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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

THE FANTASY SPORTS BOSS FANTASY BASEBALL/FOOTBALL MESSAGE BOARD IS BACK

We have gotten a lot of requests to bring back the old Fantasy Sports Boss Fantasy Football/Baseball Message Board and so without further delay here is the link:  http://thefantasysportsboss.boardhost.com/

Register quickly and start posting away.  Will answer all questions on there and start discussions as well so we all can see what each other thinks.  Just be respectful as I had to many issues with that last time which is why it went away.  Also will be running some contests on there as well so hurry and register and let's get the chat going.  

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL ISSUES: NO PUP FOR JULIO JONES (FOOT)

Atlanta Falcons wideout Julio Jones will NOT begin training camp on the PUP list as his chronic foot injury has not been an issue for weeks.  Already having had multiple surgeries on his feet and had a bunion removed back in March as well, Jones is positioned to take part in full team activities right off the bat in camp.  It is all well and good that Jones is healthy but he represents one of the biggest injury risks in 2017 fantasy football given his mid-first round grade and that needs to be factored in before you make the plunge there.  On talent alone, Jones is right there with Odell Beckham Jr. and Antonio Brown and comes off another huge campaign in 2016 where he caught 83 balls for 1,409 yards and 6 scores.  What is interesting about Jones is that for all the passes that he catches, he just once on caught double-digits touchdowns in six NFL seasons.  Yes it is a minimal matter but it does keep him behind Brown and Beckham whne weighing the first round wideouts.  

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: LEWIS BRINSON BACK FOR ANOTHER TRY

Remember that Mike Trout didn't exactly light the world on fire during his first go-round in the majors and certainly neither did top Milwaukee Brewers and Major League Baseball outfield prospect Lewis Brinson either.  In 14 games with the Brewers earlier in the year, Brinson signaled he needed a bit more seasoning as he hit just .097 with 13 strikeouts.  However Brinson got that seasoning and so now the Brewers have called him up a second time in order to hopefully give the sagging team a boost for the stretch run of the 2017.  In revisiting he profile here, Brinson is as good a pure athlete and "toolsy" player as one can get.  He runs like the wind, has tremendous bat speed, and power that suggest he will hit 30 bombs one day.  The former 2012 first round pick has hit a scorching .345 with 10 home runs and 11 steals at Triple-A this season and has shown the approach to the dish that should make this go-around in the major much smoother.  As much as Brinson struck out in his first stint, he has a very solid 18.9 K/9 rate at Triple-A and an even more tidy 10.1 B/9 number.  If Brinson can bring those rates to the majors, look out.  Scan all your league waiver wires and see if anyone stupidly dropped Brinson as he could really out himself on the map the rest of the way.


2017 FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE FALLOUT: EDUARDO NUNEZ DEALT AT TRADE DEADLINE ONCE AGAIN

For the second time in two seasons, veteran SS/OF Eduardo Nunez found himself a wanted and ultimately traded man at the MLB trade deadline.  Last year it was Nunez being moved from the Minnesota Twins to the San Francisco Giants and this time around he made the journey from San Francisco to the Boston Red Sox in a deal that was announced late Tuesday.  Boston sends San Francisco minor league RHP Shaun Anderson and RHP Gregory Santos to complete the deal but obviously the fantasy baseball news centers on Nunez.  While Nunez in 2017 has not replicated the overall numbers that made him one of the very best values in all of fantasy baseball a year ago, he has been solid nonetheless in putting up the following:

.308
4 HR
31 RBI
37 R
18 SB

Now first off Nunez has become a victim of the truly brutal lineups the Giants have put out this season in their shockingly bad season.  However Nunez has also clearly been off the mark from his 2016 numbers without debate as his home runs, runs, RBI, and steals are all below last year's pace.  What we have to accept though is that as surprised as we were by what Nunez put out last season, they do look like outlier numbers compared to his career to that point.  So what can Nunez do in Boston?  Well he can continue to hit for average which he has ALWAYS done throughout his career (.280 or better each of the last two-plus seasons), plus steal bases and score some runs.  Nunez did hit 16 home runs last season so there is power and moving to Fenway Park will only help on that front.  Overall this is a plus deal for Nunez' fantasy baseball numbers the rest of the way and it also serves as a boost to the Red Sox as a whole.


