Clarkson has also primarily come off the bench

Jordan Clarkson, PG/SG 2015-16 Player Rater: 4.36 (led Lakers) 2016-17 Player Rater: 5.77

Demetrius Harris Authentic Jersey Clarkson has also primarily come off the bench. He’s logging almost five minutes less per game than in 2015-16. Yet he still leads the Lakers with 27.8 minutes per game.

Despite the minutes drop, Clarkson’s volume stats by and large compare with his solid 2015-16 numbers. But the secret sauce in his improvement comes from the steals department. Clarkson currently averages 1.8 thefts per tilt, a huge leap over last season’s 1.1 steals. He’s already posted multiple five-steal games, including last Friday’s monster 20-point, 4-3-pointer and 5-steal line versus the Warriors.

Julius Randle, PF 2015-16 Player Rater: 2.65 2016-17 Player Rater: 4.70

Cause one: his field goal percentage bump. His .538 percentage marks a quantum leap versus last season’s .429. Randle’s shooting has improved despite the average distance of his shot moving out from 6.7 to 7.9 feet. Even more incongruously, his biggest jump is in deep 2-pointers (from .254 to .556).

Womens Dennis Rodman Jersey The area where Randle’s doing something special for his position? Assists. Randle’s court vision has opened up to the tune of 3.8 assists per game. That’s one of the best big-men per game averages in the entire league.

Randle still isn’t adding much in the defense categories (0.7 steals, 0.6 blocks), but his dimes have the potential to make Randle a unique fantasy asset.

Nick Young, SG/SF 2015-16 Player Rater: -3.43 (depressed due to injury and a social media mishap) 2016-17 Player Rater: 4.45

Young’s heartwarming comeback campaign suffered a bit of a scare last night via an Achilles strain. It’s hard to believe, but the preternaturally sophomoric Young has transformed into something of a 31-year-old grizzled veteran.

Like every other Laker on this list, Young’s transformation arrives via efficiency. Young’s improvement is concentrated in one specific area: 3-point production. As of last night’s game, Young was averaging a career-high 2.6 3-pointers per game. That high average is accompanied by a career-high .418 3-point percentage.

(I mean come on. Nick Young’s eFG% is 59 percent! Walton should get Coach of the Year based on that alone.)

Minnesota also has plenty of reasons to want to move on from Peterson and the ongoing circus

Publicly, the Vikings have been supportive of Peterson. Owner Mark Wilf, general manager Rick Spielman and Warren have all stated in the past month that they would welcome Peterson back.

Peterson spoke last week Aaron Donald Youth Jersey about a potential return to Minnesota and talked about his love for the fans and teammates, per Ben Goessling of ESPN. Yet, Peterson also stated he is uneasy about going back because of certain rifts between he and the organization.

“Adrian was referring (in the ESPN.com article) to people that were kicking him when he was down,” Nelson Peterson said to the Pioneer Press. “It’s not the fans of Minnesota; it was people like Kevin Warren and those type of people, the Cris Carter-type of person, those type of people that he felt could have came to him (and) helped him.”

As for the Rams and Bradford, they could be headed for a breakup, if not this year, then for 2016, when the team can let Bradford walk and will have hopefully rebuilt a woeful offensive line and an iffy cast of skill players for whoever Fisher deems to be his next Kerry Collins salvage project.

The Rams aren’t likely to fetch much in return for Bradford. A few have suggested a second-round pick at best, a conditional one at that. That leaves the Rams betting on Bradford’s health too, even by getting rid of him.

It’s impossible to say where the Bills/Bradford trade rumor came from. Talking up Alec Ogletree Youth Jersey potentially interested teams could benefit Bradford’s agent by helping drive up the asking price in contract renegotiation talks with the Rams.

For now, Fox said he’s still trying to talk with Cutler and establish a relationship with the quarterback. “I’m getting to know the guy. This is a relationship business.”

Vontaze Burfict, Doug Baldwin fined for raising middle fingers

Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict and Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin were each fined $12,154 for unsportsmanlike conduct after the players raised middle fingers in separate games Sunday, sources told ESPN.

