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Fantasy Football Week 12 quarterback rankings: What’s up with struggling stars?

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Something strange is going on with passing games around the NFL. Surely, you’ve sensed it, too. You saw the likes of Patrick MahomesRussell Wilson, and Dak Prescott all fail to score even 10 points in six-point-per-pass-TD leagues, with Derek CarrRyan TannehillJoe Burrow, and Matt Ryan all putting up poor performances as well. This was not a one-week thing, either.

In fact, we’ve seen a dip in QB play for a month straight, maybe more. In Week 5, NFL quarterbacks collectively posted a passer rating of 96.1, with 8.0 yards per target; they haven’t hit either of those marks since. In fact, they haven’t come close: The highest league-wide passer rating since Week 5 is just 92.8, while the highest Y/A is an abysmal 7.13, both in Week 7. 

Over the past four weeks, quarterbacks have been above 7.0 yards per attempt just once; for context, the league average in 2020 was 7.2, and 22 of 35 qualified QBs were above 7.0. League-wide, touchdown rates are down to 4.2% since Week 6, compared to 4.9% through the first five games; interception rates are similarly up from 2.1% through five games to 2.5% since. 

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These are pretty significant changes to have occurred in the middle of the season, and it’s hard to come up with one good explanation, though I do think there is one possible answer. Along with those drops in overall production, we’ve also seen intended air yards per target fall from 8.2 through five weeks to 7.5 since. Now, we’ve seen teams like the Bills and Chiefs be periodically flummoxed by teams looking to take away the deep ball, and it’s fair to wonder if that might not be happening more and more around the league. If opposing defenses are more willing to play soft coverage and allow teams to try to move the chains with short passes and runs rather than in chunks, that could have a pretty profound effect on the way the position plays moving forward, potentially in favor of rushing quarterbacks even more. 

Or maybe it’s just a weird fluke. Smarter folks than me will have to figure that one out. All I know is, right now, the QB position isn’t what it used to be, and with Dak Prescott likely playing without his top two options and Kyler Murray and Mahomes on a bye, that may not change in Week 12, either. 

    Here are my QB rankings for Week 12. To see the rankings from Jamey Eisenberg, Dave Richard, and Heath Cummings, make sure you head here.  

    Week 12 QB Rankings

    1. Lamar Jackson vs. CLE
    2. Tom Brady @IND
    3. Jalen Hurts @NYG
    4. Josh Allen @NO
    5. Justin Herbert @DEN
    6. Matthew Stafford @GB
    7. Aaron Rodgers vs. LAR
    8. Dak Prescott vs. LV
    9. Tua Tagovailoa vs. CAR
    10. Cam Newton @MIA
    11. Kirk Cousins @SF
    12. Joe Burrow vs. PIT
    13. Russell Wilson @WAS
    14. Carson Wentz vs. TB
    15. Tyrod Taylor vs. NYJ
    16. Teddy Bridgewater vs. LAC
    17. Taylor Heinicke vs. SEA
    18. Ben Roethlisberger @CIN
    19. Derek Carr @DAL
    20. Matt Ryan @JAX
    21. Daniel Jones vs. PHI
    22. Mac Jones vs. TEN
    23. Ryan Tannehill @NE
    24. Jimmy Garoppolo vs. MIN

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    MLB home run record: List of most home runs in a season, single-season leaders as Aaron Judge ties Roger Maris

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    Yankees slugger Aaron Judge hit his 61st home run of the season Wednesday night against the Blue Jays to rewrite baseball’s history books. His 61st home run tied him with Roger Maris for the American League single-season record. 

    Judge is having a truly historic campaign, as he leads the majors in home runs, runs, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, OPS+, total bases, WAR and several other categories. 

    One might have a few questions about that mark, so let’s get down and dirty with the all-time leaderboards. Just the facts here. 

