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NFL Week 3 Gambling Bonanza

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I didn’t gloat two weeks ago when I went 4-0, because I knew that I could come crashing back to Earth at any moment. Last week was my Armageddon asteroid week. 0-4. Zero and Four. I’m now 4-4 on the year.

Hand up, I fucked up. I took the Panthers, Texans, Saints, and Giants, THEY’RE NOT BAD! I don’t know what else I can say. If you want me to say I fucked up, I fucked up. Write it.

Except don’t write it. I’ll write it. Last week went as follows:

Carolina Panthers (+6) @ Atlanta Falcons LOSS

Houston Texans (-2.5) @ Tennessee Titans LOSS

Cleveland Browns @ New Orleans Saints (-9.5) LOSS

New York Giants (+3) @ Dallas Cowboys LOSS

Howeva, I made some scratch back again in DraftKings. I tripled up again led by Patrick Mahomes. I paid up for Antonio Brown, which ended up being a bad deal. Luckily, Zach Ertz and Chris Godwin were both barely owned and combined for 37 points. Hot tip for the future – start whichever RB is up against the Bills.

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Alright, it’s a make or break week but I really do like these picks:

Indianapolis Colts (+7) @ Philadelphia Eagles

The triumphant Son and Lord and Savior of Philadelphia is returning this week to an Eagles team that is completely barren at the skills positions.

Jay Ajayi, Darren Sproles and Mike Wallace are all out this week. Alshon Jeffery is listed as questionable but he hasn’t even been cleared for contact yet. 3rd string RB Corey Clement ($4,300) injured his quad at practice Friday. That means that Wendell Smallwood ($3,000) may be thrust into a starting role on Sunday. Not the ideal backfield situation for an Eagles team that probably wants to minimize Carson Wentz’s risks in his first week back from his ACL injury.

Andrew Luck ($5,600) is in a great spot against an Eagles secondary that allows over 300 yards per game through the air. TY Hilton ($6,700) has scored a TD in consecutive games and it looks like he’ll be a matchup nightmare on Sunday. Eric Ebron ($3,400) has developed a rapport with Andrew Luck as he has scored in consecutive weeks as well.

I don’t necessarily think that the Colts will spoil Carson Wentz’s homecoming but I do believe that the game will be decided by a field goal or less.

Denver Broncos (+5.5) @ Baltimore Ravens

I don’t understand how the Ravens are the favorite in this game. I think they’re being given the benefit of the doubt after their dismantling of the Bills in Week 1. They looked pretty bad at times against the Bengals last week, especially in the secondary. Case Keenum is an absolute wildcard at QB for the Broncos, but Emmanuel Sanders ($6,400) has been a monster this season ever since being moved to the slot. He has become a matchup nightmare, and if the Ravens spotlight him, Demaryius Thomas ($5,200) can still advance the ball outside (if he catches it).

The Broncos secondary isn’t what it once was but they still have Chris Harris Jr at corner. He’ll most likely be on Michael Crabtree, and don’t be surprised if some chain-snatching goes on. There’s a lot of bad blood between those two, it just gets overshadowed by how Aqib Talib would always go above and beyond.

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Joe Flacco throws a ton of 50/50 balls downfield that often result in pass-interference calls. John Brown ($4,800) has emerged as Flacco’s favorite deep threat. He’s as healthy as ever and as shifty as ever, but if the Broncos can manage to contain him, Von Miller and the Denver front 7 will be able to handle the rest.

New York Giants @ Houston Texans (-6)

Believe it or not, the Giants will miss Eli Apple this week.

The Giants got torched by Tavon Austin last week. TAVON AUSTIN. Will Fuller ($5,900) is in a huge spot against an injured and beatable Giants secondary. Deshaun Watson ($6,100) looked better last week despite showing negative awareness on the last play of the game:

This is a huge bounce back spot for the Texans after their embarrassing loss in Tennessee to former coach Mike Vrabel and backup QB Blaine Gabbert. The right side (honestly the entire line) of the Giants offensive line is horrendous and the Texans are finally healthy across the board. I said JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney would eat last week, but now I reallllllly mean it.

New England Patriots (-6.5) @ Detroit Lions

Both the Patriots and the Lions have the stench of Matt Patricia on their teams which means that defense doesn’t exist. The Patriots will try to stick it to Patricia for leaving, and Patricia will try to stick it to the Pats for talking all that shit about his defense.

I don’t expect a whole lot out of Josh Gordon this week (or in general) but his presence alone will require the Lions to spend valuable time preparing for what he’s capable of.

Bill Belichick is 14-8 against former assistants and you won’t catch me dead betting against him after a loss to Jacksonville last week.

The Lions give up 39 points per game and the Patriots give up 25. The stars are aligning for a shootout on Sunday Night Football. I think coaching prevails.

That’s it. Don’t throw your money away, come ride with me.

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Onto the Survivor Pool. I took the Chargers last week who coasted to an 11-point victory against the Bills. Keep attacking the Bills. They’re all either getting hurt or retiring. This week, the Minnesota Vikings are -16.5 against the Bills. Don’t overthink it, pick the Vikings in your pool. Next are the Jaguars -9.5 against the Titans, Rams -7 against the Chargers, Patriots -7 against the Bills, and Eagles -7 against the Colts. I tend to avoid divisional matchups so I’d be hesitant to pick the Jags against the Titans..

