Footballguys.com

Volume 20, #30 -- Monday Night, May 21st, 2018

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Hi Footballguy,

Good Tuesday to you. We've got the News and Notes you need plus new Content. Let's get to it.

J

SITE NEWS

A. AFC South Backfield Study
Our Sigmund Bloom with a look at AFC South backfield productivity, volume, and efficiency numbers in 2017 and how to use that data in 2018 drafts.

B. 10 Rules to Live By in IDP Dynasty Leagues
Our Dave Larkin shares his 10-step starter guide to the world of IDP dynasty leagues.

C. Baltimore Team Page
Our Team Pages bring all the info you need into one spot. In this one, we look at Baltimore.

D. Cincinnati Team Page
Our Team Pages bring all the info you need into one spot. In this one, we look at Cincinnati.

E. Cleveland Team Page
Our Team Pages bring all the info you need into one spot. In this one, we look at Cleveland.

F. Pittsburgh Team Page
Our Team Pages bring all the info you need into one spot. In this one, we look at Pittsburgh.

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1. NYG - WR Odell Beckham Jr. in attendance

2. MIN - RB Dalvin Cook ahead of schedule

3. PIT - Le'Veon Bell unlikely for OTAs

4. NE - QB Tom Brady absent

5. NE - NE looking to rework TE Rob Gronkowski's deal

6. ATL - WR Julio Jones misses workout

7. NYJ - QB Teddy Bridgewater expected to be limited

8. BUF - WR Jeremy Kerley top option for slot

9. LAR - DE Aaron Donald not showing up

10. LAR - Ogbonnia Okoronkwo had surgery

11. NE - WR Julian Edelman practices Monday

12. OAK - Nick Nelson signs rookie deal

13. NYG - S Landon Collins on the sidelines

14. NYG - Ereck Flowers on the field

15. SEA - S Earl Thomas not at workouts

16. NO - Tre'Quan Smith signs deal

17. PIT - Jonathan Bostic should start

18. BAL - DE Brent Urban still recovering

19. BAL - RB Kenneth Dixon participating


1. NYG - WR Odell Beckham Jr. in attendance

Source: ESPN - Dianna Russini

Updating previous reports, New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (ankle) is present at organized team activities Monday, May 21.

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Beckham was at voluntary workouts for the Giants, so it's no surprise he would show up at OTAs. He's in the final year of his contract and set to make around $8.4 million this year, but Beckham wants a new deal. We'll see how much the two sides are willing to get something worked out, but Beckham is clearly playing nice with his team. He's still recovering from an ankle injury, so Beckham may be eased into action as the offseason rolls along.

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2. MIN - RB Dalvin Cook ahead of schedule

Source: NFL Network - Tom Pelissero

Minnesota Vikings RB Dalvin Cook (knee) is ahead of schedule in his rehabilitation process. Head coach Mike Zimmer believes Cook will see work during organized team activities, but he will be limited until training camp.

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Great news for the Vikings here. Cook can be the engine to the Vikings offense in 2018 and fantasy owners are excited about his prospects in year two of his career. He has a current ADP of RB10 (2.01) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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3. PIT - Le'Veon Bell unlikely for OTAs

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Ed Bouchette

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell still has not signed his franchise tender offer and is not expected to participate in organized team activities.

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No surprise here. Franchise tagged for the second year in a row, Bell is looking for a long-term contract with the Steelers. Reports indicate talks have broken off, but the two sides have until mid-July to get something done. If no contract agreement can be reached by that time, expect Bell to hold out into training camp and the preseason.

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4. NE - QB Tom Brady absent

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady won't report to organized team activities Monday, May 21, but he's expected to report to mandatory camp in June.

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This absence has stirred up some drama around the superstar quarterback. He reportedly is going to spend more time with his family and his workout guru Alex Guerrero instead of showing up to OTAs. There are plenty of questions about his future, but when mandatory workouts begin we should see Brady in attendance.

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5. NE - NE looking to rework TE Rob Gronkowski's deal

Source: NFL Network - James Palmer

The New England Patriots are working on restructuring TE Rob Gronkowski's contract.

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Gronkowski restructured last year on May 24th and by league rule he can't sign a reworked deal (with incentives) again until one year has passed. He's got two years left on his current contract, and we should see the Patriots play ball with their superstar tight end.

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6. ATL - WR Julio Jones misses workout

Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - D. Orlando Ledbetter

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones was not present for organized team activities Monday, May 21, according to a source.

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Signed through the 2020 season, Jones is reportedly seeking an 'update' to his contract status. He's the centerpiece of the Falcons passing game, so we could see the team work to get their superstar more money. Jones is on the books for $10.5 million in 2018.

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7. NYJ - QB Teddy Bridgewater expected to be limited

Source: New York Daily News - Manish Mehta

New York Jets QB Teddy Bridgewater (knee) likely will be limited during organized team activities, but he is further along in his recovery than most people believe, according to a source.

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The Jets will be cautious with Bridgewater as he continues to recover from his knee injury. Signed to a one-year deal earlier this offseason, Bridgewater is no long-term solution for the Jets (that's rookie Sam Darnold). He's just trying to get healthy and show he can still play in the pros. The team is hoping that Bridgewater will be a full participant when training camp starts.

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8. BUF - WR Jeremy Kerley top option for slot

Source: BuffaloBills.com - Chris Brown

Buffalo Bills WR Jeremy Kerley will enter offseason workouts as the leading candidate for the slot receiver job but will compete with WRs Ray-Ray McCloud and Austin Proehl for the job.

