I have to say, I'm glad you opened today's newsletter, because I have some big news -- Well, it's big news for me, but maybe not for you -- legalized gambling is coming to Tennessee!
That's big news because I live here. For the past three years, I've been circumventing the state's gambling rules by betting Kohl's cash on everything and although that has been exhilarating, I'm ready to graduate to the real thing. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with this $11,000 in Kohl's cash that I still have, but Christmas is right around the corner, so I'm sure I can think of something. I might even buy a present for Cody since he's done such a great job of holding down the fort and getting this newsletter out every Wednesday.
It's nice that I can now gamble legally since half this newsletter is about gambling. By the way, if you like gambling or this newsletter or me or have ever shopped at Kohl's, be sure to tell everyone you know to subscribe to the newsletter. All you have to do is click here and send this link to every friend you have. To make sure that link gets seen by as many of your friends as possible, make sure to share it on Facebook along with the name of who you're going to vote for. People love when you share political stuff on Facebook.
Alright, let's get to the rundown.
1. Today's Show: Daily fantasy picks and advice for Week 8
If you're like me and you want to win some money that's not Kohl's cash, then a good way to do that is to play daily fantasy. On Thursday's episode of the podcast, Will Brinson was joined by fantasy football guru Frank Stampfl, and they went over all the best fantasy options for the 12 games that are being played on Sunday in Week 8.
During the podcast, Brinson and Stampfl offered their best value plays for the week, so let's take a quick look at those (These are guys you can purchase for $4,000 or less).
- Brinson: Patriots RB Rex Burkhead ($4,000). Trying to figure out which Patriots running back is going to get the bulk of the snaps in any given game is like trying to do a Rubik's Cube blindfolded: It's nearly impossible. However, Brinson thinks he's got things figured out this week and that's why he has Rex Burkhead as his best value play.
- Stampfl: Browns TE Harrison Bryant ($3,200). With Odell Beckham out for the season, Baker Mayfield is going to need someone to throw to and that someone could very well end up being Bryant. The tight end is coming off a career game against the Bengals where he caught four passes for 56 yards and TWO touchdowns. He also has a friendly matchup coming up this week against the Raiders.
If you want to make some money this weekend, make sure you listen by clicking here.
2. Getting you ready for Falcons-Panthers
Back in April, I promised myself that if there was an NFL season, I would not complain about a single game, so I'm not going to complain about the fact that we're getting two teams with a losing record for tonight's game. I'm simply not going to do it. I mean, I should, but I'm not.
I was actually excited about this game because I thought it was going to give us the return of Christian McCaffrey -- he's on my fantasy team and I cry every week he's out -- but unfortunately, he won't be on the field as his ankle injury will be keeping him out for at least one more week.
As always, Jared Dubin handled our preview for Thursday Night Football. As Dubin notes, although the Panthers won this game the first time around 23-16 back in Week 5, Julio Jones didn't play in that first meeting and he's going to be on the field tonight. That's important for the Falcons, because their offense has averaged 31.5 points per game this year when Jones is on the field (They've averaged 21 points in the two games he's missed).
As for the Panthers, Dubin won't be surprised if Teddy Bridgewater has a big game and that's because the Falcons defense is giving up a 113.8 passer rating to opposing quarterbacks.
Dubin's prediction: Panthers 30-24 over Falcons.
For Dubin's full preview of the game, be sure to click here.
3. NFL Trade deadline: One deal each team should look to make
With just five days to go until the NFL trade deadline, I'm fully expecting there to be total chaos over the next 120 hours and Cody Benjamin decided to get the chaos started by proposing 32 trades that need to go down before Tuesday's deadline.
I'm not sure if Cody is trying to get a general manager job in the NFL, but if he is, someone should hire him because these proposed trades are fantastic. Cody made 32 proposals so that there would be one for each team. Let's take a quick look at three of the proposals.
- Dolphins trade Ryan Fitzpatrick to Cowboys. Although the Cowboys are absolutely horrible, the fact of the matter is that they play in the NFC East, so winning the division is still possible. Benjamin thinks they should go after Fitzpatrick and you know what, I kind of like the idea. Dolphins get: 2022 fifth-round draft pick.
- Texans trade Will Fuller to Packers. If the Packers simply would have drafted a receiver this year, we wouldn't be speculating about a potential trade like this, but here we are. Green Bay could use some receiving help and since there's a chance the Texans could have a fire sale, they seem like a good trading partner. Texans get: 2021 third-round draft pick, 2022 conditional fifth-round pick
- Patriots trade Stephon Gilmore to Raiders. I don't think Bill Belichick is going to be willing to deal Gilmore unless the Patriots are out of contention, which could actually happen if they lose to the Bills on Sunday. At that point, there will be almost no chance for the Patriots to win the division and Belichick dumping assets in exchange for draft picks is something he would absolutely do. Patriots get: 2021 first-round pick, 2022 fourth-round pick.
