FOLLOW US ON TWITTER

LIKE THE FANTASY SPORTS BOSS ON FACEBOOOK

Saturday, December 31, 2011

FANTASY BASEBALL NEWS: PADRES ACQUIRE WHITE SOX OUTFIELDER CARLOS QUENTIN FOR 2 PROSPECTS

The San Diego Padres completed a trade with the Chicago White Sox on Saturday in getting outfielder Carlos Quentin for two prospects.  Quentin was entering his last season of arbitration which means a raise was on the way which helped make the trade possible. 

Analysis:  This is a major step down for Quentin as far as ballparks are concerned and his power numbers no doubt will be negatively affected somewhat.  He is still a big time power hitter who could easily crack 25 bombs with good health with a shaky average so dont ignore him totally. 

FANTASY BASEBALL ISSUES: LINDY'S TOP TEN CRITIQUE

So Lindy's is set to release their 2012 fantasy baseball draft guide which you can pick up here using the BUY NOW tab to the right.  They are not the most well-respected annual out there due to some curious rankings over the years which brings me to their top ten for this season which is listed on their cover.  First lets take a look at who their top ten are and what my thoughts are on it.

1.  Troy Tulowitzki
2.  Matt Kemp
3.  Albert Pujols
4.  Jose Bautista
5.  Jacoby Ellsbury
6.  Adrian Gonzalez
7.  Robinson Cano
8.  Miguel Cabrera
9.  Evan Longoria
10. Roy Halladay

Even though I wouldnt do it, I have no problem with them putting Tulo number 1 overall due to the fact that he is so far ahead of the rest of the pack at shortstop thats its ridiculous.  He is a true superstar in every sense of the word and if he just avoided his annual DL stay, the results certainly could be scary.

The rest of the top five is solid in my book, although I would have Miguel Cabrera in there with Ellsbury being nudged out slightly.  I do find it a mistake to put Adrian Gonzalez ahead of Cabrera.  Yes Gonzalez likely would have hit close to 40 home runs if he didnt injury his neck but Cabrera's ultra consistency make him the clear choice.  If you want to take Gonzalez over Joey Votto, I can see that somewhat.

As far as the rest of the list, I dont think Halladay should be in the discussion.  In fact I think Clayton Kershaw could be the top starting pitching pick due to his youth and his upward rise in his digits. 

Votto and Carlos Gonzalez not being in the top ten were the only issues I have as far as those who were excluded from their list, with Cano and Halladay being two I would take out and instead put them at number 11 or 12 or into the early second round.

Friday, December 30, 2011

2012 FANTASY BASEBALL ISSUES: WILL THE REAL EVAN LONGORIA PLEASE STAND UP?

IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY ORDERED YOUR COPY OF THE 2012 FANTASY SPORTS BOSS FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDE, YOU CAN PICK IT UP AT AMAZON HERE:  http://www.amazon.com/Fantasy-Sports-Baseball-Draft-Guide/dp/1468139444/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1325296643&sr=8-4
  FINALLY BE SURE TO CHECK OUT MY NEWEST BOOK "AN ADVANCED GUIDE TO WINNING YOUR FANTASY BASEBALL LEAGUE" WHICH IS ALSO AVAILABLE AT AMAZON HERE:  http://www.amazon.com/Fantasy-Baseball-Advanced-Winning-League/dp/1468034383/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1325296643&sr=8-3

First of all let me say that Tampa Bay Rays 3B Evan Longoria is a true superstar talent who is one of the best players in the entire game.  However it was around this time last spring where I voiced some concern about Longoria's average draft position of number 6 overall which I thought was a bit too high.  Yes Longoria was the best third baseman in the game but he was coming off a season that had a noticeable drop in power with only 22 home runs Still Longoria was universally acclaimed to be deserving of the draft spot and many chalked up the drop in power to him continuing to find his way as he still only 26 years old.  Than 2011 arrived and Longoria found his power stroke as he hit 31 home runs.  Impressive indeed but the rest of the package was mysteriously lacking as he hit a woeful .244 and showed no interest in stealing bases as he collected only 3.  It was overall a disappointing year for Longoria who made me look prophetic for saying he was not worthy of the number 6 spot overall.  So as we look ahead to 2012, lets find out what is going on with Longoria and try to handicap what could be in store for this season as far as the numbers and where they will settle in at.

All right first things first.  Longoria's 22 home run season in 2010 has been the outlier campaign as his other three seasons netted totals of 27, 33, and 31.  There is no doubt in my mind that Longoria will hit at least 25 bombs this season and likely more than 30.  Hitting third in the lineup, he should also sail past the 100 RBI mark as well.  In fact those two stats are the easiest to handicap when it comes to Longoria this season. 

Now for the average and the steals.  Longoria has always been a guy who has struck out more than average which will not allow him to hit .300 unless he gets that under control.  The .244 was a major outlier average so don't expect anything close to that this season.  He should reside somewhere in the .275-.290 range which is decent enough.  And as far as the steals are concerned, whatever Longoria supplied there was always considered a bonus.  Around 15 is the most you could expect and its likely he will end up somewhere in that range with full health.  Just don't expect anything drastic there and you wont be disappointed.

When it comes to Longoria and 2012 fantasy baseball, I would have no problem drafting him at the very end of round 1 or the beginning of round 2.  He is not worth the sixth spot overall but he is still going to be one of the top players in the game. 

2012 PROJECTION:  .282 33 HR 115 RBI 90 R 11 SB

2012 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT BUST: CHRIS CARPENTER SP ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY PURCHASED YOUR COPY OF THE 2012 FANTASY SPORTS BOSS FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDE:  POST-FREE AGENCY EDITION, YOU CAN PICK IT UP THROUGH AMAZON HERE:  http://www.amazon.com/Fantasy-Sports-Baseball-Draft-Guide/dp/1468139444/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1325256645&sr=8-4

OR YOU CAN PICK UP THE E-BOOK VERSION HERE: 


FINALLY BE SURE TO PICK UP MY NEWEST BOOK "AN ADVANCED GUIDE TO WINNNING FANTASY BASEBALL LEAGUES" WHICH IS ALSO AVAILABLE AT AMAZON HERE:  http://www.amazon.com/Fantasy-Baseball-Advanced-Winning-League/dp/1468034383/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1325256645&sr=8-3

The St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series in 2011 with a great combination of power hitting led by Albert Pujols to go along with big time starting pitching that was fronted by ace Chris Carpenter.  No doubt the St. Louis players left everything they had on the field during their playoff run but the 2012 season is fast approaching which means its time to turn the page on their magical 2011 campaign.  Hence its also time to start looking at some of their key players as far as 2012 fantasy baseball is concerned and that brings m back to Carpenter who I think stands a good chance of being a bust this season.  Lets dig in and find out why I suggest you avoid him if at all possible during their draft in the next couple of months.

Looking back at Carpenter's 2011 season, it was no doubt impressive as he put up a 3.45 ERA while striking out 190 batters in 237.1 IP.  Carpenter proved to be very durable last season as he made 34 starts in all which only translated into 11 wins due to some lousy run support.  The 237.1 IP is a massive numbers by itself but than throw on an extra 36 post season innings which brings Carpenter's 2011 haul to a whopping 272 innings pitched.  That's just an insane number which no doubt is likely to leave Carpenter's arm a bit tired going into 2012.  We have seen countless pitchers over the years suffer a falloff in their numbers the next season coming off such a massive workload, with Philadelphia's Cole Hamels being a shinning example a few season ago off the team's World Series victory.  Hamels was much younger than Carpenter when he went through it and he still struggled mightily the next season which caused some fantasy baseball owners to start doubting whether he was truly an ace pitcher.  When you think that Carpenter will be turning 37 this season, the concern grows even more that he wont be able to bounce back from it. 

On top of the tired arm itself, Carpenter has been a pretty brittle pitcher throughout his career as he has suffered numerous injuries along the way.  Sure he has been healthy the last two seasons but the next injury is always right around the corner when it comes to the guy and so his chances of being hurt in 2012 are very high for all the reasons I spoke of in the past few paragraphs. 

Finally, despite the good ERA last season, Carpenter was more hittable than ever before as his hit rate spiked which showed up in his 1.26 WHIP.  That's a bad sign as well and when combined with the injury scare, makes Carpenter even more of a guy you want to avoid getting involved with.

All in all, I think Chris Carpenter is a guy you need to stay away from this season.  As solid as he was in 2011, this is still an aging, injury-prone pitcher who is coming off a crazy workload and whose peripheral stats are heading in the wrong direction.  Look for more youth and upside when looking at starters in his price range such as a CJ Wilson or a Dan Haren. 

2012 PROJECTION:  14-10 3.62 ERA 1.22 WHIP 177 K

PRE-ORDER LINDY'S 2012 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDE

Lindy's is getting set to release their 2012 fantasy baseball draft guide of which I get a large shipment.  Be sure to pre-order yours today which goes on sale officially Jan. 8th.  Use the BUY NOW tab to the right to purchase your copy for the cover price of $7.99 (plus $5.00 for shipping).  Let me do all the work for you in getting you the guide right to your door like I do every season. 


Thursday, December 29, 2011

FANTASY SPORTS BOSS FINAL 2011 FANTASY FOOTBALL RANKINGS COMING NEXT WEEK

There is only one more week to go in the NFL regular season after fantasy football ended after Week 16.  Once the regular season is finished Sunday, I will release my final 2011 fantasy football position rankings and start looking ahead to 2012, with the draft guide book due out sometime at the end of Feb.  So be sure to check back next week to see how all the players finished out.

WHO DO YOU WANT FANTASY SPORTS BOSS TO PROFILE?

Calling out to you readers:  with fantasy baseball fast approaching, I am already hard at work in releasing to you Player Analyzer's, Draft Busts, Draft Sleepers, and much more.  If there is any particular hitter or pitcher you would like me to go in-depth on, please e-mail me at rangerfan28@yahoo.com and I will gladly get to them for you.  After all you as the readers as whats most important and I am in the business of pleasing you when it comes to content you wish to read. 

