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Le’Veon Bell lands on IR in major blow to Jets offense

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Le'Veon Bell lands on IR in major blow to Jets offense

The Jets offense will be without running back Le’Veon Bell for at least three weeks.

The team placed Bell on injured reserve Tuesday after he suffered a left hamstring injury in Sunday’s 27-17 loss to the Bills. Bell came up grabbing his hamstring after being held on a pass route in the second quarter. He remained in the game but appeared to have no burst in the third quarter and was removed.

Under new rules this year, teams are allowed to bring back an unlimited number of players from IR. They are eligible to return after missing three games, meaning the 28-year-old Bell could come back for the Oct. 11 game against the Cardinals at the earliest.

Bell had six carries for 14 yards, with a long of 7, before exiting the game. He also caught two passes for 32 yards, including a 30-yarder that jump-started a two-minute drive from at the end of the first half.

It is a frustrating start to Bell’s second season with the Jets. He entered training camp in great shape, promising the best season of his career.

Bell had a hamstring issue during training camp that led to a Twitter brushfire when he said his hamstrings were fine after coach Adam Gase said Bell was removed from a scrimmage by the trainers because of tightness in his hamstrings. The two ironed things out shortly after Bell’s Twitter outburst, but you have to wonder if Gase had that in the back of his mind when he left Bell in the game on Sunday, a move Gase later said he regretted.

Bell rushed for a disappointing 789 yards and scored four touchdowns in 2019, his first season after signing a four-year, $52.5 million contract with the Jets.

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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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Week 4 Fantasy TE Rankings: Must-starts, sleepers, potential busts at tight end

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Week 4 Fantasy TE Rankings: Must-starts, sleepers, potential busts at tight end

Last week was a strange one for tight ends. Most of the top games were by guys who weren’t in lineups — and probably aren’t even worth being on rosters. We’re talking about guys like Tyler Kroft, Foster Moreau, Jesse James, Marcedes Lewis, and Jacob Hollister. Even guys like Greg Olsen, Mo Alie-Cox, Jimmy Graham, and Eric Ebron were well under 30-percent owned. So, in a weird way, it’s almost as if Week 3 had little-to-no effect on our Week 4 fantasy TE rankings, at least when it comes to the players themselves.

However, if one of those no-name TEs scored against a particular defense, it certainly affected our perception of future matchups. That’s why you see someone like Evan Engram (@ Rams) move up slightly after L.A. allowed three TE touchdowns to the Bills, though it would be nice if Engram gave us any reason to be optimistic. Noah Fant (@ Jets) keeps moving up, partly because he continues to rack up targets and partly because of a matchup against Jets defense that got beat by Alie-Cox for a touchdown last week. 

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

Ultimately, there isn’t much movement within our starter’s tier. Zach Ertz (@ 49ers) rises despite a tough matchup, as he figures to command more targets with Dallas Goedert (ankle) likely out. Logan Thomas (vs. Ravens) remains an interesting sleeper because of his consistent targets, but it’s tough to say whether Baltimore’s early-season troubles against TEs is a mirage or just a small-sample-size fluke. Some of our favorite sleepers heading into last week, Dalton Shaultz (vs. Browns) and Drew Sample (vs. Jaguars), were non-factors, so even though both have favorable matchups on paper, they also have very low floors. That also goes for Ebron (@ Titans), who’s a little more reliable but still profiles as a touchdown-or-bust player.

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

Overall, it’s been a down year for TEs, so unless you have George Kittle (vs. Eagles), who will hopefully be returning this week, Travis Kelce (vs. Patriots), Mark Andrews (@ Washington), or Darren Waller (vs. Bills), you might be tempted to play the matchups. It’s tough to argue against that, but the players in our top 12 are still more reliable than the players below, so give it at least one more week of “playing it safe” before you start over at the position. 

Check back for updates and analysis to these TE rankings throughout the week.

