Footballguys.com

Volume 20, #29 -- Sunday Night, May 20th, 2018

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Hi Footballguy,

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

J

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1. DAL - TE Rico Gathers could start?

2. PHI - RB Darren Sproles to have a large role?

3. IND - WR Ryan Grant expected to start at WR?

4. PIT - TE Vance McDonald expected to start

5. PHI - RB Jay Ajayi played limited role in postseason

6. MIN - Minnesota hoping to extend three key players

7. NE - DE Adrian Clayborn could be limited for OTAs

8. NO - Deon Yelder deal includes guaranteed money

9. PHI - RB Donnel Pumphrey faces uphill climb

10. MIA - Miami to get trio back on field for OTAs


1. DAL - TE Rico Gathers could start?

Source: NFL.com - Gregg Rosenthal

Dallas Cowboys TE Rico Gathers is a candidate to step up as the team's starting tight end, according to NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal.

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The Cowboys have a collection of TEs on the roster right now, and Gathers is at the top of the list. He'll compete with guys like Blake Jarwin and rookie Dalton Schultz.

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2. PHI - RB Darren Sproles to have a large role?

Source: NJ.com - Eliot Shorr-Parks

Philadelphia Eagles RB Darren Sproles (knee) will have a big role in the offense, despite being 34 years old and coming off of a torn anterior cruciate ligament, in the opinion of Eliot Shorr-Parks, of NJ.com. Sproles was not signed to be a feel-good story, according to Shorr-Parks, and it would not be a surprising to see the veteran near or even atop the depth chart.

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Keep this in mind late in your fantasy drafts. Sproles is quite capable as a receiver and could get 50-plus catches if healthy and things line up for him to have this large role in 2018. Jay Ajayi should be the team's leading ball-carrier, but Sproles can be featured as a runner in space and receiver out of the backfield.

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3. IND - WR Ryan Grant expected to start at WR?

Source: NFL.com - Gregg Rosenthal

Indianapolis Colts WR Ryan Grant is the favorite over Chester Rogers to start opposite T.Y. Hilton, based on the one-year, $5 million contract Grant signed in free agency, according to NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal.

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That would make sense, but the competition is open and we won't see until training camp how things shake out. Grant is perhaps better suited to play outside, while Rogers may be best suited to play in the slot. With Andrew Luck back in action, the Colts passing game should have more life in 2018.

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4. PIT - TE Vance McDonald expected to start

Source: NFL.com - Gregg Rosenthal

Pittsburgh Steelers TE Vance McDonald reportedly 'made a huge impression down the stretch' and is considered the favorite to start over Jesse James, according to NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal.

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James is more of the all-purpose tight end, while McDonald is more of the receiving option. McDonald needs to stay healthy and prove that he can be more than a flash in the pan for the Steelers. Fantasy owners who want a TE2 with upside should consider McDonald late. McDonald is currently going undrafted in 12-team PPR leagues.

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5. PHI - RB Jay Ajayi played limited role in postseason

Source: NFL.com - Gregg Rosenthal

Philadelphia Eagles RB Jay Ajayi played fewer than half the team's snaps in the playoffs, according to NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal.

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Without LeGarrette Blount, the Eagles are looking for more opportunities in the backfield. That means Ajayi is up next, but the Eagles have a cramped backfield. We'll likely see him as the main ball-carrier, but we could see someone like Darren Sproles as their primary receiving back.

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6. MIN - Minnesota hoping to extend three key players

Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune - Chip Scoggins

Minnesota Vikings WR Stefon Diggs, DE Danielle Hunter and LB Anthony Barr are the three players the team is hoping to sign to lucrative deals this offseason, according to Chip Scoggins of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

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Diggs is in the final year of his rookie contract and is set to make a little over $700,000 in 2018. The Vikings spent a ton of money to get QB Kirk Cousins, but they should be able to find a way to get Diggs a contract.

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7. NE - DE Adrian Clayborn could be limited for OTAs

Source: ProFootballTalk.com - Mike Florio

New England Patriots DE Adrian Clayborn (quad) reportedly tweaked a quadriceps muscle during offseason workouts.

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It wouldn't be an NFL offseason without Clayborn banged up in some way. He's one of the more oft-injured players in the league, so expect the Patriots to be cautious bringing him along from this latest ailment. While he is expected to be ready for the start of training camp, he may be limited during OTAs, which begin Monday, May 21.

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8. NO - Deon Yelder deal includes guaranteed money

Source: Baton Rouge Advocate - Nick Underhill

Updating a previous report, New Orleans Saints TE Deon Yelder's contract includes $90,000 in guaranteed money.

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Some out there think the Saints got a steal in adding Yelder as a priority free agent after the 2018 NFL draft. He was a prep basketball star and has only one year of production at Western Kentucky. Like most basketball converts, Yelder knows how to use his body to shield defenders away from the ball and he can play 'above the rim' on passes tossed up high. Also, like most inexperienced basketball converts, Yelder's route running leaves a lot to be desired. We'll be monitoring him in super deep dynasty leagues.

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9. PHI - RB Donnel Pumphrey faces uphill climb

Source: NJ.com - Eliot Shorr-Parks

Philadelphia Eagles RB Donnel Pumphrey (hamstring) missed the 2017 season with a torn hamstring and will be fighting for a roster spot this summer. NJ.com's Eliot Shorr-Parks believes it is silly to write off Pumphrey after just 26 preseason carries, because the 2017 rookie looked dynamic at times in practice and bulked up, per reports. Even still, Pumphrey faces an uphill battle to make the final roster.

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The FBS all-time leading rusher is only 179 pounds. Even if he's gained weight, Pumphrey simply lacks the body armor to hold up to the NFL beating. That being said, if he works as a part-time player then there's enough ability to be worth consideration. The Eagles are stacked at the running back position and that certainly hurts Pumphrey's chances of making the team. He can play slot receiver, so perhaps that extra bit of versatility will keep the 2017 fourth-round pick on the roster.

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10. MIA - Miami to get trio back on field for OTAs

Source: Palm Beach Post - Joe Schad

Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill (knee), LB Raekwon McMillan (knee) and CB Tony Lippett (Achilles') are all expected to be on the field in some capacity next week, although it is still uncertain how much work all three will actually do, according to Joe Schad of the Palm Beach Post.

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Tannehill is the one fantasy owners (and the Dolphins) will be monitoring closely during camp. He missed all of last year with this knee injury, prompting the Dolphins to go out and sign Jay Cutler. Now, Tannehill is back for one more (and final?) season as the starter. With Brock Osweiler, Bryce Petty and David Fales behind him the Dolphins don't have many choices other than to see if Tannehill can not only regain his form but show that he's got more potential than he's shown as a pro.

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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