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Footballguys.com

Volume 20, #35 -- Saturday Night, May 26th, 2018

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Hi Footballguy,

Hi Folks,

Good Sunday to you. We've got some News and Notes for you so let's get to it.

J

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1. LAC - LAC considering TE Antonio Gates

2. LAC - WR Mike Williams looking good

3. SEA - Pete Carroll talks up RB Chris Carson

4. CHI - RB Tarik Cohen must improve as blocker

5. KC - WR Sammy Watkins wows in OTAs

6. KC - Patrick Mahomes struggling

7. DET - Kerryon Johnson set for big role?

8. WAS - QB Alex Smith contract terms

9. NFL - QB Josh Freeman retires

10. DET - S Quandre Diggs may be in lead for starting job

11. KC - Two Chiefs players still sidelined

12. CIN - WR Tyler Boyd may move around

13. LAC - CB Jason Verrett not cleared yet

14. LAC - TE Julius Thomas an option for Chargers?

15. DEN - Phillip Lindsay could return punts

16. LAR - WR Brandin Cooks fitting in

17. PIT - RB James Conner up to speed

18. DEN - Chad Kelly may be No. 2 QB


1. LAC - LAC considering TE Antonio Gates

Source: ESPN.com - Eric D. Williams

Updating a previous report, free-agent TE Antonio Gates (Chargers) is a player the Los Angeles Chargers have discussed re-signing this offseason because of TE Hunter Henry's (knee) injury.

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The Chargers were going to move on from Gates this offseason, but the season-ending injury to Henry changes things. Gates obviously is not the player he used to be, but they clearly have a need here.

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2. LAC - WR Mike Williams looking good

Source: ESPN.com - Eric D. Williams

Los Angeles Chargers WR Mike Williams has looked more confident and explosive during offseason workouts, in the opinion of ESPN.com's Eric D. Williams.

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Williams is a big target who could make a big difference for the Chargers in the red zone. Without Hunter Henry (knee), the Chargers passing game is going to be in need of other targets to step up. The second-year pro will compete with Tyrell Williams for the no.2 wide receiver job opposite Keenan Allen.

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3. SEA - Pete Carroll talks up RB Chris Carson

Source: The Seattle Times - Bob Condotta

Seattle Seahawks RB Chris Carson (ankle) is in 'extraordinary condition' following ankle surgery last year, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

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A couple of months ago, Carroll said Chris Carson is fully recovered from his broken leg. He'll be in the mix for the starting job but we fully expect rookie first-round pick Rashaad Penny to win the top spot.

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4. CHI - RB Tarik Cohen must improve as blocker

Source: Chicago Sun-Times - Patrick Finley

Chicago Bears RB Tarik Cohen could 'no doubt' serve as the third-down back if he can prove to be a capable blocker, according to running backs coach Charles London.

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Cohen is a small back, but he's got a low center of gravity and could slow down rushers with proper pass-blocking technique. Jordan Howard should be the primary ball carrier for the Bears, and even though he's worked hard on his receiving ability this offseason we expect Cohen to be the primary pass-catching back.

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5. KC - WR Sammy Watkins wows in OTAs

Source: The Kansas City Star - Pete Grathoff

Kansas City Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins made multiple one-handed catches during OTAs Thursday, May 24.

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Watkins is making a strong impression with his new team. He should become a favorite target of QB Patrick Mahomes, especially because of his ball-tracking ability. Watkins has 'late hands' which means he doesn't tip off a pass is coming in until the last minute. Staying healthy has been a problem, and that durability problem is cooked into his current ADP of WR34 (7.08) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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6. KC - Patrick Mahomes struggling

Source: ESPN.com - Adam Teicher

Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes' struggles during OTAs are nothing to be worried about, according to head coach Andy Reid. 'We throw in a lot of new stuff so you want to test what you can get away with in these camps, so you're going to have interceptions,' Reid said. 'That doesn't bother me.'

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Mahomes is a gunslinger, and he's going to take chances with the football. He can run and attack a defense with his legs, so fantasy owners are assuredly excited about his prospects in 2018. His ADP is QB17 (11.09) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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7. DET - Kerryon Johnson set for big role?

Source: DetroitLions.com - Tim Twentyman

Detroit Lions RB Kerryon Johnson and LeGarrette Blount were 'no doubt' the top two running backs during OTAs Thursday, May 24, according to Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com.

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The Lions have been looking for a bell-cow back for a long time, but have they finally found a combination of backs who could be just as good? The team moved up to grab Johnson, and Blount is a solid short yardage back with upside. The biggest issue is what Theo Riddick does to this group. Until we see more, it's hard to go for any of these guys outside of a RB4 pick with upside. Long term, we like Johnson's Dynasty value.

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8. WAS - QB Alex Smith contract terms

Source: NBCSportsWashington.com - Rich Tandler

Contract terms for Washington Redskins QB Alex Smith include a $27 million signing bonus and salaries of $13 million in 2018 and $15 million in 2019. Smith's $16 million in 2020 becomes fully guaranteed on the fifth day of the 2019 league year.

