Like/Dislike: Looking back on 2014 fantasy regrets

What we are talking about:

  • Odell Beckham Jr.

Top WR headed into 2015

  • Ryan Tannehill

Never trusting you again

  • Orton v Cena

Rivalries gone bad

Emily-Blunt-123014-tos
  • Find out if Adam Rank has any regrets about the 2014 fantasy season. Surely they can't be as bad as Emily Blunt's decision of turning down the role of Black Widow...*

I felt good about my fantasy drafts. That should have been my first clue. I never feel good about my drafts. I always have regrets. Shoot, I guess that's everything about my life.

Just today I ordered a chicken sandwich at the NFL commissary. I instantly regretted my decision when my dining mate Mike Silver went with the "build your own" quesadilla. With a side of Spanish rice, too. You know what I don't regret? That epic name drop. That's right. I break bread with Silver on the reg. Fine. It was the first time. And he had to leave early because there was breaking news. But still pretty cool. I mean, I'm lucky that Nate Burleson talks to me in the locker room.

All right. Now I regret those name drops. But what was I just talking about? Oh yeah, fantasy regrets.

I don't have too many. Cordarrelle Patterson was the obvious one. He was on every one of my teams. I had some busts like Jimmy Graham and Adrian Peterson. But I worked the wire pretty well. I even had some good luck in some drafts, too. I had a team with Matt Forte, Le'Veon Bell, Mark Ingram, Jordy Nelson and Tony Romo. I even added C.J. Anderson in that league, too. But nothing worked. At all.

I wish there was one big regret I could pin this on. Like one of those click-bait articles about actors who turn down famous roles. Like Emily Blunt could have been Black Widow. Instead she filmed "Gulliver's Travels". Which was about the same.

I didn't get the satisfaction of that. Instead I looked at Silver's quesadilla and pondered what could have been.

A big hand to stats mavens Careen Falcone, Matty Fredrickand The Mick for dropping the knowledge.

And without further ado ...

Nine different QBs threw at least 30 TD passes this season, the most ever. Andrew Luck (40), Peyton Manning (39!), Aaron Rodgers (38), Tony Romo (34), Tom Brady (33), Drew Brees (33), Philip Rivers (31), Eli Manning (30!) and Ben Roethlisberger (32).

Andrew Luck will be the first quarterback off the board next season. But get ready to hear the jokes about his Week 16 performance next year. There will be no escape until he leads you to a title.

Aaron Rodgers is one of two quarterbacks in NFL history to throw at least 35 touchdowns with fewer than six picks in a complete season. He's done it twice now. (Tom Brady was the other.) Rodgers also had 25 touchdowns and no picks at home this year. How is that possible?

Tom Brady does interviews with Jim Gray during halftime of the Monday night telecast on the radio. I just about drove off the road when I realized Brady did those interviews live. Like he's at home watching the game and he's all, "Sorry G, I have to break away to do this interview with Jimmy." I don't know if I was more impressed with that. Or the fact he knew the name of Jim's wife. Who doesn't like this guy?

I will pass on Luck, Rodgers and Brady next year. I will instead wait for Russell Wilson to fall. Wilson is a sure-shot No. 1 quarterback. I said it early last year and it proved to be true. Imagine if the Seahawks get a playmaker at receiver. I know, I know. Dare to dream.

Matt Ryan shrugged off many of the criticisms that have harangued him during his career. His biggest moment, of course, was his huge performance at Green Bay on Monday night in the snow. He will be much better when the team addresses the offensive line issues.

Colin Kaepernick looked so smooth in Week 16 and that will be enough to sucker me in for 2015. The top coaching candidates will clamor for the 49ers gig if it comes open. The reason is Kaepernick. I hope the next coach can use his talents. The two top jobs on Black Monday were the Falcons and 49ers because of the quarterbacks. Both will attract the best of the best.

My first question for any potential coach in San Francisco: "How do you feel about the flat-bill cap Colin wears?" Because you're never going to succeed if you can't adjust to his style.

Philip Rivers will rebound next season. He battled through his own injuries and losses to his top receiver and running backs this year. Yes, that's the plural running backs. And I like when he screams into his helmet. We need a quarterback with passion.

Cam Newton is another quarterback I will target late. He did well with just Kelvin Benjamin this season and talented running backs who battled through some injuries.

ImageHere is how WWE retirement announcements work. If a guy is in the ring to open the show, he's going to retire (like Edge did). If it's teased throughout the show, he's not going to retire. Edge in attendance was just a bonus. It will be great to have Daniel Bryan back. The WWE needs him right now. Shoot, we need him right now.

