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Footballguys.com

Volume 20, #57 -- Sunday Night, June 17th, 2018

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Howdy Footballguy,

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

J

SITE NEWS

A. Beginner's Guide, Part Five - Available Tools
In Part Five, our beginner's series looks at the tools available at Footballguys.

B. Beginner's Guide, Part Six - Preparing for Your Draft
In Part Six, our beginner's series looks at preparing for your draft.

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1. NE - QB Tom Brady discusses future

2. TB - TE O.J. Howard poised to break out?

3. TB - Ronald Jones to get heavy workload quickly?

4. BUF - Josh Allen in mix to start Week 1

5. NYJ - Sam Darnold making strong impression

6. CLE - Baker Mayfield not close to starting yet

7. BAL - Lamar Jackson runs the show

8. BUF - WR Zay Jones not guaranteed a starting job

9. DAL - Michael Gallup, Blake Jarwin impressing

10. MIA - Mike Gesicki finishes spring strong

11. LAC - CB Jason Verrett participates fully

12. IND - Ed Dodds promoted to assistant GM

13. SF - CB Richard Sherman should be ready for camp

14. DEN - Big role for DaeSean Hamilton?

15. CLE - Cleveland skeptical of WR Corey Coleman

16. LAC - TE Braedon Bowman standing out

17. HOU - D'Onta Foreman still recovering

18. NYJ - WR ArDarius Stewart's spot safe?

19. PHI - Dallas Goedert a factor in the red zone?

20. IND - S Malik Hooker back by camp?

21. WAS - Trent Williams will be ready for camp


1. NE - QB Tom Brady discusses future

Source: ESPNBoston.com - Mike Reiss

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady acknowledged in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired on her network Sunday, June 17, he knows he is getting closer to retirement as he nears his 41st birthday in August, telling Winfrey he is 'seeing that there's definitely an end coming, sooner rather than later.' However, Brady also added he wants to play 'as long as I'm loving the training and preparation and willing to make the commitment.'

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The end is near for Brady, and fantasy owners don't know if he's going to play one more year or five more years. Currently, Brady is going off the board at QB4 (6.05) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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2. TB - TE O.J. Howard poised to break out?

Source: Tampa Bay Times - Rick Stroud

Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE O.J. Howard 'showed how versatile and explosive he can be during minicamp,' according to Rick Stroud of The Tampa Bay Times.

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An ankle injury ended Howard's rookie season with two games to go in 2017. He snared six touchdowns as a rookie and played more snaps (608) than Cameron Brate (586). His role is just getting started for the Buccaneers, and Howard has the upside to be a top-5 player at his position someday. Brate's presence holds his fantasy value down, but Howard is still getting drafted at TE15 (13.12) in current 12-team PPR leagues.

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3. TB - Ronald Jones to get heavy workload quickly?

Source: Tampa Bay Times - Rick Stroud

Tampa bay Buccaneers RB Ronald Jones could post the biggest numbers of the team's defense-heavy draft class since he should get 15 to 20 touches per game, according to Rick Stroud of The Tampa Bay Times.

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Jones is a dangerous playmaker who reminds many in the scouting community of a young Jamaal Charles. The Bucs have moved on from Doug Martin (Raiders), so they're looking for a lead back. We love Peyton Barber's heart and determination but he doesn't have the electric ability that Jones showcased on a weekly basis during his college days for the USC Trojans. We'll see a RBBC in Tampa this year most likely, but Jones is the player who should excite fantasy owners...especially in PPR formats.

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4. BUF - Josh Allen in mix to start Week 1

Source: The Boston Globe - Ben Volin

Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen has 'mesmerized fans with his big arm in practice' and, although he'll start the preseason third on the depth chart behind AJ McCarron and Nathan Peterman, he also 'has a real chance to be the Week 1 starter,' according to Ben Volin of The Boston Globe.

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Allen is the quarterback of the future, and that's why the Bills moved up to select him in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft. He's got a big arm, but his college days at Wyoming were marred by poor accuracy. As a 56 percent passer for the Cowboys, Allen's main thing he needs to improve is his play under pressure. Too often Allen would feel the rush, then launch the ball off his back foot to his first/quickest read...and that led to some wayward passes. His arm is damn near superhuman, but Allen needs to continue picking up the nuances of the game in order to play up to his tremendous potential.

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5. NYJ - Sam Darnold making strong impression

Source: The Boston Globe - Ben Volin

New York Jets QB Sam Darnold 'hasn't flinched' and has 'handled everything (the team) has thrown at him' since rookie minicamp, according to offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates.

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Darnold just turned 21 years old on June 5th, and he had plenty to learn after his college career at USC. The upside is tremendous with this rookie if the Jets take their time and properly develop him. With Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater, the Jets can take it slow with Darnold...if he lets them. It sounds like Darnold may make a stronger push for the starting job in Week 1 than some think. He's at least their quarterback of the future and if (when) their season goes off the rails, we could see Darnold take over.

