Australian Formula 1 prodigy Oscar Piastri will start the Las Vegas Grand Prix 19th after having a terrible qualifying run on Saturday night (AEDT).
The McLaren young gun was second on the timesheets in practice three but flopped in qualifying one, failing to advance after only managing a fastest lap of 1:35.068.
The overwhelming consensus is Ferrari was robbed of a front-row lock-out after Charles Leclerc took pole and Carlos Sainz clocked the second-quickest lap. Despite doing that, Sainz will start 12th on Sunday night (AEDT) due to the 10-place grid penalty he automatically triggered after being cruelled by a loose drain cover on the opening night.
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Three-time world champion Max Verstappen will start second in his Red Bull, while Mercedes’ George Russell snagged third on the grid.
It was a sorrowful night for both Australians as Daniel Ricciardo only managed to qualify 15th in his newly adopted AlphaTauri.
Piastri was clearly frustrated as he spoke with Formula 1 TV after his qualifying run.
“Earlier tonight the pace in P3 [practice three] was good. The tyres were in a good place. The pace at the start of qualifying was good,” Piastri said.
“I don’t know if we were one of the only ones to not use two sets of tyres. If we were I think that probably explains it a lot, because [over] the first few laps we were in the top five more or less. So I don’t think it was really an issue with pace; just [the] run plan maybe wasn’t what it should have been.”
The 22-year-old laughed about avoiding the Las Vegas nightlife while preparing to start a long way back on the grid.
“Well, I’m not going to go to the casino and hopefully all the luck comes out tomorrow,” Piastri said with a grin.
“There’s a lot of long straights, tight corners. The tyres are very difficult to get in the window, so maybe that’ll catch some people out.
Travel is part of life for footballers, and commercial opportunities have taken plenty of teams to the land down under in recent years, even if they are playing in exhibition competitions rather than the Australian league.
It is always interesting to have a peek at the kind of things the players do off the pitch, and the culture (plus the weather) in Australia is certainly different from that in Europe, where most pros still play. Encounters with kangaroos, jungle antics, and casino gambling are all part of the hobbies and activities that players have explored when they are in Australia.
Cristiano Ronaldo – Casino Gambling
Cristiano Ronaldo is not just one of the best footballers ever, he’s a global superstar and a household name. A lot of casino brands as well as other businesses have taken advantage of his mass following, signing Cristiano up as an ambassador. Multiple casino brands have done exactly this as the Portuguese star has a reputation for gambling at the tables.
This includes when the former-Madrid star is in Australia, as Ronaldo plays poker plus other casino games, and has been seen playing at the Crown Casino in Melbourne during his downtime during a tour, back when he was a Real Madrid player. He was in Australia for the International Champions Cup which was a pre-season tournament hosted by Australia and China. There were some big teams involved and Madrid played AC Milan, Roma, and Manchester City.
As well as being spotted at in-person casinos in Australia, many football superstars play online at a live casino in Australia to enjoy the anonymity of playing online but also be able to play their favorite games. They’re not going to get bombarded with paparazzi by logging into an online poker game or connecting to a live dealer on a casino site.
Australia allows casino gambling and there aren’t the same sort of strict restrictions we sometimes see in other countries, so some of the players who have been to Australia on pre-season tours take advantage of the fact that online gambling and pokies are widely available.
Harry Kane and James Maddison – Golf
Australia is the home of Spurs head coach Ange Postecoglu, and he took his Tottenham team back to Australia on a pre-season tour before leading them into his first Premier League season.
Star players Harry Kane (before his move to Munich) and James Maddison decided to take part in a round of golf, and when their friendly competition took a turn for the weird, they decided to share it on Instagram.
The bizarre occurrence they won’t have been expecting? A kangaroo boxing match right in the middle of their game, which the soccer stars definitely found comical judging by their reactions.
We know that golf is popular among footballers anyway and Australia has some superb (if roasting hot) golf courses that people can enjoy when they get some downtime, there have been many footballers heading to the links when not playing matches.
Heading to the Jungle
“I’m a Celebrity: Get Me Out of Here!”
This is a massive hit show and plenty of footballers (plus people related to the football industry) have been in the jungle to undertake the crazy bushtucker trials and the tribulations of weeks in the jungle eating rice and beans.
Among the players who have been in I’m a Celebrity’s reality show are Ian Wright, David Ginola, and Kieron Dyer, and they’ve definitely had some mixed experiences, with some of the players not really enjoying the experience. Ian Wright said about his time in the jungle:
“They let me down by not showing the whole picture of who I am. I’m never far away from feeling like I could cry. I have very deep feelings that I’ve had to learn to deal with, but I still have my moments.”
David Ginola was one of the fan favourites, and in a recent series, it was Lionesses footballer Jill Scott who gained the nation’s love, as she was named Queen of the Jungle in spite of being less famous than many of her competitors. Scott had only recently retired after winning the Euros with England Women, and since going on the show she has carved a career in punditry both for the men’s and women’s games, this was an incredibly smart career move for her as she showed her charisma and gained the love of the nation.
Footballers will be footballers, and you might not see many of them in Aussie cultural hotspots, snorkelling, or visiting the Opera House, but there are certain hobbies footballers seem to be drawn to including casino gaming and golf. Footballing A-listers like Ronaldo and Harry Kane draw a lot of attention wherever they go and Australia is no different, so there are always stories about the casinos they’ve visited or the games they’re playing off the pitch.
After avoiding DFB-Pokal humiliation in the week, Bayern Munich’s attention now switches to a huge Bundesliga game as they travel to RB Leipzig on Saturday evening.
A rotated Bayern outfit didn’t have to break a sweat at Preussen Munster on Tuesday night in their 4-0 victory which saw them progress into the second round of the Pokal. Their comfortable triumph ensured they remained unbeaten in all competitions to start the 2023/24 season.
However, a big test is on the horizon in the form of Marco Rose’s Leipzig, who thumped Bayern in the Supercup just before the season got underway. Leipzig have also enjoyed a stellar start to the season and sit a point adrift of Bayern at the top of the Bundesliga table.
Here’s how Thomas Tuchel could set his Bayern side up for their trip to the Red Bull Arena.
Bayern were in a rampant mood at the weekend / Marcel Engelbrecht – firo sportphoto/GettyImages
GK: Sven Ulreich – After Daniel Peretz was handed his first Bayern start in the week, Ulreich will return to the Bundesliga XI on Saturday while Manuel Neuer remains sidelined.
RB: Konrad Laimer – Tuchel has so far deployed the dependable Austrian at right-back and in the midfield pivot. Laimer’s stability at full-back has been impressive at the start of 2023/24.
CB: Dayot Upamecano – The Frenchman is an injury doubt for Saturday’s clash, but Tuchel is hopeful the Frenchman will be available.
CB: Kim Min-jae – Like Upamecano, Kim could miss the trip to Leipzig, but the South Korean simply has to play even if he isn’t 100% fit. Bayern’s alternatives cease to exist with Matthijs de Ligt picking up a knee injury.
LB: Alphonso Davies – Frans Kratzig might be one to watch moving forward, but Davies remains the undisputed first-choice left-back.
CM: Joshua Kimmich – Kimmich earned a rest in the week and there’s no doubt he’ll come back into the team on Saturday. He’ll have to have his wits about him against an explosive Leipzig side.
CM: Leon Goretzka – Player of the Match in Munster, Goretzka has enjoyed a fine start to the campaign and is re-emerging as a pivotal figure for Bayern.
RM: Leroy Sane – Sane has arguably been Bayern’s best performer at the start of the new season. If Bayern are to secure a big win on the road, the German international will play a huge role.
AM: Jamal Musiala – Thomas Muller’s groin injury should see Musiala start in the number 10 role. Tuchel admitted he has to carefully manage Musiala’s minutes given his recent fitness issues, but the German boss will deploy the superb playmaker from the outset in Saxony.
LM: Kingsley Coman – Tuchel does have a few options down the left flank despite Serge Gnabry’s absence. However, he’ll likely fight fire with fire and utilise the dynamic Coman opposite Sane.
ST: Harry Kane – The Englishman looks to have found his Son Heung-min in Bavaria in the form of Sane, with Kane bagging his maiden Bayern hat-trick against Bochum last weekend. The striker’s a shoo-in after earning a rest in midweek.
The Week 3 NFL schedule for the 2023 season is stacked with great matchups, and we’ve got you covered with what you need to know heading into the weekend. Our NFL Nation reporters bring us the biggest keys to every game and a bold prediction for each matchup.
