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2014 Draft Prep: Terrance West is better value than Ben Tate

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Here's a poll for you to vote on in the comments section of this column: Which team has the worst offense in the NFL coming into this season? A) Oakland B) Jacksonville C) Cleveland D) St. Louis

Now that we know the Browns are without the suspended Josh Gordon for the season, they get my vote. The quarterback situation is a mess with Brian Hoyer being less terrible than rookie Johnny Manziel. The receiving corps is ugly with Miles Austin, Nate Burleson and Andrew Hawkins the top options. Jordan Cameron is a solid tight end, but he could get swallowed up by opposing defenses.

And then there are the running backs. Ben Tate and Terrance West should be the best skill players for the Browns, but which one should Fantasy owners target?

The easy answer is both because Cleveland should have success running the ball in Kyle Shanahan's system, and you can draft both on your team to see how it plays out. But if you had to choose one, I'd go with West because of his value.

The production should be similar for Tate and West this season, but based on Average Draft Position on CBSSports.com Tate (No. 63 overall) is being drafted four rounds ahead of West (112) in a 12-team league. And I'd rather have West in Round 10 than Tate in Round 6. West might drop even more based on his poor preseason.

We got a glimpse of what Tate could do as the starter for the Texans last season after Arian Foster (back) got hurt, and it wasn't great. He had seven games with at least 15 touches but finished with double digits in Fantasy points just twice.

He also has a lengthy injury history and has never played a full season in four years, and West just might be the better talent. He was a beast in college at Towson and the Browns recognized that when they drafted him in the third round.

While you can argue the talent he was facing at Towson isn't top notch, West still racked up huge stats with 413 carries for 2,509 yards and 41 touchdowns and 26 catches for 258 yards and a touchdown -- all in 2013. The 439 touches are concerning given how running backs do the following year with such a heavy workload, but West won't be a featured back like Marshawn Lynch -- unless Tate gets hurt.

If you're inclined to draft Tate, just make sure you handcuff him to West. Here's what happened to me in one recent draft.

I was doing a mock draft with users late Wednesday night. It was Round 5 and the power went out in my house prior to my pick at No. 57 overall. I went to my phone and the battery was nearly dead, so I ran outside to my car.

By the time I got settled, the auto-pick gave me Tate, which was fine under the circumstances. At that point I had DeMarco Murray, A.J. Green, Julius Thomas and Keenan Allen, so I needed another running back.

Now, normally I wouldn't draft Tate in that spot, but I knew what to do later. Based on how the draft fell, I went with West in Round 8. At least I'm covered should (when?) Tate gets hurt.

You don't want to have too many Browns on your Fantasy team this season, but Tate and West could be the best of the bunch. And based on where you have to draft each one and how they should perform, I'd rather have West in 2014.

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Player News
Head coach optimistic about Eric Decker
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) Jets wide receiver Eric Decker expects to play Week 3 against the Bears.

Decker sat out of practice Wednesday, and didn't want to put a timetable on the injury. Head coach Rex Ryan, on the other hand, expressed optimism that both Decker and corner Dee Milliner would play. "We’re confident that they will be ready. We know that they are going to work to get out there. I’m confident, we’ll see how it goes during the week, but I should say I guess I’m hopeful that they will play."

Decker is dealing with a hamstring injury. 


Carson Palmer limited Wednesday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer was limited in practice Wednesday.

Palmer is dealing with a shoulder injury. He missed Week 2 due to the issue. It's unclear whether Palmer will play Week 3. 


Cardinals release statement on Jonathan Dwyer
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) The Cardinals have released a statement regarding Jonathan Dwyer .

In the statement, the team confirms Dwyer has been deactivated from all club events. "We will continue to closely monitor this as it develops and evaluate additional information as it becomes available," the statement read. Dwyer is under investigation for a domestic violence incident that took place in July. 


Vernon Davis unable to go Wednesday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) San Francisco tight end Vernon Davis was unable to practice Wednesday.

The news shouldn't come as a surprise, as Davis was seen on crutches Wednesday. He's dealing with a deep bruise, but there's a chance he'll play Week 3. 


Christine Michael limited as expected
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) Seahawks running back Christine Michael was limited in practice Wednesday.

That was expected, as coach Pete Carroll said Michael would be limited Wednesday. Despite that, he's expected to play Week 3. Michael is dealing with a hamstring injury. 


Marshawn Lynch limited Wednesday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch was limited in practice Wednesday.

Lynch is dealing with a back injury. He was limited during Sunday's game due to the issue. Lynch's status will be determined based on whether he improves throughout the week. 


Report: Jonathan Dwyer deactivated over domestic violence incident
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer has been deactivated due to a domestic violence incident, according to ESPN. 

Multiple reports broke Wednesday claiming Dwyer had been involved in a domestic issue, but this is the first report to mention Arizona taking action against the running back. Details are still unclear at this time, but the club should release a statement on his status if the reports are true. 


Rod Streater unable to practice
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) Raiders wide receiver Rod Streater did not practice Wednesday.

Streater is dealing with a hip injury. He had an MRI Monday, but the results have not been revealed yet. 


Maurice Jones-Drew unable to go Wednesday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) Raiders running back Maurice Jones-Drew was unable to go in practice Wednesday.

Jones-Drew is still dealing with a hand issue. He had to sit out Week 2 due to the issue. Jones-Drew's status will be determined based on whether he can get back on the field this week. 


Shane Vereen dealing with shoulder injury
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) Patriots running back Shane Vereen was limited in practice Wednesday.

Vereen is dealing with a shoulder injury. Vereen's status will likely be determined based on whether he's able to improve throughout the week. 


 
 
 
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