Geno Smith ready for fantasy flight in 2014

Did your fantasy football question not make this week's Mailbag? You can still get an answer! Submit it to Fantasy Genius and have your question seen by millions of fantasy fans just like you!

Now after the draft and most teams are set, who are your top five quarterbacks this season? Also one sleeper QB, but don't say Manziel. -- @b_dollenmeyer (via Twitter)

Marcas Grant: Don't worry, I won't. First, my top five quarterbacks after the draft look pretty much like my top five QBs before the draft -- Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Andrew Luck and Colin Kaepernick. Previously, I had Kap just outside the top five, but the addition of Stevie Johnson was enough to put him over the top. As for my sleeper this year -- wait for it -- it's Geno Smith. The Jets quarterback slowly figured things out as the season progressed and was a top-10 option during the fantasy playoffs ... and that was with a grab bag of underwhelming receivers. Now that the team has added Eric Decker and tight end Jace Amaro, there are some more intriguing options to throw to. The competition with Michael Vick will be something to watch, but expect Rex Ryan to give Smith every opportunity to win the job. If he does, the second-year signal-caller could pay dividends in 2014.

Who are the top three rookies to target and a rookie sleeper? -- @JoelMerical (via Twitter)

M.G.: My top three rookies going into 2014 are Bishop Sankey, Mike Evans and Sammy Watkins. All three should have large roles in their respective offenses and could be in the conversation for the league's Offensive Rookie of the Year award by the end of the season. My sleeper pick is Devonta Freeman. The former Florida State back will have the chance to become the change-of-pace back that Jacquizz Rodgers never developed into. And if Steven Jackson struggles again in 2014 like he did in 2013, Freeman could start seeing a few extra carries along the way.

Who has a better year in Tennessee -- Bishop Sankey or Dexter McCluster? -- @Mcphly_ (via Twitter)

M.G.: Since I believe Sankey will be the top rookie in fantasy football, it stands to reason I think he'll top McCluster for running back production on the Titans' roster. With Shonn Greene spending his offseason recovering from another knee surgery, Sankey has a chance to challenge for the top spot on the depth chart. Meanwhile after four years of never finding a true role in Kansas City, McCluster won't suddenly change addresses and become a workhorse.

Does Jeremy Hill to Cincinnati hurt Giovani Bernard? -- @LazyGrandeur (via Twitter)

M.G.: If there's anyone in Cincy who should be worried about Hill's arrival, it's BenJarvus Green-Ellis. The Bengals have said all along that they view Bernard as the Law Firm's eventual replacement. That process was accelerated as the 2013 season went along. In the normal-type running back platoon, Hill is more of the hammer while Bernard is more of the shifty, pass-catching back. While Green-Ellis has not yet turned 30 (he'll be 29 in July), he was inconsistent last year with a career-low 3.4 yards per carry. Not to mention that Green-Ellis will be a free agent after the season and would likely carry a larger price tag than the Bengals are interested in picking up. If Hill is going to take snaps from anyone, it will be the veteran.

Can you talk about Zac Stacy's keeper value, especially with Tre Mason now in the backfield? -- @JMcCarthy86 (via Twitter)

M.G.: I would worry about it a little bit, but not too much. If there's anything the Rams learned last season, it's that Stacy has the ability to be a workhorse back if needed. From Week 5 through the end of the season, Stacy logged 249 carries -- only Eddie Lacy (255) had more. Now that Sam Bradford is back, it's likely that the Rams will throw the ball more. This will be the Heisman winner's last shot to prove he can be a franchise quarterback. Not to mention that the team wants to make Tavon Austin a larger part of the offense. If Stacy loses opportunities, that's probably where they'll go. Mason is an intriguing piece, but more for dynasty league purposes than anything specific in 2014.

Should running back still be a first-round lock? -- @KevinBaboolal (via Twitter)

M.G.: Nope. This idea might be anathema to plenty of fantasy enthusiasts, but I'm no longer subscribing to the theory that you have to take a running back in the first round. That said, if you're at the top half of your draft, you're going to want to get one. LeSean McCoy, Jamaal Charles, Adrian Peterson, Matt Forte and Marshawn Lynch should be the first five players off the board in most re-drafts, but after that things get dicey. I wouldn't argue against taking a player like Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning or Calvin Johnson in the bottom portion of the first round.

If the offensive line holds up, will Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson be like another Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery? -- @ericmcdade (via Twitter)

M.G.: I have a hard time thinking the newly-minted "Tampa Towers" could match the production of Chicago's dynamic duo. Generally speaking, rookie receivers are inconsistent. Guys like A.J. Green who produce as rookies are rare -- and even Green finished 14th at the position in 2011. Add to it that Jackson is 31 years old, entering his 10th season in the NFL and has a well-earned reputation among fantasy owners as a consistently inconsistent WR option. That's not to suggest that both of those players can't be productive in 2014. But to think that they could mirror what Marshall and Jeffery did last season is a bit of a stretch.

If you had to draft one Giants running back right now, who do you take for your fantasy team -- Andre Williams, Rashad Jennings, Peyton Hillis or David Wilson? -- @TimSimmons23 (via Twitter)

M.G.: The leader in the Big Blue clubhouse is Jennings. He was a coveted commodity in the free agent market and is the most well-rounded of New York's backs. Hillis' breakout 2010 season is looking like more and more of an anomaly as the years go by; he hasn't started more than nine games in a season since that magical campaign. Williams seems like the kind of back that fits perfectly with the Giants, but in 44 career games at Boston College, he caught a total of 10 (!) passes. That's not a good stat for a rusher in today's NFL. David Wilson always has the potential for big things, but after suffering a serious neck injury (and subsequent surgery) last season, you can be certain that Tom Coughlin and his staff are going to be very cautious about how and when they use him this season.

What is the most improved fantasy defense following the draft? -- @mrgetwright (via Twitter)

M.G.: As if the NFC West needed any more defense, the Rams went out and beefed up their defensive line with Aaron Donald -- like Robert Quinn and Chris Long really needed more help to get to the quarterback. St. Louis then followed that up by selecting cornerback Lamarcus Joyner, who could fill the job of a nickel back or a slot corner -- a position that is gaining in importance as slot receivers play a bigger role in NFL offenses. The Rams finished seventh among fantasy defenses in 2013 and could creep into the top five this season. Honorable mention goes to the Houston Texans. After last season, there's nowhere to go but up. And after spending the first overall pick on Jadeveon Clowney and pairing him up with J.J. Watt, that rise could be rapid.

With so many weapons in San Francisco, which one would be the pick? -- @MrFioMaN (via Twitter)

M.G.: The first 49er off the board in most re-drafts will undoubtedly be Colin Kaepernick, but if you're looking at his pass-catchers, I'd go with Vernon Davis followed closely by Michael Crabtree. Anquan Boldin's 2013 numbers were aided by Davis and Crabtree not being healthy for much of the season and the veteran is likely to see a big dropoff this year. Meanwhile, adding Steve Johnson to the mix will give opposing secondaries something extra to worry about, but he'll have minimal value for fantasy owners.

Marcas Grant is a fantasy editor for NFL.com and a man who remembers where he was when Jim Druckenmiller was drafted. Let's not talk about it. But if you'd like to talk to him about fantasy football, beer or cartoons, tweet him @MarcasG.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.
Gamepass_vert_web_r

See all the Action

Replay every game all season.