toby Gerhart, Jacksonville Jaguars

Being second on the depth chart behind Adrian Peterson, it was no surprise that Gerhart did not get as many opportunities to carry the ball as you would expect a running back drafted in the second round to get. Over four seasons, Gerhart had a total of 276 carries for 1,305 yards (4.7 YPC) and five touchdowns. In addition, he had 77 receptions for 600 yards and three touchdowns.

By signing a three-year deal with the Jaguars, Gerhart will get an opportunity to be the team's featured back. Coach Gus Bradley has said that Gerhart could get 15-20 touches per game. More recently, the team's offensive coordinator said that Gerhart will be the team's "workhorse."

14. Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins

While he won't add much at all as a receiver and his numbers overall dropped last season, Alf has averaged 1,444 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns over his first two seasons in the NFL.

With the transition to the team's new offensive scheme, there are some concerns that Morris could see a modest decline in touches, but he is a solid RB2 in fantasy drafts.

15. Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals

Coach Bruce Arians obviously exaggerated Ellington's potential workload ("25-30 touches per game"), but it's clear that his fantasy value gets a boost in 2014 with the opportunity to be the team's featured back.

Last season, he outproduced Rashard Mendenhall, who has since retired, on a per-carry basis — and by a lot. In 2013, Ellington gained 652 yards on 118 carries (5.5 YPC) and added 39 receptions for 371 yards and four total touchdowns.

More RBs: Continue to RBs 16-30

More 2014 Fantasy Football rankings:

More of our 2014 fantasy football resources:

Keep track of our site's updates: (1) follow us on Twitter, (2) LIKE us on Facebook and/or (3) add us to your Google+ circle

2014 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings: July 22nd update

With a couple of teams opening up training camp and the rest of the league ready to do so this week, it makes sense to update our fantasy football rankings.

From now through the start of the NFL season, I will make a weekly update to my rankings — or more frequently when situations warrant an update.

For now, here are my updated fantasy quarterback rankings for the 2014 season:

1. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos

It would be hard to discuss the quarterback position without beginning the discussion with Manning. It was a historic season as Manning, a (now) five-time league MVP, broke the single-season records for both passing yards (5,477) and touchdowns (55) previously held by Drew Brees and Tom Brady, respectively, as well as numerous other records.

As dominant as Manning was with his record-setting full-season numbers, he was remarkably consistent and dominant on a weekly basis. Throwing a touchdown in every game last season, Manning had only one game (excluding the playoffs) with less than two touchdowns. In addition, he had more games (nine) with four or more touchdowns than he had with less than four scores (seven).

While many (fantasy) championships were likely won by Manning-QB'd teams last year, I would still prefer to wait to on quarterback in my fantasy league(s), but I would begin to consider him at the end of Round 2 in standard 12-team leagues.

2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Rodgers has a combined passer rating of 112.7 over the past three seasons with a 101:20 TD-to-INT ratio during that span. Over the past three years, he has averaged 4,589.6 passing yards per 16 games.

In addition, Rodgers has consistently posted solid rushing stats for a quarterback. Since becoming the starter in 2008, he has rushed for an average of 279 yards and 3.3 touchdowns per every 16 games.

3. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

For a long time, 5,000 passing yards seemed like a special feat. And it is ... for everyone else. For Brees, however, it's become an expectation. Brees has now thrown for 5,000-plus yards in three consecutive seasons. With four 5,000-yard seasons in his career, Brees is tied with all other quarterbacks in the history of the NFL. In addition, Brees has thrown for 128 touchdowns over the past three years.

Even if Brees doesn't reach 5,000 passing yards this season, he's going to come close and he's a lock to be a top-three producer in fantasy points at the position once again.

4. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions

Based on my 2014 fantasy quarterback projections, there is a larger gap between No. 3 and No. 4 than there is from No. 4 to No. 10. In other words, you can make the case that any of seven quarterbacks could be slotted here.

