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Published: July 2, 2015 at 03:21 p.m.
Updated: July 3, 2015 at 04:27 p.m.

Fantasy Independence

The Fourth of July is a time to celebrate the United States’ independence. In that spirit, we have a list of players from which your fantasy roster should declare its freedom this season.

10 Photos Total

  • After producing fireworks at the end of the 2013 season, Patterson was a dud in 2014. Now the deck <a href="http://www.nfl.com/fantasyfootball/story/0ap3000000498514/article/bustamove-patterson-faces-fantasy-mortality" target=�_blank�>seems stacked against Patterson breaking out in 2015</a>. The return of Adrian Peterson combined with the addition of Mike Wallace and the emergence of Charles Johnson means "Flash" could have a hard time making any sort of real impact in the Minnesota offense. 10

    Jim Mone/Associated Press

    Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Minnesota Vikings

    After producing fireworks at the end of the 2013 season, Patterson was a dud in 2014. Now the deck seems stacked against Patterson breaking out in 2015. The return of Adrian Peterson combined with the addition of Mike Wallace and the emergence of Charles Johnson means "Flash" could have a hard time making any sort of real impact in the Minnesota offense.

  • When Sankey was the first running back selected in the 2014 NFL Draft, plenty of fantasy football enthusiasts imagined the Titans rusher would cook defenses like so many hamburgers on a grill. Instead, it was those same fantasy managers who ended up getting burned. Now with David Cobb challenging to take over the starting gig in the Tennessee backfield, it looks like Sankey's chances of becoming a viable fantasy option are pretty much cooked. 9

    Sanford Myers/Associated Press

    Bishop Sankey, RB, Tennessee Titans

    When Sankey was the first running back selected in the 2014 NFL Draft, plenty of fantasy football enthusiasts imagined the Titans rusher would cook defenses like so many hamburgers on a grill. Instead, it was those same fantasy managers who ended up getting burned. Now with David Cobb challenging to take over the starting gig in the Tennessee backfield, it looks like Sankey's chances of becoming a viable fantasy option are pretty much cooked.

  • Harvin's talent has always given us the idea that he could eat up the competition like <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0E8ImL4aXY" target="_blank">Joey Chestnut at Coney Island</a>. The reality is that Harvin's inconsistency and inability to stay on the field has left most of us with recurring indigestion. This year, the speedster says he wants to be <a href="http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000499093/article/percy-harvin-ill-be-more-than-just-a-gadget-guy" target="_blank">more than a gadget guy</a>, but based on his track record that boast leaves us feeling unsatisfied. 8

    Kevin Hoffman/USA TODAY Sports

    Percy Harvin, WR, Buffalo Bills

    Harvin's talent has always given us the idea that he could eat up the competition like Joey Chestnut at Coney Island. The reality is that Harvin's inconsistency and inability to stay on the field has left most of us with recurring indigestion. This year, the speedster says he wants to be more than a gadget guy, but based on his track record that boast leaves us feeling unsatisfied.

  • Upon entering the NFL, Griffin was crowned as the next big thing -- both on the field and in fantasy football. Since then, there have been constant rumblings of revolt among Griffin's constituents with the occasional starting coup staged by the likes of Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy. At this point, Griffin's grasp on his throne is about as tenuous as King George III. Beware a potential revolution in Washington. Heavy lies the head that wears the crown. 7

    Aaron M. Sprecher/NFL

    Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins

    Upon entering the NFL, Griffin was crowned as the next big thing -- both on the field and in fantasy football. Since then, there have been constant rumblings of revolt among Griffin's constituents with the occasional starting coup staged by the likes of Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy. At this point, Griffin's grasp on his throne is about as tenuous as King George III. Beware a potential revolution in Washington. Heavy lies the head that wears the crown.

  • For a few weeks in 2013, it appeared that Foles was staging a fantasy revolution in Philadelphia. A little more than a year later, the Eagles declared their independence from the Arizona product. Now Foles finds himself in St. Louis trying to lead a big band of receivers and running backs -- one that has been fairly out of tune over the past few years. If you're looking for Foles to make beautiful music on your fantasy roster, you could be left singing a sad song. 6

    Michael Thomas/Associated Press

    Nick Foles, QB, St. Louis Rams

    For a few weeks in 2013, it appeared that Foles was staging a fantasy revolution in Philadelphia. A little more than a year later, the Eagles declared their independence from the Arizona product. Now Foles finds himself in St. Louis trying to lead a big band of receivers and running backs -- one that has been fairly out of tune over the past few years. If you're looking for Foles to make beautiful music on your fantasy roster, you could be left singing a sad song.

  • <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTHRg_iSWzM" target="_blank">Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose</a>. If you're taking a chance on a Browns wideout this season, you might have all the freedom in the world. The headliners of this group, Dwayne Bowe and Brian Hartline, combined for 1,228 receiving yards in 2014 � 11 individual receivers had more. The next most recognizable guy in that group might be Vince Mayle. But only because he bears a facial resemblance to <a href="http://www.nfl.com/photos/0ap1000000127859" target="_blank">a certain King in Cleveland</a>. 5

    Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports

    Cleveland Browns wide receivers

    Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose. If you're taking a chance on a Browns wideout this season, you might have all the freedom in the world. The headliners of this group, Dwayne Bowe and Brian Hartline, combined for 1,228 receiving yards in 2014 � 11 individual receivers had more. The next most recognizable guy in that group might be Vince Mayle. But only because he bears a facial resemblance to a certain King in Cleveland.

  • For the past two seasons, opposing offenses have paraded through the Bears defenses like it was Main Street in a Midwestern small town. 2014 was particularly embarrassing for the former Monsters of the Midway, with Chicago allowing a league high 430 points while scoring just two touchdowns via defense and special teams. The Bears should show some defensive improvement this season, but let's not start building decorative floats in celebration just yet. 4

    Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    Chicago Bears defense

    For the past two seasons, opposing offenses have paraded through the Bears defenses like it was Main Street in a Midwestern small town. 2014 was particularly embarrassing for the former Monsters of the Midway, with Chicago allowing a league high 430 points while scoring just two touchdowns via defense and special teams. The Bears should show some defensive improvement this season, but let's not start building decorative floats in celebration just yet.

  • Having to make a choice between the trio of EJ Manuel, Tyrod Taylor and Matt Cassel is the fantasy football equivalent of accepting taxation without representation. Or something like that. The good news is that freedom of choice reigns here – namely the choice to not select a Bills quarterback for your squad. 3

    Bill Wippert/Associated Press

    Buffalo Bills quarterbacks

    Having to make a choice between the trio of EJ Manuel, Tyrod Taylor and Matt Cassel is the fantasy football equivalent of accepting taxation without representation. Or something like that. The good news is that freedom of choice reigns here – namely the choice to not select a Bills quarterback for your squad.

  • Much like a firefly on a warm July night, Austin darts this way and that. And much like said illuminated insect, there's a lot of action without any real results. One day, Austin might truly light up the fantasy night but more than likely he'll be trapped inside the confining jar that is the St. Louis Rams offense. 2

    Ric Tapia/NFL

    Tavon Austin, WR, St. Louis Rams

    Much like a firefly on a warm July night, Austin darts this way and that. And much like said illuminated insect, there's a lot of action without any real results. One day, Austin might truly light up the fantasy night but more than likely he'll be trapped inside the confining jar that is the St. Louis Rams offense.

  • Ball was set to be the leader of the Broncos backfield, but C.J. Anderson announced his candidacy for the same position with a strong 2014 showing. Now it appears that fantasy football democracy (and the Denver depth chart) is working against Ball heading into 2015. Look for the one-time incumbent to find himself out of office by the time Week 1 rolls around. 1

    Jack Dempsey/Associated Press

    Montee Ball, RB, Denver Broncos

    Ball was set to be the leader of the Broncos backfield, but C.J. Anderson announced his candidacy for the same position with a strong 2014 showing. Now it appears that fantasy football democracy (and the Denver depth chart) is working against Ball heading into 2015. Look for the one-time incumbent to find himself out of office by the time Week 1 rolls around.