Teaching You How to #Win – Heavy Favorites/Top Over-Under/Matchups to Exploit Week 17

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Heaviest Favorites

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

  • Carolina at home against Tampa Bay – 11.5
  • Pittsburgh -11.5 at Cleveland
  • New England -11.5 at Miami

The three top favorite games all have impact into playoff positioning with two of these teams vying for home field throughout the playoffs with Carolina and New England. Both teams are playing below average teams that have nothing to play for other than they are divisional opponents so they certainly would like to throw a wrench in mix. As for Cleveland, Manziel pulled yet another idiotic move over the holiday weekend and now you just have to wonder, how did this kid even get into college? How much did his daddy have to pay Texas A&M for him to be able to play. I admit, even I thought he had a shot at being an electrifying playing in the NFL just like he was in college but look at his transgressions. So Austin Davis will most likely get the start and that bodes well for a Pittsburgh blowout. Unlike the Ravens who came to play last week and Big Ben did not, this one is for their season. Look for the Pittsburgh offense to roll the Browns and even the Steelers defense should be a consideration this week. For Carolina, it’s their defense and Cam Newton, you cannot rely on anyone else this weekend with Olsen and Stewart having some injury issues the past couple of weeks. In New England, Tom Brady could be owned by less than 10% of the field this weekend and he has owned Miami in his career. Not to mention the Dolphins haven’t stopped anyone in the past 4 weeks and with New England looking to secure the top seed in the AFC, Gronkowski and White are also players you should be looking at on Sunday morning.


Top Overall Game Over/Under

The highest projected contest this week is….rolling the dice……oh wait we already know it’s the Saints and whoever they face. This week it is the Atlanta Falcons, who are coming off a strong performance, taking down the undefeated Panthers last weekend. The problem in this game is the only thing that matters is the rivalry. These teams hate each other more than any other rivalry, they just don’t get the press that some of these other teams get. This matchup has an over of 53 and that is 6 points higher than any other game this weekend and that means that stacks on this matchup should be something you consider more so than any other game. Players that are on the board are Julio Jones, Matt Ryan and Freeman from the Falcons, Hightower, Brees, Watson and Cooks for the Saints. Personally, I like the Falcons players more so than the Saints, the exception being Hightower as most wouldn’t know this but the Falcons are #1 against the WR position this season in terms of fantasy performance. What the Falcons cannot stop is the RB and TE position. In their last contest, earlier in the season Ben Watson and Mark Ingram had over 26 fantasy points each in that contest while Brees and Cooks, not so much. Matt Ryan and any other top 20 QB that has played the Saints this season has scored at least 25 fantasy points. Julio Jones is shooting for a 16 catch 208 yard performance in order to be the single season all-time record holder for yards and receptions in the NFL. Take these guys and watch your score go above the 150 mark and use our Lineup Analyzer™ to get some recommendations for the rest.


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 Defense to Exploit:  New York Giants projected (296.69)
  • Rushing Defense to Exploit:  San Francisco projected (121.16) 
  • Overall Defense to Exploit:  New York Giants projected (421.32)

These KPI’s are pointing to a huge scoring game between the Eagles and the Giants. In fact, DC*3PO’s top projected yardage output is the Giants and the Eagles at 839.07 total yards. This means taking OBJ and Jordan Matthews, along with Ertz should pan out well for you. The question for the Eagles is what offense are they going to run. Look for Murray to get the bulk of the carries in the backfield this weekend as the Eagles look to determine if they should keep Murray for next season. If Gurley plays, you must play him, if he doesn’t going with the backup in St. Louis while risky, what isn’t on week 17, Tre Mason, will tear apart that terrible run defense of the 49ers. In fact, we should all hope that Gurley sits this one out so we can all have the cheapest RB play that will get 20+ fantasy points on Sunday.

Check back on Sunday morning as I will reveal our expert picks for this weekends games! Don’t forget to start your FREE TRIAL today just click here and use promo code WIN for a special discount.

 

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Happy New Year!!! – #BestMemoriesOf2015

Happy New Year

For last year’s words belong to last year’s language – And next year’s words await another voice.  We at the DiRT Canon would like to wish you an excellent new year – It’s a lot of fun putting this together and we thank you for joining us – 2016 is gonna rock – in the meantime, take a trip down memory lane and enjoy our “most read of 2015″…

1.

DiRTy Gras

Fear and Loathing at Carnival…

When the going get weird the weird turn pro, as Raoul Duke famously said, and I am a 7-time gold medalist on this caravan.  Still awake and doing my damndest to earn another shot at the medal-stand; I have yet to sleep from properly marking Lundi Gras with a Red Letter and have no plans stopping this party-train until the final whistle of Mardi Gras blows.  But, I do find myself in reflective thought…

Thoughts like did I miss anything on Sunday? Was the ‘over’ in the NBA All-Star Game good? Who invented liquid soap and why?  Where’s my attorney and at what time does this stop being legal?……(continue reading)

Source: DiRTy Gras | The Dirt Canon Blog

2.

Monday Dreg

105cb-brandon

A few of us found ourselves within the friendly confines of the DiRT Canon Safehouse on Sunday, with loads of charcuteurie, queso, other roasted animals and an assortment of football snacks to soak up whatever concoctions were being offered in celebration of professional football’s second holiest day. What we witnessed was a referendum on choking and how danger”Russ” it can be.

First the Colts, because that game provided as much drama as I’m sure Taken 3 provided, and why is it “Taken” anything? It should have been titled Murder 1, as in the mom is dead and no one is taken anywhere…anyway…The legacy of the Patriots, beyond the winning, is how they do it.  The Patriots conduct an approach that is different than most teams – meaning they will attack your STRENGTH more often than they will probe your weakness – that’s counter to what most teams do in this league and that is finding your weakest link and exploiting it until the link breaks.  For Wild Bill Belichick it’s different, he will savagely attack the strongest link in your chain.  He doesn’t want the link broken, he wants the whole chain crippled.  That is how the patriots confuse people and that is how they beat Indy’s brains in – like a carnival game of whack-a-mole – Bill took a lead-pipe to the Colts’ passing attack and kept whacking until the deformity was so severe, that the soul of the Colts had to be amputated……(continue reading)

Source: Monday Dreg | The Dirt Canon Blog

3.

3rd Stone from the Sun

There are many hard lessons to be learned from the “degenerate” experience, but the harshest one of them all is the difference between having Fun and being Smart.  It is the difference between Winning and Losing, on most days, and on Saturday theFinal Four will be a lesson for fun-loving Losers.  It does not matter if you haveWisconsin or Michigan St winning it all.  Nor does it matter if you have Duke orKentucky – the line for both games is 5 and if anyone tells you they know how it all plays out with certainty, well…you’ve been warned.

Saturday has never been kind or forgiving to these people.  They are taught all their lives that Saturday Night is when even idiots can cut loose and take risks that would be out of the question on any other night.  Get drunk, shoot guns, dance naked in public, or even crouch in your basement and hack into the NSA database…

If Sunday is the Lord’s day, then Saturday belongs to the devil……(continue reading)

Source: 3rd Stone from the Sun | The Dirt Canon Blog

4.

DiRT Poor

Never noticed how much Ryan Leaf looks like Matt Ryan

It has been said that the NFL stands for (N)ot (F)or (L)ong – so I thought we could look at the biggest (NFL)’s by each team, list is compiled by Charlie Campbell.  Be careful, these busts could bring up past feelings of hurt and woe…Let me know if I missed anyone – what are your thoughts?……(continue reading)

Source: DiRT Poor | The Dirt Canon Blog

5.

Memorial DiRT

To some, this three-day weekend means a break from work, a chance to go camping or maybe buy a new mattress at 40% off.  The last Monday in May is also marked as the official beginning of Summer – hot dogs, BBQ, swimming pools etc…That’s all fine, it’s part of the glory that makes us American – because we can.  As Patriots, we should also take a moment from our leisurely celebrations, to remember those that gave the ultimate sacrifice for this nation, along with the families of those that fell.  To those that preserved this nation, preserved our interests, and preserved our ideals that all men are created equal.  If true Patriotism is loving your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it – as Mark Twain said – then raise a glass to those that help defend and replenish the Tree of Liberty……(continue reading)

Source: Memorial DiRT | The Dirt Canon Blog

6.

