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Volume 19, #100 -- Monday Night, July 31st, 2017

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Hi Folks,

Good Tuesday to you. And Happy 100th Issue of this season! We're rolling hard so let's get right to it. Tons more new Content for you plus the News and Notes you need. Let's go.

J

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E. FREE FEATURE - Injury Rounds: Early Training Camp Update
Our Dr. Jene Bramel with a full review of injuries around the league with expanded thoughts on Andrew Luck, Joe Flacco, Mike Williams, Max Unger, and many others.

F. The Gut Check No. 408: RBs For Upside Down Drafts
If you've spent much time around Fantasy Football, you've heard our Matt Waldman talk about Upside Down Drafting. In this one, Matt reveals the running backs he's targeting with the Upside Down Draft Strategy and provides four mock drafts.

G. Opportunity Efficiency: Wide Receivers and Tight Ends
Our Chad Parsons Outlines the most inexpensive wide receivers and tight ends around the NFL and why they matter in 2017.

H. How to Attack Your Small League Non-PPR Draft
Our Jeff Tefertiller with strategy on attacking your small non PPR league draft.

I. Dynasty New You Can Use, Preseason Volume 8
Our Jeff Tefertiller with a look at the recent fantasy news from a dynasty perspective.

J. Footballguys Podcast - The Audible - 2017 Preseason Watch List - Jaguars
Cecil Lammey and Sigmund Bloom discuss every skill position player worth keeping an eye on in fantasy leagues. Topics Include - the Jags are taking the ball out of Blake Bortles hands, why Leonard Fournette could get 300 carries, what kind of value do the WRs have with a more conservative approach on offense, plus more! bumper: Limp Bizkit - Propaganda

K. Footballguys Podcast - The Audible - 2017 Preseason Watch List - Titans
Cecil Lammey and Sigmund Bloom discuss every skill position player worth keeping an eye on in fantasy leagues. Topics Include - how much improvement does Marcus Mariota make as a passer, why Derrick Henry is such a hot fantasy commodity, what to make of the new additions at WR, plus more! bumper: Stevie Ray Vaughan - Tightrope

L. Footballguys Podcast - The Audible - 2017 Preseason Watch List - Texans
Cecil Lammey and Sigmund Bloom discuss every skill position player worth keeping an eye on in fantasy leagues. Topics Include - when does rookie QB Deshaun Watson take over, why Lamar Miller may have a smaller workload in 2017, what do the pass catchers do in Houston, plus more! bumper: Pantera - Cowboys From Hell

M. Footballguys Podcast - The Audible - 2017 Preseason Watch List - Colts
Cecil Lammey and Sigmund Bloom discuss every skill position player worth keeping an eye on in fantasy leagues. Topics Include - when is Andrew Luck going to be at full strength, why Robert Turbin has more fantasy value than some think, what does Jack Doyle do for an encore after his breakout 2016 season, plus more! bumper: Van Halen - Poundcake


1. DAL - No RB Ezekiel Elliott decision this week

Source: NFL Network - Tom Pelissero

Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott's fate is expected to remain undetermined this week, according to a source.

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

The NFL will make you hurry up and wait. Some around the team feel that a 1-or-2 game suspension is looming for the superstar running back. Commissioner Roger Goodell is awaiting the final investigatory work from four outside advisers.

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2. GB - RB Ty Montgomery lauded by coach

Source: NFL Network - Tom Pelissero

Green Bay Packers RB Ty Montgomery is the 'full package,' according to head coach Mike McCarthy. McCarthy admitted that Montgomery needs more repetitions in pass protection, but his running ability, pass-catching and route-running are on point. 'That guy's a stud now. He's got it in his body. He's a very good young player,' McCarthy added.

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Montgomery has spent this entire offseason working at running back after transitioning from wide receiver last year. With only 77 carries in 2016, we're expecting Montgomery to at least double that number in 2017. He will get pushed for some snaps from rookies Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones. However, Montgomery has a current ADP of RB15 (3.11) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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3. MIN - No timetable for RB Latavius Murray

Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press - Chris Tomasson

Minnesota Vikings RB Latavius Murray (ankle) does not have a specific timetable for when he will return from the Physically Unable to Perform list, although he did say it would be before the regular season starts.

