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NFL and college football professional handicapper Ryan Steele is back again for this third season with the Fantasy Sports Boss family to supply NFL and college football prime plays and best bets all season long. Once again Ryan posted a winning record in both in 2013 and is looking to do even better this season. What has always separated Ryan from the rest of the handicapping community is not wins (he will put his results up against anyone) but instead the price of his picks. For only $19.99 you get Ryan's NFL Best Bets and Prime Plays. Or if you want to subscribe for the whole season (which is a family that continues to grow), you can get all 17 weeks of NFL picks for $299.99 which is about two hundred dollars less than others in the handicapping community for an even better quality of picks. ******AS AN ADDED BONUS, RYAN IS RUNNING AN EARLY BIRD SEASON PACKAGE SPECIAL. SUBSCRIBE TO THE NFL SEASON PACKAGE BEFORE THIS FRIDAY AND RECEIVER THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON PACKAGE FOR FREE!!!!! THAT IS THE ENTIRE NCAA COLLEGE FOOTBALL BEST BETS AND PRIME PLAYS PACKAGE FOR FREE OF WHICH RYAN POSTED WINNING RECORDS EACH OF THE LAST TWO SEASONS. OR YOU CAN PURCHASE JUST THE NFL SEASON PACKAGE FOR A DISCOUNTED PRICE OF $174.99. USE THE BUY NOW TABS BELOW OR GO TO THE RIGHT OF THE HOMEPAGE TO PURCHASE. ALL PICKS SENT VIA E-MAIL.********

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Monday, September 1, 2014

2014 FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: VICTOR MARTINEZ 1B DETROIT TIGERS

Career years are not supposed to happen at the age of 36.  Especially when almost your entire career has been spent squatting behind the plate.  Such is the case however in 2014 for Detroit Tigers converted 1B Victor Martinez who went into Saturday's action with a ridiculously shocking .328 batting average to go with a career-high 26 home runs and 85 RBI with a full month to go.  What Martinez has done this season is beyond staggering and he already has locked himself into one of the very best values regardless of position in fantasy baseball this season.  Not even the biggest Martinez booster could have seen this coming, as all those years of catching should have taken a toll on his numbers.  In addition Martinez missed all of 2012 with a ripped up knee which added more questions to his potential.  Finally, Martinez behind removed completely from behind the plate took away his biggest pre-2014 draw which was his catcher eligibility.  Losing that eligibility put Martinez only into first base usage and going into 2014 no one could imagine having him on their roster as anything more than a backup due to the fact his light power numbers would not be a good fit at a position where you need a monster producer in order to keep up with the rest of your league opponents.  Fast forward five months and Martinez arguably has been a top five fantasy baseball first baseman this season and shows no signs of letting up. 
In digging in a bit on the numbers, one has to look back a bit at 2013.  After missing all of 2012 with the knee, it was obvious that Martinez was going to be slow out of the gates.  That is exactly what happened as he only .221 in April and .235 in May.  However Martinez flipped the switch for the second half of the season as he went on a hitting rampage.  Overall Martinez wound up hitting .a crazy .361 for the second half and his scorching bat carried forward to 2014 as well.  The power however has been the biggest shock as Martinez has not 20 or more home runs since 2010 (20) and he wound up hitting only 12 in 2011 and 14 in 2013.  Martinez though has gotten a ton of great pitches to hit batting on front of or behind Miguel Cabrera this season which is part of the season he has gone crazy.  In addition being fresh due to not having to deal with catching anymore also helped as well.  Put that with the always top notch pure hitting of Martinez and what we have are his awesome numbers.  While no one expects Martinez to do this again in 2015, he is showing he still has a few good seasons left and deserves consideration as a top UTIL or CI bat a year from now.  While we miss the catching classification, Martinez is proving his worth no matter where he plays given the incredible results we have seen.

FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: SUNDAY

Brett Gardner:  3/5 with his 16th HR while hitting .289.  Gardner has always had 10 home run power but we are now in clear uncharted territory with the guy which adds some worry about an outlier.  The speed has slipped as Gardner's days of 40 steals are long over despite still being young enough but right now his numbers compare with those of Carlos Gomez which is saying something.

