With fantasy drafts taking place, here’s an updated and expanded look at the 2017 fantasy football tight end landscape.
1. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
2. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs
3. Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers
4. Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals
5. Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins
6. Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks
7. Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans
8. Martellus Bennett, Green Bay Packers
9. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles
10. Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings
11. Hunter Henry, Los Angeles Chargers
12. Coby Fleener, New Orleans Saints
12. Eric Ebron, Detroit Lions
14. Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons
15. Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts
16. C.J. Fiedorowicz, Houston Texans
17. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys
18. Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
19. Antonio Gates, Los Angeles Chargers
20. Julius Thomas, Miami Dolphins
21. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, New York Jets
22. Vernon Davis, Washington Redskins
23. Dwayne Allen, New England Patriots
24. Jared Cook, Oakland Raiders
25. Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills
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Click here to enter the 2017 Lester’s Legends Fantasy Football Team Name Contest!
Brady Spike
With fantasy drafts taking place, here’s an updated and expanded look at the 2017 fantasy football quarterback landscape.
1. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
3. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
4. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
5. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
6. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
7. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
8. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
9. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
10. Marcus Mariotta, Tennessee Titans
11. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
12. Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins
13. Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers
14. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
15. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
16. Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals
17. Eli Manning, New York Giants
18. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals
19. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
20. Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars
21. Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills
22. Sam Bradford, Minnesota Vikings
23. Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
24. Jay Cutler, Miami Dolphins
25. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
26. Brian Hoyer, San Francisco 49ers
27. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
28. Trevor Siemian, Denver Broncos
29. Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams
30. Mike Glennon, Chicago Bears
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Conor McGregor knows how to market himself. It could be argued that the MMA athlete single-handedly brought the match against Floyd Mayweather into existence. Certainly, so many other players were involved in the background, but McGregor was the one that got the ball rolling. However, the things the athlete has been saying suggest that he hasn’t yet taken a look at Mayweather vs McGregor betting props.


Clearly, McGregor is optimistic about his chances against Mayweather because he’s already planning for a future in the boxing ring. The MMA fighter came out recently and admitted that he had so thoroughly enjoyed his boxing training that he was now considering a future in the field of boxing.


According to McGregor, boxing has always been a part of his life, and after getting a taste of it during preparations for the Mayweather fight, he has decided that he has what it takes to dominate in the boxing ring.


That doesn’t mean McGregor is giving up on MMA. Rather, the athlete intends to operate in and dominate both the UFC and boxing. One assumes that things are going so well that McGregor cannot help but get excited about a future in boxing.


One can also assume that this mindset will not last because no one else thinks McGregor will follow through with this sentiment. McGregor is being a little too optimistic about his future in boxing outside of his match against Mayweather.


According to Bob Arum, a veteran boxing promoter, McGregor is a big deal in boxing today because his fight against Mayweather might be the bout of the decade. However, once that fight ends, Bob doesn’t think that McGregor will be able to find any promoter that is willing to work for him.


As a UFC champion, McGregor is a fish out of the water. Outside of smaller players like Artie Pelulo, no one will be willing to promote him. McGregor isn’t a boxer and Bob thinks that the UFC star won’t realize that fact until he faces off against Mayweather.


The 29-year-old is working hard ahead of his fight with Mayweather. But nothing he has shown has impressed boxing purists: not his footwork and certainly not his punches. McGregor has admitted that there are still adjustments that can be made to his techniques.


The way he throws punches in the octagon might work for him in the boxing ring and he is working hard to change things up, keeping in mind the fact that he cannot rely on the threat of kicks and knees.


McGregor pointed out that there are many rookies in MMA that came from boxing. There are also many MMA athletes who have made the jump to boxing. And as far as McGregor is concerned, he is far better than all of them.


That elevated level of confidence will definitely serve him in the ring. You cannot face a guy like Mayweather if you have doubts. Though, the idea McGregor keeps putting forward that he has been boxing all his life doesn’t impress Bob Arum.


