Waiver Wire Wizardry: Pickups for Week 14

It's time!
It’s time!

The fantasy playoffs are here! Read this thoroughly to make sure you are making the right additions to help win your league! You can thank me later with a portion of your winnings, of course.

Quarterback:

Johnny Manziel (11% Y!): Ladies and gentlemen, it is time. As much as it pains me to say this because I am a fan of Brian Hoyer, Manziel was put in the game late on Sunday at Hoyer’s expense. Manziel threw for just 63 yards but rushed for a touchdown. Head coach Mike Pettine declined to comment on who would be starting next weekend, but it’s become evident that Manziel gives the Browns the best chance to win. If Manziel does indeed get the nod, everyone in this offense gets a boost, including Josh Gordon. Considering his ability to run the ball, Manziel could wind up as a borderline QB1 this week. Stay tuned.

Colt McCoy (5% Y!): In a much needed move, RG3 was benched in Washington. Next up? Colt McCoy. The Redskins didn’t win on Sunday, but McCoy had a great day fantasy wise (besides the 4 fumbles, but I digress). He threw for 392 yards and 3 scores in a loss to the Colts. He did lose DeSean Jackson to a leg injury, but it is believed to only be a fibula contusion. Jackson was in a lot of pain but this week in practice will show if he can play or not. Regardless, Andre Roberts would step up in his place, along with a now-healthy Jordan Reed and Pierre Garcon. McCoy is a QB2 play for week 14.

Running Back:

Daniel Herron (47% Y!): “Boom” had a day on Sunday, with 88 yards rushing and a touchdown. He also had 2 catches for 8 yards. Herron and Trent Richardson split the carries evenly but the former played a much better game. I expect Herron to take over lead duties as soon as this week, and should fill the role left by Ahmad Bradshaw. Boom did have another fumble on Sunday, and that’s something he needs to fix right away. If he does, look for him to get more work moving forward and find himself in the RB2 discussion.

LaGarrette Blount (63% Y!): Blount finished Sunday with 10 rushes for 58 yards against Green Bay. He did not have the game many expected against a weak Packers run defense, but still had an impressive 5.8 YPC and got the majority of New England’s backfield carries (Bolden 3, Gray 1, Vereen 3). Blount will probably get the majority of the reps in the power run game moving forward, but again, the Patriots are tough to figure out and it’s hard to rely on any of their backs from week to week. He needs to be owned, and warrants flex discussion in the immediate future.

Latavius Murray (49% Y!): Murray did not play on Sunday, and it’s probably good he didn’t. The Raiders were demolished 52-0 by the Rams. Murray is out with a concussion he suffered in his breakout game last Thursday night. He is progressing and has a good chance to be ready for Sunday. Murray will be worth a look this week, but be aware that Oakland will face a tough 49ers run defense. His ceiling is high, but his matchups over the remainder of the season are not favorable. He’ll be a low-end flex play upon his return.

Wide Receiver:

Donte Moncrief (4% Y!): Have a day, Mr. Moncrief! The talented rookie wideout is yet another example of how this year’s draft class was one of the best in recent memory. He had a 3/134/2 line against the Redskins on Sunday, scoring on 2 long plays. Moncrief is clearly entrenched as Andrew Luck’s number 3 receiver and weekly upside play, although consistent production may be hard to count on. If you’re looking for a weekly home run threat, he’s probably your man.

Kenny Stills (41% Y!): Since Brandon Cooks went down with an injury, Kenny Stills has been money and has more than picked up the slack. Stills dropped a 5/162/1 line on the Steelers Sunday as Drew Brees targeted him 6 times. Many in the industry thought that Marques Colston would be the one to benefit from the Cooks injury, but Stills has been the one to step up. The speedster is now a weekly WR2 and should be owned across the board.

Robert Woods (6% Y!): Woods is a bit of a wild card. Over the past two games, Woods has had a 13/189/1 line with 18 targets. With opposing teams being so concerned with stopping Sammy Watkins, Kyle Orton has had to resort to throwing the ball elsewhere. Woods is looking like that guy, ad he was targeted 7 times on Sunday. Since being taken by the Bills in the 2013 draft, Woods has had to deal with terrible quarterback play in Buffalo. Not void of talent, this could be the chance for him to show the league what he can do.

