Nationals

College Football Today

College Football Today

STARS

-Landry Jones, Oklahoma, threw for 500 yards and three TDs to lift the No. 14 Sooners to a 51-48 overtime win over No. 22 Oklahoma State in the Bedlam rivalry.

-AJ McCarron, Alabama, passed for four TDs to lead the second-ranked Crimson Tide to a 49-0 beatdown of rival Auburn in the most-lopsided Iron Bowl in 64 years.

-Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M, threw for 372 yards and three TDs and ran for two more scores as the No. 9 Aggies handled Missouri 59-29.

-Kenjon Barner, Oregon, ran for 198 yards and two TDs and the No. 5 Ducks Oregon beat No. 16 Oregon State 48-24 in the Civil War, keeping alive their hopes for a spot in the Pac-12 title game and even an outside chance at the national championship

-Stepfan Taylor, Stanford, rushed for 142 yards and two TDs, and the No. 11 Cardinal beat No. 15 UCLA 35-17 to win the Pacific-12 Conference North title and a rematch with the Bruins in the conference championship game.

-Robert Marve, Purdue, threw for 348 yards and four TDs in the Boilermakers' 56-35 victory over rival Indiana.

-Duke Johnson, Miami, rushed for 176 yards and three TDs and the Hurricanes held on to beat Duke 52-45 and claim a share of the ACC's Coastal Division title.

-Sean Renfree, Duke, threw for a career-high 432 yards and four TDs in the Blue Devils' 52-45 loss to Miami.

-Le'Veon Bell, Michigan State, rumbled for a career-high 266 yards and a fourth-quarter TD in a 26-10 victory over Minnesota.

-Bo Wallace, Mississippi, threw for 294 yards and five TDs in a 41-24 win over No. 25 Mississippi State.

-Derek Carr, Fresno State, passed for 452 yards and four TDs to help Bulldogs thrash Air Force 48-15 to capture a share of the Mountain West Conference championship.

-Adam Muema, San Diego State, rushed for a career-high 255 yards and four TDs in leading the Aztecs past Wyoming 42-28.

-James Lark, BYU, threw for 384 yards and six TDs in a 50-14 victory over New Mexico State.

-Tyler Bray, Tennessee, threw for 293 yards and four TDs to help the Vols beat Kentucky 37-17 and avoid going winless in the SEC for the first time.

-Bryn Renner, North Carolina, threw for 305 yards and tied a school record with five TD passes to help the Tar Heels beat Maryland 45-38.

-Dray Joseph, Southern, threw for five TDs in a 38-33 win over Grambling State.

-Zach Zenner, South Dakota State, ran for 295 yards and three TDs in a 58-10 win over Eastern Illinois in the first round of the FCS playoffs.

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IRISH PUNCH TICKET

The Fighting Irish punched their ticket to Miami.

Theo Riddick rushed for 146 yards and a touchdown, Kyle Brindza kicked five field goals, and No. 1 Notre Dame secured a spot in the BCS championship game with a 22-13 victory over Southern California.

Everett Golson passed for 217 yards as the Fighting Irish (12-0) completed their first perfect regular season since 1988, earning a trip to south Florida on Jan. 7 to play for the storied program's first national title in 24 years.

After spending more than a decade looking up at the Trojans, the Irish are back on top of this rivalry with two straight wins in Los Angeles. The school of Knute Rockne, the Four Horsemen and Paul Hornung has new heroes now, from inspirational linebacker Manti Te'o to coach Brian Kelly, who took the Irish from unranked to start the season to No. 1 in the AP Top 25 for the first time in 19 years.

Notre Dame will likely face the winner of Saturday's SEC championship game between No.2 Alabama and No. 3 Georgia.

The Crimson Tide rolled to a 49-0 rout over Auburn and the Bulldogs crushed Georgia Tech 42-10 to set up a chance to face the Fighting Irish in Miami.

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BULLDOGS IN POSITION

The Georgia Bulldogs collected a trophy at midfield for another win over their state rival, then got some encouragement from the governor in their quest for a bigger reward.

No. 1.

Aaron Murray threw two touchdown passes, Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall each ran for a pair of TDs, and third-ranked Georgia stayed right in the thick of the national championship race with a 42-10 rout of Georgia Tech.

Gov. Nathan Deal presented the ``Governor's Cup'' to the Bulldogs (11-1) after they beat the Yellow Jackets for the 11th time in 12 years. He congratulated both teams on a ``great game'' (a bit of a stretch, to say the least) before turning toward the jubilant Georgia players.