ImageMy man Brandon Stroud has a great theory. The WWE has pushed Roman Reigns to the moon to get the crowd to turn on him. Like the way audiences turned on The Rock. I like it. Reigns becomes a monster heel to terrorize the WWE. Well, until he eats an attitude adjustment.

ImageGreat to see Edge and Christian back on RAW on Monday. Two of the greatest in my book. Both guys got over on talent and charisma not because they were muscle-bound cartoon characters. (Looking at you, Mason Ryan.) I gravitated towards guys like Edge and Christian because they were the smartass guys who could back it up in the ring. I also get scared when I see Edge and can only believe this is where we're headed with Daniel Bryan.

Two players had multiple games with three total touchdowns this season. C.J. Anderson and Matt Asiata. Anderson is no surprise to readers of this space. Asiata was the ultimate opportunist near the goal line this season. (I know what I did there, this is why we get along.)

Anderson was great this year. Just as we predicted in the preseason. He just looked much better than the other backs in the stable. Anderson's prospects look even brighter with the return of Peyton Manning for next season. Well, impending return. Another horrific playoff performance by Peyton could change everything.

Le'Veon Bell will be the top pick in most fantasy drafts next season. None of this should be a surprise after the season he had. But don't feel too bad if you end up with Eddie Lacy. He became a huge part of the Packers receiving game, too. He might not be at Bell's level yet. But he will continue to improve in that facet of his game.

I could get back into the Justin Forsett business if all things are the same headed into next season. You know the Ravens will draft well and surround him with good pieces. He just needs to stay.

Jeremy Hill was another of our preseason favorites as we headed into the year. He exceeded our already lofty expectations. I would feel great about him again if Hue Jackson remains as the offensive coordinator.

Lamar Miller ended up with a pretty solid season. How did this happen? Seriously, how did this happen? He's not a 30-carry back. But he's a perfect third-round RB2 dude.

Joique Bell is another one of those backs, too. He was a monster down the stretch. I expect him to be just as good in 2015. But he's going to have to fight off Theo Riddick, not the other guy.

The Bears have a good offensive line with Pro Bowlers like Kyle Long. One shrewd addition will put them on a Dallas Cowboys level of good. Which means Matt Forte will lead all fantasy backs in points next year.

Devonta Freeman will be the No. 1 back for the Falcons next year. He's another guy you need to commit to early because the hype train will be at full speed. And yes, wiseasses, I will be the conductor of that train.

Tre Mason is not Zac Attack Stacy. Mason will be great next year. He really improved in all three phases of his game, but could use some more work as a receiver. No reason for concern next year.

Carlos Hyde will be the new hotness in San Francisco next year. You might even need to invest a second-round pick on him. You will be fortunate to get him in the third. They hype will be too great.

ImageI would have sided with Jim Harbaugh if I was the 49ers. The players sure didn't act like he lost the locker room. (Expletive) was inevitable only because 49ers management let it get to that point. This will usher in another dark era for the 49ers, which I am totally cool with.

ImageMichigan is going to be good next season. Harbaugh has proven that he can turn around a college program. The Wolverines will go to a bowl next season and will put a huge scare into Ohio State right from the get-go.

ImageMy favorite thing of Week 17 was Lovie Smith and the Bucs complete tank job against the Saints to keep the No. 1 pick. Smith can pretend he wanted to evaluate younger players. But it was obvious. And I completely applaud it. My question, why did the Saints allow it? Sean Payton just gave the Bucs Marcus Mariota for the next decade. We'll see how that turns out. I could see this being a big NFL Films deal thing in 2027.

Three first-year players had more than 1,000 receiving yards (most in NFL history). Odell Beckham Jr. (1,305 yards), Mike Evans (1,051) and Kelvin Benjamin (1,008). And a whole host of other rookie receivers had their moments, too.

OBJ will top my WR rankings in the fall. I have no reservations about it, either. You might hear some (expletive) about "beware of the magical season" or some nonsense. Disregard that. OBJ did all of his damage in like four games. He's going to have a full offseason and training camp.

Mike Evans will have a new quarterback to work with presumably. (I know I just put Mariota in Tampa Bay, but I do have to pretend like this isn't done.) But Evans will be great despite the QB. Let's say it is, Mariota. His first order of business will be to get the ball to Evans.

