Tyson Fury team plots Anthony Joshua showdown instead of Deontay Wilder fight

Tyson Fury’s plan is to convince Deontay Wilder to step aside from their trilogy fight and take on Anthony Joshua next in a unification showdown this year, according to sources.

Wilder has exercised his right to an immediate rematch with Fury after their epic encounter in Las Vegas last February.

The Gypsy King became a two-time world heavyweight champion by beating Wilder in seven rounds and became the WBC, Ring Magazine and lineal belt holder.

Fury and Wilder were pencilled in to fight again in July, but the coronavirus pandemic has forced those plans to be postponed.

Read the latest updates: Coronavirus news live

The new date being looked at is October and at the moment both Fury and IBF, WBO and WBA (Super) champion Joshua are contractually tied into their next fights.

However, understands Fury’s team, which includes Frank Warren and American promoter Bob Arum, are plotting to release their heavyweight from his obligation to fight Wilder again.

Team Fury want to go straight into a unification clash with Joshua once the coronavirus lockdown is over and are hopeful that fight can take place in 2020.

Joshua is locked in to fight his IBF mandatory Kubrat Pulev in June at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but that fight is now likely to be postponed due to the public health crisis.

Arum also promotes Pulev, making the possibility of convincing the Bulgarian to step aside more likely.

Reacting to the news the trilogy fight with Wilder this summer had been postponed, Fury said this week: ‘I’ll be obliged to give him a bit more. You never get bored of beating Deontay Wilder, obviously.’

He added: ‘I’m looking forward to getting this coronavirus out of the way, getting the world back on track and getting back to my job.’

Joshua and Fury will need to offer Wilder a significant sum to convince the American to relinquish his opportunity to reclaim the WBC belt.

Team Fury are also wary of that figure increasing with each passing week and released a statement shooting dead claims a fight with Joshua was in the works.

In an official statement, MTK Global, Top Rank and Queensberry Promotions said: ‘Tyson Fury is the globally recognised number one heavyweight in the world and the current Lineal, WBC and Ring Magazine champion.

‘Tyson is contracted to a third fight with former WBC world champion Deontay Wilder.

‘Any statement made regarding negotiations, talks, venues or any other bout should be disregarded.

‘I would say right now there is no chance that Fury would fight anybody other than Wilder next. But, things change. Down the line, who knows?

‘But right now the answer is no. The answer is Joshua has an obligation to fight Kubrat Pulev.’

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Five team fits for Cam Newton; Kyle Allen to win Redskins job?

Former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks knows the ins and outs of this league, providing keen insight in his notebook. The topics of this edition include:

— Why you should expect the unexpected in the Redskins’ QB competition.

— Are the Falcons about to set a new trend in roster construction?

But first, a look at the teams that should be interested in the league’s most high-profile free agent …

* * * * *

It’s rare to see any quarterback with a Super Bowl appearance, MVP award and NFL records on his resume hit the open market, let alone one who’s still only 30 years old, but that is the situation Cam Newton finds himself in. The Carolina Panthers released the former No. 1 overall pick earlier this week after failing to find a trade partner for the 10th-year veteran.

While the fact that Newton remains unsigned as of this writing isn’t a surprise given that NFL teams are not performing physicals at this time due to the coronavirus pandemic (he did pass a physical coordinated by the Panthers and his agency before being released by Carolina, per ESPN), it’s still a surprise to see a player with Newton’s credentials searching for work in what should be the prime of his career. Sure, his injuries in recent years, and subsequent disappointing production, cloud his evaluation, but we’re talking about a guy who was the toast of the league not too long ago.

Newton holds the NFL records for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback (58) and most games with a passing and rushing touchdown. Although questions about his ability to continue to thrive as a mobile playmaker are valid based on the shoulder injury and Lisfranc fracture he suffered in consecutive seasons, it should be noted that Newton was playing some of the best football of his career under coordinator Norv Turner in 2018. Prior to his shoulder injury — which he suffered against the Steelers in Week 10 of the season — Newton had posted a 67.3 percent completion rate with a 13:4 touchdown-to-interception ratio in eight starts.

Let those numbers marinate for a minute. Cam was excelling as a passer in Turner’s traditional offense while also displaying the same dangerous running skills on the perimeter that made him a nightmare to defend.

That’s why I’m reluctant to focus only on his declining production since that game in Pittsburgh, but here they are anyway: 64.9 percent completion rate and a 9:10 touchdown-to-interception ratio in eight starts. The former All-Pro rushed for just 144 yards in that span.

