Author: Jean Traore
NFL Season Preview
2016 NFC East Fantasy Football Season Preview
With the NFL season kicking off in 4 weeks, the excitement is electrifying for this upcoming campaign and FanPicks will be previewing all eight divisions these upcoming days, continuing by the NFL’s NFC East. Take advantage of our MLB and NFL Cross Sports contests, unique in the fantasy industry but first enjoy this 2016 NFC East Fantasy Football Season Preview article brought you by Fanpicks.
Kirk Cousins will finally move in as the teams’ starting QB without having to deal with any doubts and controversy. This position was long under question until RGIII’s departure and Cousins will definitely be playing for a new contract. By setting the all-time franchise passing yards mark last year, as well as other Redskins’ records, the young passer will try to secure and stabilize his place further in the organization.
DeSean Jackson will remain his main target and has become an even bigger star since arriving to the skins.
Josh Norman’s addition to this squad during the offseason will certainly help their defense as they were frankly struggling last year.
There are still some questions with their running game as well as the offensive line, but if Cousins can repeat what he did last season, the Redskins should have a problem solved that hurt them for decades.
Key Additions: TE Vernon Davis, CB Josh Norman, DE Kendall Reyes
Key Losses: Robert Griffin III, RB Alfred Morris, SS Dashon Goldson, CB Chris Culliver, DE Jason Hatcher (Retired)
For the Eagles, the Chip Kelly experiment ended in flames and this year will most likely be a bumpy and hard road for them. With their defense being one of the worst in the league, they’re actually looking like the most stable unit in their team. Their future of this organization relies on youngster Carson Wentz to become a franchise quarterback.
If they can make steady play from their defense and make plays to put up points, they may be able to have a .500 season.
Key Additions: WR Rueben Randle, LB Nigel Bradham, C Stefen Wisniewski, WR Chris Givens, QB Chase Daniels
Key Losses: LB KiKo Alsonso, CB Byron Maxwell, RB DeMarco Murray, DE Cedric Thornton, CB E.J. Biggers
Last season was a nightmare for the Cowboys, as injuries destroyed everything the team had planned and ended the season before it ever really got started.
This time, the big move and risk was to draft Ezekiel Elliott as the 4th overall pick, an insanely high selection for a running back in this day and age.
The Cowboys are putting everything into their offensive strength in order to get back on the proper lane. In fact, this may be one of the toughest roads this organization has known in Jerry Jones’ era. With their star QB, Tony Romo being held back by injuries the last couple of seasons, this should be his last run with the Cowboys and he will need all the help from his receivers including Dez Bryant, who’ll try to put last season behind him.
Their defense lacks experience which could make it hard for them to gel as a unit.
Key Additions: RB Alfred Morris, DE Cedric Thornton, G Joe Looney
Key Losses: QB Matt Cassel, DE Greg Hardy, RB Robert Turbin
New York Giants
The G-Men are looking to regain control in the East as they have revamped their defense and put some key pieces in on offense as well. Eli Manning is coming towards the end with the Giants so it’s win now or bust, so with new coach Be McAdoo it’s all about winning.
The Giants are healthy for the first time in a long time and that could spell trouble for the rest of the division. Olivier Vernon, Jenoris Jenkins and Damon Harrison bring much needed fire power along with rookies Eli Apple and Darian Thompson, they should be heavily revamped and ready to go.
Sterling Shepard could step in right away and fill the shoes of Victor Cruz who is yet to show traces of his former self.
Key Additions: NT Damon Harrison, CB Janoris Jenkins, DE Olivier Vernon
Key Losses: CB Prince Amukamara, WR Rueben Randle, DE Robert Ayers, LB Jon Beason (Retired), LT Will Beatty, G Geoff Schwartz
Fantasy Baseball MLB Preview
Baltimore Orioles vs Texas Rangers
The Baltimore Orioles are going to attempt to continue their outstanding start of the season when they face the Texas Rangers in their 4 game series Saturday night. The highlight of this game will clearly be around the performance of ex Ranger pitcher, Yovani Gallardo. This Fantasy Baseball MLB Preview is brought you by FanPicks. Come play in our MLB Fantasy contests where you can win up to a $1 million this week at FanPicks.
