• TCU, Baylor battling to become top team in Big 12

    Week 6 was upset Saturday for college football. For the first time since 1990, four of the top six teams in the country lost.
     
    Among those six was the Oklahoma Sooners, who lost to TCU 33-37 Saturday afternoon.
     
    Going into the game, we knew that TCU’s defense was tough, and the Horned Frogs played close to the Sooners throughout the game. This loss will set back Oklahoma’s plans for making this year’s college football playoff.
     
    Now, there are two new Big 12 unbeatens at the top of the heap, Baylor and TCU. The Horned Frogs are 4-0 and have moved to number 9 in the nation after the big win this weekend over Oklahoma.
     
    The good news is, we won’t have to hold our breath for very long before we find out who the top team in the Big 12 is.
     
    The Horned Frogs will travel to Waco this weekend to face off with the No. 5 Bears in what will be one of the decisive matchups in the Big 12 this season.
     
    After stumbling in the first half, the Bears were able to pull away from Texas last weekend for a 28-7 win in Austin. Now they will have to face another tough opponent in TCU.
     
    If Baylor hopes to win, the Bears cannot struggle in the first half as they did against Texas. TCU has a dynamic offense and a defense that is better than average.
     
    I give the nod to Baylor due to the home field advantage. Regardless of the outcome, the winner of this one will vault to the top of the Big 12, and have a strong shot at a spot in this year’s playoff.
     
    It seems that at this point in the year Oklahoma, Baylor, and TCU have separated themselves at the top of the conference. These three are reminiscent of the 2008 three-way-tie in the Big 12 between Texas, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech.
     
    Keep an eye out for Baylor’s November visit to Norman. That game will still have major conference implications.
     
    TCU and Baylor will kick off this Saturday at 2:30 p.m. central on ABC.
  • James' move to Cleveland more about money than basketball

    ESPN and TNT fended off other TV competitors to retain rights to broadcast NBA games for the next nine years. This deal was a reported 2.66 billion dollars a year by New York Times. The deal is worth nearly 3 times as much as the old deal. So where does this extra money being generated go to?

     

    That’s a question LeBron James and the players association want answered fast. When the NBA went into the lockout in 2011, the owners and players signed a new CBA for five years, so this is set to expire in two more years. Which means there will be plenty of more negotiating between the two sides on where this extra revenue will be going.

     

    The reason James signed only a two year deal with Cleveland had nothing to do with basketball but everything to do with money. James absolutely knew there would be a new TV deal producing much more money. If everything goes accordingly, James and other top free agents will be able to sign longer deals for more money.

     

    This much revenue could open the door to baseball like contracts for the NBA. For example, Albert Pujols signed a 10 year, 240 million dollar deal with the Los Angeles Angels in 2012. However under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, players can only sign a max of five years with their current team, or four years should they choose to sign with another team.  

     

    James realizes how instrumental this can be in terms of players’ ability to capitalize when negotiating contracts. He also understands if the owners and National Basketball Players Association don’t start discussing a potential deal, the NBA could see another long lockout in 2016.


    The reason the lockout lasted 161 days in 2011 was the owners claiming they were losing money. Now with the way NBA franchises have been selling and of course the money produced by this TV deal, no way that argument still stands. Hopefully the fans and certainly the players don’t have to go through another lockout.

  • Fantasy Decision: Week 6 Free Agent Finds

    Every year it happens. But go ahead  and calm down. So what! You’re 2-3, big deal. It’s funny; the world kept on functioning even though you’re under .500.

    Last night your hopes of moving to 3-2 were dashed with the Seahawks D doing absolutely nothing, or Alfred Morris putting up a stinker, or Percy Harvin having three touchdowns called back because of penalties. But your season is not over. Even if you’re 1-4, there’s a reason they play the games (if you’re 0-5, I think fantasy hockey is starting up this week so there’s always that).

    The NFL is unpredictable; you never know what’s going to happen week to week. In the majority of fantasy football leagues, a record over .500 will get you into the playoffs. So look at your 1-4 or 2-3 record and imagine the smile on your face when you’re sneaking into the playoffs with that 7-6 record. So keep reading this article, make the appropriate waiver wire claims, and keep using the same formula you have been. It will all level out over a full season.

    With that, it’s on to everyone’s favorite section: You’re Welcome/Sorry About That…

                      You’re Welcome

    ·       Justin Hunter- My prediction: 6 catches, 71 yards, and a TD Reality: 3 receptions for 99 yards and a TD (15 fantasy points)…You’re welcome

    ·       Steelers D- My prediction: Pick them up and expect double digit points    Reality: 16 fantasy points…You’re welcome

    ·       Eagles D- My prediction: 17 points against, 2 INTs, 4 sacks   Reality: 28 points against, 4 sacks, 3 fumble recoveries, 2 TDs (18 fantasy points)…YOU’RE WELCOME!!!

