Sorry, Rams fans — it’s nothing against you that our fantasy football busts for Week 2 include a Los Angeles running back once again. Last week it was Cam Akers, and now it’s Malcolm Brown. Can you blame us? One of the biggest factors in predicting busts is uncertainty about roles, and is anyone really confident that they know what will happen in the Rams backfield against the Eagles? Don’t worry, we’re struggling to believe in another hot waiver claim this week, too, with Nyheim Hines joining Brown in headlining our “sit ’em” picks.
Hines was given an unusual workload relative to what he’s seen in his career, and people might be going overboard in how much Philip Rivers’ dump-off passes matter for Hines. Don’t forget Jonathan Taylor can catch passes, too.
WEEK 2 STANDARD RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker
Our busts outside of the RB position include some more proven names — Matt Ryan, Carson Wentz, and Cam Newton at QB and Rob Gronkowski and Evan Engram at TE. In their cases, it’s more about matchups (and some disappointing Week 1 performances by Gronk and Engram). Cornerback matchups are our main concern at WR, while a few celebrated defenses might struggle in Week 2, as well.
Our Week 1 busts had some good calls. Both Akers and D’Andre Swift didn’t receive adequate workloads in their NFL debuts (though Swift scored and should have had a second TD). Carson Wentz and Daniel Jones both had issues with tough defenses. Austin Hooper and Rob Gronkowski struggled, too. It was really only Aaron Rodgers totally blowing up in our face — and it probably won’t be the last time Rodgers makes our busts article, anyway.
WEEK 2 PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker
Week 2 Fantasy Busts: Running backs
Nyheim Hines, Colts vs. Vikings (Billy Heyen). In Week 1, Hines was used in both short-yardage and red-zone situations that we’ve never seen him utilized in before. Could that continue with Marlon Mack (Achilles’) out? Sure, but it’s much more likely Jonathan Taylor becomes the workhorse here and Hines is relegated to Rivers’ dump-off buddy. That still gives him value in PPR formats but not much in standard leagues.
Melvin Gordon, Broncos @ Steelers (Vinnie Iyer). Expect him keep hitting a wall against Pittsburgh’s front with his straight-ahead running style.
Malcolm Brown, Rams @ Eagles (Matt Lutovsky). Brown looked much better than rookie Cam Akers last Sunday night, scoring twice and averaging over 1.5 more yards per carry. However, it’s worth noting that Brown had just four more carries, and L.A.’s prized rookie back isn’t simply going to be “phased out” of the offense. Brown has had big games in the past (like Week 1 last year), only to regress quickly, so we’re not exactly bullish on him as he faces an Eagles defense that allowed just 2.3 yards per carry to Washington’s RBs last week.
WEEK 2 NFL DFS CASH LINEUPS:
Yahoo | DraftKings | FanDuel
Week 2 Fantasy Football Busts: Quarterbacks
Matt Ryan, Falcons @ Cowboys (Heyen). Ryan had a big Week 1 on the back of garbage-time production. We’ve seen him do that before, so he could do it again in Week 2, too, but at some point, Ryan’s bound to see his early-game struggles carry on for four quarters and just not put up the same kind of numbers.
Carson Wentz, Eagles vs. Rams (Iyer). The offensive line isn’t doing him many favors and neither are the wide receivers. The Rams really did well to limit Dak Prescott in Week 1, too.
Cam Newton, Patriots @ Seahawks (Lutovsky). Newton looked close to his old self running the ball last week, but the passing left a lot to be desired. To be fair, he threw just four incompletions and didn’t “need” to pass much, but New England’s lack of true receiving talent was once again on display. Seattle was roasted by Atlanta’s passing game in Week 1 (though garbage time inflated those numbers), but this is still a stout defense with playmakers all over the field. Newton always has a decent floor because of his running ability, but his ceiling is a lot lower as he heads out to face a team that has given him fits over the years.
Week 2 Fantasy Football Busts: Wide receivers
Tyler Lockett, Seahawks vs. Patriots (Heyen). Will Stephon Gilmore follow Lockett to his various alignment points in Seattle’s offense? Maybe. Even if he doesn’t, Bill Belichick will know that slowing down Russell Wilson’s security blanket in Lockett will slow down Russ himself.
Sammy Watkins, Chiefs @ Chargers (Iyer). He had another big opening game but will immediately cool off against the Chargers’ cornerbacks. Also be wary of deploying Tyreek Hill in DFS because of that, as this will be more of a Travis Kelce game with no Derwin James.
Jamison Crowder, Jets vs. 49ers (Lutovsky). There are plenty of reasons to like Crowder — he received 13 targets last week and the 49ers allowed Cardinals’ No. 1 receiver DeAndre Hopkins to catch 14 passes — but Crowder has always been up and down and the 49ers still have a strong defense that can disrupt the timing of a QB like Sam Darnold much easier than a more mobile QB like Kyler Murray. You can’t bank on a 69-yard touchdown again to account for most of Crowder’s fantasy points, so proceed with caution, especially in standard leagues.
