The 2014 NFL Draft is in the books, so fantasy footballers now have a much better idea of how depth charts will look around the league. Following a rampant free-agent period, there's plenty of changes to our mock drafts over the last several months. One thing hasn't changed, though, and that's the run of running backs in Round 1.
One other thing that hasn't changed is the lack of quarterbacks being drafted in the first five rounds. Yes, I know it's a passing league. But to be honest, I had to force myself to put Peyton Manning in Round 2 despite the fact that he's coming off one of the best fantasy football seasons of all time. (Let the angry tweets begin!)
This mock draft is based on NFL.com's standard 10-team leagues with a basic (non-PPR) scoring system that rewards four points for touchdown passes and six points for all other touchdowns scored. Each numbered position represents an individual fantasy team, so no more than one quarterback, three running backs, three wide receivers or one tight end will be selected per roster.
1. Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings: Peterson experienced a large decline in production in 2013, but that was to be expected after the monstrous totals he recorded in the previous campaign. Still, he did finish eighth in fantasy points among running backs despite also missing time due to injuries. Peterson is no mere mortal, and the addition of OC Norv Turner is huge.
2. LeSean McCoy, RB, Philadelphia Eagles: The NFL's leading rusher, McCoy piled up 1,607 yards with 11 total touchdowns and 278.60 fantasy points in the offense of Chip Kelly. The Pitt product has now finished second in fantasy points among backs in two of the last three seasons, and at 25 he's in the prime of his career. His value won't decline with Darren Sproles in the mix.
3. Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs: Charles is coming off the best season of his career, recording 70 receptions, 1,980 scrimmage yards, 19 total touchdowns and 308 fantasy points. Whether he can duplicate his top status among running backs remains to be seen, but at 27 he's in the prime of his career. Look for Charles to remain the focus of Andy Reid's offensive attack.
4. Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle Seahawks: It seems like Lynch has been in the league forever, but he's just 27 and should still have one or two strong seasons left in the Great Northwest. He's ranked among the five-best running backs based on fantasy points in three straight seasons, and there's no reason to believe he won't continue to find success. He's a top-five selection.
5. Matt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears: Forte thrived in the offense of coach Marc Trestman, recording career-bests in rushing yards (1,339), rushing scores (9), receptions (74) and receiving yards (594). The 28-year-old runner also averaged a solid 4.6 yards per carry, proving he can be explosive and versatile. Forte will be a top-five pick and could go top three in PPR formats.
6. Eddie Lacy, RB. Green Bay Packers: If you watched "NFL Fantasy LIVE" last season, you know I love Lacy. He started 2013 with a combined 15 carries in his first three games, due in large part to a concussion that cost him some time. From Weeks 5-17, though, he averaged 20.7 carries per game. Lacy also scored more rushing touchdowns (seven) than any player from Week 10 on.
7. Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans: Foster, a second round pick in my previous mock draft, has returned to the top 10 after being cleared from last year's back procedure. There is some risk with him, but Foster will return to his featured role and has little competition behind him on the Houston depth chart. I think he still has one more strong campaign left in his body.
8. DeMarco Murray, RB, Dallas Cowboys: Murray shook his prone-to-injuries label to start 14 games in 2013. Outside of Dez Bryant, he was the best statistical performer on the field for coach Jason Garrett. Murray even caught 53 passes, which showed how versatile he can be out on the field. At 25 and entering a contract year, he's clearly on the radar as a top-10 selection.
9. Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers: Even with the addition of LeGarrette Blount, I still love Bell's upside. In 13 games as a rookie, he averaged better than 13 fantasy points and was projected to record 211.57 fantasy points over a full season of work. That would have been more points than Lacy, Murray and Peterson. Bell has fantasy superstar written all over him.
10. Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions: I am not a fan of taking wide receivers in Round 1, but grabbing Megatron makes sense. He is a safer bet than any of the running backs still on the board, and I won't lose much by waiting an extra pick or two to nab a runner. Johnson has finished no worse than third in fantasy points at wideout since 2011, so he's guaranteed to produce.
11. Montee Ball, RB, Denver Broncos: Some might think this is too high to draft the unproven Ball, but the departure of Knowshon Moreno (Dolphins) makes him a prime breakout candidate. Running backs have almost always had success playing alongside Manning, so there's oodles of upside with this Wisconsin product. He has the tools to post similar numbers to Moreno next season.
