Related: 2013 Fantasy Football: Flint Michigan Megabowl’s Thurman Murmans Week Seven Results The quarterback carousel will apparently continue for the Minnesota Vikings, as Josh Freeman is reportedly dealing with a concussion after his dismal debut against the New York Giants on Monday night. Christian Ponder is now expected to start in Week 8 against the Green Bay Packers after starting the first three games of the season, suffering a rib injury and losing his job to Matt Cassel and then Freeman. Fantasy football owners that even had him on a roster surely dropped Ponder like a bad habit after his injury, but is he a viable option for Week 8? Ponder missed Minnesota’s playoff loss to the Packers last January with an arm injury, but he performed well against them at home in the regular season finale, going 16-for-28 for 234 yards and three touchdowns without an interception. It’s worth mentioning he had one of his worst games of 2012 at Lambeau Field against Green Bay (12-for-25 for 119 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions), but Sunday night’s game is a home. The Packers enter Week 8 allowing the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks (17.8 per game, ESPN scoring) and that would be worse if not for facing Brandon Weeden of the Cleveland Browns in Week 7 and allowing just 149 passing yards and one touchdown. Ponder may not be a significantly better player than Weeden, but he at least has some positive history against Green Bay at home. With six teams on a bye this week, some fantasy owners may find themselves thin at quarterback with Andrew Luck, Philip Rivers and Joe Flacco idle. Ponder should not be considered as a strict bye week fill-in for Luck or Rivers, but those that are searching for a QB2 in deep two-quarterback leagues could consider him as a plug-and-play for Week 8.
LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Clippers‘ Christmas sweaters were terrible. Hideous actually. Each one uglier than the next. Chris Paul walked into the Clippers’ locker room with a sweater vest stitched with a Christmas tree and ornaments. Blake Griffin rolled in with a knitted vest over snowman pajamas. And Matt Barnes looked like a walking Christmas present with ribbons and bows placed on his sweater by his twin boys. Christmas Day games have become old hat for the team down the hall. The Los Angeles Lakers have played on Christmas Day every year since 1999. This is only the third time the Clippers have played on Christmas Day since 1992. What was once viewed as a nuisance by players and coaches is now viewed as a sign of respect from the league. “It usually means you’re doing something right,” Paul said. “You’re on a guy like Blake Griffin’s team.” There was no way Paul was going to let this day go by without doing something to commemorate the occasion. Not only did every player arrive to Staples Center wearing ugly Christmas sweaters, but they all brought “Secret Santa” gifts for one another as well. These aren’t activities in which most NBA teams partake. Then again, the Clippers aren’t most NBA teams. They are, at least according to the standings, the best team in the NBA. After beating the Denver Nuggets, 112-100, for their first home win on Christmas Day, the Clippers are not only a league-best 22-6, but they have won a franchise-best 14 straight games, the longest streak in the NBA this season. Calling the Clippers the best team in Los Angeles, let alone the NBA, used to be the setup to a played out punch line. Anyone who has watched the Clippers this season, however, realizes they’re far from a punch line and their success this season is far from an aberration. After the Lakers defeated the New York Knicks earlier in the day at Staples Center, Dwight Howard smiled when he was told the Lakers were now 14-14 after winning five in a row. “We’re .500?” he said. “Yes! I knew this day would come.” While Howard was celebrating the Lakers’ 14th win of the season, the Clippers were trying to keep their 14th consecutive win in perspective. The Clippers didn’t begin this season with aspirations of winning 14 straight or starting 22-6 or winning on Christmas Day. Their expectations have always been much higher. CONTINUE READING