Edwin Encarnacion:  1/4 with his 28th HR while hitting .262.  If Encarnacion wouldn't have gotten hurt, he would have been right around the 40 home run mark which fully justified his first round price despite the average being down a bit.  When the Jose Abreu-Paul Goldschmidt debate gets settled next season in Round 1, Encarnacion will be there to pick up the pieces.

Jose Bautista:  1/4 with his 29th HR while hitting .283.  Fifth game in a row now for Joey Bats going yard.  Yeah I sold him short this season when I labeled him a spring bust but I had my statistical and health reasons.  What is interesting is that Bautista's power has picked up later in the season as his average drops.  That's the way it should be.

Melky Cabrera:  1/4 with his 16th HR while hitting .305.  Cabrera has defied every expectation out there for him this season and by a wide margin.  While I would never invest here as anything more than an outfielder 3, Cabrera has put himself firmly back into the market in that realm.

Clay Buchholz:  9 IP 3 H 0 ER 0 BB 6 K with an ERA of 5.40.  Great start but this is one guy I can assure you I will never ever own again for the rest of his career.  Never!

Dallas Keuchel: 7 IP 5 H 2 ER 2 BB 3 K with an ERA of 3.03.  Remember this name when someone tells you next season why you should draft a pitcher early.  Or remember his rotation partner Colin McHugh.

Arismendy Alcantara:  1/5 with his 7th HR while hitting .218.  It is like Alcantara is the infield version of the old Chris Young.  Right on down to the horrid average and solid juice numbers.

Luis Valbuena:  3/5 with his 15th HR while hitting .245.  Valbuena has the 15 most inconsequential home runs in baseball.

Matt Holliday:  3/4 with his 15th HR while hitting .267.  Hitting 20 home runs is now becoming a struggle for Holliday.  Age spares no one.

Kolten Wong:  1/3 with his 10th HR while hitting .245.  I imagine Wong will be on my sleeper list for next season.  He should be on yours too.  Looks like the next in a long line of post-hype sleepers.

Domonic Brown:  4/5 with his 8th HR while hitting .235.  Yeah it was me who told you what a 2013 fraud Brown was.  Yup.

Ryan Howard:  2/5 with his 20th HR while hitting .227.  It was also me who told you that guys with big bodies like Howard don't age well and fade almost overnight.  Boy do I know my Phillies.

Chris Heisey:  2/4 with 2 home runs (7 for season) while hitting .227.  Heisey is that you glance over a few times a season wondering if you should pick him up but in the end you realize you made the right non-move in standing pat.

Josh Harrison:  2/4 with his 13th HR while hitting .310.  Harrison just got of snuck up on us and became great overnight.  Really he has been unbelievable the second half of the season and is looking like a guy who will see a huge valuation for 2015.  I am not 100 percent sold yet but the tools are looking really fine.

Johnny Cueto:  8 IP 9 H 2 ER 1 BB 6 K with an ERA of 2.26.  I think Cueto has pretty much locked up the "Most Underappreciated Great Pitcher In Fantasy Baseball" award.

Danny Santana:  1/4 with his 7th HR while hitting .313.  I talked up Santana when he was promoted but that was mostly for his speed and runs ability.  While that has been excellent, the power is a pleasant surprise.  Like with Josh Harrison, guys who come out of nowhere set off some alarms but when they have speed, that is a stat that stays around no matter what.

Nelson Cruz:  1/4 with his 35th HR while hitting .254.  Cruz really turned up the hacking since June as his average has plummeted while the pop has stayed magnificent.  Someone will draft him in Round 2 next season and by the midway point of 2015 we will compare him to Chris Davis from 2014.

J.J. Hardy:  1/4 with his 9th HR while hitting .282.  One of my favorites is looking to finish strong and so far so good.  I had him on the bench though for the slam.  Damn.

Mike Trout:  2/4 with his 31st HR while hitting .290.  If Mike Trout is not the first pick in your league next season, than find another league.

