Ranking The Top Tier Running Backs For 2014

Ranking The Top Tier Running Backs For 2014

by Jesse Dameon

Anyone who plays fantasy football can tell you that it all starts with having a very solid running game. As we get ready for the 2014 season, there appears to be a top-tier of talent at the position. A total of 6 running backs should be locks for the 1st round in any league. Here is a short preview of what to expect out of each in the upcoming season.

 

Adrian Peterson

We are closing in on the and of Peterson’s prime, but he should still be the most consistent running back in fantasy football this year. He has battled some injuries in the last few seasons, and missing 2 games down the stretch last year certainly left a sour taste. However, he has an entire offense built around him, and that counts for something. He might not have his best season ever in 2014, but he is a safe pick at number 1.

 

Jamaal Charles

The reigning fantasy football champion at running back will be ready for another great season in 2014. The biggest reason why he is kept out of the top spot is because it is going to be very difficult for him to score 19 touchdowns again. He is able to have success mainly because of his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. He was targeted over 100 times last year, and that makes up for is sometimes lacking running totals. Feel confident that he is a top 3 option for sure, and taking a number 1 overall is not a reach.

 

LeSean McCoy

Realistically, McCoy is one of only 3 players (the others listed above) who have a shot at going number 1 overall in fantasy football. He was able to revitalize his career thanks to Chip Kelly being in town. He easily won the rushing title last year in the NFL, and he has a very good shot of doing it again in 2014. Adding Darren Sproles to the mix will probably hurt his receiving numbers, but Philadelphia runs a lot plays throughout the game. He will have opportunities to succeed.

 

Matt Forte

It was a very successful 2013 season for Forte, as he was able to do a lot of things for the Chicago Bears. The most promising statistic in 2013 was the fact that he finally found a way to score on a consistent basis. He was able to find the end zone 12 times, and that made him a very valuable piece in fantasy football. Chicago’s offense is not going to be slowing down anytime soon, so expect him to be a very consistent threat all year long.

 

Eddie Lacy

Lacy was dangerous as a rookie, and he had to play quite a few games without Aaron Rodgers by his side. With those 2 players teaming up, there is a chance that both could really take off in fantasy football. He is a big running back at 230 pounds, but he has the ability to show finesse as well. Durability was thought to be an issue early on in his career, but after a concussion scare, he was able to stay on the field consistently.

 

Marshawn Lynch

Call this a Super Bowl hangover if you will, but Lynch is the most vulnerable of the top 6 running backs in the NFL as far as fantasy football is concerned. He has been very dependable in the past, but his age and the wear and tear on his body might be too much this upcoming year. Seattle is also hoping to work in some different options at running back to take the workload off of him. He is still going to be solid and worthy of a 1st round pick, but he will be the weakest link out of these guys.

 

by Jesse Dameon

 

Visit fanduel.com for fantasy sports leagues all year round.

https://www.fanduel.com/fantasy-football

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Final 2014 NFL Mock Draft

 

Final NFL Mock Draft

May 8th

1. Houston- Jadeveon Clowney DE South Carolina

2. St. Louis*- Greg Robinson OT Auburn

3. Jacksonville- Khalil Mack OLB Buffalo

4. Cleveland- Sammy Watkins WR Clemson

5. Oakland- Mike Evans WR Texas A&M

6. Atlanta- Jake Matthews OT Texas A&M

7. Tampa Bay- Taylor Lewan OT Michigan

8. Minnesota- Johnny Manziel QB Texas A&M

9. Buffalo- Eric Ebron TE North Carolina

10. Detroit- Justin Gilbert CB Oklahoma State

11. Tennessee- Ha Ha Clinton-Dix FS Alabama

12. NY Giants- Zack Martin OG Notre Dame

13. St. Louis- Aaron Donald DT Pittsburgh

14. Chicago- Calvin Pryor FS Louisville

15. Pittsburgh- Odell Beckham Jr WR LSU

16. Dallas- Anthony Barr OLB UCLA

17. Baltimore- C.J. Mosley OLB Alabama

18. NY Jets- Marqise Lee WR USC

19. Miami- Cyrus Kouandjio OT Alabama

20. Arizona- Blake Bortles QB UCF

21. Green Bay- Ryan Shazier OLB Ohio State

22. Philadelphia- Darqueze Dennard CB Michigan State

23. Kansas City- Kelvin Benjamin WR Florida State

24. Cincinnati- Bradley Roby CB Ohio State

25. San Diego- Jason Verrett CB TCU

26. Cleveland^- Teddy Bridgewater QB Louisville

27. New Orleans- Kony Ealy DE Missouri

28. Carolina- Cameron Erving OT Florida State

29. New England- Xavier Su’a-Filo OG UCLA

30. San Francisco- Dee Ford DE Auburn

31. Denver- Ifo Ekpre-Olomu CB Oregon

32. Seattle- Davante Adams WR Fresno State

*- From Washington

^- From Indianapolis

 

