Fantasy Football has brought us many late-round and undrafted superstars in 2013. In fact, some of these breakthrough players may have catapulted you into the next round of the fantasy playoffs.
While there is likely no Arian Foster in 2013, an undrafted fantasy player in 2010 who climbed to the top of fantasy drafts in 2011, there are players who have significantly boosted their draft day status.
I will now look at six players who will likely be drafted in the first three rounds of 2014 fantasy drafts (12-team league standard) after being drafted much lower in 2013.
After Week 14, Josh Gordon leads all players in receiving yards with 1,400, 52 more than Calvin Johnson. Gordon is still behind Megatron in fantasy scoring because Johnson has four more touchdowns. Regardless, despite missing the Browns' first two games because of a suspension, Gordon is fantasy's No. 2 wide receiver.
Gordon has provided results with Brian Hoyer, Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell at the helm for Cleveland. There is no denying the former Baylor standout's talent.
After being drafted late in 2013 fantasy drafts, Gordon is close to achieving first-round status for 2014.
When it comes to Alabama running backs, Eddie Lacy is everything that Trent Richardson is not. While Richardson has killed fantasy teams with an abysmal 2013, Lacy has raised his stock and will be seriously considered in the second round of 12-team leagues.
If we look at what Lacy did this season as the featured back with Aaron Rodgers starting, it gives us a glimpse of his potential production.
While 380 carries might be unrealistic, 1,500 yards and 10 touchdowns are not. You can also expect Lacy to be more involved in the passing game.
No one, except maybe a few Chicago fans, drafted Alshon Jeffery in their fantasy league. Dave Richard of CBS Sports did not even include Jeffery in his preseason receiver tiers. Jeffery made it into fantasy squads as a free agent.
Jeffery has arrived. The question is, who will be his quarterback in 2014? Regardless, expect Jeffery to be a part of second-round consideration.
The hard runner out of Vanderbilt was a late-round selection in a majority of fantasy drafts. Zac Stacy was competing with Daryl Richardson and Isaiah Pead for carries in the Rams' backfield. Injuries to Richardson and Pead opened the door for Stacy in Week 5.
Stacy will enter 2014 as the Rams' featured back and, if 2013 is any indication, will be a workhorse under Jeff Fisher. Barring injury, Stacy will be a 1,000-yard runner and will get the bulk of the goal-line carries. Stacy will be considered in the third round of 2014 fantasy drafts.
Knowshon Moreno was drafted late in most fantasy leagues as Montee Ball was fantasy's hot commodity in the 2013 preseason. Moreno has now established himself as Denver's top back. The Georgia product is under contract for 2014, according to Overthecap.com, and as long as Peyton Manning is his quarterback, he will have plenty of touchdown opportunities. In 2013, Moreno has scored 12 times, including two scores on receptions.
In Denver's system, Moreno should be drafted in the third round of 2014 fantasy leagues. Moreno is no world-beater, but Manning boosts his value tremendously.
Before the 2013 NFL draft, some argued that California's Keenan Allen was the best wide receiver. Slow 40-yard dash times and injury concerns made him a third-round steal for the San Diego Chargers. In 2013 fantasy drafts, Allen went mostly undrafted. It is evident now that Allen is a playmaker. Allen's chemistry with Philip Rivers hit its stride in Week 4.
We should expect San Diego to continue to be a pass-first team with a rejuvenated Rivers. Allen will be San Diego's No. 1 receiver and is a lock for 1,000 yards. He will be considered in the third round of 2014 fantasy drafts.