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2013 Draft Prep: Breakouts, 2.0

Senior Fantasy Writer
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It's time to take our second look at breakouts for 2013.

Guys who qualify for this distinction are those on the verge of becoming stars, superstars or, in the case of C.J. Spiller, the best running back in the NFL.

You can see who I listed in this space back in July before the start of training camp, and the players I still stand behind include Andrew Luck, Lamar Miller, David Wilson, Shane Vereen, Randall Cobb, Danny Amendola and Jared Cook.

This updated version is to give you 10 more players to consider on Draft Day. All of these guys have the potential to be amazing in 2013.

C.J. Spiller, RB, Bills: Adrian Peterson should be the first player drafted in all leagues. What he did in 2012, and what he should do again this season, warrants him being selected No. 1 overall. But if there's one player I had to pick who could challenge Peterson for the No. 1 running back spot it would be Spiller. He's that good. Spiller is going to be used "until he throws up," according to offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. Last year, when Spiller replaced Fred Jackson, he had just 207 carries and 43 catches with only nine starts, and he was No. 7 in Fantasy points in a standard league. If he gets just 300 total touches -- all six running backs in front of him in Fantasy points (Peterson, Doug Martin, Arian Foster, Marshawn Lynch, Alfred Morris and Ray Rice) all had more than 300 touches -- he could dominate. So for fun, give him 255 carries and 45 catches at his same averages. That would give him 2,012 total yards (1,530 rushing, 482 receiving), and his touchdowns could increase from eight to 10. I think he'll get more work than that, and I like him at No. 2 overall. This is going to be a big year for Spiller.
I'd take him ahead of: Jamaal Charles, Doug Martin, Marshawn Lynch

DeMarco Murray, RB, Cowboys: Murray was a bust last season when he was drafted in the first round and failed to produce because of a foot injury. When healthy, Murray was solid with double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league in five of the 10 games he played in and never having fewer than seven points. I'm counting on Murray playing at least 13 games this year, and he should finally live up to his potential. I'd gamble on Murray in the second round in standard leagues and early in the third round in PPR formats. It's always risky to gamble on injury-prone players, especially someone like Murray who has missed nine games in two seasons, but when talented guys do stay on the field they reward you in a big way. I'm counting on this being the year for Murray to do that.
I'd take him ahead of: Maurice Jones-Drew, Lamar Miller, David Wilson

Mark Ingram, RB, Saints: Ingram comes into this season with likely his best chance to succeed, and he's not battling any nagging injuries. The Saints, with Sean Payton back calling plays, promise to give a little more emphasis to the run game, which would take pressure off their defense. Chris Ivory is gone, and Pierre Thomas (leg) has missed time during practice. Ingram showed some signs of life at the end of last season with double digits in Fantasy points in two of his final three games, and he closed the year with a touchdown in four of his final seven outings. We're not talking about a weekly starter with Ingram, but he could turn into a flex option. And the best part about him is you can draft him as your fourth running back in Round 9, which is great value given his upside.
I'd take him ahead of: DeAngelo Williams, Bernard Pierce, Bryce Brown

Montee Ball, RB, Broncos: The battle for the starting running back job in Denver is likely going to play out over the next couple of weeks, but it's hard to see Ball not being heavily involved. While Ronnie Hillman and even Knowshon Moreno should factor into the mix, Ball has the chance to lead the Broncos in rushing touchdowns with plenty of yards. He's struggled in the preseason and has played behind Hillman, but it's hard to gauge the performance for any of the running backs in Denver given their opponents through two games (San Francisco and Seattle). The good thing is the Broncos have a soft schedule, which should help Ball succeed, and he could be a vital cog late in games killing the clock. Based on his potential to score double digits in touchdowns, Ball could easily become a Top 20 Fantasy running back this year. But since he'll share time, especially early in the year with at least Hillman, he enters the season as a flex option (he also has to improve his pass protection). He's still someone I would buy into with a pick in Round 5 in standard leagues as a flex option based on his upside in an explosive offense.
I'd take him ahead of: Chris Ivory, Ahmad Bradshaw, Ryan Mathews

Pierre Garcon, WR, Redskins: When Garcon was healthy in 2012 he was among the best receivers in the NFL. He had four games with double digits in Fantasy points in the eight games he was close to 100 percent. But Garcon missed six outings and was limited in two others with a toe problem, which he now says is manageable. There's always the risk of a setback, but Garcon has the ability to be a Top 10 Fantasy option with the Redskins. He's shown flashes of greatness before during his tenure with the Colts, but he's never reached 1,000 receiving yards or had more than six touchdowns. I'm expecting him to eclipse both those marks and have a career season, and he's a Top 15 Fantasy receiver coming into the year. He's a great No. 2 receiver to target beginning in Round 4 or 5 in the majority of leagues.
I'd take him ahead of: Eric Decker, Reggie Wayne, Wes Welker

Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers: Brown ascends to the No. 1 receiver spot in Pittsburgh with Mike Wallace gone, and the Steelers will need him to play at a high level, especially with Heath Miller (ACL) banged up. Last year, Wallace and Miller combined for 36 red-zone targets and came away with 16 touchdowns. Brown closed 2012 with four touchdowns in his final four games, and he had a career-high five scores. He has the the chance to see that number rise, especially with the expected increase from his 106 targets last year. He should get back to 1,000-plus receiving yards like he had in 2011, and he has the chance for 75-plus catches. Brown has the potential to be a Top 20 Fantasy receiver, but he's falling to Round 6 as the No. 25 receiver off the board based on Average Draft Position. I'd gamble on Brown in Round 5 based on his upside.
I'd take him ahead of: Cecil Shorts, Jordy Nelson, Mike Wallace

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Torrey Smith, WR, Ravens: Smith has posted nearly identical stats for two seasons in row of about 50 catches, 850 yards and seven touchdowns, but this is the year for him to improve. It's his third year in the NFL, which is when receivers tend to break out, and he's a prime candidate with the Ravens missing Anquan Boldin and Dennis Pitta. Smith is aware of this based on a conversation we had this offseason. "I'm improving every day," Smith said. "It's all about consistency. I was saying the same thing last year. Being consistent in my technique. Being consistent with everything. I grew in that way. Now it's about being consistent on offense." Smith should be drafted as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver, but he could easily become a Top 20 option by the end of the year. It wouldn't be a surprise to see him get well over 1,000 receiving yards with double digits in touchdowns given his potential and the need of playmakers in the passing game for the Ravens.
I'd take him ahead of: Jordy Nelson, Mike Wallace, Steve Johnson

T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts: It's hard to find a receiver having a better preseason than Hilton. Through two games he has five catches for 97 yards and two touchdowns, but the troubling thing is the Colts continue to use him as the third receiver behind Reggie Wayne and Darrius Heyward-Bey. There's no way Hilton should be behind Heyward-Bey, and you can argue he has more upside than Wayne. He's being drafted as the No. 29 receiver, but Hilton could easily be a weekly starter in the majority of leagues. He was a surprise rookie with 50 catches for 861 yards and seven touchdowns, but he can easily eclipse 1,000 yards while maintaining a healthy amount of scores. He's a receiver to be excited about this year, and hopefully the Colts keep him on the field as much as possible. With an increase in targets -- he only had 91 as a rookie -- he could be a dominant force.
I'd take him ahead of: Tavon Austin, Mike Wallace, DeSean Jackson

DeSean Jackson, WR, Eagles: Once upon a time Jackson was on the verge of being the next big thing for Fantasy owners. He had consecutive seasons of 1,000 receiving yards and six touchdowns, but then came the ill-fated 2011 campaign. Jackson had his money on his mind, and it impacted his play. He hasn't been the same since, but Jackson's value is pointing up again. The addition of new coach Chip Kelly and the subtraction of receiver Jeremy Maclin (ACL) make Jackson a high-upside No. 3 Fantasy option. Michael Vick has to throw to someone, and Jackson should lead the Eagles in targets. He has to stay healthy after being out the final five games last year, and he has to hope Vick can stay upright as well. But if Jackson and Vick master this Kelly offense and play the majority of the season, we could see Jackson finally live up to his immense potential this year.
I'd take him ahead of: Kenny Britt, Steve Johnson, Mike Wallace

Golden Tate, WR, Seahawks: Tate went into the offseason as the No. 3 receiver for the Seahawks behind Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice, but come Week 1 he should be No. 1 on the depth chart. Harvin (hip) is out for majority of the year, and Rice (knee) should miss the entire preseason. It will fall on Tate to lead this passing game, and he's ready to dominate in a potential contract year. He had a third-year breakout type performance in 2012 with 45 catches for 688 yards and seven touchdowns -- which were all career highs -- but he should post better stats in 2013. CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reported that Tate has the chance to make a leap into the upper echelon of receivers this year, and the opportunity is there to make that happen. He's a great No. 3 Fantasy receiver to target in Round 9, which is where he's going based on ADP.
I'd take him ahead of: Anquan Boldin, Miles Austin, Greg Jennings

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Jamey at @JameyEisenberg .

