2014 NFL Draft

Updated Fantasy Football Positional Rankings, Post-Draft

Eric MackFantasy Football Lead WriterMay 11, 2014

Updated Fantasy Football Positional Rankings, Post-Draft

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    Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

    Rookies tend to be overrated in fantasy leagues, a fact which can be blamed on the television hoopla of the modern NFL draft. Casual observers buy into the hype hook, line and sinker.

    We are here now to spread some sanity and perspective. There are a lot of really good veteran football players who were well-regarded prospects years before. They're now in their prime.

    We give you updated fantasy football rankings for 2014, position-by-position, in this slideshow. You will notice rookies appear throughout, but likely a lot later than most of you initially imagined.

    If we had to give you an overall rookie ranking right now, our rankings would parse down to:

    1. RB Bishop Sankey, Tennessee Titans
    2. RB Tre Mason, St. Louis Rams
    3. QB Johnny Manziel, Cleveland Browns
    4. WR Sammy Watkins, Buffalo Bills
    5. WR Odell Beckham, New York Giants
    6. WR Brandin Cooks, New Orleans Saints
    7. WR Cody Latimer, Denver Broncos
    8. WR Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    9. TE Eric Ebron, Detroit Lions
    10. RB Terrance West, Cleveland Browns
    11. RB Andre Williams, New York Giants
    12. RB Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers
    13. WR Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina Panthers
    14. Marqise Lee, Jacksonville Jaguars
    15. QB Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings

    Don't worry, these are sure to change in the next four months.

     

Quarterbacks: Johnny Manziel a Plug and Play Starter for Browns, 2-QB Formats

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    Johnny Manziel easily wound up in the right place for his fantasy value among the drafted rookies, getting a star like Josh Gordon and a burgeoning gem of a tight end Jordan Cameron to work with. First-year quarterbacks usually don't get those kind of polished targets to work with.

    Ask Blake Bortles, the first quarterback to go off the board Thursday night at No. 4 overall.

    Coincidentally, Manziel's No. 1 target might be headed for the same fate as the Jacksonville Jaguars' Justin Blackmon, who they are not counting on to play next season, as reported by Hays Carlyon of the Florida Times-Union. It came out Friday on ESPN.com, as reported by T.J. Quinn and Don Van Natta Jr., Gordon is facing a season-long suspension for testing positive for marijuana.

    Until Gordon is officially suspended, though, we consider Manziel a starter for the Browns and two-quarterback leagues right away. Bortles barely checks into the top 35, while Teddy Bridgewater, Derek Carr and Day 3 Houston Texans quarterback selection Tom Savage are just a few clicks ahead.

     

    Early 2014 Quarterback Rankings

    1. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
    2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
    3. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
    4. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
    5. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
    6. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
    7. Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles
    8. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
    9. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers
    10. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
    11. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
    12. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
    13. Robert Griffin, Washington Redskins
    14. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals
    15. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears
    16. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
    17. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
    18. Eli Manning, New York Giants
    19. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
    20. Johnny Manziel, Cleveland Browns—ROOKIE
    21. Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins
    22. Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
    23. Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals
    24. Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams
    25. EJ Manuel, Buffalo Bills
    26. Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings—ROOKIE
    27. Jake Locker, Tennessee Titans
    28. Josh McCown, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    29. Matt Schaub, Oakland Raiders
    30. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Houston Texans
    31. Tom Savage, Houston Texans—ROOKIE
    32. Geno Smith, New York Jets
    33. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders—ROOKIE
    34. Michael Vick, New York Jets
    35. Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars—ROOKIE

Running Backs: Rookies Here Will Need Some Time to Rise in the Depth Charts

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    Running backs fell to record depths in the draft this weekend, but that won't stop us from caring more about this position's rookies than any other in fantasy. While there are some intriguing talents, none of the running backs selected can be projected to start at this point.

    Bishop Sankey and Tre Mason have the best chances to start, while arguably the No. 1 running back on the draft board, Ohio State's Carlos Hyde, will have to leapfrog Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, Marcus Lattimore and perhaps LaMichael James on the depth chart before he is even draftable in fantasy.

    Hyde's team is a running one, though, and his style fits the San Francisco 49ers' style of physical play. The same goes for new Cincinnati Bengals back Jeremy Hill and the New York Giants' Andre Williams.

