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Path: /college-football/minnesota-golden-gophers-vs-nebraska-cornhuskers-preview-and-prediction-2016
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Nebraska and Minnesota are two programs trending in very different directions at the moment. After a dream 7-0 start to the seasonm, the Cornhuskers have dropped back-to-back games on the road to top-10 opponents, the latest in blowout fashion. On top of that, Tommy Armstrong — Nebraska's quarterback and best player — is out indefinately.

 

On the other side of the field, the Minnesota Golden Gophers are riding a four-game winning streak during which they have scored more than 37 points per game. Additionally and unlike Nebraska, they control their own destiny in the Big Ten West. The Huskers need a win this weekend and help — including a likely win by Minnesota over Wisconsin to end the year — in order to punch a ticket to the Big Ten Championship Game.

 

Minnesota at Nebraska

 

Kickoff: Saturday, Nov. 12 at 7:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: BTN

Spread: Nebraska -7

 

Three Things to Watch

 

1. Minnesota bringing heavy pressure on passing downs

No matter who the Huskers end up going with under center in place of their injured starting quarterback, he's going to be a pocket-passer with a fraction of Armstrong's mobility. You can bet that Minnesota head coach Tracy Claeys will be focused on disrupting the Nebraska pocket without fear of a quarterback scramble doing much damage. If Nebraska's quarterback — likely Ryker Fyfe — can make quick decisions with the ball after the snap, he's likely to find open receivers on short routes all day. If the Gophers can cause him to second-guess anything and hesitate on passing downs, Nebraska is going to have a hard time moving the ball through the air.

 

2. Nebraska's run defense

The Huskers gave up 238 yards on the ground at 5.7 yards per carry against Ohio State last weekend. Two weeks ago, Wisconsin gashed the Blackshirt defense for huge gains at key points in the game via some counters and modified zone reads. I'm not sure Minnesota can consistently pouind the ball up and down the field against Nebraska, but the Gophers are more than capable of breaking big plays outof the backfield. Three backs have combined for 21 touchdown runs. All three have scoring runs of 37 yards or longer.

 

3. Can Minnesota do any damage against the Husker secondary?

Mitch Leidner hasn't throw a touchdown pass since Oct. 1. I just told you about Minnesota's running game and how it will probably garner most of Nebraska's attention on defense. That puts Leidner in a position where he'll need to move the ball through the air against — despite their performance last weekend — one of the more talented secondaries in the country to a man. Open receivers are likely to be few and far between for the Gophers. That doesn't bode well, as Minnesota is likely going to need to keep pace with — even without Tommy Armstrong — a very capable offense.

 

Final Analysis

 

From what I've seen, a blowout loss is easier to recover from than a close game where you thought you had a chance to win. Look for a focused and motivated Nebraska team to take the field and attack the Gophers on both sides of the ball right from the start. Even with Ryker Fyfe under center, the Minnesota secondary is undermanned against one of the better receiving corps in the Big Ten. I like Fyfe to put his arm on display early, connecting on some deep balls that lead to things loosening up in Minnesota's front seven. This should go a long way in helping a Cornhusker running game that has struggled with consistency as of late. When the Gophers have the ball, I have a tough time seeing them moving the changes consistently, given that they are fairly one-dimensional and predictable. Nebraska's talented athletes on defense should be able to prevent Minnesota from finding its offensive rhythm.

 

Prediction: Nebraska 27, Minnesota 16

 

— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. His work has appeared on SI.com, FoxSports.com, Yahoo! and Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.

Teaser:
Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers Preview and Prediction
Post date: Thursday, November 10, 2016 - 10:00
All taxonomy terms: College Football, syndicated
Path: /college-football/fcs-football-best-games-and-predictions-week-11-2016
Body:

Everybody can see the finish line for the FCS regular season just ahead. It’s all right there, and for some, a conference title, playoff bid or both are within reach.

 

But does mid-November ever start to elevate the wackiness across college football. There are rivalry games, injuries catching up to teams, defenses wearing down and plenty of new heroes coming out of the blue.

 

Yup, it’s just the way we all love it.

 

Here are the FCS games of the week:

 

Note: All times ET

 

Friday, Nov. 11

 

No. 24 Harvard (7-1, 5-0 Ivy) at Penn (5-3, 4-1), 7 p.m.

With Dartmouth out of the title mix, Harvard and Penn can both pull into a tie with the Big Green for the most Ivy League championships at 18. For Penn, that means it must rebound from a 28-0 punch to the face by Princeton (also in the title mix). Harvard clinches at least a share of the crown with a victory.

Pick: Harvard

 

Saturday, Nov. 12

 

Albany (5-4, 2-4 CAA) at No. 20 New Hampshire (6-3, 5-1), noon

With a loss to high-scoring James Madison the exception, surging New Hampshire has won five of its last six games by limiting opponents to 17 or fewer points. Coming off a bye week, the Wildcats' defense is ready for Albany’s 1,000-yard rusher Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks.

Pick: New Hampshire

 

No. 5 James Madison (8-1, 6-0 CAA) at No. 11 Villanova (7-2, 5-1), 1 p.m.

Just as New Hampshire is eyeing a move into first place in CAA Football, so, too, are the other Wildcats at Villanova. They have to slow down JMU quarterback Bryan Schor, the conference’s offensive player of the week in four of the last six weeks. With a win, the Dukes would clinch at least a share of the title.

Pick: James Madison

 

Wofford (6-3, 4-2 Southern) at No. 7 Chattanooga (8-1, 6-1), 2 p.m.

To earn a share of a fourth straight SoCon title, Chattanooga needs to win here and have The Citadel lose at VMI. Considering the Mocs can control only one of those scenarios, they’ll focus on securing a seed and a first-round bye in the playoffs. They’re coming off a bye last weekend.    Pick: Chattanooga

 

No. 3 Jacksonville State (8-1, 5-0 OVC) at Murray State (4-5, 4-2), 2 p.m.

The host Racers are surging behind quarterback KD Humphries and pose a threat to Jacksonville State at home. But it’s time for QB Eli Jenkins and the Gamecocks' defense to put their feet on the pedal. Teams that win 22 straight conference games know how to do that.

Pick: Jacksonville State

 

Northern Arizona (5-4, 4-2 Big Sky) at No. 9 North Dakota (8-2, 7-0), 2 p.m.

The Lumberjacks lament All-America quarterback Case Cookus’ season-ending injury, but left-hander Blake Kemp has made a lot go right during a four-game winning streak. It’s not outlandish to think the Big Sky’s all-time winningest head coach, Jerome Souers, could spoil UND’s perfect conference season.

Pick: Northern Arizona

 

No. 16 Cal Poly (6-3, 4-2 Big Sky) at Weber State (5-4, 4-2), 2 p.m.

The Cal Poly offense has been rotating a high-scoring game with a low-scoring game. The pattern says it’s a good week for the triple option, and the Weber State defense isn’t particularly strong against the run.

Pick: Cal Poly

 

No. 23 Northern Iowa (4-5, 3-3 Missouri Valley) at No. 14 Western Illinois (6-3, 3-3), 2 p.m.

UNI is trying to come back from a 3-5 record to gain an at-large playoff bid and WIU is trying to hold on to one after a 5-1 start. Panthers head coach Mark Farley is trying anybody and everybody in his offensive backfield to get the job done. At WIU, quarterback Sean McGuire has been a constant all season.

Pick: Western Illinois

 

No. 15 Montana (6-3, 3-3 Big Sky) at Northern Colorado (5-4, 3-3), 2:05 p.m.

Montana’s Chad Chalich subbed in for quarterback Brady Gustafson and accounted for eight touchdowns (seven passing, one rushing) against Idaho State. Upset alert? No, the Griz simply have more talent than UNC despite the Bears’ resurgence the last two seasons.

Pick: Montana

 

South Dakota (4-5, 3-3 Missouri Valley) at No. 10 South Dakota State (6-3, 5-1), 3 p.m.

Control within the Mount Rushmore State has changed with South Dakota State winning seven straight games in the series for a 52-50-6 lead entering the 109th meeting. Jackrabbits tight end Dallas Goedert and wide receiver Jake Wieneke have seven 100-yard receiving games each this season (Goedert is on a seven-game run).

Pick: South Dakota State

 

Nicholls (5-4, 5-2 Southland) at No. 12 Central Arkansas (8-1, 7-0), 3:30 p.m.

Every team ranked ahead of UCA in the Athlon FCS Power Poll seems to have a standout player whose name rolls off the tongue. The Bears don’t, but that’s OK with them because their balance is paying off with, well, a possible Southland Conference title. They’re a week away from facing Sam Houston State.

Pick: Central Arkansas

 

No. 17 Charleston Southern (5-3, 2-1 Big South) at Liberty (6-3, 4-0), 3:30 p.m.

After a surprising home loss to Gardner-Webb, the visiting Buccaneers face a dire scenario: A loss not only ends the chance for a second straight Big South title, but also it stymies playoff eligibility because they wouldn’t have enough Division I wins for an at-large bid. Liberty has won five straight games since freshman Stephen Calvert became the starting quarterback.

Pick: Charleston Southern

 

Southern (6-2, 6-0 SWAC) at Prairie View A&M (6-3, 6-1), 5 p.m.

While all five teams in the SWAC East Division have sub-.500 conference records, these two West Division teams need to win just to keep pace with Grambling State (6-1, 6-0), which handed Prairie View a loss already. That’s the only non-FBS loss between these two teams.

Pick: Southern

 

— Written by Craig Haley, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Haley has covered the FCS level since 1999 and is the national writer for www.fcs.football. He appears frequently on radio shows and podcasts to discuss everything FCS. Follow him on Twitter @CraigHaley.

 

(Top photo by James Madison Athletics)

Teaser:
FCS Football: Best Games and Predictions for Week 11
Post date: Thursday, November 10, 2016 - 09:30
All taxonomy terms: ACC, Air Force Falcons, Akron Zips, Alabama Crimson Tide, Appalachian State Mountaineers, Arizona State Sun Devils, Arizona Wildcats, Arkansas Razorbacks, Arkansas State Red Wolves, Army West Point Black Knights, Army Black Knights, Army West Point Black Knights, Auburn Tigers, Ball State Cardinals, Baylor Bears, Boise State Broncos, Boston College Eagles, Bowling Green Falcons, Buffalo Bulls, BYU Cougars, California Golden Bears, Central Michigan Chippewas, Charlotte 49ers, Cincinnati Bearcats, Clemson Tigers, College Football, Colorado Buffaloes, Colorado State Rams, Connecticut Huskies, Duke Blue Devils, East Carolina Pirates, Eastern Michigan Eagles, FAU Owls, FIU Panthers, Florida Gators, Florida State Seminoles, Fresno State Bulldogs, Georgia Bulldogs, Georgia Southern Eagles, Georgia State Panthers, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Hawaii Rainbow Warriors, Hawaii Warriors, Houston Cougars, Idaho Vandals, Illinois Fighting Illini, Indiana Hoosiers, Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa State Cyclones, Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas State Wildcats, Kent State Golden Flashes, Kentucky Wildcats, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, Louisville Cardinals, LSU Tigers, Marshall Thundering Herd, Maryland Terrapins, Memphis Tigers, Miami Hurricanes, Miami Ohio RedHawks, Michigan State Spartans, Michigan Wolverines, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Missouri Tigers, MTSU Blue Raiders, Navy Midshipmen, Navy Midshipmen, NC State Wolfpack, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Nevada Wolf Pack, New Mexico Lobos, New Mexico State Aggies, North Carolina Tar Heels, North Texas Mean Green, Northern Illinois Huskies, Northwestern Wildcats, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Ohio Bobcats, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Old Dominion Monarchs, Ole Miss Rebels, Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers, Penn State Nittany Lions, Pittsburgh Panthers, Purdue Boilermakers, Rice Owls, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, San Diego State Aztecs, San Jose State Spartans, SMU Mustangs, South Alabama Jaguars, South Carolina Gamecocks, South Florida Bulls, Southern Miss Golden Eagles, Stanford Cardinal, syndicated, Syracuse Orange, TCU Horned Frogs, Temple Owls, Tennessee Volunteers, Texas A&M Aggies, Texas Longhorns, Texas State Bobcats, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Toledo Rockets, Troy Trojans, Tulane Green Wave, Tulsa Golden Hurricane, UAB Blazers, UCF Knights, UCLA Bruins, UConn Huskies, UL Lafayette Ragin Cajuns, UL Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns, UL Monroe Warhawks, UMass Minutemen, UNLV Rebels, USC Trojans, Utah State Aggies, Utah Utes, UTEP Miners, UTSA Roadrunners, Vanderbilt Commodores, Virginia Cavaliers, Virginia Tech Hokies, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Washington Huskies, Washington State Cougars, West Virginia Mountaineers, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, Western Michigan Broncos, Wisconsin Badgers, Wyoming Cowboys, American Athletic, Big 12, Big Ten, Conference USA, Independents, MAC, Mountain West, Pac 12, SEC, Sun Belt, News
Path: /college-football/10-college-football-picks-against-spread-week-11-odds-lines-2016
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The Week 11 edition of college football’s picks against the spread features predictions for some of Saturday’s biggest games, including Washington-USC, Arkansas-LSU, Texas-West Virginia and Auburn-Georgia. Additionally, conference matchups such as Texas Tech-Oklahoma State, Indiana-Penn State, Tennessee-Kentucky, and Tulsa-Navy feature lines or odds that caught our attention for Week 11. Here are 10 predictions or picks against the spread for this weekend's action:

