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Volume 19, #105 -- Saturday Night, August 5th, 2017

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Hi Folks,

Welcome to Sunday.

I'm in lovely Las Vegas Nevada where we wrapped up a cool event hosting the Winners for Butterfingers Ultimate Draft Party Contest.

We brought our Cecil Lammey and Sigmund Bloom out to the Lagasse Stadium at the Palazzo Hotel for a live broadcast of the Draft.

Whether it's a fancy spot like the Palazzo or your buddy's living room, it's a great reminder of what makes Fantasy Football great: Hanging out with people you like talking smack and Fantasy Football. Love it.

We've got the News and Notes you need plus more great Content today so let's get to it.

J

SITE NEWS

A. FREE FEATURE - Player Faceoff: Matt Ryan, Atlanta
Our Devin Knotts and Justin Howe go head-to-head and discuss Matt Ryan

B. What if Ryan Tannehill is lost for the season?
Most of these "What if..." articles are hypothetical. Unfortunately, for Ryan Tannehill, this one appears to be a real possibility. Our Chad Parsons looks at what might happen to the Miami offense if Ryan Tannehill were to be lost for the season. Including a take at what Jay Cutler might look like there if that were to happen.

C. Player Faceoff: Michael Thomas, New Orleans
Our Devin Knotts and Ari Ingel face off over Michael Thomas.

D. Player Faceoff: Hunter Henry, LA Chargers
Our Devin Knotts and Ari Ingel face off over Hunter Henry.

E. Hypothetical - What if Frank Gore is lost for the season?
Our Dave Larkin breaks down the potential consequences of the Colts offense losing the 34-year-old running back for the season.


1. DET - RB Ameer Abdullah not getting featured?

Source: Detroit Free Press - Dave Birkett

Detroit Lions RB Zach Zenner received the goal-line reps with the first-team offense during a padded practice ahead of Ameer Abdullah on Friday, Aug. 4.

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That's worth noting in touchdown heavy leagues more than anything else, though if he can find the end zone regularly, he could be a nice bye week or flex on a more consistent basis. Will Abdullah recover the look he had before being injured last season? Hard to say, and we should also keep in mind that the Lions ranked 30th in the NFL in rushing offense last year. Most of the backfield - even Theo Riddick - would be unreliable as more than an RB3 or so.

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2. TEN - RB DeMarco Murray on the sidelines

Source: TitansOnline.com - Jim Wyatt

Tennessee Titans RB DeMarco Murray (hamstring) is not participating in practice Friday, Aug. 4.

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It's nothing to sweat, and we still think he's going to do some big things in 2017. He's the 9th back off the board in drafts now, and it's well deserved. He'll get all the carries and the passing offense will keep defenses off his back.

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3. MIA - Miami, QB Jay Cutler talk possible deal

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

Retired QB Jay Cutler's representatives have talked with the Miami Dolphins about a possible contract but nothing has been agreed to at this point, according to sources. Cutler is considered the team's top quarterback target. It's also worth noting ESPN's Josina Anderson is reporting that no deal appears imminent between the Dolphins and retired QB Jay Cutler. Anderson added that the team had not discussed specific contract numbers with Cutler's representatives.

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So there you have it. Cutler could be a good fit in Gase's offense and has experience with it. If Miami has aspirations of a playoff run, Matt Moore is not their guy. With these weapons Cutler could be very dangerous.

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4. HOU - QB Tom Savage 'terrific' in camp so far

Source: Houston Chronicle - John McClain

Houston Texans QB Tom Savage is clearly atop the depth chart and has been 'terrific' through the first two weeks of training camp, according to the Houston Chronicle's John McClain.

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Early depth charts don't mean a lot, but McClain knows his stuff. With the loss of Will Fuller, a team looking to build on last year's success may go with the slightly more experienced Savage over the rookie Deshaun Watson. Neither one is going to likely be super reliable. But we love Watson's upside - the guy just makes plays under pressure and in big moments - but the Texans wont rush him into action. He's the future, Savage is a placeholder.

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5. ATL - WR Julio Jones easing back into practice

Source: AtlantaFalcons.com

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones was on the sidelines for most of full-team practice Friday, Aug. 4, although he has been slowly getting more reps in practice after having offseason foot surgery.

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No reason to worry here. He'll be ready for the season and will be worth whatever pick you spend on him. If you draft this weekend, though, make sure you play up the injury and see if you can sucker someone into passing on him.

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6. PHI - WR Nelson Agholor generating more buzz

Source: PhillyVoice.com - Jimmy Kempski

Philadelphia Eagles WR Nelson Agholor has had 'a total rebirth', will 'live in the slot' and be the Eagles' slot receiver in 2017, according to NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah - a former scout for the team who visited training camp earlier in the week.

