Le’Veon Bell
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Football’s back. Here are the 2017 Lester’s Legends Week 1 running back rankings.
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1. Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers
2. David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals
3. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
4. LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills
5. Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons
6. Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams
7. Melvin Gordon, Los Angeles Chargers
8. Lamar Miller, Houston Texans
9. Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears
10. DeMarco Murray, Tennessee Titans
11. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings
12. Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland Browns
13. Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers
14. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers
15. Marshawn Lynch, Oakland Raiders
16. C.J. Anderson, Denver Broncos
17. Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars
18. Kareem Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs
19. Bilal Powell, New York Jets
20. Ameer Abdullah, Detroit Lions
21. Ty Montgomery, Green Bay Packers
22. Jonathan Stewart, Carolina Panthers
23. Robert Kelley, Washington Redskins
24. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals
25. Adrian Peterson, New Orleans Saints
26. Mike Gillislee, New England Patriots
27. Tevin Coleman, Atlanta Falcons
28. Terrance West, Baltimore Ravens
29. Frank Gore, Indianapolis Colts
30. Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints
31. Paul Perkins, New York Giants
32. Thomas Rawls, Seattle Seahawks
33. Darren Sproles, Philadelphia Colts
34. Danny Woodehead, Baltimore Ravens
35. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans
36. Duke Johnson, Cleveland Browns
37. LeGarrette Blount, Philadelphia Colts
38. James White, New England Patriots
39. Eddie Lacy, Seattle Seahawks
40. Theo Riddick, Detroit Lions
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Brady Spike
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Football’s back. Here are the 2017 Lester’s Legends Week 1 quarterback rankings.
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1. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
3. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
4. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
5. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
6. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
7. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
8. Marcus Mariotta, Tennessee Titans
9. Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins
10. Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals
11. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
12. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
13. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
14. Eli Manning, New York Giants
15. Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers
16. Sam Bradford, Minnesota Vikings
17. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals
18. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
19. Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
20. Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills
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LestersLegends Best Fantasy Football Team Name Contest
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We had some good submissions this year (click here to see the entries).
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After reviewing them with a panel we have crowned Misdemeanor Elliott the 2017 Lester’s Legends Best Fantasy Football Team Name Contest Winner.
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A list of previous winners:
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2016: Pound Control to Major Tom
2015: Fourth and Lynches
2014: Sons of anArchie
2013: I Pitta the Fool
2012: RG3P0
2011: Belichick yourself b4 you REX yourself
2010: Dezzie Does Dallas
2009: Kibbles and Vicks

2017 NFL Picks – Week 1

2 September 2017


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The NFL is back. So are the Lester’s Legends NFL Picks. These picks are straight up and for fun. I’ll take the Falcons for my Survivor League pick.
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New England over Kansas City
Buffalo Bills over New York Jets
Atlanta over Chicago (Winner Lock)
Cincinnati over Baltimore
Pittsburgh over Cleveland
Arizona over Detroit
Tennessee over Oakland
Philadelphia over Washington
Houston over Jacksonville
Los Angeles Rams over Indianapolis Colts
Green Bay over Seattle
Carolina over San Francisco
Dallas over New York Giants
New Orleans over Minnesota
Denver over Los Angeles Chargers
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Ezekiel Elliott
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The NFL’s decision to suspend Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, not only affects betting odds for the Cowboys, it also affects the way fantasy players approach their draft. With the season starting next week, the biggest question on the mind of fantasy players is what to do with Ezekiel Elliot.

 

As a rookie, Elliott led the NFL in rushing yards, which is one of the reasons he was expected to be a top pick for fantasy players this year. However, the NFL suspended him for the first six games of the season as a result of their investigation into domestic violence charges against the running back.

 

The silver lining about the suspension is it makes Elliott a great value pick, but when exactly should he be drafted?

 

Before the NFL’s decision to suspend him, Elliott was projected to be a top three draft pick, but now, he is projected to be a second or third round pick on many fantasy websites.

 

On Tuesday, Elliot appealed the NFL’s decision, but most NFL insiders believe he will still have to miss some games. Even if he ends up having to sit out six games, it is still worth it to have him on your bench because you will get a lot of points when he returns.

 

In the 15 games he played last year, Elliott rushed for 1,631 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also had 363 receiving yards and 1 receiving touchdown. Based on last year’s numbers, Elliot is still expected to rush for over 1,087 yards and 10 touchdowns as well as 242 receiving yards and 1 touchdown if he sits the first six games.

