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2014 Fantasy Football: 10 Players Headed for Sophomore Slumps

2014 Fantasy Football: 10 Players Headed for Sophomore Slumps

Montee Ball Fantasy
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Part of any successful fantasy football team is avoiding players who shined the year before but will be less spectacular in the following season. Last year, several rookies exploded onto the scene with explosive performances but are set up to have much weaker 2014 seasons. These are players you wish you had in 2013 but must be avoid in 2014. Here are 10 players headed for sophomore slumps.

10. WR Keenan Allen – San Diego Chargers

Keenan Allen Fantasy
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

10. WR Keenan Allen – San Diego Chargers

Keenan Allen Fantasy
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Allen is last on this list not because he’s going to have a bad season in 2014; he's here because it would be a miracle if he went for over 1,000 yards again in his sophomore season. Philip Rivers notoriously spreads the ball around between his receivers, and Allen’s numbers will suffer.

9. WR Tavon Austin – St. Louis Rams

Tavon Austin Fantasy
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

9. WR Tavon Austin – St. Louis Rams

Tavon Austin Fantasy
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The explosive playmaker hasn’t yet shown that he is consistent enough to be a key member of a fantasy team. He’ll certainly have good weeks, but even if Sam Bradford can stay healthy, St. Louis will be content with playing defense and pounding the ball on the ground.

8. TE Jordan Reed – Washington Redskins

Jordan Reed Fantasy
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

8. TE Jordan Reed – Washington Redskins

Jordan Reed Fantasy
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

With the arrival of DeSean Jackson from the Eagles, Robert Griffin III will be more comfortable throwing the ball up for grabs down the field instead of dumping it off to the tight end. Expect Reed to be asked to be a better blocker than he was last season.

7. WR Robert Woods – Buffalo Bills

Robert Woods Fantasy
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

7. WR Robert Woods – Buffalo Bills

Robert Woods Fantasy
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Woods is a talented receiver with a lot of potential in the NFL, but the arrival of first-round draft pick Sammy Watkins pushes him further down the depth chart. He’s a player to keep an eye on, but I doubt he’s targeted more than 50 times.

6. RB Eddie Lacy – Green Bay Packers

Eddie Lacy Fantasy
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

6. RB Eddie Lacy – Green Bay Packers

Eddie Lacy Fantasy
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Simply stated, if Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’ receivers stay healthy, Lacy will see less of the ball. He’s a great player and key to the success of Green Bay, but in terms of his fantasy value from a year ago, he will be down.

5. RB Zac Stacy – St. Louis Rams

Zac Stacy Fantasy
Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

5. RB Zac Stacy – St. Louis Rams

Zac Stacy Fantasy
Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

As much as I love Zac Stacy in fantasy and the way he plays football, the Rams drafted Tre Mason. So even if Stacy is the starter, he will most likely split time with Mason. Stacy is a good pickup in most fantasy leagues, but he’s highly unlikely to get as many carries as he did last season.

4. WR DeAndre Hopkins – Houston Texans

DeAndre Hopkins Fantasy
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

4. WR DeAndre Hopkins – Houston Texans

DeAndre Hopkins Fantasy
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Hopkins either explodes or busts with Ryan Fitzpatrick as the Texans quarterback; there is no in between. If Arian Foster stays healthy, expect the Texans to stick with the ground game and play tough defense.

3. RB Andre Ellington – Arizona Cardinals

Andre Ellington Fantasy
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

3. RB Andre Ellington – Arizona Cardinals

Andre Ellington Fantasy
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Ellington will be a consistent running back in the NFL for a long time, but the Cardinals just play far too many stingy run defenses in 2014.

2. RB Giovani Bernard – Cincinnati Bengals

Giovani bernard Fantasy
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

2. RB Giovani Bernard – Cincinnati Bengals

Giovani bernard Fantasy
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Bernard was a situational player for the Bengals last season. A lot of his fantasy production comes down to his receiving ability, and, unfortunately, I don’t see Andy Dalton having the type of season he had early in 2013.

1. RB Montee Ball – Denver Broncos

Montee Ball Fantasy
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

1. RB Montee Ball – Denver Broncos

Montee Ball Fantasy
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

A popular selection in many fantasy leagues, Ball will get the starting job now that Knowshon Moreno is gone. Ball is a talented running back, but a lot of that is because he wouldn’t be used heavily until the Broncos were already up by two or three touchdowns. Until Ball proves he can be the go-to running back for an extended period of time, stay away.