NBA Preview 2013: San Antonio Spurs

UnknownWe’re are winding things down here on the Sports Script’s NBA preview, and now we’re entering the territory of legitimate NBA Championship contender. These last four are the cream of the NBA crop. Yesterday I covered the Brooklyn Nets and what they brought to the NBA table, so make sure to give that a read along with the long list of teams done prior to today. Today we have the team that Father Time forgot. They compete every year despite people always claiming that this is the year old age will do them in. I have no reason to believe that this will be the year after they made it to the NBA finals last year, so let’s cover the San Antonio Spurs.

Key Additions: Marco Belinelli (Signed via Bulls) Jeff Pendergraph/Aryes (Signed via Pacers)  Deshaun Thomas (Draft)

Key Departures: Gary Neal (Bucks) DeJuan Blair (Mavericks)

Projected Starters: PG Tony Parker, SG Danny Green, SF Kawhi Leonard, PF Tiago Splitter, C Tim Duncan

Oh the Spurs. Just when you think that time has caught up with this bunch, they go and get within a rebound of an NBA Championship, and while they didn’t have the most exciting offseason like some of the other Western Conference teams, they had a solid one, and let’s face it, when you’re the Spurs, you don’t need to make massive moves to stay a contender. They did add the perfect “Spurs type” player in Marco Belinelli who will add some great outside shooting touch, especially with Gary Neal and his heatcheck ways in Milwaukee playing for the Bucks. Jeff Pendergraph, or as he’s now known apparently, Jeff Aryes, provides some decent backup depth for the front court, another necessary move with DeJuan Blair in Dallas playing for the interstate rival Mavericks. They also brought in DeShaun Thomas through the draft in the late second round, which might end up becoming a massive steal, as Thomas is a very capable scorer all over the court, and can provide good shooting when the Spurs call on him. Other than that, just some key resignings to players like Manu Ginobili and Tiago Splitter, and that’s all that happened in San Antonio. Pretty unexciting hey? Oh well, they always get the job done so you can’t argue with it.

The Spurs starting lineup is no different from last year, and should be a great unit again this year. Tony Parker has cemented a spot as one of the top five to six point guards in the league with his play through the playoffs and finals, and should continue to be the best player on the team, yes even above that one guy named Tim Duncan. Danny Green really came into his own last finals with his incredible shooting stroke, the same ability that absolutely killed the Heat through the first few games of the series, and had he stayed hot, would’ve won them an NBA title. Kawhi Leonard, he is the man crush of all statisticians, and hoop junkies (including myself) all around North America. This guy has potential in bundles. He can shoot a high percentage, handle the basketball fairly well, slash to the rim with his big, long body, one of the best defenders in the NBA, and noted LeBron stopper, and just all around gets you very excited as to what he can do if he stays healthy all year. Leonard brings some wow factor to this team, and he might be the most important player on the court for the Spurs this year. Tiago Splitter is a very nice, serviceable player for the Spurs. He brings good defense and good rebounding, and just all around fits the mould of what you would expect out of a Spurs role player. He got exposed offensively last finals, but he should bounce back and play at the pretty nice level that he did all regular season last year. Tim Duncan is always an important cog, and while he might still be one of the best power forwards in the league, even though he’s playing at center I still consider him a power forward, he’s not as important as Leonard or Parker this year. That’s why I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw him take a lot of the year off, in anticipation of the playoffs so he can go all out then. But we all know what arguably the best power forward of all time brings to the table so I won’t waste your time, just know that this guy will be at his very best when the playoffs roll around for the Spurs.

The Spurs are once again contenders for that Larry O’Brien trophy this year, and even though they had a heartbreaking loss in the finals, that at least proved to the rest of the NBA world that they could still hang despite their age. While some will predict that this is the year the age factor really kills them, I just wouldn’t bet on it. Gregg Popovich is the best in the NBA at what he does, and he won’t let something as petty as “age” ruin his chance at a fifth NBA championship.

Final Prediction: 56-26, 2nd Western Conference


WWE Hell in a Cell Predictions

After a one pay-per-view break at Battleground, we are back with more WWE PPV predictions for the upcoming Hell in a Cell, one of my personal favorite gimmick matches or all time. WWE has put together a very nice card after the very disappointing Battleground, so be ready for some great matches, and the end to some great feuds. Matt Bell, Ricky Valero and Matt Wincherauk are here to give you their thoughts on the matches on the card, as well as one big burning question that every WWE fan has on their mind. So, let’s hop right into it with the pre-show.

Hell in a Cell Predictions

Curtis Axel (Champion) vs Big E Langston – Intercontinental Championship

Matt B: The intercontinental championship means nothing apparently as the pre-show match. I’ll take Big E Langston in this one and they put in on pre-show to get Axel up to the top-level by losing on the pre show so he doesn’t get seen by many.

Ricky: Big E Langston was a huge star when I use to watch him on NXT. He really is going to be the next big thing for the WWE. I see Langston taking over the IC Title and heading into a big fued with Ryback.

Matt W: I love Big E Langston. This guy is a star waiting to happen, with his incredible athleticism, power and personality. Curtis Axel has… None of these attributes. You wonder how Mr Perfect screwed this one up? Anyway, Langston is primed for a big run as a face, and it’s about time the title was removed from Axel’s waist. This is only the beginning for Langston, and if Axel doesn’t find something great within himself, it might the end for him.

