2019 Fantasy Football All-Sleeper Team: Top breakouts, undervalued players in rankings

first_imgThere’s just something better about any team that has “All-” in front of it. All-American, All-Decade, All-County. You get the idea. It’s time fantasy football owners were able to enjoy one of these teams, too. Since we know how much you all love sleepers and hate busts, it only made sense to put together this All-Sleeper team for the 2019 season. Your team shouldn’t look exactly like this at the end of drafts because that means you’ll be ignoring the guys at the very top of the rankings and cheat sheets, but getting a few of these potential undervalued veterans and high-upside breakouts is a good way to polish off a solid draft.We all love being right, and there’s not much better “being-right” feeling in fantasy sports than nailing a sleeper. Sleepers cause one of two reactions in the draft: Either everyone gets upset that you drafted them first, or everyone scoffs at you for taking them (if they even know who they are). That’s fine, you think to yourself. You’re the most informed one in the room. By the end of the season, your mood will be greatly affected by whether you were right. DOMINATE YOUR DRAFT: Ultimate 2019 cheat sheet We’re here to help you be right (so hopefully we’re right). Our All-Sleeper Team features a QB who creates endless GIF potential for your league message board (“You like that? You like that!”), and you know there’s a rookie running back. We also have a wily veteran stash who’s returning to the team that drafted him, one of last year’s biggest busts, and two WRs trying to fill the shoes of departed stars. We even decided to add a kicker because kickers are people, too.Note: All the average draft positions (ADP) reflected below come from FantasyPros’ composite ADP lists.MORE: Dollar values | IDP rankings | Best ball tips | Team namesLISTEN TO THE SN FANTASY SLEEPER PREVIEW PODCAST BELOWFantasy Sleepers: QuarterbackKirk Cousins, VikingsIf your league has any sort of social media interaction whatsoever, how can you pass up the opportunity to send the “You like that?” meme to your opponent each time Cousins has a good game? That’s just icing on the cake for a player going way too late for the value he’ll bring your fantasy team. He’s going outside the top-20 quarterbacks, while he’s just outside the top-10 in our rankings. That’s a huge gap that could be exploited in all of your drafts.If you embrace the wait-on-QB strategy, Cousins could wind up as your starter after you pile up on upside-laden skill-position guys. If you draft a big-name passer, Cousins can be your backup — one of the last few backups off the board in 12-team leagues but also one of the safest. He completed more than 70 percent of his passes last season and gets two of the best receivers in football back to keep throwing to. Cousins is going in the 12th round of fantasy drafts. Whether he’s your starter or backup, that’s a great time to take him with the expectation that he should exceed that draft position. Cousins has posted four straight seasons of 4,000-plus passing yards and 30-plus total touchdowns, so even if the Vikings run a little more as expected, you know he’s going to put up numbers.Honorable mention: Derek Carr, Raiders; Sam Darnold, Jets; Josh Allen, BillsQBs: Rankings | Draft Strategy | Sleepers | Dollar ValuesFantasy Sleepers: Running backTevin Coleman, 49ersColeman really shouldn’t fall into the sleeper category. He’s the top running back in an offense that should be above average, and he had a good season last year in Atlanta, finishing as the No. 18 running back in both standard and PPR scoring. Coleman’s role and ability is similar, so there shouldn’t be anything stopping him from repeating 2018, yet he’s going as the No. 27 RB according to FantasyPros’ composite ADP.  In our Top 200, Coleman ranks 26th overall. He’s not even being drafted as the No. 26 running back. If people were concerned about Jerick McKinnon, that shouldn’t matter as much now that he’s a candidate to open the season on injured reserve because of a knee injury. San Francisco surely didn’t bring Coleman in to toil on the sideline while the injury-prone Matt Breida dominates touches. As fantasy owners, we might try to decipher why drafters behave differently than we’d expect. At the end of the day, though, all that really matters is what we think about a player and where he’s being drafted. Coleman is more valuable than his ADP. It’s that simple. That means you should be able to wait a bit and still end up with a top-30 player well after he should’ve already been off the board. SEASON PREVIEW PODCASTS:Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/STRonald Jones II, BuccaneersHow quickly fantasy owners move on from a player who burned them once. As a second-round pick after a productive USC career, people touted Jones as a sleeper last year as a rookie. He rushed for 44 yards the whole season after quickly falling into the doghouse with Bucs coaches. Things are expected to be different this year with offensive guru Bruce Arians in town.Jones isn’t fighting super stiff competition in the Tampa backfield. He needs to beat out Peyton Barber, which reports indicate he’s well on the way to doing. That will set him up for 16 games of starting in an offense that should produce plenty of points. Why, then, is Jones going No. 41 among backs? For goodness sakes, Kareem Hunt and his eight-game suspension are being drafted on average before Jones. Jones should still possess some of the shine that rookie running backs often have, but somehow drafters feel like they’ve already seen Jones fail. In reality, they didn’t even see him get a fair shake. This year, with a chance to stand out, everything in Jones’ pedigree and Arians’ offense suggests the second-year runner will do just that, even if he’s still mostly an afterthought in the passing game.Honorable mention: Royce Freeman, Broncos; Devin Singletary, Bills; Darrell Henderson, Rams; Darwin Thompson, ChiefsRBs: Rankings | Draft Strategy | Sleepers | Dollar ValuesFantasy Sleepers: Wide receiverTre’Quan Smith, SaintsThere have been a handful of No. 2 WRs in New Orleans who have had success in the Drew Brees-Sean Payton era. Lance Moore, Kenny Stills, Willie Snead, and a rookie Michael Thomas all were worthy fantasy options as the offense’s secondary receiver. Last season was the first time in a while that only one player mattered at the WR spot in the Superdome. Of course, Thomas