2017 Fantasy Baseball Third Base Rankings

Crying Tiers of Joy: 2017 Fantasy Baseball Third Base Rankings

From Eddie Mathews to Ron Santo, from Mike Schmidt to Wade Boggs, from Chipper Jones to Adrian Beltre; the hot corner has remained a staple of power and production for centuries. Third basemen made up ten of the top 50 fantasy hitters in 2016, including the 2015 AL and 2016 NL MVP’s. With so many options to choose from, third base is one of, if not, the deepest position in fantasy baseball.

 

The top 30 third basemen have been grouped into six tiers, with the top and bottom player of each tier profiled below.

Honorable mentions include: Brandon Drury (ARI), Yulieski Gurriel (HOU), Jose Reyes (NYM), Jedd Gyorko (STL), Ryan Schimpf (SD), Hernan Perez (MIL), Matt Duffy (TB), and Johnny Peralta (STL).

 

Tier 1

2017 Fantasy Baseball Third Base Rankings

Can Kris Bryant be the first to win back to back MVP’s since Miguel Cabrera? (Courtesy of Chicagostylesports.com)

1. Kris Bryant CHC

2. Nolan Arenado COL

3. Josh Donaldson TOR

4. Manny Machado BAL

 

The reigning NL MVP, Kris Bryant, should be the first third basemen taken in 2017. Bryant was called up in 2015 after mashing 43 home runs at the AA and AAA levels. The minor-league player of the year impressed immediately in the majors, as he hit 26 home runs and drove in 99 RBI’s, resulting in him winning the Rookie of the Year.

The 24-year-old crushed 39 bombs with over 100 runs and RBI’s, which is easily repeatable for many years to come.

Two main reasons why Bryant lands atop this list is because of his steal upside and the lineup in which he plays in. Bryant is athletic for his 6-foot-5 230-pound stature. He stole 13 bases in 2015, and eight in 2016, which gives him a good floor of steals compared to Arenado, Donaldson, and Machado, who combined for nine.

Also, batting ahead of Anthony Rizzo and other elite hitters in the Chicago Cubs offense will give Bryant a great chance to, once again, lead the league in runs. These two factors will help propel him ahead of the other elite third base options.

 

Manny Machado has all of the potential in the world. After having back to back 35 plus home run and 100 run seasons, he remains in the elite category of third basemen.

Machado has batted primarily third in 2016, and still failed to reach the 100 RBI plateau, which is unnerving, as he is set to primarily bat second in 2017. Don’t get me wrong, Machado still has elite value in the two hole, as he will bat around .300, while being a great source of runs, but if you’re looking for 100 RBI’s, Machado may fall short once again.

Machado also failed to steal a base in 2016, after stealing 20 bags in 2015. This may have been a way to limit the stress on his surgically repaired knee, or may have been due to the fact that the Baltimore Orioles were last in stolen base attempts per game, with .2.

The lack of stolen bases and RBI’s compared to Bryant, Donaldson, and Arenado forces me place Machado at the bottom of tier 1.

 

Tier 2

2017 Fantasy Baseball Third Base Rankings

Will 2017 be a breakout season for veteran Kyle Seager? (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

5. Kyle Seager SEA

6. Jonathon Villar MIL

7. Adrian Beltre TEX

8. Matt Carpenter STL

9. Todd Frazier CWS

10. Evan Longoria TB

11. Anthony Rendon WAS

12. Justin Turner LAD

 

Kyle Seager has been a consistent source of 160 hits, .270 average, and 24 home runs per season, but 2017 will be the year he breaks out.

Seager will bat behind Jean Segura, Robinson Cano, and Nelson Cruz, which will give him a great chance to finally surpass the 100 RBI mark.

The 29-year-old’s isolated power numbers have jumped from .185 to .221, showing that he has the potential to increase his power numbers as he continues through his prime years.

According to fantasypros.com, he is being selected as the 59th player off the board, and the 6th third basemen. Although Seager’s value does warrant a pick at this position, there are many other third basemen that offer similar value at a much lesser cost.

 

Justin Turner exploded onto the scene in 2016, having a career year, batting .275 with 27 home runs, 79 runs, and 90 RBI’s. The 32-year-old inked a 4-year, $64 million deal, that will lock him in as the everyday third basemen and three-hitter of the Los Angeles Dodgers for the near and distant and future.

Turner provides a great floor of value, as he has a career batting average of .282, while managing to have respectable strikeout and walk rates. I believe Turner is more than likely to repeat his power numbers, and could be a sneaky source of 100 RBI’s come 2017.