Matt Shoemaker:  7 IP 5 H 0 ER 0 BB 7 K with an ERA of 3.14.  Shoemaker has not given up a run in his last three starts spanning 21.2 innings.  With 108 K in 110 inning pitched, Shoemaker should have been added two weeks ago.  The arm is potent and this is surely one pitcher the Angels need to make room in their rotation for next season.

Scott Kazmir:  6 ER in 1.1 IP with an ERA of 3.39.  I warned all season that Kazmir would hit the skids late due to fatigue and that could be underway now.  You should have sold him last month at the height of his value.

Bryce Harper:  3/4 with 2 home runs (10 for season) while hitting .268.  Harper is really hitting well over the last month but it is too late to salvage even a modicum of his 2014 draft value.  Will be very interesting to see how he is priced next season but at 22 and still carrying a big name brand, don't count on getting a huge discount.

Charlie Blackmon:  2/4 with his 17th HR while hitting .280.  I am sold on Blackmon who has hit well all season albeit not at his insane April levels.  Blackmon will be in there with Michael Brantley and Brett Gardner price wise.

Chase Anderson:  6 IP 5 H 1 ER 0 BB 8 K with an ERA of 3.75.  Anderson is yet the latest example of how pitchers emerge during the season to help you along the way.  With the pitching era firmly in place, it heightens the importance to filling up your hitting before looking anywhere near here next season.

Hyun-Jin Ryu:  7 IP 4 H 1 ER 0 BB 7 K with an ERA of 3.18.  Ryu has dealt with injuries seemingly off and on all season but when on the mound he has pitched like a near-ace.  The missing innings and lower K totals will help him be a value in 2015 when I will be buying like crazy.

Ryan Braun:  1/4 with his 18th HR while hitting .276.  Was beyond foolish that Braun went as a second round pick this season and his numbers in 2014 show how much he was helped by the juice.  The breakdowns will continue and finished are his days as an outfielder 1.

Madison Bumgarner:  6 IP 5 H 1 ER 1 BB 7 K with an ERA of 2.97.  Bumgarner has faded a bit in September the last few seasons which we need to watch but at least he finished August strong. 

 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: TEXANS ACQUIRE RYAN MALLETT FROM PATRIOTS

                                                              

The Houston Texans acquired New England Patriots backup QB Ryan Mallet on Sunday, throwing some late chaos into their situation under center with the season opener a week away.  With Ryan Fitzpatrick slated to start and with Case Keenum as the backup, no word yet on where Mallet will sit on the QB totem pole.
UPDATE:  Keenum was released in the move. 

Analysis:  Interesting.  The Texans badly need a future QB as Fitzpatrick is nothing but a stopgap.  This move has little fantasy football impact as no Texans QB has much in the way of appeal. 

FANTASY BASEBALL NEWS: JACOBY ELLSBURY (ANKLE) OUT AGAIN SUNDAY

New York Yankees outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury is out of the lineup again on Sunday due to the ankle he injured at the end of last week.  Manager Joe Girardi had said on Saturday that Ellsbury's ankle, injured during a home-plate collision, could possibly have required a DL stint if rosters had not expanded.  Ellsbury however maintains that he can gut through the pain and return as soon as allowed.

Analysis:  Very tough call here for the Yankees as Ellsbury has a long history of injuries and is signed for six more years which means weighing risk is imperative with this.  Even if Ellsbury does return, his stolen bases could be compromised due to the ankle.  Overall though Ellsbury has returned terrific numbers this season and up until now had finally remained healthy.  He remains an outfielder 1.

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: PADRES CLOSER JOAQUIN BENOIT SHUT DOWN WITH MORE SHOULDER ISSUES

San Diego Padres closer Joaquin Benoit was shut down by the team due to more pain in his pitching shoulder.  While the team didn't call it a setback, Benoit admitted that he has been bothered by the shoulder for the last month off and on.  Kevin Quackenbush will likely hold down the closing duties for the time being.

