NBA Dec 23 Lineup Advice

Last nights lineups hit in 50-50’s and GPP’s with a final score of 270.7!  The big plays were Matt Barnes(6x value), Will Barton(6x value). Take tha and combine it with solid plays from Marc Gasol, and Kyle Lowry and last nights lineup was a success. In daily fantasy it’s all about mixing your lineup with stars, and value plays who are low owned that go off for big performances. Now that we’ve reflected on yesterday, let’s look forward to the top plays for tonight’s 13 game slate.

Tim Frazier has an excellent matchup tonight facing the Pelicans who’s defense has been shaky at best this season. In his first start in replace of Lilliard, Frazier played every single minute putting up 12 points, 7 assists, and 7 rebounds. With his price tag so low, this is a great value play tonight at the PG position. 

Will Barton has been a stud so far this season. He has been running with the second team all year, but due to injury he got the starting nod last night, and absolutely showed he should stay there. You always have to be careful with recent bias with players, but I do believe Barton will perform tonight just as he did last night.

Matt Barnes vs Washington tonight seems to be the perfect matchup. He has such a low price tag for someone who can give you 30 or more FDP’s daily whether it’s from scoring, rebounding, assists, as he tends to fill the stat sheet.

RotoRadar is a professional website, run by professionals. The men behind the scenes do countless hours of research creating lineups that can win in any contests. They will never pick someone just because of salary, but rather there is a logical reason behind each person. Along with giving you pro lineups every night, you have the opportunity to speak to the CEO on the phone one-on-one with any questions you have on the lineup or anything dfs related. 

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When’s it time to say goodbye?

The quarterback is the most important position on the field. If your a fan of the NFL you probably remember the disaster of Brett Favre’s last few years, where he couldn’t figure out if he wanted to still play or just do commercials. That is the perfect example of “when it’s time to say goodbye” and the packers couldn’t of handled it any better. Let’s take a look a little deeper into a couple of the most recent goodbyes to franchise players.

  Brett Favre is undoubtedly one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. However those guys behind the scenes over there in the land of cheese are brilliant. They knew around year 14 with their quarterback that they should start looking for his replacement, and instead of waiting until he was gone they did it the correct way and found that next guy sooner than later. In 2005 they drafted this 6 ft 2 stud from Cal and his name was Aaron Rodgers. Coming into the NFL most guys want to immediately become “the guy” and lead his team to the promised land, however more times than not it doesn’t work out that way. Just for example Peyton Manning, another all time great did absolutely horrible in his rookie year(at least compared to the rest of his career). Aaron Rodgers ended up sitting behind Brett Favre for his first three seasons and became the starter in 2008. While behind Favre he sat their like a sponge and soaked in as much knowledge as he could from the future Hall of Famer and it clearly paid dividends because in 2010 Rodgers led the Packers to a Super Bowl victory and was then named SB MVP. Every seasons since then Rodgers is in the top 5 in practically every category and in the running for league MVP. If you look at the teams that are year in and year out competing for a playoff spot they have something in common, a leader at the helm, a solid quarterback. Also vice versa the teams competing for the worst of the league have something in common, a suspect quarterback who either doesn’t have the talent around him or was thrown into a terrible situation without the luxury of learning from an all star who was their before him. 