 

Tier 3

2017 Fantasy Baseball Third Base Rankings

Can Jake Lamb recover from his atrocious second half n 2016? (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)

13. Jake Lamb ARI

14. Maikel Franco PHI

15. Alex Bregman HOU

16. Jose Ramirez CLE

 

Jake Lamb is currently being severally overlooked, as he is being selected as the 19th third basemen, and 165th overall player in drafts.

Lamb finished 2016 with a .249 batting average, 29 home runs, and 91 RBI’s. This stat line may seem underwhelming, but Lambs first half of .291, 20 home runs, and 61 RBI’s suggests that there is elite potential here.

The 26-year-old will join a healthy Arizona Diamondbacks lineup that includes A.J. Pollock, Paul Goldschmidt, and David Peralta, which will give him the opportunity to repeat or surpass his career high RBI total. Lamb will end up on the majority of my teams in 2017, as his ADP is much too low for his potential.

 

The sneaky top 20 MVP candidate in 2016, Jose Ramirez, will be another cheap source of production at third base in 2017. Ramirez is being selected as the 14th third basemen, which I believe is fairly high, although his ADP of 124 gives him significant value.

The 24-year-old will bat in the middle of the Cleveland Indians lineup, and depending on Michael Brantley’s health, may be behind Edwin Encarnacion, Francisco Lindor, and Jason Kipnis, which will give him an incredible opportunity to drive in runs.

Ramirez, a career .275 hitter, is continuously improving, as he batted .312 with 11 home runs, 76 RBI’s, and 22 stolen bases in 2016. Investing in the young Indian will be highly beneficial come 2017.

 

Tier 4

2017 Fantasy Baseball Third Base Rankings

Miguel Sano’s strikeout rate is a red flag heading into 2017. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

17. Miguel Sano MIN

18. Jung-Ho Kang PIT

19. Eduardo Nunez SFG

20. Ryon Healy OAK

21. Yangervis Solarte SD

 

Miguel Sano is currently being selected as the 128th player, and 15th third basemen in 2017. After hitting 18 home runs in 80 games in 2015, Sano increased his totals to 25 in 116 games in 2016. Miguel Sano’s power potential is juicy, although his 2016 strike out rate of 36% is a huge red flag.

Sano’s strikeout rates have continuously increased, which suggests that Sano may strikeout at an obnoxious rate again in 2017. Sano, who has already had a problem finding a position, may experience serious issues if his bat continues to struggle. I believe Sano is being drafted to high, as you can draft safer options in Maikel Franco or Jake Lamb later in drafts.

 

Yangervis Solarte is my sleeper of the year. The 29-year-old is primed for a breakout season, as he will have an everyday role for the first time in his career. He totaled 15 home runs and 71 RBI’s in just 109 games, which would have put him on pace for 22 home runs and 105 RBI’s.

Solarte will be the starting third basemen and cleanup hitter for the San Diego Padres in 2017. This will give him plenty of opportunity for RBI’s and runs, as this young Padres lineup could surprise people.

The ascension of young studs Wil Myers, Hunter Renfroe, and Manny Margot, can immensely improve the Friars underwhelming offense, which will positively impact Solarte’s stats.

His ADP of 319 makes him the 32nd third basemen taken off the board, which means he is currently going undrafted in majority of leagues. Solarte will make an incredible late round pick if you miss early on a third basemen.

 

Tier 5

2017 Fantasy Baseball Third Base Rankings

Nick Castellanos’ fractured hand held him back in 2016, so will he improve in 2017? (Courtesy MLive.com)

22. Nick Castellanos DET

23. Mike Moustakas KAN

24. Adonis Garcia ATL

25. Eugenio Suarez CIN

26. Pablo Sandoval BOS

27. Travis Shaw MIL

28. Martin Prado MIA

29. Danny Valencia SEA

30. Yunel Escobar LAA

 

Nick Castellanos had his 2016 cut short due to a fractured left hand, although in 110 games, he managed to hit 18 home runs, while scoring 54 runs, and driving in 58 RBI’s. The Tigers six-hitter remains a solid source of runs and RBI’s while sporting a respectable career average of .265.

Castellanos is very safe option for later in the draft, and if he continues to progress, could be a top 15 third basemen. His current ADP of 239 makes his the 25th third basemen selected, which would be a price well worth paying.

