Originally published: Friday 21 March 2014
Under Chip Kelly, LeSean McCoy ran for over 1,600 yards last season and was the most valuable fantasy back behind Jamaal Charles. At the young age of 25, McCoy still has plenty left in the tank, as well as five years of experience behind him. The Eagles are a young, improving team, and even though Nick Foles played well towards the end of last season, they will be looking to McCoy to take pressure off the quarterback. ‘Shady’ should rack up a lot of fantasy points for his owners.
After breaking the record for the most receiving yards in a single season in 2012, Calvin Johnson fell short of repeating that feat in 2013, although he only played in 14 games. He may not have been as productive as his fantasy owners would have anticipated last year, although he managed to grab 12 touchdowns – seven better than his total the year before. Megatron will be entering his eighth season in the NFL, but he has showed no signs of slowing down and should easily be selected in the top-10 of every fantasy football draft.
Although his 2013 wasn’t anywhere near as impressive as his 2012 season, Adrian Peterson still put up solid numbers with 1,266 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns in 14 games. He played though some of the season with a nagging groin injury, and had to deal with the death of his son part-way through the campaign. Peterson has the potential to do better than last year and has undoubtable talent, but age and workload may begin to take their toll on the former first-round pick. However, he should be a sound investment as a high-first round pick in any draft – his value just depends on whether or not he stays healthy throughout the season.
Peyton Manning had one of the greatest seasons any player has ever had last year, yet a second Super Bowl ring still eluded him. He had talent and depth surrounding him all over the offense. Although Manning is aging and the Broncos look likely to lose both Knowshon Moreno and Eric Decker in free agency, the former Colt will almost certainly provide better fantasy value than any other quarterback in the game next season.
The number-one fantasy back in 2013 could well have a repeat performance in 2014. His dual-threat ability saw him rack up over 100 yards of total yardage per game, in addition to 19 touchdowns last term. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him go as one of the top three selections in every fantasy draft this summer.
Images of Jamaal Charles and Peyton Manning by Jeffrey Beall via Creative Commons. Images of Calvin Johnson and Adrian Peterson by Mike Morbeck, and image of LeSean McCoy by Matthew Straubmuller via Creative Commons.