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Volume 19, #123 -- Wednesday Night, August 23rd, 2017

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Hi Folks,

Good Thursday. If you're an Insider PRO or PRO Plus customer, I hope you didn't have anything planned today. We've got enough new content for our Premium subscribers to carry you through the weekend. And if you're not an Insider PRO or PRO Plus, today is your day. For 70,000 pages of content and tools and insights and an entry into the $35,000 Subscriber contest, it's the best bargain in sports. If Fantasy Football is important to you, for the price of a couple of pizzas you can have the edge you need.

Let's get to it.

J

SITE NEWS

A. Training Camp Update #3
Training Camp Update #3 is LIVE. Like the two before it and the one next week, it's 38 pages of ridiculously thorough looks at every player that matters from every team. Read this and be the most informed owner in your league.

B. Hidden Value or Damaged Goods: Assessing Injury Risk in Fantasy Drafts
When is it safe to draft Odell Beckham, Andrew Luck, Jordan Reed? How should you assess injury risk before your draft? Our Dr. Jene Bramel tells you.

C. So You Drafted Ezekiel Elliott
Our Sigmund Bloom looks at the best running backs to target later in your draft if you take Ezekiel Elliott and his six-game suspension early.

D. FREE FEATURE - Overvalued Players: Running Backs
Footballguys staff members discuss running backs who are overvalued.

E. Training Camp Cliff Notes - Week 3
With the help of our awesome Training Camp Writers, I take our comprehensive Footballguys Training Camp Updates and distill them down to the "Need To Know" level.

F. 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.

Thursday's draft times (all times Eastern): 1pm, 4pm, 7pm, 9pm, 10:30pm, 11:55pm

G. Value Plays: Running Backs
The Footballguys staff finds value at the running back position.

H. Deep Sleepers: Running Backs
The Footballguys staff digs deep for sleepers at running back.

I. Defensive Team by Committee 2017
Our Chase Stuart looks at finding the perfect pair of fantasy defenses to select late in your draft.

J. RB By Committee, Update
Our Jeff Pasquino with an updated look at finding a great Running Back by Committee for 2017.

K. PPR RB By Committee, Update
Our Jeff Pasquino with an updated look at finding a great Running Back by Committee for 2017. This one is for PPR scoring formats.

L. Arbitrage This, Part 1: 3 Cost-Effective Ways to Avoid Sunk Draft Costs at Running Back
Our Justin Howe looks into digging for less-than-obvious discounts throughout the running back tiers.

M. Critical Tier Drops: Running Backs
Our Chad Parsons dives into identifying the key value drop off points in 2017 at the running back position.

N. True Fantasy Points: 2017 Running Back Projections
Our Danny Tuccitto with a stats-based guide for separating skill from luck in running back projections.

O. How to Dominate Your League: 2-2-1 Running Back Strategy
Our Ari Ingel with a new running back strategy to help you win your league for those that like to handcuff.

P. Footballguys Staff Mock Draft #10, 12 teams Standard Format
On August 17th, the Footballguys staff got together for their 10th draft of 2017. A 12 team, 20-round standard mock draft with no flex, where touchdown passes are worth 6 points. Our John Mamula provides an unbiased summary of each team's draft.

Q. Devy Top 10, Preseason Volume 3
Our Jeff Tefertiller with a weekly Top 10 list of Devy Dynasty players, broken down by draft eligibility and position. This week, we have a Watch List with 20 running backs and 10 tight ends.

R. DFS Roundtable: Weekly Bankroll Split
Several DFS staffers describe how they split their weekly bankroll between cash games and GPPs.

S. DFS Page is LIVE
The majority of DFS content starts rolling out right before the Week 1 kickoff but we're up and rolling here. You can see the preseason features for the Footballguys Insider PRO Plus subscribers and you can see the features we will have for Week 1.