    Sorry About That

    ·       Joe Flacco- My prediction: 315 yards, 2 touchdowns    Reality: 235 yards, no touchdowns…Sorry about that

    ·       Darrin Reaves- My prediction: 18 carries for 67 yards and a TD  Reality: 11 carries for 35 yards…Sorry about that

    ·       Jace Amaro- My prediction: 6 catches for 63 yards   Reality: 3 catches for 19 yards…..Yeah I’m really sorry about that

    Free Agent Finds

                      Quick reminder, these guys are free agents for a reason, don’t expect a miracle from them. Secondly, the Chiefs and Saints are on bye this week so set your lineup accordingly

    ·       Jake Locker (owned in 2% of leagues)

    o   I’m giving Locker one more shot to prove himself, and the Titans may feel the same way. With a proven backup in Charlie Whitehurst and a rookie they want to see in Zach Mettenberger, Locker needs to improve his play or risk losing his job. The young QB suffered a bruised thumb in Sunday’s loss to the Browns, but assuming he plays, he’s facing a very fantasy friendly defense in the Jaguars. Locker’s got a pretty solid arm and also picks up valuable rushing yards with his feet so he’s someone who could definitely fill in if you’ve got Brees or Alex Smith as your normal starter. Start him this week and pray he finally lives up to the expectations. Prediction: 240 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 INT

    ·       Carson Palmer (6%)

    o   Palmer is pining to get back into the action this week as he recovers from a shoulder injury. And if he does in fact get the start, he couldn’t be coming back into a better situation. RB Andre Ellington is looking like the electric spark he is in the backfield and the Redskins, ranked dead last against the pass, are coming to town. Palmer is an excellent option if he is cleared to play. But if you do go with the veteran, make sure you’ve got a backup ready in case he’s listed as inactive Sunday. Prediction: 273 yards, 2 touchdowns

    ·       Branden Oliver (1%)

    o   Have we seen the second coming of Darren Sproles? It may be a little early to say that, but Oliver certainly looked the part on Sunday taking 19 carries for 114 yards and catching all four of his targets for 68 yards. And don’t forget the two touchdowns he sprinkled in as well. The shifty RB was moved into the starter’s role with Donald Brown going out with a concussion. With Ryan Matthews out for the year and Brown presumably out of the game this week, Oliver looks like a surefire bet to get 20 touches. And with his speed and agility, 20 touches should be plenty to prove his fantasy worth. Facing an Oakland run defense ranked 3rd to last, Oliver has a shot to help out potential MVP Philip Rivers in a game that could be decided at halftime. Prediction: 15 carries, 68 yards and 5 receptions for 43 yards plus one TD

    ·       Rueben Randle (50%)

    o   In three of his last four contests, Randle has either had a touchdown or at least 80 yards receiving. The Giants passing offense is confusing at times with Victor Cruz, Larry Donnell, and now Odell Beckham Jr. all in the mix, but Randle may be the one constant. Through 5 weeks he’s had 40 targets and has had at least 4 receptions each of the last 4 weeks. In week six, Randle gets a matchup with the league-worst Philadelphia Eagles secondary that he will be looking to exploit. In what could turn out to be a high scoring game, Randle figures to be heavily involved.  Prediction: five catches, 61 yards and a TD

    ·       Dwayne Allen (11%)

    o   Allen may be fantasy’s most touchdown-dependent option. In the 4 games he’s had a touchdown this year, Allen has averaged 10 fantasy points a game. But he also had the no-show performance in week 2 where he didn’t even catch a pass. Coby Fleener is going to get more looks and is the starter in Indy. But when Luck is looking for a short yardage/red zone pass catcher, it seems more and more that he’s looking Allen’s way. The young tight end is actually only 1 target behind Fleener on the year so his future seems bright, as he gets more involved. Again, you’re betting on a touchdown if you start Allen and that may be tough against a Texans D that has only allowed 1 touchdown to tight ends this year. However, I see the Colts attempting to establish the middle of the field with their tight ends and running backs on TNF, so an Allen TD isn’t out of the question. Prediction: 3 catches for 32 yards and a TD

    ·       Packers D/ST (8%)

    o   My sneaky steal of the week is the Packers defense. Coming off a dominant TNF performance, Green Bay’s defense will be well rested and have had plenty of time to study Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins offense. Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers is going to draw up some interesting looks against the young A&M product and I think the defense really, really succeeds. The Miami O-line has already given up 9 sacks in 4 games (They had their bye week last week). Expect that number to keep shooting up. Prediction: 14 points against, 3 sacks, 2 INTs

    ·       Titans D/ST (1%)

    o   The Titans have this week’s lovely matchup, facing the hopeless Jaguars. Fantasy defenses have feasted on the Jags so far this season, scoring double digits all 5 weeks. The trend is likely to continue Sunday in Tennessee. Although they haven’t looked stellar thus far, the secondary has collected 6 interceptions in 5 weeks, including 3 in week 10 against the Chiefs. Rookie QB Blake Bortles has thrown 2 interceptions in three consecutive games. All this adds up to the perfect storm for the Titans. Prediction: 17 points against, 3 INTs, 1 forced fumble, 3 sacks

    ·       ***Staying ahead of the curve***

    o   Pick up the Browns D if you have an extra roster spot. Playing against the Jaguars next week, the Browns will be projected double points in every league. So if you’ve got the space, be sure to make this add this week and you can thank me next week.

    Feel free to send in your lineup questions, waiver wire worries, or trade help to FantasyDecisions@gmail.com