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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
49ers DE Tank Carradine ready for increased playing time in 2015
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(12:49 pm ET) The 49ers are poised to slot Tank Carradine as a starting defensive end in 2015. Carradine, who was drafted in 2013, did not play in his rookie season due to ACL surgery. In 2015, Carradine played nine games, recording three sacks and 16 total tackles.

Now, with Justin Smith and Ray McDonald no longer on the team's defensive line, the 49ers are expecting to have Carradine be a more regular player this season, playing along side linebacker Aldon Smith.

“We work together a little bit, figuring out what kind of stunts and things we could do,” Carradine said, per CSN Bay Area. “I’m excited to work with him this year. He’s a great pass-rusher. I feel like I can bring something to the table to help him as well as he helps me.”

Carradine will likely get action on the right defensive end and spots along the defensive line. 

“We got guys who can play left and right end,” Carradine said. “We got guys who can play in the nickel package. We got guys who can play in the base package. So it’s different. We’re all going to work together. Each guy does things different. We’re going to do it together and get things done. For me, I can do both. I’m excited about it. Other guys can do it as well.”


Ravens WR Michael Campanaro 'extremely excited' for 2015
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12:32 pm ET) Ravens second-year receiver Michael Campanaro caught four passes in a playoff game last season. That might not seem like much, but it has helped create optimism heading into this year.

After all, he snagged just seven for 102 yards in all of 2014.

Campanaro is hoping not only to land the top job as a kick returner, but also for an expanded role in the offense.

"I'm extremely excited," he told the Baltimore Sun as the team prepared to begin OTAs. "Rookie years are difficult for anyone getting on a new team and figuring out the playbook and adjusting to the NFL game. Year Two, I just feel more comfortable.

"We basically kept our same offense. With another year in the system after going through installs and running plays, you feel way more comfortable. It's like second nature. That should allow me to play faster because you know what you're doing."


Redskins WR DeSean Jackson: I will join team next week
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12:18 pm ET) Redskins veteran wide receiver DeSean Jackson is not participating Tuesday in OTAs, but he has stated that he will join the team next week, per SiriusXM NFL Radio.

Jackson proved productive in his first year with Washington in 2014, snagging 56 passes for 1,169 yards and six touchdowns.


Coach: Jaguars WR Marqise Lee (knee) week-to-week
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12:09 pm ET) Gus Bradley has announced that a knee injury sustained in Phase 2 of the offseason program has Jaguars WR Marqise Lee considered week-to-week.

Lee started eight games last season and finished with 37 catches for 422 yards and one touchdown.


Report: WR A.J. Jenkins set to join Cowboys
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(11:53 am ET) The Cowboys have signed wide receiver A.J. Jenkins, a source has told the Dallas Morning News.

Jenkins has been a disappointment since his selection in the first round of the draft three years ago by San Francisco. He played in only three games that season before a trade to Kansas City, where he managed just 17 catches for 223 yards and no touchdowns in 2013 and 2014 combined.

He tried out for the Cowboys last week. And with superstar wideout Dez Bryant not expected to participate in OTAs, Jenkins at the very least gives the team another body at that position.


Dolphins LT Brandon Albert, DB Don Jones out of OTAs
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(11:41 am ET) As expected, Dolphins left tackle Branden Albert (knee) and defensive back Don Jones (shoulder) have been ruled out of OTA work, per the Miami Herald.

Albert is expected to be ready to roll for the season opener. The shoulder injury that has sidelined Jones has been a factor since late in the regular season.


Colts sign CB Chance Casey, make two other minor moves
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:41 am ET) The Colts have made several minor moves, including the signing of cornerback Chance Casey and guard Will Corbin, per Indysportscentral.com. They have also waived-injured cornerback Josh Mitchell.

Casey has played in four NFL games in two seasons. He totaled six tackles with Oakland a year ago.

Corbin and Mitchell are undrafted rookie free agents. If the latter clears waivers, he will revert to injured reserve.


Family issue has Seahawks DE Cliff Avril sidelined
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:25 am ET) A family issue will prevent Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril from attending the OTA sessions this week, per 710 ESPN.

Avril tied a career-low with five sacks in 2014, but still landed a hefty guaranteed contract in the offseason.


Lions SS James Ihedigbo attending OTA
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:19 am ET) Lions strong safety James Ihedigbo has reported to OTAs and will likely attend minicamp despite his stated desire for a new contract, the Detroit News is reporting.

Ihedigbo was the lone Lion to skip voluntary workouts last month. But general manager Martin Mayhew expressed understanding about his absence given the contract situation.

The 31-year-old Ihedigbo has been a starter in the NFL since 2009. He racked up 59 tackles and a career-high four interceptions in his first season with Detroit in 2014.


Seahawks QB Russell Wilson skips OTA to attend funeral
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:10 am ET) Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is set to skip OTAs, but his absence is not related to his contract situation. He is instead in Florida to represent the team at the funeral of Tammy Meyerson, who served as the mentor for teammate Jimmy Graham, per NFL.com.

Wilson and the Seahawks have reportedly been millions of dollars apart in contract negotiations, but the two parties have not been contentious publicly about their differences.


 
 
 
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