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Friday, August 31, 2012

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: TITANS WR KENNY BRITT GETS ONE-GAME SUSPENSION FORM LEAGUE

Tennessee Titans WR Kenny Britt got suspended for only one game to start the 2012 NFL season, which he will serve in Week 1.  Britt has been in repeated trouble off the field since being drafted and is also making his way back from a blown out knee last season.  He is off the PUP list and could start as soon as Week 2 if all goes well with his preparation going forward.

Analysis:  Great news if you are a Britt owner as some were saying he could be gone for up to a month.  We are not high on Britt for this season as the Titans are going with the inexperienced Jake Locker at QB and he is really not a greta option in PPR formats due to his lack of large reception totals.



FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: VIKINGS RB ADRIAN PETERSON (KNEE) A GAME-TIME DECISION FOR WEEK 1

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is going to be a game-time decision for Week 1 according to team officials as he continues to rehab from the torn ACL and MCL he suffered last season.  Peterson has already been removed from the PUP list and is listed as 50/50 to play next Sunday.  Toby Gerhart would start in his place.

Analysis:  Peterson wants to be out there for the opener but even if he does play, he is likely to split work evenly with Gerhart.  That could be the trend the first month of the season as Peterson looks to slowly get himself into game shape.  He dropped toward the fourth or fifth round in drafts this summer which could be a bargain but Peterson's torn up knee was so severe that we are not as optimistic.

FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: YADIER MOLINA CATCHER ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

Yadier Molina has been a name that I have hated to talk about over the last few years due to his clutch home run against Aaron Heilman in the 2006 NLCS against the Mets. (Obviously I'm a Met fan.) However, I have to give it to the guy, he is one of the best catchers in the game. He's been with the Cardinals for eight years, but it feels like its been a lot longer than that. In my next edition of my fantasy baseball status report, I'll take a look at Molina's career so far and how his future may look.

Molina was drafted in the 4th round of the 2000 draft by the Cardinals. He hit pretty well in the minor leagues, and played his position like a pro. He earned a brief call-up to the big leagues in 2004, and hit .267 in 151 plate appearances. Apparently that performance convinced St. Louis' front office to make Molina their starting catcher. In 2005 he played in 114 games, and hit .252 with 6 homers and 49 RBI. In my opinion, that isn't very good, but yet again, Molina didn't have too much upside right away, so I guess the Cardinals didn't expect him to come right out of the gate and start raking. In 2006, he had a very poor year. He hit .216 with 6 homers and 49 RBI. Right there, I'll be honest, I probably would have gave up on Molina after that dreadful season, despite his clutch hitting in the NLCS. Now, I realize that most Cardinal fans would get angry at me for saying that, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Anyway, next season he started to develop into a solid, reliable backstop, hitting .275 with 7 homers and 56 RBI. From 2009-2011, he gradually became a better ballplayer with every passing season. His batting average rose substantially, and he started to get more RBI's.

Now, entering 2012, Molina was a safe player to pick in the draft. However, I'm sure that very few people expected that he would be having the season like he is having right now. He is currently hitting .325 with 17 homers, 62 RBI, and even 11 stolen base, especially at his age which is when catchers usually see their stats tumble. His on-base percentage is also .375 , which is very impressive. However, recently, Molina was in a home plate collison and may be seriously injured. Monitor his status and if he is out for the rest of the season, simply just drop him. Molina will definitely be a safe pick again next year, but don't expect him to continue this strong performance.  While I have good hitter, father time will come calling soon enough and his draft price will be higher than it should in 2013 off this nice season.  That my friends is negative draft value and is the main reason you should look elsewhere.  

Written by Dan Zito

FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: THURSDAY

Coco Crisp:  2/5 with his 9th HR while hitting .258.  Crisp is like the hitting version of Hiroki Kuroda in that he always seems to be sitting there on the waiver wire the second half of the season to be used as a boost to the categories you are weak in down the stretch.  While aging, Crisp continues to be one of the elite base stealers in the game and also has some pop which many speedsters don't possess.

Josh Reddick:  3/5 with his 27th HR while hitting .260.  I actually saw Reddick get released in some leagues which I can't understand.  But than I think about it and I understand that any hitter in Oakland is held to a much tighter standard than someone in let's say Boston or New York. 

Jason Kipnis:  2/4 with his 13th HR while hitting .255.  Kipnis looked like the next Ian Kinsler the first half of the season and that crapped out big time after the break.  He has hit better the last two weeks but the average has sunk and his power is vanishing.  I still like him a lot however as he supplies nice category juice and at second base that is extra valuable.

Adam Jones:  1/4 with his 26th HR while hitting .285.  Jones should get to 30 home runs which elevates a player to another level in fantasy baseball but like I said in April and May when he was scorching hot, Jones' way too high fly ball rate was going to correct itself which it has.

Josh Willingham:  1/4 with his 33rd HR while hitting .262.  I guarantee you that Willingham won't get drafted before the 10th round in all fantasy baseball drafts next winter.  And it might be even later. 

Ryan Braun:  3/4 with his 36th HR and 21st SB while hitting .311.  Sorry but steroids aside, Ryan Braun is still the number 1 player in all of fantasy baseball for next winter's drafts.  Now after saying this Mike Trout is going to hit a home run in every game in the month of September.  You wouldn't doubt him right?

Bryce Harper:  2/5 with his 15th HR while hitting .252.  Talk about a nice second wind.  I am very curious to see how high Harper gets drafted next season.  How does the fifth round sound?

Edwin Jackson:  8 IP 4 H 0 ER 2 BB 10 K with an ERA of 3.53.  This is the Jackson we all thought he would be way back when he first came up with the Dodgers.  Talk about being better late than never.

Matt Moore:  6 IP 6 H 2 ER 3 BB 7 K with an ERA of 3.58.  Matt Moore's second half numbers:  2.08 ERA and 1.12 WHIP to go with 56 K's in 56.1 IP.  What fantasy baseball players will remember about Moore's 2011?  His terrible first half.  What you will remember and do for next season?  His second half and you will draft him with a discount attached.

Alex Gordon:  2/4 with his 10th HR while hitting .298.  The category juice has not been there for Gordon this season but he continues to make inroads with his K rate as he hits around .300.  Not the encore we expected but not a total bust either.

Ian Kennedy:  6.1 IP 2 H 0 ER 2 BB 7 K with an ERA of 4.27.  Speaking of disappointing encores, I bring you Mr. Kennedy.  His WHIP and ERA are shaky but I blame that on all the innings he tossed last season.  As a Verducci Rules violator, at least he didn't get hurt.  This stat is one of the most important to follow for next season so be sure to identify those pitchers who fall under this premise.


2012 FANTASY FOOTBALL SLEEPER: DAVID WILSON RB NEW YORK GIANTS

It was the second biggest mistake I made in the 2012 Fantasy Sports Boss Experts League PPR Draft.  The first was picking Matt Ryan over Doug Martin when I could have had Ryan or Tony Romo the next round but the second one stands out just as much.  A few rounds later I had the chance to draft New York Giants rookie speedball running back David Wilson but instead gambled he would be there the next round as I drafted Miles Austin.  The very next pick Wilson went and I cursed to myself for the second time in the draft.  Why am I so high on a guy who is not even the starter on his own team?  Allow me to explain.

In case you aren't familiar with Wilson enough, he was the first round draft pick (32nd overall) of the Giants in this past April's draft out of Virginia Tech, where he set all sorts of rushing marks for the Hokies.  One of the fastest backs in all of college football (timed in the 4.3 range), Wilson was one big play waiting to happen who could score from anywhere on the field when he got his hands on the football.  Quick comparisons to Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson were being tossed around as Wilson was also a very good receiver out of the backfield to go along with his extreme speed.  With the Giants ranking last in the league in rushing in 2011, it was a perfect match.

Fast forward to 2012 training camp and Wilson has been everything and more as far as expectations were concerned.  While the coaching staff has said that Ahmad Bradshaw is the clear starter, head coach Tom Coughlin indicated that Wilson will get his touches each week.  After not getting any work with the first team offensive unit in the first two preseason, Coughlin gave Wilson the start in the all-important third game which no doubt raised some more eyebrows around the league based on hsi great play.  Wilson would carry the ball only five times but for a great total of 49 yards, with a long of 20.  He also caught two passes for 26 more yards as Wilson showed off his entire game.  There is little doubt in my mind that Wilson could be an extremely valuable fantasy football commodity in 2012, even though he is still backup up Bradshaw.  And as far as Bradshaw is concerned, we are talking about a guy who is chronically injured and who misses games every season.  When that likely happens again in 2012, Wilson will be there to step in and put up very nice numbers.  Even if Bradshaw remains healthy, we have seen many instances where two runners are starter-worthy, with the best being in Kansas City when Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles were both every week guys.  We also see the same setup happening again in 2012, with Peyton Hillis joining with Charles to make both guys ownable.  The same is true of Wilson who is as big a sleeper there is in the game.  Go get him if you haven't drafted yet.  This will be fun to watch.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

FANTASY SPORTS BOSS FANTASY FOOTBALL PPR DRAFT ROUND 6-10

After five rounds of the 2012 Fantasy Sports Boss Fantasy Football PPR draft, yours truly has picked two very good running backs in LeSean McCoy and DeMarco Murray, two great receivers in Roddy White and Andre Johnson, and a big time bustout tight end in Aaron Hernandez.  So without further delay, here is how rounds 6-10 went. 

ROUND 6

51. Marques Coltson (WR):  Coltson is the definition of a solid but boring pick.  He will catch around 75-80 balls for around 1,000 yards and 6 touchdowns with a few games missed due to injury.  In the sixth round that is just fine.

