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Footballguys #150 - 9/18 - News And Notes From Around The Leauge

Volume 20, #150 -- Tuesday Night, September 18th, 2018

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Howdy Folks,

Good Wednesday to you. We've got the News and Notes you need so let's get to it.

J


1. PHI - RB Jay Ajayi may not play

Source: NBC Sports Philadelphia - Reuben Frank

Philadelphia Eagles RB Jay Ajayi (back) has a good chance of being sidelined in Week 3, according to offensive coordinator Mike Groh.

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As much as Fantasy GMs want him to, it just doesn't seem like Ajayi is built to play 16 games as the featured back for the Eagles. It always seems to be something with Ajayi, and now he's bothered by a back injury. Corey Clement should be added via the waiver wire (if he's out there) due to the large role he'd have against the Colts in Week 3 if Ajayi doesn't play.

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2. NE - WR Josh Gordon trade official

Source: NFL Network - Tom Pelissero

New England Patriots WR Josh Gordon passed his physical and was officially acquired by the New England Patriots Tuesday, Sept. 18.

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It's officially official now. Tom Brady has commented on Gordon's arrival and he wants the receiver to work hard and be a team-first guy. We'll see if Gordon can do that and find a spark with one of the league's best teams. Gordon could play in Week 3, but we'd imagine his role would be limited as he's just going to be learning the complex Patriots offense. We see him as a 'what the heck' flex in Week 3 against the Lions.

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3. PIT - WR Antonio Brown's agent downplays issues

Source: NFL.com - Nick Shook

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown's agent Drew Rosenhaus released a statement Tuesday, Sept. 19, explaining his client's recent actions, including a 'trade me' tweet and missing team meetings Monday, Sept. 17. 'The tweet yesterday was not in reference to anything other than Antonio responding to a person he knows,' Rosenhaus said in his statement. 'It was not directed towards a trade, or wanting to be traded. Any idea he was asking for a trade is not accurate. Antonio had a personal matter. I talked to the team about it. His issue was unrelated to the tweet or his relationship with the team. Third, AB has an incredible drive to win. He just wants to win. That's all that that is. That's not anything more than him encouraging his coaches and teammates to win. And that's what his entire focus is on. Any notion, any speculation otherwise, can be put to bed. This is a non-story that has been blown out of proportion. We can end this right here and now.'

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How about the Steelers get a win? This drama surrounding the Steelers is quite the distraction for a team who wants to think of themselves as a Super Bowl contender. Brown needs to stay healthy and perform like the WR1 (and perhaps first-round pick) that Fantasy GMs know he can be. We'll see if the Steelers dial back on the drama and get it done on the road against the Buccaneers on Monday Night Football in Week 3.

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4. PIT - WR Antonio Brown, coach to meet

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Ed Bouchette

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown was absent from team meetings and film review Monday, Sept. 17, head coach Mike Tomlin confirmed Tuesday, Sept. 18, but did not say whether the absence was excused or not. As for Brown's 'trade me' tweet Monday, Tomlin said, '(I'm) not going to talk about much social media. I'll address that with him. I'll leave that between he and I.'

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The Steelers have a ton of talent but no wins to show for it. Browns wants the ball more but defenses are working hard to take him away and Ben Roethlisberger is going elsewhere with the ball...mainly to JuJu Smith-Schuster. We'll see if all this stuff can be ironed out as the Steelers travel to play the Buccaneers on Monday night in Week 3. Brown is obviously a WR1 for Fantasy GMs despite the drama.

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5. PIT - WR JuJu Smith-Schuster staying busy inside 20

Source: ProFootballReference.com

Pittsburgh Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster leads the NFL with eight red zone targets through two weeks.

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Smith-Schuster has scored the 7th-most fantasy points in standard scoring leagues after two games. He's done that with only one receiving touchdown so far. If he continues to get this much work in the red zone, Smith-Schuster will get more touchdowns and more points. Most Fantasy GMs can start Smith-Schuster as a WR2 even though he's posting WR1 numbers.

