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Footballguys #64 - 6/22 - Devonta Freeman Looks Like His Old Self, Plus News And Notes You Need To Know

Volume 21, #64 -- Saturday Night, June 22nd, 2019

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Howdy Folks,

Good Sunday to you and I hope your weekend's going great. Sit back and soak up the News and Notes you need.

Let's go.

J


1. ATL - RB Devonta Freeman all the way back

Source: AtlantaFalcons.com - Kelsey Conway

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman (groin) looks 'so much like himself' this offseason, according to head coach Dan Quinn.

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Freeman will be a value if he returns to form after two injury-riddled seasons. Tevin Coleman is gone, so Freeman has an even higher ceiling than he did last year, when he was going ahead of his current ADP.

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2. LAR - WR Brandin Cooks fine tuning game

Source: RamsWire - Cameron DaSilva

Los Angeles Rams WR Brandin Cooks said he has focused on improving his timing with QB Jared Goff this offseason. 'You can always have perfect timing out there when you're throwing on air,' Cooks said. 'But now we've got defenders out there, just continue to work on that and get better at that, so we can be the best we can possibly be.'

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Cooks was fantastic in 2021 and defied the "first year with a new quarterback" drag on production for the second straight year. He should build on his strong campaign this year now that he has continuity for the first offseason since 2016.

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3. CIN - More carries for RB Giovani Bernard?

Source: Dayton Daily News - Laurel Pfahler

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard has spent time with the first-team offense during spring practices, and head coach Zac Taylor said he hopes to spread out carries more this year to keep RB Joe Mixon fresh for late in the season.

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Bernard is still a top backup/handcuff, and he could earn enough extra touches to be a better emergency play, but this isn't going to become a committee. Mixon may lose some touches at the margin, but increasing efficiency in a new look offense with an improved offensive line should make up for that and give Mixon a higher weekly and season-long ceiling.

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4. DEN - RB Royce Freeman working with starters

Source: ESPN.com - Jeff Legwold

Denver Broncos RB Royce Freeman has taken snaps with the first-team offense during spring practices with RB Phillip Lindsay (wrist) still rehabbing.

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Freeman struggled in the Broncos running game last year but should be a better fit in the Shanahan zone running that new offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello will implement. While Phillip Lindsay has been recovering from a wrist injury, Freeman has had a chance to impress the new regime and earn a larger role than the one he had last year. We'll see if he can carry over the momentum to training camp.

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5. ATL - WR Mohamed Sanu focused

Source: AtlantaFalcons.com - Kelsey Conway

Atlanta Falcons WR Mohamed Sanu has come into the offseason workouts in excellent shape, according to head coach Dan Quinn, and Quinn believes Sanu is ready to take his game to the 'next level' in 2019.

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Calvin Ridley and Austin Hooper are also getting into their prime years and Dirk Koetter is back as offensive coordinator after he helped author some of the best pre-Kyle Shanahan seasons Matt Ryan had. The Falcons should be a top offense and create a few fantasy overachievers this year.

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6. LAR - WR Robert Woods expecting more

Source: Los Angeles Times - Gary Klein

Los Angeles Rams WR Robert Woods said he is capable of building on his performance from 2018 and feels he will ultimately be rewarded for his play with a contract extension. 'And I just think my play will show it all,' Woods said. 'I feel like I will get what I deserve.'

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Woods had a massive breakout in 2018 and he is also a top blocking wide receiver. He should get a payday in 2022 if the Rams let his contract expire without an extension, but he is actually underpaid at 5.5 million in 2020 and 7.5 million in 2021.

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7. KC - Bigger role for WR Demarcus Robinson?

Source: The Athletic - Nate Taylor

Kansas City Chiefs WR Demarcus Robinson has been trusted with more offensive responsibilities this offseason, according to Nate Taylor of The Athletic.

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Robinson could open the season as the #2 receiver if Tyreek Hill is suspended, which means he's draftable in redraft leagues right now. If Sammy Watkins injury problems resurface, Robinson could become a primary target. He showed budding chemistry with Patrick Mahomes last year.

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8. KC - WR Sammy Watkins delivering on the field

Source: The Athletic - Nate Taylor

Kansas City Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins has performed well throughout spring practices, according to Nate Taylor of The Athletic.

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And more importantly, he stayed healthy and wasn't affected by his previous injuries. It looks likely that he'll open the season as Patrick Mahomes' #1 receiver, which means he'll be a great value if he can stay on the field at full speed.

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9. SF - Three injured players should be ready for camp

Source: NBC Sports Bay Area - Matt Maiocco

San Francisco 49ers WR Deebo Samuel (hip), DE Nick Bosa (hamstring) and LB Kwon Alexander (knee) are expected to be ready for training camp after missing some offseason workouts because of injuries.

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Bosa's injury was disappointing after he barely played last year due to a core muscle injury. His health will be one of the biggest stories of training camp for the team. Alexander's health is also key for a team that is trying to find traction on defense.

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10. LAC - Artavis Scott impresses coach

Source: Chargers.com - Ricky Henne

Los Angeles Chargers WR Artavis Scott was performing well during offseason workouts last year before an injury and continued his solid work this offseason, according to head coach Anthony Lynn.