 

For comparison, Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman rushed for 1,079 yards and 11 touchdowns last season, he also had 462 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Freeman finished sixth in point-per-reception among running backs.

 

Even though Elliot isn’t as good a receiver as Freeman, his rushing skills give him the potential to finish with lower tier RB1 numbers, even if he plays in six fewer games.

 

Something you need to consider before drafting Elliot is the fact that if the suspension is upheld, he won’t be able to participate in team activities, which means even if he works out on his own, he won’t be in football shape when he returns.

 

Unless he has the same genetic makeup as Adrian Peterson, who used to skip the preseason but still finish the season as the top running back in the league, Elliott will need some time to get back into shape, which means he will likely have a slow start to the season.

 

The flip side of that is he will be fresher than most running backs when he returns, which means he won’t falter down the stretch.

 

To fill the void left by Elliott, you can draft running backs like Elliott’s Cowboys teammate Darren McFadden or Indianapolis Colts running back Frank Gore, who is expected to get a lot of work from the Colts as they await Andrew Luck’s return.

 

You can also take a flier out on Ameer Abdullah of the Detroit Lions, who is fully recovered from a season-ending injury that cut his 2016 campaign short, or Denver’s C.J. Anderson.

Carson Palmer Cardinals
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The first few picks of the fantasy football draft will put you in a position to compete in your fantasy league, but what you do in the middle rounds could catapult you into a championship caliber club. Here are some guys that could help bring you to the promised land.
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Quarterbacks
Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals – After throwing seven TDs in his first six games, Palmer finished with 19 touchdowns in his final nine games. He’ll be pegged as a QB2 in most leagues, but could easily put up QB1 numbers.
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions – Just signed for major money, but isn’t getting QB1 love in most leagues. This is a QB averaging 4,583.5 yards and 28 touchdowns over the past six years. Both Palmer and Stafford are typically going after the first 100 picks.
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Running Backs
Rex Burkhead and James White, New England Patriots – Good luck figuring out the Patriots RB usage this year, but both Burkhead and White should be pretty active in PPR leagues.
Jamaal Charles, Denver Broncos – Gone are the days of Charles as a high-end RB1, but Denver hasn’t been the most stable backfields in recent years. Charles could end up RB1 or RB2.
Duke Johnson, Cleveland Browns – With a rookie QB, look for Johnson to be leaned on heavily in the passing game.
Jacquizz Rodgers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – With Doug Martin serving a suspension Rodgers can give you some early work. In his five games with double-digit carries Rodgers averaged 105.4 total yards and 0.4 touchdowns.
Jonathan Williams, Buffalo Bills – The Bills had enough for LeSean McCoy and Mike Gillislee last year. Williams could be a flex play with serious upside should McCoy get hurt.
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Wide Receivers
John Brown, Arizona Cardinals – If Brown can stay healthy he should be explosive. He had 1,003 yards and seven TD in 2015.
Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers – Cobb is kind of being forgotten because he struggled with injuries the past few years. Still, he has talent and an excellent quarterback slinging it to him.
Chris Hogan, New England Patriots – Exploded during the Super Bowl run. Should see more volume with Julian Edelman out.
Marvin Jones, Detroit Lions – Not a lot of upside, but a solid option for good volume. 930 yards last year, 816 the year before.
Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings – Somewhat overlooked despite some big games for the Vikes last year.
Kevin White, Chicago Bears – Has the talent. Should get the opportunity and volume. Just needs to stay healthy.
Kendall Wright, Chicago Bears – Has been going downhill each year since 2013, but should see a lot of a volume in the slot for the Bears.
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Tight Ends
Eric Ebron, Detroit Lions – 711 yards last year. Has missed eight games in three years, which is a concern, but he’s a solid option after the top TEs come off the board.
Coby Fleener, New Orleans Saints – 631 yards in his first year with New Orleans. Drew Brees has always been great at getting TEs involved.
Antonio Gates, Los Angeles Chargers – 548 yards and seven TDs last year. Whenever you count him out he just keeps on producing.