Also if you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me as well at rangerfan28@yahoo;com and I just might post them along with the answer on the page.  Look forward to hearing from you all.

2012 FANTASY BASEBALL PLAYER ANALYZER: CJ WILSON SP LOS ANGELES ANGELS

IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY PURCHASED YOUR 2012 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDE:  POST-FREE AGENCY, YOU CAN PICK UP YOUR PAPERBACK COPY AT AMAZON HERE:  http://www.amazon.com/Fantasy-Sports-Baseball-Draft-Guide/dp/1468139444/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1325164391&sr=8-6

OR YOU CAN PICK UP YOUR E-BOOK VERSION HERE: 


FINALLY BE SURE TO PICK UP MY NEW BOOK "AN ADVANCED GUIDE TO WINNING YOUR FANTASY BASEBALL LEAGUE" WHICH IS ALSO ON AMAZON HERE:  http://www.amazon.com/Fantasy-Baseball-Advanced-Winning-League/dp/1468034383/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1325164654&sr=8-3
CJ Wilson was the premier free agent SP on the market once the 2011 season was in the books and he certainly got a lot of attention once he was allowed to start discussing numbers with other teams.  He ultimately signed on close to home with the Los Angeles Angels on a five-year deal and assumes a position with Jered Weaver and Dan Haren was quite possibly the best pitching threesome in the game.  So now would be a good time to dig in and and find out what kind of numbers Wilson might have as far as 2012 fantasy baseball is concerned. 

Obviously Wilson's conversion from reliever to starter has been nothing but a smashing success as he has had ERA's of 3.35 and 2.94 the last two seasons which is tremendous.  The WHIP's were a bit higher than you would like at 1.25 and 1.19 but that's nitpicking.  Wilson also racked up some impressive strikeout totals, which resulted in hims K'ing 204 in 2011.  All of these numbers produced while pitching half his games in quite possibly the best hitting ballpark in Texas.  Now Wilson goes to a neutral park in Los Angeles and so that alone should ensure that he will be able to put up similar numbers to last season.  Also when you consider the fact that the Angels annually have one of the best team defenses in the game, Wilson could actually put up slightly better numbers as a result.  Its all there for a big time season from the sometimes quirky pitcher.

I have to admit that I shied away from Wilson the last two seasons.  In 2010 I stayed away due to my belief that he couldn't convert from a reliever to a starter and hold up during the season.  I was wrong.  In 2011 I stayed away due to the massive jump in innings from the season before as a clear violation of the Verducci Rules.  Wilson came back even stronger.  I was wrong again.  The time to stop doubting Wilson is upon us and I really like what is in store for this season. 

I would definitely make Wilson a SP 2-3 in 2012 fantasy baseball.  Although I see him striking out a few less batters this season, he still is pitching with a great team defense behind him to swallow up some mistakes along with the fact he is attacking the weakest opposing division lineups in the game.  Go all in on Wilson this season and don't look back.

2012 PROJECTION:  16-8 3.23 ERA 1.17 WHIP 190 K

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: RED SOX ACQUIRE A'S CLOSER ANDREW BAILEY

The Boston Red Sox finally got their closer for 2012 and its Andrew Bailey as the team acquired him in a trade with the Oakland A's for three prospects, cheief among them Josh Reddick.  Bailey will inherit the ninth inning for the Sox, with fellow newly  acquired Mark Melancon taking the eighth.

Analysis:  Great move by the Red Sox and they have coverage with Melancon in case Bailey has more health problems.  I posted my relief pitcher rankings earlier before the trade went down saying that Bailey would go into the top ten if he went to Boston.  Make the adjustment accordingly. 

2012 FANTASY SPORTS BOSS FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDE EXCERPT: CATCHERS



IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY PURCHASED YOUR 2012 FANTASY SPORTS BOSS FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDE:  POST-FREE AGENCY EDITION, YOU CAN PICK UP YOUR PRINT COPY HERE:  https://www.createspace.com/3757918

OR YOU CAN PICK UP YOUR E-BOOK COPY HERE: 


BELOW IS A SMALL EXCERPT FROM MY 2012 FANTASY SPORTS BOSS FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDE:  POST-FREE AGENCY EDITION: 

CATCHERS


Draft Strategy: Drafting catchers early in a given draft is one of the cardinal sins in fantasy baseball and is a huge mistake on so many levels. For one, the risk of injury with a catcher is higher than at any other position outside of starting pitcher. Using a high draft pick on such shaky health is a disaster waiting to happen and 2011 reinforced that notion with Joe Mauer and Buster Posey serving as two high catcher draft picks who spent most or a good potion of the year on the DL. The collisions at the plate, the getting hit with pitches, and the absolute wear and tear that accumulates all conspire to make catchers a position best left for the middle rounds of your draft. Once again I will pan for guys who are a bit under the radar due to injuries the previous season or who had a bad season for whatever reason. I also zoned in on guys who are coming up from the minors and who are not in the consciousness of all fantasy baseball players as a whole. Last season the guy I ended up with on both of my money league teams who fit this criteria was Miguel Montero of the D-Backs who had his best season as a pro. His value is on the rise in 2012 so I need to go look for someone else. The names I did come up with though who will likely land on my team this season are Matt Wieters, Wilson Ramos, Jesus Montero, and Geovany Soto. Wieters is the guy I am most after as he is a post-hype sleeper who many have moved on from. The guy made some big strides in 2011 with 22 home runs but I can almost guarantee you he wont get picked until about 6 or 7 other guys go before him and that's just crazy. Again guys who are post-hype sleepers like Wieters make for the best values and I think he makes for a tremendous pick this season. After Wieters, I like Jesus Montero who hit like a monster when he came up toward the end of 2011 for the Yankees. The power is legit and he profiles as another Victor Martinez. He wasn't around enough to have him shoot up draft boards for this season and his ceiling is very high. After that, I like Soto as a bounceback candidate. We saw him do it before in 2010 when he was one of the best hitting catchers in the game and I think he will come back again this season and do the same. All three guys make for very good catching options for your team without having to break the bank.


1. Brian McCann: McCann was on his way to his best season and had a shot at 30 home runs until late season injury issues. When it was all said and done, McCann had the best overall season of the consensus top fantasy baseball backstops heading into last season. He remains the safest bet of the lot and will still be only 28 when 2012 rolls around.

Projection: .282 25 HR 83 RBI 62 R 2 SB


2. Buster Posey: It was a complete washout of a season for Posey who tore up his knee in a home field collision. This was further evidence of why you should avoid drafting catchers so high no matter how promising they might be. Before he got hurt, Posey's fly ball rate came back to his minor league numbers (and away from his surprising rookie power season of 2010) so expecting 20-plus home runs is a bit ambitious. Still his average will be a plus and he will be prominently featured in the Giants lineup.

******THE REST OF THE CATCHERS PREVIEW AND GUIDE CAN BE PURCHASED ABOVE.****



Projection: .288 18 HR 84 RBI 77 R 5 SB

2012 FANTASY SPORTS BOSS FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDE POST-FREE AGENCY EDITION





To those who still haven't purchased the 2012 Fantasy Sports Boss Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide, I have now released an updated version title "Post-Free Agency."  Rankings and some captions have been updated due to the signings and trades during the Winter Meetings and the rest of free agency, along with a look at the Ryan Braun situation.  Be sure to pick up your copy through my publishers here:  https://www.createspace.com/3757918

Good luck as always and lets attack this upcoming season head on. 



2012 FANTASY BASEBALL UPDATED CLOSER RANKINGS

IF YOU HAVEN'T DONE ALREADY, YOU CAN PICK UP YOUR COPY OF THE 2012 FANTASY SPORTS BOSS FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDE:  POST-FREE AGENCY EDITION HERE:  https://www.createspace.com/3757918

Last but not least the closers are up through our first run of the 2012 fantasy baseball rankings.  Here are where these always volatile pitchers stack up.

1.  Mariano Rivera
2.  Craig Kimbrel
3.  Jonathan Papelbon
4.  Heath Bell
5.  Jose Valverde
6.  Brian Wilson
7.  John Axford
8.  Jordan Walden
9.  Joel Hanrahan
10. Drew Storen
11. Jason Motte
12. Sergio Santos
13. Joakim Soria
14. Chris Perez
15. Carlos Marmol
16. Andrew Bailey
17. Huston Street
18. JJ Putz
19. Francisco Cordero
20. Mark Melancon
21. Joe Nathan
22. Frank Francisco
23. Rafael Betancourt
24. Kyle Farnsworth
25. Javy Guerra
26. Matt Thornton
27. Brandon League
28. Jim Johnson
29. Matt Capps
30. Wilton Lopez

-Mariano Rivera is old but the guy is the most consistent closer in the game today bar none.  Age doesn't even seem to impact his stats so its time to stop looking at that as an excuse not to draft him as the first closer off the board.
-Craig Kimbrel is the real deal and shoots right to the top of the board with that ridiculous 2011 Rookie of the Year campaign.  His K rate is out of this world and he will be a top guy for the next decade-plus.
-Heath Bell has seen his K rate drop and he will be 36 years old which is a concern but going to another pitcher's park in Miami is going to do a ton of good for his numbers.  He has another two years or so as a top closer.
-I grouped Huston Street and Andrew Bailey in the same region not for their performance but for their continuing health woes.  Bailey could very well end up with the Red Sox which would make him a clear top ten guy but he is always a guy you have to worry about as far as injuries.
-Frank Francsico is still a free agent and he too is rumored to be going to the Sox. He had a rebound year in 2011 after his stats seemed on a steep cliff downward.  Still he walks a lot of guys and is getting up there.
-Sergio Santos is a guy I will have on most of my teams as he is still not totally trusted in the fantasy baseball community yet which will have him come cheaper than he should.  He posted a crazy good K rate in his first season as a closer in 2011 and clearly he is a guy on the rise at this position.

