The 2014 fantasy football season is rapidly approaching. If you wisely saved your league’s draft for middle to late August, kudos to you. However, even if you waited, the time to prep and be ready is ticking away, which means if you haven’t already, now is a good time to compile your own rankings, develop some type of draft day cheat sheet and figure out which side of the line you reside on numerous questions concering sleepers and top names.

Do you trust the likes of Doug Martin, C.J. Spiller and Arian Foster after getting burned a year ago? Are you on board with sleepers like Zac Stacy and Rashad Jennings? Have you moved passed aged performers like Reggie Wayne, Frank Gore and Maurice Jones-Drew, and are you over-excited about rookies like Johnny Manziel, Brandin Cooks and Jeremy Hill?

You’re rarely going to find all of your questions in one spot, but will try to help you sort through the mess over the next month. Once your draft is in the bag, you can hit us up on a regular basis, too, as we help throughout the year to make sure you make it to your league’s playoffs. We’re not the only people who can help, though, and that’s one key reason why we hosted our own fantasy football expert league for the 2014 season.

Some of our own joined us for the draft and we were fortunate enough to include some stellar names in the fantasy industry, as well. Get to know our 12 fantasy experts below by name and via Twitter and their respective websites, and then peruse through the key findings in our expert draft:

The Actual Draft

Here is a running list of how the draft went down:

