Fellaini winner shocks Man Utd

first_imgRobin van Persie started life at Manchester United with a defeat as Everton produced an outstanding performance to deservedly claim victory at Goodison Park.Sir Alex Ferguson’s £24m signing from Arsenal emerged as a 67th-minute substitute – but he made a quiet introduction and was powerless to prevent United starting the Premier League season with a defeat – their first since they lost at Chelsea in 2004.And it was fitting that Everton’s winning goal came from the outstanding Marouane Fellaini, who tormented Manchester United’s makeshift defence throughout a thunderous evening on Merseyside.The giant Belgian’s towering 57th minute header from Leighton Baines’ corner finally ended the defiance of United keeper David de Gea, who had kept Everton at bay with a series of outstanding first half saves.Leon Osman also struck the crossbar – and when Van Persie was finally introduced Everton had an iron grip on the game and only looked like conceding the advantage Fellaini had given them when Phil Jagielka cleared off the line from Tom Cleverley.Everton have traditionally been slow starters but in this opening game they dominated United for spells, with keeper Tim Howard only being troubled by the occasional effort from Wayne Rooney. Goodison Park celebrated the victory noisily at the final whistle, leaving Ferguson to contemplate a lacklustre performance undermined by a reshuffled rearguard in which Michael Carrick never settled in his role as emergency central defender alongside returning captain Nemanja Vidic. United were without Rio Ferdinand, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans – and how Everton exploited the weakness.Ferguson eased Van Persie into life at Old Trafford with a place on the bench, entrusting attacking duties to Rooney and England youngster Danny Welbeck.United were grateful to keeper De Gea for a performance of defiance and athleticism that kept his side on terms as they were terrorised by the power and presence of Fellaini.The young Spaniard stretched to turn over Steven Pienaar’s header then dived to turn away the South African’s shot as Everton applied pressure. He did even better to save Osman’s shot on the turn and leap to claw away a free-kick from Baines that was destined for the top corner. United had opportunities of their own but they were rarities, Howard saving twice from Rooney and Welbeck rolling a low shot wide as United claimed a penalty when he tangled with Jagielka.United’s biggest escape came just after the interval when Fellaini once more headed into the path of Osman, who did beat De Gea but held his head in anguish as his effort rattled the crossbar.Everton were not to be denied and finally got the lead they so deserved. The source was no surprise as Fellaini – who had simply been too much for Carrick – rose above him to power in Baines’ corner.United gave Everton their most anxious moment after 66 minutes when Jagielka cleared off the line from Cleverley and seconds later Van Persie entered the fray in place of Welbeck. However, with Jagielka and Sylvain Distin magnificent, Everton were in no mood to see their resistance broken and they claimed a win their efforts merited. Everton manager David Moyes: “I’m really pleased because we performed ever so well. We’ve often started the season slowly but just because we’ve won one game doesn’t mean we’ve had a good start – as it would not have been a bad start had we lost.“Marouane Fellaini is a really good player. We can play him behind the striker, in the middle or because of his power in the air we can play him as a defensive one as well.“The only time we had a really good start here we ended in the Champions League places. I don’t know if that’s possible but it would be nice for us not to be playing catch up.“David de Gea made some great saves. In the build-up it was all about Manchester United and what they could do – I felt people called that wrong because we are a tough team to beat at Goodison Park.“We defended really well when we had to. Phil Jagielka was outstanding.”last_img read more

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Week 16 Fantasy FLEX rankings

