Wednesday, September 30, 2015

SEC Week 5 Picks

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In case you missed it, go brush up on last week's picks. Kentucky was the only team that kept me from having a perfect week against the spread. I improved to 9-5 over all. Solid. I should be charging for this.

There are some great games this weekend. Let's take a look! 

Mississippi State at Texas A&M-Sure, State beat Auburn at Jordan-Hare. That isn't saying much. The Tigers are simply dreadful, even against a squad that was drubbed by LSU in their first game. TAMU has quietly been terrific. Auburn's awful offense held State to just one 3rd down conversion in the second half and a total of three points, despite being unable to pressure Prescott. TAMU won't have that issue. Prescott won't be able to sit in the pocket and hope Ross and Wilson get open. On the flip side, State's offense looked suspect at time when Auburn actually opened the playbook, something that Sumlin has no problem with. The line is TAMU -7. I will take TAMU and the point. 

Arkansas at Tennessee- Someone has to get out of the slide. Another strength on strength matchup. Arkansas tried to be balanced. It didn't work. They are going to pound the rock over and over.  With Hatcher out, the lone threat the Hogs have in the air is Henry. Don't be surprised if he leaves the game with over five catches. Tennesse, on the other hand, has struggled up front on offense. They have one of the best WR cores in the conference but have not been able to get it to them. Additionally, Jones abandons the run late.  Tennessee is a 6 point favorite. I will take the Hogs in the upset. 

Ole Miss at Florida- Florida has shown some real moxy, especially last week in a come from behind win against Tennessee. But, I said before the season that Tennessee was the most over-hyped team in the land. Though they are talented, the aren't THAT talented. And, they certainly aren't well coached, especially in tight games. People aren't very high on Ole Miss, despite what they have already accomplished. People need to wake up and realize that Ole Miss may be the best over-all team in the SEC. If they can get any semblance of a running game, they will win the SEC. Line is Florida +7. I will take Ole Miss and the points. I don't think it will even be close.

Alabama at Georgia- This is everyone's game of the week and it is tough to call. When is the last time Alabama has lost two conference games back to back? Has it been since 2007? That's an impressive stat in and of itself. Everyone is sure to recall how good the last meeting between these two was. The only difference in that game and this one may come down to Georgia's Lambert. The one time Virginia QB doesn't look anything like the player who threw more INTs than TDs as a Cavalier. The run game is as good as it has ever been at Georgia. The defense has improved. Alabama, on the other hand, also has questions at QB, which is something they did not have in the last meeting. The real match-up is going to be the Georgia WRs vs the Bama DBs and vice-versa. Neither have played well in the last few years. Every other match-up looks to be strength on strength. But, Malcolm Mitchel is healthy for the first time and he could make the difference. On the other side, UGA keeps replacing starters each and every year in the defensive backfield. No WR has stood out for Alabama. The line is UGA -2. I will take them in the points. 

ESPN Pick Em Week 5

You can find links to all of my Auburn Realist Blog posts here.The Auburn Realist: Overview

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Hey look! I actually scored pretty well this week! Well, I scored above average, so...
It's crazy that I am scoring a little over 50% in a straight pick 'em league even though I am doing better against the spread! 

Anyways, it isn't too late to join up. Check out our group, the Wild Wild SEC West

For the 4th week in a row, Bamamike697 stands on top of the group.  But, he isn't alone at the top. He had a rough week last week, managing to get only half the games. 

WVU at Oklahoma-Is WVU for real? They've come along strong the last few weeks. Usually the Mountaineers start strong but the wheels start to fall off mid-season. Additionally, they haven't fielded a defense...until this year. The defense looks pretty solid. The Sooners have thrown up a ton of points. This game is at Oklahoma and should be a good one.

Minnesota at Northwestern-NW has started out amazing. No one saw them starting 4-0. In fact, most people picked against them for several games. Minnesota may be well-coached, but they haven't shown much ability. Do you ride the Wildcat train one more time? 

Pitt at Virginia Tech-With Connor lost early in the season, Pitt's ability to be a top-tier team evaporated. Virginia Tech looked good at against Ohio State, but hasn't been a decent team since. But, Blacksburg is a tough place to play, even when VT isn't very good.

Alabama at Georgia-Buckle up. This is a straight pick 'em according to the stats. I like Georgia as they seem to be more balanced. 

Kansas State at Oklahoma State-The OSU offense finally returned! Many were wondering where the Cowboys had gone. Kansas State lost so much underrated talent last year and people are finally seeing just how good the QB/WR combo was last year. I like the Cowboys. 

Notre Dame at Clemson-Clemson has been fairly quiet, unlike the Fighting Irish, who have battled through a ton of injuries. Expect last week's game film to catch up to the Irish against a good Clemson team. Playing in Death Valley is huge. I like Clemson....more than most. 

Iowa at Wisconsin-Ferentz really needs to win this game. Wisconsin's run as a top level team looks to be over. I still like the Badgers at home, but this is a much better....and than people think. Iowa is one of the very best against the run and the Badger's haven't been the same. 

Air Force at Navy-Keenan Reynolds finally heated up. Air Force has very little chance in this one. 

Ole Miss at Florida-Not even close. Not even in the Swamp. Ole Miss roles. 