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE BREAKING NEWS: YANKS MOVING CLOSE TO PICKING UP SONNY GRAY AND YONDER ALONSO FROM A'S

By Michael Wong

After a few days moving away from one another, the New York Yankees and Oakland A's are fully back in trade discussions centering on SP Sonny Gray and 1B Yonder Alonso.  The impetus here I am told was the Milwaukee Brewers pulling out of trade talks for Gray on Sunday, leaving the A's with much less leverage then they had previously.  Also with the Boston Red Sox not having made much of a move for Gray, the A's called back the Yankees to reignite talks.  Previously the A's insisted on outfielder Clint Frazier in a deal but now the A's are willing to take shortstop Jorge Mateo and another piece which is currently being negotiated.


2017 FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE FALLOUT: ANTHONY SWARZAK MOVED TO MILWAUKEE

The Chicago White Sox continued unloading anything not nailed down as they dealt top setup man Anthony Swarzak to the Milwaukee Brewers late Tuesday.  Swarzak was looked at as the fill-in closer for the White Sox after David Robertson was traded last week but now he will move into a setup role with the Brewers pitching in front of closer Corey Knebel.  Meanwhile Tyler Clippard will likely continue to get save chances for the White Sox but he has struggled so badly that Dan Jennings or Juan Minaya is worth a look.  

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: KENNETH DIXON (MENISCUS SURGERY) OUT FOR SEASON

Updating an earlier item, Baltimore Ravens running back Kenneth Dixon is OUT FOR THE SEASON after being forced to undergo meniscus surgery on his knee Tuesday.  The meniscus was completely torn and the scope of the surgery was much worse than the Ravens anticipated.  Terrance West and Danny Woodhead are expected to split the workload in Dixon's place.

Analysis:  Wow.  Scratch Dixon off all your fantasy football cheat sheets.  From the early PED suspension to the surgery, it certainly was not Dixon's year.  West should get the majority of carries and he now carries firm RB 3 fantasy football value based on workload lone.  Also Woodhead becomes even more important as a RB 2 in PPR leagues.  


2017 FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: AMED ROSARIO TO BE PROMOTED WITHIN THE WEEK

According to Jon Heyman and a team source, the New York Mets will call up top shortstop prospect Amed Rosario within a week and more likely on August 1.  Our own Michael Wong reported a week ago that Rosario would concretely be up August 1st and he heard that again as well Tuesday.  The Mets are trying to deal away infielder Asdrubal Cabrera to open up a spot for Rosario but either way, GM Sandy Alderson is now ready to give the consensus top three prospect in all of baseball his chance once August gets underway.


2017 FANTASY BASEBALL WELCOME TO THE SHOW: HARRISON BADER OUTFIELDER ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

                                                        

Prospect season is still hanging on as the St. Louis Cardinals made a mixed league action move Tuesday by promoting top outfield farmhand Harrison Bader from Triple-A so that he can make his debut for the team.  A former 2015 third-round pick, Bader is just 23 and has shown in 2017 that he has the type of power/speed game that garners instant attention in fantasy baseball circles.  Going into his debut, Bader hit .297 with 19 home runs and 9 stolen bases in 381 at-bats for the Cards at Triple-A and so right away he has the look of a guy who should be added in mixed formats on those skills alone.  Digging further into the numbers, Bader has some plate discipline issues such as a high for Triple-A 23.6 K/9 rate and he needs to draw more walks as well to ward off any average hit (just 6.0 BB/9).  So we are looking at a kid who could come in and offer up power with a bit of speed but also be a bit of a batting average liability.  This was the exact same scouting report on Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger and we all know how that has worked out thus far.  So pick up Bader where available and see where it takes you.  


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL ISSUES: NO HOLDOUT PLANNED BY GREG OLSON

                                                            

Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olson vowed to play out the last year of his contract in 2017 and not stage a holdout that he had hinted at earlier in the offseason.  The best pure pass-catching tight end in the game, Olson is grossly underpaid for his contributions to the Panthers but he exclaimed on Tuesday that he did not want to be a distraction.  The fact Olson won't hold out means he should be the top tight end off the board in 2017 fantasy football drafts and that includes over Rob Gronkowski given the latter's trouble staying healthy.  While Olson is not flashy when it comes to scoring touchdowns, he is the very rare tight end who can catch 80 balls and pass 1,000 receiving yards.   