Georgia is two wins away.

The Bulldogs will face No. 2 Alabama for the Southeastern Conference championship in Atlanta next Saturday. The winner of that contest will likely advance to play in the BCS title game on Jan. 7.

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UNDFEATED BUCKEYES

The only thing Urban Meyer lost during his first season at Ohio State was his cool - at the end of the last game.

Carlos Hyde ran for 146 yards and the fourth-ranked Buckeyes' defense shut out No. 20 Michigan in the second half to grab a bruising 26-21 win on Saturday, completing an improbable 12-0 season for the Buckeyes.

Meyer got emotional as the final seconds ticked off, embracing his players on the sideline at a raucous Ohio Stadium. Too emotional, he said later.

Almost no one - up to and including Meyer - expected such a rapid turnaround for the Buckeyes, who were just 6-7 last season with a loss to their archrivals in a transitional year when they were facing heavy NCAA penalties. A month after Meyer took the job last November, they were socked with a bowl ban after this season - and still ran the table.

Ohio State is ineligible for a BCS national title but still has an outside shot at finishing No. 1 in the final Associated Press Top 25 if other contenders lose.

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NUMBERS

9-Bowl-eligible teams from the Big 12.

13-Sacks this season by South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney to set a school record.

57-Years since Vanderbilt's last six-game winning streak.

76-Years since No. 25 Utah State had won a conference title before securing the Western Athletic Conference after its first 10-win season.

91-Touchdowns accounted for by Michigan's Denard Robinson, breaking Chad Henne's school record.

105,899-Fans in Columbus to see Ohio State play Michigan, the largest crowd ever to witness The Game.

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BALL'S RECORD

Wisconsin running back Montee Ball set an NCAA record after scoring his 79th career touchdown on a 17-yard run in the first quarter against Penn State.

The score broke a tie in the record book with Travis Prentice of Miami (Ohio), who had previously set the major college mark in 1999.

Ball entered 72 career rushing scores, including 17 this season, to go with six receiving touchdowns.

Ball clutched the football tightly in his right arm while getting pats on the helmet from teammates after the touchdown run gave the Badgers a 14-7 lead at 6:27 of the first quarter.

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KILL'S SEIZURES

Minnesota coach Jerry Kill had another seizure, keeping him off sideline for the second half against Michigan State.

Kill's latest episode occurred in the locker room at halftime as the team was returning to the field, the third such game-day occurrence in his second season at the school. This time, he didn't need to be hospitalized, however.

Kill had a seizure near the end of a loss to New Mexico State last season and was away from the team for several days while doctors tried to bring his condition under better control, though he didn't miss any games. This year, he was sent to the hospital for observation after the Gophers were beaten by Northwestern on Oct. 13.

After Minnesota fell 26-10 to Michigan State, athletic director Norwood Teague said Kill was comfortable and all of his vital signs were fine. Kill was cleared to go home after resting for a few hours.

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Fantasy Baseball Outlook: Week 12

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Fantasy Baseball Outlook: Week 12

We're just a couple of weeks away from the midway point of the 2018 Major League Baseball season, which means many casual fantasy baseball players have collectively turned their attention to the gridiron. This is good news for those of you still interested, because outside of the truly competitive leagues, it's about to get much easier to navigate the waiver wire and make winning trades.

That said, we'll still be here all season long, providing advice for anyone looking to gain a competitive edge in their fantasy leagues. There's a lot to digest in the upcoming week, as many teams (including the Washington Nationals) will play a full seven game slate. It's an especially great time for stars in baseball, as a whopping six players are on pace to record seasons with 8.7 Wins Above Replacement or higher, but there's still plenty of great options beyond the obvious guys.

NOTE: Don’t expect to see guys like Bryce Harper or Trea Turner mentioned too often. They are clear must-starts every week. Don’t overthink it.

Week 12 (6/18-6/24)

One Nationals pitcher to start: Max Scherzer

We won't often include a guy on the level of Mad Max in our recommendations, but consider this a statement against the other pitchers. With Stephen Strasburg on the DL, Gio Gonzalez is really the only other startable option in the rotation, and while he's a fine play against the Orioles, he's not a sure thing. Scherzer is the best pitcher in baseball, so when in doubt, it's easy to fall back on his name. For now, feel free to use Gonzalez if needed, but the only clear, recommendable one this week is Scherzer.

