FBG Daily Email - Volume 12, Issue 119
By Joe Bryant
August 24th, 2011


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Hi Folks,

Good Thursday to you. Hope you've got plenty of free time this morning as we've got a boat load of new content for you. Tons of Perfect Draft articles as well as our always anticipated Breakout Players where we list the guys we expect to outperform their draft position. Plus lots more. And of course the news and notes you need. Thanks to our Cecil Lammey and Sigmund Bloom for the help there as always. Let's get to it.

J

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D. Defensive Team By Committee
Our Chase Stuart and Jeff Pasquino continue the always popular "By Committee" series. In this one they look at defenses.

E. The Perfect Draft - 10 Team
Our David Dodds continues his Perfect Draft series that is always one of the most popular features we offer. Our Jeff Pasquino is helping him with these. It's a great way to prep for your draft as we lay out what a "perfect" draft might look like. This one is for a 10 team league.

F. The Perfect Draft - 12 Team
Our David Dodds continues his Perfect Draft series that is always one of the most popular features we offer. Our Jeff Pasquino is helping him with these. It's a great way to prep for your draft as we lay out what a "perfect" draft might look like. This one is for a 12 team league.

G. The Perfect Draft - 14 Team
Our David Dodds continues his Perfect Draft series that is always one of the most popular features we offer. Our Jeff Pasquino is helping him with these. It's a great way to prep for your draft as we lay out what a "perfect" draft might look like. This one is for a 14 team league.

H. Breakout Players - QBs
Every year there are players that outperform their draft position. We call those guys "breakout" players. I like that term better than sleeper as some of these guys are already good players that we think could be great. Some are average that we think could be good. But all are guys we think will outperform their draft slot and therefore be a value pick. In this one, the Footballguys Staffers look at QBs.

I. Breakout Players - RBs
Every year there are players that outperform their draft position. We call those guys "breakout" players. I like that term better than sleeper as some of these guys are already good players that we think could be great. Some are average that we think could be good. But all are guys we think will outperform their draft slot and therefore be a value pick. In this one, the Footballguys Staffers look at RBs.

J. Breakout Players - WRs
Every year there are players that outperform their draft position. We call those guys "breakout" players. I like that term better than sleeper as some of these guys are already good players that we think could be great. Some are average that we think could be good. But all are guys we think will outperform their draft slot and therefore be a value pick. In this one, the Footballguys Staffers look at WRs.

K. Breakout Players - TEs
Every year there are players that outperform their draft position. We call those guys "breakout" players. I like that term better than sleeper as some of these guys are already good players that we think could be great. Some are average that we think could be good. But all are guys we think will outperform their draft slot and therefore be a value pick. In this one, the Footballguys Staffers look at TEs.

L. Training Camp Update #3
Calling this out again just for the sheer ridiculousness of how great it is. It's 40+ pages of everything you need to know about every player in camp this week. Read it and continue to be the most informed owner in your league.

M. Does Your Team Suck? Find Out With Rate My Team
Take a few seconds to enter your team and a click later you'll get a detailed analysis of where we see your team. You won't believe the depth we do with this thing. Check it out and see how we think you did.

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1. IND - Do not believe QB Peyton Manning will be ready for opener
2. GB - RB Ryan Grant fighting for roster spot?
3. GB - RB Ryan Grant restructures deal
4. TEN - Meet with RB Chris Johnson
5. IND - QB Kerry Collins agrees to terms
6. NO - Mark Ingram misses practice
7. BAL - OC to ride RB Ray Rice until he is tired
8. NE - Several return to practice
9. DAL - TE Jason Witten gets a scare
10. DAL - RB Felix Jones shaken up in practice
11. SD - TE Antonio Gates back at practice
12. PHI - WR Steve Smith not expected start season on PUP
13. MIN - Visnathe Shiancoe to sit out preseason game
14. MIA - Looking for Daniel Thomas to run harder
15. DEN - TE Dan Gronkowski limited Tuesday
16. GB - Randall Cobb may not be ready for opener
17. SD - Vincent Brown back at practice

IND - Do not believe QB Peyton Manning will be ready for opener

Source: ESPN - Chris Mortensen

The Indianapolis Colts officials do not believe QB Peyton Manning (neck) will be ready for Week 1, but Manning remains hopeful that he will be able to play in the game.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

This is the reason why the Colts signed Kerry Collins. He'll be starting for the team if Manning can't play early in the season. Here's what I wrote about this in the Breaking News Email I sent Wednesday:

There are several ways to see this. One is to say it's just the Colts being prudent. I mean how comfortable can anyone feel with Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky as your backups? They likely need better QBs behind Manning regardless of his health.

The other way to see it is that this is way more than precautionary. Some feel that the worries that Manning won't be ready for Week 1 are very real.

I'm personally leaning that way. Actually, I'm a little surprised the Colts didn't do this sooner. We all know Manning as the guy that doesn't miss games and that's obviously true. But we sometimes attribute that to some sort of super human toughness above and beyond other QBs. The reality is that Manning is clearly a tough guy but most of his durability has been because he does not try to run and most importantly, he gets rid of the ball quickly and decisively and rarely is touched by the defenders. It's not because he has some sort of super human healing ability.

The other worry is that a neck injury is an entirely different injury than a knee or shoulder when it comes to considering the "quality of life" for the rest of his life. It's even more pointed to a guy like Manning who saw his big brother (Cooper) end his football career because of a neck injury.

I personally am spooked by this situation in a big way. In my heart, I think Manning will play this year. Maybe even be ready for Week 1. But to me, the worry there is huge. And for a guy that gets as much attention as Manning does in drafts, I think I'd let another guy in my league take that risk.

And certainly, we'll know more soon as this continues to develop. Just wanted to let you have the headsup now as soon as I heard this.

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GB - RB Ryan Grant fighting for roster spot?

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Tom Silverstein

Green Bay Packers RB Ryan Grant may be competing with RB Dimitri Nance for one roster spot during the final two weeks of the preseason.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Grant just renegotiated his salary which could keep him around for another season. His salary of $2.5 million is guaranteed this year which means the team is not going to release him. Nance is a talented backup, but they may end up keeping him around on the Practice Squad. That is, if no other team plucks him away. They lost Tyrell Sutton to the Panthers two years ago when they tried to do the same thing.

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GB - RB Ryan Grant restructures deal

Source: SiriusXM Radio - Adam Caplan

Green Bay Packers RB Ryan Grant agreed to restructure his contract to drop his 2011 salary cap hit from $5.65 million to $3.8 million.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

This will hopefully stop the 'Packers are going to cut Grant' stories. The savvy veteran should begin the season as the team's starting RB. Green Bay will mix in James Starks and rookie Alex Green as complementary runners/receivers behind Grant.

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TEN - Meet with RB Chris Johnson

Source: The Tennessean - Jim Wyatt

Updating a previous report, The Tennessee Titans met with RB Chris Johnson Wednesday, Aug. 24, but the meeting appears to be over. The two sides were far apart before the meeting started and an agreement is not expected to be close.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

This Chris Johnson holdout seems to get uglier by the day. Fantasy owners should have serious concern about drafting Johnson with a top 3 pick. We see Johnson falling somewhere between picks 5-8 in most fantasy drafts. He's too much of a value to pass on at that point. Johnson's a fantastic talent who could lead the league in rushing if he gets on the field. However, this holdout doesn't look like it's going to end anytime soon.

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IND - QB Kerry Collins agrees to terms

Source: Twitter

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said on his Twitter page that the team has agreed to terms with free-agent QB Kerry Collins (Titans). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

The Colts needed to address the backup position behind Peyton Manning because Dan Orlovsky and Curtis Painter have not played well in the preseason. There's a chance Manning won't be able to begin the season as the team's starter. Collins gives them veteran insurance in case that happens.

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NO - Mark Ingram misses practice

Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune - Mike Triplett

New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram (knee) missed practice Tuesday, Aug. 23, due to a knee injury. However, head coach Sean Payton said he expected the rookie back soon.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

If he misses this weekend's game, we'll get a little concerned, but for now this is nothing to be too worried about.

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BAL - OC to ride RB Ray Rice until he is tired

Source: BaltimoreRavens.com - Ryan Mink

Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron said Tuesday, Aug. 23, that the plan for now is to allow RB Ray Rice to keep running until he gets tired. When that happens, he's supposed to let Cameron know and RB Ricky Williams will come in. 'We will leave a lot of it up to (Ray) and we will be smart too because we want Ray full speed at the end of games,' Cameron said.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Sounds good to us. Rice is in a strong top three or four overall RBs and any of them are justified as #1 picks.

