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2012 Draft Prep: 14-team mock draft

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Every draft presents different challenges, but adding more owners to the mix can make Draft Day a nightmare. In a 14-team league you can get into Round 3 or 4 and find the quality of running backs looking thin based on the talent pool, especially with the lack of depth at that position this year.

That happened to one owner in this 14-team draft, Will Brinson, a Senior NFL Blogger at CBSSports.com. Brinson started his draft with Drew Brees in Round 1 at No. 10 overall, Larry Fitzgerald in Round 2 at No. 19 and A.J. Green in Round 3 at No. 38. Instead of reaching for a running back in Round 4 that he didn't like -- the players available to him were BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Roy Helu, Reggie Bush and Isaac Redman -- Brinson continued to stockpile talent at other positions.

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He drafted Victor Cruz in Round 4 at No. 47, Jason Witten in Round 5 at No. 66 and Peyton Manning in Round 6 at No. 75. Brinson admitted that the Manning pick was a "planning to trade" strategy since he already had Brees, and he was looking at the best player available. Brinson said in the draft room "at this point in the draft, I'd rather gamble on Peyton and hope he looks great in training camp."

He finally took his first running back in Round 7 with Ben Tate at No. 94, and then he started loading up at the position with Ronnie Hillman in Round 8 (No. 103), Shane Vereen in Round 9 (No. 122), Jacquizz Rodgers in Round 10 (No. 131) and Isaiah Pead in Round 11 (No. 150). He could be in great shape if injuries happen to Arian Foster, Willis McGahee, Michael Turner or Steven Jackson, but running back is clearly his biggest weakness.

Brinson is loaded at the other spots with a Top 3 quarterback in Brees, three stud receivers in Fitzgerald, Green and Cruz and a standout tight end in Witten, but he will need some breaks for his running back corps to be successful. Still, his team should be competitive in a 14-team league.

But this draft should be an example of not letting one position get away from you in a deeper league. You can still compete with elite level talent at other spots, but you'd rather have a balanced squad like some of the other teams below.

As always, we ask you to share your thoughts on this draft. Take advantage of our Fantasy Football Twitter feed (@CBSFantasyFB) and post your comments there, or share your thoughts on our Fantasy Football Facebook page.

In this league, all touchdowns are worth six points, and we award one point for every 10 yards rushing and receiving and one point for every 25 yards passing. We feature a starting lineup of QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, TE, K, DST and a FLEX (RB/WR/TE). There will also be five reserve spots for a 14-round draft. This lineup reflects our CBSSports.com free Fantasy Football game.

We also had two special guests join us for this draft as Dylan Demming and Kurt Panchura -- two randomly selected readers -- were chosen on Twitter to mock with us. This is something we plan to do going forward, so be on the lookout for your chance to draft with us.

Our draft order is as follows ...

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1. J. Darin Darst, College Football Production Editor
2. Scott White, Senior Fantasy Writer
3. Chris Towers, Fantasy Writer
4. Mike Freeman, National NFL Insider
5. Jeff Tobin, Associate Managing Editor
6. Dave Richard, Senior Fantasy Writer
7. Aleese Kopf, Social Media Coordinator
8. Dylan Demming, Twitter follower
9. Nando Di Fino, Senior Fantasy Writer
10. Will Brinson, Senior NFL Blogger
11. Jamey Eisenberg, Senior Fantasy Writer
12. Adam Aizer, Podcast/Video Host
13. Kurt Panchura, Twitter follower
14. Nathan Zegura, Senior Fantasy Writer

