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Footballguys #65 - 6/25 - Chasing Upside With JuJu Smith-Schuster, Commish Guides Plus News & Notes

Volume 20, #65 -- Monday Night, June 25th, 2018

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Howdy Folks,

SITE NEWS

A. JuJu Smith-Schuster: Upside You Want to Chase
Our Justin Howe with a tour through the 2018 fantasy outlook for Pittsburgh's JuJu Smith-Schuster.

B. D.J. Moore: The Best Wide Receiver of the 2018 Class?
Our Daniel Simpkins with a detailed look at D.J. Moore's fantasy prospects for 2018.

C. Commissioner Guide, Rule Twists
Our commission guide looks at possible rule twists.

D. Commissioner Guide, League Formats
Our commissioner guide looks at different league formats.


1. GB - WR Randall Cobb hobbled

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Michael Cohen

Green Bay Packers WR Randall Cobb (ankle) could miss the start of training camp due to a right ankle injury, according to sources.

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He is in a walking boot but didn't say whether he had surgery. The boot is just temporary according to Cobb, but this news isn't what you want to hear if you're a Packers fan. With Jordy Nelson (Raiders) gone, Cobb is set to be the no.2 target in the passing game behind Davante Adams. His status for the start of training camp is up in the air, and we won't know about his Week 1 availability until more news about this new injury comes out.

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2. CIN - RB Joe Mixon headed for 1,000 yards?

Source: NFL.com - Gil Brandt

Cincinnati Bengals RB Joe Mixon should break 1,000 yards behind a revamped offensive line this season, in the opinion of Gil Brandt of NFL.com.

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The Bengals made strides to improve their offensive line this offseason by trading for OT Cordy Glenn and selecting C Billy Price in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft. Those moves should help provide better running room for Mixon this year. His rookie season was a mixed bag, but the talent is there for him to easily be a 1,000 yard rusher in the pros. Fantasy owners are taking him off the board at RB15 (2.12) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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3. SEA - WR Tyler Lockett an impact player

Source: Seahawks.com - John Boyle

Seattle Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett said he is healthier than he has ever been, and head coach Pete Carroll said having Lockett healthy is 'really positive' for the offense.

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Injuries have robbed Lockett of his explosiveness each of the last two years. The ability is there for him to produce at WR3 levels for fantasy owners, and the opportunity may be there for him to do that in 2018...provided he stays healthy. With TE Jimmy Graham and WR Paul Richardson gone, the Seahawks are looking for someone to pick up the slack in the passing game opposite WR Doug Baldwin.

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4. ATL - Big year for TE Austin Hooper?

Source: AtlantaFalcons.com - Will McFadden

Atlanta Falcons TE Austin Hooper 'should continue to ascend' in his second season in offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian's system, according to Gil Brandt of NFL.com.

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Hooper is getting better as his pro career continues. Entering his third season with the Falcons, Hooper could produce like a TE2 for fantasy owners if he plays up to his full potential.

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5. MIA - WR Albert Wilson's speed standing out

Source: The Palm Beach Post - Hal Habib

Miami Dolphins WR Albert Wilson's speed has been 'hard to ignore,' according to head coach Adam Gase. 'He's a guy that can take a throw behind the line of scrimmage and he can create a 70-yard touchdown,' Gase said.

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Wilson's game with the Chiefs was all about speed, and he was certainly a favorite target of QB Alex Smith. Moving to the Dolphins in free agency, Wilson is trying to make a positive impression on his new QB Ryan Tannehill. Wilson is competing with WR Danny Amendola for third on the depth chart behind Kenny Stills and DeVante Parker.

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6. KC - RB Spencer Ware making progress

Source: ArrowheadPride.com - Pete Sweeney

Kansas City Chiefs RB Spencer Ware (knee) has been limited to individual drills during spring practices, according to head coach Andy Reid, but Reid expects Ware to be ready in the coming weeks.

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We'll see if Ware can begin training camp on the practice field or if he needs a bit more time coming back from his LCL/PCL injury. The Chiefs backfield is somewhat crowded behind starter Kareem Hunt with guys like Damien Williams and Kerwynn Williams added this offseason.

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7. MIN - OLB Anthony Barr hopes for extension

Source: NFL.com - Nick Shook

Minnesota Vikings LB Anthony Barr said he hopes to sign a contract extension at some point but that decision is up to the Vikings.

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A first-round pick out of UCLA in 2014, Barr had his fifth-year option picked up for 2018 and he's set to be an unrestricted free agent in 2019. Barr isn't much of a pass rusher (10.5 career sacks) and that's why he's spent time this offseason working on his pass-rushing moves. He's got a whopping $12.3 million cap number this year, so if the Vikings extended him (with a team friendly deal) it would be to lower that number.

