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2014 fantasy draft bargains

Who doesn't love a bargain? Come on men, admit it. This isn't just for the ladies who score a new pair of Jimmy Choos for a discounted price. Alright, so we might not be looking for the newest designer shoes, but you know you love telling the tale of how you beat the car salesman for a few thousand dollars on a new car over a holiday weekend. The same applies in fantasy football. If you were one of the clever owners who drafted Knowshon Moreno late in your 2013 draft, you know you told everyone who cared (and many who didn't) how you stole him in the late rounds.

Here's a look at some of the players you could steal off the fantasy football shelves in 2014.

Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys: Romo is the quarterback everyone loves to hate, but he's darn good in fantasy football. With pass-driven coordinator Scott Linehan now running the offense and a defense that is going to give up a ton of points to the opposition, Romo is destined to light up the stat sheets. He could still be on the board in Round 10 in some drafts.

Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons: Yes, Ryan was often disappointing last season. But with superstar wide receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White both back at 100 percent, the Boston College product is in line to have a bounce-back campaign in 2014. The Falcons also improved their offensive line with the addition of rookie Jake Matthews, which also clearly benefits Ryan.

2014 FANTASY FOOTBALL BARGAINS


Rashad Jennings, RB, New York Giants: Despite the fact that he started just a handful of games for the Oakland Raiders last season, Jennings still ranked among the 25-best running backs in fantasy football. Now the projected feature back for the G-Men, he can be had in the middle rounds as a flex starter with the potential to emerge into a solid No. 2 running back.

Dexter McCluster, RB, Tennessee Titans: If you're in a PPR league, McCluster is a player to target in the late rounds. A wide receiver turned running back, he'll fill the role of Danny Woodhead in the offense of new coach Ken Whisenhunt. While Bishop Sankey is the Titans runner to grab overall, McCluster could turn into a nice bargain if you get points for catches.

Bernard Pierce, RB, Baltimore Ravens: The potential for Ray Rice to be suspended for several games due to off-field issues makes Pierce an interesting choice in drafts. Barring any setbacks in his return from an injured shoulder, he could open the season atop the Ravens' backfield depth chart. Pierce is a nice candidate to rebound from what was a poor 2013 campaign.

Stevan Ridley, RB, New England Patriots: Ridley was a massive disappointment last season, but the loss of LeGarrette Blount in free agency will put him right back into the backfield spotlight in New England. While Shane Vereen is the Patriots runner to target first in drafts, Ridley could become a nice late-round investment if he earns back a more prominent role.

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Jeremy Maclin, WR, Philadelphia Eagles: Maclin, a veteran out of Missouri, is in a good position to succeed as the top wideout in coach Chip Kelly's explosive offense. The reason he'll slide in 2014 drafts is because he missed all of last season due to a torn ACL. Still, Maclin is going to be worth the risk in the middle to late rounds as a WR3/4 with potential.

Mike Wallace, WR, Miami Dolphins: A bust for countless fantasy owners last season, Wallace is going to be a nice bounce-back candidate in the offense of new coordinator Bill Lazor. His system will be a much better fit for Wallace, who will be asked to use his speed and athleticism to make an impact in the vertical pass attack. He can be had as a WR4 in most drafts.

Roddy White, WR, Atlanta Falcons: White's numbers dropped like a stone in 2013, due in large part to the loss of Jones and several nagging injuries. But with Jones back and his ailments healed, the veteran wideout should turn back the clock when it comes to the stat sheets. If you can land White as a high-end No. 3 fantasy wideout, you're getting an absolute bargain.

Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings: Rudolph missed half of the 2013 campaign due to injuries, but he's now in a great place to bounce back in the stat sheets. New coordinator Norv Turner likes to use his tight ends in the offense (see Jay Novacek, Antonio Gates, Jordan Cameron), so Rudolph could be a steal for what will be a late-round price tag in fantasy drafts.


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!

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