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Volume 19, #22 -- Sunday Night, May 14th, 2017

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Hi Folks,

Good Monday to you. It's a brand new Week and we've got the News and Notes you need. Plus new Podcasts. And don't forget, our Early Bird Discount for you loyal readers in May is just about over. Don't miss it.

Now let's get to it.

J

SITE NEWS

A. Early Bird Loyalty Discount For Insider PRO Ending Soon

Two Big Things:


#1. We're offering an EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT from now until the end of May. So jump in and get the Footballguys Premium Content at a great discount.

#2. This year, we'll have two separate subscriptions. The Insider PRO will cover all our Season Long Content. It's just $24.95 with our EARLY BIRD pricing. It'll be $29.95 on June 1.

The Insider PRO Plus will be all our Season Long content of the Insider PRO in addition to all our DFS content covering the Daily Games like FanDuel and DraftKings. It's just $35.95 with the EARLY BIRD pricing and then will be $44.95 starting June 1.

We'll also be working again with our good friend Matthew Berry of Rotopass.com (and that little company, ESPN...) Info for ordering Rotopass is right below.

B. Rotopass Is Your Combo Ticket To Win
Once again, we'll be working with our good friend Matthew Berry as part of his Rotopass subscription. Rotopass is a collection of Fantasy Football sites Matthew's put together for the owner that wants everything. We're proud to have the Footballguys Insider PRO as part of the Rotopass package. Also note, for you guys that want the Footballguys Insider PRO Plus package that features our DFS coverage, after you purchase the Rotopass subscription, you'll be able to easily upgrade your Footballguys Insider PRO to a PRO Plus by purchasing an upgrade on the Footballguys site.

C. Footballguys Podcast - The Audible - AFC West 2017 Draft RECAP
In This Episode: Cecil Lammey and Sigmund Bloom go through the picks in the 2017 NFL draft. Topics Include - a big impact from a big WR in new Chargers rookie Mike Williams, what were the Raiders thinking, why the Chiefs got a potential franchise QB in Patrick Mahomes, Outlaw Country aka Chad Kelly and his future upside for the Broncos, plus more!

D. Footballguys Podcast - The Audible - NFC West 2017 Draft RECAP
In This Episode: Cecil Lammey and Sigmund Bloom go through the picks in the 2017 NFL draft. Topics Include - the Cardinals get a playmaking linebacker in Hasaan Reddick, did the Rams add a new Eric Decker in Cooper Kupp, the 49ers crush it in the first draft for new GM John Lynch, why the Seahawks moved out of the first round, plus more! bumper: Trust Company - Downfall


1. TEN - QB Marcus Mariota could see some action in OTAs

Source: The Tennessean - Jason Wolf

Tennessee Titans QB Marcus Mariota (leg) is not yet running full-speed after fracturing his right fibula late last season, but the coaching staff is attempting to figure out how to get him - along with injured rookie WR Corey Davis - on the field together sooner than later. Organized team activities run from May 23 to June 8, and there is a chance both could see limited work during that time.

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The Titans will be cautious with Mariota, so if he's just not ready they won't push him. All reports have been positive about his recovery, but his participation level for the offseason is in question. Mariota should do more in training camp and the preseason, and it looks like he'll be ready for Week 1.

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2. HOU - DE J.J. Watt feels 'fantastic'

Source: Houston Chronicle - Aaron Wilson

Houston Texans DE J.J. Watt (back) told the Houston Chronicle's Aaron Wilson he feels 'fantastic' after undergoing a pair of microdiscectomy surgeries last season to repair the same herniated disk in his back.

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Great news for Watt and the Texans here. Watt missed most of last year (appeared in only three games) due to this back problem, and the multiple surgeries to repair the damage. He'll be limited during OTAs and minicamp, but it sounds like he should be good to go for the start of training camp.

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3. CLE - Myles Garrett worked with DE Bruce Smith

Source: ESPN.com - Pat McManamon

Cleveland Browns DE Myles Garrett watched film with retired DE Bruce Smith, and Garrett said Smith told him that he needed to be faster off the ball. 'Most people wouldn't say that, but he's one of the greatest if not the greatest pass-rusher,' Garrett said. 'If he thinks so and I want to be at his level one day, I got to take his advice and run with it.'