AJ Lee (Champion) vs Brie Bella – Diva’s Championship

Matt B: The Divas Championship will come down to some outside interference. AJ Lee will be the victim by accident and will lose the title. Brie Bell is your new Divas champion.

Ricky: I am a huge fan of AJ Lee and she has had a great run as Woman’s champ but I think it comes to an end this sunday.

Matt W: I still really like AJ and all, but Brie has really been growing on me in recent weeks. She has become more than eye candy, and has turned into a very good in ring performer. Looks like Daniel Bryan has rubbed of on her. That being said, I think her dominance over AJ in recent weeks says that she will not get that title right now, and AJ will hold onto it for a little while longer. Hopefully so the Anti-Diva herself can take it off her…

Goldust and Cody Rhodes (Champions) vs The Shield vs The Uso Brothers – WWE Tag Team Championships

Matt B: Tag Team Titles will stay with Goldust and Cody after they find a way to handle the Shield one more time. The Usos will be no factor in the match.

Ricky: I don’t think any of these teams benefit from this victory more than the Shield. So give me them to win the match and hang onto the titles for a little while longer.

Matt W: Team Brhodes is just getting started, and even the great Shield can’t slow them down. Goldy and Cody are two of the hottest things in WWE right now, and if their new mixed theme has anything to say about it, they’ll hold those belts awhile longer. But be prepared for an off the charts match with three insanely talented teams.

CM Punk vs Ryback and Paul Heyman (2-on-1 Handicap Hell in a Cell match)

Matt B: I don’t know exactly where WWE is going with this Punk and Heyman series honestly, it seems to be running out of gas. I’m going to say something happens and allows Heyman and Ryback to win this match, but really anything is possible.

Ricky: This is really about Heyman and CM Punk. Punk will win this matchup and I think an after match beat down by Ryback will lead to Big E to come out and start an anticipated fued between the two.

Matt W: I love CM Punk. He’s my favorite wrestler. I love Paul Heyman. He’s my favorite personality. Something’s got to give here, and my guess is it’s Heyman and Ryback. Whenever you see the deck stacked against a babyface like this, I always expect the babyface to come out on top. Punk won last year in the Cell vs Ryback, and I expect another win this year. From there on, I see this feud ending, and Punk getting back into the WWE title picture, unless he takes time off to heal his injuries.

(C) Alberto Del Rio vs John Cena – World Heavyweight Championship

Matt B: Cena’s arm is not ready for full-time wrestling and for that reason I feel ADR win this match somehow. They will never make Cena look bad, so you can expect something like a ref stopping the match because they don’t want the arm damaged.

Ricky: So does John Cena come back and win the Heavyweight title or does he lose the match because of some weird finish. I think he doesn’t win the belt back but wins the match via DQ.

Matt W: I call shenanigans. Something is going to happen here, and I don’t think it will be Cena walking out cleanly with the World Title. Del Rio’s time has come up, and I think we need a new savior, an Intellectual Savior if you will. That’s right, I think tonight is the night that Damien Sandow walks out with the World Heavyweight Title, either over an exhausted Del Rio or beat up Cena. The Era of Intellect is almost upon us…

Daniel Bryan vs Randy Orton – Vacant WWE Championship

Matt B: The WWE  Championship match is the one I’m looking forward to the most obviously. I don’t have a really good feel on how this plays out, but I’m going to say we still don’t get a clear-cut champion. Michael’s does something to help Bryan and HHH over rules it. There will be no clear-cut winner.

Ricky: Bryan should win, period. Will he? I am not sure. I think Michael’s helps Bryan win the title with some Sweet Chin Music to Orton.

Matt W: Time for this little feud between Bryan and Orton to be over, but the feud between Bryan and the Authority to continue. There are so many ways this match can go. What does Big Show do? What about Triple H and Stephanie McMahon? How does HBK, or HB-Shizzle, referee this match? I’ll just keep it simple and say that Daniel Bryan walks out WWE Champion on Sunday, but his beef with the Authority isn’t over yet.

Burning Question: COO Triple H and Shawn Michael’s had their first confrontation on WWE TV this past Monday Night Raw, over Randy Orton and more specifically Daniel Bryan. With these two best friends a bit at odds with each other, how do you see their situation playing out down the line?

Matt B: I think they build up a feud between HHH and Michael’s as they are desperate for a huge feed right now and don’t have the talent. I see it some how playing into a match with HHH and Michael’s involved.

Ricky: I can really see Michael’s turning on Bryan and giving him the ol Sweet Chin Music and helping Orton win the title. But I don’t think it benefits him to be a bad guy on TV unless he is coming back for a regulary role week to week. I hate either of these guys being the vocal point of the program but I think they are here to stay, I look for Michael’s to help Bryan win the Title and building something up to Wrestlemania.

Matt W: This is going to be a slow burning kind of deal. I honestly believe that Shawn Michaels vs Triple H, will be one of the marquee matches on the Wrestlemania 30 card, but we have a way to go before then. We’ll see these two become more and more at odds with each other as we inch closer to Wrestlemania.

NBA Preview 2013: Brooklyn Nets


Welcome back to another edition of the Sports Script’s NBA preview, for the 2013-14 season. This has been a long running series but we’re nearing the end of the line. Yesterday I covered the Houston Rockets, my number six team in the league, and what their chances were this year, so make sure you give that a read, along with the rest of them. Today we have a team that got better almost instantly, and became a title contender through one big trade. They are literally a team with a one year window to win, so they have to get going, and most importantly stay healthy. My number five team, is the Brooklyn Nets.

