Fantasy Football: Players to Draft or Pass

The NFL’s preseason is upon us and with that, it’s time to identify fantasy football sleepers and busts. The following table identifies one player (mostly) per team and whether you should put them on your fantasy radar or let them be another owner’s problem. As you’ll see below, Christian McCaffrey is one of the players I think might end up being on their share of winning fantasy teams!

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Week 17 NFL Picks + Best Bets

You know that game Keno that is played in most, if not all casinos? Pretty much picking random numbers and hoping they hit. Similar to the lottery in that intuition and luck are the only chances you have for success. I feel like making predictions on some of these NFL games this week are similar – there’s no rhyme or reason as to whether a chunk of these players will show up with max effort.

And Todd Gurley, after destroying my two top fantasy teams these last two weeks, you have my vote for NFL MVP. No need to play this week against the 49ers. Enjoy your week off and congrats to you and your Rams on a heck of a regular season. Now go do some damage in the playoffs!

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Week 16 NFL Picks + Best Bets

It’s a pretty depressing feeling when your favorite NFL team is eliminated from playoff contention with two weeks to play, especially when they’ve been regulars nearly your entire adult life. But I have to give my Green Bay Packers credit off-the-field, they made the CORRECT decision to shut down Aaron Rodgers instead of play him for two meaningless games to end the 2017 regular season.

Rodgers rushed back from a broken collarbone suffered in Week 6 against the Vikings and while effective against the Panthers in Week 15, he wasn’t his usual pinpoint-passing self. Green Bay’s window to win another Super Bowl with ARod is getting shorter by the season but I’m confident they’ll be a playoff contender with him in 2018.

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Week 15 NFL Picks

We’re finally to Week 15 – in most leagues the penultimate week of the fantasy football season. I’m in two league semifinals out of the five that play the head-to-head format…including my own league (which I’ve never won in 20 years). Is this my time? If Dolphins RB Kenyan Drake continues to be a poor man’s Le’Veon Bell, I may meet the end of this period of futility.

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Aside from fantasy football though, I’ve done pretty well picking NFL games this season…to the tune of 66% straight up and 56% against the spread. Looking for this week’s winners? You’ve come to the right place!

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Friday, 12/8 Quick Hitters: More Herm Edwards reaction, the CFB coaching carousel, & Best Bets

Keeping it football-only once again today…but unfortunately there is only one game to predict:

-The best tradition in sports as I see it is the singing of the alma maters after the annual Army-Navy game.

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The winners get to sing second and as you’ll see in the video below, the scene looks amazing as both teams always pay respect to one another. To be at this game is definitely on my sports bucket list:

Army won for the first time since 2001 last season but they won’t make it two years in-a-row. Navy 23, Army 20 in the last regular season CFB game of the season.

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Friday, 12/1 Quick Hitters: Tennessee or ASU, Championship Weekend Preview, Best Bets, and more!

Question of the day: which is the better college football job, Tennessee or ASU?

Usually a college football fan would say the Volunteers due to being in the better conference, having a more celebrated tradition, and higher profile exposure. The problem is…coaches keep turning that job down like the place is on fire after the fanbase’s reaction to Greg Schiano’s near-hire last Sunday.

So the answer to my question above is ASU. Yet I’m still not convinced that AD Ray Anderson is making a good move by reportedly hiring his good friend and former client, Herm Edwards as the Sun Devils’ next head man.

The truth is…the right guy for both jobs is the same…former Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin. Once the hottest name in the college ranks to NFL personnel, Sumlin holds a combined 86-43 record at Houston and A&M. While he may not be a home run hire so-to-speak, Sumlin is a safe bet to produce winning season after winning season with the occasional super successful one.

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Thanksgiving Double Column: Week 12 NFL Picks, Week 13 CFB Predictions, Best Bets, Territorial Cup Thoughts and more!

To me, there’s nothing better than Thanksgiving and its subsequent four day weekend. It’s without a doubt by favorite week of the year.

From family and friends to food (especially the twice-baked potatoes & apple pie) to football overload (UofA-ASU, Michigan-Ohio State, Alabama-Auburn, NFL, and my own Turkey Bowl on Thanksgiving morning), the next four days simply can’t be beaten.

Without further ado, here’s a supersized Thanksgiving-weekend edition of the picks column complete with the usual Friday’s Quick Hitters mixed in:

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Friday, 11/17 Quick Hitters: On CFB Scheduling, Khalil Tate, Weekend Thoughts + Best Bets

Thank you, Pac-12 – instead of making your schools and fans wait until mid-January for next year’s football schedules, you released them earlier than normal on Thursday.

In glancing at UofA and ASU’s schedules, I’ll make two early predictions:

1. If Khalil Tate stays healthy throughout, Arizona wins a minimum of 9 games and the South Division title next season.

2. ASU finishes no lower than 3rd in the division and wins at least 8 games in 2018.

Am I overly optimistic or dead on? Leave me your feedback in the comments below.

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Friday, 11/10 Quick Hitters: Reacting to Cards-Seahawks, CFB Thoughts + Best Bets

A few observations from (my first time in) the press box at University of Phoenix Stadium during Thursday night’s Seahawks 22-16 win over the Cardinals:

-Seattle, if they find a running back AND stay(ed) fairly injury fee, would be dangerous in the postseason. Their defense is nasty and can you ever really bet against Russell Wilson in a big game? The guy is the ultimate gamer. And until proven otherwise, I don’t trust Philadelphia in a big game.

-Speaking of injuries, it looks like CB Richard Sherman is out for the season with a ruptured achilles tendon…so I might want to take back the ‘Seattle would be a tough out in the playoffs part.’ The Seahawks are way too thin at cornerback and this is a massive blow.

-The Cards offensive line is a train wreck of epic proportions and losing arguably their best healthy lineman, D.J. Humphries to a knee injury doesn’t help things much.

-After watching Adrian Peterson’s 21 carry for 29 yard performance (like I predicted – under 50 yards rushing), it’s obvious that the Cardinals need the dynamic David Johnson back sooner than later.

-And it’s also obvious, as I stated in the preseason, that Blaine Gabbert should be starting over Drew Stanton.

-I don’t care if I’m in the minority but Seattle’s color rush uniforms from Thursday night are my favorite in the league.

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Friday, 11/3 Quick Hitters: The World Champion Houston Astros, Weekend Football Thoughts & Best Bets

The Houston Astros won the World Series on Wednesday night…the first in team history for a city, who after the devastation of Hurricane Harvey a few months ago, certainly deserved it.

I have to give the front office credit…it was a well-rounded team with dominant young hitters, crafty starting pitching, a steady bullpen (minus ex-closer Ken Giles) and veteran leadership. If any team modeled the World Champion Cubs of 2016, it was these Astros.

While I don’t see this team becoming a dynasty going forward, they brought much needed happiness to a city and fanbase who had not experienced major sports triumph since the NBA’s Rockets twice in the mid-90s.

Good for you, Jose Altuve and company…and thank you for continuing the three decade torture of Dodgers fans.

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