Round by Round
Round 1
Pick Owner Player
1 Darst Arian Foster, RB, HOU
2 White Ray Rice, RB, BAL
3 Towers LeSean McCoy, RB, PHI
4 Freeman Ryan Mathews, RB, SD
5 Tobin Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, JAC
6 Richard Aaron Rodgers, QB, GB
7 Kopf Calvin Johnson, WR, DET
8 Demming Trent Richardson, RB, CLE
9 Di Fino Chris Johnson, RB, TEN
10 Brinson Drew Brees, QB, NO
11 Eisenberg Darren McFadden, RB, OAK
12 Aizer DeMarco Murray, RB, DAL
13 Panchura Steven Jackson, RB, STL
14 Zegura Tom Brady, QB, NE
Round 2
Pick Owner Player
15 Zegura Matt Forte, RB, CHI
16 Panchura Michael Turner, RB, ATL
17 Aizer Matthew Stafford, QB, DET
18 Eisenberg Andre Johnson, WR, HOU
19 Brinson Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI
20 Di Fino Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, NYG
21 Demming Julio Jones, WR, ATL
22 Kopf Fred Jackson, RB, BUF
23 Richard Greg Jennings, WR, GB
24 Tobin Cam Newton, QB, CAR
25 Freeman Rob Gronkowski, TE, NE
26 Towers Jimmy Graham, TE, NO
27 White Roddy White, WR, ATL
28 Darst Wes Welker, WR, NE
Round 3
Pick Owner Player
29 Darst Tony Romo, QB, DAL
30 White Adrian Peterson, RB, MIN
31 Towers Frank Gore, RB, SF
32 Freeman Brandon Marshall, WR, CHI
33 Tobin Jordy Nelson, WR, GB
34 Richard Darren Sproles, RB, NO
35 Kopf Jamaal Charles, RB, KC
36 Demming Michael Vick, QB, PHI
37 Di Fino Shonn Greene, RB, NYJ
38 Brinson A.J. Green, WR, CIN
39 Eisenberg Doug Martin, RB, TB
40 Aizer Hakeem Nicks, WR, NYG
41 Panchura Mike Wallace, WR, PIT
42 Zegura Miles Austin, WR, DAL
Round 4
Pick Owner Player
43 Zegura Marshawn Lynch, RB, SEA
44 Panchura Demaryius Thomas, WR, DEN
45 Aizer Beanie Wells, RB, ARI
46 Eisenberg Steve Smith, WR, CAR
47 Brinson Victor Cruz, WR, NYG
48 Di Fino Antonio Gates, TE, SD
49 Demming Percy Harvin, WR, MIN
50 Kopf Aaron Hernandez, TE, NE
51 Richard BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, CIN
52 Tobin Roy Helu, RB, WAS
53 Freeman Marques Colston, WR, NO
54 Towers Jeremy Maclin, WR, PHI
55 White Reggie Bush, RB, MIA
56 Darst Isaac Redman, RB, PIT
Round 5
Pick Owner Player
57 Darst Dez Bryant, WR, DAL
58 White DeSean Jackson, WR, PHI
59 Towers Dwayne Bowe, WR, KC
60 Freeman Steve Johnson, WR, BUF
61 Tobin Vincent Jackson, WR, TB
62 Richard Willis McGahee, RB, DEN
63 Kopf Torrey Smith, WR, BAL
64 Demming Vernon Davis, TE, SF
65 Di Fino Reggie Wayne, WR, IND
66 Brinson Jason Witten, TE, DAL
67 Eisenberg Mikel Leshoure, RB, DET
68 Aizer Antonio Brown, WR, PIT
69 Panchura Eli Manning, QB, NYG
70 Zegura Brandon Lloyd, WR, NE
Round 6
Pick Owner Player
71 Zegura Eric Decker, WR, DEN
72 Panchura Jermichael Finley, TE, GB
73 Aizer Jonathan Stewart, RB, CAR
74 Eisenberg Philip Rivers, QB, SD
75 Brinson Peyton Manning, QB, DEN
76 Di Fino Ben Roethlisberger, QB, PIT
77 Demming Denarius Moore, WR, OAK
78 Kopf Matt Schaub, QB, HOU
79 Richard Donald Brown, RB, IND
80 Tobin Stevan Ridley, RB, NE
81 Freeman Matt Ryan, QB, ATL
82 Towers C.J. Spiller, RB, BUF
83 White Robert Griffin III, QB, WAS
84 Darst Titus Young, WR, DET
Round 7
Pick Owner Player
85 Darst Michael Bush, RB, CHI
86 White Jay Cutler, QB, CHI
87 Towers Peyton Hillis, RB, KC
88 Freeman DeAngelo Williams, RB, CAR
89 Tobin Fred Davis, TE, WAS
90 Richard Kenny Britt, WR, TEN
91 Kopf Santonio Holmes, WR, NYJ
92 Demming James Starks, RB, GB
93 Di Fino Greg Little, WR, CLE
94 Brinson Ben Tate, RB, HOU
95 Eisenberg Robert Meachem, WR, SD
96 Aizer Lance Moore, WR, NO
97 Panchura Jahvid Best, RB, DET
