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Volume 19, #103 -- Thursday Night, August 3rd, 2017

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Hi Folks,

It's a BIG DAY at Footballguys. We have the Preseason kicked off, we have our Footballguys $35,000 Subscriber Contest Live, we have our first Perfect Draft article up, we have Training Camp Insights and Spotlights and Faceoffs and a brand new feature with our Preseason Players In The News. Plus a bunch of News and Notes. Let's go.

J

SITE NEWS

A. FREE FEATURE - IDP - Eyes of the Guru Preseason, Part 7: AFC East
Our John Norton with an overview of defenses in the AFC East with an emphasis on individual defensive players and their fantasy value.

B. FREE FEATURE - Footballguys Feature Focus: Player Spotlights
Our Footballguys Spotlights are some of the most popular features we do. Here's a look at all of them.

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Our goal is to give you everything you need to Dominate Your League. And we have a 30 day Money Back Guarantee so there's ZERO risk. Jump onboard, sign up today and let's start winning.

D. Perfect Draft: 12 Team PPR
Every year, the article series that's most anticipated by our readers is the Perfect Draft series from my Buddy David Dodds. It's often imitated but nothing comes close. David lays out a round-by-round roadmap using Value-Based Drafting strategy to identify the specific players you need to dominate your league. Truth be told, it's probably worth the cost of the subscription.

E. New For 2017 - Preseason Players in the News
Our Players In The News series is a foundation piece we do every week of the Regular Season. Clayton Gray does the heavy lifting and I finish it off. We're doing something brand new for 2017 as Clayton is taking off on his own to do Players In The News for the entire preseason. We'll keep it rolling for all of the Preseason so you can easily click a player and see what news he's made from now till the Week 1 Kickoff. We keep trying to make this product better for you.

F. Footballguys $35,000 Subscriber Contest
Judging from my email box, there are a LOT of you looking forward to this one. It's here. The 2017 Footballguys $35,000 Subscriber Contest is LIVE. Everyone who purchases a Footballguys Insider PRO or PRO Plus subscription gets a free entry. And there's no catch. We pony up $35,000 to put into the prize pool and you guys win it. This isn't some contest with a zillion entries. You're competing just with people who purchase the Insider PRO or PRO Plus and it's a blast. Full rules are in the headline link.

G. Week 1 Training Camp Roundup
You're going to want to find time for this one. Our Sigmund Bloom takes a look like only he can at news around the league from training camps that might be affecting your draft board.

H. Opportunity Knocks: Finding Value in Projected Workload, Part I
Our Ryan Hester identifies value plays in Fantasy Football by projected opportunity.

I. Player Faceoff: Randall Cobb, Green Bay
Our Justin Howe and Phil Alexander face off over Randall Cobb.

J. Hypothetical - What If Antonio Brown is Lost for the Season?
Our Justin Howe asks the question - What would happen to the Steelers offense should Antonio Brown be lost for the season?

K. Hypothetical - What if Tom Brady is Lost for the Season?
Our Chad Parsons asks the question - What would happen to the Patriots offense should Tom Brady be lost for the season?


1. MIA - Team "Fears" QB Ryan Tannehill Will Need Season-Ending Knee Surgery Per Source

Source: Adam Schefter and Jeff Darlington, ESPN

The Miami Dolphins now fear quarterback Ryan Tannehill will need season-ending knee surgery, however no decision to have it has been made at this time, according to sources close to the situation.

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Something about this situation doesn't feel right. The Dolphins were trying to get Tannehill healthy for this year without surgery, perhaps because they were worried about his return to play timeline, and this is where they ended up. Clearly, the knee is not 100%, and it's possible Tannehill doesn't trust the knee. The good news here is that the dropoff to Matt Moore is one of the smallest between a starter and a backup in the league, and the passing game shouldn't be affected as greatly as it might be for any other team. The team could also sign Jay Cutler, who played very well with head coach Adam Gase when they were together in Chicago. It feels like this is building to bad news for Tannehill, but it might not be as bad for the Dolphins offense as a whole.

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2. MIA - QB Ryan Tannehill wants second opinion

Source: SI.com - Albert Breer

Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill (knee) will seek a second opinion on his injured left knee, according to a source. It was reported earlier that Tannehill does not have structural damage, but he wants to be sure.

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It's clear that Tannehill's confidence in the knee is shaky and maybe it wasn't the right decision to let the knee heal instead of having it repaired surgically in the offseason. Even if there is no damage, if Tannehill doesn't trust his knee, it will affect his play.

