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Volume 19, #10 -- Tuesday Night, May 2nd, 2017

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Hi Folks,

It's a big day today as our Detailed Stat Projections are ready as well as our Staff Rankings plus our Combined Rookie Draft Board and More. It's May 3, but we are rolling hard for NFL News and Analysis. Let's get to it.

J

SITE NEWS

A. Detailed Stats Projections Ready by David Dodds
Our Detailed Stat Projections are the foundation of everything we do at Footballguys. Multiple Footballguys Staff Experts project every stat that matters for every player. This allows us then to build custom cheatsheets based on your exact scoring system. Here's our David Dodds with his first cut for the year.

B. Detailed Stats Projections Ready by Jason Wood
Our Detailed Stat Projections are the foundation of everything we do at Footballguys. Multiple Footballguys Staff Experts project every stat that matters for every player. This allows us then to build custom cheatsheets based on your exact scoring system. Here's our Jason Wood with his first cut for the year.

C. Combined Rookie Draft Board
Our Dr. Jene Bramel with a visual look at a full offense-IDP rookie draft board with position-by-position commentary.

D. Footballguys Staff Rankings With Comments
Our Footballguys Staffers are constantly updating their rankings and we have our first cut ready. You can sort and manipulate the rankings to view them the way you like. For many of the players, you can mouse over the ranking and see additional comments by the Staffers.

E. Player Spotlight - Michael Thomas
Our Player Spotlights are some of the most detailed breakdowns you'll see anywhere for players. In this one, our Justin Howe looks into Michael Thomas.


1. DEN - RB Jamaal Charles joining Broncos

Source: ESPN - Adam Schefter

Free-agent RB Jamaal Charles (Chiefs) will sign with the Denver Broncos after agreeing to terms Tuesday, May 2, according to a source.

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Charles stays in the AFC West here. If healthy, Charles has the speed and elusiveness to score anytime he touches the ball. But that's a big "if". We'll be watching closely to see how he works with C.J. Anderson. The Broncos need to monitor Charles' touches in order to keep him fresh and healthy. In a part-time role (but in a Mike McCoy offense), Charles could have at least RB4/flex fantasy value.

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2. DEN - RB Jamaal Charles confident in his knee

Source: Cecil Lammey - 104.3 The Fan/Footballguys.com

In a conference call with Broncos reporters, newly signed running back Jamaal Charles expressed confidence in his knee. "I've been working out, I feel good. I feel confident in my knee." Charles said.

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Charles has missed most of the last two years due to knee problems. Charles admits that last year he just wasn't healthy and that was certainly the case as he registered a career low 3.3 YPC on only 12 carries in just three games. How the backfield workload is distributed with C.J. Anderson will be a hot topic this summer. Charles will likely be filling a Danny Woodhead-like role for the Broncos. We should see him eased into action this offseason with the plan for him to fully participate in training camp.

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3. BUF - No option for WR Sammy Watkins

Source: ESPN - Adam Schefter

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins will not have his fifth-year option picked up, according to a source.

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Wow. The Bills must be concerned about Watkins suffering another injury as this option is guaranteed only for injury. If he stays healthy and plays up to his massive potential, Watkins is one of the best young WRs in the game today. If Watkins produces at a high level in 2017 then the Bills will have to consider rewarding him with a massive payday.

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4. NO - RB Adrian Peterson remains confident

Source: NewOrleansSaints.com

New Orleans Saints RB Adrian Peterson (knee) believes he has 'a lot of years left' in the NFL. Peterson is 32 years old and is entering his 11th season.

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We don't doubt Peterson's confidence, but at some point even he will begin showing more and more signs of wear. The Saints should be using a three-headed RBBC this year with Mark Ingram as the lead back, Peterson as the battering ram and rookie Alvin Kamara as the receiving back. That split could help keep Peterson fresh, but we're not so sure about the 'a lot of years left' thing.

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5. NO - Saints using 'three-headed monster' at RB?

Source: The Times-Picayune - Larry Holder

The New Orleans Saints' plan for the upcoming season is 'likely to recreate their 2009 and 2011 potent backfield attack' when they implemented a 'three-headed monster' at running back. This came to fruition when they drafted RB Alvin Kamara, who is a 'prototypical third-down back' to complement RBs Mark Ingram and Adrian Peterson. Kamara could be in line to play a 'Reggie Bush/Darren Sproles-type role.'

