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Saturday, June 25, 2016

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS:. BRANDON NIMMO CALLED UP BY METS

The New York Mets promoted outfield prospect Brandon NIMMO Saturday as a replacement for the demoted Michael Conforto.  NIMMO was hitting .328 with 5 home runs and 5 steals prior to the call-up.

Analysis:. Nimmo was a 2011 first round pick but he never showed much pop until this season.  Still his numbers have come in the PCL so they are up for debate in terms of legitimacy.  

FANTASY BASEBALL CLOSING TIME:. TREVOR ROSENTHAL LIKELY OUT AS CARDS CLOSER

It was another horrific closing experience for St. Louis Cardinals stopper TREVOR ROSENTHAL on Friday when he gave up a three-run hime run to blow the save and spike his ERA to a ghastly 5.63 and his WHIO to 2.03.  Afterwards manager Mike Matheney refused to endorse Rosenthal for the team's next save chance.   Speculation is rampant that Kevin Siegrist will get the next save chance and this move is beyond overdue given how bad ROSENTHAL has been.  As far as Rosenthal is concerned, he has been terrible all season as his velocity is down and his fastball comes in too straight.  The bottom line is that Siegrist is a must add pickup as his high K rate and helpful ratios make him ideal for closing.  

2016 FANTASY FOOTBALL RUNNING BACK RANKINGS

1.  Le'Veon Bell:  Take out injury risk and this is not even close for first. 
2.  David Johnson:  Some concern about how much Chris Johnson and Andre Ellington will play but last December no running back was better.  Major potential and worth first round pick, especially in PPR.
3.  Todd Gurley:  Electric runner who is in the same class as Jamaal Charles in terms of blazing speed but penchant for injuries.  High risk quotient for a first round pick. 
4.  Adrian Peterson:  Eventually all the carries will start taking a toll but Peterson looked as fresh as ever in 2015.  Has to stop fumbling so much though. 
5.  Lamar Miller:  I am all-in on Miller who will be used a TON both as a receiver and runner.  You should be able to get him in Round 2 but he will produce like a Round 1 back.  Write it in ink. 
6.  Doug Martin:  Now that he has been paid you have to wonder if the edge is still there.  With A very capable Charles Sims handling rceiving duties, I am not paying to find out. 
7.  Jamaal Charles:  Creeping up there in age and now has had two ACP reconstructions.  Also count on Andy Reid curtailing some work for Charles in order to keep him on the field.  In other words ignore the name brand and draft someone else. 
8.  Ezekiel Elliott:  From being drafted to becoming a first round pick as a rookie
9.  Devonta Freeman:  Tevin Coleman will likely handle a sizable amount of carries as the Atlanta front office drafted him  Also Freeman's yards per carry was not impressive despite some early big games in 2015.  Proceed carefully here.  In PPR leagues though Freeman's very good receiving skills make him more safe. 
10. Mark Ingram:  Got to hand it to Ingram as he changed the narrative of his career from being a bust to a continually improving top ten back.  Not banking on the uptick in receptions from last season repeating and injury risk remains VERY high.  Use only in standards. 
11. Matt Forte:  Can still run and catch the football but Forte's yards per carry average dropped, he missed games with injury in 2015, and will likely cede third down plays to Bilal Powell.  Another big name brand you should move away from. 
12. Tomas Rawls:  In standard leagues Rawls is very interesting as the main runner in a ground-based attack.  Rawls has to prove he can handle a full load though after coming down with injuries as a rookie.  Also C.J. Prosise will handle all of the receotions so avoid in PPR. 
13. Eddie Lacy:  Arguably the biggest bust in all of fantasy football in 2015, Lacy's draft stock will plummet this season.  Reports are he lost weight but that means nothing to us.  With a very solid James Starks knocking on the door behind him, Lacy has small margin for error so don't even think of drafting him as anything more than your RB 2. 
14. Carlos Hyde:  Power back who will be featured on the ground in Chip Kelly's offense but this is a standard play only.  Also Hyde has to kick the injury bug that has robbed him of half his starts already in his career. 
15. LeSean McCoy:  Lots of carries on a smallish frame that started the decline early for LeSean McCoy.  He can still run and catch enough to be a RB 2 but there is a lot of volatility here and a good Karlos Williams who is the future behind him. 
16. C.J. Anderson:  Correctly told you all to avoid Anderson a year ago and there remains a lot of volatility here with Ronnie Hillman still in the mix. 
17. Latavius Murray:  Potential remains as Murray can run and catch but he tends to level off as the carries pile up which is not what you want from your running back in December when leagues are won. 
18. Jonathan Stewart
19. Jay Ajayi:  Will get first crack at starting for Miami but Dolphins backs have not been big fantasy producers lately and Ajayi doesn't catch the football. 
20. Jeremy Hill:  Hill was another big bust a year ago and another slow start could get Giovani Bernard the lion's share of work.  Small margin for error for this power runner as there are no receptions to be had. 
21. Ryan Matthews:  Leading man in the Philly backfield for now but getting major heat already from rookie Wendell Smallwood.  Also Matthews staying healthy would be a first. 
22. DeMarco Murray:  Looked like Murray was set for a big comeback year after getting moved to the Tennessee Titans but then they go and draft Derrick Henry.  Won't go near him. 
23. Jeremy Langford:  Inside track to being the starter for the Bears but Langford was not overly impressive as a rookie in 2015 spelling Matt Forte. 
24. Matt Jones:  Speedy and electrifying back who can be a big sleeper if he stops dancing so much. 
25. Giovani Bernard:  Still really like the product here as Bernard is one of the best receiving backs in the game and has big speed.  If Jeremy Hill were to get hurt, Bernard would be a top ten guy easy and maybe top five.  Seriously. 
26. Frank Gore:  Tires are almost completely worn here but Gore will get a high workload at the very least. 
27. Dion Lewis:  Was a PPR gem until season-ending injury put him on I.R.  Lewis should be ready for Week 1 which means in PPR he is a RB 2 again. 
28. Rashad Jennings:  Likely will start Week 1 but with five other backs in the New York Giants' backfield, this is one big mess. 
29. Danny Woodhead:  Usual RB 2 production expected in PPR formats for Woodhead who should be avoided in standards. 
30. T.J. Yeldon:  The arrival of Chris Ivory hurts both guys as a 50/50 split could ensue.  Could work as a RB 3 in PPR. 
31. Melvin Gordon
32. Justin Forsett:  Can still be a RB 2 if the health allows but this seems like a fading storyline. 
33. Chris Ivory
34. Karlos Williams: 
35. Charles Sims:  Can really catch the football but there is little value here unless Doug Martin gets nicked.



