Eight questions for every baseball fan

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Eight questions for every baseball fan

From Comcast SportsNetThe Baltimore Orioles began the week with the best record in the majors, with Bryce Harper and the Washington Nationals close behind. Albert Pujols was slumping, Bobby Valentine was getting booed and Derek Jeter was hitting nearly .400.Signs of the season, or mere mirages? A quick look at the big questions so far in baseball:-------- Can the Orioles stay atop the AL East? Cleveland teased fans last spring, Pittsburgh stuck around until summer. Sure looks like a charmed year in Charm City, too, coming off DH Chris Davis' improbable stint on the mound. Buck Showalter has the Birds believing, bolstered by a shutdown bullpen. The O's haven't had a winning season since future Hall of Famers Cal Ripken and Roberto Alomar led them to a division title in 1997 -- let's watch the next two weeks when Texas, Tampa Bay and the Yankees visit Camden Yards. The call: The Orioles fall back a couple spots before the All-Star break.-------- How many home runs will Albert Pujols hit? After ending the longest power drought of his career, the three-time NL MVP was still hitting in the .190s. He's in a new, better league, facing many pitchers he's never seen, playing in a park that's not ultra-homer friendly. His 240 million contract draws a lot of attention, but these are the numbers worth noticing -- 47 homers in 2009, down to 42 in 2010, down to 37 last year with St. Louis. The call: Pujols drops again, and finishes with 33.-------- Will Washington win the NL East? All eyes are on Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals right now. They're fresh, fun and full of rising talent. Plus, they're winning minus injured closer Drew Storen. Manager Davey Johnson provides a steady hand, and the Nats will do OK while Jayson Werth's broken wrist heals. The last time a baseball team from the nation's capital reached the postseason was 1933, when FDR was in office. It might be time for President Barack Obama to begin warming up his left arm. The call: The Nats just miss the playoffs.-------- What will Derek Jeter hit? In recent years, the Captain has become perhaps the most polarizing player in the majors. Really, try to find a single fan who stays anywhere near neutral when talking about the Yankees star. At this point last year, Jeter seemed washed up at the plate and in the field. Since homering for his 3,000th hit right before the All-Star break, he's completely rejuvenated. Manager Joe Girardi is being diligent in giving the 37-year-old shortstop proper rest, and the results appear to be showing. The call: Jeter hits a robust .321.-------- Can Bobby Valentine survive the season? This sure isn't what Bobby V had in mind when he returned to the big leagues. Battered bullpen, banged-up roster, mini-feud with popular Kevin Youkilis and angry crowds at Fenway Park. Many fans in Boston wondered how much worse it could get after last year's collapse. Well, last place isn't looking so great. That said, he won't be the first manager to get chopped in 2012 -- that's much more likely to be Kansas City's Ned Yost. The call: Red Sox management will preach patience, Boston starts playing better and Valentine makes it through the year.-------- How many more no-hitters will there be? Jered Weaver, OK, maybe some could've foreseen that. But Philip Humber's perfect game, no way. Predicting no-hitters is a tricky business. A lot of people claim they're more possible nowadays, with hitters in the post-Steroids Era. Maybe a pair of gems in less than two weeks means more are on the way. Even so, all it takes is a checked-swing blooper to wreck a bid. The call: One more this year, pitched by Matt Cain.-------- What's in the future for Mariano Rivera? The greatest closer of all-time is holding out hope that he'll pitch again this year. Such comebacks from torn ACLs have occurred, although not with 42-year-old ballplayers. If the Yankees reach the playoffs, look for daily stories on how Rivera is close to rejoining them. Mo' likely, a return in 2013. The call: "Enter Sandman" blasts away at Yankee Stadium next season as Rivera, with almost a full year to rest his arm, loses very little off his cutter.-------- Who will win the World Series? Tampa Bay looks sharp with all its pitching, St. Louis has done well as the defending champion and Miami is starting to play well under Ozzie Guillen. And how magical it would be if Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Dodgers captured the crown? The call: There can be just one champion, and that team is Texas. With Yu Darvish on his way to winning 20 games and Josh Hamilton leading a beastly lineup, the Rangers will shake off the disappointment of losing two straight World Series and hammer whichever NL team dares to get in their way.

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AFC North: Terrelle Pryor says Browns can win out, DeAngelo Williams shuts him down

AFC North: Terrelle Pryor says Browns can win out, DeAngelo Williams shuts him down

BY ERIC GARLAND, CSNMidatlantic.com 

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor’s Week 3 performance, where he racked up 144 receiving yards and one rushing touchdown, might have gotten him a little too excited for the rest of the season. 

Why, you might ask? According to an NFL.com article, he claimed the Browns can win out the rest of the season.

