Top 10 Underrated NFL Fantasy Football Picks To Watch For In Your 2014-15 Draft or League
Top 3 Underrated 2014-15 NFL Fantasy Football Quarterbacks:
1 Matthew Stafford, Quarterback, Detroit Lions
With Calvin Johnson at your play calling finger tips and Reggie Bush by your side it is often easy to get overlooked in fantasy football and Matthew Stafford, quarterback, of the Detroit Lions often does. Having unlimited offensive weapons with superstar moves is not a bad thing for a starting quarterback in the NFL however and it is what makes Stafford such a dangerous threat on the stats sheets this fantasy football season. While New head coach Jim Caldwell's offense may not be as pass prone as the high powered schemes deployed for Stafford by ex-coach Jim Schwartz, the addition of Golden Tate, whose 31 yards per vertical reception ranked second among WRs last year could more then make up for a small loss in volume. Look for Stafford to start filling the expectations of his huge new contract and throw for as much or more then last years 4,650 yard total.
2 Nick Foles, Quarterback, Philadelphia Eagles
Sure DeSean Jackson may now be gone to the Washington Redskins but that should not deter quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles Nick Foles, running back LeSean McCoy and coach Chip Kelly's high paced offense from putting up big numbers. Despite mostly being in the shadow of Michael Vick last year, a pulled hammy by Vick on Oct. 6, opened the gateway for Foles to start. In surprising form Foles would go on to lead the NFL in fantasy points from Weeks 9 to 17. With the return of Jeremy Maclin this year this is one starter who may not be on many minds but does have the tools to get the job done. After showcasing a 64% pass completion percentage last year it is clear the potential is there to put up another surprise batch of numbers if given the playing time.
3 Matt Ryan, Quarterback, Atlanta Falcons
After getting sacked and NFC worst 44 times last year it is easy to see why Matt Ryan, Quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons is not on a lot of fantasy football hot lists. On top of having an offensive line filled with holes the once prominent Falcons quarterback also lost his star passing target in Julio Jones for most of last year due to injury. Despite the tough times, a healthy Roddy White and Julio Jones in the 2013-14 season combined with new edition Devin Hester may just be what Ryan needs to turn his fantasy value around. Ryan was ranked seventh with 12.3 vertical yards per attempt and 14th in overall fantasy points among quarterbacks last year even with all the issues so a huge turn around is always just a few fixes away. Only missing two games in his past six NFL seasons you can be sure the consistency and durability will be there to set the foundation for the collection of fantasy points.
Top 3 Underrated 2014-15 NFL Fantasy Football Running Backs:
1 Doug Martin, Running Back, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
As Charles Sims and Mike James deal with injuries it might be prime time for Doug Martin, the running back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to get back to his old mesmerizing ways. Even though Martin had an amazing 2012 season, that saw the rookie tied for second in fantasy points among running backs, he could not keep the momentum going last year. Working for most of the year through a shoulder labrum tear in Week 7 the expected numbers just never came to fruition for the versatile and talented combo back. It is also well known that Lovie Smith leans strongly towards the ground game and a more conservative offense which could allow Martin to get back to his offensive ways of old. A back with both size and speed makes the run and the catch always in the realm of possibility for this feisty runner creating a great underrated fantasy football threat.
2 Montee Ball, Running Back, Denver Broncos
When Peyton Manning is on your team it is hard to get any shine and this is no different for Montee Ball, running back, of the Denver Broncos. Also playing behind the limelight of guys like Knowshon Moreno, Wes Welker, Julius Thomas and Demaryius Thomas never makes it easy for a Rookie to get there proper share of the credit. Now with star running back Knowshon Moreno gone and Ball's blocking skills improving the future is looking brighter and brighter for the multi talented young running back. Not registering on many fantasy football radars this off season due to an appendectomy keeping him out it is still unknown how many will buy into his new more focused starting role. Carrying for an explosive offensive known for lots of passes to all positions, goal-line carries and fast moving touches does have its perks so who knows what will be in store for this all around football threat.
