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Instant reactions from Week 14

Senior Fantasy Writer
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While Sunday was fun for a lot of Fantasy owners, it was a disaster for others. Two prominent injuries ruined the day and might have ended a few playoff runs.

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski might have suffered a torn ACL against Cleveland. And Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was carted off the field at Baltimore with a foot injury.

Gronkowski finished with two catches for 32 yards. His season is apparently over just when it was getting started after being out the first six games with back and forearm injuries. He had five games with double digits in Fantasy points in six games prior to Sunday, and it will be hard to replace him.

You can look at someone like Houston's Garrett Graham (63 percent ownership on CBSSports.com) or Baltimore's Dennis Pitta (15 percent) or play the matchups through the end of the season. But no one will give you guaranteed production like Gronkowski.

His absence will also hurt Tom Brady. He had one game with more than 20 Fantasy points through the first six weeks, but he had more than 20 points in four of his past five games, including Sunday against the Browns. I'd be hesitant to start Brady in Week 15 at Miami, and he had just eight points against the Dolphins in Week 8.

Julian Edelman, who had his third big game in a row with six catches for 64 yards and a touchdown and a two-point conversion against Cleveland, will see more production. And hopefully Danny Amendola, who scored against the Browns, starts to step up. But this was a horrendous blow for the Patriots offense moving forward.

As for Peterson, we hope he's not out for the season, but it doesn't look promising. The good thing is you have a direct replacement option in Toby Gerhart, who shockingly is owned in just 18 percent of leagues. We've been telling you for weeks to add the handcuff, and now you can miss out as the Peterson owner if someone else grabs Gerhart.

Gerhart had 15 carries for 89 yards and a touchdown against the Ravens, and he would be a No. 2 running back or flex option against Philadelphia at home in Week 15. Obviously we'd rather have Peterson, but Gerhart could end up starting for Fantasy owners as the playoffs roll on.

Injuries of note: Lamar Miller (concussion), Wes Welker (concussion), Reggie Bush (calf) and Tavon Austin (ankle).

Miller finished with six carries for 20 yards and two catches for 13 yards before leaving at Pittsburgh, which opened the door for Daniel Thomas. We'll see if Miller can return for a great matchup against New England in Week 15, but Thomas (24 percent) will be a must-add running back this week. Thomas finished with 16 carries for 105 yards and a touchdown and one catch for 4 yards against the Steelers.

Welker suffered his second concussion of the season against the Titans, but not before he ended his four-game slump. He finished with five catches for 61 yards and a touchdown, and we hope he can return in Week 15 against San Diego, although don't count on him with the game Thursday night. It's unlikely he'll get clearance in time to return.

Bush was hurt before Sunday's game at Philadelphia when he re-injured his calf during pregame warm-ups. We hope he can return against Baltimore in Week 15, but if he's out then Joique Bell could again shine. Bell was solid against the Eagles with 23 carries for 69 yards and a touchdown and four catches for 58 yards, but he also lost two fumbles.

Austin was hurt on a highlight-reel play at the end of a 56-yard run at Arizona. He also had one catch for 9 yards. He would be just a boom-or-bust Fantasy option in Week 15 against the Saints if he plays.

Ben Roethlisberger is matchup proof: Prior to Sunday's game at Pittsburgh, the Dolphins had allowed only Drew Brees in Week 4 to throw multiple touchdowns against them, but Roethlisberger didn't care. He was dominant with 297 passing yards and three touchdowns.

Roethlisberger has now scored at least 23 Fantasy points in consecutive games against tough pass defenses in Baltimore and Miami, and he has at least 20 points five of his past six outings. He should be considered a must-start Fantasy option in all leagues against Cincinnati in Week 15 based on his recent production.

Matthew Stafford swallowed up in snow: Weather played a role in many of Sunday's games, but it appeared like Stafford and the Lions were impacted the most. Not having Bush probably hurt the offense, but Stafford had his worst game of the season with five Fantasy points. He was 10 of 25 passing for 148 yards and had five fumbles, but only lost one.

We expect Stafford to rebound in Week 15 against Baltimore at home, and you should start him despite the tough matchup -- if you were able to advance. He should be able to get back on track in normal conditions.

Also in this game, LeSean McCoy and the Eagles shattered the Lions vaunted run defense. Again, weather probably played a role, but the Eagles racked up 299 rushing yards and three touchdowns, with McCoy leading the way with 29 carries for 217 yards and two scores.