 

Yunel Escobar has quietly been a solid fantasy producer his entire career, as he has a career batting average of .283, and has batted .314 and .304 in 2015 and 2016 respectively. Escobar hasn’t managed to play over 140 games since 2013, but if he can make that happen in 2017, he will be a great fantasy asset.

The 34-year-old will bat leadoff for the Mike Trout lead Los Angeles Angels. The talent behind him along with his great batting average gives him a chance to be an above average run scorer in 2017.

His ADP of 366 makes him the 37th third basemen being selected, which in my mind is astronomical. He will go undrafted in almost all leagues, although he offers great value in deeper leagues with large rosters.

 

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Overwatch’s Newest Addition: Orisa

Photo Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

Overwatch’s newest hero, Orisa, is now on the PTR (Public Test Region), and I highly recommend you get on and give her a try. In the few hours that I’ve had with her, I’ve come to respect and admire her beautifully made kit. Orisa seems to work best with champions that synergize with her abilities and play style. Let’s take a look at Efi Oladele’s newest creation.

Initial Thoughts

While Orisa is not as tanky as current tanks such as Reinhardt or Roadhog, she more than makes up for it with her versatile ability kit. Orisa excels with a team that can support her wide variety of abilities. Characters such as Zarya, Mei, and Reinhardt can enhance her ability to aid her team, by adding additional crowd control, sustained healing, and damage absorption. Orisa falls short to characters such as Genji or Pharah, and will need support from her team when dealing with these threats. Let’s dive into her abilities, see what they do, and how they aid her team.

Primary Ability – Fusion Driver – 200 Round Capacity – Ranged – Reload Time: ~2.5 Seconds. 

Fusion Driver lays out impressive and consistent ranged damage with a 200 round magazine, while slowing her movement speed slightly. Fusion Driver provides excellent ranged support with little spread. Additionally, when combined with Halt!, Orisa can put out high damage from a safe range. Because of the large magazine capacity of Fusion Driver, players need not worry about reloading after every time they fire, as her reload time is moderately high. Think of Orisa’s Fusion Driver  as a heavy assault/support weapon.

Secondary Ability – Halt! – Cooldown: 8 Seconds – Effective Radius: 7.5 Meters

Orisa shoots a graviton charge at a target location, pulling all nearby enemies into a cluster and slowing their movement speed. Halt can be detonated before it reaches the target location, allowing Orisa to provide awesome crowd control for her team.

Note: Halt! can be blocked by both Genji and D.Va, so use with caution against them. For Genji, try to project Halt! either in front of him, or to the side. Remember, the radius of effect is ~20 feet, so you have plenty of room to work with. Also, when combined with other abilities, such as Reinhardt’s Earthshatter, Zarya’s Graviton Surge, or Mei’s Blizzard, you can layer nasty Crowd Control against the enemy team. Everybody loves Crowd Control.

Ability 1 – Fortify – Duration: 4 Seconds – Cooldown: 10 Seconds – Damage Reduction: 50% 

Orisa activates a self-shield, reducing damage she takes by 50%, and becomes immune to ANY action-impairing effects. Fortify is a key ability which enables Orisa to absorb incredible amounts of damage while maintaining her freedom to move around. Fortify has several uses, and is easily one of Orisa’s best abilities. Let’s take a look at a few of the abilities Orisa becomes immune to.

  1. Reinhardts Charge and Earthshatter.
  2. Mei’s Blizzard, and Endothermic Blaster.
  3. Zarya’s Graviton Surge.
  4. Roadhog’s Chain Hook.
  5. Pharah’s Concussive Blast.
  6. Lucio’s Soundwave.
  7. Sombra’s Hack.
  8. Junkrat’s Concussion Mine and Steel Trap.
  9. D.Va’s Boosters knockback.
  10. Ana’s Sleep Dart.

Additionally, Fortify allows Orisa to survive annoying but deadly ultimate’s such as D.Va’s Self-Destruct, or Hanzo’s Dragonstrike. These are just a few of the many beneficial uses that Fortify offers.

 

Ability 2 – Protective Barrier – Absorb Amount: 900 – Duration: 20 Seconds – Cooldown: 12 Seconds  (Starts on use)

Orisa tosses out a stationary barrier which protects her and any allies from hostile fire. Orisa may only have one Protective Barrier active at a time. The barrier will last through her death. Protective Barrier should be used on cooldown, provided there is actually a use for it. Additionally, because it lasts for 20 seconds, it has a chance of being off cooldown when or if you want to place it again. Especially relevant, keep in mind that Protective Barrier is not as strong as Reinhardt’s shield. Effective placement of Protective Barrier is important, because it is stationary. Once it goes down, you can’t move it, and must wait for the cooldown.