For the rest of Cody's proposed trades, be sure to click here.
4. Week 8 NFL Best Bets from two guys who are on a roll
Jordan Dajani and Tom Fornelli don't know each other, but maybe they should starting hanging out, because they've both had a pretty decent year with their NFL picks. Dajani is currently 61-38-3 against the spread on the season, which means if you had been betting his picks every week, then you'd have enough money to buy your own Money Bin and swim in it like Scrooge McDuck.
With that in mind, let's check out one pick from each guy for Week 8.
- Dajani: Raiders (+2.5) upset Browns. "I'm not sold on the Browns, and I'm not going to praise them for mounting a comeback against the one-win Bengals. They have a -21 point differential this season, which is the third-worst point differential by a five-win team through seven games since 2000." Dajani's pick: Raiders 28-24 over Browns.
- Fornelli: Patriots (+3.5) upset Bills. "If there's a game for the Patriots offense to get right, it's against this Bills defense. The Buffalo defense ranks 26th in rush defense DVOA, and that's something we know Belichick will be happy to exploit on Sunday." Fornelli's pick: Patriots 23-17 over Bills.
5. Man loses out on $1 million due to Bears-Rams stat change
If you've ever lost $1 million in daily fantasy winnings due to a stat change in an NFL game, then you know how Rob Huntze feels right now. I once dropped $20 in Kohl's cash on the ground, so I kind of have an idea, but it's definitely not the same thing.
After the Bears-Rams concluded on Monday, Huntze appeared to be the sole winner of the $1 million Monday night prize on DraftKings. During the Rams 24-10 win, Huntze had both Chicago and Los Angeles' defenses on his team, which helped spur him to 92.79 points and the win. However, that $1 million went out the window after the stats crew decided to change a Bears sack of Jared Goff in the fourth quarter into a three-yard rushing loss, so instead of getting the points that come with a sack, Huntze got zero points for the play (The stat was changed because receivers were blocking down field and it appeared to be a designed run).
With 175,000 entries in the contest, the stat change was enough to drop Huntze into a tie for sixth-place. Although that was still good enough to win some money ($3,078), it wasn't good enough to win the million dollar grand prize. If this were me, I would sit in a closet for a week with a bag of Funyuns, but it sounds like this guy plans on returning to playing daily fantasy as soon as tonight.
6. Giants and Chargers dealing with COVID
Every week there seems to be at least one team dealing with a COVID situation and this week, there are actually two: The Giants and the Chargers.
In New York, the Giants have quarantined all but four of their offensive linemen after someone on the O-line tested positive (Presumably, this was Will Hernandez, who was placed on the reserve/COVID list Thursday). According to NFL.com, the Giants also had to send home two coaches -- outside linebackers coach Bret Bielema and defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson -- because they were in close contact with someone who has COVID. The big question is now is whether this will lead to a postponement of Monday's game against the Buccaneers.
If you get sent home, you have to go five full days without testing positive before you're allowed to play, which means there's no guarantee this game is going to get played on time. Coincidentally, this is the second week in a row an opponent of the Buccaneers has had to practice without their offensive line due to COVID. Last week, the Raiders' five starters didn't get to practice in the lead up to their game against Tampa after Trent Brown tested positive for COVID. The five linemen did play on Sunday, but the Raiders got destroyed, 45-20.
As for the Chargers, their situation doesn't seem to be as serious as New York's. They had one player test positive, but the team's facility is staying open, so the team doesn't seem too concerned about a potential outbreak. The Chargers play at Denver on Sunday.
Someone at the NFL must have finally read the 700 emails I sent last month, because my wish finally got answered: The league mic'd up a PUNTER in Week 7. Punters almost never get mic'd up, but that changed on Monday when the NFL put a mic on Johnny Hekker, and let me just tell you this is the most amazing thing I've watched.
At one point during the highlights, Aaron Donald says, "I love you, bro." Knowing he said that to his punter brought tears to my eyes. Also, after one of his fantastic punts, Hekker told teammate Troy Hill that the punt was dedicated to his newborn baby. I wish someone had dedicated a punt to me when I was a baby. Anyway, you can check out the Hekker clip by clicking here.
Let's hope the NFL is mic'ing up punters for the rest of the season, starting with tonight's Falcons-Panthers game. If they don't, I promise to complain about it tomorrow. See you guys on Friday!