Yovani Gallardo finished with a 13-11 record with the Rangers last season before signing a huge $22 million dollar contract with Baltimore. The 30 year old Mexican enjoyed quite some success in Arlington, winning 8 of his 14 decisions last year that helped the Rangers into a playoff berth. He’s in 1-0 this year with his new team and was lucky earlier this week with a no decision when he allowed 5 runs and 7 hits in just 5 innings against the Red Sox.
But the Orioles have some serious offensive firepower and it was quite obvious last night when Mark Trumbo, their new off season acquisition went deep twice as he increased his home run total this season to already 5 in his last 5 games 11 RBI on top. Their second baseman Jonathan Schoop also went deep twice last night and has a hit in every game this season but one.
The pitcher for tonight for the Rangers will be Colby Lewis. He picked up his 1st win of the regular season this Monday when he only allowed a run and 4 hits in 6 innings during their 7-3 victory against the Mariners. He also managed to beat the Orioles last time they met but has a 2-4 record overall against them. Their rookie Nomar Mazara is 9 for 23 this season with 4 RBI in 6 contests, while center fielder, Deline DeShields has one homer and is 8 for 17. He has 4 runs scored in his last 4 games.
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NBA Playoffs Fantasy Preview
Dallas Mavericks vs Oklahoma City Thunder
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook’s Oklahoma City Thunder will host the Dallas Mavericks in the 1st game of this Western Conference battle at Chesapeake Energy Arena Saturday night. This NBA Playoffs Fantasy Preview is brought you by Fanpicks.com. Come PLAY in our Daily Fantasy Basketball contests at FanPicks and get a free chance to win $1 Million dollars!
This regular season, the Thunder swept their season series winning all 4 games while scoring at least 108 pts. They’re clearly favorites in this series and it would be quite an upset if they don’t win it in 5 or less games. The great news for them is that they’re much healthier than the past 2 postseasons. The Mavericks as well are getting healthy as well and should expect starts from their important players, Deron Williams and J.J. Barea.
Oklahoma City come into this game lacking perfect form but at least well rested. This will be one of the only The Thunder come into this game lacking good form, but much of that has to do with resting players. This is actually one of the first playoff runs that Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant will be playing together and healthy, making it very promising for Thunder fans. Their offense and rebound strength is the main key to their success as they rank in the top 2 in the NBA for both categories.
The Mavs are heading into these series having won 7 of their last 9 and one of the hottest teams in the league. During that span, their only 2 losses came against the Spurs and the Clippers. What’s really impressive is how their defense has been allowing less than 98 pts in 9 straight games and averaging just under 90 pts against. Unfortunately, their offense led by veteran and future hall of famer Dirk Nowitzki needs to step it up as they rank outside the top 13 in the NBA when it comes down to pts scored, pts allowed, boards per game and assists per game.
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NBA Playoffs Fantasy Basketball Preview
So we’ve just capped off a bit of the Eastern Conference Playoffs matchups. Let’s get to the very interesting Western conference where a whopping 32 games separate the top seed from the 8th, making it one of the largest margins of all time. Of course you can thank the record breaking Golden State Warriors and realize that some teams aren’t necessarily playing for the same thing. This NBA Playoffs Fantasy Basketball Preview of the Western Conference is is brought you by FanPicks.com. Dominate your competition with our NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball and create the winning lineup to get a free chance to win $1 Million dollars!
(1) Golden State Warriors vs (8) Houston Rockets
There’s not much to say here as this series should be a sweep on paper. They’ve traditionally dominated Houston without a problem. However, don’t be surprised if they end up losing a game or two in this series due to fatigue or possibly taking the Rockets too lightly. There’s really not much to say about this Warriors’ team as they deserve this championship on top of their record breaking regular season.
The Rockets really come into this series trying to be as competitive as possible. The interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff will be hoping that his Rockets can turn the tides around and potentially steal 2 games in this series. They’ve won only once since last season against the Warriors in 12 attemps. Houston will absolutely need the involvment of Dwight Howard to help James Harden, which is sadly their only formula to really compete with Golden State.
