What No One Tells You About #Winning – #NFL Week 8

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1. Gronk Smash

Human Jock Jam Rob Gronkowski went on the NFL Network set after his 113-yard, one-TD performance Thursday night, and there wasn’t a prop he didn’t try and smash. He had to be told that the pumpkins were fake—you’d think Gronk, who CLEARLY spent most Halloweens in his youth smashing pumpkins with the Gronkowski brothers, could spot a real pumpkin—and had no regard for the set while demonstrating proper spiking technique.

Source: Gronk Wants To Spike Everything, Including Fake Pumpkins


2. ‘Cause Knowing Is Half The Battle

#NFL week 8 trends

The last ten teams to start 6-0 went 3-7 against-the-spread in their next game.

  • Games Matching this Criteria: Patriots (-8) vs. Dolphins, Packers (-3) @ Broncos, Bengals (-1.5) @ Steelers and Panthers (-7) vs. Colts.

Palmer not only wins games for the Arizona but he also has been a bettor’s best friend. With Palmer as the starter the last two years, the Cardinals are10-3 against-the-spread.

  • Games Matching this Criteria: Cardinals (-5) @ Browns.

There has never been two teams that started 6-0 play each other. There have been four games where 5-0 teams squared off. The favorite in those games went 2-0-2 against-the-spread.

  • Games Matching this Criteria: Packers (-3) at Broncos.

  • ATL -7 vs. TB Matt Ryan is a perfect 7-0 straight-up as a favorite of a touchdown or more against the NFC South but just 4-3 ATS in those games.
  • AZ -5 @ CLE All-time, the Cardinals as road favorites are 28-21-1 ATS.
  • BAL -3 vs. SD After playing on Monday Night Football, Joe Flacco is 3-6 ATS in his next game.
  • CAR -7 vs. IND Teams that are undefeated with four or more wins are 14-8-1 against-the-spread on Monday Night Football.
  • CHI +1 vs. MIN The Bears have covered just two of their last 10 games as home underdogs.
  • CIN -1.5@ PIT In the Bengals last ten trips to Pittsburgh, Cincy is 2-8 ATS.
  • CLE +5 vs. AZ Following a loss by two or more touchdowns and as a home underdog, the Browns have covered eight of their last ten games.
  • DAL +6 vs. SEA When not starting for the Patriots, Matt Cassel is an unremarkable 24-34 straight-up and 28-30 ATS.
  • DEN +3 vs. GB Peyton Manning is 10-6 against-the-spread in his career coming off a bye.
  • DET +5 @ KC NFC teams are 7-3 ATS in games played in London.
  • GB -3 @ DEN The Packers have won nine of their last ten games as road favorites and are 6-4 ATS in those games.
  • HOU -4 vs. TEN In the last five years, the Texans are 8-2 ATS against the Titans.
  • IND +7 @ CAR Andrew Luck is 1-3 straight-up and against-the-spread in his career on Monday Night Football.
  • KC -5 vs. DET The last ten “home” teams in London games have gone 6-4 ATS.
  • MIA +8 @ NE The Dolphins as underdogs of a touchdown or more to Tom Brady are 2-11 straight-up and 6-7 ATS.
  • MIN -1 @ CHI Since 2011, seven NFC North teams have been favorites in Chicago and are 6-1 ATS.
  • NE -8 vs. MIA Tom Brady is a perfect 8-0 straight-up on Thursday Night Football and 4-2-2 ATS.
  • NO -3 vs. NYG In the Drew Brees era, when the Saints have won two games in a row they are 11-7-1 ATS in the next matchup.
  • NYG +3 @ NO Eli is pretty good as a road underdog, when Manning is getting three or more points away from home he is 32-23 ATS.
  • NYJ -2 @ OAK In his career, spanning 11 years and six teams, Ryan Fitzpatrick has been a road favorite nine times and is 6-3 ATS in those games.
  • OAK +2 vs. NYJ The last ten teams to be home underdogs against the Jets are 3-6-1 ATS.
  • PIT +1.5 vs. CIN Since 2000, the Steelers are 7-4 ATS against teams coming off a bye.
  • SD +3 @ BAL In Philip Rivers’ career as an underdog after a loss the Chargers are 12-9-2 against-the-spread.
  • SEA -6 @ DAL All-time, road favorites in Dallas are 27-36-1 (43%) ATS.
  • SF +8.5 @ STL All-time, the 49ers as road underdogs of a touchdown or more are 26-35-2 ATS.
  • STL -8.5 vs. SF The Rams haven’t been touchdown favorites against an NFC West rival since 2005 and have failed to cover in six straight such games.
  • TB +7 vs. ATL Since 2002, when the NFL expanded to 32 teams, the Bucs as home dogs of a touchdown or more are 1-4 ATS.
  • TEN +4 @ HOU All-time, when the Titans are on losing streak of five or more games, Tennessee is 15-23 ATS in the next game.


Teaching You How to #Win – #NFL Week 8 Projections/Toughest Matchups

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Top Projections &Toughest Matchups

Based on feedback from you, we are changing this section up just a bit by expanding to all positions. In order to do so we wanted to provide you with some definition behind the data we are providing.top5

  • DraftKings Tops FPPG – Top 5 players for each position based on fantasy points per game on DraftKings.
  • FanDuel Tops FPPG – Top 5 players for each position based on fantasy points per game on FanDuel.
  • DraftKings Tops Proj  – Top 5 players for each position based on TheDiRTCanon current week projection for DraftKings.
  • FanDuel Tops Proj – Top 5 players for each position based on TheDiRTCanon current week projection for FanDuel.
  • DraftKings Toughest Matchups – Top 5 players with the toughest matchup, based on TheDiRTCanon opponent value with a minimum projection for the needed score to #Win for DraftKings.
  • FanDuel Toughest Matchups – Top 5 players with the toughest matchup, based on TheDiRTCanon opponent value with a minimum projection for the needed score to #Win for FanDuel.

At The DiRT Canon, our matchups not only consider what the player’s opponent has given up to a position, we go all the way down to the depth chart position for that player and what that defense has given up to that position.  We also consider, this information for the current season and ever in the past along with incorporating home or away. We have then added our own personal flavor where we don’t bother providing you with players that aren’t going to play or are basically irrelevant so we have established a custom figure of projection for each position that we also filter by. What does this mean? It means that we aren’t going to tell you some third string guys whom have the lowest opponent value for the week but instead we are looking to display players that are expected to at least get you the minimum amount of points needed from that position in order to #Win.  Just click NFL_week8_Top5 for the full report. Like information like this, come and sign up today, we will be offering a 7 day trial, just click here.  Enter promo code WIN to get 50% off your first month when you upgrade to our Silver Membership!