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3. MIA - QB Ryan Tannehill avoids serious injury

Source: NFL Network - Aditi Kinkhabwala

Updating a previous report, Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill (knee) has no structural damage in his injured knee, according to a source. His knee did buckle, but it is in the same condition as it was before he went down in practice. Tannehill may still miss some time, but a timetable has not been disclosed.

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Tannehill is not out of the woods and he and the team might not feel comfortable letting him play on his knee until they can have it evaluated in more detail. Stay tuned.

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4. CIN - RB Joe Mixon has minor injury

Source: ESPN - Adam Schefter

Cincinnati Bengals RB Joe Mixon (heel) was kicked in the heel and cut during practice Thursday, Aug. 3, according to a source. The injury is not considered serious, however.

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Another sigh of relief as this training camp injury was nothing serious.

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5. CIN - Heavy dose right away for RB Joe Mixon?

Source: Bengals.com - Geoff Hobson

Cincinnati Bengals RB Joe Mixon could see 15 to 20 carries per game in his rookie season, even starting in Week 1, in the opinion of Geoff Hobson of www.bengals.com.

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Mixon has a ceiling as high as any rookie running back, but Giovani Bernard will still play a role in the passing game and Jeremy Hill might get some short yardage work. Still he has the talent to make the Bengals plans for the other backs moot.

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6. WAS - RB Rob Kelley the clear starter

Source: The Washington Post - Master Tesfatsion

Washington Redskins RB Rob Kelley appears to be the clear starter in the Redskins' backfield as of now, according to The Washington Post's Master Tesfatsion. However, Tesfatsion posits that head coach Jay Gruden could go with the hot hand between Kelley and RB Samaje Perine. RB Chris Thompson will maintain his duties on third downs and in passing situations.

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Kelley has gotten in better shape and appears to have risen to the challenge of having rookie competition. He could lose the job to Perine, who is the superior talent, but Kelley will open the season as the season, and he is significantly cheaper than Perine in drafts (for now).

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7. TEN - WR Corey Davis having MRI

Source: TitansOnline.com - Jim Wyatt

Tennessee Titans WR Corey Davis (hamstring) is undergoing an MRI on his hamstring Thursday, Aug. 3.

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This is more serious than the tweaked hamstring that is keeping Demarco Murray out of practice according to the team. Hamstrings aren't going to be season-enders, but it could keep Davis out for the rest of camp if not the preseason, and slow his integration into the offense. He was dominating practices so we have to remember Odell Beckham's revelation after missing months with hamstring issues, but for now we should be moving Davis down and Decker/Matthews/Walker up. It also takes some of the shine off of Marcus Mariota, but he was extremely undervalued to begin with.

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8. BAL - No danger of QB Joe Flacco missing Week 1

Source: ESPN.com - Jamison Hensley

Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said QB Joe Flacco (back) will be back on the field long before the start of the regular season.

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The Ravens lack of action shows this belief isn't just a soundbite. We'll feel better about the Ravens offense once we see Flacco put a few practices together without incident.

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9. BUF - QB Tyrod Taylor off to slow start at camp

Source: ESPN.com - Mike Rodak

Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor has left something to be desired at camp so far, according to ESPN.com's Mike Rodak. Rodak noted inaccuracy as one of Taylor's struggles.

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Taylor should improve from a fantasy standpoint with a hopefully healthy Sammy Watkins and better offense under Rick Dennison, but maybe not from an NFL standpoint. The Bills new regime didn't seem sold on Taylor this offseason, and he isn't doing anything to help that so far.

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10. NYG - WR Sterling Shepard still awaiting MRI results

Source: New York Daily News - Ralph Vacchiano

New York Giants WR Sterling Shepard (ankle) is waiting for an MRI to hopefully confirm that he merely suffered a low-ankle sprain in practice Wednesday, Aug. 2.

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If Shepard suffered further damage, he might be put on injured reserve and the team will wait and see if he can return. For now, assume that he could get off to a slow start, but Shepard will still be the team's slot receiver in Week 1, more than a month away.

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11. TEN - RB DeMarco Murray day-to-day

Source: 104.5 The Zone - Paul Kuharsky

Updating a previous report, Tennessee Titans RB DeMarco Murray (hamstring) is considered day-to-day after injuring his hamstring at training camp, according to head coach Mike Mularkey.

