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Volume 22, #83 -- Thursday Night, July 9th, 2020
The Week In News Plus Best Ball Rankings And More

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Howdy Folks,

Welcome to Friday. The Best Ball format's taking off with Fantasy Football GMs and it's a ton of fun. And when James Brimacombe talks about Best Ball, I listen. He's got two new features today plus Sigmund Bloom with the Week In News plus John Norton with IDP news plus Clayton Gray with Strength of Schedule plus updated Classic Apps and more.

Now let's get to it.

J

SITE NEWS

A. The Week In News
Sigmund Bloom with a look at the biggest stories of the past week and why they matter for fantasy football.

B. Best Ball Rankings: Top 300
James Brimacombe with his Top 300 for Best Ball drafts.

C. Best Ball Roster Construction
James Brimacombe walks you through building a Best Ball roster with an eye toward managing injuries.

D. Ultimate Strength of Schedule - Tight Ends
Clayton Gray with an in-depth look at the strength of schedule for tight ends.

E. Eyes of the Guru IDP Info, Part 3: AFC South
John Norton with an overview of defenses in the AFC South with an emphasis on individual defensive players and their fantasy value.

F. Draft Dominator Classic For Windows Updated
The Draft Dominator Classic is our tried and true original drafting tool. It's updated and ready for you here in the Windows version.

G. Draft Dominator Classic For Mac Updated
The Draft Dominator Classic is our tried and true original drafting tool. It's updated and ready for you here in the Mac version.

H. Value Based Drafting (VBD) Excel App Updated
For the folks who like the flexibility of a spreadsheet, the Value Based Drafting (VBD) App is your ticket.

I. Projections Dominator Updated
Make the projections work the way you want them to with our Projections Dominator.


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1. NE - Former exec confident QB Cam Newton starts

Source: NESN.com - Sean T. McGuire

New England Patriots QB Cam Newton will win the starting competition against QBs Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer in training camp, according to former Patriots executive vice president Michael Lombardi Thursday, July 9. 'Watching Cam Newton throw and move, there is no doubt he will win the starting job,' Lombardi tweeted.

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Lombardi is right. The only way Newton will lose out to Stidham is if he gets injured in training camp. Consider him a low QB1 even though the league seemed to move on from him earlier this offseason.

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2. NE - N'Keal Harry getting reps with QB Cam Newton

Source: Boston Herald - Andrew Callahan

New England Patriots WR N'Keal Harry was filmed running routes with QB Cam Newton Wednesday, July 8.

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That's exactly what you want to hear if you are counting on Harry in a dynasty league. Newton has experience getting the most out of Kelvin Benjamin, who was a contested catch receiver like Harry.

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3. SF - RB Raheem Mostert looking for pay raise

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

San Francisco 49ers RB Raheem Mostert is looking to be paid similarly to what the highest-paid running backs on the roster are scheduled to make, according to Mostert's agent. RB Tevin Coleman is scheduled to make $4.55 million next season, which is what Mostert would like to make.

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Two million dollars of Coleman's salary became guaranteed earlier in the offseason, but if the team released him, the $2.55 million freed up would be more than enough to satisfy Mostert. The team could also release CJ Beathard to create additional cap room. It's possible that they wait to see if Jerick McKinnon can stay healthy in camp to force Mostert's hand.

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4. NE - Full details on QB Cam Newton's contract

Source: ESPN.com - Field Yates

Updating previous reports, New England Patriots QB Cam Newton can earn $7.5 million next year if he hits all the incentives and wins the Super Bowl. He has a $1.05 million base salary, which $550,000 is guaranteed. He can earn $43,750 per game in roster bonuses, up to $700,000. He can earn a maximum of $3.75 million in playing-time incentives with $500,000 in Pro Bowl and All-Pro bonuses. He can earn a maximum of $1 million from $250,000 bonuses for each playoff win with above 50 percent playing time.

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All of those numbers sound like huge bargains for a starting quarterback. The Patriots took advantage of Newton finding little interest because of his recent slew of injuries. If Newton returns to form this year, the Patriots could recoup a third-round compensatory pick if he leaves in free agency in 2021.

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5. DET - Two DET picks sign

Source: MLive.com - Lauren Williams

Detroit Lions fifth-round pick WR Quintez Cephus and fifth-rounder RB Jason Huntley signed their rookie deals Wednesday, July 8. The four-year deals' terms weren't disclosed.

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Cephus is a strong receiver at the catch point who is also an advanced route runner. He could start as soon as next year (or even mid-season) with Marvin Jones likely in his last year with the team. Huntley is a scatback who could replace JD McKissic after the receiving back left for Washington in free agency.

