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Volume 14, Issue #12, May 10th

Happy Saturday everybody! Hope you all have a great Mother's Day weekend. We've got the latest news and notes from around the NFL as rookie minicamps continue to open. Let's get to it!

SITE NEWS

A. Offensive Line Rankings
Our very own Matt Bitonti breaks down every offensive line in the league and tells you how it will effect the team's fantasy production. This is a must read for all fantasy owners.

B. Footballguys Insider Subscription - Early Bird Pricing Ends May 20
The Footballguys Insider Subscription at $29.95 is the best value in sports in our opinion. But for you guys that are paying attention in May, we want to give you a bonus and offer it to you at our Early Bird Price. From now until May 20, it's just $24.95. Don't miss it.

C. Milk Carton Men: RBs
The great Matt Waldman takes a look at some 'milk carton men' at the running back position.

D. Gronkowski Injury Update
He's the diggy diggy Doc ya'll and this report gives us the latest insight into Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski and his need for a fourth forearm surgery.

E. The Audible LIVE! 5/10/2013
Cecil Lammey, Sigmund Bloom, and Matt Waldman discuss the latest news and notes from around the NFL. Topics Include - RB Roulette for the Rams, Jets, and Cardinals, plus more!

F. 3 Free Downloads
You might have seen our promotion where we're offering new subscribers to this Free Daily Email list a bonus of 3 Free Downloads when they signup. Since you're already on the list, we want to make sure you get access to the articles as well and you can find them here http://www.footballguys.com/3freedownloads.php

G. Dynasty Rookie Draft Pick Value Chart
As dynasty rookie drafts continue to proceed around the fantasy football world, owners finds themselves in tough spots trying to decide whether to accept offers to trade down and what to offer when they want to trade up. This Value Chart will be of great help.

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1. DEN - Montee Ball to get 225 carries?
2. GB - More on Eddie Lacy
3. NYJ - Geno Smith wants to win starting job
4. HOU - Coach praises DeAndre Hopkins
5. GB - Johnathan Franklin agrees to terms
6. NO - Mark Ingram fully healthy
7. SF - Marcus Lattimore would be fine with not playing in 2013
8. SD - Keenan Allen terms
9. DEN - Montee Ball impressive at rookie minicamp
10. NYG - Kevin Gilbride talks Victor Cruz
11. SEA - Five draft choices signed
12. NYJ - Rex Ryan praises Geno Smith
13. ARI - Four draft picks signed
14. BUF - Four picks signed
15. DAL - Joseph Randle expects to be ready for camp
16. GB - Five draft picks signed
17. KC - Expect Branden Albert to practice next week
18. WAS - GM hopes Robert Griffin's rehab stays on schedule
19. ARI - ILB Karlos Dansby signs
20. DET - Ezekiel Ansah signs
21. NFL - OLB Dwight Freeney expected to make visits soon
22. CIN - Margus Hunt may not get into early games
23. NFL - S Charles Woodson open to playing for rebuilding team
24. NO - Sign John Jenkins

DEN - Montee Ball to get 225 carries?

Source: Mike Klis - Denver Post

In an interview on ESPN radio, Denver Broncos beat writer Mike Klis stated that he believed rookie RB Montee Ball could get around 225 carries in 2013. That would be the most carries by a rookie RB in the history of head coach John Fox. Jonathan Stewart (Panthers) had 184 carries as a rookie under Fox in 2008.

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The history of rookie RBs under John Fox is not kind. He tends to favor veterans over rookies but that may change this year in Denver. Fox said today of Ball "He's been very productive and really on all three downs. He's not just a first- and second-down power back. He's got the ability and you can see on tape him doing those things."

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GB - More on Eddie Lacy

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Tyler Dunne

Updating previous reports, Green Bay Packers RB Eddie Lacy (toe) didn't have toe fusion surgery before his senior year at Alabama. It was a surgery to correct turf toe. Unlike the typical toe fusion surgery - which hardens the toe completely, limiting mobility - only the bone on the tip of Lacy's big toe was fused. 'The joint underneath the toenail was fused to allow the ligament to work better basically,' Alabama's team doctor E. Lyle Cain Jr. said. 'It's something you do to give you a better push-off. His big toe moves just like a normal big toe in terms of motion... If you fused it completely, it'd give you a stiff big toe and you can't push off and that's a big problem. In Eddie's case, he does not have that. His fusion does not affect his big-toe motion.'

