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Volume 22, #16 -- Sunday Night, May 3rd, 2020
Happy Star Wars Day, Top 300 Lists, Rookie Draft Board and MORE

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Howdy Folks,

Happy Star Wars Day. It might be May 4th, but that's not stopping us from making bold predictions ridiculously early. Check out our Top 300 Lists and Draft Lists to see where we're projecting players for this fall. Plus our Dr. Jene Bramel has his always anticipated Rookie Draft Board ready. Plus even more podcasts. AND the news.

Here. We. Go.

J

SITE NEWS

A. Combined Rookie Draft Board
Our Dr. Jene Bramel with a visual look at a full offense-IDP rookie draft board with position-by-position commentary.

B. Draft Dominator Is LIVE
Folks asked us to have our Draft Dominator App ready earlier this year. We listened. With lots of new tweaks, the best Drafting Tool got even better. It's an unfair advantage. But we're ok with that.

C. Top 300 PPR Players
Our David Dodds with the Top 300 Players in a PPR scoring format coming in hot.

D. Top 300 Players
Our David Dodds with the Top 300 Players in a standard scoring format.

E. Draft List For PPR
We take our Top 300 Players and then factor them against Average Draft Position to get a list more like we'd actually draft from. This one is for PPR scoring.

F. Draft List For Standard Scoring
We take our Top 300 Players and then factor them against Average Draft Position to get a list more like we'd actually draft from. This one is for standard scoring.

G. The Audible Podcast - NFC West Draft Recap
In This Episode: Cecil Lammey and Sigmund Bloom go through the picks in the 2020 NFL draft. Topics Include - Isaiah Simmons was a great move by the Cardinals, what is Seattle doing at the running back position with DeeJay Dallas, why the Rams wanted help in their backfield, how good can WR Brandon Aiyuk be for the 49ers, plus more!

H. The Audible Podcast - AFC West Draft Recap
In This Episode: Cecil Lammey and Sigmund Bloom go through the picks in the 2020 NFL draft. Topics Include - the Broncos double up on firepower at the WR position with Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler, the Chiefs get a perfect fit in RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, the Raiders get a No.1 WR and tons of speed in Henry Ruggs III, when will QB Justin Herbert be ready for the Chargers, plus more!


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1. NE - QB Jarrett Stidham top candidate to be starter

Source: ESPN.com - Mike Reiss

New England Patriots QB Jarrett Stidham is considered the leading candidate to start at quarterback in 2020, according to ESPN.com's Mike Reiss.

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It's looking like Stidham is their guy as they've made no move that would make anyone think otherwise. He was a fourth-round pick out of Auburn last year but he has first-round tools and was thought of as a potential first-round pick before his senior season in college. It's ridiculous to think the Patriots are 'Tanking for Trevor Lawrence' in 2020. Bill Belichick thinks he can win games with Stidham as his starter.

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2. PIT - Lighter workload for RB James Conner?

Source: The Athletic - Ed Bouchette

Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner will likely have his carries 'cut back' in order to keep him healthy and to utilize other backs more frequently, according to Ed Bouchette of The Athletic.

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That seems to be the way things are trending for Conner. The Steelers have other options they can go to, including two fourth-round picks Benny Snell (2019) and Anthony McFarland (2020). Add in versatile, do-everything back in Jaylen Samuels and you can see how Conner might not get as many touches as in years past.

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3. DAL - QB Andy Dalton signing with Dallas

Source: ESPN - Adam Schefter

Free-agent QB Andy Dalton (Bengals) is signing a one-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys worth up to $7 million with $3 million guaranteed, according to a source.

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Dalton will be the veteran backup to Dak Prescott in 2020. The Cowboys are still working on a long-term deal with Prescott, and this move for Dalton has nothing to do with that. Instead of being up a creek without a paddle in case of an injury to Prescott, the Cowboys have opted for a seasoned veteran who could keep things on track in such an occurrence.

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4. PIT - Instant impact for Chase Claypool?

Source: The Athletic - Ed Bouchette

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Chase Claypool should 'work his way quickly' into the starting lineup as an outside receiver, according to Ed Bouchette of The Athletic

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The Steelers have a knack for finding WR talent in the draft. Claypool was picked in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft and could be a starter in the near future. He's got a good size/speed combination and does a good job of catching contested passes. We're excited about his upside but we'll see how the pecking order is established behind JuJu Smith-Schuster with guys like Claypool, James Washington and Diontae Johnson.

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5. MIN - Slot work very nice to Justin Jefferson

Source: Pro Football Focus

Minnesota Vikings first-round draft pick WR Justin Jefferson led all players in the 2020 draft class with 730 receiving yards from the slot, according to Pro Football Focus.

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109 of his 111 receptions last year came from the slot. He played outside for only five snaps in 2019. That's where Jefferson is best used from because of his ability to get off the line cleanly. If the Vikings line up Jefferson outside then he needs to learn how to better beat press coverage, something he struggled with two years ago at LSU when he played there much more often.

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6. CLE - QB Baker Mayfield off the mark in 2019

Source: QB Data Mine

Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield completed 66.8 percent of his passes in between one and 20 yards in 2019 - the lowest such mark in the league.

