One of fantasy football’s most basic aphorisms is that running backs are the best assets to collect — particularly the workhorse variety that rack up copious touches on the ground or through the air. According to a value-based drafting model, which measures a player’s scoring relative to the scarcity of production at his position, the most valuable player in fantasy has been a running back in 17 of the past 20 years. And when an owner hits on the stud running back du jour, it can go a long way toward helping win her league. But just how safe is it to bet on the preseason consensus top running backs with a high pick?To begin to answer the question, I gathered ESPN’s fantasy projection data going back to before the 2006 NFL season and noted the 12 running backs with the greatest expected fantasy points in the coming season. I then tracked how often those players ended up in a given RB tier at the end of the season. Here are the numbers over the past eight years:That’s a statement on the scarcity of sure-thing running backs, as well as the power of regression to the mean. The consensus top three running backs in a given year are usually safe bets to be viable fantasy starters (assuming a 12-team league with two starting RB slots), which is why there’s so much demand for them at the top of any fantasy draft. But in the tiers directly below them, running backs Nos. 4 through 9 are more likely to be among the bottom half of starters than the top half. The median running back ranked in slots 10 through 12 wasn’t a viable starter within the league structure described above.Then again, running backs are also the most consistent players in fantasy football. The truth is, all individual football statistics are relatively tough to predict because they depend on so much beyond the player himself, from teammates to coaches and everything in between.In light of that, it’s no wonder that many fantasy owners are too risk-averse.
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown confirms there’s no beef between him and offensive coordinator Todd Haley, after a confrontation on the football field.The incident happened during Steelers 20-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.“We’re good,” Brown said Wednesday after practice to ESPN reporters. “We just talked about some things we could do better as a whole and what we could do to get on the right page to start winning.”The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Brown confronted Haley because he wanted more pass plays called for him.“It’s a little frustrating when you’re 0-2 and you want to contribute to your team and be a difference out there, but you’ve got to stay positive,” said Brown, who caught a team-high of six passes against the Bengals and was targeted nine times in the game. “There’s a lot more football to play, and you can’t hang your head yet.”Brown went on to say, “Would I like the ball more? Absolutely. But sometimes you’ve got to let the game come to you. I didn’t think it was a big issue. I guess that’s what happens when you lose.”In the video below, Watch Stephen A. Smith break down the troubles plaguing the Steelers so far this season.
FiveThirtyEight’s current NBA predictions give the Brooklyn Nets an 81 percent chance of making the playoffs. That’s way better than the odds before the season began, when our predictions gave Brooklyn only a 34 percent chance of making it past the regular season. In the video above, Chris Herring takes a look at how the Nets got here and the challenges the team faces in maintaining this new success.
For hours, the play in Monday’s Game 12 of the World Chess Championship was filthy. Then it was weird. Things did not look drawish! But because of a remarkable decision by the world’s top grandmaster, they ended in a draw anyway.Over more than two weeks, more than 600 moves, 48 hours of play, one scandalous video and one black eye, the world’s top two grandmasters have now fought to a dozen straight draws. The World Chess Championship match between Norway’s Magnus Carlsen and the U.S.’s Fabiano Caruana remains deadlocked at the end of regulation, and the title will be now be decided by speedy tie-breaking games including, perhaps, a sudden-death format known as Armageddon.But before the tiebreakers came a wild, oscillating Game 12. Carlsen, with the black pieces, and Caruana, with the white, began with the Sveshnikov Sicilian, just as they had in Game 8 and Game 10. Carlsen was the first to deviate from the earlier contests, perhaps a stratagem to take Caruana out of his seemingly excellent preparation for the championship, and to angle for a decisive result at last. By the 12th move, the two were in uncharted territory, looking at a board that that no two people had created before at this level of chess.1This position did arise, however, in a game between the computer engines Stockfish and Houdini in this year’s Top Chess Engine Championship. (That game was a draw.) Blitz match 24.879.319.5 Armageddon 🔥0.080.419.6
