Badgers seek to break winless streak at B1G tournament

first_imgA high-level performance from Wisconsin’s Jared Berggren will be essential against Indiana’s leading scorer, forward Cody Zeller. Zeller leads IU with 15.5 points per game.[/media-credit]It’s no secret that the Badgers have struggled in the Big Ten Tournament the past three years, failing to register a single win. On Friday, Wisconsin will seek to end its streak of three consecutive one-and-done conference tournament appearances when it takes on Indiana at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind.Wisconsin (23-8, 12-6 Big Ten), the No. 4 seed in the tournament, will face Indiana (25-7, 11-7 Big Ten), the No. 5 seed, for just the second time this season. The Badgers previously bested the Hoosiers – who reached Friday’s matchup with a 75-58 trouncing of Penn State in the first round of the conference tournament – by a score of 57-50 Jan. 26 at the Kohl Center.In a tale of two sides of basketball, the best scoring defense in the nation will face off against the best scoring offense in the conference. Wisconsin currently allows opponents on average to score just 51.9 points per game, while Indiana scores an average of 77.5 points per game. Come Friday afternoon, something will have to give.If the Badgers hope to break their cold streak in the conference tournament they will need another solid game from junior big men Jared Berggren and Ryan Evans. The two combined last time around to hold Indiana’s two leading scorers, freshman Cody Zeller and junior Christian Watford, to a combined 19 points. Berggren displayed an aggressive style of defense rarely seen, swatting five Indiana shots while Evans nearly earned a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds.Currently, Indiana’s frontcourt duo averages a total of 27.3 points per game, with Zeller and Watford averaging 15.5 and 11.8 points a game, respectively. The Hoosiers also contain an extremely balanced offense, with four players averaging double figures.Indiana, who currently ranks tops in the conference for 3-point shooting at 43 percent, features six players who shoot over 40 percent. Leading the Hoosiers in three-point prowess is senior Matt Roth, who leads the entire Big Ten with an outrageous 57 percent conversion rate from behind the arc. Complimenting Roth is junior Jordan Hull, who is second in the Big Ten behind his senior classmate with a 3-point accuracy rating of 48 percent. Their success will face a stern test in the Badger defense, which currently holds opponents on average to 27 percent a game from three, good for tops in the nation.The game could be decided on how the Badgers, not the Hoosiers, shoot from beyond the arc. While Wisconsin beat Indiana in their previous meeting shooting just 4-of-17 from beyond the arc (23 percent) there haven’t been many instances the Badgers have escaped with a win while shooting poorly. In the Badgers’ 23 wins, the team has shot on average 39 percent from deep, compared to 25 percent on average in their eight losses. In games where the Badgers have shot 35 percent or more from three, the team is 18-2 compared to 5-6 in games they shoot below 35 percent.The Badgers – whose offense ranks in the bottom three of the conference at 63.8 points a game – will look to benefit offensively from the recent emergence of senior Rob Wilson, who came on nicely in the final stretch of Wisconsin’s conference schedule. In the past six games, Wilson has averaged 17 minutes on the floor while contributing six points per contest. Wilson’s recent contributions have been a major shot in the arm for a Badger offense that struggles at times, as the team comes into the tournament on a three-game winning streak. The Badgers will hope Wilson compliments star point guard Jordan Taylor’s offensive production, as the leader of the Badgers puts in a team-best 14.6 points per game.The winner of Friday afternoon’s game will face either No. 1 seed Michigan State or No. 8 seed Iowa.last_img read more