Round 1

1. LeSean McCoy

2. Jamaal Charles

3. Adrian Peterson

4. Matt Forte

5. Demaryius Thomas

6. Calvin Johnson

7. Eddie Lacy

8. Jimmy Graham

9. Dez Bryant

10. Peyton Manning

11. Marshawn Lynch

12. DeMarco Murray

Round 2

13. A.J. Green

14. Brandon Marshall

15. Montee Ball

16. Giovani Bernard

17. Antonio Brown

18. Julio Jones

19. Le’Veon Bell

20. Alfred Morris

21. Doug Martin

22. Rob Gronkowski

23. Arian Foster

24. Jordy Nelson

Round 3

25. Alshon Jeffery

26. Randall Cobb

27. Andre Ellington

28. Andre Johnson

29. Victor Cruz

30. Aaron Rodgers

31. Zac Stacy

32. Drew Brees

33. Julius Thomas

34. Vincent Jackson

35. C.J. Spiller

36. Cordarrelle Patterson

Round 4

37. Roddy White

38. Matthew Stafford

39. Reggie Bush

40. Keenan Allen

41. Pierre Garcon

42. Jordan Cameron

43. Rashad Jennings

44. Toby Gerhart

45. Larry Fitzgerald

46. Michael Floyd

47. Wes Welker

48. Joique Bell

Round 5

49. Michael Crabtree

50. Frank Gore

51. Ryan Mathews

52. Percy Harvin

53. Kendall Wright

54. Ray Rice

55. Lamar Miller

56. Ben Tate

57. Shane Vereen

58. Vernon Davis

59. Bishop Sankey

60. Robert Griffin III

Round 6

61. Trent Richardson

62. T.Y. Hilton

63. DeSean Jackson

64. Mike Wallace

65. Chris Johnson

66. Torrey Smith

67. Stevan Ridley

68. Justin Hunter

69. Eric Decker

70. Terrance West

71. Andrew Luck

72. Brandin Cooks

Round 7

73. Jason Witten

74. Julian Edelman

75. Marques Colston

76. Pierre Thomas

77. Mark Ingram

78. Terrance Williams

79. Golden Tate

80. Jeremy Maclin

81. Bernard Pierce

82. Fred Jackson

83. Dennis Pitta

84. Sammy Watkins

Round 8

85. Carlos Hyde

86. Christine Michael

87. Nick Foles

88. Maurice Jones-Drew

89. Danny Woodhead

90. Matt Ryan

91. Jordan Reed

92. Zach Ertz

93. DeAndre Hopkins

94. Rueben Randle

95. Kyle Rudolph

96. Cam Newton

Round 9

97. Jeremy Hill

98. Tom Brady

99. Colin Kaepernick

100. Emmanuel Sanders

101. Eli Manning

102. Darren Sproles

103. Devonta Freeman

104. Darren McFadden

105. Reggie Wayne

106. Dwayne Bowe

107. Andre Williams

108. Greg Olsen

Round 10

109. Tony Romo

110. Steven Jackson

111. DeAngelo Williams

112. Russell Wilson

113. Kelvin Benjamin

114. Jordan Matthews

115. Markus Wheaton

116. Cecil Shorts III

117. Jay Cutler

118. Mike Evans

119. Ahmad Bradshaw

120. Philip Rivers

Round 11

121. Shonn Greene

122. Martellus Bennett

123. Khiry Robinson

124. Chris Ivory

125. Malcom Floyd

126. Seahawks Defense

127. Greg Jennings

128. Knowshon Moreno

129. 49ers Defense

130. Ladarius Green

131. Doug Baldwin

132. Robert Turbin

Round 12

133. Patriots Defense

134. Kenny Stills

135. Panthers Defebse

136. Stephen Gostkowski

137. Hakeem Nicks

138. James Starks

139. Riley Cooper

140. Dwayne Allen

141. Jonathan Grimes

142. Tyler Eifert

143. Johnny Manziel

144. Lance Dunbar

Round 13

145. Charles Clay

146. Chiefs Defense

147. Tavon Austin

148. Heath Miller

149. Dexter McCluster

150. Ryan Tannehill

151. Aaron Dobson

152. Kenny Britt

153. Ben Roethlisberger

154. Tre Mason

155. Cardinals Defense

156. Matt Prater

Round 14

157. Brian Hartline

158. Jarrett Boykin

159. Danny Amendola

160. Anquan Boldin

161. Bengals Defense

162. Travis Kelce

163. Andrew Hawkins

164. Ryan Broyles

165. Justin Tucker

166. Rams Defense

167. Ronnie Hillman

168. Steven Hauschka

Round 15

169. Broncos Defense

170. Blair Walsh

171. Phil Dawson

172. Ravens Defense

173. Lance Moore

174. Matt Bryant

175. LeGarrette Blount

176. Antonio Gates

177. Andy Dalton

178. Mason Crosby

179. Shayne Graham

180. Delanie Walker

Key Notes

  • The Fantasy Nomad reached for Demaryius Thomas in round five, which was arguably the first interesting move of the draft. It’s hard to knock the move, though, as many peg DT as the top wide receiver going into 2014 after a narrow second place finish a year ago.
  • Montee Ball slipped into the second round. A recent appendectomy was probably thanks to that, and if he stays there, he gives owners much better and much more appropriate value.
  • Julio Jones was drafted after Antonio Brown. Brown is probably the more stable option given Julio’s foot issues, but Jones has the better upside. Keep an eye out for switch ups like this in your drafts.
  • Rob Gronkowski is inching to a week one return and with a second round landing in this draft, it’s clear people are worrying less and less about his health. Draft accordingly.
  • Arian Foster didn’t just miss the first round cut. He almost slid out of the second round, entirely.
  • C.J. Spiller carries some injury risk, but should still be slated for a big role on a run-heavy Bills team. As a mid-third round pick after less versatile guys like Alfred Morris and Zac Stacy, he’s being had at killer value.
  • Think Michael Floyds stock isn’t soaring? He and teammate Larry Fitzgerald were drafted back to back.
  • Joique Bell was drafted after teammate Reggie Bush, despite Bell supposedly having a slightly better role in Detroit’s offense.
  • DeSean Jackson sunk pretty low, going in the early sixth round despite a 5th round ADP. It’s clear experts are a little weary of his new role on his new team. T.Y. Hilton and Percy Harvin were both drafted ahead of him.
  • Justin Hunter is a clear breakout candidate but was drafted ahead of a more proven commodity in Eric Decker.
  • Cam Newton slid to the bottom of the 8th round. That is tremendous value.
  • Jordan Reed, Zach Ertz and Kyle Rudolph are three tight ends with some of the best upside. All were drafted in round eight.
  • It’s probably impossible to trust Steven Jackson, but if you find him in round 10 like he was drafted in this league, the value is pretty exceptional.
  • Mike Evans slipped a bit, being drafted behind Jordan Matthews and Markus Wheaton. Perhaps experts aren’t high on Tampa Bay’s quarterbacks or offense.
  • Martellus Bennett is a legit top-10 TE candidate. He was drafted in round 11.
  • The Seahawks DEF/ST were the first unit off the board in round 11. That’s not really a reach.
  • Several team defenses were drafted between rounds 11 and 15. The Denver Broncos weren’t drafted until round 15.
  • Andy Dalton was fantasy football’s #5 passer a year ago. He fell to the bottom of the final round in this draft.

Their Draft Strategy

Some of the fantasy football experts were kind enough to share their draft strategies with us:

The Fantasy Typhoon:

Like I said on my podcast GM HAT vs COACHING HAT! When I am drafting I am the GM of the situation. I am wearing my GM hat. During this time I am not concerned about where I draft a player just as long as I drown my roster with #1 talent. When the season starts I will become the coach and manage the wire, bye weeks, trades, and roster starts/sits. I also do not try and concern myself with injury when I am drafting. I did want the Ray Rice discount but was not able to capitalize and had to go in another direction and scoop up CJ1K (a former first round pick in the NFL draft). At the end of the day let’s see what this roster can do because value is never known until the season starts/ends, because right now every player’s stats are 0.00 and that so called value could very well be an illusion.  LLLLLEEEEEGGGGGGOOOOOOO!