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

That was the plan entering training camp, and that continues now after camp has started. The team signed Murray to a 3-year contract with $8.5 million guaranteed in free agency, but they had no way of knowing Dalvin Cook would fall to the second round of the 2017 NFL draft. We expect the rookie from Florida State to win the starting job for the Vikings, but Murray could mix in as a reserve player.

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4. MIA - RB Jay Ajayi evaluated for concussion

Source: ESPN.com - James Walker

Updating an earlier report, Miami Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi (head) is being evaluated for a possible concussion, according to head coach Adam Gase.

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Fantasy owners need to dial into this story. Ajayi is a top-10 fantasy RB who is regularly selected around the turn after round one in your fantasy draft. The team is sure to be cautious with Ajayi. Damien Williams and Kenyan Drake will get more time/touches while Ajayi is out.

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5. JAX - Branden Albert retires

Source: Jaguars.com

Jacksonville Jaguars OT Branden Albert announced his retirement Monday, July 31.

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Albert didn't seem happy with the trade to Jacksonville this offseason. A first-round pick in 2008, Albert may be trying to force something to get out of Jacksonville. If he is retired, Albert may have to pay pack his $3.4 million signing bonus.

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6. LAC - Mike Williams could miss season

Source: Los Angeles Times - Dan Woike

Updating previous reports, Los Angeles Chargers WR Mike Williams (back) could be out for the entire season, according to head coach Anthony Lynn. When asked about the possibility, Lynn said: 'I'm hopeful that it's not, but who knows? It could be.'

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

Williams is going to miss all of training camp as he recovers from this back injury. It's likely that he'll be put on the PUP list to start the regular season which would force him out the first six weeks. The Chargers are "cautiously optimistic" Williams will avoid season-ending surgery.

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7. DEN - RB Jamaal Charles pegged for light work

Source: MMQB - Peter King

Denver Broncos RB Jamaal Charles is expected to receive eight to 10 touches per game this season if he makes the team. Charles said he has zero knee pain for now.

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

Charles is fully cleared for training camp, but the Broncos are being careful. The veteran running back has a chip on his shoulder about getting released by the Chiefs. Holding him back in camp is the best idea, but he might be fuming because of it. If healthy, Charles could at least be a Danny Woodhead-like back in the Mike McCoy system.

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8. MIN - Dalvin Cook pushing for lead role?

Source: ESPN.com - Kevin Seifert

Minnesota Vikings RB Dalvin Cook saw a majority of the first-team reps in practice Saturday, July 29, and head coach Mike Zimmer said Cook 'has shown a lot of really good things so far.'

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

We think Cook should win the job provided two things; 1) he holds onto the rock as he had fumbling problems at Florida State. 2) he learns how to pass protect as he's not going to play much if he can't protect the quarterback. We're expecting Cook to win the job, even when Latavius Murray is healthy. There's RB2 upside with the Vikings potential starter, but his price is currently RB24 (5.09) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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9. WAS - Coach impressed with WR Terrelle Pryor

Source: ESPN.com - John Keim

Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said he has been impressed with how WR Terrelle Pryor has picked up and retained information.

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

Pryor is big and fast and physical...so there's a lot to like. Still learning the wide receiver position, Pryor is competing to be the top target for Washington in 2017. He's betting on himself with a one-year, $6 million contract signed earlier this year. Pryor is safely a WR3 for fantasy owners his current ADP is that of a WR2 at WR16 (3.08) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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10. CLE - RB Duke Johnson to be used often?

Source: The Cleveland Plain Dealer - Dan Labbe

Cleveland Browns RB Duke Johnson will be used as much as possible this season if head coach Hue Jackson has his way. 'He is just doing everything, honestly,' Jackson said. 'He is a weapon for us. We are just trying to use him as much as we can, and we do.' Johnson is specifically working on improving his mental side of football this offseason, admitting that he felt behind defenses at points in 2016. The third-year running back said he will do anything the team needs him to do; he just wants to be ready when he's called on.

