We're almost at the halfway point in the NFL season, and it's been a wildly untraditional one so far.
With games needing to be rescheduled due to COVID-19 the NFL schedule has been thrown into a constant state of chaos at this point, and as fans we're just hoping that they can finish the season. An uptick in injuries can likely be traced back to a truncated offseason not allowing teams and players the adequate amount of time to get their bodies prepared for the season. Let's hope that the league and Commissioner Goodell are able to enact a plan to keep football going to see a proper end to the season with a team being crowned Super Bowl champions.
Let's take a look at the Week 7 power rankings based on what we've seen so far this year.
32. New York Jets (0-6) -There isn't a lot to say about the Jets. Until they fire Adam Gase this franchise has no chance to turn things around.
Stop hiring people like Adam Gase, and start hiring people like Eric Bieniemy. https://t.co/8q70NTLem4— Doug Farrar (@Doug Farrar)1603401710.0
31. Washington Football Team (1-5)
30. New York Giants (1-6)
29. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5) - It's hard not to like Gardner Minshew, but it's been getting increasingly harder to watch the Jaguars. DJ Chark, Laviska Shenault, and Keelan Cole provide a solid group of receivers to complement James Robinson, who has been a pleasant surprise for Jacksonville this year.
@NFL_DovKleiman Gardner Minshew should bench Doug Marrone— Clint Lamb (@Clint Lamb)1603318520.0
28. Philadelphia Eagles (2-4-1) - The Eagles have been a major disappointment so far this season. They have dealt with injuries to their offensive line and receiving groups, but Carson Wentz needs to continue to post games like he did on Thursday against the Giants in Week 7 for them to have a chance at redemption. Miles Sanders has been banged up this season, but Boston Scott looks able to fill in. Scott scored the game winning touchdown to defeat the Giants.
WENTZ TO BOSTON SCOTT FOR THE LEAD WITH 40 SECONDS LEFT 😱 (via @NFL) https://t.co/lDrubfpYSr— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter)1603423956.0
27. Los Angeles Chargers (1-4)
26. Cincinnati Bengals (1-4-1)
25. Dallas Cowboys (2-4) - After getting a peek at how the Cowboys will look without Dak Prescott under center. It may be a good time to sell Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas receivers in fantasy if you can find buyers.
The Dallas Cowboys organization after operating just one week without Dak Prescott https://t.co/3j3BbZFiM7— Blogging The Boys (@Blogging The Boys)1603216929.0
24. Atlanta Falcons (1-5)
23. New England Patriots (2-3)
22. Houston Texans (1-5)
21. Denver Broncos (2-3)
20. Minnesota Vikings (1-5) - If Dalvin Cook can stay healthy this season, and Kirk Cousins stops throwing interceptions (10 already this season) the Vikings could find themselves climbing this list quickly. As Justin Jefferson continues to develop, he creates a dangerous tandem with Adam Thielen and should help Cousins as he attempts to overcome some early season struggles.
Most receiving yards in a game by a rookie since 2018: Justin Jefferson (Wk 3) - 175 Justin Jefferson (Wk 6) - 166 https://t.co/GS3inCFL24— PFF (@PFF)1603053810.0
19. Detroit Lions (2-3)
18. Carolina Panthers (3-3)
17. Las Vegas Raiders (3-2)
16. San Francisco 49ers (3-3) - As the Niners are still dealing with a rash of injuries, they have managed to keep themselves in the race for the division thus far. Raheem Mostert suffered a high ankle sprain last week and is looking at a stint on the IR. Jerick McKinnon will assume the role of starting running back in his stead.
49ers’ HC Kyle Shanahan said RB Raheem Mostert “most likely" will go on injured reserve with a high ankle sprain.— Adam Schefter (@Adam Schefter)1603147588.0
15. Indianapolis Colts (4-2)
14. Cleveland Browns (4-2) - If Baker Mayfield doesn't start to look better quickly, the Browns season could begin to fall apart as they wait for the return of star running back Nick Chubb.