first_imgIt’s Week 16 and time to win your fantasy football championships, and we’re here with one final week of FLEX rankings. You’ve probably gotten to the finals with very good rosters, so you might not even need the full 120 names we have on hand, but they’re there if you need them.The biggest standout this week has to be Breshad Perriman, all the way up at No. 23 and totally deserving in a great matchup in maybe the pass-happiest offense in the league.There’s also the potential for a high Vikings RB if Dalvin Cook is out and either Alexander Mattison or Mike Boone is playing — whichever back starts there is no worse than a FLEX play. WEEK 16 NON-PPR RANKINGS:Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | KickerWhen you’re making these last-minute lineup decisions, it’s also important to consider your chances of winning your matchup (especially with some Saturday games potentially tipping the scales). As a heavy underdog, you may want to take a chance on a receiver with upside, like Justin Watson, while maybe you stick with a more boring option in a tough matchup like Carlos Hyde if you’re favored.WEEK 16 PPR RANKINGS: Running back | Wide receiver | Tight endOf course, your situations are all very context-based as you try to take home the crown, so if you have any specific Sunday morning questions, be sure to hit us up on Twitter @SN_Fantasy. WEEK 16 DFS LINEUPS:FD Cash | FD GPP | DK Cash | DK GPP | Y! Cash | Y! GPPWeek 16 Fantasy Football Rankings: FLEXMORE WEEK 16 DFS: Stacks | Values | Lineup BuilderThese rankings are for standard, non-PPR leagues.RankPlayer1Christian McCaffrey, RB, Panthers @ Colts 2Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings vs. Packers3Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants @ Redskins4DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Texans @ Buccaneers5Michael Thomas, WR, Saints @ Titans6Nick Chubb, RB, Browns vs. Ravens7Julio Jones, WR, Falcons vs. Jaguars8Marlon Mack, RB, Colts vs. Panthers9Davante Adams, WR, Packers @ Vikings10Amari Cooper, WR, Cowboys @ Eagles11Chris Carson, RB, Seahawks vs. Cardinals12Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys @ Eagles13Leonard Fournette, RB, Jaguars @ Falcons14Joe Mixon, RB, Bengals @ Dolphins15Mark Ingram, RB, Ravens @ Browns16Kenyan Drake, RB, Cardinals @ Seahawks17Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers vs. Raiders18Courtland Sutton, WR, Broncos vs. Lions19Tyreek Hill, WR, Chiefs @ Bears20Tyler Lockett, WR, Seahawks vs. Cardinals21DJ Chark, WR, Jaguars @ Falcons22Breshad Perriman, WR, Buccaneers vs. Texans23DeVante Parker, WR, Dolphins vs. Bengals24Travis Kelce, TE, Chiefs @ Bears25Devonta Freeman, RB, Falcons vs. Jaguars26Le’Veon Bell, RB, Jets vs. Steelers27Phillip Lindsay, RB, Broncos vs. Lions28Allen Robinson, WR, Bears vs. Chiefs29Melvin Gordon, RB, Chargers vs. Raiders30Tyler Boyd, WR, Bengals @ Dolphins31Mike Williams, WR, Chargers vs. Raiders32Will Fuller V, WR, Texans @ Buccaneers33Todd Gurley, RB, Rams @ 49ers34Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints @ Titans35James Conner, RB, Steelers @ Jets36D.J. Moore, WR, Panthers @ Colts37George Kittle, TE, 49ers vs. Rams38Stefon Diggs, WR, Vikings vs. Packers39Aaron Jones, RB, Packers @ Vikings40David Montgomery, RB, Bears vs. Chiefs41Terry McLaurin, WR, Redskins vs. Giants42T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts vs. Panthers43Raheem Mostert, RB, 49ers vs. Rams44Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots vs. Bills45Jarvis Landry, WR, Browns vs. Ravens46Kenny Golladay, WR, Lions @ Broncos47Adam Thielen, WR, Vikings vs. Packers48A.J. Brown, WR, Titans vs. Saints 49Cooper Kupp, WR, Rams @ 49ers50DeAndre Washington, RB, Raiders @ Chargers51Adrian Peterson, RB, Redskins vs. Giants52Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Browns vs. Ravens53Jacob Hollister, TE, Seahawks vs. Cardinals54Emmanuel Sanders, WR, 49ers vs. Rams55Miles Sanders, RB, Eagles vs. Cowboys56Dion Lewis, RB, TItans vs. Saints57Austin Ekeler, RB, Chargers vs. Raiders58James White, RB, Patriots vs. Bills59Golden Tate, WR, Giants @ Redskins60Anthony Miller, WR, Bears vs. Chiefs61DK