Melvin Gordon NFL Draft  Todd Gurley NFL Draft
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Now that the NFL draft is behind us it is time for fantasy football nuts to start breaking down the rookies. Here’s the LestersLegends’ look at the 2015 NFL rookie running back class.
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1.Melvin Gordon, San Diego Chargers
Melvin Gordon ran for 2,587 yards and 29 touchdowns last year for Wisconsin. He caught 19 passes for an additional 153 yards and three touchdowns. Gordon dominated Nebraska last year for 408 yards and four touchdowns. In 2013 Gordon had 1,609 yards and 12 touchdowns. He’ll tote the rock immediate for the Bolts and should have the biggest impact among rookie running backs.
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2. Todd Gurley, St. Louis Rams
Todd Gurley is an amazing talent when healthy. His health is his weakness though. Gurley was limited to six games last year, but he managed 911 yards and nine touchdowns. He had 989 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2013 despite missing three games. Gurley played the full season as a rookie, which resulted in 1,385 yards and 17 touchdowns. The 6’1″, 222 pound Gurley shouldn’t have much trouble supplanting Tre Mason as the lead back. I prefer Gurley to Gordon in dynasty leagues.
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3. Tevin Coleman, Atlanta Falcons
Tevin Coleman has a solid shot of the feature back role for the Falcons. He ran for 2,036 yards and 15 touchdowns last year for Indiana. Devonta Freeman figures to be more of a third down back.
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4. T.J. Yeldon, Jacksonville Jaguars
T.J. Yeldon has to earn carries away from Toby Gerhart and Denard Robinson, but clearly he’s the future of the Jaguars’ running game. He ranks third in dynasty leagues. Yeldon 1,272 total yards and 13 touchdowns over the past three years at Alabama. At 6’1″, 226 pounds he should be a force.
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5. Ameer Abdullah, Detroit Lions
Ameer Abdullah lands in a talented offense, but has to share the load with Joique Bell. He ran for 1,611 yards and 19 touchdowns last year and 1,690 and nine scores in 2013. Abdullah averaged 24 catches over the past three years, but Bell will likely handle third down duties.
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NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Press Conference
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Now that the NFL draft is behind us it is time for fantasy football nuts to start breaking down the rookies. Here’s the LestersLegends’ look at the 2015 NFL rookie quarterback class.
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1. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jameis Winston threw for 3,907 yards and 25 touchdowns, which was a step back from the 4,057 yard and 40 touchdowns he produced as a freshman. He should hit the ground running with Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson in his arsenal.
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2. Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans
Marcus Mariota will have more of an adjustment to the NFL game. He threw for 2,677 yards and 32 touchdowns in 2012, 3,665 yards and 31 touchdowns in 2013 and 4,454 yards and 42 touchdowns last year while averaging 745.7 yards and 9.7 touchdowns on the ground. Kendall Wright, Harry Douglas and Delanie Walker give him some decent options.
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3. Bryce Petty, New York Jets
Bryce Petty averaged 4,027.5 yards and 30.5 touchdowns over the past two seasons. He ran for 14 touchdowns in 2013. Petty likely won’t get a look this season for the Jets.
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4. Sean Mannion, St. Louis Rams
Sean Mannion threw for 4.662 yards and 37 touchdowns in 2013, but dipped to 3,164 yards and 15 touchdowns last year. He also isn’t likely to get any run in 2015. Garrett Grayson and Brett Hundley are better dynasty options.
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NFL: Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants.
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The 2014 wide receiver draft class was one for the ages. It yielded four high-end dynasty options and a few other solid options.
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1. Odell Beckham, Jr., New York Giants
Odell Beckham, Jr.  had 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns in 12 games. His jaw-dropping catches made him a human highlight reel. Not only is he the top in his class, he’s already among the top in the league. ODB averaged 123.3 yards with 11 touchdowns in the final 10 games of the year. He’s locked in with Eli Manning, which should make a sophomore slump unlikely.
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2. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Mike Evans had 1,051 yards and 12 touchdowns despite alternating between Mike Glennon and Josh McCown. Evans is likely to get a quarterback upgrade in the 2015 NFL Draft. He averaged 76.1 yards per game with 12 touchdowns in the final 12 games of the season. At 6’5″ he will continue to be a nightmare to cover, particularly in the red zone.
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3. Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina Panthers 
Kelvin Benjamin quickly built a strong rapport with Cam Newton. He had 1,008 yards and nine touchdowns, which ordinarily would have him ranked number one on this list. That just speaks to how deep this draft class is. Benjamin had 75 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Benjamin also stands 6’5″.
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4. Sammy Watkins, Buffalo Bills
Sammy Watkins was my preseason favorite from this class, but quarterback play hurt him. He still finished with 982 yards and six touchdowns. Assuming he gets better QB play Watkins should take a step forward. He’s further proof of the depth of this class.