Baker Mayfield is now holding back a super talented offense & very capable coaching staff.— Colin Cowherd (@Colin Cowherd)1603044242.0
13. Miami Dolphins (3-3) - Dolphins' coach Brian Flores this past week made the surprising announcement that Tua Tagovailoa would be taking over as starting QB for Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitz had Miami sitting at 3-3 good for second in the AFC East. Considering Flores has done such a great job of turning the team around, as a fan you just have to have faith that this is the right time for the move.
Breaking: The Dolphins are naming Tua Tagovailoa their starting QB, a league source tells @AdamSchefter. Tua Tago… https://t.co/EjsftVVO2F— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter)1603207869.0
12. Los Angeles Rams (4-2) - All four of the Rams' wins this season are against NFC East teams. That makes them suspect until further notice. We're on to you Rams!
Tua Tagovailoa's first opponent as starter ... Aaron Donald and the Rams 😤 https://t.co/lQN67tk67d— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter)1603210169.0
11. Chicago Bears (5-1) - The most unlikely of 5-1 records. Neither Mitch Trubisky or Nick Foles has looked particularly good, and the same can be said of David Montgomery and Allen Robinson. The defense is good, but expect the losses to start to pile up.
10. New Orleans Saints (3-2) - Star receiver Michael Thomas tweaked his hamstring in practice this week, and his status for this Sunday is in question. After Thomas was suspended last week after an altercation with a teammate, the team may be missing him yet again as they will take on the Panthers in an important division matchup.
9. Arizona Cardinals (4-2) - The Cardinals have managed to keep pace with the rest of the NFC West behind the electric play of Kyler Murray. As Kenyan Drake appears to be settling into the offense, Arizona should be a threat to compete for the division crown all year.
This Kyler Murray-Christian Kirk TD is even better from this angle 😱 (via @AZCardinals) https://t.co/FUUD2eL2ov— Bleacher Report (@Bleacher Report)1603159095.0
8. Buffalo Bills (4-2) - Coming off a poor performance against the Chiefs on Monday night, the Bills hope to rebound against the hapless Jets which shouldn't be a problem.
7. Green Bay Packers (4-1) - Speaking of poor performances, the Packers were thwarted by the Bucs last week 38-10 which resulted in their first loss of the season. Green Bay will need to brush that loss off and move on as they take on Houston, Minnesota, and San Francisco the next three weeks. Aaron Rodgers has been having a resurgent year, but FREE AARON JONES!
Aaron Jones with some major Macho Man vibes 😎 https://t.co/EbDRaxoWOf— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter)1603056582.0
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-2) - The aforementioned Bucs have been getting it together since a shaky start to the year. Tom Brady appears to be getting more comfortable in the offense every week, and if Ronald Jones can continue to hand in 100 yard performances as he's done the past three weeks, Tampa will be tough to beat.
5. Baltimore Ravens (5-1) - The Ravens have a Week 7 bye, but when they return they better be ready for the gauntlet. Over the next five weeks they will play the Steelers twice, the Colts, Bill Belichick's Patriots, and the Titans. Time to earn your respect Big Truzz.
4. Seattle Seahawks (5-0) - Coming off of their bye week, the Seahawks return to action this week against the Cardinals on Sunday night. Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray will headline a game of the week contender that promises to be a high scoring affair. If Seattle can pull out a win here, they will jump up a spot of two next week.
With so many injuries across the league, including ones to star receivers, is it time to start thinking about @AB84… https://t.co/xQD1ehUko1— FindBet (@FindBet)1601222098.0
3. Kansas City Chiefs (5-1) - An under-appreciated fact for the Chiefs this season is that, other than the outlier of the Raiders game, the Kansas City defense hasn't allowed more than 20 points in a game (40 to the Raiders). If the Chiefs can keep their defense healthy we know they have the firepower on offense to compete in any contest.
2. Tennessee Titans (5-0) - The Titans will play the Steelers this week in the rescheduled game from a few weeks ago. Tennessee is coming off a shootout win over Deshaun Watson and the Texans which featured a 94 yard touchdown run by Derrick Henry. Mike Vrabel has his team playing with discipline and focus early in the year. They will need their offense to continue its hot run against a Steelers defense that has only allowed 94 points on the season which is best in the NFL.
