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Friday, November 30, 2012

FANTASY BASEBALL HOT STOVE NEWS: PIRATES SHOPPING CLOSER JOEL HANRAHAN, DISCUSSED DEAL FOR CHRIS CAPUANO

The Pittsburgh Pirates are actively taking offers for closer Joel Hanrahan as the second installment of the Winter Meetings gets ready to kick off.  One deal that was reportedly discussed was the Dodgers sending Chris Caupano to the Pirates for Hanrahan.  Jason Grili could be brought back to be the team's closer if Hanrahan is dealt.

Analysis:  Lots of closer movement this offseason but the slots are drying up fast what with Ryan Madson signing with Los Angeles and Jonathan Broxton re-signing with Cincy.  Hanrahan to the Dodgers makes sense as Kenley Jansen has not earned the total trust of the team yet and has heart issues.  Look for more of this talk once the Winter Meetings get going.

2013 FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE FALLOUT: TOMMY HANSON FOR JORDAN WALDEN

The Atlanta Braves agreed on Friday to trade SP Tommy Hanson to the Los Angeles Angels for relief pitcher Jordan Walden.  The deal serves as a fresh start for both players who clearly wore out their welcomes with their respective teams in 2012 and could be an indication of what could be on tap for the Winter Meetings next week.  Let's break the trade down from a fantasy baseball angle and see what the move does for both guys.

Tommy Hanson:  What a fall from grace for Hanson who was hyped as a can't miss pitching prospect while coming up striking out the side in the Atlanta system.  He found instant success his first two seasons in the majors and seemed primed for many years serving as the Braves ace.  Unfortunately Hanson developed some major shoulder problems, landing on the DL on more than one occasion for that ailment and other injury issues.  Choosing to not correct the shoulder problem after he was advised to do so after the 2011 season, the fallout showed up in a vastly decrease in velocity for Hanson's fastball during the entire 2012 campaign.  The result was a major spike in Hanson's hit rate and this a siginificant rise in his ERA and WHIP.  It got so bad that Hanson was dropped in many leagues the second half of the season and was a major liability from June on.  He does get a fresh start with the Angels but of course the shoulder still has not been fixed and his velocity is showing no signs of coming back.  Also going from the NL to the AL is always a big negative, not matter the division.  The common consensus is that a pitcher's ERA rises at least a half a run and if you combine that with the shoulder concern, Hanson remains a guy you shouldn't not touch as anything more than a low end SP 4.  We don't like him to say the least.

Jordan Walden:  It is crazy how Walden crashed and burned so quickly after opening eyes as a higvh strikeout rookie closer for the 2011 Angels.  Mike Scoscia waited all of one blown save to bury Walden in his bullpen last season and there is likely some more to his demotion than we know.  Walden stabilized himself and had a decent year as a setup man but he still has closer stuff.  The problem is that he is blocked by the best closer in baseball in Craig Kimbrel and so there is no chance Walden will sniff the ninth inning barring injury.  He should not be drafted in any leagues unless you count holds.

There you have it.  The trades and rumors are getting hot as the Winter Meetings beckon.  We will be there in person giving you all the updates as it takes place so continue to check in all next week.

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: METS RE-SIGN 3B DAVID WRIGHT TO SEVEN-YEAR EXTENSION

The New York Mets and star 3B David Wright agreed to a seven-year extension early Friday for $122 million.  The deal will take Wright through his age-37 season with the team and the last year of the contract inflates to $16 million.

Analysis:  Not a shock after hearing the numbers the Mets offered the other day.  Wright was not going to better that deal on the open market and he clearly is putting his faith in the Mets to improve the team.  The deal also likely means the Mets will push forward in their efforts to trade Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey which would be met with less skepticism from the fan base if they didn't re-sign Wright.  As far as Wright's outlook in fantasy baseball, he clearly is no longer the 2008 first round stud he once was but he remains a top five third baseman who can hit 25 home runs with 15 steals and a .300 average. 

FANTASY FOOTBALL TRAINWRECK THURSDAY

It was going to be a shootout!  Video game numbers will be put up by both offenses!  Drew Brees and Matt Ryan will each throw for 500 yards and four touchdowns!  While those statements might have been a bit extreme, it was a no-doubter looking on the surface that Thursday night's Atlanta Falcons-New Orleans Saints game was going to be a major offensive showdown.  With both defenses extremely vulnerable to the pass, this very crucial fantasy football week (where teams are looking to clinch playoff spots) was going to be a boon to those owners who held Brees, Ryan, Julio Jones, Marques Colston, Darren Sproles, Roddy White, and Tony Gonzalez.  Well with the exception of Gonzalez, almost everyone associated on offense in this game went bust....some in epic fashion.  Those same owners who went into the game picturing all of those offensive numbers flooding their rosters instead were left shaking in anger at how poorly everyone played.  Yours truly hardly slept after seeing BOTH my starting QB (Ryan) and top receiver (White) do next to nothing in a week where I need to win to get in as the sixth and last seed (I can still back in with a loss but I am not focused on that scenario right now).  So with that in mind let's take a look at the carnage.

Drew Brees:  28/50 for 341 yards with 0 TD's and 5 INT's!!!!!!  We know Brees tends to throw more picks than most due to the volume of throwing he does but this was ridiculous.  He had his epic streak of touchdown passes in consecutive games snapped in horrid fashion.  The fact ace cornerback Asante Samuel left only a few plays into the game should have made things even easier for Brees but he left his owner in a tremendous hole to start the week.  One that will probably be impossible to overcome.

Matt Ryan:  18/33 for 165 yards with 1 TD.  There is no doubt that Ryan has been nothing like the first half dynamo who was the frontrunner for fantasy football MVP.  He was lucky to get that touchdown pass or else he too would have been a bust.  He is doing his part to drag down my team.

Roddy White:  1 catch for 20 yards.  Are you kidding me?  Seriously?  White dropped three passes and was hardly even heard from.  We all knew Julio Jones would start eating into his production but this was inexcusable against the Saints of all teams.  It was not like he was going up against Champ Bailey in this game.  What a joke.

Julio Jones:  5 catches for 48 yards.  Not a total loss but no impact plays here as well.  Again against the Saints that is ridiculous.

Tony Gonzalez:  4 catches for 58 yards and 1 TD.  It was just an all right game by Gonzalez' standards but at least he scored. 

Lance Moore:  7 catches for 123 yards.  The star of the night.  Moore has his typical on fire game which he will likely follow up next week with a 2-catch outing. 

Marques Colston:  6 catches for 71 yards.  Of course rubbing salt in the wound for me last night was that my 2-10 opponent owned Colston who nearly outscored Ryan-White by himself.  Behind the eight ball already.  Wish this season would end for good because I can't take it anymore. 

There you have it.  Just a horror show all the way around.  As for myself, it is looking like I have to back into the playoffs with a loss.  The one bright spot was the team I needed to lose was going up against Matt Bryant who had a huge night kicking.  There is that at least.  I really hate this game sometimes.

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: PIRATES INK C RUSSELL MARTIN FOR TWO-YEARS AND $17 MILLION

The Pittsburgh Pirates reigned in catcher Russell Martin late Thursday night with a two-year deal for $17 million.  Martin must pass a physical to cement the contract but both sides see no holdup there.

Analysis:  Martin saw a rebirth to his fantasy baseball value when he landed with the New York Yankees but now he goes back to waiver status due to the downgrade in ballpark.  He was a major average liability last season and his speed is vanishing quick.  With the power also likely taking a nosedive due to the ballpark change, there is not much to go when you look at Martin's value for the season.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: BEARS RB MATT FORTE (ANKLE) EXPECTS TO PLAY SUNDAY

Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte told the media Thursday that he intends to play Sunday despite leaving last week's contest with an ankle injury.  Forte was able to practice again on Thursday and reported no more problems.

Analysis:  Forte's numbers are down this season and he has dealt with yet more injuries.  Still the fact he should be out there in such an important week is a nice develpoment for his owners.

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: COWBOYS EXPECT RB DEMARCO MURRAY (FOOT) TO PLAY SUNDAY

The Dallas Cowboys expect to have running back DeMarco Murray back for Sunday night's game against the Philadelphia Eagles after missing almost the entire 2012 season with a foot injury.  Murray practiced again on Thursday and pronounced himself ready to go according to a team source.

Analysis:  Take this with a grain of salt and check back on Friday to see if Murray makes it through without any more issues.  He has been a complete bust for his fantasy football owners this season due to all the missed time but if he can get back for the last few weeks, should have a chance to salvage his name a bit.

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: TWINS DEAL OUTFIELDER DENARD SPAN TO THE NATIONALS FOR PROSPECT

The Washington Nationals found their much desired leadoff hitter Thursday as they pulled off a trade with the Minnesota Twins for outfielder Denard Span.  After almost landing him in a deal right before last season's trade deadline, the Nationals finally got their man by surrendering prospect RHP Alex Meyer.

Analysis:  Span is a very solid major league player and leafoff hitter but he is the classic case of a guy who is more valuable in the real game than in fantasy baseball due to his lack of excelling in any one roto category.  He is nothing but a bench guy in three outfielder formats and should be graded that way for this season as well.  The bigger news is that the Nationals are now mosy likely out of the running for Michael Bourn who was rumored to be going there all along.

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: GIANTS TO LET CLOSER BRIAN WILSON WALK, RED SOX INTERESTED

The San Francisco Giants will non-tender closer Brian Wilson and will let him walk away as a free agent on Friday.  The Boston Red Sox are already putting out feelers as they don't want to have to rely on Andrew Bailey again for this season due to his fragile health.

Analysis:  The closer situation is getting a bit settled now with Ryan Madson signing with the Angels and Jonathan Broxton re-upping with the Reds.  Wilson is coming off Tommy John surgery which has been a big success for relivers over the years.  Before the surgery Wilson was one of the best closers in the game and the Red Sox surely could use him in the ninth inning.  This has some legs to it so stay tuned.

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: REDS TO MOVE AROLDIS CHAPMAN TO STARTING ROTATION, JONATHAN BROXTON RE-SIGNS TO CLOSE

The Cincinnati Reds will move fireballing pitcher Aroldis Chapman into the starting rotation for 2013 after re-signing Jonathan Broxton to a three-year deal to close.  Chapman was the best closer in baseball last season with a strikeout rate that was though the moon but the team always looked long-term when it comes to eventually getting him into the rotation.

Analysis:  Not a surprise as all the money they spent on Chapman was not to have him close.  Broxton has salvaged his career last season with the Royals and Reds and should be a decent middle tier closer once again.  The bigger issue is figuring out how Chapman adapts to the rotation.  The strikeout figure to be extreme but he must reign in the walks and develop secondary stuff which is the same deal Neftali Feliz of Texas is facing this season.

2013 FANTASY BASEBALL PLAYER ANALYZER: B.J. UPTON OUTFIELDER ATLANTA BRAVES

With the second installment of the Winter Meetings in just a few days, one of the biggest free agents was taken off the market on Wednesday as outfielder B.J. Upton agreed to a five-year contract with the Atlanta Braves for $75.25 million dollars.  Upton effectively replaces fellow free agent Michael Bourn in centerfield for the Braves and clearly takes a prominent spot in their batting order.  With the ink on the signing still wet, let's take the opportunity to dig in a bit deeper on Upton the player with an eye toward the 2013 fantasy baseball season.

No doubt Upton was able to net such a good haul from the Braves due to the fact he comes off his best overall season in the majors in 2012 when he hit a career-high 28 home runs with 31 stolen bases for the Tampa Bay Rays.  There is little debate that Upton is pound-for-pound one of the most talented and athletically gifted players in the game and his ability to hit for power while stealing bases makes him a very attractive fantasy baseball outfielder who can help in more than a few categories.  First let's take a look at the good.  At the age of 27, where most hitter's tap into their power prime, Upton cracked those 28 home runs which was four more than his previous high of 24 in 2007.  Upton has been on a steady rise in the home run department the last few seasons and he is starting at a possibility of hitting the 30 mark in 2013 if all goes right.  He moves from one pitcher's park to another in Atlanta so that aspect won't be a boost to his power but Upton at the very least is a near-lock for 25 home runs with a decent amount of runs batted in depending on where he hits in the lineup.  With Bourn heading elsewhere, Upton could even hit leadoff which would change his fantasy baseball outlook a bit.  And if he does hit leadoff, Upton could than continue to tap into his top end speed which has resulted in three seasons of over 40 stolen bases.  While he failed to hit that mark the last two seasons, the 36 and 31 bags Upton gathered while hitting toward the bottom of the Rays lineup at times was still nothing to sniff at.  Once again we feel secure in predicting that Upton will settle somewhere in the 30-40 steal range, with more possible if he leads off the order.  With that would go 80-plus runs, with a few knocked off while the RBI total increases if he hits second or third. 

Now let's get to the bad.  The one big negative when it comes to Upton is his downright pathetic batting average.  Upton is a career .255 hitter who has failed hit better than .246 the last four seasons.  The big issue is a scary strikeout rate which has shown no signs of getting any better.  It is likely that Upton is who he is when it comes to that glaring problem and so expecting him to hit even .255 could be a stretch.  Thus you have to be sure you cover the rest of your roster with a few .300 hitters so that you minimize the damage he brings to that particular statistic.  Yes the bad be brings there takes some of the pop away from the rest of his stats but the interesting thing about Upton is that many owners have moved away from him over the years due to fact he burned many along the way with some underwhelming seasons.  That means his draft price should remain solid which is where he has landed the last few seasons.  Also helping the matter is that many owners also focus in more on average than any other hitting stat since it is so cut and dry to see if a player is good or bad there and that snap judgement helps to keep Upton's price down also.

All in all, Upton remains what he was the last two season or so and that is a very solid fantasy baseball outfielder 2 who helps across the board outside of average.  Again know what you are getting here when you make the pick this March and you won't be disappointed. 

2013 PROJECTION:  .252 27 HR 82 RBI 91 R 34 SB

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

2012 FANTASY FOOTBALL UPDATED WIDE RECEIVER RANKINGS

Been way too long since we checked in on the 2012 fantasy football wide receiver rankings.  Let's take a look at where they all stand.

1.  Calvin Johnson-Still the best despite getting pressure from A.J. Green.
2.  A.J. Green-Taken that next step to stardom.
3.  Andre Johnson-Far from washed up and healthy.  Results are back to his standard awesome self.
4.  Brandon Marshall-We all saw Marshall shooting back up the rankins after Cutler arrived.
5.  Reggie Wayne-No one saw this coming.  Not even Wayne's mom.
6.  Wes Welker-If he leaves New England, he will never see 100 catches again. 
7.  Victor Cruz-Slipping as the season drags on.
8.  Julio Jones-Injuries are interrupting what could be a monster season.
9.  Roddy White-Finally seeing Jones eat into a large chunk of his stats.
10. Dez Bryant-It took awhile but Bryant is living up to his draft status.
11. Vincent Jackson-Right at home in Tampa.
12. Percy Harvin-Recent injuries knocked him down a peg.
13. Demaryius Thomas-You think he should be doing more though.
14. Eric Decker-Manning's touchdown guy in the red zone.
15. Jordy Nelson-Overshawdowed some by Randall Cobb.
16. Randall Cobb-You can't sit him if your Green Bay even with Jennings returning.
17. Larry Fitzgerald-Feel for him since he has no one who can throw him the ball.
18. Marques Colston-Steady as she goes.
19. Stevie Johnson-Having a quietly good year.
20. Mike Williams-Working well off of Jackson.
21. Mike Wallace-Was better last season.
22. Dwayne Bowe-See Fitzgerald, Larry.
23. Torrey Smith-Looking forward to what he can do next season.
24. Antonio Brown-Injuries interrupting progress.
25. Miles Austin-Clearly behind Dez Bryant now.
26. Hakeem Nicks-Can't ever stay on the field.
27. Lance Moore-Inconsistency annoying.
28. Cecil Shorts-Came out of nowhere to have very good season with no QB help.
29. Denarius Moore-Collecting touchdowns and getting better each season.
30. Jeremy Maclin-Enough already with this injury mess.
31. Greg Jennings-A complete bust for 2012.
33. Andre Roberts-Nice numbers when no one is paying attention.
34. Steve Smith-Fallen hard with Cam Newton's step back.
35. DeSean Jackson-Always overrated.
36. Davone Bess-Good PPR weapon.
37. Andrew Hawkins-Another quiet boost guy.

There you have it.  As always let's hear your thoughts.

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: RAIDERS RB DARREN MCFADDEN (ANKLE) DOES LIMITED WORK IN PRACTICE WED.

Oakland Raiders RB Darren McFadden was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday as he attempts to get back into action off a high ankle sprain. 

Analysis:  We can never fully trust McFadden to be ready to go Sunday so keep holding onto Marcel Reece and hope for the best.  While McFadden's numbers were way down o na per game basis from 2011, the talent is obvious and he has the ability to go nuts at the drop of a hat.

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: PACK WR GREG JENNINGS (GROIN) A FULL PRACTICE PARTICIPANT WED.

Green Bay Packers WR Greg Jennings was a full participant in practice on Wednesday and will be in uniform Sunday after missing most of 2012 with a severe groin injury.  No word yet on whether Jennings will start over Randall Cobb but head coach Mike McCarthy indicated he will play a decent amount of snaps.

Analysis:  Jennings is not looking like a great play in Week 13 as it is likely he will be eased back in due to the fact Cobb has been so good and Jordy Nelson has been his usual solid self.  Pick him up if he somehow is still rotting there on the wire.

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: STEELERS QB BEN ROETHLISBERGER (RIBS) PRACTICES LIGHTLY WED.

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger practiced on a "very limited" basis on Wednesday and is already being labeled as a game-time decision guy for this week.  Roethlisberger has missed one game with badly bruised ribs.

Analysis:  The Steelers and Ravens don't kick off until 4:25 ET so it is a major gamble in a big time week in fantasy football with the playoffs right around the corner if you as Big Ben's owners decided to take a chance.  The values of Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown also hinge on his availability so stay tuned up until Sunday morning.

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: STEELERS WR ANTONIO BROWN (ANKLE) READY TO GO FOR SUNDAY

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown practiced fully on Wednesday and will "aboslutely" start Sunday after missing three weeks with a bad ankle injury.  Whether Ben Roethlisberger or Charlie Batch will be under center is still to be determined.

Analysis:  Great news for Brown owners to a point but the million dollar question is whether Big Ben or Batch plays.  That makes a world a difference as Brown would be a solid WR 3 with Roethlisberger and a bench option with Batch.

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: BEARS RB MATT FORTE (ANKLE) LOOKS "FINE" IN PRACTICE WED.

Chicago Bears RB Matt Forte took part in practice Wednesday on a limited basis but he looked "fine" according to team sources. 

Analysis:  Forte is looking like a good bet to go on Sunday based on this report so those hoping to cash in with Michael Bush are looking like they are out of luck.  It has been a tough 2012 season for Forte as injuries and sliding numbers have not yielded a profit based on where he was picked. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

FANTASY BASEBALL WINTER MEETINGS 2 PREVIEW

The second installment of the MLB Winter Meetings is on tap starting December 2nd in Nashville, TN and once again the Fantasy Sports Boss' Eric C. Wright will be there live in person giving first hand reports on all of the signings and rumors.  With that in mind, let's take a look at the latest talks from around the league with an eye on its effect on fantasy baseball.

Expect Some Big Names To Sign:  Generally speaking, the first winter meetings is where feelers are put out between agents and general managers and the foundations are laid for a possible future signing.  Those signings often come in the second winter meetings and there are so to be some big names inking new deals.  Outfielders Josh Hamilton, B.J. Upton and Michael Bourn, starting pitcher Zack Greinke and Dan Haren being the biggest names who are going to get the most free agent atention. 

Don't Forget Trades:  There is even more action and even bigger names when it comes to trade candidates, especially when it comes to starting pitching.  James Shields, Jon Lester, and R.A. Dickey lead that charge.  Than you have the eye-opening news that the Kansas City Royals are open to dealing the number 1 hitting prospect in the game, outfielder Will Myers for one of those starters mentioned in the previous sentence.  There will be a ton of talk when it comes to deal so look for constant action on that front at the meetings.

****With that said here is the latest we have heard or seen come down the pike:

-The Yankees will bring back SP Andy Pettitte for one more year, with the latter finally confirming this on Tuesday.  Also Ichiro Suzuki is due to come back for one mroe year as well, with a $5 million agreeement being immiment.

-The Mets are reportedly offering $130-140 million for around seven years for David Wright and those in the know think this will get done soon.  The flip side is that Dickey is likely to get traded, as the Mets want to fill their hitting needs with the Cy Young winner since their rotation is deep with Johan Santana, Jon Niese, Dillon Gee, Zach Wheeler, and Matt Harvey.  They also will likely bring back Mike Pelfrey on a one-year deal.

-Nothing doing with Russell Martin at this point as he wants a four-year deal which the Yankees don't want to do. 

-The Dodgers and Rangers are the two teams at the front of the Zack Greinke talks.  If Greinke signs with Los Angeles, he is absolutely a top ten fantasy baseball starting pitcher. 

-Ryan Madson will close for the Angels after signing a one-year deal. 

-Jonathan Broxton will re-sign with the Reds shortly and Aroldis Chapman will be one of the most sought after sleepers in fantasy baseball as he transitions into the rotation/.

-Mike Napoli is likely to land with the Red Sox who won't take no for an answer.

-Nick Swisher is also in talks with Boston.

There you have it.  Check in for more and ask any questions I can try and get to the bottom of.

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: PHILS CATCHER CARLOS RUIZ SUSPENDED 25 GAMES FOR GREENIES

Philadelphia Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz, who had a career-year in 2012 at an age where most catchers are in a steep decline, was busted for 25 games to begin 2013 due to testing positive for amphetamines.  After hitting a shocking .323 with 16 home runs last season, the Phillies will now begin the year without their starter behind the dish.

Analysis:  Wow I am shocked.  Hope you picked up the sarcasm there.  What Ruiz did last season was ridiculously suspicious, with both the average and the home runs being WAY above anything he ever had done before.  Now we just need A.J. Pierzynski to test positive for steroids and the fantasy baseball world can go back on its axis.  We had already put Ruiz down as a 2013 fantasy baseball bust in our draft guide before this news and that obviously strengthens oue opinion of that even more.



FANTASY BASEBALL HOT STOVE BREAKING NEWS: ANGLES TO INK CLOSER RYAN MADSON TO ONE-YEAR DEAL

The Los Angeles Angels are going to sign free agent closer Ryan Madson to a one-year deal for undisclosed terms according to a source.  Madson missed all of 2012 after undergoing Tommy John surgery but he is way ahead of schedule in his recovery and will be ready to go when spring training begins. 

Analysis:  Look for Madson to close for the Angels as the team was open about wanting Ernesto Frieri for the eighth inning.  The fallout here is that Madson won't be returning to Cincinnati which means Jonathan Broxton is likely to re-sign there to close.  The Reds want Aroldis Chapman to start this season which is why the dominos will fall they are.

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: EAGLES RB LESEAN MCOY (CONCUSSION) STILL NOT CLEARED TO PRACTICE

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy is still not cleared for practice and is looking like a very questionable option for Sunday night when the team plays against the Dallas Cowboys.  Backup Bryce Brown ran wild over the Carolina Panthers on Monday night and will once again be the bellcow runner in his place if he McCoy can't get onto the field this week.

Analysis:  Those who picked up Brown will likely get an encore performance this week as the Eagles won't play games with McCoy's health in a season gone awry.  Dallas' defense is much better than Carolina's but nothing to write home about either which means Brown a decent candidate for your starting running back slot.

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: BEARS RB MATT FORTE'S ANKLE INJURY NOT OF THE HIGH VARIETY

Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte did not suffer a high ankle sprain in last Sunday's win over the Minnesota Vikings according to a team source.  Forte likely suffered either a Grade 1 or Grade 2 sprain and is "questionable at best" for Sunday's game according to the source.

Analysis:  Get Michael Bush on the ready as he will start in his place against a stingy Seattle Seahawks defense.  Bush knows how to get into the end zone and is a decent runner himself so he makes for a wise waiver wire investment this week.

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: EAGLES WR DESEAN JACKSON DONE FOR 2012 WITH BROKEN RIBS

Philadelphia Eagles WR DeSean Jackson's 2012 season is over due to the broken ribs he suffered in Monday night's loss to the Carolina Panthers.  The Eagles wasted little time placing Jackson on IR after the game.

Analysis:  Jackson remains an overrated fantasy football receiver who is a major negative in PPR formats due to a lack of raw catch totals.  While he carries some value in standard formats due to his nose for the end zone and ability for the big play, Jackson's brittle nature and talk that overshadows his game continually make him a bad investment.

FANTASY SPORTS BOSS TAKES ANOTHER DEFEAT, 6-6 AND HOLDING ON

It was another cruel week for yours truly in the Fantasy Sports Boss PPR Experts Money League as I lost my second straight crucial game by  a tally of 146-134.  If not for Bryce Brown going crazy last night, the margin would have been more.  The funny thing is that my team is actually playing well as I outscored every one of the other eight teams in the league except for one.  But of course that means nothing when you can't outscore the person you are playing.  This is the cruel part of the game.  I know am at 6-6 and holding onto the last playoff spot.  If I win next week (and I play a 2-10 squad) than I am in.  Simple as that.  If I lose than I can back in but I would need help which is not the way I want to do it.  Of course once you are in, anything can happen and I still feel good about my roster.  Everyone but my running backs have been great but unfortunately the latter is likely to be my undoing.  Losing both DeMarco Murray and LeSean McCoy is almost impossible to overcome but I made do with Brown in one spot.  I completely missed with Ronnie Hillman as Knowshon Moreno surprisingly started.  I was able to bench Hillman before the game but James Starks was the best I could do on short notice.  Yeah not so good.  I have claims in on Michael Bush and Moreno and am hoping to get both which gives me options.  This Thursday's game is pivitol to me as Matt Ryan must score me at least 20-plus points to set me up.  Against the awful Saints defense, I would be shocked if he doesn't get there.  We shall see.



FANTASY FOOTBALL PLAYER ANALYZER: BRYCE BROWN RB PHILADEPHIA EAGLES

On the surface it was a meaningless Monday night football game last night between two out of contention teams in the Philadephia Eagles and the Carolina Panthers.  Meaningless of course to everyone but the fantasy football owners who had players involved in the game and who could decide their week's fortunes (including yours truly who took yet another ridiculously cruel loss....more on that in another post).  Outside of the obvious candidates such as Cam Newton, Steve Smith, and DeSean Jackson, Eagles rookie running back Bryce Brown also figured prominently in the games results, as he was a fill-in candidate for those owners left without LeSean McCoy.  While having next to no expectations attached to his name, Brown proceeded to go out on Monday and put up a monster starting debut with a ridiculous 178 yards rushing on only 19 carries with two touchdowns, along with 4 catches for 11 yards.  It was the kind of transcendent performance that McCoy's tremendously disappointed owners (again yours truly) were expecting out of him all season and that never came.  Brown instantly thrust himself right to the front of the news items in fantasy football Week 12 and with McCoy not guaranteed to play again this week against Dallas as he recovers from a concussion, his understudy is somebody who needs to be added in all setups.

Looking a bit deeper at Brown, it was easy to see why the Eagles liked him in the first place.  Brown was a seventh round pick of the team in this past April's draft out of Kansas State and even though he didn't have much fanfare attached to his name, his game was perfectly suited to what the Eagles look for in a back.  Specifically, Brown is a guy who can both run and catch the football, thus falling right in line with a long list of Eagles backs who excelled at this such as McCoy, Brian Westbrook, and Ricky Watters.  Thus Brown seemed to fit right in on Monday night and getting to face the awful Panthers defense no doubt was a boost as well.  Head coach Andy Reid has been mum on McCoy's status as concussions are never easy to predict and with the Eagles well out of playoff contention after their seventh straight defeat last night, there is no incentive for the team to risk his long-term health in a meaningless game.  Thus Brown is likely to start again this Sunday night against Dallas, who have had their own problems stopping the run this season. 

The only real negative that came out of last night for Brown was two lost fumbles and I have no doubt there were some owners who lost by that margin which is as about as frustrating a scenario as you could get.  Looking past that though, Brown absolutely should be in all lineups if he does in fact get the start on Sunday.  Those in PPR formats should especially be aggressive here as this is a very important week in fantasy football with the playoffs looming.  While we don't expect anything near what he did against Carolina, Brown has already proven himself to be a very potent back capable of causing a lot of damage to opposing defenses the rest of the season.

Monday, November 26, 2012

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 12 INJURY REPORT

It is Monday and that means there are mucho injuries to discuss.  Let's take a look at all they ones with the fantasy football playoffs right around the corner.

-New York Giants short yardage running back Andre Brown suffered a broken leg in Monday night's win over the Green Bay Packers and will miss the rest of the season.  Brown was right at the top of the NFL in rushing touchdowns due to his role as the goal-line back and instead the job will now fall to Ahmad Bradshaw which no doubt boosts his fantasy football stock.  David Wilson also figures to see more work but his preseason sleeper label is not going to be be revisited until next season.

-In potentially big news, Green Bay Packers WR Greg Jennings is expected back for Week 13 after missing most of the season with a groin injury.  Jennings is a big time difference-maker who should be picked up before you read the end of this sentence if still available.  Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson will steal some of the spotlight but in standard formats Jennings has big time value.

-Oakland Raiders RB Darren McFadden is expected back for Week 13, ending the nice Marcel Reece story in its tracks.  Reece has been a real find in PPR formats since taking over for McFadden but instead he will go back to his old status as a backup.

-Cleveland Browns QB Brandon Weeden suffered a concussion late in Sunday's victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers and is questionable at best for next week.  Weeden has played solid football over the last month or so but is still a borderline option even in two-QB formats.

There you have it.  As always check back for more injury news as they take place.

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 12 WRAPUP

Peyton Manning:  22/37 for 285 yards with 2 TD and 1 INT.  Kudos to all those who looked past the "risk" and drafted Manning last summer off a missed season.  While Adrian Peterson is getting all the comeback love, Manning has been just as good, if not better.  The fact he went on average in the fifth round in drafts make his value ridiculous.

Knowshon Moreno:  20 carries for 85 yards along with 4 catches for 26 yards.  We have been down this road too many times to count but Moreno got the surprise start over Ronnie Hillman and got virtually all the work.  That means he needs to be on the radar of all owners who own the following players:  DeMarco Murray, LeSean McCoy, Willis McGahee, and Matt Forte.

Reggie Wayne:  8 catches for 102 yards.  Wayne is aging like a fine wine and clearly his "fade" last season was solely to blame on the awful QB's throwing him the football.  Another guy who supplied some crazy bang for the buck.

Stevie Johnson:  6 catches for 106 yards.  Now is the time to sell off Johnson now that the harsh winter weather is arriving in Buffalo.  Not much throwing going to be going on there from this point on.

Andy Dalton:  16/30 for 210 yards and 3 TD.  Dalton has clearly elevated himself into Matt Ryan/Eli Manning/Tony Romo territory with his tremendous play this season.  The Bengals are looking like a major passing force with A.J. Green joining Mohamed Sanu and Jermaine Gresham.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis:  19 carries for 129 yards and 1 TD.  The Law Firm has a game like this every once in awhile but don't go overboard here.  He is still a middle of the pack runner who doesn't catch passes.

Mohamed Sanu:  5 catches for 29 yards and 2 TD.  Sanu has big time potential but he still is in the giant shadow of A.J. Green.  Still need to see more consistency.

Russell Wilson:  21/27 for 224 yards with 2 TD.  Yup me telling you to draft Wilson at the very end of your draft (I made him the last pick in the Experts League) has paid off nicely I would have to say.

Davone Bess:  7 catches for 129 yards.  I have always liked Bess in PPR formats and he can sneak in as a WR 3 in that setup. 

Matt Ryan:  26/32 for 353 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT and 1 fumble.  It was nice to see all the yardage but as a Ryan owner, the day left you wanting more.  There were two goal-line scores from the running game which no doubt left Ryan's owners screaming in frustration and he turned it over two more times with a pick and fumble.  Ryan and Drew Brees could break the scoring clock this Thursday though so stay the course.

Julio Jones:  6 catches for 147 yards and 1 TD.  This guy is electric to say the least.  Nagging injuries have been the only thing to slow him down.

Michael Bush:  21 carries for 60 yards and 2 TD's along with 1 catch for -1 yards.  Bush is going to be a hot pickup this week as Matt Forte left the game injured.  The story stays the same here:  Bush is an underrated runner who will collect touchdowns and catch some passes.

Brandon Marshall:  12 catches for 92 yards.  Its amazing the rapport Marshall has with Jay Cutler and when these two are on the field together, you can guarantee a huge day for the wideout. 

Adrian Peterson:  18 carries for 108 yards and 1 fumble along with 6 catches for 30 yards.  Peterson is right there in the fantasy football MVP talk which would have been a ludicrous statement in the preseason. 

Chad Henne:  17/26 for 261 yards with 2 TD and 1 INT.  It is too bad the Jaguars waited so long to put Henne in because he has really moved the football.  Those in two-QB formats are getting more interested as we go along.

Cecil Shorts:  4 catches for 105 yards and 1 TD.  Shorts becomes a lot more attractive now that he has a competent QB throwing him the rock.  Pick him up as he is still widely available.

Justin Blackmon:  5 catches for 61 yards and 1 TD.  The dam is starting to break on Blackmon's potential and the results could be spectacular.  Get in on the ground floor pronto.

Ray Rice:  22 carries for 97 yards along with 8 catches for 67 yards.  Monster game for Rice and there are only a handful of guys in the game who are capable of such a haul.  Also the fourth-and-29 he converted was one of the most amazing non-game-winning runs you will ever see.

Torrey Smith:  7 catches for 144 yards.  The Ravens passing attack was in gear for the first time in weeks and Smith was the main beneficiary.  A clear case of a guy who continues to climb the receiver rankings.

Danario Alexander:  5 catches for 78 yards.  I told you to pick him up last week and now we have seen Alexander catch 5 or more balls three straight weeks. 

Steven Jackson:  24 carries for 139 yards.  Throwback game for Jackson but these are few and far between now.

Beanie Wells:  17 carries for 48 yards and 2 TD's.  Wells made the most of his limited work with the two scores but the guy remains one of the most frustrating players to own.  Look toward Michael Bush or Knowshon Moreno first if you need a running back boost.

Colin Kapernick:  16/25 for 231 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT along with 27 rushing yards and 1 TD.  Without getting the rushing touchdown, Kapernick's day was ordinary.  We still find it tough to go in on him during the heat of the fantasy football playoffs but the tools are there for a big day in any week.

Drew Brees:  26/41 for 267 yards with 3 TD and 2 INT.  Brees was lucky to walk out of the arena under his own power and he was nailed all game long.  The two interceptions speak to the way the 49ers defense was all over the place but at least Brees threw in the three scores to help buffer that blow.

Eli Manning:  16/30 for 249 yards and 3 TD.  No more talk of a tired arm.  This one was easy to see coming as Manning is too good to struggle this long and he comes off a bye where he does his best work.  Nothing to see here.

Victor Cruz:  3 catches for 36 yards and 1 TD.  Lucky Cruz scored as he would have been a no-show again.  It now appears as though Hakeem Nicks has passed him on Manning's attention meter as the latter has outproduced him the last three games.  Fatigue?  More like getting double-covered more than he has ever seen.

Hakeem Nicks:  5 catches for 77 yards and 1 TD.  We are not ready to say Nicks is back to his old self but he has put together two big games in a row.  The next injury is right around the corner though.






Sunday, November 25, 2012

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: RAMS WR DANNY AMENDOLA (FOOT) OUT SUNDAY

St. Louis Rams WR Danny Amendola is expected to be OUT Sunday due to an injured foot.  Amendola is going to try and do through warmups but a team source said it is "99 percent" he will sit.

Analysis:  Big loss here for those who own Amendola in PPR formats.  As good a player as he can be at times, Amendola can't shake the injury issues that have marred his progress.

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: 49ERS OFFICIALLY GOING WITH COLIN KAPERNICK AT QB

San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh has officially names Colin Kapernick as his starting QB for Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints.  Kapernick takes the place of Alex Smith who is healthy and ready to play but instead will now watch from the bench.

Analysis:  Amazing that Harbaugh is making such a huge move off only one start in the middle of a season with a Super Bowl-worthy squad.  Kapernick has a great matchup against the always awful Saints defense but let's not go overboard yet.  Meanwhile Smith should be available for trade once the season in over, with the New York Jets likely being a suitor.



FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: FALCONS WR JULIO JONES (ANKLE) TO START SUNDAY

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones is expected to START Sunday despite being listed as questionable with an ankle injury. 

Analysis:  This was the prevailing thought all along and Jones could have a big game today against the terrible Buccaneers pass defense.  Overall Jones has been a terrific fantasy football receiver who has taken the next step to stardom.  Only injuries can hold him back.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: BEARS QB JAY CUTLER (CONCUSSION) TO START SUNDAY

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler has passed the NFL mandated testing for concussions and will go ahead and start Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.  Cutler has missed one game with the concussion he suffered back in Week 10.

Analysis:  Cutler is really just for two-QB formats so this is not major news.  He should not be started in single-QB leagues due to risk of going with a starter right off a concussion. 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: EAGLES RB LeSEAN McCOY (CONCUSSION) OFFICIALLY OUT MONDAY

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy is officially OUT for Monday's game against the Carolina Panthers due to the concussion he suffered last week.  Head coach Andy Reid said that backup Bryce Brown will start in his place. 

Analysis:  Brown is an interesting play against the awful Carolina run defense but McCoy is a huge loss no matter how you look at it.  2012 has not been a good one for McCoy however as his stats are down across the board as the Eagles offense has struggled.

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: VIKES WR PERCY HARVIN (ANKLE) DOESN'T MAKE TRIP TO CHICAGO

Minnesota Vikings WR Percy Harvin is OUT for Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears after not making the trip.  Harvin will miss his second game due to a bad ankle sprain suffered in Week 9. 

Analysis:  This is an awful time for Harvin's fantasy football owners to be without Harvin, who was having a career year before getting hurt.  The ironic thing is that Harvin has had no issues with his previously persistent migraines but he will be looked at again on Monday with an eye toward playing next week.

FANTASY SPORTS BOSS FANTASY FOOTBALL TEAM IN UNCHARTED TERRITORY

It has been nothing but a trying season for yours truly in the Fantasy Sports Boss Fantasy Football PPR Experts League.  I limp into Week 12 with a shoddy 6-5 record and already trailing by 14 going into Sunday's games as my opponent had both Alfred Morris and Arian Foster who ran wild on Thursday.  At this point I am expecting to drop to 6-6 which will set up a scenario where I have to win to get in next week in the regular season finale.  This is the seventh year of the Experts League and in the previous six, I have never missed the playoffs, won two titles, and was runner up on two other occasions.  So needless to say this is new territory for me. 

The main culprit in my troubles?  Other than rotten luck (I have lost twice this year when I outscored everyone else in the league except my opponents.....those kind of losses really grate at you), my running back situation has been a disgrace.  First DeMarco Murray has been out most of the season with a busted foot and I used a fourth round pick on the guy.  Secondly, my first round pick of LeSean McCoy unbelievably has not worked out at all as the guy has fallen WAY short of his excellence standards.  The fact I picked McCoy over Arian Foster makes this an even more infuriating situation.  McCoy's receptions and rushing yards are off the map and that alone has been a major reason I am where I am.

The rest of my roster has been great, what with Andre Johnson, Roddy White, and Eric Decker all playing superb football in my wide receiver corp.  Also Jason Witten has been his usual dominant self.  Throw out the five-INT disaster last week and Matt Ryan has been in the fantasy football MVP discussion. 

Next week I play the worst team in the league and if I can't win there, than I don't deserve to get in.  I could still back in with a loss as I am far ahead of another soon-to-be 6-6 team that I will edge out if he loses next week but I don't want to go there.  This season has been a reminder though that as good as you feel about your team after the draft, there is no guarantee that you will sail all the way to the playoff rounds. 

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 12 RB RANKINGS

Here are the fantasy football Week 12 running back rankings based on opposing matchups.

1.  Adrian Peterson
2.  Doug Martin
3.  Marshawn Lynch
4.  C.J. Spiller
5.  Chris Johnson
6.  Ray Rice
7.  Trent Richardson
8.  Frank Gore
9.  Marcel Reece
10. Matt Forte
11. Jamaal Charles
12. Steven Jackson
13. BenJarvis Green-Ellis
14. Bryce Brown
15. Ronnie Hillman
16. Vic Ballard
17. Ryan Matthews
18. Ahmad Bradshaw
19. Michael Turner
20. Jonathan Stewart
21. Fred Jackson
22. Rashard Mendenhall
23. James Starks
24. Darren Sproles
25. Reggie Bush
26. Beanie Wells
27. LaRod Stephens-Howling
28. Jalen Parmelee
29. Lance Ball
30. Donald Brown

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 12 QB RANKINGS

Here are the fantasy football Week 12 QB rankings based on opposing matchups:

1.  Peyton Manning
2.  Matt Ryan
3.  Aaron Rodgers
4.  Drew Brees
5.  Colin Kapernick
6.  Andrew Luck
7.  Andy Dalton
8.  Cam Newton
9.  Josh Freeman
10. Eli Manning
11. Carson Palmer
12. Ryan Fitzpatrick
13. Jake Locker
14. Joe Flacco
15. Chad Henne
16. Russell Wilson
17. Philip Rivers
18. Jay Cutler
19. Nick Foles/Michael Vick
20. Sam Bradford
21. Brandon Weeden

Friday, November 23, 2012

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 12 THANKSGIVING WRAPUP

There were three games to discuss on fantasy football Week 12 Thanksgiving edition.  Let's get to all the latest noteworthy efforts.