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

Johnson can be a change-of-pace back behind Isaiah Crowell with value in deeper PPR leagues. We're expecting Crowell to have a career year in terms of rushing yards, total yards and touchdowns. Johnson could have a 100-carry, 50-catch season in 2017...and that makes him a RB4/what-the-heck flex option.

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11. IND - RB Frank Gore has ankle ailment

Source: The Indianapolis Star - Zak Keefer

Indianapolis Colts RB Frank Gore (ankle) was limited in practice Monday, July 31, with a minor ankle injury, according to head coach Chuck Pagano.

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

Robert Turbin is the first man up behind Gore, and there has been plenty of buzz about him getting more work in 2017 anyway. This is a minor ankle problem, so Gore should only miss a little bit of time. The seasoned veteran doesn't need a ton of work in training camp or the preseason. Rookie Marlon Mack could get some more work while Gore is on the mend.

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12. KC - WR Tyreek Hill taking it to next level

Source: KCChiefs.com - B.J. Kissel

Kansas City Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill is taking his game to the next level, according to beat writer B.J. Kissel. Hill made multiple contested catches in tight space Sunday, July 30, and he fought off defenders for leverage. 'He was hungry when he first got here,' CB Marcus Peters said. 'They think he is just fast, but he is a really technically sound receiver. He is just a little dude, but he is in a big man's body. He is one of the best receivers in our league right now, so you have to get work.'

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What we saw last year from Hill may just be the tip of the iceberg in terms of his ability as a receiver. Hill's speed isn't going to take anyone by surprise this year, so he'll have to find other ways to get open. He was the no15 fantasy receiver in 2016, but he'll have to be more well rounded in what he does if he wants to improve much on that mark in 2017.

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13. NO - Alvin Kamara draws high praise

Source: ESPN.com - Mike Triplett

New Orleans Saints RB Alvin Kamara's playing style resembles that of retired RB Marshall Faulk, head coach Sean Payton said Sunday, July 30.

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

That is high praise indeed. Kamara has a ton of talent as a runner and receiver out of the backfield, plus he's a noted touchdown hog from college. The problem is that he's buried on the depth chart behind Adrian Peterson and Mark Ingram. We love Kamara from a dynasty perspective and compare his skill set to that of Thomas Jones.

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14. BAL - Baltimore has talked with QB Colin Kaepernick

Source: The Baltimore Sun - Jeff Zrebiec

The Baltimore Ravens have had direct discussions with free-agent QB Colin Kaepernick (49ers), team president Dick Cass said Sunday, July 30.

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Kaepernick starred under Jim Harbaugh during his time with the 49ers. Jim's brother John is the coach of the Ravens, so the connection is clear. The Ravens need a quarterback during camp with Joe Flacco banged up and Ryan Mallett stinking up the practice field. It's unclear if Kaepernick would join a team where he clearly doesn't have a shot at the starting job.

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15. WAS - WR Jamison Crowder misses practice

Source: ESPN.com - John Keim

Washington Redskins WR Jamison Crowder (hamstring) did not participate in practice Monday, July 31.

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

Crowder is a quick-twitch athlete, so a hamstring injury can really plague his game. The team will wisely be cautious with Crowder as he works back. Crowder could be their leading receiver in 2017, and a 100-catch season isn't out of the question.

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16. LAC - WR Keenan Allen doing well at camp

Source: NFL.com - Gregg Rosenthal

Los Angeles Chargers WR Keenan Allen (knee) played well against CB Casey Hayward at training camp Monday, July 31.

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

Good news for the Chargers and for fantasy owners here. Allen has WR1 upside if healthy, but staying healthy has been a problem during his pro career. He has been recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament he suffered early last season.

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17. NYJ - RB Matt Forte hurt hamstring

Source: New York Daily News - Manish Mehta

New York Jets RB Matt Forte (hamstring) tweaked his hamstring at training camp Monday, July 31, according to head coach Todd Bowles. He was subsequently held out of team drills.