Kelvin Benjamin will be good next year, too. He frustrated fantasy enthusiasts with drops and bad routes. He still has a steep learning curve. But I compare him to a young Demaryius Thomas who was raw when he arrived from Georgia Tech. But it took DT three years to put up the numbers KB did this year.

Alshon Jeffery is ready to become the guy in Chicago. The offense will be new. The quarterback could be new. None of that concerns me seeing he excelled with Josh McCown. Brandon Marshall will be a draft steal next year because he will be on many bust lists.

Julio Jones was amazing and more durable than I figured he would be. The Falcons have issues on the offensive line. I expect those to be addressed and the Falcons to be better in 2015. Jones will be a big reason why.

A.J. Green had a disappointing season given his ADP. But he was solid down the stretch. You will be delighted to find him much later in your drafts.

Marqise Lee was not one of the top rookie WRs everybody talked about. But you will next year. The offensive line was the biggest problem for the Jaguars and will be addressed during the offseason. Everybody on offense will benefit. Well, maybe not Toby Gerhart. Everybody else.

T.Y. Hilton is an obvious top pick for next season. The Colts' top receiver should always be at the top of your lists to "get" in your draft. Donte Moncrief will be a nice sleeper, too.

Jarvis Landry will be the Dolphins WR to target in the coming year. He set a club record with 84 receptions as a rookie. He won't carry the same buzz as some of the other rooks.

Two guys (?) got heated on Twitter about Kobe Bryant. Because why not? Things went Defcon 5 (or is Defcon 1 the worst?) and nearly spiraled out of control. Somehow the city of Temcula, Calif. got in the mix. Google it, because it's hilarious. Just not as hilarious as Kobe's response to the beef. Read it here.

This is how I'm going to respond to everything now. Don't (expletive) with the Mamba Army.

ImageNew Year's Day is going to be amazing. Or if you read this after New Year's Day; how amazing were the semi-final games of the college football playoff? I can't believe we waited so long for this.

ImageRex Ryan should just jump to television. Forget coaching. Rex could be huge. Jon Gruden likes to fancy himself as the next John Madden. Rex actually has the personality to pull it off. But I insist the Falcons go back to "Hard Knocks" for a second consecutive year if Ryan lands there.

ImageNFL Shop missed a huge marketing opportunity for Black Monday. It should give 50 percent off team merchandise if you lose your head coach. You feel bummed out about your team, but hey look, half-off fleece blankets! You know you would spend the money.

Greg Olsen was a stealthy play at tight end this season. He ranked fourth in points at the position. You didn't waste a first-round pick on him, either.

Martellus Bennett played well into October, November and December this season. He's great in September, but he is a year-round tight end.

Eric Ebron is going to develop into a great tight end. It might not be next season. But he is going to benefit from being on the field with Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate.

Keep an eye on C.J. Fiedorowicz. Head coach Bill O'Brien helped groom Rob Gronkowski and other Patriots tight ends. C.J. might not reach Gronk status. But being the next Owen Daniels would be pretty good.

ImageThe Bears are likely smarting from not going with Bruce Arians. Todd Bowles might be an over-correction. But I like it. At least make the Bears play defensive football again. Thankfully the Bears never go for retreads. There is no reason to start now.

The NFL set records for number of quarterbacks who threw at least 30 touchdown passes this season. So the biggest surprise is Matt Ryan (28), Jay Cutler (28) and Matthew Stafford (22) didn't make the list. All right, two of them are a surprise.

"You can't be mad at Luck for Week 16. He got you to the championship round." That is a sentence uttered by those who know nothing about me. I can damn well be mad at Luck for Week 16. And will be.

Aaron Rodgers should, however, be ashamed of himself for his world-class hissy after Ndamukong Suh stepped on him. That and the way he swatted his lineman's hand away when T.J. Lang tried to help him up. You know, the guy who pushed Suh into Rodgers.

ImageHow awkward would Papa John's relationship with Peyton Manning be if he lost his championship because of him? Would it end? Could Peyton lose his commercial sponsors? Papa John is his own boss, so he could be forgiving. The CEO of Buick? I'm not so sure. I could see Dan Ackerson super-heated about this situation. My prediction: Andy Dalton does ads for Buick next season. Maybe Joe Flacco.

Call me A.J. Smith because I'm out of the Drew Brees business. Dude found a way to play his worst football at home and at the worst possible times. And you can take Jimmy Graham with him, too. I won't go with either one of those guys. It's still too soon.

Ben Roethlisberger did the majority of his damage during two six-touchdown games. So his top-10 finish is a little misleading. I do like a lot of his weapons with Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant. But Le'Veon Bell will make him more of a modern-day Troy Aikman in fantasy circles. Not that it's a bad thing. You will be able to play him in spot-start situations.

