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Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers open with highest win totals ahead of 17-game regular season

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Ahead of the NFL’s first 17-game regular season, the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have opened with the highest win totals at Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill.

Oddsmakers for William Hill opened the Chiefs at 12, and the Super Bowl champion Buccaneers at 11.5. Kansas City won 14 games last season, while the Buccaneers won 11.

The Baltimore Ravens and Green Bay Packers each opened win totals of 11, followed by the Buffalo Bills (10.5) and Los Angeles Rams (10.5).

Ten teams opened with double-digit win totals including three teams in the NFC West. The Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers each opened at 10.

Sportsbooks post the win totals and offer bettors prices on betting over or under the number. The price to bet over 12 wins on the Chiefs, for example, is -130, meaning a bettor would have to risk $130 to win $100.

This year’s wins totals are out before the regular-season schedule has been announced and before the draft. The 17 regular-season opponents are known for each team, although dates of the games have not been released.

Adam Pullen, assistant director of trading for William Hill, told ESPN that the increase to 17 games did not affect his oddsmaking process and that he didn’t expect the NFL draft to cause significant changes to the opening win totals.

The NFL draft begins April 29.

Pullen said teams making quarterback changes are usually the most difficult to get a feel for the win totals. He pointed to the New Orleans Saints, who are attempting to replace Drew Brees with Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill. The Saints opened at 9.5.

“Anytime a team loses a big-time quarterback, it’s always a little challenging,” Pullen said.

The Indianapolis Colts also are making a change at quarterback. The Colts traded for former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz to replace the retiring Philip Rivers.

“It’s a wash,” Pullen said of the change from Rivers to Wentz.

The Colts open at 10, and the Eagles at 7.

The Houston Texans and Detroit Lions opened with the lowest win totals at 5. The Jacksonville Jaguars, who own the first overall pick and are led by new coach Urban Meyer, opened at 6, along with the New York Jets.

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Bruce Arians to Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians hasn’t felt the need to bring in a specialist to talk to his players about the COVID-19 vaccine, which some players leaguewide have expressed skepticism about in recent days.

While Washington Football Team coach Ron Rivera brought Harvard immunologist Kizzmekia S. Corbett in to speak to his players Tuesday night, Arians said Thursday, “I’m the specialist.”

He told players, “If you want to go back to normal, get vaccinated.”

Arians said the Bucs are holding a vaccine drive for players and their families at the facility.

“There’s going to be a long line over there right now,” Arians said. “We were pretty short up until now. Hopefully we have a pretty good line.”

Previous vaccine drives have also taken place at the facility for coaches and support staff members. The goal is to have 85% of the team vaccinated, which Arians feels they’ll be much closer to after the drive.

“Everybody’s tired of meeting out here and eating outside, and doing all those things we had to do last year,” Arians said. “It’s still a personal choice, but I don’t see a reason not to be vaccinated.”

When asked if any players expressed concern or skepticism, as Washington’s Montez Sweat did Wednesday, Arians said, “I haven’t spoken to anybody that’s resisted it. They’re just too lazy to get one.”

Outside linebacker Shaq Barrett said he and his wife, Jordanna, both received the vaccine. Their four children aren’t old enough to qualify for the vaccine at this time, as the CDC currently recommends children ages 12 and older receive vaccines.

Barrett missed the season finale against the Atlanta Falcons because he was a close contact of a teammate who tested positive, despite never testing positive himself. Still, he was forced to quarantine for five days. His children were home-schooled in 2020 and did not have play dates with other children because of concerns about the virus.

“It’s ‘to each their own.’ I recommend it,” Barrett said Thursday. “I don’t know why people wouldn’t get it. But whatever makes you comfortable, whatever helps you sleep at night, you do that. But I would like for 85% of the team to be vaccinated.”

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Kansas City Chiefs hope Kyle Long back by start of regular season after leg injury in practice

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Chiefs are hopeful guard Kyle Long can return for the start of the regular season after he injured his leg Wednesday, sources told ESPN.

Long was signed by the Chiefs in the offseason after he ended his retirement after one year. He wrote about the injury on Thursday on his Twitter account.

“I did everything I could to get back for football,” Long said. “Zero regrets. … Focusing on controlling the things I can control. Yesterday was not one of those things!”

Long, 32, was working as the starting right guard at offseason practice. Other candidates to start include Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and rookie Trey Smith.

Drafted 20th overall by the Chicago Bears in 2013, Long missed just one game over his first three seasons, in which he was selected to three consecutive Pro Bowls, but appeared in just 30 regular-season contests over his last four years with the team because of a variety of injuries. He announced his retirement in January of last year.

NFL Network first reported that Long had suffered a leg injury.



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Fantasy Football cheat sheets – Updated 2021 player rankings, PPR, non-PPR, depth charts, dynasty

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If you’re seeking a one-stop shop for updated 2021 fantasy football rankings and cheat sheets throughout the summer, you’ve come to the right place. Below, you will find them for PPR and non-PPR formats, as well as dynasty leagues.

PPR positional cheat sheet

One sheet with players broken down by position, including overall rank, salary-cap value and bye weeks for leagues that award one point for each catch. Download »

PPR top-300 cheat sheet

This sheet features 300 players in order of overall draft value, with positional rank, salary-cap value and bye-week information for leagues that reward each catch with a point. Download »

Non-PPR positional cheat sheet

For leagues using the scoring format that doesn’t award an extra point for each reception. One sheet with players broken down by position, including overall rank, salary-cap value and bye weeks. Download »

Non-PPR top-300 cheat sheet

This sheet features 300 players in order of overall draft value, with positional rank, salary-cap value and bye-week information. Download »

Mike Clay’s team-by-team projection guide

If you want the full breakdown for all 32 teams, you’ve come to the right place. Download »

NFL team depth chart cheat sheet

Fantasy depth charts for each NFL team: top two QBs, three running backs, four wide receivers, two tight ends and a kicker. Prioritized by fantasy value in PPR leagues rather than role defined on a traditional NFL depth chart, includes players’ positional ranks. Download »

Dynasty cheat sheet

Features the top 240 players and 60 best rookies to make all of your keeper and dynasty league decisions. Includes the age of players at the start of the 2021 season. Download »

*All cheat sheets are in PDF format. Your device must be equipped with a PDF reader for you to access and print the cheat sheet.

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