Additionally, ESPN Stats & Information provides a big stat to know and a betting nugget for each contest, and our Football Power Index (FPI) goes inside the numbers with a game projection. Analytics writer Seth Walder picks out each matchup’s biggest X factor, and fantasy analyst Eric Moody hands out helpful fantasy football intel. Finally, Walder and Moody give us final score picks for every game. Everything you want to know is here in one spot to help you get ready for a loaded weekend of NFL football.
Let’s get into the full Week 3 slate, including an AFC East Patriots-Jets showdown, Justin Herbert vs. Kirk Cousins and a pair of first-round rookie running backs facing off. It all culminates with a doubleheader on “Monday Night Football” — the Eagles visit the Buccaneers (7:15 p.m. ET) on ABC/ESPN+ and the Rams take on the Bengals (8:15 p.m. ET) on ESPN/ESPN2. (Game times are Sunday unless otherwise noted.)
Storyline to watch: Atlanta’s No. 8 overall pick, Bijan Robinson, and the Lions’ No. 12 overall pick, Jahmyr Gibbs, will be in action in the same game on Sunday. Gibbs wants to be the best running back out there but says he has been impressed by Robinson so far. Robinson and Gibbs were the first pair of running backs to go in the top 12 picks of the draft since 2017, when Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey were selected fourth and eighth, respectively. — Eric Woodyard
Bold prediction: With Detroit’s offensive line banged up — Taylor Decker (ankle) and Halapoulivaati Vaitai (left knee) are dealing with injuries — Falcons defensive end Calais Campbell will make personal history, picking up career sack No. 100 in the second quarter. It will be one of three sacks the Falcons have against Detroit, which would double their total for the season. — Michael Rothstein
Stat to know: Robinson has 180 rushing yards (the second most in the NFL) and leads all running backs in receptions (10) this season.
Matchup X factor: Falcons defensive tackle David Onyemata. He has come up huge so far this year with a 22% pass rush win rate at defensive tackle, the fourth best at the position. If he and Grady Jarrett are able to break through the Lions’ offensive line and disrupt quarterback Jared Goff, that would go a long way toward slowing down the explosive Detroit offense. — Walder
Injuries: Falcons | Lions
What to know for fantasy: Goff has one of the highest on-target rates through Week 2. He has produced a quarterback rating of 85 or higher in each of the past nine games and has averaged 19.4 fantasy points per game in that span. See Week 3 rankings. — Moody
Betting nugget: The Lions are 24-12 against the spread (ATS) under Dan Campbell, the second-best mark in the NFL in that span (since 2021). He is 3-3 outright and ATS as a favorite. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Lions 31, Falcons 27 Walder’s pick: Lions 30, Falcons 20 FPI prediction: DET, 55.1% (by an average of 1.9 points)
Matchup must-reads: Falcons’ Okudah ready for return to Detroit … Montgomery could miss ‘couple weeks’ … Ridder still striving for improvement after 2-0 start … Lions lose Gardner-Johnson to torn pec; he hopes to be back in 2023
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Mike Clay breaks down why Jahmyr Gibbs would be a solid RB1 for fantasy managers in Week 3.
1 p.m. ET | CBS | Spread: BUF -6.5 (43.5)
Storyline to watch: Sunday’s game will come down to who wins the battle outside the pocket: Bills quarterback Josh Allen or Washington’s defense? Washington has allowed 16 dropbacks to be extended outside the pocket — second most in the NFL — but ranks fourth in completion percentage on those plays (33.3%). Meanwhile, Allen has thrown three touchdowns while outside the pocket — tied for first in the NFL — and has thrown for the fifth-most yards (79). — John Keim
Bold prediction: The two teams will combine for at least 10 sacks. The Commanders are tied for the league lead in sacks with 10, but they have also given up 10 sacks (tied for second most). So, the Bills will have an opportunity to increase their sack total from three. — Alaina Getzenberg
Stat to know: The Bills have won eight of nine matchups against the Commanders since losing Super Bowl XXVI following the 1991 season. Seven of those eight wins have been by double digits (their only loss was on road in Week 15 of 2015).
Matchup X factor: Commanders cornerback Kendall Fuller. He’s off to a hot start with just a 9% target rate — best among all corners with at least 50 coverage snaps — and 0.2 yards per coverage snap allowed, per NFL Next Gen Stats. If the Commanders are going to beat the Bills, stopping the Buffalo pass game will be key. — Walder
Injuries: Bills | Commanders
What to know for fantasy: The Commanders have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers. Buffalo WR Stefon Diggs has 17 receptions for 242 yards and a touchdown in two games at Washington. See Week 3 rankings. — Moody
Betting nugget: Washington quarterback Sam Howell is 2-0 outright as an underdog in his career. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Bills 27, Commanders 21 Walder’s pick: Bills 33, Commanders 17 FPI prediction: BUF, 73.4% (by an average of 8.8 points)
Matchup must-reads: Bills’ balanced approach could be new blueprint … Commanders relishing starting 2-0 … Young’s splashy return a good sign for Washington’s defense
1 p.m. ET | Fox | Spread: GB -2 (42.5)
Storyline to watch: Jordan Love has settled into the QB1 job, but there’s one thing he hasn’t done yet: Start a game at Lambeau Field. In fact, most of his playing time over the past three seasons has come on the road. Of his 135 career passing attempts, only 11 have been at Lambeau Field. Saints quarterback Derek Carr has one career start at Lambeau in 2019 — he threw for 293 yards and two touchdown passes in a loss as a member of the Raiders. — Rob Demovsky
Bold prediction: The Saints will hold the Packers to less than 100 rushing yards. Green Bay is averaging just 88 rushing yards through two games, and running back Aaron Jones missed last week with a hamstring injury. The Packers could certainly test the Saints’ pass defense, which will be without starting safety Marcus Maye (suspended), but their run defense will be stout again, especially if Jones isn’t 100%. — Katherine Terrell
Stat to know: The Saints have held opponents to 20 or fewer points in a franchise-record 10 straight games. The only team with a longer streak over the past 25 seasons was the Patriots (11 straight in 2018-19).
Matchup X factor: Packers wide receiver Jayden Reed. The rookie has a whopping 38% target rate in two games, which puts him behind Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. — Walder
Injuries: Saints | Packers
What to know for fantasy: Love has scored 20 or more fantasy points in consecutive games and leads the league in passer rating (123.2). See Week 3 rankings. — Moody
Betting nugget: Green Bay is 13-4 ATS after a loss under Matt LaFleur. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Packers 28, Saints 21 Walder’s pick: Packers 19, Saints 16 FPI prediction: GB, 53.3% (by an average of 1.2 points)
Matchup must-reads: Williams (hamstring) expected to miss time … Love not ready to make up for Packers’ deficiencies — yet … Saints WR trio making a difference in crunch time
1 p.m. ET | CBS | Spread: MIA -6.5 (48.5)
Storyline to watch: The Dolphins seek their second straight 3-0 start under Mike McDaniel, and they’ve got a great matchup waiting in their home opener. Miami’s NFL-best passing offense (355 yards/game) faces the Broncos’ 21st-ranked pass defense (233 yards/game) — although Miami might be without wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, who entered concussion protocol this week. — Marcel Louis-Jacques
Bold prediction: The Broncos will need patience and some stops by their own defense, but they will have their first 100-yard rusher of the season. Miami’s defense, with former Broncos coach Vic Fangio calling the shots, makes it hard to find the big plays in the passing game. But the Broncos’ three backs — Javonte Williams, Samaje Perine and rookie Jaleel McLaughlin — and even QB Russell Wilson should find some room against a Miami defense that allowed 233 yards rushing to the Chargers in Week 1 and is allowing opposing runners to gain 4.9 yards per carry. — Jeff Legwold
Stat to know: Wilson’s 17 QBR vs. man coverage this season is the second worst in the NFL behind Steelers QB Kenny Pickett. The Dolphins have used man coverage at the third-highest rate in the NFL through the first two weeks of the 2023 season (62% of time).