 | Posted by | Categories: Fantasy Football, NFL |

Andrew Luck
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Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is the online sportsbooks version of the Chinese Democracy album. When he underwent shoulder surgery in January we all thought – even though he was going to be out most, if not all, of the team’s offseason workout program – “yeah, sure, he’ll be ready for next season.” flash forward seven months and word is he might not be able to play until week 3 (and could actually miss six game if placed, unlikely as it may seem now, on the reserve/PUP list). That of course puts a damper not only on Luck’s fantasy value, but also that of his – currently Scott Tolzien’s – receiving unit; namely, T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief, and Jack Doyle – and even running back Frank Gore, for that matter.
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Luck. If he were healthy, Luck would rank right up there with the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, and Drew Brees. As a matter of fact, he finished 2014 as the No. 1 quarterback and was No. 4 in 2016 – but he played at least 15 games in each of those years. the Colts, as well as fantasy football owners could get by on Tolzien and Stephen Morris, as long as Luck’s absence doesn’t extend beyond a couple of regular season games.
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Hilton. Eugene’s ADP is currently at No. 30 overall as the No. 11 receiver off the board, behind players like Amari Cooper and Doug Baldwin – quite a fall from being a potential first-round pick. Hilton had career-bests in catches, yards, and targets, and scored six touchdowns in 2016. However, he had only 41 catches for 630 yards and two touchdowns in the 10 games that Luck missed in the last two years.
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Moncrief. Donte has a shoulder injury of his own to worry about in addition to Luck not playing. He put up just 30 catches for 307 yards on 56 targets last season, but managed nonetheless to add seven TDs. his only hope is that Tolzien targets him like he did in his only start in 2016 (11 targets for six receptions, 45 yards, and one touchdown). Otherwise he night justify being the No. 42 receiver being drafted at No. 116 overall.
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Doyle. Luck threw 12 of his 31 touchdowns to tight ends such as Jack Doyle, so his future is also hanging on the QB being healthy. Doyle’s ADP places him at the No.14 tight end at No. 135 overall.
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Gore. Frank’s could be the worst outlook of the bunch because in addition to Luck he needs center Ryan Kelly as well. Unfortunately, Kelly is currently struggling with a foot injury. Kelly’s absence detracts a lot from the running attack, and he is expected to be placed on injured reserve/designated to return – meaning he could be sidelined until week 9. To compound matters, Gore has 166 carries for 547 yards and three touchdowns, and 20 receptions for 169 yards and one touchdown in the last 10 games Luck has sat out. Furthermore, Gore had just three games with double Fantasy point digits in a standard league in that period.

Julio Jones Super Bowl
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The 2016 Minnesota Vikings may have given you a different impression in the real world, but getting off to a winning start in NFL betting fantasy football is key to reaching the playoffs. According to scientists from Automated Insights found that teams starting 4-0 make the playoffs 91.6% of the time, compared to 15.5% for teams that start out 0-3. Additionally, a 3-0 start gives you an 84.8% chance of reaching the playoffs, 63.8% for a 2-1 start, and 36.2% for a 1-2 start. Simply put, you can never underestimate strength of schedule. In that tenor, Carolina, Atlanta, New York, Miami, Seattle, and Arizona have easiest set of opponents in the first half of the fantasy football season – and each team has a valuable pick to offer.
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Julio Jones
The Falcons wide receiver was the No. 2 wideout in the league in 2016, making 83 catches out of 129 targets for 1,409 yards and six touchdowns, and leading the NFL with 3.12 yards per route run, as well as in yards of separation from his defender with an average of 2.25 average (how many degrees of separation is that?). Jones only lagged in red-zone targets, but even that stat should see a surge in 2017.
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Jimmy Graham
The Seahawks tight end rebounded from a ruptured patellar tendon in 2015 with 5 receptions for 923 yards and six touchdowns on 95 targets in 2016. He also saw an increase from 15% to 24% in targets in the red-zone. Unfortunately, he has been inconsistent in that area. Graham had a 61% catch rate inside the 20-yard line in five seasons with the New Orleans Saints but dropped to 36% with the Seahawks.
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Paul Perkins
The Giants running back had 112 carries for 456 yards and no touchdowns in his rookie season. However, his chances to score will certainly increase with Rashad Jennings’s absence. As a matter of fact, he had already bested Jennings in at least one category, breaking 10 tackles – one more than the Dancing with the Stars contestant. That elusiveness will serve Perkins well against such defenses as those of the Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles.
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Cam Newton
The Panthers quarterback was already hurt before his O-Line allowed him to get hit more often than a piñata on Cinco de Mayo. But that was then and this is now, and now Newton seems healthy enough and Carolina’s offensive line is the 12th best according to Pro Football Focus.
 
