Sunday, November 30, 2014


Ryan Fitzpatrick:  Wow that was shocking.  In his first start since being benched for a now-injured Ryan Mallett, Houston Texans QB Ryan Fitzpatrick was ridiculous Sunday in throwing SIX touchdown passes among his 24-of-33 day.  Fitzpatrick finished with 358 yards and the six score before he was pulled for rookie Tom Savage with such a big lead.  A borderline QB-2 when he was starting, Fitzpatrick is begging to be included in that discussion again based on how great he played.  Try him out again in those leagues.

Brian Hoyer:  The Johnny Manziel Era has likely begun as Brian Hoyer was benched by Mike Pettine Sunday after throwing two interceptions and zero scores in a brutal loss to the Buffalo Bills.  Hoyer finished completing only 18-of-30 throws for 192 yards and the 2 turnovers, while Manziel came in to run for a touchdown on his first drive.  We have been waiting for Manziel all season and it looks like now is the time to put in a waiver claim as he should get the start next week.

Drew Brees:  For the second week in a row, Drew Brees was virtually unstoppable as he completed 19-of-27 passes for 257 yards and five more touchdowns in the team's win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Brees also did not turn the football over as the Saints look to take control of the awful NFC South.  While Brees was a bit shaky the first half of the season, he is back to his monster first round self the second half. 

Johnny Manziel;  Speaking of Johnny Manziel, the hotshot rookie came off the bench to complete 5-of-8 throws for 63 yards, while also rushing for 13 yards and a score on only two carries in replacing Brian Hoyer.  Manziel has the ability to contribute both on the ground and through the air so he is well worth a look in two-QB leagues.

Keenan Allen:  It was more of the same recent dominant play by San Diego Chargers WR Keenan Allen Sunday as he caught 11 passes for 121 yards and two touchdowns Sunday in the team's comeback win over the Baltimore Ravens.  Allen has been unstoppable the last two weeks which is more than making up for a very quiet first two months of the season compared to what he did as a tremendously productive rookie. 

Le'Veon Bell:  It would not be inaccurate to say that Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell has passed DeMarco Murray as the most productive running back in fantasy football after he had another monster afternoon Sunday in a losing outing against the New Orleans Saints.  Bell rushed for 95 yards and a score on 21 carries while also catching 8 balls for 159 more yards.  The Steelers as a whole did a lot of dumpster point grabbing this week as the picked up a ton of yardage the last two meaningless drives of the game.  Whether it is standard or PPR leagues, Bell has been virtually unmatched by any running back in the game.

Andrew Luck:  You really don't want to see the Andrew Luck owner in your league in the fantasy football playoffs as the Indianapolis gunslinger competed 19-of-27 passes for 370 yards and 5 touchdowns Sunday in a blowout win over the Washington Redskins.  With the training wheels now completely off for Luck this season, he has been the monster we all expected him to be.  Luck is right there with Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers at the top of the fantasy football rankings among passers. 

Justin Forsett:  Amazing what a find Justin Forsett has been.  The previously unknown Ravens backup running back rushed for 106 yards on 24 carries Sunday, also catching 2 balls for 17 more yards.  Forsett is a terrific PPR weapon right now and even in standard formats he gets you by as a RB 2.

DeAndre Hopkins:  In case you haven't already noticed, second-year Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins has fully taken over the role of number 1 receiver on the team.  He once again showed why on Sunday as he caught 9 balls for a crazy 232 yards and 2 touchdowns.  Right now Hopkins is moving very close to WR 1 territory and would have already been there without such up-and-down play from his passers.

Donte Moncrief:  The Colts have a new weapon to use every week as Donte Moncrief scored two touchdowns on only 3 catches.  Moncrief was a huge downfield threat in the game as he picked up 134 yards on the 3 catches but his fantasy football value figures to be volatile due to how many weapons Andrew Luck has.

Kenny Stills:  Kenny Stills is himself moving close to being the number 1 wide receiver on the New Orleans Saints as he caught 5 balls for 162 yards and a score Sunday.  This marks the second big game in a row for Stills which coincided with the loss of rookie wideout Brandin Cooks to season-ending injury.  Stills can safely be trusted as a top-end WR 2 weapon.

Tre Mason:  It was a blowout of epic proportions Sunday for the St. Louis Rams over the Oakland Raiders and surely helping the cause was rookie RB Tre Mason who rushed for 117 yards on only 14 carries and two touchdowns, while also catching 3 passes for 47 more yards and yet another touchdown.  Mason has firmly grabbed hold of the starting running back job for the St. Louis Rams after some early Zac Stacy and Benny Cunningham sightings.  He should absolutely be used as a low-end RB 1 in all leagues.

Jimmy Graham:  On a day where Drew Brees threw for five touchdowns, New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham unbelievably failed to catch one pass in the game.  Graham was not even targeted once and was not even injured which makes it more maddening.  Those who own Graham likely took a loss in their game this week as his complete loss of production is something that just can't be overcome. 

Torrey Smith:  Baltimore Ravens WR Torrey Smith had a nice game Sunday in catching 6 balls for 65 yards and two touchdowns for the team in their late loss to the San Diego Chargers.  Smith always does his best work in the red zone and remains a solid WR 2 who lacks only in raw reception totals. 

Julio Jones:  Jones is on his way to his first complete season without missing games with injury and the results have been staggering as expected.  Jones did whatever he wanted against one of the best cornerbacks in football Sunday in Arizona Cardinals Pro Bowler Patrick Peterson, catching 10 balls for 189 yards and a touchdown.  A career year is on tap and Jones is right there as a top five overall receiver.

Aaron Rodgers:  It was Aaron Rodgers who bested Tom Brady in the Green Bay-New England monster showdown Sunday, throwing for 368 yards and two touchdowns while completing 24-of-38 passes.  Rodgers is now up to 32 touchdowns and 3 interceptions on the season as he is clearly in the MVP running. 




Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed is active and will start for the team Sunday versus the Indianapolis Colts. 

Analysis:  Reed continues to tease with his potential but he can't stay on the field for more than a few weeks at a time.  He gets a good matchup today against a soft Colts defense and will have the short-passing of QB Colt McCoy likely looking in his direction often. 




Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald will be extremely limited if he does return from his MCL sprain Sunday according to team sources.  Fitzgerald likely will miss his second straight game due to the MCL but if he does get on the field, it will likely only be on third-downs.  

Analysis:  Not good.  Fitzgerald is missing games at the worst time of the season for his owners.  John Brown is worth a look again in Fitzgerald's place.




According to multiple reports, Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas is not likely to suit up again Sunday night versus the Kansas City Chiefs due to on going soreness in his ankle.  Thomas would miss his second straight game with the ankle if he does sit out but all indications are that he is still too sore to give it a shot.

Analysis:  Ugh.  It is becoming clear that investing in Thomas means you have to account for a few missed games along the way as he earns an injury-prone label.  Jacob Tamme once again is a smart pickup for all Thomas owners as he has done some nice things when given the chance before.




The Minnesota Vikings will start Matt Asiata at running back in place of speedster Jerick McKinnnon who is out with a back injury.  Asiata will go up against a Carolina Panthers defense that has been shredded the last month.

Analysis:  Asiata is worth a late grab if you need help at your RB 2 spot since the Panthers have been generous on the ground.  One thing Asiata has been decent at is scoring from in-close so those in standard leagues should be especially intrigued.




Houston Texans RB Arian Foster is active and will start Sunday for the Houston Texans against the Tennessee Titans.  Foster has missed the last two games with a groin injury suffered back in Week 10. 

Analysis:  This should be a sweet return as Foster gets arguably the worst defense in the NFL staring back at him in Tennessee.  While he may share some of the load with Alfred Blue, Foster is one of the top running back plays this week.



Here are the fantasy football Week 13 tight end rankings based on opposing matchups.

1.  Jimmy Graham
2.  Rob Gronkowski
3.  Julius Thomas
4.  Greg Olsen
5.  Coby Fleener
6.  Travis Kelce
7.  Antonio Gates
8.  Delanie Walker
9.  Larry Donnell
10. Heath Miller
11. Kyle Rudolph
12. Mychal Rivera
13. Jared Cook
14. Jordan Reed
15. Owen Daniels
16. Scott Chandler
17. Tim Wright
18. Niles Paul
19. Austin Seferian-Jenkins
20. Jermaine Gresham



Here are the fantasy football Week 13 wide receiver rankings based on opposing matchups.