Intelligence & Analysis

Based on this week’s report, what can we ascertain for week 8? Well, given that Tom Brady is already in the books and yes, he scored over 30 yet again, you almost have to take him right now. That said, that would have only helped you on a few contests this week but we know you are looking for the lineup that will #Win for the Sun-Mon matchups! So let’s break that down. Philip Rivers is #3 in QB’s so far this season and he gets to play against the Baltimore secondary this weekend. Even though he is traveling across the country, let’s face it, Baltimore can’t cover anyone and San Diego knows has to throw the ball 50 times to even compete. Combine that with the Chargers inability to run the ball at all, this is an easy play for this weekend. Moving onto RB’s for this weekend, we have Doug Martin and DeVonta Freeman leading the charge in overall scoring for the season. They play each other this weekend and so if you can take them both, I suggest it, as the last two times they both played on the same day, they ended up leading the league in scoring…BOTH TIMES! Let’s finish today with our WR breakdown. Personally, I like Steve Smith Sr. this weekend as the top over/under for this weekend is the Ravens and Chargers and this should be a passing game all day, look for Smith and Allen to have big games. That said, our top 5 report shows Hopkins and Julio Jones, both of which are very expensive so you won’t be able to take all of these guys. What should you do? Come and check out our Lineup Analyzer™ here and let our system give you some additional recommendations!

For full projections for Draftkings go here.

For full projections for FanDuel go here.

What No One Tells You About #Winning: College Football Week 9

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oregon-asu1. The Mighty Ducks

In case you missed it and I’m sure you did.  Last night’s Quack-12 showdown between ASU and Oregon had everything!  A kickoff run back for a TD – The shortest Hail-Mary to force OT – 3 OT’s – The most total pts scored this season with 116 – The longest stretch that Oregon has ever worn the same uniform – a guy named Stanford scoring 2 TD’s for Oregon – The ol’falling TE trick play that actually scored a TD – an INDISPUTABLE INT that was ruled not an INT for Oregon – the game winning TD that was NOT overturned, DISPUTABLE (toe was on the line bub) – and a 2yd slant pass that was picked off to end the game; just like some other football game that was played in Arizona recently that ended the same way – hmmm weird quacky stuff.


2. Did TCU Just Make a Statement?

The actual election season is still a year away and that doesn’t mean nothing in college football, because now is when football teams across #Murica begin their own campaigns.  TCU still has their toughest stretch coming up, but what did the win last night tell us?  I’ll wait, but what I will do is say #2 for TCU is prettay, prettaaaay, prettaaaaay good – or so it seems for now.

  • College football is officially in campaign season. TCU won’t learn how many million people watched it play on Thursday night until later this weekend, but the only sets that mattered were the 13 whose owners will convene in Grapevine, Texas, on Monday and Tuesday. On Saturdays, those TVs, tablets and phone mean divided attention, but in Thursday’s national spotlight, TCU made a strong final statement before the College Football Playoff selection committee begins to deliberate its resume for the first time as a collective. Tuesday night, the committee will reveal its first top 25 of the season, and TCU made a strong opening argument before the shouting really picks up volume in November……(continue reading)

nationwide_college map

3. Remote Patrol

It’s Halloween and just like last week in the doldrums of a schedule we had some upsets – seeya FSU, buh-bye Utah – anything could happen.  I mean Temple is hosting College Gameday – TEMPLE?!  The rest of the schedule is still pretty lazy before the meat of the elephant hits November 7th – You do get to see one of the best QB’s no one is talking about take on Stanford, and there is always a Cocktail Party if you’re still into that – so take the yungins out, spend some time with the significant other or just sit around putting the lotion on your skin to avoid the hose – whatevs

(h/t matt brown)

Early Afternoon

No. 19 Ole Miss at Auburn
Noon, ESPN

It’s not like the Auburn roster is devoid of talent, so there’s still the possibility that, at some point, the Tigers will wake up, put together a complete game and upset somebody. They have made some strides. But those hopes continue to look slim. Last week, the Tigers fell to 4-3 overall by losing to Arkansas in four overtimes, and now they host Ole Miss, who appeared to be falling apart but responded with a complete domination of Texas A&M. Laremy Tunsil is finally back in the lineup at left tackle, and star defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche is expected to return after missing a game with a concussion. Ole Miss’ inability to run the ball is always a concern, but Auburn should have a tough time handling these Rebels receivers. Even if they don’t, it’s hard to imagine Auburn’s offense doing enough against the Ole Miss defense. The Tigers lack talent in the receiving corps, and this aggressive, fast defense will be a tough matchup for young QB Sean White. Auburn’s going to have to pull off an upset to get to a bowl game, but it’s probably not happening Saturday, even at home.

OleMiss 35.5  – Auburn 21.95  64.95%

Syracuse at No. 17 Florida State
Noon, ABC

Last week, the Seminoles lost in heartbreaking fashion to Georgia Tech on a blocked field goal return as time expired. Next week, they play in the ACC’s game of the year at undefeated Clemson. In between, they have to make it through a game against Syracuse healthy and with a victory to keep ACC hopes alive. Star tailback Dalvin Cook had been dealing with a hamstring injury, and now he won’t play Saturday because of an ankle injury. This is a much different Seminoles team when Cook is not on the field. They should be able to take care of a team like Syracuse even without Cook — the Orange have lost four in a row after a 3-0 start — but Syracuse freshman quarterback Eric Dungey has at least made things interesting with his dual-threat playmaking ability. With a noon start, don’t be surprised if the Noles get off to a sluggish start, but even without Cook it would be a shocking to see the Orange in in Tallahassee.

Syracuse 17.65  –  FSU 37.05  88.15%

South Carolina at Texas A&M
Noon, SEC Network

A lot has happened since the last time these two met in the huge opening game that didn’t actually matter last season. Texas A&M blew out a top-10 South Carolina on the road to start last season, Kenny Hill became a Heisman candidate and the Aggies seemed to have a great win to propel them to the thick of the national title debate. It turned out, of course, that South Carolina took a nosedive into mediocrity, and Texas A&M fell apart in the middle of the season, not having enough experience or depth to make a run in the SEC.AltX.Logo.white

Now, South Carolina has a new coach after Steve Spurrier abruptly resigned in October, and Texas A&M is following the same pattern as last year with a fast start and an October tailspin. The Aggies lost to Alabama thanks to three pick-sixes, and last week they were shut down 23-3 by Ole Miss, with the offense going off the rails. This should offer a chance to rebound for the Texas A&M offense, whether it’s Kyle Allen still at quarterback — or perhaps freshman Kyler Murray. South Carolina continues to struggle, as it lacks playmakers beyond Pharoh Cooper and has had trouble stopping any offense with a pulse. While the Aggies didn’t look like they had a pulse last week, they have the talent to bounce back and take advantage of a favorable matchup.

SouthCarolina 15.5  –  texas a+m 37.2  87.25%

Illinois at Penn State
Noon, ESPN2

One of these teams doesn’t appear to belong:

It’s true, via cfbstats.com data. Penn State has been an all-or-nothing offense. Only 18.4 percent of its plays gain at least 10 yards, which ranks 84th nationally. Last week, Maryland loaded the line of scrimmage to both pressure Christian Hackenberg and stop freshman phenom tailback Saquon Barkley. Barkley was contained for the first time and Hackenberg completed only 13 of 29 passes, but it allowed him to do what he does best: push the ball downfield, with the help of talented receiver Chris Godwin. Hackenberg threw for 315 yards and three touchdowns, and Penn State held on for a 31-30 win. Penn State’s offense is still disjointed and messy, but it will be interesting to see how a team like Illinois chooses to defend the Nittany Lions, who still have offensive line problems but have dangerous big-play threats in Barkley, Godwin and receiver DaeSean Hamilton, to go with Hackenberg’s inconsistent but dangerous downfield passing ability.

illinois 20.1  –  PennSt 23.1  59.6%

Rutgers at Wisconsin
Noon, BTN

Scoring a point against Wisconsin would be progress for Rutgers after the Scarlet Knights got shut out by the Badgers 37-0 last year. Rutgers has shown signs of life — a near-upset of Michigan State, a comeback win over Indiana — but it also was just blown out 49-7 by Ohio State. Wisconsin doesn’t have the offense to run away from the Scarlet Knights, especially with tailback Corey Clement still sidelined and quarterback Joel Stave recovering from a head injury — although Stave is expected to play. But the Badgers do have the defense to put the clamps down on Rutgers again, at home. The Badgers are particularly strong against the run and can force Rutgers into making mistakes.

Rutgers 13.7  –  Wiscy 38.85  93.75%

Late Afternoon

Georgia vs. No. 11 Florida
3:30 p.m., CBS

Last season’s Cocktail Party featured one of the most surprising results of the season. With Will Muschamp soon to be fired and Georgia presumably cruising toward the SEC East title, the Gators overpowered the Bulldogs 38-20, running 60 times for 418 yards and five touchdowns while Treon Harris attempted only six passes. Harris will start again with Will Grier suspended for the season, and another Florida win would likely send the Gators to their first SEC title game since 2009. They’re 4-1 in the SEC and Georgia is 3-2, and a win here would give Florida a commanding lead in the division with only Vanderbilt and South Carolina left on the conference schedule.

It’s easy to bail on Georgia, given the month that the Bulldogs have had. They got blown out by Alabama, lost 38-31 to Tennessee in a game in which Nick Chubb was lost for the season and then beat Missouri’s hapless offense 9-6. Greyson Lambert and new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer have run into trouble against good defenses, and now it’s resulted in junior Faton Bauta — who hasn’t thrown a pass this year and has five career attempts — getting the call to make his first career start, according to GridironNow.com. Even without Chubb, Georgia still has a big-time playmaker at tailback in Sony Michel — who is better than any of Florida’s offensive weapons — but the quarterback uncertainty is a big red flag going into a tough game against this Florida defense, which is loaded wtih talent. This rivalry likes surprises, but Florida appears to be the better all-around team at the moment.

UGA 20.45  –  FU 27.7  66.65%

No. 3 Clemson at N.C. State
3:30 p.m., ABC/ESPN2

Last week, Clemson faced only its second road trip of the season, at Miami, in what seemed like a possible upset opportunity. All Clemson did was win 58-0 — the worst loss in Miami history — to prompt the firing of Al Golden. This Tigers team is turning into a machine, behind an active defense, a terrific quarterback in Deshaun Watson and a steady tailback in Wayne Gallman. They’re well-coached, and they’ve survived the attrition of last offseason and managed to thrive, emerging as a College Football Playoff frontrunner. Now, they just need to avoid a road letdown in Raleigh, a week after the big win over Miami and a week before the ACC game of the year against Florida State.AltX.Logo.white

N.C. State has pulled off these sorts of upsets in the past, and quarterback Jacoby Brissett is talented enough to make some plays against this Clemson defense. But N.C. State also hasn’t proven much yet. The Wolfpack are 5-2, with their wins coming against Troy, Eastern Kentucky, Old Dominion, South Alabama and Wake Forest. They lost two ACC games to Louisville and Virginia Tech, scoring 13 points in each game. They haven’t done much to prove that they’re capable of actually putting up enough points on the board to take down a complete team like Clemson, even if they put a scare into the Tigers.

Clemson 35.6  –  NC State 14.1  87.2%

No. 12 Oklahoma State at Texas Tech
3:30 p.m., ESPN

The Big 12 schedule is backloaded for all of the contenders, and thus Oklahoma State’s 7-0 record has gone somewhat unnoticed. Before last week’s domination of Kansas, Oklahoma State had won its first three Big 12 games by a total of 12 points, raising legitimate concerns about the sustainability of this record. The good news is that TCU, Baylor and Oklahoma all must visit Stillwater in November. The bad news is that, first, Oklahoma State goes on a tricky road trip to Lubbock to face Texas Tech’s potent offense led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The Red Raiders rank fifth in yards per play, with Mahomes already throwing for 2,851 yards and 21 touchdowns. If Mahomes can avoid mistakes — he’s thrown 10 picks — against a disruptive Oklahoma State defensive front, led by Emmanuel Ogbah, the Red Raiders stand a good chance of pulling off the home upset to end Oklahoma State’s undefeated bid before it gets to the toughest part of its schedule.

OK State 28.1  –  TT 29  70.15%

USC at California
3 p.m., Fox

USC turned things around last week with four interceptions to end Utah’s undefeated season, and now it can re-focus with hopes for winning the Pac-12 South not dead yet. Winning the division will require winning out (and some help from the Utes), which first means out-scoring Jared Goff and the Golden Bears. Despite their 4-3 record, the Trojans rank seventh in yards per play and 13th in scoring, with Cody Kessler distributing the ball to an impressive group of playmakers led by receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster. Cal has made strides under Sonny Dykes, but its 5-0 start was a bit misleading. The Bears aren’t particularly deep, and Goff doesn’t have quite enough help, particularly on the offensive line and on defense. While injuries will hurt USC’s offensive line, Cal isn’t necessarily the team to exploit that weakness.

SoCal 33.65  –  Cal 27.4  64.7%

Maryland at No. 10 Iowa
3:30 p.m., ABC/ESPN2

We live in a world in which the Iowa Hawkeyes are undefeated, already matching last season’s win total with seven. It remains possible that Iowa will stay undefeated until the Big Ten title game. Saturday’s game kicks off a five-game finishing stretch in which Iowa’s remaining opponents have a total of two Big Ten wins between them. It starts with Maryland, who is winless in the conference and fired coach Randy Edsall. The Terrapins have looked better the last two games, pushing Ohio State early and losing to Penn State by one, behind the running of quarterback Perry Hills. But beyond the absence of star end Drew Ott and the ankle injury to tailback Jordan Canzeri, Iowa is getting a bit healthier. The Hawkeyes may falter down the stretch, but it’s probably not going to happen at home against this Maryland team.

Maryland 10.55  –  Iowa 38.8  94.2%

No. 14 Oklahoma at Kansas
3:30 p.m., Fox Sports 1

The Oklahoma running game had been a bit stagnant in the transition to new offensive coordinator AltX.Logo.whiteLincoln Riley, with what appeared to be a sophomore slump for tailback Samaje Perine. But now Perine is coming off 23 carries for 201 yards and four touchdowns against Texas Tech, just in time to face Kansas. You may remember what Perine did to Kansas last year as a freshman: 34 carries for 427 yards and five touchdowns, breaking Melvin Gordon’s week-old FBS single-game rushing record. Perine isn’t going to do that again, but Oklahoma will roll.

OU 49.5  –  Kansas 7.15  98.75%

Prime Time

No. 9 Notre Dame at No. 21 Temple
8 p.m., ABC

It’s the biggest home game in Temple football history. Already this season, the Owls beat Penn State for the first time since 1941. Now, they’re undefeated and in the driver’s seat in the AAC East Division, with a chance to get another landmark nonconference win against the No. 9 Fighting Irish. Unlike fellow AAC undefeateds Memphis and Houston, Temple doesn’t have a particularly explosive offense. While running back Jahad Thomas has been solid and quarterback P.J. Walker has avoided mistakes, the Owls rank 100thnationally in yards per play. They’re much stronger defensively, with a veteran unit led by linebacker Tyler Matakevich that ranks sixth nationally against the run.

Temple has the personnel on defense to make life difficult for Notre Dame and tailback C.J. Prosise, who has been a revelation following the season-ending injury to Tarean Folston, averaging 7.2 yards per carry. Notre Dame, however, does match up well: This is easily the best offensive line that Temple has seen this season. Led by left tackle Ronnie Stanley and center Nick Martin, the Fighting Irish front five has paved the way for Prosise’s big year and mostly protected freshman quarterback DeShone Kizer well. Temple has found ways to win through getting big stops, winning field-position battles and even blocking kicks, but its remarkable undefeated run is likely going to come to an end against Notre Dame, a complete team that will be tough for the Owls to contain for 60 minutes

Notre Dame 30.25  –  Temple 21.05  70.55%

No. 15 Michigan at Minnesota
7 p.m., ESPN

Jim Harbaugh has a 30-year-old score to settle. In his senior season as Michigan’s starting quarterback, the Wolverines started 9-0 and were ranked No. 2 when 5-4 Minnesota visited the Big House. The Golden Gophers captured the Little Brown Jug with a stunning 20-17 upset, their first win in Ann Arbor since 1962 and last win there until 2014. Michigan rebounded to beat Ohio State the next week to win the Big Ten title and a spot in the Rose Bowl, but the loss to the Gophers ended a national title bid (the Wolverines went on to lose to Arizona State in Pasadena anyway). Now, Harbaugh takes his 5-2 Wolverines to Minneapolis, where Minnesota was forced to abruptly make a coaching change after Jerry Kill stepped down. The Gophers haven’t won the Little Brown Jug in consecutive years since 1962-63, and while they have the defense to keep things tight, Michigan is healthier and the better all-around team. Harbaugh can get a win this time around.

Michigan 31.7  –  Minnesota 6.55  92.6%

Vanderbilt at No. 18 Houston
7 p.m., ESPN2

An SEC team going on the road to face an AAC opponent may normally seem like a trap and possibleAltX.Logo.white upset opportunity, but in this case the roles are reversed from what we usually see. It’s the SEC team, Vanderbilt, that’s trying to disrupt Houston’s undefeated season. The Commodores still have huge problems on offense, but they’re rock-solid defensively, particularly against the run. They will pose a challenge for Tom Herman’s offense and quarterback Greg Ward, who has completed 71.5 percent of his passes and rushed for 677 yards, with 25 total touchdowns. Vandy can limit the Cougars’ big plays and possibly keep the game close if they force turnovers, but actually scoring enough to win on the road is another matter.

Vandy 16.7  –  Houston 30.7  80.4%

Miami at No. 22 Duke
7 p.m., ESPNU

It’s impossible to know where this Miami season goes next. The Hurricanes followed a home win over Virginia Tech with their worst loss in history, 58-0 to Clemson. Al Golden was fired a day later, and now the Hurricanes move into the uncertain period with a lame-duck staff, facing a tough game on the road against a strong Duke defense. Even worse, they’ll likely do it without quarterback Brad Kaaya, who suffered a concussion last week and is questionable. In his place, freshman Malik Rozier completed just 7 of 22 passes for 42 yards and two picks against the Tigers. Rozier should improve with a full week to prepare, and Duke’s defensive front isn’t as imposing as Clemson’s, but this is a Blue Devils team that will make opponents pay for mistakes. Miami had been excellent in turnover margin in the first half of the season, but that might be starting to even out.

Miami 15.45  –  Duke 31.9  84.35%

Tennessee at Kentucky
7:30 p.m., SEC Network

Kentucky was fortunate to break its streak of losses to Tennessee in 2011, but it has still defeated the Volunteers just once since 1984, despite their recent struggles. Kentucky had two close SEC losses entering last week, but the wheels came off against Mississippi State, as the Wildcats fell 42-16 in a game in which they were torched by the passing and running of QB Dak Prescott. Tennessee’s offense has had plenty of problems in a 3-4 start, but based on what happened to Kentucky’s defense last week, this could be a good opportunity for the mobile Joshua Dobbs to bounce back from a tough loss to Alabama. The Vols’ second-half schedule is much easier than the first, so while it’s been a disappointing season so far, this is a chance to get the ball rolling on a successful finish, with 8-4 still attainable.

Tennessee 34.4  –  Kentucky 20.95  78.95%

Texas at Iowa State
7 p.m., Fox Sports 1

Things are looking up for the Longhorns, who have shaken off a 1-4 start to beat Oklahoma and Kansas State the last two weeks. By no means are the Longhorns’ problems solved, but they’ve run the ball well the last two weeks behind quarterback Jerrod Heard. The Texas offense is in better shape right now than Iowa State’s, as Paul Rhoads just unexpectedly fired coordinator Mark Mangino this week, with senior quarterback Sam Richardson benched for sophomore Joel Lanning. Texas remains susceptible to losing games like this, especially on the road, but the Longhorns can control another game on the ground.

Texas 27.9  –  IaState 28.1  60.7%


Oregon State at No. 13 Utah
7 p.m., Pac-12 Network

After last week’s tough road loss to USC ended an undefeated season, Utah returns home to recover against what might be the worst team in the Pac-12. The Beavers are 0-4 in the Pac-12, and they lost last week’s game 17-13 to Colorado — their best chance to win a game in the conference. Gary Andersen inherited an inexperienced team, and given their struggles, it’s a nice opportunity for Utah to bounce back, avoid the mistakes it made against the Trojans and get a win at home before back-to-back road trips to Washington and Arizona.

