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Footballguys #129 - 8/28 - Injury Insights From Dr. Bramel, College DFS is back, News and Notes and MORE

Volume 20, #129 -- Tuesday Night, August 28th, 2018

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Howdy Folks,

Good Wednesday to you. It's a BIG week as we head down the stretch to the Week 1 Kickoff. We've got big news about College Football DFS plus new content plus the News and Notes you need.

Let's go.

J

SITE NEWS

A. Week 1 Coverage is LIVE
Check out the Week 1 Coverage here with Detailed Stat Projections already up for the Regular Season Week 1 games.

B. Footballguys Podcast - The Audible - Sigmund Bloom & David Dodds "On The Couch"
In This Episode: Sigmund Bloom and David Dodds talk about the NFL and fantasy football. Topics Include - How much is Adrian Peterson worth, mid-round wide receiver targets, cheap starting running backs, plus more! Commercial music by BenSound.com

C. FREE Feature - Back to School: Welcome Back College Football DFS
For the first time since 2015, we will have college football DFS. Footballguys staffer breaks down his thoughts and reminisces on some of the best fantasy performances in college history.

D. Hidden Value or Damaged Goods? When to Draft Injured Players
One of the best things we do at Footballguys is bring injury insights from our uniquely qualified Dr. Jene Bramel. In this one, he dives into when is it safe to draft Saquon Barkley, Jerick McKinnon, Doug Baldwin, Josh Gordon, Rex Burkhead, Carson Wentz, Andrew Luck, Jordan Reed, and others?

E. Eyes of the Guru IDP Info, Preseason Week 3 Notes
Our John Norton with IDP news, notes, analysis, and speculation from Preseason Week 3.

F. New Reality No.111: Preseason Lessons Learned
Our Chad Parsons distills the preseason film-watching notes into categorized dynasty takeaways.


1. PIT - Le'Veon Bell to report soon?

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Gerry Dulac

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell told some teammates that he will finally report to the Steelers on Labor Day Monday, Sept. 3, according to sources. Labor Day marks the first day of practice for the regular season. Bell has not signed his franchise tag and did not report to any offseason activities, including training camp.

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Last year in a similar situation, Bell reported nine days before the start of the regular season. We're about at that point again. Offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner said the Steelers will need to evaluate where Bell is physically before determining his Week 1 workload. Stay tuned.

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2. SEA - WR Doug Baldwin honest about knee

Source: The Seattle Times - Bob Condotta

Seattle Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin (knee) said he will play in Week 1 but that he'll need to manage his knee issue throughout the season.

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Baldwin will face a revamped Broncos secondary in Week 1 on the road. Dealing with this knee management, Fantasy GMs should nerf the expectations for Baldwin early in the season. He's most likely to perform like a WR2 with upside while he continues to manage his knee.

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3. PIT - Le'Veon Bell not a lock to report this week

Source: Le'Veon Bell on Twitter

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell denied speculation he will report to the team on Labor Day on his Twitter account Tuesday, Aug. 28.

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And so it goes. We still tend to think Bell's back Monday. But stay tuned.

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4. MIN - WR Adam Thielen hurt in practice

Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune - Andrew Krammer

Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen (leg) injured his left leg during practice Tuesday, Aug. 28, but said he's good after leaving the field under his own power, according to a source.

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This sounds somewhat minor but there's not much information out right now. Stay tuned. As we all know, Thielen won't participate in the Vikings preseason finale. We'll have an update about his status during the week of practice leading up to their Week 1 contest in the regular season.

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5. PHI - WR Alshon Jeffery will miss games

Source: ESPN - Adam Schefter

Philadelphia Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery (shoulder) is expected to miss the first two games of the season.

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He will be activated to the 53-man roster from the Physically Unable to Perform list this weekend in hopes that he will be available for Week 3. If he were to begin the regular season on the PUP list, Jeffery would be forced to miss the first six weeks of the year by rule. Fantasy GMs should consider Jeffery a WR3 or flex option in PPR leagues upon his return.

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6. IND - QB Andrew Luck back next week

Source: The Indianapolis Star - Zak Keefer

Updating a previous report, Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck (foot) will return to practice Monday, Sept. 3, according to head coach Frank Reich.

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No need to rush him during a week when the team isn't going to play him in the preseason finale. Luck's shoulder injury was enough of a problem but he seemed to be working through it with varied success as a passer during the preseason. This foot injury seems minor, so expect a near 100 percent Luck for the opener.

