Week 3 Top NFL DraftKings Plays

I am adding a new article to our weekly DFS breakdowns that could help you win some money. This week I will start discussing my top play at every position. I will give one QB, two RBs, two WRs, one TE and a D/ST. These players are necessarily the players who I think are a part of a winning lineup, rather these are the players I think will score the most points at their positions this week.

QB: Derek Carr, Raiders ($6,800)

The Raiders vs. Redskins game is the highest total of the week. Derek Carr has looked very good so far in this young season and I think he builds off that this week. The Redskins are 26th in the league in terms of passing yards allowed per game through the first two weeks. They faced Carson Wentz in week one and Jared Goff in week two. I think Carr and the Raiders’ offense is significantly better than both of the opponents the Redskins have already faced. It is going to be a long day for Washington’s defense against Carr and this dynamic offense.

RB: Le’Veon Bell, Steelers ($8,800)

Le’Veon Bell went from 10 rushing attempts in week one to 27 rushing attempts in week two. So, why didn’t he have a big game last week? Well, he faced a very good Vikings defense. The Bears have been decent against the run so far, but they have yet to face Le’Veon Bell. I think he will see around the same amount of touches as the Steelers should be winning this game and Ben Roethlisberger is not very good on the road. This is the week the real Le’Veon Bell stands up.

RB: Jay Ajayi, Dolphins ($7,700)

The Dolphins featured Jay Ajayi a whole lot last week against the Chargers. He carried the ball 28 times and went for 122 rushing yards, while adding two receptions. The Chargers have been bad against the run early in the season, but do you know who has been worse? Yup, the Dolphins week 3 opponents, the New York Jets. I expect Ajayi to be featured a lot once again and I think he will score a touchdown this week against a team who has given up the most rushing touchdowns in the league thus far.

WR: Julio Jones, Falcons ($9,300)

The Lions have given up the 10th most receiving yards so far this season. People are saying, “Well, Darius Slay shut down Odell Beckham last week. He could do it again against Julio Jones.” No, Slay did not shut down Beckham last week. Beckham is not 100% and the Giants were only throwing him short routes. He caught 4 of his 5 targets, while the one he did not haul in he dropped. I expect a healthy Julio Jones to feast in this high scoring game.

WR: Keenan Allen, Chargers ($7,200)

How dare I go against the Chiefs defense, right? As Donald Trump once said, “WRONG!”. The Chiefs have been getting torched so far this season, as they have allowed the fourth most receiving yards in the league. Keenan Allen and Philip Rivers looked to be on the same page last week and I expect more of that this week. The Chargers and Chiefs always seem to play close, high-scoring games. I expect more of that this week.

TE: Rob Gronkowski, Patriots ($6,800)

Oh, so close to Gronk being priced at $6,900! The jokes that could have been made. Anyway, Rob Gronkowski had a very good game last week and looked to regain his form after a tough week one. He also went up against Chiefs’ Eric Berry in week one, who has been a top safety in the league when healthy. Tom Brady looks mad and I think the Patriots will come out on fire once again. With all of the injuries to the Patriots’ receivers and Brandin Cooks not looking comfortable just yet, I think Gronk will have another big game.

D/ST: Denver Broncos ($3,600)

Did you see what the Broncos did to the Cowboys and Ezekiel Elliott last week? If you did not, then you do not understand why I am going with them as my top pick this week. The Bills, like the Cowboys, love to run the ball. However, they do not have even close to the same rushing attack as the Cowboys do. LeSean McCoy is very good, but he is not Zeke and the Bills’ offensive line is not as good as the Cowboys’ O-Line. On top of that, Dak Prescott is a much better QB than Tyrod Taylor and the Bills do not have a receiver even close to the caliber as Dez Bryant is. The Bills will be luck to break 10 points in this one.

 

Photo Credits: ESPN.com
Advertisements

NCAA College Football Rankings Suck!

COLLEGE FOOTBALL RANKINGS SUCK!  

At least, in my opinion they do.

Let’s look at the top three teams: Oklahoma, Clemson and Alabama. Did any of those teams play a team that was ranked? Two have. Oklahoma and Clemson. Should one of them be number one? In my opinion, they should be. Why? The simplest reason is the teams that they played are true competitive teams, which they could play for a national championship. I don’t know how to say this, but in simple words: The NCAA rankings system is still broken.

Let’s also preface to say this in huge bold caps: NO BCS!

The past two weeks of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have blasted a few dents into the playing schedule of college football. There are games that have had to be rescheduled, or might even in the long run be cancelled. College sports is a huge money maker for revenue dollars that truly support the “programs” in being managed and run. National television does rake in money, and visibility, especially for college recruits.

Scheduling games has a lot to do with NCAA sports, within their respected division, and contracted games towards “rivals,” and “invites.” These in themselves are revenue driven and are often found on the television screen of CBS, ABC, NBC, ESPN, FOX and more, smaller channels/affiliates. Sitting on a recent Saturday watching Illinois get trounced by Southern Florida, made me wish for the “mercy” code as it became an unbearable game to watch. I couldn’t even imagine being an Illinois fan after the first half sitting in the stands at that game. The misery, the pain. Agony. Luckily, for those watching at home, the game was sent to a smaller affiliated channel, and a more prominent game came on.

My question is this: How can a team be ranked by a win over a smaller team?

So as I was researching this article, I went to the USAToday, which was available at the moment, and found the Jeff Sagarin College Football Rankings. It has Bama first with Oklahoma and Clemson behind them, respectively. Fourth was Ohio State and OK state being number 5. This is a link to understanding the Sagarin model (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Sagarin). Though this is link is more towards his development, I understand how he uses a weighted average.

Just pulled up the AP/Coaches poll (thank you ESPN.com) and to my surprise, the rankings look much different than the Sagarin model. Both are identical with Alabama 1, Clemson 2, Oklahoma 3, Penn State 4, and USC 5.

I don’t get it. Playing a two-bit team with little ability to win, versus a team that has what looks like a professional training camp environment (hello Oklahoma!), who served a team a comeuppance in the first game of the season and a team, who was down 3 or 4 touchdowns and came back in one of the most amazing moments in college football this year, are 2 and 5.

There is no thing as an exact science when it comes to ranking teams. I get ticked off when I hear that such and such a team is number one, when they really haven’t played a competitive team, and there seems to be not even a chance of argument by anyone as it comes to an honest discussion. I usually sit there and wonder how a team can be so special when it comes to the dollars that drive the NCAA football ranks, but somehow, and some way, some day, this will all make sense.

And thus ends my first column for The Sports Talk.

GCB

Aka ‘dabear’

email: greycloudbear@gmail.com

twitter: @greycloudbear

 

Photo Credits: USA Today

4 SZNS feat. Darren Wolfson

giphy.gif

I think that is all i have to say .. Give them a follow on SoundCloud to stay up to date on all of the 4 SZNS episodes!

In this episode:

“The 4 SZNS podcast’s Ryan Magdziarz and Zak Noble sat down with ESPN Radio Minnesota Timberwolves insider Darren Wolfson to discuss the impact of Jimmy Butler, the progression of Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, and what to expect from the rest of the Wolves roster.

2:03 – How Darren became a T-Wolves Insider

6:03 – Relationships with players and coaches

12:25 – Wiggins deal

15:00 – Perimeter shooting worries?

19:44 – Nate Robinson workout

21:30 – The return of Kirk Hinrich

22:08 – Jeff Teague signing

24:50 – Tyus Jones and the rest of the rotation

26:40 – Bench Depth

29:42 – Jimmy’s impact on KAT and Wiggins

32:39 – Predictions and the T-Wolves ceiling”

Calgary Flames Split Squad Review

It is back! That’s right, with the NHL preseason getting under way, hockey season is here! With that, the Calgary Flames opened their preseason on Monday with a split squad double header against the Edmonton Oilers. So, two Games in two cities, at the same time. I have to admit this was difficult to follow, but dang was it sure fun. It is very important to remember that these are preseason games, so the results do not matter as much as the evaluation of players and of course shaking off the rust.

Game one was played in Calgary and it started with a bang when star center Sean Monahan scored a goal just 1:01 into the game. Great start, I love seeing those Flames shoot up in the Saddledome. The fast start was good for the Flames as it showed that the team is hungry this season. More important is that it showed that key player and top centermen, Sean Monahan, was prepared and ready to go to start this season. Monahan will be counted on a lot this year.

Now back to the game, the Flames would fall behind before the end of the 1st period as the game slowed a bit and looked very much like a preseason game. Much could be said for this game. The Oilers would get a few bounces their way and take a 4-2 lead into the 3rd. There were a couple bright spots in the 3rd. First was the play of T.J. Brodie, who at the 4:32 mark of the period, scored a power play goal. Second was rookie center Mark Jankowski‘s play. Showing great skill and poise he is proving that he has what it takes to play in the NHL. The highlight for Jankowski was a short-handed goal with just under a minute to go in the 3rd.