Matthew Stafford:  31/61 for 441 yards and 2 TD's.  Stafford is past the point of being able to salvage his first round draft pick status of last summer but it was performances like this that elevated him to that area code in the first place.  There is no doubting Stafford's ability, only his consistency. 

Arian Foster:  20 carries for 102 yards and 2 TD's along with 5 catches for 15 yards.  This was a Foster special as he ran for over 100 yards, scored touchdowns, and made hay in PPR leagues with a decent amount of catches.  Pity to those who picked LeSean McCoy or even Ray Rice over him in drafts last summer.

Calvin Johnson:  8 catches for 140 yards and 1 touchdown.  You know you are an incredible player when you put up games like this and no one is surprised.

Brandon Pettigrew:  8 catches for 74 yards and 1 fumble.  Pettigrew had been AWOL for some time but he came back in a big way in this one.  Most of his owners probably benched him however.

Andre Johnson:  9 catches for 188 yards.  Andre showed his Calvin "not so fast" in taking the title of the league's best receiver.  Do yourself a favor and take a look at Johnson's performances in the last five games.  Even Calvin would be envious of those totals. 

Robert Griffin III:  20/28 for 311 yards and 4 TD's along with 29 yards rushing.  I don't even know what to say about the kid anymore.  I am out of positive adjectives to use.  Griffin has put up the most insane rookie numbers I have ever seen out of a QB and will go down as one of the very best fantasy football values ever.

Alfred Morris:  24 carries for 113 yards and 1 TD.  Speaking of value, Morris has been the best at what he does in that respect.  Yes he doesn't catch passes but it is fair to state that Morris is easily the newer version of Michael Turner.

Tony Romo:  37/62 for 441 yards and 3 TD's and 2 INT's, along with a two-point conversion.  Romo did his part in this insane offensive Thanksgiving Day.  We have told you all along to stay patient with Romo and the numbers would eventually come to the surface.  There you go.

Jason Witten:  9 catches for 74 yards.  Simply the best PPR tight end of all time outside of Tony Gonzalez.

Dez Bryant:  8 catches for 145 yards with 2 TD's and 1 INT.  He can drive you crazy with drops and stupid penalties but Bryant's super talent has finally broken through in a crazy good way.

Pierre Garcon:  5 catches for 93 yards and 1 TD.  If you are in a pinch at WR, Garcon is a nice guy to look at.  Remember we all wanted him after Week 1.

Tom Brady:  18/28 for 323 yards and 3 TD's.  Pretty much a perfect game for Brady who played catch all night long.  You were better off going Black Friday shopping than sitting around watching this destruction.

Wes Welker:  7 catches for 71 yards and 1 TD.  I remember when we all freaked early in the season when Welker was looking like he was being phased out.  Ridiculous.

Stevan Ridley:  21 carries for 97 yards and 1 TD.  Two very good games in a row for Ridley who seems back on track to his September positive ways.

Jeremy Kerley:  7 catches for 86 yards.  Kerley is the only Jet worth discussing as he has some PPR value.  You need to be really desperate however to pick up any Jet offensive player.



Thursday, November 22, 2012

BLACK FRIDAY FANTASY SPORTS BOSS SALE

In honor of Black Friday, the 2013 Fantasy Sports Boss Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide is only $11.99 instead of the listed $14.99.  Just make the purchase and we will instantly refund you the three dollar difference.  Use the BUY NOW tab listed above. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

FANTASY BASEBALL HOT STOVE BREAKING NEWS: YANKS RE-SIGN HIROKI KURODA TO ONE-YEAR DEAL/$15 MILLION

They had to sweat a bit but the New York Yankees re-signed SP Hiroki Kuroda to a one-year deal for $15 million.  After rumors of Kuroda possibly going back to Japan or signing with the Dodgers or Angels, the Yankees made sure to get their man by giving him a $5 million raise.

Analysis:  We hate the division but Kuroda was a terrific pitcher last season who more than held his own in terms of fantasy baseball.  He lacks top notch K's but otherwise is a durable pitcher who will be an asset in ERA and WHIP while winning a good amount of games in New York.

FANTASY FOOTBALL INJURY CRISIS: OVERCOMING GAPING HOLES OF ROB GRONKOWSKI AND WILLIS McGAHEE

Ouch!  That had to be the collective response to the fantasy football owners of Denver Broncos RB Willis McGahee and New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski due to the significant injuries both guys sustained in last Sunday's games.  McGahee is likely finished for 2012 after tearing the MCL in his right knee, while Gronkowski will be out the next 4-6 weeks after having surgery on a broken forearm,  With the fantasy football playoffs right around the corner, owners of these two are scrambling on the run to fill those gigantic voids.  Let's look at each a bit more closely and try our best to come up with some possible solutions.

Rob Gronkowski:  Gronkowski is already saying he is shooting to return in Week 14 which would only three weeks from the day of the injury which is asking a ton.  Don't subscribe to Gronk's optimism and instead prepare for the likely possibility he will be out longer than that date.  Now as far as some replacements, the first thing you need to do is to see if the impatient Aaron Hernandez owner dropped him outright as he should finally be able to get back in the lineup Sunday after missing more than half the season with a high ankle sprain.  Failing that however, these are some names who should be available and carry intrigue.

Dwayne Allen:  It has been Allen and not Coby Fleener who had been the tight end to have the biggest impact in the Colts' passing attack and he is getting better by the week.  Allen has caught 18 passes in the last four games and the former Clemson standout was labeled by some as the better receiver than Fleener coming out of the draft.  The Colts passing offense is playing in high gear and Allen should be given a shot to see if his second half renaissance continues.

Brandon Myers:  The previously unknown Myers has caught the quietest 50 passes in the game and the fact the Raiders are now a high-octane passing attack under Carson Palmer makes him even more intriguing.  He has caught 8, 5, and 6 passes the last three weeks and has three touchdowns to this name.  Good sleeper play.

Brent Celek:  Celek is available in more leagues than you think and his 41 receptions are a nice haul.  The fact that rookie Nick Foles is under center for the time being makes Celek a very nice play as rookie passers always look toward their tight ends. 

Again these players are clearly not in the class of Rob Gronkowski but they can hold their own for the time being.  Gronkowski could be back when the fantasy football playoffs begin but getting there first will be helped by the names above.

******NOW LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT THE CASE OF WILLIS McGAHEE.******

With McGahee now pretty much finished for 2012, the search for a replacement will be fierce since LeSean McCoy could be out this week as well with a concussion.  Here are some names to look at.

Ronnie Hillman:  Hillman is the easy fallback pickup since he will now enter the starting lineup in place of McGahee.  Lance Ball will play on third down and get the goal-line work which limits the upside of Hillman but the latter will get the majority of work.  While we don't love him, opportunity is everything.

Beanie Wells:  Wells will come off IR this week and head coach Ken Whisenhunt said he will play.  LaRod Stephens-Howling has been great in his place but they figure to split time.  Wells is the better goal-line option so those of you in standard formats should be more interested.

Jalen Parmele:  Parmele has now passed the ineffective Rashad Jennings at the top of the Jacksonville running back chart and is coming off a decent game in Week 12where he rushed for 80 yards on 24 carries.  He has decent hands that should help some in PPR leagues and the opportunity to get the bulk of the running work makes Parmele a decent guy for you to target if need be.

Obviously you don't want to be reading this article since that means you are an owner of one of these two but again you can't give up.  These guys can surely help you stay competitive for now and hopefully get you into the playoffs where we all know a run of good luck can get you a league championship before you know it. 

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Below is an excerpt from the Busts Section.

2013 TOP TEN FANTASY BASEBALL BUSTS

Just saying the word “bust” around fantasy baseball players no doubt sends a shiver down one’s spine as we instantly delve back into the Eric Hosmers and Tim Lincecums of the world from this past season . Whether because of injuries or gross underperformance, draft busts can absolutely wreck your roster and ruin a season before it has a chance to get going. Thus you want to be able to identify players who are more likely to fail in reaching their quota numbers due to their increased chances of injury, advancing age, or just plan inexperience. We lead you to our “Top Ten Fantasy Baseball Bust List” which are the ten players we think you should avoid the most for one reason or another. You want to build a roster with as little risk as possible and these ten names go against that mantra to say the least. Let’s see who made the cut this season.

1. Paul Konerko: As much as it pains us to say it since the man has arguably been one our favorite players over the years, the Chicago White Sox’ Paul Konerko could be starting at a cliff season in 2012. At the age of 37, Konerko theoretically should have been on his way down production-wise the last few seasons but instead he put up one of his best campaigns in 2010 when he hit 39 home runs with a .312 average. Two years later Konerko slipped to a still very good 26 home runs but with only 75 RBI and an even more shaky 66 runs. Konerko once again hit for a solid average at .298 but he is now only a two category guy (home runs/average), with the latter category likely to slip as well being another year older. The name value will ensure Konerko is drafted in the top ten for first baseman but the cheaper Adam LaRoche, Ike Davis, and Anthony Rizzo are all much better options to invest your money in. Again don’t pay for a name brand when they are aging.

2. A.J. Pierzynski: Perhaps the biggest outlier season, maybe even all-time, was how on earth a 36-year-old catcher in A.J. Pierzynski was able to hit 27 home runs after not hitting double-digits in that category since 2009. Also Pierzynski’s previous high in home runs was the 18 he hit back in 2005 so one can easily see that this was one of the biggest fluke campaigns ever. This one is too easy.


Monday, November 19, 2012

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: LIONS SUSPEND TITUS YOUNG FOR WEEK 12

The Detroit Lions suspended playmaking receiver Titus Young for Week 12 due to the scene he caused on the sidelines in Sunday's loss to the Green Bay Packers. 

Analysis:  Stupid.  Young obviously showed his immaturity with this and he rightfully was parked on the bench.  Hopefully he learns from this in an era where the diva receiver is a dying breed thankfully.  Stash him on the bench.

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: BRONCOS RB WILLIS MCGAHEE TEARS MCL, OUT 6-8 WEEKS

Denver Broncos RB Willis McGahee is out the next 6-8 weeks with a torn right MCL suffered in Sunday's win over the San Diego Chargers.  Ronnie Hillman will replace McGahee in the lineup.