 

10 CFB Picks Against the Spread for Week 11

 

Georgia (+10.5) over Auburn

Auburn was sluggish offensively in a 23–16 win over Vanderbilt. Sean White is expected to start after missing the first half last week, but it’s not looking good for Kamryn Pettway, the SEC’s leading rusher.

 

Related: Predictions for Every Week 11 Game

 

Indiana (+7) over Penn State

Penn State has been on a roll in recent weeks, but Bloomington can be a tricky stop on the Big Ten tour. The Hoosiers are good enough offensively to make any team sweat.

 

Kentucky (+13.5) over Tennessee

Tennessee is seeking its first SEC win since beating Georgia on the Hail Mary. That was over a month ago. The Vols should get back on track — but it won’t be easy.

 

Arkansas (+7) over LSU

LSU has lost to Arkansas by 17 points in each of the last two seasons, and both games occurred the weak after a loss to Alabama. History will repeat itself … again.

 

Washington (-9) over USC

The Trojans have played very well of late, but keep in mind those wins have come against Arizona State, Colorado, Arizona, Cal and Oregon. Only one of those teams (Colorado) has a winning record in the Pac-12.

 

Stanford (-3) over Oregon

Christian McCaffrey has fallen out of the national conversation due in large part to Stanford’s struggles, but he is still leading the Pac-12 in rushing (122.5 ypg). The Cardinal’s passing game is non-existent, but a strong running game and decent defense should be enough to win in Eugene.

 

Oklahoma State (-12.5) over Texas Tech

The Red Raiders continue to struggle on defense — and that is being kind. They rank last in the Big 12 in scoring defense (41.8 ppg) and have given up an amazing 48 touchdowns in nine games.

 

Oklahoma (-16) over Baylor

Baylor’s last two games have not been a defensive clinic; the Bears gave up 548 yards to Texas and 688 to TCU. Oklahoma, which welcomes back Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon to the lineup, might rush for 500 yards.

 

Texas (-2) over West Virginia

Texas has won three of its last four and is now just one win away from becoming bowl eligible. Three of the Horns’ four losses have come by seven points or fewer. This is not a bad team.

 

Tulsa (-1.5) at Navy

This game likely will decide the AAC West Division crown. Tulsa is very quietly enjoying an outstanding season, with a 7–2 overall record and a 4–1 mark in the league. The Golden Hurricane are averaging more than 250 yards rushing and passing. 

 

Last week: 5-5

Season: 34-35-1

Teaser:
10 College Football Picks Against the Spread for Week 11 Odds Lines 2016
Post date: Thursday, November 10, 2016 - 09:10
All taxonomy terms: NFL
Path: /nfl/betting-against-spread-nfl-week-10-picks-and-odds-lines-2016
Body:

If you still read this article to get my NFL picks on a week-to-week basis then I salute you. The logic is there with a lot of these selections, but of course the wins aren't. It's been an odd year with the Raiders as one of the biggest threats to the Patriots in the AFC. The Falcons and Cowboys are two of the best in the NFC as well. There's still time to turn this thing around.

 

Record: 8-19 (0-3 last week)

 

Note: All games are on Sunday, Nov. 13 and times are ET.

 

Houston Texans (5-3) at Jacksonville Jaguars (2-6), 1 p.m.

Two anemic offenses are set to square off at EverBank Field as neither the Texans nor the Jaguars average 20 points per game. Jacksonville is rushing for just 89.1 yards per game and Blake Bortles has taken a step back outside of garbage time. The Texans’ defense has held the majority of opponents to fewer than 300 passing yards per game. Houston's offense has grown a bit stagnant with Brock Osweiler at QB. He's thrown for fewer than 200 yards in four of his last six starts. Jacksonville has been very good against the pass despite facing several solid signal-callers already. These two AFC South foes have played eight unders in their last 14 meetings in Jacksonville. SELECTION: Under 42

 

Green Bay Packers (4-4) at Tennessee Titans (4-5), 1 p.m.

This one seems to be a shootout on Sunday afternoon. Tennessee has played in six straight overs with both sides of the ball being the reason why. Marcus Mariota and this offense have scored 25 points or more in five straight, mixing in a potent run game with the second-year quarterback’s timely passing. The problem is that the Titans’ defense hasn’t been able to really stop any team. Three of the last four opponents have thrown for 300 yards or more and I think Aaron Rodgers can get there. Rodgers will have Ty Montgomery and Randall Cobb closer to 100 percent so that will make this offense more dangerous. Green Bay's defense also has sprung a few leaks the last two weeks against the Colts and Falcons. These two teams should be able to move the ball with relative ease. SELECTION: Over 50

 

Dallas Cowboys (7-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (4-4), 4:25 p.m.

It's two traditional powers playing in this one and it's desperation time for the Steelers. Pittsburgh has lost three straight games as the offense has struggled since Ben Roethlisberger’s injury and the defense has not been able to get stops when it mattered. Roethlisberger gets another week to get healthy and shake off the rust and hopefully find ways to get Le’Veon Bell more involved. The Steelers rushed for just 36 yards in the 21-14 loss at Baltimore. Meanwhile, Dallas keeps rolling along behind Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. I'm still not ready to buy in on this defense despite the numbers. I know I've tried to get in front of the Dallas fade train and have failed several times. To me, anytime you can get a good team at home with a short number and potential desperation, you have to consider it. Pittsburgh has covered six of its last seven games at home as a favorite of three points or fewer. SELECTION: Steelers -135 ML

 

Notes:

 

— This Broncos vs. Saints matchup game is fascinating. Denver's offense should be able to move the ball on New Orleans, but can the Broncos find the defensive intensity that has eluded them recently? New Orleans has already beaten Carolina and Seattle at home and is always a great team in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. It'll be interesting to see what happens to this line if Pro Bowl cornerback Aqib Talib is able to suit up for Denver. If he's out, then the Saints may have the advantage.

 

— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Josephs prefers non-Power 5 college football and may be the only one wagering on the Sun Belt. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.

Teaser:
Betting Against the Spread: NFL Week 10 Picks and Odds
Post date: Thursday, November 10, 2016 - 09:00
Path: /nfl/cleveland-browns-vs-baltimore-ravens-preview-and-prediction-2016
Body:

The Cleveland Browns are pretty much what most observers expected this season – the worst team in the NFL. When they traded down in the draft from No. 2 to No. 15, leaving the best quarterbacks for other teams, the message was clear. They were stockpiling picks and rebuilding.

 

But with Robert Griffin III and veteran Josh McCown, there was a sense that they would be competent at quarterback. If RGIII failed to find his old magic, McCown could at least bring experience and win a few games. Then both guys got hurt, and Cleveland has played six different guys at the position — including Terrelle Pryor, who happens to be their best wide receiver. That is how you go 0-9 and have people talking about a winless season.

 

Baltimore is tied for the lead in the AFC North at 4-4 and has been excellent on defense most of the season. Ironically, one of the Ravens’ worst games defensively came against the Browns in Week 2 when Isaiah Crowell rushed for 133 yards and Cleveland put up nearly 400 total. But a closer look shows that the Browns led 20-2 after one quarter and got shut out 23-0 the rest of the way.

 

In order to pick up their first win of the season, the Browns will need to put together four quarters this time.

 

Pittsburgh at Baltimore

 

Kickoff: Thursday, Nov. 10 at 8:25 p.m. ET

TV Channel: NFL Network

Spread: Ravens -10

 

Three Things to Watch

 

1. Can the Browns get the run game going?
Cleveland is actually a pretty good running team. The Browns have five games of 120 rushing yards or more and in three of those they topped 160. When these teams met in September, Cleveland rushed for 145. But again, the Browns had a big early lead to protect in that game. Generally, they fall behind and have to abandon the run — they rank 29th in rushing attempts despite ranking third in yards per carry (4.8). When and if Cleveland wins a game this season, it will put up a big numbers on the ground. But that is unlikely this week against a Ravens defense that ranks second in rushing yards allowed per game (76.1) and third in yards per carry against (3.4).

 

2. Will Baltimore even bother to try to run the ball?
For the second time in five days, the Ravens face a bad run defense. The Browns rank 31st against the run. But the Steelers also were struggling to stop the run, and Baltimore rushed for just 50 yards in that game. And that was despite leading almost the entire game and attempting a season-high 27 rushes (not counting end-of-game kneel downs). Basically, the Ravens can’t run it, so they don’t bother trying too. Even in their four wins they average just 74 rushing yards per game. The point is, even if Baltimore gets a lead, it may let Cleveland hang around because the offense can’t consistently move the ball.

 

3. More is being put on Joe Flacco’s shoulders
Flacco has never been an especially accurate passer by modern standards. He’s usually good for completing around 60 percent of his attempts and hitting some big plays because he has a big arm. But because the Ravens have historically been good on defense and run the ball well, he’s never really had to carry them. Well, as we said, the running game has been a non-factor, and Flacco is not picking up the slack. Despite being on pace for career highs in attempts and completions, he is averaging a career-low 6.1 yards per attempt — 30th in the NFL. He has also thrown only six touchdowns (29th in the NFL) with seven interceptions.

 

Final Analysis

 

Looking at these two teams, there are two constants — the defenses. The Ravens rarely give up much (second in total defense, ninth in scoring defense) while the Browns always give up plenty (31st in yards and points allowed). Cleveland has allowed at least 28 points in every game since facing Baltimore in Week 2. Basically, the Cleveland offense knows going in every week that it needs 30 points to have a chance. And the Browns are not scoring 30 on this Ravens defense.

 

Prediction: Ravens 27, Browns 13

Teaser:
Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens Preview and Prediction
Post date: Thursday, November 10, 2016 - 08:30
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2016-quarterback-rankings-week-10
Body:

After a week off, Tom Brady is back as the No. 1 fantasy quarterback for Week 10. He faces Seattle, which is coming off of a short week, and the Seahawks have done a good job against QBs (fifth-fewest fantasy points allowed).

