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Sacks in 3 seasons for 2014 1st-round pick Marcus Smith, cut by Eagles on Wednesday

Mark Sanchez passed for 332 yards and two touchdowns Monday night as the Eagles dominated the visiting Panthers in all facets of the game en route to a 45-21 victory that was more lopsided than the final score indicates.

In his first news conference as Nittany Lions head coach, James Franklin made it clear that he’s committed to Penn State for the long haul. Following Bill O’Brien’s short reign, Franklin is exactly what Penn State needs.

We present five areas that could make or break the Eagles’ season.

Archive for the ‘Fantasy sports’ Category

Fantasy Fisching: Handing out awards

Posted by Jacob Fischer On December - 21 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Fischer logoThe fantasy football season is coming to an end. Leagues start their championship matchup this week. Some are one-week matchups and do not play in Week 17 because of NFL teams resting their star players for the playoffs. Others will be two-week matchups and last the rest of the NFL season. As the season comes to an end, let’s give out some awards.

Most Valuable Player: Andrew Luck, Colts quarterback. This is an absolute no-brainer. Luck is the top-ranked quarterback in fantasy football and leads every player in the NFL in fantasy points scored with 322. The third-year player from Stanford was the top-ranked quarterback in fantasy football for a majority of the season and was an automatic start on fantasy football rosters for the duration of the season. It looks like Luck is going to have many successful years in the NFL – and in fantasy football, too.

Least Valuable Player: Doug Martin, Buccaneers running back. Martin burst onto the fantasy football scene last season, making him a risky high draft pick this year. If you happened to take that risk and draft Martin in the first two rounds, it did not quite work out for you. Martin was injured for the first three weeks of the season, which caused you to keep him on your roster. Then, when he came back, he just couldn’t get it going. He has a total of 47 fantasy points for the entire season.

Rookie of the Year: Odell Beckham Jr., Giants wide receiver. He didn’t start to make an impact until Week 5, but he is now the 12th-ranked wide receiver in fantasy football.  He is averaging 10.5 fantasy points per game and has a total of 147 points on the season. That is a solid total for a wide receiver, considering he did not accumulate any points during the first four weeks of the season. Beckham Jr. made a name for himself with his fantastic one-handed catch during Week 12 against the Cowboys. Beckham Jr. is going to be a very valuable wide receiver in fantasy football for years to come.

Biggest Bust: Zac Stacy, Rams running back. The sophomore slump hit Zac Stacy pretty hard. Stacy became a fantasy factor last season, and had high expectations this year. He started off the year somewhat productive, but then just completely became a non-factor. Tre Mason became the top running back on the Rams depth chart when Stacy couldn’t get the job done. Stacy is currently owned in only 5.6% of fantasy football leagues and has accumulated only 38 fantasy points on the season. He is the 66th-ranked running back in fantasy football and most likely will not be drafted in ESPN standard leagues next year.

Now that we’ve handed out the awards, here is the 2014 fantasy first team:

ALL-NFL FANTASY FIRST TEAM

QB: Andrew Luck, Colts: average of 23.0 fantasy points per game

RB: DeMarco Murray, Cowboys: average of 18.1 fantasy points per game

RB: Le’Veon Bell, Steelers: average of 17.9 fantasy points per game

WR: Antonio Brown, Steelers: average of 15.3 fantasy points per game

WR: Demaryius Thomas, Broncos: average of 14.4 fantasy points per game

TE: Rob Gronkowski, Patriots: average of 12.1 fantasy points per game

FLEX: Kelvin Benjamin, Panthers wide receiver: average of 10.0 fantasy point per game

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS: Buffalo Bills: average of 11.4 fantasy points per game

KICKER: Stephen Gostowski. Patriots: average of 10.9 fantasy points per game

*****

THURSDAY NIGHT RECAP: This past Thursday night, the Jacksonville Jaguars defeated the Tennessee Titans, 21-13. The Jaguars improved to 3-12 and the Titans fell to 2-13.

For the Jaguars, quarterback Blake Bortles threw for 150 yards and a touchdown and also ran for 50 yards: a 13-fantasy point performance. Jordan Todman also accumulated 13 fantasy points, rushing for 71 yards and a touchdown and netting 5 receiving yards. Wide receiver Marquise Lee had 65 receiving yards: a 6-fantasy point performance.

For the Titans, quarterback Charlie Whitehurst threw for 287 yards and a touchdown and also ran for 12 yards: a 16-fantasy point performance. Running back Bishop Sankey rushed for 44 yards and had 9 receiving yards: a 4-fantasy point performance. Wide receiver Kendall Wright had 73 receiving yards: a 7-fantasy point performance.

*****

UNFORTUNATE INJURY: This past Monday, Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray had surgery for a broken bone in his hand. He is questionable to play this week against the Colts. Murray is the top-ranked running back in fantasy football, averaging 18.1 fantasy points per game. Joseph Randle will be the starting running back for the Cowboys if Murray cannot play on Sunday.

Cam Newton did not play last week against the Buccaneers because of a back injury from when he got in a car accident. Newton is probably going to play this week against the Browns. Newton is the 16th-ranked quarterback in fantasy football, averaging 14.0 fantasy points per game. Derek Anderson will start at quarterback if Newton cannot play.

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UNLIKELY PERFORMANCE: Last week, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers had his worst game of the season in terms of fantasy football performance. Rodgers threw for 185 yards and had two interceptions and ran for 27 yards: a 5-fantasy point performance. This was the first time all season that Rodgers did not throw a touchdown in a game. The Packers lost that game to the Bills, 21-13. The Bills improved their record to 8-6 and the Packers fell to 10-4. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers will look to get back on track this week against the Buccaneers. Rodgers will be facing a Buccaneers defense that ranks 24th in the league in allowing points to the opposing quarterback, allowing an average of 16.6 fantasy points per game.

*****

WEEK 16 FAVORABLE MATCHUPS: Here is an example of a starting lineup for some of this week’s favorable matchups:

QB: Tom Brady, Patriots (projected 23 fantasy points) vs. Jets defense

RB1: Eddie Lacy, Packers (projected 16 fantasy points) vs. Buccaneers defense

RB2: C.J. Anderson, Broncos (projected 16 fantasy points) vs. Bengals defense

WR1: DeAndre Hopkins (projected 16 fantasy points) vs. Ravens defense

WR2: Mike Evans, Buccaneers (projected 14 fantasy points) vs. Packers defense

TE: Greg Olsen, Panthers (projected 12 fantasy points) vs. Browns defense

FLEX: Jeremy Hill, Bengals (projected 12 fantasy points) vs. Broncos defense

D/ST: Giants (projected 8 fantasy points) vs. Rams offense

K: Matt Bryant, Falcons (projected 12 fantasy points) vs. Saints defense

Fantasy Fisching: Nobody likes a quitter

Posted by Jacob Fischer On December - 14 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Fischer logoThe consolation bracket of the fantasy football playoffs is not the place you want to be. However, if you lose in the playoffs, then you have no choice other than to play the season out in the consolation ladder. Just because you find yourself in the consolation bracket does not give you a free pass to completely stop managing your fantasy team. There are a couple of things that are still at stake.

Every league is set up differently, but if your draft order for next year depends on each team’s final standing, including the playoffs, then you absolutely need to continue to pay attention to your team. Your final record will determine where you draft next year. There also may be some incentives in your particular league. For example, sometimes the winner of the consolation bracket gets a prize.

Also, continuing to set your lineup gives you something to root for in football. If your NFL team is not playing particularly well, then you can still root for your fantasy football players. It helps you to stay interested in the football, and it is also fun to watch your players perform.

It’s still very valuable experience to keep setting your lineups each week even in if you are in the consolation bracket. There is no such thing as having too much practice, so, even if you are playing for nothing, the factor of getting experience is still there.

Then there is the pride factor. Take pride in your team. Respect the other members of your league. Nobody likes a person who just gives up in their league just because they did not win. That does not make the league fun, and the other team owners who are trying will not be happy with your effort.