Man you are too damn big to be movin like that🤯 @KingHenry_2 https://t.co/sA2AbtiwIg— HJR III™💎 (@HJR III™💎)1603053073.0
1. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-0) - Our top two teams on the power rankings list clash in a battle for supremacy in Week 7. The Steelers had a statement performance on both sides of the ball against division rival Cleveland in Week 6. The Steelers will bring the NFL's stingiest defense into a matchup against the seventh highest scoring offense in the league in the Titans. With Chase Claypool emerging as a dual threat in the Pittsburgh offense, we like the Steelers to hold this spot next week.
The @steelers defense has been dominant to start the year! 😤 https://t.co/cVhugwomp0— FOX Sports: NFL (@FOX Sports: NFL)1603402200.0
As we're just over a week away from seeing the new play-in format the NBA has decided to go with this season, it means that teams are vying to be in the top 10 in their respective conferences to keep their postseason dreams alive.
We have seen LeBron James make public statements opposing the new format even though it was unanimously approved by the NBA Board of Governors last year. It's understandable that James would have negative feelings about the new format as his Lakers have struggled throughout the season as both him and superstar teammate, Anthony Davis, have dealt with injuries which have caused them to miss significant time.
The Lakers are currently in the seventh spot in the west which puts them in line to host the Golden State Warriors in one of the Western Conference play-in games. This is an exciting matchup for fans, but it would put LeBron and the Lakers directly in the sights of MVP frontrunner Steph Curry.
Steph who missed most of last season with an injury is epitomizing what it means to have a comeback season and has overtaken Bradley Beal for the league lead in points per game, now averaging 31.9 on the year. He also leads the NBA in three pointers made by a wide margin. Curry has 324 made threes which is 55 more than Buddy Hield who comes in at second place currently with 269.
Klay Thompson every time Kerr pulls Steph Curry before he breaks his record 😂😂😂 https://t.co/3Vt7NJyV8R— ᕼᗝᗝᗪᎥᗴ 𝙇𝘽𝙅 ➐ (@ᕼᗝᗝᗪᎥᗴ 𝙇𝘽𝙅 ➐)1620534236.0
It's not that the Warriors are a more difficult matchup than what would've been the Lakers' first round opponent in a traditional format where they would have just faced the two seed in the first round, that's not the case.
That would put the Lakers right up against the Phoenix Suns who have shocked the basketball world all season behind the play of Chris Paul and Devin Booker.
Yahoo Source: Lakers star LeBron James (ankle) has had two “really good days of workouts at a high level” and feels… https://t.co/BjAlbmo41E— Chris Haynes (@Chris Haynes)1620656452.0
It's that now, there is a very real chance that we may see a team that has the likes of LeBron James, AD, and a handful of all-stars not making it into the postseason. This is a very bad look for the King if it were to happen. So it's possible that his recent negative comments about the new format is in a way, him doing some preemptive PR in the event that Los Angeles does have to participate in the play-in games and they don't make it past that round.
If the standings remain the same at the end of the regular season and we get a Lakers and Warriors play-in game, it makes for an interesting matchup as the Lakers boast the league's best defensive rating (tied with the 76'ers) but have struggled to get any of their scorers in sustained stretches of success. The Warriors on the other hand lead the league in assists which has always been a staple of the Steve Kerr led team. It would make for an excellent example of what wins between isolation offense and team ball.
Looking over to the Eastern Conference there is another team lurking to steal a playoff spot and disrupt some plans in the early rounds of the playoffs. The Washington Wizards are one of the hottest teams in the league since early April. That's when Bradley Beal returned from a nine game absence. With a full compliment of Beal, Russell Westbrook, and Daniel Gafford available the Wizards are a dangerous team, especially in a play-in game format.
Russell Westbrook tonight: 33 points 19 rebounds 15 assists 181 career triple-doubles And the game winning b… https://t.co/EY8HacJseY— NBA Central (@NBA Central)1620524700.0
The only problem for the Wizards is that news has come out that Beal may miss the rest of the regular season with a hamstring injury. MRI's came back negative for any significant damage, but it's enough that he's being held out for the next few games until there's a chance to have further analysis done. That's not to say he wouldn't be back in time for a potential play-in game or the playoffs, but the team will monitor his situation with caution as he is the catalyst for the team's long term success.
