NFL Pick ‘Em; Bovada Bets for Week 12

Over the course of the last two football seasons I have played with some pocket change on Bovada.lv. It’s a website where you can bet on the lines of NFL games to MLB games to The Oscars (seriously). Over time I have had a lot of fun making bets. I usually partake in betting on straight lines, but I’ve also been known to get involved in other kinds, including sweetheart teasers.

What is a sweetheart teaser?

A sweetheart teaser for the most part plays out the same way as a regular teaser, except a sweetheart gives the bettors even more points. You can shift the line by 10 to 13 points in football (that’s nearly two touchdowns). There are a couple of differences. While regular teasers can include up to 10 teams, a sweetheart can include only three or four teams. Also, if any of your selections push on a sweetheart, you lose the entire bet.

Also, check out this link to gain a better understanding of the NFL spread betting.

As you can see, sometimes the gamble can be quite large when betting a teaser. Who doesn’t like a good risk once in a while? From this week forward, I am going to outline some of the bets I love, hate and my sweetheart teaser of the week!

Week 11 Recap:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers +7 (-105): I was a huge fan of this bet and it paid off handsomely. The Bucs jumped out to a 10-0 lead and never looked back, winning 27-7.

Cincinnati Bengals + 7 ½ (-115): The Saints haven’t been good at football all season. The Bengals were coming off some recent struggles but the line was too high for a team that just wasn’t playing well either. The Bengals took it to ‘em and cleared another great bet.

San Diego Chargers – 10 ½:  This is a bet I was avoiding, but the Chargers came through and helped me make it a 3 for 3 week.

Sweetheart Teaser: This played out exactly how I anticipated. The Seahawks at +7, Raiders at +16 ½ and the Patriots at +9. I love betting sweetheart teasers, especially in weeks like this where they cleared completely.

Overall, I was 4-0 in my bets last week and look to carry that success into week 12!

As of this writing there are no lines on the Bengals/Texans, Dolphins/Chargers, Bills/Jets or Broncos/Dolphins.

Week 12 bets I love:

San Francisco 49ers -9 (-115)

Gut call here. Washington is God awful as we saw last week against Tampa. The 49ers defense is much better and they should smoke the ‘Skins in week 12. Always go with your gut!

Seattle Seahawks +7 (+110)

The other side of this line is being bet on heavily, as the -7 for Arizona is at -130 now. It’s understandable, as Seattle clearly isn’t the team it was a season ago. The Cardinals have been fantastic all season long. However, I don’t expect them to go into Seattle and beat the Seahawks with Drew Stanton at the helm. After a tough loss to Kansas City last week, I think Marshawn Lynch and company blow out the birds.

Ravens +3 ½

Yep, I’m picking on the Saints again this week. They are a 3 and a half point favorite against a better Ravens squad. It’s the dome factor, obviously. If the line was right at 3, I would not be as excited to jump on this bet. However, if the Saints do pull off a win, I think it’s by a field goal.

Week 12 bets I’m avoiding:

Indianapolis Colts -14 (-115)

There’s always a chance this game won’t be a blowout. I don’t like the bet. I’m not telling you not to make it, just not one I’m investing in this week.

My sweetheart teaser lock of the week:

teaser

We’ve already talked about the Seattle bet, and getting it at -1 is even sexier.

The Lions face a red-hot Patriots team in New England this weekend. The line is large because it will take place in chilly Foxboro. However, the Lions defense is legit and they can really rush the passer. If they can get to Brady, they have a shot to win. Even if they don’t though, I can’t see them losing by two touchdowns. I love the 13 ½ I’m getting. Sign me up.

The Buccaneers showed up last week and shut down the Redskins, but they have a tougher task in week 12, and that’s the Chicago Bears. The Bucs are also 4-1 against the spread on the road this season. Chicago is going to win this game but I can’t see them just destroying Tampa. With that, they are the third team in my teaser.

Ricky is a co-owner, fantasy sports writer and gambling man at The Sports Script. Follow him on the Twitter machine @rickygangster!

Fantasy Football Boom Or Bust: Week 12

Shady McCoy
Fantasy owners will need a big day out of Shady McCoy and he has the matchup to do it

Boom:

Jay Cutler: As bad a season as the Bears have had, Jay Cutler has actually been a top-ten fantasy option thus far. He has passed for 2+ touchdowns in 7 games and has actually has accounted for all but 3 of the Chicago’s offensive touchdowns. This week, the Bears have a home game against the Bucs who have allowed every quarterback they’ve faced to throw for 200+ yards and 5 to throw for 300+ yards. Another plus for Cutler is that his defense is absolutely terrible so there will never be a lack of opportunity to sling the ball around.

Joe Flacco: The Ravens are come out of their bye with a trip to New Orleans. Every quarterback that has traveled to New Orleans has thrown for at least 200 yards. The quarterbacks who have done this are Mike Glennon, Colin Kaepernick, Andy Dalton, Teddy Bridgewater and Aaron Rodgers. The only top-tier quarterback in this group, Rodgers, torched the Saints for 425 yards and 3 touchdowns. Expect the Saints and Ravens to have a good ol’ fashion shootout.

LeSean McCoy: The Titans have now allowed teams to rush for 220, 204, 200, 174 and 153 yards and 11 touchdowns this season. With McCoy having 20+ carries in 7 games this year, I see no reason why he can’t slice and dice the Titan’s for a big day.

Shane Vereen: Detroit has allowed 100 yards on the ground only once and only 4 rushing touchdowns all year. All terrible numbers for a running back, right? Good thing Shane Vereen does most of his damage in the passing game. The Lions are allowing 50 receiving yards per game to opposing running backs on average. In the 5 games when Vereen received 12 or more touches this year, he averages 85 yards and has 40 total touchdown. Look for Vereen to be the featured back in New England’s offense this week.

Denard Robinson: Since he has been named the starter, Robinson is averaging 97 yards on the ground and a touchdown per game. His opponent this week, the Colts, are coming off a game where they allowed a 200-yard rusher. Expect the Jags to take advantage of the Colts’ bottom-5 run defense that is allowing 4.6 yards a carry and 1+ touchdown a game.

Steve Smith: This game has all the makings for Steve Smith to show he still has something left in the tank. He is coming off a bye and 4 sub-par games. I don’t think Keenan Lewis will shadow Smith, which will greatly benefit him. The Saints have surrendered an average of 186 yards to receiving corps and a whopping 12.8 yards per catch. If Flacco has a big game, as I suspect he will, then Smith will too.

Roddy White: Wide receiver is a very quarterback dependent position. This week, the Falcons are at home, which bods well for White. Matt Ryan has thrown for 10 touchdowns and 2 interceptions in the Georgia Dome compared to 7 touchdowns and 6 interceptions on the road. Surprisingly, White has been very consistent over the last 4 games totaling 3 touchdowns and 312 yards. Expect Matty Ice to look Roddy’s way often with Julio Jones having Joe Hayden stuck to his hip all day.

Kenny Stills: With Brandin Cooks going on IR, opportunity has come a knockin on Stills’ door. Before Cooks got hurt, Stills was averaging 4 catches a game for 58 yards. Now that Stills has been thrust into the number 2 receiver position, he should be an even bigger contributor to the Saints pass-heavy offense. The Raven’s pass defense has been average this year and will have their hands full with Jimmy Graham, opening up some 1 on 1 opportunities for Kenny.

Larry Donnell: In his first meeting with Dallas, Donnell hauled in 7 balls for 90 yards. Look for an even better game against a Cowboy defense who has allowed 8 touchdowns and 4-100 yard games to tight ends this year.

Colts D/ST: Every defense that has gone against the Jagsuars has recorded at least an 8-point fantasy performance. Last time the Colts played the Jacksonville they put up great defensive numbers, recording 2 interceptions, 1 fumble, 4 sacks and a touchdown. Don’t be surprised if you see a repeat performance out of a reeling Colt defense.

Bust:

Matthew Stafford: On the year, Stafford has 15 total touchdowns and 9 interceptions for an average of 12 to 16 fantasy points per game (depending on your settings). He has been consistently average, having only 2-300 yard games. He’s also yet to throw for more than 2 scores in a single game. I see the Patriots putting a beatdown on the Lions, so Stafford could get lucky with some garbage time points, but I wouldn’t count on it.

Mark Ingram: The Ravens are the league’s number-1 fantasy run defense, but they have the 26th ranked pass defense. I see Brees and Payton putting together a game plan that exploits the Raven’s weakness rather than trying to score against a defense that has only surrendered 3 rushing scores. With the Saints’ pass defense being just one spot behind Baltimore’s, I think we will be in for a Monday night shootout.

Golden Tate: With a healthy Calvin Johnson opposite of him in week 11, Tate only had 2 targets. This week, the Lions will head into New England to face the Patriots’ number-4 pass defense. Last week the Pats’ secondary decided to double-team the dynamic T.Y. Hilton while Darrelle Revis blanketed Reggie Wayne. I expect we will see the bigger Brandon Browner shadowing Johnson with safety help while Revis follows Tate around like a lost puppy. Belichick is known for making offenses beat him with their secondary weapons, which in the Lions’ case, is their run game.

DeAndre Hopkins: Lets not overreact to Ryan Mallet’s performance last week. Mallet is still an unproven, inexperienced quarterback. The Texans have a tough passing matchup against the Bengals’ 6th ranked pass defense in week 12. With a healthy Arian Foster and an emerging  Alfred Blue, expect the Texans to try and pound the ball on the ground, which will limit Hopkins’ opportunities. Cincinnati has also only allowed 6 touchdowns to receivers and over 200 yards once all year.

Antonio Gates: Gates has been the definition of boom or bust this year. He has not gone over 61 yards since week 2 and has 3 or less receptions in 6 games. St. Louis has given up only 2 touchdowns to tight ends all year and hasn’t allowed any of them to break 70 yards. This week will be tough sledding for Gates and the struggling San Diego offense.

Jacob Tamme: If Julius Thomas misses any time Tamme will be the one to fill his place, but those of you who are expecting a Thomas-like performance out of him will be disappointed. In his last 2 games, Tamme has received 15 targets and has only been able to turn 5 of them into catches. Tamme’s workload will definitely increase, but his production won’t. The Dolphins haven’t let a tight end touch pay dirt in any of their last 5 games.