Safe Picks:

  1. Minnesota Vikings
  2. New England Patriots
  3. Los Angeles Rams

Risky Picks:

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars
  2. Chicago Bears
  3. Houston Texans

My Pick: Minnesota Vikings

 

Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em

START:

  • Quitting while you’re ahead >>>>>>. When the going gets tough, just go. Vontae the Gawd. NFL: AUG 30 Preseason - Bills at Bears
  • Watching Oregon’s Justin Herbert if your team sucks (Giants). 6’6″ and can do it all with both his arm and his legs. maxresdefault
  • Troy Aikman in your Clap Back league:

  • Kickers. It’s a huge bounce back week for kickers. They can’t really go anywhere but up from last week.
  • Latavius Murray. He’s filling in for Dalvin Cook against the Bills. 700 yards 5 TDs coming at you live.

 

SIT:

  • Josh Gordon – Randy Moss comparisons. That ain’t it, Chief.
  • Cleveland. All of Cleveland. Quarantine that city. From eating horse shit off the streets to catching rodents in their stadiums, Cleveland needs to sit one out.

  • Tourism in Buffalo. Jordan Matthews is lucky he’s out of Buffalo before he fielded his own Matthews starting 5 out of sheer boredom.

 

 

There you have it. It’s officially Fall so Football is back back. Extra back. Now let me listen to Kenny in this dusty room.

NFL Week 2 Gambling Bonanza

Hey Shakira, how did my gambling picks go last week?

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You’re goddamn right I went 4-0 in my first installment of the NFL Gambling Bonanza. To recap:

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns (+5.5) WIN 

Buffalo Bills @ Baltimore Ravens (-7.5) WIN 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints OVER 49.5 WIN

Seattle Seahawks @ Denver Broncos (-2.5) WIN

For the Browns, a tie is a tie is a win. The Bills are baddddd and I will continue to bet against them until they prove to be a competent team. Both the Bucs and Saints scored 40+ points each in an offensive explosion. The Broncos held off a stingy Seahawks team in the game that made me sweat the most.

In DraftKings, I tripled up in the Millionaire Maker Contest with one of my highest scoring weeks ever. Granted, my picks were all pretty chalky with only Danny Amendola being owned at under 10%.

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But the past is the past. Survive and advance. Now that I’ve hopefully earned your business, come ride with me.

Carolina Panthers (+6) @ Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons have gotten hit by the injury bug HARD and I think that they are ill-equipped to fill so many voids in just one week. The Falcons lost S Keanu Neal for the season last week and LB Deion Jones is on IR with a foot injury, leaving a massive void in the middle of the field. They also will be down their starting RB and backup C/6th lineman.

Tevin Coleman ($5,300) is in position to carry the workload in this high-powered offense but has a tough matchup against a ferocious and healthy Panthers front 7. The best way to attack the Panthers is through the air, and luckily for the Falcons, Julio Jones ($8,400) is essentially un-guardable despite Matt Ryan’s ($5,700) recent shortcomings.

The Falcons will be able to move the ball but I think that the barrage of injuries will be too much to overcome in just 10 days. The bottom of the roster will be inexperienced and will likely make a costly mistake late in the game to either allow the Panthers to win or at least cover 6 points.

The Panthers of course lost star TE Greg Olsen last week, and they will be without two other back-end receivers as well. Cam Newton ($6,600) will have to make plays on his own and rely heavily on Christian McCaffrey ($7,000) and Devin Funchess ($4,700) to get open against numerous backups on the Falcons. I think McCaffrey explodes this week and Devin Funchess makes the most of his 6’4″ 225lb frame in a hybrid H-back/TE role right in the middle of the field.

Houston Texans (-2.5) @ Tennessee Titans

I want absolutely nothing to do with with situation in Tennessee. I think Marcus Mariota is much more injured than Mike Vrabel is letting on and I wouldn’t be surprised if Blaine Gabbert takes the majority of the snaps this week.

The Texans held Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski to 27 points last week and almost tied it up at the end of the game despite some very bad play on both sides of the ball. The Patriots were able to contain DeAndre Hopkins ($8,000) last week and Deshaun Watson ($6,300) struggled to find other pass catching options against a very beatable secondary. The Titans are also very beatable through the air and guess who’s back for Houston…

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At the surface, Will Fuller ($5,300) is a “big fuckin’ whoop” type of player. But in this offense, he’s a speedy downfield threat that opens everything else up. I expect Deshaun Watson to bounce back from an underwhelming Week 1 to take over this game.

On top of Mariota’s injury, the Titans will be without BOTH starting Tackles, and TE Delanie Walker.

Who’s hungry?

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans

Cleveland Browns @ New Orleans Saints (-9.5)

The Browns forced 6 turnovers last week and came away with a tie. That speaks volumes about this team, whether it be the coaching staff or the on-field talent. Their offense is built for Baker Mayfield, yet they have Tyrod Taylor at the helm. Taylor is all about minimal risk and protecting the football, but that conservative style of football only works with Jalen Hurts at Alabama.

The Saints got embarrassed by Ryan Fitzpatrick last week and I bet they come out of the gates hot this week. A fire has been lit under their ass and their offense will hold nothing back. Alvin Kamara ($9,500) will be up against a Browns defense that just allowed James Conner to tally 192 yards from scrimmage. The Saints score a million points at home and the Browns are going to get left behind in the dust.