Mississippi State at Texas A&M- While TAMU is due a letdown, last week showed what we knew about State. They just aren't good. Barring a colossal meltdown, TAMU rolls. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

SEC Week 4 Picks

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In case you missed it, go brush up on last week's picks
A quick recap: I went on to a total record of 6-4 against the spread. That may not sound awesome (and it's not), but it also isn't have bad considering I am picking against the spread in the toughest conference in the land. Truth be told, it's probably better than the handicapper who you are paying. But, I digress.

My misses were Bama and the points. 5 turnovers later, Bama not only didn't cover, but lost. Should have won. Should have covered. Didn't.

Georgia, however, did cover the spread. I said they wouldn't. Desperation is a stinky cologne. I picked Georgia to drop the spread simply because of the man in the visor. Oh well.

LSU covered and so did Florida. I got those right.

Tennessee at Florida-Tennessee took it's lumps against Oklahoma. I wasn't surprised by that loss. Dobbs hasn't exploded as many thought he would. In fact, of his five TDs, four were thrown against Bowling Green and Western Carolina. His lone pick? Against Oklahoma. They have been very good with the run, but the run game was abandoned when it was crunch time. That's something to consider. 

Florida is giving up 50 rushing yards a game and 200 passing yards a game, totaling in 15 points allowed. They have picked off 4 INTs.  They have 12 sacks. Major advantage to Florida in this department. 

Flipping sides, Tennessee is allowing 153 rushing yards against teams that aren't running teams. They are also surrendering 240 passing yards per game and 26 points a contest. Bowling Green gave them a scare for a half. They have five sacks and 5 INTs. 

Florida was shut out in the second half against Kentucky. Their other games were no-contests. The quarterbacks aren't playing great. They have six TDs to two INTs, but the yards per completion are under ten yards. Additionally, the run game hasn't been SEC-worthy, averaging under 4.5 YPC. Advantage Tennessee. 

Ultimately, I believe Florida has a better coach and the game is in the Swamp. The line is Florida -1. I will take Florida and the points. Maybe next year, Tennessee. 

Missouri at Kentucky-Missouri continues to be a team that wins despite itself. It has yet to look like an SEC East contender, but it's impossible to ignore that it is undefeated. Kentucky is not, after the dreadful play of Towles, which is reminiscent of last year after they started 6-0. Missouri has thrown five INTs, four of those by Mauk who is as surprisingly bad as Jeremy Johnson at Auburn. The Tigers have no run game to speak of, though Hansbrough has been limited to seven total carries. That will change this week. 

Though Missouri's offense hasn't been very good, the defense has. It is holding offenses to under ten points a game and right at 200 yards per game. They have forced six turnovers. Kentucky has thrown four INTs and fumbled four times, all lost. 

Kentucky holds a slim line. I will take Missouri. 

Texas A&M at Arkansas-This is a desperation game for Arkansas. What happened to this program? TAMU is humming right along. This game is listed TAMU -7. After seeing what Arkansas has to offer, there is no way I wouldn't take TAMU and the points. Nothing else needs to be said. 

Mississippi State at Auburn-Auburn is favored by a field goal, something that is simply baffling. That was BEFORE White was named starter. This is the lone game where the desperation factor comes in to play. It reminds me of the 2009 Iron Bowl, in many ways. That being said, a close game until the fourth doesn't matter. It's certainly possible for Auburn to rebound, but regardless of what the offense does, the defense is the worst SEC defense I have seen. I will take State. I hope I am wrong. 

ESPN Pick Em Week 4

You can find links to all of my Auburn Realist Blog posts here.The Auburn Realist: Overview

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Another brutal week. This week I don't have any excuses. 

Anyways, it isn't too late to join up. Check out our group, the Wild Wild SEC West

I took BYU over UCLA, expecting the Rosen One to falter. He kinda did. Then he didn't. UCLA won. Stanford knocked off USC. I did note that anything can happen in rivalry games. It did. I took a bet on Georgia Tech. Didn't work out. Then, there's Northwestern. Apparently their week one win against Stanford wasn't an anomaly. They took on Duke, who I thought was a much better team. I ended up with a measly 26th points which dropped me near the bottom. Glad I had no money on these games. 

Guess who is still at the top? You guessed it. BamaMike. He missed some tough picks including the USC/Stanford game in his 8 spot. Still, his 38 points are impressive.

We have a very interesting slate of games this weekend.

TCU vs TexasTech-This would appear to be a trap game. But, Kingsberry has a way of disappointing after big games. He ran his mouth after the Arkansas win. TCU will tear them up. 

Georgia Tech vs Duke-Very interesting game. Both are coming off of losses. But, GT is well prepared to pound Duke, who I don't think has the physicality or play makers. 

Oklahoma State at Texas-Texas had a heartbreaker last week. State is starting to look like the team we thought they could be. Who knows who will show up. 

UCLA at Arizona-Arizona hasn't stopped anyone's offense. UCLA has a very balanced attack. I will take UCLA. 

Utah at Oregon-Tough one to call here. Both need a win to climb back on the horse. I tend to think it will be Oregon, but Utah is a very good team. Booker is a great back and anytime a team has a solid run game, it can negate the homefield advantage. Still, talent is on the Duck's side. 

