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Hi Folks,

Welcome to Monday. We're getting into the heart of the summer with Training Camps kicking off and the preseason games right around the corner. Can't wait.

Quick note - I'm happy for my Buddy Matthew Berry as his new book released last week and it's doing great. I'm biased as Matthew's been a friend for a long time but the book is fantastic. If you love Fantasy Football, you'll love this book. Order a copy here.

And we've got the News and Notes you need so let's get to it.

J

SITE NEWS

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Over 1,500 people have already signed up to play in what is shaping up to be the biggest event of the year. Get in before the Average Draft Position starts moving with the flow of the training camps and preseason games.

Upcoming openings (all times Eastern):

  • Monday, July 22nd: 7:00pm (6 open spots), 10:00pm (4 open spots)
  • Tuesday, July 23rd 7:00pm (7 open spots), 10:00pm (9 open spots)
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  • Improved Artificial Intelligence in Mocks

  • Length base scoring supported (long TD bonuses, long FG bonuses)

  • VBD positional adjustments are now user settings that can be modified.

  • Roster limits per position can be defined.

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1. WAS - Robert Griffin thinks he is ready for camp
2. SF - TE Vance McDonald could start Week 1
3. DEN - RB Ronnie Hillman to open as starter
4. SF - WR Quinton Patton has legitimate shot to start
5. SF - WR Ricardo Lockette to have meaningful role?
6. SF - WR A.J. Jenkins appears more confident
7. SF - WR Anquan Boldin not likely to play much in preseason
8. SF - RB Marcus Lattimore likely answer for future
9. SF - RB LaMichael James adds muscle
10. SF - RB Kendall Hunter expected to be primary backup
11. SF - RB Frank Gore finally accepts lesser role
12. DAL - TE James Hanna working as No. 2
13. MIA - RBs showing burst
14. MIA - WR Marvin McNutt impresses
15. MIA - QB Ryan Tannehill clicking with WR Brian Hartline
16. MIA - Tight end rotation
17. PIT - RB Jonathan Dwyer not guaranteed spot
18. NE - Kenbrell Thompkins had strong offseason
19. NYJ - Two WRs work with QB Mark Sanchez, QB Geno Smith
20. DEN - RB Montee Ball will be tried as third-down RB
21. GB - RB Alex Green could be moved
22. JAX - Expected to keep three QBs
23. JAX - Two will compete for starting QB job
24. MIA - DE Olivier Vernon working with first team
25. HOU - Unsure when S Ed Reed will be ready

WAS - Robert Griffin thinks he is ready for camp

Source: The Washington Post - Mike Jones

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (knee) is feeling great and believes he has done everything to show he is ready to practice at the start of training camp. Griffin has been running and cutting without pain or limitation. Griffin will have his knee examined by Dr. James Andrews Wednesday, July 24, to see if he can get clearance to practice. Griffin could be placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list if he does not receive clearance.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ FOOTBALLGUYS VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Think of how astounding this news would be if Adrian Peterson hadn't destroyed all expectations for year N+1 of a player coming back from an ACL year. Peterson wasn't cleared for contact until the regular season last summer, so if Griffin is eased back into game action, that shouldn't stop you from taking him if he is one of the last three or four QB1's left on the board.

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SF - TE Vance McDonald could start Week 1

Source: Sacramento Bee - Matt Barrows

San Francisco 49ers TE Vance McDonald is expected to fill the role previously held by TE Delanie Walker (Titans), and the big target could potentially start in Week 1 along with TE Vernon Davis if the team uses a two-tight end alignment to start the season. McDonald is viewed as an easy target for quarterbacks due to his big frame.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ FOOTBALLGUYS VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

McDonald is big and very athletic, but his hands were suspect at times in the past. He was mostly used in the slot at Rice, so blocking is a part of his game that he'll have to prove himself at to play in this run-heavy offense.

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DEN - RB Ronnie Hillman to open as starter

Source: The Denver Post - Jeff Legwold

Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman will begin training camp as the starting running back.

