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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
Eagles LB Kiko Alonso dealing with knee issue
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(8/31/2015) Eagles linebacker Kiko Alonso said he has been bothered by a nagging knee issue, which flared up before Saturday's preseason game, reports Philly.com.

Alonso was able to practice Monday, but coach Chip Kelly was unsure if he would play in Thursday's final preseason game.

"He's looked sharp in practice, but games and practice are a little bit different," Kelly said. "We'll see where he is. But we're hopeful to get him back out there [in games]."


Report: Raiders waive Kenbrell Thompkins
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(8/31/2015) The Raiders parted ways with wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins on Monday, a source told NBCSports.com. Thompkins caught six passes for 53 yards in two games last season.

Cowboys remove Rolando McClain from PUP list
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(8/31/2015) The Cowboys removed linebacker Rolando McClain from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list on Monday, reports The Dallas Morning News.

McClain is recovering from offseason knee surgery, but must serve a four-game suspension before returning in the regular season.


Report: Raiders part ways with running back Trent Richardson
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(8/31/2015) The Raiders released running back Trent Richardson on Monday, sources told ESPN.com. The former first-round pick rushed for 519 yards on 159 attempts last season.

Ravens place Matt Elam on IR
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(8/31/2015) Ravens safety Matt Elam will miss the 2015 season after he was placed on injured reserve Monday, reports ESPN. Elam suffered a torn biceps during training camp and will need surgery.

Packers release five players
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(8/31/2015) The Packers parted ways with LB Tavarus Dantzler, T Ebbele Fabbians, LB Josh Francis, DT Lavon Hooks and T Vince Kowalski on Monday, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Josh Boyce, Dekoda Watson among five players released by Patriots
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(8/31/2015) The Patriots released five players Monday. They were WR Josh Boyce, WR Jonathan Krause, TE Jimmay Mundine, DL Joe Vellano and LB Dekoda Watson

Cowboys QB Brandon Weeden clears concussion protocol
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(8/31/2015) Cowboys quarterback Brandon Weeden will practice Monday after clearing the league's concussion protocol, reports the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Weeden suffered the injury during a preseason game.

Giants WR Victor Cruz remains hopeful of being ready by opener
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(8/31/2015) Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz remains sidelined with a calf injury and has yet to be cleared to jog. However, the veteran wide receiver is still hopeful he will play in the season opener and hopes to practice next week.

"I think we're just being careful, cautious with it," Cruz said, per ESPN.com. "Calves are tricky. Once they feel healed and once they feel OK, you can go out here and mess it up again. So you want to make sure that it's fully healed and fully recovered once you step back out there on the field.

"Not that I haven't been able to [jog] but they don't want me to right now. They just want me to sit down and let it heal, let it repair itself and things like that."


Rams place cornerback E.J. Gaines on injured reserve
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(8/31/2015) Rams cornerback E.J. Gaines will miss the 2015 season after being placed on injured reserve, the team announced Monday. Gaines recently underwent surgery to repair a Lisfranc foot injury

 
 
 
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