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Saturday, October 19, 2013

College Football Saturday Cash-In

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College Football Saturday Cash-In

We're back at it again this week giving you our top three picks of the week against the spread for NCAA College Football Week 8.


West Virginia (3-3)  vs. #16 Texas Tech (6-0)
TT -5, O/U 57.5

Texas Tech hits the road in hopes of keeping its undefeated season going against West Virginia. If they do it it will have to be without the services of starting QB Baker Mayfield who will miss his second straight week due to a knee injury. Fellow freshmen QB Davis Webb filled in admirably last week in a shootout victory over Iowa St. The Red Raiders will need another strong performance from Webb in this one if they look to avoid being the second undefeated team to fall in consecutive days.

On the other side of the ball, West Virginia comes into the game off of a bye week but have a bit of uncertainty of their own at the quarterback position. Each QB on their roster has gotten a start, the most recent of which was former Florida State transfer Clint Trickett who stepped in and beat Oklahoma St. in his first start but then looked lost in a thumping from Baylor the following week. Does the extra week to think about the 70+ points they game up at Baylor help them or hurt them?

The Verdict: Consistency, or lack there of, on the defensive side of the ball has been a huge problem for West Virginia this season. Defensively, they just give up too many points. Texas Tech can score regardless of who is under center. We're going to lay the points under a touch down in this one.

PICK: Texas Tech -5


Vanderbilt (3-3) vs. #15 Georgia (4-2)
UG -7, O/U: 61.5

Georgia is coming off a devastating loss last week against Missouri that more or less officially ended any hopes of a trip to the National Title game. Injuries and the toughest schedule through 6 games in the nation have knocked the team that was the preseason #5 all the way down to #15. This week they take on another SEC foe in Vanderbilt. They may get star running back Todd Gruley back from an ankle injury. If they do, that should give the Bulldog a huge boost and take some pressure off of Aaron Murray and his depleted receiving core.

Georgia has owned Vanderbilt in recent years including a 48-3 thrashing last season. The bulldogs have won six straight against Vandy and ten straight in Nashville.

The Verdict: Despite all the injuries, Georgia is simply the more talented team on both sides of the ball. Aaron Murray won't let his team lose two straight. While they don't have a chance at the National Title, they still have a chance to win the SEC East. That coupled with revenge from last week's embarrassment should equal another Bulldog victory in Nashville.

PICK: Georgia -7


#5 Florida St. (6-0) vs. #3 Clemson
FSU -3, O/U: 64.5

Everybody's game of the week! Its not often that we get two top 5 teams duking it out in week 8. The game marks the 27th meeting between Clemson and Florida State dating back to 1970, but the first where both teams are ranked in the top five. The last six times they’ve met as ranked teams, Florida State has been the higher-ranked team, with FSU 5-1 in those games. For Clemson, this will be the second time this season that they have hosted the #5 ranked team in the country after beating Georgia in their first game of the season.

This game features one of the best quarterback match-ups we will see all season in Jameis Winston and Tajh Boyd. Both are very strong Heisman candidates and this game will certainly strengthen the resume for the victor. Statistically, Winston holds a slight edge as the only FBS quarterback to rank among the top five in Total QBR, completion percentage, and passing yards per attempt.

Both teams put up points in bunches (Clemson 40.8 points per game, FSU 53.6 ppg.). The key to this game is going to be making stops on defense and minimizing the damage. Florida St.'s athletic defense matches up fairly well against spread defenses (Clemson's system). In addition, the Seminoles have allowed just 12 points per game (vs. Clemson's 16.2). Georgia was able to put up 35 on the Clemson defense. Granted, it was only week 1 but from a comparison standpoint the FSU offensive attack is more impressive than that of the bulldogs.

The Verdict: Florida St. comes into the game just a little hotter in our opinion than Clemson. Last week's shutout of Maryland was a big eye opener. The Seminoles also appear to be a bit more suited to handle a shootout on the defensive side of the ball with strong DB play. We'll take the favorite in this one.

PICK: Florida St. -3

Friday, October 18, 2013

NFL Fanduel Week 7 Players to Start

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NFL Fanduel Week 7 Players to Start

Each week we give you a stud and a bargain at each position to help you win your Fanduel match-ups.