Is the Taylor Swift Curse Real?

1. At Any Price?

Home Teams in the playoffs are now 0-4, and apparently there is a Taylor Swift 1989 tour going around spoiling the fun – Read more about it here.  Take Note Ranger Fan, Swift-y plays in Arlington a week from tomorrow.  As for David Price, he let Rougned Odor and Robinson Chirinos go deep – they are the #8 and #9 hitters – Price is now 0-6 all-time in the #MLBPostseason.  Randy Johnson once lost 7 in-a-row, but I do not see Price changing his spots anytime soon.

The Baseball post-season is now in full-swing – today we have 4 games, and with that, the last time we will have this many games in one day, for the rest of 2015, I suspect.  The BlueJays try to get back on track……(continue reading)

Source: Is the Taylor Swift Curse Real? | The Dirt Canon Blog

7.

Juicing your week 3 #NFL lineup like #adderallprobs

durantQB

DiRTy Plays NFL week 3

The season is underway and I know you are still looking to become a millionaire, whether you play on Draftkings or FanDuel, let us help. As we look at tournaments to target, build your player profile, we are also going to provide you with our experts’ picks as they bring you #TheBeSTDiRT for building your lineups each and every week. So let’s breakdown week 3 for Draftkings & FanDuel!……(continue reading)

Source: Juicing your week 3 #NFL lineup like #adderallprobs | The Dirt Canon Blog

8.

…Let there be DiRT

To some, the story goes…In the beginning the Lord created the Heavens and the Earth…and said let there be light, and there was, and it was good…then he decided to create Tebow and made him a QB and it was, meh.  Tim is maybe, one of the greatest college football quarterbacks, based on results, that constantly willed his team to victory, more than his talent.  In the record books, Tim has one-less playoff victory with the Denver Broncos than does Peyton Williams Manning.  That’s were the legend was born for most non-football fans that follow his exploits like methed-out Grateful Dead fans – except instead of a dead-head-sticker on their Cadillac, they were their love around their necks.  We all have a friend or two, that adore this man like no other – someone who would sacrifice an entire Fantasy Footballdraft/season to give him a roster spot, just to say, they drafted Tim Tebow.  No denying, Tim moves the needle……(continue reading)

Source: …Let there be DiRT | The Dirt Canon Blog

9.

DiRTy DiMEs Tuesday

maninironmask

Today, I wanted to take some time and provide you all with a breakdown of the last five games as it pertains to each position for your Daily NBA Fantasy games.  Each day I look to provide you with Absolute Must Haves, Notables and Sleepers. Within each of these categories I will look to provide you with players that you should consider taking in each night’s games, who will out perform their projection and how injuries will impact other players performance for that night.  In addition to this daily insight, I am going to provide you a weekly breakdown of players by position as it pertains to both Fan Duel and DraftKings.  So let’s take a look at the Overall Performances over the last 5 games for Fan Duel.  The overall, number one, player was Anthony Davis.  He comes in slightly higher than Westbrook but it should be noted that Davis did not play in all 5 games as such his average is based on last 3 games.  The notable players that I want to highlight for you are Brook Lopez and Eric Bledsoe.  Both of these players……(continue reading)

Source: DiRTy DiMEs Tuesday | The Dirt Canon Blog

10.

Clear as Mud

The Past is a statement, the Future a question.  Hopes rise and dreams flicker and die.  Love plans for tomorrow and the widowed think of yesterday.  Life is beautiful and living is hardship.  The sound of music flows down a dark street.  Like a tornado ripping thru your home and granting passage to a whole new world of colorful possibilities, only to realize it was all a delusion from the concussion you suffered because you rode your bike without a helmet – Ive seen it a hundred times.  Then the New Year began for the NFL.

Within 30min yesterday, the day moved from rumor and innuendo to surrealistic glee.  It was like watching a live chicken being dropped in a snake pit.  So with emancipated joy NFL GM’s traded away talent, signed perishable goods and threw fanbases off their bandwagons.  The Chipster trading Nick Foles for Sam Bradford and further having fans asking “whats up with that?”  The thing for me about Chip is this, he’s gonna succeed or drown doing it his way and you have to admire that.  Chip is channeling his inner Sinatra and good for him, but it’s hard to have faith in his conviction that X’s and O’s are better than Jimmy’s and Joe’s – scheme is cool Chipster, but players win titles…...(continue reading)

Source: Clear as Mud | The Dirt Canon Blog

11.

Bucket O’DiRT

hi-res-454303525-lesean-mccoy-of-the-philadelphia-eagles-carries-the_crop_exact

You gotta feel for Shady McCoy being done DiRTy like that, being sent to football’s wasteland to play for Rex Ryan.  Overnight the Eagles traded Lesean McCoy and although we talked about that happening, we believed Chip was going to take a different player from Oregon – instead of moving up to take Mariota, he got Kiko Alonso.

So Buffalo gets a Pro Bowl RB in his 7th season – to a team that has no real QB – expected to be a work-horse in a system that he may not be designed to handle.  Shady is not a rex-ryan-run-heavy type of running back, and this now signals the end for CJ Spiller, and although he has to look for a job – Im sure he revels in getting out.

Philly improves their defense with a……(continue reading)

Source: Bucket O’DiRT | The Dirt Canon Blog

12.

Monday Dregs

nba

Going into the weekend, we had the NBA trade deadline that usually ends up being a shell game of bad contracts and stiffs.  No one would blame you if you looked away to make some late-afternoon nachos and and come back to Sportscenter to yell “what the hell just happened?” Indeed.  What did happen? It seems that Dragic was the fuse to the whole powder keg and the rest of the league got covered in guts.  From there it was a mad dash to the grocery store in a blizzard for some teams, forgoing the essentials and heading straight for the items that make you glad you have sweatpants.

If you needed anymore proof of how valuable Lebron James is, look no further than the Heat trade.  Without Lebron, Miami has been struggling and needed to do something to make the bottom rung of the eastern conference playoff tree – Getting Dragic makes the Heat a better team but barely more than the 7th seed in the East, and he leaves to be a free-agent at the end of they year.  Meanwhile, the Cavs are playing the best ‘ball’ in the NBA right now and they’re currently 2 games out from the 2nd seed.  When last season they could only manage 33 total wins and missed the ‘offs……(continue reading)

Source: Monday Dregs | The Dirt Canon Blog

Teaching You How to #Win – NFL Week 17 Absolutes

name of site - hunter thompson styleWeek 17 Absolutes 

Fantasy Sports News

The FSTA has built a grassroots website, FantasySportsForAll.com. I encourage you to go there now, while reading this and sign the petition.


Absolute Must Have

Julio Jones leads this category as our to #AbsoluteMustHave for both FanDuel and DraftKings this week. Let’s face it, this guy has been on an all-time tear this season. His worst fantasy performance was 5 catches for 46 yards in week 3. Besides that he hasn’t put up less than 14 fantasy points in any other game this season on DraftKings. This week, he goes for both the yardage and the receptions in a season record as he needs 16 catches for 224 yards in order to achieve that feat. No the best part is that he gets to play against a historically awful pass defense in the New Orleans Saints. Neither team has anything to play for so look for these records to have an impact into play calling and certainly your daily fantasy team. You should have him across the board this week.

