FBG Daily Email - Volume 13, Issue 23
By Joe Bryant
May 16th, 2012


This week, John Norton, Jene Bramel and Sigmund Bloom call out the rookie IDP players to draft, which ones to watch, and who's worth stashing on the taxi squad. Also, all the important IDP news and notes from the offseason are covered in detail - including which two new linebackers in New Orleans will fill the voids there in the wake of the NFL suspensions that gutted the Saints' D.

Also, CHECK OUT the NEW Footballguys.com TV released on Monday, featuring the Audibles' own Cecil Lammey!

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Hi Folks,

Good Thursday to you. NBA Playoffs are in full swing but we're sticking to the NFL for you. We've got the news and notes you need so let's get to it.

J

SITE NEWS

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1. JAX - RB Maurice Jones-Drew skips OTAs
2. NO - QB Drew Brees will be prepared to play
3. OAK - RB Darren McFadden has big goals for 2012
4. PHI - WR DeSean Jackson has a new attitude
5. DAL - QB Tony Romo becoming more vocal
6. OAK - RB Darren McFadden says he's healthy
7. TEN - WR Kenny Britt undergoes surgery
8. PIT - WR Mike Wallace not close to signing tender
9. MIA - Ryan Tannehill may not start right away
10. BUF - Assured QB Ryan Fitzpatrick his job is safe
11. OAK - Is WR Terrell Owens a possibility?
12. NYJ - Tony Sparano runs a tight ship
13. JAX - Justin Blackmon says foot feels fine
14. NYJ - Joe McKnight adds weight
15. CLE - QB Colt McCoy working hard for QB job
16. JAX - TE Marcedes Lewis absence explained
17. STL - Two do not take part in workout
18. OAK - QB Carson Palmer adjusting to new scheme
19. BUF - QB Vince Young comfortable with role
20. STL - Michael Brockers sees time with starters
21. CLE - Phil Taylor undergoes surgery
22. STL - Will use ILB Mario Haggan on strong side

JAX - RB Maurice Jones-Drew skips OTAs

Source: The Associated Press

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew skipped the first day of organized team activities Tuesday, May 15, and head coach Mike Mularkey said the running back wants a contract extension. 'He's talked about trying to get an extension for his contract, which I think everybody's aware of,' Mularkey said. 'I'm on the coaching end of those matters. I talk to him about football and what I can do for him on the field and in the locker room.' Jones-Drew is scheduled to make $4.45 million this season, considerably less than other top backs.

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Jones-Drew has two years remaining on his contract and is scheduled to make $4.45MM this year. This boycott of offseason workouts is unlikely to change the minds of those in the front office. We'll see if they change their tune if Jones-Drew sits out mandatory workouts.

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NO - QB Drew Brees will be prepared to play

Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune - Mike Triplett

New Orleans Saints franchise free-agent QB Drew Brees could not say when he will sign with the Saints but did say he will be prepared to play when he does sign.

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Of course Brees will be ready to play. This contract situation seems ugly now but we feel it will be resolved by the start of training camp.

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OAK - RB Darren McFadden has big goals for 2012

Source: ESPN.com

Oakland Raiders RB Darren McFadden said Tuesday, May 15, his goal is to rush for 1,800 yards in 2012, the same goal he had for last season. 'I was hoping to get to 1,800 rushing yards, but it didn't work out that way,' McFadden said. 'I will keep pushing for it this year and hopefully get to those goals.'

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

McFadden is more than capable of backing up this talk, he just needs to stay healthy. The Raiders have implemented a zone blocking scheme which could really make McFadden shine.

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PHI - WR DeSean Jackson has a new attitude

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer - Jonathan Tamari

Philadelphia Eagles WR DeSean Jackson is eager for a fresh start in 2012 after skipping the first 11 days of training camp last season over a contract dispute. Jackson said he is more relaxed. 'It was a tough year for myself, had a lot of struggles, had a lot of things that just took me off of my game and my focus,' Jackson said. 'This year, a lot of that has just been removed, and I'm able to focus and be comfortable and be confident that I'm at a place where I'm wanted. I just really want to be able to bring a championship to the city.' Jackson has been working out with QB Michael Vick in advance of organized team activities.

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This new focus could lead to Jackson having a bounce back season in 2012. If he stays healthy and plays up to his potential he could finish the year as a top 15 WR. His current ADP is the late fifth-round.

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DAL - QB Tony Romo becoming more vocal

Source: The Dallas Morning News - Jon Machota

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo has been displaying more leadership during offseason workouts and setting a good example to teammates. 'Just the fact that he's been there everyday, working out, he's calling people out, letting people know what they're doing right, what they're doing wrong,' RB DeMarco Murray said. 'He's working out tremendously hard. We also have Jason Witten, who has always been a great leader. And everybody's just being more vocal this year. Everybody's working hard and everybody's on the same page.'

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

This is a good sign for the Cowboys. It's a make or break season for Romo and it's good to see him take on more of a leadership role. They have the offensive firepower to be dangerous, and now they've added some great talent on the defensive side. The time for them to make a Super Bowl run is now.

