Early 2014 Fantasy Football Rankings

| December 20, 2013

AP BROWNS VIKINGS FOOTBALL S FBN USA MNWeek 16 of the NFL season is upon us, which means that a majority of Fantasy Football leagues will conclude in a matter of days.

That being the case, it’s as good a time as ever to take an early look at what your 2014 draft board will look like.

Down below are early 2014 fantasy football rnakings at each of the primary positions: Quarterback, Running Back, Wide Receiver, and Tight End. Scoring assumes non-PPR with basic scoring otherwise.

I pointed this out when I wrote this article one year ago and I want to do it because it still holds true: check out the insane depth at wide receiver.

Most leagues require three starting wide receivers, which includes the Top 36 wideouts in your normal 12-team format. Notice some of the players who miss that WR3 cut in my initial rankings: Aaron Dobson, Terrance Williams, Justin Blackmon, Dwayne Bowe, Hakeem Nicks, James Jones, Greg Jennings, and Stevie Johnson are a few of the highlights. It’s conceivable that you could enter 2014 without any of my Top 36 wide receivers and still put a competitive group of wideouts on the field.

Fellow commissioners: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Add, at least, one wide receiver slot to your league’s starting lineup requirements next year. The position is way too deep to have only three, or three and a flex. The free agent market won’t be as shallow as you think and adding an extra starter will only reward the more intelligent owners.

Now that my customary plea for larger starting lineups is complete, let’s take a look at some rankings.

Listed are the player’s team from 2013, the year his contract expires, and the year/round he was drafted.

Quarterback

Rk Player Tm Contract Yr-Rd   Rk Player Tm Contract Yr-Rd
1 Peyton Manning DEN 2016 1998-1 31 Josh McCown CHI 2013 2002-3
2 Drew Brees NO 2016 2001-2 32 Kirk Cousins WAS 2015 2012-4
3 Aaron Rodgers GB 2019 2005-1 33 Josh Freeman MIN 2013 2009-1
4 Nick Foles PHI 2015 2012-3 34 Christian Ponder MIN 2014 2011-1
5 Matthew Stafford DET 2017 2009-1 35 Terrelle Pryor OAK 2014 2011-U
6 Cam Newton CAR 2014 2011-1 36 Case Keenum HST 2014 2012-U
7 Matt Ryan ATL 2018 2008-1 37 Matthew McGloin OAK 2015 2013-U
8 Andrew Luck IND 2015 2012-1 38 Brock Osweiler DEN 2015 2012-2
9 Russell Wilson SEA 2015 2012-3 39 Drew Stanton ARZ 2015 2007-2
10 Philip Rivers SD 2015 2004-1 40 Ryan Mallett NE 2014 2011-3
11 Tom Brady NE 2014 2000-6 41 Ryan Nassib NYG 2016 2013-4
12 Robert Griffin III WAS 2015 2012-1 42 Matt Cassel MIN 2014 2005-7
13 Tony Romo DAL 2019 2003-U 43 Ryan Fitzpatrick TEN 2014 2005-7
14 Jay Cutler CHI 2013 2006-1 44 Chad Henne JAX 2013 2008-2
15 Colin Kaepernick SF 2014 2011-2 45 Kevin Kolb BUF 2014 2007-2
16 Andy Dalton CIN 2014 2011-2 46 Matt Moore MIA 2014 2007-U
17 Ryan Tannehill MIA 2015 2012-1 47 Mark Sanchez NYJ 2016 2009-1
18 Ben Roethlisberger PIT 2015 2004-1 48 Matt Barkley PHI 2016 2013-4
19 Eli Manning NYG 2015 2004-1 49 Blaine Gabbert JAX 2014 2011-1
20 Alex D. Smith KC 2014 2005-1 50 Landry Jones PIT 2016 2013-4
21 Joe Flacco BLT 2017 2008-1 51 Chase Daniel KC 2015 2009-U
22 Sam Bradford SL 2015 2010-1 52 Thaddeus Lewis BUF 2014 2010-U
23 E.J. Manuel BUF 2017 2013-1 53 Tyrod Taylor BLT 2014 2011-6
24 Mike Glennon TB 2016 2013-3 54 Matt Flynn GB 2013 2008-7
25 Michael Vick PHI 2013 2001-1 55 T.J. Yates HST 2014 2011-5
26 Carson Palmer ARZ 2014 2003-1 56 Brandon Weeden CLV 2015 2012-1
27 Geno Smith NYJ 2016 2013-2 57 Colt McCoy SF 2013 2010-3
28 Brian Hoyer CLV 2014 2009-U 58 Matt Simms NYJ 2013 2012-U
29 Jake Locker TEN 2014 2011-1 59 Matt Hasselbeck IND 2014 1998-6
30 Matt Schaub HST 2016 2004-3 60 Kyle Orton DAL 2014 2005-4