Lions D/ST: New England’s’ offense is red hot right now, which makes the Lions a very risky play. In their last 3 games the Pats have scored 136 points and are averaging 36 points a game at home on the year. I would hold onto the Lions for some upcoming matchups, but it would be wise to stream a defense this week so you don’t cost your team points.

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/8MexyK

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Payton is the newest fantasy football contributor to The Sports Script. Be on the lookout for more of his work in the coming weeks and follow him on Twitter @PaySand!

Eight In The Box: IDP Waiver Wire Week 12

Chandler Jones is on the mend.
New England’s Chandler Jones may be nearing a return

IDP Injuries of note:

  • Phil Taylor (CLE DL): Taylor has been placed on IR and is out for the year. He is safe to drop in all leagues.
  • Ian Williams (SF DL): Williams has been placed on IR with a broken leg. Taking his place will be Glenn Dorsey, who has been activated from the PUP list after injuring his bicep in training camp. Dorsey is a nice speculative add in DT-required leagues.
  • Chandler Jones (NE DL): Jones has been out for five weeks now. The original estimate was 4-6 weeks, so his return may be nearing. There’s nothing to do right now until there is new information. This is New England, so we may not get anything new. Hold tight for now.
  • Karlos Dansby (CLE LB): Dansby sprained his knee and is likely out about a month. This will be a blow to the Browns defense, but look to Christian Kirksey to get a boost in value.
  • Jabaal Sheard (CLE LB): Sheard was originally thought to have a serious foot injury that could require surgery. After further review, it looks a lot better and he may only miss a week or two.
  • Ahmad Brooks (SF LB): Brooks had his feelings hurt since the coaching staff wasn’t using him as he thought they should. Because of his bruised pride (which can be debilitating) he missed the second half (self-imposed) when he took off his cleats and pouted on the sideline.
  • Trent Murphy (WAS LB): Murphy injured his knee and may have a slight tear of the PCL. It looks like he will try and play through it but he isn’t a tremendous talent so he is probably safe to drop.
  • NaVorro Bowman (SF LB): Bowman appears to have been cleared to return to practice. I wouldn’t hold out too much hope of an impact for your fantasy squad this year. Let someone else use the roster spot.
  • Keenan Lewis (NO DB): Lewis played last week but totaled only 11 snaps. He wasn’t himself and it showed. I would keep him on the bench for a couple weeks until he is fully healthy. This probably hurts the NFL Saints more than your fantasy team.
  • Jason Verrett (SD DB): Verrett sees his rookie season end with shoulder surgery. He was impressive early and is someone to look at for next year in leagues that require the use of a corner.
  • Leodis McKelvin (BUF DB): McKelvin broke his ankle and was placed on IR. He was good this year and should recover from the injury in time for the 2015 season.

Who to use (or not):

DL:

  • Clinton McDonald (TB DL): McDonald has been solid as an under the radar defensive tackle this year. If you are in a DT-required league, he is worth the pickup as he has continued his strong play all season. Obviously it helps when Gerald McCoy is getting all the attention, but putting up 3 sacks, 25 solos and an interception is solid regardless.
  • Mario Williams (BUF DL): Williams is coming off a huge 3.5 sack game last week and gets the Jets in week 12. The chances of another sack and continuing his string of at least a half sack in 7-straight games should continue. There’s only been one game this season where he didn’t put up at least a partial sack, and in that game he had 4 solo tackles. Consistency is what we have here.
  • Rob Ninkovich (NE DL): Some leagues may have Ninkovich as a linebacker and some as a defensive end. Either way, I expect him to put some pressure on Stafford this week and pick up a sack.
  • Robert Quinn (STL DL): You are probably thinking, of course I should play Quinn, but I am saying he gets at least 2 sacks this week against a hobbled Philip Rivers.

LB:

  • Aldon Smith (SF LB): Last week I cautioned about using Smith in his first game back. It turned out to be a good call as he put up a goose egg. Although, he was putting pressure on the quarterback and I expect him to get one or two sacks this week against RG3. Get him in your lineup.
  • Jamie Collins & Dont’e Hightower (NE LB): I expect big things from the Patriot defense this week against the Lions. Both of these guys should be in your lineups.
  • Justin Houston (KC LB): The NFL’s sack leader hasn’t brought down a quarterback in two weeks. Surprisingly, the Raiders haven’t given up a ton of sacks this year (probably because their defense can’t get off the field) but I have a feeling Houston is going to beast in this game. His sacks come in bunches and I see 2+ on the horizon.

DB:

  • Reshad Jones (MIA DB): Jones will get a lot of opportunities going against the Broncos this week. He will be up to the task and should be fantasy gold in week 12.
  • Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (GB DB): Ha Ha has put up a solid floor due to high tackle numbers. He is locked into playing every down and I have a hunch he gets his first pick since week 3. He put up 5 solo tackles in his last game against the Vikings. He should do that again this week.
  • Michael Griffin (TEN DB): Griffin gets the safety dream matchup against the Eagles; big game coming.

