Becoming The Bar

In life, it’s easier to fail than it is to succeed. In sports, it’s easier to lose than it is to win. You have to have talent, skills, chemistry, motivation and willing to put the team first. Dominance is not achieved by accident. Consistency doesn’t happen overnight. Gregg Popovich and Bill Belichick have set the bar in their respective sports for almost the past 2 decades.


There are plenty of similarities between the two in my eyes. Both have won 5 championships as head coaches (Popovich: 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014. Belichick: 2002, 2004, 2005, 2015, 2017). Each coach has had a transcending and iconic player during their championship runs (Popovich: Tim Duncan. Belichick: Tom Brady). Both coaches have established a culture to where it’s about the name on the front of the jersey instead of the back. When it comes to the media, both of them have had unique responses to questions asked.


Even with the success, both have had their share of scrutiny. Popovich has been criticized for being “short” with his answers to questions about basketball. However, he’s opinionated about questions outside of the sport, like politics and social issues. Personally, I don’t have a problem with it because life is bigger than the NBA, but I understand the frustration of the media at times. Belichick and the New England Patriots were under fire for “Spygate” and “Deflategate”. Spygate occurred in 2007 when the team was caught filming the New York Jets play-call signals. Deflategate happened in 2015 against the Indianapolis Colts during the AFC Championship game where the Patriots were accused of having slightly underinflated footballs.

What I do appreciate the most about both coaches is their consistency over the years. Since the NBA lockout shortened-season in 1999, the San Antonio Spurs have won a least 50 games each season and are on pace to extend the streak this season. The Spurs have been able to demonstrate their winning culture with different players over the years. It started with the “Twin Tower” era with David Robinson and Tim Duncan. Then it changed to the Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili era. Now Kawhi Leonard is the face of the franchise with LaMarcus Aldridge next to him. The common denominator has been Gregg Popovich and his ability to adjust his coaching with the personnel around him.

Image result for gregg popovich winning

Since becoming the head coach in 2000 for the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick has won 15 division titles and has won at least 10 games since 2003. Like the San Antonio Spurs, the Patriots have been able to continue their winning culture by plugging in players around Tom Brady that fits the system. Brady went from having Troy Brown as his favorite target to Deion Branch, Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski, and Julian Edelman.

Image result for bill belichick winning

When you set the bar for excellence, you eventually become the bar. Gregg Popovich and Bill Belichick have done just that. With respect to Red Auerbach, Phil Jackson, and Pat Riley, I believe Gregg Popovich is the greatest coach in NBA history. I firmly believe the same for Bill Belichick in the NFL. You don’t have to be a fan of either, but you have to respect their greatness to keep this longevity of excellence up for almost 20 years.


Fantasy Football Tips 2016

This is one of my favorite times of the year. From now until February, the NFL will be on every Sunday. With preseason starting up, fantasy football is just around the corner. With that being said, here are some tips that should help you on your draft day.

Antonio Brown Is Special

The golden rule in fantasy football is that you always take a running back in the first round. However, Antonio Brown has become an exception to this rule the past 2 seasons. In 2015, he scored 243 fantasy points in standard play by racking up 1834 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. Brown has been the “go-to guy” for Big Ben and the number go to guy in fantasy football. It is okay to draft him with the first pick.

Don’t Waste Your First Round Pick On…

O’Dell Beckham Jr, Ezekiel Elliott, and Rob Gronkowski. As talented as ODB is, I rather draft Julio Jones. Atlanta’s only weapon in the passing game is Jones (He led the league in targets last season with 136). Eli Manning has the return of Victor Cruz and rookie Sterling Shepard to utilize as well.  Please be cautious if you do decide to pick him in the first round.

I have nothing against Ezekiel Elliott’s ability, but I’m not drafting a player who hasn’t played a signal down in the NFL in the first round. The Dallas Cowboys has the best offensive line in football so it does seem enticing to draft Elliott early. However, in the famous words of Stephen A Smith, “The Cowboys are an accident waiting to happen”.

Last year was my first time taking Rob Gronkowski and it happened to be in the first round. By week 4, I’ve learned that tight ends are becoming a deep position. Plus, Tom Brady will miss the first 4 games. Taking Gronk in the second round is okay.