Matchup X factor: Broncos cornerback Pat Surtain II. He’s off to a nice start this season with just 42 yards allowed over 60 coverage snaps (that 0.7 yards per coverage snap allowed ranks sixth best among corners with at least 50 coverage snaps, per NFL Next Gen Stats). Containing the Dolphins’ wide receivers is a mighty challenge, but Surtain is one corner who might be up for it. — Walder
Injuries: Broncos | Dolphins
What to know for fantasy: Wilson has averaged 280.7 passing yards and 18.5 fantasy points per game against the Dolphins in his career. In two games this season, Wilson has thrown for 485 passing yards, five passing touchdowns and rushed for 57 yards. See Week 3 rankings. — Moody
Betting nugget: The Dolphins are 14-5-1 ATS as home favorites since 2017. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Dolphins 35, Broncos 30 Walder’s pick: Dolphins 24, Broncos 20 FPI prediction: MIA, 70% (by an average of 7.4 points)
Matchup must-reads: Payton eyeing ways to fix clock management issues … Tagovailoa, Dolphins’ offense off to scorching start to 2023 season
1 p.m. ET | CBS | Spread: CLE -3.5 (39.5)
Storyline to watch: How will quarterback Deshaun Watson bounce-back following a miserable “Monday Night Football” performance in which he had a 55% completion percentage, was sacked six times and fumbled twice? The Titans’ defense is tied for the eighth-most sacks (7) through two games, which doesn’t bode well for Watson. The defense also won’t have to worry about All-Pro running back Nick Chubb, who is lost for the season with a knee injury. — Jake Trotter
Bold prediction: A late strip sack will lead to a Titans win. The Titans’ defensive line has consistently set its focus on getting to the quarterback and knocking the ball out. Given how Watson has three fumbles in two games, this week will be a prime opportunity for Titans defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons and the defense to generate a late turnover. — Turron Davenport
Stat to know: The Browns have not allowed any red zone touchdowns or field goals. They would be the first team since at least 1978 to not allow any red zone points through three games.
Matchup X factor: The Browns’ surprisingly strong run defense. After ranking 29th in EPA per designed run allowed last season, the defense ranks third in the category after two weeks in 2023. That’s important against a Titans team that is better on the ground than through the air. — Walder
Injuries: Titans | Browns
What to know for fantasy: Running back Kareem Hunt, who signed with the Browns following Chubb’s injury, trailed only Chubb in rushing attempts (442), rushing yards (1,874) and rushing touchdowns (16) during his previous four seasons with the Browns. See Week 3 rankings. — Moody
Betting nugget: The Titans are 7-2-1 ATS on the road since the start of last season (7-1-1 ATS last nine). Read more.
Moody’s pick: Titans 20, Browns 17 Walder’s pick: Browns 24, Titans 17 FPI prediction: CLE, 57.1% (by an average of 2.6 points)
Matchup must-reads: Tannehill reasserts himself at Titans’ QB1, leaves bad Week 1 behind … Browns lose Chubb for season after ‘significant’ knee injury … With Chubb out, Browns need Watson to play like $230 million
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1 p.m. ET | Fox | Spread: MIN -1 (54)
Storyline to watch: Both teams are 0-2 and on a weird run of losing close games, dating back to the 2022 season. The Chargers have lost the past four games they’ve played, all by three points or less, while the Vikings have lost three consecutive games by one score, after winning 11 consecutive such games. — Kevin Seifert
Bold prediction: Justin Herbert will throw for less than 200 yards. Herbert has thrown for fewer than 200 yards four times in his career, one of which came against the Vikings in 2021. The Vikings have one of the worst run defenses in the NFL, so the Chargers will rely on the ground game. — Kris Rhim
Stat to know: Keenan Allen needs 111 receiving yards to pass Lance Alworth (9,584) for second most in Chargers history.
Matchup X factor: Chargers cornerbacks Asante Samuel Jr., Michael Davis and J.C. Jackson. The trio allows 1.8, 2.7 and 3.0 yards per coverage snap, respectively — and the average for corners this year is 1.4, per NFL Next Gen Stats. They’re going against the Vikings, who have the highest designed pass rate in the league (80%). — Walder
Injuries: Chargers | Vikings
What to know for fantasy: While the Vikings traded for Cam Akers to energize their running game, with Kirk Cousins, Justin Jefferson, T.J. Hockenson and Jordan Addison they will continue to rely heavily on the passing game. This season, the Chargers’ defense has allowed the most yards on deep passes. See Week 3 rankings. — Moody
Betting nugget: The Vikings have covered five straight meetings dating back to 2007. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Vikings, 34, Chargers 31 Walder’s pick: Chargers 33, Vikings 28 FPI prediction: LAC, 53.2% (by an average of 1.2 points)
Matchup must-reads: Chargers not ‘turning our back on each other’ after 0-2 start, defensive woes … Jefferson, Cousins and Hunter start hot ahead of contract talks … No timetable for Ekeler’s return, coach says … Vikings still confident in Mattison after Akers deal
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1 p.m. ET | CBS | Spread: NE -2.5 (36.5)
Storyline to watch: It’s all about the streak (the Patriots have won 14 straight in this series) and two 2021 first-round quarterbacks: Mac Jones and Zach Wilson. Jones has regained his footing after a disappointing 2022, while Wilson, starting for the injured Aaron Rodgers, looks to conquer his New England demons (0-4 against the Patriots). — Rich Cimini
Bold prediction: A special teams play will decide the game. Consider that the Jets have converted on six straight fake punts since 2014 (their most recent coming last week versus Dallas), which is the second-longest streak over that span. And the NFL is still buzzing over Brenden Schooler’s blocked field goal last week, as the Patriots look to block a kick in back-to-back games for the first time since 2017. — Mike Reiss
Stat to know: Jones has thrown 96 passes this season, which leads all quarterbacks through two weeks and is the third most by any player in the team’s first two games in franchise history (Tom Brady: 100 in 2009, Drew Bledsoe: 98 in 1995).
Matchup X factor: Jets left tackle Duane Brown. His 63% pass block win rate ranks worst among all tackles. He simply has to protect better for his quarterback to have a chance. — Walder
Injuries: Patriots | Jets
What to know for fantasy: With an average of 4.8 yards per target, the Patriots’ wide receiver corps ranks 31st in the league. New England’s receivers now face a solid Jets cornerback unit. This has the makings of a low-scoring affair. See Week 3 rankings. — Moody
Betting nugget: Seven of Wilson’s past eight starts have gone under the total. He is 0-4 outright and ATS in his past four starts. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Patriots 14, Jets 13 Walder’s pick: Patriots 20, Jets 14 FPI prediction: NYJ, 54.7% (by an average of 1.7 points)
Matchup must-reads: Inside Patriots’ thrilling FG block that’s ‘going to change the game’ … Jets’ slow-starting offensive line vows better protection for Wilson
1 p.m. ET | Fox | Spread: JAX -9 (44.5)
Storyline to watch: The Texans’ offensive line is ravaged by injuries, which could make things rough for rookie QB C.J. Stroud. He hasn’t thrown an interception but has already been sacked 11 times in two games. The Jaguars’ defense has forced six turnovers and sacked opposing quarterbacks six times in two games. That would seem to be a recipe for the Jaguars to win back-to-back games in the series for the first time since 2017. — Michael DiRocco
Bold prediction: Expect the Texans to force at least two turnovers, with multiple sacks, and pull off the upset. Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence is 1-3 against the Texans and has thrown three touchdown passes and six interceptions. According to NFL Next Gen Stats, the Texans rank fifth in the league in pressure rate (44%). When Lawrence is pressured, he completes just 44% of his passes with a rating of 29. — DJ Bien-Aime
Stat to know: Stroud has 91 pass attempts without an interception. He is only 44 attempts shy of reaching the top five longest streaks to begin a career (Dak Prescott 176, Tom Brady 162, Kyle Allen 159, Tua Tagovailoa 153 and Carson Wentz/Desmond Ridder 134).
Matchup X factor: Texans running back Dameon Pierce. He has 69 rushing yards in two weeks of action and now is facing the Jaguars, who have the best EPA per designed run allowed in the league. Stroud could surely use a little more support from the ground game. — Walder
Injuries: Texans | Jaguars
What to know for fantasy: Stroud has amassed 626 passing yards in his first two career starts. See Week 3 rankings. — Moody
Betting nugget: The Jaguars are 0-7 ATS in their past seven games as home favorites (1-6 outright). Read more.
Moody’s pick: Jaguars 27, Texans 17 Walder’s pick: Texans 23, Jaguars 21 FPI prediction: JAX, 71.2% (by an average of 7.9 points)
Matchup must-reads: Loss overshadows Stroud’s historic day for Texans … Struggling offense should concern Jaguars … Texans lose CB Stingley Jr. to hamstring injury
1 p.m. ET | CBS | Spread: BAL -8 (45)
Storyline to watch: Lamar Jackson vs. Colts pass rush. Indianapolis ranks second in the AFC with eight sacks, including six last Sunday against the Texans. Last week, Jackson wasn’t sacked for the first time since September 2022 and faced a career-low 9.1% pressure rate, despite missing injured starting center Tyler Linderbaum and left tackle Ronnie Stanley. — Jamison Hensley
Bold prediction: The Colts will hold the Ravens to fewer than 75 rushing yards despite Baltimore’s average of 144 yards through two games. The Colts rank first in rushing defense, allowing just 2.6 yards per carry entering Week 3. That’s not to say Jackson can’t beat the Colts through the air. But an effective performance against the run will make Baltimore’s offense a bit more one-dimensional and easier to defend. — Stephen Holder
Stat to know: Rookie Zay Flowers has 13 receptions in his first two games, which is more than twice as much as any other Ravens player (all other Baltimore receivers have combined for 16).