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Durability concerns caused Lacy to fall in the 2013 NFL draft. If healthy Lacy should win the starting job for the Packers. He won't see many stacked defensive fronts as opponents focus on shutting down the Packers high powered passing game. Lacy averaged 4.2 yards per rush before first contact in 2012. He also made it at least five yards past the line of scrimmage without being touched on 35.8 percent of his carries.

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NYJ - Geno Smith wants to win starting job

Source: ESPNNewYork.com - Rich Cimini

New York Jets QB Geno Smith wants to win the starting job, but also is taking things one day at a time. 'I know Mark is a competitor, I understand he wants to win the job,' Smith said. 'We all do."

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He'll compete with Mark Sanchez and David Garrard for the starting job in training camp. Anything can happen but we wouldn't be surprised to see Smith win the job. It's nice to see his confidence high after slipping to the second-round in the 2013 NFL draft.

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HOU - Coach praises DeAndre Hopkins

Source: HoustonTexans.com - Nick Scurfield

Houston Texans head coach Gary Kubiak praised WR DeAndre Hopkins after his first practice with the team. "Impressed. Very impressed," Kubiak said. "Very competitive, that's number one."

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Hopkins is an impressive prospect who reminded some in the scouting community of Reggie Wayne (Colts) because of his sideline awareness, body control, and strong hands. He should start opposite Andre Johnson this year. His current ADP is WR44 and he's coming off the board at the beginning of round 10.

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GB - Johnathan Franklin agrees to terms

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Tom Silverstein

The Green Bay Packers have agreed to terms with fourth-round draft choice RB Johnathan Franklin on a four-year deal worth slightly more than $2.5 million.

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We love Franklin's natural skill set. He runs bigger than his size and can maneuver through trash at the line of scrimmage. Franklin is a good in space and proved at the Senior Bowl that he had the speed to make the corner if need be. He can also contribute as a receiver out of the backfield. Franklin will compete with fellow rookie RB Eddie Lacy to be the Packers starter in 2013.

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NO - Mark Ingram fully healthy

Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune - Mike Triplett

New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram is fully healthy for the first time since entering the NFL.

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Fantasy owners need to put a little star by this story. Ingram will get a chance to live up to his first-round draft status this season as the Saints leading ball carrier. Reports indicate the Saints will work to mix in the ground game more this year upon the return of head coach Sean Payton. Ingram could be a nice value this year. His current ADP is RB39 and he's coming off the board at the beginning of round nine.

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SF - Marcus Lattimore would be fine with not playing in 2013

Source: Sacramento Bee - Matt Barrows

San Francisco 49ers RB Marcus Lattimore (knee) said he would be fine with sitting out the entire 2013 season if that is what the team thinks is best. Head coach Jim Harbaugh said Lattimore's anterior cruciate ligament looks good, but the team wants him to slow down on his cutting drills.

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San Francisco was the perfect landing spot for Lattimore. He'll be able to recover without any urgency to get him back on the field before he's ready. He could start the season on the PUP list which would force him to miss the first six weeks of the year.

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SD - Keenan Allen terms

Source: The Baltimore Sun - Aaron Wilson

The San Diego Chargers signed third-round pick WR Keenan Allen to a $2.81 million deal with a $613,800 signing bonus.

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Allen was a steal for the Chargers in the third-round. He was once considered a top 25 pick but fell in the draft due to a lengthy recovery from a 2012 PCL injury. He'll immediately compete for playing time opposite Danario Alexander.

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DEN - Montee Ball impressive at rookie minicamp

Source: Cecil Lammey - ESPN Denver, Footballguys.com

Rookie minicamp opened today for the Denver Broncos and rookie RB Montee Ball impressed those in attendance. He showed smooth change of direction and caught the ball cleanly in drills.

