The 2014 regular season is over, but it’s not too early to take a look at the projected top 10 fantasy football draft picks for 2015. With the continuing trend of NFL teams using a running back by committee approach, the elite workhorse running backs will be in high demand again in 2015. The top-tier running backs will account for a majority of the top 10 overall selections while Peyton Manning, Calvin Johnson, and Jimmy Graham make way for first round newcomers Andrew Luck, Antonio Brown, and Odell Beckham Jr.
Heading into 2014 we heard two stories about Le’Veon Bell. One being that he lost a bunch of weight and the other being that LeGarrette Blount was going to steal all of his goal-line touches. The latter seemed to scare people off and he fell down draft boards. Clearly, that was wrong making him my 2014 fantasy football MVP. After accounting for 34% of all of the Steelers offense in 2014 there is no reason to think the Steelers will not lean on him just as much in 2015, making him our top pick for next years’ draft.
Murray has always had the stigma of being injury prone but even a broken hand would not hold him out of a game during the 2014 season. So after shaking that injury tag and running behind arguably the best offensive line in football he has to be a top pick in 2015. Sure, the injury history is still scary to some degree but the chance he could be a 2,000 yard rusher and basically a lock for double digit touchdowns makes him a great pick next year once again.
The Bears had a trying season but fantasy owners could always count on Matt Forte to produce. He rushed for slightly over 1,000 yards but the fact he caught 102 balls for over 800 yards is unreal. Almost even more impressive is the fact he was targeted 130 times, that is eight less than Dez Bryant. Regardless of who is the starting quarterback for Bears next year one thing is certain, Matt Forte is going to touch the ball a lot. In a league of committee back systems, it is well worth a top three pick for a player that is going to touch the ball as much a Forte.
Due to an injury and the fact Kniles Davis somewhat emerged, Andy Reid did not use Jamaal Charles nearly as much as he did a season ago. Fantasy owners drafting him in 2015 should not be too concerned however, as Charles still produced last year. Charles is stud whom has found pay dirt an incredible 33 times over the past two seasons and double digit touchdowns seems like a sure thing as anything in 2015.
Lacy owners in 2014 had a bit of a bumpy ride and certainly had a rough start to the season. However, he pulled it together as he ended the season with over 1,500 total yards and 13 total touchdowns. He will be on the same high powered offense and the lack of stable, solid fantasy running back options means he has to be a top five pick next year.
Andrew Luck took a huge step forward this season and led the NFL in passing touchdowns by throwing 40 of them. Throw in the fact he rushed for three more makes him our number one quarterback for the 2015 fantasy football season. This kid is going to be the best quarterback in the league in a couple of years and will hold that crown for a long time. I love everything about him, draft him confidently next season.
Last season we told everyone it was worth it to draft a quarterback early but everyone wanted to tell us that they could just wait and get Robert Griffin III, Nick Foles, or Colin Kaepernick in the later rounds. Well, that did not work out last year and we again think it is worth it to grab an elite quarterback early this year. If you miss out on Luck we bumped Rodgers over Peyton simply due to his age and running ability.
For the first time in four years Calvin Johnson is not coming into the season as our top wideout. That honor goes to Antonio Brown. The Steelers threw the ball as much as any team last season and Brown was targeted 182 times which had him average over 100 receiving yards a game. While we do not see him scoring 13 touchdowns next year he does have a very real chance of 125 catches, 1,500 yards, and double digit touchdowns.
As stated there is a lack of surefire RB1s in the fantasy landscape but LeSean McCoy is still one of them. I know he stated the year a little slow but McCoy ended the year with 1,319 rushing yards. That was good enough to be the third highest rushing total in the NFL this past season. The Eagles offense will continue to be high powered and McCoy will continue to be a huge feature role in it.
Odell Beckham Jr.
We debated which player should round out our top ten quite a bit but we landed on the kid, Odell Beckham Jr. We have not seen a rookie wideout put up numbers like this since Randy Moss and the fact he did that in twelve games makes it even more impressive. As our CEO and President stated about Beckham Jr. “He is just better at catching a football than anyone else in the NFL.” He would be higher but the fear of a second year slump is a little concerning.