FF-Winners.Com 2017-8 NFC East Preview

Here’s one thing we know, for sure, about the NFC East: history tells us that, for as good as the Dallas Cowboys were last season, it’s far from a foregone conclusion that they’ll repeat as division champions. After all, a different team has won the division in each of the last six years, and only one team has won the division crown in back-to-back seasons over the past decade (Philadelphia did so in 2010 and 2011).

You could easily make the argument that the Dallas Cowboys were, in fact, the second best team in the NFL last season, behind the New England Patriots. They finished with 13 wins, which was more than anyone else in the NFC. They didn’t lose a single game between the middle of September and the middle of November. And they featured what was far and away the most dominant rushing attack in the NFL. So, the simple question for them is: what can they do in 2017 for an encore? For as magical as the rookie seasons were for quarterback Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott, the harder part will be replicating their performances from their first year during their second year in the NFL, now that teams have much more film to study. The Cowboys might have brought back 10 of their 11 starters on offense to help keep things familiar, but this team will have a target on its back all season long.

The New York Giants finished the 2016 ranked eighth in the total number of passes they threw on offense last year, but they apparently decided that their solution to dethroning the Dallas Cowboys involved throwing the football even more. How else would that explain their acquisition of wide receiver Brandon Marshall, in what could have been the most underrated free agent acquisition in the entire league. Putting Marshall on the opposite side of Odell Beckham Jr. has the potential to create nightmares for any opposing defensive coordinator who even considers the idea of rolling their coverage towards Beckham’s side of the field. On top of that, the Giants went and drafted tight end Evan Engram out of Ole Miss, who perfectly fits the mold of the new age, ultra-athletic tight end we’re seeing in the league. His combination of size (6’3 and 236lbs) and speed (a legitimate 4.41 in the 40 yard dash) will give quarterback Eli Manning a weapon the likes of which he’s never had in his career at tight end.

Conversely, the Washington Redskins decided to try and keep last year’s third-ranked offense together with duct tape and cheap replacements, while devoting their offseason resources to fixing a defense that was the fifth worst in the league in 2016. The Redskins totally revamped the defensive line that was the source of much consternation last year, adding defensive linemen Terrell McClain and Stacey McGee via free agency, and pouncing on defensive lineman Jonathan Allen with the 17th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft (after he shockingly fell that far on draft night). On top of that, they added former Pro Bowl linebacker Zach Brown and safety DJ Swearinger to patch up a couple of their other major trouble spots from last year. If they can get contributions from the oft-injured Junior Galette (who’s missed the last two seasons due to injury) and Ryan Anderson (their second round pick in the last draft), the offense is still plenty good enough to help this team make some serious noise next year.

For the Philadelphia Eagles, who are coming off back-to-back losing seasons (the only team in the NFC East with that dubious distinction), their modus operandi for the immediate future is simple: do everything they can to help quarterback Carson Wentz develop. In Wentz’ rookie season last year, he looked absolutely terrific for stretches of the first half of the season, but looked much more like a rookie during the second half of the year. In his defense, having one of the worst groups of wide receivers in the NFL certainly didn’t help him. That’s a big reason why the Eagles went out and acquired wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey, the top ranked receiver in free agency last season. Philadelphia also decided to kick the tires on receiver Torrey Smith, which raised a few eyebrows from those observing the league, as Smith looked like he had nothing left in the tank during his last two seasons in San Francisco. But if Jeffrey and Smith both work out as the outside receivers, that’ll allow promising young receiver Jordan Matthews to operate from the slot, where he presents a major match up dilemma because of his size advantage against nickel cornerbacks.

Simply put: no matter who might be the favorite to win this division in the beginning of the season, any of these four teams has the chance to be the one wearing the division crown by the end of the season. That’s just the way it is in the “NFC Beast.”

