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2014 Draft Kit

Fantasy Football Player Rankings & Projections

2014 Top Twenty-Five Preseason Preview

 

Chris Johnson

Chris Johnson photo, picture image: #1 ranked fantasy football first basemen
The hope in Tennessee is that the passing game under Vince Young will improve and take the pressure off of Chris Johnson and while that may mean less yards, it could mean an up tick in TD's and receptions.

1. Chris Johnson - Titans - 2014 Preview:

After an electrifying 2009 season that included over 2,500 yards gained and 16 touchdowns, it is easy to pick Tennessee Titan Chris Johnson as the number one running back (and therefore number one overall player) in fantasy football.


Johnson is a rare back who every time he touches the ball it looks as if he is going to score. The good news is playing in Tennessee he touches the ball a lot. Not only did he carry the ball a league-lead 350 times, but he also caught 50 passes.
The good news in the offseason was that goal line back, LenDale White, is gone and that should send more goal line carries coming Johnson's way.
While Johnson would be hard-pressed to improve upon his 2009 breakout season, you can be assured that he is the real deal and is one of the few sure-thing studs in fantasy football.

2009 Statistics: 2,006 Yds - 14 TD's - 50 Rec - 503 Yds - 2 TD's

2010 Projection: 1,801 Yds - 15 TD's - 56 Rec - 531 Yds - 2 TD's

 

2. Adrian Peterson - Vikings - 2014 Preview:

There are no questions about Adrian Peterson's talent. He may be the best pure-runner in the game today. There are questions about his team, his ability to hold onto the football and his rash of minor injuries. The latter two are likely not going to change much, but the question of his team is big. Whether or not Brett Farve returns (which we believe he will) will have a great effect on Peterson's stats.
First he is likely to run more if Farve doesn't return, but he would likely score less, but worse for fantasy managers, he would likely get less receptions. This was the one area where Peterson surprised in 2009. He managed more receptions and yards (43 catches for 436 yards) than he did in his previous two seasons combined.
The other team question is its offensive line play. Going into 2009, the Vikings were supposed to have one of the best O-lines in the NFL. It was good, but it was also overrated, especially for run-blocking. Left tackle Bryant McKinnie was a bust in 2009 and needs to take a step back up in 2014. Steve Hutchinson, on the other hand, dominated as expected. 2009 #2 pick Phil Loadholt played well and his growth and McKinnie's play will determine how good this line really is.
Finally, the great backup/time-stealer, Chester Taylor, has moved on to Chicago. The Vikings drafted running back Toby Gerhart with their second pick to take Taylor's spot, nevertheless, this is small advantage for Peterson in 2014.

2009 Statistics: 1,383 Yds - 18 TD's - 43 Rec - 436 Yds - 0 TD's

2010 Projection: 1,442 Yds - 16 TD's - 38 Rec - 378 Yds - 1 TD

 

3. Maurice Jones-Drew - Jaguars - 2014 Preview:

As many expected Jones-Drew had a breakout season in 2009 finishing with over 1,700 yards and 16 touchdowns. Jones-Drew is similar to Chris Johnson in that he can score every time he touches the ball and that is the type of back you want as a fantasy owner. The question for Jones-Drew will be his supporting cast.
His offensive line is below average, though it is full of potential. If 2009 #1 pick (8th overall) Eugene Monroe and 2009 #2 pick Eben Britton take the step up that is expected, the Jaguars offensive line can rise from the lower-end of NFL O-lines to a above average O-line. Naturally Jones-Drew would benefit as would the whole of the Jaguar offense.
If wide receiver's Mike Sims-Walker and 2009 rookie standout Mike Thomas can stretch the defenses a bit, it will open more holes for Jones-Drew. If not, in 2014 the opponents of the Jaguars will key on Jones-Drew and make it very difficult on him. Thus, as the Jaguars offense goes so will Jones-Drew to an extent.

2009 Statistics: 1,391 Yds - 15 TD's - 53 Rec - 374 Yds - 1 TD's

2010 Projection: 1,302 Yds - 14 TD's - 57 Rec - 485 Yds - 2 TD's

 

4. Steven Jackson - Rams - 2014 Preview:

Doubt playing for the worst team in the the NFL and running behind a makeshift offensive line, Steven Jackson still managed over 1,700 total yards in 2009. This ranks among the best in fantasy football. The drawback is Jackson only scored 4 touchdowns as a part of the lowly Ram offense.
There is hope on the horizon for Jackson and the Rams, namely number one overall pick, quarterback Sam Bradford. While nothing huge will be expected in his first season, rookie quarterbacks in today's NFL have been playing pretty well as of late and anything is better than the quarterback play for the Rams of 2009.
Where the Rams need to improve the most to see Jackson succeed will be the play of the offensive line. The Rams are banking on last season's second-overall-pick tackle Rodger Saffold and the first-pick of the 2014 second-round, tackle Jason Smith, to spearhead a new offensive line for the young Rams.
With a young QB like Bradford the Rams will lean on Jackson as much as possible, in both the running game and the passing game and that should result in a big year for Steven Jackson, though touchdowns may still be hard to come by.

2009 Statistics: 1,416 Yds - 4 TD's - 51 Rec - 322 Yds - 0 TD's

2010 Projection: 1,463 Yds - 8 TD's - 52 Rec - 417 Yds - 1 TD

 

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