Matchup X factor: Ravens wide receiver Nelson Agholor. After Odell Beckham Jr. didn’t finish the Ravens’ Week 2 game and was held out of practice on Wednesday, Agholor might take on a larger role. If so, he’s coming off a strong game in which he caught five passes for 63 yards and a touchdown. — Walder
Injuries: Colts | Ravens
What to know for fantasy: Jackson has the second-highest completion percentage (74.5%) among quarterbacks through two games. See Week 3 rankings. — Moody
Betting nugget: The Colts’ past five road games have gone over the total. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Ravens 33, Colts 17 Walder’s pick: Ravens 23, Colts 20 FPI prediction: BAL, 77.3% (by an average of 10.5 points)
Matchup must-reads: With Richardson in concussion protocol, QB’s style sparks debate … Jackson’s accuracy has taken the Ravens QB to another level
4:05 p.m. ET | CBS | Spread: SEA -6.5 (42)
Storyline to watch: Bryce Young missed the first two days of practice this week with an ankle injury, putting veteran Andy Dalton in line to start Sunday at Lumen Field. The 35-year-old Dalton isn’t anywhere near the dynamic threat that Young is, but he did game-manage the Saints to a victory over Seattle last October. — Brady Henderson
Bold prediction: Dalton will light up a Seattle defense that ranks 30th in passing yards allowed (325 per game) with 350 yards and three touchdown passes. That would be huge, considering Young (ankle) has combined for 299 yards passing and two touchdown passes in the first two games. Dalton shouldn’t have to worry about much pressure from the Seahawks, who rank 29th in sacks with two. — David Newton
Stat to know: Kenneth Walker III has four career games with multiple rushing touchdowns, tied for the most by a Seahawks player in his first two seasons in team history (David Sims, Curt Warner, Derrick Fenner).
Matchup X factor: Dalton. I suspect he’ll be an upgrade over Young in the rookie’s current state — Young has a 36 QBR in two games — and that might give Carolina a chance. — Walder
Injuries: Panthers | Seahawks
What to know for fantasy: The Panthers have allowed at least 130 rushing yards in each of their first two games. The Seahawks’ offensive line ranks seventh in run block win rate. In this matchup, Walker might exceed expectations. See Week 3 rankings. — Moody
Betting nugget: The Seahawks are 1-6 ATS as a favorite over the past two seasons, going 0-5 ATS in their past five games. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Seahawks 28, Panthers 17 Walder’s pick: Seahawks 24, Panthers 17 FPI prediction: SEA, 72.5% (by an average of 8.4 points)
Matchup must-reads: Panthers not expecting Young to play vs. Seahawks … Seahawks’ Woolen likely out Sunday
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4:25 p.m. ET | Fox | Spread: KC -13 (48)
Storyline to watch: First to seven points wins? It hasn’t been that bad for either team, but offensively the Chiefs and Bears have been disappointments though two weeks. These teams are tied for 22nd in the league in scoring with 37 points through two games. Each team, Kansas City in particular, has reason to believe improvement will come if it can stop sloppy offensive play. Still, the problems have been so widespread for the Chiefs and Bears that it’s not wise to expect an explosive, high-scoring game. — Adam Teicher
Bold prediction: Patrick Mahomes will toss five touchdown passes against Chicago, three of which go to tight end Travis Kelce. Matt Eberflus is back to calling the Bears’ defense after former defensive coordinator Alan Williams’ sudden resignation. Eberflus’ Colts teams held Mahomes to his lowest Total QBR (56.3) against any team he has faced multiple times, including the playoffs. But the Chiefs quarterback is primed for a breakout performance against a Bears defense that has allowed an average of 25.5 offensive points in the first two games. — Courtney Cronin
Stat to know: Since the start of last season, 54% of the Chiefs’ receiving yards have come after the catch, the highest rate in the league. The Bears rank 31st in opponent YAC per reception over the same span.
Matchup X factor: Bears backup left tackle Larry Borom, assuming he gets the call to replace the injured Braxton Jones. Jones’ 97% pass block win rate ranked third among tackles, so Borom has impressive shoes to fill. — Walder
Injuries: Bears | Chiefs
What to know for fantasy: Justin Fields has been sacked on 11.5% of his dropbacks since entering the league. Fields has taken 10 sacks so far this season despite having the fifth-highest average time to throw. Don’t overlook the Chiefs if you’re looking for a streamable defense. See Week 3 rankings. — Moody
Betting nugget: Fields is 8-18-1 ATS in his career, including 0-3 ATS when getting double digits. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Chiefs 33, Bears 13 Walder’s pick: Chiefs 38, Bears 16 FPI prediction: KC, 81.9% (by an average of 12.8 points)
Matchup must-reads: GM says Bears don’t view Fields ‘as a finger pointer’ … Will Mahomes ever be paid what he’s worth? … Reid says Chiefs ‘can fix’ Taylor’s penalty woes
Greeny: The Bears are “ruining” Justin Fields
Mike Greenberg goes off on the Chicago Bears, saying the organization is incompetent and is “ruining” Justin Fields.
4:25 p.m. ET | Fox | Spread: DAL -12 (43)
Storyline to watch: The Cardinals have been able to get to opposing quarterbacks with relative ease through two games, ranking tied for third with nine sacks. Sunday will be a battle of a top-tier pass rush against a top-tier offensive line, as the Cowboys have allowed just one sack of quarterback Dak Prescott. — Josh Weinfuss
Bold prediction: The Cardinals will have more possessions with fewer than 20 yards against the Cowboys than the nine they have had in their first two games of the season. The Cowboys’ defense has had eight drives in each of their wins, against the New York Giants and New York Jets, in which they allowed fewer than 20 yards. In 111 snaps, opposing offenses have combined for 17 negative-yardage plays. At 15.3%, that ranks second in the NFL. — Todd Archer
Stat to know: Prescott will play his 100th career game against the Cardinals. He’s the only player in NFL history with at least 150 touchdown passes and 25 rushing touchdowns in his first 100 games.
Matchup X factor: Cowboys defensive tackle Osa Odighizuwa. Here’s another chance for Odighizuwa to shine: He’s currently leading the league in pass rush win rate as a defensive tackle (25%). — Walder
Injuries: Cowboys | Cardinals
What to know for fantasy: Dallas has allowed the third-fewest fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, the fewest to running backs and the fewest to wide receivers. If you have players facing the Cowboys’ defense on your fantasy teams, temper your expectations. See Week 3 rankings. — Moody
Betting nugget: The Cardinals are the sixth team in the past 30 seasons to start 2-0 ATS and 0-2 outright. Those teams are 1-4 outright and ATS in their third game (Falcons won and covered last season). Read more.
Moody’s pick: Cowboys 35, Cardinals 10 Walder’s pick: Cowboys 33, Cardinals 3 FPI prediction: DAL, 88.1% (by an average of 16.5 points)
Matchup must-reads: How Prescott got in sync with Cowboys’ receivers … Watkins to undergo biceps surgery … Cowboys CB Diggs suffers torn ACL … Cardinals’ offense progresses but needs to finish
Swagu: Cowboys are still contenders without Trevon Diggs
Marcus Spears says the Dallas Cowboys are still Super Bowl contenders despite Trevon Diggs tearing his ACL.
8:20 p.m. ET | NBC | Spread: LV -2.5 (43)
Storyline to watch: Beat the Raiders in the teams’ first meeting in Las Vegas and Kenny Pickett will be the first Steelers quarterback to win a game in the Raiders’ home stadium since … Neil O’Donnell back on Dec. 10, 1995 — 2½ years before Pickett was born. The Raiders have won four straight home games against the Steelers (2006, 2012, 2013, 2018) with four different QBs (Andrew Walter, Carson Palmer, Terrelle Pryor and Derek Carr) by the average score of 25-21, beating two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in each of those contests. Those games, though, were all in Oakland. — Paul Gutierrez
Bold prediction: Josh Jacobs gets his first 100-yard rushing game of the season. Jacobs averaged nearly 100 yards a game last season, so this prediction doesn’t seem that bold. However, in the Week 2 loss to the Buffalo Bills, Jacobs had minus-2 rushing yards on nine attempts after just 48 yards a week earlier. Jacobs gets back on track this week against the Steelers, who have allowed the most rush yards over expected (plus-144) of any defense through Week 2 since 2018, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. — Brooke Pryor
Stat to know: Davante Adams has 116 straight games with a reception, the fifth-longest active streak in the league, trailing DeAndre Hopkins (147), Travis Kelce (144), Stefon Diggs (121) and Zach Ertz (118).
