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Volume 19, #14 -- Saturday Night, May 6th, 2017

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Hi Folks,

Good Sunday to you. We've got the NFL News and Notes you need so let's get to it.

J


1. OAK - RB Marshawn Lynch focused on football

Source: NFL.com - Conor Orr

Oakland Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch is showing 'authentic passion' during workouts, according to head coach Jack Del Rio.

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Lynch is one of the most authentic players in the league. That's one of the many reasons why his teammates love him. Lynch doesn't need the money, he just wants to play football for his hometown team. If they can play better defense in 2017, the Raiders could make a deep postseason run with Lynch toting the rock.

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2. CLE - Cleveland not expected to add another QB

Source: NFL Trade Rumors

Cleveland Browns executive vice president Sashi Brown told WKNR 850 AM he does not anticipate the team signing another quarterback. The Browns added second-rounder DeShone Kizer in the draft and already have Cody Kessler, Brock Osweiler and Kevin Hogan on the roster.

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They don't need to add another quarterback! They already have one or two too many. The battle in Cleveland may not draw much fantasy interest as nobody is really excited about drafting guys like Cody Kessler or Brock Osweiler. However, we will be monitoring the progress of DeShone Kizer in dynasty leagues. He's got the potential to be the franchise QB the Browns have been searching for ever since they came back into the league in 1999.

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3. MIA - RB Jay Ajayi much-improved as receiver

Source: ESPN.com - James Walker

Miami Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi's receiving skills are '200 percent' better than they were a season ago, according to offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen.

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In his breakout season last year, Ajayi only had 27 catches for 151 yards. That could change this year, and more receptions should be music to fantasy owners' ears. Ajayi is already a top 10 fantasy RB (RB9, 2.04) but with better receiving statistics he could push for top 5 in 2017.

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4. MIA - TE Julius Thomas poised for huge year?

Source: The Miami Herald - Armando Salguero

Miami Dolphins TE Julius Thomas can add '10, 12 touchdowns' to the Dolphins' offense in 2017, according to offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen.

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Reunited with Adam Gase, we could see Thomas scoring TDs in bunches like he did for the Denver Broncos. The key with Thomas (as it always is) has to do with health. He still hasn't played a full season since being selected in the fourth round of the 2011 NFL draft.

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5. MIA - WR DeVante Parker set for breakout season?

Source: The Miami Herald - Armando Salguero

Miami Dolphins WR DeVante Parker is poised to have a 'really great year, gigantic year,' according to offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen.

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Parker has certainly flashed a ton of potential, but he's not consistent and has struggled with nagging injuries. If he finally puts it together, Parker could be the breakout player Christensen expects him to be. Parker makes for a nice high upside play who is going off the board at WR44 (10.05) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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6. CLE - Coach happy with WR Corey Coleman

Source: Akron Beacon Journal - Nate Ulrich

Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson said he is happy that WR Corey Coleman has taken a leadership role among the wide receiver group this offseason.

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The Browns moved some WRs around this offseason, adding Kenny Britt in free agency and letting Terrelle Pryor (Washington) move on. Coleman has the speed to take the top off the defense, but Lord only knows who is going to be throwing him the ball. Coleman's current ADP reflects the questionable QB situation, and he's going off the board at WR40 (9.01) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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7. CLE - QB Cody Kessler top option for now

Source: Akron Beacon Journal - Nate Ulrich

Cleveland Browns QB Cody Kessler appears to be the leading candidate for the starting quarterback at this point since he is the only quarterback on the roster with any experience in head coach Hue Jackson's offense.

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That would make the most sense at this time. Kessler is expected to compete with QBs Brock Osweiler and DeShone Kizer for the job. We'd be shocked if Osweiler makes the 53-man roster, and Kizer is seen as a potential franchise QB....with a lot of work to go. Kessler is efficient as a passer, but he's not a player fantasy owners are going to be clamoring for.

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8. MIA - WR Jakeem Grant may have bigger role

Source: The Miami Herald - Barry Jackson

Miami Dolphins WR Jakeem Grant has been working as an outside receiver this offseason, and offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen said he wants Grant to have a bigger role in the offense.

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Grant is small (5'7" 172 pounds) but he's lightning quick and capable of getting by defenders for big plays. He's an exciting player to watch, but Grant will only be a gadget player and thus have limited fantasy value.

