Chiefs Pose Tough Test for Pats

If Maclin sits, the Patriots will likely double up on Travis Kelce

If Jeremy Maclin sits, the Patriots will likely double up on tight end Travis Kelce

The Kansas City Chiefs are on an eleven game winning streak and are playing with swagger. The team finished the season 11-5 and shut out the Houston Texans last weekend in the wildcard game 30-0. The Chiefs have enjoyed a great season, but the real test comes when Kansas City travels to New England.

The Chiefs defense is rock solid and could cause some real headaches for Brady and Company. On the other side of the ball, Andy Reid will have to draw up more unique schemes using wide receiver motions, reverse actions, and direct snaps to attack a solid Patriots defense.

Kansas City is also likely to be without the team’s top wideout as Jeremy Maclin is listed as questionable for the game. If Maclin sits, this will allow the Pats to double up on tight end Travis Kelce.

Much has changed since these teams last played each other back in 2014 when the Chiefs beat the Patriots out in Kansas City. Bill Belichick remembers how horrible his Patriots played and is looking for better results this time around .

After starting the season 9-0, the Patriots finished the season 12-4 and lost their last two games to end the season against the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins. They managed to clinch a first round bye which was much needed as they were battling injuries with the absence of Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Rob Gronkowski and Donte Hightower.

Many of these players are slated to return this week which should help the Patriots get things back on track as they attempt to make another Superbowl run.

NFL Week 2 – Last Minute Fantasy Pickups

Even against the Bengals, fantasy owners should not lie down on Stevie Johnson

Even against the Bengals, fantasy owners should not lie down on Stevie Johnson

Going into Week 2 of the NFL schedule, there are key issues facing fantasy owners who own high profile wide receivers. Dez Bryant, TY Hilton, and Julio Jones have fantasy owners scrambling for options. Julio is dealing with a hamstring injury following an outstanding Week 1 performance, TY Hilton has knee problems, and Bryant has a broken foot that will cost him at least 3 games and probably more. Here are three fantasy options to help take the sting out of these early season injury issues.

Stevie Johnson

Johnson is known to most for his tenure on the Buffalo Bills, but after being traded last year to the 49ers, Johnson has found a new home in San Diego. Production has lessened lately for the veteran receiver, but Stevie could turn out to be Phillip Rivers’ best option (after Keenan Allen) for the season. Johnson may have to watch out for Pacman Jones of the Bengals this week after the cornerback was fined for slamming rookie Amari Cooper’s head into his helmet.

Cole Beasley

Most people are thinking that with Dez Bryant out, Terrance Williams is the obvious choice to fill in as a number one target for Tony Romo. But Beasley will probably have even more production in the coming weeks. With Bryant gone, most defenses the Cowboys face will focus their attention on the running game, Jason Witten, and Terrance Williams. This should leave the 5’8” slot receiver open for opportunities. Although Beasley fumbled last week against the Giants, he was the undisputed MVP of Dallas’ training camp as he was virtually uncoverable. Look for Beasley to get some shine these next few weeks.

Donte Moncrief

The young receiver is set to try and fill the big shoes of TY Hilton in Indy. Moncrief has a good chance to see plenty of targets and gain deep yards with opponents focusing on newly acquired Andre Johnson. With Andrew Luck looking to redeem his dismal performance against the Bills last week, owners of Moncrief could see a lot of fantasy points from the second-year player.

 

NFL Week 1 – Fantasy Football Turned Upside Down

Peyton Manning turned in his 5th straight fantasy nightmare

Peyton Manning on the decline? He just turned in his 5th straight fantasy DUD

Week one of the NFL was chock full of fantasy surprises. Seven tight ends not named Rob Gronkowski or Jimmy Graham scored a touchdown, nine different defenses found the end zone and 11 different kickers scored double-digit fantasy points. While points were bountiful for some, they were also scarce for others, most notably Peyton Manning, C.J. Anderson, and Dez Bryant. Week one is certainly not the time to push the panic button, but fantasy owners should show some concern.

The Denver Broncos managed to pull out a tough win against a stout Ravens defense without scoring an offensive touchdown. Since last season, Manning has gone without a touchdown in three out of his past six games. At age 39, it wouldn’t be hard to believe that Manning is finally slowing down. A short week to prepare for a stingy Chiefs’ front seven and a surprisingly good Vikings defense two weeks after may cause more problems for Peyton in the near future. Selling the QB early in the season based on the name may be a smart move. Then again, it is Peyton Manning, and week one could prove to be just a fluke.