led the league in catches, but the Saints’ second-best receiver was RB Alvin Kamara. There’s room for Tre’Quan Smith to hearken back to the days of a more diverse offense, though.Smith did have the second-best WR season on the Saints in 2018, reeling in 28 passes for 427 yards and five touchdowns. His 15.3 yards per catch shows his per-play upside. He should play even more this year, though there is a worry that his deep-threat ability might be slightly limited by Drew Brees’ propensity to live on underneath passes. Still, we know Brees can get it out to Smith, and we know the Saints offense will provide opportunities.Smith is going outside the top-60 WRs in current ADP data, and that means he’ll only cost a late-round pick. Unlike some sleepers, there isn’t a huge blockage to opportunity for Smith. He should be ready to make noise as soon as Week 1. FANTASY SLEEPERS: 8 QBs | 14 RBs | 11 WRs | 11 TEs | 6 D/STs | One from each teamPreston Williams, DolphinsPreston Williams received a first-round grade from some draft analysts coming out of Colorado, but he didn’t even receive an invite to the NFL Combine due to character concerns. The Dolphins have quickly turned him into one of their top WR options in training camp, though. He started and returned punts in their dress rehearsal Week 3 preseason game, and he’s shown a connection with both Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen in August.The Dolphins’ passing attack isn’t really that appealing to be a part of, but if Fitzpatrick and Rosen are one thing, it’s gunslingers. Williams should start come Week 1, and he’s the most talented receiver Miami has. Expect him to have the occasional big week when the Dolphins are playing from behind and lean on him.DRAFT STRATEGY AND RANKINGS TIERS: Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/STJames Washington, SteelersThe more Donte Moncrief buzz in the preseason, the better for people who want to draft Washington. We’ve been down the Moncrief hype train before, and somehow people are falling for it again. Washington is immensely talented, and while preseason games don’t mean much, the difficulty of catches he made in the Steelers’ preseason opener counts for something. This is all about replacing Antonio Brown’s production. Washington is Pittsburgh’s long-term answer across from JuJu Smith-Schuster. If he can be the short-term solution, too, he’ll have immense fantasy value that well exceeds his current position of barely a top-50 WR. Honorable mention: Corey Davis, Titans; Tyrell Williams, Raiders; Devin Funchess, Colts; Jakobi Meyers, PatriotsWRs: Rankings | Draft Strategy | Sleepers | Dollar ValuesFantasy Sleepers: Tight endBenjamin Watson, PatriotsRespect your elders. It woud be tough to roster someone older than Watson on your fantasy team this year unless you own his QB, Tom Brady, or his former QB, Drew Brees. There’s already an age bias among many fantasy owners who just want to draft the next big thing. Watson was the next big thing more than a decade ago and has just been chugging along ever since, so to many drafters, he’s the definition of boring. Add in the fact that he begins the year with a four-game suspension and you don’t have many left interested in him.You should be, though. He formed a connection years ago with Brady that he’ll be able to build upon, and while he has the unenviable real-life task of replacing Rob Gronkowski, in fantasy, that’s actually pretty a pretty enviable spot to be in. This is a New England offense that has almost always relied on at least one TE for production, and Watson is the best pass catcher of a motley crew. Watson is being drafted No. 40 among tight ends, so, really, he’s not being selected in anything but the deepest of leagues. You probably won’t have to draft him either because you should just be able to pick him up the week before his suspension ends. Before Watson’s suspension was taken into account, he was a top-15 TE for us, a borderline starter. At a position with such much uncertainty, you should target a proven veteran like Watson. Honorable mention: Mike Gesicki, Dolphins; Ian Thomas, Panthers; Darren Waller, RaidersTEs: Rankings | Draft Strategy | Sleepers | Dollar ValuesFantasy Sleepers: DefensePittsburgh SteelersWe’ve made it clear time and time again that playing matchups is our preferred way of approaching the D/ST slot on your fantasy roster. The Steelers don’t quite fit that bill to start the season, with the Patriots hosting Pittsburgh in Week 1. The Steelers are going undrafted in standard leagues, though, which is silly. They’re a top-10 fantasy defense, easily. If you want a better Week 1 matchup, fine. You can draft someone else and pick up the Steelers when they fit into your roster. If you don’t care that much about that opener, you can select Pittsburgh after everyone else in your draft has picked a D/ST. There’s certainly no need to be reaching on defense when year-to-year production depends so much on takeaways and touchdowns, which can be somewhat random over the small sample of 16 games. The Steelers will get docked down on anyone’s board who’s just looking at Week 1. Apparently, they’ve also been knocked down the boards of those looking longer than that, too. They should be cheap wherever you want them, and they should outproduce that low price. Honorable mention: New England Patriots; Kansas City Chiefs; Indianapolis ColtsD/STs: Rankings | Draft Strategy | Sleepers | Dollar ValuesFantasy Sleepers: KickerGiorgio Tavecchio, FalconsA kicker can’t really be a sleeper in the same way the other positions can. If you do this correctly and wait until the last round to select one, the disparities in ADP are much smaller. Tavecchio is worth pointing out, though, since he’s going 14th among kickers but is No. 8 in our rankings. That means that in every draft you do of 12 teams or less, you should be able to get Tavecchio. Picking in the back half of the last round, he’s a good target. MORE: Kicker rankingsHe was born in Milan, Italy, and he has a huge leg. Tavecchio latched on with Atlanta at the end of 2018 and made all five of his kicks, including two from beyond 50 yards. He also had made three 50-yarders the year before with the Raiders. In a high-powered Falcons’ offense that plays its home games indoors, Tavecchio’s strong and accurate left foot should have a good floor and high ceiling (for a kicker).Honorable mention: Michael Badgley, Chargers; Aldrick Rosas, Giants; Graham Gano, Pantherslast_img read more