Kevin Roberts – Breaking Football:

My strategy is usually the same: get out of the first three rounds with two running backs and wait on quarterback, tight end, kicker and defense as long as it makes sense. I ended with solid depth at running back (5), nabbed Andrew Luck and Kyle Rudolph at round six and round eight, and saved my defense and kicker for rounds 13 and 15. This ended up being a pretty well built team, but with just three wide receivers, I have a clear weakness in terms of depth. That’s perfectly explainable, though, because I spent two other bench picks on a third quarterback (Johnny Manziel) and a backup tight end (Martellus Bennett). My starting lineup is ready to compete in week one, but I’ll be on the lookout for another WR on the waiver wire.

Allie Fontana – Breaking Football and The Fantasy Fix:

Picking from the No. 7 spot gives you the freedom to stay flexible and let the draft come to you—whether that means taking the plunge on Jimmy Graham, grabbing the top-three quarterback of your choice or nabbing an elite wide out. And if you’re lucky, a top-five running back could slide your way. I was pleasantly surprised to see Eddie Lacy knocking on my fantasy front door. Lacy packs a one-two punch of talent and three-down opportunity in one of the league’s better offenses. He could literally (and figuratively) “eat” his way into the end zone 12-14 times this season—and those scores are money in the bank in non-PPR leagues. With Megatron and Demaryius Thomas off the board, I was happy to lock in Lacy as my RB1.

Industry or so-called expert drafts frequently involve a game of quarterback “chicken”—which aligns perfectly with my preference to wait on the position. While Matt Ryan at 90 (Round 8) isn’t exactly a sexy pick; I’d rather hit the waiver wire for a bye-week fill in than tie up a valuable roster spot with a backup. My receiving corps from top (Julio Jones-2.06/18 overall) to bottom (Aaron Dobson-13.07/151 overall) and in between (Torrey Smith-6.06/66 overall; Golden Tate-7.07/79 overall; Jordan Matthews-10.06/114 overall; and Greg Jennings-11.07/127 overall) has the potential to deliver significant return-on-investment. I like the value of these players across the board.

In terms of regrets or do-overs, I may have jumped on Michael Floyd as my WR2 or possibly Toby Gerhart or Rashad Jennings as my RB3/flex instead of Jordan Cameron at 4.06/32 overall. Don’t get me wrong—I consider Cameron borderline elite—however in retrospect, I’d probably be happy with the bang for the buck I’d get with Jordan Reed, Zach Ertz or Kyle Rudolph 45 to 50 picks later. I also took a late flier on Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce (14.06/162 overall) and bolstered my backfield bench depth with thorn-in-the-side of Le’Veon Bell and his fantasy owners, LeGarrette Blount (15.07/175 overall) in lieu of drafting a defense or kicker in Rounds 14 and 15. I prefer to stream these positions anyway, and the plan is to see how things shake out in the final two weeks of the preseason before tweaking my Week 1 roster.

Ryan Dorf – Fantasy Sports Locker Room:

For starters, I hated my draft pick. Picking 6th was my worst nightmare. I either want to have one of the first picks, or one of the last picks. Picking in the middle was my worst nightmare. My draft strategy was simple. I wanted a stud RB, a stud WR, and an elite QB. That being said, this is how my draft played out from the 6th pick:

Round 1: Calvin Johnson – Very pleased with MegaTron on my team. No complaints here.

Round 2: Le’Veon Bell – I would have rather had Giovani Bernard, but he was taken 3 picks prior. Satisfied with Bell but would’ve rather had Gio.

Round 3: Aaron Rodgers – You know, this one was hard. Brees was still on the board but I genuinely believe Rodgers is the better player. Plus, Rodgers can run and Brees cannot. The fact that I am a Packer fan did not factor into my pick, as hard as that was to do.

Round 4: Rashad Jennings – Look, I like the guy. I like him a lot actually, and I think he will have a great year because Eli Manning is going to run a lot of “dump” plays and Jennings will capitalize.

Rounds 5-12: I was happy taking Ray Rice in the 5th, would’ve rather taken him a round later but I was afraid someone would snatch him up before then. I was debating between Rice and Lamar Miller, who coincidentally was the very next pick. Stevan Ridley is nice but when it comes to the Patriots, they have a new favorite RB every week. Ridley will have to share the workload with Vereen and possibly James White so I took a gamble here. I finally took my WR2 in round 7 with Terrance Williams, however I think I would’ve preferred Justin Hunter who went a round earlier. Taking Jordan Reed in the 8th was a no-brainer for me, he is injury prone so I made it my business to get him some insurance later in the draft. Or so I thought. Taking Darren Sproles in the 9th was a little “ehhhh” for me, I did not want to take Sproles but the clock was ticking and I did not have a lot of options. I took Markus Wheaton in the 10th, as I feel he will have a breakout season in Pittsburgh. In round 11 I decided to pull the trigger on Seattle D, I think I was justified in my selection. From there, I finished with Riley Cooper who was a beast last year, along with Ryan Tannehill, Andrew Hawkins and Matt Bryant.

About The Author Kevin Roberts

Breaking Football's lead fantasy football expert. Top 40 finisher in FantasyPros accuracy challenge in 2012 and 2013. Your huckleberry.