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Footballguys #85 - 7/15 - Trey Burton A TE Savior?, Dalvin Cook 1st Rounder, Mike Evans Top 5? and MORE

Volume 20, #85 -- Sunday Night, July 15th, 2018

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Howdy Folks,

Good Monday to you. Training Camps are upon us and I've got two words for you: Buckle. Up.

The past couple of weeks have been slow for news but we're about to go from zero to 200 miles per hour in five seconds. The news will be flowing fast and furious and we'll be here to sort it all out for you. Stick with us.

Each day we'll continue to sort through the "haystack" of stories and bring you the important stuff you need to know. And most of all, we'll offer the Footballguys View on it so you can see the story behind the story.

Plus we'll be bringing a ton of written content and analysis for our Season Long Pro subscribers. And don't forget, we've got a fantastic partnership with DRAFT where they are giving new DRAFT customers a free Footballguys Season Long Pro Subscription for making a $10 deposit with DRAFT.

Let's go.

J

SITE NEWS

A. FREE FEATURE - Is Trey Burton The Tight End Savior We've Been Waiting For?
Our Dave Larkin delves into the fantasy prospects for new Bears tight end Trey Burton. This feature is 100% FREE for everyone to read and gives an idea of the quality and type of content we have for our Footballguys Season Long Pro Subscribers.

B. Dalvin Cook is the First Round's Missing Man
Our Justin Howe with a tour through the 2018 fantasy outlook for Vikings running back Dalvin Cook.

C. Will Mike Evans Be a Top-5 Receiver in 2018?
Our Daniel Simpkins takes a detailed look at Mike Evans' fantasy prospects for 2018.

D. David Njoku: Low Risk, Huge Potential
Our Alessandro Miglio takes a look at fantasy football implications for David Njoku in his second season.


1. PHI - RB Darren Sproles ready to retire after 2018

Source: Officialize.com - Darren Sproles

Philadelphia Eagles RB Darren Sproles expects to retire at the end of the season, according to a social media post he made Sunday, July 15.

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Sproles coming back for this year was not a given after his 2017 ended with a torn ACL. He won't be a hall of famer, but Sproles made so much of an impression while defying his the track record of backs with his body type that we'll be comparing prospects to him for years to come.

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2. PIT - Le'Veon Bell extension close to getting done?

Source: WAVY 10 - Bruce Rader

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell 'wants to get the deal done' ahead of the July 16 deadline for signing players on the franchise tag to a long-term extension, according to head coach Mike Tomlin.

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This one will come down to the wire. The main variable is probably what Bell thinks he can get in free agency next year. It already appears that the deal he would get now is less than what he was offered last summer, and it's certainly possible that he would get less than he is being offered now next year no matter how well he performs. The smart bet is probably that he plays this year under the franchise tag again, but this year it seems there's a better chance of a long term deal getting done than last year.

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3. DEN - Royce Freeman could start

Source: DenverBroncos.com

Denver Broncos RB Royce Freeman will be given every opportunity to earn the starting job, according to retired SS Steve Atwater.

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Devontae Booker has fans in the Denver organization, but he hasn't done anything to show that he's a favorite to take over this backfield after the departure of CJ Anderson. Booker will still play a role in the passing game in any event, but Freeman should be better between the tackles, and he's at least adequate as a blocker and receiver. Freeman's weak competition could equal upside as a mid-round pick.

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4. JAX - WR Marqise Lee the master of crossing routes

Source: Pro Football Focus

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Marqise Lee received 30 of his 91 targets in 2017 on crossing routes and turned those into 24 catches for 286 yards and two touchdowns, good for a NFL-high receiver rating of 128.6. Lee's 15 first down conversions on those routes ranked second in the league.

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Lee might have the highest floor of the Jaguars receivers this year, and he has a good proven rapport with Blake Bortles. He also has a checkered injury history and lacks a big play profile. He is best used as a bye/injury option in PPR leagues.

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5. NYG - WR Sterling Shepard tore up crossing routes

Source: Pro Football Focus

New York Giants WR Sterling Shepard recorded 11 catches for 202 yards and a touchdown on 17 targets on crossing routes, good for a receiver rating of 125.1 - the third-best mark in the league in 2017. In addition, he averaged 11.5 yards after the catch on those routes - the most in the league since Calvin Johnson in 2012, according to Pro Football Focus.

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Shepard is the lowest drafted of the four young cornerstones in the Giants offense, but he is likely to face the best matchups, especially early in the season. He could be a fantasy surprise this year.

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6. NYJ - Tight end committee likely for NY Jets

Source: NJ.com - Darryl Slater

New York Jets TEs Chris Herndon and Jordan Leggett are expected to battle it out in training camp to be the starter at tight end, but it is likely the team ends up deciding on 'a fairly equitable workload split' between the two, according to Darryl Slater of NJ.com.

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The Jets tight end position created some value when Austin Seferian-Jenkins was their best red zone receiver last year, but he is in Jacksonville now and the team is breaking in new options. This is only a situation to monitor in deep tight end premium dynasty leagues.