One of the handful of 5,000-yard passers in NFL history, Stafford seems set up for his best opportunity to duplicate that feat. In addition to elite pass-catching weapons of Calvin Johnson, Reggie Bush and Joique Bell already being on the roster, the Lions have added Golden Tate via free agency as well as Eric Ebron with the 10th-overall pick in the 2014 draft.

5. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins

Poised for a bounce-back season with better health (thank you, Shanny) and the free-agent addition of DeSean Jackson (thank you, Chip), it's possible that Griffin III finishes as a top-five fantasy producer. If tight end Jordan Reed (concussions) can stay healthy, RG3 has one of the league's better young trios of pass-catchers with Pierre Garcon, D-Jax and Reed. After all, Andy Dalton finished as the No. 5 fantasy quarterback in Jay Gruden's offense last year.

6. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers

A fantasy disappointment in 2013, Kaepernick hit his stride down the stretch with three consecutive games of 20-plus fantasy points to close the season.

One of four quarterbacks to rush for 500-plus yards last season, Kaepernick should have much more success as a passer in 2014. The loss of Michael Crabtree (Achilles) for most of last season hurt Kaepernick, but Crabtree is healthy now and the team has added upgraded their overall depth at the position via trade and draft.

7. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts

Even though Luck threw 57 fewer pass attempts and Reggie Wayne (ACL) was lost for more than half of the season, Luck finished fourth among quarterbacks in fantasy points. With good health from Wayne and the free-agent addition of Hakeem Nicks, Luck has an improved supporting cast and it appears that the Colts will open up the offense a bit more this season as well.

While he may not be as athletic as the two QBs ahead of him, Luck's mobility is one of his underrated attributes. Through two seasons, he has rushed 125 times for 632 yards and nine touchdowns.

8. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

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. If he indeed finishes as the No. 8 fantasy scorer at QB this year, it will be the first time he has finished outside of the top five.

Even though the Panthers used their first-round pick on Florida State wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, the Panthers have one of the league's weakest wide receiver corps (once again). Newton's bread and butter as a fantasy stud, however, is his rushing production. From his career rushing stats alone, Newton has averaged 7.73 fantasy points per game.

9. Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles

Entering the season as the team's backup, Foles did not throw his first pass until Week 4 against the Broncos. With a near flawless beginning to his season, Foles did not throw his first interception until Week 14 against the Lions in a weekend that was full of inclement weather around the league. Foles had entered that game with a 19:0 TD-to-INT ratio.

Even though he threw only 317 passes, Foles finished the season with 27 touchdowns, eighth-most in the NFL, and just two interceptions. While nobody will confuse Foles for Michael Vick, he did have success running the ball last season. Among quarterbacks, Foles ranked 10th in rush attempts (56) and 12th in rushing yards (225) while also scoring three touchdowns.

10. Tom Brady, New England Patriots

It was an up-and-down season for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. To be more accurate, it was a down-and-up-and-then-back-down season for Brady from a fantasy perspective. To be fair, Brady began the season without five of the team's leading receivers from 2012.

Brady's production seemed to match the presence (or absence) of tight end Rob Gronkowski. Beginning with Gronk's third game back, Brady began a six-game stretch with five games of at least 344 passing yards that also included two games with more than 400 yards. In the seven games that Gronkowski was active, Brady averaged 315 passing yards and 1.86 touchdown passes compared to averages of 237.56 yards and 1.33 touchdowns in games he missed.

With training camp opening this week, all indications seem to point toward Gronk being ready for the season opener, which is excellent news for Brady's fantasy outlook.

11. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears

While Cutler did not stay healthy for the full season, the combination of Cutler and Josh McCown threw for a total of 4,450 yards and 32 touchdowns in Marc Trestman's first season in Chicago. Through Week 16, the Cutler/McCown duo scored 289.6 fantasy points, which would have been enough to finish third among QBs last season.