That’s a pretty tough task, and Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams didn’t hesitate to rib Pryor for the claim. 

“Maybe he was talking about Ohio State,” Williams tweeted. 

Ouch, burn. 

Pryor, of course, played quarterback for a dominant Ohio State team before converting to wide receiver in the NFL. During his time as a Buckeye, he lead the team to two Big Ten championships and a Rose Bowl championship in 2010. 

Williams’ tweet is only added insult, as the Browns are currently winless heading into Week 4 and have suffered an array of injuries to key players, including Robert Griffin III, Josh McCown and Corey Coleman.

Pryor’s positivity is certainly the attitude needed to start getting some wins in Cleveland, but Williams certainly isn’t buying it. 

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Fantasy Football: Week 4 position rankings

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USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy Football: Week 4 position rankings

Week 4 of the fantasy football season is here as are my positional rankings. Check back later in the week for updates as news shifts some players up, down or out.

For those seeking free agent help, check out the Week 4 Waiver Wire column, which includes options for those dealing with running back injuries and bye weeks.

Quarterbacks

1. Philip Rivers, SD
 
2.  Cam Newton, CAR
 
3.  Drew Brees, NO
 
4.  Andrew Luck, IND
 
5.  Matthew Stafford, DET
 
6.  Kirk Cousins, WAS
 
7.  Andy Dalton, CIN
 
8.  Carson Palmer, ARI
 
9.  Blake Bortles, JAC
 
10.  Derek Carr, OAK
 
11.  Ben Roethlisberger, PIT
 
12.  Joe Flacco, BAL
 
13.  Matt Ryan, ATL
 
14.  Russell Wilson, SEA
 
15.  Dak Prescott, DAL
 
16.  Trevor Siemian, DEN
 
17.  Eli Manning, NYG
 
18.  Tyrod Taylor, BUF
 
19.  Sam Bradford, MIN
 
20.  Ryan Tannehill, MIA
 
21.  Jameis Winston, TB
 
22.  Jimmy Garoppolo, NE
 
23.  Brian Hoyer, CHI
 
24.  Alex Smith, KC
 
25.  Brock Osweiler, HOU

Running Backs

1.  David Johnson, ARI
 
2.  Le'Veon Bell, PIT
 
3.  Ezekiel Elliott, DAL
 
4.  C.J. Anderson, DEN
 
5.  Melvin Gordon, SD
 
6.  Lamar Miller, HOU
 
7.  LeGarrette Blount, NE
 
8.  Mark Ingram, NO
 
9.  LeSean McCoy, BUF
 
10.  Todd Gurley, LA
 
11.  Carlos Hyde, SF
 
12.  DeMarco Murray, TEN
 
13.  Christine Michael, SEA
 
14.  Jeremy Hill, CIN
 
15.  Frank Gore, IND
 
16.  Spencer Ware, KC
 
17.  Charles Sims, TB
 
18.  Devonta Freeman, ATL
 
19.  Matt Jones, WAS
 
20.  Jordan Howard, CHI
 
21.  Latavius Murray, OAK
 
22.  Isaiah Crowell, CLE
 
23.  Matt Forte, NYJ
 
24.  Theo Riddick, DET
 
25.  Jerick McKinnon, MIN
 
26.  Tevin Coleman, ATL
 
27.  Giovani Bernard, CIN
 
28.  Orleans Darkwa, NYG
 
29.  Dwayne Washington, DET
 
30.  Cameron Artis-Payne, CAR
 
31.  Chris Ivory, JAC
 
32.  Terrance West, BAL
 
33.  T.J. Yeldon, JAC
 
34.  Kenyan Drake, MIA
 
35.  Duke Johnson, CLE
 
36.  Justin Forsett, BAL
 
37.  Matt Asiata, MIN
 
38.  Fozzy Whittaker, CAR
 
39.  DeAngelo Williams, PIT
 
40.  Derrick Henry, TEN
 
41.  Jay Ajayi, MIA
 
42.  Jamaal Charles, KC
 
43.  James White, NE
 
44.  Travaris Cadet, NO
 
45.  Chris Thompson, WAS
 
