|Patriots still have best odds to win Super Bowl, while Tom Brady again has best odds to capture MVP||11.23.16 at 1:45 pm ET|
The Patriots are still have the best odds when it comes to winning Super Bowl LI, according to Bovada.
New England’s odds stayed at 9/4 over the last wee, putting them ahead of the Cowboys (9/2), Seahawks (11/2) and Raiders (12/1). At the other end of the spectrum, the Rams are Jets are both 500/1. (The Bears, Browns, Jaguars and Niners are all off the board.)
Tom Brady was also able to re-establish himself as the MVP favorite. After spending a week behind Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott, the Patriots’ quarterback returned to the top of the heap. He has 11/4 odds to win the MVP, ahead of Russell Wilson (4/1), Elliott (9/2), Derek Carr (7/1) and Matt Ryan (7/1).
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|As stretch drive looms, who holds lead in race for NFL MVP?||11.21.16 at 11:54 am ET|
In a wide-open chase for this year’s MVP, a handful of candidates have distinguished themselves at the start of the stretch drive. In no particular order, here’s our current top 10.
Quarterback Tom Brady: The quarterback has fallen off the red-hot pace he established through his first few games back after his Deflategate ban, but through his first six games, Brady is still posting comparable numbers to his remarkable 2007 campaign.
Brady, first 6 games, ’16: 145-206 (70%), 1,915 yds, 16 TDs, 1 INT
Brady, first 6 names, ’07: 148-204 (72%), 1,771 yds, 21 TDs, 2 INTs
— Christopher Price (@cpriceNFL) November 21, 2016
Bottom line? His team currently holds the top spot in the AFC and he’s putting up big numbers. In what is shaping up to be a season where there’s no consensus candidate, he remains a strong possibility to take home his third MVP award.
Quarterback Matt Ryan: The Boston College product has had the best season of his career to this point; with Brady missing the first four games of the year, Ryan is at or near the top of most major passing categories. (If he’s in second, more often than not, the only guy he’s trailing is Drew Brees. And HE isn’t getting any MVP votes this year.) Ryan is 236-for-346 (68 percent) with 3,247 passing yards, 24 touchdowns, five interceptions and a passer rating of 115.1 for the 6-4 Falcons. Good numbers that should continue to have him in the hunt as the playoffs loom.
Running back Ezekiel Elliott: With Brady and Ryan, one of three serious candidates at this point on the calendar. The rookie out of Ohio State is having one of the best seasons of any young running back in recent history with 1,102 yards on 223 carries for nine touchdowns in 10 games. The 6-foot, 225-pounder us on pace to finish with a whopping 1,763 rushing yards. If he does that and the Cowboys finish 15-1 or 14-2, it would be hard for many national voters look past him.
Quarterback Dak Prescott: The Elliott-Prescott combination has really clicked for Dallas this year, and the quarterback has done more than his share in getting the Cowboys to 9-1. The 6-foot-2, 225-pounder has gone 214-for-316 (68 percent), with 2,640 passing yards, 17 touchdowns, just two picks and a passer rating of 108.6. But could Prescott and Elliott end up splitting votes?
Quarterback Russell Wilson: From this perspective, Wilson has a fantastic opportunity to make a closing statement over the final month-plus of the season. The signal-caller, who finally appears to be over the health issues that dogged him for much of the first half of the season, has the Seahawks back on track and playing fantastic football. The numbers aren’t overwhelming when stacked against some of his contemporaries: on the year, he is 221-for-335 (66 percent), with 2,714 passing yards, 11 touchdowns, two interceptions and a 99.3 passer rating. But if he stays healthy, Seattle continues to play well down the stretch and ends up with 12 or more wins, Wilson is going to get lots of votes.
|Patriots still have best odds when it comes to winning Super Bowl LI, while Tom Brady leads MVP chase||11.02.16 at 1:59 pm ET|
The Patriots are still the favorite to win Super Bowl LI.
According to Bovada, New England has 2/1 odds when it comes to capturing the title, followed closely by the Cowboys (9/1), Seahawks (10/1), Packers (12/1), Broncos and Vikings (both 14/1). It’s no surprise that the Pats are at the head of the pack when it comes to AFC odds as well; New England is 10/11 to win the conference championship, with the Steelers (6/1), Broncos (7/1) and Chiefs (7/1) next.
Quarterback Tom Brady also has the best odds to win the NFL MVP at 5/4. Matt Ryan (11/2) and Ezekiel Elliott (15/2) are second and third, respectively.
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|Handicapping a weird NFL MVP race: Does Tom Brady actually have a shot?||10.20.16 at 11:19 am ET|
This is shaping up to be one of those year’s with no slam-dunk MVP candidate. So after six weeks, who has the best shot at the title? In no particular order, here’s our current top 10.
Quarterback Tom Brady: Despite the fact that he missed the first four games, the quarterback has suddenly injected himself into the MVP discussion with a dynamite pair of games, the likes of which we haven’t seen from him before.