Quick reaction: The Top 6 quarterbacks stand out to me. Only Foles is particularly risky considering his short resume, but he seems to be primed for the long-term starting gig in a high-scoring Eagles offense. From there, we see some intriguing names through the top 15 or so, but each has his fair share of question marks. With the exception of a few guys at the top, 2014 will again be a year to wait at quarterback.

Running Back

Rk Player Tm Contract Yr-Rd   Rk Player Tm Contract Yr-Rd
1 LeSean McCoy PHI 2017 2009-2 41 Chris Ivory NYJ 2015 2010-U
2 Jamaal Charles KC 2015 2008-3 42 Danny Woodhead SD 2014 2008-U
3 Adrian L. Peterson MIN 2017 2007-1 43 Christine Michael SEA 2016 2013-2
4 Matt Forte CHI 2015 2008-2 44 Donald Brown IND 2013 2009-1
5 Eddie Lacy GB 2016 2013-2 45 Jacquizz Rodgers ATL 2014 2011-5
6 Doug Martin TB 2015 2012-1 46 Marcus Lattimore SF 2016 2013-4
7 Marshawn Lynch SEA 2015 2007-1 47 Latavius Murray OAK 2016 2013-6
8 DeMarco Murray DAL 2014 2011-3 48 Bilal Powell NYJ 2014 2011-4
9 Zac Stacy SL 2016 2013-5 49 Knile Davis KC 2016 2013-3
10 Arian Foster HST 2016 2009-U 50 Rashard Mendenhall ARZ 2013 2008-1
11 Alfred Morris WAS 2015 2012-6 51 Mark Ingram NO 2014 2011-1
12 Reggie Bush DET 2016 2006-1 52 Dion Lewis CLV 2014 2011-5
13 Giovani Bernard CIN 2016 2013-2 53 Roy Helu WAS 2014 2011-4
14 Ray Rice BLT 2016 2008-2 54 Kendall Hunter SF 2014 2011-4
15 Shane Vereen NE 2014 2011-2 55 Daniel Thomas MIA 2014 2011-2
16 Le’Veon Bell PIT 2016 2013-2 56 Bryce Brown PHI 2015 2012-7
17 Stevan Ridley NE 2014 2011-3 57 Toby Gerhart MIN 2013 2010-2
18 Knowshon Moreno DEN 2014 2009-1 58 Bobby Rainey TB 2013 2012-U
19 C.J. Spiller BUF 2014 2010-1 59 James Starks GB 2013 2010-6
20 Frank Gore SF 2014 2005-3 60 Vick Ballard IND 2015 2012-5
21 Andre Ellington ARZ 2016 2013-6 61 Shonn Greene TEN 2015 2009-3
22 Ryan Mathews SD 2014 2010-1 62 Johnathan Franklin GB 2016 2013-4
23 Chris D. Johnson TEN 2016 2008-1 63 Robert Turbin SEA 2015 2012-4
24 Steven Jackson ATL 2015 2004-1 64 Ronnie Hillman DEN 2015 2012-3
25 Ben Tate HST 2013 2010-2 65 BenJarvus Green-Ellis CIN 2014 2008-U
26 David Wilson NYG 2015 2012-1 66 Ahmad Bradshaw IND 2013 2007-7
27 Maurice Jones-Drew JAX 2013 2006-2 67 Dennis Johnson HST 2015 2013-U
28 Montee Ball DEN 2016 2013-2 68 Denard Robinson JAX 2016 2013-5
29 Darren Sproles NO 2014 2005-4 69 Mikel Leshoure DET 2014 2011-2
30 Trent Richardson IND 2015 2012-1 70 Marcel Reece OAK 2016 2008-U
31 Lamar Miller MIA 2015 2012-4 71 LeGarrette Blount NE 2013 2010-U
32 Fred Jackson BUF 2014 2006-U 72 Lance Dunbar DAL 2014 2012-U
33 Joique Bell DET 2013 2010-U 73 Stepfan Taylor ARZ 2016 2013-5
34 Bernard Pierce BLT 2015 2012-3 74 Daryl Richardson SL 2015 2012-7
35 Pierre Thomas NO 2014 2007-U 75 C.J. Anderson DEN 2015 2013-U
36 Jonathan Stewart CAR 2017 2008-1 76 Chris Polk PHI 2014 2012-U
37 Darren McFadden OAK 2013 2008-1 77 Mike James TB 2016 2013-6
38 Andre Brown NYG 2013 2009-4 78 Kenjon Barner CAR 2016 2013-6
39 Rashad Jennings OAK 2013 2009-7 79 Mike Gillislee MIA 2016 2013-5
40 DeAngelo Williams CAR 2015 2006-1 80 Mike Goodson NYJ 2015 2009-4