Analysis:  That one hurt.  McGahee joins Rob Gronkowski as the two mammoth injuries in fantasy football Week 11 and his loss is monstrous for his owners.  Lance Ball will handle the third-down work, while Ronnie Hillman handles first and second down.  Hillman would be the one to own but Ball figures to steal all go-line work.  Try to look elsewhere for help.

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 11 INJURY WRAPUP

Lots of major injury news to get to to some of the biggest names in the game.  Let's get right to the gory details.

Rob Gronkowski (broken forearm, out 4-6 weeks):  The biggest news of the day was the monster revelation that New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will miss the next 4-6 weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a broken forearm suffered in Sunday's win over the Indianapolis Colts.  This is devastating news for Gronk's owners as he is one of the few players who just can't be replaced.  Aaron Hernandez is slated to return for Thursday's game against the New York Jets but he is likely not available.  Guys to check out on the wire if you are a Gronkowski owner as Brandon Myers of Oakland or Dwayne Allen of Indianapolis.

Willis McGahee (knee):  McGahee was headed for an MRI on Monday after leaving Sunday's game with a knee injury.  No word yet on the severity of the injury but I wouldn't count on seeing McGahee for Week 12.  Ronnie Hillman would be the handcuff so start planning accordingly if you are a McGahee owner.  Also LaRod Stephens-Howling or Marcel Rease are other options to look at.

LeSean McCoy (concussion):  McCoy's frustrating season continued as he suffered a dreaded concussion during garbage time of the team's loss to the Washington Redskins.  McCoy will have top pass the battery of tests to play next week and he is likely a 50/50 scenario.  Just another blow to a guy who has let down his owners with his numbers down across the board.

Michael Vick (concussion):  Vick has yet to be cleared to hit the practice field due to his own concussion problems but head coach Andy Reid said he will start if he does pass the tests.  At this point most Vick owners have moved on but if he lurks on the waiver wire and you need help under center, he would be a decent gamble.

Ben Roethlisberger (ribs):  The Steelers are claiming that they think Big Ben could make it back for Week 13 despite a severe rib injury but this is still a longshot at best.  Byron Leftwich was horrible in his place on Sunday night but the Steelers won't rush him back.

Percy Harvin (ankle):  Harvin didn't practice on Monday but the team feels he will be ready to play Sunday.  The Vikings' leading receiver is dealing with an ankle injury that has Harvin in a state of limbo but he will likely try to get back into practice by Thursday.

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

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 11 WRAPUP

Fantasy Football Week 11 is nearly in the books and it was a big one with a bunch of overtime games and some silly statistical outings. Let's take a look at all of the noteworthy performances more closely while already looking ahead to next week.

Tom Brady: 24/35 for 331 yards and 3 TD's. Another monster game by Brady who is having a phenomenal season once again at 36. There was nothing the Colts defense could do to slow him down in this one and Brady is showing no signs of slowing down in his advancing years. He gets a terrible New York Jets defense on Thanksgiving Day so look for more excellence in four days.

Drew Brees: 20/27 for 219 yards and 3 TD's. It was a tantalizing matchup for Brees and he delivered for his fantasy football owners. Rare is the game where Brees doesn't toss three scores at least and we reiterate that those who own him are among the more fortunate in the fantasy baseball community.

Matt Schaub: 43/55 for 527 yards 5 TD's!!!!!!!!!!! and 2 INT's. WOW!!! Let me say it again......WOW!!!!! Schaub threw for the second most yards in NFL history and no doubt has elevated his fantasy football game after a slow start to the season. I pity those who went up against a Schaub owner this week.

Dez Bryant: 12 catches for 145 yards and 1 TD. That's more like it. They say it takes some receivers up to three years to achieve their full potential and that could be the here with the previously disappointing Bryant. The guy only has to keep his head on straight and more games like this should be in the offing.

Andre Johnson: 14 catches for 273 yards. Johnson has firmly re-established himself as quite possibly the best receiver in the game. He has been silly the last month, with four bonanza games in a row. The best part is that his health continues to hold up.

Matt Ryan: 28/46 for 301 yards 5 INT's!!!!!!!!! What a joke this game was for Ryan's fantasy football owners, including yours truly. I challenge any Ryan owner to show me they won this week. Chalk it up to one of those games as Ryan has been in the fantasy football MVP talk for most of the season up until this point.

LaRod Stephens-Howling: 22 carries for 127 yards and 1 TD along with 2 catches for 6 yards. Forget Beanie Wells as the Arizona running back job is now Stephens-Howling's to lose. Yes you should pick him up.

A.J. Green: 6 catches for 91 yards and 1 TD. The real key in identifying a top tier fantasy football wide receiver is when a guy continues to collect a bunch of catches and yards despite the fact everyone knows the ball is coming his way. Green can actually make an argument for being the top receiver in the game this season and he no doubt has put himself in the talk with Calvin Johnson going forward.

Josh Freeman: 25/46 for 248 yards with 3 TD and 2 INT. Yet another game where Freeman throws for three touchdowns. Freeman is now a slam dunk top ten QB option and with his ability to run the football, has made himself into a very potent weapon.

Doug Martin: 24 carries for 138 yards and 1 fumble along with 4 catches for 23 yards. We have preached about Martin going all the way back to the April NFL Draft and we won't stop now. Hopefully you took our advice and reached for Martin this past summer as he will be nothing but a first round pick next season/

Randall Cobb: 9 catches for 74 yards and 1 TD. It will be interesting to see what happens with Cobb's numbers when Greg Jennings gets back but for now he has turned out to be one of the best in-season pickups in the game.

Robert Griffin III: 14/15 for 200 yards and 4 TD's along with 12 carries for 84 yards. Ridiculous. That sums up RG3's rookie season and just to let you know how much I got screwed this week, I played against the owner of BOTH Griffin and Dez Bryant.

Peyton Manning: 25/42 for 270 yards 3 TD's and 1 INT. Manning should be the MVP of the NFL this season and he is not that far behind in the fantasy football version of the award either.

Danario Alexander: 7 catches for 96 yards and 2 TD's. We will be looking at Alexander a bit more closely this week and for good reason. We always are on he lookout for emerging receivers in the Philip Rivers-led Chargers attack and it looks like this guy can help make up for the loss of Vincent Jackson this season.

Dwayne Allen: 6 catches for 69 yards. Those who just lost Gronkowski should consider giving this guy a shot as Allen has surpassed Coby Fleener in the tight end receiving hierarchy.

T.Y. Hilton: 6 catches for 100 yards and 2 TD's. This is the third 100-yard game for the rookie as he Hilton is the only guy in his class to do so. There is a ton of potential here and Hilton should have picked up already.

Andrew Luck: 27/50 for 334 yards with 2 TD and 3 INT with 1 fumble. Yuck. Not good by any means which was a bit if a surprise since the Pats defense is so poor. However Bill Belichick has a habit of spitting out rookie passers and so we get what we had in this one. Keep the faith though.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: PATS TIGHT END ROB GRONKOWSKI (BROKEN FOREARM) LIKELY OUT 4-6 WEEKS

Updating an earlier item, a source close to the New England Patriots reported that tight end Rob Gronkowski will miss AT LEAST the next 4-6 weeks with a broken forearm suffered in Sunday's win over the Indianapolis Colts.

Analysis:  This is what we were hearing even before the team source confirmed it.  This basically wipes out Gronkowski from the remainder of the fantasy football season and so if you are an owner, start looking for a replacement fast.  Some names to consider are teammate Aaron Hernandez, Dwayne Allen, Jermaine Gresham, and Brandon Myers.

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: PATS TIGHT END ROB GRONKOWSKI SUFFERS BROKEN ARM

In what could be truly devastating news for the New England Patriots, All Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski suffered a broken forearm in Sunday's win over the Indianapolis Colts.  Gronkowski will head for additional testing on Monday and the team will have a better indication of how long he should be out.

Analysis:  Terrible. This is about as big a loss as you can get in fantasy football as Gronkowski clearly is the best at what he does in the game.  A broken forearm should finish him for the remainder of the fantasy football season, with a shot to retrun to the Pats for the playoffs.  Aaron Hernandez figures to see a major spike in value if he can ever get back on the field.

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: SAINTS RB DARREN SPROLES (HAND) TO BE ACTIVE SUNDAY

New Orleans RB Darren Sproles will be ACTIVE on Sunday for the team's 4:00 PM ET game agianst the Oakland Raiders.  This will be Sproles' first game back since suffering a broken hand a few weeks ago.

Analysis:  Good to see Sproles get back but he is not a good start since he is likely going to be eased back into action and the Saints backfield is fully stocked.  Leave him for next week.

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: FALCONS WR JULIO JONES (ANKLE) ACTIVE BUT WILL BE LIMITED

Atlanta Falcons explosive WR Julio Jones is ACTIVE for Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals but he will be limtied according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen.  Jones is possibly only going to play on obvious passing downs after missing the previous week's practices.

Analysis:  This is a tough call as we have seen countless cases of players who are supposed to be limited and than go on to have a monster day.  It is your call but if you got great depth with your receivers, you may want to sit Jones. 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: CHARGERS RB RYAN MATTHEWS (NECK) TO START SUNDAY

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Matthews will start Sunday despite being limited in the past week with a neck injury.  The NFL Network is reporting that Matthews will get the lion's share of carries in their game against the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

Analysis:  Get Matthews out there as he could be in line for a big day.  He has to stay healthy of course which is an ongoing problem but you know that already. 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: TEXANS TIGHT END OWEN DANIELS (HIP) TO START SUNDAY

Houston Texans TE Owen Daniels will start Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars desipite being listed as questionable for the game with a hip injury.

Analysis:  Get Daniels out there as he is in line for a nice game against an awful Jaguars defense.  Daniels has had a nice comeback season after being an injury mess in 2011.

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: PATS WR WES WELKER (ANKLE) TO START SUNDAY

New England Patriots WR Wes Welker will start for the team Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts despite being questionable with an ankle injury according to a team source.

Analysis:  We heard this directly from our source so count on Welker being out there.  While he has been banged up a lot this season, Welker has made every start and remains the best PPR wideout in the game.

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: STEELERS RB RASHARD MENDENHALL TO START SUNDAY

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin announced early on Sunday that RB Rashard Mendenhall would start against the Baltimore Ravens.  Mendenhall is returning from an achillies injury and will get the nod over Jonathan Dwyer.

Analysis:  Mendenhall is obviously looked at as the clear starter in Tomlin's mind despite the great play of Dwyer this season.  If Menenhall is lurking on the free agent fire, pick him up by all means as the Ravens defense is a shell of its former awesome self.

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 11 TIGHT END RANKINGS

Here is the fantasy football Week 11 tight end rankings based on opposing matchups.

