Aaron M. Sprecher
Loser - Rueben Randle, WR, New York Giants
Randle had some sleeper appeal heading into next season, at least until the Giants picked Odell Beckham with the No. 12 overall selection. While this is clearly now a training camp battle for fantasy fans to watch, I give the skilled rookie a fair chance to unseat Randle and start opposite Victor Cruz in 2014. In fact, Beckham could already be considered the second-best fantasy wideout for Big Blue.
Winner - Toby Gerhart, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Unless you consider seventh-round pick Storm Johnson a threat, the Jaguars showed a lot of faith in Gerhart's skills as a potential featured runner. At this point, his competition for backfield touches is Jordan Todman and Denard Robinson. (Are you thinking what I'm thinking?) Whether you believe in Gerhart as a fantasy back or not, the fact of the matter is that he is in a position to see 250-300 carries in 2014.
Loser - Steve Johnson, WR, San Francisco 49ers
The selection of Sammy Watkins by the Buffalo Bills was the beginning of the end for Steve Johnson's time as a viable fantasy option. Now in San Francisco after a trade, he's gone from being the top wideout in Buffalo to the fourth-best option in the Niners' pass attack behind Michael Crabtree, Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis. While he makes the team's offense more explosive through the air, Johnson's stock has fallen.
Winner - Ben Tate, RB, Cleveland Browns
How is Tate a winner? After all, the Browns did draft Terrance West out of Towson. Well, the team was destined to take a runner due to an overall lack of depth at the position. When you also consider their pick could have been someone like Bishop Sankey or Carlos Hyde, Tate has to be considered the clear-cut No. 1 back in Cleveland. The offense figures to be run-based too, even more so if Josh Gordon is suspended.
Loser - BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
Green-Ellis was once a viable fantasy starter earlier in his career, but now he'll be forced to fight for depth-chart position with rookie Jeremy Hill. And after a season that saw him average a mere 3.4 yards per carry, I wouldn't be shocked if he's not on the Bengals roster come 2014. With Giovani Bernard atop this backfield in fantasy circles, the Law Firm could become an afterthought when it's time for drafts.
Winner - Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers
Kaepernick finished ninth in fantasy points among quarterbacks last season, and that was without Michael Crabtree for a good portion of the campaign. Heading into 2014, he'll have Crabtree back to go along with Anquan Boldin, Vernon Davis and Steve Johnson. What's more, Kaepernick has more support in the backfield in the form of Carlos Hyde. With all those weapons, he's going to have top-five fantasy upside in 2014.
G. Newman Lowrance
Loser - Shonn Greene, RB, Tennessee Titans
The release of Chris Johnson pushed Greene to the top of the Titans depth chart earlier this offseason. That didn't last long, however, as he's now been pushed to number two at best with the selection of Bishop Sankey. Greene is also coming off another knee surgery, which further hurts his fantasy draft value. If you decide to take a Tennessee runner, Sankey and not Greene is now the clear-cut choice in fantasy.
Winner - Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions
Stafford went into the draft with some tremendous weapons in Reggie Bush, Joique Bell, Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate. Now we can add Eric Ebron to that list. While he isn't likely to become a No. 1 tight end in fantasy leagues as a rookie, Ebron's presence in the pass attack is enough to make Stafford more valuable. The Lions also drafted Travis Swanson, who will help add depth to the team's offensive line unit.
Loser - Frank Gore, RB, San Francisco 49ers
Gore has long been one of the better running backs in fantasy football, even at what is considered an advanced age at the position. However, the addition of Carlos Hyde hurts his draft value. Remember, the Niners also have Kendall Hunter in the backfield mix, not to mention Marcus Lattimore. This crowded corps of runners now makes Gore someone to avoid as more than a flex starter in what will be his age-31 campaign.
Winner - Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona Cardinals
Ding, ding, ding, ding! The biggest veteran winner is Ellington due to his position, his coach's plan to utilize him in a more prominent role, and the fact that the Cardinals didn't draft a single running back. In fact, his lone competition for carries is Stepfan Taylor and Jonathan Dwyer. If you're looking for a potential breakout candidate among runners, Ellington's name should be right near the top of your list.
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