Footballguys.com

Volume 22, #28 -- Friday Night, May 15th, 2020
Pittsburgh's RB1, Top 300, Draft Lists and MORE

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Howdy [FIRST NAME GOES HERE],

Good Saturday to you. If you're like me, you're looking forward to sports again this weekend with Golf and NASCAR and hopefully Major League Baseball soon. In the meantime, we've got the News and Notes you need so let's go.

J

SITE NEWS

A. Updated Top 300
Our David Dodds with the Top 300 players. Coming in hot.

B. Updated Top 300 - PPR
Our David Dodds with the Top 300 players. Coming in hot. This one is for PPR scoring systems.

C. Updated Draft List
We take our Top 300 and factor that against Average Draft Position to get a list more like we'd actually draft with.

D. Updated Draft List - PPR
We take our Top 300 and factor that against Average Draft Position to get a list more like we'd actually draft with. This one is for PPR scoring.

E. Green Bay Packers Team Report
The Footballguys Staffers break down the Packers.

Offensive Players by B.J. VanderWoude
Defensive Players by Daniel Simpkins
Team Philosophy and Returners by Adam Harstad
Kickers and Team Defense by Sigmund Bloom
Offensive Line by Matt Bitonti

F. Indianapolis Colts Team Report
The Footballguys Staffers break down the Colts.

Offensive Players by Jeff Haseley
Defensive Players by Daniel Simpkins
Team Philosophy and Returners by Adam Harstad
Kickers and Team Defense by Sigmund Bloom
Offensive Line by Matt Bitonti

G. Jacksonville Jaguars Team Report
The Footballguys Staffers break down the Jaguars.

Offensive Players by James Brimacombe
Defensive Players by Daniel Simpkins
Team Philosophy and Returners by Adam Harstad
Kickers and Team Defense by Sigmund Bloom
Offensive Line by Matt Bitonti

H. Los Angeles Chargers Team Report
The Footballguys Staffers break down the Chargers.

Offensive Players by Justin Howe
Defensive Players by Justin Howe
Team Philosophy and Returners by Adam Harstad
Kickers and Team Defense by Sigmund Bloom
Offensive Line by Matt Bitonti


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1. PIT - RB James Conner still the featured back

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - Joe Rutter

Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner will remain the featured back in 2020, according to head coach Mike Tomlin. 'James is a featured guy and proven runner when healthy,' Tomlin said. 'We're excited about him getting back to health and displaying that in 2020. Benny Snell is a guy that is capable of being a featured runner who plays with a physical style in a similar manner to James. He's capable of being a James-type of guy if James is unavailable.'

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Conner is still the lead back but his role could be smaller this year for a few reasons. He needs to stay healthy and a smaller workload may help him do that. The Steelers have spent draft picks on guys like Benny Snell (2019) and Anthony McFarland (2020) that could cut into Conner's playing time. Conner has a current ADP of RB19 (4.02) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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2. JAX - Jacksonville set at QB?

Source: ProFootballTalk.com - Josh Alper

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone on Friday, May 15, was asked in a radio interview if there was any interest in the team signing free agent QB Cam Newton. Marrone didn't address that specific question, but did say he believes the team is fairly well set at the position. 'Right now we have four quarterbacks, so we're pretty much done,' Marrone said. 'If there's any opportunity, we constantly talk about the players that are out there. . . . We're always looking to improve and we're looking to get the right pieces to help us.'

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Gardner Minshew is their starter and Mike Glennon is their veteran backup. The team is unlikely to add another quarterback to the room at this time. Minshew showed flashes as a rookie in 2019 but his game was far from consistent.

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3. PIT - QB Ben Roethlisberger setback free

Source: Sporting News - Mike DeCourcy

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (elbow) has been progressing well in his recovery after missing the final 14 games of the 2019 season due to an elbow injury, according to head coach Mike Tomlin. 'He's doing great thus far. He's in great physical condition. Rehabilitation, in regards to the injury itself, is going well. I hear nothing but positive reports from that standpoint,' Tomlin said. 'There have been no bumps in the road.'