Matchup X factor: Pickett. The Steelers quarterback was bailed out by the defense in Week 2, but he has to be better for Pittsburgh to succeed going forward. Pickett has an 18.8 QBR, which ranks last of all qualifying quarterbacks. — Walder
Injuries: Steelers | Raiders
What to know for fantasy: This season, the Raiders have allowed the third-most fantasy points per game to running backs. In order for Pittsburgh running backs to capitalize on this trend, its offensive line must perform better. See Week 3 rankings. — Moody
Betting nugget: Mike Tomlin is 2-6 ATS in his career against the Raiders. He is 3-5 outright, all as a favorite. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Steelers 24, Raiders 21 Walder’s pick: Raiders 27, Steelers 16 FPI prediction: LV, 50.8% (by an average of 0.4 points)
Matchup must-reads: Fitzpatrick on Chubb hit: ‘I’m not a dirty player’ … Adams criticizes ‘out of control’ safety Rapp … Can Pickens help save the Steelers’ offense? … Two games, one target: Renfrow trying to make sense of Raiders role
Storyline to watch: Almost no one saw the Bucs starting the season off 2-0, but their matchup with the defending NFC champions will be the only battle of unbeatens in Week 3. With the league’s top two run-stopping units, plus defenses that have a combined 12.0 sacks and 11 takeaways, you get the feeling this one will come down to who can protect their quarterback better. — Jenna Laine
Bold prediction: Mike Evans will find the end zone twice. He is coming off a monster six-catch, 171-yard performance against the Bears, and now faces a banged-up Eagles secondary that just lost slot corner Avonte Maddox for the year with a torn pec. Mario Goodrich got his first action as a pro in his place. It’s a safe bet the Bucs will line Evans up inside to try to take advantage of Maddox’s absence. — Tim McManus
Stat to know: DeVonta Smith and A.J. Brown represent 79% of the Eagles’ receiving yards, 59% of the targets and 55% of the receptions this season (highest percentage of a team’s receiving yards by a duo this season).
Matchup X factor: Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield. He has faced the lowest rate of light boxes (harder to throw against) in the league, and I suspect that will change this week if Tampa Bay falls behind. — Walder
Injuries: Eagles | Buccaneers
What to know for fantasy: Evans and Chris Godwin are a talented and versatile wide receiver duo, and Tampa Bay should rely heavily on them. The Eagles currently rank 31st in the league in pass defense, allowing 326 yards per game. See Week 3 rankings. — Moody
Betting nugget: Mayfield is 3-0 ATS in his past three starts and 5-2 ATS in his past seven starts. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Eagles 27, Buccaneers 17 Walder’s pick: Eagles 30, Buccaneers 10 FPI prediction: PHI, 69.6% (by an average of 7.2 points)
Matchup must-reads: Tests confirm Maddox tore his pectoral muscle … Bucs WR Mike Evans’ big day prompts online trend … Buccaneers’ Shaq Barrett dedicates pick-six to late daughter
Why fantasy managers should start A. J. Brown in Week 3
Liz Loza expects A. J. Brown to post strong fantasy numbers in Week 3.
Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET | ESPN | Spread: CIN -3 (44)
Storyline to watch: Will Joe Burrow be available on Sunday? The Cincinnati QB is day-to-day as he continues to recover from a strained right calf that he reinjured in Week 2. Whether it’s Burrow or backup QB Jake Browning, the Bengals’ offense that ranks last in total yards per game (212.0) will face a Rams defense that ranks sixth in the NFL in total yards allowed per game (272.5) this season. — Ben Baby
Bold prediction: Regardless of who is at quarterback for the Bengals, Aaron Donald will take advantage of Cincinnati’s interior offensive line with two sacks Monday night. Although it’s a new combination of guard-center-guard for the Bengals, the group has struggled to protect the quarterback, ranking 31st in pass block win rate among interior offensive lines since the start of the 2022 season. Donald leads all interior defenders (with 100 interior pass-rush plays with win or loss) in pass rush win rate over that same span. — Sarah Barshop
Stat to know: Matthew Stafford’s 93 pass attempts this season rank second in the NFL behind Mac Jones (96). Stafford would need to throw 41 times to tie his career high for most pass attempts through his team’s first three games of a season (135 in 2018 with the Lions).
Matchup X factor: Bengals cornerbacks Cam Taylor-Britt and Chidobe Awuzie. Can anyone stop rookie star receiver Puka Nacua? Taylor-Britt and Awuzie will be the latest to try. — Walder
Injuries: Rams | Bengals
What to know for fantasy: With Akers gone, RB Kyren Williams could easily be a must-start. In last week’s game against the 49ers, Williams played 96% of the offensive snaps and had 20 touches. The Bengals rank 31st in rushing yards allowed so far this season, which should give Williams room to work. See Week 3 rankings. — Moody
Betting nugget: The Bengals are 9-3 ATS in their past 12 games as a favorite. Read more.
Moody’s pick: Bengals 26, Rams 23 Walder’s pick: Rams 26, Bengals 20 FPI prediction: CIN, 65.3% (by an average of 5.5 points)
Matchup must-reads: Meet Rams sensation Nacua … Burrow ‘day-to-day’ after tweaking calf injury in loss to Ravens
Dinamo Zagreb and Astana will go one-on-one at Stadion Maksimir on Thursday in matchday one of the Europa Conference League Group C, with kick-off slated for 19:00 GMT.
Dinamo Zagreb warmed up for the visit of Astana with a commanding 3-0 win against Slaven Belupo in the HNL. The win took Dinamo Zagreb’s unbeaten run to five matches. The win also took their winning run to three consecutive matches in the HNL.
Dinamo Zagreb have started strongly to the HNL campaign; they have collected 13 points out of the available 18. They are currently 3rd on the HNL table, two points behind leaders Hajduk Split.
Dinamo Zagreb will focus on retaining their form and performance levels ahead of hosting Astana on Thursday.
Astana warmed up for the trip to Dinamo Zagreb with an important 2-1 home win over Tobol. The win ended Astana’s four-match winless run, including two draws and two defeats.
With the win, Astana are on 43 points, six behind the leaders of the Kazakhstan Premier League, Ordabasy. They will look to retain their form ahead of playing Dinamo Zagreb on Thursday.
Neither side has reported fresh injury issues ahead of the Thursday clash.
Dinamo Zagreb will win the home match and get off to a winning start to their Europa Conference League campaign.
Make sure to bet on Dinamo Zagreb vs FC Astana with 22Bet!
Shubman Gill hit his fifth One-Day Internationals century during India’s Asia Cup match against Bangladesh at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
The 24-year-old struck six fours and four sixes on his way to the hundred, reaching the three-figure score in 117 deliveries. Gill, in the process, crossed 1000 runs in the format in the calender year 2023.
Opening the batting for India, Gill guided India’s chase and held one end even as wickets tumbled at the other. India still needed 78 runs to win off the last 10 overs with Gill and Axar Patel at the crease for India.
Winning the Big 12 will be no small feat, as the conference features defending conference champ Kansas State and national finalist TCU. Texas and Oklahoma enter their final seasons in the conference led by two Heisman Trophy contenders, QBs Quinn Ewers (+1000) of the Longhorns and Dillon Gabriel (+3000).
As Texas and Oklahoma bid their long farewells, the conference adds a quartet of teams this season in Houston, Cincinnati, UCF and BYU.
How will the conference look this fall, and what should bettors know before Week 1?
We have everything you need to know to bet on the Big 12 ahead of the 2023 season here.
Resources: Schedule | Futures | Standings | Rankings | Football Power Index
Texas to win the Big 12 (+100) Over 9.5 wins (-145) Texas to make the College Football Playoff (+300)
Write it down, take a picture. I’m all the way in on Steve Sarkisian’s Longhorns this season … but stopping just short of endorsing a national championship win. That elusive feat might be a few years away still.
