Cleat Geeks

Bear Down; Smith Finally Signs As Team Has Joint Practices

The long wait is over for Chicago Bears fans, rookie LB Roquan Smith has finally agreed to terms with the Bears. Smith (21) was the team’s first-round pick in this past NFL draft and is expected to be a huge force on Vic Fangio’s defense. The holdout lasted weeks before the agreement came on August 13th.

Now with Smith signed and suited up, the team can move forward with their preparation of the 2018 season. They lost a close game against the Bengals in Cincinnati last week, with Mitch Trubisky playing in two series and having QB Tyler Bray playing most of the game. TEs Adam Shaheen and Daniel Brown looked good on offense with Bray also looking solid in the pocked and completing passes. Brown had five catches for 90 yards and Bray was 18/27 for 219 yards in the game. Other notable performances came from RB Ryan Nall, the undrafted rookie from Oregon State. Nall put up 95 rushing yards on nine carries.

Wednesday saw the Bears and Denver Broncos have a joint-practice session. Roquan Smith joined the squad, but one of the big stories from the practice was Trubisky throwing dimes to his tight ends. Biggest highlight was his pass to the corner of the end zone where Trey Burton caught it perfectly. His throws downfield continued to look great, which is going to be a big part of Matt Nagy’s game plan. After watching so much checking down under the old coaching staff, letting the kid throw with better targets will be great to see throughout the year if it all works out. This is a passer’s game and the Bears hiring on offensive-minded coach can help Trubisky show his potential.

After the joint practice, both teams will play each other in Denver in week two of the preseason. This will obviously be their third game of the preseason since they played in the Hall of Fame game a few weeks ago. Bears will finally return to Chicago and play at home on the 25th of August against the Chiefs. That game will have most of the starters in the longest most likely.

Multiple Veterans & Newcomers Stepping Up In New Orleans Saints Preseason

Two weeks into the preseason and there are many teams that are already eager for the regular season to start. The New Orleans Saints are a team that has been prepping for the 2018-2019 NFL season since their unfortunate loss at the Minnesota Vikings 29-24 in the NFC Divisional Round of the 2017-2018 NFL playoffs. Their progress since their NFL training camp has been highly noticeable with their main star players playing like they are in mid-season form and many of their rookies and underutilized players stepping up by looking to make an impact.

Of all the teams in the NFL, the New Orleans Saints are one of a very few teams to not have a major position battle going on due to a departure or retiring. The Saints, along with the Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, and the reigning Super Bowl champs in the Philadelphia Eagles are the only teams in the NFL that seem to complete at every position. This does not mean that those positions have a large amount of talent and depth. This is an area where the Saints needed to be concerned with the most as last year there were some injuries at Linebacker and Defensive Back that plagued the Saints. Offensively, the Saint did not have too much of a concern with injuries, but the lack of depth was concerning. These few weeks before the season is the last time possible to make some last adjustments needed for each team to become more successful and efficient in their decision making.

 

Taysom Hill getting a chance to prove himself as a reliable Quarterback

Former Houston Texans Quarterback Tom Savage was added by New Orleans for a 1-year deal for insurance purposes for star QB Drew Brees. This doesn’t stop depth chart Quarterback and special teams contributor in Taysom Hill from trying to push for the backup Quarterback role. Throughout this preseason, Hill has been impressing the Saints and Saints nation with his passing ability. Hill is looking to make his name known when Brees eventually retires from the NFL. In the Saints’ first preseason game on August 8th at the Jacksonville Jaguars, Hill threw for 72 yards on 8 completions (out of 9 attempts). He also rushed the ball 7 times for 52 yards and a touchdown. Hill does not possess the speed as many of the dual-threat Quarterbacks in the league but he does have the size and the hard-hitting bulk to push for more yards.

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Photo by; www.canalstreetchronicles.com

Hill started out his NFL career undrafted in the 2017 NFL Draft but was acquired by the Green Bay Packers for a practice squad player. This past season for the New Orleans Saints, Hill mostly played in special team plays but has been reaching for a Quarterback position job. This off-season was the first full off-season that he has experienced with an NFL team now in his 2nd year in the league. Hill has been taking apart in high-velocity passing drills throughout the off-season and that has appeared to show in training camps and in the preseason games. With three more preseason games left, watch for Taysom Hill to lead the Saints to the regular season to secure the main backup Quarterback spot behind Drew Brees.

 

Saints adding another top Wide Out in rookie Tre’Quan Smith

Many of the newcomers of the Saints are making great first impressions with the team and the fans. Former UCF Knights Wide Receiver Tre’Quan Smith was acquired by the Saints in the 3rd round (91st pick) due to the high amount of great Receivers in the 2018 NFL Draft. Smith has already been labeled as a top three Receiver for the high-power Saints offense. Much like the Saints’ #1 Wide Receiver in Michael Thomas, Smith is a speedy and elusive deep threat Receiver that can handle a heavy workload consistently. In his 3 years at Central Florida, Smith has accounted for above 50 receptions each season. In his Senior season last year, Smith accounted for 59 receptions for 1,171 yards (an average of 19.8 yards per reception) and 13 touchdowns. The Saints selected Tre’Quan Smith because they know he can put up those stats equivalent to his production with the Knights offense.

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Photo by; Nola.com

In the game against Jacksonville, he was the team’s leading Receiver by accounting for 48 yards on 4 receptions. His contributions as a mid-range to deep threat Receiver will be a huge boost for the Saints offense led by QB Drew Brees and WR Michael Thomas, who is the NFL’s most underrated Receiver. Smith’s productions at the other deep-threat Receiver will not be a decrease in production for Michael Thomas. If anything, the Saints could use Smith’s talent as a speedy deep-target as Brandon Coleman could not consistently bring in for the Saints last year. Last season, Coleman accounted for 23 receptions for 364 yards and 3 touchdowns as he was the 5th leading receiving yards leader for the Saints. Coleman was cut from the New Orleans Saints on August 5th after failing a team physical. Undrafted rookie in WR Keith Kirkwood has also been impressing the Saints organization as a reliable playmaker in the short time with the team. Look for these two rookie Wide Outs to make an impact for a passing offense that was ranked 4th in points per game (28) and 5th in passing yards per game (261.8) last season.

 

DT David Onyemata looking to step up to contribute more to Saints efficient defense

Veteran Defensive Tackle David Onyemata is currently listed as a backup to former 1st round pick in Sheldon Rankins according to the Saints’ first unofficial depth chart of the season. Onyemata, though, has been getting a lot of publicity for his increase in contributions for the defense and rise of his efficiency in his performance. Last season, Onyemata played in all 16 regular season games at Defensive Tackle and End while also started in 6 when he filled in for the injured DE Alex Okafor. Onyemata is a special hybrid Defensive Lineman that can play in a run-orientated Defensive End spot and then a 3-technique Defensive Tackle. Last season, Onyemata accounted for 38 total tackles, 18 solo tackles, and 2 sacks.

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Photo by; Who Dat Dish

Throughout the remainder of this preseason, there could be a switch at the Nose Tackle position that is held by Tyeler Davison, at the 3-technique Defensive Tackle position held by Rankins, or at the Defensive End position held by Alex Okafor if Onyemata continues to impress. At the least, Onyemata’s performance along with the Saints’ 2018 NFL Draft 1st round pick in DE Marcus Davenport makes for a potentially dominating slate of Defensive Linemen for New Orleans. 2nd year DE Trey Hendrickson has also been a very productive reserve for the Saints in the past season and in this preseason. The Saints having two complete Defensive Line units make for a great change of pace in creating pressure and also brings in different formations when matching with the different offensive formations.

 

Round Rock Rocks

First I must apologize to the great people of the Round Rock Express. I made this trip about 2 weeks ago, they probably thought I forgot about them. But after the wonderful experience I had at their facility, I will not soon forget about my time at Dell Diamond.

Myself and my brother-in-law decided to take in a minor league baseball game while I was visiting him in Texas from Arizona. So we made the 90 minute trek to Dell Diamond in Round Rock Texas to see the visiting Reno Aces (Diamondback AAA) play the Round Rock Express. It was a late 7:05 start time for the Express as they played their 106th game overall and their 54th at home, but it made for some great pictures and a great view of this wonderful ballpark both in the Texas sun and under the Texas stars.

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Round Rock Express Dell Diamond. Photo by; Michael Ballentine for Cleatgeeks.com

We arrived about 20 minutes before gametime and it took us all of 8 minutes to park, walk to will call and pick up our tickets we purchased on line. We then cleared security, were given our free promotional items, the free program and walked onto the concourse. The grounds were extremely clean, and we decided, since we had just driven 90 minutes we needed to make a final pit stop before finding our seats. The restrooms were modern, clean, and we were in and out in no time. We then walked down the right field corner where we were then looking straight down to see Matt Koch warming up for the Aces.

Then the Hall of Fame ceremony began for the Round Rock’s newest inductee Brooks Conrad. It was a very nice, short but entertaining and knowledgeable ceremony that took place on the wonderfully manicured lawn between the pitchers mound and home plate. When the ceremony was over we went to the gift shop between first place and home plate. When we walked in it was impressive, looking like a major league gift shop. When you walked through the front door it started with a large children’s section and progressed into a mighty wall of quality hats. Then you turned the corner and walked into an adult paradise of shirts, hats and novelty items in a variety of prices with noticeably high quality. They had dry fit, tons of hats, and a discount area if money is tight.

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We then found our seats down the first base line only feet away from the field of play to watch the live game action on the field and on the impressive jumbotron in center field. The big screen with a clear picture also had both team line-ups, replays, and other stats to enhance the great game experience. Of course just like any other great minor league game they had great 3 second sound bytes for such things as strike outs, foul balls, and walks. Plus, they had great fan interaction games all night. After the Aces took the lead in the first inning a lady was given a fish net in the row we were in and she ran out to center field with it. A few nice express workers then loaded a shirt in a slingshot for her to catch in the afore mentioned fishing net in a game they called the shirt shag. The lady only caught 1 of the 3 shirts, but she caught a ton of crowd response as the filling stadium was behind her even in a loosing effort.

At the conclusion of the 2nd inning the score was unchanged, the sun was setting, and we were thirsty. We walked the short distance to Tiki 123 where they took stout beer and chocolate and made a milkshake! Yes, I said a milkshake made from beer! I was communicating back and forth with the club on social media a few days before our visit, and they said it was something I must do while at their ballpark. I admittedly was unsure about the combination of ice cream and beer, but it was excellent, and I would recommend it to everyone. In fact, you may want to visit Dell Diamond for this treat alone, but that was not the only treat in store for us on this fun filled night.

Next we went to Guest Services and met a lovely women named Kathy Wall, who has worked at the ballpark all 19 years the park has been in operation. She stamped our hands which made us feel like royalty and allowed us to take in the sights and sounds of the game like kings in the Intel Club. Located directly behind home plate the Intel Club provided us with an intimate atmosphere where the two of us and up to 298 of our closest friends were able to watch the game around a fully stocked bar, lounging on comfortable furniture watching the game on huge screen televisions or my favorite, in the second deck open air right by the radio and television booths. If you go to Dell Diamond, and you take a group, you can even pre-purchase day passes for the Intel Club and watch the game in this cool air conditioned environment for cheaper than you might think.

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The rockers section at Dell Diamond. Photo by; Michael Ballentine for Cleatgeeks.com

Those are not the only unique experiences offered by the Round Rock Express, the AAA club of the Texas Rangers at Dell Diamond. They have a huge playground for the kids they call playscape where they offer Birthday Bash at the Ballpark starting at only $20.00 a person. They also have picnic areas at playscape, a party deck on the 2nd level down the right field line and suite packages that include the words luxury and party. In the right field corner just beyond the visitor bullpen and the spacious concourse they even have a pool and spa area so you can work on your tan while hearing the crack of the bat starting at only $45.00 each. One of the best concepts we found that is unique to Dell Diamond is in the left fiel lawn area. They have what they call rockers which overlook the green lawn area where we saw an abundance of kids playing having a good old Texas time while their parents relaxed and enjoyed the great sights and sounds in rocking chairs for only $16.00 each. And if the rockers section is not sold out, you can upgrade any ticket to a rocker ticket for only $5.00 while at the game. Speaking of the overall ticket prices, they are quite affordable. Plus, if you plan your outings out like me, Dell Diamond gives discounts for advanced purchases which makes lawn seating only $7.00, the Home Run Porch (a nice section in left field that reminds me of Globe Life Park just above the rocker section) for only $10.00 and any seat in the entire infield on the first level right next to the action only $16.00 each. And if that is not good enough for you, clear your calendar on Tuesday August 21st and 28th where they offer lawn seats for $4.00, the Home Run Porch for $6.00 and any seat in the infield for $9.00!

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Budweiser Party Porch Photo by; Michael Ballentine for Cleatgeeks.com

Two more spots to tell you about at this wonderful ballpark where they begin a long 10 game homestand this Tuesday for your enjoyment. First, the Party Deck, where if you enjoy the game from this section on the 2nd deck down the right field line, you will actually enjoy the exact same view as Nolan Ryan himself once did. You see, as told to us by Fred Cartmill, who has also worked at the stadium since opening day 19 years ago, they moved Mr. Ryan’s suite to make the new Party Deck which offers overhead covering and a fun open atmosphere. We actually visited Fred on the second area I would like to showcase, the Budweiser Party Porch located down the 1st base line on the 2nd level. Which according to Mr. Cartmill provides “Family open atmosphere where you can enjoy the game and the community.” Either of these group areas can be soaked up for tickets that start at only $45.00 each and provide unique ballpark experiences that rival any major league ballpark.

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Relax in the pool in the right field corner of Dell Diamond and see the Round Rock Express play some baseball. Photo by; Michael Ballentine for Cleatgeeks.com

The Round Rock Express is a class Triple-A Pacific Coast League minor league baseball team in Round Rock, Texas, owned by RSR Sports (Nolan Ryan, Don Sanders, Reid Ryan) and founded by Reid Ryan, son of Baseball Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan.  In 2011, after 6 seasons of serving as the Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros, and 11 seasons of being affiliated with the Astros overall, the Express became the Triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. The team is named after the senior Ryan’s pitcher nickname, “The Ryan Express.” In 2016, Forbes listed the Express as the sixth-most valuable Minor League Baseball team with a value of $40 million.