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OAK - RB Darren McFadden says he's healthy

Source: ANG Newspapers - Steve Corkran

Oakland Raiders RB Darren McFadden (foot) said Tuesday, May 15, he is 100 percent after suffering a severe foot injury last season. McFadden is not concerned with injuring the foot again. 'It was just a freak thing, you know. I'm going out there and playing like it never happened,' McFadden said. 'I'm not going to worry about it. My thing is, just go out there and play hard. I can't control the things that happen when you go out there and get tackled, so I just go hard every play.'

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

McFadden is one of the best RBs in the game when he's healthy. Staying healthy has been a problem for him during his entire pro career. He's the centerpiece of the offense but comes with risk as a fantasy pick. His current ADP has him falling into the late first- and early second-round in traditional fantasy drafts.

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TEN - WR Kenny Britt undergoes surgery

Source: The Tennessean - Jim Wyatt

Tennessee Titans WR Kenny Britt (knee) underwent arthroscopic knee surgery Wednesday, May 16, to reduce swelling in his right knee. General manager Ruston Webster said the procedure likely will set Britt's rehab back a week or two.

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

It's a minor procedure and one that is unlikely to threaten his overall recovery. Britt was fantastic to begin the season last year before a week three injury against the Broncos. The team will be careful with him in training camp so they don't aggravate this injury. "My knee started swelling," Britt said. "I didn't know it would do that and it kind of worried me. It was actually the low point of all this. But ... I am still confident with the knee."

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PIT - WR Mike Wallace not close to signing tender

Source: ESPN.com - Jamison Hensley

Pittsburgh Steelers restricted free-agent WR Mike Wallace is not expected to sign his one-year tender offer any time soon.

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Wallace is pretty much a lock to sign by June 15th. The NFL rules allow the Steelers to cut his salary from $2.7MM to $577,500. It's unlikely Wallace would miss any time in the regular season because of this contract squabble.

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MIA - Ryan Tannehill may not start right away

Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel - Omar Kelly

Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill is not expected to start Week 1 unless he performs well in training camp and preseason games.

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

Tannehill is going to compete for the starting job with Matt Moore and David Garrard. He's a potential franchise QB who already knows the offense better than the veterans he'll compete against. Tannehill's college coach Mike Sherman is now the Dolphins new Offensive Coordinator.

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BUF - Assured QB Ryan Fitzpatrick his job is safe

Source: NFL.com

Updating a previous item, Buffalo Bills general manager Buddy Nix made it clear to QB Ryan Fitzpatrick his role as starting quarterback was secure before the team signed QB Vince Young. 'Buddy Nix has been a guy that has been very fair to all his player, he's been a guy who's been trying to create a competitive atmosphere,' Fitzpatrick said Wednesday, May 16. 'Buddy caught me in the hallway one day and said, 'We're looking to create some competition for the number two spot at quarterback, we are bringing in Vince Young. We made him an offer. We'll see if he comes. But just to let you know, obviously, you are our guy and we are just trying to get better at every position.' And when people are upfront and honest with you and telling you what is going on, then it makes everything go much smoother.'

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No issues here. Young is going to compete with Tyler Thigpen to be the primary backup behind Fitzpatrick. The team handed him a contract extension last year and it would be foolish to move on from him at this time.

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OAK - Is WR Terrell Owens a possibility?

Source: CSNBayArea.com - Paul Gutierrez

Free-agent WR Terrell Owens (Bengals) took part in offseason workouts with Oakland Raiders QB Carson Palmer, WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, TE David Ausberry and WR Eddie McGee in Southern California. Palmer said Owens' presence was good for the young receivers. 'It was great for them,' Palmer said of his young teammates. 'It was our fourth or fifth day in a row of throwing and they were tired and sore and for them to see another guy, that's not on a team, that's grinding I think it was a little bit of an eye-opener for them.' Palmer added he has no issues with Owens, despite rumors of such from their one season together with the Cincinnati Bengals. However, Palmer is not sure the team needs a veteran presence in the receiving corps.

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

The Raiders have a talented group of young WRs and may not have any room for Owens. We like players like WR Denarious Moore and rookie Juron Criner to stand out in 2012.

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NYJ - Tony Sparano runs a tight ship

Source: NFL.com

New York Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano has been running a tight ship during offseason workouts, increasing the accountability of his players. 'He definitely runs a tighter ship than I've seen from anyone before, and he's not going to let anyone slip up,' TE Dustin Keller said. 'I think that's when problems do arise. It's going to continue. You can tell it's not just a one day or an OTA thing, this thing is going to keep on going and going, and I think we need it.'

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The team didn't respond to former OC Brian Schottenheimer last year and are going in a new direction in 2012 with Sparano leading the way on the offense. Jets players should respond positively to this but we'll see if they'll keep playing hard if the team gets off to a rough start.

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JAX - Justin Blackmon says foot feels fine

Source: Jaguars.com - John Oehser

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon said he foot feels fine after getting new cleats. Blackmon said his foot was sore during rookie minicamp because the cleats he was wearing did not fit well.