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The Saints have so much talent at the running back position, it's falling out of Sean Payton's pockets. Ingram should be the lead back with Peterson playing a battering ram role. Kamara could easily be a full-time starter in the NFL, but he's such a great receiver (especially compared to the other two) the Saints should get him on the field in that way as much as possible. It's good news for the Saints, but a three-headed RBBC is difficult to navigate for fantasy owners.

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6. NYJ - New York will have QB competition

Source: ESPNNewYork.com - Rich Cimini

New York Jets QBs Josh McCown, Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty will compete for the starting quarterback position this offseason, according to head coach Todd Bowles.

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Don't hold your breath here looking for fantasy value. McCown should have the leg up in this competition as he's the most experienced, but with the Jets you just never know how things are going to shake out. No matter who wins the job, fantasy owners will be looking elsewhere for help.

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7. NE - RB Mike Gillislee terms

Source: The Boston Globe - Ben Volin

Updating previous reports, New England Patriots RB Mike Gillislee's two-year, $6.4 million deal includes $4 million in 2017 via a $1.5 million guaranteed salary, a $2 million roster bonus and $500,000 in per-game roster bonuses. He's scheduled to make $2.4 million in 2018 with a $1.9 million salary and $500,000 in per-game roster bonuses.

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It's a good price for Gillislee, and it's cheaper than what LeGarrette Blount likely wanted on the open market. Gillislee is going to fill Blount's role in 2017, and that has plenty of fantasy value. Getting 1,000 yards rushing with 7-9 touchdowns is not out of the question, and that gives him RB2 upside with a RB4 price tag in your fantasy drafts.

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8. CLE - Cleveland not pressuring DeShone Kizer

Source: ProFootballTalk.com - Josh Alper

Cleveland Browns rookie QB DeShone Kizer will be given time to adjust to the NFL and will not feel pressure to take over the starting job right away, according to executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown. 'He's a young man and he's going to have a long time that he's with us and in this league,' Brown said. 'If things go the way I'm sure he's planning on [them going] and the way we hope it goes, we don't have to rush it.'

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That's the smart move. Kizer has a big arm and the athleticism to keep plays alive with his feet, but he needs significant work when it comes to making quick/precise decisions. The rookie has the upside to be a quality starter and does remind some in the scouting community of Daunte Culpepper....a raw version of Culpepper. The Browns should have Cody Kessler as their top QB with Brock Osweiler competing for a backup spot (for now). Kizer needs some time to get up to speed and develop.

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9. PIT - TE Ladarius Green part of offseason work

Source: ESPN.com - Jeremy Fowler

Pittsburgh Steelers TE Ladarius Green (concussion) is participating in offseason activities.

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In arguably the best tight end class in NFL history, the Steelers passed on selecting one in the 2017 NFL draft. That's good news for Green...if he can stay healthy. His first season with the Steelers was mostly a wash due to injury. It's a good sign that he's out there during offseason activities, but make sure to monitor Green's progress as training camp and the season draws near.

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10. NE - WR Devin Street claimed by Patriots

Source: ESPN.com - Field Yates

Free-agent WR Devin Street (Colts) was claimed off waivers Tuesday, May 2, according to a source.

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The Patriots will kick the tires on Street to see if they can use him in any way. He's bounced around the league so far, and this is his second stop in New England (2016). Street was signed to the team's practice squad on September 5th 2016 but he was lost to the Colts only a couple of weeks later. A fifth-round pick of the Cowboys in 2014, he's a size/speed guy at 6'3" 200 pounds but Street will struggle to make the final cuts with the Patriots.

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11. ATL - Alex Mack healthy again

Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - D. Orlando Ledbetter

Atlanta Falcons C Alex Mack (fibula) has recovered from the broken fibula he suffered in a playoff win over the Green Bay Packers earlier this year.

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Mack played hurt through the postseason and didn't miss a snap in the Super Bowl. Now healthy, Mack will lead the way in the middle on a quality offensive line.

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12. CAR - WR Kelvin Benjamin's option exercised

Source: SI.com - Albert Breer

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin's fifth-year option was picked up Tuesday, May 2.

