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Volume 19, #34 -- Friday Night, May 26th, 2017

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Hi Folks,

Good Saturday to you. I hope you have a great Holiday Weekend as we've got some News and Notes for you. Plus a word about rounding up Beta Testers for our Draft Dominator Mobile App.

Let's get to it.

J

SITE NEWS

A. Early Bird Loyalty Discount For Insider PRO Ends In 4 Days

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. Looking For Beta Testers For The Footballguys Mobile Draft Dominator App
We're looking for some Beta Testers for the Footballguys Mobile Draft Dominator App. Please note, this isn't for guys just wanting a "sneak peek" at the app. If you're able to give real feedback and help us make the app better, we'd love to have your help. You can click on the link in the title for a google form we're using to take applications. There isn't any compensation but you get the app for free and get to flex your football drafting expertise.


1. CAR - Coach defends WR Kelvin Benjamin

Source: Charlotte Observer - Jourdan Rodrigue

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin has been facing unfair criticism, according to head coach Ron Rivera, and Rivera said Benjamin has 'looked great' on the field.

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It seems like everyone on social media has been fat shaming Benjamin over photos surfacing from camp where he looks out of shape. Benjamin is not where he needs to be physically, but he's got plenty of time to get there before training camp starts.

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2. DAL - Ryan Switzer to have 'significant' role

Source: The Dallas Morning News - Jon Machota

Dallas Cowboys fourth-round pick WR Ryan Switzer is getting first-team reps in the slot while WR Cole Beasley is dealing hamstring soreness. However, while head coach Jason Garrett has made it clear while Switzer was drafted in part for his ability to back up Beasley, the Cowboys are working on packages for both to be on the field at the same time to take advantage of mismatches.

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Switzer plays a lot like Wes Welker. He's small but lightning fast and electric with the ball in his hands. Switzer has great foot frequency and can change direction on a dime without losing speed. He does have a small catch radius so passes need to be on point for him to be properly utilized as a receiver.

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3. JAX - Leonard Fournette showing off hands early

Source: 1010XL AM - Hays Carlyon

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette impressed head coach Doug Marrone with his ability to catch the ball during OTAs, according to 1010XL AM's Hays Carlyon.

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Fournette is going to be the centerpiece of the Jaguars offense as a runner, but don't discount how he can contribute as a receiver. The volume of touches, coupled with his amazing natural talent, automatically gives him RB1 upside for fantasy owners. Right now, Fournette is going off the board at RB13 (3.08) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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4. MIN - Dalvin Cook fitting in

Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press - Chris Tomasson

Minnesota Vikings RB Dalvin Cook isn't working with the first-team offense yet but is fitting in nicely, according to offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. 'He's a very instinctive runner,' Shurmur said. 'He'll get his foot down and gets up the field. He's actually pretty instinctive when it comes to who to block in pass protection and he catches the ball extremely well.'

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Cook runs a bit like Edgerrin James used to for the Colts back in the day. He needs to hang onto the rock as fumbling was a problem for him at Florida State. As a runner, Cook has the vision and instincts to creatively find running lanes in order to gash defenses. Don't be surprised if the rookie ends up being the top back in the Vikings revamped backfield. He's competing with free agent addition Latavius Murray for touches.

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5. PHI - QB Carson Wentz talks up WR Alshon Jeffery

Source: CSNPhilly.com - Dave Zangaro

Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz said he loves what WR Alshon Jeffery brings to the table and is looking forward to developing chemistry with the receiver. 'He plays on time, he knows what he's doing, his catch radius is impressive,' Wentz said 'That's the first thing that jumps out at me. I'm just looking forward to continuing to build that relationship.'

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Imagine how happy Wentz is after the lack of talent he had to work with last year. The second-year quarterback has a legitimate no1 WR in Jeffery, and the duo could produce at a high level for the Eagles this year. Wentz is still learning and more of a bye week QB2 for fantasy owners. Jeffery is proven and is getting drafted at WR16 (3.07) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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6. CLE - DeShone Kizer works with third-team - but rising?

