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Footballguys #109 - 8/8 - Keys to Winning The DRAFT Mini Best Ball Championship, Camp Updates, News and Notes and MORE

Volume 20, #109 -- Wednesday Night, August 8th, 2018

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Howdy Folks,

Good Thursday to you.

It's Preseason Games galore tonight. Plus we've got the News and Notes you need plus make sure you've seen the Camp Reports and everything else we're doing.

Let's do this.

J

SITE NEWS

A. ICYMI - FREE Feature - 39 Page Training Camp Update #1
The big Footballguys feature anxiously waited for in August is the start of our Training Camp Updates. It's 39 pages jam-packed with everything you need to know about every team and situation. It's ridiculously thorough so you can continue to be the smartest owner in your league.

B. ICYMI - FREE Feature - Joe's Notes Week 1 Training Camp Summary
If you'd prefer we take the 39 pages of our Training Camp Update and condense it down the "Need To Know" level, I've got you covered with the Joe's Notes version. It's the most important points from all 32 camps neatly summarized for you.

Stuff like this is what we do at Footballguys.

C. FREE Feature - Keys to Winning The DRAFT Mini Best Ball Championship
Our James Brimacombe with Strategy Tips for the DRAFT Mini Best Ball Championship.

D. Pick-a-Player: Brees, Cousins, Newton
Footballguys staff and Facebook answer a dilemma at the 7.10 spot.

E. Pick-a-Player: Bell, Elliott, or Johnson
Footballguys staff and Facebook answer a dilemma at the 1.02 spot.

F. Pick-a-Player: Cobb, Funchess, Kupp
Footballguys staff and Facebook answer a dilemma at the 8.03 spot.

G. Average Draft Position Updated
It's not enough to know where you'll draft a player. You need to know where the GMs in your league are going to draft a player. Our Average Draft Position is your answer.

H. Average Draft Position For PPR Updated
It's not enough to know where you'll draft a player. You need to know where the GMs in your league are going to draft a player. Our Average Draft Position is your answer. This one is for PPR scoring.

I. Top 300 Updated
Coming in hot with the Top 300 Players.

J. Top 300 For PPR Updated
Coming in hot with the Top 300 Players. This one is for PPR scoring.

K. Draft List Updated
The Draft List is a more realistic list we'd use to draft with. Our David Dodds takes his Top 300 and factors it against Average Draft Position.

L. Draft List For PPR Updated
The Draft List is a more realistic list we'd use to draft with. Our David Dodds takes his Top 300 and factors it against Average Draft Position. This one is for PPR scoring.

M. Lineup Dominator Mobile App In Stores
The Lineup Dominator Mobile App is back this year and ready for you in the iTunes and Google Play store. It's your secret to setting the perfect lineup each week.

N. Waiver and Trade Dominator Mobile App In Stores
The Waiver and Trade Dominator Mobile App is back this year and ready for you in the iTunes and Google Play store. It's your secret to navigating the Waiver and Trade wire.


1. OAK - WR Martavis Bryant not grasping playbook

Source: ProFootballTalk.com - Michael David Smith

Oakland Raiders WR Martavis Bryant is struggling to learn the playbook so far in training camp, according to offensive coordinator Greg Olson. The Raiders are trying to simplify Bryant's learning process so they can get him on the field more.

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Bryant is a superfreak athlete who can take the top off the defense. Things shouldn't really be that complicated for him as he usually wins with physical traits (size, speed, athleticism) and not savvy route running. That being said, Bryant needs to pick up the playbook better if he wants to contribute at a high level.

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2. LAR - DE Aaron Donald talks progressing?

Source: The Orange County Register - Rich Hammond

Los Angeles Rams DT Aaron Donald and the team are 'in the same zip code, area code, ballpark,' in terms of contract talks, according to general manager Les Snead.

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This sounds more encouraging than the Raiders situation with Khalil Mack. The Rams are clearly in a Super Bowl window and hopefully won't mishandle this, as Donald has earned the right to be one of the highest paid players in the league.