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Scott has some potential as a run after catch receiver and adds speed on jet sweeps, so he provides a different element than his competitors for the #4 and #5 wide receiver spots. He's a name to remember in deep dynasty, as he appears to be ahead of players like Dylan Cantrell and Geremy Davis.

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11. DEN - TE Jake Butt on track for camp

Source: The Denver Post - Ryan O'Halloran

Denver Broncos TE Jake Butt (knee) said he will be ready for the start of training camp.

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Butt will have to stand out to make the team now that they took Noah Fant in the first round and also have Troy Fumagalli and Jeff Heuerman on the roster.

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12. TEN - Anthony Firkser limited this offseason

Source: TitansOnline.com - Jim Wyatt

Tennessee Titans TE Anthony Firkser (undisclosed) was limited during offseason workouts because of an undisclosed injury but should be ready for training camp.

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Firkser was a rookie UDFA surprise last year, but the return of Delanie Walker could make for a roster squeeze at his position. Staying healthy in camp will be key for him.

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13. IND - RB Marlon Mack inconsistent in 2018

Source: 1070 The Fan - Kevin Bowen

Indianapolis Colts RB Marlon Mack rushed for at least 115 yards in five games last season but was also held to 50 yards or less in six games.

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Mack and Derrick Henry appear to be the most game script dependent running backs in their tier of fantasy RB2 candidates, which usually costs a third or fourth round pick. The Colts could take a step forward this year and give him more favorable game scripts, which would make him a hit if he can stay healthy.

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14. PHI - WR Shelton Gibson should be ready for camp

Source: NBC Sports Philadelphia - Dave Zangaro

Philadelphia Eagles WR Shelton Gibson (undisclosed) did not participate in offseason workouts but is expected to be ready for training camp.

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Gibson is battling for one roster spot at wide receiver that will have many players vying for it, including Mack Hollins, Greg Ward, Braxton Miller, and Charles Johnson. Special teams contributions might be the deciding factor.

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15. PHI - Andre Dillard not expected to play in 2019

Source: NBC Sports Philadelphia - Dave Zangaro

Philadelphia Eagles OT Andre Dillard is not expected to receive playing time this upcoming season unless OT Jason Peters suffers an injury.

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The team could keep Halapoulivaati Vaitai as swing tackle if they think Dillard isn't ready to backup Lane Johnson at right tackle in case of injury, as they are developing Dillard to be Peters' replacement at left tackle. Rugby convert Jordan Mailata has already been working at right tackle, so he could also keep Dillard on the bench even if Johnson goes down.

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16. PHI - Halapoulivaati Vaitai could play right guard

Source: NBC Sports Philadelphia - Dave Zangaro

The Philadelphia Eagles had OT Halapoulivaati Vaitai work out at right guard during minicamp in case OG Brandon Brooks (Achilles') is unable to play at the beginning of the regular season, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia's Dave Zangaro.

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The team took Andre Dillard in the first round this year and they are developing massive rugby convert Jordan Mailata, who they took in the seventh round last year, which means Vaitai might not be needed as a swing tackle this year. Showing some versatility may be his only way to make the team.

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17. PHI - Richard Rodgers leading for TE3 role?

Source: NJ.com - Mike Kaye

Philadelphia Eagles TE Richard Rodgers appears to be the favorite for the team's No. 3 tight end spot, according to NJ.com's Mike Kaye, who writes that Rodgers, TE Will Tye and TE Joshua Perkins could be competing for one roster slot. TEs Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert will fill the top two spots.

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Rodgers is a functional receiver, but underwhelming athletically. He flirted with fantasy relevance in Green Bay and the Eagles could lead the league in two and three tight end sets, but Rodgers is well off of our fantasy radar.

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18. NYJ - RB Ty Montgomery a good fit

Source: New York Post - Brian Costello

New York Jets RB Ty Montgomery's versatility as a runner and receiver makes him a good fit in head coach Adam Gase's offense, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post, and Montgomery continues to be the frontrunner to return kicks.

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The team added Blial Powell recently and has a slew of young backs competing with him and Montgomery for two running back spots at the most. Montgomery is the most versatile, so consider him a favorite to win one of the spots.

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19. CIN - Ryan Finley still struggling

Source: Dayton Daily News - Laurel Pfahler

Cincinnati Bengals QB Ryan Finley has struggled throughout spring practices, according to Laurel Pfahler of the Dayton Daily News, and Pfahler believes Finley has 'a long way to go' before he can be trusted to be the backup to QB Andy Dalton.

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Jeff Driskel wasn't a total disaster when he played last year, and it looks like he'll be the backup again this year.

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20. PIT - WR Ryan Switzer fighting for spot

Source: Steelers.com - Bob Labriola

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Ryan Switzer is likely competing for WR Eli Rogers to be the final receiver kept on the 53-man roster, according to Bob Labriola of Steelers.com.

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The Steelers could target the slot receiver more often with Antonio Brown gone. Switzer is the more physically gifted player and can contribute as a returner, while Rogers has more experience with Ben Roethlisberger. The winner is unlikely to be relevant in fantasy leagues without multiple injuries to Steelers receivers/Vance McDonald.

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That'll do it for today, Folks.

Thanks for reading and thanks for being part of the Footballguys Family.

We'll see you tomorrow with the Update.

Peace,

J