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2014 NFL Mock Draft 4.0

 

NFL Mock Draft 4.0

April 30th

1. Houston- Jadeveon Clowney DE South Carolina

2. St. Louis*- Greg Robinson OT Auburn

3. Jacksonville- Johnny Manziel QB Texas A&M

4. Cleveland- Sammy Watkins WR Clemson

5. Oakland- Jake Matthews OT Texas A&M

6. Atlanta- Taylor Lewan OT Michigan

7. Tampa Bay- Mike Evans WR Texas A&M

8. Minnesota- Khalil Mack OLB Buffalo

9. Buffalo- Eric Ebron TE North Carolina

10. Detroit- Ha Ha Clinton-Dix FS Alabama

11. Tennessee- Teddy Bridgewater QB Louisville

12. NY Giants- C.J. Mosley OLB Alabama

13. St. Louis- Calvin Pryor FS Louisville

14. Chicago- Aaron Donald DT Pittsburgh

15. Pittsburgh- Justin Gilbert CB Oklahoma State

16. Dallas- Timmy Jernigan DT Florida State

17. Baltimore- Zack Martin OG Notre Dame

18. NY Jets- Marqise Lee WR USC

19. Miami- Cyrus Kouandjio OT Alabama

20. Arizona- David Yankey OG Stanford

21. Green Bay- Anthony Barr OLB UCLA

22. Philadelphia- Kelvin Benjamin WR Florida State

23. Kansas City- Jarvis Landry WR LSU

24. Cincinnati- Ifo Ekpre-Olomu CB Oregon

25. San Diego- Kyle Fuller CB Virginia Tech

26. Cleveland^- Blake Bortles QB UCF

27. New Orleans- Dee Ford DE Auburn

28. Carolina- Jordan Matthews WR Vanderbilt

29. New England- Ra’Shede Hageman DT Minnesota

30. San Francisco- Brandin Cooks WR Oregon State

31. Denver- Xavier Su’a-Filo OG UCLA

32. Seattle- Cameron Erving OT Florida State

*- From Washington

^- From Indianapolis

 

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2014 NFL Mock Draft 3.0

 

NFL Mock Draft 3.0

April 16th

1. Houston- Jadeveon Clowney DE South Carolina

2. St. Louis*- Jake Matthews OT Texas A&M

3. Jacksonville- Johnny Manziel QB Texas A&M

4. Cleveland- Teddy Bridgewater QB Louisville

5. Oakland- Sammy Watkins WR Clemson

6. Atlanta- Greg Robinson OT Auburn

7. Tampa Bay- Mike Evans WR Texas A&M

8. Minnesota- Blake Bortles QB UCF

9. Buffalo- Khalil Mack OLB Buffalo

10. Detroit- Justin Gilbert CB Oklahoma State

11. Tennessee- Anthony Barr OLB UCLA

12. NY Giants- Taylor Lewan OT Michigan

13. St. Louis- Ha Ha Clinton-Dix FS Alabama

14. Chicago- Timmy Jernigan DT Florida State

15. Pittsburgh- Darqueze Dennard CB Michigan State

16. Dallas- Kony Ealy DE Missouri

17. Baltimore- Calvin Pryor FS Louisville

18. NY Jets- Marqise Lee WR USC

19. Miami- Zack Martin OG Notre Dame

20. Arizona- David Yankey OG Stanford

21. Green Bay- Eric Ebron TE North Carolina

22. Philadelphia- C.J. Mosley OLB Alabama

23. Kansas City- Jarvis Landry WR LSU

24. Cincinnati- Dee Ford DE Auburn

25. San Diego- Bradley Roby CB Ohio State

26. Cleveland^- Xavier Su’a-Filo OG UCLA

27. New Orleans- Cameron Erving OT Florida State

28. Carolina- Brandin Cooks WR Oregon State

29. New England- Ra’Shede Hageman DT Minnesota

30. San Francisco- Ifo Ekpre-Olomu CB Oregon

31. Denver- Cyrus Kouandjio OT Alabama

32. Seattle- Louis Nix DT Notre Dame

*- From Washington

^- From Indianapolis

 

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2014 NFL Mock Draft 2.0

 

