Megatron
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With the 2014 NFL Draft finally approaching, here’s an early look at the 2014 Lester’s Legends’ fantasy football tight end rankings.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Also check out:

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Chris Johnson, in some ways, was a victim of his own success. He set the world on fire with 2,006 rushing yards in 2009. He added 503 receiving yards and 16 total touchdowns. While he never came close to those numbers again, he has averaged 1,454 total yards the past three seasons. His scoring dipped to 6.7 touchdowns per season during that stretch, but the Tennessee Titans were a mess as a whole. Can he succeed with the New York Jets?
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Since averaging 4.9 yards per carry as a rookie and 5.6 ypc during the season that coined the nickname CJ2K, he has averaged 4.3, 4.0, 4.5 and 3.9 ypc and dozens of not-so-flattering variations of his moniker. Still, 1,454 total yards and 6.7 touchdowns is nothing to sneeze at.
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Last year Tennessee averaged 4.1 ypc and 118.4 rushing yards per game as a team compared to 4.4 and 134.9 by the Jets. In 2012 the Jets averaged 118.5 yards compared to 105.4 from the Jets. In 2012 it was 105.8 for the Jets and 89.9 for the Titans. Clearly Rex Ryan believes in running the football.
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Johnson will have a little stiffer competition for carries this year. He shared the load last year with Shonn Greene, who managed to gain 3.8 ypc on 77 carries. In New York he’ll share the load with Chris Ivory. Ivory averaged 4.6 ypc on 182 carries. If Bilal Powell, who averaged 4.0 ypc on 176 carries is also in the mix, there isn’t enough for Johnson to continue his past success.
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Johnson will be a low-end RB2 at best. Ivory moves to RB3 status. This is a move that should help the Jets, but hurt fantasy owners.
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Also check out:

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With the 2014 NFL Draft finally approaching, here’s an early look at the 2014 Lester’s Legends’ fantasy football tight end rankings.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Also check out:

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Fantasy football season is still a ways off. With the NFL Draft being pushed back, for some it feels like the wait for football season has been extended. Of course, after the draft it will seem like the offseason sped up. My feelings are still undecided on the change. Still, there is plenty of things to do while you wait.
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Play fantasy baseball. If you haven’t joined a league, perhaps you can find enough buddies to go in with you. Baseball is a LONG season so missing a few weeks could be nice for the casual fan. Alternatively, there are plenty of daily fantasy baseball leagues you can choose from.
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Get in on the action of the Kentucky Derby and other races. This is fun because you can do a little prep work to give you a better feel for the horses. There is great buildup and the fast pace of the race is intense. If you happen to win some coin, even better.
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Check out golf or NASCAR. If baseball isn’t your thing, there are fantasy leagues for golf and NASCAR. Heck, there are even fantasy fishing leagues. That or you could actually go fishing or golfing. There isn’t many more relaxing things than spending some time on a lake on a beautiful summer day.
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If you have kids you need not worry about making the time pass. They keep you busy with all of their activities. Plan a family vacation. Visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH. We visited it last summer and I highly recommend it.
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Become a grill master. Summer is all about cooking over an open flame. Make your whole neighborhood jealous of the way you thrown down on the grill.
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Whatever you do, just don’t wish the summer away…even for football. Time goes fast enough. Plus, the winter was so brutal in a lot of the country. Let’s not wish for a return anytime soon.
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 | Posted by | Categories: Fantasy Football, NFL |

DeSean Jackson pro bowl
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There have been a number of roster moves that will have impacts across the fantasy football landscape. Here’s a look at the wide receivers on the move and their impact. Click here for a breakdown on QBs and RBs.
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Kenny Britt, WR, St. Louis Rams: Britt has the frame to get the job done, but has been dealing with a number of injuries. He’s never reached 800 receiving yards so proceed with caution.
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Eric Decker, WR, New York Jets: Decker got paid, but life after Peyton is going to be much more difficult. He also doesn’t have Demaryius Thomas to take the pressure away. His prospects took a hit, but he’ll remain a WR2-3.