Fantasy Football: Don’t Buy Into The Hype of the Rookie Runners

Who knew that fantasy football could be so complicated? Up to thirty running backs selected in the 2017 NFL Draft season are expected to make a noticeable impact in fantasy football in the immediate future, and you can only imagine what that will do for the NFL betting picks for the 2018 season.

Rookies like Christian McCaffrey, Leonard Fournette, and Joe Mixon were selected in the first fifteen rounds of the ten-team NFL.Com draft. If that wasn’t enough, there is no end to the level of hype analysts are raising over Jamaal Williams, Kareem Hunt and Joe Williams.

It is hardly surprising that everyone expects depth charts to be dominated by these youngsters and more. And you would be hard-pressed to make a solid argument suggesting that this hype isn’t warranted.

Then again, does it make sense to overvalue players that haven’t even run a lap on an NFL gridiron? And it isn’t like this sort of hype has produced notable results in the past. Prognostications about rookies, especially the optimistic kind, rarely end well. Just look at DeMarco Murray. Everyone thought that his time with the Tennessee Titans was over after Derrick Henry, a Heisman winner was drafted. Murray went on to dominate that season.

If that sounds like it could be an isolated case, consider this; of all the rookie runners that have risen in the last decade, only two dozen have appeared in the top 25 in fantasy points. If those numbers do not make sense to you, that means only three rookie runners a year ranked in the top 25.

Whenever the draft season comes around and the hype surrounding rookies begins to rise, analysts and fans like to throw out names like Matt Forte, Chris Johnson and Jonathan Stewart from 2008. Those guys made it to the top 10 and it was a big deal. But one cannot ignore the fact that Rashard Mendenhall, Jamaal Charles and other high profile runners performed well below expectations.

Looking at the 2012 class, you can point to Doug Martin, Trent Richardson, and Alfred Morris as standouts. However, anyone who is anyone knows that 2012 didn’t have many talented options. The point is this: every rule has a few exceptions, and it seems a like a lot of analysts and fans in fantasy football are making their picks based on the exceptions instead of the rule.

Think about this. There have been 108 running backs in the NFL that have been selected in the first four rounds of the football draft over the previous decade. And among those running backs, only twenty-one have ever finished in the top 10.

Think about how demoralizing that figure should be, and then ask why rookie running backs are still being overvalued today.

Some rationale should be applied during the draft. And do not use the anxiety spreading online about rookie runners as an excuse to avoid rookie runners. That isn’t the take away here. The point here is this: be smart. Do not overreach for rookies. There are picks like Mixon that, while clearly impressive, should be saved for the third and the fourth rounds rather than the second. You do not want to miss on a player in the top fifty.

So, be smart.

Deep learning and neural networks

Born in the 1950s, the concept of an artificial neural network has progressed considerably. Today, known as “deep learning”, its uses have expanded to many areas, including finance.

Source: https://theconversation.com/deep-learning-and-neural-networks-77259

See Tom Brady make hilarious motivational speech

Tom Brady is having fun with this “Madden curse.”

Source: http://ftw.usatoday.com/2017/05/tom-brady-patriots-bubble-madden-curse-motivational-speech-funny-facebook-video

OMG! Our Health Impacts Our Wealth!

The NFL 2017 pre-season approaches, and the preparations for fantasy football
are well under way. This has become the highlight of the year for many fans. However, along with football season comes a marked increase in couch time and junk food. We all know that poor diet and lack of exercise can damage your health. Many people don’t realize that all that sitting around and eating junk hurts more than just their health. A great many financial costs associated with poor health come into play as well.

Poor health can cost a huge percentage of income over the course of a year, with issues stemming from obesity, diabetes, cholesterol, and blood pressure, to name a few. Along with the dramatically increased medical costs, which can stretch into the tens of thousands of dollars per year, those in poor health also face increased medical and life insurance costs.
And let’s not forget the added cost of keeping stocked up on all that junk. If we’re being honest, it’s much more likely that someone will eat an entire bag of chips in a single game than an entire bag of carrots, and the bag of carrots often cost less to begin with.