3 Toby Gerhart, Running Back, Jacksonville Jaguars
Writing in names like Jordan Todman, Denard Robinson and rookie Storm Johnson on the backfield backups roster list makes unhealrded Toby Gerhart, running back, of the Jacksonville Jaguars look enticing. An accomplished pass blocker and a bruising yet agile 230+ pound running force Gerhart should see a fair amount of the workload this year for the Jaguars. With Chad Henne at the helm the Jaguars may look to the run game more to account for the lack of offense and one that struggles to find the red zone. Due to the lack of experience at running back for the Jaguars this year some are estimating Gerhart's carries might reach as high as 20+ per game making him a tantalizingly option due to his pricing value and lack of popularity. If rookie Blake Bortles has to take over in the pocket this might shift the focus even more to the running back position adding greater value to this potentially overlooked play.
Top 3 Underrated 2014-15 NFL Fantasy Football Wide Receivers:
1 Jeremy Maclin, Wide Receiver, Philadelphia Eagles
Tearing an ACL last season Jeremy Maclin, wide receiver of the Philadelphia Eagles is a name often forgotten by those looking over last years continued prospects. If Maclin stays healthy this year he is sure to be a number one target in the Chip Kelly run, Nick Foles lead express super speed offense. Now that DeSean Jackson has taken off to the Washington Redskins, the field is now open for guys like Riley Cooper and Maclin to take over the majority of the catches and offense. When Maclin is healthy he is known to put up impressive offensive stats as evidenced by his 22 vertical receptions for 540 yards and 5 TDs, in 2012 which out ranked even Desean Jackson's totals of 19 for 449 and 2 touchdowns over the same period. The Eagles 70 stretch vertical attempts in 2013 was tied for fifth most in the league so look for this often underrated offense to come alive again for the 2014-15 fantasy football season.
2 Michael Floyd, Wide Receiver, Arizona Cardinals
Never getting the same credit as counter part Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, wide receiver of the Arizona Cardinals is the often underrated and supposed second option. With numbers such as 14.6 yards per catch the last two seasons which is better than that of big names like A.J. Green, Dez Bryant and even his own more recognized teammate Larry Fitzgerald there is no reason Floyd will remain a secret for long. Last year Floyd led Arizona in vertical targets at 64, and vertical receiving yards at 762 proving he is equal if not better then the more heralded Fitzgerald. Not just a serious stat producer on his own team last year Floyd's 34 vertical receptions was tied for eighth most among all NFL wide receivers. As surprising as it sounds this may be the year Floyd stops playing second and starts to shine like he is more then capable of.
3 Cordarrelle Patterson, Wide Receiver, Minnesota Vikings
Okay maybe Cordarrelle Patterson, Wide Receiver, of the Minnesota Vikings 1.53 vertical targets per game ranked 92nd in the NFL but that was last year. If his recent three catches for 71 yards and a touchdown on five targets performance in his preseason game against the Chiefs. (Saturday Aug 23, 2014) is any indication of what is to come for the 2014-15 fantasy football season then this is one slumper and sleeper that may wind up a super star if Matt Cassel can get him the ball more frequently. Also a phenomenal kick return man and special teams player, Patterson just may be racking up fantasy football points in more then one area on the field. If this speedy wide receiver gets the touches his talents deserve there is no telling what he will be capable of. Lets hope this is his year to turn into the Vikings number one pass threat.
2014-15 NFL Fantasy Football Super Sleeper
Sammy Watkins, Wide Receiver, Buffalo Bills
Costing the Buffalo Bills a 2014 first-round picks plus a first- and fourth-round selection in 2015 Sammy Watkins, Wide Receiver of Buffalo Bills high priced gamble might very well pay off. Even though this is his first year in the league and his pro skill skills are yet to be seen or tested his collegiate numbers are almost too good to overlook. Averaging 28.3 yards per vertical pass attempt against BCS-conference competition and racking up an amazing 25 yards per passing attempt when facing a single cornerback or safety in coverage there is no estimating what his debut year will bring. Boasting a 6-1, 210+ pound frame and a 4.43, 40 yard dash speed time there is no limit to Watkins upside if he gets the looks.
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Author: Rob Holiday
My background is in business, consulting, finance and entrepreneurship