Metcalf, WR, Seahawks vs. Cardinals62Marquise Brown, WR, Ravens @ Browns63Michael Gallup, WR, Cowboys @ Eagles64John Brown, WR, Bills @ Patriots65Deebo Samuel, WR, 49ers vs. Rams66Christian Kirk, WR, Cardinals @ Seahawks67Devin Singletary, RB, Bills @ Patriots68Kerryon Johnson, RB, Lions @ Broncos69Hunter Henry, TE, Chargers vs. Raiders70Zach Ertz, TE, Eagles vs. Cowboys71Austin Hooper, TE, Falcons vs. Jaguars72Justin Watson, WR, Buccaneers vs. Texans73Robert Woods, WR, Rams @ 49ers74James Washington, WR, Steelers @ Jets75Dede Westbrook, WR, Jaguars @ Falcons76Mark Andrews, TE, Ravens @ Browns77Kareem Hunt, RB, Brown vs. Ravens78Darius Slayton, WR, Giants @ Redskins79Sterling Shepard, WR, Giants @ Redskins80Jared Cook, TE, Saints @ Titans81Darren Waller, TE, Raiders @ Chargers82Ronald Jones, RB, Buccaneers @ Texans83Russell Gage, WR, Falcons vs. Jaguars84Chris Conley, WR, Jaguars @ Falcons85Patrick Laird, RB, Dolphins vs. Bengals86Greg Olsen, TE, Panthers @ Colts87Kenny Stills, WR, Texans @ Buccaneers88Danny Amendola, WR, Lions @ Broncos89Curtis Samuel, WR, Panthers @ Colts90Diontae Johnson, WR, Steelers @ Jets91Robby Anderson, WR, Jets vs. Steelers92Tyrell Williams, WR, Raiders @ Chargers93O.J. Howard, TE, Buccaneers vs. Texans94Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals @ Seahawks95Jamison Crowder, WR, Jets vs. Steelers96Peyton Barber, RB, Buccaneers @ Texans97Myles Gaskin, RB, Dolphins vs. Bengals98Carlos Hyde, RB, Texans @ Buccaneers99Tarik Cohen, RB, Bears vs. Chiefs100Greg Ward, WR, Eagles vs. Cowboys101Corey Davis, WR, Titans vs. Saints102Cole Beasley, WR, Bills @ Patriots103Tim Patrick, WR, Broncos vs. Lions104Brandin Cooks, WR, Rams @ 49ers105Zach Pascal, WR, Colts vs. Panthers106Alex Erickson, WR, Bengals @ Dolphins107Marcus Johnson, WR, Colts vs. Panthers108Steven Sims Jr., WR, Redskins vs. Giants109Nyheim Hines, RB, Colts vs. Panthers110Kyle Rudolph, TE, Vikings vs. Packers111John Ross, WR, Bengals @ Dolphins112Duke Johnson Jr., RB, Texans @ Buccaneers113Latavius Murray, RB, Saints @ Titans114Tyler Higbee, TE, Rams @ 49ers115Kendrick Bourne, WR, 49ers vs. Rams116Sammy Watkins, WR, Chiefs @ Bears117Albert Wilson, WR, Dolphins vs. Bengals118JJ Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Eagles vs. Cowboys119Jamaal Williams, RB, Packers @ Vikings120Sony Michel, RB, Patriots vs. Billslast_img read more

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NCAA Final Four Set after blowouts, surprises

first_img(AP)—After a season of uncertainty, there’s a clear favorite heading to the Final Four.The Louisville Cardinals.While the other No. 1s have fallen by the wayside, the top overall seed romped to the Georgia Dome with four dominant wins in the NCAA tournament. And, if the Cardinals need any extra motivation, they’ve got it.Sophomore guard Kevin Ware, who played his high school ball in the Atlanta suburbs, sustained a gruesome injury in Sunday’s regional final against Duke. Before he headed off to surgery, he courageously urged his teammates to finish the job.Now, they would like nothing more than to win it all for Ware.“We talked about it every timeout, ‘Get Kevin home,’” coach Rick Pitino said.Next stop, the A-T-L, where three rather unlikely teams will be looking to knock off the mighty Cardinals.First up, the surprising Shockers from Wichita State in the semifinals Saturday. The No. 9 seed has already pulled off two major upsets, but this would be the biggest stunner yet.If Louisville makes it through to next Monday night’s title game, the opponent would be either Michigan, sporting a new group of Fab Wolverines, or Syracuse, which comes at you with the stingiest zone defense in college basketball. The two No. 4 seeds will meet in the other semifinal game.All are underdogs to the Cardinals, who are winning by an average of nearly 22 points a game in the tournament.