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This doesn't appear to be serious, but certainly not what you want to see from a back who has had a heavy workload in the last three years and one that wore down a bit at the end of the year last year. Derrick Henry has a high ceiling if Murray misses time this year, and if this injury recurs before the end of the preseason, it will be a good sign to target Henry.

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12. DET - RB Ameer Abdullah to be Lions' featured back

Source: Detroit Free Press - Dave Birkett

Detroit Lions RB Ameer Abdullah will be the club's main featured back this season, according to running backs coach David Walker, who said, 'Ameer's our guy.' Walker added: 'Theo has his role, and then the other guys, they got to kind of fit where they fit and that's how we'll go.'

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Abdullah probably won't get enough touches to be a consistent RB1, but he will likely have RB1 level games as he did in Week 1 last year, and he'll provide some PPR punch. The value of Theo Riddick might not be as close to Abdullah as the somewhat small gap in ADP indicates. Abdullah has enough upside in PPR leagues to justify a 5th/6th round price tag.

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13. MIN - RB Latavius Murray hopes to practice soon

Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press - Chris Tomasson

Minnesota Vikings RB Latavius Murray (ankle) said he has two encouraging individual workouts this week and believes he is close to taking part in practice. Murray has been on the Physically Unable to Perform list since the start of training camp.

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Meanwhile, Dalvin Cook is winning over the team and coaches. Murray may still have a short yardage role and limit Cook's weekly ceiling, but it appears that he is clearly not going to be the most valuable back on the Vikings roster, and his fantasy value right now appears to be negligible.

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14. BAL - WR Breshad Perriman unlikely back soon

Source: The Baltimore Sun - Jeff Zrebiec

Baltimore Ravens WR Breshad Perriman (hamstring) is out of practice Thursday, Aug. 3, and he's unlikely to return soon as the team uses caution early in camp.

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Perriman is going to be a bigger part of the offense this year, but this injury reminds us why the 2015 first-round pick is yet to make an impact in fantasy leagues two years into his career. He's just a back half of the draft bench flier for now.

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15. NE - TE Rob Gronkowski using Tom Brady's trainer

Source: WEEI.com - Ryan Hannable

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski has hired QB Tom Brady's personal trainer, Alex Guerrero, and has adopted Brady's workout and diet plan. 'I look at (Brady) and he turns 40 tomorrow and he runs around like he's younger than me. So it's pretty obvious right there," Gronkowski said after practice Wednesday, Aug. 2, while acknowledging his body already feels different.

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There has been some word that Gronkowski is "new and improved" this year. If that's the case and it results in better health, he'll be a value in the second round this year.

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16. ATL - WR Julio Jones takes part in team drills

Source: ESPN.com - Vaughn McClure

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (foot) received some snaps during team drills Wednesday, Aug. 2, for the first time since training camp started. He was limited during the first four days because he is coming back from a foot injury. Head coach Dan Quinn said the team has not decided how much playing time Jones will receive during the preseason.

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Jones foot surgery this offseason was to treat a bunion, which is not as serious as his previous foot surgery. He's a safe first-round pick.

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17. WAS - WR Jamison Crowder still sidelined

Source: ESPN.com - John Keim

Washington Redskins WR Jamison Crowder (hamstring) did not participate in practice Thursday, Aug. 3, but did run routes on the sidelines.

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Crowder's hamstring injury doesn't appear to be serious, but we want to see him get full healthy without any setbacks. Washington is doing the right thing by being cautious with the minor injury, but it still something to monitor until Crowder is all the way back.

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18. BUF - TE Charles Clay receives day off

Source: BuffaloBills.com - Chris Brown

Buffalo Bills TE Charles Clay did not participate in practice Thursday, Aug. 3, because he received the day off, according to head coach Sean McDermott.

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The team will have to manage Clay's reps to keep his knee issues from flaring up. This will likely limit his upside in fantasy and limit him to a bye/injury/emergency option.

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19. PHI - WR Alshon Jeffery still sidelined

Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer - Jeff McLane

Philadelphia Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery (shoulder) did not participate in practice Thursday, Aug. 3. Jeffery's injury does not appear to be serious, and offensive coordinator Frank Reich said he believes Jeffery is being held out as a precaution.

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Jeffery didn't seem concerned by the injury. He does need as much as time as possible to get on the same page as Carson Wentz, but Jeffery is going at a two-round discount from his previous ADP while with the Bears, so some bumps in the transition are baked into his price.

