Megatron
.
With the 2014 NFL Draft finally approaching, here’s an early look at the 2014 Lester’s Legends’ fantasy football tight end rankings.
.
1. Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions
Megatron has averaged 1,712.3 yards and 11 touchdowns over the past three seasons. With his size, speed, hands and route running ability Johnson simply is the best receiver out there.
.
2. Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos
Thomas has averaged 1,432 yards and 12 touchdowns over the past two seasons shagging balls from Peyton Manning. With Eric Decker moving on the the New York Jets, Thomas should be an even more vital option in the passing game.
.
3. Josh Gordon, Cleveland Browns
Gordon exploded on the scene to lead the NFL with 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns. He was the first receiver ever the record consecutive 200-yard games. A.J. Green may be a safer pick because he has a more stable quarterback situation, but Gordon has more upside.
.
4. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys
Dez has averaged 1,307.5 yard and 12.5 touchdowns over the past two seasons. He has the talent to be as good as any receiver in the league. In fact, the top five choices are pretty interchangeable.
.
5. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals
Green has averaged 1,277.7 yards and 9.7 touchdowns the past two years and 1,388 yards and 11 scores over the past two seasons. Green has bulked up a bit to improve his physicality. Entering his fourth season, look for Green to continue to be one of the elite fantasy options at wide receiver.
.
6. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
Jones was averaging 116 yards per game before a foot injury derailed his 2013 season. He averaged 1,078.5 yards and nine touchdowns in his first two seasons. Be sure to monitor his recovery. If there aren’t any setbacks, Jones should be a solid WR1 option once again.
.
7. Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears
Marshall finished with 100 receptions for 1,295 yards and 12 touchdowns. He took a step back from the 118 catches for 1,508 yards and 11 touchdowns thanks to the emergence of Alshon Jeffrey. Nine of his touchdowns were thrown by Jay Cutler as they continue to have a great rapport. That trend should continue.
.
8. Alshon Jeffery, Chicago Bears
Jeffery had 1,421 yards and seven touchdowns last year. He did a lot of his dame with Josh McCown, but Cutler is more than capable of getting him the ball.
.
9. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers
Nelson rebounded with 1,314 yards and eight touchdowns despite Aaron Rodgers playing in just nine games. Look for Jordy to light it up with a healthy Rodgers.
.
10. Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
V-Jax has averaged 1,304 yards and 7.5 touchdowns the past two seasons with the Bucs. Josh McCown made good use of big receivers Marshall and Jeffery last year. V-Jax should be a force once again.
.
11.  Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins
Garcon was banged up in 2012. Robert Griffin III wasn’t himself last year ,but Garcon finished with 113 catches for 1,346 yards. With both of them healthy and DeSean Jackson on board to take away some of the defensive attention, Garcon should have another strong season.
.
12. Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers
Allen had an impressive rookie season with 1,046 yards and eight touchdowns. In his final 13 games he averaged 78.2 yards and 0.6 touchdowns. Year two should be even more impressive.
.
13. Andre Johnson, Houston Texans
Johnson has averaged 1,502.5 yards the past two seasons despite questionable quarterback play. He did manage just nine touchdowns combined over the two years. Will the quarterback play be an issue again? If it is, will it catch up with Johnson. Those are the questions that keeps him just outside of WR1 territory.
.
14. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers
Brown had an impressive 2013 showing with 1,499 yards and eight touchdowns. He should continue to see a heavy volume of looks from Ben Roethlisberger.
.
15. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals
Fitz had another down year in respect to his 954 receiving yards. He did manage to score 10 touchdowns. Fitz still has plenty left in the tank. He’s probably a little riskier that the other top 15, but he has a track record of greatness.
.
.
Also check out:

.


