RB Fantasy Football News
The media world has long been guilty of showing disrespect and a lack of humanity to the individuals they place in their crosshairs. Mindless and uniformed reporters can dish it out, but they rarely have to take any abuse themselves.
This has produced a journalistic culture of bullies hell-bent on snagging its next set of victims. The fact that one athlete, Marshawn Lynch, has decided to stand up to them, has understandably set off a media firestorm. How dare someone ignore the ignorant and inflammatory questions because they have had enough?
This the same media that droned on about “Deflategate” so often that sports fans had to shut off their televisions and radios for a full week until they could actually hear about the actual Super Bowl again.
Yes, Lynch makes millions of dollars and is expected to deal with the simple-minded questions. However, the fact that he doesn’t answer the bullies the way they want actually threatens them.
Lynch is a phenomenal fantasy RB, but is he really that interesting? Even when he did speak this week, it was largely ignored.
“So y'all can go make up whatever y'all want to make up because I don't say enough for y'all to go and put anything out on me.”
In RB news, the fact that Lynch has become the focal point of the Super Bowl because he won’t play ball with the media circus is sheer comedy. Reporters have no idea how to react when someone won't be coerced into a verbal sparring match with them. I’m not Seattle fan by any stretch, but wouldn’t it be great theater if Lynch actually snagged the Super Bowl MVP honor?
You don’t have to like Lynch at all, but it’s refreshing to see someone remind the revered 4th estate that it has crumbled into nothing more than a whining nightmare version of the National Enquirer.
Stay up to date on RB fantasy news with ASL!
When it comes to fantasy basketball, it's never easy to unload a top notch player who is known for filling up the stat sheets. After putting up four straight 24+ point games, this may be the best time to sell high on Carmello Anthony and get something of value in return. With rumors of the Knicks star being shut down for the season floating around the basketball news arena, owners should get out while they still can!
Anthony, one of the better NBA players, has been dealing with multiple injuries during the first season of his new 5-year, $124 million contract and his season could be coming to a close very soon. The Knicks are currently 11 games out of 8th place in the Eastern Conference, with virtually no shot of making the playoffs. New York will continue to ride out this season with one of the worst records in the league, as they hope to secure a top 3 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.
Ideally, the Knicks would like to get their hands on the potential number one pick Jahlil Okafor from Duke University. After watching Duke take down St. John's at Madison Square Garden, Anthony praised Okafor, saying "he's got a great feel for the game and a great touch." In today's sports world, the stars of the team usually get what they want in terms of personnel (ex: LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Kevin Love, etc.), and the Knicks will do all they can to please Carmelo Anthony by acquiring Okafor.
In addition to the draft, the Knicks will look to make major roster improvements through free agency, as they currently only have approximately $34 million in contracts for next season. The Knicks players have already tried recruiting the likes of Suns PG Goran Dragic, and Grizzlies C Marc Gasol, but the appeal of coming to New York would certainly be diminished with an unhealthy Carmelo Anthony on the roster.
Exacerbating Carmelo Anthony's injury woes could only make the Knicks' situation worse, and they will most likely look to avoid that issue by shutting him down for the season in the recent future (2-3 weeks). Even if they decide to keep him on their active roster, Anthony missing games every so often is reason enough to dish him out for someone of equal and even slightly lesser fantasy NBA value.
- R.C. Fischer - Fantasy Football Metrics
*I’m getting a lot of questions the last 24-48 hours on Latavius Murray, and I know why, so let me address it for once and all…
Remember…”I’m never wrong. I’m just temporarily not right.”
Do you know how much it warms my heart to see Latavius Murray being discussed by his new offensive coordinator (Bill Musgrave) in such glowing terms? Musgrave’s exact quote: “I’m looking forward to getting on the field and finding out what he’s (Murray) all about and what his strengths are so we can tailor our run game so it’s right up his alley.”