Ultimate Ability – Supercharger – Health: 200 – Damage Increase: 50% – Radius: 25 Meters – Duration: 15 Seconds

Orisa places down a device which increases damage inflicted by her teammates who are within her line of sight. This device has low health, and needs to be protected. Also, Supercharger works well with heroes such as Winston or Reinhardt, who both have protective abilities. Furthermore, Supercharger has incredible offensive capability, and shines brightest when defending or attacking a point. Overall, with a nice buff, yet fragile health pool, this ability seems pretty balanced.

That’s all for now on Orisa! I hope you find some useful information here in this guide and review. Therefore, Orisa seems to be a very versatile hero. She is already more than proving her worth on the PTR. With that, I’m off to get some more playtime with Orisa! From all of us at The Game Haus, I’m David. As always, Good Luck, Have Fun! See you on the PTR!

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Reference:

Orisa Stats Reddit.com

Bastion Rework – Upgrade Complete!

 

Photo Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

Principal Designer Geoff Goodman confirmed that Overwatch’s Bastion will be getting a few noteworthy tweaks. Let’s take a look.

Recon Mode – 

Recon mode will now have lowered spread, allowing for increased accuracy.  Bastion will also receive an increased magazine size to increase his viability in this mode. The general reasoning for this is to hopefully steer players away from corner hugging and sitting in Sentry Mode for the majority of uptime with Bastion.

Sentry Mode – 

As if it already isn’t, the focus for tweaking this mode is to make it more of a tank/shield killer. Additionally, Bastion takes less damage in this mode, will have increased spread, and headshots are removed.

Self-Repair – 

As of now, Blizzard is feeling good with the tweaks they’ve made for this ability. Bastion is able to use Self-Repair while moving, and it is not interrupted when Bastion takes damage. However, this ability will function much like D.Va’s Defense Matrix ability, in that it will be on a resource system. Both developers and players feel like Bastions heal isn’t currently where it needs to be. This change will transform Self-Repair from a rarely used ability, into a frequently used core ability.

 

There’s a lot of talk as to whether Bastion will be replacing Soldier: 76 on offensive team builds. Weighing in on this, I don’t feel like 76 has too much to worry about. As it stands, I believe that this rework will give Bastions defensive capabilities a well-deserved boost, without threatening to put 76 on the bench when it comes to offense. On top of this, I believe that 76 still has better offensive capability simply for the insta-kill potential he has with his Pulse Fire Rifle and Helix Rocket combination. Looking forward to playing a lot more Bastion as well as making a guide in the future when these changes hit the live servers. That’s all for now, I’m David from The Game Haus and as always, Good Luck, Have Fun!

Soldier: 76 – Enhancing an Old Dogs Performance.

If you’ve ever played first person shooters such as Call of Duty or Battlefield, then Soldier: 76 should feel pretty familiar. With a fully automatic primary weapon, an effective multi-rocket launcher for a secondary weapon, a self heal, and a sprint, he can at first seem quite simple to master. Don’t let this simple tool kit fool you though. There are several tricks you can use in order to maximize your performance with him. Let’s take a look at his abilities, how to increase their usefulness, and how well they pair with other Overwatch heroes.

Primary Weapon – Pulse Rifle – 25 Round Magazine – 1.5 Second Reload Timer. 

Standard automatic rifle. With a 25 round magazine and a 1.5 second reload time, you can tear through your enemies with ease. However, there is a way to increase the effectiveness of this weapon.

  • Know when to fire full auto vs. short, controlled bursts. 

Firing your weapon in small, concentrated bursts can drastically improve its damage output. The first 4 shots fired from the Pulse Rifle won’t cause your target reticle to expand. Utilizing this while aiming at the heads of enemy heroes can cause your damage to ramp up, resulting in faster kills. With a little bit of practice, you can have this down in no time.

  • Utilize the range capability of Pulse Rifle. 

76’s Pulse Rifle works wonders at mid and even far-range.  Keeping a safe distance and firing with short, controlled bursts will improve your threat capability. High-ground vantage points improve your map awareness and your survivability. Having the high-ground advantage lets you pick off heroes who might be hiding behind Reinhardt’s shield, as well as taking out aerial targets such as Pharah.

 

Secondary Weapon – Helix Rockets – 8 Second Cooldown – Blast Radius: 2 Meters.  

76 fires rockets out of his Pulse Rifle which explode wherever they make contact.

  • Keep track of this cooldown. 

It is important to keep track of Helix Rockets cooldown. You don’t want to enter a fight with an enemy hero if you’re on full cooldowns.  Having the availability of your full kit will often decide if you kill, or get killed.

  • Learn to lead your target. 

A lot of players struggle with this. Leading your target will increase the accuracy of Helix Rockets by a ton. Keep in mind that the blast radius of the rockets can also be effective in landing kills as well as spreading your damage to multiple targets. Go for direct rocket hits when you are certain they will hit, such as when they are incapacitated.

  • Master the Rocket jump.

This is arguably the hardest trick to master with 76. If you use your Helix Rocket’s, time it with a jump and Sprint, you can leap really far. Mastering this combo can take your 76 play to a whole new level. There are drawbacks to this risky play though. If you don’t time everything right, you can end up in some dangerous or deadly situations.

 

Ability 1 – Sprint – Duration: Lasts Until Cancelled. 

76 activates his Sprint ability which greatly increases his movement speed.

  • Sprint often. 

Sprinting will save your life. Sprint will get you places faster, such as to the payload or the objective. Sprint will also quickly get you out of dangerous situations such as a Mei ult, a D.Va ult, or a McCree ult, or if you need to heal. You can also chase down fleeing or injured enemies to finish them off.

 

Ability 2 – Biotic Field – Cooldown: 15 Seconds – Duration: 5 Seconds – Area of Effect: 5 Meters – Health Regeneration Rate: 40 Health Per Second. 

76 deploys a healing field at his location, healing himself and all allies within the zone.

  • Turn on Allied Health Bars in your Settings. 

Turning on Allied Health Bars in your settings will not only increase the effectiveness of your Biotic Field, but it will also increase your support capability for your teammates. This can be particularly effective when your team is either trying to capture or defend an objective.

  • Biotic Field cannot be destroyed 

It cannot be targeted or destroyed by enemy abilities.

  • Know where and when to deploy it. 

Knowing where to deploy your healing field is crucial. If you can deploy it safely behind cover, and somewhere where multiple teammates can benefit from it, that’s great. Knowing when to deploy it is also helpful. If you’re taking consistent damage, sometimes it’s best to use Sprint to get to safety and then heal up. This is situational, but good judgement goes a long way when it comes to using this ability.

  • You can deploy Biotic Field on the payload. 

Deploying Biotic Field on a moving payload enables you to create a moving healing zone which can benefit your teammates tremendously.

 

Ultimate Ability – Tactical Visor – Duration: 6 Seconds – Reload Time: 0.75 Seconds

76 activates his visor. All of his shots during the duration of this ability will automatically hit the target that is closest to the center of his crosshairs.

  • Timing is everything. 

Using Tactical Visor at the right time can be a major game changer. Knowing when to use it is crucial to improving your 76 performance.

  • Examples of when to use Tactical Visor. 
    • When the enemy team is incapacitated and unable to act, such as from a Zarya, Reinhardt, or Mei ult. These ults are some of the best times to activate Tactical Visor and can easily lead to an effective team kill.
    • When the enemy team has no shielding capability or little to no cover.
  • Examples of when NOT to use Tactical Visor. 
    • When the enemy team has easy cover to get behind. Popping out with your ult only to see the enemy team quickly get behind cover is not only a terrible waste of your ult, but it also gives them a chance to counterattack.
    • When the enemy team has shielding capability. Reinhardt’s, D.Va’s, and Zarya’s shield can all be very problematic for Tactical Visor. Make sure Reinhardt’s shield is down, and that Zarya’s shield is on cooldown before using Tactical Visor.
  • Prioritize Targets.
    • Tactical Visor can kill low health targets such as Mercy very quickly, increasing your teams odds of winning that fight.
    • Tactical Visor can kill evasive targets such as Tracer and Genji as seen above.

 

That’s all for now! Currently trying to get some solid footage of Rocket Jumping, so I’ll post it when I get it. I still have a lot to work on with Soldier: 76, but I’m feeling more confident in my ability to not only play him, but to better support my team as well. Let us know what you think in the comments section and as always, Good Luck, Have Fun! From all of us here at The Game Haus, I’m David.

 

 

 

 

 

Symmetra Basics – Sassy Sentry Support

 

Photos Courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

Turret defense games. Most of us have played them. You place a turret and it kills things. Symmetra is no stranger to this mindset. Her rework makes her less reliant on specific situations, and much more capable of aiding her team, either offensively or defensively. Let’s take a look at her reworked abilities, and see how effective they can be.

