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Footballguys #137 - 9/5 - IT. IS. HERE. Happy Kickoff Day.

Volume 20, #137 -- Wednesday Night, September 5th, 2018

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Howdy Folks,

It's like Christmas Morning. And not a moment too soon. Enjoy the game tonight. This is what we've been waiting for. Thanks for sharing part of your season with us.

J

SITE NEWS

A. James Conner Talk On The Footballguys Powergrid
Should James Conner be in your Daily Fantasy lineups? Ryan Hester, Devin Knotts, John Lee, and Austin Lee debate the impact of Le'Veon Bell's holdout on Week 1 DFS.


1. PIT - Le'Veon Bell still absent Wednesday

Source: NFL Network - Aditi Kinkhabwala

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell remains absent from the team Wednesday, Sept. 5.

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Bell's role for Week 1 is dwindling with practice time missed. He needs to show up by Saturday afternoon in order to get his weekly game check. Even if Bell shows up later in the week (Friday?), his role might me limited.

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2. PIT - RB James Conner likely to start opener

Source: ProFootballTalk.com - Charean Williams

Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner is reportedly expected to start against the Cleveland Browns in Week 1 even if Le'Veon Bell reports to the team Wednesday, Sept. 5. "Much like I've told you guys throughout this process when he gets here is when we will start quantifying all Le'Veon Bell-type things," Tomlin said, via Mark Kaboly of The Athletic. "His overall readiness, the amount of time that we have between our arrival and our next competition, etc. We will weigh all of those things at the appropriate time. Right now, we are singularly focused on the guys who are here working and have been here working and building a plan around variables that we know. That's the appropriate thing."

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Conner has looked better this year than he did last season as a rookie. If he gets a full workload, Conner should post RB2 numbers for Fantasy GMs. If Bell comes back later this week, it will cut into Conner's fantasy value enough to make him not worth starting...even if he gets the starting nod for the Steelers still. Stay tuned.

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3. SF - RB Matt Breida listed as first-team running back

Source: 49ers.com

San Francisco 49ers RB Matt Breida was listed ahead of Alfred Morris on the team's depth chart Tuesday, Sept. 4.

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Breida had a shoulder injury that knocked him out of the final three preseason games. It was not serious but the team wanted to be cautious with their young back. Even though he is listed as the starer, we should see the 49ers implement a RBBC with Breida and Morris.

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4. SEA - RB Rashaad Penny takes part in practice

Source: The Seattle Times - Bob Condotta

Seattle Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny (hand) fully participated in practice Wednesday, Sept. 5.

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Penny is the backup to Chris Carson to begin the regular season. The 2018 first-round pick from San Diego State is getting in better shape and may push for the top spot on the depth chart as the season rolls on.

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5. SEA - Full practice for WR Doug Baldwin

Source: The Seattle Times - Bob Condotta

Seattle Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin (knee) fully participated in practice Wednesday, Sept. 5.

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Baldwin is not at full strength but he's going to play against the Broncos. He should be matched up against Bradley Roby and Chris Harris at times, depending on where he lines up. He's a low-end WR2 against the Broncos in Week 1.

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6. WAS - RB Chris Thompson ready for opener

Source: NBC Sports Washington - JP Finlay

Washington Redskins RB Chris Thompson (leg) is not listed on the team's injury report heading into the regular season opener.

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Thompson may not be back to full strength until later in the year, but when he's on the field we see him as a RB3/flex option for Fantasy GMs in PPR leagues.

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7. WAS - TE Jordan Reed healthy in Week 1

Source: NBC Sports Washington - JP Finlay

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed is practicing and not on the team's injury report heading into Week 1.

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Start him while you've got him. Every Fantasy GM knows that Reed has the talent to be one of the best at his position...and we all know that he fails to stay healthy for an extended period of time. If he's playing, then he's got TE1 ability.