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Great news for the Steelers here. Nobody knows how much Roethlisberger has left in the tank. This elbow injury should limit the veteran quarterback in training camp and the preseason. The upside is there for Roethlisberger to be a low-end QB1 for Fantasy GMs in 2020...if he can stay healthy.

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4. CLE - Dontrell Hilliard signs tender

Source: NFLCommunications.com

Cleveland Browns exclusive rights free-agent RB Dontrell Hilliard signed his one-year tender offer Friday, May 15. Financial terms were not disclosed.

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Hilliard is a reserve running back for the Browns and doesn't have much fantasy value. He'll compete for a spot on the end of the depth chart. Hilliard will compete with guys like D'Ernest Johnson and undrafted rookie Benny Lemay.

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5. NO - New Orleans adds RB Ty Montgomery

Source: NewOrleansSaints.com

Free-agent RB Ty Montgomery (Jets) signed with the New Orleans Saints Friday, May 15. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

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Montgomery is a do-everything running back who can line up as a wide receiver or in the slot in addition to the backfield. He'll compete for a reserve role but would be quite interesting in that high-powered offense if he gets a larger opportunity.

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6. KC - WR Tyreek Hill top deep threat

Source: ProFootballFocus.com

Kansas City Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill led all players with 10 receptions on throws of at least 40 yards downfield since 2017.

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Hill and Patrick Mahomes know how to make things happen. Those big plays that we've seen from day 1 with this duo will continue in 2020. Hill has a current ADP of WR3 (1.11) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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7. JAX - More pocket for QB Gardner Minshew?

Source: NFL Network - Michael Giardi

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew will be working on making more plays from the pocket, according to head coach Doug Marrone. The priorities will be developing rhythm and reads and deciphering coverage. Marrone added they don't want to discourage Minshew from using his creativity, but they want him to make good decisions.

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Keeping Minshew in the pocket means they better have options for him right away as a passer. He was under a lot of pressure last year and thus would scramble around looking to make a play with his arm. Minshew is their guy as they've yet added a guy like Cam Newton to take the starting job and in fact signed perennial backup Mike Glennon to be the guy behind the second-year quarterback. We'll see if the added weapons and emphasis on staying in the pocket helps Minshew play more consistently in 2020.

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8. IND - Indy signs three picks

Source: Colts.com

Indianapolis Colts second-round pick RB Jonathan Taylor, fourth-round pick QB Jacob Eason and sixth-round pick LB Jordan Glasgow signed their rookie four-year deals Friday, May 15. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

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Taylor is the player to watch here. He's a dominating runner who often is miscast as just a two-down banger. Taylor is powerful and swift as a runner and while he's not an elite receiver, he's not a terrible receiver out of the backfield either. However, with Nyheim Hines there as their pass-catching back we shouldn't see Taylor get too many catches as a rookie. He'll split carries in a RBBC with Marlon Mack this season.

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9. ARI - Arizona still believes in WR Hakeem Butler

Source: AZCardinals.com - Kyle Odegard

Arizona Cardinals WR Hakeem Butler missed his entire rookie season after suffering a finger injury in training camp, but the coaching staff still believes he has an 'intriguing skill set,' according to Kyle Odegard of the team's website.'(Butler has) tons of ability. He's healthy. He's been working hard this offseason. He knows what we expect of him, and what we think he can be. I'm really excited when we can finally get him back on the field,' head coach Kliff Kingsbury said.

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Fantasy GMs in dynasty formats should still believe in Butler as well. He's got a fine size/speed combination and could be a red-zone threat for the Cardinals when he fully develops. With the trade for DeAndre Hopkins, Butler is pushed further down the depth chart. We're excited about the WR room in Arizona, not only Butler but also young receivers like Andy Isabella and Keesean Johnson too.

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10. CLE - Receivers didn't always help QB Baker Mayfield

Source: QB Data Mine

Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield lost 294 yards due to receiver error on accurate throws last season. The mark was the 11th-highest in the league for a quarterback.

