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2014 MLB Team Previews

The 2014 MLB season is almost here! Wild on Sports MLB Analyst Aaron Dorman brings you an in depth look at each of the 30 teams, prospects and key questions as we head towards opening day.

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

NFL Week 2 Cash-In: Miami Dolphins at. Buffalo Bills

Wild on Sports
NFL Cash-In:
Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills
Line: Pick'em, O/U: 43

For the first time in years we can look at the AFC East standings and see a team other than the New England Patriots in first place. In fact, the Patriots are the only team in the division sitting there at 0-1. In perhaps the biggest surprise in week one the Miami Dolphins dominated the perennial division champs in the second half en route to a 33-20 victory. If that victory was not the upset of the week, than the distinction should belong to the Buffalo Bills who stunned many with a 23-20 overtime victory over the Chicago Bears. Both teams enter Sunday's game on a high note. So what gives?

Miami Dolphins: 
The Dolphins turned back the clock last weekend to an NFL style of yester-year, dominating the game with running the ball and playing suffocating defense. Knoshown Moreno ran pretty much where he wanted to against what was supposed to be an improved Patriots run defense. Ryan Tannehill was efficient and really is starting to show signs of life throwing the ball to Mike Wallace. If those two can build the relationship that Wallace had with Rothlessberger or what DeSean Jackson showed in this same offensive scheme (OC Bill Lazor) last season -- watch out! 

Buffalo Bills: 
The critics calling for EJ Manual's head might need to pump the breaks a bit after last week's performance. He moved the ball efficiently both with his arm and legs against a defense that traditionally is one of the stingier in football. CJ Spiller looks explosive returning kicks. Fred Jackson is as steady as ever running the football. That pass defense looks a heck of a lot better than anyone would have expected after losing possibly the best safety in football over the off-season. All is well in Western New York ... right?

Intriguing Trends:
Miami is 6-2 ATS in its last eight games.
Miami is 3-7 ATS in the last 10 games in Buffalo.
The UNDER is 6-2 in the last eight meetings between the teams.
Joe Philbin in 0-4 vs. division after a WIN.

The Verdict:
Call it an over reaction but "experts" are starting to jump on the Dolphins bandwagon. A couple of well respected analysts this week even went so far as to say the Dolphins may win this division. Yikes! Call it a kiss of death, call it what you want. As good as EJ Manuel was last week there are reasons why there are so many skeptics. If this one stays close (given the nature of a division game we expect it will) it would surprise no one to see Manuel turn the ball over to a relentless Dolphins defense. He will get hit, he will get hit hard and he will crumble. For at least one week, we too are on the bandwagon.

Pick: DOLPHINS (pick'em, moneyline if you can find odds better than -110)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

NFL Week 1 Waiver Wire Wonders

Wild on Sports
NFL Week 1 Wavier Wire Wonders
By Wild on Sports Analyst Jason Gillson

Each week we take a look at the players still available in most league that you can plug and play in case of an emergency injury or bye week. The key to surviving the gruling season is staying a step ahead of your competition. Who is that next Alshon Jeffery? Nick Foley? Zach Stacy? At some point this season you are likely to find them here...

QB Derek Carr - Oakland Raiders
Who would have thought that of all the teams with high profile rookie QB's it would be Oakland with the only rookie starting week one. The Raider announced yesterday that Carr, not Matt Shaub, will be their week 1 starter -- and with good reason -- he torched defenses in the pre-season (anyone see what he did to the Seattle starters?). On top of that he seems to have won the favor of the locker room particularly amongst the veteran players. He is mature beyond his age, a characteristic that should help him avoid the "bust" status that his older brother garnered after being drafted #1 years ago. He doesn't have the supporting cast that Foles did last year in Philly or that Blake Bortles will have in Jacksonville once he takes that job. That said, if you don't like your QB situation you might be presently surprised if you take a flyer on this kid.

RB - Benny Cunningham - St. Louis Rams
The Cunningham pick might be 3 or 4 weeks premature but you had better pounce on him now before someone else in your league does. Rumors out of St. Louis indicate that Zach Stacy might be losing favor in the Rams backfield. Cunningham looked like the best back in the pre-season and had about a 50-50 split with the #1's in the final pre-season games. If Stacy falters early look for Cunnignham to run away with the job on a team that will need to be run first if they want to be successful.