(2) San Antonio Spurs vs (7) Memphis Grizzlies
The Spurs have not really been playing like the real Spurs since their March 23 victory against the Miami Heat. Gregg Popovich has been resting his star players on and off for the postseason. San Antonio will most likely sweep the Grizzlies and find their rhythm as they would potentially enter a tough second round matchup against the Thunder.
The Grizzlies have a 500-to-1 odds as underdogs to survive this round against against the Spurs. They may pull off a win by luck but they might not have even made the playoffs if the season lasted a week longer. They will hope to repeat what they did back in 2011, when a much different top seed in the Western Conference, San Antonio team got shocked by the 8th ranked Grizzlies.
(3) Oklahoma City Thunder vs (6) Dallas Maverick
Few teams in the NBA have suffered due to health in the playoffs like the Thunder. Back in the opening rounds of 2013, Russell Westbrook’s knee injury kept him out of the opening round in 2013 and their season derailed from there. Serge Ibaka’s calf injury put them in an immense struggle last year against the Warriors in the Western Conference finals. And last season, Kevin Durant’s foot injury kept them out altogether. The matchup with Dallas appears pretty dry and cut since OKC is 4-0 against htem this season.
It will be a monumental upset if Dallas elimnates the 3rd seed Oklahoma City Thunder. The realistic measure of success for Dallas is if they can remain competitive in the series. If they can push this series to 6 or even 7 games, it will count as great accomplishment for them.
(4) Los Angeles Clippers vs (5) Portland Trail Blazers
There was a time when just making the playoffs, let alone winning a playoff series, was viewed as a success for the Clippers. After all, we’re talking about a franchise with only one playoff series win from 1977 to 2011. But the Clippers have made the playoffs in each of the past five seasons and have advanced past the first round in three of the past four years. So the meaning of success has changed. Yes, making it out of the first round is important, but finding a way to stay healthy and getting to the conference finals for the first time in franchise history is the real measure of success
No team in the 2016 NBA playoffs is playing with more house money than the Trail Blazers. The Trail Blazers are a steep underdog against the Clippers, and any respectful showing that pushes the series to six or seven games would constitute a solid out for Portland, which is a couple of years ahead of its rebuilding schedule.
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NBA Playoffs Fantasy Basketball Preview – Eastern Conference
Every team in the NBA playoffs would love to hold the Larry O’Brien Trophy in June but the road to an NBA Championship is a long and difficult one. This NBA Playoffs Fantasy Basketball Preview of the Eastern Conference is is brought you by FanPicks.com. Come PLAY in our Daily Fantasy Basketball contests at FanPicks and get a free chance to win $1 Million dollars!
What does 1st round NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs Bracket look like:
Let’s take a look at the Eastern Conference matchups:
(# 1) Cleveland Cavaliers vs (# 8) Detroit Pistons:
LeBron James has never lost a 1st round series game yet in his career and on top of that, not a single loss since May 2012 against the Knicks. The Cavs are high favorites in this contest against the Detroit Pistons. They will just need to keep their offense flow running as well as getting past the 1st round very healthy. They suffered the loss of Kevin Love against the Celtics last year, really hurting them in the finals against the Warriors.
Detroit made it this far and should feel very happy. With a win or two against the Cavs, they can rub their shoulders with satisfaction of a decent ending. It will allow their big superstar Andre Drummond and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to get some playoff experience and feel the difference between postseason and regular season action, as well as a first step for this organization’s process to come back slowly in the top half of the Eastern Conference.
(# 2) Toronto Raptors vs Indiana Pacers (# 7):
After falling in a thrilling 7 game series against the Brooklyn Nets before being surprisingly swept by John Wall’s Wizards last year, the Raptors in Round 1 have been playing below their potential. This year, it seems that the core is playing differently and full of confidence. Going past Round 1 is more than doable and it would even be a disappointment for Toronto to not see them in the conference finals. They will simply need Kyle Lowry and DeRozan to be healthy and productive to lead this Raptors team to another level.
