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Volume 19, #111 -- Friday Night, August 11th, 2017

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Hi Folks,

What a day. August is always crazy but this was nuts. Let's get to it.

J

SITE NEWS

A. Unlock All These Features and WIN MORE Fantasy Football
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B. Ezekiel Elliott Timeline - What's Next?
Things are moving fast with the Ezekiel Elliott story. I caught up to our Footballguys Legal Expert, Ari Ingel and Ari laid out this timeline for us. Here's what he's seeing.

- 6 game suspension handed down.

- Then 3 days to appeal (Elliott would be allowed to play until appeal is done).

- The League has to schedule an appeals hearing within 10 days.

- After the appeals hearing, the League has to issue its ruling within a practical amount of time. Very murky timeline. Could be days or weeks.

- League could lessen games or hold to 6. Either way, that becomes final and Elliot is not allowed to play.

- Elliott could file an action in court stating that the League violated the CBA. He then needs to seek an injunction in order to play. If he doesn't get one, he doesn't play. For a domestic violence case like this, will the courts give one? They gave an injunction for Tom Brady, but that was a very different offense. They did with Adrian Peterson. Although it was a child and not a woman which may be seen as more egregious. Bottom line, getting an injunction is a wildcard.

- If an injunction grants that Elliott can play, STILL Goodell can just put him on the Commissioners Exempt list. This could be even more than 6 games. Goodell can use this to punish essentially. So Elliott gets paid but doesn't play.

- Unfortunately for Elliott, the Brady case ended up going in the Leagues favor in the courts and clarified that Goodell can punish as he sees fit and is allowed to be judge, jury and executioner. The players negotiated that fairly in the CBA. So Elliott very well may not get the injunction.

- One last very important point. The court case will not be about whether or not Elliott did it. It will be about whether or not the NFL violated the CBA. So it's about the process used. People kept getting tripped up about that in the Brady case and is the reason the appeals court overruled the first judge who erroneously made it about the innocent or guilt.

There you have it ... now we wait. Ari's Personal opinion .... Elliott will miss games. That may start Week 1 or Week 3. But he will miss time. He's not Tom Brady, far from it. And if Goodell can go up against Tom Brady and Robert Kraft, he can go up against Ezekiel Elliott and Jerry Jones.

C. FREE FEATURE - Winners and Losers in Friday's Trades
Our Sigmund Bloom with a look at the fantasy winners and losers in the wake of Friday's big trade news.

D. FREE FEATURE - Ultimate Strength of Schedule
Our Clayton Gray's Ultimate Strength of Schedule is a must see feature. He breaks it down here.

E. Ultimate Strength of Schedule: Quarterbacks
Our Clayton Gray with a look at the 2017 strength of schedule for quarterbacks.

F. Ultimate Strength of Schedule: Running Backs
Our Clayton Gray with a look at the 2017 strength of schedule for running backs.

G. Ultimate Strength of Schedule: Wide Receivers
Our Clayton Gray with a look at the 2017 strength of schedule for wide receivers.

H. Ultimate Strength of Schedule: Tight Ends
Our Clayton Gray with a look at the 2017 strength of schedule for tight ends.

I. Ultimate Strength of Schedule: Kickers
Our Clayton Gray with a look at the 2017 strength of schedule for kickers.

J. Ultimate Strength of Schedule: Team Defenses
Our Clayton Gray with a look at the 2017 strength of schedule for team defenses.

K. Ultimate Strength of Schedule: Defensive Linemen
Our Clayton Gray with a look at the 2017 strength of schedule for defensive linemen.

L. Ultimate Strength of Schedule: Linebackers
Our Clayton Gray with a look at the 2017 strength of schedule for linebackers.

M. Ultimate Strength of Schedule: Defensive Backs
Our Clayton Gray with a look at the 2017 strength of schedule for defensive backs.

