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Footballguys #136 - 9/4 - It's Almost Here! News and Notes You Need To Know

Volume 20, #136 -- Tuesday Night, September 4th, 2018

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Howdy Folks,

It's almost here! We've got the News and Notes you need so let's get to it.

J

SITE NEWS

A. Footballguys DFS Power Grid Week 1
The Power Grid locks in their Daily Fantasy picks for Week 1. Footballguys staffers Austin Lee, John Lee, Devin Knotts, and Ryan Hester debate Ben Roethlisberger, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Rex Burkhead, Alfred Morris, Tyreek Hill, Keelan Cole, Jordan Reed, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, and many more!

B. Footballguys Podcast - The Audible - On The Couch
In This Episode: Sigmund Bloom and Matt Waldman talk about the NFL and fantasy football. Topics Include - What to watch for in Patrick Mahomes matchup against the Chargers, Players we regret not getting more shares of in the preseason, takes on the Khalil Mack trade, plus more! commercial music by BenSound.com

C. Footballguys Podcast - The Audible - 2018 Kickoff Special
In This Episode: Cecil Lammey and Sigmund Bloom kickoff the regular season with a bonus episode, previewing the Falcons versus Eagles game. Bumper: Iron Maiden - Back in the Village --commercial music by BenSound.com


1. PIT - WR Antonio Brown expected at full strength

Source: ProFootballTalk.com - Josh Alper

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown (quadriceps) is expected to a 'full go' in the season opener against the Cleveland Browns, head coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday, Sept. 4.

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Great news for the Steelers and Fantasy GMs here. Brown is a no-brainer every week starter so long as he's on the field.

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2. PIT - RB James Conner eliciting confidence

Source: NFL Network - Aditi Kinkhabwala

Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner has the confidence of head coach Mike Tomlin in RB Le'Veon Bell's continued absence.

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Conner improved his game over the offseason and looks to be a better back in his sophomore season. He's a must-handcuff for every Le'Veon Bell Fantasy GM out there...and the Steelers may have to go with Conner as the lead back in Week 1.

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3. PHI - QB Carson Wentz awaiting medical clearance

Source: Philly.com - Zach Berman

Updating an ongoing story, Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz (knee) is still waiting on medical clearance, and head coach Doug Pederson said Tuesday, Sept. 4, it is why Nick Foles is starting Thursday night's season opener against the Atlanta Falcons.

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We're still playing the waiting game with the Eagles star quarterback. Pederson said Wentz is 'close' to getting that clearance, but he had to make the determination on the Week 1 starting quarterback Monday. 'It's still a medical issue,' Pederson said Tuesday. 'As of right now, me standing here, he is not cleared.'

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4. NO - RB Mike Gillislee the No. 2 RB

Source: Baton Rouge Advocate - Nick Underhill

New Orleans Saints RB Mike Gillislee is listed as the backup running back on the Saints' initial depth chart.

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Well that didn't take long. Gillislee was released by the Patriots and scooped up by the Saints on Sunday. This puts him behind starter Alvin Kamara for the first four weeks of the year while Mark Ingram is suspended. With Kamara looking like he's going to hog most of the touches in the Saints backfield, Gillislee shouldn't get that many snaps.

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5. MIA - WR DeVante Parker's status unclear

Source: ProFootballTalk.com - Charean Williams

Miami Dolphins WR DeVante Parker's (finger) ailing middle finger is 'substantially better,' according to The Miami Herald's Adam Beasley, but his availability for Week 1 is unclear.

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Parker has been a disappointment to this point in his career. The potential for him to be a playmaker is there but injuries and inconsistencies have held him back. This injury may keep him out Week 1 against the Titans. That makes Kenny Stills, Danny Amendola and Albert Wilson the top three WRs for Ryan Tannehill on Sunday.

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6. MIA - RB Kenyan Drake, RB Frank Gore co-starters

Source: The Miami Herald - Adam H. Beasley

Miami Dolphins RBs Kenyan Drake and Frank Gore are listed as co-starters on Miami's initial depth chart.

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Here we go with another 'co-starters' thing. Drake is the more dynamic back and can be counted on for explosive plays as a runner and receiver out of the backfield. Gore is the steady runner who can make a living by grinding between the tackles. Fantasy GMs should consider Drake a low-end RB2 in Week 1 against the Titans while Gore is more of a 'what the heck' flex play in super deep leagues or superflex leagues.

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7. PHI - RB Jay Ajayi full go Tuesday

Source: PhiladelphiaEagles.com

Philadelphia Eagles RB Jay Ajayi (foot) was upgraded to a full participant in practice Tuesday, Sept. 4.

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Full go on Tuesday means Ajayi is set to start with no limitations on Thursday night. He'll be the featured back for the Eagles and get roughly half the touches in the backfield. Ajayi can be counted on as a low-end RB2 or flex play in this contest.

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8. PHI - QB Carson Wentz still limited

Source: PhiladelphiaEagles.com

Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz (knee) was limited in practice Tuesday, Sept. 4.

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Wentz isn't going to start the season opener for the Eagles. In fact, he's still waiting to be cleared for full contact. Even when that happens (likely in the near future), the Eagles may want him to sit for just a bit longer. If he misses another game or so, we wouldn't be surprised.

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9. PHI - WR Alshon Jeffery remains out

Source: PhiladelphiaEagles.com

Philadelphia Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery (shoulder) sat out of practice Tuesday, Sept. 4.

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Jeffery isn't going to play in Week 1 against the Falcons. Expect him to miss the first couple of weeks of the regular season. We'll see more of Nelson Agholor and Mike Wallace with Jeffery still on the mend.

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10. LAC - TE Antonio Gates to practice Wednesday

Source: ESPN.com - Eric D. Williams

Los Angeles Chargers TE Antonio Gates will practice Wednesday, Sept. 5, according to head coach Anthony Lynn, giving the team the opportunity to gauge Gates' conditioning and game readiness. 'I don't want to put him in a position where he goes out and hurts himself, and then it sets us back four or five weeks,' Lynn said.

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Gates is no longer the same player he used to be. That being said, his chemistry with Philip Rivers is off the charts and he shouldn't need much time to get up to speed in 2018. He's a low-end TE2 at best for Fantasy GMs this year.

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11. LAC - QB Cardale Jones back with Chargers

Source: NFLCommunications.com

Free-agent QB Cardale Jones (Chargers) was re-signed to the Los Angeles Chargers' practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 4.

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As expected, Jones returns to the Chargers to continue his development. He's got a big arm and can use his legs to pick up yards, but Jones needs to be more nuanced as a passer if he wants to get on the field as a quarterback.

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12. TB - WR DeSean Jackson, WR Chris Godwin co-starters

Source: ESPN.com - Jenna Laine

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WRs DeSean Jackson and Chris Godwin are listed as co-starters opposite WR Mike Evans on the Buccaneers' initial depth chart.

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Godwin has been seen as a rising star by Fantasy GMs based on what he did last year as a rookie when Jackson was banged up. Jackson has put together a strong preseason and he needs to bounce back after a disappointing 2017 (his first season with the Buccaneers). We like Godwin as a 'what the heck' flex in deep leagues and Jackson around the same area (WR5 or so) in Week 1 against the Saints.

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13. CAR - WR Curtis Samuel to miss Week 1

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

Carolina Panthers WR Curtis Samuel (heart) recently underwent a small procedure to fix an irregular heartbeat, according to a source. He is expected to be sidelined for Week 1.

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Samuel is a gadget player for the Panthers offense. Only Fantasy GMs in dynasty leagues should be monitoring his progress as a pro at this time.

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14. PHI - Tuesday injury report for Eagles

Source: PhiladelphiaEagles.com

Philadelphia Eagles DE Michael Bennett (knee) and WR Mack Hollins (groin) did not practice Tuesday, Sept. 4.

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With the game on Thursday night, things are looking troubling for both players. Without Hollins, perhaps we see more of TE Dallas Goedert in the gameplan. We should see more of him anyway and have the rookie pegged as a 'what the heck' flex for Fantasy GMs in Week 1.

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15. DET - RB Donnel Pumphrey signing with Detroit

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

Free-agent RB Donnel Pumphrey (Eagles) will sign with the Detroit Lions on Tuesday, Sept. 4, and will join the team's practice squad.

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Pumphrey gives the team a developmental scatback on the practice squad. Injuries derailed his career with the Eagles (after just one year), but the NCAA's all-time leading rusher is looking for a fresh start.

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16. LAC - WR Mike Williams 'back out there having fun'

Source: Chargers Wire - Gavino Borquez

Los Angeles Chargers WR Mike Williams said it's 'totally different' now that he's fully healthy from a herniated disc he sustained at the beginning of training camp last season. 'I'm able to go out there and make those plays I couldn't make last year, make the contested catches,' he said. 'The confidence just comes from being out there. I'm back out there having fun.' For the preseason, Williams hauled in four receptions for 56 yards and a touchdown.

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Williams should be a big part of what the Chargers want to do in their passing game. Keenan Allen is the lead wide receiver, but Williams has a Plaxico Burress-like skill set to win jump passes in the red zone. The emergence of Williams could help the offense even more since they lack a threat at the tight end position.

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17. NO - RB Boston Scott will work as returner

Source: New Orleans Advocate - Nick Underhill

New Orleans Saints RB Boston Scott said he expects to be returning kickoffs when the team's season begins Sunday, Sept. 9. He also believes he'll be 'in the mix' for punt returns as well.

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A sixth-round pick out of Louisiana Tech this year, Scott is a small/compact runner who is an excellent receiver out of the backfield. His quickness and moves in the open field help him as a return man as well.

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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