Did Steph Curry know Bradley Beal scored 50 points earlier today before the Warriors tipped off tonight? Steph: "Of course I did." 🤣— Drew Shiller (@Drew Shiller)1620536014.0
If Beal is ready to go however we recently saw Washington go on a 15-4 run since April 7 and there may not be two players in the league that play with a bigger chip on their shoulder than Bradley Beal and Russ. By adding an athletic big man that can get to the rim in Gafford, the Wizards have just enough ammunition to make the top contenders in the east very nervous.
Daniel Gafford (7-7 FG) scored 15 points and blocked three shots in 15 minutes tonight! #WizPacers | @Dan_G33 https://t.co/7hkZMxOYmF— Washington Wizards (@Washington Wizards)1620097359.0
Baseball is a game of hot streaks and slumps, and as a fantasy baseball manager it's sometimes difficult to know when to part with someone on your roster to take a chance on someone new.
Here we'll examine three players you may want to consider moving on from if you have them rostered, and provide three potential replacements for them. Just like in real baseball, sometimes you have to make the tough moves in order to win. But if you don't know what the right moves are to make then you just end up looking like the Pittsburgh Pirates of your fantasy league.
Here's some advice for you so you don't become the Pirates of your league.
Cole Irvin Oakland A's SP (30% Rostered in Yahoo)
Cole Irvin was on his game tonight A's Postgame Live is airing right now on NBC Sports California and streaming he… https://t.co/7ec4GeS6Vv— A's on NBCS (@A's on NBCS)1620187381.0
Irvin hasn't allowed more than two runs in the past four starts and will carry a 3.09 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 34/5 strikeout to walk ratio heading into his next one against Tampa Bay this weekend. To put how effective Irvin has been into perspective, he's averaging nearly a strikeout per inning while only .1 walk per inning.
Even if Irvin comes back down to earth a little, now is the time to pick him up while he's riding this hot streak. He is coming off a game against the hard-hitting Blue Jays where we saw him set his career-high in strikeouts with nine over eight innings. Take into consideration he has three quality starts (out of six) and his most recent loss was to the Rays who he sees again on Saturday. In that last appearance against Tampa he went six innings, striking out eight, allowed only two runs and earned a quality start in a loss.
If you're looking for a long term option at starting pitcher, Irvin presents a great opportunity to snag a hidden gem off waivers but don't expect him to last much longer if he puts in another strong performance against the Rays on Saturday.
Kyle Hendricks Chicago Cubs SP (88% Rostered in Yahoo)
Kyle Hendricks is dealing GAS to start this game! I’m so happy I drafted him somewhat high in fantasy baseball! He… https://t.co/M5Dfs5SPNG— Vinnie Parise (@Vinnie Parise)1619653359.0
Hendricks seems far removed from his 2016 season where he helped lead the Cubs to a World Series win and finished third in NL Cy Young voting. In the three seasons that would follow we'd see Hendricks' ERA slightly climb higher and his strikeouts decline. We thought we saw a glimmer of hope that his fortunes were reversing in the shortened 2020 season as he did well enough to finish ninth in NL Cy Young voting last year.
However, what we've seen from him this year is enough for us to have already raised the red flag, and at this point we're giving up. It seems early, but if you gave us the straight up choice between Hendricks and the aforementioned Cole Irvin, it's an obvious decision for us.
Hendricks' ERA currently sits at 6.07, but that's only after reducing it from 7.54 in just one game. Sure Hendricks pitched great against the Dodgers in that last start, but it appears that the great start from Hendricks is the anomaly now.
Shane McClanahan Tampa Bay Rays RP (25% Rostered in Yahoo)
So McClanahan is a tough one to put accurate value on as it stands today. What we do know is that he's looked impressive in his two starts this season. Yes, even though McClanahan is listed as a relief pitcher, he's getting starter reps in Tampa. Kind of.
