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All about location
Doug Martin ((USATSI))
Where you start your draft ultimately dictates how your roster will take shape. Our Jamey Eisenberg builds six teams drafting from a different spot in Round 1. Full story
Related Links:
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• '14 Rankings | Draft Averages | Draft Index
• Richard: QB tiers | RB tiers | WR tiers
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Experts
Dave Richard
Senior Fantasy Writer
 
2014 Draft Prep: IDP rankings and strategies
 
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Jamey Eisenberg
Senior Fantasy Writer
 
2014 Draft Prep: ADP review, 4.0
 
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Most Added Players
Player% ±
1Kelvin Benjamin, CAR, WR11
2Jeremy Hill, CIN, RB11
3Nate Freese, DET, K11
4Jeremy Maclin, PHI, WR10
5Brandin Cooks, NO, WR10
6Reggie Wayne, IND, WR9
7Zach Ertz, PHI, TE9
8Sammy Watkins, BUF, WR9
9Bishop Sankey, TEN, RB9
10Mike Evans, TB, WR9
Most Dropped Players
Player% ±
1Josh Gordon, CLE, WR-12
2Matt Prater, DEN, K-9
3Alex Henery, PHI, K-9
4Tony Gonzalez, ATL, TE-9
5Andre Brown, HOU, RB-9
6NaVorro Bowman, SF, ILB-8
7Kiko Alonso, BUF, MLB-8
8Sean Lee, DAL, MLB-8
9DeAndre Levy, DET, OLB-7
10Ryan Succop, KC, K-7
Average Draft Position
 
 
Player News
Deone Bucannon settling in at safety for Cardinals
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:12 am ET) Cardinals rookie safety Deone Bucannon is ready for the start of the season after missing a good portion of the offseason due to turf toe. The first-round pick led the team with 23 tackles during the preseason and totaled 15 over the final two preseason games.

"He knows his job," head coach Bruce Arians said, per the team's official website. "He plays fearless. He’s more than ready to go. I wanted to get him out of there as soon as I could."

Bucannon said he's getting more comfortable on defense with the more reps he receives.

"Each time I come to the sideline they just tell me little things to watch out for to get more comfortable," Bucannon said. "It really helps when I’m out there. Ty (Mathieu) is right next to me. Every time I come off the field, he asks what I’m seeing. It’s little things for me to get better, and that’s what’s really been helping me.

"I’m understanding the defense better, and what the coaches want out of me, what they expect out of me. That’s allowed me to go out there and play faster for the team."


Wes Welker very playable if he plays
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(10:03 am ET) Broncos receiver Wes Welker (concussion) is on track to get cleared and play Sunday night against the Colts. If he does, stick him in your lineup as your flex or WR3. He's a borderline WR2 in PPR leagues.

You can't predict concussions, so it doesn't make sense to sit him unless the team says it will limit his snaps.

In last year's matchup with Indy, Welker drew a healthy 11 targets. He caught seven passes for a season-high 96 yards. As it turns out, it was Welker's only game without a touchdown in the season's first half.

Welker historically starts strong, then fades. He's scored 32 touchdowns with 70.9 receiving yards per game in the first half of the season, compared to 16 touchdowns with 64.6 receiving yards per game in the second half.

Make sure to check the practice reports all week, but start Welker if he's a go.


Ravens re-sign Derek Cox
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9:26 am ET) The Ravens re-signed cornerback Derek Cox after letting him go Saturday, reports the Baltimore Sun. He has 13 interceptions in five NFL seasons.

Browns add players to practice squad
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9:21 am ET) The Browns signed quarterback Connor Shaw, linebackers Justin Staples and Keith Pough, offensive linemen Patrick Lewis and Karim Barton, tight end Emmanuel Ogbuehi and receiver Charles Johnson to their practice squad.

J.J. Watt gets six-year, $100 million extension
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9:10 am ET) Texans defensive end J.J. Watt agreed to a six-year, $100 million extension, including nearly $52 million guaranteed. The deal makes Watt the NFL's highest-paid defensive player.

Watt has 36.5 sacks in three seasons.


Sammy Watkins risky in Week 1
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:25 am ET) The Bills haven't had a bonafide No. 1 receiver since the days of Jim Kelly to Andre Reed, but rookie Sammy Watkins has the talent to be their best wide receiver since the franchise's Super Bowl era. Sure, Eric Moulds, Lee Evans and Stevie Johnson were fine, but with the right quarterback, Watkins can be special.

Unfortunately, Watkins will be catching passes from second-year signal caller EJ Manuel. The team seems to have little confidence in Manuel being the answer at quarterback just one year after drafting him in the first round. Kyle Orton was pulled out of retirement and handed a pricy one-year deal, and one can easily picture the scenario where he's starting games for the team in November and December.