N. Campfire Chat: Discussing Handcuffs
The Footballguys staff members discuss the concept of handcuffs.

O. Campfire Chat: Second-favorite Draft Spot
Footballguys staff members discuss their second-favorite draft spot.

P. Campfire Chat: Value in the Top 20
Footballguys staff members discuss value at the top of the draft.

Q. Campfire Chat: Early-round Busts
Footballguys staff members discuss top players who could be busts.

R. Campfire Chat: Finding a Future Dynasty Gems
Footballguys staff members discuss future dynasty gems.

S. The FPC and the Quarterback Position
Our Jeff Pasquino continues his The Footballguys Players Championship Analysis. In this one he he looks at the quarterback position.

T. The FPC and the Running Back Position
Our Jeff Pasquino continues his The Footballguys Players Championship Analysis - In this one he he looks at the running back position.

U. The FPC and the Wide Receiver Position
Our Jeff Pasquino continues his The Footballguys Players Championship Analysis - In this one he he looks at the wide receiver position.

V. The FPC and the Tight End Position
Our Jeff Pasquino continues his The Footballguys Players Championship Analysis - In this one he he looks at the tight end position.


1. DAL - RB Ezekiel Elliott suspended six games

Source: ESPNDallas.com - Todd Archer

Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott has been suspended six games for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy, according to a source. Elliott is expected to file an appeal and has three business days to do so, and a hearing must be scheduled within 10 days of receipt of the notice, according to Article 46 of the collective bargaining agreement.

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

Elliott will appeal, but we should proceed as if this will stand. He falls to a value anywhere from late second to fourth round. You'll only get him for six games in the fantasy regular season, but you can draft at running back to compensate for his absence and bank an extra first-round talent outside of the first, a huge advantage if you can sneak into the playoffs. It's a risky but bold strategy.

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2. PHI - WR Jordan Matthews traded to Buffalo

Source: ESPN - Adam Schefter

Philadelphia Eagles WR Jordan Matthews was traded along with a 2018 third-round selection to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for CB Ronald Darby on Friday, Aug. 11.

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

Darby is an instant upgrade at corner for the Eagles. A second-round pick in 2015, he had a good rookie season but Darby had a bit of a sophomore slump in 2016. The Eagles are counting on him bouncing back in 2017, and with two years left on his rookie deal it's a great move for Philadelphia.

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3. BUF - Buffalo lands WR Jordan Matthews from Philly

Source: ESPN - Adam Schefter

Philadelphia Eagles WR Jordan Matthews was traded along with a 2018 third-round selection to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for CB Ronald Darby on Friday, Aug. 11.

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

Matthews joins Anquan Boldin and Zay Jones in the Bills cavalcade of slot receivers. He might not have a large role, make no mistake, the third round pick is the prize here for Buffalo.

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4. LAR - WR Sammy Watkins traded to LA Rams

Source: ESPN - Adam Schefter

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins was traded along with a 2018 sixth-round pick to the Los Angeles Rams for CB E.J. Gaines and a 2018 second-round selection.

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

Watkins takes a hit and should get fewer targets in Los Angeles. He also gets a downgrade in deep passing at quarterback. Still, he is ultra-talented and might not be held back more than DeAndre Hopkins or Allen Robinson. The Bills have a void in the passing game now and appear to be playing for next year. Todd Gurley's outlook improves and Jared Goff becomes a lot more interesting.

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5. BAL - QB Joe Flacco to sit out preseason

Source: BaltimoreRavens.com

Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco (back) is expected to return to practice at some point during the preseason but will not play in any of the preseason games. The team said that Flacco is making good progress in his rehab and should be ready to play in Week 1.

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

Flacco's good progress is a positive sign about his recovery. He won't play in the preseason, but the fact that he's going to practice should lead to him starting Week 1 of the regular season.

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6. DAL - RB Ezekiel Elliott to appeal suspension

Source: NFL.com

Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott and his representatives released a statement announcing their intentions to appeal the six-game suspension handed to him Friday, Aug. 11 for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy.