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NE - Several return to practice

Source: Boston Herald - Ian Rapoport

New England Patriots RB Shane Vereen (hamstring), TE Lee Smith (undisclosed) and OT Nate Solder (undisclosed) participated in practice Wednesday, Aug. 24.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Vereen needs to get on the practice field and start impressing the coaching staff. He's a good all-purpose RB, but is currently being outshined by fellow rookie RB Stevan Ridley.

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DAL - TE Jason Witten gets a scare

Source: ESPNDallas.com - Todd Archer

Dallas Cowboys TE Jason Witten (hamstring) grabbed his left hamstring in practice Tuesday, Aug. 23, after catching a pass near the sidelines. However, Witten was able to return after missing just four snaps.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Fantasy owners can breathe a sigh of relief here. Witten is a favorite target for Tony Romo and should finish the season as a top 5 fantasy TE.

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DAL - RB Felix Jones shaken up in practice

Source: ESPNDallas.com - Todd Archer

Dallas Cowboys RB Felix Jones (hand) sat out a few snaps during inside running drills Tuesday, Aug. 23. He was shaking his left hand, but he was able to return.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Jones is entrenched as the team's starter but durability is certainly a concern. He'll make big plays for this team as a runner and receiver as long as he can stay healthy.

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SD - TE Antonio Gates back at practice

Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune - Kevin Acee

San Diego Chargers TE Antonio Gates (foot) was back at practice Tuesday, Aug. 23.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Gates is worth the pick as the first TE off the board if he falls to the fifth round in PPR leagues.

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PHI - WR Steve Smith not expected start season on PUP

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer - Jeff McLane

Philadelphia Eagles president Joe Banner said the team does not expect WR Steve E. Smith (knee) to start the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Smith may not begin the season on the PUP list, but he may miss some time early in the season as he comes back from a knee injury.

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MIN - Visnathe Shiancoe to sit out preseason game

Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune - Mark Craig

Minnesota Vikings TE Visanthe Shiancoe (hamstring) suffered a setback in his recovery from a hamstring injury and will not play in the third preseason game Saturday, Aug. 27.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Without Shiancoe in the lineup we'd see more from rookie TE Kyle Rudolph. Expect the Vikings to use a lot of 2 TE sets this year and split targets evenly between Rudolph and Shiancoe.

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MIA - Looking for Daniel Thomas to run harder

Source: The Miami Herald - Armando Salguero

Miami Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano said the team wants to see RB Daniel Thomas run with more confidence and hit the hole harder rather than being hesitant. 'He was just telling me I need to get it in there and to stop tippy-toeing and everything like that. It was true though,' Thomas said.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Thomas is a big back who runs with good power, even though he has an upright running style. The rookie has been a little hesitant to hit the hole hard so far during the preseason. Once he gets used to the speed of the game we feel Thomas will begin running harder. The Dolphins are going to use both Thomas and Reggie Bush in a RBBC this year.

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DEN - TE Dan Gronkowski limited Tuesday

Source: The Denver Post - Jeff Legwold

Denver Broncos TE Dan Gronkowski (triceps) was limited during practice Tuesday, Aug. 23, because he suffered a strained triceps during practice.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Gronkowski is battling for his job and needs to impress whenever he gets any practice reps. The Broncos are stacked at the TE position, but Gronk could make the team because of his blocking and receiving ability. He could also line up as a Fullback for them as well.

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GB - Randall Cobb may not be ready for opener

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Tom Silverstein

Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy would not say if WR Randall Cobb (knees) will be able to play in Week 1 after suffering bruises to both knees during the preseason. Cobb said he is day-to-day at this point and is trying to get healthy. If Cobb is not able to play, RB Alex Green and WR Jordy Nelson would be candidates to be the kick returner in Week 1.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

The Packers are incredibly deep at the WR position so there's no need to rush Cobb onto the field. He has amazing start/stop ability and has the versatility to attack the defense from multiple positions - even Wildcat QB.

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SD - Vincent Brown back at practice

Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune - Kevin Acee

San Diego Chargers WR Vincent Brown (hamstring) was able to return to a full practice Tuesday, Aug. 23. 'He's way behind,' head coach Norv Turner said. 'He's got a lot of work to do to get to where he's on the same page with everyone on the offensive football team.'

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Brown is a player to keep in mind as a mid-season waiver wire pickup if he is getting comfortable and climbs to the #3 job.

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That'll do it for today, Folks. Have a great Thursday and thanks for being a part of Footballguys. We'll see you tomorrow with the update.

Peace,

J

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