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3. CAR - WR Jarius Wright catching everything

Source: Panthers.com - Bryan Strickland

Carolina Panthers WR Jarius Wright is the unofficial receptions leader among the wide receivers thus far in training camp.

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The Panthers passing game is crowded with the additions of DJ Moore, Torrey Smith, and Wright, and the return of Greg Olsen. Wright won't generate value of his own, but he'll help Cam Newton move the chains.

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4. GB - TE Jimmy Graham bothered by knee

Source: USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin - Aaron Nagler

Updating a previous report, Green Bay Packers TE Jimmy Graham (knee) did not practice Tuesday, Aug. 7, due to a knee injury. Although it's considered minor, Graham is unlikely to play in the preseason opener Thursday, Aug. 9.

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With Graham's history of a catastrophic knee injury, even something minor bears watching. As long as he plays later in the preseason, we shouldn't be worried about this.

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5. OAK - Donald Penn asked to take pay cut

Source: ProFootballTalk.com - Charean Williams

Oakland Raiders OT Donald Penn (foot) has been asked by the team to take a pay cut for the 2018 season, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal's Michael Gehlken.

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The Raiders took a left tackle in the first round (Kolton Miller) and there is some buzz that he could begin the season as the starter. Miller had problems protecting Josh Rosen at UCLA last year, and could have a rocky start in the NFL if he replaces Penn from day one.

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6. NYJ - All three Jets QBs to play Friday

Source: ESPNNewYork.com - Rich Cimini

New York Jets QBs Josh McCown, Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Darnold will all receive playing time in the preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons Friday, Aug. 9, according to head coach Todd Bowles.

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McCown doesn't need a ton of reps in the first preseason game. Bridgewater could use more time as he is trying to prove himself after that devastating knee injury that knocked him out of the Vikings starting lineup years ago. Darnold is the rookie and the quarterback of the future for the Jets, so he may get the most time.

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7. IND - Nyheim Hines listed as top returner

Source: 1070 The Fan - Kevin Bowen

Indianapolis Colts RB Nyheim Hines is listed as the No. 1 kick and punt returner on the team's first depth chart.

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Hines is explosive and he is a bit of a sleeper for Fantasy GMs in PPR leagues. If he plays up to his potential, the opportunity is there for him to have some flex appeal in that format. He could be the Colts version of Chris Thompson.

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8. NE - Danny Etling may be on bubble

Source: ESPNBoston.com - Mike Reiss

New England Patriots QB Danny Etling has impressed with his arm strength, leadership and commitment during training camp but is on the roster bubble because he has been inconsistent at times during practices.

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Etling, the rookie from LSU, could be seen as a developmental quarterback. A seventh-round pick in the 2018 NFL draft, Etling has good size and gets rid of the ball quickly. He needs to play with better composure under pressure if he's ever going to make anything of himself at the pro level.

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9. MIN - WR Stefon Diggs, CB Xavier Rhodes held out

Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune - Andrew Krammer

Minnesota Vikings WR Stefon Diggs and CB Xavier Rhodes were held out of practice Wednesday, Aug. 8, because head coach Mike Zimmer were not happy with them. The two players were jawing at each other during morning walkthrough and also had issues during practice Tuesday, Aug. 7.

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It's just some tough love from Zimmer. Diggs is a darling of Fantasy GMs out there and everyone seems to be anxiously waiting to see if he can outproduce the numbers he posted last year. He was the no.16 overall fantasy receiver in standard scoring leagues with Case Keenum throwing him the rock in 2017. We're all hoping Kirk Cousins makes him a favorite target as well.

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10. NYJ - QB Teddy Bridgewater could be trade option

Source: New York Daily News - Manish Mehta

New York Jets QB Teddy Bridgewater is a player the team would consider trading under the right circumstance, according to sources.

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Bridgewater was signed to a one-year deal with the Jets this offseason. They selected QB Sam Darnold near the top of the 2018 NFL draft and he's clearly their quarterback of the future. Josh McCown is there for veteran experience so Bridgewater is expendable. We'll see if a team in need of a veteran backup (Denver?) comes calling later in the preseason.

