From a blog stand point things have been quiet since football concluded.
Zack’s planning some summertime overhaul website changes to change over features.
Expect less blogs and more video/podcasting content.
Zack still plans on having blogs during the football season but knows his audience wants the on-demand presence of videos/audio.
Thank you all for continuing to follow and track my handicapping plays month to month
Follow on Twitter@cimini
Organizations in the NFL can sometimes get away with hiding a positions depth due to an impact starter. The New York Giants have been able to do this for years as Eli Manning has been a durable quarterback. The backup quarterback role since the 2012 season has been Ryan Nassib’s out of Syracuse.
Nassib had many years under his belt as starter at Syracuse after replacing Greg Paulus in 2009. He was able to transform himself late in his junior season which carried over to a spotlight worthy senior season. When Doug Marrone landed in Buffalo, Nassib’s draft projections shot up to as high as a first round pick.
That didn’t happen but the Giants did draft him as a suitable backup for Eli Manning in the fourth round.
Each time Nassib has had brief action in preseason there has been little to write home about. He has had accuracy issues and does not seem comfortable yet with the Giants offense.
Even though the Giants did switch offenses last year, you’d expect Nassib to show a bit more of development in the pocket and take on the role a bit more as Eli’s backup.
It’s still early in the 2015 preseason but Nassib has to showcase his value a bit more in games two and three.
Eli, who is 34, is likely to get one more hefty contract offer from the Giants in the near future. That will make Nassib expendable when his contract is up as the Giants could bring in someone cheaper via the draft with a higher ceiling.
Nassib could still bounce around the NFL as a backup quarterback due to the veteran starters in the league and overall diluted backup talent throughout the league.
That’s never a goal of someone that has the tools Nassib does. It’ll be interesting to see how he finishes out this preseason and if he can finally clear that rookie hurdle and start to look like an NFL quarterback.
At this stage the Giants are unprepared if Eli were to go down for a length of time. If Nassib were thrown into a starter’s role it’d be a true disaster season.
The 2015 NFL draft class has quite a bit of potential when you look at the top positions in fantasy football. It is headlined by the two quarterbacks taken at the top of the draft, but it really shines at the wide receiver position. It might take a little while for some of these guys to live up to expectations, but for others, they are ready to contribute now. Here is a look at when to draft the three best rookies in fantasy football this year.
At Wisconsin, he was nearly unstoppable throughout his college career. He is a very disciplined running back who will get an opportunity to shine right away in San Diego. Taking him in the top 15 among running backs is not a crazy thought at all. He has a chance to be really good for a long time with his size and speed.
The running back is coming off an injury, but St. Louis plans on using him right away. They need someone with his dynamic ability in the backfield, and that is why they drafted him in the first round. The injuries drop him a bit, but he is still a top 25 running back, and a top 50 player overall in fantasy football.
Most fantasy football owners are hesitant to trust a rookie wide receiver. Cooper shouldn’t play much like a rookie though, as he is mature and disciplined already. He will be an instant difference maker in Oakland for the Raiders. He needs to make sure he is on the same page as Derek Carr right away.
All future wagers for the NFL should be placed this week. If you’re going to wait until after week 17 and before the wild card round, you’re going to lose odds value. Case in point, the Green Bay Packers in 2010 dropped to 20-1 after week 17. The New York Giants in 2011 dropped from 40-1 to 20-1 in 2011.
Get value while you can. Most people are going to run to the book and go for the slight payouts on the Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, or Packers. I like to find value and go for the hot December teams. These are the teams that typically make a solid playoff run in the NFL.
NFC Champs: Dallas Cowboys +585
Dallas has had a couple of poor losses on national television (Eagles Thanksgiving and Redskins MNF). But besides those losses they have looked the part all season long(Scratching Weeden’s start against the Cardinals from memory). In the post season they will likely have to clear past the Seahawks but who says they can’t do it again? Dallas’s offensive line is one of the few that have given the Seahawks defensive line problems. And lets not forget about Dez Bryant at wide receiver who made Seattle’s secondary look like the Bears.
