NFL Draft

LA Rams acquire first overall pick from Titans

Talk about respect.

Making a trade for the first overall pick in the NFL Draft is usually the biggest news in the sports world. But, the Rams even held off announcing the move until they deemed fit.

What could possibly be more important than announcing Los Angeles had just acquired the first overall pick?

Well, Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher was quoted as saying “the night belonged to Kobe”.

Respect.

Now that the cat’s out of the bag, let’s break down the momentous move.

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The Titans received picks number 15 (1st), 43 (2nd), 45 (2nd), 76 (3rd), and 2017 1st and 3rd rounders. They already hold the 33rd overall pick (second pick in 2nd round), and 64th (first in 3rd round). The Rams received the first overall pick, pick 113 (4th), and 177 (6th).

The Titans now own six of the first 76 picks in the 2016 NFL Draft, enough ammo to rebuild any franchise let alone one with a few solid building blocks already in place. Namely, a (potential) franchise quarterback in Marcus Mariota.

We knew Tennessee wasn’t in love with consensus top pick OT Laremy Tunsil, but that wasn’t enough to pull the trigger just yet. New GM Jon Robinson played his cards just right, and optimized the return for a position he didn’t need to be in. Word is they like the next set of best available OL, and taking Tunsil at number one didn’t necessarily optimize their needs. The Titans and Jack Conklin apparently have mutual admiration, news that surfaced yesterday sparking trade talk among fans and media alike.

When asked if any NFL Head Coaches have made an impact on him through the draft process he responded with “One [NFL head coach] that’s really stood out to me is Mike Mularkey. I really liked him because I see a lot of similarities between him and [Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio]. That really intrigues me because that is somebody that I trust and thrived under.”

While there it’s no sure thing that the Titans draft an offensive-lineman, their strategy was spot on. More importantly than the 15th overall pick, is perhaps the three second-rounders they now own. The 2016 draft is the kind you want to own a plethora of early to mid-round picks. A number of potential stars will be plucked between numbers 32 and 98.

A young running back to groom behind Demarco Murray, a talented wide receiver to pair with the developing Dorial Green-Beckham, and an athletic tight-end are all needs on the offensive side of the ball. While a youth infusion is needed on defense, as their linebacking core and secondary could use a serious upgrade after letting a few veterans go via free agency.

The Rams logic was simple. Get a franchise quarterback, now!

I’ve heard whispers that projected number two overall pick Carson Wentz will now go one, but I think Cal’s Jeff Goff will be the man.

Goff was the consensus top QB all season long, and the only reason Wentz name has been glued to the Browns is because new Head Coach Hue Jackson is enamored by the North Dakota State QB. He’s a great fit in Cleveland, as the more steady, blue-collar type. If in fact, the Browns opt to select him at number two, he would become the highest-drafted non-FBS quarterback in NFL history.

In my opinion the hometown Goff is a perfect fit for the Rams, as his gunslinger style is made for the lovely people of California. The fans will be able to deal with his growing pains, and by handing the ball off to Todd Gurley the team can limit his responsibilities early-on.  A luxury the Cleveland Browns certainly do not possess.

No matter who goes where, the draft process has been especially exciting this year and it can only get better the closer we inch to draft day.

Posted in NFL

NHL Playoffs

Western Conference Preview

The NHL Playoffs begin tonight, so Fanpicks is here to bring you all you need to know with our Western Conference Preview.

With four exciting matchups, the defending Stanley Cup champions, and seven hungry teams, it’s sure to be a thrilling ride!
NHL Playoffs: Western Conference Preview

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(1) Dallas Stars (50-23-7-2, 109 pts) vs. (WC) Minnesota Wild (38-33-9-2, 87 pts)

In the wild, wild West, the top-seeded Dallas Stars face the Minnesota Wild. It marks the first time the Stars, who relocated to Dallas from Minnesota in 1993, will face the Wild in the post-season.

The Stars come in blazing, having won nine of their last 11 while overcoming injuries to key forwards Tyler Seguin (Achilles tendon) and Patrick Eaves (lower body).