 

However, Tyrod Taylor threw for 289 yards and a touchdown (and ran one in for a score) against Seattle on Monday night and that was out on West Coast. Brady is coming off of the bye week and is at home, so expect him to come out firing. He’s the No. 1 QB despite the matchup.

 

Matt Ryan comes in just behind Brady, as he’s making his own case for MVP consideration. Ryan just shredded Tampa Bay last Thursday and this week faces a Philadelphia defense that surrendered four touchdown passes to Eli Manning. Ryan has seven TD passes in his last two games.

 

Just four teams on bye this week, but some fantasy owners will have a tough time without Andrew Luck, Derek Carr or Matthew Stafford in their lineup.

 

Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K I Flex

 

Teams on bye: Buffalo, Detroit, Indianapolis, Oakland

 

 

 

— Rankings by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. She also writes for SoCalledFantasyExperts.com among other sites. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2016 Quarterback Rankings: Week 10
Post date: Thursday, November 10, 2016 - 08:00
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2016-defense-special-teams-rankings-week-10
Body:

San Francisco has scored more than 20 points four times so far this year, which is why the 49ers have been a popular target when it comes to choosing a defense/special teams (DST) option in fantasy. They have allowed opposing DSTs to score plenty of fantasy points (fifth most in the league), and this week’s opponent is Arizona. The Cardinals have struggled on defense in recent weeks, but they are coming off of their bye and should fare well against a team they feasted on (seven sacks, three takeaways, safety) back in Week 5.

 

The Baltimore DST is available in more than half of fantasy leagues right now, and the Ravens have one of the more appealing matchups in Week 10, home against Cleveland on Thursday night. The Browns are clearly struggling on offense, and a short week isn’t going to help them. Cleveland is giving up the third-most fantasy points to DST, so Baltimore makes for a great streaming option this week.

 

Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K I Flex

 

Teams on bye: Buffalo, Detroit, Indianapolis, Oakland

 

 

 

 

— Rankings by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. She also writes for SoCalledFantasyExperts.com among other sites. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2016 Defense/Special Teams Rankings: Week 10
Post date: Thursday, November 10, 2016 - 08:00
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2016-kicker-rankings-week-10
Body:

Justin Tucker and Caleb Sturgis, both with eight games played, are in the top five in terms of fantasy points (depending on league scoring) among kickers. Tucker still has yet to miss a field goal or an extra point, and he is the top-ranked kicker for Week 10.

 

Matt Bryant, who checks in at No. 4, has not missed an extra point and has only misfired on one field goal, a 58-yard attempt in Week 7. Kickers are always hard to predict, but the guys at the top have proven themselves this season.

 

One kicker who won’t be available in Week 10 is Indianapolis Adam Vinatieri. He, Oakland’s Sebastian Janikowski, Detroit’s Matt Prater and Buffalo’s Matt Carpenter are all on bye.

 

Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K I Flex

 

Teams on bye: Buffalo, Detroit, Indianapolis, Oakland

 

 

 

 

— Rankings by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. She also writes for SoCalledFantasyExperts.com among other sites. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2016 Kicker Rankings: Week 10
Post date: Thursday, November 10, 2016 - 08:00
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2016-flex-rankings-week-10
Body:

The big headline for Week 10 when it comes to the flex position in fantasy football is simply that David Johnson is back! This should bring joy throughout the fantasy realm... unless you are playing against him. It goes without saying, but the No. 1 RB should be a lock in all leagues, including DFS, as Johnson draws the worst rush defense in the NFL

 

There are other flex storylines to keep an eye as we enter Week 10, such as can Matt Forte continue his torrid hot streak or will he regress mightily once again? Can you trust Devontae Booker after last week’s debacle? What about Christine Michael after his mediocre output on Monday night? Will he be involved heavily in Week 10 or are his days and grip on the lead back dwindling away (with Thomas Rawls getting closer to returning)?

 

There are elite players in fantastic matchups this week so let’s enjoy it, and for those looking to fill out flex positions or bye week spots, I offer these rankings, which will be updated up until kickoff Sunday to help make those tough decisions.

 

Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K I Flex

 

Teams on bye: Buffalo, Detroit, Indianapolis, Oakland

 

 

 

— Rankings by Chris Meyers, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a member of the FSWA. Meyers' work appears on many other sites, including socalledfantasyexperts.com. Follow him on Twitter @FantsyChillpony.

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2016 Flex Rankings: Week 10
Post date: Thursday, November 10, 2016 - 08:00
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2016-wide-receiver-rankings-week-10
Body:

Wide receiver mania is back for Week 10 of the fantasy football season. All of the big dawgs are back in action (with a few exceptions) and once again many have drawn dream matchups. Antonio Brown sits atop with another week of what is hopefully a healthier, rust-shaken Ben Roethlisberger.

 

Julio Jones is matched up a reasonable defense this week, but as we all should know by now there is no defense that can cover Mr. Jones. In other spots is Mike Wallace a legitimate WR2 this week and going forward? What about J.J. Nelson in Arizona, will he be a top option again alongside Larry Fitzgerald?

 

Only time will tell and don’t lose sight that it’s Week 10 already! Playoffs are coming folks. Brace yourselves. Oh and don’t forget that there’s no T.Y. Hilton, Amari Cooper, Marvin Jones, Golden Tate, Michael Crabtree, Donte Moncrief this week either because their teams are on bye.

 

Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K I Flex

 

Teams on bye: Buffalo, Detroit, Indianapolis, Oakland

 

 

 

— Rankings by Chris Meyers, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a member of the FSWA. Meyers' work appears on many other sites, including socalledfantasyexperts.com. Follow him on Twitter @FantsyChillpony.

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2016 Wide Receiver Rankings: Week 10
Post date: Thursday, November 10, 2016 - 08:00
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2016-tight-end-rankings-week-10
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The tight end position might be the most frustrating off all for fantasy owners this season because you never know what you are going to get week-to-week. Of course, Rob Gronkowski is ranked No. 1, but it’s not out of the question that he catches three passes for 27 yards this week against the Seahawks.

 

Then there’s always one tight end ranked in the mid-20s that catches six balls for 85 yards and a touchdown and easily finishes in the top five for the week. So what does Week 10 have in store? At least you know it won’t be Eric Ebron, Jack Doyle, Dwayne Allen, Charles Clay or Clive Walford responsible for the tight end-induced headaches this week. They are all on bye.

 

Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K I Flex

 

Teams on bye: Buffalo, Detroit, Indianapolis, Oakland

 

Rk Player Team Opp
1 Rob Gronkowski NE vs. SEA
2 Jordan Reed WAS vs. MIN
3 Greg Olsen CAR vs. KC
4 Tyler Eifert CIN at NYG (Mon.)
5 Jimmy Graham SEA at NE
6 Delanie Walker TEN vs. GB
7 Travis Kelce KC at CAR
8 Antonio Gates SD vs. MIA
9 Kyle Rudolph MIN at WAS
10 Zach Miller CHI at TB
11 Jason Witten DAL at PIT
12 Zach Ertz PHI vs. ATL
13 Dennis Pitta BAL vs. CLE (Thurs.)
14 C.J. Fiedorowicz HOU at JAC
15 Cameron Brate TB vs. CHI
16 Gary Barnidge CLE at BAL (Thurs.)
17 Coby Fleener NO vs. DEN
18 Martellus Bennett NE vs. SEA
19 Lance Kendricks LA at NYJ
20 Julius Thomas JAC vs. HOU
21 Austin Hooper ATL at PHI
22 Hunter Henry SD vs. MIA
23 Virgil Green DEN at NO
24 Vance McDonald SF at ARI
25 Vernon Davis WAS vs. MIN
26 Richard Rodgers GB at TEN
27 Jesse James PIT vs. DAL
28 Will Tye NYG vs. CIN (Mon.)
29 Ladarius Green PIT vs. DAL
30 Trey Burton PHI vs. ATL

 

— Rankings by Michael Horvath, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Horvath is a Canadian who also happens to be a fantasy football (not to be confused with CFL) and fitness nut. Follow him on Twitter @realmikehorvath.

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2016 Tight End Rankings: Week 10
Post date: Thursday, November 10, 2016 - 08:00
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2016-running-back-rankings-week-10
Body:

There are some big-name running backs in great spots for Week 10 who could pay off handsomely for their fantasy owners. But none have a better matchup than David Johnson, who comes off of the bye week rested and gets another shot at San Francisco, far and away the worst rushing defense it the league thus far.

 

But what about guys like Melvin Gordon, Le’Veon Bell and Ezekiel Elliot? They also have great matchups, so where do they rank? And what about RBs such as Jordan Howard and Jay Ajayi, who a month ago weren’t even on the fantasy radar and now are producing in a major way?

 

Some guys who won’t be producing at all this week because they are on bye include LeSean McCoy, Frank Gore and Latavius Murray.

 

Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K I Flex

 

Teams on bye: Buffalo, Detroit, Indianapolis, Oakland

 

Rk Player Team Opp
1 David Johnson ARI vs. SF
2 Ezekiel Elliott DAL at PIT
3 Le'Veon Bell PIT vs. DAL
4 Melvin Gordon SD vs. MIA
5 Jay Ajayi MIA at SD
6 DeMarco Murray TEN vs. GB
7 Devonta Freeman ATL at PHI
8 Lamar Miller HOU at JAC
9 Matt Forte NYJ vs. LA
10 Jordan Howard CHI at TB
11 Jonathan Stewart CAR vs. KC
12 Devontae Booker DEN at NO
13 Todd Gurley LA at NYJ
14 LeGarrette Blount NE vs. SEA
15 Terrance West BAL vs. CLE (Thurs.)
16 Mark Ingram NO vs. DEN
17 Jeremy Hill CIN at NYG (Mon.)
18 Darren Sproles PHI vs. ATL
19 Giovani Bernard CIN at NYG (Mon.)
20 Spencer Ware KC at CAR
21 Christine Michael SEA at NE
22 Isaiah Crowell CLE at BAL (Thurs.)
23 Tim Hightower NO vs. DEN
24 Chris Ivory JAC vs. HOU
25 Robert Kelley WAS vs. MIN
26 Peyton Barber TB vs. CHI
27 Carlos Hyde SF at ARI
28 Kapri Bibbs DEN at NO
29 Duke Johnson CLE at BAL (Thurs.)
30 Ryan Mathews PHI vs. ATL
31 T.J. Yeldon JAC vs. HOU
32 Paul Perkins NYG vs. CIN (Mon.)
33 Rashad Jennings NYG vs. CIN (Mon.)
34 Matt Asiata MIN at WAS
35 James White NE vs. SEA
36 Jerick McKinnon MIN at WAS
37 DuJuan Harris SF at ARI
38 Kenneth Dixon BAL vs. CLE (Thurs.)
39 Bilal Powell NYJ vs. LA
40 C.J. Prosise SEA at NE
41 Tevin Coleman ATL at PHI
42 Charcandrick West KC at CAR
43 Chris Thompson WAS vs. MIN
44 Doug Martin TB vs. CHI
45 James Starks GB at TEN
46 Matt Jones WAS vs. MIN
47 Ronnie Hillman MIN at WAS
48 Dion Lewis NE vs. SEA
49 Andre Ellington ARI vs. SF
50 Jeremy Langford CHI at TB

 

— Rankings by Michael Horvath, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Horvath is a Canadian who also happens to be a fantasy football (not to be confused with CFL) and fitness nut. Follow him on Twitter @realmikehorvath.

