Jets and Fitzpatrick Off to a Great Start

September 24th, 2015
New York Jets airplane

The Jets are reaching new heights early in the 2015 season.

Maybe punching Geno Smith in the face during preseason was the best thing that could have happened to the New York Jets!

Surprise, surprise!  The Jets are 2-0 with impressive wins over the Colts and Browns and a Sunday tilt with the flailing Philadelphia Eagles.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, who earned the starting role by forfeit when Smith was injured in the fight, has not put up stellar stats (4 TD’s and 2 INT’s), but he’s been a capable starter–capable enough to lead the Jets to two early season wins.  And, the match-up with the Eagles is likely a good one for the Jets.  With the Eagles hurry up and go nowhere offense, Fitzpatrick should get an adequate number of touches which can do nothing but help his fantasy stats this weekend.

If this game had been played in Weeks 1 or 2, the Eagles would have been solid favorites. But, Philadelphia hasn’t been able to do anything right, and the Jets’ defense, led by Darelle Revis, has been terrific.  The Jets defense has led opposing quarterbacks to a combined 63.7 passing rating. Unless Chip Kelly changes things quickly, New York should hold Sam Bradford in check, and considering Philadelphia ranks dead last in rushing, it could be a struggle for them to score for a second straight week.  Therefore, most smart handicapping picks have the Jets covering this weekend and the fantasy picks to go with Fitzpatrick and to bench the unproductive Bradford.

Daily Fantasy Sports Shows Growth

September 7th, 2015

It seems as though you can’t watch a sporting event, or listen to sports talk on the radio, without hearing an advertisement for daily fantasy sports (DFS) today.  Daily fantasy sports from DraftKings and FanDuel have gripped the American public with a legal way to gamble without the commitment to a full season.  It’s enough to make your professional sports handicapping business take notice.

According to the Fantasy Sports Association, 56.8 million Americans and Canadians play some kind of fantasy sports.  Of those, about 20% are playing daily fantasy sports exclusively.  That’s up from just 8% in 2013.  Those are some incredibly numbers considering that DraftKings is only a three-year-old business and FanDuel is just six years from start-up mode.

New York Liberty DraftKings

GIVE ME LIBERTY: The New York Liberty WNBA team is now linked to DraftKings.

The beauty of daily fantasy sports is that it’s 100% legal gambling.  Thanks to a complex set of technicalities betting on fantasy sports is legal as it does not violate the “future outcome of a sporting event” rule that has made it illegal to bet on sports in all but three US states.

And, its certainly growing.  FanDuel co-founder and CEO Nigel Eccles noted his company scored $57 million in revenue last year.

It’s also been a new source of revenue for (who would have guessed) professional sports.  Floyd Mayweather Jr. had a FanDuel logo on his shorts when he defeated Manny Pacquiao in May. A month later, American Pharoah was rocking DraftKings gear when he became the first horse to win the Triple Crown since 1978.

I guess if you can’t beat ’em, you may as well join ’em.  Major League Baseball has an ownership stake in DraftKings– multi-year deal that was signed in 2013.  DraftKings also has scored a sponsorship deal with the NHL and Madison Square Garden.  WNBA team, the New York Liberty, wears the company’s logo on the fronts of their jerseys.  The Philadelphia 76ers inked an advertising deal with DraftKings in 2014.

Disney isn’t missing out either.  It has invested $250 million in DraftKings–a move that puts the value of the business at an estimated $900 million.

In return for Disney’s investment, DraftKings has committed to spend large sums of advertising dollars – just north of $500 million – on ESPN’s platforms in coming years, the people said. That provision is a major attraction of the deal for Disney.  FanDuel can continue to advertise on ESPN but won’t have the premium positions afforded to DraftKings. The fantasy sites are churning through cash to market themselves and acquire subscribers.

DraftKings says its target demo is comprised of 18- to 49-year-old, college-educated, early adopter males who actively play fantasy sports games, are at the forefront of online gaming, sports, technology, music and trendy lifestyle events—and possess disposable income.  Its ability to target sports fans on sports networks and sports talk radio has, in part, led to its tremendous success.  It’s no surprise that advertising agencies were clamoring to secure its $35 million advertising budget this summer when Butler, Shine, Stern, & Partners (BSSP) won the account.

Is the Eagles Offense for Real?

August 30th, 2015
Terrell Suggs cheap shot

CAN THE EAGLES BE GROUNDED? It seems like only a cheap shot on Sam Bradford’s knees can stop the Philadelphia Eagles this year.

Week 3 of the preseason is typically regarded as the most important week in understanding just how good a particular team is and just how good its fantasy players are as well.

If you look at where the teams are after concluding week 3, you’d have to think that Chip Kelly’s often bizarre off-season moves are paying off.  As we conclude week 3 of the preseason schedule, the Philadelphia Eagles are leading the league in total offense, points scored, and rushing.  Oh, and yeah, they are second to the Saints in passing yardage.

If you haven’t taken notice, Las Vegas certainly has.  The Eagles chances for representing the NFC in Super Bowl 50 improved dramatically after Philadelphia’s first two preseason games.  And, with the Birds thrashing of Green Bay last night, they stand to improve even more.  So, is to time to start looking for football bets online and the best odds for the Philadelphia Eagles?

If Sam Bradford stays healthy, I’d have to respond with a big “yes.”  Bradford appears to be an interesting pick to rack up significant fantasy football stats in 2015-16.  Bradford was a perfect 10 for 10 passing against the Packers and all he’s done in four preseason possessions is lead the Eagles to four touchdowns.