McClanahan is one of the Rays' most valued prospects as a hard throwing lefty and we have seen their plans to limit the amount of pitches we'll get to see from him this season. Going only four innings in both of his starts this season he's amassed a stat line of 2.25 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and has a 10/2 strikeout to walk ratio. He has hit over 100 mph on the gun a few times and has displayed a 93 mph slider.
You may not get a ton of innings out of him or many crooked numbers in the win column, but he is a viable replacement for a reliever in your bullpen that has possibly lost their role as closer.
Alex Colome Minnesota Twins RP (47% Rostered in Yahoo)
@JasonPuckett20 Reminds me of the Alex Colome experience.— Casey Ferguson (@Casey Ferguson)1620191041.0
Speaking of closers who have lost their role, it's time to sell Alex Colome immediately. Twins manager Rocco Baldelli announced on Tuesday that he was moving Colome to a "lower-leverage role" making way for Taylor Rogers to assume the closer position. Now Rogers has also struggled in that role, but considering the struggles we saw out of Colome, it should be safe to assume Baldelli will give some time for the new pecking order to play out.
Don't keep Colome on your roster waiting to see what happens. Go drop him and grab Shane McClanahan for the meantime. Trust us, Colome will be on the waiver wire if you ever want to grab him again.
Willie Calhoun Texas Rangers OF (12% Rostered in Yahoo)
Career-high 9-game hitting streak for Willie Calhoun— Jared Sandler (@Jared Sandler)1619981049.0
If I were to tell you there was a player available in nearly 80% of leagues that has hit .318 with three home runs and five RBI over the last two weeks you would probably be excited to pick him up. Until I told you that player was Willie Calhoun of the Texas Rangers. At that point you would probably have an audible response of "Oh".
But don't sleep on Calhoun, especially when he's riding a hot streak like he is now. That is especially if you had stock in the recently injured Luis Robert.
Luis Robert Chicago White Sox OF (79% Rostered in Yahoo)
Luis Robert was examined today at Rush and a scan showed a grade 3 strain (complete tear) of the hip flexor. Furthe… https://t.co/jwb5TmSIbP— Chicago White Sox (@Chicago White Sox)1620079749.0
Robert suffered a very serious injury this past week, being diagnosed with a Grade 3 hip flexor strain. That doesn't sound as bad as it really is. It's a complete tear, and at this point surgery is still an option being kicked around the organization. The timetable for a return puts Robert out for another 12-16 weeks minimum, but surgery would likely end his season.
Robert and the team's decision may not be decided until later on in his initial recovery stage as they may decide to shut him down for the year if the team is falling out of contention in a very deep AL Central. It would be wise to try to keep him on the injured-reserve list if your league offers one, but if it doesn't or if you are just low on available IL spots don't shy away from dropping Robert.
Sure he was a top pick in your draft, but the likelihood that Robert returns this season is slim already, and by the time he'd be back you would be sacrificing a lot of production from any player that is just flat out healthy and available. Willie Calhoun is a solid option for at least a short-term replacement. Replacing someone like Robert won't be easy and it may require streaming throughout the rest of the season until you find the right player.
Start with Willie Calhoun, because compared to Robert he has one ability that the star prospect doesn't, and that's avail-ability.
Who needs an Avengers incorporated ESPN broadcast when the real nerd-sports crossover is right here?
Welcome to the final round of the basketball fantasy season. You're either in the championship or you've decided that you wanted to set your lineups early and actually enjoy watching basketball.
In any case, you need to fill your rosters and we have the players you need to look out for on those waiver wires.
Oshae Brissett Guard/Forward Indiana Pacers
You'd be excused for not knowing who Oshae Brissett was before this week. He went undrafted in the 2019 NBA Draft and started his professional career in the NBA G League. Now, he is making a name for himself in Indianapolis.
Domantas Sabonis posts a first-half triple-double in the @Pacers victory! Sabonis: 26 PTS, 19 REB, 14 AST Doug McD… https://t.co/zt6NWnvi3L— NBA (@NBA)1619924840.0
Last week, the former Syracuse forward averaged 16 points, made three three-pointers, 10.7 rebounds, 1.3 steals and four blocks. With multiple Pacers players fighting injuries, Brissett should have plenty of opportunities to prove he can be a consistent contributor in the final stretch of the NBA season.
