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NBA MVP rankings: Jayson Tatum, Stephen Curry and Giannis Antetokounmpo are in a three-way tie after the first quarter of the season.

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NBA MVP rankings:  Jayson Tatum, Stephen Curry and Giannis Antetokounmpo are in a three-way tie after the first quarter of the season.

NBA MVP rankings: Jayson Tatum, Stephen Curry and Giannis Antetokounmpo are in a three-way tie after the first quarter of the season.

We’re already halfway through the first quarter of the 2022-23 NBA season, believe it or not. That means we’ve officially passed the yearly “small sample size” period of the year, when patterns and outcomes start to take shape and give us a sense of how things could play out for the rest of the season.

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While things may likely change in the final three quarters, now appears to be the ideal time to assess this year’s MVP contest. We’ve seen enough to properly evaluate individuals based on their individual and team performances, but it’s still early enough that a poor week may radically alter the ranking.

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Players such as Jayson Tatum and Giannis Antetokounmpo have guided their respective teams to the top two records in the NBA, while others like as Stephen Curry and Luka Doncic have put up ridiculous statistics to keep their clubs in the postseason race early on. Stars like Ja Morant, Nikola Jokic, and Devin Booker have done enough to be considered for the MVP award, but how do they stack up against the four aforementioned frontrunners?

The RC Sports chose to have seven members of its NBA Global team select their top five MVP prospects using a point system. A first-place vote earned five points, a second-place vote earned four points, a third-place vote earned three points, and so on.

The results of our NBA MVP rankings through the first 20 games of the season are available below.

1. Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics Votes (first place): 27 (3)

Averages: 30.5 points, 7.9 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.2 blocks, 0.8 steals, 47.7% field goal percentage

Team record: 16-4, first place in the Eastern Conference

Tatum and Antetokounmpo deadlocked with 27 votes each, but Tatum’s three first-place votes edged Antetokounmpo’s one. Both players are performing at an MVP level, which seems appropriate given that Tatum’s Celtics are just one game ahead of Antetokounmpo’s Bucks for the best record in the NBA.

After falling two victories short of an NBA title last season, Tatum has used those weaknesses — as well as a poor showing in the NBA Finals — as fuel to improve his game this season.

Tatum has made significant strides as a scorer, as I discussed in a story last week about how his MVP emergence coincides with Boston’s championship expectations. The 24-year-old has lived up to his offseason goal of getting to the basket and free throw line more regularly, scoring at a career-high rate in the restricted area and in the paint while attempting a career-high 8.8 free throws per game.

Tatum is now averaging a career-high 30.5 points and 4.6 assists per game, leading a Celtics team that has the greatest offensive rating in NBA history through 20 games.

Tatum has been the sort of dominant two-way player you want in a league MVP, especially when you consider the progress he’s made as a versatile defender, coming up with critical defensive stops on many times already this year.

2. Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo Votes (first place): 27 (1)

30.9 PTS, 11.4 REB, 5.4 AST, 1.0 BLK, 0.9 STL, and 53.4% FG

14-5 overall, 2nd in the Eastern Conference

As previously stated, Antetokounmpo was denied the top slot owing to a tiebreaker based on first-place votes. That doesn’t diminish the Greek Freak’s season thus far, as he is well-positioned to win his third MVP award of his career.

Because of how steady Antetokounmpo has been over the previous five seasons, it appears like we are beginning to take him for granted. The 27-year-old is seemingly sleeping his way to 30 points and 10 rebounds per game, posting a career-high 30.9 points and 11.4 rebounds per game. As a leading candidate for Defensive Player of the Year, he is an unstoppable force on both ends of the court, powering the league’s greatest defense.

Antetokounmpo has been absolutely ridiculous in keeping the Bucks in second place in the East despite the fact that All-Star forward Khris Middleton has yet to make his 2022-23 debut – a circumstance that has worked in his favor for the MVP narrative thus far.
Because Antetokounmpo has already won the award twice, his continued success should not be overlooked in this year’s MVP race.

3. Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors 24 votes (first place) (3)

Averages: 31.4 points, 7.1 assists, 6.8 rebounds, 1.2 steals, 5.2 three-pointers, 52.2% FG, 44.1% three-pointers.

11-10 overall, 9th in the Western Conference

If not for the Warriors’ 11-10 record — and one voter taking Curry off their ballot altogether because of it — Curry would have likely finished first on our MVP ladder. At 34 years old, the reigning Finals MVP continues to defy expectations, playing some of his finest basketball of his career.

Curry’s 31.4 points per game are second in the NBA, trailing only Doncic, but he’s doing it with “greatest shooter of all-time” efficiency. Curry is on pace for his second 50-40-90 season, shooting a career-high 52.2 percent from the field, 44.1 percent from three, and 91.1 percent from the free-throw line.

He’s averaging a career-high 6.8 rebounds per game, and his 7.1 assists per game are his best since 2014-15, when he was named MVP. Curry has already gone for 50 points and 40 points twice. He also tallied 15 assists, the most he’s had in a game since his unanimous MVP season in 2015-16.

Curry is doing everything he can to help a struggling Warriors team, and there is a strong case to be made that he is their most important player.

Curry is now listed at +1000 to win MVP (the fourth-highest odds in the league), and if you feel that Golden State will ultimately turn things around and return to the top of the Western Conference rankings by the conclusion of the season, Curry might be a sensible bet for the future.

4. Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic Votes (first place): 14 (0)

Averages: 33.1 points, 8.7 rebounds, 8.4 assists, 1.7 steals, 50.4% field goal percentage

9-10 overall, 11th in the Western Conference

Doncic started the season as the favorite to earn MVP, and he has definitely delivered. With 33.1 points per game, the 23-year-old leads the league, and his 8.7 rebounds and 8.4 assists are perfectly on track with his career norms. His four triple-doubles also lead the NBA, and he’s doing it all for a Mavericks club that has struggled early on.

While Dallas’ lack of success may restrict Doncic’s chances of winning the award, Doncic’s road to MVP might be similar to that of Nikola Jokic last year.

The Nuggets finished sixth in the Western Conference last year, but Jokic’s amazing stats, along with Denver’s next two best players, Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr., being out due to injury, set the path for Jokic to win his second MVP award in a row.

The Mavericks aren’t missing their next two best players in the same way that the Nuggets are, but losing Jalen Brunson in free agency has left a deeper hole than expected, and the current lineup surrounding Doncic has been disappointing through the first quarter of the season.

If Doncic can lead the league in scoring while averaging a near-triple-double on a weekly basis and maintain a poor Dallas club in the top-six of the Western Conference to win a playoff place, he’ll be tough to overlook as an MVP nominee.

5. Memphis Grizzlies’ Ja Morant Votes (first place): 4 (0)

Averages: 28.5 points, 7.6 assists, 6.4 rebounds, 1.1 steals, 47.2% field goal percentage

12-8 overall, 3rd in the Western Conference

Morant narrowly beat out Devin Booker and Nikola Jokic for the fifth and final slot on our MVP rankings.

Morant, who made his first All-Star trip last season, has taken another MVP-caliber leap this season, leading the Grizzlies to one of the best records in the Western Conference. The 23-year-old is still developing, posting career highs of 28.5 points, 7.6 assists, and 6.4 rebounds per game.

It will be difficult for Morant to match the “shock factor” of his electric debut last season, but as long as his individual performance correlates to Memphis’ success and the Grizzlies remain at the top of the Western Conference, the superstar guard’s name will remain in the MVP conversation.

Votes are also being cast.

Nuggets (3 votes): Nikola Jokic In our rankings, the back-to-back MVP was just outside the top five. His averages have fallen since his previous two seasons, but the Nuggets still have one of the best records in the NBA. Jokic will have a chance to win his third consecutive MVP award if Denver stays at the top of the Western Conference standings.

Devin Booker, Suns (3 votes): Booker, like Jokic, narrowly missed the top five in our rankings. Booker is averaging a career-high 27.1 points per game for the Suns, who now lead the Western Conference. Booker has kept this team afloat despite the absences of Cam Johnson (knee) and Jae Crowder (team/personal) and Chris Paul averaging a career-low 9.5 points per game.

Thunder’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (1 vote): If not for the Thunder’s 8-12 record, Gilgeous-Alexander would have gotten a lot more votes in this poll. The 24-year-old has risen to All-Star status early in the season, averaging 31.1 points, 6.2 assists, 1.7 steals, and 1.3 blocks per game.

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The best adds for week 17 of Fantasy Football 2022

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The best adds for week 17 of Fantasy Football 2022

The best adds for week 17 of Fantasy Football 2022

Time to open week 17 of the 2022 NFL season with a lot of things to settle in our beloved league before the postseason begins. There are still open wild card spots left and some divisions have yet to know their winners. With only two rounds left in the regular season, we will still see “fights” on several fronts.

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In our favorite virtual game, things are a little different. It is time for the grand finals in most fantasy football leagues, with some GMs still fighting for “bronze medals” and others for better placements. And since nobody likes to lose, today’s tips are not only for the grand finalists, but for everyone trying to finish higher on the “podiums”.

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Whether it is to compete for the grand final or even an honorable third place, the waiver wire is once again necessary for those who aim to strengthen their team with an eye on the most important duel of the whole season. So, once again The Playoffs is here, being your best friend to help you find a good name to replace a considerable loss or even a player hidden in the huge waiver wire list that can contribute to your success in the “hour of truth”.

It’s worth remembering that you can’t be too careful when giving up a name in order to add a player via waivers, since placing a certain athlete on the market can mean an unwanted improvement to an opposing team.

To be eligible in our list, players have to be on, at most, 60% of the NFL.com Fantasy Football squads, which is the most popular and famous platform among Brazilians.

It is also possible that the names mentioned here are in a higher or lower percentage of squads in other applications, such as Yahoo, ESPN and Sleeper, although the tendency is that the average is similar.

Again, we reiterate that we use as a parameter the PPR score (when points are computed per reception), again because it is the standard and most famous model, currently, of the game, having stolen the “crown” of the old Standard (or non-PPR) in recent years.

With that and without further ado, let’s get to the names for the week 17 – FOR TITLE MY FRIENDS!

RUNNING BACKS

Tyler Allgeier – Atlanta Falcons (17.3% rostered*)

With four consecutive losses in the league and no chance of qualifying for the playoffs, the Atlanta Falcons are no longer contending for big things this year. Therefore, after the bye week, who has been gaining space in the team round after round is running back Tyler Allgeier. The freshman is increasingly participating in snaps and his number of carries has increased significantly, with him passing for 100 rushing yards in Week 15 on 17 attempts, and reaching 74 yards on 18 attempts in Week 16. The number of passes received by the youngster has also skyrocketed, with him managing four receptions for 43 yards in the last round, in five times he was targeted. The Falcons face the Arizona Cardinals, who are also not contending for anything this season and have one of the worst defenses against the run game in the entire NFL. Allgeier should deliver good points. Add him if he is available.

James Cook – Buffalo Bills (33.8% rostered)

The Bills are already guaranteed in the playoffs and have clinched the AFC East. The team is still aiming for the bye week in the first round of playoffs and for that they need to keep winning their games. Another point that Buffalo wants to find a solution for is in the ground game, perhaps the only weak point of a team that has been completely well put together so far. And that’s where James Cook comes in, who is increasingly involved in the team’s offensive game and has been matching up well. In the last game against the Chicago Bears, there were 11 attempts for 99 yards and a ground TD for the No. 28, who has been getting more and more involved and tends to take over the backfield of the team in the playoffs. He should continue to be very active and could be an important player to add to your roster.

*Percentage of teams in official NFL Fantasy leagues that have this athlete on their roster

WIDE RECEIVERS

Isaiah Hodgins – New York Giants (0.3% rostered)

The Giants are still in contention. The team’s defense has grown in production and, amazingly, Daniel Jones has been taking good care of the oval ball and making interesting starts. With the QB well protected and able to find passes, a name that has been gaining more and more action in New York’s offense is Isaiah Hodgins, who has had plenty of offensive carries in the team’s last four games. All right, the commitment now is against the Indianapolis Colts’ secondary, which is one of the strongest against wide receivers, but Hodgins is becoming Jones’ ball security and in a team that needs to win to keep dreaming, the trend is good passes from the QB to the WR. Keep an eye on him.

Jahan Dotson – Washington Commanders (7.9% rostered)

A name mentioned last week that is once again being remembered in this column due to the Washington Commanders WR’s great form. Shrouded in expectations before the season started, Dotson did not mesh well early in the year with Carson Wentz, but when the former Eagles and Colts player got injured and Taylor Heinicke took over the quarterback spot for the Commanders, Dotson’s numbers skyrocketed and the WR started to show up even more than Curtis Samuel, who was Wentz’s safety ball in the first few games of the 2022 NFL season. The freshman is coming off TDs noted in Week 15 and 16 and with a good load. He should continue to be important for Washington this final stretch, even if Wentz returns to the team as he did last round.

TIGHT ENDS

Cole Kmet – Chicago Bears (57.0% rostered)

That the Bears have grown during the year and displayed a better game than what we saw in the first half of the season, that no one can deny. The growth came mainly through Justin Fields, who overnight changed “from water to wine” and started to show good numbers throwing and running the ball, which we had not seen until then in the career of the once promising QB drafted by Chicago. With Fields’ growth, the direct beneficiary was TE Cole Kmet, who got a lot of carries and a significant gain in offensive carries, becoming one of the main, if not the main, offensive weapon of the Bears. In Week 17, Kmet faces the defense of the Denver Broncos, one of the worst teams in the league and the 5th worst in scoring TEs.

Juwan Johnson – New Orleans Saints (12.5% rostered)

Another name repeated around here. Juwan Johnson has grown quite a bit, especially after Michael Thomas got injured and is out for the rest of the season. As Chris Olave also suffers from physical problems, Johnson is gaining ground in the New Orleans offense and has been showing good rapport with Andy Dalton. The Saints were virtually eliminated, but managed to grow, recovered and are now fighting for a wild card spot, or even the division, since the leader Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been skating. Keep an eye on Juwan Johnson, who should have plenty of carries in this final stretch of the season.

QUARTERBACK

Brock Purdy – San Francisco 49ers (27.3% rostered)

A regular around here, Brock Purdy was a real find for the San Francisco 49ers the year after the injuries to Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo. I’ll say it again, the 49ers have one of the most organized teams in the entire league, with a super protective offensive line, great receivers, healthy George Kittle blocking and receiving passes, and the “icing on the cake” Christian McCaffrey, who came in during the year, running the ball or receiving passes. With so many standouts around, Purdy has stepped in and has been doing his job, keeping California’s team as one of the favorites to win the title. Some say that the team has been playing even better than when Jimmy G was the starter.

With so many lures, it is easier for Brock Purdy to find free receivers, making important points in the FF. Add him, it’s the last chance.

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None of Matt Ryan, Sam Ehlinger, or Nick Foles is a solution for the Colts.

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None of Matt Ryan, Sam Ehlinger, or Nick Foles is a solution for the Colts.

None of Matt Ryan, Sam Ehlinger, or Nick Foles is a solution for the Colts.

Jeff Saturday made one last adjustment. It was ineffective.

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With the Indianapolis Colts’ offense sputtering, Saturday made the decision to activate Nick Foles as the starting quarterback for their game against the Los Angeles Chargers. Matt Ryan’s deterioration has been evident in recent weeks, as the Colts have struggled to move the ball down the field. Saturday believed Foles may provide a spark to the offense moving forward.

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The Colts were defeated 20-3 by the Chargers despite only managing 173 yards of total offense. Foles struggled throughout the whole game, going 17 of 29 (59%) for 143 yards, three interceptions, and a 31.9 quarterback rating. For the majority of the evening, Foles resembled the third-string quarterback the Colts have used for the majority of the season.

Despite all the speculation about how Foles might assist the Colts in moving the ball down the field, nothing of the kind occurred Monday night. Michael Pittman Jr.’s 19-yard reception was the game’s longest play. The Colts had a dismal 0-10 record on third down. The only team this season with a worse third down conversion rate? The Colts lost to the New England Patriots in Week 9 and finished with a record of 0-14.

After the game, Saturday stated, “Pretty straightforward – can’t turn it over.” You know, you can’t leave the defense on the field, so you have to convert on third downs offensively, get them off the field.

Again attempting to bear the burden, the Chargers’ quarterback Justin Herbert was sacked four times and forced into two fumbles. However, it is hard to compete when the offense is as terrible as it was on Monday night.

Foles said, “I believe we never found a rhythm as an offense. “I believe the points are clear. Three points is never going to be sufficient, to be honest. As a result, our offensive never really found its groove. And the quarterback is where it all begins. We also need to play well the whole game to attempt to establish a rhythm.

The truth is that under these conditions, Foles was never going to succeed. You can discuss Foles’ incredible 2017 campaign, in which he entered at the tail end of the campaign and guided the Philadelphia Eagles to a championship. However, Foles was surrounded that season by a fantastic Eagles squad. Not the Colts.

The Colts’ protection problems again as they allowed seven sacks in the game. The Colts have already allowed 56 sacks in 2022, and they are currently on track to surpass the previous high mark set by the team in a single season. Even while Saturday suggested that some of those sacks could have resulted from field coverage further back, Foles’ pocket continued to open up fast.

Along with playing alongside players he is still getting acquainted to, Foles was under pressure for the duration of the game. Early last week, it was made public that before the Chargers game, Foles will practice with the starting offense for the first time. Alec Pierce, Parris Campbell, and Pittman received some of his few passes.

The moment a shift occurs, Foles said, “you step in and try to become acclimated as fast as you can and, you know, get the timing down and everything.” “Our practice week was incredibly productive. It’s disappointing that the execution fell short of what we required to win this game.

It was almost hard for Foles to walk in and perform effectively in that circumstance. When you add it to the experienced quarterback’s poor choices and misfires, the offense had the worst appearance in the NFL. The Denver Broncos, the only club with a lower scoring average (15.5) than the Indianapolis Colts (16.5), at least managed to score a touchdown in their lopsided defeat to the Los Angeles Rams. After the game, their head coach was sacked as well.

The Colts’ roster contains no quarterbacks who can save this squad. Father Time has finally caught up with Ryan, who now throws with little to no velocity, struggles to handle the football, and appears to be moving more slowly than ever. Despite having a better arm, Foles struggles to move properly and makes terrible judgments while playing football with players with whom he has barely ever practiced.

You might argue that having Sam Ehlinger start again would be beneficial, but there is little hope that he would inspire the offense either. Early in the season, Ehlinger made two starts and went winless, including the humiliating loss in New England that ended the reign of previous head coach Frank Reich. Ehlinger is still the backup quarterback because evidently Saturday and the rest of the staff do not believe he can do any better.

Because the rest of the offense is a disaster, none of these quarterbacks are the solution. There are still protection difficulties with the offensive line, tight ends, and running backs. Defenses are sitting on every route because the Colts’ passing strategy and play-calling are so basic. None of the three quarterbacks can improve the offense to a level that would offset these problems.

Unfortunately, the crime cannot be corrected this year. For the Colts to have a reliable attack once more, new coaches and players at crucial spots are required. Expect a lot of the same play from this unit during the next two games up to that point.

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JJ Watt announces NFL retirement

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JJ Watt announces NFL retirement

JJ Watt announces NFL retirement

JJ Watt is hanging up his boots. On Tuesday (27), the Arizona Cardinals defensive end announced that he is retiring from the NFL, via a post on Twitter.

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“Koa’s (defensive end’s daughter) first NFL game, last home game of my career,” wrote the star, posing in photos alongside his daughter and wife, Chicago Red Stars forward Kealia. “My heart is filled with nothing less than love and gratitude. It has been an absolute honor and pleasure.”

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A three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Watt is a future Hall of Famer. He was the 11th overall pick in the 2011 Draft by the Houston Texans. There, he played until the end of the 2020 season, when he announced his move to Arizona.

In Texas, he played 128 games, including eight for the playoffs, adding 21 more for the Cardinals, one of them for the postseason, in last year’s Wild Card round against the Los Angeles Rams. In all, there are 149 starters on the field, 111.5 sacks, 580 tackles, 191 tackles for loss of yardage, 313 QB hits, one safety, and two interceptions.

When it comes to awards, the list is also extensive. He was three times named AP Defensive Player of the Year (2013, 2015 and 2016), once Walter Payton Man of the Year (2018), 2017 Sportsman of the Year, five times selected to the Pro Bowl (2012 to 2015 and 2018) and six times to the All-Pro team (2012 to 2015 and 2018).

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