12. Jimmy Graham, TE, New Orleans Saints: How valuable is Graham? His 217.5 fantasy points would have ranked him as a super stud regardless of position ... he would have finished as the sixth-best running back, the top-ranked wide receiver and the top-ranked defensive unit. A potential contract holdout is cause for concern, but Graham won't make it out of Round 2 regardless.
13. Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland Browns: Gordon is in danger of being suspended by the NFL, possibly for the entire 2014 campaign, due to another failed drug test. When/if that happens, he's going to drop out of the first five rounds (at least) of this mock draft. Until it's official, though, I'm keeping the talented but troubled wide receiver listed as a second-round choice.
14. Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys: Bryant is a fantasy monster, scoring a combined 25 touchdowns over the last two seasons. He's also a stud when it counts, scoring in each of his last five games of 2013. With new OC Scott Linehan and his pass-laden offense now in Big D, Bryant is a serious threat to push Megatron for the top spot among fantasy wide receivers next season.
15. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos: Thomas has emerged into a massive superstar, as his fantasy-point totals have risen in each of the last three seasons. He's finished with 90-plus catches, 1,400-plus yards and a combined 24 touchdowns over the last two seasons as the main threat in the pass attack for Manning, and at age 26 he's barely in the prime of his NFL career.
16. A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals: One of the most talented young wide receivers in the NFL, Green has finished fourth in fantasy points at his position in each of the last two seasons. He has also seen his reception and yardage totals increase during that time. Like Thomas, Green is entering the prime of his career and should remain a fantasy star for many years to come.
17. Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons: Jones missed most of the 2013 season due to injuries, but don't let his absence make you forget about him. He was on pace to average over 100 yards per game and would have ranked among the top 10 players at his position based on fantasy points. If you're able to pick up Jones past the second round, it's really like stealing a superstar.
18. Brandon Marshall, WR, Chicago Bears: In his first two seasons in Chicago (with Jay Cutler), Marshall has recorded a combined 218 catches, 2,803 yards and 23 touchdowns. He's also finished no worse than fifth in fantasy points among wide receivers. Even with Alshon Jeffery emerging into a star, Marshall is still easily one of the top five to 10 players at his position.
19. Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos: Manning is coming off a historical season that saw him set new NFL records for passing yards (5,477) and passing touchdowns (55), and he also led all players with over 400 fantasy points. That won't happen again in 2014, but Manning is still the top fantasy player at his position. He'll go higher than this in most drafts, but not mine.
20. Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Martin was a massive disappointment last season, as he missed 10 games with a bum shoulder and wasn't that great in the stat sheets when he was active. Still, he's a young runner who should rebound in an offense that will lean on him as its centerpiece. Martin has also been cleared for work, so his stock is back on the rise again.
21. Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers: Brown broke out in 2013, recording career bests almost across the board while finishing second among wide receivers in catches (110). He ranked among the top 10 wideouts in fantasy points in all standard leagues and went third in PPR formats.
22. Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers: Nelson has recorded 1,200-plus receiving yards and a combined 23 touchdown catches in each of his last two full seasons for the Packers. As long as he can avoid injuries, which have been a problem in the past, Nelson should post WR1 totals in 2014.
23. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints: No quarterback in the NFL has been more consistent for fantasy leaguers than Brees, who has ranked no worse than second in fantasy points at his position in five of the last six seasons. He's likely to go much higher than this in most 2014 drafts.
24. Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: The addition of new OC Hue Jackson in Cincinnati could be massive for Bernard, who is a major candidate to move up in future mock drafts. Fantasy owners need to keep tabs on what happens with BenJarvus Green-Ellis and rookie Jeremy Hill in camp.
25. Zac Stacy, RB, St. Louis Rams: During the final 12 games of Stacy's rookie season, all as the starter, he averaged 13-plus fantasy points. Coach Jeff Fisher will lean on him as his workhorse in his second season, but the addition of rookie Tre Mason makes Stacy safer as a third-rounder.
26. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers: Rodgers was 22nd in fantasy points among quarterbacks in 2013, missing seven games with a broken collarbone. If we project the numbers he posted in his seven full starts, however, Rodgers would have finished third in fantasy points at his spot.
