By Ballblogger Manny @BallbloggerMan
As the draft approaches everybody is looking for break-out players to target in the middle to late rounds that will bring home a championship. Below are three players to watch prior to draft day and take if they are available in the right round.
1. Shane Vereen (RB-NE)
I had Vereen tabbed as a break-out candidate last year but injury derailed his ‘steal of the draft status’. Vereen a former second round pick, picked ahead of teammate Stevan Ridley was well on his way to a break-out season with 159 yards on 21 touches in Week 1 last season. However, a wrist injury had Vereen missing eight games and only serving as a role player upon his return. In 2014, Vereen should be the lead receiver out of the backfield for the Patriots’. He will not get RB1 carries, but if ‘Butterfingers’ Ridley continues to be a fumbling machine and ends up back in Bill Belichick’s doghouse Vereen has the potential to move into RB1 territory. Durability will always be the concern with Vereen but if he stays healthy he could end up being a RB1 with top 10 production that you could target in the middle rounds of your draft.
2. Ladarius Green (TE-SD)
In the new age NFL we are all looking for the next TE that puts up WR numbers. So as we are searching for this years’ Julius Thomas, Green could be that guy. Green is a monster of a red zone target at 6’6” and a freak athlete with 4.4 speed. Green showed flashes of his ability last year, his second season with 376 yards and scoring three times on 17 receptions. Coming into his third season and having been mentored by Antonio Gates, who is now 34 this could be his year. With all the top tier TE’s going early in the draft, Gates always an injury concern, Green has top 5 TE production potential and could be had later in the draft.
3. Justin Hunter (WR-TEN)
Hunter, is a huge target, entering his second season in the League, who in 14 games last season as a rookie caught 18 balls for 354 yards and four touchdowns. He is on a team, the Titans, that do not have a true WR1 (Nate Washington, Kendall Wright) and will most likely be playing from behind in most of their games. I would not be surprised if Hunter starts slowly but improves week to week and becomes the Titans WR1. Hunter could be a steal in the later rounds and by week 5 be the starting WR2 or Flex on your fantasy roster.
Others To Keep An Eye On:
Ben Tate (RB-CLE), David Wilson (RB-NYG), DeAndre Hopkins (WR-HOU), Zach Ertz (TE-PHI)