FBG Daily Email - Volume 13, Issue 103
By Joe Bryant
August 4th, 2012

Hi Folks,

Welcome to Sunday. Hope you' ve had a great weekend. Pretty fun with the Olympics and then looking to the Hall of Fame Game tonight. The season is ON. Let's get to it with the news and notes.

J

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1. KC - RB Jamaal Charles injury update
2. NYJ - WR Santonio Holmes might have broken rib
3. CHI - RB Michael Bush to get bulk of goal-line work
4. STL - RB Steven Jackson changes diet
5. STL - Plan to lean on RB Steven Jackson more
6. HOU - WR Andre Johnson to practice Monday
7. NYJ - Bilal Powell could emerge as No. 2 RB
8. BUF - Rex Ryan issues warning prior to Week 1
9. TEN - RB Chris Johnson having strong camp
10. MIA - QB Matt Moore on the bubble?
11. MIN - Greg Childs carted off in practice
12. STL - Trio of receivers battling for spots
13. STL - Chris Givens ahead of Brian Quick
14. STL - WR Danny Amendola working in the slot
15. STL - WR Steve Smith showing off speed
16. STL - QB Sam Bradford back to quick throws
17. NYJ - Tim Tebow struggles in team debut
18. NYJ - QB Mark Sanchez shines in scrimmage
19. TEN - Eugene Amano to miss 2012 season
20. NE - Two battling for FB job
21. NE - Robert Gallery retires
22. CHI - RB Matt Forte up to speed with new routes
23. MIA - Ryan Tannehill performs well in scrimmage
24. CLE - CB Joe Haden having strong camp
25. CHI - WR Brandon Marshall predicting Super Bowl
26. SF - WR Michael Crabtree injury update
27. DAL - WR Dez Bryant showing sure hands in camp
28. STL - Two battling for No. 3 CB job
29. STL - HC loses Wide Nine defensive philosophy
30. WAS - Ryan Kerrigan expects improvement

KC - RB Jamaal Charles injury update

Source: ESPN.com - Bill Williamson

Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles (knee) said he is practicing without limitation in training camp. 'I'm out here practicing every day. I'm not scared,' Charles said, when asked about his confidence level.

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

Charles should be able to get back to his pre-injury form this year. We like his value as a high upside guy even though he's going to be sharing some time with Peyton Hillis this year.

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NYJ - WR Santonio Holmes might have broken rib

Source: ESPNNewYork.com - Rich Cimini

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan said Saturday, Aug. 4, that trainers told him they think WR Santonio Holmes (rib) suffered a broken rib in practice. There will be no official update from the team until Sunday, Aug. 5.

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

Obviously a serious blow to one of the league's most unproven WR corps. Holmes is very doubtful to play in the Jets first preseason game.

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CHI - RB Michael Bush to get bulk of goal-line work

Source: Chicago Tribune - Brad Biggs

The Chicago Bears plan to use RB Michael Bush for a bulk of the work around the goal line. Bush lined up in goal-line drills early last week, and offensive coordinator Mike Tice and running backs coach Tim Spencer confirmed that's the plan.

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

Bush may want a bigger role this year, but that's unlikely unless Matt Forte goes down with an injury. Stealing away goal-line carries will impact Forte's fantasy value, but we still see him as a top 10 fantasy RB in 2012.

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STL - RB Steven Jackson changes diet

Source: ESPN - John Clayton

St. Louis Rams RB Steven Jackson met with a specialist who took blood tests during the offseason to evaluate his eating patterns. Those studies found he had bad reactions to salmon. His favorite egg breakfasts were eliminated, and as such, he weighs 235 pounds. His body fat dropped from 6.5 to 5.1, and he's quick and powerful every time he touches the ball.

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

Change in diet can help a player feel better and perform better on the field. Some fantasy owners are overlooking Jackson because of his age and the team he plays on. We caution against that. Jackson is going to be the workhorse for a Jeff Fisher offense, and he could outperform his ADP of RB13 (2.09).

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STL - Plan to lean on RB Steven Jackson more

Source: ESPN - John Clayton

The St. Louis Rams plan to use RB Steven Jackson more in the upcoming season. The new offense under head coach Jeff Fisher and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer is a run-first approach featuring Jackson, supplemented by rookie RB Isaiah Pead. Jackson, and Pead, will also be running behind a fullback this season.

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

Jackson will be the primary back on a Jeff Fisher team. That could lead to tremendous fantasy value. His current ADP is RB13 and he could outperform that in 2012. We wouldn't be surprised to see him break into the top 10 fantasy RBs once again this year.

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HOU - WR Andre Johnson to practice Monday

Source: HoustonTexans.com - Nick Scurfield

Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak said WR Andre Johnson (groin) is expected to participate in practice Monday, Aug. 6.