98 Zegura Toby Gerhart, RB, MIN
Round 8
Pick Owner Player
99 Zegura Mark Ingram, RB, NO
100 Panchura Malcom Floyd, WR, SD
101 Aizer Felix Jones, RB, DAL
102 Eisenberg Ryan Williams, RB, ARI
103 Brinson Ronnie Hillman, RB, DEN
104 Di Fino Randy Moss, WR, SF
105 Demming LeGarrette Blount, RB, TB
106 Kopf Daniel Thomas, RB, MIA
107 Richard Anquan Boldin, WR, BAL
108 Tobin Pierre Thomas, RB, NO
109 Freeman Brandon Jacobs, RB, SF
110 Towers Joe Flacco, QB, BAL
111 White Pierre Garcon, WR, WAS
112 Darst David Wilson, RB, NYG
Round 9
Pick Owner Player
113 Darst Sidney Rice, WR, SEA
114 White Tim Hightower, RB, WAS
115 Towers Justin Blackmon, WR, JAC
116 Freeman Mike Tolbert, RB, CAR
117 Tobin Brandon LaFell, WR, CAR
118 Richard Brent Celek, TE, PHI
119 Kopf Santana Moss, WR, WAS
120 Demming Rashard Mendenhall, RB, PIT
121 Di Fino David Nelson, WR, BUF
122 Brinson Shane Vereen, RB, NE
123 Eisenberg Robert Turbin, RB, SEA
124 Aizer Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, OAK
125 Panchura Mike Goodson, RB, OAK
126 Zegura Rashad Jennings, RB, JAC
Round 10
Pick Owner Player
127 Zegura Michael Crabtree, WR, SF
128 Panchura Laurent Robinson, WR, JAC
129 Aizer Tony Gonzalez, TE, ATL
130 Eisenberg Carson Palmer, QB, OAK
131 Brinson Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, ATL
132 Di Fino Mike Williams, WR, TB
133 Demming Nate Washington, WR, TEN
134 Kopf Andy Dalton, QB, CIN
135 Richard Kevin Smith, RB, DET
136 Tobin Danny Amendola, WR, STL
137 Freeman Mario Manningham, WR, SF
138 Towers Andrew Luck, QB, IND
139 White Josh Freeman, QB, TB
140 Darst Jermaine Gresham, TE, CIN
Round 11
Pick Owner Player
141 Darst Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, BUF
142 White Jacob Tamme, TE, DEN
143 Towers Kendall Hunter, RB, SF
144 Freeman Austin Collie, WR, IND
145 Tobin Alex Smith, QB, SF
146 Richard Bernard Scott, RB, CIN
147 Kopf Joe McKnight, RB, NYJ
148 Demming Kevin Kolb, QB, ARI
149 Di Fino Sam Bradford, QB, STL
150 Brinson Isaiah Pead, RB, STL
151 Eisenberg Brandon Pettigrew, TE, DET
152 Aizer 49ers DST
153 Panchura Doug Baldwin, WR, SEA
154 Zegura Coby Fleener, TE, IND
Round 12
Pick Owner Player
155 Zegura Owen Daniels, TE, HOU
156 Panchura Delone Carter, RB, IND
157 Aizer Brian Quick, WR, STL
158 Eisenberg Nate Burleson, WR, DET
159 Brinson Kendall Wright, WR, TEN
160 Di Fino Mohamed Sanu, WR, CIN
161 Demming Jon Baldwin, WR, KC
162 Kopf Vincent Brown, WR, SD
163 Richard Dustin Keller, TE, NYJ
164 Tobin Rueben Randle, WR, NYG
165 Freeman Cedric Benson, RB, CIN
166 Towers Michael Floyd, WR, ARI
167 White Jared Cook, TE, TEN
168 Darst LaMichael James, RB, SF
Round 13
Pick Owner Player
169 Darst Eagles DST
170 White Steelers DST
171 Towers Ravens DST
172 Freeman Mason Crosby, K, GB
173 Tobin Texans DST
174 Richard Giants DST
175 Kopf Packers DST
176 Demming Falcons DST
177 Di Fino Stephen Gostkowski, K, NE
178 Brinson Cowboys DST
179 Eisenberg Bears DST
180 Aizer Evan Royster, RB, WAS
181 Panchura Patriots DST
182 Zegura Bills DST
Round 14
Pick Owner Player
183 Zegura David Akers, K, SF
184 Panchura Sebastian Janikowski, K, OAK
185 Aizer Jason Hanson, K, DET
186 Eisenberg Garrett Hartley, K, NO
187 Brinson Dan Bailey, K, DAL
188 Di Fino Lions DST
189 Demming Matt Bryant, K, ATL
190 Kopf Alex Henery, K, PHI
191 Richard Robbie Gould, K, CHI
192 Tobin Randy Bullock, K, HOU
193 Freeman Jets DST
194 Towers Nate Kaeding, K, SD
195 White Matt Prater, K, DEN
196 Darst Dan Carpenter, K, MIA
 