Source: Akron Beacon Journal - Nate Ulrich

Cleveland Browns QB DeShone Kizer worked mainly with the third-team offense during OTAs Wednesday, May 24, but he did rotate in with the starters.

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Kizer may be groomed as the quarterback of the future. And it's worth noting that some in Cleveland think he could be on the fast track to start. But he's got a lot of work to do before the team can trust him as the starter. The rookie from Notre Dame is big, strong and physical as a runner. Kizer has a big arm, but there's little control to his passes on the run and he needs to make better decisions as a passer.

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7. CLE - QB Brock Osweiler eyeing starting gig

Source: Akron Beacon Journal - Nate Ulrich

Cleveland Browns QB Brock Osweiler worked mainly with the second-team offense Wednesday, May 24, but he said his expectation is to start.

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What else is he supposed to say? Osweiler may not make the 53-man roster if the team wants to go with just Cody Kessler and rookie DeShone Kizer.

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8. PIT - Joshua Dobbs to be backup QB?

Source: Sirius XM NFL Radio - Alex Marvez

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Joshua Dobbs is likely to beat out QB Landry Jones for the backup quarterback job, according to former NFL executive Mark Dominik.

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We'd agree with that sentiment. The rookie from Tennessee is smart, athletic and can make any throw required. He does need a lot of work before he's ready to start. Dobbs tends to lock onto bad reads and doesn't adjust after the snap. He'll stare down his targets and lead defenders right into the throwing lane. Dobbs has great deep accuracy but could use better pass placement on short/intermediate routes. Even with all this work needed, Dobbs is likely better than Jones almost from day one.

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9. OAK - WR Amari Cooper wants more

Source: CSNBayArea.com - Scott Bair

Oakland Raiders WR Amari Cooper said he can have 'a lot more production' and is working to be 'dominant' this season.

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The last two years, Cooper has had over 1,000 yards each season. He's finished as a WR2 in each season, one as a low-end WR2 (2015, 23) and one as a high-end WR2 (2016, WR14). With a healthy Derek Carr and an improved rushing attack, we could see Cooper avoid the late season swoon that he's suffered each year. The ability to be a WR1 is clearly there, and fantasy owners are currently drafting Cooper at WR10 (2.08) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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10. JAX - RB Chris Ivory impresses head coach

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

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Chris Ivory looks to be in much better shape than he was in last season, according to head coach Doug Marrone.

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That's good news for Ivory, but the bad news is that he'll be playing behind 2017 first-round pick Leonard Fournette this season. Ivory will compete with T.J. Yeldon for touches behind Fournette.

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11. CLE - QB Cody Kessler has stronger arm

Source: Akron Beacon Journal - Nate Ulrich

Cleveland Browns QB Cody Kessler increased his arm strength this offseason and said the added strength will allow him to be more aggressive. 'Being able to push the ball down the field and having that confidence and knowing that you can get it there and put a little more on it is something that definitely helps you,' Kessler said.

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Kessler's lack of arm strength was a real negative coming out of USC last year. He's efficient and accurate on underneath routes, but he needs to show that he can hit the long stuff too. Having a stronger arm and improved velocity could help set him apart in the Browns QB competition.

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12. MIN - WR Michael Floyd contract info

Source: ESPN.com - Ben Goessling

Minnesota Vikings WR Michael Floyd's one-year deal that contains no guaranteed money, according to ESPN's Ben Goessling. That means the team has no financial commitment to Floyd should he fail to make the final cut.

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The Vikings had to structure his deal this way. Floyd got bounced from the Cardinals after his "extreme DUI" last year and did nothing with the Patriots when they picked him up late in the season. Going back home to Minnesota should help him, but the team wasn't going to throw around money carelessly for a player with Floyd's backstory.

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13. SEA - Malik McDowell signs contract

Source: Houston Chronicle - Aaron Wilson

Seattle Seahawks second-round draft choice DT Malik McDowell has signed a four-year contract worth $6.955 million. The deal includes a $3.198 million signing bonus.

