Congratulations if you managed to survive Week 2 of the fantasy football season without losing one of your star players to injury.
The second Sunday of the NFL season was especially brutal, as injuries tore through the league at an unprecedented rate, shelving several of the game’s biggest stars.
Six of the top-30 players in TSN fantasy football leagues by ADP were forced to the sideline, five of which are expected to miss significant time.
Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey, the consensus No. 1 fantasy pick, is out four-to-six weeks with a high-ankle sprain (the same injury that reigning receiving king Michael Thomas suffered).
Giants running back Saquon Barkley, who was a consensus top-three overall option, tore his ACL and is done for the season.
With so many stars now on the sidelines, nailing the waiver wire this week is extremely important to your fantasy success.
So without further delay, here are the top pick-up options that could still be available in your league heading into Week 3.
RB: Mike Davis, Carolina Panthers
The absence of CMC creates an abundance of opportunity in the Panthers backfield. McCaffrey was averaging 24 touches a game and that work has to go somewhere.
Enter Mike Davis, one of only two healthy RBs on the team. Davis was a big part of the Carolina offence once McCaffrey left the game, and faces little competition for work.
As of right now, the only one standing between him and 15-20 touches a week is special teamer Trenton Cannon, making Davis a must-add in all formats. He’s currently available in over 99 per cent of TSN fantasy football leagues.
RB: Darrell Henderson Jr, Los Angeles Rams
The Rams backfield suddenly doesn’t seem so crowded. Week 1 star Malcolm Brown and talented rookie Cam Akers left Sunday’s game versus Philadelphia and both are question marks moving forward.
That’s great news for Darrell Henderson Jr., who ripped off 81 yards and a score on the ground, and added another 40 yards through the air. The Rams lead the NFL in rushing rate (56.83%) and Henderson is available in 55.4 per cent of TSN fantasy football leagues.
RB: Devonta Freeman, Free Agent
This is a bit of a leap of faith. Freeman, not Dion Lewis or Wayne Gallman, is the guy you want to replace Barkley. He already worked out for the Eagles and reportedly worked out for the Giants on Tuesday.
Multiple reports out of the Big Apple suggest the Giants are interested in bringing in a free- agent running back, and Freeman is the best name available.
Even if he doesn’t land in New York, with so many injuries to his position he’s bound to sign somewhere. When he does, he’ll have real fantasy value, which makes him a great add this week. He’s currently available in 92. 1 per cent of TSN fantasy football leagues.
WR: Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans
A.J. Brown is dealing with a knee injury, which makes Corey Davis an enticing add for wide receiver-needy teams. The former first round draft pick has yet to live up to his potential so far in his career, but is off to a nice start so far in 2020.
Davis has produced double-digit points in back-to-back outings and is tied for the team lead in targets (13). He’s currently available in 64.4 per cent of TSN fantasy football leagues.
WR: Mecole Hardman, Kansas City Chiefs
Mecole Hardman, everyone’s favourite 2020 sleeper, is in line for an increased workload due to the head injury to Sammy Watkins. The 4.33 speedster should now see work in three receiver sets.
Although he won’t be Patrick Mahomes’ first look, he has the talent to single-handedly swing your fantasy matchup in the blink of an eye.
Hardman converted six of his 26 catches into touchdowns last season. He is currently available in 57.8 per cent of TSN fantasy football leagues.
TE: Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans
Fresh off a two-touchdown performance in Sunday’s win over the Jaguars, Jonnu Smith is the biggest priority-add at the tight end position. He’s tied for the team lead in targets (13) and leads all Titans with three touchdowns.
A freak athlete, Smith ranks 10th in the NFL in yards after catch (85) this season. He is still available in 59.7 per cent of TSN fantasy football leagues.
Georges St-Pierre calls Khabib Nurmagomedov’s UFC 254 performance ‘masterful’ – MMA Fighting
Saturday’s show in Abu Dhabi served as the culmination of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s career as the UFC lightweight champion announced his retirement following a dominant second-round submission win over Justin Gaethje. “The Highlight” was viewed by many as a difficult stylistic challenge for Nurmagomedov due to his mixture of power-punching and All-American wrestling, but Nurmagomedov defeated him as he has every other opponent he’s fought.
