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Footballguys #113 - 8/12 - Update On SF RB Jerick McKinnon, Who's Moving Up and Down After Preseason Week 1, News and Notes and MORE

Volume 20, #113 -- Sunday Night, August 12th, 2018

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Howdy Folks,

Good Monday to you. Fantasy Draft Season is HERE. We've got lots of new Content plus the News and Notes you need.

Let's do this.

J

SITE NEWS

A. FREE Feature - Why Custom Cheatsheets Are The Key To Your Draft
I'm not trying to be dramatic but this may be the most important article we produce this year. It's the single biggest secret to Fantasy Football success. And the biggest reason people fail.

B. Projection Reflections: Preseason Week 1 Adjustments
Our Jason Wood with a look at the key projections changes after the first week of the preseason.

C. FREE Feature - Tight End By Committee
Our Jeff Pasquino dives into finding a Tight End by Committee for 2018.

D. FREE Feature - Tight End By Committee For PPR
Our Jeff Pasquino dives into finding a Tight End by Committee for 2018. This one is for PPR scoring.

E. 5 Late-Round Running Backs You Should Be Targeting
Our Justin Bonnema analyzes five running backs who offer lots of upside for little draft capital.

F. Offensive Tiers and ADP Bargains
Our Ryan Hester dives into ranking the NFL offenses as units and identifying valuable fantasy assets from each.

G. Pick-a-Player: Jones, Montgomery, or Williams
We asked our Footballguys Staff and Facebook folks: In a PPR league, and you are up at Pick 9.01. Would you take Aaron Jones, Ty Montgomery, or Jamaal Williams? Or would you pass on all three?

H. Pick-a-Player: Crabtree, Davis, or Edelman
We asked our Footballguys Staff and Facebook folks: In a PPR league, and you are up at Pick 6.08. Would you take Michael Crabtree, Corey Davis, or Julian Edelman? Or would you pass on all three?

I. Pick-a-Player: Burton, Reed, or Walker
We asked our Footballguys Staff and Facebook folks: In a PPR league, and you are up at Pick 8.02. Would you take Trey Burton, Jordan Reed, or Delanie Walker? Or would you pass on all three?


1. SF - Good news for RB Jerick McKinnon

Source: ESPN - Adam Schefter

Updating a previous report, San Francisco 49ers RB Jerick McKinnon's (knee) MRI showed only a muscle strain in his knee, according to a source.

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We can breathe a lot easier. McKinnon will probably sit for at least a week, if not the rest of the regular season. Joe Williams should be the lead back, but Jeremy McNichols, Raheem Mostert, and UDFA Jeffrey Wilson will also get more work.

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2. NYJ - RB Isaiah Crowell has concussion

Source: ESPNNewYork.com - Rich Cimini

New York Jets RB Isaiah Crowell (concussion) suffered a concussion in the first preseason game and did not travel with the team for their joint practices with the Washington Redskins, according to head coach Todd Bowles.

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Crowell doesn't have another recorded concussion in his career and has generally been very durable, however if he suffers another concussion during the season, this could turn it into a multi-week absence out of caution.

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3. NYJ - QB Sam Darnold moving up depth chart?

Source: ESPNNewYork.com - Rich Cimini

New York Jets QB Sam Darnold saw the 'vast majority' of reps in practice Sunday, Aug. 12, according to ESPN's Rich Cimini.

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Darnold was strong in the preseason opener and did nothing to dispel the notion that he should be the Week 1 starter for the Jets. That might hurt Robby Anderson, who had a great deep ball connection with Josh McCown.

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4. GB - RB Aaron Jones returns

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Tom Silverstein

Green Bay Packers RB Aaron Jones was back at practice Sunday, Aug. 12. Jones had been sidelined since the first week of training camp with a hamstring injury.

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Jones is serving a two-game suspension to begin the season, so he needs to give the Packers coaches something to think about. Jamaal Williams will have a good chance to assert himself as the leader of the backfield, but he'll have to do it against the tough Chicago and Minnesota run defenses.

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5. ARI - Lackluster debut for QB Josh Rosen

Source: The Arizona Republic - Kent Somers

Arizona Cardinals QB Josh Rosen completed six of his 13 pass attempts for 41 yards against the Los Angeles Chargers in his preseason debut Saturday, Aug. 11.

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Rosen played better than his numbers indicated, but the Cardinals offensive line and receivers let him down on multiple occasions. While there is reason for hope long-term, this was also a snapshot of the uphill battle Rosen might face when he does take over.

