I’ll be honest: had eSports come out 10-15 years ago, I would have dismissed it as a fad played by geeks who had way too much time on their hands. I’d have followed that with the tired phrase “they live in their parent’s basement” and their only contact with the other sex comes from trips to places where you put George, Abe and Andrew down places your mother warned you about.
I’m glad that Brandon no longer exists.
The Outlaws of the Overwatch League
Between my “real” job and pondering the benefits of a Trey Lyles for Marquese Chriss trade in my basketball keeper league, I have kept an eye on the initial stages of the Overwatch League, which is currently amid its opening week of play. While I admit shamelessly that I still like to get on the stick as I approach my 47th birthday, my gaming extends to Madden, NBA2K and the occasional run as sidekick to my nephews on the latest Call of Duty.
Consider this a moment of embracing change. As of now, I am embracing esports and will look to enrich my knowledge of the leagues and the games. It does help that the Overwatch League has a franchise in Houston, a fact that will eventually lead me to meet and get to know the members of the Outlaws.
Further enhancing my trip into esports is the news that the Overwatch League will have its first two seasons streamed on Twitch.tv, After losing myself for nearly two hours surfing the games and videos there, I openly wondered why the hell I had never hear of it before.
Having spent much of my time at RotoExperts.com as the Marwin Gonzalez of the staff, I am looking forward to expanding my coverage of the Overwatch League at RotoExperts.com and at Sportsgrid.com. There will be a misstep or two as I learn the jargon and discover the James Harden/Mike Trout-like players who transcend the esports scene. We will have fun with this. That, I promise.
No Love For Nick Foles
Just how much does Yahoo’s NFL Champion of Champions Contest have for Eagles’ quarterback Nick Foles? Foles is at $20 heading into Saturday’s NFC Divisional Round game against the Falcons, putting him in the same low-rent district with the likes of backup QBs Matt Cassel, Brandon Weeden, Brian Hoyer and his backup, Nate Sudfeld. Damn.
To me, there’s value in playing Foles if you’re willing to take the risk. Keep in mind that he’s got a 3-1 record and a 5:2 TD-INT margin. After spending the last two weeks hearing how he’s the weak link of the Eagles and how the offense has no chance to move the ball against the Falcons, I’m betting a focused (and pissed off) Foles lights it up.
Florida Panthers’ center Aleksander Barkov has the potential to be a dominant Fantasy performer, yet he’s always found his way to injured reserve, having played more than 66 games in a season just once in his career. Barkov is beginning to shed the brittle tag and comes into Friday’s game against the Flames having scored goals in three straight games. He has 40 points (14 goals, 26 assists) in 41 games and is well on pace to eclipse his personal high of 59 points set in the 2015-16 season.
His $7100 price at Fanduel.com is stiff but worth the play. Barkov has scored at least 28.5 Fantasy points in his last three games and faces a Calgary team that is vulnerable to the power play. Having been named to the All-Star team for the first time, Barkov looks like a good bet to celebrate in style.
No Curry, No Cry
Scratch Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry and Denver Nuggets sniper Gary Harris off your DFS lists for Friday night. Curry’s sprained ankle will keep him out of the lineup at the Bucks, while Harris will miss Denver’s home date against Memphis for personal reasons. With Curry out, I’d invest the $10,600 on Kevin Durant at FanDuel. Durant is blistering, shooting 61.5 percent from the field while averaging 32.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.5 blocked shots in his first two games of the new calendar year. He’s also at his scoring best on Fridays, averaging 29 points per game in six games to start off the weekend this season.