1.  Tony Gonzalez
2.  Jimmy Graham
3.  Rob Gronkowski
4.  Jason Witten
5.  Antonio Gates
6.  Jermaine Gresham
7.  Heath Miller
8.  Owen Daniels
9.  Greg Olsen
10. Brandon Pettigrew
11. Brent Celek
12. Vernon Davis
13. Dennis Pitta
14. Dwayne Allen
15. Jacob Tamme
16. Dallas Clark
17. Jermichael Finley
18. Tony Scheffler
19. Coby Fleener
20. Marcedes Lewis
21. Brandon Myers
22. Logan Paulsen
23. Ben Watson
24. Dustin Keller
25. Garrett Graham

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 11 WIDE RECEIVER RANKINGS

Here are the fantasy football Week 11 wide receiver rankings based on opposing matchups.

1.  A.J. Green
2.  Calvin Johnson
3.  Roddy White
4.  Demaryius Thomas
5.  Reggie Wayne
6.  Eric Decker
7.  Wes Welker
8.  Denarius Moore
9.  Danny Amendola
10. Julio Jones
11. Jordy Nelson
12. Marques Colston
13. Vincent Jackson
14. Brandon Marshall
15. Steve Smith
16. Larry Fitzgerald
17. Randall Cobb
18. Andre Johnson
19. Dez Bryant
20. Miles Austin
21. DeSean Jackson
22. Mike Wallace
23. Lance Moore
24. Dwayne Bowe
25. Torrey Smith
26. Donnie Avery
27. Brandon Lloyd
28. Malcolm Floyd
29. Mike Williams
30. Cecil Shorts
31. Darrius Heyward-Bey
32. Andre Roberts
33. Titus Young
34. Santana Moss
35. Kevin Walter

Friday, November 16, 2012

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: SAINTS RB DARREN SPROLES (HAND) LISTED AS QUESTIONABLE FOR SUNDAY

New Orleans Saints RB Darren Sproles is listed as questionable for Sunday's game due to some ongoing swelling in his surgically repaired broken hand. 

Analysis:  Even if Sproles plays, it now looks like a big time committee in the Saints backfield with Chris Ivory, Pierre Thomas, and Mark Ingram all involved.  You are best left to leave Sproles on the bench in all fantasy football leagues for this week and than re-evaluate after.

2013 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT BUST: JOSE REYES SS TORONTO BLUE JAYS

Perhaps the biggest piece in the gigantic haul that the Toronto Blue Jays acquired in the Miami Marlins roster dump, which was first revealed on Wednesday, was the inclusion of perennial All Star SS Jose Reyes.  After signing a six-year deal with the Marlins last offseason, Reyes suddenly finds himself in a polar opposite location north of the border.  Reportedly Reyes is unhappy about the deal and there is some thought that the Blue Jays to could flip him to another club.  However at this point we must project Reyes for the upcoming 2013 fantasy baseball season as a shortstop for Toronto and on that respect, he is already lining up to be a decent-sized bust candidate.  Let's get right to all the worries we have for Reyes this season.

At 29-years-old, Reyes is flat in his prime years and he comes off another big time fantasy baseball season when he hit .287 with 11 home runs and 40 stolen bases.  He failed to hit the 100 run mark (86) but that more had to do with the weak Marlins lineup that anything Reyes was not doing.  Surely you all have now realized that the batting title .337 fluke average Reyes put up in 2011 was a BABIP-fueled outlier stat and really the numbers he supplied last season are pretty much where he will land going forward until he starts to decline in a few years. 

A few things need to be taken into consideration however and the first has to do with Reyes health.  He actually stayed healthy for the first time in years last season as Reyes avoided the leg injuries that took a sizable chunk out of his 2010 and 2011 campaigns.  The big problem here now is the fact Reyes will now be playing half of his game on the unforgiving artificial Toronto turf.  Reyes' legs will no doubt feel the negative effects of playing on the surface and a DL-stint is almost guaranteed because of it.  We all know how frustrating it is to own a hobbled Reyes, what with his setbacks and constant worries that any run out of the box could send him to the bench for weeks.  That issue will only get magnified after heading up north. 

The second issue is to grade out Reyes based on the player he currently is and not the first round pick dynamo he used to be during his early New York Mets years.  Reyes is no longer going to sniff 60 steals and even 50 for that matter.  The 40 he took last season are about as good as you are going to get and like I said earlier, the average is more .290 than the lucky .337 mark he accumulated back in 2011.  Reyes should be able to get 100 runs easy in that power-packed Toronto lineup however and a small boost in home runs should be in the cards as well since his new home is one of the best long ball parks in the major leagues. 

Overall, Jose Reyes remains a very valuable fantasy baseball asset who will once again be a guy selected somewhere in the first four rounds of a draft because of all the stats he brings to the table.  Shortstop is the most shallow position in the game which automatically makes Reyes a desirable commodity on that alone.  The injury worries are bigger than ever however due to the turf concerns and Reyes also could be playing with a poor attitude due to the notion he is very upset about being dealt there.  We have seen how a negative mindset can hurt a player's numbers, with Reyes' Marlins teammate from last season in the person of Hanley Ramirez being the prime example of this.  Yours truly owned Reyes in winning the Experts League last season and I have always been a fan.  However the risk he carries this season has me leery of going back to the well with Reyes and instead you might be better off looking for a better priced shortstop who is more likely to be out there on the field.

2013 PROJECTION:  .289 14 HR 55 RBI 98 R 38 SB

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: BLUE JAYS ADD MELKY CABRERA FOR TWO YEARS AND $16 MILLION

The Toronto Blue Jays kept at it in adding everyone that seems to be available this offseason as they picked up free agent outfielder Melky Cabrera with a two-year deal for $16 million bucks.  Cabrera of course is coming off a 50-game bust for testing positive for steroids but the Jays were willing to overlook that gigantic elephant in the room for a shot-term deal.

Analysis:  I really was hoping Cabrera would have to grovel for a contract after stupidly testing positive for steroids but to no avail.  The Blue Jays are ready to go all-in for 2013 and this actually is a low-risk signing on the heels of their blockbuster deal with Miami a day earlier.  As far as fantasy baseball is concerned, Cabrera will be dirt cheap this season and goes to a home run park but there is no telling how much his numbers will fall off now that he is off the juice.  You would be best served to avoid him if you can.





FANTASY SPORTS BOSS EXPERTS TEAM 6-4, DRAFT REVISITIED

As always in the interest of disclosure, I continue to share with you how my own teams are doing in the Experts Leagues as I put my money where my mouth is when it comes to the advice I dispense to you.  My fantasy football PPR squad is 6-4 going into Week 11, one game behind the top two spots which get a first round bye in the six team playoffs.  So with that all said, let's take a look back at the top picks of my draft and see where I went wrong and where I hit the jackpot.

1.  LeSean McCoy:  I took McCoy with the fourth overall pick behind Ray Rice, Calvin Johnson, and Darren McFadden.  The choice for me was McCoy or Arian Foster and obviously based on the numbers I picked wrong.  My rationale was that Foster has more of an injury history and had a very capable Ben Tate likely to take some carries.  I surely didn't foresee McCoy being so underutilized in the Eagles offense however, as his stats are down across the board.  With rookie Nick Foles under center now, McCoy figures to get a big time workload the next few weeks but Foster clearly has outproduced him.

2.  Roddy White:  Loved getting White in a PPR league in round 2.  No complains there as White has once again been one of the best receivers in the game.

3.  Andre Johnson:  After a slow start, Johnson has been his usual excellent self the last month.  He has managed to stay healthy as well which is always the key with him.  Getting him in the third round was a steal.

4.  DeMarco Murray:  Yuck!  Big time bust here as Murray has missed half the schedule with a foot injury and it is unknown when he will return.  While his talent is not in question, the red flags were there with Murray as a guy who has a long injury history.  Anyone would have been better that was left in the running back tier than this guy.  This one hurt as I have been scrambling to fill my second RB slot all year.

5.  Eric Decker:  I reached here for Decker and with good reason.  This was flat out my best pick in the draft outside of maybe the QB I took in round 7.  I correctly predicted that the arrival of Peyton Manning would instantly turn Decker into a star which is what has happened.

6.  Aaron Hernandez:  Another busted pick as Hernandez and his long injury history reared its ugly head again, this time a high ankle sprain.  Luckily I was able to trade Miles Austin and Fred Davis for Jason Witten soon after he got hurt so I was fine there.

7.  Matt Ryan:  I said all summer that Ryan could be the darkhorse MVP this season and he is flat in the running so far with his unbelievable numbers.  He has racked up tons of passing touchdowns under the passing-loving offensive direction of Dirk Kotter and the fun should continue the rest of the season.  Wow.

8.  Miles Austin:  This was a depth grab all the way and I loved having a trade chip like this or injury insurance that Austin brought to my roster.  I used him in the deal to acquire Jason Witten so he served his purpose.

Mostly I had a nice draft but if I picked Arian Foster and any other running back other than the useless Murray would have had me in the driver seat.  I still have a good shot to win the whole league but it is imperative Murray makes it back so I don't have to rely on Felix Jones or Pierre Thomas as my second back.

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 11 RUNNING BACK RANKINGS

Here are the fantasy football Week 11 running back rankings based on opposing matchups:

1.  Arian Foster
2.  Doug Martin
3.  Ray Rice
4.  LeSean McCoy
5.  Jamaal Charles
6.  Trent Richardson
7.  Stevan Ridley
8.  Willis McGahee
9.  Frank Gore
10. Matt Forte
11. Alfred Morris
12. Marcel Reese
13. Steven Jackson
14. Ryan Matthews
15. Felix Jones
16. BenJarvis Green-Ellis
17. Mikel Leshoure
18. Jonathan Stewart
19. Michael Turner
20. Shonn Greene
21. LaRod Stephens-Howling
22. Vic Ballard
23. Rashad Jennings
24. Darren Sproles
25. James Starks
26. Rashard Mendenhall
27. Pierre Thomas
28. Jacquizz Rodgers
29. Donald Brown
30. Ronnie Brown

Thursday, November 15, 2012

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: MIGUEL CABRERA AND BUSTER POSEY WIN MVP AWARDS

As expected, Detroit Tigers Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera and San Francisco Giants backstop Buster Posey won MVP awards in their respective divisions.  Cabrera received 22 of 28 first place votes, while Posey picked up 27 of 32. 

Analysis:  This is what I thought would happen all along and really Cabrera made the whole debate with he and Mike Trout moot with the results.  Cabrera is right there with Ryan Braun as the top pick in 2013 fantasy baseball, while Posey is a second or third round pick who carries risk due to the position he plays due to the high injury count.