The Saints got beat deep last week by Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson. The Browns don’t really have that kind of vertical threat. Josh Gordon ($5,800) is probably their best downfield option, but he hasn’t been fully integrated into the offense yet. The dinks and dunks to Jarvis Landry ($6,300) and David Njoku ($3,000) will accumulate fantasy points, but not a lot of real life points. I love the Saints here in a bounce back spot.

New York Giants (+3) @ Dallas Cowboys

Waiting all day for Sunday Night.

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BRING BACK THE OLD SNF SONG!

New York Giants. Dallas Cowboys. Carrie Underwood. Sunday Night. These stars align at least once a year. Neither team is particularly good but I do believe that the Giants have a leg up over the Cowboys.

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It boils down to the pass catchers. The Cowboys could not move the ball through the air against a weak Panthers secondary. The Giants are probably a top-10 secondary led by Janoris Jenkins and Landon Collins. They’ll be up against the likes of Allen Hurns, Michael Gallup and Tavon Austin. Also, are we sure Dak Prescott is even good? I have my doubts. Losing C Travis Frederick seems catastrophic for the Cowboys as Ezekiel Elliott ($7,600) was bottled up all last week.

The Giants of course have liabilities on the right side of their offensive line and they’ll be tasked with handling DeMarcus Lawrence this week. That means that the Giants will continue their quick hit offense and luckily for them, a totally healthy Odell Beckham Jr ($8,500) is the best slant catcher in the game. The Cowboys secondary continues to be an issue and despite Eli Manning’s limited ability, OBJ, Sterling Shepherd, Evan Engram, and Saquon Barkley are big enough playmakers to handle Dallas. Hopefully the Giants have a different Punt Returner this week.

 

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There are my 4 picks. I’m on fire, you can’t stop this train. You’re doing yourself a disservice by not taking these picks. Now onto the Survivor Pool.

I took the Baltimore Ravens last week in my Survivor Pool and they trounced the Bills. Nearly half of my pool took the Saints.  This week, the LA Rams are the biggest favorites at -13 against the Cardinals. Then it’s the Saints -9.5 against the Browns, the Chargers -7.5 against the Bills, and the Broncos -6.5 against the Raiders. All four of those picks have their pros and cons. The Rams are the safest bet, but having them on the board later in the season would be very clutch. The Saints just murdered half of America last week. The Chargers are traveling across the country to play in the dreaded 1 PM EST time slot. The Broncos are still led by the streaky Case Keenum.

Safe Picks:

  1. Los Angeles Rams
  2. Los Angeles Chargers
  3. New Orleans Saints

Risky Picks:

  1. Houston Texans
  2. Washington Redskins
  3. Denver Broncos

My Pick: Los Angeles Chargers

 

Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em

START:

  • Any and every Kansas City Chief and Pittsburgh Steeler. This is the Antonio Brown explosion spot and who better to go shot for shot with him than Tyreek Hill?
  • Business Fridays. Casual Fridays are so out-dated. We stunt on Business Fridays now:dner0b1x0aaoenr.jpg
  • Using a soft tortilla as a plate while eating hard tacos. All the spillage then becomes the final taco.
  • Birds. Not the Eagles, Falcons, Ravens, Cardinals, or Seahawks. Brogan will show you what I mean:

  • Any receiver going up against Richard Sherman. Shoutout Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay.
  • THIS REF:

 

SIT:

  • James Conner’s barber. Business in the front, an accidental sneeze in the middle, Mike Gundy in the back:
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  • The ESPN exec that aired Marshawn Lynch’s high school photo. He may be dead.

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  • Matt Patricia. It has become known that he keeps a pencil behind his ear despite having a laminated play sheet. I think he should focus on the lead in the game not the lead in the pencil.
  • Any Buffalo Bill. They suuuuuuck!

 

 

Week 2 baby. I Love It.

NFL Week 1 Gambling Bonanza

You know for weeks I’ve been telling guys to not take no for an answer, to keep pushing, to not stop gambling till you get what you want. This deal I’m about to sign, barring me from parlaying, barring me from DraftKings, my bookie… What the fuck is that? I’ll tell you what it is, it’s me being a hypocrite. It’s me taking no for an answer, it’s them selling me, not the other way around! Fuck it, I’m not leaving!

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Admittedly I started to slip on my gambling coverage last year when I was a floundering post-grad scrounging for cash. People thought I was hanging up the gambling and blogging cleats for good. Well I am happy to report that I will be back and better than ever with the brand new GAMBLING BONANZA.

I used to pick 4 NFL games and write a couple thousand words about why I thought that pick was a lock with tweets, GIFs, and rap songs. I finally realized that nobody truly gives a fuck about the fluff and you people just want me to cut to the chase so that you can inevitably fade me and stack dough. So this GAMBLING BONANZA will be different. You’ll get your spreads and my two cents about ’em. You’ll also get Survivor Pool picks ranked on confidence. I’ll sprinkle in some DraftKings/Fantasy plays and fades. I want this to be your one stop shop for all things degenerate gambling.

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Let’s get to the picks.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns (+5.5)

Yes, you read that right. You probably saw Myles Garrett as the cover of this ~article~ and thought I was fucking with you. Well fucking with you I am not. The Pittsburgh Steelers are currently in an internal battle between front office, star running back, offensive line, and head coach. To summarize, 29 year old star RB Le’Veon Bell is holding out and not signing his franchise deal for a myriad of reasons. The entire Steelers offensive line was in the news shitting on him, citing how much more money he makes than them, alluding that he’d be nothing without them. tl;dr 2nd year player and cancer survivor (fucking badass) John Conner ($4,500) will be starting at RB this Sunday.