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Garrett has the potential to be an immediate impact player for the Browns. He's strong on the edge, has a super quick spin move to the inside and Garrett has good closing burst to the quarterback. In addition to being a fine pass rusher, Garrett is capable of setting the edge against the run. Working with the former Bills great...and all-time sack leader...will only help Garrett play up to that amazing potential.

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4. BUF - Dion Dawkins works at LT

Source: BuffaloBills.com - Chris Brown

Buffalo Bills OT Dion Dawkins lined up at left tackle during the team's rookie minicamp but is expected to compete for the starting right tackle job during training camp.

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Dawkins is a powerful player with the athleticism and kick leg to stay with rushers on the outside. He relies on his aggression as technique and will need refinement at the position...and he belongs on the right side of the line as a pro. At the very least, Dawkins could develop into a quality guard at the pro level.

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5. PIT - Pittsburgh signs Phazahn Odom

Source: Houston Chronicle - Aaron Wilson

The Pittsburgh Steelers signed undrafted free-agent TE Phazahn Odom (Fordham) Sunday, May 14, according to a source. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

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Odom was a tryout player with the Steelers after the draft, and he did enough to earn a deal with the team. He's got interesting size at 6'8" and 250 pounds, and Odom has the wingspan to gather in difficult passes. A former basketball star, Odom is clearly athletic but he also doesn't mind the physical side (blocking) of the game.

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6. SEA - Malik McDowell leaves practice

Source: ESPN.com - Sheil Kapadia

Seattle Seahawks DT Malik McDowell (foot) left practice early Sunday, May 14, after his foot was stepped on but he should be fine.

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McDowell is going to line up at end for the Seahawks where his size and wingspan will come in handy. Coming out of Michigan State, there were plenty of questions about McDowell's work ethic but Seattle is a team known to work through those kind of problems with players. We should see the rookie work as a rotational player and potential starter for the Seahawks going forward.

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7. SEA - WR Kenny Lawler adds some weight

Source: The Seattle Times - Bob Condotta

Seattle Seahawks WR Kenny Lawler has added around 15 to 17 pounds since last season and was impressive during the team's rookie minicamp this weekend, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

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Lawler was a seventh round pick last year and spent his rookie year on the Seahawks practice squad. A lanky possession receiver out of Cal, Lawler needed to bulk up in order to play with better strength after the catch. He'll be hard pressed to make the team again this year.

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8. NO - New Orleans expected to add two tryout players

Source: The New Orleans Advocate - Nick Underhill

Free-agent TE Clay Harbor (Lions) and OT Khalif Barnes (Saints) are expected to sign with the New Orleans Saints Monday, May 15, according to a source.

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A fourth-round pick of the Eagles back in 2010, Harbor has bounced around the league to more than a few teams. Harbor is an athletic move tight end, and it's interesting that he's likely to land with the Saints. However, they're packed at the position and he would be no lock for the 53-man roster.

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9. PHI - Sidney Jones not rushing back

Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer - Zach Berman

Philadelphia Eagles CB Sidney Jones (Achilles') said the team is taking a cautious approach to his return and want him healthy before he returns to the field, so there is no timetable for his return. Jones is able to lift weights and is focusing on regaining his mobility. He will have his walking boot removed next week and expects his rehab to ramp up at that point.

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Jones has tremendous upside, but an Achilles' injury during his pro day will likely keep him out as a rookie. When healthy, Jones plays a lot like another former Washington CB - Marcus Peters (Chiefs) - because of his gambling style and casino cornerback play. Jones will take chances in coverage, but he can make plays and turns into an offensive player with the ball in his hands.

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10. KC - ILB Derrick Johnson remains on track

Source: The Kansas City Star - Blair Kerkhoff

Kansas City Chiefs LB Derrick Johnson (Achilles') said he remains on schedule in his recovery and hopes to be ready for the start of training camp.

