Who to Watch (January 11 – January 17)

Image result for andrew luck deshaun watson
Credit: via TexansWire

Welcome back to this week’s Who to Watch.  Last week we saw some low-scoring football (the Colts-Texans game actually but my grandmother to sleep, and she generally likes football), the Celtics looked phenomenal at home, and Trevor “Sunshine” Lawrence and the Clemson Tigers SMACKED Alabama to win their second college football championship in three seasons.  Seattle’s offense looked archaic against Dallas, Cody Parkey’s kick was blocked at the end of the Eagles-Bears game, capping off a 16-15 Eagles upset, and Deshaun Watson lost a football game by more than a touchdown for the first time since high school. It looks like the 76ers have some turmoil going on with Jimmy Butler, and the Minnesota Timberwolves fired Thibs (but it’s okay, because Fred Hoiberg looks to be the favorite to land the job, meaning the TimberBulls will survive another day!)

Alright, this week he have the divisional playoffs, and the NBA has reached it’s halfway point.  Should be some good games across the board.

Andy is back this week, which means you’ll get FIVE buy and sell picks this week!

Enjoy!

Buy

Fredy: Nick Foles

Image result for nick foles golden tate iii
Credit: via TouchdownWire

Big Dick Nick is back and he’s here to stay! After upsetting the Bears, Foles takes on the heavily favored Saints in the battle of the bulge (pun intended, if that even is a pun…?). Even if he had 2 shitty INTs, his 2 TDs and 266 yards against arguably a top 3 defense makes the legend of Foles continue to grow. A 60 yard game-winning drive with your season on the line takes nuts. Foles is the GOAT (unless he loses).

When to Watch: 

Philadelphia Eagles vs. New Orleans Saints (1/13; 4:40 PM)

Andy: Andrew Luck

Andrew Luck
Credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images North America

Before this season began, no one knew what to expect from Andrew Luck coming off of a strange shoulder injury. He was placed on IR early in the season in 2017, and was determine to come out swinging in 2018. It is safe to say that he fully accomplished that by bringing his Colts to a 10-6 record. The ground game finally took off for them this season, but Andrew Luck kept the offense moving averaging 287 yards and 2 plus touchdowns per game. This season certainly left those lingering shoulder concerns in the past. He has been shredding defenses all season and it did not stop in the post season. The Colts as a whole were firing on all cylinders and Luck took full advantage of that throwing for 222 yards and 2 touchdowns. He accomplished this against a top five defense and now he is on his way to face one of the worst defenses against the pass. It is very possible that come Saturday the Indianapolis Colts are in the AFC Championship Game. BUY IN ON LUCK.

When to Watch:

Indianapolis Colts vs. Kansas City Chiefs (1/12; 4:35 PM)

Mike: Tuukka Rask

Image result for tuukka rask
Credit: Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports

Tuukka Rask looks like he’s back, and it couldn’t have come at a better time for the Boston Bruins. Currently occupying third place in the Atlantic Division, the Bruins are just two points behind Toronto for second, but they are also only three points ahead of Montreal for the second wild card spot. Boston has won five games in a row, and Rask has started four of those games. After giving up five goals in an ugly loss to Carolina on Dec. 23, Rask gave up five goals total in his next four games, all wins. Granted his opponents over this stretch weren’t exactly offensive juggernauts as Chicago, Buffalo, and Minnesota rank 16th, 19th, and 20th in goals scored per game, respectively. I’m still encouraged by Rask’s .959 save percentage and 1.17 goals against average in his past four games, which include his stellar shutout victory over Minnesota. Jaroslav Halak has been the Bruins better goaltender so far this season, but if Tuukka can keep up his recent level of play, Bruce Cassidy will have a difficult decision to make come playoff time.

(Stats from nhl.com, through Jan. 9)

When to Watch:

Boston Bruins vs. Toronto Maples Leafs (1/12; 7:00 PM)

Montreal Canadians vs. Boston Bruins (1/14; 7:30 PM)

Boston Bruins vs. Philadelphia Flyers (1/16; 7:30 PM)

St. Louis Blues vs. Boston Bruins (1/17; 7:00 PM)

Kerm: James Harden

To say James Harden is having a great season would be an understatement. Even while watching him lose to the Milwaukee Bucks last night, I was in amazement. He makes it look so easy to make a step-back three, that I was honestly shocked when they didn’t fall in the fourth quarter. He’s currently on a fourteen game 30+ points streak and I wouldn’t bank on it ending soon.

Whether you like him or not, he and the Houston Rockets are much watch basketball right now. Wouldn’t want to miss out on his next “what the fuck” stat line.

When to Watch:

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Houston Rockets (1/11; 8:00 PM)

Houston Rockets vs. Orlando Magic (1/13; 6:00 PM)

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Houston Rockets (1/14; 8:00 PM)

Brooklyn Nets vs. Houston Rockets (1/16; 8:00 PM)

Nick: Marcus Morris

There was a debate I recently saw on Twitter where Celtics fans were arguing between who has been the second best player on the team this season: Jayson Tatum or Marcus Morris.  I love me some Jayson Tatum, but stop it, the answer is Morris.  Through 37 games this season, Marcus is averaging 15.5 PPG, with a FG% of 50.1, a 3P% of 45, a FT% of 88.2%, and a eFG% of 60.7.  There are only 3 players in NBA history who have put up the same seller percentages Morris is for an entire season: Steve Kerr (1995-1996), Steve Nash (2005-2006), and Stephen Curry (2015-2016); note that Nash and Curry won MVPs those seasons (and yes, this inspired this tweet).  Simply put, Morris is playing at an amazingly efficient level, and outside of Kyrie Irving, he has been the reason this season has not gone worse (although 25-16 is nothing to sneeze at). This past week was no different, and his efficiency was on full display Wednesday against Indiana. With numbers like this, Morris genuinely deserves All-Star consideration (and a large contract this summer).  Buy some stock now before it gets to expensive!

