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U.S. Supreme Court probes FTCs approach to seeking ill-gotten gains Biden names ex-US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power to lead international aid agency 2021 NFL Playoff Challenge Fantasy football rankings, picks: Start Travis Kelce in Divisional Round
As the Divisional Round approaches, anyone entering the 2021 NFL Playoff Challenge has plenty of tough calls to make.
Tom Brady, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin provided plenty of Fantasy production this season, but that trio now takes on a New Orleans team that ranked fourth in scoring defense. The Saints also held Tampa Bay to just 26 combined points in two meetings this season. Can you trust any of the Buccaneers with your 2021 NFL Playoff Challenge picks? © Provided by CBS Sports
Dec 22, 2019; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) breaks the record for receptions in a season with this touchdown reception during the second half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium.
NFL Playoff Challenge strategy is all about targeting productive players who can stay alive in the postseason, so there could be some risk in investing in Tampa Bay players this week. Before setting any 2021 NFL Playoff Challenge lineups, be sure to see the picks and advice from SportsLine's Mike McClure, a DFS pro who has won almost $2 million.
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McClure uses a powerful prediction model that simulates every snap of NFL action in every game 10,000 times, taking factors such as matchups, statistical trends and injuries into account. This allows him to find the best values that he shares only with members at SportsLine.
He absolutely crushed his DFS picks during the the 2019 NFL regular season, finishing as high as the top 1 percent of tournaments on DraftKings and returning as much as 40x return in some higher-stakes tournaments. He then continued his roll in the postseason, cashing on every single lineup he posted for the divisional round. Anyone who has been following him has seen some huge returns.
Now he's turned his attention to the 2021 NFL Playoff Challenge. Go here to see his full Divisional Round lineups.
Top NFL Playoff Challenge picks for the 2021 Divisional Round
One of McClure's top NFL Playoff Challenge picks for the 2021 Divisional Round: Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. He was the league's top Fantasy tight end this season, piling up a whopping 105 catches for 1,416 yards and 11 touchdowns, all while averaging over 13 Fantasy points per game. No other tight end still in the NFL Playoffs 2021 averaged more than 7.5 per game.
Kelce also faces a Cleveland defense that struggled mightily against his position. In fact, the Browns gave up the fifth-most Fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season. That's a juicy matchup for a player who put together an impressive 19-207-4 receiving line in the postseason last year.
Add in the fact that the Chiefs are the only double-digit favorites this weekend at William Hill Sportsbook and Kelce is a top-tier pick.
How to build 2021 NFL Playoff Challenge lineups
McClure is also targeting a pick that could go off for big numbers during the Divisional Round because of a dream matchup. This pick could be the difference between winning your NFL Playoff Challenge or going home with nothing. You can see who it is here.
So what is the optimal 2021 NFL Playoff Challenge lineups for the Divisional Round? Visit SportsLine now to see the full optimal tournament lineups for the NFL Playoff Challenge this weekend from a professional DFS player who has almost $2 million in career winnings, and find out.
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Houston Texans reportedly discussing Deshaun Watson trade internally
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Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has made it clear he isn’t happy with the organization, leading to constant rumors about a blockbuster trade. It appears the team is starting to get the message and it could have huge implications on the 2021 NFL offseason.
© Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports Will the Houston Texans have no choice but to trade Deshaun Watson?
As the Texans conduct their search for a head coach, the job’s desirability to potential candidates continues to take a hit. More people around the NFL are becoming alarmed by the reported organizational issues in Houston, leading to Houston’s opening becomes the most undesired head-coaching job in the NFL.
With the team’s reputation taking a massive hit and a franchise already facing multiple long-term questions, the Texans are reportedly starting to consider what they previously refused.
Deshaun Watson’s issues with the Houston Texans became public on Jan. 7, when we learned about his anger with the organization’s hiring process and promises that were not met by owner Cal McNair. While the team attempted to downplay any tension, the NFL world started buzzing about potential trades involving the superstar quarterback.