Quick reaction: With the likes of Knowshon Moreno, Frank Gore, and Chris Johnson in the RB2 discussion, running back may seem deeper than ever. It really isn’t. At this point, I’d feel pretty good about the Top 9 backs, but we really start to get into shaky territory after that. Will Gio Bernard be a full-time player next season? Is Le’Veon Bell the next Trent Richardson or will he improve his play in Year 2? Will Moreno lose significant snaps to Montee Ball? Will David Wilson or Lamar Miller finally step up and earn a 15-plus touch role? Same as every year, plan on addressing running back early and often in 2014.

Wide Receiver

Rk Player Tm Contract Yr-Rd   Rk Player Tm Contract Yr-Rd
1 Calvin Johnson DET 2019 2007-1 46 Greg Jennings MIN 2017 2006-2
2 Julio Jones ATL 2014 2011-1 47 Steve Johnson BUF 2016 2008-7
3 Josh Gordon CLV 2014 2012-U 48 Golden Tate SEA 2013 2010-2
4 Dez Bryant DAL 2014 2010-1 49 Brian Hartline MIA 2017 2009-4
5 A.J. Green CIN 2014 2011-1 50 Justin Hunter TEN 2016 2013-2
6 Demaryius Thomas DEN 2014 2010-1 51 Mike A. Williams TB 2018 2010-4
7 Alshon Jeffery CHI 2015 2012-2 52 Robert Woods BUF 2016 2013-2
8 Brandon Marshall CHI 2014 2006-4 53 Markus Wheaton PIT 2016 2013-3
9 Vincent Jackson TB 2016 2005-2 54 Emmanuel Sanders PIT 2013 2010-3
10 Antonio Brown PIT 2017 2010-6 55 Anquan Boldin SF 2013 2003-2
11 Pierre Garcon WAS 2016 2008-6 56 Kenny Stills NO 2016 2013-5
12 Jordy Nelson GB 2014 2008-2 57 Julian Edelman NE 2013 2009-7
13 Randall Cobb GB 2014 2011-2 58 Marquise Goodwin BUF 2016 2013-3
14 Larry Fitzgerald ARZ 2018 2004-1 59 Riley Cooper PHI 2013 2010-5
15 Andre Johnson HST 2016 2003-1 60 Da’Rick Rogers IND 2014 2013-U
16 Wes Welker DEN 2014 2004-U 61 Malcom Floyd SD 2015 2004-U
17 Michael Crabtree SF 2014 2009-1 62 Denarius Moore OAK 2014 2011-5
18 Percy Harvin SEA 2013 2009-1 63 Jeremy Kerley NYJ 2014 2011-5
19 Victor Cruz NYG 2018 2010-U 64 Marlon Brown BLT 2015 2013-U
20 Keenan Allen SD 2016 2013-3 65 Kenbrell Thompkins NE 2015 2013-U
21 Kendall Wright TEN 2015 2012-1 66 Stedman Bailey SL 2016 2013-3