He said that in an NFL that uses running backs like disposable diapers these days…
In an era where Demarco Murray (option for the fantasy football keepers list) can lead the league in rushing and be an MVP candidate—and get offered a long-term deal like that of a really good Kicker…
In an era where no one knows who the Patriots RB will be from one week to the next…
In this day and age, an Offensive Coordinator actually singled out a young RB who was barely noticed by his previous two NFL head coaches (FYI, both fired/not retained for their brilliance), and said he would tailor the running game to him. Are you kidding me? H&R Block getting my billions back is not this exciting.
You know why it warms my heart, right?
In 2013, the NFL said Latavius Murray was a 6th-round RB talent. Miami took RB Mike Gillislee17 picks before Murray. 50 picks prior the 49ers wasted a draft pick on RB Marcus Lattimore—a healthy Lattimore was not as good as a healthy Murray. A several-times injured Lattimore was ridiculous pick…and the same people who decided upon that also just traded Jim Harbaugh for Jim Tomsula.
In 2013, NFL Draft analysts either didn’t know who Latavius Murray was, or gave the obligatory ‘best NFL fantasy sleepers' label…but would not have the guts to include him in their top-5 or top-10 RBs in the class.
In 2013, our computer scouting models said Latavius Murray was a #1 or #2 ranked RB talent in the 2013 draft class. For which, we were deemed insane or gutsy…either way, alone on an island—which is my favorite kind of scouting island.
In 2013, many of you placed your Dynasty Rookie Draft trust in our scouting call here (and it was pretty cheap to do so). Some of you had to ‘tap out’ on him by 2013 end. Some tapped in early 2014. I can’t blame you. I had to chuck him in some leagues too. It was not Murray’s fault—it was the fact that the Raiders are friggin’ idiots. That’s a crass statement, but absolutely spot on analysis. I say it like that because I feel for Raiders fans—your own coaches and GM are authoring their demise with impunity. They could have been playing Murray all along in 2014. They didn’t, until the very end.
You can never get enough Darren McFadden or Maurice Jones-Drew, while you lose every single game you play, can you?
The Raiders have won like three games in the last decade (actually 3 of their last 19, and 4 of their last 22). What do those three wins have in common? Latavius Murray had 60 or more yards rushing in the game. All of the 16 losses in the last 19 games…Murray had less than 60 yards rushing, and usually no touches in those defeats.
Now here we all are in 2014. Some of you kept the faith all the way—and for that, the Lord (a.k.a. The Computer) hath blessed you. Some kept tabs on Murray, and scooped him off waivers when we started giving the alert 2014 mid-season. You too have been blessed.
Why are you blessed?
You probably think it is because Murray showed his skills, finally, and might be in for a very nice opportunity in 2015…you hope.
No, no, no, no, no, no…
Ladies and gentlemen…
You realize Latavius Murray is on a rocket ship ride to becoming a 2015 redraft top-10 RB, right? A possible late 1st-round pick in some 2015 redrafts? A possible late 1st-round pick in Dynasty startup, perhaps?
You don’t realize any of that because it’s not true…not yet, but it’s coming.
- Austin Becker - Fantasy Focus
WR Fantasy Football News -
The carousel that is Josh Gordon’s football career continues to go round and round. Even the NFL has its limit on the behavior of its players and the elite talent of Josh Gordon may not be enough stop him from trashing his own career. The Cleveland Browns fantasy WR Josh Gordon failed yet another drug test (alcohol) and now will be subject to another one-year suspension, according to league sources. This is coming after Gordon just served out a 10 game suspension for the 2014 season. He was actually in the process of serving a year-long suspension, when a new set of drug testing and punishment policies reduced his penalty to only ten games.
It's clear that Gordon needs some type of help because this pattern of behavior dates back well into his high school playing days. During Gordon’s college years at Baylor, he chose to enter the NFL after he was dismissed for a failed marijuana test. So this begs the question, does he still have any shot to play in the NFL? Not if he can't stay out of WR news.
Gordon’s future is extremely fuzzy at the moment. In the 5 games that Gordon did participate in, he was nothing but mediocre compared to the unbelievable 2013 season he had. After serving a two-game drug suspension, Gordon led the league with 1,646 yards in only 14 games. It doesn't look good when you compare those numbers to the 2014 season where he caught just 24 passes for 303 yards in five games. There is still much to be said about Gordon and fellow “bad-boy” teammate Johnny Manziel, and whether or not they can ever produce together.
