Nick Shook on Fantasy Football: Last-minute picks and some surprises

By Nick Shook
Beacon Journal copy editor
Read full post on Ohio.com

Week 1 is just about here, finally, which means it’s time to set your lineups. If you’ve yet to draft, you still have time, and I still have some advice for you, for both now and a few weeks later.

We’ll keep this opening section brief this week, because you won’t struggle too much with setting your lineups. Your drafts, projections, and countless hours of studying will help you with that. Continue reading

Joe Flacco helps Ravens top Steelers in Wild Card

By Nick Shook | NFL.com
Read full post on NFL.com

NFL teams spend all season battling for the right to go to the postseason. Once a berth is locked up, the prime objective through Week 17 is to secure the best possible seed. Why?

Because the highest seed gets home-field advantage in the playoffs, and there’s no better place to play postseason football than at home. Crowds are raucous, stakes are high and historical records are in the favor of those wearing the home uniforms.

Postseason football on the road is often the most difficult, a fact proven by Wild Card weekend. Visiting teams went 1-3, and only one game was a one-possession contest inside two minutes.

That matchup — Cowboys vs. Lions — and its controversial end will likely be debated for days, before the collective attention of fans and media alike turns to Packers/Cowboys. The clock is ticking on that one.

But despite the loss, Detroit still featured at least a couple commendable performances. We’ll get to those later.

In the meantime, since we’ve reached the postseason and Baltimore is in said postseason, that one E word is going creep into consciousness.

But I have one pressing question: Is this column elite?

Here are Wild Card weekend’s greatest on the road:

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Better version of Philip Rivers leads Chargers to road win

By Nick Shook | NFL.com
Read full post on NFL.com

Do you feel bloated?

Are you confused because you stopped eating Thanksgiving leftovers two days ago, you’ve traversed nearly five miles worth of department store aisles, spinning around and stiff-arming fellow shoppers like Earl Campbell, and yet the feeling won’t pass?

Well don’t fret, because that isn’t excess calories testing the limits of your waistband — it’s the fulfilling slate of redemption games upon which we just feasted.

That’s right, this week is all about that R word. Mark Sanchez carried the ball on Thanksgiving without fumbling or running into the rear end of his teammate. In fact, he scored! Two years after the butt fumble, Sanchez reversed his fortunes. We did it, America.

Our winner and one of two considered each filled the profile of a player who at the very least got his own 30-second debate segment centered around “What’s wrong with Player/Team X this season?” Some of these segments became so frequent, players addressed them in press conferences multiple times. But they won’t have to hear about it this week!

Here are Week 13’s Greatest on the Road — to redemption.

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Aaron Rodgers’ two-minute drill keys Packers’ late win

By Nick Shook | NFL.com
Read full post on NFL.com

Did the league send a memo to road teams this week?

After an abysmal performance by visiting squads in Week 5, the group collectively shoved it in the face of doubters (they’re out there somewhere), going 8-4-1 against home teams on Sunday. Big road victories included Dallas’ emphatic win at the home of the 12s in Seattle; New England’s prove-it triumph against division foe Buffalo; and Baltimore’s dominating performance against the lowly Buccaneers.

There were plenty of stars to choose from this week, but alas, we have a limit of three. Here are the very best visitors of Week 6.

Greatest on the Road …

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Before you take up arms and attempt to hunt me down, allow me to clarify: Joe Flacco had a fantastic game (21 of 29, 306 yards, five touchdowns), most of which he accomplished in the first half, but it’s the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There’s a reason they’re 1-5 and have been carved up by more than one quarterback (see: Thursday Night Football, Week 3).

Meanwhile, in Southern Florida, the Packers found themselves in quite the barn burner. Green Bay had a lead, then lost it, then regained it, then lost it again. But with the Packers trailing by four with 2:04 left to play and Cheeseheads across America wondering, possibly panicking — are we really about to lose to the Dolphins? — it was Rodgers to the rescue.

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