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Volume 19, #88 -- Wednesday Night, July 19th, 2017

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Hi Folks,

Good Thursday to you. Another big day of Content plus the News Wire is heating up as Camps are here. Let's get to it.

J

SITE NEWS

A. Check Out Our Friends At Sleeperbot
If you're looking for a fun Messaging App to keep up with everything for Fantasy Football, check out our friends at Sleeperbot It's a great way to stay connected. Plus stay tuned for some cool Footballguys news there.

B. FREE FEATURE - The Gut Check No. 404: How to Use The News
Do you use the news, or does it use you? Matt Waldman shares his approach to analyzing football news with fantasy implications.

C. Value Plays: Running Backs
Fantasy Football boils down to finding the undervalued players in your draft while avoiding the overvalued guys. One of the most powerful features we do each summer is poll our Footballguys Staffers to get their opinion on Undervalued, Overvalued and Deep Sleeper players. We then tally up the results to see where we have consensus. It's one of the best things we do. We did this yesterday with QBs. In this one, we dive into RBs who are undervalued.

D. Overvalued Players: Running Backs
The Footballguys Staffers dive into RBs who are overvalued.

E. Deep Sleepers: Running Backs
The Footballguys Staffers dive into RBs who we see as deep sleepers.


1. LAC - Insight from our Dr. Jene Bramel on Mike Williams

Source: Footballguys - Dr. Jene Bramel

One of the best things about Footballguys is our Dr. Jene Bramel, MD. Dr. Bramel brings his medical expertise to Fantasy Football for insight into injuries.

I asked him about Mike Williams today and this is what he said: "Epidural steroid injections are fairly common before and during the season to try to treat symptoms of herniated discs. Players may get as many as three injections over weeks to months. It's worrisome to hear Williams has had two injections already this year but reports suggest he may be responding to the second. The Chargers should have a better idea about Williams' status in the next 2-4 weeks. If he needs surgery, his most likely recovery timetable will likely be in the 6-10 week range. It may take additional time to regain core strength and conditioning. It's possible the Chargers shut Williams down for the season if he chooses surgery but it's too soon to project his recovery with certainty."

"Expect Williams to start on PUP. We'll watch for additional details in the early days of training camp and update his timetable accordingly."

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2. DAL - No charges against RB Ezekiel Elliott

Source: USA TODAY Sports - Lindsay H. Jones

Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott will not be charged for his alleged involvement in an altercation at a Dallas bar Sunday, July 16, after the Dallas Police Department announced that they have suspended the investigation because of the lack of a complaint by the victim.

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Good news for Elliott from a legal standpoint, but the league still might take action against the second-year runner. Due to all of his offseason transgressions, reports indicate Elliott could be suspended for 1-2 games to start the year.

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3. LAC - Surgery off table for Mike Williams for now

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

Updating previous reports, Los Angeles Chargers WR Mike Williams' (back) back injury is improving, and surgery for Williams is not on the table at this time, according to sources.

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Surgery may or may not be in the future for Williams, but one thing is clear -- the rookie first-rounder is way behind his teammates after missing offseason work. Williams seems to be on the track as other rookie WRs in recent years (Josh Doctson, Breshad Perriman, Kevin White) who didn't contribute much if at all in their first season.

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4. LAC - Mike Williams may need season-ending surgery

Source: ESPN - Adam Schefter

Los Angeles Chargers WR Mike Williams (back) may need to undergo season-ending surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back, according to sources. He recently received a second epidural in his back to see if he could return at some point during training camp, but the team are preparing as if he will not be able to return during that time frame. The team is still hoping that Williams will be able to avoid surgery.

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There are conflicting reports about whether or not surgery is needed. Either way, things aren't looking great for the top-10 pick. Williams has missed the offseason work for the Chargers and he's way behind his teammates. They'll be solid at the position even if Williams misses significant time. The Chargers are getting Keenan Allen back healthy this year, plus they've got guys like Travis Benjamin, Dontrelle Inman and Tyrell Williams to make plays in the passing game...and oh yeah, TEs Hunter Henry and Antonio Gates.

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5. DET - QB Matthew Stafford to receive extension soon?

Source: NFL Network - Stacey Dales

The Detroit Lions are talking with QB Matthew Stafford about a contract extension, and there is internal optimism at the team's headquarters that an agreement could be reached within the next two weeks.

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That's the latest buzz around Stafford...and this was to be expected. Once Derek Carr got his big contract from the Raiders, the design was set for Stafford's deal. Most expect a deal done for Stafford around the start of training camp.

