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Volume 19, #65 -- Monday Night, June 26th, 2017

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Hi Folks,

Good Tuesday to you. I'm bringing today's update to you from one of my favorite cities in the country today - Portland Oregon. If this goes a little long, we'll blame it on Stumptown Coffee.

We're excited to introduce our newest Footballguys Staffer, Matt Williamson and we've got killer new articles for you plus of course the News and Notes you need to let's get to it.

J

SITE NEWS

A. Welcome Matt Williamson - Dynasty Veterans To Target On The Cheap
We're excited to announce our newest Footballguys Staffer, Matt Williamson. Matt's worked as a Scout for the Cleveland Browns and then ten years with ESPN and we're stoked that he'll be doing some exclusive work for Footballguys. He's kicking things off with a look at some cheap veterans to go after in your dynasty league.

B. The Gut Check No. 401: TE Production Shares, ADP, and Consistency
Our Matt Waldman is back with another always popular Gut Check. In this one, he examines tight ends that quarterbacks lean on in the passing game, including the return of his consistency data.

C. 2017 Auction Primer
We've pulled all the excellent articles from our Jeff Pasquino's Auction Series and stacked them all in one place for you. It's everything you need to dominate your Auction for this season.

D. How to Attack Your Large-League Non-PPR Draft
Our Jeff Tefertiller breaks down some winning strategies for Attacking Your Large Non-PPR League Draft.

E. Player Spotlight: Julio Jones
Our Footballguys Player Spotlights take a deep dive look at how we see guys producing this year. In this one, our Justin Howe looks into the future for Julio Jones.


1. CAR - QB Cam Newton begins throwing

Source: Panthers.com - Bill Voth

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (shoulder) began light throwing Monday, June 26, for the first time since offseason shoulder surgery. He threw 45 passes to athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion. 'Obviously, it's still not 100 percent, but seeing the ball come out of my hand in a throwing motion was good. When I say it's not 100 percent, I'm noting the range of motion part,' Newton said. 'Like if you sleep with your legs hanging off your bed the whole night, you're going to wake up and be super stiff. Or like sitting on your hands, or sitting in an awkward position and finally getting up and moving - that's how I feel.'

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Newton has missed offseason work as he's been recovering from shoulder surgery. The plan is to have him ready sometime in training camp. At the start of camp, Newton may be eased into action. Reports have been positive about his recovery and with a new bevy of weapons around him Newton should be a QB1 for fantasy owners...and he has a chance of ending the year as a top-5 player at his position.

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2. NO - DT Nick Fairley won't play this year

Source: ESPN - Adam Schefter

Updating a previous report, New Orleans Saints DT Nick Fairley (heart) will not play in 2017 due to his heart condition. His career is also in jeopardy.

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This condition was known since Fairley came into the league as a first-round pick out of Auburn in 2011. He has received opinions from at least three doctors about this issue and a conclusion was made that he's done for this year and maybe his career. Fairley is coming off a career-high 6.5 sack season in 2016 and losing him is a huge blow to the Saints defense. Back in March, the Saints re-signed Fairley to a four-year, $28 million contract, including an $8 million signing bonus. Sheldon Rankins (first-round pick in 2016) will be asked to do more in Fairley's absence.

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3. PIT - Le'Veon Bell plays ball

Source: Twitter

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell (groin) posted a video of him playing basketball over the weekend after having core surgery in the offseason.

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It looks like Bell is at or near full strength. Bell is hoping for a new long-term contract from the Steelers as he was slapped with the franchise tag earlier this offseason. The two sides have until July 17th to work out a deal that could make him the highest paid running back in the league.

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4. TB - Chemistry growing between Chris Godwin and QB Jameis Winston

Source: Justin Melo - Draftwire/USA Today

Justin Melo, from Draftwire/USA Today, reports Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie wide receiver Chris Godwin is establishing chemistry with quarterback Jameis Winston. "Chemistry is not something that you can rush. It's also not something that happens overnight." Godwin said, "It takes a lot of good moves and a lot of well-ran routes before you can get there, and it also takes some mistakes. It takes mistakes to learn from to realize okay, we can't do that again or that I can't run that route like that again. It's definitely growing by each week."

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The Bucs are stacked the wide receiver position, but Godwin is a player we love in dynasty leagues. A third-round pick out of Penn State this year, Godwin is stoutly build at 6'1" 209 pounds. He is a physical receiver who can win contested catches regularly. Godwin lacks quickness to separate consistently on short routes but he's got the build up speed to get on top of the defense on play-action passes. He's no4 on the depth chart right now, and projecting him for around 20 catches as a rookie seems fair.

