In each of the last three years, Belle Sand was a menace for opposing teams. Diving chest first onto the hardwood, Sand sacrificed her body and kept plays alive. As Syracuse’s starting libero, she led the Orange in digs for three-straight years, totaling 1,429 digs from 2014-17.Aside from stats, Sand mentored the underclassmen by working hard and staying persistent on the court, said junior Aliah Bowllan. Published on September 4, 2018 at 10:18 pm Contact Adam: firstname.lastname@example.org | @_adamhillman After Sand’s graduation, SU head coach Leonid Yelin was left looking for a replacement.“We tried to find someone who would play her role in the team, because to replace Belle would be impossible,” Yelin said.But before Syracuse (2-0) played its first two games on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 at the UConn Invitational, Yelin insisted it was junior libero Aliah Bowllan’s job. The upstate New York native recorded 90 digs last year, seventh on the team, but leads the Orange in digs so far this season with 22.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBowllan started and led the team in digs in both of the invitational games. While Bowllan has played libero since fifth grade, she’s tried to emulate Sand every time she steps on the court.“After watching Belle for two years, I learned what she does and what her tendencies are, and it just made me improve as a player,” Bowllan said.Before Bowllan’s freshman season began, she suffered a serious wrist injury. Bowllan missed the first seven games of the season. While sitting out, she couldn’t use her injured wrist. Instead, Bowllan practiced footwork and conditioning drills — anything that didn’t involve a ball.Yet Bowllan’s relationship with Sand, the only other libero on the team, had a greater impact. Sand helped her with positioning on the court and technique while Bowllan was on the sideline.“There’s a big adjustment going from playing with high schoolers, and playing against girls, to playing against women … Everyone’s just bigger and stronger,” Bowllan said.Over the next two years, Sand mentored Bowllan, and the mutual respect grew. By watching someone who “always knew where to be,” Bowllan began to master the nuances and intricacies of the position.Under the tutelage of Sand, Bowllan improved. Sand was known as one of the hardest workers at SU, and sophomore Ella Saada noted that Bowllan is following suit.This past offseason, Bowllan, Saada and other teammates spent hours in the gym fine-tuning their serves. By repeating her technique over and over, Bowllan has pushed her serve to another level, Saada said.To this day, Bowllan and Sand talk regularly. Before the first match of the 2018 season, Sand had one last piece of advice for Bowllan.“Belle told me to just be ready for anything, especially playing libero,” Bowllan said. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+
MORE WEEK 14:Waiver pickups | FAAB planning | Stock watch | Snap counts | Fantasy playoff SOSFLEX: Kareem Hunt, Browns vs. Bengals ($17). Hunt has seen at least six carries in each of the past three games, which could yield 40 yards against a Bengals defense allowing 4.7 yars per carry to RBs. But where he really earns his salary is in the receiving game, where he’s had at least five catches in three of four games. Hunt’s ceiling isn’t particularly high, but with at least 8.8 Yahoo points in all four games this season (average of 11.6), he’s a fine cash play at an affordable price. D/ST: Falcons vs. Panthers ($11). We picked on Kyle Allen last week with the Redskins defense, and we’re picking on him again with a defense that recorded five sacks and four INTs against him in Week 11. We originally wanted the Texans (vs. Broncos) here, but they were $1 too expensive, and it didn’t seem worth it to start picking at our lineup just to fit them in. We’ve managed to find some nice values, particularly at WR, as well as an obvious matchup-play at TE. Our QB and RBs will have to carry us, as we’re once again paying top dollar at two of those three spots, so let’s hope things go better than last week with those players, as the rest of our lineup surely won’t hit at the same rate. WEEK 14 NON-PPR RANKINGS:Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | KickerWeek 14 Yahoo NFL DFS Lineup: Picks, Advice for cash gamesQB: Russell Wilson, Seahawks @ Rams ($35). Wilson dominated against the Rams earlier this year (268 passing yards, four TDs, 32 rushing yards), and he posted six touchdowns in two games against them last year. In a week where a lot of the top