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We'll believe it when we see it, and it's hard to imagine first that his hands have improved that much or two, he will find targets behind Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith and Jordan Matthews. As that is his situation, he's rightfully going undrafted in drafts right now.

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7. MIN - WR Michael Floyd standing out

Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune - Ben Goessling

Minnesota Vikings WR Michael Floyd has reportedly received 'plenty of work' in the team's top three-receiver package with Laquon Treadwell missing time this week and taken advantage, making several impressive sideline catches after separating from defensive backs in 1-on-1 drills on Friday, Aug. 4.

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It seems like rookie and second year receivers are always on the outside looking in over in Minnesota. Laquon Treadwell had very little production last year, while Floyd had some nice moments. There has been plenty of back and forth this offseason about which receiver will get the nod, and this is a camp battle to watch. Keep in mind Floyd is suspended for the first four games of the season, so Treadwell will get his inseason chance to shine regardless of preseason.

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8. HOU - WR DeAndre Hopkins endorses QB Tom Savage

Source: ESPN.com - Dan Graziano

Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins believes QB Tom Savage should open the year as the starter. 'If anybody should be a judge of quarterbacks, I've played with the most quarterbacks in NFL history throughout my first four years,' Hopkins said. 'So I put the stamp on Savage, and I think that's all that needs to be said about that.'

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It makes sense, as he has had a couple of years to work with Savage and is getting ready for a contract year. He is likely to feel more confident with the QB he knows that the one he doesn't, especially with an unsure option as the No. 2 since Will Fuller is hurt. We think Watson has the higher upside, but Savage may start the season under center as Watson gets his feet under him.

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9. CIN - RB Joe Mixon returns to practice

Source: ESPN.com - Katherine Terrell

Cincinnati Bengals RB Joe Mixon (heel) was able to participate in practice Friday, Aug. 4.

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We know there have been some reports that have Jeremy Hill as the starter, but we're not buying it. Mixon is the more dynamic back, and he will overtake the veteran. Really, as long as he stays out of trouble off the field, on the field he will be a monster. Right now his ADP is 42 overall and he is coming off the board as the No. 17 back.

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10. CLE - TE David Njoku back on the field

Source: Akron Beacon Journal - Nate Ulrich

Cleveland Browns TE David Njoku (back) is participating in the team's scrimmage Friday, Aug. 4, after missing practice Thursday, Aug. 3, because of a back issue.

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Njoku has plenty of time to get healthy. Our bigger concern is who the quarterback is and what the offense looks like. We will have more chance to find out as preseason starts. For his rookie season consider him no more than tight end depth with some upside.

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11. SF - RB Joe Williams picking up the pace

Source: CSNBayArea.com - Matt Maiocco

San Francisco 49ers RB Joe Williams has been playing better of late, according to head coach Kyle Shanahan. 'So I thought he's put two good practices in a row,' Shanahan said Friday. Aug. 4. 'It takes time with some of these guys.'

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This happens with rookie at skill positions, though running back is one of the 'easier' positions to enter the league as. Carlos Hyde remains the starter for now, but was lackluster last season, so if Williams can show a little more as we hit the season, he can steal that job. We're not expecting a ton from this offense but Williams is a guy we're watching.

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12. ARI - RB T.J. Logan injury update

Source: AZCardinals.com - Darren Urban

Updating a previous story, Arizona Cardinals rookie RB T.J. Logan (wrist) is expected to be sidelined for approximately 12 weeks to recover from surgery to repair a dislocated wrist, per head coach Bruce Arians. The timetable puts an approximate return date around Week 8.

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Logan wasn't likely to have any value this year but he's going to see even that meager amount reduced with this news. It sounds like we won't see him until late October, which means he's going to be way behind the rest of the backs. Barring injury when he comes back, Logan is worthless in redraft though he may have some value down the road in dynasty.

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13. SEA - QB Trevone Boykin struggling

Source: The Seattle Times - Bob Condotta

Seattle Seahawks QB Trevone Boykin has been struggling in training camp, according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times, and Condotta believes Seattle could bring in a veteran quarterback if Boykin doesn't improve.

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If he continues to struggle will we hear Colin Kaepernick's name again? We're talking backups, which have little to no value in fantasy beyond as handcuffs. This is more out of curiosity in the ongoing Kaepernick saga.

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14. HOU - WR Jaelen Strong ready to produce?

