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Way too early Fantasy Football top-eight projections

Congratulations to those who won their 2014 Fantasy Football championship and for those who weren’t as fortunate, it’s never too late to start your homework for September when the new season begins.

1. Le’veon Bell- running back, Pittsburgh Steelers

Bell, 23 at the start of the 2015 season, is coming off a historically good campaign. He finished second in receptions by a running back and tied for 19th overall with 758 receiving yards. On the ground, he added an additional 1,361 yards and is one of three running backs with 10+ starts to not fumble. Bell finished with 11 total touchdowns and should remain a top option going into next season.

2. Eddie Lacy- running back, Green Bay Packers

Lacy started the 2014 campaign slowly, but finished red hot, being the sixth-best fantasy running back. In his last 11 games, Lacy had at least 100 total yards and/or a touchdown in each game. With Aaron Rodgers under center, the defense can’t pressure the run as much leading to Lacy’s success now and, presumably, the future.

3. Antonio Brown- wide receiver, Pittsburgh Steelers

Brown finished 2014 as the leader in receptions, receiving yards and was tied for second in touchdown receptions. This is the second straight year Brown had been a top-tier receiver and will finally get the well-deserved recognition. He is the only wide receiver threat in Pittsburgh to perform each week.

4. Demaryius Thomas- wide receiver, Denver Broncos

Thomas has similar numbers to Antonio Brown the last two seasons with Brown slightly performing better from a fantasy perspective. Thomas is a lock to get you enough fantasy points each week to be satisfied and has a future Hall of Famer throwing him the ball, which only helps.

5. Dez Bryant- wide receiver, Dallas Cowboys

Bryant, 26,  has had three straight seasons of 12+ TDs and 1,200 receiving yards and is just entering his prime years. If he stays with Dallas next season, he will continue putting up monster numbers with the threat of that running game also being a problem for defenses.

6. Jamaal Charles- running back, Kansas City Chiefs

Jamaal Charles has been a top-tier running back for three straight years and the only problem with him is his lingering ankle injuries that he suffered with in 2014. It has caused him to miss some games and play at less than 100%. If the ankle is fully healed by the start of next season, he will be a safe draft pick with a huge ceiling.

7.  Demarco Murray- running back, Dallas Cowboys

Murray would be ranked higher on this list if it was certain he’d be in Dallas next season. Murray will only be 27 next season but already has plenty of mileage under his belt.  With that Dallas offensive line and his talent though, he is a lock to produce. After playing all 16 games for the first time in his career, Murray finished as the top fantasy performer in 2014.

8. Odell Beckham Jr.- wide receiver, New York Giants

Beckham Jr. arguable had the best rookie season since Randy Moss in 1998, thus making him deserving of a first-round pick. After missing all of the preseason and the first four games, Beckham Jr. still finished as a top-eight wide receiver. His ceiling is higher than anyone else in the NFL.

—Brandon Gilden

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