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Blackmon should quickly become a favorite target of QB Blaine Gabbert. He reminds many in the scouting community of a young Anquan Boldin because of his strength and run after the catch ability.

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NYJ - Joe McKnight adds weight

Source: ESPNNewYork.com - Rich Cimini

New York Jets RB Joe McKnight said he has added 15 pounds this offseason and currently weighs 216 pounds.

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McKnight has been unimpressive during his pro career but this added weight may help him average more than 4 yards per carry. It's worth noting that new Offensive Coordinator Tony Sparano was able to get the most out of Reggie Bush last season with the Dolphins. Perhaps he can unlock the potential in McKnight as a poor man's Reggie Bush.

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CLE - QB Colt McCoy working hard for QB job

Source: The Cleveland Plain Dealer - Mary Kay Cabot

Cleveland Browns QB Colt McCoy is determined to stave off the challenge from rookie QB Brandon Weeden for the team's starting quarterback job. 'I'm a competitor and I'm working harder than ever,' McCoy said. McCoy had not spoken publicly since the team selected Weeden in the first round of the NFL Draft.

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The team has stated they won't hand the job to Weeden, but it's clear he is the favorite to start. McCoy will have to impress in camp to keep the rookie on the bench.

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JAX - TE Marcedes Lewis absence explained

Source: The Florida Times-Union - Vito Stellino

Updating a previous report, Jacksonville Jaguars TE Marcedes Lewis was not present at the team's workout Wednesday, May 16, because of a personal issue.

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Well, his absence is explained as much as a "personal issue" can be. We'll see if he's going to work out Thursday.

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STL - Two do not take part in workout

Source: 101 ESPN - Howard Balzer

St. Louis Rams FB Benjamin Guidugli (foot) and WR Danario Alexander (hamstring) did not participate in the team's workout Wednesday, May 16. Guidugli is wearing a walking boot on his left foot, and Alexander is dealing with a sore hamstring.

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Alexander is talented but injuries have kept him from playing up to his potential. With all the WR talent added this offseason he's going to have to battle for a roster spot this year in camp.

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OAK - QB Carson Palmer adjusting to new scheme

Source: CBSSports.com

Oakland Raiders QB Carson Palmer said he's adjusting well to new offensive coordinator Greg Knapp's scheme, which requires him to roll out and throw on the run more than he has since early in his career and in college. 'I've done a ton of it in my career early on and in college, did a ton of different nakeds and keepers and boots and stuff like that,' Palmer said. 'It really suits me well. It suits our personnel well with some of the guys we have on the outside.'

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Palmer will run bootlegs to get him away from pressure and give him a clear throwing window. The Raiders have a great group of young WRs and Palmer should be drafted as a QB2 with upside in fantasy football. His current ADP has him falling to the middle of the 12th round in traditional leagues.

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BUF - QB Vince Young comfortable with role

Source: The Associated Press

Buffalo Bills QB Vince Young said he is comfortable with his role as the backup quarterback to QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and will do anything to help the team. 'It's a great opportunity to be here,' Young said. 'All you can do is come in and work. This league is crazy from injuries, all kind of things. I'm not wishing that on (Fitzpatrick). He's our starting quarterback and I'm behind him 100 percent.'

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Young was a fantastic addition for the Bills. Head coach Chan Gailey is known to work well with QBs who have unusual skill sets, as evidenced by the production he got from guys like Kordell Stewart (Steelers) and Tyler Thigpen (Chiefs). Young is going to compete with Thigpen for the primary backup job behind Ryan Fitzpatrick.

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STL - Michael Brockers sees time with starters

Source: StLouisRams.com - Nick Wagoner

St. Louis Rams DT Michael Brockers received snaps with the first-team defense during the team's workout Wednesday, May 16.

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No surprise here. The Rams want Brockers to be an impact player for them early on. He's big, physical, and has drawn comparisons to Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul.

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CLE - Phil Taylor undergoes surgery

Source: Medina County Gazette - Scott Petrak

Cleveland Browns DT Phil Taylor (pectoral) underwent surgery Wednesday, May 16, to repair his torn pectoral muscle.

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

This injury could cost Taylor the entire 2012 season. There's a chance he could begin the year on the PUP list. That would give the Browns until week nine to decide whether or not to put him on season ending Injured Reserve. Cleveland's run defense was already poor, with this injury it just guarantees you'll be starting your fantasy RBs against the Browns early and often.

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STL - Will use ILB Mario Haggan on strong side

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Jim Thomas

St. Louis Rams general manager Les Snead indicated the team will be using LB Mario Haggan at strongside linebacker but does have the ability to play all three linebacker positions.

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Haggan is a versatile player who can play multiple positions. He'll backup JoLonn Dunbar at SLB and help out on special teams.

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That'll do it for today, Folks. Thanks for reading and letting us be a part of your Fantasy Football season and we'll see you tomorrow with the update.

Peace,

J

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