WEEK 2 NFL DFS TOURNAMENT LINEUPS:
Yahoo | DraftKings | FanDuel
Week 2 Fantasy Football Busts: Tight ends
Evan Engram, Giants @ Bears (Heyen). The Bears still have a pretty solid defense, and even though T.J. Hockenson performed well against them to open the season, Engram and Daniel Jones looked like they were reading totally different books against the Steelers.
Rob Gronkowski, Buccaneers vs. Panthers (Iyer). O.J. Howard looks like the preferred receiver from the position for now for Tom Brady, and they won’t need much of Gronk to light up Carolina.
T.J. Hockenson, Lions @ Packers (Lutovsky). This might be dependent on whether Kenny Golladay (hamstring) plays. If he does, Hockenson figures to lose some targets, particularly in the red zone. Even if Golladay is once again out, Hockenson is probably a touchdown-or-bust option against a team that shut him down last year (four catches, 21 yards in their lone meeting).
WEEK 2 DFS: Best stacks | Best values | Lineup Builder
Week 2 Fantasy Busts: Defenses
Minnesota Vikings @ Colts (Heyen). The Vikings have talented individuals that gave up 43 points in Week 1. Philip Rivers topped 360 passing yards in Indy’s opener, and the Jonathan Taylor/Nyheim Hines combo could cause problems. Minnesota isn’t a sure thing this week (although a late-game Rivers INT probably is).
New England Patriots @ Seahawks (Iyer). The Patriots’ defense rocks against bad offenses without elite mobile quarterbacks. Russell Wilson and Seattle on the road isn’t one of those teams.
Denver Broncos @ Steelers (Lutovsky). Ben Roethlisberger looked particularly immobile and sack-prone on Monday night against a pretty bad Giants defense, so it’s not that we’re particularly scared of the Steelers. This is more of a pick against Denver, who really didn’t do much of anything well on Monday night against Tennessee. If the Titans could kick, they would have had 10 more points and won comfortably. Denver will get some sacks, but it lacks the playmakers to really put up big D/ST points.
Theo Epstein would be perfect for Steve Cohen’s Mets: Sherman
Two “ifs” first:
“If” Steve Cohen gains control of the Mets by receiving the necessary 23 ownership votes and “if” he decides to remove Brodie Van Wagenen as head of baseball operations, then his priority should be securing Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein.
Talent to do a job must come first, and Epstein was the architect of two champions. But what makes him ideal for the Mets is the identity of the two champs — the cursed Red Sox and Cubs.
The Mets must stop operating as if they are hexed and a second-class citizen in New York. They need a black-cloud extraction. No one can provide credibility in that area like Epstein.
He helped make the Curses of the Bambino and Billy Goat vanish. The Yankees have not wanted to see Alex Rodriguez as Mets owner. Beware what you wish for. Imagine how the Yanks would feel, though, if Epstein showed up in their neighborhood with Cohen’s billions of dollars backing him? The Red Sox have won four titles to the Yankees’ one since Epstein helped change the narrative of that rivalry forever.
Will Cohen do this? He is not publicly providing insights. Maybe he will value continuity in the short term. When he was close to buying the Dodgers before the 2012 season, word was he would have strongly considered Arn Tellem — coincidentally with an agent background like Van Wagenen — to be team president. It is possible Cohen could try for Tellem (now vice chairman of the Detroit Pistons) or someone with that gravitas to come in as president to oversee Van Wagenen and see how that works for 2021.
But I do not believe Cohen will feel pressure to stand pat simply because of the calendar, should he not be approved (if he is approved) until late October or November. This is not a billionaire from Minneapolis buying the Mets.
Cohen grew up in Great Neck and is a lifelong Mets fan. He has owned a minority stake in the team for eight years. He watches the games (his wife and father-in-law are avid Mets fans, too). He has talked baseball philosophy with Van Wagenen. Thus, he would take over with a strong opinion on everything with the Mets, including if Van Wagenen, midway through a four-year contract, should stay.
He plans to own the team for the rest of his life and is not going to be dissuaded for what is best for just 2021. Besides, with the lost revenue in the game in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the expectation is the free-agent market is going to be flooded with a bunch of non-tenders and be slow moving, as a majority of teams aim to cut payroll next year.
There usually is a new-owner syndrome to spend money immediately to make a mark, so do you — for example — think the agents for J.T. Realmuto, George Springer and other high-end players will wait to see what Cohen wants to do with his $14 billion even if a GM is not hired until, say, mid-November or not?
