Aaron Donald named PFF’s No. 1 player in the NFL for 2018 More Aaron Donald put together one of the most impressive seasons by an interior defender in NFL history last year, and that’s not an exaggeration. Consider this: He missed all of OTAs, all of training camp and the first week of the season. He transitioned from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense without practicing once in camp with the team. Add in the fact that he also sat out Week 17 with the rest of the Rams’ starters and still went on to win Defensive Player of the Year.
Shannon Sharpe, the Hall of Fame tight end (who is quick to lobby that his big brother, Sterling, deserves a gold jacket), was so passionate Friday on his FS1 show while reacting to the Owens saga. Sharpe, like so many others, is at a loss to understand Owens’ decision. He used sheer numbers to put the honor into context, pointing out that more than 25,000 players have played in a game during the NFL’s 98-year history. Including the new class, there are just 310 Hall of Famers, including coaches, owners and other contributors.
Dylan Covey (R), 20 percent, Chicago White Sox vs. Oakland Athletics: Covey quietly has been fantasy-relevant over the past month. The right-hander sports a 2.36 ERA and 8.4 K/9 over his past six outings, allowing two or fewer earned runs in all but one start. The key to his success has been keeping the ball on the ground (60 percent ground ball rate) and in the yard (0.22 HR/9). Covey’s skill set doesn’t necessarily match up with a sub-3.00 ERA, but he should be able to hold down an A’s team that sports an 87 wRC+ over the past 30 days.
Jaime Barria (R), rostered in 20 percent of ESPN leagues, Los Angeles Angels vs. Toronto Blue Jays: Barria was roughed up a bit his last time out (6 ER in 4 IP against Arizona). Prior to that, however, he’d held a 2.61 ERA over his previous eight starts. While Barria is not a big swing-and-miss guy (7.4 K/9), he has good control (2.0 BB/9) and a favorable home park that suppresses both runs and homers. The Blue Jays, meanwhile, are not a team to fear. They’ve been league average against righty pitching this season with a 23.5 percent whiff rate.