Team by Team
Adam Aizer
Rd.Pk Player
1.12 DeMarco Murray, RB, DAL
2.3 Matthew Stafford, QB, DET
3.12 Hakeem Nicks, WR, NYG
4.3 Beanie Wells, RB, ARI
5.12 Antonio Brown, WR, PIT
6.3 Jonathan Stewart, RB, CAR
7.12 Lance Moore, WR, NO
8.3 Felix Jones, RB, DAL
9.12 Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, OAK
10.3 Tony Gonzalez, TE, ATL
11.12 49ers DST
12.3 Brian Quick, WR, STL
13.12 Evan Royster, RB, WAS
14.3 Jason Hanson, K, DET
Aleese Kopf
Rd.Pk Player
1.7 Calvin Johnson, WR, DET
2.8 Fred Jackson, RB, BUF
3.7 Jamaal Charles, RB, KC
4.8 Aaron Hernandez, TE, NE
5.7 Torrey Smith, WR, BAL
6.8 Matt Schaub, QB, HOU
7.7 Santonio Holmes, WR, NYJ
8.8 Daniel Thomas, RB, MIA
9.7 Santana Moss, WR, WAS
10.8 Andy Dalton, QB, CIN
11.7 Joe McKnight, RB, NYJ
12.8 Vincent Brown, WR, SD
13.7 Packers DST
14.8 Alex Henery, K, PHI
Chris Towers
Rd.Pk Player
1.3 LeSean McCoy, RB, PHI
2.12 Jimmy Graham, TE, NO
3.3 Frank Gore, RB, SF
4.12 Jeremy Maclin, WR, PHI
5.3 Dwayne Bowe, WR, KC
6.12 C.J. Spiller, RB, BUF
7.3 Peyton Hillis, RB, KC
8.12 Joe Flacco, QB, BAL
9.3 Justin Blackmon, WR, JAC
10.12 Andrew Luck, QB, IND
11.3 Kendall Hunter, RB, SF
12.12 Michael Floyd, WR, ARI
13.3 Ravens DST
14.12 Nate Kaeding, K, SD
Dave Richard
Rd.Pk Player
1.6 Aaron Rodgers, QB, GB
2.9 Greg Jennings, WR, GB
3.6 Darren Sproles, RB, NO
4.9 BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, CIN
5.6 Willis McGahee, RB, DEN
6.9 Donald Brown, RB, IND
7.6 Kenny Britt, WR, TEN
8.9 Anquan Boldin, WR, BAL
9.6 Brent Celek, TE, PHI
10.9 Kevin Smith, RB, DET
11.6 Bernard Scott, RB, CIN
12.9 Dustin Keller, TE, NYJ
13.6 Giants DST
14.9 Robbie Gould, K, CHI
Dylan Demming
Rd.Pk Player
1.8 Trent Richardson, RB, CLE
2.7 Julio Jones, WR, ATL
3.8 Michael Vick, QB, PHI
4.7 Percy Harvin, WR, MIN
5.8 Vernon Davis, TE, SF
6.7 Denarius Moore, WR, OAK
7.8 James Starks, RB, GB
8.7 LeGarrette Blount, RB, TB
9.8 Rashard Mendenhall, RB, PIT
10.7 Nate Washington, WR, TEN
11.8 Kevin Kolb, QB, ARI
12.7 Jon Baldwin, WR, KC
13.8 Falcons DST
14.7 Matt Bryant, K, ATL
J. Darin Darst
Rd.Pk Player
1.1 Arian Foster, RB, HOU
2.14 Wes Welker, WR, NE
3.1 Tony Romo, QB, DAL
4.14 Isaac Redman, RB, PIT
5.1 Dez Bryant, WR, DAL
6.14 Titus Young, WR, DET
7.1 Michael Bush, RB, CHI
8.14 David Wilson, RB, NYG
9.1 Sidney Rice, WR, SEA
10.14 Jermaine Gresham, TE, CIN
11.1 Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, BUF
12.14 LaMichael James, RB, SF
13.1 Eagles DST
14.14 Dan Carpenter, K, MIA
Jamey Eisenberg
Rd.Pk Player
1.11 Darren McFadden, RB, OAK
2.4 Andre Johnson, WR, HOU
3.11 Doug Martin, RB, TB
4.4 Steve Smith, WR, CAR
5.11 Mikel Leshoure, RB, DET
6.4 Philip Rivers, QB, SD
7.11 Robert Meachem, WR, SD
8.4 Ryan Williams, RB, ARI
9.11 Robert Turbin, RB, SEA
10.4 Carson Palmer, QB, OAK
11.11 Brandon Pettigrew, TE, DET
12.4 Nate Burleson, WR, DET
13.11 Bears DST
14.4 Garrett Hartley, K, NO
Jeff Tobin