What isn’t a fluke is the fluidity of the Broncos’ offensive line. Not only could the offensive line not protect Manning, but it struggled to get anything going on the ground as Denver running backs averaged a combined 2.8 yards per carry. C.J. Anderson suffered a toe sprain in the contest but is reported to be okay according to head coach Gary Kubiak. Unfortunately, when Anderson was sidelined, Ronnie Hillman made the most of his carries rushing 12 times for a team-high 41 yards. Hillman is firmly planted as the No. 2 back on the depth chart so if Anderson owners don’t have him on their roster, it’s time to pick that handcuff up from waivers.

Switching things over to the NFC, Dez Bryant exited the Sunday night game early after posting only five receptions for 48 yards. Bryant had surgery on the fracture in his foot on Monday but the timetable for his return is up in the air. Initial reports suggested a month out but new findings speculate Bryant can miss 6-8 weeks. That’s a huge blow to fantasy owners who dropped a first round pick on the Dallas star. However, it is the next guy up when a player goes down. Terrence Williams, Cole Beasley, and Gavin Escobar are all worth a look on the waiver wire.

There are 16 weeks to the fantasy season and week one will always bring about the most glaring concerns. Decide on solutions wisely, because a week one change can turn into a year-long problem.

 

MLB Week 4 – Waiver Wire Report

Carlos

Carlos Martinez has great upside, but be prepared for some growing pains

Carlos Martinez – SP, St. Louis Cardinals

Cardinals right-hander Carlos Martinez has put up three consecutive quality starts and is a hot fantasy waiver wire pickup. During those starts, he’s thrown 19 total innings, allowing just 11 hits and three earned runs while striking out 20. His most recent start last Friday was particularly eye-catching: he held the Brewers scoreless over seven innings, giving up four hits and collecting eight strikeouts. Martinez is just 23, and with the Cards’ successful history of developing young pitching, it’s easy for MLB fantasy owners to get excited. Keep in mind, however, that St. Louis plans to limit their young arm to around 150 innings. Regardless, if you could use some starting pitching the breakout potential here is hard to ignore, and you can make contingency plans if needed as he nears his innings limit.

Juan Lagares – OF, New York Mets

Though Lagares garners a lot of attention with his glove, he’s also gotten off to a solid start at the plate and is among this week’s top waiver wire pickups. In 20 games he’s batting .316 with a .329 OBP. On Monday night, he went 2-for-4 with a run scored in the Mets’ 3-1 victory over the Marlins. He won’t offer much in terms of power or run production, but Lagares should have his share of scoring opportunities while hitting in the second spot of the Mets’ lineup. He’s crossed the plate 12 times so far. If you could use an extra outfielder and are in a deeper league, Lagares might be worth some consideration.

Zack Cozart – SS, Cincinnati Reds

The Reds shortstop has been flexing some power muscles in the opening weeks of 2015, swatting four home runs in his first 19 games. He’s also hitting for a respectable .300/.333/.557 slash line over that span. As any MLB fantasy owner knows, offense can be a serious rarity at the middle infield positions, which makes Cozart all the more appealing if he’s still sitting in your league’s free agency pool. Manage your expectations, however: over the past three seasons Cozart has posted a far more pedestrian .241/.280/.362 line while averaging ten homers. But if you’re thin at SS you can certainly scoop him up if you want to see how long he can swing a hot bat.

Chris Young – OF, New York Yankees

Young is off to a surprisingly good start this season and is working himself into regular playing time with the Yankees. In 18 games he’s hitting .296 with a .356 OBP. He has been a legitimate run-producer for the Bronx Bombers as well, with four home runs and 10 RBI currently to his name. It’s a bit difficult to fully endorse Young since the veteran Carlos Beltran is being given a rather long leash despite his .167 batting average. He might not be in the lineup every day, but if he keeps hitting like this Young will get his at-bats. Right now you could do worse for some outfield depth.

INTERVIEW | GEEK BEAT RADIO

S ∆ M M U S | OFFICIAL

This past month has been chock full of different interviews. First I spoke with Our Show before my set in Orlando on April 5th, then I spoke with Robert Villegas of My So Called 8Bit Life, followed by an interview with IC student Ian Stone about my tour, and most recently I spoke with the fun folks at Geek Beat Radio. Check out the Geek Beat interview below in which we discussed everything from my forthcoming project to the zombie apocalypse. If you like what you hear, make sure you show Geek Beat some love!

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