Sunday, September 14, 2014

Last Minute Fantasy "Start'ems and Sit'ems:" Week 2

Patriots running back Shane Vereen could be in line for an increased workload and bigger fantasy numbers this week.
By Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

We'll see how regularly we can keep this going, but this is the first week of SuiteSports' last minute fantasy football advice.

We're going to try to do this every Sunday morning, though it will likely depend on the kind of Saturday fellow editor Jeremy Conlin and I have.

Don't feel bad, that's the same attitude I have toward my 77 fantasy teams as well.

Just kidding, I only have three, but it seems like 77 sometimes when I find myself simultaneously rooting for and against every wide receiver in the league.

Anyways, here are some guys you may want to plug in or pull out before kickoff today. Obviously, you're going to want to start the Peyton Mannings and LeSean McCoys of the world every week, but here are some guys on the border of a QB1, WR2, RB2 or Flex spot.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Central Mass HS Football Preview: Week 2

Auburn and star running back Mark Wright will be looking for payback against Hudson.
By Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

The high school football season in Central Massachusetts began for a handful of squads last week, but things really get going tonight and tomorrow for most of the teams around the region.

While I will be in Brockton tonight for ESPN Boston covering the Boxers' game against St. John's Prep, here are some things to watch out for in the Heart of the Commonwealth.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

NFL Week 2 Primer (With Picks): The Year of the Underdog?

Underdogs like Ryan Tannehill and the Miami Dolphins were inordinately successful in week one. We explain why that trend may continue throughout the season.
 By Jeremy Conlin (@jeremy_conlin) and Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

Week 1 is in the books. The lesson is always "don't overreact to Week 1." If you're good at this whole picks thing, just stick to your guns from Week 1. That's what we did last year - after getting creamed in Week 1 (Jeremy was 5-10-1, Joe was 6-9-1), we just rolled it all back and turned it around Week 2 (Jeremy was 9-6-1, Joe was 10-5-1). Vegas overreacted, we didn't. And it worked for us.

Everyone comes into the year with a few preconceived notions, and a few of those get challenged in Week 1. If you thought the Rams would be able to survive without Sam Bradford, you got a rude awakening. If you thought the Panthers would regress horribly and Tampa Bay would pick up some of that slack in the NFC South, you might have left Week 1 pretty confused. If you thought the Patriots and Saints were potential 13-3 juggernauts (gulp), you might be scrambling to re-calibrate. But we preach caution. Don't completely change up your strategy based on 60 minutes of football. There's plenty more to come.

There is one trend that's worth keeping an eye on, which Bill Simmons actually covered in his 2014 Gambling Preview, but it came into light in Week 1 - last year, favorites covered an inordinate amount of spreads (52.2 percent, the third-highest number in the last 25 years, according to the Sporting News). But, in the years following inordinately successful favorites, the lines swing the other way, and favorites cover just 47 percent of spreads. The last two times favorites covered more than 52.2 percent (last year's figure), the following seasons saw swings of 13.2 percent (from 57.8 in 2005 to 44.6 in 2006) and 6.4 percent (from 52.9 in 1998 to 46.5 percent in 1999).

So what happened in Week 1? Underdogs went 11-5 against the spread. Hmmmmm....

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Your College Football Weekend Primer: The Premature End of Penn State's Sanctions

With postseason eligibility restored and a full complement of scholarships available, expect James Franklin to return Penn State to prominence. But is it too soon after one of the worst scandals in American sports history?
By Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

Well, that didn't take long.

In the summer of 2012, following the Jerry Sandusky scandal and cover up, Penn State's football program was banned from postseason play, including the Big Ten Championship Game, until 2017, and was hit with crippling scholarship restrictions that would allow it to only carry 65 scholarship players (20 less than other programs) and offer 15 players scholarships each recruiting cycle (10 less than other programs), also until 2017.

Things seemed ugly, and it was estimated by many that the Penn State football team wouldn't be fully stocked with scholarship athletes until the mid-2020s.

Well, forget about all that, because just over two years later, all of it is out the window.

The NCAA, which appeared to "drop the hammer" on Penn State in July of 2012 for enabling and failing to report a child rapist, has decided that the Nittany Lions have done their penance, whatever that may be (perhaps not enabling another case of systematic child rape in the last 26 months?), and will be allowed to participate in the postseason THIS YEAR.

Furthermore, scholarships will be fully restored to 25 available offers per season and 85 total by the start of next season. Way to go NCAA, you effectively penalized the worst scandal in the history of college, if not all American sports by making Penn State skip the Gator and Buffalo Wild Wings Bowls, and by forcing a pair of coaching upgrades.

Mayweather-Maidana II: Earn Respect By Showing None

Marcos Maidana (left) showed no respect for Floyd Mayweather's (right) speed and countering ability during the pair's first bout, coming out swinging against the pound-for-pound champ. How will things shake out when they meet again Saturday night?
By Warren Rodriguez (@RodrigWM)

According to Webster's Dictionary, respect is a feeling of deep admiration for someone elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements. We’ve been taught that respect is earned, not given, and that if you want others to respect you, you respect them.

However, on May 3rd of this past year, Marcos Maidana earned respect by showing none.