Not only do the Bears have a pair of stud receivers (Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery), but Matt Forte is one of the league's best receivers out of the backfield and he set receiving career highs last season. With more familiarity of Trestman's offense, Cutler provides plenty of upside for those that wait on QB.

12. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys (Romo's 2014 fantasy profile)

Recovering from back surgery, Romo expects to be 100 percent by the start of training camp, which begins on July 24th for the Cowboys (list of training camp dates). One season after throwing for 4,903 yards, Romo threw for only 3,828 yards with 31 touchdowns and 10 interceptions last season.

With an atrocious defense and Scott Linehan calling the plays, Romo could be in store for a huge season. I would at least expect him to finish (much) closer to his 4,903 yards from 2012 than his 3,828 yards from 2013.

13. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

Sacked a career-worst 44 times and throwing a career-high 17 interceptions, Ryan still managed to throw for 4,515 yards and 26 touchdowns on a career-high 651 pass attempts. In addition to poor offensive line play, Ryan was without Julio Jones for 11 games and Roddy White was slowed by injuries until the final month of the season.

Jones was having a breakout season — 116.0 YPG through five games — before a foot injury ended his season. White closed the season nearly as strong as Jones began it — 43 catches for 502 yards. Only two receivers had more yards in the final five games.

With improved health from his top two receivers, Ryan will have an opportunity to bounce back in 2014 although Tony Gonzalez has retired. (This time for good, I think.)

14. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

Despite playing in Seattle's run-first offense, Wilson still finished as the No. 9 scorer among QBs through Week 16 last year. While he won't throw many more than 400 pass attempts (has 800 through two seasons), Wilson has finished in the top 10 in passing TDs in both of his seasons with 26 per year. In addition, he has rushed for 1,028 yards and five touchdowns in his two seasons.

15. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

In the team's final nine games last season, the Steelers used the no-huddle offense with greater frequency and we should expect to see more no huddles from the Steelers in 2014. In those final nine games, the Steelers scored 10.36 more points per game than he did in their first seven games.

That change could lead to increased production from Roethlisberger, who threw for 4,261 yards and 28 touchdowns last year. Both of those totals were the second-highest of his career.

More QBs: Continue to QBs 16-40

More early 2014 Fantasy Football rankings:

More of our 2014 fantasy football resources:

Keep track of our site's updates: (1) follow us on Twitter, (2) LIKE us on Facebook and/or (3) add us to your Google+ circle

July 21, 2014

2014 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: Round 6

Another round of our new fantasy football PPR mock draft has been completed.

Here are Round 6 results:

6.01 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Frank Gore, RB, San Francisco 49ers

A few factors that could negatively impact Gore's fantasy value are: (1) he just turned 31 years old, (2) he has more than 2,500 career touches, (3) he averaged a career-low 4.1 YPC last year and (4) Carlos Hyde and perhaps Marcus Lattimore will be in the mix for touches.

That said, the 49ers have one of the league's best offensive lines and Gore rushed for 1,100-plus yards and eight-plus touchdowns for the third consecutive season last year. In addition, he has played all 48 regular-season games over the past three seasons. Before 2011, Gore had played 16 games just once in six seasons.

6.02 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Trent Richardson, RB, Indianapolis Colts

With first-round running backs becoming rare in the real NFL, Richardson was essentially two first-rounders. Not only did the Browns draft him with the third-overall pick in 2012, but the Colts gave up their first-round pick this year to acquire T-Rich last year.

Despite his first-round ADP (in fantasy drafts) last season, Richardson was arguably the biggest disappointment in fake football although there were a number of first-round disappointments at running back. Even with an upgrade at quarterback (Andrew Luck) with his new team, Richardson averaged a paltry 2.92 yards per carry and was eventually demoted in favor of Donald Brown.

With Brown now in San Diego, Richardson should get the first opportunity to lead the team in carries this year. That said, it's hard to have any faith in Richardson.