QB - Andrew Luck - IND - $8,700
You know there is going to be a lot of emotion in the building thanks to Peyton Manning making his first trip back to Indy since joining the Broncos. What is being overlooked is the opportunity for the newgaurd to show why the franchise traded off the best player ever to wear an Indy jersey. Denver is giving up the most passing yards of any defense in the NFL to this point. With the game likely to be a shootout, we like Luck to come up big.
QB - Eli Manning - NYG - $6,800
This is going to be the week that that Manning and the Giants finally put it all together offensively. The Vikings secondary is shaky at best. Expect Manning and Victor Cruz to hook up early and often in what will be their first win of the season.
RB - Knowshon Moreno - DEN - $7,700
We have been on the Moreno bandwagon all season long and he continues to deliver. This week he draws a match-up against an Indy defense that ranks 31st in the NFL against the run. Expect more big things from Knowshon in this one.
RB - Eddie Lacy - GB - $6,500
Honestly, there are a handful of good cheap options out there for week 7 so a strategy of going with Lacy and say a guy like Joseph Randle ($5,500) would open the door for bigger ticket options elsewhere. If you are just picking one, we are going with Lacy. The Packers are going to make more of a commitment to the run this week without Randall Cobb and James Jones on the outside. Opens up the potential for a big game.
WR - Victor Cruz - NYG - $7,200
As we stated earlier, this is the week the Giants offense breaks out. "Manning to Cruz for the Touchdown!" Expect to hear that more than once this weekend.
WR - Aaron Dobson - NE - $4,500
So many injuries to Patriots players, including receiver. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick hate the Jets. They would like nothing more than to go into Metlife Stadium and hang 30 on Rex Ryan's defense. If that is going to happen, rookies like Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins are going to have to have big games. Think about it, everyone is starting to doubt the Pats due to injuries. This is exactly when Tom Brady strikes.
TE - Julius Thomas - DEN - $6,900
Thomas has quietly emerged as Peyton Manning's favorite red-zone target a-la Dallas Clark in his Colts days. He has seven touchdowns in the last six games and is likely to add to that total this week against Indy.
K - Dan Bailey - DAL - $5,000
Best of of the 5k options this week. Dallas and Philly should put up a higher scoring game than many expect. This could open the door for a potential double digit day fro Bailey.
DEF - Atlanta Falcons - $5,200
The Falcons defense has now had an extra week to lick their wounds and regroup. They are going to need to be the driving force with all of the offensive injuries. This week's match-up against a bad Tampa Bay team should be just what the doctor ordered.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

NHL Power Rankings - October 17th

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NHL Power Rankings
October 17, 2013

- We've got all kinds of movement in this week's NHL Power Rankings. The San Jose Sharks appear to be one of, if not the hottest team in hockey to this point and are riding a influx of young talent straight to the top of this week's rankings. Rookie Tomas Hertl is 3rd in the NHL in scoring to this point trailing only guys named Crosby and St. Louis. Speaking of St. Louis (ha ha), the Blues check in at #2 this week after rattling off four straight wins to start the season. Perhaps the surprise of the NHL to this point is the 6-0 Colorado Avalanche. I'm still not quite sure to make of this hot start, but if they continue to play some of the stingiest defense in hockey (allowing just 6 goals through 6 games) they will be a force to recon with in the West. Last week's #1, the Pittsburgh Penguins fall three spots to #4 this week after a bad loss to the Florida Panthers. The defending Stanley Cup champs round out the top five.

Where does your team rank this week?


Rank Team Last Week
1 San Jose Sharks 6-0-0 2
2 St. Louis Blues 4-1-0 5
3 Colorado Avalanche 6-0-0 9
4 Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1-0 1
5 Chicago Blackhawks 4-1-1 4
6 Toronto Maple Leafs 6-1-0 6
7 Boston Bruins 3-2-0 3
8 Anaheim Ducks 5-1-0 12
9 Los Angeles Kings 4-3-0 7
10 Phoenix Coyotes 4-2-1 23
11 Montreal Canadiens 4-2-0 11
12 Detroit Red Wings 5-2-0 8
13 Minnesota Wild 3-2-2 18
14 Columbus Blue Jackets 20309 16
15 New York Islanders 2-2-2 17
16 Vancouver Canucks 4-3-0 13
17 Carolina Hurricanes 2-2-3 20
18 Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2-0 22
19 Dallas Stars 2-3-0 19
20 Calgary Flames 3-1-2 27
21 Ottawa Senators 2-2-2 10
22 Winnipeg Jets 3-4-0 15
23 Washington Capitals 2-5-0 21
24 Nashville Predators 3-3-0 25
25 Edmonton Oilers 1-5-1 26
26 Philadelphia Flyers 1-6-0 28
27 Florida Panthers 2-5-0 29
28 New Jersey Devils 0-3-3 24
29 New York Rangers 2-4-0 14
30 Buffalo Sabers 1-6-1 30



NCAA Football Week 8: Breaking Down the Polls

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NCAA College Football Week 8
Breaking Down the AP & USA Today Coach's Polls


 - As we approach the mid way point in the season the 2013 college football landscape is really starting to get interesting. Sure, the SEC remains dominant and boast a handful of teams in the top 25 including #1 Alabama, but beyond the expected there are a bunch of really good teams that could make this last season of the BCS Bowl format pretty tricky. We now are down to 13 undefeated teams within the rankings. For all but maybe 2 or 3 of them a loss ends their season in terms of NCAA Championship hopes. For teams that play each other, particularly in the SEC, 1 loss may not end all hope but will put that much more pressure on the system when a one loss Alabama/Oregon/Clemson/Ohio State needs to be compared to an undefeated Texas Tech/Louisville/Baylor/UCLA.