     

    Early 2014 Running Back Rankings

    1. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs
    2. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles
    3. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings
    4. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks
    5. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears
    6. Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers
    7. DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys
    8. Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins
    9. Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    10. Arian Foster, Houston Texans
    11. Montee Ball, Denver Broncos
    12. C.J. Spiller, Buffalo Bills
    13. Le'Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers
    14. Zac Stacy, St. Louis Rams
    15. Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals
    16. Reggie Bush, Detroit Lions
    17. Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens
    18. Shane Vereen, New England Patriots
    19. Chris Johnson, New York Jets
    20. Knowshon Moreno, Miami Dolphins
    21. Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers
    22. Trent Richardson, Indianapolis Colts
    23. Ryan Mathews, San Diego Chargers
    24. Ben Tate, Cleveland Browns
    25. Steven Jackson, Atlanta Falcons
    26. Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots
    27. Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals
    28. Rashad Jennings, New York Giants
    29. Toby Gerhart, Jacksonville Jaguars
    30. Joique Bell, Detroit Lions
    31. Bishop Sankey, Tennessee Titans—ROOKIE
    32. Fred Jackson, Buffalo Bills
    33. Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders
    34. Maurice Jones-Drew Oakland Raiders
    35. Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins
    36. DeAngelo Williams, Carolina Panthers
    37. Tre Mason, St. Louis Rams—ROOKIE
    38. Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints
    39. Jonathan Stewart, Carolina Panthers
    40. Chris Ivory, New York Jets
    41. Darren Sproles, Philadelphia Eagles
    42. Danny Woodhead, San Diego Chargers
    43. Shonn Greene, Tennessee Titans
    44. David Wilson, New York Giants
    45. BenJarvus Green-Ellis Cincinnati Bengals
    46. Pierre Thomas, New Orleans Saints
    47. Robert Turbin, Seattle Seahawks
    48. Bernard Pierce, Baltimore Ravens
    49. Marcus Lattimore, San Francisco 49ers
    50. Vick Ballard, Indianapolis Colts
    51. Donald Brown, San Diego Chargers
    52. LeGarrette Blount, Pittsburgh Steelers
    53. Andre Brown, Houston Texans
    54. Knile Davis, Kansas City Chiefs
    55. Bilal Powell, New York Jets
    56. Roy Helu, Washington Redskins
    57. Christine Michael, Seattle Seahawks
    58. Ahmad Bradshaw, Indianapolis Colts
    59. Terrance West, Cleveland Browns—ROOKIE
    60. Andre Williams, New York Giants—ROOKIE
    61. Kendall Hunter, San Francisco 49ers
    62. Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers—ROOKIE
    63. Ronnie Hillman, Denver Broncos
    64. Daniel Thomas, Miami Dolphins
    65. Bryce Brown, Buffalo Bills
    66. Khiry Robinson, New Orleans Saints
    67. Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons—ROOKIE
    68. Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals—ROOKIE
    69. Charles Sims, Tampa Bay Buccaneers—ROOKIE
    70. Ka'Deem Carey, Chicago Bears—ROOKIE
    71. Johnathan Franklin, Green Bay Packers
    72. Jacquizz Rodgers, Atlanta Falcons
    73. James Starks, Green Bay Packers
    74. Latavius Murray, Oakland Raiders
    75. Dexter McCluster, Tennessee Titans
    76. Brandon Bolden, New England Patriots
    77. James White, New England Patriots—ROOKIE
    78. Lache Seastrunk, Washington Redskins—ROOKIE
    79. Stepfan Taylor, Arizona Cardinals
    80. C.J. Anderson, Denver Broncos
    81. Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota Vikings—ROOKIE

     

     

Wide Receivers: Proliferation of Rookies Deepens an Already Deep Pool Here

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    More than 30 wide receivers were selected this weekend in what was a remarkably deep draft for the position. There are some serious long-term talents in this class, but the shear number of rookie wideouts hearkens back to everyone's Economics 101 days.

    The law of supply and demand suggests you should not place much stock in the rookie wideouts this season, even if there are scores of potentially good ones for fantasy owners. That latter point is the very reason. You can score a comparable talent later on the cheap. There just are so many to choose from.

    Just look at last year's first wideout drafted, Tavon Austin. He ranks behind this year's No. 1 rookie Sammy Watkins...by almost 10 spots. Even if the talents aren't crap, picking rookie receivers is a crapshoot.

