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Footballguys #77 - 7/7 - Eight Critical Questions From The NFC West plus News and Notes and MORE

Volume 20, #77 -- Saturday Night, July 7th, 2018

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Howdy Folks,

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

J

SITE NEWS

A. 8 Critical Fantasy Football Questions: NFC West
Our Chad Parson examines the critical fantasy football questions for each NFL team heading into the 2018 season.


1. PIT - Le'Veon Bell probably will skip camp

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - Joe Rutter

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell probably will skip training camp if he does not receive a long-term contract before the July 16 deadline.

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We aren't terribly worried about that and neither are fantasy owners given the fact that his ADP is as the second pick overall. He can run the ball any way you need him to, he can catch it, he can score from anywhere on the field - the sky is always the limit with Bell. We'll see if the holdout moves Fantasy GMs away from him, but we suspect his ADP will not drop at all.

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2. DAL - RB Ezekiel Elliott brings consistency

Source: ESPNDallas.com - Todd Archer

Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott has rushed for at least 80 yards in 23 of the 25 games he has played.

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Grabbing Elliott last season meant you had a beast during a lot of the fantasy season, only to lose that beast as you hit the playoffs. With no suspension looming and the Cowboys adjusting to a world without Dez Bryant and Jason Witten, Elliott is going to be a focus of the offense and a hot commodity - and one of the top running backs again - in the fantasy community.

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3. PIT - QB Landry Jones preferred as short-term option

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - Joe Rutter

Although the Pittsburgh Steelers view QB Mason Rudolph as their quarterback of the future, the team prefers QB Landry Jones as the short-term backup to QB Ben Roethlisberger, according to Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

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It makes a lot of sense since it's unlikely that Rudolph is anywhere near ready to take over in the event of an emergency. Jones has the experience and even if he's not the future, he's the reliable one right now.

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4. DEN - WR Demaryius Thomas still confident

Source: ESPN.com - Jeff Legwold

Denver Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas said he needs to clean up some drops but still views himself as a No. 1 receiver.

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Last season, Thomas had his streak of 1,000-yard seasons snapped because the quarterbacks throwing him the ball were beyond bad. While he's not the receiver he used to be, we think the addition of Case Keenum will be a big help. That won't vault him back to WR1 status, but could put him in a low-end WR2/high end WR3 category.

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5. CIN - WR A.J. Green wants to bounce back

Source: ESPN.com - Katherine Terrell

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green said he feels he had a 'crummy' 2017 season but expects more consistency this year.

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Green simply wasn't healthy last season, coming on the heels of an injury-shortened 2016. We feel he should have a bounce-back season, even if Andy Dalton continues to be an up and down signal caller. Consider Green a top-tier receiver for fantasy purposes.

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6. BAL - WR Michael Crabtree brings experience

Source: ESPN.com - Jamison Hensley

Baltimore Ravens WR Michael Crabtree's 579 career receptions are more than the rest of Baltimore's receivers combined, and Crabtree's eight touchdown receptions last year were just three fewer than all of Baltimore's receivers combined.

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Even though Crabtree had a poor 2017 due to injury, he still has plenty of ability, not the least of which is his route running, a nice addition to the Raven's offense. His ADP of 26th receiver overall sounds about right and we do feel he could end up producing more than that.

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7. BUF - WR Kelvin Benjamin expects to be busy

Source: BuffaloBills.com - Dominic LoVallo

Buffalo Bills WR Kelvin Benjamin said he expects to receive 'number one targets' this year.

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Really, considering the alternatives on the team, who else would they give that role to? Frankly, we're not sure what that role is worth, given the uncertainty of the offense. So while he could get a lot of targets they may not be quality. His ADP is 43 right now, and we think that sounds about right. It could change when the quarterback is named, but probably not much.

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8. CLE - WR Josh Gordon impressing fellow WR

Source: CBSSports.com - Kevin Skiver

Cleveland Browns WR Jarvis Landry called WR Josh Gordon 'unstoppable' after watching him during spring practices. 'The size that he has and his ability to be able to get in and out of cuts, I think that's one of the most impressive things I've recognized and noticed about him,' Landry said.