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Washington will have Smith take over this year as they let Kirk Cousins bolt in free agency. We'll see if the new weapons around him help Washington's win total in a tough NFC East. Last year, Smith finished as the no.4 fantasy quarterback in standard-scoring leagues. With his new team, fantasy owners are seeing him as a low-end QB2. Smith has a current ADP of QB21 (13.05) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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9. NFL - QB Josh Freeman retires

Source: ProFootballTalk.com - Mike Florio

Former NFL QB Josh Freeman has decided to retire from professional football.

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Freeman was trying to make a comeback in the CFL but has decided to call it quits. "We would like to thank Josh for his work and dedication. He was a consummate professional throughout camp," Montreal Alouettes General Manager Kavis Reed said. "We respect his decision and we wish him the best in the future." A first-round pick in 2009 (Buccaneers), Freeman never played up to his potential as a pro.

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10. DET - S Quandre Diggs may be in lead for starting job

Source: ESPN.com - Michael Rothstein

Detroit Lions S Quandre Diggs is competing for one of the starting safety jobs this offseason and may be the leading candidate for the job at this point, in the opinion of ESPN.com's Michael Rothstein.

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Diggs is a bit of a 'tweener and somewhat small for a safety at 5'9" 200 pounds. He does have a great nose for the ball and the versatility to play across the secondary. New Lions head coach Matt Patricia seems excited about what Diggs can do for the defense in 2018.

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11. KC - Two Chiefs players still sidelined

Source: Chiefs.com - Matt McMullen

Kansas City Chiefs C Mitch Morse (foot) and WR De'Anthony Thomas (leg) did not participate in organized team activities this week. Head coach Andy Reid said both players are doing well in their recoveries.

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With the talent added to the WR position this offseason, Thomas may find it difficult to make the final roster. He broke his leg in the Week 17 game against the Broncos last year. Thomas is a core special teams player and if healthy that should help him in his chances to win a job.

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12. CIN - WR Tyler Boyd may move around

Source: Bengals.com - Geoff Hobson

Cincinnati Bengals WR Tyler Boyd likely will be the slot receiver for the Bengals this season but could also see some time as an outside receiver.

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Boyd played in 10 games last year and snared 22 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns. Slowed by an MCL injury, Boyd should be able to post better numbers in 2018. He's not going to light up the box score, but the Bengals are looking for players not named A.J. Green to produce in the passing game.

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13. LAC - CB Jason Verrett not cleared yet

Source: ESPN.com - Eric D. Williams

Los Angeles Chargers CB Jason Verrett (knee) has not been cleared for full participation in practice at this point.

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Verrett could be a fine corner if he was ever healthy. He's only played in five games over the last two years, and the 2014 first-round pick has never appeared in a full 16-game season. The Chargers have an upgraded secondary but would further benefit from a healthy Verrett.

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14. LAC - TE Julius Thomas an option for Chargers?

Source: ESPN.com - Eric D. Williams

Free-agent TE Julius Thomas (Dolphins) could be an option for the Los Angeles Chargers because of TE Hunter Henry's (knee) injury, in the opinion of ESPN.com's Eric D. Williams.

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Thomas failed to impress with the Dolphins and he's certainly not the player he used to be with Denver years ago. The Chargers are desperate at the position after losing Henry for the year. We'll see if they reach out to someone like Thomas or choose to bring back Antonio Gates instead.

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15. DEN - Phillip Lindsay could return punts

Source: The Denver Post - Ryan O'Halloran

Denver Broncos RB Phillip Lindsay is seeing time as a punt returner during OTAs.

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The Broncos picked up Lindsay as an undrafted free agent out of Colorado this year. He's small (185 pounds) but tough, quick and plays with a lot of heart. The Broncos could keep him on the roster as a change-of-pace back and return man in 2018.

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16. LAR - WR Brandin Cooks fitting in

Source: TheRams.com - Myles Simmons

Los Angeles Rams WR Brandin Cooks and QB Jared Goff connecting in the passing game has 'become the norm' during OTAs, according to Myles Simmons of TheRams.com.

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Cooks is doing more than fitting in...he's wowing head coach Sean McVay. The speedy veteran should take the top off the defense and be the favorite long target of QB Jared Goff in 2018. He's got a current ADP of WR21 (4.11) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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17. PIT - RB James Conner up to speed

Source: ESPN.com - Jeremy Fowler

Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner (knee) has been practicing during OTAs, and TE Jesse James said Conner looks more confident this year. 'He's running fast, running every ball to the end zone,' James said. 'He looks good.'

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We wonder how much will leak about how good Connor is this year. The team and Le'Veon Bell still need to come to an agreement, if it's possible at all. We may hear a lot about Connor as leverage to see if Bell will take a lower offer than what he wants now. In reality Bell is the Workhorse back in this offense, and that won't change barring injury.

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18. DEN - Chad Kelly may be No. 2 QB

Source: ESPN.com - Jeff Legwold

Denver Broncos QB Chad Kelly will compete with QB Paxton Lynch for the No. 2 quarterback job during training camp, according to general manager John Elway. Kelly and Lynch has been splitting snaps evenly with the second-team offense during offseason workouts.

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Somebody get our guy Cecil Lammey smelling salts, because he probably about fainted hearing the Broncos might get a little outlaw country under center this year. Kelly has all the tools you might want, but injury concerns as well as attitude and off field issues killed his value in the 2017 NFL Draft. But if he has his head on straight, he could end up being the long term answer for the Broncos at quarterback.

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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