2014 Outlook: Andy Reid's arrival in KC -- along with the signing of Alex Smith -- was supposed to make Bowe fantasy sleeper material. But outside of an eight-catch, 150-yard performance against the Colts in the playoffs, the new regime resulted in Bowe's numbers falling through the floor. He posted his second-lowest single-season totals in targets (103), receptions (57) and yards (673). More disturbing is the 34 vertical targets, a mark that ranked 49th among wide receivers. Don't count on anything much better this year.
2014 Outlook: On its face, Ingram's 4.9 yards per carry last season would seem to indicate that the frustrating Heisman winner was starting to live up to his promise. But if you remove a 14-carry, 145-yard effort against a terrible Dallas defense, that ypc number dips to 3.8, which is right in line with his previous two seasons. When it comes to Ingram, it's hard to see many positives on tape. He lacks instincts to consistently find running lanes and rarely gets enough momentum to use his 215-pound frame as a battering ram. Ingram will get a chance to carve out a bigger role, but our money is on Khiry Robinson to emerge as New Orleans' primary rusher.
2014 Outlook: Michael is a great example of why you shouldn't bite on preseason performances. No RB looked like a scarier combo of size and moves than the 220-pounder did as a rookie last summer. But when the regular season started, the Seahawks stuck by Robert Turbin as Marshawn Lynch's backup, and Michael posted just 18 touches as a rookie. On tape, though, there's no comparison between Michael and Turbin. The latter is a grinder; the former is a future star. Michael had disciplinary and health issues at Texas A&M, and no doubt those could crop up again and derail him. But we'd be surprised if he isn't No. 2 on Seattle's depth chart in 2014.
2014 Outlook: The fact that the Chargers have Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead signed on the cheap makes their acquisition of Brown this winter a curious one. Ronnie Brown was the third-string back in San Diego last year, and he had 53 touches. But you don't pay Donald Brown $4 million guaranteed for 53 touches. So how will this shake out? Ronnie Brown was an elite pass blocker; Donald Brown is, um, not. Will the Chargers trust him on third down? Will they mix him in sparingly until the brittle Mathews gets hurt? Or will they make him part of a legit three-headed monster, rendering each of these RBs unpredictable on a week-to-week basis?
2014 Outlook: Pitta fractured and dislocated his hip early in training camp and understandably lacked explosiveness when he returned in December. His absence was devastating to Baltimore's passing game. The Ravens just didn't have enough receiving weapons without him, which explains why they forked over $16 million guaranteed this winter. New offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak is famous for featuring athletic tight ends out of the slot, and Pitta's connection with Joe Flacco is strong. Torrey Smith will handle the deep stuff, Steve Smith will get looks and Owen Daniels will be a factor, but we're predicting that Pitta will lead Baltimore in catches this year.
2014 Outlook: No Rob Gronkowski? A group of receivers that featured three rookies in the mix? OK, maybe Brady's terrible start last season wasn't all that surprising. He racked up only 11.5 points per game in the first eight weeks (ranked 34th among QBs). That ice melted quickly once Gronk returned from his multiple injuries and Brady and his young wideouts got on the same page, which led to a scoring turnaround in Weeks 9-17 (18.6 fantasy points per game, ranked fourth). But even with his hot play down the stretch, you shouldn't consider Brady a QB1 in standard leagues as long as Gronk's status remains uncertain.
2014 Outlook: A second-rounder in May's draft, Hill figures to occupy the role BenJarvus Green-Ellis filled last season: the complementary, between-the-tackles spot behind Giovani Bernard. At 233 pounds and with some surprising straight-ahead speed, Hill can probably do more with the workload BJGE got in 2013. His one weakness? He does run a bit upright, which makes him susceptible to some thunderous hits. But it's fair to dream that Hill could become a TD maker in a pretty strong Bengals offense, even if Bernard is still the more exciting fantasy commodity.
