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Volume 19, #27 -- Friday Night, May 19th, 2017

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Hi Folks,

Good Saturday to you. Welcome to the Weekend. We've got more Team Reports plus the News and Notes you need so let's get to it.

J

SITE NEWS

A. Chicago Bears Team Report
Our Footballguys Team Reports are where we dive deep into all we see on the horizon for each team this year. In this one, we take a close look at the Chicago Bears.
Credits:

Offense - Bear Heiser, IDP - Aaron Rudnicki
PK and Team Defense - Sigmund Bloom
OL - Matt Bitonti, Returners - Adam Harstad

B. Detroit Lions Team Report
Our Footballguys Team Reports are where we dive deep into all we see on the horizon for each team this year. In this one, we take a close look at the Detroit Lions.
Credits:

Offense - Dan Hindery, IDP - Daniel Simpkins
PK and Team Defense - Sigmund Bloom
OL - Matt Bitonti, Returners - Adam Harstad

C. Green Bay Packers Team Report
Our Footballguys Team Reports are where we dive deep into all we see on the horizon for each team this year. In this one, we take a close look at the Green Bay Packers.
Credits:

Offense - BJ Vanderwoude, IDP - Daniel Simpkins
PK and Team Defense - Sigmund Bloom
OL - Matt Bitonti, Returners - Adam Harstad

D. Minnesota Vikings Team Report
Our Footballguys Team Reports are where we dive deep into all we see on the horizon for each team this year. In this one, we take a close look at the Minnesota Vikings.
Credits:

Offense - James Brimacombe, IDP - Daniel Simpkins
PK and Team Defense - Sigmund Bloom
OL - Matt Bitonti, Returners - Adam Harstad


1. NE - Agent denies QB Tom Brady's concussion rumors

Source: ESPN - Adam Schefter

Updating an ongoing story, New England Patriots QB Tom Brady was not diagnosed with a concussion last season, according to his agent.

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Brady's wife, Gisele Bundchen, claimed Brady had a concussion last year even though he was never listed with one on the injury report. The Patriots have never listed Brady with a concussion. The league and NFLPA will take a look but we don't expect much to come from it.

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2. PHI - RB LeGarrette Blount likes new QB

Source: The News Journal - Frank Martin

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeGarrette Blount said QB Carson Wentz is 'one of those guys you want to build a team around' and 'has the potential to be a really special player.'

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Wentz is a player that the whole staff...and now a new teammate...are excited to work with. He struggled as his rookie season went on last year, but now Wentz has better weapons around him. The addition of WRs Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith should help him stay consistent as a passer.

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3. SEA - Seattle expects to run more often in 2017

Source: NFL.com - Kevin Patra

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said this week the Seahawks will run the ball more often this season. The team added Eddie Lacy to a backfield that already had a pair of injury-prone players in C.J. Prosise and Thomas Rawls.

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That's good news for Lacy and company. Lacy comes over from Green Bay in free agency this offseason, and he needed a fresh start. After two years of strong production with the Packers, the last two years have seen the big back struggle through weight problems and injuries. If healthy, over 1,000 yards rushing and 7-9 rushing touchdowns is possible with his new team. Fantasy owners are drafting Lacy at RB20 (5.01) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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4. OAK - QB Derek Carr eyeing extension

Source: CSNBayArea.com - Scott Bair

Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr wants to work out a contract extension this offseason, and general manager Reggie McKenzie said he is confident that a deal will be agreed upon. 'We're going to do everything to make sure this contract gets done,' McKenzie said.

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This is the biggest no-brainer in the history of Earth. Sign Carr to a big money deal, do it as soon as you can, and smile while you write the check. Carr is one of the best young quarterbacks in the league, and he's made the Raiders into a Super Bowl contender. They should get this contract out of the way so it doesn't become a distraction.

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5. PIT - TE Jesse James to be No. 1 tight end

Source: ESPN - Adam Caplan

Pittsburgh Steelers TE Jesse James will be the 'main guy' at the tight end position this year, according to ESPN's Adam Caplan.

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At 6'7" 261 pounds, James can be a red-zone force...if not more...for the Steelers in 2017. He caught 39 passes for 338 yards and three touchdowns last year, but in the postseason James caught 10 passes for 131 yards in the Divisional Round and AFC Championship Game. He moves into the top spot with the release of Ladarius Green.