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: RAVENS RB KENNETH DIXON TO UNDERGO MENISCUS KNEE SURGERY

NFL training camps are just getting underway  but already we have a big injury news item as it was revealed Tuesday that Baltimore Ravens running back Kenneth Dixon would be undergoing meniscus surgery on his knee. Typically a 2 month recovery is needed and this is on top of the PED suspension he has to serve. Danny Woodhead will see his solid fantasy football stock rise even more as a result of this and Dixon should now be ignored in drafts this summer.  Also Terrance West becomes more of a factor as well.  

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: MONDAY

Kyle Hendricks:  4.1 IP 8 H 1 ER 0 BB 5 K with an ERA of 3.95.  Hendricks dealt with a load of base runners but managed to dodge the earned runs.  By now if you put 2016 completely out of your mind, you may proceed with Hendricks.

Anthony Swarzak:  scoreless 1.1 IP for his first save with an ERA of 2.23.  Not sure this is an official crowning of Swarzak as closer but I said from the moment David Robertson was dealt that this was the guy to own.

Jose Altuve:  4/4 while hitting .365.  It almost seems like we are watching the video game version of Altuve.

Alex Bregman:  3/5 with his 10th HR while hitting .265.  Bregman had a nice finish to 2016 so maybe he gets hotter as the season goes on.  The prospect pedigree is still very much in play so take Bregman out for a spin if someone dropped him.

Russell Martin:  2/4 with his 10th HR while hitting .222.  Still hitting second in the Blue Jays lineup which is a mystery to me.

Scooter Gennett:  1/4 with his 18th HR while hitting .313.  Nothing is a bigger mystery than this guy.  My goodness talk about coming out of leftfield to use a baseball analogy.  Does anyone else get the sneaking suspicion though that Gennett could be this year's version of 2016 Brad Miller?

Zack Cozart:  1/4 with his 12th HR while hitting .318.  Again more evidence that big time fantasy baseball value plays can be found on bad teams.  

Carlos Santana:  2/3 with 2 home runs (12 for season) while hitting .241.  Blah!

Adam Jones:  3/5 with his 19th HR while hitting .278.  Not may outfielders hotter than this guy right about now.  

Kevin Gausman:  6 IP 5 H 0 ER 3 BB 8 K with an ERA of 5.79.  Yes Gausman has shown some signs of positive life of late but still look at that ERA to tell you much of a prospective hurting he can put on your ratios.  

Salvador Perez:  2/4 with his 20th HR while hitting .284.  Like with teammates Eric Hosmer, Perez is now combining past skills of average and power which is resulting in a truly blockbuster season relative to the position.

Mike Moustakas:  1/4 with his 29th HR while hitting .277.  Show the guy the damn money.  

Justin Verlander:  7 IP 5 H 3 ER 2 BB 9 K with an ERA of 4.50.  It is almost like Verlander was auditioning for the Los Angeles Dodgers.  

Giancarlo Stanton:  2/3 with 2 home runs (32 for season) while hitting .274.  8 away from 40.  Finally.  

Randal Grichuk:  1/4 with his 13th HR while hitting .227.  Grichuk now has homers in four straight games but they are pretty much his only hits.  

Tommy Pham:  2/3 with his 14th HR while hitting .308. I own Pham and have been tickled pink over what he has done this season.  If you didn't know any better, you would think you were watching a second round five-tool fantasy baseball outfielder star.  

Mike Leake:  7 IP 4 H 0 ER 0 BB 6 K with an ERA of 3.20.  Now that Leake regressed back to where he should be ERA-wise, he can settle in now and be his old solid SP 4 self.

J.D. Martinez:  1/5 with his 17th HR while hitting .300.  It will be must-see fantasy baseball TV with Martinez taking aim at the inviting outfield walls of Chase Field.  

A.J. Pollock:  3/5 with his 5th HR while hitting .303.  You feel like when Pollock simply even takes a step onto the field these days that he will get hurt.  In between he is some talent.  

