Fennelly on Football NFL Week 4: Top Bets and Fantasy Picks

Here are my NFL Week 4 selections ……

Giants -3 over Washington

The Giants will host the 0-3 Redskins this Sunday at MetLife Stadium They are currently three point favorites and the o/u is up to 49. A win will bring the Giants t0 .500 for the first time since the end of the 2016 season.

Injuries

Giants – put WR Russell Shepard on IR with a foot injury and signed RB Jon Hilliman from the practice squad. Saquon Barkley (ankle) is out. Alec Ogletree (hamstring), Tae Davis (concussion) and Olsen Pierre (knee) are currently questionable. WR Bennie Fowler (hamstring) has been limited.

Redskins – TE Jordan Reed (concussion), C Chase Roullier (knee) and G Brandon Scherff (ankle) did not practice. WR Terry McLaurin (hamstring was limited. QB Case Keenum has a foot injury but has been practicing in full.

Some things to know…the Giants are 8th in the NFL passing and the Redskins are 9th but the Giants are 10th in rushing and Washington is 30th averaging just 48 yards per game. On defense, the Redskins are 26th in total defense and the Giants are 31st.

The talk in this game will be about the rookies. Washington has Dwayne Haskins on the bench – for now – Jay Gruden still wants to give Keenum a longer look. They also have Montez Sweat who got his first NFL sack last week and Terry McLaurin who leads all NFL rookies in catches, is second in yards and has three touchdowns.

You know the Giants’ rookies and their story. Here’s a quick side note on Danny Dimes from NFL NEXTGEN STATS:

“Jones brought a new dimension to the Giants’ QB position with his athleticism, scrambling for first downs and touchdowns, and opening up coach Pat Shurmur’s playbook to whip out a zone read keeper on his first TD. Jones reached a max speed over 19 mph on 3 of his 4 rushes, and now has 3 of the top 6 max speeds reached by a QB as a ball carrier this season. What made Jones’ performance even more incredible was the fact that he was under pressure on 51.2% of his dropbacks. Jones completed 12 of his 16 passes under pressure for 192 yards and a TD, the most yards under pressure in a game since Tom Brady had 239 yards vs. Houston in 2017.”

The game will be broadcast at 1pm eastern on FOX with Thom Brenneman and Chris Speilman calling the action with Shannon Spake working the sidelines.

Prediction – The Giants are going to score -with or without Barkley. Now people are going to see why taking a running back at No. 2 is an ill-advised move. The Giants offense will miss his explosiveness but will continue to function fine without him. Look around the league. Kansas City, New England, Seattle, San Francisco, Green Bay, Philadelphia – the Rams – did Dallas need to pay Zeke all that money? RB by committee is still the best way to go these days.

Giants will win 31-24 in this game. It could be by more but I have to see the defense improve before i have them giving up less that 3 TD in a game.

Baltimore 6.5 over Cleveland

Ravens held their own on the road against Kansas City last week. Baltimore is averaging 36.7 points and leads the NFL with an average of 216.7 rushing yards, with Mark Ingram (257 yards, five touchdowns) leading the way. Quarterback Lamar Jackson is up to 172 rushing yards but is also fifth in the NFL with a passer rating of 113.9 and owns seven TD passes and no INTs.

Cleveland is off to a slow start and is having trouble scoring points with an average of 16.3 over the first three contests and missed an opportunity to improve to 2-1 when it struggled in the red zone last week against the Los Angeles Rams. Baker Mayfield is completing 56.9 percent of his passes with three touchdowns and five interceptions and is 32nd in the league with a passer rating of 70.3.

Each team is a little banged up int he secondary and if they game does down to a shoot out, I have to go with Jackson. Also, I always lay the 6.5 at home…that half point…

Detroit +6.5 vs Kansas City

Mahomes is the first player in NFL history to pass for at least 350 yards and three touchdowns without an interception in three consecutive games, and Kansas City has scored at least 28 points in each contest. He leads the league in virtually every passing category, including a sterling 134.9 passer rating fueled by 10 touchdowns without an interception, and he’s surrounded with weapons.

