The 2014/15 NFL season is rapidly approaching, and with it comes the fantasy football season. I’ve recently released my personal fantasy rankings, and now we’ll go through my top ten fantasy breakouts for 2014.
QB. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers- Kaepernick should continue to improve this season just on natural growth and progression alone. His WR corps is deeper and healthier than last years group as well. Throw in the fact that he is an elite rushing threat and you have a potential top-5 fantasy quarterback that you can get in the middle rounds.
QB. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys- Romo has been a steady fantasy quarterback over the years, but he could have a career year in 2014. The Cowboys have one of the weakest defensive rosters in football, which could result in Romo playing from behind a lot this upcoming season. He also has a nice supporting cast featuring WR Dez Bryant and RB DeMarco Murray. Currently being drafted outside of the top 10 for quarterbacks, Romo is a nice option for owners who like to wait on QB’s.
RB. Bishop Sankey, Tennessee Titans- Bishop Sankey could take the NFL by storm this year. He is in the best situation of all the rookie RB’s by far. Playing behind what should be a strong offensive line in Tennessee, Sankey should have plenty of running room. And without heavy competition in the backfield, Sankey could wind up with 15+ touches a game. For a RB that’s generally being drafted outside of the top 20 of his position, he clearly has a lot of value.
RB. Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals- I think Ellington has a chance at becoming a top 10 RB in 2014. He averaged a ridiculous 5.5 yard per carry last season. And with an effective passing game in Arizona under HC Bruce Arians, opposing defenses can’t focus on the dynamic Ellington. He reminds me a lot of Jamaal Charles before he broke out for Kansas City.
RB. Montee Ball, Denver Broncos- As long as Ball can hold on to the ball, he should have a monster 2014 season. He is set to become the featured runner in the Denver offense, which produced the number #5 RB last season in Knowshon Moreno. With Moreno leaving in free agency, Montee Ball will look to be the beneficiary. He should never see a stacked box as long as QB Peyton Manning is under center.
WR. Michael Crabtree, San Francisco 49ers- If Crabtree can survive a 16 game schedule, he should become a top 15 fantasy WR. He has great chemistry with QB Colin Kaepernick, and they have put up great numbers when they are both on the field. Assuming he is fully recovered from an Achilles injury he suffered last season, Crabtree could have his best season to date.
WR. Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota Vikings- Patterson is an outstanding athlete. Even without good route running skills, Patterson is able to make plays on the football field due to sheer dynamic ability. The Vikings new OC Norv Turner took a similar type of player by the name of Josh Gordon in Cleveland last season and turned him into the #1 WR in fantasy. And while it is hard to envision Patterson achieving that feat, it’s not hard to imagine a breakout campaign for the 2nd year wide out.
WR. Kendall Wright, Tennessee Titans- Wright had a nice 2013 season, posting 94 catches for 1,079 yards and 2 touchdowns. I believe he can take another step forward in his 3rd year as a pro. Titans HC Ken Whisenhunt has vowed to utilize the explosive Wright in a variety of ways, which should only increase his fantasy potential. Wright should improve his touchdown total just by default this season, and if that happens even with similar yardage and reception totals from last season, he could become a #2 fantasy WR.
TE. Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings- Rudolph has the size to become one of the top red zone options in the NFL. We’ve already discussed what new Vikings OC Norv Turner can do with Patterson, and he could be equally helpful for Rudolph. Norv helped turn Browns TE Jordan Cameron into a Pro Bowler, and I think he can have the same effect on Rudolph. If you can’t get one of the elite TE’s early, Rudolph could be a nice option in the late rounds.
D/ST. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- New Bucs HC Lovie Smith fielded a consistent fantasy defense in Chicago year after year. Now in Tampa, Lovie could turn this unit into a top fantasy defense. They have 2 elite defensive players in DT Gerald McCoy and OLB Lavonte David, and with the additions of DE Michael Johnson and former Titans CB Alterraun Verner, they now have a loaded roster on defense. Currently being ranked outside of the top 10 defenses, you might be able pick them up after the draft.
And those are my fantasy football breakouts for the 2014/15 NFL season. Thanks for reading, and coming soon, my top 10 fantasy football busts or 2014.