Bradford’s talents have never been doubted.  What has been doubted, however, has been his ability to stay on the field after two devastating knee injuries.  And, even if the Eagles offensive line does a great job this season, there’s nothing Eagles fans, or even the genius Chip Kelly, can do if somebody like Terrell Suggs takes a cheap shot at Bradford’s knees like he did in week 2 of the presason.

Bradford may be a perfect select for handcuffing at the quarterback position.  If you are concerned about Bradford’s knees, a good way to protect yourself is to also select Eagles back-up quarterback Mark Sanchez with a lower level pick.  That way, you’ll still have Kelly’s high powered offense, even if it means having less talented Sanchez in the lineup instead of Bradford.

Fantasy Football Enthusiasts vs. Sports Handicappers

July 24th, 2015

The line between fantasy and reality is being blurred by the rapidly ­growing Daily Fantasy Sports market, offering fans a chance to not only build the team of their dreams and test their football knowledge but earn big money by playing fantasy sports against other passionate pigskin aficionados. In fact, fantasy footballers are more like sports handicappers than ever before.NFL fantasy football handicappers

Fantasy sports are nothing new to the mainstream, stemming from those hallowed Rotisserie League days in the 1980s and booming in popularity at the turn of the century. Much like sports betting, fantasy football gets fans to not just tune into their favorite NFL teams each Sunday but also watch games involving different players on their fantasy rosters. And, again like sports betting, managing your fantasy team – daily or season­long – takes a keen eye to spot value in certain matchups that may not be visible to the average fan. Fantasy football is one of the most underrated places to find sports betting tips, and vice versa.

For example, sports handicappers may look to play the Under in a contest in which a team’s passing game is facing a stingy secondary that ranks among the top pass defenses in the NFL, knowing that the offense won’t be able to pick up big gains and will likely have to run the ball more than usual – keeping the gains short and the clock ticking.

The fantasy football player sees this matchup in a similar light, spotting added value in the offense’s running back, knowing the team won’t be passing as much and giving the rusher extra carries to try and move the chains while taking pressure off the receivers and forcing the defense to loosen up on the pass coverage.

One of the biggest trends in fantasy football in recent years is the shift away from the rushing game, with most teams using a multi­back run attack, and the boom in passing. Since defenses are all but handcuffed when defending receivers, more importance is being put on quarterbacks and wideouts – but also running backs who can make plays after the catch. Finding a hybrid running back, that can run the ball and also make catches, is a smart way to win your weekly or daily fantasy football matchup.

After the Super Bowl: Marshawn Lynch, Danica Patrick, Charles Haley Still Making Headlines

March 25th, 2015

Marshawn Lynch, Danica Patrick, and Charles Haley are still making headlines after the Super Bowl with some occasionally shrewd, and occasionally not so shrewd moves. Lynch, for one, has filed an application to trademark his “I’m just here so I won’t get fined” catchphrase, while Danica Patrick has spoken out to defend her un-aired Super Bowl commercial and Charles Haley has said that ‘cheating’ Tom Brady’s Super Bowls were all tainted now.

Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks RB

Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks

Marshawn Lynch and ‘Fines’

Marshawn Lynch fielded almost 30 questions on the Super Bowl media day — and answered them all with the identical response: “I’m just here so I won’t get fined.”

The phrase became somewhat famous, and now the Seattle Seahawks player has decided to try and make money off his reticence. He’s filed an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office to trademark the phrase.

The move would allow him control over baseball caps, athletic shirts, beanies, hooded and fleece pullovers, hoodie sweatshirts, long- and short-sleeved T-shirts, and track jackets which are sold with the phrase “I’m just here so I won’t get fined” printed on them.

The move isn’t new for Lynch. His portfolio so far also includes trademarks on the phrases “About That Action, Boss” and “Beast Mode” — the former being one of his few comments in the runup to the Big Game. He’s maintained he’s all about the action on the field, that is what people with Super Bowl tickets have come to see, rather than talking on a podium.

Lynch is apparently contemplating retirement after he finishes his four-year and $31 million contract playing for the Seahawks.

Danica Patrick Defends Her Pulled Ads

Danica Patrick holds the record as the celebrity who has appeared in the largest number of Super Bowl ads in history. However, after animal rights groups criticized this year’s GoDaddy commercial — which talked about selling pets online — the company pulled it, and it didn’t run. Now Patrick has spoken out to defend the ad.

Speaking at the Daytona 500 media day, the racing driver said they simply thought it was a “really funny” joke, and it was simply that people nowadays had an opinion on everything, especially when you get into “that world of animal rights or tree rights, or whatever rights.”

Pet lovers found the commercial offensive while others suggested the spot (which showed a lost puppy that managed to get home, and was then sold online using a website built with GoDaddy) promoted online pet sales.

Patrick said that she is a dog lover and had purchased her miniature Siberian husky online.

Charles Haley Says ‘Cheat’ Tom Brady’s Super Bowls are Tainted

Charles Haley, who won a record winning five Super Bowls while playing, also recently told Talk of Fame that Tom Brady’s record will always be tainted by “Deflategate,” where it was discovered that 12 New England Patriots footballs were underinflated in the first half of the game.

“Nobody believes it was by accident,” Haley said. Compared with Joe Montana, Haley said, “Joe did not have to cheat.” He continued and explained that once a player’s integrity has been challenged in football, “all his Super Bowls are tainted.”

Haley said that the scandal is going to come back and haunt Brady some day, even if the league doesn’t punish him. He added that he hoped the truth of what actually happened would come out, so the mystery would be gone.