OregonSt 8.1  –  Utah 44.25  96.65%

Late Night

No. 8 Stanford at Washington State
10:30 p.m., ESPN

Pullman unfortunately did not get its first College Gameday ever, despite the tradition of a Washington State flag showing up at every road show every week during the season. But Mike Leach expects the atmosphere to be amazing anyway.

“It would probably be on a scale with Woodstock, I would say, as far as being a historic event where event where people gather,” Leach said earlier this week. “It’s kind of a statement for our generation, I think.”AltX.Logo.white

So there you go. You obviously do not want to miss Stanford-Washington State, which is actually one of the biggest games of this weekend. The importance is especially surprising because of what happened last year, and what happened in Week 1. Last year, both teams had disappointing seasons: Stanford finished 8-5 and Washington State went 3-9, and those struggles continued into Week 1 of 2015: Stanford opened by losing 16-6 to Northwestern, while Washington State lost to Portland State, an FCS team.

Since then, the two teams are a combined 11-1, the lone loss being Washington State to California. With Luke Falk becoming the prototypical Mike Leach/Air Raid quarterback, Wazzu has won three straight Pac-12 games for the first time since 2003 (two on the road, at Oregon and Arizona), while Stanford has developed into a machine and is playing as well as anyone in the country behind tailback Christian McCaffrey, quarterback Kevin Hogan and a powerful offensive line. Stanford is likely playing far too well for Washington State to pull off the upset, but the Cardinal are still weaker than usual on defense. With the Cougars offense clicking, they are capable of threatening to upset teams, particularly at home as they try to get bowl eligible for the second time since 2003. Ultimately, Stanford is just playing at too high of a level and should control the game on the ground, but it’s still an opportunity for Leach to show off the strides he has made after a rough start to the season.

Stanford 40.1  –  Wazzu 24.95  80.5%

Arizona at Washington
11 p.m., Fox Sports 1

Both the Wildcats and Huskies have three conference losses (Washington’s only Pac-12 win was at USC), and both could really use a win for their postseason hopes. It seems crazy to say that for 5-3 Arizona, the defending division champions, but the Wildcats finish at USC, vs. Utah and at Arizona State, a brutal three-game stretch in which no victory is guaranteed. Meanwhile, Washington’s bowl hopes appear slim with a 3-4 record, as its offense continues to be inconsistent. The injury status of two players could be key: Arizona running back Nick Wilson is questionable with a knee injury, while Washington quarterback Jake Browning is questionable with a shoulder injury. Washington gets the slight edge at home with the better defense.

‘Zona 21.65  –  UW 36.65  80.75%

pablo (10)

Teaching You How to #Win – Matchups to Exploit/Top Over-Under/Heavy Favorites #NFL Week 8

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Heaviest Favorites

As of today, the heaviest favorites for the week are as follows:

  • St. Louis -9.5 over San Francisco
  • New England -9.5 over Miami
  • Carolina -7.5 over Indianapolis

This week is pretty interesting from a matchup perspective; but the top two games for the favorites this week are the Rams over the 49ers and the Pats over the Dolphins, both by 9.5 points. I don’t believe that either game will be that lopsided this week so I would take the points and both dogs in these games.

The Dolphins are playing some inspired football and tonight we will get to see if that continues against the leagues top team, the Patriots. The Rams are difficult to predict, although we were on their D last week and all they did was put up the most points for that position. Kaepernick is the second most sacked QB in the league and the Rams D can get after the QB so look for 7 sacks from this defense yet again. The last matchup is a trap game in my opinion. You have the Panthers playing well but have really only played the Seahawks and the Colts, who have been flat out terrible so far this season. I think Luck gets back to form in this game and they score a late TD to beat the Panthers 21 – 20. So I’m on all the ‘dogs. Now for some players to consider in each of these matchups in daily fantasy:

  • Greg Olsen
  • Tom Brady
  • St. Louis Defense

Top Overall Game Over/Under

The game with the most expected points this weekend is the San Diego Chargers on the road against the Baltimore Ravens. Look it makes sense when you consider that the Ravens pass defense has given up the most yards and points to opposing QB’s and Rivers has had over 850 yards in his last 2 games combined. You take that with Flacco putting up strong numbers and the Chargers defense cannot stop the opposing RB, giving up at least 1 touchdown to each of their last 5 opposing RB’s. So this is a game to consider a stack and take Rivers, Forsett, Woodhead, Smith Sr. and then either Gates or Green, depending on who starts – this half of a lineup should get you 130+ fantasy points this week!

Matchups to Exploit

Here we breakdown the pass defense, rush defense and overall defense to exploit for the week. If a team shows up in this area, it’s because our system shows them as giving up the most yardage totals for the upcoming week.

Let’s make this simple: the stats come directly from our Odds page, so come and take a peak here.

  • Passing Yards is the New York Giants at 294.46 yards
  • Rushing Yards is Tennessee at 137.46 yards
  • Overall is St. Louis at 418.77

We gave you both Gurley and Diggs last week, along with the Rams D and Doug Martin. If you played those guys – then you had 111.6 just from this group.  If you played Brady and Gronk, then you were certain to cash. DiRTCanon A.I.This week, you should consider Drew Brees, but I suggest you stick to Rivers. The Chargers cannot stop anyone on defense so they are constantly behind and Rivers will chuck it all game. On the rushing side of the house, DC*3PO is really on Bell this weekend or you can stick with the hot hand of DeVonta Freeman. Our Odds section suggests that you look at Alfred Blue this weekend and with Foster out, he is very cheap but I’m not on that at all. I like Chris Johnson against the Browns, who have given up a 100 yard rusher in every game this season, even against the Broncos Hillman lit them up. Overall, I like the stack in the Baltimore and San Diego game.  Check back on Sunday morning as I will reveal our expert picks for this weekends games!

We want to hear from you, take our poll below and if you want different information or just want to speak to one of our experts about certain players or lineup considerations, just contact us here or DM us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

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What You Need To Know for #TNF and Other Stuff

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1. A Dolphin’s Tale?

Maybe the only thing to worry about – besides your lineup – is if Tom Brady takes a cheap shot.  The NFL Media and the Tennessee coaching staff went nuts on the low hit on Mariota, and it’s not inconceivable that Man Campbell hasn’t already ordered the “Code Red”!  Any team that Ndamukong $uh is on – you must keep a weathered eye…

2. When the Mountaineers Come Calling

7:30p EST FS1 – WV @ TCU
Trevone Boykin begins his push for the Heisman tonight.  Sure they haven’t played anyone yet and yeah, they get three opponents next month that are all in the top 14 currently – but the kid is fun to watch.  So in front of a primetime audience on the “FS1” at 7:30p EST check out the #2 guy in total offense and #5 in passing offense – because the only way this guy has a shot is to be undefeated.