1. CLE - QB DeShone Kizer in line to start Week 1

Source: The Cleveland Plain Dealer - Mary Kay Cabot

Updating a previous report, Cleveland Browns QB DeShone Kizer has not been named as the starting quarterback for Week 1, but head coach Hue Jackson said things are trending in that direction. Jackson said Kizer would have to really struggle in the third preseason game for him to change his mind.

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Apparently, the Browns have as much confidence in Brock Osweiler as everyone else does...

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2. JAX - QB Chad Henne to start Thursday

Source: Jaguars.com - John Oehser

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Chad Henne will be the starting quarterback for the preseason game against the Carolina Panthers Thursday, Aug. 24. QB Blake Bortles is also expected to receive some playing time with the first-team offense during the game.

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Henne is competing with Bortles for the starting job. No matter who wins, there's not a lot of fantasy value to be mined from either player. The Jaguars want to run the ball more this year, but they need rookie (and potential superstar) RB Leonard Fournette to be healthy.

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3. CLE - QB Brock Osweiler to be traded again?

Source: ESPN.com - Pat McManamon

Cleveland Browns QB Brock Osweiler is once again the subject of trade rumors, according to a source. QB DeShone Kizer will start in Cleveland's third preseason game, while Osweiler is not expected to play.

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This was the thought process when the Browns picked up Osweiler in a trade that looked more at home in the NBA. Osweiler has had a bad preseason, while Kizer is their quarterback of the future - potentially. The team can always go with Cody Kessler until Kizer is ready.

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4. PIT - WR Martavis Bryant has hamstring issue

Source: NFL Network - Aditi Kinkhabwala

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Martavis Bryant (hamstring) was seen with his hamstring wrapped, but head coach Mike Tomlin said Bryant is only considered day-to-day and expects him to practice Thursday, Aug. 24.

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Day-to-day indicates the injury is not that serious. Bryant is coming back from a year off football due to suspension, so this type of nagging injury isn't really a surprise. The team will monitor him closely and get him ready for Week 1. Bryant is WR23 (4.11) in 12-team PPR leagues right now.

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5. DEN - RB Devontae Booker aims for Week 3 return

Source: The Denver Post - Troy E. Renck

Denver Broncos RB Devontae Booker (wrist) returned to practice Wednesday, Aug. 23. He is hoping to be back in action by Week 3 of the regular season.

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Booker is coming back to a somewhat crowded backfield. C.J. Anderson is the starter and behind him we could see Jamaal Charles or rookie DeAngelo Henderson mixed in as the change-of-pace back. Unless Anderson gets banged up (again), we don't see much of a role for Booker.

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6. NYG - Odell Beckham in jeopardy for season opener?

Source: ESPN.com - Jordan Raanan

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (ankle) could potentially miss the team's regular-season opener against the Dallas Cowboys with the ankle injury he suffered in a preseason game against the Cleveland Browns on Monday, Aug. 22, according to multiple sources.

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This injury was initially considered minor, and now reports have him potentially missing the season opener. Obviously, every fantasy owner is going to be monitoring this closely but we're still not moving him down the draft board. Even worst case scenario he only misses a couple of games, so Beckham stays at WR2 (1.05) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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7. CHI - QB Mitchell Trubisky sees time with starters

Source: ESPNChicago.com - Jeff Dickerson

Chicago Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky received some snaps with the first-team offense during practice Wednesday, Aug. 23. QB Mike Glennon will start the third preseason game, but Trubisky is expected to play at least one series with the starters at the start of the second half.

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Glennon is the starter for now, but Trubisky is the future of the Bears. We may see Glennon only get half the year (or less) as the starter before they move to their 2017 first-round pick.

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8. GB - QB Aaron Rodgers rested arm

Source: ESPN.com - Rob Demovsky

Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers said he took the most time off of his career this offseason to rest his arm. 'I worked hard in the offseason on my body and my core strength,' Rodgers said. 'I took a break from throwing for about a month. I kind of let my arm come all the way back. It's felt good this year, as usual. But my legs, I think, have felt better the last couple years than maybe the previous couple years, probably due to the training and maybe eating better. I think when your legs are underneath you and you're throwing from the ground up, you're probably going to be a little more accurate.'