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2016 Running Back Rankings: Week 10
Post date: Thursday, November 10, 2016 - 08:00
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News
Path: /college-football/college-football-podcast-week-11-preview-and-rankings-recap
Body:

Athlon Sports' Braden Gall and Mitch Light break down the Playoff Committee Rankings and preview Week 11 in college football.

 

- Should the Committee bake in some controversy since the rankings don't matter? Should Ohio State be in the Top 4?

 

- The Big 12 has two major games to watch this weekend as Oklahoma hosts struggling Baylor and West Virginia visits surging Texas. And what do we make of Oklahoma State?

 

- Should Penn State be on upset alert? Why is Michigan State so bad at football? Should there be any concern for Michigan this weekend? Can Minnesota shake things up in the West?

 

- Can Virginia Tech and North Carolina hold serve in the ACC Coastal? Will Clemson clinch a spot in the ACC title game?

 

- Will the SEC East begin to burn to the ground this weekend? Should Ole Miss start Shea Patterson? Will Arkansas, South Carolina or Kentucky pull upsets?

 

- Out West, the best slate of games once again belongs to the Pac-12. Washington State and Colorado must hold serve while Stanford tries to find balance against Oregon. And the biggest game of the weekend anywhere will take center stage Saturday evening when USC visits Washington. Are the Trojans a legit contender or have they been living a lie?

 

Each week, we go head-to-head with our top picks against the spread.

 

Picks Against the Spread Standings:

1. Mitch: 25-24-1 (3-2 LW)

2. Braden: 20-29-1 (2-3 LW)

 

Send any ideas, questions or comments to @BradenGall or @AthlonMitch or email [email protected]. The podcast can be found on athlonsports.com/podcastiTunesStitcher and our podcast RSS feed.

Teaser:
College Football Podcast: The Week 11 Preview and Rankings Recap
Post date: Wednesday, November 9, 2016 - 13:03
All taxonomy terms: NFL, News
Path: /nfl/week-10-2016-nfl-picks-challenge-athlon-sports-experts
Body:

The NFL season is more than halfway over, and the competition off the field among fans is nearly as heated as the competition on the field on game day.

 

The Athlon Sports Pro Football Experts Club presented by New Era gives you the chance to compete with your friends and our experts each week.

 

Think you’re up for taking on our experts every week? Think you can beat the writers and editors each week? Join our weekly pick ‘em game and compete for tons of cool prizes.

 

Here are this week’s picks from Athlon Sports senior editor John Gworek:

 

Thursday's Game

 

Cleveland at Baltimore

This is a rematch of a 25–20 Ravens win in Week 2. The Browns defense is making it very hard on the offense, having allowed between 25 and 35 points in every game, so they need at least 30 to win. Is Baltimore’s No. 2-ranked defense likely to allow that many?

Gworek's Pick: Baltimore, 31–21

 

Sunday’s Games

 

Green Bay at Tennessee

The Packers top-ranked run defense poses a problem for the Titans. When the Chargers forced the game into Marcus Mariota’s hands, he made a lot of big plays — for both teams (313 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs, one returned for a touchdown).

Gworek's Pick: Green Bay, 27–23

 

Minnesota at Washington

Minnesota is averaging 12 points per game during a three-game losing streak and has the NFL’s worst running game (2.7 ypc). The Redskins are just 1–1–1 in their last three, but their offense has averaged 484 yards per game over that stretch.

Gworek's Pick: Washington, 23-21

 

Chicago at Tampa Bay

The Bucs desperately need a win to close out a three-game homestand — in fact they haven’t won at home yet this season (0–4). Chicago hasn’t won on the road yet but may have found a winning formula before the bye: Feed the ball to rookie RB Jordan Howard. When het gets at least 19 touches, he averages 165 yards from scrimmage and the Bears are 2–1.

Gworek's Pick: Chicago, 30–26

 

Kansas City at Carolina

The Chiefs get quarterback Alex Smith back, and he’ll need to make plays because the Panthers are among the league’s best stopping the run. Carolina is 2–0 since its bye because it stopped giving the ball away (one turnover in two games), but the Chiefs lead the league in takeaways.

Gworek's Pick: Kansas City, 24–20

 

Atlanta at Philadelphia

After two tough division losses on the road, the Eagles return home where they are 3–0 this season. But when the Eagles allow more than 14 points, they are 0–4. The Falcons lead the NFL in scoring and have scored at least 23 in every game. And the road has not bothered Atlanta (3–1),

Gworek's Pick: Atlanta, 24–19

 

Los Angeles at N.Y. Jets

The Rams forced eight turnovers during an early three-game winning streak but have forced just one during a four-game skid. Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick does tend to give the ball away, but he is questionable with a bad knee. Is Bryce Petty the answer?

Gworek's Pick: N.Y. Jets, 20–16

 

Denver at New Orleans

The Broncos just went on the road and lost to the Raiders, a team with an excellent offense and a horrible defense. Now they head to New Orleans to take on the Saints … a team with an excellent offense and a horrible defense. Uh oh.

Gworek's Pick: New Orleans, 31–30

 

Houston at Jacksonville

Since its bye week, Jacksonville is 1–3 and has zero takeaways while turning the ball over 10 times. That’s a recipe for disaster. But the Jags did rush for as season-high 205 yards last week, and Houston is vulnerable to the run (28th in the NFL).

Gworek's Pick: Jacksonville, 24–20

 

Miami at San Diego

The Dolphins have won three in a row but were bailed out by a late kickoff return for a score to beat the Jets last week. The Chargers proved they can stop a good running game last week against Tennessee and rank third in the NFL in scoring.

Gworek's Pick: San Diego, 28–21

 

Dallas at Pittsburgh

The Cowboys have been doing everything well this season, so it’s hard to find a good reason to pick against them on paper. “They’re not going 15–1” is not a good reason. But we’re betting they’re not, and we’re not betting against Ben Roethlisberger at home. Save that for road games.

Gworek's Pick: Pittsburgh, 33–31

 

San Francisco at Arizona

The 49ers had their best offensive day last week against the Saints with 486 yards. But then a lot of teams move the ball on the Saints, and four turnovers did the Niners in. Arizona leads the NFL in total defense and is 3–1–1 when it doesn’t turn the ball over.

Gworek's Pick: Arizona, 34–20

 

Seattle at New England

On Monday night against Buffalo, the Seahawks got dominated on the stat sheet but made enough big plays to survive at home. That formula is unlikely to hold up at New England.

Gworek's Pick: New England, 27–21

 

 

Monday’s Game

 

Cincinnati at N.Y. Giants

The Giants are dead last in rushing offense, which puts extra pressure on Eli Manning, Odell Beckham and company. But Cincinnati has already lost games to Denver and New England by getting torched through the air escaped with a tie despite allowing 446 yards passing to Washington.

Gworek's Pick: N.Y. Giants, 30–28

 

Week 9 Record: 10-3

Overall Record: 74–57–2

Teaser:
Week 10 2016 NFL Picks: Challenge Athlon Sports Experts!
Post date: Wednesday, November 9, 2016 - 13:03
Path: /college-football/utah-utes-vs-arizona-state-sun-devils-preview-and-prediction-2016
Body:

Utah and Arizona State are fighting to achieve dramatically different goals when they clash on Thursday night.

 

For the No. 15 Utes, a victory over the Sun Devils means another step forward to claiming the Pac-12 South title. Utah (7-2, 4-2 Pac-12) hasn't won in Tempe since a 31-28 victory in 1976. The Utes snapped an 11-game losing streak to Arizona State a season ago, winning 34-18 behind 297 yards on 26-of-36 passing from Travis Wilson and 118 rushing yards from Devontae Booker.

 

For the Sun Devils, a win over Utah means reaching six wins for a seventh consecutive season. Arizona State (5-4, 2-4 Pac-12) is suddenly in danger of missing out on a bowl game for the first time since 2010 after losing three straight games to Colorado, Washington State and Oregon.

 

Arizona State leads the all-time series 20-7. Utah is just 3-14 against the Sun Devils in Tempe.

 

Utah at Arizona State

 

Kickoff: Thursday, Nov. 10 at 9:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: FS1

Spread: Utah -5.5

 

Three Things to Watch

 

1. Will Utah make big plays in the passing game?
It's no secret that pass defense is a major weakness for Arizona State. The Sun Devils allow 397.6 yards through the air per game, which ranks last among all 128 FBS teams. Even worse, Arizona State has allowed 12 scoring plays covering 50 or more yards this season. Utah is well equipped to cash in on these shortcomings.

 

Utes quarterback Troy Williams leads the Pac-12 with 10 completions of 40 yards or longer this season. Williams is fourth in the league in passing yards per game (209.8), fifth in total passing yards (1,888) and third in passing yards per completion (13.30). He has put together five 200-yard passing games so far – including three in Pac-12 play: Southern Utah (272), USC (270), California (266), San Jose State (257) and Arizona (245).

 

Williams hasn't needed to do much with how strong Utah's running game has been in recent weeks. Against the Sun Devils, however, he could be poised for one of his best games of the season.

 

2. Injured starters returning for Arizona State
Injuries are a major culprit for pushing Arizona State into a three-game losing streak. Ten starters have been injured during the course of the season. Now the Sun Devils finally have some good news on the injury front.

 

Several starters should be able to play this week. Quarterback Manny Wilkins, running back Demario Richard and defensive backs Kareem Orr and Armand Perry are expected to play against Utah. Linebacker Salamo Fiso, wide receiver Tim White, and guards Sam Jones and Stephon McCray all remain questionable heading into Thursday.

 

Getting Wilkins back at full strength will offer the biggest boost. He struggled in October with ankle and shoulder problems. When Wilkins is healthy, Arizona State's offense is tough to stop. In his first four games, before injuries started piling up, the Sun Devils averaged 48.8 points per game. Teams have struggled with Wilkins' mobility and his passing abilities when he is at full strength.

 

3. Joe Williams closing in on 1,000 rushing yards
Since returning from his four-game retirement, Williams has shredded one defense after another. In three games since his return, Williams has racked up 683 yards and six touchdowns on the ground. The senior is averaging 227.7 yards per game against Pac-12 teams this season.

 

Williams has totaled 758 rushing yards in five games, ranking fourth among Pac-12 running backs. He needs just 242 yards to reach 1,000 yards – a plateau that's not out of reach even within a single game. If he had played in enough games to qualify, Williams would rank third in the nation and first in the Pac-12 in rushing yards per game (151.6).

 

No team from outside the state of Utah has held Williams under 100 rushing yards since he took over the starting job following Devontae Booker's injury late last season. Arizona State may offer the stiffest test he has faced this season. The Sun Devils are allowing just 116.0 rushing yards per game – leading the Pac-12 in that category.

 

Final Analysis

 

Facing a team with as good of a rushing defense as Arizona State possesses would normally pose a major challenge for a run-oriented team like Utah. This year, the Utes have a strong enough passing offense to overcome it. The Sun Devils are not capable of stopping big pass plays and that could be a fatal flaw in their quest to get bowl eligible. Utah is a stronger defensive team overall and the Utes are good enough offensively to exploit Arizona State's weaknesses.

 

Prediction: Utah 34, Arizona State 29

 

— Written by John Coon, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Coon has more than a decade of experience covering sports for different publications and outlets, including The Associated Press, Salt Lake Tribune, ESPN, Deseret News, MaxPreps, Yahoo! Sports and many others. Follow him on Twitter @johncoonsports.

Teaser:
Utah Utes vs. Arizona State Sun Devils Preview and Prediction
Post date: Wednesday, November 9, 2016 - 12:20
Path: /college-football/louisiana-lafayette-rajun-cajuns-vs-georgia-southern-eagles-preview-and-prediction-2016
Body:

Georgia Southern has an opportunity to get one step closer to bowl eligibility when the Eagles welcome UL Lafayette to the friendly confines of Allen E. Paulson Stadium for a Thursday Sun Belt tilt.