Lastly, if the pictures look familiar to you, they just might as a majority of scenes from the 2002 Disney film The Rookie, directed by John Lee Hancock, starring Dennis Quaid and Rachel Griffiths were shot around and inside Dell Diamond in Round Rock. It is inspired by the true story of Jim Morris, who had a brief but famous Major League Baseball career.

We had a great time at Dell Diamond in Round Rock Texas. We met a ton of nice people, had good drinks, great fun and enjoyed a wonderful baseball game. It is a can’t miss stop if you are anywhere near the area, or if you love baseball like we do. Follow them on Twitter and get additional information on their user friendly website.

Tomahawks and Touchdowns: Preseason Week #1 Recap

The Kansas City Chiefs played their first game of the season last week. They faced the Houston Texans at home. The Chiefs lost the game 17-10 after coming up short on a last minute drive. Chiefs starters only played in a couple of series before giving more playing time to backup players and players trying to make the roster. Despite the loss the Chiefs played well and had strong performances by players throughout the depth chart.

Patrick Mahomes started the game at quarterback for the Chiefs. He only played in two series in the game. He went 5/7 for 33 yards. He did not play a lot of time in the game because he is the expected starter and did not need the injury risk in the first preseason game. He will likely see more playing time in the second preseason game. Mahomes played well against the Texans and did not make any big errors in the game.

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Photo by; 247 Sports

Chase Litton is another quarterback that had a strong performance. Litton is an undrafted rookie from Marshall. He went 7/13 for 66 yards in the game. He led the Chiefs on a last minute drive but came up short on forth down. Litton is expected to compete with Matt McGloin for the third quarterback spot. Chad Henne appears to be a lock for the backup role behind Mahomes. The competition could be tight between the two quarterbacks. McGloin is a five-year veteran but Litton has shown good arm strength and could win a spot on the 53-man roster.Image result for ben niemann chiefs

Another rookie that had a good performance is linebacker Ben Niemann. He is an undrafted rookie from Iowa. Niemann led the Chiefs with five tackles against the Texans. He is expected to be on the roster bubble and could make the final roster with some more strong performances. Raymond Davison, Ukeme Eligwe, Ben Niemann, and Terrance Smith will likely compete for two linebacker depth spots on the roster.

The Chiefs second preseason game will be on the road against the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons lost their first preseason game 17-0 to the New York Jets. Chiefs starters are expected to play the entire first half in the game. It will be the first chance to see the Chiefs starters for an extended time. Mahomes performance against Falcons starters will give a good indication of his progress. Last season the Falcons had a top 10 defense in yards per game. The second preseason game will be a better representation of what the Chiefs will look like in the regular season.

NBA Top 10 Thursdays: Top 10 City Jerseys.

Hi everyone, this is my first article in a while so I hope you like it!  It feels good to be back home here at CleatGeeks!

One of the best things the NBA did recently is the creation of it’s City Jerseys. They bring out the unique flavor and attitude of each city or state that the team proudly represents. Today, I go through and list my Top 10 City Jerseys. This list is purely my opinion and I would love to hear your thoughts on it.  Ok, let’s jump right in!

 

 

Number 10: Phoenix Suns.

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This one draws it’s inspiration from the rich Hispanic community in Phoenix and Arizona. This is such a clean look with the 2 shades of purple and the word fonts. Definitely hope they keep this one for a while.

 

 Number 9: Orlando Magic.

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This one is just fun. According to the team’s website, “The Magic’s City Edition uniform celebrates the magic that exists in our solar system and beyond.” This is by far one of the coolest uniforms not just in the NBA, but sports as a whole.

 

Number 8: New York Knicks.

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This one is very cool. It pays tribute to the city’s fire department and really, what’s better than that? New York’s fire department is one of the finest in the country and this jersey is a great way to show how much they mean to the people of the city.

 

Number 7: Washington Wizards.

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This one is pure fire! For me, white is one of the best looks and this jersey pulls it off perfectly. The side designs are shaped like the Washington Monument and the dot on the i is a basketball. This has a very D.C. feel to it and  should even be their main uniform I think.

 

Number 6: Philadelphia 76ers.

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This one is on this list not so much for it’s looks, but it’s historical background that I love. The color is a nod to the paper that the Declaration of Independence was singed on. The word “Phila” is written in cursive font like the words on the Declaration as well. Add the red and blue stripes on the arms and collar and this makes one very patriotic outfit.

 

Number 5: Toronto Raptors.

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This one is a far cry from the Raptors regular colors. The black and gold is not only really awesome looking, but a nod to one of Toronto’s favorite sons, Drake. The gold arrow pointing up north is a really nice touch.