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8. NFL - Brandon Bryant talks with several teams

Source: NFL.com - Chase Goodbread

Mississippi State S Brandon Bryant talked with the Washington Redskins, Houston Texans, Pittsburgh Steelers, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars and San Francisco 49ers after his Pro Day Monday, June 25.

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Bryant is fast and physical, measuring in at 5'11" 205 pounds. Academic and off-field problems forced him to the Supplemental Draft, and obviously there's plenty of interest. This is a better Supplemental Draft that we normally see, so perhaps Bryant gets picked up. Bryant ran the 40-yard dash at his Pro Day on Monday, and the times ranged from the high 4.3s to the low 4.4s.

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9. ATL - S Ricardo Allen expected to be extended

Source: ESPN.com - Vaughn McClure

Atlanta Falcons FS Ricardo Allen is expected to receive a contract extension before the start of the regular season.

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A fifth-round pick in the 2014 NFL draft, Allen has been a key piece of the Falcons defense over the last couple of years. The restricted free agent should be able to find common ground with the Falcons.

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10. CLE - Greg Robinson may be LT option

Source: The Chronicle-Telegram - Scott Petrak

Cleveland Browns OT Greg Robinson likely will compete with OTs Shon Coleman and Austin Corbett for the starting left tackle job during training camp, in the opinion of The Chronicle-Telegram's Scott Petrak.

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Robinson made it through only six games with the Lions last year and did not impress at guard or tackle. He gets another fresh start in the league, this time with the Browns. The former no.2 overall pick (2014) has been a colossal bust in the pros.

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11. PHI - DE Brandon Graham not close to extension

Source: NJ.com - Eliot Shorr-Parks

Philadelphia Eagles LB Brandon Graham appears unlikely to receive a contract extension before the start of the regular season, in the opinion of NJ.com's Eliot Shorr-Parks.

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Graham had 9.5 sacks in 2017 and was a top reason why the Eagles defense dominated on their way to a Super Bowl championship. He is in the final year of his contract and has a cap hit of $8 million in 2018. If/when Graham gets to the open market he should make well over $10 million annually. It seems like that won't be with the Eagles, or at least that's the way things are trending at this time.

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12. GB - WR Randall Cobb should be fine for opener

Source: NFL Network - Tom Pelissero

Updating a previous report, Green Bay Packers WR Randall Cobb (ankle) should be ready for the start of the regular season even though he could miss the start of training camp because of an ankle injury, according to a source.

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This is a new injury, and it's one worth watching because Cobb is in a walking boot currently. We've got a couple of months before the start of the regular season, so Cobb has time to get right. Cobb has a current ADP of WR33 (7.09) in 12-team PPR leagues and that number might fall based on this injury information.

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13. DEN - Royce Freeman has an opening

Source: ESPN.com - Jeff Legwold

Updating previous reports, Denver Broncos RB Royce Freeman has the opportunity to be the team's lead back, according to head coach Vance Joseph.

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Freeman is going to compete in training camp with Devontae Booker for the starting job. The Broncos are going to be a run-heavy team, and fantasy owners need to watch this situation closely to see if one back emerges as the bellcow. Booker has done little to impress (3.6 YPC average) in two years, and Freeman could have RB2 value for fantasy owners if he's the lead back for the Broncos.

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14. OAK - Kolton Miller living up to expectations

Source: Sacramento Bee - Joe Davidson

Oakland Raiders OT Kolton Miller has impressed during spring practices, according to head coach Jon Gruden, and Miller has put an 'exclamation point' on why he was selected in the first round, offensive line coach Tom Cable said.

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Miller's size (6'8" 309 pounds) and athletic profile caused him to be overdrafted as most had a third-round grade on the UCLA prospect. He's huge and moves with great balance for a man his size. Miller's technique needs a lot of work, and he needs to show better recovery against smaller rushers with multiple moves. The rookie could start at right tackle for the Raiders in 2018.

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15. DET - Future bright for Hakeem Valles?

Source: MLive.com - Nate Atkins

Detroit Lions TE Hakeem Valles is an 'intriguing prospect' who continues to improve, according to Nate Atkins of MLive.com.

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Valles is still learning the position. He played tight end for only two years in college (Monmouth, NJ) after switching from wide receiver. Valles spent one season (2016) on the Cardinals 53-man roster then he spent one year (2017) on the Lions practice squad. He's fourth on the depth chart now but has the receiving ability to get us interested in super deep dynasty leagues.

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16. PHI - DE Brandon Graham may not be ready

Source: NJ.com - Eliot Shorr-Parks

Philadelphia Eagles DE Brandon Graham (ankle) is still walking in a boot and using crutches, and there is speculation he may not be ready for Week 1.

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Graham is in the final year of his contract and is looking for a big payday. That contract may not be with the Eagles, even though Graham was a key defender on their run to a Super Bowl championship last year. We'll see him get healthy and then produce when on the field for the Eagles.

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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