3. #23 and Climbing

5:00p EST ESPN – UNC @ Pitt
Also tonight is the other college football game on that other network that sounds like mental telepathy from a sorority girl when she wears her Uggs to tight.  5p ESt on ESPN, UNC visits Heinz Field to take on a surprisingly good Panthers team from Pitt.  Nice job so far from new coach Pat Narduzzi who’s teams’ only loss is to Iowa.  Lots of coach speak will determine the outcome, such as: Special Teams will be important and who wins the turnover battle so should come out ahead as long as they score more points than the other guy.


4. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down…0-2

Johnny Cueto tossed a complete-game two-hitter for the Royals as they defeated the Mets, 7-1, in Game Two of the World Series. Two weeks ago, Cueto pitched Kansas City into the ALCS by defeating the Astros in Game Five of the ALDS, allowing only two hits in eight innings. The only other pitchers who have had more than one postseason outing in their careers of eight or more innings in which they allowed no more than two hits are Nolan Ryan and Roger Clemens.


5. Few Games In – C’Mon Man!

Are The Rockets Doomed – Is Ricky Rubio already an All-Star PG – Is New Orleans turr-able – Is Jahlil Okafor the next one – and finally, is this the Knicks’ time?!  All these overreactions and more…

Source: Biggest overreactions to first batch of NBA games

6. Vlade-dadi We Like To Parde

It has been…an interesting time for the Kings. No one knows what the hell is going on (including those inside of the organization!). For a quick recap:

Last Season: The Kings rushed out to lead the Pacific Division, home of the NBA champion Warriors, before the floor fell out from underneath the team. Star center DeMarcus Cousins was diagnosed with viral meningitis and was sidelined for more than a month. The Kings faltered without him, and their record fell to 11-13. And then the Kings’ Chernobyl of a season began to crumble when owner Vivek Ranadive fired head coach Mike Malone, who was not only a favorite of the players, but had Sacramento ready to play. Mike Malone was fired after only 24 games, and according to Adrian Wojnarowski, the move created a sense of contempt among Kings players, especially Cousins who loved Malone and his system. The Kings then later fired interim head coach Tyrone Corbin, and hired George Karl to coach the team after the All Star Break.

Source: House of Cards: The Kings, Jokers and Chaos in Sacramento

7. The Kobe Bryant Experience

Kobe Bryant, who is older than hell, crankier than hell, and shackled to a misshapen Lakers team, looked better than he has in years tonight as his Lakers fell to the Timberwolves at home 112-111. This game was stuffed full of cool shit: the two teams’ tribute to the recently passed Flip Saunders; Nick Young hitting a half-court leaner to end the first quarter; the debuts of Karl-Anthony Towns, Julius Randle (his 14 minutes last season don’t count), and D’Angelo Russell; Kevin Garnett yapping at people; and Ricky Rubio dropping 28 points and 14 assists. But most of all, there was Kobe.

Source: Old Man Kobe And The Young Lakers Are Fun As Hell 

pablo (10)

Teaching You How to #Win – Week 8 Absolute’s #NFL

name of site - hunter thompson styleWeek 8 Absolutes 

Absolute Must Have

We are now entering the final week of the second quarter of the season and we now have some established players that should be considered each week in daily fantasy. Obviously, Tom Brady tops this list and he does have our highest Must Have selection of the week but considering most of you don’t include the Thursday game player’s in your contest selections, our Absolute Must Have for this week on DraftKings is DeAndre Hopkins. He comes in with a projection of 22.13 this week and off an unusually low performance last week as most of the balls went to Washington in garbage time, look for this to change back to having Hopkins be the man in Houston again. On the FanDuel side, we have Joe Flacco. His projection for this week is 23.56 with a plus 6.91 in the Projection2Spend ratio, which means he is high value and should outperform his cost for this week. Did you know that San Diego has given up at least 25 fantasy points to their opposing QB in each of their last 3 games? You should consider him for this week.

***Reminder Must Have’s are salaries that are $7,800 and higher

Absolute Notable

Our Absolute #Notable for this week on FanDuel is Josh McCown. He comes in with a projection of 18.62 for this week and is still on the extremely cheap side. That said, he did leave the game with an injury last week so his status for this week is questionable. You should check back on Sunday morning and come to our Injury Breakdown section here for all of your injury and impacted player analysis. On the DraftKings side of the house, we have Steve Smith Sr. He actually comes in as our top projected player for this week, largely due to San Diego giving up a ton to the WR1 position lately. Additionally, Smith Sr., had 186 yards and 2 touchdowns in his only home game this season. His projection of 31 should not be taken too lightly, as he should light up the Bolts this weekend.

***Reminder Notables are salaries between $5,200 and $7,800

Absolute Sleeper

fanduelFor FanDuel our Absolute #Sleeper this week is Conner Barth, with a projection of 14.83. He is the kicker to have for the week, just keep in mind that the Falcons defense is keeping opponents out of the end zone this season so look for some field goal opportunities here. 

For DraftKings we have Josh McCown, coming in with a projection of 18.22. We have already stated that McCown is hurt so be careful here. If you want to know my personal opinion, I’m all over Chris Johnson this week. He is the leading back for the Cardinals and they get to play against the worst run defense in the league, Cleveland, this week. Look for him to have a huge day and he only costs $4,600. Another player to consider is Stephon Diggs for Minnesota. We had him again last week and all he did was get us 26.7 points, his price tag only jumped up $600 to a total of $4,800 this week, he is almost a must play.

***Reminder that Sleepers are salaries under $5,200

Get your full FanDuel Absolutes report for week 7 here.

Ger your full DraftKings Absolutes report for week 7 here.

We want to hear from you, please take our poll.

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Teaching You How to #Win – Week 7 Results

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Tuesday October 27th, 2015

As we have updated our format for distributing content, we want to here from you.  Please fill out this poll so we can continue to enhance your experience and give you what you want.

FanDuel Results

To view all of The DiRT Canon FanDuel info, just click here.

FanDuel DiRT Canon AI

This is our DiRT Canon A.I., DC*3PO generated lineups and its’ performance in the main contest, two double ups or 50/50’s and the $5 main contest.

  1. Season Winning Percentage – 65.4%
  2. Season Contests have won 17 of 26
  3. Profit – $390
  4. Highest Finish  Week 5 Main Contest – 33,370 of 183,908
FanDuel DiRT Canon Expertsfanduel

The DiRT Canon experts play in a multitude of contests including/but not limited to the Mon-Thur only, Prime-time Only, Main Contest, $5 Main Contest, 50/50’s and DiRT Canon contests.

  1. Season Winning Percentage – 61.6%
  2. Season Contests have won 37 of 60
  3. Profit – $829
  4. Highest Finish Week 5 Main Contest – 11,881 of 459,770
FanDuel DiRT Canon Users

We compile your stats on how you all are doing in actual contests.  Below are some of the stats – in the future, if our users provide permission to access their accounts, we will look to analyze each members’ profile and suggest contests based on that members’ historical performance; such as average score needed to win, average score, amount desired to enter with and many more.  This will aid in your ability to win even more consistently in the future!

