Not so fast, Look out behind you

These dirty birds known as the Philadelphia Eagles according to their fans, certain individuals in the NFL and the media have the NFC East locked up and are going to the Super Bowl.  There is no team in the NFL that can stop them or catch them.  In the summarized words of the late Dennis Green, just crown them champions already.

I get it they are 8-1 and in front of the 5-3 Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East and at times they have looked really dominant, especially when they totally destroyed the Denver Broncos 51-23 last week.  On the other hand, the Cowboys kept pace as they defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 28-17 in the return of Sean Lee.  The Eagles are on a bye while Dallas must contend with the other dirty birds, the Falcons, in Atlanta.

Time for me to pull back the curtain for you Eagles’ fans, NFL, and the media. This is something true Cowboys’ fans have known and never worried about what was going on with the team.  One, Zeke is out until Christmas Eve, but we have other RBs to handle the load behind the best O-Line in the NFL, did you forget that?  Two, the return of Sean Lee, which according to the USA Today, “Sean Lee makes things happen!”, more turnovers and some stout defensive stands. Three, Dak is not your average QB, as he won’t throw the INTs and will manage the situations giving the Cowboys a chance to win the game.  Sean Lee and the defense will give the offense plenty of opportunities to score and they will help control the clock.  I expect the coaching staff to help the young man out with more protection and rely on the running game even without Zeke. Fourth and the biggest thing is that strange things tend to happen in the NFL and pressure makes diamonds or bust pipes. The Cowboys beat Atlanta this week and all of a sudden things get interesting as they will improve to 6-3 two games back of those Eagles.  Oh and guess what, who does Dallas play next week none other than the Philadelphia Eagles at AT&T stadium.  What you didn’t see that coming?

This is what true fans know about the NFL, is that karma always finds a way to get even.  Never talk trash because the impossible scenario will come to be and then the next thing you know, you were about to win the division and now you are at home for the playoffs.  If Dallas wins this week there will be some serious drama for the Eagles game.  Philly will have all the pressure on them because Dallas was written off when they struggled early and now have no Zeke.

Oh man, if the boys do pull it off in these next two weeks watch for the change in people’s attitudes, the NFL, plus the media and how they report the news.  It is simple for the Dallas Cowboys keep pace with Eagles by winning games, and beat them in head to head matchups. They do this and the division which no one believed they do it, will be theirs. Only true Dallas Cowboys fans knew this was possible.  How bout dem Cowboys?!

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Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Targets (Week 7)

Week 6 has now passed, which means we are near the halfway point for the regular season in many fantasy football leagues. By now it is clear whose teams are championship favorites and whose are pretenders. Whether you find yourself at the top of the standings or near the bottom, it is still important to hunt the waiver wire. Kudos to anyone that took my advice and picked up Adrian Peterson and had the confidence to start him because he looked electric last week. If for some reason he is still available in your league, add him now. Here are 6 fantasy football players to target this week.

1. Orleans Darkwa, RB, New York Giants

Orleans Darkwa is not a household name, but he is killing it for the Giants. He has put up over 14 points the past two weeks in PPR leagues and is still unowned in nearly all leagues. He led the team in touches last week and ran for 117 yards on the stout Broncos defense. A defense that allowed 95 yards combined between LeSean McCoy, Melvin Gordon, Ezekiel Elliott, and Marshawn Lynch. Did Darkwa have a fluke of a game versus that stellar run defense? Probably. But he is worth the add this week. (Percent Owned: 0.7 NFL, 4.5 ESPN)

2. Alfred Morris, RB, Dallas Cowboys

Due to the never ending legal battle that follows Ezekiel Elliott, Alfred Morris could become the starter in Dallas. However, he could also see little to no playing time. The same goes for fellow back Darren McFadden. Elliot could escape serving no suspension and continue to serve as a bell-cow for the Cowboys. However, in the event that he is suspended, Morris and McFadden both become possible starters. (Percent Owned: 14.0 NFL, 43.9 ESPN)

3. Nelson Agholor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

Nelson Agholor was featured on this page several weeks ago and here he finds himself still a top target. He is having a breakout year and is available in many leagues for how well he is playing. If the Eagles and Carson Wentz continue on their hot streak, look for Agholor’s fantasy value to stay high. He is going into a matchup with a Josh Norman-less Redskins secondary, so look for big numbers. (Percent Owned: 23.5 NFL, 36.3 ESPN)

4. Ted Ginn, WR, New Orleans Saints

Ted Ginn is benefitting from the pass heavy offense led by Drew Brees. His fantasy value is touchdown dependent, but he has two touchdowns in his last three games. Given that he is a speedster, the possibility of a long touchdown each week makes him an enticing fantasy start. He is a good WR3 or flex candidate, but do not sit any solid starters in favor of him. (Percent Owned: 16.4 NFL, 40.6 ESPN)

5. Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans

DeMarco Murray is still the starter in Tennessee, but Derrick Henry out touched him last week. Henry scored 21 fantasy points in PPR leagues and had a career long 72 yard touchdown run. Henry won’t put up these numbers on a weekly basis. He is a good add though if your team is very weak at running back. (Percent Owned: 78.8 NFL, 57.0 ESPN)

6. JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

The rookie receiver is beginning to push Martavis Bryant out the the number two target in Pittsburgh. He has not down so yet, but he was second in catches and yards last week. Combined with the swirling rumors that Bryant wants a trade, there could be a lot of value in adding JuJu Smith-Schuster to your team. He is not a consistent fantasy starter, but is worth stashing on your roster. (Percent Owned: 2.0 NFL, 6.3 ESPN)

Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Targets (Week 5)

Four weeks have gone by and the NFL is proving impossible to predict. No one predicted the Bills and Rams to have more wins than the Patriots. However, one thing has held true from previous years, big time injuries happen. From Dalvin Cook‘s torn ACL, to Derek Carr‘s fractured back, injuries are a weekly occurrence. As devastating as these injuries are, it is important to take advantage and add players that will see an increase in playtime. Here are six top waiver wire adds for week five.

1. Latavius Muray, RB, Minnesota Vikings

Dalvin Cook went down with a devastating non contact ACL tear that ended his rookie season just as he was picking up steam. Latavius Murray, and Jerick McKinnon look to split the carries, but Murray out touched his fellow back nine to two. Murray looks to receive more carries, but he is not going to produce like Cook did. However, he is a must add for any owners that had Cook. (Percent owned: 47.7 NFL, 17.1 ESPN)

2. Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers

Aaron Jones is another top waiver target due to his starter’s injury. Ty Montgomery suffered broken ribs, and although there are reports that he could play this weekend, even if he does he will be on a limited snap count. Jones, the rookie back filled in well for the starter. He produced a touchdown and nearly fifty yards. If you own Montgomery, Jones would be a good fill in until he is back. (Percent owned: 0.5 NFL, 1.3 ESPN)

3. Charles Clay, TE, Buffalo Bills

Charles Clay has been tearing it up this season. In PPR leagues, he is the fourth highest scoring tight end, but his ownership percentage does not yet reflect that. If he is available in your league, add him immediately. He has been Tyrod Taylor‘s favorite and most reliable target this season. Look for Clay’s numbers to stay in the top tier of tight ends. (Percent owned: 34.1 NFL, 75.2 ESPN)

4. Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans

Deshaun Watson led the Texan’s offense to a 57-14 point victory over the Titans. He threw for four touchdowns and ran for another one, accounting for five total touchdowns on the day. He shouldn’t be counted on to produce like this on a weekly basis, but with weapons like DeAndre Hopkins and Lamar Miller he should consistently put up points. If your team’s starting quarterback is struggling or you need a solid back up, Watson is gold. (Percent owned: 14.8 NFL, 29.6 ESPN)

5. Will Fuller, WR, Houston Texans

Will Fuller was another player that benefited from the Texan’s offensive explosion last week. In his first game this season after suffering a broken collarbone he scored two red zone touchdowns. He saw six targets on the day and if him and Watson can continue to hook up, he could be a solid WR2 or flex option on a weekly basis. (Percent owned: 2.8 NFL, 18.9 ESPN)

6. Wendell Smallwood, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

Wendell Smallwood is in a running back by committee approach with LeGarrette Blount, but that does not take away from his fantasy value in PPR leagues. He caught four balls for 45 yards, and ran ten times for 34 yards and a touchdown. He should continue to see a lot of catches out of the backfield and is a solid flex option in deeper leagues, (Percent owned: 7.9 NFL, 47.2 ESPN)

New York Giants Week 3 Recap

Another week, another loss. The Giants’ offense looked much better this week, but it didn’t matter as they fall to 0-3 on the season. Since 1980, there had been 168 teams to start the season 0-3, only 5 of those teams made the playoffs (Oddshark.com). Things are not looking very bright for the Giants and the schedule does not get any easier next week, as the Giants travel to Tampa to take on the much improved Buccaneers. Let us take a look at some takeaways from this past week’s game against the Eagles.

Key Takeaways

The Offense Looked .. Better

The Giants should have had at least 6 more points on the board this game. They were within the 10-yard line twice and decided to go for it, instead of kicking the field goal. Both times they failed to convert. However, Eli Manning looked much better this game. He converted 35 of his 47 passes for 366 yards and 3 touchdown passes. He did turn the ball over twice, but those seemed to be his only bad throws of the game. The biggest takeaway from the offense was that they did not give up one sack all game. Ereck Flowers looked a bit better and moving Justin Pugh to Right Tackle looked like the right move. The Giants scored all 24 points in the last quarter, but they looked much better throughout the whole game. Sterling Shepard, Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall and Evan Engram all had at least 5 catches and 40 receiving yards. The weapons are there, the Giants just have to put it all together.
Odell Beckham Has Basically Arrived

Odell Beckham had a very good game as he hauled in 9 catches for 79 yards and two of his catches went for touchdowns. However, he had two drops on the day. One drop came on a perfectly timed pass towards the back shoulder. It hit him right as he turned around, but it went right through his hands. Another drop came on a slant route as it seemed as if Beckham was trying to run with the ball before he secured the catch.

He made an amazing one handed catch in the end zone for one of his two touchdowns on the day.

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However, Odell, as usual, needed to make the headlines for more than just his playmaking. After one touchdown, Beckham celebrated by throwing his fist in the air.

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Then came the even better one. He scored a touchdown and decided to pee like a dog. Yes, he tried to pee like a dog .. He said he did it because of Trump’s “son of a bitch” comments. Either way, he looked like a complete fool doing so.

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As special of a talent that he is, he is such a pain in the ass.

The Defense Looked Good Until We Needed Them Most

The defense looked great for three quarters, but seemed tired at the end of the game. Philadelphia dominated the ball for the first three quarters and it seemed to catch up to the Giants defense in the fourth. They let up 13 points in the final quarter, while only allowing 14 through the first three. The defense sacked Carson Wentz three times and forced Zach Ertz to fumble. However, they let Wentz get far enough down the field, with only 13 seconds left in the game, to give the Eagles a chance to attempt a 61-yard field goal and they converted. The Giants held Wentz to only 176 yards, but they were torn up on the ground. Wendell Smallwood and LeGarrette Blount combined for 138 rushing yards. Wentz added another 22 yards, Corey Clement added another 22 yards, and Darren Sproles added another 11 yards. On the day, the Eagles rushed for 193 total yards and two rushing touchdowns.

The Run Game is Atrocious

As I mentioned, the offensive line looked a bit better yesterday. However, the run game still made my eyes bleed. Paul Perkins, Orleans Darkwa and Shane Vereen combined for 49 rushing yards on 17 carries. Perkins needs to be buried on the depth chart. He cannot break any tackles and it seems as if he is never falling forward. The Giants need to use Vereen and Darkwa more. Darkwa was hitting the holes nicely in his limited opportunities, while Vereen proved last year that he can be very effective in the passing game.

Ben McAdoo Needs to Go

When fans and sports anchors are saying how bad the play calling is, you know it has gotten to a low point. Ben McAdoo made some horrific decisions on Sunday against the Eagles. Three moments stick out to me the most, all of which came on fourth down. The first came early in the game when the Giants had a 4th and 1 situation. They could have given it to a running back to run straight up the middle or given it to Eli for a quarterback sneak. Instead, McAdoo thought it was a good idea to run a half back toss and the play went backwards for 3 yards. The other two times came when the Giants should have taken the points. I am not a fan of going for it on fourth down when you are in field goal range and it is before the fourth quarter. It happened twice in this game and both times the Giants were inside the 10, which would have made it very easy for Aldrick Rosas to give up 3 points each time. Instead, McAdoo decided to go for it and we came away empty handed. If the Giants attempted two field goals and converted on them instead of going for it on fourth down, they would have had 30 total points on the game. Oh! That would have given them a win. Horrible decision making all around by Ben McAdoo.

New York Giants Game Preview: Eagles Edition

Week 3 is here and we have two division rivals going at it. The New York Football Giants will head to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles. The New York Giants have started this young season 0-2, while playing some really bad football. Their defense has looked solid, but their offense has looked atrocious as they have combined for 13 points over their first two games. On the other hand, the Eagles have started off the season 1-1, while playing some good football. They beat division rival Washington in week one fairly easy, but lost a tough one to the Kansas City Chiefs. Two teams trending in opposite directions in this game. Can the Giants turn their season around, or will the Eagles keep up their solid start?

Giants’ Keys to Victory

Better Offensive Line Play

I feel like this is an obvious key for anyone who has been watching the Giants play over these first two weeks. Ereck Flowers has been one of the worst, if not the worst, tackles in all of football. He has already let up 5 sacks this season! On top of his awful play, the Giants will be without starting RT Bobby Hart. Hart has not been playing very good either, but depth is already an issue for the Giants at offensive line. The Eagles have 8 sacks already on the year, which is tied for 5th in the league. If the Giants want any chance at winning this game, it is going to start in the trenches and protecting Eli Manning.

Get Odell Beckham the Ball

Odell Beckham said he is finally 100% healthy this week. He had a quiet week last week, but was only targeted five teams. The most logical way to win games is to give your best player the ball. Beckham is obviously the Giants’ best player, therefore, find ways to get him involved. More slants, take deep shots down field, give him the ball out of the back field, wide receiver screens, let him returns punts, just get him the ball in anyway you can. Brandon Marshall has looked terrible, Eli has no time, Paul Perkins/Orleans Darkwa/Shane Vereen out of the backfield have looked bad and rookie Evan Engram is in the concussion protocol. GIVE ODELL THE BALL.

Stop the Pass

Carson Wentz is having a nice start to the year for the Philadelphia Eagles. He is currently 5th in football with 640 passing yards and 6th with 4 passing touchdowns. However, the Eagles have struggled to run the ball as they are only averaging 82.5 rushing yards per game. The Giants seem like they will be without Janoris Jenkins once again, but it did not effect them too much last game. Eli Apple got exposed on a touchdown to Marvin Jones, however, that was the only time the secondary seemed to be exposed. I think the Lions and Eagles have very similar offensive weapons besides at the tight end position, which I think will be the biggest problem for the Giants’ defense. The Giants have been exposed by tight ends so far this year, as they have given up a touchdown to a tight end in each of their first two games. In steps Zach Ertz. He is the best tight end that the Giants will have faced so far this season. He is having a monster season so far and if the Giants can shut him down, they will be successful on the defensive end. B.J. Goodson is out again, so Calvin Munson will have to step up. The Giants may rely a bit on Landon Collins to help stop Ertz as well. Whatever the game plan is, they are going to have to stop Ertz if they want to shutdown the Eagles’ offense.

 

Photo Credits: Big Blue Interactive

Fantasy Football Waiver Targets (Week 2)

Fantasy football waiver wire pickups are the difference between winning a championship, and failing to make the playoffs. It is important to be vigilant each week, especially when major injuries or suspensions can rid someone of a top pick. This week is especially important because of how many top fantasy stars failed to produce. It is too early to drop a top pick because of a disappointing performance, but adding a potential stud is a good insurance policy just in case. Below are eight players that everyone should be targeting.

1. Tarik Cohen, RB, Chicago Bears

Tarik Cohen provided the Bears with a big spark in his NFL debut. He seriously cut into Jordan Howard‘s touches after being used on 43% of plays, compared to Howard’s 56%. He carried the ball five times for 66 yards, an astonishing 13.2 YPC. Cohen also caught eight passes for 47 yards and a touchdown. In PPR leagues, Cohen is even more valuable after leading the team in targets with 12. He is not owned in many leagues, but will be after this week. (Percent owned: 1.5 NFL, 2.3 ESPN)

2. Alex Smith, QB, Kansas City Chiefs

Alex Smith has long been described as a game manager, not the guy to throw for 300 yards and four touchdowns. However, that is exactly what Smith did in the season opener. He made the reigning Super Bowl championship defense look foolish, and while doing so, locked up his status as a great waiver wire pickup. He is still not in the upper echelon of fantasy quarterbacks to start regardless of weekly matchups, but as of week two he is the top scoring fantasy quarterback. (Percent owned: 16.6 NFL, 9.7 ESPN)

3. Nelson Agholor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

Nelson Agholor looked bound to be labeled a bust after a disappointing two seasons to start his career, but he looked like a different receiver week one. He led the team in targets, and finished with 86 yards and a touchdown. If he and second year quarterback Carson Wentz can build chemistry together it could be a very successful season for the young receiver. (Percent owned: 1.8 NFL, 1.6 ESPN)

4. Javorius Allen, RB, Baltimore Ravens

After Danny Woodhead went out with a hamstring injury, Javorius Allen
led the running backs in snaps. With Woodhead expected to be out at least a month, Allen’s stock skyrockets. The Ravens love to target backs on passing routes, so his value is even higher is PPR leagues. He still is splitting carries with Terrance West, but Allen is a quality waiver wire addition. (Percent owned: 1.6 NFL, 0.4 ESPN)

5. Kerwynn Williams, RB, Arizona Cardinals

Kerwynn Williams‘usage is in for a major uptick after star running back David Johnson
suffered a wrist injury that could sideline him for several months. He came in immediately for the injured Johnson and scored a touchdown. Williams was declared the number one back moving forward by head coach Bruce Arians. Williams has a very high ceiling as the number one back in Arizona. (Percent owned: 0.3 NFL, 0.7 ESPN)

6. Jesse James, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers

Jesse James was the top scoring tight end in week one. This is no doubt because he caught two red zone touchdowns and will not be the norm. However, if James can become Big Ben’s favorite red zone target there will be many more touchdowns in James’ future. The team’s recent addition of Vance McDonald was thought to hurt James’ targets, but he beat McDonald 8 to one in that respect. (Percent owned: 3.9 NFL, 2.5 ESPN)

7. Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams

Cooper Kupp is a good option in PPR leagues with 12 or more people in them. He had a solid week one, but his production depends on the Rams’ offense, which was lackluster last season. That being said, he led the team in targets last week and secured a touchdown pass from Jared Goff. (Percent owned: 4.7 NFL, 16.6 ESPN)

8. Mike Tolbert, RB, Buffalo Bills

The backup running back in Buffalo has consistently poached touchdowns from LeSean McCoy over the past three years, and Mike Tolbert has already began down that road. He scored a one yard touchdown in week one and ran the ball 12 times for 42 yards. His bruising downhill running style should do his fantasy value well as he looks to score many short yardage touchdowns this season. (Percent owned: 0.1 NFL, 0.5 ESPN)

 

Photo Credits: FanRag Sports

Philadelphia Eagles Season Preview

As year two of the Carson Wentz era gets underway, the Eagles hope to build on a somewhat successful 2016 campaign. Posting a record of 7-9 in 2016, the Eagles hope to take a few steps forward and make the playoffs in 2017. Unfortunately, having to play in a division with the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys, two teams considered to be playoff contenders, won’t make the Eagles chances of getting to the playoffs any easier. With the 2017 season right around the corner, it’s time to preview what the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles will look like.

Offense

Additions:

WR Torrey Smith
WR Alshon Jeffery
G Chance Warmack
QB Nick Foles
OL Stefen Wisniewski
QB Matt McGloin
RB LeGarrette Blount

Subtractions:

WR Jordan Matthews
RB Ryan Mathews

2016 Rank: 22nd

  • Rush Yards per game: 113.3
  • Passing Yards per game: 224.1
  • Points Per Game: 22.9

No doubt, the Eagles will look to improve on last seasons offensive numbers. Over the off-season, the Eagles made all the right moves to equip quarterback Carson Wentz with the right tools. The additions of Wide Receivers Torrey Smith and Alshon Jeffery will allow for the Eagles to have both a speedy deep threat and a big, physical red-zone target. Additionally, they signed LeGarrette Blount to a one-year deal, worth up to $2.8 million. In what was an already loaded backfield with guys like Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood, and Donnel Pumphrey , the Eagles added the NFL’s leading touchdown rusher from a year ago. Bringing in underrated Guard Chance Warmack on a year deal also allows for the Eagles to give Carson Wentz more time to throw the ball.   

2017 should be a good year for the Eagles offense. With all the weapons they’ve added, it’s clear that they’re in win-now mode.

2017 Rank (projected):  14th

Defense

2016 Rank:  13th

Despite all the holes on the Eagles defense, last season, defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz’s unit was a surprise. Now, heading into 2017, the Eagles have added some young pieces in hopes of turning into a top ten unit. Acquiring Ronald Darby in a trade from the Buffalo Bills over the offseason allowed for the Eagles to finally have a young secondary, as Darby will team up with Jalen Mills to form a legitimate CB duo. The Eagles front seven is as good as any team in the league. Fletcher Cox, Vinny Curry, Mychal Kendricks, and Nigel Bradham will be names to watch on this defense. On the back end, the Eagles have veteran Safety Malcolm Jenkins who’ll lead what is already a very talented, but underrated secondary. While the Eagles do have their fair share of question marks in the secondary, it’s safe to assume that they’ll find ways to stay in games all throughout the season .

 

2017 Rank (Projected): 10th

Additions:

DE Chris Long
DB Derek Barnett
S Corey Graham
CB Ronald Darby
CB Sidney Jones

Subtractions:

DE Connor Barwin
CB Leodis McKelvin

Overall Record Prediction: 9-7

Summary

The Eagles 2017 season will be no easy task. On offense, the entire group is loaded and has the potential to be very explosive. On defense, it’s a slightly different story. While the Eagles overhauled parts of the secondary, there are questions that remain. Will guys like Ronald Darby and Sidney Jones be able to keep up with guys like Amari Cooper, Dez Bryant, and Odell Beckham Jr?  

Aside from having to play their division rivals, the New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys, and Washington Redskins twice. Philadelphia will have tests against the Seahawks, Raiders, Chiefs, Broncos, Panthers, and Cardinals. Each of the aforementioned teams have made the playoffs at least once in the last three seasons. While the Eagles have added on all the pieces they need to be able to compete for a playoff spot in 2017, their chances of making the playoffs seem slim. Especially due to a loaded division (Giants and Cowboys), as well as a loaded conference (Cardinals, Seahawks, Falcons, Packers, Panthers). While the Eagles appear to be in win-now mode, for 2017, fans will have to wait another year for to see them back in the playoffs.

Follow @usaydkoshul on Twitter for my latest updates

 

Photo Credits: CBS Philly