When to Watch: 

Boston Celtics vs. Orlando Magic (1/12; 7:00 PM)

Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets (1/14; 7:30 PM)

Toronto Raptors vs. Boston Celtics (1/16; 8:00 PM)


Sell

Fredy: Rob Gronkowski

Image result for gronk
Credit: Getty Images

Rob Gronkowski is no longer Gronk, and I don’t expect to see him tear it up against the Chargers. He’s only had 100-yard games twice this season. He’s a shell of himself, and isn’t even a useful decoy. This Chargers defense will eat Gronkowski alive. His last 2 weeks of the regular season, he had a total of 2 catches for 24 yards… against the Bulls and Jets respectively. Garbage.

When to Watch:

Los Angeles Chargers vs. New England Patriots (1/13; 1:05 PM)

Andy: Dak Prescott

Image result for dak prescott
Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

I cannot deny the fact that Dak Prescott has an enormous fighting spirit. Before the blockbuster trade of Amari Cooper, everyone was questioning Dak’s ability to lead this team. They were struggling to get the ball moving, their defense was not living up to their potential, and Ezekiel Elliot was not looking like the stud he was last year. We can talk about the many reasons the Cowboys were not a playoff team, but it starts with Dak Prescott. He showed time and time again that he could not make the big plays needed for them to win. It took Amari Cooper to come in and open up the offense for the ball to get rolling. Dak Prescott is now going up against one of the best if not the best team in the NFL, the Los Angeles Rams. He will have to face All-Pro corners Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters, and not to mention the very scary defensive tackle, Aaron Donald. Dak might have won his first playoff game but he will not win his second. SELL SELL SELL.

When to Watch: 

Dallas Cowboys vs. Los Angeles Rams (1/12; 8:15 PM)

Mike: Harrison Barnes

Image result for harrison barnes
Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

After starting hot, the Dallas Mavericks have lost 11 of their past 15 games, leaving them with the third worst record in the West. In that stretch, Harrison Barnes wasn’t much help, shooting a subpar 42.4% from the field to go along with per game averages of 18 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 0.9 assists. When the Mavericks signed Barnes in 2016, they were hoping he would develop into their go-to guy and refresh the franchise as Dirk aged. However, nearing the end of his contract (Barnes has a player option for next season), the highest finish Dallas has achieved with Barnes thus far is 11th in the West. With the Mavs recently drafting Dennis Smith Jr. (2017) and Luka Doncic (2018), I think it is time for Dallas to consider moving on from Barnes and to look for players that will compliment their young studs better.

When to Watch: 

Dallas Mavericks vs. Minnesota Timberwolves (1/11; 8:00 PM)

Golden State Warriors vs. Dallas Mavericks (1/13; 7:00 PM)

San Antonio Spurs vs. Dallas Mavericks (1/16; 8:30 PM)

Kerm: LeBron James

Image result for lebron james brings wine to game
Credit: via Sports Illustrated

Hey did you guys see Kyle Kuzma go off for 41 against the Pistons? See we don’t need LeBron James at all. Right guys? Right?

*looks at the Lakers sitting dangerously low in the eighth seed*

Please come back King James and forgive me for even jokingly picking you as my sell.

When to Watch:

Not anytime soon…

Nick: Jared Goff

Seattle Seahawks v Los Angeles Rams
Credit: Harry How/Getty Images North America

Ah yes, Jared Goff.  The man who’s development has made Sean McVay look like a genius, and has helped Matt LaFleur and Zac Taylor (likely for the latter) get head coaching jobs.  I wanna focus on his final 5 games of the season.  Following the Chiefs-Rams shootout, Goff finished the season going 106 for 180 (58.89%), with 1141 passing yards (228.2 Y/G), 6 TD and 6 INT (80.66 passer rating).  He looked better his final 2 games of the season against the Cardinals (3-13) and 49ers (4-12), but I’m taking that with a grain of salt.  The 3-game stretch prior, he faced the Detroit Lions (6-10), as well as the Bears (12-4), and the Nick Foles-led Eagles (9-7).  Those games?  72 for 130 (55.38%), 726 yards (242 Y/G), 1 TD and 6 INT (54.53 passer rating).  BRUTAL.  Facing a strong Dallas Cowboys defense, can Goff, who looked so/so during his first playoff game a year ago, be trusted to take LA to the NFC Championship Game?  Well, McVay & co. have the advantage of rest and time to study, so hopefully that will make the difference, but Goff’s late season performances make me worry how up to the task he is.

When to Watch:

Dallas Cowboys vs. Los Angeles Rams (1/12; 8:15 PM)


The “Who to Watch” series drops every Friday, via Hold My Drink Sports

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