One Nationals position player to start: Adam Eaton, OF

Consider this your reminder to not get cute and just start Adam Eaton whenever he's healthy. When he can manage to avoid time on the disabled list, he's consistenly been one of the best players in Washington, and an absolute must-start in fantasy. Yes, he's hitting "just" .286 in five games since returning from the DL, but there's no reason to believe he won't bounce back to one of the top hitters in the National League once he gets back in the swing of things. As long as he's hitting at the top of the Washington lineup, he'll be one of the top run producers in baseball.

One Nationals pitcher to sit: Erick Fedde

We likely would have advised against starting Fedde regardless of matchup, given his relative struggles in his two starts with the Nats this season. He's got a nice 9:2 strikeout-to-walk rate, but the ERA sits at an unsightly 5.91. What makes matters worse is the matchup; Fedde is once again slated to face the vaunted New York Yankees lineup. In New York, he allowed two home runs in just five innings, and while Nats park isn't the hitter's haven that Yankee Stadium is, the sluggers in their lineup make for a daunting matchup in any city.

Fedde probably isn't owned in most leagues, and there's no reason for that to change, even with his spot in the rotation likely secure as long as Strasburg isn't throwing.. 

One Nationals player to sit: Daniel Murphy, 2B

Nats fans were understandably rejoicing when Daniel Murphy returned to the lineup last week. It's always fun when one of your stars is back on the field after missing so much time. Still, like most players who haven't face in-game pitching in several months, Murphy has been slow to re-adjust at the plate. He's recorded just two hits in 15 at-bats, has only walked once, and has yet to notch an extra-base hit of any kind. His OPS is below-.200, and while no one should expect that to last, there's no need to rush him back into your lineups either.

It would be pretty tempting to slot Murphy into your 2B or middle infield spot now that he's healthy, since you likely drafted him to be one of your studs, but given his lengthy absence, the nature of his original injury, and his slow start since returning, it's probably a good idea to leave him on your bench for a week or two. Once he starts driving the ball again, he can start to return value for you, but there's no reason to let him drag you down in the meantime.

Any 2-start pitchers for the Nationals this week?

Given that the rotation is currently in a state of flux, we can't confidently say any starter will get two starts. Fedde looks like the most likely candidate, but as we outlined above, he's still a pitcher you want to avoid for now.

Any 2-start pitchers worth streaming around MLB this week?

One of my favorite sleepers this week is Domingo German. One of the most surprising stats in all of baseball right now is that among starting pitchers with at least 40 innings pitched, German has the second best swinging strike rate, behind only Max Scherzer. Swinging strike rate is a great stat to use when projecting future strikeout potential, and German's 15.9% is mighty impressive. German has a start at home against the Mariners and on the road against the Rays, so while it's not a cakewalk week, it's not especially daunting either. As an added bonus for those in points leagues, German is RP-eligible, giving you some extra roster flexibility.

The walks are a little high (21 in 53.3 innings) which has let to an elevated WHIP and ERA, but it's a good rule of thumb to follow the strikeouts when identifiying quality fantasy pitchers, and considering most of the two-start guys this week are obvious studs who are certainly already owned in your league, German is the exact type of option you should be looking to stream.

One player you might not realize you should pick up: John Hicks, C/1B (Tigers) 

This is a sneaky move, the kind that could easily get overlooked in most fantasy leagues but could provide a great return on investment. With Miguel Cabrera's unfortunate season-ending biceps injury providing an opening in the everyday lineup in Detroit, Hicks (who is catcher elgibile) will be taking most of the team's at-bats at first base going forward. While he's probably not worth rostering as a first baseman in most leagues, catcher is a notorious black hole in fantasy baseball in recent years, and this season might be the wost yet.

Hicks will maintain catcher eligibility all season long, yet he'll play the far less demanding first base every day, giving him less wear and tear on his legs, less concern with running the pitching staff, and most importantly, regular at-bats in a surprisingly not-atrocious lineup. Hicks isn't the type of guy you'd refer to as a league-winner prior to Opening Day, but he could make a real impact on a championship roster in the second half of the season.

One player you might not realize you should drop: Jake Junis, SP (Royals) 

Junis isn't the type of pitcher that I'd classify as a must-drop, but you shouldn't hesitate to move on if there's a clear better option on the waiver wire. Junis started the season strong and looked like a legitimate breakout player, but he's allowed six earned runs in each of his last two starts. A poor two-start stretch isn't the end of the world, which is why I'm not suggest that everyone jump ship regardless of team context. That said, he doesn't have the pedigree of a top pitching prospect, and he plays for one of the five worst teams in baseball, meaning you can't expect many wins even when Junis is throwing well.

At the very least, you prbably should leave Junis on the bench for the time being, and again, if there's an option you've been eyeing on the waiver wire, now is the time to strike. Don't feel bad if that means leaving Junis behind to free up a roster spot for your team.

MORE NATS NEWS:

- Nice Threads: MLB reveals All-Star jerseys
- Rankings Update: Where did the Nats fall?
- On the Farm: Latest Nats prospect report

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Wizards 2018 NBA Draft prospect profile: Aaron Holiday

Wizards 2018 NBA Draft prospect profile: Aaron Holiday

The Washington Wizards hold the 15th and 44th overall picks in the 2018 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects projected to be picked around where the Wizards will select...

2018 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: Aaron Holiday

School: UCLA
Position: Point guard
Age: 21 (turns 22 in Sept.)
Height: 6-1
Weight: 187
Wingspan: 6-8
Max vertical: 33

2017/18 stats: 20.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 5.8 apg, 1.3 spg, 0.2 bpg, 46.1 FG%, 42.9 3PT% (2.7 3PT/6.2 3PA), 82.8 FT%
Player comparison: Darren Collison
Projections: NBC Sports Washington 19th, NBADraft.net 24th, Bleacher Report 23rd, Sports Illustrated 23rd

5 things to know:

*Holiday played big minutes in all three seasons for the Bruins. As a junior, he broke out as an elite scorer, averaging 20.3 points while also dishing 5.8 assists per game. Holiday scored in a variety of ways, including at the free throw line where he averaged 5.8 attempts per game and knocked them down at 82.8 percent.

*He is a terrific three-point shooter, one of the best in this draft class based on his college numbers. He hit 42.9 percent of his shots and on 6.2 attempts per game. Holiday shot 42.2 percent from long range in his three-year college career and never shot below 41 percent in a season. He had some games where teams just couldn't stop him from long range. He made four threes or more in 13 college games. Twice he went 5-for-5 and he once made six threes against USC.

*Though he has the skillset to play off the ball as a shooting guard, his size will limit him at the NBA level. Holiday is just under 6-foot-1 in shoes and doesn't have the vertical leap to make up for it. He does, however, have a plus wingspan. At this point, Holiday seems to be solely a point guard, though as long as he's good at the position there is nothing wrong with that.

*Holiday worked out for the Wizards at Capital One Arena. He was part of their first week of predraft workouts and by all accounts had an impressive visit. He hit a lot of shots and fared well in the interview process.

*Holiday has two brothers currently in the NBA. Jrue is a former All-Star who starts at point guard for the New Orleans Pelicans. Justin is a shooting guard for the Chicago Bulls. His sister-in-law, Lauren, is a former member of the U.S. women's national soccer team.

Fit with Wizards: The Wizards already have a point guard in John Wall, so Holiday would have no long-term path to starting. That said, he would shore up a need the Wizards have been trying to address for years.

Backup point guard has been a real void for the Wizards for most of Wall's tenure. This past season they tried out all sorts of options between Tomas Satoransky, Tim Frazier, Ramon Sessions and Ty Lawson. Though Satoransky remains on the roster, the Wizards don't appear content with their depth at the position.

Holiday's ability to hit threes is very attractive to the Wizards who could conceivably play him off-the-ball alongside Wall, or even Satoransky. Given Wall (6-4) and Satoransky (6-7) are taller than most point guards, they could theoretically guard shooting guards on the other end.

Holiday would add smarts and shooting to the Wizards' bench in the short-term. In the long-term, he could help lengthen Wall's career by taking some of his workload away and also give the Wizards more options once Wall enters his 30s.

Best highlight video:

More draft prospect profiles:

Kevin Knox, PF, Kentucky

Miles Bridges, SF, Michigan State

Robert Williams, PF/C, Texas A&M

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Kentucky

Zhaire Smith, SG, Texas Tech

Landry Shamet, PG/SG, Wichita State

Gary Trent, Jr., SG, Duke

Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami

Anfernee Simons, PG/SG, IMG Academy

Khyri Thomas, SG, Creighton

Chandler Hutchison, SG/SF, Boise State

Kevin Huerter, SG, Maryland

Mitchell Robinson, C, Western Kentucky

Troy Brown, SG/SF, Oregon

Donte DiVincenzo, SG, Villanova

Moritz Wagner, PF/C, Michigan

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