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“Joker Joking With Them”: NBA Analyst Believes Denver Nuggets Are in a Better Spot Than LA Clippers

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"Joker Joking With Them": NBA Analyst Believes Denver Nuggets Are in a Better Spot Than LA Clippers

The Denver Nuggets are on their way to make history, and the LA Clippers could bear the brunt of it all. After being down 3-1, the Nuggets are now one win away from a successive comeback series win.

NBA analyst Skip Bayless said he was surprised by the Clippers’ lack of killer instinct. But he also praised the Nuggets, especially Nikola Jokic, for his excellent performances.

He said, “I will be surprised if the Clippers beat the Nuggets in Game 7. They keep overlooking Denver. They don’t take them seriously. Denver will not leave them alone. You have to put them away. The Nuggets now psychologically own the Clippers, especially in the fourth quarter.

“Jokić is completely unstoppable. He’s got such swagger to him, it’s like a joke to him. He is the Joker joking with them.”

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic handles the ball against LA Clippers guard Lou Williams during the third quarter in game six of the second round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Can Jokic inspire the Denver Nuggets to another win?

Throughout this series, Jamal Murray has been inconsistent. He had come off a record-breaking series against the Jazz and has let the team down. However, he was a vital contributor to their win in Game 6 after playing on despite getting injured. In this series, whenever he has scored above 20, the Nuggets have won. And when he hasn’t, the Nuggets lose.

On the other hand, Jokic has been their consistent pillar. After a poor first game, he bounced back and has been the best player every night for the Nuggets. In this span of five games, he is averaging 28 points, 13.8 rebounds, and six assists per game. But the biggest surprise is his effort on defense, averaging 1.4 blocks per game.

Kawhi Leonard drives against Nikola Jokic
Sep 5, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) drives against Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) during the first half of game two in the second round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

They will need him to step up against and capitalize on Montrezl Harrell’s poor form. But they can’t bank on him to carry the team every game. They need their other players like Michael Porter Jr, Paul Millsap, and Gary Harris to step up during crunch time.

After losing a Game 7 in the Conference Semifinals last season, Mike Malone and the Nuggets will be keen to avoid a repeat of that.

Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray celebrating with his team
Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray (27) and guard PJ Dozier (35) celebrate after beating the LA Clippers in game six of the second round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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The Tom Brady doubters are in trouble now

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The Tom Brady doubters are in trouble now

Rob Gronkowski has had to listen to the Tom Brady doubters longer than most.

As Brady’s teammate for 10 seasons, nine in New England and now one in Tampa Bay, Gronkowski firmly believes that the 43-year-old quarterback hasn’t slowed down one bit. Especially after Brady tossed three first-half touchdowns in the Buccaneers’ 28-10 win over the Broncos on Sunday.

“There are people that have talked garbage about him since I started playing with him 10 years ago, saying he didn’t have anything left in the tank — that is simply not true,” Gronkowski told reporters. “Just the way that he can air the ball out and put a dime where he needs to … I just feel like he can do it. It is like he isn’t even 43 years old.”

Gronkowski, after not being targeted in a Week 2 win over the Panthers, had seven catches for 48 yards in Denver. Brady connected with eight different receiving targets Sunday, completing 25-of-38 passes for 297 passing yards along with three touchdowns and no interceptions. It was his first game in a Buccaneers uniform that he didn’t throw a pick.

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski in the Buccaneers' 28-10 win over the Broncos
Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski in the Buccaneers’ 28-10 win over the BroncosAP

The victory lifted the Buccaneers to a 2-1 record to start the 2020 season. Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians said he thought Sunday was Brady’s best performance this season.

“I think so far for sure. We put a lot on him today, and he delivered,” he said.

Gronkowski and Brady have won three Super Bowls together with Bill Belichick and the Patriots. And when Brady announced that he would be leaving New England for Tampa Bay, Gronkowski promptly came out of his one-year retirement to join him via a trade.

“Just the way he prepares, week in and week out, the way he takes care of himself, the way he goes out to the practice field to make sure that he’s on-point — seeing what I see, from day in and day out, coming to practice, coming to games prepared, mentally and physically, and just doing everything he needs to do so he can make those [tight-window] passes,” Gronkowski said.

“And those passes are incredible. Just the way that he puts them in there, there’s not even any separation … he just lays it there so only the receiver can make a play — it’s just unbelievable. I think he has a lot left, even more, in the tank.”