27. Reggie Bush, RB, Detroit Lions: Bush missed some time due to injuries, but he still ranked 11th in fantasy points among running backs in standard leagues and ninth in PPR formats. He isn't going to be a true featured back, however, as Joique Bell will no doubt continue to see work.
28. Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona Cardinals: Coach Bruce Arians wants to build his offense around Ellington, who showed flashes of potential as a rookie. With the retirement of Rashard Mendenhall, the Clemson product is a prime sleeper/breakout candidate for the Cardinals and fantasy owners.
29. Alshon Jeffery, WR, Chicago Bears: A talented wideout with some of the best hands in the NFL, Jeffery makes for a terrific high-end WR2 if you can get him at this stage. In 2013, he put up career bests across the board as the second option in the pass attack for quarterback Jay Cutler.
30. Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego Chargers: Mathews had the look of a true No. 1 fantasy runner in the second half of 2013, and the Chargers plan to use him as their top runner even with Danny Woodhead and Donald Brown in the mix. Mathews is also in a contract year, so they'll be more motivation.
31. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals: Fitzgerald found the end zone 10 times this past season, but he's also recorded fewer than 1,000 yards in back-to-back campaigns.
32. Alfred Morris, RB, Washington Redskins: Morris had a down season compared to his breakout rookie campaign, but there's no reason he won't post RB2 totals moving forward.
33. Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers: I love Cobb's versatility and upside catching passes from Rodgers, which is why I have him ranked among some big-name wide receivers.
34. Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots: Will Gronkowski be ready for the start of 2014? That remains to be seen, but he's a risk worth taking once we get into Round 4.
35. Ben Tate, RB, Cleveland Browns: Tate has had some durability issues in the past, but he's a true featured back in an offense that will run the football a lot next season.
36. Andre Johnson, WR, Houston Texans: Johnson, who will be entering his age-33 season, is a reception and yardage machine but has lacked for touchdown catches since 2010.
37. Michael Crabtree, WR, San Francisco 49ers: Crabtree has all the tools to record No. 1 wideout numbers, so landing him at this stage of the draft could be a massive steal.
38. Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore Ravens: Rice is coming off a dreadful 2013 campaign, and his personal issues in the offseason could hurt his fantasy value even further next season.
39. Wes Welker, WR, Denver Broncos: As long as Welker's concussion issues don't return, he's a good bet to post No. 2 fantasy wideout numbers in an offense led by Manning.
40. Pierre Garcon, WR, Washington Redskins: Garcon lost some of his luster with the addition of DeSean Jackson, but he's still a surefire WR2 in standard and PPR leagues.
41. Julius Thomas, TE, Denver Broncos: There aren't many tight ends who will warrant a draft pick in the first five rounds of 2014 drafts, but Thomas is clearly one of them.
42. C.J. Spiller, RB, Buffalo Bills: Spiller was a major bust last season, but he'll be back at 100 percent health in 2014 and is well worth a roll of the dice in Round 5.
43. Victor Cruz, WR, New York Giants: Cruz should rebound under new OC Ben McAdoo after what was a dreadful 2013 campaign. He'll turn into a nice WR2 for fantasy leaguers.
44. Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts: Luck didn't put up a ton of monster stat lines in 2013, but he still ranked an impressive fourth in fantasy points among quarterbacks.
45. Vincent Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jackson is too inconsistent to be considered a No. 1 fantasy wideout, but I'll take him at this point as a high-end No. 2.
46. Keenan Allen, WR, San Diego Chargers: Allen was by far the best rookie wide receiver in fantasy football this past season, not to mention the top option for Philip Rivers.
47. Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers: Newton lost his three top wideouts and had ankle surgery this offseason. He could move up again, but for now Superman's stock has fallen.
48. Rashad Jennings, RB, New York Giants: An underrated running back, Jennings will see a prominent role for the G-Men and could turn into a serious steal in all re-drafts.
49. Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Minnesota Vikings: If you're looking for a sleeper/breakout wide receiver for next season, look no further than the talented Patterson.
50. Bishop Sankey, RB, Tennessee Titans: The lone rookie worth a pick in the first five rounds, Sankey has a chance to earn a prominent role for the Titans next season.
Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Have a burning question on anything fantasy related? Tweet it to @Michael_Fabiano or send a question via Facebook!