2014 Outlook: It's hard to believe, but Fitz hasn't eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards in either of the past two seasons. In fact, he's posted two of the four worst yardage figures among WRs with 130-plus targets over that span. To be sure, the five quarterbacks who've played for Arizona since 2012 certainly share in the blame. With Carson Palmer under center last season, Fitzgerald finished with 146 fantasy points, 16th among WRs -- and even that was propped up by 10 trips to the end zone, his highest mark since 2009. It's hard to count on Fitzgerald to keep his TDs in the double digits, especially as he enters his age-31 season.
2014 Outlook: If Gronk could guarantee us 16 games, we'd be tempted to place him atop our TE list. He's that good. In 50 career regular-season contests, he's scored 42 TDs. But he has also undergone eight career surgeries, the latest of which is probably his most serious. He tore his ACL and MCL after a huge hit from T.J. Ward in Week 14, putting Gronk on the clock for 2014 training camp. And frankly, even if he meets a Week 1 deadline, you have to wonder whether the star-crossed Gronk can keep overcoming physical adversity and take NFL-level punishment. We love the guy, but every year he seems to carry more risk.
2014 Outlook: Garcon was targeted 176 times in 2013, second most in the NFL, and responded by shattering career bests in catches (113) and yards (1,346). He'll continue to make his money off underneath throws; he led all WRs in short-pass receiving yards (795) and scored the most PPR fantasy points off dink-and-dunks (182). Don't expect the addition of DeSean Jackson to completely cannibalize Garcon's production. His skill set dovetails perfectly with Jackson's downfield talents, and first-year coach Jay Gruden shouldn't have any problem finding ample work for both of them.
2014 Outlook: Last year qualified as Mathews' breakout season, as he set career highs in carries (285) and yards (1,255). But it also provided more of the same: He suffered a high ankle sprain late in the year and was a shell of himself in the playoffs. And now that the Chargers have signed Donald Brown to go along with Danny Woodhead, they have a wealth of alternatives if (and when) Mathews gets hurt again. But there's no debating which San Diego running back has the most value when healthy. Despite less-than-perfect footwork at the line, Mathews offers a rare power/speed combination. If you draft him, just be sure to own some pretty good backups too.
2014 Outlook: Want to know why RG3 lobbied D-Jax to come to the nation's capital? Look no further than Jackson's sizzling downfield numbers last season. He finished fifth among WRs with 905 vertical yards and tied for first with eight vertical touchdowns. Those figures led to 132 fantasy points via vertical throws, a mark topped by only one WR: Josh Gordon. It just so happens that Jackson inhabits an offense in desperate need of a deep threat. The Redskins managed only 1,575 vertical passing yards last season, 27th in the NFL. Right now, we have him as a high-end WR2 with the potential to pop as a WR1 if he and RG3 can jell quickly.
2014 Outlook: To be clear, Spiller's relatively low ranking isn't a reflection of his disastrous 2013, when the consensus first-round pick finished 28th in fantasy points among running backs. We feel OK chalking up his sluggish numbers to a nagging high ankle sprain he suffered in Week 4. The real concern? The presence of Fred Jackson and Bryce Brown. Despite his advanced age, Jackson was a major workload drain even before Spiller got nicked up, and Brown could add to the thievery in 2014. Spiller has the skill set you want: sprinter's speed, good hands, sweet moves. But for the moment, the depth chart puts a cap on how valuable Spiller can be.
2014 Outlook: Late in his career, Gore just keeps defying logic. In his age-30 season, he submitted his third straight year of 16 games played and 8 or more rushing TDs. The Niners have preserved Gore by essentially removing him from the game plan in passing situations. And now players like Carlos Hyde, Kendall Hunter and Marcus Lattimore threaten to assume more of the early-down workload too. The touchdowns still figure to be there for a bruiser on a good offense, but it wouldn't be a shock to see Gore's yardage slip.