That's how I see things shaping up.  As always let me know what you think.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

FANTASY BASEBALL NEWS: ORIOLES TO USE JIM JOHNSON AS CLOSER IN 2012

The Baltimore Orioles will go into the 2012 season with Jim Johnson as their closer according to team reports.  Johnson took over the closer gig from Kevin Gregg in the second half of last season and did a nice job. 

Analysis:  Johnson is a decent reliver but I consider him a lower end fantasy baseball closer.  He will come cheap though so dont go look past him entirely. 

2012 FANTASY BASEBALL UPDATED FIRST ROUND LOOK

IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY PURCHASED YOUR COPY OF THE 2012 FANTASY SPORTS BOSS FANTAYS BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDE:  POST-FREE AGENCY EDITION, YOU CAN PICK UP YOUR COPY HERE:  https://www.createspace.com/3757918

With Ryan Braun facing s 50-game ban for steroids, the first round of this spring's fantasy baseball drafts hjas certainly taken on a different look.  So with that said, lets dig in and see how a 12-team 5x5 round 1 should look like according to yours truly. 

1.  Albert Pujols:  Pujols is still the top dog until proven otherwise.  Even in his worst statistical season in 2011, he still was a top five bat.  He should be reinvigorated some in going to Anaheim and not having to worry about a contract anymore.

2.  Miguel Cabrera:  Miggy is the clear choice over Joey Votto as many owners made the mistake in going the other way last season.  Cabrera is so ultra-consistent and durable that he is as safe an investment as you can make.  Those in new keeper cycles should actually entertain the idea of making him the top pick overall since he is still not even 30.

3.  Matt Kemp:  With Braun out of the picture for awhile, Kemp and his on HR shy 40/40 season in 2011 is a must here.  Guys that can fill up all the stats like Kemp can are fantasy basebal gold and I would give my left arm to own him this season.

4.  Joey Votto:  Votto came back to earth a bit in 2011 but not too much.  His fly ball rate normalized which is why he lost some home runs but otherwise he was still a gem.  Quite possibly the best pure hitter in the game.

5.  Troy Tulowitzki:  Yes he spends one stint a season on the DL but the fact he can hit nearly 30 home runs at the shortstop position make him well worth this high a pick.  Those who nad him have a huge advantage in production from the position right out of the gate.

6.  Adrian Gonzalez:  AGONE would haev hit 40 home runs last season if he didnt injure his neck but the injury could be a blessing in disguise as some will look at his overall total in that department and foolishly downgrade him a bit.  Dont be that guy as Gonzalez could easily hit those 40 bombs with 120 RBI.

7.  Prince Fielder:  Continuing with the first baseman theme, Fielder is the last of the first round guys at the position.  His next destination is still unknown but no matter where he goes, he is good for at least 35 home runs and a solid average.

8.  Jacoby Ellsbury:  Wow what a season he had in 2011 as he exploded with 32 home runs in a major power spike.  While I am at least a bit concerned it could be an outlier, Ellsbury has grown into his body which doesnt make the spike that out of the blue.  He took a noticeable decline in interest as far as steals were concerned the second half of the seaoson so his days of 70 could be a thing of the past but overall Ellsbury is looking like a discounted Matt Kemp.

9.  Carlos Gonzalez:  Dont let his overall numbers fool you.  Gonzalez was every bit as good in 2011 as he was in 2010 outside of average which normalized from the very lucky BABIP he had.  He spent some time on the DL last season which kept him from hitting the 30/30 mark he was on his way to doing.

10. Hanley Ramirez:  Yes this is a bit of a drop for Ramirez off his disgusting 2011 campaign.  I was prepared to drop him out of the first round until the Jose Reyes trade which moves him to third and gains the additional eligibility.  Its strange how Ramirez' stats continue to plummet during his prime years (a la Nick Markakis) so there is concern here.  However based on talent alone, the guy is as loaded as anyone in the game.

11. Robinson Cano:  Cano is the top dog at second base over Ian Kinsler due to his extreme durability and his ultra-consistent approach.  He will now hit third for the Yankees this season which should surely get him above the 30-homer mark due to the added appearances at the dish.

12.  Ian Kinsler:  Yes we all know he is a big time injury risk but he stayed on the field all of last season so maybe he found some trick to keep him healthy.  Kinsler's 2011 season was sensational as he went 30/30 for the second time in four seasons.  As good a fantasy baseball option as anyone in the game.

There you have it.  Let me know who you agree with along with who I made a mistake on.

Monday, December 26, 2011

FANTASY FOOTBALL ISSUES: VIKINGS RB ADRIAN PETERSON TEARS BOTH ACL AND MCL, LIKELY WONT BE READY FOR START OF 2012

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson tore both his MCL and ACL in his knee during Sunday's win over the Washington Redskins.  He wont have surgery right away as he will wait for the swelling to go down in the knee and this likely will not have him ready for the beginning of the 2012 season.  The repercussions are big in that Peterson will now remove himself from first round fantasy football value next season as Toby Gerhart will being the year as the starter.  Depending on how the surgery goes and the recovery time involved, he could wind up being a fifth or sixth round value.  If he misses a game or two, he could be a nice bargain but this is a devastating injury that could impact his numbers even when he does get back onto the field.  I will indicate his value for next season based on the final set of position rankings after next week.

2012 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT DEBATE: JACOBY ELLSBURY/CARLOS GONZALEZ OUTFIELDERS

IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY PURCHASED YOUR COPT OF THE 2012 FANTASY SPORTS BOSS FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDE:  POST-FREE AGENCY EDITION, YOU CAN PICK UP YOUR COPY HERE:  https://www.createspace.com/3757918

With Ryan Braun facing a 50-game suspension for PED usage, the top dog as far as outfielders in fantasy baseball this season is undisputably Matt Kemp.  Right behind Kemp this is where the intrigue begins as to who should be the next player take at this position.  Two of the obvious candiates are the Boston Red SOx' Jacoby Ellsbury and the Colorado Rockies' Carlos Gonzalez.  Both guys are among the very best young hitters in the game and they are both incredibly similar in production and what they bring to the game.  So in our latest 2012 Draft Debate, lets compare the two in all five of the relevant fantasy baseball categories in order to determine who should be picked in front of the other.

AVERAGE:  Ellsbury challenged for the batting title last season in hitting .321 while CarGo did so in 2010 with a .336 mark.  Obviously both guys are capable of big time numbers in this regard and their floor is around .300 with the poteantial for them to do much better.  Average is always a tough stat to predict but its really a flip of the coin as to who will do better there.
ADVANTAGE:  EVEN

RUNS:  This one is all Ellsbury hitting leadoff in one of the best offenses in the game.  He rang up 119 runs last season which is much higher than the 92 Gonzalez scored.  Yes Gonzalez missed time with injury which cut into his total but not hitting leadoff makes Ellsbury the one to go with there.
ADVANTAGE:  Jacoby Ellsbury

HOME RUNS:  It was no doubt a surprise to see Ellsbury hit 32 home runs last season as he had never shown that type of pop before.  However it has been said that he had a power stick all along but he just needed to get it developed.  Gonzalez meanwhile hit 36 the year before when totally healthy and he was on pace to get there again in 2011.  He has more of a history in this department, with Ellsbury only having done it once so far. 
ADVANTAGE:  Carlos Gonzalez

RBI:  Ellsbury had 105 RBI out of the leadoff spot last season which is very high for a number 1 hitter.  The power no doubt played the key role there.  Gonzalez meanwhile went for 117 in his 2010 season and was on pace for over 100 as well last season.  There is a chance that Ellsbury gets moved down the lineup if he continues to hit for power and so the RBI opportunities will continue to be there as well. 
ADVANTAGE:  EVEN

STOLEN BASES:  Ellsbury has been a monster in this stat with a season of 70 on his resume.  He went for 39 last season which could be considered low.  Gonzalez can go for 25 but that represents his high. 
ADVANTAGE:  Jacoby Ellsbury

WINNER:  Jacoby Ellsbury

This one is as close as it gets and honestly you cant go wrong either way.  However Ellsbury's clear advantage in runs and stolen bases puts him ahead.  Also Gonzalez' recent injury woes make him more of a risk.

FANTASY SPORTS BOSS FANTASY BASEBALL POLL RESULTS: MIXED FEELINGS ON MAT LATOS

Last week I wrote a column on how I thought Mat Latos was a bit of a shaky draft options due to his move from San Diego to Cincy and also for the fact he is an annual injury risk with a poor delivery.  I asked you all for your input on if you would be DRAFTING or AVOIDING HIM THIS SPRING and the results were close to down the middle.  11 respondents said they would be DRAFTING while 13 said they would be AVOIDING.  Hoenstly I do feel Latos is one you want to avoid for all the reasons I spoke of last week unless the price is cheaper than it should be.  Really he is just too risky for my taste.

SUBSCRIBE TO THE BIGGER AND BETTER THAN EVER 2012 FANTASY SPORTS BOSS FANTASY BASEBALL INSIDER PACKAGE FOR ONLY $24.99

With the 2012 fantasy baseball season almost upon us, be sure to get aboard for the 2012 fantasy sports boss INSIDER package which is bigger and better than ever. Use the BUY NOW tab to the right to purchase your season access pass.  Included in the package this season:

-"The Injury Wrapup": Every weekday throughout the season, sent to your inbox each morning will be a detailed report of all the previous nights injuries and their impacts on fantasy baseball. Know how long someone could be out along with knowing who would make a good replacement in your lineup.

-"Latest Closer News": Included with the Injury Wrapup are all of the latest closer news from around the game from the previous night. Stay on top of all the changes made in the ninth inning so that you can be in perfect position to take on the newest closers.

-"Balls and Strikes": Each week I will take a look at fantasy baseball issues when it comes to starting pitchers.

-"Singles and Doubles": Like with Balls and Strikes, each week I will get into the latest fantasy baseball issues when it comes to the hitters.

-"Weekly Ads and Drops": Find out which players I think should be added to your roster for each week and which ones need to be dropped so that you are always keeping yoru team refreshed and on top of the hot and cold performers.