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

 


Absolute Notable

For FanDuel and DraftKings our top #AbsoluteNotable for week 17 is Matt Ryan. He gets the 32nd ranked pass defense in the Saints and as we mentioned before, Julio is on pace for some historic records both in passing yards and receptions. Surprisingly Ryan, while he is #5 in passing yards on the season, has yet to be a top 5 fantasy performer this season in any given week. He has been a solid top 10 but not in the top 5, look for him to be the top performer this week. It should also be noted that Matt Ryan has lit up the Saints in his past 5 of his last 6 outings he has been able to surpass 25 fantasy points and gone over 400 yards in two of those contests. This should be a solid play and for the $5,500 on DraftKings this should be a no brainer for you to play this combo as they should surpass 65 fantasy points combined with ease this week and finish out the season on a strong note winning their final 3 contests. Had they done anything against the easiest schedule in the league during the middle of the season this team could have been a contender in the NFC.
***Reminder Notables are salaries between $5,200 and $7,800

 


Absolute Sleeper

fanduel

For our last category we have our #AbsoluteSleeper on FanDuel, if you are looking to go cheap yet productive, Jeremy Langford is your guy. Consider the fact that Forte left the last game with yet another injury, the Bears have nothing to play for and they are most likely moving on from Forte after the $, look for Langford to be active and have a major role in this contest. His $4,900 salary cannot be denied. As we move over to DraftKings we will look at both the RB and WR position for this weekend and give you two ideas for #SleepersAt RB, Pierre Thomas is our #1 Sleeper with a salary of only $3,400 and playing for a Washington team that has nothing to play. This means Matt Jones will certainly rest this weekend and look for Alfred Morris to play sparingly at best, this means a lot of touches for Thomas, who also snagged 7 catches in their last game and put up a 15.9 fantasy performance. Another RB to consider this week is CJ Anderson for the Broncos. Denver still has some seeding to resolve and the Charges rush defense is not very good. If you need a cheap play that will get plenty of touches on Sunday, look for Anderson to go over 100 yards and get 1 TD this weekend and for his $3,700 salary, you can’t beat that. Transitioning over to WR, we have Jordan Matthews. Yes, Chip Kelly is gone but that doesn’t mean the Eagles are going to do anything all that different this Sunday. It’s still a rivalry game and the Giants defense can’t stop anyone right now. Look for the $4,700 Matthews to have a huge role this Sunday, he could get over 12 targets and that should lead to 125+ yards and 1+ TD. That will give you at least 20 fantasy points on Sunday.

Get your full FanDuel Absolutes report for week 17 here.

Ger your full DraftKings Absolutes report for week 17 here.

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Teaching You How to #Win – NFL Week 16 Results

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Tuesday December 29nd, 2015

We want to hear from you.  Please fill out this poll so we can continue to enhance your experience and give you what you want.

To take all of our polls, please come here.


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 – 68.8%
  2. Season Contests have won 44 of 64
  3. Profit – $1,175
  4. Highest Finish  Week 16 $100 NFL Blitz – 229 of 1,555
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 – 66.4%
  2. Season Contests have won 283 of 426
  3. Profit – $3,625
  4. Highest Finish Week 16 $5 http://www.theDiRTCanon.com Contest – 1 of 20
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 – 55.8%
  2. Season Contests 1,806 of 3,234
  3. Needed Score to cash in main event – 157.28
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 – top 3rd win. Congratulations to our expert jeremyc1524 who won our contest with an amazing score of 143.22. If you would like for us to create more contests, just click here and give us your feedback – we want to hear from you!


FD_DC_20PlayerContest_wk16


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 – 74.2%
  2. Season Contests have won 49 of 66
  3. Profit – $2,055
  4. Highest Finish Week 16 $5 Main Contest – 487 of 276,000
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 – 62.1%
  2. Season Contests have won 305 of 491
  3. Profit – $9,993
  4. Highest Finish Week 16 $3 Double Bubble – 39 of 19,166
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 – 60.3%
  2. Season Contests 2,214 of 3,667
  3. Needed Score to cash in $5 main event – 147.58
Draftkings DiRT Canon Contest

This week we did 3 total contests, our standard 75 player top 5 payout, 50 player 50/50 contests and then a 20 player top 5 payout.  The results are below:


DK_DC_75PlayerContest_wk16DK_DC_50PlayerContest_wk16DK_DC_20PlayerContest_wk16
If you want to play head2head against one of our experts, contact us here and provide your username, we will send you a contest.


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: WIN – and Start your Free Trial Today Just Click HERE!

What You Need To Know For Wednesday, Dec. 30 2015

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nationwide_college map

1.

Degenerate Me

Last weekend was a monster for us junkies, despite what looked like insane violence on many football fields – or is it because of it? (shrugs shoulders)  Only the wetheads worry about blood on the grass during times like these, when the football gets better each week and the money you pillage from suckers, lines your pockets like fine silk.  The best being yet to come, except for maybe place like Cleveland and San Francisco who are more like bloated dead bodies floating along the ethereal abyss.

Playing with House-Money has always been risky – however, last week was swimming with sharks.  Many high-altitude rollers got eaten alive on Sunday – those that survived were clubbed like baby seals, causing an eruption of fear and grief in homesteads from coast to coast.  Strong men wept, and women hurled themselves savagely down dirty stairwells in filthy towns like Boston and Cleveland – Cripes, even in the frozen snow out here in the Rockies.

But me?  My own luck was splendid, as the Marquis used to say, as I repeatedly fleeced and humiliated two of the cruelest and most depraved degenerates in America, the infamous McCutcheon brothers from Pittsburgh.  T’was wonderful.  The arrogant swine got exactly what they deserved – a massive public beating they will never forget.  They came out here with huge wads of ca$h and revenge in their hearts for the losses they suffered last year in the very same bunker – where their doom is a constant companion.  It’s even worse during bowl-season.

2.

C’Ya Chipster

Good luck Chipster – your 1st lesson as a professional was a hard one.  You found out that going 10-6, 10-6 and 6-9 don’t mean much in Philly.  Never you mind that the Eagles have no idea how to win, because they haven’t since…….ummm, hold on, it’s right here in my notes….oh yeah, 1960.  It was 20 years later since they returned to play for a title, and another 24 until the next one – losing both – so it’s likely not until 2024 that they contend anyway.

Besides looking for another job in the #NFL – Tennessee, maybe? – you have to deal with Screamin’A dustin’ off an old narrative; as he did appearing on Mike and Mike this morning telling a classic Screamin’A story about a time he was “stopped on the street” by some Eagles players who came up to him and started talking about Chip Kelly.  Sensationalism!

The point is – you had all the control Chip and made some shaky decisions and never quite won enough to earn the cache you need.  Just remember, Bill was run out of Cleveland and it also took awhile in Foxboro before he became the man he is today – You just keep it 100 Chipster and if it doesn’t work out here, you’ll have your pick of places in college – like Baton Rouge if Les doesn’t change.

+ GOODBYE, MR. CHIP: PHILLY FIRES KELLY – Read More

LF=212yds 5TD’s

3.

(Can’t) Hold That Tiger

The Tigers wrapped up a very memorable, drama-filled football season with a record-setting 56-27 win over Texas Tech in the Advocare Texas Bowl, and it sure does feel good. One could argue that last night’s game doesn’t mean a whole heck of a lot, but after losing three of the previous four bowl games, and enduring a three-game losing streak in the month of November, it’s nice to head into the offseason on a high note. With last night’s win, the Tigers ended the season 9-3, and let’s not forget that this would have almost certainly been a 10-win season had the season-opener against McNeese State been played.

Source: Dandy Don’s LSU Recruiting and Sports News – LSU Football and More!

4.

Today in History

On December 30, 1978, Ohio State University (OSU) makes the decision to fire its 65-year-old football coach, Woody Hayes, one day after Hayes punched a player on the opposing team near the end of the Gator Bowl.

Source: OSU fires coach Woody Hayes for attacking an opposing player – Dec 30, 1978

5.

Out of Chaos Comes Order

Social issues are a minefield for athletes.  Michael Jordan was never going to be confused for Kareem when it came to social justice and attitudes.  No one is, and athletes that came after never wanted to jeopardize their image to their corporate masters – just as players today are more conscious of their “brand” then they are at times with their play.

Yet, Lebron speaks out after advocates ask him to strike games to honor Tamir Rice – is this what we want our athletes to do when every social crisis occurs?  Read more here.

Source: LeBron Speaks Out After Advocates Ask Him To Strike Games To Honor Tamir Rice

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6.

The More You Know

Week 17 – Situational Trends

By Week 17 Vegas knows which teams are truly bad. In the last five years, home underdogs of a touchdown or greater in the last week of the regular season have gone 1-33 SU and 14-20 (41%) ATS.

  • Games Matching this Criteria: Browns (+10) vs. Steelers and Dolphins (+9) vs. Patriots.

The Cardinals and Chiefs are on fire each having won nine straight games. The last 30 teams to win that many games in a row went 22-8 straight-up in their next matchup but 12-17-1 (41%) against-the-spread.

  • Games Matching this Criteria: Chiefs (-6.5) vs. Raiders and Cardinals (-4.5) vs. Seahawks.