Analysis:  Quackenbush should have already been picked up in most leagues but if he was cut loose, by all means add him.  There is a good chance Benoit will not pitch again this season as the shoulder is not getting any better so Quackenbush could be a nice addition for September. 

 

RYAN STEELE SMASHED THE LINE WITH A 4-1 BEST BET MARK FOR COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEK 1

4-1 SLAMMING OF THE POINT SPREAD FOR COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEK 1.  THE WINNING GOT GOING THURSDAY NIGHT IN A HUGE VICTORY WITH TEXAS A@M AGAINST A VERY OVERRATED SOUTH CAROLINA.  IT CARRIED OVER TO A 3-1 SATURDAY AS OHIO STATE JUST GOT OVER THE -16 IN BEATING NAVY, NEBRASKA PREDICTABLY DESTROYED FLORIDA ATLANTIC, AND HAWAII ALMOST PULLED OUT THE UPSET OVER WASHINGTON IN LOSING BY ONLY 1.  THE ONLY THING STANDING IN THE WAY OF A PERFECT START WAS A HALF-POINT DEFEAT WITH TULSA.  I ALSO WENT 5-3 WITH MY FREE LEANS (SEE RESULTS BELOW).  IF YOU DIDN'T GET IN ON THE FUN FOR WEEK 1, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?  SEASON PACKAGE IS ONLY $199.99 WHICH INCLUDES BOWL GAMES OR YOU CAN PAY BY THE WEEK FOR $19.99. 
 
PURCHASE RYAN STEELE'S 2014 COLLEGE FOOTBALL BEST BETS AND PRIME PLAYS SEASON PACKAGE FOR ONLY $199.99 (INCLUDES BOWL GAMES).
OR YOU CAN PURCHASE RYAN STEELE'S WEEK 1 BEST BETS AND PRIME PLAYS ACKAGE FOR ONLY $19.99 A WEEK. 



COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEK 1
 
2014 Record Best Bets:  4-1

2014 Leans Record:  5-3
 
  
Week 1 in college football is finally here and that means my first batch of BEST BETS and STRONG OPINIONS are ready to go.  I went 48-34 with these picks last season which no doubt made my subscribers a solid amount of money.  I am ready to tackle the 2014 season and believe the Week 1 card is filled with some solid plays all the way around.  Use the BUY NOW tab above to purchase Week 1's picks for only $19.99 or purchase the season package of picks (includes Bowl Games) for $249.99.  All picks sent via e-mail. 
 
SOUTH CAROLINA (-10.5) VS. TEXAS A@M:********THIS GAME IS ONE OF MY BEST BETS/PRIME PLAYS FOR THE WEEK.  USE THE BUY NOW TAB ABOVE TO PURCHASE. 
 
Ohio State (-16) VS. NAVY:*******THIS GAME IS ONE OF MY BEST BETS/PRIME PLAYS FOR THE WEEK.  USE THE BUY NOW TAB ABOVE TO PURCHASE.
 
Ucla (-21) VS. VIRGINIA:  UCLA is a team that historically gets off to a terrific start and the Bruins certainly have high expectations for the season behind Heisman candidate QB Brett Hundley.  The Commodores are no slouch in this one due to their magnificent defense but UCLA qualifies fo a very solid 34-19-1 ATS opening week angle when favored by 21 or less. 
THE PICK:  UCLA (-21)
 
NEBRASKA (-21) VS. Florida Atlantic:********THIS GAME IS ONE OF MY BEST BETS/PRIME PLAYS FOR THE WEEK.  USE THE BUY NOW TAB ABOVE TO PURCHASE.
 