22 DeSean Jackson PHI 2016 2008-2 67 Quinton Patton SF 2016 2013-4
23 Reggie Wayne IND 2014 2001-1 68 Stephen Hill NYJ 2015 2012-2
24 Eric Decker DEN 2013 2010-3 69 Danario Alexander SD 2013 2010-U
25 Torrey Smith BLT 2014 2011-2 70 Brandon LaFell CAR 2013 2010-3
26 Cecil Shorts JAX 2014 2011-4 71 Harry Douglas ATL 2015 2008-3
27 Michael Floyd ARZ 2015 2012-1 72 Miles Austin DAL 2016 2006-U
28 Mike Wallace MIA 2017 2009-3 73 Nate Burleson DET 2014 2003-3
29 Cordarrelle Patterson MIN 2016 2013-1 74 Sidney Rice SEA 2015 2007-2
30 Rueben Randle NYG 2015 2012-2 75 Chris Givens SL 2015 2012-4
31 Jeremy Maclin PHI 2013 2009-1 76 Josh Boyce NE 2016 2013-4
32 Marques Colston NO 2016 2006-7 77 Ace Sanders JAX 2016 2013-4
33 DeAndre Hopkins HST 2016 2013-1 78 Jermaine Kearse SEA 2014 2012-U
34 Roddy White ATL 2014 2005-1 79 Jarrett Boykin GB 2014 2012-U
35 T.Y. Hilton IND 2015 2012-3 80 LaVon Brazill IND 2015 2012-6
36 Tavon Austin SL 2016 2013-1 81 Doug Baldwin SEA 2013 2011-U
37 Aaron Dobson NE 2016 2013-2 82 Kenny Britt TEN 2013 2009-1
38 Terrance Williams DAL 2016 2013-3 83 Joe Morgan NO 2013 2011-U
39 Justin Blackmon JAX 2015 2012-1 84 Santonio Holmes NYJ 2015 2006-1
40 Danny Amendola NE 2017 2008-U 85 Nate Washington TEN 2014 2005-U
41 Dwayne Bowe KC 2017 2007-1 86 Aldrick Robinson WAS 2014 2011-6
42 Hakeem Nicks NYG 2013 2009-1 87 Leonard Hankerson WAS 2014 2011-3
43 Marvin Jones CIN 2015 2012-5 88 Andre Holmes OAK 2014 2011-U
44 Steve L. Smith CAR 2015 2001-3 89 Mohamed Sanu CIN 2015 2012-3
45 James Jones GB 2013 2007-3 90 Andre Roberts ARZ 2013 2010-3

Quick Reaction: I mentioned this already, but wide receiver is as deep as ever. There is a significant amount of upside to be had outside the Top-36 wideouts and there are potential starting-caliber receivers as deep as the 60s. It will be hard to pass on a Calvin Johnson or Dez Bryant early, but with Alshon Jeffery and Josh Gordon emerging, and Julio Jones, Michael Crabtree, Randall Cobb, Reggie Wayne, and Percy Harvin returning to full health, it will be beneficial to wait at the position again next year.