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Rodgers is gearing up for a big season, and fantasy owners are over the moon once again about his prospects. He's been a top-10 fantasy quarterback each of the last three years, and this season is no different. In fact, Rodgers is QB1 (3.01) right now in 12-team PPR leagues.

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9. JAX - WR Allen Hurns on the block?

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

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Hurns could be on the trade block, in the opinion of beat writer Ryan O'Halloran.

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Hurns just signed a five-year, $40 million deal last year. It might be tough to find a trade partner, and get anything of value for Hurns, based on his contract and poor performance last year. The Jaguars have Marqise Lee and rookie Dede Westbrook behind Hurns, and they could easily be moved up the depth chart if need be.

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10. BAL - RB Danny Woodhead has hamstring injury

Source: The Baltimore Sun - Jeff Zrebiec

Updating previous reports, Baltimore Ravens RB Danny Woodhead (hamstring) is dealing with a hamstring injury that could end his preseason.

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Woodhead is a seasoned veteran who doesn't need a ton of reps in the preseason. The team needs weapons on offense, and Woodhead could catch 65 passes (or more) for the Ravens in 2017. In PPR leagues, Woodhead has flex appeal and could perform as a RB2 on some weeks.

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11. ATL - RB Devonta Freeman to miss preseason game

Source: AtlantaFalcons.com - Kelsey Conway

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman (concussion) has been ruled out for the preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals Saturday, Aug. 26, according to head coach Dan Quinn.

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No worries here as Freeman is on track to play in Week 1 of the regular season.

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12. DEN - OLB Von Miller to play vs. GB

Source: DenverBroncos.com - Andrew Mason

Denver Broncos LB Von Miller will play in the preseason game against the Green Bay Packers Saturday, Aug. 26, after he sat out the first two preseason games.

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Miller will likely get a series or two against the Packers. He's in great shape and looking to be even more of a terror for opposing quarterbacks in 2017.

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13. BAL - WR Breshad Perriman continues to miss practice

Source: ESPN.com - Jamison Hensley

Baltimore Ravens WR Breshad Perriman (hamstring) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Aug. 23, and is not expected to play in the preseason game against the Buffalo Bills Saturday, Aug. 26.

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It's always something with Perriman. He's always had an intriguing size/speed combination but Perriman's pro career has been set back by injury.

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14. NYJ - RB Matt Forte looking to play Saturday

Source: ESPNNewYork.com - Rich Cimini

New York Jets RB Matt Forte (hamstring) said he hopes to play in the preseason game against the New York Giants Saturday, Aug. 26, but is not sure if he will be allowed to play.

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Bilal Powell is in the lead for the primary role in the Jets backfield. Forte has been slowed by this hamstring injury but he insists that he'll be ready for Week 1 of the regular season.

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15. CHI - Ka'Deem Carey undergoes surgery

Source: ESPNChicago.com - Jeff Dickerson

Chicago Bears RB Ka'Deem Carey (wrist) recently underwent wrist surgery and is expected to be sidelined for around six weeks.

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That makes him a candidate for the PUP list to begin the regular season. The Bears will have guys like Jeremy Langford, Benny Cunningham and rookie Tarik Cohen behind starter Jordan Howard on the depth chart.

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16. SEA - RB C.J. Prosise should play

Source: The Seattle Times - Bob Condotta

Seattle Seahawks RB C.J. Prosise (groin) is expected to play in Week 3 of the preseason, according to running backs coach Chad Morton.

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Prosise will likely get limited work with this groin injury. A fine pass-catching back, Prosise is quite interesting for fantasy owners in PPR leagues. Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls will compete for carries, but Prosise should get most of the receiving work out of the backfield. He's RB43 (9.10) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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17. BUF - WR Jordan Matthews gets in some individual work

Source: WGR Sports Radio 550 - Sal Capaccio

Buffalo Bills WR Jordan Matthews was dressed in full gear and participated in positions specific drills during the individual portion of practice open to the media Wednesday, Aug. 23.