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6. TEN - QB Marcus Mariota showing improvement

Source: ProFootballTalk.com - Charean Williams

Tennessee Titans QB Marcus Mariota (elbow) is 'probably better than he was Friday or Saturday (of last week),' head coach Mike Vrabel told Nashville's 104.5 FM on Tuesday, Sept. 18.

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His status was unchanged on Monday but Mariota must be making progress. If he can't play, the Titans would again turn to Blaine Gabbert as their starter.

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7. CHI - More work for RB Jordan Howard?

Source: Chicago Sun-Times - Patrick Finley

Chicago Bears RB Jordan Howard will 'probably' be given more carries going forward, according to Matt Nagy. Nagy added that the Bears won't plan a certain amount of passes or carries in any particular game, they'll simply 'play it out as is.'

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Howard is tied for the 12th most rushing yards (117) after two games in the 2018 season. He's got 175 yards from scrimmage which is 30th in the league at this point. It's good to hear that he'll 'probably' get more carries, but Fantasy GMs already have Howard locked in as a high-end RB2 most weeks.

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8. IND - RB Jeremy McNichols returns to Colts

Source: Colts.com

Free-agent RB Jeremy McNichols (Colts) was re-signed to the Indianapolis Colts' practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 18. QB Phillip Walker was released from the practice squad in a corresponding move.

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McNichols is a decent all-purpose back who is going to try and impress on the scout team. He was a fifth-round pick by the Buccaneers in the 2017 NFL draft.

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9. WAS - RB Rob Kelley goes to IR

Source: ESPN.com - John Keim

Washington Redskins RB Rob Kelley (toe) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Sept. 18.

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Kelley could be designated to return later in the year but he must now miss at least eight games. Samaje Perine takes over as the no3 back for Washington behind Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson.

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10. NYJ - WR Quincy Enunwa full go

Source: ESPNNewYork.com - Rich Cimini

New York Jets WR Quincy Enunwa (thumb) participated fully in practice Tuesday, Sept. 18.

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Enunwa seems to be Sam Darnold's favorite target this year. He's got 13 receptions in two games so far, and his role on underneath routes makes him a PPR special...but as a flex play.

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11. PHI - Eagles courting WR Jordan Matthews?

Source: 94WIP Radio - Howard Eskin

Free-agent WR Jordan Matthews (Patriots) was spotted at the Philadelphia Eagles' facility Tuesday, Sept. 19, and is a candidate to re-sign with the team with the Eagles in need of wide receiver help.

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Matthews was released by the Patriots with an injury settlement back in early August. He was reportedly dealing with a serious hamstring injury at the time. If healthy, Matthews could step right in and contribute on a team that is desperate for WR help.

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12. SEA - WR Tyler Lockett tops in WR snaps

Source: Seahawks.com - John Boyle

Seattle Sehawks WR Tyler Lockett was on the field for a position-most 91 percent (60 of 66) of the team's offensive snaps Monday, Sept. 17, against the Chicago Bears.

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Lockett was the leading receiver for the Seahawks on Monday night in Week 2. With Doug Baldwin (knee) down, the team turned to Lockett against the Bears. He responded with five catches for 60 yards and a touchdown. That's a fair projection for his output going forward without Baldwin in the lineup.

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13. PHI - Philly seeks more targets for TE Dallas Goedert

Source: NBC Sports Philadelphia - Reuben Frank

Philadelphia Eagles TE Dallas Goedert could see more looks going forward, offensive coordinator Mike Groh said in a news conference Tuesday, Sept. 19. 'We have a talented player in Dallas, and we have to find ways to get him involved,' Groh said.

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Goedert has played 34 snaps this year so far (17 in each game) and only has three targets during that time (all in Week 1). With his talent as a pass catcher, it only makes sense to get the rookie second-round pick as involved as possible. With QB Carson Wentz (knee) returning in Week 3 as the starter, it will be interesting to see how much he targets Goedert. Keep the rookie on your waiver wire speed dial if he's out there. The Eagles lack WR talent and could ask more from their tight ends.

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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