Tight End

Rk Player Tm Contract Yr-Rd   Rk Player Tm Contract Yr-Rd
1 Jimmy Graham NO 2013 2010-3 29 Joseph Fauria DET 2015 2013-U
2 Rob Gronkowski NE 2019 2010-2 30 Jermaine Gresham CIN 2014 2010-1
3 Julius Thomas DEN 2014 2011-4 31 Zach J. Miller SEA 2015 2007-2
4 Vernon Davis SF 2015 2006-1 32 Brandon Myers NYG 2013 2009-6
5 Jordan Cameron CLV 2014 2011-4 33 Garrett Graham HST 2013 2010-4
6 Jason Witten DAL 2017 2003-3 34 Scott Chandler BUF 2013 2007-4
7 Jordan Reed WAS 2016 2013-3 35 Brandon Bostick GB 2015 2012-U
8 Greg Olsen CAR 2015 2007-1 36 Dustin Keller MIA 2013 2008-1
9 Martellus Bennett CHI 2016 2008-2 37 Fred Davis WAS 2013 2008-2
10 Dennis Pitta BLT 2013 2010-4 38 Mychal Rivera OAK 2016 2013-6
11 Antonio Gates SD 2015 2003-U 39 Brandon Pettigrew DET 2014 2009-1
12 Zach Ertz PHI 2016 2013-2 40 Adrien Robinson NYG 2015 2012-4
13 Kyle Rudolph MIN 2014 2011-2 41 Vance McDonald SF 2016 2013-2
14 Coby Fleener IND 2015 2012-2 42 Dion Sims MIA 2016 2013-4
15 Charles Clay MIA 2014 2011-6 43 Gavin Escobar DAL 2016 2013-2
16 Tyler Eifert CIN 2016 2013-1 44 Luke Willson SEA 2016 2013-5
17 Heath Miller PIT 2014 2005-1 45 Taylor Thompson TEN 2015 2012-5
18 Delanie Walker TEN 2016 2006-6 46 Anthony Fasano KC 2016 2006-2
19 Owen Daniels HST 2014 2006-4 47 Brent Celek PHI 2016 2007-5
20 Jermichael Finley GB 2013 2008-3 48 Ed Dickson BLT 2013 2010-3
21 Ladarius Green SD 2015 2012-4 49 Sean McGrath KC 2015 2012-U
22 Jared Cook SL 2017 2009-3 50 Ryan Griffin HST 2016 2013-6
23 Travis Kelce KC 2016 2013-3 51 Lance Kendricks SL 2014 2011-2
24 Dwayne Allen IND 2015 2012-3 52 Jacob Tamme DEN 2014 2008-4
25 Timothy Wright TB 2015 2013-U 53 Andrew Quarless GB 2013 2010-5
26 Levine Toilolo ATL 2016 2013-4 54 Jeff Cumberland NYJ 2013 2010-U
27 Rob Housler ARZ 2014 2011-3 55 John Carlson MIN 2016 2008-2
28 Marcedes Lewis JAX 2015 2006-1

Quick Reaction: Tight end is looking pretty in 2013. Jimmy Graham is likely to be a borderline first-round pick – as he should – but some of the back-end TE1 talent figures to be available in the mid-to-late rounds. Julius Thomas, Jordan Cameron, and Jordan Reed add a jolt of much-needed high-ceiling youth to the position. The likes of Zach Ertz, Tyler Eifert, Ladarius Green figure to knock on the TE1 door and will be make for sexy late-round fliers. Keep an eye on deeper sleepers for a 2014 breakout in Travis Kelce, Levine Toilolo, and Adrien Robinson.

Follow Mike Clay on Twitter: @MikeClayNFL

Comments (29)

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  1. Big Chris says:

    The Jets lack of talent on offense is mind numbing.

  2. Kai says:

    Ridley might be jobless in 2014, yet he’s ranked ahead of Moreno, the 4th ranked RB in all of fantasy this year. Something just not right with that.

    • Peyton Manning says:

      If we based fantasy ranking on what someone did last year, I assume you would want Emmit Smith ranked #1??? Moreno wont be on the Bronco’s next year. His contract will make him a cap casualty. The rankings are a projected. Only a took would take how they finished this year and copy/paste into a ranking for next year.

      • JerryRice#1Overall says:

        What does this comment even mean?

        • Mike Clay says:

          Ridley isn’t going anywhere, and like Peyton said, Moreno is a free agent and – even if he’s back – that offense will regress and Ball will play more.

  3. Cam says:

    Why on earth is Doug Martin ranked 6th over all for running backs and ranked higher then both Arian Foster and Beast Mode? I know he’s a good back and all but come on 6th place is a little high. Doug Martin was one of the biggest busts in Fantasy Football this year. If anything Alfred Morris and Doug Martin should switch places.

    • Peyton Manning says:

      Are you serious? Arian Foster might not play football again. Martin was in the mix for top 3 RB this year. His injury was to his shoulder, not his legs. Tamps turned things around in a big way the 2nd half of the season. Look at the numbers lesser talented Rbs put up in that offense. The QB play improved and will only get better during the off-season. You go ahead and take the aging Foster and Lynch. The rest of your league will be thanking you.

      • yoyo says:

        Martin was not in the mix for top 3rb this season.

