Carson Wentz
The Eagles’ triumph at Super Bowl LII, one of the most thrilling showpiece games in living memory, represented the success of a team that is the most complete in the NFL. From the work of Eagles Executive Vice President of Football Operations Howie Roseman, who put the finishing touches to the roster he built last year, bringing in players such as Torrey Smith and Jay Ajayi, to the expert play-calling of Doug Pederson and the astonishingly calm professionalism of Nick Foles, every part of the puzzle came together to produce a victory cheered in (almost) every part of the US.


As they calmly amassed a 13-3 record during the regular season, despite a string of potentially tough match-ups, this group of players forced pundits and experts to constantly reassess their merits. At every stage, there were predictions that the good run was about to come to an end, and then, when star quarterback Carson Wentz was ruled out, they just kept on confounding the experts as Foles steered the team all the way to the final, where he outplayed the great Tom Brady in a classic encounter.


Now that they’ve won their first Super Bowl in the history of the franchise, where do they go next? Can they turn a stunning victory into the beginning of a dynasty?


Well, in case they needed any motivation, Foles, Wentz, and the Eagles players need only look at the sports betting markets. In early betting for the 2019 Super Bowl, the Eagles are ranked some way behind the New England Patriots and on the same level as the Pittsburgh Steelers. That seems to significantly underestimate the potential of this group.


Any postseason strengthening must first take account of the quarterback position. Wentz, Foles, and Nate Sudfeld represent perhaps the strongest resource in this position in the whole of the NFL. Wentz is likely to return as starter next season, injuries permitting, and the Eagles will do all they can to persuade Foles – who has a year left on his contract – to stay with the franchise in the event of any doubt on the matter.


Assuming that Foles does stay, the champions do have a number of areas for consideration, though at $9 million or so over the pay cap, they have limited room for manoeuvre.


Away from the quarterback role, the most pressing need for strengthening is at linebacker. Jordan Hicks is recovering from a serious leg injury, Nigel Bradham could be on his way out as a free agent, and Mychal Kendricks’ position is uncertain. With Najee Goode and Dannell Ellerbe also possible departures, the entire linebacker department is up in the air. If they only strengthen one area during the off-season, this should be it.


If the Eagles lose both Trey Burton and Brent Celek – who contributed 765 backup snaps during the season – the squad would be left with no cover for Zach Ertz. Ertz is one of the best in the NFL, but tight end is such an important part of this team’s offense that they need at least one quality backup. Focusing on picking up cover at the draft and then adding a reliable third-choice veteran through the open market could be a good strategy.


Perhaps the hardest decision that the Eagles have to make is whether to keep hold of Jason Peters or give the nod to Halapoulivaati Vaitai? This decision at tackle will in turn shape their strategy for the whole of the offensive line, which is one of the older units in the NFL. Adding strength in depth in this crucial department is also likely to be high on their agenda.


The need for new blood in the receiver positions isn’t as clear-cut, but would become more pressing if Smith is allowed to leave. That would likely lead to Mack Hollins stepping up to play starting receiver with Alshon Jeffery, making a cheap but reliable free agent receiver a good option to have on board in case Hollins doesn’t work out.


Finally, with question marks over Donnel Pumphrey and Wendell Smallwood and the possibility that Darren Sproles may retire, the cover for Corey Clement and Ajayi looks threadbare, so the champions may also think about drafting another running back.


This might seem like a lot of potential areas in which to make changes, but good teams, if they want to become dominant teams, don’t rest on their laurels. Strengthening in these areas would give the Eagles momentum going into the new season and put them in the ideal position to prove the experts wrong all over again!