1.  Antonio Brown
2.  Demaryius Thomas
3.  Jordy Nelson
4.  A.J. Green
5.  Odell Becjham Jr.
6.  Josh Gordon
7.  Randall Cobb
8.  Emannuel Sanders
9.  T.Y. Hilton
10. Juliio Jones
11. Mike Evans
12. Kelvin Benjamin
13. DeSean Jackson
14. Denard Robinson
15. Mike Evans
16. Mike Wallace
17. Sammy Watkins
18. Roddy White
19. Keenan Allen
20. Steve Smith
21. Brandon LaFell
22. Martavis Bryant
23. Julian Edelman
24. Torrey Smith
25. Jarvis Landry
26. Mohamud Sanu
27. Vincent Jackson
28. Andre Johnson
29. Kenny Stills
30. DeAndre Hopkins
31. Michael Floyd
32. Marques Colston
33. Cecil Shorts
34. Malcolm Floyd
35. Eric Decker
36. John Brown
37. Andrew Hawkins
38. Reggie Wayne
39. Kenny Britt
40. Percy Harvin
41. Reuben Randle
42. Kendall Wright
43. Doug Baldwin
44. Dwayne Bowe
45. Justin Hunter


Saturday, November 29, 2014


Here are the fantasy football Week 13 running back rankings based on opposing matchups.

1.  Le'Veon Bell
2.  Eddie Lacy
3.  Jamaal Charles
4.  Arian Foster
5.  C.J. Anderson
6.  Andre Ellington
7.  Rashad Jennings
8.  Justin Forsett
9.  Denard Robinson
10. Alfred Morris
11. Mark Ingram
12. Jeremy Hill
13. Tre Mason
14. Latavis Murray
15. Isaiah Crowell
16. Giovani Bernard
17. LeGarrette Blount
18. Ryan Matthews
19. Shane Vereen
20. Fred Jackson
21. Lamar Miller
22. Jerick McKinnon
23. Trent Richardson
24. Dan Herron
25. Steven Jackson
26. Bishop Sankey
27. Terrance West
28. Jonathan Stewart'
29. Chris Ivory
30. Doug Martin
31. Pierre Thomas
32. Alfred Blue
33. Roy Helu
34. Jonas Gray
35. Andre Williams




The Oakland A's are not done dealing as just hours after moving All-Star third baseman Josh Donaldson to the Toronto Blue Jays, the team is now "deep in talks" with the Atlanta Braves about outfielder Justin Upton.  Trade talks have progressed over the last 48 hours according to a Braves team source as the A's are looking to add a bat after losing both Donaldson and Yoenis Cespedes in trades over the last six months.

Analysis:  Samardzjia has now graduated into a low-end ace fantasy baseball starter and Upton remains a low-end outfielder 1 who is an above-average power hitter which carries great value in today's game.  This deal makes too much sense not happen.



The Toronto Blue Jays once again are doing their best to compete in the always rough AL East by all indications through this early Hot Stove season.  After signing free agent catcher Russell Martin to a five-year deal, the Blue Jays completed a surprising swap late Friday for Oakland A's All-Star third baseman Josh Donaldson.  The Blue Jays agreed to surrender their own third baseman in the disappointing Brett Lawrie, along with three minor league players in the deal for Donaldson.  The move is a big one for the Blue Jays who get a major offensive upgrade at third base and a near-MVP candidate in Donaldson whose first two full seasons looked like this from a statistical standpoint:

2013:  24 HR 93 RBI 89 R 5 SB .301 AVG

2014:  29 HR 98 RBI 93 R 8 SB .255 AVG

The numbers mentioned above are sure-fire top five fantasy baseball third baseman-worthy and they are especially impressive when you consider Donaldson accomplished this while playing half of his games in the pitching-leaning O.Co Coliseum.  Donaldson now moves to one of the best home run ballparks in baseball in Rogers Center in Toronto and the expected numbers are only going to go north from his especially tremendous 2014. 

In breaking down Donaldson's potential numbers for the 2015 season, let's start with those home runs.  Clearly Donaldson has terrific power and again the fact he was able to hit 29 home runs in Oakland is extremely impressive.  A run at 35 bombs is very likely this season now that he will be operating in Rogers Center for half of his games and a strong push to 100 RBI/RUNS is also very likely since Donaldson will be batting either before or behind the ridiculously scary Edwin Encarnacion/Jose Bautista combo.  If Donaldson hits before those two, 100 runs will be in the offing.  If he bats behind them, 100 RBI should be a lock. 

In addition to the power and runs, Donaldson has some decent speed that could net 5-10 stolen bases.  The Blue Jays are always aggressive on the basepaths and that could help Donaldson give a little bonus there.  The one area which we will have to watch closely is the batting average as Donaldson was a mediocre .255 last season.  Throw out the .301 Donaldson hit in 2013 and put it out of your mind as that number was inflated by a very lucky BABIP numbers, not to be repeated.  Donaldson strikes out at a very high rate (130 whiffs last season) which means hitting .270 could be a challenge.  What I will say is that Donaldson should see an increase from last season's .255 simply due to the ballpark and for hitting either in front of or behind Encarnacion and Bautista.  We would gladly take .270 which is not out of the realm of possibility here but don't look for Donaldson to be a help in that area this season. 

When you put it all together, Josh Donaldson is right there at the top of the fantasy baseball third baseman hierarchy and is fully deserving of an early round draft pick.  He will be a big-time impact player in three categories and is set for his third career-year in a row which is very rare to see due to his new location.  Get on board.

2015 PROJECTION:  .272 33 HR 95 RBI 105 R 7 SB




The Boston Red Sox clearly are the champions of the early offseason so far and they did almost all of their work in one day when they signed free agent third baseman Pablo Sandoval and shortstop Hanley Ramirez to separate contracts hovering at or just below $100 million each.  We already discussed the outlook on Sandoval when it comes to 2015 fantasy baseball and so today is a good time to look in on what the aging but still terrific Ramirez can do this season.  Let's dig in and find out.

Ramirez is back where it all started for him as he was a prime Red Sox shortstop prospect before he was moved to the Miami Marlins for ace SP Josh Beckett.  Ramirez of course went out and became the top hitting shortstop in the game during his stay with the Marlins, to the point where he was considered the number 1 player overall in fantasy baseball after he put up a ridiculous 2008 season (.301/33 HR/125 R/67 RBI/35 SB), becoming a five-tool hitting bonanza.  That monstrous 2008 campaign was the height of where Ramirez went with his hitting however as he has not reached the 30 home run mark since.  However Ramirez remained a top-end first round fantasy baseball shortstop who stole as many as 32 bases in 2010 and recorded a .342 batting average in 2009 and than a .345 mark with the Los Angeles Dodgers just in 2013.  Few players in all of baseball have more natural athleticism and skill than does Ramirez but unfortunately that is not the whole story here.

Throughout his career, Ramirez has been a classic prima donna player who had run-ins with the Miami management and the front office that helped get him shipped off the Dodgers.  In addition, Ramirez has become quite injury prone over the last five years, having failed to log even 450 at-bats in three of the last four seasons.  Ramirez is still young enough at 31 to think his body is beginning to betray him but the fact of the matter is that his injury issues need to be factored into his draft price.  The risk of injury is also however somewhat offset by the position eligibility boost Ramirez will gain this season as the Red Sox plan to use him as the team's everyday leftfielder.  Thus Ramirez will now carry both eligibility in the outfield and at shortstop which his nothing but a good thing for his overall value.  You really want to play Ramirez at shortstop however as he is a top-two guy there while in the outfield he is more of a top-15 guy. 