      • Cam says:

        First of all Arian Foster will in fact be playing next year. Second of all, Martin was never in the mix for the top three running backs. Third of all, Tampa Bay is still in the rebuilding stage and has a QB that is unknown if he will be successful in the NFL or not. You can’t assume that the passing game will improve in the Off-season because that’s just stupid. Look at RG111 and the regression he has faced this season. Things don’t always get better but actually worsen in some cases. Because of this, Doug Martin will face just as many loaded boxes as he did this year. Lets face it, Mike Glennon is no Peyton Manning. Any team that plays against Tampa is always going to make sure that they take Doug Martin out of the game. You can pick any running back you want but at the end of the day I’m sticking with the seasoned pro’s that have given me countless winning seasons in Fantasy Football.

      • Jason says:

        Martin has some monster games, but has been inconsistent. It could be because of the poor offense around him and bad QB play, but I have a hard time drafting a guy in the 1st round that hasn’t proven he can put up good per-game numbers over the course of a season.
        You take away his 250yrd/4TD game his rookie year and he doesn’t have the top 5 rushing yard and TD numbers that made him so attractive going into this season. He also drops about .5yrds-per-rush for the season which just shows how much that game proped up his stats.
        This season he only had one 100yrd game and 1TD in six games. You project that out over the course of a season and he gets 1,215yrds and 3TD’s, fairly consistent with what he had his rookie year without that huge game.
        I still do like Martin and if he could catch a higher percentage of his targets he would be more attractive in fantasy, especially in PPR. I see him as a very good RB2 with RB1 potential because he gets the touches you want in a RB1. I just wish you could trust him more on a week-to-week basis and I worry about Rainey stealing some of his touches.

  4. Cutler2GordonConnection says:

    Why is Julio Jones ranked 2 ? Realy

  5. Ryan Knowles says:

    This is fun to think about even though it will all change next year. I think I would have Keenan Allen ranked much higher, probably 10-13 or so.

    • Mike Clay says:

      Expecting TD regression, more 2TE sets, and fewer targets with a better No. 2 option (possible 2 if Floyd/Alexander are back).

  6. Swannado says:

    On offense we start 1QB, 1RB,1WR,1TE and 3 flex. We are debating adding a QB flex spot. Would you still add another WR for this starting line-up?

  7. Adam Sgammotta says:

    Le’Veon Bell should be in the top 10 backs for 2014, and certainly not behind Shane Vereen.

    • Mike Clay says:

      Want to do more work on Bell, but not convinced he’s a strong talent yet. Poor per-carry rushing production so far. Very Trent Richardson circa 2012 line this year.

  8. A. Hernandez says:

    Desean Jackson ranked way too low. Behind Kendal Wright? No way

  9. Mike V says:

    Definitely the best early 2014 fantasy rankings online thus far. If I end up with the first overall pick next year though I’ll most likely be selecting Jamal Charles. I drafted him 8th overall this year and he won my league for me.

  10. BTHUNE says:

    Love Julio talent but waaaaaay to many injuries to be #2 ranked WR in a deep WR position

  11. disqus_bY3FYfEP1y says:

    Wheres Andrew Quarless? he is only going become more and more involved next year, and hes great in the red zone

    • Mike Clay says:

      Free agent and I don’t think he’s ever going to be a top 4 option in that offense. Better off holding Bostick. Think they’ll address TE in FA/Draft.

  12. Jake says:

    Very good rankings overall, but there’s always a “but”. But, I’d ranked Alex Smith higher than he is and RG lower. Ranked Foster lower. Switched Stacy and Martin plus Ellington and Ridley because you’d be crazy trusting Ridley once again that high. Percy Harvin is a talent but Seattle always spreads the wealth and he’s a health risk every year.

    • oneyearwonder says:

      RG3 should definitely be ahead of Smith. Foles is the one I would question. Ahead of Stafford, Newton, Luck and Ryan – no way. I would even take RG3 over him(if healthy)

  13. Brew Crew Commish says:

    Instead of installing a flex position, we are going with 5 different formations relating to RB,WR,TE. The following formations are: FULL T-3RB, 1WR, 1TE; PRO SET-2RB, 2WR, 1TE;
    SINGLE BACK-1RB, 3WR, 1TE; DOUBLE TIGHT-2RB, 1WR, 2TE; AND ACE-1RB, 2WR, 2TE.
    Any Thoughts?