Fantasy

Fantasy Football 2014: Overall Rankings and Top Sleepers at Each Position

San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers passes during warmups before a preseason NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Friday, Aug. 15, 2014, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
Stephen Brashear/Associated Press
Steven CookContributor IIIAugust 17, 2014

The NFL preseason is in full swing, which means fantasy football season is right around the corner and the time is now to study up before diving into your first mock drafts.

Unheralded players come out of nowhere to break out in fantasy year after year, and 2014 will be no exception. There are a number of sleepers to keep your eye on as you navigate through the deep rounds. 

Here's a look at an overall rankings list for fantasy highlighting the top picks to make. Also, take a look at each of my top sleepers below.

2014 Fantasy Football Top 30
RankPlayer/TeamPositionADP
1Jamaal Charles, KCRB2.0
2Adrian Peterson, MINRB2.0
3LeSean McCoy, PHIRB2.0
4Peyton Manning, DENQB7.0
5Eddie Lacy, GBRB6.3
6Matt Forte, CHIRB4.5
7Calvin Johnson, DETWR6.5
8Jimmy Graham, NOTE8.8
9A.J. Green, CINWR15.5
10Aaron Rodgers, GBQB15.8
11Dez Bryant, DALWR14.3
12Demaryius Thomas, DENWR8.5
13Marshawn Lynch, SEARB8.5
14Brandon Marshall, CHIWR18.3
15Drew Brees, NOQB13.8
16Arian Foster, HOURB12.8
17Montee Ball, DENRB15.5
18Julio Jones, ATLWR20.5
19DeMarco Murray, DALRB14.3
20Doug Martin, TBRB23.3
21Antonio Brown, PITWR25.8
22Le'Veon Bell, PITRB17.0
23Zac Stacy, STLRB25.0
24Giovani Bernard, CINRB20.3
25Alfred Morris, WASRB23.0
26Rob Gronkowski, NETE32.0
27Alshon Jeffery, CHIWR25.8
28Julius Thomas, DENTE30.3
29Randall Cobb, GBWR30.8
30Andre Ellington, ARIRB34.0
Steven Cook's rankings

Note: Average Draft Position (ADP) rankings are courtesy of Fantasy Pros' composite rankings of Yahoo!, ESPN, CBS and NFL fantasy leagues. 

 

Top Sleepers at Each Position

Quarterback: Philip Rivers, Chargers

Stephen Brashear/Associated Press

It's just another year of fantasy experts sleeping on Philip Michael Rivers. 

ESPN's fantasy staff ranked Rivers as the No. 23 quarterback in the league last season. How did he finish? Oh, a measly sixth overall, with nearly 4,500 passing yards and 32 touchdowns. 

He faces a transition on offense with offensive coordinator Frank Reich replacing the departed Ken Whisenhunt, who took the Titans' head coaching job over the offseason. But it's been seamless so far, per Marty Caswell of The Mighty 1090:

ESPN's Chris Harris has Rivers as the 13th-ranked quarterback this season, so he's receiving a bit more love—but still not enough.

If other players in your league don't jump at Rivers, you could nab him after adding more than a couple of formidable flex options for your bench.

 

Running Back: Khiry Robinson, Saints

Scott Kane/Associated Press

It's becoming less and less of a secret, but Khiry Robinson could become one of the top fantasy backs by the time the 2014 season is over with.

Robinson only has 224 career rushing yards, all of which came in his 2013 debut season. But this season, he's set to take on a much larger role with Darren Sproles heading for the exits and a massive hole at his position that Robinson is perfect to fill.

The 6'0", 220-pounder offers a different skill set at the position, but his elite speed will allow for him to make an impact in Drew Brees' wide-open offense. If he becomes the No. 1 back on top of his duties in the passing game, his stock will explode.

 

Wide Receiver: Kendall Wright, Titans

The writing has been on the wall, but now it's officially Kendall Wright time in Tennessee.

The former first-round pick has made an impact in both of his opening two seasons since being drafted in 2012. His role should expand heading into this season, with Kenny Britt exiting and father time catching up to Nate Washington.

He's been showing out in training camp so far this preseason, per Joe Fann of TitansOnline.com:

Justin Hunter will join Wright as emerging wideouts for the Titans, but Wright's added experience along with an ability to escape for yards after the catch will make him a fantasy stud in 2014. 

 

Tight End: Zach Ertz, Eagles

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 04:  Zach Ertz #86 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates after scoring a 3 yard touchdown pass from Nick Foles #9 in the fourth quarter against the New Orleans Saints to take the lead 24-23 during their NFC Wild Card Playoff gam
Elsa/Getty Images

Zach Ertz's strides came slow upon entering the league in 2013 as an early second-round pick, but he's ready to blow up in 2014.

Ertz played second fiddle to Brent Celek as a rookie last season, but now he's bound to make the leap with one year under his belt. He's finally taking full advantage of his unique size and skill-set blend that puts him on par with the athletic breed of tight ends making waves in the league.

NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah added his two cents on Ertz:

Ertz gives the Eagles a much-needed vertical mismatch in the middle of the field, which should combine with Philadelphia's many other offensive tools to produce success this season and beyond. 

 

Defense: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Much more than Lovie Smith's arrival in Tampa Bay makes the Bucs defense a top sleeper choice in 2014.

Alterraun Verner was brought in on a big-money contract to lock down the cornerback spot, and Dashon Goldson should continue preventing big plays in the secondary. Add that to Lavonte David evolving into a dominating linebacker, and the Bucs should greatly improve a defense that was below average last year. 

 

Kicker: Dan Carpenter, Bills

It's tough to really call any kicker a sleeper considering the types of options you can find in the waiver wire. But if you're in the mood to put off drafting a kicker and taking a more affordable option, look Dan Carpenter's way when things are said and done. 

The Bills kicker finished with double-digit points in ESPN leagues eight times in 16 games last season, finishing with the fourth-most points from field goals. The Bills offense should improve drastically with E.J. Manuel entering his sophomore season healthy and the addition of Sammy Watkins to go along with a stout running game. 

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