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/kw4BG8

Check out FantasyRundown.com for all of our latest articles and other great fantasy content.

Shane Gallimore is a fantasy football contributor and co-host of the live Sunday edition of The Fantasy Forecaster for The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @Gally4!

The Weekly Stream: Defense; Week 12

The Saint Louis Rams have beaten the Seahawks, 49ers and the Broncos. Jonas Gray had 199 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns on Sunday night. A guy named Bell on the Steelers followed that up the next evening with 203 rushing yards of his own. Odell Beckham showed us that he belongs in a circus with his amazing catches. Finally, the Arizona Cardinals continue to shock the world as they moved to 9-1 with their starting quarterback sitting on the bench. All these things happened in one weekend in the NFL. “Any Given Sunday” has never been more apparent in the NFL as it has this year and as we move to week 12, we have more story lines to follow. Will Josh Gordon help fantasy owners who have held on to him all year? Will Oakland ever win a game? These are a couple of the many questions that we have as we move to week 12, but there is one question we can answer right now.

Who are we going to stream for a defense this week!

Last Week’s Results:

In week 11 we decided to take a chance on teams that were coming off the bye. All three had favorable matchups and extra rest to prepare them for their opponent. The San Diego Chargers gave us double-digit fantasy points in by only allowing 6 points to the Oakland Raiders. They also got to David Carr twice. This week they face a Rams squad coming off a huge win but that should fall right back down to earth. I’m looking for a huge week out of the Chargers defense. The Houston Texans also provided good value if you streamed them off their bye. Allowing the Browns only 7 points and sacking Hoyer twice, the Texans gave owners 8 fantasy points in a crucial week before the regular season dwindles down. The huge disappointment of the week was my hometown Minnesota Vikings. While they did pick off Jay Cutler twice, they also allowed the Bears to score 21 points and didn’t record any sacks after recording 30 in the 4 weeks prior. Now they face a Green Bay Packer team that looks like one of the best in the NFL. The Vikings defense will take a rest on the waiver wire this week before a couple of good matchups in the fantasy playoffs.

Week 12 Targets:

The Chiefs have a great week 12 matchup against the Raiders ahead
The Chiefs have a great week 12 matchup against the Raiders ahead
  • Kansas City Chiefs: While Kansas City has to travel to the West Coast to play this game on Thursday night, I love the matchup. I had to double take when I saw that the Chiefs were only 60% owned in ESPN leagues. They are the 10th best fantasy defense and have not recorded a negative point total all season. If they are not owned in your league, you should plug and play them in week 12. This is my favorite matchup of the week!
  • Indianapolis Colts: Many owners saw that the Colts were playing the Patriots last week and clicked drop. Currently, the Colts defense is only owned in 25% of leagues. Let’s look at this matchup schedule the rest of the year: Jacksonville, Washington, Cleveland, Houston, Dallas. While I love the Chiefs matchup for week 12, you also have to love the matchup for Indianapolis against the Jaguars. The Jaguars give up the most points to fantasy defenses. If you are in playoff contention and need a defense to lead you the rest of the way, the Colts are your squad. While I believe the Chiefs might do better this week, the Colts will do owners better throughout the rest of the year. Go and get them!
  • Philadelphia Eagles: This seems like a weird sentence to type. The number one fantasy defense is available in 35% of fantasy leagues. Yes, the Eagles have been a season-changer for owners lucky enough to have them. Last week they faced the Packers and they struggled like many thought they would. Now, the Eagles get the opportunity to face the Titans, Dallas (twice), Seattle and Washington from now until week 16. While the Seattle matchup will be dangerous, the Eagles have done well against good teams this year and will be able to help you out as the playoffs begin in a couple of weeks.

I feel confident in my week 12 selections. The fact that some of the top defenses are sitting on the waiver wire as we head to the playoffs is an opportunity for owners to take advantage of their opponents. Play the matchups wisely and you’ll be the one holding the trophy at the end of the year.

Happy streaming, and good luck in week 12.

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/VzYz1L

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Jared “Minnesota Nice” Hines is a fantasy football contributor at The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @Jared_Hines27!

Josh Gordon; Savior?

Josh Gordon is back! Is it possible to sell high on him before he's even caught a pass?
Josh Gordon is back! Is it possible to sell high on him before he’s even caught a pass?

Josh Gordon is coming back this week and all your fantasy troubles are going away. Or at least that is what many of you are thinking as you have held on to him for 11 weeks. Let’s step back for a moment and see what Gordon has actually done in the NFL:

Year Games Rec Targets Yards TD
2012 16 50 96 805 5
2013 14 87 159 1646 9

His numbers for 2013 put him at the top of the wide receiver leaderboard and he carried many a team to a title considering that he did all that in only 14 games due to a two game suspension. He was a beast and it didn’t matter who was throwing to him. The question you must ask yourself though is this: can he still put up top-5 numbers at his position over the remaining games?

Last season, Gordon was part of the vaunted Norv Turner system and the Browns did not have much of a running game. In 2013 the Browns averaged 42.6 passes per game, completing almost 24 of them for 253 yards per game. This happened while only rushing the ball 21.8 times per game. This year, Cleveland has taken a different approach. The 2014 version of this club is averaging 10 less passing attempts per game.