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20. MIA - Ted Larsen could be out a while

Source: The Miami Herald - Barry Jackson

Miami Dolphins C Ted Larsen (biceps) may have suffered a torn biceps, according to a source. The injury is still being evaluated, but Larsen is expected to miss several weeks of the regular season.

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Larsen was a possibility at left guard and depth at center. He isn't a key part of the Miami line, but after their rash of injuries last year, having quality depth feels important.

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21. CLE - QB Brock Osweiler could start Week 1

Source: The Cleveland Plain Dealer - Mary Kay Cabot

Cleveland Browns QB Brock Osweiler is still an option to start Week 1 even though he is not working with the first-team offense during training camp, according to head coach Hue Jackson.

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Osweiler could also end up not on the Week 1 roster. He isn't generating any buzz in Cleveland's camp and there doesn't appear to be a trade market for him.

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22. NYJ - S Jamal Adams suffers ankle sprain

Source: ESPNNewYork.com - Rich Cimini

New York Jets S Jamal Adams (ankle) suffered a sprained ankle in 7-on-7 drills Thursday, Aug. 3. He sat out the remainder of practice. The severity of the injury has not been determined, according to head coach Todd Bowles.

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Adams is set up to be a rookie IDP stud in a defense that should spend a lot of time on the field. This could slow his acclimation to the NFL due to missed practice and preseason time.

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23. MIA - QB Colin Kaepernick mentioned by Miami

Source: ESPN.com - Josina Anderson

Free-agent QB Colin Kaepernick (49ers) was brought up the Miami Dolphins' front office as a possible contingency plan if QB Ryan Tannehill (leg) is forced to miss time.

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This will hinge on Tannehill's status. Stay tuned.

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24. SEA - TE Jimmy Graham wasn't all the way back

Source: ESPN.com - Sheil Kapadia

Seattle Seahawks TE Jimmy Graham (knee) had his knee managed by the team last season, according to head coach Pete Carroll, who thinks Graham could have a big year in 2017. 'We had to manage him the whole year,' Carroll said. 'He just kept hanging in there. He played in every game and didn't miss any time, but he wasn't at his best.'

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Graham still had stretches where he looked like the player of old when he was a stud elite TE1 with the Saints. If he really is improved this year, it's great news for Russell WIlson, although this is a low volume pass offense and it could hurt the ceiling of Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett.

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25. CHI - WR Cameron Meredith building chemistry with QB

Source: ESPNChicago.com - Jeff Dickerson

Chicago Bears WR Cameron Meredith is building chemistry with QB Mike Glennon and appears to be Glennon's favorite targets during the early part of training camp.

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Kevin White doesn't seem to be living up to his draft status and Marcus Wheaton is out after an emergency appendectomy, so Meredith is set up to be a target hog again this year. He's an intriguing choice around his ADP as a former quarterback who is still growing as a wide receiver.

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26. LAC - Two Chargers options at RG

Source: ESPN.com - Eric D. Williams

Los Angeles Chargers OG Kenny Wiggins and OG Dan Feeney are expected to be candidates for the starting right guard job with OG Forrest Lamp (knee) likely out for the season.

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Feeney was a third-round pick this year, a round after Lamp went, but he represents a potential dropoff in quality larger than one round. The Chargers can't seem to gain momentum on their offensive line rebuild.

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27. JAX - QB Chad Henne is No. 2 QB

Source: ESPN.com - Mike DiRocco

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Chad Henne is the team's No. 2 quarterback and will not compete with QB Brandon Allen for the job even though Allen has performed well so far during training camp.

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That might be the case while the team is still mathematically alive for the playoffs, but if the season is lost at any point, they might throw Allen out there to see what they have before deciding whether to invest big in a young quarterback in 2018 - assuming Blake Bortles is a reason the season was lost.

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28. NE - WR Chris Hogan expects to be fine

Source: ESPNBoston.com - Mike Reiss

Updating a previous report, New England Patriots WR Chris Hogan (knee) said he expects to be fine after suffering a knee injury during practice Wednesday, Aug. 2.

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Crisis averted. Hogan appears to be locked in as the #3 receiver in this offense. He will have occasional good to great games even if he is not consistent, and Hogan should also have paths to consistent value if injuries hit key members of the Patriots passing game.

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Whew. That was a lot. Thanks for reading and thanks for being part of Footballguys. We'll see you tomorrow with the Update.

Peace,

J