Marcel Reece stars for the Raiders: Oakland was without Rashad Jennings (concussion) and Darren McFadden (ankle) at the Jets, so Reece was the only healthy body left. He made his opportunity count with 19 carries for 123 yards and a touchdown and two catches for 38 yards.

Reece (7 percent ownership) is worth adding in all leagues, and he could be considered at least a flex option in Week 15 against the Chiefs. Just keep an eye on Jennings and McFadden, and if both are out then Reece should again play in a featured role.

C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson fall flat: Just when it looked like Spiller and Jackson were back after their dominant performance against Atlanta in Week 13, both were awful against Tampa Bay on Sunday.

Spiller had 11 carries for 22 yards and one catch for 26 yards. He had a potential 83-yard touchdown called back in the fourth quarter due to holding, but those points won't count. Jackson also struggled with five carries for 12 yards and four catches for 26 yards.

I'd be hesitant to start either running back at Jacksonville in Week 15. They are flex options since Jackson is strictly touchdown dependent, and Spiller needs to break a big play for him to succeed. The Jaguars have also done a nice job in run defense with only one running back reaching double digits in Fantasy points against them in their past five games.

Colts find weapons: The Colts passing game has been struggling since Reggie Wayne (knee) went down in Week 7, but they may have found some receivers to help out the reeling T.Y. Hilton. On Sunday at Cincinnati, Da'Rick Rogers and La'Von Brazill stepped up in a big way.

Rogers had his first catch of the season against the Bengals, but he didn't stop there. He finished with six catches for 107 yards and two touchdowns on nine targets. Brazill also played well with three catches for 53 yards and two touchdowns on four targets.

Hilton again struggled with just two catches for 7 yards on five targets, but Week 15 against the Texans could be a big game for all the receivers in Indianapolis. And Rogers (1 percent) and Brazill (1 percent) are worth adding off the waiver wire, especially Rogers, because he easily has the highest ceiling.

Jordan Cameron bounces back: Cameron had gone five games in a row without scoring a touchdown and four games in a row with 45 receiving yards or less. So of course he was dominant when most Fantasy owners gave up on him.

Cameron had nine catches for 121 yards and one touchdown on nine targets against the Patriots, and he was finally on the same page with quarterback Jason Campbell. We hope this is a sign of things to come, and Cameron will be considered a quality starting option in Week 15 against Chicago.

Waiver Wire preview: Here is a preview of the players we will highlight in Playing the Waiver Wire on Tuesday.

Quarterbacks: Jay Cutler, Bears (66 percent), Joe Flacco, Ravens (63 percent), Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins (46 percent), Geno Smith, Jets (20 percent), Jason Campbell, Browns (13 percent), Matt McGloin, Raiders (7 percent), Matt Cassel, Chiefs (2 percent)

Running backs: Daniel Thomas, Dolphins (24 percent), Peyton Hillis, Giants (21 percent), Shonn Greene, Titans (21 percent), Knile Davis, Chiefs (19 percent), Toby Gerhart, Vikings (18 percent), Marcel Reece, Raiders (7 percent), Jordan Todman, Jaguars (1 percent), Chris Polk, Eagles (0 percent)

Wide receivers: Brian Hartline, Dolphins (70 percent), Emmanuel Sanders, Steelers (69 percent), Marvin Jones, Bengals (63 percent), Jerricho Cotchery, Steelers (61 percent), Rod Streater, Raiders (44 percent), Marlon Brown, Ravens (23 percent), Cordarrelle Patterson, Vikings (21 percent), Jerome Simpson, Vikings (14 percent), Jeremy Kerley, Jets (11 percent), Justin Hunter, Titans (7 percent), Ace Sanders, Jaguars (6 percent), La'Von Brazill, Colts (1 percent), Da'Rick Rogers, Colts (1 percent), Drew Davis, Falcons (1 percent)

Tight ends: Delanie Walker, Titans (66 percent), Garrett Graham, Texans (63 percent), Timothy Wright, Buccaneers (46 percent), Brandon Myers, Giants (23 percent), Dennis Pitta, Ravens (15 percent), Marcedes Lewis, Jaguars (3 percent), Andrew Quarless, Packers (3 percent), Mychal Rivera, Raiders (1 percent), Logan Paulsen, Redskins (0 percent), Luke Wilson, Seahawks (0 percent)

Start 'Em/Sit 'Em star: Our Start of the Week was great in Week 14 with Bobby Rainey. He had 22 carries for 127 yards and a touchdown and three catches for minus-4 yards against Buffalo. Rainey made his day -- and mine -- when he scored from 80 yards out on the second play of the game. He should be considered at least a flex option against the 49ers at home in Week 15.