My Sleepers Consist Of…

Lamar Miller, Donte Moncrief, Kevin White, and Markus Wheaton. In my opinion, Lamar Miller was underutilized in Miami. The last season and a half, Miller showed he can produce when he touches the ball. He’ll have his chance to shine in Houston.

With Andre Johnson departure and Andrew Luck, finally healthy, Donte Moncrief has a high ceiling to be productive this season. TY Hilton will see double coverage far more times than not. This will enable Moncrief for one on one match-ups in a pass heavy offense. Let that sink in.

We will finally see what Kevin White can do on the gridiron. After missing his first season with a shin injury, White looks to fill the void of what the Chicago Bears offense was missing last season. White is 6’3″ and runs under a 4.4 in the 40-yard dash. With the attention on Alshon Jeffrey, the Bears first round pick in 2015 could be a playmaker.

When Martavis Bryant missed the first 4 games last season due to a suspension, Markus Wheaton didn’t take advantage of the opportunity. Now that Bryant is suspended all of the 2016 NFL Season, Wheaton will have all season to prove his value and explode on the fantasy football scene.

Just Stop

Matthew Stafford, Demaryius Thomas, and the San Francisco 49’ers. Stafford has talent, but he primarily benefited from having Calvin “Megatron” Johnson. Now that Johnson is retired, Matthew Stafford has lost his security blanket. With the lack of talent on offense, he might consistently struggle. I rather draft Ryan Tannehill.

Demaryius Thomas has the ability to be a top 5 wide receiver in the league. He has exceptional hands and speed. The problem with him in fantasy football this year is his new quarterback, Mark Sanchez. Sanchez hasn’t been the most accurate quarterback and is known for his “Butt Fumble” (CLICK HERE TO WATCH). Unless Sanchez gets him the ball consistently, Thomas may be a flex option at best.

Last year, the Cleveland Browns was the team I said to avoid drafting any players from. Now, I wouldn’t advise drafting anybody from San Francisco. Carlos Hyde has some potential but the way their offense is presently constructed, teams might give him the “Adrian Peterson treatment” (putting 8 players in the “box” on defense to stop the run). We’re not sure if Blaine Gabbert or Colin Kaepernick will start, but neither is worth starting in fantasy football. Torrey Smith is a deep threat but the quarterback play is insufficient for Smith to be productive. At least Cleveland has Josh Gordon coming back week 5, pending reinstatement.

Always Remember

Simple but important tips:

  • Running backs are scarce (get them while you can)
  • Draft your quarterback between round 6 and 8 (they are a dime a dozen)
  • Do not draft a kicker until last 2 rounds (this should be a given)
  • Don’t reach for a player unless you think it’s absolutely necessary
  • Do your research before drafting (very vital)

If nothing else, have fun!


Top 5 NFL Tight Ends Entering 2016


Note: This list is who is the best tight ends right now.  Past accolades and accomplishments alone will not move you higher on the list.  This list is based on skill, talent, age, and the ability to perform.

Honorable Mentions:

Delanie Walker (Titans); Antonio Gates (Chargers); Jimmy Graham (Seahawks)


5) Travis Kelce, Chiefs


Before Jeremy Maclin joined the Kansas City Chiefs last season, their passing game was almost nonexistent. Not one wide receiver caught a touchdown during the 2014 season. Besides Jamaal Charles, Travis Kelce has been “Mr Reliable” during his tenure there. He’s not the fastest but he has great hands and a high motor. With Charles still recovering from his torn ACL, Kelce might become the go to option again.

4) Jordan Reed, Redskins


Jordan Reed is injury prone but when healthy, he’s explosive in the passing game. His speed is deceiving, and his hands are incredible. Reed always finds a way to get open with his exceptional route running. He has to stay on the field in order for the Washington Redskins to continue to have success.

3) Tyler Eifert, Bengals


This prototype came into his own last season, scoring a league high 13 touchdowns at his position. Tyler Eifert has been everything the Cincinnati Bengals hoped for when they drafted him in 2013. The only knock on him, like most players, is the inability to consistently stay on the field.

2) Greg Olsen, Panthers


Greg Olsen has been Cam Newton’s most consistent target and producer during his tenure in Carolina. Olsen has outstanding hands, exceptional route running capabilities, high football IQ and awareness. Olsen has performed in the clutch and doesn’t back down from the big stage. You almost can’t ask for better player on your team.