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    Most single-season home runs, MLB

    1. Barry Bonds, 73, 2001
    2. Mark McGwire, 70, 1998
    3. Sammy Sosa, 66, 1998
    4. Mark McGwire, 65, 1999
    5. Sammy Sosa, 64, 2001
    6. Sammy Sosa, 63, 1999
    T7. Aaron Judge, 61, 2022
    T7. Roger Maris, 61, 1961
    9. Babe Ruth, 60, 1927
    T10. Giancarlo Stanton, 59, 2017
    T10. Babe Ruth, 59, 1921

    Most single-season home runs, American League

    T1. Aaron Judge, 61, 2022
    T1. Roger Maris, 61, 1961
    3. Babe Ruth, 60, 1927
    T4. Hank Greenberg, 58, 1938
    T4. Jimmie Foxx, 58, 1932
    6. Alex Rodriguez, 57, 2002
    T7. Ken Griffey Jr., 56, 1998
    T7. Ken Griffey, Jr., 56, 1997
    T9. Jose Bautista, 54, 2010
    T9. Alex Rodriguez, 54, 2007
    T9. David Ortiz, 54, 2006
    T9. Mickey Mantle, 54, 1961
    T9. Babe Ruth, 54, 1928
    T9. Babe Ruth, 54, 1920

    Most single-season home runs, National League

    1. Barry Bonds, 73, 2001
    2. Mark McGwire, 70, 1998
    3. Sammy Sosa, 66, 1998
    4. Mark McGwire, 65, 1999
    5. Sammy Sosa, 64, 2001
    6. Sammy Sosa, 63, 1999
    7. Giancarlo Stanton, 59, 2017
    8. Ryan Howard, 58, 2006
    9. Luis Gonzalez, 57, 2001
    10. Hack Wilson, 56, 1930 

    Fastest to 60 home runs (by team games)

    1. Barry Bonds, 141 games, 2001
    2. Mark McGwire, 142 games, 1998
    3. Aaron Judge, 147 games, 2022
    4. Sammy Sosa, 148 games, 1999
    5. Sammy Sosa, 149 games, 1998
    6. Babe Ruth, 154 games, 1927
    7. Mark McGwire, 155 games, 1999
    8. Sammy Sosa, 157 games, 2001
    9. Roger Maris, 159 games, 1961

    Fastest to 61 home runs (by team games)

    T1. Barry Bonds, 144, 2001
    T1. Mark McGwire, 144, 1998
    3. Sammy Sosa, 149, 1999
    4. Sammy Sosa, 150, 1998
    5. Aaron Judge, 155, 2022
    6. Mark McGwire, 156, 1999
    7. Sammy Sosa, 158, 2001
    8. Roger Maris, 163, 1961

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    Fastest to 62 home runs (by team games)

    1. Barry Bonds, 144, 2001
    2. Mark McGwire, 145, 1998
    3. Sammy Sosa, 150, 1998
    T4. Mark McGwire, 157, 1999
    T4. Sammy Sosa, 157, 1999
    6. Sammy Sosa, 160, 2001

    So, as you can see, what Judge is doing in 2022 is truly historic. He has seven games left to pass Maris and set a new American League standard for single-season homer excellence.



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    SEC college football picks, odds in Week 5: Arkansas stays tight with Alabama, Georgia takes out frustration

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    The calendar will flip from September to October as the Week 5 college football action takes center stage on Saturday, which means that SEC division title races are starting take shape. No. 2 Alabama will head to Fayetteville, Arkansas, to take on No. 20 Arkansas in a battle between SEC foes. It was anticipated this could be a battle of undefeated title contenders, but the Razorbacks’ loss to Texas A&M last week erased that possibility. No. 7 Kentucky will travel to Oxford, Mississippi, to take on No. 14 Ole Miss in a clash of cross-division, undefeated teams that are looking to break through on the national stage. 