The INSIDER package is only $24.99 and is good for the entire regular season. Use the BUY NOW tab to purchase.  I hope to have you aboard for what should be another big season for us.

SAYNOARA 2011 FANTASY FOOTBALL

With Week 16 being put into the books last night, that officially puts a cap on the 2011 fantasy football season.  Week 17 should never be a fantasy football championship week so I wont acknowledge it there.  We now move on to 2012 fantasy baseball of which I already am hard at work.  Keep the questions coming to me at rangerfan28@yahoo.com and I will start posting them on here along with my answers.  There are a lot of good things coming up in the next few months such as :

-additional 2012 fantasy baseball player analzyer posts detailing what a certain hitter or pitcher will do in the coming season.

-additional 2012 fantasy baseball draft debate's where I break down two even on paper players in order to determine who should be picked ahead of the other. (hint:  check back later for another one on the outfield)

-predictions about the 2012 season.

-updated position rankings as we go through the winter and spring.

Of course if you havent purchased your 2012 fantasy sports boss fantasy baseball draft guide, you can pick it up at Amazon here:  http://www.amazon.com/Fantasy-Sports-Baseball-Draft-Guide/dp/146791746X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1324905368&sr=8-1

Also dont forget to pick up my new book "An Advanced Guide To Winning Your Fantasy Baseball League" which is also on Amazon here:  http://www.amazon.com/Fantasy-Baseball-Advanced-Winning-League/dp/1468034383/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1324905368&sr=8-3


Hope to have you all aboard and I cant wait to get the season started. 

Sunday, December 25, 2011

FANTASY SPORTS BOSS DROPS CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

Well I made it back to the finals of my PPR fantasy football money league after a mediocre 7-6 regular season.  I won the wild card round and than upset an 11-2 team in the semifinals but I hit the wall in the finale last night as Tony Romo leaving right off the bat made it impossible for me to win.  In addition my opponent got big games from Calvin Johnson and than rolled 7's with his two running backs in CJ Spiller and Kevin Smith.  As poor as my regular season was, I can live with a runner-up cash prize and the knowledge that I almost defended the league title I won last season.  Oh well thats how it goes. 

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL

Here is hoping all of you have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy Holiday.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

2012 FANTASY BASEBALL PLAYER ANALYZER: CARLOS BELTRAN OUTFIELDER ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY PURCHASED YOUR COPY OF THE 2012 FANTASY SPORTS BOSS FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDE, YOU CAN PICK UP YOUR COPY HERE:  https://www.createspace.com/3757918

FINALLY BE SURE TO CHECK OUT MY NEW BOOK "An Advanced Guide To Winning Your Fantasy Baseball League" WHICH IS AVAILABLE ON AMAZON HERE:  http://www.amazon.com/Fantasy-Baseball-Advanced-Winning-League/dp/1468034383/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1324741286&sr=8-3

After things got quiet on the free agent front after the winter meetings, there was some news this past week when outfielder Carlos Beltran came to terms on a two-year deal with the St. Louis Cardinals.  Once a sure fire first round pick in fantasy baseball due to his power/speed combo, Beltran has lost quite a bit of value along the way due to age and leg injuries.  Still he comes off a good 2011 season split between the Mets and Giants and is healthy heading into the 2012 campaign.  So lets dig in and find out what Beltran could offer in fantasy baseball this season.

Looking back at Beltran's 2011 season, he wound up hitting 22 home runs with 84 RBI along with a .300 average.  Solid stuff all around. However there a few things to concentrate on.  The first is that Beltran will be 35 this season which is getting way up there for an outfielder.  Also Beltran stole only 4 bases last season as his days of stealing even 20 bags are a clear thing of the past.  Than there are the injuries which no doubt contributed to his lack of steals as he continues to age.  Beltran has a very extensive history of leg injuries which have robbed him of his speed and caused him to miss a handful of games every season.  The injury threat will only continue to grow as Beltran is now another year older. 

In going to the Cardinals, Beltran will be looked at as one of the big run producers as the team tries to somehow replace the production of Albert Pujols.  No doubt Beltran is not even in the same hemisphere as Pujols but hitting in the three or four spot should ensure a decent amount of RBI's and runs scored.  Also hitting in St. Louis is a bit of an upgrade for his power numbers instead of playing in the spacious ballparks he has inhabited the last seven seasons with the Mets and Giants. 

All in all, I think Beltran is a solid number 3 outfielder for 2012 fantasy baseball.  He is clearly on the way down as far as his value is concerned so you have to judge him on the Beltran that he is now and not the player he used to be.  His price should be decent though so don't overlook hi, entirely as a value play.

2012 PROJECTION:  .284 23 HR 90 RBI 86 R 5 SB

Friday, December 23, 2011

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 16 START/SIT

Our last and most important START/SIT article of the season to help you bring home the championship.  I will be among those fighting it out for the title as I upset an 11-2 team last week to get into the finals and defend the championship I won last year in our PPR money league.  Wish me luck and good luck to all of you. 

New York Giants VS. New York Jets:

START:
Eli Manning
Mark Sanchez
Hakeem Nicks
Dustin Keller
Santonio Holmes

SIT:
Both Defenses
Victor Cruz
Mario Maningham
Shonn Greene
Ahmad Bradshaw

Oakland Raiders VS. Kansas City Chiefs:

START:
Carson Palmer
Michael Bush
Dwayne Bowe

SIT:
Kyle Orton
Both Defenses
Jackie Battle
All Raiders Receivers

Arizona Cardinals VS. Cincinnati Bengals:

START:
Andy Dalton
Cedric Benson
Larry Fitzgerald
Bengals Defense
AJ Green

SIT:
Jerome Simpson
John Skleton
Cardinals Defense
Beanie Wells

Denver Broncos VS. Buffalo Bills:

START:
Tim Tebow
Willis McGahee
Steve Johnson
CJ Spiller

SIT:
Both Defenses
Eric Decker
Ryan Fitzpatrick

New England Patriots VS. Miami Dolphins:

START:
Tom Brady
Matt Moore
Wes Welker
Brandon Marshall
Aaron Hernandez
Rob Gronkowski
BJGE
Reggie Bush

SIT:
Both Defenses
Deion Branch

St. Louis Rams VS. Pittsburgh Steelers:

START:
Steven Jackson
Mike Wallace
Rashard Mendenhall
Antonio Brown
Steelers Defense

SIT:
Ben Roethlisberger
Rams Defense

Tampa Bay Buccaneers VS. Carolina Panthers:

START:
Cam Newton
DeAngelo Williams
Jonathan Stewart
Steve Smith
Mike Williams
LeGarrette Blount
Greg Olson

SIT:
Both Defenses
Josh Freeman
Kellen Winslow

Cleveland Browns VS. Baltimore Ravens:

START:
Ray Rice
Joe Flacco
Ed Dickson
Ravens Defense

SIT:
Greg Little
Browns Defense
Peyton Hillis

Tennessee Titans VS. Jacksonville Jaguars:

START:
Maurice Jones-Drew
Chris Johnson
Nate Washington
Titans Defense

SIT:
Blaine Gabbert
Jake Locker
Damian Williams
Marcedes Lewis
Mike Thomas
Jaguars Defense

Minnesota Vikings VS. Washington Redskins:

START:
Adrian Peterson
Santana Moss
Jabar Gaffney
Percy Harvin
Roy Helu

SIT:
Both Defenses
Rex Grossman

San Diego Chargers VS. Detroit Lions:

START:
Phillip Rivers
Matthew Stafford
Vincent Jackson
Calvin Johnson
Antonio Gates
Ryan Matthews

SIT:
Both Defenses
Brandon Pettigrew
Maurice Morris'
Kevin Smith

Philadelphia Eagles VS. Dallas Cowboys:

START:
Tony Romo
Michael Vick
Felix Jones
LeSean McCoy
Jeremy Maclin
DeSean Jackson
Dez Bryant
Miles Austin
Laurent Robinson
Jason Witten
Brent Celek

SIT:
Both Defenses

Seattle Seahawks VS. San Francisco 49ers:

START:
Marshawn Lynch
Vernon Davis
Frank Gore
Michael Crabtree
49ers Defense

SIT:
Seahawks Defense
Alex Smith
Tavaris Jackson
Doug Baldwin

Chicago Bears VS. Green Bay Packers:

START:
Aaron Rodgers
Jordy Nelson
Donald Driver
Jermichael Finley
Packers Defense
Marion Barber

SIT:
Bears Defense
James Jones

Atlanta Falcons VS. New Orleans Saints:

START:
Lance Moore
Drew Brees
Michael Turner
Marques Colston
Jimmy Graham
Matt Ryan
Tony Gonzalez
Roddy White
Julio Jones
Darren Sproles

SIT:
Both Defenses

Thursday, December 22, 2011

FANTASY BASEBALL NEWS: NATIONALS ACQUIRE SP GIO GONZALEZ FROM A'S FOR FOUR PROSPECTS

The Washington Nationals have acquired Oakland A's ace SP Gio Gonzalez for four prospects.  Gonzalez nearly struck out 200 batters last season for the A's and is a power lefty arm who will immediately front their rotation.

Analysis:  Gonzalez ends up in a ballpark similar to Oakland's which is about the best ending for him since it was a given he would be dealt.  His control is terrible which inflates his WHIP but he could strike out 200 batters this season.  Look to him as a third starter in fantasy baseball this season.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: STEELERS QB BEN ROETHLISBERGER (ANKLE) IS GOING TO BE A GAME-TIME DECISION

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger will be a game-time decision once again on Saturday as he continues to miss practice with a badly sprained ankle.

Analysis:  Start planning ahead if you are a Big Ben owner and are still in the playoffs.  The rumor is that he wont play and that Charlie Batch will draw the start.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: CHRIS JOHNSON (ANKLE) PRACTICES THURSDAY, WILL PLAY SATURDAY

Tennessee Titans RB Chris Johnson took part in practice on Thursday and is on track to play in Saturday's game despite dealing with a sprained ankle.
Analysis:  Johnson is all set to go and build off a solid second half of the season.  However he was a no-show last week which no doubt cost most of his owners their league's winnings. 