I’ve got Texas favored in 11 of 12 games this season, with the lone dissent coming Sept. 9 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, against the Crimson Tide. This roster is absolutely stacked, with 15 starters returning from last year’s 8-5 team that suffered all five losses by a single score. Quarterback Quinn Ewers is back under center for a second season, finds himself listed second on the Heisman odds board at 10-1, and will be pushed by a stacked quarterback room that includes Maalik Murphy and highly prized recruit Arch Manning. It doesn’t hurt that Texas returns its entire starting offensive line from a year ago, not to mention receivers Xavier Worthy and Jordan Whittington.
For what it’s worth, my optimism isn’t rooted only in Texas’ upside. Take a look at the rest of the Big 12. Oklahoma will be better than last year’s 6-7 campaign, but the Sooners won’t be elite. TCU is headed for a step back after last year’s 13-2 run, Oklahoma State is on the decline, and defending conference champion Kansas State needs to replace half its starters from a season ago. When you scour the landscape, which programs truly have what it takes to make a serious run at the Longhorns?
What happens if this team shocks the world Sept. 9? I shudder to think. –Joe Fortenbaugh
Oklahoma State over 6.5 wins (-105) and Big 12 title (+2800)
I think the headlines have distracted people when it comes to Mike Gundy’s Cowboys. Lots of Pokes hit the transfer portal, and they’ll almost certainly need transfer quarterback Alan Bowman to both be a hit and stay in the lineup. But I like their depth more than I thought I would, and I think their defense could rebound. I see them as equal to Baylor and Texas Tech, only their win and title odds are much more bettor-friendly. –Bill Connelly
Notable game lines
Texas at Alabama (-7)
Saturday, Sept 9, 7 p.m. ET on ESPN, Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Oregon (-3) at Texas Tech
Saturday, Sept 9, 7 p.m. ET, Jones AT&T Stadium, Lubbock, Texas
Oklahoma vs Texas (-7)
Saturday, Oct. 7, Cotton Bowl, Dallas
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Even though neither player’s career is even close to being over, the Aaron Judge vs Bryce Harper debate has already begun.
Both are surely going to end up being among the best players of their generation and could one day be considered among the greatest outfielders of all time. But who has had the better career and who will go down as the better player?
Aaron Judge vs Bryce Harper
Naturally, the Harper vs Judge debate is a difficult one because both players have their strengths. Proving a stats comparison of Judge and Harper is a good start but isn’t nearly enough. That’s why we wanted to look at the numbers but also look beyond the numbers to compare Judge and Harper.
Needless to say, both Judge and Harper are among MLB’s elite players in large part because of their power. Both have an impressive amount of power, but Judge has a clear advantage in this area. His career slugging percentage is more than 50 points higher than Harper’s and is nearly at .600. Judge also earns huge points for his 62-homer season in 2002 not to mention the 52 home runs he hit during his first full season in the big leagues in 2017, leading the American League both years.
On the other hand, Harper has showcased consistent power throughout his career but has only surpassed 40 home runs once. In fact, the 2015 season is the only time Harper hit more than 35 home runs in a season. While Harper should easily surpass 300 career home runs and perhaps reach 400 or 500, his power has declined somewhat following Tommy John surgery whereas Judge has had no such problem.
Both Judge and Harper are better at hitting for an average than most people recognize. However, they are roughly even in this category.
Judge might have a slight edge because his career average is a little higher, but both are hovering around .280. In fairness, Harper has had three seasons in which he’s hit over .300 whereas Judge has just one.
However, Harper also has more years in the majors. Also, outside of his shortened rookie season, Judge has hit under .270 just once while Harper has had four seasons hitting below that mark, making Judge a slightly more consistent performer when it comes to hitting for average.
This is another category where it’s tough to differentiate Judge from Harper, as neither has ever won a Gold Glove. To Harper’s credit, he was a catcher in high school and college before transitioning to the outfield. During his career, he’s played all three outfield positions effectively. He’s surely athletic enough to cover plenty of ground while his strong arm has been an asset as well.
However, after needing Tommy John surgery following the 2022 season, it’s unclear if and when Harper will return to being a full-time outfielder and if his arm strength will continue to be a weapon.
On the other hand, Judge has surpassed modest expectations for his defense. Like Harper, he possesses a strong arm that plays well in right field. But Judge has also shown plenty of range for someone who is 6’7’’ and 280 pounds, making several highlight-reel catches. He’s also been able to play center field for the Yankees, starting over 100 games there, mostly out of need. Given the value that he’s provided to the Yankees in the outfield, Judge is close to equal footing with Harper defensively.
Outside of their hitting and defense, Judge and Harper both bring something to the table. While Harper has often been criticized for his brash style of cockiness, that’s not always a negative. If nothing else, he’s a high-energy and enthusiastic player who brings confidence, drive, and a strong work ethic. Those are all traits that can rub off on his teammates and make them better players.
Of course, Judge isn’t exactly a cancer in the clubhouse. In fact, he’s quite the opposite. Judge isn’t necessarily going to be vocal, but he will lead by example.
He has a quiet confidence about him and has always been well-liked by his teammates. After signing his nine-year, $360 million contract, Judge was named captain of the Yankees. He more than deserves such a title and is the perfect person to follow in the footsteps of Derek Jeter and other Yankee legends. In fact, his leadership and other intangibles no doubt made the Yankees comfortable signing him to that contract.
Like it or not, statistics and awards mean a lot in baseball, which is why MLB players with the most MVPs usually end up being considered among the best of all time. Coming out of the 2022 season, Harper might have a slight edge on his trophy case, as he owns two MVP awards, and two Silver Sluggers, and has been named an all-star seven times.
Judge, meanwhile, has just four all-star selections and one MVP. However, he has three Silver Sluggers and led the American League in RBIs in 2022, something Harper has failed to do in the National League. For what it’s worth, both players took home Rookie of the Year honors early in their careers.
With both Harper and Judge having plenty of years ahead of them, it’d be a little unfair to render a verdict right now. However, Judge might have a slight edge over Harper right now. Any edge that Harper has statistically is likely related to the fact that he was in the league three-plus years before Judge, yet is still younger.
But the fact that Judge is perhaps the greatest power hitter of the current generation and is still a well-rounded player gives him an advantage over just about anyone in the game outside of Mike Trout. Harper also has some lingering questions about what he’ll be like after Tommy John surgery. That’s enough to give Judge the edge in a head-to-head debate with Harper.
در هر چرخه استخدام، افراد بالقوه چهار ستاره رده بالایی وجود دارند که در نهایت به انتخاب های دور اول درفت NFL تبدیل می شوند.
به عبارت ساده، گاهی اوقات چهار ستاره وجود دارد که باید به پنج منتقل می شد.
در اینجا نگاهی به 10 نفر از آن نامزدها در کلاس 2024 به عنوان مدیر استخدام ملی Rivals آورده شده است. آدام گورنی لیست خود را در سه شنبه های این هفته با گورنی ارائه می دهد.
مراسم نوتردام در Elite 11 دیدنی نبود، اما این به این معنی نیست که او اصلا بد بود. او در هر تکرار و هر ایستگاه ثابت، محکم بود و نشان داد که هیچ چیز نمی تواند او را تکان دهد.
گاهی اوقات، کار من را به یاد جارد گاف میاندازد، در همان رویدادی که گاف هیچکس را بیرون نمیآورد، بلکه فقط پرتابهای محکم را بعد از پرتاب جامد با هم انجام میداد. و همه ما می دانیم که او در نهایت به عنوان شماره 1 انتخاب شد.
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نولاند یکی از بهترین و ثابتترین مدافعان این فصل بوده است و ایالت اوهایو استدلال فوقالعادهای برای رتبهبندی پنج ستاره ارائه کرده است. او چپ است و نخبه های زیادی در طول این سال ها وجود نداشته است، اما چشم انداز Fairburn (Ga.) Langston Hughes بسیار نرم، بسیار دقیق است و واقعاً خود را با این اعتماد به نفس ناچیز حمل می کند که باعث می شود فکر کنم او یکی از سه QB برتر در این کلاس است.
به علاوه، در ایالت اوهایو، او در هر بازی به سمت گیرندگان سوپراستار خواهد رفت.
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لاگوی با سایز عالی و بازوی بزرگ همراه با توانایی حرکت در جیب و افزایش قدمت با پای خود، قطعاً با کم نیوتن مقایسه میکند، اگرچه فکر نمیکنم او در همان سطح بازیساز باشد.
با این حال، تعهد فلوریدا یک چشم انداز بسیار ویژه است که می تواند در مربی پیشرفت کند بیلی ناپیراگر بتوان چند گیرنده برتر را در اطراف او قرار داد. لاگوی یک حرکت پرتاب بد بو دارد که ممکن است برخی از تصمیم گیرندگان NFL را نگران کند، اما او همچنین دارای ویژگی های نخبه است.