52. Ryan Matthews (RB):  So it takes to the sixth round for the injured Matthews to come off the board and this is a fantastic pick at that point.  Yes he will likely miss the first two weeks of the season, with the threat of more injuries later on, but Matthews is a first round talent who can run and catch the ball with the best of them when healthy.  I was seriously giving some thought to picking him in the sixth round but now the top runner in my view is Doug Martin.  Still a need QB though but both Tony Romo and Matt Ryan, along with Philip Rivers are all solid values this late.

53. Jermichael Finley (TE):  This owner picked Vernon Davis the last round which makes this choice puzzling.  I actually don't like Finley for the purpose of fantasy football as he was a giant disappointment last season and is at the very best the third option in the Packer passing game.

54. Antonio Brown (WR):  Brown in my mind is the much better value than Mike Wallace and he is likely to outproduce him as evidenced by the nice rapport he had with Big Ben at the end of last season.  Solid choice with upside.

55. Stevie Johnson (WR):  No doubt talented, the problem with Johnson is that the Bills offense goes into hibernation in December when the snow and the wind pick up in Buffalo.  That makes Johnson a tough one to rely on for the playoff weeks.  Still early on he will be very good.

56. THE FANTASY SPORTS BOSS PICK-Matt Ryan (QB):  When I made this pick I heard a comment that Ryan was overrated.  While I agree with that assessment to a certain extent, there is doubt that Ryan was tremendous in 2011 with 29 touchdowns and well over 4,000 yards passing.  Now new offensive coordinator Dirk Kotter comes in promising to throw the ball all over the place.  With Roddy White, Julio Jones, Harry Douglas, and Tony Gonzalez as probably the best arsenal of weapons in the league, Ryan could be in the running for top fantasy football numbers at any position if all breaks right.  That's why I went with him over Romo who I also like a lot.

57. Doug Martin (RB):  SON OF A.........!  That was my initial reaction to hearing this news as it quickly became apparent there that I made a colossal blunder in going with Ryan instead of Martin.  If Ryan were to be picked before it came back to me, I would have went with Romo and been fine.  Instead I lose out on Martin and the extreme ability he has to be a major sleeper in the mold of a Ray Rice.  Terrible job on my part.  Now I have to regroup and look for a third runner who will be my first guy off the bench when injuries hit.  I also need a third wideout, with Eric Decker now being important to get to since the sleepers are now going off the board.

58. Percy Harvin (WR):  Harvin is a very good player who is a borderline PPR weapon as the clear number 1 weapon in Minnesota.  As long as Christian Ponder continues to develop and as long as he keeps his migraines under control, this could be a solid pick.

59. Tony Gonzalez (TE):  I have learned never to doubt that this man can continue being a top producer no matter how old he is.  Just stick him in there and worry about anyone else but him.

60. Demaryuis Thomas (WR):  I really like this pick as Thomas can become a big time receiver with Peyton Manning throwing him the football.  Thomas is very strong and athletic which translates well to him being a major sleeper.  While I like Eric Decker more as the guy who will lead the Broncos in receptions, Thomas is likely to take the crown in yardage and touchdowns.

ROUND 7

61. Vincent Jackson (WR):  I have never been a fan of Jackson as he is a big time overrated player.  He is much too hot and cold to depend on and now takes a step down in QB from Philip Rivers to Josh Freeman in a run-heavy offense.  Miles Austin would have been a better pick.

62. Pierre Garcon (WR):  Not a good start to this round at all.  Garcon should not be drafted anywhere near this high as he doesn't catch enough balls to be a PPR weapon and he now has a rookie QB in RG III. 

63. San Francisco 49ers (DEF):  The first defense goes off the board in Round 7 and while the 49ers are the best unit, this is WAY to early.  I always go with the streaming strategy and wait to the end of the draft and I suggest you all do the same.  With Eric Decker still on the board, he will be the next pick if he doesn't go with the next pick.  If he gets picked up, than Miles Austin and his shaky hamstrings it is.

64. Robert Griffin III (QB):RG III would likely get picked at the end of the draft.  While he has massive potential, I stick to my strategy of never using a rookie passer in single-QB leagues.

65. THE FANTASY SPORTS BOSS PICK-Eric Decker (WR):  I love this pick.  I am pumped to add Decker who caught 8 touchdowns with Tim Tebow throwing him the ball last season.  He has been tremendous this preseason with Manning and that will carry over into the season.  I would not doubt anyone who says he can't catch 90 passes.  Really.  With my receivers now taken care of, I need to get a third running back pronto, with Willis McGahee the boring vet and David Wilson of the Giants as the exciting sleeper catching my attention.  I also am zoning in on Brandon Lloyd at WR.

66. Reggie Wayne (WR):  I like Wayne but maybe a round or two later.  He is the clear number 1 guy in the Colt offense with rookie QB Andrew Luck slinging it but at 35 years old, he is past his prime.  Could do enough to remain a PPR weapon for one more season however. 

67. Brandon Pettigrew (TE):  Good pick.  I have always liked Pettigrew and in my mind he is the most underrated tight end in the game.  He has the most targets of any tight end in the game when you account for the last two seasons.  He has to score more though.

68. Michal Crabtree (WR):  I don't understand why the avoidance of Austin.  Yes he gets hurt a lot but so do a lot of the guys who have been drafted already.  Crabtree is another guy who has failed to realize his potential and even someone like Justin Blackmon would have been a better pick.

69. Brandon Lloyd (WR):  Darn.  I was going to pick Lloyd over Austin if it came back to me but that option is out the window.  I really like what Lloyd could do in the Patriots offense as he is still young and is just two seasons removed from leading the league in receiving yardage.  Also the guy calling the plays when he accomplished that was Josh McDaniels who is also now his offensive coordinator in New England.  Best pick of the round.

70. Donald Brown (RB):  I started to look at Brown in this round as he could be the workhorse back for the Colts and he can catch some passes.  The picking are getting very slim at running back now and I still don't have a good backup.  Roy Helu, Willis McGahee, and Rashard Jennings are about as good as you can get, with maybe Kevin Smith as well.  Not so good.

ROUND 8

71. Torrey Smith (WR):  Smith has big play potential for sure but he reminds a bit of DeSean Jackson as a guy who can be all or nothing in any given week.  That is not my cup of tea when looking for a receiver, potential or not.

72. Jay Cutler (QB):  Backup QB's are going to start coming off the board soon and Cutler is the first one to be picked under that guise.  While I like Cutler's arm, he is too turnover-prone and plays in some rotten December weather for my liking.  Also Cutler over Philip Rivers, Michael Vick, and Big Ben was not wise.

73. Ben Roethlisberger (QB):  Speaking of the devil, Big Ben is a very solid fantasy football QB but he too is a bit hit or miss as times.  Still this is a nice backup to own but I would have picked Rivers instead.  I am now looking at Rivers for my backup, along with Miles Austin for my fourth receiver, and David Wilson for my third running back.

74. Shonn Greene (RB):  Greene is the featured back for the Jets but that is about all I can say that is positive.  He has never been anything more than a bye week fill-in and his lack of receptions limits his eroding upside.  Willis McGahee would have been the better pick or even Wilson.

75. Roy Helu (RB):  I shied away form Helu in this draft after being high on him all offseason due to the fact he had two injured hamstrings and was looking to be behind Evan Royster and Adrian Morris on the depth chart.  He can catch the football though and was the team's best runner last season so he still has some intrigue.  Not a bad gamble. 

76. THE FANTASY SPORTS BOSS PICK-Miles Austin WR:  I couldn't pass up the value of getting a guy who has been a number 1 receiver in the 8th round.  Yes he always is hurt but this is my fourth receiver which is very good insurance.  Maybe I should have taken Wilson though.

77. David Wilson (RB):  Figures.  Again I screwed up.  I should have went for a more pressing need and I blew it.  Now I got to really dig deep for a third running back and that is looking like my biggest weakness at this point.  I also still need a backup QB as your team could sink if anything happens to your given starter. Rivers would look nice in that spot for me.

78. Coby Fleener (TE):  Sleeper pick here and at the end of the eighth round I can understand.  A tad early for Fleener given the fact that Jermaine Gresham is a much better option still on the board but his rapport with Andrew Luck at Stanford is no doubt interesting.

79. Owen Daniels (TE):  Daniels too would have been a better pick than Fleener as he has put up some nice numbers when healthy. 

80. Willis McGahee (RB):  Solid value here as McGahee is one of the few workhorse backs in the league.  However with Peyton Manning under center, this is firmly a passing offense.
ROUND 9

81. Philadelphis (DEF):  The Eagles defense looks formidable this season with key draft picks and free agents shoring up the run game.  Great pick.

82. Chicago (DEF):  The Bears are up and down with their defense and so you never know what kind of performance they will yield.  Baltimore was the better selection.

83. Baltimore (DEF):  Run on defense begins as teams have pretty much filled their skill spots.  This owner has both Baltimore and San Francisco which is strange.  Never draft two defenses no matter how good.  Waste of a roster spot.  Same goes for kicker.

84. Buffalo (DEF):  It is always too early to draft a defense if it is before round 10 at the very least.  I do like the Giants though so I would take a shot if they happen to be sitting there the next time around.  I need to fill my depth though.

85. THE FANTASY SPORTS BOSS PICK-Philip Rivers (QB):  In a ten-team league, one big name QB will drop and that was the case here.  I am loving having Rivers as my backup as I have no issue using him as a starter if Matt Ryan has a tough opponent.  Great value.

86. Brent Celek (TE):  This owner waited to draft a tight end and ended up with a shaky option in Celek.  However Jermaine Gresham and Fred Davis were both sitting there as much better choices.

87. Michael Vick (QB):  Good value here for Vick as well despite the fact I rip on the guy constantly.  I only do that is an owner wants to pick him as their starter.  He is talented for sure but he can't ever stay on the field which is a major no-no when it comes to the most important position in fantasy football.