Getting back to the numbers and what we could see in 2015, Ramirez has been a bit wild in his production lately.  He is a career .300 hitter who has put up .345 and .283 marks the last two seasons which make it tough to pin down where Ramirez could finish up there.  Ramirez has hit .283 or worse in three of the last four years though so count on something between .280 and .290 as a good projection.  As far as the power and speed is concerned, Ramirez has hit between 20 and 24 home runs in seasons where he was generally healthy enough to get a solid amount of plate appearances.  You can add 2 or 3 more home runs however due to Ramirez moving to a prime hitting ballpark for the first time in his career after spending his previous years in pitching-dominant Miami and Los Angeles.  With regards to the speed, Ramirez is still interested in running but not in the 30 stolen base sense.  Ramirez has done for 20, 21, 10, and 14 in the last four years which again is where we have to project him going forward.  As far as the rest of the package is concerned, Ramirez will likely pick up some more RBI and even more runs hitting in the Boston lineup and in Fenway Park. 

When you look at Ramirez overall, he locks in as the top shortstop option for 2015 fantasy baseball.  Troy Tulowitzki has ceded the top spot due to his ridiculous amount of injuries over the years and advancing age as well.  Ramirez can still contribute across all five hitting categories, albeit not to the tune of his early Miami years.  I am very bullish on Ramirez for 2015 as he figures to be extra motivated in a veteran Red Sox clubhouse that will keep him in line.  Look for a big season out of Ramirez as long as he can stay healthy enough to stay on the field.

2015 PROJECTION:  .291 24 HR 90 R 73 RBI 19 SB



Friday, November 28, 2014



Houston Texans RB Arian Foster is expected to return to the field Sunday against the Tennessee Titans after two missed games in a row with a groin injury.  Foster has practiced every day this past week and proclaimed himself ready to go. 

Analysis:  This should be sweet as Foster gets the truly horrific Tennessee Titans defense this week which is operating like sieve.  He has top five overall appeal this week as Foster has been dominant when on the field this season.




Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald is likely to miss his second straight game for the team Sunday due to the sprained MCL that he suffered back in Week 11.  Fitzgerald reportedly did some light work on the field for the team Friday but no reporters witnessed him do anything of substance.  John Brown would once again get the start in Fitzgerald's place.

Analysis:  Ugh.  Terrible timing for Fitzgerald owners.  In fact his owners started getting screwed when Carson Palmer was lost for the season with a knee injury as the light-armed Drew Stanton seems more in tune with Michael Floyd.  Either way Fitzgerald looks like he won't be much of a help the rest of the way as he likely finishes up his last season in Arizona.




Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray is unlikely to play Sunday due to the concussion he suffered in last Thursday's win over the Kansas City Chiefs.  Murray rushed for over 100 yards on only four carries in the game before he suffered the concussion and he was extremely limited in practice this past week as he failed to get medically cleared to return to the field.  Darren McFadden will get the majority of snaps behind Derek Carr.

Analysis:  That is a bummer as Murray was exciting as hell in his brief time in the Chiefs game before leaving with the concussion.  If he is still sitting on the wire, absolutely make the add as Murray has shown a ton of speed and decisive cutting ability that could make him a difference-maker in the playoffs.




The Cuban Revolution continues to take place around major league baseball as the Arizona Diamondbacks came to terms with prized power-hitting outfielder Yasmany Tomas Wednesday to a six-year deal worth $68.5 million.  Over the last five years the recent signees from our neighbors to the south have read like an All-Star team roster:  Yoenis Cespedes, Aroldis Chapman, Yasiel Puig, Jose Abreu, Jose Fernandez, and on and on it goes.  As a result, guys like Tomas are going to be hyped and looked at as prime sleepers more than they would have before this movement began.  And when it comes to Tomas, he possesses the one skill that is vanishing from today's game en masse and that is power.  Compared to Cespedes when it comes to that part of his game, Tomas certainly signed onto the right team with Arizona who have one of the best home run ballparks in the majors in Chase Field.  Both Cespedes and Jose Abreu hit the ground running right out of the gate with top of the line power and Tomas is likely to fall into that trend as well which alone makes him worth a reach in drafts this winter.  In addition, Tomas has decent speed that could net 10-15 stolen bases if he gets his timing down early.  Negatives?  Just like with many other young sluggers, Tomas has a bit of a problem with strikeouts which means he could struggle to hit for average early on.  Abreu did not have that problem, while Cespedes once again is a good parallel with his strikeout tendencies.  Still Tomas could hit .275 with 25 home runs and 80-plus RBI which would be a terrific debut no matter who the player.  The real issue you have here is how early do you feel comfortable making a play on Tomas.  Again it is always a bit risky investing a high draft pick on an unknown player but the recent track record of major success for Cuban players is something to keep in mind when it comes to cutting the check.  Ultimately Tomas has too much natural power to ignore and spending a pick on him to be a low-end outfielder 2 would not be such a terrible thing to do.

2015 PROJECTION:  .276 24 HR 86 RBI 81 R 7 SB




It was somewhat of a bummer when it came to the letdown that was the Thanksgiving day slate of games due to the blowout nature of them.  With that said here is what took place from the perspective of fantasy football in the three contests.

Matthew Stafford:  After two straight weeks of awful play that had his fantasy football owners extremely jittery, Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford carved up the Chicago Bears secondary like a turkey in throwing for 390 yards and two touchdowns while completing 34-of-45 passes.  Stafford pretty much did what he wanted in the game and for now reestablished himself with the playoff weeks beckoning.

Alshon Jeffery:  After a somewhat quiet first half of the season, Chicago Bears WR Alshon Jeffery is really in a groove right now as he caught 9 balls for 71 yards and two scores in the loss to the Lions.  Jeffery was the beneficiary of the Bears using him in the screen game and his two scores give him 7 for the season which is the same amount he had a year ago.  Jeffery is on pace to better his 2013 numbers as he further establishes himself as a top tier fantasy football wide receiver.

Calvin Johnson:  Megatron was Megatron Thursday which means he was back to his beyond dominant self in catching 11 balls for 146 yards and two touchdowns.  Johnson of course was as big as bust as one could be the first month-plus of the season due to missing four games with injury but he is now completely healthy and putting up numbers that we see in video games.  He is still without peer.

LeSean McCoy:  The Philadelphia Eagles did whatever they wanted to the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday and that included LeSean McCoy rushing for a season-high 159 yards on 25 carries with one touchdown.  McCoy has been in his best groove of the season over the last month but has a rough matchup against the Seattle Seahawks next week.

Joique Bell:  The Lions have quietly gotten some big performances out of RB Joique Bell since Reggie Bush went out injured yet again last month.  Bell rushed for 91 yards on 23 carries on Thursday with two touchdowns as he further shows the Lions that he should be the primary ballcarrier.  Bell also chipped in with two catches for 16 yards. 

Tony Romo:  Just an awful game for Tony Romo who had his worst statistical output of the season in Thursday's one-sided loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.  Romo completed only 18-of-29 passes for 199 yards and two interceptions and no touchdowns.  Nothing went right as the usually stout Dallas offensive line was literally run over by the Eagles defensive line.  Romo gets the generous Chicago Bears next Thursday though so don't give up on him.

Colin Kaepernick:  Playing even worse than Romo on Thursday was San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick who completed only 16-of-29 passes for 121 yards and two interceptions and no touchdowns.  Kapernick was overwhelmed by he back-to-being-fierce Seattle Seahawks defense and did nothing worthy of discussion.  We have said for years how overrated Kapernick is due to the fact he just can't throw the football with any sort of consistency.  You should not be owning him in anything but two QB leagues.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014



If you haven't done so already, be sure to pick up your copy of the 2015 Fantasy Sports Boss Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide:  Early Offseason Edition by using the PayPal tab below.  As part of our Black Friday/Thanksgiving sale, purchase the hard copy guide from now until Saturday morning and get the "Post-Free Agency Edition" online version free. 



Here are the fantasy football Week 13 QB rankings based on opposing matchups.