The difficult part for Gordon is that he will have to stay sober for an entire year in order for Roger Goodell to reinstate him. Goodell is mired in a public relations nightmare with the league and he may show no mercy to a repeat offenders like Gordon. The bottom line is that it's ultimately up to Gordon if he ever wants to get himself straight enough to play in the NFL again.
Stay tuned to ASL for the best WR fantasy news!
In basketball news, the season is likely over for Lakers star, and one of the greatest NBA players of all time, Kobe Bryant having been diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff. With the Lakers currently standing in 14th place in the Western Conference, the team has no reason to risk aggravating Bryant's shoulder injury. Bryant is the Lakers leading scorer and Nick Young will have to step up and lead that lackluster offense.
Los Angeles has now lost its second player to a season-ending injury (the first being rookie Julius Randle), and their depth across the board is non-existent. Every member of the rotation will see increased playing time in order to fill the void left by one of the greatest players of all time. The most suitable replacement has to be the brash Nick Young who is nicknamed Swaggy P. who's in your face personality is always on display.
Young's season hasn't gone too well to this point. He's averaging 14.5 points per game on about 39 percent shooting from the field. Young is known for being a volume scorer, but he's yet to take more than 20 shots in any game this season. Expect that to change sooner rather than later. This is pure speculation, but Young could have been holding back in the games where Bryant was resting in order to keep the clearly defined roles in tact, but now that mentality has to be left behind. Young now has a chance to make the Lakers his team.
Though his shooting percentage still wasn't great (44 percent) a year ago, he managed to put up 17.9 points and 2.1 3 pointers per contest, and he should be able to reach that level, if not higher. Last season, Young had Gasol to help him score, but now he has even more weight to carry on his shoulders. He should receive some contribution from role players like Carlos Boozer, Jeremy Lin, Wayne Ellington and Wes Johnson, but Young will be the major benefactor in terms of scoring and 3 pointers.
If he is available on the wire, pick up Young as a fantasy NBA option as soon as possible in what could be a very impressive end to the season for the scorer.
Stay tuned to ASL for the latest fantasy basketball news and advice!
1) "Wild Dog" Richard Sherman may go Rick Grimes and bite a female reporter rather than scream at her during post game interview
2) LeGarrette Blount primed to sucker punch another player in front of a Super Bowl audience
3) Jeremy Lane may require skin grafts after getting torched by NFL fantasy stud Rob Gronkowski
4) Aaron Hernandez will be watching the Super Bowl with the “Sisters Gang” from Shawshank
5) NFL player news: Richard Sherman will sip another sweet and juicy Adderall cocktail during pre-game warmups
6) Bill Belichick will finally show off his Gisele Bundchen tattoo
7) Belichick may implicate Brady regarding the circumstances around his Gisele tattoo
8) The Patriots could have played with deflated ping pong balls and beaten the Colts by 30
9) Ravens coach John Harbaugh will sing "Tears on my Pillow" during halftime with Katy Perry
10) LeGarrette Blunt – Smoking blunts, getting fantasy football stud Le’Veon Bell busted and busting out for the Patriots
Say what you want about Deflate-Gate or Seattle needing the stars to align for their overtime victory against Green Bay, because the two best teams in the NFL are playing in the Superbowl and it should be one hell of a game. It really is a match-up between the Unstoppable Force meets the Immovable Object. New England has been on a role since their sluggish 2-2 start and Seattle hasn't lost a game since Week 10.
There are tons of juicy match-ups, playoff fantasy football impact, and story lines to talk about so let's take a deeper look into what will decide this game and who might come out on top.
New England has been the most dominant team in the NFL since the turn of the century and Tom Brady will be looking for his fourth ring in six appearances. He will have to knock off the defending champs and the new kid on the block, Russell Wilson. Wilson is 10-0 against Superbowl winning quarterbacks and is starting to become the "New Tom Brady". Brady will be facing one of the best defenses in recent history and Wilson will have to create success against a Belichick defense that will do everything in their power to eliminate the ground game from both Wilson and Marshawn Lynch.