Rd.Pk Player
1.5 Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, JAC
2.10 Cam Newton, QB, CAR
3.5 Jordy Nelson, WR, GB
4.10 Roy Helu, RB, WAS
5.5 Vincent Jackson, WR, TB
6.10 Stevan Ridley, RB, NE
7.5 Fred Davis, TE, WAS
8.10 Pierre Thomas, RB, NO
9.5 Brandon LaFell, WR, CAR
10.10 Danny Amendola, WR, STL
11.5 Alex Smith, QB, SF
12.10 Rueben Randle, WR, NYG
13.5 Texans DST
14.10 Randy Bullock, K, HOU
Kurt Panchura
Rd.Pk Player
1.13 Steven Jackson, RB, STL
2.2 Michael Turner, RB, ATL
3.13 Mike Wallace, WR, PIT
4.2 Demaryius Thomas, WR, DEN
5.13 Eli Manning, QB, NYG
6.2 Jermichael Finley, TE, GB
7.13 Jahvid Best, RB, DET
8.2 Malcom Floyd, WR, SD
9.13 Mike Goodson, RB, OAK
10.2 Laurent Robinson, WR, JAC
11.13 Doug Baldwin, WR, SEA
12.2 Delone Carter, RB, IND
13.13 Patriots DST
14.2 Sebastian Janikowski, K, OAK
Mike Freeman
Rd.Pk Player
1.4 Ryan Mathews, RB, SD
2.11 Rob Gronkowski, TE, NE
3.4 Brandon Marshall, WR, CHI
4.11 Marques Colston, WR, NO
5.4 Steve Johnson, WR, BUF
6.11 Matt Ryan, QB, ATL
7.4 DeAngelo Williams, RB, CAR
8.11 Brandon Jacobs, RB, SF
9.4 Mike Tolbert, RB, CAR
10.11 Mario Manningham, WR, SF
11.4 Austin Collie, WR, IND
12.11 Cedric Benson, RB, CIN
13.4 Mason Crosby, K, GB
14.11 Jets DST
Nando Di Fino
Rd.Pk Player
1.9 Chris Johnson, RB, TEN
2.6 Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, NYG
3.9 Shonn Greene, RB, NYJ
4.6 Antonio Gates, TE, SD
5.9 Reggie Wayne, WR, IND
6.6 Ben Roethlisberger, QB, PIT
7.9 Greg Little, WR, CLE
8.6 Randy Moss, WR, SF
9.9 David Nelson, WR, BUF
10.6 Mike Williams, WR, TB
11.9 Sam Bradford, QB, STL
12.6 Mohamed Sanu, WR, CIN
13.9 Stephen Gostkowski, K, NE
14.6 Lions DST
Nathan Zegura
Rd.Pk Player
1.14 Tom Brady, QB, NE
2.1 Matt Forte, RB, CHI
3.14 Miles Austin, WR, DAL
4.1 Marshawn Lynch, RB, SEA
5.14 Brandon Lloyd, WR, NE
6.1 Eric Decker, WR, DEN
7.14 Toby Gerhart, RB, MIN
8.1 Mark Ingram, RB, NO
9.14 Rashad Jennings, RB, JAC
10.1 Michael Crabtree, WR, SF
11.14 Coby Fleener, TE, IND
12.1 Owen Daniels, TE, HOU
13.14 Bills DST
14.1 David Akers, K, SF
Scott White
Rd.Pk Player
1.2 Ray Rice, RB, BAL
2.13 Roddy White, WR, ATL
3.2 Adrian Peterson, RB, MIN
4.13 Reggie Bush, RB, MIA
5.2 DeSean Jackson, WR, PHI
6.13 Robert Griffin III, QB, WAS
7.2 Jay Cutler, QB, CHI
8.13 Pierre Garcon, WR, WAS
9.2 Tim Hightower, RB, WAS
10.13 Josh Freeman, QB, TB
11.2 Jacob Tamme, TE, DEN
12.13 Jared Cook, TE, TEN
13.2 Steelers DST
14.13 Matt Prater, K, DEN
Will Brinson
Rd.Pk Player
1.10 Drew Brees, QB, NO
2.5 Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI
3.10 A.J. Green, WR, CIN
4.5 Victor Cruz, WR, NYG
5.10 Jason Witten, TE, DAL
6.5 Peyton Manning, QB, DEN
7.10 Ben Tate, RB, HOU
8.5 Ronnie Hillman, RB, DEN
9.10 Shane Vereen, RB, NE
10.5 Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, ATL
11.10 Isaiah Pead, RB, STL
12.5 Kendall Wright, WR, TEN
13.10 Cowboys DST
14.5 Dan Bailey, K, DAL