Mississippi State at Auburn-Can Auburn be any worse? Nope. This coaching staff will be in serious trouble if it can't win this game. A blowout will make things really interesting. But, desperation is no reason to pick a team. 

NIU at Boston College-Boston College looked inept against Florida State. NIU has surprised some top level teams. This is a good risk vs reward play. 

Tennessee at Florida-One of these teams is better than you thought. The other lost to Oklahoma. 

USC at Arizona State-No one....NO ONE....has been able to pick this game correctly with any certainty over the last few years. Nor will I try. Just rank it low whichever way you lean.

BYU at Michigan-Michigan simply isn't good, but they have two wins. BYU has lost a tough game to Nebraska just a week ago, but BYU is a good team, yet we have seen as good as they can be. How bad can they be? 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Start 'Em/Sit 'Em Week 3: WR/TE Edition

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For the most part, I was on target for most of last week's Start 'Em/Sit 'Em. The issue for me was that my opponents had record weeks across the board. I went 1-6 with some big hits and misses. Of note was scoring over 200 points and still managing to lose. I did manage to cash a check on Draftkings, so there is that. You can read last week's articles below.

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for Week Two: QB and RB Edition

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for Week Two: WR/TE Edition

TCU's Doctson is ready for a bust out game. He has 12 total receptions and 1 TD against mostly soft teams. He sat out most of last week's game. He has in-state SMU this weekend. Expect a heavy workload against a team that gives up 275 yards passing. Start him. 

After a huge game 1, Braxton Miller, as well as the OSU offense in general, suffered a slow week against Hawaii in what should have been a stat buster game. It wasn't to be. Up next is NIU. The Huskies have been solid against the run and dreadful against the pass. Additionally, NIU can score points, so it is very likely that Miller may be in the game the whole time. Start him. 

NC States Samuels has 4rushing TDs and 8 catches. The catches and yardage alone make him a must start. His rushing ability makes him one of the top over-all plays. Be wary of riding him past this week. Old Dominion isn't a team with any sort of defense, nor has the Wolfpack's opposition in the last two games. When the games get harder, Samuels may turn out to be a novelty. If his carries slide this week, sell high. But start him this week. 

Ricardo Louis has excelled thus far in Auburn's offense. That's solely because of his ability to rush the ball. While he will continue to get sporadic carries, the struggles at QB make it very unclear. He is worth keeping, but it is a tough play against LSU. It is worth mentioning that Auburn's ability to win rests heavily with Ricardo's playmaking ability. But, fantasy points wise, this isn't a smart play. Sit him.

LA Tech's Turner has been a very solid player. He hasn't been a blow up type scorer, but he has been as stable as any WR. He is against Kansas State this weekend. Kansas State's defense should be avoided at all costs. Sit him.

Getting a read on Miami's defense is tough. They haven't played anyone. But, they are giving up less passing yards than rushing yards while picking off 4 passes. Not so for Nebraska, which played a tough BYU team in week 1. Westerkamp was heavily involved in the loss, but spelled early in last week's contest. He looks to repeat that, but Armstrong has been turnover prone is the past and this looks like a game with a lot of risk. If you feel good about your other positions, this is a risk vs reward play. If you have a WR1 that adds rushing value that will likely do well regardless, start him. 

Oklahoma States Glidden is primed to have a big game against UTSA. He has 9 total catches but has 2 TDs. Those both came last week. UTSA gives up 240 pass yards per game and has only 1 TD. The typically high-scoring OSU team hasn't been quite that impressive yet. That should change this week. Start him. 

The Fightin' Irish's Prosise is a guy that must be started in all leagues regardless of his opposition. The guy is still listed as a WR but is currently the starting RB. He is a solid runner to boot. Start him.

DJ Foster has been largely underwhelming. But, he has been consistent. He will eventually have those blow up games. But, until then, consider that he has rushed the ball 15 times in two games while adding 12 catches. He only has 1 total TD. That will change against New Mexico. Start him. 

JuJu Smith-Schuster is everything we all expected. He had a monster game against Idaho. Up next is a Stanford team that isn't as good as past units. However, always be wary of rivalry games. While it is silly to suggest sitting a guy who has 45 fantasy points in two games, it is wise to hedge your bets with someone like Foster who is sure to get some points.
Boise States Golladay has had 17 catches in two games and has 47 points .What is most impressive is that neither game was that much better than the other. He had two TDs last week but less yardage than the week before, which evened out. That being said, Ohio State will be the hardest test of the season for Golladay. Expect the Broncos to have trouble with the Buckeyes. Their lone chance to stay in this game resides with their QBs ability to extend plays and rush the ball. Ohio State is giving up only 138 yards per game and that was to two pass-happy teams. Sit him. 

Oregon's Addison had his best week so far is the loss to Michigan State. The Ducks have another tough matchup next week against Utah. It is wise to see that he was limited against lowly Eastern Washington leading up to the MSU game. He will probably be limited in action against Georgia State, even though the Panthers are better than most people realize. However, if you are in a return yards league, that changes things. Start him in return yard leagues. Sit him otherwise.

Ole Miss's Treadwell has been rested through two blow out victories. His 11 total points make him a high-value add. He is at his best against premier competition. It doesn't get better than Alabama.  Barring a complete disaster, he should be viable. Start him. 