You talk about attractive job openings, Chicago could be one of the best. Jay Cutler makes it one of the worst. If you had to choose between Ryan, Kap and Cutler, where would you go?

There is always one name that will surprise you when you see him on the top 10 list. Ryan Tannehill is that guy. I would rather put him on the list of players who I will never draft again. He had just three touchdowns from in Weeks 13-15. THREE! Never forget.

Would it surprise anybody if RG3 was the last man standing in Washington? And Daniel Snyder canned Jay Gruden? It wouldn't be the first time Washington had a one-and-done coach.

ImageI was out of my mind when Cesaro hit the ring and cut a promo about being buried. Finally! And then Bad News Barrett's music hit and I was freaking torn. First, that spelled doom for Cesaro. Barrett wasn't going to lose in his return bout. But it was good to have Bad News Barrett back. I'm stunned we got through an entire show without Christian or him getting hurt.

ImageWelcome back "The Authority!" We missed you during the six-minutes you were gone. Survivor Series has been completely erased in just over a month as John Cena caved (wimp). Well, they haven't found a way to ruin Dolph Ziggler yet. But you know that's just around the corner. Oh wait, they did.

ImageJohn Cena was in a curtain-jerker match on RAW just before Christmas. That I like. But of course he had to go clean over Seth Rollins for no reason. How do we see Rollins as a credible threat if he jobs clean in a RAW opening match? Rollins is going to be champion at some point, right? Maybe have him win a match or two cleanly over the biggest name in the company? I promise you, the kids will still buy Cena wristbands if that happened.

LeSean McCoy scored just five touchdowns this season. Not a single one receiving. Impossible in an offense designed by Chip Kelly. Not impossible for a guy who refused to pick me to play Halo with him this summer. Let this be a lesson to all of the running backs out there.

You probably need a little bit of backstory on that last note. I was at an event for the release of a new world in Halo (or something like that). McCoy and A.J. Green chose teams and I was snubbed by the Philly running back. Snubbed! It was like elementary school football all over again! But you can't argue with the results as it really was the downfall of McCoy.

I will draft a receiver before I go with either DeMarco Murray or Marshawn Lynch. I might take a run at Murray if he remains with the Cowboys. The offensive line is great. But Lynch is going to end up with a huge contract from the Raiders and, yeah, we've seen that movie before. Spoiler alert: You will want to walkout before it ends.

I would not go for Forsett if he landed with the Raiders. The Raiders should be banned from signing any of the players we actually want to draft in fantasy leagues next season. I think I can make that happen.

Speaking of Hue Jackson, how have things gone in Oakland since they let him go? He was fired for being 8-8. For the Raiders. This isn't 1976. The .500 mark in Oakland is like winning a Super Bowl title for most teams.

College basketball has one-and-done players. Fantasy football does, too. Mark Ingram is another of those backs. Great during a contract year. Avoid him next season.

Prediction: Reggie Bush's new coach will vow to use him the way the Saints used him. So here's a better question, why not go back to the Saints? They need him after losing Darren Sproles.

Ka'Deem Carey carried the ball just 36 times in 2014. I just fear the next coach of the Bears is going to bring in that RBBC nonsense. Which they totally don't need. Not at all. Forte is the business.

I didn't forget about my pledge about Freeman. I swore to wear some John Cena shoes if Freeman failed to get 200 touches. Didn't happen. I'll make good on that if I'm asked back to NFL Fantasy Live next year.

Jeff Fisher was still the coach in St. Louis when this was published. Fans in St. Louis should be outraged. Fisher had a classic Fisher season: Failed to meet expectations but finished strong for next year.

Frank Gore should be done in San Francisco. The team won't invest the money. But he could be a guy who lands in Arizona and does some work. He still looked like he had a little bit of life left in his legs.

The 49ers are going to regret the decision to fire Jim Harbaugh. Three NFC Championship Games. A Super Bowl appearance. My gut feeling is the next hire for the 49ers will be more Mike Nolan and less Harbaugh. Which is great because I grew up hating the 49ers.

ImageThat's right. If you're new to this column, you know and like (or dislike) me as a Bears fan. But I grew up a fan of the Los Angeles Rams. So I hated the 49ers. Even more than the Raiders. My dad was a Bears fan and hated the 49ers, too, because of the 1980s and that rivalry was all the rage. So while me and my dad never rooted for the same team at the same time, we sports-bonded over a healthy dislike of the 49ers.

