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Volume 22, #128 -- Sunday Night, August 23rd, 2020
Key Situations You Need To Know, Planting Flags With QBs and MORE

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Howdy Folks,

Good Monday to you and I hope you had a sweet weekend. It was awesome to hear about so many leagues drafting this past weekend and I know there are tons more coming this week and weekend. We've got the goods you need so let's get to it.

J

SITE NEWS

A. Beneath the Numbers: 143 Takes from Doing Projections
David Dodds with insights into the situations impacting his projections.

B. Plant Your Flag: Quarterback
There's a lot of wishy washy fantasy football analysis out there in the world. We asked our Footballguys staff for a quarterback they're taking a strong position with this year. This is what they said.

C. 5 Late-Round Wide Receivers to Target
Who are five late-round wide receivers to target in redraft leagues? Jeff Haseley answers.

D. Principles of Value-Based Drafting
Many years ago, I laid out my take on what became known as Value-Based Drafting. Here are the details and some of the thinking behind the valuations that drive VBD.

E. Wisdom Of The Crowds Rankings
I've said for years there's no smarter group of Fantasy Football people than Footballguys Subscribers. And there are a LOT of you. We're up to almost half a million subscribers for the Daily Email Update and that number will continue to go up through August.
Anytime you have that many people coupled with the kind of football knowledge you folks have, there are some powerful opportunities.
This Wisdom Of The Crowds Rankings is one of those things.
The idea is simple. We throw up two players and you click on the one you'd prefer to draft. That's it. You'll then see the results for both your vote compared to other people in the Footballguys Community. And also how it compares to our Footballguys Staff Experts.
All the while, behind the scenes our Mathguys are taking all the other votes pouring in to create a complete list for how we rank all the players at that position. Which you can see too if you're logged in at Footballguys.
It's pretty rad and we're super excited about it. Check it out and let us know what you think.

F. Retweet For A Chance To Win Free Premium Subscriptions
We're giving away three Footballguys Premium subscriptions Monday. Just retweet this tweet and I'll draw three winners Monday afternoon.


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1. SF - Brandon Aiyuk suffers injury

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

San Francisco 49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk (hamstring) left practice early Sunday, Aug. 23, after suffering an apparent hamstring injury.

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Aiyuk loses some appeal as a bench stash now unless this was a minor ding and he's practicing again before camp is over. The 49ers wide receiver group is a mess, so that makes George Kittle look better and better at ADP. Dante Pettis has a wider window to win redemption with Aiyuk ailing.

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2. BAL - S Earl Thomas officially cut

Source: BaltimoreRavens.com

Baltimore Ravens S Earl Thomas was released Sunday, Aug. 23.

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The Cowboys are known to have interest in Thomas and just opened up seven million dollars in cap room. DeShon Elliott is the favorite to start in place of Thomas, but the team could also bring back Tony Jefferson or add another veteran.

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3. BAL - QB Lamar Jackson misses another practice

Source: The Athletic - Jeff Zrebiec

Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson (undisclosed) did not participate in practice Sunday, Aug. 23, because of a soft tissue injury, according to head coach John Harbaugh.

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This probably shouldn't change your overall ranking of Jackson - if you were targeting him in the second round because you believe he'll be worth close to as much as he was last year, then this small added risk doesn't make that upside any less attractive. We just want to see Jackson practice in full before the opener vs Cleveland.

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4. NE - QB Cam Newton receives most of work Sunday

Source: NBC Sports Boston - Phil Perry

New England Patriots QB Cam Newton received 30 repetitions during team drills Sunday, Aug. 23, while QB Brian Hoyer received 12 reps during 11-on-11 drills.

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Newton is pulling away in the quarterback competition and he's certainly worth a pick as your upside QB2, but he isn't drawing rave reviews for his practice performances and might have a slow start to the season.

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5. NE - N'Keal Harry back on the field

Source: NFL Network - Michael Giardi

New England Patriots WR N'Keal Harry (undisclosed) participated in practice Sunday, Aug. 28.

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Harry has had an underwhelming camp by almost all accounts and might have trouble getting on the field enough to be relevant for fantasy leagues. He shouldn't be prominent on your late round target list.

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6. CIN - WR A.J. Green does not practice

Source: The Cincinnati Enquirer - Tyler Dragon

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (hamstring) did not participate in practice Sunday, Aug. 23.

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At this point, it would be a win if Green practices before the end of camp. He will come at a discount from his pre-camp ADP, but his Week 1 status will be in doubt until we see him on the field again.