I'd feel better taking T-Rich in Round 6 if he were my RB3/flex instead of an RB2. (His current PPR ADP is 5.07, via FFC.) Ideally, I'd prefer to capitalize on his potential upside if he bounces back without having to rely on what could be inconsistent production as an every-week starter.

6.03 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Kendall Wright, WR, Tennessee Titans

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 of his fantasy owners in check. Consistently solid, but not spectacular, Wright had 13 games of 50-plus receiving yards; only two players had more such games than Wright — Antonio Brown (16) and Demaryius Thomas (14).

6.04 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco 49ers

Unhappy with his contract situation despite two years left on his deal, Davis has skipped voluntary OTAs as well as the team's mandatory minicamp last month. Reports have indicated that his holdout is likely to extend into training camp.

Davis finished with 52 receptions for 850 yards and 13 touchdowns last season. It was the second time that he finished with double-digit touchdowns and he tied his previous career high of 16.3 yards per reception. If there is a frustrating part of owning Davis, however, it is that Davis doesn't get the amount of targets on a weekly basis that I'd expect considering how much of an athletic mismatch he is.

Although he is a solid pick in Round 6 as I don't expect him to extend his holdout into the regular season, I'd actually prefer Cleveland's Jordan Cameron over Davis. With the lack of other weapons in Cleveland assuming a Josh Gordon full-year suspension, Cameron could possibly lead the position in targets in 2014.

6.05 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Ben Tate, RB, Cleveland Browns

No longer in the shadow of Arian Foster, Tate signed a free-agent deal this offseason with the Browns, who were in need of a feature back. When given the opportunity, Tate has been productive as he has averaged 4.7 YPC in his career. Durability has been a concern, however, as he has played only 40 regular-sesaon games since being drafted four years ago.

With Josh Gordon's looming suspension, the Browns will utilize a run-heavy attack, but the Browns added a pair of talented rookie running backs. Not only did they use a third-round pick on Terrance West, who posted video game-type numbers at Towson, but they signed Isaiah Crowell as an undrafted free agent. Off-the-field issues led to Crowell's undrafted status, but he may be the most talented running back in this year's entire draft class as a former five-star recruit before signing with Georgia.

6.06 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Lamar Miller, RB, Miami Dolphins

With expectations of a breakout, Miller rushed 177 times for 709 yards (4.01 YPC) and two touchdowns and added 26 catches for 170 yards last year.

On a positive note, the Dolphins have taken steps to improve their offensive line by signing Branden Albert and Shelley Smith in free agency and drafting right tackle Ju'Wuan James in the first round. (Of course, James probably would have been available with their second-round pick.) Among the 81 guards graded by PFF last year, however, Smith ranked fourth in run blocking.

Even though the Dolphins signed Knowshon Moreno to a one-year deal this offseason, Miller had worked with the first-team offense all offseason as Moreno's conditioning left a lot to be desired. By undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery recently, Moreno will likely start the season behind Miller on the depth chart.

6.07 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Jordan Cameron, TE, Cleveland Browns

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.

As noted earlier, Gordon is facing a full-season ban. Without him, the Browns have few options in passing game other than Cameron. Based on my projections, Andrew Hawkins will be the team's only receiver to finish as a top-80 fantasy wide receiver in 2014. While I have Hawkins ranked higher than his ADP, he's still outside of my top 50 wide receivers.

Cameron should be a target hog week in and week out even if the Browns have one of the league's most run-oriented offenses, as expected.

6.08 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Torrey Smith, WR, Baltimore Ravens

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).

While I'm not sure how much better the Ravens will protect Joe Flacco, who was sacked more than any quarterback not named Ryan Tannehill last season, one of the keys to consistency for the Ravens passing game (and Smith) will be improvement in their protection of Flacco, who had a career-worst regular season.

