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Volume 19, #44 -- Monday Night, June 5th, 2017

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Hi Folks,

Good Tuesday to you. We've got some News and Notes from around the league so let's get to it.

J


1. CAR - QB Cam Newton ahead of schedule

Source: ESPN.com - David Newton

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (shoulder) is ahead of schedule with his rehab and expected to throw on the side during Carolina's three-day minicamp next week, according to head coach Ron Rivera. Newton will work directly with trainer Ryan Vermillion, and it is unknown how much he will throw.

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Newton had surgery a little later than some would have liked, but all signs point to him being ready by training camp. With the added weapons around him (RB Christian McCaffrey, WR Curtis Samuel), Newton has a better fantasy outlook. After struggling in 2016 and finishing as the no17 fantasy QB, Newton should be able to break back into the top 10 in 2017.

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2. NE - RB Mike Gillislee the favorite to start?

Source: The Boston Globe - Jim McBride

New England Patriots RB Mike Gillislee appears to be the frontrunner for the Patriots' starting running back job, according to Jim McBride of the Boston Globe, although he is expected to be part of a committee.

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This isn't really a question as Gillislee was added to play the LeGarrette Blount role in 2017. That makes him quite fantasy relevant, although duplicating Blount's 18 rushing touchdowns from a year ago will be a tall order. Gillislee has RB2 upside but a low-end RB3 price at this time with a current ADP of RB34 (7.10) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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3. NE - TE Rob Gronkowski has no restrictions

Source: ESPNBoston.com - Mike Reiss

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (back) is 'feeling great' after several weeks on the field and in the gym. He has practiced without restriction.

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Gronkowski will get back to smashing once the regular season rolls around. Every fantasy owners knows that he's a TE1 when healthy and he's getting drafted at a proper spot. He's going off the board at TE1 (2.09) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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4. JAX - RB Chris Ivory continues first-team work

Source: The Florida Times-Union - John Reid

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Chris Ivory continues to run with the first-team offense as rookie RB Leonard Fournette works with the second-team group in organized team activities. While most projections place Fournette in the starting role, with RB T.J. Yeldon as the third-down back, Ivory remains focused on the task at hand. Ivory also noted he will not shy away from helping Fournette learn the ropes. Head coach Doug Marrone stated Fournette will need to earn his spot.

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Rookie first-round picks have to earn their spots, but everyone under the sun knows Fournette should open the season as the starter. Fournette wasn't much of a pass-catcher in college, but OTA reports indicate he looks comfortable as a receiver out of the backfield. As a three-down back, Fournette has a current ADP of RB12 (2.12) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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5. DEN - RB Jamaal Charles takes part in drills

Source: The Denver Post - Nicki Jhabvala

Denver Broncos RB Jamaal Charles (knee) participated in some light drills with the running backs during organized team activities Monday, June 5.

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Charles was out there for 1-on-1 drills with the Broncos for the first time this offseason. The team is easing him back into action as he returns from the knee injury that bothered him each of the last two years. Charles feels he can still be "the man" but he's likely going to be the change-of-pace back for the Broncos behind C.J. Anderson.

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6. CHI - Evaluating Chicago's WRs

Source: Chicago Tribune - Dan Wiederer

Chicago Bears WRs Cameron Meredith (thumb), Kevin White and Markus Wheaton (shoulder) are considered locks to make the 53-man roster, in the opinion of Chicago Tribune writer Dan Wiederer. WRs Victor Cruz, Kendall Wright, Josh Bellamy, Deonte Thompson and Daniel Braverman are considered to be on the bubble. WRs Tanner Gentry, Rueben Randle and Titus Davis are viewed as long shots for the final roster.

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Meredith and potentially White have fantasy value, but there's not much else that gets us excited here. Wheaton couldn't stay healthy or impress during his time with the Steelers. Cruz is a great story (and a great dancer) but not a great fantasy asset. We're a bit intrigued by Gentry in super deep dynasty leagues as his 49 targets of 20 yards or more in 2016 led the FBS (per PFF). That's about it really...and don't expect the Bears passing game to light the world on fire no matter if Mike Glennon or Mitchell Trubisky is the starter at quarterback.

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7. GB - WR Jordy Nelson the most effective WR?

Source: NFL.com

Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers had a 117.7 passer rating when targeting WR Jordy Nelson last year, the highest mark for any receiver in the NFL.

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In each of the last two years he's played, Nelson has ranked as the no2 fantasy receiver (2014) and no1 fantasy receiver (2016). Fantasy owners should expect him to perform like a top-5 fantasy WR in 2017. His current ADP is WR6 (1.12) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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8. WAS - Rob Kelley talks improvement

Source: The Washington Times - Nora Princiotti

Washington Redskins RB Rob Kelley is focused on elevating his game in the areas of receiving, blocking, making cuts, and breaking longer runs. Kelley, as previously reported, lost weight by improving his diet and building muscle.