 Another reason you might let go of your franchise quarterback who’s in his mid 30’s is because of injuries. Let’s be honest, will you ever get your future gun slinger off the free agent market? Not if he’s any good. You never see a top 10, or even top 15 guy out there because teams hold on to the good ones for dear life.You don’t let go of someone who has the talent and the right mindset to lead you to playoff victories, you just don’t. A few years ago though, we saw one the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game out on the market no strings attached. That guy’s name is Peyton Manning. He led the colts to a super bowl victory and led them to the playoffs more times than not. Then old father time set in and Manning had a couple neck surgeries that sidelined him an entire season and the colts won 2 games that year just showing how important Manning was to a playoff team the year before. The colts were now sitting in a challenging position, do they get rid of the guy who’s filled their seats for over a decade and delivered them a victory in the Super Bowl or do they pay him millions and millions of dollars unsure of what he can actually produce on the field. What made their decision a little easier was the 2012 quarterback draft class including Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. As we all know they decided to let Manning go and draft their future guy Andrew Luck. When the colts let him go, the feeding frenzy commenced and for awhile there ESPN had their hands full with rumors and teams going crazy. For awhile we heard the 49ers, Seahawks, Broncos to name a few, not including all those teams with under .500 records begging for a gift from god to make Manning come to their city. It just goes to show you how a player of that caliber never makes it to the market. Anyway, he ended up with the Broncos and has led them to a Super Bowl appearance and a few of the best years they’ve had since the Elway days. The Colts and Andrew Luck didn’t have the luxury that Aaron Rodgers had, or Brady, or Rivers and that’s a proven guy ahead of him to learn from. Like I said before when you get thrown into a situation, with extremely high expectations more times than not you fail, or at least not meet the standards that are expected. What Andrew Luck has done is simply unheard of. With a suspect defense, and a subpar running game he has led them a couple of division crowns and a few playoff wins, including that hell of a game against the Chiefs a couple of years ago.

In the end, what matters most in the NFL is having some under center who can control the offense and win you ball games. If you have an aging quarterback, especially one that has injury problems you need to think of the future. It’s never too early to find a backup that way you can groom him to be just what you want all the while he gets the best hands on training available in the game and thats a proven quarterback.

Sports Fans: What makes us, us?

We all know that one guy, you know that fan of their favorite team who knows “everything” about his team. He could tell you every highlight from his team’s most glorified season. He subscribes to ten apps that send him notifications of whats going on in the sports world, even though they’ll all say the same thing. I’ll be honest, I am that typical fan who’s absolutely crazy about his teams, although I am no longer 18 so I don’t really have the time to still follow 5 different sports so I mainly stick to NFL and my San Diego Super Chargers! ( most glorified seasons is a toss up between ’94 and ’07). Anyway back to the topic at hand and what makes us so crazy about our teams? Why do we plan our lives around a team that we have absolutely no affiliation with? Is it because we are ultra competitive and have a serious need to connect to similarly minded people and use it as a way to “fit in”? Is it a way to fit in with the local community? The possibilities are honestly endless but I am going to just dive into a few different possible reasons.

Let’s start off with a bang and dive into the most obnoxious, committed fans in all of sports. Oakland Raiders fans. I know they went to a super bowl not all that long ago, but what have they had to cheer for this past decade? To be honest, nothing, they’ve gone through more Quarterbacks than Adam Sandler’s gone through bad movies. However year in and year out, there stadium is packed to full capacity, roaring and making it difficult for any team that comes to the bay area. Outside of having an actual personal connection within the organization and those fans that have been around since the glory days why is it this way? I think especially with the Raiders it has a lot to do with identity. What I mean by that is wanting or needing to be a part of something bigger than yourself, have a strong identity that you can relate to with thousands of other people around the United States. We as humans since the early days have always stuck together in groups of people who are similar to us whether it’s our standards or interests and I think the same reasoning applies here. When you become part of a group, not only do you have an identity, you have a common goal and in this case its that Lombardi Trophy and that is another reason we tend to spend hundreds of dollars every year if not more on tickets and our teams gear. Don’t worry Raiders fans at least your not Bills fans who probably still have the words “wide right” stuck in their heads, at least you have something to look forward to (Derek Carr, and the retirement of Peyton Manning).

