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2014 Draft Prep: Cordarrelle Patterson is set to take off

Senior Fantasy Writer
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At this time last year, Browns receiver Josh Gordon was getting a lot of hype as a sleeper. Even with a two-game suspension Fantasy owners were looking at Gordon with a late-round pick, with an Average Draft Position in Round 9 of a 12-team league.

Now, we all know how it worked out. Gordon had a magical year and finished as the No. 2 receiver in standard leagues behind Demaryius Thomas and ahead of Calvin Johnson. Give Gordon the two games he missed and he would have been the No. 1 player at his position.

If he didn't have the two-game suspension, his ADP likely would have been two or three rounds higher, possibly even in Round 5. That's where Vikings receiver Cordarrelle Patterson is being drafted now and we're hoping for similar results.

There's a lot to like about Patterson this season and the comparisons to Gordon on the field are somewhat valid. This is Patterson's second year and that's when Gordon became a star. Both are athletic specimens (Gordon is 6-foot-3, 225 pounds and Patterson is 6-foot-2, 220 pounds) with dynamic speed. Both had similar Fantasy production as rookies in standard leagues (101 points for Gordon in 2012, 103 points for Patterson in 2013).

But the common thread for both receivers, which is a tremendous positive, is the man calling the plays in offensive coordinator Norv Turner. He was with the Browns in 2013 and will run the show on offense for the Vikings this season. That should help Patterson shine.

After Turner took the job in Minnesota in January, Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said Turner had already put in 10 plays for Patterson. We hope those are similar to the routes he drew up for Gordon, who had 159 targets for 87 catches, 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns. He had an average of 11 targets per game. The hope is that Patterson gets similar treatment.

Another similarity for Gordon and Patterson is having mediocre quarterback play. Gordon posted his monstrous stats with Brian Hoyer, Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden throwing him passes. Patterson will open with Matt Cassel, but he could also get rookie Teddy Bridgewater during the season. Have no fear because Turner can make it work, as he proved in Cleveland.

"I think he's doing a good job in the entire passing game," Turner told the Minnesota media recently about Patterson. "He's a young receiver. I think he's developing the way you'd expect him to develop, but I think he's shown that when given the opportunities he can catch the ball short, he can catch the ball intermediate and he obviously has the ability to get deep."

Patterson closed last season with flashes of his tremendous playmaking ability. He had double digits in Fantasy points in four games in a row and averaged more than 15 Fantasy points over that span. He had 15 catches for 215 yards and three touchdowns in those four games and eight carries for 129 yards and two touchdowns. And that's only scratching the surface of what he's capable of doing.

We hope to see more from Patterson as a receiver and not having to rely on just his athleticism to make plays. He only had one game with more than 35 receiving yards during his four-game stretch in 2013, and you have to wonder if the Vikings will give him an average of two carries a game when Adrian Peterson is 100 percent.

Patterson already made a splash in the preseason with a big performance against the Chiefs in the dress rehearsal game with three catches for 71 yards and a touchdown on five targets. The scoring play was a 53-yard bomb where Patterson got behind the defense and we hope for plenty of that this year.

There's some downside to Patterson, which is why he's ranked inside my top 20 and not my top 10. He's still raw after limited time as a receiver in college at Tennessee and then as a rookie last year, but he could easily live up to the hype, especially if Turner works his magic again.

Patterson is someone to target in Round 5 in all leagues. He might not be as successful as Gordon was last year, but you'll be glad Patterson is on your team. He's not only fun to watch, but his playmaking ability could have you salivating with all the Fantasy points you should rack up.

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Player News
Shaun Hill does some individual work
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4:22 pm ET) Rams quarterback Shaun Hill (thigh) did some individual drills in Wednesday's practice, but Austin Davis took nearly all the reps in the team portion, reports ESPN.com. At this point it appears Davis will make his second straight start Sunday.

Chad Greenway might play despite broken hand
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4:14 pm ET) Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway broke his hand during the Week 2 loss to the Patriots, but coach Mike Zimmer is hopeful Greenway will play Sunday at New Orleans, reports ESPN.com. Greenway has 10 tackles and a pass defensed in two games.

Christine Michael expected to play Sunday
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4:05 pm ET) Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said running back Christine Michael will practice on a limited basis Wednesday and "should be ready to go" for Sunday's game against Denver, reports 710 ESPN Radio. Michael has not played this season due to a hamstring injury.

Roddy White has played plenty of games without practicing
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(3:50 pm ET) Falcons receiver Roddy White wasn't on the field for Wednesday's walkthrough. He has not practiced all week ahead of Thursday's game with the Buccaneers.

But coaches and teammates expect White, who is questionable with a hamstring injury, to play and play well.

"Roddy has played plenty of games in his career without practice," offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter said. "Roddy has been in this offense for seven, eight years, since coach [Mike] Murlarkey came before me. Sometimes, you're worried about players, assignment-wise. But on a short week, you're not putting a complicated game plan [together] anyway. All the stuff that's in this game plan, Roddy knows it. When it's an experienced guy like Roddy, it's way more about his health than about 'Is he going to know what to do?'

"If Roddy's healthy, if he's able to go full speed, he'll play good."

Fellow wideout Julio Jones told ESPN.com that White is "going to be fine. He always comes back."


Tom Coughlin wants more from Victor Cruz
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(3:46 pm ET) Giants coach Tom Coughlin said he expects better play from receiver Victor Cruz, who had three drops in the Week 2 loss to the Cardinals. "He agreed with me and he's working toward doing something about that," Coughlin said of his meeting with Cruz.

The Giants host Houston on Sunday. Cruz has seven catches for 84 yards this season and has not scored a touchdown in 12 straight games.


Cecil Shorts able to practice Wednesday
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:34 pm ET) Jaguars wide receiver Cecil Shorts, who has missed the first two games due to a hamstring injury, was limited in practice Wednesday. The Jaguars host the Colts Week 3.

Marqise Lee limited due to hamstring tightness
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:31 pm ET) Jaguars wide receiver Marqise Lee was limited in practice Wednesday due to hamstring tightness. The Jaguars host the Colts Week 3.

Joe Flacco misses practice Wednesday
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:21 pm ET) Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was absent from practice Wednesday, but coach John Harbaugh chose not to update his status. Though, The Baltimore Sun reported Flacco sat out Wednesday due to an illness.

Josh Huff expected to miss one more game
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(3:20 pm ET) Eagles rookie receiver Josh Huff put in a limited practice Wednesday as he comes back from a shoulder injury, but he's likely to miss Sunday's game against the Redskins, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. The third-round pick has yet to play this season.

T.Y. Hilton limited in practice Wednesday
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:13 pm ET) Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton was limited in practice Wednesday due to a groin injury. The Colts play the Jaguars Week 3.

 
 
 
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