88. New York Giants (DEF):  There goes that.  I liked the Giants defense a lot as they could lead the league in sacks easily.  The secondary is shaky but opposing QB's won't be able to throw long anyway. 

89. Pittsburgh (DEF):  Annually one of the best defenses in the game, the Steelers will rack up the sacks once again.

90. Joe Flacco (QB):  Another backup goes off the board and round 9 was either this position or defense.  Keep that in mind for your draft.

ROUND 10

91. Green Bay (DEF):  They have some big names but the Packers defense was awful last season.  With the picking getting slim here I guess this was an upside choice.

92. Beanie Wells (RB):  Nice pick here as Wells should have been gone by now despite being strictly a runner.  He doesn't catch the football and is always hurt but Wells is a tough runner who can pile up the yards and touchdowns.

93. LeGarrette Blount (RB):  Blount is being shafted by Doug Martin and for good reason.  He can't catch the ball and was not a tough runner either.  Should have been undrafted.

94. Houston (DEF):  Another defense leaves the board and I am still without one.  I could care less about it. 

95. Detroit (DEF):  On and on it goes.  I was actually looking to snag Detroit late as they can rack up sacks.  Oh well. 

96. THE FANTASY SPORTS BOSS PICK-Justin Blackmon (WR):  I loved what I saw out of this kid in the preseason and the only negative is that he has a terrible passer throwing him the rock.  Blackmon can do it all and his talent is immense.  In the tenth round this could be a huge pick.

97. Buffalo (DEF):  I don't understand this pick as Buffalo's defense is not that great. 

98. Mason Crosby (K):  The first kicker is now off the board which should start another run.  Crosby will pile up the points in the great Packer offense.

99. Andy Dalton (QB):  Dalton was pretty good as a rookie and has some upside. 

100. Kevin Smith (RB):  Nice job here as Smith is the main ballcarrier for Detroit and is a good pass catcher. 

There you have it.  Through ten rounds my roster looks like this:

QB-Matt Ryan
WR-Roddy White
WR-Andre Johnson
WR-Eric Decker
RB-LeSean McCoy
RB-DeMarco Murray
TE-Aaron Hernandez
K-
DEF-

BENCH
QB-Philip Rivers
WR-Miles Austin
WR-Justin Blackmom

I am very happy with my draft, other than flubbing the Doug Martin and David Wilson picks.  I still need a third running back with not much left on the board.  Defense and kicker will wait.



FANTASY BASEBALL NEWS: YANKS 3B ALEX RODRIGUEZ (HAND) TO START REHAB ASSIGNMENT FRIDAY

New York Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez is slated to being a rehab assignment on Friday as he looks to make a return to the team after missing over a month with a broken bone in his hand.  Rodriguez has had another frustrating year with injuries but is sorely missed by the Yankees, whose lineup has been depleted. 

Analysis:  AROD is a captivating figure even at the age of 36 and with injuries taking a chunk out of his greatness.  With third base getting deeper with the emergence of some young hitters like Will Middlebrooks and Mike Moustakas, Rodriguez is now toward the bottom of the top ten fantasy baseball at the position overall going forward.



FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: WEDNESDAY

Hanley Ramirez:  1/5 with his 22nd HR while hitting .256.  As I expected, Ramirez has been a much better hitter now that he has gotten out of Miami.  The average still mysteriously is poor for the second year in a row so there is now some validity to it but overall I would not hesitate to get back into bed with him next season.  Just use protection.

Brandon Phillips:  1/4 with his 15th HR while hitting .297.  Kudos to Phillips who has successfully rebranded himself in the middle portion of his career.  Whereas he used to have a shaky average with 20/20 ability, Phillips has now upped the average while losing the steals.  Despite that being a statistical wash, Phillips is actually receiving quite a bit less love this season which shows you how much fantasy baseball owners love the steal.

Mat Latos:  7 IP 5 H 2 ER 3 BB 7 K with an ERA of 3.84.  It is becoming clear now that Latos is a major second half pitcher.  As someone who has been a big time critic of his, I will admit he has been better than I expected this season. 

Lucas Duda:  2/4 with his 13th HR and 1st SB while hitting .245.  Have to mention Duda who may never get another Hit and Run for as long as he plays.  As far as his 2012 is concerned, Duda has not exactly taken that next step that many predicted.  And when you play your home games at Citi Field, you don't get many second chances.

Matt Harvey:  6.1 IP 6 H 2 ER 2 BB 6 K with an ERA of 2.75.  Other than one start, Harvey has kept the walks down which has brought on the success.  He seems like the classic example of a talented pitcher who gets bored when in the minors after awhile and than turns it on and lets all the talent explode when focused at the big league level.  More on him later in the week.

Evan Longoria:  2/5 with 2 home runs (9 for season) while hitting .293.  If you were to ask me where Longoria SHOULD be drafted next season, I would say at the end of round 2.  No more of this first round nonsense.  Longoria has to shake the injury bug before he gets back to that level.

B.J. Upton:  2/5 with his 16th HR while hitting .247.  Hard to believe that this has been the best Upton in fantasy baseball this season.  Yup tough times for Justin Upton owners.

Josh Hamilton:  2/3 with his 36th HR while hitting .292.  Hamilton is always a puzzle for me when figuing out where he should be drafted.  He has alternated awesome and poor seasons the last three years so be very careful next winter.  The fact he has remained healthy in 2012 makes me very nervous that he will have to pay the piper on that next season.

Matt Harrison:  7 ER in 5.1 IP with an ERA of 3.04.  I am already busy writing the Matt Harrison 2013 Bust column. 

Pedro Alvarez:  2/4 with his 26th HR while hitting .249.  Alvarez is not my cup of tea due to the awful average but if he can get that number up to around .260, than my interest is piqued.

Bryce Harper:  2/5 with 2 home runs (14 for season) while hitting .250.  Harper will actually get downgraded a bit next season due to the extreme success of Mike Trout.  I will be buying.

Hunter Pence:  1/3 with his 19th HR while hitting .260.  It is like he is back in Houston again as no one is paying attention to Pence. 

Mike Fiers:  7.1 IP 4 H 1 ER 1 BB 6 K with an ERA of 2.98.  I guarantee you that not many enjoyed this outing since this bandwagon cleared out faster than Newt Gingrich's.

FANTASY FOOTBALL PRESEASON WRAPUP: WEDNESDAY

Not much happening in the last batch of preseason games but there was still quite a bit news from around the league you need to take note of.  Let's get right to it:

Roy Helu Back On The Map:  After hearing all summer about the positive impression Evan Royster and Adrian Morris were making on Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan, Roy Helu threw himself back to the forefront of their running back hierarchy by rushing for 90 yards and 2 touchdowns, to go with catching two passes for another 34 yards.  It was a typical Helu overall output that we saw in impressive fashion down the stretch last season and what made him a big time sleeper this season.  With Mike Shanahan and his penchant for playing as many running backs as he can as his coach however and with two sore achilllies tendons, Helu was falling behind in the depth chart.  However this game has to restore some faith in his ability and so he should be back on track when it comes to being a positive fantasy football impact player.  I would not start him Week 1 unless you are desperate since we can't guarantee what kind of playing time he will get out of the gate but monitor him closely.

Jason Witten A Game-Time Decision?:  It looks that way as Witten had a positive checkup with the team's medical personnel on Wednesday in checking on his injured spleen.  In fact head coach Jason Garrett said after practice that if the Cowboys were playing next Sunday and not next Wednesday, than Witten would be active.  He will go down as a game-time decision at this point which is tremendous news for his fantasy football owners.  A guy as durable a Witten we are betting on playing and even if he does sit out, at least it is looking like this will be the only game he will miss.

Steve Smith To Practice This Weekend:  Owners of Steve Smith of the Carolina Panthers are getting a bit nervous as their star wideout has been sitting on the bench for the last week-plus with a foot infection that the team has said is not staph.  Both Smith and head coach Ron Rivera said Wednesday however that he should be back on the field Sunday when the team begins preparations for their opener.

Marshawn Lynch and His Back Ready To Go:  On a related front like with what Steve Smith is going through, Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said on Wednesday that Marshawn Lynch will be ready to go for the team's season opener next Sunday, despite sitting out a week of practice with back spasms.  Lynch, who had a big time comeback season in 2011, will once again serve as the team's workhorse back which is a rarity in today's game and should be started as a low end RB 1 in standard league and a high end RB 2 in PPR setups.

There you have it.  As always let us know what is on your mind.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

FANTASY SPORTS BOSS FANTASY FOOTBALL PPR DRAFT CONTINUES

We already went through the first two rounds of the Fantasy Sports Boss Experts Fantasy Football PPR League.  To this point I own RB LeSean McCoy and WR Roddy White.  I missed my man-crush Wes Welker by one position but I am ready to move on and target Andre Johnson who I think makes a great value in round 3.  Yes I know here I go again with the guy.  Can I get him for a sixth straight season?  Let's take a look at Round 3 and beyond.

21. Matthew Stafford (QB):  I tell you what getting Stafford in the third round is criminal.  What a great pick.  This owner now has Ray Rice, Jimmy Graham, and Stafford.  Nice start indeed.  The top four QB's are off the board now and Cam Newton I would think would go next.  I am still certain of getting someone in the Eli Manning, Tony Romo, Matt Ryan, and Philip Rivers group so I am not going there yet.  Andre Johnson it is if he gets there and if not than maybe Victor Cruz or DeMarco Murray.

22. Matt Schaub (QB):  What?  Yeah still trying to figure this one out.  I would have take the five guys I mentioned above, plus Peyton Manning over Schaub.  I can't say anything but that this was the worst pick of the draft so far.

