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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
RB Chris Johnson: I'd fit good in Dallas
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5/5/2015) Running back Chris Johnson is still looking for a place to play next season. After being cut by the Jets at the end of 2014, Johnson believes he could be the answer to what the Cowboys need at running back after letting DeMarco Murray go to Philadelphia and not drafting a running back, according to the Dallas Morning News.

"I'd fit good in Dallas," Johnson said to TMZ. "They need it. Yeah. That's what we're trying to do. Cowboys, come holler at me."

Dallas signed Darren McFadden to a two-year deal in the offseason worth up to $5.85 million. Johnson had the worst rushing season in his career in 2014, totaling 663 yards on the ground with one touchdown.


Report: Bears sign fourth-round pick Jeremy Langford
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5/5/2015) The Bears have reportedly signed running back Jeremy Langford from Michigan State to a four-year contract, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Langford was drafted by Chicago in the fourth round and was considered the ninth-best running back prospect in the draft class. He rushed for 1,522 yards and 22 touchdowns in his final season with Michigan State in 2014.


Chargers claim tight end Kyle Miller, release Damik Scafe
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5/5/2015) The Chargers have claimed tight end Kyle Miller off waivers from the Falcons and released defensive end Damik Scafe, according to U-T San Diego.

Milller has appeared in one game since entering the league in 2012 without making a catch.


Bears claim OT Paul Cornick off waviers
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5/5/2015) The Bears have claimed offensive tackle Paul Cornick off waivers from the Broncos, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Cornick was waived by Denver Monday after making making six starts and appearing in 12 games for the Broncos in 2014.


John Carlson's surprise retirement leaves Cardinals in a bind at TE
by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(5/5/2015) The unexpected retirement of John Carlson has left the Cardinals depleted of experienced tight ends on the roster, reports ESPN.com.

Troy Niklas, last year's second-round pick, and Darren Fells are currently the only tight ends on the team who caught passes in 2014, combining for eight receptions and 109 yards during the regular season.

Carlson caught 33 passes for 350 yards and one touchdown last season.

Dolphins cut ties with Heath, Hocker, Rose
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5/5/2015) The Dolphins waived defensive back T.J. Heath, kicker Zach Hocker and defensive back Lowell Rose on Tuesday, the team announced.

Heath and Rose were with the team during the 2014 season, while Hocker was signed in the offseason. 


Raiders release Bojay Filimoeatu, Jansen Watson, Justin Jackson
by Ted Leshinski | Staff Writer
(5/5/2015) The Raiders have released linebacker Bojay Filimoeatu, cornerback Jansen Watson and linebacker Justin Jackson, reports ESPN.

Filimoeatu played in eight games with the Raiders last season, Watson played with the team's practice squad and Jackson played with three other teams in 2014.

Patriots axe CB Alfonzo Dennard, two others
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/5/2015) As expected, the Patriots have announced the release of cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, who exceeded expectations for three years after having been taken in the seventh round of the 2012 draft.

Dennard started 20 of 29 games in which he played and racked up 92 tackles and five interceptions. He also started in four postseason games with two picks. But he played just six games a year ago and lost time to a hamstring injury.

Long snapper Tyler Ott and linebacker Deontae Skinner were also cut loose by the Patriots on Tuesday.


Report: Chiefs release quarterback Terrelle Pryor
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5/5/2015) The Chiefs have reportedly cut ties with quarterback Terrelle Pryor, according to Pro Football Talk. 

Pryor was signed by Kansas City in January and coach Andy Reid wanted to give him a chance to earn the starting quarterback role.

"We're going to give him an opportunity to play quarterback and see how he does," Reid said. "He’s there lifting everyday and doing his thing. We can’t meet with him but he shows up everyday and does what he can do."

Pryor last started as a quarterback in 2013 with the Raiders, totaling 2,374 yards with seven touchdown passes and 11 interceptions.


Cardinals cut Zach Bauman, Roc Carmichael
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5/5/2015) The Cardinals released running back Zach Bauman and cornerback Roc Carmichael on Tuesday, reports Fox Sports Arizona.

Bauman and Carmichael did not appear in any games last season.


 
 
 
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