RB Jonathan Grimes - Houston Texans
Arian Foster is the heart beat of the Texans offense but of the elite runingbacks in the league is the most likely candidate to go down to injury again. Grimes is a more durable Ben Tate and is just waiting for his chance to carry the load. With Fitzpatrick/Mallet at QB the Texans will rely on the running game just like they did in their dominant 2012 season.

WR Jarrett Boykin - Green Bay Packers
Boykin showed glimpses last season when injuries ravaged the Packers WR corps. Nelson and Cobb are back (healthy-ish) and in place as starters. That leaves Boykin as the #3 but ready at a moments notice should one of the big guys go down. James Jones put up some big numbers as a #3 in Green Bay in years past. Boykin is smaller and quicker -- more of a slot/Cobb build but he has shown that he is not afraid to go into the dirty areas to make a catch. He could be in line for a very solid season, injury to Nelson/Cobb or not.

WR Jordan Matthews - Philadelphia Eagles
DeSean Jackson is gone. Jeremy Maclin has trouble staying healthy. Is Jason Avant or Riley Cooper really that good? All those things open the door for a potential breakout for Matthews. The Eagles spent a second round pick on the 6-3 wideout. You know Chip Kelly is going to want to see what he has early on. Huge upside potential here.

WR Cody Latimer - Denver Broncos
Wes Welker is one hit away from never playing football again. Eric Decker is gone. While his role will largely be filled by Emmanuel Sanders (another player you should pick up yesterday if he is available) there will always be balls to go around in Peyton Manning's offense. The Thomas' are likely to see double coverage opening the door for the physical Latimer to reek havoc of opposing defenses. He has the build and go up and get it ability to be dangerous in the red-zone as well. If there was a Alshon Jeffery type sleeper pick to name in week 1, Latimer would be it.

TE  Tim Wright - New England Patriots
The Patriots gave up pro bowl guard Logan Mankins to get him. That in itself should tell you what they think of the guy. Belichick has been looking for that Aaron Hernandez replacement for a couple years now. Wright put up some decent numbers last season in a disaster of an offense. Imagine what he can do with Tom Brady throwing him the ball.

NFL Power Rankings - Week 1

Wild on Sports
NFL Power Rankings
Week 1
September 2, 2014

Back at it and better than ever! My oh my is it nice to finally have NFL football to distract us night and day for the next five months. We are kicking off the season in style with our weekly NFL Power Rankings. Be sure to join us each week to see where your team stands.

Why, you may ask, are defending Super Bowl Champs not ranked #1 to kick off the season? Simply put, its just way too hard to repeat in this league. Players leaving from free agency, injuries, complacency, opponents getting up for the chance to knock off the champs, Super Bowl hangover -- all just a sampling of reasons why the Seahawks won't repeat. Don't get me wrong -- they are and still will be a very good football team. They just won't represent the NFC in the big game this year.

Coming in at #1 to kick off the season are the Denver Broncos. They made a very conscious effort this off-season to improve their defense. The additions of Damarcus Ware and Aquib Talib will go a long way toward trying to balance what had been a very offense heavy team. With Peyton Manning back in the fold for another season the offense will still draw all the attention, but at the the end of the day it will be the defense that gets them back to the big game this season.

In a bit of a surprise we have the Green Bay Packers at #2 to start the year. A Rodgers-Manning Super Bowl would be nice now wouldn't it? Rodgers is back at 100%. Breakout star runningback Edie Lacy now has a full season in the offense under his belt. Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb are both back and healthy. The offense has what it takes to beat some of the great defenses in their conference (Seattle & San Francisco). The big question mark remains on the defensive side of the ball. The Packers spend 3 of their first 5 picks of this year's draft on defense including saftey Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in the first round in an effort to beef up what clearly was a weakness at times last year.