23. A.J. Green (WR):  This is the same owner who also picked Julio Jones, which means he now has the two best young receivers in the game.  While Green is not a PPR weapon yet, he could easily get there in 2012.

24. Adrian Peterson (RB):  I am iffy about this.  Peterson is a monster when healthy but he is not 100 percent in coming back from a torn ACL and MCL.  Peterson was taken off PUP and should be ready to go for Week 1 but the plan is to have him share the load with Toby Gerhart in the short term.  We also don't know if Peterson will have his old burst like we have to be concerned with when it comes to owning Matt Forte.  By the way Maurice Jones-Drew is still available which was the what I was most curious about coming into the draft.  With his holdout he could fall far.

25. FANTASY SPORTS BOSS PICK-Andre Johnson WR:  I did it again.  I just can't help myself.  This now makes it six seasons in a row I have owned Johnson and truth be told they were all wonderful seasons until 2011 when hamstring issues ruined his and my season.  In the third round I thought the risk was worth it but I have to get two more good wideouts to cover for him.  Going this way over Victor Cruz or Hakeem Nicks could be a mistake though.  We shall see there.

26. Maurice Jones-Drew (RB):  This owner is banking on MJD getting a deal done and finding himself in uniform for Week 1.  It won't happen as MJD is now ready to miss games if he has to.  With the Jaguars not sweating his absence, this pick could be a huge bust.  Either way even if he was in uniform, I was not keen on MJD due to all the carries he has had and the lack of camp.

27. Victor Cruz (WR):  Cruz over Nicks was interesting but I can't argue against it.  Nicks has had major injury issues in his career and Cruz has been a big play waiting to happen.  Nice job there.

28. Greg Jennings (WR):  Run on receiver continues as this is the fourth one in 8 picks so far in this round.  I like Jennings but not in PPR as the Packers spread it around too much for any one guy to have a boatload of catches each season.

29. Hakeem Nicks (WR):  Nice pick here as Nicks has the talent to be a top 5 receiver if he can just somehow play 16 games. 

30. Eli Manning (QB):  Manning over Cam Newton is very interesting.  Not a bad pick but the Giants figure to run the ball more, thus taking away some stats for Eli.

ROUND 4

31. Jason Witten (TE):  Witten will miss Week 1 with an injured spleen but otherwise he should be his usual stud self.  I have owned Witten just as often as I have owned Andre Johnson so this one hurt a bit.  Still I had another tight end I was targeting all along who is still on the board.  Got to get him now before the run starts in earnest.

32. Jordy Nelson (WR):  16 touchdowns is extreme for a receiver but Nelson has little chance of matching that this season as guys who go off in that department usually come back to the mean averages.  Nelson is like Jennings in that he won't catch enough balls to be a major PPR guy.

33. Frank Gore (RB):  I hate this pick.  Gore is aging, doesn't catch the football anymore, and has like 1705823 other running backs to share the ball with.  DeMarco Murray was the choice to go with there or even Ryan Matthews who is now looking like a solid value in round 4 despite being hurt.

34. Cam Newton (QB):  There it is.  Finally.  Newton was a stud in his rookie 2011 season, with his rushing touchdowns the biggest shocker.  The guy can do it all and could very well be in the fantasy football MVP discussion if he doesn't go through a sophomore slump. Well done.

35. Peyton Manning (QB):  The flip side.  Don't like this pick at all as Romo, Ryan, or Rivers were all safer investments.  Listen we all love Peyton Manning but with all but a few teams already having a QB, this owner was better served waiting on that.  Manning has to answer a lot of questions as to whether he can be his old MVP self but I don't want to be the one who has to find out.

36. THE FANTASY SPORTS BOSS PICK-Aaron Hernandez (TE):  This is the tight end I wanted all along as I think Hernandez is sitting on a monster season.  I didn't talk about him much on the site as I was trying to protect my pick here and it worked as I got my guy.  He may even provide some rushing yards which he did nicely in the playoffs last season.  The New England beat reporters have said that Hernandez is now Brady's most trusted weapon and I don't have to hear anymore.  With that position filled, it is now Murray or Matthews in round in that order as my third receiver can wait and there are only two teams without a QB now so I don't have to go there either as I will take either Romo or Ryan if one goes.

37. Ahmad Bradshaw (RB):  No good.  Awful pick as Murray, Matthews, Fred Jackson, Steven Jackson, or even Doug Martin were better picks.  Bradshaw always is hurt and now has the Chris Johnson-clone David Wilson to deal with. 

38. Trent Richardson (RB):  A reach here.  Matthews, Murray, and the Jackson's were all better choices.  Richarson has had two knee procedures this offseason and will be limited early on.  Also Montario Hardesty will be involved as he has had a big preseason.

39. Reggie Bush (RB):  DeMarco Murray not getting any love.  Sounds good to me.  Bush did some nice things for me after picking him up off waivers last season.  I can't see him staying that healthy again but at least he will be heavily involved in the offense since the Dolphins don't have many offensive weapons.

40. Fred Jackson (RB):  I like it.  Fred Jackson was the best running back in football last season before he suffered a season-ending injury and he has picked up where he left off with a nice preseason.  He catches the ball and also runs well so he is a solid PPR guy to own.

ROUND 5

41. Steve Smith (WR):  Smith had a major comeback season in 2011 which coincided with the arrival of rookie QB Cam Newton.  While not the 100-catch monster he used to be, Smith is fully capable of being a very high end WR 2.  Solid choice.

42. Dwayne Bowe (WR):  There is clearly no doubt Bowe has talent but in PPR he shouldn't go this high.  The Chiefs are possibly the most run-heavy team in the league and Bowe's QB is the shaky Matt Cassel.  With DeMarco Murray still available, he is the guy I will pick if he is still sitting there now that Fred Jackson, who I also was looking at, just got picked.

43. Steven Jackson (RB):  I have always been a huge Jackson fan as one of the few remaining workhorse backs in the league but at 29 years old and a ton of mileage on his body, he is headed for a fall.  Isiah Pead has talent and the Rams have said they will get him heavily involved.  Murray should have been the pick. 

44. Dez Bryant (WR):  Don't like it.  Bryant has talent but the guy is a lunatic and can't stay healthy.  His teammate Miles Austin would have been a better pick, or someone like Stevie Johnson.

45. THE FANTASY SPORTS BOSS PICK-DeMarco Murray RB:  Ecstatic I got Murray who was someone I was targeting all offseason.  Yes he has major health questions surrounding him but he performed like a top five fantasy football running back when he was active last season.  So I now have LeSean McCoy and Murray as my two starting runners.  Next up is looking at a third receiver and a starting QB.  I also am looking at Tampa Bay rookie back Doug Martin as a possible pick the next time the draft gets to me.

46. Mike Wallace (WR):  I am not a Wallace fan as he doesn't catch enough passes for my liking in PPR and Antonio Brown stands a solid chance of being the number 1 receiver there.  Also he missed all of training camp so his stamina and working off the rust will be problems early on.

47. Marshawn Lynch (RB):  Surprised Lynch fell this far as he had a big time comeback season in 2011 and is one of the few remaining workhorse backs left in the game.  He is not a complete zero when it comes to catching the ball but he is not an asset their either.  In round 5 though he is solid value.

48. Vernon Davis (TE):  Nice pick here as Davis has proven himself to be nearly a top five tight end the last few seasons.  While the 49ers don't throw the ball much, he is obviously the top target for QB Alex Smith so the numbers should be there.  Antonio Gates is still on the board.

49. Antonio Gates (TE):  There you go.  Gates is a decent pick here as he is now the sixth tight end drafted.  We all know about his litany of injuries which is still a worry but at this part of the draft he is worth the gamble.  Also with Vincent Jackson no longer in town, Philip Rivers will be looking early and often for Gates every game this season.

50. Jeremy Maclin (WR):  I used to like Maclin but he continues to disappoint every season it seems.  He is not a good PPR receiver yet and injuries continue to be an issue. 

There you have it.  We have gone through 5 rounds with 10 more to go.  I have both running back spots filled with LeSean McCoy and DeMarco Murray, along with two receivers in Roddy White and Andre Johnson.  I also got my tight end in Aaron Hernandez.  I still need a QB as I look at either Tony Romo or Matt Ryan, I want to get Doug Murray for running back depth, and I am zoning in on Eric Decker, Miles Austin, and Demaryius Thomas for my third wideout.  Stay tuned as the I will post the next five rounds later on today or early tomorrow.  How am I doing?  Post away.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: PACKERS TO START CEDRIC BENSON AT RUNNING BACK WEEK 1

The Green Bay Packers will use Cedric Benson as their starting running back for Week 1 according to various reports coming out from the team.  Benson has been the most impressive back in Green Bay during the preseason and he figures to get the majority of work early on.

Analysis:  Good job by Benson in salvaging his career with his solid early play for the Packers.  HHe doesn't catch the football so he is not good for PPR purposes but Benson can get into the end zone and help rack up some yards.  Not the worst option in the world if you are in a TD-heavy format.  Get him out there.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: TITANS TAKE WR KENNY BRITT (KNEE SURGERY) OFF PUP LIST

The Tennessee Titans have taken star WR Kenny Britt off the PUP list and expect him to play between 10-15 plays in the season opener.  Britt is still possibly facing some league discipline which could alter those plans but from a health angle, he is almost all the way back from knee surgery. 

Analysis:  Britt is a big time standard league receiver when he has his head on straight as he has a knack for getting into the end zone.  However in PPR he is a borderline option since Jake Locker will be starting and the Titans don't throw the ball much.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: SEAHAWKS RB MARSHAWN LYNCH (BACK SPASMS) EXPECTED TO PLAY WEEK 1

Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch is expected to be ready to go for the team's Week 1 opener, despite missing a full week due to back spasms. 