Primary Weapon –  Photon Projector – 7 Meter Range.

Symmetra’s weapon pulses a short range beam which will attach to a nearby enemy, dealing damage over time. This little death beam has attachment issues. Dare I call it… clingy?

Ability 1 – Sentry Turret – 6 Charges, 10 Sec Recharge Rate.

Symmetra places a small sentry turret on walls, floors, ceilings, and many other objects. The turrets will automatically attack enemies within range. Any enemies hit will have their movement speed reduced temporarily. Symmetra can place up to 6 turrets at any time. Effectively placing your turrets can land some pretty sweet plays. It’s always fun deleting an enemy player with minimal effort.

 

Ability 2 – Photon Barrier – 10 second cooldown. 

Symmetra projects a floating, forward-moving barrier which absorbs a large amount of damage. The cooldown starts as soon as you use the ability. The range the shield will travel depends on whether or not anything is in its path.

 

Ultimate Ability 1 – Teleporter – 6 Charges – Health: 50, Shield: 350.

Symmetra places a teleporter down at her current location. The teleporter connects to another teleporter located in the teams spawn point. Players can use the teleporter near the spawn point to quickly return to battle. Be sure to place your teleporter strategically because it doesn’t take much damage to be destroyed.

Note: If a point is captured, the teleporter will be instantly refunded.

Ultimate Ability 2 – Shield Generator HP: 50 Shield: 350.

Symmetra places a wide range shield generator at her location. The generator provides a 75 damage absorb shield to all nearby teammates. The shield works through walls and other objects, as well as through terrain.

Note: If a point is captured, the generator will be instantly refunded.

These are just the basics for playing Symmetra. Effective placement of her sentry turrets, teleporter, and shield generator can land some pretty sweet Play of the Game’s, multi-kills, and a really enjoyable play experience. That’s all for Symmetra. Let us know what you think in the comments, I’m David from The Game Haus and as always, Good Luck, Have Fun!

A Happy Game Haus Thankgiving

We decided a couple of weeks ago that we wanted to do a Thanksgiving piece and give our readers a chance to get to know us a little better! Below are some of the staff members of TGH telling you all what they are thankful for this holiday season. From Our Haus to Yours, have a very happy Game Haus Thanksgiving!

Jared MacAdam- Head of Esports: Well, I’ll go first, being the only Canadian and my Thanksgiving has passed quite some time ago. I’m thankful for the way this site has grown since its inception, how many great writers we’ve had and all the awesome content we’ve produced. I’m also immensely thankful for the way esports has matured in the past year; we’re seeing leaps and strides in key areas like players well being and stability. It’s an exciting thing to experience and to have a little part in. I’m also thankful for all the weirdos in the Front Office who lovingly mock my Canadianisms.

Josh Burris – Editor: I am thankful for sports. I am a proud Cleveland fan and with the exception of the Browns, good things are happening with our teams. I’m thankful I got to see a Cleveland team win a title. I am also thankful for my family and friendships I have at home, school, and from this site.

Ryan Moran – CFO: I am thankful for family, friends, and football. I am also thankful to be working for TGH and to belong to such an exciting community of sports and esports. I am also thankful of the unifying power of sports and their ability to bring anybody together win or lose.

Tim Miller – Vice President: Of course, when talking about being thankful, I have to be thankful for the opportunity to help lead The Game Haus. I’m also thankful to root for the mighty Ohio State Buckeye football team, and that Marvin Lewis should get fired after this year. I’m also thankful for a loving family and loving girlfriend. Finally, I’m thankful to live in a great country with freedoms like no other (no matter how you feel currently), and to go to a solid, christian university in Cedarville University.

Robert Hanes- President: While these last 365 days have been some of the most challenging times in my life, I can say that I have so many things to be grateful for. To start, everyone here at The Game Haus. These people are incredible, as you can read in their paragraphs of what they are thankful for. They have all gone through many things and have worked their butts off while working here. So thank you to all of the Front Office Members, Writers, Podcasters, and League Team Members! I am also very thankful for my friends. They have helped me through some tough times throughout the last year and I do not know where I would be without them. The same can be said for my Father, Mother and Sister. They have been my rocks as I have struggled many times this year. Lastly I am thankful to God and his son, while it sounds cheesy I know they have been with me every step of the way. From Our Haus to Yours, thank you and have a wonderful holiday season!

