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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
Vikings place Anthony Barr on IR, sign Josh Kaddu
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10:02 am ET) The Vikings announced a pair of roster moves on Saturday, according to the Star Tribune. The team placed rookie linebacker Anthony Barr on injured reserve with a knee injury and signed linebacker Josh Kaddu to the 53-man active roster. Kaddu was previously on the practice squad.

Barr's season comes to an end with 70 combined tackles, four sacks, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries in 12 games.


Report: Chargers hold workout for Austin Pettis
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/26/2014) The Chargers held a workout for former Rams wideout Austin Pettis, according to ESPN.

Pettis was cut by St. Louis in October, and hasn't hooked on with a team just yet. The Chargers are dealing with a number of injuries at the receiver position, and are looking to sign Pettis as depth. Pettis caught 12 passes for 118 yards and a touchdown before he was cut. 


Report: Chargers punter Mike Scifres could end up on IR
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/26/2014) Chargers punter Mike Scifres could wind up going on injured-reserve, according to FoxSports.

Scifres is progressing from a shoulder injury, but the team is pressed for roster spots. Scifres has already missed two games due to the injury, and was ruled out of for the team's regular season finale. The Chargers need to add a center to the active roster, and Scifres could be in danger of losing his spot so the team can add another lineman. 


Saints' Marques Colston reflects on down year
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/26/2014) Saints wideout Marques Colston reflected on his less than stellar season on Friday, according to the New Orleans Advocate.

Colston, who rarely gives interviews, expressed his frustrations with the season. He's currently on pace to register his second-lowest yardage total in his nine seasons, and needs one touchdown in order to avoid setting a career-low in the category. Colston admitted the struggles got to him during the year. "It’s not a secret I didn’t play up to my own standards," he said. "I’ve got to live with that." He added, "I pride myself on trying to be part of the solution. Instead this year, I feel like I was part of the problem at times."

Colston did not want to address his future in New Orleans, instead opting to look forward to the team's final game this Sunday.


Marshawn Lynch among Seahawks' probables
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/26/2014) Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch is listed as probable for Week 17 against the Rams.

Lynch was listed on the injury report with a back injury, but has been able to battle through the issue all season. He did not practice on Wednesday and Thursday, but was able to put in a full practice on Friday.

The team should also have Tony Moeaki and Russell Okung. Both players were listed as probable on the final injury report. 

Cooper Helfet, Chris Matthews, Tharold Simon and Max Unger are listed as questionable, and will be game-time decisions. 

Both Demarcus Dobbs and Jermaine Kearse have already been ruled out for the contest. 


Report: Saints' Jimmy Graham to have MRI on shoulder
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12/26/2014) Saints tight end Jimmy Graham will have an MRI on his shoulder next week, according to the New Orleans Advocate

Graham initially injured his shoulder back in Week 5, but has been able to play through the injury all season. While his touchdown total has remained solid, Graham's yardage is down this year. It's possible he's more injured than he's let on all season, and the injury is serious enough that the team will send him for the MRI. Once the team has a diagnosis, Graham will evaluate with team doctors.


Rams list Scott Wells, Janoris Jenkins as probable, E.J. Gaines doubtful
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12/26/2014) The Rams have listed center Scott Wells (back) and cornerback Janoris Jenkins (back) as probable for Sunday's game against the Seahawks after both were able to participate fully in practice Friday.

Cornerback E.J. Gaines, who is dealing with a concussion, is considered doubtful for the game. If he is unable to go, rookie Lamarcus Joyner or Marcus Roberson could see an uptick in playing time.

The Rams 12 1/2-point underdogs against the Seahawks Sunday.


Cardinals list four as questionable for Sunday against San Francisco
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12/26/2014) With quarterback Drew Stanton (knee) already declared out, the Cardinals listed four players as questionable for Sunday's game against the 49ers including Deone Bucannon (knee), John Carlson (calf), Johnathan Cooper (wrist) and Dan Williams (foot).

Linebacker Larry Foote is also listeed as doubtful for the game with a knee injury. Foote has not missed a game this season, totaling 84 tackles and two sacks.

The Cardinals have also listed the following players as probable: Lorenzo Alexander (knee), Jaron Brown (toe), Calais Campbell (hip), Larry Fitzgerald (knee), Rashad Johnson (ankle), Ted Larsen (shoulder), Tyrann Mathieu (thumb) and Matt Shaughnessy (shoulder).


49ers rule out three for Sunday against the Cardinals
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12/26/2014) The 49ers have deemed running back Carlos Hyde (ankle), wide receiver Steve Johnson (knee) and safety Eric Reid (concussion) as out for Sunday's game against the Cardinals.

It is the second straight game out for both Hyde and Johnson. Hyde finishes his rooke season with 83 carries for 333 yards and four touchdowns while Johnson had 35 catches for 435 yards and three touchdowns this year.

Wide receiever Bruce Ellington (hamstring), cornerbacks Tramaine Brock (hamstring) and Perrish Cox (shoulder) and linebacker Ahmad Brooks (thumb) are all listed as questionable.

Michael Crabtree (knee), Chris Culliver (knee), Brandon Lloyd (groin), Marcus Martin (illness) and Justin Smith (back) are all listed as probable.

The 49ers are currently 6 1/2-point favorites against Arizona Sunday.


Lions' Dominic Raiola loses appeal, remains suspended for Week 17
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12/26/2014) Lions center Dominic Raiola's one-game suspension was upheld by the league following his appeal. Raiola received the one-game suspension earlier in the week after stomping on the leg on Bears defensive lineman Ego Ferguson in Week 16.

The Lions are currently 7 1/2-point underdogs on the road against the Packers in Week 17.


 
 
 
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