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Player News
Matt Schaub 'getting his mojo back'
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4:03 pm ET) After a disastrous 2013 season with the Texans, quarterback Matt Schaub is settling in with the Raiders and regaining his confidence, reports the Sacramento Bee.

"Schauby's getting his mojo back," defensive tackle Antonio Smith told the paper. "He's getting his confidence back. He's starting to believe in himself again.

"He's starting to throw with confidence. Those are things you need to be a successful quarterback. You would be surprised just much a mindset is important in this game. ... The moment you are doubting yourself is the moment you start throwing a lot of interceptions and stuff."

Raiders coach Dennis Allen thinks Schaub can again be a Top-10 quarterback.

"I think he's in a good frame of mind," Allen said. "I think he's very hungry. I think he's excited about the new opportunity. I think anytime you go into something new there's a little bit of, maybe it's an increased focus, an increased intensity level, because it is new. You kind of force yourself out of your comfort zone a little bit. I think he's done that."


Dion Jordan standing out early
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(3:48 pm ET) Dolphins defensive end Dion Jordan is having a strong training camp thus far, reports ESPN.com. On Sunday he had a pick-six on Ryan Tannehill, and on Tuesday he had at least one would-be sack in team drills, the report said.

Jordan, however, is suspended for four regular-season games for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.


Drew Brees wants to play until he's 45 -- seriously
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(3:39 pm ET) Saints quarterback Drew Brees, 35, wants to play another decade in the NFL.

"I'm serious. I'm not delusional," Brees said after practice Tuesday, per the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "I know that that's something that would be extremely difficult to do. Not many have done it. ... It could be done, but a lot of things have to fall into place."

Brees said his performance will determine how long he plays.

"I know it's one year at a time. It's, 'What have you done for me lately?'... But why not push the envelope a little bit?" Brees said. "It's certainly not going to be easy. I try to play this game like a kid. ... It is a serious business, and they don't keep you around if you don't play well."


Colts add two players
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(3:29 pm ET) The Colts signed running back Phillip Tanner and linebacker Jonathon Sharpe, and they'll practice with the team Wednesday. Tanner played in 39 games the past three years with the Cowboys, scoring two touchdowns.

Rueben Randle held out with hamstring issue
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(3:20 pm ET) The Giants held receiver Rueben Randle out of Tuesday's practice due to a sore hamstring, reports the New York Post.

David Wilson leaves practice with neck 'burner'
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(3:14 pm ET) Giants running back David Wilson, who underwent neck surgery in January, walked off the practice field Tuesday with a trainer, reports ESPN.com. Coach Tom Coughlin said Wilson suffered a neck "burner."

Coughlin later added that "we were all praying" Wilson would not have a setback.


Cowboys change course, hold out Tony Romo
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(3:11 pm ET) After Cowboys officials said quarterback Tony Romo would practice Tuesday, they changed course and held him out, reports the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Coach Jason Garrett said Romo is fine.

Coming off back surgery, Romo practiced Thursday, was off Friday, then practiced Saturday and Sunday. The entire team was off Monday.


Ravens tweak roster
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(2:57 pm ET) The Ravens cut receiver Gerrard Sheppard and signed defensive back Marrio Norman, reports the Baltimore Sun.

Report: Josh Gordon's appeal stronger than previously thought
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(2:51 pm ET) Browns receiver Josh Gordon has a fairly strong case for appealing his one-year suspension for a failed marijuana test, according to Pro Football Talk. The case, to be heard Friday, "holds more water than the average bong," the report said.

PFT says urine samples are split into "A" and "B" bottles. Gordon's "A" bottle showed a concentration one nanogram per milliliter above the limit, while the "B" sample showed a concentration slightly below the limit, per PFT.

But the league's substance abuse policy says the "B" bottle test "need only show that the substance, revealed in the ‘A’ bottle Test, is evident to the ‘limits of detection’ to confirm the results of the ‘A’ bottle Test."

PFT says Gordon, who's in Stage III of the program due to previous failed tests, has passed at least 70 drug tests. And he would have passed this one "but for the 50-50 luck of the draw," the website said.


Pec injury sidelines Antonio Cromartie
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(2:29 pm ET) Cardinals coach Bruce Arians told reporters that cornerback Antonio Cromartie will miss 4-5 days with a pectoral injury. Cromartie is expected to start opposite Patrick Peterson this season.

 
 
 
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