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

Johnson's injury concerns have caused his ADP to dip ever so slightly in recent fantasy drafts. He's still going in the second-round and seen as a top 5 fantasy WR. With the depth at WR this year it should be easy to get fantasy insurance behind Johnson at the position.

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NYJ - Bilal Powell could emerge as No. 2 RB

Source: ESPNNewYork.com - Rich Cimini

New York Jets RB Bilal Powell is making a strong push to overtake RB Joe McKnight as the team's No. 2 back, behind RB Shonn Greene.

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

Powell is reportedly having a strong training camp and is looking to carry that momentum into the preseason. He's built more like a feature back than McKnight is and is more determined between the tackles. Powell looked sluggish as a rookie last year so we'll be watching him closely during preseason games. He could be in line for a big role with the team if Greene goes down with an injury.

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BUF - Rex Ryan issues warning prior to Week 1

Source: ESPN.com - James Walker

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan said the Buffalo Bills, the team's Week 1 opponent, need to be wary of QB Tim Tebow in their wildcat package. The Jets ran it in practice for the first time this week and are beginning the installing process. 'The great thing is ... the Buffalo Bills, we're going to use (Tebow) 20 snaps, we're going to use him two snaps, 50 snaps, they don't know,' Ryan said. 'All I know is they have to prepare for him, and I know what that does to your preparation time. When you start running the wildcat and what that does, you can't just (blow) it off. There's a lot of coordinators will be like, 'Oh, it's not big deal.' Yes it is. You really can't tell that lie, because I've been there in your shoes.'

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

The Bills will be concerned with Tebow as a runner, but far less concerned if/when he drops back to throw. Going up against the Wildcat offense takes discipline from a defense, and the Bills front four is arguably the best in the league.

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TEN - RB Chris Johnson having strong camp

Source: ProFootballTalk.com

Tennessee Titans RB Chris Johnson appears to have rediscovered his past elite form so far in training camp. Johnson is in shape and running fast. He appears to be on a mission in camp and poised for a big season in 2012.

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

Johnson had a disappointing year in 2011 but still finished as the 16th best fantasy RB in non-PPR leagues. We fully expect a bounce back season and anticipate Johnson will be a top 10 fantasy RB once again. It wouldn't be a surprise if he finished as a top 5 back in 2012 because of his rushing and receiving ability.

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MIA - QB Matt Moore on the bubble?

Source: Palm Beach Post - Ben Volin

Although Miami Dolphins QBs David Garrard, Matt Moore and Ryan Tannehill are competing for the starting job, it is not a guarantee all three quarterbacks will remain on the Week 1 roster. While the likeliest scenario has Tannehill serving in the No. 3 role this year, a league source with knowledge of the Dolphins' front office said the team has considered every contingency at quarterback, and one of them is carrying Tannehill as the No. 2 quarterback if he plays well enough in the preseason and proves that he could handle himself this year if called upon to play. If Tannehill does play well, it could make either Moore or Garrard expendable. Both are vested veterans, meaning their entire 2012 salary becomes guaranteed if they are on the Week 1 roster. Garrard has outperformed Moore thus far in camp.

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

Moore's performance in the preseason will determine his fate. He's not known as a good practice player, but could climb back into the competition with a strong performance in games.

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MIN - Greg Childs carted off in practice

Source: 1500ESPN.com - Tom Pelissero

Minnesota Vikings WR Greg Childs (leg) screamed in pain as he hit the ground in practice Saturday, Aug. 4, suffering an apparent leg injury. Childs immediately began screaming, and he was tended to by four members of the training camp. Eventually, he was lifted onto a cart.

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

It was not immediately known if it was the same leg in which Childs tore the patella tendon during his junior season at the University of Arkansas. He's a physically gifted player but has struggled to regain his form after suffering that knee injury in 2010.

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STL - Trio of receivers battling for spots

Source: ESPN - John Clayton

St. Louis Rams WRs Danario Alexander, Austin Pettis and Greg Salas are competing for precious roster spots in training camp, and it's conceivable each could be out of a job.

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

Alexander is the most physically gifted but is always fighting through knee injuries. Pettis is a possession receiver who doesn't excite. Salas has great open field moves but last year looked like he forgot how to play football. If he can look more like he did at Hawaii then we like him to win this roster spot.

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STL - Chris Givens ahead of Brian Quick

Source: ESPN - John Clayton

St. Louis Rams WR Chris Givens appears to be slightly ahead in his development than WR Brian Quick. Givens is a deep threat from the flanker position, while Quick has been a bit inconsistent early on. The coaches are working with Quick to get him to show more flashes as a big receiver at the split-end position.

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

Quick is a phenomenal physical talent but lacks elite ball skills. He has a big frame but fails to 'box out' defenders and is not an aggressive catcher, lacking the 'my ball' mentality of more developed receivers. Givens speed and quickness should make him a favorite of QB Sam Bradford.