But so is Matthew Stafford. He has a nice cadre of receivers in Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, Jr. and rookie TE T.J. Hockenson.

Keep this in mind…..from next gen stats “Mahomes leads the NFL in deep passing yards (436), deep TDs (6), and deep completions (11). The Lions hope to counter the Chiefs with a cohesive defensive back group, as their top five DBs have all played 85% or more of the Lions’ snaps and have combined to allow a 35.6 passer rating on deep attempts this season. The Lions’ first three opponents have avoided targeting Quandre Diggs altogether. Diggs, who aligns at deep safety 63% of the time, has been targeted on just 6 of his 122 coverage snaps (4.9%), the sixth-lowest rate among all defensive backs in the NFL. It will certainly take a collective team effort to slow down the Chiefs in Week 4.”

Fantasy Picks of the Week
Make sure to see if these players are healthy before game time

QB – Dak Prescott vs. NO, Philip Rivers vs MIA, Russell Wilson vs ARI, Daniel Jones vs WAS

RB – Austin Ekeler vs MIA, James Conner vs CIN, Joe Mixon vs PIT, Leonard Fournette vs DEN

WR – Keenan Allen vs MIA, Amari Cooper/Michael Gallup vs NO, Sterling Shepard/Darius Slayton vs WAS, Terry McLaurin/Paul Richardson vs NYG,

TE – Will Dissly vs ARI, Darren Waller vs IND, Austin Hooper vs TEN, Vernon Davis vs NYG …of course you can go with Evan Engram, Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews.

DEF – LA Rams

Mets Take Wisconsin HS OF Jarred Kelenic With 6th Overall Pick in Draft

Mets draft an all-around OF with the 6th pick in the 2018 MLB Amateur Draft.

The Giants Guys Episode 103

Dan Schneier of 247 Sports joins Giants Guys host John Fennelly for an insightful look at the New York Giants and their prospects for the 2018 season. Dan dicsusses the team’s new schemes and strategies on offense, defense and special teams as well as outlines who will play where and who will make an impact on the team this season.

The Giants Guys Podcast to Debut Later This Month

The Giants Guys, a new podcast dedicated to New York Giants Football, is se to make its debut later this month. The show, which hosted and produced by blogging pioneer and veteran sports journalist John Fennelly, will cover the past, present and future of the NFL’s flagship franchise through interviews, analysis and nostalgic vignettes. Screen Shot 2018-05-16 at 7.31.43 AM

The podcast will be unlike any other as it will contain a cadre of contributors from both mainstream and alternative media sources, fans, players – both current and former – coaches and celebrities.

The schedule is tentatively set for one large program per week augmented by frequent smaller segments providing updates and features.

Major contributors to the program will be Jerry Foley, senior editor of The Giant Insider, Craig Santucci, founder of NYGiantsRush.com, Dan Benton and Doug Rush of USA Today’s  GiantsWire, Dan Schneier of 247Sports (CBS Sports) and Andy Furman of Ultimate NYG are just a few voices that will be heard on the platform. The show will also be furnished with reports directly from the Giants’ facility from embedded beat reporter Chris Bisignano of the The Giant Insider.

Mr. Fennelly has been covering the New York Giants on the internet since 1997 for several outlets including SNY.tv, Bleacher Report, NY SportsDay and Elite Sports NY. He is currently a contributor to The Giants Insider and GiantsWire.

If you are interested in contributing to this collective effort, which promises to become one of the most entertaining and informative podcasts on the net, please contact us using the contact form at the top of the page.

The Mets Have Fallen Off a Cliff

The 2018 season started with such promise for the New York Mets. They won eleven of their first twelve games under new manager Mickey Callaway and all seemed right with the world.

But since that stretch, the Mets’ fortunes have taken a nosedive. They have gone 6-14 over the next 20 games and have looked even worse than that record doing it. They aren’t hitting and most times, they aren’t pitching, either. When they do hit, they don’t pitch. It’s been hard to watch.  Continue reading “The Mets Have Fallen Off a Cliff”