So the only question is: Does Cohen want Van Wagenen? If not, he could look into New York or New York-area-raised Mets fans like him, such as Indians GM Mike Chernoff (his first baseball job was as a $50-a-week Mets intern), Rangers GM Jon Daniels and Brewers GM David Stearns. All are qualified, with Stearns (who previously worked for the Mets) particularly intriguing and attractive.
Cohen’s hedge fund is facing a gender-discrimination suit, and to counter perceptions maybe he would like to hire the first female head of baseball operations. Yankees assistant GM Jean Afterman has never shown the desire for such a job, but if she did, this would not be a token. She is tough, smart and would have credentials as good or better than someone like Tellem.
If Cohen were thinking groundbreaking and long term, he could hire the first black baseball GM in New York history by promoting Brooklyn-born Mets executive director of player development Jared Banner, whose star is rising in the game — he is just 33. But Brian Cashman was just 30 when the Yankees tabbed him, and the youngest GM hire ever was just 28 — that was Epstein by the Red Sox after the 2002 season.
Three questions to answer why the now 46-year-old Epstein would be the right hire:
Why would the Cubs let him go? Epstein has always said his life span in any baseball executive job is 10 years. He is in Year 9 with the Cubs. He is owed about $10 million next year. One area that owners have indicated cuts could be coming is in the high-priced baseball operations heads (Cohen’s billions would be more immune to this). Cubs owner Tom Ricketts probably would not stand in Epstein’s way, especially since a succession plan with current Chicago GM Jed Hoyer has been long layed out.
Why would Epstein do it? When contacted by The Post, Epstein offered no comment. And Epstein is of the status that you should expect: 1. He would interview a next owner as much as the owner would interview him; 2. He would demand an ownership stake, akin to, say, what Billy Beane has in Oakland.
But no matter what they say, executives care about legacy. The Red Sox and Cubs titles almost certainly ticketed Epstein for Cooperstown. But if he helped get a parade for a third cursed franchise, Epstein arguably becomes the greatest North American sports executive in history.
His wife is from Bloomfield, N.J., and we know Epstein is adrenalized by big markets and massive projects.
Why would the Mets pick him? To repeat: He is talented, proven and a hex-breaker. He is smart, competitive and collaborative. Also, the Mets should have no fear of a late start with him. He was hired as a first-time GM on Nov. 25, 2002, after Beane spurned the Red Sox at the 11th hour. Before spring training ended, he made seemingly small trades or free agent signings of Bronson Arroyo, Kevin Millar, Bill Mueller, David Ortiz and Mike Timlin — a quintet who helped Boston go to ALCS Game 7 in 2003 and end The Curse the following year. A late start won’t hurt on player personnel with a skilled person who has been working for an NL team and has firm opinions.
It would have greater impact in forming a staff. But Epstein hired Banner and Mets assistant GM Allard Baird in Boston, so he would enter with strong ties to two key lieutenants. Plus he’d be able to pick from the scores of executives and scouts who have been laid off recently throughout the game in COVID-related cutbacks.
Epstein would be an ideal choice for the Mets. Does Cohen want to make a change? Would he come?
When does the Big Ten football season start? Full Week 1 schedule for Ohio State, Michigan & more
The Big Ten on Saturday announced its Week 1 schedule for the 2020 college football season — an abbreviated campaign necessitated by its late start date amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
But less football is better than no football at all, and the opening slate of games will give Big Ten fans the football they otherwise might not have seen until 2021. Should a team get through the Big Ten slate unscathed, they’ll have the opportunity for a nonconference game at the end of the season, anyway.
MORE: What to know about Big Ten football schedule start date
Here’s everything you need to know about the start of the 2020 Big Ten college football season, and its Week 1 slate of games.
Big Ten football schedule 2020: Week 1
Saturday, Oct. 24
|Matchup||Time (ET)||TV channel|
|Nebraska at Ohio State||TBD||TBD|
|Michigan at Minnesota||TBD||TBD|
|Penn State at Indiana||TBD||TBD|
|Iowa at Purdue||TBD||TBD|
|Illinois at Wisconsin||TBD||TBD|
|Rutgers at Michigan State||TBD||TBD|
|Maryland at Northwestern||TBD||TBD|
What channel is NASCAR on today? TV schedule, start time for Bristol night race
The TV channel for a NASCAR race is elusive enough in a normal season when Fox and FS1 trade broadcasts of Cup Series events through the first half of the schedule before NBC and NBCSN take over for the second half. The schedule shake-up associated with the coronavirus pandemic make the “what channel is today’s NASCAR race on” question even more understandable.
The NASCAR playoff schedule, though, remains unchanged. So the TV channel for Saturday night’s Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway is still NBCSN. This is the third of NASCAR’s 10-race playoffs in the Cup Series and the first cut-off race.
