About a year and a half after the embarrassment of the 2012 National Title game, Notre Dame finds themselves in quite a sticky situation. Rumors have been flying around this morning about the the Fighting Irish student athletes, more specifically the football players, that have committed academic fraud. They allegedly had sexual relations with team trainers/managers and they even had their school work done by these women. The students who have been accused of this are Ishaq Williams, KaVare Russell, DaVarius Daniels, and Kendall Moore. Sources are saying that Notre Dame will self vacate all wins from the 2012 football season and expel these men from the university. Nothing is set in stone yet as these are just rumors but having this kind of news surrounding your program this close to September is anything but positive.
NL MVP- Giancarlo Stanton (Marlins)
AL MVP- Mike Trout (Angels)
NL Cy Young- Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers)
AL Cy Young- Felix Hernandez (Mariners)
NL Rookie of the Year- Billy Hamilton (Reds)
AL Rookie of the Year- Jose Abreu (White Sox)
NL Home Run King- Giancarlo Stanton (Marlins)
AL Home Run King- Nelson Cruz (Orioles)
NL Batting Title- Troy Tulowitzki (Rockies)
AL Batting Title- Michael Brantley (Indiands)
NL Manager of the Year- Ron Roenicke (Brewers)
AL Manager of the Year- Ned Yost (Royals)
Fantasy Football drafts are right around the corner and the anticipation is building each day. To ensure you don’t totally botch your draft you want to draft a top tier quarterback to help take your team to your leagues championship. Drafting your franchise quarterback is no easy task. You must take into account every aspect of the certain player and their history of success, health, and strengths. To help you make this crucial decision easier for you, we have chosen 3 quarterbacks who are projected to be fantasy studs but will unfortunately end up being fantasy duds.
1. Nick Foles- Foles had an impressive run in Philadelphia throwing for 27 touchdowns and just 2 interceptions in only 13 games. Nick Foles’ successful run as the Eagles starting quarterback was very unexpected and impressive to everybody, but if you draft him expecting him to repeat last year then you might as well count yourself out of the playoffs. Foles has already shown signs of not being able to live up to the incredible amount of hype. In his first preseason appearance he completed 6 of 9 passes for 44 yards but also threw 2 interceptions. This was just a preseason game so it really didn’t mean much but it sent shockwaves of doubt to all fantasy owners of Nick Foles. Be cautious when considering him to be your quarterback.
2. Josh McCown- McCown acted as the replacement for when Jay Cutler went down with an injury and he certainly made the most of his opportunity. McCown played in 8 games last season and started in 5 of them. During his time he threw 13 touchdowns and only 1 interception, besting starting quarterback Jay Cutler in vertical yards per attempt, completion percentage, and winning percentage. Playing the way he did in Chicago earned him the starting job in Tampa. A part of the reason we have predicted him to to disappoint is because when on the Bears he had multiple offensive weapons around him including Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall, and Alshon Jeffery. Yes, the Buccaneers do have good weapons in Doug Martin and Vincent Jackson, but those guys don’t compare to the high caliber offense that the Bears have. This will be one quarterback that you should have on the “Do Not Draft” list.
3. Robert Griffin III- The main reason RG3 is on this list is because he has always been a big question mark when it comes to health. RGIII has a history of taking his fantasy owners on a roller coaster ride during the season and it will likely continue this season. Training camp in Washington is wrapping up and there have been multiple reports saying that Robert Griffin III still has work to do on developing his game and that he is still in the process of transitioning into more of traditional style NFL quarterback. Columnist for WashingtonPost.com writes,
“Griffin has shown some growth in directing a traditional offense. But his transition to a full-time pocket passer is slow”
The good news is that he still has about a month to really get his game to 100 percent. Even if you are to draft Robert Griffin III, make sure you also draft a steady backup who can fill in.
Have you ever been strolling through the bookstore searching for a good read when you “accidentally” come across the magazine section. You know football season is coming up and you are determined not to come in a last in your fantasy football league again. There are literally dozens of different magazines to choose from and you don’t know what to do. When you do find yourself in this situation, if you haven’t already, go ahead and don’t pick any magazine. Because at the end of the day, it’s just a waste of your money. We did our best of summarizing what the cover of every fantasy football magazine looks like.