Watson certainly took issue with the horrendous offseason trade that sent away close friend and All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins. But he managed to get over that and delivered a career-best season in 2020, leading the NFL in passing yards (4,823) and finishing with the second-highest quarterback rating (112.4).
The 25-year-old quarterback wants out because of the organization’s dysfunction. Not only executive Jack Easterby, who has obtained an alarming amount of power in a short time, but also Cal McNair. Houston’s owner promised to make Watson involved in the hiring process, representing his teammates in the locker room, that never happened.
McNair and Easterby hired Nick Caserio as general manager, with the team’s leader and franchise star finding out on social media. While both McNair and Caserio are trying to mend the decimated relationship, the damage may already be done.
Now, the Texans might finally be realizing the magnitude of this situation. A team without a first- or second-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and no cap space, faces a quarterback potentially willing to sit out games. As a result, the organization seems to be changing its mind regarding his future.
One source told ESPN’s Sarah Barshop that the Texans have begun internal conversations about potential trade partners for Watson. They’ve also started to think about possible long-term replacements to take over for Watson at quarterback, in the event of a trade.
While Watson hasn’t specifically asked the team for a trade, things seem headed in that direction. After playing at an MVP-caliber level this season, only for this team to finish 4-12 and be pulled down by ownership, he seems done with this partnership.
Even if a trade demand is made, with Watson willing to waive his no-trade clause, the asking price will be unprecedented. Frankly, it needs to be for the Houston Texans. This team needs a multi-year rebuild and that means tearing everything down and building around draft picks for years to come.
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Related slideshow: The worst trades in NFL history (Provided by Yardbarker)
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Full screen 1/24 SLIDES © MSA/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images The worst trades in NFL history NFL fans often wonder what could have been after their favorite teams make terrible, head-scratching trades. Here's a look at the worst trades in the history of the NFL. 2/24 SLIDES © John Glaser / USA Today Sports Images 2020: Texans acquire David Johnson for DeAndre Hopkins The results of the trade have yet to play out, but Houston's return for Hopkins looks quite iffy on paper. Bill O'Brien acquired Johnson, a second-round pick, and swapped fourth-round picks with Arizona for Hopkins and a fourth-round pick. Johnson saw only 130 touches in 2019 and last averaged 4 yards per carry in 2016, while Hopkins has clearly established himself as one of the top wide receivers in football. Given the suppressed value of running backs in today's NFL, it's hard to see this deal looking like anything but a disaster when it's revisited. 3/24 SLIDES © Kirby Lee / USA Today Sports Images 2019: Raiders acquire Antonio Brown for two draft picks Brown went to the Raiders for what was thought to be a cheap price of third- and fifth-round picks after quitting on the Steelers late in the 2018 season. The drama got even worse when Brown arrived to Oakland, however, as he missed part of training camp with frostbite on his feet after failing to wear proper footwear during cryotherapy and then refused to adopt the NFL's new helmet requirements. The Raiders finally released Brown late in camp after he missed additional practices, had guaranteed money voided in his contract and had an altercation with GM Mike Mayock. 4/24 SLIDES © Bill Streicher / USA Today Sports Images 2018: Bears trade up for Mitchell Trubisky The Bears dealt first-, third-, and fourth-round picks as well as a third-round selection in 2018, to San Francisco to move up just one spot in the 2017 draft for the rights to draft Trubisky. Not only has Trubisky struggled to develop in his first