Is Julio Jones playing in Week 1? Contract, injury comments worry fantasy owners

first_imgYou didn’t think Antonio Brown was the only diva wide receiver in the NFL, right? Seemingly out of nowhere, Julio Jones implied after Falcons practice on Thursday that he might not play in Week 1 against the Vikings because of either his ongoing contract negotions and/or a nagging injury. Obviously, this potential “holdout” would have a major effect on fantasy football start ’em, sit ’em decisions, and Jones owners are undoubtedly worried (along with those of Matt Ryan).We’ll continue to monitor this situation and update this article as needed. For more updates and the latest fantasy news, follow us on Twitter @SN_Fantasy.  Week 1 Non-PPR Rankings:Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | KickerIs Julio Jones playing Week 1?The official reason for Jones being limited in practice on Thursday was “rest” and not injury related. Jones made reference to a possible injury, saying he was “kinda sore”. At what was described as a “bizarre” press conference after practice, Jones said he “plans on playing” before adding “I don’t know”. Falcons owner Arthur Blank said he’d be “surprised” if Jones doesn’t play. All of this came after Pro Football Talk tweeted, “Starting to hear chatter of Julio Jones deal being done”. Obviously, no one really knows what’s going on at this point, and it would be mildly shocking if Jones didn’t suit up in Minnesota on Sunday. The door is clearly open for that to happen, though, which means fantasy owners have to be prepared for anything. WEEK 1 PPR RANKINGS: Running back | Wide receiver | Tight endFantasy football impact on rest of FalconsJones is a must-start if active, but if he’s out, Calvin Ridley would bump up to a solid WR2/3 based purely on the extra targets he figures to receive. Facing Xavier Rhodes might ultimately make things more difficult for him, though. Austin Hooper would enter the TE1 conversation, and Mohamed Sanu would also be a possible FLEX sleeper. Atlanta’s RB combo of Devonta Freeman and Ito Smith would see minor bumps in value but not enough to really affect start-sit decisions.The biggest change in value would be to Matt Ryan, who would lose a lot of upside without his top target. In what already figured to be a tough road matchup, Ryan falls to borderline starter given how many other solid QBs are out there. He can certainly still produce, but he’s not a “must-start”.last_img read more