You may be able to talk yourself into the reason they are throwing less is because they don’t have Gordon and that is probably partially correct. However, I don’t see the Browns going pass heavy moving forward. They have three-headed running back by committee and I don’t think this changes much. It’s unlikely that Gordon suddenly changes their entire gameplan.

On the plus side, when Hoyer was throwing to Gordon in the two-plus games before he tore his ACL, Gordon averaged 7 receptions for 110 yds and had one touchdown on 28 targets. Thise are all very good numbers and I do think that Hoyer will look for Gordon and they will get him involved. I am just not counting on him putting up elite numbers for the rest of the season. I believe he will be a weekly starter and should put up top-20 numbers over the season’s final six weeks but let’s temper our expectations. He may not be the savior.

Here is the point where you can get crafty. How many of you have seen a highly touted Minor League baseball player that every expert says is a can’t miss prospect? Everyone in your baseball league covets this guy and they are willing to trade proven commodities so they can get the next shiny new toy. How many times have you seen the value skyrocket right as the shiny new toy gets called up to the show? Then he plays and you realize he will be a good baseball player but right now he isn’t worth that perceived value he had last week.

This is why I think this is a great opportunity to sell high on Josh Gordon. I know you have sat on him for 11 weeks and now I am telling you to trade him away. It’s bold for sure. This is primarily for a team that is on the playoff bubble and could use multiple pieces due to injury or bad luck. I wouldn’t take just anything but if you can prey on a team that is looking for that Hail Mary because their season hasn’t been great, maybe you can move Gordon for DeAndre Hopkins and Lamar Miller or straight across for an underperforming LeSean McCoy.

The bottom line is that Josh Gordon is a talent but he is somewhat unproven. He has had one great year in a good system, but his value will unlikely ever be higher. With fantasy trade deadlines fast approaching, trading him at peak value is definitely something to think about.

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/9EpoFk

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Shane Gallimore is a fantasy football contributor and co-host of the live Sunday edition of The Fantasy Forecaster for The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @Gally4!

Waiver Wire Wizardry: Pickups for Week 12

Quarterback:

Brian Hoyer (14% Y!): In terms of efficiency (20-50 on pass attempts), this was not a great game for Hoyer. However, he did have 330 yards passing, including a touchdown. Hoyer should be be added because Josh Gordon will be back in week 12! There’s also an outside chance that tight end Jordan Cameron gets back into the mix. Gordon has been practicing at the team’s facility and should be up to date on the playbook. Hoyer is a decent game manager and should be able to succeed with Gordon’s return. Andrew Hawkins sticks around as his possession receiver and we already know the Browns have three capable running backs. As we inch closer to the fantasy playoffs, Hoyer is a player I’m watching. His arrow is pointing up.

Mark Sanchez (53% Y!): I wouldn’t look too much into Sanchez’s performance on Sunday, as it was decent. The Eagles simply got outplayed by a red hot Green Bay team and could not keep Aaron Rodgers and company out of the end zone. Sanchez compiled most of his stats in garbage time (26-44, 346 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT) against one of the tougher defenses in the NFC. Simply based on the scheme Philly runs, Sanchez should still slot in as an attractive fantasy option. Sanchez and his buddies get a poor Titans offense in week 12, making him a solid waiver addition at quarterback.

Running Back:

Jonas Gray (19% Y!): Have a day Mr. Gray! New England did a brilliant job of controlling the game and Gray was a big part of that. He rumbled for 199 yards on 38 carries, while scoring four times on Sunday night against the Colts. Gray has obviously earned the trust of New England’s coaching staff and at the very least has molded himself a role moving forward. Gray and the Patriots face tough rush defenses in the coming weeks and the New England game-plan is tough to predict any given day so it’s tough to predict what he does from here on out. Those in need of running back help should still make the add to acquire Gray, as he figures to at the very least get goal-line carries in the immediate future.

Tre Mason (50% Y!): Well, no one saw this coming. The Rams came out and…beat the Broncos? Tre Mason was a big part of this upset. He tallied 113 yards on 29 carries and it was the first time all season the Broncos allowed an opposing running back to reach the century mark. Mason continues to distance himself from the pack (which is basically only Benny Cunningham at this point) and has two great matchups ahead (Chargers, Raiders). Mason should be owned and used in all formats. Start him as a borderline-RB2 in week 12.

C.J. Anderson (65% Y!): Anderson was the starter on Sunday and while he only rushed for 29 yards on 9 carries, he had a great day receiving with 8 receptions for 86 yards. With the sudden rash of injuries to the Broncos, it’s going to be hard for Manning and company not to rely on Anderson in the coming weeks. Montee Ball re-injured his groin this past weekend and may not return until the playoffs and Ronnie Hillman is out at least another week or two. Anderson will enter week 12 as a borderline-RB1 and should be started in every fantasy league.

Wide Receiver:

Josh Gordon (77% Y!): Did you just get the internet or something?

