2014 Fantasy Football: 10 Rookie Dark Horses

Fantasy Football 2014: 10 Dark Horse Rookies

Fantasy Football 2014 Rookies
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Rookies are often a crapshoot for fantasy football owners, since players that were not expected to have big roles sometimes emerge while those that had high expectations fail to reach them.

This year’s rookie class has some big names that will garner attention on draft day in most fantasy leagues, but here are 10 rookies I like as potential fantasy dark horses.

10. Green Bay Packers WR Davante Adams

Davante Adams Green Bay Packers
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10. Green Bay Packers WR Davante Adams

Davante Adams Fantasy Football
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Adams led the nation in receptions with 131 and had 24 touchdowns as Derek Carr’s top target for Fresno State last season. He enters a deep group of wide receivers in Green Bay, but Adams could beat out Jarrett Boykin to be the team’s No. 3 receiver if he puts together a strong offseason and training camp.

9. Carolina Panthers RB Tyler Gaffney

Tyler Gaffney Carolina Panthers
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9. Carolina Panthers RB Tyler Gaffney

Tyler Gaffney Fantasy Football
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Gaffney became Stanford’s feature back in 2013, and rushed for over 1,700 yards and 21 touchdowns. The Panthers have a deep stable of running backs, but DeAngelo Williams is 31 and Jonathan Stewart has struggled to stay healthy.

8. Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman

Devonta Freeman Atlanta Falcons
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8. Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman

Devonta Freeman Fantasy Football
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Freeman does not fit the profile of a workhorse back, but with Steven Jackson in decline and Jacquizz Rodgers not proving to be a standout the Falcons may be looking for a new lead back very soon. Freeman’s fantasy value for 2014 is limited without injuries above him on the depth chart, but he is a solid under-the-radar stash in dynasty leagues.

7. Cincinnati Bengals RB Jeremy Hill

Jeremy Hill Cincinnati Bengals
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7. Cincinnati Bengals RB Jeremy Hill

Jeremy Hill Fantasy Football
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Giovani Bernard is in line for a bigger workload this season, but if Hill can beat out BenJarvus Green-Ellis for short yardage duties there’s sneaky production potential in that role.

6. San Diego Chargers WR Tevin Reese

Tevin Reese San Diego Chargers
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6. San Diego Chargers WR Tevin Reese

Tevin Reese Fantasy Football
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Reese is undersized (5’10”, 163 lbs.) and has durability concerns after missing five games with a wrist injury last season. But the Chargers have just one wide receiver who is locked into a role right now (Keenan Allen), and Reese could succeed immediately as a deep threat.

5. New York Jets TE Jace Amaro

Jace Amaro Fantasy Football
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5. New York Jets TE Jace Amaro

Jace Amaro New York Jets
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Whoever winds up starting under center for the Jets will surely find a suitable security blanket in Amaro, who had 106 catches in final season at Texas Tech. I can see him being a suitable TE2 in deep re-draft leagues this year, and he’s a very good option in dynasty leagues.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Robinson

Allen Robinson Jacksonville Jaguars
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4. Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Robinson

Allen Robinson Fantasy Football
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Robinson lacks elite speed (4.60 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine), but there’s no arguing with his production over his final two years at Penn State (174 receptions for 2,450 yards and 17 touchdowns). If he can beat out fellow rookie Marqise Lee for a starting job, Robinson should see plenty of targets for a Jacksonville team that is likely to find itself trailing often in games.

3. New York Giants RB Andre Williams

Andre Williams New York Giants
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3. New York Giants RB Andre Williams

Andre Williams Fantasy Football
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Williams won the 2013 Doak Walker Award after leading the FBS in rushing yards with 2,177. The Giants only have question marks (David Wilson) and underwhelming veterans (Rashad Jennings, Peyton Hillis) blocking Williams’ path to playing time as a rookie, so he may be draftable in deep leagues.

2. Cleveland Browns RB Terrance West

Terrance West Fantasy Football
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2. Cleveland Browns RB Terrance West

Terrance West Cleveland Browns
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West rushed for 2,509 yards and 41 touchdowns as a junior at Towson in 2013, which is impressive production even at the FCS level. With only the less than durable Ben Tate ahead him on the depth chart, West could move into a workhorse role at some point during his rookie season.

1. Miami Dolphins WR Jarvis Landry

Jarvis Landry Miami Dolphins
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1. Miami Dolphins WR Jarvis Landry

Jarvis Landry Miami Dolphins
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Landry had more catches (77), yards (1,193) and touchdowns (10) than fellow LSU product (and first-round pick) Odell Beckham Jr. last season (57 catches for 1,117 yards and eight touchdowns), but he fell down draft boards after running a 4.77 40 at the NFL Combine. The Dolphins have an immediate role available for Landry, as a slot receiver and perhaps more, and he could produce nicely in PPR leagues as a rookie.


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