Patriots’ Bill Belichick shuts down Antonio Brown questions

first_imgBrown has strongly denied the allegations through his attorney and he opted against discussing the matter further when he was questioned Thursday in his first public comments since the allegations about his availability for NFL action.”I’m just super grateful to be here, thankful for Bill Belichick and Tom Brady,” Brown said Thursday. “I’ve got a lot of offense to learn and catch up but I’m excited and grateful to be here.”The Patriots (2-0) will host the Jets (0-2) on Sunday with kickoff set for 1 p.m. ET. Bill Belichick ended his Friday press conference early after fielding questions about wide receiver Antonio Brown’s off-field situation.The Patriots coach opened with a statement about facing the Jets in Week 3 that lasted a minute and a half before addressing Brown, acknowledging New England is looking into Brown’s situation. The closest question he came to answering was whether he expected Brown to play Sunday to which Belichick replied: “He’s on our roster.”Among the other questions Belichick seemingly dodged:Question: As far as your work with Antonio in football, do the off-field accusations complicate your ability to coach him, your feelings about him personally?Belichick: “When we work on football, we work on football.”Q: Can you talk about Antonio Brown’s role this weekend? B: “Uh, no. I’m not going to get into that. We’re going to do what’s best for the team like we always do.” Q: How do you weigh with your players their performance on the field with their behavior off the field with their behavior off the field and what’s best for the team overall?B: “It’s a big picture question. We answer it the best that we can. There’s no set formula.”Q: How important is the behavior off the field?B: “Everything’s important.”Q: Another headline today focusing on Antonio Brown. Does any of this at all affect his status with the team?B: “I think I’ve already addressed this. So we’re going to get ready for the Jets here. Happy to answer any football questions. But the rest of it, I’m done with the rest of it.”Q: Is there ever a point where some of the off field stuff is too much?And that’s when Belichick walked off and said, “I’m good.”Brown was accused by his former trainer, Britney Taylor, of sexual assault and rape in a civil lawsuit, while a second unidentified woman has also made allegations of sexual misconduct against the receiver. Woman alleges Antonio Brown sent intimidating messages following sexual misconduct accusation, report says Nike drops Antonio Brown amid sexual assault allegations “I know there are questions about Antonio,” Belichick said. “We take all the situations with our team very seriously. There are some things we’re looking into, but I’m not going to have any comment on any off-the-field situations or questions on that. Anything about football, I’m happy to answer.” Bill Belichick Live Press Conference 9/20: https://t.co/hXlErSaCa5— New England Patriots (@Patriots) September 20, 2019In total, Belichick took seven questions and his press conference lasted just three and a half minutes before he had enough. Related News Antonio Brown addresses media for the first time with Patriots: ‘I’m just here to focus on ball’last_img read more

