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J

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1. SEA - WR Doug Baldwin weighs in on RB Marshawn Lynch
2. NO - Big step coming for Willie Snead?
3. TEN - RB David Cobb has lost weight
4. NO - QB Drew Brees remains focused
5. NO - Michael Thomas impressing
6. NO - TE Coby Fleener could help in red zone
7. DET - Film different for QB Matthew Stafford
8. IND - ILB Nate Irving much lighter
9. NYJ - Coach says TE Jace Amaro competing for job
10. SF - WR Bruce Ellington could thrive in slot
11. PHI - RB Kenjon Barner working with starters
12. OAK - Karl Joseph plays big
13. CIN - WR A.J. Green helping Tyler Boyd

1. SEA - WR Doug Baldwin weighs in on RB Marshawn Lynch

Source: The Seattle Times - Bob Condotta

Seattle Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin said he is 'most certain' that retired RB Marshawn Lynch is done playing football.

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We're not so sure about that. Lynch is a "beat of a different drummer" type of guy, and he may one day decide to return to the league. We're not counting on it, but we're not counting him out forever. Perhaps he'll take a year off and return, or perhaps he is just done playing football.

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2. NO - Big step coming for Willie Snead?

Source: NewOrleansSaints.com

New Orleans Saints WR Willie Snead could take a big step forward this season with his experience and comfort level in the offense, according to head coach Sean Payton. Payton said Snead has great attention to detail, he trains well, he's smart and he has a good knack for finding holes in zone coverage.

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Snead emerged as a favorite target of Brees last year when he snared 69 catches for 984 yards and 3 TDs. We could see him produce at a similar clip this year. We see Snead as a low-end WR3 with upside and a player to consider as a flex in certain matchups.

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3. TEN - RB David Cobb has lost weight

Source: TitansOnline.com - Jim Wyatt

Tennessee Titans RB David Cobb has lost seven pounds compared to what he weighed last season. Cobb said it's been nice to have time to get healthy and is motivated because of it.

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We still have an appreciation for Cobb as a runner, but with the addition of DeMarco Murray and rookie Derrick Henry he's 3rd on the depth chart at best. We'll see if this lighter version of Cobb is able to impress during camp and the preseason. Fantasy owners spend a lot of time considering top players on the depth chart, but just know that if injuries hit the Titans RB position Cobb has the talent to be a starting RB.

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4. NO - QB Drew Brees remains focused

Source: NewOrleansSaints.com

New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees has remained focus this offseason despite a potential future contract extension. Brees is able to keep his focus with whatever situation he is in, according to head coach Sean Payton. As was reported earlier, Brees and his representatives will not negotiate a contract during the 2016 season.

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Of course Brees is going to stay focused. He's got a $30 million cap hit at this time as he enters the final year of his deal. The Saints could extend Brees to keep him so that he retires a member of the team, but more importantly they could lower his cap hit for 2016.

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5. NO - Michael Thomas impressing

Source: NewOrleansSaints.com

New Orleans Saints rookie WR Michael Thomas has impressed head coach Sean Payton with his hands so far this offseason.

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He's raw as a route-runner, but the second-round pick from Ohio State has a great size/speed/athleticism combination. Thomas does a good job of winning at the point of the catch with his arms naturally extended away from his body.

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6. NO - TE Coby Fleener could help in red zone

Source: NewOrleansSaints.com

New Orleans Saints TE Coby Fleener will be used as a receiver first and will hopefully help in third-down and red-zone situations, according to head coach Sean Payton, much like the way Seattle Seahawks TE Jimmy Graham was used when he played for the Saints.

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We're excited about Fleener this year with the Saints. Ben Watson finished as the 7th-best fantasy TE last year, but now he's moved on to the Ravens in free agency and Fleener comes over from the Colts to take his spot. The potential has always been there with Fleener, and this season we may see him play up to that potential. His current ADP is TE9 (8.04) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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7. DET - Film different for QB Matthew Stafford

Source: DetroitLions.com - Tim Twentyman

Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford is approaching film study in a more traditional fashion this year. Stafford believes defensive looks will be more standard with former WR Calvin Johnson now retired. 'Some things are going to look differently to us because of the fact that there was always the Calvin factor,' head coach Jim Caldwell said, 'just in terms of what kind of coverage he was going to get.'

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The coverage is going to be much different without Johnson on the field. Teams won't have to commit two or three defenders to slowing down the superstar receiver. This is something Stafford has a small bit of experience with during the few times Johnson was out with an injury. Expect a lot of WR Golden Tate and WR Marvin Jones in this new-look Lions offense.

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8. IND - ILB Nate Irving much lighter

Source: Colts.com - Kevin Bowen

Indianapolis Colts LB Nate Irving (knee) has lost 30 pounds this offseason after playing at 260 pounds last season. Irving and LB Sio Moore are expected to start opposite LB D'Qwell Jackson this year. Jackson said he can already tell that Irving is moving more confidently and has more explosion in his movement.

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Irving has a nose for the ball and at a lighter weight he should be better as a coverage player in space. The battle between Moore and Irving will have to be won in training camp.

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9. NYJ - Coach says TE Jace Amaro competing for job

Source: New York Post - Brian Costello

New York Jets TE Jace Amaro will have to compete for a roster spot during training camp, according to head coach Todd Bowles. Bowles said he has not seen Amaro play since he missed the entire 2015 season.

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That's the cold reality of the NFL. It stands for "Not For Long" for a reason. A second-round pick out of Texas Tech in 2014, Amaro had a lackluster rookie season and then missed all of his sophomore season. It's most definitely a make-or-break year for the athletic tight end.

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10. SF - WR Bruce Ellington could thrive in slot

Source: NinersWire - Chris Biderman

San Francisco 49ers WR Bruce Ellington will have a chance to play in the slot in 2016, and Philadelphia Eagles WR Jordan Matthews caught 16 touchdowns working mainly from the slot in the two seasons with Chip Kelly as his head coach.

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We should see Torrey Smith and Quinton Patton on the outside for the 49ers. Ellington is more of a "speed slot" receiver who can get by the defense in a hurry. With only 19 catches in two seasons as a pro, it's not a stretch to think that Ellington could post career-best numbers in 2016--but he's only fantasy relevant in deep dynasty leagues at this time.

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11. PHI - RB Kenjon Barner working with starters

Source: NJ.com - Eliot Shorr-Parks

Philadelphia Eagles RB Kenjon Barner has been working with the starters during OTAs with RB Ryan Mathews (groin) slowed by injury and RB Darren Sproles not participating, and beat writer Eliot Shorr-Parks believes Barner's edge over Mathews in speed and agility could earn him the starting job permanently.

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This RB situation is one for fantasy owners to keep an eye on. Mathews seems to always be banged up, and behind him is Barner. The speedy back from Oregon has natural instincts for running the ball. However, we're interested about the back behind him in rookie Wendell Smallwood. The fifth-round pick from West Virginia led the Big 12 in rushing last year. When decisive as a runner, he can swiftly get to the second level of the defense. He's not overly creative, and thus may have trouble creating his own space.

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12. OAK - Karl Joseph plays big

Source: CSNBayArea.com - Scott Bair

Oakland Raiders SS Karl Joseph plays bigger than he looks, according to LB Bruce Irvin, and Joseph said he has been learning a lot from Irvin as he recovers from a knee injury.

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At 5'10" 205 pounds, Joseph can be an intimidating presence near the line of scrimmage. He reminds us of a combination between T.J. Ward (Broncos) and Darian Stewart (Broncos). Joseph can play close in run defense, but he also has the ability to turn and cover when needed.

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13. CIN - WR A.J. Green helping Tyler Boyd

Source: Bengals.com - Geoff Hobson

Cincinnati Bengals WR Tyler Boyd said watching WR A.J. Green demonstrate techniques makes them easier to learn than just having someone tell him how to do them.

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The second-round pick from Pitt is the likely starter opposite Green this year after the team lost Marvin Jones (Lions) and Mohamed Sanu (Falcons) in free agency. Boyd reminds some in the scouting community of Keenan Allen (Chargers) because of his competitive nature when the ball is in the air and his body control to make difficult catches seem routine.

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

Peace,

J