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Fantasy Football Draft Prep: 12-team PPR mock

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

Every Sunday morning before setting your lineup you're looking for those last-minute tips to help you win. You want to know who is active or inactive due to injury. Maybe it's a final decision on who to start or sit.

We've got you covered.

Check out our Fantasy Football podcast!
There is no better source for entertaining Fantasy advice than our Fantasy Football Today podcast. Dave Richard, Jamey Eisenberg and Adam Aizer will help you pass the time as you anticipate Draft Day 2014!
Latest episode | Subscribe today!

Starting this Sunday at 11 a.m. ET through Week 17 we bring you Fantasy Football Today on CBSSports.com. We are the first with inactives and we provide you the most in-depth look at what will happen for that week. We'll have LIVE look-ins from stadiums around the league and you can call in and ask questions during our live broadcast.

To give you an inside look at what to expect this year, we decided to share our mock draft for the show. And we'll have two prominent people contributing to Fantasy Football Today this season that you must tune in for who took part in this draft.

The first is CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason LaCanfora, who will provide the updated news of the day each week. And the second is a former Pro Bowl player who will provide a great mix of analysis and entertainment every Sunday. We'll reveal our full show lineup later this week.

This draft was a point-per-reception format and you can compare the results to the 12-team standard draft we did last week. These two guides should help you with any last-minute drafts prior to Thursday's season opener.

As always, we ask you to share your thoughts on this draft. Take advantage of our Fantasy Football Twitter feed (@CBSFantasyFB) and post your comments there, or share your thoughts on our Fantasy Football Facebook page.

In this league, all touchdowns are worth six points, and we award one point for every 10 yards rushing and receiving and one point for every 25 yards passing. There also is one point per reception. We feature a starting lineup of QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, TE, K, DST and a FLEX (RB/WR/TE). There will also be six reserve spots for a 15-round draft.

Our draft order is as follows:

1. Dave Richard, Senior Fantasy Writer
2. Adam Flango, FFT Producer
3. Nando Di Fino, Senior Fantasy Writer
4. Player To Be Named Later, former Pro Bowler/FFT analyst
5. Adam Aizer, Podcast/Video Host
6. Jamey Eisenberg, Senior Fantasy Writer
7. Peter Madden, Editorial Director, Fantasy Sports
8. Jason LaCanfora, CBS Sports NFL Insider
9. Jeff Tobin, Associate Managing Editor
10. James Questel, FFT Producer
11. Nathan Zegura, Senior Fantasy Writer
12. Jason Horowitz, FFT Host

