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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
Austin Collie signs with CFL's BC Lions
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5:35 pm ET) Free-agent receiver Austin Collie has signed with the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League, the team announced Thursday.

"I’m excited to be joining the Lions and very much look forward to playing in the CFL," said Collie. "The wide-open play of the Canadian game and the passion of fans across the league is going to be a lot of fun to experience."

Collie played four seasons with the Colts and one with the Patriots. In his last NFL action, he caught four passes for 57 yards in the 2014 AFC Championship Game.


Eagles RB LeSean McCoy: 'I don't want to take less money'
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4:39 pm ET) Eagles running back LeSean McCoy reiterated Thursday that while he'd be willing to restructure his contract if asked, he would not accept a pay cut, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

"I know how hard it is to keep a team together and I want to be part of this team. But I don't want to take less money," McCoy said. "I want to figure a way to make it happen [where] we're all together."

McCoy, who is due to count $11.95 million against the cap in 2015, turned in his fourth 1,000-yard season in the last five years in 2014, finishing with 1,319 rushing yards on 312 carries and 155 receiving yards on a career-low 28 receptions. All five of his touchdowns came on the ground.


Bills' Rex Ryan won't commit to EJ Manuel as starting QB
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(4:01 pm ET) When asked about who his starting quarterback would be in 2015, Bills coach Rex Ryan said the team would look at every available option, reports The Buffalo News.

"We're going to exhaust every resource we can," Ryan said. "We'll look at free agents. We'll look at the draft. We'll look at anything."

The Bills have former first-round pick EJ Manuel on their roster, but Ryan said he would not commit to Manuel as his starting quarterback at this time.

"To say that he's definitely going to be the guy, it's way too early to say that," Ryan said.


Bills RB Fred Jackson excited to play for new coach Rex Ryan
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:23 pm ET) Bills veteran running back Fred Jackson said he hasn't had the opportunity to meet with new coach Rex Ryan, but that didn't stop him from expressing his excitement about the new coaching regime in Buffalo.

"I can't wait to play for him. I've heard nothing but good things," Jackson said Wednesday of Ryan during an interview on ESPN New York 98.7 FM. "I'm looking forward to that [first] conversation when I sit down and talk to him."

The Bills finished 9-7 in 2014, which was their best record since 2004. While Jackson believes Ryan is going to "be that catalyst that comes in and pushes us over that hump," he didn't have many bad things to say about coach Doug Marrone, who opted out of his contract New Year's Eve.

"I thought he was a tremendous coach," Jackson said. "He showed up, he worked hard, he pushed players to give their best effort. He got us to a 9-7 record -- we hadn't won nine games in 10 years. There's definitely some things about him that made him a great coach. It's just the way he exited. I don't think anybody expected that. 

"Players, the way we found out is we got a generic text from him, saying that he was moving on and he had chosen to opt out of his contract." 


Justin Tuck: Raider Nation would appluad signing Ndamukong Suh
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:42 pm ET) If defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh doesn't sign a long-term deal with the Lions, then he will become a free agent March 10 and there will be plenty of teams interested in the Pro Bowl lineman. 

Raiders defensive end Justin Tuck indicated if Suh wanted to sign with Oakland, then he would be welcomed in Raider Nation.

"(He's) Raider-ish," Tuck said, per the Detroit Free Press. "And that's one of the reasons why I know Raider Nation would applaud that move, beyond the fact that he's an awesome football player. He kind of fits the mold of ... the toughness and the ferocious player that built the Oakland Raiders."

It is speculated Suh will receive a contract worth at least $100 million. Tuck believes the three-time All-Pro deserves such a lucrative deal.

"The thing about him, you know what you're getting every day. Some of the tactics, you could probably do without, but he's a hell of a football player," Tuck said. "I would love to have the opportunity to line up beside of him and let him take all the double teams that I normally take."


Nick Foles: 'I plan on being in Philly' in 2015
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1:48 pm ET) There has been a lot of talk about quarterback Nick Foles' future with the Eagles, especially since Philadelphia coach Chip Kelly's former pupil at Oregon -- Marcus Mariota -- will be part of this year's draft class.

On Thursday, Foles addressed the rumors and stated he is expecting to be back on the Eagles' roster in 2015.

"Yeah you hear about it," Foles said in between doing paid appearances at Super Bowl XLIX, per NJ.com. "You are going to hear about it every single year. That's just part of it. The main word is 'rumor.' You can't put too much into it....I plan on being in Philly.

"I only listen to (head coach) Chip Kelly. That's what is most important. He is the one that will make the decision. Right now all I am going to do is work because I plan on being back in Philadelphia and playing with my team. That's all I ever thought. So that is what I plan on doing and I'm not looking at it any other way."

Foles added he hasn't talked with Kelly since the end of the season.