Another reason were so crazy about sports, which I think is my probably my favorite is debate. Who doesn’t love a good debate about who’s point guard is better, or who has a better defense, or heck even who has a tougher schedule? Whether your at home with your friends on a Sunday night or at the local bar, or at school, or work you can strike up a debate with one sentence and it could go on for honestly hours. For example when I was in the service back in 2010 on one monday, one of my old SSgt’s(boss) came in and knew that the previous friday a few of my friends and I had talked a lot of trash about who’s team is better and my team the Chargers were playing the Packers and I had said how Rivers was better than Rodgers and said we would win. Turns out the game was a barn burner and the Packers won on the final drive and the score was something like 45-38. So all he did was come in and say, “Go Pack Go” and at the time I just lost it! In a non threatening way and we talked literally all day long and I tried to convince everyone that the chargers should’ve won, and to this day my SSgt will message me and make a comment about that day.(Rodgers won the MVP that year) maybe even the Super Bowl as well! Just my luck.

The last point I am going to make is that sports tends to be a release or even a escape. If you have ever been to a professional sports game you have felt that adrenaline pumping through your veins, ready to explode at the drop of a dime, having the time of your life not caring about the $200 you just spent on your ticket. At the end of the day, its entertainment and nothing beats a great sports game. For some people it can be a release because they were that “if coach would’ve played me in high school I’d be pro” and they need to stick to their fantasy. Or for the more normal person it allows you to do something that I can’t wait to do in about 4 years when I am able to teach my son, Ryan how to throw a football and what better way to do that then to show him my favorite team. Not only do I get to teach my son one of America’s greatest past times, I get to try and convince him to hop on and join me as a fan of my favorite team(not mom’s). Sports can be a release for some because of so many different reasons good and bad. You might be depressed and the only way for you to get excited is to see your favorite team throw a no hitter, or to go see your favorite player sign autographs and get a picture. You may have relationship problems, might want to escape from your real world problems for 2-3 hours, or just want an excuse to go crazy every Sunday!

At the end of the day, do what makes you happy, live life to the fullest, and if that means go crazy for a few hours then so be it! Go Chargers!

“I’m Blind, I’m Deaf, I Wanna be a Ref”

Back in 2005 when I was a freshman in high school I was watching one of my very first Varsity Basketball games and heard this chant from our crowd that has stuck with me all these years. “I’m blind, I’m deaf, I wanna be a ref” and at the time of course I joined in and was yelling it too! Ten years later I now realize how hard of a job being a ref actually is even at a high school level. Not many people truly appreciate how difficult it is to make split second calls especially when you don’t always have a great angle, or have instant replay.

Never in my short 20 years of faithfully watching sports multiple times per week have I seen a penalty or flag be overturned from a player arguing with the official. So my question to you is why? what is the point honestly? I’m no professional nor am I clueless and I know that the right call isn’t always the call that is made. Whether your watching an NBA game, NFL game, MLB game, NHL game, all the way down to dodgeball at the local SkyZone you will see a player argue with the man in stripes.

There are young athletes all over the world watching these players every move, especially in today’s world with how the media is involved everywhere you look. Newsflash Russell Westbrook!! Your supposed to be a role model. So as most of you all know the NBA playoffs recently started and something happened in the last week of the regular season that I would love to bring up, and yes it does have to deal with Mr. Westbrook. One rule in the NBA is they only allow you to get a certain amount of technical fouls per year before they suspend you for “x” amount of games. Westbrook passed the allowed amount on the second to last game where he fouled a player, got into a heated argument with the ref, and got the technical foul. It was clear to everyone in the game, to the official, and probably to everyone watching that wasn’t a fan of Oklahoma City. So thats why I was very confused when later the next day the NBA announced that they were revoking the technical which allowed Russell Westbrook to play in the last game of the season. Now I can only really think of one reason that this could ever be allowed. That reason is TV Ratings! Sports, yes it is entertainment but even more important than that is that its a business. And what better way to get a boost in ratings than a 3 team race for 1 spot in the playoffs? So what I think happened is they realized who the Thunder were playing(Memphis Grizzlies)  in their last game and they knew that if he didn’t play then 1) they wouldn’t attract as big a crowd, 2) They most likely wouldn’t compete and eventually would lose the game, 3) The NBA wanted the Thunder to be the last team to make the playoffs and wanted them to have a better chance. Could I be wrong? Absolutely, but just think about it for a second. If my 3rd option is correct and the NBA was trying to get a specific team in for whatever there reasoning, that opens up another topic that nobody wants to believe exists and thats “fixed games”.