.
With the 2014 NFL Draft finally approaching, here’s an early look at the 2014 Lester’s Legends’ fantasy football tight end rankings.
.
1. Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints
Graham has averaged 1,169 yards and 12 touchdowns over the past three seasons. Last year Graham racked up an amazing 1,215 yards and 16 touchdowns. With Darren Sproles being dealt to the Philadelphia Eagles, Graham will take on even more meaning for the potent Saints’ offense. Graham will likely negotiate a long-term deal before training camp.
.
2. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
Gronk has 42 touchdowns in 50 career games, but he has managed to play just 18 games over the past two seasons. When he’s healthy he’s as good as anybody in the league. He’s coming off a knee injury that will likely limit his preseason involvement. There are healthy doses of risks and rewards associated with Gronk.
.
3. Julius Thomas, Denver Broncos
Orange Julius exploded on the scene with 788 yards and 12 touchdowns in 14 games. With Eric Decker moving on to the New York Jets, Thomas figures to be more of a focal point in the offense. Having Peyton Manning’s confidence, particularly in the red zone, puts him a notch ahead of Vernon Davis in my book.
.
4. Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers
Davis finished with 850 yards and 13 touchdowns in his most impressive season since 2009. Michael Crabtree, who was limited to five games because of an Achilles injury figures to eat into some of Davis’ production. Still, Davis has a combination of size and speed that is difficult to match. He’s too fast for most linebackers and too strong for most defensive backs.
.
5. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys
Witten reached 850 receiving yards for the seventh straight season. He’s topped 750 yards for 10 straight years. Witten is as consistent as they come. He had his fewest receptions (73) since 2006, but he finished with eight touchdowns.
.
6. Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers
Olsen finished with 816 yards, giving him an average of 829.5 yards over the past two seasons. Olsen caught six touchdowns, which was his sixth straight season with at least five scores. With a shortage of reliable options for Cam Newton in the passing game, Olsen should play a huge role for Carolina in 2014.
.
7. Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens
Pitta appeared poised for a breakout season before a hip injury limited him to four game last year. Despite being sapped of his explosiveness, Pitta caught 20 passes for 169 yards and a score. In 2012 Pitta caught 61 passes for 669 yards and seven scores. Don’t let the Owen Daniels’ signing scare you off. Pitta is primed to deliver.
.
8. Jordan Cameron, Cleveland Browns
Cameron also emerged last year with 917 yards and seven touchdowns after catching 26 passes for 259 yards and a touchdown in his first two seasons. No longer in Rob Chudzinski and Norv Turner’s system, Cameron will likely regress. Still, he’s too good of a talent not to peg him in the top half of the fantasy tight end landscape.
.
9. Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings
Rudolph (foot) was limited to eight games last year and subjected to five games with Christian Ponder at the helm. With Matt Cassel at quarterback and new offensive coordinator Norv Turner in the mix, look for much better things from Rudolph.
.
10. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles
Ertz caught 36 passes for 469 yards and four touchdowns last year as a rookie. All four of his touchdowns came in the second half of the season. Look for a step forward in Ertz’s second year, particularly with DeSean Jackson’s 82 catches for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns up for grabs.
.
.
Also check out:

.

MLB: NLDS-St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates
.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks were already Men at Work, kicking off the 2014 Major League Baseball season in Australia. The Dodgers will continue to be the spotlight franchise as they square off with the San Diego Padres on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. On Monday, March 31th we’re off to the races with a flurry of day games. Here are 10 things to keep in mind as you set your lineups.
.
1. Be aware of Early Starts
If you are in a fantasy baseball league that allows you to make daily changes to your roster, make sure you make your adjustments early. The only day next week that doesn’t have multiple (or any at all) day games is April 1st, and that’s no joke. I recommend setting your lineup at least the night before to make sure you are adding your bench players to the active lineup. There is nothing more frustrating than seeing quality counting stats sitting in your bench. Do a quick check of your lineup in the morning and enjoy. Having games spread out throughout the day is awesome for baseball fans that have been clamoring for the real deal for months.
.
2. Pay Attention to the Weather
“April showers bring May flowers.” That isn’t just a cliché. Last April there were 18 games postponed. If you stay on top of things you can make roster changes as needed to maximize the number of games your fantasy team plays in a given week. I’m not suggesting you start following Al Roker, but due your due diligence so you don’t miss out on opportunities.
.
3. Keep an Eye on Injury Updates
Early in the season there tends to be a rash of minor day-to-day injuries as players tweak their hamstring, groin, etc. It’s a long season so there is no point risking a long-term injury, which means starts can get pushed back or position players are given the occasional day of. Make Rotoworld your friend.
.
4. The Philadelphia Phillies Get an Extra Bat
The Philadelphia Phillies open their season playing the Texas Rangers. Tony Gwynn, Jr. and/or John Mayberry could get the nod at DH. They could be worth a look in NL-Only leagues.
.
5. The Milwaukee Brewers Will Get a DH Too
The Milwaukee Brewers face the Boston Red Sox in Fenway in their second series of the season. Logan Schafer could find himself playing some outfield while Ryan Braun occupies the DH slot. Lyle Overbay and Mark Reynolds could also share first base and DH duties.
.
6.Road Warriors
There is something about a team’s home opener. There is a buzz of excitement and optimism that is usually reserved for the pennant chase. There are seven teams that only play on the road during the first week. The Atlanta Braves, Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees, Phillies, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners and St. Louis Cardinals won’t get any home cooking this week. If you’re on the fence for one of these players, check their home and road splits. Cue Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again“.
.
7. Beware of Slow Starters
Speaking of splits, another thing to look at is how a player plays in March/April. Yahoo is a great place to check. You can see that Mark Teixeira has a .239 career average in 802 April at-bats. Play your studs, but use past performances to be a deciding factor between two like players.
.
8. Study Your Opponent
Is your opponent built for power? Maybe they stocked up on speed guys. Maybe they opted to go with a strong stable of closers or punt the saves category altogether. If you can’t keep up with a particular category, focus your lineup to play to your strengths and your opponent’s weaknesses. You don’t want to go toe-to-toe with a heavyweight.
.
9. Francisco Liriano to Start Opener
Francisco Liriano will start in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ opener against the Chicago Cubs. He was 1-0 with a 2.12 ERA against the Cubs in 34 innings over five starts last year. They Cubbies hit .158 against him. Liriano should also make a second start this week against the St. Louis Cardinals. Liriano won all three of his starts against them last year with a 0.75. The Cards hit .127 against him. Both are home starts. Liriano was 8-1 at PNC Park with a 1.47 ERA (8-7, 4.33 on the road).
.
10. More is Better
AT&T is on to something. Barring a postponement there are seven teams that play seven games this week. If you are in a fantasy baseball league that doesn’t allow you to make daily lineup changes consider using players from the Colorado Rockies, Miami Marlins, Oakland Athletics, Giants, Mariners, Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays.
.