Terrance Singleton- Social Media Director: I am thankful for the life God has given me. Every time the holiday season comes around I think about how easily I couldn’t be here. My grandfather died on November 19, 2010 right before Thanksgiving. And I was in a pretty bad car accident on December 27, 2012 that broke my neck and cut my scalp open. So every time the holiday season rolls around I always think about how precious life, family, friends, and faith are important in my life and everyone’s life. So on this Thanksgiving when you are watching NFL football games and eating food until you can’t move, tell your loved ones how much you love them because tomorrow is not promised.

Dylan Streibig- NFL Writer: Whether we realize it or not, we all have a lot to be thankful for.  I am no exception this Thanksgiving or any other year. I am thankful to have a roof over my head and a family that loves me. I am grateful for the fantastic sporting events that go on all around the world. They provide me a momentary escape from my life with a physical disability. I am also thankful for my dog and the fact that I am now a published sports writer thanks to The Game Haus. Most of all, I am thankful for the loyalty of my close friends who do not give up on me, even when I give up on myself.

Matthew Hagan- Columnist: I’m thankful for the opportunity The Game Haus has presented me with. Writing about my favorite sport, football, and offering me a column has been one of the best things in my life. I am thankful to have parents, family and friends support while trying to get a degree in college. My mom has been the biggest reason I have made it this far and I am so thankful that I get to fly back to Vegas to spend Thanksgiving with her. I am also thankful I got to see the Cubs win a World Series and attend the victory parade in Chicago. It was one of the most memorable moments of my life. I am thankful for all the opportunities I have had in this amazing country. I am proud to be an American and this Thanksgiving is going to be one of the best ever. Thank you to everyone who reads my articles, weather you agree or disagree with them. I want to wish anyone who reads this, and anyone who may not, a safe, fun and amazing Thanksgiving.

Alex Keller- Recruitment and Retention: What am I thankful for? Where can I even begin… I guess it would have to be with my family and friends. I wouldn’t be in the position I am today if not for their love and support. But it’s so much more than that… the opportunity to even attend an institution like Georgia Tech, let alone graduate from it is an experience I’m incredibly thankful for. And of course, I have to thank everyone who’s been a part of making my experience with TGH so awesome. So, from our haus to yours, have a Happy Game Haus Thanksgiving everybody.

Overwatch

Overwatch Thoughts, Experiences, and the Dreaded Pros and Cons

Back in 2014, Blizzard officially cancelled their highly anticipated and secretive project Titan. Unsurprisingly, many fans were left wondering, “What next?”. Well, we can now safely say that Overwatch is their next starry-eyed inspiration (which actually made it past the digital finish line). With twenty-one seductively unique characters to choose from, and many more to be introduced down the road, Overwatch provides players with an incredibly versatile roster to choose from. That’s not all, however.

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Amateur Coach Diaries: Practice Habits Part 1

Courtesy of, www.lol-academy.net

      Courtesy of, www.lol-academy.net

Batting practice will prepare a baseball player for a 90 mph fastball no different in the first inning or the sixth. A penalty kick is the same distance from the goal at 25 minutes compared to a shoot-out. A practiced running play is the same play if ran in the first and third quarters of a football game. Unlike these sports, League of Legends evolves during the game as it’s played. A team fight at 1 minute is not the same as a team fight at 60 minutes. And because of this, LoL is a hard sport to practice some elements of, mainly because the game is always changing. Knowing how to coach a practice in this sport is a very rare thing in the amateur scene. And that’s something that needs to be changed.

While I sit here during my short break from coaching Game Haus, I thought I would write about the biggest issue I see within the LoL amateur scene. Practice habits within amateur teams are absolutely inefficient and almost makes me cringe to a point. Throughout my time as the coach for Game Haus, I have come across some of the worst practice habits I have ever seen in any sport. So, I’ve decided to write a series about how high elo teams can improve their practice. This will not include vod reviews or scouting. Each article in this series is going to highlight the issues in most teams’ practice habits and hopefully teach coaches how to run a more efficient practice for their team. We’ll start with the number one issue in my mind and it’s the most cringe worthy; scheduling a best-of series.

Scheduling a best-of series for a scrim is the worst idea you could possibly have as a coach or manager. If you have all your players on for 3 hours for a best-of-3 series, you are going to lose valuable practice time that every team needs. If one of the two teams 2-0’s the other, that’s going to be the end of the scrim and you’ll lose all of that excess time. This also goes for setting up scrims by a number of games. Remember, almost every team will FF right when they know they can’t come back. This cuts game times even shorter, which will have you practicing less. If the games are going too fast because you’re stomping the other team, then whoever set up your scrim didn’t do a good job in finding the right scrim partner. Because of this you probably deserve the bad practice you’re getting out of that scrim. Every scrim needs to be scheduled with a time block. Whether it’s a 3 hour or 5 hour time block, you need to make sure both teams play for that whole scrim block. Will your games that you play fit perfectly into that block? Not at all. This brings me to my second point of this article.