Start 'Em/Sit 'Em flop: It looks like Andrew Luck figured out how to play outdoors, and it came in bad weather at Cincinnati. Prior to Sunday, Luck had one game in his career with more than 20 Fantasy points outdoors, but he did well at the Bengals with 326 passing yards and four touchdowns and two carries for 32 yards, which is 40 points in a standard league. Luck got tremendous help from Rogers and Brazill, who both scored two touchdowns. Luck is a great starting option in Week 15 against the Texans.

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
Browns OL Michael Bowie itching to compete for starting spot
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:47 am ET) 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
(9:32 am ET) 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. 


Cowboys LB Rolando McClain suspended four games for 2015
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(7/2/2015) The Cowboys announced that linebacker Rolando McClain has been suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season due to violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy. 

McClain hasn't been able to participate much in offseason workouts due to going under offseason knee surgery. McClain will be eligible to practice in training camp and is expected to be healthy by then. 

"I apologize to my family, the Cowboys organization, my teammates and Cowboys fans for my mistake. I will not break the rules of my profession in the future, and I regret my error," McClain said in a statement, via CSN Bay Area. "I look forward to returning to the field on week 5, when I hope to help my team beat the Patriots.

In 2014, McClain, who had previously retired twice before being traded from the Ravens to the Cowboys, totaled 81 tackles and a sack in 13 games played.


Jets DL Sheldon Richardson suspended four games
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(7/2/2015) Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson was suspended four games for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, the NFL announced Thursday.

“I apologize for letting down my family, teammates, this organization and the fans," Richardson said in a statement via the Jets, per Fox Sports. "However, words aren't enough. This is something that can only be addressed by how I handle myself from this point on. I don't want this to take away from what the team is trying to accomplish. While I won't be there at the start of the regular season, I will do whatever I can to support my teammates until I'm able to return to the field.”

Richardson, who was a 2013 first-round pick, is entering his third season in the NFL. He was the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2013 and was named to the Pro Bowl in 2014.

He has totaled 84 tackles and 11 1/2 sacks in 32 career games. He also has one safety.


Texans DT Brandon Ivory arrested on burglary charge
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(7/1/2015) Texans defensive tackle Brandon Ivory was arrested Wednesday morning in Alabama and charged with first-degree burglary, according to a Tuscaloosa Police Department report obtained by SportingNews.com.

Ivory and another man were allegedly involved in a home burglary when the two entered the residence by kicking open the back door and then demanding money from the residents. The two stole money and two Ipads from the residence. Ivory and the other suspect were arrested at their apartment shortly after the incident with the stolen money and property.


Embattled Brandon Spikes pleads guilty to leaving scene of crash
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(7/1/2015) Former Patriots and Bills linebacker Brandon Spikes has pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of a recent car crash and has received a fine and year of probation, per WBZ, which is further reporting that he has lost his license and will be forced to attend a driver's safety class.

Spikes has lost far more than his license. He has lost his livelihood, having been cut by New England for hitting another car and abandoning his vehicle on the highway. He later told the police that he had hit a deer.

No other teams have been rumored to be targeting Spikes for the coming season.


Terrelle Pryor ready to embrace new role with Browns
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(6/30/2015) Terrelle Pryor once declared that he could not play football if he could not play quarterback.

Reality has since set in.

Pryor has been cut twice and is now playing on a Cleveland Browns team desperate for a quarterback, but apparently not desperate enough to give him a shot. He is instead embracing what he is calling a "slash-player" role.

"I'm going to give (it) a chance," he told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "I just want to play football. I'm a playmaker, and I believe if I can touch the ball, I can go to the house, especially if I have space. This should definitely open up some opportunities."

Pryor has already taken the first step by contacting Steelers receiving stud Antonio Brown and making plans to work out with him and Randy Moss so they can teach him the nuances of the position.

He also figures there's another reason he's ahead of the game.

"The thing that helps me is that I played quarterback, and I know what the quarterback wants," Pryor said.


 
 
 
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