Alabama (-26) VS. West Virginia:  WHILE UCLA is a very profitable team out of the gate, the Tide is even more dominant as evidenced by a 17-2 ATS angle the first five games when not favored by 30 or more.  West Virginia grades out well on the offensive side of the ball as always but a Nick Saban defense in the opener is a rough way to get started. 
THE PICK:  Alabama (-26)
 
NOTRE DAME (-21) VS. Rice:  Very tough game to call here as Rice finally emerged from college football Siberia a year ago to put themselves back on the map.  Meanwhile Notre Dame gets back Everett Golson at QB after his 2013 suspension.  The number is right where it should be with no half point on most board which is potential problem.  The Irish clearly are the better team but there are angles going in both direction.  Figure Notre Dame has that extra spunk to maybe squeak out a cover but this is a very rough game to predict. 
THE PICK:  Notre Dame (-21)
 
AUBURN (-20.5) VS. Arkansas:  I really like Auburn again this season despite losing Tre Mason.  Nick Franklin will be that much better this season after his already nice 2013 emergence.  Meanwhile Arkansas has issues on both sides of the ball that will take a few weeks to work out.  Auburn is very driven this season to get back to the title game after last year's close call and under that scenario a team likes to bury their opening opponent.
THE PICK:  Auburn (-20.5)
 
GEORGIA (-7.5) VS. Clemson:  Tough to back a Clemson squad that pretty much lost everyone on offense to the NFL draft.  While the Tigers are incredibly coached, Georgia looks to be in another league despite losing QB Aaron Murray themselves. Cole Stoudt will likely face some growing pains early on for Clemson and that is a poor matchup against a Georgia defense looking to answer a ton of critics for 2013's woeful performance.
THE PICK:  Georgia (-7.5)
 
OKLAHOMA (-38) VS. Louisiana Tech:  Trevor Knight seems poised to be the next great Sooners QB and Louisiana Tech is the perfect patsy for him to hit the ground running with that venture.  Tech has very little going for them in this one other than the fact Oklahoma's defense is somewhat leaky.  This could be one of the biggest blowouts of the week when you stack up the talent.
THE PICK:  Oklahoma (-38)
 
USC (-22) VS. Fresno State:  When a non-BCS school like Fresno State loses a top QB like Derek Carr to the draft, it usually takes a few weeks to find their equilibrium the next season.  That is a bad recipe to have against a USC squad that is still loaded on offense despite all the BCS sanctions they have suffered from.  The Trojans should be one of the better offensive teams in college football this season as they lay the groundwork for a full title run a year from now.
THE PICK:  USC (-22)
 
Florida State (-17.5) VS. Oklahoma State:  Florida State was a collective man among boys last season as they stormed to the BCS championship.  Jameis Winston is back to defends his Heisman Trophy but he gets a stern early test against the always prepared Mike Gundy's OSU squad.  You always worry about some overconfidence from the previous season's champion their first time out and Gundy is very capable of throwing cold water on any repeat dreams.  FSU should come away with the win but this line is a bit high for my liking.  I would avoid if possible as the Seminoles do qualify for a tepid 44-32-2 opening game angle at less than 21.
THE PICK:  PASS
 
Lsu (-5) VS. Wisconsin:  No team is better at running the football and putting forth the best offensive lines year in and year out than the Badgers and that won't change for 2014.  LSU's defense looks improved this season and their special teams are magnificent which will help in a close game.  You never like to bet heavily against Wisconsin but LSU qualifies for a 55-24-2 ATS week 1 angle against a non-league opponent. 
THE PICK:  LSU (-5)
 
Washington (-15.5) VS. Hawaii:******THIS GAME IS ONE OF MY BEST BETS/PRIME PLAYS FOR THE WEEK.  USE THE BUY NOW TAB TO PURCHASE.
 
BAYLOR (-33) VS. Smu:  Baylor will score a million points this season as the offensive engine continues to churn under QB Bryce Petty.  One of the better bets at home recently, Baylor will do whatever they want against an overmatched SMU team.
THE PICK:  Baylor (-33)
 
TULSA (-6.5) VS. Tulane:******THIS GAME IS ONE OF MY BEST BETS/PRIME PLAY FOR THE WEEK.  USE THE BUY NOW TAB TO PURCHASE.