Will Manuel respond to the job-security threat with elevated play? His best shot is to feed his star rookie early and often. Bears cornerback Charles Tillman has made a career off shutting down No. 1 receivers, but he's not the same player at 33 as he was at 25. While he was a plus in coverage as recently as 2012, Tillman struggled on the field between injuries last year. If Watkins had a top-16 quarterback delivering the ball, I'd like him for a big game in Week 1. As it is, Fantasy owners would be best holding off on starting Watkins until the quarterback situation plays itself out for better or for worse.


Fred Jackson may have trouble finding running room in Week 1
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:04 am ET) Bills running back Fred Jackson will face a Bears team in Week 1 that did a terrible job at defending the run last season. However, his Week 1 success may not be as pre-ordained as that of running mate, C.J. Spiller.

Unlike Spiller, Jackson does much of his work without the benefit of big plays, grinding out his numbers by taking what the defense gives rather than providing a home-run threat on any down. While most of the members of the Bears back seven that was responsible for surrendering so many big plays has returned, the team has overhauled the defense line, signing three new defensive ends and drafting two rotational defensive tackles.

Two of those free-agent additions are Lamarr Houston and Willie Young, the two players that graded out as the best 4-3 defensive ends in run stop percentage last season, per Pro Football Focus. With those two players in tow and second-round draft pick Ego Ferguson taking up space in the middle, Jackson could have difficulty converting on short-yardage or goal-line situations.

It's also fair to wonder how many long scoring drives the Bills will be able to put together if Jackson and the offensive line can't stymie the line's potentially improved rush defense. EJ Manuel hasn't done enough at this point in his career to trust his ability to pick defenses apart with his arm. If the Bills have trouble finding the red zone, Jackson could wind up being a Week 1 Flex option Fantasy owners come to regret.


C.J. Spiller could ride big plays to productive Week 1
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:39 am ET) Bills running back C.J. Spiller has feasted on big plays ever since emerging as a Fantasy weapon. In 2012, he was third in the league in breakaway percentage, a statistic tracked by Pro Football Focus that determines how much of a player's rushing yardage total is accrued on plays of at least 15 yards. Spiller topped the league in the category last season. Clearly, if he can find a seam, he has the ability to wrea havoc on a defense.

Spiller will be squaring off with the Bears on Sunday. Last season, the Bears turned in by far the worst run defense performance in the league. They surrendered 2,583 rushing yards and 5.3 yards per rush, both marks placing them last in the league. They overhauled the defensive line in the offseason as a result, drafting two rotational defensive tackles and signing three defensive ends.

But if those players can't keep Spiller bottled up at the line all game, he's a threat to break a long touchdown or two. While the Bears run defense was obviously porous as a unit, the back seven was particularly offensive, ranking last in Football Outsiders' second-level yardage and open-field yardage statistics. The Bears didn't do much to upgrade those two levels of the defense either, meaning plenty of broken tackles and long gains are there for the taking if Spiller can find a little daylight. He's a trustworthy RB2 in Week 1 and a must-use in any Flex conversations.


EJ Manuel will look to conquer road woes Sunday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:20 am ET) Bills quarterback EJ Manuel endured what could at best be described as an uneven rookie season last year. Going 4-6 as a starter, Manuel particularly struggled on the road, where he turned in poor performances against the Jets, Browns, Steelers and Buccaneers before turning in a quality performance against the Jaguars in Week 14, his last game of the season.

Manuel opens this season on the road as well, heading to Soldier Field to take on the Bears Sunday. He'll be facing a new-look Chicago defensive line, rebuilt after the Bears defense struggled to generate a pass rush last season. Whether that pass rush can be effective could be the key to Manuel's success; the quarterback averaged 6.9 yards per attempt when under no pressure last season, but just 5.0 yards per attempt when faced with pressure.

Is there a good reason to start Manuel in Week 1? Not really. Every Fantasy team should be looking at a healthy roster heading into the beginning of the season, and there are anywhere from 14 to 20 QBs worth using over Manuel no matter the matchup. But a good performance in an unfavorable environment against a potentially improved pass rush would go a long way towards making the second-year player Fantasy relevant in 2014.


Patriots claim Don Jones off waivers
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9/1/2014) The Patriots have been awarded safety Don Jones on waivers from the Dolphins and waived offensive lineman Chris Barker in a corresponding move.

The Patriots will likely be looking for some extra insight on their Week 1 opponent after bringing the former Dolphin into the fold. The move leaves the Patriots with six safeties on the roster.


 
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