"We haven't talked a lot. He has a lot going on," Foles said. "This time of year you really just get away from everything. He is busy looking at the draft, doing all that. I saw he is more of the decision maker. Haven't really talked to him too much, but I'm sure I'll hear from him soon."


Dwyer pleads guilty, gets probation in domestic violence case
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1:38 pm ET) Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer pleaded guilty Thursday in Maricopa County (Ariz.) Superior Court to a single count of disorderly conduct pertaining to his domestic violence case, according to The Arizona Republic.

Dwyer was sentenced to 18 months of probation and community service following the plea, according to a court spokesman.

The 25-year-old Dwyer was arrested Sept. 17 for a July 21 incident in which he allegedly head-butted his wife in the face and broke her nose after she refused his sexual advances and bit his lip, according to reports taken at the time.

Dwyer's wife told police she reported the incident in September because she feared for their child's safety after seeing reports of Vikings running back Adrian Peterson's arrest on child-abuse charges.

The Cardinals placed Dwyer on the reserve/non-football injury list after his September arrest. He did not play again during the 2014 season.


Tom Brady on Peyton Manning: 'I certainly hope he comes back'
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12:21 pm ET) While the football world anxiously awaits official word from Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning about his playing status for the 2015 season, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady -- and longtime Manning rival -- said Thursday he hopes the five-time NFL MVP will continue his career.

"What a great player he's been for this league," Brady said Thursday, per NFL.com. "He's a great competitor, and I've been fortunate to play against him a bunch of times. I certainly hope he comes back, 'cause the league will miss him if he doesn't. But those decisions are up to him. I'm sure it's up to whether he's mentally and physically -- that's what he wants to do. But I certainly hope he's back."

Archie Manning, Peyton's father, told NFL Network on Thursday that his son hasn't made a decision yet.

"Well, Peyton evaluates things; he's pretty good at that," he said. "I can't tell him what to do, and he hasn't told me what he's going to do. But I do know that he's really giving a lot of things a lot of thought. He's thinking about where he is physically, he wants to see how he can do this some more, trying to get over an injury."

Archie added starting over with new Broncos coach Gary Kubiak will not be an issue for Peyton, if he decides to return next season.

"Yeah, but he loves Gary. He likes Gary," Archie Manning said. "He liked John Fox. He liked Adam Gase. All those things, I think, are considered with. But my deal is he's always made good decisions; he's pretty thorough. He's going to evaluate a lot of things, and I think he'll make a good decision."


RG3: 'I could've sat out the rest of last year' after hurting ankle
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12:04 pm ET) During a radio interview Wednesday night, Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III indicated the dislocated ankle he suffered in Week 2 against the Jaguars hindered him the rest of the season. He missed six games due to the injury.

“I had never suffered an ankle injury of that severity before, so I didn’t really know what to expect,” Griffin said, per The Washington Times. “It just became more and more tough the more games that we lost, because you know how hard your guys work, and you want to get out there and help them win games.

“I could’ve sat out the rest of last year, with how bad the ankle was, but I felt like I could play, and I wanted to get out there and play with my guys and help them win games. And that didn’t happen when I got back out there. Then coach made a decision [to bench me]. That was an unfortunate decision, and something we all had to go with because that was coach’s choice.”

Griffin will be entering the final guaranteed year of his contract in 2015. The Redskins have until May 3 to decide if they want to exercise the fifth-year option on his contract for 2016. 

Griffin added his focus this offseason will simply be on getting healthy.

“Last year, I wasn’t healthy, and it sucked,” Griffin told ESPN 980. “There’s no other way to say it other than that. When you dislocate your ankle in the second week of the season, when you and your team had big things in mind. So I guess it’s just getting healthy, getting a mental break, getting a chance to spend time with family, and then formulate my plan going forward from this year so we can go out there and win games.”


DeMarco on free agency: 'At end of day it's about winning a Super Bowl'
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:21 am ET) Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray was on The Dan Patrick Show on Thursday talking about his thought process heading into free agency. Murray obviously said all the right things about wanting to return to Dallas, and hoping the team can sign him and Dez Bryant, who will also be a free agent, to long-term contracts.

However, Murray was also very forthcoming about the notion of playing for another NFL team.

“Yeah. I understand the business aspect of it,” he said, per The Dallas Morning News. “There’s no hard feelings if we can’t reach a deal together. But hopefully we can and we’ll see what happens.”

Murray, who rushed for a career-best 1,845 yards in 2014, will likely sign the most-lucrative contract of his career this offseason. But he added money won't be the only factor in who he signs with.

“I don’t think about [the one big contract], I’m thinking about winning a Super Bowl,” Murray said. “What’s best for me to win a Super Bowl and win one now. At the end of the day, the money is irrelevant to some degree. But you definitely want to get what you’re worth and things like that.

“At the end of the day it’s about winning a Super Bowl.”


 
 
 
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