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6. IND - Indy adds RB Branden Oliver, WR Matt Hazel

Source: Colts.com

Free-agent RB Branden Oliver (Chargers) and WR Matt Hazel (Browns) signed with the Indianapolis Colts Sunday, Aug. 12. Terms of the contracts were not disclosed. The team also placed WR Deon Cain (knee) on the Reserve/Injured list and waived WR Dres Anderson.

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Oliver is a solid all-around back, but an achilles tear might have robbed him of his ceiling. Still, with the Colts backfield mostly banged up, it is worth tracking any competent back on the roster - even Christine Michael.

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7. JAX - CB Jalen Ramsey suspended one week

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

Jacksonville Jaguars CB Jalen Ramsey has been suspended by the team for one week after criticizing the local media for what he believes is unfair treatment of some of his teammates, according to sources.

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This is probably just a blip and forgettable, but it does show some friction between Ramsey and the team, which could come up again if these kinds of differences mount as Ramsey gets closer to free agency.

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8. NE - RB Jeremy Hill top RB Sunday

Source: ESPNBoston.com - Mike Reiss

New England Patriots RB Jeremy Hill served as the top running back during practice Sunday, Aug. 12, with RBs Rex Burkhead (undisclosed) and Sony Michel (knee) sidelined.

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Hill is becoming a possible late-round sleeper now that he's running ahead of Mike Gillislee and two of the Patriots top three backs are hurt. Hill has also been contributing on special teams and appears to be in line for a roster spot.

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9. BUF - Bills QBs banged up Sunday

Source: ESPN.com - Mike Rodak

Buffalo Bills QB AJ McCarron (leg) appeared to have suffered a lower right leg injury during practice Sunday, Aug. 12, but was able to return. QB Nathan Peterman (arm) suffered an apparent right arm injury during practice.

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The path for Josh Allen to start Week 1 against the Ravens is opening, but that's probably a lot better for the Ravens fantasy defense than the Bills offense.

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10. BUF - WR Corey Coleman on field with starters

Source: WKBW.com - Joe Buscaglia

Buffalo Bills WR Corey Coleman received some snaps with the first-team offense during practice Sunday, Aug. 12.

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Coleman makes sense as the outside starter opposite Kelvin Benjamin, if only by default. He might be able to harness the deep arm of Josh Allen if the rookie ends up starting for the Bills.

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11. PHI - Philly adds QB Christian Hackenberg

Source: NFL Network - Tom Pelissero

Free-agent QB Christian Hackenberg (Raiders) signed an undisclosed deal with the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, Aug. 12.

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Other than punchlines, this probably means nothing. Nick Foles is having back spasms and the team is taking it slow with Carson Wentz, so the team might want another camp body.

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12. MIA - RB Kalen Ballage struggles in practice Sunday

Source: The Miami Herald - Armando Salguero

Miami Dolphins RB Kalen Ballage endured a 'Welcome to the NFL practice' on Sunday, Aug. 12, according to Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald. Ballage was kicked out of the huddle by quarterback Ryan Tannehill after missing a block in Sunday's practice. Tannehill laid into the rookie some more on the sideline after the rep. Ballage later got 'leveled' on a tackle, according to Salguero.

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Ballage's physical abilities are translating, but there's a lot more to than that to getting on the field. He won't be threatening for first-team snaps if this continues.

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13. MIA - WR DeVante Parker still not standing out

Source: The Miami Herald - Armando Salguero

Miami Dolphins WR DeVante Parker (finger) jammed a finger on his right hand midway through practice Sunday, Aug. 12, although he remained on the field and was able to finish the session. However, Parker was 'not only covered, but blanketed' by CB Xavien Howard while being held without a catch despite seeing at least three targets during team drills prior to the injury Sunday, according to Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald.

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Howard is certainly moving into the upper ranks of cornerbacks, but Parker's lack of effort is also standing out. He's rightfully dropping down draft boards and there are probably better fliers to take at wide receiver in the range of the draft he's going in, even at a discount.

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14. PHI - TE Dallas Goedert likely back soon

Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer - Zach Berman

Philadelphia Eagles TE Dallas Goedert (elbow) told reporters Sunday, Aug. 12, he is recovering from a 'bump and a bruise' and expects to be back in a day or two.

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Goedert's injury is probably nothing to worry about going forward, but we're monitoring Nelson Agholor, who hasn't been at practice in a week. Goedert looks like he'll be an instant red zone specialist and potentially have fantasy value as a rookie.

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15. TB - RB Charles Sims not a lock to stick on roster

Source: Tampa Bay Times - Greg Auman

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Charles Sims is not guaranteed to make the final roster, especially if undrafted rookie free agent Shaun Wilson continues to impress, according to The Tampa Bay Times' Greg Auman, who believes Wilson could make the team at the expense of Sims or Jacquizz Rodgers.