46.  Alfred Morris, DAL
 
47.  Robert Kelley, WAS
 
48.  Bilal Powell, NYJ
 
49.  Charcandrick West, KC
 
50.  Rashad Jennings, NYG

Wide Receivers

1.  Antonio Brown, PIT
 
2.  A.J. Green, CIN
 
3.  Julio Jones, ATL
 
4.  Odell Beckham Jr., NYG
 
5.  Allen Robinson, JAC
 
6.  DeAndre Hopkins, HOU
 
7.  Marvin Jones, DET
 
8.  Alshon Jeffery, CHI
 
9.  Larry Fitzgerald, ARI
 
10.  Travis Benjamin, SD
 
11.  T.Y. Hilton, IND
 
12.  Amari Cooper, OAK
 
13.  Kelvin Benjamin, CAR
 
14.  Dez Bryant, DAL
 
15.  Brandin Cooks, NO
 
16.  Mike Evans, TB
 
17.  Demaryius Thomas, DEN
 
18.  Jarvis Landry, MIAQ
 
19.  DeSean Jackson, WAS
 
20.  Julian Edelman, NE
 
21.  Stefon Diggs, MIN
 
22.  Doug Baldwin, SEA
 
23.  Emmanuel Sanders, DEN
 
24.  Jeremy Maclin, KC
 
25.  Michael Crabtree, OAK
 
26.  Willie Snead, NO
 
27.  Tyrell Williams, SD
 
28.  Sterling Shepard, NYG
 
29.  Eric Decker, NYJ
 
30.  Brandon Marshall, NYJ
 
31.  Terrelle Pryor, CLE
 
32.  Steve Smith, BAL
 
33.  Devante Parker, MIAQ
 
34.  Will Fuller, HOU
 
35.  Mike Wallace, BAL
 
36.  Michael Floyd, ARI
 
37.  Allen Hurns, JAC
 
38.  Jamison Crowder, WAS
 
39.  Sammy Watkins, BUF
 
40.  Golden Tate, DET
 
41.  Tavon Austin, LA
 
42.  Tajae Sharpe, TEN
 
43.  Tyler Lockett, SEA
 
44.  Cole Beasley, DAL
 
45.  Phillip Dorsett, IND
 
46.  Michael Thomas, NO
 
47.  Torrey Smith, SF
 
48.  Mohamed Sanu, ATL
 
49.  Victor Cruz, NYG
 
50.  Pierre Garcon, WAS

Tight Ends

1.  Greg Olsen, CAR
 
2.  Jordan Reed, WAS
 
3.  Rob Gronkowski, NE
 
4.  Travis Kelce, KC
 
5.  Eric Ebron, DET
 
6.  Kyle Rudolph, MIN
 
7.  Coby Fleener, NO
 
8.  Dennis Pitta, BAL
 
9.  Jason Witten, DAL
 
10.  Zach Miller, CHI
 
11.  Delanie Walker, TEN
 
12.  Dwayne Allen, IND
 
13.  Julius Thomas, JAC
 
14.  Jimmy Graham, SEA
 
15.  Gary Barnidge, CLE
 
16.  Jacob Tamme, ATL
 
17.  Hunter Henry, SD
 
18.  Martellus Bennett, NE
 
19.  Jack Doyle, IND
 
20.  Antonio Gates, SD
 
21.  Charles Clay, BUF
 
22.  Cameron Brate, TB
 
23.  Clive Walford, OAK
 
24.  Tyler Eifert, CIND
 
25.  Jesse James, PIT

Kickers

1.  Stephen Gostkowski, NE
 
2.  Adam Vinatieri, IND
 
3.  Chandler Catanzaro, ARI
 
4.  Justin Tucker, BAL
 
5.  Dan Bailey, DAL
 
6.  Steven Hauschka, SEA
 
7.  Graham Gano, CAR
 
8.  Josh Lambo, SD
 
9.  Brandon McManus, DEN
 
10.  Dustin Hopkins, WAS
 
11.  Matt Prater, DET
 
12.  Will Lutz, NO
 
13.  Chris Boswell, PIT
 
14.  Nick Novak, HOU
 
15.  Josh Brown, NYG
 
16.  Blair Walsh, MIN
 
17.  Matt Bryant, ATL
 
18.  Cairo Santos, KC
 
19.  Mike Nugent, CINQ
 
20.  Sebastian Janikowski, OAK

Defenses

1.  Arizona Cardinals, ARI
 
2.  Denver Broncos, DEN
 
3.  Seattle Seahawks, SEA
 
4.  Houston Texans, HOU
 
5.  New England Patriots, NE
 
6.  Minnesota Vikings, MIN
 
7.  Carolina Panthers, CAR
 
8.  Cincinnati Bengals, CIN
 
9.  New York Jets, NYJ
 
10.  Washington Redskins, WAS
 
11.  Kansas City Chiefs, KC
 
12.  Pittsburgh Steelers, PIT
 
13.  Los Angeles Rams, LA
 
14.  New York Giants, NYG
 
15.  Buffalo Bills, BUF
 
16.  Detroit Lions, DET
 
17.  Baltimore Ravens, BAL
 
18.  Miami Dolphins, MIA
 
19.  Indianapolis Colts, IND
 
20.  Dallas Cowboys, DAL