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5. Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia Eagles
Jordan Matthews finished with 872 yards and eight touchdowns. He averaged 66.6 yards and 0.7 touchdowns in the final nine games of the season. He’s in a great spot in one of the most explosive offenses.
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6. Brandin Cooks, New Orleans Saints
Brandin Cooks finished with 550 yards and three touchdowns in 10 games. He averaged 68 yards and 0.5 touchdowns in the final four games of the year. He should take a step forward next year with Drew Brees.
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The Next Batch
7. Martavis Bryant, Pittsburgh Steelers
8. Jarvis Landry, Miami Dolphins
9. Donte Moncrief, Indianapolis Colts
9. John Brown, Arizona Cardinals
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Eric Ebron NFL Draft
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Now that the NFL draft is behind us it is time for fantasy football nuts to start breaking down the rookies. Here’s the LestersLegends’ look at the 2014 NFL rookie tight end class.
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1. Eric Ebron, Detroit Lions
Ebron is 6’4″ and 245 pounds with 4.6 speed making him a nightmare for defenses, particularly when they have to focus on Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush. Ebron caught 62 passes last year for 973 yards and three touchdowns. In 2012 he caught 40 passes for 625 yards and four scores. During his time at North Carolina Ebron averaged 16.1 yards per catch. Ebron will have to improve on his red zone prowess to really make noise, but he should be a solid fantasy option right away.
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2. Jace Amaro, New York Jets
Amaro caught 106 passes for 1,352 yards and seven touchdowns last year at Texas Tech. He is 6’5″ and 260 pounds with 4.72 speed. The Jets are thirsty for offensive firepower outside of Eric Decker, which could lead to plenty of targets for Amaro right out of the gate. There is a good chance that he leads all tight ends in receptions and/or yards.
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3. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Seferian-Jenkins, at 6’6″ and 276 pounds, gives the Bucs another huge target. He has caught 146 passes over the past three seasons for 1,840 yards and 21 touchdowns. Between Seferian-Jenkins, Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans the Bucs have loaded up with tall weapons for Josh McCown. Seferian-Jenkins could lead all rookie tight ends in touchdown receptions.
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4. Troy Niklas, Arizona Cardinals
Niklas at 6’6″ and 270 pounds gives the Cardinals a huge option at tight end. He caught 32 passes last year at Notre Dame for 498 yards and five touchdowns. Defenses will be concerned with Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd, which should allow Niklas to get good looks. He will be useful in the red zone.
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5. C.J. Fiedorowicz, Houston Texans
Fiedorowicz is 6’6″ and 262 pounds with 4.76 speed. He caught 75 passes over the past two seasons for 732 yards and seven touchdowns for Iowa. The Hawkeyes threw just 375 times compared to 557 rushing attempts. In a pass-heavy league Fiedorowicz could easily emerge as better pro player than he was at the collegiate level. Fiedorowicz should make his mark in the red zone.
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Sammy Watkins
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Now that the NFL draft is behind us it is time for fantasy football nuts to start breaking down the rookies. Here’s the LestersLegends’ look at the 2014 NFL rookie wide receiver class. It should come as no surprise given the evolution of the game, but this position has the deepest crop of fantasy newcomers.
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1.  Sammy Watkins, Buffalo Bills
Watkins gives Buffalo an explosive weapon the passing game. He’s 6’1″ and 205 pounds with 4.43 speed. Last year at Clemson he caught 101 passes for 1,464 yards and 12 touchdowns. With C.J. Spiller and Watkins on the field at the same time the Bills will have some firepower on offense.
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2. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Evans at 6’5′ pairs with the 6’5″ Vincent Jackson to give the Bucs a pair of huge wide receivers. That recipe worked well for Josh McCown last year in Chicago (Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery). Evans had 1,105 yards in 2012 and 1,394 yards and 12 touchdowns last year. Evans should be a nice red zone threat out of the gate.
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3. Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia Eagles
Matthews may have been the seventh receiver to come off the board, but Jerry Rice’s cousin landed in a good spot with Chip Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles. He will work the slot and use his 4.46 speed to get separation. Matthews caught 206 passes over the past two seasons for 2,800 yards and 15 touchdowns. There will be plenty of targets up for grabs following the departure of DeSean Jackson and Jason Avant.
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4. Brandin Cooks, New Orleans Saints
Cooks gets a chance to catch passes from Drew Brees, which fuels the excitement. Marques Colston isn’t the same player he used to be. Cooks could step in and shine. He caught 128 passes for 1,730 yards and 16 touchdowns last year at Oregon State. He could see plenty of time in the slot and get some of the looks reserved for Darren Sproles the past few years.
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5. Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants
Beckham Jr. was the 12 overall pick by the Giants as they looked to get Eli Manning more firepower after a down year. With 4.43 speed Beckham Jr. brings explosiveness to the table. He should be a nice complement to Victor Cruz. Beckham Jr. caught 59 passes last year for 1,152 yards and eight touchdowns.
