If you are wondering how your fantasy draft will shape up, this early in 2014 … look no further than Peyton Manning. The Broncos quarterback, despite their Super Bowl defeat, is a clear and obvious number one selection in 2014. In many cases, number 18 may be very well suited as a second pick as well. The first ballot hall of famer shattered records in 2013, he threw for 5,477 yards tossing 55 touchdowns and only throwing 10 interceptions. In standard format leagues, he accumulated 409.98 fantasy points. Second in scoring was Drew Brees who trailed him by 52 fantasy points. With the talented cast of receivers at his disposal, Denver’s signal caller will most likely return and hope to duplicate his virtuoso numbers in 2014. But who will be taken second through fifth on the big boards next year? Here is a look at what you might expect.
2. Lesean McCoy (Philadelphia RB) – “Shady” is the next viable candidate to be taken in your draft. In PPR (Points Per Reception) formats, McCoy is a stud. The Philadelphia running back totaled 2,146 yards from scrimmage in 2013. This was a league best and he added to his staggering stats with 11 all-purpose touchdowns as well. Add in 52 receptions, a rising star in Nick Foles and a Chip Kelly run-heavy offense. Now, McCoy is an extraordinary option.
3. Jamaal Charles (Kansas City RB) – The same can be said for Kansas City rusher, Jamaal Charles. Charles was the only skill player capable of rivaling Peyton Manning’s numbers in a single game. Last year, Charles torched the Oakland Raiders in week 15. On 16 touches, King Charles racked up 215 yards from scrimmage, scoring five times in total. This type of production is not a rarity with the dashing runner. Charles was third in total scoring overall, in traditional formats. It is very likely that Charles may be taken before McCoy. However, he is a top two running back and that remains indisputable.
4. Matt Forte (Chicago RB) – A quiet yet disruptive force, Matt Forte has made a splash since his rookie season years ago. Forte, arrived under the command of offensive coordinator Mike Martz. Martz turned Forte in to a monster rather quickly, and he has evolved into one of the deadliest weapons in football. The bull from Tulane, was top five in all scoring formats last season. His one downfall? A proneness to injuries. Forte has been sidelined several times over his career, ailing from ligament-related injuries. When Forte is healthy and he is playing with his A-Game, he is a force to be reckoned with. In PPR leagues, Forte can be taken as high as fourth. This Chicago rusher is often overlooked due to the turbulence associated with the Bears offense. If you find yourself sitting with the tenth pick and Forte available, scoop him. He was ranked in the top-12 across all boards last season and produced top five numbers. He is an investment with a great return. Peyton Manning would love to have a weapon like Forte at his disposal.
5. Calvin Johnson (Detroit WR) – When news broke that Megatron was playing injured for most of the 2013 season, those who admired and adored Johnson already, had even more reason to idolize him. The league’s best receiver comes in at number 5 overall on the big board. In spite of his injury, Megatron was able to finish with a modest stat line: 84 receptions, 1,492 yards and 12 touchdowns. Not bad, for a man playing with an injury. You would have never guessed that Megatron was hurting when he took the field. His ability to produce is a portrait of the gifted talent Johnson possesses. It also is a testament to his toughness and competitive spirit. Megatron can go off the board as early as number two, if you want to reach for a receiver. However, running backs and quarterbacks are always the hot commodity in traditional formats. In PPR formats, Johnson is a stellar choice. Johnson may fall as far as 8 or 9 before he is finally taken.
While the Broncos field general may be a undeniable number one choice in fantasy football leagues, he is one among a palette of prolific players. Peyton Manning – unanimous number one in fantasy leagues for 2014 – will hope to follow through in 2014 and further validate his already established greatness.
By Keith Fuchs