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Hi Folks,

Hope you're doing great. I just got home from a sweet Sturgill Simpson concert at the historic Tennessee Theatre so my weekend's already off to a good start. Hope your's is too. We've got some news and notes for you so let's get to it.

J

SITE NEWS

A. Team By Team Passing Game Targets
Our Chad Parsons takes a look at which players might have opportunity to shine this year as he digs into passing targets.

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1. MIA - RB Jay Ajayi pulling away from RBs
2. CHI - Chicago to use committee backfield
3. NE - RB Arian Foster an option for Patriots?
4. TB - QB Jameis Winston can improve
5. TB - OC had questions about QB Jameis Winston
6. CLE - QB Josh McCown performing well
7. NYJ - NY has high hopes for Hackenberg
8. JAX - Jalen Ramsey expected to start at corner
9. NFL - RB Arian Foster on the mend
10. DEN - Devontae Booker out for OTAs
11. BUF - No deals for WR Andre Roberts, ILB Jamari Lattimore
12. DAL - Jaylon Smith will be used in middle
13. MIA - Mike Pouncey says he's 100%
14. SEA - WR Doug Baldwin talks could open soon

1. MIA - RB Jay Ajayi pulling away from RBs

Source: Sun-Sentinel - Omar Kelly

Miami Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi has been performing well during workouts this offseason and has separated himself from the other running backs on the roster, according head coach Adam Gase. 'He's been one of those guys he's been here every day. He's done everything right. You can tell he's looking to improve. He doesn't say much, just keeps working,' Gase said. 'The rest of that group has done a good job to try and keep up with him, but obviously he's kind of separated himself from that group as far as the consistency of what he does day in and day out.'

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Ajayi still has the risk of Arian Foster or another veteran back sharing work with him, and the team is likely to give third-round pick Kenyan Drake everything he can handle. He has upside if he can get the lion's share of touches, and unlike Matt Jones or Jeremy Langford, he hasn't shown limited upside when given a bigger opportunity.

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2. CHI - Chicago to use committee backfield

Source: Chicago Tribune - Rich Campbell

Chicago Bears RB Jeremy Langford will battle with RBs Jordan Howard, Ka'Deem Carey and Jacquizz Rodgers for touches in a crowded backfield during offseason workouts. Head coach John Fox is intent on running with a committee approach after the departure of RB Matt Forte. Langford has a leg up after scoring seven touchdowns in his rookie season. However, he had only 3.6 yards per carry and 1.13 yards after contact, which ranked second to last out of 47 players with 100 carries, according to ESPN Stats and Information. Langford must also work on improving his hands after struggling with drops in 2015. Howard's bruising style appeals to the team as a complement to Langford's speed. Carey is the only back that wasn't acquired by the current coaching staff, and he's being pushed to become more versatile and to play better on third downs. Rodgers it the veteran and could be trusted more than any other rusher on third downs early in the year.

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Langford is the most likely to have the most touches, but this approach will make week-to-week predictability a mess. None of the three backs are particularly talented and all have different strengths. Even with Langford's possible volume, he's a risky pick compared to backs in his ADP range like Giovani Bernard and Matt Jones.

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3. NE - RB Arian Foster an option for Patriots?

Source: BleacherReport.com - Jason Cole

Free-agent RB Arian Foster (Texans) has received preliminary interest from the New England Patriots, according to a source.

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We think Foster winds up in the AFC East...with the Dolphins. It makes sense that the Patriots would have interest, even with Dion Lewis and LeGarrette Blount in the fold. There are rumblings about a small handful of teams, including the Patriots, Dolphins and Broncos having interest in the veteran back.

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4. TB - QB Jameis Winston can improve

Source: Tampa Bay Times - Rick Stroud

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston can improve on his technique and accuracy because he completed only 58.3% of his passes in 2015, according to quarterback coach Mike Bajakian.

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We love Winston and know that of course he can improve. His pass-placement is an issue as Winston needs to better lead his receivers to improve yards after the catch. We'll see if Winston can take strides to being a better QB in his sophomore season with the Bucs.

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5. TB - OC had questions about QB Jameis Winston

Source: Tampa Bay Times - Rick Stroud

Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken said he was not a big fan of QB Jameis Winston when he entered the NFL, but his opinion has changed after working with him this offseason. Monken said the passing game needs to improve under Winston because it was inconsistent in 2015. 'I think from the outside you would've looked at it with all the things that were publicized in the past about him and who he is. I was dead wrong. He wants to win as much as we do. He's a competitive joker, man, he's smart, he's intelligent ... you can win a lot of games with guys like that,' Monken said.

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Winston has high football character and IQ and he clearly already has the Bucs behind him, even down to the coaches. He should take a step forward in his second year if his receivers and tight ends can stay healthy, and he has also been reunited with his college kicker Roberto Aguayo after vouching for him before the Bucs traded back up into the second round to get him.

