Dec 22, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (29) carries the ball as Washington Redskins outside linebacker Brian Orakpo (98) attempts to make the tackle in the fourth quarter at FedEx Field. The Cowboys won 24-23. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Fantasy: First Round Gambles for 2014


Part of succeeding in the NFL fantasy world is taking a chance on players that don’t warrant it on the surface.  Who are some potential first round gambles?

Jay Cutler – Chicago Bears

Owners never got a chance to see the full spectrum of Jay Cutler in the new Chicago Bears offense under Marc Trestman.  Ankle and groin injuries robbed him of five games and he was never able to find a rhythm.  Still, he’s firmly entrenched as the starter, is entering the second year in the same offense and is surrounded by premier weaponry including Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery.  If he can stay healthy it could mean a breakout season for the 31-year old.

DeMarco Murray – Dallas Cowboys

By most accounts they are still a throwing team, but the Dallas Cowboys are now beginning to understand they have a ground game they can lean on.  In just 217 touches DeMarco Murray amassed over 1,100 yards and nine touchdowns while also catching 53 passes.  The big gamble with him is whether the Cowboys will feed him enough and whether he can stay healthy.  Murray has not finished a complete season yet.

Nick Foles – Philadelphia Eagles

Chip Kelly unlocked a possible gem last season when he put Nick Foles in as a starter.  By the time the 2013 regular season was over, the second-year quarterback had 27 touchdown passes to just two interceptions.  NFL fantasy owners should be on alert here because Foles pulled that off in just 13 games to pull that off.  One must wonder what he can do with more experience and a chance to start from opening day.

Jimmy Graham – New Orleans Saints

Never in NFL fantasy history has a tight end even come close to warranting first round consideration.  Until now, anyway.  That is how productive Jimmy Graham was for the New Orleans Saints last season with over 1,200 yards and 16 touchdowns.  He has a new contract and a chip on his shoulder after failing to win his case of wanting to be classified as a wide receiver.  That should result in more big plays.

Tags: DeMarco Murray Jay Cutler Jimmy Graham Nfl Fantasy Nick Foles

  • Nevin Paustian

    Burning a 1st round pick on cutler or foles wouldn’t be a gamble, it would be pure stupidity. You could probably get them in the 6th round or later in most leagues. Even if you view them as a must have, you could burn a 4th or a 5th on them. Giving up a possible elite RB or WR for a QB that you could easily get later is just stupid. Part of drafting a solid fantasy team is knowing where you can draft the players you want and not over reaching on them.

    • Travis Crouch

      I was about to say the same thing you could probably get cutler real low just becouse he can’t stay healthy I got him in like the 7th or 8th round last year and his fantasy points have always been good

    • Erik Lambert

      I’m sorry, did I write that Cutler was a first round lock? It says “gamble” in the title for a reason. Part of winning in a league is being willing to take some risks. By scooping up Jay early it could allow for an owner to grab quality skill players in later rounds. If Jay pays off, then you’d have his production plus a very deep roster to feed the point total further. I’m not the only one who thinks this. NFL Network and ESPN have mentioned it as well.

      • Nevin Paustian

        …or you could use common sense and grab an elite productive RB or WR in the first round then take cutler or foles in a later round. Good luck finding a consistent RB1, WR1, or even a RB2 in a round later than 5 which is where you could easily pick up folea or cutler. Also, since we are name dropping, the guys on the ESPN Fantasy Football podcast called cutler a possible sleeper pick that would be good to pick up in a much later round. So once again, i understand what you mean by “gamble” but a gamble would be using a 5th round pick, “stupidity” would be using a first round pick.