Cleveland now has the longest active winning streak with 11 straight after Monday night's win over the Sixers, and their recent success can be attributed to Kyrie Irving's stellar play. LeBron James has been in and out of the lineup while dealing with some minor injury issues, but Irving has proven his ability to lead this new-look Cavaliers franchise in one of the best NBA players' absence.
In particular, Irving's scoring has really picked up the slack in reference to scoring, putting up 30 PPG in his last 5 appearances. He hasn't just been scoring, but scoring effectively at 49% over that span, with a remarkable effective field goal percentage of 61 (due to his 25 3-point field goals).
The major highlight of this stretch came during the Cavaliers' win at home against the Portland Trail Blazers, when Irving scored a career-high 55 points, as well as a personal best 11 3-pointers made while LeBron James was sidelined. With James' status up in the air on a nightly basis, and with PF Kevin Love struggling, Kyrie Irving's potential ceiling is very high from here on out.
Kevin Love seems to be dealing with some confidence issues, and even looks uncomfortable at times when looked upon to get some scoring production. Though he is averaging 16.9 points per game on the season, he has only eclipsed 15 points in 2 of his last 7 games. Coach Blatt has even gone with smaller lineups down the stretch late in games, leaving Love on the bench.
Irving has been a major benefactor of this new and improved Cleveland Cavaliers team, and he finally seems to be living up to all the hype that surrounded him since his rookie season. He should be able to stay present and dominant as a force on the offensive end, and his production should be steadily high for as long as he can stay healthy. This is definitely not an easy player to buy-low in standard fantasy basketball leagues, but his consistency going forward could be worth the asking price as he can contribute heavily in points, threes, and field goal percentage.
For the latest in fantasy NBA advice and basketball news, keep reading ASL!
QB Fantasy Football News -
When it was all said and done, Tom Brady, perennial fantasy QB stud and no stranger to QB news, took home his third Super Bowl MVP award and the Patriots won their fourth championship title in their last six tries. Talk about getting the monkey off of your back and in this case there were a few pestering monkeys on Brady’s back. During the past two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, Brady has had his integrity, respect for the game and honesty called into questions by a rabid media circus.
Brady responded to all of these accusations with an outstanding performance on the field to trump the defending Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks. The amount of pressure that was bestowed on Tom Brady was probably the most ever put on a quarterback before a Super Bowl.
As the entire world now knows, Brady and the Patriots had been accused of deflating footballs. The media has rarely been guilty of beating a dead horse more than this one as they droned on and on and on pretty much forgetting all about that tiny little game called the Super Bowl.
Brady also had to be tormented by the scars of losing his last two Super Bowls to the New York Giants in thrilling last minute fashions.
After all of this controversy and haunting past events, Brady and the Patriots found a way to defeat that vaunted Seattle defense. Brady absolutely deserved that sweet victory and the MVP award – no doubt what so ever. Think about it – He stood strong and took on the doubts and judgments from the world watching the Super Bowl and then beat the best defense in football.
Brady now owns his 3rd Super Bowl MVP award and has hoisted his fourth Lombardi Trophy in six tries. This game clearly cemented Brady’s legacy as one of the best quarterbacks of all time, sharing the same number of Super Bowls wins with Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw.
For the latest in QB fantasy news, stay tuned to Fantasy Focus!
QB Fantasy Football News -
It was almost 13 years ago to the day, February 3, 2002, when Tom Brady first lifted up the Lombardi Trophy in New Orleans. There’s no question that Brady, perennial fantasy QB stud, and the New England Patriots have their work cut for them against the current defending Super Bowl champs. Seattle’s defense is a well-oiled machine that often takes no prisoners on the field.
However, the Legion on Boom exposed some cracks in the armor two weeks ago against a hobbled Aaron Rodgers when they got clobbered in the first half and pulled out a very unlikely overtime win against Green Bay.
The Seattle versus New England game should be a very close and entertaining matchup. A fact that has almost been lost in the shuffle with all of the foolish ramblings about “IdiotGate” and Marshawn Lynch’s disdain for the media. Any QB news?
There are many story lines to focus on, but one of the most important is the mountain-sized CHIP on Tom Brady’s shoulder. He’s more motivated for this game than any other during his storied career for several reasons.
- FOUR SUPER BOWL RINGS – There is no greater motivator for any quarterback in the game than getting on the short list with Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw.
- More than any defender in the game, Brady can actually feel father time closing in on him. He’s 37-years-old and his time is definitely running out.
- You Mad, Bro? Damn right he’s mad. Brady never goes a full day without remembering being called out by the cheery defender named Richey Sherman. I have always wondered if Sherman’s taunt would come back to haunt him, today we will find out.
- Deflate Gate – Just another motivator for a quarterback who has already played in five Super Bowls and is hell-bent on adding his 4th ring.
For the most up-to-date QB fantasy news, stay tuned to Fantasy Focus.
RB Fantasy Football News -
In RB news, fantasy RB Marshawn Lynch spent the few minutes he attended Tuesday’s Super Bowl media day repeating the same phrase over and over again (29 times to be exact), “I’m just here so I won’t get fined.” He followed up is Tuesday performance by answering every question "You know why I'm here."
With Beast Mode being one of the most popular players playing in the Super Bowl, his behavior raises some good questions. Should Lynch get fined for not sufficiently answering any questions? Should the players even be required to speak to the media?
According to league officials, Lynch will not be fined due to the length of time he spent on the podium or the answers he provided. However, Lynch was wearing a hat with his “Beast Mode” logo on it which could subject him to a fine after the Super Bowl is completed. Lynch wore the the hat on both Tuesday and Wednesday so it could be two separate fines.
With Lynch's behavior and the storm of attention it brings, it begs the questions as to whether players should have to speak to the media or at a minimum, should they care if he continues to do what he does?
Many Seahawks players have stated how unfair it is for the NFL to fine them for wearing products that are not approved by the NFL and how they shouldn't be required to speak to the media as part of their NFL contract. It is their right to have that opinion and it seems reasonable for them to protest this, but given the fact that the NFL has done an impeccable job marketing and promoting their league, players who are being paid millions of dollars a year can be subject to speak to the media and give the fans what they want.
Lynch has a right to feel the way he does and the media has a right to do what they do. Lynch should want to provide some juicy soundbites to create excitement for the game because he will only be building his brand and creating excitement for the game.
Lynch won't change his opinion about the media and the media won't ignore Lynch because he refuses to talk to them. I just hope it doesn't affect his ability to perform on Sunday because he will need a few "Beast Mode" plays in order to host the Lombardi trophy on Sunday night. Lynch plays big in big games and this is not the first time he's treated the media this way. This is not a big story but it needs to be talked about because the people who really lose in this situation are the fans and the people who support Lynch and want to know what he thinks about the upcoming game.
Keep reading ASL's RB fantasy news for the best fantasy info!
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.
*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.
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