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6. PHI - QB Carson Wentz to report early

Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer - Jeff McLane

Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz will report to training camp Monday, July 24, when rookies and selected veterans are scheduled to report.

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The Eagles are expecting big things from Wentz in year two. With new additions in the passing game (WRs Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith) and a battering ram at running back added (LeGarrette Blount) we could see Wentz turn in a solid season. Projecting him for around 4,000 yards and 20-ish touchdowns in 2017 seems fair. From a fantasy perspective, Wentz is seen a low-end QB2.

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7. CAR - QB Cam Newton working with teammates

Source: The Associated Press - Steve Reed

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (shoulder) is throwing to teammates during workouts in Baltimore, according to head coach Ron Rivera.

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There were previous reports about Newton working out with rookie first-round pick RB Christian McCaffrey before the start of training camp. Newton has got better weapons around him this year and we could see fewer rushing attempts for him as they replace that with short passes to dangerous weapons like McCaffrey or rookie WR Curtis Samuel.

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8. JAX - TE Gary Barnidge to work out for Jacksonville

Source: FirstCoastNews.com - Mike Kaye

Free-agent TE Gary Barnidge (Browns) is scheduled to visit and work out for the Jacksonville Jaguars on Tuesday, July 25, according to a league source.

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After trading away Julius Thomas (Dolphins) earlier this year, the Jaguars don't have much at the position. At this time, Mychal Rivera is probably their top pass-catching option at tight end. Barnidge has gotten interest from a few teams, and we expect the veteran to get signed near the start of camp.

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9. DEN - RB Devontae Booker more prepared in 2017

Source: ESPN.com - Jeff Legwold

Denver Broncos RB Devontae Booker had at least 18 carries in four of the first five games following C.J. Anderson's season-ending knee injury in late October. In those four games, he averaged 2.8, 3.2, 3.3 and 1.9 yards per carry.

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Don't sleep on Devontae Booker. He was still coming back last year from two surgeries to repair his meniscus after his college days at Utah. That and..oh yeah, he's a bad zone runner. In the power/gap system implemented by new offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, Booker has looked much more comfortable this offseason. With Anderson's history of getting banged up, Booker needs to at least be on your waiver wire speed dial if not added late as a lottery ticket pick.

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10. GB - Belief remains in WR Randall Cobb

Source: USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin - Ryan Wood

Green Bay Packers WR Randall Cobb still has the team's belief in him after his three-touchdown performance in the wild-card game against the New York Giants. 'I think you saw him in those playoff games,' wide receivers coach Luke Getsy said, 'and he wasn't even totally healthy, and you saw who he is. He's an impactful guy. You take the Giants game early in the year, and it's third-and-long, and we throw the ball way short of the sticks and he's the only guy on the football team that makes that play for us.'

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It's been a couple of years since Cobb produced at a high level. Last year, injuries robbed Cobb of his explosiveness and he didn't look like the same player. Now healthy, Cobb is looking to bounce back in 2017. Fantasy owners are selecting him at WR40 (8.08) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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11. GB - WR Jordy Nelson evolved into slot receiver

Source: USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin - Ryan Wood

Green Bay Packers WR Jordy Nelson ran nearly half of his routes from the slot and the perimeter in the final 10 games last season. In 181 routes run from the slot, according to Pro Football Focus, Nelson led the NFL with 2.75 yards per route.

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Keep this in mind when looking at matchup data this season. Nelson is the favorite target of QB Aaron Rodgers and fantasy owners love him too. Most are taking him at the turn (1.12) as the no6 wide receiver off the board in 12-team PPR leagues.

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12. BAL - WR Breshad Perriman impressing

Source: ESPN.com - Jamison Hensley

Baltimore Ravens WR Breshad Perriman has had the most impressive offseason at the position, according to beat writer Jamison Hensley. Perriman caught just 33 of the 66 targets to him last season, which was the lowest success rate among receivers on the team.

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The talent has always been there with Perriman, but injuries have kept him from playing up to his potential as a pro. The addition of Jeremy Maclin means that Perriman won't be the primary chain-mover at the position. Instead, Perriman will use his size/speed combination to take the top off the defense. When catching passes from Joe Flacco, that can be an interesting setup. Consider Perriman a late-round flier, and especially take a look at him late in leagues that reward points for big plays. Perriman's current ADP is WR62 (13.10) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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13. GB - Geronimo Allison to miss first game

Source: ESPN - Adam Schefter

Green Bay Packers WR Geronimo Allison has been suspended for the first game of the 2017 season for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.

