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Fantasy Factor: Looking to 2015


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- **Congrats to everyone who won their leagues. This season was a challenge from start to finish. Last week, many in their biggest game of the year had to survive some tough QB performances. Andrew Luck found the going tough at the wrong time against Dallas. Peyton Manning threw for multiple TD's, but also had multiple picks and sacks. Still as you look to 2015, and a new year, I firmly believe that a top-five QB is the way to go with your top pick. Manning has thrown for 94 TD's his last two seasons, and that's before this weekend's finale. He said this week you can count on his return in 2015. Andrew Luck is a stud. He is the face of the young QB crop. Aaron Rodgers is probably the league MVP. Drew Brees still is cranking, but watch for corrections to his O-Line. And Tom Brady, well he's still on a team that figures it out, usually thanks to him every year.

Conventional wisdom tells you to always draft a RB high, but it is a passing league. Running and defense define the playoffs, but it is bombs away in the regular season. I think you blow a top half pick if you don't select a guy mentioned above. They are TD machines. RB's just don't get those type of games much anymore. Gone are LaDainian Tomlinson, Priest Holmes, Jerome Bettis, and Jamal Lewis. Adrian Peterson will be back next year, but in what form? There are a couple of backs that would be top pick worthy, LeVeon Bell chief among them, but overall I would take a QB very high.

WR is a position I rode to my league's semifinal. Jordy Nelson, Emmanuel Sanders, T.Y. Hilton and for a while Steve Smith all gave me make-up points for underperforming backs and tight ends. This a position you have to get right in the pass happy NFL, especially in PPR leagues. Randall Cobb, Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham Jr. and DeAndre Hopkins join the must haves that include Demaryius Thomas, Dez Bryant, Calvin Johnson, Julio Jones and Nelson. A big scoring WR is key to good season, and I learned the hard way a year ago what happens when you don't have enough.

The TE position will be interesting this offseason. Julius Thomas will be top three, if he remains in Denver. Jimmy Graham will be searching to bounce back, and Rob Gronkowski will be the guy, if he can survive New England's postseason run completely healthy. There are plenty with potential, like Jordan Cameron, Dennis Pitta and Coby Fleener. Watch guys like Dwayne Allen, Erik Ebron and Travis Kelce.

As for this weekend's games, here are some match-ups to play if you want to jump into a Draft Kings league. I like Manning, DT, Sanders and C.J. Anderson against Oakland. We'll see if Julius Thomas is healthier, but rest may be the order if the Broncos can roll early. The Patriots may be in rest mode after getting home-field advantage. The Packers and Lions are both playing for the division just like the Bengals and Steelers. Both games should produce points. I like Roethlisberger, Brown and Bell better than Dalton and Co. Dalton is the latest QB to battle the flu. Rodgers has a strained calf, and is facing a tough Detroit front four. That could factor in. The Packers took a little time to get rolling against the Bucs. The Texans are trying to lock up a playoff spot with help. They face a Jacksonville team that probably just wants the season over. DeAndre Hopkins could be a good bet there. Thanks for reading this year. You can always email me at Talk to you in the summer fantasy fans!

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