With just five months remaining until the start of the 2014-2015 NFL season, I believe it more than appropriate to start planning for your fantasy football draft(s). Seriously, preparation is key to having a well-balanced draft and ultimately, a successful fantasy season. To win it all, it is imperative to find the next superstar at each position. I know it is super super early, but here is a short list of players that I believe are ready for fantasy stardom.
Andrew Luck: As the great philospher, Seneca, once said, "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." There’s no question that Luck is a terrific real-life quarterback, but he hasn’t necessarily worked his way up to the "stud" tier where P. Manning, Brady, Brees, Newton, and Rodgers currently reside. All of the variables for this season to be Luck’s true coming out party are there: a healthy Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton with another year of experience (scary), a hungry duo with tons to prove in Trent Richardson and Hakeem Nicks. Of course, you cannot forget about the tight end combination of Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener. There’s no question that Luck has more than enough tools to have a stellar season and expand on his 23 passing touchdowns from 2013.
Montee Ball: This might not be much of a surprise considering Moreno’s departure and the amount of carries that Ball is soon to inherit. Ball was expected to have more of a fantasy impact in 2013 than he actually did. In fact, many 2013 mock drafts and rankings had him slated as a top 10 fantasy running back. Even though those predictions did not materialize last year, I believe it is fair to say that Ball will have an impactful fantasy season. Of course, Peyton Manning will still look to air the ball out next year, but Ball will have his fair share of red zone opportunities and increase his 4 rushing TD output from last season.
T.Y. Hilton: I really love everything about T.Y. Hilton’s game. As a sophomore, he cemented himself as a number 1 receiving target as soon as Reggie Wayne went down. More impressive was his performance in the playoffs. Hilton came up with big play after big play. With 82 receptions in 2013 and some of the fastest running routes, he’s poised for an even better season. However, with Wayne, Fleener, Allen, and recently acquired Nicks on board, don’t expect a jump in receptions even though those extra weapons will allow for more room for T.Y. to operate.
Jordan Cameron: As a former college basketball player myself, I always love hearing the story of a former basketball player turned tight end. Cameron has all the tools that he developed from basketball (footwork, agility, and hands) to make him a prolific receiver. With Josh Gordon by his side and potentially Sammy Watkins (the most dynamic offensive player in this year’s draft), Cameron should have stud-like season. Aside from Jimmy Graham (no-brainer), there is no other tight end that I rather have for this upcoming season.