For much of his playoff career, Paul George had players like David West, Roy Hibbert and Lance Stephenson helping him out as Indiana was always a force in the East. However, this is the first time that George will have no one to lean on. He will still get some help from the impressive rookie Myles Turner in the frontcourt and from veteran guards George Hill with Monta Ellis.
(# 3) Miami Heat vs (# 6) Charlotte Hornets:
Miami was among the 4 teams completely knotted in the middle of the Eastern Conference and ended up with an acceptable 48-34 record. Heat and Hawks were lucky in the tiebreakers and were granted home court for the 1st round. Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson are huge addition off the bench for the Heat and helping out with respective 20 + minutes games. The two shoot for an impressive 46.7% at home this season and 41.2% on the road.
Charlotte is the only team in the playoffs that doesn’t have an All-Star player in their roster. They will solely rely on Kemba Walker, their long range shooting, scrappy defense and efficiency in all these sectors. If they end up with a possible upset on this one, it will validate their coach Steve Clifford’s as one of the best coaching minds in the NBA
Atlanta Hawks vs (# 5) Boston Celtics:
The Hawks entered the playoffs last year with 60 wins and with something to prove. This year, they will agains have to prove themselves The Atlanta Hawks entered the postseason last year looking to prove that they were as good as their East-leading 60 victories. This year, the Hawks still have something to prove. They’re much better than their 4th place finish and can make another run at the Conference finals. They’re backed up by their start players Jeff Teague and Al Horford that will need to be key in this series against Boston.
The Celtics are really the dark horse of the Eastern Conference. Their players’ goal this season was to build from what they started last season. It really meant that they wanted to get back in the playoffs and be more competitive. A 48 win season is a great step towards their goal.
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NBA Fantasy Basketball Prediction
Minnesota Timberwolves vs Sacramento Kings
Andrew Wiggins’ Timberwolves, back from their biggest victory of the year will travel West to face the host Sacramento Kings at Sleep Train Arena this Thursday. This NBA Fantasy Basketball prediction is brought you by FanPicks.com. Come PLAY in our Daily Fantasy Basketball contests at FanPicks and get a free chance to win $1 Million dollars!
Sacramento is really on a up and down hill all year having not been capable to get 2 straight wins in a month span now. It’s to understand where the team is headed. Their leader DeMarcus Cousins has been relegated to playing only in home games in one of the strangest developments this season. That strange development is really what makes the organization so dysfunctional and unpredictable. Their real issue is their defense as they’re dead last in points allowed per game nearly this whole campaign. For them, this is a winnable game but the T-Wolves have shown what their enormous potential can do to big teams 2 days ago when they upset the Warriors in Oakland.
Minnesota have lost 3 of their last 3 games but come into this game off their biggest win of the season. Not only they defeated the reigning NBA champions, Golden State Warriors on the road and were a 15-point easy underdog, but have really shown what their potential talent is all about. With youngsters on their squad like Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns, Shabazz Muhammad and Zach LaVine, the sky is limit for their future. A great sign as well is that all of their young guns made big contributions in the win against the Warriors. They simply showed the NBA just how fearful this team will be in the years to come, as well as a danger for the Sacramento Kings.
Sacramento Kings vs New York Knicks
Fantasy NBA Basketball Preview
Carmelo Anthony’s New York Knicks will be hosting the Sacramento Kings at the Madison Square Garden Sunday night, in a battle of two struggling teams having terrible second half of seasons. This Fantasy NBA Basketball preview is brought you by FanPicks. Come play some daily Fantasy Basketball at FanPicks to get free chance to win $1 Million dollars!
New York is having a nightmare 2nd half of season and are bound to finish their 3rd straight losing season. Their star Carmelo Anthony is performing but without any help of his teammates. Earlier in the season, rookie Kristaps Porzingis seemed to be a rising star with unexpected high level performances. Unfortunately for the Knicks, it seems like he’s hit a wall. Porzingis averages over the last eleven games 12.9 pts with almost 5 boards and 1 block a game. For a rookie, those are pretty good numbers but clearly not enough for him and Anthony to carry the team through the season, furthermore the playoffs. New York absolutely needs to solidify their roster in the offseason to avoid another season like this one. The Knicks are ranking 25th in points scored and assists in the NBA. They’re coming back from a tough loss last night against the Washington Wizards, their 20th loss in the past 26 games. They unfortunately blew an 18 pt lead unable to be consistent throughout the game. The Knicks are 7-8 on 2nd half of back to back games.
