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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
Giants officially place Will Beatty on PUP list
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(6:54 pm ET) The Giants placed tackle Will Beatty on the physically unable to perform list on Friday, according to The New York Daily News.

Beatty is expected to miss five to six month with a torn pectoral muscle.


Report: Saints TE Orson Charles suspended one game
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5:44 pm ET) The NFL suspended Saints tight end Orson Charles for the first game of the season, reports the NFL Network. The suspension was for violating the league's Personal Conduct Policy.

Charles has nine receptions for 109 yards during his three-year career.


Titans sign WR Tebucky Jones; waive OT Terren Jones
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(4:44 pm ET) The Titans announced the signing of wide receiver Tebucky Jones on Friday. Jones was an undrafted free agent and participated in the team's rookie minicamp.

Moreover, the Titans waived offensive tackle Terren Jones.


Giants reach contract agreement with James Jones
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(4:30 pm ET) Giants coach Tom Coughlin confirmed the team will sign wide receiver James Jones on Friday, reports The Record. Jones is expected to take part in team meetings Friday night and then practice with the team Saturday.

In 2014, Jones caught 73 passes for 666 yards and six touchdowns.


Redskins CB Bashaud Breeland carted off field Friday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(4:08 pm ET) Redskins cornerback Bashaud Breeland was seen being carted off the practice field Friday, reports The Washington Times. Breeland was not able to put pressure on his right leg.

Breeland is also facing a one-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy.


Titans NT Sammie Lee Hill says he'll return in a week or two
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3:46 pm ET) Titans nose tackle Sammie Lee Hill said he isn't 100 percent sure, but he expects to return to the field in a week or two, reports The Tennessean.

"I'll give it a few weeks and then see what it feels like," Hill said. "I can't put a specific time on it, but probably about a week or two. I'll see what it feels like and see if I can get it mobile and moving the way I want to, and feel good about it."

Hill is on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list due to a knee sprain.


Jaguars RB Storm Johnson says he'll return next week
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3:32 pm ET) After being placed on the Non-Football Injury list on Wednesday, Jaguars running back Storm Johnson said he expects to return to the field next week, reports Jacksonville.com.

Johnson and coached Gus Bradley declined to discuss the nature of Johnson's injury, but Bradley said he is considered day to day.

"I'd rather talk about it when I get back on the field," Johnson said.


49ers place Michael Wilhoite on injury list
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3:26 pm ET) 49ers linebacker Michael Wilhoite was placed on the Non-Football Injury list on Friday, the team announced. Wilhoite is dealing with a muscle strain in his leg.

Jets DE Sheldon Richardson won't be charged with child endangerment
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3:06 pm ET) After reviewing the evidence, the St. Charles County Prosecutor's Office won't charge Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson with child endangerment, reports the New York Post.

"Our role is to take a look at the evidence that we know we have and say, given that, are we going to be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he committed this felony?" Tim Lohmar said, the prosecuting attorney in the case told. "The plain and simple answer to you is when we had all the facts in front of us, we thought we're going to have a tough time proving this beyond a reasonable doubt."

Richardson was facing the child endangerment charge after allegedly driving as high as 143 miles per hour in mid-July with a 12-year-old in the back seat. He will face charges of resisting arrest and traffic violations, which are misdemeanors.


Lions unsure when RB Joique Bell will return
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(2:51 pm ET) Although Lions coach Jim Caldwell said running back Joique Bell is making progress from his knee and Achilles surgeries, there is no timetable for his return, reports the Detroit Free Press.

Bell is on the Physically Unable to Perform List after missing all of the team's offseason practices due to the surgeries.


 
 
 
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