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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
Chiefs provide injury updates for four players on Monday
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:30 pm ET) Chiefs coach Andy Reid told reporters Monday that Dwayne Bowe has shoulder sprain, Zach Fulton has a foot sprain, Phillip Gaines has flu-like symptoms and Josh Martin has hand contusion, per the team's official website. All four players remain uncertain for Sunday's regular season finale against San Diego.

Panthers hope A.J. Klein will be 'ready to roll' Week 17
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:24 pm ET) Panthers coach Ron Rivera told reporters Monday he hopes linebacker A.J. Klein will be "ready to roll" come Week 17 against Atlanta, per the team's official website. Klein missed Sunday's game against the Browns with a knee injury. He has 39 combined tackles and two forced fumbles on the year.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera: De'Andre Presley has a concussion
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:22 pm ET) Panthers coach Ron Rivera told reporters Monday that wide receiver De'Andre Presley suffered a concussion in Week 16 against Cleveland. He will be in the league-mandated protocol leading up to Week 17 against Atlanta. He was targeted just once before departing on Sunday. He has yet to catch a pass this season.

Seahawks unsure if Jermaine Kearse will play regular season finale
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:17 pm ET) Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told reporters he's unsure if wide receiver Jermaine Kearse will play Week 17 against St. Louis, according to the Everett Herald.

Kearse left Week 16 against Arizona with a hamstring injury. He caught one pass for 8 yards before leaving the contest. Through 15 games, Kearse has 38 catches for 537 yards and one touchdown. Paul Richardson should see an increase in playing time if Kearse can't play.

The Seahawks are a 12-point home favorite against St. Louis.


Report: Bills part ways with WR Mike Williams on Monday
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:10 pm ET) The Bills have released wide receiver Mike Williams on Monday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. Williams landed on injured reserve on Dec. 8 with a calf injury but appears to be fully recovered. He had only eight catches for 142 yards and one touchdown with Buffalo this season.

Eagles QB Nick Foles will not play season finale
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:06 pm ET) Eagles coach Chip Kelly said during his Monday news conference that quarterback Nick Foles will not play Sunday's season finale against the Giants, per the Delaware News Journal. Foles left Week 9 with the injury and has not been able to return. With the Eagles out of playoff contention, his season ends with 2,163 passing yards with 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

Panthers will make final decision on Frank Alexander on Monday
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:00 pm ET) Panthers coach Ron Rivera told reporters he will make a decision on adding defensive end Frank Alexander to the 53-man active roster on Monday, per the Associated Press. Alexander has been reinstated from his 10-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Monday is the Alexander's deadline to be added to an active roster.

Alexander had 15 total tackles in 2013 with one sack.


Panthers to stick with RB Jonathan Stewart vs. Falcons
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:56 pm ET) Panthers coach Ron Rivera told reporters during his Monday news conference that he'll stick with running back Jonathan Stewart moving forward, per the Associated Press. Stewart's running mate, DeAngelo Williams, has sat out three straight games with a hands injury. Over the last four weeks, Stewart has rushed for 437 yards, which is the most by any running back in the NFL.

The Panthers will travel to Atlanta to face the Falcons for the NFC South title. Carolina is currently a 3 1/2-point underdog in Week 17.


Panthers' Rivera: Cam Newton came out of game in good health
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:47 pm ET) Panthers coach Ron Rivera told reporters Monday that early indications are that quarterback Cam Newton came out of Sunday's game against the Browns in good health, per the team's official website.

Newton, who came off two small fractures in his back sustained in a car accident, completed 18 of 31 for 201 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He also rushed for 63 yards and another score on 12 attempts.

Newton and the Panthers will travel to Atlanta to face the Falcons for the NFC South title. Carolina is currently a 3 1/2-point underdog in Week 17.


Cardinals RB situation a complete mess now
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(12:38 pm ET) Whether it was because he was limited in practice by a knee injury leading up to the game or because the Cardinals fell behind early and needed more of a pass blocker in the backfield, running back Kerwynn Williams, who had performed admirably the previous two weeks, totaling 175 yards on the ground, was hardly a factor Week 16 against Seattle, getting two carries for 4 yards.

Instead, Stepfan Taylor was the lead ball carrier. Of course, he wasn't so effective in the role, picking up 19 yards on 11 carries, but that's bound to happen for any running back going against the Seahawks. He did at least have 25 yards on two catches. Marion Grice and Robert Hughes also each got a carry, but they haven't been as much of a factor with Andre Ellington out.

Williams seems to be the best rusher of the group and the one you'd prefer to see get the carries in Fantasy, but if the Cardinals are that willing to abandon him when the score isn't in their favor, you can never feel confident playing him in Fantasy. Especially now that the Cardinals are down to their third quarterback, the score isn't going to be in their favor so often.

Week 17 at San Francisco should be a more competitive game, but given that the 49ers are tough against the run as well, you should probably pass on Williams for the season's final week.


 
 
 
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