AFC Champs: Pittsburgh Steelers +700-+800
Their defense may not be the greatest but what team has shown the capability to slow down the Steelers offense? They’ve been rolling the past six weeks since they decided to balance the pass/run more. That Jets loss seems like the distant past and I love the look this team has heading into the postseason.
Super Bowl Champs: Pittsburgh Steelers +2450
I mentioned a little bit above I like the Steelers to win the AFC. The Super Bowl would not be in their favor against the Seahawks, but I’m predicting Dallas to get there. It’s all about matchups in the Super Bowl and I believe Pittsburgh will continue the theme we’ve seen all year. Repeat champions of the 2000’s. UConn in college hoops, Spurs in the NBA, Giants in MLB, and Bubba Watson in golf.
Paired Odds: Dallas vs Pittsburgh 88-1. Oddly enough these two have met in the Super Bowl in the 70’s(1976 and 1979) and in the 90’s (1995 in Arizona). Lets keep the every two decades theme going!
Have fun with your futures selections and don’t wait until next Friday night to get your team’s selected.
VCU came into the 2014 campaign as an Atlantic 10 top rated team and one that has caught the eyes of several top college basketball analysts. I, myself had them ranked as a potential sleeper for a run in March. I still do. One of the things that people need to realize is just how much things can change for November until March. UConn showcased this as the most current example. Just a few weeks before the March Madness tournament they were defeated resoundingly by Louisville.
A team can grow in a quick matter. All that matters come March is seeding and the path of teams they face to get there.
For current ATS bettors, you’ve been extremely unsatisfied with VCU. They have only won two games ATS, one against Oregon and the other against Tennessee. Overall that makes them 2-6 ATS. The reason for this has been three keys in my eyes.
1. Their pressure havoc defense has been halted by poor back line defense. Teams are zipping the ball past the first wave and finding easy strides to the hoop for layups. This has been accomplished thanks to the teams they have faced having above average backcourts. That won’t last the entire season and Shaka Smart will amend his havoc defense a bit.
2. VCU’s offense at times can be stagnant. Half court execution has been better over their last few games. On the bench freshman Terry Larier and Justin Tillman are getting more and more comfortable offensively—this has to translate to the Rams havoc defense. Also sophomores JeQuan Lewis and Doug Brooks showed last year they’re capable of rising to the occasion—they just need to be more consistent.
3. Free Throw Shooting– This is VCU’s main culprit in their woes. They’ve always been a poor free throw shooting team. Against Northern Iowa though it was the difference in VCU gaining a win. Treveon Graham went 6 for 6 from the line and the team as a whole shot the ball better than Northern Iowa from the free throw line.
4. Leadership–This team has Treveon Graham, junior Melvin Johnson, Mo Allie-Cox,Jordan Burgess and defensive specialist Briante Weber. They’ve played on teams that were represented by VCU players that went to the Elite 8 a few seasons ago. They showed last year in quick stretches this team can turn a close game into a blowout.
Fantasy football playoffs are officially here. Some season’s are done and others are on playoff bye weeks. For the teams that are seeded this week you really need to concentrate on puzzling your team together week by week. If you’re on a bye week it’s not time to feel all cozy and neglect possible adds to your team. Here are a few names that did well during Thanksgiving week in the NFL.
Sanchez has erased doubts temporarily for the ongoing conclusion of the 2014 NFL season. His lease for fantasy football owners needs to be just that. I’m not sold on him as a top 12 fantasy quarterback in 2015, but for now his play warrants an add for fantasy football owners.
Fitzpatrick is the quarterback with fifteen lives over the last decade. I’ve profiled him enough to not go into detail here but he keeps making the most of his extra chances. The rhythm he was in Sunday was a top five to ten quarterback performance of the season. Six touchdown passes only cements that statement further.
At first Trent Richardson’s struggles were laughable now it’s just a sad downward spiral. Herron has been a special teams player in the NFL and now he is the one taking carries away from Richardson. Herron had a fumble a few weeks ago but seems to be the scatback the Colts need.
I’m not sure what is going on with Terrance Williams but he has put up dud performances for well over a month. Jason Witten has always been a main cog in the offense along with Dez, but it looks like Cole Beasley is starting to trickle past Williams.
Others: Kenny Stills, Jonas Gray, and Jarvis Landry