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DeSean Jackson, WR, Washington Redskins:  DeSean moves within the division. He’ll be the second option behind Pierre Garcon. His numbers are going to take a hit. He should remain a WR2-3 as well.
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James Jones, WR, Oakland Raiders: Jones may have fewer quality options to compete with in Oakland, but going from Aaron Rodgers to Matt Schaub is a monumental step back. I’d pencil him in as a WR3-4 with upside.
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Hakeem Nicks, WR, Indianapolis Colts: Nicks is an interesting option. He’s a player to watch in the preseason for signs of explosiveness. He has a lot of upside if he can reclaim it.
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Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos: Sanders had 740 yards and six touchdowns with the Steelers last year. He stands to improve catching passes from Peyton Manning. He’ll be on my radar for sure.
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Steve Smith, WR, Baltimore Ravens:  Smith will move into a different role with his new team as Torrey Smith will stretch the field. He should surpass last year’s numbers, but his ceiling is probably 2012′s 1,174 yards.
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Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions: I think the move to Detroit will do more for the Lions than producing a bona fide fantasy star. He gives them a legitimate weapon opposite of Calvin Johnson. Tate should get an upgrade from his Seattle days, but he’s probably a WR3 at best.
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Brandon Myers, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Myers has topped 500 yards with four touchdowns in each of the past two seasons. He’s share looks with Tim Wright. There’s not a lot to see here.
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Vick
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There have been a number of roster moves that will have impacts across the fantasy football landscape. Here’s a look at the QBs and RBs on the move and their impact. Click here for a breakdown of the WRs and TEs.
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Josh McCown, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneeers:  McCown will likely win the starting gig over Mike Glennon. He should form a nice rapport with Vincent Jackson. At best he’s a QB2 though.
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Matt Schaub, QB, Oakland Raiders: Schaub couldn’t get it done with Andre Johnson. I’m not sure what he can do in Oakland. He’s not a player I would add even as a QB2.
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Michael Vick, QB, New York Jets:  Vick should beat out Geno Smith for the starting role, but will probably spend some time on the sidelines nursing an injury. Eric Decker gives him a solid target, but the talent pool is pretty shallow thereafter. Vick has QB1 upside, but he hasn’t been a real fantasy force since 2010.
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LeGarrette Blount, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers:  Blount moves to a backup role in Pittsburgh behind Le’Veon Bell. The biggest change in Blount’s signing should be Stevan Ridley’s return to prominence in New England.
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Donald Brown, RB, San Diego Chargers: Brown will only have use if Ryan Mathews gets injured. He won’t even have third down appeal with Danny Woodhead holding down that role.
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Toby Gerhart, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars: Gerhart gets a chance to carry the load for Jacksonville. He has a lot of upside, but he’s risky given this is his first real chance to start.
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Rashad Jennings, RB, New York Giants:  Jennings will get a chance to carry the mail for the G-Men. He should be a solid yardage league and PPR league back. If he can handle goal line duties, he could easily be a starting caliber fantasy option.
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Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Oakland Raiders: Mojo will compete with Darren McFadden for touches. That would be great for Oakland if this were 2010. As it stands, neither offer a lot of fantasy value.
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Knowshon Moreno, RB, Miami Dolphins: Moreno runs hard and picks up the blitz extremely well. He won’t have the starting job outright. Plus, leaving Denver is a blow to his outlook. He’s mainly a depth choice.
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Ben Tate, RB, Cleveland Browns:  Tate has some promise, but he has never had 200 carries in a given season making him a risky option. He’s a dual threat that caught 34 passes last year. If he can stay healthy, he’ll be a solid option.
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C.J. Spiller snow
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By Matt Southall, @mattsouthall2
2014 Offseason Fantasy Football: News, Updates…
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There are things in life that just don’t pan-out the way you and everyone else thought they would. Every individual set of circumstances is unique and has an infinite amount of variables that are tough for anyone to accurately predict. This is especially true in today’s NFL, and coinciding is the game we call fantasy football.
