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35 Players Who Will Make or Break Your Fantasy Football 2014 Team

35 Players Who Will Make or Break Your Fantasy Team

Fantasy Football 2014
(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Now that training camp is officially under way, it's that time of year where football fans begin to research which players to consider for your 2014 fantasy football team.

Will it be worth using a top pick on Peyton Manning if he doesn't come close to topping last year's 55 touchdown passes? Along with Manning, here's 35 players who could give your fantasy football team an advantage or simply hurt your playoff chances in 2014.

35. Mike Wallace--Miami Dolphins

Mike Wallace
(Al Bello/Getty Images)

35. Mike Wallace--Miami Dolphins

Mike Wallace
(Al Bello/Getty Images)

From 2010-12, Mike Wallace caught 196 passes for 3,286 yards with 26 touchdowns as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers--which is why the Miami Dolphins were willing to pay him the big bucks when they signed him during the 2013 offseason.

Unfortunately, Wallace's first year in Miami wasn't as impressive as it could have been as he only found the end zone five times--which was a career low for the wide receiver.

34. Chris Johnson--New York Jets

Chris Johnson
(Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

34. Chris Johnson--New York Jets

Chris Johnson
(Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

The good thing about Chris Johnson is he's managed to break the 1,000-yard rushing mark in each of his first six NFL seasons, but he's coming off a year in which he only averaged 3.9 yards per carry.

A couple of years ago, Johnson was a lock for a first-round pick, but with only 16 rushing touchdowns over the last three years (34 his first three), owners should wait until the mid rounds before selecting the New York Jets running back.

33. Antonio Brown--Pittsburgh Steelers

Antonio Brown
(Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

33. Antonio Brown--Pittsburgh Steelers

Antonio Brown
(Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

With Emmanuel Sanders joining the Denver Broncos, expectations are high for Antonio Brown heading into the 2014 season as the No. 1 wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Sanders is coming off a career year in which he set career highs with 110 passes for 1,499 yards to go along with eight touchdowns and as Ben Roethlisberger's top target--you may want to target the wideout in the third or fourth round.

32. Bishop Sankey--Tennessee Titans

Bishop Sankey
(Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

32. Bishop Sankey--Tennessee Titans

Bishop Sankey
(Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

It certainly won't be easy to replace Chris Johnson, the Tennessee Titans hope Bishop Sankey has what it takes to put up big numbers during his rookie season. We've seen some rookie running backs display impressive numbers over the years and if Sankey is available in the third or fourth round--he could end up being a steal when it comes to having a solid No. 2 running back for your fantasy team.

31. Tavon Austin--St. Louis Rams

Tavon Austin
(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

31. Tavon Austin--St. Louis Rams

Tavon Austin
(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

One of the biggest disappointments from fantasy football last season was Tavon Austin of the St. Louis Rams as owners hoped his speed would result into monster points--which was far from the case.

Austin should be able to top last year's production of 40 catches for 418 yards with four receiving touchdowns and could turn out to be a huge steal since most owners will most likely avoid the wideout in the first eight or nine rounds.

30. Arian Foster--Houston Texans

Arian Foster
(Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

30. Arian Foster--Houston Texans

Arian Foster
(Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

When healthy, Arian Foster has proven to be one of the most dangerous players in the NFL--both on the ground and through the air. That's the problem though--Foster's health always seems to be an issue and he was limited to just eight games during the 2013 season with only one rushing touchdown.

Still, you can't ignore the 4,264 rushing yards and 41 rushing touchdowns by Foster from 2010-12--which puts owners in a tough spot in the first round.

29. C.J. Spiller--Buffalo Bills

C.J. Spiller
(Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

29. C.J. Spiller--Buffalo Bills

C.J. Spiller
(Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

Similar to Foster, C.J. Spiller has proven to be extremely dangerous on the ground and through the air for the Buffalo Bills over the last two seasons, but owners will sometimes get frustrated when he loses touches to Fred Jackson (nine touchdowns in 2013).

The argument can be made Spiller deserves more touches, but unless Jackson gets hurt, most owners should wait until the third or fourth round before selecting Spiller.

28. Julius Thomas--Denver Broncos

Julius Thomas
(Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

28. Julius Thomas--Denver Broncos

Julius Thomas
(Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Be honest--how many of you even had Julius Thomas on your fantasy roster prior to Week 1 last year? Thanks to Peyton Manning's historical season, Thomas became a fantasy stud last year as he caught touchdown passes in 10 of the 14 games he played in.

Now, there's a good chance Thomas will be gone by the fourth round in most leagues, but let's hope he can still match last year's production (65 catches for 788 yards and 12 touchdowns).

