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How does USA advance at World Cup? We track all Group B scenarios

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Fans Get Encouraging Update On Von Miller

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(Photo by Joshua Bessex/Getty Images)

 

Thanksgiving day was one full of concern for the Buffalo Bills.

This concern came from an injury that Von Miller went down with during the team’s Thanksgiving day game.

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While the team left Detroit with a win, they also left with Miller suffering an injury that could shift their season’s momentum.

However, a report is giving the Bills some good news.

So what is this news, and how will Miller and his injury affect the Bills this season?

 

Bills Beat Reporter Gave Some Encouraging News About Miller’s Injury

Sal Capaccio gave some good news about Miller the day he suffered his injury.

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In a tweet by him, he tells his followers how he saw Miller leaving the team locker room without help.

With him leaving without crutches, and walking out without help, it can signal the injury isn’t too bad.

However, after Miller got an MRI done, it shows he needs at least a week off.

The time off should give him enough time to allow for the swelling to go down.

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But with a reevaluation possibly being done after the 7-10 days, there might be concern the injury is serious.

If this proves to be true, the Bills defense will be without its best lineman and biggest threat to quarterbacks.

With the Bills being Super Bowl favorites, they can’t afford to lose Miller for the season.

While he’s out for the team’s next game, a Thursday showdown with the New England Patriots, they hope he can return soon.

With him on defense, the Bills can keep their Super Bowl chances intact.

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10 things: Shorthanded Raptors upset Luka Doncic’s Mavericks

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Here are 10 takeaways from the Toronto Raptors‘ 105-100 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday:

One: Every win for the Toronto Raptors in its current state is impressive. Reinforcements are coming soon with Pascal Siakam, Scottie Barnes and Dalano Banton expected back next week, but for the time being they remain badly shorthanded. Outside of letdowns against OKC and Brooklyn, the Raptors have managed to be competitive with their ragtag crew, but the finish had sometimes been lacking, most notably in the collapse against Atlanta. This game was the opposite, where the Raptors overcame a slow start for a gritty wire-to-wire win over a Dallas Mavericks side led by MVP favorite Luka Doncic.

Two: The Raptors preserved the win with a perfectly executed defensive possession. Down three, the Mavericks predictably went to Doncic, who invited over a screen to attack and as they had done all game, the Raptors doubled Doncic to force someone else to beat them. Thad Young and O.G. Anunoby were hip-to-hip with their hands up, shutting off the pocket pass and the cheeky behind-the-back option so Doncic couldn’t feed Maxi Kleber at the three-point line. Instead, Kleber was made to catch it in the lane, and the Raptors were smart to stay at home on shooters instead of rushing over to cut off the rim run. Kleber tried to swing it back out but nobody was open, and when the ball flowed back into the post, Young had recovered back to his original assignment to pick off the pass and secure the win.

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Three: Outside of a few stops by Anunoby in isolation, Raptors coach Nick Nurse held firm to his usual strategy of showing double teams to Doncic. The Raptors’ main focus was forcing Doncic into long passes, trusting in their rotations to lock down the paint, then running off as many shooters as possible. It was ugly to start, as the Raptors were a mess in rotation and bled corner threes, but the Raptors clearly won the gamble. The Mavericks shot under 30 per cent from the three, while Doncic was held to just 15 field-goal attempts. Not surprisingly, Anunoby was much better in the role of guarding Doncic than Barnes, who typically gets the assignment – including allowing 35 points to the Slovenian earlier in the month – and it mostly comes down to being better at containing the drive.

Four: Aside from the issue of covering Doncic, the Raptors also had to invent some way to score in crunch time. The best solution they landed on was to feed Anunoby, either on a curl to the basket around an off-ball screen, or by finding him in the post. Fred VanVleet admitted after the game that he was exhausted — hardly a surprise when he is just recovering from illness — but Anunoby was also the one giving Dallas the most problems with his strength on the interior. Anunoby scored 12 of his 26 points in the fourth, including an Eurostep layup and a jump hook in the last two minutes, along with a corner three.

Five: Anunoby continues to show more advancement in his drives to the basket, despite receiving a consistently terrible whistle in the paint. Anunoby has shown better patience and footwork in the lane, including a tidy spin move that would have made Siakam proud. His five turnovers are regrettable, especially since three were travels, but at least those are dead-ball plays where there isn’t a transition chance. The next level for Anunoby would be finding the touch on the short pull-up jumper. Defenders are often having to be overly physical with him to equal his immense strength, so Anunoby sometimes spins away from the contact for clean separation on short jumpers, but he has yet to find the touch. Anunoby is 26-for-84 inside the arc, excluding restricted area attempts on the season, which is the biggest factor limiting his efficiency.

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Six: VanVleet was excellent in his return and played a vital role in the win. VanVleet’s pick-and-roll attack was the main focal point of the offence through three quarters, which helped establish an eight-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. Nurse tried to buy him some rest, but the offence quickly dried up while the Mavericks went on a run, thus forcing VanVleet back into the match after just two minutes. VanVleet instantly revived the scoring, setting up Anunoby for three off a drive that pulled four defenders into the paint, found Chris Boucher for a lob, and set up a tic-tac-toe passing sequence that ended in Juancho Hernangomez cutting for a layup. Late in the game, VanVleet stepped aside to feature Anunoby as the primary scorer, but when one key play broke down in the last minute, VanVleet beat his man off the dribble and spun away from the double, before feeding Boucher for a floater to beat the shot clock.

Seven: Boucher’s energy was so vital that Nurse started him in the second half. In truth, Boucher has easily been one of Toronto’s five best players given their injuries, but he performs so well in his usual role that Nurse didn’t see the need to disrupt his rhythm. But in this game, the Raptors were horrendous to start and trailed 18-4 at the beginning, and it took Boucher exploding for 10 points and four offensive rebounds to bring them back to respectability. Boucher was also needed for his defence, as the Raptors needed as much length as possible to rotate over to the rim and out to the corners after trapping Doncic, which is Boucher’s specialty.

Eight: Even when Thad Young isn’t hitting his usual flip shots around the basket, he still finds ways to contribute. Young peaked in the third quarter, when he had a stretch where he forced five straight turnovers. He sacrificed his body against a charge and a moving screen, then picked off a pass and poked the ball free twice from his man, which forced a rushed kickout that led to a travel. Young was also often asked to trap above the arc against Doncic, which is how he finished the night with nine deflections to lead all players.

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Nine: Hernangomez continues to be quietly productive in an expanded role. He mostly looks to spot up for threes after his teammates collapse the lane, but he has also developed an astute sense of when to cut, especially when Young has the ball in the post. Twice in the fourth quarter, Hernangomez was able to flash to the basket right as his defender turned his head to watch the ball. Hernangomez was so productive that Nurse trusted him to close the game ahead of Gary Trent Jr.

Ten: Trent Jr. was better on defence, but still remains rusty on offence. He collected four steals, held off a bigger player for a defensive box out, and was decent in his defensive assignment. However, it’s clear that he still doesn’t fully have his legs on the jumper as all of them are short. Nurse’s decision to bench him for the fourth wasn’t out of punishment, it’s just that Hernangomez was playing better.

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20 Fantasy Thoughts: Don’t trust Sandin as a Rielly replacement

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Charlie McAvoy was worth the wait.

After being drafted and stashed on rosters early in the season, the Boston Bruins defender has returned with a vengeance, to the tune of 10 points in eight games. McAvoy is a great example of why stashing a player can be a shrewd strategy, though it can just as easily go wrong. His former Bruins teammate Tuukka Rask is an example of the latter, when he was stashed for a huge chunk of the year in 2021-22 and only returned for four games before retiring.

There’s no guarantee when and how a player will return from injury, so you could be using a roster or injured reserve spot for no reason if things don’t pan out. The likes of Tom Wilson and Gabriel Landeskog are others being stashed this season, in the hopes they will return healthy and productive in time for the fantasy playoffs. Those players can be huge difference makers if all goes to plan.

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You just have to be willing to take the risk.

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1. Speaking of stashing, Max Pacioretty has begun skating, though a return isn’t imminent. He’s only 44% rostered and he could easily be a major asset down the stretch. There is an obvious need in the Carolina Hurricanes top six, as despite being a really strong team, the Canes rank just 28th in goals for. Pacioretty figures to get first line minutes and a spot on the top power play when he’s healthy.

2. Part of the reason the Hurricanes are struggling mightily offensively, is the fact that Jesperi Kotkaniemi has only five points this season. He simply hasn’t worked out as a second line centre and can’t seem to produce anything offensively, even though he’s played quite a bit with Andrei Svechnikov. It seems inevitable Carolina is really going to regret giving him that contract. Kotkaniemi simply isn’t worth rostering at the moment.

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3. Jakob Chychrun finally returned to the ice this week and he’s off to a really strong start. He’s notched three points, 18 shots and 10 hits in just three games. Chychrun is already a good option as it stands now, but he has similar upside to that of a Patrick Kane or Bo Horvat in the event he gets dealt. It seems like Chychrun is the safest bet to get traded among those rumoured to be moved and his value will jump if he ends up on a better team.

4. The Edmonton Oilers gave Stuart Skinner a real shot to claim the job recently with four straight starts, but wins have been hard to come by. Skinner’s numbers were solid overall during that stretch, though he managed only two wins and is now just 4-5-0 on the season. As bad as Jack Campbell has been, there may be a bigger issue at play with the Oilers. Edmonton ranks 27th in shots allowed and the loss of Evander Kane is making a team that’s not very deep that much thinner. If the Oilers don’t pick it up, neither Campbell or Skinner are going to be ideal options.

