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2014 Draft Prep: Golden Tate will be a Fantasy star

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Editor's note: FanDuel.com is hosting a one-week long $100,000 Fantasy Football contest for just Week 1. It's only $10 to join and first prize is $10,000. Starts Sunday, September 7th at 1 p.m. ET. Enter now

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Prior to the start of preseason action, many Fantasy owners were skeptical of Golden Tate. They likely weren't expecting a big statistical leap despite his move from Seattle to Detroit.

It will be interesting to see how things change now that we've seen Tate on the field.

He's has come out and played well through two games, especially the second outing against Oakland when he had three catches for 41 yards and a touchdown. We never doubted Tate would shine with the Lions and the prediction here is Tate will be a Fantasy star this season.

Before the preseason started, Tate's Average Draft Position was No. 77 overall, which is Round 7 in a 12-team league. He was being drafted after guys like DeSean Jackson, Emmanuel Sanders and Julian Edelman, among others. I'd gladly take Tate over those receivers, and I would draft him as early as Round 5.

Now, to be fair, Tate has never had a big season before. His best finish as a Fantasy option was last year when he was the No. 28 receiver in standard leagues with 64 catches for 898 yards and five touchdowns in Seattle.

But moving from the run-oriented Seahawks to the pass-happy Lions is the equivalent of taking off training wheels. It's time for Tate to fly.

What we like about Tate is he's among the most reliable receivers in the NFL with only five drops since 2011. He has caught 144 of 149 catchable passes thrown his way over that span, according to Pro Football Focus.

His hands are going to be tested because Matthew Stafford has attempted at least 630 passes in three consecutive years. By comparison, Russell Wilson has combined for 800 passes the past two seasons.

Tate had just 98 targets last season, but that number should rise significantly. He will be in single coverage on nearly every play because of Calvin Johnson drawing constant attention. And Stafford has had plenty of time to develop a rapport with Tate since Johnson has missed the first two preseason games.

Stafford must have been dying for a receiver like Tate. The players who have finished No. 2 in receptions behind Johnson the past three years have been Reggie Bush in 2013 with 54 catches, Brandon Pettigrew in 2012 with 59 catches and Pettigrew again in 2011 with 83 grabs.

The receivers who have played opposite Johnson over that time have been Nate Burleson, Titus Young, Ryan Broyles, Kris Durham and Kevin Ogletree. No offense to those players, but that screams mediocrity.

Tate will make Stafford better, he will make the Lions better and he will enhance Fantasy lineups with his ability in a high-powered offense. You should plan on drafting Tate as a No. 2 Fantasy receiver and he has the chance to help you win championships this season.

This is going to be a career year for Tate and he's ready to become a Fantasy star.

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Player News
Titans set with injury report for Thursday game
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:01 pm ET) The Titans have ruled out running back Dexter McCluster (knee) for their Thursday night game against Jacksonville. Tackle Taylor Lewan (ankle) is listed as doubtful, but will likely be sidelined as well.

Deemed questionable are wide receiver Kendall Wright (hand), tight end Delanie Walker (knee), tackle Byron Stingily (ankle) and linebackers Zaviar Gooden (hamstring) and Kamerion Wimbley (hamstring). Walker, however, has already declared himself ready to roll.

The lone probable is safety Daimion Stafford (concussion), who has been cleared for practice.


Panthers hope to name starting QB on Friday
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(2:56 pm ET) Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he aims to name a Week 16 starting quarterback on Friday, reports the Associated Press. Cam Newton returned to a limited practice Wednesday after injuring his back in a car accident and sitting out Week 15.

"He threw the ball well but it is about [how he feels] tomorrow," Rivera told reporters.

Newton and Derek Anderson split reps, and Newton didn't complain about any pain, per the Associated Press. Anderson subbed for Newton against Tampa Bay and threw for 277 yards and a touchdown in a 19-17 win.

Carolina hosts the Browns on Sunday. Newton will address the media on Thursday.


Jaguars release injury report for Thursday game
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(2:49 pm ET) Defensive end Andre Branch (groin) and linebacker Khairi Fortt (hamstring) are the lone Jaguars ruled out for the Thursday game against the Titans.

Among the questionables are defensive end Ryan Davis (hip), defensive tackle Roy Miller (knee), safety Josh Evans (foot) and wideout Tommy Streeter (abdomen).

Defensive end Chris Clemons (knee) and wide receiver Marqise Lee (elbow) are probable.


Jaguars deem QB Bortles questionable for Thursday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(2:45 pm ET) Quarterback Blake Bortles (foot) has been deemed questionable by the Jaguars for their Thursday night game against Tennessee.

Bortles, however, is expected to start, according to reports.


Big loss: Lions RT LaAdrian Waddle has partially torn ACL
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(2:24 pm ET) Lions starting right tackle LaAdrian Waddle partially tore his ACL in Sunday's win over the Vikings and is done for the season, reports the Detroit Free Press. The team has said only that Waddle will miss Week 16 at Chicago.

Center Dominic Raiola called it "a big loss." Undrafted rookie Cornelius Lucas will take over for Waddle, the paper said. He's played in 13 games and made one start at left tackle in place of Riley Reiff.


Titans QB Mettenberger almost-certain no-go Thursday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(2:21 pm ET) Titans quarterback Zach Mettenberger appears set to sit Thursday night against Jacksonville with a shoulder injury. He has been deemed doubtful.

Mettenberger missed the Week 15 game against the Jets.


Falcons WR Roddy White held out Wednesday
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(2:17 pm ET) Falcons receiver Roddy White (ankle) did not practice Wednesday, reports ESPN.com. White is fully expected to play Sunday at New Orleans after catching seven of 10 targets for 58 yards and a touchdown Week 15.

Jaguars send one to IR, promote pair from practice squad
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(2:09 pm ET) The Jaguars have placed linebacker Khairi Fortt (hamstring) on injured reserve and promoted quarterback Stephen Morris and safety Matt Daniels from their practice squad.

Fortt played in just three games this season and recorded one tackle.


Vikings promote S Ahmad Dixon
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(2:08 pm ET) The Vikings elevated safety Ahmad Dixon to the active roster, reports 1500ESPN.com. "He's a guy to look at for a possibility in the future," coach Mike Zimmer said. "He looked pretty good on special teams."

Ryan: Jets WR Harvin dealing with third-degree ankle sprain
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(1:55 pm ET) A third-degree ankle sprain has Jets wideout Percy Harvin off the practice field Wednesday. Rex Ryan said he played through it Sunday against Tennessee, per The Associated Press.

Harvin had just one touch in that game - a carry for 10 yards. He was coming off a performance at Minnesota in which he caught six passes for 124 yards and a touchdown.


 
 
 
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