Junior Kyle Snyder and former OSU wrestler Logan Steiber are honored at the Buckeyes Feb. 3, 2017 match against Penn State at the Schottenstein Center. OSU lost, 32-12. Credit: Nicholas McWilliams | Sports EditorThe travel ban placed on United States wrestlers, including Ohio State junior heavyweight Kyle Snyder and former OSU four-time national champion Logan Stieber, has been lifted, but a dangerous precedent might have been set.On Friday, the Iranian government announced the country would not be allowing American wrestlers to compete as a response to President Donald Trump’s executive order denying Iranian visas. However, a Sunday report by the semi-official news agency Fars, quoted Iran Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi as saying the ban was lifted after a U.S. judge halted Trump’s executive order.The ban would have kept Snyder and Stieber out of the Freestyle World Cup in Kermanshah, Iran.On Friday, following a 32-12 dual meet loss to Penn State, Snyder and OSU coach Tom Ryan addressed the media about their general reactions to the initial order. While Ryan expressed his displeasure on the matter, he said having Snyder around for, potentially, the rest of the season is a big boost.“These guys have huge dreams, huge goals,” he said. “And I think that that event is a good event for them to get some experience that they need. And also, it’s a great event. It’s a dual meet event … USA against the world, with our best guys over there. So it’s a really good event. The flip side for us is, we want him over there, but when you don’t have that, you have him in our lineup.”Snyder, fresh off a gold medal victory at the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix, will be competing in tournaments around the world during the four-year cycle between now and the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. However, the ban would have effectively kept the Olympic gold medalist out of the World Cup.When he talked to the US Wrestling on Friday after the ban was announced, Snyder was told to sit tight and remain positive.“I heard about it (Friday morning),” Snyder said after the Penn State dual meet. “But, a couple of hours later I talked to US Wrestling, the people over there. And, they told me just to remain hopeful. The chances of us going are slim, but they said this could change any day.”Sure enough, the slim chance proved to be much greater than anticipated, and Snyder, along with wrestlers like Stieber and former Nebraska standout Jordan Burroughs, will be allowed to compete.Even though past bans have prevented athletes from certain nationalities from competing in tournaments in foreign countries, most recently from the Russian doping scandal, the Iranian ban is new territory. There were no positive drug tests or scandals.Instead, there was a decision made by one government that displeased another which directly impacted a world competition. In the future, barring any changes on the now stalled visa bans from Iran in the US, there might be little resistance in athletes from other nations traveling to other countries to compete in open tournaments. However, the impact on sports around the world could be catastrophic.Countries like Sudan and Syria are notorious for having athletes compete in US events like the Boston and New York Marathon. If the executive order is to be revived in any way, these events might take a severe hit in the number of participants.Returning marathon champion Mo Farah, who was born in Somalia, had some questions as to whether or not he would be allowed back into the country. However, it was later announced Farah could return.In the NBA, players like Thon Maker and Luol Deng, both of whom were born in Sudan, went through some nervous hours contemplating whether or not they would be allowed to travel with their respective teams. Although they were eventually cleared, questions remained on what would happen next.The ban has been controversial on both sides of the aisle, but if a ban on visas and travel from other countries is re-enacted, players and coaches from around the world who now live in the US might be out of a job and back to their native homes quickly. For now, the sports and collective world will wait and see what happens next, as travel from the seven affected countries continues. But, the wheels have been set in motion for what could be a bumpy road for athletes and potential citizens across the globe trying to make it in the United States.