Friday, June 24, 2016

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE FALLOUT: OSWALDO ARCIA KICKS OFF TRADING SEASON

While the August 1st trade deadline is still more than a month away, it is no unusual for some trades to begin coming together as early as late June.  On that front, the Minnesota Twins unloaded struggling power hitting outfielder Oswaldo Arcia and gave him a fresh start by moving him to the Tampa Bay Rays.  While Arcia was lauded for very good power coming up the Minnesota system, his big troubles with contact and strikeouts sent him down to the minors in 2015 and stunted his progress.  Arcia began 2016 in the minors as well as the Twins seemed to be signaling their giving up on the guy.  Making that point clear is the fact the Twins dealt him to the Rays for a player to be named later.  Toting an ugly .240 career average with the Twins, Arcia has more than a little proving to do to show he can be a major league contributor.  Be that as it may, Arcia is only 25 and home runs are always a previous commodity.  He also is going to the right place as Tampa Bay has salvaged some stalled careers along the way.  There is no actionable move to make in fantasy baseball but in AL-only formats you can watch the progress. 


FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: JOSE REYES SS UNSIGNED

With it now being reported on a widespread basis that the New York Mets will reunite with former star shortstop Jose Reyes, now would be a good time to check back in on him to see if he can still be useful in fantasy baseball terms.  While Reyes is expected to need a few weeks of tuning up in the minors when he does sign with the Mets, he is slated to be the team's THIRD BASEMAN and leadoff batter.  Having just turned an aging 33 and with a long history of leg injuries in his rearview mirror, by now we all know that Reyes has dealt more with off-the-field trouble then anything he has done on it.  Of course we are referring to the domestic violence incident last Halloween where Reyes reportedly hit his wife.  While no charges were filed, Rob Manfred sat Reyes down for 51 games and the Colorado Rockies in turn wanted no part of him coming back to the team.  With the Mets in desperate need of offense after losing David Wright, Lucas Duda, and Travis D'Arnaud to injury, there was certainly a major need for runs which Reyes has always been good at creating. 

Digging into the current version of Jose Reyes, he is no doubt FAR from the former first round monster that won a batting title and also stole more than 60 bases in a given season as a five category stud.  In fact given the influx of shortstop help this season such as Aledmys Diaz, Jonathan Villar, and Trevor Story, Reyes may not even be daily league worthy.  Be that as it may, the gun can still run as he swiped 24 bags in 2015 in a season split between the Toronto Blue Jays and Colorado Rockies.  Reyes also can hit a few home runs, score a high number of runs leading off for the Mets, and hit around .280.  That is still a very decent amount of numbers but again keep in mind the age and Reyes' very checkered injury history.  It is very likely Reyes will get injured again, especially after being on the pine for so long.  Those in NL-only formats should absolutely pick up Reyes but in mixed leagues you can add him just as a bench bat. 


FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: THURSDAY

Nelson Cruz:  2/4 with 2 home runs (18 for season) while hitting .285.  Still impressed not by the power from Cruz which was always potent but the average improvement as his career has gone on.

Leonys Martin:  1/4 with his 11th HR while hitting .254.  Who knew?

James McCann:  1/4 with his 5th HR while hitting .203.  Whether it is Brian McCann or James McCann, they both have been horrenodus.

Ryan Howard:  2/5 with his 11th HR while hitting .150.  A new low standard has now been reached when it comes to a pure home run specialist and nothing else with Ryan Howard this season.

Jerad Eickhoff:  6 IP 5 H 1 ER 1 BB 4 K with an ERA of 3.36.  With Aaron Nola struggling, all of a sudden Eickhoff is staking his claim to being the best young pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies.  I am a fan.

Jose Abreu:  2/4 with his 11th HR while hitting .267.  Ladies and gentleman this is the new Jose Abreu which I have been saying for week.  Very good power but a .270 average and not .300.

Khris Davis:  1/4 with his 17th HR while hitting .239.  Davis has picked up right where he left off the second half of last season when he hit home runs like they were going out of style.  He is safely in the tier of "home run outfielder 3" as long as you got average covered elsewhere.

Marcus Semien:  1/4 with his 13th HR while hitting .236.  Same goes for Semien at shortstop. 

Tim Lincecum:  3 IP 7 H 4 ER 2 BB 2 K with an ERA of 5.00.  If only he had iced his arm.  Or that the Giants didn't make him throw 169273011 innings before he turned 28.  Boy for an organization that is as good a place for a pitcher to go in baseball due to the ballpark, they sure know how to ruin arms (right Matt Cain?). 

Matt Kemp:  1/5 with his 16th HR while hitting .267.  Very nice season from Kemp thus far but stop daydreaming about the past as the steals are never coming back and same goes for the helpful average.

Derek Norris:  1/4 with his 10th HR while hitting .215.  Yeah so not liking the J.P. Arencibia impersonation here. 

Adam Duvall:  2/4 with his 21st HR while hitting .263.  Can't say enough nice things about this bomb of a value play this season.  Duvall could hit 35 home runs for the price of a waiver add in April.  Should have seen this one coming after he reached the 30 mark last season on the farm.  Couldn't see past the ugly averages however as it is a habit. 

John Lamb:  2/5 with his 15th HR while hitting .279.  Lamb is the third base version of Duvall. 

Marcell Ozuna:  1/4 with his 16th HR while hitting .322.  Right now Marcell Ozuna is blowing first round pick Giancarlo Stanton out of the fantasy baseball water.

Giancarlo Stanton:  1/4 with his 14th HR while hitting .216.  Stanton just doesn't seem like he has ever seen the ball like he used to before getting a pitch off the face from Mike Fiers.  Stock heading way downward this season.

Jon Lester:  7 IP 5 H 2 ER 3 BB 7 K with an ERA of 2.10.  The most pronounced competition Lester will get for the NL Cy Young is from anyone in the Cubs rotation. 


Thursday, June 23, 2016

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: NOAH SYDEGAARD EXPECTED TO START MONDAY

Despite an elbow scare on Wednesday, New York Mets ace SP Noah Syndegaard is expected to make his next start Monday against the Washington Nationals.  Syndegaard needed an MRI on his pitching elbow after feeling soreness but only inflammation was found. 

Analysis:  Great news all around here for Syndegaard and his owner but that makes it two elbow scares in the last two months.  I still think the best course of action is to sell Syndegaard is he pitches well Monday given the expected innings cap and more elbow trouble likely. 


FANTASY BASEBALL LINEUP UPDATES: YOENIS CESPEDES OUT THURSDAY

New York Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes is out of the lineup on Thursday with a mild left wrist sprain suffered in Wednesday's game.  Cespedes is being listed as day-to-day and could get back into action on Friday.  In addition to Cespedes are the following lineup moves for the light Thursday schedule:

-Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo is out with back stiffness and he will be replaced by catcher Willin Contreras. 

-Joey Votto is out again Thursday with the flu.