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6. CLE - Baker Mayfield not close to starting yet

Source: The Boston Globe - Ben Volin

Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield 'still has a long way to go' to unseat Tyrod Taylor as the starter, according to Ben Volin of The Boston Globe.

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The Browns could easily begin the season with Taylor as their starter...but Mayfield is going to get on the field sooner or later. The first-overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft, Mayfield has constantly proved doubters wrong throughout his football career and he's looking to do that now at the pro level. The Browns will need to be creative with the offense they design for him in order to use Mayfield's ability to create on the move.

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7. BAL - Lamar Jackson runs the show

Source: ESPN.com - Jamison Hensley

Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson took all the reps during team drills Thursday, June 14, and had his best day throwing the football, according to head coach John Harbaugh.

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Jackson is a much better thrower from the pocket than many give him credit for. Sure, he's a runner but 75 percent of his rushing yards last year for Louisville came on designed runs. Jackson was added in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft with the idea that he could be groomed behind Joe Flacco as the team's QB of the future.

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8. BUF - WR Zay Jones not guaranteed a starting job

Source: WGR Sports Radio 550

Buffalo Bills WR Zay Jones will have to 'earn his way' and 'not necessarily go right to the top of the line' after a mostly disappointing rookie season, according to general manager Brandon Beane.

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Jones has disappointed the Bills after a rookie season where he hauled in just 27 passes for 316 yards and two touchdowns. Then, there was his offseason....let's just say it's been an interesting time away from the game for Jones. Oh yeah, he's also still recovering from a knee injury suffered last year and hasn't been participating in OTAs this year. That being said, there's not many quality pass catchers with the Bills so there's an opportunity for Jones.

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9. DAL - Michael Gallup, Blake Jarwin impressing

Source: DallasCowboys.com

Dallas Cowboys WRs Michael Gallup and Lance Lenoir as well as TE Blake Jarwin seem to be the three players who have shown the most chemistry with Dak Prescott through the end of the team's offseason workouts, according to Bryan Broaddus and David Helman of DallasCowboys.com.

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Keep an eye on this connection as we get through training camp and the preseason. Without Dez Bryant or Jason Witten, the Cowboys are going to have a bunch of new faces in the passing game. Gallup, the rookie WR from Colorado State, may have the most upside of any pass-catcher on the team. He's an acrobatic player who is used to being a target hog from his college days for the Rams. Prescott is looking for a bounce-back year in 2018, and Gallup may become a favorite.

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10. MIA - Mike Gesicki finishes spring strong

Source: The Miami Herald - Barry Jackson

Miami Dolphins TE Mike Gesicki is a 'big man that can run and has really good hands' and had some 'really good days' toward the end of the team's offseason practices, according to head coach Adam Gase.

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Gesicki had an up-and-down offseason for the Dolphins. The rookie second-round pick from Penn State can be a 'lid lifter' down the seam at 6'6" 247 pounds. His blocking ability is...shall we say...a work in progress, but that's not why the team drafted him. Gesicki is dangerous as a receiver with his size, concentration and body control. The Dolphins are looking for a starting tight end, and Gesicki may end up getting the nod after training camp.

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11. LAC - CB Jason Verrett participates fully

Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune - Dan Woike

Los Angeles Chargers CB Jason Verrett (knee) was a full participant in practice Wednesday, June 13.

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Good news for the Chargers here. They have the makings of a suffocating defense on all three levels, but having Verrett back in action makes them even stronger. Verrett is a fantastic player who can annoy and frustrate opposing WRs often...but he's rarely been on the field over the last two years. He's played in just five games over that span.

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12. IND - Ed Dodds promoted to assistant GM

Source: USA TODAY Sports - Kevin Allen

The Indianapolis Colts have promoted Ed Dodds to assistant general manager. He had served as the team's vice president of player personnel last season.

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A team press release stated the following: Dodds enters his second season with the Colts and his 16th year in the NFL. Prior to Indianapolis, he spent 10 seasons (2007-2016) with the Seattle Seahawks and was most recently Seattle's senior personnel executive responsible for evaluating both college and pro talent. With the Seahawks, Dodds was part of six winning seasons, five NFC West titles and 10 playoff wins in addition to two Super Bowl appearances (one win). The press release did not mention how he is not cooler than David Dodds.

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13. SF - CB Richard Sherman should be ready for camp

Source: Sacramento Bee - Matt Barrows

San Francisco 49ers CB Richard Sherman (Achilles') is expected to resume taking part in 11-on-11 drills at the start of training camp.