6.09 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Marques Colston, WR, New Orleans Saints

For the first time in four seasons, Colston finished with less than 1,000 yards (943) and he also tied a career-low in touchdowns (five). That said, Colston was better in the second half last year as he averaged 6.0/75.1/0.5 over the final eight games of the season.

Unfortunately for Colston and his fantasy owners, he dealt with a foot injury that slowed him down last season, but he claims that his foot issues are no longer bothering him.

6.10 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans

Only one rookie receiver had more yards than Hopkins (802) last season: San Diego's Keenan Allen (1,046). While I believe that Hopkins will build upon last year's rookie success, I think this is a bit early for him.

6.11 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): Jason Witten, TE, Dallas Cowboys

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.

6.12 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers

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. Through three NFL seasons, he has yet to finish outside the top-five in fantasy points among QBs.

The Panthers used their first-round pick on Florida State receiver Kelvin Benjamin, but they still have one of the league's weakest receiving corps. That said, Cam's rushing stats help mitigate that weakness. Based on his career rushing stats, he has averaged 7.73 fantasy points per game on his rushing stats alone.

> Continue to Round 7
> Go back to Round 5

2014 Fantasy Football rankings:

More fantasy football resources:

Keep track of our site's updates: (1) follow us on Twitter, (2) LIKE us on Facebook and/or (3) add us to your Google+ circle

Fantasy Football ADP (July 21st Update): Biggest Weekly Risers/Fallers

Every Monday, we post an update in players that have had the biggest moves — both up and down — in fantasy football average draft position (ADP) from the previous week.

With this information, we can get a better sense of the collective perceptions of fantasy football owners (mock drafters). If a player is moving up the ADP chart, it may lead us to using a higher pick than his current ADP to make sure we secure a targeted player.

Of course, a player's ADP (and movement) is just one (small) piece in determining who to draft and our strategy used to assemble a fantasy roster.

For purposes of our study, we will use 14-team ADP data from Fantasy Football Calculator. While most may play in 12-team leagues, using ADP data from 14-team leagues provides data on more players.

Below are the three biggest risers over the past week (ADPs on 7/14 to 7/21 in parenthesis) by position:

Quarterbacks

  1. Jake Locker, Titans: -6.2 (196.6 on 7/14 to 190.4 on 7/21)
  2. Michael Vick, Jets: -3.7 (192.8 to 189.1)
  3. Tom Brady, Patriots: -2.0 (69.8 to 67.8)

Running Backs

  1. John Kuhn, Packers: -9.1 (197.2 to 188.1)
  2. Mike Tolbert, Panthers: -3.6 (188.9 to 185.3)
  3. Marcus Lattimore, 49ers: -3.2 (187.1 to 183.9)

Wide Receivers

  1. DeAndre Hopkins, Texans: -7.3 (125.4 to 118.1)
  2. Justin Hunter, Titans: -5.5 (154.7 to 149.2)
  3. Dexter McCluster, Titans: -5.5 (192.9 to 187.4)

Tight Ends

  1. Tyler Eifert, Bengals: -5.4 (190.3 to 184.9)
  2. Coby Fleener, Colts: -4.3 (187.7 to 183.4)
  3. Ladarius Green, Chargers: -4.1 (126.6 to 122.5)

Note: Minus signs mean the ADP is become better (i.e., earlier) in drafts.

Below are the three biggest fallers over the past week (ADPs on 7/14 to 7/21 in parenthesis) by position:

Quarterbacks

  1. Blake Bortles, Jaguars: +20.3 (164.9 to 185.2)
  2. Brian Hoyer, Browns: +15.3 (178.3 to 193.6)
  3. Matt Cassel, Vikings: +1.7 (179.0 to 180.7)

Running Backs

  1. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Bengals: +5.1 (177.9 to 183.0)
  2. Stepfan Taylor, Cardinals: +3.7 (185.3 to 189.0)
  3. Fred Jackson, Bills: +2.0 (93.4 to 95.4)

Wide Receivers

  1. Josh Gordon, Browns: +43.3 (105.0 to 148.3)
  2. Marqise Lee, Jaguars: +13.6 (174.8 to 188.4)
  3. Brandon LaFell, Patriots: +8.8 (177.4 to 186.2)

Tight Ends

  1. Richard Rodgers, Packers: +4.2 (192.7 to 196.9)
  2. Marcedes Lewis, Jaguars: +3.8 (187.0 to 190.8)
  3. Jared Cook, Rams: +2.7 (196.6 to 199.3)

Note: Plus signs mean the ADP is become worse (i.e., later) in drafts.