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6. DAL - QB Colin Kaepernick not on Dallas' radar

Source: ESPNDallas.com - Todd Archer

Free-agent QB Colin Kaepernick (49ers) is reportedly 'not a fit' for the Dallas Cowboys, according to ESPN's Todd Archer.

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The Cowboys will go with Kellen Moore as the backup behind Dak Prescott. They better hope Prescott doesn't get hurt as Moore would offer them little as the starter.

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7. TB - QB Ryan Fitzpatrick signs with Tampa

Source: Tampa Bay Times - Rick Stroud

Free-agent QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (Jets) has agreed to an undisclosed contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Friday, May 19.

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When they lost Mike Glennon (Bears) in free agency, the Bucs had only Ryan Griffin as the primary backup to Jameis Winston. Fitzpatrick certainly wasn't "Fitzmagic" last year with the Jets...in fact, he was downright horrible. He'll compete with Griffin to wear a ballcap and hold a clipboard in 2017.

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8. LAC - Mike Williams dealing with back issue

Source: Los Angeles Times - Dan Woike

Los Angeles Chargers WR Mike Williams (back) is dealing with some soreness in his lower back and won't be rushed back to practice, according to head coach Anthony Lynn.

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Williams was a top-10 pick in the 2017 NFL draft, and he reminds some in the scouting community of Plaxico Burress. He's big, has a large wingspan and can win at the catch point regularly. Expect the team to take it easy on him as he deals with this back injury.

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9. CIN - Joe Mixon's versatility praised

Source: Bengals.com - Geoff Hobson

Cincinnati Bengals RB Joe Mixon's versatility will make it harder for defenses to know what the offense is doing, according to QB Andy Dalton.

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Mixon has drawn comparisons to Le'Veon Bell (Steelers) because of his versatility. We see him as a full-time back and certainly a strong fantasy asset. The Bengals will have to hammer out the touches in the backfield between Mixon, Gio Bernard and Jeremy Hill.

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10. TB - WR Mike Evans pumped for WR DeSean Jackson

Source: Houston Chronicle - Aaron Wilson

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans said it will be 'awesome' to play with WR DeSean Jackson, and he believes they 'could be one of the best tandems in the league.'

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Evans is a tremendous receiver and Jackson - even if the current version is a shadow of the younger one - should draw sufficient attention to give Evans more room to produce yards and touchdowns. Add in another year of experience for Jameis Winston and Evans' value continues to trend upward.

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11. DEN - RB Jamaal Charles not a lock for roster

Source: 9News.com - Mike Klis

Denver Broncos RB Jamaal Charles has a 50 percent chance to make the 53-man roster, according to beat writer Mike Klis.

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Charles suffered a meniscus injury in the same right knee that had ACL surgery after a season-ending injury in 2015 and ended up having surgery on both knees after his 2016 ended. He should be ready for training camp, but how ready will that be? It feels like he's going to be behind the eight ball with CJ Anderson and Devontae Booker having plenty of time to get used to the offense. Charles hasn't really been great the last few seasons anyway and we think he's on the wrong side of his career and is likely destined for a minimal role in Denver.

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12. MIA - Mike Pouncey expected to be limited

Source: The Miami Herald - Armando Salguero

Miami Dolphins C Mike Pouncey (hip) is expected to be limited during training camp and may not play in any preseason games because of his hip.

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The Dolphins will continue to monitor Pouncey's hip, even when the games count. He is likely to practice sparingly during the regular season in hopes that he will be ready for each Sunday.

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13. MIA - Miami not adding Nick Mangold

Source: The Miami Herald - Armando Salguero

The Miami Dolphins have no intention in signing free-agent C Nick Mangold (Jets) at this time, according to sources.

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Mangold will likely get a job somewhere, but he may have to wait until injuries start to happen in training camp. He's only had one visit in free agency (Ravens) and is still recovering from ankle surgery.

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14. TB - Tampa Bay did not consider QB Colin Kaepernick

Source: ProFootballTalk.com - Mike Florio

Free-agent QB Colin Kaepernick (49ers) was not considered as an option for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when they decided to sign QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, according to a source.

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We could see Kaepernick wind up in Seattle as a backup behind Russell Wilson. The Bucs wanted a veteran to compete with Ryan Griffin to be the backup behind Jameis Winston.

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15. GB - Josh Jones signs contract

Source: ESPN.com - Rob Demovsky

Green Bay Packers second-round draft choice S Josh Jones signed his four-year contract with the Packers Friday, May 19. Financial terms were not disclosed.