1.  Aaron Rodgers
2.  Peyton Manning
3.  Andrew Luck
4.  Tom Brady
5.  Drew Brees
6.  Tony Romo
7.  Matthew Stafford
8.  Ben Roethlisberger
9.  Ryan Tannehill
10. Mark Sanchez
11. Matt Ryan
12. Jay Cutler
13. Eli Manning
14. Andy Dalton
15. Philip Rivers
16. Cam Newton
17. Joe Flacco
18. Colin Kaepernick
19. Russell Wilson
20. Alex Smith
21. Brian Hoyer
22. Josh McCown
23. Kyle Orton
24. Zach Mettenberger
25. Teddy Bridgewater
26. Drew Stanton
27. Shaun Hill
28. Blake Bortles
29. Ryan Fitzpatrick
30. Colt McCoy
31. Derek Carr
32. Geno Smith


Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Fantasy football Week 13 is already almost upon us so let's get right to the hot pickups for the upcoming batch of games.

Dan Heron:  Heron got the surprise starts for the Indianapolis Colts in Week 12 which was the first game since Ahmad Bradshaw was lost for the season.  It had widely been assumed Trent Richardson would be the guy but Heron got the majority of touches and ran the ball well when given the chance.  In addition, Heron can catch the football which makes him a good PPR play as well.  Go get him.

Latavius Murray:  It was a short look but Oakland Raiders running back Latavius Murray opened up more than a few eyes last Thursday night when he rushed for 112 yards and a touchdown on only 4 carries in the win over the Kansas City Chiefs.  Murray has blazing speed and can take it to the house whenever he touches the football.  The concussion he suffered last week ended things early but Murray has had plenty of time to past the protocols. 

LeGarrette Blount:  From Sports Illustrated cover boy to being benched completely a week later, it looks like the Jonas Grey story is already over.  Enter veteran LeGarrette Blount who was signed off the street by the New England Patriots after he was cut a few days earlier by the Pittsburgh Steelers after he walked off the field before the end of a game.  Blount ran very well last Sunday in getting the start over Grey, picking up two touchdowns and 78 yards on only 12 carries.  Grey could be back in line to get some work this week but Blount figures to be the goal-line guy again.

Doug Martin:  Back from injury, Martin got the start over Charles Sims and Bobby Rainey in Week 12.  Once again he was pretty miserable running the football but Lovie Smith seems intent on sinking or swimming with Martin. 

John Brown:  Even before Larry Fitzgerald missed Week 12 with a knee injury, the speedy rookie Brown was already gathering attention due to his big-play ways.  With Fitzgerald no lock to return this Sunday, Brown could continue being the key receiver in the Drew Stanton-led offense.

Charles Johnson:  On a team with Greg Jennings, Cordarelle Patterson, and Jarius Wright, it is Charles Johnson who is now the most interesting wideout on the Minnesota Vikings.  Johnson has caught 9 balls for 139 yards and a score over the last two games and so far it seems like he is developing a nice rapport with Teddy Bridgewater.

Jordan Cameron:  If anyone cut Jordan Cameron in your league due to running out of patience waiting for his return from a serious concussion, pick him up as it looks like the Cleveland Browns tight end is ready to return to the field this week.  We all know Cameron is a top five receiver at his position if healthy and the Browns are in need of help underneath with Josh Gordon going deep. 

Tim Wright:  Wright got his most snaps of the season last week in the Patriots' monster win over the Detroit Lions and he quickly is earning the trust of QB Tom Brady, especially around the red zone.  That is music to the ears of Wright's owners who are growing by the day.

St. Louis Rams:  The Rams defense is intense under Jeff Fisher and they get the awful Oakland Raiders offense this week.  This could get ugly for Derek Carr as the Rams defense looks like the best play of the week on that side of the football.

There you have it.  As always let us hear your thoughts on all of this.



By Michael Wong

According to a source, the Boston Red Sox believe they will be able to trade for Philadelphia Phillies ace SP Cole Hamels if they in fact fail to re-sign Jon Lester.  Lester and the Red Sox are already exchanging numbers but the pitcher has a meeting set up with the St. Louis Cardinals who are deemed the biggest threat to landing him.  The Red Sox meanwhile are covering themselves with the Hamels talks, as both teams have talked about the players moving from one side to the other. 


Two games Monday finished up the 12th week in fantasy football.  Let's take a closer look at the relevant action.

Michael Vick:  7/19 for 76 yards and 1 interceptions.  Vick was a complete abomination in this one and was pulled late in the third for old punching bag Geno Smith.  Some picked up Vick when he got the starting QB job due to his reputation as a guy who could help both in the running and passing game but right now the guy looks washed up while Smith is not the answer either. 

Kyle Orton:  24/32 for 230 yards and 2 touchdowns.  Orton went back to the waiver in large quantities after playing poorly the previous two weeks.  He still carries some decent enough value in two-QB formats but ideally you don't want to rely on Orton in a crucial situation.

Chris Johnson:  7 carries for 40 yards.  Johnson showed good burst but he will be cut loose at the end of the season as he is a poor and underutilized fit with the New York Jets.  While Johnson clearly is a shell of his former RB 1 self, he could have helped more if given the chance.

Fred Jackson:  10 carries for 32 yards and a score.  Boobie Dixon ran better as he carried 12 times for 54 yards and a score and the latter is the better play going forward due to his younger legs.  Still if you have a Bills runner in your RB 2 slot, that's not the most ideal scenario.

Eric Decker:  4 catches for 63 yards.  Should have been more as Decker dropped a sure touchdown catch from Vick.  Decker was a bust waiting to happen the minute he signed with the Jets from Denver.  Anyone who invested here did so at their own risk.

Robert Woods:  9 catches for 118 yards and a touchdown . It had to annoy Sammy Watkins owners (3 catches for 35 yards) seeing Woods have such a monster game.  Clearly the Bills had some solid intel here and took advantage of Woods' destroying the Jets secondary all game long.  Woods is still just a fringe player though who only has a game like this once or twice a season.

Joe Flacco:  18/24 for 243 yards and 1 TD.  Things started off great as Flacco hit Steve Smith for a first quarter score but that was it for the veteran QB.  Flacco was red hot in September but since than has gone back to his old backup fantasy football status.

Drew Brees:  35/45 for 420 yards with 3 TD and 1 INT.  That's more like it.  Brees entered the game with numbers way off his stellar pace from the last five seasons and these games were very hard to come by leading up to this game.  Still this is a reminder of how incredible a player Brees is and he can still pilot a fantasy football team to league titles.

Justin Forsett:  22 carries for 182 yards and 2 scores while also catching 2 balls for 8 yards.  A few years ago we talked up Forsett when he was a backup running back for the Seattle Seahawks but he never really got a chance to show his PPR skills.  Forsett got the golden opportunity he was looking for with the Ravens due to the Ray Rice suspension and the results have been top ten overall-worthy among all backs.  The Ravens love to run the football and Forsett will likely continue to be a difference-maker.  In addition, Forsett has been a tremendous value play.

Mark Ingram:  11 carries for 27 yards.  Ugly.  Horrible game for Ingram who has struggled since coming back from injury.  Memories of his big start are quickly fading.

Torrey Smith:  5 catches for 98 yards.  Smith's development as a prime fantasy football wideout has been stunted due to the presence of Steve Smith.  Torrey Smith has once again been a frustrating player to own due to inconsistent numbers that tend to really fluctuate every week.  Right now the numbers say he is a WR 3.

Steve Smith:  4 catches for 89 yards and one score.  The guy keeps on going.  Steve Smith is one of the more underrated great receivers in modern football history as he continues to produce like a WR 1/2 at a very old age for a guy at his position.  Amazing stuff.

Kenny Stills:  8 catches for 98 yards.  Predictable as Stills was set to be the main beneficiary in the absence of Brandin Cooks.  Right on cue.  Still could be a big-time guy the rest of the way and a difference-making value.

Marques Colston:  4 catches for 82 yards and 1 TD.  Just when we always try to write off Colston, he comes back with a game like this.  Terrific player who continues to fight through injuries to stay relevant.

Jimmy Graham:  6 catches for 47 yards and 2 touchdowns.  Wow.  Graham was a monster in this one and is throwing back the challenge from Rob Gronkowski over the last month with regards to who is the number 1 tight end in fantasy football.  The guy is simply dominant.


Monday, November 24, 2014


By Michael Wong
According to a team source very close to the team's front office, the New York Yankees have already decided to let All-Star closer David Robertson walk due to the expected high price tag he will fetch on the open market.  With the Boston Red Sox having signed both Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval on Monday, the Yankees decided to use the money they will save on Robertson in order to make a strong run at free agent ace pitcher Max Scherzer.  The team also feel fully comfortable going into the new season with fireballing Dellin Betances as the new closer.


