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Volume 14, Issue #8, May 6th

Hi Folks,

Welcome to Tuesday. Minnesota's Chris Kluwe is heading out of town and we've got the rest of the News and Notes you need so let's get to it.

J

SITE NEWS

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D. Beginners Guide To Fantasy Football Part 5 - Tools To Help
We continue our popular Footballguys Beginners Guide to Fantasy Football. In this one, our Chris Smith looks at the different tools available to help you win your league.

E. Beginners Guide To Fantasy Football Part 6 - Preparing For Your Draft
We continue our popular Footballguys Beginners Guide to Fantasy Football. In this one, our Bob Magaw looks at how to prepare for your draft.

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1. MIN - Chris Kluwe officially released
2. NE - QB Tom Brady feels young
3. STL - Austin in for a sizable role?
4. SF - WR Mario Manningham may be leader for No. 3 WR job
5. SF - Marcus Lattimore expected to go on NFI list
6. CIN - Running back chatter
7. KC - Mutual interest in deal with Branden Albert
8. SD - Need better production from ground game
9. TEN - Warmack could be huge for ground game
10. STL - Drops a problem for outside WRs last year
11. STL - Rookie WR duo all about YAC
12. BAL - Expect Bryant McKinnie to attend conditioning program
13. ARI - May not be interested in Joshua Cribbs anymore
14. TEN - No deal imminent with DE John Abraham
15. MIA - Will bring Dion Jordan slowly
16. HOU - S Ed Reed could miss some time during camp
17. SF - CB Nnamdi Asomugha will have to compete for roster spot

MIN - Chris Kluwe officially released

Source: Vikings.com - Mike Wobschall

The Minnesota Vikings have officially released P Chris Kluwe.

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Kluwe gave us this on his Twitter feed: "So long, Minnesota, and thanks for all the fish!"

He added: "Thank you to all the fans, my teammates, and the Wilf family for the past 8.5 years. I wouldn't have traded it for anything."

Perfect ending for Kluwe in Minnesota - fun and respectful. Plus anytime you can work in a "Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy" reference, that's a win for everyone.

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NE - QB Tom Brady feels young

Source: ESPN The Magazine - Seth Wickersham

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady will turn 36 this season, but he said he feels like he's 25.

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You're only as young as you feel right? Time is running out on the Patriots' super group of Brady and head coach Bill Belichick. We're expecting them to make another deep run in the playoffs so long as Brady is under center.

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STL - Austin in for a sizable role?

Source: Cecil Lammey - ESPN Denver, Footballguys.com

In 2012 the Rams targeted a wide receiver lined up in the slot position 40.5% of the time, third highest rate in the NFL. With Danny Amendola (Patriots) moving on in free agency that slot role goes to first-round pick Tavon Austin.

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Austin was the first WR off the board in this year's draft class for good reason. He's a tremendous weapon with excellent quickness, speed, and agility in the open field. Austin could be in for a bigger role than some think. The selection of Austin had to make QB Sam Bradford happy.

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SF - WR Mario Manningham may be leader for No. 3 WR job

Source: CSNBayArea.com - Matt Maiocco

San Francisco 49ers WR Mario Manningham (knee) is expected to be the leading candidate to win the No. 3 wide receiver job if he is healthy during training camp.

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We believe Manningham is the leader in this race. So long as he can get and stay healthy he should be able to keep guys like A.J. Jenkins, Kyle Williams, and rookie Quinton Patton behind him on the depth chart. Long-term we like Patton the best out of this group of wide receivers.

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SF - Marcus Lattimore expected to go on NFI list

Source: CSNBayArea.com - Matt Maiocco

San Francisco 49ers RB Marcus Lattimore (knee) is expected to begin training camp on the Non-Football Injury list.

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The fit with the 49ers was perfect for Lattimore. With a deep backfield the team will feel no rush to get Lattimore back in action before he's ready. If healthy, Lattimore would have been a top 15 pick in this draft class and the only running back worthy of a first-round grade. Dynasty owners need to pounce on Lattimore if he falls in your rookie draft.

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CIN - Running back chatter

Source: The Cincinnati Enquirer - Joe Reedy

Cincinnati Bengals RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis is expected to see the most carries this season. It would also be a surprise if both RBs Bernard Scott and Giovani Bernard made the team.

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If it comes down to one player then the veteran Scott may be the odd man out. Injuries and inconsistencies have held him back during his pro career, preventing him from playing up to his potential. The rookie Bernard is an explosive runner, younger, and could be the better option.

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KC - Mutual interest in deal with Branden Albert

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

There is mutual interest between the Kansas City Chiefs and OT Branden Albert on signing him to a contract extension.

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After placing him on the trade block and selecting an offensive tackle with the first overall pick (Eric Fisher) it looks like Albert is staying put in Kansas City. Fisher will move over to right tackle and Albert will keep his spot on the left. The Chiefs could work off of contracts like the ones William Beatty (Giants) and Jake Long (Rams) received earlier this year.