 

Number 4: Golden State Warriors.

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The Warriors did a really nice job on this one. The jersey pays tribute to the Chinese culture of the Bay area in California. This is not only an important nod to the city, but also honors the teams relocation to the Bay area, which was the same year that San Francisco’s China Town opened up. The blue dragon design over looking the Golden Gate Bridge is such a sick look for the champs.

 

Number 3: Memphis Grizzlies.

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The history behind this jersey is by far the best of any of these uniforms. The bold white look with black lettering pays tribute to the civil rights struggle that took place in the 1960s.  The Grizzlies press release on these says it all

“The story behind the uniforms dates all the way back to February 1, 1968, when two Memphis Sanitation workers, Echol Cole and Robert Walker were crushed to death by a garbage truck. This incident and years of dangerous working conditions led black sanitation workers to strike. This strike coined the slogan ‘I Am A Man’ and eventually brought Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to Memphis only weeks later to march alongside the protesters. It was on that very trip that he was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel on April 4, 1968.”

The wording is in the same font as the wording that was on those signs. Hopefully this uniform stays in their line up for a while.

 

Number 2: Denver Nuggets.

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Ok, this might be the homer in me that put this jersey so high, but the Nuggets really did a great job on these. The Nuggets overhauled their whole look for the 2018-19 season.  These uniforms embrace the colors of the Colorado state flag, (red, blue, and yellow.) and the word mark proudly displays the nick name of Denver. As a Nuggets fan myself, I will definitely be picking one of these up.

 

Number 1: Miami Heat.

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This one is it. It is clean, it is fire, and, it is just as cool as it gets. The Heat decided to go with one of the greatest parts of Miami history by designing this jersey with the iconic TV show Miami Vice in mind. The light blue and pink, coupled with the word font are direct throwbacks to the show. As a huge fan of Miami Vice, this one was a no brainer for me.

 

Well, what do you think of this list? Hit me up on Twitter @GeeksportJosh and tell me what jerseys you think should be on this list.

 

Thanks for reading!

Playoff Preparations

 

Playoff season is almost upon us and there a few things you need to be paying attention to for your fantasy season. Players on pitch counts, teams in contention sitting their starters, but always one thing we talk about around this time is going to be: who are the young players who are going to be called up I need to be paying attention to? So let’s get to it.

OFFENSE

Vladimer Guerro Jr. – There’s one name everyone is talking about, and that’s the son of BDV (Big Daddy Vladdy). Vladimer Guerro Jr. has had a historic season, batting .400 (that’s batting average, not obp) with 18 home runs across AA and AAA. He has busted his way into our hearts much like Juan Soto. BUT! I will say I do have one hint of caution with Vlady Jr. He’s been in the minor leagues for just 2 years! That’s such a short amount of time, I’m always very cautious with these players as the minor leagues usually take a bit longer for teams to figure out a player’s weakness. So it can be that it’s not that Jr. doesn’t have weaknesses, but they just haven’t been figured out. Hopefully Jr. turns into the next Soto, but still, for future seasons, I’m a little cautious with Jr. and even still with Soto. I do have some hope for Jr’s future seasons though because of one thing – he’s the son of BDV. And that sort of tutelage can help a struggling player get through tough times. I’m obviously not saying Soto can’t continue his brilliance, but all I’m saying is to be cautious with these players who have such limited time in the minors. Because of Jr’s unique pedigree, I’m going to say, get some shares of him now, as he’s sure to be called up soon!

Eloy Jimenez –  This was my guy for 2018 as far as prospects go. I have more faith in Eloy hitting the ground running even than I do with Vlady Jr… but the problem is… those White Sox. They are trying my patience waiting on him! I know they want to hold off to keep control of him, but he’s batting .330 with 21 home runs! This guy is the real deal, and while I do believe the league will make some adjustments to him for next year, I’m really excited for him this year. Again, you can quote me (for this season only) I think Eloy is going to be as good or better than Vladimer Guerro Jr. stats-wise when he’s called up. They both can be monsters, but Eloy is I believe a bit more polished and I think he’ll adjust immediately to MLB pitching for 2018.

PITCHING

Josh James – James is the expected replacement for Lance McCullers now that Lance has gone down. James has been extremely impressive in the minor leagues with a stat line of 3.27 in 104 innings with 44 walks and 160 ks. However he’s had a few struggles lately giving up 3 earned runs in the last 3 starts. On top of that, the walks are not what you’d like. Consider however, over those 3 starts, his walks weren’t too bad (1, 1, 2) which might indicate his recent struggles are tied to him trying to throw more strikes. That happens sometimes when management says walks are what’s holding them back from the majors. So Josh James is a bit of a mystery, where he could be great, or he could really struggle when promoted. So far, I’ve liked how pitchers have been handled by Houston though as we’ve seen hard throwers such as Verlander and Cole really excel in this system, and Josh James also is a hard thrower. Still, the walks could be a problem, so don’t get too attached, but if you’re looking for a high upside prospect, he’s probably the one.

