It’s still a long way until the regular season but with the draft approach who could be the top NFL fantasy players to watch for?
Johnny Manziel – QB – Texas A&M
It’s really hard to pinpoint which, if any of the top quarterback in the 2014 draft class will start Day One but of that group the best would likely have to be Johnny Manziel. From a fantasy perspective he’s the best choice too because of his rare mobility. Similar to Russell Wilson, he can pick up yards and touchdowns with his legs every bit as much as with his arm. Provided he gets drafted onto a team that boasts a competant offensive arsenal like Cleveland or Minnesota he has a chance to really hit the ground running in fantasy league.
Mike Evans – WR – Texas A&M
Touchdowns are the quickest way to a good day on the NFL fantasy circuit and big receivers often have the easiest route to that end. Mike Evans is the favorite among those types in 2014. The 6’5″ monster is an explosive leaper who can go get the football in contested situations. If he can get a quarterback who knows how to use that then Evans has an excellent chance to do some damage on the scoreboard at the very least, making a solid sleeper option.
Sammy Watkins – WR – Clemson
Why wouldn’t the best receiver in the draft be a slam dunk fantasy option? Sammy Watkins is the perfect blend of a #1 target. He’s not only strong and bigger than one might think but he’s also blazing fast. That means Watkins poses a threat regardless of the down or the situation. He can take a hitch pass from a four-yard gain to an 80-yard gain and he can battle a defensive back up in the air to haul in a tough end zone pass. All it takes is somebody to throw him the ball with reasonable accuracy and Watkins is the kind of guy who can take care of the rest.
Carlos Hyde – RB – Ohio State
Running backs may be second-class citizens in modern football but they are still hot commodities on the NFL fantasy circuit. The best ones like Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch are typically guys who can be expected to score double digit touchdowns in a season. The key to finding that kind of player in the 2014 class is identifying a guy who runs with power but also deceptive speed and great vision. Carlos Hyde epitomizes that style. He is a downhill runner who never goes down on the first hit. His hands are good for receiving and he is sneaky fast. Obviously he must land with a team that will actually feed him the ball but if he does fantasy owners could see a repeat of Eddie Lacy from last year.
Odell Beckham Jr. – WR – LSU
The beauty of fantasy football on offense for wide receivers is that there are several ways to score points beyond receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. They can also score rushing touchdowns or pile up rushing yards. On top of all that, they can even add kick and punt return touchdowns to the mix. These advantages are what make Odell Beckham Jr. such an attractive option. Not only is he an ascending receiver with talent to catch the football, he has the look of a return man to him. He’s dangerous with the ball in his hands, which is why whomever drafts him will try to see he gets it as much as possible. Fantasy owners better recognize that.