 

Georgia Southern (4-5, 3-2 Sun Belt) played Ole Miss close for three quarters last week but ultimately fell 37-27 on the road in a game where Rebels quarterback Chad Kelly suffered a season-ending leg injury. The loss was the Eagles’ second in a row, following a 34-10 defeat to Appalachian State on Oct. 27. Georgia Southern needs to win two of its remaining three games (at Georgia State, vs. Troy follow this one) to be eligible for it second consecutive postseason appearance.

 

UL Lafayette (3-5, 2-3) enters this game with a little steeper hill to climb regarding the postseason following a 23-13 loss last week to Idaho. The Ragin’ Cajuns managed just 95 yards of offense in the second half against a Vandals defense that entered the game giving up 461 per game.

 

Thursday’s meeting is the first between the two schools.

 

UL Lafayette at Georgia Southern

 

Kickoff: Thursday, Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. ET
TV Channel: ESPNU
Spread: UL Lafayette +8

 

Three Things to Watch

 

1. Georgia Southern RB Matt Breida
Accolades aren’t anything Breida isn’t used to. He rushed for 1,485 yards and 17 touchdowns two seasons ago and added another 1,608 yards and 17 touchdowns last season, finishing 10th in the FBS with 128 rushing yards per game and leading the way at 7.92 yards per carry.

 

Breida enters tonight’s game with 15 100-yard rushing games, including last week’s 100-yard effort against Ole Miss. For the season, the senior is leads the team with 506 yards and two touchdowns, although he’s averaging just four yards per carry. As a team, the Eagles are 21-1 since 2014 when they outgain their opponents on the ground. UL Lafayette has done a good job limiting teams’ running game, ranking third in the Sun Belt at 126.6 rushing yards per game. But Georgia Southern is among the top 20 teams in the FBS in rushing (242.1 ypg), so you figure something will have to give in this matchup.

 

2. UL Lafayette QB Anthony Jennings
After playing at LSU for three seasons, Jennings left Baton Rouge and wound up in nearby Lafayette as a graduate transfer. A highly regarded prospect coming out of high school, Jennings has enjoyed some success as his new school in his senior season. He’s fourth in the Sun Belt in completion rate (62.1 percent) and has accounted for 12 total touchdowns (9 passing, 3 rushing) in eight games.


The Ragin’ Cajuns have had issues with consistency on offense, so Jennings will need to be at the top of his game on the road against a Georgia Southern defense that hasn’t exactly shut down the opposition this season. In their five losses, the Golden Eagles have given up an average of 36.4 points and 461.6 yards per game.

 

3. Georgia Southern QB Kevin Ellison
Much of Breida’s rushing success can be attributed to the threat Eagles quarterback Ellison poses when he lines up behind center. Ellison is a true dual-threat quarterback who is just as dangerous passing as he is throwing. Ellison threw for 101 yards and two touchdowns to go along with 117 rushing yards on Oct. 22 against New Mexico State. Against Arkansas State earlier in October, Ellison threw for 203 yards and a touchdown in a close, one-point loss.

 

The senior has tallied 713 passing yards and six passing touchdowns this year and has scored four times on the ground.

 

Final Analysis

 

This matchup should be one of the Sun Belt Conference’s more intriguing ones as both teams stack up fairly even against each other. Georgia Southern running back Matt Breida has yet to have a breakout performance in 2016, but that should change by the time this one ends Thursday night. The Eagles should be able to lean on their productive running game at home and defeat UL Lafayette in a close contest.

 

Prediction: Georgia Southern 27, UL Lafayette 24

 

— Written by Elton Hayes, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. A sports reporter for The Meridian Star Newspaper, Hayes also has been an invited guest on “The Paul Finebaum Show.” Follow him on Twitter @EHDC12.

Teaser:
UL Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns vs. Georgia Southern Eagles Preview and Prediction
Post date: Wednesday, November 9, 2016 - 12:10
Path: /college-football/north-carolina-tar-heels-vs-duke-blue-devils-preview-and-prediction-2016
Body:

Now that was the North Carolina offense we were expecting to see all year. Okay, so the 438 yards per game that the Tar Heels had averaged before last Saturday was hardly awful. It’s just that with so many players returning from last year’s top-20 unit, the output had been a bit disappointing.

 

But against Georgia Tech it all came together. The sluggish running game came to life and quarterback Mitch Trubisky was his usual, efficient self. The result was 636 yards, numerous big plays and a 48-20 win.

 

On a short week the Heels will make the short drive over to Durham to take on a Duke squad that has lost three in a row and is 3-6 following a home loss to Virginia Tech. But don’t expect UNC to take the Blue Devils lightly. This is still Carolina-Duke.

 

North Carolina at Duke

 

Kickoff: Thursday, Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPN

Spread: North Carolina -11

 

Three Things to Watch

 

1. Elijah Hood

The junior from Charlotte got off to a slow start this year and his early lack of production was a big reason why UNC’s offense wasn’t as electric as most thought it would be. But Hood is back. The 6-foot, 220-pounder followed up a 100-yard performance versus Virginia by going for 168 yards and three touchdowns on just 12 carries against Georgia Tech. Duke is allowing 177 rushing yards per game and surrendered 207 to Virginia Tech, so Hood should be a focal point of the UNC offense again this week.

 

2. The Duke Offensive Line vs. North Carolina Defensive Front

Despite its struggles against the run over the past two seasons, North Carolina's defense has some exciting players in the front seven. Sophomore linebackers Andre Smith and Corey Holcomb are very active and defensive tackle Nazair Jones has had a very good junior season. For the Blue Devils on offense, creating running lanes for Shaun Wilson and Joseph Ajeigbe in order ease the pressure on freshman quarterback Daniel Jones is imperative. Also, the Duke line has surrendered 21 sacks on the year, which is part of the reason why Jones has thrown nine interceptions.

 

3. Turnovers

It is true that Jones puts the ball up for grabs at times. But Carolina’s secondary is not adept at actually grabbing it when it's there for the taking. In what is one of the most amazing stats of the year, North Carolina is the only FBS program without an interception on the season. Despite that issue, UNC is only minus-one in turnover margin thanks to nine forced fumbles, and putting the ball on the ground has been a problem for the Blue Devils.

 

Final Analysis

 

You have to give head coach David Cutcliffe and his Duke Blue Devils credit. They are 3-6 but they continue to battle. They hung with Lamar Jackson and Louisville until a late roughing the kicker penalty put it away for the Cardinals. The past two weeks they lost by three points to both Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech. Because of their fight, it’s hard to see Duke laying down against its bitter rival. But North Carolina will continue to feature Elijah Hood in the running game and the Tar Heels' receiving corps will be too much for the Blue Devils to handle.

 

Prediction: North Carolina 28, Duke 20

 

— Written by Jon Kinne, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a college football fanatic. Kinne has been writing about recruiting for the Irish Sports Daily for 10 years. Follow him on Twitter @JonRKinne.

Teaser:
North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Duke Blue Devils Preview and Prediction
Post date: Wednesday, November 9, 2016 - 12:00
Path: /college-football/college-football-poll-watch-2016-college-football-playoff-rankings-are-enigma
Body:

With the arrival of the College Football Playoff rankings, the focus of this weekly column shifts away from the coaches and media and their meaningless polls and moves to a room in Dallas full of some old guys and Condoleeza Rice.

 

The playoff rankings, released every Tuesday, almost always leave us with more questions than answers — right up to the final rankings of the season. It's almost like the entire process is designed to simply drive conversation and ratings as opposed to actually accomplish anything in the way of demonstrating what the committee is looking for.

 

Here are some of this things that stood out to me in the most recent College Football Playoff rankings.

 

Why is Texas A&M still in the top 10?

I get that you can't punish the Aggies for losing to Alabama, but this team just got beat by Mississippi State — one of the worst Power Five teams in the country in 2016. Ranking them above every two-loss team outside of Wisconsin is bordeline absurd.

 

The Group of Five is still at a huge disadvantage

Western Michigan has two wins over Power Five teams. That's a fact. The Broncos are also 10-0 against a schedule of teams full of kids who go to school for free because they are good at football. They have a 24.9-point margin of victory in those 10 games — and that includes the one-point win at Northwestern. And yet they can't crack the top 20 in the eyes of Condi and the boys? This system will never allow a Group of Five team to compete for a "national" championship.

 

It's Alabama or bust for the SEC

The way the rankings have shaken out so far, it looks like Alabama must win out for the SEC to be represented in the playoff. If the Crimson Tide lose to Auburn, they won't play in the SEC Championship Game, and the committee won't send a two-loss SEC champion to the playoff over undefeated or one-loss champions from the other Power Five conferences.

 

Related: Your 2016 Guide to Rooting for an SEC-Free College Football Playoff

 

Louisville is probably going to get TCUed

This entire system was set up to put the best four teams in the country in a four-team playoff for all the marbles. None of us are blind. Louisville is one of the six best teams in the country, yet the Cardinals are the only one that no longer control their own destiny as far as winning a conference title goes. We are heading toward the second instance in three years where a one-loss team capable of winning the national championship will not be allowed to play for it.

 

Those are the biggest issues and concerns I have with the College Football Playoff rankings this week. The way this season has gone, chances are pretty good that we'll have an entirely new batch of questions and concerns next week. As long as the committee continues to move their goal post of expectations and values, we'll have plenty to talk about up until the final week of the 2016 season.

 

— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. His work has appeared on SI.com, FoxSports.com, Yahoo! and Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.

Teaser:
College Football Poll Watch: The College Football Playoff Rankings are an Enigma
Post date: Wednesday, November 9, 2016 - 11:30
Path: /college-football/outrageous-college-football-predictions-week-11-2016
Body:

The fun has just begun.

 

Just when we think it's starting to appear that we can project the final four teams that will qualify for the College Football Playoff, the game happens. We — both fans and media — predict, project, preview and prognosticate as if we truly think we are experts. But we're not. We're all just slaves to the game, and when the game is played, then and only then do we know anything.

 

Some games will be played this weekend, and once again in 2016, it will be apparent that we know nothing. Here are my outrageous predictions for Week 11 of the college football season.

 

Outrageous College Football Predictions for Week 11

 

South Carolina keeps rolling, stuns Florida

The Gamecocks look like they've got it all figured out. They've won three in a row and have all the confidence in the world heading into their matchup with the Gators in Gainesville this weekend. On the other side of the field will be a Florida team recovering from the beatdown Arkansas gave it last weekend. Jim McElwain's offense looks like it's in trouble regardless of who goes under center. Look for the Gamecocks to win a low-scoring game on the road.

 

Ohio State scores 60 points for the second consecutive week

Urban Meyer is in a zone right now. He knows what's at stake, and he knows what impresses the College Football Playoff selection committee. The Buckeyes thrashed Nebraska last weekend and the win was all the more impressive with the Huskers being a top-10 opponent. There's only one way to keep the national attention on your program heading into a game against a lowly opponent like Maryland — put up eye-popping numbers.The nature of today's game calls for running up scores on lesser opponents if you want to gain any ground and stay in the championship conversation. Predicting the Buckeyes to score 60 might even be low-balling it.

 

Kentucky effectively ends Tennessee's season

What a mess in Knoxville. I'd tell you I didn't see it coming, but I'd be lying, as I've seen the Volunteers overhyped since before the season began. Now they've got a star player transferring, a three-game SEC losing streak, and a head coach whose seat is getting warmer by the minute. Oh, and here comes a team from the Bluegrass State looking to become bowl eligible. I wouldn't feel good picking Tennessee to beat many Power Five teams right now, especially one that runs the ball as well as Kentucky does. A disaster of a season is about to get worse on Rocky Top.