Analysis:  Pete Carroll says there is nothing to see here as Lynch is expected to be ready to go and build off a great comeback season in 2011.  A sure thing top ten fantasy football running back in standard formats, Lynch's value takes a bit of a hit in PPR setups since he doesn't catch a ton of footballs. 

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: STEELERS WR MIKE WALLACE FINALLY SIGNS TENDER, VOWS TO PLAY WEEK 1

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Mike Wallace finally signed his one-year tender for 2.74 million dollars on Wednesday and he expects to start for the team in Week 1 opposite the emerging Antonio Brown.  Wallace had held out all preseason in hopes of landing a big contract but the team failed to deliver on his wishes. 

Analysis:  Wallace no doubt is going to be rusty and I am not a fan of players who miss camp as evidenced by what we saw out of Chris Johnson last season.  I also think Antonio Brown is the more valuable Steelers receiver with regards to fantasy football.  Wallace can be started in standard leagues out of the gate but in PPR I would look elsewhere.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: LIONS RB KEVIN SMITH (ANKLE) LIKELY TO START WEEK 1

Detroit Lions running back Kevin Smith is on track to start the team's season opener after coming through his latest ankle injury with no major damage.  Smith is just dealing with a bruise and did not even need a walking boot after the injury.  Head coach Jim Schwartz fully expects Smith to be ready to go.

Analysis:  Smith is best left as a backup fantasy football running back as he didn't run the ball well when given the chance last season.  His best asset is his ability to catch the football and so those in PPR leagues should give him more leeway.  The Lions are still in talks with regards to bringing in a running back, with Ryan Grant and Roy Helu being names mentioned.

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: DODGERS OUTFIELDER MATT KEMP HAS ONLY BONE BRUISE IN KNEE, OUT WED.

Updating an earlier item. Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp's X-rays on his injured knee came back negative, showing only a bone bruise.  The same result was found with his jaw as well.  Kemp will sit out Wednesday's game as a precaution but he should be back by Friday the latest.

Analysis:  WHEW!  As an owner of Kemp, I was on pins and needles waiting for this news.  Great result here as Kemp will be back shortly to pick up where he left off when it came to his recent hot streak.  While Mike Trout and Ryan Braun have clearly surpassed him in the fantasy baseball outfielder rankings, Kemp is still a sure fire first round pick for 2013 who is in the prime of his career.

FANTASY BASEBALL NEWS: DODGERS OUTFIELDER MATT KEMP HEADED FOR X-RAYS ON KNEE AND JAW

It has been an injury-filled 2012 season for Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp, with the latest issue being him headed for X-rays on his knee and also his jaw.  Kemp left Tuesday night's game after hitting the centerfield fence chasing a pop up and was diagnosed with right knee contusion. 

Analysis:  It is hold your breath time for Kemp and his fantasy baseball owners.  Unfortunately we have been down this road too many times with him this season.  The team is saying this is a precuationary measure on both fronts but still anything to do with the knee could potentially be huge.  When on the field this season, Kemp has been as good as any hitter in the game but the slew of games he has missed with hamstring trouble has undermined his entire output.

FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: CARLOS GOMEZ OUTFIELDER MILWAUKEE BREWERS

It just a little longer for some guys than others. That simple statement no doubt can be applied to Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez in the 2012 fantasy baseball season as the former sleeper bust both for the New York Mets and the Minnesota Twins looks like he may finally have figured out this hitting at the major league level thing. To say that Gomez is having a breakout season in 2012 is a gross understatement as the former strictly speed demon has now tapped into his power, along with working on his previously ridiculous K rate. Add it all up and we sit here going into Wednesday's games with Gomez hitting .257 with 14 home runs and 28 stolen bases. In fact Gomez has been so good, that Yahoo sports figured out that only some guys named Trout, Pujols, and Headley have been better since the All Star Break. Great company indeed.

So what the heck happened? How all of a sudden was the universally maligned Gomez now a guy who is helping to carry teams down the stretch in fantasy baseball? Let's take a look.

The most stable and obvious part of Gomez' game are the steals. Blessed with blazing speed, Gomez has stolen as many as 33 bases in a season, with a caught stealing rate that is annually among the lowest in the game. However up until this season, the steals were the only part of his game that was useful for fantasy baseball purposes. His horrific strikeout rate has always corresponded to horrific batting averages as Gomez hit a pathetic .225 as soon as last season. One thing did stand out though about 2011 however. Gomez hit 8 home runs in 231 at-bats which was a pace for around 23. That was a sign that the power was finally showing up and with Gomez turning the magical age of 27 in 2012, it all came together as he stands at 14 home runs with a month to go.

Looking at the rest of his stat haul, Gomez' .257 average is about as good as you can expect from the guy. While not great, it is not the .225 garbage he put up in 2011. Looking under the hood, Gomez is actually making more contact this season and his K rate has dropped as a result. Gomez had 64 strikeouts in his 231 at-bats last season and right now he has 69 in an even 300. Not tremendous progress but an improvement no doubt. And again the power is showing up nicely as he also continues to steal bases with great success. Put it all together and what you have is a major fantasy baseball weapon to take to the end of the season. I told you all to pick up Gomez last week and all he has done is have two back-to-back HR/SB games with I am sure more to come as we go along. What is incredible is that you could get a do-over if you didn't pick up Gomez when I told you to do so as he is still owned in only 33 percent of Yahoo leagues. That is just criminal and shortsighted. I am sure a lot of that has to do with owners giving up and with fantasy football now in full force but still do yourself a favor and make the add pronto. As Gomez is showing, he is no longer a useless fantasy baseball player but instead a guy who can take you to the title.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: JAGS RB MAURICE JONES-DREW EXPECTED TO TAKE HOLDOUT INTO REGULAR SEASON

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew is reportedly expected to take his long-standing holdout into the regular season according to ESPN.  Jones-Drew has missed all of training and all three of the team's preseason games with his holdout as he is looking for a blockbuster contract and now possibly a trade.  Rashard Jennings has played great in his place and ownership has said publicly that they are ready to go on without him.

Analysis:  Jones-Drew is really screwing up here as the Jaguars are not a team expected to contend for the Super Bowl and thus won't be hurt too much if he sits out.  Also Jennings has been fantastic all preseason and is more than a capable fill-in.  All running backs have been devalued over the years since the NFL is becoming more of a passing league and with Jones-Drew having a bunch of mileage on him, it is looking like the team is going to forget him and move on.  Terrible news if you are an MJD owner but we told you months ago not to go there.

FANTASY SPORTS BOSS FANTASY FOOTBALL PPR EXPERTS LEAGUE DRAFT RESULTS

This past Sunday marked the occasion of the 7th annual Fantasy Sports Boss Fantasy Football PPR Experts League.  This ten-team league uses a roster of 15 with standard scoring outside of the addition of a point-per-reception.  We play one QB, 2 RB's, 3 WR's, 1 TE, 1 K, and 1 DEF, with 6 bench options.  Yours truly has won twice in the previous six years and was the runner-up last season when injuries to my first round pick of Andre Johnson was a major issue.  Since I am always telling you how to draft and which players to pick, it is only fair that you see and critique how I do.  It also gives you a clearer understanding of the guys who I like.  Without further delay here is how round 1 and 2 unfolded with comments on each pick.  I drew the fifth spot in the order and was prepared to go with Aaron Rodgers or Calvin Johnson since the first three picks in my mind figured to be Arian Foster, LeSean McCoy, and Ray Rice.  Here is how things unfolded.

1.  Ray Rice (RB):  Since this is a PPR league, Rice absolutely is worth of the top pick.  I actually favored him over Foster as well for two reasons.  The first is that Foster has a long history of hamstring trouble and the second is that he is backed up by another tremendous runner in Ben Tate who will get a decent share of the work.  Rice is a pure gem both running the ball and catching it and should be a fantasy football monster yet again.

2.  Darren McFadden (RB):  The first curveball of the draft to say the least.  The owner in question was an admitted Raiders fan which is a major reason why he bypassed Foster and McCoy.  In all honesty, if McFadden could stay healthy for even 15 games, he could be the fantasy football MVP.  With Foster and McCoy still on the board, I have to have only one of the two owners still to go before me to pick someone else and I get a stud running back.  I prefer McCoy over Foster for the reasons I stated before with the Rice pick.

3.  Aaron Rodgers (QB):  First QB off the board and again I don't have a problem with it.  Its Aaron Rodgers for crying out loud who is about a big a fantasy football scorer as you can get.  So with only one pick to go before I select, I will get either McCoy or Foster.  Surely this was a nice surprise.

4.  Calvin Johnson (WR):  Like with Rodgers, Megatron is the best at what he does and the man even became a PPR weapon last season to go along with all those scores.  My choice is now firmly McCoy who I owned last season.  What great fortune.  The draft couldn't have gotten off to a better start. 

5.  FANTASY SPORTS BOSS PICK-LeSean McCoy (RB):  I wasn't planning on going with a running back in the first round as I was going to target Darren Sproles and DeMarco Murray instead later on.  However I can't pass up McCoy here who is an all-around producer in both the running and passing game.  Thank you very much.  With a back under wraps, now I will go to wide receiver which I am a bit nervous about.  In PPR there is Megatron, Roddy White, Andre Johnson, and Wes Welker as far as guys who excel there and than a dropoff.  I want to get at least one of them, with my man crush Welker being the top target.  In fact I will also be honest and say that I was going to pick Welker fifth overall (no joke) if I couldn't get McCoy or Rodgers.  In PPR he is arguably the best receiver in the game.

6.  Arian Foster (RB):  Tremendous value here to get Foster sixth overall.  As long as his hamstrings hold up, he will be a major force all season.  Ben Tate should take some carries away after proving himself a major weapon in 2011 but not enough to drop him any further than this.

