Just as soon as the 2019-20 English Premier League season ended, the 2020-21 season kicked off.
With just over a month between the final game of the 2019-20 season, and the start of the 2020-21 season, teams around the English Premier League didn't have much time to make changes to their roster. To accommodate for the shorter offseason, the transfer window was kept open for almost a month after the kickoff of the new season. While some teams made huge splashes while the transfer window was open, others were left wanting more when the transfer window slammed shut.
We'll start at the top of the Premier League. Liverpool didn't make many moves during the transfer window, but the Reds did make one of the splashiest, bringing in midfielder Thiago Alcantara from German giants Bayern Munich. Thiago is one of the top midfielders in the world, and should be a fixture in Liverpool's lineup once Alcantara has recovered from battling COVID-19. Liverpool was able to fend off Barcelona for Alcantara's services, as the Spaniard is looking for a new challenge.
Also joining Thiago at Liverpool is Diogo Jota, who spent the last three years at Wolverhampton, netting 33 goals. Jurgen Klopp has plenty of options at forward with Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah, and Sadio Mane. The acquisition of Jota will only bolster one of the most potent attacks in the Premier League.
Chelsea striker Timo WernerJavier Garcia/BPI/REX
The Pensioners were able to bring in their top transfer targets, rounding out a squad that was already one of the most dangerous in the Premier League. The biggest signing by the Blues was of Leipzig striker Timo Werner, who netted 77 goals in 126 appearances over the last four years. The addition of Werner will help sure up production from the striker position for Chelsea, which saw Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud combine for 23 goals last year.
The biggest issue for Chelsea lately has been with their defense. To try and address their backline issues, the Blues brought in Thiago Silva from PSG and Ben Chilwell from Leicester City. While Silva is 36 years old, he is still one of the best central defenders in the world. After scoring just four goals in 99 league caps for Leicester City, Chilwell already found the back of the net in his first start for Chelsea on October 3.
The most important move for Chelsea during the transfer window was bringing in goalkeeper Edouard Mendy. Kepa Arrizabalaga has been a disappointment since taking over for the departed Thibault Courtois, saving just 53.9% of the shots on target he has faced. Mendy already notched a clean sheet in his first start for Chelsea a couple weeks ago against Crystal Palace.
Early on in the transfer window it looked like Manchester City was going to make a giant splash by bringing in Barcelona's Lionel Messi, but the best soccer player in the world changed his mind and decided to stay in Spain. The Citizens tried to bolster their defense by bringing in Nathan Ake from relegated Bournemouth, as well as Ruben Dias from Benfica. Mostly set when it comes to their attacking, the only notable addition to the offense was forward Ferran Torres from cash-strapped Valencia.
The Gunners must have not been too broken up by finishing eighth in the Premier League last year, since they didn't do much to address their squad during the transfer window. Aside from bringing in Chelsea's Willian on a free transfer, the only other notable moves by Arsenal were to get young defender Gabriel from Lille and defensive midfielder Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid. We'll soon find out where Mikel Arteta's team stands, as their next three matches are against Manchester City, Leicester City, and Manchester United.
After finishing sixth last season, Tottenham has their eyes on a Champions League spot this year. Not only did Spurs bring back Gareth Bale on loan from Real Madrid, but Jose Mourinho was also able to sign left back Sergio Reguilon from the Spanish giants. Tottenham just dropped six goals on Manchester United before the international break. If Spurs are able to improve their defense after allowing 47 goals last season, they could be a major factor in the Premier League this year.
The team who has to be most disappointed with their haul during the transfer period has to be Manchester United. It's not a secret that the Red Devils were hot after Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho, but they weren't able to bring Sancho in. Instead, United had to settle for Donny van de Beek from Ajax and an aging Edison Cavani. It could be a long season for the Red Devils, who not only lost to Crystal Palace and Tottenham by a combined score of 9-2, but also needed a Bruno Fernandes penalty 10 minutes into second half stoppage time to defeat Brighton & Hove Albion.
Everton midfielder James RodriguezAlex Livesey - Getty Images
The most shocking storyline of the young season has been the play of Everton, who have won all four of their matches so far. James Rodriguez was brought in on a free transfer from Real Madrid, and all Rodriguez has done so far is score three goals. After playing sporadically with Real Madrid and Bayern Munich since the 2014 World Cup, where he became known as one of the best young stars in the game, the Colombian is eager to remind the world just how talented he is.
Along with the acquisition of Rodriguez, a move that was just as big for the Toffees was the loan deal to bring in Roma goalie Robin Olsen. Despite being England's starting keeper in the 2018 World Cup, Jordan Pickford hasn't been very good over the last few years. After allowing over 50 goals last year, Everton knew they had to make a move to try and light a fire under Pickford, and the addition of Olsen could do just that.
Everton has been the biggest surprise in this young season, Aston Villa is right on their heels. Aston Villa finished just one point clear of relegation last season, but so far is perfect through three matches. There might not be a more unpredictable result this year than what the Lions did to Liverpool right before the international break, torching the Reds 7-2 at Villa Park. Propelling Villa to the incredible result was Ollie Watkins, who netted a hat trick, becoming the first player to record a hat trick against Liverpool since Dimitar Berbatov did so for Manchester United a decade ago. Watkins was brought in on a transfer from Brentford.
One of the more under-the-radar moves this season could end up being the acquisition of goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez from Arsenal. Martinez recorded clean sheets in his first two matches of the season for Aston Villa, becoming the first Villa goalie to record back-to-back clean sheets since Brad Guzan in 2014. If Martinez is able to continue his solid start, Villa will be fighting for a spot in Europe instead of battling to avoid relegation.
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.