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Bruins Prospect Donato’s Five Point Game

This post was created at Black and Gold Hockey, be sure to check out the other amazing work being created there.

( Above Photo Credit:  The Boston Globe / John Tlumacki / Globe Staff )

By: Mark Allred            Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Boston Bruins prospect and Harvard University forward Ryan Donato had an exceptional game tonight against the Under-18 United States National Development team in exhibition play. The Crimson owned the NTDP team during the game and came away with a 7-2 victory as Head Coach and former Bruins player Ted Donato prepare to kick the 2017-18 regular season off with a game against Dartmouth on October 29th.

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The 6′-0″ 181-pound forward was the second round selection of the Bruins back in 2014 and is currently in his Junior year. Last year Donato had a career year posting 40 points in 36 games and definitely has the potential and surrounding teammates to surpass that number this season. Tonight the 21-year-old crafty player had a hat-trick and two assists for a five-point effort and his goals and highlights can be seen from the Harvard University official Mens Hockey Twitter account below.

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Be sure to catch up on all of the Black and Gold Hockey Podcast episodes!

Bruins Prospect Vladar Gets Start For Baby B’s

This post was created at Black and Gold Hockey, be sure to check out the other amazing work being created there.

( Above Photo Credit:  NHL .com )

By: Mark Allred               Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Providence Journal Bruins beat writer Mark Divver is rep[orting that the American Hockey League’s Providence Bruins are going to start goaltender Dan Vladar tonight against the Belleville Senators.

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The 6′-5″ 185-pound Czech Republic native has had his troubles with consistency in the East Coast Hockey League with the Atlanta Gladiators appearing in 19 career games and posting a 5-10-1 record, 3.84 goals-against-average and .889 save percentage. Some would criticize his numbers in the Bruins developmental scheme but when he’s called upon to the next level of minor-pro hockey you can see a big difference when he dawns the Baby B’s black and gold jersey and competes harder with a better-structured team in front off him.

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Last year the Boston Bruins third-round selection in 2015 appeared in eight games for Providence going unbeaten with a 4-0-1 record, aa 2.62 GAA, and .921 save%. With loaned St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington getting the start last nights 5-2 win against the Springfield Thunderbirds, Vladar looks to continue his streak at the AHL level and shoot down the doubters as he shows the Bruins Brass that he belongs in the crease no matter where he plays throughout the B’s organization.

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Be sure to catch up on all of the Black and Gold Hockey Podcast episodes!

Bruins Prospect Frederic Shines In Overtime Loss

This post was created at Black and Gold Hockey, be sure to check out the other amazing work being created there.

(Brighton, MA 07/07/17) #57 Trent Frederic jumps over a rope during Bruins development camp at the Warrior Ice Arena. Friday, July 7, 2017. Staff photo by John Wilcox.

By: Mark Allred                     Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

The Wisconsin Badgers snapped a three-game winning streak last night with a 5-4 overtime loss to the hands of the Northern Michigan Wildcats. The Badgers will try to seek redemption today as both teams are set to face each other at 5pm CT. Although the second loss in six games was tough, the efforts of Boston Bruins forward prospect Trent Frederic cannot go unmentioned.

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Frederic, a 6′-3″ 215-pound St. Louis, Missouri native was selected with the 29th pick in the 2016 National Hockey League entry-draft and is currently playing in his sophomore year with the Badgers contributing seven points in six games this season and is riding a three-game point streak going 3-1-4 during that time. His longest career NCAA  Men’s Hockey point streak was in his freshman year when he had points in eight straight games during the 2016-17 season.

Below are clips of Frederic’s two-goal effort from last night which was a 2017-18 season high for him.

First Period – Frederic ties the score at one with his third goal of the season assisted by Peter Tischke and Matt Ustaski at 14:39

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Third Period – Frederic once again there to tie the score at four and forcing the Wildcats to overtime with his fourth goal of the year with the lone assist to Ryan Wagner at 17:50

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Trent is on track to pass his career high of 33 points in 30 games last year where he missed some time with an upper-body injury, so if he remains healthy for the remainder of the season, I can definitely see him passing his 15-18-33 numbers as he continues to develop under the guidance of former NHL player and now Badgers Head Coach Tony Granato.

Be sure to catch up on all of the Black and Gold Hockey Podcast episodes!

Week 8 Top Prospect Matchup: USC Front Seven vs Notre Dame OL

This post was created at Breaking Football, be sure to check out the other amazing work being created there.

NDUSC

Choosing just one prospect matchup to focus on this week was no easy task. There are a ton of games on the college football docket today that are chock full of exciting prospects for the 2018 NFL Draft. I could have written about Tennessee running back John Kelly going up against a stellar Alabama defense. I could have written about the dynamic Memphis duo of Riley Ferguson and Anthony Miller getting to shine on a national stage.

Even in the game I finally settled on, the USC Trojans against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, there are several different matchups I could have focused on. I could tell you about the battle between standout Irish wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown going toe-to-toe with USC’s Iman Marshall. I could wax poetic about one of the best running backs in the nation, Ronald Jones, squaring off against a tough Irish front seven. In the end, though, the matchup that I want to focus on for Saturday’s game takes place up front.

I don’t normally have a whole lot to say about the battles between the trenches, but this game’s battle is a star-studded affair if there ever was one. On one side you have two of the top offensive line prospects in tackle Mike McGlinchey and guard Quenton Nelson. Both of whom may be the two best offensive linemen in the entire nation. Each of them has a strong case for being chosen within the first ten picks come this year’s draft. If your team is struggling to protect your quarterback and open up running lanes for your running backs, I can guarantee these guys are on your radar.

On the other side, you have one of the most talented front sevens in all of college football. Four of the seven could be first round selections if defensive linemen Rasheem Green declares for the draft, which he likely will. Opposite Green is another talented linemen in redshirt sophomore Christian Rector, who could be a highly talked about prospect in his own right next season. Where the front seven truly shines, however, is in the linebacker corps.

Edge rusher Uchenna Nwosu burst onto the scene last season in a big way, racking up 53 tackles including 7.5 tackles for loss and 3 sacks in his junior season. His senior season has been equally impressive to date, with 37 tackles, 1.5 sacks, an interception, and a fumble recovery. Nwosu has been a monster up front for the Trojans, and it’s been impossible not to notice him. He’s jumped out and flashed a couple big plays in every game I’ve watched this season.

Having a great front seven isn’t all about how well you can rush the passer, though, and that’s where Trojans inside linebacker Cameron Smith comes in. Since stepping foot on USC’s campus, Smith has been one of the top linebackers in the nation. He’s made a great contribution to the team in each of his three seasons, and should be a lock to be a first round pick. On the season, Smith already has 62 tackles, including 6.5 tackles for loss. Smith is a complete linebacker, too, possessing very nice coverage skills, and the ability to read and react to plays as they happen. He’s an all-around linebacker with the best of them.

If you’re looking for a matchup that’s going to have an impact on the upcoming draft, it doesn’t get much bigger than USC vs. Notre Dame. Keep your eyes open, it’s going to be an incredible game.

Make sure to catch up on all of the Breaking The Draft episodes!

2018 NFL Draft: Top Offensive Risers & Fallers

This post was created at Breaking Football, be sure to check out the other amazing work being created there.

Gallup

We’re now heading into the 3/4 mark of the 2017 college football season, and we seem to have more questions than answers regarding the 2018 NFL Draft compared to the start of the season. The hyped QB class hasn’t played well as a whole, and no one has run away from the pack as the clear QB1. While it seems everyone has a different QB atop their rankings right now, who has helped their cause the most this season?

Between Lamar Jackson, Baker Mayfield and Mason Rudolph all vying for the Heisman trophy, that hasn’t done enough to declare any as the top QB in this year’s draft class.

While I touched on the QB class a bit, below I give my own personal risers and fallers at the offensive skill positions.

Quarterback

Riser: Lamar Jackson (Louisville)

Entering the season, I was one of the biggest critics of Lamar Jackson, although I never stated the blasphemy that he should make the transition to receiver. Of course I was aware of his Michael Vick caliber athleticism under center, but it was his accuracy, mechanics and overall diagnosis as a passer which shied me away.

Now at the midway point of the season, it seems as if the masses of #DraftTwitter are still split on the reigning Heisman trophy winner. Regardless of your stance, Jackson has made major strides this season. I was sold in the North Carolina game where Jackson completely dominated, but he also showed much improved touch, accuracy and ability to work through his progressions and make sound throws. As you would guess, his running ability was on full display as well. Jackson tallied perhaps the most dominant QB performance as he whipped the Tar Heels for 525 total yards and 6 scores with no turnovers.

It hasn’t all been good for Jackson this season, however. After an explosive start to the year with his Heisman repeat in full swing, Jackson has suffered against conference opponents in Clemson, North Carolina State and Boston College, all of which were losses. Still, Jackson put the team on his back and continued to produce at a high pace.

Now more than halfway through the college season, it’s safe to say Jackson’s stock has soared despite recent performance. He has shown far more than any of Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold and Josh Allen. If Jackson happens to be the first QB taken come April, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised.

Faller: Josh Allen (Wyoming)

It didn’t take long for Josh Allen to be dubbed as a #1 pick caliber prospect by Matt Miller and Bleacher Report. After a late emergence in the 2016 campaign, Allen stole headlines throughout the offseason. Between his rocket arm, imposing mobility and size, Allen had the look of a QB you build in a lab. However, you forgot some pieces.

I think as fans and an amateur draft analyst like myself, we typically assume players will progress. But as the great saying goes, development is not linear. Allen hasn’t shown much of anything this year, besides what we already knew was there in his physical traits. You could even make the case that he’s regressed.

While he has flashed at times this season, there have been far more bad reps. It’s clear that Allen hasn’t been able to pickup the ability to read the field and deliver efficient throws, and his short-intermediate accuracy hasn’t gotten any better.

Based on physical traits, Allen will likely find himself in the 1st round, if he declares for the 2018 NFL Draft. However, I’m not taking before the third round. There is far too much he needs to work on to warrant an early draft selection, but you don’t find many QBs with his type of potential.

Running Back

Riser: John Kelly (Tennessee)

We all know the popular choice here is Bryce Love, but I’m going to go in a different direction. John Kelly has been clicking on all cylinders as he takes over the feature role vacated by Alvin Kamara. It seems like Kareem Hunt is the model comparison this year for mid round RBs, and while some names have been thrown around, Kelly is the closest we’re gonna get.

Kelly’s running style, similar to Hunt, allows him to get by on balance and power through contact. At 5’9”/212, Kelly runs with tremendous strength and forces a pile to bring him down. He may go overlooked with the top made up of guys like Barkley, Guice and Chubb, but he presents great value as a Day 2 back.

Tennessee has struggled mightily in the passing game, and Kelly has put the team on his back throughout the season. Currently Kelly sits as the 5th leading rusher in the SEC, a good chunk coming in Tennessee’s opening week win against Georgia Tech where he rushed for 128 yards and 4 TDs.

Kelly isn’t the most overpowering athlete, but he’s well-rounded in just about everything else, like Hunt.

Faller: Kalen Ballage (Arizona State)

On the latest Breaking the Draft podcast I referred to Kalen Ballage as the Josh Allen of the running back class. Before you drag me, hear me out. As touched on earlier, Allen has tons of upside based on physical traits, but needed a strong showing in 2017 before we all bought in. Ballage entered the 2017 season with a lot of hype, and understandably so. At 6’2”/227, Ballage possesses a rare blend of strength and speed. According to NFLDS, he runs in the high 4.4s.