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STL - WR Danny Amendola working in the slot

Source: ESPN - John Clayton

St. Louis Rams WR Danny Amendola is considered the favorite receiver of QB Sam Bradford, and the diminutive receiver has been working in the slot during training camp.

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

Fantasy owners cannot forget about Amendola, especially in PPR leagues. His current ADP is WR59 and he's coming off the board in the 12th or 13th round of most 12-team leagues. If he stays healthy and plays up to his potential then he could be a nice WR4/flex option for your fantasy team.

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STL - WR Steve Smith showing off speed

Source: ESPN - John Clayton

St. Louis Rams WR Steve E. Smith (knee) has been better than expected in training camp, and he is showing off tremendous speed. Smith is completely healthy after battling serious knee issues the past couple of seasons.

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

Don't draft Smith, but keep him on your waiver wire speed dial. The Rams have one of the most unproven WR corps in the league and someone will have to emerge. If Smith can stay healthy he could have a bounce back season and be a nice bye week/injury replacement player for your fantasy team.

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STL - QB Sam Bradford back to quick throws

Source: ESPN - John Clayton

St. Louis Rams QB Sam Bradford worked with three-step drops and quick five-step throws in his rookie season under then-offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, and he completed 60 percent of his passes. Last season, then-offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels had Bradford working in seven-step drops and five-step throws to 15- and 18-yard routes. It was a disaster, as Bradford took a beating with receivers not getting open. His completion percentage was 53 percent. Bradford is back to his rookie ways under new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, and the word is that Bradford looks re-vitalized. He also started lifting weights and is throwing with authority.

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

Bradford wants to have a bounce back season this year after a disastrous 2011 campaign under OC Josh McDaniels. He'll be helped by a strong ground game, but he needs more reliable targets before we can trust him as anything more than a QB3 option or backup in a QBBC strategy.

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NYJ - Tim Tebow struggles in team debut

Source: ESPNNewYork.com - Rich Cimini

New York Jets QB Tim Tebow struggled mightily in a controlled scrimmage Saturday, Aug. 4. Tebow went 0-for-3 with a sack, while adding three rushes for 14 yards. Tebow was working exclusively with the second-team offense.

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This isn't shocking. Tebow is not a very good practice player. He can make plays with his feet, but those type of miracle plays are arbitrary. The Jets want him to improve as a passer, but so did the Broncos and he failed to do that in Denver. We're unsure if Tebow will be anything more than a gadget player and backup QB in the NFL.

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NYJ - QB Mark Sanchez shines in scrimmage

Source: ESPNNewYork.com - Rich Cimini

New York Jets QB Mark Sanchez got off to a slow start in a controlled scrimmage Saturday, Aug. 4, but he rallied with a 60-yard touchdown drive. He finished 11-for-16 with 82 yards, plus three sacks. Sanchez was playing without three starting offensive linemen.

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Sanchez will need to continue this if he's going to keep Tim Tebow away from the starting job. The competition may bring out the best in Sanchez who is looking to bounce back after a disappointing 2011 season. Sanchez needs to make better decisions with the football and stop turning the ball over so much if he wants to hold onto the starting job.

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TEN - Eugene Amano to miss 2012 season

Source: The Tennessean - Jim Wyatt

Tennessee Titans C Eugene Amano (triceps) had an MRI Saturday, Aug. 4, which revealed a torn triceps muscle. He is out for the season, and is expected to be placed on the Injured Reserve list soon.

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

Amano has been the starting Center for the Titans over the last few years, but performed poorly in the 2011 season. Fernando Velasco is the favorite to replace him in the starting lineup.

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NE - Two battling for FB job

Source: KFFL.com

New England Patriots FB Spencer Larsen will be trying to hold off FB Eric Kettani for the top spot at fullback during training camp with FB Tony Fiammetta placed on the exempt/left squad list Saturday, Aug. 4. However, it is not a certainty the team will carry a fullback, so neither is guaranteed a roster spot.

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

Larsen knows the Josh McDaniels system from their time together with the Broncos. He's also able to play Linebacker and can be a solid special teams player. Kettani may be a more natural blocker, but Larsen seems to be the favorite here.

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NE - Robert Gallery retires

Source: ESPN - Adam Schefter

The New England Patriots announced Saturday, Aug. 4, that OG Robert Gallery has retired.

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

The former #2 overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft was a bust as a Tackle, but was a quality starter once he was moved inside to Guard.

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CHI - RB Matt Forte up to speed with new routes

Source: Chicago Tribune - Brad Biggs

Chicago Bears RB Matt Forte is already up to speed with some new routes in the passing game, and he spends special -teams periods of practice working with QB Jay Cutler and quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates trying to learn more. Forte missed all of the offseason program, but running backs coach Tim Spencer said Forte is 'good to go.'