According to the veteran promoter, the idea that MMA skills can translate to boxing is ridiculous, and once McGregor fights Mayweather he will go back to the UFC and never return.

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Allen Robinson
There aren’t many wide receivers that had a more disappointing season than Jacksonville’s Allen Robinson. A top-five fantasy wide receiver selection last year, he mustered just 73 catches for 883 yards and six touchdowns. A far cry from the 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns he produced in 2015.
So what does it mean for Robinson? For starters, you’ll likely end up getting a WR1 at a discount. Will he hit those lofty 2015 numbers? Probably not, but I can see him landing somewhere in the middle of the two seasons. That would put him on a 1,141 yard and 10 touchdown season. I actually think the yardage will be north of the 1,200 mark.
Robinson failed to reach 35 yards in six games last year and 60 yards in another four. Certainly not the mark a WR1 should make. He only topped 85 yards twice.
2015 was a different story. Robinson topped 100 yards in six games with 80 or more in another three. He did fail to reach 60 yards five times, which is still a high number for a high-end receiver.
So why will Robinson be better? For starters, his regression was so dramatic that going up isn’t a very tall order. Plus, the arrival of Leonard Fournette show make Jacksonville’s whole offense run better. Assuming defenses have to change their approach to slow Fournette down, it will open things up for the passing game.
I currently have Robinson outside of my top 12 WRs, but still have him as a high-end WR2. I imagine it will still be a little of the feast or famine with Robinson, but he should be a more reliable and productive option this coming year.

Asher Wojciechowski
Asher Wojciechowski, Cincinnati Reds at San Diego Padres
Wojciechowski is 2-1 with a 4.15 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP in 39 innings. He’s 2-1 at home with a 3.12 ERA. The Padres are hitting .234 and averaging 3.81 runs per game.
Season Totals: 99 starts, 32-30, 552.2 IP, 400 Ks, 4.45 ERA (273 earned runs), 1.38 WHIP (567 hits, 195 walks)

Yonder Alonso
What does it take to win a fantasy baseball championship? That question seems like an easy one but if you know anything about betting you should realize how untrue that sentiment is. 2017 has been a good year in the MLB. There have been a lot of big names to cheer for, people like Aaron Judge and Jonathan Schoop that are justifying their super star status and making betting tips for wagering all but irrelevant.


After all, everyone seems to think that they know what it takes to make it to the top. Even young arms like Aaron Nola and Luis Severino are joining big names in the league and garnering all manner of attention, a trend that is likely to end in disaster.


It is easy to lose oneself in the allure of a big name. And it takes a bit of careful sniffing for one to realize that not every big name is what they seem. An example is Yonder Alonso. Alonso has been experiencing a surge of sorts. And if you’re foaming at the mouth for him, no one will blame you.


After all, Alonso is definitely having a career year, having garnered a .266 average and 22 home runs. 2017 has seen Alonso eclipse his performance from the previous years on more than one occasion.


And it isn’t just the runs scored on his record that have people talking but the changes Alonso has been implementing in his swing, alterations in the launch angle that are clearly improving his capabilities and setting him up for some incredible feats down the line.


Of course, if none of those trendy Alonso stories with their buzz words have moved you in any way, no one is going to blame you either. You probably have your eyes set on the fantasy baseball championship which means that you are ignoring the surface numbers.


That is what everyone is doing with Alonso, looking at the surface stats. Yes he was hot at some point, and maybe there are residual elements of his previously amazing performance, but Alonso is no longer the player everyone thinks he is and, if you really have your eyes on the prize, then you must let him go.


That isn’t to suggest that anyone that was hyping Alonso was wrong. Players wax and wane and no one would criticize you for hyping a player at their best. However, once they begin to wane, you must be able to recognize their descent so that you can let go of them in time.


Anyone that is still hyping Alonso’s previous numbers isn’t looking at the below average figures he has posted since June. Alonso might have been a star at the start but his shine has definitely plummeted.


Do not be surprised if he fails to make in on a 12-team mixed league roster because he is that bad these days. If you thought Alonso was blossoming in previous months, you should know that there are other prospects showing the same talent or even greater, this including Mike Moustakas and Justine Smoak.


No one is stopping you from letting the numbers define the way you structure your team roster. However, make an effort to take an in-depth look at the players at hand. If you look closely enough, you might be surprised by what you discover.

Is Jay Cutler a QB2?

7 August 2017

The Miami Dolphins, to nobody’s surprise, signed Jay Cutler to take over for the injured Ryan Tannehill. He has history with Adam Gase in both Denver and Chicago. While his best days were with Gase, it’s been a long time since Cutler has put up big numbers.
If you look at the numbers and forget the name and reputation, Cutler is one of the least prolific gunslingers in the passing era. He has only throw over 3,850 yards one time in his career and that was back in 2008. Cutler has never reached the 30-touchdown plateau, topping out with 28 in 2014. He’s thrown 25 touchdowns just three times. With 208 touchdowns (plus nine rushing) and 146 interceptions and 89 fumbles, Cutler actually has 18 more turnovers than touchdowns.
Miami is a running team. They finished 25th in the league in passing yards last year with 3,500 yards and 9th in the league in rushing with 1,824 yards.
With battery allegations surrounding Jarvis Landry, it makes it tougher to trust Cutler should Landry miss any time.
There will be spot starts to try to plug and play Cutler, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable with him as my top fantasy backup.

Matt Garza
Matt Garza, Milwaukee Brewers at Minnesota Twins
Garza takes on his old team. He’s 5-5 with a 3.68 ERA, including 2-1 with a 2.00 ERA in his last five starts.
Season Totals: 98 starts, 32-29, 546.2 IP, 395 Ks, 4.41 ERA (268 earned runs), 1.38 WHIP (562 hits, 192 walks)

Jhoulys Chacin
Jhoulys Chacin, San Diego Padres at Cincinnati Reds
Chacin is 11-7 with a 3.99 ERA. He’s 6-3 since the start of June with a 2.49 ERA. He’s been brutal on the road, but Cincinnati presents a favorable matchup. He is 1-0 against the Reds with a 2.57 ERA.
Season Totals: 98 starts, 32-29, 546.2 IP, 395 Ks, 4.41 ERA (268 earned runs), 1.38 WHIP (562 hits, 192 walks)

Dalvin Cook
With Latavius Murray sidelined, Dalvin Cook is establishing himself as the lead back for the Minnesota Vikings. Early indications are that Cook should be moving up draft boards. I have adjusted my preliminary rankings to put him in the top 15. The Vikings have been praising his pass protection, which is wonderful news if Cook wants to establish himself as a three-down back.
Cook was impressive in his three years at Florida State. As a freshman he ran for 1,008 yards and eight touchdowns on a 5.9 yards per carry average. He followed that up with 1,691 yards and 19 touchdowns on 7.4 ypc as a sophomore and 1,765 yards and 19 touchdowns on 6.1 ypc as a junior.
Cook’s receiving totals increased every year also going from 22 catches for 203 yards to 24 catches for 244 yards to 33 catches for 488 yards.
Minnesota finished dead last this past season with 1,205 yards and 3.2 ypc. They were also one of seven teams that failed to reach double-digit rushing touchdowns. Clearly a change was needed.
Murray was solid last year with 788 yards on 4.0 ypc and 12 touchdowns, but Oakland had one of the league’s best offensive lines last season. Jalen Richard (5.9 ypc) and DeAndre Washington (5.4 ypc) had some impressive moments as well. He isn’t as dynamic as Cook though. I can see Murray getting a crack at goal line carries, but Cook should lead the team in touches and total yards.
How much do you like Cook?

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