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2014 Fantasy Football Rankings: Top 15 Potential Breakout Stars

2014 Fantasy Football Rankings: Top 15 Potential Breakout Stars

Jay Cutler Fantasy 2014
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 NFL season is quickly approaching, and that means that it's time for Fantasy Football. With so many players set up to have great seasons, how do you actually know which players are going to shine in 2014? Here are 15 players who will potentially break out in the 2014 fantasy football season.

No. 15 WR Justin Hunter – Tennessee Titans

Justin Hunter Fantasy
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

No. 15 WR Justin Hunter – Tennessee Titans

Justin Hunter Fantasy
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

If Jake Locker can stay healthy, Tennessee stands a chance at making the 2015 NFL playoffs. Hunter showed flashes of brilliance last season, and, with a new offensive coordinator and the trend by second-year receivers to show out, could have a top 20 fantasy WR type of season.

No. 14 RB C.J. Spiller – Buffalo Bills

CJ Spiller Fantasy
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

No. 14 RB C.J. Spiller – Buffalo Bills

CJ Spiller Fantasy
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Spiller will have to split time with Fred Jackson at running back because they play two very different styles of football, but Spiller has the athletic ability to be the steal of 2014.

No. 13 WR Tavon Austin – St. Louis Rams

Tavon Austin Fantasy
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

No. 13 WR Tavon Austin – St. Louis Rams

Tavon Austin Fantasy
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

If it wasn’t for Cordarrelle Patterson, Austin could be labeled the most dangerous young player in the NFL. His speed and agility are unmatched by so many defenders that, if the Rams stay healthy on the offensive line and at quarterback, Austin could be primed for a monster season.

No. 12 RB Montee Ball – Denver Broncos

Montee Ball Fantasy
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

No. 12 RB Montee Ball – Denver Broncos

Montee Ball Fantasy
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

With Knowshon Moreno gone, Montee Ball is the man in the backfield with Peyton Manning. Although Ball has yet to prove himself as the go-to running back, defenses will always be a little nervous with the possibility of a play-action fake, setting up the former Wisconsin Badger to succeed. Be cautious, however, because he could be the biggest bust.

No. 11 WR Golden Tate – Detroit Lions

Golden tate Fantasy
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

No. 11 WR Golden Tate – Detroit Lions

Golden tate Fantasy
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Lions are one of the most explosive passing teams in the NFL, and Tate is finally in a situation that he can shine. Being opposite of Calvin Johnson helps as well.

No. 10 QB Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons

Matt Ryan Fantasy
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

No. 10 QB Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons

Matt Ryan Fantasy
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

With Reggie White and Julio Jones together again, and the disappointment of last season fresh in the team's minds, it’s almost impossible to see a scenario in which Matt Ryan doesn’t succeed this year.

No. 9 WR/ST Cordarrelle Patterson – Minnesota Vikings

Cordarrelle Patterson Fantasy
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

No. 9 WR/ST Cordarrelle Patterson – Minnesota Vikings

Cordarrelle Patterson Fantasy
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

There isn’t a more dangerous and unpredictable player in the NFL, and the scary thing is that Patterson is still learning.

No. 8 WR DeAndre Hopkins – Houston Texans

DeAndre Hopkins Fantasy
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

No. 8 WR DeAndre Hopkins – Houston Texans

DeAndre Hopkins Fantasy
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Perhaps my surprise pick when it comes to breakout potential, Hopkins had an outstanding rookie year in 2013. Statistically, second-year receivers improve, and, contrary to popular belief, Ryan Fitzpatrick is a pretty good quarterback when he throws to his own players.

No. 7 RB Andre Ellington – Arizona Cardinals

Andre Ellington Fantasy
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

No. 7 RB Andre Ellington – Arizona Cardinals

Andre Ellington Fantasy
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Ellington surprised many with his performance last season and should continue to have success on a run-first team with a tough defense.

No. 6 TE Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers

Greg olsen Fantasy
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

No. 6 TE Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers

Greg olsen Fantasy
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Who is Cam Newton going to throw to this season? With so many receivers out of the Panthers’ lineup, Olsen could quickly become Newton’s go-to option under pressure.

No. 5 QB Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger Fantasy
Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

No. 5 QB Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger Fantasy
Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Roethlisberger consistently puts together good seasons as quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers. With Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount in the backfield, his play-action passing ability could be the most dangerous in the NFL.

No. 4 TE Delanie Walker – Tennessee Titans

Delanie Walker Fantasy
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

No. 4 TE Delanie Walker – Tennessee Titans

Delanie Walker Fantasy
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Walker showed flashes of dominating opposing defenses last season and, with Tennessee to face some of the weakest secondaries in the NFL, could finish as a top-five tight end.

No. 3 WR Emmanuel Sanders – Denver Broncos

Emmanuel Sanders Fantasy
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

No. 3 WR Emmanuel Sanders – Denver Broncos

Emmanuel Sanders Fantasy
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Any receiver is going to have success with Peyton Manning at quarterback and, with Eric Decker gone, Wes Welker in the middle and Demaryius Thomas down the field, Sanders should receive the ball a lot more.

No. 2 QB Jay Cutler – Chicago Bears

Jay Cutler Fantasy
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

No. 2 QB Jay Cutler – Chicago Bears

Jay Cutler Fantasy
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

There’s something about the Bears’ passing offense that I love this season. With Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jefferies on the outside – two top 15 receivers in the NFL – Cutler is set up to have a breakout season. His offensive line must keep him upright, however.

No. 1 WR T.Y. Hilton – Indianapolis Colts

TY Hilton Fantasy
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

No. 1 WR T.Y. Hilton – Indianapolis Colts

TY Hilton Fantasy
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Colts brought in Hakeem Nicks in the offseason, and Reggie Wayne will be returning from injury, meaning that opposing defenses will have to worry about more than just T.Y. Hilton. With the most exciting young quarterback in the NFL, Andrew Luck, handling the ball, Hilton is set up to explode.