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Bishop Sankey combine
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Now that the NFL draft is behind us it is time for fantasy football nuts to start breaking down the rookies. Here’s the LestersLegends’ look at the 2014 NFL rookie running back class.
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1. Bishop Sankey, Tennessee Titans
Sankey may not be the best running back in this class, but there is a path to starting job with Chris Johnson moving to the New York Jets. Sankey tore it up last year at Washington with 1,870 yards and 20 touchdowns on the ground, which was a nice follow-up to his 1,439 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2012. Sankey also caught 61 passes over the past two years, making him a potential three-down back. He should have little problems beating out Shonn Greene.
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2. Andre Williams, New York Giants
Andre Williams was taken in the fourth round with the 113th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, but lands in a good spot with the G-Men. Rashad Jennings ran well for the Oakland Raiders last year, but his 163 carries were a career-high. Williams ran for 2,177 yards and 18 touchdowns last year for Boston College. At 6’0″, 227 pounds he could easily handle goal line duties while sharing some of the load on the ground.
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3. Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers
Ohio State’s Carlos Hyde is easily the top choice among running backs for dynasty leagues. Frank Gore just turned 31 on May 14th. The Niners nabbed Hyde in the second round to be his replacement. Hyde is a 6’0″, 235 pound battering ram. He ran for 1,521 yards last year and has 35 touchdowns in the past two seasons. Hyde will get some touches this year. If Gore gets banged up, he’ll immediately move up the ranks.
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4. Terrance West, Cleveland Browns
West should steal some carries from newly acquired Ben Tate as Tate has never had 200 carries in a season. He finished his career at Towson with 802 carries for 4,849 yards and 84 touchdowns. West is 5’11 and 223 pounds with 4.54 forty speed. He’s also a good dynasty option.
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5. Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals
Hill was the second running back selected. It’s a little curious because the Bengals took Giovani Bernard last year in the second round. Hill, at 6’1″ and 235 pounds will likely be the goal line back. He could also be used to close out games. Running backs have not gone in the first round the past two seasons. Committees are the new wave. If Hill can punch in several scores during the year he’ll have some fantasy weight.
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Johnny Manziel NFL Draft
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Now that the NFL draft is behind us it is time for fantasy football nuts to start breaking down the rookies. Here’s the LestersLegends’ look at the 2014 NFL rookie quarterback class.
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1. Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars
Bortles was not only the first quarterback taken in the 2014 NFL Draft, but he’s also the one most likely to play meaningful snaps in the 2014 NFL season. The third overall pick is 6’5″ and 232 pounds. He threw for 3,581 yards and 25 touchdowns at Central Florida. Bortles should be able to get a shot with Chad Henne holding down the starting job in Jacksonville. Not having Justin Blackmon at his disposal hurts, but the Jags did a nice job of adding Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson in the second round.
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2. Johnny Manziel, Cleveland Browns
Despite the talk surrounding Johnny Football, don’t expect him to be Johnny Backup all year long. Brian Hoyer is the top man on the depth chart, but with 192 career pass attempts and a big game against a bad Minnesota Vikings defense shouldn’t give him a very firm grip on the job as he recovers from a knee injury. Manziel threw for 3,706 yards and 26 touchdowns to win the 2012 Heisman. He responded to offseason criticism with 4,114 yards and 37 touchdowns last year. Manziel ran for 1,410 yards and 21 touchdowns as a freshman and “just” 759 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground last year. At 6’0″ and 210 pounds that trend should continue against the bigger, faster NFL players. Like Bortles, Manziel will have to get by without a star player. In Manziel’s case it is Josh Gordon.
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3. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
Carr will get to learn behind the newly-acquired Matt Schaub, who has been pretty average the past few seasons despite having Andre Johnson to throw to. Neither Schaub nor Carr have good talent to work with in Oakland, but that could lead to an earlier look at Carr. He threw for 3,544 yards and 26 touchdowns as a sophomore, 4,104 yards and 37 touchdowns as a junior and 5,082 yards and 50 touchdowns as a senior. He has the pedigree. Hopefully he has more success than his big brother David.
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4.  Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings
Teddy will get to learn behind Matt Cassel, who will form a bridge to the Bridgewater era. Cassel will likely miss a couple of games during the year, which will give Bridgewater a chance to get his feet wet. If he runs with the job he will never look back. Over the past two seasons the 6’2″, 205 pound Bridgewater averaged 3,844 yards, 29 touchdowns and just six interceptions. He’ll have to add to his frame, but Bridgewater isn’t a running quarterback that you have to worry about getting put in harm’s way.
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5. Zach Mettenberger, Tennessee Titans
Zach Mettenberger rounds out the top five only because of Jake Locker’s injury history and a general lack of immediate impact players at the position in this year’s draft crop. Mettenberger is 6’5″ and 235 pounds, but lacks any sort of mobility. He also has character concerns. Mettenberger threw for 3,082 yards and 22 touchdowns. If Locker goes down again, Mettenberger could see some action.
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