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Volume 19, #77 -- Saturday Night, July 8th, 2017

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Hi Footballguy,

Good Sunday to you. I hope you're having a great weekend as we've got some NFL News and Notes you need. Let's get to it.

J

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1. BAL - RB Terrance West the Week 1 starter?

Source: BaltimoreRavens.com - Ryan Mink

Baltimore Ravens RB Terrance West is projected to be the starter in Week 1, according to Ryan Mink of BaltimoreRavens.com, with RB Danny Woodhead seeing some carries but being used mainly in the passing game.

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West has RB2 value for the first four weeks while Kenneth Dixon is suspended, but after Dixon returns this will turn into an ugly three-way committee. The Ravens backfield didn't support one consistent fantasy starter as a two-way committee last year, so the outlook isn't great for any of these backs. Woodhead in PPR leagues is best commodity because of the high target volume to running backs in this offense.

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2. DEN - WR Demaryius Thomas hopes for quick QB decision

Source: 9News.com - Mike Klis

Denver Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas said he hopes the Broncos decide on a starting quarterback before their second preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers. QB Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch will be competing for the job when training camp begins.

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Thomas is poised to improve his numbers regardless of who plays quarterback, but an early decision will make establishing chemistry in Mike McCoy's offense much easier. Expect more wide receiver screens and high percentage plays targeting Thomas, who is a lot healthier after playing through a debilitating hip injury.

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3. BAL - RB Kenneth Dixon to have big role?

Source: BaltimoreRavens.com - Ryan Mink

Baltimore Ravens RB Kenneth Dixon could have a bigger role in the offense this year, according to Ryan Mink of BalitmoreRavens.com.

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Dixon isn't coming into the year hurt, and he should be fresh after his four-game suspension to begin the season. He might not be the #1 runner between the tackles or the #1 running back target, but he is best all-around talent in this backfield.

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4. ATL - WR Mohamed Sanu locked into No. 2 spot

Source: CBS Atlanta - John Fricke

Atlanta Falcons WR Mohamed Sanu solidified himself as the No. 2 receiver with his play last season, according to John Fricke of CBS Atlanta.

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Sanu played through a shoulder injury last year and still produced four games over 15 fantasy points in PPR leagues while sharing with an emergent Taylor Gabriel. He's an excellent late round best ball pick and could have consistent value if Julio Jones misses any time this year.

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5. HOU - WR DeAndre Hopkins hoping to stay

Source: Houston Chronicle - Aaron Wilson

Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins said he feels the city has embraced him and Houston feels like his hometown. 'I love being here,' Hopkins said. 'I love playing for this team, great organization.'

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Hopkins is going to be one of the highest paid receivers in NFL history once he gets his contract, but the Texans could also choose to franchise him to see if he produces like a #1 if he has a 2017 similar to his disappointing 2016. They need better quarterback play to properly evaluate his value.

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6. CIN - RB Jeremy Hill to remain involved

Source: Bengals.com - Geoff Hobson

Cincinnati Bengals RB Jeremy Hill is 'going to get some carries' and will remain a factor near the goal line, according to Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com.

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Hill may keep Joe Mixon from reaching everyweek fantasy starter status, but he probably won't have much standalone value unless Mixon gets hurt. Giovani Bernard will turn this into a three-way committee once he is recovered from ACL surgery.

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7. CLE - WR Ricardo Louis continues to draw praise

Source: The Cleveland Plain Dealer - Dan Labbe

Cleveland Browns WR Ricardo Louis has 'really helped himself' and 'is a talented young man,' according to senior offensive assistant Al Saunders.

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The Browns wide receiver group is unsettled after Kenny Britt and Corey Coleman, so an opportunity is there for Louis and other youngsters like Jordan Payton and Rashard Higgins. This isn't a pass offense that can support three fantasy relevant wideouts, but Louis's top-end measureables and possible separation from his fellow 2016 third-day picks merits attention in deep dynasty leagues.

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8. WAS - TE Vernon Davis still elusive

Source: Pro Football Focus

Washington Redskins TE Vernon Davis forced 13 missed tackles last year, the most by any tight end, according to Pro Football Focus.