Burfict stuck both of his middle Malcolm Johnson Womens Jersey fingers up toward the stands late in the fourth quarter of the Bengals’ 16-12 home loss to the Bills.

The fine is Burfict’s second of the season. He was fined $75,000 for allegedly stomping on the leg of Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount.

That one person is Matthew Stafford. But it could be so many players on the Lions roster these days. How they’ve managed to do this is tough to explain, and the Lions aren’t trying to find a reason anymore. They’ve accepted that this is the way they are.

In some ways, it goes back to when the schedule first came out. Safety Glover Quin said some of the players looked at the schedule when it was released, saw few national television opportunities and simply said, “good.”

They liked the idea of playing at 1 p.m. on Sundays, being Nate Orchard Womens Jersey underneath the national consciousness, taking it week to week and just seeing what happens. What happened is the Lions became a compelling story, an interesting team winning in the most surprising ways.

Detroit has won six of its past seven games and leads the NFC North. Chaos does not bother this team — not at all.

“It hasn’t been pretty,” Quin said. “But we go out at 1 o’clock, play good football and find a way to get a win.

“And [on Thursday], the whole world got to see what you guys been seeing every week. Let’s go out, play football. It’s a close game, and we find a way to win.”

The Carolina Panthers had a scoreless 20-play drive against the Kansas City Chiefs on Nov. 13

How many points did they get out of that drive?

None. Nada. Zilch. Receiver Phillip Dorsett dropped a fourth-down pass in the end zone.

“Fourth-and-1, it speaks for itself,” Hilton said. “You have to get that. One yard, if you can’t [get] that then you don’t need to be in the National Football League.”

That’s the second time this season a team Clive Walford Authentic Jersey had a drive of 19 plays or longer that didn’t result in any points, according to research by ESPN Stats & Information. The Carolina Panthers had a scoreless 20-play drive against the Kansas City Chiefs on Nov. 13.

Tolzien had enough pressure on him starting his Connor Cook Authentic Jersey first game in exactly three years. His top three receivers didn’t do him any favors by dropping passes. Donte Moncrief joined Dorsett and Hilton in dropping passes that would have been a touchdown or put the Colts in position to score.

“It’s my fault,” Hilton said. “I started it with the drop. Shouldn’t have happened, should have caught it. Changed the game. That was on me. … We put too many balls on the ground. We take pride in not dropping the ball.”

“Well, like any young football players, they are going to get better the more reps that they get and they have proven that,” Washington coach Jay Gruden said. “Dak and Zeke, they’ve done a great job. You know, Zeke is a powerful runner. He’s been bottled up from time to time in first quarter, but as the game goes on, that offensive line can wear you down and he gets chunks of yardage.

But as the current NFL rooks will find out, it doesn’t compare to being home.

ESPN.com NFL analyst Matt Bowen played seven seasons as a defensive back in the NFL.

Our five-person NFL Insiders panel debates how Matthew Stafford stacks up against the top-tier QBs. Plus: Which team playing on Thanksgiving is best set up for the future? And who’s tougher for defenses to handle: Le’Veon Bell or Antonio Brown?

The Vikings have found their No. 1 receiver in Stefon Diggs

Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings (4.6 percent). The Vikings have found their No. 1 receiver in Stefon Diggs, but Thielen has been in the mix over the past six games, logging three touchdowns and a 127-yard effort during that stretch. In a deeper PPR league, he can be used as a flex option.

Vance McDonald, TE, San Francisco 49ers (1.7 percent). If you are Adrian Clayborn Womens Jersey a Zach Miller owner (or a Gronk owner, should he miss Week 12), McDonald is on the tight end radar. He has at least 50 receiving yards or a touchdown in three straight games, and Kaepernick has kept up his fantasy-steady quarterback play of late.

Brandon LaFell, WR, Cincinnati Bengals (11.0 percent). It’s a close call between Boyd and LaFell for the Bengals pass-catcher I’d be most interested in adding. While LaFell isn’t an overwhelming talent, he’s bound to see steady work going forward. He has averaged 5.5 targets per game this season, but it would not be a surprise to see him average eight per game for the rest of the season. He too can be added in 12-team-or-larger leagues.