three NFL seasons, but the Bears also bypassed Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson in favor of the UNC alum. As time goes on, the trade and draft choice look worse and worse for Chicago. Slideshow continues on the next slide 5/24 SLIDES © Tommy Gilligan / USA Today Sports Images 2017: Bills acquire Kelvin Benjamin for two draft picks The still competitive Panthers shocked the football world when they traded Benjamin to the Bills for a third- and seventh-round pick at the 2017 trade deadline. As it turned out, Carolina was selling high on the former 1,000 yard receiver, as he had only 217 yards in six games with the Bills and was released after 12 games the following year. 6/24 SLIDES © Isaiah J. Downing / USA Today Sports Images 2016: Browns acquire Jamie Collins for third-round pick Despite making the Pro Bowl the previous year and starting six games in early 2016, the Patriots traded Collins to the lowly Browns for a third-round pick. Collins signed a contract extension with Cleveland following the year but was cut only two years into the deal. Of course, Collins returned as a top performer in 2019 for the Pats. 7/24 SLIDES © John Sommers II / Icon Sportswire 2013: Colts acquire Trent Richardson for first-round pick Just one year after selecting Richardson third overall in the draft and seeing him run for 950 yards and 11 scores during his rookie season, Cleveland traded the young running back to the Colts for a first-round pick only two weeks into the 2013 season. It was a trade that shocked the league, but the Browns would end up the clear winners after Richardson struggled with the Colts over two seasons. Richardson was cut after the 2014 season and never played another down in the NFL. 8/24 SLIDES © Cliff Welch / Icon Sportswire 2012: Redskins trade up for Robert Griffin III Targeting Heisman Trophy winner Griffin III, the Redskins sent three first-round selections and a second-rounder to the Rams, who were set at quarterback with former first overall pick Sam Bradford. The blockbuster move was ill-fated for Washington — RG3 hurt his knee at the end of his rookie season, leading to a downward spiral for his career. 9/24 SLIDES © Kirk Sides / Icon Sportswire 2008: Cowboys acquire Roy Williams for draft picks The Cowboys acquired Williams, a former Texas Longhorn, from the Lions in October, 2008, for a first-, third- and sixth-round pick. The former Pro Bowl wideout wasn't able to come close to matching his early career performance while with the Cowboys, failing to reach even 600 yards in a season, and he was released following the 2010 season. Slideshow continues on the next slide 10/24 SLIDES © Rich Kane / Icon Sportswire 2007: Dolphins trade Wes Welker for draft picks A slot receiver and return man in his first three NFL seasons, Welker was traded from Miami to New England in 2007 for second- and seventh-round picks. The wideout went on to become a star with the Patriots, leading the NFL in receptions three times and making five consecutive Pro Bowls. 11/24 SLIDES © Gary Rothstein / Icon Sportswire 2007: Raiders trade Randy Moss for fourth-round pick Moss never quite got comfortable in two expensive seasons with Oakland before the team traded the star wideout to New England for a fourth-round pick in 2007. After pairing with Tom Brady, Moss had one of the best seasons ever by a wide receiver en route to a 16-0 regular season with 1,493 yard and 23 touchdowns. He also surpassed 1,000 yards for the Patriots the following two seasons. 12/24 SLIDES © Bob Falcetti / Icon Sportswire 1999: Saints trade up for Ricky Williams Desperate for a lead back, New Orleans traded first-, third-, fourth-, fifth-, sixth- and seventh-round picks in 1999, along with first- and third-round picks in 2000, to the Redskins for the second overall pick to take Williams. Williams had a productive NFL career as a running back but played only three seasons with the Saints. 13/24 SLIDES © Ezra Shaw / Getty Images 1998: Chargers trade up for Ryan Leaf San Diego sent two first-round picks, a second-round pick and two players to the Cardinals to move from No. 3 to No. 2 in the first round. Leaf, the player San Diego selected, set the organization back years. Drafted after Peyton Manning went No. 1 overall to the Colts, Leaf is considered one of the biggest draft busts of all time. 14/24 SLIDES © Scott Halleran / Getty Images 1997: Bears acquire Rick Mirer for first-round pick Mirer looked like a huge bust four years into his NFL career with the Seahawks, going 20-31 while completing only 53 percent of his passes. Yet somehow he still fetched a first-round pick from Chicago in a trade. The quarterback started only three games for Chicago, going winless. He was released following the season. Slideshow continues on the next slide 15/24 SLIDES © Karl Wright / Icon Sportswire 1996: Rams trade Jerome Bettis for draft picks Bettis made the Pro Bowl in his first two NFL seasons with the Rams but struggled during 1995 after the franchise moved to St. Louis and hired a new coaching staff. Team and player decided to move on, with the Rams trading Bettis to Pittsburgh with a third-round pick for the Steelers' second- and fourth-round picks in 1997. St. Louis turned to draft bust Lawrence Phillips with its first-round pick in 1996 instead, while Bettis went on to produce six straight 1,000 yard rushing seasons in Pittsburgh and eventually was enshrined in Canton. 