Complete Big 12 preview for the 2018 season.

Oklahoma has a few key players to replace from last year’s squad, but coach Lincoln Riley’s team is the pick to win the Big 12 this fall. The Sooners have claimed the conference title three years in a row and hold an edge over Texas, West Virginia and TCU in the 2018 Big 12 predictions. The Mountaineers will have no trouble scoring points behind quarterback Will Grier, but the defense will be key in whether or not this team contends for the conference title. After eight teams reached bowl eligibility last season, it would not be a surprise to see the conference reach that level or if nine programs hit at least six victories in 2018.

Baylor

Playing with a chip on their shoulder after last year’s 1-11 finish, the Bears should be able to get off to a better start and make a run at their eighth bowl bid in nine years. But staying healthy will be the key.

Iowa State

Coach Matt Campbell was a year ahead of schedule in getting Iowa State back to a bowl game. The program seems poised to maintain its momentum. The Cyclones should be better in the trenches on both sides of the football, and across the board, this is a deeper and more athletic team than the one that went 8-5 a year ago. Another trip to the postseason seems likely in Ames, and finishing in the upper half of the Big 12 is possible.

Kansas

KU finished just 1-11 in 2017, with its only win coming in the season opener against FCS opponent Southeast Missouri State. Coach David Beaty’s record stands at 3-33 in three seasons, with his only FBS win coming against Texas in 2016. The stakes will be high in 2018. If KU struggles to start the season, the moves could come in a hurry.

Kansas State

K-State coach Bill Snyder has enough returning talent and experience to remain a factor in the Big 12, but it won’t be easy with two new coordinators and uncertainty at key positions. The Wildcats started slow in each of the past two seasons before finishing strong and winning bowl games. They will need to play well from the get-go, especially with Mississippi State on the schedule, to reach higher levels this season.

Oklahoma

In Norman, they’re used to replacing All-Americans and continuing to win big. So downgrade the Sooners with caution. Sure, the coaches would like to be more settled at quarterback. And the schedule doesn’t offer the opportunity to ease into things, with UCLA visiting in Week 2, followed by the Big 12 opener at Iowa State the following Saturday. Still, if Kyler Murray or Austin Kendall takes hold of the quarterback position, the Sooners will again have the look of a Big 12 favorite and CFB Playoff contender.

Oklahoma State

Outside the program, all focus centers on replacing QB Mason Rudolph and WR James Washington, understandably. Inside, however, there’s a quiet confidence, with 12 returning starters and plenty of playmakers on both sides of the ball.

A quarterback must emerge, but Oklahoma State coaches are excited about their options. The schedule offers two comfortable games – Missouri State and South Alabama – to get the quarterback some confidence, before Boise State arrives in Stillwater for an intriguing non-conference clash. If all goes well early, it could signal business as usual for the Cowboys.

TCU

Like always, TCU will field a good defense. But coach Gary Patterson and his staff have assembled what looks like the best offensive skill talent they’ve ever had. If the offensive line comes together, TCU will be closer to pairing an offense that can keep up with the Big 12’s best with a defense that can win games on its own. The last time that happened, in 2014 and ’15, TCU won 23 of 26 games, shared a league championship and nearly crashed the CFP.

Texas

Texas improved from five to seven wins in Tom Herman’s first season. Getting to a bowl game was a nice first step. Herman also established a culture and added some elite talent in his first full recruiting class. To challenge Oklahoma for supremacy in the Big 12, the Horns will have to show significant improvement on offense and hope that Todd Orlando’s defense doesn’t drop off too much despite key personnel losses.

Texas Tech

Texas Tech’s defense got key stops consistently for the first time in years in 2017, but the offense often wasted away those opportunities, particularly in the red zone, where short-yardage situations and field goal tries often ended in disaster.

To take a step forward, the Red Raider offense simply has to get tougher on the ground, the quarterback — whoever wins the job — needs to be steady, the kicking game must take a huge step forward and the defense needs to stay on course. A veteran offensive line and a healthy kicker in Clayton Hatfield should help, but the quarterback’s success or failure will weigh the heaviest on this team’s season. Coach Kliff Kingsbury’s job depends on it.

West Virginia

WVU fans were downright giddy for the 2018 team until departures and injuries hit the Mountaineer defense in the spring. Now, there’s a wait-and-see approach while defensive coordinator Tony Gibson tries to patch the holes.

With Will Grier and perhaps the nation’s best receiving corps, WVU will score. The only question is whether they’ll have to score 50 per game to cover for the defense.

Download the FanPicks Fantasy App. Click on the links below.

Posted in CFB

NCAA Football 2017 Season

Big 12 Conference Preview

The race to win the Big 12 in 2017 took an interesting turn this offseason. The Sooners will be under the direction of new coach Lincoln Riley after Bob Stoops retired in June. Riley will continue to direct Oklahoma’s high-powered offense, which is good news for the Heisman hopes of quarterback Baker Mayfield. Oklahoma State and Texas are expected to contend also. Kansas State, West Virginia and TCU completes the top 6. Iowa State and Baylor are two sleeper teams to watch in 2017. The new season of fantasy college football kicks off Saturday August 26 at FanPicks

Kansas St. Wildcats

The Wildcats will have serious experience and firepower on offense this season. If they can develop a few players on defense and improve against the pass, they could be one of the Big 12’s biggest threats to dethrone Oklahoma.

Oklahoma St. Cowboys

There are a lot of optimistic references to 2011 in Stillwater, with the look of this team bearing an obvious resemblance to that squad — at least on paper — with the array of offensive playmakers and the promise of an opportunistic defense. Now, can it look and perform like that squad, which won the Big 12 and finished decimal points out of the national championship game?

The Cowboys will have to manage trips to Pittsburgh and West Virginia, but the rest of the schedule sets up nicely. And they’ll have to find a way to beat Oklahoma, which has blocked their path the past two seasons.

Texas Longhorns

Tom Herman is 22–4 as a head coach and is 6–0 against teams ranked in the AP top 25. He may also be a master of timing. At Houston, he took over a veteran team coming off an eight-win season and went 13–1 in his first year.

Now, Herman takes over a Texas roster returning 37 of the 44 in the two-deep from last season, stocked with back-to-back top-10 recruiting classes under former coach Charlie Strong. On his way out, Strong said whoever was coaching the Longhorns in 2017 would win 10 games.

Texas fans can’t take any more hype, only to be let down again. But things may be set up for Texas and Herman to crash the Big 12 party this season thanks to UT’s veteran roster, including experienced offensive and defensive lines and a laser-accurate quarterback in Shane Buechele.

Oklahoma Sooners

The Sooners enter 2017 as the favorites to win a third straight Big 12 championship. Still, the push is for much more. QB Baker Mayfield and the standout offensive line give them a shot, although reliable weapons must develop, and the defense must prove capable.

There will be a challenging road schedule that features a September 9th visit to Columbus to meet an Ohio State team that thumped Oklahoma in 2016. And there are trips to Kansas State and Oklahoma State, two of the other top contenders in the Big 12. And, if all goes well, there’s a rematch with someone in the resurrected Big 12 Championship Game.

West Virginia Mountaineers

As head coach Dana Holgorsen said throughout the spring, West Virginia has talented players. Will Grier at quarterback, Ka’Raun White at receiver and Justin Crawford at running back comprise a trinity that’s tough to beat. Offensive line coach Joe Wickline should be able to build a decent front with guard Kyle Bosch as the anchor.

On defense, though, questions swirl around the line and at corner. Expect the opposition to test the WVU front early and often in 2017. Also, uncertainty at corner might give blitz-happy defensive coordinator Tony Gibson pause. In addition, there’s concern as to whether those in key positions coming off injuries will return to prior form.

Overall, though, WVU has plenty of confidence coming off a 10-win season and enough talent to challenge in a watered-down Big 12.

TCU Horned Frogs

The Air Raid-based Frogs will go as far as their quarterback takes them. Improvement from Kenny Hill is a must if TCU wants to return to its winning ways, let alone compete for the Big 12 championship. There are tools to work with on offense, but the best of them may still be a year away from making a legitimate impact. At least head coach Gary Patterson is likely to put out a sound defense. Experience is on his side this year, and that typically has meant good things.

Baylor Bears

Considering all of the turnover and culture change this program is undergoing, finishing above .500 and earning a bowl bid would be an impressive debut for new head coach Matt Rhule and the Bears. There are too many holes and question marks for Rhule to match the back-to-back 10-win seasons he had in his final two years at Temple. But Baylor — which returns 10 starters from a team that went 7–6 — is good enough to reach a bowl game for the eighth consecutive season.

Iowa St. Cyclones

The Matt Campbell era got off to a rough start, with a Week 1 loss to Northern Iowa followed up by a lopsided defeat to rival Iowa. But by the end of the year, Iowa State was competing with the best of the Big 12.

Now comes the most difficult task for the second year head coach: winning some of those games and getting Iowa State back to the postseason for the first time since 2012. To make that happen, the Cyclones will have to show significant improvement in the trenches — on both sides of the ball.

Kansas Jayhawks

KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger understands that his offseason contract extension and raise for head coach David Beaty — 2–22 in his first two seasons — will look questionable to some. Beaty’s pay raise — he went from $800,000 annually to $1.6 million in 2017, with a $100,000 bump each season — is further proof, however, that Zenger sees progress outside the team’s wins and losses. Beaty has improved the team’s roster numbers after a scholarship crunch his first season and also built up some positive recruiting vibes. In 2016, bowl eligibility is unlikely given that the rebuild is still in its early stages, but improving on a two-win season should be an expectation, especially after Zenger gave Beaty the offseason vote of confidence.

Texas Tech Red Raiders

Texas Tech has a lot to prove in 2017. There are glaring weaknesses that need to be addressed — specifically the run game, offensive line and one of the worst defenses in college football. Even in an area where Texas Tech typically succeeds — throwing the football — the Raiders are tasked with replacing arguably the best quarterback in school history (Patrick Mahomes) with a player who has never started at the collegiate level.

All of this uncertainty on the field will add to the uncertainty with the coaching staff. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury is back for the fifth season at his alma mater, but the former record-setting quarterback is no doubt in a precarious position. A 13–23 record in Big 12 games simply is not good enough.

Posted in CFB

Sweet Sixteen Day Two

Friday CBB Rundown

Here is the NHL rundown. We’ve got picks from Friday College Basketball matchups to get you ready for your cash drafts. Play at FanPicks now!

No 4 Butler Bulldogs (25-8) vs No 1 North Carolina Tar Heel (29-7)

The Bulldogs have been crisp on offense in the tournament, shooting 50 percent overall and 47 percent from 3-point range, with Memphis transfer Avery Woodson (8.9 points) going 8-of-14 from behind the arc. The Tar Heels nearly met their match with Arkansas’ frenetic style of play, but their up-tempo game should match up better against the Bulldogs.

No 7 South Carolina Gamecocks (24-10) vs No 3 Baylor Bears (27-7)

This marks the fourth time in 14 seasons under Scott Drew that the Bears made it to the Sweet 16 and they’ve advanced to the Elite Eight twice with wins over Saint Mary’s in 2010 and Xavier in 2012 while losing to No. 2 seed Wisconsin in 2014. Seventh-seeded South Carolina takes part in the school’s first Sweet 16 under the current NCAA Tournament format. SEC Player of the Year Sindarius Thornwell was somewhat under the radar nationally until Sunday’s upset of Duke when the 6-5 senior guard filled up the stat sheet with 24 points, six rebounds and a team-high five assists as the Gamecocks exploded for 65 second-half points.

No 2 UCLA Bruins (31-4) vs No 3 Kentucky Wildcats (31-5)

Bruins freshman point guard Lonzo Ball had one of his most impressive performances of the season in the second round and should be motivated to play well against the freshman backcourt of Kentucky. Isaiah Briscoe is the third starting guard for the Wildcats and also has good size at 6-3, and is the best rebounder in the backcourt, posting four double-doubles this season and ranking second on the team at 5.4 rebounds. The Bruins need to decide who to put on Briscoe, and that could be Ball, who has the length at 6-6 to keep him off the glass.

No 8 Wisconsin Badgers (27-9) vs No 4 Florida Gators (26-8)

The Badgers have two key seniors with multiple Final Four experience in Koenig, who has drained 11 3-pointers en route to 45 points through two games of this event, and Nigel Hayes, who is averaging 17.5 points and nine boards through two NCAA contests. The Gators are 8-1 all-time in the Sweet 16 and have an excellent shot at improving that mark if Devin Robinson continues to shine.

Posted in CBB

Baylor Bears

Big 12 (25-7, 11-6)

 by Joel Welser

Fresh off their First Round upset loss to Yale, Baylor is hoping for a much better tournament run in 2017. The Bears had an amazing start to the season and won their first 15 games. And it is not like this team had an easy schedule like so many other teams. Baylor beat Oregon, VCU, Michigan State, Louisville and Xavier in non-conference play. There were some losses in Big 12 play, but Coach Scott Drew will have his team ready to make a deep run.

Big Wins: 11/15 Oregon (66-49), 11/25 vs Louisville (66-63), 2/27 West Virginia (71-62)

Bad Losses: 2/4 Kansas State (54-56), 2/13 at Texas Tech (78-84), 2/25 at Iowa State (69-72)

Coach: Scott Drew

Why They Can Surprise:

Baylor’s size and depth can give anybody problems. Johnathan Motley and Jo Lual-Acuil make it extremely difficult for anybody to get an easy bucket in the paint. Motley averages 1.0 blocks per game on top of his team high 17.3 points and 9.9 rebounds. Lual-Acuil is the bigger shot blocking threat, averaging 2.6 per game. The seven-foot junior college transfer also averages 9.2 points and 7.0 rebounds. It was no surprise that Lual-Acuil is blocking shots, but his production on offense has added yet another scoring dimension to this team. With those two leading the way, Baylor is a great rebounding team and a great shot blocking team. Terry Maston and Nuni Omot provide most of the frontcourt depth. They are not as productive as Motley and Lual-Acuil, but Maston and Omot are decent scorers.

Why They Can Disappoint:

The Baylor backcourt has talent with Ishamil Wainright, Manu Lecomte and Al Freeman leading the way. Wainright is not a great scorer, but the 6-5 senior can do everything else. He is a fine passer, a great defender and a superb rebounder for a guard. Lecomte has been the most prolific scorer on the perimeter and he is also a very good three-point shooter. However, Lecomte is really the only outside shooting threat on the team. Freeman has been extremely inconsistent shooting the ball and Baylor needs him to get hot at the right time. If Lecomte is the only real outside shooting threat, the opposition can concentrate on stopping Motley and potentially shut down the Baylor offense. If Freeman is struggling to knock down shots, Baylor will need Jake Lindsey or King McClure to step into that role.

Probable Starters:

Manu Lecomte, Junior, Guard, 12.4 ppg, 3.9 apg

Ishamil Wainright, Senior, Guard, 5.6 ppg, 3.2 apg, 5.1 rpg

Al Freeman, Junior, Guard, 9.8 ppg, 1.3 apg

Johnathan Motley, Junior, Forward, 17.3 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 1.0 bpg

Jo Lual-Acuil, Junior, Forward, 9.2 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.6 bpg

Key Role Players:

Terry Maston, Junior, Forward, 6.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg

Jake Lindsey, Sophomore, Guard, 4.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg

King McClure, Sophomore, Guard, 4.8 ppg

Nuni Omot, Junior, Forward, 4.5 ppg, 2.2 rpg

By the Numbers:

Scoring Offense: 73.0 (183rd in nation, 8th in conference)

Scoring Defense: 62.5 (17, 1)

Field-Goal Percentage: 47.2 (44, 3)

Field-Goal Defense: 39.5 (15, 1)

Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.7 (228, 7)

Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.8 (142, 7)

Free-Throw Percentage: 72.1 (116, 4)

Rebound Margin: 8.8 (6, 1)

Assists Per Game: 15.6 (57, 5)

Turnovers Per Game: 13.4 (208, 7)

Recent Postseason Appearances:

2016    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Yale

2015    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Georgia State

2014    NCAA Round of 64 win over Nebraska

2014    NCAA Round of 32 win over Creighton

2014    NCAA Regional Semifinal loss to Wisconsin

2013    NIT     First Round win over Long Beach State

2013    NIT     Second Round win over Arizona State

2013    NIT     Quarterfinal win over Providence

2013    NIT     Semifinal win over BYU

2013    NIT     Final win over Iowa

2012    NCAA Round of 64 win over South Dakota State

2012    NCAA Round of 32 win over Colorado

2012    NCAA Regional Semifinal win over Xavier

2012    NCAA Regional Final loss to Kentucky

2010    NCAA Round of 64 win over Sam Houston State

2010    NCAA Round of 32 win over Old Dominion

2010    NCAA Regional Semifinal win over St. Mary’s

2010    NCAA Regional Final loss to Duke

2009    NIT     First Round win over Georgetown

2009    NIT     Second Round win over Virginia Tech

2009    NIT     Quarterfinal win over Auburn

2009    NIT     Semifinal win over San Diego State

2009    NIT     Final loss to Penn State

2008    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Purdue

*all team stats through 3/5

Play March Madness Daily Fantasy Sports here.

Posted in CBB

Motel 6 Cactus Bowl Preview

Boise State Broncos vs Baylor Bears

Boise State is no stranger to postseason trips to Arizona, as the Broncos have played in the Fiesta Bowl three times since 2006. This season, they go into the Motel 6 Cactus Bowl(Enter Contest).

Baylor will be in its seventh consecutive bowl appearance. The Bears ended the year with six consecutive losses and lost starting quarterback Seth Russell to a season-ending leg injury. Freshman Zach Smith is a promising passer for Baylor and the late-season starts will ease his transition into the full-time role in 2017. Smith has a talented group of skill players at his disposal, including KD Cannon (73 catches) and running backs Terence Williams (945 yards) and Shock Linwood (751 yards).

The Broncos have struggled to stop ground attacks (179.8 ypg allowed), so Linwood and Williams could have plenty of room to run. When Boise State has the ball, Baylor is going to have its hands full trying to slow down quarterback Brett Rypien and running back Jeremy McNichols. Expect plenty of fireworks on offense between these two teams. However, the Broncos should be a heavy favorite after the Bears finished the season with six consecutive losses.

ABOUT BOISE STATE (10-2, 6-2 Mountain West)

After losing to Air Force for the third consecutive year and failing to make it into the conference championship for the second straight season, the Broncos are looking at a potential bowl win over a Big 12 team as something to build on. Junior running back Jeremy McNichols (1,663 yards and 23 touchdowns rushing), sophomore quarterback Brett Rypien (3,341 yards, 23 TDs passing), and wide receivers Thomas Sperbeck (72 catches, 1,193 yards, nine touchdowns) along with Cedrick Wilson (50, 1,041, 10) lead an offense that averaged 35.6 points and 479.8 yards per game.

ABOUT BAYLOR (6-6, 3-6 Big 12)

The Bears have the fifth-ranked offense nationally, averaging 523.3 yards and 250.3 yards rushing. However, most of that was accomplished with Seth Russell (152-of-278, 2,126 yards, 20 TD passes) at quarterback. The senior won’t play after breaking his left ankle in a 45-24 loss at Oklahoma on November 12. Freshman Zach Smith started the final three games at quarterback and threw eight touchdown passes compared to six interceptions over that span so look for the Bears to lean heavily on a running game led by sophomore Terence Williams (945 yards, 11 TDs, 5.9 per carry) and senior Shock Linwood (751, two, 5.4).

Posted in CFB

NCAA Preview 2016

BIG 12

NCAA fantasy football is getting closer. Are you excited as i am? Get ready to play CFB at FanPicks (click to play). With the impending kickoff in Sydney, Australia August 26th, FanPicks will cover every NCAA conferences and their teams for the 2016 season. If you’ve missed the ACC Coastal NCAA preview, click here. The NCAA BIG 12 is composed of ten programs which have won 18 national titles including three since it’s inception.

Oklahoma leads in BIG 12 championship title with nine. Not only are the Sooners the greatest school within the conference, but they also have the third-most national championship title since the poll era (1936-present) with seven. The 2005 Rose Bowl BCS Championship was the last BIG 12 conquest. The Texas Longhorns were crowned champions. Labelled “The game of the century”, the Longhorns defeated USC 41-38.

Click here to play NCAA DFS football.

Baylor Bears Baylor logo

Baylor shocked many with the decision to fire head football coach Art Briles. He helped turn an underwhelming program into a national power. Shortly after the decision, Baylor released the full findings of an investigation into the football program and athletic department’s handling of various sexual assault accusations against members of the BU football program. Baylor has lost a bunch of promising recruits in the wake of that sexual assault scandal, but the Bears suffered their biggest roster hit when talented sophomore QB Jarrett Stidham announced he was transferring.

Iowa State Cyclones Iowa St Logo

Iowa State’s Mike Warren emerged as one of the top running backs in the league last season, finishing fourth in the Big 12 with 1,339 rushing yards despite getting just nine carries in the first two games. The new coaching regime is very familiar with Warren, and not just because he gained 126 yards when the Cyclones faced Toledo last September. Warren originally committed to new coach Matt Campbell and Toledo out of high school before later flipping to Iowa State.

Kansas Jayhawks Kansas Logo

LaQuvionte Gonzalez, the 5-10 junior receiver transferred from Texas A&M with a 4.4 speed and a 41-inch vertical, could provide a big-play threat for the Jayhawk. Kansas coach David Beaty was his position coach at A&M and promises to get creative with Gonzalez to get him the ball in as many ways as possible. In 16 games with the Aggies, he had 26 catches for 317 yards and two touchdowns.

Kansas State Wildcats Kansas St Logo

KSU has been at its best when coach Bill Snyder has been able to have a quarterback that is a dual threat and is the catalyst for all things successful in the offense. So when the team was down to Joe Hubener to run the offense last year after injuries to Alex Dalton and Jesse Ertz, the offense sputtered badly as Hubener completed below 50 percent of his passes but did show dual threat ability. If the spring game is any indication, things are totally up in the air. With Ertz and Dalton back, the battle is on, but it was the forgotten Hubener who showed the best in the spring game, throwing for over 300 yards and having significantly more accuracy. No matter who gets the mantle of the starting gig, he’ll have to be big, big, big for KSU to achieve whatever goals they have in sight.

Oklahoma Sooners Oklahoma Logo

Oklahoma is the overwhelming preseason pick to win another Big 12 title. With quarterback Baker Mayfield among seven returning starters on offense, the Sooners got 24 of 26 first-place votes in the preseason media poll released last Thursday. Mayfield’s fearless attitude and fiery approach instantly rubbed off on the Sooners, who averaged 47.6 ppg after an Oct. 10 2015 loss to Texas. After finishing fourth in the Heisman voting, Mayfield should start this season on the short list of MVP front-runners.

Oklahoma State Cowboys Oklahoma St Logo

Oklahoma State’s hopes of returning to Big 12 title contention rest on quarterback Mason Rudolph’s shoulders. After a solid season splitting time with J.W. Walsh, Rudolph is finally the unquestioned leader of the offense. The 6-foot-5, 235-pound junior passed for 3,770 yards, 21 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. He had six 300-yard games (three with more than 400 yards), but his 71.5 adjusted QBR leaves plenty of room for improvement.

TCU Horned Frogs TCU Logo

The TCU Horned Frogs look like a team that could be one of the best in the Big 12 and possibly in the country this year. However, it looks like they will go forward without possible starting running back Shaun Nixon. TCU head coach Gary Patterson announced today that Nixon suffered an undisclosed injury and would miss the entire 2016 season because of it. Despite that, TCU’s offense has been among the nation’s best since co-coordinators Doug Meacham and Sonny Cumbie arrived two seasons ago. Quarterback Kenny Hill is expected to thrive again this season.

Texas Longhorns Texas Logo

Texas benefited from Baylor University’s scandal. With recruits leaving the program here and there, the Longhorns were able to land five-star Devin Duvernay. A blazing-fast wideout who has been timed at 10.27 in the 100-meter. Duvernay’s big-play potential should help a very young UT passing game as it adapts to the new scheme of offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert.

Texas Tech Red Raiders Texas Tech Logo

In his first season as the full-time starter, quarterback Patrick Mahomes finished fourth in the country with 357.9 passing yards per game last year. He also tossed 36 touchdowns (tied for the Big 12 lead with Baker Mayfield) while rushing for 456 yards and 10 scores. The Red Raiders graduated key players at every other position offensively from last year’s dynamic scoring attack. But with Mahomes, Texas Tech could still feature its best offense yet under coach Kliff Kingsbury.

West Virginia Mountaineers West Virginia Logo

Mountaineers Quarterback Skyler Howard had an inconsistent 2015 season. He passed for 3,145 yards and 26 touchdowns, but despite a QB-friendly system, he also threw 14 interceptions and surpassed 300 yards just twice. Accuracy was an issue, as he completed less than 50 percent of his passes in four of his 13 starts, and his 55.3 adjusted QBR was seventh in the Big 12. But there is reason for optimism. Howard ended the season by setting Cactus Bowl records with 532 passing yards and five passing touchdowns in a 43-42 win over Arizona State.

NCAA Preview

AAC Preview

ACC Atlantic Preview

ACC Coastal Preview

Posted in CFB

NFL Draft

Top 10 WRs

With the NFL Draft now less than a month away, I present to you my first edition of my top 10 positional rankings.

You will notice I have 12 players listed here, but that’s just in honor of the depth this draft class possesses at the receiver position. While there are no Calvin Johnson’s or Julio Jones’ in this group, there are more than a handful of legitimate prospects with the potential to become impact players at the next level.

Laquon Treadwell is the consensus number one, and though many will point to his stop watch time (4.65) with doubt, it’s his fluidity and game tape that put him in pole position.

topwrsdraft

Baylor’s Corey Coleman has been under heavy scrutiny for his apparent lack of overall skills. He ran a limited route-tree in college, so word of bad route-running and only possessing straight-line speed has surfaced. He also has drop issues, especially in the middle of the field. He ran a 4.37 at his Pro Day and scored 20 TDs through the first eight games of the 2015 season, so going deep is no issue. The issue is that he didn’t score any in the next four games and never came close to 100 yards again. If college teams can figure out how to shut him down, NFL defenses will without breaking a sweat. But if he lands with the right team, those same defenses will be sweating just watching the film on him.

Will Fuller also has the speed (4.32) but as one scout and former NFL receiver said “I hear the DeSean Jackson comparison and I can’t get there. DeSean was faster, tougher and more reliable than Fuller. I’m not saying Fuller can’t play, but I don’t think he’s DeSean.”

Josh Doctson is of a different mold. More of a possession type receiver with the ability to go up and snag the ball out of the air. The Minnesota Vikings seem really interested in what TCU product has to offer, as would he be a great compliment to their young receiving core. An immediate starting job on the outside seems to be in Doctson’s future.

Sterling Shepard rounds out my top five (for this edition anyway). The Sooner may leave something to be desired in terms of measurements, but definitely leaves nothing on the field in terms of effort. The 5’10 slot man not only comes with a ferocious hunger to make plays, but the talent to execute them. I see shades of Steve Smith all over this one.

Posted in NFL

BIG 12 Conference tournament fantasy preview

With Kansas, the nation’s # 1 team and favorite to take the Big 12 conference tournament, it’s a great time for college hoop fans and fantasy enthusiasts to do some deep research and monitor the games ahead of the NCAA Tournament. FanPicks is proud to give you this Big 12 conference tournament fantasy preview in order to give you a head start breaking down the favorites and underdogs to look out for.

 

BIG 12 Conference tournament fantasy preview

The Kansas JayHawks have not lost since January 25th but had their revenge against the Iowas State Cyclones in the season finale, finishing off their season on a strong 11 game winning streak. The Big 12 conference, questionably the toughest out of all of them has 6 teams in the TOP 25, showing nothing but fierce competition all year long.

Even though the JayHawks are nice favorites to win it, they will have to go through Oklahoma and West Virginia. Kansas’ top prospects and NBA potentials Cheick Diallo and Wayne Selden Jr. will be expected to outperform their opponents as they’ve had all season long.

With their lone loss to Kansas in the last game of the seasons, lookout for the Longhorns in the ncaa tournament as they finished off their season with 3 wins out of their last. Unfortunately for them, they will have to wait their NCAA tournament seeding on Sunday as they were unable to stop Baylor’s Taurean Prince’s tremendous play today in the conference quarters. Prince will be a force to watch out for during the tournament and is also an NBA prospect.

Posted in CBB

NCAA Basketball Iowa St. vs Baylor

College Fantasy Basketball preview

FanPicks is proud to bring you this NCAA College Basketball BIG 12 matchup preview. Come enjoy daily College Fantasy Basketball news at Fanpicks.com ahead of this upcoming March Madness 2016.

# 15 Ranked Iowa State will try to remain on the same momentum and win back to back games for the first time since last month, as they visit the 22nd seed Baylor on Tuesday night. Both teams are currently tied for 4th in the BIG 12 but Iowa State are coming back from a huge win this Saturday over then # 24 Texas 85-75. It was a relief for the Cyclones having dropped 3 out of 4 before their game this weekend. Monte Morris had a tremendous game and season high 24 points while Jameel Mackay’s return from suspension certainly helped the Cyclones with 8 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks.

 

The Baylor Bears will hope to find their stride after their defeat to Texas Tech on Saturday 84-66. For them as well, it was their 3rd setback in 4 games. They will need to gain their form back if they want to beat the Cyclones again like they did in early January 94-89 amidst a 5 game winning streak during that stretch. The Bears will need to contain somehow the 50.2% shooting percentage from Iowa State, as well as big man George Niang, averaging 20 points over the past games and his teammate Monte Morris who leads the BIG 12 in assists average with 7. They will count on their leading scorer Taurean Prince who averages 17.5 points the past 2 games and 15.1 on the year as well as their big inside man, Rico Gathers who leads the BIG 12 in rebounds averaging 10.2 a game with 12.4 points.

Posted in CBB