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That was the plan for Sherman and it looks like things are on track. At 30-years old, Sherman has made a quick recovery from the Achilles' injury that knocked him out in Week 10 of 2017. He'll be a key piece for an exciting 49ers team in 2018.

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14. DEN - Big role for DaeSean Hamilton?

Source: ESPN.com - Jeff Legwold

Denver Broncos WR DaeSean Hamilton should 'play plenty' this season, according to Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com.

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Hamilton has been an impressive rookie during Broncos OTAs and mandatory minicamp. When he wasn't burning Bradley Roby on the outside, Hamilton was seen making plays over the middle as a slot receiver. He's not the fastest or the quickest, but Hamilton knows how to manipulate coverage, set up defenders and get open. The rookie could be the eventual replacement for Emmanuel Sanders (2019?) on the outside. This year, he might be involved as a slot receiver but on a run-first team Hamilton is unlikely to do much for fantasy owners in redraft leagues. We LOVE him in dynasty formats though (and fellow Broncos rookie WR Courtland Sutton too!).

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15. CLE - Cleveland skeptical of WR Corey Coleman

Source: The Chronicle-Telegram - Scott Petrak

Cleveland Browns WR Corey Coleman 'work ethic and football intelligence' continue to be questioned by the coaching staff, according to Scott Petrak of the Chronicle-Telegram.

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A first-round pick out of Baylor in the 2016 NFL draft, Coleman is in a make-or-break year for the Browns. He's caught 56 passes in two years, but only in 19 games as injuries have knocked him out of action plenty of times. Coleman could be traded but with $6.8 million in dead money this year that could be a deterrent for any prospective team...and it might be too rich for the Browns to just flat out release him.

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16. LAC - TE Braedon Bowman standing out

Source: Chargers.com - Ricky Henne

Los Angeles Chargers TE Braedon Bowman's playmaking ability has stood out during spring workouts, according to Ricky Henne of Chargers.com.

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Undrafted out of South Alabama in 2016, Bowman has bounced around to a few teams already in his short pro career. He spent most of last year on the Chargers practice squad and is still developing at the position. After transferring from JUCO, Bowman only caught 29 passes in two seasons at South Alabama. He will be a player to watch in the preseason, especially since Hunter Henry is out for the year.

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17. HOU - D'Onta Foreman still recovering

Source: Houston Chronicle - Aaron Wilson

Houston Texans RB D'Onta Foreman (Achilles') is unlikely to be 100 percent by the start of training camp.

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Foreman injured his Achilles' in Week 11 last year and has been on the road to recovery ever since. When healthy, the second-year pro could be the lead back for the Texans. Until then, we should continue to see Lamar Miller featured at the position. Earlier reports suggested Foreman could begin the regular season on the PUP list but that doesn't seem to be the case right now as there is more optimism about his recovery.

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18. NYJ - WR ArDarius Stewart's spot safe?

Source: ESPNNewYork.com - Rich Cimini

New York Jets WR ArDarius Stewart should have a spot on the 53-man roster because general manager Mike Maccagnan likes to protect his draft picks, in the opinion of Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com.

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That's not an outlandish report whatsoever. The Jets WR corps is a bit up in the air right now, but Stewart could find himself fourth on the depth chart at the end of training camp. A third-round pick out of Alabama in the 2017 NFL draft, Stewart has a bit of Chris Hogan (Patriots) to his game and can use his run-after-the-catch ability to eat up yardage. We'll continue to monitor him in dynasty formats.

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19. PHI - Dallas Goedert a factor in the red zone?

Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer - Jeff McLane

Philadelphia Eagles TE Dallas Goedert could make an instant impact in the red zone this year, according to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

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At 6'4" 256 pounds, Goedert presents a big target for his quarterback. During his college career at South Dakota State, Goedert played in line or split out wide and dominated his level of competition. He'll work behind Zach Ertz in the pecking order at the tight end position, but expect the Eagles to be creative enough to find ways to utilize the rookie.

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20. IND - S Malik Hooker back by camp?

Source: Colts.com - Andrew Walker

Indianapolis Colts FS Malik Hooker's (knee) rehab is going well, according to general manager Chris Ballard, and Ballard believes Hooker could be ready for the start of training camp.

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Hooker has been out of action since late October in 2017. There is no timetable for his return from injury, but it looks like he could do a bit of work in training camp and the preseason. The plan is to have him on the field for Week 1 of the regular season, so even if he's available in August they may ease in the talented safety.

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21. WAS - Trent Williams will be ready for camp

Source: NBCWashington.com

Washington Redskins OT Trent Williams (knee) is expected to be ready for training camp after a tubercle osteotomy repaired a damaged kneecap.

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Williams had the surgery back in December and he says that he's 'very close' to being 100 percent. A fantastic left tackle when healthy, Williams has only played in 22 games over the last two seasons and he hasn't played a full 16-game season since 2013.

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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