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Volume 23, #43 -- Thursday Night, June 3rd, 2021
Why Fantasy Football Is So Difficult To Predict...

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Howdy Folks,

Welcome to Friday.

Newsflash: Fantasy Football is difficult to consistently win. Because NFL players are difficult to predict with accuracy. Our Sigmund Bloom dives into this challenge today as he breaks down some players and how they fit within their team. Which is a key part of predicting their individual performance.

Plus we've got the AFC East dialed in for you as well as the News and Notes. And maybe the most fun Father's Day Gift outside of a Footballguys Premium Subscription we've ever seen.

Let's GO.

J

SITE NEWS

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B. A Best-Ball Guide to the AFC East
The paradox of fantasy football has always been you roster individual players. But those player are a part of a complicated and interdependent team. It's part of why predicting individual performance is so challenging.

Which means if you're going to predict the players, you'll do well to have a good understanding of how each player fits into the team situation.

Our Sigmund Bloom dives into this idea breaking it down for us. Here, he looks specifically at how players fit with Best Ball drafts but of course, it's relevant to other formats as well. Enjoy.

C. Predicting the AFC East
We asked the Footballguys Staff how they felt the AFC East would shake out this year for win totals and more. This is what they said.

D. Footballguys Spotlight - New Balance x Miller Lite Shoezie
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1. LAR - WR Cooper Kupp says he's doing well

Source: Los Angeles Times - Gary Klein

Los Angeles Rams WR Cooper Kupp said Wednesday, June 2, that it was a Morel-Lavalle'e lesion -- in which skin and tissue separate from underlying tissue -- in his knee which kept him out of the team's NFC divisional round playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers in January. Kupp added, though, that he has had no issues afterward, and is 'feeling great' as he participates in the team's offseason workouts.

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Kupp is set for another strong season with the Rams and should become a favorite target of QB Matthew Stafford quickly. He saw his touchdown numbers drop from 10 in 2019 to just three touchdowns in 2020. If he grabs 90-plus passes again, for about 1,000 yards and gets a few more touchdowns (projecting 5-7 sounds about right) Kupp should play up to his current ADP of WR21 (5.05) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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2. KC - QB Patrick Mahomes feeling good

Source: ESPN.com - Adam Teicher

Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (toe) said he believes he would be able to play now if it was the regular season.

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Previous reports state that Mahomes has been a full participant in practice. He'd be ready to go if he needed to play a game, and he'll be ready for full participation in training camp. After battling through a toe injury as the Chiefs made another Super Bowl run, it will be nice to see the superstar back at full strength.

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3. DAL - QB Dak Prescott limited Thursday

Source: The Dallas Morning News - Michael Gehlken

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott (ankle) did not participate in team drills during practice Thursday, June 3, but did take part in 11-on-7 drills.

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The Cowboys are going to take it easy on Prescott during the offseason. When training camp rolls around, expect Prescott to be a full participant.

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4. NE - QB Cam Newton has better understanding

Source: NBC Sports Boston - Phil Perry

New England Patriots QB Cam Newton understands the offense much better in his second season, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said Thursday, June 3. 'He came back this year at a much different position,' McDaniels said of Newton. 'He has a different grasp of the offense, a different understanding of the terminology. Now we're working on refining the precision, the details.'

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Newton was bad last year for the Patriots but he's back this year to prove that he can thrive in this system. He's the starter for now, but rookie first-round pick Mac Jones will push him for that spot when he's ready. Newton is going off the board at QB25 (13.12) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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5. LAC - Big year for WR Mike Williams?

Source: Los Angeles Daily News - Gilbert Manzano

Los Angeles Chargers WR Mike Williams should have 'nice numbers' this season, according to offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi.

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Williams has always had the talent but he's yet to put it all together in the NFL. Perhaps that happens this season, and working with QB Justin Herbert all offseason should help. Williams is a WR4 with upside for Fantasy GMs in 2021.

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6. NYJ - WR Corey Davis misses practice

Source: ESPN.com - Rich Cimini

New York Jets WR Corey Davis (shoulder) was on the field during practice Wednesday, June 2, but did not participate in any drills.

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Davis suffered a minor shoulder injury last week but is said to be okay with rest. The oft-injured former first-round pick has played just one full season in the NFL. Now with his new team, hopefully Davis can get healthy, stay healthy and produce at the expected level.

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7. DAL - RB Tony Pollard getting WR reps

Source: NFL.com - Kevin Patra

Dallas Cowboys RB Tony Pollard has been getting reps at wide receiver during the team's OTAs, head coach Mike McCarhy said Thursday, June 3.

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Pollard can play both positions although he's listed as a running back. He has had 60 targets over the last two years playing as a reserve behind Ezekiel Elliott. The Cowboys are absolutely stacked at the wide receiver position, so we'll see Pollard try to mix into the backfield and perhaps in the slot sometimes.

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8. SF - Brandon Aiyuk nursing groin injury

Source: The Athletic - Matt Barrows

San Francisco 49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk (groin) missed practice with a mild groin strain Wednesday, June 2.