                                             Pablo Sandoval

Our very own Michael Wong had this one nailed from the beginning.  As soon as the confetti fell on the San Francisco Giants after their latest World Series win over the Kansas City Royals, Wong reported from his source that it was pretty much guaranteed Pablo Sandoval would be signed by the Boston Red Sox.  Wong reported that Sandoval was the key component in the team's offseason makeover and thus they wasted little time in securing Kung Fu Panda with a five-year deal worth $100 million.  This news came just hours after the team announced they had also signed free agent SS Hanley Ramirez who they will stick in leftfield.  On this very busy day for the Red Sox and those looking already toward 2015 fantasy baseball, let's take a closer look at Sandoval and what he could provide his prospective owners this season. 

The first issue to get out of the way is the fact that Sandoval's 2015 draft stock is headed up sharply due to his new locale.  Outside of maybe Colorado or with the New York Yankees, there is not an MLB city that gets a hitter's stock and value to shoot up more than Boston due to the hitting/power-friendly confines of Fenway Park.  Sandoval will thus cost a bit more than he did prior to last season when he was widely considered "just another guy" after a series of mediocre years with the Giants when he failed to make any big gains in any one hitting category.  Ever since Sandoval's 2009 breakout (25 HR/90 RBI/.330 AVG.), he has been pretty ordinary over the following five seasons.  As evidence take a look at these numbers over the last three years which is more indicative of where Sandoval currently is as a hitter:

Sandoval's Home Run Total (Last Three Seasons):  12, 14, 16

Sandoval's RBI Total (Last Three Seasons):  63, 79, 63

Sandoval's Average (Last Three Seasons):  .283, .278, .279

When those numbers are combined, you have a guy who is not even worthy of being a top ten fantasy baseball third baseman.  The home runs, RBI, and average are solid no doubt but Sandoval comes up short in all three categories as far as being a difference-maker there.  Part of the blame could surely be pinned on the pitching-dominant ballpark he has always previously called home in San Francisco and Sandoval also has dealt with a slew of injuries (mostly to his hands) which further stunted his statistics.  The fact of the matter however is that moving to Boston will undoubtedly add numbers to all three of those categories, in addition to runs where Sandoval has centered mostly around the 50-65 realm.  Sandoval has hit over 20 home runs twice in his career (also swatting 23 in 2011) and no doubt his new home ballpark should have him challenging that mark again.  There is also a decent chance of Sandoval collecting 80-plus RBI and pushing his average back toward the .290 mark.  When you put the numbers together under those projections, we could surely than be looking at a top ten fantasy baseball third baseman.  One of the worst conditioned athletes in the game, Sandoval is always a risk for injury but his stock is only going up from here, with a great help from his new digs.  Just be sure not to overpay due to the new uniform this season.

2015 PROJECTION:  .288 19 HR 81 RBI 77 R 1 SB



As first reported by Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, the Boston Red Sox will sign free agent SS Hanley Ramirez to a five-year deal worth about $90 million.  Ramirez of course used to be Red Sox property but was the main piece sent to the Miami Marlins for pitcher Josh Beckett.

Analysis.  The Red Sox are not fooling around as Ramirez will join Pablo Sandoval to form a huge left side of the infield.  Ramirez will surely see a decent spike in home runs and RBI moving from Los Angeles to Boston but he has to stay healthy which had been a big challenge lately.  With Troy Tulowitzki alwlso always hurt Ramirez very well could be the first shortstop off the board this season in your draft.  


T.Y. Hilton:  Just one week after being almost invisible in a rough loss to the New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton rebounded Sunday by catching four passes for 122 yards and 1 TD.  Hilton was back to his big-play self against the Jacksonville Jaguars, getting behind the defense to rack up the yardage.  He is back to his low-end WR 1 ways.

Brian Hoyer:  It was a massive struggle at times but Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer led the team to a last-second win over the Atlanta Falcons by throwing for 322 yards and 3 interceptions while completing 23-of-40 passes.  If the Browns had not won the game, it is likely the team would have turned to Johnny Manziel next week.  Now the rookie will likely have to wait some more time to get on the field. 

Josh Gordon:  It was like he never left.  Arguably the most dominant wide receiver in 2013 fantasy football when you consider the quality of his QB's, the Cleveland Browns' Josh Gordon returned from suspension to have a smashing debut Sunday in catching 8 passes for 120 yards.  Gordon once again showed big-play ability down the field and the toughness to fight through tackles that made him a star last season.  Earlier reports Gordon would be on a play count were inaccurate and he is back already to being a top WR 1 guy.

A.J. Green:  For the second week in a row, Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green was unstoppable Sunday as he caught 12 balls for 121 yards in the team's win over the Houston Texans.  Green was playing pitch-and-catch with QB Andy Dalton all game and his past toe injury is now clearly a non-issue given how tremendous he has played the last two games. 

LeGarrette Blount:  It was a welcome return for New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount Sunday as he rushed for 78 yards and 2 touchdowns on 12 carries in the team's win over the Detroit Lions.  This was Blount's first game back with the Patriots, who he played for last season, since getting cut by the Pittsburgh Steelers.  On a related note, last week's sensation and Sports Illustrated cover guy Jonas Grey didn't get a single carry as Bill Belichick made his point after his runner was late to a meeting during the past week.  Those who ran to the wire to get Grey got hosed with that change of lineup order.

Mark Sanchez:  The Chip Kelly system surely looks like it is saving Mark Sanchez' career as the former failed New York Jets starter put up his third straight 300-plus yard day in a row as he completed 30-of-43 passes for 307 yards to go with 1 TD and 1 INT's.  Sanchez continues to turn the football over a bunch as he tosses more than one pick also for the third game in a row but that is part of the deal with the guy.  On a day the Eagles scored 43 points, it also was a letdown he threw only for the one touchdown.  Still Sanchez deserves continued looks as an every week starter.

Noah Herron:  Meet the new starting running back for the Indianapolis Colts.  Herron got the late start in place of the injured Ahmad Bradshaw and had a nice day in rushing for 65 yards on only 12 carries while also catching five passes for 31 more yards.  Meanwhile Trent Richardson all of a sudden doesn't look like the hot pickup he was when Bradshaw went down as he rushed for only 42 yards.  Herron is the guy to own and he has PPR ability due to a nice receiving ability.  Will be on the short list as the top add this week on waivers.

LeSean McCoy:  It took awhile but LeSean McCoy finally posted a big game Sunday as he rushed for 130 yards and 1 touchdown on 21 carries in the team's win over the Tennessee Titans.  McCoy has had long stretches of mediocre play this season off his huge workload the season prior.  He still needs to do a bunch more to win the argument that he and not Jamaal Charles was worthy of the top pick overall this past summer.

Isaiah Crowell:  Let there be no doubt who the top fantasy football running back currently is on the Cleveland Browns as Isaiah Crowell rushed for 88 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries in the team's late win over the Atlanta Falcons.  He did not catch a pass though which means Crowell can only be used in standard leagues.

Doug Martin:  It was Doug Martin and not Charles Sims who got the start Sunday for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but he continued his horrible play in rushing for only 27 yards on 11 carries.  Sims failed to impress as well as the Buc's continue to show the worst run production in the league.  Basically you don't want to own any of these guys right now, let alone use them.

Marshawn Lynch:  The calf and now a back issue are really becoming an issue now for Marshawn Lynch as he struggled badly in Sunday's win over the Arizona Cardinals.  After a month of monster games, Lynch rushed for only 39 yards on 14 carries and caught three passes for 43 more yards.  Lynch obviously is a guy you continue to start every week but the calf/back is becoming something to be concerned about.

Russell Wilson:  Solid game by Russell Wilson Sunday as he completed 17-of-22 passes for 211 yards and 1 touchdown while also rushing 10 times for another 73 yards on the ground.  We are well past the point now where Wilson is not an every week top ten fantasy football starter despite passing numbers that come up a bit short of the other guys ranked around him.  What Wilson does on the ground is unmatched by that same group which evens things out.