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Good news for the Chiefs here. Johnson is the heart and soul of the Chiefs defense, and when he's on the field he's always around the ball. This is the second time Johnson has had an Achilles' injury, so expect the team to take it easy on him in training camp.

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11. PIT - Alejandro Villanueva not signed yet

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - Chris Adamski

Pittsburgh Steelers exclusive rights free-agent OT Alejandro Villanueva still has not signed his tender offer, and head coach Mike Tomlin said he does not know if Villanueva will report for organized team activities.

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As an ERFA, Villanueva doesn't have much leverage. The Steelers should be working on a new long-term extension for the former Army Ranger who has performed well after winning the starting left tackle job last year. We'll see if Villanueva stays away when workouts become mandatory.

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12. NYJ - Marcus Maye expected to start

Source: NJ Advance Media - Connor Hughes

New York Jets S Marcus Maye is expected to be the starting free safety this upcoming season.

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A second-round pick out of Florida this year, Maye mostly played free safety in college but he did also get snaps at slot corner. He's a rangy player with the athleticism to roam the back half of the field. Maye will team with fellow rookie Jamal Adams (2017 first-round pick) to be featured in the new-look Jets secondary.

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13. NYJ - Jamal Adams likely will be SS

Source: NJ Advance Media - Connor Hughes

New York Jets S Jamal Adams is expected to be the starting strong safety this upcoming season and could be the defensive play caller depending on how he progresses.

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Adams can be an impact player for the Jets from day one. He's got an enforcer's mentality and is known as a leader who backs up his words with outstanding play on the field. Some in the scouting community have compared his skill set to that of former Cowboys great Darren Woodson.

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14. SEA - Mike Tyson working at cornerback

Source: ESPN.com - Sheil Kapadia

Seattle Seahawks sixth-round pick DB Mike Tyson is practicing at cornerback this spring after spending most of his college career at safety. Head coach Pete Carroll told ESPN's Sheil Kapadia that Tyson reminds him a bit of former Seahawks CB Byron Maxwell.

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Tyson lacks the recovery speed to cover downfield, but he's got the size (6'1" 204 pounds) and football instincts that scouts love. We see him more as a safety, but the Seahawks are known for moving versatile pieces around in the defensive backfield.

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15. NO - New Orleans eyeing open competition at DE

Source: The New Orleans Advocate - Joel A. Erickson

New Orleans Saints DE Cameron Jordan has one defensive end spot locked up, but the team expects an 'open competition' between Alex Okafor, Obum Gwacham, Hau'oli Kikaha and third-round pick Trey Hendrickson for the defensive end spot opposite him.

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The Saints need to find a new starter opposite Jordan after not renewing the contract of Paul Kruger. Okafor has the experience advantage and has an 8.0 sack season (2014) on his resume (when he was with the Cardinals). Hendrickson, the rookie from FAU, is known as a hustle player who just won't quit. He can get the quarterback with bend, burst and a burning desire to make a play. Hendrickson may be best suited as a rotational player, but the upside is there for him to be an effective starter.

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16. PHI - Jerod Evans cut loose

Source: CSNPhilly.com - Dave Zangaro

Philadelphia Eagles undrafted free-agent QB Jerod Evans (foot) was waived with an injury designation Sunday, May 14, following the team's three-day rookie minicamp.

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Evans was undrafted out of Virginia Tech this year, and once he's recovered we could see a team putting him on the practice squad. He's super athletic and has a strong arm, but Evans is a developmental project as a passer.

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17. BUF - WR Kolby Listenbee on schedule

Source: BuffaloBills.com - Chris Brown

Buffalo Bills WR Kolby Listenbee's (hernia) recovery is on schedule, according to head coach Sean McDermott, and the plan is for Listenbee to be ready for training camp.

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A sixth-round pick out of TCU in 2016, Listenbee had to sit out all of his rookie year due to injury. He can flat out fly when healthy at 6'0" 197 pounds. A true vertical threat, Listenbee is strong enough to maintain possession of the ball when contact is made at the catch point. The Bills have a revamped group of wide receivers this year, and in dynasty leagues we're curious as to where Listenbee will end up in the pecking order.