While most of the attention in Ohio State’s Spring Game was focused on Terrelle Pryor, another Buckeye quarterback was making a name for himself.Freshman Kenny Guiton quarterbacked the Gray squad Saturday, showing poise late in the game.Down 14-10 with time running out, Guiton orchestrated an 89-yard game-winning drive highlighted by a touchdown pass to receiver Taurian Washington.“I just had to go to my moneymaker [Washington],” Guiton said. “I thought if I tried him a couple times in the second half he’d come through again and he did.”The touchdown was the second of the day for Guiton and Washington after they also connected for a score in the first half.Guiton’s solid play was a product of his development this spring and he could be moving up the depth chart this fall. The Houston native outdueled backup Joe Bauserman and may become Pryor’s backup this season.Guiton was the second quarterback selected in the draft in the Spring Game, ahead of Bauserman, which he recognized as an honor.“I think it said a lot from the seniors,” Guiton said. “The seniors got to pick the draft. I feel like I’ve earned a lot of respect from the seniors and the offensive line.”Coach Jim Tressel was glad to see both Guiton and Bauserman getting experience throughout the game. “I thought they both got some very valuable reps under the gun,” Tressel said.Tressel also acknowledged he was excited to see the development of Guiton on display as he wasn’t sure how his depth was headed into this fall.“We really felt as we went into the last week of practice we weren’t sure if our depth had progressed as much as we’d like it to,” Tressel said.Guiton, like Pryor, is a dual-threat quarterback with potential that can continue to be developed. While he thought he played well, he noted there is always room for improvement, especially in his decision making.“To tell you the truth, you’re never satisfied,” Guiton said of his play. “But overall I think I had a pretty good day.”Guiton will have the opportunity to continue to develop and learn as he plays behind Pryor this year. And while he might not see much playing time this season, Tressel stressed that having Guiton add depth to the roster is critical.“You need to have a deep team to have a chance at the championship,” Tressel said.
Bowl Championship Series commissioners have proposed a model four-team seeded playoff that will be presented to university presidents sometime next week for approval, according to the Associated Press. A consensus, according to the report, was reached Wednesday after commissioners spent four hours working to figure out how to structure the first playoff in college football history. Specifics concerning the actual playoff model, though, are limited, as the BCS commissioners were hesitant to share details before discussing them with university presidents, according to the report. Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott told the Associated Press “the two semifinals would be worked into the existing major bowls.” Ohio State’s department of athletics did not immediately respond The Lantern‘s request for comment from first-year coach Urban Meyer, who has said he is not in favor of abandoning the bowl system. At a press conference in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on May 16, Meyer said the past decade’s setup has been “ideal” for college football. “I’ll probably get in trouble for saying this,” Meyer said. “I think the ideal setup is what’s happened in the last decade of football. I think we’ve had a true national champion.” Similarly, OSU President E. Gordon Gee said in a February interview with The Lantern that he was still against the notion of a playoff in college football, but lightened his stance on the matter. “I’m very much on record of being opposed to a playoff system,” Gee said. “Saying that, one of the things you have to do at my age, you have to understand that the world is changing around you, so therefore you have to take a look and see what the possibilities are … I want to think about it.” OSU representatives did not immediately respond to The Lantern‘s request for a comment.
OSU junior back Emma Royce (27) fights for the ball during a game against Ball State on Sept. 14 at Buckeye Varsity Field. OSU won, 3-2, in overtime.Credit: Melissa Prax / Lantern photographerThe No. 16 Louisville Cardinals used a flurry of goals from six different players to defeat the Ohio State field hockey team, 6-3, Tuesday afternoon in Louisville, Ky.The Cardinals (7-1) took little to no time getting on the board when sophomore midfielder Lotta Kahlert scored unassisted just 2:20 into the game.The Buckeyes (3-5) countered less than through the opening half when freshman midfielder Morgan Kile hit senior midfielder Kaitlyn Wagner on a cross-field pass to tie the game at one.The draw did not last for long, however. Louisville pulled back in front less than four minutes later when sophomore forward Shannon Sloss connected off a rebounded save from OSU freshman goalie Liz Tamburro.Louisville extended its lead to 3-1 when senior forward Becca Maddock scored her seventh goal of the season off a pass from freshman forward Nicole Woods.OSU fought back to twice make it a one-goal game. Wagner scored her second goal of the game off a penalty corner before the end of the half to make it 3-2.With the score 4-2 early in the second half, junior forward Peanut Johnson dribbled right into the circle and shot past Louisville redshirt-junior goalkeeper Sydney King for her fourth goal of the season.That was as close as OSU would get. Louisville extended its lead to 5-3, and then, with 13 seconds left to play, senior back Mallory Mason converted on a penalty stroke to put a seal on the game.OSU freshman midfielder Maddy Humphrey, who was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week for the second time this season before the game, was held scoreless Tuesday after a weekend in which she tallied 11 points, including five goals and one assist. She assisted on Wagner’s second goal Tuesday against Louisville.The Virginia Beach, Va., native notched her first career hat trick Sunday against Appalachian State.The Buckeyes are set to host No. 10 Penn State at Buckeye Varsity Field on Sunday at 1 p.m.