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: REDSKINS RB ROY HELU (ANKLE) PRACTICES AGAIN THURSDAY

Washington Redskins RB Roy Helu practiced again on a limited basis Thursday and reportedly is doing "better."  Both Helu and the team are optimistic he will be able to go Saturday.

Analysis:  Good news as Helu has been a real find the second half of the season.  He is on track to play Saturday and he remains a major PPR weapon.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: RAVENS WR ANQUAN BOLDIN DONE FOR SEASON DUE TO KNEE SURGERY

Baltimore Ravens WR Anquan Boldin is out for the rest of the season after being told he needs surgery to repair a slight meniscus tear. 

Analysis:  Tough break despite the fact that Boldin has been up and down all season as far as fantasy football is concerned.  His stock has taken a hit ever since he arrived with the Ravens and their run-dominant offense. 

FANTASY FOOTBALL THURSDAY NIGHT START/SIT

A truly awful Thursday night game is on tap for tonight as the Indianapolis Colts play the Houston Texans.  No doubt those who are in the fantasy football championship game likely have none of tonight's players in their lineups.  I will make this very simple:  bench everyone in this game with the exception of Arian Foster.  Thats it.  The rest of these guys should be planted firmly on your bench if you are still in it.  The rest of the start/sit column will appear tomorrow.

2012 FANTASY BASEBALL PLAYER DRAFT DEBATE: JOEY VOTTO/MIGUEL CABRERA

IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY PURCHASED YOUR 2012 FANTASY SPORTS BOSS FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDE, YOU CAN PICK UP YOUR COPY AT AMAZON HERE:  https://www.createspace.com/3757918

FINALLY BE SURE TO CHECK OUT MY NEWEST BOOK, "AN ADVANCED GUIDE TO WINNNING FANTASY BASEBALL LEAGUES" AT AMAZON HERE:  http://www.amazon.com/Fantasy-Baseball-Advanced-Winning-League/dp/1468034383/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1324588407&sr=8-4

Its time for out first 2012 fantasy baseball draft debate of the upcoming season and today we delve into the first base position in order to determine who is gets the nod to be picked right after Albert Pujols. The two prime candidates are the Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera and the Cincinnati Reds' Joey Votto.  So lets dig in and determine who rightfully should be picked ahead of the other.  As always we compare the two based on the five hitting categories in a standard league format.

AVERAGE:  Cabrea easily won this battle last season as he hit .344 to Votto's .309.  Votto was more competitive the year before however as he hit .324 to Cabrera's .328.  The fact of the matter is that Votto's 2010 season was fluky with a lucky BABIP helping out the cause.  Cabrera on the other hand has been doing it longer and with more stability. 
ADVANTAGE:  Miguel Cabrera

STOLEN BASES:  This one is all Votto as he has stolen 16 and 8 steals the last two season while Cabrera has remained stationary with only 3 and 2.  Votto is a guy who can threaten the 10 steal mark every season whereas Cabrera will be lucky to get 4.
ADVANTAGE:  Joey Votto

RBI:  Cabrera and Votto were within 2 RBI of one another in 2012 but the Tigers slugger has gone as high as 126 just two years ago.  Also Cabrera has the much better top of the lineup than do the Reds who always seem to be searching for top of the order hitters.
ADVANTAGE: Miguel Cabrera

RUNS:  Votto's last two seasons netted 106 and 101 runs while Cabrera scored 111 in each of the last two seasons.  Again we are talking very slight numbers here but Cabrera has come out on time both times since Votto became a regular three hitter.
ADVANTAGE:  Miguel Cabrera

HOME RUNS:  Votto has gone as high as 37 home runs in 2010 while Cabrera hit 38 last season.  Keep in mind though that Votto slipped to 29 last season as his fly ball rate normalized after being at outlier levels in 2010.  Cabrera is the much better bet to land in the 35-plus range.
ADVANTAGE:  Miguel Cabrera

WINNER:  Miguel Cabrera

Cabrera takes four out of the five categories, with two being extremely close.  Going into last season Votto was the hot name off his ridiculous 2010 season and he went ahead of Cabrera in more than half of drafts overall.  Cabrera is the more consistent and deserves to be picked no later than fourth overall in 2012 drafts this spring.

FANTASY BASEBALL NEWS: TWINS TO SIGN SP JASON MARQUIS

The Minnesota Twins will fill out the back end of their starting rotation with free agent SP Jason Marquis according to reports.  Marquis had a 4.43 ERA last season with the Nationals and D-Backs.

Analysis:  Not much in the way of fantasy baseball news here as Marquis is as mediocre as you can get.  Stay way from him this season if you can as he will supply nothing but headaches. 

FANTASY BASEBALL NEWS: CUBS DEAL RP SEAN MARSHALL TO REDS FOR SP TRAVIS WOOD

The Chicago Cubs have agreed in principle to trade outstanding setup man Sean Marshall to the Cincinnati Reds for lefty SP Travis Wood. 

Analysis:  Interesting trade on both fronts.  Wood has some nice talent and sneaky K stuff but he struggled badly in 2011.  Marshall could be a candidate to close in Cincy if the team doesnt re-sign Francisco Cordero or insert Aroldis Chapman into the gig. 

FANTASY BASEBALL NEWS: WHITE SOX EXTEND SP JOHN DANKS TO FIVE YEAR DEAL

The Chicago White Sox signed SP John Danks to a five-year contract extension for 65 million dollars.  Danks was the subject of numerous trade rumors this offseason but he will now be staying put.

Analysis:  Danks was mentioned as a trade candidate in mnay locales but he is now off the market.  He is coming off somewhat of a down year in 2011 and remains a fourth starter in fantasy baseball. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

FANTASY BASEBALL NEWS: CARLOS BELTRAN TO SIGN SOON

Free agent outfielder Carlos Beltran will settle on his next destination in the next few days according to reports.  Beltran has three-year offers from up to five teams, with the Blue Jays, Cardinals, Rays, and Red Sox being four of them. 

Analysis:  Beltran is far from the star he used to be in fantasy baseball but he still hit 22 home runs last season which is nothing to sneeze at.  He remains an injury-risk though so dont go too crazy there.

FANTASY BASEBALL NEWS: RANGERS LOOKING IN ON A'S CLOSER ANDREW BAILEY

The Texas Rangers are the latest team to check in on Oakland A's closer Andrew Bailey who has also been linked to the Boston Red Sox.  The Rangers will move former closer Neftali Feliz into the rotation this season and have signed Joe Nathan to be their stopper at this point.  Nathan however is 37 years old and is coming off an up and down season so hence the interest in Bailey makes sense.

Analysis:  Bailey should be on the move soon enough as there seems to be a lot of interest there.  I still think the Red Sox are the best fit. 

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: STEELERS QB BEN ROETHLISBERGER (ANBKLE) LIKELY TO SIT SATURDAY

Pittaburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger is likely going to sit out this Saturday's game against the St. Louis Rams in order to rest up his ankle for the playoffs.  Roethlisberger struggled mightly in Monday night's loss to the San Francisco 49ers which gave the team pause in deciding whether or not its smart to put him back out there.  Charlie Batch would start in his place.

Analysis:  Big Ben owners who are still in the playoffs have likely moved on from him already.  Batch has zero fantasy football value so look elsewhere for a stopgap. 

2012 FANTASY BASEBALL UPDATED STARTING PITCHER RANKINGS

IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY PURCHASED YOUR COPY OF THE 2012 FANTASY SPORTS BOSS FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDE, YOU CAN PURCHASE HERE:  https://www.createspace.com/3757918
OR YOU CAN PICK UP YOUR E-BOOK VERSION HERE: 


Starting pitchers are up as we continue to take a first in-depth look at the 2012 fantasy baseball rankings.  There is tremendous depth this season so I continue to advise you to avoid taking a starter in the first few rounds of your draft and instead go with picking those increasingly rare big time hitters.

1.  Roy Halladay
2.  Clayton Kershaw
3.  Justin Verlander
4.  Cliff Lee
5.  Felix Hernandez
6.  Tim Lincecum
7.  Jered Weaver
8.  CC Sabbathia
9.  Cole Hamels
10. Jon Lester
11. Zack Greinke
12. David Price
13. Yovani Gallardo
14. Dan Haren
15. Matt Cain
16. James Shields
17. Tommy Hanson
18. Mat Latos
19. Ian Kennedy
20. CJ Wilson
21. Stephen Strasburg
22. Michael Pineda
23. Josh Johnson
24. Jeremy Hellickson
25. Josh Beckett
26. Chris Carpenter
27. Roy OSwalt
28. Shaun Marcum
29. Ubaldo Jimenez
30. Daniel Hudson
31. Madison Bumgarner
32. Mat Moore
33. Brandon Beachy
34. Gio Gonzalez
35. Matt Garza

-It took a lot of restraint for me not to name Kershaw as the top SP coming into the season.  The kid finally cut into his walk total last season and that was the only remaining obstacle to pure dominance as he wont the NL Cy Young award.  Kershaw will be an annual 230 K/low-2.00 ERA pitcher and he has held up very well so far which is another positive.  Those starting a new keeper cycle should pick him first over Halladay.
-Speaking of Halladay, there is nothing to worry about here other than age.  He is getting a little long in the tooth but the ultra-consistent Halladay is safe for another season or two as a top guy.
-Cliff Lee hit the 200-K mark for the first time in his career with the Phillies last season and even though he is 34 years old, he too has another couple of big time seasons left in his arm. 
-Justin Verlander was the best pitcher in all of baseball last season which is not up for argument.  I have him third however due to the crazy amount of innings he has piled up over the last five years.  A breakdown is inevitable at point.  Its just a matter of when.  It is this worry that has him behind Halladay and Kershaw.
-Cole Hamels was the best pitcher in Philadelphia the first half of the season which made me look good for saying last spring that he could win the CY Young and not his teammates Halladay or Lee.  Injuries derailed him the second half however but Hamels has cut into his home run rate which was the only thing holding him back.  The injuries make his value once again lower than it should be in 2012 so be sure to take full advantage.
-Both Tommy Hanson and Josh Johnson are HUGE injury risks for this season as both guys are dealing with bum shoulders.  Neither guy had surgery which means there is a high probability that a re-occurrence of problems could develop which makes their high draft slots prohibitive. 
-Jered Weaver saw his K rate drop last season but he combined that with a drop in ERA.  He has proved extremely durable and once again is a staff ace pitching in the always weak AL West.  He is legit folks.
-His teammates Dan Haren and CJ Wilson are also very attractive pieces as they too get the benefit of pitching in the AL West.  Haren has lost some K's as he ages but he lowered his ERA by relying on his newfound cutter.  Wilson will see a much improved home pitching ballpark which will help his numbers as well.  Both guys are rock solid number 2 starters this season.
-One guy you all need to own this season is Matt Moore of the Rays.  The team already locked him up to a contract extension despite him not being eligible for free agency for awhile which shows you how highly they think of him.  His minor league numbers were on par with Tim Lincecum's so that's all you need to know about what he could bring to the table.