2014 Outlook: Allen compiled just three catches in the Chargers' first three games, and his rookie season looked like it would be a complete waste. But then the fireworks began. He shot up to borderline WR1 status after notching 138 points the remainder of the season, which ranked 10th among wide receivers over that span. Allen doesn't do much on stretch vertical passes (only 65 yards at that depth), but he makes up for it on passes that travel less than 20 yards (981 yards, tied for eighth among WRs), which happens to be where QB Philip Rivers thrives.
2014 Outlook: One positive takeaway from Cruz's disappointing 2013 campaign: His fantasy floor is actually quite high. A depleted Giants WR corps, a late-season injury and all those Eli Manning interceptions meant that Mr. Salsa didn't get to do a single TD dance after Week 4. Not surprisingly, he posted only one double-digit fantasy game over that same span. And yet Cruz ranked among the top 25 WRs in yards (998), targets (121) and receptions (73) -- and was only three points from breaking into the top 25 in fantasy points (115, 28th). The Giants' new West Coast scheme is a perfect fit for Cruz's skill set. He'll be dancing again in no time.
2014 Outlook: For years it seemed that White was an indestructible workhorse wideout, but that notion crashed to earth in Weeks 1-12 last year. White was on the field for eight of those contests and posted an abysmal 2.62 fantasy points per game (ranked 104th). Granted, he was battling injuries for most of that stretch, and once White healed up, he got back to his old form, racking up 61 points in Weeks 13-17. That was a top-10 total for that time frame, and it offers hope that he can return to that level. Still, don't count on White's being an iron man for a full season.
2014 Outlook: If Bruce Arians would commit to Ellington, the second-year back could be a breakout star. But we're not convinced that's going to happen. Just as faded veteran Rashard Mendenhall siphoned off 200-plus carries in 2013, the unimpressive combination of Jonathan Dwyer and Stepfan Taylor will likely do the same this season. It wouldn't be a surprise if Ellington got only 12 to 15 touches per game, which would be a shame because this kid has open-field chops comparable to those of Gio Bernard and C.J. Spiller. If given the opportunity, he could add another dimension to Arizona's pass-heavy offense.
2014 Outlook: Through Week 8, Welker had the fourth-best fantasy total among WRs, scoring 103 points on 50 catches, 555 yards and 9 TDs. But he sputtered to the finish line, putting up only 27 points the rest of the season as he missed three games with yet another concussion. All in all, last season was only the second since 2006 that Welker failed to eclipse 100 catches and 1,000 yards. Even if his age is beginning to be a concern, it's hard to rank Welker any lower, especially with Peyton Manning throwing him the football.
2014 Outlook: One point. That was Harvin's fantasy output in his first year in Seattle. After being hampered by a hip injury for most of the regular season, Harvin showed off his versatility in the Super Bowl with a kickoff-return TD and a game-leading 45 rushing yards. It remains to be seen whether he can play with consistency -- or stay on the field -- for 16 games. He's never posted 1,000 yards receiving or played 600 offensive snaps in a season, but there's a reason we have him ranked in our top 20. Harvin can break the game open at any moment; over the past two years, his 8.4 yards after the catch is tops among WRs with 50-plus targets.
2014 Outlook: Big Vern was the No. 2 TE in fantasy last year, quite a rebound from his No. 15 ranking in 2012. It turns out all those theories suggesting Davis and Colin Kaepernick couldn't coexist were as ridiculous as they sounded. The duo seemed to like each other just fine inside the red zone, where Davis scored 9 of his 13 TDs. In a run-heavy offense with Michael Crabtree healthy and Stevie Johnson aboard, we'd argue that Davis won't be a top source of yardage or receptions. But the possibility of double-digit TDs keeps him elite.
2014 Outlook: Oy. Last season T-Rich cratered harder than The Lone Ranger at the box office. After finishing his rookie season as fantasy's No. 11 running back, Richardson wound up being traded to Indianapolis, where he averaged an atrocious 2.9 yards per carry and lost work to Donald Brown (yes, that Donald Brown). But his skills didn't just vanish. He's still big, he still has some wiggle and he still can catch. With Brown gone and only a combination of Vick Ballard and Ahmad Bradshaw in his way, Richardson has a chance to erase his miserable 2013 in a Pep Hamilton offense begging to emphasize the run game.