Conner is a beast and the Steelers have proved that any RB they throw into the backfield will put up numbers (D’Angelo Williams). However, the narrative with Big Ben’s home/road splits exists for a reason. With all the distractions combined with Mother Nature on Sunday, I think that this game will be low scoring and sloppy enough for the Browns to easily cover and possibly even win.

I can admit that I watched Hard Knocks and I am more or less enamored with the Cleveland Browns. Even though they ended up cutting nearly every player I loved, I still think they’re due for a massive turnaround. Their suddenly crowded backfield will be important in this game as they have a couple bruisers in Carlos Hyde ($4,500) and Nick Chubb ($4,100) to compliment pass-catching Duke Johnson ($4,700.) The Steelers haven’t been able to comfortably replace Ryan Shazier which leaves a massive hole up the middle. I also love the revenge narrative from former Steelers coach Todd Haley:

Control the clock, hold onto the ball, run hard, and the Cleveland Browns could win their first game since 2016.

Buffalo Bills @ Baltimore Ravens (-7.5)

7.5 is a shitty spread but the Buffalo Bills are a shitty team. The Ravens defensive front will be way too much to handle against a Bills offensive line that is missing three starters from last season, including Eric Wood and Richie Incognito. That means Bills QB Nathan Peterman will have to make split second decisions against a skilled Ravens secondary led by FS Eric Weddle. Will Nathan Peterman repeat his 5-INT in a half performance from last Thanksgiving against the Chargers? Probably not. Will he struggle against a superior defense with his inadequate weapons (Kelvin Benjamin, Zay Jones, Jeremy Kerley, Charles Clay)? For sure. LeSean McCoy has an active legal investigation hanging over his head which is just the icing on the cake for a Bills team that is in big trouble.

The Ravens brought in receivers Michael Crabtree ($5,400) and John Brown ($3,700) to compliment Joe Flacco, who is a bad stretch of games away from fans clamoring for Lamar Jackson to start taking snaps. This game could get so ugly that I wouldn’t be surprised if Lamar was the QB to kneel at the end of the game. Alex Collins ($5,600) averaged 4.6 yards per carry last year and should have plenty of opportunities to eclipse 100 yards in the rain Sunday.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints OVER 49.5

The Saints might just score 49 on their own against this horrid Tampa Bay team. Jameis Winston is suspended, making Ryan Fitzpatrick the starter against a rising New Orleans defense. Two of the three best corners on Tampa are listed as doubtful as well.

The Saints are going to enter this season angry after being just one play away from the NFC Championship Game. Alvin Kamara ($8,700) is poised to have an enormous game as Mark Ingram is suspended and recently signed Mike Gillislee is the only other RB on the roster. With Grimes and Harris out for Tampa Bay, Michael Thomas ($7,800) and now-healthy Cam Meredith ($4,400) are going to eatttttttt.

Historically, NFC South matchups in New Orleans are shootouts. The only way this game doesn’t hit the over is if the Saints hop out to a quick three score lead and go on autopilot.

Seattle Seahawks @ Denver Broncos (-2.5)

Hate to break it to you Seattle fans, but the Legion of Boom is gone. It’s over. Finished. The Seahawks are a shell of their former selves. The remaining members of the LoB are begging to leave!

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Doug Baldwin ($6,200) is the lone offensive weapon on the Hawks and he’s already banged up:

They haven’t had a decent run game in years and their first round pick, RB Rashaad Penny has been unimpressive in camp. All of these factors poise to be problematic against a Broncos defense that is still very strong despite the absence of Aqib Talib.

Newly acquired QB Case Keenum ($5,100) is the best QB that the Broncos have had on their roster since Peyton Manning’s 2nd season there. Demaryius Thomas ($5,700) and Emmanuel Sanders ($5,000) are criminally underrated yet again and will probably both chalk up 1,000+ yards this season. Rookie RB Royce Freeman ($4,500) seems to have won the starting gig and is at the very least a lateral move from CJ Anderson, who was a 1,000 yard rusher last year. The Broncos are quietly a very solid team and they should prove that Sunday afternoon.

 

Those are my 4 picks this week. Join or Die. Now onto the Survivor Pool.

Since it’s Week 1 and nobody really knows how good or bad every team is yet, my advice is to pick a team that you are more confident in. If you don’t know what to think, check out what Vegas thinks. The highest spreads are Saints -9.5 vs. Bucs, Ravens -7.5 vs. Bills, Packers -7 vs. Bears, Lions -6.5 vs. Jets, Vikings -6.5 vs. 49ers. With Khalil Mack leading the new-look Bears D, I wouldn’t pick the Packers. With Sam Darnold at the helm for the Jets against the Lions and Matt Patricia’s coaching debut, there are too many variables to pick Detroit. With Jimmy G’s undefeated record and Kirk Cousins’ Viking debut, I wouldn’t pick Minnesota either. So in my mind it’s either a strong Saints team that I might want in my back pocket for later in the season or an unproven Ravens team against what should be a piss poor Bills team that I plan to attack all season.