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This is probably ceremonial, as Hillman lacks the size and all-around game to be an everydown back. Look for the Broncos to employ a committee with at least Hillman and third-round pick Montee Ball, if not 2012 late-season hero Knowshon Moreno, too. The Broncos backfield will produce some numbers in 2013, but it may hard to know who will post the best lines from week-to-week.

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SF - WR Quinton Patton has legitimate shot to start

Source: Sacramento Bee - Matt Barrows

San Francisco 49ers WR Quinton Patton has as good a shot as any of his competition, which is believed to include WRs A.J. Jenkins and Ricardo Lockette, for the No. 2 wide receiver job behind WR Anquan Boldin. Patton has good athletic ability, size and speed, as well as energy and eagerness.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ FOOTBALLGUYS VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Patton is a strong runner after the catch, and he plays over his middling measureables. He is a competitor and he should keep pressure on Jenkins all summer.

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SF - WR Ricardo Lockette to have meaningful role?

Source: Sacramento Bee - Matt Barrows

San Francisco 49ers WR Ricardo Lockette lives with QB Colin Kaepernick, and the two are reportedly good friends. It still remains to be seen if their chemistry off the field will mean results on the field. Lockette is a speedy player who is in the mix for a starting job opposite WR Anquan Boldin.

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The team could easily have a committee approach at WR2, with Lockette providing deep speed on play action passes and in the two-minute drill offense.

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SF - WR A.J. Jenkins appears more confident

Source: Sacramento Bee - Matt Barrows

San Francisco 49ers WR A.J. Jenkins is among the group of receivers expected to challenge for a starting job opposite WR Anquan Boldin during training camp and the preseason. Jenkins reportedly is stronger and looked more confident during spring workouts.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ FOOTBALLGUYS VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Jenkins has reportedly opened up a small lead on Ricardo Lockette and Quinton Patton, but there's all of camp and the preseason ahead for that to change. Mario Manningham should also be ready to play at some point this season, which puts a cramp in the upside of any wide receiver that wins the #2 job opposite Anquan Boldin.

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SF - WR Anquan Boldin not likely to play much in preseason

Source: Sacramento Bee - Matt Barrows

San Francisco 49ers WR Anquan Boldin is not expected to see much, if any, action during the preseason due to the team's lack of depth and/or experience at the position. The team's biggest concern with Boldin is just keeping him healthy until the games count for real. Boldin has reportedly developed quite a rapport with QB Colin Kaepernick already this offseason.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ FOOTBALLGUYS VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Boldin is a high floor WR4 who might serve as a solid WR3 in PPR leagues. He's not great at creating separation, but Boldin can bang in the air and win contested balls. Colin Kaepernick will need to be able to throw into smaller windows than Michael Crabtree created for him last year.

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SF - RB Marcus Lattimore likely answer for future

Source: Sacramento Bee - Matt Barrows

San Francisco 49ers RB Marcus Lattimore (knee) might be the future heir to RB Frank Gore's starting spot sometime down the line, but the team is expected to allow Lattimore's two surgically repaired knees to heal. He is likely to be more in the mix for a meaningful role at this time in 2014.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ FOOTBALLGUYS VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

The 49ers have the depth to allow Lattimore to focus completely on getting as healthy as possible for 2014 and beyond. Don't take a placement on injured reserve as a sign that his long-term outlook has dimmed. The team could choose to put him on the PUP list and wait until mid-season, when they can see if they have lost any depth, before committing to putting Lattimore on the shelf for the year.

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SF - RB LaMichael James adds muscle

Source: Sacramento Bee - Matt Barrows

San Francisco 49ers RB LaMichael James added 10 pounds of leg muscle during the offseason, and he has been more explosive during spring practices. He is expected to be better in pass blocking situations, and he already has a good rapport with QB Colin Kaepernick. James should see plenty of time in the offense, and he has been improved as a punt returner, too.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ FOOTBALLGUYS VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

James could have a "Sproles Lite" role carved out for him in the offense with Michael Crabtree out for some, if not all of the season. He can be a dangerous weapon in space and add a speed element that the 49ers other backs can not. He's worth a late flier in PPR leagues.