16/24 SLIDES © Sporting News Archive / Getty Images 1996: Rams trade Sean Gilbert to acquire first-round pick (Lawrence Phillips) The Rams moved defensive end Sean Gilbert to Washington for the sixth-overall pick. St. Louis brushed Phillips' off-field issues aside to take the former Nebraska running back. He lasted just over one year with the Rams, and Phillips also spurred the team to trade future Hall of Fame back Jerome Bettis. 17/24 SLIDES © Focus on Sport / Getty Images 1995: Bengals trade up for Ki-Jana Carter Cincinnati moved up four spots to No. 1 overall in 1995, trading the expansion Panthers the fifth-overall pick and a second-round pick, to take Penn State running back Carter. Carter, who hurt his knee in his first preseason game, had only 227 carries over four seasons for the Bengals. 18/24 SLIDES © Focus on Sport / Getty Images 1990: Colts trade up for Jeff George In a blockbuster trade with Atlanta, Indianapolis dealt Chris Hinton, Andre Rison, a 1990 fifth-round pick and 1991 first-round pick for the first overall pick, a fourth-round pick and a conditional pick. George, selected No. 1 overall, went 14-35 in four seasons with the Colts at quarterback. 19/24 SLIDES © Rick Stewart / Getty Images 1990: Vikings acquire Herschel Walker for five players and eight draft picks Jimmy Johnson set up the Cowboys dynasty with an unbelievable trade in 1990, moving star running back Herschel Walker and four draft picks to Minnesota for five players, three first-round picks, three second-round picks, a third-round pick and a sixth-round pick. Walker played only two seasons in Minnesota, failing to rush for 1,000 yards in either campaign. 20/24 SLIDES © Icon Sports Media 1987: Bucs trade Steve Young to San Francisco The Bucs selected Young with the first pick in the 1984 supplemental draft, but he went 3-16 in two seasons in Tampa Bay before getting traded to the 49ers for second- and fourth-round picks. Young would have to wait his turn behind Joe Montana, but he eventually emerged as the full-time starter in 1992 and went on an incredible seven year run as arguably the best quarterback in the NFL. The Bucs replaced Young with 1987 first overall draft choice Vinny Testaverde, who went 24-48 in six seasons with the team. 21/24 SLIDES © Jamie Squire / Getty Images 1983: Colts trade John Elway to Denver Elway was drafted first overall by the Colts in 1983 but refused to play for them. The Broncos sent Chris Hinton, Mark Herrmann and a first-round pick to Baltimore for his rights, and Elway went on to become a Hall of Fame quarterback in Denver. 22/24 SLIDES © Bryan C. Singer / Icon Sportswire 1992: Falcons trade Brett Favre for a first-round pick Atlanta took Favre 33rd overall in the 1991 draft, but a falling-out with head coach Jerry Glanville caused the team to trade him to Green Bay for a first-round pick just one year later. Even that high return proved to be far too little, as Favre had a Hall of Fame career that included 16 seasons and three MVP Awards with the Packers. 23/24 SLIDES © Rob Brown / Getty Images 1976: Oilers trade Steve Largent for eighth-round pick Selected in the fourth round
by the Oilers, Largent didn't even make it to Week 1 in Houston, instead getting traded to Seattle for an eighth-round pick in 1977. The Oilers' impatience proved costly, as Largent went on to have a Hall of Fame career in 14 seasons with Seattle. He made seven Pro Bowls and still ranks in the top 10 all-time with 100 receiving touchdowns. 24/24 SLIDES © Focus on Sport / Getty Images 1974: Packers acquire John Hadl for five draft picks Desperate for a quarterback, Green Bay gave up a king's ransom to the Rams for Hadl during the 1974 season. The Rams got a huge return with five draft picks. Hadl finished the season 3-3 as a starter but struggled the following year, going just 4-9 in 13 starts. 24/24 SLIDES