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: SAINTS RB DARREN SPROLES (HAND) LIKELY TO PLAY SUNDAY

New Orleans Saints RB Darren Sproles practiced fully on Thursday and is now on pace to play in Sunday's game according to a team source.  After missing two games with a surgically repaired broken hand, Sproles made rapid progress in hsi return.

Analysis:  Feel free to drop Chris Ivory and Pierre Thomas as Sproles is the clear guy to own in the Saints backfield.  This is great news since it was originally feared Sproles could be up to 8 weeks with the injury.  Get him back out there immediately in PPR formats.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: CHARGERS RB RYAN MATTHEWS (NECK) HEADED FOR GAME-TIME DECISION

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Matthews is headed for a game-time decision label after he once again missed practice on Thursday with a sore neck.  Head coach Norv Turner hinted at much after practice when he made note about how players are "set back" when they miss Wednesday's and Thursday's practices.  Jackie Battle and Ronnie Brown would start in his place.

Analysis:  On and on it goes with Matthews who is about as frustrating a player as there is to own in fantasy football.  He has electric talent but the fact he is guaranteed to miss a few games each season is a severe negative.

FANTASY BASEBALL HOT STOVE RUMOR MILL: TALKS HEATING UP

Lots of chatter still going on around the major leagues as the Hot Stove League begins to hit its stride.  Here are the latest rumblings after a blockbuster start centering on the Toronto Blue Jays-Miami Marlins trade.

-The Atlanta Braves have zeroed in on B.J. Upton as their top target.  This would signal that they are content to let Michael Bourn go in free agency and thus replace him with a similarly multi-skilled outfielder. 

-The Boston Red Sox have pretty much checked in with every major free agent so far in the Hot Stove League and they now apparently are in on the Josh Hamilton sweepstakes.  The move would be a curious one since the Red Sox just got out from under a batch of onerous contracts in the Los Angeles Dodgers trade last season since it would cost over $100 million for Hamilton.  His long history of substance abuse may not be the best match for the bright lights of Boston either.

-The Seattle Mariners are desperate to upgrade their always weak bats and they have officially contacted the Kansas City Royals about Billy Butler.  With Butler coming off a career season with 29 home runs, it is not likely that the Royals will listen much.

-Add the Los Angeles Angels to the Hiroki Kuroda derby, joining the Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox, and New York Yankees.  Also Kuroda could wind up going back to Japan which would make all of this talk pointless.

-The Braves signed free agent catcher Gerald Laird to a two-year deal to back up Brian McCann.  Not much to talk about there.

Obviously we will continue to report all of the majors news and deals that go down in the next few days. 

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 11 QB RANKINGS

Here are the fantasy football QB rankings for Week 11 based on opposing matchups:

1.  Peyton Manning
2.  Aaron Rodgers
3.  Drew Brees
4.  Matt Ryan
5.  Tom Brady
6.  Matthew Stafford
7.  Carson Palmer
8.  Robert Griffin III
9.  Tony Romo
10. Josh Freeman
11. Andrew Luck
12. Cam Newton
13. Andy Dalton
14. Ryan Fitzpatrick
15. Philip Rivers
16. Matt Schaub
17. Ryan Tannehill
18. Joe Flacco
19. Sam Bradford
20. Nick Foles
21. Brandon Weeden
22. John Skelton
23. Byron Leftwich
24. Colin Kapernick
25. Jay Cutler
26. Jason Campbell
27. Mark Sanchez
28. Matt Cassel

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

2013 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT BUST: JOSH JOHNSON SP TORONTO BLUE JAYS

By now the tenure of the blockbuster trade between the Miami Marlins and the Toronto Blue Jays has settled in, with the disbelief that the latter would be able to come away with five starting players being the most amazing aspect of this.  One of key pieces in the deal was former ace SP Josh Johnson who will immediately head to the front of Toronto's starting rotation.  Despite his past as one of the very best pitchers in the game, the current version of Josh Johnson is one that you all want to steer clear of on draft day unless he comes dirt cheap.  Allow us to explain.

First the obvious.  Johnson goes literally from one extreme to another when it comes to the ballparks he pitches in.  Miami is not too far from Petco Park as far as being one of the best pitcher's parks in the game and now Johnson will be calling one of the biggest home run parks in Toronto.  In addition, Johnson sees a major drop in value in simply going from the National League to the American League.  No longer will Johnson be able to pad his stats against opposing pitchers and weak number 8 hitters and instead he will have to stare down some ferocious DH's.  Generally the thinking is that a pitcher making this move will see anywhere from a half a run to a full run added onto their ERA.  And again without facing pitchers, Johnson will see a drop in K's as a result.

Now let's get to the other elephant in the room with Johnson and that is his long history of injuries.  Never a stranger to the DL, Johnson has dealt with various arm, elbow, and shoulder issues throughout his career.  Eventually all those ailments take a toll and that is what we saw out of Johnson in 2012 from a statistical point of view.  Where Johnson was once one of the best strikeout pitchers in the game, averaging a K/IP, a shoulder injury in 2011 that was not surgically repaired proved to sap strength out of his arm and rob some ticks off his fastball.  The result was Johnson striking out only 165 batters in 191.1 innings last season, a sharp drop from the K/IP mark he had since becoming a regular.  Going to the AL is only going to exacerbate this drop and with shoulder injuries tending to re-occur, Johnson is flat out one of the bigger busts on a number of fronts going into the new season. 

All in all, Josh Johnson is a clear case of not living in the past when it comes to evaluating a key fantasy baseball stock.  He is clearly no longer the ace he used to be and with a ticking time bomb of a shoulder that now has to deal with AL hitters, makes Johnson somebody you want to avoid when you draft next season.

2013 PROJECTION:  14-8 3.75 ERA 1.26 WHIP 171 K

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: MARLINS SHOPPING SP RICKY NOLASCO AND OUTFIELDER LOGAN MORRISON

The Miami Marlins won't stop stripping down the team after their blockbuster trade with the Toronto Blue Jays where they dealt SS Jose Reyes, C John Buck, outfielder Emilio Bonifacio, and SP's Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson.  Up for the best offer now is SP Ricky Nolasco and outfielder Logan Morrison according to reports. 

Analysis:  The Yankees have already been mentioned closely in the Nolasco talks but as far as fantasy baseball is conerned, both guys are nothing but waiver guys.  To say the Marlins are a disgrace would be a gross understatement to say the least.



FANTASY BASEBALL HOT STOVE BREAKING NEWS: TIGERS INK TORII HUNTER FOR TWO YEARS/$26 MILLION

The Detroit Tigers signed free agent outfielder Torii Hunter to a two-year deal for $26 million Wednesday.  The signing will go through officially when Hunter passes his physical.

Analysis:  The Yankees and Rangers were mentioned prominently when the Hot Stove season began but the Tigers swooped in and got Hunter for two years guaranteed.  Hunter comes off a very solid season in 2012 when he rallied his average to the .313 mark with 16 home runs and 92 RBI.  He stole 9 bases but was caught almost half the time so that part of his game is likely finished at 37-years-old.  We have always loved Hunter in fantasy baseball but we can't get very excited about an old outfielder who is hitting in a pitcher's park.

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE FALLOUT: MARLINS-BLUE JAYS BLOCKBUSTER

In a word "WOW II!"  The II part is due to the fact we said the same thing after the Boston Red Sox traded half their team to the Los Angeles Dodgers AFTER the trade deadline last season due to magnitude of the deal.  Well the Miami Marlins no doubt tried to upstage their Northeast counterparts late last night as they agreed to a deal pending physicals to send SS Jose Reyes, SP's Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson, C John Buck, and outfielder Emilio Bonifacio for SS Yunel Escobar, C Jeff Mathis, SP Hector Alvarez, and four prospects.  No doubt a completely one-sided deal for the Blue Jays but we are not interested in how this shapes the AL East race.  Instead let's take a look at how this impacts the respective players with regards to fantasy baseball.

Jose Reyes:  Reyes is already said to be unhappy about the move but there is little he can do about it.  At 31 years old, Reyes comes off his first healthy season in years and remains in his prime.  While he no longer is the 60-steal/first round pick dynamo he was a few years ago, Reyes is still capable of hitting between 10-15 home runs with 100 runs and 40 steals at a very shallow position.  His value changes little.  The one red flag though is the fact Reyes will play half of his games on artificial turf which won't help his history of leg injuries. 

Josh Johnson:  Rough move for Johnson as he will suffer in the AL East with his fastball down a few ticks which it was in 2012.  Johnson's shoulder issues are well-documented but he managed to stay in one piece last season.  The results were just all right though and clearly not what he was used ot producing with a sound shoulder during his ace years with Miami.  We told you all to stay away from Johnson last season due to the shoulder problem and now even more so that he will be dealing with having to get by in the AL East with less than his best arsenal of pitches.

Mark Buehrle:  We are less worried about Buehrle since he thrived for years in a hitter's park in Chicago.  His stuff plays well anywhere but with that said, he is still only a SP 4 going forward, less so in innings-capped leagues.

Emilio Bonifacio:  It will be interesting to see how the Blue Jays use Bonifacio since they already have a similar player they just re-signed in Rajai Davis.  No one ran at a mroe frequent rate than did Bonifacio last season but he spent three stints on the DL which calls into question his durability.  This looks like a utility situation which doesn't play well for his fantasy baseball value.  Monitor in the spring and if he gets a starting gig, move him up your list.

Yunel Escobar:  He had little value going into 2012 and less coming out as he revealed himself to be a terrible teammates and just a bad guy.  Leave alone.

John Buck:  Nothing btu a guy who can hit a home run once in awhile and rip through your team batting average every single day.

Jeff Mathis:  Whatever.

Hector Alvarez:  Did all right the first half of last season but soft-tosser is nothing but an SP 5 at best.

What a deal!  It doesn't get bigger than that as far as offseason moves and clearly this will make things interesting for the 2013 AL East race.  Adjust your 2013 fantasy baseball rankings accordingly.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: COWBOYS RB DeMARCO MURRAY (FOOT) NOT LIKELY FOR WEEK 11

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray is not likely to play in Week 11 as he continues to sit out games due to an injured foot.  That would make it four games missed by Murray with no guarantee he would return for Week 12 also.  Once agian backup Felix Jones should start in his place.

Analysis:  Unreal with this.  Murray has been a big time fantasy football bust due to the injury and he doesn't seem close to returning.  He has fulfilled his injury-prone label which was the big concern many had for him going back to drafts last summer.