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Footballguys #75 - 7/5 - Three Late Round Receiver Candidates plus News and Notes You Need To Know

Volume 20, #75 -- Thursday Night, July 5th, 2018

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Howdy Folks,

Welcome to Friday. We've got a killer new article for you from our Matt Waldman plus the News and Notes you need.

Let's go.

J

SITE NEWS

A. Three Late-Round Receiver Breakout Candidates
This week's Gut Check examines three wide receivers available after the 11th round that possess legitimate break-out potential. Our Matt Waldman tells you which one is the truth.


1. CLE - WR impressed with QB Tyrod Taylor

Source: NFL.com - Herbie Teope

Cleveland Browns WR Jarvis Landry said QB Tyrod Taylor was very impressive during offseason workouts and showed good accuracy and leadership during practice. Landry said he believes Taylor will be the starting quarterback this season.

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So far, Taylor's ADP for the position is a rock-bottom No. 27, and it's likely due to a mixture of doubts about him, doubts about his team and excitement for Baker Mayfield. But Mayfield is reportedly not ready as of early July, and adding Landry to the dynamic Josh Gordon and a hopefully ascendant Corey Coleman could produce some solid results. We still say proceed with caution, and right now that QB3 ADP feels right, but he has upside and might be worth a flier late.

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2. PIT - WR JuJu Smith-Schuster should be popular target

Source: ESPN.com - Jeremy Fowler

Pittsburgh Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster is expected to receive at least 100 targets this season, in the opinion of ESPN.com's Jeremy Fowler.

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Smith-Schuster is a tough, hard nosed route-runner who can make big plays. Now that the Martavis Bryant Experience has ended, there's very little behind Antonio Brown, and Smith-Schuster has first crack at taking advantage of Brown's double-coverage. His ADP is at 22, which makes him tracking as a high-end WR3 with upside. We think that's value and he could easily end up a very strong WR2 most weeks.

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3. DEN - Royce Freeman signing contract

Source: 9News.com - Mike Klis

Denver Broncos RB Royce Freeman is signing his four-year rookie deal Thursday, July 5, according to a source. The deal includes a $997,020 signing bonus, but other financial terms were not disclosed.

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There's a path for Freeman to win this job with only Devontae Booker ahead of him. Freeman works well in space, but also can fight for the hard yards, and catch the ball. Booker has not shown the consistency to assume he can hold onto the job, or stay healthy. So while Freeman might start as Robin to Booker's Batman, he might find himself driving the Batmobile sooner than later. His ADP is tracking as a solid RB3 right now but we think that needle moves towards "ascending" by year's end.

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4. LAC - ILB Denzel Perryman helps run defense

Source: ESPN.com - Eric D. Williams

The Los Angeles Chargers held opponents to 117 rushing yards per game last season when LB Denzel Perryman was able to play but allowed 147 yards per game when Perryman was sidelined.

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They need him on the field but he has played less and less since his rookie year in 2015, when he only played 14. If he can stay healthy, his numbers will likely go up, but we just don't feel confident in the former, which means we don't trust the latter will happen.

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5. LAC - ILB Denzel Perryman has struggled with injuries

Source: ESPN.com - Eric D. Williams

Los Angeles Chargers LB Denzel Perryman has missed 15 of a possible 48 games since entering the NFL because of various injuries.

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The best ability is availability, and so far Perryman has not had that super-power. When he's on the field, he's a decent run-stuffing inside linebacker, but that's the only real dimension to his game. The Chargers are much better against the run with him than without him, but before we invest too much in him and his low-end LB2 upside, we need to see him on the field consistently.

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6. OAK - CB Gareon Conley expected to start

Source: ESPN.com - Paul Gutierrez

Oakland Raiders CB Gareon Conley is expected to be the starting left cornerback this season.

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Conley was out for much of his rookie season due to a shin injury, but Jon Gruden is high on him. There's a chance some Fantasy GMs will sleep on him, and while he's not someone high on our lists of fantasy cornerbacks, he could be a solid pick later in your IDP draft.

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7. DEN - CB Bradley Roby to enter starting lineup

Source: ESPN.com - Jeff Legwold

Denver Broncos CB Bradley Roby will be the starting cornerback opposite CB Chris Harris Jr. this season.

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He's going to play on almost every snap, so we like his upside, but we wouldn't go out of our way to snag him if your IDP league combines all defensive backs. There are much better safety options, so he isn't really worth the roster spot. If your league requires cornerbacks though, he's worth a look after the big dogs are gone and the draft is in the mid-to-late rounds.

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8. MIA - Miami spoke with CB Adonis Alexander

Source: The Miami Herald - Barry Jackson

Updating a previous report, Virginia Tech CB Adonis Alexander recently had a private interview with the Miami Dolphins, according to a source.

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If he goes at the value pundits have tagged him with -- a fifth round pick -- he has some decent value. The Dolphins are unlikely to burn a third rounder on Western Michigan's Sam Beal but they might take the equivalent of a Day Three flier on Alexander who has some red flags in his past, but some ability too.

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9. MIA - Miami interest in two

Source: The Miami Herald - Barry Jackson

Virginia Tech CB Adonis Alexander and Western Michigan CB Sam Beal, who are eligible for the NFL supplemental draft, are drawing interest from the Miami Dolphins.

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The Dolphins secondary was not great last season, but first-rounder Minkah Fitzpatrick joined T.J. McDonald and Reshad Jones at safety while several of their corners are reportedly ready to take the next step. Both Beal and Alexander have ability, but the Dolphins may not want to spend picks for next year on them, or rather, may not be willing to part with higher than a third rounder for Beal to get him. Alexander has been rated a fifth rounder or higher by some analysts, so the Dolphins might be more willing to roll the dice there instead.

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10. BUF - S Micah Hyde unlikely to be top returner

Source: BuffaloBills.com - Mitchell Courtney

Buffalo Bills FS Micah Hyde probably will not be the top punt returner for the Bills this season because of his starting role on defense.

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The Bills have some other choices, and so they have no need to risk Hyde getting hurt on a return. We have some concerns about the Bills as a fantasy defense, thinking they are at best middle of the pack for production, and probably not quite even that high. Individually, though, Hyde has top-ten fantasy safety ability and we are high on him for IDP leagues.

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11. SEA - S Kam Chancellor unlikely to be released

Source: The Seattle Times - Bob Condotta

Seattle Seahawks SS Kam Chancellor (neck) likely will not be released at this time because the team would take a big salary cap hit this season if they cut Chancellor. He likely will be placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list at the start of training camp.

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Last time he had his neck checked out, doctors said they saw no healing, so we're pretty sure he isn't playing any time soon - perhaps even ever. The Seahawks have to be careful with their cap, so this move makes sense. It's not the end of the world for Seattle, but that secondary is going to look wildly different than it did last year.

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12. CAR - Ian Thomas may have role

Source: Panthers.com - Bill Voth

Carolina Panthers TE Ian Thomas impressed the coaches during offseason workouts, and the team hopes he will be able to contribute as a rookie.

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The Panthers are still going to roll with Greg Olsen, but the veteran tight end isn't getting any younger. So at some point there will be a new guy to start taking some of the load up. While we wouldn't draft Thomas at this point, it's worth keeping an eye on as the season progresses to get an indication of what the future may look like.

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That'll do it for today, Folks. Thanks for reading and thanks for being part of the Footballguys Family. Have a great weekend and we'll see you tomorrow with the Update.

Peace,

J