Tom Brady and the Patriots don’t lose often but when they do, New England typically wins (40-10 straight-up) and covers (34-16 against-the-spread – 68%) the next week.

  • Games Matching this Criteria: Patriots (-9) at Dolphins.

  • ATL -4 vs. NO The Falcons are 7-3 against-the-spread in their last ten games as home favorites against the Saints.
  • AZ -4.5 vs. SEA Carson Palmer is 7-1-1 against-the-spread at home with Arizona against non-divisional opponents but 3-3 ATS vs. the NFC West.
  • BAL +7 @ CIN In the last five years, AFC North teams that have been underdogs of a touchdown or greater to the Bengals are 0-5 straight-up and 1-3-1 ATS.
  • BUF +3 vs. NYJ The Bills are 8-2 against-the-spread in their last ten home games against the AFC East.
  • CAR -10.5 vs. TB Cam Newton has never lost as a touchdown or greater favorite, he is 11-0 straight-up and 6-5 ATS.
  • CHI -1 vs. DET The Bears are 2-7-1 against-the-spread in their last ten games against the Lions.
  • CIN -7 vs. BAL The Bengals are playing for a bye in the AFC. All-time, teams that have been favored by a touchdown over the Ravens are 5-1 straight-up.
  • CLE +10 vs. PIT Cleveland has lost eight straight as double-digit underdogs against AFC North rivals but the Browns went 5-3 ATS in those games.
  • DAL -3 vs. WAS The Cowboys are 1-5 against-the-spread at home this year and are now 3-11 ATS the last three years when Tony Romo doesn’t start.
  • DEN -7.5 vs. SD Denver is 3-6-1 against-the-spread in its last ten home games as touchdown or greater favorites.
  • DET +1 @ CHI Detroit is 2-18 straight-up in its last 20 games as road dogs against the NFC North, the Lions went 9-10-1 ATS in those games.
  • GB -3 vs. MIN The Packers can clinch the NFC North with a win, Aaron Rodgers is 18-4 straight-up (14-7-1 ATS) vs. the division as a home favorite.
  • HOU -6.5 vs. JAX The Texans clinch the AFC South with a win, Houston is 15-7 straight-up all-time as a home favorite against the division.
  • IND -6 vs. TEN Indy needs a win (plus a lot of help) to make the playoffs. The Colts are just 3-4 straight-up (3-4 ATS) in home games this year.
  • JAX +6.5 @ HOU The Jags have been road dogs in 13 straight games vs. division opponents. Jacksonville went 8-4 ATS in its previous 12 games.
  • KC -6.5 vs. OAK KC has won nine straight (including four in a row vs. the AFC West) and is 7-2 against-the-spread during the winning streak.
  • MIA +9 vs. NE The Dolphins have been underdogs to the Patriots in 25 straight games, Miami went 11-13 ATS in the previous 24 contests.
  • MIN +3 @ GB The Vikings can clinch the NFC North with a win but Minnesota hasn’t won in Green Bay since 2010 and is 1-4-1 ATS in its last six games in Lambeau.
  • NE -9 @ MIA New England clinches home-field advantage with a win, the Pats have won 18 straight as touchdown favorites vs. the AFC East ( but are only 6-10-2 ATS)
  • NO +7 @ ATL This is the fifth straight division game in which the Saints have been underdogs, New Orleans covered the previous four.
  • NYG -3 vs. PHI The Giants are 2-8 ATS in the team’s last ten home games against the Eagles.
  • NYJ -3 @ BUF The Jets can clinch a playoff berth with a win against the Bills but New York has lost and failed to cover in four straight vs. Buffalo.
  • OAK +6.5 @ KC The Raiders are 14-6 against-the-spread in the team’s last 20 road games against division rivals.
  • PHI +3 @ NYG Philly is 8-2 against-the-spread in its last ten road games as underdogs against division opponents.
  • PIT -10 @ CLE Big Ben has been a double-digit road favorite seven times in his career and failed to cover in each game (including losing outright last week).
  • SD +7.5 @ DEN Philip Rivers has won six of his last ten trips to Denver and the Chargers went 7-1-2 against-the-spread in those games.
  • SEA +4.5 @ AZ In Russell Wilson’s career, the Seahawks following a loss in the regular season are 11-6 against-the-spread the next week.
  • SF +3.5 vs. STL The 49ers have been home dogs to the Rams 11 times. San Francisco is 3-8 straight-up and 5-5-1 ATS.
  • STL -3.5 @ SF The Rams aren’t favored on the road often (just 10 times in the last ten years), but when they are St. Louis covers (7-3 ATS).
  • TB +10.5 @ CAR The Bucs have lost six straight as double-digit dogs to divisional rivals but Tampa Bay went 3-3 against-the-spread in those games.
  • TEN +6 @ IND The Titans have failed to cover in seven straight road games against division rivals (1-6 straight-up as well).
  • WAS +3 @ DAL The Washington professional football team is 8-2 ATS in its last ten trips to Dallas.

5 Things To Know: Tuesday Morning Quarterback

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1. That’s How You Lose?

From almost disaster to celebration for the Broncos last night.  That kick though, by Mcmanus at the end of regulation – Cripes!  It almost cost them, but hey at least Denver figured out how to play in the 2nd half – problem is, it seems they haven’t played a full game since the Packers.

For me, the issue becomes less about Osweiler or Manning – it’s Denver’s line play.  The playoffs are a different animal and the inability to protect the QB, or run the ball consistently, or consistently generate a pass rush could lead the Broncos chances in the playoffs as a little more than Fool’s Gold.

Yes we have seen flashes of the line holding up, running the ball and sacks.  But look back at the playoff game against the Colts last year in Denver.  Ware and Miller never touched Luck and if you’re gonna play that much man-to-man coverage you need pressure on the other-team’s QB, if you can’t run the ball.  This team has something going for it, it’ll just depend if they can put it all together long enough to make it to Superbowl L.  It could be worse, you could be the Bengals and just keep watching guys go down like the Edmund Fitzgerald – if McCarron is hurt they’ll have to start what’s-his-name – here are some more thoughts about the game, with help from Elias Sports Bureau.

Broncos are the comeback kings of 2015

The Bengals led 14-0 late in the second quarter, but the Broncos came back to win 20-17 in overtime. It was Denver’s third win this season in a game in which it trailed by at least 14 points. No other team has won more than one such game in 2015.

Cincinnati had won its previous 29 contests in which it led by at least eight points since losing to Chicago in the first week of the 2013 season. That had been the longest active streak in the NFL.

+ Another long go-ahead TD run by Anderson

C.J. Anderson’s 39-yard touchdown run gave the Broncos a fourth-quarter lead in their overtime win over the Bengals. There have been three go-ahead rushing touchdowns of 30-plus yards in the fourth quarter or overtime this season, and Anderson has been responsible for two of them; he scampered 48 yards for the winning score in overtime against the Patriots in Week 12. The other run of that type in 2015 belongs to Marcus Mariota, who ran 87 yards against the Jaguars in Week 13.

Dunlap sets Bengals sack record

Carlos Dunlap sacked Brock Osweiler three times Monday, bringing his career total of quarterback takedowns to 49. Dunlap, who has spent his entire career with the Bengals, passed Eddie Edwards (47½) for the most sacks in team history (the NFL has recorded this statistic for individual players since 1982). Cincinnati is the only current franchise for which no player has produced 50 sacks.

2. FanDuel – 2×4’s and Milk

Source: NFL Week 16 Retrospectacle: Making Sense of Topsy Turvy Fantasy Action

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Arizona Cardinals Defense (33.0)—Nine sacks, four turnovers and two touchdowns in a rout of Rodgers, of all quarterbacks. You cannot love this play on FanDuel against the Seattle Seahawks next Sunday, but wouldn’t most have thought the same thing against Rodgers?

QB Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars (31.22)—He still turns the ball over way too much for the Jags to be an elite contender or to be immune to the matchups, but you have to love the way he came through in the dream matchup against the New Orleans Saints defense. Bortles posted his sixth 300-yard game and his fifth game of three-plus touchdowns. We cannot recommend him against the Houston Texans defense in Week 17, but he is going to be a top-eight fantasy starter for 2016.