Round by Round
Round 1
Pick Team Player
1 Richard Adrian Peterson, RB, MIN
2 Flango C.J. Spiller, RB, BUF
3 Di Fino Doug Martin, RB, TB
4 PTBNL Ray Rice, RB, BAL
5 Aizer Trent Richardson, RB, CLE
6 Eisenberg Jamaal Charles, RB, KC
7 Madden LeSean McCoy, RB, PHI
8 LaCanfora Calvin Johnson, WR, DET
9 Tobin Arian Foster, RB, HOU
10 Questel Marshawn Lynch, RB, SEA
11 Zegura Matt Forte, RB, CHI
12 Horowitz Reggie Bush, RB, DET
Round 2
Pick Team Player
13 Horowitz Dez Bryant, WR, DAL
14 Zegura Jimmy Graham, TE, NO
15 Questel Chris Johnson, RB, TEN
16 Tobin Steven Jackson, RB, ATL
17 LaCanfora Alfred Morris, RB, WAS
18 Madden Stevan Ridley, RB, NE
19 Eisenberg Darren Sproles, RB, NO
20 Aizer David Wilson, RB, NYG
21 PTBNL Brandon Marshall, WR, CHI
22 Di Fino Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, JAC
23 Flango DeMarco Murray, RB, DAL
24 Richard A.J. Green, WR, CIN
Round 3
Pick Team Player
25 Richard Julio Jones, WR, ATL
26 Flango Randall Cobb, WR, GB
27 Di Fino Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI
28 PTBNL Andre Johnson, WR, HOU
29 Aizer Demaryius Thomas, WR, DEN
30 Eisenberg Lamar Miller, RB, MIA
31 Madden Roddy White, WR, ATL
32 LaCanfora Frank Gore, RB, SF
33 Tobin Victor Cruz, WR, NYG
34 Questel Dwayne Bowe, WR, KC
35 Zegura Rob Gronkowski, TE, NE
36 Horowitz Wes Welker, WR, DEN
Round 4
Pick Team Player
37 Horowitz Drew Brees, QB, NO
38 Zegura Giovani Bernard, RB, CIN
39 Questel Aaron Rodgers, QB, GB
40 Tobin Shane Vereen, RB, NE
41 LaCanfora Eddie Lacy, RB, GB
42 Madden Danny Amendola, WR, NE
43 Eisenberg Vincent Jackson, WR, TB
44 Aizer Darren McFadden, RB, OAK
45 PTBNL Tony Gonzalez, TE, ATL
46 Di Fino Ryan Mathews, RB, SD
47 Flango Marques Colston, WR, NO
48 Richard Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, IND
Round 5
Pick Team Player
49 Richard Montee Ball, RB, DEN
50 Flango Pierre Garcon, WR, WAS
51 Di Fino Hakeem Nicks, WR, NYG
52 PTBNL Peyton Manning, QB, DEN
53 Aizer Cecil Shorts, WR, JAC
54 Eisenberg Jason Witten, TE, DAL
55 Madden Reggie Wayne, WR, IND
56 LaCanfora DeSean Jackson, WR, PHI
57 Tobin Eric Decker, WR, DEN
58 Questel Antonio Brown, WR, PIT
59 Zegura Jordy Nelson, WR, GB
60 Horowitz Daryl Richardson, RB, STL
Round 6
Pick Team Player
61 Horowitz Rashard Mendenhall, RB, ARI
62 Zegura Le'Veon Bell, RB, PIT
63 Questel Vernon Davis, TE, SF
64 Tobin Tom Brady, QB, NE
65 LaCanfora Jared Cook, TE, STL
66 Madden T.Y. Hilton, WR, IND
67 Eisenberg Ben Tate, RB, HOU
68 Aizer Josh Gordon, WR, CLE
69 PTBNL Mark Ingram, RB, NO
70 Di Fino Chris Ivory, RB, NYJ
71 Flango Tavon Austin, WR, STL
72 Richard James Jones, WR, GB
Round 7
Pick Team Player
73 Richard Jermichael Finley, TE, GB
74 Flango DeAngelo Williams, RB, CAR
75 Di Fino Steve Smith, WR, CAR
76 PTBNL Pierre Thomas, RB, NO
77 Aizer Ronnie Hillman, RB, DEN
78 Eisenberg Torrey Smith, WR, BAL
79 Madden Matt Ryan, QB, ATL
80 LaCanfora Andrew Luck, QB, IND
81 Tobin Miles Austin, WR, DAL
82 Questel Mike Wallace, WR, MIA
83 Zegura Chris Givens, WR, STL
84 Horowitz Steve Johnson, WR, BUF
Round 8
Pick Team Player
85 Horowitz Jordan Cameron, TE, CLE
86 Zegura Cam Newton, QB, CAR
87 Questel Danny Woodhead, RB, SD
88 Tobin Ryan Broyles, WR, DET
89 LaCanfora Golden Tate, WR, SEA
90 Madden Bernard Pierce, RB, BAL