Zack Greinke:  8 IP 5 H 2 ER 0 BB 6 K with an ERA of 2.92.  Man I seriously think we need to just flush 2016 from our memories as an outlier that goes the other way.  

James Paxton:  7 IP 4 H 0 ER 0 BB 10 K with an ERA of 2.84.  Paxton is as hot now as he was in April.  

Cody Bellinger:  1/4 with his 28th HR while hitting .269.  If there was no Aaron Judge, we would be all gushing even more over this monster.

Yasmani Grandal:  1/4 with his 14th HR while hitting .272.  Not bad.  Not bad at all.

 

Monday, July 24, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE FALLOUT: ROYALS NAB TREVOR CAHILL AND BRANDON MAURER FROM PADRES

The Kansas City Royals signaled that they are going for a playoff berth late Monday when they completed at trade with the San Diego Padres highlighted by lefty starter Trevor Cahill and closer Brandon Maurer.  They also picked up LHP Ryan Buchter and in return, send back LHP Matt Strahm, LHP Travis Wood, and infielder Esteury Diaz.

As far as the fantasy baseball pieces involved in the deal, the biggest portion of the trade concerns Maurer moving from the closer role in San Diego to a setup spot with the Royals.  However given how badly Royals closer Kelvin Herrera has pitched this season, Maurer could easily slide into the closer role for the team.  However with ex-closers Joakim Soria and Neftali Feliz also around, that is not a given.  In addition, Maurer has been pretty miserable all season to the tune of a 5.72 ERA and 1.19 WHIP but he did convert 20 of 23 save opportunities.  In his place, Brad Hand will likely close for the Padres and he has had a nice season with a 2.12 ERA and 66 K's in 51 innings which are ratios that seem tailor-made for the ninth inning.  However Hand is almost guaranteed to be moved himself over the next week given how big of a market is after him and so his ascension to the ninth inning will be a short one.  That means Kirby Yates (1.2 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 48 K in 31.1 IP) should be watched closely.

Meanwhile, Cahill moves to the Royals and into the AL which is always a bad deal for a pitcher.  This is especially true leaving Petco Park who has been quite solid with a 3.69 ERA and more elevated 1.34 WHIP.  What is really interesting about Cahill this season is the huge spike in K/9 (10.62) but his control remains awful (3.54 BB/9).  Again going to the AL will push Cahill's value down to firm SP 5 status after he was up to SP 4 prior.


2017 FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE FALLOUT: JAIME GARCIA FINALLY A TWIN

After days of haggling, the Minnesota Twins finally competed their long-awaited trade with the Atlanta Braves for SP Jaime Garcia.  The Twins also pick up catcher Anthony Recker in the deal and send to Atlanta RHP Huascar Ynoa.  While Garcia is not having the greatest season with a 4.30 ERA and just 85 K in 113 innings, he leaves a launching pad of a ballpark to one that neutralizes home runs a bit in Target Field.  His is the rare fantasy baseball stock that actually improves a bit going from the NL to the AL.


2017 FANTASY BASEBALL LINEUP NEWS: TROY TULOWITZKI (GROIN) BACK IN LINEUP MONDAY

Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is back in the lineup for the team Monday after dealing with a minor groin injury over the weekend.

Analysis:  Tulo is as injury-prone as ever and his overall offensive output is a shell of his former superb Colorado self.  Put him back in at your own risk.


2017 FANTASY BASEBALL LINEUP NEWS: CHRIS DAVIS GETTING DAY OFF MONDAY

Baltimore Orioles 1B/DH Chris Davis will sit out Monday's game for the team versus the Tampa Bay Rays.  The day off is a routine day of rest for Davis as Mark Trumbo will man first base and Wellington Castillo at DH.

Analysis:  Davis is having his typical big power but ugly batting average season which makes him quite annoying to own, especially in weekly leagues where the droughts hurt more.  He should return Tuesday so really nothing to see here.