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7. CLE - WR Josh Gordon working on the side

Source: The Cleveland Plain Dealer - Mary Kay Cabot

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon (hamstring) is doing individual work on the side Tuesday, Aug. 28.

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Gordon is not quite yet ready for team drills. Head coach Hue Jackson says Gordon has been catching passes and doing other light training while getting closer to practicing.

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8. PHI - Philly likely to wait on naming Week 1 QB

Source: NBC Sports Philadelphia - Reuben Frank

Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz (knee) continues to mend from knee surgery late last season, and head coach Doug Pederson said he wants to know by Friday, Aug. 31, whom his starting quarterback will be for the Sept. 6 season opener against the Atlanta Falcons. Pederson, however, added the quarterback decision likely won't be announced until 90 minutes before kickoff when the inactive list is due.

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Wentz is getting closer to being ready but the team isn't going to tip their hand. We should see Wentz get cleared for full contact in the near future. The Eagles open the season next Thursday against the Falcons.

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9. SF - TE George Kittle back in limited fashion

Source: 49ers.com - Joe Fann

San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle (shoulder) returned to practice on a limited basis Tuesday, Aug. 28. He participated in individual drills but did not run routes.

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Fantasy GMs like the idea of Kittle as a TE2 with upside in 2018. That's why he's going off the board at TE13 (12.03) in 12-team PPR leagues. He's been out of action since the 49ers first preseason game.

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10. CIN - DE Carlos Dunlap extended

Source: ESPN - Adam Schefter

Cincinnati Bengals DE Carlos Dunlap agreed to a three-year, $45 million contract extension Tuesday, Aug. 28, according to a source.

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That's a good number for a player entering his ninth season in the league. Dunlap should be good for 7-9 sacks in 2018.

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11. DET - DE Robert Ayers let go

Source: DetroitLions.com

Detroit Lions DE Robert Ayers was released Tuesday, Aug. 28.

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Well that was quick. Ayers was just signed by the Lions on Monday...and he's been released on Tuesday. The market was cool for the veteran defensive end and this occurrence shouldn't help his stock.

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12. IND - RB Marlon Mack improving

Source: The Herald Bulletin - George Bremer

Indianapolis Colts RB Marlon Mack (hamstring) has made good progress over the last two days, according to head coach Frank Reich.

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If you waited on running back in your fantasy draft, then you may have had to invest in the Colts backfield. Mack might be able to begin the season as the starter. If not, then we should see Christine Michael and rookie Jordan Wilkins split carries.

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13. SEA - WR Brandon Marshall to be cut?

Source: ESPN.com - Brady Henderson

Seattle Seahawks WR Brandon Marshall is not projected to make the final roster, in the opinion of ESPN.com's Brady Henderson.

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Marshall has been looking good in practice according to reporters around the team. They could release him and then bring him back after Week 1 when his salary would not be fully guaranteed. Marshall is likely fourth on the depth chart at this time if he does make the team.

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14. ARI - QB Josh Rosen back at practice Tuesday

Source: The Arizona Republic - Kent Somers

Arizona Cardinals QB Josh Rosen (thumb) was spotted throwing during the open portion of practice Tuesday, Aug. 28.

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That's progress but it doesn't mean Rosen is going to play on Thursday against the Broncos. The rookie first-round pick is set to be the quarterback of the future for the Cardinals. This year he will begin the regular season as a backup behind Sam Bradford.

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15. CHI - TE Adam Shaheen unlikely to go on IR

Source: Chicago Sun-Times - Adam L. Jahns

Chicago Bears TE Adam Shaheen (ankle) is not a candidate to end up on the Reserve/Injured list, according to head coach Matt Nagy.

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Shaheen's injury was a bit worse than originally feared but it is good news he's unlikely to be placed on Injured Reserve. The second-year tight end is set to play behind Trey Burton in 2018. He doesn't have to go on IR but we doubt he's ready for the start of the regular season.

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16. LAC - RB Justin Jackson not expected to make the team

Source: ESPN.com - Eric D. Williams

Los Angeles Chargers RB Justin Jackson is unlikely to make the final roster, according to ESPN's Eric D. Williams.

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Jackson has intriguing upside when healthy. He's a versatile back with good vision and quickness as a runner. A hamstring injury has kept Jackson out of action in the first three preseason games. Even if he doesn't make the 53-man roster, Jackson could be kept around on the practice squad.