The X Factor in this game is Rob Gronkowski. Both teams have Superbowl-Winning quarterbacks, excellent defenses, power running games and reliable kickers, but there is only one Gronk. Seattle has had a history of shutting down premier tight ends, but Antonio Gates burned them for three touchdowns earlier this season and Gates is no Gronk. Gronk is a nightmare for opposing defenses and will get some one-on-one opportunities if New England can find some success on the ground.
Seattle's formula all year has been to pound the rock with Beast Mode and let Wilson make some plays with his feet on play action. New England's game plan will be to eliminate Beast Mode, prevent Wilson from making big plays on the ground and force Wilson to beat New England with his arm from the pocket. New England has the talent to make this happen but Beast Mode has made a living of making big plays and Wilson only needs one big play to light up the scoreboard.
In NFL player news, the main advantages I see are Gronk and Belichick for New England and Seattle's All-World safeties of Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas for Seattle. I see a really low scoring game for roughly three quarters (bad for playoff NFL fantasy players) and then a few late touchdowns for both teams (good for playoff NFL fantasy players). I see New England winning this one on a late field goal.
It should be a great game, February 1st can't come soon enough.
This year's rookie NBA class seemed to have only a few bright spots in Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins, but the overall talent level of the group seems to be ever increasing. Wiggins should be a lock for Rookie of the Year with Parker falling victim to a torn ACL, but there are some other players who have certainly had significant impacts on their respective squads.
Looking at big men, 20-year-old Jusuf Nurkic has really developed into a solid force for the Denver Nuggets. His role will only continue to grow with Timofey Mozgov now a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Though his 6.5 PPG and 5.5 RPG don't jump out at you, one must take into consideration how much he has improved, and his potential to continue to grow and develop into something special. Nurkic has struggled very recently, failing to reach double digits in both scoring and rebounding because he keeps finding himself in foul trouble. Before the fouling issues began, he transforming into a dominant force down low right before our eyes. From late December to early January, he averaged 12.5 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.2 blocks over a six-game span. Look for Nurkic to get back on track as the starting center for the Nuggets, as he has little competition for minutes at the position. His potential ceiling is pretty high, especially in rebounds, blocks and field goal percentage.
Elfrid Payton is without a doubt the best passer out of the rookie class and is quickly becoming a game-changer for the Orlando Magic. He's demonstrated the potential to spread the ball around earlier on this year, but has really played at a high level as of late. During his last four games, Payton has averaged 16.5 points, 7.8 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game. The only concerning statistic lies in turnovers, as the rookie point guard has also seen a rise in that area, turning the ball over 13 times in his last 3 games. Payton should see more action as he has shown flashes of greatness, as he looks to help lead this young Magic team to the playoffs (Magic are currently 3.5 games back from the 8 seed in the East). Payton should end the season leading all rookies in assists per game, and hopefully he can keep the turnovers down.
The appeal of Andrew Wiggins is very simple, he can do it all. He has proven his explosive 5-stat potential production and has current highs at 31 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 blocks and 4 steals (personal records in scoring, assists and blocks completed in the same game). The number one overall pick has a unique set of skills, as he can score from anywhere on the floor, ranging from threes to driving to the hoop. Look for his scoring numbers to be consistently decent (around 18-20 points per game) as he gains confidence and becomes more acclimated to the NBA. He's quick enough to beat his man with dribble penetration and if he and his teammates begin to build rapport, he should get assists when they make strategic cuts to the basket. His rebounding numbers may settle around 5-6 per game, especially with the eventual return of Nikola Pekovic, but his assists and steals should increase slightly in the latter half of the season. He is becoming not only one of the best rookies, but one of the better NBA players in the league. Definitely a great fantasy NBA play.
Keep reading ASL for the best fantasy basketball news around!
- Austin Becker - Fantasy Focus
There's plenty of conjecture as to why the Seahawks were able to come back from a 16-point deficit, but the answer really is NOT so terribly complicated. The Packers 16-point lead should have been much been at least a 20-point lead and Pete Carroll had halftime to correct what was going so terribly wrong.
All Seattle had to do was score one touchdown (which they did) and they were right back in the game.