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If Jordan Reed misses time this year, Davis will be on our priority waiver wire list. He has had a surprising amount of good football left in him after a lackluster stint with the Broncos.

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9. BAL - TE Crockett Gillmore eyeing training camp

Source: The Baltimore Sun - Jeff Zrebiec

Baltimore Ravens TE Crockett Gillmore (shoulder, hamstring) is expected to be ready for training camp.

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Gillmore has watched Dennis Pitta go down with an injury and Darren Waller go down with a suspension of at least one year. Ben Watson took a pay cut as he returns from an achilles injury. Gillmore has the pass-catching talent to be the top target at the position, but he also needs to stay healthy after two offseason surgeries and a pro career that has rarely seen him stay off of the injury report for long.

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10. CAR - ILB Luke Kuechly not changing style

Source: Charlotte Observer - Joseph Person

Carolina Panthers LB Luke Kuechly said he will not change his playing style even though he struggled with concussions last season.

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Kuechly had a scary reaction to his latest concussion, one that caused concern among some players. Changing his style of play could make him more likely to get hurt and probably isn't a solution, but that Kuechly feels the need to address this is a sign that he is getting into a more precarious area of head injuries affecting the longevity of his career.

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11. GB - Geronimo Allison looking to improve

Source: Packers.com - Wes Hodkiewicz

Green Bay Packers WR Geronimo Allison said he has been working on being more efficient in his breaks this offseason as well as improving his fundamentals.

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Allison made a splash late last year when injuries got him on the field as the #3 receiver in place of Randall Cobb. The team drafted two wide receivers - DeAngelo Yancey and Malachi Dupre - to push him for the #4 job, and size/speed wonder Jeff Janis is still around. We'll be watching the bottom of the depth chart at wide receiver very closely when the quarterback is as good as Aaron Rodgers.

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12. NYJ - Dylan Donahue may push for playing time

Source: New York Post - Brian Costello

New York Jets LB Dylan Donahue could push LB Lorenzo Mauldin for playing time at outside linebacker during training camp.

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The Jets have rising second-year OLB Jordan Jenkins to take up the most snaps at outside linebacker, but he doesn't have the pass rush talent of Mauldin or Donahue. Donahue seems to be a favorite of outside linebackers coach Kevin Greene, so that could help him if the battle for playing time is close.

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13. WAS - Doug Williams to help make roster decisions

Source: The Washington Post - Liz Clarke

Washington Redskins senior vice president of player personnel Doug Williams is expected to have equal say on roster decisions with head coach Jay Gruden and team president Bruce Allen.

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Washington fired Scot McCloughan only two years into his tenure, which seems to be successful. Without an account of what happened, it's hard to know how "safe" Williams will be if he goes against the word of Allen and Gruden, but for now he is giving every indication that he will be autonomous (as he should).

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14. NFL - Marques Rodgers eligible for supplemental draft

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

Western New Mexico RB Marques Rodgers will be eligible for the NFL's supplemental draft Wednesday, July 12, according to a league spokesman. He was academically ineligible to play in 2016 and had one year of college eligibility remaining.

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Rodgers was a Division II All-American. He's a small back at 5'9" 175, but an accomplished pass catcher. He's likely to go undrafted but could get into a camp.

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15. ATL - WR Justin Hardy working on his hands

Source: CBS Atlanta - John Fricke

Atlanta Falcons WR Justin Hardy has been trying to strengthen his hands this offseason, and he could factor into the return game this year.

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Hardy hasn't been an impact player with his Jarvis Landry lite game. Taylor Gabriel zoomed past him on the depth chart, but Hardy can still be a contributor if injuries push him into the top three receivers. He could be a player in dynasty leagues to watch on his second contract in 2019 if he gets more opportunity on a second team.

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16. OAK - DE Jihad Ward may be PUP candidate

Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal - Michael Gehlken

Oakland Raiders DE Jihad Ward (foot) could be a candidate for the Physically Unable to Perform list if he is not ready to practice when training camp begins.

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His surgery was supposedly minor, but the team will be very cautious with him. He was a starter for most of his rookie year, so his presence will be missed if he's not ready for the season opener.

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That'll do it for today, Buddy. Have a great rest of your weekend and we'll see you tomorrow with the Update.

Peace,

J