RB Tim Hightower, New Orleans Saints (30.4)—A long-time fantasy goner making countless fantasy owners champions, posting 169 combined yards with three receptions and two touchdowns. Who’da thunk this one? He’s even more surprising from August to December than Bortles. Hightower looks like a solid FanDuel play against the Atlanta Falcons run defense that has given up a league-high 19 rushing touchdowns.

RB DeAngelo Williams, Pittsburgh Steelers (30.3)—In an offense that is counted on for huge fantasy passing numbers, the ageless Williams continues to deliver for FanDuel owners even in losses and tough statistical matchups. The Baltimore Ravens had only given up five rushing touchdowns to fantasy backs before Williams posted two, 153 combined yards and six receptions Sunday. The Steelers need a victory and help, so D-Will will be a huge FanDuel play in NFL Week 17 against the Cleveland Browns, the NFL’s worst run defense.

WR Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons (28.3)—The mark of a true fantasy star—one worth his salt on the FanDuel price list and a first-round candidate in season-long formats—is being immune to the matchups. Mark Jones down in the category after he torched Josh Norman’s Carolina Panthers for 9-178-1. He is 243 yards from breaking Calvin Johnson’s single-season receiving yards record. Chalk that up as a distinct possibility with that Saints defense on tap.

QB Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (28.18)—He went from game-time decision to game-time fantasy monster. We don’t love him against the Falcons secondary next week, but clearly he is not done being an impact fantasy player, passing for 412 yards and three touchdowns in a shootout victory over Bortles’ Jags. You have to love great fantasy quarterbacks with bad defenses in favorable matchups.

WR Brandon Marshall, New York Jets (27.5)—Usually a move to the Jets turns fantasy wideouts into wastes. It has given Marshall the best season of his career with a career-high 13 touchdowns. His 8-115-2 from Sunday should have a solid encore next week against the Buffalo Bills.

WR Allen Hurns, Jacksonville Jaguars (26.6)—He turned out to be an outstanding pivot play in that Jags stack with Bortles and WR Allen Robinson, as we wrote Sunday morning the NFL Week 16 Tipsheet. Hurns’ 8-106-2 put him over the fantasy receiver holy grail of 60-1,000-10.

WR Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars (24.1)—Many were all over the Robinson breakout this season, but no one could have imagined this. He went 6-151-1 and moved into the elite with his 75-1,292-14 season totals. The Jags have an exciting set of Year 3 fantasy picks for 2016.

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets (23.14)—The Jets QB-WR stack has made FanDuel players a lot of prize money this season, something that won’t be forgotten in a must-win game against the New England Patriots. Fitzpatrick posted 296-3 and has averaged just a cut below that the past five games. Marshall and WR Eric Decker have helped Fitz to a career year, and a clear-cut starting role for 2016.

K Blair Walsh, Minnesota Vikings (23.0)—We have always loved a fantasy kicker backed by a great running game to get the ball into scoring position and a quarterback who struggles to stick the ball into the end zone. The Vikings with RB Adrian Peterson and QB Teddy Bridgewater are precisely that.

Houston Texas Defense (22.0)—This unit is rolling and is just a home victory over the Jags away from the AFC South title, something few could have expected this summer. Like the Cards above, it is not the most favorable of final matchups for the Texans, but they are the hot hands on FanDuel.

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QB Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (5.8)—Just 215 yards, two interceptions and no passing touchdowns is not what we’re used to seeing from Big Ben. This was a Baltimore Ravens defense that came into the game with a league-worst four interceptions all season and just one since Week 3. D’oh!

WR Martavis Bryant, Pittsburgh Steelers (1.5)—His appearance here goes down as a first in his Year 2 breakthrough. He hadn’t had a week this bad: Just one catch for six yards. The good news is we should jump back on the Big Ben stack against the Browns in Week 17.

WR Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers (3.2)WR Jordy Nelson’s (knee) loss for the season was supposed to be a catalyst for Cobb’s best season of his career. Instead of bringing him fantasy production, it brought him extra attention and frequently to our bums list. You cannot play him against the Minnesota Vikings this Sunday.

TE Richard Rodgers, Green Packers (0.7)—Did he make a deal with the devil before that Week 13 Hail Mary touchdown? In the three games since, he has caught just three passes for 12 yards. Thwadt!

TE Ben Watson, New Orleans Saints (1.0)—Now, this one just isn’t fair. We get the matchup right against the Jags because Brees goes off for 400-plus yards and three touchdowns; yet, Watson manages just one catch for five yards. That’s not just elementary, Watson. You simply stunk.

K Jason Myers, Jacksonville Jaguars (1.0)—His team scores 27 points in a shootout and all he can muster is one measly PAT. Fantasy football fate is just so unforgiving.

CoachingHotSeat3. TRYING TO PREDICT ‘BLACK MONDAY’:

In one week, the complexion of numerous NFL coaching staffs will change following the annual round of “Black Monday” firings. Besides affecting the lives of the coaches and their families, these decisions dramatically alter the NFL landscape, setting up some teams for future success while crippling others.

However, just as important as the firings are the teams that instead choose to retain their current coach. For one reason or another, some good coaches struggle to obtain success early. In those instances, patience from the front office and ownership can lead to reward later on. The past decade certainly would have played out much differently had the Giants parted ways with Tom Coughlin before 2007 or 2011, as they reportedly considered.

Let’s take a look at the current landscape via Magic 8 Ball-like predictions……(continue reading)

Source: A look at which NFL coaches will be fired next week.

DesmondCespedes4. MLB HOT STOVE UPDATE: BUYER BEWARE

For those among us who yearn for baseball season and all the happiness that comes with it, good news: We are closer to the first day of pitchers and catchers reporting (54 days until Feb. 19) than we are the last day of the World Series (56 days since the Royals beat the Mets).

The not-so-good news for a bunch of players out there is that they are about to start a new year without new jobs. That’s normal, of course, with free agency’s biggest names (the David Prices and Zack Greinkes and Ben Zobrists of the world) highlighting November and December and the next tier (the Justin Uptons and Alex Gordons) seeing action any day now.

So with a couple of dozen quality, established big league free agents still to be had, a reminder: They come with tremendous risk, and some more than others. Here’s a bit of a closer look at a handful of those seemingly brand-name free agents and why they might not be as attractive as one might assume, in the hopes of explaining why the market isn’t moving very fast.

Source: Some MLB free agents are riskier than others.

5. Ultimate Value Lineup – Week 16

All we want to do is provide you valuable information at a great price.  We’ve already helped hundreds of people learn how to make some extra lettuce playing fantasy sports; so let us Teach You How to #win!

Giving you the Perfect Lineup is easy and we tweet it, post it on Facebook and create an entire post about our RESULTS, so……What about if you had the greatest value lineup of all time?  A Lineup that every player chosen had low ownership, way less, and never cost you more than $6k – well my friends this is the Ultimate Value Lineup – culled directly from the numbers and our reports – look for us on twitter when we post the less than 12% lineup and follow along with the value-madness!!!

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Peyton Manning responds to HGH allegations; #NFL Week 16 upsets – MMQB with Peter King

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A strange weekend of football

The 10 stories that hit me over the head Sunday:

There’s one head-to-head division title game in Week 17, and it will be game 256. Minnesota (10-5) at Green Bay (10-5) was flexed to the Sunday night game next week, meaning the last game of the regular season will be a second straight frigid Sunday night game in the Great North. Forecast for Green Bay next Sunday: no snow, wind chill of about 10 degrees. But will the friendly confines help? Green Bay, trying for its fifth straight NFC North title, is 4-5 since Halloween (and would be 3-6 if not for Aaron Rodgers’ Hail Mary of all Hail Marys on Dec. 3 at Detroit). Incredible to think the team that started 6-0 with visions of home-field through the playoffs is now one loss away from traveling to Washington to play a wild-card game in two weeks. “We will bounce back,” said Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy. “That’s the way we are wired.” Perhaps. But the Packers haven’t looked like the Packers since September, and it’s too late to think McCarthy can just flip a switch and life will return to normal.