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You need to have a plan with the other team on how you both want to fill that scrim block. How much time do you want to leave for in between games, early games, mid game talks etc.? The more filled out your practice is, the more you will have accomplished. Also, have a backup plan for if the other team has to leave. Do you want to dynamic? Have a team talk about the games? Vod review? There are too many teams that play their games in a scrim, then they do the vod review on another day. If they’ve played 2 games in a scrim, that team has played 2 early games, 2 mid games, and maybe 2 late games. They’ve also played only 1 or 2 comps. If you properly filled out your time block, maybe you have played 2 really productive full games, 6 early games, 2-4 different comps. Also maybe you’re able to sneak in a vod review of an old game. The latter is definitely the more effective practice, but it isn’t happening that much in the amateur scene.

From now on, schedule all of your practices as scrim blocks with set start and end times. You need to fill up your practice time the best you can and it will pay off for your team, your scrim partner, and the entire amateur lol scene. If you enjoy just scheduling the best-of series and playing only x amount of games, when your two sub 20-minute games end and your team calls it a night, remember, when you’re not practicing, someone else is. The next article for the series will be about a way to improve late-game decision making. See you then!

Breaking Down The 2016 Pro Bowl

pro bowl

The Pro Bowl is packed with talent yet again. (Photo: nfl.com)

Whether you’re a fan or not, the NFL’s rendition of an all-star game will take place this Sunday at 7:00 p.m. on ESPN.

The Pro Bowl has been criticized crucially in recent years, with lack of effort being put forth by players at the forefront of complaints. Even with threats of the Pro Bowl being cancelled, fans will be tuning in and watching for another year.

For the third year, the NFL will pit two unconferenced teams against one another. Jerry Rice and Michael Irvin have drafted their teams in hopes of coming out on top. Here’s a look at each of the team’s notable players.

Team Irvin

Russell Wilson, QB

Devonta Freeman, RB (captain)

Todd Gurley, RB

A.J. Green, WR

Julio Jones, WR

DeAndre Hopkins, WR

Tyler Eifert, TE

Carlos Dunlap, DE

Ezekiel Ansah, DE

Michael Bennett, DE

Geno Atkins, DT (captain)

Anthony Barr, OLB

Lavonte David, LB

Richard Sherman, CB

Desmond Trufant, CB

Adam Jones, CB

Malcom Jenkins, S

Team Rice

Eli Manning, QB

Adrian Peterson, RB

Doug Martin, RB

Odell Beckham, WR (captain)

Jarvis Landry, WR

Amari Cooper, WR

Travis Kelce, TE

Khalil Mack, DE

Everson Griffen, DE

Cameron Jordan, DE

Aaron Donald, DT (captain)

Tamba Hali, OLB

Julius Peppers, LB

Marcus Peters, CB

Vontae Davis, CB

Eric Berry, S

Charles Woodson, SS

Skimming through the key players appears to give Michael Irvin’s team a clear advantage on offense. They seem to have a better option at every single position when compared to Jerry Rice’s. On the defensive side of the ball, the gap is closed, with Irvin’s team having a slight advantage.

If the quarterback position is in fact the most important on the field, Irvin’s squad should be in good shape. He owns one of the most dynamic signal-callers in the game, while Team Rice owns a one-dimensional quarterback who somehow got selected to another Pro Bowl.

Somehow, Jerry Rice let top of the line receivers get drafted to Michael Irvin’s team, as Team Irvin’s top three wideouts are clearly better than that of Rice’s.

Two aging defensive backs came off their best seasons and found themselves rostered on Michael Irvin’s team. Malcom Jenkins and Adam Jones both had huge seasons, paving way for each player’s first Pro Bowl appearance in their career.

I have in now way any bias towards Michael Irvin, but the fact is that he put together a far superior offense and solid enough defense to make me believe this game is in his team’s hands.

In games like these, defense is not usually the the factor in which team wins or loses. The game will be a shootout, and Team Rice will be unable to keep up. I’m taking Team Irvin to handle Team Rice by a final tally of 48-37.

Will you be watching the Pro Bowl this year, or does the game no longer suit your fancy? Let me know in the forum, or talk to me on twitter (@timmyymiller).