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بک های دور اول به دلیل مشکلات دوام و دلایل دیگر کمتر رایج می شوند، اما Frazier به عنوان یکی از بهترین ها در کلاس ظاهر می شود – و همچنین کسی که می تواند بهترین توپ را از زمین عقب بگیرد.
مرد برجسته سانتا آنا (کالیف. اما او همه آن توانایی ها را دارد و آماده یک فصل بزرگ بزرگسالان است زیرا جورجیا، آلاباما، اورگان و دیگران او را تعقیب می کنند.
در پیست، بایر موفق شد نیکول هاربر پنج ستاره سابق و رودریک پلیسنت، سریعترین مرد کالیفرنیا را در مسابقات شکست دهد. این به این معنی است که او دارای اعداد نخبه در NFL Combine است که در هنگام تعیین موقعیت پیش نویس بسیار مورد توجه قرار می گیرد.
در زمین، بایر فصل گذشته بیش از 1000 یارد دریافت داشت و در حالی که در برابر رقابت های آیداهو بود، همه می دانستند که توپ به سمت او می آید و هیچ کس نمی تواند او را متوقف کند.
تصمیم در عرض چند هفته در حال انجام است زیرا نبراسکا، میشیگان، TCU، اورگان و BYU پنج برتر او را تشکیل می دهند.
بازیکن خط حمله چهار ستاره کاتولیک تامپا (فلوریدا) دو چیز دارد که مدیران NFL دوست دارند: ورزش و قدرت. تابستان گذشته در چالش زیرکلاسی رقباپیر لوئیس همان تعداد تکرار را روی نیمکت پرس انجام داد که او را در بین شش بازیکن برتر خط حمله در ترکیب قرار می داد. او همچنین پیست می دود و به نظر خوب می رسد. بعلاوه، پیر لوئیس تطبیق پذیری موقعیت دارد و بدش نمی آید آن را با خط دفاعی ترکیب کند.
فلوریدا، UCF، اوکلاهما و دیگران درگیر هستند.
راشرهای لبه در NFL جایگاه برتری دارند و ممکن است در کلاس 2024 پایان دفاعی با طول بیشتری نسبت به راشینگ وجود نداشته باشد که در تابستان امسال به آریزونا متعهد شد و پس از تنها پنج ستاره WR Tetairoa McMillan، دومین مشتری بلندپایه ای است که تا به حال به Wildcats قول داده است.
عجله کردن لبه را به طرز باورنکردنی خوب خم می کند، او بلندترین بازوها را دارد و طی سه یا چهار سال آینده می تواند به عنوان یک عجله گذر نخبه در Pac-12 ظاهر شود.
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در چند ماه گذشته، تمام توجه ریدیک به استخدام او بود و به درستی این کار را انجام داد، زیرا در چند روز آینده، چهار ستاره بالا یا به تعهد خود در جورجیا پایبند خواهد بود یا به آلاباما یا آبرن خواهد رفت. این باعث میشود که چشمهای زیادی به سمت او جلب شود، اما ریدیک در زمین نیز نخبه است، زیرا گیرنده 6 فوتی میتواند پایین بیاید و افراد را در جعبه بکوبد یا در فضا بپوشاند.
شاید بیشتر از هر مدافع خطی در این کلاس، ریدیک دارای ترکیبی از طول و قدرت است که در بالاترین سطوح فوتبال دانشگاهی و NFL بسیار خاص است.
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بین رابینسون و چارلز لستر از ونیز، فلوریدا، برای کسب جایگاه برتر کرنر در کلاس 2024 نبرد رفت و برگشتی وجود داشته است، اما پس از چند اجرا در تابستان امسال – از جمله در OT7 Nationals – تعهد جورجیا برتری دارد.
گوشههای بزرگ و فیزیکی که میتوانند آنقدر روان حرکت کنند نادر هستند و گوشهها همیشه در دور اول درفت پیش میروند. هنوز هیچ بازیکن پنج ستاره در کلاس 2024 وجود ندارد، اما رابینسون بهترین شانس را خواهد داشت.
بوسی ممکن است بهترین بازیساز در کل کلاس باشد، زیرا فصل گذشته در پست کوارتربک، دونده و دفاع دفاعی عالی بود. تیمپسون، تگزاس، بیش از 2100 یارد و 26 تاچ داون پرتاب کرد، تقریباً 2600 یارد و 46 امتیاز پرتاب شد و در مجموع 115 تکل و 6 مهار در دفاع انجام داد.
تگزاس A&M پیشتاز تیم های Bussey و NFL است که عاشق تطبیق پذیری و تولید هستند. Bussey می تواند آن چیزها را ارائه دهد و Aggies به آن نوع جرقه در سراسر زمین نیاز دارند.
سلتیکس امسال از قله غلبه نکرد، اما صادقانه بگویم، من فکر میکنم همه ما از کمی استراحت از بسکتبال پلیآف استرسزا و استرسزا که در این فصل از بوستون دیدیم، لذت میبریم.
به عنوان بخشی از آن استراحت، بیایید یک فعالیت سرگرم کننده انجام دهیم. همه اینها از مکالمه ای که با پدرم داشتم در مورد اینکه بهترین تیم ممکن سلتیکس که می توانید حول جیسون تاتوم بسازید، داشتم، نشات گرفت. وقتی از بازیکنان عادی NBA خسته شدیم، فکر کردیم، “اگر ماشین زمان داشته باشیم و بتوانیم اسطوره های سلتیکس را به روزگار مدرن بیاوریم، چه؟”
خوب، وقت آن رسیده که به نتایج آن پیشنهاد هیجان انگیز برسیم. من چند گزینه در هر موقعیت دارم، پس بیایید وارد آن شویم.
انصافاً پوینت گارد سخت ترین موقعیت برای انتخاب بود زیرا هنوز فکر نمی کنم بهترین پی جی ممکن را در کنار تاتوم دیده باشیم. این کمی رمز و راز است، اما من مردی میخواستم که بتواند پاس بدهد، دفاع کند، از توپ خارج شود، اما مهمتر از همه، رهبری و هدایت را در خط دفاعی ارائه دهد.
دنیس جانسون یک انتخاب عالی برای این مکان است. رهبری دفاعی و استعداد او برای انجام بازی های بزرگ برای کمک به خروج این تیم در مرحله انتقال عالی است. به علاوه، او همه چیز را در مورد حرکت توپ و به اشتراک گذاشتن سنگ می داند. ما در این تیم چند تیرانداز بزرگ خواهیم داشت، بنابراین داشتن مردی که می داند چگونه با مهاجمان با آن کالیبر بازی کند مهم است.
در حال حاضر، آنها در سال 1986 تعداد زیادی از 3 ها را شلیک نمی کردند، بنابراین ما کمی در اینجا فرافکنی می کنیم، اما فکر می کنم دنیس جانسون امروزی تیرانداز 3 امتیازی بهتری خواهد بود. او همیشه یک تیرانداز خوب FT بود و فرصتهای باز زیادی داشت. دی جی سنگ این تیم خواهد بود. برای ذکر افتخار، راجون روندو و مارکوس اسمارت PG های مشابهی با دی جی هستند. روندو کمی بیشتر از آنچه من در این تیم با آن راحت باشم به توپ نیاز دارد و در حالی که من اسمارت را دوست دارم، ما قبلاً برخی از مشکلاتی را که برای او و تاتوم پیش میآید دیدهایم. DJ شبیه یک نسخه کمی بهبود یافته از مارکوس است.
فقط یک تیراندازی 3 امتیازی 44 درصدی به ری آلن را در کنار جیسون تیتوم تصور کنید. حرکت خارج از توپ، دزدیهای به موقع، شوتهای کلاچ بزرگ، ری آلن مردی عالی است که میتوان در کنار یک تاتوم با خلاقیت فزاینده قرار بگیرد. اکنون، در این مرحله، ری آلن 35 ساله است، بنابراین بار دقیقه او باید کمی حفظ شود. فکر می کنم داشتن یک گارد خوب روی نیمکت به عنوان بازیکن ششم یا هفتم کمک زیادی به این تیم خواهد کرد. اما، ری در همه چیزهایی که این تیم به آن نیاز دارد تا او را از آن دور نگه دارد، بسیار خوب است. او برای تاثیرگذاری نیازی به توپ در دستانش ندارد و در خط دفاعی به اندازه کافی تلاش می کند تا یک قدم از دست رفته را جبران کند. سلتیکس با این نسخه از ری آلن که 36 دقیقه بازی کرد به فینال رسید، اما این ممکن است تاثیر داک ریورز بر هر چیزی باشد. ریس نقطه شروع را بدست می آورد، امیدوارم او تیم را به بازی برای تیم تمام وقت هیت مار نبرد. احساس می کنید ممکن است نقطه SG خود را قفل کرده باشند، فقط یک حدس.
