Preseason predictions are certainly not like shooting fish in a barrel. Any player from a top tier quarterback to an up and coming wide receiver super star can go down in practice or a preseason matchup in the blink of an eye. With that being said I have a few players on my radar that I think could make a big impact for your team throughout the season and a few that I would avoid if given the chance. Obviously your top three picks are what you try to anchor your team with, but what comes later in the draft is what is really going to bring home the belt. Take a closer look in this preseason’s BOOM or BUST.
Lamar Miller, Running Back, Miami Dolphins – Last year the Miami Dolphins were a mess on the field, in the locker room, socially, etc. With third year coach Joe Philbin getting his system in place I think that the Dolphins have a chance to improve on their offensive production in the upcoming 2014 season. While Lamar Miller does have 2013 standout Knowshon Moreno standing in his way I think that Lamar Miller is the more versatile back and will show that in camp and preseason matchups. Look for Lamar Miller to be the lead back right out of the gate in 2014 if not shortly thereafter while producing like a low end RB2 with upside. Based on his current IDP I say BOOM all the way here.
Rueben Randle, Wide Receiver, New York Giants – The Giants went through some troubling times last year to say the least. Injuries, poor quarterback play, running back inconsistency, and subpar defense, limited them greatly. With the departure of Hakeem Nicks this offseason there is a glaring hole opposite Victor Cruz and I believe that Randle is ready to step up and fill it. After already being leaned on a few times over the last few seasons he already knows what it takes to perform at this level. Also, he is the only receiver that has any size which should bode well for him in the redzone. Rashad Jennings, Andre Williams, and Peyton Hillis should keep defenses honest and in turn opening up space for the Giants wide receivers in 2014. A solid WR3 with possible WR2 written all over him I see a BOOM season ahead for Mr. Rueben Randle.
DeMarco Murray, Running Back, Dallas Cowboys – A year after having one of the league’s worst defenses in the game the Dallas Cowboys really made no improvements on that side of the ball. Not only will they be playing from behind on a regular basis the Cowboys have a pass happy attack with legitimate superstar Dez Bryant leading the way. Currently being selected within the first 2 rounds of fantasy drafts DeMarco Murray is sure to disappoint owners investing that heavily in him. Also, he always seems to be one lateral cut away from missing a game or two and I’m not putting my championship on the line for something that shaky. There are much better and more reliable options that early in the draft so take a close look at them unless you want to be scrambling further on down the road. BUST season written all over this one.
Bishop Sankey, Running Back, Tennessee Titans – With Chris Johnson gone the Tennessee Titans were left with underachieving veteran Shonne Greene to be the lead back in 2014. If that did not get your adrenaline racing I don’t blame you one bit. Greene is a back that I wouldn’t want being the waterboy for my fantasy team let alone starting for it. In steps Bishop Sankey, a young versatile back looking to be this year’s impact rookie running back like Edie Lacy was in 2013. I imagine that if Jake Locker can stay healthy for 90% of the season that Bishop Sankey has a great shot to lead all rookies in offensive production for 2014. Currently floating around the 5th – 7th rounds he could be a steal for any team that skips on the traditional RB – RB draft format in the first two rounds. I have BOOM written all over this kid.
Markus Wheaton, Wide Receiver, Pittsburgh Steelers – With the departure of Jericho Cotchery and Emmanuel Sanders this offseason the Steelers are looking to fill a big void and I believe that Markus Wheaton can be that guy. With Cotchery and Sanders combining for 1342 yards and 16 touchdowns last season there is plenty of room for Markus Wheaton to fill especially starting opposite elite wide receiver Antonio Brown who should draw plenty of double coverage. Also working in favor of Wheaton is Pittsburgh Steelers 2nd year running back Le’Veon Bell. After an solid, yet unspectacular rookie campaign, Bell should be poised for a breakout campaign in 2014 further opening up the passing lanes for Wheaton. With Markus Wheaton generally being taken around the 10th round he could be an absolute steal for any owner willing take a chance. BOOM all the way on this one.
Wes Welker, Wide Receiver, Denver Broncos – Let it be known that I am a huge fan of Wes Welker. He plays hard from the start to finish of every game. That being said I think this year shows that the abuse he has taken over the years starts to slow him down. With other elite receiving options in Denver I think Welker slips to at least third in the pecking order for targets. This is a total gut call on my part, but I can’t think of spending a third or fourth round pick on him this year and feel comfortable with it. My suggestion is you let someone else draft him based on name value and be happy that you did. Sorry Wes, but I have you hitting the BUST list in 2014.
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