Tom Brady has a passer rating of 135.5 after his first 2 games of 2016, his highest rating after 2 games of any career season #Patriots
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) October 16, 2016
As strange as it sounds, even after his four-game exile to start the season. he’s as good a candidate as anyone at this point on the calendar. Overall, Brady has completed 76 percent of his passes and thrown for 782 yards, to go along with six touchdowns and no interceptions. Unless someone on a high-profile team gets hot and separates himself from the rest of the pack (like a 20-sack season from Von Miller, for example), he should be able to stick around and be a part of the conversation, provided he stays healthy. (At least the oddsmakers like his chances.)
Linebacker Von Miller: You can certainly make a case for the best defensive player on the best defense in the league, especially (as we said) if he’s able to break out with some sort of big numbers. He’s on his way with a league-best 7.5 sacks in six games. From this viewpoint, as long as the Broncos remain in the race, Miller will get plenty of votes.
Running back Ezekiel Elliott: Why not? The Elliott/Dak Prescott combo has injected new life into the Dallas offense. Elliott has 703 rushing yards through six games, and a 2,000-yard season and postseason berth for the Cowboys would certainly get him MVP consideration. He could end up splitting votes with Prescott — who will be the default Dallas candidate, especially if he continues to play well — but from this viewpoint, we’d be more inclined to cast our ballot for Elliott.
Quarterback Matt Ryan: The Falcons are a surprising 4-2, and the 31-year-old Ryan is a big reason why. The former BC product has completed 68 percent of his passes for 2,075 yards, with 15 touchdowns, three interceptions, and a passer rating of 117.9 (best in the NFL among starters). It might not be sustainable, but he’s made as good a case as anyone to be consider the first ex-Boston College player to win an NFL MVP award.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger: Roethlisberger is out for this week’s game against the Patriots, but through the first six games, he’s led the Steelers to a 4-2 starts, and has been right there when it comes to statistical totals. The Steelers’ signal-caller is at or near the top of the league in most major passing categories, including completion rate (64 percent), total passing yards (1,685), touchdowns (16), just six picks and a passer rating of 99.2.
Quarterback Russell Wilson: Wilson will never overwhelm you with crazy numbers, but his ability to keep his head in big games as the quarterback for one of the best teams in the league wins him a spot on this list. The Seahawks are 4-1, while Wilson is clicking with a 66 percent completion rate, 1,334 passing yards, five touchdowns, one interception and a passer rating of 97. Again, not overwhelming, but his performance as the centerpiece of one of the best team’s in the league should be enough to keep him in the conversation.
|Fantasy Football: Week 3 starts, sits||09.23.16 at 11:47 am ET|
Good morning, Patriots fans. Feeling good? Thought so. It’s Friday, so it’s time for some starts and sits as you enjoy the afterglow of a big win. As usual, I have done my best to try to find some worthwhile recommendations. And if you need some advice on players not listed in this space, check out my full lineup rankings at Rotobahn. It’s also a good idea to cross-reference these recommendations against my full lineup rankings that are up at Rotobahn and will be fully updated by Saturday evening.
Don’t forget to tune in to the Fantasy Football Hour this Sunday at 8 a.m. when Jim Hackett and I will discuss trending Week 3 topics and crucial game day information.
Matt Ryan, Falcons at Saints, $7,400
I will gladly pay that price to get him in my DraftKings lineup, but I need to know that Julio Jones is playing. Ryan, armed with a healthy Jones, is a great play against a weak Saints defense. It’s also a plus that the Saints probably will score a lot of points. Vegas has this game scoring more points (53.5 over/under) than any other Week 3 tilt.
Derek Carr, Raiders at Titans, $6,900
Carr has looked even better than he did in 2015. He’s cool in the pocket and can extend plays with his feet when necessary. This is good because he’s got quality receivers who work the various levels of the field well. He’s got Michael Crabtree working the intermediate routes, but he’s also got Amari Cooper, who can stretch the field and cause havoc for defenses. He’s also got a good young tight end and a deep backfield. Carr should give you solid numbers this weekend at the Titans. He’s startable in all leagues and very playable in tournaments on DraftKings. I’m looking to stack him with Cooper.
Blake Bortles, Jaguars vs. Ravens, $6,500
He’s struggled so far, but only in real football terms. The fantasy digits have been there because Bortles is surrounded by high-end playmakers. Garbage time is almost always productive for the Jaguars and it allows Bortles to backfill his game stats for his fantasy owners. He should end up with respectable to strong numbers this week as the Ravens are not that good on the back end. I’d be stacking Bortles with either Allen Robinson or Julius Thomas on DraftKings — depending on what my budget looks like.
