(Week 14: at Miami, Week 15: vs. Jacksonville, Week 16: at Houston)
A pretty easy final three games for the Ravens with only the Texans’ pass rush scaring me.
I am not a Gary Kubiak fan. I think his offenses in Houston were highly predictable and he wants to establish the running game to set up play action passes. Joe Flacco has always struck me as a QB who does better when he is mobile. This is a bad fit.
It is rare that a Tight End is considered a Fantasy stud, but I am sold on Dennis Pitta. Joe Flacco looked like a little boy without his favorite security blanket at times last year with Pitta injured. Pitta is his closest friend on the team and most trusted target. He is an ideal pick in the seventh round of your draft.
Baltimore Ravens RB Bernard Pierce
Under the Radar Guy
Here is a Fantasy trick: when everyone chases the bright and shiny new objects (i.e. rookies), check out the old wily veterans who slide under the radar. Steve Smith is exactly that type of player. Smith made Cam Newton look much better than he is, bailing him out with amazing catches in tight coverage. Smith will do the same for Flacco and you can get him as your WR5 late in drafts this season.
Roto Visionary Sleeper
At times last year, Marlon Brown looked like a young stud. He had three TDs in his first four games and then disappeared in the middle of the season until he finished strong in his last four games. If the coaching staff finally gives up on JaCoby Jones and realizes Brown’s true potential, he might be a terrific last round WR sleeper in deeper leagues.
This is a make or break season for Bernard Pierce. Pierce looked good as a rookie only to regress somewhat as a second year RB. Now in his third season (and with Ray Rice missing time due to his suspension), Pierce will have a chance to establish himself in the Ravens’ backfield. He will have a short window to prove to the coaching staff that he is worthy of being given carries throughout the season. The team also drafted Lorenzo Taliaferro just in case Pierce cannot get it done. Avoid Pierce at your draft.
(Week 14: at Denver, Week 15: vs. Green Bay, Week 16: at Oakland)
This is a very hard schedule down the stretch. Playing in Denver is never fun and it is easy to see the Bills having to play from behind in this one. Green Bay at home is another potential disaster as the Packers will try to use ball control to run down the clock. Playing in the Black Hole in Oakland is always a problem too for most traveling teams.
The jury is still out on Head Coach Doug Marrone. The pieces are in places for the team to take off offensively, but the QB is still a huge question mark. If the coaching staff dinks and dunks their way down the field due to trust issues with Manuel, this could get ugly.
C.J. Spiller is a potential Fantasy stud. In fact, Fantasy owners thought so highly of Spiller that he was picked in the first round of many 2013 drafts. Now, in his contract year, expect Spiller to showcase his skills for the entire NFL. The Bills have said that they want him to get 20 touches per game. If he can get those for 16 weeks, you have a Fantasy stud for sure.
Buffalo Bills RB C.J. Spiller
Under the Radar
The Bills actually have two guys who fall under the radar. The first is third string RB Bryce Brown. Brown is one C.J. Spiller injury away from being a workhorse RB. Many people forget how good Brown was for the Eagles back in 2012, but you should not. Brown is highly explosive and the team has him firmly set into their future plans. Additionally, WR Robert Woods is flying under the radar. Woods, out of USC, is not the fastest receiver around, but he does know how to get open. Woods is getting most of his training camp reps with the second team, but that should not deter you from drafting him. He will end up with the first string much sooner than people think.
Roto Visionary Sleeper
I am not sure that I can call Sammy Watkins Roto a sleeper, but I know he is the newest member of the Roto family. What I like the most about Watkins is not just his world class speed and hands, but his work ethic. It would not shock me to see him get about 80 catches in his rookie season. What makes him a sleeper is that he is falling to rounds six or seven, but he might end up playing like a third round pick.
My All-Bus Terminal Team is made up of guys who look great coming out of the team bus, but can’t put it together on the field. E.J. Manuel is the QB of my All Bus Terminal Team for 2014. He looks the part with his size and stature, but something is amiss for me. I think he makes slow reads and is too inconsistent with his deep throws. It’s never a good sign when a college team (Florida State) wins the NCAA Championship after their first round NFL pick QB graduates!