7.  Larry Fitzgerald (WR):  I didn't like this pick one but and it has nothing to do with the player.  We all know Fitzgerald is as good a receiver as there is in the game but he can't throw the ball to himself.  The QB play in Arizona is about the worst there is in the NFL and Roddy White or Wes Welker would have been the much better bets.

8.  Drew Brees (QB):  Can never quibble with a Brees pick no matter where it is made.  He could actually throw even more this season since the defense is so decimated and they will be in a ton of shootouts. 

9.  Tom Brady (QB):  The top three passers are now off the board and it doesn't bother me.  I am not looking at a QB for another few rounds and have zoned in on picking one from the Matt Ryan-Eli Manning-Tony Romo grouping. 

10.  Chris Johnson (RB):  I love Johnson's bounceback ability for this season after having his 2011 ruined due to a holdout.  He looks refocused and ready to get back to being a top runner.  His ability to catch the football also makes him a great PPR weapon.

ROUND 2

11. Darren Sproles (RB):  Shocked to see him picked this early but again in PPR Sproles is golden with an astounding 80-plus catches in 2011.  Scratch him off of my wish list.

12. Matt Forte (RB):  In my opinion there is a dropoff

13. Michael Turner (RB):  Terrible pick.  For one Turner is not a good PPR back since he has never been one to catch the football.  Also he looked like he lost a step this preseason, the team wants to get Jacquizz Rodgers the ball more, and the Falcons are going to be a passing offense.  He would have been much better off picking Jamaal Charles or even Marshawn Lynch.

14. Jamaal Charles (RB):  Major run on running backs now which makes me happy I got McCoy.  Welker is still around and he will be my next pick.  If not I will go Roddy White as my old friend Andre Johnson (owned him for five straight seasons before) and his injuries are scary in round 2.

15. Wes Welker (WR):  SON OF A......!  That one hurt.  I tried not to show my anger too much but Welker is my guy.  He is the best PPR receiver in the game and could have been a first round pick.  Roddy White it will be.

16. Fantasy Sports Boss Pick-Roddy White WR:  Two years ago I snagged White in the third round of the Experts League and he proceeded to have his first 100-catch campaign.  I won the league that season and am happy on getting him in round 2.  Yes the presence of Julio Jones is a concern and he likely won't catch 100 balls again for that reason but 90-1,100-8 sounds about right.

17. Rob Gronkowski (TE):  There it is.  Was wondering when the first tight end came off the board and the latter half of the second round was it.  A report out of New England stated that Aaron Hernandez was now going to be Brady's number 1 target and while I don't see Gronk getting nearly as many catches and touchdowns in 2012, I still think he will be a monster.  Jimmy Graham I favored however.

18. Julio Jones (WR):  I think this kid will be a stud this season and will be a top five or even top 3 receiver going forward.  He is as explosive as you can get and even though Roddy White will lead the team in catches, Jones should have more TD's and yards. 

19. Brandon Marshall (WR):  Darn.  I was going to pick Marshall in round 3 if he was there as I love him being reunited with Jay Cutler.  Remember that Marshall caught over 100 passes in two straight seasons with Cutler throwing him the ball so there is no doubt it can happen again.  With Marshall picked, I once again am getting sucked back into Andre Johnson.  I can't get away from the guy. 

20. Jimmy Graham (TE):  This is actually a perfect spot to take Graham.  This owner has back-to-back picks and knows Graham won't be coming back to him again.  Nice job for a guy who is likely to lead all tight ends in catches.

*****LOOK FOR THE REST OF THE ROUND WRAPUPS IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS.******

FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: TREVOR CAHILL

Trevor Cahill hasn't really been a consistent pitcher so far in his brief MLB career. He is still extremely young (24 years old), and still has a lot to learn. He has a lot of upside, and if he can gain some sort of consistency, he could possibly be Arizona's ace for year's to come.

Cahill was drafted by the Athletics in the 2nd round of the 2006 draft. He pitched very well in the minors, and was quickly promoted to the big leagues. He started the 2009 season in Oakland's starting rotation, and didn't really have a great year. He posted a 4.62 ERA in 32 games started, and only racked up 90 strikeouts. The following season he had a breakout year, winning 18 games while posting a 2.97 ERA in 196.2 innings pitched. He made his first All-Star team, and at 22 years old, he looked like a rising star in the game. In 2011, Oakland expected him to be their #2 pitcher behind Gio Gonzalez but Cahill did not have a successful season. He posted a 4.16 ERA in 34 games started, and only had 147 strikeouts. He also put up a 9.3 H/9 ratio, which is startling for fantasy owners. Last off-season, the Athletics surprised the baseball world by trading Cahill to the Diamondbacks. Cahill was 23 years old at the time, and many figured that he would be part of Oakland's future plans despite his poor 2011 campaign. The Diamondbacks paid a hefty price in order to acquire Cahill, sending 3 players to Oakland, most notably Ryan Cook and Jarrod Parker.

 
Once the 2012 season started, I expected Cahill's numbers to improve because he would be facing National League hitters, who are generally worse than the sluggers in the American League. Cahill hasn't been spectacular, but has pitched like a #3 starter this year. He currently has a 3.86 ERA in 156.1 innings, and has a 6.6 SO/9 ratio, which is not appealing to fantasy owners. Cahill is what he is, a control pitcher who relies heavily on his sinker and change up. I really hope that he develops some consistency, but even if he doesn't, luckily for him, age is on his side. I doubt that the Diamondbacks would give up on a 24 year old pitcher whom they paid a lot for. In fantasy, Cahill isn't really a great pitcher to have unless he starts racking up the K's and lowering his unimpressive walk ratio, which is 3.4 BB/9.


Written by Dan Zito



FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: MONDAY

Jacoby Ellsbury:  2/4 with his 2nd HR while hitting .274.  The last week have given us a reminder of how great a fantasy baseball weapon Ellsbury can be as he is stealing bases again and now the home run.  While his 30/30 2011 was a major outlier season, when healthy there are few who can fill up the categories like the Red Sox outfielder.

Colby Rasmus:  2/5 with his 21st HR while hitting .234.  We have reached the point of Rasmus being what he is.  A very solid power hitter who will steal a base once in awhile and post a terrible average.  If you were to go back to 2009 than surely this is not how you saw this turning out.

Robinson Cano:  2/4 with 2 home runs (27 for season) while hitting .310.  Yeah I traded for Cano the other day but had to wait the 2-day period for everyone to chime in their thoughts on the deal.  Yup I missed out on these home runs by a day.  %&**%^(*)

Nick Swisher:  1/6 with his 20th HR while hitting .,276.  Swisher has hit like .900 over the last month.  Not really but close.  He historically is the guy who everyone picks up when injuries strike but than drop when the roster gets full. 

Derek Jeter:  1/4 with his 14th HR while hitting .324.  True story:  after NOT being drafted, I picked up Jeter to play shortstop for a week in one of the Experts League due to injuries at the position.  I cut him after those 7 days and never looked back.  That is until now.  I mean what can you say?  Jeter has been beyond ridiculous.  Been the shortstop version of A.J. Pierzynski or Paul Konerko as golden oldies. 

Kevin Youkilis:  2/4 with his 16th HR while hitting .248.  Youkilis has rallied his season somewhat, with a major boost from the ballpark in Chicago, but with third base as deep as it has been in awhile, he is really only a CI option going forward.

Matt Holliday:  2/4 with his 24th HR while hitting .311.  If Holliday stole a base every once in awhile, you would swear he was back in Colorado.  He has been that good over the second half of the season.  We should probably stop calling him a boring veteran.

Josh Reddick:   2/4 with his 26th HR while hitting .254.  Reddick has been hooked up to an oxygen tank the last month as his average has tumbled to scary levels.  Basically he is following the Mike Moustakas path in limping to the end.  This could help keep prices from getting out of control for next season however so keep on whiffing Josh.

Brett Anderson:  7 IP 4 H 0 ER 2 BB 5 K with an ERA of 0.64.  Scroll down and check out the recommendation I made for Anderson a few days ago.  Your welcome.

Evan Longoria:  2/4 with his 7th HR while hitting .297.  Recall that I said in the winter that Longoria was a bit overrated as a first round pick.  It is now two straight years where Longoria has sat on the couch injured for a long stretch of time which should correctly eliminate that threat for 2013.  I love the player and the extreme production he can bring but you have to evaluate what he is now and that is someone who can't be fully trusted with his health right now.

Adrian Beltre:  3/3 with his 25th HR while hitting .315.  The guy is just sick right now.  Beltre has redefined hot over the last two weeks and why anyone even throws him a strike at this point is a mystery.  If Josh Hamilton is not careful, Beltre could wind up being the most impressive Texas hitter.

Nelson Cruz:  1/4 with his 21st HR while hitting .261.  Speaking of hot streaks, few can do it better than Cruz which could be where he is heading.  I used to like him a a lot more when there was potential attached to his name but with Hamilton likely going elsewhere for 2013, Cruz could move up to a more cushy hitting spot in the order which will helps his RBI and runs.

David Price:  6 ER in 4 IP with an ERA of 2.53.  He is human.

Aramis Ramirez:  3/5 with 2 home runs (20 for season) while hitting .295.  I say it every year.  Don't draft ARAM for the first half, than pitch an offer for him around the middle of June, watch it get accepted for peanuts, and than laugh all the way to the end of the season when he gets stinking hot like he is now.  It can be that easy.

Carlos Gomez:  4/5 with his 14th HR and 27th SB while hitting .257.  Gomez has had two HIT and Run days in a row and is doing a very good Jacoby Ellbury/Carlos Gonzalez impression right now with a lower average.  Yes we hate the strikeouts but stop complaining.  The guy has been a monster with the category juice over the last month.