“GSP” was watching and afterwards he heaped praise on Nurmagomedov’s denouement in an interview with ESPN.
“It was a masterful performance,” St-Pierre said. “As close as you get of a perfect fight against a very, very tough threat in Justin Gaethje. A lot of people, including myself, was thinking that maybe Justin Gaethje is the answer to Khabib. Maybe Justin Gaethje will be the perfect nemesis to Khabib because of his pedigree in wrestling and in striking.
“However, Khabib did the—I would not say the unthinkable because Khabib is undefeated and he’s so good—but nobody would think that Khabib would do a performance [that] seemed so easy for him. It was just amazing.”
Indeed, as soon as the bell sounded, Nurmagomedov was as aggressive as ever. Nurmagomedov didn’t just rely on his trademark wrestling, he stood and tested Gaethje’s striking before eventually taking the fight to the ground. St-Pierre marveled at Nurmagomedov’s submission transitions, calling the sequence that led to the fight-ending triangle choke “beautiful.”
St-Pierre, 39, had his fair share of memorable wins during his run at the top of the UFC welterweight division, but even he was impressed with how Nurmagomedov handled Gaethje.
“He beat Justin everywhere,” St-Pierre said. “He threatened him standing up, he threatened him with his wrestling on the ground. Even at the end of the first round, Justin was in bad, bad, bad position.
“Justin looked like he was overwhelmed, it looked like he was panicking, like he didn’t know what to do. The threat was coming from everywhere. From under, from over, from everywhere. It was just a masterful performance.”
Given how good Nurmagomedov looked on Saturday, it may have come as a surprise to some that he chose to retire when it’s likely he could continue competing at a high level for years to come. Nurmagomedov, 32, said that part of the reason that he chose this moment to retire is because of the recent passing of his father and coach, Abdulmanap. That loss is something that St-Pierre believes Nurmagomedov used for extra motivation.
St-Pierre didn’t expect Nurmagomedov to retire, though it’s a decision that he fully supports.
“I was surprised he retired because I thought he do—Everyone in the media says he wanted to do 30-0,” St-Pierre said. “That’s his choice, what a great way to finish a career. He left an incredible legacy. One of the best to ever do it, maybe the best to ever do it.”
Watch St-Pierre’s full post-UFC 254 interview with ESPN below:
ATS Picks: Atlanta Falcons vs Detroit Lions 10/25/20 NFL Picks, Odds, Predictions – Sports Chat Place
Detroit Lions (2-3) at Atlanta Falcons (1-5)
NFL Football: Sunday, October 25, 2020 at 1:00 pm (Mercedes-Benz Stadium)
The Line: Atlanta Falcons -3 — Over/Under: 56.5
Click Here for the Latest Odds
The Detroit Lions and the Atlanta Falcons meet in week 7 NFL action from Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday afternoon in a matchup of two teams needing a win.
The Detroit Lions will look to pick up another big road win after improving to 2-3 on the year with a 34-16 win over Jacksonville last time out. Matthew Stafford has thrown for 1,240 yards, 9 touchdowns and 4 interceptions on 60.7% passing while Adrian Peterson has rushed for a team-high 285 rushing yards with a pair of TDs and D’Andre Swift has 158 rushing yards and 3 scores. Kenny Golladay has a team-high 224 receiving yards on 14 catches with a pair of touchdowns while Danny Amendola has 208 receiving yards. T.J. Hockenson has a team-high 17 receptions for 197 yards and 3 receiving TDs while Marvin Jones and Swift each have 100+ receiving yards. Defensively, Tracy Walker leads Detroit with 35 total tackles including 28 solo tackles while Duron Harmon has a pair of INTs for Detroit’s defense. Trey Flowers and Romeo Okwara each have a pair of sacks for the Lions as well this season.