Before I get way to off topic I want to switch my focus back to the men wearing black and white, or at least the people always yelling at them. So yes of course there has always been arguments between players and refs but I’d say for the last 15 years or so the number of altercations has only gone up. So what has changed? I would argue that one thing that hasn’t is the Refs. My opinion is the players playing these games at ALL levels have changed. So I understand every parent wants the best for their kids, and I know this first hand being one myself. I get that you want the best team, the best coach, the best shoes, and so on but I think as a parent you need to teach your children to respect people of “power”. I want to use that term loosely when talking about sports. When I say power I don’t mean the police, or the President, although I do agree that you should educate your kids about that, I’m not here to discuss that right now. What I mean is the teams coach, or for the sake of this article I am mainly talking about the refs. I have seen so many cases over the years about parents becoming delusional while watching their kids play.I think we have all seen those parents in the crowd screaming at the court when a foul is called on their kid right? Where do you think these kids are getting it from? It starts with their parents thinking that their athlete is untouchable, then he/she turns around and is watching professionals doing the same thing so I mean come on, why not do it? I think everyone needs to relax with all these accusations saying the refs are cheating, or calling fouls only on one team. Look I understand maybe it happens, I won’t say its not possible but not every cop is crooked, and not every ref is a fake.

I hope we all haven’t already forgot about that incident that happened only a handful of years ago in the NFL which should have resulted in everyone signing a thank you card to the refs of the league. For those who forgot or never heard, the refs went on strike with the league and we had to watch these second class refs try to look like they knew what they were doing out there and it was god awful. These professional refs are completely under-appreciated around the world. Hopefully I didn’t get too off topic here today and you were able to follow along! Oh yeah and if you wanna make a change in the sports world, go ahead and learn how to be an official and show us how its done! And get that extra pay check while your at it :)!

Brain Trauma

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of brain trauma? or even a head or neck injury? Some may say car crash, military maybe, we mostly link brain injuries with a major accident that has happened in our lives. When did football, something we have been doing for decades, find its way into this conversation? I have a strong opinion on the topic but I encourage you to give me yours because I don’t know if there is a one answer to my next question. Is football really as dangerous as the media has said it is?

So have major injuries really skyrocketed or is it all in our heads? If you follow the NFL then you know that they went to court and settled with a number of players from the 80’s and 90’s for millions of dollars(I think ballpark 6700 million). To me I cannot believe the players won this court case.Basically, a review of this case is the NFL agreed to pay all medical bills, research, and pain and suffering to over 18,000 players. I understand some of these retired players suffer from dementia, depression, and Alzheimer’s and they are claiming it’s completely the NFL’s fault. They had accused the NFL of hiding the dangers of concussions and teams rushing players back from these injuries because they were making a killer profit from all the crazy hits and “highlight reel” plays. The NFL has denied these accusations from the start saying that safety is their number one concern and always has been. Some of the bigger name athletes involved in this case include Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett, Jim McMahon, and the family of Junior Seau who recently committed suicide. The settlement agreement made it so the max a player could get was 5 million and that was if they had Alzheimer’s disease, 4 million for players who were diagnosed with a brain conditioned called chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Also any player diagnosed with dementia would be awarded 3 million. One condition the NFL had under these agreements was that they would not have to disclose internal files about what they knew, and when about concussion-linked brain problems.

