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Footballguys.comDaily Email Update • Vol. 22, #273 • Jan. 15th, 2021


Get Your FFPC Playoff 2.0 Team Before They're Gone Plus News And Notes

Howdy Folks,

Round 2 of Playoff Football is here and not a moment too soon.

Our Footballguys Playoff Challenge 2.0 is sold out but if you hurry, there may be a few spots left in the FFPC Playoff Challenge 2.0. It's hosted by our same friends at the FFPC that host our Playoff Challenge. This one is a $200 entry fee with a cool $50,000 Grand Prize. But hurry, the deadline is 4:30 PM ET Saturday.

Grab a team before it closes and start 2021 off right. Get details and sign up here.

Now let's get to the News And Notes.

J

SITE NEWS

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1. ATL - Atlanta settles on Arthur Smith as head coach

Source: AtlantaFalcons.com

Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith agreed to terms on an undisclosed contract to become the new head coach of the Atlanta Falcons on Friday, Jan. 15.

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Smith was fantastic running the Titans offense. He turned things around for QB Ryan Tannehill and fed RB Derrick Henry the way he needed to be. Smith also got incredible play from guys like WR A.J. Brown, WR Corey Davis and TE Jonnu Smith. With the Falcons, Smith will have great weapons in QB Matt Ryan, WR Julio Jones and WR Calvin Ridley. Fantasy GMs should be excited about this hire as the Falcons offense should continue to have plenty of horsepower.

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2. CLE - Kevin Stefanski returns

Source: NFL Network - Tom Pelissero

Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski was back in the team's facility on Thursday, Jan. 14, after having to quarantine for 10 days following a positive COVID-19 test.

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Stefanski is back after missing the Wild Card Round due to COVID protocols. The Browns are playing with house money with nothing to lose against the Chiefs in the Divisional Round.

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3. KC - WR Sammy Watkins to miss game

Source: ESPN.com - Adam Teicher

Kansas City Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins (calf) did not practice again Friday, Jan. 15, and will be be ruled out for Sunday's divisional playoff matchup with the Cleveland Browns.

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Watkins had a couple of weeks to get healthy after getting banged up in Week 16. Now he's going to miss the Divisional Round game against the Browns. That means Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson, and Byron Pringle will do more behind Tyreek Hill.

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4. KC - Clyde Edwards-Helaire doing OK?

Source: The Athletic - Nate Taylor

Updating a previous report, Kansas City Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (hip, ankle) did not practice for a second consecutive day Friday, Jan. 15. However, head coach Andy Reid told reporters afterward that Edwards-Helaire looked 'fine' in his limited practice two days earlier and that he wanted to give his running back as much time and rest as possible ahead of the team's AFC Divisional Round game against the Cleveland Browns.

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He's doing okay but he's not practicing. Okay. We'll see if the Chiefs are going to have their rookie first-round pick available to them in the Divisional Round against the Browns. If not, Darrell Williams and Le'Veon Bell will get more work.

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5. NYJ - QB Sam Darnold likely to return

Source: ESPN - Adam Schefter

New York Jets QB Sam Darnold is likely to be the team's starting quarterback next season, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, who said he would be 'surprised' if Darnold was not the team's Week 1 starter.

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The Jets have the no.2 overall pick so they can get some much-needed help on the offensive line with Oregon OT Penei Sewell. Better protection for Darnold and a better direction under new head coach Robert Saleh should lead to better numbers from the passing game.

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6. TB - RB Ronald Jones a game-time call

Source: NFL Network - James Palmer

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Ronald Jones (quadriceps) is expected be a game-time decision Sunday, Jan. 17, for the divisional playoff game against the New Orleans Saints.

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This means Leonard Fournette will get the start for the Buccaneers in the Divisional Round. He came through for the Buccaneers in the Wild Card Round and should be a player they can lean on against the Saints.