Carson Wentz, Eagles vs. Steelers, $5,500
The price is nice. Wentz has not played like a rookie so far, and you throw to beat the Steelers. Pittsburgh plays the run well and has a leaky secondary. Meanwhile, Wentz has underrated playmakers and he can augment his passing numbers with his feet a la Jacoby Brissett. He’s a compelling play at such a low price. I’d stack him with Jordan Matthews in tournaments, but he is too risky for cash games at this point.
|Fantasy Football: DraftKings Week 2||09.19.15 at 8:57 am ET|
I hope you all had a good Week 1 with your DraftKings lineups. I know I did, and I am fired up for this week’s games. If you are looking for a deeper take or are looking to create your own Draftings board for Week 2, feel free to download my DraftKings worksheet over at Rotobahn. It’s a good look at all the players you might want to consider without all the deadwood you have to sift through on the DraftKings site.
Don’t forget to tune in to 93.7 on Sunday at 8 a.m. for this week’s edition of the Fantasy Football Hour, with my good buddy Jim Hackett.
Like last week, I have broken this week’s recommendations down into three cost levels.
BIG-MONEY OPTIONS ($7,000 and up)
The Giants have no answer for Jones. None. They can’t cover him, and they can’t put much pressure on Matt Ryan to limit downfield opportunities. This is the way I want to spend my big money in Week 2. And what’s great is that Atlanta will have some issues stopping New York, so Jones could be heavily involved for four quarters.
Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings vs. Lions, $7,700
The Vikings somehow, almost inexplicably, got away from Peterson in Week 1 and their offense sputtered. I can only assume that feeding Peterson will be a huge priority this week against a team he has run over many times in the past. It’s also worth mentioning that Ndamukong Suh now is a Dolphin and star linebacker DeAndre Levy is unlikely to play this week. The table is set.
Matty Ice has a sweet matchup this Sunday against the hapless Giants defense. A bad game seems almost impossible, and the odds of a big game seem very strong. Yes, he is pricey at 7,400 units, but I think you will get what you pay for and perhaps considerably more.
Jordan Matthews, WR, Eagles vs. Cowboys, $7,100
He clearly is the lead target in the Eagles passing attack and he has a chance to go off in this game. Matthews played 85 percent of the offensive snaps last week, and that is a serious increase over what we saw most of last season. Just for some perspective, Jeremy Maclin played 87 percent of the team’s offensive snaps in 2014. Matthews played on 65 percent. The point is that you may want to start Matthews now, before his price goes up even higher. He will be in a lot of my lineups this week.
|Fantasy Football: Week 14 starts, sits||12.05.14 at 8:53 am ET|
Welcome to the Week 14 starts and sits! It’s win-or-go-home time in most fantasy football leagues, so lineup decisions potentially are crucial. If you are looking for a second opinion on players not listed in this article, head over to my site, Rotobahn, and check out our full lineup rankings for Week 14.
Don’t forget to tune in Sunday morning for another episode of the Fantasy Football Hour with my co-host Jim Hackett. If you have last-minute lineup concerns, you should check out my Sunday chat. It takes place right here at WEEI.com and it runs from 11 a.m. to noon.
If you want to keep track of all our fantasy football content, both here and at Rotobahn, follow me on Twitter. I send out links to all fresh articles and chats as well.
Matt Ryan, Falcons at Packers
The Falcons are going to trail in this game, and it should happen fast. They will go into this game knowing that they’ll have to score a lot of points to win. They will try to get Steven Jackson going to set up some play-action for Ryan to work off of, but in the end, the Falcons have to throw to have any chance at all. Ryan should post solid fantasy statistics based on volume of attempts, and he’s got big-game potential if he gets some pass protection.
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers at Bengals
It’s hard to see Roethlisberger not making some plays in this game. He’s got a lot of places to throw the football, and his team will need the points based on the way the Steelers have played defense recently. He’s playable if you need him.
He’s a viable option in deeper leagues if you are in need. The Titans are an easy mark, and Manning has enough weapons to get the job done, most notably Odell Beckham. It might not always be pretty, but Manning should have decent numbers by the end of the day. Remember, the Giants need to develop their offense as much as they need to win. New York’s season ended weeks ago. The remaining games are about establishing things that can carry over to 2015. Expect plenty of pass attempts.
Joe Flacco, Ravens at Dolphins
His receivers are an issue, with Steve Smith slowing down and Torrey Smith nursing a sore knee. The Dolphins defense represents a tough road matchup, so this is a situation to avoid. I’ve got at least 16 quarterbacks ranked higher than Flacco this week.
Latest from Bleacher Report
- Patriots vs. Rams: Full Report Card Grades for New England
- Tom Brady Passes Peyton Manning for Most Wins All-Time by a QB
- Danny Amendola Injury: Updates on Patriots WR's Ankle and Return
- Tom Brady Injury: Updates on Patriots QB's Knee and Return
- Alan Branch Wins Suspension Appeal: Latest Details and Reaction
- Can the New England Patriots Survive Another Rob Gronkowski Absence?
- Rob Gronkowski Injury Update: TE Reportedly Will Miss 8 Weeks with Back...