The Wild closed their own season out by losing their last five games, and though one can try to claim their minds were already on the playoffs… losing five in a row of anything in’t good. It begins to affect you, and they’ve already gone through a mid-season coaching change, so the psyche isn’t necessarily strong in that locker room.

To make matters worse, the club recently announced that offensive catalyst Zach Parise is dealing with a back issue and is out indefinitely. Thomas Vanek (18 goals) and Eric Haula (14) are also injured.

 

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(2) St. Louis Blues (49-24-5-4, 107 pts) vs. (3) Chicago Blackhawks (47-26-7-2, 103 pts)

The first series in the Western Conference to get underway features a pair of long-time division rivals. The Central division’s St. Louis Blues facing the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks. It marks the 12th meeting between the two franchises, with Chicago leading the all-time series 8-4.

The Blues may have been the team nobody wanted to play against the most as the season wound to a finale. So, it’s a good thing Chicago probably has the best roster in the West.

Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews,  Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook form a core that have already brought three Stanley Cups to Chicago in the last six years. So, even though the Blues are trending upwards they will certainly have their hands full.

 

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(1) Anaheim Ducks (46-25-7-4, 103 pts) vs. (WC) Nashville Predators (41-27-12-2, 96 pts)

The Ducks’ victory capped an impressive run that began immediately following the NHL’s Christmas break. Anaheim opened the season 1-7-2 and was 12-15-6 following a 3-2 overtime loss at the Rangers on Dec. 22.

Starting with a 4-2 win over Philadelphia on Dec. 27, the Ducks closed the season 34-10-5.

Their run was just enough to catch California rivals the LA Kings and snatch the division crown away.

Offensive leaders Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry were under fire early on, as Getzlaf didn’t score for the first 14 games of the season, and didn’t collect his first even-strength goal until February 4, 2016…Game number 49. But the duo ended-up finishing 1-2 in team scoring with 63, and 62 points respectively.

While youngin’ Filip Forsberg is an offensive dynamo( 33 goals, 64 points), Nashville’s strength lies in their defensive core. Shea Weber is the biggest name of the bunch, but D-partner Roman Josi (61 points) had the better season and should be a Norris candidate himself. Mattias Ekholm and Ryan Ellis are no slouches either, which is why the club felt comfortable in dealing away potential franchise defenseman Seth Jones for star center Ryan Johansen who had fallen out of favour in Columbus.

John Gibson is young, but a proven big-game performer at all levels so he may get the majority of the starts, but Frederik Andersen has been in this position before.

Pekka Rinne had an off-season for his standards, so the jury is out on whether or not he’ll turn things around when it matters most.

The Ducks and Predators will meet for the first time in the playoffs.

 

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(2) Los Angeles Kings (48-28-3-3, 102 pts) vs. (3) San Jose Sharks (46-30-3-3, 98 pts)

The Kings will face the Sharks for the fourth time. The Kings have won two of three series including a first-round matchup in 2014, when Los Angeles became the NHL’s fourth team to overcome a 3-0 series deficit.

Anze Kopitar is perhaps the league’s best centerman, as he dominates every aspect of the game with relative ease. He will be supported offensively by a streaking Jeff Carter, who has six goals in his last eight games, and a slew of talented vets.

Defensively, Drew Doughty is the Norris Trophy (league’s top D-man) favorite, and gets even better in the playoffs.

Goalie Jonathan Quick is probably the NHL’s best playoff goaltender, and set a personal career-high with his 40 victories this season.

Los Angeles squandered a chance to clinch the Pacific Division following a 4-3 shootout loss to Winnipeg on Saturday in which the Kings blew a 3-0 lead.

The last game of the regular reason maybe not seem important to clinched teams, but if the Kings can’t hold off the Jets up 3-0…there is serious reason for concern.

Joe Thornton had his best season since 2009-10 keading the Sharks with 82 points in 82 games.  More often than not, he was busy setting up captain Joe Pavelski (38 goals ) and defenseman Brent Burns (27 goals, 75 points).

