Nick Mensio

Goal Line Stand

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32 Teams, 64 Dynasty Targets

Tuesday, April 08, 2014


With free agency over for the most part and a little time to pass before next month's draft, it feels like a prime time to dive into some fantasy football talk. Face it, that's what we're all here for in the first place, right? By playing dynasty, it gives us the opportunity to manage a fantasy team year-round and keeps us in the loop around the clock. Below are 64 players, two from each of the 32 teams, whom I've pinpointed as guys to target in your respective leagues. There's a nice mix of high-end youngsters who will cost a pretty penny and third- or fourth-year talents who may now just be getting opportunities to earn more snaps or may soon be finding their way to (possibly) greener pastures.

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Arizona Cardinals -- Running back Ryan Williams: Obviously Andre Ellington and Michael Floyd are more desirable dynasty targets, but let's try and not point out the blatantly obvious. Stepfan Taylor is also in the conversation, but Williams is the more talented runner even if the Cardinals don't seem to see it that way. Williams is only 24 (on April 9) and has just one year left on his rookie deal. Barring an unforeseen change of heart by the Arizona coaching staff, Williams will get a fresh start in a new city in 2015. Williams has an NFL body and would be an ideal fit in a one-cut, zone-blocking scheme. The Cardinals are a power team. The obvious red flag with Williams is we don't know if he's truly ever going to be the same since tearing his patellar tendon in August 2011. But he can likely be plucked off waivers in most leagues or be had for pennies via trade. … Honorable mention: Running back Stepfan Taylor

Atlanta Falcons -- Tight end Levine Toilolo: The cupboard is a bit bare for the Falcons; it's not an overly deep roster. Toilolo is the most intriguing option among the younger players outside of Julio Jones. With Tony Gonzalez hanging up the cleats, Toilolo should be given an opportunity to earn a larger offensive role, though I fully expect GM Thomas Dimitroff to address the position in May's draft. At 6-foot-8 and 265 pounds, he profiles as a red-zone option. However, Toilolo showed shaky hands en route to a meager 11-55-2 receiving line as a rookie. He's also not a great blocker, which will keep him off the field. At this point, it doesn't make sense to give up much for Toilolo trade-wise. He's worth a stab on the waiver wire. … Honorable mention: Wide receiver Darius Johnson

Baltimore Ravens -- Running back Bernard Pierce: Pierce is coming off an extremely disappointing sophomore campaign that saw him average just 2.86 YPC. But he's one of the more talented No. 2 backs in the league and is a natural fit for new OC Gary Kubiak's zone-run scheme. Pierce drew Arian Foster comps coming out of Temple. Pierce could even push for timeshare duties with Ray Rice this season and may get the bulk of the work a few times depending on how Rice's legal situation shakes out. Even if Rice isn't suspended, he has a ton of wear and tear on his tires. Pierce will get his chance sooner than later. … Honorable mention: Wide receiver Aaron Mellette

Buffalo Bills -- Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin: Goodwin (5-foot-9, 183) is small, but he has blazing speed (4.27 forty) and is a legitimate threat to take the top off the defense any time he steps on the field. He doesn't have a clear path to major offensive snaps in 2014 behind Mike Williams, Stevie Johnson, and Robert Woods, but Johnson may be nearing the end of the line in Buffalo. Williams is also basically entering a prove-it season. Goodwin posted three touchdowns as a rookie and is definitely worthy of a stash on fantasy benches. … Honorable mention: Tight end Chris Gragg

Carolina Panthers -- Wide receiver Tavarres King: The Panthers are in the midst of completely overhauling their receiving corps, and King is currently penciled into a top-three role. That will likely change after the draft, but Jerricho Cotchery is entering his age-32 season and Tiquan Underwood is a run-of-the-mill talent. Things are far from unsettled in Carolina. This will be one of the more intriguing wide receiver competitions to watch this summer. King was a fifth-round pick of the Broncos last year but was among their final cuts and spent the year on the sidelines in Carolina. As a senior at Georgia, King led the NCAA with his 22.6 YPR mark. He has good size at 6-foot-1 and 191 pounds and possesses 4.47 wheels. … Honorable mention: Running back Kenjon Barner

Chicago Bears -- Wide receiver Marquess Wilson: Wilson is a tall, lanky prospect at 6-foot-4 and 184 pounds but he put up serious numbers at Washington State in 2011 (82-1,388-12) before quitting the team. The 2013 seventh-rounder now has the inside track on the No. 3 receiver job in Chicago following Earl Bennett's release. The Bears want Wilson to get in the weight room. Coach Marc Trestman has already come out and said that he expects a second-year leap from Wilson. Even if Wilson wins the No. 3 job, he won't be any higher than the No. 5 option in the passing game. Brandon Marshall's contract expires at the end of the season. … Honorable mention: Running back Michael Ford

Cincinnati Bengals -- Tight end Tyler Eifert: Jermaine Gresham has one year left on his contract, so Eifert is staring at another year of splitting snaps. But there's no denying who the more talented player is, and it's clearly Eifert. Gresham is a mistake-prone and skillet-handed plodder. Eifert can come down with balls in traffic and stretch the seam. He'll probably be tough to pry away in dynasty, but it's worth sending out feelers. … Honorable mention: Wide receiver Marvin Jones