South Alabama's TE Everett has 7 catches and 1 TD thus far. He was limited against Nebraska last week. Expect that to change against SDSU. Start him. 

WKU's Taylor hasn't blown up, but neither has the pass-happy WKU who struggled in their win against Vandy. Taylor had 5 catches last week and a TD. In addition, two rushes. Up next is Indiana who gives up 350 passing yards a game. Start him. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

ESPN Pick Em Week 3

You can find links to all of my Auburn Realist Blog posts here.The Auburn Realist: Overview

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I call for a mulligan. See, apparently ESPN took all my rankings and flip-flopped them. I woke up Sunday to look at my scores and noticed I had a horrible score. It had taken 1 and made it 10 and 10 and made it 1. Rough. 

It wasn't so rough on Bamamike697 who finished atop the standings....again. He has had consecutive 50 point efforts. Only a sillt pick of Mississippi State over LSU kept him from perfection in week 2. 

I made the same pick. 

Anyways, it isn't too late to join up. Check out our group, the Wild Wild SEC West

Nebraska vs Miami-I love seeing the Huskers struggle after firing Pelini. That's what you get. Armstrong and Westerkamp are a good combo. Miami is hard to gauge as they have run the score up. But, they have allowed a scary amount of points. I believe this will be every bit the shootout that last year was. It's in Miami. I am taking the 'Canes

Cal at Texas-Is it possible for Texas to look any worse? I just don't know where to go on this one. I guess I will throw dirt on Texas and take the visitors. Texas couldn't stop Rice. RICE! 

Ole Miss at Alabama-Ole Miss is hard to gauge. They haven't played anyone. I guess Fresno counts? Anyway, they have set records for 76 points back to back. Guess what, it's Freeze. That offense always falls apart. Will it be this easy? I think so. Kelly tosses this game. Tide wins ugly. 

Pitt at Iowa- If Connor was still playing this would be a Pitt win. But, it isn't.  Both teams aren't very good, but not having one of the best RB in the nation is a deal breaker. 

NW at Duke-Duke hasn't been sharp. NW has pulled off a very tasty win against Stanford. Duke may not have its two playmakers from last year, but it is still a very good team. NW is a heavy favorite. I'll take Duke. 

BYU at UCLA-BYU is a heavy underdog again. But, they keep winning. UCLA has the new hot QB. We have heard that story before. If they keep Perkins involved, they will win. If they let the new freshman QB throw and throw, BYU will take them and a win back to Sack Lake City. I think that's exactly  what will happen. Solid mistake free football trumps the hyped one. 

GT at ND-GT is a slight favorite right now. ND is going to lean on Procise a lot. Remember that they lost their entire backfield already. Fuller is still one of the very best WRs in the nation, but can Kiser get him the ball? GT's run game can't be stopped once the ramblin' wreck gets started. I will take GT. 

Standford at USC-Anything can happen in a rivalry game. We saw Hogan struggle against everyone then manage to win last year. But, this USC is very good. A balanced offense will grind the clock. USC wins handily. 

Auburn at LSU- Next.

Illinois at North Carolina-The Tarheel offense has struggled and I don't know why. Just kidding. I know why. They won't let Williams be Williams. That changes. Tarheels crush the Illini. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Start 'EM/Sit 'Em Week 3: RB Edition

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Catch up on this week's posts.

Start 'Em/Sit 'Em Week Three: QB Edition

For the most part, I was on target for most of last week's Start 'Em/Sit 'Em. The issue for me was that my opponents had record weeks across the board. I went 1-6 with some big hits and misses. Of note was scoring over 200 points and still managing to lose. I did manage to cash a check on Draftkings, so there is that. You can read last week's articles below.

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for Week Two: QB and RB Edition

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for Week Two: WR/TE Edition

Let's get to the RBs. 

The following RBs are those that I currently own and are not on BYEs

I promise that I don't have an emotional attachment to my 2nd round pick in Alex Collins He has been a solid Flex play, averaging 15.5 points a game. You just get the feeling that he could go off at any point. Last week looked to be that week. Instead, the Hogs dropped the game against Toledo, limiting Collins to 20 rushes for 54 yards. A long TD kept him from being a major bust. They have Texas Tech this week, a team that gives up over 250 rushing yards a game. Once again, it would look like a great start. I can't bench him. 

Devon Johnson remains a must-own, must-start player for Marshall. Start him.

The USC-Stanford rivalry games doesn't usually feature high scores. But, Kessler disappears in big games and Stanford has struggled against even decent runners. Tre Madden is much more than decent. If you are risk adverse, sit him. It's just hard to believe that Stanford can stop such a balanced attack. But, it's a rivalry game. I'm starting him. 

Florida owned the ECU run game. Hairston was still viable in PPR leagues with his 5 receptions, but a fumble killed is value. He has now caught 5 passes in both games. Up next is Navy who is gave up 200 yards on the ground  in their game against Colgate. Granted, Colgate had to earn those yards during a blowout. Hairston is a decent flex play. 