Martin Jones proved to be a fruitful acquisition for San Jose this year, but has only 57 minutes of playoff experience under his belt (no starts), compared to Jonathan Quick’s 4684 and pair of Stanley Cup rings.

Posted in NHL

NHL Playoffs

Eastern Conference Preview

The NHL Playoffs begin tonight, so Fanpicks is here to bring you our Eastern Conference Preview.

Detroit will get the post-season party started when the puck drops at 7 pm ET in Tampa Bay tonight, as the Red Wings face the Lightning in Round One.

The Penguins and Rangers also face-off tonight (8 pm ET), while the Capitals are in action tomorrow night  (7 pm ET). You can view the entire playoff schedule here.

So without further ado, our NHL Playoff Preview.

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(1) Washington Capitals (56-18-6-2, 120 pts) vs (WC) Philadelphia Flyers (41-27-6-8, 96 pts)

Alex Ovechkin and his high-flying Capitals are looking for that elusive playoff success, but face a red-hot Flyers squad that finished the season on a 15-6-2 run in which they passed four teams in the standings to reserve a spot in the post-season tournament.

Philadelphia does have a roster with a fair share of playoff experience on it, but none of their position groups are deep enough to defeat the first-place Caps in a playoff series.

Their goaltending is solid, but not spectacular and the same can be said for their forwards and defenseman.

Claude Giroux needs to be dominant if the Flyers hope to win a couple of games.

The Capitals had a record-setting season of all sorts, including surpassing the 54 win mark from the 2009-10 season, setting a franchise-record long win streak and goaltender Braden Holtby tying the legendary Martin Brodeur’s single-season win record.

Washington has been in playoff-mode for a while now, resting star players (Ovechkin, Holtby) and coasting to a 3-3-3 record to close out the regular season, but that doesn’t bother Head Coach Barry Trotz who’s sticking to his long-term plan.

They say stats and numbers don’t mean anything when it comes to the playoffs, but here’s some food for thought. Washington became the first team in NHL history to not lose consecutive games in regulation (82-game season). Steady 60-minute play like that is the recipe for success in the playoffs, so if the Caps can come out on top of a few close ones they will have no trouble advancing.

Important note: Though the Caps finished the season with 15 more wings and 34 more points, the season series was tied at two apiece.

 

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(2) Pittsburgh Penguins (48-26-4-4, 104 pts) vs. (3) New York Rangers (46-27-7-2, 101 pts)

The Penguins are the hottest team in the league, as they went an incredible 13-1 since Evgeni Malkin was lost to injury on March 11. The star centerman is expected to be out another four weeks, somewhere mid-second round but word on the street is that oddly enough they play better without both Malkin and Sidney Crosby in the lineup. Maybe it’s due to the fact Crosby feels he needs to shoulder more of the load, something he’s going to need to do now that Matt Murray and Marc-Andre Fleury have been sidelined with injuries.

Pittsburgh is still unclear who will get the start in Game One on Wednesday night, so be weary of Jeff Zatkoff taking the crease.  They’ll face the team that has eliminated them in each of the past two seasons, the New York Rangers.

The Rangers enter the playoffs without their captain and number one defenseman, Ryan McDonagh. McDonagh was injured late in the regular season after blocking a shot against the Blue Jackets. He is listed as out with an upper-body injury, but the Rangers hope he will be back soon.

Henrik Lundqvist must have all the answers in this series. Slowing down Crosby, Kunitz, Kessel and co. is no small task, so the veteran Swede must be at his finest.

 

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(1) Florida Panthers (47-26-6-3, 103 pts) vs. (WC) New York Islanders (45-27-5-5, 100 pts)

The Panthers set a franchise record with 47 wins to earn their fifth playoff berth and second in the past 15 seasons, while the Islanders had an up-and-down campaign that has started to unravel at the worst possible moment.

New York’s strengths lay within their forward depth and sometimes spectacular performances from starting goaltender Jaroslav Halak. So when Halak went down with injury and the inexperienced Christopher Gibson took the reigns, thing didn’t look good. Throw in the loss of top-six forward Anders Lee as well and their odds for success drop immensely.