Week 10 Fantasy Sleepers: Kareem Hunt can help during six-team bye week

first_imgWEEK 10 NON-PPR RANKINGSQuarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | KickerAnd what would a sleeper list be without Ronald Jones? He finally had his breakout, and while the past suggests it could be fool’s gold, Jones finally has Bruce Arians saying the right things about him this week. It might be time to fully buy in.Our Week 9 fantasy sleeper headliners were one big win and one big whiff. Jaylen Samuels was heavily involved for Pittsburgh and wound up with 13 catches, making him an even better option in PPR leagues. But Gardner Minshew struggled mightily in London against a bad pass defense (and now he’s been benched). WEEK 10 DFS LINEUPS:Y! cash | Y! GPP | DK cash | DK GPP | FD cash | FD GPPBeyond those two, we were very right about Devin Singletary who finally had the breakout we’ve been waiting for. Philip Rivers and Derek Carr both had solid games, as did Golden Tate. Jamaal Williams didn’t do a ton, but he managed to get into the end zone, but WRs Anthony Miller and Phillip Dorsett were total flops. To see our Week 10 busts, click here.Week 10 Fantasy Sleepers: Running backsJoe Mixon, Bengals vs. Ravens (Billy Heyen). Mixon finally had a decent rushing game before the Bengals’ bye, and if anything, with Ryan Finley making his first start, Cincinnati will lean on Mixon more. Baltimore has allowed 4.3 yards per carry and eight rushing touchdowns to running backs this season, so it’s not a bad shot for Mixon. Ronald Jones, Buccaneers vs. Cardinals (Vinnie Iyer). He’s a starter now and won’t disappoint in a high-scoring game where he should get carries inside the 10.Bilal Powell, Jets vs. Giants (Matt Lutovsky). Powell started the first seven games last season, though he split touches with Isaiah Crowell during that span. All told, he averaged 4.3 yards per carry and 64.7 total yards per game. With Le’Veon Bell (knee) ailing, Powell could be in line for significant touches and won’t have to split with someone like Crowell, as receiving back Ty Montgomery shouldn’t be a major threat to Powell’s rushing production. Against the Giants, who allow the ninth-most fantasy points per game (FPPG) to RBs, Powell could pay off. Bonus: Kareem Hunt, Browns vs. Bills (Lutovsky). Hunt will make his season debut against Buffalo, and although he’s been away from the team since the start of the year, Browns coach Freddie Kitchens said Monday that Hunt  will “definitely have a role” in the offense. Nick Chubb is obviously still the lead back, but Hunt will likely get a handful of carries and play on a good chunk of passing downs. It’s easy to forget just how productive Hunt was with the Chiefs, as he averaged 4.7 yards per carry and 10.5 yards per catch. He also scored 19 touchdowns in 27 games. Obviously, things will be much different with Cleveland, but against Buffalo, who allow 4.6 yards per carry and 8.3 yards per reception to RBs, Hunt could break off enough big plays to have FLEX value during this six-team bye week. WEEK 10 PPR RANKINGS: Running back | Wide receiver | Tight endWeek 10  Fantasy Football Sleepers: QuarterbacksDaniel Jones, Giants @ Jets (Heyen). Jones and Sam Darnold are both possible sleepers in this game, but I’m  more confident that Jones will actually make big plays. He also adds some upside with his legs, something Darnold can’t claim.Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers vs. Seahawks (Iyer). He went nuts in Week 9, and the Seahawks didn’t offer much resistance against Jameis Winston last week.Kyler Murray, Cardinals @ Buccaneers (Lutovsky). Murray hasn’t thrown a touchdown in four road games, so to say he’s “due” is an understatement. Tampa allows the fourth-most FPPG to QBs, and Murray has some rushing potential to help raise his floor and his ceiling. MORE WEEK 10:Waiver pickups | FAAB planner | Snap counts | Trade values | Fantasy playoff SOSWeek 10 Fantasy Football Sleepers: Wide receiversDeVante Parker, Dolphins @ Colts (Heyen). With Preston Williams (knee) done for the season, Parker’s targets should rise, and he’s found the end zone in four of the last five weeks, to boot. Robby Anderson, Jets vs. Giants (Iyer). All the Giants’ secondary does is give up big plays to speedy wideouts.Zach Pascal, Colts vs. Dolphins (Lutovsky). Pascal has produced at least 72 yards in both games T.Y. Hilton (calf) has missed, and with Parris Campbell (hand) also hurt, Pascal has even more upside against a Dolphins defense allowing over 25 standard FPPG to WRs (eighth most).MORE WEEK 10 DFS: Stacks | Values | Lineup BuilderWeek 10 Fantasy Football Sleepers: Tight endsJonnu Smith, Titans vs. Chiefs (Heyen). The Chiefs are one of the league’s worst defenses against tight ends, and it will probably be at least another week until we see Delanie Walker (ankle) back on the field to take looks away from Smith.Gerald Everett, Rams @ Steelers (Iyer). He should be the biggest beneficiary of Brandin Cooks missing time rather than Josh Reynolds, especially in this matchup.O.J. Howard, Buccaneers vs. Cardinals (Lutovsky). We’ll take the low-hanging fruit here. If you count Taysom Hill as a TE, Arizona has allowed a TE touchdown in all but one game this year. It’s unbelievably bad against the position, and we know Howard has big-play ability. Yes, he’s been a massive disappointment, but he’s worth trusting after his two-game layoff because of a hamstring injury. We head into Week 10 needing fantasy football sleepers to come through more than ever. There are six teams on bye this week, meaning that a number of your usual starting options are relegated to your bench. You might be scouring the waiver wire or free agency for pickups that can save your week as we approach the stretch run of the fantasy season — and the last thing you want is for the guy you add to bust. Maybe Bilal Powell or Kareem Hunt can be just the savior that your fantasy team needs. (Update: With Le’Veon Bell expected to play, Powell has little fantasy value.)As usual, the name of the game for sleepers is a combination of matchup and opportunity. We have Daniel Jones as a QB sleeper, and he very well could’ve been joined by the other quarterback in that same game, Sam Darnold. Kyler Murray, O.J. Howard, and Zach Pascal are all here with great matchups, too. Week 10 Fantasy Sleepers: DefensesNew York Giants @ Jets (Heyen). Sam Darnold and Adam Gase’s offense couldn’t perform well against the Dolphins. Please give me a defense that’s improved by the Leonard Williams acquisition (and revenge-game factor) against a team that just lost to the previously winless Dolphins.Indianapolis Colts vs. Dolphins (Iyer). This may seem like a layup, but even with Miami showing competent offense last week, Indy is better at making defensive impact plays at home.New York Jets vs. Giants (Lutovsky). In seven games since Daniel Jones took over, the Giants have turned it over 21 times, allowed 26 sacks, and given up four D/ST touchdowns. It doesn’t matter who’s facing them — you want that D/ST.last_img read more