Fantasy Football 2014: 5 Names Every Fantasy Owner Needs to Know
Every year, fantasy football owners are looking for the next big thing, although sometimes that player is sitting right under their nose.
These five names are not coming completely out of nowhere for a lot of people, but for one reason or another, they aren't getting the attention they deserve.
All of them could be very good values on draft day and pay off big time later in the season. Here are five names every fantasy owner needs to know.
A first-round pick out of Clemson last year, DeAndre Hopkins quietly had a very productive year opposite Andre Johnson with 52 catches for 802 yards.
After being overshadowed by Sammy Watkins in college and Tavon Austin during the draft process, Hopkins now competes for the spotlight with Johnson (who has been making a bit of noise lately) and Arian Foster.
And with 12 receivers picked in the first two rounds of the 2014 draft, it's safe to say that people will continue overlooking Hopkins. But that's where you can swoop in and get yourself a steal.
Even if Johnson remains in Houston, Hopkins should continue to see an uptick in production. And if Johnson is traded, then all of a sudden you've got yourself a No. 1 NFL receiver.
After coming in second to Mark Ingram in the Heisman voting back in 2009, Toby Gerhart was selected 51st overall by Minnesota and was promptly forgotten about while backing up Adrian Peterson.
But he was generally productive when given the opportunity (4.7 career yards per carry) and now has the chance to shine for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Bleacher Report's own BJ Kissell told us to expect big things from Gerhart in 2014, and I fully agree. With his wrecking-ball style and stranglehold on the lead role, there's plenty of potential there.
Don't count on Gerhart as your No. 1 running back, but he's got great value as a No. 2 or even flex player, depending how far everyone else in your league lets him fall.
Dwayne Allen was a pretty big name coming into his rookie season after the Colts drafted him in the third round of the 2012 NFL draft.
He only added to that intrigue after catching 45 passes for 521 yards and three touchdowns as a rookie, and there were pretty high expectations heading into the 2013 season.
But then Allen went down with a hip injury after the first game of the season and was promptly placed on injured reserve, per National Football Post. Fellow 2012 draftee Coby Fleener took over and was good but not great as the lead guy.
Now, Allen will come in having been largely forgotten by everyone and will almost certainly be selected after Fleener in your draft. If he stays healthy, however, I would confidently wager that he ends up having the more productive season.
The only rookie on this list, Terrance West doesn't bring the cache that Sammy Watkins, Carlos Hyde, Mike Evans, Bishop Sankey or Eric Ebron does, but he's got a lot of potential fantasy value.
Fellow rookie Johnny Manziel has been stealing all the headlines in Cleveland, but West has a ton of talent too and could end up in a better-than-expected situation for the Browns.
Free-agent signee and No. 1 back Ben Tate missed his entire rookie season in 2010, plus a total of eight games in the three seasons since then due to various injuries and cannot be counted on to play a full season.
West is ideally suited for the bruising style of play the AFC North is known for, and new head coach Mike Pettine has already endorsed a committee approach this year, according to Mike Inabinett of AL.com, so even when Tate is healthy, West could get a decent workload.
When Tate inevitably gets banged up, it will be all West, and you can probably wait until the last round or even add him as an undrafted free agent.
Can Kendall Wright get a little love? He was overlooked while at Baylor, being teammates with future NFLers like Robert Griffin III, Terrance Williams and Josh Gordon.
He was selected 20th overall in the 2012 draft, but fellow receivers Justin Blackmon and Michael Floyd got all the headlines. It is Wright, however, who has extremely quietly had the best and most consistent start to his career of that entire draft class.
With 64 and 94 catches in 2012 and 2013, respectively, Wright has proved himself as a sure-handed option who will rack up the points every single week.
That type of reliability is hard to come by at the receiver position, and it's especially valuable when you should be able to steal Wright in the middle rounds.