Shaun Hill:  While he played well in spurts, Shaun Hill torpedoed the St. Louis Rams' chances Sunday in tossing two interceptions and losing a fumble as part of his 18-of-35 day.  Hill did throw a touchdown but ultimately he failed to carry over the decisive play he showed in last week's upset over the Denver Broncos. 

Keenan Allen:  It has been an inconsistent season and somewhat disappointing one as well for San Diego Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen who has been going through the dreaded sophomore jinx.  Allen was good Sunday however as he caught 6 balls for 104 yards and 1 score.  Opposing defenses have been keying on Allen more, unlike last year when as a rookie he caught the league by surprise.  Allen has dropped to WR 2 status for now given how his numbers are down this season. 

Peyton Manning:  After a rough game last week when he threw only one TD pass, Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning was right back to dominating defenses as he tossed for four scores in Sunday's win over the Miami Dolphins as part of his 28-of-35 day for 257 yards.  That brings Manning's season total to a terrific 34 and there is more where that came from for sure.

Anquan Boldin:  We don't hear from Anquan Boldin as much anymore in the wrapup but he deserves mention after catching 9 balls for 137 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's win over the Washington Redskins.  With Michael Crabtree continuing to struggle, Boldin has gotten more looks from QB Colin Kaepernick lately.

C.J. Anderson:  If only Montee Ball's owners knew.  If given a crystal ball, it would have been C.J. Anderson and not Ball who would be a high round draft pick last summer given how terrific he has been since moving into the starting lineup.  It was more of the same Sunday as Anderson rushed 27 times for 167 yards and 1 TD to go along with 4 catches for another 28 yards.  The Denver Broncos always go with the hot hand and right now that is clearly Anderson. 

Demaryuis Thomas:  Few ever talk about him as much as say Antonio Brown, Dez Bryant, or Calvin Johnson, but Denver Broncos WR Demaryuis Thomas has a firm claim to being the best wide receiver in all of fantasy football.  He went crazy on the Miami Dolphins Sunday in catching 8 balls for 87 yards and 3 touchdowns.  For the season Thomas now has 9 touchdowns to go along with 82 receptions and an insane 1,192 yards.  Unreal.

Odell Beckham Jr.:  Speaking of unreal, it is beyond must-watch for anyone to queue up the catch of the century that New York Giants rookie WR Odell Beckham Jr. made Sunday night.  Beckham snared a one-handed, full-lunging TD grab while bring drapped by two Dallas Cowboys defenders that drew a penalty.  Overall for the game Beckham caught 10 bals for 146 yards and 2 scores.  Ever since coming back from his hamstring injury, no one has had any luck containing Beckham who is already looking like a top 5-7 guy the rest of the way. 

Tony Romo:  The back looks just fine.  Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo was sensational Sunday night as he threw four touchdowns in the team's comeback win over the Giants.  Romo once again is putting up big fantasy football numbers despite injury and sometimes the tendency to make poor throws in the clutch.  Continue using as your QB 1.


Sunday, November 23, 2014


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Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders has been cleared to start Sunday after passing the league concussion protocols.  Sanders suffered the concussion on a vicious hit last week against the St. Louis Rams and didn't practice much over the last few days.  Still Sanders passed the baseline testing and will get the nod against the Miami Dolphins.

Analysis:  Great news as Sanders has been a monster PPR WR 1 this season for his smart owners who bought low on him over the summer.  This news hurts the possible value on Wes Welker who would have been worth starting if Sanders were out.




According to multiple reports, Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden is fully prepared to bench struggling QB Robert Griffin III Sunday if he continues to play poorly versus the San Francisco 49ers.  Gruden had been highly critical of Griffin during the past week, especially after his QB publicly intimated about the shortcomings of his teammates.  It would be Colt McCoy and not Kirk Cousins who would replace Griffin if there were a change made in the game.

Analysis:  Wow has Griffin's career gone in the toilet after his eye-opening rookie season.  He is the biggest coach-killer in the league right now and his skills look diminished all the way around since injuring his knee as a rookie.  He should not be touched in any fantasy football leagues.



Updating an earlier item, the Houston Texans have deactivated RB Arian Foster for Sunday's game versus the Cincinnati Bengals and will once again start Alfred Blue in his place.  Foster is now up to two games and counting with regards to missing action with the groin injury he first suffered back in Week 10. 

Analysis:  Not a surprise as this is what was being said all week.  Blue had a monster game last week running the ball but in PPR formats he gets downgraded some due to not having the ability to catch the football. 



Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas will only play on third down if he is in fact active Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.  Thomas has been limited all week with the ankle injury he suffered last week versus the St. Louis Rams.  At this point reports indicate Thomas will try and do some work in warmups which will determine if he can play.

Analysis:  This is a nightmare scenario for owners of Thomas who have to wait for the late game start to see if he will go.  Hopefully you added Jacob Tamme to cover yourself but either way Thomas is not looking like a good play under any circumstance.




Despite oversleeping for a meeting this past week, New England Patriots back Jonas Gray will split work right down the middle with new signee LeGarrette Blount Sunday versus the Detroit Lions.  Grey rushed for four touchdowns and 199 yards in his starting debut against the Indianapolis Colts but he earned the wrath of Bill Belichick by being tardy for the meeting.

Analysis:  Gray has no one to blame but himself for this.  Just a bad move on his part and now his fantasy football owners are going to be hurt by it.  It will be interesting to see if Blount works as the goal-line back which would be silly since Gray made good on four scoring runs last week.  Either way Blount is probably the most annoying player in fantasy football due to his continued habit of negatively impacting starting running back's carries.




According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Cleveland Browns returning WR Josh Gordon will be eased back into action Sunday, being on a snap count that centers between 20-30 plays.  Gordon will be making his season debut against the Atlanta Falcons after serving a 10-game suspension from the start of the season due to substance abuse issues.

Analysis:  Not the news you want to hear as a Gordon owner who waited this long to get him back in the fold.  I would sit Gordon unless you have zero depth given this news.  By next week Gordon should be ready for full-time duty.



The weather has been a constant theme this week in fantasy football as a massive blizzard in Buffalo forced the postponement and rescheduling of the Bills' game versus the New York Jets to be moved to Monday night in Detroit.  There is also some other storm systems that will be impacting games this week after a huge rainstorm helped the Oakland Raiders slow the Kansas City Chiefs in their upset.  Let's take a look.

Denver Broncos VS. Miami Dolphins:  The winds will be whipping in Denver which could make the kicking game very tough and the passing game somewhat of a challenge.  Right now forecasts call for winds in the 25-35 mph range which means those who own Caleb Sturgis and Brandon McManus should stream someone else there.  Peyton Manning we know does not have nearly the arm he used to so throwing downfield to Demaryuis Thomas could be tough.  Same deal with Ryan Tannehill to Mike Wallace.  Look for lots of underneath stuff which means my new favorite Jarvis Landy for Miami could be a nice PPR play again.  Wes Welker also takes on added importance, especially if Emmanuel Sanders has to sit with his concussion.

Chicago Bears VS. Tampa Bay Buccaneers:  Rain is forecast for an unseasonably balmy day in Chicago.  Temperatures will be around 50 as rain will develop early in the afternoon and pick up as the day goes on.  The game here is scheduled for 1:00 so the intensity may not be so bad early.  Jay Cutler's more powerful arm should much more be able to overcome any issues with a slick ball.

New York Giants VS. Dallas Cowboys:  Rain will also be a problem in New York as the Giants gear up to face the Dallas Cowboys.  The rain is supposed to be heavy Sunday night into Monday so a heavy does of the running game is expected in this game. 


Saturday, November 22, 2014


Here are the fantasy football Week 12 wide receiver rankings based on opposing matchups.

