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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: Giants Jason Pierre-Paul hurt in fireworks accident
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(7/5/2015) Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul reportedly hurt his hand in a Fourth of July fireworks accident in Miami, according to the Daily News

The paper reports that the injury is not considered career-threatening, but that varying accounts of what happened have been reported. The Giants have not confirmed nor denied the incident. 

The Giants applied the franchise tag to Pierre-Paul this offseason, but the 26-year-old has not yet signed it as he seeks a long-term deal, meaning that he technically is not under contract. 

Pierre-Paul had 53 tackles and 12 1/2 sacks last year for New York. 


Report: Torn pectoral sidelines Vikings CB Josh Robinson
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(7/4/2015) The Vikings secondary took a hit last month when cornerback Josh Robinson sustained a partially torn pectoral muscle, a league source has told ESPN.

The nickel back played in 690 snaps last season and was expected to battle several others for playing time. The injury could sideline him from training camp and land him on the PUP list.


Report: Packers' Andrew Quarless arrested on gun charges
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(7/4/2015) Packers tight end Andrew Quarless was arrested for firing a gun twice in Miami on Saturday, per the Miami New Times.

Quarless was involved in a fight at South Beach and fired the gun into the ground. 


Titans receivers can thrive in YAC with Marcus Mariota's accuracy
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(7/3/2015) The Titans wide receiving corps could gain more yards after the catch this season because of rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota and his accurate throws, per ESPN.com.

The Titans were 24th in the league in yards after the catch last season, but with Mariota under center that can all change.

“If you have an accurate quarterback, it allows us to get more yards after that catch,” wide receiver Harry Douglas said. “And that’s one thing that makes a receiver dynamic -- first being able to catch the ball and then being able to do some things with it after you catch it. I feel like [to this point] Marcus has done everything he needs to do to get the ball to his receivers.”


Saints RB Khiry Robinson doesn't feel he's on outside looking in
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(7/3/2015) Saints running back Khiry Robinson might be the least known of his backfield counterparts, but he doesn't feel like the off man out, per ESPN.com.

Robinson knows the team is heavily invested in the likes of Mark Ingram and C.J. Spiller, but he's still confident he can thrive in whatever role the Saints put him in.

“I’m the type of person, I’m gonna get what I get and do what I do with it. So whether it’s 20 carries or one carry, I’m gonna do the best of my ability every play,” Robinson said.

Robinson has shown flashes of success during his three years in the league. Injuries played a key role against him last season, which can ultimately put him as the third back on the depth chart. He will use the offseason to continue to improve and challenge his counterparts for playing time.

“I just gotta keep working,” Robinson. “It’s all love in the backfield. We all work together, try to help each other. So I think it’s a good thing we’ve got a full backfield again. So if anybody goes down, we’ve got another player right up there to do the same thing.”


Browns OL Michael Bowie itching to compete for starting spot
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(7/3/2015) Browns offensive lineman Michael Bowie is not required to report to training camp until the end of July. But never mind that - he's heading out after the last Independence Day firework explodes in the sky.

Bowie is itching to get started. He missed all of last season due to a shoulder injury after starting for Seattle on its Super Bowl title team in 2013. He is seeking to stay in tip-top shape in an attempt to land a starting spot on a Cleveland line that is the strength of the team.

"It's up to them to decide who is the best five," Bowie told the team website. "All I can do is take care of my business. Hopefully I can get a shot. That's what I'm working for."

Bowie participated fully in the offseason program, working mostly with the second team at right tackle. That will likely be the spot at which he competes for a starting job. Incumbent Mitchell Schwartz has not performed particularly well there and Mike Pettine has vowed there will be competition all over the field in camp.


Redskins OLB Ryan Kerrigan nearly recovered from knee surgery
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(7/3/2015) Redskins outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan appears to be on target to join the team for training camp after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery that prevented him from participating in earlier offseason activities.

Kerrigan, who registered a career-high 13 1/2 sacks a year ago, had the operation to alleviate pain in the area.

"My leg feels really good and I'm glad I got the surgery - not just for football but it makes my everyday life feel better so I'm glad I got it done," he told CSN Washington. "Now it's just a matter of getting stronger and getting into shape."

Kerrigan added that he's been running and now only needs to regain strength to insure his place at training camp.


Texans waive DT Brandon Ivory
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(7/2/2015) The Texans waived rookie defensive tackle Brandon Ivory on Thursday, according to ESPN.com

Ivory was arrested on first degree burglary charges in Tuscaloosa, Ala. just one day ago. Ivory's agent Jeff Guerriero said Ivory is not guilty of the charge. 

"I spoke to Brandon he is not guilty and his name will be cleared of all charges," Guerriero said. 


Chargers TE Antonio Gates suspended 4 games for PED use
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(7/2/2015) Chargers tight end Antonio Gates has been suspended four games for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drugs policy, the team announced. 

It's unknown at this time what drug Gates tested positive for. Gates, in a statement, said he was unaware that he took a banned substance

"In my 12 years in the NFL, I have taken tremendous pride in upholding the integrity of the NFL shield and all that it entails," Gates said. "I have taken extreme care of my body with a holistic approach and I have never knowingly ingested a substance that was banned by the NFL. In an effort to recover from this past season, I used supplements and holistic medicines, and unfortunately, I have now learned that those substances always present a risk because they may contain banned substances even if the ingredient list doesn’t reflect them.

"As an NFL veteran and team leader, I should have done my due diligence to ensure that what I was taking for recovery was within the NFL guidelines. I understand that I am responsible for what is in my body and I have always believed that ignorance is no excuse when it comes to these issues. I take full responsibility for my actions. I’d like to express my sincere apologies to the Chargers, my teammates, coaches, fans and the league who have always supported me and expected and gotten nothing but the highest level of integrity from me."

With Gates out for four games, the Chargers will turn to Ladarius Green as the team's top tight end, though it was expected for Green to continue getting more looks in the passing game. Green is entering the final season of his rookie contract. 

The Chargers expressed disappointment in Gates for his suspension but plans to stick with the longtime veteran through the suspension. 

"We are tremendously disappointed for our team and our fans as well as Antonio, but no more disappointed than Antonio is with himself," the Chargers stated. "Antonio is a member of the Chargers' family and we will continue to support him 100-percent. We have the utmost confidence he will stay in excellent shape for the season and be ready to go when he returns in Week 5. While it's unfortunate to not have him to start the season, we have complete confidence our tight end group will continue to play at a high level."  


Packers' Datone Jones out 1 game for substance-abuse violation
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(7/2/2015) Packers defensive lineman Datone Jones will be suspended for one game for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy, according to NFL.com. 

Jones will miss Green Bay's season-opener against the Bears. In 2014, Jones totaled 22 tackles and 1 1/2 sacks in 13 games played. 


 
 
 
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