27. Riley Cooper--Philadelphia Eagles

Riley Cooper
(Elsa/Getty Images)

27. Riley Cooper--Philadelphia Eagles

Riley Cooper
(Elsa/Getty Images)

Riley Cooper was one of the biggest free agent pickups in fantasy football last year as he had a career year with 47 catches for 835 yards and eight touchdowns--most of which came when Nick Foles took over at quarterback.

After receiving a new contract in the offseason, the pressure is on for Cooper heading into the 2014 season, but it will be interesting to see if his production is the same following the departure of DeSean Jackson.

26. Zac Stacy--St. Louis Rams

Zac Stacy
(Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

26. Zac Stacy--St. Louis Rams

Zac Stacy
(Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Fantasy owners who took a chance on Zac Stacy in 2013 were satisfied to see the former rookie record 973 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns during the 14 games he appeared in.

Stacy seems like the perfect running back to take in the second round, but things will be different heading into his second season as he may lose carries to rookie Tre Mason--who the Rams selected in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

25. Victor Cruz--New York Giants

Victor Cruz
(Al Bello/Getty Images)

25. Victor Cruz--New York Giants

Victor Cruz
(Al Bello/Getty Images)

After catching 168 passes for 2,628 yards with 19 touchdowns from 2011-12, Victor Cruz finally received the contract he fought so hard for prior to the 2013 season, but his numbers were significantly down.

Not only did Cruz catch just four touchdowns in 2013, but all four of those touchdowns came in the month of September (three in Week 1). Hopefully, Cruz bounces back this year with a new offense--which could make him a solid mid-round pick.

24. Eric Decker--New York Jets

Eric Decker
(Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

24. Eric Decker--New York Jets

Eric Decker
(Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

There's only one reason why any wide receiver would choose to go from Peyton Manning as their quarterback to Geno Smith or Michael Vick--money.

Decker may finally have his shot at being a No. 1 wideout as a member of the New York Jets, but it's difficult to imagine him seeing as much success as the last two seasons (172 catches for 2,352 yards with 24 touchdowns).

23. Michael Crabtree--San Francisco 49ers

Michael Crabtree
(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

23. Michael Crabtree--San Francisco 49ers

Michael Crabtree
(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Michael Crabtree only appeared in five games during the regular season last year due to a tear in his Achilles' tendon, but if his numbers from previous years are any indication--the wideout could be in for a career year.

Crabtree did manage to record 85 catches for 1,105 yards and nine touchdowns when he was fully healthy in 2012 and will be considered a top-10 wideout in most leagues this year. Hopefully, he lives up to the hype.

22. Ryan Matthews--San Diego Chargers

Ryan Matthews
(Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

22. Ryan Matthews--San Diego Chargers

Ryan Matthews
(Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Fantasy football owners have been waiting for Ryan Matthews to breakout as a stud over the last four years--mainly because he recorded 13 rushing touchdowns over his first two NFL seasons.

Matthews will be selected as a No. 2 running back in the third or fourth round in most leagues, but on a positive note--the running back appeared in all 16 games last year for the San Diego Chargers and set a career high with 1,255 rushing yards.

21. Percy Harvin--Seattle Seahawks

Percy Harvin
(Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

21. Percy Harvin--Seattle Seahawks

Percy Harvin
(Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Last year's Super Bowl was enough evidence to prove it was worth trading for Percy Harvin despite all of the concern surrounding his hip injury. Harvin has proven to be one of the most dangerous wide receivers when healthy and fantasy football owners will be taking a chance on the wideout in the mid rounds hoping he returns to his dominant level from the first four seasons of his career.

20. Vincent Jackson--Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Vincent Jackson
(Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

20. Vincent Jackson--Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Vincent Jackson
(Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

Vincent Jackson's first two seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been impressive (150 catches for 2,608 yards with 15 touchdowns) and the wideout will be selected early on in most leagues, but whether or not his production will decline in 2014 is a different story.

Not only do the Buccaneers have a new quarterback in Josh McCown, but the team spent a first-round pick on wide receiver Mike Evans in this year's draft as well.

19. T.Y. Hilton--Indianapolis Colts

T.Y. Hilton
(Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

19. T.Y. Hilton--Indianapolis Colts

T.Y. Hilton
(Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

In just his second season, T.Y. Hilton developed impressive chemistry with Andrew Luck as he finished last year with 82 catches for 1,083 yards and five touchdowns.

Many owners may consider avoiding Hilton until the mid rounds considering Reggie Wayne is returning from a torn ACL injury, but keep in mind the veteran wideout turns 36 in November. If anything, Hilton could emerge as the team's No. 1 option this season.