Key Additions: Kevin Garnett (Trade via Celtics) Paul Pierce (Trade via Celtics) Andrei Kirilenko (Signed via Wolves) Jason Terry (Trade via Celtics) Alan Anderson (Signed via Raptors) Shaun Livingston (Signed via Wizards) Mason Plumlee (Draft) Jason Kidd (Played for the Knicks, Now Coaching)

Key Departures: Gerald Wallace (Celtics) Kris Humphries (Celtics) C.J. Watson (Pacers) MarShon Brooks (Celtics) Keith Bogans (Celtics) Jerry Stackhouse (Retired) Kris Joseph (Celtics) Avery Johnson (Fired)

Projected Starters: PG Deron Williams, SG Joe Johnson, SF Paul Pierce, PF Kevin Garnett, C Brook Lopez

Oh the Brooklyn Nets. This is such an interesting team, because it went from a middle of the pack team, destined for first round or second round exit for the next three or four years, to a title contender for probably just one. They made the decision to trade for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, along with Jason Terry, to help them win this season, because if you ask me, those guys have just one year of high level play left in their rejuvenated bodies. They only managed to give up Gerald Wallace’s awful contract, Kris (Former) Kardashian, MarShon Brooks, Keith Bogans, Kris Joseph and a few first round picks to the Celtics which is about a big a win in a trade as possible, but only if they win this year, because then things will really start to go down hill, and make those picks really interesting. They hired Jason Kidd this offseason, before the big Celtics trade happened, and while Kidd was one of the smartest players on the court, he’s going to have his hands full with players only a year or two his junior. This isn’t something that you want, a rookie head coach with no prior NBA coaching experience as an assistant, leading your legitimate NBA championship contender. Andrei Kirilenko was a massive addition, especially to a front court that doesn’t play very good defense, and at the price of only $3 million, it’s an absolute steal. I wonder if having a Russian owner had anything to do with it… After that they grabbed a few decent bench players in Shaun Livingston, Mason Plumlee the first round pick and Alan Anderson coming over from Toronto.

The starting lineup is about as complete a lineup as you will see in the NBA, from point guard to center, legitimate starters in each slot. Deron Williams had a bounce back year for the Nets last year, and now is going to be playing for the most talented team he’s ever been on, so it will be interesting to see how a somewhat pass first guard deal with so many other weapons on the court. He’s going to have to feed a lot of mouths in order for this team to be successful. Joe Johnson is playing in his second year as a Net, and while he didn’t have a terrible year last year, he didn’t live up to expectations coming in from a big trade in Atlanta. He’s a score first, midrange to long range shooter, not the most efficient player in the league, but he can fill up the basket, and is one of the top eight or so shooting guards in the league. Paul Pierce is the new addition at the small forward, and he’s going to provide some real leadership to this team, and a championship pedigree along with Kevin Garnett.  The back to the basket, fadeaway game isn’t the same as it used to be, but Pierce is still a very capable catch and shoot player, and is also still able to go off the dribble a few steps and be able to shoot over the top of his defenders. He has what I like to call “Old Man Game”. The kind of basketball style where he just seems to move so slowly, but everything has a meaning, and a goal when he does it, and he can get a shot off at almost any angle. Kevin Garnett won’t be doing much down on the post, but he’s still going to be the vicious defender that always has been, and paired with Brooks Lopez, his defense will be even more valuable. He’ll be doing a lot of covering for Lopez’s defensive lapses and inability to rebound. He’s still going to be looking for that midrange jumper game that he’s known for, but on the Nets he won’t be relied on to do much of the scoring. Brooks Lopez might actually be the most important player on the team, and has become a top three center in the NBA, and one its best big men. He had a huge year last year, and now that his rebounding and defensive deficiencies will be somewhat masked with Kevin Garnett beside him, he can continue to progress as a player, especially on offense. Shots might be even rarer to come by with Garnett and Pierce on the floor, but Lopez’s post game will be a huge need for this team, especially with so many perimeter players who don’t love to get into the lane and get easy baskets.

The Brooklyn Nets have all of a sudden managed to acquire one of the most talented teams in the league, and while things look great right now, this is a delicate team that’s fortunes could go south with just one thing going wrong. What is Deron Williams wrist problems flare back up? What if Pierce and Garnett are no more than glorified role players at this point in their careers? And what if they aren’t even able to stay healthy? Can Jason Kidd really lead a title contender with no coaching experience before this? So many questions, but this is a team with a ton of talent, so I believe they will have some good success anyway. However this is not a team good enough to go up against the Heat, but they will give them a run for their money if they come across each other in the playoffs.

Final Prediction: 55-27, 3rd Eastern Conference

The Sports Script Week 8 Predictions

We here at the Sports Script are getting our writers together and give you our weekly Predictions for each game. We are going to keep track throughout the season to see how well our team does. Each week we have a guest that hopes on board and picks the weeks games as well, this week we have a good friend of the Sports Script, Mr. Brian Tabor. You can find him on twitter @bdtitup.

Last week our top picker of the week was Matt Wincherauk with a record of 10-5. Our guest picker of the week @RumfordJohnny from ended going 6-9.