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Mayfield didn't impress last year in his second season. Things are looking better for him this year. Not only did the Browns add more weapons in the passing game, like TE Austin Hooper, but they also emphasized getting the O-Line in better shape. Better protection and better weapons could help Mayfield get back on track in 2020.

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11. JAX - Jay Gruden's presence big for TE Tyler Eifert

Source: Jaguars.com - John Oehser

Jacksonville Jaguars TE Tyler Eifert suggested during an interview with the team's website Thursday, May 14, that the presence of new offensive coordinator Jay Gruden was 'a big factor' why he chose to sign with the team in free agency.

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If healthy, Eifert can be a force on the field...but he's rarely been healthy. He scored 13 touchdowns way back in 2015 but has failed to stay durable ever since. Eifert gets a fresh start with the Jaguars this year and Gruden knows his game well from their days together with the Bengals.

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12. TB - RB Ronald Jones putting in some work

Source: SI.com - Luke Easterling

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Ronald Jones' limitations in the passing game have cost him playing time at various points throughout his two-year NFL career, but he is focusing his offseason work on running sharper routes and being more consistent with his hands. In addition, his workout coach also stated that Jones is 225 pounds.

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Jones is looking for a breakout season as he's failed to impress that much in two seasons as a pro. He was better last year but still inconsistent and only produced one 100-yard game even though he had 11 games with double-digit carries. Rookie Ke'Shawn Vaughn will push him for the top job in camp.

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13. WAS - Antonio Gibson tough to bring down

Source: ProFootballFocus.com - Mike Renner

Washington Redskins WR/RB Antonio Gibson broke 33 tackles on 77 career touches in his time at Memphis, according to Pro Football Focus.

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Gibson is a multi-purpose weapon who can do a lot of damage as a receiver out wide, in the slot or from the backfield. He can also gash a defense as a runner due to his size and vision. We're excited to see how the rookie from Memphis fits into the Washington backfield with other RBs like Derrius Guice and Adrian Peterson.

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14. SF - Brandon Aiyuk shines under pressure

Source: NBC Sports Bay Area - Matt Maiocco

San Francisco 49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk had a penchant for the spotlight while at Arizona State, according to his former head coach Herm Edwards. 'When the lights are the brightest, he runs to the middle of the field,' Edwards said. 'He doesn't run to the shadows. He likes competition. ... 'He did a great job when he was called upon to make big plays. In big moments in games, he always showed up for us.'

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Aiyuk's game is all about run-after-the-catch ability. He broke 14 tackles last year for the Sun Devils and averaged a whopping 10.9 yards after the catch. Expect him to start immediately opposite of Deebo Samuel in 2020.

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15. CLE - RB Nick Chubb stellar after contact

Source: Pro Football Focus

Cleveland Browns RB Nick Chubb is the only running back since 2006 to average four-plus yards after contact per carry for his career, according to Pro Football Focus.

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Chubb has a great center of gravity and that gives him amazing contact balance. He is tough to bring down when he builds a head of steam and can bounce off would-be tackles with ease. Expect that to continue in 2020 in what could be the best season of his career.

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16. LAR - QB Jared Goff struggled on play action

Source: USA TODAY - Doug Farrar

Los Angeles Rams QB Jared Goff was the least efficient passer in the league on play-action attempts in 2019, but he attempted more play-action throws than any other QB.

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Goff has to be better on play-action passes. In the Sean McVay system, utilizing play-action passes helps get receivers open downfield for big plays -- field-flipping plays at times. The Rams need to make sure to run the ball effectively which helps on the run fake when the team wants to execute a play-action pass.

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17. PIT - QB Mason Rudolph to be backup QB

Source: Sporting News - Mike DeCourcy

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Mason Rudolph will be the backup to Ben Roethlisberger in 2020, according to head coach Mike Tomlin.

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Rudolph is their backup quarterback but the Steelers don't really have a quarterback of the future. The offense went off the rails last year after Ben Roethlisberger was injured in Week 2. Rudolph doesn't provide much upside as a developmental player, but the Steelers might see him as a guy who could take over when Roethlisberger is done.

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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