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5. WAS - Samaje Perine making coach confident

Source: FanragSports.com - Ben Standig

Washington Redskins rookie RB Samaje Perine already has a good feel for the game, good feet, good vision and good strength, according to running backs coach Randy Jordan. Perine has also impressed with his catching ability. Jordan said Perine catches the football 'so much better' than he thought he could.

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Just think of former Falcons starter Michael Turner when you think of Perine. Physically, they have the same body style with a short/stocky build and a large/strong lower body. Perine is going to split time with Rob Kelley for Washington this year. Add in change-of-pace back Chris Thompson and you can see how things are a little complicated from a fantasy perspective. Right now, Perine has the highest ADP of the trio and the rookie is coming off the board at RB36 (8.03) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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6. TB - Will focus more on red zone efficiency in 2017

Source: Jenna Laine - ESPN.com

Jenna Laine, from ESPN.com, reports the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will focus on being more efficient in the red zone this season. In 2016, the Bucs scored touchdowns on 51.9 percent of their trips to the red zone. The league average was 55.6 percent, with 11 teams at 60 percent or better.

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The Titans led the league with an amazing 72 percent red-zone efficiency in 2017. The Bucs want to be more efficient and this is where WR Mike Evans and TE Cameron Brate will come into play. Evans scored 7 of his 12 receiving touchdowns inside the 20, while Brate had 8 scores in the red zone. Evans has a clearly defined role and fantasy owners know he's a sure-fire WR1. Brate has a different outlook this year with the addition of first-round TE O.J. Howard. We'll see if Howard cuts into Brate's time/targets near pay dirt in 2017.

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7. DAL - RB Ezekiel Elliott wants to take opponent's will away

Source: Morty Ain - ESPN.com

Morty Ain, from ESPN.com, reports Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott tries to outphysical his opponent on every play. " I want them to tap out by the end of the game. I try to take my opponent's will away." Elliott recently said in an interview with ESPN The Magazine.

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That's why we love him. Just like Walter Payton back in the day, Elliott wants to take the fight to the defender. The Cowboys are going to continue shoving the ball down the throat of their opponent, and Elliott will be leading the way. Consider him as a top-3 pick in most formats.

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8. KC - Cautiously optimistic about young WRs

Source: Adam Teicher - ESPN.com

Adam Teicher, from ESPN.com, reports the Kansas City Chiefs are cautiously optimistic about their young group of wide receivers in 2017. With the release of veteran Jeremy Maclin, the team has no wideouts over the age of 24. "We're going to be OK," coach Andy Reid said. "I'm happy with the improvement that they've made over this camp and even last year. Do we have work to do? Absolutely. We've got to get this training camp in. We've got to put the pads on and do it there."

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Outside of Tyreek Hill, there are questions with the Chiefs WR corps. We'll be monitoring Chris Conley to see if he can get open better and stop dropping so many passes (4.5 percent drop rate). It's Hill and TE Travis Kelce who are the primary fantasy assets in Kansas City. Also -- every fantasy player needs to monitor which players show the best chemistry with rookie QB Patrick Mahomes. He's their eventual starter, and his favorite weapons (outside the 'big 2') might be available for cheap in dynasty leagues.

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9. NYG - Odell Beckham's head is where it needs to be

Source: Jordan Raanan - ESPN.com

Jordan Raanan, from ESPN.com, reports New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is in a good place per former Giants great Michael Strahan. "I've seen this kid work," Strahan said of Beckham. "I've talked to him this offseason. His head is where it needs to be. "Everybody gives him a hard time about missing a little OTAs. Hell, I didn't go to those things, so I'm the wrong person to be sympathetic for people who are giving him a hard time."

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Beckham missed the voluntary work this offseason but he stayed in great shape and is incredibly focused. He recently told NJ Advance Media, "Mentally, physically, spiritually, everything, I just don't think I've ever been as ready as I am now." Fantasy owners know he's a top-flight WR1 in 2017.

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10. OAK - RB Marshawn Lynch brings new dimension to Oakland's offense

Source: Adam Woodard - USA Today

Adam Woodard, from USA Today, reports Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch can bring a new dimension to the offense in 2017. From 2011 to 2014, Lynch had four consecutive seasons with over 1,200 yards rushing. After 'retiring' in 2016, Lynch is back in the NFL and in his hometown of Oakland. If Lynch is as productive as he used to be, his presence will open things up for Derek Carr and the passing game.