 

USC spoils Washington's playoff hopes

The Huskies have looked good — real good — as of late. The reality, however, is that Washington has not been challenged to a man athletically. The Trojans have the horses (no pun intended) to do just that. I like USC to ride its recent momentum and upset Chris Petersen's squad.

 

This is it: Iowa takes down Michigan

It makes no sense. Iowa has been one of the biggest disappointments of the season so far. Michigan has lived up to the hype. I get it. But this just feels different. I like Iowa's individual matchups. I like the crowd at Kinnick Stadium. I like Iowa playing with nothing to lose, with their backs against the walls, against the Harbaugh machine. Hawkeyes linebacker Josey Jewell is the difference as Iowa pulls off the upset of the season.

 

— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. His work has appeared on SI.com, FoxSports.com, Yahoo! and Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.

Teaser:
Outrageous College Football Predictions for Week 11
Post date: Wednesday, November 9, 2016 - 11:00
Path: /fantasy/college-fantasy-football-week-11-start-or-sit-2016
Body:

We are onto Week 11 of the college fantasy football season and playoffs are either starting this week or are right around the corner for you so it is crucial that your lineup is set up properly heading into the weekend. Luckily, AthlonSports.com  is here to help you make those tough decisions and hopefully secure a spot in the college fantasy football postseason.

 

Note: Obvious choices will not be given such as Lamar Jackson or Donnel Pumphrey as those players are typically starters regardless of the matchup.

 

Also below are the top 10 rankings for each position for the given week.

 

Quarterbacks

 

Start ’Em

 

Thomas Woodson, Akron vs. Bowling Green (Wed.)

Woodson has been solid since his return from injury with two 300-yard passing performances and five touchdown passes over the last three weeks. One noticeable difference with Woodson is he is not running nearly as much as he did in 2015, which made him one of the top sleeper picks at the quarterback position entering this season. Last year, Woodson finished with 591 rushing yards and three scores. So far to this point, he has a grand total of 36 yards on the ground in seven games. He has already surpassed his season total of TD passes from last year with 18 (16 in 2015) and should add to that number on Wednesday against a Bowling Green defense that has given up an FBS-worst 28.

 

Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State vs. Texas Tech

Rudolph is playing some of his best football of late with 18 total touchdowns in the last five games, including a season-high five TD passes this past week against Kansas State. And while the Wildcats have had their issues against the pass this season (117th in the FBS), the Red Raiders have been even more generous (122nd). Texas Tech is allowing 279.4 passing yards per game, has surrendered 21 touchdowns through the air and recorded just four interceptions. This has all the makings of a typical, high-scoring, back-and-forth, Big 12 contest, which bodes well for Rudolph and any other Cowboy or Red Raider that figures to have a large role on offense.

 

Sit ’Em

 

Gus Ragland, Miami (Ohio) vs. Buffalo

Ragland’s name has popped up recently in my waiver wire reports for his play the last four weeks, thanks to producing a combined 11 touchdowns during that span. The sophomore quarterback had his best performance of the year this past week against Central Michigan, throwing for 218 yards and four scores on just 13 completions. Ragland also is a dual-threat QB, rushing for 30 or more yards in three out of those four games. But it’s a bad matchup for him this week against a Buffalo pass defense that has been the lone bright spot in an otherwise disappointing season for the Bulls. Buffalo is currently ranked sixth in the country at defending the pass, allowing just 167 yards per game. Opposing quarterbacks have thrown for just nine touchdowns all season against the Bulls and have topped 200 passing yards just three times.

 

Nick Mullens, Southern Miss vs. Old Dominion

Southern Miss head coach Jay Hopson announced on Monday that Mullens and backup Parker Adamson will have their playing status determined this week as they recover from injuries suffered in the last game against Charlotte. Mullens was knocked out of the game in the third quarter due to a concussion and his status is likely to be determined on Friday. It also was mentioned that freshman Keon Howard could see action this week depending on who is available to play. Even if Mullens is cleared to play against Old Dominion, I would sit him as has just three TD passes in the last three games.

 

Top 10 Quarterbacks for Week 11:

Lamar Jackson, Louisville vs. Wake Forest

Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma State

Luke Falk, Washington State vs. California

Ryan Higgins, Louisiana Tech vs. UTSA

Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma vs. Baylor

Mike White, Western Kentucky vs. North Texas

Davis Webb, California vs. Washington State

Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State vs. Texas Tech

Quinton Flowers, South Florida vs. Memphis

Deshaun Watson, Clemson vs. Pittsburgh

 

Running Backs

 

Start ’Em

 

Justin Jackson, Northwestern vs. Purdue

Jackson is a sure-fire start ’em selection against Purdue this weekend. During this recent four-game losing streak, the Boilermakers have given up an average of 45 points per game. In that span, there has been little resistance against the run from the Purdue defense, to the tune of 16 rushing touchdowns. This past week, Minnesota racked up more than 200 yards on the ground with five scores. The week prior, Penn State running back Saquon Barkley topped 200 yards with a pair of TDs. And then there was Iowa a month ago where both Akrum Wadley and LeShun Daniels both topped 100 rushing yards. Jackson has struggled of late with three consecutive games of fewer than 100 yards and zero touchdowns, but I expect that streak to end on Saturday.

 

Kalif Phillips, Charlotte vs. Rice

After a slow start out of the gates, Phillips has really turned on the jets in the last month and a half. In the last six weeks, Phillips has had four games of 100-plus yards on the ground, including his season-best 183-yard performance this past week against Southern Miss. The touchdown total is not overwhelming (4), but he is seeing an average of 22 carries per game during this stretch. While Phillips would be a solid play regardless of the matchup, it really is his opponent this week that makes him such an attractive option as Rice just gave up 252 rushing yards last week to a running back that had just 295 coming into the game. The Owls currently rank 107th in the country in rush defense, allowing 223.1 yards per game and have surrendered 26 rushing touchdowns.

 

Sit ’Em

 

Samaje Perine, Oklahoma vs. Baylor

If I had Perine on my roster, I am sure it would be tempting to put him right back into my lineup, as he is expected to return on Saturday after missing the last three weeks due to injury. That said, I would hold off as head coach Bob Stoops did say that Perine will practice only in a limited capacity. With Joe Mixon also expected to return after serving a one-game suspension last week, I would fully expect him to receive the bulk of the carries with Perine still rounding back into playing form. It’s not as if Perine was lighting the world on fire prior to the injury either, with just one 100-yard rushing game this season.

 

Mike Weber, Ohio State vs. Maryland

On the surface, this looks like an excellent play with Weber going against a suspect Maryland defense that just allowed 273 yards and five rushing touchdowns to Michigan. That said, I think we could see a similar stat line to the one Weber had this past week against Nebraska when he got a total of 11 carries. That was due in large part to Weber leaving the game during the third quarter due to a shoulder injury, but it was reported Tuesday that he will be fine for this week. With Ohio State likely to be up big on Maryland, I think we could see a host of backs get into the mix, including freshman Demario McCall, which should limit the damage that Weber could potentially do on the ground.

 

Top 10 Running Backs for Week 11:

Donnel Pumphrey, San Diego State vs. Nevada

Jeremy McNichols, Boise State vs. Hawaii

Christian McCaffrey, Stanford vs. Oregon

Brian Hill, Wyoming vs. UNLV

Joe Williams, Utah vs. Arizona State (Thurs.)

Joe Mixon, Oklahoma vs. Baylor

Leonard Fournette, LSU vs. Arkansas

D’Onta Foreman, Texas vs. West Virginia

l’Tavius Mathers, Middle Tennessee vs. Marshall

Saquon Barkley, Penn State vs. Indiana

 

Wide Receivers

 

Start ’Em

 

Anthony Miller, Memphis vs. South Florida

Miller came through for us last week with four catches for 102 yards and two touchdowns against SMU so we are going back to the well once more. Over the last three weeks, Miller has been one of the top receivers in the country with a combined 25 receptions for 486 yards and five touchdowns. It is not by accident that Miller is playing so well either, as his quarterback (Riley Ferguson) also is performing at a high level. South Florida has only given up 10 touchdown passes on the year, but are allowing close to 250 yards per game through the air. With Memphis at home in an important matchup in terms of AAC standing, I look for Miller and the offense to have one of their best performances of the season.

 

Deon Cain, Clemson vs. Pittsburgh

Not that this matters much, but just an oddity when looking at Cain’s stat lines this season – his big performances come in groups of two. He had consecutive touchdowns early in the season in Weeks 2 and 3, and then had four touchdowns combined against Louisville and Boston College in consecutive games to begin October. If that trend were to continue, Cain is coming off of his best performance of the year — 125 yards and two touchdowns against Syracuse last Saturday. This could be a week, though, where everyone in the Clemson passing attack gets involved as Pittsburgh currently ranks 126th in the country against the pass. The Panthers were torched last week by Miami QB Brad Kaaya (356 yards, 4 TDs). With Deshaun Watson expected to be fully healthy for this game, we could see passing yards put up in bunches by the Tigers on Saturday.

 

Sit ‘Em

 

JuJu Smith-Schuster, USC vs. Washington

After it looked like Smith-Schuster had finally regained his 2015 form during the month of October, the junior receiver has been awfully quiet the past two weeks with just 76 receiving yards. The entire USC offense faces a tall task this week in Husky Stadium against an undefeated Washington team that currently ranks 13th in the nation against the pass, having allowed just eight touchdowns in nine games. Despite playing in the Pac-12 where up-tempo offenses reign supreme, the Huskies have allowed just one wideout all season to top 100 yards against them. If a USC wide receiver does become the second to top that mark, there is a better chance of it being Darreus Rogers, who has been the primary target for redshirt freshman quarterback Sam Darnold over the last few games.

 

Fred Ross, Mississippi State vs. Alabama

Ross has had a bit of a resurgence of late after struggling mightily this season with drops. The senior receiver has four touchdowns in the last three games including two this past week in the upset win over Texas A&M. I don’t see anyone on the Mississippi State offense having much success this week against an Alabama defense that ranks second in the country in points allowed and 19th against the pass. Quarterback Nick Fitzgerald has been excellent of late with 17 total touchdowns in the last four games, but eight of those have come on the ground. I don’t believe he is a good enough passer yet to have much success against the Crimson Tide defense. That means it could be a quiet week from Ross and the other Mississippi State receivers.

 

Top 10 Wide Receivers for Week 11:

Zay Jones, East Carolina vs. SMU

Taywan Taylor, Western Kentucky vs. North Texas

Dede Westbrook, Oklahoma vs. Baylor

Carlos Henderson, Louisiana Tech vs. UTSA

Amba Etta-Tawo, Syracuse vs. NC State

Trent Taylor, Louisiana Tech vs. UTSA

Gabe Marks, Washington State vs. California

Cody Thompson, Toledo vs. Northern Illinois (Wed.)

Jonathan Giles, Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma State

Austin Carr, Northwestern vs. Purdue

 

— Written by Mike Bainbridge, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Bainbridge is a graduate of Northern Illinois University. For more College Fantasy Football insight, Make sure to follow him on Twitter @MikeBainbridge2.

Teaser:
College Fantasy Football Week 11 Start or Sit
Post date: Wednesday, November 9, 2016 - 10:45
All taxonomy terms: syndicated, NFL
Path: /nfl/predictions-every-nfl-game-week-10-2016
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With every NFL team at least halfway through their schedule, some things are starting to come into focus. In the AFC, New England remains the class of the conference while the AFC West currently has three teams in prime playoff position, led by an upstart Oakland team.