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SD - Need better production from ground game

Source: Cecil Lammey - ESPN Denver, Footballguys.com

The San Diego Chargers were tied with the Detroit Lions for the fewest rushes (4) of 20 yards or more in 2012. They were one of two teams to average less than 2.0 yards (1.9) before contact per rush (Steelers 1.7).

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Part of these woes are on the running backs (Ryan Mathews, etc) and part of this problem is on the offensive line. The team upgraded the O-Line when they added RT D.J. Fluker in the first-round of the 2013 NFL draft. We'll see if Mathews can stay healthy and produce better numbers this season in what is a make or break year for him.

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TEN - Warmack could be huge for ground game

Source: Cecil Lammey - ESPN Denver, Footballguys.com

Titans first-round pick OG Chance Warmack (Alabama) was a quality addition in the first-round of the 2013 NFL draft. On runs between the left guard (Warmack) and left tackle Alabama averaged 4.2 yards before first contact and gained at least 10 yards once every 5.5 rushes.

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Chris Johnson's fantasy owners need to pay attention here. Warmack played every game on an Alabama offensive line that averaged 6.5 yards per carry inside the tackles on designed running plays in 2012. The Titans also added OG Andy Levitre in free agency.

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STL - Drops a problem for outside WRs last year

Source: Cecil Lammey - ESPN Denver, Footballguys.com

When the Rams targeted an outside wide receiver in 2012 they had the second highest drop rate (6.8%) in the NFL. Chris Givens (5) and Brian Quick (3) were credited with the most drops of any WR left on the team.

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The Rams have a new outside wide receiver to stretch the field vertically. Rookie Stedman Bailey was added in the third-round of the NFL draft and is known as a big play deep threat. Bailey gained almost half of his 1,622 yards on passes thrown 15 yards or longer downfield.

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STL - Rookie WR duo all about YAC

Source: Cecil Lammey - ESPN Denver, Footballguys.com

Rams rookie WR Tavon Austin led the NCAA in yards after the catch (947) in 2012. Fellow college teammate (and now Rams teammate as well) WR Stedman Bailey was third in the NCAA with 660 yards after the catch.

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What a brilliant move by the Rams to add both playmakers in the 2013 NFL draft. Austin reminds some in the scouting community of Randall Cobb (Packers) because of his run after the catch ability and elusiveness in the open field. Bailey will be relied on as a big play WR on the outside. Both enhance the caliber of weapons around QB Sam Bradford.

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BAL - Expect Bryant McKinnie to attend conditioning program

Source: BaltimoreRavens.com - Garrett Downing

Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said he expects OT Bryant McKinnie to take part in the team's conditioning program this week.

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McKinnie's new contract with the Ravens may include workout bonuses because of his previous issues with controlling his weight.

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ARI - May not be interested in Joshua Cribbs anymore

Source: ESPN.com - Jamison Hensley

The Arizona Cardinals may no longer be interested in free-agent WR Joshua Cribbs (knee) because he is still not recovered from offseason knee surgery, and they drafted FS Tyrann Mathieu, who can be a returner.

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Cribbs has drawn little interest on the open market because teams want to see how he's recovered from offseason knee surgery. Until he's healthy and can workout for teams we won't see many inquiries about him.

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TEN - No deal imminent with DE John Abraham

Source: TitansInsider.com - Terry McCormick

Updating a previous report, the Tennessee Titans are interested in free-agent DE John Abraham (Falcons) but no deal is imminent at this point.

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There's no rush to add the veteran pass rusher right now. The Titans are interested but don't want to overpay for a player who has gotten little interest on the open market. If Tennessee doesn't add Abraham then teams like the Broncos or the Patriots could show interest.

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MIA - Will bring Dion Jordan slowly

Source: The Palm Beach Post - Ben Volin

The Miami Dolphins are expected to use DE Dion Jordan as a third-down pass rusher this season.

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Jordan has rare athleticism for his size but is still a raw player who needs refined technique. He has tremendous burst off the line of scrimmage but needs to develop more than just speed moves as a pass rusher.

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HOU - S Ed Reed could miss some time during camp

Source: HoustonTexans.com - Nick Scurfield

Houston Texans owner Bob McNair indicated FS Ed Reed (hip) could miss the beginning of training camp because of the hip surgery he had last week but should be ready by the middle of camp.

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Reed is a seasoned veteran and doesn't need every rep in camp. We're certain the team will take it easy on him while he recovers from this surgery.

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SF - CB Nnamdi Asomugha will have to compete for roster spot

Source: CSNBayArea.com - Matt Maiocco

San Francisco 49ers CB Nnamdi Asomugha likely will have to win a role over CB Carlos Rogers, CB Tarell Brown or CB Chris Culliver during training camp to win a roster spot since he does not play on special teams. The team did not give Asomugha any guaranteed money in his deal, which means he has to compete for a roster spot.

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Asomugha is hoping a change of scenery will do him some good. He lost his confidence during his time with the Eagles but gets a fresh start with the 49ers. Playing behind that dominant front seven should bring his confidence back.

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

Peace,

J