“I thought we had a chance there, and then boom,” said Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, who watched Louisville pull away for an 85-63 victory in the Midwest Regional final. “That’s what they do to teams. They can boom you.”In the other game Sunday, Michigan captured the South Regional with a 79-59 rout of Florida, leading from the opening tip. A day earlier, Syracuse shut down Marquette 55-39 to win the East Regional, while Wichita State punched its Final Four ticket with a 70-66 upset of Ohio State out West.In the final year of the Big East before it splits into two new conferences, Louisville and Syracuse provided a fitting send-off to a league that quickly became a basketball powerhouse after it was founded in 1979.Before it goes, this version of the Big East has a shot at one more national title.With two teams, no less.The Cardinals—who, like Syracuse, are moving to the Atlantic Coast Conference—shook off the incredible shock of Ware’s injury with about 6 1/2 minutes to go before halftime and blew out the second-seeded Blue Devils. The sophomore snapped his lower right leg after coming down awkwardly while defending a 3-point shot. The injury occurred right in front of the Louisville bench, where the players gasped and turned away quickly at the sight of Ware’s dangling leg, which was broken in two places.Russ Smith collapsed onto the floor, along with several players, and was crying as doctors attended to Ware. While Ware was loaded onto a stretcher, the Cardinals gathered at midcourt until Pitino called them over, saying the injured player wanted to talk to them before he left.“All he kept saying—and remember, the bone is six inches out of his leg—all he’s yelling is, ‘Win the game! Win the game!’” Pitino said. “I’ve never seen that in my life. We’re all distraught and all he’s saying is, ‘Win the game.’ Kevin is a special young man.”This is a special team. Smith scored 23 points. Gorgui Dieng had 14 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks.The Cardinals (33-5) simply refused to lose, breaking open a game that was tied at 42. They dove on the floor for loose balls. They pounded the boards ferociously. They contested every shot and swarmed around the Blue Devils like they had an extra player on the court.In a sense, they did, as Pitino reminded them during every timeout.“This is a gritty bunch,” the coach said. “From the beginning of the year to now, they’ve not had a bad game. I’m really proud of these guys.”Wichita State was the most improbable team to advance. The Shockers lived up to their nickname in the West, knocking off top-seeded Gonzaga in the second round and No. 2 seed Ohio State in the regional final Saturday night.Wichita State (30-8) built a 20-point lead on the Buckeyes, then managed to hang on through a nerve-racking final five minutes to pull off the latest upset in a tournament filled with them.That other team from Kansas isn’t content yet.“It feels very good,” said Cleanthony Early, a junior forward who, like most of his teammates, was passed over by higher-profile programs, “but we understand the fact that we’ve got to stay hungry and humble, because we’ve got two more games left to really be excited about.”Old-timers might remember Louisville and Wichita State as former conference rivals. The Cardinals were a member of the Missouri Valley Conference in the 1960s and ’70s, which meant annual games against the Shockers.Louisville holds a 19-5 edge in the series, but the teams haven’t played since 1976.Michigan (30-7) is headed back to the Final Four for the first time since the Fab Five era of the early 1990s, when the Wolverines lost in back-to-back national title games. LOUISVILLE head coach Rick Pitino celebrates with Chane Behanan, left, and guard Russ Smith (2) after their 85-63 win over Duke in the Midwest Regional final in the NCAA college basketball tournament, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)last_img read more

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Pitt’s Johnson ready to return from knee injury

first_imgPittsburgh forward Durand Johnson talks about his recovery from an injury that cut last season short for him during the school’s annual media day for the upcoming NCAA college basketball season on Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)PITTSBURGH (AP) – Durand Johnson was ready to make the leap from erratic role player to budding star last winter when it disappeared with one awkward step.Racing down the floor on the break against Wake Forest on Jan. 11, the livewire Pittsburgh forward thought about pulling up for a wide-open 3-pointer when he decided a layup would be the more responsible thing to do. He slashed into the lane only to have Wake Forest’s Devin Thomas bump him as he neared the basket.It wasn’t until Johnson got to the free throw line that he felt the twinge in his right knee. He stayed on the floor long enough to make both free throws before walking off the court and into the training room. An MRI revealed a torn ACL and a shredded meniscus, putting an abrupt end to his breakout sophomore season.Stunned doesn’t begin to describe it.“I’m thinking I’m fine,’” Johnson said. “I was devastated. I’m thinking, ‘this is my life, what am I going to do? Am I going to play again?’”Less than nine months later, the knee is fine. So is Johnson. He was cleared for contact two weeks ago, though a balky ankle will keep him briefly sidelined when the Panthers open practice this weekend. While the setback is frustrating, Johnson understand it could be worse.Most athletes who rehab their ACLs need anywhere from nine months to a year to recover, if not more. Not Johnson, who is already back dunking and playing with the kind of frenetic energy that made him one of the best sixth-men in the ACC before getting hurt.“God works in mysterious ways,” Johnson said. “I’m blessed to go back and just show out.”It’s what Johnson does best. He arrived at Pittsburgh as an athletic but raw spot up shooter who never met a 3-pointer he didn’t like to take. Tasked by Dixon to become a more well-rounded player, the light started to come on for the 6-foot-6 Johnson last winter. He scored in double figures eight times in 16 games, including a career-high 17 in a rout of Maryland five days before he was injured.Dixon always expected Johnson to score. It’s the way Johnson went about it last year that made the difference. Rather than stand behind the 3-point arc and wait for the ball, he began creating off the dribble and using screens to get open. And when he wasn’t open, instead of shooting anyway – a habit that dogged him as a freshman – he would look for someone else.The player who had 16 assists in 369 minutes during the 2012-13 season had 23 against only 14 turnovers in 317 minutes at the time he was hurt, a development that wasn’t lost on his coach.“His assist-to-turnover numbers were good,” Dixon said. “He didn’t know what that phrase meant when he got here.”Johnson does now. Call it a part of the maturation process that every Pitt player needs to go through if they want to see the floor regularly. In a way, watching helped his evolution continue. He studied teammate Lamar Patterson while the versatile forward became one of the best players in the ACC.Already one of the team’s emotional leaders, Johnson spent part of his rehab giving pep talks during halftime, a way for Dixon to make sure Johnson stayed involved as the Panthers went 26-10 while falling to Florida in the third round of the NCAA tournament.Johnson doesn’t plan to be a bystander this March. If the Panthers want to reach the second weekend of the tournament for the first time since 2009, they can’t afford to have him in street clothes. His reach and boundless energy makes him one of Pitt’s better perimeter defenders, and his fearlessness gives the Panthers a dynamic option to take some of the pressure off senior guard Cam Wright – who is out 10 weeks with a foot injury – and sophomore forward Michael Young.Dixon cautioned Johnson isn’t quite where he left off in January. It’s likely he will work Johnson in slowly to make sure the knee is stable. Johnson figures he’s at “86 percent.” He’s so confident in his knee’s health he doesn’t even wear a brace, just a compression sleeve that is as much a fashion statement as a protective device.Pressed on when he’ll find the other 14 percent, Johnson just laughs. He’s been chasing that 14 percent for years. It’s part of his drive.“I can play now but you can always be better,” he said. “I’m playing. I’m not thinking about the knee. It’s a great feeling.”last_img read more

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