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SF - RB Kendall Hunter expected to be primary backup

Source: Sacramento Bee - Matt Barrows

San Francisco 49ers RB Kendall Hunter (Achilles') is expected to serve as the primary backup behind RB Frank Gore, but he will begin training camp on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) list. He is slowly making his way back from an Achilles' injury.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ FOOTBALLGUYS VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

LaMichael James will also be mixed in, and Anthony Dixon can also take on some of the workload if he makes the team as a RB/FB 'tweener. Hunter's long-term value took a hit with the drafting of Marcus Lattimore, and his short-term outlook is only good if Frank Gore gets injured.

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SF - RB Frank Gore finally accepts lesser role

Source: Sacramento Bee - Matt Barrows

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore has his snaps regulated last season, as he finally accepted he is more valuable to the team in the long term if he gives up a few carries to his backups. He is still expected to be capable of at least 1,200 rushing yards, but RBs LaMichael James and Kendall Hunter are expected to playing larger roles in the offense.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ FOOTBALLGUYS VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Gore is flying under the radar as a solid RB2 that you can get in the mid-to-late third round, and sometimes even fourth round. He makes it easier to start with Calvin Johnson or Jimmy Graham in the late first because he'll pair up nicely with whatever running back you take in the early second.

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DAL - TE James Hanna working as No. 2

Source: ESPNDallas.com - Calvin Watkins

Dallas Cowboys TE James Hanna is working as the No. 2 tight end over TE Gavin Escobar.

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Escobar is not a great blocker and he doesn't have Hanna's seam-ripping speed, so he'll have to make progress to pass the second-year tight end out of Oklahoma.

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MIA - RBs showing burst

Source: MiamiDolphins.com - Andy Kent

Miami Dolphins RBs Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas displayed impressive bursts through the holes in the first day of camp. Thomas, who worked on diversifying his game in the offseason, showed quickness and agility at the second level.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ FOOTBALLGUYS VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Thomas hasn't come close to playing up to his second-round draft pedigree, but he appears to have the backup running back job to himself if he can have a solid camp and preseason. If he is dedicated and playing near his peak level, he could be a name to remember if Lamar Miller struggles or can't hold up under a feature back load. Miller's draft stock dropped because of durability concerns, so Thomas could eb relevant this year.

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MIA - WR Marvin McNutt impresses

Source: The Miami Herald - Armando Salguero

Miami Dolphins WR Marvin McNutt caught five passes on the first day of camp Saturday, July 20.

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McNutt has an excellent size/speed combination, but he just didn't seem like a good fit in Philadelphia under Chip Kelly. The Dolphins took advantage of their high waiver priority to claim McNutt and possibly carve out a role for him as the big receiver in a wide receiver group anchored by the speed of Mike Wallace and solid fundamental game of Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson.

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MIA - QB Ryan Tannehill clicking with WR Brian Hartline

Source: The Miami Herald - Armando Salguero

Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill connected with WR Brian Hartline multiple times on the first day of camp, and they have a rapport together.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ FOOTBALLGUYS VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

South Florida Sun-Sentinel beat writer Omar Kelly told us that Hartline is still the receiver Tannehill looks for when the play breaks down. With Mike Wallace drawing the attention of the safeties, Hartline could post career-high numbers this year. He is a value pick as a WR4/WR5 in the double-digit rounds of PPR leagues.

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MIA - Tight end rotation

Source: The Miami Herald - Armando Salguero

Miami Dolphins TEs Charles Clay and Dion Sims are working behind starter TE Dustin Keller. TE Michael Egnew opened camp working with the third- and fourth-team offenses.

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Egnew looked like a wasted pick for much of camp and the preseason last year, and it doesn't sound like he has done much to reverse that trend this offseason.

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PIT - RB Jonathan Dwyer not guaranteed spot

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Ed Bouchette

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Jonathan Dwyer is not a lock to make the final roster entering training camp.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ FOOTBALLGUYS VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Isaac Redman has developed from a short yardage practice squad back into a solid all-around back who should secure a spot as a third-down back. Either of LaRod Stephens-Howling or Baron Batch can contribute on special teams. Dwyer has to have the camp of his career to make the Steelers, but if he can, he could see time rotating with second-round pick Le'Veon Bell.