Cleveland Browns -- Wide receiver Andrew Hawkins: Hawkins just turned 28, but little jitterbug slot receivers like him can last a long time in the NFL. The Browns handed Hawkins a three-year, $13.6 million deal in March to steal him away from the rival Bengals. He's going to play a major role on offense after being part of a loaded offensive arsenal in Cincinnati. Hawkins can turn simple dumpoffs into monster gains. Tavon Austin drew some Hawkins comparisons last spring. Hawkins is currently penciled in as the No. 3 option in the passing game. … Honorable mention: Wide receiver Charles Johnson

Dallas Cowboys -- Wide receiver Terrance Williams: Williams is a no-brainer 2014 breakout candidate. With Miles Austin handed his walking papers, Williams is locked into the No. 2 receiver spot opposite Dez Bryant. Even with Bryant and Jason Witten ahead of Williams in the pecking order for targets, he's still going to see a ton of balls in new OC Scott Linehan's pass-happy attack. He's also going to see a lot of single-coverage with Bryant and Witten drawing the attention of safeties. … Honorable mention: Running back Lance Dunbar

Denver Broncos -- Running back C.J. Anderson: Knowshon Moreno is out of the picture in Denver, and Ronnie Hillman couldn't capitalize on numerous opportunities last season. Anderson was active over Hillman as the No. 3 back late in 2013. Anderson should be given a legitimate shot to win No. 2 duties behind Montee Ball. Anderson lacks long speed but has good burst and can run between the tackles. As long as Peyton Manning is under center, whoever is lined up at running back will see soft defensive fronts. … Honorable mention: Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders

Detroit Lions -- Running back Joique Bell: The Lions gave Bell $4.3 million guaranteed on his new deal this offseason, more than they handed Reggie Bush. Detroit is really high on Bell and believes he can function as a between-the-tackles runner, in addition to catching passes out of the backfield. He's entering his age-28 campaign, but there's plenty of tread left on the tires considering Bell is entering just his third full season. He's going to be a major part of the timeshare. Bush also dealt with a couple nagging injuries in 2013. Bell has immediate low-end RB2 appeal. … Honorable mention: Tight end Joseph Fauria

Green Bay Packers -- Tight end Brandon Bostick: The former small-school college receiver got his first real taste of the NFL last season when Jermichael Finley went down with his neck injury. Finley is a free agent and remains unsigned, leaving Bostick and Andrew Quarless atop the current depth chart. Bostick is highly athletic, even though he lacks ideal height. Coach Mike McCarthy also recently praised Bostick's efforts as a blocker, which will only help him get on the field. When you have Aaron Rodgers throwing you the football, there's plenty of upside. … Honorable mention: Running back Johnathan Franklin

Houston Texans -- Tight end Ryan Griffin: The Texans re-signed Garrett Graham to a three-year pact last month. Our own Evan Silva described Graham as "small, slow, and can't block." Graham is a pedestrian player who's entering his age-28 season. 24-year-old Griffin started eight of the final ten games last season and displayed plus athleticism. At 6-foot-6 and 254 pounds, he's a bigger target that can win in the middle of the field. New coach Bill O'Brien comes from tight end-friendly New England. Griffin's arrow is pointing up. … Honorable mention: Wide receiver DeVier Posey

Indianapolis Colts -- Wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers: Rogers lost a bit of his luster as a 2014 breakout candidate when the Colts signed Hakeem Nicks, but Nicks only inked a one-year pact and Reggie Wayne is a 35-year-old coming off a torn ACL. He can't play forever. Rogers appears ticketed for No. 4 duties as a sophomore, but the team remains high on him. As long as Rogers keeps his nose clean off the field, he could have a prominent role as early as 2015. He's built like a brick house and has serious tackle-breaking run-after-catch ability. … Honorable mention: Wide receiver LaVon Brazill

Jacksonville Jaguars Wide receiver Cecil Shorts -- Shorts was expected to make a 2013 leap after his breakout 2012 season, but he fell victim to nagging season-long injuries and pitiful quarterback play. His YPR averaged dipped six yards and he found the end zone just three times after scoring seven touchdowns the previous year. Shorts' price tag should definitely be lower than it was last summer. As long as he can stay healthy and the Jaguars get better quarterback play, Shorts shouldn't have much trouble returning to WR2/3 form. He has high-end WR2 upside. … Honorable mention: Wide receiver Justin Blackmon

Kansas City Chiefs Tight end Travis Kelce -- Off-field issues pushed Kelce into the third round of last year's draft, and then he proceeded to miss his entire rookie season after undergoing microfracture surgery. This is a guy that averaged 17.1 YPR as a senior and posted a 4.60 forty and 37-inch vertical at his Pro Day. Kelce also is a strong blocker. With only Anthony Fasano in his way, Kelce should have no trouble finding his way onto the field. He can line up all over the field. Kelce has been compared to Heath Miller and is a legit red-zone threat. … Honorable mention: Wide receiver A.J. Jenkins


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Nick Mensio is a football writer for Rotoworld.com. The 2014 NFL season marks his third with Rotoworld. He can be found on Twitter at @NickMensio.
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