High Press Episode 6 – weekly football prediction

High Press Episode 6:


Episode 6 of High Press covers memorable rants from Premier League managers, players hitting back at the press and takes a look at the candidates in the 2023-24 sack race.
Host Alison Bender is joined by Jay Harris, Dave Kidd and Jason Burt to discuss Jose Mourinho, Rafa Benitez’s iconic ‘FACTS’ rant and much, much more.


Nathan Jones is the first manager discussed, with Harris saying, ‘The second a manager comes out like that, you just know the writing is on the wall.’
Jones developed a reputation during his short Southampton tenure for fiery press conferences, including claiming his Luton team was one of the best in Europe for xG and aggression.

Burt then remembers when Jones’ Southampton knocked Manchester City out of the League Cup, and the Southampton manager used his press conference to talk about the Havant & Waterlooville manager.

“It’s what we all want, we love Nathan Jones as newspaper men, as broadcasters as well, because he’s great entertainment, great fun. We don’t want bland pitchside interviews for the TV and we don’t want bland quotes,”, said Kidd.

Jose Mourinho was box-office

On the topic of entertaining managers, the quartet reminisced about Jose Mourinho’s first stint at Chelsea, and how his press conferences were often better than the football his side played. Bender even recounted a time when he decided he had four things to say, and repeated the same four things to every broadcaster.

Meeting Sir Alex Ferguson was like meeting royalty

The panel shared stories from being sent to Carrington for Alex Ferguson press conferences. Each were told they had to introduce themselves to Ferguson, and Burt recalls a particularly embarrassing first press conference with Ferguson, which featured the entire press room laughing at Ferguson’s response to his question.

Rafa Benitez FACTS

Moving on to Benitez, Kidd said, “The thing with the ‘fact’ rant’, is it was obviously pre-prepared. It was in a pre-match conference and he’d written it all down. Keegan at least lost it in the heat of the moment!”

Bender, who has worked extensively at Chelsea, talked about how Frank Lampard and John Terry were quick to challenge questions they disagreed with.
Burt responded with an anecdote of Gary Cahill chatting happily with the press, only for Burt and others to be told that Cahill wasn’t happy with the questions.

 When players hit back at the press

After agreeing that wouldn’t happen with England now, Kidd added, “The access you get at England now is outstanding. The relationship between the journalists and the players is now better than it has been for generations. That’s largely due to Gareth Southgate’s influence and his media team – they are excellent.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Kidd identifies Roy Keane as one of the most outspoken players to interview. “He’d speak very occasionally, but when he did, it was nearly always dynamite.”

David Moyes and protecting managers mental health

The group debated the difficulties for the press when managers are struggling, particularly when they have close relationships. Bender also brought up the impact on the mental health of managers following comments from David Moyes.

The Premier League sack race

The episode wraps up with a look at the number of sackings in the Premier League and managers who could be getting the boot this season.

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Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Targets To Add/Drop

Navigating the twists and turns of the NFL fantasy football season is the top priority for savvy managers looking to stay one step ahead of their league mates. No fantasy football team is complete without a little help from the waiver wire. The injury bug hit the quarterback position this week, as Kirk Cousins was lost for the year, while Matthew Stafford, Kenny Pickett, Desmond Ridder and Tyrod Taylor all picked up various knocks.

Whether your team needs a full rebuild, or you’re looking for a bye-week fill-in, you’re next game-winning move is just a read away. Let’s take a look at our fantasy football waiver wire targets heading into Week 9.

Quarterbacks to Target

Will Levis, Tennessee Titans: 

Get him while he’s hot folks! Will Levis burst on to the scene with 4 touchdowns in his debut on Sunday. The Kentucky product unleashed a number of fantastic deep balls and seemed to be on the same page with DeAndre Hopkins.

You can grab Levis to take over for the injured Kirk Cousins at just the right time. As the Tennessee Titans take on the shorthanded Steelers, before favorable matchups with the Panthers and Colts in the coming weeks.

While there’s no guarantee the 2nd-round pick keeps his job when Ryan Tannehill returns, he’s an excellent low-cost streamer. Levis athleticism also provides plenty of upside in the event he needs to move the football with his legs. Remember he was an accomplished runner in college and the Titans could look to integrate some read options into their offense.

Running Backs to Target:

Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens: 

Coming off a three-touchdown performance, Edwards needs be your top priority on the waiver wire heading into Week 9.

Edwards now has at least 60 rushing yards and a score in back-to-back games. The Baltimore Ravens are the 3rd-most run heavy team in the NFL this season, at 32.6 plays per game. “Gus the bus” has seen 11 red zone touches and 105 carries already.

Many more high-scoring weeks are in store as the Ravens continue to get comfortable in Todd Monken’s new scheme. Baltimore’s new explosive element has seen their Super Bowl odds drop in recent weeks, as sportsbooks take note of their newfound capabilities. Edwards will be a volume-dependent back, but you’ll want every piece of that in a successful scoring offense. Add Gus Edwards on the waiver wire while you still can.

Other RBs to target: Emari Demercado, Arizona Cardinals

Wide Receivers to target:

Demario Douglas, New England Patriots:

The rookie out of Liberty is the new defacto WR1 in New England with Kendrick Bourne lost for the season with a torn ACL. Douglas saw a nearly 25% target share last week and is in line for a whole lot more work.

Bill O’Brien’s offense has thrown the football 61% of the time this season, and that should only increase as the Patriots continue to trail in football games.  

The underlying metrics show that Douglas is a fantasy football asset as a flex option down the stretch. The 6th-round draft pick ranks 23rd in the NFL in yards per route run (2.19) and 16th in target separation (2.17 yards). Snag him off the waiver wire while you still can.

Tight Ends to target:

Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints:

A versatile puzzle piece of any team, Taysom Hill has been a top-tier fantasy asset the last two weeks. For those of you missing Kirk Cousins, Hill is a possible option.

The converted quarterback has operated as the New Orleans Saints red-zone hammer all year, and needs to be plucked off the waiver wire. The BYU product has back-to-back weeks with at least 10 touches and a score. With the dearth of weekly options at the tight end position, Hill is more than worth a roll of the waiver wire dice.

Defense to target for Week 9:

New Orleans Saints: 

Streaming the defense playing the Chicago Bears every week is a recipe for success in fantasy. New Orleans ranks 9th in points per game allowed at 19.3 and 5th in total yards conceded at 296.4. Additionally, the Saints have racked up 21 sacks and 6 interceptions on the year and will likely add to those numbers against an overmatched Bears squad in Week 9.