Skov and the Georgia Tech Yellowjackets are getting to the point where people can't ignore them anymore. Skov has been a TD vulture thus far, only having 23 touches but recording a solid 4TDs on only 120 yards. That will change this week as the Jackets play a very good Notre Dame team. Will he continue to get 2 TDs a game? Probably not. But, his yardage should go up. It's tough not to start him, regardless of the opponent. The Jackets are going to run the ball, regardless of the score and opponent. The question is who will get the carries. Skov will get a boat-load of work. Start him. 

Ouellette has been limited to only 18 points in his first two games. That's a far cry from the high expectations. If you don't have him, you should at least stash him. Ohio gets Southern Louisiana this week. While they shouldn't put up much of a fight, this is too risky a play with Minnesota up next. Sit him. 

Ball State's Green gets the tastiest matchup of any RB I have. They have Eastern Michigan, who gives up 329 rush yards a game. He must be started. 

Texas State's Lowe isn't off to the start many expected. He was blanked by Florida State. That wasn't a surprise. He had a nice day against a powderpuff week two. It leaves fantasy owners wondering what to expect against a decent Southern Miss team that has a balanced defense. Stash him, sure. Don't play him. 

Were you lucky enough to get Prosise two weeks ago? I was. It's your lucky year, I guess. With Folston taking the hit and now Zaire, you have an opportunity to take a nobody and score big. Georgia Tech isn't a slouch and it could be tough sledding. But, it's a season...not a single game...that wins leagues. Still, one can't but wonder and wish. This one is up to you. I'm not starting him, despite his an RB. If you took him as a WR, then you better. 

Rouse, as well as every BC back, looks awesome. They set all kinds of records last week. Yet, Rouse is the bellcow of a run-first offense that really can score. But, they are playing Florida State. There is too much risk in playing a team as talented as the Seminoles and a team that can only run. Sit him. 

I wasn't surprised that Michigan got beat by Utah. I was surprised at how many people bailed on all of Michigan's players. Smith beat up Oregon State last week with 126 yards and 3 TDs. With Michigan struggling to throw the ball, expect more of the same against UNLV. While there is some risk that this may be a QB tune up game for the upcoming BYU game, even a drain the clock scenario will work out just fine. Start him. 

Lawry may be the top back and point scorer in fantasy football, but Old Dominion is up against a decent defense in NC State, who allows only 78 rush yards per game. That average was lifted by Troy, who is a decent offense. Even if the Wolfpack holds him to twice that and still gives up a TD, that is a win by your opposition. It's hard to tell you to sit the highest scorer in fantasy, but that's what I am telling you to do. 

Bouagnan may be one of the very best, but so is the Ohio State defense. The only chance that NIU has to stay in this game in through the running and passing of their QB. Bouagnan won't be a factor. Sit him. 

Start 'Em/Sit 'Em Week Three: QB Edition

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For the most part, I was on target for most of last week's Start 'Em/Sit 'Em. The issue for me was that my opponents had record weeks across the board. I went 1-6 with some big hits and misses. Of note was scoring over 200 points and still managing to lose. I did manage to cash a check on Draftkings, so there is that. You can read last week's articles below.

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for Week Two: QB and RB Edition

Let's get to it. 

The following QBs are those that I currently own and are not on BYEs

Driskel has performed as expected thus far. But, he gets Kansas State this week. The 'Cats are known for stingy defense and they have allowed only 3 points this season. They are allowing 49 rushing yards and just under 200 passing yards per game. While shut outing South Dakota isn't a feat, UTSA put up 22 points on #22 Arizona. That's no feat, either, but the fact is that Kansas State's defense is still stout. Use Driskel at your own risk. I'd pick up a FA and sit Driskel. 

Kessler has a solid day last week, but playing Driskel over him was still the better play. Kessler gets Stanford this week in a serious rivalry game. Stanford's defense is also a historically vaunted unit. Stanford lost it's opener to Northwestern in one of the biggest surprises this year. The defense played solid against UCF. However, UCF is dreadful. Stanford seems to be vulnerable to the run, which means a heavy dose of a Trojan run game. Keep in mind that the Trojans won 13-10 last year strictly running the ball. Kessler has one of the worst night's of his career. He is a player many feel disappears in big games. I'd avoid, if possible. If you are in a two QB league, however, this could be a sneaky play if you want to go out on a limb. I wouldn't. There are FAs out there. 

Kyle Allen has been pulled in the second half in both games, limiting his upside. He has still been productive, averaging over 21 points per game. But, that isn't the type of player that is winning you games early in the season. Nevada gives up over 250 passing yards per game. In particular, Arizona carved them up with an offense that is similar to what the Aggies will field. Anu Soloman was pulled early 4th quarter in the Arizona game. If Allen can make it that far, it will be enough. Keep in mind that TAMU has Arkansas next week. So, the likelihood that Allen does play late is again a very unlikely scenario. If you want a 25 point lock with no upside, this is it. 

Marquis Williams has been a dreadful fantasy player thus far. Thank his coaching staff. If there is one constant in the world, it is that coaches always try and make a run-first athlete into a pocket passer. It has never been more evident than with Williams. He gets an Illinois team that has allowed a total of 3 points averages giving up under 200 yards. Most important is the 5 INTs they have recorded. However, those teams have been less than impressive. After the blowback that the UNC staff has received, plan on a scoring outburst from Williams. Start him. 