Dion Lewis, RB, New England Patriots (45.1 percent). It came in a relatively small dose (22 snaps), but Lewis showed flashes of why he was one of the unique running backs in football before his season-ending injury in 2015. Lewis had five rushes for 23 yards and three catches for 26 yards, playing two fewer snaps than fellow backfield mate James White. Lewis is the Patriots’ best combo back in terms of rushing and receiving and should be added in all leagues.

Mike Gillislee, RB, Buffalo Bills (26.3 percent). The Bills announced on Sunday that LeSean McCoy is set to undergo a procedure on his thumb but could play in Week 12. That’s good news, but Gillislee is a must-add for any McCoy owners as an insurance policy. He’s also a smart add for anyone whose running back depth is in need of work, as he’d be a usable piece in Week 12 if McCoy is unable to play.

DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins (47.9 percent). The Dolphins are surging, and Parker was a key part of their 2-0 swing through California in Weeks 10 and 11. He has 13 catches on 18 targets over the past two weeks, including a touchdown and a 103-yard effort. A Alex Mack Womens Jersey first-round pick in 2015, Parker has excellent size and a promising ceiling. He should be added in any-size leagues but isn’t yet a sure-fire starter in 10-team leagues. But on ability alone he’s worth the speculative add and can be started in deeper leagues.

Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles, left this past Sunday’s game with injuries

Even as he’s owned in 43 percent of ESPN leagues, Asiata’s lowly start rate of 12 percent last week suggests he qualifies as a streaming commodity to consider for Week 12. Jerick McKinnon Denard Robinson Authentic Jersey continues to play more snaps and handle more touches than Asiata in most outings, but a valuable blend of receiving and goal-line work supports a steady fantasy pattern for the bruising change-of-pace back.

Asiata doesn’t claim a high ceiling, but we have found a reasonably high floor at this eroding fantasy position, as he is one of just 11 tailbacks to produce at least seven fantasy points six times since the start of Week 4 (after Adrian Peterson was sidelined). The Lions have yielded the 11th-most rushing yards and the 10th-most receiving yards per game to backs, evidence Asiata can grind out another flex-worthy outing and even RB2 production at this depleted position.

Both lead backs for the Eagles, Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles, left this past Sunday’s game with injuries. For Mathews, an MCL sprain points to him likely missing Monday night’s game against the Green Bay Packers.

Sproles’ status is still up in the air, but a fractured rib all but ensures that even if he plays, Smallwood will see significant snaps. The Packers’ defense is nothing short of injury-ravaged, which was manifest when Robert Kelley ran for 81 of his 137 rushing yards in the fourth quarter of Sunday night’s game. Look for the Eagles’ backs to find similar success Monday night.

The Bucs are already dealing with some injuries at cornerback. Four-time Pro Bowler Brent Grimes Dwayne Gratz Authentic Jersey suffered a thigh bruise against the Chiefs after just a few snaps and did not return.

The Bucs face one of the league’s stop slot receivers this week in the Seahawks’ Doug Baldwin, who has 54 catches for 733 receiving yards this year, with 483 of them coming from the slot, fifth-most in the NFL. His four receiving touchdowns from the slot are tied for fourth in the league.

In the CFL, a trained official sits at league headquarters for every game with a live audio connection to the referee. He has the authority to advise on the spot of the ball based on what he sees on the monitor in front of him.

DraftKings CEO Jason Robins says added fees for players are not in the cards

Al Zeidenfeld, a high-level daily fantasy player and contributor to ESPN, says he understands the sites’ need to raise revenue, but wants to see the commission fees structured differently.

Shortly after the shop opened, Kerber met up with a 31-year-old local artist named Nicholas Avery, who got into customized footwear by painting his own sneakers for fun. “A couple of designs that I’d done were displayed at a different shop in Buffalo,” he said. “I wasn’t really affiliated with them, but they just thought it would be cool to showcase those designs. Then, I started getting requests, and I ran into the guys at Fabes Sole High and we talked about working together.”

Things started slowly. The first Ken Daneyko Authentic Jersey athlete to request customized cleats from them was a college player — Mississippi quarterback Chad Kelly, who’s from Buffalo and requested a custom pair last year. But their big break came when Bills running back LeSean McCoy asked for a pair. “Then, other Bills players saw what he was wearing and wanted their own pairs, and then they’d tell their friends on other teams, guys they went to college with, and it kind of took off from there,” Kerber said.