  1. Season Winning Percentage – 71.9%
  2. Season Contests 897 of 1,246
  3. Needed Score to cash in main event – 147.68
FanDuel DiRT Canon Contest

Our DiRT Canon contest reached the maximum number of entries that FanDuel will allow at 20.  We had a $5 entry – winner take all. Congratulations to xxdelarosa5xx who won our contest with an amazing score of 164.36.  If you would like for us to create more contests, just click here and give us your feedback – we want to hear from you!

Draftkings Results

To view all of our Draftkings info, just click here.

Draftkings DiRT Canon AI

This is our DiRT Canon A.I., DC*3PO generated lineups and its’ performance in the main contest, two double ups or 50/50’s and the $5 main contest.

  1. Season Winning Percentage – 75%
  2. Season Contests have won 21 of 28
  3. Profit – $848
  4. Highest Finish Week 5 Main Contest – 25,185 of 341,099
Draftkings DiRT Canon Expertsdraftkings

The DiRT Canon experts play in a multitude of contests including/but not limited to the Mon-Thur only, Prime-time Only, Main Contest, $5 Main Contest, 50/50’s and DiRT Canon contests.

  1. Season Winning Percentage – 70.9%
  2. Season Contests have won 61 of 86
  3. Profit – $3,491
  4. Highest Finish Week 5 Main Contest– 16,484 of 479,166
Draftkings DiRT Canon Users

We compile your stats on how you all are doing in actual contests.  Below are some of the stats – in the future, if our users provide permission to access their accounts, we will look to analyze each members’ profile and suggest contests based on that members’ historical performance; such as average score needed to win, average score, amount desired to enter with and many more.  This will aid in your ability to win even more consistently in the future!

  1. Season Winning Percentage – 74.5%
  2. Season Contests 1,048 of 1,407
  3. Needed Score to cash in main event – 179.42
Draftkings DiRT Canon Contest

This week we were able to fill a 50 person DiRT Canon tournament on Draftkings.  The results of this tournament were as follows:

  1. CONDIA (2nd Time) – 218.48 ($112.50)
  2. PickEmPops – 212.8 ($67.50)
  3. castr008 – 209.4 ($45)

Congrats to CONDIA as our big winner in this week’s contest.  If you want more contests or different types of contests, fill out this poll so we can continue to give you what you want.  If you want to play head2head against one of our experts, contact us here and provide your username, we will send you a contest.

Thursday Week 8 Selections

If you need to know who to take for a Thursday Night contest – here are some considerations:

  • Tom Brady – What can we say, all he does is get you at least 26 fantasy points each week, he is a must play if you include this game.
  • Rob Gronkowski – He continues to own the league from the TE position.  This will continue yet again against a divisional opponent.
  • Lamar Miller – He cracked the top fantasy player list this past week and that is largely due to the fact that Miami is running the ball with Dan the Man Campbell coaching the team. If you think about it, Miller had all 41.6 of his points in the first half last week and then didn’t play a down in the second half, what could he have been worth?
  • Rishard Matthews – This guy has been killing it as a sleeper on both sites.  Look for another solid performance again tomorrow night!

To get all of our full projections just come here for Draftkings and here for FanDuel.

To play in one of our recommended Draftkings contest just click the image below:

Become a Member – Use Promo Code: WORD1 – and Get 25% Off Your 1st Month Just Click HERE!

Getting Smart With: The Best DiRT – 10-28-15

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I asked for weird baseball, and Game 1 of the World Series delivered. On Tuesday night, the Kansas City Royals and New York Mets played an epic marathon that ended in a Royals victory after 14 inni…

Source: Game 1 Of The World Series Was 14 Innings Of Weird | FiveThirtyEi


Right as Joe Buck was in the middle of reading a promo for a new show on Fox, the network’s World Series broadcast cut out Tuesday night, depriving audiences at home of a complete description of The Grinder.

Source: Relive Fox’s World Series Broadcast As Everything Went To Hell

It is still fun to watch the Warriors play basketball, plus three other things we learned on the NBA’s opening night.

Source: NBA scores 2015: Stephen Curry rips off 40 points on opening night and 3 other things we learned – SBNation.com

The 76ers are paying $26 million in dead salary just to hit the NBA’s salary floor. By doing so, they don’t have to pay the difference to players on the team.

Source: Philadelphia 76ers are paying $26 million in dead salary to hit salary floor – Business Insider

DeAngelo Williams and William Gay received fines for not raising cancer and domestic violence awareness in the league-mandated ways.

Source: The NFL is fining players for raising awareness about breast cancer and domestic violence – SBNation.com

About $4 million per year is donated to help former NFL players with medical expenses and financial hardship.

Source: Where does the money from NFL fines go? – SBNation.com

Minnesota coach Jerry Kill, who has dealt with the effects of epilepsy since 2005, has retired, effective immediately. Defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys will take over as interim coach.

Source: Jerry Kill retires as Minnesota Golden Gophers football coach

The East and West might appear to each have a veritable division championship, but remember when the Rebels beat Alabama? That still comes into play.

Source: Florida-UGA should decide the SEC East. The West has LSU-Bama, but don’t forget Ole Miss – SBNation.com

Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin were the perfect pair to bring the NHL to new levels of popularity, but the rivalry between the two greatest players of their generation dissolved over time.

Source: 10 years of Crosby and Ovechkin: Bad bounces derailed the rivalry | NHL | Sporting News

The prospects for the more than 300 employees laid off are bleak in a sports media industry riven by cutbacks, ageism and shrinking cable TV audiences.

Source: Soulful to soulless: Former ESPN employees blame overspending, Disney for layoffs


Source: Fantasy sports group aims to stem regulation by fixing self

pablo (10)


Getting Smart With The Best DiRT on Tuesday

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1. Nevermore

So Baltimore had a chance to tie the game until Count Flacc-ula threw an INT in the RedZone – just like in Denver.  Now the Ravens are 1-6 and all those losses have been by 8pts or less.  A few plays this way, other than that way and the Ravens could be 4-3 – but that’s football, and your record says who you say you are.  If Baltimore wants to defend Flacco for throwing that pick by saying they had no communication – then it is a sad statement that a Superbowl winning QB is incapable of making the right decisions on his own.  It’s ludicrous really and proves Flacco is who we thought he was.