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NE - Kenbrell Thompkins had strong offseason

Source: ESPNBoston.com - Mike Reiss

New England Patriots WR Kenbrell Thompkins performed well during offseason workouts, which is part of the reason the team decided to release WR Donald Jones. Thompkins worked with the first-team offense during the team's mandatory minicamp.

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Thompkins is a favorite of staffer Matt Waldman with his Brandon Lloyd-esque ball skills. The Patriots wide receiver corps is wide open enough that Thompkins has some greater than zero chance of opening the season as a starter. Deep dynasty leaguers should be monitoring his camp and preseason performance.

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NYJ - Two WRs work with QB Mark Sanchez, QB Geno Smith

Source: ESPNNewYork.com - Rich Cimini

New York Jets WRs Stephen Hill and Vidal Hazelton participated in QB Mark Sanchez's workouts in California this offseason but also traveled to Florida to work out with QB Geno Smith.

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Hill should have every opportunity to establish himself as the Jets #1 receiver, so he is a bit undervalued in dynasty leagues right now. Smith can keep plays alive and isn't afraid of throwing downfield, so he could be best for Hill's 2013 fantasy prospects.

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DEN - RB Montee Ball will be tried as third-down RB

Source: The Denver Post - Jeff Legwold

Denver Broncos RB Montee Ball will be a candidate for the third-down back role during training camp. He likely will also see time as a rotational runner on early downs.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ FOOTBALLGUYS VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Ball's pass-blocking and receiving skills went mostly unused at Wisconsin, so the Broncos will want to see what they have here. Peyton Manning values sound assignment football from his running backs, so preparation and execution will determine the extent of Ball's playing time early this year.

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GB - RB Alex Green could be moved

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Bob McGinn

The Green Bay Packers may be willing to trade RB Alex Green at some point during the preseason.

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The better question is whether any team will be willing to give the Packers anything for the underachieving 2011 third-round pick. Green was only one year removed from an ACL tear when he disappointed during a good opportunity last year, so he could fetch a late-round pick if he shows the size/speed combination that made him so production at Hawaii. It's more likely that he is just cut at the end of camp, unless the Packers carry four running backs into the regular season. DuJuan Harris appears to be the most valuable incumbent back on the Packers roster.

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JAX - Expected to keep three QBs

Source: The Florida Times-Union - Ryan O'Halloran

The Jacksonville Jaguars are expected to keep three quarterbacks on their final roster this season after keeping only two quarterbacks last season. QBs Mike Kafka and Matt Scott are expected to compete for the No. 3 quarterback job.

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Scott has high fantasy upside as a running quarterback, but he'll have to beat out a quarterback in Kafka who has been around the league for a few years. If Scott can win the #3 job, or even make the team's practice squad, keep tabs on his development.

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JAX - Two will compete for starting QB job

Source: The Florida Times-Union - Ryan O'Halloran

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterbacks coach Frank Scelfo said it is fair to say that QBs Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne will be competing for the starting quarterback job during training camp and the preseason.

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Henne vastly outplayed Gabbert last year, and both Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon were top 10 receivers in PPR leagues once he took over in the second half of 2012. Owners of any part of the Jags offense should root for Henne to win this competition. If he does, he'll present low QB2 value as a passer who is not afraid to take shots downfield.

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MIA - DE Olivier Vernon working with first team

Source: The Miami Herald - Armando Salguero

Miami Dolphins DE Olivier Vernon worked with the starting defense at right end Saturday, July 20.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ FOOTBALLGUYS VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Dion Jordan isn't even ready to practice because of his shoulder, and Jared Odrick is getting more work inside as a defensive tackle. Vernon had his moments in his rookie year, and he came out of college early and relatively raw. Lining up opposite Cameron Wake is a great place for a pass rusher to be, so Vernon could make some noise this year.

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HOU - Unsure when S Ed Reed will be ready

Source: Houston Chronicle - John McClain

The Houston Texans are not certain when FS Ed Reed (hip) will be ready to play this season.

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Just another example of how most signings of players coming off of a Super Bowl victory are usually ill-advised. The Texans lost their best safety in free agency (new Detroit Lion Glover Quin) and instead signed a new leader who could merely be one of the symbolic variety for much of the year.

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

Peace,

J