It’s possible and perhaps Kyle Palmieri Authentic Jersey even likely that Griffin will return to practice in a limited capacity. He is returning from a broken coracoid bone and has not played since the season opener.

Jackson gave that tidbit of information while answering a question from “junior reporter” Jaden Berk, 14, from Warren, Ohio. Two years ago, Berk made a guest appearance on ESPN’s SportsNation.

That much talent got them 11 playoff appearances and 10 seasons with at least 10 victories. They also lost their first game of the playoffs seven times and won only one Super Bowl. The talent level on the Colts’ current roster resembles nothing close to those teams.

“You can make an argument on paper, which is never the case because what you do on paper doesn’t matter, but we were among one of the best teams in the league for five years,” former Colts general manager Bill Polian said. “We just couldn’t get over the hump. You look at them today, it’s critical to have a quarterback that in many ways can cover up a lot of the deficiencies if he’s special, which Andrew is. But if you’re going to go all the way, you have to have close to a complete team.”

How Mike Trout earned AL MVP on a sub-.500 team

For the fifth time in Mike Trout’s five full seasons in the majors, the American League MVP debate came down to that weathered dilemma: Is the best player in the league the most valuable, even if his team wasn’t a factor in the pennant race?

In a bit of an upset — at least by Trout’s own previous results in MVP voting — Trout won his second MVP award even though his Los Angeles Angels finished just 74-88. He became the first player on a losing team to win MVP honors since Alex Rodriguez in 2003. Trout’s previous MVP award had come in 2014, the one season the Angels made the playoffs in his career. In 2012 and 2013 he lost out to Miguel Cabrera, even though Trout had a big advantage in WAR. In 2015, he lost out to Josh Donaldson, with Trout holding a smaller edge in WAR.

So it brings in context to a player’s stats. Compiling them in close games or high-leverage moments creates more value. It is situation dependent, which is why some don’t like it. On the other hand, a player’s contributions don’t occur in isolation from the game itself. Anyway, Trout crushes Betts and Altuve in WPA:

One reason Trout’s WPA was higher ties into why his WAR was higher: He got on base much more often. Trout had a .441 OBP and Betts had a .363 OBP. Here’s another way to look at why that’s so important:

The 2015 NL Rookie of the Year, Bryant also led the league in runs scored with 121.

“Kris is just an impressive young man in every aspect,” Cubs owner Tom Ricketts said. “[He] is very mature, professional, light-hearted, but serious at the same time. He’s just kind of a dream player for any organization.”

Bryant becomes the Cubs’ first MVP since Sammy Sosa won the award in 1998. The once-forlorn franchise enjoyed its best run in decades and also had two of the season’s top MVP candidates, with Bryant’s teammate, first baseman Anthony Rizzo, finishing fourth in the voting.

“If it wasn’t for Anthony and his Jeff Locke Authentic Womens Jersey protection and guidance, I wouldn’t have won this award,” Bryant said. “I mean, he texted me, and I said the same thing to him. I said, ‘If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have been able to do this.'”

Bryant joins Dustin Pedroia (2007-08), Ryan Howard (2005-06) and Cal Ripken (1982-83) as the only players to win Rookie of the Year and MVP honors in consecutive seasons. Ichiro Suzuki (2001) and Fred Lynn (1975) are the only players to win the awards in the same year.

Bryant also is the first player ever to win college player of the year, minor league player of the year, rookie of the year and MVP in Jarius Wright Authentic Womens Jersey successive seasons.

He was the unanimous NL Rookie of the Year after he hit .275 with 26 homers and 99 RBIs last season.

Dolphins DE Cameron Wake, 34, defying age and convention

The second-oldest player on the Miami Dolphins’ roster also is one of the hottest.

Cameron Wake, 34, is a four-time Pro Bowler. But what he is accomplishing through the first nine games of this season may be his most impressive feat John Miller Authentic Jersey during his tenure in Miami. The eight-year veteran is leading the Dolphins with seven sacks, which includes a dominant run of 5.5 sacks in the past three games.