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Matthews has been working his way back from a chest injury. He has expressed confidence that he'll be ready for the start of the regular season. Matthews is going off the board at WR44 (9.12) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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18. IND - WR Chester Rogers still sidelined

Source: The Indianapolis Star - Zak Keefer

Indianapolis Colts WR Chester Rogers (hamstring) remains out of practice after injuring his hamstring while running a route during individual drills Aug. 16.

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It's a disappointing injury for the young receiver. Rogers has received offseason buzz as a player who could potentially emerge in the Colts passing game. If healthy, Rogers could win the no3 WR job behind T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief.

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19. IND - WR Donte Moncrief not ready for full contact

Source: The Indianapolis Star - Zak Keefer

Indianapolis Colts WR Donte Moncrief (shoulder) has reportedly been wearing a non-contact jersey since returning to practice on Aug. 9.

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Moncrief is dealing with a minor AC sprain in his shoulder. We're excited about Moncrief's upside in that offense provided that QB Andrew Luck is healthy. Moncrief has a good chance to outperform his current ADP of WR42 (9.02) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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20. NE - RB Mike Gillislee fully healthy

Source: NESN.com - Zack Cox

New England Patriots RB Mike Gillislee (hamstring) said he's 100 percent and flying around the practice field.

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Good news for fantasy owners who already drafted Gillislee as the assumed lead back for the Patriots. They will use a RBBC with guys like James White mixed in, but Gillislee could have at least RB3/flex value if he gets part of what LeGarrette Blount got last year. This hamstring injury for Gillislee has opened the door for Rex Burkhead in this competition. Watch to see this unfold as the rest of the preseason continues.

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21. DET - Ziggy Ansah hopeful for Week 1

Source: Detroit Free Press - Dave Birkett

Detroit Lions DE Ziggy Ansah (ankle) hasn't practiced at all in camp, but the team is hopeful he'll be ready for Week 1. Ansah suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 2 last season, which hindered him all year.

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Lions fans are hopeful this ankle problem doesn't linger like the one he had last year. He's still on the PUP list for preseason, but the team has no need to rush him back. After a disappointing 2.0 sack season last year, Ansah needs to bounce back and provide the Lions with some ferocity when getting after the quarterback.

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22. HOU - RB Lamar Miller struggled with efficiency in '16

Source: USA TODAY Fantasy Sports

Houston Texans RB Lamar Miller finished in the bottom eight of 42 qualifying running backs in 2016 for fantasy efficiency in five of six measured categories. Among running backs with at least 120 offensive touches, he ranked 35th or worse in fantasy points per game (36th), touchdown efficiency (36th), yards per touch (35th), standard fantasy points per touch (38th), and PPR fantasy points per touch (39th). Miller finished 18th in PPR points per game.

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Reports this offseason have indicated we could see a smaller workload for Miller in 2017. He set a career-high mark with 268 carries in 2016, but we don't see him hitting that (or surpassing) number this year. Rookie D'Onta Foreman will take some carries away, and those may be near the goal line...something to hurt his fantasy value even if Miller is more efficient as a runner in his second year with the Texans.

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23. LAR - RB Todd Gurley marred by inefficiency last year

Source: USA TODAY Fantasy Sports

Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley ranked 41st in fantasy efficiency among 42 qualifying running backs in 2016. He finished last in PPR fantasy scoring per touch, and second to last in standard fantasy points per touch as well as offensive yards per touch. Gurley ranked 39th in standard fantasy points per contest and 22nd in PPR points per game, which was his highest ranking of any efficiency category.

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The Rams will have to prove they can threaten a defense with the passing game or Gurley could struggle again this year. Defenses can stack the line and dare the Rams to throw because of second-year QB Jared Goff. He'll have to be better, and new weapons around him like Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins could help open things up for the passing game.

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That'll do it for today, Folks. Thanks for reading and thanks for being part of what we're doing. It's going to be a fun year. We'll see you tomorrow with the Update.

Peace,

J