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

Forte got paid and should be a top 10 fantasy RB this year barring injury. Jay Cutler has better targets to throw to in the WR corps this year, but he'll still target Forte plenty as a receiver. Select Forte near the end of the first-round in your fantasy draft.

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MIA - Ryan Tannehill performs well in scrimmage

Source: ESPN.com - James Walker

Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill went 10-for-13 for 114 yards and one touchdown in the team's scrimmage Saturday, Aug. 4. 'I thought he did well,' head coach Joe Philbin said. 'Again, I thought he looked comfortable. I thought he looked natural out there. It wasn't too big for him.'

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No surprise here. Tannehill knows the Mike Sherman system like the back of his hand because Sherman was his head coach in college at Texas A&M. Sources close to the team caution to not count out Tannehill for the starting job in week one.

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CLE - CB Joe Haden having strong camp

Source: CBSSports.com

Cleveland Browns CB Joe Haden has been the most impressive defensive player in training camp thus far. He has been one step ahead of the offense throughout and consistently jumped routes for interceptions. Haden is hoping to be more of a playmaker in 2012.

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

Good news for the Browns here. Cleveland lost FS Mike Adams to the Broncos in free agency and need Haden to perform like the shutdown Cornerback he is to help pick up the slack.

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CHI - WR Brandon Marshall predicting Super Bowl

Source: NFL.com

Chicago Bears WR Brandon Marshall said following practice Friday, Aug. 3, that he predicts the team will win the Super Bowl this season. 'This is just between us, so keep it here,' said Marshall, before dropping two more words: 'Super Bowl.'

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We like the mindset coming from the Bears new receiver. If he stays out of trouble we expect him to catch 100 passes this year. He and Jay Cutler were nigh unstoppable when they played together for the Broncos.

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SF - WR Michael Crabtree injury update

Source: San Francisco Chronicle - Eric Branch

San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh said Friday, Aug. 3, WR Michael Crabtree's lower-leg injury is not serious and he expects him to return to practice soon.

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

Crabtree's unlikely to be ready by the time the 49ers suit up for their first preseason game next Friday night. His fantasy stock was already on shaky ground and now he's slid to WR48 and is going off the board in the early 11th round.

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DAL - WR Dez Bryant showing sure hands in camp

Source: ESPNDallas.com - Calvin Watkins

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant, who is having a fantastic training camp so far, has dropped just two passes. Bryant is having no issues with his routes or assignments, and he is quieter than he's been in the first two seasons in the league.

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There's no issue with Bryant's physical talent, it's things like durability and conditioning that have been holding him back as a pro.

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STL - Two battling for No. 3 CB job

Source: ESPN - John Clayton

St. Louis Rams CBs Bradley Fletcher and Trumaine Johnson are battling in training camp and into the preseason for the No. 3 cornerback job.

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We like Trumaine Johnson in this battle. Johnson is a converted WR and has good ball skills and body control. He also has a rare size/speed combination and has the versatility to play Free Safety if the team needs him to.

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STL - HC loses Wide Nine defensive philosophy

Source: ESPN - John Clayton

St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher has abandoned his 'Wide Nine' philosophy for defensive ends, which placed them outside the open shoulder of offensive tackles. DEs Chris Long and Robert Quinn can line up more in the faces of ends, but each has the pass-rushing skills to get to the quarterback.

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The problem with 'Wide Nine' formations is the football could be run right at the huge gap. Long is a proven pass rusher, and we like the physical upside of Quinn. We'll see if he can continue to develop his technique during his second year.

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WAS - Ryan Kerrigan expects improvement

Source: ESPN.com - Dan Graziano

Washington Redskins LB Ryan Kerrigan said he expects to build upon a strong rookie season in 2012. Kerrigan finished last season with 7.5 sacks, four tackles for a loss, four forced fumbles and an interception. Kerrigan is more comfortable in his role as an outside linebacker. 'It's just improving on what I know,' Kerrigan said. 'Last year, it was just about learning and getting adjusted to the new position. But I know what's expected of me now. I know my assignments this year, and I've just got to work on improving it. That's what's exciting to me about this year. I feel more comfortable with the defense. I'm more sure of myself. I'm playing faster because I know what to do. And I think that's going to translate into big things for this defense this year.'

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Kerrigan is one of the most impressive young pass rushers in the league, and he could certainly improve on his numbers during his second season. Coming out of Purdue he reminded some in the scouting community of Vikings DE Jared Allen because of his functional strength, burst, and relentless motor.

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That'll do it for today, Folks. Thanks for reading and thanks for beng a part of what we're doing. Have a great Sunday and we'll see you tomorrow with the update.

Peace,

J
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