5. On the plus side, Evan Bouchard scored his first two goals of the season Saturday. He’s also posted two power play points in his past three games, while Tyson Barrie has been held off the scoresheet in five straight. The key to Bouchard unlocking his fantasy value is overtaking Barrie on the top power play unit.

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6. Is there a more fun team in fantasy right now than the Buffalo Sabres? Jeff Skinner notched seven points in two games this week, Tage Thompson’s shot volume is through the roof, and Rasmus Dahlin is closing in on elite status. Don’t forget about Dylan Cozens, though. He’s not as flashy as the others I mentioned, but he fills a ton of categories. He has 12 points in his past 16 games and is great for faceoff wins and shots, too. Cozens is widely available and would be a good boost for your forward group.

7. Rasmus Sandin seems like an obvious pickup with Morgan Rielly sidelined, but I’m not overly confident in that investment. Sandin hasn’t been great this year and hasn’t found the scoresheet since Rielly’s been out, while managing just a pair of shots in those three games. The Toronto Maple Leafs seem to be morphing into a team that’s more defensively sound, rather than trying to push forward offensively and outscore their problems. Even if Sandin can hold onto his spot on the first power play unit, I don’t see him producing enough points to make him a better option than some external candidates.

8. One thing I’m learning this season is to not start a goalie in a game involving the San Jose Sharks. In the past 12 Sharks games, there have been a combined seven goals scored nine times, and in three of those games there’s been more than 10 combined goals. High-event games are not good for goalies in fantasy.

9. Maybe one of the more bizarre stats this season is Vancouver Canucks backup Spencer Martin being 6-1-1. Despite how bad things have been for Thatcher Demko and the Canucks, Martin has actually been a solid resource for spot starts.

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10. Brock Boeser is flying under the radar right now with a nine-game point streak. Given Vancouver’s awful start and an early season injury, Boeser’s campaign could have easily been derailed. I though there was a chance he could hit 30 goals for the first time this year and even if that may be a longshot at this point, Boeser is at least making you not regret using a draft pick on him.

11. I’m having trouble understanding why David Krejci is only 19% rostered. Sure, his hit numbers are non-existent, but he’s up to six goals in his past five games and should cruise to a 60-point season in the Boston Bruins’ top six if he remains healthy.

12. It sounds like Linus Ullmark’s injury isn’t going to keep him out long term. Still, it should be Jeremy Swayman for a few games here on a team that’s starting to look like a juggernaut. Holding 1Bs on strong teams is a good strategy if you can swing it with your roster, as an injury to the starter will see their value skyrocket.

13. Akira Schmid has been a nice little find for spot starts while Mackenzie Blackwood has been out. The New Jersey Devils are leaning heavily on Vitek Vanecek, but with games coming up over the next week or so against Nashville, Chicago and Philadelphia, keep an eye out for a favourable matchup for Schmid.

14. Very quietly, Anaheim Ducks defender Cam Fowler recently recorded eight points during a five-game point streak, while taking advantage of some time on the top power play. Fowler isn’t a huge point producer, as he had just a single point in 15 games prior to this run, but maybe you can capture lightning in a bottle with Fowler until he cools off.

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15. Tough luck if you were rostering the likes of Roman Josi or Juuse Saros this week. The Nashville Predators had to cancel a pair of games because of a water main break at their arena. Sure, those games will be made up eventually, but that doesn’t help you if you were banking on some key Preds players to help you win your matchup this week. You can do as much research and planning as you want in fantasy hockey, but you can’t prepare for everything.

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16. Philipp Grubauer returned to action Friday and had a strong outing. That’s going to put more pressure on Martin Jones to keep playing well to hold onto the starting job for the Seattle Kraken.

17. I’m not sure what’s gotten into Filip Hronek, but he’s exploded for 10 points in his past six games. Normally Hronek’s main value is for hits and blocks, though suddenly he’s already up to 18 points after never eclipsing 38 in a season before. He’s also sitting at plus-10 after coming into the 2022-23 campaign a career minus-95. With four games next week, Hronek is certainly worth a look if he’s still kicking around in your league.

18. Calgary Flames head coach Darryl Sutter hasn’t exactly followed through with his plan to start Dan Vladar once a week. Vladar went 13 days without playing before picking up a pair of quality starts this week. The Flames play Arizona and Columbus over the next couple of weeks, so keep an eye on Vladar for spot starts their if he gets the call for those friendly matchups.

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19. Tristan Jarry has won his past four starts with a .950 save percentage over that span. A great sign if you bought low.

20. From late October into early November, Sidney Crosby managed just a single point over five games, as the Pittsburgh Penguins were in the midst of a lengthy losing streak. Many were asking what was wrong with Crosby and what they should do with him. Since then, Crosby has 17 points in 11 games and at age 35, he’s on pace for 108 points, which would be his most productive season since 2009-10. Never bet against Sidney Crosby.

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