1.  Dez Bryant
2.  Jordy Nelson
3.  Demaryuis Thomas
4.  A.J. Green
5.  Calvin Johnson
6.  Brandon Marshall
7.  Randall Cobb
8.  Jeremy Maclin
9.  Julio Jones
10. Mike Evans
11. Alshon Jeffery
12. T.Y. Hilton
13. Roddy White
14. Odell Beckham Jr.
15. Josh Gordon
16. Sammy Watkins
17. Denard Robinson
18. Golden Tate
19. Jordan Matthews
20. DeSean Jackson
21. Andre Johnson
22. Mike Wallace
23. Keenan Allen
24. DeAndre Hopkins
25. Steve Smith
26. Brandon LaFell
27. Vincent Jackson
28. Percy Harvin
29. Torrey Smith
30. Anquan Boldin
31. Cecil Shorts
32. Emmanuel Sanders
33. Mohamud Sanu
34. Eric Decker
35. Reggie Wayne
36. Julian Edelman
37. Kenny Stills
38. Terrance Williams
39. Kenny Britt
40. Marques Colston
41. Kendall Wright
42. Michael Crabtree
43. Allen Hurns
44. Reuben Randle
45. Larry Fitzgerald
46. Malcolm Floyd
47. Pierre Garcon
48. John Brown
49. Andrew Hawkins
50. Jarvis Landry




Houston Texans RB Arian Foster has already been declared out for Sunday's game internally, with a formal declaration coming early Sunday.  Alfred Blue, coming off a 36-carry monster performance in Week 11, would once again get the start.

Analysis:  Unreal.  Foster is missing games at the worst time of the season, what with leagues in the stretch run of their seasons and locking up playoff spots.  Blue was terrific last week but he doesn't offer the PPR ability that Foster possesses.  Hope for a Week 13 return.



                                          Adam LaRoche

Another semi-big name came off the board Friday as the Hot Stove Season continues to gather steam leading up to the second Winter Meetings after Thanksgiving.  The Chicago White Sox inked 1B Adam LaRoche (formerly of the Washington Nationals) to a two-year deal worth $25 million.  With Jose Abreu serving as the everyday first baseman, LaRoche is preparing for DH duty almost exclusively this season.  With that said, let's dig in and find out what LaRoche could supply his fantasy baseball owners for the upcoming season.

When it comes to Adam LaRoche, the collective response when mentioning his name during his career has been one big yawn.  For some reason, certain players are considered "boring" or fail to move the fantasy baseball interest needle and LaRoche absolutely is one of those guys.  This despite the fact LaRoche has generally been one of the more consistent players in the game during his career with 8 seasons of 20-plus home run output.  The overall picture year is solid but not flashy as most of LaRoche's value is tied to his home runs and RBI.  LaRoche has hit as many as 33 home runs as recently as 2012 with the Nationals, which is doubly impressive since it came in a prime pitching park.  LaRoche has also collected 100 RBI twice since 2010 and his power bat is good enough to serve as an everyday fantasy baseball first baseman.  The fact he moves from a prpime pitching park to a very good power park in Chicago could add to his home run/RBI totals as well.  Overall though LaRoche looks like a low-end first baseman however as he is mediocre in the other three categories.  LaRoche is only a career .264 hitter and his runs total struggles to go past 70 due to very poor speed.  Also you can forget any stolen bases either as LaRoche is a station-to-station runner.  Thus you get two good category contributions and not much else here which means even though LaRoche COULD work as your everyday first baseman due to the pop, you ideally want to use him as your UTIL or CI option. 

As far as the intangibles are concerned, LaRoche has been a pronounced firs half dud/second half star over the course of his career which is well-known for those who are fantasy baseball veterans.  Consider that LaRoche is only a .251 career hitter the first of the season, which goes up to .281 the second half.  In addition, LaRoche has struggled badly against lefties in his career with a .241 career mark, compared to .272 against righties.  Thus if a lefty is scheduled to be on the mound, you might want to sit LaRoche for that game. 

Overall the story remains the same here for LaRoche when looking at 2015 fantasy baseball.  The guy is a good veteran power hitter who can surely be a help again despite getting somewhat up there in age at 35.  As long as LaRoche is a supplementary guy on your club, he will turn a profit for you.



Friday, November 21, 2014


Here are the fantasy football Week 12 tight end rankings based on opposing matchups.

1.  Jimmy Graham
2.  Rob Gronkowski
3.  Coby Fleener
4.  Martellus Bennett
5.  Antonio Gates
6.  Julius Thomas
7.  Jason Witten
8.  Larry Donnell
9.  Charles Clay
10. Delanie Walker
11. Owen Daniels
12. Vernon Davis
13. Jared Cook
14. Kyle Rudolph
15. Jacob Tamme
16. Niles Paul
17. Austin Seferian-Jenkins
18. Zach Ertz
19. Jermaine Gresham
20. Jace Amaro
21. Scott Chandler
22. Lance Kendricks
23. Jordan Cameron
24. Marcedes Lewis
25. Brent Celek



Alex Smith:  20/36 for 234 yards and 2 TD's.  This is about as good as game as Smith can have since the Chiefs run so much and for his habit of throwing underneath.  As classic a QB 2 as one could get.

Derek Carr:  18/35 for 174 yards and 1 TD.  Accuracy so far is a big problem for Carr but he has a quick release and a rifle for an arm.  Not to be overlooked, Carr has next to no receiving talent which is a factor in his shaky numbers.  Still he has done all right for a rookie and gives the Raiders some hope for the future.  However he has zero fantasy football value through to 2015. 

Lataavius Murray:  4 carries for 112 yards and 1 TD.  Wow that was exciting.....and than he was gone.  The second-year Murray has speed to burn and has shown a decisive cutting ability that gets him into open space quickly.  However Murray suffered a concussion one carry after his 90-yards TD run and that was that.  He will have to go through the protocols but Murray should be added in all formats.

Jamaal Charles:  19 carries for 80 yards while catching 4 balls for 42 yards and 1 TD.  Nice game from Charles who is one big play waiting to happen.  Has so far been much more productive on a per game basis than LeSean McCoy who were the two most debated number 1 picks this season.

Travis Kelce:  4 catches for 67 yards.  Kelce is almost a lock now for 4 catches a game with 50-plus yards.  The guy has a bright future and has terrific receiving ability to be the new Jason Witten.

Dwayne Bowe:  3 catches for 42 yards.  Still no receiving scores by a Kansas City wide receiver.  Wow that is ridiculous. 

James Jones:  5 catches for 47 yards and 1 TD.  Jones has gotten out of the shadow of Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson but he runs too hot and cold to be used on an every week basis.

Yeah so not much happening in this game with few worthy players with regards to fantasy football but as always keep checking back for more injury updates as we look toward Week 12.


Thursday, November 20, 2014


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

1.  DeMarco Murray
2.  Jamaal Charles
3.  Matt Forte
4.  Eddie Lacy
5.  LeSean McCoy
6.  Marshawn Lynch
7.  C.J. Anderson
8.  Arian Foster
9.  Justin Forsett
10. Denard Robinson
11. Mark Ingram
12. Andre Ellington
13. Rashad Jennings
14. Alfred Morris
15. Jeremy Hill
16. Tre Mason
17. Trent Richardson
18. Isaiah Crowell
19. Frank Gore
20. Jonas Gray
21. Ryan Matthews
22. Joique Bell
23. Shane Vereen
24. Giovani Bernard
25. Lamar Miller
26. Steven Jackson
27. Jerick McKinnon
28. Fred Jackson
29. Chris Ivory
30. Bishop Sankey
31. Terrance West
32. Reggie Bush
33. Darren Sproles
34. Knile Davis
35. Charles Sims
36. Bryce Brown
37. Matt Asiata
38. Alfred Blue
39. Dan Herron
40. Bobby Rainey
41. Theo Riddick
42. Chris Johnson
43. Lorenzo Taliaferro
44. Darren McFadden
45. Branden Oliver



There is increasing chatter that Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald could sit out Sunday due to the sprained MCL in his knee. Fitzgerald has not practiced all week and head coach Bruce Arians spoke Thursday about how the team is preparing to be without him.  John Brown would take Fitzgerald's place in the starting lineup.

Analysis:  Fitzgerald caught only two passes last week in almost a no-show performance as he was clearly limited by the knee.  Even if he does go, new QB Drew Stanton has favored throwing to Michael Floyd over Fitzgerald so sitting him is likely the way to go.



