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Footballguys #73 - 7/1 - Ezekiel Elliott To Meet With Commissioner, Plus News And Notes And MORE

Volume 21, #73 -- Monday Night, July 1st, 2019

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Howdy Folks,

Good Tuesday to you. We've got the News and Notes you need plus three great new articles.

Let's go.

J

SITE NEWS

A. Pick-a-Player: Chris Godwin, Calvin Ridley, or Sammy Watkins
Footballguys staff and our friends on Facebook answer a dilemma at the 5.09 spot.

B. Is Andrew Luck Primed for Another Top-Five Finish?
Our Daniel Simpkins with a detailed look at Andrew Luck's fantasy prospects for 2019.

C. Why Jared Cook Looks Overvalued for 2019
Our Justin Howe with a detailed look at Jared Cook's fantasy prospects for 2019.


1. DAL - RB Ezekiel Elliott to meet with commissioner

Source: ESPNDallas.com - Todd Archer

Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott is scheduled to meet with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell Tuesday, July 2, to discuss an off-field incident he had in May, according to a source. Elliott was detained during the incident but was not arrested.

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Elliott could get a game or two off as a reminder that he is a previous offender under the league conduct policy even though this incident would not have been a big deal if a player without a previous suspension was involved. It would probably drop him to the bottom of the elite running back tier, but not out of the top five players overall.

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2. PIT - RB James Conner expecting similar workload

Source: NFL.com - Kevin Patra

Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner notes that while 'no deep discussion' on his role for the 2019 season has taken place, he is expecting a workload similar to the one he had last season when carry the ball 215 times and recorded 55 catches in 13 games.'First and foremost, I'm 100 percent healthy now. We'll cross that bridge (in regards to how heavy his workload will be) when we get there. ... The game plan will be different each week. I know I'll be a big part of it and have a big role. As far as specifics, we don't play it like that,' Conner said.

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That Conner broke down under that workload shouldn't be lost on the Steelers and they added a between the tackles back they love in the fourth round this year who should help spell Conner. Jaylen Samuels was also very effective after Conner went out, so Conner shouldn't get worked quite as hard this year. That doesn't mean he won't deliver on ADP as the Steelers offense has been very good at creating strong value in the lead running back.

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3. BUF - WR John Brown is favorite target of QB

Source: BuffaloBills.com - Nate Mendelson

Buffalo Bills WR John Brown quickly became a frequent target of QB Josh Allen during offseason practices, and he even received an endorsement from former NFL QB Carson Palmer to be a No. 1 wide receiver.

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Brown is the most advanced receiver and he has the deep speed to harness Allen's arm strength. He's the Bills receiver to target in the late rounds until further notice.

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4. BUF - QB Josh Allen impresses in offseason

Source: BuffaloBills.com - Nate Mendelson

Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen enters training camp as the unquestioned starter under center. He impressed his teammates with the deep ball during organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp. Allen spent more time looking to use him arm and less time scrambling.

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If Allen can develop more as a passer, the offense could take a big step forward even though it may limit his weekly fantasy upside. He could support 1-2 wide receiver to fantasy relevance, although the Bills have four viable targets and the identity of those receivers could change week to week.

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5. TB - RB Peyton Barber still the man?

Source: The Athletic - Greg Auman

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Peyton Barber is 'certainly likely' to lead the team in rushing, according to Greg Auman of The Athletic.

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The Bucs rushing game hasn't exactly been fertile fantasy soil lately, and all signs point to Ronald Jones getting more work this year even though Barber may stay atop the depth chart. If anyone is going to greatly overachieve ADP this year in this backfield, it's Jones, but the more likely correct answer is probably none of the above.

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6. NFL - Marcus Simms works out for teams

Source: DraftAnalyst.com - Tony Pauline

West Virginia WR Marcus Simms measured 5-foot-11 3/4, 188 pounds at his workout in front of 16 NFL teams Monday, July 1. He was clocked at 4.49 seconds, 4.45 seconds and 4.40 seconds in the 40-yard dash. He also recorded a 36-inch vertical jump and a broad jump of 10-foot-2 1/2 broad jump.

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Simms has good acceleration and could get some consideration in the late rounds of the supplemental draft. Teams will get the benefit of having a player in the building a year before the pick would have gone on the clock if they decide to take Simms.

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7. SF - TE George Kittle targeted heavily in the slot

Source: Pro Football Focus

San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle was targeted on 24.4 percent of his snaps in the slot - fifth among tight ends with at least 70 snaps in the slot - according to Pro Football Focus.

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The 49ers slot receiver job is going to be divided up between Trent Taylor, second-round pick Deebo Samuel and maybe even Richie James, along with Kittle. This might make it difficult for Samuel to have a big first year impact.

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8. DEN - WR Emmanuel Sanders aiming for Week 1

Source: The Denver Post - Nicki Jhabvala

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (Achilles') feels Week 1 is a realistic return date, and that he can return to Pro Bowl form.

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Sanders is by far the most experienced receiver on the Broncos roster, so that should help him establish quick chemistry with new quarterback Joe Flacco. He still need to get some practice time in this summer to accomplish that, so we'll be watching this. If Sanders can be ready for Week 1, he should be the most valuable Broncos receiver as long as he's healthy.

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9. IND - WR Deon Cain has fans in Indy

Source: 1070 The Fan - Kevin Bowen

Indianapolis Colts WR Deon Cain has excited the Colts' brass with his talent. 'You guys know we were very excited about what Deon showed, how quickly he picked things up and the playmaking ability that he showed,' head coach Frank Reich.

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Cain might have been on his way to starting last year before his ACL tear. He might not be ready for the season and the Colts can bring him along slowly with Devin Funchess in tow on a one-year deal. With a good 2019 Cain could be plugged in as a starter in three wide sets in 2020.

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10. NYJ - TE Chris Herndon in line to start

Source: NJ Advance Media - Matt Stypulkoski

New York Jets TE Chris Herndon is pegged to open the season as the starter at tight end. Head coach Adam Gase referred to Herndon as a 'unicorn' with his rare combination of talents.

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Herndon made a big splash as a rookie tight end and could trade off big weeks with a good trio of wide receivers. Gase did try to make Mike Gesicki a better blocker last year instead of focusing on his receiving talents, so hopefully he doesn't have similar designs for his usage of Herndon.

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11. CIN - CIN buying in on QB Zac Taylor

Source: NFL.com - Grant Gordon

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard said the team is buying in to head coach Zac Taylor's plan. 'Just getting accustomed to the new playbook and accustomed to the change,' Bernard said. 'Everybody is really trying to understand how coach Taylor wants this team to be (run.) I think everybody is really buying in.'

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The offense should be better this year, although losing first-round pick Jonah Williams, who was slated to be the left tackle, is a big blow. Taylor will bring over ideas from the successes of the Rams, who have a similar group of skill players to the Bengals and a quarterback who is a good extension of the coach on the field.

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12. JAX - No progress on DE Yannick Ngakoue

Source: The Florida Times-Union - Gene Frenette

Jacksonville Jaguars DE Yannick Ngakoue hasn't made much progress in extension talks, and there's no indication the two sides are talking.

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Ngakoue provides a very valuable service as a pass rusher, but he doesn't add value elsewhere. He'll still get a contract near the top of the market and the Jaguars don't appear to be willing to pay that.

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13. BUF - ILB Tremaine Edmunds calling plays on defense

Source: BuffaloBills.com - Nate Mendelson

Buffalo Bills LB Tremaine Edmunds assumed the defensive play-calling responsibilities from the very first offseason practice.

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Edmunds is one of the most valuable IDP linebackers in dynasty leagues and his profile is only going up. The Bills might have gotten their signature players on each side of the ball in last year's first round. Edmunds falling into their lap makes up for some of the extra draft capital they spent to move up for Allen.

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14. BUF - Trio battling for starting CB job

Source: BuffaloBills.com - Nate Mendelson

Buffalo Bills CBs E.J. Gaines, Kevin Johnson and Levi Wallace are jockeying fort he No. 2 cornerback job opposite CB Tre'Davious White, and the trio did little to get a leg up during organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp.

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Johnson is a former first round who is playing for his former position coach. He has the highest ceiling of the three, but this will still remain a spot that opposing quarterbacks target frequently no matter who wins it.

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15. BUF - RB Devin Singletary worked with first team

Source: BuffaloBills.com - Nate Mendelson

Buffalo Bills RB Devin Singletary split first-team reps with RBs Frank Gore and LeSean McCoy during organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp. The competition for snaps should heat up heading into training camp and the preseason.

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There has been a lot of speculation about the Bills cutting LeSean McCoy and his six plus million dollar price tag before the season, and this item won't cool down that buzz. It's still likely that the Bills backfield won't create one back with consistent weekly value.

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16. NO - WR Cameron Meredith on bubble?

Source: The Athletic - Larry Holder

New Orleans Saints WR Cameron Meredith (knee) will need to prove his healthy during training camp if he wants to make the 53-man roster, according to Larry Holder of The Athletic, and Holder believes the Saints 'can't wait' on Meredith much longer.

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Meredith hasn't been able to get back his pre-injury form since his 2017 ACL tear. Ryan Pace and the Bears appear to have made the right move not matching the two year, $9 million restricted free agent contract the Saints gave him last year. He has since taken a deep pay cut on this year's salary to avoid release.

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17. NO - RB Javorius Allen's spot in jeopardy?

Source: The Athletic - Larry Holder

New Orleans Saints RB Javorius Allen isn't likely to make the 53-man roster, according to Larry Holder of The Athletic.

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Allen is a merely serviceable back, and with more youngsters coming into the league every year, what he offers isn't in demand. He could still matter if injuries push him into a role in a good offense, so getting this familiarity with the Saints could be important later in the season if injuries strike, even if he doesn't make the team initially.

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18. TEN - PK Ryan Succop dealing with injury

Source: TitansOnline.com - Jim Wyatt

Tennessee Titans PK Ryan Succop (undisclosed) did not participate in minicamp.

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Kickers mechanics are finicky and can get thrown off by injuries. If Succop isn't healthy in camp, the Titans could look elsewhere for a kicker to begin the season. He has been average after signing a long term deal, so the team could move on from him eventually with a 3.4 million dollar price tag this year than only goes up over the last two years of his contract that expires in 2021.

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19. TB - WR Scott Miller shows off range

Source: Buccaneers.com - Carmen Vitali

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Scott Miller 'lined up all over the field' during minicamp and made catches in traffic, according to Carmen Vitali of Buccaneers.com, and Vitali believes Miller could absorb some of the workload that Tennessee Titans WR Adam Humphries handled last season.

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Breshad Perriman has been hurt a lot during his career and was already sidelined during the spring. If Perriman misses time, Miller could be first in line for deep ball targets. He's a name to remember in the late rounds of dynasty drafts and on waiver wire watch lists.

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20. CHI - QB Mitchell Trubisky comfortable, confident

Source: The News-Herald - John Kampf

Chicago Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky said he feels more comfortable running head coach Matt Nagy's offense this season.

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Trubisky should be better in year two under Nagy and Nagy has said that his quarterback has gone from 101 to 202 and is doing things he couldn't do last year earlier in the offseason. The Bears offense had a good first year under Nagy until Trubisky got hurt and the whole unit could take a step forward.

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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