Some might be ready to write him off based on those numbers, but I believe it’s only a matter of time before Newton finds his way back onto an NFL roster. Teams are undoubtedly going to want their own confirmation on his health status before determining whether to sign him. Assuming he checks out health-wise, a smart team should snatch up the three-time Pro Bowler to take advantage of the best value on the market at the moment. Newton would give a QB-needy team a high-end quarterback with top-10-playmaker potential and it could get him at a modest price based on the limited number of suitors in the marketplace.

He shouldn’t be ignored by contending teams, either. Squads with an established quarterback could get a solid insurance policy to protect against a significant injury to their starter. While I believe Newton certainly still wants to be a QB1, he could take this opportunity to pick the right coaching staff to help him grow his game as a passer and extend his career into his late 30s.

We’ve recently witnessed Teddy Bridgewater’s re-emergence after spending two years under Sean Payton in New Orleans. We also watched Ryan Tannehill re-launch his career by biding his time in Tennessee until he was given a chance to take the reins. If Newton is careful and selective during this process, we could see a return to greatness from a playmaker who is seemingly being cast aside by the football world.

Here are five teams that make sense for the former MVP:

New England Patriots: It’s rare for Bill Belichick to lavish praise on opposing players, but his respect for Newton’s talents is well documented. Belichick has outlined the challenges of playing against a big, athletic quarterback with power and versatility like Newton’s. Given offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels’ creative mind and his affinity for athletic quarterbacks (SEE: Tim Tebow), it would be interesting to find out what the Patriots could do with his talents. Keep these numbers, via Panthers Wire, in mind: Newton has posted his best passer rating against any opponent (128.2) while completing 71.9 percent of his passes (more than 12 points higher than his career rate) and averaging 7.07 yards per rush (almost two yards higher than his career average) against the Patriots.

That’s a lot of production for Belichick to see in person, and it’s one of the reasons why I think Newton could be on the Patriots’ roster this fall.

Los Angeles Chargers: Head coach Anthony Lynn clearly has a lot of confidence in Tyrod Taylor, but there’s no way he can ignore Newton’s potential as a dynamic QB with explosive playmaking ability. Newton’s athleticism could enhance the Chargers’ running game, while the Chargers’ big-bodied receivers would expand the strike zone for the streaky passer. If the Chargers are comfortable with Newton’s health and his bold personality, they could gain ground on their division rivals with the former MVP leading the way.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Newton’s personality might scare off the Jaguars’ coaching staff and executives based on their recent experiences with some alpha dogs. That said, he would be a significant upgrade over Gardner Minshew and Newton’s athleticism would help coach Doug Marrone stick to a ground-and-pound attack with the running game leading the way. If Newton can convince the front office that he will be a team player, he could help lead a young team back into playoff contention.

San Francisco 49ers: Before you laugh at the mere suggestion of Newton joining the Jimmy Garoppolo-led 49ers, let me be clear: This would be a move driven by the quarterback’s desire to join a team coached by an A-1 quarterback developer to enhance his chances of extending his career as he transitions from dual-threat playmaker to mobile assassin in an offense that features a number of movement-based passing concepts. Newton would give the 49ers a high-end quarterback in the bullpen to fill in if Jimmy G suffered an injury, and he could give the team options down the road when it comes to the QB1 position.

Baltimore Ravens: Newton’s presence in the building won’t threaten reigning MVP Lamar Jackson, but it would upgrade the talent behind the spectacular playmaker. Newton is a much better player than the current backup (Robert Griffin III) and his dual-threat talents would mesh well with the Ravens’ scheme. Naturally, coach John Harbaugh would need to be comfortable with Newton’s willingness to embrace a new role, but having a former MVP at his disposal could keep the Ravens in title contention in the midst of a catastrophe were Jackson to miss time with an injury.

REDSKINS QB COMPETITION: Don’t sleep on Kyle Allen’s chances

Do not be surprised if Kyle Allen runs out of the tunnel as the Washington Redskins’ QB1 when the team takes the field this fall.

I know Ron Rivera said this week that 2019 first-round pick Dwayne Haskins is his starter even after acquiring Allen for a fifth-round pick, but he also made it clear that there would be competition for the top job. And don’t underestimate the significance of Rivera reuniting with a young quarterback who made 11 starts under his direction over the past two seasons. The Allen deal also matches offensive coordinator Scott Turner with a quarterback he developed from undrafted free agent to starter from 2018 to 2019.

      › Brooks: 5 team fits for Cam Newton
      › Which playoff teams are in trouble?
      › Brandt: 2012 draft do-over
      › Post-FA Power Rankings: Bucs soar
      › FA tracker: Key additions for each team
      › Four-round mock: 6 trades in Round 1
      › Casserly mock: Niners nab Lamb

Think about that: A former quarterback coach is promoted to offensive coordinator in his new job and is reunited with one of his protégés as he begins the process of trying to turn around an offense. Given the importance placed on trust and communication between quarterback and play-caller, the connection between Turner and Allen is important, particularly in the midst of a chaotic period in which teams’ offseason programs have been delayed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic.

That’s why I wouldn’t dismiss Allen’s chances of emerging as the Redskins’ QB1 at the end of training camp. Allen’s knowledge of the offense should help him play faster than the incumbent at the position out of the gate.

While some fans will scoff at the notion of a former college journeyman and undrafted quarterback wrestling the job away from a first-round pick with a collegiate resume that included arguably the best season of quarterback play in Big Ten history, Allen is a former five-star recruit with a big arm and a high football IQ. Those traits helped him climb the ranks from a lowly practice squad member to backup quarterback to fill-in starter in two seasons.

"He’s had some success. He’s good in the locker room. He understands what I’m looking for. He understands what Scotty [Turner] is looking for," Rivera said, via The Team 980, Redskins Radio. "So, hopefully we can take that and use it to our advantage with our new team."

Allen started the Panthers’ 2018 regular-season finale and parlayed that opportunity into 12 starts in 2019 with Cam Newton sidelined due to injury. To his credit, Allen won his first five career starts while exhibiting the poise, patience and leadership expected from a starter. He took care of the football and made the plays that were needed while the coaching staff kept him on a manageable pitch count (averaged 29.8 pass attempts over that span).

From a scouting perspective, Allen’s efficiency in the quick-rhythm passing game was impressive, particularly when he tossed quicks (slants, seams and arrow routes) and intermediate rhythm throws (digs and square outs) from the shotgun. The young quarterback also displayed outstanding awareness and discipline by frequently targeting the running backs on checkdowns when his primary options were covered.

When Allen stuck to the script and didn’t attempt to play hero ball, he moved the offense up and down the field without issues. With the defense playing well and special teams also assisting in the effort, the Panthers were able to win games with Allen managing the offense.

From a critical standpoint, Allen appeared to fall apart around midseason, as he went 1-7 in his final eight starts. He was unable to compensate for a shortage of weapons on the perimeter, a suspect offensive and a struggling defense that forced the Panthers to chase points on offense. The second-year pro played outside of his talents and the turnovers started to plague him, as evidenced by his 19 turnovers over his final nine games.

That said, Allen remained the team’s starter when Turner assumed offensive coordinator duties after Rivera was fired near the end of last season (at least for a couple weeks, before the franchise gave rookie Will Grier a shot). The Redskins’ new play-caller had Allen throw 40-plus times in each of the three games he played in down the stretch, with the young quarterback completing 63.4 percent of his throws while averaging 288.3 pass yards per game. Although the 2:6 touchdown-to-interception ratio was far from ideal, the number of attempts speaks to the trust between play-caller and passer.

"At the end of the day, nobody knows what’s going to happen, so we just have to get ourselves ready," Rivera said during the radio interview. "We really like what we have in terms of our young quarterbacks. Kyle is also a young guy who has a live arm, understands the game, understands how we do things. So, I’m excited about what the potential could be."

With Rivera certain to give Turner significant input on the quarterback situation, Haskins should be on alert that he is entering training camp engaged in a real quarterback competition and he will need to play well to hold onto the job.

FIRST-ROUND FALCONS: Atlanta’s unique approach to team-building

It’s not about the Xs and the Os — it’s about the Jimmys and Joes.

If you have spent enough time around football coaches and scouts, you’ve undoubtedly heard this phrase uttered in discussions about building a winning team. Despite our affinity for the schemes and strategies of certain play callers on both sides of the ball, the best in the business will tell you that most games are won by the team with the better players.

After watching the Atlanta Falcons put together an offense overflowing with former first-round picks, it is apparent that Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff are pushing all of their chips into the center of the table and gambling on their high-powered attack outscoring opponents on the way to a playoff berth.

While the Falcons’ team-building strategy appears to be borrowed from Madden NFL 20, it is actually part of an old-school approach — one that Hall of Fame executive Ron Wolf told me he learned from the late, great Al Davis. According to Wolf, a team should always take a look at former first-round picks because their draft pedigree typically reflects a high level of raw ability, and a change of scenery or a new coaching staff could maximize that potential. In addition, Wolf told me that you can never have enough talent on your roster and good coaches will find a way to make it work.

I take Wolf’s wisdom to heart. Same deal when it comes to NFL Network colleague (and longtime general manager) Charley Casserly, who has routinely stressed in production meetings and on air that there is a 50 percent success rate on first-round picks. (Basically, that they’re starters or key contributors by the end of a fourth NFL season.) So, judging by what I’ve learned from Wolf and Casserly, it makes sense for the Falcons to put all of their eggs in the first-round basket.

Round 1 is considered the prime cut of each draft, and accumulating as many elite players as possible should produce more wins in a talent-driven league. Just think about the success we just saw from a San Francisco 49ers defense that featured six former first-round picks, including five former 1s rotating along the defensive line.

Studying the Falcons’ offensive lineup, the team could trot out an "11" personnel package with a former first-rounder at every spot:

QB: Matt Ryan (No. 3 overall to the Falcons in 2008)
RB: Todd Gurley (No. 10 overall to the Rams in 2015)
WR: Julio Jones (No. 6 overall to the Falcons in 2011)
WR: Calvin Ridley (No. 26 overall to the Falcons in 2018)
WR: Laquon Treadwell (No. 23 overall to the Vikings in 2016)
TE: Hayden Hurst (No. 25 overall to the Ravens in 2018)
LT: Jake Matthews (No. 6 overall to the Falcons in 2014)
LG: James Carpenter (No. 25 overall to the Seahawks in 2011)
C: Alex Mack (No. 21 overall to the Browns in 2009)
RG: Chris Lindstrom (No. 14 overall to the Falcons in 2019)
RT: Kaleb McGary (No. 31 overall to the Falcons in 2019)

Despite the underwhelming returns produced by Treadwell and Hurst for their drafting teams (Minnesota and Baltimore, respectively), there’s no denying they were viewed as highly talented prospects upon entering the league. With that in mind, they’re low-risk, high-reward propositions for Atlanta.

The same can be said for the Falcons’ roll of the dice on Gurley. Although there are serious concerns about his knee, especially given the dramatic reduction in touches and production last season, Atlanta can reap the rewards if his diminished returns were more a product of poor deployment/utilization than injury. Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter could ultimately determine whether Gurley re-emerges as a success story, depending on how he elects to feature the multi-purpose threat in the game plan. If Gurley starts to spit out 100-yard scrimmage games on a regular basis once again, we will know that the Rams’ mismanagement of his role is what really led to the decline in production.

While Gurley’s performance will dominate headlines and fuel debates regarding the Falcons’ decision to bring him in on a one-year, $6 million deal, I believe the team’s acquisition strategy is a sensible one when you’re contemplating how to best build a team around big-money quarterback. With Matt Ryan on his third contract, the Falcons have made the commitment to surround the 34-year-old with enough resources to allow him to shine. From the playmakers on the perimeter to the fortress that’s built in front of him, Matty Ice has everything that a quarterback could desire at his disposal.

Moreover, the Falcons have given him premier talent without completely breaking the bank, as only Jones, Matthews and Mack occupy more than five percent of the salary cap or command $10 million-plus in cap space. Given the amount of young players on rookie deals in Atlanta, the Falcons might’ve discovered a new way of building a powerhouse: drafting and developing their own first-round picks, while scooping up other franchises’ discarded No. 1s.

Follow Bucky Brooks on Twitter @BuckyBrooks.

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Coronavirus: Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill says fans must follow guidelines

Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill urged fans to follow the Government’s advice amid the battle against coronavirus.

On what would have been the eve of Northern Ireland’s Euro 2020 qualifying play-off semi-final against Bosnia, O’Neill wrote an open letter to supporters.

  • Clarke’s uplifting message to Scotland fans
  • Southgate calls for unity; praises hospital ‘heroes’

The boss expressed his and the squad’s disappointment at not playing, but took the opportunity to reinforce the government’s message.

“Football players, managers and coaches are not immune to the potential effects of this deadly virus,” O’Neill said in a statement.

“We have family members and friends who are classed as vulnerable. We care for them deeply and don’t want them to come to any harm.

“We can help keep our loved ones safe by working together in tackling the spread of COVID-19 and following the guidelines issued by the Government and the health authorities. It is in everyone’s best interests to do so.”

The manager expressed that he was sure the team would be able to count on the supporters of the Green And White Army (GAWA) as they look to qualify for the now-postponed tournament.

He added: “In the meantime, though, we all need each other’s help and support. Please keep in touch with friends and family by using remote technology such as phone, internet and social media.

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Coronavirus: Team member of Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli tests positive

A member of tyre supplier Pirelli’s Formula 1 team has tested positive for coronavirus in Melbourne.

It is the second positive test by an F1 team member, after a McLaren employee’s illness led to the cancellation of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

Pirelli said the person is “following all the relevant procedures put in place by the health authorities”.

They had “not had any contact with third parties that required anyone else to take special preventative measures”.

  • McLaren team member now symptom free

Pirelli added it was “closely monitoring the situation in line with public health policies and company guidelines”.

The coronavirus has caused havoc at the start of the F1 season, with the first four races in Australia, Bahrain, Vietnam and China all postponed.

The scheduled fifth and sixth races in the Netherlands and Spain, on 3 and 10 May, are set to be officially called off in the coming days.

F1 has said it hopes to start the season in Europe at the end of May, but it is working through a series of contingency plans that are all dependent on the development of coronavirus worldwide.

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Sports News

Goshen team targeting Champion Hurdle glory

Gary Moore plans to train Goshen with next year’s Champion Hurdle in mind following his agonisingly unlucky defeat at Cheltenham.

The Authorized gelding lined up as favourite for last week’s JCB Triumph Hurdle following six straight victories, with three impressive displays on the Flat followed by three wide-margin wins over obstacles.

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Michael O’Neill: Northern Ireland could be boosted by no Bosnia fans at Euro 2020 play-off

Michael O’Neill believes Northern Ireland could benefit if their scheduled Euro 2020 play-off semi-final away to Bosnia and Herzegovina is played behind closed doors later this month.

The Bosnian Football Federation on Tuesday postponed ticket sales for the match due to ongoing fears over the spread of the coronavirus, suggesting the match is likely to take place without fans if it goes ahead as scheduled at all.

  • Coronavirus: PL writes to clubs
  • Coronavirus: ‘No panic’ over Euro 2020
  • Coronavirus latest

Having experienced a partisan Bosnian home crowd when Northern Ireland lost 2-0 in Sarajevo in the Nations League in October 2018, O’Neill admitted the lack of a crowd in Zenica on March 26 could help his side.

“We played Bosnia in the Nations League and while it was a small stadium the atmosphere was very intimidating, very patriotic,” O’Neill said. “From that point of view, for our sake, it is something slightly to our advantage.”

Despite the news coming from Bosnia, O’Neill said he would continue his preparations as normal, having on Tuesday named a 26-man squad which sees Jordan Jones and Conor Washington return from injury.

“Having been involved in international football for eight years I know you can have the best preparation in the world going into a game, but ultimately it’s what happens in the week going into a game that matters most, whether down to player availability or whatever situation you’re faced with,” O’Neill added.

“This is another situation that’s not really in our control so dwelling on it too much is not really beneficial.”

Bosnia beat Northern Ireland both home and away in the Nations League but are under new management since then, with Dusan Bajevic having replaced Robert Prosinecki in December.

From a Bosnia perspective, there are fears the coronavirus outbreak could leave Bajevic without his two most influential players against Northern Ireland.

Edin Dzeko (Roma) and Miralem Pjanic (Juventus) play their club football in Serie A and may find themselves in the same situation as Wales’ Aaron Ramsey, who is expected to miss his country’s upcoming friendlies against Austria and the United States due to the lockdown in Italy.

“Naturally that would be a boost, but we can’t really rely on that situation,” O’Neill said. “I’m sure the Bosnian FA will be doing everything possible to get them out of the country. It’s something that is not really a concern to us.”

From his own perspective, O’Neill’s only major absentee at this stage is Corry Evans, who required surgery on his frontal lobe and eye socket after suffering a fractured skull in January.

“No doubt he’s a loss because he gives us flexibility, whether we play him in a central area or on the right,” O’Neill said.

“He’s such a good player tactically, he’s good when you don’t have the ball, good in the pressing game when you need someone to nullify the threat of an opposition. It’s a big blow, especially given the nature of the injury.”

Northern Ireland squad

Goalkeepers: Peacock-Farrell (Burnley), McGovern (Norwich City), Carson (Motherwell)

Defenders: Evans (Leicester City), Cathcart (Watford), McLaughlin (Sunderland), Lewis (Norwich City), Smith (Hearts), Flanagan (Sunderland), Brown (Livingston)

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Best Fantasy Baseball Team Names 2020

Do you remember who won your fantasy league five years ago? Three years ago? Last year? Probably not. I mean, who cares, right? But I bet you remember who had the best fantasy baseball team name. Whether it was funny, clever, topical, or just plain offensive (in a good way), a great team name lasts forever, and it’s the mark of a true champion. So, let the others in your league have their rankings, auction values, and sleeper lists — this article is really the only cheat sheet you need to dominate your league … when it comes to puns. 

Not all the suggestions below are winners. In fact, at least 70 percent aren’t, but in baseball terms, that still means we’re hitting .300, which is pretty damn good. And even if you think the whiff rate is 75 percent, well, we make up for that with some big home runs (“Zero Lux Given”, “Won’t You Be My Gleyber?”, “Dee’s Nuts!”, “Natural Born Kelas”), so in today’s juiced-ball, homer-happy era, we’re still being productive. If nothing else, we’re taking a lot of pitches (throwing out bad suggestions) and wearing down opposing pitchers so you can benefit (in the form of inspiration to think of something better). 

DOMINATE YOUR DRAFT: Ultimate 2020 Fantasy Baseball Cheat Sheet

Whatever your style, we have something for you. Topical (“CorreaVirus”), social-media friendly (“Sir This Is An Albies”), pop culture, both current (“Once Upton A Time In HollyWoodruff”, “Kirby Your Enthusiasm”, “Bichette’s Creek”) and dated (“99 Problems But A Mitch Ain’t One”, “StrawMerrifields Forever”, “Syndergaardians of the Galaxy”), political (“Xanders 2020”, “No Villarkey!”, “Russia Sohxtani”), sports related (“Mallex At The Palace”, “Boyd Rage”, “Advanced Gleybermetrics”), or, more specifically, Astros-scandal related (“Altuve’s Unfinished Tatis”, “Astros Garbage Canning”). 

2020 Fantasy Baseball Rankings:
Catcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfield | Starter | Reliever | Top 300

Again, not all winners, but they’ll set you down the right path. And let’s face it — the best team names are going to be references to inside jokes or things more crude than we can print anyway (Aristides Aquino and Brad Hand are fertile ground for this), so we’re confident you can figure those out on your own. But if you want to name your team after one of your players, then clearly you’ve come to the right place. And even if you finish dead last in the standings and effectively light your entry fee on fire, you’ll still be No. 1 in our eyes. 

2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers:
Catcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfielder | Starter | Each team

Best Fantasy Baseball Team Names 2020

Gavin Lux

Zero Lux Given

Lux-y Charms

Crap Out Of Lux/Press Your Lux

Fernando Tatis Jr.

Tatis Parlor

Altuve’s Unfinished Tatis

Ozzie Albies

Sir, This Is An Albies

Albies In The Trap

One For Albies

Tyler Glasnow

In Case Of Emergency, Break Glasnow

Rougned Odor

New World Odor

Odor In The Court/Out Of Odor

Odor Eaters

Alex Bregman

Humble Bregman

Kenta Maeda

Show Maeda Money

You Maeda My Day

Sean Manaea

10,000 Manaeacs

Brandon Workman

Workman’s Comp

2020 Fantasy Baseball Tiers, Draft Strategy:
Catcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfield | Starter | Reliever

Chris Paddack

Knick-Knack Paddack Whack

Bachelor Paddack

Gleyber Torres

Won’t You Be My Gleyber?

It’s a Beautiful Day In The Gleyberhood

Welcome To The Gleyberhood

Advanced Gleybermetrics

David Dahl

Blowup Dahls

Dahl Or Nothing

Dee Gordon

Dee’s Nuts! (or, better yet, Deeeeeeeeeeeeeez Nuuuuuuuuts!)

J.D. Martinez/J.D. Davis

J.D.’s Nuts

Trevor Story

Bedtime Stories

Neverending Story

Noah Syndergaard

Syndergaardians Of The Galaxy

House Of Syndergaards

Just Say Noah

Mitch Garver

99 Problems But A Mitch Ain’t One

Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategies: Auction | Keeper/Dynasty | Points

Francisco Lindor

Don’t Let The Lindor Hit Ya…

Pete Alonso

Pete Rocks

Aristides Aquino (“The Punisher”)

Capital Punishment/Crime And Punishment

Carlos Correa

Correan BBQ


Yordan Alvarez

Air Yordans

Escape From Alvarez

Jack Flaherty

Pieces Of Flaherty/Do It With Flaherty

Jack Of All Trades

Adalberto Mondesi

Case Of The Mondesis

Ketel Marte

Ketel One

Marte Gras

Xander Bogaerts

X Gonna Give It To Ya

Belt Xanders

What’s Good For The Goose Is Good For The Xander

Xanders 2020

Don’t Bogaerts That Joint!

More 2020 Fantasy Baseball: Auction Values | Mock Draft Simulator

Mallex Smith

Mallex At The Palace

With Mallex Toward None

Eloy Jimenez

His Boy Eloy

Hoi P-Eloy

Island Of Misfit Eloys

Austin Meadows

Dewy Meadows

Meadows Lands

Austin Garden

Yoan Moncada

Hakuna Moncada

Yoan Me, So Happy Together

Yoans Of Pleasure

DJ LeMahieu

Came Up LeMahieu

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 

Vlad The Impalers

Vladi Dadi, We Likes To Party

Eugenio Suarez

Eugenio, Get Off My Cloud

Griffin Canning

Astros Garbage Cannings​

Rafael Devers

DeversEnding Story

Deep Sea Devers

Kirby Yates

Pearly Yates


Kirby Your Enthusiasm

Keston Hiura

Let’s Get Hiura​

Nicholas Castellanos

Kings Of The Castellanos

Franmil Reyes

Run Of The Franmil

Reyes Of Sunshine

Jonathan Villar

No Villarkey!

2020 Fantasy Baseball Rankings:
Catcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfield | Starter | Reliever | Top 300

Josh Bell

Hell’s Bells

For Whom The Bell Tolls

Bo Bichette


Bichette’s Creek

Roberto Osuna

Osuna Or Later

Frankie Montas

Frankie, My Dear, I Don’t Give A Damn

Brad Hand

(Figure these out for yourself)

Trey Mancini

You Da Mancini/I’m The Mancini

Mancini Family


Ice Treys

Yuli Gurriel

Yuli’s Gold

Yulitide Greetings

Luis Robert

Robert Traps

Cops And Roberts

Ken Giles

Yes We Ken!/You Ken Do It!

Kenley Jansen

Yes We Kenley!

Marcell Ozuna

Secret Of The Ozuna

Sonny Gray

Sonny Days Are Here Again

Gray Matters

Raisel Iglesias

Drinkin’ Whiskey And Raisel

Willie Calhoun

Big Willie Style

Michael Conforto

Make Yourself Conforto-ble

Cavan Biggio

Constant Cavans

Max Fried

Land Of The Fried

Fried Bird

Buy One, Get One Fried

Kentucky Fried Chicken

Luke Weaver

Dream Weaver

Giovanny Gallegos

Leggo My Gallegos

Scott Kingery

All Hail The Kingery/If You Shoot At The Kingery, You Bet Not Miss

Great Scotts

Shohei Ohtani

Russia Sohxtani

2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers:
Catcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfielder | Starter | Each team

Jeff McNeil

McNeil Before Me

Keone Kela

Natural Born Kelas

To Kela Mockingbird

Brandon Woodruff

Woodruff And Tumble/Woodruff And Ready

Morning Woodruff

Once Upon A Time In HollyWoodruff

Justin Upton

Once Upton A Time…

Robbie Ray

Rays Of Light

Didi Gregorius

Throw Some Didi’s On That B****

Matt Boyd

Avoid The Boyd

Boyd Rage

Renato Nunez

Dog Day AfterNunez

Joc Pederson

Joc Straps/Joc Offs

Hunter Renfroe

Big Game Hunters

Hunter Dozier

Big Game Hunters

Bull Doziers

Nick Solak

Don’t Be A Solaker

Yandy Diaz

Yandy Man Can/Yandy Bars

Mychal Givens

To Much Is Givens, Much Is Expected

DOMINATE YOUR DRAFT: Ultimate 2020 Fantasy Baseball Cheat Sheet

Will Smith and Will Smith

The Fresh Princes (just gotta draft them both)

Miguel Sano

Sano Plows/Sano Patrol

Sano? More Like Sa-yes!

C.J. Cron

Cron Thugs-N-Harmony

Walker Buehler

Walker Buehler’s Day Off

Buehler? Buehler? Anyone?


Blake Snell

Snell You Later

He Who Snelled It, Dealt It

Paul DeJong

Only The Good DeJong

Manny Machado

Machado Man

You Da Manny/I’m Da Manny

Byron Buxton

That’s Why I Make The Big Buxton

Aaron Judge

Here Come Da Judge

Judgement Day

Aaron On The Side Of Caution

Whit Merrifield

At Whit’s End

StrawMerrifield’s Forever

Merrifield Of Dreams

Javier Baez

Baez Beware

Avisail Garcia

Come Avisail Away

Wil Myers

Wil Power

Charlie Blackmon

Orphan Blackmon

Kolten Wong

Can’t We All Just Get A Wong?

Corey Kluber

In Da Kluber

Cody Bellinger

For Whom The Bellinger Tolls

Hell’s Bellinger

Freddie Freeman

Freddie’s Revenge

Land Of The Freeman

Bryce Harper

Bryce Is Right

Sons Of The Harper

David Price

Price Is Right

Lourdes Gurriel Jr.

Praise The Lourdes

Jesus Luzardo

Praise Jesus

Luzardo Kings

Ronald Acuna Jr.

Acuna Matata

Nelson Cruz

Cruz Control/Cruz Missiles

Full Nelson

J.T. Realmuto

Keep It Realmuto

Mookie Betts

Place Your Betts

I Did It All For The Mookie

Gary Sanchez

Dirty Sanchez’s

Tommy Pham

Modern Phamily/We Are Phamily/Phamily Ties/Phamily Matters

Josh Hader

Don’t Be A Hader

Don’t Hader The Player, Hader The Game

Player Hader’s Ball

More 2020 Fantasy Baseball: Auction Values | Mock Draft Simulator

Anthony Rizzo



Harrison Bader


Jorge Soler

Soler Powered

Jorge House (also works for Jorge Alfaro)

Gerrit Cole

Cole Powered (also works for Kole Calhoun)

Paul Goldschmidt

Goldschmidt Happens

Oops! I Goldschmidt My Pants!

Christian Yelich

Rebel Yelich

Onward Christian Soldiers

Christian Missionaries

Trea Turner


Ice Trea’s

Zack Wheeler

18 Wheeler

Yasmani Grandal

Grandal Slam

2020 Fantasy Baseball Tiers, Draft Strategy:
Catcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfield | Starter | Reliever

Lorenzo Cain

Cain is Able

Amed Rosario/Eddie Rosario

Rosario Beads

Yu Darvish

Whirling Darvish

Miles Mikolas

I Would Walk 500 Miles

Max Scherzer/Max Muncy/Max Fried/Max Kepler

To The Max/Max Power

Stephen Strasburg

I Literally Can’t Stephen

The Last Strasburg/Final Strasburg

Masahiro Tanaka

There Goes Masahiro/Super Masahiro

Tanaka Three Times

Tanaka-Knock Joke

Luke Voit

100-Voit Battery

Miguel Andujar

Andujar Sausage

Rhys Hoskins

Rhys’ Pieces

Jake Odorizzi

Eggs Odorizzi

Adam Eaton

Eaton Good

Victor Robles

Hail To The Victors/To The Victor Goes The Spoils

Matt Chapman

Old Buddy, Old Chapman

Aroldis Chapman

Old Buddy, Old Chapman

Aroldis Less Traveled

Randal Grichuk

How Much Wood Could a Woodchuck Grichuk?

Randal’s Messiah

Joey Gallo

Gallo’s Humor

Nolan Arenado


Just Say Nolan

DOMINATE YOUR DRAFT: Ultimate 2020 Fantasy Baseball Cheat Sheet

Jacob deGrom

Jumping deGrom

Starling Marte

Dancing With The Starlings

Martes Gras

Yasiel Puig

Yasieled With A Kiss

Three A-Puigos

Trevor Bauer

Bauer Play

Patrick Corbin

Corbin In The Woods

George Spriner

Springer Has Sprung

Jean Segura

Safe And Segura

Edwin Diaz/Edwin Encarnacion

All I Do Is Edwin

Alex Colome

Here’s My Number, Colome Maybe

Shane Bieber

True Beliebers

Jose Berrios

Berrios Boys

Justin Smoak

Smoak Monsters/Smoak Signals/Smoak Rings/Smoak Break

Ryan Braun

Brains And Braun

Ian Happ

Happ-y Go Lucky

Shin-soo Choo


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Sports News

India first team through to World Cup semis

India booked a place in the Twenty20 World Cup semi-finals after surviving a late scare from New Zealand in a result which could have significant ramifications on the women's game.

After disposing of Australia on opening night, the Indians are the first team through to the final four after defeating the gallant White Ferns by three runs at the Junction Oval in one of the games of the tournament.

Teen sensation Shafali Verma again played a starring role for India in their win over New Zealand.Credit:Getty

Their multi-pronged spin attack has flourished on the lower and slower pitches they have encountered at some of the smaller venues in Australia. Whether they will find conditions as helpful at the SCG and MCG is not known but, unlike the host nation, they know they will be there.

New Zealand now face the daunting prospect of having to defeat Australia in their final group game on Monday in order to claim the second semi-final berth in the group. They have already started the mind games with their trans-Tasman rivals despite still needing to defeat Bangladesh on Saturday.

"It's effectively a quarter-final for us. We've got nothing to lose," New Zealand wicketkeeper Katey Martin said. "All the pressure is on Australia. It's a home World Cup."

After scrounging their way to 133, the Indians appeared on course for a comfortable win but there was a late twist when pint-sized spin wizard Poonam Yadav was hit for 18 runs from the penultimate over of the run chase.

The Kiwis needed four off the final ball to send the match into a super over after Amelia Kerr's scoop for a boundary from the second last delivery – but their only pace bowler in the side, Shikha Pandey, nailed the yorker.

As in the upset win over Australia, 16-year-old Shafali Verma was integral to her team's win, sparking India's innings with her dynamic hitting during the power play.

The opener made the most of the harder ball, crunching 46 off 34 balls, before the Kiwis turned the screws in the middle overs with spin.

Kerr was vital in New Zealand's fightback, claiming the big wicket of Verma in the 14th over.

She was to make an even more important contribution to the game, setting up a thrilling finish by landing some big blows in the closing overs.

"She had a great day today, changed the momentum with her bowling," Martin said.

"She's a real star for us, and we'll be looking for her to continue that form in the tournament."

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James Harden praises team defense after Houston Rockets notch fifth straight win

James Harden hailed his team’s defensive effort after the ‘micro-ball’ Houston Rockets blew out the Memphis Grizzlies to notch their fifth straight win.

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On a night when the Rockets scored 140 points, all anyone wanted to talk about was their defense.

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