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7. PHI - WR Mike Wallace gets behind defenses

Source: PhillyVoice.com - Jimmy Kempski

Philadelphia Eagles WR Mike Wallace has nine receptions of 40 or more yards over the last two seasons. By comparison, the Eagles have 14 such plays over the same span as a team.

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Wallace has been reasonably productive in the low voltage Ravens passing game, so he could have best ball and deep league matchup bye/injury value in a much better offense. He'll be on the early season waiver wire watch list.

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8. PHI - WR Mack Hollins to play bigger role in 2018?

Source: PhillyVoice.com - Jimmy Kempski

Philadelphia Eagles WR Mack Hollins is expected to return in the same role he played in 2017 as a core special teamer and the team's fourth receiver, although it is possible he could see a modest increase in opportunities, according to Jimmy Kempski of The Philly Voice.

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The trade of Torrey Smith to Carolina opened a door for Hollins, and the bargain signing of Mike Wallace closed it. Hollins has flashed in limited action and his long term outlook is still bright with Carson Wentz installed as Philadelphia's quarterback, but his short term value is limited unless an outside receiver for the Eagles gets hurt.

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9. MIA - WR DeVante Parker ready to deliver?

Source: The Palm Beach Post - Hal Habib

Miami Dolphins WR DeVante Parker has been a 'different guy' this offseason and is playing with a sense of urgency, according to wide receivers coach Benjamin Johnson.

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Once again, this is the same tune we hear year after year. As such, it's hard to get on board with the whole "he's a whole new player!" when we never see the results of the hype. Not having to contend with Jarvis Landry might be a plus, but we are concerned with Ryan Tannehill and Parker's own limitations. He's tracking as the 40th receiver off the board, and that's about where we expect him to be right now. We need to see results before qwe buy in too hard.

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10. NE - Shaquille Mason hopes to stay

Source: Boston Herald - Kevin Duffy

New England Patriots OG Shaquille Mason said he hopes to remain with the Patriots beyond this season but is focused on training camp at this point. Mason is entering the final year of his current contract.

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The Patriots generally do not keep players who are valued highly in the free agent market. 2018 first round pick Isaiah Wynn can slot in at guard and allow the team to have flexibility in their looming decision with Mason.

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11. WAS - Adonis Alexander's position uncertain

Source: NBCSportsWashington.com - Rich Tandler

Washington Redskins CB Adonis Alexander's position will not be determined until the team sees him play at cornerback and safety against NFL competition. The team is currently leaning towards playing him at cornerback.

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Alexander has the length and athleticism to play outside, but the NFL values versatility among defensive backs more as it evolves into a passing league. The team can afford to be patient with him since they got him a year before the pick used to add Alexander will count against their draft.

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12. NYJ - Two Jets TEs will need to improve as blockers

Source: NJ.com - Darryl Slater

New York Jets TEs Jordan Leggett and Chris Herndon will need to improve their blocking skills if they are going to receive a lot of playing time in 2018.

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The Jets wanted to run the ball more last year, but had problems getting their offensive coordinator to agree and their starting running back (Matt Forte) to stay at full strength. New coordinator Jeremy Bates and new starting running back Isaiah Crowell should get the running game back on track, so the tight ends will need to be contributors as blockers.

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13. NYG - B.J. Hill could start on defensive line

Source: NJ Advance Media - Ryan Dunleavy

New York Giants DE B.J. Hill could start at left defensive end following an impressive offseason, in the opinion of NJ Advance Media's Ryan Dunleavy.

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Hill fits as an end/tackle tweener to run interference along big bodies Dalvin Tomlinson and Damon Harrison on the defensive line. Former Cardinal Josh Mauro joined James Bettcher and could start eventually, but will serve a four-game suspension to open the season.

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14. NYG - Will Hernandez could start

Source: NJ Advance Media - Ryan Dunleavy

New York Giants OG Will Hernandez could start at left guard, in the opinion of NJ Advance Media's Ryan Dunleavy.

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Hernandez is a mauler in the run game and far from a liability as a pass blocker. He should help the Giants not miss Justin Pugh, who signed a big contract with the Cardinals in the offseason.

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15. NYG - Patrick Omameh in line to start

Source: NFL.com - Jeremy Bergman

New York Giants OG Patrick Omameh is expected to start at right guard ahead of OG John Jerry.

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The Giants continue to rearrange the offensive line and we hope it's not akin to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. The right side is the concern, and that's where Jerry resides. This could help, but you still have to contend with Ereck Flowers at right tackle, so expect more rearranging as camp happens.

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16. HOU - Keke Coutee gaining supporters

Source: Houston Chronicle - Aaron Wilson

Houston Texans WR Keke Coutee will be able to help in the return game, according to retired WR Andre Johnson, and Johnson called Coutee a 'great receiver.'

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Coutee could do some damage out of the slot, and is a big-play creator, so we aren't shocked Johnson is impressed. Rookie receivers are shaky business, though, especially Day Three prospects, so we aren't rushing out to pick him up. We like the idea of him as a returner, and that could help earn some fantasy points for the Texans Defense/Special teams units.

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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