Tight End:

Jordan Reed (49% Y!): Reed finished week 13 with 9 receptions and 123 yards on 11 targets. Colt McCoy seems to like throwing to him and there has never been a question of ability here. If healthy, he’s a player you want to start, especially considering the dearth of talent at tight end. As long as he is on the field, he’s a TE1 and could continue to produce very good numbers for the remainder of the season.

Jordan Cameron (54% Y!): Cameron has sat the last 5 weeks with a concussion. But the good news is that he practiced all week and could practice again this week which should put him on track to return in week 14. With Johnny Manziel presumably taking over the offense, Cameron could put up great stats with a dynamic signal caller under center. As with Reed, Cameron is a TE1 when he is on the field and could be good to go for a fantasy playoff run.

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/cir1CA

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

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

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Fantasy Football Boom or Bust: Week 13

Even though Ellington has struggled in recent weeks, he should used heavily by Arizona in week 13
Though Ellington has struggled in recent weeks, he should be used heavily by Arizona in week 13

This is my favorite week of the year. There are endless amounts of food, some great games, no more bye weeks and major playoff implications (both real and fantasy)! To make things even better there are four games featuring many of the top fantasy players that are lining up to be shootouts. The games I am talking about are the Bears/Lions, Cowboys/Eagles, Saints/Steelers and Patriots/Packers. If only given these eight teams you could make multiple solid fantasy squads. When it’s all said and done I think we are in for a week where we see huge fantasy numbers and some very full stomachs. Before we dive into my picks for week 13 let’s see how I did last week.

I posted a solid 9-5-3 record in week 12 with McCoy, Steve Smith, and the Colts defense highlighting my boom picks. Even though Roddy White and Kenny Stills didn’t have “boom” games they were very solid contributors, hauling in 9 and 8 catches for 96 and 98 yards respectively. I was expecting big things from Jay Cutler against the Bucs, but was disappointed when he put up a dismal 130 yards passing with only one touchdown. Denard Robinson was another guy who had a great matchup but was very limited on the ground and had another early fumble. I was almost perfect on the bust side of things last week. Stafford, Ingram, Hopkins, Gates, Tamme, and the Lions D all had awful performances. The only player that I missed on was Golden Tate. Although I wouldn’t say he was a bust, Tate was shut down after the 1st quarter. Like I predicted, Revis followed him all day while Browner and a safety double-teamed Megatron. Tate was still able to break 100 total yards, but I am going to give myself a pat on the back for predicting the Patriot’s gameplan. I am done living in the past. Let’s lace ’em up and get ready for this week’s slate!

Boom:

Ryan Tannehill: I love me a some Tannehill this week. He has looked like a top-ten QB the last few weeks, producing 10 touchdowns to only four turnovers over his last four games. If he can go for 240 yards and 4 touchdowns against the Broncos I see no reason why he can’t do the same against the Jets. Gang green has allowed 2+ passing touchdowns in 10 of 11 games this year.

Andre Ellington: Ellington has rushed for 23, 42, 24 yards and just one touchdown in his last 3 games. With those stats I would normally tell you to stay away from the Cardinal, but he has a very favorable matchup this week against the Falcons. Atlanta is the league’s second worst run defense, giving up 14 touchdowns on the ground. The Cardinal’s offense has struggled since losing Carson Palmer so look for them to lean on Ellington quite a bit.

Tre Mason: Gut call here. Mason has established himself as the lead back in the St. Louis. In 4 very tough matchups against San Fransisco, Denver, Arizona and San Diego, Mason has averaged 87 total yards per game. With the Raiders surrendering an average of 126 rush yards per game, I feel that Mason is primed to break a big run and get into the end zone for the second time this year.

Odell Beckham Jr.: ODB should be a must start on any roster. He is averaging 8 catches for 126 yards over the last four games. Don’t let him being a bit banged up deter you from starting him against the Jags.

Martavis Bryant: I’ve been big on Saints’ shutdown corner Keenan Lewis all year and the other New Orleans corners are awful. While watching Monday night’s game I saw Baltimore’s two Smiths combine for ten catches and 187 yards and none of those catches occurred when Lewis was the man in coverage. Watch for the Saints to give a lot of attention to Antonio Brown as well as putting 8 in the box to stop Le’Veon Bell.