Matt Bell is still the overall leader with 72 wins on the season.

Week 8 Predictions

Week 8 Matt B. Matty W. Chad Mandi Ricky Brian
Panthers vs. Bucs Panthers Panthers Panthers Panthers Panthers Panthers
Saints vs. Bills Saints Saints Saints Saints Saints Saints
Cowboys vs. Lions Lions Cowboys Lions Lions Cowboys Lions
Eagles vs. Giants Eagles Eagles Giants Eagles Eagles Eagles
Browns vs. Chiefs Chiefs Chiefs Chiefs Chiefs Chiefs Chiefs
49ers vs. Jaguars 49ers 49ers 49ers 49ers 49ers 49ers
Dolphins vs. Patriots Patriots Patriots Patriots Patriots Patriots Patriots
Jets vs. Bengals Bengals Bengals Bengals Bengals Bengals Bengals
Falcons vs. Cardinals Cardinals Falcons Falcons Falcons Falcons Falcons
Redskins vs. Broncos Broncos Broncos Redskins Broncos Broncos Broncos
Steelers vs. Raiders Raiders Steelers Steelers Steelers Steelers Steelers
Packers vs. Vikings Packers Packers Packers Packers Packers Packers
Monday Night
Seahawks vs. Rams Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks
Record  72-35 69-38 63-44 64-43 63-44 58-49

Also don’t forget to check out the Sports Script podcast every Sunday morning at 11am (EST) as we answer any and all start and sit questions.
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NBA Preview 2013: Houston Rockets

Welcome back to the Sports Script’s 2013-14 NBA preview, a running preview of all 32 NBA teams, detailing their fortunes this season. Yesterday I covered the Los Angeles Clippers, the better Los Angeles team, and what they are capable of doing this season, so make sure to check that one out, along with the rest of the teams. Today we cover the team who made the single biggest acquisition of the offseason, and brought a whole bunch more hatred towards their organization. Let’s delve into the Houston Rockets, and what this season might bring them.

Key Additions:  Dwight Howard (Signed via Lakers) Omri Casspi (Signed via Cavaliers) Reggie Williams (Signed via Warriors) Marcus Camby (Signed via Knicks) Isaiah Canaan (Draft)

Key Departures: Thomas Robinson (Blazers) Carlos Delfino (Bucks) Royce White (76ers) James Anderson (76ers)

Projected Starters: PG Jeremy Lin, SG James Harden, SF Chandler Parsons, PF Greg Smith, C Dwight Howard

The Rockets might have won the offseason, purely on the fact that they got the best player on the market, a top five player in the NBA, and the best center in the game of basketball since Shaquille O’Neal dominated in the early 2000s. But not everyone is too excited with this move simply because Howard was such a train wreck in Los Angeles last year. Listen, Howard might be one of the most childish players the NBA has ever seen, but he’s a great player, and the atmosphere in LA just did not fit him, and it was best for both sides that he got out after only one year. He didn’t fit with Gasol down low, because he’s a player that demands the ball, and needs it to be successful in the paint, while he was having to deal with the purely jumpshooting Kobe Bryant. He now moves to Houston where he’s paired with another All-NBA shooting guard in James Harden, but this time around it WILL work better. The other pieces they added included forwards Reggie Williams from the Bobcats, good shooter from three and a half decent defender, and Omri Casspi from the Cavaliers. Marcus Camby came from Toronto after being dealt by New York, and will be looking for one last chance at a ring by being Howard’s backup. Isaiah Canaan was drafted in the second round by the team, but he brings great perimeter defense, something that no one in the starting lineup possesses. The guys that did leave were almost all casualties of garnering more cap room in order to sign Howard to a max deal. Robinson could’ve fit in with this team, but just wasn’t given time, Delfino is a real blow in terms of perimeter defense and shooting. Royce White never panned out because of his unwillingness to cooperate with teams, and James Anderson won’t be missed much either. While they weren’t able to add depth like the Blazers and Clippers, they got the star of the free agent market, and that’s what really matters in a star driven league.

The starting lineup has some really nice pieces, but also a couple really questionable ones as well. The real question is at power forward, and while I have Greg Smith slotted there, plenty of other basketball sites have guys like Terrence Jones, Donatas Motiejunas and even Chandler Parson plugged there, with Francisco Garcia playing shooting guard and James Harden at small forward. I highly doubt we see that last one, but the other three options are all options, and that’s scary. Jones got almost no time in his first year as a player, and we’re not sure if he’s ready yet to play big minutes, and Motiejunas is also unproven, despite being another highly touted player in his draft year. Greg Smith got the most time out of them all last year, but he’s a really limited player, and I have no idea how you expect teams to play Howard fairly with Smith, or those other two on the floor. Who will you care about? Howard? Or the three headed monster of Jones, Motiejunas and Smith? It doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. Next question lies at point guard with Jeremy Lin, and whether or not he can be a real point guard in this league. The guy is a terrible defender, and we’re really not sure if he’s capable of actually being a starting point guard, because even his offense pales in comparison to the likes of the other point guard driven NBA. Other than those two, you’re set to be a contender. Chandler Parsons has the best contact in the NBA, and is one of the most underrated small forwards in the league with his excellent shot, and athleticism. We talked about Howard, and how he will draw a ton of attention opening up that perimeter for the next guy to make a living. James Harden. The best shooting guard in basketball, with Kobe hurt. He came over in one of the most lopsided trades in NBA history, and has made himself into a superstar. He’s a great shooter, capable slasher, and gets to the free throw line at a ridiculous rate. This guy is a star, and with Dwight Howard maybe playing Robin to Harden’s Batman, these guys could be primed for a run.

