Photo: Oakland Alameda County Coliseum

Raiders host the Broncos on Christmas Eve for what could be their final game in Oakland Coliseum

Monday night’s game between the Denver Broncos and the Oakland Raiders won’t be unique just because it is on Christmas Eve. It will be special because it could be the Raiders’ final game played at the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum.

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Raiders owner Mark Davis is moving the Raiders to Las Vegas in 2020. Since the city of Oakland recently sued the Raiders and the rest of the NFL over the move to Las Vegas, Davis is looking for another venue for the team in 2019.

Oakland and Denver do have one thing in common — both teams are putting the final touches on disappointing seasons. For the Raiders (3-11) and Broncos (6-8), most of the focus has shifted towards next season and the 2019 NFL Draft. But there’s still pride on the line (and maybe a head coach’s job), especially considering the first meeting between these two teams came down to a last-second field goal.

Back in Week 2, Denver overcame a 12-0 halftime deficit to beat Oakland 20-19. The Broncos scored the final 13 points of the game with Brandon McManus kicking a 36-yard field with six seconds left to complete the comeback. It also should be pointed out that several of the key participants in that game won’t be a part of the return matchup whether it be due to injury (Marshawn Lynch, Emmanuel Sanders, Chris Harris Jr.) or trade (Amari Cooper, Demaryius Thomas).

Denver at Oakland

Kickoff: Monday, Dec. 24 at 8:15 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN
Spread: Denver -3

Three Things to Watch

1. Derek Carr
Despite the Raiders’ record, Carr has played some of the best football of his career the last two months. He has not thrown an interception in his last nine games, a span of 292 pass attempts. That’s already a franchise record and the current longest active streak in the NFL since Aaron Rodgers’ record run came to an end at 402 following an interception in the fourth quarter of last week’s loss to Chicago.

For the season, Carr has 3,697 passing yards with 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Those numbers may not seem all that impressive, but Carr hasn’t gotten a lot of help from either his pass catchers or his offensive line this season. He’s been sacked 47 times through 14 games, that’s the third-highest total in the league, yet he’s seventh in the league with a completion rate of 68.4 percent, which is a career-best mark for him.

Denver can still get after the quarterback (42 sacks), but the Broncos have been susceptible through the air. They rank 25th in the league at 257.9 passing yards per game allowed and just put top cornerback Chris Harris Jr. on injured reserve. If Oakland’s line can give Carr enough time to throw, he should be able to have some success on Monday night.

2. Phillip Lindsay

Lindsay has not only been among the best rookies in the NFL this season but one of the biggest surprises in the entire league. After going undrafted in April, Lindsay has rushed for 991 yards and nine touchdowns, becoming the first undrafted offensive rookie to be named to the Pro Bowl.

“To be able to have 100 yards in a game was great,” Lindsay said earlier this week. “To get a touchdown, to be able to play [at Broncos Stadium at Mile High], that’s the stuff right there that I dreamt about. The Pro Bowl is something that you think like five years down the line, three years down the line. It’s an honor to get it.”

Oakland’s rushing defense is dead last in the league at 146.4 yards per game. The Raiders already know what to expect when facing Lindsay. He posted his first career 100-yard game against them back in Week 2, going for 107 on just 14 carries (7.6 ypc) with a long of 53 yards.

3. Emotions
Just like the fans watching and attending Monday night’s game, it figures to be emotional for Oakland’s players as well as the coaches given the uncertain status about where they will be playing in 2019.

Head coach Jon Gruden is in his second stint with the Raiders after first coming to the franchise back in 1998. So Gruden has been through the ups and downs with the Raiders.

“It’s going to be a great atmosphere Monday night, on Christmas Eve, the Denver Broncos coming to town,” Gruden said. “I get excited thinking about it. Just raging in the Black Hole. Rocking and raging down there after the Steelers game, after a lot of wins over the years. Seeing a lot of the old highlights of the great Raiders teams. I get excited, and I get emotional about it. Hopefully, we get it all resolved where we can continue to play here.”

Final Analysis

Although this game doesn’t have any playoff implications, the Raiders would love nothing more than to go out with a victory in possibly their last game in Oakland. If the Raiders can contain Phillip Lindsay and the Broncos’ running game, they will have a chance for the upset.

Denver quarterback Case Keenum, like the Broncos as a team, has been inconsistent this season. He’s on pace to set a new career high for passing yards (3,396 entering Monday night), but he has just 15 touchdowns compared to 12 interceptions.

While this game will likely be close as it reaches the fourth quarter, look for the Raiders, with a rejuvenated Carr leading the way, give the fans an early Christmas present with one last victory in the Black Hole.

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Posted in NFL, Top Fantasy Picks

Complete AFC West Preview

Here is a look at what you can expect from the Broncos, Raiders, Chargers and Chiefs this season…

Los Angeles Chargers

It seems like it happens every season: The Chargers get hot late in the year, and some pundit somewhere says, “Boy, I wouldn’t want to face the Chargers in the playoffs.” And then just like that, the Chargers miss the playoffs. And every year, the Chargers can painfully point to one or two games, or even one or two plays, that cost them a postseason berth.

Last year it was an ugly 0-4 start that ultimately doomed the Chargers, with kicking woes costing them dearly. But there was also the mind-numbing 20-17 overtime loss at Jacksonville in which the Chargers intercepted Blake Bortles twice inside of the final two minutes and still lost thanks to a penalty, a turnover of their own and then a game-winning kick by former teammate Josh Lambo.

So while winning six of their last seven games still gave them playoff hopes, they missed the postseason because they didn’t control their own destiny. That’s got to be foremost in QB Philip Rivers’ mind, as he’s seen that picture before and doesn’t want to repeat it yet again as his career winds down. That’s why winning the AFC West is paramount, with its guaranteed playoff berth, rather than putting their fate in the hands of the always-wild scramble for a Wild Card berth.

Kansas City Chiefs

Coming off consecutive AFC West titles for the first time in franchise history, the Chiefs remain contenders to win the division, but the rest of the division is looking stronger. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes has to prove he can manage an NFL offense — protect the football, make good decisions and master coach Andy Reid’s verbiage-intense playbook — as well as Alex Smith did for five seasons. The Chargers, Broncos and Raiders all improved significantly on paper. With a first-year starter at quarterback and a retooled defense, the Chiefs face plenty of questions entering 2018. It remains a hopeful time for the Chiefs Kingdom, but Mahomes has a long way to go to live up to the hype.

Oakland Raiders

The Raiders still have most of the key players who helped the team finish 12–4 two seasons ago. If QB Derek Carr gets back on track and new head coach Jon Gruden quickly gets back up to NFL coaching speed, then the Raiders should be able to contend for a playoff spot. Tennessee and Buffalo earned AFC Wild Card berths last season with nine wins apiece, giving the Raiders a reasonable goal to shoot for.

Denver Broncos

Can this team return to prominence, win an AFC West road game for the first time since Peyton Manning retired and finally boast a reliable offense? The key remains for offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave ability to design an attack around QB Case Keenum’s skill set, keeping it simple with doses of creativity. Keenum has shown he can make big plays, but not if he’s throwing 30 times per game. Denver scares no one offensively, but that could change if the team becomes more physical up front and keeps its quarterback upright.

The body language of the defense slumped after every offensive turnover last season — 34 in all. The Broncos expect that figure to be sliced in half, or close to it.

Even with Keenum stabilizing the quarterback spot and the defense deeper, the Broncos face an uphill climb to .500. The sense of urgency is real, though. Every week will be a referendum on head coach Vance Joseph’s job and Keenum’s future.

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Posted in NFL

NFL Fantasy Football News

FanPicks NFL (click & play here) all-time best QB Peyton Manning can finally see his legacy fulfilled after month of being shrouded with controversy.

Peyton Manning is innocent.

After a 7 month NFL investigation on whether former pro-football quarterback Peyton Manning did or did not take performance enhancers, the conclusion announced on Monday that he played the game clean. He did not use any drugs restricted by the league, according to the reports. Taking up on retirement a month after winning his second Superbowl last February, the future Hall of Famer saw his legacy potentially tarnished by a documentary televised by the american broadcast of Al-Jazeera. The program listed out a number of professional athletes around different sport that would have consumed steroids. The name of the former Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos QB was included among them. The NFL found no credible evidence to confirm that the Al-Jazeera claim was valid. The investigation included an examination of Manning’s medical file.

Issue across every sports

Baseball players Ryan Zimmerman and Ryan Howard, who were mentioned on the list of doped athletes, will sue Al-Jazeera America for libel. Manning has, on the other hand, decided not to file suits against them. Green Bay Packers linebackers, Julius Peppers and Clay Matthews, as well as James Harrison from the Pittsburgh Steelers will need to submit explanation to the NFL. Mike Neal, former Packers and currently free agent, has also been summoned by the American Football magna.

Manning illustrious career

Manning had a prestigious career in the NFL. Number 18 wore the Colts colors until 2011. That year, he got sidelined for the season due to a neck injury. In 2012, he joined the Denver Broncos. He holds most of the NFL passing records, like the most touchdown passes (539 TD) and the most passing yards (71,940 yards). Invited 14 times in the Pro Bowl and 7 times within All-Pro First-Team, Manning mainly distinguished himself in 2013. He collected 55 touchdowns during that year, breaking the previous record of 50 held by Tom Brady since 2007 (which Brady broke from Manning’s 49 in 2004). The right-handed quarterback also led the season in passing yards with 5,477 yards. He completed a total of 6,125 of his 9,380 passes in the regular season, while committing 303 interceptions.

Posted in NFL

Fantasy Football Draft

AFC West

We are almost there, the day before the NFL draft. Things have been crazy with predictions on whom will be picked during the draft. But one thing is for sure, and that’s the fact that both the city of San Diego and Oakland will live to see another draft pick coming to play in their home stadiums. The AFC West Chargers had an unsuccessful 2015 season and will select early in this draft (3rd pick), unlike their divisional rivals and Superbowl champion Denver Broncos. The Manning-less team will be the last team to choose in the first-round, due to their post-season conquest. FanPicks gives you the chance to win $100,000 with their 2016 NFL Fantasy Football Draft Frenzy contest. Click on the link and follow the instruction to be part of the biggest NFL event of the summer.

Denver Broncos

Things doesn’t look as smooth with no Peyton Manning, and even Brock Osweiler in the Broncos lineup. They have yet to fill a starter for next season in that spot. Well, there no place like any to start looking than at the draft. Denver could look to add-in some help at guard and tackle within the initial four rounds. The losses of DT Malik Jackson and LB Danny Trevathan should be something to look at as well.

Top 2 round picks: 31st and 63rd selections.

Kansas City Chiefs

The re-signing of Tamba Hali allows the Chiefs to maintain a solid asset at linebacker position. But the future still needs to be addressed and a perfect fit could come knocking on Hali’s door. Another high-end defensive linesman could be useful K.C. The loss of Chase Daniels as the backup QB will need to be taking care of.

Top 2 round picks: 28th and 59th selections.

Oakland Raiders

Adding Kelechi Osemele to their ranks will certainly fortify the interior Raiders O-line. Yet, they will still need to improve at the tackle spot. Stabilizing the back-end with another tailback shouldn’t be hard to find in this draft. Okland will need to replace CB Sean Smith and S Charles Woodson. Bruce Irvin will add even more juice to the Raiders’ pass rush, but a little help at middle linebacker could be looked at in the middle-rounds.

Top 2 round picks: 14th and 44th selections.

San Diego Chargers

Philip Rivers can count on his fingers how many receivers he threw to over the last few year. One of his main target is NFL 13-years veteran Antonio Gates. In fact, they hold the NFL record for most TD’s between a quarterback to tight end. Unfortunately for them, this union has run his course and it could be time to find Gate’s replacement. The Chargers added safety Dwight Lowery to replace the departed Eric Weddle. Is that enough though? For the rest, San Diego will need to upgrade their offensive and defensive line for this season.

Top 2 round picks: 3rd and 35th selections.

Posted in NFL

Chandler Jones Trade Review

On March 15 2016, the New England Patriots traded defensive end Chandler Jones to the Arizona Cardinals for Jonathan Cooper and the Cardinals’ second-round pick (61).

Jones, who led the Patriots with 30 sacks over the past three years was assumed to be a big piece of the puzzle moving forward in New England. While Cooper, who has been a major bust at guard since being drafted 7th overall in 2013 was slated to move to center for 2016 in hopes of saving his NFL career.

When the trade first broke, everyone freaked out and said “Wow, Chandler Jones to the Cardinals!? Did the Pats get duped in a deal for once!?” That quickly turned into, “well Jones has off-field issues and they lost a top pick due to deflate gate so it’s actually a smart move by the Pats”.

A typical reaction when the subject is a organization with such a tremendous track record of success. It’s hard to ever fault the Pats for any moves they make because even when they don’t look good at first, they often end up turning out quite well. I think we’ve all learned to shut our mouths on that front.

But I must speak up on this trade. I will not be another “yes-man”, one of the fellow “another solid move for the Pats” guys. We subliminally wear rose coloured glasses at anything Belichick or the Pats do, but I had a moment of clarity and managed to shed them for a second and immediately realized…Cards fans must be ecstatic about this move.

Think of the Cardinals defense swarming all around in a sea of red. All they were missing was a pass rush. That’s pretty much all anyone has talked about this off-season regarding the Cardinals. Tyrann Mathieu’s health, and getting a pass-rush. They didn’t land any rushers in free agency, so the draft was all that was left. But, how much could a rookie pass-rusher really help them? Four to eight sacks is a successful year for a rookie. Jones had 12.5 last season, including 4 forced fumbles.

Arizona got as far as they did this season with the late addition of Dwight Freeney as their sack specialist. He did well with 8 sacks of his own in just 11 games, but he is now another year older (36) and cannot anchor a team like he once did. Freeney still remains a free agent.

The Pats signed Chris Long in hopes of replacing some of Jones’ production, and will surely address the position in the draft. The Cardinals signed Evan Mathis. At this point in their careers Long is hoping he can still play in the NFL, while Mathis graded out 2015 as one of the best run-blockers in the league and won a Super Bowl starting for the Denver Broncos.

Arizona wins again.

Posted in NFL

Thanks to Cam Newton and Von Miller’s dominance, the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos will be competing in San Francisco for the title of Super Bowl 50 Champion.

The NFL’s best offensive and the NFL’s most dominant defensive player (save your arguments for JJ Watt) propelled their respective teams to victory a couple of Sundays ago..and that’s an amazing thing.

That may seem obvious, as Cam Newton and Von Miller had historic days…but it’s truly amazing because the of the context of the entire situation. The league’s best players, obviously the best players on their star-studded teams played the best they have maybe ever, in the biggest games of their lives. Everything about the situation is at the pinnacle of sports. And in this day and age…it’s a beautiful thing to witness.

Finances, politics, ownership, coaching, injuries and off-field issues all seem to get in the way of just playing ball at your best, every opportunity you have. So to watch two young, hungry, passionate athletes like Cam Newton and Von Miller ball out…was awesome.

I enjoyed every minute of it and that is why I am looking more forward to this Super Bowl than I have in recent memory.

Posted in NFL

NFL Super Bowl Daily Fantasy Preview –

Denver Broncos vs Carolina Panthers

 

The biggest sports day of the year is arriving soon, Super Bowl 50, a matchup between the 15-1 Panthers and the 12-4 Broncos. The Panthers are the clear favorites with a nearly undefeated season and a huge blowout game against the Cardinals last week (49-15). However the Broncos have the return of their franchise Quarterback in his final season coming off a big win last weekend against none other than the defending world champions, all the makings for a cinderella upset in store. Here’s what you need to know if the daily fantasy world to win cash no matter the outcome in your NFL Daily Fantasy tournaments.

 

Quarterbacks

Well the quarterback decision is a no brainer. You have Cam Newton, who has consistently been the most valuable and consistent fantasy performer combining huge passing yards with rushing stats and rushing touchdowns—also the clear MVP favorite for this year. Then you have Peyton Manning, in his old age and his final season. The Bronco’s offense has been altered this year to limit his potential for big pass games and it has reflected in his fantasy value as he has consistently been at the bottom of the charts.

No brainer right? Peyton Manning.

Why you ask? You’re thinking like everyone else in the world and that’s not what wins Daily Fantasy cash drafts. Cam Newton probably will dominate and provide much more value than Manning. In that case you will be in trouble. But Cam Newton will also be 90 percent owned. Meaning if you pick him and he does well, you are still on par with 90 percent of your competitors. However, if Manning has a huge game and Newton is shut down by the Denver defense, then you are already ahead of 90 percent of your competitors and well on you way to making some money!

 

Running Back

For the Panthers here we have Jonathan Stewart or Mike Tolbert and for the Broncos we have Ronnie Hillman and CJ Anderson. Here it may be smart to go with the crowd. You want to eye in on low ownership but you don’t need low ownership at every position, because even if the Peyton Manning scenario plays out but you have Fozzy Whitaker at running back with 0 points, that can lose you the tournament. I think you go with the crowd here and pick Jonathan Stewart and CJ Anderson.

 

CJ Anderson plays a lot like David Johnson and he managed to put up some big numbers last week against the Panthers. Stewart sometimes loses some of his value when Cam decides to run it in himself like last week, but with the limited options out there, he is a safe bet.

 

Wide Receivers

Receivers in this matchup are tough. Both these teams have a long list of receivers all of which have potential for a touchdown pass on any given day. With the Peyton Manning being your choice at quarterback, obviously you are going to want to stack him with his two all stars Thomas and Sanders (will also be high owned). After that you can go for Norwood for a lesser owned pick. He has the potential to put up some value, especially if things go in the Broncos direction. For the Panthers, don’t go Corey Brown, no way he gets lucky with another 86 yard touchdown pass. Ginn will likely be highly owned as well so you’re options left are Funchess and Cotchery who may just be able to fly under the radar against the Broncos defensive front.

 

Tight Ends

 

Don’t fall into the trap here. I know Owen Daniels had a big game last week with 2 touchdowns, but he also only had 2 catches. Those 2 touchdowns were his only contribution to the game. He got 2 catches that just happened to be in the end zone and he will not do that again. Greg Olsen is the only option, he is a pivotal part of the Panther’s offense and is probably the second best tight end in the league, second to Gronk of course. Go for Olsen.

Posted in NFL

AFC Conference Championship Recap –

New England Patriots vs Denver Broncos

 

The defending Super Bowl champs came to Denver this weekend with almost a full receiving staff after being hampered by injuries early in the year. However, their run game was severely lacking after losing main starters Dion Lewis and Legarette Blount early in the year. Denver, with arguably the strongest pass defense in the league, was ready for this passing front of the Patriots and were able to shut down the attack.

 

Tom Brady had a very uncharacteristic poor QBR of only 22 going 27/56 and throwing 2 interceptions. He managed 310 passing yards and a passing touchdown, generating decent fantasy value of 17 fantasy points. However, in a two game slate like this weekend, if you are going to win your daily fantasy tournament, you have to make all the right picks, and Tom Brady did not have a spot on that winning lineup.

 

However, that doesn’t mean all the Pats should have been avoided. Rob Gronkowski led the list of tight ends for the week with 8 receptions for 144 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown (a key touchdown late in the game). This brought his fantasy point total to 31.4 fantasy points.

 

He was not the only tight end to put up big numbers. On the other side of the ball, Owen Daniels caught 2 passes for 33 yards and 2 touchdowns. Although his total was only 17.3 fantasy points, he costs you far less than Gronk, actually delivering more value.

Posted in NFL

New England Patriots vs Denver Broncos 1/24/16 Preview & Picks

  • At 3:05 pm, Tom Brady and his New England Patriots will face-off with Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. 

Tom Brady is one of the greatest, if not the greatest quarterback of all-time. Peyton Manning is one of the greatest, if not the greatest quarterback of all-time. Tom Brady is in the running for 2015 league MVP. Peyton Manning is starting for the second consecutive week after taking the job back from Brock Osweiler. My Point? The Patriots will go as far as Brady takes them. The Broncos will go as far as their defense takes them.

While I don’t expect Julian Edelman or Brandon LaFell to beat those long, rangy Denver CBs over the top, Edelman has the potential to catch a ton of short, underneath passes. He’s definitely a WR1,  as Brady could easily target him 12+ times in such an important game. Something along the lines of 10 catches for 110 yards and a TD could be what you’re looking at in return of the high price tag. It would be a surprise to me if LaFell can muster up anything DFS relevant in his matchup against Harris Jr. (though battling an injury) and Talib.

Danny Amendola working the slot has a much better shot at putting up a big game than the Patriots official #2 wideout. Though he only caught two balls on three targets last week and has been limited in practice due to a knee injury all week, he provides the same kind of quick twitch inside ability as Edelman does, which is how you want to attack this stout defense.

Finally, the man you all want to hear about: Rob Grrrrronkowski. Gronk could have a MONSTER game here. With the ferocious pass-rushing ability that the Broncos possess, Bill Belichick will want to feature his star TE up the seam to take the pressure off Tom Brady. There is no better way to keep the linebackers at home than to force them to drop into coverage because the Gronk is just destroying you. Maybe he won’t have monster yardage, but I’m banking on two TDs on Sunday.

Steven Jackson definitely won’t be a DFS factor, so James White is the Pats back to own. His pass-caching ability on swings, screens and checkdowns will also be instrumental in slowing down Demarcus Ware, Von Miller and co. He should have his fair share of chances to make plays.

 

On the home team’s side, the Sheriff Peyton Manning will need to execute flawlessly to lead his Broncos to the Super Bowl contest. Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders will need to bust out some major YAC’s to spearhead this attack, while CJ Anderson and Ronnie Hillman churn out chunks on the ground.

Demaryius Thomas will face a big matchup with Patriots CB Logan Ryan. Ryan shut him down in Week 12, with three pass breakups and as Brock Osweiler went 1-of-8 for 36 yards when targeting Thomas. He is a big target and constant red-zone threat, but isn’t always the dominant factor you’re looking for.

Sanders most likely will be face-to-face with Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler on Sunday. The very same Butler that he beat deep in November when he piled up 113 yards. His work in tight and quickness allow him to get separation against a tight Patriots D, and he works hard to run after the catch and eat up yardage.

CJ Anderson and Hillman are always a toss up, but Anderson had his best game of the year against New England with 113 yards of his own and two TDs. The run game can be inconsistent, but the Broncos need it to be on point on Sunday.

Advice: Brady, Gronkowski, Sanders, Edelman, and Anderson should be the top performers. Of course that comes with a hefty price tag, so discounts like James White could be the key to your DFS victory.

Posted in NFL

NFL Conference Championships Stacks

 

With only a two game slate, it is key to identify and pick the best stack of the weekend to have any chance of placing in a NFL Daily Fantasy Tournament. Its down to the favorites and when everyone has strong defenses, every stack has the potential for boom or bust. For that reason you need to pick based on ownership rather than projection.

 

Lets look at the stacks:

 

Palmer and Fitz:

 

Coming off a hot performance last week, I think this will be one of the highest owned stacks of the weekend. Don’t get me wrong, Larry Fitzgerald is one of the most clutch playoff performers, however and he has great synergy with Palmer right now. But he performed too well last week and I don’t think he will do that again. If he does then the Cardinals will move on to the Super Bowl but the Panthers are just too strong. However, many others people may agree that it is not a great matchup, which can bring the ownership down. My verdict: FADE.

 

Newton and Olsen:

 

The biggest indicator of a players ownership is their performance the previous week. People just love to make their picks on what is the most fresh in their mind, and whats fresh in their mind here is Newton’s disappointment last week— of course I mean fantasy wise… the Panthers had a great game against the Seahawks last week. While the potential MVP will never be lowly owned, I do think he will be lower than normal and the Newton Olsen connection has great upside potential. My verdict: PICK.

 

Brady and Gronk/Edelman:

 

You can go either way with this stack. Edelman will rack up the targets, receptions, and yardage a bit faster but Gronk is the superior red zone threat. They as well as Brady had a great game last weekend. However, they are facing a much stronger defense here. In terms of ownership, I expect them to be highly owned, and rightfully so with more playoff experience than any other team. I’m avoiding it however for a lower owned stack with a higher upside. My verdict: FADE.

 

Manning and Thomas/Sanders:

 

We have seen very little out of Peyton Manning this year. He has had good and bad game play performances but he has had all bad fantasy performances. Their team has adopted a different style of offense which has destroyed his ability to put up big numbers. Thomas and Sanders have had their moments with Oswieller running the offense, but not Manning. I think this will be the lowest owned stack of the week— which makes it the stack with the most potential profit. Usually you only want to stack with one receiver but in a week with such few options, I don’t mind tossing both of them in there to hedge you’re bets a little bit. You shouldn’t expect these players to put up big numbers but when you are picking based on ownership— in the slight chance they do, you may win big. My verdict: PICK.

Posted in NFL

NFL Divisional Round Weekend Recap

 

Kansas City at New England

 

With the return of Edelman and Gronkowski, the Patriots show that they are still a Super Bowl threat. Although the final score was 27-20, Patriots, they were far more in control of the game than that indicated. Brady had a solid day with 302 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, and a rushing touchdown, totaling 29 fantasy points on the day.

 

Gronkowski led the league at tight end this weekend catching 2 touchdowns on 7 receptions for 83 yards. This brought his total to 25.3 fantasy points, back to his usual numbers after some disappointments throughout this season. Edelman also returned from injury with no hiccups as he caught 10 passes for 100 yards and a total of 23 fantasy points.

 

All the fantasy value however was centered around the Pats in this game, you weren’t going to win any NFL cash drafts this weekend by loading up on Chiefs players.

 

Green Bay at Arizona

 

 This game had plenty of fantasy value to be found in both likely and unlikely places. The big surprise of this game was Jeff Janis for the Packers with a breakout performance of 7 receptions for 145 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns—36.5 fantasy points.

 

The Palmer and Fitzgerald stack also produced some serious numbers as Palmer threw for 349 passing yards and 3 passing touchdowns for 27 fantasy points (after subtracting his 2 interceptions) and Fitz had 8 receptions for 176 yards and a touchdown—34.6 fantasy points.


Seattle at Carolina

 

This game lacked both the competitiveness and the low scoring defensive battle that was expected. Carolina went up big in the first half with Jonathan Stewart scoring 2 touchdowns and running for 106 rushing yards. Cam Newton had the lowest scores of the season however with only 161 passing yards and a touchdown giving him about 11 fantasy points.

 

Despite the loss, there was a lot of garbage time value to be found from the Seahawks as they tried to rally in the second half. Russell Wilson led the quarterback for the weekend with 366 passing yards and 3 passing touchdowns. The big receiver to pair him with was Jermaine Kearse as he caught 11 passes for 110 passing yards and 2 touchdowns— 37 fantasy points.


Pittsburgh at Denver

 

This game was lacking the competitiveness from the start with Antonio Brown ruled out and Big Ben questionable. Ben took the field however and found Martavis Bryant to fill that top receiver role as Bryant tallied 9 receptions for 154 receiving yards as well as 40 yards rushing—31.4 fantasy points.

 

Denver came out ahead in terms of the game but in the fantasy world, CJ Anderson was the only worthwhile pick for Denver. He ran for 72 yards, got a touchdown, and 2 receptions for 14 fantasy points to lead his team.

Posted in NFL

As Sunday’s second game creeps up on us, we will update you on today’s first game, and take a deeper look at the Pittsburgh Steelers vs Denver Broncos.

  • At 1 pm the Seattle Seahawks kicked off with Carolina to take on the Panthers in a clash of football titans. The two are going head-to-head to see who can earn a trip to the NFC Championship game next week.

Earlier this week we broke down the game as such…

“This game is going to have its fair share of scuffles and heavy hits. There won’t be much room out there for anyone, but with the apparent return of Marshwn Lynch, the Seahawks’ ground game just became one to keep an eye on. In a game like this Ted Ginn is the type of player who can hurt Seattle with his ability to take the top off the defense against this group of highly and sometimes over-aggressive defensive backs. That is IF he even plays. He says he will suit-up despite soreness in his knee (suffered vs Atlanta Week 16). Without him, Cam Newton could struggle to find open runners other than Greg Olsen in the short to intermediate spots, and a hot Russell Wilson may be just enough to squeeze by the regular season champs. ”

Update: Tyler Lockett has two touchdown receptions and Russell’s birds are fighting hard to claw their way back in this one. Super Cam has been contained, though efficient and the Panthers hold a fourth quarter 31-21 lead. Don’t miss this exciting ending to get you pumped for game two!!

  • At 4:40 pm the shorthanded Pittsburgh Steelers go to Mile High to visit Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. 

Antonio Brown has officially been ruled out with a concussion, no matter what Pacman Jones thought, DeAngelo Williams can’t play and Big Ben will be playing with torn muscles around his separated shoulder. This does not bode well for #SteelerNation, as Roethlisberger couldn’t muster up enough power to send the ball 10 yards in the air in the dramatic closing moments of last week’s Divisional Round instant classic in Cincinnati. Martavis Bryant and Markus Wheaton will do much of their work on screens, and while they do have the stuff to make some plays (especially Bryant)  the Broncos do possess two very good, physical CB’s in Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr.

Fitzgerald Toussaint could be a big contributor in this game, and he needs to be if the Steelers hope to have a chance. He had four catches for 60 yards vs the Bengals last week and checkdowns and screens will be the name of the game for Pittsburgh. Jordan Todman was a personal favorite of mine coming out of college (he was a monster), as his quick feet and burst allow him to rip off big chunks at a time. He could be worth a gamble if your looking to roll the dice.

CJ Anderson seems to be the popular name around DFS circles today, but Ronnie Hillman may be able to do some damage on with his speed against the aggressive Steeler front-seven. While Anderson is often more consistent inside the tackles, they are both legitimate options and a long touchdown run by Hillman could be the difference in how much money you make this week!

While Ben can’t throw because his shoulder’s are a mess, Peyton Manning just doesn’t have any juice left in his. Demaryius Thomas is one of the leagues premier wide receivers, but Emmanuel Sanders ripped his former team for 10 catches, 181 yards and a touchdown in Week 15. Play Sanders as his ability to find the seam could prove lethal to Pittsburgh.

 

Posted in NFL

Fanpicks.com NBA Game Preview

Miami Heat   vs. Denver Nuggets

Author : Aldo Panessidi

The Miami Heat  (22-17) will be hosted by the Denver Nuggets (15-24) on Friday evening. Fanpicks.com is proud to announce its RotoPicker free to use tool, which allows you to create winning line ups and dominate your fantasy basketball competition.  Play the most exciting contest, including the newest $25K Grand Action and Point Spread contests only at Fanpicks.com the premiere daily fantasy basketball

Starting LineupMiami is in the midst of a lengthy road stretch and it’s clear they miss South Beach with the recent form they’ve shown. They have now lost four of their last five games and just recently lost their starting point guard to an injury. Goran Dragic will miss at least the next three games with a calf injury and that comes at a bad time considering they traded their backup point guard earlier in the season. That has left Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh with more responsibility and they’ve both been stepping up lately even in the losses. The defense has been the key all season allowing about 95 points per game, but that has faltered a bit lately, as the Heat have allowed at least 95 points in six-straight games. This may be a good opportunity to get on track against a weak offense like the Nuggets though.

Denver has had a rough season, but they are coming off their best win in quite some time. They defeated a 36-2 Golden State Warriors team, despite allowing 38 points to Steph Curry. Danilo Gallinari was the hero in that game, as he scored 28 points and snatched the game-capping steal in the win. He has been brilliant since returning from injury two weeks ago, as he is averaging over 26 points a game since. With how bad this team was struggling a few weeks back, it would have seemed like a miracle that they could beat the Warriors and Heat in back-to-back games, but that may just happen. That has become a nearly 50 percent chance, as this game’s spread is nearly dead-even heading into Thursday night.

Posted in NBA