    There are intriguing games for other reasons, too. Auburn will take on LSU at Jordan-Hare Stadium in a game that could determine the future of Tigers coach Bryan Harsin. The second-year coach was rumored to be on the brink of receiving a pink slip had the Tigers lost to Missouri last week, but they escaped in overtime in one of the sloppiest games of the year. 

    What else is going on around the conference in Week 5? Let’s take a spin around the league and make some picks in this week’s edition of SEC Smothered and Covered.

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    Hurricane Ian hitting the East Coast has forced changes to SEC games in Week 5. Keep up to date with all of the movement at this link here

    Appetizer: Drew Sanders, the double agent?

    Arkansas linebacker Drew Sanders has established himself as one of the best players in the conference regardless of position. The former five-star prospect out of Denton, Texas, has 31 tackles on the season and is tied for third in the SEC in tackles for loss per game (1.63). He’s also a former member of the Alabama Crimson Tide. 

    Could he be a secret agent? Well, not officially, but Razorbacks coach Sam Pittman knows that his star transfer isn’t going to be surprised by anything he sees.

    “I would assume, for him, there would be some familiarity with what Bama is doing,” Pittman said. “We’ll try to downplay that as much as possible, because it is about shedding blocks and tackling and doing his assignment.”

    This was shaping up to be a battle of undefeated teams prior to last weekend, but a reeling Texas A&M squad and a Hogs’ field goal attempt off the top of the goal post put an end to that plan. It didn’t erase the interest level in this game, though. Pittman’s squad absolutely has to win Saturday’s game vs. the Crimson Tide, otherwise its hopes of winning the West will disappear like a rack of ribs at a tailgate party. 

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    Main course: Chris Rodriguez’s impact

    Kentucky is typically a juggernaut at developing stud offensive linemen who are effective as run and pass blockers. This year … not so much. The Wildcats have given up more sacks than any other team in the SEC (16) and allowed Northern Illinois to sack quarterback Will Levis five times last weekend. Nothing against the Huskies, but that shouldn’t happen. 

    They will get running back Chris Rodriguez back from his early-season suspension this week, though, and he should at least provide more of a threat in the running game to help Levis work off play-action. The preseason All-SEC selection rushed for 1,379 yards and nine touchdowns last season while adding three touchdowns as a receiver out of the backfield. Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said Monday that Rodriguez has prepared to make an impact over the last couple of weeks.

    “For Chris, it was just a matter of managing him while he was out. Just getting him the reps that we needed to. The last week or two, as I mentioned last week, he was getting reps with the first and second team — mainly the second team or different quarterbacks just to make sure he wasn’t totally removed from practicing our plays, along with staying in shape, being on the scout team, doing whatever was necessary for staying in good shape.” 

    Dessert: Do or die for Bryan Harsin

    Reports surfaced last week that Harsin could be fired as early as the day after the Missouri game if his team lost to the visiting Tigers. That didn’t happen; Auburn used a Missouri missed field goal at the end of regulation and a walk-off touchback in overtime to escape with a win. Or a “non-loss,” considering how sloppy the game was. 

    In essence, it was the worst possible scenario for all parties. Harsin’s incredibly ugly win against Missouri the week after getting blown out by Penn State made it impossible for the powers-that-be to get rid of him last Sunday, which also gave him another week to “coach back into” his job if he can figure things out. Could that start this week against LSU? Harsin’s Tigers are nearly double-digit underdogs, which suggests that there isn’t much faith in him surviving beyond this weekend. Even if he does, Georgia looms next weekend prior to the bye week. 

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    Simply put, Harsin needs to dominate LSU and upset Georgia to stay employed. Otherwise, those who staged the attempted coup in February will likely get their way and move into a new era of Auburn football.