In the NFC, Dallas continues to thrive with two rookies leading the offense, while Seattle appears to be rounding into form and the combination of Matt Ryan and Julio Jones gives Atlanta one of the league’s most dangerous offenses.


In Week 10, fans will be treated to a clash of two annual contenders when the Seahawks travel to Foxboro to take on the Patriots. In Pittsburgh, the Cowboys look to make it eight wins in a row when they face the Steelers. Ben Roethlisberger returned from knee surgery last Sunday, but it wasn’t enough as Pittsburgh has now lost three games in a row. Besides this game featuring two of the most successful franchises in NFL history, the QB-RB-WR pairings are just as intriguing with Prescott and Roethlisberger, Ezekiel Elliott and Le’Veon Bell, and Dez Bryant and Antonio Brown.

 

Elsewhere, Green Bay, Minnesota and Denver all look to bounce back from a loss last week, but to do so will have to win on the road. The Packers look to end their two-game losing streak when they take on the Titans in Nashville. The Vikings have three straight losses and hope to turn things around in Washington against the Redskins, while the Broncos have to bounce back from Sunday night’s loss in Oakland by making the trek to New Orleans to face the Saints in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

 

So which teams will come out on top in every NFL game in Week 10? Athlon's own Rob Doster (AthlonDoster), John Gworek (JohnGworek), Steven Lassan (AthlonSteven), and Mark Ross (AthlonMarkR), along with AthlonSports.com contributor Bryan Fischer (BryanDFischer), predict the winners for every game this week:

 

NFL Week 10 Predictions

 

Byes: Buffalo, Detroit, Indianapolis, Oakland

 

 

Rob

Doster

Bryan
Fischer

John

Gworek

Steven

Lassan

Mark

Ross

Cleveland at
Baltimore (TNF)

Green Bay at
Tennessee

Minnesota at
Washington

Chicago at
Tampa Bay

Kansas City at
Carolina

Atlanta at

Philadelphia

Los Angeles at

NY Jets

Denver at

New Orleans

Houston at

Jacksonville

Miami at

San Diego

Dallas at

Pittsburgh

San Francisco at
Arizona

Seattle at
New England (SNF)

Cincinnati at
NY Giants (MNF)

Week 9 9-4 9-4 10-3 10-3 9-4
Season 85-46 74-57 76-55 79-52 79-52

 

Note: Ties are not included in season record.

Teaser:
Predictions for Every NFL Game in Week 10
Post date: Wednesday, November 9, 2016 - 09:30
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, syndicated, NFL, Fantasy
Path: /fantasy/nfl-best-daily-fantasy-football-lineups-fanduel-and-draftkings-week-10-2016
Body:

Even with six teams on bye liming the player pool for Week 9, there were still some big performances that left their mark from a fantasy standpoint, especially in the DFS realm. It all got started in a big way on Thursday night with Atlanta and Tampa Bay combining for 71 points and more than 850 yards of offense.

 

Week 9 also was a big one for guys like Latavius Murray, Melvin Gordon, Mark Ingram and Jimmy Graham, while stars like Le’Veon Bell and dream killer Devontae Booker hurt owners who had hoped for so much more.

 

As we turn our focus to Week 10, there are just four teams on bye (means 12 games on tap), so the player pool won’t be impacted much. There are still some guys who will be sorely missed (Andrew Luck, Derek Carr, Matthew Stafford, to name a few), but some reinforcements are available in the form of those returning to action.

 

What I will be doing in this space is sharing my top plays for the week, a value play, and most importantly a lineup or two. I will likely be focusing on cash games (50/50 and Double Up) and not GPP (tournaments, multi-player) contests. My Week 8 lineups should work in both formats.

 

So let’s get into my top plays, value play and lineups for Week 6 shall we? As always any questions, arguments, or glowing praise can be sent to me via Twitter @fantsychillpony.

 

Week 10 Top Plays

 

These will be my top plays of the week. These are players who I will try to have in as many lineups of mine as possible. If I can, I will use all three in one lineup. A reminder for cash games: going with an elite quarterback is typically recommended. If you opt for a value quarterback he MUST meet value for your loaded lineup to be worth it.

 

QB: Matt Ryan, Atlanta at Philadelphia ($8,600 FanDuel/$7,300 DraftKings)

Philadelphia has fared well against quarterbacks and offenses in general this season, but the Eagles haven’t faced Ryan and Julio Jones yet have they? Throwing for 344 yards and four touchdowns as he did in Green Bay may not be as easy to do this week. But Ryan has the weapons and the Eagles will not be able to slow the Falcons down enough this week.

 

RB: Devontae Booker, Denver at New Orleans ($7,800 FanDuel/$7,000 DraftKings)

Booker will make a fantastic GPP play this week after his absolute stinker in Week 9 – a total of three fantasy points. His ownership will be very, very low because of this and that makes him a nice target. Throw in how he is facing the worst ranked rush defense this week and he should bounce back in a big way. Use the rookie in Cash games if you are averse to risk spending up on David Johnson.

 

WR: Julio Jones, Atlanta at Philadelphia ($8,800 FanDuel/$9,500 DraftKings)

This is essentially a stack with Matt Ryan, and it makes sense. Jones will be covered by Philly’s best cover guy, but honestly if he is healthy can anyone cover him? Nope. So if Jones is cruising, so is Ryan and vice versa. The issue is if one struggles, the other likely is too. I am confident with these guys this week.

 

TE: Jordan Reed, Washington vs. Minnesota ($7,000 FanDuel/$6,200 DraftKings)

Reed faces the once daunting Vikings defense but the potential loss of linebacker Eric Kendricks looms large and Minnesota has been susceptible to tight ends this season. Reed is clearly one of the best in the league and he has a knack for making big plays and finding the end zone. I like Reed’s price and potential over big hitters like Greg Olsen and Rob Gronkowski for this week.

 

Value Play of the Week

 

Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia vs. Falcons ($5,900 FanDuel/$5,900 DraftKings)

Atlanta is towards the bottom half in covering WRs this season and Matthews is Philadelphia’s No. 1. However, he has not been a lock for big games by any means. His price is fair and he is worth the risk in a game where the Eagles will likely be forced to throw the ball. The expected volume should be enough to help Matthews meet value this week, and a potential touchdown is icing on the cake.

 

The Lineup(s)

 

This week I am only posting one lineup for each site. Again these are lineups that should work well, in addition to encompassing my top plays for the week in some fashion. However, I don’t recommend only using this lineup. Find values and mix it up. Making your lineup your own is more fun and challenging.

 

This week I constructed a lineup I will be playing in both types of games (Cash and GPP) on both sites.

 

FanDuel Cash/GPP Lineup

 

DraftKings Cash/GPP Lineup

 

— Written by Chris Meyers, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a member of the FSWA. Meyers' work appears on many other sites, including socalledfantasyexperts.com. Follow him on Twitter @FantsyChillpony.

Teaser:
NFL Best Daily Fantasy Football Lineups for FanDuel and DraftKings (Week 10)
Post date: Wednesday, November 9, 2016 - 09:00
All taxonomy terms: ACC, Air Force Falcons, Akron Zips, Alabama Crimson Tide, Appalachian State Mountaineers, Arizona State Sun Devils, Arizona Wildcats, Arkansas Razorbacks, Arkansas State Red Wolves, Army West Point Black Knights, Army Black Knights, Army West Point Black Knights, Auburn Tigers, Ball State Cardinals, Baylor Bears, Boise State Broncos, Boston College Eagles, Bowling Green Falcons, Buffalo Bulls, BYU Cougars, California Golden Bears, Central Michigan Chippewas, Charlotte 49ers, Cincinnati Bearcats, Clemson Tigers, College Football, Colorado Buffaloes, Colorado State Rams, Connecticut Huskies, Duke Blue Devils, East Carolina Pirates, Eastern Michigan Eagles, FAU Owls, FIU Panthers, Florida Gators, Florida State Seminoles, Fresno State Bulldogs, Georgia Bulldogs, Georgia Southern Eagles, Georgia State Panthers, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Hawaii Rainbow Warriors, Hawaii Warriors, Houston Cougars, Idaho Vandals, Illinois Fighting Illini, Indiana Hoosiers, Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa State Cyclones, Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas State Wildcats, Kent State Golden Flashes, Kentucky Wildcats, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, Louisville Cardinals, LSU Tigers, Marshall Thundering Herd, Maryland Terrapins, Memphis Tigers, Miami Hurricanes, Miami Ohio RedHawks, Michigan State Spartans, Michigan Wolverines, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Missouri Tigers, MTSU Blue Raiders, Navy Midshipmen, Navy Midshipmen, NC State Wolfpack, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Nevada Wolf Pack, New Mexico Lobos, New Mexico State Aggies, North Carolina Tar Heels, North Texas Mean Green, Northern Illinois Huskies, Northwestern Wildcats, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Ohio Bobcats, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Old Dominion Monarchs, Ole Miss Rebels, Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers, Penn State Nittany Lions, Pittsburgh Panthers, Purdue Boilermakers, Rice Owls, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, San Diego State Aztecs, San Jose State Spartans, SMU Mustangs, South Alabama Jaguars, South Carolina Gamecocks, South Florida Bulls, Southern Miss Golden Eagles, Stanford Cardinal, Syracuse Orange, TCU Horned Frogs, Temple Owls, Tennessee Volunteers, Texas A&M Aggies, Texas Longhorns, Texas State Bobcats, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Toledo Rockets, Troy Trojans, Tulane Green Wave, Tulsa Golden Hurricane, UAB Blazers, UCF Knights, UCLA Bruins, UConn Huskies, UL Lafayette Ragin Cajuns, UL Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns, UL Monroe Warhawks, UMass Minutemen, UNLV Rebels, USC Trojans, Utah State Aggies, Utah Utes, UTEP Miners, UTSA Roadrunners, Vanderbilt Commodores, Virginia Cavaliers, Virginia Tech Hokies, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Washington Huskies, Washington State Cougars, West Virginia Mountaineers, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, Western Michigan Broncos, Wisconsin Badgers, Wyoming Cowboys, American Athletic, Big 12, Big Ten, Conference USA, Independents, MAC, Mountain West, Pac 12, SEC, Sun Belt, News
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College football’s Week 11 slate once again kicked off with midweek MACtion on Tuesday and Wednesday and continues into Thursday night with three games on the schedule, including North Carolina at Duke and Utah at Arizona State. Boston College at Florida State is the only matchup on Friday night, but there’s a full slate ahead on Saturday. The Week 11 schedule only features two games matching ranking teams, with LSU at Arkansas and USC at Washington highlighting the top contests on Saturday. West Virginia-Texas, Baylor-Oklahoma, Appalachian State-Troy, Auburn-Georgia, Michigan-Iowa and Minnesota-Nebraska are the other must-see games for Week 11.

 

Which teams will come out on top in every FBS game for Week 11? Bryan Fischer and Jim Weber join Athlon Sports' Steven Lassan and Mitch Light to provide weekly predictions for every contest:

 

College Football Week 11 Predictions
 

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

Bryan

Fischer

Jim

Weber

Bowling Green at

Akron

(Wednesday)

Toledo vs. 

Northern Illinois

(Chicago)

(Wednesday)

North Carolina at

Duke

(Thursday)

UL Lafayette at

Georgia Southern

(Thursday)

Utah at

Arizona State

(Thursday)

Boston College at

Florida State

(Friday)

Colorado at

Arizona

Oregon State at

UCLA

South Carolina at

Florida

Northwestern at

Purdue

Iowa State at

Kansas

Texas Tech at

Oklahoma State

Rutgers at

Michigan State

Ohio State at

Maryland

Penn State at

Indiana

Cincinnati at

UCF

SMU at

East Carolina

Mississippi State at

Alabama

NC State at

Syracuse

Miami, Ohio at

Buffalo

Rice at

Charlotte

Miami at

Virginia

UL Monroe at

Georgia State

NMSU at

Ark. State

Wyoming at

UNLV

Southern Utah at

BYU

Notre Dame vs.