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The last time we saw Lynch, he was trudging through an injury-shortened 2015 season with the Seahawks. He only played in 7 games and had a 3.8 YPC average on 111 carries. After taking the year off, Lynch should be refreshed and ready to go. This is the best offensive line he's ever been behind, and that's a scary thought for defenses tasked with stopping him. The AFC West is tough, but Lynch is unlikely to see stacked boxes as the Raiders passing game is so proficient. Lynch is being drafted as RB10 (2.08) in 12-team PPR leagues. On the flip side, few players are as beloved as Lynch and it's unlikely to find him undervalued in most drafts.

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11. TEN - Harry Douglas impressed with rookie WRs

Source: TitansOnline.com - Jim Wyatt

Tennessee Titans WR Harry Douglas said he is impressed with how WRs Corey Davis and Taywan Taylor performed during offseason workouts. 'I can tell already they are going to be special. They listen, they go hard, and they both make plays. So it is good when you have young guys who can come in and do those things,' Douglas said.

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Davis is the player to highlight here for redraft leagues (although we do love Taylor in dynasty formats). Coming out of Western Michigan, Davis was a standout player with a heavy target load and an insane amount of competitive spirit. His routes are crisp and his hands are strong, so we expect Davis to become a favorite target of QB Marcus Mariota - and he could be an early factor in the red zone. His current ADP of WR39 (8.08) could end up being a big value in 2017.

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12. PHI - WR Nelson Agholor works as returner

Source: PennLive.com - Aaron Kasinitz

Philadelphia Eagles WR Nelson Agholor worked as a kick returner during offseason workouts and could join RB Wendell Smallwood as the first-team kick returners this season.

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Agholor seems like a new man after two disappointing seasons with the Eagles. A first-round pick in 2015, Agholor has only 59 catches for 648 yards and three touchdowns during his pro career. The talent has always been there to do more, and this offseason there has been a steady drumbeat of positive reports about Agholor. He's fourth on the depth chart at wide receiver, but we're adding him on the cheap in dynasty leagues from owners who may have given up on him too quickly.

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13. ATL - Owner confident in RB Devonta Freeman deal

Source: ESPN.com - Vaughn McClure

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman's potential long-term deal is likely to happen soon, according to owner Arthur Blank. 'He's the kind of person you want to have on your team for all the right reasons,' Blank said of Freeman. It has been reported that Freeman's deal could be done before training camp commences.

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Blank is confident, so we'll remain confident about Freeman's contract situation. Entering the final year of his rookie contract, Freeman has a cap hit of $1.9 million for the Falcons. A fourth-round pick in 2014, Freeman is coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and he's a key piece of what the Falcons do offensively.

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14. HOU - Slot position fits Braxon Miller

Source: Houston Chronicle - Aaron Wilson

Houston Texans WR Braxton Miller's speed and quickness give the Texans optimism about his place in the slot. Wide receivers coach John Perry believes that Miller's combination of size, speed and quickness make him a valuable offensive asset. In addition to his physical characteristics, Miller has learned more about route-running, coverage recognition, eating healthy and the little things that help make him a better receiver.

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Miller is fast, physical and tremendously agile (just search YouTube for 'Circle Button') with the ball in his hands. While Will Fuller stretches the field, Miller can be used effectively on short/underneath routes where his run-after-the-catch ability can be featured. Miller will be excited to watch, but there's unlikely to be much there from a fantasy perspective. We like projecting him for around 25 catches in 2017.

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15. PHI - WR Alshon Jeffery has impressed so far

Source: ESPN.com - Tim McManus

Philadelphia Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery may be having the best offseason in a few years, according to wide receivers coach Mike Groh. Groh coached Jeffery for three seasons with the Chicago Bears and he believes his receiver is having his best offseason since 2013.

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Great news for the veteran wide receiver -- and his fantasy owners -- here. Jeffery is currently going off the board at WR16 (3.10) in 12-team PPR leagues. He should be everything the Eagles have been looking for in a no1 wide receiver. Jeffery is at a good place physically and mentally as he continues to develop chemistry with his new QB Carson Wentz.

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16. CHI - TE Zach Miller not a lock

Source: Chicago Tribune - Brad Biggs

Chicago Bears TE Zach Miller (foot) isn't a lock to make the team, in the opinion of beat writer Brad Biggs. Miller will be pushed for a job by TE Daniel Brown, TE Ben Braunecker and TE MyCole Pruitt.

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We'd agree with that sentiment. Once the Bears selected Adam Shaheen in the second round of the 2017 NFL draft, Miller was put on notice. Miller saw his season cut short last year in Week 10 when he suffered a lisfranc injury to his right foot. With the collection of talent at the position, Miller is likely to split time/targets in 2017 if he makes the final roster. He has a $2.3 million cap hit this year with only $500,000 remaining in dead money.

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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