Pittsburgh? Really? My Pittsburgh friends shrieked “Tomlin must go” after Sunday’s totally embarrassing 20-17 loss at Baltimore, which made Pittsburgh’s playoff chances sub-50 percent. For the Steelers to make the postseason, they’d need to beat the Browns Sunday while Rex Ryan beats the Jets … or while Denver loses Monday night to the Bengals and next week to the Chargers, both games at home. Who knows? Rex would trade five years off his life to keep the Jets from the playoffs, so we shall see. But the Steelers were my fifth-ranked team last week, and to see them dominated by first-time Ravens starter Ryan Mallett was a stunner. The Steelers forgot this was a rivalry game, and Ben Roethlisberger was surprisingly mediocre, with his second touchdown-less game in the last three weeks.

Pop the corks, Dolphins. For the 43rd straight season, there won’t be a perfect NFL team. Formerly 14-0 Carolina is now 14-1 Carolina. This one felt different for the ’72 Dolphins, though, because coach Don Shula’s son Mike is the Carolina offensive coordinator, and Mike Shula said his dad wanted Carolina to be unbeaten more than he (Mike) did. But Carolina was flawed for the second straight week. Last week they gave up a 28-point lead to the Giants before pulling out a late win; this week they were flat, and Cam Newton played his first average game in a while. Carolina could still lose home-field in the NFC with a loss to Tampa Bay and a Cardinals win over the Seahawks on Sunday.

Did Cam open the MVP door a bit for Carson Palmer? I discuss below, but it’s not impossible.

There’s a difference in the J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets. It’s called offense.Against the best team in the AFC on Sunday, New York rushed for 143 yards, threw three touchdown passes, protected the quarterback serviceably against a good Patriots pass rush, and drove 80 yards to start overtime after New England coach Bill Belichick chose to begin OT by giving the ball to the Jets. In all, the only thing that could have made the day better for the Jets would have been Rex Ryan losing.

LaAdrian Waddle—yes, that LaAdrian Waddle—could all of a sudden be a key player for the Patriots. Waddle, waived by the Lions and picked up by New England two weeks ago, became the fifth left tackle for the Patriots in 15 games Sunday when Sebastian Vollmer went out against the Jets with an ankle sprain. New England is the black hole of injury reporting, so no one knows how bad Vollmer is … and then Waddle went out with what appeared to be shoulder or neck injury. Cameron Fleming finished the game on the left side. Waddle and Fleming combined to give up five pressures, according to Pro Football Focus, and Tom Brady was pressured, sacked or hit 17 times against the Jets. Seemed like more……(continue reading)

Source: Peyton Manning responds to HGH allegations; NFL Week 16 upsets | The MMQB with Peter King

10 Things We Learned from #NFL Week 16

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A lot was decided around the NFL during the second-to-last weekend of regular season action.

The Minnesota Vikings clinched a playoff berth in the NFC while the New York Jets inched closer to a postseason spot themselves by virtue of a curious decision from the New England Patriots.

Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Steelers blew a golden opportunity against an injury-riddled Baltimore Ravens team.

On the other hand, Brandon Weeden led his Houston Texans (yes, that’s a thing) to a blowout win over the Tennessee Titans to pretty much lock up the AFC South.

Here are your top-10 takeaways from this weekend in the NFL.

1.

New England Patriots overthink it in big loss to the New York Jets

Bill Belichick’s career as a mad scientist is by now well known. An evildoer to those who goes up against him, this future Hall of Fame head coach actually found a way to get in his own way on Sunday.

The seen was about as surreal as it gets. Heading into overtime against the Jets in New Jersey, the Patriots (obviously) won the toss. Instead of electing to receive the ball and give Tom Brady an opportunity to win the game, New England decided to kick off.

Making matters even more interesting, the Patriots believed they could choose what direction they kicked. NFL rules clearly state otherwise heading into overtime.

New York proceeded to drive down the field 80 yards on five plays en route to a game-winning touchdown pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Eric Decker.

It was one of those things you just don’t see. Coach Belichick and the Patriots getting in their own way during a pivotal moment in a game.

It also set the Jets up perfectly to earn a playoff spot. With a win over the Bills in Buffalo next week (or a Steelers loss), they will earn their first playoff appearance since the 2010 season.

2.

Green Bay Packers absolutely crushed by unstoppable force in the desert

How can a team with an opportunity to clinch a division title and inch closer to a first-round bye in the playoffs perform the way Green Bay did in Arizona on Sunday? It really is unfathomable.

The Cardinals sacked Aaron Rodgers eight times, forced four turnovers and allowed a total of 77 passing yards. In fact, Green Bay racked up 178 total yards while converting 5-of-17 third-down opportunities in the team’s 38-8 loss.

Defensively, the Packers didn’t do much better. Rookie running back David Johnson racked up 127 yards on 12 touches before Arizona decided to call off the dogs before three quarters had even been completed.

By virtue of this loss, Green Bay now heads into a Week 17 game with Minnesota still looking to clinch the NFC North title. If not, the team might have to open the season on the road against what is suddenly a red-hot Washington Redskins team.

Yeah, it was a brutal loss all the way around.

For the Cardinals, it could not have been more spectacular. They head into Week 17 with an opportunity to earn home-field advantage throughout the playoffs after winning their ninth consecutive game.

They do so as the hottest team in the NFC and as a near unstoppable force. After all, Arizona has won nine consecutive games by an average of nearly two touchdowns.

Let that sink in before picking any other team to come out of the NFC.

3.

About those Seattle Seahawks

Playoff positioning was the only thing at stake for Seattle as it hosted the suddenly resurgent St. Louis Rams on Sunday. Though, said positioning was pretty darn important.

With wins in their final two games, the Seahawks could have clinched the fifth seed in the NFC. This means that they would have headed to D.C. to take on an eight or nine win Washington Redskins team.

Seattle now finds itself as the likely sixth seed, which would force it to play in either Green Bay or Minnesota in the wild card round. No one wants to play in those stadiums as a road team in January.

Sunday’s 23-17 loss to the Rams was a mix of fluky action and some tremendous struggles from the home team.

On the second half drive that saw St. Louis take a two-score lead, the Rams recovered two ridiculous fumbles en route to a touchdown — the last of which was pure hustle on the part of center Tim Barnes.

Outside of that, Seattle turned the ball over three times, including a Russell Wilson fumble deep in St. Louis territory late in the final stanza.

That was the fluky. Now on to the struggles.

Without the services of both Marshawn Lynch and Thomas Rawls, running backs combined for 21 rushing yards on 16 attempts.

Meanwhile, Seattle’s vaunted defense failed to get to Case Keenum for a single sack on the afternoon. That enabled the Rams to come away with a win despite the fact that their journeyman quarterback threw for a whopping 103 yards.

In reality, Seattle needs to play better football if it is going to win even one postseason game.

Considering what we saw in the five weeks prior to Sunday’s performance, we know Pete Carroll and Co. have the talent to do just that. We just don’t know if they will be able to show consistency on both sides of the ball in order to get it done.

4.

Pittsburgh Steelers blow it against hapless Baltimore Ravens team

Pittsburgh lost a game to a team that started Ryan Mallett under center, Baltimore’s fourth starting quarterback this season.

In doing so, Mike Tomlin and Co. find themselves on the outside looking in when it comes to the AFC playoff picture heading into Week 17.

It was pretty much a disaster from the get go. Pittsburgh capped off a promising opening drive by failing to convert on a fourth and one from Baltimore’s 25.

It then proceeded allow Mallett to lead the Ravens down the field on a 15-play, 75-yard touchdown-scoring drive to give the Ravens a 7-0 lead.

Baltimore wouldn’t look back. It added two field goals — one immediately following a Ben Roethlisberger interception — to take a 13-3 lead into the half.

After some drama in the second half, Pittsburgh simply couldn’t get out of its own way in a disheartening 20-17 loss to its division rivals.

Heading into Week 16, Pittsburgh had one of the two wild card spots in the AFC on lock down. By virtue of its loss and the Jets win, Mike Tomlin and Co. need some major help to even make the playoffs.

If the Steelers fail to get said help, 2015 would go down as a disastrous season for the franchise.

There’s no reason why a team with this much talent, especially on offense, could possibly fail to make the playoffs. And in the end, that failure is squarely on Tomlin’s shoulders.

5.