That's how I see them.  As always I welcome your comments.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 15 INFIRMARY REPORT

One more week to go in fantasy football and no doubt the majority of you who are reading this are already looking ahead of fantasy baseball.  For those that are still in the running in your league, here is how the injuries in Week 15 stack up.

1.  Chris Johnson (ankle, uncertain for Sunday):  Johnson was a non-factor in Week 15 as his injured ankle was likely the main reason why.  He didn't practice Tuesday and could be uncertain this week if he cant give it a go on Wednesday.  Javon Ringer would start in his place.

2.  Willis McGahee (hamstring):  McGahee dealt with a bad hamstring throughout Sunday's loss to the New England Patriots but he practice Tuesday and should be good to go for Sunday.

3.  Felix Jones (hamstring):  Jones sat out practice Tuesday with a bum hamstring which he tweaked last Sunday.  Team insiders are calling it a precautionary measure so far but the always fragile Jones needs to be watched.

4.  Ben Roethlisberger (ankle):  Big Ben was a Big Bust in Week 15 as he threw three picks in a clearly inhibited effort Monday night.  He will likely be out there again this week but he is a huge risk based on the fact he clearly is not playing comfortably. 

5.  Owen Daniels (knee, game-time decision Thu.):  Daniels will be a game-time decision on Thursday due to the knee injury suffered in Sunday's game.  He didn't practice Monday or Tuesday and so he is 50/50 at best.  Joel Dressen would start in his place.

6.  Jake Ballard (ankle):  Ballard came up hobbling in Sunday's abysmal outing against the Redskins Sunday.  He is iffy at best to play this week so start looking for replacements.

7.  AJ Green (shoulder, should play Week 16):  Green proclaimed on Tuesday that he will be out there on Sunday despite a shoulder injury that he suffered in last Sunday's game.  Wait to hear what the coaching staff says first but he is a good bet to be on the field this week.

That's all for now.  Check back for more injury updates as we go through the week.

FANTASY BASEBALL NEWS: D-BACKS SIGN FREE AGENT OUTFIELDER JASON KUBEL TO A TWO-YEAR DEAL FOR 16 MILLION

The Arizona Diamondbacks signed free agent outfielder Jason Kubel to a two-year contract for 16 million dollars. 

Analysis:  Kubel comes off a rough season with the Twins in 2011 as he was dealing with injuries.  He has mediocre fantasy baseball value since he cant hit a lick against lefties which limits his counting stats. 

FANTASY BASEBALL NEWS: RED SOX STEPPING UP PURSUIT OF CLOSER FRANCISCO CORDERO

Apparently still not satisfied with their ninth inning options, the Boston Red Sox have stepped up their efforts to land free agent closer Francisco Cordero.  The Red Sox traded for Houston Astros closer Mark Melancon last week but they continued to be engaged in talks with the Oakland A's for their stopper Andrew Bailey.

Analysis:  Cordero would be more of a sure thing in the ninth inning for Boston than would the inexperienced Melancon which would have disaster written all over it if they give him the gig.  Ryan Madson also remains on the market but nothing has materialized much on that matter lately. 

2012 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT BUST: JIMMY ROLLINS SS PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY PURCHASED YOUR COPY OF THE 2012 FANTASY SPORTS BOSS FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDE, YOU CAN PICK IT UP HERE:  https://www.createspace.com/3757918

OR YOU CAN PURCHASE THE E-BOOK VERSION HERE: 


With January right around the corner, the time is now to start preparing for the 2012 fantasy baseball campaign.  With that in mind, lets take a look at who I think is another prime bust candidate for the upcoming season and that's Philadelphia Phillies SS Jimmy Rollins.  Rollins of course just re-signed with the Phillies for three more years last week despite turning 34 years old in 2012.  So without further delay, lets see why I consider him one to avoid if at all possible this season.

Repeating what I just said in the above paragraph, Rollins turns 34 years old this season which is very dangerous territory indeed for a shortstop, in addition to someone who earns a great deal of value through the use of his legs in the stolen base.  Injuries are always more likely the older a player gets and this is especially true for infielders who have much more wear and tear on them from all the action they see every game.  Rollins has seen these effects already as he has spent two separate stints on the DL in each of the last two seasons.  Now that he is another year older, that risk is even more magnified.  In fact if you were to be realistic, you honestly cant expect Rollins to play any more than around 140 games this season if the trends hold true.

Now as far as age catching up with his stats, the art of stealing bases no doubt becomes tougher and tougher the older you get.  Rollins' days of stealing 40 bases are long gone and the 30 he swiped last season are the absolutely most you can expect for 2012 with less being much more likely.  Also the injury risk is magnified even more as guys who steal bases habitually tend to have more leg issues. 

As far as the rest of his stats are concerned, Rollins has become a major liability with the batting average as his last three season marks were .250, .243, and .268.  Rollins is making less contact than ever before and the holes in his swing will become even more magnified as he continues to age.  Hence whatever he supplies in steals is offset a bit by the hit in batting average.  The 16 home runs he hit last season were nice and its very possible Rollins can hit that mark again but don't even think of him sailing over the 20 mark which he did during his prime. 

All in all, I think Jimmy Rollins is a big time bust candidate for 2012 fantasy baseball.  The fact he plays the very shallow shortstop position will guarantee that a high draft pick is needed to pick him and that is going to be a big mistake based on his age.  I always advise staying away from guys who have hit the age of 32 when it comes to infielders and Rollins remains a big time risk as far as injuries and more slippage in his stats.  Look for more upside at the position if you can.

2012 PROJECTION:  .257 90 R 15 HR 62 RBI 26 SB

Monday, December 19, 2011

FANTASY BASEBALL NEWS: RANGERS MIGHT HAVE WON RIGHTS TO YU DARVISH

ESPN's Buster Olney is reporting that the Texas Rangers might have been the team that won the rights to Japanese SP ace Yu Darvish.  The official results will be announced tonight but its already known that the price is to negotiate with Darvish is higher than what it cost for the Red Sox to talk with Daisuke Matsuzaka. 

Analysis:  This makes perfect sense as the Rangers were mentioned as a strong possibility due to the loss of SP CJ Wilson.  The Blue Jays and Yankees were two other teams that were known to have made bids, with the Cubs and Nationals also being mentioned as possibilities.  Darvish was by far the best pitcher in Japan with a 1.44 ERA last season but we have seen too many guys come over and struggle so he is no given to be an ace this season. 

2012 FANTASY BASEBALL UPDATED THIRD BASEMAN RANKINGS

IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY PICKED UP YOUR COPY OF THE 2012 FANTASY SPORTS BOSS FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDE, YOU CAN PURCHASE IT THROUGH AMAZON HERE:  https://www.createspace.com/3757918

OR YOUR CAN PICK UP YOUR E-BOOK COPY HERE: 


We are up to the third base position as we continue along with the 2012 updated fantasy baseball rankings.  Last season saw third base as the most injury ravaged hitting position in the game as almost every top guys spent time on the DL, with a few being for extended periods out of action.  Lets see how the third baseman shake out. 

1.  Jose Bautista
2.  Evan Longoria
3.  David Wright
4.  Adrian Beltre
5.  Ryan Zimmerman
6.  Alex Rodriguez
7.  Aramis Ramirez
8.  Kevin Youkilis
9.  Brett Lawrie
10. Pablo Sandoval
11. Michael Young
12. Mark Reynolds
13. Jhonny Peralta
14. David Freese
15. Pedro Alvarez
16. Michael Cuddyer
17. Ryan Roberts
18. Lonni Chisenhall
19. Chipper Jones
20. Mike Moustakas

-There are some HUGE injury concerns with most of these top guys.  Specifically speaking, Wright, Zimmerman, and AROD in particular are big time risks.  Out of the three, Wright is the one I would feel most confident in for a number of reasons.  The Mets are lowering the walls in the power alleys next season which should boost Wright's home runs and RBI's.  Wright is also a guy who can steal bases which is a rare commodity at the position.  Give him another chance as he is still only going to be 30 years old this season and has a lot of good baseball left.
-Zimmerman is also very young but he doesn't steal bases and his injury history is much more pronounced than it is for Wright.  He is a tremendous hitter when out on the field but the injury risk is always significant with the guy.
-Rodriguez is a declining fantasy baseball stock and its actually pretty pronounced.  He is completely shot as a base stealer, his batting average is sinking, his home run rate is slipping as well, and he will be 37 years old.  Stay far away and don't buy into the name value.
-Aramis Ramirez was a guy I told you to buy last season as a big comeback hitter and he did just that with a season like he put up when he first became a star.  He is 33 years old which is getting a bit up there but he will be motivated to hit in the first season of his new contract with the Milwaukee Brewers.
-Evan Longoria had a weird season in 2011.  His power was top notch but he stole only one base and his average sunk.  Clearly we overrated Longoria going into last season but he is still tremendously skilled.  I can totally see him hitting .300 with 35 home runs this season and anything he does in steals will be a bonus.  Be a buyer.
-I absolutely LOVE Brett Lawrie.  In fact I would suggest you pass on all of the top guys and all their injury question marks and nab Lawrie later on as you fill in the rest of your positions.  His hitting approach is as advanced as any young hitter who has arrived lately and its very possible he will finish with top five numbers at the position.  Be very aggressive with plucking him in your draft this spring.

