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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. 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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4. 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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5. 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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6. 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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7. 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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8. 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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9. 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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10.  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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11. 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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12. 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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13. 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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14. 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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15. Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers
Cobb was limited to six games last year, but managed 433 yards and four touchdowns. He added 78 rushing yards. He’s a dynamic playmaker if he can stay healthy.
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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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Adrian Peterson 2012
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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).
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We are in that time of the year where unless you are a fan of one of the Super Bowl teams you are probably not in football mode. You’ll gear up for the big game next week as you get your party plans and food figured out. Sure, the Pro Bowl is this week, but does anyone really care about that game? It’s cute that they are doing a Pro Bowl Draft, but if the game was in my back yard I might tune in for a drive or two. Why not take a moment and look towards next year’s fantasy draft?
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1. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
As long as he holds up in the Super Bowl and his next checks out, how can you not rank him number one after his record-breaking season? He threw for 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns. He has great weapons in place. Peyton should have no problem putting up monster numbers once again.
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2. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees threw for 5,162 yards and 39 touchdowns. That’s three straight years with at least 5,000 yards and 39 touchdowns. He is the poster boy for consistent excellence.
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3. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
Cam Newton averaged 211.2 passing yards, 1.5 passing touchdowns, 36.5 rushing yards and 0.4 rushing touchdowns. He should continue to deliver with his legs. I expect Carolina spends the offseason upgrading his arsenal so he can start doing more damage with his arm.
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4. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers was limited to nine games last year, but I think a bounceback is in order. He isn’t quite as dangerous with his feet, which cuts into his fantasy value a little. He still elite.
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5. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck threw for 3,822 yards and 23 touchdowns. He added 377 yards and four touchdowns with his feet. His ability to run puts him right up there with the best of the best. I expect his passing totals to rise.
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6. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
Matthew Stafford threw for 4,650 yards and 29 touchdowns, putting his three-year average at 4,885 yards and 30 touchdowns. Calvin Johnson is an elite talent. I expect the Lions to add help. Jim Caldwell’s presence should also help.
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7. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Brady did as much as he could with the talent available to him. He still finished with 4,343 yards and 25 touchdowns. Assuming he has better options next year, Brady should continue to put up big numbers.
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8. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
Most teams would kill for a quarterback that throws for 3,828 yards and 31 touchdowns with just 10 interceptions. Unfortunately Tony Romo will carry a stigma until he can win the big game. For fantasy owners, that’s irrelevant. He’ll continue to put up big numbers.
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9. Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles
Nick Foles threw for 27 touchdowns with just two interceptions. He has a firm grasp of Chip Kelly’s offense. Expect more growth, even if the numbers take a little hit. A 13.5:1 TD-Interception ratio is not sustainable.
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10. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
Russell Wilson has 52 touchdowns to just 19 interceptions in two seasons. He adds value by running the ball. A healthy Percy Harvin should only help his passing numbers.
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Most fantasy leagues have wrapped up already, but there are some that still play to the bitter end. For those leagues, I present the Lester’s Legends 2013 Week 17 fantasy football kicker rankings.
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1. Stephen Gostkowski, New England Patriots
2. Matt Prater, Denver Broncos
3. Steven Hauschka, Seattle Seahawks
4. Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens
5. Phil Dawson, San Francisco 49ers
6. Mason Crosby, Green Bay Packers
7. Nick Novak, San Diego Chargers
8. Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis Colts
9. Dan Bailey, Dallas Cowboys
10. Robbie Gould, Chicago Bears
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Carolina Panthers Defense
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Most fantasy leagues have wrapped up already, but there are some that still play to the bitter end. For those leagues, I present the Lester’s Legends 2013 Week 17 fantasy football team defense rankings.
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1. Carolina Panthers
2. Seattle Seahawks
3. San Francisco 49ers
4. Kansas City Chiefs
5. Miami Dolphins
6. Cincinnati Bengals
7. Arizona Cardinals
8. Indianapolis Colts
9. New England Patriots
10. Tennessee Titans
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Most fantasy leagues have wrapped up already, but there are some that still play to the bitter end. For those leagues, I present the Lester’s Legends 2013 Week 17 fantasy football tight end rankings.
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1. Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints
Jimmy Graham is averaging 76.3 yards and a touchdown per game. He had 10 catches for 179 yards and a score in the first meeting with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
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2. Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers
Vernon Davis is not piling up the yards like Graham, but he’s been just as prolific scoring touchdowns. Davis had 180 yards and two touchdowns in his first meeting against the Arizona Cardinals.
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3. Julius Thomas, Denver Broncos
Julius Thomas is averaging 57.8 yards and 0.9 touchdowns. He had 37 yards and a touchdown in the first game against the Oakland Raiders.
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4. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys
Jason Witten is averaging 47.7 yards and 0.5 touchdowns per game. He has four touchdowns in the past five games. He should finish strong against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles have allowed 285.2 yards and 1.5 touchdowns per game.
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5. Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons
Tony Gonzalez could be closing out his Hall of Fame career against the Carolina Panthers. He had 81 yards and a touchdown in the first meeting.
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6. Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers
Greg Olsen is averaging 51.6 yards and 0.3 touchdowns per game. He had 66 yards and a touchdown in the first meeting with the Atlanta Falcons.
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7. Martellus Bennett, Chicago Bears
Martellus Bennett has averaged 78 yards the past two game. He closes the 2013 season against the Green Bay Packers. The Pack have allowed 248.8 yards and 1.9 touchdowns per game.
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8. Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers
Antonio Gates is averaging 56.1 yards and 0.2 touchdowns per game. He finishes the year with a tough matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs.
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9. Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville Jaguars
Marcedes Lewis has scored in four straight games. The Jacksonville Jaguars don’t have many other options in the passing game, particularly in the red zone. Lewis is a risky option against the Indianapolis Colts, but he’s on fire right now.
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10. Brandon Myers, New York Giants
Brandon Myers is averaging 43.2 yards and 0.6 touchdowns in his past five games. He should finish strong against the Washington Redskins. The Skins have allowed 249.3 yards and 1.9 touchdowns per game, including 61 yards and a score by Myers in their first meeting.
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