2. Champion of the World

The World Series starts tonight and I find the NBA’s lack of patriotism disturbing.  Couldn’t the NBA wait until Wednesday to tip-off?  I mean does anyone really pay attention to the NBA until Christmas?  Me?  I’d rather watch Game 1.  Neither the Mets, nor the Royals have won since Reagan was President and there can only be one long-suffering fanbase that can party like it’s 1985, or ‘6

Schedule (with projected starters)

Game 1: Tuesday, Oct. 27, 7:30 p.m. ET air time, 8 p.m. game time, Kauffman Stadium, FOX (Harvey vs. Volquez)

Game 2: Wednesday, Oct. 28, 7:30 p.m. ET air time, 8 p.m. game time, Kauffman Stadium, FOX (deGrom vs. Cueto)

Game 3: Friday, Oct. 30, 7:30 p.m. ET air time, 8 p.m. game time, Citi Field, FOX (Ventura vs. Syndergaard)

Game 4: Saturday, Oct. 31, 7:30 p.m. ET air time, 8 p.m. game time, Citi Field, FOX (Young vs. Matz)

Game 5 (If necessary): Sunday, Nov. 1, 8 p.m. ET air time and game time, Citi Field, FOX (Volquez vs. Harvey)

Game 6 (If necessary): Tuesday, Nov. 3, 7:30 p.m. ET air time, 8 p.m. game time, Kauffman Stadium, FOX (deGrom vs. Cueto)

Game 7 (If necessary): Wednesday, Nov. 4, 7:30 p.m. ET air time, 8 p.m. game time, Kauffman Stadium, FOX (Syndergaard vs. Ventura)

  •  HOW THE WORLD SERIES WILL PLAY OUT – You can’t predict what’s going to happen in a random best-of-seven baseball sample any more than you could have predicted that Ruben Amaro Jr. would become a first-base coach or Ben Cherington would become an Ivy League professor.  Baseball’s weird, and we like it that way.  But baseball’s also fun. Or at least, it’s supposed to be. And what’s more fun than faulty predictions that could very well be rendered moot almost immediately? I can’t think of anything (though I admit that I’m not thinking very hard).I’m thinking, instead, about this World Series between the Royals and Mets, a fascinating contrast of clubs that defied expectations in their own way to get here. Are the Royals going to fulfill what they have long contended to be their destiny in this Fall Classic follow-up to last year’s Madison Bumgarner Show? Or are the Mets going to complete their shock to the system and go all the way, a la 1986?

    Here’s one attempt at an answer, game by game. Accuracy and satisfaction are not guaranteed……(continue reading)

Three questions for the Royals-(h/t Will Leitch)

Cueto? Cueto? Cueto? Johnny Cueto may be the key to the whole series for the Royals. If he pitches like he did in Game 5 against Houston, the Royals have the ace they so desperately need against a rotation like the Mets’. But if he pitches like he did in Game 3 against Toronto — in which he looked like a baseball diamond was the last place in the world he wanted to be — the whole thing might implode. If Cueto is terrible again in Game 2, the Royals probably won’t feel comfortable sending him back out again (they’re already avoiding him at Citi Field, a wise move) for a potential Game 6, which means they’re scraping the Kris Medlan bottom of the barrel at that point. The Royals either have a top-tier starter or a total disaster; they have no idea which. The answer might decide the series.

Can they catch up to the fastballs? Grantland’s Ben Lindbergh noted that the Royals hit fastballs asAltX.Logo.white well as any team in Major League Baseball. They might not prefer to face 98-mph flamethrowers every game, but if somebody has to, they’re probably the team to do it. As Lindbergh put it, “New York’s pitching strength plays right into the hands of Kansas City’s flame-retardant lineup.” Now, the Mets will happily take their chances with Harvey, Syndergaard and deGrom. But this perhaps the one team in all of baseball who will give them the most trouble.

Will we see any Ryan Madson? The Royals rode their three-headed monster bullpen of Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland last year all the way to Game Seven of the World Series. But this year, one of the heads has been lopped off: Holland had Tommy John surgery last month. He has
been replaced by Madson who was effective most of this year but has turned to dust this postseason: He has given up four homers in six games, which is a problem considering he only gave up five in 68 games during the regular season. If Ned Yost can’t trust him, he’ll have to stretch both Herrera and Davis and maybe get a little more creative than necessarily is in his comfort zone. The Royals’ biggest strength is still that bullpen … but it’s not as big a strength as it was last year.

Three questions for the Mets-(h/t Will Leitch)

Is there enough offense if Daniel Murphy cools down? Look, if Murphy continues to hit like Barry Bonds, the Mets are sweeping this series. But eventually — perhaps after this extended period of time off — he will remember that he is Daniel Murphy. Will the Mets hit well enough if he becomes a normal hitter again? Curtis Granderson, Lucas Duda (before Game 4), Travis d’Arnaud and Michael Conforto have all had their struggles at the plate this postseason, and Yoenis Cespedes, the fulcrum around which the whole offense pivots, isn’t completely healthy. The Mets’ offense has been a headache all season, something disguised by their late-season run, but still an issue. Murphy has made the offense look better than it is.

Can they get the game to Jeurys Familia? The Mets closer has ramped up his game in the playoffs: He has given up only two hits (and no runs) in 9 2/3 innings this postseason. But the setup guys have been a little shakier. Addison Reed, Tyler Clippard, Erik Goeddel, Jon Niese and Hansel Robles don’t put the fear of God into anyone, and Terry Collins has begun calling on Bartolo Colon in key situations. Colon is a delight and has been effective so far in the postseason … but you’re still playing with fire if you count on him for key outs. The Mets’ plan is basically to have their starters get to Familia, and that’s not a terrible plan. But if they need innings in the middle, it could get scary.

Who’s the DH? Of all the National League teams that made the playoffs, the Mets are least well-positioned for the extra batter in the lineup, which they’ll have for potentially four games this series. Kelly Johnson will get the nod in Game 1. But he won’t exactly have the Royals reaching for the Maalox, nor will Kirk Nieuwenhuis or Michael Cuddyer, should Collins decide to switch things up in Game 2. This is a general problem with the Mets’ bench, actually; other than Juan Lagares as a defensive replacement, there isn’t much there. This also makes you even more worried about Cespedes’ health.

pablo (10)


NFL Week 7 Retrospectacle: Injury-Prone Plays Aren’t Worth the Risk

Should you depend on injury-prone players in fantasy football. Not during NFL Week 7, and Eric Mack has the proof as to why you shouldn’t.

Foster, Australian for injured. We don’t mean to make light of Arian Foster’s latest injury misfortune, but his tales of woe are a potential teaching moment for fantasy footballplayers.

Players might not have a chronic injury, but some who are just chronically injured.

“Just a routine play,” Foster said of his Achilles’ tear that ends his season and might end his career, per the Houston Chronicle’s John McClain. “I made a cut, and it gave out. It’s not good. That’s life, man. You keep fighting.”

When Foster was being drafted in season-long leagues around Round 8 with his ominous preseason groin injury, we wrote it would be just a matter of time before something else hamstrung Foster. There are players who just cannot stay healthy, it seems……(continue reading)

Source: NFL Week 7 Retrospectacle: Injury-Prone Plays Aren’t Worth the Risk