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We know how good Gordon is, it's just been a long time since we've seen him on the field. When he returned from suspension last season, he was very effective and with an offseason worth of work, we think he could repeat the numbers he flashed in 2012 and 2013. Tyrod Taylor is an improvement over any quarterback he's worked with in the past, but we still aren't sure how much to trust the offense overall. He's going off early boards as the No. 16 receiver and we think he should be able to produce numbers to back that. Of course, he's also one off-field mistake away from a suspension again, but right now he seems to have turned his life around, so that bodes well for anyone who wants to draft him or the odd Fantasy GM who might still have him on a dynasty roster.

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9. CHI - WR Allen Robinson should be ready for camp

Source: ESPNChicago.com - Jeff Dickerson

The Chicago Bears expect WR Allen Robinson (knee) to be a full participant once training camp begins.

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The Bears needed a big-time receiver for second-year quarterback Mitch Trubisky, and the team hopes Robinson will be that guy. The former Jaguar is coming off knee surgery, and has not been tested in a game since it healed. If back to full health and if he hasn't lost a step, he is a deep ball threat and can out-jump a lot of defenders. We'll see soon enough how he looks in action. This is likely to be an offense with a healthy dose of run, so we'll see what that does for his production. Right now he is the twentieth receiver coming off the board in drafts.

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10. TEN - Jordan Veasy may compete for roster spot

Source: TitansOnline.com - Jim Wyatt

Tennessee Titans WR Jordan Veasy was impressive during offseason workouts and may have a chance to win a spot on the final roster during training camp, in the opinion of TitansOnline.com's Jim Wyatt.

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Some combination of Corey Davis and Rishard Matthews will be the main targets at wide receiver for Marcus Mariota this season, so just making the team won't gain Veasy usable production.

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11. BUF - Wyatt Teller unlikely to start

Source: BuffaloBills.com - Dominic LoVallo

Buffalo Bills OG Wyatt Teller likely will not start at left guard this season because the team appears to be leaning toward giving the job to a veteran. Teller will need to outperform OGs Vladimir Ducasse and Ryan Groy by a significant margin if he wants to win the job.

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Ducasse isn't anything special but Groy is intriguing and probably has the edge after he started the final 7 games of the 2017 season when Eric Wood was hurt and did well. According to SBNation's Buffalo Rumblings blog, Groy has played 617 snaps for the team, allowing no sacks and committing no penalties.

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12. PIT - RB Fitzgerald Toussaint facing uphill battle

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - Joe Rutter

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Fitzgerald Toussaint will have a hard time making the 53-man roster because of the addition of RB Jaylen Samuels this offseason, in the opinion of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Joe Rutter.

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At the end of the day, Samuels is simply capable of more. Toussaint isn't a special teams ace either, which just makes it harder for him to remain on the team. Toussaint is probably fighting with James Conner and Stevan Ridley for a spot.

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13. PIT - Jaylen Samuels could have solid role

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - Joe Rutter

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Jaylen Samuels could be featured on third downs and in short-yardage situations this season.

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Samuels is a versatile back who can also double as an H-back or tight end. He excels as a short and intermediate receiver, especially as an H-Back and Ben Roethlisberger has needed an emergency option when the pocket collapses since Heath Miller left. Samuels won't be a big-time starter with Le'Veon Bell in Pittsburgh, but he could have some flex appeal in PPR leagues either off the waiver wire or very late in drafts.

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14. NYJ - Offense needs WR Robby Anderson

Source: ESPNNewYork.com - Rich Cimini

New York Jets WR Robby Anderson brings 'a unique dimension to the offense,' according to Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com, and Cimini believes Anderson could develop into a 'true No. 1 receiver' this year.

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As of right now none of the Jets receivers seem like a great option. That may change a little bit once we know who is under center. We agree that Anderson is probably the top option here, which tracks with his ADP in the mid-30s.

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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