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9. NYG - WR Brandon Marshall to play a few more years

Source: ESPN.com - Jordan Raanan

New York Giants WR Brandon Marshall said he plans to play two more seasons before he retires.

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A fourth-round pick of the Broncos in 2006, Marshall has been one of the most consistent WRs in the NFL...even though he's bounced around to more than a few teams. He signed a two-year deal with the Giants, but nothing is set in stone. If his body feels good in a couple of years, Marshall could easily change his mind.

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10. NYJ - NYJ's new OC 'loves' tight ends

Source: SNY - Ralph Vacchiano

New York Jets offensive coordinator John Morton reportedly told rookie TE Jordan Leggett he 'loves' tight ends and wants to make them a 'go-to guy' in his offense.

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The Jets were the worst in the league in 2016 when it came to utilizing the tight end. Their TE group finished last in targets, receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns at the position. Morton has a lot of 'loving' to do in order to get the Jets back to middle of the pack in this category.

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11. DET - WR Anquan Boldin appears unlikely to return

Source: MLive.com - Kyle Meinke

Although free-agent WR Anquan Boldin (Lions) does not plan to retire, he has not had discussions with the Detroit Lions for more than a month. In the opinion of MLive.com's Kyle Meinke, the odds of him returning to Detroit for the 2017 season are growing increasingly slim, especially after the Lions drafted WR Kenny Golladay in the third round of the draft. In addition, Boldin's No. 80 jersey has been reassigned to TE Michael Roberts.

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Boldin proved last year that he could still produce at the pro level. He's not done, but Boldin is likely in no rush to sign with a new team. We should get closer to training camp and hear more buzz about a potential landing spot for Boldin, but it sounds like a return to Detroit is not in the cards.

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12. TB - O.J. Howard dominates at camp

Source: PewterReport.com - Scott Reynolds

Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE O.J. Howard played on the line of scrimmage and in the slot at rookie minicamp Friday, May 5, and he was uncoverable in 11-on-11 drills, according to beat writer Scott Reynolds.

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That sounds like what Howard did at the Reese's Senior Bowl earlier this year. He's big, fast and physical but his lack of production at Alabama (only 2 games with more than 85 yards receiving...both against Clemson) is something that stands out given his natural talent. We know QB Jameis Winston loves to throw to the TE, and Howard gives them yet another weapon in the passing game...and he could stand out as a red-zone threat. Howard will split time at tight end with Cameron Brate.

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13. SF - Joe Williams confident, motivated

Source: Santa Rosa Press Democrat - Grant Cohn

San Francisco 49ers RB Joe Williams said he feels like he was the best running back available in the 2017 NFL Draft.

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After 'retiring' from football for a month in 2016, Williams returned to the Utes lineup and dominated. Williams finished the year as a top-20 RB in the nation with 1,420 rushing yards with 10 touchdowns in nine contests. A plus athlete, Williams can create on his own in various ways. The Kyle Shanahan system is incredibly RB friendly, so Williams is a name all fantasy owners need to monitor. He'll compete with Carlos Hyde (who is in a contract year) for the top spot with the 49ers.

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14. MIA - QB Ryan Tannehill better prepared

Source: The Miami Herald - Barry Jackson

Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill (knee) looks fully recovered from his knee injury, according to head coach Adam Gase, and Gase said Tannehill has a 'better grasp of the offense' this season.

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Tannehill is working with a very QB friendly coach in Gase. His numbers last year (in 13 games) weren't great, and he finished the year as the no.26 fantasy quarterback in standard scoring leagues. With a full season and a better grasp of the offense, it wouldn't be a shock to see him finish in the top 15 again and maybe even top 10 like he was (no.9) in 2014.

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15. NE - CB Malcolm Butler was hoping for trade

Source: CSNNE.com - Mike Giardi

New England Patriots CB Malcolm Butler wanted 'badly' to be traded to the New Orleans Saints, according to Mike Giardi of CSNNE.com.

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Butler is all about the Patriots....for now. He wants to be paid like one of the top corners in the game, and Butler should be able to get that money if he performs up to expectations again. He's a free agent in 2018, and that's likely when Butler will get that big payday.

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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