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Footballguys #67 - 6/27 - Amari Cooper Is Safer Than You Think, Adam Thielen A True #1, Andrew Luck News & More

Volume 20, #67 -- Wednesday Night, June 27th, 2018

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Howdy Folks,

Good Thursday to you. We've got another day of great content for you plus the News and Notes you need.

Let's go.

J

SITE NEWS

A. Adam Thielen: A True WR1 by Any Measure
Our Jason Wood with a detailed look at Adam Thielen's fantasy prospects for 2018.

B. 2018 Target-Avoid Fantasy Football Running Backs
Our Chad Parsons dives into the running backs to target and avoid in fantasy football drafts in 2018.

C. Amari Cooper is Safer Than You Think
Our Phil Alexander with a detailed look at Amari Cooper's fantasy prospects for 2018.

D. How to Attack Your Small-League Non-PPR Draft
Our Jeff Tefertiller with strategies on attacking your Small Non-PPR League Draft.


1. IND - No pain for QB Andrew Luck

Source: The Indianapolis Star - Zak Keefer

Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck (shoulder) said he is feeling no pain in his surgically repaired shoulder.

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This is great news for Luck, Colts fans and fantasy owners alike. He said he will continue with his plan of throwing for a few days then taking a day off until training camp. We'll see the Colts ease Luck into action during training camp and the preseason.

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2. HOU - QB Deshaun Watson not changing play

Source: Daily Press - Dave Johnson

Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson (knee) said he will not change his style of play even though he is recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

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In seven games last year, Watson set the league on fire...mostly with his arm (19 passing touchdowns) but also with his legs. During that time, Watson ran 36 times for 269 yards and two touchdowns. He injured his knee in November, but Watson is on track to participate fully in training camp and the preseason.

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3. KC - WR Sammy Watkins learning multiple spots

Source: ESPN.com - Adam Teicher

Kansas City Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins has been learning all of the team's receiver positions during the offseason, which will allow him to line up all over the field. Watkins says head coach Andy Reid has been helping him become a better player by making him learn the entire route tree.

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He's always had the ability to do more, but injury and inconsistency have held back Watkins during his pro career. Now with the Chiefs, Watkins joins a talented group of weapons including guys like WR Tyreek Hill, RB Kareem Hunt and TE Travis Kelce. With only one 1,000-yard season (2015) to his name, we could see Watkins approach those numbers...if he can stay healthy...in 2018.

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4. BUF - GM says DE Shaq Lawson has disappointed

Source: NFL.com - Kevin Patra

Buffalo Bills DE Shaq Lawson has not lived up to expectations since entering the league and training camp will be an important time for him, according to general manager Brandon Beane. Beane said Lawson performed well during offseason workouts.

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A first-round pick of the Rex Ryan regime back in 2016, Lawson has only six sacks in 21 career games. Reports earlier this year indicate that Lawson has lost 12 pounds and is dedicated himself to getting into better shape. It's a make-or-break year for Lawson, and some who cover the Bills believe he's not only competing for a spot in the rotation but also his spot on the 53-man roster.

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5. IND - Quenton Nelson impresses coach

Source: NFL.com - Chris Wesseling

Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich said he was impressed with OG Quenton Nelson when watching tape of offseason workouts and said Nelson shows great instincts on the field.

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Nelson was a top-10 pick for a reason. He's athletic and nasty as a run-blocker. Nelson should be able to blast open holes for the Colts rushing attack in 2018, and his play will be key in protecting QB Andrew Luck from inside pass rushers.

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6. CHI - RB Tarik Cohen moving around

Source: NFL.com - Chris Wesseling

Chicago Bears RB Tarik Cohen said he lined up at multiple positions during offseason workouts in head coach Matt Nagy's offensive scheme.

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It's a good move for the Bears new head coach. Nagy was incredibly creative with weapons like WR Tyreek Hill in Kansas City, and we can't wait to see what he can do with a player that has Cohen's skill set. Cohen is not as fast as Hill, but he's lightning quick and can create his own space as a runner or after the catch. He is going off the board at RB31 (6.08) in 12-team PPR leagues, showing what kind of flex appeal he's got for fantasy owners in 2018.

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7. MIN - WR Stefon Diggs could receive extension

Source: ESPN.com - Courtney Cronin

Minnesota Vikings WR Stefon Diggs is one of the players that the Vikings would like to sign to a contract extension, according to general manager Rick Spielman.

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A fifth-round pick in 2015, Diggs is in the final year of his rookie contract. Diggs has never played a full 16-game season, but he does seemed poised for a breakout in 2018. We'll see what kind of connection he can build with new QB Kirk Cousins, and projecting Diggs for the first 1,000-yard season of his career is not outlandish (career high of 903 yards in 2016).

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8. IND - Braden Smith signs deal

Source: Colts.com

Indianapolis Colts second-round draft choice OG Braden Smith signed a four-year deal with the Colts Wednesday, June 27. Financial terms were not disclosed.

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The Colts have revamped their offensive line this offseason...and for good reason. Smith is huge, measuring in at 6'6" 315 pounds and bends really well for a man his size. While at Auburn, Smith gained experience at both guard and tackle but he projects as a guard only in the NFL.

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9. SF - CB Jimmie Ward's position uncertain

Source: NBC Sports Bay Area - Matt Maiocco

San Francisco 49ers S Jimmie Ward worked at cornerback during offseason workouts, but defensive backs coach Jeff Hafley said the team will use training camp to decide where to use Ward this season.

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Ward has experience at nickel back and safety, but the team wanted to see how he performed at cornerback this offseason. 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan has previously stated that Ward could be a quality backup at any position in the secondary if he doesn't win a starting job.

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10. TEN - Akrum Wadley thinks he can play in NFL

Source: TitansOnline.com - Jim Wyatt

Tennessee Titans RB Akrum Wadley said he believes he has the ability to play in the NFL and plans to make an impression during training camp. He said he believes that he improved during organized team activities.

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Wadley lacks the measurables (5'9" 194 pounds) of a featured runner, but he does run hard and has a good tempo while being patient for holes to open up. During his college career at Iowa, Wadley posted 14 100-yard rushing games and finished with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons on the ground. He's fourth on the depth chart behind Derrick Henry, Dion Lewis and David Fluellen. We'll be monitoring Wadley in deep dynasty leagues.

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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