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Player News
Report: Bills part ways with WR Mike Williams on Monday
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:10 pm ET) The Bills have released wide receiver Mike Williams on Monday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. Williams landed on injured reserve on Dec. 8 with a calf injury but appears to be fully recovered. He had only eight catches for 142 yards and one touchdown with Buffalo this season.

Eagles QB Nick Foles will not play season finale
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:06 pm ET) Eagles coach Chip Kelly said during his Monday news conference that quarterback Nick Foles will not play Sunday's season finale against the Giants, per the Delaware News Journal. Foles left Week 9 with the injury and has not been able to return. With the Eagles out of playoff contention, his season ends with 2,163 passing yards with 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

Panthers will make final decision on Frank Alexander on Monday
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:00 pm ET) Panthers coach Ron Rivera told reporters he will make a decision on adding defensive end Frank Alexander to the 53-man active roster on Monday, per the Associated Press. Alexander has been reinstated from his 10-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Monday is the Alexander's deadline to be added to an active roster.

Alexander had 15 total tackles in 2013 with one sack.


Panthers to stick with RB Jonathan Stewart vs. Falcons
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:56 pm ET) Panthers coach Ron Rivera told reporters during his Monday news conference that he'll stick with running back Jonathan Stewart moving forward, per the Associated Press. Stewart's running mate, DeAngelo Williams, has sat out three straight games with a hands injury. Over the last four weeks, Stewart has rushed for 437 yards, which is the most by any running back in the NFL.

The Panthers will travel to Atlanta to face the Falcons for the NFC South title. Carolina is currently a 3 1/2-point underdog in Week 17.


Panthers' Rivera: Cam Newton came out of game in good health
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:47 pm ET) Panthers coach Ron Rivera told reporters Monday that early indications are that quarterback Cam Newton came out of Sunday's game against the Browns in good health, per the team's official website.

Newton, who came off two small fractures in his back sustained in a car accident, completed 18 of 31 for 201 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He also rushed for 63 yards and another score on 12 attempts.

