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Volume 19, #115 -- Tuesday Night, August 15th, 2017

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Hi Folks,

Good Wednesday to you. It's another big day of Content and of course we've got the News and Notes you need. Let's go.

J

SITE NEWS

A. Mobile Apps - The Draft Dominator
You've heard us talking about the Draft Dominator App. It's the key to your Perfect Draft and we've got all the info you need right here. Even me with a short video and Simon with a much better longer tutorial video.

B. Mobile Apps - The Lineup Dominator
A brand new for us this year is the Lineup Dominator. Customized and detailed, if you're looking for the app to help you set the optimal lineup, this is your ticket.

C. Mobile Apps - The Waiver & Trade Dominator
Our newest app is the Waiver & Trade Dominator. You're in control with a season long view for your team. Don't just live "paycheck to paycheck" managing your team week to week. The Waiver & Trade Dominator gives you the power and tools to see the "long view" and win.

D. Footballguys Players Championship
The 2017 season brings a mid-stakes $250,000 Grand Prize, $2,000 in league prizes, and championship round payouts all the way down to 700th place. The overall prize pool exceeds $2.0 million.

Wednesday's draft times (all times Eastern): 5pm, 7pm, 9pm, 11pm

E. FREE FEATURE - 5 Late-Round Running Backs You Should Be Targeting
Our Justin Bonnema analyzes five running backs who offer lots of upside for little draft capital.

F. Quarterback Tiers
We love the detailed stat projections. But another super useful way to view players is seeing how they group by tiers. Our Sigmund Bloom takes a look at the 2017 quarterback rankings and how they sort into tiers.

G. Tight End Tiers
We love the detailed stat projections. But another super useful way to view players is seeing how they group by tiers. Our Sigmund Bloom takes a look at the 2017 tight end rankings and how they sort into tiers.

H. Predictability, Randomness, and the Space Between
Our Ryan Hester looks into identifying fantasy-friendly situations and examining "alternative" value plays.

I. Quarterback by Committee
Our Jeff Pasquino with how to find a starting Quarterback by Committee for 2017.

J. Defending Reality: Team Defense Scoring
Our Jeff Pasquino takes a deeper look at fantasy scoring for team defenses.


1. DAL - RB Ezekiel Elliott appeals suspension

Source: ESPN - Adam Schefter

Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott has officially appealed his six-game suspension, according to a source.

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This was the next step in the process. Once Elliott was suspended six games by the NFL we all knew this was going to happen. A hearing must be scheduled within 10 days of the appeal. Some people think Elliott could get a reduced sentence but not an eliminated sentence. Stay tuned.

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2. NYJ - WR Lucky Whitehead has broken foot

Source: NewYorkJets.com

New York Jets WR Lucky Whitehead (foot) will be out for an extended period of time with a broken foot, according to head coach Todd Bowles. It is unclear at this point if Whitehead will need surgery.

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He should just start going with Rodney (his first name) instead of Lucky...he's been anything but over the last month. The Cowboys cut him in a case of mistaken identity, the Jets picked him up and now he's broken his foot.

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3. PHI - RB Ryan Mathews released

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

Updating an earlier report, Philadelphia Eagles RB Ryan Mathews was released Tuesday, Aug. 15.

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Mathews only needed to be cleared medically before the team released him. With injury problems and reports about a lack of confidence, we can't imagine Mathews getting a ton of interest on the open market.

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4. MIA - RB Jay Ajayi cleared

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

Miami Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi (concussion) has been cleared from the concussion protocol Tuesday, Aug. 15.

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The team will take it easy on Ajayi so he doesn't get concussed again. We should see his use in the preseason dwindle as the team prepares for the start of the regular season.

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5. SEA - WR Paul Richardson ready by Week 1

Source: The Seattle Times - Bob Condotta

Seattle Seahawks WR Paul Richardson (shoulder) will be good to go for Week 1 of the regular season, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

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Richardson suffered a shoulder injury in Week 1 of the preseason. There's no denying his talent...or his long injury history. Richardson is competing as a reserve receiver and doesn't have much redraft fantasy value. We like him in dynasty leagues but these injuries keep his long-term outlook low.

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6. DAL - Dallas could use committee to replace Ezekiel Elliott?

Source: ESPNDallas.com - Todd Archer

Dallas Cowboys RB Alfred Morris may serve in a committee along with Darren McFadden during Ezekiel Elliott's six-game suspension, according to ESPN.com's Todd Archer.

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That makes sense, and it doesn't leave a ton for fantasy owners to get excited about. Behind Elliott, guys like Darren McFadden, Alfred Morris and Ronnie Hillman are competing to establish the pecking order. A two- or three-headed RBBC does not have value for fantasy owners in most every league.

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7. TB - TE O.J. Howard to focus mostly on blocking?