Safe Picks

  1. New Orleans Saints
  2. New England Patriots
  3. Baltimore Ravens

Risky Picks

  1. Green Bay Packers
  2. Los Angeles Rams
  3. Denver Broncos
  4. Minnesota Vikings

My Pick: Baltimore Ravens

 

Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em

START:

  • The Saints. All of the Saints. Any Saint. Including these ones:

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  • Looking at your favorite team’s schedule so you can plan to do “fall things” with your significant other during their bye week. You can thank me later.
  • DeAndre Hopkins. The Patriots will bend, not break, and Hopkins will take all the yards he can get.
  • RPOs. It’s a copycat league and with the Eagles’ success with the Run/Pass Option last season, be ready for other teams to implement RPOs of their own.
  • Preparing to not know what’s a catch, what’s a personal foul, and where a defensive player is allowed to hit a QB.

SIT:

  • Josh Gordon and Andrew Luck. Both are frontrunners to win Comeback Player of the Year, but neither seems totally ready to rock. I’d rather be a week late than a week early on them.
  • Dez Bryant. Don’t pick him up, either on your fantasy team or your real football team. There’s a reason he’s still a free agent and there’s a reason that the Dallas Cowboys are excited to have Allen Hurns instead of Dez as WR1.
  • Spider 2 Y Banana. With Jon Gruden coaching the Raiders, there won’t be anybody up in the broadcast booth to say S2YB every possession.
  • Sweatpants. Summer is still holding on for dear life so we’ll have to wear shorts in order to properly absorb 12 hours of football on Sunday.
  • On your couch. We finally made it.

 

Football season is here. To quote Big Cat, the entire football sandwich is in front of us. Now let’s make some money.

New York Jets 2018 Draft Report Card

The New York Jets have a franchise QB. For the second time in three years, the Jets had a USC product that many regarded as the top overall prospect in the draft fall into their lap. After months of rumors and speculations that all but guaranteed the Browns selecting Sam Darnold with the 1st overall pick, they had a change of heart and took Baker Mayfield. So, somehow, despite exceeding expectations last season in the tankathon to the point that they had to trade up in the draft, the New York Jets got the guy they had their eyes on for well over a year.

Round 1, Pick 3: Sam Darnold, QB, USC

Sammy Sweetarm. The Samchise. Hey Darnold. Whatever you want to call him, the Jets got their guy. We might not know for 10 years which QB from this crop is ‘the best,’ but many people around the league think that Sam Darnold at the very least has the highest floor. He doesn’t have the biggest arm (Josh Allen), the highest IQ (Josh Rosen), he’s not the fastest (Lamar Jackson), he’s not the outspoken locker room leader (Baker Mayfield), but he’s a winner. He went 20-4 as a starter in his career at USC, and possesses a bit of every aforementioned QBs’ skillsets.

Of course, there are question marks with Darnold. He turned the ball over too much in college. He threw 21 INTs over two years, but his bigger problem was ball security both rushing and in the pocket. He coughed up 9 NINE! fumbles last season. He’s going to have to learn how to know when to go down and to roll out with two hands on the ball, as the competition and ball skills of defenders in the NFL only get better.

Darnold is a tremendous passer inside the numbers and hash, but another concern is whether or not he can make the big time throws outside the numbers and stretch the field. He has above average arm strength, but there are also concerns with his elongated throwing motion, which is problematic for quick routes all over the field. A skilled DB can identify when Darnold is in his throwing motion and that extra fraction of a second that Darnold takes while throwing could be the difference between a first down and six points to the defense. I don’t mean to sound pessimistic; I absolutely love this pick. He’ll be working with Jets OC Jeremy Bates, and he’ll be under Josh McCown’s wing, who is highly regarded as one of the best QB mentors in the NFL. McCown and Darnold are similar in that despite neither having exceptional speed, they both can put their head down and get the tough yards. Both QBs rushed for 5 TDs last season while only recording around 100 yards. Sam Darnold can ball, now it’s up to the Jets to surround him with talent that can both protect him and help him out on the field.

Also, two recent highly touted QBs that entered the league with concerns about their turnovers are Matt Ryan and Deshaun Watson. Decent company.

Also, Sam Darnold is EIGHTEEN years younger than Josh McCown.

NFL Comparison – Ben Roethlisberger/Jameis Winston/Carson Palmer

P.S. Good genes.

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Round 3, Pick 8: Nathan Shepherd, DT, Fort Hays State

This was a surprising pick, but in hindsight, I guess it wasn’t too surprising. With the ‘Sons of Anarchy’ (Wilkerson, Richardson, Harrison) breaking up, the Jets needed a new wave of defensive linemen to rebuild their team mold from the late 2000s/early 2010s. With Mo Wilkerson gone and Sheldon Richardson traded, Leonard Williams was getting double teamed regularly and was absent from many box scores. Steve McClendon was a good find to clog up the A gaps, but he is 32 years old. Shepherd is a feel-good story out of Canada where he had to leave college in order to work several jobs to pay for school. Once he earned enough money, he continued to work late night shifts on top of practicing, working out, and studying. He’s a perfect fit in a locker room that is actively trying to weed out problematic players in efforts to build a more professional atmosphere.

However, as you can see, Shepherd went to Fort Hays State, an unknown D-II school in the middle of Kansas. He is 24 years old, so he was quite literally a man amongst boys. The tape shows that:

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There were a LOT of good players still on the board at the time of this pick, so the Jets must really like this guy. It’s entirely possible that the Jets did indeed find a diamond in the rough and think that the jump from D-II to the NFL won’t be too much for Nathan Shepherd. At the very least, Shepherd is a big strong DT that is the heir apparent to Steve McClendon, which in turn will free up Leonard Williams more. The NFL is a copycat league, and the Eagles just won a Super Bowl by rotating eight quality defensive linemen. Perhaps the Jets are following suit.