As mentioned before, the Seahawks likely will not repeat but they are still a very very good football team. It will be interesting to see how the defense responds this season after beating team up physically last season. They NFL's emphasis on defensive contact this pre-season was a direct result of what Seattle was able to do to opponents much of last year. The other big question mark appears to be Marshawn Lynch. We held out briefly and those around the team question his desire to play at the same level he has for the past several seasons. The Seahawks kick off the 2014 season at home with a big test against Green Bay. This game could set the ton for a power shift in the NFC.

At #4 this week is the team that never seems to go away in the New England Patriots. Tom Brady and company will once again be in the mix in the AFC. They made some great moves in the off-season to sure up the secondary in the additions of Darrell Revis and Brandon Browner. The big question mark remains who Tom Brady will throw the ball to. Can Rob Gronkowski or Danny Amendola stay healthy for a full season? Will one of the young guys who showed glimpses last season take the next step? Who is the real Brandan LaFell? The sooner they can answer those questions the faster the Pats can get on track and challenge the Broncos for the AFC title.

The New Orleans Saints round out our top five this week. As long as Drew Brees stays healthy the Saints will always be in the mix in the NFC. He is the best quarterback in the NFL at this point in his career and the team goes as he goes. The addition of Jairus Byrd adds a nice spark to the defensive side of the ball. If the defense can bend but not break this season the Saints could surprise some people this season.

Where does your team rank this week?

1 Denver Broncos
2 Green Bay Packers
3 Seattle Seahawks
4 New England Patriots
5 New Orleans Saints
6 Cincinnati Bengals
7 San Francisco 49ers
8 Arizona Cardinals
9 Philadelphia Eagles
10 Atlanta Falcons
11 San Diego Chargers
12 Pittsburgh Steelers
13 Baltimore Ravens
14 Chicago Bears
15 Indianapolis Colts
16 Detroit Lions
17 New York Giants
18 Kansas City Chiefs
19 Miami Dolphins
20 St. Louis Rams
21 New York Jets
22 Carolina Panthers
23 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
24 Tennessee Titans
25 Dallas Cowboys
26 Washington Redskins
27 Minnesota Vikings
28 Cleveland Browns
29 Buffalo Bills
30 Jacksonville Jaguars
31 Houston Texans
32 Oakland Raiders

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

NHL Power Rankings - April 1

Wild on Sports
NHL Power Rankings
April 1, 2014

For a second straight week the Boston Bruins, the hottest team in the NHL, holds down the top spot. The Bruns have won 15 of their last 16 and posted a 15-1-1 record in the month of March. Just incredible. The defending Eastern Conference Champs are firing on all cylinders and looks poised for another deep playoff run. At #2 this week are the St. Louis Blues. The Blues had won three straight this past week before a tough loss to the Dallas Stars. They still remain one of the top teams in the West and have been extremely dominant since the trade deadline. Jumping up 3 places to #3 this week are the LA Kings. Marian Gaborik looks like the player of old since joining the Kings. He has added another element to an offense that is finally starting to play to the level that the goaltending and defense where giving them all along. The San Jose Skarks drop a pair of spots this week to #2 after consecutive losses. Despite the losses, they remain within striking distance of first place Anaheim. Speaking of the Ducks, they hold pat at #5 this week. A pair of wins has them back on track. They control their own destiny in the Pacific.

Where does your team rank this week?

Last Week
1 Boston Bruins 1
2 St. Louis Blues 3
3 Los Angeles Kings 6
4 San Jose Sharks 2
5 Anaheim Ducks 5
6 Colorado Avalanche 7
7 Chicago Blackhawks 4
8 Montreal Canadiens 13
9 New York Rangers 11
10 Pittsburgh Penguins 9
11 Philadelphia Flyers 8
12 Tampa Bay Lightning 12
13 Minnesota Wild 10
14 Detroit Red Wings 14
15 Dallas Stars 18
16 Columbus Blue Jackets 16
17 Phoenix Coyotes 15
18 Washington Capitals 17
19 Vancouver Canucks 21
20 Ottawa Senators 26
21 Toronto Maple Leafs 19
22 New Jersey Devils 20
23 Nashville Predators 22
24 Calgary Flames 23
25 Winnipeg Jets 24
26 New York Islanders 27
27 Carolina Hurricanes 25
28 Florida Panthers 28
29 Edmonton Oilers 29
30 Buffalo Sabers 30

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