Adrian Peterson 2012
.
The Super Bowl is over. The smoke has cleared and the confetti has been swept away. What better time to start looking ahead at the 2014 fantasy football season and the LestersLegends early running back rankings.
.
1. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings
A down year for Adrian Peterson consisted of 1,437 total yards and 11 touchdowns. I’ll take that kind of production all day (pun intended). Norv Turner has had a great history of success with running backs of a similar ilk (Emmitt Smith and LaDainian Tomlinson). Look for big things from AP.
.
2. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs
Andy Reid knew how to get the very best of LeSean McCoy, which made him a perfect fit for Jamaal Charles. Charles combined for 1,980 total yards and 19 touchdowns. Another stellar season should be in store for this electric back. Charles could easily be the first pick, especially in points-per-reception (PPR) leagues.
.
3. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles
LeSean McCoy finished with 2,146 total yards and 11 touchdowns. He was a perfect fit for Chip Kelly’s up-tempo offense and put the concussion concerns to bed en route to the rushing title. McCoy could also be the first pick, particularly in PPR leagues.
.
4. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks
Marshawn Lynch showed everybody that he’s “’bout that action, boss”. Beast Mode compiled 1,573 total yards and 14 touchdowns. He averaged 96 yards per game while scoring four touchdown during the Seattle Seahawks’ Super Bowl run. He’s a power back. Use accordingly.
.
5. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears
Matt Forte had a lot in common with Charles and McCoy. They all are dual-threat backs that thrived under a new coach. Forte finished with 1,933 total yard and 12 touchdowns under the vision of Marc Trestman. He should continue to put up impressive numbers.
.
6. Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers
Eddie Lacy put any weight issues to bed by rolling for 1,178 yards and 11 touchdowns even as Aaron Rodgers was limited to nine games. Lacy added 257 receiving yards to show he’s not one-dimensional. As long as there isn’t a sophomore slump, Lacy should be a strong RB1 in 2014.
.
7. Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Doug Martin was limited to six games, which netted him 522 total yards and one touchdown. Tampa Bay was dysfunctional at the time of his season-ending injury. The Bucs made strides throughout the year and Bobby Rainey and Mike James had some solid moments as replacements. Lovie Smith will want a run-first offense, which bodes well for Martin. He should also be very active in the passing game a la Matt Forte.
.
8. DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys
DeMarco Murray was limited to 14 games, but he finished with 1,474 total yards and 10 touchdowns. The talent and explosiveness cannot be questioned. Durability is another issue.
.
9. Zac Stacy, St. Louis Rams
Zac Stacy, at 5’8″ and 224 pounds is a wrecking ball. In his final 12 games he averaged 92.5 total yards and 0.7 touchdowns. He comes with some risk, but also brings plenty of reward potential.
.
10. Le’veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers
Le’veon Bell was limited to 13 games last year, but still managed to accumulate 1,259 total yards (96.8 yards per game) and eight touchdowns. He’s a big back at 6′ 1″ and 244 pounds with soft hands (45 receptions).
.
.
Also check out:

.

Matt Prater
.
Here’s a look at the LestersLegends Super Bowl XLVIII fantasy football team kicker rankings.
.
1. Matt Prater, Denver Broncos
2. Steven Hauschka, Seattle Seahawks
.
.
Also check out:

.
Super Bowl XLVIII
.


.
Here’s a look at the LestersLegends Super Bowl XLVIII fantasy football team defense rankings.
.
1. Seattle Seahawks
2. Denver Broncos
.
.
Also check out:

.
Super Bowl XLVIII
.

Julius Thomas
.
Here’s a look at the LestersLegends Super Bowl XLVIII fantasy football tight end rankings.
.
1. Julius Thomas, Denver Broncos
2. Zach Miller, Seattle Seahawks
3. Jacob Tamme, Denver Broncos
4. Luke Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
.
.
Also check out:

.
Super Bowl XLVIII
.


Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties