Monthly Archives: December 2017

The Marlins are also sending $30 million to the Bronx.

You might have read in the past few months that Ohtani cost himself “hundreds of millions of dollars” by coming to the United States this year. That’s not really hyperbole: Because of baseball’s international signing rules, he couldn’t get a signing bonus more than, roughly, the $2.3 million the Angels will give him; he won’t get paid more than the major league minimum this year or next; and he won’t get paid his full market value until he hits free agency in six years, when he’s quite possibly already past his physical prime.

The Jaguars face-planted in the desert last week; they should show up for this game angry from losing to a Cardinals team led by Blaine Gabbert, even while having a chance to still win in the final minutes. When the Jaguars and Colts last met, in October in Indy, the Jaguars got 10 sacks and pitched a shutout. A healthy Leonard Fournette would help the Jaguars, although T.J. Yeldon ran for 122 yards in his place in Indianapolis.

Instead the Yankees came along and acquired Stanton at the discounted price of Starlin Castro and two Single-A players.

The Eagles enter the week riding a nine-game winning streak, led by surging second-year quarterback Carson Wentz.

Wentz has completed 60.2 percent of his passes this season, while tossing 28 touchdowns with just five interceptions. His 104.0 QB rating is fourth-best in the NFL, and he helped the Eagles win all eight of their division games.

Philadelphia will travel cross country Sunday night to battle the Seahawks, who are one game behind the Rams in the NFC West. Seattle has won five of its last six matchups against the Eagles, including three straight.chargers_044-180x180

Kris Dunn among top fantasy hoops waiver-wire pickups

No, it should not have taken 39 points to beat the Ravens, and they should not have had to come back from nine points behind in the last seven minutes, on their home field. But that’s what they needed, and that’s what they pulled off, and as it was happening, it looked as if no one ever should have questioned that they could.

Still, one of Kizer’s season-best three touchdown passes was to Josh Gordon, who is teasing Cleveland and the NFL again. He was wondrous for the second straight week; his first-quarter touchdown catch was as beautiful as any the Browns have scored this season. He’s as good a best-case scenario as the franchise has.

Kizer, Brown, Hue Jackson and everybody else might all be viewed in a different light had Gordon been around all year, or the last two years. Of course, he wasn’t … and, sad to say, he might not be in the future. But like those picks, he can make Dorsey look great.

Auburn star Kerryon Johnson wasn’t close to 100 percent in the SEC Championship game and it showed. If he’s back at full speed it will be a big boost for the Tigers. Meanwhile, West Virginia’s trip to Dallas will be just the team’s second game without injured quarterback Will Grier. Be sure to monitor the inevitable rash of bowl-season suspensions that occur for academic and disciplinary reasons.

These are a few of the key factors we’ll be dialed into as we handicap the bowls throughout the next three weeks. Look for the cheat sheet later this week, and we’ll update it as new information emerges and our reads are refined.

The Vikings shot themselves in the foot several times in Carolina, and they’ll take it out on a reeling Cincinnati team. Minnesota will go back to stuffing a lesser running game, while Xavier Rhodes will contain A.J. Green. The Bengals’ defensive injury issues proved to be too much against the Bears. Cincinnati’s former defensive coordinator, Mike Zimmer, will help make the seat under Marvin Lewis much hotter.chargers_003-180x180

McAdoo last week said he had no regrets about how things went down with the quarterback, feelings he reiterated Sunday.

Please recall that Leggio did this trick back in 2014 while with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, knocking the net off before facing a 2-on-1 break. His opponents were awarded a 1-on-1 penalty shot, and Leggio made the save. Alas, as brilliant as the move was, the AHL deemed it illegal and tweaked its rule so that goaltenders would be given a game misconduct if they intentionally tipped the net over in that manner.

Case Keenum would have met expectations had he simply served as an efficient game-manager when replacing the injured Sam Bradford full-time in Week 6. There was little Keenum had accomplished during his three previous NFL seasons with Houston and the Rams that would lead outsiders to believe he could be anything more than that.

If there was, Keenum would have scored a much bigger contract in 2017 free agency than the modest one-year, $2 million deal he inked with the Vikings.

But Keenum continues to put himself in line for a far more lucrative payday this offseason while keeping ex-Vikings starter Teddy Bridgewater on the bench.

Between the two of them they faced 11 bowl teams in 2017, including Love’s meeting with Georgia close to season’s end. “I’ve never been so popular, I just have to make sure Roquan isn’t around, right?” the senior joked, reminding that he’d also watched a lot of Alabama on the film of SEC East opponents. “Meanwhile, I’m finding Big Ten guys and asking, ‘So, what’s the story on Northwestern?'”

McAdoo’s sloppy benching of veteran quarterback Eli Manning, not Sunday’s loss to the Raiders, seemed to be the point of no return for New York — although, watching Manning become the only Giants player in uniform who did not play against Oakland could not have been favorable optics in the wake of such a tumultuous week.lakers_007

Ben McAdoo ‘not concerned’ about Giants fans’ reaction to Eli Manning benching

Ben McAdoo isn’t bothered by the backlash.

“I’m gonna coach this team as long as my key card works,” McAdoo told reporters after Sunday’s game. “I want to show up ready to go (Monday) and get this thing cleaned up. I’m going to coach this team until I’m told I’m not coaching this team. I’m going to show up (Monday) morning ready to go to work.

“I’m not asking (about his future) and I haven’t heard a thing. I’m going to keep my head down and keep doing my job until I hear otherwise.”

The Giants (2-10) are scheduled to host the Cowboys (6-6) at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.

Troy Vincent, executive vice president of football operations, said Wednesday during a conference call the Competition Committee will “consider” changing the targeting rule as the league has received positive feedback from college officials and players.

If the new penalty goes into effect, it would enforce ejections with possible replay review. Currently in the NCAA, contact made with the crown of the helmet or to the head or neck area of a defenseless opponent are reason for ejections.

“We think there have been some positives, talking to some of the [college] conferences and the officials there, and also some of the student athletes … it is a deterrent,” Vincent said, per NFL.com. “It is on one of our agenda items for the offseason as we speak to the coaches and the Competition Committee.”

Vincent spoke of the targeting rule just days after a controversial helmet-to-helmet hit from Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster to Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict.
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Durant leads short-handed Warriors past Portland 111-104

“I repeatedly had to give him instructions and at one point he threw himself down on the ground in a tantrum,” one of the officers wrote in a copy of the report obtained by USA Today Sports. “He immediately accused me of stealing money from him, while I began to search his person, before placing him inside my vehicle, as we are trained to do. I tried to reason with him but to no avail.”

McDowell, the Seahawks’ top draft pick, was not with the team in Jacksonville because he’s on the non-football injury list. McDowell has been sidelined since he suffered what the team has called a severe concussion in a summer ATV accident. He’s not expected to play at any point this season.

Saints running back Alvin Kamara is having a rookie season for the ages, with fans, coaches and analysts struggling to find words to describe his elusive yet powerful running style.

Just witness Kamara’s score on fourth-and-goal against the Panthers on Sunday, when he appears to be stopped but continues on into the end zone.

The rookie out of Tennessee has 11 TDs and on Sunday became just the third rookie in NFL history to top 600 yards in both rushing and receiving yards in a season, after Billy Sims in 1980 and Charley Taylor in 1964.

Kamara has a TD in six straight games and is slashing for 7.0 yards per carry.royals_008

The Packers don’t want to see the Seahawks get hot to the point of taking back the division from the 9-3 Rams.

One game that could come into play nicely for the Packers is their season-opening victory over the Seahawks. Seattle had been inconsistent of late, losing two at home and winning two on the road, but got a huge win over Philadelphia on Sunday night to improve to 8-4. This scenario would require the Seahawks to finish 2-2 and finish second in the NFC West. It’s plausible given their remaining schedule: at Jaguars, vs. Rams, at Cowboys, vs. Cardinals.

That would probably mean both Seattle and Los Angeles finish 11-5, a mark Green Bay can’t reach.

George returned Monday after missing the previous two games with a calf injury to score 20 points on 7 of 14 shooting in 34 minutes, while Westbrook added 30 on 10 of 22 shooting, plus four rebounds and seven assists. Anthony finished with 11 points on 5 of 12 shooting.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, the two-man lineup of Mirotic and Portis has played 24 minutes together, combining for a 115.6 offensive rating and a 103.8 defensive rating, for an 11.8-net positive. The Bulls have scored 223 points over these last two wins, 59 of which have been while Portis and Mirotic were both on the floor, a plus-7 together on the floor.

While the two still may not be speaking off the floor, they are letting their games do the talking on it. Portis celebrated loudly after Mirotic drained a triple in the second half as the Bulls enjoyed the feeling that has eluded so often throughout the first quarter of the season — the one that goes along with winning.

Stevens ranks No. 15 nationally at 289.9 passing yards per game, and wide receiver Michael Gallup accounts for 112.1 of that. Gallup was one of three finalists for the Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation’s top wide receiver.
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The Redskins have allowed 30 or more points five times this season

The debate in Dallas is about who the team misses most: Ezekiel Elliott, Tyron Smith, Sean Lee or Dan Bailey. That all four could miss this one makes the outlook pretty bleak. The Eagles are due for a good test of how they handle success, but odds are they won’t get it in this one. Dak Prescott better brace himself.

The Chargers’ pass rush (yup, that’s Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram with 20 sacks between them) vs. whoever might replace Tyron Smith on a short week — that’s an awful combination for the Cowboys. Honestly, there really isn’t that much more to say about this game. Without Smith, as much as without Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys are the Chargers, except the Chargers are a better version of the Chargers.