Taylor Widener – Ahhh, finally a name you may not have heard of. Well, perhaps you should have. Widener has been wrecking the minor leagues with a 2.49 era in 119 innings, 151 ks and only 36 walks! All things being equal, he could be my favorite pitcher to excel once promoted to SP. The only problem is, it’s IF he gets promoted and IF it’s as a SP. He’s with the Diamondbacks, who have also been a great club for improving pitchers, however, there isn’t an obvious spot for him to slide in. Clay Bucholz is probably the most likely choice, but while he’s pitching as well as he is, they’re unlikely to make that move while in a race. All the same, Widener is a great talent and is worth following in case someone struggles or an injury occurs.

*Tyler Glasnow – Yeah, he’s not a rookie, but he’s been reborn! And I wanted to put him in this article as I’ve been a believer in Glasnow for awhile. I was nervous that he’d never be as valuable as he could be when the Pirates moved him to the bullpen, but after being traded, he’s getting stretched out, ironically with Tampa Bay, which says something about how much they believe in this guy. Glasnow has changed his approach with his fastball and it’s made all the difference. He originally was attempting the Pirates philosophy of pitching low in the zone, but you could tell if you watched him, he never had much confidence with that strategy, and that’s what he’s said since moving to Tampa. And if you watch him now, he seems to have all the confidence in the world. But most importantly, he’s not walking guys! That was often considered the biggest issue, and now that he’s seemed to have improved his control, he’s looking like a top tier pitcher. Now Glasnow’s next start may be against Boston, and they’re very good at hitting the fastball, and making pitcher’s pay for their mistakes, so I’m not particularly confident with that start, but if he’s available, pick him up! You don’t have to start him vs. Boston, but his K numbers are too valuable not to take a chance on him even if he struggles down the line.

Good luck in the playoffs!

A New Way To Draft Fantasy Football

I proudly want to introduce every experienced and new fantasy football player to a completely new, easy and fun way to conquer your draft each and every season! DOMINATION is an understatement.

This new drafting system as I the creator refer to it as, simply looks at each and every NFL offense. Every coaching staff. Every player.

I have used this system while developing the little tweaks and gears along the way. I have been HIGHLY successful. In my three seasons of official fantasy football play. I have amassed a record of 100-41 70.9 win % (Yes I keep count, who doesn’t?) 5 championship games with 3 wins. Also I average about 3 leagues a year.

Using my system I win 71% of the time. On any format. Any scoring system. PPR or Standard. League size and scoring bonuses don’t even matter. They don’t affect this system. It’s proven to work 100% of the time. With that being said you also have to actually draft your team (no auto drafts fellas) and you have to be a good manager. Meaning it’s a must that you use the waivers and adjust during the season accordingly.

So with all of that being said here is my 3 year proven to work system in all of its glory….

You have COGS such as Zeke, Gurley, ODB, Brown. PLAYMAKERS such as Freeman, Diggs, Mixon, and Baldwin. TOSS UPS are basically players such as Sanu, Hyde, Blount, Tyrell Williams

Basically I’ve created my own tiers based upon this system. I use it when drafting. I scout offenses, look at schemes, coaches and styles of play, so on and so forth.

COGS- A player that has supplanted himself as the main weapon on his team without any competition or doubt of said player losing his starting role.
PLAYMAKERS- A player that can produce like a COG. But has some competition for his job and or a talented handcuff who takes touches or looks away from said player. Or an aging veteran coming out of his COG role.
TOSS UPS- Players that are usually drafted mid-late rounds. Simply have no idea what said players will produce. ADPs will be too high or too low or similar ADPs with other such like players we always gamble on.
I’m Dylan “D1” Broady you can follow me on Twitter @BroadyDylan
My Facebook page will be up soon. D1 Fantasy! I’ll keep all of you updated. Much love and appreciation.

Royally Yours: Week in Review

The Kansas City Royals played poorly last week losing five of their six games. The week started at home against the Chicago Cubs. The Royals lost the first two games in the series but avoided a sweep by winning the third game. The weekend series was also at home against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Royals were swept in the series. Royals pitching struggled in the series giving up over seven runs per game. The Royals are currently 35-82 this season. Their record guarantees they will have a losing season for the second year in a row.

Heath Fillmyer has played well despite the struggles with the pitching staff this season. He has an ERA of 3.13 and a record of 1-1 since being called up in late June. Fillmyer was traded to the Royals from the A’s this last off-season. He earned the only win for the Royals last week on Wednesday when he pitched seven scoreless innings against the Cubs. Fillmyer has shown a lot of potential in his short time with the Royals.