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

No surprise here. Elliott's suspension is at six games right now, but his lawyers will work to get that reduced or outright eliminated. If you're drafting this weekend just take Elliott with the idea that he'll miss a month or so of the regular season.

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7. LAR - WR Sammy Watkins may receive long-term deal

Source: ESPN.com - Alden Gonzalez

Los Angeles Rams general manager Les Snead said the team is interested in signing WR Sammy Watkins to a long-term contract since he is entering the last year of his contract. The two sides have not had contract talks at this point.

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

Watkins is in the final year of his contract, and the Rams wouldn't have traded for him just as a rental in a year where they are unlikely to win many games. If healthy, Watkins can be a dynamic player and QB Jared Goff should work quickly to build strong chemistry with him.

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8. WAS - RB Rob Kelley safe atop depth chart

Source: CSN Mid-Atlantic - Rich Tandler

Washington Redskins RB Rob Kelley is safe atop the depth chart for the time being, in the opinion of beat writer Rich Tandler.

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

Kelley is worth a 9th-10th round pick as a matchup RB2/Flex play with a low ceiling, but high rush volume floor. He could still be threatened by Samaje Perine by year's end.

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9. DET - TE Eric Ebron returns

Source: DetroitLions.com - Tim Twentyman

Detroit Lions TE Eric Ebron (hamstring) returned to practice Friday, Aug. 11.

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Ebron's absence was long enough that we should really worry if this comes up again, but not long enough to greatly move him on our draft boards.

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10. WAS - RB Samaje Perine shaky in debut

Source: ESPN.com - John Keim

Washington Redskins RB Samaje Perine carried six times for 15 yards (2.5 YPC) in his preseason debut Thursday, Aug. 10. He also fumbled, dropped a pass and struggled in pass protection.

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

Perine isn't going to sniff the starting job soon. Expect his ADP to fall past Rob Kelley's and Kelley's to rise as high as the 8th-9th round on this development. Perine is still a good stash in deeper bench leagues.

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11. HOU - Work to do for QB Deshaun Watson

Source: Houston Chronicle - John McClain

Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson has 'a lot to build on,' following his first preseason game, according to head coach Bill O'Brien. 'There's a lot to correct,' O'Brien said. 'He knows that. He was about 50-50 right or wrong on some of the schemes we ran.'

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

Watson looked better against pressure than Tom Savage, but missed an easy throw or two. Savage will get a ton of chances to fail, but Watson should take over for good at some point this year unless Savage improves greatly.

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12. NFL - Teams reaching out to WR Calvin Johnson?

Source: BleacherReport.com - Mike Freeman

Retired Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson has been contacted by at least a half-dozen teams to gauge his interest in returning to the NFL, according to Mike Freeman of BleacherReport.com.

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

The Lions would need to give up his rights in a trade, which might be very difficult to pull off. Still, very deep dynasty league owners should add Johnson just in case because the potential reward is so great.

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13. NYG - RB Orleans Darkwa getting first-team run

Source: New York Daily News - Pat Leonard

New York Giants RB Orleans Darkwa has been splitting first-team reps with Paul Perkins and seeing even more work than usual with Shane Vereen unavailable recently. According to the New York Daily News' Pat Leonard, Darkwa appears to be challenging for a feature role.

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

Perkins is a smaller, speedy back while Darkwa has a bit more size and more power to his game. The Giants are going to use a RBBC no matter who wins the starting job in 2017. Perkins is coming off the board at RB29 (6.10) in 12-team PPR leagues while Darkwa is not currently getting drafted in such leagues.

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14. LAC - QB Cardale Jones impressing TE Antonio Gates

Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune - Tom Krasovic

Los Angeles Chargers QB Cardale Jones has 'special ability,' according to tight end Antonio Gates. 'The ceiling is unlimited for him,' Gates said.

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

Jones was acquired for a song and this preseason could get him on track to be developed as Philip Rivers eventual replacement. Head coach Anthony Lynn knows Jones from their time together in Buffalo, which is a potential good sign and endorsement.