I don’t deserve the World Cup, says Markram

first_imgAiden Markram has admitted that he does not feel his performances warranted his selection in the World Cup squad, but he does hope to justify the faith shown in him when cricket’s premier tournament starts in London on May 30.“Now the pressure of selection is off I can enjoy my cricket more, because it was nerve-wracking.“In my opinion I probably did not deserve to be chosen and it was completely my fault.“As a batsman, you need runs on the board and to be winning games for your side, but I didn’t do that in white-ball cricket for the Proteas.“So I feel very lucky to be going to the World Cup and hopefully I can justify it,” Markram said.ALSO READ: ‘We won’t choke’“The frustration was entirely aimed at myself and the stress about selection was always there, which made the last six months so draining.“Eventually I decided to just take myself out of it and just focus on performing for the Titans and Hampshire. “That really helped me because before I didn’t have the numbers to really justify selection.”The runs certainly flowed for the 24-year-old after his Proteas duties ended, as he amassed 615 runs in 10 innings in 50-over cricket, including the match-winning century for the Titans in the Momentum One-Day Cup final.“But it was his time in the English county game that could yet bear the greatest fruit as he is now acclimatised to the conditions for the World Cup.“I didn’t sign thinking of preparation for the World Cup, but it worked out well.“I learnt, especially in the white-ball game, to have a lot more faith in my ability to catch up at the back end of the innings, to trust the power side of my game.“My role allowed me to do that because they wanted me to bat deep. So I could score 50 off 70 balls and still make 100 off 110, and then you can really kick on.“In the last couple of years, the English pitches have definitely been geared to batting.“In my eight games this season, every wicket was good and really true, the ball might not skid on, but it was quite easy to score and it’s difficult to stop if there are two in[-form] batsmen.“So you need an attack that can take wickets at any time and the Proteas have got that, we have plenty in our attack to cause batsmen trouble,” Markram said.For more sport your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.last_img read more

Olympics official sees ‘real problems’ in holding Games in 2021

first_imgJohn Coates, the International Olympic Committee’s pointman for Tokyo 2020, indicated that officials would start deciding in October if and how the pandemic-hit Games could go ahead in July 2021.He told a roundtable organised by Australian media giant News Corp that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been clear the Tokyo Olympics could not be delayed a second time.“We can’t postpone it again and we have to assume that there won’t be a vaccine or, if there is a vaccine, it won’t be sufficient to share around the world,” he said.Without the safety net of a widely available vaccine, there could be enormous challenges in screening tens of thousands of people from all corners of the world, he said.“We’ve got real problems because we’ve got athletes having to come from 206 different nations,” said Coates.“We’ve got 11,000 athletes coming, 5,000 technical officials and coaches, 20,000 media, we’ve got 4,000 working on the organising committee there at the moment, there will be 60,000 volunteers coming,” he said.“There’s a lot of people.”Coates said if there are signs the pandemic is contained, even if not eradicated, by October, officials will start preparing “the different scenarios by which the sport could take place”.“Do we quarantine the Olympic village? Do all athletes when they get there go into quarantine? Do we restrict having spectators at the venues? Do we separate the athletes from the mixed zone where the media are?”last_img read more

Bay Area TV station uses racist headline in describing Cardinals’ NLDS Game 5 win over Braves

first_img Three takeaways from Cardinals’ series-clinching NLDS Game 5 win over Braves Twitter reacts to Cardinals’ unbelievable 10-run first inning in NLDS Game 5 There was a lot wrong with this headline.After the Cardinals defeated the Braves 13-1 in Game 5 of the National League Division Series on Wednesday to book a ticket to the NLCS, Bay Area TV station KTVU described the victory with a header that is sure to offend a portion of the population. Braves nix foam tomahawk giveaway, will limit ‘chop’ chant during NLDS Game 5 There’s absolutely zero reason to ever use a headline like this, but considering Helsley already called both the tomahawk chop offensive during this exact series, this headline is at least in poor taste.At the most it’s intentionally racist toward Helsley.No matter how you slice it though, this is a bad, bad look. See for yourself.@KTVU I’m disappointed in you, could you be any more culturally insensitive…”Braves Scalped”… REALLY!???! pic.twitter.com/Gi0xdnLBCI— JerseyJenn (@JerseyJenn) October 10, 2019It’s insensitive at the least, but also, the timing couldn’t be any worse considering some of the issues surrounding this series.The Braves actually decided not to pass out foam tomahawks for the game due to a complaint from Cardinals reliever Ryan Helsley who is a member of the Cherokee Nation.They also said they would not do the famous tomahawk chop if he were to pitch in Game 5. We will warn you, the phrase may offend you.”Braves Scalped,” the header read. Related Newslast_img read more