Green Bay squandered two goal line changes at the beginning of the game and settled for field goals. The bottom line is, Green Bay didn't play to win, they played NOT to lose and it cost them a trip to the Super Bowl.
This game should not be a down fall for the proud Green Bay franchise what so ever. As long as the great Aaron Rodgers is healthy and they can keep most of their weapons – the Packers should have no problem being Super Bowl contenders yet again next season.
Aaron Rodgers would like to play for 10 more years, but that’s not as simple as it seems – just ask Brett Favre. None-the-less, Rodgers has at least 5 to 7 more years in his prime, seeing that he is only 31 years old. Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb are Rodger’s favorite weapons in his repertoire. Nelson is a non-issue this off-season as he signed a 4-year contract extension during the early days of last training camp. The main priority for the Pack will be to sign Nelson’s running mate Randall Cobb.
It will be interesting to see how much cash the Packers will divvy up to Randall Cobb, because you can bet Cobb and his agent will use Nelson’s contract as a measuring stick. Like Aaron Rogers once said, “R-E-L-A-X.” Just because the Packers lost the NFC championship game brutally to the Seattle Seahawks, doesn’t mean that the franchise will take a nose dive into the ground.
The Packers will always be in playoff contention as long as Rodgers is at the wheel. We can also note that Green Bay shouldn't need any motivation for next season after their NFC Championship Game breakdown.
After upsetting the Denver Broncos, the Colts will look to do so again as they head to New England to take on the Patriots. The Pats were nearly beaten by a surging Ravens offense a week ago, and will be tested once again by Andrew Luck and his high-powered offensive attack.
The Patriots seem destined to make it to the Super Bowl once again and it's hard to see the young and inexperienced Luck getting in their way. The former number 1 overall pick has gone 0-3 against the Pats in his career, losing by a combined score of 144-66 in those contests. The two teams only met once this season, and the Colts lost 42-20 at home as Jonas Gray rushed for 214 yards and 4 TDs. Expect to see a similar outcome in the final score, but the means of scoring should differ greatly.
The Colts defense finished the season ranked 18th in allowing 113.4 rushing yards per game, and the Pats should be able to run them into the ground. Earlier in the season, Gray exploded in a breakout performance, but his role has been reduced significantly since that Week 11 meeting. LeGarrette Blount has begun to receive more of a workload, and should be able to find the end zone, in addition to around 50 rushing yards.
As for the passing game, Indy was more successful in giving up just 229.3 passing yards per game this season, ranking 12th in the category. However, Tom Brady's postseason experience should allow him to find success against this difficult opponent. Expect Brady to overcome this tough matchup through use of his TE Rob Gronkowski, as well as his lesser targets in Brandon LaFell, Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola. Gronk should be a lock for at least 10 targets, turning that into 90-100 yards and at least 1 touchdown. In addition to Gronk, hopefully Amendola can keep up his high level of play as he erupted for 81 yards and 2 TDs on 5 receptions in last week's victory. He should see plenty of action in slot routes across the middle, and secure at least a few catches for around 40-60 yards. QB Tom Brady should turn in another solid performance of at least 300 yards and 2-3 TDs in an easy win.
The toughest part for the Patriots will be limiting Andrew Luck and company, as their defense was not too good against the pass this season. New England finished the season ranked 17th in allowing 239.8 passing yards per contest, and they will really have to be on their game to slow down the Colts. Luck has solid targets in Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton, Dwayne Allen, Hakeem Nicks, and former college teammate Coby Fleener at his disposal, and it will be more than difficult to shut them all down at once.
Luck has shown the ability to extend plays outside the pocket with his legs, so New England will have to be diligent in its approach to stopping them even after it seems as if the play is over. The Colts have been pretty successful in running the ball through use of tailback Boom Herron, and they will also have to try and limit his impact, as he gets it done when it counts. The Patriots ranked 9th this year in allowing 104.3 rushing yards per game, and should be able to limit his effectiveness. Expect Andrew Luck to have a solid game in terms of yards and touchdowns, but to also turn the ball over a couple times in a hostile Foxborough environment, against a well-experienced Patriots football team.