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Footballguys #63 - 6/21 - News And Notes From Around The League

Volume 21, #63 -- Friday Night, June 21st, 2019

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Howdy Folks,

Good Saturday to you. We've got the News and Notes you need so let's get to it.

J


1. WAS - QB Alex Smith hopes to play again

Source: FOX 5 DC - Angie Goff

Washington Redskins QB Alex Smith (leg) said he hopes to play football again, but he has more steps to conquer before that. Smith talked about an external fixator that came from Siberia that will 'save my leg, help me heal, allow me to walk again and hopefully play football again.'

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This sounds even more pessimistic than what we heard in the offseason to date. If Smith's leg needed to be "saved" and his walking again was in question, football is far far away.

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2. TEN - WR Corey Davis still improving

Source: TitansOnline.com - Jim Wyatt

Tennessee Titans WR Corey Davis spent the offseason working on his body control, and Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com said Davis was going up to make catches in traffic on a regular basis during spring practices.

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Davis could be a year three breakout receiver, but he needs Marcus Mariota to play well and stay healthy to be a profitable pick. His ADP more than reflects pessimism after a 2018 campaign with some of the least efficient targets and the addition of Adam Humphries and AJ Brown this offseason.

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3. MIA - RB Kenyan Drake prepping for big year

Source: MiamiDolphins.com - Alain Poupart

Miami Dolphins RB Kenyan Drake said he has focused on following a routine this offseason to ensure that he maximizes his potential. 'I think that's the most important thing and aspect that any professional at any given level continues to kind of develop,' Drake said. 'When you get that routine down, everything else kind of falls into place from there.'

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Drake has a chance to see a big workload increase under the new staff. Kalen Ballage's development is a wild card here and Brian Flores and Chad O'Shea saw what he could do in a Patriots loss to Miami in 2017 when Drake had 193 total yards on 30 touches. He could pay off big on a modest ADP.

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4. MIA - TE Mike Gesicki figuring things out

Source: The Athletic - Chris Perkins

Miami Dolphins TE Mike Gesicki said he feels more comfortable entering his second season and has been able to adjust quicker on the field.

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Gesicki won't be miscast as a blocker under Brian Flores and new offensive coordinator Chad O'Shea. He's a potential tight end streamer and might be more if he has good chemistry with Ryan Fitzpatrick. Albert WIlson is coming back from a hip injury and Jakeem Grant an achilles injury, so Gesicki could be a prominent target.

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5. OAK - TE Darren Waller enjoyed stellar spring

Source: NBC Sports Bay Area - Scott Bair

Oakland Raiders TE Darren Waller was 'one of our most impressive players (since he joined the team off the Baltimore Ravens' practice squad late last season),' according to head coach Jon Gruden.'When you put the pads on three, four, five days in a row up in Napa, I think that will be a better indication. He's got a lot to prove. He's a young player who is a converted wide receiver; don't forget that. He's not been brought up as a tight end, but he has made a lot of progress. ... He's got some big shoes to fill, I know he respects that, but he's versatile, he's smart, he's fast. He wants to do good, he's a great kid,' Gruden said.

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Waller was a size/speed receiver at Georgia Tech in a long line that included Calvin Johnson and Demaryius Thomas. He has had suspensions and a position change, but could be relevant at a position with only a few reliable options. We'll be watching him in training camp.

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6. NO - WR Michael Thomas talks improving

Source: The Times-Picayune - Jeff Duncan

Updating previous reports, New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas' asking price has come down to $22 million per year, while the Saints are sitting at $18 million per year. Thomas is in Europe, and nothing is imminent.

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Thomas has earned the right to set his price. The Saints should find a way to get this done with little else established in their long term wide receiver corps right now.

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7. DAL - WR Michael Gallup expecting big plays

Source: DallasCowboys.com - Nick Eatman

Dallas Cowboys WR Michael Gallup believes improved chemistry with QB Dak Prescott will result in consistent big plays down the field. 'I think we've got a better feel for each other and where I'm going to be and everything,' Gallup said. 'I'm pretty excited about that part.'

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Gallup should take a step forward this year, and the rest of the offense could too, but he still has a high bar to fantasy relevance with Randall Cobb and Jason Witten added to the offense this offseason. He has growth potential, but this won't be a top performing pass offense.

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8. TB - Tampa Bay parts with Shaun Wilson

Source: The Athletic - Greg Auman

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Shaun Wilson was waived Friday, June 21.

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Andre Ellington survived a running back release in Tampa. He could be kept around due to his previous service for Bruce Arians and get some passing down work.

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9. PHI - Brandon Brooks making strides

Source: 1 No Source

Philadelphia Eagles OG Brandon Brooks (Achilles) posted a video on social media of him running and another of him simulating an offensive line drill Friday, June 21.

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Brooks is a very underrated player on an elite offensive line. If he is good to go for the start of the season, that should improve the outlook of Jordan Howard and the Eagles running game.

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10. PIT - RB Jaylen Samuels working on speed

Source: ESPN.com - Jeremy Fowler

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Jaylen Samuels has focused on improving his speed this offseason and believes he has done that, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.

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Samuels should be used more in two-back backfields and as a tight end/H-back if the Steelers offense is evolving. He's an intriguing pick later in PPR leagues with his unique skillset and James Conner injury upside - albeit dampened by fourth round pick Benny Snell joining the running back room.

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11. CHI - WR Allen Robinson led offense in 2018

Source: Pro Football Focus

Chicago Bears WR Allen Robinson was the team's highest-graded offensive player in 2018 at 77.7, according to Pro Football Focus.

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Robinson should be even better this year, and Mitchell Trubisky and the offense should improve too. Robinson was once an elite fantasy receiver with Blake Bortles and he is still in his prime. He seems undervalued at a mid-round ADP.

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12. WAS - WR Trey Quinn to start in slot

Source: NBC Sports Washington - JP Finlay

Washington Redskins WR Trey Quinn has 'taken over the inside slot role,' according to head coach Jay Gruden.

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Quinn could (should?) lead this team in targets and receptions if he stays healthy. That's worth a look in best ball and redraft PPR leagues late in your draft.

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13. TEN - RB David Fluellen bulks up

Source: TitansOnline.com - Jim Wyatt

Tennessee Titans RB David Fluellen added about 16 pounds since the end of last season and is expected to see some time at fullback in addition to his other duties.

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Fluellen will be trying to ward off workout wonder Alex Barnes, who signed with the team as a UDFA. Ultra deep dynasty league players should be watching for Barnes, who has some James Conner flashes in his game.

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14. JAX - DJ Chark meshing with QB

Source: The Athletic - Daniel Popper

Jacksonville Jaguars WR DJ Chark has been in rhythm with QB Nick Foles during spring practices, according to Daniel Popper of The Athletic.

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Chris Conley has gotten the most buzz of the Jags receivers, but Chark is worth monitoring for the possibility of a year two leap. Keelan Cole could also have a chance for redemption. This pass offense will likely only support one reliable receiver with Nick Foles, and Dede Westbrook is the best candidate, but the others deserve monitoring this summer.

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15. JAX - RB Benny Cunningham on track for spot

Source: The Athletic - Daniel Popper

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Benny Cunningham's pass-catching ability gives him a good chance to make the 53-man roster, in the opinion of Daniel Popper of The Athletic.

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Cunningham could play the TJ Yeldon role from last year, or at least the passing down part of it. He's still only a marginal back in a nondescript group of backups.

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16. SF - Groin injury for Deebo Samuel

Source: ABC Columbia - Mike Gillespie

San Francisco 49ers WR Deebo Samuel (groin) has been dealing with a 'tweaked groin' during spring practices, according to head coach Kyle Shanahan.

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Samuel is being cast as a slot receiver in this offense, which also has Trent Taylor in that role. Dante Pettis is easily the best wide receiver pick in drafts right now from this team, with Marquise Goodwin deserving a look at the end of your draft. Samuel will be an early season waiver wire watch player, but without a great camp/preseason, he shouldn't be drafted.

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17. SEA - John Ursua showing potential

Source: Hawaii News Now - David McCracken

Seattle Seahawks WR John Ursua (hamstring) impressed head coach Pete Carroll when he returned from a hamstring injury during minicamp. 'He started to feel comfortable and show us the kind of quicks and change-of-direction stuff that made him one of the big scorers in college football last year,' Carroll said. 'You can see it, he's got a real style to him. He's a slot guy, he really is that mold.'

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Ursua will probably never approach what Doug Baldwin did, but he is in a similar vein as a quicker than fast slot receiver. He should be monitored in deep dynasty leagues.

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18. TB - WR Breshad Perriman back in action

Source: The Athletic - Greg Auman

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Breshad Perriman (shoulder) was able to participate in mandatory minicamp.

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This is good news for a former first round pick who was just starting to put it together in Cleveland last year. He hasn't been able to stay healthy for long so hearing that he was sidelined earlier in the offseason was discouraging. Remember 2018 fifth-round pick Justin Watson and this year's sixth rounder Scott Miller, who is the type of light vertical receiver that Bruce Arians has done well with in the past. Any issue with Perriman would put one of them on the field in a high value role.

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19. MIA - WR Albert Wilson could miss start of camp

Source: The Miami Herald - Barry Jackson

Miami Dolphins WR Albert Wilson (hip) will be brought along slowly and may not be ready for the start of training camp.

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Wilson was more productive than the fantasy community remembers, but it sounds like his hip injury was more serious than let on or that he had a setback considering that there was a report in January that he was on schedule and could be ready for offseason activities. He could get on our waiver wire radar early in the season, but he's undraftable in redraft leagues right now and hanging on by a thread in dynasty. Devante Parker and Kenny Stills outlooks get brighter if Wilson isn't healthy to start camp and doesn't get back to full speed quickly.

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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