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The Broncos are going to give Ball every opportunity to win the starting job in training camp. Head coach John Fox likes Ball's experience and doesn't pay as much attention to his measurables. "He's got skins on the wall at a high level of competition in college and when you look at running backs, I don't look at too many of the gymnastics, as I call them—height, weight, speed, all that stuff—it's a special skill being able to run the ball." Fox said today after camp.

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NYG - Kevin Gilbride talks Victor Cruz

Source: New York Daily News - Ralph Vacchiano

New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said he has full confidence WR Victor Cruz's contract situation will be resolved and he will return to the team.

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We've been waiting for some movement on the Cruz contract situation. So far lip service is the only thing going around. We'll see if talks start to heat up around OTAs.

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SEA - Five draft choices signed

Source: Seahawks.com - Clare Farnsworth

The Seattle Seahawks have signed fourth-round draft choice WR Chris Harper, fifth-round draft choices DT Jesse Williams and TE Luke Willson, and seventh-round draft choices OG Ryan Seymour and C Jared Smith to multi-year deals. Terms of the contracts were not disclosed.

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Harper is the player to watch here. He was impressive at the Senior Bowl where he didn't drop a single pass all week during practice. Harper reminds some in the scouting community of a young Anquan Boldin (49ers) because of his size and run after the catch ability.

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NYJ - Rex Ryan praises Geno Smith

Source: New York Daily News - Manish Mehta

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan praised QB Geno Smith on the first day of the teams minicamp. 'For the most part, he did throw the ball in rhythm pretty well... So it was good,' Ryan said.

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Smith is going to compete with Mark Sanchez to be the starting quarterback for the Jets this year. Anything can happen (especially with the Jets) but most expect Smith to win the job at some point this year if not in week one.

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ARI - Four draft picks signed

Source: KFFL.com

The Arizona Cardinals have signed fifth-round draft choice RB Stepfan Taylor, sixth-round draft choices WR Ryan Swope and RB Andre Ellington, and seventh-round draft choice TE D.C. Jefferson to four-year deals. Financial terms were not disclosed.

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We love the upside of all these players. Taylor is a good all purpose running back who could be an effective starter if he gets the chance. Durability (concussion) concerns caused Swope to fall in the draft but if healthy he can play 'X' receiver or in the slot. Swope has a Wes Welker-like skill set. Ellington is a speed back who could be a nice change of pace player. Jefferson is known as a strong blocker but proved at the Shrine Game that he's developing as a good receiver too.

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BUF - Four picks signed

Source: NFL.com

The Buffalo Bills signed WR Marquise Goodwin, DB Duke Williams, DB Jonathan Meeks and K Dustin Hopkins to undisclosed deals.

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Goodwin is the player fantasy owners need to keep an eye on here. He ran a 4.27 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combine, the 2nd-fastest recorded time there since 2006 (Chris Johnson, 4.24). Goodwin impressed at the Senior Bowl earlier this year and reminded some in the scouting community of Mike Wallace (Dolphins).

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DAL - Joseph Randle expects to be ready for camp

Source: ESPNDallas.com - Calvin Watkins

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle (thumb) said he expects to be ready for the start of training camp after undergoing thumb surgery earlier this offseason. He is expected to be limited during the team's rookie minicamp.

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The Cowboys need Randle to get and stay healthy. He's set to be the primary backup behind Demarco Murray. Durability has been a problem for Murray and the team needs a solid plan B.

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GB - Five draft picks signed

Source: KFFL.com

The Green Bay Packers have signed fifth-round draft picks CB Micah Hyde and DE Josh Boyd, and seventh-round draft choices WR Charles Johnson, WR Kevin Dorsey and LB Sam Barrington. Terms of the contracts were not disclosed.

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Johnson is a sleeper WR to keep an eye on in deep dynasty leagues. At Grand Valley State Johnson caught 128 passes for 2,229 yards and 31 touchdowns in two seasons. He's got a good size/speed combination He ran a 4.35 40-yard dash at his pro day and measures in at 6'3" 215 pounds.