Jordan Matthews (62% Y!): Matthews has scored 3 times in 2 weeks and has over 100 yards receiving in both games. He and Mark Sanchez have a nice little connection and Matthews should be one of the Eagles’ most targeted pass-catchers moving forward. The man is in the WR2 discussion and Philly has a nice week 12 matchup against the Titans. Take full advantage and add the dude!

Malcom Floyd (37% Y!): So far this season, Floyd has 50 targets, 32 receptions, 577 yards and 4 touchdowns. That comes out to a weekly average of 5.0 targets, 3.2 receptions, 57.7 yards receiving and 0.4 TD. Breaking it down even further, that means an average score of 11.3 points in PPR leagues and 8.9 points in standard leagues. Not bad for a guy who has been under the radar most of the season. He’s done all this despite a week 2 output of only 1 target. Floyd is a player to own as a lower-end starting wideout option for the coming weeks.

Tight End:

Coby Fleener (38% Y!): Fleener has taken Allen’s spot on my weekly waiver wire piece, and for good reason. He had 7 catches on 7 targets for 144 yards Sunday night against New England. This was because Dwayne Allen left the game with an ankle injury and did not return. If Allen has a serious enough injury that keeps him from playing next week, Fleener needs to be picked up. Given the shallow nature of the tight end pool, Fleener could be a top-10 weekly option if Allen misses time. Grab him just in case.

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Doug Moore is a fantasy football contributor at The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @DMM0822!

The Man, the Myth, the Legend: Jonas Gray

Jonas Gray
Damn, look at those guns

Guess who had 38 carries for 199 yards and 4 touchdowns this weekend? It wasn’t Jamaal Charles, Marshawn Lynch, Demarco Murray, Matt Forte or Arian Foster. It was Jonas Gray! If you have no idea who Jonas Gray is, don’t feel bad. The 5’ 9”, 230 pound bowling ball had more carries, yards, and touchdowns last night then he had over the course of his entire career.

Gray was a 4-star recruit coming out of high school and decided to take his talents to South Bend and play for the Fighting Irish. In 4 years at Notre Dame, Gray tallied 1,205 total yards and 12 touchdowns. He spent the majority of his time in college as a backup until his senior year where he split carries with Cierre Wood. Gray was having a breakout senior year until he tore his ACL in the Irish’s 11th game, ending his collegiate career. Prior to the injury, he was averaging 6.9 yards per tote. Despite the great numbers, the injury to his knee lowered his draft stock exponentially. Gray was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Miami Dolphins and spent the year on the PUP list while rehabbing the injury. Following a year of rehab, Gray was cut by Miami in August of 2013 and then signed with the Baltimore Ravens’ practice squad two days later. After spending the 2013 season with the Ravens, Gray was signed to a future contract with the Patriots as they prepared for a playoff run. Entering 2014, Gray was a part of a very busy backfield in New England, consisting of Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, Brandon Bolden and James White. Once again, Gray was cut, but then signed back onto New England’s practice squad.

Gray was finally given his opportunity when Stevan Ridley went down with a torn ACL in week 6. Following the injury to Ridley, he was activated to the Pats 53-man roster and saw his first NFL action against the Jets when he had 3 carries for 12 yards. Gray’s role continued to grow in the next 2 weeks as he was handed the ball 29 times for 119 yards. Heading into the bye, Gray had established himself as the Patriots’ top rushing threat while splitting time with excellent pass-catching back Shane Vereen.

Now that you know who Jonas Gray is, let me tell you why his performance wasn’t as surprising as it seems. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get him into my Boom or Bust column, which really took a beating this week, but I was able to get him into one of my lineups as a late substitution for Larry Fitzgerald. Let’s go back to January 11th, 2014 when the Colts and the Patriots faced off in the 2nd round of the playoffs. New England went with the game plan of pounding the ball with Stevan Ridley and LeGarrette Blount, which lead to a 23 point victory. The stat line for the two backs read like this: 38 carries for 218 yards and 6 touchdowns. Looks familiar, doesn’t it? We all know that Bill Belichick is a hard coach to predict week to week but historically he uses the same game plan against the same opponent if he had success in the previous meeting. I can’t say I saw this big of a game out of Jonas Gray, but history was definitely on his side to at least contribute in some capacity.

Moving forward, Gray is going to be a very popular waiver wire add, but don’t forget Belichick’s game-plans are hard to predict. There is no question that Gray is the lead back for the Patriots rushing attack with Vereen serving as the back in passing situations. However, the Pats have the Lions, Bills, Dolphins, and Jets left on their schedule, all of whom have a defense ranked in the top ten against the run. Knowing this, the schedule may dictate a more heavy use of Vereen.

No matter what happens moving forward with Jonas Gray’s career, his performance last night was a great accumulation of hard work and perseverance in an NFL season that has been clouded by negative off-field happenings. Seeing a guy make the most of his opportunities after he could have decided to end his football career multiple times will make you feel good no matter which team you root for.

Stories like Gray’s remind us why we love the NFL so much.

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/dmvid3

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Payton is the newest fantasy football contributor to The Sports Script. Be on the lookout for more of his work in the coming weeks and follow him on Twitter @PaySand!