Source: ESPN.com - Jenna Laine

Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE O.J. Howard will most likely make his mark as a blocker - and not a receiver - early in the season, according to ESPN.com's Jenna Laine.

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This report should put a damper on fantasy owners and their excitement about the rookie from Alabama. He's talented..no doubt..and a big/strong/fast presence that QB Jameis Winston could eventually rely on. However, he didn't do much in his college career unless he was playing Clemson...then he exploded for HUGE games. Howard has natural talent but is going to be splitting time at the position with Cameron Brate...a breakout player for the Bucs last year. We love Howard in dynasty, but are taking a 'wait and see' approach with the rookie in redraft leagues.

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8. DEN - RB Jamaal Charles won't play Saturday

Source: The Denver Post - Nicki Jhabvala

Denver Broncos RB Jamaal Charles (knee) will not play Saturday, Aug. 19, against the San Francisco 49ers, according to head coach Vance Joseph. He will play in Week 3 of the preseason, however.

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Charles is fully cleared to participate in Broncos camp but he rarely does much of anything in practice. Joseph says the decision to hold him back is on himself and that Charles wanted to play in the first preseason game against the Bears. If Charles can be a shadow of his former self, he could make the team as a reserve runner. If his knees are shot, then Charles might not make the 53-man roster.

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9. MIA - QB Jay Cutler to debut

Source: ESPN.com - James Walker

Updating previous reports, Miami Dolphins QB Jay Cutler will make his preseason debut Thursday, Aug. 17.

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Get those smokin Jay Cutler memes ready to go. Cutler knows the system and he shouldn't need that many reps in the second preseason game.

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10. MIA - RB Kenyan Drake in concussion protocol

Source: The Miami Herald - Adam H. Beasley

Updating previous reports, Miami Dolphins RB Kenyan Drake (concussion) is in the concussion protocol.

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That's the second Dolphins runner to be in the concussion protocol during training camp. Starter Jay Ajayi was just cleared from the protocol after getting banged up earlier in the month.

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11. GB - RB Ty Montgomery misses practice

Source: ESPN.com - Rob Demovsky

Green Bay Packers RB Ty Montgomery (leg) missed practice Tuesday, Aug. 15, due to a soft tissue injury on his lower leg. Montgomery added that the ailment is nothing to worry about.

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Sounds like some sort of bruise. If Montgomery isn't worried about it, then we aren't either. Montgomery is the top back for the Packers, but rookie Jamaal Williams should push for playing time in 2017.

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12. MIA - Miami hosting OLB Rey Maualuga

Source: Palm Beach Post - Joe Schad

Free-agent LB Rey Maualuga (Bengals) is working out for the Miami Dolphins Tuesday, Aug. 15.

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The Dolphins need help at the position after losing second-round pick Raekwon McMillan to a torn ACL. Maualuga is not the player he used to be, but if added by the Dolphins he'd likely start inside as a run-stuffing linebacker.

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13. NYJ - RB Bilal Powell participates in practice

Source: New York Daily News - Manish Mehta

New York Jets RB Bilal Powell (neck) participated in 7-on-7 drills Tuesday, Aug. 15, after being absent from practice for about a week and a half.

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Powell is back in action after missing some time, and so long as there are no setbacks he should be ready for Week 1. In fact, Powell could get some time as the Jets lead back during the preseason...perhaps in the third week. From a fantasy perspective, Powell is a low-end RB2 for fantasy purposes as he'll split time with Matt Forte. Right now, Powell is going off the board at RB25 (5.12) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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14. CAR - OLB Thomas Davis signs extension

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

Carolina Panthers LB Thomas Davis signed a one-year, $6.75 million contract extension Tuesday, Aug. 15, according to a source. The deal includes $2 million guaranteed in 2017.

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A first-round pick out of Georgia in 2005, this deal likely insures that Davis will retire as a Panther. Many have speculated that former GM Dave Gettleman was fired due to his hesitancy to sign Davis to a new deal. Having played over 1,000 snaps each of the last two years, we could see Davis do that again in 2017.

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15. OAK - WR Amari Cooper returns to practice

Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal - Michael Gehlken

Oakland Raiders WR Amari Cooper (leg) was back on the practice field Tuesday, Aug. 15. He had missed six straight practices and seven of the Raiders' last eight practices.

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Keep an eye on Cooper as the season draws closer. He's a top-10 fantasy WR if healthy, and Cooper could push for double-digit touchdowns (and over 1,200 yards receiving) in 2017. His current ADP is WR8 (2.06) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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16. ARI - WR John Brown will have full practice

Source: AZCardinals.com - Darren Urban

Arizona Cardinals WR John Brown (quadriceps) will be full go in practice Tuesday, Aug. 15.

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"Smoke" just needs to stay healthy and he can have plenty of fantasy value. His speed helps him take the top off the defense, and Brown is plenty dangerous after the catch. If healthy, he could outperform his current ADP of WR43 (9.05) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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17. SEA - WR Doug Baldwin practicing again

Source: The Seattle Times - Bob Condotta

Seattle Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin (leg) returned to practice Tuesday, Aug. 15.

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The Seahawks are getting a bit healthier at the wide receiver position (Paul Richardson practiced too). Baldwin is underappreciated by some fantasy owners, but he shouldn't be. Grab him at the end of the second round in your draft and watch him push for WR1 numbers once again in 2017.

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18. WAS - QB Kirk Cousins wants to stay in Washington

Source: ProFootballTalk.com - Michael David Smith

Washington Redskins QB Kirk Cousins does not want to sign with another team when he becomes a free agent next offseason. Cousins loves playing for the Redskins and hopes to remain there for the entirety of his career.

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Does he REALLY believe that? Or would he love to reunite with Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco? Washington has not shown they are committed long term to Cousins as they keep slapping him with the franchise tag. They can actually do it again for a third season next year, but the price would be over $30 million. Cousins should get plenty of long-term offers if he hits the open market in 2018.

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19. BAL - WR Breshad Perriman needs more time

Source: The Baltimore Sun - Jeff Zrebiec

Baltimore Ravens WR Breshad Perriman (hamstring) is dealing with a Grade-2 hamstring strain and will likely be sidelined for at least two more weeks. He has already missed two weeks due to the injury.

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Perriman's pro career has been set back by injuries. He's a speedy receiver who can fly down the field and track the ball well...at least he was in college at UCF. The 2015 first-round pick has talent but these injuries keep piling up.

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20. PHI - RB Darren Sproles to be used more in space

Source: Philadelphia Daily News - Paul Domowitch

Philadelphia Eagles RB Darren Sproles will probably be used less as a runner this season and more as a receiver in 2017 after the team added LeGarrette Blount in the offseason, according to the Philadelphia Daily News' Paul Domowitch.

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Blount is clearly the battering ram for the offense, but he's not useful in passing situations. Sproles is that guy to turn to when it's 3rd down, but he's going to be splitting time with dynamic rookie DJ Pumphrey. From a fantasy perspective, that split of third-down work negatively impacts the value of both. Sproles is still getting drafted at RB51 (12.04) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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21. CAR - WR Curtis Samuel nearing return to full practice

Source: Panthers.com - Bill Voth

Carolina Panthers WR Curtis Samuel (hamstring) was able to participate in individual drills Tuesday, Aug. 15.

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Samuel needs to get back out there when he's close to full strength. Not only does he need to establish chemistry with his quarterback, the rookie from Ohio State needs to work on becoming a more savvy route runner. Samuel is dangerous and can break ankles in the open field, but he's not setting up defenders with great routes.

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22. PHI - TE Trey Burton's usage to increase

Source: USA TODAY Sports - Turron Davenport

Philadelphia Eagles TE Trey Burton is expected to see more targets out of the slot after the team traded WR Jordan Matthews. Burton and Wentz are close friends, and the two have a rapport on the field. Burton received 36 targets in the last six games last year, and he caught 23 of them.

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Burton was a player to emerge at the end of last year. The addition of weapons like WRs Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith mean the targets won't be thick. Add in a reportedly surging Nelson Agholor (and oh yeah, Zach Ertz) and you can see how Burton's path to fantasy relevance is murky...even with more targets out of the slot.

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23. PHI - QB Nick Foles won't play Thursday

Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer - Zach Berman

Philadelphia Eagles QB Nick Foles (elbow) will not suit up for the team's next preseason game Thursday, August 17, against the Buffalo Bills.

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It's the second preseason game, so starting QB Carson Wentz should be in for a quarter or so. Matt McGloin should get more work with Foles out of action. Foles hopes to play the week after opposite the Miami Dolphins.

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24. TEN - RB DeMarco Murray practices Monday

Source: TitansOnline.com - Jim Wyatt

Tennessee Titans RB DeMarco Murray (hamstring) participated in practice Monday, Aug. 14, and did more than expected.

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Murray's fine and fantasy owners should be thrilled about adding him as a RB1 in drafts. Look for him to go off the board near the turn between rounds one and two.

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25. LAR - WR Sammy Watkins expected to play Saturday

Source: ESPN.com - Alden Gonzalez

Los Angeles Rams WR Sammy Watkins is expected to play in the preseason game against the Oakland Raiders Saturday, Aug. 14, according to head coach Sean McVay.

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Watkins is getting a fresh start with his new team. So long as he is healthy, Watkins can be a primary weapon for second-year QB Jared Goff. He's WR23 (4.11) in 12-team PPR leagues right now.

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26. JAX - WR Allen Hurns back on the field

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

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Hurns (undisclosed) participated in practice Monday, Aug. 14, and appeared to be a full participant.

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He missed the preseason opener against the Pats and the team is likely to ramp up his participation this week. Their second game of the preseason is on Thursday and the status of Hurns is unclear.

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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