SuperBowlXLIXLogo
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Super Bowl XLIX is less than a week away. There will still be plenty of DeflateGate talk during Super Bowl Week, but other topics and storylines will arise? Will any of those stories have an impact on the Super Bowl? Will DeflateGate hurt or hinder the New England Patriots?
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The Patriots are no strangers to controversy. They dealt with Spygate in the past and were able to keep their winning ways intact. With so much at stake on Sunday, look for the Patriots to focus on the task at hand.
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The Patriots will have to deal with the defending champion Seattle Seahawks’ imposing defense and Marshawn Lynch’s physical running style. I am convinced that DeflateGate will not cause Tom Brady or Bill Belichick to use any sleep, but the Legion of Boom may.
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As NFL fans, I would encourage you to move past the controversy and the Super Bowl hype. Instead, start planning for  your Super Bowl party. Get all of your recipes in check. Make sure you have plenty of cold beverages on tap. If you are a Patriots or a Seahawks fan, you may want to keep the less-than-casual football fans invited to a minimum. You want to see the game, not talk about the latest neighborhood gossip.
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Put some skin in the game. Yes, it’s fun to watch the game. The commercials and the Halftime Show provide some entertainment, but if you want a little more excitement, I recommend to do some NFL Betting here. Don’t just pick a random site to bet with. Make sure it is private and secure. 
TonyBet is one to consider. It’s easy to use whether you go online or use their mobile app.
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You’re not limited to just the Super Bowl. You can wager on the NBA, tennis, golf, etc. Before you know it baseball season will be upon us. Add a little excitement to America’s Pastime.

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Two games basically decided the Buffalo Bills season. The Bills were up 13 – 3 against the Kansas City Chiefs late into the third quarter, and lost 17 – 13 when they were in the thick of the playoff race. Then, with their playoff chances dangling by a thread, the Bills lost to the Oakland Raiders 26 – 24.
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Do the Bills have anything to play for in week 17? Well, they are playing for their first winning season since they finished 9 – 7 in 2004. They could also be playing for Doug Marrone’s job. Although 9 – 7 will probably get him another season; all the money invested in one of the tougher defenses in the NFL is not paying off.
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Also, going against most draft experts’ rankings and taking E.J. Manual has so far been a disaster. As rumors start to swirl that Doug Marrone may be viewed as a replacement option in Michigan if Jim Harbough can turn down the big money, and a pretty meaningless game could have large repercussions on the Bills franchise.
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On the New England Patriots side, they really have nothing to play for. They beat the Chargers to clinch the AFC East title and made it to the playoffs in the highly-competitive AFC. However with the Denver loss to Cincinnati they are not even playing for home field advantage as they have locked up the number one seed. Bill Belichick will probably choose to rest anyone with an injury, like Blount, Hightower, Edelman, and Connolly, or anyone with a large injury history like Rob Gronkowski.
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Other starters who will probably see only limited time are Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner, as an injury to one of the corners could doom a Patriots run. Quarterbacks tend to not like long breaks as they can lose their timing, so Tom Brady will probably see two to three quarters of work, and then call it a day.
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The real question will be how much does Bill Belichick want to keep beating the Bills? Belichick owns a 25 – 3 record against Buffalo and Vegas has the Patriots as a ten point favorite. That seems pretty high as the Bills, even with their season over, may feel like they are playing for more than the Patriots. But the Patriots are at home, and the Patriots don’t lose much at home. They also are 4 – 2 in their last six games against the spread. Every sign from Vegas and history points to this game being an easy route for the Patriots.
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One last thing to consider is these teams typically don’t like each other. That seems to go without saying in the AFC East, but this could very well be an intense game even though there is really very little on the line.
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Gronk Cleared To Play

18 October 2013


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Those of you patiently waiting for New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski to make his return…you’re wait appears to be over. He has been cleared to play this week against the New York Jets.
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Gronk should be inserted to virtually all fantasy lineups. The main exceptions would be if you have Julius Thomas or Jordan Cameron on  your roster. They have delivered this year and may not be worth the risk in case Gronk is on a snap count.
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Gronk should be the primary target for Tom Brady in the red zone.