Source: Houston Chronicle - John McClain

Houston Texans WR Jaelen Strong said he is ready to take advantage of the opportunity created by the injury to WR Will Fuller (shoulder).

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Strong hasn't been consistent in his first two years, and was surpassed by Fuller. Will he perform? He will have an inexperienced quarterback either way, which isn't going to make his struggles easier to overcome. As of now, his ADP hasn't increased at all, which means he hasn't been drafted enough to track. He's going to start trending higher but still end up in the latter half of drafts.

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15. BUF - TE Logan Thomas learning new position

Source: The Buffalo News - Vic Carucci

Buffalo Bills TE Logan Thomas said he understands the tight end position much better this season. 'I've learned exponentially more in this offseason going into (training camp),' Thomas said. 'Understanding blocking schemes, understanding the little fundamentals, the little concepts, what it takes in the route-running, just growing.'

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Given how little Buffalo throws and the fact that Thomas is the No. 3 tight end on the depth chart, we're not exactly bouncing off the walls to grab him or anyone here at tight end.

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16. NYJ - WR Bruce Ellington in mix for return work

Source: ProFootballTalk.com - Josh Alper

New York Jets WR Bruce Ellington, WR Lucky Whitehead and WR Jalin Marshall are candidates to return kicks this season.

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This might be the only way Jets receivers have a big fantasy impact - if your league allows kick return yards. It's worth watching this to see if the defense/special teams has value.

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17. TEN - Leg stiffness for QB Marcus Mariota

Source: USA TODAY - Mike Loyko

Tennessee Titans QB Marcus Mariota (leg) said he needs longer to warm up because he still feels stiffness in his surgically-repaired leg. 'It's feeling better with every day,' Mariota said. 'We haven't had a setback or anything like that.'

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Well, this is what happens with serious injuries, like Mariota's. It's going to take time, but we still expect him to be a very good start more often than not this year. He's got an ADP of 88, and has been the 11th quarterback off the board in drafts. His upside is more and if the offense comes together, he could exceed that ADP.

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18. TB - TE O.J. Howard playing well

Source: Buccaneers.com - Joe Kania

Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE O.J. Howard saw time with the first-team offense and the second unit during practice Friday, Aug. 4, and he caught most of the passes thrown his way and blocked well in the run game, according Joe Kania to of Buccaneers.com.

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Howard is a monster, even as a rookie. His speed, athleticism and acceleration are ridiculous, he can block and his overall physical upside is excellent. We don't expect elite numbers during Howard's rookie campaign, but he is tracking as a solid TE2, and that's where we like him.

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19. TB - Ryan Griffin could be backup QB

Source: Buccaneers.com - Joe Kania

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Ryan W. Griffin worked mostly with the second-team offense Friday, Aug. 4, and Joe Kania of Buccaneers.com believes Griffin has a chance to beat out QB Ryan Fitzpatrick for the backup quarterback spot.

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Fitzpatrick, as Seattle corner Richard Sherman said the other day, is terrible. While backup to Winston isn't all that fantasy relevant, we figure Fitzpatrick is going to be long gone by Week 1 if he plays at all like he did in 2016.

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20. LAC - WR Keenan Allen sits out practice

Source: NFL.com - Jeremy Bergman

Los Angeles Chargers WR Keenan Allen (calf) did not participate in practice Friday, Aug. 4, because of a sore calf.

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Well we certainly don't want to hear this news. Hopefully it's nothing, but given the run of bad luck for the Chargers, can we trust that? Allen has played 12 games in two years and you have to wonder if he will remain healthy in 2017. That, as much as anything, is why his ADP is at 38 overall and 18th receiver off the board. Does he have the talent to be more? Absolutely. Can he stay on the field to show it? That hasn't been the case in the last two years.

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21. JAX - TE Mychal Rivera missing practice

Source: The Florida Times-Union - Ryan O'Halloran

Jacksonville Jaguars TE Mychal Rivera (undisclosed) missed his fourth straight practice Friday, Aug. 4, because of an undisclosed injury.

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Rivera is fighting for snaps with Mercedes Lewis and Ben Koyack, so this is bad. He never was more than a part-time target in Oakland and if he can't stay on the field, things won't be different in Jacksonville.

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22. BAL - WR Breshad Perriman continues to sit out

Source: ESPN.com - Jamison Hensley

Baltimore Ravens WR Breshad Perriman (hamstring) did not participate in practice Friday, Aug. 4.

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Early reports was that this wasn't a big deal, but that was August 1. Here we are on the 4th and he's still sidelined. Again, this is why Perriman has never had a fantasy impact. He's too inconsistent and too often banged up. He remains a bench player for most leagues.

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

Peace,

J