The Rockets are young, well coached, and finally have the real talent to win in the NBA. “Dork Elvis” Daryl Morey finally has his guys, after years of trying to acquire superstars, and now he has two of them in Harden and Howard. The Rockets are ready to really make it on the big stage, and while I don’t it’s possible in year one, they are going to be a very good team for a very long time in this league.

Final Prediction: 55-27, 3rd Western Conference

Week 8 Fantasy Football Must Start/Must Sit

So my Must starts last week were 2-5 and my Must sits were 6-1, I am just not sure how to feel about that this week. Each week a new QB comes out and scores more points than Tom Brady, we’ve lost Reggie Wayne, Doug Martin (Possibly) and Sam Bradford for the season. Injuries are just brutal, not just in real football but in Fantasy Football. I am thankful that I have not been hit with multiple injury bugs on one team. I have been hit with injuries just not 2 or 3 guys on one team like some have. With all the injuries and some big time players on bye-weeks, some fantasy owners (including myself) are looking for some big time help in week 8. Before we dive into that let’s take a look at how my Must Start/Must Sit did last week.

Starts that made me look good

Mike Wallace – 5 catches 76 yards (12 yards rushing) Wallace was heavily targeted (10); he didn’t find the endzone but did do the damage this week.
Green Bay Packers Defense – 13 points, 216 yards, 3 sacks and 1 turnover

Starts that made me look bad

Jay Cutler – He got a whopping -1 point this week. Hopefully he does have a speedy recovery from the groin injury.
Ray Rice – Totaled 72 yards but didn’t find the endzone for the 2nd straight game.
DeAngelo Williams – Great matchup and just didn’t produce off it. 59 total yards.
T.Y. Hilton – 2 catches 27 yards. The targets where there (11) just didn’t produce with them.
Antonio Gates – 6 catches 31 yards – Gates had 6 catches but the yards weren’t there to back it up.

Sits that made me look good

Bilal Powell – 6 yards – Not only was he not effective, Ivory took over the full load and Powell may be in jeopardy of losing his job.
Dwayne Bowe – 5 catches for 66 yards – In PPR leagues he was solid and in Standard he has produced what he has been, not much of anything.
Anquan Boldin – 5 catches for 74 yards – Same as Bowe, PPR leagues he was good but Standard it was his 3rd straight single digit output.
Garrett Graham – 3 catches 38 yards – Had a tough matchup this week, going forward he should produce better Fantasy stats.
Cleveland Browns Defense – 31 points, 1 sack and 0 turnovers – Just manhandled by a better team.

Sits that made me look bad

Le’Veon Bell – 99 total yards, he didn’t find the endzone but looked really good against a tough Ravens Run D.
Matt Ryan – 20/26 for 273 yards and 3 TDs – Ryan proved me wrong and worthy of a start against a solid Bucs D.

Week 8 Fantasy Football Must Start

Robert Griffin III vs. Denver Broncos

So last week against a depleted Bears D, we finally saw the RGIII we all wanted when we drafted him. He also had his highest output of the season on the ground with 84 yards on 11 carries (also a season high). He is facing a Broncos team fresh off their 1st loss of the season to the Colts. Even better news for RGIII owners is that the Broncos give up the most Fantasy points to opposing QBs. Whether the game is high scoring or not, we will see a lot of points from him this week.

Russell Wilson vs. St. Louis Rams

Outside of the two fumbles (he does have 5 on the season) Wilson had a tremendous game throwing the ball against a pretty good Cardinals D. This week he matches up against a St. Louis team that is going to have a change at QB with Bradford out for the year. The Seahawks force turnovers and that can mean nothing but good things for Wilson. Great matchup for him this week and even better we get to watch it happen on Monday Night Football.

Knowshon Moreno vs. Washington Redskins

Raise your hand if you thought Moreno would be leading the league in TDs (8)? Sit down you are all liars. Moreno has been nothing short of amazing for Fantasy Owners this season. He has a TD in 4 straight games (totaling 6 in that span) and has a firm grip on this RB job that no one thought he would have. Guess Moreno owners? The Redskins have given up 8 rushing TDs this season and 22 Fantasy PPG to RBs. Start Moreno in every format known to man this week.

Eddie Lacy vs. Minnesota Vikings

Lacy carries over the last 3 games 23, 23 and 22, he has totaled 301 yards rushing over the last 3 games (most in the NFL in that time frame). He also received 7 targets out of the backfield in week 7 due to all the injuries the Packers have on offense. With Finley out for a few games and James Jones still dealing with injuries, this team is going to rely on Lacy and he has stepped up to the plate.

Terrence Williams vs. Detroit Lions

He was on my Sleeper list for 2 straight weeks and came through with TDs. It’s time for him to be on the big boy list of the Must Starts. He has caught a TD in 3 straight games and faces a Lions team that has given up TDs in 4 straight games to WRs (including a big 80 yards bomb to AJ Green last week). I like Williams and think he is a top 20 play this week. If for any reason he is available on any of your waiver wires, he is a must pick up right now!