Ryan Braun:  4/6 with his 35th HR while hitting .307.  Melky Cabrera and Bartolo Colon look at Braun and shake their heads at not calling his lawyer.

Felix Hernandez:  9 IP 5 H 0 ER 1 BB 5 K with an ERA of 2.43.  You can have Clayton Kershaw and Justin Verlander.  I will take King Felix please.

Tyler Colvin:Colvin,.  If you said yesterday than you get a prize.

Wilin Rosario:  1/5 with his 21st HR while hitting .245.  You got to love any hitter in Colorado.  I mean we are talking glowingly of Colvin and Rosario this season. 

Justin Upton:  2/4 with his 11th HR while hitting .279.  Hey at least he should come cheap next season. 





Monday, August 27, 2012

FANTASY BASEBALL CLOSING TIME: ANDREW BAILEY STEPPING UP, ALFREDO ACEVES IN TROUBLE

Very quiet week for once when it comes to the ninth inning and the world of the closer in fantasy baseball.  Still there are a few topics to discuss so let's get to it.

-Alfredo Aceves has been a pitching version of a roller coaster this season when it comes to closing games.  He has generally gotten the job done however and was even still closing when Andrew Bailey returned from injury.  That is until the weekend when Bailey was given....and successfully converted.....a save chance, which sent Aceves over the edge due to his feeling of being slighted by Bobby Valentine.  Valentine and the team suspended Aceves for three game for conduct detrimental to the team, with Bailey continuing to get looks in the ninth for the time being.  In a meeting with reporters before Monday's game however, Valentine continued to show annoyance at Aceves' behavior and hinted that Bailey could run with the job from this point on.  Altogether this is one big mess, which the Red Sox have been all season.  Bailey is the guy to own here going forward as he was originally signed in the first place to be the team's stopper.  He might still be lurking on free agent wires so take a look.

-Frank Francisco has been an abomination all season which is what I predicted back in the winter.  He continues to hold onto the closing job however, as neither Bobby Parnell or Jon Rauch are good replacements.  The Mets have to get better at that spot for next season though so don't expect Francisco to be the ninth inning guy in the future.

-Grant Balfour has been great since he went back into the closer role for Oakland which means it is safe to kick away Ryan Cook.  It has been a nice season for Cook overall and he should be the leading candidate to close next season as well but he carries no value the rest of the way since Balfour has been so solid.

There you have it.  Not much to go on but these things always have a way of changing.  Stay tuned.

FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: SUNDAY

Curtis Granderson:  1/4 with his 33rd HR while hitting .238.  In a testament to how dependable the man's power is with playing half his game in Yankee Stadium, the biggest shocker is the horrific average Granderson has put up this season.  While not a guy who would ever challenge for a batting title, Granderson's average has been beyond bad as his K rate is skyrocketing and his success against lefties is a problem once again.  When you factor in that Granderson is not stealing many bases and the second round pick it took to get a hold of him this season, than one could understand if you would place the overrated tag on him.

Jason Kipnis:  3/5 with 3 steals (26 for season) while hitting .257.  Check out the stat comparison between Kipnis and Ian Kinsler.  Go ahead I will wait.  Pretty close huh?  Right down to the ridiculously long cold spells that each many goes through at times during the season.  While certainly not a finished product, Kipnis' power/speed combo is looking might nice for 2013.

Rafael Soriano:  scoreless 1/1 IP for his 33rd save with an ERA of 1.57.  Amazingly not once have the Yankees said anything about missing Mariano Rivera.  My condolences to those who picked up David Robertson over Soriano when Rivera first got hurt.

Prince Fielder:  2/4 with his 23rd HR while hitting .311.  The real beauty with Fielder is that he can hit 30 home runs while also batting .300.  He has upped his home run rate in the second half which means Fielder and Comerica Park have found some common ground.

Delmon Young:  2/4 with his 14th HR while hitting .271.  The real key when we look at Young is that he is now concentrating on hitting home runs and not minorities.

Max Scherzer:  7 IP 4 H 1 ER 2 BB 9 K with an ERA of 4.13.  His WHIP is still an ugly 1.35 and I am not about to say Scherzer can be completely trusted, but the second half has been very impressive.  Make what you will out of this but at least for now he can be used every time out.

Allan Craig:  3/5 with his 20th HR while hitting .318.  What a find Craig has been.  The only downer is that he will lose 2B eligibility for next season which is where he carries his best value.  Still the guy is a line drive machine who unbelievably could crack 30 home runs this season after being a waiver pickup.

Adam Wainwright:  5.2 IP 6 H 2 ER 0 BB 2 K with an ERA of 3.63.  Wainwright has been a top five pitcher in the second half, when we all thought he would be looking for the oxygen tanks.  I will be buying hard on Wainwright next season with the same ferocity that all those lunatic moms showed when it came to the Tickle Me Elmo.

Ike Davis:  2/4 with 2 home runs (24 for season) while hitting .223.  Again Davis has been everything we anticipated as far as home runs and RBI but obviously the average is a major issue.  I will give him a mulligan on that for 2012 since he missed so much development time in 2011 and had the whole Valley Fever thing going.  Anyone who can hit 30 home runs is a strong person of interest no matter who it is.

Jimmy Rollins:  2/4 with his 15th HR while hitting .244.  More power hitter now than anything, Rollins should barely be a top ten shortstop next season. 

Cliff Lee:  7 IP 7 H 1 ER 0 BB 5 K with an ERA of 3.67.  Lee has dealt with some poor luck with his BABIP but he is not getting totally off the hook for his not-as-good-as-we-expected season.  His K rate has dropped over a batter per inning and his home run rate is on the rise.  Not good trends for a pitcher who is 34 and it is something to keep an eye on.

Carlos Gomez:  1/4 with his 13th HR and 2 steals (26 for season) while hitting .247.  Listen we know Gomez is always going to be a terrible average guy due to an absurd K rate but you can't ignore the category juice any longer.  He is on pace for a 17/34 season.  Yes please.

Aramis Ramirez:  1/4 with his 18th HR while hitting .291.  ARAM is still swinging a power bat at the age of 35 and once again is getting into a full groove after the break.  He could get left behind though as third base is getting deeper than ever before.  Keep that in mind when looking for a proven bargain.

Dustin Pedroia:  2/5 with his 12th HR while hitting .282.  Pedroia is finally supplying the numbers that his disappointed owners were looking for the previous four months.  Better late than never but Pedroia has failed to overcome Ian Kinsler in the second base hierarchy.

Nelson Cruz:  1/4 with his 20th HR while hitting .265.  Cruz remains an enigma but is now more centralized in his annual stat haul.  In other words he is what he is and not the 20/40 guy we hoped he would be.

Josh Hamilton:  2/4 with his 35th HR while hitting .290.  Hamilton has never hit 40 home runs before which is amazing when you look at some of those crazy years he has had.  The best thing to say about him in 2012 is that he hasn't gone completely cold the second half which used to be the case.  Once again though fantasy baseball players are going to weight some risk/reward deals when it comes to drafting him in the winter.

Jose Reyes:  1/4 with his 11th HR and 29th SB while hitting .284.  Reyes has rallied himself over the last month to now put together a very good season.  The best part?  No leg injuries. 

Giancarlo Stanton:  1/5 with his 29th HR while hitting .287.  I think Stanton's fantasy baseball owners are doing cartwheels more for the average than the power.



FANTASY FOOTBALL PRESEASON WRAPUP: SUNDAY

Another day full of NFL preseason action brings some important fantasy news.  Let's get right to it.

Eric Decker Looks Like A Major Player:  We all knew Denver Broncos WR Eric Decker was a big time fantasy football sleeper for 2012 based solely on the fact that Peyton Manning would be throwing him footballs and not Tim Tebow.  Well it is already looking like Decker will be that and so much more as he caught four passes for 38 yards and TWO touchdowns.  That brings his preseason total to 8 catches for 101 yards and the two touchdowns.  Blessed with great route-running ability and tremendous hands, Decker, and not Demaryius Thomas, could be the big time weapon in the Broncos' offense.

Avoid Playing All Jets:  The Jets are truly pathetic on offense, with further evidence being cemented Sunday night when the team went a third straight game without scoring a touchdown.  Mark Sanchez, Santonio Holmes, Dustin Keller (now injured), and Shonn Greene should all be avoided like the plague as this offense can't get out of its own way. 

Jonathan Stewart Sprains Ankle, X-Rays Negative:  Carolina Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart was on crutches after Sunday's night's preseason game against the Jets after spraining his ankle.  X-rays on the ankle were negative but Stewart appeared in quite a bit of pain afterward.  With only two weeks to go before the opener, its not looking great for Stewart to play, which means DeAngelo Williams gets a major spike in fantasy football value.

Russell Wilson Jr. Named Seattle Starter:  If only the Seahawks could have a do-over on the Matt Flynn contract.  Surprising no one, the team named rookie Russell Wilson Jr. the starter over Flynn after a spectacular preseason where he threw for 464 yards and five touchdowns, to go along with 150 rushing yards and a sixth score.  Wilson Jr. looks beyond poised in the pocket and already we are hearing Cam Newton comparisons.  While I think that is a stretch, you can surely be seduced by Wilson Jr's, ability to both throw and run the football.  Pick him up in all formats as your backup or QB-2.

Dustin Keller Pulls Hamstring:  I already told you to avoid all New York Jet players but in case you are in a bind and are an owner of the guy, be aware that tight end Dustin Keller suffered a pulled hamstring during Sunday night's game.  Keller was seen on the sidelines in his uniform later on in the game which could be a good sign but hamstrings are notoriously fickle, which means his availability for the opener is in question.  Not that you would want to use him anyway.