That's how I see it.  Let me know what you think.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: STEELERS QB BEN ROETHLISBERGER EXPECTED TO START MONDAY

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger is expected to start Monday night against the San Francisco 49ers despite a badly sprained ankle.  The loss by the Baltimore Ravens Sunday night opened the door slightly for the Steelers to possibly win the division title and Big Ben also responded well when he tried the ankle out during practice Saturday.

Analysis:  Roethlisberger is a very tough QB so I am not surprised he is going to be out there.  His fantasy football owners however most likely went in another direction since they couldnt risk him not playing and not having a backup option since the game is Monday night.  Hopefully those of you who are owners have gotten by this week. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

2012 FANTASY BASEBALL UPDATED SHORTSTOP RANKINGS

BE SURE TO PICK UP YOUR COPY OF THE 2012 FANTASY SPORTS BOSS FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDE:  POST-FREE AGENCY EDITION HERE:  https://www.createspace.com/3757918

We continue move right along with the first look at the 2012 fantasy baseball position rankings and today we check out the always rough shortstops.  Once again this position is very shallow and top heavy.  Lets see how things currently stand.

1.  Troy Tulowitzki
2.  Hanley Ramirez
3.  Jose Reyes
4.  Starlin Castro
5.  Jimmy Rollins
6.  Asdrubal Cabrera
7.  Elvis Andrus
8.  JJ Hardy
9.  Alexei Ramirez
10. Emilio Bonifacio
11. Erick Aybar
12. Derek Jeter
13. Dee Gordon
14. Yunel Escobar
15. Ian Desmond

-Troy Tulowitzki if officially the top dog at the shortstop position going into 2012 as Hanley Ramirez' awful 2011 season opened the door wide open for the Rockies superstar.  Yes Tulo had his annual DL stint last season but he also hit like a monster once again.  Look for first round numbers once again in 2012.
-Ramirez was a tremendous head scratcher for me last season as he was truly pathetic all the way around frrom his hitting all the way to his rotten attitude.  Now Jose Reyes is in town to take his SS position which is causing more unrest for Ramirez who reportedly wants a trade out of town and is refusing to move to third base.  If Ramirez comes to his senses and decides to stay, he will see a major boost in value due to the added eligiblity.  However he needs to get his hitting back on track as he has now gone three straight seasons with a drop in home runs when he should be having the best years of his career.  I am willing to sign off on him being a first rounder again this season but not in the top five. 
-The book on Reyes is easy.  When healthy, he will produce like a first round pick.  However Reyes hasnt been totally healthy in years and he will continue to deal with leg issues as he ages.  His days as a 50 steal guy are history and 40 is the what we should expect going forward which is still great.  However he also offers little in power and his batting crown last season is a major outlier alert when it comes to his average.  Proceed with ultra caution.
-Asdruabl Cabrera came back to earth some in the second half of 2011 after that ridiculous first half when he hit like the best shortstop in the game.  He will be very good again in 2012 but we could see a slight dip in overall production.
-The sky is the limit for Starlin Castro who took another step in his development last season by upping his stolen bases and by driving the ball more.  If you miss out on the top three superstars, this is the guy you want next.
-You would be smart not to automatically say that JJ Hardy's unreal 2011 season was a fluke.  The guy is still only 30 years old and he was finally healthy last season which allowed him to return to the power production he had early on with while with the Twins.  Yeah the average wont be great but 25 home runs from a shortstop is big time value.

Thats how I see it.  As always let me know what you think.

FANTASY BASEBALL PLAYER ANALZYER: MAT LATOS SP CINCINNATI REDS

IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY PURCHASED YOUR 2012 FANTASY SPORTS BOSS FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDE, YOU CAN PICK UP UP AT AMAZON HERE:  http://www.amazon.com/Fantasy-Sports-Baseball-Draft-Guide/dp/1468139444/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1325088569&sr=8-6

OR YOU CAN PICK UP YOUR E-BOOK COPY HERE: 
ALSO BE SURE TO CHECK OUT MY NEWEST BOOK "AN ADVANCED GUIDE TO WINNING YOUR FANTASY BASEBALL LEAGUE" WHICH CAN ALSO BE PICKED UP AT AMAZON HERE:  http://www.amazon.com/Fantasy-Baseball-Advanced-Winning-League/dp/1468034383/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1324211443&sr=8-2

On Saturday night the San Diego Padres completed a trade with the Cincinnati Reds sending young SP Mat Latos east for 1B prospect Yonder Alonso and SP Edinson Volquez, along with some minor leaguers.  There were some big time reverberations with regards to fantasy baseball 2012 and Latos is the principal name that needs to be discussed.  So lets take a crack at it and look at what Latos could have in store for his owners this season in his new environment.

Mat Latos first of all is the kind of young pitcher that most teams would build their rotations around.  Blessed with an explosive fastball that threatens triple digits, Latos has big time strikeout stuff which has already netted him 413 punchouts in 429.2 IP.  Whenever you almost average a strikeout an inning, its clear that you can bring the heat and that right there is Latos' most attractive aspect of his game.  In addition, Latos is very difficult to hit as well, with only 361 hits given up in those 429.2 IP.  Again very impressive numbers indeed which speaks to how dominant he has been at times already in his very young career. 

So based on the above, why on earth would the Padres even think of trading Latos, who will be only 25 years old this season?  No doubt one of their chief concerns with him is the proclivity of Latos to get injured as he already has had some extensive issues in that regards in his young career.  Latos missed a good chunk of the first half of the 2011 season with a bum shoulder and when he eventually came back, he lacked some punch on his fastball through his first 10 starts or so.  Eventually his stuff came around and he pitched well down the stretch but Latos stands a high risk for future health issues due to a delivery that is anything but smooth.  San Diego's upper management have been on record saying how concerned they are about his delivery and how they worry he will continue to get hurt because of it.  If this sounds familiar, its because another young pitching phenom by the name of Stephen Strasburg has the same problem.  As a fantasy baseball owner, you really don't want to populate you roster with guys who have these kind of red flags and Latos is certainly one of them.

Now as far as some other worries that I have with Latos, there is this huge matter of going from the best pitching ballpark in the game in San Diego to one of the best for hitters in Cincy.  Home runs tend to fly out of Cincinnati and Latos has given up 16 in each of the last two seasons and that is without throwing for 200 innings in either campaign.  No doubt Latos will see a s rise in home runs given up which will spike his ERA and WHIP as well.  Even beyond the home runs, Latos is destined for an increase in his ERA and WHIP on the ballpark switch alone.  How does Jake Peavy look ever since he left San Diego?  The guy was a second or third round fantasy baseball pick when he left there and this spring you could probably snatch him up in round 20.  Now I am not saying Latos will fall off that dramatically as he has a great deal of natural talent but you have to be aware of the reality of the situation and that is he is a dangerous player to own for this season for all of the reasons we discussed.

All in all, I will be avoiding Mat Latos in 2012 fantasy baseball unless the price is very cheap.  There are too many red flags associated with him and so I would look to deal with some more stable options.  Yes the past numbers are tantalizing but the big picture says that Latos will be a headache to own this season.

2012 PROJECTION:  14-10 3.72 ERA 1.20 WHIP 188 K

Saturday, December 17, 2011

FANTASY BASEBALL NEWS: PHILLIES RE-UP SS JIMMY ROLLINS FOR THREE YEARS AND $33 MILLION

The Philadelphia Phillies have re-signed SS Jimmy Rollins to a three-year contract for $33 million dollars. 

Analysis:  Good deal for both side in that the Phillies would have had a gaping hole at SS if Rollins skipped town.  He is an aging, injury-prone player but the contract is short enough that it wont be an albatross. 

FANTASY BASEBALL NEWS: PADRES TRADE SP MAT LATOS TO REDS FOR SP EDINSON VOLQUEZ AND 1B YONDER ALONSO

In a blockbuster trade, the San Diego Padres have traded SP Mat Latos to the Cincinnati Reds for super hitting prospect Yonder Alonso and SP Edinson Volquez.  Alonso can play both the outfield and first base and the two pitchers in the deal are both power arms who have had numerous injuries.

Analysis:  Wow nice deal.  Latos and Volquez have a world of natural talent but herky-jerky deliveries make them huge injury risks.  Latos has the higher upside and the better resume the last two seasons but going to the best pitcher's park in the game to one of the toughest is a big downgrade on that aspect.  Alonso has big time hitting ability but so far his power has been slow to develop.  I will discuss this more in the coming days so check back.

2012 FANTASY BASEBALL UPDATED SECOND BASEMAN RANKINGS

If you want the rest of the second base rankins along with the projections and captions that go with it, be sure to pick up the 2012 Fantasy Sports Boss Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide which is available here: https://www.createspace.com/3757918

Or you can pick up the E-Book version of the same draft guide which will be e-mailed to you promptly. It can be purchased here:



Second base is next on the docket as we go through the first 2012 fantasy baseball rankings by each position for the new season.  Lets see how this always volatile and shallow position shakes out at this point.

