by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
When I say “flier”, I’m thinking about a player who may not even be drafted in most leagues but is just significant struggles or an injury away from making a monster impact. In the last few rounds of your draft, with an average ADP of 144 or greater, there certainly is no harm in making the selection and crossing your fingers. Even if they don’t pan out, they will be easily replaced.
Who is sitting atop my fliers list? Let’s take a look:
Latavius Murray – Oakland Raiders
We’ve already taken an in depth look at Murray, which you can read by clicking here. While the Raiders brought Darren McFadden back (injury risk) and signed Maurice Jones-Drew (looked like a shell of himself in 2013), neither are a lock to produce in 2014. If they stumble, or can’t suit up, it’s the intriguing Murray who will get his chance to show what he’s capable of. If you have a deep bench, he’s a player that needs to be drafted.
Carlos Hyde – San Francisco 49ers
He will face a lot of competition, but the idea of someone taking over for Frank Gore should not be a surprise. Gore is north of 30-years old and has a lot of wear and tear on him. The 49ers certainly didn’t waste a second round pick on Hyde not to utilize him. As it is, they showed when they went from Alex Smith to Colin Kapernick that they aren’t shy of making changes, if it’s justified. Would it really be surprising to see the team “needing” to make a change at running back this season?
Devonta Freeman – Atlanta Falcons
Does anyone really still believe in Steven Jackson? What about Jacquizz Rodgers and his consistently overblown “breakout” potential? We took a look at the Falcons backfield (click here to view) and it appears obvious that Freeman will get his shot to be the lead back by the end of the season. If you can, stash him now before someone else beats you to him.
Ka’Deem Carey – Chicago Bears
He can run and he can catch the football, meaning if something were to happen to Matt Forte there conceivably could be a seamless transition. At the very least, Carey is a proven TD vulture who could step immediately into Michael Bush’s old role. If Forte stays healthy than Carey will have little value, but we all know injuries happen in the NFL every week.
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Make sure to check out all of our 2014 rankings: