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Offseason Extra: Early Dynasty rankings for 2013

Senior Fantasy Writer
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This year's rookie class has lofty expectations based on how the 2012 crop of rookies performed. They were some of the best Fantasy options last season.

The Class of 2012 produced three Top 10 Fantasy quarterbacks (Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck), three Top 10 running backs (Doug Martin, Alfred Morris and Trent Richardson) and two Top 30 receivers (T.Y. Hilton and Justin Blackmon). So how will this class do?

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It's unfair to compare the talent level of last year's rookies to the 2013 group. There's no quarterback with the pedigree of Griffin, Luck or Wilson, and finding another Martin, Morris or Richardson could be impossible. But we still need rookies to improve our Fantasy rosters, especially in dynasty leagues.

Here is a Top 40 rookie rank list for owners in dynasty leagues or rookie-only drafts. For a full look at where the rookies rank for just 2013 you can use our seasonal rankings here, but we've also provided a projected Average Draft Position of where they could be selected in seasonal formats.

1. Tavon Austin, WR, Rams

Austin is the most skilled rookie in this draft class and could total 1,200 yards and seven touchdowns on a consistent basis. It's not often a receiver, especially a slot guy, is the best rookie in dynasty leagues, but Austin will be used in a variety of ways and also has the chance for 75-plus catches annually. His selection at No. 1 also speaks to the lack of talent at running back and quarterback from this class.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: 80-87 overall

2. Giovani Bernard, RB, Bengals

Bernard might not maximize his value as a rookie because BenJarvus Green-Ellis remains the starter and should get the majority of snaps. He'll also work at the goal line. But Bernard is more talented than Green-Ellis, and he should get plenty of chances to play right away, especially on passing downs. Moving forward, Bernard could emerge as a Top 20 Fantasy running back as early as 2014, but he has to stay healthy and prove he can be a frontline rusher.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: 74-80 overall

3. Le'Veon Bell, RB, Steelers

Bell should help Fantasy owners as a rookie because he can play on all three downs, and the Steelers have a lack of talent at running back in front of him with Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman as the main competition. The Steelers need Bell, and he should get close to 300 carries with a fair share of receptions. Bell also has plenty of upside to be Fantasy relevant for the next several years.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: 55-63 overall

4. Montee Ball, RB, Broncos

Assuming Willis McGahee is released as expected then Ball should start right away for the Broncos. We actually like Ball as the best rookie for the 2013 season, just ahead of Bell. Ball could get close to 1,500 total yards and double digits in touchdowns as the starting running back for a Peyton Manning offense. His problem is long-term because he had a lot of mileage in college at Wisconsin, which could catch up to him sooner rather than later.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: 55-63 overall

5. Eddie Lacy, RB, Packers

Lacy might be the most talented running back in this class, but a lengthy injury history has some people concerned. There's also the problem the Packers created for Fantasy owners by drafting Johnathan Franklin two rounds after they selected Lacy in Round 2. Still, Lacy will start on a prolific offense, and he could easily establish himself as a Fantasy star for several years. He just has to a.) stay healthy and b.) keep Franklin on the bench.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: 58-66 overall

6. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Texans

Hopkins has two things going for him this year and in the future. For starters, he should start right away opposite Andre Johnson, and he will get plenty of single coverage, which makes him a quality Fantasy option as a rookie. And long-term, he could be the eventual replacement for Johnson. He's definitely an upgrade over Kevin Walter, and the Texans have been looking for a second receiver for seemingly the past decade after Johnson entered the NFL in 2003.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: 101-110 overall

7. Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Vikings

Patterson is a raw talent since he played just one season at the FBS level at Tennessee, but he's a dynamic player with the ball in his hands. The Vikings have a need at receiver, and Patterson could start right away opposite Greg Jennings. We don't expect to see the best of Patterson until his second or maybe third season when he learns the ins and outs of playing receiver in the NFL, but based on skill he's worth a high draft pick in dynasty formats.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: 117-122 overall

8. Zac Stacy, RB, Rams

Stacy could be the steal of the draft in seasonal leagues and dynasty formats. The Rams have a hole at running back with Steven Jackson gone, and Stacy could start as a rookie if he proves better than Isaiah Pead and Daryl Richardson, which shouldn't be hard to do. And if he plays well as a rookie he could easily establish himself as a fixture in the St. Louis backfield. He should be on all sleeper lists coming into training camp.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: 86-94 overall

9. Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers

Allen's value might be better long-term than as a rookie. He's coming off a knee injury last year at Cal, which shouldn't be an issue, but the Chargers have a loaded receiving corps led by Danario Alexander, Malcom Floyd and Vincent Brown. Allen can easily play himself into the mix, especially with all three of the guys ahead of him extremely injury prone, but he will open the season probably No. 4 on the depth chart. After this year, however, Alexander could be gone, and the Chargers could part ways with Floyd. Brown hasn't played a meaningful snap since 2011, so Allen has a bright future.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: 121-128 overall

10. Marcus Lattimore, RB, 49ers

Lattimore's rookie season will be a redshirt year after the devastating knee injury he sustained last season at South Carolina. If he didn't get hurt Lattimore would be the No. 1 rookie on this list. We hope his knee recovers at 100 percent because he will be the heir apparent to Frank Gore as the No. 1 running back for the 49ers. Gore has two years remaining on his contract, so the best for Lattimore might not come until 2015. Still, based on his talent when healthy, he will be worth the wait.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: Not drafted

11. Tyler Eifert, TE, Bengals

Eifert's Fantasy value should be limited as a rookie since the Bengals still have Jermaine Gresham as the starting tight end. But he has the potential to be a star down the road, and Gresham's contract expires in 2014. The Bengals will use plenty of two tight-end sets this season, but Eifert will have to prove his worth before Fantasy owners can trust him this year. But don't be surprised if he's a Top 10 tight end once Gresham is gone.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: Not drafted

12. E.J. Manuel, QB, Bills

Manuel has the chance to start for the Bills as a rookie, and we could actually see him being a useful Fantasy option this year as a bye-week or injury replacement. You're not going to draft him in most seasonal leagues, but he could turn into this year's Russell Wilson. If he can make a smooth transition to the NFL he could develop into a quality Fantasy quarterback, and he's worth the gamble at this spot in a rookie-only draft.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: Not drafted

13. Johnathan Franklin, RB, Packers

The Packers did the right thing to add Lacy and Franklin to a backfield in need of life, but it ruined what could have been a great situation for Fantasy owners. Now, instead of Lacy and Franklin both starting on different teams, they will compete for playing time. Franklin has plenty of upside and could beat out Lacy, but most likely he'll be No. 2 on the depth chart. With the chance he could start -- now or a year from now -- he's worth the risk with a pick in this spot.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: 103-112 overall

14. Zach Ertz, TE, Eagles

Ertz could be a nice sleeper as a rookie if Brent Celek doesn't make the final roster in a salary-cap move, which is a slight possibility. But Celek won't be with the Eagles long-term after Ertz was drafted and James Casey was signed as a free agent. Since Ertz is more of a traditional tight end than Casey in an offense that will feature the position, he could be a Top 12 Fantasy option down the road.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: Not drafted

15. Aaron Dobson, WR, Patriots

The Patriots have done well with Marshall receivers before (see Troy Brown and Randy Moss), and Dobson could be next in line. New England has a need for receivers with Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd gone, and Dobson could start right away opposite Danny Amendola. He'll be catching passes from Tom Brady, possibly for the next three years and could be a standout Fantasy receiver for a long time.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: 149-156 overall

16. Markus Wheaton, WR, Steelers

Like the Patriots, the Steelers also need a receiver after Mike Wallace left as a free agent for Miami, and Wheaton should see significant playing time right away as the third receiver behind Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders, especially with Heath Miller (knee) banged up. Pittsburgh is now a pass-heavy offense, and Wheaton could play in the slot. He has a bright future if he can develop a rapport with Ben Roethlisberger.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: 154-166 overall

17. Joseph Randle, RB, Cowboys

DeMarco Murray has missed nine games in his first two seasons, and Felix Jones isn't coming back to Dallas. That opens the door for Randle to potentially see increased playing time as a rookie. We love Murray's upside, but he's looking more like Darren McFadden than Adrian Peterson. And if Randle does well if (when?) Murray goes down then don't be surprised if he makes this an even tandem in the near future.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: 148-155 overall

18. Justin Hunter, WR, Titans

Hunter could have increased Fantasy value as a rookie if Nate Washington is released, but the Titans could revamp their receiving corps as early as next season by getting rid of Washington and Kenny Britt. If Hunter plays well as a rookie and ascends to the No. 1 role in the passing game then he was a steal at this spot. Even if he's No. 3 he should see significant targets and has plenty of upside.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: 166-173 overall

19. Robert Woods, WR, Bills

The Bills need plenty of help at receiver since Steve Johnson has been the lone legitimate threat since Lee Evans left after the 2010 season. Woods and fellow rookie Marquise Goodwin hope to revamp this receiving corps, with Woods the one to target. If Manuel can develop into a standout passer than Woods could shine.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: Not drafted

20. Terrance Williams, WR, Cowboys

Williams will compete with Dwayne Harris for the No. 3 role in Dallas behind Dez Bryant and Miles Austin, but Williams will likely replace Austin as a starter as early as next season. As long as the Cowboys don't overhaul their offense in 2014 then Williams could be a featured option in a solid passing game.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: Not drafted

21. Mike Gillislee, RB, Dolphins

Lamar Miller should open the season as the starting running back for the Dolphins, but Gillislee could easily overtake Daniel Thomas for the No. 2 role since the coaching staff in Miami seems to dislike Thomas. And since Miller is unproven, we could have a scenario where Gillislee is starting at some point this year. He's a speculative draft pick in all leagues.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: 131-142 overall

22. Travis Kelce, TE, Chiefs

The Chiefs drafted Kelce and signed Anthony Fasano, signaling the Chiefs wanted to upgrade from Tony Moeaki. Andy Reid likes using his tight ends, and Alex Smith had a good rapport with Vernon Davis in San Francisco. Kelce might not help Fantasy owners this year, but he could be someone to target in 2014.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: Not drafted

23. Christine Michael, RB, Seahawks

The only way Michael should have Fantasy value as a rookie is if Marshawn Lynch faces a suspension or someone gets hurt because he's third on the depth chart behind Lynch and Robert Turbin. Turbin should also be the eventual successor to Lynch, but Michael could foil that plan if he plays well.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: Not drafted

24. Andre Ellington, RB, Cardinals

The Cardinals added three new running backs this offseason in free agent Rashard Mendenhall and rookies Ellington and Stepfan Taylor. Ellington was a seventh-round pick, but he might have more upside than Taylor. We're looking at it that way, and Ellington could start for the Cardinals as early as next season. Mendenhall is the likely starter this year, and Ryan Williams could be the odd man out.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: 150-158 overall

25. Geno Smith, QB, Jets

Smith might not open the season as the starter behind either Mark Sanchez or David Garrard, but he's the quarterback of the future for the Jets. And based on his career at West Virginia, he could turn into a standout Fantasy option. There are a lot of 'ifs' with Smith, mainly a lack of talent around him, but by 2014 or 2015 we hope the Jets will have solved that problem.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: Not drafted

26. Stedman Bailey, WR, Rams

The Rams paired Austin with Bailey to overhaul this receiving corps, and the duo should significantly upgrade this passing game. Bailey could easily move up this list, but the Rams are also invested in second-year receivers Chris Givens and Brian Quick, who are both ahead of Bailey on the depth chart for now. He's a high upside pick in a rookie draft.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: Not drafted

27. Marquise Goodwin, WR, Bills

Goodwin should play right away for the Bills, especially if they move Johnson to the slot at times. He has plenty of speed, and as we said with Woods, if Manuel turns into a legit quarterback then this passing game could take off.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: Not drafted

28. Stepfan Taylor, RB, Cardinals

There's a strong chance that not only is Taylor better than Ellington, but he starts for the Cardinals this season ahead of Mendenhall and Williams. His ranking here is not an indication that we're down on him, we just see Ellington having more upside. But if you land Taylor with a late-round pick in a rookie league consider yourself lucky because he could be the steal of the draft.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: Not drafted

29. Denard Robinson, RB, Jaguars

Robinson might be too low on this list if the Jaguars follow through on their plan to give him 10-15 touches a game. That means either that Maurice Jones-Drew is coming off the field or hurt, or the Jaguars plan to use Robinson a lot in the passing game. We're not buying it, but we do like Robinson's potential in an offense in need of playmakers. Hopefully his transition from college quarterback to NFL running back is smooth.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: Not drafted

30. Josh Boyce, WR, Patriots

Boyce is coming off a broken bone in his foot, which could hinder his rookie campaign, but as we said with Dobson, the Patriots need help at receiver. Even if he doesn't do much this year he could be a factor next season, and we'll always gamble on a receiver who plays with a star quarterback in a prolific offense.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: Not drafted

31. Kenny Stills, WR, Saints

The Saints need to replace Devery Henderson, and Stills will compete with Joe Morgan and Nick Toon for a prominent role behind Marques Colston and Lance Moore. We like the upside here since anyone catching passes from Drew Brees has plenty of potential.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: Not drafted

32. Matt Barkley, QB, Eagles

It would be a surprise to see Barkley start as a rookie ahead of Michael Vick or Nick Foles, but he gets a year to learn Chip Kelly's offense, which is a benefit. He could be the Eagles starter in 2014, and that could make him a No. 2 Fantasy quarterback with upside.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: Not drafted

33. Quinton Patton, WR, 49ers

The 49ers added Anquan Boldin this offseason, but his shelf life is limited. And A.J. Jenkins struggled as a rookie last season, and Mario Manningham is coming off a torn ACL. Patton could emerge as the No. 3 receiver behind Michael Crabtree and Boldin this year, and he could eventually replace Boldin in the future.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: Not drafted

34. Levine Toilolo, TE, Falcons

Toilolo isn't guaranteed to be the successor to Tony Gonzalez for the Falcons, but he was drafted in the fourth round out of Stanford with that in mind. At 6-foot-8, Toilolo is the tallest tight end in the NFL, and he looks like a red-zone option as a rookie. But he'll have to prove a lot this season if the Falcons can trust him to take over for Gonzalez next year when he retires.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: Not drafted

35. Knile Davis, RB, Chiefs

Reid, like most Fantasy owners, is fond of Jamaal Charles, but someone has to be his handcuff. And Davis is the running back to target on Draft Day. He might not have much long-term potential barring a Charles injury, but every Charles owner for the next few years will want Davis on their roster.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: Not drafted

36. Jordan Reed, TE, Redskins

Reed could be the next Aaron Hernandez, and we're not saying that because both went to Florida. The Redskins could use Reed as a hybrid tight end and play him in the slot or even out wide. He might not make much of an impact as a rookie, especially with Fred Davis back on a one-year deal. But in 2014 we could see Reed playing a prominent role.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: Not drafted

37. Ace Sanders, WR, Jaguars

Sanders could be the No. 3 receiver for the Jaguars this season behind Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon. But with Shorts' history of concussions and Blackmon's four-game suspension to open the year, Sanders could be needed right away. We're cautiously optimistic he can do well, but quarterback play could be his downfall.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: Not drafted

38. Tyler Wilson, QB, Raiders

Matt Flynn and Terrelle Pryor are ahead of Wilson on the depth chart, which should be all you need to know. If he had come out of Arkansas in 2012 his stock would have been higher, but he took a beating as a senior last season. He has plenty of upside, and he could be the starter in Oakland as early as next year.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: Not drafted

39. Kenjon Barner, RB, Panthers

We know, another running back in Carolina makes little sense. But DeAngelo Williams could be released before training camp, Jonathan Stewart has trouble staying healthy and the Panthers view Mike Tolbert as a fullback. Barner is someone to monitor in seasonal leagues, and his role could develop in 2014 when Williams is definitely gone.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: Not drafted

40. Mike James, RB, Buccaneers

Like Davis, James might not have much long-term value since he's the backup to Doug Martin. But you'll still want to draft James if he emerges as the No. 2 running back in Tampa Bay. We hope Martin has a long, healthy career, but if he gets hurt at any point we could see James playing a prominent role for a team that likes to run the ball.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: Not drafted

Just missed the cut: Gavin Escobar, TE, Cowboys; Corey Fuller, WR, Lions; Mike Glennon, QB, Buccaneers; Chris Harper, WR, Seahawks; Charles Johnson, WR, Packers; Tavarres King, WR, Broncos; Vance McDonald, TE, 49ers; Latavius Murray, RB, Raiders; Ryan Swope, WR, Cardinals; Chris Thompson, RB, Redskins

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Jamey at @JameyEisenberg and on Facebook .

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Player News
Raiders bring back Kaelin Burnett
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) The Raiders have inked exclusive-rights free agent Kaelin Burnett to a one-year deal. He's expected to compete for a roster spot in training camp. 

Dekoda Watson moving to strong-side LB
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) In the wake of the release of veteran linebacker Russell Allen, the Jaguars are expected to make Dekoda Watson their new starting strong-side linebacker, ESPN reports. He'll also play as a pass rusher and potentially line up as a defensive end on third downs. 

Watson had 42 total tackles, two sacks, an interception, a pass defensed, a forced fumble and a blocked punt with the Bucs last year. 


Brandon Gibson begins light jobbing
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) Brandon Gibson has begun light jogging as he works his way back from a torn patellar tendon, the Miami Herald reports. The Dolphins are expected to keep him on the roster, if only because of the cap hit he'll cost, per the report. He said recently he expects to be ready for Week 1. 

'Humbled' Richardson explains 2013, promises a better 2014
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) Colts running back Trent Richardson spoke openly about his disappointing 2013 season, saying that it took him too long to learn a new playbook and get over leaving Cleveland after Week 2. Richardson also told the official team website that he's planning to do everything within his power to be as prepared as possible for 2014. 

"Y'all will see a big significant difference in the way I play, the speed. I won't have to think about a lot of stuff," Richardson said earlier this offseason. "It's going to be big -- timing with the offensive line, timing with Andrew (Luck), just knowing a lot more with the program, the whole system.

"They haven't seen everything they're going to get out of me yet. A lot of it is going to come next year. A lot of it is going to come in the offseason. I'm going to put in a lot of work, as I've been doing this whole season. This season humbled me. ... This season was a lesson to me."

Colts coach Chuck Pagano has had Richardson's back, says the running back, and the coach stressed back in March that his running back's involvement in the offseason program will be key. 

"It's going to be very, very important for (Richardson) to be here for the offseason program and to dive into this thing full steam ahead, which he will," Pagano said. "He wants to be great. He's got all the talent. He's got all the ability. We would have never done what we did if we didn't believe that deep down in our core. So we look for him to have a great offseason and to have a great 2014 campaign."


Saints bring back Robert Meachem
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) The Saints announced Friday that the club has re-signed veteran free agent wide receiver Robert Meachem to a one-year contract.

Meachem is a seven-year NFL veteran who was originally the club's first round draft pick (27th overall) in 2007. He re-signed with the Saints prior to the start of the 2013 regular season and appeared in 15 games with five starts. He finished with 16 receptions for 324 yards with two touchdowns.

Meachem said signing with the Saints now should help with his preparations as he will be able to take part in the team's offseason conditioning program, OTAs and mini-camp. Plus, "this is home," he said.


Can Chris Johnson turn into Tomlinson?
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) The Jets are hoping running back Chris Johnson can do for them what LaDainian Tomlinson did in 2010, reports ESPN.

That season, Tomlinson came from San Diego to New York after he was released. He responded with a team-high 914 yards with six touchdowns on 219 carries and caught 52 passes. He was supposed to be Shonn Greene's backup, but Tomlinson was so impressive that he won the starting job and became an integral part of a team that came within one game of the Super Bowl.

Maybe Johnson, who was let go by the Titans, can do the same thing.

"I can turn the bad things people are saying into a good thing for me, to give me motivation, to keep me hungry and to keep a chip on my shoulder and prove the naysayers wrong," he said Thursday.

Johnson had a disappointing year in 2013 when he averaged just 3.9 yards per carry, but he played 13 games on a torn meniscus and was running behind a suspect offensive line for a team that didn't have its starting quarterback for half the season. The situation in New York should be improved, and hopefully being teamed with Chris Ivory will allow him to play like Tomlinson did in 2010.


Aikman worried about Tony Romo
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) Former Cowboys quarterback and Hall of Famer Troy Aikman is worried about current Dallas quarterback Tony Romo coming off back surgery, reports the team's official website.

Romo, 34, is coming off back surgery in December, which was the second procedure on his back in a year.

"I came back in a relatively short period of time because of when I had my surgery, so he's at least afforded more time to get ready," Aikman said. "But having said that, two back surgeries in less than a year at his age, I would be a bit concerned.

"I'm hopeful that he's able to come back -- everybody is. This team won't be the same if he's not able to. I anticipate that he will come back. But to say that, 'Hey, he's ahead of schedule and everything's going fine,' I'm not sure how you can really measure that here in April."


Bengals, A.J. Green not talking extension - yet
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) The Bengals are expected to exercise the fifth-year option on receiver A.J. Green's contract by May 3, reports Pro Football Talk. But the sides have yet to discuss a long-term contract extension, according to the report.

The Bengals hold the rights to Green through the 2015 season. And in 2016, if a long-term deal hasn't been signed yet, the Bengals can use the franchise tag on Green for that season.

The report says Green can force the issue by trying to boycott offseason workouts or hold out from training camp. But Bengals coach Marvin Lewis is confident Green will be there.


Chris Snee will give it a shot this spring
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) Giants guard Chris Snee will attempt to go through the Giants offseason program once he's healthy, the New York Daily News reports. Snee had hip surgery last season and an elbow surgery earlier this year. There is no timeline for him to be at 100 percent but he is expected to be on the field for the "bulk" of offseason activities. 

Report: Niners won't release Aldon Smith
by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(4/18/2014) The 49ers might expect a suspension for pass rushing linebacker Aldon Smith, but they are not planning to release him, NFL Network reported on Friday.

Smith was arrested recently for making false bomb reports at a Los Angeles airport, the latest of a string of troubles for the highly talented linebacker. He was also arrested for suspicion of DUI in January, 2012 and again September, 2013. He also had marijuana on him during that September arrest. In October, 2013 he was charged with three felony counts of illegal possession of an assault weapon. 


 
 
 
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