Fantasy Football: Top 5 Rookie WR Prospects of 2014

Fantasy Football: Top 5 Rookie WR Prospects of 2014

Sammy Watkins Clemson Tigers Buffalo Bills
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The 2014 NFL Draft was one of the deepest in terms of talented WRs. While most of them will need a year or more to develop before they can be fantasy relevant, there are five rookie WRs who have the potential to contribute in fantasy football this season.

Honorable Mention: Cody Latimer

Cody Latimer Indiana Denver Broncos
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Honorable Mention: Cody Latimer

Cody Latimer Indiana Denver Broncos
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The Denver Broncos drafted Cody Latimer despite acquiring Emmanuel Sanders this offseason. While he is a big, physical receiver with good hands, Latimer will also be behind Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker among others on the depth chart. I doubt Latimer will play many snaps in 2014, but if injuries happen, Latimer has a high fantasy ceiling with Peyton Manning throwing the football to him.

5. Brandin Cooks

Brandin Cooks Oregon State New Orleans Saints
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5. Brandin Cooks

Brandin Cooks Oregon State New Orleans Saints
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Just like Latimer, Brandin Cooks will be playing with a future Hall-of-Famer in New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees. But unlike Latimer, he has an opportunity to see the field this season. With Lance Moore gone and an aging Marques Colston, Cooks will compete with Stills and Meachem for playing time. If Cooks does emerge as a starting WR in the Saints offense, he will have potential despite Brees’ tendency to spread the ball around.

4. Marqise Lee

Marqise Lee USC Jacksonville Jaguars
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4. Marqise Lee

Marqise Lee USC Jacksonville Jaguars
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Without Blaine Gabbert under center, Jacksonville Jaguars receivers finally have a chance score more fantasy points. Their current WRs Ace Sanders and Cecil Shorts have shown some ability, but neither has the talent that Marqise Lee does. A left knee injury dropped his draft stock, but assuming health, Lee could see a lot of snaps on this rebuilt Jaguars offense with Toby Gerhart and Blake Bortles.

3. Mike Evans

Mike Evans Texas A&M Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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3. Mike Evans

Mike Evans Texas A&M Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Mike Evans is a beast at 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers traded Mike Williams to the Buffalo Bills, which means that Evans should start Week 1 opposite Vincent Jackson. With defenses having to stop Doug Martin and the run game while accounting for Jackson, Evans should see plenty of targets and opportunities to score. Evans is immediately draftable as a WR3 with huge upside.

2. Kelvin Benjamin

Kelvin Benjamin Florida State Carolina Panthers
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2. Kelvin Benjamin

Kelvin Benjamin Florida State Carolina Panthers
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Kelvin Benjamin is every bit as lethal as Evans. At 6-foot-5 and 235 pounds, Benjamin should win a starting job with the Panthers amongst a mediocre receiving corps. Despite being a run-first offense, the Panthers will still need to throw the ball. Benjamin is a big red-zone threat, and if he can build rapport with Cam Newton, Benjamin is another WR3 with high upside. He will see a lot of passes thrown to him along with quite a few TDs.

1. Sammy Watkins

Sammy Watkins Clemson Tigers Buffalo Bills
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1. Sammy Watkins

Sammy Watkins Clemson Tigers Buffalo Bills
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Sammy Watkins is a physical freak. His talent and athleticism are off the charts, and now he has the opportunity to prove that he is NFL-ready. The Buffalo Bills traded Stevie Johnson to the San Francisco 49ers, meaning that Watkins will be an immediate starter. While E.J. Manuel is still a work in progress, he should improve in his second season. Watkins is still just a rookie and should only be drafted as a WR3, but he has top-15 upside.


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