So recently the NFL has made rule changes about kick offs, and where you can hit a player, and protocols to make the players and coaches more aware. Which is great and I am glad they have but let’s be honest, are you saying the players had no idea what they were doing to their bodies? You had no idea that these absolutely massive hits that bring you to the ground and cause you to see stars or go limp were actually doing long term damage? When you as a player in the NFL decided to sign a contract, which is worth MILLIONS of dollars I think you are completely aware of all the risks involved. I understand everyone wants to play and the doctors can give you their expert opinion but who knows your body better than yourself? Nobody. So when you’re sitting there hurting and can’t think straight maybe you should listen to the doctor and not play. Nobody is putting a gun to these players head saying you must absolutely play or you’re dead. Each and every player has a choice and our surrounded by the best personal trainers and doctors we have to offer in this country. I guess my point I am trying to make is that once you sign the contract, that is showing you understand the risk and you need to tell the team when you’re ready to go and when you’re not ready. While your a player I do believe you should have full medical coverage,but to say the NFL is at fault for about one third of the 18,000 retired players medical problems I think is silly. Unless the NFL made them play, or hid X-rays or medical information from these players I think it’s not their fault.

What do you think the rule should be? Do you think what I am saying is right? Or completely off and idiotic? We all love the sport and are glued to the television every year, and I absolutely hate seeing players go down with injuries, but at the same time they do know the risks and opted to play. It’s a touchy subject, and I am interested in learning more! That’s all for now, I look forward to hearing from you!

NFL Draft: Gems, Busts, and Risks

The NFL draft is like the lottery, you lose a bunch but you win enough to keep coming back. There are gems like Tom Brady and Russell Wilson that you find past the first day of the draft, but more times than not you end up drafting someone like Matt Leinart or JaMarcus Russell.

Every year since 1936 there has been an NFL draft, back then it was mostly here say and print media and by the 1940’s teams were hiring full time scouts to travel the country looking for athletes. It wasn’t until 1980 when ESPN first broadcasted the draft ,and then in 2010 the NFL switched to a 3 day format so day 1 was the first round, day 2 was 2-4 rounds and finally day 3 was 5-7 rounds.

Now on to the good stuff, why is the draft so important? So many NFL insiders say that the best teams use the draft to build a championship team rather than free agency. Lets start with a comparison of two quarterbacks drafted in 2010, Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck. Both got max contracts of 4 years and about 22 million each. Andrew Luck has been consistent getting his team to the playoffs and winning, on the other hand RG3 was able to make playoffs in the first year but after that injuries plagued him and now we aren’t even sure he will be a starter in this upcoming year. A lot of people thought these two were identical and both would be all stars. Nope, it shows why scouting is so important and even when you think a player is going to be your best player he can turn out a BUST! Okay so back when Drew Brees became a free agent when the Chargers didnt resign him it made sense to throw him a max deal because before 2010 it was smart to go through free agency because you were given these rookies millions and millions before they even proved they belonged in the league so every year you were taking a MASSIVE risk. In 2010 the NFL changed the rules so now the max a first round rookie can get is 4 years and about 22 million dollars. That changed everything because now if you were to pick up Jay Cutlers contract you could be in the hole 16 million a year if it doesn’t work out but if a rookie doesn’t then your only in the hole 5 million. It would be cheaper for a team to miss on a quarterback 3 straight years in the draft instead of picking up a quarterback in the league already. To me the logic makes sense and if my team needed a QB I would never be mad at taking a gamble through the draft. You see a lot of players for example Peyton Manning this year and Tom Brady last year, absolutely first ballot hall of famers taking pay cuts to help their team. Well guess what, they aren’t really losing money. So by reconstructing their contracts they get less money at first but after year 3 all that money is guaranteed and they get it on the back side of their contract. Its smart, honestly it really is, they get their money and the team gets better free agents.

The most important thing a team can do is STAY YOUNG!! I can’t stress that enough, and the best way is to draft 20,21, and 22 year olds in the draft instead of 27,28, 29 year olds on the market. For example the Seahawks who have been to two Super Bowls in a row now have starters on both sides of the ball drafted on the backside rounds. They also have back ups who would start on other teams because they keep their young players. It is always better to get rid of someone maybe a year or two early then keep them a year or two too long taking money and talent away from your team. Well this is it, I hope you learned something from this and can it be football season yet?? Thank you for reading!

