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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
Mike Wallace's father: 'He thinks he's going to stay' with the Dolphins
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10:12 am ET) Burnell Wallace, the father of Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace, told Adam H. Beasley of the Miami Herald that although the uncertainty has been "tough" for his son, he expects him back in Miami next season.

"Right now, he's been talking to them," Burnell Wallace said. "He thinks he's going to stay there. He doesn't have a problem staying. [But] they really don't know. I really can't give you a definitive answer."

Wallace, who signed a five-year, $60 million contract with the Dolphins prior to the 2013 regular season, was the third highest-paid receiver in the league in 2014 behind only Percy Harvin and Calvin Johnson. He is owed a $3 million roster bonus on March 14.

Wallace hasn't lived up to expectations in relation to his big contract, and was benched in the final game of the 2014 season after reportedly getting in a halftime argument with team personnel. He has failed to reach 1,000 yards with the Dolphins in either season after recording that mark twice with the Steelers in his first four NFL seasons.

>> Want more NFL offseason? >> Mock drafts | Free agency tracker


Saints restructure contract for safety Jairus Byrd
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10:03 am ET) The Saints have restructured the contract for safety Jairus Byrd, as they move closer to getting under the 2015 salary cap, Field Yates of ESPN reports.

New Orleans cleared $4.8 million of cap space by converting Byrd's $6 million roster bonus into a signing bonus. His cap number also dropped from $10.3 million to $5.5 million with the restructure.

Byrd, 28, signed a six-year, $54 million deal with the Saints in 2013, but has missed 17 games over the past two seasons. He announced Wednesday that he's officially cleared for the 2015 season, after having surgery last October to fix a torn meniscus in his knee.

>> Want more NFL offseason? >> Mock drafts | Free agency tracker


Darnell Dockett to 49ers for reported two-year, $7.5 million deal
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(9:57 am ET) Defensive tackle Darnell Dockett chose to stay in the NFC West, signing a two-year deal, worth $7.5 million with $2 million guaranteed with the 49ers, according to his agent Drew Rosenhaus on Thursday. According to Pro Football Talk, the Cardinals offered a max deal of $4 million in 2015 to Dockett, but San Francisco offered a base deal of $4 million with half guaranteed.

Dockett, 33, missed the 2014 season while recovering from a torn ACL. In the 10 previous seasons, all with the Cardinals, Dockett piled up 459 tackles, 40.5 sacks, seven forced fumbles and four interceptions.

>> Want more NFL offseason? >> Mock drafts | Free agency tracker


Former Falcons WR Harry Douglas to visit the Titans
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(9:48 am ET) Former Falcons wide receiver Harry Douglas will visit the Titans on Thursday, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. Douglas was released by Atlanta on Friday after playing for the Falcons since 2008. Tennessee assistant coach Mike Mularkey.

Douglas racked up 258 receptions, 3,130 yards and eight touchdowns during his stint with the Falcons. Last season, he turned 75 targets into 51 catches for 556 yards and two scores.

>> Want more NFL offseason? >> Mock drafts | Free agency tracker


Patriots decline Vince Wilfork's team option; DT will become free agent
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(9:06 am ET) Vince Wilfork, who won a championship once as a rookie and again in February, took to Twitter Thursday morning to announce that the Patriots will not pick up his two-year team option, which will make him a free agent when the league calendar opens on March 10. He was expected to count $8.9 million against the salary cap next season.

"One major injury -- lots of gas still left in the tank," Willfork said in a statement. "I will take my time to think things through..."

Wilfork posted 47 tackles and one interception in 2014. He has registered 516 combined tackles, 16 sacks, four forced fumbles, 12 fumble recoveries and three interceptions through 11 seasons with the Patriots.

>> Want more NFL offseason? >> Mock drafts | Free agency tracker


Report: Falcons OL Gabe Carimi will head to free agency
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3/4/2015) Falcons offensive lineman Gabe Carimi will not be retained before free agency begins on March 10, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's D. Orlando Ledbetter. 

Carimi appeared in all 16 regular-season games and made seven starts for the Falcons in 2014. 


Report: Colts, Dolphins going after Ndamukong Suh in free agency
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3/4/2015) The Colts and Dolphins are expected to try their best to land soon-to-be free agent Ndamukong Suh when the new league year begins on March 10, according to a report from Yahoo! Sports. 

Suh will be the most sought-after free agent once the period begins. The report also states the Dolphins are currently in the lead, with the Lions and Colts close behind at this time. 

Teams can begin negotiating with agents during a legal tampering period that begins Saturday. 

In 2014, Suh recorded 53 total tackles and 8 1/2 sacks. 


Colts sign long snapper Matt Overton to four-year deal
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3/4/2015) The Colts announced they signed long snapper Matt Overton to a new contract

Overton tweeted on his personal account that he will be with the Colts for another four years. In three seasons with the Colts, Overton has appeared in 48 games and has made 22 special teams tackles. 

He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2013. 


Police: Panthers' Cam Newton not person of interest in shooting
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3/4/2015) Police stated Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is not a person of interest in a shooting at a Charlotte, N.C. nightclub, according to the Associated Press. 

Newton was photographed at Label nightclub on stage with rapper Young Jeezy last weekend before gunshots were fired into a crowd. Two people sustained non-life-threatening injuries as a result of the gunfire. 

In a video obtained by Charlotte's WSOC TV, Newton is spotted partying at the venue before he, along with the rest of the party's attendants, ducked when shots were fired


Adrian Peterson pleased with Vikings meeting, still has concerns
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3/4/2015) Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was appreciative of the Vikings front office's visit on Wednesday, he said in a statement to ESPN's Josina Anderson

However, Peterson also alluded to some issues that needed to be hashed out between both parties. 

"I appreciate [general manager] Rick [Spielman] and Coach [Mike] Zimmer coming down to see me today," Peterson said. "We had a great dialogue and they were able to understand where I was coming from and concerns my family and I still have. We respect each other and hopefully the situation can pan out so that everyone involved is content."

Peterson was moved back to the Commissioner's Exempt list after U.S. District Judge David Doty ruled an NFL arbitrator should not have upheld a suspension that would last until April 15. The NFL has appealed this ruling.

With Peterson on the Commissioner's Exempt list, the Vikings are able to have communication with him. 

The Vikings have publicly expressed a desire to have Peterson back in 2015. Peterson has had reservations about wanting to return to Minnesota. 

Peterson only played in one game during the 2014 season. Following a child abuse allegation, Peterson pleaded no contest to misdemeanor reckless assault on his son. 


 
 
 
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