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Adalberto Mondesi has improved as a hitter this season. He was batting .200 at the end of June but had an impressive month of July and improved his average to .310. He has struggled a bit in August and his batting average is currently .260. Mondesi was a top prospect for the Royals but averaged .170 or under in 2016 and 2017. Mondesi has played better but still has areas to work on as a hitter. He has a walk rate of 1.6%, which is the second worst in baseball of hitters with 120 or more plate appearances. Mondesi has shown his potential this season and could be even better in the future if he improves his plate discipline.

The Royals will wrap up their 10-game home stand this week against the Toronto Blue Jays. The Royals are 0-3 against the Blue Jays this season. Alcides Escobar will be a player to watch in the series. Escobar has a .300 average and one home run in 10 at bats against the Blue Jays this year. The weekend series will be against the Chicago White Sox. The Royals are 5-8 against the White Sox this season. Daniel Palka will be a player to watch in the series. He has a .500 average and three home runs in 26 at bats against the Royals this season. The Royals will have two tough matchups this week with teams they have struggled against this season.

Dear Patriots Fan, Move On From the Super Bowl

The New England Patriots have celebrated unprecedented success for almost twenty years. In fact, there has arguably never been a football team with the same level of success over a two decade period. This success is ultimately owed to two people – Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. In fact, the love and devotion toward Coach Belichick have gone so deep that the mantra “In Bill We Trust” has been accepted by many Patriots Fans. While the success of Bill Belichick cannot be questioned, it has come at a price.

Coach Belichick does not like to disclose any information to the media. Anyone covering the Patriots during his reign has no doubt come to expect non-answers and little detail into both his line of thinking, and the team’s direction. This was most famously highlighted by the “We’re on to Cincinnati” press conference after the Patriots 2014 blowout loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Belichick keeps his cards close to his chest, and that has consistently been his track record as a head coach.

Now enter Super Bowl LII, with the Patriots close-fought loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. In what was an offensive showcase, the Patriots fell short in the League’s biggest game to yet another NFC East team. The biggest strategic question mark that came from that game was the benching of Cornerback Malcom Butler. Butler, who was the hero of Super Bowl XLIX, had been the Patriots starting Cornerback since the 2015 season.  For some reason, which is only truly known by Coach Belichick, Butler was benched for the biggest game of the year. Had the New England Patriots won the game, no one would have questioned the decision, but because they fell short, it was the first thing that people pointed to.

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Ever since that game ended, many people have tried asking Bill his reasoning behind the decision. Each and every time people seem baffled and surprised they don’t get an answer, and continue to waste their time and breath by asking again and again. Have you not paid any attention to this team before this year? What has EVER given you reason to believe you would get an answer from Coach Belichick about this? He has never been someone to disclose that type of information, and he never will be. Give up, move on, it is no longer relevant and you are wasting your time.

Look, I understand why you want to know and agree it is a very valid question – but why bother? It is a new season, with new issues, and it just doesn’t matter anymore. Butler’s time with the Patriots has come and gone; now it is time to focus on the here and now. Who will lead this committee in the backfield? What is the solution at wideout with the recent roster changes? Focus on what matters this season, not history that has already been written. From one Patriots fan to another, just move on.

CHARGED UP! Preseason Week 1 Review

Very few teams have had the same success as the Chargers in unearthing talent through their undrafted free agents. In fact, the team has the longest active streak of undrafted rookies making the final 53-man roster, with 21 years and counting. For this reason, watching Chargers football during the preseason is always interesting, and with the Chargers affinity to injuries, it can be just as nerve-wracking. With that being said, before I get to a recap and review of the Week 1 game against the Arizona Cardinals, there are no serious injuries to report, so 1 week down, 3 to go, my nails certainly will be much shorter come the start of the regular season.

But now for the game itself, a 24-17 loss to the Cardinals, where the Chargers had 4 turnovers and 15 penalties, in a somewhat sloppy performance, but there were some bright spots. The score DOES NOT matter, it is the players that stood out that is important. I will breakdown both offence and defense, and maybe discuss a little special teams, because as you know the Chargers kicking situation is abhorrent at best.

With Philip Rivers, Keenan Allen, Joey Bosa, Trevor Williams and Casey Hayward not dressing for this game, it was a real chance for the second strings guys to really push for playing time, especially along the defensive line.

OFFENCE

On the offensive side of the ball, there is not many unknowns and we can deduce the starters with 99% certainty. However, Cardale Jones trotted out as the ‘starter’ for this game and he looked athletic but there are serious questions still left unanswered and I would feel almost nauseas at the prospect of Cardale being the backup quarterback. He missed high often, was erratic with his accuracy and was almost picked off by ex-Charger Tre Boston on his second pass. Geno Smith played much better than Cardale and is my choice as the backup, despite his one interception he looked adequate and moved the offence enough. Along the offensive line the off-season acquisition of Mike Pouncey looks a good one, evident especially on one of MGIII longest runs where he pulled and was the lead blocker. Still waiting for the return of Forrest Lamp, who could still make a massive difference to this below average line.