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15. BUF - Jonathan Williams practices

Source: BuffaloBills.com - Chris Brown

Buffalo Bills RB Jonathan Williams (hamstring) participated in practice Friday, Aug. 11, even though he suffered a hamstring injury during the first preseason game.

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

It's a good sign for the young back. We appreciate his dynasty value, but in redraft leagues Williams is less of a factor as a backup to LeSean McCoy. However, if something happens to McCoy, Williams could step into the starting role and RB2-ish value for his fantasy owners.

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16. MIN - RB Bishop Sankey has torn ACL

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

Minnesota Vikings RB Bishop Sankey (ankle) suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament during the first preseason game Thursday, Aug. 10, according to a source.

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

Sankey was competing for a reserve spot deep on the Vikings bench. A second-round pick out of Washington in 2014, Sankey's career has been a bust and he didn't play at all in 2016. This injury is likely to prevent him from ever doing much as a pro.

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17. SEA - WR Doug Baldwin to miss preseason game

Source: The Seattle Times - Bob Condotta

Seattle Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin (leg) will not play in the preseason game against the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday, Aug. 13, but he will be fine, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

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

Baldwin is considered day-to-day after getting hurt in practice on Thursday. He won't play in the preseason game, but there's a good chance he's back at practice next week.

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18. HOU - WR Bruce Ellington joins Texans

Source: Houston Chronicle - John McClain

Free-agent WR Bruce Ellington (Jets) signed with the Houston Texans Friday, Aug. 11. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

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Ellington is a fast wide receiver who can thrive with run-after-the-catch ability. With Will Fuller and Braxton Miller banged up, the Texans needed a player at the position. Ellington will struggle to make the 53-man roster.

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19. MIN - RB Dalvin Cook impressing in passing game

Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press - Chris Tomasson

Minnesota Vikings rookie RB Dalvin Cook has impressed the team with his receiving skills throughout the spring and during training camp.

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

Cook is a really good receiving option, and he's got the type of skill set to be a threat to score anytime he touches the ball. So long as he hangs onto the rock and protects the quarterback, Cook should be the lead back for the Vikings when the season opens up.

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20. LAR - WR Tavon Austin not on the block

Source: ProFootballTalk.com - Mike Florio

Los Angeles Rams WR Tavon Austin isn't expected to be traded after the team acquired Sammy Watkins from the Buffalo Bills on Friday, Aug. 11.

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Austin gets moved down the depth chart with the acquisition of Watkins via trade. Fantasy owners weren't going crazy about Austin's value in 2017 anyway, and all projections for him this year should take a dip.

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21. CHI - QB Mitchell Trubisky shines in debut

Source: USA TODAY Sports - Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz

Chicago Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky completed 18 of his 25 pass attempts for 166 yards and a touchdown in a 24-17 loss to the Denver Broncos in the preseason Thursday, Aug 10.

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

Trubisky created a quarterback controversy along with Mike Glennon's pick six. If the trends continue, he'll probably start Week 1 against Atlanta no matter the Bears plan when they moved up to draft him second overall.

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22. CLE - QB DeShone Kizer has strong debut

Source: ESPN.com

Cleveland Browns QB DeShone Kizer completed 11 of his 18 pass attempts for 184 yards and a touchdown and rushed three times for 12 yards in a 20-14 win over the New Orleans Saints in the preseason Thursday, Aug. 10.

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

Kizer had two deep bombs for big plays and negotiated the pocket well while displayed tremendous natural arm talent. He'll be the starter sooner than later and is a must draft late in 2QB/Superflex leagues.

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23. JAX - Uneventful showing from QB Blake Bortles

Source: FirstCoastNews.com - Mike Kaye

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles connected on 3-of-5 passes for 16 yards in the team's preseason opener Thursday, August 10, opposite the New England Patriots.

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

Uneventful is what the Jaguars want from Bortles, assuming their running game and defense can carry them. He and the Jaguars passing game should become less prominent this year.

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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