Wake had two important sacks against quarterback Philip Rivers in Sunday’s 31-24 win over the San Diego Chargers.
Cameron Wake posted two sacks of Philip Rivers on Sunday to bring his season total to a team-leading seven. Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
“He’s really made it tough on every tackle he’s gone against,” Dolphins coach Adam Gase said Monday. “The way he’s coming off the ball and how physical he’s playing, it’s been impressive to watch. For a guy that’s been playing as long as he has, he’s playing with great energy. You can see the passion for the game and the passion he has for this team by just the way he plays.”

It wasn’t supposed to look this easy for Wake. Last year he suffered a major Achilles injury that ended his season. Wake, one of the fittest players on the team, was diligent in his rehab and made sure he was ready for the start of the regular season.

It’s not that Dallas viewed him as a 10-sack guy, but Jordan Mills Authentic Jersey he was envisioned as a player who could put consistent pressure on the quarterback and be a quality member of a pass-rush rotation.

“We have nine guys and we wanted to have the eight most productive guys up there,” coach Jason Garrett said of the defensive line rotation. “We’re trying to create competitive situations in practice and competitive situations in the game to earn the right to be one of those eight guys in the game.”

It hasn’t happened with Mayowa. He has two sacks and four quarterback knockdowns for a unit that could use all the help it can get.

The Cowboys entered the Pittsburgh game ranked 15th in sacks (18), 27th in pressures (41) and 29th in knockdowns (29). And they’ve drawn only four holding calls, tied for 31st in the league.

The Cowboys sacked Ben Roethlisberger only once Sunday.

“He’s working hard, but we want to see more production,” Garrett said of Mayowa. “He’s getting better and understanding the techniques we want him to play and at different times he’s done a good job of being productive, but we want him to continue showing up.

“What we do is similar to what he did in Oakland, it’s just a matter of continuing to work hard, showing up and being productive.”

Until he does, he’s going to have a hard time getting on the field.

Bengals still on their bye? They lacked urgency, at times, in loss to Giants

The Cincinnati Bengals’ 2016 season can be summed up by a series of plays that occurred at the end of the first half against the New York Giants on Monday night.

The Giants had just scored to take a 14-10 lead. The Bengals had 1:11 remaining in the half, a timeout left and one of the league’s best deep threats in wide receiver A.J. Green. But instead of going with an up-tempo drive to counter the Giants’ attack, they called a running play for 2 yards (that took 31 seconds off the clock), threw three short passes to run the clock down to three seconds, then attempted a Hail Mary to end the half.

But ESPN’s Adam Schefter Carl Davis Youth Jersey has been told the injury is “not overly serious” and that Gronkowski does not have a punctured lung, as has been reported. It is not known if the injury will affect Gronkowski’s status for Sunday’s game in San Francisco or if the injury was the reason he canceled an EA Sports media event scheduled for Tuesday in New York.

Following Sunday’s 31-24 loss to the Seahawks, Gronkowski relayed that he had the wind knocked out of him.

Rob Gronkowski, who was briefly Crockett Gillmore Youth Jersey staggered in Sunday’s loss after a hard hit by Earl Thomas, canceled an EA Sports video media tour scheduled for Tuesday in New York.

“Just down for about a minute or two. It’s a little tough to breathe, but once it comes back, you’re good,” he said of the hit by safety Earl Thomas. “He hit me fair and square. It’s football. You’re going to get laid out eventually.”

Gronkowski, who was seen in the locker room Monday and said hello to reporters but did not discuss his injury, said after the game that the hit was “probably one of the hardest I’ve got hit in my career, for sure, by a good, fast player who’s like a missile.”

Overall, Gronkowski played 57 of 67 offensive snaps, as he was given a breather for five additional plays not related to Thomas’ hit. He finished with three catches for 56 yards while drawing a pass-interference penalty in the end zone and a defensive holding penalty in the end zone, both of which led to touchdowns. He was also targeted on the team’s final offensive play, an incomplete pass on fourth-and-goal from the 1.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, during his weekly Monday night appearance on Westwood One radio, was asked about an NFL.com report that Gronkowski might have suffered an injury to his lung.