There is still some time before the 2014 fantasy football season arrives but there is no reason not to think about what to expect this year. There are certain players that should go up on draft boards and others that go to the Do Not Draft list. Some players that were thought to be taken earlier probably shouldn't either because of a few different factors. Here are five early tips for fantasy owners with a couple months to go until fantasy football drafts arrive.
- Temper Expectations On Peyton Manning
This may sound like the worst possible thing out there after his 55 touchdown season a year ago but the key to this is the schedule. The Broncos face the NFC West this season which means games at Seattle and St. Louis to go with San Francisco and Arizona. Denver in total faces the No. 1, 3, 5, 6, 9 and 11 defenses from the 2013 season in 2014. While he is still the No. 1 quarterback on the board, it would be wise to think carefully about how high to take him.
- Reach To Get Matthew Stafford
The weapons around Stafford in 2014 are off the charts. He will still have Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush around but the additions of Golden Tate and Eric Ebron send Stafford to a whole different level. He has thrown for over 4,600 yards each of the last three seasons and it is likely he will top the 5,000-yard mark again in 2014. He is going to get taken in the sixth or seventh round in most drafts but needs to be taken shortly after Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees in the fourth or fifth round.
- Andre Ellington Is Key Sleeper
Ellington was the backup running back for the Arizona Cardinals last season but Coach Bruce Arians has already said that Ellington will have an expanded role in the offense in 2014. He may have rushed for just 652 yards and had 39 catches last year but those numbers could double this coming year. He is a player that must be selected as a RB2 in a worst case scenario. Ellington could even be a top running back for some fantasy teams. He is going to go off the board before the third round is over.
- Pay Attention Some To Playoff Week Games
There needs to be some attention paid to the games in Weeks 14, 15 and 16 when the fantasy playoffs are played. The two teams to watch are the Carolina Panthers who have two home games and a dome contest in New Orleans and the Chicago Bears, who will play at home all three weeks of the playoffs. The weather could be a factor in Chicago but their offense is one that owners are going to want to take in bunches and the home contests could be the key to victory.
- Keep A Close Eye On Josh Gordon Situation
It is hard to discount what Gordon did last season for the Cleveland Browns with 87 catches and 1,646 receiving yards in just 14 games last season. His possible drug suspension though has to put a damper on his fantasy value. He could be suspended all season but if he isn’t, he has the potential to be a WR1 from the point he gets on the field. This is something that all fantasy owners must watch. He is a classic boom/bust candidate if taken too high in a draft this fall.
Those are just five early tips to consider. These tips will likely help out when the time comes for the actual fantasy draft arrives in August. There will be other tips and advice coming as the season draws closer.