91 Eisenberg Matthew Stafford, QB, DET
92 Aizer Tony Romo, QB, DAL
93 PTBNL Kenbrell Thompkins, WR, NE
94 Di Fino Robert Griffin III, QB, WAS
95 Flango Colin Kaepernick, QB, SF
96 Richard Vick Ballard, RB, IND
Round 9
Pick Team Player
97 Richard Bryce Brown, RB, PHI
98 Flango Michael Floyd, WR, ARI
99 Di Fino Antonio Gates, TE, SD
100 PTBNL Greg Jennings, WR, MIN
101 Aizer Lance Moore, WR, NO
102 Eisenberg Kenny Britt, WR, TEN
103 Madden Mike Williams, WR, TB
104 LaCanfora Tyler Eifert, TE, CIN
105 Tobin BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, CIN
106 Questel Anquan Boldin, WR, SF
107 Zegura Justin Blackmon, WR, JAC
108 Horowitz Knile Davis, RB, KC
Round 10
Pick Team Player
109 Horowitz Kyle Rudolph, TE, MIN
110 Zegura Joique Bell, RB, DET
111 Questel Roy Helu, RB, WAS
112 Tobin DeAndre Hopkins, WR, HOU
113 LaCanfora Isaac Redman, RB, PIT
114 Madden Martellus Bennett, TE, CHI
115 Eisenberg Alshon Jeffery, WR, CHI
116 Aizer Zach Sudfeld, TE, NE
117 PTBNL Malcom Floyd, WR, SD
118 Di Fino Brian Hartline, WR, MIA
119 Flango Greg Olsen, TE, CAR
120 Richard Russell Wilson, QB, SEA
Round 11
Pick Team Player
121 Richard Eli Manning, QB, NYG
122 Flango Fred Jackson, RB, BUF
123 Di Fino Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, ATL
124 PTBNL Michael Vick, QB, PHI
125 Aizer Knowshon Moreno, RB, DEN
126 Eisenberg Vincent Brown, WR, SD
127 Madden Bilal Powell, RB, NYJ
128 LaCanfora Ben Roethlisberger, QB, PIT
129 Tobin Daniel Thomas, RB, MIA
130 Questel Seahawks DST
131 Zegura Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, MIN
132 Horowitz Carson Palmer, QB, ARI
Round 12
Pick Team Player
133 Horowitz Sidney Rice, WR, SEA
134 Zegura Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, IND
135 Questel Kendall Hunter, RB, SF
136 Tobin Isaiah Pead, RB, STL
137 LaCanfora Dwayne Allen, TE, IND
138 Madden Rueben Randle, WR, NYG
139 Eisenberg Emmanuel Sanders, WR, PIT
140 Aizer Quinton Patton, WR, SF
141 PTBNL Felix Jones, RB, PIT
142 Di Fino Mohamed Sanu, WR, CIN
143 Flango Christine Michael, RB, SEA
144 Richard Andre Roberts, WR, ARI
Round 13
Pick Team Player
145 Richard Bengals DST
146 Flango 49ers DST
147 Di Fino Denarius Moore, WR, OAK
148 PTBNL Texans DST
149 Aizer Bears DST
150 Eisenberg Patriots DST
151 Madden Aaron Dobson, WR, NE
152 LaCanfora Ravens DST
153 Tobin Broncos DST
154 Questel Santonio Holmes, WR, NYJ
155 Zegura Michael Bush, RB, CHI
156 Horowitz Rams DST
Round 14
Pick Team Player
157 Horowitz Markus Wheaton, WR, PIT
158 Zegura Buccaneers DST
159 Questel Kendall Wright, WR, TEN
160 Tobin Brandon Myers, TE, NYG
161 LaCanfora Greg Little, WR, CLE
162 Madden Giants DST
163 Eisenberg Shonn Greene, RB, TEN
164 Aizer Fred Davis, TE, WAS
165 PTBNL Sebastian Janikowski, K, OAK
166 Di Fino Dolphins DST
167 Flango Robert Woods, WR, BUF
168 Richard Andre Brown, RB, NYG
Round 15
Pick Team Player
169 Richard Phil Dawson, K, SF
170 Flango Blair Walsh, K, MIN
171 Di Fino Stephen Gostkowski, K, NE
172 PTBNL LaMichael James, RB, SF
173 Aizer Matt Prater, K, DEN
174 Eisenberg Matt Bryant, K, ATL
175 Madden David Akers, K, DET
176 LaCanfora Justin Tucker, K, BAL
177 Tobin Garrett Hartley, K, NO
178 Questel Dan Bailey, K, DAL
179 Zegura Randy Bullock, K, HOU
180 Horowitz Kai Forbath, K, WAS
 