NFL Comparison – Akiem Hicks

Round 4, Pick 7: Chris Herndon, TE, Miami

After the Jets signed a couple TEs in free agency, I thought that they’d address other concerns during the draft. However, they drafted Chris Herndon IV out of the U to start Day 3. Herndon can pass and block, but is coming off of MCL surgery. Herndon is very similar to Quincy Enunwa, and will probably be utilized as an H back in the slot instead of as a traditional TE with a hand on the ground. He moves effortlessly and is dangerous after the catch.

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Also, his new QB loves to throw the ball inside the numbers. Rookie QBs in general like to throw to their TEs as a safety valve. Herndon was the best TE in college inside the numbers last year:

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The Jets will need Tight End production this year as much as ever, and Chris Herndon will have ample opportunities to make plays for years to come.

NFL Comparison – Quincy Enunwa/Ricky Seals-Jones

Round 6, Pick 5: Parry Nickerson, CB, Tulane

Desperate for depth at corner, the Jets took Parry Nickerson, AKA the fastest guy at the combine. He ran a 4.32 and his speed translates to the game. Despite being a little undersized, Nickerson led all returning CBs in lowest passer rating when targeted last year. As a potential Buster Skrine replacement, that is huge.

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Here’s that game speed I was talking about:

NFL Comparison – Jalen Myrick

Round 6, Pick 6: Folorunso Fatukasi, DT, UConn

The Jets took another 6’4″ 315 DT early in the 6th. They’re building defensive line depth and they got a strong one here in Foley Fatukasi. He racked up 13 sacks in his last three years at UConn and was a highly respected leader in the locker room. He is a great guy to bring in to compete for Kony Ealy’s old job immediately. He has some kinks to work out, but then again he is a 6th round pick. The Jets got a great value here.

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NFL Comparison – Caleb Brantley

Round 6, Pick 30: Trenton Cannon, RB, Virginia State

Can you say, shot out of a cannon?

The Jets’ second D-II player from this draft is Trenton Cannon, and his last name describes his playing style. He’s undersized but he packs a punch, as you can see with his Leonidas-style drop kick TD. He can be a 3rd down back in the NFL one day, but he’ll probably be used most returning kicks right off the bat. He returned three kicks for TDs in his career at Virginia State, and as long as he can physically catch a kicked ball, Cannon is a step above what the Jets had a KR/PR last season.

NFL Comparison – Non-Primetime Game Darren Sproles

 

There you have it. Your six new, New York Jets. They have their Quarterback. They have a TE whose game compliments their new QB. They added two big bodies to their defensive line. They drafted the fastest corner and the quickest RB to add depth at two positions that desperately needed some fresh legs.

The Jets didn’t draft any offensive linemen or edge rushers which was a surprise. Both positions were top heavy in this class, so maybe their eyes are dead set on next year’s class, which is highlighted by Nick Bosa.

No matter how good Nathan, Chris, Parry, Foley, and Trenton do in their respective careers, this draft class will be solely graded off of how Sam Darnold performs. He was the top prospect on many people’s boards who fell directly into the Jets’ lap. This is an exciting time for the Jets, as they added the guy they wanted for over a year, even after their unpredictably competitive 5 win 2017 season. They’re rapidly moving in the right direction, and the 2020s should be a hell of a good time. I’m giving the Jets a B+.

 

And now we wait.

New York Jets 2018 NFL Draft Preview: The Competitive Rebuild

Come Thursday night, the New York Jets will have a new franchise QB. I’m one thousand percent positive. If I’m wrong, I’ll print out this article and post a video of me eating it. Whoever they take with the 3rd overall pick, he will be the first QB that the Jets have taken in the 1st round of the draft since Mark Sanchez in 2009. Lets pray that things turn out better this time around.

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After a strong offseason that started with the signing of the highly sought-after CB Trumaine Johnson, the Jets continued to address depth issues and holes throughout their roster. They signed 4 LBs, most notably Avery Williamson. All 4 LBs are 27 or younger. They signed two Centers, both of whom are 27 years old (they can both play Guard as well). They signed two TEs, aged 22 and 26. They signed RBs Isaiah Crowell and Thomas Rawls, aged 25 and 24. Teddy Bridgewater (25) was brought in on a team-friendly deal as well. For those of you counting at home, thats 11 players, all under 30 years of age, in positions that the Jets were in desperate need of depth for years. The Jets were plagued by expensive contracts of veteran players and after a two-year roster purge and a couple retirements, the Jets suddenly found themselves with an abundance of cap space. They attacked the free agency market and while they did miss out on Kirk Cousins (which may turn out to be a blessing in disguise), they solidified their foundation and addressed the back end of their roster.

Who am I to predict who the Jets draft this week? Well I accurately predicted the Jets selecting Jamal Adams and identified Jordan Leggett as a good mid round TE in my write-up last year – https://thedailydart.com/2017/04/25/forgetting-brandon-marshall-a-new-era-in-jets-football-begins-thursday/. I also suggested that they end their PR/KR woes by drafting now-Cowboys Ryan Switzer, but alas, nobody listened.

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As for the Draft. The Jets traded up from the 6th overall pick to the 3rd with the Indianapolis Colts. They gave up this year’s 37th and 49th picks, as well as their 2nd round pick in 2019’s draft as well. It seems like a steep price to pay for just three spots in the draft, but if they draft the QB of their future, it’ll all be worth it. At #6, the Jets were in a position that could allow another QB-needy team such as the Bills, Cardinals, or even the Patriots to jump ahead of them. The Browns, Broncos, Giants, and obviously the Colts all were open to trade discussions, so the Jets had to make sure that they put themselves in the best position possible to land their guy.

