Giovani Bernard set to make the fantasy leap

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!

Will Giovani Bernard see enough touches to make the leap to fantasy stardom? -- @No_Si (via Twitter)

Michael Fabiano: I believe he will see an increase in touches compared to his rookie totals, which is part of the reason Bernard is a member of my Fantasy man crush list for 2014. Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said at the NFL meetings that he envisions "second-year growth" from Bernard similar to that of Ray Rice. That would be quite the statistical leap, as Rice posted 78 catches and over 2,000 scrimmage yards in his second pro season. He had a mere 33 catches and just over 700 scrimmage yards as a rookie. As it stands, I have Bernard ranked among the 12 best runners in fantasy football for 2014. He'll be worth a second-round pick.

Who are your top 12 overall fantasy players for 2014? -- @KristoferA (via Twitter)

M.F.: You know me ... I don't believe in drafting quarterbacks in the earlier rounds, so you won't find one (not even Peyton Manning) in my top 12. Here's the current list: 1. Adrian Peterson; 2. Jamaal Charles; 3. LeSean McCoy; 4. Marshawn Lynch; 5. Matt Forte; 6. Eddie Lacy; 7. DeMarco Murray; 8. Le'Veon Bell; 9. Calvin Johnson; 10. Zac Stacy; 11. Arian Foster; 12. Josh Gordon.

Can Sammy Watkins become a No. 1 wide receiver in his rookie season? -- @gmoreiramarti (via Twitter)

M.F.: From a fantasy football perspective, that is quite unlikely. While there are some exceptions to the rule, most rookie wideouts don't make a massive impact in the stat sheets. For every Randy Moss or Anquan Boldin, there are five wideouts like Calvin Johnson or Demaryius Thomas ... superstars now, but their success wasn't immediate. This is the reason I never get too excited about wideouts and tight ends entering the league. The numbers show a trend of unimpressive totals in most cases. Does that mean Watkins should be avoided in seasonal fantasy drafts? Of course not. But to project Watkins, Mike Evans, Marqise Lee, Brandin Cooks or any of the top rookie receivers to make a huge impact is not advised.

Where would you draft Knowshon Moreno if he lands in Miami? -- @jbrooksm52585 (via Twitter)

M.F.: When you consider all of the offseason movement we have seen to this point, Moreno landing in Miami would be a best-case scenario for his 2014 fantasy value. That's because he would be the favorite to open the season atop the depth chart ahead of Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas. However, fantasy fans should also remember that the Dolphins had the seventh-worst rushing offense in the league last season. So while Moreno was a top-five fantasy runner last year in Denver, I'd be hard-pressed to draft him as more than an RB2 if he signed in South Florida.

Is Cam Newton still a top-two pick considering Carolina's wide receiver situation? -- @3600blK (via Twitter)

M.F.: Newton could be at the helm of the Denver Broncos offense next season, and I still wouldn't take him with one of the top two overall selections. In terms of the quarterback position, I have dropped him to sixth behind Manning, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Nick Foles and Andrew Luck. That's due to the fact that he could have the worst corps of wideouts of any signal-caller in the league, at least as things stand with Jerricho Cotchery and Tiquan Underwood atop Carolina's depth chart. Also keep in mind that Newton is coming off ankle surgery and will miss all offseason programs as a result. Clearly, Superman will come with some risk in 2014.

Where do you rank Golden Tate among wide receivers? Also, where do you rank Matthew Stafford? -- @Pauln_15 (via Twitter)

M.F.: There is a lot of talent at the wideout spot heading into next season, so I have Tate ranked as a high-end No. 3 fantasy wideout despite his WR2 potential. We can all agree that his value is on the rise, as the Golden Domer goes from a run-based offense in Seattle to one that will throw the football a ton in Detroit. As for the value of Stafford, I have him ranked seventh at quarterback just ahead of Tom Brady, Tony Romo and Colin Kaepernick. I see the Lions quarterback as a potential draft bargain across the board.

I'm in a keeper league that rewards half a point for carries and a full point for catches. I can retain either Montee Ball or Alfred Morris. Thanks! -- @Castilloadam07 (via Twitter)

M.F.: If we assume that Moreno's time in Denver is over, then Ball is the better option in both re-draft and keeper leagues. He showed flashes of potential late in his rookie season, and playing in an offense with Manning is a huge positive for any running back ... just ask Moreno, Edgerrin James and Joseph Addai. Ball is also a much better pass catcher than Morris, who has a combined 20 receptions in his first two NFL seasons. Ball had 20 receptions in limited time in his rookie campaign alone.

After Calvin Johnson comes off the board, who should be the second wide receiver drafted ... Josh Gordon, Dez Bryant or Julio Jones? -- @jason_dangles87 (via Twitter)

M.F.: My current top five wide receivers are Megatron, Gordon, Bryant, Demaryius Thomas and A.J. Green, with Jones coming in sixth. Of course, I think you can shuffle the five players after Johnson in any order and still be fine. The argument for Gordon being second is simple, as he dominated the league in the second half of last season ... and he did it without a ton of talent at the quarterback spot in Cleveland. Regardless, none of these six receivers will last past the second round of drafts.

In what round would you draft Darren McFadden? -- @martyXcore (via Twitter)

Fantasy free agency tracker

Darren McFadden is staying put, but plenty of free agents are on the move. Keep up with them in our Fantasy Tracker. More ...

M.F.: McFadden is on the borderline of my top 30 running backs for next season, making him no more than a high-end RB4 in most formats. It's hard to argue against his talent, but McFadden just can't stay on the football field. He's missed a combined 10 games over the last two seasons due to injuries, and he's never played in more than 13 games in a full season during his NFL career. If I did draft the Raiders runner, it wouldn't be until the late-middle rounds.

Do you think Marcus Lattimore is worth a flier in dynasty leagues? -- @joeyt5656 (via Twitter)

M.F.: Lattimore is worth a flier in re-draft leagues, so his value is clearly higher in dynasty formats. Reports about his return from a gruesome collegiate knee ailment have been positive, so he should enter the 2014 campaign third on the Niners' depth chart behind Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter. While he might not make a major impact next season, his prospects for the future are bright. Keep in mind, Gore is entering his age-31 season and is in the final year of his contract. That means Lattimore could be competing to start as soon as the 2015 campaign.

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!

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.