Team by Team
Adam Aizer
Rd.Pk Player
1.5 Trent Richardson, RB, CLE
2.8 David Wilson, RB, NYG
3.5 Demaryius Thomas, WR, DEN
4.8 Darren McFadden, RB, OAK
5.5 Cecil Shorts, WR, JAC
6.8 Josh Gordon, WR, CLE
7.5 Ronnie Hillman, RB, DEN
8.8 Tony Romo, QB, DAL
9.5 Lance Moore, WR, NO
10.8 Zach Sudfeld, TE, NE
11.5 Knowshon Moreno, RB, DEN
12.8 Quinton Patton, WR, SF
13.5 Bears DST
14.8 Fred Davis, TE, WAS
15.5 Matt Prater, K, DEN
Nando Di Fino
Rd.Pk Player
1.3 Doug Martin, RB, TB
2.1 Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, JAC
3.3 Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI
4.1 Ryan Mathews, RB, SD
5.3 Hakeem Nicks, WR, NYG
6.1 Chris Ivory, RB, NYJ
7.3 Steve Smith, WR, CAR
8.1 Robert Griffin III, QB, WAS
9.3 Antonio Gates, TE, SD
10.1 Brian Hartline, WR, MIA
11.3 Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, ATL
12.1 Mohamed Sanu, WR, CIN
13.3 Denarius Moore, WR, OAK
14.1 Dolphins DST
15.3 Stephen Gostkowski, K, NE
Jamey Eisenberg
Rd.Pk Player
1.6 Jamaal Charles, RB, KC
2.7 Darren Sproles, RB, NO
3.6 Lamar Miller, RB, MIA
4.7 Vincent Jackson, WR, TB
5.6 Jason Witten, TE, DAL
6.7 Ben Tate, RB, HOU
7.6 Torrey Smith, WR, BAL
8.7 Matthew Stafford, QB, DET
9.6 Kenny Britt, WR, TEN
10.7 Alshon Jeffery, WR, CHI
11.6 Vincent Brown, WR, SD
12.7 Emmanuel Sanders, WR, PIT
13.6 Patriots DST
14.7 Shonn Greene, RB, TEN
15.6 Matt Bryant, K, ATL
Adam Flango
Rd.Pk Player
1.2 C.J. Spiller, RB, BUF
2.11 DeMarco Murray, RB, DAL
3.2 Randall Cobb, WR, GB
4.11 Marques Colston, WR, NO
5.2 Pierre Garcon, WR, WAS
6.11 Tavon Austin, WR, STL
7.2 DeAngelo Williams, RB, CAR
8.11 Colin Kaepernick, QB, SF
9.2 Michael Floyd, WR, ARI
10.11 Greg Olsen, TE, CAR
11.2 Fred Jackson, RB, BUF
12.11 Christine Michael, RB, SEA
13.2 49ers DST
14.11 Robert Woods, WR, BUF
15.2 Blair Walsh, K, MIN
Jason Horowitz
Rd.Pk Player
1.12 Reggie Bush, RB, DET
2.1 Dez Bryant, WR, DAL
3.12 Wes Welker, WR, DEN
4.1 Drew Brees, QB, NO
5.12 Daryl Richardson, RB, STL
6.1 Rashard Mendenhall, RB, ARI
7.12 Steve Johnson, WR, BUF
8.1 Jordan Cameron, TE, CLE
9.12 Knile Davis, RB, KC
10.1 Kyle Rudolph, TE, MIN
11.12 Carson Palmer, QB, ARI
12.1 Sidney Rice, WR, SEA
13.12 Rams DST
14.1 Markus Wheaton, WR, PIT
15.12 Kai Forbath, K, WAS
Player to be Named Later
Rd.Pk Player
1.4 Ray Rice, RB, BAL
2.9 Brandon Marshall, WR, CHI
3.4 Andre Johnson, WR, HOU
4.9 Tony Gonzalez, TE, ATL
5.4 Peyton Manning, QB, DEN
6.9 Mark Ingram, RB, NO
7.4 Pierre Thomas, RB, NO
8.9 Kenbrell Thompkins, WR, NE
9.4 Greg Jennings, WR, MIN
10.9 Malcom Floyd, WR, SD
11.4 Michael Vick, QB, PHI
12.9 Felix Jones, RB, PIT
13.4 Texans DST
14.9 Sebastian Janikowski, K, OAK
15.4 LaMichael James, RB, SF