Some people consider this year’s QB class a three-man race, others consider it a four. USC’s Sam Darnold, Wyoming’s Josh Allen, UCLA’s Josh Rosen, and Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield headline this class, and they all could quite possibly be the first four players taken off the board. Josh Allen is considered to be the dark horse out of the four, as his on-field production isn’t up to par with the other three but his physical intangibles are everything that a team looks for in their QB. He has the size and arm strength that has some front offices salivating, but his accuracy in college is a huge red flag. He played in the Mountain West Conference, where he didn’t exactly dominate, and whenever Wyoming played against a Power 5 conference team, his performances were troubling:

The Jets have already fallen for the ‘prototypical QB build who maybe was in the wrong system in college’ with Christian Hackenberg. I am PRAYING that the Jets won’t be fooled again. In a perfect world, the Cleveland Browns draft him #1 overall so that the Jets will be in a position to choose from at least two of the three other remaining top QBs.

Here’s how I rank the top QBs in this draft class and which current/recent NFL QB they remind me of:

Give me any of the top 3 guys and I’m a happy man. All three QBs have strong upsides and I think that they will all be at least long-term starters in the NFL. They all have their pros and cons, but at the end of the day I’d be more than pleased to have any of them wearing green this year.

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On The Clock:

After trading away their two 2nd round picks to the Colts, the Jets have six picks in this year’s draft.

Round 1, Pick 3 (3)

Round 3, Pick 8 (72)

Round 4, Pick 7 (107)

Round 5, Pick 20 (157)

Round 6, Pick 5 (179)

Round 7, Pick 17 (235)

With 69 (nice) picks between their first and second picks, they’re going to need to rely on their scouts to find some mid-round talent. They haven’t been great in finding talent in the mid to late rounds this decade, with Bilal Powell and Quincy Enunwa being the only real notable selections. Assuming that they’re going to draft their next QB, I wouldn’t be surprised if two of their picks are on large and athletic offensive linemen. Not the sexy picks, but the ones that will protect their new and most important asset.

First Round Options:

Assuming that the Jets are out on Josh Allen (PLEASE), they will have the opportunity to select Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, or Baker Mayfield. Even if the Browns and Giants take a QB each, the Jets will be able to draft the 3rd as a very good consolation prize. Darnold has been tied to the Browns the most, and Rosen has been tied to the Giants the most, so it is very likely that Baker Mayfield will be sitting there when the Jets are on the clock. The Giants are also rumored to be interested in RB Saquon Barkley and are even interested in trading down.

The Browns are going to pick Sam Darnold. I hope for their own sanity that they don’t fall for the Josh Allen trap. I think

With the 3rd Pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the New York Jets Select…..

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Baker Mayfield will definitely be on the board at #3 if the Giants stay at #2. The Dolphins and Bills both have expressed interest in Mayfield, but they’d have to work out a trade with the Giants to do so. Mayfield has his strengths and weaknesses, but his on-field production and leadership at Oklahoma is second to none. He’s cocky, talks a little too much, and had a public intoxication arrest in college a couple of summers ago. He’s drawn comparisons to Johnny Manziel, but both Manziel and Mayfield have distanced themselves from that comparison, with both parties saying that Mayfield is in a much better place mentally than Manziel ever was. Mayfield is slightly undersized, but I think that is an outdated way to grade QBs. Drew Brees and Russell Wilson have done a great job of changing the narrative of ‘short’ QBs busting in the NFL.

Mayfield was very successful in college and is 7th all-time in NCAA passing yards. He’s a Heisman winner and proved last year that he doesn’t need a Biletnikoff Award winner at WR (Dede Westbrook) to be a stud.

Does success in college guarantee success at the next level? Absolutely not. Look at Manziel, Tim Tebow, Vince Young, Reggie Bush, etc etc. But the Jets selecting Baker Mayfield would show that they’re going after it. They have an underrated roster and have been on the cusp of a deep playoff run more often than not these past few years. They haven’t had a legitimate franchise QB since Mark Sanchez (if you count that) and Baker Mayfield offers tremendously higher upside.

Position Needs:

QB: The Jets have 4 QBs on their roster with a 5th on the way. I doubt that Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg will be on the roster come Week 1. Josh McCown proved to be at least an average QB last season and has a good track record of mentoring younger QBs. He can be very valuable to both Teddy Bridgewater and whichever rookie QB the Jets select. If Bridgewater bounces back, then the Jets will suddenly have some quality depth at the most important position in all of sports. Ask last year’s Super Bowl champions about QB depth.

RB: By signing Isaiah Crowell and Thomas Rawls, I think the Jets took themselves out of the running for taking a RB in this year’s draft. They drafted Elijah McGuire in the 5th round last year, and he had a productive season playing behind Bilal Powell and Matt Forte. I actually wouldn’t be surprised if Powell at age 29 is a trade chip at some point this season. There is some late round talent at RB with players such as Iowa’s Akrum Wadley, Notre Dame’s Josh Adams, and Tennessee’s John Kelly, but the Jets don’t really have a spot for another young RB at this time.