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KC - Expect Branden Albert to practice next week

Source: The Kansas City Star - Adam Teicher

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said OT Branden Albert will participate in offseason workouts next week and that Albert is excited to rejoin the team.

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Albert was on the trade block earlier this offseason but now seems to be part of the Chiefs' plans in 2013. We'll see if they try to work out a long-term contract or if Albert plays out his one year under the franchise tag. If he moves on in free agency next year the team could just slide 2013 first overall pick Eric Fisher over to the left side.

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WAS - GM hopes Robert Griffin's rehab stays on schedule

Source: SIRIUS XM NFL Radio

Washington Redskins general manager Bruce Allen said the team hopes QB Robert Griffin III's (knee) rehab from torn ligaments stays on schedule and that he will be ready for season.

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All the news about Griffin's recovery have been positive so far this offseason. We should see the team limit his reps in training camp. Griffin may be ready by the start of the regular season.

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ARI - ILB Karlos Dansby signs

Source: Twitter

The Arizona Cardinals signed free-agent LB Karlos Dansby (Dolphins) to a one-year deal.

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A strong move by the Cardinals here. Dansby comes back to the desert after spending the last three years in Miami. He had a career high 134 tackles in 2012 and proved he can still play at a high level. Dansby gives the Cardinals depth at the linebacker position and insurance in case Daryl Washington is suspended longer than his current four game ban.

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DET - Ezekiel Ansah signs

Source: ProFootballTalk.com

The Detroit Lions signed first-round pick DE Ezekiel Ansah to a deal that includes no offset language regarding his guaranteed money.

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Ansah should provide an instant spark for the Lions pass rush. At BYU Ansah recorded 2.5 of his 4.5 sacks in 2012 when double teamed. He's a raw prospect who has only been playing football for a few years. Ansah has incredible upside and should see plenty of snaps since the Lions are without Cliff Avril (Seahawks) and Kyle Vanden Bosch this year.

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NFL - OLB Dwight Freeney expected to make visits soon

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

Free-agent DE Dwight Freeney (Colts) is expected to begin visiting teams next week. He is receiving interest in four or five teams at this point.

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Freeney has reportedly dropped his asking price from the $6MM per year range. He's coming off two down seasons and is more of a part time pass rusher at this point in his career. Freeney and John Abraham (Falcons) could find new homes before the start of training camp.

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CIN - Margus Hunt may not get into early games

Source: Bengals.com - Geoff Hobson

Cincinnati Bengals DE Margus Hunt may not be active for some of the team's early regular season games because he is still early in his development as a football player.

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Hunt is a raw prospect but his upside is through the roof. Hunt averaged only 2.36 seconds from snap to sack last year. Per Scouts Inc that's the fastest time for any qualifying front seven player in this draft class. He was the only player in the FBS who contacted the QB first on all (8) of his sacks. Hunt also set an NCAA record with 17 blocked kicks during his college career.

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NFL - S Charles Woodson open to playing for rebuilding team

Source: CSNBayArea.com - Paul Gutierrez

Free-agent DB Charles Woodson (Packers) was looking to sign with a contending team but is now willing to sign with a team in a rebuilding phase. 'When this process first started out, that was my thing -- I needed to go to a contender,' Woodson said. 'I know I am towards the end of my career. At this point, I want to play football. So if it is a rebuilding stage, at this point if that is the circumstances I have to play under, then that is what I am going to do.'

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Woodson was originally thought to only be interested in playing for a contender. Now that the market is ice cold for his services Woodson is open to playing anywhere. He's not the same player he used to be but it is shocking he's gotten little interest on the open market.

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NO - Sign John Jenkins

Source: NewOrleansSaints.com

The New Orleans Saints signed DT John Jenkins to a four-year contract Friday, May 10. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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Jenkins is one of the most disruptive players in this draft class. He's huge, understands leverage, and has good lateral agility for a big man. Jenkins will immediately help the Saints run defense.

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That's a wrap for today, stay frosty!

Cec