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Mayfield had an off season, some would say a sophomore slump, but he is ready to bounce back in 2020. The Browns have gone out of the way to get better help around him, especially up front on the offensive line. He's a QB2 with upside for Fantasy GMs this season.

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7. DEN - TE Noah Fant ready to explode in Year 2?

Source: DenverBroncos.com - Aric DiLalla

Denver Broncos TE Noah Fant is going to emerge as a 'headache for defensive coordinators and show his more game-changing talent on a far more frequent basis,' according to Aric DiLalla of the team's website.

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That's a good bet in terms of receptions, but touchdown catches may be tough for him to come by. The Broncos added supreme weapons at the wide receiver position in the draft. Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler should get plenty of work and help the team score more points. However, Fant's red-zone targets may take the biggest hit from fourth-round pick Albert Okwuegbunam -- a college teammate of QB Drew Lock who caught 17 TDs in two seasons together.

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8. NYG - QB Daniel Jones' accuracy in question?

Source: QB Data Mine

New York Giants QB Daniel Jones completed only 48.8 percent of his passes that traveled at least 10 yards downfield last season - the second-worst mark in the league in 2019.

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Jones needs better protection if the team wants him to play up to his potential. That's something the team has emphasized this offseason, specifically by selecting OT Andrew Thomas with the No.4 overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft.

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9. NYJ - QB Sam Darnold struggled on play-action last year

Source: QB Data Mine

New York Jets QB Sam Darnold was 43.8 percent accurate on play-action passes last season - the lowest such mark in the league.

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Darnold should line up for better production on such passes this year. The Jets added talent for him in the passing game like free agent Breshad Perriman and second-round draft pick Denzel Mims.

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10. PHI - Big things expected from WR Alshon Jeffery

Source: PhiladelphiaEagles.com - Dave Spadaro

Philadelphia Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery (foot) is being counted on to be a 'major part of the offense' as he recovers from his Lisfranc injury, according to Dave Spadaro of the team's website. Spadaro also noted that the Eagles have 'made sure this offseason to get the word out that Jeffrey is being counted on.'

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We'll believe it when we see it. Jeffery is a talented veteran but his best season with the Eagles came back in 2017 when he was the No.18 fantasy receiver (standard-scoring leagues). He hasn't played a full 16-game season since that time. If Jeffery is as involved as the team's website is speculating then that means he's a low-end WR2 for Fantasy GMs in 2020.

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11. CLE - Harrison Bryant a weapon in the slot

Source: Pro Football Focus

Cleveland Browns fourth-round draft pick TE Harrison Bryant led all tight ends in the 2020 draft class with 730 receiving yards from the slot, according to Pro Football Focus.

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Bryant showed well on film in college at FAU. He has strength after the catch and knows how to use his frame to box out smaller defenders. We'll see how the rookie develops this year. He's currently third on the depth chart behind Austin Hooper and David Njoku.

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12. DAL - QB Dak Prescott deadly on dropback passes

Source: QB Date Mine

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott completed 70.1 percent of his passes last season on straight dropback passes - defined as a pass where the quarterback didn't use play action or throw a screen - making him the most accurate quarterback on such throws in the NFL.

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Defenses are set to stop Ezekiel Elliott and that threat helps open things up for the passing game. Expect the team to keep using that to their advantage ...especially with more weapons around Prescott in 2020.

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13. SF - JaMycal Hasty to compete for roster spot

Source: NBC Sports Bay Area - Matt Maiocco

San Francisco 49ers RB JaMycal Hasty is expected to compete with RB Jerick McKinnon for the third-down back job during training camp. Hasty is expected to also be a solid contributor on special teams.

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Hasty was a dangerous pass-catching weapon for the Baylor offense. The 2020 undrafted free agent should be a third-down weapon in the pros. Hasty does a good job of eluding linebackers in space and understands how to stack moves. He's got a high football intelligence and is quick in his reaction time when defenders are oncoming. McKinnon was signed two years ago and has yet to play a down for the 49ers due to injury. He took a pay cut this year to stay with the team but his spot on the 53-man roster is no guarantee.

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14. ARI - RB Kenyan Drake hopes to sign long-term deal

Source: NFL.com - Grant Gordon

Arizona Cardinals RB Kenyan Drake said he was fine with receiving the franchise tag this offseason and hopes the two sides will be able to reach a long-term contract at some point.

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The fresh start Drake had with the Cardinals last year was outstanding. He was not a consistently productive player with the Dolphins, but he immediately showed what kind of large impact he could have in the NFL when he was traded to the Cardinals. He's playing on the franchise tag for now, which means the two sides have until July 15th to get a long-term deal done.

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15. KC - Shea Patterson to join Chiefs

Source: NFL Network - Tom Pelissero

Undrafted free-agent QB Shea Patterson (Michigan) agreed to terms with the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday, May 3, according to a source. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

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Patterson never played up to his full potential in college at Michigan. He's a big-name college quarterback but most likely going to have to stick as a backup or practice squad player at least early in his NFL career.

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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