Todd Gurley
.
With the NFL Training Camp approaching us, it is time to start thinking about the 2018 fantasy football season. We’ll continue with a first look at the running backs.
.
1. Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams
2. Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers
3. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
4. David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals
5. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints
6. Kareem Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs
7. Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars
8. Melvin Gordon, Los Angeles Chargers
9. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants
10. Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons
11. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings
12. LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills
13. Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears
14. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers
15. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals
16. Jerick McKinnon, San Francisco 49ers
17. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans
18. Jay Ajayi, Philadelphia Eagles
19. Kenyan Drake, Miami Dolphins
20. Lamar Miller, Houston Texans
21. Rashaad Penny, Seattle Seahawks
22. Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints
23. Sony Michel, New England Patriots
24. Derrius Guice, Washington Redskins
25. Alex Collins, Baltimore Ravens
.
.
Also check out:

Brady Color Rush
.
With the NFL Training Camp approaching us, it is time to start thinking about the 2018 fantasy football season. We’ll start with a first look at the quarterbacks.
.
1. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
3. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
4. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
5. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
6. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
7. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
8. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
9. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
10. Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams
11. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
12. Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers
13. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
14. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
15. Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers
.
.
You see that I stuck with Brady as my top option as he continues to put Father Time on ice. Wentz can move up if he continues to progress from his knee injury. Brees is another ageless wonder. I think Matty Ice bounces back in a big way. Watson can also potentially move up if his knee continues to progress.

Just because you’re a top athlete in one sport doesn’t mean that you don’t enjoy another one. In fact, many of the best athletes undertake alternative sports to increase their stamina, performance and create some variety in their training schedule.
.
Even after they have left their main sport behind these alternatives can be a great way to stay fit. If you’re ready to join them you can start cycling with the aid of an electric bike and build up to more strenuous opportunities.
.
What you may be surprised by is the number of NFL Legends who love cycling:
.
Chad Greenway
.
Greenway is currently the second leading tackler for the Minnesota Vikings. However he cycles as much as 60 miles a day in the off season; to assist his training. The fact that he loves cycling is simply a bonus.
.
It is worth noting that he rarely actually cycles 60 miles; he usually aims for between 20 and 40 to prevent burning muscle.
.
Cycling is a great interval training sport; simply pedal gently until you find a hill and then cycle up it as fast as you can. You can then rest on the flat and the down hills until the next one. This mimics the way his body needs to respond in a game.
.
Connor Barwin
.
This Philadelphia linebacker rides to work every day on his bike. It may only be 3 miles but his consistency helps improve his stamina; as well as competing with his own time every day.
.
Kellen Winslow II
.
A motorcycle accident in 2005 could have put this tight end out of the game but a stationary bike helped him to rebuild his strength and stamina.
.
Since then he developed a love of cycling and now h rides between 30 and 40 miles per day. He is even considering a comeback to the game after a 4 year break!
.
Team Work
.
The Falcons have a general manager that loves to cycle. He has even led a group of 50 cyclists on a 17 mile ride round the toughest streets of Atlanta. He is enthusiastic about getting the team to ride to and from work. But he is also realistic, knowing that you need a passion for cycling to really make it work.
.
He’s certainly in good company as Matt Bryant, Matt Ryan and Julio Jones are already keen cyclists in their spare time; perhaps the Falcons will be the first all cycling NFL team!
.
Keeping The Balance
.
It is important for these NFL athletes to get the right balance between a love of cycling and their need to be match fit. Long distance cycling is a cardio activity which will burn fat. However, these guys don’t generally need to burn excess fat.
.
Long distance training is also likely to reduce the energy and time available for strength training. As an NFL player you need strength and mass so no matter how keen they are on cycling these NFL players need to balance their budding cycling careers against the demands of their current sport.