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Week 4 Fantasy RB Rankings: Must starts, sleepers, potential busts at running back

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Week 4 Fantasy RB Rankings: Must starts, sleepers, potential busts at running back

Week 2 was not kind to the running back position, so fantasy football owners were probably relieved to see few players go down with major injuries in Week 3. Some RBs did suffer unfortunate injuries, such as Tarik Cohen and possibly Chris Carson, but for the most part, our Week 4 fantasy RB rankings won’t be impacted all that much by new injuries. Of course, there are still plenty of key absences, including Christian McCaffrey (ankle) and Le’Veon Bell (knee), and there are questions about Raheem Mostert (knee) that make it important to identify sleepers and find potential streamers to help teams get a “W” this week.

Fortunately, there are plenty of good matchups that fantasy football owners can take advantage of. Notably, Kenyan Drake and Melvin Gordon move from the RB2 to RB1 range. Drake has disappointed this year, but he’s playing a woeful Panthers run defense that has been the worst in the league since the start of last season. Meanwhile, Gordon will be playing the Jets’ mediocre defense on a short week and Denver, still could be without Phillip Lindsay (toe). He should be a top-10 play and will likely be a top-15 play even if Lindsay does return.

WEEK 4 PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Wide receiver | Tight End | D/ST | Kicker

Elsewhere, it looks like Darrell Henderson can officially be trusted as he has emerged as the Rams’ lead back, though that might be threatened if Cam Akers (ribs) returns. Henderson will get a great matchup against a Giants defense that was just gashed through the air by Jerick McKinnon and Jeff Wilson Jr. James Robinson is also officially an RB1 after his performance against the Dolphins. He’s playing the Bengals, who have had a hard time against RBs this year, so fire him up as a top-10 producer.

WEEK 4 STANDARD RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight End | D/ST | Kicker

There are still some frustrating committees that will be tough to make sense of. Devin Singletary did well for the Bills with Zack Moss (toe) out in Week 3, but will he have as many opportunities if Moss returns? (And would it kill him to score from inside the five-yard line?) And how will the touches be split between the aforementioned McKinnon and Wilson in the 49ers backfield? Those questions will need to be answered as owners try to decide who to start and who to sit, but generally, those involved in committees can at least be flexed. The committee members just have lower floors.

If you’re looking for sleeper flex plays that could be on the waiver wire, Myles Gaskin could be a good pickup. The Dolphins RB is emerging as the team’s leader at the position and could have an opportunity to catch some passes against a porous Seattle pass defense. Frank Gore (vs. Broncos) and Adrian Peterson (vs. Saints) also figure to get enough volume to pay off as flexes in standard leagues.

Reminder: As always, we expect to make plenty of changes to these RB rankings throughout the week, so check back for updates and analysis.

These rankings are for standard, non-PPR leagues.

Week 4 Fantasy RB Rankings (Standard)

These rankings are for non-PPR leagues.

Rank Player
1 Alvin Kamara, NO @ DET. Kamara had one of the best plays of the year against the Packers when he turned a dump-off pass that should’ve gone for no gain into a 52-yard TD. He should have no problem carving up a Detroit defense that gives up the fourth-most fantasy points per game (FPPG) to RBs at 32.1.
2 Aaron Jones, GB vs. ATL
3 Ezekiel Elliott, DAL vs. CLE
4 Kenyan Drake, ARZ @ CAR. Drake has only topped double-digit fantasy points once this year but he should have a chance to do it against the Panthers awful run defense. The Panthers allow 36.5 FPPG to RBs and have allowed seven rushing TDs this year. Drake should find the end-zone and should have a chance to crack 100 yards, provided that Kyler Murray doesn’t vulture too many red-zone carries from him.
5 Dalvin Cook, MIN @ HOU
6 Nick Chubb, CLE @ DAL
7 Derrick Henry, TEN vs. PIT
8 James Robinson, JAX @ CIN. If you were one of the astute fantasy owners that scooped up Robinson before the start of the season, you have to feel pretty good about yourself right about now. Robinson is averaging 113 yards and a TD per game and is taking on a Bengals team that allows the second-most FPPG to RBs at 34.3. He’s now a top-20 play every week and an RB1 in favorable matchups like this one.
9 Jonathan Taylor, IND @ CHI
10 Melvin Gordon, DEN @ NYJ. If Phillip Lindsay is out again on a short week, Gordon will get a chance to go against a Jets defense that has allowed the eighth-most rushing yards to RBs this year at a mark of 344. And if the Broncos want to find success on offense with Drew Lock out, they’ll have to ride the run game to success.
11 Chris Carson, SEA @ MIA. Carson is dealing with a knee sprain that he suffered late in the Seahawks’ win over the Cowboys when Trysten Hill rolled up on him unnecessarily. If he plays, Carson has a great matchup against a Miami defense that just allowed James Robinson to rack up 27.9 fantasy points.
12 Joe Mixon, CIN vs. JAX. Finally, Mixon will play in a matchup that looks favorable on paper. The Jaguars have allowed the sixth-most FPPG to RBs this season at 29.9 and Mixon is handling most of the workload for the Bengals. If Mixon can get more involved in the passing game, he could take advantage of the team’s porous pass defense against running backs (22 catches allowed is fifth-most in the NFL).
13 David Montgomery, CHI vs. IND. With Tarik Cohen (torn ACL) out for the season, Montgomery will take on a larger role in the Bears backfield than he already had as he’ll play more on passing downs. His ceiling is higher as a result and he’ll be a borderline RB1 because of that potential volume.
14 Todd Gurley, ATL @ GB. The Packers defense just let Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray trample them, as the duo combined for 262 scrimmage yards and two TDs against them. Gurley’s Falcons may try to ride the run game early against the Packers as a result and that could open the door for a score for the veteran, who has found the end-zone twice in three games to start the season.
15 Miles Sanders, PHI @ SF. In each of the two games he has played this season, Sanders has rushed for exactly 95 yards. He has also been targeted 15 total times which should give him a PPR boost at some point, provided that he has the opportunity to make these catches behind a beat-up offensive line. The 49ers could be without three of their top defensive linemen on Sunday night in Nick Bosa, Solomon Thomas, and Dee Ford, so Sanders may be the Eagles’ best hope of staying alive on offense.
16 Clyde Edwards-Helaire, KC vs. NE
17 Josh Jacobs, LV vs. BUF
18 Austin Ekeler, LAC @ TB
19 Darrell Henderson, LAR vs. NYG
20 James Conner, PIT @ TEN
21 David Johnson, HOU vs. MIN
22 Kareem Hunt, CLE @ DAL
23 Jerick McKinnon, SF vs. PHI
24 Mark Ingram, BAL @ WAS
25 Mike Davis, CAR vs. ARZ
26 Devin Singletary, BUF @ LV
27 Sony Michel, NE @ KC
28 JK Dobbins, BAL @ WAS
29 Myles Gaskin, MIA vs. SEA
30 Adrian Peterson, DET vs. NO
31 Leonard Fournette, TB vs. LAC
32 Jeff Wilson Jr., SF vs. PHI
33 Joshua Kelley, LAC @ TB
34 Antonio Gibson, WAS vs. BAL
35 Frank Gore, NYJ vs. DEN
36 Ronald Jones II, TB vs. LAC
37 Zack Moss, BUF @ LV
38 Devonta Freeman, NYG @ LAR
39 Latavius Murray, NO @ DET
40 Malcolm Brown, LAR vs. NYG
41 James White, NE @ KC
42 Jordan Howard, MIA vs. SEA
43 Nyheim Hines, IND @ CHI
44 Cam Akers, LAR vs. NYG
45 Carlos Hyde, SEA @ MIA
46 D’Andre Swift, DET vs. NO
47 Jamaal Williams, GB vs. ATL
48 Gus Edwards, BAL @ WAS
49 Kerryon Johnson, DET vs. NO
50 Matt Breida, MIA vs. SEA
51 Chris Thompson, JAX @ CIN
52 Royce Freeman, DEN @ NYJ
53 Chase Edmonds, ARZ @ CAR
54 Dion Lewis, NYG @ LAR
55 Damien Harris, NE @ KC
56 LeSean McCoy, TB vs. LAC
57 Boston Scott, PHI @ SF
58 Rex Burkhead, NE @ KC
59 Darwin Thompson, KC vs. NE
60 Giovani Bernard, CIN vs. JAX
61 Alexander Mattison, MIN @ HOU
62 Benny Snell Jr., PIT @ TEN
63 Tony Pollard, DAL vs. CLE
64 Brian Hill, ATL @ GB
65 Corey Clement, PHI @ SF
66 La’Mical Perine NYJ vs. DEN
67 Devontae Booker, LV vs. BUF
68 Jalen Richard, LV vs. BUF
69 Reggie Bonnafon, CAR vs. ARZ
70 J.D. McKissic, WAS vs. BAL
71 Peyton Barber, WAS vs. BAL
72 AJ Dillon, GB vs. ATL

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Fantasy Football Buy-Low, Sell-High Stock Watch: Joe Mixon, James Robinson among trade candidates heading into Week 4

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Fantasy Football Buy-Low, Sell-High Stock Watch: Joe Mixon, James Robinson among trade candidates heading into Week 4

Fantasy football owners usually do a roster audit after Week 3. Given this year’s spate of big injuries, you might not have seen three games from all of your key players, but if you have, you will likely follow this rule: If there’s been more good than bad, you’re optimistic; if there’s been more bad than good, you’re worried. If your record is 0-3 or even 1-2, you might be really worried. As such, you might be looking to make a big move, but you shouldn’t be rash about our trade targets. Finding the right buy-low, sell-high candidates is important. Fantasy Pros’ Mike Tagliere is here to help with his Week 4 Stock Watch that includes notable players like Joe Mixon, Darrell Henderson, James Robinson, and Deebo Samuel.

As tough as it might be sometimes, you can’t let past performances dictate how you view players going forward. Obviously, it’s a factor, but Weeks 1-3 are in the past — you can’t change them. You have to worry about Weeks 4-13 (and hopefully beyond). That means investing in slow-starting players who are still getting ample opportunities or parting ways with your early-season breakouts who might have already peaked. Don’t consider anyone on your roster “untouchable.”

MORE FROM FANTASY PROS: Trade analyzer

As we caution every week, values can change quickly in fantasy football, so don’t get too locked in on a certain trade target. Change your thinking as the trends change, but don’t be afraid to strike if you have a good offer on the table. —  Matt Lutovsky

MORE WEEK 4: Top waiver pickups

Week 4 Fantasy Football Stock Watch: Buy-low candidates

Joe Mixon (RB – CIN)

Wait, buy Mixon? You mean the guy who has 157 total yards without a touchdown through three games? Yep. He’s a three-down back who was a similar buy-low early last year and finished as a top-eight running back over the second half of the season. As teams start to respect Joe Burrow through the air, lanes will open for Mixon. If you’re able to flip someone like James Robinson for Mixon, I’d consider that a phenomenal opportunity.

Darrell Henderson (RB – LAR)

Some might be thinking it’s time to sell on Henderson with the pending return of Cam Akers (ribs), but if you’ve watched the past two weeks, Henderson has been the best running back on the team, and it hasn’t even been close. He’s running with purpose and has done well in two less-than-ideal matchups. If he continues to hold onto this job, he’s going to help win fantasy titles.

Darius Slayton (WR – NYG)

The bad news is that Slayton finished with just three catches for 53 yards in Week 3; the good news is that it allows you to swoop in and buy him cheaper than he should be. He was targeted a team-high seven times, and the matchups will get better as the weeks go on. With Sterling Shepard (toe) out maybe a month, Slayton is the clear-cut top receiver for the Giants.

For more buy-low targets from Fantasy Pros, click here.

WEEK 4 STANDARD RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight End | D/ST | Kicker

Week 4 Fantasy Football Stock Watch: Sell-high candidates

James Robinson (RB – JAC)

Last week, I had Robinson in the “buy” section because not many realized what they had. This week, however, I’m suggesting you field offers for him. I’ve heard some suggest he’s a rock-solid RB2 for the remainder of the season, though I’m not completely sold on that. He hasn’t had to share any of the workload with both Ryquell Armstead (COVID-19 lst) and Devine Ozigbo (hamstring) out of the lineup. That will change, and while Robinson should still be the lead back, he’s not going to be worth more than he is right now. Great performances on national television will get you great return in trades.

Todd Gurley (RB – ATL)

Take advantage of Gurley’s touchdown in Week 3 and sell high. I’m not sure he’s the best running back on his team at this point, and that’s not even saying much, as Brian Hill isn’t uber-talented or anything. Gurley is only getting what’s blocked and isn’t contributing in the passing game. He’s nothing more than a touchdown-dependent low-end RB2/high-end RB3.

WEEK 4 PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight End | D/ST | Kicker

Deebo Samuel (WR – SF)

You should be using the imminent-return rumors to your advantage if you’ve been holding onto Samuel. There have been whispers that he’s expected to come back from his foot injury in Week 5, which is odd to say the least. If they know he won’t be ready in Week 4, then they can’t say with any certainty that he’ll be out there in Week 5. On top of that, receivers coming off foot surgeries in the same calendar year almost always end in disappointment.

For more sell-high targets from Fantasy Pros, click here.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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