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Quick Fantasy Hits for Week 14

Senior Fantasy Writer
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As we wade into a 14th week of action, there are some nuggets that are too in-depth for the podcast, too long for Twitter and a little too short for the full column. Enjoy these Week 14 Quick Hits.

The Buffalo Bills and St. Louis Rams are suddenly DST forces. And they play each other this week. Over their last three games, the Rams have scored the second-most points and the Bills have scored the fifth-most among all DSTs (on the season, the Rams rank 15th and the Bills are 17th). But the more dependable of the two defenses might be the Bills. Over the last three games, Buffalo has four interceptions, 10 sacks and have forced six fumbles. The Rams, meanwhile, got a tremendous boost from their Week 12 performance against the lowly Cardinals -- four interceptions and two defensive touchdowns. They've been getting steady sack numbers, as well -- eight in the last three -- but the Bills will have the advantage in Week 14, as Sam Bradford has been an easy target this year, being the third-most sacked quarterback in the NFL, while Fitzpatrick isn't even in the top 20.

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Have a pass-catching running back? The teams that have given up the most receiving yards to opposing running backs this season are ...

New Orleans (52.17 receiving yards per game to RBs)
Tennessee (50.92)
San Diego (49.67)
New England (48.83)
Carolina (48.25)

And their opponents in Week 14? Ahmad Bradshaw (24.7 receiving yards per game over his last three), Vick Ballard (9.3), Jonathan Dwyer (14.3), Arian Foster (15) and Michael Turner (6.7) -- although Jacquizz Rodgers has averaged 20.3 over his last three and Jason Snelling has caught an average of three passes for 28.7 yards per game over his last three, as well.

It seems like Bradshaw could see a decent bump in value, especially in PPR leagues, as New Orleans -- permissive in essentially every defensive measure -- is very bad at containing pass-catching RBs. In deeper leagues, Rodgers and Snelling -- and it should be stressed, we're talking 18-team-ish leagues here -- could see some success against Carolina

The flip side to this? The teams who have allowed the fewest receiving yards to RBs:

Pittsburgh (19.17 receiving yards per game to RBs)
Arizona (19.5)
Dallas (23.67)
Indianapolis (35.67)
Detroit (36.17)

In Week 14, they face Ryan Mathews (25.7 receiving yards per game over his last three), Marshawn Lynch (4), BenJarvus Green-Ellis (10), Chris Johnson (16.3) and Alex Green (10.7).

Mathews already faced a tough task going against the Steelers defense, but whatever value Mathews may have left -- and it isn't much, based on his average rank of 30 among RBs in our rankings -- could have come from his ability to catch passes (he's been targeted 17 times in the last three weeks, fourth among RBs). But with Pittsburgh being the hardest on pass-catching RBs, as well as allowing the fifth-fewest Fantasy points to opposing running backs overall, Week 14 does not look especially good for Mathews.

More running back fun! In the last three games, Steven Jackson (268 yards) and Shonn Greene (239 yards) are both in the top 10 among rushing leaders. Jackson is also ninth in receiving yards among running backs over the last three. In fact, since St. Louis' Week 9 bye, Steven Jackson has gained 100 total yards in three of four games. He's been a different player since the bye:

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In the first eight weeks, Jackson had 20 carries once.
In the last four weeks, Jackson had 20 carries three times

In the first eight weeks, Jackson's high in catches was four and his yardage high was 31.
In the last four weeks, Jackson's high in catches was five and his yardage high was 69.

Jackson has 195 carries this season and has yet to fumble.

In the first eight weeks, Jackson had 10 or more Fantasy points once.
In the last four weeks, Jackson had 10 or more Fantasy points three times.

If consistency is what you seek ... Then here's a fun exercise in how many players have been able to maintain decent Fantasy scoring levels the last several weeks:

Running backs: In Week 12, 29 running backs scored in double-digit Fantasy points. Fifteen repeated the feat in Week 13. Only five backs (BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Trent Richardson, Mikel Leshoure, C.J. Spiller and Jamaal Charles) have scored double-digits in Weeks 11, 12 and 13. And only Charles and Spiller have gone double-digits in the last four weeks.

Wide receivers: In Week 12, 25 wide receivers scored in double-digits. Six repeated the feat in Week 13. Only four receivers (Dez Bryant, Calvin Johnson, Cecil Shorts and Demaryius Thomas) hit double-digits in Weeks 11-13. And all four actually extended the streak back to Week 10. Only Johnson can go back to Week 9, though, and point to five straight weeks of double-digit Fantasy production.

Tight ends: Six tight ends hit double-digits in Week 12, so we're going to expand the cut-off to eight points -- 14 tight ends managed eight or more points. Only two tight ends (Kyle Rudolph and Jacob Tamme) managed to hit the eight-point mark in Week 13. And neither extended that to a third week. If we make the cut-off six points, though, Jermaine Gresham has hit that mark five weeks in a row and Dallas Clark has done it four weeks in a row.

You want a kicker fact? Here's a nice one: the Jaguars have given up the most Fantasy points to kickers this year, including an average of 11.3 over the last four games. Facing the Jags this week? Nick Folk, who scored one point in Week 13. It's a risky proposition, but the Jags have been especially permissive to kickers, both recently and overall this season, meaning Folk -- despite being out of the top 24 at his position in Fantasy points -- could be lined up for a decent game. Deep league players may want to take note.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyFB or Nando Di Fino at @NandoCBS . You can also send our staff an e-mail at fantasyfootball@cbsinteractive.com .