Mock NFL Draft 2.0

March 27th

1. Houston- Blake Bortles QB UCF

2. St. Louis*- Jadeveon Clowney DE South Carolina

3. Jacksonville- Greg Robinson OT Auburn

4. Cleveland- Johnny Manziel QB Texas A&M

5. Oakland- Sammy Watkins WR Clemson

6. Atlanta- Khalil Mack OLB Buffalo

7. Tampa Bay- Jake Matthews OT Texas A&M

8. Minnesota- Teddy Bridgewater QB Louisville

9. Buffalo- Mike Evans WR Texas A&M

10. Detroit- Justin Gilbert CB Oklahoma State

11. Tennessee- Anthony Barr OLB UCLA

12. NY Giants- Taylor Lewan OT Michigan

13. St. Louis- Ha Ha Clinton-Dix FS Alabama

14. Chicago- Timmy Jernigan DT Florida State

15. Pittsburgh- Darqueze Dennard CB Michigan State

16. Dallas- Kony Ealy DE Missouri

17. Baltimore- Cyrus Kouandjio OT Alabama

18. NY Jets- Marqise Lee WR USC

19. Miami- Zack Martin OG Notre Dame

20. Arizona- David Yankey OG Stanford

21. Green Bay- Eric Ebron TE North Carolina

22. Philadelphia- Bradley Roby CB Ohio State

23. Kansas City- Jarvis Landry WR LSU

24. Cincinnati- Calvin Pryor FS Louisville

25. San Diego- Louis Nix DT Notre Dame

26. Cleveland^- Ifo Ekpre-Olomu CB Oregon

27. New Orleans- Dee Ford DE Auburn

28. Carolina- Kelvin Benjamin WR Florida State

29. New England- Stephon Tuitt DE Notre Dame

30. San Francisco- Davante Adams WR Fresno State

31. Denver- C.J. Mosley OLB Alabama

32. Seattle- Xavier Su’a-Filo OG UCLA

*- From Washington

^- From Indianapolis

 

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2014 Daytona 500 Preview

daytona500_2014

The shortest offseason in sports comes to a close as on sunday we start the 2014 NASCAR season with the running of the great american race, the Daytona 500. The super bowl of stock car racing gets the season underway sunday, and just like any restrictor plate races, its very unpredictable. So here is five drivers who have the best chance of winning sunday and three drivers who could surprise a lot of people.

Expect To Win

Matt Kenseth, 20 Home Depot/Dollar General Toyota- Joe Gibbs Racing

Last season Kenseth had arguably his best complete season in his career, winning a career high 7 races in 2013. The only thing he couldn’t win was a championship. He hopes to have similar success in 2014 starting with the Daytona 500. In last years 500, Kenseth looked to have the car to beat until his engine blew, resulting in a DNF. Matt already has one win in this Speedweeks in the duel races, so Matt will have one of the cars to beat in the 500.

Kevin Harvick, 4 Budweiser Chevy- Stewart/HAAS Racing

Harvick’s runner up finish in his duel race may have been disqualified due to his car not meeting the right measurements in post race inspection, but that doesn’t mean that car wont be just as fast on sunday. Harvick is making his first start in the 500 for his new team at Stewart/HAAS Racing and has been fast all through Speedweeks so he will move up through the pack with relative ease. Also Harvick has been known to just show up at the front towards the end of any race at Daytona.

Kurt Busch, 41 HAAS Automation Chevy- Stewart/HAAS Racing

Running for his 4th different team in four years, this may be Kurt’s best chance of returning to championship form. The former series champ now has his best equipment in years and is has shown this week, finishing third in his duel and starting 8th. This could be Kurt’s best and last real chance to capture the great american race.

Denny Hamlin, 11 FedEx Toyota- Joe Gibbs Racing

After a rough 2013 season which for a good amount of it had Denny in a hospital for a collapsed vertebra, Hamlin has started this season the best way possible, winning the Sprint Unlimited and his duel race. Hamlin and the rest of the Joe Gibbs cars have been fast all week so most likely one of them could find themselves in victory lane on sunday. Hamlin can complete the Daytona trifecta with a 500 win.

Jimmie Johnson, 48 Lowe’s Chevy- Hendrick Motorsports

Last years series and 500 champion is a threat everywhere he goes and even with a back up car for this years 500, Johnson should be competitive as always. As long as Johnson can avoid the big one and stay alive till the end he will be a threat for another Daytona 500 championship to add to his already impressive resume.

Jimmie-Johnson-Miss-Sprint-Cups-Daytona-500-win-NASCAR

Surprise Drivers

Austin Dillon, 3 DOW Chevy- Richard Childress Racing

Dillon already has a ridiculous amount of pressure on him, taking over the legendary number 3 car for his grandfather Richard Childress. But now after winning the pole for the 500 it adds more on the young driver. He has the talent and the equipment to win and the media explosion that would happen if Austin could take the number 3 back to victory lane at Daytona would make any NASCAR fan happy.