     

    Early 2014 Wide Receiver Rankings

    1. Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions
    2. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals
    3. Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos
    4. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys
    5. Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears
    6. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
    7. Josh Gordon, Cleveland Browns
    8. Alshon Jeffery, Chicago Bears
    9. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers
    10. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers
    11. Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers
    12. Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins
    13. Victor Cruz, New York Giants
    14. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals
    15. DeSean Jackson, Washington Redskins
    16. Michael Crabtree, San Francisco 49ers
    17. Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons
    18. Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers
    19. Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    20. Andre Johnson, Houston Texans
    21. Wes Welker, Denver Broncos
    22. Torrey Smith, Baltimore Ravens
    23. Julian Edelman, New England Patriots
    24. Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia Eagles
    25. Eric Decker, New York Jets
    26. Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints
    27. T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts
    28. Percy Harvin, Seattle Seahawks
    29. Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota Vikings
    30. Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs
    31. Michael Floyd, Arizona Cardinals
    32. Kendall Wright, Tennessee Titans
    33. Cecil Shorts, Jacksonville Jaguars
    34. Mike Wallace, Miami Dolphins
    35. Sammy Watkins, Buffalo Bills—ROOKIE
    36. Hakeem Nicks, Indianapolis Colts
    37. Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts
    38. Steve Johnson, San Francisco 49ers
    39. Emmanuel Sanders, Denver Broncos
    40. Sidney Rice, Seattle Seahawks
    41. Golden Tate, Detroit Lions
    42. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans
    43. James Jones, Oakland Raiders
    44. Tavon Austin, St. Louis Rams
    45. Danny Amendola, New England Patriots
    46. Anquan Boldin, San Francisco 49ers
    47. Steve Smith, Baltimore Ravens
    48. Terrance Williams, Dallas Cowboys
    49. Aaron Dobson, New England Patriots
    50. Odell Beckham, New York Giants—ROOKIE
    51. Rueben Randle, New York Giants
    52. Greg Jennings, Minnesota Vikings
    53. Kenny Stills, New Orleans Saints
    54. Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks
    55. Marvin Jones, Cincinnati Bengals
    56. Riley Cooper, Philadelphia Eagles
    57. Brian Hartline, Miami Dolphins
    58. Denarius Moore, Oakland Raiders
    59. Mike Williams, Buffalo Bills
    60. Brandin Cooks, New Orleans Saints—ROOKIE
    61. Cody Latimer, Denver Broncos—ROOKIE
    62. Kenbrell Thompkins, New England Patriots
    63. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers—ROOKIE
    64. Jarrett Boykin, Green Bay Packers
    65. Justin Hunter, Tennessee Titans
    66. Robert Woods, Buffalo Bills
    67. Markus Wheaton, Pittsburgh Steelers
    68. Rod Streater, Oakland Raiders
    69. Brandon LaFell, New England Patriots
    70. Andre Roberts, Washington Redskins
    71. Santonio Holmes, Free Agent
    72. Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina Panthers—ROOKIE
    73. Marqise Lee, Jacksonville Jaguars—ROOKIE
    74. Nate Washington, Tennessee Titans
    75. Kenny Britt, St. Louis Rams
    76. Marlon Brown, Baltimore Ravens
    77. Jerricho Cotchery, Carolina Panthers
    78. Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers—ROOKIE
    79. Dexter McCluster, Tennessee Titans
    80. Jeremy Kerley, New York Jets
    81. Malcom Floyd, San Diego Chargers
    82. Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia Eagles—ROOKIE
    83. Andrew Hawkins, Cleveland Browns
    84. Lance Moore, Pittsburgh Steelers
    85. Josh Huff, Philadelphia Eagles—ROOKIE
    86. Paul Richardson, Seattle Seahawks—ROOKIE
    87. Da'Rick Rogers, Indianapolis Colts
    88. Eddie Royal, San Diego Chargers
    89. Jermaine Kearse, Seattle Seahawks
    90. Mohamed Sanu, Cincinnati Bengals
    91. Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars—ROOKIE
    92. Jalen Saunders, New York Jets—ROOKIE
    93. Martavis Bryant, Pittsburgh Steelers—ROOKIE
    94. Stedman Bailey, St. Louis Rams
    95. Jacoby Jones, Baltimore Ravens

Tight Ends: Pass-Happy Offense Almost Gets Eric Ebron Among Fantasy Starters

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    Eric Ebron might have been more needed by the New England Patriots or New York Giants—two tight-end-friendly teams with TE-friendly quarterbacks—but it is hard to knock the Detroit Lions as a destination for any pass receiver. The Lions throw the ball with the best of them, ranking third behind the record-setting Denver Broncos and the old record-holders, the New Orleans Saints.

