Cutthroat competition for the West’s bottom four playoff spots. In all likelihood, three of the Clippers, Jazz, Grizzlies, Blazers, Nuggets, Pelicans, and Timberwolves will miss the postseason cut, likely with serious implications. The Western Conference is not for the faint of heart.
The building of a dynasty in real time. These Warriors are quite possibly the greatest team of all time. In all the madness of the season—the moves, the squabbles, the dramatic flourishes, and the lingering questions—don’t let the magnitude of that standing go unappreciated.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers: In what was only his second career start, Smith-Schuster made the most of his expanded opportunity as a result of Martavis Bryant’s (coach’s decision) inactive designation, scoring a career-high 32.3 PPR fantasy points. Smith-Schuster got right into the action with a 41-yard reception on the Steelers’ first offensive play, added a 97-yard touchdown reception that wound up the difference in the game, and tied for the team lead with 10 targets.
It could signal Smith-Schuster’s arrival as the team’s No. 2 receiver alongside Antonio Brown, elevating him to matchups-capable WR3 status. The rookie was started in 14.9 percent of ESPN leagues, a significant increase from his sub-2-percent rates of each of the first seven games of his career.
The President Donald Trump-spawned kneel/sit/stand/fist-raise anthem hullaballoo is the football news story of the first quarter, to be sure. It reached peak hilarity Sunday in Baltimore, when the PA announcer asked the crowd to pray for “kindness, unity, equality and justice” in America, and the Ravens dropped to one knee and bowed their heads in prayer, and this is what happened: “BOOOOOOOOOO!”