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: ANDREW LUCK (SHOULDER) LIKELY TO MISS ALL OF PRESEASON

Updating an earlier item, Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck is expected to miss the entire preseason as he recovers from offseason shoulder surgery.  Luck has already been placed on the PUP list by the team and the feeling is that the coaching staff won't risk further in meaningless games.  That makes total sense but it leaves little margin for error here in terms of those who want to take the plunge with Luck at the draft table this summer.  We are getting to the point now where Luck simply is not worth the risk.  


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL INJURY WATCH: ANDREW LUCK (SHOULDER SURGERY) BEGINNING CAMP ON PUP

Indianapolis Colts QB Andew Luck will be placed on the PUP list to begin training camp, despite the fact he began a throwing program recently.  Luck has reported no setback after undergoing winter shoulder surgery but the Colts will be very cautious here with their franchise passer.  There is still some uncertainty about whether or not Luck will be ready to go for Week 1 however and that makes him quite risky to draft in the early rounds in terms of fantasy football.  While the talent is obvious, Luck is not as safe as similarly priced QB's such as Drew Brees and Tom Brady.  This is a fluid situation that will need to be watched for all of training camp.


2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL INJURY WATCH: CHARGERS WR MIKE WILLIAMS (BACK) REPORTS IMPROVEMENT

San Diego Chargers rookie WR Mike Williams admitted that his back felt "better" as he reported for training camp on Monday and so the team has not placed him on the PUP list as of yet.  There were rumblings that Williams would need to undergo back surgery for what was being called a herniated disk but that doesn't seem to be in the plans right now.  This is a significant item in that Williams can have a big potential impact right away as a rookie catching balls from gunslinging QB Philip Rivers but for now he should only be drafted as a backup at best given the murky immediate injury outlook.


2017 FANTASY BASEBALL INJURY FALLOUT: CLAYTON KERSHAW (BACK) TO MISS 4-6 WEEKS

The news is in on Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw and it is not good as he will now miss AT LEAST the next 4-6 weeks due to the back injury that took him out of his Sunday start.  Kershaw will head to see Dr. Robert Watkins for confirmation but it looks like the Dodgers and his fantasy baseball owners will be without his extremely dominant services until September.  This is about as big an injury hit as one can take in fantasy baseball and it comes on the heels of Carlos Correa having gone down for two months with a recent thumb injury.  The timing is never ideal for any of this but Kershaw's loss is as big as it gets in terms of fantasy baseball and now the Dodgers will have to dive in and secure a pitcher on the trade front.  Possibly targets are Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish or Detroit's Justin Verlander; not to mention Sonny Gray from the Oakland A's.  Either way, Kershaw simply can't be replaced and so his owners are in a world of trouble here.


2017 FANTASY BASEBALL NEWS: CUBS ACTIVATE KYLE HENDRICKS FROM DL

The Chicago Cubs activated pitcher Kyle Hendricks from the disabled list Monday so that he could start that day's game versus the Chicago White Sox. Hendricks has been out for six weeks with hand tendinitis and pitched to a shoddy 4.09 ERA prior.

Analysis:  I was on record going back to January saying to avoid Hendricks who was in clear outlier territory a year ago.  While he can be a help, the narrative of the season is that Hendricks has been the bust I predicted he would be.  

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: KEENAN ALLEN (ACL) HAS NO LIMITATIONS FOR CAMP

San Diego Chargers WR Keenan Allen will have no limitations when he begins training camp this week with the team.  Coming off a torn ACL he suffered in Week 1 a year ago, Allen reportedly ran free and easy in minicamp and will be a full participant when camp begins.

Analysis:  Everyone and their mother wanted Allen a year ago given his 100 catch potential but caution is advised now. Allen has had two very serious injuries already in his career and the Chargers have a decent array of receivers this time around. We sign off on Allen as a WR 2 but the risk is tremendous.  

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: TYLER EIFERT (BACK SURGERY) READY FOR START OF CAMP

Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert will be ready to take part in team drills at the start if training camp according to multiple reports. Eiferts status was murky coming off back surgery but he apparently has made enough progress to be ready for the start of team activities.

Analysis:  Eifert is not a guy I am going to be pursuing in drafts as he has shown he can't stay healthy and he is very TD depwndeny.  Good player no doubt but you are better off chasing upside in Hunter Henry, Eric Ebron, or Martellus Bennett.