For NFL fantasy enthusiasts: Tyrann Mathieu was highly touted out of college before he had some drug issues and missed the entire 2012 season. Before his drug issues at LSU, Mathieu was a turnover machine and a Heisman trophy runner up. Then in his first season in Arizona Mathieu came out and showed scouts what they were missing after he fell to the third round in the draft. When he’s on the field he’s been effective, but he needs to put together a healthy season. Mathieu’s has produced turnovers, hard-nosed hitting, and makes smart plays all over the field. Now, healthy Mathieu is looking to finally breakout and produce for the Cardinals on a high level.
For NFL fantasy enthusiasts: Kiko Alonso already broke out two years ago in his rookie season with the Bills. Before suffering a season long knee injury last season, Alonso was expected to be a serious candidate for Defensive Player of the Year. Alonso nearly beat out New York Jets defensive tackle Shledon Richardson for the Defensive Rookie of the Year during the 2013 season. Now, headed into his third season in the NFL, Alonso was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles for All-Pro running back Lesean McCoy. His former college coach Chip Kelly was in need of a playmaker at the linebacker position, and chose to trade away a key player for Alonso. This must mean that Kelly has some plans for Alonso, and he believes in his ability. Alonso looks to be fully healthy and ready to go for training camp in just a couple of weeks.
For NFL fantasy enthusiasts: Ziggy Ansah already broke out last season with his 7.5 sacks, but we know that he is capable of producing double digit sacks. The former BYU standout became the 5th overall pick by the Detroit Lions in 2013, but was expected to be a “raw” project for the Lions defense. With his 6’5” 270lb frame, Ziggy brings both power and explosive abilities. With the loss of Ndamukong Suh to free agency, the Lions brought in Haloti Ngata, and now have the run stuffing defensive tackle that can complement Ziggy’s talents. Now into his third season, Ansah is expected to be the go to pass rusher for the Lions, which we feel he is more than capable of doing this year.
For NFL fantasy enthusiasts: Xavier Rhodes heads into his third season in the NFL, and second season as the team’s number one cornerback. Rhodes was expected to make a big leap last season, and he did that and more in 2014. As a rookie, Rhodes showed some promise with his size and length after being selected in the first round of the 2013 draft. Last season, with Mike Zimmer coming in as the new head coach and considered the defensive backs guru, Rhodes thrived in the new system and played some elite level football. Now heading into his third season, and second in Zimmer’s defense, expect an even bigger jump for Rhodes and for him to become a household name. Rhodes will continue to shadow the opposing team’s number one receiver week in and week out.
For NFL fantasy enthusiasts: Tyler Eifert heads into his third season in the NFL, but first as the number one tight end. Eifert was the backup to former first round pick Jermaine Gresham for two seasons, before getting the opportunity to start this coming season. Eifert proved as a rookie that he can produce big numbers in a limited basis, as the teams number two tight end. Eifert in a limited role as a rookie produced 39 receptions for 445 yards and 2 touchdowns. Looking to build off of a strong rookie season, Eifert was limited to one game last season before injuring his elbow. Now as the primary tight end in a high profile offense, Eifert gets the opportunity to produce big time stats.