The NFL fantasy action has finished for the 2014 NFL season with many experts turning their attention to 2015. While the names of players like Adrian Peterson, Peyton Manning and Marshawn Lynch were in the top 8-12 picks in the first round. Next season looks to have a few new names near the top of most drafts.
This also opens the door up for some notable fantasy players to see their names drop come fantasy draft time. The one name that stands out from this season is Le’Veon Bell of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Bell a dual threat type of running back also contributed in the team’s passing attack that saw quarterback Ben Roethlisberger come up short of passing for 5,000 yards.
Bell in his second season out of Michigan State rushed for 1,361 yards on 290 carries along with eight rushing touchdowns. These numbers could have been slightly higher if Bell avoided an injury in the team’s final game of the season against the Cincinnati Bengals. Along with the running attack, Bell finished the season with 83 catches for 854 yards and three touchdown receptions.
The Steelers running backs top fantasy performance of the season came over a three game stretch starting against the Tennessee Titans. Bell would top the 200 yard mark combined between rushing and receiving yards to help pace the Steelers offense. This type of production will also land Bell in the first two rounds of most fantasy drafts in 2015.
Along with Bell the other key name to monitor in 2015 is wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. The New York Giants star wide receiver missed the teams first four games but still led the team in most receiving stats. Beckham finished the 2014 season with 91 receptions in 12 games to go with 1,305 receiving yards and 12 touchdown receptions.
Beckham also made the top ten highlight reel with what many have called one of the greatest catches of All-Time. Along with the catch the Giants wide receiver also landed in Arizona for the 2014 Pro Bowl as one of the few rookies or either side of the football. Much like Bell, Beckham will make a huge stride in year two making him a first round talent on most fantasy draft boards.
Other names that can see their names moving up the fantasy draft boards include Andrew Luck, Joe Flacco, Mike Evans, Kelvin Benjamin and Justin Forsett. Luck finished 2014 with the third most passing yards to go with a league high 40 touchdown passes.
While these players are moving up the board the uncertainity with Peterson, Lynch and Manning should see them drop as far down as the third or fourth round. Much of this has to do with concerns over their production moving forward. Peterson is still suspended by the league with a reinstatement possible in April. Lynch on the other hand has been notoritous four not answer the medias question plus many wonder if he would hang them up with a second straight Super Bowl Trophy.