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7. NFL - Travis Etienne declares for NFL Draft

Source: ESPN.com - Adam Rittenberg

Clemson RB Travis Etienne on Friday, Jan. 17, announced he will enter the 2021 NFL Draft.

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Etienne is seen as one of the best running backs in the 2021 NFL draft. He finished his Clemson career with 4,952 rushing yards and 70 touchdowns on 686 carries, as well as 1,155 receiving yards and eight touchdowns on 102 receptions. Etienne is a disciplined runner with big-play ability. He can score anytime he touches the ball but doesn't try to do too much with every carry. Etienne should be a first-round pick in the 2021 NFL draft.

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8. IND - QB Philip Rivers may avoid surgery

Source: 1070 The Fan - Kevin Bowen

Indianapolis Colts QB Philip Rivers (toe) should be fine without surgery on his injured toe, according to GM Chris Ballard, who added that if Rivers does go the surgical route it would be 'nothing major.'

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Good news for the veteran quarterback here. The Colts and Rivers are going to give things about a month before talking about whether or not Rivers will continue to play for the Colts or move on in free agency. Rivers still has the ability to be a slightly above average starter.

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9. TB - RB Leonard Fournette expected to start

Source: The Athletic - Greg Auman

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Leonard Fournette is expected to start in the team's divisional-round playoff game Sunday, Jan. 17, against the New Orleans Saints, head coach Bruce Arians said Friday.

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Ronald Jones is a game-time decision, so that means Fournette will get the start and the bulk of the work. Running the ball perhaps more than some expect might be a good idea for the Buccaneers. It keeps the Saints offense cold in the sidelines and it gives those Saints pass-rushers fewer opportunities to get after Tom Brady.

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10. MIN - TE Kyle Rudolph could be a cap casualty

Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune - Ben Goessling

Minnesota Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph is a strong candidate to be released during the offseason, in the opinion of the Minneapolis Star Tribune's Ben Goessling, though he added it's also possible that the team will try to renegotiate Rudolph's contract.

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No surprise here. Rudolph is no longer the same player he used to be. Due around $7.6 million in 2021, releasing Rudolph would free up over $5 million. Irv Smith should take on a larger role in 2021 while Rudolph should find a home with a new team.

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11. ATL - Terry Fontenot set to become Atlanta's GM

Source: CBSSports.com - Jonathan Jones

Updating a previous report, New Orleans Saints vice president/assistant general manager for pro personnel Terry Fontenot will be named as the Atlanta Falcons' general manager once the Saints' season has come to an end, according to Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports.

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That's the way things have been trending for some time now. Fontenot is smart, thorough and has worked in many different departments to get to this point in his career. The Falcons are making a splash with Arthur Smith as their new head coach, and he should work well with a guy like Fontenot.

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12. ATL - QB Dave Ragone earmarked for Atlanta OC job?

Source: ESPN.com - Jeremy Fowler

Chicago Bears passing game coordinator Dave Ragone has a 'good chance' to become the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons under new head coach Arthur Smith, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.

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Ragone is a former NFL quarterback who was a third-round pick for the Texans back in the 2003 NFL draft. As a coach, Ragone was worked as a WR coach, QB coach and passing game coordinator. Smith should keep the Falcons offense one that Fantasy GMs keep harvesting talent (and points) from.

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13. SEA - Seattle interested in Anthony Lynn to run offense?

Source: NFL Network - Tom Pelissero

Former Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn has already spoken to Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll about the team's offensive coordinator vacancy and would be among the team's top choices to succeed Brian Schottenheimer in that role if Lynn decides he wants to coach in 2021, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.

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Lynn has not decided whether or not he wants to coach in 2021, but he's clearly got interest. If he's hired by Seattle, then expect the Seahawks to go with a run-heavy offense given Lynn's background.

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That'll do it for today, Folks. Thanks for reading and enjoy the games. We'll see you tomorrow with the Update.

Peace,

J