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7. KC - WR Tyreek Hill remains sidelined

Source: Kansas City Star - Herbie Teope

Kansas City Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill (hamstring) did not participate in practice Sunday, Aug. 23.

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Even if we don't see Hill for the remainder of camp, his hamstring injury isn't a reason to move him too much on your board. He should be ready to go on the Thursday night opener against the lackluster Texans secondary.

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8. LVR - More third downs for RB Josh Jacobs?

Source: ESPN.com - Paul Gutierrez

Las Vegas Raiders RB Josh Jacobs needs to be 'more on the field on third down' this year, according to head coach Jon Gruden.

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This is what you want to hear if you're taking him in the first or early second round. If Jacobs can get 40-50 receptions this year and stay healthy, he should return value on ADP. Don't sweat the Theo Riddick signing.

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9. SEA - TE Greg Olsen's preparation paying off

Source: ESPN.com - Brady Henderson

Seattle Seahawks TE Greg Olsen's work with QB Russell Wilson this offseason is evident in practice, according to head coach Pete Carroll. 'I'm really, really fired up about Greg,' Carroll said.

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Olsen will have to share tight end targets with Will Dissly and maybe Jacob Hollister in a lower volume pass offense, but he's still the cheapest tight end who could be a viable start Week 1.

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10. DET - RB Kerryon Johnson comfortable with brace

Source: ESPN.com - Michael Rothstein

Detroit Lions RB Kerryon Johnson said he has become comfortable playing with a brace on his right knee. 'So that's just the new me,' Johnson said. 'I'm the knee-brace guy, everybody jokes about it. It feels great. I like having the knee brace on. It helps me out a lot.'

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The brace won't prevent injury, but if it makes Johnson feel better, it still helps, although it's troubling that he would feel like he needs it. D'Andre Swift getting starts at some point due to Johnson missing time remains a compelling reason to target Swift if you believe in him.

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11. WAS - WR Cody Latimer let go

Source: NFL.com

Washington Football Team WR Cody Latimer was released Sunday, Aug. 23.

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Latimer had offseason legal troubles so it's not surprising that he would be released despite the team being inexperienced at wide receiver. Dontrelle Inman remains on track to start Week 1 opposite Terry McLaurin with Steven Sims in the slot.

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12. CIN - WR John Ross activated

Source: Bengals.com

Cincinnati Bengals WR John Ross was activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list Sunday, Aug. 23. The team also placed DT Renell Wren (quadriceps) on the Reserve/Injured list.

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Ross is probably next up after AJ Green, but he has had trouble staying on the field too. He's an early season waiver wire watch list player after a hot start last year.

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13. CAR - RB Jordan Scarlett let go

Source: Panthers.com

Carolina Panthers RB Jordan Scarlett was waived Sunday, Aug. 23.

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Mike Davis and Reggie Bonnafon remain the leaders in the competition to back up Christian McCaffrey.

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14. ARI - CB Dre Kirkpatrick joins AZ

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

Free-agent CB Dre Kirkpatrick (Bengals) agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals Sunday, Aug. 23. Financial terms were not disclosed.

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He shouldn't be a downgrade from Robert Alford and has a lot of experience with defensive coordinator Vance Joseph back in Cincinnati to help him get up to speed in the defense quickly.

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15. MIA - OLB Jerome Baker day-to-day

Source: Sun-Sentinel - Safid Deen

Updating a previous report, Miami Dolphins LB Jerome Baker (undisclosed) is considered day-to-day after sustaining an undisclosed injury at practice Friday, Aug. 21, according to head coach Brian Flores.

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This injury doesn't sound too serious and you probably shouldn't move Baker down farther than the end of his tier on your IDP draft board.

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16. TEN - Two linebackers leave early

Source: TennesseeTitans.com - Jim Wyatt

Tennessee Titans LB Harold Landry (undisclosed) and LB Rashaan Evans (undisclosed) were not able to finish practice Sunday, Aug. 23.

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The Titans need Landry's pass rush presence outside and Evans is a key piece in the middle so these are situations to monitor as both of these players have dealt with injuries in the past.

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17. NO - Tre'Quan Smith to be involved?

Source: NewOrleansSaints.com

New Orleans Saints WR Tre'Quan Smith is 'an important part' of the team's offensive plans, according to head coach Sean Payton.