Pierre Garcon vs. Denver Broncos

Love the pair of RGIII/Garcon this week against Denver. Garcon hasn’t reached the endzone since week 4 but has been heavily targeted in the passing game. WRs have found pay dirt 8 times this year against the Broncos and I expect Garcon to make that nine.

Larry Fitzgerald vs. Atlanta Falcons

In what was supposed to be a huge bounce back season for Fitzgerald, it has been just as frustrating owning him this year as any year in the past. But this week a great matchup is store for Fitzgerald and we can only hope that Carson Palmer will take advantage of this and throw to Cardinals and not the Falcons this week. Even though you may be frustrated, this is a week where you have to start him.

Tony Gonzalez vs. Arizona Cardinals

When the Cardinals give up TDs to tight ends they do it right. 4 times they have given up 2 touchdowns to TEs in one game. They are coming off back to back games in doing so; last week was a frustrating week to own Gonzo as he only produced 2 catches on 4 targets for 30 yards. Teams are going to key in on him with the injuries to White and Julio but this week’s matchup is too hard to turn down. Stick with him this week and expect big numbers in return.

Carolina Panther vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Panthers after spending a few weeks on my Sleepers piece, have made it to the big time and made my Must Start Defense of week 8. The Panthers D is giving up only 13 PPG (1st in the NFC), 19 sacks and they have forced 14 total turnovers. The Bucs have given up the ball 10 times this year and QBs have been sacked 14 times. All the Thursday night games have been a bit sluggish, so the Panthers will have a field day against this Bucs team that’s going to be without their best RB in Doug Martin.

Week 8 Fantasy Football Must Sit

Terrelle Pryor vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

After the bye the Steelers D has awoken from total abomination. They are 2-0 after the bye and have given up only 17 points in two games against QBs. Even though there is a lot of QBs on a bye week this week, I still don’t like this matchup for Pryor. Only start in 2QB leagues this week.

DeAngelo Williams vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs are only one of two teams that have yet to give up a TD to a RB. But hey, Williams owners also know that he has yet to find the endzone this year either. I really don’t like this matchup for him and don’t expect him to find much running room on Thursday night.

Jacquizz Rodgers vs. Arizona Cardinals

Rodgers found the endzone through the air on Sunday twice but couldn’t muster up any rushing yards, totaling only 16 on 8 carries. Cardinals have been rock solid only giving up 12 fantasy points a game to RBs this year. Rodgers is an easy must sit for week 8.

Josh Gordon vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Fantasy Owners (me included) just want a QB that will get Gordon the ball and get it to him regularly. Weeden is just not that guy and he has the unfortunate opportunity of going into Kansas City and playing against the #1 defense in football. It’s really hard to decided and sit your stud but this is the week I would take a look at better matchups.

Kenbrell Thompkins vs. Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins are the only team in football that has yet to give up a TD to opposing WR. With the way Brady has played lately, I don’t expect that to change after this week either. Thompkins has 4 single points Fantasy games this year and this week will make it 5.

Jared Cook vs. Seattle Seahawks

After any amazing week 1 performance, everyone thought we finally saw the Jared Cook we all have been waiting for. He totaled 24 points in standard leagues (31 in PPR) in week 1; he has 19 points (35 in PPR) since then. Cook is facing a Seahawks D that is very good against TEs (5 PPG). He isn’t worth a start this week.

New Orléans Saints Defense vs. Buffalo Bills

I don’t expect the Bills to beat the Saints but I think this going game will be competitive this week. The Bills have scored 20 or more points in every game this season. The Saints have been good but not great on defense this year. I would look for a better option on the wire this week (Panthers, Steelers or Falcons).

Also don’t forget to check out the Sports Script podcast every Sunday morning at 11am (EST) as we answer any and all start and sit questions.

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NBA Preview 2013: Los Angeles Clippers

UnknownWelcome back to the Sports Script, and another NBA preview, as we inch our way closer to the start of the NBA season. Yesterday we had the Chicago Bulls covered, so make sure you give that read before delving into this one. Today we had the team with maybe the best offseason off any team in the NBA, and resigned their superstar to a long-term deal. Let’s talk about the Los Angeles Clippers.

Key Additions: J.J. Redick (Traded via Bucks) Jared Dudley (Traded via Suns) Darren Collison (Signed via Mavericks) Antawn Jamison (Signed via Lakers) Byron Mullens (Signed via Bobcats) Reggie Bullock (Draft) Doc Rivers (Traded via Celtics)

Key Departures: Eric Bledsoe (Suns) Caron Butler (Bucks) Chauncey Billups (Pistons) Ronny Turiaf (Grizzlies) Grant Hill (Retired)

Projected Starters: PG Chris Paul, SG JJ Redick, SF Jared Dudley, PF Blake Griffin, C DeAndre Jordan

I love the Clippers offseason so damn much. They added JJ Redick, a guy who just happens to be one of the very best shooters in the NBA. They brought in Jared Dudley in that same trade with the Bucks and Suns, a player capable of hitting threes, and playing very good defense. Darren Collison was signed from the Mavs, and while he wasn’t able to make it as a starting point guard, he is a more than qualified back up. Antwan Jamison hopefully has just a little bit left in the tank at this point, but he can provide at least a bit of offense in a pinch. Byron Mullens isn’t a half bad big man, so long as he decides to stay away from the three-point line. Reggie Bullock was picked later in the draft, and while he doesn’t have a complete skill set to be a starting guard in this league, he’s another very capable shooter to stick in the corner. The biggest move of all might have been the addition of head coach Doc Rivers, who came from Boston. Rivers is a very good coach, and is able to get the most out of all his players, so I expect a huge year from Blake Griffin, someone who stagnated in terms of progression under Vinny Del Negro. Awesome summer for the Clippers.