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Benjamin had a fantastic rookie season, but he missed all of 2015 due to a knee injury and then registered a disappointing season in 2016. The option is only guaranteed for injury, so it doesn't automatically lock Benjamin onto the roster in 2018. Benjamin should be looking for a bounce-back season in 2017.

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13. GB - Kalif Phillips signs with Packers

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Tom Silverstein

Undrafted free-agent RB Kalif Phillips (North Carolina-Charlotte) signed a three-year deal with the Green Bay Packers Tuesday, May 2.

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The Packers showed interest in Phillips before the draft, so it makes sense they would add him to the mix as a priority free agent. Phillips is 5'9" and weighed in at a sturdy 218 pounds on pro day. At his pro day, Phillips registered a disappointing 4.64-second 40-yard dash. During 2016 Phillips rushed for 907 yards with four rushing touchdowns. He also chipped in with 20 catches for 242 receiving yards. Even in a revamped backfield, Phillips will struggle to make the 53-man roster. Perhaps he'll be a practice squad player.

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14. DET - TE Eric Ebron's option exercised

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

Detroit Lions TE Eric Ebron had his fifth-year option exercised Tuesday, May 2.

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Ebron has improved each year he's been in the pros, and finished 2016 with a career high 61 catches for 711 receiving yards. If Ebron scored more touchdowns (only one score last year), he would be a better fantasy asset.

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15. PIT - WR Martavis Bryant absent from workouts

Source: ESPN.com - Jeremy Fowler

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Martavis Bryant was not on the field for the team's 'Phase 2' of their offseason workouts Monday, May 1. He still has 'steps to take' before being able to rejoin his teammates for practices, including securing a local counselor. Bryant is 'hopeful for minicamp or sooner.'

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Bryant should get this done in the near future. Once he secures a counselor, Bryant should be able to get back to practicing with his teammates. The Steelers OTAs begin on May 23rd, and that would be a realistic target date for the talented but oft-troubled wide receiver.

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16. CAR - Curtis Samuel to be used primarily in slot

Source: Panthers.com - Max Henson

Carolina Panthers WR Curtis Samuel said that the team is going to use him 'primarily as a slot receiver,' and that he'll also sometimes be in the backfield.

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Samuel was one of the most dangerous players in college football with the ball in his hands. He's super fast, lightning quick and capable of stacking moves on top of moves to create space. Samuel is not a natural hands catcher, and he'll body catch too many throws. We'll see if he can work on that and then thrive in his role with the Panthers.

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17. SF - Coach high on C.J. Beathard

Source: SI.com - Peter King

San Francisco 49ers QB C.J. Beathard was the only quarterback head coach Kyle Shanahan wanted in the 2017 NFL Draft. Shanahan said Beathard reminds him of Washington Redskins QB Kirk Cousins.

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There's quite a few things to like about Beathard. His deep passes may be some of the prettiest and most accurate of any quarterback in this draft class. Beathard is going to get some time to develop, but we're watching him closely in deep dynasty leagues.

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18. GB - Kevin King could start

Source: ESPN.com - Rob Demovsky

Green Bay Packers CB Kevin King could open the season as one of the starting cornerbacks, in the opinion of beat writer Rob Demovsky.

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King was one of the top corners available in the 2017 NFL draft. He's got unusual length (6'3") for the position, and the rookie has lined up inside at slot corner, outside at corner and also at safety. His versatility and physical attributes should help him see the field early and often for the Pack.

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19. DAL - Taco Charlton's position determined

Source: The Dallas Morning News - David Moore

Dallas Cowboys DE Taco Charlton will begin his career at right defensive end, according to head coach Jason Garrett. 'We want to give him every chance to be a right end for us,' Garrett said. 'We feel like he has the traits to do that.'

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Charlton has the length and burst to get after the passer from the edge. He reminded some in the scouting community of Chandler Jones (Cardinals), and there are many reasons why that comparison works. The Cowboys took him in the first round because Charlton he's got All-Pro potential and is seen as an ascending talent from his days at Michigan.

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That'll do it for today, Folks. Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great Wednesday. We'll see you tomorrow with the Update.

Peace,

J