NFL Pick ‘Em; Bovada Bets for Week 11

Over the course of the last two football seasons I have played with some pocket change on Bovada.lv. It’s a website where you can bet on the lines of NFL games to MLB games to The Oscars (seriously). Over time I have had a lot of fun making bets. I usually partake in betting on straight lines, but I’ve also been known to get involved in other kinds, including sweetheart teasers.

What is a sweetheart teaser?

A sweetheart teaser for the most part plays out the same way as a regular teaser, except a sweetheart gives the bettors even more points. You can shift the line by 10 to 13 points in football (that’s nearly two touchdowns). There are a couple of differences. While regular teasers can include up to 10 teams, a sweetheart can include only three or four teams. Also, if any of your selections push on a sweetheart, you lose the entire bet.

Also, check out this link to gain a better understanding of the NFL spread betting.

As you can see, sometimes the gamble can be quite large when betting a teaser. Who doesn’t like a good risk once in a while? From this week forward, I am going to outline some of the bets I love, hate and my sweetheart teaser of the week!

Week 10 Recap:

Saints -6: Seriously the Saints go ahead with less than 2 minutes to go in the 4th and I’m ready to jump for joy as my sweetheart teaser is going to be 2 for 2! And them boom, Colin Kaepernick completes a 50-yard pass to Michael Crabtree, setting up the game-tying field goal. After that, the rest was history. I always bet the Saints at home, ugh.

Ravens -10: I won’t lie, I was a little nervous about this game and wasn’t sure we would get the cover. A late touchdown secured this bet though, making me a happy camper.

Steelers – 6: I talked this up all week everywhere! Trap game. I loved the Jets getting 6 points against a hot Steelers team. The masses have short attention spans. Recency bias, anyone? Sure, Pittsburgh had been on fire over the past couple of weeks, but they have been bad against teams with records below .500. The Jets actually ended up winning outright.

Sweetheart Teaser: The Jets did their part in this and the rest was just a disaster. The Saints blew it and the Panthers got murdered! Very sad day for the teaser.

Overall, I was 2-1 in the matchups but my teaser fell down for the week.

Week 11 is upon us and there are some very interesting matchups. Let’s dive right in; cannonball!

Week 11 bets I love:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers +7 (-105)

Can someone please explain to me how the Washington Redskins are favorites by 7 points against anyone in the National Football League? That makes no sense and I am going to pounce on this game. I really don’t think Tampa is as bad as their record would tell us. This is what I like to call an easy money bet.

Cincinnati Bengals +7 1/2 (-115)

When the Bengals lose, they really lose. In their 3 losses, they’ve been outscored 84-20. Yikes! Still, a 7 and a half point spread is enticing. The orange and black have some fast, talented players, meaning the Saints’ 24th ranked pass defense will be on notice. This spread is too high in favor of the home team.

Week 11 bets I’m Avoiding:

San Diego Chargers -10 1/2

This bet will probably see a lot of action in favor of the Chargers but I think this Raiders team is going to play spoiler down the stretch. Oakland is 3 and 1 against the spread on the road this season. This smells like a trap game to me.

  • 49ers – 4 1/2
  • Giants + 4 1/2

I don’t like either side of this bet. Either team could come out and win. It’s hard to know which 49ers team will show up any given Sunday and the Giants have just had an odd season. Steer clear.

My sweetheart teaser lock of the week:

123

So you already know about my love for the Raiders this week, so let me talk about the other 2 bets on this week’s sweetheart teaser.

  • The Seahawks +7 (on the road against the Chiefs): This game really is a toss up. Kansas City could very well come out and beat this Seahawks team, I just don’t think it will be by a touchdown. Seattle just isn’t as good as they were a season go (obviously). Easy teaser here.
  • New England Patriots +9 (on the road against the Colts): The Colts are a very good football team but I think they are a bit overrated on the defensive side of the ball. Give Belichick and the Patriots two weeks to prepare for this Colts team and I will take 9 points wherever the game is. No chance the Pats fail to cover.

That’s a very confident teaser for me this week. So lets roll the dice and make some money, folks.

Ricky is a co-owner, fantasy sports writer and gambling man at The Sports Script. Follow him on the Twitter machine @rickygangster!

Eight In The Box: IDP Waiver Wire Week 11

Patrick Willis
Patrick Willis’s long-term dynasty balance now hangs in the balance. He’s been placed on IR and will miss the remainder of the season

IDP Injuries of note:

  • Star Lotulelei (CAR DT): Lotulelei injured his ankle when it got rolled up on making a play. It appears it is only a low ankle sprain but he has already been ruled out for week 11. He wasn’t lighting up the IDP scoreboard so this probably isn’t a big blow to anyone.
  • Brandon Mebane (SEA DT): Mebane was placed on IR with a torn hamstring. This is a much bigger deal to the Seattle defense than it is to the IDP world.
  • Ian Williams (SF DT): Williams fractured his lower leg in week 10. I am not sure what it is with the run-stuffing defensive tackles this week but they are all going down. Not a huge impact to the IDP landscape unless you are in defensive tackle required leagues.
  • Vontaze Burfict (Cin LB): Burfict missed his second straight game after a knee scope and there hasn’t been any word on when he is expected back. I think he is safe to drop as it has just been one injury after another.
  • Patrick Willis (SF LB): Willis was placed on season ending IR with a toe issue. It appears that he will need surgery and it now becomes a question of whether he will get back to his previous level of studliness. He is a real question mark going forward in dynasty leagues. This does make Chris Borland a must-add and likely LB1 for the rest of the year.
  • NaVorro Bowman (SF LB): Bowman is still not up to speed and it is looking more and more likely he will not make an impact this year. I think he is safe to drop if you had been stashing him hoping for a return.
  • Ryan Shazier (PIT LB): Shazier has already been ruled out for the Monday Night game against Tennessee. This is not a good sign for his progress of coming back. He might be a good buy-low candidate for dynasty league gamers if his owner is in the hunt this year.
  • Brian Cushing (HOU LB): Cushing may be back this week after Houston’s bye. I wouldn’t rush to get him in your IDP lineup though. He wasn’t performing all that well leading up to his injury with seven total tackles over the last three games he played.
  • Rolando McClain (DAL LB): McClain was active for week 10 but didn’t get on the field. If you listened to The Fantasy Forecaster on Sunday morning, I had recommended staying away from the Dallas front seven due to the chance of minimal tackle opportunities against the Jaguars. Hopefully you listened! He is on bye this week so he should be back and ready to go in week 12.
  • Eric Berry (KC DB): Berry finally had a full complement of snaps, however he only but up 6 combined tackles. I expect him to shoot right back into DB1 status moving forward. Get him active.
  • Matt Elam (BAL DB): Elam has been benched in favor of Will Hill. It’s not an injury to be concerned about but he has been terrible this year. Safe to drop and move on.
  • Tashaun Gipson (CLE DB): Gipson suffered a concussion. I am sure you are well aware of the process that goes along with that. As of Wednesday he still hasn’t been cleared to practice. You may want to look elsewhere this week to be safe.

Who’s on the wire?

DL:

  • Marcell Dareus (BUF DT): Dareus has been on fire this year. He leads all defensive tackles with 10 sacks, including the 3 he had in week 10. This was his second three-sack game of the year. He has 26 tackles as well and is a must-start, even in leagues that don’t require a player at his position.
  • Cameron Wake (MIA DE): Wake is as hot as any defensive end in the league right now. With two sacks on Sunday, he sits at 8.5 on the year. The Bills are up next and with Orton back in the pocket I expect another big game for Wake in this one.
  • Desmond Bryant (CLE DE): Bryant is playing really well and put up 2 sacks against the Bengals last Thursday. The Browns defense is playing great and Bryant is benefiting. He hasn’t been putting up the snaps but he has played well. Don’t expect another 2 sack game but at this point in the season if you need some help on the defensive line you could do worse. Next up is Ryan Mallet and the Texans.
  • Ziggy Ansah (DET DE): Anash has sacks in two straight and 4.5 over his four games. The pressure has been there all year and now those are translating into production. He is a bit dinged up but his schedule down the stretch is great with games against the Vikings, Bucs and Bears (twice).

LB:

  • Chris Borland (SF LB): OK, now it’s official. Borland is here to stay with Willis going on IR. He is a must own LB1 for the rest of the season. He is a much better fantasy performer than real life player but that’s what we really want. If by some chance he is still out there you need to go add him.
  • Aldon Smith (SF – LB): Staying in San Francisco, Aldon Smith has served his suspension and has been reinstated. He is practicing this week and expected to play on Sunday. He is a must-add and start in any big play scoring league as he has averaged about a sack a game when active. If you were able to get him he is like making a trade for a stud in week 10 without giving up anything.
  • Clay Matthews (GB LB): For those not paying attention, the Packers decided to come out of the bye with a little experiment. They moved Matthews to inside linebacker and turned him lose. He flew all over the field, coming up with 9 solos and a sack. I think it’s safe to say the experiment worked – although it was against the Bears. If he stays in this role he is a high-end LB1 for the remainder of the year. I say take a chance and roll with him, just hope he doesn’t pull a hamstring.
  • Nico Johnson (CIN LB): Johnson is a guy to keep an eye on. He was filling in for Burfict and while he is only a two-down player, he put up 6 solos and 4 assists in his latest opportunity. He’s worth a mention.

DB:

  • James Ihedigbo (DET DB): Ihedigbo has been putting up great IDP numbers as part of an outstanding Detroit defense. Last week he had 4 solos and a pick. Now, the Lions get Drew Stanton and Cardinals this week. I think he has another big day.
  • Byron Maxwell (SEA DB): Maxwell was back in the lineup on a limited basis. I expect him to get a bigger workload and as the guy opposite Richard Sherman he should get plenty of opportunities.
  • Jaiquawn Jarrett (NYJ DB): Jarrett replaced Calvin Pryor in the starting lineup and had a huge day, putting up a sack, 2 picks, a fumble recovery and 7 solo tackles. Don’t expect another day like this but as long as he is starting he should be worth a play. He is on bye this week, but pick him up and stash him for week 12’s game against Buffalo.

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/fp5QSJ

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Shane Gallimore is a fantasy football contributor and co-host of the live Sunday edition of The Fantasy Forecaster for The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @Gally4!