NFC EAST- Philadelphia Eagles. The east will come to the end as it always does. The Redskins and Cowboys defenses are as bad as they come this year in the NFL. The Eagles defense is very mediocre. However, Chip Kelly’s offense will adjust to the loss of DeSean Jackson, and the Eagles will win the East in 2014.
NFC NORTH- Green Bay Packers. With a healthy Aaron Rodgers and a new found star running back in Lacy, the Packers should be able to win the north if Lacy can avoid a sophomore slump.
NFC SOUTH- New Orleans Saints. The Saints have one of the NFL’s best defenses, and are quarterbacked by one of the best in the business, Drew Brees. The Saints will make a deep run into the playoffs this year.
NFC WEST- San Francisco 49ers. The toughest division in the NFL. The 49ers will be hungry for blood and beat out the Seahawks, who lost some key contributors on defense to win the West.
Wild Cards- Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears. The Seahawks are an obvious choice here. Also, I see the Bears finding their way into the playoffs behind a young defense and an electric offense.
AFC EAST- New England Patriots. Although I think the Jets are a lot closer than people think to unseating the Patriots in the east, Tom Brady is not going to let the Patriots get out of the playoffs in one of the worst divisions in football.
AFC NORTH- Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals defense is somewhat overrated in my opinion. However, the Bengals offense has playmakers touching the ball with guys like A.J. Green and Giovani Bernard. Dalton, on his new contract, will once again take the Bengals to the playoffs.
AFC SOUTH- Indianapolis Colts. The Colts defense is definitely in the bottom half of the NFL, but Andrew Luck will be enough to get the Colts a ticket to the playoffs in the rebuilding south.
AFC WEST- Denver Broncos. The Broncos were so close last year and have made the changes necessary for another super bowl run. As long as Peyton Manning is under center in Denver, they will continue to dominate the west and make the playoffs.
Wild Cards- Kansas City Chiefs, Pittsburgh Steelers. One of the wild card teams is coming out of the west. I think the Chiefs beat the Chargers to the playoffs once again this year. I have the Steelers also getting a wild card spot because they are the next best team in the AFC.
NFC Championship- San Francisco 49ers vs Seattle Seahawks. The Saints have a really good chance to find their way into this game. However, these two heavyweights will clash for a chance at the super bowl.
AFC Championship- Denver Broncos vs Indianapolis Colts. The Pats have not surrounded Brady with enough playmakers on offense to make it back to this game in 2014.
Super Bowl- San Francisco 49ers vs Denver Broncos. The Broncos have another chance at the champs from the NFC. However, this time around it is the San Francisco 49ers.
Champions- Denver Broncos. The Broncos have the talent on defense to hang with a team like the 49ers, and I can’t seeing Peyton Manning losing two super bowls in a row. The 2014-2014 season is Peyton Manning’s season, and there is no way he will be stopped from bringing the Lombardi Trophy to Denver
30. Colorado Rockies- Two star hitters in Tulowitzki and Gonzalez but other than that there is no positivity on this team.
29. Texas Rangers- Depleted roster on pitching and on hitting. Don’t expect anything different for the rest of the season.
28. Arizona Diamondbacks- This team has no upside especially with their best player, Paul Goldschmidt, likely out for the year.
27. Houston Astros- A building team who is quietly improving their pitching and hitting but still haven’t gotten out of the 20-30 range.
26. Chicago Cubs- Cubs remain a bottom tier team, don’t expect anything different for the remainder of the season.
25. Boston Red Sox- The Red Sox lost stud pitcher, Jon Lester, but gaining the bat of Cespedes is huge for this teams future.
24. Philadelphia Phillies- Has many missing pieces to this roster and needs to start rebuilding.
23. Minnesota Twins- The Twins remain a struggling team with no upside.
22. San Diego Padres- New GM A.J. Preller looks to improve this club.
21. New York Mets- The Mets remain the inferior team in the bronx, but hope to build momentum towards the finish of this season.
20. Chicago White Sox- The better of the two teams in Chicago but continue to struggle. They have an established ace in their rotation to build off of.
19. Cleveland Indians- I think the Indians are paying more attention to Johnny Football and Lebron James than they are to their own team.