1.  Robinson Cano
2.  Dustin Pedroia
3.  Ian Kinsler
4.  Rickie Weeks
5.  Dan Uggla
6.  Brandon Phillips
7.  Chase Utley
8.  Michael Young
9.  Ben Zobrist
10. Howie Kendrick
11. Jason Kipnis
12. Martin Prado
13. Kelly Johnson
14. Danny Espinoza
15. Jermeil Weeks
16. Ryan Roberts
17. Aaron Hill
18. Dustin Ackley
19. Neil Walker
20. Placido Polanco

-After being quite possibly the most injury-ravaged position outside of starting pitching in 2010, the top fantasy baseball second baseman stayed mostly healthy and put up big time numbers.  Of course this group is top heavy as usual with the first three guys being head and shoulders above the rest.
-Robinson Cano is so good and consistent that he falls into the Miguel Cabrera category of being boring.  The lack of steals once again wont prevent him from being a late first round pick and he deserves that lofty perch. 
-FINALLY Ian Kinsler stayed healthy for an entire season and he responded with his second 30/30 campaign in four years.  Thats first round numbers for sure and it goes to show you how ridiculously talented the guy is when he is right physically.  The probelm is that he is setting us (I am a huge Kinsler fan and owned him last year) up for a big time letdown if he returns to his old injury-marred ways.  The high draft choice might be a big prohibitive but even I cant force myself to turn away from those tantalizing numbers.
-Dustin Pedroia is 1B to Kinsler's 1A as far as guys I absolutely love at this position.  I told you all to draft him last season despite the injury-filled 2010 campaign and he responded in a tremendous way.  His power is growing and he is as aggressive as ever as far as stealing bags.  Go heavy after him again.
-Sorry I am not buying Ryan Roberts' 2011 season.  From mid-May to the end of the season in 2011, Robers was back to his middling ways with an average under the .250 mark.  He very easily could slip back into that utility role again this season and he is too old to expect that he is finally taking off this late in his career.  Huge bust potential with him this season.
-Both Jason Kipnis and Jermeil Weeks are potential value plays for this season.  Whereas Kipnis is the better overall player who can hit for power and steal a base or two, Weeks is a pure speed guy who can threaten the 40 steal mark this season.  Both should be your main fallback options if you wait on this position in your draft.
-Rickie Weeks is not for the faint of heart.  Last season he was back to being his injury-prone self and wound up missing a huge chunk of the season again.  The talent is undeniable but I hate drafting guys knowing that you wont get a full year out of him.
-Dan Uggla hit a career-high 36 home runs as his average sunk like I thought it would.  Its up to you as far as how much of an average hit you will stomach.  You have to keep in mind that as awesome as the power is from Uggla, it is offset somewhat by the awful average he will put up with it.

Thats how I see it.  Let me know what you think.  If you want the rest of the second base rankins along with the projections and captions that go with it, be sure to pick up the 2012 Fantasy Sports Boss Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide which is available on Amazon here:  http://www.amazon.com/Fantasy-Sports-Baseball-Draft-Guide/dp/146791746X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1324040253&sr=8-1

Or you can pick up the E-Book version of the same draft guide which will be e-mailed to you promptly.  It can be purchased here: 

Friday, December 16, 2011

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 15 START/SIT

New York Giants VS. Washington Redskins:

START:
Eli Manning:  As hot as any QB in the game this season.
Hakeem Nicks:  What a game last week as NIcks is back to being the clear number 1 guy.
Victor Cruz:  Yes he is back to being the third wideout but that hasnt stopped him from putting up WR 1 numbers the last month-plus.
Mario Manningham:  All receivers on deck.
Roy Helu:  A throwback workhorse back. 
Santana Moss:  Giants are 30th in the league in pass.
Jabay Gaffney:  Hauled in six passed last week against a similarly awful pass defense.

SIT:
Both Defenses:  Both units are pathetic.
Rex Grossman:  Yeah right.
Jake Ballard:  Solid but you can do better.

Seattle Seahawks VS. Chicago Bears:

START:
Seahawks Defense:  Any defense going against Caleb Hanie is startable.
Marshawn Lynch:  Check out his rushing totals the last month and a half.

SIT:
Marion Barber:  Awful fumble last week overshadowed a decent game.
Doug Baldwin:  Too much at stake this week to rely on him.
Tavaris Jackson:  Ditto.
Bears Defense:  Tough to rely on them when their offense will leave them on the field all game.

New Orleans Saints VS. Minnesota Vikings:

START:
Drew Brees:  On his way to the passing record.
Marques Colston:  The guy is perennially banged up but also perennially productive.
Adrian Peterson:  Will return this week and gets a great matchup.
Percy Harvin:  What a value he has been.
Jimmy Graham:  All systems a go for this week which means his usual awesome outing.

SIT:
Both Defenses:  Move on.
Lance Moore:  Only on the field for about half the snaps. 

Cincinnati Bengals VS. St. Louis Rams:

START:
Cedric Benson:  We all know he doesnt catch passes but he should run for big yardage.
Andy Dalton:  Would be shocked if he doesnt throw two TD's.
AJ Green:  Could catch both of those TD's.
Jermaine Gresham:  Quietly one of the better pass catching tight ends this season.
Bengals Defense:  Rams are lucky if they put up 10 points any week.

SIT:
All Rams Skill Position Players:  Bengals defense will be amped up after last week's loss.
Jerome Simpson: Way too up and down for me. 

Miami Dolphins VS. Buffalo Bills:

START:
Ryan Fitzpatrick:  Weather will be nice and Dolphins cant stop anyone.
Steve Johnson:  The hand is not a big deal.
Brandon Marshall:  Matt Moore will be out there which is great for his value.
Matt Moore:  Like with Miami, the Bills defense is a joke.
CJ Spiller:  Showing some nice signs the last few weeks.
Reggie Bush:  Continues to put up very good numbers.

SIT:
Both Defenses:  See above.

Tennessee Titans VS. Indianapolis Colts:

Matt Hasselbeck:  Hasselbeck will start which means he should be put out there due to the attractive matchup.
Chris Johnson:  Looking more and more like his old self.
Nate Washington:  Looks to be back as the number 1 wideout in this offense.
Titans Defense:  Colts cant score on anyone no matter who starts at QB.

SIT:
All Colts Position Players:  What a joke this bunch is without Peyton Manning.

Green Bay Packers VS. Kansas City Chiefs:

START:
Aaron Rodgers:  Nothing needs to be said.
Jordy Nelson:  Cant wait to see what he does as the number one guy.
James Jones:  Gets a nice boost with Greg Jennings out.
Jermichael Finley:  Will be featured in the passing game as per Mike McCarthy this week.
Dwayne Bowe:  He can be started now that Kyle Orton is starting. 

SIT:
Both Defenses:  Cant trust either group.
Jackie Battle:  Yeah it was obvious that he would go back to being nothing after that initial burst.
Kyle Orton:  We are not in Denver anymore.

Carolina Panthers VS. Houston Texans:

START:
Cam Newton:  Easily the fantasy football rookie of the year.
Owen Daniels:  Nice to see he came back strong from all those injuries.
Steve Smith:  Has slowed down a bit but still a fantastic season.
Greg Olson:  Should get his chances underneath.
Arian Foster:  That hamstring injury seems like ancient history.

SIT:
Both Defenses:  Texans are solid but the Panthers offense has been in sync.
Andre Johnson:  Looking like he will be out again.
Kevin Walter:  Texans will run as much as they can in this game.

Detroit Lions VS. Oakland Raiders:

START:
Kevin Smith:  Is back this week and gets a nice matchup.
Michael Bush:  Continues to add dollars to his future back account each week.
Matthew Stafford:  I see a shootout. 
Carson Palmer:  See above.
Calvin Johnson:  Remember when we though he would catch more than 20 touchdowns?
Nate Burleson:  Has been very solid the last month or so.

SIT:
Both Defenses:  Will be lots of points scored in this game.

Cleveland Browns VS. Arizona Cardinals:

****SIT EVERYONE EXCEPT LARRY FITZGERALD AND BEANIE WELLS.*******

New York Jets VS. Philadelphia Eagles:

START;
Michael Vick:  Looked to be back in form last week.
LeSean McCoy:  The MVP fantasy football season is very possible for this guy.
Brent Celek:  Jets have trouble with opposing tight ends.
Dustin Keller: Ditto for the Eagles.
Shonn Greene:  I have been a harsh critic but I cant argue with the results lately. 

SIT:
Mark Sanchez:  This game looks like trouble to me.
Santonio Holmes:  Will be dealing with Namdi Asomougha.
DeSean Jackson:  He has a date with Revis Island.
Both Defenses:  Dont like either group.

New England Patriots VS. Denver Broncos:

START:
Tom Brady:  Almost a lock for two scores each week.
Tim Tebow:  What a story.
Willis McGahee:  If he can just avoid the fumbling issue.
Aaron Hernandez:  Pats rely on tight end more than anyone.
Rob Gronkowski:  Is catching touchdowns like Randy Moss in his prime.
Wes Welker:  Back to his old self after some quiet first halfs the last few weeks.

SIT:
Both Defenses:  Broncos playing well on defense but the Pats offense is too much.
BJGE:  His prodcution is too up and down to rely on.
Deion Branch:  He should be doing more in this offense.

Baltimore Ravens VS. San Diego Chargers:

START:
Joe Flacco:  Has rebounded from some horrible play the first 2/3 of the season. 
Philip Rivers:  Rivers is unbeatable in December.
Vincent Jackson:  Ravens defense is rough but Jackson will be the prime target of Rivers along with Antonio Gates.
Antonio Gates:  See above.
Ray Rice:  He is fighting it out with LeSean McCoy for the title of fantasy football MVP.
Anquan Boldin:  Stands a great chance of scoring at least one TD in this one.

SIT:
Both Defenses:  Chargers offense is a big challenge for Ravens defense.
Malcolm Floyd:  Up and down way too much and this is the playoffs we are talking about.

Pittsburgh Steelers VS. San Francico 49ers:

START:
Both Defenses:  This will be one of the lowest scoring games of the season.
Vernon Davis:  The tight ends will be featured in this one.
Heath Miller:  Look above.

SIT:
Alex Smith:  Steelers defense will eat him up.
Ben Roethlisberger:  He will be a game-time decision and they play on Monday.
Rashard Mendenhall:  The 49ers dont let anyone run on them.
Frank Gore:  Will have his work limited.
Michael Crabtree:  I dont see anything doing in the passing game.
Mike Wallace:  The Steelers will have trouble throwing the ball so dont look at their receiver desoite Wallace being awesome all season.