    Picks

    Straight up: 38-8 | Against the spread: 19-21-1
    *Previous picks were made on Instagram since SEC Smothered & Covered starts in Week 3

    No. 7 Kentucky at No. 14 Ole Miss

    Featured Game | Ole Miss Rebels vs. Kentucky Wildcats

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    The Rebels have settled on Jaxson Dart as their No. 1 quarterback, and he will provide a nice complement through the air and on the ground to a rushing attack that is second-to-none in the conference (280.75 YPG). That will wear down a Kentucky defense that isn’t as deep or consistent as it has been in previous years. The Rebels defense, which is third in the SEC in tackles for loss per game (7.0), will keep Levis in third-and-long situations — leading to an Ole Miss cover. Pick: Ole Miss (-6.5)

    No. 2 Alabama at No. 20 Arkansas

    Featured Game | Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Alabama Crimson Tide

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    The 17.5-point spread is interesting, due in large part to the hook. If a 17-point Bama win cashes an Arkansas ticket, I’m all in for the Hogs. Alabama has played one-score games in four of its last five true road tilts, and the combination of Hogs quarterback KJ Jefferson and running back Raheim Sanders will bust enough big plays to at least keep this game close into the fourth quarter. The Crimson Tide will win it by two touchdowns when all is said and done but won’t get the cover. Pick: Arkansas (+17.5)

    Featured Game | Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. Texas A&M Aggies

    The Bulldogs are home favorites over a ranked Aggies team for good reason. Opposing quarterbacks are completing just 44.4% of their passes on third downs (17th nationally), which sets up well against an Aggies team that will be without star wide receiver Ainias Smith. Texas A&M topped Arkansas essentially because of a fumbled punt return and a freak fumble recovery/scoop-and-score, but even those won’t save them in the land of the cowbells. Pick: Mississippi State (-3.5)

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    LSU at Auburn

    Featured Game | Auburn Tigers vs. LSU Tigers

    Auburn’s offensive line has been a disaster this year, and now its quarterback position is an unmitigated disaster. Meanwhile, LSU’s defense has given up just 39 plays of 10 or more yards this season (tied with Georgia for third in the SEC). It’s going to make Auburn put together multiple sustained drives, and that’s unlikely considering Harsin forgot that running back Tank Bigsby exists during the majority of the Missouri game. The visiting Tigers will win by double-digits. Pick: LSU (-9)

    No. 1 Georgia at Missouri

    Featured Game | Missouri Tigers vs. Georgia Bulldogs

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    The Bulldogs have to be embarrassed after Kent State stayed within 10 points into the fourth quarter last week, and they’ll take it out on Missouri on Saturday night in Columbia. The Tigers average a league-worst 5.62 yards per play, and the way to hang with the Bulldogs is to capitalize on shot plays. Coach Kirby Smart’s crew will take out its frustration on Missouri and win by at least 30 points. Pick: Georgia (-28)

    SEC teams vs. FCS opponents

    *No lines have been published

    Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 5, and which top-10 favorite will go down hard? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread — all from a proven computer model that has returned more than $3,100 in profit over the past six-plus seasons — and find out.

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    Canada crushes Puerto Rico in FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup quarterfinal – Sportsnet.ca

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    Canada has advanced to the semifinals at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup for the first time since 1986.

    After going 4-1 in first-round play, Canada hammered Puerto Rico 79-60 in quarterfinal action on Thursday in Australia.

    The Canadians will be heavy underdogs in the semis on Friday against the top-ranked United States. The Americans defeated Serbia 88-55 in the first quarterfinal.

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    The Americans have won 28 consecutive games in World Cup play since losing to the Russians in the 2006 semis — the tournament is held quadrennially.

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    Canada will try to win its first medal since capturing bronze in 1986. That result matched its previous best of third in 1979.

    Kia Nurse led Canada with 17 points, one of five players to score in double figures for her team. Bridget Carleton had 15, while Laeticia Amihere and Natalie Achonwa had 12 apiece. Kayla Alexander had 13 rebounds for Canada.

    Canada jumped out to a 26-11 lead after the first quarter and never was threatened.

    China faces France and Belgium meets Australia in the other quarterfinals.

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