Jason LaCanfora
Rd.Pk Player
1.8 Calvin Johnson, WR, DET
2.5 Alfred Morris, RB, WAS
3.8 Frank Gore, RB, SF
4.5 Eddie Lacy, RB, GB
5.8 DeSean Jackson, WR, PHI
6.5 Jared Cook, TE, STL
7.8 Andrew Luck, QB, IND
8.5 Golden Tate, WR, SEA
9.8 Tyler Eifert, TE, CIN
10.5 Isaac Redman, RB, PIT
11.8 Ben Roethlisberger, QB, PIT
12.5 Dwayne Allen, TE, IND
13.8 Ravens DST
14.5 Greg Little, WR, CLE
15.8 Justin Tucker, K, BAL
Peter Madden
Rd.Pk Player
1.7 LeSean McCoy, RB, PHI
2.6 Stevan Ridley, RB, NE
3.7 Roddy White, WR, ATL
4.6 Danny Amendola, WR, NE
5.7 Reggie Wayne, WR, IND
6.6 T.Y. Hilton, WR, IND
7.7 Matt Ryan, QB, ATL
8.6 Bernard Pierce, RB, BAL
9.7 Mike Williams, WR, TB
10.6 Martellus Bennett, TE, CHI
11.7 Bilal Powell, RB, NYJ
12.6 Rueben Randle, WR, NYG
13.7 Aaron Dobson, WR, NE
14.6 Giants DST
15.7 David Akers, K, DET
James Questel
Rd.Pk Player
1.1 Marshawn Lynch, RB, SEA
2.3 Chris Johnson, RB, TEN
3.1 Dwayne Bowe, WR, KC
4.3 Aaron Rodgers, QB, GB
5.1 Antonio Brown, WR, PIT
6.3 Vernon Davis, TE, SF
7.1 Mike Wallace, WR, MIA
8.3 Danny Woodhead, RB, SD
9.1 Anquan Boldin, WR, SF
10.3 Roy Helu, RB, WAS
11.1 Seahawks DST
12.3 Kendall Hunter, RB, SF
13.1 Santonio Holmes, WR, NYJ
14.3 Kendall Wright, WR, TEN
15.1 Dan Bailey, K, DAL
Dave Richard
Rd.Pk Player
1.1 Adrian Peterson, RB, MIN
2.12 A.J. Green, WR, CIN
3.1 Julio Jones, WR, ATL
4.12 Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, IND
5.1 Montee Ball, RB, DEN
6.12 James Jones, WR, GB
7.1 Jermichael Finley, TE, GB
8.12 Vick Ballard, RB, IND
9.1 Bryce Brown, RB, PHI
10.12 Russell Wilson, QB, SEA
11.1 Eli Manning, QB, NYG
12.12 Andre Roberts, WR, ARI
13.1 Bengals DST
14.12 Andre Brown, RB, NYG
15.1 Phil Dawson, K, SF
Jeff Tobin
Rd.Pk Player
1.9 Arian Foster, RB, HOU
2.4 Steven Jackson, RB, ATL
3.9 Victor Cruz, WR, NYG
4.4 Shane Vereen, RB, NE
5.9 Eric Decker, WR, DEN
6.4 Tom Brady, QB, NE
7.9 Miles Austin, WR, DAL
8.4 Ryan Broyles, WR, DET
9.9 BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, CIN
10.4 DeAndre Hopkins, WR, HOU
11.9 Daniel Thomas, RB, MIA
12.4 Isaiah Pead, RB, STL
13.9 Broncos DST
14.4 Brandon Myers, TE, NYG
15.9 Garrett Hartley, K, NO
Nathan Zegura
Rd.Pk Player
1.11 Matt Forte, RB, CHI
2.2 Jimmy Graham, TE, NO
3.11 Rob Gronkowski, TE, NE
4.2 Giovani Bernard, RB, CIN
5.11 Jordy Nelson, WR, GB
6.2 Le'Veon Bell, RB, PIT
7.11 Chris Givens, WR, STL
8.2 Cam Newton, QB, CAR
9.11 Justin Blackmon, WR, JAC
10.2 Joique Bell, RB, DET
11.11 Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, MIN
12.2 Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, IND
13.11 Michael Bush, RB, CHI
14.2 Buccaneers DST
15.11 Randy Bullock, K, HOU

