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Fantasy 411 – A Look to 2014

Jordan Todman has been in the mix all season for Jacksonville, getting a few random carries each week. Week 15 against Buffalo was his first opportunity to have the benefit of a full feature back workload, and he delivered by eclipsing 100 yards rushing. Todman was effective in the passing game as well, pulling in four balls for 44 yards. With all the uncertainty that surrounds Maurice Jones-Drew’s future with the team, Todman may get an extended look over the last couple of weeks. The Jaguars have several holes to fill and re-signing Jones-Drew would be costly.
I expect them to let Jones-Drew walk and plug Todman in while drafting and grooming a successor. Obviously, this situation will bear watching in the offseason, and through training camp but Todman is positioned to be on your fantasy radar for next season.

Many football pundits thought Chip Kelly’s arrival in Philadelphia would spell a quick end to Nick Foles’ future there, but Foles has proven to be very effective running the Eagles’ fast paced offense. Foles has been able to contribute with both his arm and legs for the Eagles, but his biggest asset has been his ability to take care of the ball. Foles has a phenomenal 23-to-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio and is set up to be a strong QB1 next season. While Drew Brees and Peyton Manning will be the sexy, early picks on draft day, Foles could pay huge dividends for a much better value next season.

Eddie Lacy has been a top-10 fantasy back this season, performing as many predicted he would when he was drafted out of Alabama. While Lacy hasn’t had extraordinarily, gaudy numbers he has risen through the ranks of the running backs with consistency. The Green Bay Packers have had to rely on him heavily with Aaron Rodgers sidelined, and the rookie has delivered. Many experts think that Lacy and the running game will regress when Rodgers returns, but the numbers show that Lacy was equally effective before Rodgers’ injury. Pencil in Lacy as a top-10, consistent running back for the 2014 season.

When my drafts roll around next season I will have a close eye on Ryan Tannehill for my quarterback position. Tannehill has been the picture of consistency this season. He is certainly not in the elite category, but he could be poised to take the leap in to the tier of starting quarterbacks that you can rely on and still get great value from. In three of his last four starts, Tannehill has topped 300 yards passing. The Miami offense is still coming in to its own and looking for an identity, but Tannehill looks to be the leader and signal caller to lead them going forward. For me, if Tannehill can do a better job protecting the ball he will enter next season’s drafts as a low-end starting quarterback, or a high-end backup that could be valuable trade bait.

Zac Stacy has emerged this season in a crowded St. Louis backfield and has taken the feature back role and run with it. Stacy was thought to be the third option entering the season, but he emerged midway through the season and has done such a good job, he will certainly enter next season as the undisputed starter. Stacy is a rhythm back who gets better as he piles up the carries and pounds away. The Rams are a young team, and they will be in excellent shape to add to their talented team via the draft. (Thanks Washington!) I look for Stacy to be a mid-second rounder next season as a low-end RB1 or elite RB2.

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