The league manager may even not let you return to the league next year if you do not put effort in at the end of the season. The league manager truly sees how much an owner cares about the league when they are in the consolation bracket of the playoffs, so it would be beneficial for you to keep setting your lineups.

If you are in the consolation bracket of your league, don’t give up on your team. Keep setting your lineup and get ready for next season.

*****

THURSDAY NIGHT RECAP: This past Thursday, the Cardinals defeated the Rams in a very low scoring game, 12-6. Every point was scored on field goals.

It was not a good night for fantasy owners.

The Cardinals kicker, Chandler Catanzaro converted four field goals, which were good for 16 fantasy points. The Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein converted two field goals, which were good for 6 fantasy points.

For the Cardinals, quarterback Drew Stanton had threw for 109 yards and rushed for 3 yards before leaving the game with a knee injury: a 4-fantasy point performance. Quarterback Ryan Lindley then came in and threw for 30 yards; a 1-fantasy point performance. Running back Kerwynn Williams rushed for 75 yards and had 11 receiving yards: an 8-fantasy point performance. Running back Stepfan Taylor rushed for 61 yards: a 6-fantasy point performance. Wide receiver Malcolm Floyd had 55 receiving yards: a 5-fantasy point performance and Larry Fitzgerald had 30 receiving yards: a 3-fantasy point performance.

For the Rams, quarterback Shaun Hill threw for 229 yards, had an interception and rushed for 11 yards: an 8-fantasy point performance. Running back Tre Mason rushed for 33 yards and fumbled the ball once: a 1-fantasy point performance. Wide receiver Stedman Bailey had 74 receiving yards: a 7-fantasy point performance. Kenny Britt had 65 receiving yards: a 6-fantasy point performance.

*****

FIRST START OF THE SEASON: Johnny Manziel made his NFL debut in Week 13 against the Bills when he came in late in the game for Brian Hoyer. This week, he will start against the Bengals. However, starting Manziel on your fantasy football team would not be that wise considering this is his first NFL start and the Bengals rank seventh in points given up to opposing quarterbacks, only allowing an average of 14.1 fantasy points per game.

*****

REMATCH: Sunday night, the Eagles and Cowboys will have a rematch of their matchup from Thanksgiving Day. Some players to keep an eye out for on the Eagles are running back LeSean McCoy and wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and Jordan Matthews. For the Cowboys, look for running back DeMarco Murray, wide receiver Dez Bryant, tight end and Jason Witten to potentially have big games.

*****

BOUNCING BACK STRONG: Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has bounced back very nicely after his 12-fantasy point performance against the Jaguars in Week 12. In terms of fantasy points, it was Luck’s worst game of the season. Since that performance, he has had two consecutive 20-plus fantasy point performances and  will look to continue his strong play this week against a strong Texans defense that only allows an average of 14.6 fantasy points, which ranks 10th in the NFL for fantasy points given up to the opposing quarterback.

*****

END OF THE SEASON: On Friday, the NFL announced that it has denied Adrian Peterson’s appeal of his suspension. It is now official that he will not play for the rest of the season.

*****

WEEK 15 FAVORABLE MATCHUPS: Here is an example of a starting lineup for some of this week’s favorable matchups:

QB: Jay Cutler, Bears (projected 18 fantasy points) vs. Saints defense

RB1: Le’Veon Bell, Steelers (projected 23 fantasy points) vs. Falcons defense

RB2: Arian Foster, Texans (projected 18 fantasy points) vs. Colts defense

WR1: Dez Bryant, Cowboys (projected 15 fantasy points) vs. Cowboys defense

WR2: Odell Beckham Jr., Giants (projected 15 fantasy points) vs. Redskins defense

TE: Travis Kelce, Chiefs (projected 10 fantasy points) vs. Raiders defense

FLEX: LeGarrette Blount, Patriots (projected 12 fantasy points) vs. Dolphins defense

D/ST: Jets (projected 7 fantasy points) vs. Titans offense

K: Justin Tucker, Ravens (projected 10 fantasy points) vs. Jaguars defense

Pirates' Jose Osuna throws out 3 Phillies