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
Deone Bucannon settling in at safety for Cardinals
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:12 am ET) Cardinals rookie safety Deone Bucannon is ready for the start of the season after missing a good portion of the offseason due to turf toe. The first-round pick led the team with 23 tackles during the preseason and totaled 15 over the final two preseason games.

"He knows his job," head coach Bruce Arians said, per the team's official website. "He plays fearless. He’s more than ready to go. I wanted to get him out of there as soon as I could."

Bucannon said he's getting more comfortable on defense with the more reps he receives.

"Each time I come to the sideline they just tell me little things to watch out for to get more comfortable," Bucannon said. "It really helps when I’m out there. Ty (Mathieu) is right next to me. Every time I come off the field, he asks what I’m seeing. It’s little things for me to get better, and that’s what’s really been helping me.

"I’m understanding the defense better, and what the coaches want out of me, what they expect out of me. That’s allowed me to go out there and play faster for the team."


Wes Welker very playable if he plays
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(10:03 am ET) Broncos receiver Wes Welker (concussion) is on track to get cleared and play Sunday night against the Colts. If he does, stick him in your lineup as your flex or WR3. He's a borderline WR2 in PPR leagues.

You can't predict concussions, so it doesn't make sense to sit him unless the team says it will limit his snaps.

In last year's matchup with Indy, Welker drew a healthy 11 targets. He caught seven passes for a season-high 96 yards. As it turns out, it was Welker's only game without a touchdown in the season's first half.

Welker historically starts strong, then fades. He's scored 32 touchdowns with 70.9 receiving yards per game in the first half of the season, compared to 16 touchdowns with 64.6 receiving yards per game in the second half.

Make sure to check the practice reports all week, but start Welker if he's a go.


Ravens re-sign Derek Cox
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9:26 am ET) The Ravens re-signed cornerback Derek Cox after letting him go Saturday, reports the Baltimore Sun. He has 13 interceptions in five NFL seasons.

Browns add players to practice squad
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9:21 am ET) The Browns signed quarterback Connor Shaw, linebackers Justin Staples and Keith Pough, offensive linemen Patrick Lewis and Karim Barton, tight end Emmanuel Ogbuehi and receiver Charles Johnson to their practice squad.

J.J. Watt gets six-year, $100 million extension
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9:10 am ET) Texans defensive end J.J. Watt agreed to a six-year, $100 million extension, including nearly $52 million guaranteed. The deal makes Watt the NFL's highest-paid defensive player.

Watt has 36.5 sacks in three seasons.


Sammy Watkins risky in Week 1
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:25 am ET) The Bills haven't had a bonafide No. 1 receiver since the days of Jim Kelly to Andre Reed, but rookie Sammy Watkins has the talent to be their best wide receiver since the franchise's Super Bowl era. Sure, Eric Moulds, Lee Evans and Stevie Johnson were fine, but with the right quarterback, Watkins can be special.

Unfortunately, Watkins will be catching passes from second-year signal caller EJ Manuel. The team seems to have little confidence in Manuel being the answer at quarterback just one year after drafting him in the first round. Kyle Orton was pulled out of retirement and handed a pricy one-year deal, and one can easily picture the scenario where he's starting games for the team in November and December.

Will Manuel respond to the job-security threat with elevated play? His best shot is to feed his star rookie early and often. Bears cornerback Charles Tillman has made a career off shutting down No. 1 receivers, but he's not the same player at 33 as he was at 25. While he was a plus in coverage as recently as 2012, Tillman struggled on the field between injuries last year. If Watkins had a top-16 quarterback delivering the ball, I'd like him for a big game in Week 1. As it is, Fantasy owners would be best holding off on starting Watkins until the quarterback situation plays itself out for better or for worse.