Dane Evans has OU this week. OU had his number last year in what was a flukey performance. In fact, Evans has struggled with any teams that can field a turn-over based defense. Teams like ECU, UCF, and Houston have kept him in check. Surprisisngly, Temple and Memphis could not, which were the two best defenses he faced last year. His yardage is always going to be solid, but Evans never throws just one INT. It is worth mentioning that he has had solid days against good defenses such as Memphis and Temple. OU has only 1 INT. If Evans can keep from throwing their 2nd, he will have a good day. He is a high reward play. 

Matt Johnson vs Memphis. I avoid any player playing against Memphis. They haven't recorded a single INT and only one fumble recovery, yet sit at 2-0 allowing under 250 yards per game DESPITE posting blow out wins. While their opener is not worth mentioning, the Kansas win is at least a decent win. Kinner was able to run for 150 yards and a TD. Kansas' QB's weren't as lucky. Johnson may be a top fantasy producer, but I caution against using him. Sit him. 

Drew Hare vs Ohio State. Man, I really want to take a risk on this play. I really do. Hare bombed last year against decent competition. But, he never posted a 70% completion ratio. He has hovered around 80% in both of his games this year. What does he have to do in order to be viable? I'd say that he needs 25 fantasy points. 200 yards passing, 50 rushing, 2 passing TDs and 1 INT and a single rushing TD would net 26 points. Considering his improvement from year 1 to year 2, that shouldn't be a stretch.He hasn't thrown an INT this year, nor has he thrown for under 300. He is not a turnover machine, having thrown very few picks last year. Against OSU, expect him to revert to a run-first guy. I think he has a nice week, even if NIU gets blown out. 

Mason Rudolph gets UTSA this week. He only has 3 passing TDs despite the high volume of passing and yards. I venture a guess that he has a 3 PaT day against the Roadrunners. This is a 30-point play waiting to happen. Start him. 

McGough from Florida International has gotten off to a solid start. UCF held him in check, which isn't a surprise. Indiana was unable to stop him, but his stat line isn't impressive because he had 3 turnovers. This guy is a 35+ attempt guy who also adds quality rushes. He has FCC this week. Play him and thank me later. Start him. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Best5Zach's Week 3 SEC Picks

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In case you missed it, go brush up on last week's picks

Yeah, I took a beating this week. I know it. I got cute in fantasy football and went 1-5. Luckily I will be 2-0 in NFL fantasy.

How about the SEC picks? Well, glad you asked. 

I got the Sooners over UT pick. TECHNICALLY I called it correctly. 

The line was LSU-4 and I took the Bulldogs. Sure, you could say that I meant I was taking the Dogs as winners. You would be correct. So, I guess I will take my lumps and call it a L. 

Not so much for the USC-Kentucky game. I just blew it. To be honest, I never really looked in to the game. I just didn't think it possible for Spurrier to lose back to back games against the 'Cats. I guess it happens. 

1-2 ain't so good. That brings me to 4-3 over all. 

South Carolina at Georgia- This game was simply mystifying last year. Everyone remembers how this game went. Needing a TD, Mike Bobo DIDN'T run Gurley three or four downs in a row. Instead, he went to the pass. They lost and now Bobo is coaching at Colorado State. South Carolina hasn't looked like a competent team yet. They looked about the same way last year before beating Georgia. 

Vegas has the 'Dogs as a 17 point favorite. This is a dangerous play. UGA is going to win this game. After getting beat last year, they may want to put it on the 'Cocks. I'm going to say that UGA wins, but doesn't cover. 

Florida at Kentucky-Kentucky beat a struggling South Carolina this past week and broke a 22-game losing streak. Consider, however, that Kentucky returned a two-point conversion that was the final margin. They had only four first downs in the second half, three coming in the final drive to secure the win. South Carolina was playing their backup QB. 

Florida beat a East Carolina team that lost some top production last year, yet still put up 24 points on a Gator defense that was supposed to be among the best. Missed fieldgoals and penalties hamstrung the Gators who ended up forcing a late fumble to secure the win. 

Of these two games, one has to consider the tirade that McElwain had about his players not taking ECU seriously which undoubtedly led to this close game. 

Kentucky has given up 55 points so far. While they are 2-0, they gave up 33 to the Ragin' Cajuns. 

Kentucky's Boom Williams is averaging over 10 yards per carry and is largely responsible for their wins. Towles is completing a little over 50% of his passes and averages under 8 yards per completion. Florida is going to stack the box, make them throw the ball down the field where Hargraves and Co will take over and that will be that. 

Vegas has the Gators -3. I'll take the Gators and the points. 

Auburn at LSU- I don't know how anyone can watch the two performances by Jeremy Johnson and not immediately doubt this game. Auburn's defense has also struggled without Carl Lawson. Auburn's defense could not get off the field until JSU's last drive. 

Is it possible that the Auburn coaching staff is about to pull the world's best "gotcha" on LSU? Maybe. But doubtful.  Auburn does have history on it's side. LSU is almost impossible to beat at night in Death Valley. However, they are on the losing end of statistics in day games. Guess what, this is a day game. I am doing this post on a Monday when no one knows the status of four different Auburn defense starters and the best offensive lineman. Jeremy Johnson's play already puts things in doubt. With the probability that some of those guys don't play, specifically Lawson, I see LSU winning this game. Vegas has LSU -7.5. I'm taking LSU and the points. 