Carlos Beltran only interested in Mets manager job, report says

first_imgMORE: Curt Schilling reportedly inerested in managingBeltran spent parts of seven years with the Mets during his playing days, making four All-Star Games and one postseason. The 42-year-old retired following the 2017 season and joined the Yankees front office as a special advisor to the general manager in 2018.He said the experience he’s gained as a player and as an executive have prepared him to be a manager.”I was able throughout my career to be able to have good relationships, being able to have good conversations with the players,” Beltran told SNY, “and I’m willing to do the same as a manager.” Carlos Beltran has his sights set solely on becoming the Mets manager and won’t go after other team’s openings, Newsday reported Sunday.The retired outfielder reportedly turned down interviews with the Padres and Cubs. The Mets interviewed him last week, according to the New York Post. “I’m ready,” Beltran said. Other candidates known to have for the Mets’ job include Joe Girardi, Mike Bell, Derek Shelton and Luis Rojas. Interviews are expected to continue this week.Girardi is also said to be a candidate for the Cubs job, which he interviewed for last week. Other Cubs targets include Mark Loretta, Will Venable and David Ross.San Diego’s search is down to four or five names, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports, including Rangers player development field coordinator Jayce Tingler. Ron Washington and Rod Barajas have both reportedly interviewed.last_img read more

Giacoletti frustrated by U. inconsistency

first_imgE-mail: sor@desnews.com Heading into tonight’s basketball game (7 p.m. Huntsman Center) against another team you’ve never heard of, Coppin State, the Utah basketball team is 6-3, right where most everyone expected them to be at this point of the season.The Utes have won the games they’re supposed to win and lost the games they were expected to lose — to top-20 teams Washington and Arizona away from home and to Utah State on the road.So why isn’t everyone happy? Some fans are frustrated, some players are frustrated, but no one is more frustrated than Ute coach Ray Giacoletti.Even though his team has won games by 35, 20 and 15 points this year and never had a win closer than nine points, he expects more from his team.”We can’t be taking three or four minutes off,” he said. “It’s unacceptable if you want to get better. We have to learn to play the full 40 minutes.”One of the problems is the competition. The Utes have a platter full of patsies this year, thanks in large part to the scheduling by the previous Ute coach. When they play these games against Stony Brook or Northern Colorado, the Utes have a habit of getting a double-digit lead and then easing up, letting the inferior team stick around longer than it should.The tough games don’t start for another 10 days when the Utes face Colorado of the Big 12 on Dec. 30 and LSU of the SEC on Jan. 3. A week after that, Mountain West Conference action begins.In the meantime, the Utes have to try to hold their attention against the Eagles, a team from Baltimore that plays in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. So far this year the Eagles are just 2-7 with wins over North Carolina A&T and Morgan State. Their most recent loss was to Pitt, 73-42, on Saturday night.Their leading scorers are Nicholas King, a 6-7 forward who averages 11.9 points a game and Darryl Proctor, a 6-4 forward who averages 10.2 points and leads the team in rebounding with 7.0 per game.Utah is led by Andrew Bogut, who is averaging 17.6 points and 10 rebounds per game on 64.2 percent shooting, and Marc Jackson, who averages 12.7 points per game on 62 percent shooting from the field and a phenomenal 63.3 percent from 3-point range. After tonight’s game, the Utes head out on the road to play Cal Poly Wednesday night, before returning home to play Weber State on Dec. 28. Utes on the air Coppin State (2-7) vs. Utah (6-3)at Huntsman CenterTonight at 7TV: noneRadio: KALL 700 last_img read more