1) Rob Gronkowski, Patriots


At the end of the day, nobody is better than “Gronk” at the tight end position. At 6 foot 6 inches, 265 pounds, he’s too big for defensive backs to cover and too fast for linebackers. And what makes matters worse, he’s only 27 years old and Tom Brady is his quarterback (except the first four games of this upcoming season due to his suspension). He will continue to horrifying opposing defenses for many more years to come.


Week 11: What Did We Learn?

Another week in the books! We are getting closer to that final playoff push. Carolina and New England remained undefeated, Thomas Rawls is making the best of his limited opportunities in Seattle, and Matt Hasselbeck is undefeated this season as the Indianapolis Colts starter. What else did we learn?

Cam Netwon and Tom Brady

MVP Race
Almost 3 quarters of the NFL regular season is completed, and the MVP race is basically coming down to two players: Tom Brady (the favorite) and Cam Newton (the underdog). Tom Brady’s main argument is his stats (3,320 passing yards, 25 TDs, 4 INTs, 28 rushing yards, 2 TDs) and their team’s record (10-0). Another claim is that their team has looked dominant for majority of the year. Over the past few weeks, New England has started to lose their weapons; first Dion Lewis, then Julian Edelman, and now Danny Amendola. If they were to finish the regular season undefeated, that will show how impressive Tom Brady and this well-oiled machine really is. On the other side, you have Cam Newton. His stats (2,283 passing yards, 20 TDs, 9 INTs, 382 rushing yards, 6 TDs) doesn’t tell the whole story. His best receiver, Kelvin Benjamin, hasn’t played a single snap this year due to a torn ACL. Besides Greg Olsen, I’m not sure anybody else on that offense that plays a skilled position would start on another team. He has done the most that he can with working with arguably the worst supporting cast on offense in the league…not mention that they are undefeated as well. Even though Tom Brady is still the favorite now, this race can get really close, really soon.

Brock Osweiler

The Brock Osweiler Era?
Brock Osweiler made his first start for the injured Peyton Manning this past Sunday against Chicago on the road. He didn’t look bad by any means. Actually, it was kind of impressive. He completed 20 out of 27 passes for 250 passing yards, 2 TDs, and 0 INTs. Osweiler is listed at 6 foot 7, with a cannon of an arm. Denver has announced they he will make his second consecutive start next Sunday against New England. Manning hasn’t looked like the Peyton Manning that we are accustomed to, and he hasn’t made the best decisions either. This may be the end of number 18 in the Mile High City.

Jameis Winston

Jameis Winston Ahead Of The Curve
For being the number 1 overall pick and being thrown into the fire, Jameis Winston has responded well based on the circumstances. Winston had his best game of his young career Sunday against Philadelphia (completed 19 of 29 pass attempts, 246 passing yards, 5 TDs, and 0 INTs). Over the past 4 games, he has 9 total TDs, 2 INTs, and most importantly 3 wins. Obviously, he still has PLENTY of room for improvement but compared to Luck’s Newton’s, and Manning’s rookies season (I won’t dare put JaMarcus Russell in that category), he’s in the mix, if not better. Fantasy football wise, he’s looked incredible during that span and moving forward.

Johnny Manziel

Baltimore has now without their top 4 players, with injuries to Justin Forsett (fractured arm) and Joe Flacco (torn ACL) this past Sunday against St. Louis. The other 2 players are Terrell Suggs and Steve Smith Sr.

Johnny Manziel allegedly partying over the bye week via video. His status on being the starter is now uncertain. UPDATE: Josh McCown is named the starter and Johnny Manziel is 3rd string.

Green Bay is now tied with Minnesota on top of the NFC North with Green Bay owning the tie breaker.

Tony Romo on Thanksgiving

Bonus: Thanksgiving Outlook
For the longest, Dallas and Detroit always host a team on Thanksgiving. Over the past few years, the NFL has added a 3rd game during the evening. First game is Philadelphia at Detroit. Sam Bradford has cleared the concussion protocol, but it has not been determined if he will start or not. Detroit hasn’t played up to expectations, but they have looked better the past couple of weeks.  Second game is Carolina and Dallas. Dallas is actually favored to win this game (and I don’t understand why). Having Tony Romo back under center has given “America’s Team” hope to make a final push for a playoff spot. Cam Newton and the Panthers are looking to continue their perfect season. If Dallas can’t run the ball, things can get rough in Dallas. Third game is Chicago at Green Bay. The NFL’s Oldest Rivalry will face off again Thanksgiving night. Jay Cutler hasn’t won a game at Lambeau Field in Chicago, and he may have to give it try without Alshon Jeffrey (hamstring). Green Bay is looking to get on a roll again after losing 3 straight prior to winning this past Sunday.