Week 4 Fantasy TE Rankings (Standard)

These rankings are for non-PPR leagues

Rank Player
1 George Kittle, SF vs. PHI
2 Mark Andrews, BAL @ WAS
3 Travis Kelce, KC vs. NE
4 Darren Waller, LV vs. BUF
5 Noah Fant, DEN @ NYJ
6 Zach Ertz, PHI @ SF
7 Tyler Higbee, LAR vs. NYG
8 Mike Gesicki, MIA vs. SEA
9 Hunter Henry, LAC @ TB
10 Jonnu Smith, TEN vs. PIT
11 T.J. Hockenson, DET vs. NO
12 Hayden Hurst, ATL @ GB
13 Evan Engram, NYG @ LAR
14 Jared Cook, NO @ DET
15 Logan Thomas, WAS vs. BAL
16 Eric Ebron, PIT @ TEN
17 Dalton Schultz, DAL vs. CLE
18 Jimmy Graham, CHI vs. IND
19 Drew Sample, CIN vs. JAX
20 Jordan Akins, HOU vs. MIN
21 Mo Alie-Cox, IND @ CHI
29 Greg Olsen, SEA @ MIA
22 Austin Hooper, CLE @ DAL
23 Chris Herndon, NYJ vs. DEN
24 O.J. Howard, TB vs. LAC
25 Tyler Eifert, JAX @ CIN
26 Rob Gronkowski, TB vs. LAC
27 Jack Doyle, IND @ CHI
28 Taysom Hill, NO @ DET
30 Kyle Rudolph, MIN @ HOU
31 Ian Thomas, CAR vs. ARI
32 Dan Arnold, ARI @ CAR
33 Irv Smith Jr., MIN @ HOU
34 Dawson Knox, BUF @ LV

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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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Broncos fill empty seats with 1,800 ‘South Park’ cutouts

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Broncos fill empty seats with 1,800 ‘South Park’ cutouts

They went down to Denver to have themselves a time.

With the coronavirus pandemic limiting fan attendance at sporting events, cardboard cutouts are in vogue. But the Denver Broncos took the fad to a whole new level on Sunday, putting cutouts of the entire town of “South Park” in the upper bowl of the stadium for its game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There were more than 1,800 cutouts, according to ESPN, featuring characters from the Comedy Central series that began in 1997 and is based in a fictional Colorado town, and all of them were wearing masks.

Cartman, Stan, Kyle and Kenny — along with Chef, ManBearPig and even Mr. Hanky — were all spread out across five sections of the stadium.

The Broncos reached out to Comedy Central about buying cutouts of the characters, per ESPN, which along with fan-purchased cutouts has raised $130,000 for local charities.

There were 5,700 actual fans in attendance to witness the Broncos’ 28-10 loss to Tom Brady and the Buccaneers.

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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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Another NBA Finals appearances reminds us that LeBron James has won the GOAT debate

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Another NBA Finals appearances reminds us that LeBron James has won the GOAT debate

We do not need a 10-part miniseries to remind us of the greatness of LeBron James. We have the entirety of the 21st century.

From his formal introduction to the basketball world at the 2001 ABCD Camp to his two years as the preeminent high school basketball player at Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary to the NBA career that began in the autumn of 2003 to his 68 games as a member of the USA Basketball senior men’s national team, James has been on a court, somewhere, demonstrating to the legions of non-believers there never has been anyone who played the game at such a level.

Saturday night, James recorded a triple-double for the 27th time in an NBA playoff game — 38 points, 16 rebounds, 10 assists — in guiding the Lakers to a 117-107 victory over the Nuggets to complete a 4-1 series victory in the Western Conference finals of NBA Playoffs.

MORE: NBA Finals schedule: Dates, times, TV channels

When the Lakers tip off this week in the NBA Finals, it will be the 17th championship series in the league since the day James debuted. He’ll have taken part in 10 of them. Bill Russell can look at that astonishing achievement and chuckle, but pretty much everyone else should be floored.

The great Magic Johnson reached the Finals in nine of his 13 seasons, but, upon entering the league, he joined a team already featuring Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Abdul-Jabbar made it in 10 of his 20 seasons, Michael Jordan in six of his 15.

James has gone from Cleveland to Miami back to Cleveland and then to LA, and Finals appearances follow him wherever he goes.

And still there are those unwilling to cede the point: He’s the best there’s ever been.

His presence in the Finals presents another occasion to engage in one of the most common and frustrating debates of the decade, at least in the non-political category. The debate probably ought to have been settled when James turned the city of Cleveland into a champion for the first time in five decades, but it persists.

Why? MJ was a childhood obsession when many prominent media voices came of age. Oh, and the shoes. The refusal to acknowledge the evidence subsequently presented by James contains the nostalgic obstinance of those who claim to have walked a mile to school, uphill both ways.

Well, I actually did that for a dozen years — three-quarters of a mile, to be precise, to catch the school bus — and I learned enough to trust the facts.

The stats and accomplishments mostly are in James’ favor, now.

Regular season? James has more career points (34,241 to 32,292), rebounds (9,405 to 6,672), assists (9,346 to 6,672) and blocks (957 to 853). James is superior in field goal percentage (.504 to .497) and 3-point percentage (.344 to .327). Jordan is superior in steals (2,514 to 957) and free throw percentage (.835 to .734).

Jordan won five MVP awards to James’ four. James made All-NBA first-team 13 times to Jordan’s 10.

Playoffs? James has played more games (253 to 179), accumulated more conference final appearances (11 to eight), more playoff points (7,274 to 5,987) and is superior in every field goal accuracy category, including effective field goal percentage (.531 to .504).

That’s the basic stuff. In advanced stats such as VORP — value over replacement player — James’ lead over Jordan (133.67 to 116.08) is roughly twice as large as Jordan’s over third-place John Stockton (106.50). Abdul-Jabbar leads in win shares, but again James (236.44) stands superior to Jordan (214.02).

When Jordan was 35 he was … retired, for the second time, albeit temporarily. Shaquille O’Neal no longer was a 20-point scorer. Neither was Wilt Chamberlain. Abdul-Jabbar was productive and essential, but Johnson was the Lakers’ foremost player. James just finished second in MVP voting for the second time in the past three years.

Certainly, James has needed help from his teammates to 10 times accumulate the dozen playoff victories necessary to reach the Finals, but it hasn’t always seemed to matter so much who those teammates might be.

MORE: LeBron James says NBA Finals “don’t mean s—” with a title

In his six championship series appearances, all with the Bulls, Jordan helped 28 different players appear in the Finals. He was surrounded by one terrific core group from 1990 to 1993, then another from ’95 to ’98. James has been accompanied there by 65 different teammates, presuming only the Lakers’ primary rotation players appear in the Finals. If Jared Dudley or Quinn Cook gets in a game, it’ll be that many more.

James is the common denominator.

“As much as I love Michael Jordan, man, LeBron James is the one,” Hall of Famer Allen Iverson told “The Fat Joe Show” in August. “He’s the one, man. That (man) is the one.”

Iverson did not use the word “man” in that last sentence.

Two-time NBA champion Bill Laimbeer of the “Bad Boys” Pistons took the same position in an April interview with ESPN. His wording did not require any euphemistic adjustment.

“I’m very vocal on this: I think the LeBron is the best player who has ever played the game,” Laimbeer said. “He’s 6-foot-8, 285 pounds, runs like the wind, jumps out of the gym. … At the end of the day, I firmly believe he’s the best basketball player in the history of the game.”

One beauty of the NBA postseason structure is that we will not have an entire week for James’ habitual antagonists to use their amplified voices to take the errant position against him. The NBA Finals start Wednesday, so there are only two days for them to spread disinformation.

We already get enough of that from day to day.

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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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