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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
Saints' Mark Ingram cracks century mark, scores twice Thursday
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:06 am ET) Saints running back Mark Ingram found the end zone for the second consecutive game, scoring twice and leading his team to a 28-10 victory over the Panthers in Week 9 Thursday night. 

Ingram barreled into the end zone from 3 yards out late in the first half. He also aggravated a right shoulder injury in the first half and played through the pain in the second half wearing a sleeve. walked into the end zone from 3 yards out on a draw play with 5:34 remaining in the game to secure the win.

He took 30 handoffs for 100 yards and two scores, notching back-to-back career highs in carries over a five-day span. He caught one of two targets for 10 yards. He has 272 yards and three rushing touchdowns over that span.

He'll look to stay red-hot Week 10 at home against San Francisco.


Panthers K Graham Gano hits his only field goal Thursday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:03 am ET) Panthers kicker Graham Gano hit his only field goal attempt Thursday against the Saints. 

The Panthers offense had a tough time getting anything going, limiting Gano's chances. His only attempt came with 12:57 left in the contest. Gano managed to hit from 31 yards out. He also managed one extra point attempt.

Gano will look for more Week 10 against the Eagles. 


Saints' Drew Brees overcomes early mistakes to secure first road win
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:02 am ET) Saints quarterback Drew Brees worked past a couple of early turnovers and scored two touchdowns to lead his team to their first road win of the season Week 9 at Carolina.

Brees had two turnovers over the first 10 minutes of the game. He was picked off by Dwan Edwards on a tipped pass from Kenny Stills on the opening drive of the night. On the ensuing drive, he lost a fumble after Erik Lorig got pushed back into him while trying to pass protect. 

Brees bounced back with a 1-yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham with three seconds remaining in the first half. He gambled on a 4th and goal in the third quarter, leaping over the goal line for a 1-yard score -- his first rushing touchdown of the season.

Brees compiled 297 yards through the air while completing 24 of 34 passes. He added one touchdown and one interception, registering a 94.9 passer rating. He was sacked four times and rushed for 2 yards and a score on four carries in a 28-10 victory.

The Saints will host the 49ers in Week 10.


Panthers' Jason Avant, Brandon Williams do little Week 9
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:01 am ET) Panthers pass catchers Jason Avant and Brandon Williams did little Week 9 against the Saints.

Avant hauled in just one pass, gaining 8 yards. Williams wasn't much better, gaining 6 yards on his only reception. Williams nearly scored on the play, but he was ruled down a few yards short of the goal line. 

Both players will look for more Week 10 against the Eagles. 


Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin gets shut down Thursday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(10/30/2014) Panthers wideout Kelvin Benjamin was shut down Thursday against the Saints.

Quarterback Cam Newton tried to get the ball to his stud wideout, but it wasn't happening. Benjamin was targeted a team-high 10 times, but came up with just two receptions for 18 yards. Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis had a lot to do with the performance. He was constantly draped over Benjamin most of the night. 

Benjamin will hope for more Week 10 against the Eagles. 


Panthers TE Greg Olsen catches three passes Thursday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(10/30/2014) Panthers tight end Greg Olsen hauled in just three passes Thursday against the Saints.

Olsen gained 30 yards during the contest. He received just four targets. It's the second straight game where Olsen has struggled in the passing game. He received three targets and had just 16 yards Week 8 against Seattle.

Olsen will look for more Week 10 against the Eagles. 


Panthers WR Jerricho Cotchery leads the way Thursday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(10/30/2014) Panthers wideout Jerricho Cotchery led the club in receiving Thursday against the Saints.

The Panthers offense struggled mightily, meaning the bar was pretty low for Cotchery. Still, he managed 59 yards on two receptions. Most of his yardage came on a 47 yard reception near the end of the third quarter. He was targeted five times. 

Cotchery will look for more Week 10 against the Eagles. 


Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams struggles Thursday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(10/30/2014) Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams couldn't get much going Thursday against the Saints. 

Williams gained just 20 yards on eight carries. He and Jonathan Stewart split carries evenly, but Stewart turned in the much better performance. Williams, however, was a factor in the passing game. He only caught one pass, but made it count, rumbling for 30 yards. That was good enough to make Williams the second-leading receiver on the club Thursday.

Williams will look for more Week 10 against the Eagles. 


Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart leads the way Thursday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(10/30/2014) Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart led the club in rushing Thursday against the Saints.

Stewart picked up 46 yards on eight carries. He received the same number of carries as DeAngelo Williams, but outperformed him on the ground by 26 yards. Stewart, however, was not targeted in the passing game. 

He'll look for more Week 10 against the Eagles. 


Panthers QB Cam Newton rushes one in Thursday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(10/30/2014) Panthers quarterback Cam Newton had a tough game through the air Thursday against the Saints.

Newton completed just 10 of 28 passes for 151 yards. He did not throw a touchdown, but was credited with an interception. Newton was constantly under pressure during the game, and was sacked four times. The offensive line let Newton down a fair amount during the contest, but he also had trouble getting the ball to Kelvin Benjamin. Benjamin was targeted a team-high 10 times, but only came down with two catches. Cornerback Keenan Lewis had a great game covering Benjamin, and that may have contributed to Newton's struggles.

Newton's saving grace was a decent day on the ground. He finished with seven rushes for 43 yards and a score. He managed to scamper in from 10 yards out in the third quarter. 

Newton will look for more Week 10 against the Eagles. 


 
 
 
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