While the hopeful answer to those problems looms just a year away (4 team playoff), the present day will prove to be a bit more tricky.

This week we have some really fun match-ups that may only make the 25 a bit more crazy:

No. 3 Clemson vs. No. 5 Florida State
No. 7 Texas A&M vs. No. 24 Auburn
No. 9 UCLA at No. 13 Stanford
No. 14 Missouri vs. No. 22 Florida

At this point Missouri seems to be the real wild card that could pose some problems to the other unbeatens especially if they continue to knock off SEC foes. Their latest victim was previous top 10 team Georgia whom they beat by two touchdowns last week. This week they draw an injury depleted, but still ranked Florida team. Another win should strengthen their resume enough to crack the top ten next week.

And now we move on to the match-up everyone is talking about; our week 8 game of the week...
#3 Clemson will host #5 Florida State in the battle of two of the top Heisman Trophy QB candidates. Florida State cones into the game well rested after a bye week. Clemson comes in having survived a bit of a scare against Boston College last weekend. Advantage either way? Based on what we have seen in college football this season, judging a match-up by the previous week's performance is about as much of a sure thing as a 2013 Manning brothers Super Bowl. Any way you look at it, it is one of the biggest games in the ACC in years. The winner should have the inside track to the Orange Bowl, if not the BCS Championship game.

Now to the polls...

 
 ALL POLLS AS OF 10/13
AP Top 25
RKTEAMRECORDPTS
1Alabama (55)6-01495
2Oregon (5)6-01438
3Clemson6-01352
4Ohio State6-01330
5Florida State5-01242
6LSU6-11137
7Texas A&M5-11105
8Louisville6-01077
9UCLA5-01017
10Miami (FL)5-0912
11South Carolina5-1896
12Baylor5-0849
13Stanford5-1824
14Missouri6-0749
15Georgia4-2615
16Texas Tech6-0590
17Fresno State5-0383
18Oklahoma5-1380
19Virginia Tech6-1352
20Washington4-2309
21Oklahoma State4-1264
22Florida4-2249
23Northern Illinois6-0185
24Auburn5-1156
25Wisconsin4-2153
USA Today Coach's Poll
RKTEAMRECORDPTS
1Alabama (58)6-01545
2Oregon (3)6-01485
3Ohio State6-01406
4Clemson (1)6-01365
5Florida State5-01293
6Louisville6-01166
7Texas A&M5-11156
8LSU6-11098
9South Carolina5-11024
10UCLA5-0999
11Miami (FL)5-0905
12Baylor5-0890
13Stanford5-1857
14Missouri6-0617
15Texas Tech6-0587
16Georgia4-2546
17Oklahoma State4-1493
18Oklahoma5-1482
19Fresno State5-0419
20Virginia Tech6-1297
21Nebraska5-1278
22Florida4-2240
23Northern Illinois6-0224
24Michigan5-1178
25Washington4-2137
  • Dropped from rankings: Northwestern 18
  • Others receiving votes: Wisconsin 124, Michigan State 83, Auburn 67, Notre Dame 60, Oregon State 23, Texas 23, UCF 22, Northwestern 19, Utah 18, Arizona State 13, Houston 6, Boise State 3, Ole Miss 2
  • Courtesy of USA Today -  http://www.usatoday.com/sports/ncaaf/polls/





Wednesday, October 16, 2013

NFL Start'em Sit'em Week 7

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NFL Start'em Sit'em Week 7
By Wild on Sports Analyst Jason Gillson

A look around the NFL at the Week 7 fantasy football landscape as we give you 5 players who are under the radar players to start as well as five usual starters that might look better on your bench this week.

Start'em 5

Nick Foles QB PHI
Foles is coming off a monster week last week where he threw for three touchdowns and ran for another. This week Foles and the Eagles draw a Cowboys team that has given up the third most points to fantasy quarterbacks this season. Still available in many leagues, Foles would be a nice pick up in a bye week for a QB like Drew Brees.