Houston Texans RB Arian Foster will officially be listed as a game-time decision as he continues to be hampered by a groin injury that he suffered back in Week 10.  Foster sat out last week's win over the Cleveland Browns as Alfred Blue ran wild in his place. 

Analysis:  Ugh.  Foster was the second-best running back in fantasy football through ten weeks but once again injuries are undermining his overall value.  Blue is a must-start if Foster can't go but he does not have the same PPR value due to his struggles catching the football.  Stay tuned.



Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones is expected to start Sunday despite an illness that has kept him out of practice this week.  Head coach Mike Smith indicated Thursday that Jones was a go in a tough matchup versus the Cleveland Browns.

Analysis:  Jones has been very good this season but his numbers have dropped off a bit as the year has gone on due to all the offensive line losses on the Falcons.  The most important issue here is that Jones has thus far avoided which has been the only thing that has kept him from being a top five wideout. 



Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard was a full participant in practice Thursday and is slated to be active Sunday.  That game will mark the first outing for Bernard after missing three games with a serious hip injury.  Reports still indicate that rookie Jeremy Hill will continue to get at least the carries and possibly more.

Analysis:  This is a muddled situation as Bernard has a ton of talent but Hill is as hot as any runner in fantasy football.  A split down the middle looks like the solution here which is a drag on both player's fantasy football values.  Start Hill in all formats but Bernard is a risk since he could be eased back in.



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

1.  Aaron Rodgers
2.  Peyton Manning
3.  Drew Brees
4.  Tom Brady
5.  Andrew Luck
6.  Tony Romo
7.  Jay Cutler
8.  Matthew Stafford
9.  Mark Sanchez
10. Matt Ryan
11. Russell Wilson
12. Colin Kaepernick
13. Ryan Tannehill
14. Philip Rivers
15. Josh McCown
16. Michael Vick
17. Eli Manning
18. Joe Flacco
19. Andy Dalton
20. Brian Hoyer
21. Robert Griffin III
22. Shaun Hill
23. Zach Mettenberger
24. Alex Smith
25. Ryan Mallett
26. Kyle Orton
27. Teddy Bridgewater
28. Drew Stanton
29. Derek Carr


Wednesday, November 19, 2014


                                           Billy Butler

Obviously overshadowed by the massive contract extension officially signed by Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton on Wednesday, there was other business that took place around fantasy baseball.  Once such case was in Oakland where the A's inked free agent 1B/DH Billy Butler to a three-year deal worth $30 million.  Butler will mostly serve as the team's DH, while also getting some spot starts at 1B as he had done the last four years with the Kansas City Royals.  So with all that said, let's take a closer look at Butler and see what he could supply his prospective owners in 2015 fantasy baseball. 

Despite the feeling that Butler has been around forever, he turns only 29 this April which is still flat in his hitting prime.  Unfortunately, Butler's hitting has left a lot to be desired over the last two years when it was starting to look like he was one of the game's emerging stars.  Having made his MLB debut at the very young age of 21, Butler has been the definition of solid but unspectacular in his career outside of one magical season.  Heading into the 2012 season, Butler was a guy who had shown himself to be a .300-average hitter who collected a bunch of RBI and hit between 15 and 20 home runs.  While the average and RBI were very nice, Butler's light power output was a decent negative for a guy who carried 1B eligibility.  As always, you want to get a good deal of home runs from your first baseman as this is the biggest power-producing position in the game.  At the very least you want 25 home runs there of which Butler didn't measure up.  However Butler was entering his prime years in 2012 and that long wait for him to tap into his power potential was seemingly finally realized.  Butler would go on to hit 29 home runs, collected 107 RBI, and batted .307.  Numbers that clearly measured up for a starting first baseman in fantasy baseball.  Thus as 2013 dawned, Butler saw his draft price soared as it was expected he would now become a firm 25-home run guy to go with the terrific RBI and batting average.  However we advised against going overboard with Butler prior to that season as the 29 home run looked a bit like an outlier to us as Butler never came close to that level of power before.  Fast forward to the end of the 2013 season and we were justified in our pessimism as Butler took a giant step back in a terrible year.  The result was a 15 HR/82RBI/.289 campaign that earned the wrath of his annoyed fantasy baseball owners.  As a result Butler was back to square one when it came to his standing as a UTIL/CI bat only.

Well 2014 would prove to be more of the same for Butler and in actuality it was an even worse season as he couldn't even reach double-digits in home runs with a paltry 9.  What made matters even worse was the fact Butler crashed and burned with his RBI and average as well which were the two areas he was dependable and effective.  Butler collected only 66 RBI and batted a terrible .271, with the latter being a career-low.  Those numbers were not even worthy of UTIL/CI status, so bad was Butler's hitting. 

Fast forward again to present day and Butler gets a clean slate with the Oakland A's as their mostly DH and sometimes 1B.  While Butler remains young at 29 and still in his prime, the change doesn't do much of anything for him since O.Co Coliseum is one of the worst power parks in baseball.  While we don't think Butler won't be as bad with his hitting as he was last season, we still can't endorse him as a 20-plus home run guy since he has fallen short of that mark by growing margins the last two years.  We certainly think Butler could rebound to a .280-plus hitter as he has a good eye and a nice batting approach.  Also Butler should go right back past the 80-plus RBI mark again as he will be slotted into the middle of the Oakland lineup.  Butler also doesn't steal bases and has never scored more than 78 runs in a season which make him a negative in those areas.  If you put the numbers together though, they still fall short of first base worthiness.  Butler simply doesn't do enough in the power department to be more than his current UTIL/CI status. 

2015 PROJECTION:  .290 15 HR 93 RBI 74 R 2 SB


                                         Giancarlo Stanton

To say that Miami Marlins slugging outfielder Giancarlo Stanton had a good day Wednesday would be the understatement of the century.  Of course it was on that day where Stanton's record-setting 13-year/$325 million contract became official by the team. Stanton not only signed the richest contract in the history of baseball, he also signed the richest contract in ALL of sports history.  With the ink barely dry on the deal, now is the perfect time to check in on Stanton the player in order to see where he could be headed as 2015 fantasy baseball gets closer.

Stating the obvious, the most alluring aspect of Stanton's game is the long ball.  In an era of extreme pitching dominance, Stanton is the rare hitter today that could slug 30-plus home runs and in 2015 he will be an ever more rare hitter who could swat 40.  In fact Stanton would have gotten to the 40-home run mark last season if not for a truly unfortunate incident that ended his season on Sept. 11.  I of course an referring to the Mike Fiers fastball that drilled Stanton right in the face, fracturing bones, causing lacerations, and doing dental damage.  Stanton still had nothing to be ashamed of when it came to his numbers however as he hit 37 home run, drove in 105, and batted a solid .288.  As an added bonus, Stanton even stole 13 bases which was 7 more than his previous career-high.  When you put all the numbers together, Stanton ends up being a locked in top five player overall in 2015 fantasy baseball where he could be picked as high as number 2 behind Mike Trout right at the top.  We have been saying it is only a matter of time before Stanton cracks 40 home runs and obviously if he hadn't been drilled in the face, he would have done so last season.  At only 25, Stanton is not even in his prime yet which is amazing considering what a tremendous player he already is. 

In breaking down the numbers, 40 home runs and 115 RBI should be locks if Stanton stays healthy.  While 50 is likely out of the question, no one should be surprised is Stanton reached 45 due to his unbelievable power.  Outside of the pop, Stanton has also managed to hit .288 and .290 in two of the last three seasons which is surprising when you consider his high strikeout ways.  Stanton got some BABIP help to reach .288 last season but his decent speed helps beat that number somewhat.  We see Stanton as more of a .270 hitter than .280-plus but again nothing would surprise us since he is still tapping into his ceiling.  Finally, Stanton stealing 13 bases was a pleasant surprise last season but it is a number we can't count on going forward.  The best way to handle the stolen bases is to not expect much and be thrilled if Stanton makes another impact there.

When you look at the total package that Stanton presents, it is understandable that the Marlins would pay him so much money.  This guy is a major star and is ready to firm up his status as the best power hitter in the game.  The high draft cost will be completely justified as a monster season is ahead.

2015 PROJECTION:  .278 41 HR 119 RBI 92 R 10 SB