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Aiyuk showed off his first-round skill set last year as a rookie. His run-after-the-catch ability is among the best in the league, and he's an exciting player for the 49ers offense. The team will be careful with him as he deals with this groin injury. Aiyuk has a current ADP of WR24 (5.10) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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9. PHI - RB Kerryon Johnson restructured deal

Source: NBC Sports Philadelphia - Dave Zangaro

Philadelphia Eagles RB Kerryon Johnson agreed to a restructured contract that will pay him the veteran minimum of $920,000 with a matching cap hit in 2021, according to a league source.

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Johnson is getting a second chance in the league to prove himself. The 43rd overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft by the Lions, Johnson struggled to stay healthy and impress. The Lions waived him this offseason and the Eagles scooped him up. He'll compete with Jordan Howard, Boston Scott, and rookie Kenneth Gainwell for snaps behind Miles Sanders.

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10. DET - No timetable on adding RB Todd Gurley

Source: Around The NFL

Free agent RB Todd Gurley (Falcons) remains of interest to the Detroit Lions after visiting with the team May 27, but head coach Dan Campbell said Thursday, June 3, that there's no deadline to sign him. 'But I would say this: Just because we have interest in him, that does not affect our feeling and our thoughts on both (RBs D'Andre) Swift and Jamaal (Williams),' Campbell said.

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The Lions are just updating their emergency list with this interest in Gurley. He's not the same back he used to be but could give some team veteran depth. The Lions have Swift as their top back and Williams is capable of playing on three downs and getting a large role if called upon. There's not many touches there for Gurley if everybody's healthy in the Lions backfield.

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11. SF - Jevon Cottoy to work out

Source: NFL Network - Tom Pelissero

Free-agent WR/TE Jevon Cottoy (CFL) is scheduled to work out for the San Francisco 49ers next week, according to a source.

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Cottoy is a big-bodied target who can make difficult grabs. He's show 'my ball' mentality and body control near the sidelines during his time in the CFL. Cottoy has a large wingspan and can gather in passes that are just a bit off the mark. He's not overly fast, but at the tight end position he could create mismatches. We'll see if he can impress the 49ers enough to earn a spot for training camp.

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12. JAX - WR Pharoh Cooper to Jaguars

Source: Jaguars.com

Free-agent WR Pharoh Cooper (Panthers) agreed to an undisclosed deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars Thursday, June 3. WR Terry Godwin (undisclosed) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list.

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Cooper earned All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors back in 2017 when he was with the Rams. He's mainly a special teams player who can stand out as a return man. Last year with the Panthers, Cooper only caught five passes for 73 yards. He'll work as a return man/special teams player for the Jaguars.

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13. PHI - DeVonta Smith comes to terms

Source: NFL Network - Tom Pelissero

Philadelphia Eagles WR DeVonta Smith on Thursday, June 3, agreed to terms on his rookie contract, according to a league source. Financial details weren't immediately available.

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Smith's game is all about speed, and he's drawn some comparisons to former Colts great Marvin Harrison because of his playmaking ability. During his college career at Alabama, Smith split time between playing out wide and playing the slot. Smith can take the top off the defense and he tracks the ball well downfield. We'll see what kind of progress QB Jalen Hurts makes as a passer, and that question mark does make it difficult to forecast Smith's numbers. He's got a current ADP of WR55 (12.01) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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14. SF - Niners missing a few receivers

Source: The Athletic - Matt Barrows

San Francisco 49ers WR Jalen Hurd (knee), WR Travis Benjamin (calf) and WR Richie James (hamstring) did not practice Wednesday, June 2, but they are expected to be ready for the start of training camp.

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All of the receivers listed have battled with injuries during their pro careers. The 49ers have a cramped wide receivers room, so there's a chance that only one of these guys makes the 53-man roster. They need to get healthy ASAP and win a job.

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15. BAL - Devin Gray signing with Baltimore

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

Free-agent WR Devin Gray (Falcons) is signing a one-year contract Thursday, June 3, with the Baltimore Ravens, according to a source.

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Gray was undrafted out of Cincinnati back in 2018. He's made some tough catches in the preseason for the Falcons, and now tries to make the Ravens as a reserve player after a stint in The Spring League. Gray is a long shot to make the 53-man roster.

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16. CHI - QB Nick Foles third in the pecking order

Source: ESPN.com - Jeff Dickerson

Chicago Bears QB Nick Foles will be the No. 3 quarterback behind QB Andy Dalton and QB Justin Fields, according to head coach Matt Nagy.

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No surprise here. Fields was the 2021 first-round pick and the Bears are hoping he can be the franchise quarterback they've been looking for. He will compete with Dalton, who the team brought in via free agency, to be the starter this season. Foles is there to hold a clipboard and has a cap hit of $10.6 million...with $7.6 million in dead money.

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That'll do it for today, Folks. Thanks for reading and thanks for being part of the Footballguys Family. Be thinking about what you're going to get your Dad (or yourself!) for Father's Day and I hope you'll think about a Footballguys Premium Subscription.

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

Peace,

J