Category: Sports Blog

Start’Em, Sit’Em: Week 7


By Ethan Cox
  1. San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates is bound to have a stunning performance this Sunday against division rivals, Oakland Raiders. After trying to prove at 35 years old he can still perform, Gates put up 187 yards and 2 touchdowns in his two games of the season. He is now preparing to match up against the 32nd ranked defense against tight ends. Being only owned by 73% of fantasy football users, adding Gates would be a great pickup.
  2. Coming in where he left off last season, Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Allen Hurns has shown he can still play ball, no matter how bad his team’s form has been. With fellow wideout Allen Robinson listed as questionable for Sunday’s London matchup against the Buffalo Bills, Hurns will be expected to take on a bigger role as the primary target. Hurns has a good matchup this week, playing a shaken up defense, due to injury, that ranks 26th in pass defense against wide receivers. Hurns is only owned by 62% teams in fantasy football, so if you’re in need of a receiver, Allen Hurns is your guy.
  3. With his wide receivers playing in world class form, Carson Palmer of the Arizona Cardinals is a definite start this week. This veteran gunslinger has shown that age is just a number, putting up 1,737 yards with 14 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions this season. Expect Palmer to continue putting up excellent numbers against the Baltimore Ravens secondary, which has two starters listed doubtful for Sunday due to injury.

Notable Starts: Larry Fitzgerald (vs BAL), Todd Gurley (vs CLE), Martavis Bryant (@ KC)

 

Sit’Em

  1. So far this season, Dion Lewis, running back of the New England Patriots, has been a great addition from the waiver wire to anyone that has picked him up.  He’s been playing an essential role for the Pats offense as a two-dimensional back, both running and catching the ball. Although, this week I would not suggest starting him as Lewis and co. go up against their bitter division rivals, the New York Jets. The Jets have the 3rd ranked rush defense and the 6th ranked pass defense, making them the number one overall defense in the league. They also only allow an average of 10.4 fantasy points per week against running backs. I cannot see Lewis having a big game against the fierce front seven of the Jets.
  2. Possible Rookie of the Year, Amari Cooper and his Oakland Raiders will travel to sunny San Diego to face division rivals, the Chargers. Showing that he is a promising player with much potential, Cooper has put up an average of 13.1 points against teams that do not have a defense rank in the top 10. Although, when playing teams with a top 10 ranked defense, Cooper only averages 4.8 points per game. The Chargers played excellent pass coverage against the Packers last week and I expect them to do even better this Sunday.
  3. Another player that is making his presence known and also is going for the Rookie of the Year title is Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota. Mariota and the Titans have the Atlanta Falcons coming to town this week and it is not looking good for the Titans. Although the rookie quarterback has been performing better than expected, Mariota has yet to win a game at home and now has the challenge of facing the 5-1 Falcons who are also the 10th ranked defense overall. To add insult to injury (literally), Mariota suffered a sprained MCL last week and won’t be 100% going into this game.

Notable Sits: Carlos Hyde (@ SEA), Joe Flacco (@ARI), Gary Barnidge (@ StL)

 

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Do You Still Believe?


By Max Zuiker 

As most of you know the Chicago Cubs are down two games to nothing in the NLCS. Yet somehow there is still plenty of hope with in us Cub fans. Yes, I know it looks bad. The fact that Jon Lester nor Jake Arrieta could win one in New York City is incredibly disappointing. Now it’s time for game three of the NLCS and time for the Cubbies to buckle down. It will be quite the task tonight for the young Cubs hitters facing Jacob DeGrom.

After winning the National League Rookie of the Year award last season DeGrom posted a CY Young worthy performance in his second season with the Mets. DeGrom went 14-8 with a 2.54 ERA and struck out over 200 batters. In the NLDS DeGrom, beat both Clayton Kershaw and Zack Grienke who are two of the leading candidates for the NL CY Young award. The best part about that was he took an always critical game one from Kershaw and then wrapped up the series by beating out Grienke who posted the lowest ERA in the past 20 seasons. Although DeGrom had a great season he did not fare well against the Cubs who beat him twice in the regular season. Opposing DeGrom is another second year man, Mr. Kyle Hendricks. Hendricks over the regular season was 9-7 with 3.95 ERA and struck out 167 batters over 180 innings pitched. Kyle tossed six shutout innings in his only contest vs. the Mets this year.

I really feel good about the Cubs tonight. As much as I respect Jacob DeGrom, I think the Cubs bats will ignite tonight. I am looking for Kris Bryant who has gone 5-27 this postseason and Anthony Rizzo (4-24) to really put the team on their back tonight and drive in some early runs. With the wind speed at Wrigley Field expected to be between 8-16 MPH I expect there to be some home runs tonight. Watch out for Rizzo, Bryant, Starlin Castro, and Kyle Schwarber for the Cubs as all of these gentlemen are home run threats. As for the Mets watch out for Captain David Wright and outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and second baseman Daniel Murphy to be the big bats the Mets need in order to succeed.  

With all of these factors in play do you still believe in the Cubs or is New York on its way to a series sweep?

 

 

 

 

 

MLB Championship Series Previews


By Sean Conway

October is one of the most exciting months in sports. Football is in the swing of things, hockey and basketball are just starting up, and not to mention, America’s pastime is in the heat of the postseason. With the baseball’s semifinal round of action beginning tonight, it’s only fitting I break down and give my predictions on both the National and American League championship series.

To catch you up to speed on what happened in the divisional series, the Cubs took down the top team in the majors in four games. The Cardinals took game one in shutout fashion at Busch Stadium, but the Cubs would take over from there, winning the next three games. This was the first time in the rivalry’s 120 year history the two have met in the postseason. On top of that first, it was the first time in franchise history the Cubs clinched a playoff series at home. Moving on to the other matchups, the Royals took out the Astros in five games. The Blue Jays overcame a 2-0 series deficit to win in five. And the Mets outlasted the Dodgers in a back and forth five game series.

Coming up tonight, we have Game 1 on the ALCS with the Royals returning to defend their American League title against the Toronto Blue Jays. This year was the Blue Jays first postseason appearance since 1993. The Blue Jays had won the World Series back to back in both ’92 and ’93. This series features two of the best managers in the American League with Toronto’s John Gibbons and Kansas City’s Ned Yost, two likely candidates for the AL Manager of the Year. The Royals were one of the hottest teams in the AL all season, and have been left with a bitter taste in their mouth after losing in a close Game 7 of the World Series last year to the Giants. However, the Blue Jays have the underdog factor pushing them forward. The Royals are likely to have Edison Volquez on the bump for Game 1. Marco Estrada gets the call for the Blue Jays. If I had to choose a team to take this series, I would have to say the Blue Jays. Toronto has been hot as of late, and I don’t see them slowing down. I say the Jays take the series in six.

On the National League side of things, we have the Cubs facing the Mets. The Cubs have been without a doubt the hottest team in baseball since mid-August. The Mets have home field advantage, but may still be considered the underdog here. Both teams are managed by Manager of the Year hopefuls, Joe Madden(CHI) and Terry Collins(NY). I don’t see the Cubs slowing down, and it kills me to say that they’re likely to win, as a White Sox fan. However, I will be hoping to see the Mets pull off the heartbreak over the Loveable Losers. I’m calling Mets take the series in Game 7.

 

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Week 6 NFL Picks


By Jeremy Sneed & Xavier Cantrell

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Thursday Night Football

7:25 Falcons (5-0) @ Saints (1-4)

Like we have mentioned in the past, the Saints offense has not been producing the way that they have been hoping for.  Despite the emergence of WR Willie Snead, the Saints is still ways away from being a major threat.  The Falcons offense on the other hand has been clicking on all cylinders.  We think that this week is no different and the Falcons win this game in a rout 38-24.

Sunday Afternoon

12:00 Bengals (5-0) @ Bills (3-2)

The undefeated teams this season have been a sort of surprise, especially the Bengals.  Despite that, the Bengals have been playing some really good football this season.  The Bengals are coming off of a strong victory over the Seahawks and we think that the Bills offense will be too weak to match the Bengals offense.  Final score: 24-14

12:00 Broncos (5-0) @ Browns (2-3)

Just like the Saints, the Browns have been really inconsistent offensively.  Josh McCown had an incredible in week 5 throwing for 457 yards and two touchdowns.  Despite the Broncos defense carrying the way for Denver so far, we think the Broncos defense will be too much for McCown and the Browns.  Final score: 19-10

12:00 Bears (2-3) @ Lions (0-5)

I know we have been agreeing on a lot this week, but we both think the Bears are going to win their third straight game this week.  The Lions benched Matthew Stafford during an absolute thrashing by the Cardinals.  With that being said, Jay Cutler has played great the last two weeks and throw the game winning touchdown to Matt Forte with thirty seconds left last week.  We think the Bears are going to use that momentum to win in this game.  Final score: 31-24