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Allison had a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge that was settled earlier this year. He flashed the last two games of his rookie season in 2016 with 4-for-66 against the Vikings in Week 16 and 4-for-91 and a touchdown against the Lions in Week 17. When he returns in Week 2 this year, it will be as the Packers no4 wide receiver behind Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams and Randall Cobb.

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14. ATL - QB Matt Ryan has not started extension talks

Source: ESPN.com - Vaughn McClure

Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan said he has not started contract extension talks with the Falcons at this point. He said he is not concerned about his next contract but is happy that owner Arthur Blank said Ryan will be compensated for his play.

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Ryan is a franchise quarterback coming off the best year of his career. He's under contract with the Falcons through the 2018 season, but we could see them extend him early just to lock him up for a longer period of time. At 32-years old, Ryan is at the top of his game.

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15. DEN - Jake Butt likely to go on PUP list

Source: ESPN.com - Jeff Legwold

Denver Broncos TE Jake Butt (knee) likely will start training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list because he is still recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

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No surprise here. Butt may be the best tight end on the Broncos roster, but the rookie is about eight months removed from the knee injury he suffered in Michigan's bowl game. Reports have been positive about his recovery, but there's a chance Butt begins the regular season on the PUP list too. A.J. Derby should be the Broncos starting tight end when the season opens up.

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16. CHI - Mitchell Trubisky signs

Source: ESPN - Adam Schefter

Chicago Bears first-round QB Mitchell Trubisky signed his four-year rookie deal Wednesday, July 19. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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Trubisky and the Bears rookies reported to training camp on Wednesday. Now signed, Trubisky is set to compete with free agent addition Mike Glennon. We see Glennon as the starter to open up the regular season, but Trubisky could get some starts later in the year.

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17. JAX - Dante Fowler arrested

Source: USA TODAY Sports - Lorenzo Reyes

Jacksonville Jaguars DE Dante Fowler Jr. was arrested on misdemeanor charges of simple battery and criminal mischief after an altercation Tuesday, July 18, in St. Petersburg, Fla.

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Fowler got into the altercation after a man criticized his driving. He's gotten several traffic tickets according to reports and may be facing league discipline for this incident.

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18. CAR - Marty Hurney hired by Panthers

Source: Panthers.com

Updating an earlier report, former Carolina Panthers general manager Marty Hurney was hired as interim general manager Wednesday, July 19.

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Hurney was fired from the team in 2012 when now former GM Dave Gettleman took over. We should see him only as an interim executive with the team. However, guys like Greg Olsen and Thomas Davis should get the extensions they've been seeking (and may not have gotten with Gettleman).

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19. GB - WR Davante Adams in a contract year

Source: USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin - Ryan Wood

Green Bay Packers WR Davante Adams is entering the final year of his rookie contract in 2017. His 12 touchdowns tied for fourth in the NFL last season.

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Touchdown production like that is tough to duplicate, so we could see Adams having a statistical dip in 2017. He's earned the trust of Aaron Rodgers, but Adams did drop seven passes last year...and concentration has been a problem for him dating back to his days catching passes from Derek Carr at Fresno State.

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20. MIN - Dalvin Cook to see work on kickoffs?

Source: Sirius XM NFL Radio

Minnesota Vikings RB Dalvin Cook may be a candidate to return kicks if special teams coach Mike Priefer has his way, although Priefer acknowledges the decision ultimately lies with head coach Mike Zimmer.

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Cook had fumbling problems in college at Florida State and that was one of the reasons he dropped in the draft. Having him as a return man is risky if he doesn't show improved ball security. Plus, if Cook is the team's starter at running back then perhaps using him as a return man as well isn't advisable.

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21. WAS - QB Kirk Cousins wants to stay in Washington

Source: NFL.com - Kevin Patra

Washington Redskins QB Kirk Cousins' first choice is to stay with the Redskins despite both sides not agreeing on a long-term deal. Cousins said he would love to stay in Washington long term and has hope for getting a deal done next offseason.

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Can we really believe that? Especially after Bruce Allen kept calling him Kurt when the team publicly revealed the offer they made Cousins before the July 17th deadline for franchise players. Cousins is focused on football now, but next offseason we could see him bolting for a team like the 49ers where he would be reunited with Kyle Shanahan.

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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