Travis Kelce: Living in Denver I know the Broncos don’t have anyone that can cover him. In their first meeting, Kelce had 4 receptions for 81 yards. The Broncos struggle covering big, athletic tight ends like Gronk, Gates, and Dwayne Allen who have combined for 4 scores this year. If the Chiefs fall behind and have to start passing, Kelce is their number-one option

Colts D/ST: The Redskins have allowed 5+ sacks in each of their last three games. The Colts offense is far superior to the Redskins defense and should give their own defense an early lead and many opportunities to get sacks, cause turnovers and fluster Colt McCoy.

Bust:

Matt Ryan: Matty Ice has been the most consistent quarterback which is great if you are cool with 10-15 points per week. He has thrown multiple touchdowns in only 5 games this year and hasn’t had a 300 yard performance since week 5. It will be tough sledding this week against the Cardinals who blitz more than any other team. The Cardinals have allowed only 5 passing touchdowns in their last 6 games which doesn’t bode well for Ryan and his shaky offensive line.

Ryan Mathews: I love how Mathews looked last week and love him for the playoffs, but this week he faces the best run defense in the league. The Ravens have held teams to 3 rushing touchdowns all year and haven’t surrendered one at home. Don’t expect Mathews to rush for a lot of yards either as the Ravens have only allowed one team to run for 100 yards and that was the Colts way back in week 5 when they ran for 105.

Patriots running backs: Is it going to be Blount? Is it going to be Gray? Is it going to be Vereen? Or maybe the Pats will decide not to run the ball at all. Vereen has some upside in PPR leagues, but for now this is a situation to avoid.

Mike Evans: Evans has a very tough match up vs the Bengals this week. Oh wait, never mind, Mike Evans scores a touchdown every week regardless who the Bucs are playing.

Julio Jones: I hate that I am going against my own advice to never sit a top-10 receiver, but Patrick Peterson has just been playing too well. Julio has not acted like a top receiver this year either, only having 4 games over 100 yards and scoring in 3. With Matt Ryan under pressure in this game I don’t see Julio winning many of his battles against against Arizona’s star corner.

Heath Miller: As bad as the Saints pass defense has been they have been excellent against tight ends. They have allowed just 3 touchdowns to the position in 2014. Miller has become, at best, Big Ben’s fourth option on offense. He has only had more than 50 yards in a game twice all year.

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/ykU7MW

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

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!

Waiver Wire Wizardry: Pickups for Week 13

The final week of the regular season for standard leaguers is upon us. Check your waiver wire to see if any of these players are available and good luck in week 13!

Quarterback:

Ryan Tannehill (66% Y!): After the Broncos lost in stunning fashion to St. Louis last weekend, Miami almost handed Denver a second straight defeat, as the Broncos narrowly won in an offensive showdown. The main reasons Miami nearly upset the Broncos was because of Ryan Tannehill’s play, as he produced 4 touchdowns; 3 through the air and 1 on the ground. Tannehill has been terrific over the past 4 games for the Dolphins, with 10 touchdowns to only 2 picks. He’s made a solid connection with rookie wide receiver Jarvis Landry (see below) and has a terrific matchup this week against the dreadful Jets’ secondary. He is a low-end QB1 that could really help you if you’re on the cusp of a fantasy playoff appearance.

Running Back:

Murray
Is there finally a member of the Raiders worth using in fantasy circles?

Latavius Murray (24% Y!): This man set the world on fire last Thursday, rushing 4 times for 112 yards and 2 scores in only one half of football. He went down with a concussion, but it was a Thursday night game and this is Murray’s first ever concussion. He should have no problem getting cleared by Friday and will likely be ready to go against a putrid Rams defense. Head coach Tony Sporano indicated that after this performance, Murray would be granted even more work. He’s got a very high ceiling and could even wind up in the low-end RB2 discussion.