Clueless in Santa Clara

What? Seriously, what the heck is Jim Tomsula talking about here? We really would love to know what the follow up question was to this dumpster fire of an answer.

Less than two hours before, the San Francisco 49ers were penalized for coming on to to the field too early in the third quarter. That’s about as amateur as it gets.

Down just 20-17 at the half against the Detroit Lions, San Francisco found itself outscored 12-0 in the final two quarters to drop its 11th game of the season.

To make matters more disturbing for those of us looking for a silver lining, the 49ers coaching staff completely screwed the pooch once again.

After racking up 122 yards on 20 carries in the first half, San Francisco attempted just three runs in the second half. Those three runs went for a combined negative one yard as the team was shut out in the final two quarters.

Talk about adjusting out of a sound game plan to create a mess we have seen too many times from San Francisco’s sideline this season.

As much as some of us wanted to defend Tomsula earlier in the year, it’s readily apparent that the 49ers’ coaching staff is simply in over its head.

With one game remaining in what has been a disastrous season in Santa Clara, it will be interesting to see if we start hearing rumors of some dramatic changes within the team’s front office and coaching staff over the next several days.

Simply put, it’s become rather embarrassing for one of the most historic franchises in the NFL. What happens from now on will tell us whether the ownership group is okay with it.

6.

Inspired Atlanta Falcons end Carolina Panthers pursuit of perfection

Cam Newton and Co. had to be feeling good heading into Atlanta Sunday afternoon. After all, the Panthers had just obliterated Atlanta 38-0 two weeks prior.

What ended up happening was one of the most surprising outcomes of the NFL season thus far.

Atlanta held Newton to 142 yards through the air without a passing touchdown en route to a 20-13 take down of the Panthers at home on Sunday.

It was a banner defensive performance by the Falcons defense in a game that kept the team’s playoff hopes alive for just a few minutes.

While Atlanta will not be playing meaningful January football after a 5-0 start to the season, coming out victorious against the previously undefeated Panthers gives them something small to build off of heading into the offseason.

For the Panthers, this loss doesn’t mean a whole heck of a lot. They are still in the driver’s seat for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

They also don’t have to go through said playoffs with the distinction of being an undefeated regular season team — something that would have added a bit more pressure to a team without a ton of playoff experience and with minimal margin for error in a stacked NFC.

7.

Washington Redskins prove to be the class of the east

Kirk Cousins threw another four touchdowns en route to a division-clinching win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday night.

More than anything else, the fact that this division is wrapped up prior to Week 17 is rather interesting.

It tells us a story of a Redskins team that’s in its own class when it comes to the NFC East.

Whether this translates to playoff success is anyone’s guess. Entrenched in as the No. 4 seed in the NFC, Washington has nothing to play for against the Dallas Cowboys next week, meaning that it could very well head into the postseason with an 8-8 record.

As it is, Washington is right there among the hottest teams in the NFL right now.

And in reality, the Redskins’ turnaround has more to do with quarterback play than anything else. Cousins has now thrown eight touchdowns compared to zero interceptions over the past two games and boasts a 20-to-3 split since consecutive two-interception performances back in mid October.

If Cousins is able to keep up this ridiculously high level of play, Washington stands a decent chance of advancing beyond the wild card round.

That’s only magnified by the fact that he’s combined for 20 touchdowns and just two interceptions at home on the season.

This was all made possible by a 38-24 win over a Philadelphia Eagles team that headed into Saturday night controlling its own destiny in the NFC East.

Putting up that performance in front of a national audience on the road against a division rival is mighty impressive. It also might change our opinion of the Redskins heading into the playoffs.

8.

Frank Gore turns back the clock in helping Indianapolis avoid elimination

The Indianapolis Colts simply needed to win a game in order to even have a shot at the AFC South title. Turning back the clock some, the 32-year-old Gore did everything in his power to lead the fledgling team to a huge win against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

Gore’s 37-yard touchdown run midway through the first quarter put Indianapolis up eight. He then added an 11-yard scoring scamper late in the second quarter to give the Colts a two-score lead heading into the half.

Despite struggling to score in the second half, Indianapolis held off a hapless Dolphins team 18-12 to head into Week 17 with a small chance to save what has been a lost season up to this point.

The Colts would need 10 different things to break their way from here on out to earn that trip to the playoffs. This leaves the team with a 0.03 percent chance of playing football beyond next week.

But at least for one day, Gore showed everyone why he still has something left in those tires.

9.

Minnesota Vikings force do-or-die game for NFC North title

Following a 38-17 dismantling of the Chicago Bears last week, Minnesota headed into Week 16 with an opportunity to win the NFC North. That still remains the case after a second consecutive blowout win, this time by the score of 49-17 against the New York Giants.

Finding his way back after struggling over the past three games, Adrian Peterson netted 104 yards and a touchdown on 22 attempts.

Meanwhile, Teddy Bridgewater put up yet another stellar game in what was a tremendous overall performance from the Vikings.

It was the defense that did the heavy lifting here, though. Minnesota forced three Eli Manning interceptions, including a pick-six by Harrison Smith late in the second quarter to blow the game wide open.

With both sides of the ball playing great football, Minnesota now heads to Green Bay to take on a struggling Packers team with a chance to earn an unlikely division title.

If it’s able to do that, some unlucky team will have to play outdoor football in Minnesota in January — proving that home-field advantage may in fact be of utmost importance for the surprising Vikings.

10.

The Kansas City Chiefs keep winning

It wasn’t pretty by any stretch of the imagination. Kansas City held off a game Cleveland Browns team at home Sunday for its ninth consecutive win, clinching a playoff spot in the process.

In fact, the game hung in the balance with Cleveland’s final drive stalling with the team down by four inside the Chiefs 35-yard line.

But at the end of the day, Kansas City found a way to get the job done. Not only did Andy Reid’s squad clinch a spot in the postseason after a one-year hiatus, it put the pressure on the Denver Broncos to win Monday night.

It also proved to the rest of the AFC that it could win a game playing less-than-stellar football. That’s a huge bonus for a team that could possibly find itself playing playoff football in the midst of a whopping 10-game winning streak.

The biggest factor Sunday was a lack of mistakes from the Chiefs. They turned the ball over just one time while committing five penalties in the 17-13 win over a last-place Browns team.

This performance won’t be good enough come January. It, did however, add another layer to what we have seen from the Chiefs over the past two-plus months.

In this, Kansas City proved itself worth to be mentioned among the top teams in the NFL.

Source: Top 10 takeaways from NFL Week 16 action

#NFL Week 16 – United Stats of America – Elias Sports Bureau

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NFL

Falcons rebound from huge loss to hand Panthers their first loss

The Falcons ended Carolina’s bid for a perfect season with a 20-13 win over the Panthers. Atlanta’s victory came just two weeks after Carolina routed the Falcons, 38-0. But there have been many precedents for such a reversal of form. Since 1970, 12 other teams won a game against an opponent that beat them by at least 38 points earlier that season. And like Atlanta, which had a 7-7 record heading into Sunday’s game, none of those 12 teams had a winning record at the time of its turnaround victory.

Carolina had won 18 consecutive regular-season games (and 10 in a row during December), tying the third-longest winning streak in NFL history. The only other teams to win 18 straight games were Indianapolis (23, 2008-09) and New England twice (18 in 2003-04 and 21 in 2006-08).

nullFitzpatrick, Marshall, and Decker are too much for the Patriots

Ryan Fitzpatrick threw two touchdown passes to Brandon Marshall and an overtime game-winner to Eric Decker in the Jets’ 26-20 win over the Patriots. It was the eighth game this season in which both Marshall and Decker caught TD passes, an NFL record for games in which a pair of teammates both had touchdown receptions. The previous mark was set by Cris Carter and Randy Moss with the Vikings in 1998.

With his first catch of the day, Marshall broke the single-season team record that Al Toon set in 1988. Only two other franchises have a single-season record for receptions that has stood that long: the Titans’ record was set by Charlie Hennigan with the Houston Oilers in 1964 (101); and the Browns’ mark was set by Ozzie Newsome in 1983 (89).

The Patriots lost only one other game on a touchdown pass in overtime and it took a pair of future Hall of Famers to do it. In 1981, Lynn Swann scored from 24 yards out on a pass by Terry Bradshaw to give the Steelers an OT victory over New England.