18. Eddie Lacy--Green Bay Packers

Eddie Lacy
(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

18. Eddie Lacy--Green Bay Packers

Eddie Lacy
(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Eddie Lacy was a beast in college and after an impressive rookie season (1,178 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns)--the bar is set high for the Green Bay Packers running back heading into his second season. In fact, the argument can be made that Lacy is a top-five running back from a fantasy perspective this year--which means he won't make it past the first round in a majority of leagues.

17. Cordarrelle Patterson--Minnesota Vikings

Cordarrelle Patterson
(Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

17. Cordarrelle Patterson--Minnesota Vikings

Cordarrelle Patterson
(Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

It's not about how you start, but how you finish--which was exactly the case for Cordarrelle Patterson during his rookie season last year.

Patterson only caught 45 passes for 469 yards in 2013, but three of his four touchdowns came in the final month of the regular season. With a year of experience under his belt, Patterson is a strong candidate for a breakout year in 2014 and should be taken in the early mid rounds if available.

16. Pierre Garcon--Washington Redskins

Pierre Garcon
(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

16. Pierre Garcon--Washington Redskins

Pierre Garcon
(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The most impressive statistic from Pierre Garcon during the 2013 season is the wideout managed to record at least five catches in every single game (113 total). There may be concern over his production going down with the addition of DeSean Jackson, but with a healthier Robert Griffin III--Garcon's numbers should be similar to last year's and should be selected in the third or fourth round of your draft.

15. Le'Veon Bell--Pittsburgh Steelers

Le'Veon Bell
(Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

15. Le'Veon Bell--Pittsburgh Steelers

Le'Veon Bell
(Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Who would have thought at this time last year Le'Veon Bell would be considered a first-round pick in fantasy leagues for 2014?

Bell displayed impressive numbers (860 rushing yards with eight touchdowns), but owners should be cautious about whether or not to select the second-year player as their No. 1 running back considering the team added LeGarrette Blount this offseason as well.

14. Jordy Nelson--Green Bay Packers

Jordy Nelson
(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

14. Jordy Nelson--Green Bay Packers

Jordy Nelson
(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Fantasy owners love Jordy Nelson considering he's recorded 30 touchdown catches over the last three seasons and is arguably coming off his best year with the Green Bay Packers (85 catches for 1,314 yards with eight touchdowns. Still, with the emergence of Randall Cobb over his first three NFL seasons, fantasy owners may be cautious about making Nelson their top wideout.

Regardless, this won't stop owners from selecting Nelson early on.

13. Montee Ball--Denver Broncos

Montee Ball
(Elsa/Getty Images)

13. Montee Ball--Denver Broncos

Montee Ball
(Elsa/Getty Images)

With the departure of Knowshon Moreno, the Denver Broncos hope Montee Ball has what it takes to handle the workload of a No. 1 running back in his second season. With that being said, fantasy owners hope Ball is worthy of a first-round pick, but many will be cautious considering he only rushed for 559 yards and four touchdowns.

Then again, Ball did only receive 120 carries and averaged 4.7 yards per carry--which shows high potential.

12. Ray Rice--Baltimore Ravens

Ray Rice
(Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

12. Ray Rice--Baltimore Ravens

Ray Rice
(Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

As if last year's 981 yards from the line of scrimmage and four touchdowns wasn't disappointing enough, owners who select Ray Rice will have to deal with their running back sitting on the bench for the first two games of the regular season.

Rice was an easy first-round pick last year, but he'll most likely fall to the fourth or fifth round due to last year's numbers. If he can return to his old form, Rice could be a solid No. 2 running back.

11. Andre Johnson--Houston Texans

Andre Johnson
(Bob Levey/Getty Images)

11. Andre Johnson--Houston Texans

Andre Johnson
(Bob Levey/Getty Images)

The main question on the mind of all fantasy football owners--will Andre Johnson have a big year with Ryan Fitzpatrick as his quarterback? Normally, Johnson is a second or third round pick, but he could fall to the mid rounds this year due to concern from owners.

Only time will tell, but it's hard to ignore the fact that Johnson has played every game over the last two seasons while recording 221 catches.

10. DeSean Jackson--Washington Redskins

DeSean Jackson
(Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

10. DeSean Jackson--Washington Redskins

DeSean Jackson
(Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

DeSean Jackson's release from the Philadelphia Eagles before joining the Washington Redskins was one of the biggest stories from the offseason. Jackson has always been the type of wide receiver who is capable of having a monster game, but the big question is whether or not he'll be as effective in Washington.

