Mock draft thoughts for 2014
By Steve Schwarz, Fantasy Sports Editor
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - We are just a few days removed from the Seattle Seahawks' dismantling of the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII and while most fantasy owners are thinking about baseball and spring, I'm going to jump ahead and put together 10 mock draft thoughts for 2014.
So without further delay, here are my first impressions of 2014:
1) Peyton Manning, Denver - Manning will be grossly over-drafted in 2014 (fantasyfootballcalculator.com ADP 9.2). After posting a record 55 touchdowns and 5,477 passing yards, fantasy owners will be too quick on the trigger. Tom Brady passed for 50 touchdowns in 2007, but he hasn't cracked the 40-touchdown mark since then. Manning threw for 49 in 2004, but he didn't pass for more than 37 touchdowns for seven seasons until this fall.
2) Nick Foles, Philadelphia - Like Manning, fantasy owners will be blinded by last season and pick Foles well ahead of where he should go (ADP 46.9). Yes, he did throw 27 touchdowns passes against just two interceptions and led the league in QB rating (119.2), but he's going before Matthew Stafford, Andrew Luck, Matt Ryan and Brady. That's just wrong.
3) Russell Wilson, Seattle - Wilson is a Super Bowl-winning quarterback and name recognition alone will cause him to be drafted too high. Remember, the Seahawks are a run-first offense and Wilson threw for just 3,357 yards and 26 touchdowns last season.
4) Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay - If you simply look at the numbers (2,536 yards, 17 touchdowns) you may accidentally skip the Packers' QB in the first two rounds, and that could be a fatal mistake. Rodgers (ADP 21.9) played just nine games last season due to a broken collarbone. He's still a fantasy superstar,
5) Ryan Mathews, San Diego - Mathews had been a disappointment to fantasy owners for so long - three years - that you may not have noticed he was a stud down the stretch in 2013. Over the final 11 games, he rushed for 1,021 yards and six touchdowns. At No. 36, he'll likely outplay the guys being chosen just in front of him - Ray Rice, Knowshon Moreno and C.J. Spiller.
6) Zac Stacy, St. Louis - Stacy emerged from an ugly RBBC situation to become the future of the Rams' running game. Don't be fooled by his less than 1,000 yards rushing as he didn't take over the primary role until Game 6. Extrapolated to a 16-game season, he should be worth close to 1,500 yards from scrimmage next season.
7) Josh Gordon, Cleveland - Gordon is the real deal. He led the league with 1,646 receiving yards despite missing the first two games due to suspension. Watch the Browns QB situation carefully, and if they appear to get it straightened out, he should once again be a top-three fantasy receiver.
8) Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh - Fantasy owners will all think Calvin Johnson, Demaryius Thomas, A.J. Green and Gordon first, but Brown has the numbers to rival all of them. He posted 1,499 yards and eight touchdowns last season in spite of a mediocre season from Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers' offensive line. With not much quality on the other side, Brown (ADP 26) should continue to improve in 2014.
9) Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis - Before the knee injury, Wayne was on pace for close to 90 receptions and 1,200 yards. The emergence of T.Y. Hilton could eat into some of that, but Wayne still figures to be a 1,000-yard receiver being drafted in the middle of the seventh round (ADP 78.1). You can be sure Luck won't forget him, and with safeties worried about Hilton going over the top, Wayne should be a in for another solid season.
10) Seattle defense - The Seahawks defense was No. 1 in fantasy last season and is being selected No. 1 again with an ADP of 86.3. That's two rounds ahead of San Francisco (104.1) and Carolina (109.7), and it's probably too high even for the defending champions. Don't reach.
02/06 12:24:45 ET