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McDowell is a big-bodied defender with the length to disrupt the quarterback from multiple spots on the line. Don't look at his numbers from college as they're not that impressive, but the potential with McDowell to be a solid pro is there. We'll see if he can take to pro coaching as questions from college about his work ethic and motor abound. He'll serve as a rotational player for the Seahawks.

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14. NYJ - DE Sheldon Richardson shopped to three teams

Source: ESPNNewYork.com - Rich Cimini

New York Jets DE Sheldon Richardson was been shopped to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Seattle Seahawks and Indianapolis Colts this offseason, but the Jets did not find any takers.

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The Jets have been shopping him around for some time. There's a 50/50 chance he'll be dealt before the start of the regular season, but any team interested is going to have to pay his 2017 salary of almost $8.1 million. Richardson is in the final year of his contract and could be in for a big payday if he impresses this year. He had 8.0 sacks in 2014, but Richardson has only compiled 6.5 sacks over the last two years combined.

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15. MIA - TE Julius Thomas working on chemistry with QB

Source: The Miami Herald - Barry Jackson

Miami Dolphins TE Julius Thomas' chemistry with QB Ryan Tannehill appears to be a work in progress at this point during offseason workouts, in the opinion of The Miami Herald's Barry Jackson.

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Thomas is back in the Adam Gase offense where he was a star (and fantasy beast) with the Broncos. His role is clear, and Thomas should provide a big upgrade for the Dolphins at the position as he's a red-zone weapon when healthy. Thomas has never played a full 16-game schedule as a pro, so fantasy owners need to proceed with caution when considering him. The risk is cooked into his current ADP (TE19, 13.11) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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16. MIA - WR Jakeem Grant working on route running

Source: The Miami Herald - Barry Jackson

Miami Dolphins WR Jakeem Grant has been working on improving his route running this offseason. Grant receiving some snaps at outside receiver during organized team activities Thursday, May 25.

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Grant is small (5'7" 172 pounds) but he can absolutely break ankles in the open field. He's lightning quick and can change direction without losing much speed. His main contributions should come as a return man, but the Dolphins could make a package of plays for him as a wide receiver too. In fantasy leagues that reward points for return yards, Grant is a player to monitor.

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17. DEN - S T.J. Ward could receive extension

Source: Denver7 Sports - Troy Renck

Denver Broncos FS T.J. Ward has had preliminary talks with the Broncos about a contract extension.

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The Broncos already locked up FS Darian Stewart to a contract extension, but many felt Ward would play out 2017 and leave in free agency. The team drafted both Justin Simmons and Will Parks last year at safety, and both players have intriguing upside. If Ward takes a hometown discount (see Chris Harris, Derek Wolfe) then perhaps he could stay in Denver beyond 2017.

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18. MIA - WR Leonte Carroo not a lock to make team

Source: The Miami Herald - Barry Jackson

Miami Dolphins WR Leonte Carroo is expected to be the front-runner for the No. 4 receiver job, but it is far from certain he will make the team, according to the Miami Herald's Barry Jackson.

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Carroo may be the front-runner for the no4 job, but watch out for a guy like Rashawn Scott or Jakeem Grant behind him. Grant is more of the small-bodied, lightning quick returner while Scott plays a little like Allen Hurns. We'd be shocked if the team gave up on their third-round pick from the 2016 NFL draft. Carroo has the size/hands to be a reliable target but hasn't put it all together yet. He needs to be a better route runner as his speed won't get him separation at the pro level.

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19. CAR - WR Devin Funchess remains out

Source: Charlotte Observer - Joseph Person

Carolina Panthers WR Devin Funchess (ankle) remained out of drills during OTAs Thursday, May 25.

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A second-round pick in 2015, Funchess has had a disappointing pro career. With the additions of RB Christian McCaffrey (1st round) and WR Curtis Samuel (2nd round), Funchess is going to find himself behind in the pecking order. He needs to get healthy and start impressing on the practice field.

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That'll do it for today, Folks. Have a great Saturday and we'll see you tomorrow with the Update.

Peace,

J