 | Posted by | Categories: NFL | Tagged: cycling, NFL |

Saquon Barkley
.
1. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants
Barkley not only is the odds on favorite to be the top rookie running back, he is a strong candidate to finish in the top ten of fantasy football scoring for all running backs. The last two seasons at Penn State Barkley averaged 1,813 total yards and 20.5 touchdowns.
.
2. Rashaad Penny, Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks have been looking for a Marshawn Lynch replacement for a couple of years now. Penny more than doubled his production last year at San Diego State with 2,027 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns with another 18 catches for 142 yards and a pair of scores. If he can stay healthy, perhaps Penny can solidify Seattle’s backfield.
.
3. Sony Michel, New England Patriots
Michel ran for 948 yards and 13 touchdowns on a 7.2 yards per carry clip last year for Georgia. He’ll form a committee with James White and Rex Burkhead, but given his explosiveness look for Bill Belichick to find ways to get him the ball.
.
4. Derrius Guice, Washington Redskins
Guice averaged 1,373 total yards and 13.5 touchdowns over teh last two years at LSU. He should emerge as the lead back for Washington, but Chris Thompson should limit him to 1st and 2nd downs. Samaje Perine could be in the mix for some carries as well.
.
5. Royce Freeman, Denver Broncos
Freeman finished his collegiate career at Oregon with 6,435 total yards and 64 touchdowns, including 1,639 total yards and 16 touchdowns last year. Freeman may enter the season behind Devontae Booker, but Booker may be better suited as the third down back leaving Freeman for early downs and goal line work.
.
6. Ronald Jones II, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jones saw his production at USC improve each year culminating with 1,637 total yards and 19 touchdowns last year. He should enter the year as the lead back for the Bucs, which puts him in RB2/3 conversations.
.
7. Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts
Hines does not have a challenging climb to the top of Indy’s depth chart. He ran for 1,040 yards with 9 touchdowns at 5.7 ypc for NC State last year. If Marlon Mack struggles Hines could see RB3 status based on opportunity.
.
8. Kerryon Johnson, Detroit Lions
Johnson had 1,508 total yards and 19 touchdowns at Auburn last year. LeGarrette Blount will cut into goal line work and perhaps some 4th quarter duties if the Lions are ahead. If they fall behind, then Theo Riddick will cut into the time. Johnson is an intriguing dynasty pick though.
.
9. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns
Chubb’s prospects would be much higher had the Browns not signed Carlos Hyde. He averaged 6.2 ypc with 1,175 yards and 13 touchdowns for Georgia.
.
10. Kalen Ballage, Miami Dolphins
Ballage has to get past Kenyon Drake and Frank Gore to make an impact as a rookie. Barring injury, that isn’t a likely scenario. You never know though. Ballage did catch 44 passes as a junior for 469 yards and a touchdown to go along with 536 yard and 14 touchdowns on the ground.

brady
“Brady” by Brook Ward (CC BY-NC 2.0)
.
In most years, the New England Patriots come into the season on the same page. Their offseason activities look organized and buttoned up, and they look poised to contend for another championship. This offseason, though, the team has looked disjointed and there is a palpable vibe of uncertainty surrounding the best team in recent NFL history.
.
One of the biggest things that has appeared strange this offseason for the Patriots has been their cutting short of offseason team activities. Bill Belichick isn’t someone who normally cuts his team’s workload short. To see that happen is strange, but feels even weirder given all of the turmoil surrounding the team over the last few months with regard to Belichick and his relationship with Tom Brady.
.
And Brady’s potentially frosty relationship with Belichick hasn’t been the only issue with the team this offseason. The team has also reportedly thought about trading tight end Rob Gronkowski. While Gronkowski has been an impact player during his career, his inability to stay healthy has hurt the team on a number of occasions. And while the team would want him to stay healthy, dealing the best tight end in the league only furthers the notion that there are some chemistry issues in New England.
.
The Patriots have also wasted some time on the quarterback position this offseason. They’ve done so by getting in touch with former Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg. Hackenberg has been subpar throughout his entire career, and the Patriots clearly don’t need a quarterback given their reliance on Tom Brady. But with Brady prompting the team to trade Jimmy Garoppolo previously, it’s possible that they want backups who pose no real threat to him.
.
belichick
“Bill Belichick” by Steve Glass (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
.
Heading into the next season, the Patriots will be one of the favorite to win the Super Bowl once again. But they have been notoriously slow starters over the last couple of seasons. As a result, it could well be worth using a free bet from Oddschecker to back their opponents over the first couple of weeks of the season as the team turmoil might make it even harder for them to get off to a good start.
.
Injuries and suspensions can also derail a season, and the Patriots are dealing with those too. Julian Edelman’s four-game suspension is going to make things difficult on an offense that was looking forward to having him back for week one. And Malcolm Mitchell being hurt thins the receiving corps even further. Even though Brady can make almost anyone into a star receiver, these losses make his job much more difficult.
.
The Patriots have a lot on their plate this offseason, with injuries, suspensions, and chemistry problems running rampant throughout the squad. Of course, all of the problems in the world can’t stop them from winning the AFC East due to the subpar competition presented by the Jets, Bills, and Dolphins. But come playoff time, these issues may lead to some problems when the Patriots face off with the best teams in the NFL.