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Smith is probably the team's best deep threat and could provide another dimension to the pass offense if he can avoid inconsistency and drops. He doesn't have redraft value with the signing of Emmanuel Sanders, but Smith is still worth bench spot in deeper dynasty leagues.

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18. CLE - No practice for TE David Njoku

Source: The Chronicle-Telegram - Scott Petrak

Cleveland Browns TE David Njoku (wrist) did not participate in practice Sunday, Aug. 23.

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The watch for Harrison Bryant to overtake Njoku is on. The Browns might end up wishing they had dealt Njoku when his camp demanded it.

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19. CLE - OLB Malcolm Smith joins Browns

Source: ClevelandBrowns.com

Free-agent LB Malcolm Smith (Cowboys) signed with the Cleveland Browns Sunday, Aug. 23. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. The team also waived C Casey Dunn (foot) with an injury designation.

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The Browns might not lose Mack Wilson for long at linebacker, but they are very inexperienced at linebacker and Smith's presence could help them prepare for Baltimore's offensive juggernaut in Week 1.

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20. JAX - DT Taven Bryan injured Saturday

Source: ESPN.com - Michael DiRocco

Jacksonville Jaguars DT Taven Bryan (leg) suffered a leg injury during 11-on-11 drills in practice Saturday, Aug. 22. He was treated on the side before leaving the field under his own power.

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Bryan was a first round pick in 2018 but has failed to make a big impact. He is going to get more snaps this year with Calais Campbell traded, but needs to stay healthy. The injury is a bone bruise and shouldn't affect his Week 1 status vs Indianapolis.

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21. ATL - RB Brian Hill a more complete back

Source: AtlantaFalcons.com - Matthew Tabeek

Atlanta Falcons RB Brian Hill was praised by head coach Dan Quinn for his performance in practice. 'He is 100 percent a guy on a mission,' Quinn said. 'You see his speed at practice, his ability to catch has certainly improved.'

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The backup job behind Todd Gurley is a wide open battle between Hill, 2019 fifth-round pick Qadree Ollison and Ito Smith. Ollison can take short yardage work and Smith should get on the field on passing downs if Gurley misses time, but Hill still has the chance to be the most valuable of the trio. It's also possible that the team employs a committee behind Gurley and no one is worth targeting on the waiver wire.

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22. BAL - S DeShon Elliott on track to start

Source: ESPN.com - Jamison Hensley

Baltimore Ravens S DeShon Elliott is expected to start at free safety this season after the team released FS Earl Thomas.

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The Ravens like Elliott, but the 2018 sixth rounder has had trouble staying healthy. The Browns could test him with some deep shots off of play action in the season opener.

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23. DEN - RB Melvin Gordon remains sidelined

Source: 9News.com - Mike Klis

Denver Broncos RB Melvin Gordon (rib) did not participate in practice Sunday, Aug. 23.

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This injury isn't serious, but it would be comforting to see Gordon return to practice next week. In the meantime, Royce Freeman should get more opportunities to show that he deserves some touches. The team also likes UDFA Levante Bellamy at running back.

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24. LAC - Shoulder injury for WR Mike Williams

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

Los Angeles Chargers WR Mike Williams (shoulder) left practice early Sunday, Aug. 23, because of a shoulder injury and is scheduled to undergo tests. The team did not find any problems with Williams' collarbone and hope that it is a minor injury.

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This is still something to monitor, but as long as the tests don't show damage to the shoulder, Williams will still be a worthy upside pick later in drafts because Tyrod Taylor actually throws a nice deep ball.

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25. GB - Solid start for WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Tom Silverstein

Green Packers Packers WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling has put together two straight strong practices, head coach Matt LaFleur said Saturday, Aug. 22.

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Valdes-Scantling isn't going to overtake Allen Lazard, but a good camp can keep him involved in three wide sets and as a deep threat on play action plays.

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26. LAR - RB Darrell Henderson may be ready for Week 1

Source: NFL Network - Tom Pelissero

Los Angeles Rams RB Darrell Henderson (hamstring) has been diagnosed with a low-grade hamstring strain and may be available for the start of the regular season, according to a source.

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Henderson still should drop some on boards as a second half of the draft flier and Cam Akers is now set to get the majority of the workload vs Dallas to open the season, with Malcolm Brown lurking at the goal line. If Henderson can get in a full practice in the week before the opener, then perhaps this will end up not changing his outlook, but we have to be cautious with hamstring injuries for speed players like Henderson.

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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