What Did We Learn? NFL Week 2

Tom Brady

Another exciting week of the NFL has wrapped up. My several fantasy teams done fairly well this week (I’m either 2-0 or 1-1). I also made a profit on FanDuel for the second straight week. Besides all of that, they were some exciting moments like the Julio Jones catch, the Cam Newton touchdown flip, and the endings to the Raiders/Ravens and the Broncos/Chiefs games. But first, I have to give credit when credit is due:

Tom Brady On Another Level

New England took on a Buffalo Bills defense that stomped the elite offense of the Indianapolis Colts in week 1. Tom Brady simply didn’t care if they went against the 85′ Chicago Bears team. Brady passed for 466 yards and threw 3 touchdowns with 0 interceptions. New England was up 37 to 19 before Buffalo started to make a game out of. The Patriots defense actually looked incredible, forcing 3 turnovers. Brady has played like a man possessed this season (754 passing yards, 7 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 119.9 passer rating). I made prediction on Twitter that Buffalo would win that game because of their elite defense. Brady shredded my thought along with Buffalo’s secondary. I’m going to go a limb and say he’s still angry over that suspension thing.

Darrelle Revis

The Jets Defense Is Legit

The New York Jets has been known for their defense when current Bills head coach Rex Ryan was their coach for the past several years. The Jets defense was elite a few years ago but was not as good the last 2. Bringing back Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie has complemented their aggressive pass rushing ability perfectly. They forced 5 turnovers against an Indianapolis Colts team that is known for having a top rated offense. The efficient play of Ryan Fitzpatrick has given the team a wonderful balance.

Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel Making Plays

Johnny Manziel, previous known as “Johnny Football” has made the most out of his recent opportunities. Manziel still has A LOT of room for improvement as far as his mechanics, decision-making, and ball security, but when the plays were breaking down, he has made the opposing teams pay, and pay dearly. He’s connected on big time bombs to Travis Benjamin for a couple of touchdowns. He’s been able to extend plays and find his wide open targets. I’m not sure if Cleveland will continue to start him when Josh McCown is fully healthy, but these are good signs from a quarterback that had a few red flags on him.

Tony Romo

The NFC East Is Up For Grabs

In my NFL Preview Post (Note: that post was made way before all the injuries and Tom Brady suspension was reversed), I have hinted that this particular division will be a 3 team race between Philadelphia, Dallas, and New York (Giants). Well… that is certainly true and you can throw Washington into that equation. Tony Romo and Dez Bryant are out for an extended period of time for the Cowboys. The high-flying offense of the Eagles has been a total disaster. Spending all that money on DeMarco Murray and almost half of the quarterbacks around the league, if not more, has more rushing yards on the season. The Giants simply cannot find a way to win close games. The Redskins came in as the weakest link to the division has been noticed as the most stable team. I’m not sure how long that’s going to happen, but with all these question marks will make the division race exciting.

Cam Newton

Cam Newton Is Superman

Did you all see that flip into the endzone!?!? (CLICK ME to check it out) Besides the acrobatics, Cam Newton has found ways to win games despite his lack of resources. Newton easily has the least amount of offensive fire power on offense, with a depleted wide receiver core (Ted Ginn Jr is starting… let that sink in), an underrated running back who is as fragile as a box of wine glasses, and an offensive line that can barely stop a running nose. His team is tied on top of the NFC South and will host and maybe Drew Brees-less New Orleans Saints team.

Derek Carr (right)

How About Them Raiders!?

The Oakland Raiders won a game that in the past decade that 10 times out of 10 that they would probably lose. Derek Carr torched the Baltimore Ravens secondary for yards, including the game winning touchdown to Seth Roberts with under 30 seconds left. Carr, who initially wasn’t supposed to play, looked comfortable the whole game. Amari Cooper showed why he was the first wide receiver off the draft board in May. Michael Crabtree looked like a reliable number one target, something the Raiders haven’t had in several years. Latavius Murray was relentless the whole game. Most importantly, Khalil Mack was constantly pressuring Joe Flacco the whole game. If this core can stay healthy, they can turn some heads.