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11. CLE - Antonio Callaway travels with team

Source: The Cleveland Plain Dealer - Mary Kay Cabot

Cleveland Browns WR Antonio Callaway traveled with the team for their preseason game against the New York Giants Thursday, Aug. 9, but it is not known if he will play. The team believes that Callaway has stayed clean and did not know what was in the car.

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Keep an eye on this situation. Callaway has been a star of camp for the Browns, but the rookie from Florida is already in Stage 1 of the NFL's substance abuse program. The talent is there for him to be a weapon as an underneath receiver. We'll see if the league takes action after Callaway was cited for marijuana possession and driving with a suspended license in Ohio Sunday, Aug. 5.

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12. NE - RB Rex Burkhead might be nicked up

Source: WEEI.com - Ryan Hannable

New England Patriots RB Rex Burkhead (undisclosed) headed to the team's lower field at practice Wednesday, Aug. 8, a field usually reserved for those rehabbing injuries.

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Burkhead is in line to be the lead back for the Patriots in 2018. He'll work in a RBBC just like most all Patriots backs do, but his role should have the most fantasy value. Burkhead currently has an ADP of RB29 (6.05) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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13. LAC - TE Virgil Green finding comfort zone

Source: Chargers.com - Ricky Henne

Los Angeles Chargers TE Virgil Green is starting to find his groove with new QB Philip Rivers in the team's passing game. '(Our connection) is growing,' Rivers said Wednesday, Aug. 8. 'We're working through how I like things, what I'm expecting on certain routes. He's getting a feel for this offense.'

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Green is the lead tight end for the Chargers this year with the injury to Hunter Henry. He caught only 14 passes for the Broncos last year and his career high came in 2016 with just 22 receptions. Green has mostly been a blocker during his pro career and Fantasy GMs are not expecting much from him this year with his new team.

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14. MIA - QB Ryan Tannehill likely for Thursday

Source: MiamiDolphins.com - Alain Poupart

Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill (knee) might play in the preseason opener Thursday, Aug. 9, against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 'We'll sit down and kind of talk through stuff,' head coach Adam Gase said. 'I know what he's going to say already. He wants to get out there and get going because in his mind, these are important.'

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It's been quite some time since we've seen Tannehill under center for the Dolphins as he missed all of the 2017 season due to a knee injury. Reports out of Miami have been positive about his recovery, but it will good to see it with our own eyes in whatever limited preseason action he gets on Thursday.

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15. NYJ - WR Quincy Enunwa's hand uncovered

Source: New York Post - Brian Costello

New York Jets WR Quincy Enunwa (thumb) is no longer wearing a cast or wrap on his previously injured right thumb.

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Enunwa suffered a minor setback with this thumb injury earlier in camp. He missed all of last year due to a neck injury but the veteran receiver is back and aiming to win the slot receiver duties for the Jets in 2018. At his best in 2016, Enunwa performed at WR4/flex levels. We'll see if he can get back there this season.

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16. ARI - WR Greg Little continues his comeback

Source: AZCardinals.com - Darren Urban

Arizona Cardinals WR Greg Little has not played in a regular season game since 2014, but he is attempting to make a comeback during training camp and the preseason. Little caught the attention of the team's scouting staff with an iPhone video, showing his route running and good physical shape.

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Little has always had athleticism and speed when not injured. That's not the reason he's been out of the league and bounced around as a pro. Little needs to show more consistency if he wants to stay with the Cardinals as a reserve receiver.

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17. LAC - Austin Ekeler listed as the No. 2

Source: Los Angeles Daily News - Jack Wang

Los Angeles Chargers RB Austin Ekeler is listed as the team's top backup running back on the first unofficial depth chart of training camp.

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Rookie Justin Jackson (Northwestern) is an exciting player to monitor in dynasty formats but things are shaping up for Ekeler to once again be the primary backup and change-of-pace back behind Melvin Gordon. Fantasy GMs in 12-team PPR leagues are taking him off the board near the end of the draft, currently with an ADP of RB58 (14.03).