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Jay Cutler
The unretired Dolphin is could be an interesting late round, QB draft pick. Miami and Cutler have the second-easiest schedule for passers, efficiency-wise, in the first half of the fantasy football season. In addition to that, Cutler’s current offensive weapons far exceed in both quantity and quality those he had at his disposal with the Chicago Bears.
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Pittsburgh Steelers defense
The Steelers ranked 11th in defensive DVOA in 2016 with the 11th-hardest schedule in the league. Pittsburgh’s 2017 schedule will allow them to force their passing downs, and in turn produce sacks, interceptions, and pick-sixes.

 | Posted by | Categories: Fantasy Football, NFL | Tagged: Fantasy Football, NFL |

Byron Buxton
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With the end of the 2017 Major League Baseball season fast approaching, fantasy baseball fans are trying to make moves that can help them win their leagues. With teams that have big division leads contemplating resting players for the playoffs, it will be interesting to see how people respond to baseball betting odds for the rest of the regular season. In any case, there is still plenty of time to pick up the right player to help you win your fantasy league.

 

Thanks to their struggles either at the beginning of the season or at the midway point, there are some players that wouldn’t be available this late in the season if everything was equal, that are still available and can make a significant difference on your team.

 

There are also players that you have probably kept on your roster for way too long and need to get rid of for more productive players.

 

Here are some players that should be on your roster right now.

 

Trevor Bauer, Pitcher, Cleveland Indians

 

Bauer had a very slow start to the season and was a disappointment to those who picked him early, which is one of the reasons he is likely still available in most leagues. For the season, he has a 4.50 ERA to go with a 12-8 record.

 

However, Bauer has been playing very well lately, and has a 1.51 ERA since late July and has 38 strikeouts in his last 35 2/3 innings. Even though he still gives up a lot of hits, Bauer is one of the hottest pitchers in the league right now and it would be a good idea to add him to your roster and ride the streak out.

 

Dinelson Lamet, Pitcher, San Diego Padres

 

Like Bauer, Lamet has overcome a poor start to the season and has become one of the hottest pitchers in the league. For the season, Lamet has a 4.84 ERA and a 7-5 record, but since the All-Star break, he has gone 4-1 with a 3.41 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 34 1/3 innings. The fact that he is doing this with the Padres makes it more impressive.

 

Byron Buxton, Outfielder, Minnesota

 

Nelson too had a slow start to the season but has since picked things up. Since July, Buxton has been hitting .356 and has eight stolen bases as well.

 

Cory Spangenberg, Utility, San Diego Padres

 

For the season, Spangenberg has a .278 batting average, 12 HRs and eight SBs. But he has also been hitting.300 since July, and can fill in for at least three positions on your roster, which makes him a very smart pickup.

 

Players to Sit or Drop

 

Trevor Rosenthal, Pitcher, St. Louis Cardinals

 

Rosenthal was providing quality fantasy points as a closer for the Cards, but an injury just likely ended his 2017 season, so there’s no reason to keep him on your roster.

 

Gregory Polanco, Outfielder, Pittsburgh Pirates

 

Fans had big expectations from Polanco this season, but a slow start to the season quickly tempered the expectations. In the past month, he hit .175, and is heading to the disabled list with an injury making it the right time to part with one of the most disappointing fantasy players of the year.

 

Dustin Pedroia, Second Base, Boston Red Sox

 

Pedroia, decline continued this season and the former AL MVP continues to deal with injuries, which have affected his power and speed.

 

Brent Suter, Pitcher, Milwaukee Brewers

 

Suter was hot in July, posting a 1.50 ERA in five starts. However, things haven’t gone as well for him recently and he had an 8.16 ERA in three August starts.

 | Posted by | Categories: fantasy baseball, MLB | Tagged: fantasy baseball, MLB |

Click here to enter the 2017 Lester’s Legends Fantasy Football Team Name Contest!
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Stephen Gostkowski
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With fantasy drafts taking place, here’s an updated and expanded look at the 2017 fantasy football kicker landscape. Click here for updated rankings.
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1. Stephen Gostkowski, New England Patriots
2. Dan Bailey, Dallas Cowboys
3. Matt Bryant, Atlanta Falcons
4. Mason Crosby, Green Bay Packers
5. Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens
6. Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis Colts
7. Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland Raiders
8. Blair Walsh, Seattla Seahawks
9. Will Lutz, New Orleans Saints
10. Chris Boswell, Pittsburgh Steelers
11. Cairo Santos, Kansas City Chiefs
12. Matt Prater, Detroit Lions
13. Graham Gano, Carolina Panthers
14. Dustin Hopkins, Washington Redskins
15. Brandon McManus, Denver Broncos
16. Caleb Sturgis, Philadelphia Eagles
17. Steven Hauschka, Buffalo Bills
18. Phil Dawson, Arizona Cardinals
19. Chandler Catanzaro, New York Jets
20. Kai Forbath, Minnesota Vikings
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