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8. CLE - WR Josh Gordon without limitations

Source: Medina County Gazette - Scott Petrak

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon (hamstring) said he feels 100 percent and is without limitations Wednesday, Sept. 5. He thinks he can have a big impact against the Pittsburgh Steelers even without starting.

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Gordon is not starting this week but Fantasy GMs should be intrigued by the boom/bust nature of his skill set in this matchup. We like him as a 'what the heck' flex in Week 1.

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9. HOU - WR Will Fuller limited Wednesday

Source: ESPN.com - Sarah Barshop

Updating a previous report, Houston Texans WR Will Fuller (hamstring) was limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 5.

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Fuller is gearing to play on Sunday against the Patriots. Provided this hamstring injury doesn't act up or slow him down, we like Fuller as a WR3/flex play for Fantasy GMs in Week 1.

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10. TEN - TE Delanie Walker not on injury report

Source: The Tennessean - Jim Wyatt

Tennessee Titans TE Delanie Walker (toe) is not listed on the Titans' injury report for Week 1.

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Walker declared himself ready to go earlier in the week and this injury report shows he's ready. On the road against the Dolphins, Walker should post mid-range TE1 numbers in Week 1.

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11. MIA - RB Frank Gore able to practice in full

Source: MiamiDolphins.com - Alain Poupart

Miami Dolphins RB Frank Gore (Achilles') was listed as a full participant in practice Wednesday, Sept. 5.

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Gore is listed as a 'co-starter' on the Dolphins depth chart with Kenyan Drake. He should get some short-yardage and goal-line work for the Dolphins this week at home against the Titans. We've got him as a deep flex to open the season.

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12. MIA - No WR DeVante Parker on Wednesday

Source: MiamiDolphins.com - Alain Poupart

Miami Dolphins WR DeVante Parker (finger) was unable to practice Wednesday, Sept. 5.

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Parker is not going to play in the game against the Titans on Sunday.

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13. CIN - TE Tyler Eifert practices in full

Source: The Cincinnati Enquirer - Paul Dehner Jr.

Cincinnati Bengals TE Tyler Eifert (back) took part in a full practice session Wednesday, Sept. 5.

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Just like with Jordan Reed (Washington), Fantasy GMs know that Eifert can be one of the best at his position when healthy...it's just the staying healthy thing that has been a problem for both. Eifert is fully practicing so get him in there while you can. We project him as a TE2 with TE1 upside in Week 1 against the Colts.

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14. CLE - WR Josh Gordon limited Wednesday

Source: The Cleveland Plain Dealer - Mary Kay Cabot

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon (hamstring) took part as a limited participant in practice Wednesday, Sept. 5.

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Gordon believes he can make an impact in Week 1 against the Steelers even though he's not going to be in the starting lineup. He makes for a boom/bust play in season-long leagues and a tournament play in DFS lineups.

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15. NFL - WR Jeremy Maclin plans to play

Source: ESPN - Adam Schefter

Free-agent WR Jeremy Maclin (Ravens) hurt his hamstring while training and is a couple weeks away from being at full health. He did receive offers before training camp and still intends to play this season, according to a source.

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We can't imagine Maclin having much left in the tank. Even when he is healthy and does sign with a new team, we'll keep the veteran on the waiver wire speed dial just in case.

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16. HOU - WR Will Fuller on the practice field

Source: Houston Chronicle - Aaron Wilson

Houston Texans WR Will Fuller (hamstring) was able to practice Wednesday, Sept. 5. It is the first time he has been on the practice field since sustaining a hamstring injury earlier in training camp.

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Keep an eye on this injury. Fuller would be a great flex play this week against the Patriots if that hamstring doesn't slow him down.

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17. NO - RB Boston Scott waived

Source: Baton Rouge Advocate - Nick Underhill

New Orleans Saints RB Boston Scott was waived Wednesday, Sept. 5.

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With Mike Gillislee signed (and named the no.2 running back), the Saints wanted to make some room on their active roster. The Saints hope to sign Scott to the practice squad if he clears waivers.