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17. CHI - WR Kevin White expected to make the cut

Source: ESPN.com - Jeff Dickerson

Chicago Bears WR Kevin White is projected to make the 53-man roster, according to ESPN's to Jeff Dickerson.

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A first-round pick in 2015, White has only played in five games during his three years with the Bears. Injuries have knocked his career off track to this point. He's buried on the depth chart (likely the Bears no4 wide receiver) but he's healthy so they might as well see what he can do as a reserve player.

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18. NYJ - NYJ QB decision waiting on preseason finale

Source: SI.com

New York Jets QBs Sam Darnold, Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater all are in the running to start in Week 1, and Jets head coach Todd Bowles said he likely will wait until after the team's preseason finale Thursday, Aug. 30, to make the decision. 'Sitting down with the coaches, we'll go over everything and everybody will give their opinion,' Bowles said. 'We just haven't talked about it, and we won't until after the last preseason game. We'll sit down as a staff and we'll go over every position, including that one, and we'll come out with our guys.'

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The Jets have a good problem but it is a problem nonetheless. Darnold is the quarterback of the future and the 2018 first-round pick has the potential to be a franchise player. They might determine he's not yet ready. Bridgewater has played well this preseason and was/is on the trade block. No takers for Bridgewater just yet means the team might just begin the year with him as the starter. McCown is the safe 'in case of emergency' veteran who could start in a pinch.

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19. OAK - DE Khalil Mack likely to miss games

Source: Yahoo! Sports - Charles Robinson

Updating an ongoing story, Oakland Raiders DE Khalil Mack is likely to miss regular season games, according to sources, as the two sides have made no progress in his contract dispute.

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This is just more bad news for Raiders fans. Mack is arguably their best player and the two sides are not even close to a new deal. According to the report, head coach Jon Gruden has not been directly involved in talks, but the deal can't be consummated without Gruden's approval. That appears to be the biggest obstacle.

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20. NO - Tre'Quan Smith making good impression

Source: ESPN.com - Mike Triplett

New Orleans Saints WR Tre'Quan Smith has been one of the club's most exciting players in camp, 'routinely making splash plays in both practices and games.' He's exhibited an 'enticing combination of size, speed, hands and big-play ability,' en route to leading the team in catches (11), yards (147) and touchdowns (one) in the preseason.

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Smith has been strong during camp all throughout the month of August. He's competing to be the Saints no2 wide receiver opposite Michael Thomas. Smith is certainly worth taking as a late-round flier in your fantasy draft. He's currently going undrafted in 12-team PPR leagues. At least keep the rookie on your waiver wire speed dial.

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21. NO - WR Cameron Meredith struggling in preseason

Source: ESPN.com - Mike Triplett

New Orleans Saints WR Cameron Meredith (knee) has recorded zero catches in 48 preseason snaps, which also includes a dropped pass that turned into an interception. He played mostly with the backups in the team's most recent preseason game Saturday, Aug. 25.

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Meredith is struggling and rookie Tre'Quan Smith has been impressing. Those two are battling for the spot opposite Michael Thomas in the starting lineup. Meredith is the only Saints WR not names Michael Thomas currently getting draft. He's going off the board at WR51 (11.08) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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22. LAC - RB Justin Jackson likely to debut Thursday

Source: Los Angeles Daily News - Jack Wang

Los Angeles Chargers RB Justin Jackson (hamstring) has missed each of the team's first three preseason games with a lingering hamstring injury, but he expects to make his NFL debut in the preseason finale versus the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday, Aug. 30.

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We like Jackson's dynasty stock for multiple reasons...mainly his versatile skill set. Sure, he's behind Melvin Gordon (and Austin Ekeler) this year but he's the type of back who could one day be a trusted starter. During his college career at Northwestern, Jackson showed great quickness and vision when setting up defenders. We'll continue to monitor him in dynasty leagues.

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23. DET - RB Ameer Abdullah to get plenty of work Thursday

Source: Detroit Free Press - Dave Birkett

Detroit Lions RB Ameer Abdullah will likely see 'significant playing time' in the team's preseason finale against the Cleveland Browns on Thursday, Aug. 30.

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The days of Abdullah potentially being the lead back for the Lions are long gone. LeGarrette Blount, rookie Kerryon Johnson and Theo Riddick make up the backfield now. Abdullah is on the roster bubble. If he plays well in the preseason finale it might be enough to save his spot...or the team could be featuring him to draw interest for a trade. Stay tuned.

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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