Against New York, Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins (2-4 as a starter) is 131 of 230 (57 percent) for 1,627 yards with six touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

The Redskins have allowed 30 or more points five times this season, including in their two consecutive losses. New York has not scored 30 points in any of McAdoo’s 27 games as head coach.

What we do know is that San Francisco considered Garoppolo a safer bet than the offseason quarterback path the 49ers were expected to follow. That’s pursing Washington’s Kirk Cousins to reunite him with Shanahan, his former offensive coordinator with the Redskins. The fall-back option would be pursuing another veteran, trying to land a top QB prospect in the 2018 draft or sticking with Beathard, who hasn’t assembled enough of a body of work to get a good feel for where his NFL career is headed.nike_steelers_2918

they’re shoring up those areas a little more every week

The Jaguars have had two obvious weaknesses for much of the season: quarterback play and run defense. Here’s the good news: As the season has progressed and some things have changed with personnel, they’re shoring up those areas a little more every week.

Not only was Newton teased by his old friend, he even heard it from his Panthers teammates when he returned to the sideline.

“Guys were sensing he was kind of down and low, so for him to come out (with 110 yards), it was big for him getting confidence in himself,” Newton said of Stewart. “It’s good for him, knowing how much work he puts in and the stress he puts on his body going inside those tackles, playing selflessly in pass protection. So for him to come out was a big deal for us.”

Not only did Ball play in the fourth quarter after sitting on the bench during recent fourth quarters against Phoenix and Philadelphia last week, but his impact was massive. Ball, who was a plus-16 in the quarter, entered the game with the Lakers down 87-80 with 6:49 left and his 3-pointer sparked a game-changing 23-7 run.

There were several highlights during the Lakers’ comeback but perhaps none more backbreaking for the Bulls than Ball’s defensive rebound and fling to Caldwell-Pope for an open in-rhythm 3-pointer that turned a two-point game into a 97-92 Lakers’ lead with 1:42 left. The Bulls (3-12) never recovered.

The Spyteks had high praise for the Bucs organization and those who have helped them through the grieving process and helped raise CMV awareness through a Facebook and upcoming video campaign. Among them is Bucs salary cap chief Mike Greenberg. He connected the Spyteks with Marpet, a third-year Bucs starter who was seeking a cause for his cleats.nike_steelers_720

Can Derek Carr and Adrian Peterson find fantasy consistency?

The fantasy blocking breakdown series reviews the impact that run and pass blocking have on fantasy football performance, using methodologies detailed here.

Second, the Celtics have been the league’s stingiest matchup for opposing centers, allowing the fewest fantasy points by far (FanDuel and DraftKings scoring). Whiteside provides a nice floor most of the time and has that 20-point, 20-rebound upside, but on a slate this big, with so many games bursting with fantasy potential, you’re shooting for 7-8X value from everyone, and Whiteside has a tough path to get you there.

“There weren’t enough explicit emoji options to send him because he was right. But hopefully I do get that done so I can send him a text message after the game.”

Despite being denied a touchdown on that run, Newton still celebrated the run with a little shimmy while lying on the field. He joked that he didn’t have enough gas to get up for his celebration, like a car running on empty.

The Buccaneers still were not lucky enough to slip under the radar Sunday — they only lost, 30-10, to the Saints — and now their terrible season can’t be brushed off as a slow start or a bump in the road.

The Bucs are 2-6 at the halfway point of the season. The expectations of playoff contention are gone, and everything is up for debate, including the head coach’s future and the franchise quarterback’s progress.nike_bills-079

Rams WR Robert Woods to miss a couple weeks, coach Sean McVay says

Just when Rams wide receiver Robert Woods and quarterback Jared Goff started clicking, Woods suffered an injury Sunday against the Vikings.

Woods went down late with a shoulder injury, and underwent tests on the injury Monday. Initially, Woods’ injury wasn’t considered serious, but Rams coach Sean McVay said Monday Woods would likely miss a couple weeks.

As a result, the Lakers rebounded from an uninspiring spell that saw them lose five of six after a 5-5 start. Whether Los Angeles can get to .500, and ultimately past it, and return to its perch as one of the top franchises in the NBA is another question entirely.

Zimmer confirmed that Keenum will start Thursday against Detroit, a move that was solidified by his fifth straight win as a starter.

Keenum’s fortitude was on display against the Rams at multiple points, for instance, throws that backed the confidence he has in his playmakers to haul in tough catches.

Late in the first quarter, the quarterback evaded the Rams pass rush and launched a miracle pass while he was being hit by defensive lineman Michael Brockers that landed in the hands of Adam Thielen for a 12-yard reception.

The Broncos have already benched one quarterback — Trevor Siemian — because of turnovers and the Broncos are now 0-3 in games Brock Osweiler has started in Siemian’s place. Paxton Lynch, who was the team’s first-round pick in the 2016 draft, will be next to inherit the offensive woes at some point down the stretch. nike_cardinals-067