The Atlanta Falcons will look to build off of their first win of the season coming in the form of a 40-23 win over Minnesota last time out. Matt Ryan has thrown for 1,843 yards, 11 touchdowns and 3 interceptions on 65.2% passing while Todd Gurley II has a team-high 422 rushing yards and 5 rushing TDs. Brian Hill also has 161 rushing yards while Calvin Ridley leads Atlanta’s receiving group with 546 receiving yards and 5 TDs through the air. Julio Jones has 23 grabs for 350 yards while Russell Gage and Hayden Hurst each have 200+ receiving yards with Hurst logging 3 receiving TDs. Defensively, Deion Jones and Foyesade Oluokun each have a team-high 40 total tackles and an interception with Oluokun recording 29 solo tackles as well. Grady Jarrett also has a team-high 2.5 sacks this season.
Detroit is 4-12 ATS in their last 16 games overall and 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games against a team with a losing record while the over is 4-0 in their last 4 games following a win. Atlanta is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games against a team with a losing record and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 home games while the over is 20-7-1 in their last 28 games against a team with a losing record. Detroit is 0-5 ATS in the last 5 meetings between these two teams.
This isn’t a game I’m rushing to the window to bet if we’re being honest, but maybe Atlanta’s first win carries some mojo here or maybe it’s a flash in the pan as Detroit’s been the better team for much of the year. Instead of trying to figure out a side, I’m going to side with the over. I think this could easily be a 33-30 or 30-27 game whichever way it ends up going and I just don’t trust the defenses between a pair of offensive clubs. Give me the over.
Liverpool scrape a win, but rivals drop points: Premier League – The Globe and Mail
Champions Liverpool got back to winning ways in the Premier League with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Sheffield United but their likely title rivals all dropped points on Saturday.
Diogo Jota’s second-half header earned Liverpool a first win in three league games to lift them joint top with Merseyside rivals Everton who play on Sunday.
Manchester City’s stuttering start continued as they drew 1-1 at West Ham United while Manchester United and Chelsea played out a drab 0-0 draw at Old Trafford.
Crystal Palace moved up into the top five as they beat bottom club Fulham 2-1 with goals by Jairo Riedewald and Wilfried Zaha.
Liverpool had not conceded a penalty at their Anfield fortress for 67 Premier League games. However, that run came to an end early on against Sheffield United as Fabinho was adjudged by VAR to have fouled Oli McBurnie inside the area, even though referee Mike Dean had awarded a free kick outside the box.
Sander Berge sent Alisson, back in goal after injury, the wrong way to put the visitors ahead and Liverpool lived dangerously before Roberto Firmino levelled in the 41st minute.
Jota’s header earned the three points but it was a struggle in the rain for Juergen Klopp’s side who looked uneasy at the back without the injured Virgil van Dijk.
For the second week running they also had legitimate gripes about VAR.
“It’s nice to win 2-0 or 3-0 every game but that only happens if, in games like this, we are ready to fight hard,” Klopp said. “On nights like this you earn the right to win the others like that.
“The penalty was not even a foul. During a season there are so many different periods, we have had an injustice and we have had to go again.”
Manchester City trailed to Michail Antonio’s acrobatic opener at the London Stadium and only improved after the break when youngster Phil Foden came on for the injured Sergio Aguero.
Foden grabbed the equaliser and Raheem Sterling wasted a glorious late chance as City were frustrated.
They are in 12th place with eight points from five games, their worst start to a Premier League season for six years.
“I’m not a guy who can predict the future. We’ve already dropped seven points, which is a lot. But we’ve struggled a lot for many reasons,” said City manager Pep Guardiola, adding that the recently-returned Aguero could have a hamstring injury.
While City languish in mid-table, neighbours Manchester United are down in 15th with seven points from five games after their stalemate against Chelsea.
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said both teams were showing the effects of their midweek Champions League exertions — not helped by an empty stadium. Although United were able to call on Edinson Cavani for his debut.
“It was two teams who played in Europe this week and it showed,” he said. “If that Stretford End was full we might get that ball over the line. It is a different sport with the fans here. We miss them. It’s the same for all teams but everyone agrees there’s a little less in it — the edge has gone.”
United avoided a third consecutive home league defeat at the start of a season for the first time since 1930, although they were fortunate when Harry Maguire got away with what looked like a foul inside the area on Cesar Azpilicueta in the first half.
Georges St-Pierre calls Khabib Nurmagomedov’s UFC 254 performance ‘masterful’ – MMA Fighting
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