- More: Fantasy Football Average Draft Position (ADP) Data for all drafted players

Our 2014 fantasy football rankings:

Keep track of our site's updates: (1) follow us on Twitter, (2) LIKE us on Facebook and/or (3) add us to your Google+ circle

July 20, 2014

2014 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft: Round 5

Here are Round 5 results:

5.01 - Brendan Donahue (Team 1): Percy Harvin, WR, Seattle Seahawks

Playing only 10 regular-season games over the past two seasons, the concern with Harvin is his durability. When he's on the field, however, Harvin is one of the most electric and dynamic receivers in the NFL and a talented WR3 on Brendan's team.

5.02 - Sean Beazley (Team 1): T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts

With Reggie Wayne sidelined for half of the season, Hilton took another step forward in Year 2 with 82 receptions for 1,083 yards and five touchdowns. It's possible that he takes another step forward in Year 3, but my expectations are a little tempered.

Hilton should finish with numbers similar to those he had last season as better health from Wayne and the addition of Hakeem Nicks in free agency could contain Hilton's upside.

5.03 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 1): Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts

I'd prefer both Matthew Stafford (my QB4) and Robert Griffin III (my QB5) over Luck (my QB6), but they are all close in my projections.

Even though Luck threw 57 fewer pass attempts and Reggie Wayne (ACL) was lost for more than half of the season, Luck finished fourth among quarterbacks in fantasy points. With good health from Wayne and the free-agent addition of Hakeem Nicks, Luck has an improved supporting cast and it appears that the Colts will open up the offense a bit more this season as well. An underrated athlete, Luck has rushed 125 times for 632 yards and nine touchdowns over the past two seasons.

5.04 - Kevin Hanson (Team 1): Joique Bell, RB, Detroit Lions

The team's new offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi, who was previously with the Saints, has indicated that he'd like to split the workload between Bell and Bush, which is essentially what happened last season as well. Bell gained 1,197 yards from scrimmage with eight touchdowns on 219 touches and finished as a top-20 fantasy running back last season.

5.05 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 2): Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore Ravens

It's an understatement to say the past nine months have not gone well for Rice. After four straight seasons of rushing for more than 1,100 yards, Rice gained only 660 yards on his 214 carries, which averaged out to a career-low 3.1 yards per carry. He added 58 receptions for 321 yards, but both of those are lows during his time as a starter.

Not only was he a disappointment on the field last year, he was arrested for hitting his then-fiancee (now wife) in an Atlantic City casino in February. Even though he avoided jail time, Rice faces league discipline and could miss "significant" time.

If there is a positive note for Rice this offseason, it is that he has lost weight and has appeared to be more elusive during OTAs than he did last season. Therefore, he should be better on a per-touch, per-game basis, but the question about the number of games remains the biggest concern.

5.06 - Kevin Hanson (Team 2): Pierre Thomas, RB, New Orleans Saints

Thomas set a career high with 77 receptions in 2013. (His previous career high was 50, 2011). No running back had more receptions than Thomas last season.

Now that Darren Sproles is in Philadelphia, it seems likely that PT will at least finish with 70-plus receptions again with the upside for more. While he's solid in standard-scoring formats, Thomas is better in PPR formats.

5.07 - Brendan Donahue (Team 2): Rashad Jennings, RB, New York Giants

Jennings should have an opportunity to lead the Giants running backs in touches and fantasy points, but David Wilson is expected to be cleared medically on Monday. 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.