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Wilson is more dynamic in space and has been turning heads since he joined the team. Sims stayed on the free agent market for a while and probably isn't a very coveted player at this point. Getting beaten out by a UDFA is clearly possible.

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16. MIA - WR Kenny Stills sidelined Sunday

Source: The Miami Herald - Armando Salguero

Miami Dolphins WR Kenny Stills (ankle) was held out of practice Sunday, Aug. 12.

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Adam Gase said the team will be smart and hold him back to avoid setbacks that would make the injury linger into the season. File this away in case Stills has problems later this year with his left ankle.

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17. PHI - RB Corey Clement held out of action Sunday

Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer - Zach Berman

Philadelphia Eagles RB Corey Clement (leg) was spotted with his right leg in a sleeve Sunday, Aug. 12, and was held out of practice.

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if Clement has injury issues, it could increase Jay Ajayi's upside. We'll be keeping tabs on this, but there are no outward signs that it is serious.

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18. CHI - RB Knile Davis signed

Source: The Athletic

The Chicago Bears signed free-agent RB Knile Davis (Steelers) Saturday, Aug. 11.

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Davis is probably just a camp body to take snaps while Benny Cunningham is banged up. UDFA RB/FB Ryan Nall (Oregon State) is having a good camp and will be tough to displace if the Bears decide to keep an extra back.

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19. DEN - Fast start for RB Royce Freeman

Source: ESPN.com

Denver Broncos RB Royce Freeman rushed four times for 38 yards and a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings in the preseason Saturday, Aug. 11.

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Freeman looked better than Devontae Booker, adding fuel to the fire that it's only a matter of time before he leads this backfield. If you were targeting Freeman in the mid-rounds, he gave you no reason to back off in the preseason opener.

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20. DEN - QB Paxton Lynch struggles Saturday

Source: ESPN.com

Denver Broncos QB Paxton Lynch completed six of his 11 passes for 24 yards and an interception against the Minnesota Vikings in the preseason Saturday, Aug. 11.

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Lynch probably isn't good enough to be the backup for the Broncos, or most teams, and Denver will need to ask themselves hard questions about whether they are ready to move on from a first-round pick in his third year. Chad Kelly is pushing to backup Case Keenum this year.

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21. ARI - RB David Johnson shows some burst

Source: ESPN.com

Arizona Cardinals RB David Johnson had two carries for 28 yards against the Los Angeles Chargers in the preseason Saturday, Aug. 11.

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Put him in bubble wrap. Johnson looks ready to pick up where he left off when he ruled the fantasy world in 2016. The only question is how much this version of the Cardinals offense will lose in overall production compared to that version.

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22. OAK - Jon Gruden talks up RB Chris Warren

Source: NBC Sports Bay Area - Scott Bair

Oakland Raiders RB Chris Warren is developing into a complete running back, according to head coach Jon Gruden. 'He's a hammer, he can really thump you and he's got breakaway speed,' Gruden said. 'He's becoming a receiver, blitz pickup, all those little details are improving but he's got a lot of talent.'

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Warren might have more to offer than Doug Martin at this point, but the Raiders coaches might not see it that way. He showed enough to get the attention of other teams, so if this continues, the Raiders will have to keep him on the 53 to retain him for the future. He's on the deep dynasty stash radar.

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23. DAL - WR Deonte Thompson positioned to make team

Source: The Dallas Morning News - Brandon George

Dallas Cowboys WR Deonte Thompson's connection to wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal from their time together with the Buffalo Bills gives Thompson a slight edge on WR Lance Lenoir and WR Noah Brown for the final receiver spot on the 53-man roster, according to Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News.

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Thompson also provides a vertical element that can be used off of play action and he has been productive when given the opportunity in recent years with Chicago and Buffalo. If he doesn't make the Dallas roster, he probably won't spend long on the street.

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24. DAL - WR Michael Gallup has bright future

Source: The Dallas Morning News - Brandon George

Dallas Cowboys WR Michael Gallup is a 'moldable, future really good receiver,' according to wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal.

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Gallup should play a large role in the Cowboys passing game, but it might be difficult for him to have consistent value in a run-first offense with a muddled picture at wide receiver. He's definitely on the late round flier radar and gaining momentum.

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25. WAS - WR Robert Davis done for the year

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

Updating a previous report, Redskins WR Robert Davis (knee) suffered a broken leg and a torn lateral collateral ligament. He will undergo surgery and is out for the season.

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Brian Quick has a better chance of making the team now, but UDFAs Cam Sims and Simmie Cobbs could also push as the last receiver and backup "big receiver" to Josh Doctson. Davis has great physical tools and was developing in year two after being a sixth-round pick and spending time on the practice squad.

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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