An amazing streak comes to an end in Seattle’s loss

The Rams took a 10-0 lead in the first quarter and were never caught, holding on for a 23-17 victory at Seattle. That ended the Seahawks’ extraordinary streak of 62 games in which they led at some point, corresponding exactly to Russell Wilson’s tenure with the team. Check this out: Not only was that the longest such streak in NFL history; but half of the 32 current NFL teams have never had such a streak even half as long as Seattle’s, including three clubs that date back to the 1930s: the Bears, Packers, and Redskins.

nullWeeden finds success in Houston

Brandon Weeden passed for 200 yards and two touchdowns in the Texans’ 34-6 victory over the Titans. It was Weeden’s first win as a starting quarterback since 2012 with Cleveland. He was the first QB in the NFL’s expansion era to start for a first-place team in the month of December having lost his last 10 starts.

Weeden led Houston on touchdown drives of 65, 80, and 34 yards on Sunday. Coming into the game, he had produced a TD on only two of his last 27 drives. He hadn’t thrown two or more TD passes in the same game since Dec. 1, 2013, in the Browns’ 32-28 loss at Jacksonville.

nullSaints’ combo is tough to beat

Drew Brees passed for 412 yards in the Saints’ 38-27 win over the Jaguars. It was the 13th time that Brees topped the 400-yard mark, but this was the first of those games in which a teammate gained at least 100 yards rushing. Tim Hightower gained 122 yards on 27 carries. Over the last five seasons, the only other player to supplement a teammate’s 400-yard passing performance with 120 or more rushing yards was James Starks of the Packers in 2013. Starks rushed for 132 yards and Aaron Rodgers passed for 480 in a 38-20 win over the Redskins.­

Incidentally, that’s a combination that has never been beaten in the NFL. Teams with a 400-yard passer and a teammate with at least 120 rushing yards have a 7-0-1 record.

nullSmith and Chiefs win ninth consecutive game

The Chiefs extended their winning streak to nine games with a 17-13 victory over the Browns. That matches the longest winning streak of Alex Smith’s NFL career; he previously won nine consecutive starts with Kansas City in 2013 and eight straight with the 49ers in 2011. Only four other quarterbacks won eight consecutive starts in one season for each of two different teams: Jack Kemp, Earl Morrall, Drew Brees, and Peyton Manning.

nullGillislee caps unexpected December with big game vs. Cowboys

Mike Gillislee, who spent the first three months of the season on the practice squads of the Cardinals and Bills, gained 93 yards on nine carries and scored a late insurance touchdown in Buffalo’s 16-6 win over Dallas. Gillislee finished the month with 239 yards on 23 carries. His average of 10.4 yards per carry was the fourth-highest in one calendar month by a running back with at least 20 rushing attempts. The only RBs with higher marks were Lenny Moore (12.7 yards per carry in Oct. 1956), Hugh McElhenny (11.6 in Oct. 1952), and Bruce Harper (10.6 in Oct. 1983).

nullFreeney and the Cardinals sack the Pack

Arizona sacked Packers passers nine times, including three by Dwight Freeney, in a 38-8 rout of Green Bay. It was the Cardinals’ highest single-game total since 1986, and the most sacks in one game against the Packers since 1982.

Freeney, who turned 35 in February, had five games with three or more sacks over his first five seasons in the league. But this was his first such game since 2006. Over the last 10 seasons, the only players as old as Freeney with three or more sacks in one game were Michael Strahan (at age 35 in 2007) and 37-year-old James Harrison three weeks ago.

nullPackers suffer their worst loss with Rodgers at QB

Green Bay’s 38-8 loss was its largest margin of defeat in a game started by Aaron Rodgers. While it’s impressive that Rodgers started 117 games before his first 30-point loss, Packers fans can take pride in the fact that Brett Favre started an NFL-record total of 200 regular-season games before losing one by 30 points, and Bart Starr didn’t lose by 30 points or more until start #143 in 1970, with a pair of Super Bowl victories to his credit.

nullCarey scores two short TD for Bears

Second-year running back Ka’Deem Carey scored on a 1-yard run and a 1-yard catch in the Bears’ 26-21 victory at Tampa. Carey was the second Chicago player to score on rushing and passing plays in the same road game this season, following rookie Jeremy Langford who did it at St. Louis last month. The only other Bears player to do that on the road in the last two decades was Matt Forte (at Detroit in 2008).

Since 2000, three other players scored 1-yard TDs by rushing and receiving in the same game: Marshall Faulk (2001), Pierre Thomas (2013), and Eddie Lacy (2014).

nullMallett wins debut with the Ravens

Ryan Mallett, making his first start for the Ravens, passed for a career-high 274 yards and a touchdown in a 20-17 victory over the Steelers. Mallett was the fourth different quarterback to start for Baltimore in its last six games, following Joe Flacco, Matt Schaub, and Jimmy Clausen. Over the last five seasons, the only other team to start four different QBs in a span of six games was Green Bay in 2013 (Aaron Rodgers, Seneca Wallace, Scott Tolzien, and Matt Flynn).

Like the Panthers, who also lost on Sunday, Pittsburgh had won its last 10 games in the month of December.

nullStafford maintains sharp form in win over 49ers

Matthew Stafford threw a pair of touchdown passes in the Lions’ 32-17 win over the 49ers. Stafford, who set a team record for completion percentage in one game last week, has now thrown 14 TD passes over his last five games. He has been picked off only once in his last 225 throws dating to November 15.

Source: Elias Says: Sports Statistics

Teaching You How to #Win – Week 16 Lineups and Weather

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Weather

Let’s kick this off by saying we hope you have enjoyed a fantastic holiday weekend and let’s get ready to finish it off with some cash to pay for all those gifts you just got done dishing out. We have four contests that could have some weather impact in them. First we have both Buffalo and Seattle, expected to have a temperature of 39° and light rain in both contests. The impact for this would be Sammy Watkins might not get as many balls thrown his way and the Russell Wilson to Doug Baldwin combo might not be as prolific this weekend. Guys you should consider because of this weather would be Karlos Williams, Christine Michael and Darren McFadden. Next we have tonight’s contest of Minnesota and the Giants, with an expected high of 13°. As of this morning, Adrian Peterson is expected to play and with Beckham Jr. out for this contest, look for Rueben Randle to have a huge day for targets but with this cold, we will see if anyone can make any big plays in this game or if this will be a 10 – 6 kind of game. Last we have the Bengals traveling to Denver to finish off Monday Night Football for the 2015 season. The expected temperature for this game is only 17° and with the Broncos unable to run the ball, look for this to be a defensive game. AJ Green will most likely sit out along with Tyler Eifert but confirm those injuries tomorrow afternoon. If that is in fact the case, this bodes well for a 13 – 12 with a ton of turnovers and punts to see who wins field position. Stay away from this game in terms of your daily fantasy lineups. For more information just come here.

Lineup Considerations

Now for the part that we know you have all been waiting for, give me the lineup that will win. I know, I know, we have done this quite significantly in the past and now we have our lineup analyzer providing automatic lineup recommendations but what do I think. Here is my top 3 lineups for week 10 on Draftkings:

Experts Picks

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Now we look to provide your FanDuel lineups for the week below:

Logan Cartwright’s Expert Picks

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Public Picks

In this section, we look to provide you with a breakdown of who the public is taking this week. Since this information is not readily available we are using the perfect challenge from nfl.com.

PublicPicks_wk16

Based on public picks, most of the public is going to ride with Cam Newton and Big Ben this week. I would recommend that you stick with that trend. Another solid play this week should be Blake Bortles, going up against the 32nd ranked pass defense in the league. At RB, we have West pretty far up the list and going up against the team that has given up the most rushing yards on defense this season. As a sleeper and going up against the 32nd rush defense to the RB1 position we have Abdullah. This rookie hasn’t done much all season but he has been hurt quite a bit and seems to finally be healthy. Against a terrible defense in the Saints this past Monday night, he seemingly went for 76 yards and a TD. Look for similar production. At WR, everyone is going to take Brown this week given that he is playing against the 31st ranked pass defense in the Ravens. A sneaky play that might also warrant some pretty high ownership would be Rueben Randle with OBJ out on suspension.

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