Looking at the starting lineup, and there really isn’t much star power on the team outside of Paul and Griffin, but this is a very good thing for the Clippers. They have so much depth, and will have almost no infighting among each other, I think the lack of true starters, or big names on the starting lineup will be made up with great team play. Chris Paul is the best point guard in the NBA bar none. No question at this point. He makes everyone around him so much better, only topped by Steve Nash in his MVP days in Phoenix. JJ Redick is a one-dimensional player, but that’s fine, because when you’re as good as he is at shooting, you don’t need much else to be a great, quality player in the NBA. Jared Dudley brings excellent shooting and defense, and the guy behind him on the depth chart, MAtt Barnes does the same stuff at very good level as well. That’s some awesome depth there. Blake Griffin has almost levelled off in terms of his production, but like I said above, should only get better under a coach the caliber of Doc Rivers. He’s a dynamic player on offense, and isn’t as bad at creating his shot as people think. Paul will get him easy shots, and those shooters on the wings, will help open things up in the paint for him to work. The real question of this team lies in DeAndre Jordan. Can he be the franchise centre for the Clippers? I don’t think he can, and his limits as a player on offense, and god awful free throw shooting will be the real killer of this team. Teams will attack Jordan on defense, and show him no respect as an all around player, or at least the smart ones will.

I asked our Ricky Valero to give us some thoughts on what he thinks the Clippers are going to do this season.

With the addition of Doc Rivers, it brings a Championship like attitude to a team that I think lacked just that last season. This is one of the most talented teams in all the NBA but can’t seem to get things together when the time is right. Rivers alone gives them a shot at competing for the top seed in the Western Conference. The loss of Eric Bledsoe is tough but the addition of Redick and Dudley, this team still has the depth to make some moves. I look for the Clippers to challenge for the #1 seed but falling short of it by finishing behind the Spurs and the Grizzlies. But I do like for them to win the Western Conference and make it to the NBA Finals.

This is a very good team, and like a bunch of other West teams, they loaded up big time this offseason. The depth is something that all good championship teams have, and the Clippers might have the NBA’s very best bench. This is a team that emphasizes team ball, instead of individual success, and that’s why Rivers was brought in. He can get the most out of all these role players, and make this team a true contender.

Final Predictions: 54-28, 4th Western Conference

The Sports Script World Series Preview

The World Series stage is set between arguably two of baseball’s most historic franchises. The St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox both won their respective league championship series in 6 games and will meet Wednesday night for game 1. The two teams are both 97 and 65 on the year and are no stranger to facing each other in the World Series. The Red Sox swept through the Cardinals in the 2004 World Series after losing to the Cardinals in 1946 and 1967. The winner of this World Series regardless of who it will be only the third team to win 3 World Series in a 10 year span.

The Red Sox made the turn from one of baseballs worst teams last year, to the best in the American League this year. The change of managers bringing in John Farrell to lead them changed the attitude in the club house for a team that was full of turmoil last year. The attitude change Farrell brought with him as proven to be just what the Red Sox needed as they are now on top again. The Red Sox have several veteran guys like Pedroia, Ortiz, Ellsbury, Napoli and others who lead their team at the plate. They have a solid pitching staff who were 11th in ERA this year. They will need for the back-end of the rotation in Peavy and Bucholtz to pitch up their potential in this series. The Red Sox will be faced with not having the DH when they play in St. Louis which does hurt them slightly having to take Napoli or Ortiz out of the line up. The Red Sox have an incredible bullpen and they need to get the games in their hands with lead to close out games if they want to win the World Series.

The Cardinals were suppose to be rebuilding when Albert Pujols bolted in free agency two years ago. They didn’t rebuild instead they just reloaded and were a game away from being in the World Series last year after blowing a 3-1 lead to the Giants. They wouldn’t make the same mistake this year as they closed out the Dodgers in 6 and are back looking for their 2nd title in only 3 years. The Cardinals have one of the best pitching staffs in baseball coming in with the 2nd best ERA on the year. The most appealing part of that stat is most of that occurred with Michael Wacha down in the minor leagues. Wacha is no minor leaguer at this points in fact you could argue that he’s just as much an ace now as Wainwright is. The Cardinals much like the Red Sox will have to worry about what kind of pitching they will get out of Joe Kelly and Lance Lynn once they pitch Wainwright and Wacha. They get a huge boost in the batting order as it looks like Allen Craig is going to be healthy enough to DH for them in Boston after missing the later part of the year and all of the playoffs up until this point. Craig is arguably one of the best hitters in clutch situations and should be huge in the World Series if he’s able to come back anywhere close to the guy who hit over .300 this year. The Cardinals need their “aces” in Wainwright and Wacha to continue to pitch the way they have in the playoffs and if they do that in the 4 games they pitch the Cardinals have a good chance of winning the World Series.


I’m going with the Cardinals in 7 games as I just trust their pitching staff to keep the Red Sox bats at bay.