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That was to be expected when Kerley signed with the Bills in mid-April. He'll compete to be the team's slot receiver while also contributing as a return man. There's not much fantasy value for the slot receiver (no matter who wins the job) in Buffalo.

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9. LAR - DE Aaron Donald not showing up

Source: ESPN - Adam Schefter

Los Angeles Rams DT Aaron Donald won't attend organized team activities Monday, May 21.

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Donald is set to make around $6.8 million in the final year of his rookie contract. The 2018 Defensive Player of the Year is seriously underpaid but lacks leverage in the situation. He must report to the team a month before the start of the regular season if he wants to become a free agent in 2019. The Rams could franchise him for two years in a row after this season if need be. Both sides should work to come to an agreement before the start of training camp, but there's no telling the distance in negotiations at this time.

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10. LAR - Ogbonnia Okoronkwo had surgery

Source: TheRams.com - Myles Simmons

Los Angeles Rams DE Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (foot) recently had surgery as a result of a foot injury this offseason.

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The Rams added Okoronkwo in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL draft. He was a fierce edge rusher for the Sooners in college, and he'll fit right in on one of the most ferocious defenses in the NFL. Head coach Sean McVay expects Okoronkwo to participate in training camp.

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11. NE - WR Julian Edelman practices Monday

Source: NESN.com - Zack Cox

New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman (knee) participated in organized team activities Monday, May 21.

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His level of participation may not have been that much as Edelman was expected to sit out OTAs. He had surgery to repair his ACL in September 2017 and many thought he'd just wait until training camp to get back out there. The Patriots WR corps has some changes this offseason, but Edelman should continue as one of Tom Brady's favorite targets.

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12. OAK - Nick Nelson signs rookie deal

Source: Raiders.com

Oakland Raiders fourth-round draft choice CB Nick Nelson signed a four-year contract with the Raiders Monday, May 21. Financial terms were not disclosed.

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Nelson is a hyper-competitive player who can make a play on the ball. He had a whopping 42 pass break ups during his college career (Hawaii and Wisconsin) and he set a record for the Badgers with 21 PBUs in 2017. It's interesting to note that Nelson never had an interception in college, even though he was breaking up passes and generally around the ball if it came his way. He played right cornerback in college, but will be looking to work his way on the field for the Raiders in defensive subpackages as a rookie.

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13. NYG - S Landon Collins on the sidelines

Source: NFL Network - Kimberly Jones

New York Giants SS Landon Collins (forearm) reported for organized team activities Monday, May 21, but did not participate in any of the workouts because of his forearm.

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A smart move for the Giants. Collins has had his forearm repaired twice in the last six months. The injury was originally repaired last December but the bone didn't heal properly so another surgery was performed in April.

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14. NYG - Ereck Flowers on the field

Source: NFL Network - Kimberly Jones

New York Giants OT Ereck Flowers participated in organized team activities Monday, May 21.

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Flowers had been staying away from the team this offseason. He was reportedly unhappy the team went out and signed left tackle Nate Solder to take his place. Flowers should start at right tackle for the Giants in 2018, and that may be his best spot on the line since he struggled so much protecting Eli Manning's blind side.

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15. SEA - S Earl Thomas not at workouts

Source: NFL Network - Tom Pelissero

Seattle Seahawks FS Earl Thomas is not with the team for the start of organized team activities, and the Seahawks had an idea that he would not report.

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Set to make $8.5 million in 2018, Thomas was shopped this offseason and mainly pursued by the Dallas Cowboys. The Seahawks are not scheduled to have any contract talks with Thomas at this point.

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16. NO - Tre'Quan Smith signs deal

Source: NewOrleansSaints.com

New Orleans Saints third-round draft choice WR Tre'Quan Smith signed a four-year deal with the Saints Monday, May 21. Financial terms were not disclosed.

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While in college at UCF, Smith drew comparisons to Allen Robinson (Bears) in the scouting community. Smith has strong hands and the concentration to win against tight coverage - especially in the red zone as noted by his 13 receiving touchdowns in 2017. While not a burner, Smith can accelerate quickly and presents a large target for his quarterback. Smith is buried on the depth chart right now, and he's competing for the 4th spot at the WR position behind Michael Thomas, Ted Ginn and Cameron Meredith. We love his upside in dynasty formats.

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17. PIT - Jonathan Bostic should start

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Ed Bouchette

Pittsburgh Steelers LB Jonathan Bostic likely will start at inside linebacker this upcoming season because the team did not add any competition for him during free agency or the 2018 NFL Draft.

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That's the plan, and the Steelers signed Bostic to a two-year deal back in March. Bostic should start at inside linebacker to take the place of Ryan Shazier as he recovers from a serious spinal injury.

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18. BAL - DE Brent Urban still recovering

Source: The Baltimore Sun - Jeff Zrebiec

Baltimore Ravens DE Brent Urban (foot) is still recovering from the foot injury he suffered last season but should be back on the field for training camp at the latest.

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A fourth-round pick for the Ravens in 2014, Urban signed a one-year contract with the team earlier this offseason. The Lisfranc injury he suffered in 2017 limited him to only three games (all starts). We'll see what kind of participation level he can have during training camp in August.

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19. BAL - RB Kenneth Dixon participating

Source: The Baltimore Sun - Jeff Zrebiec

Baltimore Ravens RB Kenneth Dixon (knee) has been participating in offseason workouts and should be ready for organized team activities.

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Dixon is coming back from a torn meniscus that cost him the entire 2017 season. He'll compete for a spot on the depth chart behind lead back Alex Collins.

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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