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Tom Brady spiral
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We are hours away from the start of the second week of the 2013 NFL season as the New York Jets take on the New England Patriots in Gillette Stadium. It’s also the kickoff for the second week of the fantasy football season. Here’s a look of players that should be in your lineups tonight.
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Quarterbacks
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady should be in virtually all fantasy football lineups despite a limited array of options. He’s just too good to not use. Last week Brady threw for 288 yards and a pair of touchdowns against the Buffalo Bills. In two games against the New York Jets last year, Brady threw for 582 yards and five touchdowns while adding another score on the ground.
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Geno Smith can be used in two-quarterback leagues, but that’s the extent of it. He was decent in the season opener, throwing for 256 yards and a touchdown while adding 47 yards on the ground against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Patriots gave up 150 passing yards, two touchdowns and 23 rushing yards to fellow rookie E.J. Manuel last week, but I think Bill Belichick will come up with a creative scheme to confuse Smith. Plus, he just doesn’t have the weapons.
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Running Backs
Stevan Ridley fumbled his way to the sidelines last week, but a wrist injury to Shane Vereen opened the door to allow Ridley to escape the doghouse. Ridley ran well when he did hold on to the football, gaining 46 yards on nine carries. LeGarrette Blount is waiting in the wings in case Ridley fumbles again, but that is not a risk worth taking for fantasy owners. Brandon Bolden (knee) is not ready to be trusted yet either.
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Bilal Powell rushed for 29 yards on 14 carries last week against the Bucs. Chris Ivory had 15 yards on 10 carries. Powell has a little more upside thanks to his four receptions for 35 yards, but neither are an attractive option against a defense that held C.J. Spiller to 55 total yards.
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Wide Receivers
Julian Edelman was a popular guy on the waiver wire this week after catching seven passes for 79 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the season opener. He’s worth a look on fantasy rosters simply because he’s Brady’s most trusted weapon. Kenbrell Thompkins had just four catches for 42 yards last week, but he’s worth considering based on the 14 targets he received. Josh Broyce and Aaron Dobson should only be used in sheer desperation.
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Speaking of desperation, your cup must runneth over if you are considering any of the Jets’ wide receivers. Jeremy Kerley had the most success last week with four catches for 45 yards, but he is out with a concussion. Stephen Hill caught six passes for 39 yards. He has plenty of athleticism, but it has seldom translated into production on the field. Santonio Holmes (foot) caught just one pass for 13 yards last week.
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Tight Ends
Rob Gronkowski is expected to miss this week. Zach Sudfeld did not catch a pass last week and is dealing with a hamstring injury. Michael Hoomanawanui caught one pass for five yards last week, but is not a desirable play. There isn’t a good play here.
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Kellen Winslow was one of the biggest surprises last week with seven catches for 79 yards and a touchdown. Considering the dearth of quality options at wide receiver for the Jets, Winslow isn’t a bad fantasy option this week.
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Defenses
The New York Jets have so few quality options on offense. Throw in a rookie quarterback playing on the road. Things don’t look good, which makes this an attractive game to use the New England Patriots defense. The Patriots currently rank ninth in the league in total defense after holding the Bills to 286 yards last week. The Jets managed just 304 yards and 18 points last week.
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The New York Jets defense ranks fourth in total defense after holding the Bucs to 250 yards. Though they are banged up, the Patriots’ offense is too potent to recommend using the Jets’ defense.
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There aren’t many things more frustrating than your running back sitting on the bench because of ball control issues, especially when he was off to a solid start with 46 yards on nine carries. That’s 5.1 yards per crack.
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To make matters worse, Shane Vereen ran with his opportunity, racking up 101 yards on the ground and another 58 yards on seven receptions as the New England Patriots held off the Buffalo Bills in the season opener.
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Plus, his coach (Bill Belichick) is not afraid to let a player rot in the doghouse, especially when the replacement is well-suited for the high-octane offense the Patriots like to employ.
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Ridley’s fantasy owners had to sit in disbelief as they just lost one of their starting running backs. Not to mention, the hole Ridley put them in with his performance.
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Fortunately for Ridley owners, he caught a break…literally. Vereen broke a small bone in his wrist against the Bills. While it didn’t force him out of the action, it did require surgery, which will keep him out a couple of games.
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This doesn’t mean that Ridley’s job is entirely safe, but it does mean that he gets a couple of weeks to redeem himself.
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The Patriots are at their best when Ridley serves the role of the workhorse back while Vereen serves the change-of-pace and third-down back roles.
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LeGarrette Blount is there should the fumbling issues resurface for Ridley, but he managed just 15 yards on seven carries. Blount isn’t much of a threat to Ridley.
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Kenbrell Thompkins
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New England Patriots receiver Kenbrell Thompkins had a coming out party in Thursday’s blowout loss to the Detroit Lions. The undrafted free agent caught eight passes for 116 yards to take a first grasp on a the starting job opposite of Danny Amendola for the Pats.
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He will be taking over the role occupied by Brandon Lloyd last year. Despite a rocky season, he still finished with 74 catches on 130 targets for 911 yards and four touchdowns. He finished second on the team in receptions, targets, and receiving yards.
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There will be plenty of looks available as Wes Welker, Lloyd, Aaron Hernandez and Danny Woodhead combined for 443 targets. Thompkins has positioned himself to be the team’s primary deep threat. He may not put up consistent numbers and become a points per reception whiz like Danny Amendola, but his early chemistry with Tom Brady suggests that he could become the next Patriots receiver to flourish.
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Wes Welker had modest numbers before joining the Patriots. Deion Branch was a different players when he was playing with Brady compared to his time with the Seattle Seahawks. Obviously Randy Moss is an elite talent, but even he went to the next level with Brady. Even David Patten had some fantasy relevance with Brady.
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Thompkins has decent size and speed, plenty of athleticism, the flexibility to play in any receiver position and a toughness that should endear him to Patriots fans.
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Aaron Dobson will be waiting in the wings to steal some of Thompkins’ reps, but there should be plenty to go around. Plus, Amendola has a tendency to get hurt so both rookies should make an impact.
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New England Patriots wide receiver Brandon Lloyd came into the season full of promise. Josh McDaniels has been able to  get the most out of him with the likes of Sam Bradford and Kyle Orton. Surely as Tom Brady’s best downfield threat since Randy Moss, Lloyd would have a banner year in New England.
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Up until a couple of weeks ago, this wasn’t the case.
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Lloyd got off to a mediocre start with 69 and 60 yards in the first two weeks. Then next two weeks were solid for Lloyd as he recorded his first 100-yard game of the season in Week 3 against the Baltimore Ravens and scored his first touchdown of the year in Week 4 against the Buffalo Bills.
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The next three-game stretch Lloyd had 34, 80, and six yards respectively. With five games with eight or fewer fantasy points, Lloyd wasn’t exactly a strong option. Especially when you consider he had just 10.8 and 11 fantasy points in his two “good games”.
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Week 8 brought an interesting game for Lloyd. He only caught two passes and finished with just 28 yards, but he scored a touchdown on both catches. Sure, the two touchdowns were great, but he still managed to score just 14.8 fantasy points in this one.
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The next five weeks were brutal for Lloyd. He had a bye in Week 9 and totaled just 126 yards in four games. That’s an average of 31.5 yards or 3.15 fantasy points per game.
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Lloyd owners were likely at their wits’ end and his next two games were against the Houston Texans and the San Francisco 49ers.
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Lloyd shrugged off the tough matchups and had 89 yards and a touchdowns against the Texans and a career-high 190 yards against the Niners. Go figure. You may have had Lloyd in your lineup against the Niners following the Texans’ game, but it is hard to imagine that Lloyd going against Houston.
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This week he takes on the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jags rank 24th against the pass, not that Brady couldn’t shred even the top-ranked defense. On paper it seems like Lloyd is a good play.
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The trouble is outside of Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski (when healthy), it is hard to truly trust anyone in the Patriots’ passing attack.
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I feel that he’s a solid WR3 this week, but a lot of uncertainty remains. I would use him if he’s your best option, but I would probably shy away if I had a safer quality play.
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