It may be another two or three months away but with the NFL Draft now over with; fantasy football plans can go into full swing. The draft produced some interesting candidates that are draft worthy and some are even worth considering earlier than expected. Here is a look at five rookies not named Johnny Manziel that should be given draft consideration for the 2014 season.
Sammy Watkins- Buffalo Bills
Buffalo has opened up the job for Watkins as the No. 1 receiver for E.J. Manuel with their trade of Stevie Johnson. While the Bills do need more weapons outside of Watkins and C.J. Spiller, the rookie wide receiver is going to get plenty of chances to make an impact this season. He could easily slide into a WR3 position or better this season. He may not be depended on especially early on as he learns the NFL game but is still someone that should be selected.
Bishop Sankey- Tennessee Titans
If a fantasy owner wants to roll the dice on a rookie running back this season, it has to be Sankey. He is likely going to have the starting job when the season begins and any starting running back is worth drafting even as high as the sixth or seventh round. While his stock may not be the highest to start with especially with having Jake Locker as his quarterback, Sankey is still someone that must be taken for a flex position or even a RB2 in the later rounds of the draft.
Mike Evans- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Evans will be on the opposite side of the field from Vincent Jackson and becomes a piece to a fantasy team that is quite important. A lot of attention is going to get paid to what Jackson is up to and if Doug Martin returns to form in the running game, Evans is going to see a lot of passes thrown his way. He has low-end WR3 or flex value going into the 2014 season but that could easily change if he can gain a rapport with whoever Tampa throws out there at quarterback.
Eric Ebron- Detroit Lions
The Detroit passing game is going to be a beast to deal with this coming season and any and all Lions pass catchers must be selected. Ebron is a great talent who is an upgrade from Brandon Pettigrew in the Motor City. He is going to get plenty of attention from Matthew Stafford down the middle of the field and if he can keep his ego in check, he is a potential starting fantasy tight end by the end of the season. It would be best to draft him and give him a couple weeks before starting.
Marqise Lee- Jacksonville Jaguars
It is a tough situation for Lee being in Jacksonville but with Justin Blackmon likely out of the season due to his drug suspension, Lee has an increased role in the Jaguars offense. He is likely going to start from day one and that puts him into a position where he could get drafted to be a third wide receiver or a flex option on a week to week basis. This is a pick that is only made if an owner trusts that Lee is going to have the chance to get 60-70 catches this season.
Those are just five players worth drafting. If owners are thinking about Manziel, the key would be whether or not he actually starts for the Browns from Week 1. If he does, he is worth taking a flier on. Otherwise, he probably isn’t worth picking unless it is a 14 or 16-team league and picking up free agents is a major problem.