FANTASY BASEBALL ISSUES: NOAH SYNDEGAARD AVOIDS DISASTER, WHY YOU NEED TO SELL HIGH PRONTO

It was the best sort of news for those owning stock in New York Mets fireballing right Noah Syndegaard on Wednesday as an MRI performed after his lackluster start against the Kansas City Royals prompted by a bout of elbow soreness revealed no structural issues.  Syndegaard will be put on some anti-inflammatories and could even make his next start on Monday.  While the Mets will no doubt be cautious and skip Syndegaard, the bottom line is that no Tommy John surgery is needed.....YET!  I say yet because like I have said going back to last winter, Syndegaard is your classic Tommy John case as a young hard-throwing (freakishly hard-throwing I might add) pitcher that covers about 80 percent of cases.  While Syndegaard made it through this scare, another will be right around the corner.  Also as it didn't get as much play as it should have, Syndegaard underwent similar testing last month for more elbow soreness.  See the patten?  As a result, those who own Syndegaard need to do one thing and one thing only:  SELL, SELL, SELL.  Not now of course as the injury news is too fresh to get fair value but as soon as he comes back and registers as typical Syndegaard dominant outing, get him off your roster before diaster arrives.  Also keep in mind that the Mets will keep an innings cap on Syndegaard this season and also fatigue will likely turn into a factor as well as the summer continues onward.  Get those trade requests ready.


FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: WEDNESDAY

Edwin Encarnacion:  1/2 with his 19th HR while hitting .255.  Encarncion is on pace for another 40 home run season and that is how he is judged around here and nothing more.  The nagging injuries have not surfaced yet which is a nice bonus.

Russell Martin:  1/3 with his 6th HR while hitting .218.  Martin has picked up a bunch of RBI with 28 which is a very good total for a catcher but his average is a joke and the power is way down from a year ago.  That is not a total shock though as Martin was in outlier territory there in terms of the home runs.  Age a problem as it would be for any catcher with Martin's digits.

Troy Tulowitzki:  1/3 with his 10th HR while hitting .215.  Still no signs of an upward push in the average department from Tulo but at least his power has returned to pre-hip surgery form.  Like with our updated shortstop rankings though, the infusion of shortstop talent this season has believe it nor knocked Tulo close to being not worth of daily usage in 12-team leagues.

J.A. Happ:  5 IP 6 H 2 ER 4 BB 8 K with an ERA of 3.42.  Now Happ wants to strike a high number of guys out in a given start.  I am done trying to figure this one out.

Nick Hundley:  2/4 with his 4th HR while hitting .265.  We are now up to one home runs since I told you to pick up Hundley.

Carlos Beltran:  1/3 with his 19th HR while hitting .286.  Someone please remind Beltran he was supposed to be completely shot by now and walking with a cane.

Starlin Castro:  3/5 with his 10th HR while hitting .260.  Castro looks like he is perfectly fine being a volatile player from week to week with his swings in production but 10 home runs prior to the break from a middle infielder is still quite nice.

C.C. Sabbathia:  5 ER in 4.1 IP with an ERA of 2.72.  You had to know this was coming soon enough as Sabbathia was in way over his head with his ace numbers.  Could be the start of the downfall for arguably the worst pitcher in the game the last three years.

Jose Altuve:  1/2 with his 12th HR while hitting .343.  Jose Altuve has 12 freakin' home runs.  And is hitting freakin' .343.  And he is only freakin' 5-7.  Move over Mike Trout?

Scooter Gennett:  3/5 with his 8th HR while hitting .275.  Gennett is having a career-year by his modified standards.  I still wouldn't own him but props.

Justin Bour:  2/3 with his 12th HR while hitting .267.  Doing a better Adam Lind impression then Adam Lind.

Adam Conley:  8 IP 4 H 0 ER 1 BB 4 K with an ERA of 3.56.  Solid season by Conley without blowing anything up as we have a new SP 4/5 entrant.

Asdrubal Cabrera:  2/3 with his 8th HR while hitting .270.  Second home run in a row for Cabrera who has shown he can still hold his own as a daily fantasy baseball shortstop despite reaching his 30's.  Something to be said for the consistency but Cabrera unfairly gets knock for never repeating his one outlier monster campaign a few years back.

Noah Syndegaard:  6 IP 8 H 3 ER 0 BB 4 K with an ERA of 2.08.  Velocity was down, K rate way down, and now headed for MRI on elbow.  Other then that it was a good day.

 Mark Trumbo:  3/4 with his 21st HR while hitting .283.  Not sure whether to be ecstatic that Trumbo has all these home runs or that he is hitting over .280.

Miguel Cabrera:  1/2 with his 16th HR while hitting .307.  Hey if we get 30 home runs out of Miggy then that is more than good enough.  Amazing the standards we hold on the guy. 

Stephen Moya:  3/4 with 2 home runs (3 for season) while hitting .321.  Well that is a nice way to get noticed.  Moya almost has as many home runs already as Justin Upton.  Sad for the latter.

Eugenio Suarez:  2/4 with his 14th HR while hitting .229.  It looked so promising in April but again the main reason he was on our draft guide bust list was for the .229.