18. Miami Marlins- A dark horse team who could sneak up on the Braves and the Nationals and try to steal a wild card position. Hitting is improving rapidly.
17. Tampa Bay Rays- Were on a roll when David Price was still in the rotation. Now that they dealt him they should stay at a steady sub par record.
16. Cincinnati Reds- Their hitting is hurting this teams chances of seeing the playoffs. Team roster overall has tons potential though.
15. Atlanta Braves- Coming off a major slump the Braves look to regain possession of the NL East. A very streaky team that will be fighting for playoff contention.
14. Toronto Blue Jays- This club has all the necessary pieces to be a top team, small streaky slumps have gotten the best of them this season.
13. New York Yankees- Should be a top ten team if healthy. Their rotation has been depleted especially with the playing of stud rookie pitcher, Masahiro Tanaka, on the DL.
12. Seattle Mariners- Talented team who sometimes show signs of improvement, but continuously fails to give their pitchers any help, which is the reason for numerous losses.
11. Kansas City Royals- A very quiet but talented team, who have been playing good baseball recently.
10. Washington Nationals- Playing very steady baseball, and must maintain first place in the NL East to ensure their spot in the playoffs.
9. Pittsburgh Pirates- The Pirates have had a very steady, successful season and look to ride into the playoffs smoothly.
8. Milwaukee Brewers- Currently in the midst of a tough stretch facing the Dodgers, but if they can take at least half of those match ups they should remain in the top 10 of the power rankings.
7. St. Louis Cardinals- The Cardinals are playing good baseball and need to finish the season strong to win the NL Central and ensure their position in the playoffs.
6. Detroit Tigers- A very powerful hitting and pitching team especially with the addition of David Price. Should once again make a deep run in the playoffs.
5. San Francisco Giants- Their ace, Bumgarner, has been pitching brilliantly as of lately, but the hitting is holding them back.
4. Baltimore Orioles- The Orioles are riding a hot streak right now and they are sitting pretty atop the AL East standings
3. Los Angeles Dodgers- The Dodgers have a very complete ball club. Kershaw is pitching better than ever and the hitting is lineup is performing as expected.
2. Los Angeles Angels- The Angels are hitting exceptionally well and are playing very smart baseball. Even with an exceptional record they still remain 2nd in their division.
1. Oakland Athletics- The A’s are the best team in baseball, it has been clear for awhile now. They must continue this though so they can maintain the top spot in the AL West division.
The Cavaliers and Timberwolves have allegedly already agreed on a trade, sending Kevin Love to Cleveland for Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, and a future first round draft pick. The Cavaliers can’t accept the trade until August 23rd which is when Andrew Wiggins will be eligible to be traded. Let’s assume the deal goes through without being blocked and how about we take a look at the winners and losers from one of the biggest trades that has occurred in recent years.
Winner: The City of Cleveland- This city has gone from being one of the worst sports towns to being atop the best. Within 2 months Cleveland sports received an intriguing young star Johnny Manziel, the best basketball player in the world, Lebron James, and now possibly the best power forward in the NBA.
Loser: Andrew Wiggins- After being drafted number one overall in the 2014 NBA Draft, Wiggins looked like he was going to have a bright future in a Cavs uniform. Unfortunately all he’s been good for this season is acting as trade bait to lure Kevin Love away from the Timberwolves. Now that the deal is done, Wiggins will be beginning his career on a struggling Minnesota Timberwolves team.
Winner: David Blatt- David Blatt was simply given a championship caliber team without even meeting Lebron James. Blatt has no experience whatsoever coaching in the NBA and now he is privileged to coach the two of the best players in the world.
Loser: John Calipari- In early June Coach Cal had the chance to take a 10 year $80 Million Dollar offer from the Cavaliers. He declined the job, but that was when the Cavaliers were still a bottom tier NBA team. Now, I’m willing to bet that Coach Calipari would have taken that job in a heart beat.
Winner: Kevin Love- Kevin Love is finally getting what he has wanted for awhile now. To get out of Minnesota. He has waited and waited to be on a team where he can expose his abilities on the court. All eyes will be on Lebron, Love, and Irving this season as the country watches them attempt to capture a championship in Cleveland.