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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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1. Patriots Preview:

Patriots win this game easy – Chargers no pass rush or running game

* Greatest Chargers – Tomlinson and then Allsworth, Fouts, Winslow and Gates

* Best draft pick – Rodney Harrison 145th in 1994

* Against Patriots – 14-20-2 regular season / 1-2 post season

* Famous QB’s – Unitas, Brees, Fouts, Rivers, Hadl, McMahon, Kemp, Harbaugh

* Chargers 3-4 against teams with a winning record

* Philip Rivers 30-6 in December

* Only 18 sacks – Brady should have time

* Receivers – Allen on pace for 96 rec / 1,016 yds / 5 TD — Gates has 9 TD

* Running game is non-existent averaging 3.4 yards  Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: Stay Classy in San Diego »

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gates

One interesting aspect of Sunday’s game between the Patriots and the Chargers is the two premier tight ends that will be featured. San Diego boasts perennial star Antonio Gates while New England fashions superstar Rob Gronkowski. When two top-tier players at the same position play in the same game, it is always interesting to hear what they say about each other. When asked this week, Gates wasn’t short on his praise for Gronkowski.

“[Gronkowski's] one of the young guys that I look at — him, Jimmy Graham, Julius Thomas — those are the guys that are kind of keeping the tradition going at the tight end position.” Continue reading Antonio Gates has High Praise for Gronk »

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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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Tom Brady: telemarketer and mullet aficionado. (Boston Globe)

Thank Belichick that Tom Brady recovered from his early season swoon to quiet all the calls for him to be traded, cast off, sent sailing into the sunset of retirement to thereby save us all from seeing a Hall of Fame quarterback in decline.

I say this not only as a New England Patriots fan (too) heavily invested in how my football team fares, but also as someone glad to avoid what Brady’s alternative, post-football career potentially would have been.

Because if the DailyMVP commercial starring Brady even approaches half-truth, we’d be looking at Gary the Telemarketer, daily fantasy football MVP and office champion, instead of Tom Brady, two time NFL MVP and three time Super Bowl champion:

Continue reading Video: Tom Brady, Professional Telemarketer and Part-Time Fantasy Trash Talker? »

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Jon Lester

Multiple sources are reporting that the Los Angeles Dodgers may make a last minute bid for Jon Lester. This would leave the other teams bidding for Lester, namely the Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, Atlanta Braves, and the Boston Red Sox in trouble.

The Dodgers have Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. Lester would make a lethal number three in their rotation. He also would provide some rotation security for the Dodgers in years to come with Greinke’s contract complete with an opt-out clause after the 2015 season to the tune of $147 million.

Continue reading Los Angeles Dodgers Show Interest in Jon Lester, Reports Say »

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LM OTERO/AP PHOTO

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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