QBs have tough matchups and unreliable QBs have the best matchups, we’re happy to split the difference and pay up for Wilson despite some recent down games. WEEK 14 DFS LINEUPS:DK Cash | DK GPP | FD Cash | FD GPP | Y! GPPRB: Dalvin Cook, Vikings vs. Lions ($37). We briefly flipped this spot to Derrick Henry after Cook’s injury scare on Monday, but he’ll be good to go against a Lions defense allowing the third-most fantasy points to RBs. To get someone almost as automatic as Christian McCaffrey in a better matchup for $7 cheaper is a steal.WEEK 14 PPR RANKINGS: Running back | Wide receiver | Tight endRB: Devonta Freeman, Falcons vs. Panthers ($20). The Panthers allow the most fantasy points to RBs, and they were just gashed for over 200 yards on the ground by Adrian Peterson and Derrius Guice despite the duo receiving just 23 carries. Freeman hasn’t been great this year, but he dominates carries and is averaging over four receptions per game. He should be chalky at RB15 pricing, but that’s fine. He’s perfect for a cash game, as he allows you to afford studs like Wilson and Henry. WR: Davante Adams, Packers vs. Redskins ($27). Adams’ price is only this low because of the games he missed due to a toe injury. In the four games since returning, he’s caught 27-of-43 targets (at least 10 in every game) for 266 yards and three scores. The yards have been disappointing, but with tough matchups against the Chargers and 49ers in that span — plus a snow game last week — he’s still performing like a WR1. He’s only priced as the No. 10 WR, and given the matchup against a porous Redskins secondary, we’ll gladly join the masses and add him to our lineup. MORE WEEK 14 DFS: Stacks | Values | Lineup BuilderWR: Courtland Sutton, Broncos @ Texans ($21). Sutton’s price seems like a typo. He eased all concerns about jelling with new QB Drew Lock last week, catching four-of-five targets for 74 yards and two scores. This almost feels like a trap, as Houston’s secondary has been playing better and we don’t have a ton of confidence in Lock in his first road start, but Sutton has been solid in virtually every game this year (save for a matchup against Tre’Davious White a few weeks ago). Even if it’s in garbage time, Sutton should be able to pay off his WR23 price.WR: Deebo Samuel, 49ers @ Saints ($16). Samuel’s salary has barely risen despite the fact he’s had double-digit points in five of his past six games. That includes a pair of 100-yard games and a pair of touchdowns over the past four. We’re hoping we’re not cashing in too late, but New Orleans has struggled against WRs all year, allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to the position. Samuel can score in a variety of ways, so even if he sees a lot of Marshon Lattimore in coverage, the 49ers will find creative ways to get him involved. At $16, he doesn’t need to do a ton to at least meet value. TE: Vance McDonald, Steelers @ Cardinals ($16). McDonald has done very little this year outside of a few random TDs, so it’s a bit disappointing his salary isn’t closer to $13 than $16, but everyone knows how bad the Cardinals defense is against TEs. The only worry here is that Nick Vannett catches the inevitable touchdown instead of McDonald, so in GPPs you can make an argument for paying the minimum for Vannett, but McDonald plays more and should have more opportunities. Originally, we were planning on paying $4 more for Jack Doyle against the second-worst team vs. TEs (Tampa), but the extra $4 helped us fit in Wilson, Henry, Adams, and Sutton. Last week’s Yahoo daily fantasy football cash lineup hit on almost every player, though we had a big whiff on Terry McLaurin (if only we had stuck with D.J. Moore) and also paid top dollar for disappointing performances from Patrick Mahomes and Christian McCaffrey. Neither were total flops, but they definitely were not worth their prices. Still, Miles Sanders, Alshon Jeffery, Julian Edelman, DeVante Parker, Tyler Higbee, and the Redskins D/ST more than worked out, so we were ultimately in the money. We’ll look to keep it going with our Week 14 NFL DFS lineup picks.Matchups and injuries will have a bigger-than-usual effect on cash-game lineups this week. Several top offensive teams, including the Ravens (@ Bills), Saints (vs. 49ers), Chiefs (@ Patriots), and Texans (vs. Broncos) face tough opponents, making their players at least slightly less appealing in cash games. Throw in big-time injuries to the likes of Julio Jones (shoulder), T.Y. Hilton (calf), James Conner (shoulder), and many more, and you’re left with some tough choices.