While most look at the contrast in youth and experience as to why the Panthers were so exciting to follow this year, I just see boatloads of talent.

44-year-old Jaromir Jagr had another unbelievable season to anchor the forward group, supported by superiorly skilled recent top draft picks such as linemates 20-year-old Aleksander Barkov, and 22-year-old Jonathan Huberdeau.

These cool cats have a ton of scoring depth, some solid defenders and an all-star goalie in Roberto Luongo, so they could do some damage in the playoffs.

The two franchises have never met in the playoffs before.

The Islanders are seeking to end a first-round playoff drought. New York hasn’t won a playoff series since a second-round matchup against Pittsburgh in 1993.

 

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(2) Tampa Bay Lightning (46-31-2-3 97 pts) vs (3) Detroit Red Wings (41-30-6-5 93 pts)

The Lightning and Red Wings will be the first pair of teams to hit the ice for the 2016 NHL Playoffs in a rematch of last season’s opening round matchup. The Lightning rallied from a 3-2 series deficit to beat the Red Wings en route to reaching the Stanley Cup final, which they lost to the Blackhawks.

Neither team is trending in the right direction…as both teams are just 5-5 in their last 10 games, with three combined consecutive losses to close out the season.

The Lightning went 7-9-1 in their final 17 games, and enter the playoffs minus captain Steven Stamkos (blood clots) and defenceman Anton Stralman (broken left leg), and possibly Tyler Johnson (upper-body). Rookie Jonathan Drouin was recently recalled after season-long drama and has been producing. He has shown to be clutch in big moments during his junior career.

The Red Wings, who earned their 25th consecutive playoff berth, have concerns of their own.

Detroit’s top three scorers have combined for just two goals and 13 assists: Henrik Zetterberg (six assists), Pavel Datsyuk (seven assists) and Dylan Larkin (two goals). Now, Detroit faces the added distraction of Datsyuk revealing he intends to retire from the NHL after the playoffs and continue playing in his native Russia.

Ben Bishop should give the Bolts the edge in goal, but the 46-game playoff veteran Jimmy Howard should be solid after winning his starting gig back after Petr Mrazek faltered down the stretch.

Posted in NHL

NHL Playoff TV Schedule

This year’s NHL Playoffs are sure to be a good one, so make sure you don’t miss a moment of it.

Alex Ovechkin and the high-flying Washington Capitals are looking for that elusive playoff success, but face a red-hot Philadelphia Flyers squad that finished the season on a 15-6-2 run in which they passed four teams in the standings to reserve a spot in the post-season tournament.

The opening game of the NHL playoffs is at 7 pm ET on Wednesday April 13, when the injury-plagued Tampa Bay Lightning face-off against the historic Detroit Red Wings. The Red Wings made the playoffs for a 25th consecutive season, an all-time record in major league sports.

Out West, the Dallas Stars take on their former home-town franchise as the Minnesota Wild will be their competitors in the first round. This is the first time these two teams meet in the playoffs.

In an always fun all-California matchup, the third-place San Jose Sharks meet the second-place LA Kings starting on Thursday night. It will be the fourth time these teams meet in the Stanley Cup playoffs, including an epic 2014 comeback by the Kings who were down 3-games-to-none to start the series.

Here’s a look at the entire NHL playoff broadcast schedule.

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Posted in NHL

MLB Fantasy Picks

Fanpicks.com is proud to bring you another edition of our MLB Fantasy Picks. As per usual there were a few early starts, but six games remain on the evening slate to select your talent from.

Let’s get right into it.

MLB Fantasy Picks

P Steven Matz NYM – Matz will make his season debut for the Mets (almost typed Metz) tonight versus the Miami Marlins.

Matz was 4-0 with a 2.27 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 35 2/3 innings in 2015.

Through their five games this season, the Mets lead the National League in ERA (2.05) and are no worse than tied for second in WHIP (1.00) and strikeouts per nine innings (6.14).