This is going to be a fun one to watch whether you like the Cardinals, Red Sox, or are just a fan of baseball. It’s not often you see the two best teams in a sport make it to the championship, but baseball have given us that this year.

Week 8 Fantasy Football Sleepers

Week 7 brought us another week of Fantasy Football surprises and some guys that we expect to go crazy go crazy. Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson connected for 9 catches for 155 yards and 2 TDs, Vincent Jackson caught 2 TDs for the 2nd straight week and Harry Douglas showed us that Matt Ryan may still be fantasy relevant by catching 7 balls for 149 yards and a touchdown. Week 8 presents some big test for a lot of Fantasy owners as guys like Ray Rice, Arian Foster, Brandon Marshall and Andrew Luck are on a bye this week. So there I see a lot of plug and plays this week and I will take an in-depth look at the guys I think you should target as sleepers for week 8. Before I do that, let’s take a look and see how my sleepers for week 7 performed.

Sleepers that made me look good

Stevan Ridley – 53 total yards and a TD – Ridley found the endzone for the 2nd straight week.
Terrence Williams – 6 catches 71 yards and a TD – Williams is becoming a favorite of Romo, can he make it 4 straight with a TD this week.
Reggie Wayne – 5 catches 50 yards – PPR leagues he was more successful with 10 fantasy points. Wayne got hurt and is now out for the season.
Carolina D – 15 points, 4 sacks and 2 TOs – Panthers D is legit and here to stay. Another week on  the sleeper list and another week with a great start.

Sleepers that made me look bad

Nick Foles – 11/29 80 yards – Had a terrible day on the field and ended up with a concussion.
Jay Cutler – 3/8 28 yards and 1 INT – Cutler had a great matchup and ended up getting hurt. Tough day all around for players.
Scott Chandler – 2 catches 18 yards – Just couldn’t take advantage of a great matchup and let me down this week.

Week 8 Fantasy Football Sleepers (Bye Weeks: Bears, Titans, Colts, Chargers, Ravens & Texans)

Ryan Tannehill vs. New England Patriots

Prior to facing Geno Smith and the Jets, the Patriots D had given up an average of 12 Fantasy Points to QBs all season. Geno took advantage of a Patriots D that is reeling from injuries, he threw for 233 yards, rushed for another 32 and totaled 2 TDs. Tannehill is coming to New England with a lot better weapons at his disposal this week. He had a rough outing against the Bills but he still threw for 3 TD passes. If you have Cutler, Luck, Rivers, Flacco or Schaub as your QB, Tannehill has a strong enough matchup that he is a solid bye-week option for them.

Stevan Ridley vs. Miami Dolphins

Ridley had a tough matchup against the Jets in week 7 and found his way to 50 yards on 11 carries and found the endzone for the 2nd straight game. He still lost time to Bolden this week but is finding ways to make the most of his carries. The Dolphins are giving up 20 PPG to RBs this year and they have given up a TD in 3 straight games to RBs. Though it’s still scary to be Belicheck’d but Ridley is a solid start.

Roy Helu Jr. vs. Denver Broncos

Helu Jr. came out of nowhere last week scoring 3 TDs against the Chicago Bears. In the last 3 games Helu is averaging 72 yards a game and as you saw on Sunday he is getting the goal-line looks. There are a lot of top RBs on a bye and he has a matchup against the Broncos who have given up a rushing TD in every game this year. Also if the Redskins get behind early, Helu is the pass catching back out of the backfield as well. He has true sleeper value heading into week 8.

Marques Colston vs. Buffalo Bills

Colston has been Brees targeted 34 times this year, which is good for 2nd most on the team. But he just isn’t finding the endzone. He has 1 TD in 6 games and has had two consecutive games with 1 Fantasy Point (2 and 3 in PPR Leagues). Good news for Colston owners is that the Bills have given up 12 touchdowns to WRs this season. It’s really crazy to consider him a sleeper but with his production this year, he just hasn’t been reliable. I would have him in the lineup this week with a solid matchup coming off the bye.

Jarrett Boykin vs. Minnesota Vikings

He was a sleeper coming into last week’s game with Randall Cobb and James Jones missing from the lineup. Boykins stepped up and got 10 targets, catching 8 of them for 103 yards and a TD. Jones may play this week but with Jermichael Finley sure to miss this week’s game, Boykin will be relevant again this week. The Vikings are giving up the most Fantasy points to WRs this season, so if you have any WR on a bye week Boykins should be at the top of your list this week.

Jordan Reed vs. Denver Broncos

Jordan Reed was a favorite of RGIII this weekend targeting him a team high 9 times and Reed caught all 9 for 134 yards and a TD. This week the Redskins are going to have to score some points and to do so they are going to have to get Reed involved early and often. The Broncos are in the top 5 for yardage given up to TEs. Reed should have another solid week this week and if he is hanging around on the waivers, I would pick him up this week.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Oakland Raiders

The Steelers have been great since coming off the bye. They have 5 sacks in the last 2 games as well as forced 2 INTs. The Raiders are coming off a bye and they rank 32nd in football throwing the ball, which isn’t good since they are facing a Steelers team in the top 5 against the run. The Steelers are playing great D and I like them this week even on the road.

Also don’t forget to check out the Sports Script podcast every Sunday morning at 11am (EST) as we answer any and all start and sit questions.

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