Ole Miss at Alabama-This is the real matchup of the week. Everyone recalls what happened last year's matchups from the state of Alabama. Alabama lost and Auburn won. This year is going to be flip-flopped. Alabama is going to narrowly win this game and Auburn is going to get blown out. Ole Miss has looked unstoppable in their tune up games. Alabama hasn't looked great. Both are unbeaten. Alabama's win against Wisconsin was just the kind of physical game a team needs to kick off the season. Ole Miss hasn't had that yet and it will be a rude awakening. The Ole Miss defense is good again this year, but they haven't had to match up with SEC talent. Recall just how many playmakers they lost, especially on the back end of the defense. 

The line is Bama -7. I'd take them and the points. 

Fishing Report for Guntersville 9/12/15

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We had a club tournament out of Goose Pond this past Saturday. To be honest, I really really really didn't want to fish it. Guntersville has been brutal this year. I fully recognize that I may be part of the issue, as I haven't fished it nearly as much as I have in previous years. 

There is a reason for that. It's tough! 

But, in order to be eligible for the club Classic, I HAD to fish it. No problem . I just need to prefish. 

Well, I didn't get the chance to prefish. Without being able to eliminate water and with my aforementioned struggles on the G, I gave serious thought to just showing up at the ramp, paying my money, and heading home.

After all, it's fall which means college football. Having taken an opportunity to write about college football for TrackEmTigers , I really needed to watch the game so I would be educated about it when it was time to write. 

Well, the tournament didn't start so well. 

It's my fault, really. I stayed up until midnight watching college football because I had some fantasy players playing in games that didn't matter. 

I set my alarm, but it didn't' go off. What did go off was my partner Brad, who woke me up about 30 minutes after I was supposed to be at his place. That was a strange drive to make, as I was far from awake.

We decided to run all the way to Crow creek. He had done some fishing a few weeks prior and found some fish. We already knew that, chances were, those fish were long gone. But, it was somewhere to start. We planned on throwing frogs all day. 

We started out working grass lines. We worked several hundred yards without so much as a knock. 

We moved to Raccoon creek around 10. Same thing. 

There was no popping from the grass, which did look decent, though the rains earlier that week had submerged some grass and knocked the scum down, which is what we were looking for. 

At noon, we made another move. I had an area around BB Comer bridge that had consistently been ok for froggin. By ok, I meant that i might could catch a fish or two. It wasn't a place to win a tournament and I knew that. At that point, we just wanted a hit. The grass sounded very good, but the sun was staying hidden behind the clouds, which I knew was going to be a problem. 

We had been on this spot for about ten minutes when the sun finally came out. 

The problem with throwing a frog for 6 hours without a bite isn't that the fish continue to be stubborn, but when they do decide to hit and you aren't ready. 

That very thing happened to Brad as he was throwing his Spro frog. We were talking about Auburn's troubles with JSU and he had a very aggressive blowup. He never saw it, but we both heard it. By the time he tried to set the hook, the fish was gone. 

This very thing happened three more times. 

Finally, I had a hit, which I stuck so hard that I current have bruises on both my ribs and my bicep. It was a measuring fish and a start. 

Minutes later I had a second fish in the boat. 

Brad had a blowup and he boated fish #3. 

For the next hour, we had hits, but they corresponded directly to the over-head sun. When the sun was hidden, we didn't get bites. When it was out, we got hits. But, the sporadic sunlight made for some weak hits. 

We ended up with only three fish on around 10 hits. It took 23 pounds to win, though I don't have a clue how that was done. Second and third place were ounces apart and right under 15 pounds. Hardly anyone else had fish. 

I know people are catching, and will continue to catch, fish on Guntersville. But, you better be dedicated enough to fish long periods of times between hits. I can't and won't do that. I haven't caught a fish over 5 pounds on Guntersville this year, nor have I had an outing where I caught more than five. Granted, I am not a great fisherman. I am just average, like most of you. So, take that into consideration. 

Friday, September 11, 2015

ESPN Pick Em Week 2

You can find links to all of my Auburn Realist Blog posts here.The Auburn Realist: Overview

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Week one is in the books. Looks like most people did extremely well. Though we had two different teams that didn't input any picks, the average was still 35. No one recorded a perfect score, thanks to two pesky games. 

Penn State looks to have started just where it left off last year...throwing picks and taking sacks. So much for Hackenburg, eh? 

Additionally, the much maligned Northwestern program picked up a huge win against Stanford. 

Don't worry, most everyone missed the games. The question was, where did you have it ranked in terms of confidence points? I did have the forethought to rank the Stanford/Northwestern game very low, simply because I didnt' think the Cardinal had much of a team. I had this one ranked at 2. 

Unfortunately, though I knew how good the Temple defense is, in terms of fantasy points (sacks and INTs), I didn't think they would have enough firepower to actually beat a Penn State team with such a good defense. I had this game ranked in the 8 spot. Ouch.