 | Posted by | Categories: NFL | Tagged: NFL, Philadelphia Eagles |

Gary Sanchez
I present the Lester’s Legends 2018 fantasy baseball catcher rankings.
1. Gary Sanchez, New York Yankees
2. Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals
3. Willson Contreras, Chicago Cubs
4. Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
5. Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals
6. J.T. Realmuto, Miami Marlins
7. Evan Gattis, Houston Astros
8. Wilson Ramos, Tampa Bay Rays
9. Mike Zunino, Seattle Mariners
10. Yasmani Grandal, Los Angeles Dodgers
11. Brian McCann, Houston Astros
12. Welington Castillo, Chicago White Sox
13. Russell Martin, Toronto Blue Jays
14. Robinson Chirinos, Texas Rangers
15. Alex Avila, Arizona Diamondbacks
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Trea Turner
I present the Lester’s Legends 2018 fantasy baseball shortstop rankings.
1. Trea Turner, Washington Nationals
2. Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians
3. Carlos Correa, Houston Astros
4. Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers
5. Elvis Andrus, Texas Rangers
6. Alex Bregman, Houston Astros
7. Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox
8. Didi Gregorius, New York Yankees
9. Jean Segura, Seattle Mariners
10. Javier Baez, Chicago Cubs
11. Trevor Story, Colorado Rockies
12. Paul DeJong, St. Louis Cardinals
13. Andrelton Simmons, Los Angels Angels
14. Marcus Semien, Oakland A’s
15. Tim Beckham, Baltimore Orioles
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Nolan Arenado swing
I present the Lester’s Legends 2018 fantasy baseball third baseman rankings.
1. Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies
2. Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs
3. Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians
4. Manny Machado, Baltimore Orioles
5. Josh Donaldson, Toronto Blue Jays
6. Justin Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers
7. Alex Bregman, Houston Astros
8. Anthony Rendon, Washington Nationals
9. Jake Lamb, Arizona Diamondbacks
10. Travis Shaw, Milwaukee Brewers
11. Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers
12. Mike Moustakas, Kansas City Royals
13. Kyle Seager, Seattle Mariners
14. Nicholas Castellanos, Detroit Tigers
15. Evan Longoria, San Francisco Giants
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Jose Altuve swing
I present the Lester’s Legends 2018 fantasy baseball second baseman rankings.
1. Jose Altuve, Houston Astros
2. Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians
3. Brian Dozier, Minnesota Twins
4. Daniel Murphy, Washington Nationals
5. Robinson Cano, Seattle Mariners
6. Jonathan Schoop, Baltimore Orioles
7. Dee Gordon, Seattle Mariners
8. DJ LeMahieu, Colorado Rockies
9. Rougned Odor, Texas Rangers
10. Whit Merrifield, Kansas City Royals
11. Ian Kinsler, Los Angeles Angels
12. Scooter Gennett, Cincinnati Reds
13. Cesar Hernandez, Philadelphia Phillies
14. Ian Happ, Chicago Cubs
15. Ozhaino Albies, Atlanta Braves
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Paul Goldschmidt gray jersey
I present the Lester’s Legends 2018 fantasy baseball first baseman rankings.
1. Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
2. Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs
3. Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves
4. Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds
5. Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers
6. Edwin Encarnacion, Cleveland Indians
7. Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox
8. Wil Myers, San Diego Padres
9. Rhys Hoskins, Philadelphia Phillies
10. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
11. Justin Smoak, Toronto Blue Jays
12. Eric Hosmer, San Diego Padres
13. Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals
14. Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
15. Carlos Santana, Philadelphia Phillies
16. Ian Desmond, Colorado Rockies
17. Joey Gallo, Texas Rangers
18. Matt Olson, Oakland A’s
19. Greg Bird, New York Yankees
20. Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles
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The Super Bowl ended painfully. Not a good postseason run for my prediction segment. When you repeatedly pick against the Champions, it does damage to your winning percentage.
Playoff Record:  4-7 (.363)
Pro Bowl Record:  0-1 (.000)
Overall Record: 164-104 (.612)
Lock Picks: 14-3 (.824)

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

Trey Flowers
Here are the Lester’s Legends fantasy football team defense for Super Bowl LII.
1. New England Patriots
2. Philadelphia Eagles
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Stephen Gostkowski
Here are the Lester’s Legends fantasy football kicker rankings for Super Bowl LII.
1. Stephen Gostkowski, New England Patriots
2. Jake Elliott, Philadelphia Eagles
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Gronk Grab
Super Bowl LII features two elite tight ends. Gronk always gives the Patriots and advantage over the opposing tight end when healthy, but it’s really close in this case. The Eagles have three tight ends that contribute.
1. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
2. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles
3. Trey Burton, Philadelphia Eagles
4. Dwayne Allen, New England Patriots
5. Brent Celek, Philadelphia Eagles
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