12:00 Texans (1-4) @ Jaguars (1-4)

Jeremy:  Blake Bortles lead the offense last week to 31 points, but the defense gave up 38 points.  The Texans keep having issues with who their starting QB will be.  Apparently Hoyer will be starting this week.  I think the Jaguars get a much needed win at home and I think Bortles will throw two more TD’s.  Final Score:  21-10

Xavier:  Brian Hoyer looked pretty good stepping in for Ryan Mallett last week and if it wasn’t for a late interception, the Texans could have won that game.  I think the Texans pull out a huge road victory against one of the worst defenses in the leagues.  Final score:  28-13

12:00 Chiefs (1-4) @ Vikings (2-2)

Jeremy:  The Vikings posted a 2-2 record going into their bye week.  I think Adrian Peterson will have a big games rushing for over 100 yards and a touchdown.  Final score:  20-15

Xavier:  The Chiefs have had a rough start to the season losing four games in a row.  Despite losing Jamaal Charles, I think Alex Smith finds veterans like Jeremy Maclin and Travis Kelce and the Chiefs pull of the upset victory with a 21-17 victroy.

12:00 Dolphins (1-3) @ Titans (1-3)

Jeremy:  Marcus Mariota has had a pretty rough start to his rookie career.  I think the Titans offense will improve after their bye week.  I think Mariota and his offensive lineman figure everything out and win against the struggling Dolphins.  Final score:  24-16

Xavier:  The Dolphins have fired their head coach and other coordinators and had their bye week, so a lot has happened since their last game.  I think Ryan Tannehill will figure his offensive struggles out.  I think the Dolphins get a much needed victory on the road this week.  Final score:  26-19

12:00 Redskins (2-3) @ Jets (3-1)

 The Redskins just add to the list of offensive struggling teams.  Kirk Cousins hasn’t been too great as starting QB and the offense overall has struggled.  The Jets are coming off of their bye week, but have played well so far this season.  Chris Ivory is playing really well, Fitzpatrick is playing well and Eric Decker is a solid receiver.  We think the Jets offense will flourish again this week and dominate the Redskins with a 35-10 victory.

12:00 Cardinals (4-1) @ Steelers (3-2)

The Cardinals offense dominated the Lions defense scoring 42 points.  The Steelers had a comeback victory after that tough Thursday night loss.  We think the Cardinals offense will dominate again this week because the Steelers defense hasn’t been the normal Steelers defense we are used to seeing.  The Cardinals win this game easily 38-17.

3:05 Panthers (4-0) @ Seattle (2-3)

This is an interesting matchup because the Panthers are 4-0 and the Seahawks have yet to play like the team that went to two straight Super Bowls.  We think the Panthers are the first undefeated team to lose.  We also think the Seahawks offense will finally show out this week and dominate the Panthers.  Final score:  30-20

3:25 Ravens (1-4) @ 49ers (1-4)

Jeremy:  Joe Flacco & the Ravens have been playing much better than their record would indicate.  The 49ers, on the other hand, definitely look like a 1-4 team.  I think Joe Flacco carries his momentum from last week and leads the Ravens to their second win of the season.  Final score:  24-14

Xavier:  The 49ers have had a rough start to the season, but the Ravens are a very beatable team.  Despite Kaepernick’s struggles with the playbook, I think the 49ers figure things out this week and get a much needed victory.  Final score: 26-17

3:25 Chargers (2-3) @ Packers (5-0)

Simply put, the Packers are the best team in the NFL and even when Rodgers turns the ball over three times, the Packers still easily win.  The Chargers are no match for the Packers and the final score of this game will be 42-17.

Sunday Night Football

7:30 Patriots (4-0) @ Colts (3-2)

The Patriots are coming off of a bye and are 4-0 and have been extremely impressive yet again this season.  Tom Brady at age 38 is on pace to have his best season yet in the NFL.  The Colts are riding a three game winning streak and have really changed their season around.  But, that streak is going to come to a screeching halt this week.  The Pats dominate this game 45-17.

Monday Night Football

7:30 Giants (3-2) @ Eagles (2-3)

The Eagles offense has also been very inconsistent this season and Sam Bradford has struggled big time this season.  The Giants are riding a three game winning streak and are emerging as threat in the NFC East conference.  Despite the Giants having a bunch of banged up players including Odell Beckham Jr., we think the Giants will win this game in a very close and exciting game.  Final score:  27-20