Almost every year, the battle between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees in the AL East is one of the intriguing storylines of the season. The two are age-old rivals and when they’re both postseason contenders – as they are this season – they manage to push each other to go that much further to outdo their rival.
.
This season, the Boston Red Sox stand head and shoulders above almost every single other MLB team with 41 wins from 60 games. But, very close in pursuit are the New York Yankees with their 38 wins from 56 games. Not even the hailed reigning champions, the Houston Astros can come close to the Red Sox at this stage of the season.
.
As the war wages on between the Red Sox and the Yankees for divisional and league dominance, the stars of the teams are stepping up in a big way to provide for their fantasy baseball owners.
.

Boston stars leading the hitting

.
j.d. martinez
Source: Red Sox, via
Twitter
.
Sitting high atop the hitting rankings having played 48 games is Mookie Betts. With a .359 average, he eclipses the .344 of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Matt Kemp and the .342 Cincinnati Reds’ Scooter Gannett. While at this stage, Betts had played around ten games fewer than Kemp and Gannett, and his 17 home runs – only two behind the leaders – means that he’s hitting big at an incredible rate.
.
But Boston’s arsenal doesn’t stop with Betts as J.D. Martinez also ranks in the top 20 for batting average at the 60-game mark. With 57 games under his belt, Martinez has tallied a .315 average and joint-leads the league with 19 home runs at this stage in the season.
.
Elite-level batting is a huge reason behind Boston’s surge to the top of the standings this season, and it doesn’t look to go quiet anytime soon. In fact, the Red Sox are so confident in their set up that they even designated Hanley Ramirez for assignment during his dry spell.
.

New York’s superb team to take the division

.
judge
Source: Yahoo Sports MLB, via
Twitter
.
Coming into the season, the New York Yankees were favoured to take the AL East and even challenge Houston for a place in the World Series. The Yankees boast a roster that is filled with high-quality players all over the park, which is why they’re favoured at -130 to Boston’s -105 in the MLB odds on bet365 to claim the division before the regular season is up.
.
The Yankees have performed well in pretty much all areas of play, with a few surprise packages suddenly rising to prominence. One such example of this is fantasy baseball hero Luis Severino. The right-handed pitcher has clocked in nine wins to just one loss from 13 starts while rocking a 2.20 ERA by the 56-game point of the season.
.
It’s come to the point where some are labelling this team as the best in the MLB right now – despite sitting behind the Red Sox and the praise that the Astros have received. They have a complete team that’s full of great players who are performing very well, to the joy of fantasy baseball owners, as well as a bullpen that some deem to be too good.
.
There’s still a long way to go in this MLB season, with all eyes on who will come out on top in this war for the AL East. Will the Red Sox hold firm and keep ahead, or will the Yankees surge and usurp their bitter rivals?

Fantasy sports is a phenomenal business that has grown into a billion-dollar industry. One of the reasons behind the popularity of fantasy sports is the fact that fans feel like they have a real stake in the performance of their players and teams. Sports lovers like to see themselves as strategists, as they create a fantasy football, basketball, baseball, or hockey team. They can trade players, adjust their team, and execute their best course of action. Fantasy players pay an entry fee ranging from $50-$100, leading to an average of $465 per player, annually. With their money on the line, players have an even bigger desire to win, which extends beyond watching an actual gameplay. This also adds to the huge money prizes that reach up to $2 billion.
.
Fantasy sports have changed the sports experience. Leagues and networks note increased viewership and fans are given the opportunity to get more involved in their favourite sport.
.
Take a look at the infographic created by the Betting Sites team and discover more about this rising industry.
.