Mets starters had a 3.44 ERA last season, the team’s best mark since the 3.43 ERA they set in 1989.

The art of deception could prove fruitful, as no Marlins batter has been up to the plate more than three times against Matz. You can study and prepare all you want, but actually being out there against the guy is a whole different story

In comparison, Jarred Cosart is scheduled to start for the Marlins and while he is also making his season debut, 2015 did not go as planned. His season was ended prematurely by vertigo, but he wasn’t exactly shining bright when he did play. In 13 starts, he had a 2-5 record with a 4.52 ERA.

If Cosart is less than steady, the Mets could provide ample run support to get Matz his first W of the season.

C Chris Iannetta SEA – He didn’t dress on Sunday, so the Mariners catcher should be back in today. Iannetta has now collected hits in three of the four games in which he’s had at least one plate appearance, and has four hits in 11 at-bats overall. He might not light the (fantasy) world on fire, but he should be a consistent presence at the plate. Players like this who avoid frequent goose eggs could be the difference between finishing in or out of the money in your DFS contest.

OF Delino DeShields Jr TEX –  At four inches shorter and 30 pounds heavier, the 5’9 200 pounder may have a completely opposite build than that of his father but it doesn’t mean he’s not adept at getting on base. Delino DeShields Jr. is thick like a power hitter, but remains the Rangers lead man and possesses solid speed. Between April 8th and 9th, the younger (not youngest) DeShields has taken 7 bases on SBs, WPs, fly balls and errors over two games (vs LAA). That’s good for 41.5 fantasy points over that span.

 

 

Posted in MLB

Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks

As the NBA regular season winds to a close daily fantasy players everywhere are scrambling to top-off their accounts, so once again we’re here to bring you our Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks.

There were many game-time decisions to be weary of, so the majority of lineups should be coming in at the last minute today as it often the case on Sunday’s. Especially at this time of year.

Daily Fantasy Basketball Picks

Sasha Vujacic has averaged 28.3 fantasy points over his last 3 games. Whether or not he can keep up his stellar play is unknown, but he is by definition a great value pick at just $4000.

Elfrid Payton: 23.9 is the lowest number of fantasy points the Magic PG has put up over his past 9 games. He’s not a scoring beast, but he does usually produce double-digit assist numbers. He is $6000, but could easily produce like a $7k man.

Jusuf Nurkic got the start at power forward for the Nuggets the last time out, but is still listed as a center on most platforms. $4700 is a nice price for someone averaging 27.74 fantasy-points-per-game in his last 7 games played.

Jabari Parker has been fantastic for the Bucks down the stretch, averaging 30 fantasy-points-per-game during their most recent 10 game span. At $6500 he’s still a good value pick, not to mention that the 76ers aren’t exactly what you call a shutdown defense either.

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Posted in NBA

DFS NHL PICKS

Sadly, the NHL season is coming to a close so we’re here to present to you our last regular season edition of our DFS NHL picks.

Not to worry, we will still be providing fantasy picks throughout the playoffs. But as every team is in action, this is a big night.

Important note: Word came out of Pittsburgh earlier today that superstars Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang would not be dressing for their season finale, so be weary of any last minute scratches around the league.

As we’re all aware of professional sports contracts are laced with incentives. In other words, statistical plateaus that athletes must attain to cash in on big money bonuses.

To break it down, as major league sports season’s come to a close these plateaus often become the focus of individual players as they step into action. Wouldn’t you try your luck if a million dollars was the difference between you taking the shot (and scoring) or passing it off to a teammate? 30 goals on the season puts you into the upper-echelon of performers, whereas 29 goals gets you in the milder “20-goal scorer” category.

So as time is of the essence for these contracts, I’m aiming for players who will be extra motivated to reach these milestones.

If you doubt this theory and need proof, just look up how Jamie Benn won the NHL scoring title last season. Spoiler: He scored four points (a hat-trick), including the last one with 8.5 seconds left in the game (and season) to surpass John Tavares and Sidney Crosby to win the Art Ross trophy. Not to mention he did it without the other half of Dallas’ dynamic duo as Tyler Seguin sat out with an in-house suspension.

Finally, let’s take a look at my DFS NHL picks.

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If you can’t tell just by looking at it, this is pretty much a young stars team balanced out by the ageless wonder Jaromir Jagr, and Chicago’s 2015-16 dynamic duo of rookie Artemi Panarin and current NHL leading scorer Patrick Kane.

The strategy is to have hungry young guns with a lot to prove, plus a few guys on hot streaks to bring some stability.

Panarin sits at 28 goals on the season, needing two to hit the 30-goal plateau. One single point would be nice as well, as the 75-point mark would be awfully impressive for a rookie (albeit a 24-year-old rookie)

Winnipeg rookie Nik Ehlers is a nice value at $4800, and has 1 goal and 5 assists in his last 10 games while skating on the Jets’ top line with Blake Wheeler and breakout star Mark Scheifele.

The heavily scrutinized Alex Galchenyuk managed to turn a nearly lost season around just in time to be named the Montreal Canadiens player of the year. The electric American also sits at 28 goals, and you can bet his teammates (namely Max Pacioretty) will be doing everything they can to get him to 30 goals. A nice team dinner and a couple of bottles of wine is in the best interest for everyone, especially since the Habs have nothing else to play for.

19-year-old phenom Connor McDavid is arguably the best player in the NHL already. He leads the league (ahead of Jagr and Kane) with 2.71 points-per-60-minutes during 5-on-5 play. The former two come in at 2.61. While the Oilers were a disaster this year (again), the Canucks have been down right awful for the past month and are ripe for the picking. McDavid has at least one point in all but two of his previous 10 games (2 goals + 11 assists), including 3 against these very same Canucks just 48 hours ago. Did I mention he sits at 48 points (44 games) on the season? Two points in the season finale seems fitting for the young icon.

 

Posted in NHL

Montreal Canadiens G Charlie Lindgren Wins NHL Debut

The Montreal Canadiens announced on April 30 that the team had agreed to terms on a two-year contract with free agent NCAA goaltender Charlie Lindgren.

Lindgren just completed his third season with the St. Cloud State Huskies, and an impressive season it was. The 6’2 netminder boasted a 30-9-1 record, 2.13 GAA. .925 Sv%, and 5 shutouts. Those gaudy numbers ranked him first in the NCHC in wins, saves, and shutouts (T-2 others).

He finished his career with a rock solid 51-29-3 record, 2.21 GAA, .921 Sv% and 8 shutouts.

His team’s made it to the NCAA tournament every year Lindgren was guarding the paint, and was 2016’s NCHC Frozen Faceoff champion.

They say the difference between a starting and backup goaltender is their ability to maintain peak performance, so with 2,342 minutes played this season alone Lindgren has certainly shown the ability to carry the load for a successful club.

The signing of Charlie Lindgren is more than just a great addition to the goaltender depth in Montreal, it’s a symbol that the the doom and gloom season they’ve had is coming to an end and brighter days lay ahead of this organization.

While not all will look fondly upon the move, it without a doubt can only affect the organization in a positive manner. He was recently ranked the fourth overall, and top NCAA free agent goaltender.

Lindgren joined the team immediately upon signing his deal but did not play until April 7 when the Canadiens were in Carolina.

By starting the game, the Canadiens (essentially Lindgren) set a franchise record for most goalies used in a single season (5).

Avoiding the pressures of the Bell Center was key according to Head Coach Michel Therrien and the plan worked. Although Lindgren allowed a goal on his first shot against (it was a good scoring opportunity and bad defensive effort from his team), he did make 26 saves for the 4-2 victory in his NHL debut.

While he was visibly nervous early on, he settled down as he made some solid saves and was in control by the end. He showed poise and athleticism during scramble mode in the waning moments, robbing the Hurricanes at least three times including a gutsy two-pad stack in the clutch.

His future looks very bright.

If he stays in Montreal long-term, he and Carey Price could potentially combine to form the league’s best goaltending tandem.

Posted in NHL

Late Night NBA Fantasy Picks

For those night owls out there, or west-coasters, there are three games left on the NBA slate so it’s not too late to enter your late night NBA fantasy picks. With a nicely staggered schedule, you should be able to catch most of the action including the finishes across the league tonight.

Two big stars I’m avoiding tonight and maybe the rest of the regular season, Blake Griffin and D’Angelo Russell. Griffin hasn’t been himself since returning from his quad and hand injuries, followed by a suspension. He only has 27.1 points in his two games combined even though he’s been on the court for 42 minutes.

Maybe it has something to do with the Iggy Azalea drama, but Russell just hasn’t been good lately. He’s shot a miserable 26.2% over his last two games which shows the confidence and focus just isn’t there for the Lakers point guard.

Late Night NBA Fantasy Picks 

C Mason Plumlee POR $5300 – He’s usually pretty consistent and has averaged 24.8 fantasy points over the last 10 games.

SF Maurice Harkless POR $4400 – 20 points and a season high 16 rebounds was very rewarding for fantasy owners last night against Sacramento. At $4400 you can’t go wrong with someone averaging 27.5 fantasy points over his last 8 games.

PF Julius Randle LAL $$6600 – There aren’t many Lakers you’re due to be aiming for on the fantasy basketball scene but Randle has averaged 30.9 fantasy points over his last three games and needs to have a better game than he did last night in the finale of this back-to-back against the Clippers.

 

Posted in NBA

Late Night Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks

For those night owls out there, or west-coasters, there are two games left on the MLB slate so it’s not too late to enter your late night daily fantasy baseball picks.

This early on in the season I’m always looking to lean on players with a hot start. Batters whose bats have been cracking since opening day. If you’re not seeing the ball well, its tough to take a gamble on a player unless you’re forced to, or that player is just too good to slump for that long. In this case, there isn’t necessarily an abundance of talent to choose from, so a safe, steady lineup was my strategy (regarding batters).

It’s hard not to pick the entire Dodgers lineup, as they’re up 18-0 on the Padres through two game so far including their record setting 15-0 opening day

  • Late Night Daily Fantasy Picks

Kenta Maeda is the most exciting player in action tonight. The Japanese rookie will make his first career start tonight, but was very good during Spring Ball for the Dodgers. It’s early, but Maeda could become a steady contributor all season long.

Adrian Gonzalez has 4 hits through 2 games (8 ABs) and should continue that tonight against the struggling Padres.

A’s catcher Josh Phegley has played 1 game so far, and has 2 hits in 2 at-bats. 

Chicago White Sox Todd Frazier put up 27 fantasy points yesterday in his second game this year. The third-baseman went 2-for-5 with a three-run home run in the White Sox’s win over the A’s on Tuesday.

Posted in MLB

Daily Fantasy Hockey Picks

As the NHL regular season comes to an end, we bring to you one of the last editions of our Daily Fantasy Hockey Picks.

There’s only three games on the NHL schedule tonight, so pickins are slim. Mighty slim when considering the teams that are in action.

Only the Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings have something to play for (and that’s a lot), and they both happen to be playing against each other.

The quality of defenseman available in the Canucks vs Oilers game is putrid. Andrej Sekera is virtually the only NHL caliber defenseman and he though he does have 5 points, he is a steep minus-8 in his last 10 games.

Niklas Kronwall DET – Similar to Sekera, the Red Wings veteran D-man has 7 points in his last 10 contests, but holds a minus-6 rating over that span as well.

Riley Sheahan DET  The hard-working centerman exploded over the last month of the season, scoring more goals than he did in the previous 70 games. He has 8 points in last 10 games.

William Nylander TO – The uber talented rookie has 3 points in his last 2 games, and 8 in his last 10. Even more impressive is that he didn’t mark the scoresheet for 5 straight over those games.

Wayne Simmonds PHI – With 4 goals in his last 4 games, Simmonds is turning it on when the Flyers need it most. He generally a solid fantasy pick as he plays a tough, all-around game. Throw in elite goal scoring and he’s a superstar in real life and fantasy. He’s the star of the picks but totally worth the investment, especially on a schedule like tonight.

 

Posted in NHL

Daily Fantasy Hockey Lineup

There are only five games on the NHL schedule tonight, and with the season coming to a close, matchups become even more important when considering your daily fantasy hockey lineup.

Some daily fantasy players like to spread their wealth over an abundance of games, but as some teams are fighting for their playoff lives others are dreaming of greener pastures so effort levels can waver significantly.

In this edition of my daily fantasy hockey lineup, I’ve loaded up on Kings, and Panthers, while rounding out my team with stalwart’s from playoff teams (one exception: Columbus’ hot Boone Jenner)

  • My Lineup

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The Tampa Bay Lightning were expected to be contenders this season, but have dealt with their share of drama from the get-go. Captain Steven Stamkos has had a whirlwind season including the non-stop trade rumours due to his status as an impending unrestricted free-agent, while top prospect Jonathan Drouin refused to report to their minor league affiliate for a while leading to an in-house suspension.

Just as Tampa thought that things would turn up in time for the playoffs, those hopes took a major hit when the club announced the loss of Stamkos for one-to-three months with a blood clot this weekend, and top pairing defenseman Anton Stralman with a broken leg last week. 

Scoring winger Ondrej Palat missed over 20 games this season due to injury, but has heated up of late going on a tear about a month ago and recently producing 4 goals and 8 assists for 12 points over his last 10 games.

Though the Vancouver Canucks have won two straight, the Kings are still the heavy favorite. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the Canucks hadn’t won one in their previous 10 and LA is true Stanley Cup contender.

Enter a trio of Kings: Jonathan Quick, Jeff Carter and value pick Kris Versteeg.

Jonathan Quick is one of the league’s few elite goaltenders, and is aiming for a career-high 40 wins tonight. He’s at least $1000 cheaper than the St-Louis Blues tandem of Jake Allen (injured) and Brian Elliott, more talented than them and has the desired matchup.

I also stacked two members from the Florida Panthers top line. Aleksander Barkov and Jaromir Jagr. Barkov has made a habit of wrecking the Montreal Canadiens this year, and capped off the season with a 4-point effort (2 goals, 2 assists) on Saturday night. The young Finn is fresh, confident and primed to wreck the Maple Leafs tonight.

Linemate and living-legend Jaromir Jagr has points in 5 straight games, while scoring at least one point in 16 of 21 games since turning 44 years old on February 15th (9 goals, 13 assists). He shows no signs of slowing down heading into the NHL playoffs.

 

 

Posted in NHL

MLB Opening Day Daily Fantasy Lineup

The day is finally here. The major league baseball season is now officially upon us, so Fanpicks is here to present to you our MLB Opening Day Daily Fantasy Lineup.

As everyone is starting off fresh, field players range between the $4800 and $2000 range. Mike Trout is the only exception to the rule at $5000.

Of course, pitchers are the gold mine of the sport ranging anywhere from Clayton Kershaw‘s $11000 cap hit, to Wily Paralta‘s $4300.

I opted for a slightly cheaper David Price instead of big-money Kershaw. The Red Sox new ace has a nice matchup against the not-so potent Cleveland Indians at 1 pm, so I’m looking to start off the season with a bang from my most expensive peice.

Take a look at the rest of my MLB Opening Day Daily Fantasy Lineup.

mlbopeningday

Bryce Harper is the “highest-paid” bat in my lineup. With a steady dose of up-and-comers, I needed to balance the risk of inconsistency out with a star veteran.

Cincinnati’s Joey Votto was also selected for the same reasons, and a strong spring leads me to believe he may start this season off with a bang.

While he may not have a ton of power, Jason Heyward should be a nice fantasy option this season. He is expected to bat second on Opening Day,  and should remain behind Dexter Fowler, and in front of some combination of Ben Zobrist, Anthony Rizzo, and Kris Bryant, so expect him to score a lot of runs this year.

Posted in MLB