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18. LAC - Two battling for backup QB

Source: Los Angeles Daily News - Jack Wang

Los Angeles Chargers QBs Cardale Jones and Geno Smith are each listed as the team's No. 2 quarterback on the first unofficial depth chart of training camp with QB Nic Shimonek listed No. 4.

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Good thing Philip Rivers is one of the most durable players in the league. The Chargers would be in trouble if either one of these guys had to take over. Smith has plenty of starting experience from his time with the Jets while Jones has the big arm and athleticism. The Chargers are a favorite by many analysts to win the AFC West...so long as Rivers stays upright.

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19. BAL - Hayden Hurst has made strides

Source: CBSSports.com - Jason La Canfora

Baltimore Ravens TE Hayden Hurst has proven to be a playmaker this offseason and has improved his route-running, according to offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg.

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Hurst flashed a bit for the Ravens during the Hall of Fame Game earlier this month. The rookie from South Carolina is set to be the team's lead tight end and should become a favorite target of QB Joe Flacco. Rookie tight ends may take some time to produce at a fantasy relevant level but some Fantasy GMs are taking Hurst at TE21 (14.05) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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20. LAR - WR Cooper Kupp, QB Jared Goff gelling

Source: CBSSports.com - Jason La Canfora

Los Angeles Rams WR Cooper Kupp and QB Jared Goff have connected frequently at training camp and their chemistry is evident. According to CBSSports.com's Jason La Canfora, Kupp and Goff 'have something special going on.'

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Keep this in mind when considering Kupp for your fantasy team. The second-year pro had a strong rookie season in 2017 with 62 catches for 869 yards and five touchdowns. Projecting him for similar numbers this year is fair and Kupp has plenty of flex appeal for Fantasy GMs in 2018. He's got a current ADP of WR40 (9.01) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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21. IND - TE Erik Swoope lost in the shuffle?

Source: ESPN.com - Mike Wells

Indianapolis Colts TE Erik Swoope has reportedly been having a strong training camp, but he remains behind newcomer TE Eric Ebron and incumbent TE Jack Doyle on the depth chart.

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Swoope has always been an intriguing deep dynasty prospect, mainly because of his story (never played college football) and skill set (basketball player in college at Miami). He is buried on the depth chart but an injury or two could put him into a more prominent role. Just remember the name as things are finally shaping up for Swoope after developing for a few years with the Colts.

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22. DEN - WR Emmanuel Sanders just resting

Source: 9News.com - Mike Klis

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders was absent from practice on Wednesday, Aug. 8, but he was simply getting a day off to rest.

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Sanders has been on fire in Broncos training camp. His current ADP (WR32, 7.03) makes him a potential value for Fantasy GMs. He's clearly over the ankle injury that plagued him last year and showing strong chemistry with new starting quarterback Case Keenum.

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23. CAR - Tyler Larsen extended

Source: Charlotte Observer - Jourdan Rodrigue

Carolina Panthers OG Tyler Larsen signed a two-year, $4.4 million extension Wednesday, Aug. 8, with $1.4 million guaranteed.

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Larsen's extension should help the team replace Ryan Kalil next year. He was set to be a restricted free agent.

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24. GB - WR DeAngelo Yancey gets first-team reps

Source: USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin - Aaron Nagler

Green Bay Packers WR DeAngelo Yancey operated out of the slot with the first-team offense in the absence of WR Randall Cobb (ankle) on Tuesday, Aug. 7. Yancey also earned praise during post-practice comments from QB Aaron Rodgers, who said that Yancey 'has really progressed' from last season.

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So far the receivers with more experience in the system - Geronimo Allison and Yancey - and former Cincinnati Bengal practice squad receiver Jake Kumerow have received the best reviews from Rodgers in the battle for the #3 wide receiver spot. The rookies were the subject of his ire after a meeting and probably aren't situated to make an early impact.

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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