Michigan v Iowa

WR: The Jets currently have 15 WRs on their roster. Robby Anderson could be facing a short suspension for telling a cop that he was going to nut in his wife’s eye. Quincy Enunwa is coming off of a neck injury that hopefully won’t have a lasting impact. Jermaine Kearse had a productive year for the Jets, coming from Seattle in the Sheldon Richardson trade. This offseason, they signed Terrelle Pryor, who looked lost last year in Washington after a 1,000 yard season in Cleveland. The Jets drafted WRs ArDarius Stewart and Chad Hansen, but they combined for only 15 receptions for 176 yards. The Jets have a lot of question marks at WR, but with FIFTEEN of them on the roster combined with a relatively weak WR draft class, I don’t see them drafting one this year. Given how weak this WR class is, teams that need receivers will have to snatch the ‘good ones’ earlier than they would usually. One guy I am really interested in, however, is Indiana’s Simmie Cobbs Jr. I wrote his name down in my phone on August 31, 2017 when he was putting on a show against Ohio State. He has drawn some Mike Evans comparisons but suffered an ankle injury last year. If he’s available in the 6th/7th round, I wouldn’t hate that pick at all.

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TE: The Jets listened to me and drafted Jordan Leggett last year, but he was injured most of the season. This offseason, they added Clive Walford and Bucky Hodges, who are 26 and 22. With five TEs on the roster, I don’t think that they’ll draft another one this year.

OL: The Jets don’t have an offensive lineman older than 29 on their roster. This is good for development, but the O-Line is still a glaring issue for this team. Last year, PFF ranked the Jets’ line as 30th in the NFL, and they allowed the 6th most sacks in the league. With the Jets drafting one QB, having a 38 year old as the starting QB, and another QB coming off of a career-altering injury, the Jets will absolutely continue to address their offensive line and will be in the market for their future LT/someone that can step into RT right away. I would not be surprised at all if a tall, athletic offensive lineman is selected in the 3rd round. I don’t know shit about O-Line, but Geron Christian looks good to me.

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DL/EDGE: This is another one of the Jets’ most glaring issues. They are poor at pressuring the QB, which is big trouble when that’s paired with a weak secondary. Coming into last season, I loved LSU’s Arden Key based off sheer athleticism. He is comparable to Jadeveon Clowney in college, including the questions of whether or not he takes plays off. Key had a down year, so his draft stock has fallen quite a bit, but not far enough for him to slip into the 3rd round. Had the Jets kept their two 2nd rounders, I think that they may have been lucky enough to grab him there.

This is a pretty deep class for edge rushers, and half of them seem to be from Ohio State. Tyquan Lewis, Sam Hubbard, Jerome Baker, and Jalyn Holmes are all OSU front 7 guys that could all be gone in the first three rounds. With that much talent on one team, it does beg the question of whether or not each of them are individually great talents or if they are a factor of a strong defensive unit from a well-coached system. Dorance Armstrong is a late round edge rusher that I like…he even laid off Baker Mayfield knowing that they’d be teammates in a year.

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Also if the Jets take this literal reincarnation of Wolverine I wouldn’t be opposed:

LB: The Jets signed 4 LBs this offseason and have two young early-round draft picks on their roster in Darron Lee and Jordan Jenkins. They suddenly have a lot of depth at this position for the first time in a long time. However, if an OLB with speed off the edge becomes available in the later rounds, I wouldn’t be shocked if the Jets take one. Perhaps one of Baker Mayfield’s former teammates Obo Okoronkwo?

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DB: The Jets took Jamal Adams 6th overall last year and surprised many people by taking Marcus Maye in the 2nd round. With the safety position locked up for the foreseeable future, the Jets still do need help at Corner, especially in defending slot receivers. Buster Skrine has been a liability and has suffered quite a few concussions in his playing career.  Tarvarus McFadden is a late round option at CB whose stock plummeted this past year. McFadden and Derwin James were supposed to carry Florida State’s defense to glory last year, but a Week 1 injury to their QB1 turned their season upside down. Also at 6’2″ 204, he fits the big body mold that so many teams need against WRs that keep getting bigger and bigger around the league. Considering the two CBs that the Jets selected last year played four combined games, the bar for McFadden to jump over is not high by any means.

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So there you have it. This is an exciting time to be a Jets fan. We’re just a few days away from having a franchise QB after years of juggling aging veterans and mid round question marks. The Bills are in no mans land, the Dolphins just sold off all their players, and the Patriots have a bunch of question marks of their own to deal with. If the Jets have a solid draft and they stay healthy this upcoming season, a .500 season is very attainable and a Wild Card berth isn’t too crazy to think about.

In a perfect world, here is how this upcoming weekend will turn out:

Round 1, Pick 3 – QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma

Round 3, Pick 8 – OT Geron Christian, Louisville/EDGE Arden Key, LSU/CB Carlton Davis, Auburn

Round 4, Pick 7 – EDGE Dorance Armstrong, Kansas/RB Akrum Wadley, Iowa/WR James Washington, Oklahoma State/OT Chukwuma Okorafor, Western Michigan

Round 5, Pick 20 – OLB/EDGE Obo Okoronkwo, Oklahoma/RB Josh Adams, Notre Dame/EDGE Chad Thomas, Miami

Round 6, Pick 5 – CB Tarvarus McFadden, Florida State/OL Will Clapp, LSU

Round 7, Pick 17 – WR Simmie Cobbs Jr, Indiana/RB Justin Jackson, Northwestern/DE Joe Ostman, Central Michigan

 

Live look-in at me if the Jets follow my draft guide:

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