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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
Texans LB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) walking without a limp
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(3:17 pm ET) Texans linebacker Jadeveon Clowney said his rehab from microfracture surgery in his knee is going well, according to the Houston Chronicle. Clowney, who is four months removed from the procedure, was spotted walking without a limp during a promotional event on Saturday.

"It's going good. I'm taking it one day at a time, having some fun hanging out with fans," said Clowney, who made his first public comments since Thanksgiving.


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(10:59 am ET) Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway has agreed to restructure his contract, reducing his $7 million base salary to $3.4 million, according to Field Yates of ESPN. The move created $3.2 million in cap room for the Vikings.

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(3/27/2015) Cardinals coach Bruce Arians still believes in young quarterback Logan Thomas. Arians didn't want to ruin his confidence last season after being forced into action with multiple injuries to Arizona quarterbacks, reports the team's website.

"He's going to get a ton of work and those reps are invaluable," Arians said. "Just in decision-making, how fast you're getting it out of your hand, where you're going with it, where you're going when 'one' and 'two' are still covered. Are you still scrambling around or are you going to find your outlets? That growth process comes strictly from reps."

Arians still has a plan for the second-year pro.

"We drafted him for two years from now, not November," Arians said. "It just so happened his number got called (earlier.) I was not going to let him fail (in San Francisco) because once you fail those scars never go away.

"It's very hard to get the guys back in the locker room if you cost them the playoffs. I just wasn't going to put him in that situation. Right or wrong, it just was my decision."


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(3/27/2015) Nose tackle Letroy Guion visited with the Seahawks on Friday, adding another suitor into the mix as the Packers attempt to retain his services, per ESPN.com.

After Guion's criminal case was closed earlier in the week, with Guion paying only a fine, the Seahawks set up a visit. Guion recorded career-highs in tackles (32) and sacks (3 1/2) with the Packers in 2014. 


Panthers claim OT Jonathan Martin off waivers
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(3/27/2015) The Panthers announced Friday they have signed tackle Jonathan Martin off waivers, one day after the lineman was released by the 49ers. 

Martin played in 15 games with San Francisco last season, starting nine of them. Prior to that, he was a member Dolphins before being traded for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2014. The 25-year-old has started 32 of the 38 games he's played in. 

"Jonathan brings quality experience to our offensive line, having started 32 games in his career at both tackle spots," Panthers GM Dave Gettleman said. 


Panthers sign WR Jarrett Boykin to one-year deal
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(3/27/2015) The Panthers signed free agent wide receiver Jarrett Boykin to a one-year deal Friday, per David Newton of ESPN.com. 

The 25-year-old receiver had a big campaign with the Packers in 2013, catching 49 passes for 681 yards, but fell out of favor last season, grabbing just three balls for 23 yards in 13 games. Boykin has 57 career receptions in three seasons, all with the Packers. 


Bears sign CB Alan Ball to one-year deal
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3/27/2015) The Bears have signed cornerback Alan Ball to a one-year contract on Friday, per the team's official website.

Ball, 29, spent the last two seasons with the Jaguars, but was limited to only seven games in 2014 due to a biceps injury. He racked up 59 total tackles, 17 passes deflected and three interceptions over that span. He has played eight NFL seasons with the Cowboys, Texans and Jags.


Titans sign CB Brandon Harris to one-year deal
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(3/27/2015) The Titans have signed cornerback Brandon Harris to a one-year contract on Friday, per the team's official website. Harris played 11 games in 2014, his first season with the Titans. He finished with 11 combined tackles and three pass deflections last season.

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(3/27/2015) Redskins coach Jay Gruden said this week at the NFL owners' meetings running back Chris Thompson will get the first chance to secure third-down responsibilities, according to The Washington Post. Silas Redd will also get consideration for the role of third-down back.

“Chris [Thompson] came in last year at the end and did some things, and we’re hoping that he can come back and stay healthy in the offseason and give us a little jolt back there,” Gruden said. “And Silas Redd will get every chance to do some things also.”

Although, the Redskins could look to bring in some competition before training camp begins.

“I also think that at the running back position in the draft, there’s a ton of them,” Gruden said. “It’s a very deep running back draft in my opinion, and we’re excited to add another piece at some point, hopefully. We have seven picks. Hopefully one of them will be a running back, or a free agent to compete. There are some good free agents that haven’t been signed yet. But, giving Chris an opportunity, Silas, Alfred (Morris), that’s where it starts. And we’ll add some more later on for competition.”


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(3/27/2015) Falcons coach Dan Quinn is not ruling out bringing back former Atlanta quarterback Matt Schaub to compete for the backup role behind starter Matt Ryan, per ESPN.

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