Sacramento have won only twice in their last 13 games. The situation is critical in Sacramento as this dysfunctional season turned into a tough one to digest because of its 2nd half. The cold truth about the Kings’ team is that their defense is simply unable to keep up with their offense. The contrast is simply huge when you think they’re ranked 30th in the league in pts allowed. Then, you have on the other side, its offense led by DeMarcus Cousins whose numbers this year have been MVP class. On top of that, Rajon Rondo leads the NBA in assists. They’re slight favourites in this game and will hope to close out their season in decent fashion.
NBA Primetime Fantasy preview
Golden State Warriors vs San Antonio Spurs
With only 14 games left in the regular season, the top 2 teams in NBA will face off tonight when defending champions Golden State Warriors travel to the AT&T Center to face the San Antonio Spurs. This Fantasy NBA Primetime Fantasy Preview is brought you by FanPicks.com. Come PLAY in our Daily Fantasy Basketball contests at FanPicks and get a free chance to win $1 Million dollars!
The Spurs come into this game having dropped only 1 game in their last 14 and most of all carrying a 43 home game winning streak. This game will be more than fascinating and an important factor is that the Warriors last regular season win in San Antonio dates back to February 14th 1997.
The Spurs are 20-3 since their blowout loss to the Warriors and with their playoff berth already safe and secured, Gregg Popovich is trying to rest some of his players to ensure everyone is ready for the postseason. This is definitely their roughest stretch for any teams performing at this level. The Spurs, the league’s best defense will try to stop the best offensive unit in the NBA and push their home record.
Golden State Warriors have been rising and shining the past 18 months. They come into this game having won 7 straight games as well as 14 of their last 15. This game will be by far the toughest test of their season despite their 30 point blowout of San Antonio back in January. For only the fourth time this season, they’re seen as an underdog here, as they’ve lost 32 straight games in San Antonio. Yes, 32 but this time, the Splash Brothers dynamic duo will be in full force as they hit 16 3-pointers last night and combined for 70 points in their win against the Mavericks in Dallas.
Statistically speaking, this will be the best regular-season matchup of all time in NBA history with a combination between opponents of 119 wins and only 16 losses.
March Madness Fantasy Preview
Indiana Hoosiers VS Kentucky Wildcats
This will be a huge battle between two powerhouses and two extremely dynamic point guards. The Kentucky Wildcats will square off against the Indiana Hoosiers in what could’ve been a dream Sweet 16 matchup. Fanpicks is proud to bring you this March Madness Fantasy preview. Come enjoy our March Madness contests at Fanpicks with over 5 MILLION dollars in prizes for the NCAA TOURNAMENT.
This will be the 57th time that the rivals square off against one another and their first matchup since 2012.
There will be an amazing matchup between 2 of the the nation’s top Point Guards, Indiana’s senior, Yogi Ferrell and Kentucky’s sophomore, Tyler Ulis. Both players are playing extremely well as Ferrel got his 1st double-double of the season in the 1st round against 12th seed Chattanooga while Ulis led the floor for his team as usual in the thrashing of Stony Brook.
Indiana will definitely rely on their senior PG and their offense which shot nearly 65% from the field. They have other players that will need to step up like forward OG Anunoby who scored 14 pts and averaging 13.5 pts in his last 2 games. Their frontcourt of Troy Williams and Thomas Bryant will need to cope with the Wildcats’ veterans. This will be Ferrell’s 136th career game for Indiana, a record for any Hoosiers.