Joseph Randal RB DAL
With DeMarco Murray on the shelf for a few weeks the scramble is on to grab back-up Joseph Randal off the waiver wire. Owned in just 4% of leagues he is sure to be the most highly sought after player this week. Grab him while you can!

Harry Douglas WR ATL
With both Julio Jones and Roddy White out Douglas rises to the top of the WR depth chart this week and is sure to be a popular target for Matt Ryan's depleted offense. While he may not put up dazzling yard totals he is likely to get 6-8 targets and likely a couple of looks in the end zone after double teams to Tony Gonzalez.

Riley Cooper WR PHI
Cooper was Foles favorite target last week, which is surprising given the end of game totals of fellow receiver DeSaun Jackson. Jackson, for obvious reasons is going to get the bulk of the attention from a mediocre Cowboys secondary. This should open things up for Cooper to be the top target for the second week in a row. If you were plagued by a injury to a big time receiver, Cooper would be a nice short term waiver pick-up.

Dallas Clark TE BAL
Joe Flacco loves to throw the ball to big tight ends. Dennis Pitta had been his favorite target for a couple seasons before an injury forced him to the sidelines early in the season. Clark has quietly reemerged as a viable option, particularly in the red-zone. While he is not the same player that he was in his days as Peyton Manning's running mate in Indy, he can still create space for himself and has the hands to be dangerous. While not a top tier start like some of the others listed above, Clark is worth monitoring in the coming weeks after a strong week 6.

Sit'em 5
Joe Flacco QB BAL
Don't look now but the Steelers are out for blood. Mike Tomlin's team is coming off their first win of the season against the Jets and would like nothing better than to help dampen the playoff hopes of their inner-division foe.

Steven Ridley RB NE
Ridley has reemerged as the starting back after a stint in the doghouse early in the season due to fumble troubles. This week he goes up against a Jets defense that has allowed the fewest points to fantasy backs of any team in the league.

Roddy White WR ATL
As mentioned above in the Harry Douglas piece, White is out for week 7 and has been a virtual non-factor to this point anyway. He should be buried deep on your bench for the foreseeable future.

Larry Fitzgerald WR ARI
Fitzgerald had a nice little bounce back week last week but draws Richard Sherman and the stingy Seahawks secondary this week. There are far better options out there.

Joesph Fauria TE DET
Everybody's wonder child after a three touchdown performance last week. Unfortunately, as not even the top TE on his own roster. Flash in the pan, don't over pay for the hype.


NFL Week 7 Power Rankings

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NFL Week 7 Power Rankings

Losses for both the Saints and Colts have caused some shuffling in the top five this week. While they failed to cover the 28 point spread, the Denver Broncos retain the top spot at 6-0. Many thought the Kansas City Chiefs could be due for an inner-division letdown against the Raiders but rolled to keep their record perfect, good enough to raise up a spot to #2. The Seattle Seahawks are quietly making a charge back up the rankings, checking in at 5-1 and #3 this week. The New England Patriots, fresh off what may have been one of the most unexpected and spectacular ends to a game this season, check in at #4. After falling victim to Tom Brady's last second heroics, the New Orleans Saints drop down to the five spot.

Big Movers
UP:  Carolina Panthers +9 -- 28 to 19
Down: Cleveland Browns -5 -- 19 to 24

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RANK TEAM Last Week
1 Denver Broncos 6-0 1
2 Kansas City Chiefs 6-0 3
3 Seattle Seahawks 5-1 5
4 New England Patriots 5-1 6
5 New Orleans Saints 5-1 2
6 Indianapolis Colts 4-2 4
7 San Francisco 49ers 4-2 7
8 Cincinnati Bengals 4-2 8
9 Green Bay Packers 3-2 10
10 Chicago Bears 4-2 13
11 Detroit Lions 4-2 12
12 Baltimore Ravens 3-3 9
13 Miami Dolphins 3-2 11
14 Dallas Cowboys 3-3 16
15 Philadelphia Eagles 3-3 20
16 St. Louis Rams 3-3 22
17 Tennessee Titans 3-3 14
18 New York Jets 3-3 15
19 Carolina Panthers 2-3 28
20 Houston Texans 2-4 17
21 Arizona Cardinals 3-3 18
22 San Diego Chargers 3-3 25
23 Atlanta Falcons 1-4 21
24 Cleveland Browns 3-3 19
25 Pittsburgh Steelers 1-4 29
26 Minnesota Vikings 1-4 23
27 Oakland Raiders 2-4 24
28 Buffalo Bills 2-4 26
29 Washington Redskins1-4 27
30 New York Giants 0-6 30
31 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0-5 31
32 Jacksonville Jaguars 0-6 32             

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