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Footballguys #82 - 7/10 - Offensive Line Rankings, Aaron Jones Forecast, News And Notes And MORE

Volume 21, #82 -- Wednesday Night, July 10th, 2019

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Howdy Folks,

Good Thursday to you. We've got a load of new articles for you plus the News and Notes you need.

Let's go.

J

SITE NEWS

A. Offensive Line Rankings and Notes: Pre-Training Camp Edition
Serious fantasy GMs know the offensive line can be a key to the offense as a whole. Our Matt Bitonti with offensive line initial rankings and brief notes, prior to the start of training camp.

B. Why You Should be Jonesing for Aaron Jones
Our Dwain McFarland with a deep dive into the range of outcomes for Aaron Jones in the Packers' new offense.

C. Quality Starts: Running Backs
Our Jeff Pasquino takes the concept of Quality Starts and applies it to 2018 for Running Backs using standard scoring.

D. Quality Starts: Running Backs - PPR Scoring
Our Jeff Pasquino takes the concept of Quality Starts and applies it to 2018 for Running Backs using PPR scoring.


1. OAK - RB Josh Jacobs may not be three-down back

Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal - Michael Gehlken

Oakland Raiders RB Josh Jacobs is expected to lead the team in carries this season but may not be on the field for all three downs even though the team believes he can handle the role.

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Gehlken is one of the best beat writers out there, so let's keep track of Jacobs' usage as a receiver during the preseason. He's a low-end RB2 with upside for Fantasy GMs this year, even if he's not used as much as a receiver. Jacobs has the talent, hands and concentration...plus, he could even line up out of the backfield if asked. Maybe the Raiders want to get Jalen Richard some touches here and there.

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2. LAR - RB Todd Gurley not changing style

Source: NFL Network - Omar Ruiz

Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley (knee) said he does not plan to change his playing style even though he has been dealing with knee issues.

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That's cool, but let's see if he can hold up. Reports this offseason have speculated the Rams want to manage Gurley's workload better, leading Fantasy GMs to let the superstar back fall to the first-round/second-round turn in fantasy drafts. He won't be used in the preseason (per GM Les Snead), so expect his ADP to stay in the same area for those of you drafting in late August.

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3. LAR - RB Todd Gurley happy with time off

Source: Sirius XM NFL Radio

Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley (knee) believes sitting out organized team activities and spring workouts was good for him and 'everything went well.'

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Gurley's knee trouble has caused his fantasy stock to drop. Fantasy GMs are concerned about his availability, especially late in the season (see 2018). Gurley is likely to be available at the first turn in your fantasy draft, so be ready to make a decision on how much you trust him and that knee. Gurley has a current ADP of RB11 (2.06) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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4. KC - RB Damien Williams being asked to carry the load

Source: Chiefs.com - B.J. Kissel

Kansas City Chiefs RB Damien Williams has 'taken the challenge' and 'earned the right to be (the full-time starter),' according to head coach Andy Reid.

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Williams is the lead back but the team does have Carlos Hyde to push him. One could make the argument that Hyde has more natural talent than Williams, but right now it's Williams who sits atop the depth chart. Williams is capable of being featured as a runner or receiver out of the backfield. He's not as dynamic as other starters in the league, but he's on one of the best offenses out there and is a low-end RB1 with upside for Fantasy GMs in 2019. Williams has a current ADP of RB12 (2.09) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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5. DEN - WR DaeSean Hamilton likely to be No. 3 WR

Source: 9News.com - Mike Klis

Denver Broncos WR DaeSean Hamilton is expected to be the No. 3 receiver for the Broncos this season and will be used mostly as a slot receiver.

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Hamilton didn't impress as a rookie in 2018. He's a refined route runner and can get open against tight coverage, but at times he looked lost as a rookie and Hamilton dealt with injuries towards the end of the season. The Broncos hope the future of the WR corps is Courtland Sutton as the No. 1 and Hamilton as the eventual No. 2 receiver...likely if/when Emmanuel Sanders moves on in 2020.

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6. JAX - Marcus Simms to join Jaguars

Source: NFL Network - Tom Pelissero

Undrafted free-agent WR Marcus Simms (West Virginia) plans to sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars Thursday, July 11, according to a source.

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Simms went undrafted in the Supplemental Draft on Wednesday but quickly finds a home with the Jaguars. Scouts loved his natural talent, but there were some character concerns according to reports that kept him from getting selected. No matter now as he's with a team...Simms now just needs to earn a spot on the 53-man roster or the practice squad in training camp. He's a good vertical threat who can work as a return man as well. Simms had 46 catches for 699 yards and two touchdowns last season for the Mountaineers.

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7. NE - RB Sony Michel hopes to be ready for camp

Source: NFL Network - Omar Ruiz

New England Patriots RB Sony Michel (knee) said he hopes to be ready for the start of training camp.

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Michel's status is one to watch closely in camp, mainly because the Patriots added a quality rookie in Alabama RB Damien Harris in the third round of the 2019 NFL draft. If Michel were to miss time, Harris has the type of ability to take over in the backfield. Michel has been running at 'full tilt' after recovering from offseason arthroscopic knee surgery, according to multiple reports.

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8. ARI - Jalen Thompson taken by Cards

Source: ESPN - Adam Schefter

Washington State S Jalen Thompson was selected by the Arizona Cardinals in the fifth round of the NFL supplemental draft Wednesday, July 10.

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Thompson was the only player selected in Wednesday's Supplemental Draft, and he was getting a lot of buzz after he declared. He's smaller (5'10" 186 pounds) for a safety, but Thompson is smart and always around the ball. Thompson excels in coverage and can stay down the field on seam routes or keep up with receivers on underneath routes.

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9. MIA - WR Preston Williams competing for spot

Source: The Miami Herald - Barry Jackson

Miami Dolphins WR Preston Williams, an undrafted rookie, will compete with WRs Brice Butler, Isaiah Ford, Trenton Irwin and Reece Horn for the fifth and sixth receiver spots. Williams has been working out with WR Brandon Marshall.

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Williams is a talented player who largely went undrafted due to character concerns. If he keeps his focus on the field, Williams could earn a spot on the 53-man roster...or at the very least a practice squad. During his college career at Colorado State (Tennessee transfer), Williams showed dominance with his 6'4" 200 pound frame. He can win contested catches with his size and does a good job of making difficult catches seem routine. Williams needs polish as a route runner and more attention to detail if he wants to make it big in the pros. We'll monitor him in deep dynasty formats.

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10. NYJ - QB Davis Webb ascends up depth chart

Source: The Athletic - Connor Hughes

New York Jets QB Davis Webb usurped QB Trevor Siemian as the primary backup on the depth chart in the latter stages of organized team activities.

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Siemian has always been 'just a guy' (sorry Broncos fans) but this is a bad sign. The veteran moved on from backing up Kirk Cousins with the Vikings to be a veteran backup for Sam Darnold in 2019. Who knows if the Jets will want to keep Siemian as a No. 3 quarterback if Webb beats him out for the backup job.

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11. CLE - WR Rashard Higgins has rapport with QB

Source: 1 No Source

Cleveland Browns WR Rashard Higgins grew a rapport with QB Baker Mayfield on the second-team offense early last season, and Mayfield leaned on Higgins when things broke down in the pocket. The Browns plan to use four-wide receiver sets often this year. Higgins received 43 percent of his targets more than 15 yards in the air last year, according to Sharp Analysis. He caught 17 of 23 targets for 390 yards and three touchdowns. Higgins isn't a speed receiver, but he finds ways to get down the field.

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Higgins has nuance as a route runner, good hands and the concentration to make tough catches near the sideline or the back of the end zone. Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry will get a bulk of the targets with the Browns in 2019, but remember Higgins in deep dynasty formats or if you're looking for a cheap DFS play in a good matchup.

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12. OAK - RB Josh Jacobs deal guaranteed

Source: NFL Network - Tom Pelissero

Updating previous reports, Oakland Raiders RB Josh Jacobs' four-year deal was fully guaranteed, which means the top 24 draft picks in the NFL draft signed fully guaranteed deals.

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The two sides were working on something to get Jacobs on the books before the start of training camp. They get it done and now Jacobs likely begins the season as the top back on a revamped Raiders offense. He's a RB2 with upside for Fantasy GMs in 2019.

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13. PHI - Nate Sudfeld a lock

Source: NJ.com - Mike Kaye

Philadelphia Eagles QB Nate Sudfeld is a 'lock' to make the team despite an 'up and down' offseason, according to NJ.com's Mike Kaye, who adds that QB Cody Kessler would likely need a major injury to Sudfeld or QB Clayton Thorson to land a spot on the 53-man roster.

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The Eagles don't really have any competition for Sudfeld. He's a tall pocket passer who was a sixth-round pick for Washington in the 2016 NFL draft. The Eagles swiftly stole him via waivers when Washington wanted to get him on their practice squad and he's been developing behind Carson Wentz and Nick Foles ever since. Now, Foles is gone and Sudfeld looks to be a lock for the No. 2 job. Sudfeld sees the field well and has a strong arm to make any throw required in the NFL. We like his stock in dynasty formats, and there's a chance we see him this year in the starting lineup if Wentz continues to struggle with the injury bug.

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14. CAR - QB Taylor Heinicke leading QB2 race

Source: Charlotte Observer - Brendan Marks

Carolina Panthers QB Taylor Heinicke was more impressive than QBs Will Grier and Kyle Allen this spring, according to the Charlotte Observer's Brendan Marks, who predicts Heinicke will open the 2019 season as the backup with Grier in the third spot. Marks believes the team will try to stash Allen on the practice squad, but other teams could be interested.

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Heinicke has always had talent as a passer, mostly his touch and accuracy on short-to-intermediate throws. We don't think he holds off the rookie Grier for that long, and we'll be watching both closely in the preseason. Grier is a player we have a lot of appreciation for in dynasty formats. Heinicke has backup written all over him, while Grier has the upside to one day be a starter (and maybe a good one) in the future.

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15. OAK - QB Derek Carr entering critical season

Source: ESPN.com - Dan Graziano

Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr is signed through 2022, but he has no more guaranteed money on his contract beyond this season, according to ESPN's Dan Graziano. While Carr would be guaranteed $2.9 million of his $18.9 million salary for the 2020 season if he's still on the roster a week after Super Bowl LIV, he would be owed nothing if he were released before then.

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The Raiders went out of their way this offseason to put much better weapons around Carr this year. Just acquiring Antonio Brown via trade should help elevate Carr's game. Add in guys like Tyrell Williams and rookie RB Josh Jacobs and you can see how the Raiders offense should be much improved in 2019. With three first-round picks in the 2019 NFL draft, the Raiders did not choose a quarterback. They have given Carr a vote of confidence, and now he needs to produce. Carr could easily outperform his current ADP of QB23 (14.03) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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16. DEN - WR Juwann Winfree expected to make the cut

Source: 9News.com - Mike Klis

Denver Broncos WR Juwann Winfree has the inside track on making the 53-man roster, in the opinion of 9News' Mike Klis, who writes 'it would be a surprise' if Winfree doesn't make the team.

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Winfree is likely to make the Broncos as a No. 5 receiver on the depth chart behind Courtland Sutton, Emmanuel Sanders, DaeSean Hamilton and Tim Patrick. A sixth-round pick out of the University of Colorado, Winfree is known for his explosive playmaking ability. He can toy with defenders after the catch but needs to hone his skill as a route-runner if he wants to make it big in the pros. We'll monitor him in deep dynasty formats.

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17. OAK - RB Josh Jacobs puts pen to paper

Source: Raiders.com

Oakland Raiders first-round RB Josh Jacobs (Alabama) signed his four-year rookie contract with the team Tuesday, July 9. The deal includes a fifth-year team option. Financial terms of the contract were not immediately disclosed.

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Jacobs should be the lead back for the Raiders this year. During his college career at Alabama, Jacobs did split time/touches with Damien Harris although he was a larger presence in their offense in 2018. Jacobs is a patient runner who has the proper footwork to avoid trash near the line of scrimmage. He's known for a strong work ethic and big heart. Jacobs has a current ADP of RB20 (3.12) in 12-team PPR leagues.

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18. PHI - RB Miles Sanders expects shared workload

Source: ProFootballTalk.com - Charean Williams

Philadelphia Eagles RB Miles Sanders expects plenty of competition at his position in training camp and for the ball to 'spread out a lot' between Jordan Howard, Corey Clement, Wendell Smallwood and himself, according to comments he made during an interview Tuesday, July 9, on the NFL Network.'It's definitely going to be competitive. That's what I like about rooms like this. It was like this at Penn State. It was a very talented running back room. But I'm just used to that stuff - competing and making each other better. Nobody's really going to be the star running back, I think. I think the ball's going to be spread out a lot, and that's what I kind of like, too,' Sanders said.

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The rookie is on the right track here. Sanders should be the satellite back behind starter (and classic power back) Jordan Howard. The rest of the players like Clement and Smallwood in the backfield could get into the reserve mix as well. Sanders has missed time this offseason recovering from a hamstring injury. We'll see if he can impress in training camp.

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19. ARI - WR Kevin White excited to 'revive' career

Source: The Arizona Republic - Bob McManaman

Arizona Cardinals WR Kevin White thinks he can get his career back on track in Arizona after playing just 14 games over four years since being selected with the No. 7 pick of the 2015 draft by the Chicago Bears. 'Oh, man. This could revive my career,' White said. ' ... The fans haven't seen Kevin White yet. I think, God-willing, they'll be able to see it this year under this offense and this coaching staff and this organization.'

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White has his work cut out for him, largely due to the talented trio of rookie WRs the Cardinals added this offseason. They've got Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk at the top of the depth chart, but rookie Hakeem Butler, Andy Isabella and Keesean Johnson are all likely ahead of White. A first-round pick for the Bears in the 2015 NFL draft, not only has White never played a full season but he's never played 16 games in his four-year career.

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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