Coach Calipri’s Wildcats are excited about this rematch of their 2012 Sweet 16 matchup. Kentucky comes into this game after smoking out # 13 Stony Brook, with great help from their leading scorer Jamal Murray’s 19 pts, 15 of them coming in the second half. Their Freshman Isaiah Briscoe played well and was effective with a double-double 13 pts and 11 boards performance. Kentucky broke the single-game record in terms of blocks with 15 in an NCAA Tournament in their first round match. Ironically, it was their leader’s Ulis lowest scoring game in over two months with 10 pts and 7 assists. The Wildcats only played one Big Ten team and lost to Ohio State whereas the Hoosiers toppled the Buckeyes by 25 pts.
The winner of this game will face East region’s top seed North Carolina or 9th seed Providence if there’s another upset.
NCAA March Madness Preview
Gonzaga Bulldogs VS Seton Hall Pirates
This interesting NCAA tournament 1st round matchup of the Midwest region will feature # 6 Seton Hall Pirates against the West Coast Conference champions, Gonzaga Bulldogs. FanPicks is proud to bring you this NCAA March Madness preview. Come enjoy daily NCAA Fantasy Basketball at Fanpicks ahead of this upcoming March Madness with over 5 MILLION dollars in prizes in our contests.
The Bulldogs come into this game having worked real hard for their spot in this year’s NCAA Tournament. Perhaps, their only way to get in the tournament was by winning the West Coast Conference title. This will be Gonzaga’s 18 straight appearance in March’s tournament making it the 4th longest current streak. Eric McClellan claimed the West Coast Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year award. The Bulldogs made it to the Elite 8 last March but lost to Duke. They’re the only team with Kansas to win their opening round tournament game each of the last 7 seasons. Gonzaga is seen a mid-major power with a record of 22-18 all-time in NCAA Tournament matchups, including 6 trips to the Sweet 16, 2 appearances in the Elite 8.
Seton Hall is making its 10th appearance in the tournament after a dream season finish to secure their berth in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 10 years. They made a late season run that ended in an upset of Villanova in the Big East Conference final game. They will hope with the help of their standout player and NBA prospect Isaiah Whitehead to recapture some of their old glory when they reached the championship game in 1989 by starting off in the Midwest Region. They’ve won 12 of their last 14 games in questionably the toughest conference in the nation.
Portland Trail Blazers vs San Antonio Spurs
Fantasy NBA Preview
Gregg Popovich’s San Antonio Spurs, en route to capture the league’s second-longest home winning streak will be hosting The Portland Trail Blazers at AT&T Center on Thursday night. This Fantasy NBA Preview is brought you by Fanpicks.com. Come sign up and PLAY some Fantasy Basketball at FanPicks to get a free chance to win $1 Million dollars!
San Antonio are on a 42 home game winning streak, 3 games shy of the NBA record prior to Golden State eclipsing the 90’s Bulls record. In fact, they’re clearly being overlooked this year due to the ridiculous records being pulled by the Warriors and the Spurs are having a wonderful season, one of the best in recent times. Not only they’re ranking first in points allowed with their solid defensive play, but are also on pace to have the best all time point differential in the NBA’s history. The whole team is playing extremely well including Kawhi Leonard who has really stepped us his already high level game but also LaMarcus Aldrige. Aldrige who led the Trail Blazers in scoring the last 5 seasons signed surprisingly to the Spurs in the summer and integrated his new team quite well.
The Trail Blazers, despite being a hot team the past 2 months are on an ugly stride right now, having dropped 5 of their last 7 games and in terrible fashion. Their defense is non-existent allowing over 109 pts in 6 of those 7 last games. Their offense is still solid led by Damian Lillard and ranking 8th in the league for points scored. With the playoff around the corner, they will need to really pace themselves and focus further defensively to secure their berth. The Spurs are far favourites in this contest.
New Orleans Pelicans vs Golden State Warriors
Fantasy Basketball Preview
Stephen Curry’s record breaking Golden State Warriors will be hoping to push their home game winning streak Monday night when hosting the struggling New Orleans Pelicans at Oracle Arena. Come sign up and play some Fantasy Basketball at FanPicks to get free chance to win $1 Million dollars!