2014 Outlook: Yes, we know Hunter had only 18 catches as a rookie, but we've put him in our top 50 for a reason. A 4.44 burner, Hunter showed off his big-play ability in Weeks 12 and 14, when he combined for 223 yards and 2 TDs. All told, he averaged an absurd 19.7 yards per catch and scored 4.64 fantasy points per game on vertical throws, 25th among wide receivers. All it'll take is 50 catches for Hunter to insert himself into the WR3 discussion.
2014 Outlook: While West's small-school competition at Towson wasn't the best, his size (225 pounds), speed (4.54 40) and multicut ability should serve him well in the NFL as he seeks to earn the No. 2 job behind Ben Tate in Cleveland. And considering that his competition will consist of an underwhelming group -- Isaiah Crowell, Chris Ogbonnaya, Edwin Baker and Dion Lewis -- we give West a great chance to do just that. Given Tate's injury history, that could make West one heck of an intriguing handcuff this summer.
2014 Outlook: There is a certain amount of dread from fantasy owners about Romo, and it's unclear why. He was ninth in fantasy QB points per game (16.8) and less than a point per game from ranking fifth. He's very durable (having missed only four games in his career outside of 2010), has a great WR1 (Dez Bryant) and an up-and-coming WR2 (Terrance Williams), and he won't cost a lot on draft day. For the past three years, Romo has been a top-10 fantasy quarterback, and he could do it again. There are more dreadful options in the later rounds.
2014 Outlook: It was shocking to see Blount finish tied for 27th in fantasy points among RBs last year, mainly because he wasn't expected to even make the Patriots. But as other options got hurt or fumbled profusely, Blount delivered a solid month-plus of starter's work. In Pittsburgh, that won't happen unless Le'Veon Bell spits the bit in his second season. Blount is a 250-pound hammer who doesn't always succeed in short yardage, doesn't catch the ball (23 grabs in four seasons) and has a history of fumbling himself. It's fair to consider Blount a solid handcuff for those who draft Bell early, but that's all he'll be in the Steel City.
2014 Outlook: Paydirt was the missing ingredient in Nicks' fantasy season last year. He was the only wide receiver to score more than 50 points without registering at least one receiving touchdown. The Colts don't shy away from throwing in the red zone (74 attempts last season, tied for 13th), so Nicks should be able to end his scoring drought. If he does, it won't take much to move him into flex territory; a mere 4 TDs last year would have placed him 32nd in WR fantasy points.
2014 Outlook: Mike McCoy's short-passing offense didn't hold back Rivers on downfield throws, as his 120 fantasy points on vertical passes ranked third in the league. This helped Rivers reach at least 18 total fantasy points (a good gauge for whether a guy is top five) eight times last season. He's flaky for sure, finishing 21st in fantasy points in 2012 and sixth last year. But his numbers in year one with McCoy were a staggering improvement. And with second-year WR Keenan Allen emerging as a go-to receiver, you could do worse than Rivers as your starter in deep leagues.
2014 Outlook: Marc Trestman is a miracle worker. Cutler had never posted a bad-decision rate (BDR) of less than 3 percent in his NFL career, and Trestman helped him lower that rate to 1.3 percent in 2013. Yet even with Trestman, fewer interceptions and an elite 1-2 WR combination of Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, Cutler ranked only 20th with 14.6 fantasy points per game. The key reason: He ranked 16th in vertical attempts per game with 10.6. Until this offense increases its downfield attack percentage, Cutler will remain a QB2. Even Trestman can't change that.
2014 Outlook: There is a strong case to be made that Mike Evans was more valuable to Texas A&M last year than Johnny Manziel. His 14.2 ypa was tops among the wide receiver prospects in this year's draft, and in September he torched the vaunted Alabama secondary to the tune of seven receptions for 279 yards and a touchdown. Evans excelled at playground football, as he racked up an insanely high 17.6 ypa on plays in which Manziel had to scramble out of the pocket. His being on the opposite side of the field from Vincent Jackson ensures that the 6-foot-5, 231-pound Evans will not be the primary coverage concern of most defenses the Bucs face.