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Not so fat Rob Kelley in 2017 is what he's aiming for. Washington has a nice collection of RBs in place with Kelley as the starter, Chris Thompson as the change-of-pace back and rookie Samaje Perine to push for the main job. Kelley's new physique could help hold off Perine during training camp.

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9. WAS - TE Jordan Reed has a nose for the end zone

Source: NFL.com

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed's 17 touchdowns since the start of the 2015 season are the second-most in the NFL among tight ends.

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Reed is a big part of Washington's passing attack, and he is even more important this year after the team lost WRs DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon in free agency. Reed is TE3 (4.04) in 12-team PPR drafts right now.

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10. DAL - QB Zac Dysert claimed by Dallas

Source: DallasCowboys.com - Rob Phillips

Arizona Cardinals QB Zac Dysert was claimed off waivers by the Dallas Cowboys Monday, June 5. The Cowboys also waived QB Austin Appleby.

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Dysert has a strong arm - no control - and the athleticism to keep plays alive. He's serving as the camp arm for the Cowboys behind starter Dak Prescott and primary backup Kellen Moore.

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11. SEA - Luke Joeckel ahead of schedule

Source: SeahawksWire - Andy Patton

Seattle Seahawks OT Luke Joeckel (knee) said he is ahead of schedule in his recovery from various knee injuries last season.

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Joeckel is going to compete for a spot on the offensive line, but that may come inside at guard. He's listed as a G/T on the team's official website. He has been participating in individual drills and walk-throughs during organized team activities.

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12. NE - Antonio Garcia signs rookie deal

Source: ProFootballTalk.com - Josh Alper

New England Patriots OT Antonio Garcia signed his four-year rookie deal Monday, June 5. Financial terms were not disclosed.

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At 6'6" 305 pounds, Garcia has good length and strength when it comes to protecting the passer. A third-round pick this year, Garcia is going to compete as a developmental prospect with the upside to be a future starter.

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13. KC - Tevin Jones signed by Chiefs

Source: Twitter

Free-agent WR Tevin Jones (Texans) was signed by the Kansas City Chiefs Monday, June 5, according to his agent.

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Jones takes the spot of Jeremy Maclin on the roster. Undrafted out of Memphis in 2016, Jones appeared in 51 career games for the Tigers, including 27 starts. His college numbers aren't something to write home about (1,215 career receiving yards and 9 touchdowns total). However, Jones is 6'2" 225 pounds and can work the sidelines. He's a long-shot to make the roster...no matter what team he's playing for.

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14. SF - OLB Elvis Dumervil joining 49ers

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

Free-agent LB Elvis Dumervil (Ravens) agreed to terms with the San Francisco 49ers Monday, June 5. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

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Dumervil was slowed by injury in 2016 and only registered 3.0 sacks in eight games. He should move back to DE in the 49ers 4-3 defense. Dumervil is not quite the player he used to be, but if healthy he could bring some heat from the edge.

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15. MIN - Mike Zimmer cleared to coach

Source: Vikings.com

Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer (eye) returned to the sidelines in organized team activities Monday, June 5.

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Zimmer had been missing offseason work as he gave his eye some rest. He's had eight surgeries on his right eye since November but vows this won't be a long-term problem.

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16. SEA - Seattle being careful with Luke Joeckel

Source: The Seattle Times - Bob Condotta

Seattle Seahawks OL Luke Joeckel (knee) will be worked into the practice rotation carefully, according to head coach Pete Carroll. 'We're really fired up about the fact that Luke has been able to work every day. He's worked every day of the offseason with us. In the format that we're doing he's able to be in the huddle a ton, he's practiced a bunch with us, so he's making really good progress. We're still careful with him, but yet he's in good enough shape and able to take care of a lot of work that we didn't think would get done.'

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A knee injury limited Joeckel to four games in 2016 with the Jaguars. He could start at tackle or guard, but Joeckel looks like he could fit in better inside. When healthy, that may end up where he starts. The Seahawks official website has him listed as G/T.

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17. TEN - QB Alex Tanney delivering in OTAs

Source: TitansOnline.com

Tennessee Titans QB Alex Tanney has looked good during OTAs, according to Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com, and Wyatt believes Tanney will benefit from the extra reps created by the injury to QB Matt Cassel (thumb).

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Hit up YouTube and check out Alex Tanney as a trick-shot quarterback. He's amazing when it comes to throwing a football into a trash can from the fourth floor, but playing NFL quarterback is a much different skill set. Undrafted out of Monmouth in 2012, Tanney has spent time with seven teams during his pro career. Once Cassel is healthy, Tanney will go back to being third on the depth chart and is no lock for the 53-man roster.

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That'll do it for today, Folks. Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing some of your season with us. We'll see you tomorrow with the Update.

Peace,

J