Cutting the number of times you eat out per year just in half can reduce annual expenses by thousands of dollars after taking into account the saved medical costs. Making a few small, smarter health choices through the 2017 can significantly reduce annual expenses. This won’t help you make a quick extra buck, but it can really improve your long game.

When the savings from a healthier lifestyle starts to reflect in the old bank account, investing those saved dollars or paying off debt faster can greatly improve the long-term financial future. Or you could turn those extra dollars towards some friendly fantasy football wagers instead…
Take a look at this infographic and see how much a few healthy changes can save over time.

Hot NFL Rookies to Spice Up Your Fantasy Team

We’re only weeks away now, from the start of training camp for the 2017-2018 NFL season. That also means we’re also weeks away from many fantasy football leagues holding their draft. Given the influx of new talent in a star-studded 2017 NFL Draft, we wanted to provide a breakdown of the top two rookies at each offensive fantasy football position, so you can keep an eye on them in your draft.

Quarterback:

Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans — It’s not entirely out of the question that Deshaun Watson could actually beat out incumbent quarterback Tom Savage, and win the starting job under center for the Texans. It’s not exactly like Savage lit the world on fire in his few starts last year. Watson is easily the most talented quarterback on the roster, and would have an offense filled with highly capable weapons around him to help him succeed.

Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears — Sure, Mike Glennon is currently listed as the starting quarterback in Chicago right now, and the plan is for Mitchell Trubisky to have something of a “redshirt” year in 2017. But the Bears didn’t take Trubisky with the second overall pick in the draft to keep him on the bench. Chicago is only one bad game by (or one injury to) Glennon away from declaring “the future is now” for Trubisky, and installing him as the full-time starter.

Running Back:

Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars — In 2015, when the Jaguars offense enjoyed a breakout season of sorts, it came as a result of high-flying passing attack that challenged defenses vertically. The addition of Leonard Fournette will give defensive coordinators headaches, as they’ll be forced to choose between keeping more guys near the line of scrimmage to stop Fournette, or risking him running wild through the second level of the defense. Fournette is a borderline superhuman combination of power, speed, balance, agility and vision. He’ll only limited by the imagination of the Jaguars’ offense.

Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers — Simply put, Christian McCaffrey is going to add a brand new dimension to the Panthers offense. He’ll be an electric change-of-pace running back to Jonathan Stewart, and he’ll provide a receiving option out of the slot — with a lethal ability to produce yards after the catch — which quarterback Cam Newton hasn’t had at any point in his career. He could easily break 1,500 combined yards (rushing and receiving) his rookie season.

Wide Receiver:

Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans — The Titans raised a few eyebrows when they selected Corey Davis with the fifth overall selection in the draft, especially considering Davis couldn’t work out during the pre-draft process, due to injury. But Davis finished college as the all-time leader in major college football in receiving yards (with 5,285 in four years), and was drafted to be the #1 receiving weapon for the emerging Marcus Mariota.

John Ross, Cincinnati Bengals — The Bengals already have a superstar wide receiver in AJ Green, but offenses did everything they could to clamp down on Green last season, and force the Bengals to beat their defense with anyone else besides Green. That could open up a lot of opportunities for Ross to catch passes from quarterback Andy Dalton. Ross clearly has big play ability, as evidenced by his record-setting 4.22 time in the 40 yard dash at the 2017 NFL Combine.

Tight End:

O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Talk to any NFL draft analyst, and they’ll tell you two things: 1) O.J. Howard might have been one of the 8-to-10 best players in the 2017 NFL Draft at any position; and 2) the Tampa Bay Buccaneers got themselves one hell of a steal. He’s going to have the middle of the field wide open to himself, as defenses try to figure out how to stop Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson.

Evan Engram, New York Giants — Evan Engram might be listed as a tight end, but he’s one of the new-age tight ends who moves more like an enormous wide receiver. With legitimate 4.4 speed, he’s going to provide a target down the middle of the field for the Giants, of the likes they haven’t seen in a long time.

Kicker:

Zane Gonzalez, Cleveland Browns — Zane Gonzalez, whom the Cleveland Browns selected in the 7th round of the draft, left Arizona State University as the the all-time leader in field goals made in a college career. Incumbent Cody Parkey hit only 80 percent of his field goals in 14 games with the Browns last year, and they would be more than happy to see someone beat him out for the job.

Jake Elliott, Cincinnati Bengals — If a team selects a kicker in the draft, they’re usually doing so for a reason. The Bengals want Jake Elliott to come in and at least compete with — if not replace — incumbent Randy Bullock, who cost them at least one win last season.

Three Mind-Blowing 2017 NFL MVP Candidates

As National Football League teams prepare their respective training camps, there are a number of questions heading into the new season. Can the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots repeat? Will the Dallas Cowboys continue their winning ways behind a second-year quarterback and last year’s NFL Rookie of the Year? And everyone wants to know, who will win the NFL’s MVP award?

If you are looking for answers to those questions, they may very well be 1) absolutely, 2) maybe, and 3) any of a number of players. The best bet is the guy that guided New England to its (sixth) Super Bowl victory last season. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has shown no signs of slowing down despite being 39 years of age. In 2016, Brady enjoyed a season where he completed 67.4 percent of his passes, threw 28 touchdowns, and just two interceptions. His receiving corps returns and gets a boost from former New Orleans WR Brandin Cooks who had 78 catches for 1,173 yards and eight touchdowns last year. Brady will turn 40 in August, but has the ingredients for an MVP season.

Another solid bet for the NFL MVP award is Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers. A winner of two MVPs already, Rodgers established career highs in both completions (401) and attempts (610) last season. He threw 31 touchdown passes versus just eight interceptions and this year should have a better running game to aid the Packers passing attack. If that isn’t enough, history could be an indicator. Rodgers won his first MVP in 2011. Three years later in 2014, he won his second. The 2017 season marks three years since Rodgers’ last MVP. He will have the weapons to put together an MVP-caliber season.

The longshot pick in the MVP race is Houston Texans DE J.J. Watt. The 6-foot-5, 295-pound Watt missed most of last season with a back injury, but will return in 2017. In his first five seasons in the NFL, Watt was the league’s defensive player of the year three times. At age 28 and healthy, he should be in his prime and another 20-plus sack season could be in the cards. Watt will also benefit from the improved play of DE Jadeveon Clowney, who had six sacks and 16 tackles for loss last season. It is difficult for a defensive player to win an MVP award, but if Watt has a season similar to 2012, ’14, or ’15 he will be in the mix to be crowned the NFL’s best player in 2017.

Neural networks made easy


If you’ve dug into any articles on artificial intelligence, you’ve almost certainly run into the term “neural network.” Modeled loosely on the human brain, artificial neural networks enable computers to adapt.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/13/neural-networks-made-easy/

Four Amazing Win-Loss Total OVER Wagers for NFL 2017

With training camp and the NFL preseason just a few weeks away surely you’re already gearing up to root for your favorite team.

It’s also more than likely that you’re certain of your team’s win-loss record for the season.

You’re not alone. Most sportsbooks have released their futures odds for NFL football betting and as expected there are some clear favorites.

But, which team will make it to Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis, Minnesota?

Will the Falcons or Patriots make it back to the big game? Or is there another team that will surprise?

To be certain, it’s impossible to predict the future. And, these predictions will likely be more wrong than right.

But, that doesn’t mean we can’t count on a few relevant factors:

It’s likely the Patriots, Steelers and Packers will all have at least 12 wins this season. It’d be hard to argue that these organizations are among the best in the league and they’ll likely do well in their weak divisions.

The Chiefs, Cowboys, Giants, and Raiders might also have at least 12 wins, but because the NFC East plays the AFC West this year it means they’ll be locking horns throughout the entire season and that has to be taxing.

As far as the AFC South and NFC South teams are concerned, they’re pretty much even and might have some surprises in store for us all.

Anyhow, here are some predictions for the 2017 NFL season:

New England Patriots OVER 12.5

The Patriots have lost just about three times per season in their last seven years. That’s including three trips to the big game and two championship rings.

So long as nothing happens to Brady, fans can count they’ll be good for at least 12 wins. They have a difficult test in Week 10 against the Broncos and then the following week against the Raiders in Mexico City, but if they can get past those two games they’ll be fine.

Pittsburgh Steelers OVER 10.5

The Steelers offense is among the best in the league with their deadly trio of Roethlisberger, Bell and Brown.

If Bell can stay healthy all season, they should breeze through the first five games. Their big test comes in Week 15 when they face the Patriots, but by that time they should have already accrued many more wins than the line is at right now.

Oakland Raiders OVER 9.5

Should Derek Carr heal well from his leg injury, the Raiders should be good for at least 11 wins. Three of their first four games are on the road, which will be difficult for them to win, but they should pull through with at least two wins. They also have a difficult game against the Chiefs in Week 7, but if Carr plays well they’ll get through it.

Denver Broncos OVER 8.5

If Trevor Siemian can be consistent, the Broncos are good for at least 11. But, if he plays as he did in the second half of last year’s season it’ll be a short year for the Broncos. They have a trap game in Week 9 versus the Eagles, with a game against Kansas City the previous week and one against the Patriots in the following week. But they’ll pull through.

FF-Winners.com Releases 3 Players to Avoid Like the Plague in 2017!

The 2017 NFL Season is just around the corner as mandatory team activities are set to get underway. While teams around the NFL get prepared for their 2017 NFL Schedule fantasy football owners are busy at work as well. This work includes building draft boards for their fantasy football drafts later this season as well as for the upcoming daily fantasy football campaign.

For us we are turning our attention today to our 3 fantasy busts for the NFL 2017 fantasy football season. Much like most seasons some of the games top fantasy options enter the season coming off big time fantasy season campaigns as well as historical accomplishments. This opens up the door for these players not only to be ranked near the top on sites like Fantasy Pros but also means fantasy football owners will draft them higher making them a bigger gamble.

Over the years we have seen many different stars take a big time step back including Shaun Alexander and Calvin Johnson after record breaking seasons. With that said here are our tops 3 Fantasy Busts for NFL 2017 season.

Melvin Gordon, Los Angeles Chargers

For Gordon he benefits from a solid offense that likes to move the ball through the air forcing defenses to play off the line while also opening up red zone scoring chances. For us while we like Gordon at the position he currently ranks 9th overall fantasy football option based on the rankings at Fantasy Pros. Now looking a little deeper Gordon wore out as the season slowed down failing to top the 100 yard mark in three straight games before getting knocked out after just three attempts to end his season on December 11th. Along with being a great option early, Gordon has missed a total of 5 games over the past two seasons.

LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills

McCoy has been one of the better fantasy running back options for most of his NFL career but that could be changing as he enters his ninth season in the NFL. Much like Gordon, we like McCoy as a 3rd/4th round pick but ranking in the top 10 might be a big time reach. McCoy and the Bills will move in a new direction this season with Rick Dennison calling the offensive plays and it could change the flow of their offense. Along with the change the biggest concern for the Bills will be behind center where they may lack production forcing teams to focus on slowing down the running game.

Jay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins

We won’t back away and say tha Ajayi had a solid season in 2016 and one that many daily fantasy football owners shined with during his three break out games. With that said 624 of his 1272 yards came in three games. Outside of those three games, Ajayi topped the 100 yard mark one other time while failing to reach 70 yards in nine contests. In the end the reality of putting together three more 200 yard games in one season is almost impossible we could see Ajayi fail to reach the 100 yard mark.

Other Top NFL Fantasy Busts for the upcoming 2017 NFL Season could include Jordan Howard, Mike Evans and Kirk Cousins.