Keep in mind Jackson only broke the 100-yard mark five times in 2013--three of which came over the first five games.

9. Giovani Bernard--Cincinnati Bengals

Giovani Bernard
(Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

9. Giovani Bernard--Cincinnati Bengals

Giovani Bernard
(Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

After recording 1,209 yards from the line of scrimmage to go along with eight total touchdowns as a rookie, the Cincinnati Bengals have big plans for Giovani Bernard in year two. The great thing about Bernard is he's just as dangerous through the air and with more touches in 2014--owners hope the second-year running back will be worth using a first-round pick on.

8. Alshon Jeffery--Chicago Bears

Alshon Jeffery
(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

8. Alshon Jeffery--Chicago Bears

Alshon Jeffery
(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

After an average rookie season in 2012, Alshon Jeffery emerged as a fantasy football monster in his second year with 89 catches for 1,421 yards and seven touchdowns. Not to mention Jeffery broke the 200-yard mark twice in 2013.

Plus, playing alongside Brandon Marshall always helps No. 2 wideouts as far as production--so don't be surprised if selecting Jeffery before the third round ends pays off this season.

7. Marshawn Lynch--Seattle Seahawks

Marshawn Lynch
(Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

7. Marshawn Lynch--Seattle Seahawks

Marshawn Lynch
(Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Over his last three seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, Marshawn Lynch has rushed for 4,051 yards and 35 rushing touchdowns--which makes it seem like he would be a no brainer for a first-round selection.

However, holding out at the beginning of camp and Lynch entering his ninth season has owners cautious this year. We've seen running backs holdout before and come in out of shape--so let's hope that doesn't end up being the case with Lynch.

6. Jimmy Graham--New Orleans Saints

Jimmy Graham
(Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

6. Jimmy Graham--New Orleans Saints

Jimmy Graham
(Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

There's no question about Jimmy Graham being the top tight end selected in fantasy drafts across the country--the only problem with Graham is when is it too early to select the tight end.

Some fantasy owners will consider using their first-round pick on Graham after catching 16 touchdown passes last year, but owners should also note he did go the whole month of December without breaking the 100-yard mark.

5. Doug Martin--Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Doug Martin
(Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

5. Doug Martin--Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Doug Martin
(Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

When it comes to disappointing fantasy football players from 2013, it's difficult to top Doug Martin.

The running back was arguably one of the biggest sleepers in 2012 as he recorded 1,926 yards from the line of scrimmage and 15 total touchdowns as a rookie--which is why he was an easy top-five pick last year.

Unfortunately, Martin's second season was a bust as he only found the end zone once--so owners beware early on.

4. Jamaal Charles--Kansas City Chiefs

Jamaal Charles
(Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

4. Jamaal Charles--Kansas City Chiefs

Jamaal Charles
(Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Fantasy owners hope Jamaal Charles will play like the league's second highest paid running back as he's coming off the best year of his career in 2013 after recording 1,980 yards from the line of scrimmage to go along with 19 touchdowns.

It's safe to Charles will be selected with the first or second pick in just about all leagues and if he displays similar numbers to last year--he'll give owners a major edge to compete for a championship.

3. Julio Jones--Atlanta Falcons

Julio Jones
(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

3. Julio Jones--Atlanta Falcons

Julio Jones
(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

After missing most of last year with a foot injury, Julio Jones seems determined to bounce back and have a monster year for the Atlanta Falcons. Jones caught 18 touchdowns over his first two seasons in the league and most owners will consider making the former first-round pick their No. 1 wideout--which seems like a smart move.

Forget about the concerns surrounding his foot--Jones will be worth selecting in the second round this year.

2. Rob Gronkowski--New England Patriots

Rob Gronkowski
(Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

2. Rob Gronkowski--New England Patriots

Rob Gronkowski
(Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

There's been plenty of concern over the health of Rob Gronkowski the last two years, but it's hard to pass up on the tight end considering the type of numbers he displays when 100 percent healthy (38 touchdowns in his first three seasons).

If Gronk were fully healthy, he would be selected in the first round for some leagues, but it looks like owners will wait until the third or fourth round instead this year--which still seems risky.

1. Peyton Manning--Denver Broncos

Peyton Manning
(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

1. Peyton Manning--Denver Broncos

Peyton Manning
(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Before everyone freaks out about the great Peyton Manning being on this list after throwing 55 touchdowns in 2013--keep in mind what happened in 2005 when the quarterback only threw for 28 touchdowns one year after throwing 49.

After last year's numbers, owners will be tempted to take Manning in the first or second round this year, but will Manning be worth selecting over a top running back or wide receiver?

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