Ricky Rubio Point Guard Minnesota Timberwolves
Much like the Timberwolves, it has been an objectively bad statistical year for the Rubio. Also much like the Timberwolves, even he can have a span of success. Rubio didn't provide a ton in any category this past week, but he did average a solid 10.5 points, 1.8 made threes, four rebounds, 5.3 assists, 2.8 steals and 0.8 turnovers.
Anthony Edwards says he's going to Spain with Ricky Rubio and Juancho Hernangomez this summer. Says he's gonna lea… https://t.co/4tDF6e9KgC— Dane Moore (@Dane Moore)1620270912.0
Rubio may have had a good week, but even his good week isn't much in terms of massive contributions. He may be high on last week's rankings, but he isn't worth the pick-up unless you're really desperate for steals and assists.
Isaiah Stewart Forward/Center Detroit Pistons
Stewart goes back-to-back on the list despite his scoring numbers dropping. In three games last week, Stewart scored 11 points on 53.8 percent shooting, 7.7 rebounds, one steal and 3.3 blocks.
While minutes volatility is still a fear with any Pistons player, Stewart has shown that he can contribute in four or more categories for another week. Pick him up for the rest of the season if you can.
Saddiq Bey Small Forward Detroit Pistons
Bey may still be figuring out how to be successful in the league, but at least he can score like a seasoned vet. In three games last week, he averaged 17 points, four made threes, 7.7 rebounds and 1.3 steals.
Most games with 5+ threes by a rookie in NBA history: 11 — Saddiq Bey 9 — Steph Curry 9 — Allen Iverson https://t.co/2XWEHxrCeo— StatMuse (@StatMuse)1620090686.0
He's still a liability in terms of accuracy (39.5 percent from the field last week), but if you need scoring and rebounding, there aren't a ton of other options on the waiver.
Dillon Brooks Guard/Forward Memphis Grizzlies
The former Duck has developed into a consistent scorer for the Memphis Grizzlies. Unfortunately for fantasy owners, he doesn't provide much else. Last week, he averaged 17.5 points, but only managed to average 1.8 made threes, 1.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 0.8 steals.
Dillon Brooks getting cooked always cleanses the soul https://t.co/sOHc8CzrWa— 𝗧𝘆 𝗝𝗮𝗴𝗲𝗿 (@𝗧𝘆 𝗝𝗮𝗴𝗲𝗿)1620103888.0
He may not provide much in fantasy, but Memphis is fighting hard to stay in the playoff picture. Brooks will have plenty of chances to keep up his scoring numbers so if that's something you require, he is a great option to give you a boost.
Duncan Robinson Guard/Forward Miami Heat
Shooters in fantasy basketball are DCEU movies: Sure, you'll get a Snyder cut of "Justice League" or "Wonder Woman," but you have to wade through the other travesties to really appreciate them. Duncan Robinson's last week was "Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice"-esque.
Fastest to 500 3's, NBA history (regular-season games): 1. Duncan Robinson, 152 2. Luka Doncic, 187 3. Damian Lill… https://t.co/6AUVdWYImI— Tim Reynolds (@Tim Reynolds)1619918867.0
In four games, Robinson averaged three made three-pointers but only 10.3 points, 2.0 rebounds and 0.8 assists. People aren't picking up Robinson for his other stats, but if he's not scoring or shooting at an elite level, he's a tough pickup at best.
Danilo Gallinari Forward Atlanta Hawks
Gallinari's up and down year hit another valley last week when he averaged 10.3 points on 37.9 percent shooting, 1.3 made threes, 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists.
With Kevin Huerter and Bodgan Bogdanovic to compete with for minutes, anything consistent from the Italian baller can't be counted on moving forward.
Delon Wright Guard/Forward Sacramento Kings
Wright was making the most of his minutes in Detroit but since he was traded to Sacramento, his lack of opportunity has been frustrating for anyone who manages him. In four games last week, he averaged 10 points, one made three, 3.3 assists and 1.3 steals.
If you are holding out hope that Wright will step up in the finals weeks of the season, I have a monorail I think you'd be interested in.