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Player News
Report: Tom Brady appeal won't be heard by Wednesday
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(8:21 pm ET) Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's appeal won't be heard by Wednesday, the Associated Press reported, citing sources. 

Brady is appealing his four-game suspension as a result of the investigation into deflated footballs prior to the AFC Championship Game. 

The NFL collective bargaining agreement requires appeals to be heard within 10 days, a window that expires on Wednesday. As of Monday, no hearing had been scheduled. 

Appeals can be heard after the 10-day window, if the league and players union agree to extend the deadline, which is likely to occur in the Brady case. 


Falcons could be without Beasley, Reed when OTAs start
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(6:54 pm ET) The Falcons could be without two key components of their defense when OTAs start this week.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's D. Orlando Ledbetter, first-round pick Vic Beasley and free-agent signee Brooks Reed may not be present when voluntary practices kick off.

Beasley has yet to sign his rookie contract, which could keep him away from the team's facility. Reed is dealing with a groin injury that could keep off of the practice field.

Reed's absence is understandable due to to it being an injury. Beasley, however, is a different issue since there is little to negotiate due to the rookie wage scale. 

The remaining draft picks the Falcons selected have signed. 


Bears release troubled DT Ray McDonald after second arrest
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(4:39 pm ET) The Bears have announced that they have released troubled defensive tackle Ray McDonald, the Chicago Tribune has reported.

McDonald was arrested in California for domestic violence and child endangerment. It marked his second arrest in six months. He received the same fate in December for sexual assault and domestic violence before signing with the Bears in the offseason.

The 30-year-old McDonald has been a full-time starter in the NFL since 2008. He was an All-Pro in 2011.


Chargers S Eric Weddle not expected to attend OTAs
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(4:34 pm ET) Chargers safety Eric Weddle is not expected to attend Tuesday's start of offseason training activities as he and the team remain far apart on talks for a contract extension, per NFL.com. 

Weddle is in the final season of his deal, but has been extremely vocal about his desire to have a new contract in place before taking part in team activities. Weddle contributed to 114 tackles last season and has averaged 103 over his last seven years.

While attendance is voluntary, Weddle's absence could mark the start of a long stalemate between the parties. 


Broncos' Tevrin Brandon hit by car, suffers minor injuries
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(2:25 pm ET) Broncos cornerback Tevrin Brandon was hospitalized on Sunday after getting hit by the car while crossing the street, the team confirmed to the Denver Post.

Police believe that Brandon was struck by a Ford F-150 pickup in Belmar, New Jersey. The driver then fled the scene. 

Brandon suffered minor injuries and was relesaed from the hospital after a brief stay. He's expected to participate in Broncos' OTAs, which start on Wednesday. 


Report: Bears DT Ray McDonald arrested for domestic violence
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(12:09 pm ET) According to NBC Bay Area reporter Damian Trujillo, Bears defensive tackle Ray McDonald has been arrested for domestic violence and possible child endangerment in California. No other information has been made available.

McDonald, who was released by the 49ers last December after being arrested in the second of separate sexual assualt and domestic violence cases, signed with the Bears in the offseason and said he was planning to sue the accuser in one of his sexual assault charges. 


Report: Vikings' Adrian Peterson won't attend OTAs on Tuesday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5/24/2015) Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is reportedly set to skip organized team activities on Tuesday, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Peterson is frustrated with management in Minnesota for not showing him support through his legal case for child abuse. Peterson has not participated in any offseason activities so far, but skipping Tuesday's workout will cost him $250,000 in bonuses if he does not attend 90 percent of OTAs and minicamps.

Peterson has three years, $44.25 million left on his contract with Minnesota.


Cardinals S Tyrann Mathieu finally cast-free
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(5/24/2015) After a couple of injury-plagued seasons, Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu enters training camp almost completely healthy, without a brace on his knee or cast on his thumb, per NFL.com. 

The Cardinals will need a healthy Mathieu to offseason the loss of former defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and cornerback Antonio Cromartie. In two seasons, Mathieu has 100 tackles and three interceptions but has been hampered by nagging injuries. 

"It just feels good to be free," he said. 


Giants' Bennett Jackson making transition to safety
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Giants second-year cornerback Bennett Jackson is spending the offseason transitioning to safety. 

"At the end of the day, I’m a DB,’" Jackson said, per the New York Post. "I think my strengths are cover skills, I got good speed and I got good ball skills. The thing it’s gonna take for me to get out there and make an impact is, I just got to learn the defense and really just communicate the calls fluently."

"It is all in front of him," coach Tom Coughlin said. "We think he can cover. He has done a good job of getting us lined up and then we will see how he plays."


O'Brien impressed with Jadeveon Clowney's work ethic
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Texans coach Bill O'Brien has been impressed with the work defensive end Jadeveon Clowney has put in to recover from microfracture surgery in his knee. 

"I've been impressed with the way JD's been working," O'Brien said, per HoustonTexans.com. "He's been out there. He's in early. He's rehabbing. But he's also being able to take part in some of the things that we do in the weight room. He's not able to do all of the things that we do on the field just yet, because of his rehab. But he's on the right track."


 
 
 
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