The Warriors are coming back from a tough game this weekend at home against the Phoenix Suns. If it wasn’t for Stephen Curry’s 15 pts in the last quarter, their home game winning streak would’ve stopped at 47. The league MVP drained 15 of his game high 35 pts in the final minutes of the contest, despite entering the final quarter with a 9 point deficit. His “Splash brother” Klay Thompson added 20 pts, 6 boards, 3 assists and a steal . Their big man Draymond Green had a solid game as well adding 19 pts, 4 boards and 6 assists, 2 steals and a block. The real standout during this game was Mareese Speights who nearly posted a double double in 18 minutes of play with 25 pts, 9 boards, 2 steals and a block. The Warriors are 30-0 at home and are huge favorites to make it 31-0, having won the past 2 games against the Pelicans this year. They have not lost since their upset lost in L.A to the Lakers last Sunday.
Despite their near perfect season, they haven’t clinched the Western Conference standing just 3.5 games ahead of the solid and experienced San Antonio Spurs.
New Orleans is in a complete struggle having only won one game out of their last 8. They’re unfortunately terrible on the road, having only won 7 games and lost 26. They will only be counting on their big man Anthony Davis to outperform everyone and capitalize on the Warriors’ rare mistakes. The Pelicans are in deep trouble, as their playoff contentions are fading going into this game trailing 8th seed Dallas Mavericks by 8.5 games with 17 games left.
NCAA March Madness Fantasy Preview:
Midwest Region Preview
A day after the finalization of this year’s long awaited March Madness Bracket, the 68 teams have been announced and FanPicks is proud to bring you a little insight information in this NCAA March Madness fantasy preview of the Midwest region’s top teams and players.
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Surprisingly, Virginia got the # 1 seed in the region despite losing against UNC in the ACC final. This is the 2nd time in its last 3 seasons that the Cavaliers get the top seed. However, it’s Michigan State that everyone had in mind to take the # 1 seed after the Big Ten dominance and win against Purdue.
Utah will rely on their 7 foot giant center Jakob Poeltl, a potential NBA prospect averaging a whopping 17.6 pts per game with 9 boards and almost 2 blocks per game. He will be one of the players to watch in that division. Gonzaga’s front court will be feared as well by Kyle Wiltjer and Domantas Sabonis, the son of NBA Hall of Famer Arvydas Sabonis.
Top Players to watch:
- Denzel Valentine:
Easily one of the favourites to win the national player of the year award, Valentine almost had a triple double in the final against Purdue and will most likely play solid in the tournament. No surprise here, he’s the most feared player in the division
- Jakob Poeltl
The Center will play his lights out in order to hope having his name called out in the NBA draft in June. Look out for him to play at his maximum potential and Utah facing up against Michigan State in the Regionals.
- Georges Niang
Niang, a problem to guard for every teams and this will surely continue. He’s second in scoring just behind Buddy Hield averaging 19.8 pts per game.
- Malcom Brogdon
The ACC player of the year and Defensive player of the year can change a game and will be a force for the top seed Cavaliers.
- A.J. English
Not someone that we hear a lot about but he actually ranks in the top 10 nationwide in scoring with 22.4 pts per game for Iona. He will show people his talent and hopefully his team follows his lead.
- A.J. Hammons
Compared in many ways to the future hall of famer Tim Duncan, his dominance in the front court as well as his emotionless demeanour won’t go unnoticed.
Team to watch out for:
Purdue surely hasn’t digested its loss against the Big Ten Champions Spartans. Only 2 bad possessions made the difference in that game and the Boilermakers are actually considered to be contenders for the national title. Statistically speaking, most national champions hover around ranking in the late top 20s with a few exceptions. Purdie actually ranks 21st nationwide in Offense and 18th in Defense. With questionably the best front court in the country with A.J. Hammons leading the charge, Isaac Haas the 7 foot coming off the bench and Caleb Swanigan, their depth can keep them in any game while overpowering their opponents.
First round upset possibilty:
In any tournament, there’s a surprise and it usually comes from a team perfectly matching up against another. In this first round case, Iona matches up perfectly against Iowa St. If they shoot well beyond the arc and Hammons does his usual scoring job, they are an magnificent threat for the Cyclones.