5.08 - Sean Beazley (Team 2): Chris Johnson, RB, New York Jets

Even though he rushed for a career-low 3.9 yards per carry last season, Johnson still managed to go over the 1,000-yard rushing mark for his sixth consecutive season. Not only is he one of the league's fastest players, he has been extremely durable playing 16 games in each of the past five seasons.

After being a workhorse back for the Titans over the past six seasons, however, the Jets plan to be "strategic" with their use of Johnson since he has "some miles on him."

5.09 - Sean Beazley (Team 3): Bishop Sankey, RB, Tennessee Titans

Not only was Sankey the first running back selected in this year's draft, at a record-worst slot (54th overall) for the first running back taken in a (real) draft, he has the best situation among all rookie rushers. With modest competition for touches in what should be a run-first offense, Sankey should lead all rookies in that category and come close to 300 touches on the year.

5.10 - Brendan Donahue (Team 3): Michael Floyd, WR, Arizona Cardinals

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. Floyd has generated buzz during offseason workouts, which could mean he's in store for even better production in 2014.

5.11 - Kevin Hanson (Team 3): Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions

One of a handful 5,000-yard passers in NFL history, Stafford seems set up for his best opportunity to duplicate that feat. In addition to elite pass-catching weapons of Calvin Johnson, Reggie Bush and Joique Bell already on the roster, the Lions added Golden Tate via free agency as well as Eric Ebron with the 10th-overall pick in the 2014 draft.

5.12 - Dan Yanotchko (Team 3): Jeremy Maclin, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

After missing the entire 2013 season due to a torn ACL, Maclin re-signed with the Eagles on a one-year deal worth $5.5 million. There are several wide receivers that I'd prefer over Maclin, such as Kendall Wright, Marques Colston, etc., but Maclin could be in store for a career year provided he stays healthy.

> Continue to Round 6

View Previous Rounds:
> Go back to Round 1
> Go back to Round 2
> Go back to Round 3
> Go back to Round 4

2014 Fantasy Football rankings:

More fantasy football resources:

Keep track of our site's updates: (1) follow us on Twitter, (2) LIKE us on Facebook and/or (3) add us to your Google+ circle

Previous 15 Entries

Fantasy Football Mock Draft Per Day (July 17th): 16 teams, No. 15 pick, PPR Jul 17, 2014
Fantasy Football Mock Draft Per Day (July 16th): 14 teams, No. 7 pick Jul 16, 2014
2014 Fantasy Football - PPR Mock Draft (Round 3) Jul 15, 2014
Fantasy Football ADP (July 14th Update): Biggest Weekly Risers/Fallers Jul 14, 2014
Fantasy Football Mock Draft Per Day (July 11th): 10 teams, No. 1 pick Jul 11, 2014
Fantasy Football Mock Draft Per Day (July 10th): 12 teams, No. 7 pick Jul 10, 2014
Fantasy Football Mock Draft Per Day (July 9th): 10 teams, 2-QB league, No. 9 pick Jul 9, 2014
Fantasy Football ADP (July 7th Update): Biggest Weekly Risers/Fallers Jul 7, 2014
2014 Fantasy Football Rankings: Updated Fantasy TE Rankings Jul 7, 2014
2014 Fantasy Football Rankings: Updated Fantasy WR Rankings Jul 7, 2014
2014 Fantasy Football Rankings: Updated Fantasy RB Rankings Jul 7, 2014
2014 Fantasy Football Rankings: Updated Fantasy QB Rankings Jul 7, 2014
NEW: Initial 2014 Fantasy Football Rankings from Brendan Donahue Jul 3, 2014
NEW: Initial 2014 Fantasy Football Rankings from Sean Beazley Jul 2, 2014
Fantasy Football Average Draft Position (ADP): Biggest Weekly Movers (June 30th update) Jun 30, 2014