ImageI'm watching the 49ers press conference as I put this together. Jed York and Trent Baalke didn't do a great job of explaining themselves. There will be a time when 49ers fans long for an 8-8 record. At least you have the San Francisco Giants.

The notion rookie receivers can't compete on the NFL level is dead. For starters, the league has liberalized rules for the offense. And the SEC is throwing the football now. The wide-open SEC offenses might be the biggest reason for these young receivers doing well. And that rules everything.

Victor Cruz will have no impact on the production of OBJ. Ruben Randle had a huge game in Week 17. Our friend OBJ was still dominant. There is enough to go around for everybody. You might get a few more useful games from Eli Manning next season, and he could be a sleeper.

Vincent Jackson will be pushed aside with a rookie quarterback. There will be room for just one guy. My guess is the new quarterback (fine, Mariota) will be infatuated with Evans. And there can be only one in this case. Jackson might even have a new home for next year, too.

Sammy Watkins is my "most likely to be a bust" candidate. Because of the quarterback situation. I mean, how does the team recover from the loss of Kyle Orton? I can't believe I wrote that and was just barely kidding.

Randall Cobb is a free agent this offseason. He needs to check out what Eric Decker went through in New York to plan his future. It's never easy to turn down the huge money. I get that. But NFL contracts are not guaranteed. Whereas your production with the Packers is nearly guaranteed.

Emmanuel Sanders is poised to be a bust. He had a brutal stretch during the fantasy playoffs, before he rallied in Week 16. He will suffer from higher expectations and the regression from Peyton Manning in 2015.

Wes Welker can't come back, can he? The Broncos will need to be a running team next year. Which won't leave enough targets to go around.

We need to make a pact. We will not buy into Michael Floyd next year. He finished the year strong. We will rationalize it in our heads. But like holiday cheesecake, we'll be bummed when we bite in. It will take more than a few extra laps on the treadmill to get rid of this.

Strange to see Reggie Wayne move on to the Colts outcast receiver like Marvin Harrison before him. Circle of fantasy life and all that stuff, right?

I don't blame you, Mike Wallace. I wouldn't have wanted to play against the New York Jets, either. Why not take the afternoon off?

ImageI've realized for some time that I'm kind of a (expletive). I'm cool with it. So this should come as no surprise; I did kind of laugh when Josh Gordon blew up in everybody's face this year. You mean playing in the NFL isn't as easy as just rolling up in Week 11 and dominating? Noted. This might have been the highlight of my year. Even though it killed me in my keeper league? (Whatevs, I have OBJ in that league.)

I was kind of surprised the league suspended Ndamukong Suh for a playoff game. Wait, who are the Lions playing this week? The Dallas Cowboys. Never mind.

ImageHow did Phil Emery lose his job? It's not like he fired a very popular coach after a 10-6 season. Or failed to hire Bruce Arians. Or signed Jay Cutler to a long-term guaranteed contract. Emery was lucky the Bears waited until Black Monday to make that decision.

How in the (expletive) did Jimmy Graham end the season with 10 touchdowns. Seems impossible. He will be a huge draft bargain next year because everybody will be burnt on him next year. Am I dreaming to think he'll be there in the fourth round?

Julius Thomas had 12 touchdowns. All of them in the first two weeks. He also ended the season with like 48 receiving yards. Though you might want to double-check those numbers.

I will slam the door in your face if show up to sell me Zach Ertz again. I won't draft a tight end if I miss out on one of the big guns early.

Antonio Gates finished second among tight ends in 2014. He had 12 touchdowns. Twelve! But he was a ghost (save one week) from Weeks 9-14 when you needed him the most.

ImageForgive me if I'm not excited for the Wild Card games. It's like a middling WWE PPV. It's especially fitting that Ravens vs. Steelers highlights the weekend. This rivalry has become the Orton vs. Cena of the NFL. This might have been something years ago, but not now. We're done with it.

For the record, you can submit your fantasy questions to NFL Fantasy Live or me on Twitter. But realize, NFL Fantasy Live has 300K followers. Me? Just 14. See, the odds are better I will answer your question, so hit me up both via Twitter or via Facebook (if you're RG3). And if you follow me on Sundays, I'll quote "The Wolf" from "Pulp Fiction" and then it's game on! Although, it's tough to catch me on Facebook. Twitter is your go-to." Plus seriously people, I'm not taking your tweets after Midnight. I'm into the #HashtagWars via @Midnight. I've started to mute people who ask me questions at that time.

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