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Forte is a seasoned veteran who doesn't need every rep in camp. The team will limit his participation until he's closer to full strength.

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18. KC - RB Charcandrick West has ankle injury

Source: The Kansas City Star - Terez A. Paylor

Kansas City Chiefs RB Charcandrick West (ankle) is out of practice Monday, July 31, due to an ankle injury.

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

West was competing for a backup spot behind Spencer Ware. Now, it looks like rookie Kareem Hunt will push for snaps as the change-of-pace back. A third-round pick out of Toledo, Hunt has a good all-purpose skill set and can contribute as a runner or receiver out of the backfield. Hunt is good enough to eventually push for the starting job too.

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19. CLE - Myles Garrett's work scaled back

Source: Medina County Gazette - Scott Petrak

Cleveland Browns DE Myles Garrett (foot) said the team has limited his repetitions in practice after his foot sprain in minicamp.

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The Browns are just being cautions here. Garrett was the first-overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft, and he's drawn comparisons to Julius Peppers. We'll see if the Browns hit on a pick that could be a superstar in this league.

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20. IND - WR Donte Moncrief catching everything

Source: The Indianapolis Star - Zak Keefer

Indianapolis Colts WR Donte Moncrief has caught everything thrown at him the last two days of practice, according to beat writer Zak Keefer.

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

So long as Andrew Luck is under center, Moncrief can be a fantasy factor. We like him as a WR3 who could catch around 60 catches in 2017 with six or seven touchdowns mixed in. He's WR33 (7.01) in 12-team PPR leagues right now.

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21. NO - WR Brandon Coleman has Drew Brees' trust

Source: ESPN.com - Mike Triplett

New Orleans Saints WR Brandon Coleman has the trust of QB Drew Brees. 'There's really not a guy who I have more trust in than Brandon Coleman, honestly,' Brees said. 'I've played with him now for a long time, and I feel like he's a guy that can play every position. He can play X, he can play Z, and he can play inside. So his versatility in this offense is really good, he's a very smart player and he's been a guy who's just done whatever we needed him to do over the last few years.'

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

There's a lot to trust when a target is 6'6" 225 pounds. Coleman is a big man and has intriguing upside, but he's never been able to quite break through. He's the no4 WR on the Saints roster behind Michael Thomas, Willie Snead and Ted Ginn Jr.

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22. SF - RB Carlos Hyde playing his way into role?

Source: Santa Rosa Press Democrat - Grant Cohn

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde has taken his performance to 'another level' during training camp and 'has given himself a chance to have a good season,' head coach Kyle Shanahan said Sunday, July 30.

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

Hyde needs to stay healthy, but there's no question about his running ability. In a Shanahan system, Hyde could be quite valuable. However, there have been rumblings all offseason that Hyde may end up losing out on playing time to rookie Joe Williams. Hyde showed up at 228 pounds and seems to have dedicated himself this offseason. In a contract year, Hyde is forcing the team to warm up to him.

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23. PIT - James Conner has shoulder evaluated

Source: ESPN.com - Jeremy Fowler

Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner (shoulder) was sent to a Pittsburgh hospital Monday, July 31, to have his injured shoulder evaluated. Head coach Mike Tomlin said he is not sure about the severity of Conner's injury.

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

Keep an eye on this situation closely. Conner is set to be the primary backup behind Le'Veon Bell this year. If Bell is banged up, Conner would step into an incredibly fantasy relevant role with at least RB2 production.

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24. SEA - WR Tyler Lockett on PUP for now

Source: ESPN.com - Sheil Kapadia

Seattle Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett (leg) was placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list for the start of training camp, but head coach Pete Carroll said Sunday, July 30, that Lockett won't be on the PUP list for long.

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

Lockett needs to get healthy and the team is giving him plenty of time. He can come off the PUP list at any time in camp. When healthy, Lockett is a dangerous weapon that can make big plays in space.

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That'll do it for today. Thanks for being part of Footballguys and thanks for sharing some of your day with us. We won't let you down. See you tomorrow with the Update.

Peace,

J