Former teammates together at Augusta

first_imgThe Masters on the air When: Today through SundayWhere: Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Ga.On TV today: GOLF, 10 a.m./5 p.m. USA, 2 p.m./9 p.m. When they were in college at BYU together 15 years ago, Mike Weir and Dean Wilson might have dreamed of playing in the Masters together, but it wasn’t a very realistic goal, considering how difficult it is to get into the Masters Tournament, let alone onto the PGA Tour.Yet the two are among the 97 golfers who will be playing this week at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga.Weir, who still has a home in Draper, has been playing in the Masters regularly since 2000 and thanks to his 2003 victory has the right to play in the tournament for the rest of his life. However, this year he’ll be joined by Wilson, his former teammate and good friend. The two played a practice round together on Tuesday.Wilson qualified for his first Masters by finishing 22nd on last year’s money list with $2.5 million in earnings.”I’m excited to play there for the first time,” Wilson said.”It should be a lot of fun.”Wilson, a native of Hawaii who now lives in Las Vegas, tees off in the fourth group of the day today at 6:33 a.m. MDT with former champion Sandy Lyle and Bradley Dredge.Weir, who tied for 11th last year, tees off at 10:23 with K.J. Choi and Henrik Stenson.”There aren’t many weeks on my calendar that I look forward to more than Masters week,” said Weir on his Web site. “It’s a very special time of the year for me, and this edition is no exception. I’m heading to Augusta with a lot of anticipation for the tournament and for my game. Although my scores lately haven’t shown it, I’m feeling very good about the state of my game right now.”Weir has only played in six tournaments this year, making the cut in five and earning just under $200,000. He plans to play more this spring and summer after the Masters and try to qualify for the President’s Cup. Wilson won his first PGA Tour event last summer at The International in Colorado. However, he won’t be able to defend his title because the tournament was dropped from the PGA Tour schedule at the start of this year. So far this season he has won $417,634 in 10 tournaments. E-mail: sor@desnews.com Tiger’s work forces change Relatedlast_img read more

Defense forced Arizona State into long droughts

first_imgWe placed a lot of emphasis on defense and a funny thing happened when we really did a good job defending them. – Ute coach Larry KrystkowiakSALT LAKE CITY — After Utah’s 21-point victory over Arizona State Saturday afternoon, it was only natural to talk about the outstanding shooting of Cedric Martin and Chris Hines, who were a combined 9 of 15 from 3-point range and the overall fine play of freshman point guard Kareem Storey, who had 12 points, six assists and only one turnover.What a lot of folks overlooked, however, was the excellent defense the Utes played in holding the Sun Devils to a season-low 43 points on just 38.6 percent shooting and coming up with seven steals.”It started on the defensive end,” said Ute center Jason Washburn. “I think it was our most complete game on the defensive end. It was a great team effort by everybody. Coach tells us all the time if you make good plays defensively, the rim seems to open up and it seems like you can throw anything in.”That’s how it looked from the start of the game, as the Utes kept ASU from scoring on their first five possessions of the game. Meanwhile, at the other end, the Utes were throwing everything in the basket as they burst out to a 12-0 lead.The same thing happened at the start of the second half when the Utes kept the Sun Devils from scoring for the first eight minutes as they hit 11 straight points and took a 28-point lead.Ute coach Larry Krystkowiak said afterwards that the Utes’ great shooting could be attributed to their strong defense at the start of each half.”We placed a lot of emphasis on defense and a funny thing happened when we really did a good job defending them,” Krystkowiak said. “When we took away their options, the rim became about three times bigger than it has been recently for us.”The Sun Devils only managed 20 percent from 3-point range on 3 of 15.UTE RECRUIT ROOTS: Ute recruit Dallin Bachynski watched Saturday’s game with mixed emotions.Bachynski is a 7-footer from Calgary, who signed to play with the Utes last fall after a year at Southern Utah and an LDS mission.However, his older brother, Jordan, is a center for Arizona State. So what did he do Saturday?”Today I was rooting for the Utes and my brother,” he said. “So if my brother did well, I cheered and if the Utes did well I cheered.”After the game, Bachynski was smiling at the Utes’ 21-point victory, but also because his brother had a good game. Jordan Bachynski was one of the few bright spots for the Sun Devils as he scored 10 points, had a team-high seven rebounds and blocked four Ute shots.Dallin Bachynski is not going to school right now, but will be eligible to play for Utah next fall. He completed a mission to Croatia, while his older brother went to Florida.GAME NOTES: The Utes tied their second-highest assist total of the year with 15. Storey led the way with six, while Martin had four. … Utah had its best 3-point shooting game of the year at 52.9 percent and its nine 3-pointers was the second-highest of the season in a game. … The Utes played just seven players, with four playing at least 34 minutes. … Utah won the rebound battle 29-24. … Arizona State coach Herb Sendek has 348 career victories as a Division I coach and has more former assistant coaches as current Division I coaches (nine) than any other coach in the nation. … Four players from the 1944 NCAA championship team were on hand to sign copies of the new book “The Blitz Kids”. … The Utes will play Arizona State in Tempe on Feb. 9.Email: sor@desnews.com Related Utes overpower Arizona St., 64-43last_img read more