Danica Patrick, 10 GoDaddy.com Chevy- Stewart/HAAS Racing

Speaking of possible stories that could rock the NASCAR world, imagine if Danica won the biggest race of the year. Well crazy things can happen at Daytona and all it takes is to be in the right place at the right time for a driver to get the biggest win of their lives. Danica has good equipment and with past Daytona 500 and Sprint Cup Champions around her in Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick, she has as good a chance as any to become the first women to win the 500.

Brian Scott, 33 Whitetail Chevy- Richard Childress Racing

OK so this one may be a bit far out but this team has been fast all week. Finishing 5th in his duel race and qualifying 12th for the 500 shows that Scott can race in his 33 Richard Childress Chevy. Hey crazier things have happened.

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Farewell Captain

derek-jeter-new-york-yankees

I knew this day was coming, but I still wasn’t prepared.

On Wednesday, the captain of the New York Yankees Derek Jeter announced that the 2014 season would be his final, ending one of the greatest careers in MLB history. The face of the Yankees for almost two decades will walk away from the game he loves and will be the final player from the World Series dynasty still playing, cutting all ties from the Yankees golden years. For me its the final connection to the Yankees I grew up with.

Growing up in the 90’s, Derek Jeter was the Yankees for me. Watching him along with Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte, creating what would come to be known as the “Core Four”, they became synonymous with championships for me. Winning 4 championships out of 5 years and making it back to the fall classic in 2001 and 2003 set a early example in all of their young careers making them young leaders on the Yankees. But even with older players and conflicting egos over the years, everyone knew that Jeter was their leader. He just had that aurora around him from day one. The type of player everyone he competed with and against had to respect and work towards becoming like. A constant professional. And he had the toughest market to play in wrapped around his finger.

Looking on my Facebook timeline and my Twitter feed on Wednesday, all I could see was my friends and family paying tribute to Jeter by bringing up old stories and moments of his that they hold dear to there hearts. Most of them are around the ages of 20-30 so we don’t know the Yankees without Derek Jeter. We all grew up idolizing Derek, wanting to wear the number 2 in little league and play shortstop just like him. He taught us to play the game he loved the right way when others cheated and lied their way to the top.

jeter1

One of the most impressive things about Derek Jeter to me is how he never let his ego get too out of control and never got into any controversy or trouble. Especially when some of his teammates are Alex Rodriguez, Roger Clemens, and Jason Giambi. He has always been viewed as the face of baseball the way it should be played. Every game, every at bat he would give 100%, always hustling to first base whether it is into the gap in left center or a short dribbler to third.

Derek will go into the hall with one of the more impressive resumes in MLB history. He’s a five time World Series champion, winning the World Series MVP in 2000, a 13 time All-Star. He’s also won the Silver Slugger Award five times, the Gold Glove Award five times, and the Hank Aaron Award twice. He won the AL Rookie of the Year in 1996 and the Roberto Clemente Award in 2009. He is the all time leader for hits at the shortstop position in MLB history, he is the Yankees’ all-time career leader in hits (3,316), games played (2,602), stolen bases (348), and at bats (10,614). He also is the only Yankee to reach the 3,000 hit club and was the Yankees 14th captain in their storied history. Quite the career indeed.

As productive as he was on the field, he was just as an impact off the field serving as one of the best ambassadors for the game during the Steroid era, arguably one of the darkest periods in any professional sport in some time. Serving as the face of baseball for years and one of the few consistently great players who remained clean during the games ramped drug abuse among players. Jeter created the Turn 2 Foundation, a charitable organization, in 1996, to help children and teenagers avoid drug and alcohol addiction.

Derek Jeter has been my favorite player for as long as I’ve watched baseball. Watching him and the Yankees play in the playoffs year after year, racking up championships and making mesmerizing plays seemingly every game has been a privilege for me. For not just Yankee fans but for all baseball fans, make sure you really watch every at bat, every across the body jump throw, every moment Derek gives us this year and fully enjoy it because we only have a small number of them left.

derek-jeter-dive-into-stands

Moments like his walk off home run in game 4 of the 2001 World Series against Arizona crowning him “Mr. November”, or like the flip play against Oakland in the 2001 ALDS, or Derek diving into the crowd to catch a foul ball against Boston. Derek has given millions of baseball fans countless memories they can take with them the rest of their lives and showed us how the game of baseball was suppose to be played.

Simply put, Derek Jeter is everything a Yankee and a ball player should be.

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