growth of fantasy sports

 

barkley
.
The most controversial decision of night one of the NFL Draft was Cleveland’s selection of quarterback Baker Mayfield at number one overall. But the second pick in the draft could have been just as controversial, as the New York Giants drafted running back Saquon Barkley at number two. Given the team’s current situation, should the Giants have drafted a quarterback instead of opting for the ultra-talented Barkley?
.
Giants Quarterback Woes
.
New York Giants fans have not had to worry about who their quarterback would be in the future for a very long time. That is because the team grabbed Eli Manning in a trade with the San Diego Chargers for Philip Rivers early in their draft class. Since then, Manning has been the starter for all but a handful of games for the team. But his struggles in recent seasons had our mock draft leaning toward the Giants taking a quarterback second overall.
.
Manning threw for less than 3,500 yards last season despite throwing the ball 571 times, the fifth highest number of attempts in a season during his career. He has thrown 13 or more interceptions in every season of his career since 2009, and the Giants looked impotent offensively with him out there last year. Of course, not all of this was his fault, but it is clear that Eli may be past his prime as a quarterback in the NFL.
.
That is what made the second overall pick the perfect opportunity to take a quarterback. The Giants could have given themselves a future at the position to improve for years to come. And while Saquon Barkley has the support of some former Giants, he will need to be great to justify being picked second.
.
More Important Issues
.
There is no doubt that the Giants were one of the worst rushing teams in the NFL last season. They finished 26th in the NFL in rushing yardage, with less than 1,600 yards as a team for the campaign. Bringing in Saquon Barkley is an attempt to fix that, but it does nothing to solve the root of the Giants’ issues: their offensive line.
.
In the 2017 season, the Giants scored six rushing touchdowns total. That anemic mark was the result of the offensive line of the Giants failing to get a push at the line of scrimmage. And while Saquon Barkley is a good player, he will not be able to block for himself. While some are choosing to be critical of Barkley for the wrong reasons, it is a fact that he will need help to get enough space to be effective.
.
Moreover, the Giants drafted Barkley thanks in large part to his receiving abilities. There is nothing wrong with wanting a running back who can catch the ball, but the Giants already have a loaded receiving corps. Drafting a running back who averaged less than 20 carries per game in two of his three seasons at Penn State when you need a Zeke Elliott type of bell cow in the back field is a decision worth questioning.
.
 
.
eli
Chance To Repeat History
.
In the NFL, there is the saying that it is a quarterback league. And with the Giants at preseason odds of 50/1 to win Super Bowl LIII according to the bookmarker Betway as of May 2, the second overall pick would have been a great chance to let history repeat itself for the Giants by drafting a quarterback. Doing so would have let the young player learn from Manning, the same way Manning had the chance to learn from veteran quarterback Kurt Warner.
.
This would have been especially prudent in an NFL landscape where even the slightest injury to a quarterback can damage their hopes of winning a title. Right in the Giants’ division, the Philadelphia Eagles will be set for years to come thanks to their decision to draft Carson Wentz. If Barkley is anything short of a great player, the Giants will regret not making a similar decision.
.
There is, of course, a great chance that Saquon Barkley becomes a talented and useful player for the Giants for years to come. But in a quarterback league, failure to solidify yourself at the quarterback position for as long as possible can be disastrous. For the Giants, only time will tell if they made the right decision.
.
IMAGE CREDITS – Flickr

Jose Ramirez
.
I present the Lester’s Legends 2018 AL Only fantasy baseball third baseman rankings.
.
1. Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians
2. Manny Machado, Baltimore Orioles
3. Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jays
4. Alex Bregman, Houston Astros
5. Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers
6. Mike Moustakas, Kansas City Royals
7. Kyle Seager, Seattle Mariners
8. Nicholas Castellanos, Detroit Tigers
9. Miguel Sano, Minnesota Twins
10. Eduardo Nunez, Boston Red Sox
11. Rafael Devers, Boston Red Sox
12. Matt Davidson, Chicago White Sox
.
.
Also check out:

Daniel Murphy Nationals
.
I present the Lester’s Legends 2018 NL Only fantasy baseball second baseman rankings.
.
1. Daniel Murphy, Washington Nationals
2. DJ LeMahieu, Colorado Rockies
3. Scooter Gennett, Cincinnati Reds
5. Cesar Hernandez, Philadelphia Phillies
5. Ian Happ, Chicago Cubs
6. Ozhaino Albies, Atlanta Braves
7. Chris Taylor, Los Angeles Dodgers
8. Javier Baez, Chicago Cubs
9. Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals
10.  Starlin Castro, Miami Marlins
11. Paul DeJong, St. Louis Cardinals
12. Jose Peraza, Cincinnati Reds
.
.
Also check out:


Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties