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Good Wednesday to you. We're down to the wire on our Early Bird Loyalty Discount. It expires TONIGHT, so don't miss out. Meanwhile, we've got the latest version of Dr. Jene Bramel's Combined Rookie Draft Board plus all the News and Notes you need so let's get to it.
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Player Spotlight: Tyreek Hill
Our Footballguys Players Spotlights are deep looks into what we see for a player this year. In this one, our Justin Howe takes a detailed look at Tyreek Hill's fantasy prospects for 2017.
Footballguys Staff Superflex Mock Draft Review: Rounds 1-4
We gathered the Footballguys Staffers for a Superflex mock draft. Here's a review of rounds 1-4 from our Justin Howe. And as always with these, we know you don't care about our league. You care about your league. We get it. And we'll always do these mock drafts with the idea of providing value for YOU in YOUR league.
An important note for fantasy owners here. Gurley is a better receiver than either Rob Kelley or Alfred Morris were for McVay in Washington, but it will be interesting to see if his targets go down. We think they should feed Gurley as much as they possibly can, but McVay wants to use Dunbar similar to the way he used Chris Thompson in Washington. Gurley has a current ADP of RB10 (2.08) in 12-team PPR leagues.
Buffalo Bills RB Jonathan Williams is primed to take over the Bills' backup running back job -- a position vacated by New England Patriots RB Mike Gillislee. Williams isn't getting ahead of himself, though, approaching this offseason one day at a time. Williams missed a lot of time with a foot injury during his senior year at Arkansas. That injury lingered into his first season with the Bills last year, but Williams said he is fully healthy, leaner and excited to play.
We loved Williams in college at Arkansas, and it will be exciting to see what he can do in a reserve role in 2017. Williams is the primary backup behind LeSean McCoy, so he could get on the field when the veteran superstar needs a breather. He runs with power and elusiveness and could carry a full load if called upon.
Los Angeles Chargers TE Hunter Henry is expected to move into the role of team's main tight end, while veteran TE Antonio Gates will transition into more of a third-down, red zone role, according to ESPN's Eric D Williams.
The Chargers have been grooming Henry to be that guy, and it sounds like the transition will happen this year. His catches and yardage could increase from what he posted as a rookie in 2016 (36 catches, 482 yards) but his touchdowns might not take a similar leap. Gates could still be a force in the red zone for the Chargers.
Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen said he is dedicated in proving his breakout performance this past season wasn't a fluke. 'I'm waiting until I'm done playing to reflect,' Thielen said at the club's organized team activities last week. 'I've got too much to work on, too many big goals, to reflect on anything. I'm just going to come out here every day and try to get better and bring the same mindset I've brought since I got to the league.'
Thielen had a breakout season in 2016 with 69 catches, 967 yards and five touchdowns. He finished the year as a high-end WR3 (WR27) and could work his way up to low-end WR2 status in 12-team leagues. It all depends on the development of Laquon Treadwell. A first-round pick in 2016, Treadwell only snared one pass in nine games last year. If Treadwell starts playing up to his potential, then it will adjust the number of targets Thielen gets thrown his way.
The rookie from USC reminds many in the draftnik community of Anquan Boldin because of his aggression at the catch point and run-after-the-catch ability. He should be the leading candidate to play in the slot with Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant lining up outside.
Free-agent TE Gary Barnidge (Browns) recently spoke with the Denver Broncos and did the same earlier with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He has already reportedly visited the Buffalo Bills, according to Sirius XM NFL Radio.
Barnidge would be an upgrade for the Broncos. They have Mike McCoy running the show on offense, and the two have a history together from their days with the Panthers. Barnidge has a bit of interest and should find a home before the start of training camp.
Dunbar could play the Chris Thompson role in McVay's offense. Last year for Washington, Thompson caught 49 passes for 349 yards and two touchdowns (along with 68 carries for 356 yards). Projecting 30 catches or so is not outlandish for Dunbar this year. At that rate of production, he wouldn't be much of a fantasy factor in 2017.
Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal - Michael Gehlken
Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr said he will play out the 2016 season even if a contract extension is not agreed upon before the start of the season. Carr added that he doesn't want the extension to be a distraction this year. The quarterback's hope is that an extension will be done by training camp.
The Raiders should work diligently to get this done. Carr is one of the best young quarterbacks in the league, and that new extension is going to be a hefty price tag. He's worth it, and everybody knows it. They don't need to go through any franchise tag scenario with Carr, just sign him to a big money deal and move on. Plenty of teams would love to have the 'problem' of signing Carr.
Denver Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas (personal) missed organized team activities Tuesday, May 30, due to a personal issue, according to head coach Vance Joseph. Joseph expects Thomas to return to practice this week. WR Cody Latimer practiced with the first-team in Thomas's place.
Thomas has looked great at OTAs this year. Back in the Mike McCoy offense, the Broncos are expecting a lot out of Thomas as their featured receiver. He showed good chemistry with Trevor Siemian last year, but his chemistry with Paxton Lynch seems improved from recent OTAs.
Samuel is a super athletic playmaker who is just learning the nuances of the WR position. The Panthers should work in a package of plays just to get the ball in his hands. As he grows into his position, Samuel could make plays like Tyreek Hill does for the Chiefs.
Chicago Bears QB Connor Shaw will remain with the Bears for now after Chicago rescinded its waiving Shaw Tuesday, May 30. Shaw will participate in organized team activities but could be waived once QB Mark Sanchez (knee) is fully healed.
Gallman will bring some power to the Giants backfield behind Paul Perkins. The rookie from Clemson is swift and can run through arm tackles at the second level. We should see the fourth-round pick as a red-zone option too with his bullish and aggressive running style between the tackles.
Hodges is basically a super-sized wide receiver who plays tight end. He's got the length and leaping ability to make plays 'above the rim' and in the red zone. Hodges isn't much of a blocker and will compete for snaps/targets behind Kyle Rudolph.