    Ebron was the clear-cut leader at the position in this draft class, and who cares if he is a horrible blocker? We certainly don't in fantasy.

     

    Early 2014 Tight End Rankings

    1. Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints
    2. Julius Thomas, Denver Broncos
    3. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
    4. Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers
    5. Jordan Cameron, Cleveland Browns
    6. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys
    7. Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers
    8. Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins
    9. Martellus Bennett, Chicago Bears
    10. Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens
    11. Coby Fleener, Indianapolis Colts
    12. Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers
    13. Jermichael Finley, Free Agent
    14. Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings
    15. Eric Ebron, Detroit Lions—ROOKIE
    16. Jared Cook, St. Louis Rams
    17. Ladarius Green, San Diego Chargers
    18. Owen Daniels, Baltimore Ravens
    19. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles
    20. Charles Clay, Miami Dolphins
    21. Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts
    22. Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers
    23. Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans
    24. Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals
    25. Andrew Quarless, Green Bay Packers
    26. Joseph Fauria, Detroit Lions
    27. Brent Celek, Philadelphia Eagles
    28. Scott Chandler, Buffalo Bills
    29. Garrett Graham, Houston Texans
    30. Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati Bengals
    31. Tim Wright, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    32. Jace Amaro, New York Jets—ROOKIE
    33. Brandon Myers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    34. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers—ROOKIE
    35. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs

Defense/Special Teams: Jadeveon Clowney Et Al Move Houston Texans into Top 10

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    The Houston Texans put their eggs in the defensive basket, clearly, going with Jadeveon Clowney at No. 1 overall and stealing projected first-round pick Louis Nix, a defensive tackle, at No. 83 overall in the third round. We move them into the top 10 defenses on the strength of those moves, while the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers stuck to their franchise staple, defense, throughout as well.

    There looks to be a lot more depth at this position, giving you even more reason to wait on picking a defense on draft day—perhaps tending to it right before you select your kicker.

     

    Early 2014 Defense/Special Teams Rankings

    1. Seattle Seahawks 
    2. San Francisco 49ers 
    3. Carolina Panthers 
    4. Denver Broncos 
    5. Cincinnati Bengals 
    6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 
    7. St. Louis Rams 
    8. Arizona Cardinals 
    9. Kansas City Chiefs 
    10. Houston Texans 
    11. New England Patriots 
    12. Baltimore Ravens 
    13. New York Jets 
    14. New Orleans Saints 
    15. Pittsburgh Steelers 
    16. Green Bay Packers 
    17. New York Giants 
    18. Cleveland Browns 
    19. Buffalo Bills 
    20. Miami Dolphins

Kickers: Detroit Lions' Nate Freese Has a Chance to Make Rookie Impact

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    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    Kickers are worthless enough in fantasy football. Rookie kickers tend to be even less important.

    But, put an accurate kicker like Boston College's Nate Freese on a team that plays in a dome and lights up the scoreboard, well, we might just have something in fantasy there. We would select Freese over the likes of long-time fantasy fave Sebastian Janikowski, because that Oakland Raiders offense is still pitiful.

     

    Early 2014 Kicker Rankings

    1. Stephen Gostkowski, New England Patriots
    2. Matt Prater, Denver Broncos
    3. Steven Hauschka, Seattle Seahawks
    4. Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens
    5. Phil Dawson, San Francisco 49ers
    6. Mason Crosby, Green Bay Packers
    7. Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis Colts
    8. Matt Bryant, Atlanta Falcons
    9. Alex Henery, Philadelphia Eagles
    10. Dan Bailey, Dallas Cowboys
    11. Shayne Graham, New Orleans Saints
    12. Blair Walsh, Minnesota Vikings
    13. Greg Zuerlein, St. Louis Rams
    14. Ryan Succop, Kansas City Chiefs
    15. Robbie Gould, Chicago Bears
    16. Nick Novak, San Diego Chargers
    17. Nick Folk, New York Jets
    18. Mike Nugent, Cincinnati Bengals
    19. Caleb Sturgis, Miami Dolphins
    20. Nate Freese, Detroit Lions—ROOKIE

    Eric Mack, one of the giants among fantasy writers, was the Fantasy Football Lead Writer for Bleacher Report this past season. He is now an NFL featured writer here. Follow him on Twitter, where you can ask him endless questions about your team, rip him for his content and even challenge him to a head-to-head fantasy game.

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