Cam Newton leads the Carolina Panthers to first playoff win in nine years

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Cam Newton led the Panthers to their first playoffs win in more than nine years with a 27-16 victory over the Arizona Cardinals. Newton went 18-of-32 for 198 yards and two touchdowns adding five rushes for 35 yards. Running back Jonathan Stewart helped on the ground rushing for 123 yards and a score. The Cardinals, led by third-string quarterback Ryan Lindley, looked lost at times. The Arizona offense was only able to muster 78 total yards in defeat, but were kept in the game by defense and special teams plays which included recovering a muffed punt and picking off Newton once.

Carolina will move on to the divisional round to the play the Seattle Seahawks if the Dallas Cowboys win, or will play the Green Bay Packers if the Detriot Lions win.

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Getting A.J. Green out of your DraftKings Lineups

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It’s not a secret that when on the field, A.J. Green is one of the better wide receivers in the game of football. What isn’t so well known is what to do with your DFS lineups after Green was downgraded to ‘doubtful’ on Friday and may not pass NFL concussion tests in order to suit up Sunday. Here are some options for you to consider:

Easy: A.J. Green is $8000 on DraftKings. You can easily swap him out for T.Y. Hilton($7800) and save yourself a quick $200. This is simple, effective and gets the job done. Hilton is on the receiving end of passes from Andrew Luck, the Colts are expected to put up 26 points, and the Bengals are giving up 24 points-per-game over their last four games.

Risky: Mohamed Sanu($4200) is a name to watch for and a much cheaper option if Green isn’t able to go. This is high-risk/high-reward situation.

The following are games played this year with Sanu in and A.J. out:

Week 2: Three receptions for 84 yards, TD

Week 6: Five receptions for 70 yards, TD

Week 7: Three receptions for 54 yards

Week 8: Five receptions for 125 yards

As you can tell, with the exception of Week 7, Sanu was pretty successful with his opportunity. The only issue is that Week 7 performance came against none other than the Indianapolis Colts. If he puts on a similar showing, he will not meet his price point. If he repeats any of those other weeks, he’ll be a money-maker for your squad and free up a nice chunk of change in salary cap to spend on other high-quality players.

Enter your lineup in the $2 Play Action tournament for a chance at $10,000 top prize!

Predictions for all NFL Wildcard games via Fansided

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No. 6 Baltimore Ravens (10-6) at No. 3 Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5)

Both teams’ antennas will be up even more since this is a rivalry game and bragging rights are on the line. I wouldn’t be surprised if we have a 16-13 or 20-16 type game, however this one will come down to Flacco and Ben and giving how each has played this season, I’m siding with Ben on this occasion – plus he’s got the home-field working in his favor too.
Pick: Steelers 34-24

No. 5 Cincinnati Bengals (10-5-1) at No. 4 Indianapolis Colts (11-5)

Luck (led league with 40 TD passes) is obviously the best player on the field and having that guy on your team should alone make the Colts the slight favorite, although he can’t single-handily carry the Colts to a championship. Yet, I’m a big believer in “Sooner or later this team is going to get over the hump and get the job done after always being in the playoffs and suffering loss after loss” that applies to the Bengals losing three straight years in the Wild Card game. The Bengals are due to win at least one playoff game this year being that this is their fourth year in a row in the playoffs. No, I don’t think the Bengals are going all the way but I think they will find a way to win this game – no matter how sloppy and ugly it might be.
Pick: Bengals 27-23

No. 6 Detroit Lions (11-5) at No. 3 Dallas Cowboys (12-4)

his game will be a battle of who can control the line of scrimmage and even with Suh in the lineup; I can’t vision a scenario where the Lions front four will have success slowing down Dallas’ well-oiled running machine with the league’s leading rusher in DeMarco Murray. The Lions passing game isn’t as scary as in year’s past but is still more than capable of making the Cowboys defensive backs sweat some, but to what extent. This game is all about Dallas in my opinion. Their focused, in a zone, and are just a more complete football team that can hurt you in more ways than the Lions can. I applaud the Lions for overachieving this season but the Cowboys are playing like a team on a mission and a team that is looking to erase the “Will find a way to choke in a Big Game” stigma that has been following this team the last five years. This is a different Cowboys team folks and there out to show that in the playoffs.
Pick: Cowboys 41-20