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6. GB - Kamal Martin signs rookie deal

Source: Packers.com

Green Bay Packers fifth-round draft choice LB Kamal Martin signed a four-year contract with the Packers Thursday, July 9. Financial terms were not disclosed.

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Martin played through a knee injury before being shut down last season and he was not able to work out at the combine. He could be a name to watch if Christian Kirksey can't stay healthy for the third straight season.

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7. TB - ILB Jack Cichy to play limited role

Source: Buccaneers.com

Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Jack Cichy (elbow) is expected to be play primarily on special teams in 2020 after missing most of last season with an elbow injury.

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Cichy was a second-day pick on tape, but he had trouble staying healthy and ended up falling to the 202nd pick in 2018. Cichy has suffered a torn pec in 2016, ACL tears in 2017 and 2018, and an elbow dislocation last year. If he can ever stay on the field for a sustained period, he could end up with playing time on defense.

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8. CLE - Dontrell Hilliard solid in return game

Source: The Cleveland Plain Dealer - Scott Patsko

Cleveland Browns RB Dontrell Hilliard was 11th in the league last season with 24.8 yards per return on kickoffs last season, according to Pro Football Focus. He's in the mix return kicks again this year.

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He'll compete with D'Ernest Johnson, Tavierre Thoams, and sixth-round pick Donovan Peoples-Jones for the kick returner job. Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham could also take over the duties in a pinch.

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9. JAX - Laviska Shenault Jr. signs rookie deal

Source: NFLCommunications.com

Jacksonville Jaguars second-round WR Laviska Shenault Jr. officially signed his four-year rookie contract Thursday, July 9. Financial terms of the deal were undisclosed.

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Shenault should be lined up all over the formation and have a chance to make an impact as a rookie. Only DJ Chark is under contract for 2021 among the top receivers, so Shenault's time to shine is coming soon.

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10. NYJ - La'Mical Perine under contract with NYJ

Source: NewYorkJets.com - Randy Lange

New York Jets fourth-round draft choice RB La'Mical Perine signed a four-year contract with the Jets Thursday, July 9. Financial terms were not disclosed.

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Perine is going to be behind Le'Veon Bell and maybe Frank Gore this year, but the Jets don't have a long term solution at running back on the roster. He has excellent passing down skills and could play a small role this year.

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11. MIA - RB Matt Breida not in line for extension

Source: The Miami Herald - Barry Jackson

Miami Dolphins RB Matt Breida has not had any contract extension talks with the Dolphins this offseason, according to a source.

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The Dolphins are smart to let Breida prove it on a one year $3.259 million dollar deal. His ability is unquestioned, but he hasn't been able to stay healthy and last year the 49ers appeared to sour on him because of ball security issues. Miami's running game was terrible last year, but they had no talent in the backfield after trading away Kenyan Drake and they made significant changes to the offensive line this offseason. Breida is worth a late round flier pick but not more with Jordan Howard likely leading the team in carries and getting the goal line looks.

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12. MIN - QB Kirk Cousins went deep for touchdowns

Source: Pro Football Focus

Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins led the NFL with an average depth of target of 19.2 yards on touchdown passes in 2019, according to Pro Football Focus.

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Stefon Diggs was certainly part of this equation and because he's gone, that number should drop this year. Odell Beckham could benefit from the deep play action shots that Diggs reeled in under Kevin Stefanski last year now that Stefanski is the head coach of the Browns.

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13. TEN - Patience needed for RB Derrick Henry deal

Source: NFL.com - Kevin Patra

Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry has less than a week to sign a long-term contract, or he will play the 2020 season under the franchise tag. Titans head coach Mike Vrabel stressed Thursday, July 9, deal's like these take time and patience is needed on both sides. 'Derrick signed his franchise tender, he's under contract,' Vrabel said. '... Having been involved with the NFL for a lot of years, getting deals done is about being patient, hopefully keeping them private and confidential. So I'm going to try to respect that, and understand that we love Derrick and he understands how important he is to our football team. Again, his leadership that grew last year, I'm looking forward, I know our team is looking for more of that this year.'

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It seems like the desire to sign players to long term deals is diminishing with coronavirus casting a shadow over near-term league revenues. Henry is likely to have to play under the tag this year and he and the team will revisit the proposition next year.

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That'll do it for today, Folks. Thanks for reading and thanks for being part of Footballguys.

Have a great Friday and we'll see you tomorrow with the Update.

Peace,

J