OSU junior H-back Curtis Samuel (4) scores the game-winning touchdown in the second overtime of the Buckeyes’ 30-27 win over Michigan on Nov. 26. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorFormer Ohio State H-back Curtis Samuel has been selected with the 40th overall pick by the Carolina Panthers in the second round.He is the fourth Buckeye selected in the 2017 draft, following former teammates Marshon Lattimore, Malik Hooker and Gareon Conley. Samuel declared his intentions to forgo his final season of collegiate eligibility and enter the NFL draft on Jan. 9, becoming the third Buckeye at the time to announce his departure from OSU.In his final season with the Buckeyes, Samuel was recognized as a first-team All-American by both the Associated Press and Sporting News. He was also selected as a second-team All-American by Football Writers Association of America and Fox Sports. Serving as the hybrid back for OSU in 2016, Samuel seemed to do it all for the team. He led the Buckeyes with 865 receiving yards on 74 receptions, also tying the team-lead for touchdown receptions with seven. He also finished third on the team in rushing yards with 771 yards on 97 attempts, taking eight of those rushes for scores. Samuel was also the only player in Division I football to tally at least 600 receiving yards and 600 rushing yards.Samuel finished the season third in all-purpose yards in the Big Ten with 1,655 yards and tied for third in the conference with 15 total touchdowns. Most memorable of those touchdown came on Nov. 26 against Michigan when Samuel took a handoff left for a 15-yard game-winning touchdown in the Buckeyes’ 30-27 overtime victory.Entering the draft as a wide receiver, Samuel placed among the position’s leaders in several of the NFL Combine’s categories. He posted a 4.31 second 40-yard dash time, ranking second among all receivers, and finished eighth in the vertical jump with a 37-inch jump.Samuel is the second offensive player drafted by the Panthers in the 2017 draft. On Friday, the Carolina drafted former Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey with the No. 8 overall pick.Samuel joins former Buckeyes players safety Kurt Coleman and guard Andrew Norwell on the Panthers.The Panthers open the season in San Fransisco against the 49ers on September 10.
The Levant Mine where Poldark is filmed is charging people for parking after visitor numbers increased due to Poldark popularity. Until now parking at the coastal location has been free and residents are angry at the move.Ian Cooke created a Facebook group against the move by the National Trust.In an open letter he said: “Public feeling against this new policy is running very high locally and, to prevent a repeat of unsightly and costly vandalism, I once again appeal to the National Trust to reconsider their parking policy and agree to grant an exemption for this location.”We don’t want Levant Mine to be treated as a Poldark attraction.”The National Trust have still not taken on board public feelings about the new charges as applicable to Levant, but hope they eventually see sense and abandon this policy as it applies to the very special case of Levant due largely to the disaster of 1919 when 31 local miners were killed in a shaft less than 100 metres from the car park.” The parking meter is due to be replaced on Thursday and the National Trust says the fees raised will fund conservation and maintain the site.Ian Marsh, from the National Trust, said: “A terrible tragedy happened in 1919 where 31 men lost their lives there.”We know people still come to pay their respects, those that descend from the miners that lost their lives, and we don’t want to prevent that from happening in any way.”Those people are able to park for free and while they’re with us we want to hear their stories and hear their memories of the place.” A Poldark film location, where 31 men died in a mining disaster, is at the centre of a row after its popularity led the National Trust to introduce parking charges.Anger over the ticket machine at Levant Mine in Cornwall even led vandals to pull it out of the ground.Scenes from the first series of Poldark were filmed at Levant Mine, and the National Trust said there had been a 50 per cent increase in visitor numbers to 100,000 people a year since the drama was first broadcast in March 2015.The site is the scene of the mining disaster where 31 people lost their lives in 1919. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.