No. 5 Arizona Cardinals (11-5) at No. 4 Carolina Panthers (7-8-1)

While Arizona has the more talented secondary (Patrick Peterson, Antonio Cromartie, Tyrann Mathieu), Carolina possesses the better front seven led by 2013 Defensive Player of the Year Luke Kuechly. The question I’m asking myself is, “Who’s playing better going into this game?” and the answer is Carolina. They’ve won four in a row and Arizona has lost the last two games. You can only go but so far with a third-string quarterback at the helm and I think the Cardinals will reach their breaking point in this game. They don’t generate enough points and the Panthers defense has played as good as anyone the last month. Cam will put up just enough points at home to win this game. Arizona’s luck will run out.
Pick: Panthers 21-16

Read the whole slideshow on Fansided

Using Vegas to help with your Daily Fantasy NFL lineups

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If you haven’t been incorporating Vegas odds into your Daily Fantasy Sports lineups, you have been missing out on a crucial angle.

For example, take a look at the QB odds by Vegas this week for “most passing yards by a quarterback.” What these odds would indicate is Andrew Luck and Ben Roethlisberger are heavy favorites to lead Wildcard Weekend in passing yards.

Why is this important?

On DraftKings, Luck is the highest-priced QB at $8800, meanwhile, Roethlisberger is priced at $7300, or a difference of $1500. By swapping in Roethlisberger for Luck, you could save a significant amount of salary cap to be used elsewhere for what amounts to the same odds of producing passing yards. It’s an angle to consider when setting your lineups.

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Similar to how we analysed prices for QBs, Vegas also gives odds for wide receivers. There are a few things to note when it comes to these prices:

  1. Antonio Brown is expected to record the most receiving yards of the week
  2. Calvin Johnson ($8800), Dez Bryant ($8500) and T.Y. Hilton ($7800) are all equal in terms of odds on who will get the most receiving yards between the three, but you can save yourself $1000 or $700 in salary cap space by going with Hilton over the other two.
  3. Steve Smith and Torrey Smith are both the same at 15/1 odds, yet Steve is priced at $5000 and Torrey is priced at $5400. You can save yourself a tad of money and basically get the same odds of receiving yards points.

Enter your lineup in the $2 Play Action tournament for a chance at $10,000 top prize!

There’s still time for you to get into NFL.com’s free Fantasy Football Playoff League for a chance to go to the Superbowl!

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nfl contest uploadOne (1) Grand Prize: A five (5) day/four (4) night trip for winner and up to two (2) guests to attend Super Bowl 50 scheduled to take place in February 2016 in Santa Clara, California.

Full contest signup and rules!

Is anyone giving the Arizona Cardinals a chance to beat the Carolina Panthers on Wildcard Weekend? Bruce Arians is.

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TEMPE, Ariz. — All things being equal, a team would rather enter the postseason riding a winning streak.

It’s called “peaking at the right time,” and generally leads to confidence that a team could make a deep playoff run.

The Arizona Cardinals, having lost their last two games and four of their last six, seem to be trending in the opposite direction.

Cause for concern?

“I would think you’d say that, but I don’t think there’s any concern because we’re in the playoffs and it don’t matter, We’re all 0-0” coach Bruce Arians said Monday.

Read more on ArizonaSports.com

A preview of the Baltimore Ravens – Pittsburgh Steelers game by NFL.com

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The backstory

The Steelers won their last four games to take the AFC North, with their defense rounding into form late in the season. The Ravens won three of their last four, but their offense struggled down the stretch. Pittsburgh running back Le’Veon Bell’s recent injury is one of the rare things in this game not trending toward the Steelers.

Matchup to watch

Steelers receivers vs. Ravens cornerbacks

Veteran Baltimore cornerback Lardarius Webb has played better of late, but he’s not back to his pre-injury level of play.

Steelers O-Line vs. Ravens defensive line

The return from suspension of Ravens nose tackle Haloti Ngata gives the Ravens defense a huge boost.

Stats

The Steelers were 5-1 against playoff teams in 2014, while Baltimore was 1-6 against teams with winning records. The Steelers averaged 34 points-per-game against playoff opponents. … Pittsburgh has won both playoff games against Baltimore since Flacco was drafted. Flacco has more road playoff wins than any quarterback in NFL history. … Flacco and Roethlisberger are 19-8 combined in the playoffs.

Full Story on NFL.com