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One most recent example of this type of situation is the Buffalo Bills of 2013. The question marks of uncertainty surrounded rookie QB E.J. Manuel and the young WRs the Bills selected in 2013, but the expectations regarding the Bills’ running game was a given to most fantasy owners. The bulk of the touches and the title of offensive workhorse were supposed to be awarded to C.J. Spiller, and the older, and “fading,” Fred Jackson would get the leftovers. Sometimes things just don’t happen the way everyone thought they would.
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Spiller was entering his fourth year in the league since being drafted ninth overall, and Jackson was a 32 year-old back who had only played in 10 games in each of the 2011 and 2012 seasons. Spiller’s touches dwarfed Jacksons in 2012, 207 to 115, and Spiller’s outstanding six yards-per-carry average and 1,703 total yards vaulted him into the upper echelon of RB rankings for many fantasy owners. It was finally Spiller’s year to get the workload that could make him a dominant force in all formats, and his ADP reflected those expectations in fantasy drafts. Bills OC Nathaniel Hackett made waves in early Aug. 2013 when asked about Spiller’s role. “We’re going to give him the ball until he throws up,” Hackett said. “So he’s either got to tap out or throw up on the field. Let’s just put it that way.”
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Straight from the horse’s mouth, put in plain and graphic detail. The pieces were all in place and Spiller was set to capitalize on his new OC’s belief in his abilities to be their main guy. How could this not be Spiller’s year? Fast forward to present day and fantasy owners who drafted Spiller (likely in the first round) will tell you things did not happen the way they were expecting.
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The Bills’ distribution of carries was virtually a 50/50 split between Spiller and Jackson through 16 games. Spiller ran the ball 201 times compared to Jackson’s 207, and neither RB rushed more than 23 times in any 2013 contest. While Spiller finished with 927 yards rushing to Jackson’s 896, Fred scored nine touchdowns on the ground to C.J.’s two. Jackson also surprised many Bills’ fans by catching 47 balls out of the backfield compared to Spiller’s 33. These post-season stats are far from the preseason numbers that fantasy owners anticipated. So what caused the Bills to abandon their grand scheme to get Spiller the rock as much as possible? Let’s take a look at the stats through Buffalo’s first four games:
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Spiller- Rushing: 66 carries, 230 yards, zero TDs, 3.48 yards-per-carry. Receiving: nine receptions, 29 yards, 3.2 yards-per-catch.
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Jackson- Rushing: 48 carries, 256 yards, two TDs, 5.3 yards-per-carry. Receiving: 13 receptions, 113 yards, 8.7 yards-per-catch.
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The Bills coaching staff gifted Spiller the opportunity through the season’s first quarter, and Jackson simply outperformed his younger counterpart despite receiving fewer touches and earned his share of playing time. So much to Spiller’s fantasy investor’s dismay, the two backs shared the Bills carries the rest of the season.
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As the 2014 season begins to take shape, the Bills RB situation is surrounded by questions that weren’t there this time last year. Will Spiller be named the starter again entering the season? Will Jackson be given the same volume of carries that he received last year? Who will end the season with the most touches?
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Common sense and history will tell us that the first RB to seize the opportunity will be given the majority of the touches. Coaches will put the players on the field that give them the best chance to win. The Bills are no different.
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Jackson proved he had something left in the tank in his seventh season, and Spiller has his youth, supreme talent, and the potential to be a game-changing player. The possibility of the two RBs splitting carries in 2014 is present, and one would be foolish to think otherwise. Jackson is entering the final year of his contract, and there is no reason for the Bills not to give him the ball if he can play as well as he did in 2013.
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Those who draft Spiller in 2014 with RB1 expectations will be disappointed for the second year in a row. Jackson will take away valuable third-down touches and those oh-so-crucial goal-line carries from Spiller again this year, which severely diminishes his overall value. Spiller certainly won’t be touted as highly as he was in 2013, but there will be drafts where he is taken in the second or third rounds. If things remain the way they are looking at this point, Spiller shouldn’t be taken until the fourth or fifth round in redraft leagues depending on the format. Don’t get sucked in to the trap of what 2014 “could be” for Spiller.
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Matt Southall is a contributor to many prestigious sites dedicated to the wonderful game of fantasy football. Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google+.
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