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18. SEA - Malik McDowell to move outside

Source: The Associated Press - Curtis Crabtree

Seattle Seahawks DT Malik McDowell will be used more at defensive end, according to head coach Pete Carroll. 'I'm playing a whole different position,' McDowell said. 'Moving outside and going from taking double teams to taking single blocks here mostly.'

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McDowell has the capability of playing end or tackle on the defensive line. If motivated (sometimes a big IF for the Michigan State prospect), McDowell can be an incredibly disruptive player due to his length and strength when getting after the passer.

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19. WAS - Samaje Perine impresses coaches

Source: The Washington Post - Mike Jones

Washington Redskins RB Samaje Perine drew praise from running backs coach Randy Jordan for his quickness and elusiveness during rookie minicamp, and head coach Jay Gruden praised Perine's technique. 'You can tell his pad level is always down and he had good vision and he has good feet in the hole, and he caught the ball well,' Gruden said.

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We're excited about Perine's skill set at the pro level...mainly because we've seen it before in former Falcons stud Michael Turner. Going to Washington isn't a great landing spot for Perine as he'll have to compete for touches with Rob Kelley. The rookie from Oklahoma is currently going off the board at RB52 (12.08) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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20. TB - Big year coming for Noah Spence?

Source: Tampa Bay Times - Rick Stroud

Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Noah Spence said he has put on more muscle but weighs about 10 pounds less than last season, and DT Gerald McCoy said Spence is ready for a 'breakout year' while DE Robert Ayers said Spence could be a '15-plus sack guy' this season.

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Spence has amazing upside as a pro, and we could see him as a double-digit sack guy for multiple years in the NFL. He fell to the second round of the 2016 NFL draft due to character concerns from back in his days at Ohio State. Spence transferred to Eastern Kentucky and has stayed on the right path since then.

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21. NYJ - DE Muhammad Wilkerson ready for 2017

Source: The Star-Ledger - Darryl Slater

New York Jets DE Muhammad Wilkerson said he has a chip on his shoulder heading into the 2017 season and wants to prove his struggles last year had nothing to do with the contract extension he signed.

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Wilkerson's struggles in 2016 (just 4.5 sacks) were likely due to him playing hurt...at least that's what Jets coach Todd Bowles believes was the case. If he can get back to his 2015 form (12 sacks), Wilkerson easily has Pro Bowl potential and can be one of the most impactful players on the Jets defense.

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22. DAL - TE James Hanna back by training camp

Source: ESPNDallas.com - Todd Archer

Dallas Cowboys TE James Hanna (knee) will likely miss most of OTAs and June minicamp but should be ready for the start of training camp, according to head coach Jason Garrett.

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He's been on the mend since late last year when he had surgery on his injured knee. Hanna is under contract through 2018 and a blocking tight end for the Cowboys when he's healthy. He was limited to just four games in 2016.

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23. DAL - TE Geoff Swaim still on the mend

Source: ESPNDallas.com - Todd Archer

Dallas Cowboys TE Geoff Swaim (foot) won't see much time during OTAs or June minicamp but should be ready for the start of training camp, according to head coach Jason Garrett.

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Swaim was injured in an informal players workout at the facility earlier this year and required foot surgery to repair the damage. A blocking tight end only, Swaim missed the last seven games of 2016 because of a torn pectoral tendon (which required surgery), and he also had knee surgery last season.

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24. LAR - Cooper Kupp has an edge on Josh Reynolds

Source: TheRams.com - Myles Simmons

Los Angeles Rams WR Cooper Kupp and WR Josh Reynolds are going to have different route trees, according to head coach Sean McVay, because Kupp is used to lining up all over the formation while Reynolds played in a spread system and lined up mostly outside the numbers.

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Kupp has the edge as well because he's simply a better route runner and is able to get separation with guile and cunning. The rookie from Easter Washington plays like a younger version of Eric Decker (Jets), and Kupp could become a favorite target for QB Jared Goff.

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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