The madness of Sports in March

So here it is, my first blog! So how about March so Far? We are almost half way through the month and already so much in the sports world has happened! Whether it has to deal with the NFL, or college basketball,  NBA, or spring training for baseball. 

               I’m going to touch base on a few major points amongst these topics but before that I want to give a brief sports history of myself so you can better know me! So since I was knee high I had my foot in the door in multiple sports, with my favorite being football. I started playing when I was ten years old, my favorite childhood memory I will never forget is when I was ten years old my father had bought me a field goal post about ten feet high made of plastic and I had it set up in my yard for about three years straight. I would go outside sunshine, rain, or snow and would play by myself throwing the ball in the air and catching the ball and running to score touchdowns for hours. Sometimes I would make the games exciting by “dropping” the ball and having some crazy fourth quarter comebacks. I would even be broadcasting the game out loud, just having so much fun. Thats where my love for sports started, and I went on to play three sports in high school and then joining the military, now I am at college for my first semester. My favorite sports teams are the San Diego Chargers, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Dodgers, North Carolina Tarheels, and the New York Rangers. I know what your thinking, why am I a southern California fan when I live in Western New York? Well thats because of the family I grew up in, my father has been a fan of each of these teams since the 70’s and he picked them based mainly off of their jerseys. So i followed in his shoes and became a fan as well, but now to the sports section of this blog.

               So how about NFL Free Agency?? It started on Tuesday and there has not been a shortage of headlines that’s for sure! I have an opinion on signing players through free agency and I want you opinion. If it comes to a major name especially at the Quarterback then I understand dropping 100 million in a contract. However  I am a strong believer that good teams build through keeping their star players more than one contract and building through the draft NOT free agency. You often spend way more money through FA and end up over paying because of a bidding war and more times than not you get a dud. If you going to sign someone then I think the smart moves come in that second wave or the tier 2 players. You get them at a great price tag and they usually give more effort because less money is guaranteed and there are more playing incentives. Also there are those players who need a fresh start or are trying to recreate themselves and they tend to play harder as well and are less likely to be cancerous to the locker room. So with that being said what in the world are the Eagles doing? I hope Chip  Kelly really has this masterful plan because right now he just looks crazy, getting rid of your teams best qb, rb, and wr? all in one week, that’s absolutely unheard of. If this doesn’t work out then he just bought himself a ticket straight back to Eugene and the world of college football. I also wonder what is going on up in Buffalo. I totally get bringing in Lesean McCoy even with losing your best defensive player it still is good in my book. My question is Matt Cassel, do you think he is the future of this playoff hungry football team? If he becomes the starter then I think he becomes the leagues worst starter, I have watched more than a dozen games the past two years where Cassel was the starter and to be nice, he was god awful. So I hope he is just there for competition and they have a plan to bring in someone through the draft.

              My last topic I want to hit on briefly is Championship week in college basketball. What a fun time, some teams have no chance of making the dance without winning their respective  conference championship but every year there is a couple who win and “steal” a spot from an at-large bid. I love this time of the year! Does anyone else remember the Syracuse vs UCONN six overtime game back like 6 years ago I think? That might be the greatest college game EVER! I just love and buy into the whole cinderella story, or the underdog and especially if your team needs to win 5 games in 5 nights to make it into the tournament? Oh yeah that happens a lot too! I wonder though if anyone is going to take out Kentucky, it’s amazing what they have done this year by going undefeated so far and it looks like they are on a crash course for the title game next month. 

No matter what your favorite sport is, the month of March is going to be a lot of fun! The best part about sports is the element of surprise, the fact that you never know what is going to happen makes it just that much better.I am pretty excited to start this blog and hopefully get a few people on here who are mutually excited and want to talk the game of sports with me. A lot of the information I am going to post has a slight bias and is opinion based, but you cant be a freelance writer and not have some sort of bias! Well for those of you who read my blog thank you!! More stuff to come, I will mainly post once or twice per week with the exception of a major event that I just cant wait to talk about. Until next time!

-Jeremy