Fantasy Football: 6 Quarterbacks to Keep an Eye on in 2014
Fantasy Football: 6 Quarterbacks to Keep an Eye on in 2014
The 2013 fantasy football season gave us some great moments to watch! During this season, we saw a 37-year-old quarterback break the single-season passing touchdown record, which helped many fantasy managers win their leagues this season. We also saw players like Mike Vick take a step back out of fantasy relevance for yet another season.
In my next segment looking back on the 2013 fantasy football season, it is time to look forward to the 2014 season! I know, many of you are still upset about how the end of this year’s fantasy season ended for you. Well, after you stop feeling bad or good for the season you had, it is time to get ready for next season. Yes, it is never too early to prepare for the next fantasy football season.
While we are looking forward to next year, one of the most important positions we have to explore is the quarterback position. This is one of those areas that teams can improve themselves while drafting players that are not Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers or Peyton Manning.
To help all owners out, here are six quarterbacks that you all need to really keep a close eye on going into the 2014 fantasy football season. These players, I feel, will not only be great players for you in the 2014 season, but these players will be great players down the road, especially for managers in keeper leagues.
Without further ado, here are the quarterbacks that you really need to pay attention to in the 2014 season. Yes, as I said before, this is early, but you will thank me later!
6. Kirk Cousins
When you look at a team and players at the beginning of the season, you always have to look at how good the team is and who are the players that are the starters in front of them. In the case of Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins, he was sitting behind one of the most electric quarterbacks in the NFL last season and that would be Robert Griffin III. There were some questions at the beginning of the season if RG III would start, however, everyone knew once he was ready to go that RG III would be the man in Washington and Cousins would simply be the backup. Things took a very good turn for Cousins at the end of the season when the team decided to shutdown RG III. All this did was allow Cousins to show the league and Redskins what he could do. If I am a fantasy manager looking to get a sneaky play next season at quarterback, Cousins is definitely one of the guys I am keeping an eye on this offseason.
5. Jake Locker
Injuries could be a good or bad thing for your fantasy football team. Jake Locker and his fantasy owners were badly hurt by his injury in 2013. Locker was having a breakout season for the Tennessee Titans until he went down with a season-ending injury. For five of the seven games Locker played, he scored a touchdown either rushing or throwing the football. The weapons that the Titans have around Locker are young, such as wide receiver Kendall Wright. If Locker can work with these players after he is healed in the offseason, I can see Locker becoming a solid quarterback similar to that ofTony Romo, but hopefully not in a choke-like manner, like Romo does for his teams when it matters the most.
4. Alex Smith
If you are a person that believes in second chances, then the story of Alex Smith is one that you have to love. Smith has had quite a ride in his NFL career. He went from being thought of as a bust, to glory and getting injured and watching Colin Kaepernick take his team to the Super Bowl. Everyone thought that he was done, however, Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs took a chance on him and he has paid off for them as well as his fantasy owners. Smith may not have the strongest arm in the game and he may not have the running ability of Kaepernick, but he had a very strong 2013 fantasy football season. Now, Smith is in Reid’s West Coast Offense and looks like he has finally found a system that he can excel in. Look for Smith to be a very nice pickup in 2014 and win a few weeks for his fantasy owners all by himself.
3. Josh McCown
Free agency can be a good thing or bad thing for players in the NFL. Josh McCown came to the Chicago Bears and knew that he would be the clear-cut backup to starter Jay Cutler. The latter has been up and down while with the Bears, but has not been challenged by anyone. Then, Cutler goes down and McCown went in. McCown has shown nothing up to this point in his career that would suggest that he would be a solid play in fantasy football. However, when you are given the weapons like Brandon Marshall, Matt Forte and Alshon Jeffery, your fantasy value is bound to go up. Once a starter, McCown was one of the best plays at quarterback for that stretch. In Week 17, the Bears have a huge game against the Green Bay Packers. If Cutler loses or if McCown is named the starter and wins, look for McCown to get a shot in Chicago or somewhere else to be the starting quarterback. If Cutler leaves town, I can see McCown having a very nice 2014 with all of the weapons that are playing for the Bears.
2. Ryan Tannehill
Everyone knows the pedigree of Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III coming out of college. Many fantasy football owners felt that these two would be the quarterbacks to own on their teams from the 2012 draft class. In 2013, there was another quarterback from this draft class that rose to be a force in fantasy football. That player was Ryan Tannehill of the Miami Dolphins. He has been looked at as “the other guy” with these three quarterbacks, however, please do not look at him like that. Tannehill has put up some really good numbers in 2013. There have been many games this season that Tannehill threw for three touchdowns in a game. This is something that fantasy owners all over need and look for on their team moving forward. Tannehill is an emerging star and the quicker you recognize this, the better your team will be.
1. Nick Foles
If there is one quarterback that is at the top of this list for quarterbacks to watch in 2014, that player is Nick Foles of the Philadelphia Eagles. Foles was drafted to be the next guy in Philly, but with Mike Vick being named the starter at the beginning of the season, it looked like Foles was going to take a backseat to Vick. As fate would have it, Foles got his shot when Vick went down with an injury and he did not look back. As of Week 16, Foles has thrown for 25 touchdowns and only two interceptions. It looks like Foles and Chip Kelly’s offense is a match made in fantasy football heaven. Foles showed during a game against the Oakland Raiders that he can be a quarterback that could begin to challenge Rodgers or Brees as soon as next season. Foles is the top guy to look for in the 2014 fantasy football season.