The Ravens revamped offense has everyone talking Superbowl, but the Steelers will have something to say about that.
FindBet continues our tour of NFL training camps as we approach the start of the NFL season. Let's take a look at the headlines coming out of the AFC North and make our record predictions for 2020.
AP Photo/Gail Burton
The Ravens have the reigning NFL MVP in Lamar Jackson. The dual threat quarterback burst on to the scene in 2019, taking the league by storm. Baltimore loaded up on offense in this year's draft, adding receivers Devin Duvernay and James Proche, as well as highly touted RB JK Dobbins to help supplement Jackson with more firepower which pairs well with an elite defensive unit. The biggest roadblock for the Ravens this year will be Lamar Jackson's continued development, if he continues to mature as a passer, the Ravens have enough talent to challenge the Chiefs in the AFC in 2020.
Prediction: 12-4 (Division Champ)
Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press
Everything that could go wrong offensively in 2019 went wrong for the Steelers. Losing Ben Roethlisberger for the year after Week 2 put a damper on the Steelers' playoff hopes, but the maturation of the defense in 2019 is the real story line. The Steelers began a return down the road to dominance, a word that has always been synonymous with their defenses of the past. Now with the return of Big Ben in 2020, the Steelers look primed to make a run at a wildcard spot and possibly the division title. Dionate Johnson looks to be the next star wide receiver to emerge from the organization, and all reports indicate rookie wide receiver Chase Claypool has been impressive during training camp. The Steelers will be good, but most likely a split with the Ravens will prevent them from a division crown.
Prediction: 11-5 (Wild Card Berth)
Another year, another new coaching staff for Cleveland. The team starts the year with its 3rd coaching staff in three years, but the Browns picked a good one this time in former Vikings Offensive Coordinator, Kevin Stefanski, who will be taking over for Freddie Kitchens after just one full season as Head Coach. Stefanski brings an offense to Cleveland designed to take the pressure off Baker Mayfield by utilizing 22 personnel (two tight ends, two wide receivers) more while utilizing Nick Chubb more efficiently. The Browns defense will be the deciding factor on Cleveland's success in 2020. Losing second rounder Grant Delpit for the year was a massive blow to their secondary, Greedy Williams and Denzel Ward will need to be that much more effective with Delpit out of the lineup. They organization has expressed interest in free agent Logan Ryan, formerly of the Tennessee Titans, as a replacement for the injured rookie. With very little practice time due to COVID-19 cancelling all off season in person practice, it's hard to see the Browns shooting out of the gate. But Stefanski is going to be a great coach in this league if he's given the proper chance by management.
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images
The Bengals secured the top overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft after a dismal first season under head coach Zac Taylor that saw AJ Green sit out the entire year with an "ankle" injury, and a defense that couldn't stop anyone. The Bengals landed the top QB prospect, Joe Burrow, who immediately took over for long time starter Andy Dalton (who is now in Dallas backing up Dak Prescott). Burrow's poise and leadership has been on display early in camp, and he has had an immediate connection with Tyler Boyd throughout the offseason. The Bengals may have found their franchise quarterback, but they are still a year or two away from contention in a formidable AFC North.
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As the NFL postseason got underway last week, it became clear we need to make some halftime adjustments with our picks this week.
The Ravens were an easy cover for us, especially once Lamer found his groove and the grooves in Tennessee's D. Throw in a few head scratching punts by Mike Vrabel and that does the trick.
Meanwhile, Stefon Diggs came up two catches short for us with three targets left on the table. It was always going to be tough to get that many grabs, but it was worth a few bucks just to see what would happen.
Please, please, please remind me never to bet unders. I haven't hit one all year and yet the siren's song calls me to shore. I maintain this is the best one I bet all year. The pick 6 and DK Metcalf bomb in the second quarter killed after the best start imaginable. After 15 minutes, we had a combined score of 3, 15 minutes of game time later? 30. Bananas.
Then I don't really know what else to say about Pittsburgh losing to Baker Mayfield and co. that hasn't already been said. I just have to edit my list of completely impossible things to put, "Snowing in the Sahara desert," and "Taylor Swift ever getting back together with Jake Gyllenhaal" above "The Browns beating the Steelers in the playoffs."
Put on your general manager hat for a moment and ask yourself this question: If my team struggled mightily the past couple seasons, is struggling now and will continue to struggle, would I trade my franchise star?
It's an extremely difficult decision to make, but it's something the Washington Wizards have to be pondering with shooting guard Bradley Beal.
Beal has been on an absolute rampage through 11 games, posting a league-high 34.9 points per game on 49% shooting and 38% from distance. He's also dishing out five assists and grabbing 5.3 rebounds with 1.5 steals. All that in 36 minutes a night, yet the Wizards are 3-8 which is the third-worst record in the Eastern Conference.
"I'm pissed off," Beal told reporters after his 60-point game on Jan. 6. "I'm mad. I don't count [them]. ... Any of my career-highs, they've been in losses. So I don't give a damn. You can throw it right out the window with the other two or three I've had."
His frustration is evident, and though he hasn't verbalized that he wants out of D.C., it's hard not to think that the idea hasn't crossed his mind at least once with how bad the Wizards have been recently.
From 2018-20, they went a combined 57-97 with John Wall sidelined after he tore his Achilles. Before this season began, the Wizards acquired Russell Westbrook in exchange for Wall and a pick, thinking they were getting an upgrade at point guard. Plot twist, they weren't.
Wall is healthy and playing good basketball in Houston while Westbrook is sitting back-to-backs and is currently nursing a quad injury. More importantly, he doesn't make them much better because of his lack of defense and is thus piling up meaningless triple-doubles that don't translate to team success.
Each Friday, FindBet will preview the week's DFS slate, highlighting players that are priced well on DFS sites, as well as some contrarian plays that can push your team to the top of the leader board.
Most NFL DFS games have you putting a team together with players from a certain slate of games. It could be just Sunday 1:00 PM games, or it could be every game that is slated for the week. Once the last game that has eligible players is over, the final payouts are made according to how many fantasy points each team scored. Each player is worth a certain dollar amount, and you have a cap of $60,000 to build your team with. You have to have 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 FLEX (RB, WR, or TE) and 1 DEF.
The general scoring rules include (6) points for each rushing and receiving touchdown, (4) points for each passing touchdown, (0.1) points for each rushing and receiving yard gained, (0.04) points for each passing yard, and also (0.5) points for each reception. There are other scoring opportunities for defenses. Let's take a look at players we like in the first round of the NFL playoffs this weekend.