During my offseason work, it was easy to recognize the potential and talent in Ballage. However, at the same time, it was easy to spot concerning deficiencies. Ballage striked me as a runner who runs with a lot of hesitation, and doesn’t have the viable vision where he can find holes and hit them head on.

As Dane Brugler put it on his recent podcast, Ballage looks like Tarzan but plays like Jane. I’m upset that I hadn’t thought about that before, because that is the perfect metaphor. Nothing about Ballage’s play this season has answered any question marks I had.

For you box score scouts out there, Ballage hasn’t eclipsed 80 rushing yards yet on the season and is averaging less than 4 yards per carry. Misutilization will always be an argument regarding Ballage, but he hasn’t progressed this season, and you could even say that his development has gone in the opposite direction.

Wide Receiver

Riser: Michael Gallup (Colorado State)

You can make a case for a few other players here. Anthony Miller for Memphis is arguably Biletnikoff Award favorite right now, and Utah’s Darren Carrington flashes every time I flip on the Utes. Auden Tate would be the obvious choice here, but he was already my WR1 entering the season.

Ever since watching my first game of the year where Colorado State handled Oregon State, I’ve bought into Michael Gallup. He dominated that game, grabbing 11 receptions for 134 yards while making a few impressive downfield catches. More importantly, he showed a complete tool bag. Between his nuances as a route runner, reliable hands, and downfield ability, Gallup struck me as a player with Day 2 skills.

RELATED: Michael Gallup Scouting Report

Since, Gallup has done every bit to fit the billing. He currently leads the FBS in both receptions (65) and receiving yards (1,006). In his most recent outing against New Mexico, Gallup was held to perhaps his most modest performance of the season managing just six catches for 58 yards on 16 targets. While the box score seems underwhelming, Gallup was creating consistent separation in his routes throughout the game, but his QB just couldn’t find him.

In a top heavy WR class, Gallup is one of my favorites in the upper mid tier. He checks just about every box and will be a longtime player on Sundays.

Faller: Antonio Callaway (Florida)

I originally slated Courtland Sutton here, but I’ll save that debate for a different day.

With an off-field history as long as a toddler’s Christmas list, Antonio Callaway really needed a big year to put some of those concerns on the back burner–similar to the Joe Mixon situation this past draft. Well, for Callaway, there lies a problem–he hasn’t played a single snap all season long due to suspension.

During my offseason work, Callaway easily could’ve been in my WR1 conversation, if not for the character concerns. He has it all. Callaway blends quickness and speed tremendously well in his routes. He has the initial suddenness and precision to win with quickness in his footwork, then has the 2nd gear to jolt away at his stem. Callaway excels in all phases of the field and is lethal with the ball in his hands. A legitimate playmaker.

If Callaway plays this year, I think he solidifies himself as a 1st/2nd round player. However, with him not playing yet this season and a murky future, it’s very hard to judge where he would get drafted, if at all. Callaway is a Josh Gordon type talent, but he could also struggle to see the field at the next level as well.

Tight End

Riser: Ian Thomas (Indiana)

Back in Week 1 on the big stage against Ohio State, Ian Thomas launched onto the scene. His efforts helped Indiana to hoover around an upset bid, although that fell short as the Buckeyes came out striking in the 2nd half. Still, Thomas made a name for himself.

Early in the game he made a spectacular TD catch where he tracked the ball overhead, adjusted his body and hauled in the throw right at the corner of the end zone. He would go on to score another TD a few drives later.

While he’s been dinged up a bit this season, Thomas has been productive and dominated against a tough Penn State defense. His 6’4”/248 frame certainly doesn’t go unnoticed, and he has the athleticism to match. Thomas has a basketball background, and that has been on display at points this season with his ability to “go above the rim” and snag tough catches–perfect for the red zone.

In a dull 2017 TE class, Thomas adds some flare on Day 3, or potentially higher.

Faller: Mike Gesicki (Penn State)

It was difficult to find a faller at tight end. I feel the position is difficult to evaluate. College tight ends aren’t traditionally the focal point of their offense with so many good players sprinkled around. With the lack of consistent utilization, it can be hard to judge the player.  It’s a position that, to a fault, can be widely based on athleticism.

Perhaps the most hyped TE throughout the summer was Penn State’s Mike Gesicki. Early in my Summer evaluation of Gesicki it was easy to recognize that he wasn’t a premier talent at the TE position. For one, his athleticism isn’t even close to that of a 1st/2nd round TE prospect. He runs like a hobbled deer. Aside from that, his receiving skills and blocking are both average at best.

Gesicki can still provide value at some point on Day 3 based on his size and ability to box out defenders for contested catches, along with efficiency in the red zone. However, he’s not that 1st round guy like the early hype indicated.

Make sure to catch up on all of the Breaking The Draft episodes!

#149 Numb Fantasy Football, “Fantasy Smitty” Goes Deep with Late Waiver Wire Pickups, Also Drunk Dean Phones Home

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Dave and Mike Smith aka Fantasy Smitty go hard as always looking for late pickups on the waiver wire. Phase three or four of Mike’s trade offers for Kareem Hunt, continue. Fantasy Football blunders, excuses, owning it. 

NumbBillsFan.com GrandStandSportsNetwork.com PunchDrunkSports.com 

@McSmith2406 Mike “Fantasy Smitty” Smith

Make sure to catch up on all of the Numb Bills Fan Podcasts!

2017 Fantasy Football: 3 Waiver Wire Replacements For Leonard Fournette

This post was created at Breaking Football, be sure to check out the other amazing work being created there.

Ivory

The inevitable injury bug will tap every player in the NFL on the shoulders, at least once, during a season. We’ve seen the preseason ranked #1 player for quarterbacks, Aaron Rodgers, running backs, David Johnson and wide receivers, Odell Beckham Jr., all fall victim to the injury bug.

As the season continues forward and the weeks pass us too quick, injuries will still be something you have stuck in the back of your mind.

If you are a Leonard Fournette owner then you’ve been pleasantly surprised with the volume this rookie has been seeing. Even more uplifting for your team is that, when given the volume, Fournette is making huge and impactful plays for the Jaguars and our fantasy teams.

Fournette has rushed for 100 yards or more in three of six games thus far. He’s scored a rushing touchdown in five of six games so far. He sits as your RB3 whether you’re in a standard league or PPR.

Fournette’s tank-line running ability and sneaky quickness makes him a headache for every defensive coordinator in the league.

However, a scary sight occured in last week’s game with just under ten minutes remaining. Fournette was tackled at the line of scrimmage and immediately jumped up, hopping off the field on one leg. Jacksonville fans, and fantasy owners everywhere, held their breath. Luckily, it doesn’t seem as bad as it appeared in the game, yet still listed questionable means you need to start preparing for plan B.

I’ve come up with three different running backs who are still available in less than 50% of ESPN fantasy leagues that could make a huge impact this Sunday, if indeed Fournette is held out.

Orleans Darkwa (New York Giants) – 47.7%

Leading off the pack is the Giants starting running back, Orleans Darkwa. One of the most added players this week and was highlighted in my Adds/Drops article. He has a scary matchup against an always dominant Seattle defense. But, Darkwa ran extremely well against another dominant defense last week, the Denver Broncos. Darkwa was able to get 21 touches and eclipse 100 yards.

The Giants losing their top 3 receivers helps Darkwa out in the volume game. They need to run the ball more effectively to give the young receivers a better chance at breaking free.

Seattle’s rushing defense hasn’t been as superb this year as year’s past and the loss of Avril is noticeable. Seattle has let up three touchdowns this year on the ground, which may not be a ton, but that’s a touchdown in half of their games.

The Giants at home with a winning confidence echoed throughout their locker room. I like this game to be a grind-it-out type of game. That will allow for the Giants to put the ball in Darkwa’s hands often.

Chris Ivory (Jacksonville Jaguars) – 25.9%

If Darkwa was already picked up in your league, the next player is obvious. Chris Ivory for the Jaguars. He backs up Fournette and has already rushed for 40 or more yards three times this season. The Jaguars will run the ball, no matter who is in at running back.

Ivory was a beast in New York, but was slowed down in a poorly run Jacksonville offense last year. The new coach and scheme is allowing the Jags running backs to run wild this year. Sure, it’s mostly Fournette, but if he isn’t good to go you’d be smart to have his backup.

Ivory and the Jaguars play the 28th ranked rushing defense, Indianapolis, who’s let up six touchdowns on the ground this year in six games. So statistically, I’m accounting for a rushing touchdown from Jacksonville in this game. If Fournette is not back there, Ivory has the best chance of doing an end zone dance sometime in this game from the Jags backfield.

Marlon Mack (Indianapolis Colts) – 24.7%

Lastly, I’ll stick with the Jacksonville game, but take the opposing backup running back. That’s right, if you have to sit Fournette, maybe a rookie, backup running back is the best route to go, when streaming someone.

Marlon Mack of the Indianapolis Colts had a breakout game two weeks ago. Posting nine touches for 91 yards was an eye opener. Then hoping he’d continue to light it up the following week on Monday Night Football was just wishful thinking. Mack came away with just two carries for 18 yards.

RELATED: Marlon Mack is a Top DFS Play This Week

Now the Colts play one of the best secondaries in the game and will do all they can to run the ball effectively. To succeed in that, they will need to give both Gore and Mack touches.

Pagano has already stated that they will be using both in his coined ‘Frank and Mack’ speech, so I’m not worried about another two touch game for Mack. I’m expecting 12-15 carries and an explosive day on the ground.

This game will be won with running so I’m keeping my eye on both possible backs that have the biggest upside.

Make sure to catch up on all of the Breaking The Draft episodes!

#148 3 Topics to Build or Lose Faith in Buffalo, with Kevin Massare from Locked On Bills

A favorite guest, Kevin Massare is back from Locked On Bills and Cover1.net. Three topics were thrown into the pot, to marinate through the rest on the Buffalo Bills season. The Trenches, Coaching and Player Engagement all tie into eachother no matter the order, without one the other will not work. How can the Bills come out on top against the Buccaneers, back at New Era Field for the first time in three weeks? 

NumbBillsFan.com GrandStandSportsNetwork.com Cover1.net @KevinMassare @NumbBillsFan  

Make sure to catch up on all of the Numb Bills Fan Podcasts!

Week 7 DFS Sleepers: Tempting Rookie Stack on Sunday Slate

This post was created at Breaking Football, be sure to check out the other amazing work being created there.

Rishard Matthews

We all know why you’re here, so I’m not going to waste your time with an intro. Let’s get that money, folks.

C.J. Beathard (QB, San Francisco 49ers)

The San Francisco 49ers reset the clock on their franchise, making a push towards the future. Evidence of this is the trading of LB NaVorro Bowman, the trade whispers surrounding RB Carlos Hyde, and the benching of veteran QB Brian Hoyer. While Packers QB Brett Hundley is likely to receive a fair amount of ownership in place of the injured Aaron Rodgers, Beathard may prove to be the less volatile play as the 49ers aim to figure out what they have in the young Iowa product.

A three year starter in college, Beathard protects the ball and is solid in the short-to-intermediate areas. Thrown into a tough situation down 17-0 against the Washington Redskins in Week 6, Beathard went 19/36, 245 yards with a touchdown and an interception that came on the second to last play of the game. 11 of his completions went for over 10 yards, showing that Beathard is willing to push the ball downfield, and he had a preseason performance where he showed off his ability to scramble with a 6/85/1 rushing stat line.

Coming into a match-up as 6+ home underdogs against a Dallas Cowboys team that has struggled stopping the pass, take the risk and give Beathard a shot.

FD: $4,900

DK: $6,300

Marlon Mack (RB, Indianapolis Colts)

Two factors play into the thought that rookie Colts RB Marlon Mack could be in for a big week. First, Frank Gore is coming off a season low 40% snap count in the Week 6 match-up against the Titans. Second, Robert Turbin will miss a significant amount of time with a dislocated shoulder. Mack brings much of what Gore has lacked in recent years, second level explosion and breakaway ability. While Mack has only hit double-digit carries once this year, he did bust out against the 49ers in Week 5 with 9 carries, 91 yards and a touchdown, so the signs of an eventual Mack bust-out game have been there.

FD: $5,300

DK: $4,100

Rishard Matthews (WR, Tennessee Titans)

Avergaing 1.89 yards per route route, Titans WR Rishard Matthews leads the team in targets heading into their Week 7 match-up with 38 and yet is still surprisingly underpriced on FanDuel. He will likely see Browns CB Jason McCourty, who played well in recent weeks, but previous to that consistently gave up solid-to-monster stat lines. With either Matthews or fellow WR Eric Decker looking to have good weeks, my money is on Matthews.

FD: $5,500

DK: $5,500

Robert Woods (WR, Los Angeles Rams)

With Rams WR Sammy Watkins facing shutdown Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson and the benching of CB Justin Bethel, Rams WR Robert Woods is well worth the value. It’s likely he’ll be running routes against the 34-year-old CB Tramon Williams. With Woods leading the team in targets (37), averaging 1.78 yards per route run, and getting at least 6 targets for 4 weeks straight, Woods provides a solid floor at good value.

FD: $5,500

DK: $4,000

George Kittle (TE, SF)

If you’re going to play Beathard, you might as well go with a familiar face in his college teammate TE George Kittle. Over the past two weeks, Kittle has been targeted 17 times for 11 catches, 129 yards and a touchdown. The Cowboys have given up several big days to tight ends this year and Kittle is coming off a week where he played in 92% of the 49ers offensive snaps. With the needle pointing up for Kittle and his relationship with Beathard, Kittle can be played on his own or as a stack.

FD: $4,800

DK: $4,500

Beathard/Kittle Stack: $9,700 (FD), $10,800 (DK)

Make sure to catch up on all of the Breaking The Draft episodes!

Fantasy Football Halloween Awards: Adrian Peterson Returns from the Grave

This post was created at Breaking Football, be sure to check out the other amazing work being created there.

Big Ben

The Harvest Moon came and went. Friday the 13th came and went, with hopefully no sightings of black cats. The scariest month in our year is more than halfway over.

That means it’s time to get your costumes ready, bags of candy bought, liquor prepared for the party and it’s time to sit down and watch The Babadook.

However, if scary movies aren’t your thing, then don’t watch The Babadook. Also, here’s a little Halloween fun to get everyone in the spirit while still reading about our favorite hobby, fantasy football.

A little awards show with six different and spooktacular awards.

The Eat Your Brains Award goes to…

Adrian Peterson – RB – ARI: With three zombies trapped in a locked stairwell of a hospital. With a sign that reads “Dead Inside DO NOT OPEN”. You realize that you can’t jump from the seventh story and the elevator is not going to work in the post-apocalyptic world. So you have to take the stairs. As you break it open here comes the three zombies running straight for you. Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram’s zombies burst out of the door for a combined 189 yards and two touchdowns. Yet, you’ve fended them off and the final zombie comes hurling towards you. Adrian Peterson, who after the door was opened, reminded everyone why he was top zombie on the block, rushing for 134 yards and two scores in his Arizona debut. This zombies fast, strong and has a chip on his shoulder. There’s no escaping this one and that is why Peterson wins the “Eat Your Brains Award”.

Best Pumpkin Carver Award goes to…

Deshaun Watson – QB – HOU: Pumpkin carving dates back hundreds of years, starting in Ireland. Where they actually carved turnips on All Hallows’ Eve. The tradition was brought to America and the rest is history. Watson started carving early, and I’m not talking about carving pumpkins, but carving up defenses. Through college all Watson did was win. Upsets on the biggest stages headlined his career at Clemson. Now in the NFL, Watson continues to be electric, smart and the best at carving up defenses. His speed and mobility demand at least one eye from all eleven players on defense. His arm strength and accuracy demands you stay on top of the players you’re guarding. So how do you do both? You can’t. Watson will carve an eye in the defense and while they go to put that piece back in, Watson is already carving the other eye. Followed by a nose and a mouth, and before you know it your defense looks like a jack-o-lantern. There’s more holes than you know what to do with. The defense is left wandering the field like a herd of zombies. That is why Watson will be going home today with this award.

The Best Party Award goes to…

The Entire Kansas City Chiefs Offense: Whatever type of “Ginger Ale” they’re serving in Kansas City, I will also have some. Sure, they’ve lost two straight games and their offense struggled against Pittsburgh. But we knew that’d be a playoff-type game, as I mentioned earlier. Plus, even in the loss to Oakland, their offense was lighting it up and is by far the most entertaining team to watch. From the opening game to the latest, gut-wrenching, shootout loss, the Chiefs have posted 40+ points twice and 24+ points in every game, except in the loss to Pittsburgh. Head Coach, Andy Reid, has this offense firing on all cylinders. Hunt has strived as a feature back and Tyreek Hill seems to have only gotten faster. Smith looks like he embraced all of the questions that came along with drafting a quarterback in the 1st round, and focused all of that to become a better quarterback himself. Albeit, after two straight losses the party seems to be losing some guests. The music seems quieter, the keg feels light and the whiskey bottle is on it’s final drop. I’m curious to see how Kansas City Chiefs party bounces back after a quick beer run.

The Lurking in the Shadows Award goes to…

RB – Jamaal Charles – DEN: Maybe I made this award up just so I had a chance to write about the backup running back in Denver. Charles is ranked 10th in the league in yards created per carry. To give you a better understanding, it’s the yards created after the first evaded tackle. Also, though his attempts may have decreased, his yards per attempt were increasing every game, until last week against the Giants. C.J. Anderson always runs frantically away from the injury bug, but somehow runs directly into it. So when the inevitable happens, you know who’s next in line? Someone a lot of America has forgotten about, but will be reminded quickly, Jamaal Charles.

The Here’s a Butterscotch and Box of Raisins Award goes to…

QB – Ben Roethlisberger – PIT: The elder family on the block growing up always gave the worst Halloween candy. A butterscotch from the bottom of the ladies worn down purse. Some Necco Wafers and Candy Buttons that end up being traded to your younger siblings in a another uneven trade that proved your dominance. Roethlisberger, is looking like a grandpa in this league. He may not be the oldest starting quarterback, but with all the bumps and bruises he’s taken on the way, Roethlisberger seems to be fading. A five interception game, will likely never happen again, in his career. Roethlisberger won last week in a brutal, playoff-type atmosphere. But, he still showed that he isn’t his normal self. He’s looked inaccurate and slow since week one. Waiting for him to find the fountain of youth is testing my new father-like patience.

The TP / Egg Award goes to…

Terrelle Pryor – WR – WAS: This award has two different meanings and yet both are destined for Pryor. Either look at this award like, Pryor is making a mess all over our houses, or fantasy teams. TPing and egging every square inch of our nicely built fantasy squad. Now, I’m debating week after week if I should leave Pryor in my lineup, is the exact opposite of what I wanted to do when drafting the early round receiver. Or this award can be seen as Pryor is an egg or a piece of toilet paper. He’s averaging 3.2 receptions per game and has only hit double-digit fantasy points once this season. It seems he doesn’t have the connection with quarterback Kirk Cousins just yet, which is scary, since we are in week 7 of the NFL. If he doesn’t regain his mojo quick, he’s going to cover many fantasy owners with a carton of eggs and a roll of toilet paper.

Make sure to catch up on all of the Breaking The Draft episodes!

CFB Week 8 Heisman Watch: Saquon Barkley Can Make His Heisman Moment Against Michigan

This post was created at Breaking Football, be sure to check out the other amazing work being created there.

Heisman

Only three things are certain in this life: death, taxes, and Bryce Love rushing all over whomever Stanford is playing on Saturdays.

In other news, do-it-all stud muffin Saquon Barkley was on a bye this week so his position on this list was safe for one another day.

Baker Mayfield and the Sooners got to gallop off into the sunset after a narrow victory over Texas in the Red River Rivalry while Mason Rudolph enjoyed a very productive game against the hurting Baylor Bears.

Reigning Heisman winner Lamar Jackson struggled mightily through the air against Boston College but still found a lot of success on the ground. However, he couldn’t will his team to a victory as he suffered his third loss of the season.

Where did everyone end up? Were there any new additions? Let’s take a look:

1 – Bryce Love, Stanford, RB

Love continues to leave footprints all over his opponents as he gutted the Oregon Ducks to the tune of 17 rushes for 147 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Love is not involved in the passing game in the same way his fellow hopeful Saquon Barkley is, but he doesn’t need to be when he averages just under 10 yards a clip.

At this point, the Heisman trophy is Love’s to lose as long as he maintains this insane pace.

2 – Saquon Barkley, Penn State, RB

Barkley and the Nittany Lions got to enjoy a much needed bye week before their marquee match-up with the Wolverines of Michigan.

This should be one of the toughest tests for Barkley up to this point and if he is able to show out like we all know he can, he may find himself atop this list once more.

3 – Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma, QB

Mayfield finally got his first victory against the Texas Longhorns and it couldn’t have happened in a bigger game. It was a fairly sub-par performance by normal standards, but Mayfield did exactly what he needed to do in order to come out on top.

In all, Mayfield went 17-for-27 for a respectable 302 yards to go along with two touchdowns and an interception. He added 7 rushes for an additional 27 yards.

4 – Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State, QB

Mason Rudolph had the best performance of the Heisman-hopefuls this week as he was extremely productive and efficient against a lowly Baylor squad. It wasn’t a statement game by any means but it was a performance he needed to have against a team like this.

Rudolph finished with an impressive stat-line which included 19-for-31 passing for 459 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions. He added an additional touchdown on the ground with 11 yards on three carries.

5 – Lamar Jackson, Louisville, QB

Wins aren’t the most important stat for a Heisman-hopeful as they don’t always tell the whole story. Of course sometimes said hopeful can completely ball out and still be let down by their defense.

Jackson didn’t have his most efficient performance of year but that didn’t stop him from stuffing the stat sheet to near-capacity. Jackson finished a dismal 19-for-39 passing but managed 332 yards through the air and two touchdowns with a single interception. On the flip-side, Jackson exploded for 180 yards and three touchdowns on the ground on 22 total carries.

However, all the yardage didn’t exactly equate to a victory as the Cardinal inevitably lost a shootout to the Golden Eagles.

Make sure to catch up on all of the Breaking The Draft episodes!

Week 7 Fantasy Football Start and Sit: Dak Prescott, Adrian Peterson, T.Y. Hilton and More

This post was created at Breaking Football, be sure to check out the other amazing work being created there.

Every week fantasy football owners have to make decisions on who to start, who to sit and who potentially to go pick up off the wavier wire to play. Sometimes those decisions can be tough. For help with that check out Breaking Football’s weekly rankings. In addition to that, I will be giving my weekly take on starts, sits and sleepers.

Each week I will be giving two players I like starting, two guys I would like to bench and one sleeper per position (except for D/STs, there will only be one start and sit). Now of course every week you would start Tom Brady, Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, among others, assuming they play.

This weekly article is to help fantasy owners decide on their “non-stud” players. If you have more specific questions regarding fantasy football, ask me on twitter (@MikeSports22) and as always happy hunting fantasy friends.

Quarterbacks

Starts

Dak Prescott at San Francisco: Prior to his bye last week, Prescott had three straight 22+ fantasy point games. Now coming off his bye week Prescott faces off against a 49ers defense that ranks 26th in the league against opposing quarterbacks, giving up an average of 19 fantasy points per game. Last week the 49ers allowed Kirk Cousins to score a season high 27.8 fantasy points. Over the last four weeks the 49ers have given up an average of 21.5 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, so bank on Prescott having his fourth straight 20+ point fantasy game this week.

Tyrod Taylor vs Tampa Bay: Coming off his bye week, Taylor is looking to bounce back after putting up just 8.9 fantasy points against the Bengals in week five. The Buccaneers rank 30th against opposing quarterbacks, giving up an average of 20 fantasy points per game and have given up at least 21 fantasy points in three games. While Taylor lacks receiving threats with the Charles Clay and Jordan Matthews injuries, the Bills have had a full two weeks to adjust the passing game.

Sits

Jameis Winston at Buffalo: Last week Winston left the game early against the Cardinals with a shoulder injury. Good news, he is expected to play this week. Bad news, it’s against the Bills who rank third against opposing quarterbacks, giving up just 10.1 fantasy points per game. Winston has been a minor disappointment so far this season, finishing with 19 or more fantasy points just once this season. Winston’s schedule gets easier in the coming weeks, but this week, he should be on your bench.

Jacoby Brissett vs Jacksonville: Over the last four weeks Brissett is averaging 17.4 fantasy points per game. However, this week he faces a Jaguars defense that is first against opposing quarterbacks, giving up just 6.2 fantasy points per game. In six games this season, the Jaguars defense have 10 interceptions and 23 sacks. The Colts offensive line is banged up and the Jaguars will take advantage of that. Brissett should be left on the wavier wire this week.

Sleeper

Jared Goff vs Arizona: After 17.3 fantasy points per game over the first four games of the season, the last two weeks have been hell for Goff; scoring just 17.6 fantasy points combined. However, Goff faced off against the Seahawks and Jaguars, two of the best defenses in the league. This week he gets the Cardinals who rank 28th against opposing quarterbacks, giving up an average of 19.5 fantasy points per game and have allowed four quarterbacks to score 23+ fantasy points against them. Outside of whatever wide receiver is covered by Patrick Peterson, the Cardinals pass defense is below average.

Running Backs

Starts

Jay Ajayi vs New York: When the Dolphins played the Jets in week three, Ajayi had his worst game of the year with 4.5 fantasy points. However, in each of the Dolphins’ three wins this year Ajayi has at least 25 carries. Last week, in a win against the Falcons, Ajayi had 26 carries for 130 yards. The Jets rank 28th against opposing running backs, giving up an average of 27.1 fantasy points per game. Other than the week three game against Ajayi, the Jets have given up 22 plus fantasy points to opposing running backs in every game. I tend to believe that week three game was a fluke and Ajayi should put him his first 20 point game this season.

Adrian Peterson at Los Angeles: After having just 27 carries during his time in New Orleans, Peterson got 26 last week against the Cardinals. Peterson finished the game with 134 yards, two touchdowns and 25.4 fantasy points. This week Peterson faces the Rams who are the worst defense in the league against opposing running backs, giving up an average of 32 fantasy points per game. While Peterson won’t have another 25 fantasy point game, he should be good for 100 yards and a touchdown this week.

Sits

Marshawn Lynch vs Kansas City: Last week was suppose to be the week Lynch finally gets going; it didn’t happen. Lynch finished with just 6.3 fantasy points against the Chargers and their terrible run defense. On the year Lynch has failed to reach 12.5 fantasy points in any game and this week takes on the Chiefs that rank fifth against opposing running backs, giving up just 19.9 fantasy points per game. Lynch doesn’t offer much in the passing game; having just four catches this season. Lynch’s fantasy value is closer to wavier wire than it is starting.

Alex Collins at Minnesota: The Ravens running back situation is clearly a running back by committee. Last week Collins had 15 touches while Buck Allen had 13 and Terrance West is questionable to play this week. No matter who plays this week, the Vikings defense ranks second against opposing running backs, giving up just 15.7 fantasy points per game. The Ravens offense has been a mess lately and I don’t expect that to change this week.

Sleeper

Dion Lewis vs Atlanta: Over the last three weeks Lewis has gotten an increase in touches. In week four Lewis had five touches, week five he had nine and last week he had 11 while getting the start. Lewis also has a touchdown in two of his last three games. While the Patriots running back situation is hazy, especially with news that Rex Burkhead is expected to play this week, Lewis seems to have carved out a role for himself at Mike Gillislee’s expense. In deeper leagues Lewis is a solid FLEX option this week.

Wide Receivers

Starts

Dez Bryant at San Francisco: Despite all the noise that he has regressed and isn’t an elite fantasy receiver anymore, Bryant has three double digit performances through five games while playing some of the toughest defenses in the league. Bryant has back to back 14 plus point fantasy games and this week faces the 49ers, who give up an average of 35.1 fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers, ranking 22nd in the league. Dak Prescott and Bryant have found their connection so expect Bryant to finish this week with a 20 plus point game.

Demaryius Thomas at Los Angeles: While many fantasy owners benched Thomas last week (as did I), he had a season high 10 catches for 133 yards and 21.3 fantasy points. That was very encouraging consider Thomas had just 2.1 fantasy points in the game before his bye week. This week, Thomas will face off against the Chargers without his side kick Emmanuel Sanders. The Chargers rank 24th in the league against opposing wide receivers, giving up an average of 36.4 fantasy points per game. Thomas should see 15 or more targets this week as the Broncos lack other proven weapons in the passing game.

Sits

T.Y. Hilton vs Jacksonville: Hilton has played much better at home than on the road this season; averaging 20.6 fantasy points per game in three home games and 5.2 in three road games. However, despite being home this week the Jaguars have the best cornerback duo in the league and rank first in the league with 23 sacks. The Jaguars rank fourth against opposing wide receivers, giving up just 23.4 fantasy points per game and last week held Sammy Watkins to just 2.1 fantasy points. Hilton has been good at home this season but if you have a better option, play them this week.

Sterling Shepard vs Seattle: An ankle injury kept Shepard out of the Giants week six game verse the Broncos but he is expected to return this week. However, he returns just in time to face the “Legion of Boom”. The Seahawks rank 11th in the league against opposing wide receivers, giving up just 29.5 fantasy points per game. With all the attention now on him with Odell Beckham Jr. out for the season, Shepard shouldn’t be counted on for anything more than a low end FLEX option in PPR leagues this week.

Sleeper

Martavis Bryant vs Cincinnati: Reports came out on Sunday that Bryant had requested a trade as he is frustrated with his role in the offense. So far this season Bryant has been a bust for fantasy owners, scoring just an average of eight fantasy points per game; while having just one game with 8.5 fantasy points or more. With the reports, look for the Steelers to include Bryant much more in their game plan this week. Both Ben Roethlisberger and Bryant play better at home than on the road so expect the Steelers to take several shots deep to Bryant this week.

Tight Ends

Starts

Austin Seferian-Jenkins at Miami: Since returning from his suspension, Seferian-Jenkins’ role in the offense has increased in each game. Over the past two weeks, Seferian-Jenkins has 14 catches, 75 yards, two touchdowns and 31.5 fantasy points. This week Seferian-Jenkins takes on the Dolphins, who he faced in week three and finished with 8.1 fantasy points. The Dolphins rank 27th against opposing tight ends, giving up an average of 14.9 fantasy points per game. Seferian-Jenkins is the top passing threat in the Jets offense and is now a top six eight tight end the rest of the season.

Jimmy Graham at New York: In three games before the Seahawks week six bye, Graham had three straight double digit fantasy games after scoring just 4.9 fantasy points in the first two weeks combined. Over the three game stretch, Graham is averaged 13.3 fantasy points per game. This week Graham faces off against the Giants defense that gives up the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends, giving up an average of 20.2 per game. With Doug Baldwin being shadowed by Janoris Jenkins expect Russell Wilson to target Graham plenty on Sunday.

Sits

Jared Cook vs Kansas City: After a 14.3 fantasy point performance in week three, Cook has scored just 14.5 fantasy points over the past three games combined. Cook should be dropped in all 10 and 12 team leagues. This week, Cook faces the Chiefs defense that allows the seventh fewest points to opposing tight ends, giving up just 9.8 per game. The Raider offense as a whole has struggled the last few weeks and Cook isn’t a starting caliber fantasy tight end for the foreseeable future.

Jason Witten at San Francisco: Coming off his bye week, Witten faces the 49ers defense that ranks first against opposing tight ends, giving up just 6.6 fantasy points per game. After two 19 plus fantasy game performances in the first two weeks of the season, Witten has averaged just 5.1 over the past three games. The Cowboys have better match ups in this game with Dez Bryant and Ezekiel Elliot so don’t expect Witten to get many looks on Sunday.

Sleeper

Austin Hooper at New England: Over the last two games, Hooper is averaging 10.9 fantasy points per game and this week he faces off against the Patriots, who allowed Austin Seferian-Jenkins to score a season high 16.6 fantasy points on Sunday. On the season, the Patriots give up an average of 17 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends. Furthermore, Hooper scored 12.2 fantasy points against the Patriots in the Superbowl last year; expect another big game from Hooper on Sunday night.

D/STs

Start

Vikings vs Baltimore: Against the Aaron Rodgers-less Packers, the Vikings D/ST had 15 fantasy points last week and now this week the Ravens come to town scoring an average of 19 points per week; ranking ninth worst in the league. Opposing D/STs are averaging 9.3 fantasy points a game and three times have scored 14 plus fantasy points when facing the Ravens offense. On the season the Vikings defense have created eight turnovers and 16 sacks; tied for seventh in the league. With the Raven offense a mess and the Vikings defense starting to click, this is the best D/ST match up this week.

Sit

Cardinals at Los Angeles: Despite being drafted as a top seven D/ST, the Cardinals D/ST are trending in the wrong direction. Over the last four games, the Cardinals D/ST is averaging just 2.3 fantasy points per game. Opposing D/STs are scoring just 3.2 fantasy points per game against the Rams offense. With a week eight bye coming up, fantasy owners can drop the Cardinal D/ST.

Sleeper

Titans at Cleveland: Last week the Browns offense gave up 23 fantasy points to the Texans D/ST without J.J. Watt, Whitney Mercilus and Jadeveon Clowney for most of the game. The Browns offense is a mess and fantasy owners should stream just about any opposing D/ST against the Browns. Against teams with below average quarterbacks, the Titans D/ST score an average of 10 fantasy points per game. No matter who starts for the Browns in week seven, the Titans defense should have their way with him.

Make sure to catch up on all of the Breaking The Draft episodes!

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