Newton and the Panthers will travel to Atlanta to face the Falcons for the NFC South title. Carolina is currently a 3 1/2-point underdog in Week 17.


Cardinals RB situation a complete mess now
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(12:38 pm ET) Whether it was because he was limited in practice by a knee injury leading up to the game or because the Cardinals fell behind early and needed more of a pass blocker in the backfield, running back Kerwynn Williams, who had performed admirably the previous two weeks, totaling 175 yards on the ground, was hardly a factor Week 16 against Seattle, getting two carries for 4 yards.

Instead, Stepfan Taylor was the lead ball carrier. Of course, he wasn't so effective in the role, picking up 19 yards on 11 carries, but that's bound to happen for any running back going against the Seahawks. He did at least have 25 yards on two catches. Marion Grice and Robert Hughes also each got a carry, but they haven't been as much of a factor with Andre Ellington out.

Williams seems to be the best rusher of the group and the one you'd prefer to see get the carries in Fantasy, but if the Cardinals are that willing to abandon him when the score isn't in their favor, you can never feel confident playing him in Fantasy. Especially now that the Cardinals are down to their third quarterback, the score isn't going to be in their favor so often.

Week 17 at San Francisco should be a more competitive game, but given that the 49ers are tough against the run as well, you should probably pass on Williams for the season's final week.


Lions DT Nick Fairley (knee) ditches crutches
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:38 pm ET) Lions coach Jim Caldwell told reporters defensive tackle Nick Fairley is "making good progress" in his recovering from knee injury, per the team's official website. Fairley is no longer in crutches and is not a candidate to land on injured reserve "at this precise moment."

Fairley was stretchered off in Week 8 against the Falcons with the injury. He totaled 14 tackles and one forced fumble.


Doug Baldwin takes advantage of injury
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(12:27 pm ET) Wide receiver Doug Baldwin hasn't emerged as the Seahawks' clear No. 1 as Fantasy owners had hoped after the team shipped Percy Harvin to the Jets, sometimes taking a back seat to Jermaine Kearse. But after Kearse left early Week 16 at Arizona with a hamstring injury, Baldwin didn't have as much competition for looks, catching seven passes for 113 yards on a season-high 11 targets.

It was his second game in three with more than 90 yards, but it was also just his second in eight with more than 60, to give you some idea how much Kearse has interfered with his production.

Also helping Baldwin in this one was the fact that quarterback Russell Wilson threw for a season-high 339 yards. In the Seahawks' inconsistent passing attack, you couldn't count on Baldwin for consistent production even if he was the clear No. 1.

Still, if Kearse is out for Week 17 against St. Louis, Baldwin deserves a longer look in Fantasy, particularly in leagues that require three wide receivers.


Steelers keeping eye on LB Williams, OT Beachum
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12:22 pm ET) Mike Tomlin has stated that the team will monitor Steelers linebacker Vince Williams (ankle) and tackle Kelvin Beachum (back) as it prepares to host Cincinnati in the regular season finale Sunday.

Williams has started just two games, but he has seen increased playing time over the course of the season.


Luke Willson's lack of targets telling
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(12:13 pm ET) Seahawks tight end Luke Willson had a career performance Week 16 at Arizona, going for 139 yards and two touchdowns, including an 80-yarder in the second quarter. But those numbers distract from one just as important: His three catches were his only three targets on the day.

Even with quarterback Russell Wilson attempting more than 30 passes for just the second time in five games, Willson wasn't any more targeted than usual. It's just that two of them happened to result in big plays.

The long touchdown was probably a fluke. He got behind the defense, an oversight on its part, and ran away from everyone after he caught the ball. Big deal. Take it away, and he had two catches for 59 yards and a touchdown -- a good performance by his standards, but nothing that would send Fantasy owners flocking to the waiver wire.

Even though Willson got the numbers, Wilson's preferred targets were wide receivers Doug Baldwin and Paul Richardson, who had 11 and seven targets, respectively. Those were season highs for each.

If you can't count on them to get consistent looks in the Seahawks offense, you certainly can't count on Willson to. He's had only three games with more than four all season, none in the last three weeks.


 
 
 
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