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18. PHI - RB Jay Ajayi will play

Source: PhiladelphiaEagles.com

Philadelphia Eagles RB Jay Ajayi (foot) was not listed on the Eagles' status report Wednesday, Sept. 5, and will play in Week 1.

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Ajayi was trending this way with his practice participation and now it's officially official. He's set to be the lead back for the Eagles, but Fantasy GMs know that he's going to work in a RBBC. This week against the Falcons, Ajayi can be relied on as a low-end RB2 in PPR leagues.

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19. PHI - Wednesday status report for Eagles

Source: PhiladelphiaEagles.com

Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz (knee) and WR Alshon Jeffery (shoulder) have been ruled out for Week 1, as expected. WR Mack Hollins (groin) will not be available either.

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That's the expected news for all three of these players. Jeffery should miss the first two weeks of the regular season. Wentz is missing Week 1 but there is a chance he returns for the Eagles shortly after that.

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20. IND - RB Marlon Mack unlikely to play

Source: The Athletic - Stephen Holder

Updating previous reports, Indianapolis Colts RB Marlon Mack (hamstring) is unlikely to be close to playing in Week 1, in the opinion of beat writer Stephen Holder. Mack is out of practice Wednesday, Sept. 5.

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Mack would have to practice on Friday in order to play on Sunday. Against the Bengals in Week 1, rookie Jordan Wilkins could be the starter. Wilkins was a popular late-round pick for Fantasy GMs this year, but in his first game we like him more as a RB3 or deep flex play.

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21. SEA - S Earl Thomas reporting

Source: ESPN.com - Josina Anderson

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas said he plans to report to the team Wednesday, Sept. 5.

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Thomas had been holding out for a new contract with the Seahawks. The veteran shows up to the facility with less than a week to prepare for the Broncos on the road in Week 1.

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22. MIN - RB Dalvin Cook back to normal

Source: The Athletic - Matt Barrows

Minnesota Vikings RB Dalvin Cook (knee) has regained his foot quickness and acceleration after surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament, according to head coach Mike Zimmer.

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Great news for the Vikings and Fantasy GMs who selected Cook in the late first or early second round of fantasy drafts. Cook will be the lead back for the Vikings and should post RB1 numbers on Sunday against the 49ers.

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23. PHI - WR Mack Hollins ruled out

Source: ProFootballTalk.com - Josh Alper

Philadelphia Eagles WR Mack Hollins (groin) was ruled out for Week 1 on Tuesday, Sept. 4, by head coach Doug Pederson.

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Hollins is an interesting player to monitor in deep dynasty leagues but will have to miss some time due to this injury. In his absence (and Alshon Jeffery's absence), the Eagles should turn to their tight ends even more. Zach Ertz and rookie Dallas Goedert should get plenty of looks on Thursday night against the Falcons.

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24. NE - No setbacks for RB Rex Burkhead

Source: MassLive.com - Andrew Callahan

New England Patriots RB Rex Burkhead (knee) hasn't missed a practice in three consecutive weeks, suggesting he is either making progress from a slight tear in his knee and will be able to play a full complement of snaps in Week 1 against the Houston Texans.

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The Patriots/Texans game on Sunday might be one of the most exciting and high-scoring contests we see this weekend. That makes Burkhead and intriguing RB2 with upside for Fantasy GMs in PPR leagues.

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25. LAC - RB Justin Jackson returns to Chargers

Source: ESPN.com - Eric D. Williams

Free-agent RB Justin Jackson (Chargers) cleared waivers and was added to the Los Angeles Chargers' practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 4.

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That's what the Chargers were hoping for when they let Jackson go. A seventh-round pick out of Northwestern, Jackson runs larger than his size and has some explosion to his game. We'll continue to monitor his development in deep dynasty leagues.

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That'll do it for today, Folks. Enjoy the game tonight and we'll see you tomorrow with the Update.

Peace,

J