Look up from your laptop, dude: Kobe Bryant and Rajon Rondo are getting breakfast behind you! (@baxterholmes)

Normally a Friday night game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics would be a marquee matchup of longtime rivals and storied franchises that dominates the headlines.

But with both franchises stuck in NBA limbo (or purgatory, depending on your point of view), instead the talk of the town is about a Thursday morning breakfast between Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo.

Talk about a veritable breakfast of champions!

Continue reading Breakfast of Champions: Kobe and Rondo Share Side of Bacon Before Lakers-Celtics »

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pats chargers

The Patriots and Chargers are both coming off tough road games that went down to the wire. The Chargers went in to Baltimore and beat the Ravens 34-33 in the final minutes while New England lost a close matchup to the Green Bay Packers, 26-21. The Patriots are still the AFC’s top seed at 9-3 and the Chargers are currently occupying a wildcard spot at 8-4. Sunday night’s game will not be easy for a Patriots’ team that is on the west coast facing a good team but they should still be able to win the game and it will begin with their offense.

San Diego has defended the pass well, giving up 221 yards a game which is good for seventh in the league. Tom Brady will have some options in the passing game but unlike most games the Patriots may be best off working from the outside in. They have not faced a player of Rob Gronkowski’s caliber but they have done a good job defending the tight end position, containing both Denver’s Julius Thomas and Kansas City’s Travis Kelce. Gronkowski should still be able to find some openings but the Patriots may look to some of their other receiving targets. Continue reading How the Patriots Can Attack the Chargers »

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Could Kyle Rudolph be a top-5 fantasy option at the tight end position the rest of the way? (USATSI)

The playoffs are officially upon us! Well, at least for the teams that played well enough all season to make it (or if your league’s playoffs don’t start this week). This is your chance to show what you can do and if you have what it takes to be the league champion. Here are some players to start or sit in this week’s matchups:

Start ‘Em

Ryan Tannehill (vs. Baltimore): The Ravens’ defense has not been up to snuff this season, especially on the road. Tannehill should have all day to throw deep down the field after a poor outing against the New York Jets in Week 13. Continue reading Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 14 »

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Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval

Whether you support the Red Sox recent signings of Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez, or not, they are on the team now. (I was originally against the Pablo Sandoval signing rumors.)

So what will these two huge signings bring to the Red Sox over the next several seasons? Sandoval is 28 and Ramirez is 30 years old, they aren’t spring chickens anymore, but they aren’t anywhere near 40 either. To help inform how these two players will help the Sox over the next few years, I’ve looked at each player’s stats from 2011 to 2014.

Pablo Sandoval: 

  • Has averaged 130.75 games played per season over last four years
  • 157 games played in 2014
  • His four year batting average is a .288
  • Averaged 16.25 home runs per season, hit 16 out of the park in 2014
  • OBP is .341 over last four years, but 2014 was the lowest at .324
  • OPS is .798 over last four years, but is trending in the wrong direction

Continue reading Examining the Sandoval and Ramirez Signings »

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One day after blowing a 23-point road lead in Atlanta and extending their current losing streak to five games, the Celtics have finally received some good news. Marcus Smart is expected to come back from his 10-game injury absence on Wednesday at home against the Detroit Pistons. The Celtics have compiled an unimpressive 2-8 record during Smart’s absence, but his return hopefully will help alleviate some of their woes.

C’s head coach Brad Stevens called out his team about not being tough enough when faced with adversity. In an article by ESPN Boston’s Chris Forsberg, Stevens was quoted as saying, “When it comes easy, we’ve been good. When it gets tough, we haven’t. … Simple formula.” Continue reading Marcus Smart Expected to Return on Wednesday »

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Jordy Nelson's late first half 45-yard touchdown proved to be the difference in Sunday's showdown. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

The heavyweight showdown of the year delivered as advertised on Sunday. While the Patriots did come up on the short end of the five-point stick, they kept a rolling Packers offense limited to just 26 points. Unfortunately the offense missed far too many opportunities while the Packers took advantage of the chances they were granted. In the end the difference was a defensive breakdown leading to a late first half 45-yard touchdown from Jordy Nelson, and a rare Rob Gronkowski drop in the endzone. 

- To start off, credit has to be given to the Packers, especially the defense. With all the love thrown around for Aaron Rodgers, deservedly so, the defense stepped up in a big way. They pressured Tom Brady for the majority of the game causing him to look more like weeks 1-4 Tom Brady than the Brady who’s been tearing up the field. Granted, Brady didn’t have a terrible game going 22-35 for 245 and two touchdowns. However, he looked uncomfortable throughout and missed targets more often than usual. There was simply no consistent rhythm to speak of at any point in the game.
-A huge problem I have with Sunday’s game is the lack of running attack. Going into Sunday, Green Bay was ranked 30th against the run. The Patriots have shown they have the talent at running back to sustain a successful running game. LaGarrette Blount had 58 yards on only 10 carries. When they ran the ball they kept pushing forward for more yards, but the problem was they only ran it 18 times. It’s not like it was a blowout either. Sunday was a game that the running game needed to be featured, and for whatever reason it wasn’t.

Continue reading Notes and Observations Week 13: Packers Hold on to Beat Patriots 26-21 »

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Redraft King: Week 13 Advice

November 29, 2014 at 1:57pm in Fantasy, Opinion

As this is the second Redraft King column of the week, I’ll spare you my typical attempt of a quasi-clever preamble and jump right into the fray.

Thanksgiving Day Recap:

Jay Cutler wasn’t awful with 280 passing yards and two scores and two picks. Mark Sanchez, to commemorate the two-year anniversary of the “butt fumble” (I swear I’ll stop talking about it after this), actually rushed for a touchdown and turned in a respectable fantasy performance against the Cowboys.

Theo Riddick didn’t carry the ball for Detroit once, but he caught six passes for 54 yards. And considering how bad the 49ers offense looked against their NFC West nemesis, anyone who played Carlos Hyde (me) should be thankful for his meager 8.7 fantasy points. Continue reading Redraft King: Week 13 Advice »

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