سام جونز نیز در کنار تیتوم بسیار مناسب است. او در این تیم سطل های دیوانه کننده ای پیدا می کرد و دائماً در مقابل سومین، شاید چهارمین مدافع برتر تیم دیگر قرار می گرفت. همین موضوع در مورد جیلن براون نیز صدق میکند، سخت است که او را با میزان پیروزی او و تیتوم در نظر نگیریم.
مهاجم کوچک: 2022-23 Jayson Tatum
اینجا نیازی به ذکر افتخار نیست! ما به نسخه فعلی کاندید MVP جیسون تیتوم می مانیم. یک بازیکن نخبه دو طرفه با دسته ای باورنکردنی برای پسری در اندازه او، او بال رویایی برای ساختن در هر تیمی است. FG% 3 امتیازی او قطعاً باید بالاتر رود، اما در تیمی مانند این، او ممکن است با مدافعان کمتری همراه شود که ممکن است تعداد او را حتی بیشتر کند.
همانطور که مهارت های بازی سازی او همچنان در حال تکامل است، او شوت سازان و تمام کننده های جالبی در سراسر زمین خواهد داشت تا بتواند از آنها استفاده کند. این تیم او را بهتر می کند و به او کمک می کند که زمین را حتی بهتر ببیند. به علاوه، از نظر دفاعی، او یک استاد در این تیم خواهد بود. او احتمالاً در این تیم نقش توپی بیشتری خواهد داشت، اما همانطور که قبلاً دیدیم، این اصلاً برای او مشکلی نیست. این تیم در حال انتقال فقط وحشتناک خواهد بود. تاتوم مرد ما است و من فقط می توانم تصور کنم که نسخه 23-24 او چگونه خواهد بود.
پاور فوروارد: لری برد 1984-1985 افتخار: کوین گارنت، آل هورفورد
من میتوانستم لری را در SF یا PF قرار دهم تا او را با تیتوم معاوضه کنم، اما پس از صحبت با برخی افراد آشنا، تصمیم گرفتیم این نسخه از لری برد را انتخاب کنیم. این نسخه از لری هنوز هم اعداد بسیار زیادی را ارائه میکرد، تقریباً 29 ppg با حدود 7 apg در پایان تهاجمی، اما تعداد بازگشتهای او در این فصل بسیار زیاد بود – ده بازی شامل تقریباً 3 تخته تهاجمی. او با تیتوم یک تهدید دو طرفه خواهد بود.
به پاس های خروجی فکر کنید و شروع کننده های استراحت پرنده به این تیم می دهد تا آنها را به زمین برساند. ناگهان، جیسون تیتوم در حال پرواز در زمین با دیجی در کنارش است که منتظر تخلیه است و ری آلن برای 3 دقیقه به گوشه میرود. بعلاوه، اگر تیتوم شروع به کار کند، برد یک سطل فوری در نیمه زمین به ما میدهد. برای کاهش سرعت
یکی دیگر از چیزهای سرگرم کننده ای که به ذهن می رسد، بازی دو نفره Bird and Tatum است. آنها صفحههای نمایش را برای یکدیگر تنظیم میکردند، هر دو طرف PnR را پخش میکردند و زمانی که غریزهشان لازم میدانست برای 3 تا بیرون میآمدند. چند نسخه از Bird وجود دارد که به خوبی در کنار Tatum قرار می گیرد، اما ناملموس ها آن را به پرنده 84 می دهند.
این یک تماس واقعا سخت است که در نظر می گیریم سلتیکس به راحتی بهترین لیست تاریخ PF را در بین هر تیمی دارد. من دو بازیکن برتر دفاعی را پشت پرنده میبرم. یک KG امروزی احتمالاً در یک کلیپ بسیار مناسب با 3 عکس میگیرد و حفاظت از رینگ او برای این تیم بسیار بزرگ است. همین امر در مورد آل هورفورد نیز صدق می کند، ما از قبل می دانیم که او و تیتوم با هم در هر دو انتهای زمین چه کاری می توانند انجام دهند.
این به راحتی بزرگترین بحث در هنگام ارائه این ترکیب اولیه بود. ما نیازی نداریم درباره دستاوردهای بیل راسل شاعرانه صحبت کنیم. این بیل راسل است… اما، چقدر خوب ما او را در یک تیم مدرن در کنار جیسون تیتوم قرار می دهیم؟ برای من، فکر میکنم او کمی با سرعت بازی مشکل دارد، اما چه کسی اهمیت میدهد، من بهترین ریباندر و مهار کننده شوت ممکن را در کنار جیسون تیتوم دریافت میکنم.
او مانند رابرت ویلیامز است اما بهترین نسخه ممکن از رابرت ویلیامز است. تنها مشکل واقعی او در این تیم این است که او یک تیرانداز FT بسیار وحشتناک است. فصل 60-59 بهترین فصل او با 61 درصد بود، بنابراین قطعاً می تواند در اواخر بازی ها مشکل ساز شود. ما در یک ثانیه به نفر ششم می رسیم، اما او در صورت نیاز، املای راسل را به خوبی انجام می دهد.
من دوباره KG را به عنوان یک افتخار افتخاری دارم زیرا نمی توانم از این ایده که گارنت اصلی در کنار تیتوم بازی می کند کنار بیایم. سگ بیش از حد در دادگاه حتی فکر می کنم که چه انفجاری بود. من همچنین بیل والتون را کنار گذاشتم. فکر میکنم پاسهای خلاقانه و گلزنی به موقع او در این ترکیب برای حفظ حرکت توپ بسیار مفید خواهد بود.
6th Man: 2017-18 Al Horford, 2016-2017 Isaiah Thomas
من معمولاً مردان بزرگ را به عنوان مرد ششم دوست ندارم، اما هورفورد یک گزینه بسیار عالی است. او می تواند راسل یا برد و هر زمان از بازی را برای ظاهر متفاوت بنویسد، اما می تواند در کنار هر دوی آنها در چندین ترکیب مختلف بازی کند. توانایی او در کشش زمین و پاس دادن در چنین تیمی عالی است و او از روی نیمکت در مقابل واحدهای دوم مرگبار خواهد بود.
صحبت از مرگبار در برابر واحدهای دوم، آیزایا توماس یک گارد پشتیبان عالی برای این تیم است. از نظر دفاعی، ما پوشش زیادی برای او در سراسر زمین داریم و در تهاجمی، او در تمام طول روز به ناهماهنگی ها و مدافعان بد حمله می کند. شوت های کلاچ، پاس های به موقع، آیزایا برگه آمار تیمی مانند این را روشن می کرد. اگر دیجی مشکل داشت یا میخواستیم ظاهری توهینآمیزتر داشته باشیم، IT آن مرد است.
مربی: برد استیونز
این یکی با تعصبات اخیر ظالمانه همراه است، اما اگر من تیمی را حول جیسون تاتوم بسازم، مربی ای را می خواهم که بداند چگونه از او بیشترین بهره را ببرم. استیونز این تیم را به یک کابوس دفاعی تبدیل میکند و با وجود تیتوم و نقطه کانونی تهاجمی در سمت دیگر، بازیهای ATO فقط ویرانگر خواهد بود. بدیهی است که گزینه های بسیار خوبی در مربیگری برای بوستون وجود دارد، اما برای تیمی با اسطوره ها، آنها به فردی نیاز دارند که بتواند هوش بسکتبالی آنها را مطابقت دهد و در اواخر بازی ها به عنوان یک چشم انداز اضافی عمل کند. استیونز برای چنین تیمی عالی خواهد بود و به تکمیل فهرست عالی کمک می کند.
برای جمع بندی: پوینت گارد: 1986-87 دنیس جانسون شوتینگ گارد: 2010-11 ری آلن مهاجم کوچک: 2022-23 Jayson Tatum پاور فوروارد: لری برد 1984-1985 مرکز: 1959-60 بیل راسل 6th Man: 2017-18 Al Horford, 2016-2017 Isaiah Thomas مربی: برد استیونز
این یک تیم قاتل است، قصد ندارم به خودم دست بزنم. چه کسی را نگه می دارید و چه کسی را جایگزین می کنید؟ در توییتر به من اطلاع دهید @sportstein.