There you have it.  As always continue to check back for more fantasy football news as it happens.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: PAUL KONERKO 1B CHICAGO WHITE SOX

Paul Konerko has been the heart and soul of the White Sox organization for the last decade or so, and every year he continues to put up great numbers, making him one of the most underrated players in the game right now. However, he is 36 years old, and some believe that his skills may be degrading, but in this status report i'm sure that you'll be convinced to keep him.

Konerko was drafted in the first round (13th overall) by the Dodgers in the 1994 draft. He put up great numbers in the minor leagues, and had a few cups of coffee with Los Angeles in 1997-1998. In the middle of the 1998 season, the Dodgers traded Konerko to the Reds in a deal that brought Jeff Shaw to Los Angeles. Konerko had a brief stint with Cincinnati, and was traded to the White Sox in November of 1998 in the Mike Cameron deal. In 1999, he got to play everyday, and made the most of it. He hit 24 homers while hitting .294. From there on, every season of his, with the exception to 2003 and 2008, Konerko has been one of the most consistent hitters in the game, constantly slugging 20-40 homers per season while maintaining a high batting average.

Konerko has hit .316 with 21 homers and 59 RBI this season, and is carrying his White Sox club to a possible post-season berth. It's astonishing to think that Konerko is 36 years old, and seems to be getting better and better with each and every passing season. In my opinion, if he has 3-4 more good seasons, he'll be a shoe-in for the Hall of Fame. Anyway, back to fantasy baseball. Konerko is one of the best first basemen in the game, and is an excellent pick every year. Continue to have faith in the man, because he will continue to put up great numbers. Who knows, maybe he'll be in his 40's and still be mashing 30+ homers per year. That would be pretty amazing.

Written by Dan Zito

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE FALLOUT: DODGERS-RED SOX BLOCKBUSTER

By now the scope of the unprecedented Boston Red Sox-Los Angeles Dodgers blockbuster trade that was completed on Saturday has finally settled in for observant fantasy baseball watchers.  With big name players that included Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, and Carl Crawford all involved in switching teams, the impact on fantasy baseball can't be overstated.  So with the respective players now in new uniforms, let's take a closer look on how the trade impacts the central characters for this season and in the future. 

Adrian Gonzalez:  The biggest and most immediate impactful player in the deal, Gonzalez didn't waste any time endearing himself to the Dodger fans in swatting a first-inning three-run home run in his first at-bat.  AGONE was batting in the cleanup spot, which is where he will remain the rest of the season.  The home run was his 16th of the season and his 11th of the second half as Gonzalez has been one of the hottest hitters in the game.  The slow start where he had a major power outage for the Sox drew many worries and concerns from his fantasy baseball owners but clearly the guy was distracted amid the bright lights of Boston.  Gonzalez admitted as much on more than a few occasions and the last controversy was when he was the prime culprit in going to management to complain about manager Bobbby Valentine.  Clearly Gonzalez is a small market or laid back environment guy, with Los Angeles falling under the latter setting.  The easy going LA fans will allow Gonzalez to continue with his second half power surge and will get him back to the prime first base slugger he always had been.  While there are worries that his power will slip due to the change in ballparks, the flip side is that it could also rebound as Gonzalez is more comfortable in his new home.  While he won't be a first round pick anymore, he should absolutely be a top five fantasy baseball first baseman the next few seasons.

Josh Beckett:  Josh Beckette has been an absolute disaster this season, on the heels of his pathetic involvement in the whole beer and fried chicken clubhouse incidents during the Red Sox' collapse in 2011.  With an ERA of 5.23 and a surly disposition, there is nothing good to say about Beckett this season.  His K rate is sinking and his hit rate is rising and really the only good thing to say is that he is now going to a pitcher's park which will help a bit.  Still I wouldn't bother with the guy unless you are desperate.  He is not worth the headache.

Carl Crawford:  Crawford's inclusion in the deal was the biggest shock as he is a shell of his former excellent self due to rampant injuries, an increasing struggle against lefties, and age.  His signing was one of the worst free agent moves in history and with five years left on the deal, its amazing the Red Sox were able to find a sucker to take him off their hands.  As far as his diminished game is concerned, Crawford showed in his limited time with the Red Sox this season that his speed is still very good as he stole a few bases.  However he will never reach the 20-home run mark and constant injuries continue to dog him and undermine his numbers.  The Dodgers love to steal bases which should help him be a factor next season but overall this is obviously a guy who is on the decline.  Leave him be until next season.

THE REST:  Nick Punto has zero fantasy baseball value so no need to discuss much on him.  The same goes for James Loney who doesn't even hit for a good average anymore.  Altogether the trade was as big as it gets and was even more shocking for the fact it came after the trade deadline.  As always let us know your thoughts on the moves.



FANTASY FOOTBALL PRESEASON WRAPUP: SATURDAY

Some key injures and some interesting performances permeated Saturday night fantasy football preseason action.  Let's get right to it:

Kevin Smith Hurt....AGAIN:  Detroit Lions running back Kevin Smith, who is slated to be the team's workhorse back with Jahvid Best starting the season on PUP due to his ongoing concussion issues, came up lame during the team's Saturday night preseason game.  Smith injured his ankle and immediately went for testing as he was in visible pain.  X-rays of the ankle came back negatives as no breaks were found and Smith himself said after the game that he did not suffer the dreaded high ankle sprain which finished him off for 2011.  While he has not run the ball all that well this preseason, Smith is a decent RB 3 in PPR formats since he can catch the ball but his latest malady is a reminder that he can't be relied on for anything more than that.  Look for him to be ready for Week 1 however if he is correct that no high ankle sprain was suffered.

Matthew Stafford Gives Owners Heart Attack:  There is one wish and one only for fantasy footbal owners monitoring preseason games:  Just let my guys stay healthy.  Well for those who are lucky enough to own Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford, the worst case scenario almost unfolded during the team's Saturday night preseason tilt.  Stafford injured his throwing hand hitting a helmet as he followed through on a throw and immediately left the field.  Fortunately for Stafford....and his fantasy football owners' hearts....x-rays came back negative as no breaks were found.  Head coach Jim Schwartz said afterward that will not require a long absence and an unknown source in the front office confirmed that he would have played if this were the regular season. 

All in all it looks like Stafford came out of this all right but this is a clear reminder of how injury-prone the guy has been throughout his young career.  He managed to stay in one piece last season and the results were phenomenal.  He is right there with Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, and Tom Brady as the best fantasy football QB's in the game but he carries more risk than those three.

-It looks like the previously unheralded Alfred Morris.....WHO?.....will be the Washington Redskins' starting running back for Week 1 according to head coach Mike Shanahan.  Morris certainly helped his own cause on Saturday night in rushing for 107 yards and a touchdown to go along with six catches.  Those are tremendous PPR numbers and it gives an idea of what Morris could bring to the table.  While worth a late speculative pick or a free agent waiver claim, this is a very crowded backfield with Tim Hightower, Roy Helu, and Evan Royster all vying for time.  Its likely no single guy in this setup will excel enough to be a major asset.

-Andrew Luck Looks Ready:  Much-hyped Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck finished his preseason Saturday night by throwing for 151 yards and a touchdown in a half of work, wich leaves him with a total of 514 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions altogether.  While certainly ownable in two-QB formats, Luck is best used as a backup with ceiling in standard or PPR single-QB scenarios.  No doubt possessing a ton of talent throwing the football, while also being a rushign asset as well, Luck will have his growing pains an poor games due to his lack of weapons an inexperience.  He should be owned however as rookie QB's are playing better than ever coming out of college.

There you have it.  As always let us know what you think.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: BLUE JATS 3B/OF JOSE BAUTISTA INJURES WRIST AGAIN, LIKELY HEADED BACK TO DL

Toronto Blue Jays slugging third baseman Jose Bautista apparently re-injured the wrist that had him on the DL for the last month and is likely headed back there as a result.  Bautista will head for an MRI on the wrist and go through all the requisite testing before a decision is reached.

Analysis:  Terrible news for Bautista and his fantasy baseball owners.  There is nothing worse than waiting for a superstar player to come back from injury and than see him succumb to the same ailment a few days later. 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: RED SOX SEND BECKETT, AGONE, CRAWFORD TO DODGERS

Updating an earlier item, the Boston Red Sox officially sent outfielder Carl Crawford, 1B Adrian Gonzalez, infielder Nick Punto, and SP Josh Beckett to the Los Angeles Dodgers for cash relief and 1B James Loney, infielder Ivan DeJesus, RHP Allen Webster, and two players to be named.

Analysis:  I talked a bunch about this in the previous post and my thoughts haven't changed on it.  Amazing that such a huge deal was completed AFTER the regular trade deadline.  The Red Sox did great here getting out from all those contracts, while the Dodgers need to get to their heads checked for taking everyone but Gonzalez.

FANTASY BASEBALL WEEKLY BUY LOW/SELL HIGH

Buy low

Andrew Cashner- Cashner is currently working his way back from an injury, and threw two shutout innings in his last rehab appearances. He could provide excellent strikeout rates just in time for the fantasy baseball playoffs. Pick him up off of the waiver wire and stash him away until he returns to the rotation in September.

John Axford- Axford has had a terrible season, but Manager Ron Roenicke indicated that he would give Axford more save opportunities going forward. Axford has had a bad year, but his strikeout rate is up this year, and has the potential to be one of the best closers in the game.

Dan Straily- Bartolo Colon's suspension opens up a rotation spot for Straily, who puts up unbelievable strikeout numbers.

Sell high

Anibal Sanchez- Sanchez has played very poorly ever since he joined the Tigers last month. He has posted a 6.33 ERA in 27 innings. His strikeout numbers are going down, and look for the rest of the season to be a mess for Sanchez as he will continue to get worse.

Andre Ethier- Ethier had a very nice first half of the season, but has really struggled in the second half. He has hit .252 in the second half with 2 homers.

Written by Dan Zito