Four goals for the Flames, was one short, as they lost the game 5-4. This game showed there is plenty to work on and some rust to shake off. The Flames used goaltenders Mike Smith and Jon Gillies in this game. Smith told NHL correspondent, “If I had a perfect game, I wouldn’t have anything to work on the next couple of weeks.” That pretty much sums it up for most of the players.

Game two from Edmonton featured a young, less experienced Flames team. There were not many noticeable names sent, but among them was Spencer Foo, Matt Stajan and Sam Bennett, while the Flames used Eddie Lack and David Rittich in goal. This game wasn’t kind to the Flames. Edmonton kept a good portion of its stars for this game and it showed as they rocked the Flames 5-2.

There were no big stand outs in this game for me and a lot of average play from the team. Sam Bennett seemed to gain some praise from Flames’ writers on Twitter, for his ability to create and find teammates. Penalties seem to be a major story in this one as the NHL is tightening up how things are called. Edmonton took advantage, going 3 for 12 and only taking 5 penalties themselves. Assistant Coach Dave Cameron spoke to Flames’ beat writer Wes Gilbertson, “It’s a new standard, and we have to adapt”. Needless to say, this game gave the Flames a lot to study at the new video study session.

So with that, two preseason games are in the books, and with mix reviews and emotions about how the games played out. One thing is for sure, no one is satisfied yet and everyone knows there is a long way to go and lots to work on. “Never Quit”, like the Flames’ motto from two seasons ago stated. Of course, wins would have been a lot more fun to write about, but losses definitely give the team more to work with. Hopefully the losses will provide the motivation for the next game.

Flames Head Coach Glen Gulutzan announced that the Flames will make cuts some time Tuesday, after he and his staff review the games and go over the players evaluations. It is expected they will trim the roster from the 68 players currently at camp down to about 46 or 47 players. Also worth noting, Flames forward and stand out rookie from last season Matthew Tkachuk sat out the preseason games for precautionary reason with a sore hip. He isn’t expected to miss any meaningful time. Next up for the Flames in the preseason are games Thursday against the Vancover Canucks and Friday against the Arizona Coyotes.

 

Photo Credits: Global News

It is time to put the Kyrie vs. IT debate to rest

A little less than a month ago, Boston Celtics’ GM Danny Ainge busted out the trade of the year. He acquired Kyrie Irving from Cleveland for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, a future second round pick, and next year’s unprotected Brooklyn pick. Leaving some Green Teamers ecstatic and some livid at the unexpected departure of the “King of the Fourth”. IT managed to come into a broken Celtics team and give Boston two and half years of gritty play. He took them from a team in full rebuild with little forward direction, to a number 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and an appearance to the Eastern Conference finals. He was able to restore faith in Celtics fans once again and give us hope that just maybe, banner 18 would be right around the corner.

Now don’t get me wrong, as a Boston fan I loved what IT was able to do for Boston. I mean, how could you not? A 5’9” point guard chosen with the last pick of the 2011 draft, with little to no hope of making it in this league. He was able to become a top point guard in the league and a leader of one of the most historic teams in the NBA. A guy who lost his sister in a tragic car accident and, not only played in the playoffs, but in the NEXT NIGHT and was amazing. There is no argument how amazing this guy was for Boston, but in the end he is not the “superstar” Boston needs. Kyrie Irving is…

Now lets break it down with some statistics here to compare:

  • Kyrie’s career :
    • 25 Years Old
    • 6 seasons
    • 21.6 points per game
    • 45% career field goal percentage
    • 38% career 3 point percentage
    • 5.6 assists per game
    • 2011-2012 Rookie of the Year
    • 4x All-Star
    • 2013-2014 All-Star Game MVP
    • 3 NBA Finals appearances (yes, I understand Lebron was on his team)
    • 1 NBA Title (Yes, I still know Lebron was on his team)
  • IT’s career:
    • 28 Years Old
    • 6 seasons
    • 19.1 points per game
    • 44% career field goal percentage
    • 36.7 career 3 point percentage
    • 5.2 Assists per game
    • 2x All-Star

Alright, I know a lot of things were just thrown at you and there are arguments for every stat, but here’s the bottom line. Kyrie beats IT in every major category, he’s taller, younger, has better ball-handling skills, is a better shooter, better passer, and the list goes on. IT has a lingering hip issue that seems to be benching him until at least the All-Star break, possibly even longer. To top it all off, it is a contract year for IT. This most likely means that he will be looking for a max contract, which if you ask me, is not worth giving a 28-year-old point guard with an undisclosed hip injury that looks to be extremely serious.

If you put all of these into perspective, the evidence is there that Danny Ainge made a move based on the scenario at hand. Trade a guy at his highest potential for a maximum return and that’s exactly what Ainge did. Now, will it work out? That will be up to Kyrie and the rest of this squad to prove to us. The point is to acknowledge all the great things IT did for this city over the past 2 and a half years, but be excited for the amazing future that Boston now has with Kyrie Irving. Kyrie has proven every year since he came into the league that he has superstar capabilities. Now Boston has given him the keys to drive this team to banner 18.

How do the New York Giants fix their woes?

The New York Giants have struggled mightily, on the offensive end, in their first two games. They scored 3 points in week one against the Cowboys, then went on to score 10 points in week two against the Lions. Neither of those two teams have a defense to brag about. That begs the question, what is wrong with the Giants? How do they fix their problem?

What is wrong with the Giants?

The answer is simple: the offensive line. The Giants offensive line may be the worst in all of football. Ereck Flowers might be the worst left tackle in the NFL. Eli Manning has not looked good, but it is not entirely his fault. The offensive line is giving him not time in the pocket and he is getting hit play after play. The Giants have let up the third most sacks in the league, 8 sacks, so far this season. Ereck Flowers gave up three of those just last week against the Lions. Along the offensive line, the Giants have three players currently with a “poor” rating according to Pro Football Focus. Ereck Flowers is ranked #58 among tackles, Bobby Hart is ranked #48 among tackles and Justin Pugh is ranked #51 among tackles, as he had to play tackle due to the injury to Bobby Hart. The run game is a problem as well, but once again it goes back to the offensive line. The line is creating zero holes for the Giants’ running backs. The Giants also do not have very good running backs, as they deploy Paul Perkins, Orleans Darkwa and Shane Vereen on game days. However, a good line can put a mask over poor running backs. It all goes back to the line.

How do they fix it?

It starts with moving Ereck Flowers away from left tackle and letting Justin Pugh play his true position at left guard. Ereck Flowers is getting absolutely exposed. In the first two weeks he has made Demarcus Lawrence, of the Cowboys, and Ezekiel Ansah, of the Lions, look like All-Pro defensive ends. They can try to replace him within, but that most likely will fail as the Giants do not have much depth along the offensive line. I think the Giants should explore a trade for Browns’ LT Joe Thomas. Joe Thomas was reportedly on the trading block last year and he may be available again this year.

If the Giants acquire Joe Thomas he would slide right into the starting LT spot. He may also be able to groom Ereck Flowers for the future. Flowers can move over to RT in hopes that he can play better there and Pugh goes back to left guard. Center Weston Richburg and right guard John Jerry, have actually played very well so far this season. This one move can make the Giants’ offensive line look like a completely different unit.

One simple move can save the Giants from a disappointing season. Hopefully, the acquiring of Joe Thomas and move of Ereck Flowers from the left side to the right side can fix their woes. If not, well Giant fans, the season is lost and we will need to try replacing Flowers through the draft and/or free agency. The Giants have a ton of talent on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. If they can just fix their offensive line woes, they can be a true contender.

 

Photo Credits: NJ.com

Toronto Maple Leafs Cuts

By Pat Cancilla

The Toronto Maple Leafs cut 24 players from their training camp roster on Sept. 17.

According to the team’s public relations department, the Leafs now have 49 players remaining in camp: 28 forwards, 17 defensemen and four goalies.

Following are the cuts:

Seven players have been reassigned to their CHL teams: Cole Coskey (Saginaw), Marc-Olivier Duquette (Drummondville), Fedor Gordeev (Flint), Nicolas Mattinen (London), Ryan McGregor (Sarnia), Eemeli Rasanen (Kingston) and Ian Scott (Prince Albert).

Seventeen players have been reassigned to the Toronto Marlies of the AHL: Vladimir Bobylev, Jeremy Bracco, Adam Brooks, Matias Cleland, Rich Clune, Jean Dupuy, Martins Dzierkals, Alex Gudbranson, Cal Heeter, Sam Jardine, Jeff King, Nikita Korostelev, Max Novak, J.J. Piccinich, Kristian Pospisil, Joshua Winquist and Nolan Valleau.

Most of the cuts were to be expected, although, some people were surprised to see Bracco and Brooks on the list. Then again, with so much talent on this young team, that makes it that much harder to crack the roster.

The Leafs have a busy preseason schedule in the next two weeks, beginning with back-to-back games against the Ottawa Senators on Sept. 18 and 19.

Judging by all the buzz on social media, Leafs Nation is pumped to see the boys in blue back on the ice!

 

Photo Credits: NHL.com