LaGarrette Blount (30% Y!): What a turn of events for Blount over the last 10 days. He was released by the Steelers early last week, only to sign on with New England (the team he played for in 2013) to a 2-year deal. Blount was only expected to be a change of pace back, but with Jonas Gray foolishly oversleeping and missing practice, the keys to the run game were handed over to LaGarrette. He stepped into a familiar offense and showed the same tough running skills that made him so popular with the New England coaching staff a season ago. Gray did not even receive a carry and may be in the doghouse for good, leaving Blount as the primary rusher with Shane Vereen as the main pass catcher. Blount had 2 rushing scores on Sunday aganst a very tough Lions defense and should be considered a low-end RB2 this week.

Wide Receiver:

Jarvis Landry (21% Y!): The “other” LSU rookie wideout (opposite to Odell Beckham Jr.) makes his debut on this list after putting together a string of 4 solid performances. Quickly emerging as Ryan Tannehill’s favorite target, Landry has at least 5 catches in the past 4 games. Further, he’s scores 4 times and has at least 46 yards receiving in each game during that span. He’s putting up solid numbers and is coming off of a 2-touchdown game against Denver on Sunday. In leagues that award extra points for return yards, he’s even more valuable. Landry is a mid-tier WR3 and a low-end WR2 in PPR leagues, thanks to ability to play in the slot.

Kenny Stills (34% Y!): While every other fantasy football writer was predicting Marques Colston to see a big boost in production in the wake of Brandin Cooks’ season ending thumb/hand injury, this guy (points at self) predicted Kenny Stills to see an uptick in production. Stills set a career high in targets (9) and catches (8) in only the first game since Cooks went down. Stills’ uptick in targets along with a terrific rest-of-season schedule make him a receiver to snatch up now and utilize as a higher-end WR3.

Charles Johnson (2% Y!): Johnson began the season as somewhat of a sleeper. He was waived early on by the Browns and was subsequently picked up by the Vikings. Over the past 2 weeks, it seems as though Johnson has emerged as Teddy Bridgewater’s favorite target. During this span, he’s hauled in 9 (18 targets) passes for 139 yards while finding pay dirt once. With Minnesota’s other aerial threats being next to invisible (I’m looking at you, Cordarrelle), Johnson is in a great position to produce. Unfortunately, we have to temper our expectations for him right now and make him a high-end WR4. However, Johnson has a very high ceiling and another great performance could elevate him to WR3 status.

Tight End:

Tim Wright (15% Y!): The man that was supposed to take over for Aaron Hernandez in New England had not really been used much before Sunday. As Rotoworld points out, Wright had never played more than 21 snaps in a game and all of a sudden played 61 out of 81 snaps against the Lions. He had 5 catches for 36 yards and 2 touchdowns on 6 targets. Now this could be a game-specific explosion, or it could be the start of something and owners shouldn’t hesitate. He’s a high-risk start, but probably needs to be owned in more leagues. The tight end class is crap and we know that. Make it happen.

Kyle Rudolph (47% Y!): When it came to potential breakouts in 2014, Rudolph was one of the more talked about players at the tight end position. He’s disappointed so far, mainly due to a groin injury that kept him inactive for all but 4 games, but he is back on the field and should be ready to produce. He played 61 of 69 snaps on Sunday and had 5 targets as well. He should be seen as a low-end TE1 right now who could strike gold for owners who scoop him up for the fantasy playoffs.

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/pSHmt8

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

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

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!

Ricky’s Week 12 5-Pack Fantasy Sleepers

Each week, Ricky Valero will unleash his 5-pack of fantasy sleepers for the upcoming week. These players are going to make for great value plays while you construct your weekly DFS lineups.

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Be sure to tune in to The Sports’s Scripts two weekly fantasy football shows as well! The Fantasy Forecatser: Football is live on Tuesday at 10 PM EST and Sunday morning before kickoff at 11:30 AM EST! You can stream live or subscribe here.

For season-long fantasy football chatter, follow Ricky on Twitter @rickygangster!

The Fantasy Forecaster: Week 12 Start/Sit

Ricky was joined by fellow TSS writer Doug Moore and they discussed their Must Start/Must Sit for week 12.

Here is the short version of the show just telling who we picked.

You can also subscribe/download on iTunes here. Leave a rating, don’t be shy!

Make sure to follow Ricky (@rickygangster) and Doug (@DMM0822) on Twitter!

The guys will be back next week (November 25th)! Get your questions in on Twitter using the #TSS tag.

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.

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

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

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

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:

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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!