 
 
 

 
 

FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: ALEX RIOS OUTFIELDER TEXAS RANGERS

The end came with just a whimper and little fanfare attached to it.  In the Fantasy Sports Boss Fantasy Baseball Experts League, the owner of Texas Rangers outfielder Alex Rios finally had enough after five months of underachieving numbers, which led to him cutting the former 5-tool stud outright.  Less than one season removed from a career-high 42 stolen bases season to go along with 18 home runs and 81 RBI, Rios has looked almost completely washed up at the age of 33 and while playing half his games in one of the best hitter's parks in the majors.  Long a guy who ran hot and cold (and who you swore by or wouldn't touch), Rios goes into September hitting .280 with only 4 home runs and 52 RBI, to go along with 16 steals.  There red flags everywhere with Rios, with nothing standing out more than the severe drop in power.  While 33 is getting up there, home runs tend to hang around for a player more than the speed which has been the opposite for Rios.  Consider that Rios hit 25 home runs in 2012 which was followed by last season's 18 and now the 4 he has now with a month to go.  Again the fact Rios plays half of his games in Texas should have helped offset any loss of pop but that has been far from the case and in fact he looks worse than ever.  Throw in the fact now Rios will likely struggle to pass 22 steals and the result is a loss of around 20 bags from the season prior.  We all know that speed wanes as a player reaches their mid-30's and it surely looks like Rios peaked a year ago and will now go nowhere but south in that area.  Things have gotten so bad that now Rios is being released in more than a few fantasy baseball leagues and really no one can blame those owners.  Too many games Rios has wasted with next to no production for his owners and eventually we reach a point where enough is enough.  We are now there with Rios and there is no indication he has anything left in the tank to rally for the last month.  While yours truly has always been a fan of Rios and what he brought to the fantasy baseball table, there is no doubt that I have reached the point where I have moved on for good unless I get him as a bench guy.  We always have to ignore the name brand as owners and instead respect the numbers.  Owners of guys such as Dustin Pedroia, Joey Votto, and Justin Verlander can understand that strategy.

 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

RYAN STEELE'S COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEK 1 BEST BETS/PRIME PLAYS READY FOR PURCHASE

By Ryan Steele
 
All right gang we already got the year off to a fine start in winning my first BEST BET pick of the season with Texas A@M and new QB sensation Kenny Hill Thursday.  I have a slate of other BEST BETS and PRIME PLAYS for the rest of the weekend so use the BUY NOW tab below to purchase Week 1 for only $19.99.  Also free picks are posted on the College Football Picks Homepage. 



FANTASY BASEBALL WELCOME TO THE SHOW: DILSON HERRERA 2B NEW YORK METS

With New York Mets All Star second baseman Daniel Murphy hitting the 15-day DL with a calf strain, combined with the fact the team is way out of any type of postseason contention, the promotion of top infield prospect Dilson Herrera on Friday had sort of a "why not?" feel to it.  At a very young 20-yeares-old, Herrera will get a sort of audition for a possible 2015 role despite the fact Murphy is expected back with the team.  In looking at what made Herrera such a top prospect in the first place, as always we begin with his minor league numbers at Double-A.  A .340 batting average instantly jumps out which is impressive no matter the level.  While Herrera's 18.7 percent K rate is a tad high, his over .400 OBP is evidence that the kid knows how to work a count, take walks, and shorten his swing to continually get on the basepaths.  Now as far as the juicy numbers are concerned, Herrera slammed 10 home runs in only 287 at-bats which is a very solid total for someone his age.  When you consider a player doesn't usually hit their power peak until around the age of 27, one can see that Herrera is already on the path to being an above-average hitter at a shallow position.  In addition to the 10 home runs, Herrera has drive in 48 and stolen 9 bags.  Again not numbers that jump off the map but numbers that hint at more to come in the future.  Herrera has the look of a guy who can hit .280-.300 with 15 home runs and 25 stolen bases when he fully matures and that has a fantasy baseball everyday home no matter the setup. 

With regards to the rest of the season, Herrera should be picked up in order to see if he can literally hit the ground running with his tools.  While we don't expect Herrera to be a difference-maker yet, the ability is there for him to help a bit as you look to get every stat you can in order to clinch your league title.  The future is bright.