Saturday night’s NASCAR race at Bristol marks NBC/NBCSN’s 13th broadcast of the season after Fox/FS1’s slate ended with the July 15 All-Star Race. It is the 25th race in NASCAR’s return on an altered, short-term schedule, and the 29th Cup Series races overall as NASCAR keeps its 36-race slate intact for 2020.
The start time for Saturday’s NASCAR race at Bristol marks the fourth of five consecutive night races for the Cup Series. Below is how to watch Saturday night’s race, including the TV channel and live stream options.
What channel is NASCAR on today?
- Race: Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway
- Date: Saturday, Sept. 19
- TV channel: NBCSN
- Live stream: NBCSports.com | fuboTV (7-day free trial)
- Radio: PRN
NASCAR is back on schedule even after its two-month hiatus amid COVID-19 in the spring, so Saturday night’s race at Bristol will still be shown on NBCSN as originally scheduled.
Of the 20 NASCAR Cup Series races NBC was scheduled to broadcast in 2020, 12 were slated to be shown on NBCSN with the other eight on NBC’s flagship cable network. Five of the last six races of the season will be shown on NBC.
As for Saturday night’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol on NBCSN, the network has a channel finder feature for viewers to find the TV channel options in their areas.
As is the case for all the Cup Series races on NBC and NBCSN this season, Rick Allen will call Saturday night’s race at Bristol with the assistance of analysts Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Burton and Steve Letarte.
What time does the NASCAR race start today?
- Date: Saturday, Sept. 19
- Start time: 7:30 p.m. ET
The green flag for Saturday night’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol will wave shortly after 7:30 p.m. ET, assuming there are no rain delays as there have been so often since NASCAR returned to live racing in May.
The 7:30 p.m. ET start time will make mid-race adjustments key for race teams, even at a short track like Bristol. The track will be hot and slick at the beginning of the race and get cooler and faster as the night progresses.
Bristol Motor Speedway obviously has lights, so a weather delay could push the race into the late hours of Saturday and early hours of Sunday. The race is scheduled for 500 laps (266.5 miles) and needs to reach the halfway point to be considered official in the event of weather issues.
NASCAR live stream for Bristol race
Anybody who has a cable or satellite subscription can stream Saturday night’s NASCAR race at Bristol live via NBCSports.com or the NBC Sports app. This should be the preferred route for a viewer who has such a subscription but isn’t able to get in front of his or her TV.
For those who don’t have a cable or satellite subscription, there are five OTT TV streaming options that carry NBC and NBCSN — Sling, Hulu, YouTubeTV, fuboTV and AT&T Now. All five currently offer free trial options.
Below are links to each.
NASCAR schedule 2020
NASCAR remains committed to running 36 races this season, four of which were completed before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the sports world.
Despite so many changes to the regular-season schedule, NASCAR is keeping its 10 playoff races in the fall intact and at their original tracks. Below is that playoff schedule.
|Date||Track||TV channel||Start time|
|Sun., Sept. 6||Darlington||NBCSN||6 p.m. ET|
|Sat., Sept. 12||Richmond||NBCSN||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Sat., Sept. 19||Bristol||NBCSN||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Sun, Sept. 27||Las Vegas||NBCSN||7 p.m. ET|
|Sun., Oct. 4||Talladega||NBC||2 p.m. ET|
|Sun., Oct. 11||Charlotte (ROVAL)||NBC||2:30 p.m. ET|
|Sun., Oct. 18||Kansas||NBC||2:30 p.m. ET|
|Sun., Oct. 25||Texas||NBCSN||3 p.m. ET|
|Sun. Nov. 1||Martinsville||NBC||2 p.m. ET|
|Sun. Nov. 8||Phoenix Raceway||NBC||3 p.m. ET|
As for the regular season, a previously unscheduled Darlington race ran on May 17 instead of the the Chicagoland race that was originally scheduled for June 21. Another Darlington race ran on May 20 instead of the postponed Richmond race that was originally scheduled for April 19. The Charlotte race on May 27 ran instead of the Sonoma race that was originally scheduled for June 14.
The Pocono doubleheader remained as previously scheduled for the final weekend of June, with the Cup Series racing on back-to-back days. Those races were presented on Fox (and FS1) rather than on NBC. Fox’s closed its coverage this season with the All-Star Race at Bristol on July 15.
Previously postponed races at Dover and Michigan became part of Saturday-Sunday doubleheaders at those respective tracks in August.
Because New York required people to quarantine for 14 days after traveling from one of the states impacted heavily by COVID-19 (including North Carolina), the Watkins Glen race on Aug. 16 was moved to the Daytona road course. According to The Athletic, NASCAR tried to get a quarantine waiver for its Watkins Glen races but was denied by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.
The Aug. 16 race was the NASCAR Cup Series’ first on the road course at Daytona.
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