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Jones is an intimidating player who thrives on playing close to the line of scrimmage. Last year for the Wolfpack of NC State, Jones led the team with 109 tackles (four for loss) and three interceptions, also breaking up eight passes. He loves the violence of hitting, but Jones will have to show better in coverage at the pro level.

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16. IND - Tarell Basham signs rookie deal with Indy

Source: The Indianapolis Star - Zak Keefer

Indianapolis Colts third-round pick DE Tarell Basham signed his four-year rookie contract Friday, May 19. Financial terms of the deal were undisclosed.

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Basham has the size (6'4" 269 pounds) and heart that scouts love. He's a player who gives full effort on the field on every snap, and the nuances of his game are developing in the right direction. Basham has the length, burst and strong hands to be disruptive as a pass rusher. He does lack a ton of moves when getting after the quarterback, but that can be taught at the pro level. The rookie from Ohio has starter's upside if he continues to develop.

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17. CLE - Caleb Brantley inks deal with Cleveland

Source: The Cleveland Plain Dealer - Mary Kay Cabot

Cleveland Browns sixth-round pick DT Caleb Brantley signed his four-year rookie contract Friday, May 19. Financial terms of the deal were undisclosed.

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Brantley has the strength to be a force in the middle of the defensive line. He can work outside at end and help contain the run, but he also can move inside to tackle and stack up double teams if need be. The rookie from Florida will work as a rotational player behind Danny Shelton in 2017.

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18. CHI - Chicago inks Adam Shaheen

Source: Chicago Tribune - Brad Biggs

Chicago Bears second-round pick TE Adam Shaheen signed his four-year rookie contract Friday, May 19. Financial terms of the deal were undisclosed.

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He was called "Baby Gronk" leading up to the draft, and Shaheen was certainly a favorite of Draft Twitter. The Ashland prospect dominated the Division II level, and he did it with a size/speed combination rarely seen at that level. Shaheen measures in at 6'7" 280 pounds, and he says he got big in college eating Chipotle. He'll work behind Zach Miller this year, but Shaheen is one of our favorite rookie TEs to add in dynasty leagues.

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19. HOU - Deshaun Watson unsure he'll start Week 1

Source: ESPN.com - Sarah Barshop

Houston Texans first-round pick QB Deshaun Watson admitted he has 'no idea' if he'll be the Week 1 starter.

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Watson will compete with Tom Savage to be the Texans starter this year. Capable of making big plays at the brightest moments, Watson should be able to win the job provided he can effectively take care of the ball. He'll challenge a defense but that has led to some costly interceptions. His transition from the spread/shotgun attack at Clemson to a pro-style attack with the Texans will take some time.

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20. CLE - Cleveland wraps up Myles Garrett deal

Source: ClevelandBrowns.com

Cleveland Browns first-round pick DE Myles Garrett signed his four-year rookie contract Friday, May 19. Financial terms of the deal were undisclosed.

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The number one overall pick from Texas A&M reminds many in the scouting community of Julius Peppers because of his size/strength combination. Under defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, Garrett should be able to wreak havoc off the edge as a rookie.

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21. LAC - WR Keenan Allen already up to speed

Source: Los Angeles Times - Dan Woike

Los Angeles Chargers WR Keenan Allen (knee) is already running routes at full speed in practice, and he said Tuesday, May 16, that he surprised himself with how well he is able to compete.

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Good news for the Chargers here. We all know Allen is incredibly talented when healthy...but it's the staying healthy part that is a problem for him. He's only played in nine games over the last two years combined. When healthy, Allen can be a fantasy factor and the favorite target of QB Philip Rivers. Expect the team to ease him along during OTAs with the idea that he could fully participate when training camp starts.

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22. MIN - WR Michael Floyd to practice soon

Source: ESPN.com - Ben Goessling

Minnesota Vikings WR Michael Floyd will begin practicing next week after having the remainder of his 96-day house arrest transferred from Arizona to Minnesota, according to a league source.

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Floyd is back home in Minnesota, and it might be the answer after hitting rock bottom last year with this "extreme DUI" that caused him to be under house arrest. If healthy and motivated, Floyd can push for a role behind Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen.

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That'll do it for today, Folks. Thanks for reading and thanks for being part of Footballguys. Have a great Saturday and we'll see you tomorrow with the Update.

Peace,

J