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6. CLE - QB Josh McCown performing well

Source: ESPN.com - Pat McManamon

Cleveland Browns QB Josh McCown has performed well during organized team activities this week and appears to have a good grasp on the new offense.

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Robert Griffin III won't be handed the starting job. McCown was actually solid as a streaming quarterback last year, and if he wins out to start Week 1, he will be a viable fantasy option in the season opener at Philadelphia.

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7. NYJ - NY has high hopes for Hackenberg

Source: New York Daily News - Manish Mehta

New York Jets director of player personnel Brian Heimerdinger said the Jets have high hopes for QB Christian Hackenberg, their second-round draft pick. Heimerdinger also said the addition of Hackenberg doesn't reflect poorly on QB Bryce Petty.

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If the Jets do sign Ryan Fitzpatrick, one of Bryce Petty and Geno Smith will likely get released unless the team is ready to carry four quarterbacks. Even though this comment isn't supposed to reflect on Petty, it's hard to imagine the team turning to him as the backup, so this depth chart is far from settled.

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8. JAX - Jalen Ramsey expected to start at corner

Source: ESPN.com - Mike DiRocco

Jacksonville Jaguars CB Jalen Ramsey (knee) is expected to start at cornerback this year across from CB Davon House.

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Ramsey will be an instant starter when he is ready, but his meniscus injury could endanger his status for camp or even the open of the season if they repair it instead of just trimming it. The Jaguars offensive production is in part based on the quality of the defense, and if Ramsey's impact this year is dampened, then it will probably keep the passing offense among the most productive in the league.

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9. NFL - RB Arian Foster on the mend

Source: CBSSports.com - Jason La Canfora

Free-agent RB Arian Foster (Achilles') is about a week or two away from being able to pass a physical, and his market should begin to heat up then.

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Foster should have plenty of interest on the open market, and whichever team signs should have plans to use him. The Dolphins are the most obvious landing spot, but Foster has also been connected to the Seahawks and Patriots during the offseason.

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10. DEN - Devontae Booker out for OTAs

Source: 9News.com - Mike Klis

Denver Broncos RB Devontae Booker (knee) will not participate in the first round of OTAs that begins Tuesday, May 24, as he continues to recover from a torn meniscus, but he is expected to be ready before the start of the season.

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Booker is a three-down-back-in-waiting for the Broncos. They are going to give C.J. Anderson the largest workload he can handle after paying him a $5 million bonus earlier this year. The rookie is going to have to wait his turn behind Anderson. We like Booker because of his determination, power and the fact he's a fantastic receiver out of the backfield. Any fantasy owner who adds Anderson should be adding Booker as a must-handcuff player.

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11. BUF - No deals for WR Andre Roberts, ILB Jamari Lattimore

Source: BuffaloBills.com - Chris Brown

Free-agent WR Andre Roberts (Redskins) and LB Jamari Lattimore (Jets) met with the Buffalo Bills earlier this week, but both players left the visits without a contract.

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The Bills are kicking the tires on Roberts as they will be missing WR Sammy Watkins until the start of the regular season. They could always end up signing Roberts at some time before training camp if they need an extra body at the position. Roberts did nothing during his time with Washington, but there should be at least a few teams interested in the veteran receiver.

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12. DAL - Jaylon Smith will be used in middle

Source: ESPNDallas.com - Todd Archer

Dallas Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith (knee) will be used at middle linebacker when he is healthy enough to play.

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Smith has massive upside in IDP leagues and is deserving of a risk/reward pick in the second round of rookie drafts. Rolando McClain is slated to man the middle this year.

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13. MIA - Mike Pouncey says he's 100%

Source: The Miami Herald - Adam H. Beasley

Miami Dolphins C Mike Pouncey (hip) said he is 100% after surgery on his hip this offseason.

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The Dolphins offense hasn't clicked, and Pouncey has missed at least two games in each of the last three seasons. Hopefully this surgery can help him stay on the field and anchor the offensive line that will now include one of the best prospects in years, Ole Miss's Laremy Tunsil.

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14. SEA - WR Doug Baldwin talks could open soon

Source: The Seattle Times - Bob Condotta

Seattle Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin is expected to have contract talks begin with the team in the near future.

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Baldwin will be a free agent in 2017. He is turning 28 during the season this year and will be paid four million dollars, a relative bargain. Baldwin doesn't project as a #1 elsewhere and probably would have his fantasy value preserved the best by staying in Seattle despite their low volume pass offense because he and Russell Wilson clearly have a good thing going in the red zone.

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That'll do it for today, Folks. Thanks for reading and thanks for being a part of Footballguys. I hope you have a great weekend and we'll see you tomorrow with the Update.

Peace,

J