Fred Jackson may have trouble finding running room in Week 1
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:04 am ET) Bills running back Fred Jackson will face a Bears team in Week 1 that did a terrible job at defending the run last season. However, his Week 1 success may not be as pre-ordained as that of running mate, C.J. Spiller.

Unlike Spiller, Jackson does much of his work without the benefit of big plays, grinding out his numbers by taking what the defense gives rather than providing a home-run threat on any down. While most of the members of the Bears back seven that was responsible for surrendering so many big plays has returned, the team has overhauled the defense line, signing three new defensive ends and drafting two rotational defensive tackles.

Two of those free-agent additions are Lamarr Houston and Willie Young, the two players that graded out as the best 4-3 defensive ends in run stop percentage last season, per Pro Football Focus. With those two players in tow and second-round draft pick Ego Ferguson taking up space in the middle, Jackson could have difficulty converting on short-yardage or goal-line situations.

It's also fair to wonder how many long scoring drives the Bills will be able to put together if Jackson and the offensive line can't stymie the line's potentially improved rush defense. EJ Manuel hasn't done enough at this point in his career to trust his ability to pick defenses apart with his arm. If the Bills have trouble finding the red zone, Jackson could wind up being a Week 1 Flex option Fantasy owners come to regret.


C.J. Spiller could ride big plays to productive Week 1
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:39 am ET) Bills running back C.J. Spiller has feasted on big plays ever since emerging as a Fantasy weapon. In 2012, he was third in the league in breakaway percentage, a statistic tracked by Pro Football Focus that determines how much of a player's rushing yardage total is accrued on plays of at least 15 yards. Spiller topped the league in the category last season. Clearly, if he can find a seam, he has the ability to wrea havoc on a defense.

Spiller will be squaring off with the Bears on Sunday. Last season, the Bears turned in by far the worst run defense performance in the league. They surrendered 2,583 rushing yards and 5.3 yards per rush, both marks placing them last in the league. They overhauled the defensive line in the offseason as a result, drafting two rotational defensive tackles and signing three defensive ends.

But if those players can't keep Spiller bottled up at the line all game, he's a threat to break a long touchdown or two. While the Bears run defense was obviously porous as a unit, the back seven was particularly offensive, ranking last in Football Outsiders' second-level yardage and open-field yardage statistics. The Bears didn't do much to upgrade those two levels of the defense either, meaning plenty of broken tackles and long gains are there for the taking if Spiller can find a little daylight. He's a trustworthy RB2 in Week 1 and a must-use in any Flex conversations.


EJ Manuel will look to conquer road woes Sunday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:20 am ET) Bills quarterback EJ Manuel endured what could at best be described as an uneven rookie season last year. Going 4-6 as a starter, Manuel particularly struggled on the road, where he turned in poor performances against the Jets, Browns, Steelers and Buccaneers before turning in a quality performance against the Jaguars in Week 14, his last game of the season.

Manuel opens this season on the road as well, heading to Soldier Field to take on the Bears Sunday. He'll be facing a new-look Chicago defensive line, rebuilt after the Bears defense struggled to generate a pass rush last season. Whether that pass rush can be effective could be the key to Manuel's success; the quarterback averaged 6.9 yards per attempt when under no pressure last season, but just 5.0 yards per attempt when faced with pressure.

Is there a good reason to start Manuel in Week 1? Not really. Every Fantasy team should be looking at a healthy roster heading into the beginning of the season, and there are anywhere from 14 to 20 QBs worth using over Manuel no matter the matchup. But a good performance in an unfavorable environment against a potentially improved pass rush would go a long way towards making the second-year player Fantasy relevant in 2014.


Patriots claim Don Jones off waivers
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9/1/2014) The Patriots have been awarded safety Don Jones on waivers from the Dolphins and waived offensive lineman Chris Barker in a corresponding move.

The Patriots will likely be looking for some extra insight on their Week 1 opponent after bringing the former Dolphin into the fold. The move leaves the Patriots with six safeties on the roster.


 
 
 
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