Army

(San Antonio)

Vanderbilt at

Missouri

UTSA at

Louisiana Tech

North Texas at

WKU

Southern Miss at

Old Dominion

Pitt at 

Clemson

Georgia Tech at

Virginia Tech

Illinois at

Wisconsin

Tulane at

Houston

Idaho at 

Texas State

UTEP at

FAU

MTSU at

Marshall

Wake Forest at

Louisville

Boise State at

Hawaii

South Florida at

Memphis

Minnesota at

Nebraska

New Mexico at

Utah State

Colorado State at

Air Force

San Diego State at

Nevada

California at

Washington State

Michigan at

Iowa

USC at

Washington

Appalachian State at

Troy

Tulsa at

Navy

West Virginia at

Texas

Auburn at

Georgia

Stanford at

Oregon

LSU at

Arkansas

Kentucky at

Tennessee

Ole Miss at

Texas A&M

Baylor at

Oklahoma

Kent State at

Bowling Green

(Tuesday, Nov. 15)

Ohio at 

Central Michigan

(Tuesday, Nov. 15)

 

Teaser:
Predictions for Every College Football Game in Week 11 2016
Post date: Wednesday, November 9, 2016 - 09:00
All taxonomy terms: College Basketball, News, Magazines
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Not that Jim Larranaga isn’t smart enough to figure all this out, but he enters the 2016-17 season facing questions he’s never had before.

 

The Hurricanes coach, coming off his second Sweet 16 appearance in four seasons, has a brand new roster once again. Unlike his rebuild of 2013’s ACC championship and Sweet 16 squad, he also has talent — namely, the first top-10 recruiting class in program history.

 

He may not know what to do with it until December.

 

“I think there’s a lot of question marks right now,” Larranaga said as the Hurricanes began summer workouts with six players who were brand new to the program. “I don’t think there’s any way to know who’s in our starting lineup [right now].”

 

Last year, the roles seemed well defined. He had a bulldog point guard (Angel Rodriguez), a go-to scorer (Sheldon McClellan) and an athletic 7-footer (Tonye Jekiri) holding down the middle. He had valuable complementary players in 3-man Davon Reed and 4-man Kamari Murphy.

 

Now he’s counting on his sixth man, junior combo guard Ja’Quan Newton, to take over the point. He needs Reed and Murphy to provide senior leadership. He’ll need a host of untested players to grow up in a hurry. The faster they do, the faster Miami will compete for another league title.

 

All ACC predictions and a full preview of each team in the conference can be found in the Athlon Sports 2016-17 Preview Magazine, available in our online store and on newsstands everywhere.

 

At a Glance

 

HEAD COACH: Jim Larranaga

2015-16 RECORD (ACC): 27–8 (13–5)

2015-16 POSTSEASON: NCAA: Lost to Villanova 92–69 in the Sweet 16

2016-17 PREDICTION: Eighth in ACC

KEY LOSSES:

F Ivan Cruz Uceda (5.4 ppg, 2.6 rpg)

C Tonye Jekiri (7.5 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 1.0 bpg)

G Sheldon McClellan (16.3 ppg, 3.2 rpg)

G James Palmer (3.4 ppg, 1.1 rpg)

G Angel Rodriguez (12.6 ppg, 4.5 apg)

 

Frontcourt

 

No one on the roster has the build or defensive presence of Jekiri, the 7'0", 250-pounder who made the ACC’s All-Defensive Team twice. In fact, the largest regular is sophomore Ebuka Izundu, who stands 6'10" and 210 pounds. Izundu, who like Jekiri came from Nigeria to play high school ball in the U.S., has greater hops and much more offensive game than his predecessor at the 5. “I’ll be very disappointed if he doesn’t play at a high level,” Larranaga says. However, Izundu needs to prove he won’t be pushed around by ACC big men — after playing last season at around 210 pounds — and defend without fouling.

 

The most veteran frontcourt player is Murphy, who proved to be an active defender and rebounder (6.0 rpg) in his Miami debut last year. The Brooklyn native, formerly of Oklahoma State, is the type of get-in-your-face leader Reed and Newton aren’t.

 

Miami won’t be able to keep top-25 recruit Dewan Huell on the bench for long, and the Canes may team the five-star freshman with Murphy to create a pair of springy big men. Freshman center Rodney Miller has bulk and comes from heralded Virginia prep program Oak Hill, but he may be too raw to play in the heat of the ACC schedule. VCU transfer Michael Gilmore, a stretch-4, will sit out a year.

 

Backcourt

 

Newton is an aggressive layup-maker, but he needs to improve his outside shooting (34.6 percent from 3) and, most important, his assist-to-turnover ratio (2.5-to-2.1). He’ll play major minutes, as will the versatile Reed, who averaged 11.1 points per game last season. If Newton falters at the point, 6'7" swingman Anthony Lawrence Jr. might get a crack at handling the ball instead of playing one of the forward spots. He had a 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio in limited minutes last year, and like Reed he can guard 1-through-4.

 

Though he’s new, the Hurricanes believe five-star freshman Bruce Brown could be an impact player in Year 1. “He’s a tremendous competitor,” Larranaga says.

 

Rashad Muhammad, the brother of NBA swingman Shabazz, is eligible after transferring from San Jose State. He’s an excellent deep shooter but with his thin frame won’t be banging around much. Australian freshman Dejan Vasiljevic, a veteran of his country’s international tournaments, will compete for time as Newton’s backup.

 

Newcomers

 

This may be the most talented recruiting class in program history. Five-star prospects Bruce Brown and Dewan Huell will play major minutes at guard and forward, respectively. Australian Dejan Vasiljevic is a heady point guard who will come off the bench. Four-star center Rodney Miller could redshirt as he adjusts to the pace of ACC play. There’s also Rashad Muhammad, who sat out after transferring from San Jose State. He’ll battle Brown for the starting 2-guard spot.

 

Final Analysis

 

Larranaga has recruited well enough that it’s hard to see the Hurricanes sliding to the bottom third of the league any time soon, but this roster is so green and undefined that it seems tough to put the Canes among the league’s legitimate title contenders. The best-case scenario: The talented freshmen find their sea legs quickly, suddenly making Miami one of the deeper, more balanced teams in the league.

 

If Newton becomes an All-ACC-caliber distributor and scorer, and the Hurricanes can find a way to defend against bigger opponents, they will be a tough out in March. If Larranaga still doesn’t know whom he can count on by January, they will be out of the NCAA Tournament.

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Pittsburgh coach Kevin Stallings ... wait ... who? What about Jamie Dixon, the man who led Pittsburgh to 11 NCAA Tournaments in 13 years and was the cornerstone of the program?

 

In an intriguing twist, Dixon exited in the offseason, after leading Pittsburgh to a 21–12 record and to a one-and-done trip to the NCAA Tournament, to return to his alma mater, TCU. This prompted the hiring of Stallings, who spent 17 seasons at Vanderbilt and was the longest-tenured coach in the SEC.

 

Stallings’ objective is straightforward: He looks to build on Dixon’s success while working toward deeper postseason runs. Dixon-led teams won just one NCAA Tournament game since 2010 and failed to reach a Final Four. Stallings will tap into a background that enabled him to guide Vanderbilt to seven NCAA trips in 17 years, including a spot in the First Four last season. Like Dixon, Stallings has yet to reach a Final Four.

 

Sporting a 332–220 career mark at Vanderbilt, Stallings will employ an up-tempo style that critics felt was missing during the Dixon era. It should be pointed out that Vanderbilt scored only slightly more than Pittsburgh in 2015-16: 75.9 to 75.0.

 

The Panthers return six of their top seven scorers, notably talented interior players Michael Young and Jamel Artis.

 

All ACC predictions and a full preview of each team in the conference can be found in the Athlon Sports 2016-17 Preview Magazine, available in our online store and on newsstands everywhere.

 

At a Glance

 

HEAD COACH: Kevin Stallings

2015-16 RECORD (ACC): 21–12 (9–9)

2015-16 POSTSEASON: NCAA: Lost to Wisconsin 47–43 in the first round

2016-17 PREDICTION: 10th in ACC

KEY LOSSES:

F Rafael Maia (2.0 ppg, 3.6 rpg)

G James Robinson (10.2 ppg, 5.0 apg)

G Sterling Smith (4.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg)

 

Frontcourt

 

Young is the centerpiece for the Panthers, a 6'9" senior power forward who combines a smooth scoring touch with tenacious rebounding ability. A third-team All-ACC selection, Young is the fourth-leading returning scorer in the league at 15.7 points per game and fourth-leading returning rebounder at 6.9. Given Stallings’ success in grooming big men, including 2016 first-round NBA Draft pick Damian Jones, Young could flourish in his final collegiate season.

 

The same could be said of the 6'7" Artis, a senior point-forward who can play near the rim or score from long range (team-best 49 3-pointers). He averaged 14.4 points last season. A 2014-15 third-team All-ACC pick, Artis needs to show more consistency. 

 

A player to watch is senior Sheldon Jeter, 6'8", who began his career at Vanderbilt under Stallings. His blend of court savvy and athleticism manifested itself in spurts last season. He led the team in blocked shots with 24 and produced big games against Virginia Tech (23 points) and Notre Dame (18). Senior swingman Chris Jones (6.1 ppg) and junior Ryan Luther (team-best .583 shooting percentage) will have expanded roles after coming off the bench in 2015-16.

 

Backcourt

 

The big question for the Panthers: Who can step in at point guard for four-year starter James Robinson, the NCAA record holder with a 3.45-to-1 career assist-to-turnover ratio? Sophomore Damon Wilson is the leading candidate. His combination of size (6'5") and decision-making skills (2.05-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio) fortify the belief that he can lead Pittsburgh’s offense. He scored 20 points against Central Arkansas and dished out seven assists versus Maryland-Eastern Shore, but he must improve his field goal percentage (.345) to round out his game.

 

Another viable option is highly touted freshman Justice Kithcart, who averaged 24.5 points in the postseason in leading his prep team to the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association state title. Kithcart is viewed as Pittsburgh’s point guard of the future.

 

Shooting guard Cameron Johnson, a rangy athlete at 6'7", made the most of limited opportunities as a redshirt freshman, notably 20 points against Boston College in mid-January and 24 against Syracuse in the ACC Tournament. He is fearless in attacking the rim.

 

Jones might be described as an enigma, given that he scored in double figures in five of his first 12 games last season, then managed to do it only once thereafter. Pittsburgh could use his leadership as it transitions to a new coaching staff.

 

Newcomers

 

New coach Kevin Stallings moved swiftly in keeping his three-man recruiting class, all signed by former coach Jamie Dixon, intact. Point guard Justice Kithcart could have an early impact, given that Pittsburgh lost four-year starter James Robinson. Kithcart was dominant in the postseason for Virginia Episcopal School, averaging 24.5 points and leading his team to a state title. Corey Manigault, a 6'8" forward from Suitland, Md., chose Pittsburgh over Maryland and could also vie for early playing time. Junior college transfer Crisshawn Clark is a promising guard who missed last season with a knee injury.

 

Final Analysis

 

Despite winning 20 or more games in 12 of his 13 seasons, Dixon frustrated fans with early exits in the NCAA Tournament. Time will tell if Stallings, who missed the NCAAs at Vanderbilt from 2013-15, can take the Panthers to the proverbial next level. “I’m certainly not going to apologize for my record,” Stallings says. “Jamie obviously had great success, and our goal is to try to match and improve on it.”

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