Wildcard Weekend Recap: Injuries, injuries, and more injuries

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wildcardrecapOne way to sum up NFL Wildcard Weekend for 2015? Injuries. Third-string quarterback Ryan Lindley couldn’t provide any spark to an already Andre Ellington-less Cardinals offense. The Pittsburgh Steelers offense severely lacked any rushing attack with the absence of Le’Veon Bell. The Bengals lost two starting offensive weapons in A.J. Green and Jermaine Gresham. It shouldn’t be a surprise that each of these teams lost. Additionally, those three teams’ offenses combined for a total 43 points, meanwhile, the Panthers, Ravens and Colts combined for 83 total points.

The Detroit-Dallas game didn’t feature any injuries to key players and thus turned out to be a shootout with the Cowboys winning 24-20.

The Cowboys will face off against  the Green Bay Packers next SUNDAY at 1:05pm EST on FOX.

The rest of the divisional round is

Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots – SATURDAY 4:35pm EST on NBC

Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks – SATURDAY 8:15 pm EST on FOX

Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos 4:40pm – SUNDAY EST on CBS

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Vegas odds have the Denver Broncos beating the Indianapolis Colts by 7 points

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After the Colts put up 26 points in their Wildcard game against the Bengals, Vegas is expecting a shootout for the Colts-Broncos game with Denver winning by a touchdown in the Divisional round. The official line is DEN (-7) with a game total of 53 points.The odds are similar for the other Divisional round game with the Baltimore Ravens versus the New England Patriots whom are also favored to win by seven points.

This could of course change throughout the week, but there doesn’t seem to be any major injuries from either team that would move the line significantly. Check out the odds below and let us know what you think.

Indianapolis Colts
Denver Broncos -7

Over/Under 53 points

Bengals can’t overcome injuries, Indianapolis Colts will go on to face the Denver Broncos in AFC Divisional Round

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In the third game of Wildcard Weekend, the Bengals offense couldn’t overcome injuries to sidelined starters in A.J. Green and Jermaine Gresham. Cincinnati was only able to score once, which was on a 1-yard goal line rush by running back Jeremy Hill in the first quarter.

The Colts offense looked sloppy at times with drops by T.Y. Hilton and multiple fumbles by Daniel “Boom” Herron, but Andrew Luck continued to make plays and find open receivers leading to him to pass for 376 yards and a touchdown. Despite the turnovers, Herron also contributed heavily in the victory, rushing 12 times for 54 yards and adding 10 receptions for 85 yards in the passing game.

The Colts will go on to face the Denver Broncos next Sunday (1/11) with a schedule start time of 4:40pm EST airing on CBS.

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

The Indianapolis Colts are 3-point favorites to win against the Cincinnati Bengals

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(January 4th, 1pm EST) – Las Vegas has the Indianapolis Colts as 3-point favorites over the Cincinnati Bengals in the third Wild Card game this weekend. The Vegas spread and total could have plenty of movement throughout the week with two notable injuries for both teams:

Wide receiver Reggie Wayne left the game in Week 17 against the Tennessee Titans in the second quarter with a pulled groin muscle. Although he is expected to play, his impact and playing time are unknown.

Wide receiver A.J. Green took a massive shot to the head from Steelers Safety Mike Mitchell and was out the rest of Sunday Night Football. He has to pass concussion protocols this week in order to play. Without his presence, the Bengals will be sporting one of the worst receiving corps of any playoff team.

Cincinnati Bengals
Indianapolis Colts -3

Over/Under 49 total points

NFL playoff picks and analysis for Wild Card Weekend via the Washington Post

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NFC: No. 6 Lions at No. 3 Cowboys (Sunday, 4:40 p.m. ET)

The Cowboys went only 4-4 at home this season, compared to 8-0 on the road. The Lions certainly have the offensive capabilities to give the Dallas defense trouble. But it feels like the Lions had their chance Sunday in Green Bay to set themselves up for greater postseason success, when Rodgers exited the game for the NFC North title before returning later, and squandered it.

Pick: Cowboys

NFC: No. 5 Cardinals at No. 4 Panthers (Saturday, 4:35 p.m.)

The chances of Drew Stanton returning for the playoffs probably were eliminated when he was forced to undergo arthroscopic surgery for an infection in his injured knee. So while the Cardinals are a solid all-around team with a superb coach, it’s difficult to rely on a quarterback with two career touchdown passes and 11 interceptions — Lindley’s regular season totals — to win a playoff game.

Pick: Panthers

AFC: No. 6 Ravens at No. 3 Steelers (Saturday, 8:15 p.m.)

The key could be Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. The former Super Bowl MVP struggled mightily in the first three quarters against the Browns on the heels of a miserable outing a week earlier at Houston. But he threw two touchdown passes and had a perfect passer rating of 158.3 in the fourth quarter Sunday against Cleveland.

Pick: Ravens

AFC: No. 5 Bengals at No. 4 Colts (Sunday, 1:05 p.m.)

Quarterback Andy Dalton makes his fourth playoff appearance for the Bengals and seek his first postseason triumph. His top wide receiver, A.J. Green, exited the game Sunday night in Pittsburgh and now is subject to the NFL’s concussion protocol, meaning that he must be cleared by an independent neurologist to practice and play.

Pick: Colts

Read the whole article at Washington Post