Our league leader, bamamke697 also missed the same games, but he was smart enough to rank them 2 and 3. That led to a 50 point total for week one, which ranks 756th in all of ESPN, a true honor. There are hundreds of thousands of people playing this game and that is quite the accomplishment. 

Up this week is a much tougher slate of games. 

Of note is the CyHawk rivalry game at ISU. Both coaches need wins. ISU has won something like 3 of the last 4 meetings. Vegas has Iowa -3. If you are going to pick an
"upset", this is probably the best place to look.

Michigan vs Oregon State is intriguing. Michigan is a whopping 14 point favorite, despite laying an egg against Utah. Oregon State is transitioning to a new coaching staff and system. Honestly, I trust Gary Anderson more than Harbough and I simply don't think Michigan is THAT good. But, it's at the Big House.....

Sooners on Rocky Top. This may be the overall best game of the week, but it will do little to shape college football. This game is listed as a pick em. Good luck!

The Mississippi State vs LSU will go a long way to figuring out who is 3rd in the SEC West. LSU didn't get to play last week, which means they still haven't shaken off the rust. That's a bit of a good thing, as State won't have ANY game film. State lost a ton of starters (most in NCAA), but it has Prescott. Prescott won this game by himself last year. If we know anything, we know that Heisman moments are made against LSU, think Cam Newton. 

Good luck everyone! I expect the average score to be fairly low. We will see! 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for Week Two: WR/TE Edition

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Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for Week Two: QB and RB Edition

Did you draft Braxton Miller? If not, you better have added him after his very first touch Monday night. I did draft him. He is a must-start on any format. IF you didn't get him, you should probably throw everything at his owner in hopes that it doesn't cost you too much now. 

How about NC State's Samuels? The hybrid TE ran in three....THREE....TDs. I honestly don't think this is going to hold over all year. Against inferior competition, this was simply an opportunity to give opposing coaches something to focus upon OTHER than the Wolfpack passing game. That being said, if he runs in even three more TDs the rest of the year, he is worth owning. Keep in mind that he DID have four catches, so that alone makes him a low-level TE worth adding, especially in PPR leagues. If...and a big IF....he continues this production, it will rival Devon Johnson's 2014 value, where he was listed as a TE. 

Duke's Deaver didn't pan out in week 1. But, this is a guy that has something like 100 career catches. He will eventually show up. If you don't already have a top level TE, get this guy and hold on to him.

True to their word, the Arizona State staff gave DJ Foster touches out of the backfield in addition to opportunities down the field. The Texas A&M defense was just too good and the Sun Devils struggled. CAPly is up this week. Foster will have a field day with these guys. He is a must start. 

TCU's Doctson was a huge question mark because of his injuries. It prompted me to sit him until that was resolved, even though the coaches said he would play. In addition to his injury was the fear of the ball being spread thinly in the Frogs offense. Yet, Doctson had 74 yards and a TD. If you paired him with Boykin, hold on to your horse. It will be a great year. Additionally, he is a must start if you are playing Boykin's owner. Any TDs to Doctson are a major handicap that is to your benefit. He is a must play. 

TAMU's Christian Kirk provided the biggest surprise this week. If you have a league that counts special teams You really lucked up. But, probably not since he wasn't really drafted. You may think you have it made if you got him via WW. Don't hold your breath on this guy. We have seen it before. Leagues aren't won on single week performances. While he does have value in leagues that count special teams yards, he is still on a team with the 2nd best WR corps in college football....not counting him. I just can't buy in to a player on a spread time with that much talent. Also, the ASU game was a big deal. Chances are, Kirk was used because of the lack of film that anyone had. With the focus on all the other five-star guys, Kirk slipped through the cracks as a the focus of the offense in week 1. He may get play this week against a lesser opponent, but be very wary of using him. This situation reminds me of Ole Miss' Core last year. Core exploded on the scene in game one, but was mediocre for the remainder of the season, though he was picked up in every single league. Jay Lee from Baylor is another great example of a player who had a huge week and may be a decent stash or trade bait pickup, but ultimately isn't a good reliability assurance. If you have Russell, then he is worth owning and starting. 

Rutger's Carroo had three catches in week one. All went for TDs. Yes, he is an NFL talent. Yes, he is worth owning. But, again, stability is going to be a major issue. He has Penn State and Michigan State over the course of three weeks. Then, Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Michigan in straight weeks. If you are willing to hold him until the last few weeks of the season without any production, go for it. In those 5 games last year, he scored 28 total points including outings that resulted in 0,3, 7, 8 and 10 points. He gets Washington State this week, a team that he torched for 21 points last year. I expect him to do that this week as well, but that makes him prime Bears and Bulls material. Play him and trade him. 

Air Force's Brown is a player that is currently under the radar. This guy had touches out of the backfield, as a pass catcher, and on special teams. However, his lone TD was on a kick return, which many people may not get points for. But, Air Force's willingness to use him all over means he has value. He won't be held without an offensive TD forever. He is worth an add, but he doesn't have much value against SJSU or Michigan State, as both have solid defenses. Sit him now. Play him later. 

La Tech's Turner is only in the top 20 because of his return yards and a TD. He did add a reception TD, however. If...and a big have Driskel, playing him against WKU could turn into a 60 point swing. If you have a 3 solid RBs that are going to put up points, play him.