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Photo by; KABC

For the receivers, we know that Keenan Allen is one of the best receivers in the league, but it is the number 2 and 3 receivers that’s up for grabs. At this present moment, number 2 receiver is Mike Williams, the 7th overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft. Missing most of his rookies year with injuries, amassing only 11 catches he has a lot to prove. Mike Williams is gaining a lot of buzz in fantasy and NFL circles, he’s looking like the real red-zone threat with Hunter Henry out for the year. He did okay, made a couple of catches for first downs, but did not see a lot of him in the red-zone and his route running still needs some fine tuning. What was evident was his strength and power, at one point bouncing off 4 Cardinal tacklers for a nice gain. For me though, it was a different Clemson receiver that stood out, Artavis Scott. Scott (5 catches for 44 yards) made some really nice grabs on 3rd down and was often wide open after sharp, clean routes. I don’t know how productive he can be in the regular season, but is great depth and for what it’s worth I would take him over Travis Benjamin as the 4th wide receiver. Of course, I would be amiss to not talk about the incredible grab by Geremy Davis (4 catches, 88 yards and 1TD) for a long 47-yd TD, a guy also making waves in camp, but I still take the consistency that Scott seems to possess.

At the running back position Melvin Gordon is one of the true 3-down bell cow running backs in the league, but his back up is still important. Undrafted rookie free agent Austin Ekeler was the guy last year, and on the few snaps he had last night, he looks like the guy again, small shifty with great burst and speed. Useful in both the passing and running game, I’m excited to see more of Austin and he could be one of the surprise fantasy sleepers. We did not get to see 7th round rookie Justin Jackson out of Northwestern, but Russell Hansborough, who has been on the Tampa Bay practice sqaud most recently, did a really nice job, making tacklers miss and getting what was there. If he can keep up the success, he may well push for the 3rd running back in the rotation.

I don’t want to dwell on the tight-end position too much, but it is certainly weird seeing an inept tight-end room. We have had the luxury of a future Hall-of-Famer in Antonio Gates and an up-and-coming superstar in Hunter Henry. Neither of those are playing this year, as of right now, and it’s looking bad guys. Sean Culkin had a couple of nice, chain-moving, in-traffic grabs, but overall, there was 7 targets and 5 drops to the tight-ends. Uh-oh. Someone needs to step up, or Antonio needs to come back, stat.

DEFENCE

On the defensive side of the ball, its all about the rooks! In the 2018 Draft the Chargers went defence with the first 4 selections, Derwin James, Uchenna Nwosu, Justin Jones and Kyzir White. For me Nwosu was the most impressive of the guys last night, had a number of pressures on Josh Rosen including a sack. He was flying around the ball and with his versatility could really take the already impressive Chargers defence to the next level. Another pass rusher who shone as well was Chris Landrum, the Chargers REALLY liked him last year as another undrafted guy, but he tore is Pectoral muscle. Last night again, he was giving Rosen constant pressure and despite a facemask penalty, looks like he could be an excellent rotation guy, to add to the already elite pass rush. A little disclaimer should be added here…the starting Cardinals offensive line is one of the worst in the league, so the 2nd string line is a little….porous. It will be interesting to see if the success can continue against better opposition. Derwin James looked every bit as advertised, one specific plays springs to mind, where he covered the running back toe-to-toe on a wheel route and if he can be every bit the player we all want him to be this Chargers secondary can be very scary. Kyzir White, played safety at college but the Chargers want him to be a line-backer at the next level and he looked okay, made some good plays but also made some rookie mistakes. Whilst I have been very positive, I will say that the first team run defence looked weak again and was gashed a few times by David Johnson, so I hope that is not a theme that will permeate to the regular season. On the defensive line, there is still a lot to play for and I think this could be the weakness of the Chargers defence, Damion Square and Corey Liuget made some nice plays against the run last night, but are too inconsistent. Whereas Darius Philon looked to improve towards the end of last year and during camp this year, so hopefully he can continue that growth and add some much needed talent to the defensive interior.

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Photo by; Conquest Chronicles

Oh and also normality is resumed, Caleb Sturgis, shanked a very make-able 42-yd FG. Yay.

All in all, whilst it was a sloppy, mistake filled game, there was some positives to be taken away from the first week of preseason. If these mistakes can be cleaned up and we can stay healthy I will be relatively optimistic about the chances of this Chargers team, once the regular season hits.

Follow me on Twitter @edmardon23, I would love to hear what you think, I will be bringing you all of your Chargers needs throughout the season.

 

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