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Friday, July 31, 2015

2015 FANTASY FOOTBALL DRAFT SLEEPER JOSEPH RANDLE RB DALLAS COWBOYS

Prior to the start of the 2015 fantasy football season, Dallas Cowboys running back Joseph Randle was known more for his less than stellar off-the-field behavior than anything he accomplished on it.  The former fifth round pick in the 2013 draft Randle gave no reason for anyone to pay attention to anything he did on the field as he totted the football only 105 times total his first two seasons in the league.  Of course when you are backing up a monster workhorse back like DeMarco Murray, there are a not a lot of crumbs leftover for Randle or any other runner on the roster.  Of course one of the biggest stories of the offseason was Murray signing a free agent deal with the rival Philadelphia Eagles and that left a major void in the Cowboys' backfield.  The Cowboys did bring in veteran Darren McFadden but he has looked nothing but washed up off three straight seasons averaging less than 4.0 yards per carry and missing rampant games with injury.  Enter third-year man Randle who all of a sudden carries some decent fantasy football upside given the fact he is the favorite to lead the Cowboys in rushing attempts in 2015.  Already with training camp only a few days old, McFadden has been placed on the PUP list with a sore hamstring and Randle has been publicly endorsed by none other than owner Jerry Jones.  Throw in the fact the Cowboys have arguably the most powerful and talented offensive line in the game, one can understand why Randle makes for a very solid sleeper candidate in 2015.

In digging into Randle the player, he is a power runner all the way who would rather go over you than around you.  On his 51 carries last season, Randle averaged a stellar 6.7 yards per and scored three touchdowns.  There were some ball security issues with 2 lost fumbles but Randle at the very least looks like a big red zone TD threat, boosting his standing for those who take part in standard formats.  The flip side here is that Randle is not a receiver and won't help much at all in the pass-catching game.  Thus in PPR formats you can downgrade Randle to a RB 3, while in standard he makes the grade as a solid RB 2.

When you put it all together, Joseph Randle has very interesting running ability and a great opportunity with the massive Cowboys offensive line doing the dirty work for him up front.  The touchdowns could threaten the double-digit mark if all breaks right along with 1,000-plus yards on the ground since McFadden won't stay healthy or productive enough to be a threat to his numbers.  Again draft as a RB 2 in standard and a RB 3 in PPR setups this summer. 

2015 PROJECTION:  1,027 yards 8 TD 11 receptions 24 yards

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE BREAKNG NEWS: PIRATES PICK UP SP J.A. HAPP FROM MARINERS

The Pittsburgh Pirates continued to pick up some spare parts on Friday, acquiring SP J.A. Happ from the Seattle Mariners for pitcher Adam Sampson.  Happ will take the place of Jeff Lock in the Pirates rotation. 

Analysis:  Happ was somewhat useful the first two months of the season when he got off to a nice start but he is one of the more mediocre starters in baseball.  He pretty much has zero fantasy baseball value. 



 

FANTASY BASEBALL STAT OF THE DAY: BRYCE HARPER HATES MATT HARVEY

In his career versus New York Mets ace SP Matt Harvey, Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper is 0-for-14 with seven strikeouts. 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: RED SOX PICK UP RP RYAN COOK FROM A'S

The Boston Red Sox bought low on chronically injured RP Ryan Cook by acquiring his rights from the Oakland A's for cash.  Cook has pitched in the minors all season after a series of injuries derailed a once promising future. 

Analysis:  Minor deal here but Cook can help if he can stay healthy.  The Red Sox did fail in their quest for young pitching to control for next season so it was a very quiet trade deadline for them this time around. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: MIKE MORSE FLIPPED TO PIRATES FOR JOSE TABATA

The Los Angeles Dodgers didn't keep Mike Morse around long, flipping him to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday for outfielder Jose Tabata.

Analysis:  Morse will likely man first base against lefties for the Pirates but that is the extent of the impact on this negligible deal.  Tabata meanwhile is a failed prospect who can be a pinch runner. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE BREAKING NEWS: CUBS GET RP TOMMY HUNTER FROM ORIOLES FOR JUNIOR LAKE

The Chicago Cubs got another arm for the bullpen, picking up relief pitcher Tommy Hunter from the Baltimore Orioles for outfielder Junior Lake. 

Analysis:  Good move for the Cubs to add a quality arm in Hunter who will help in setup.  Lake meanwhile has some athleticism but has not hit much at all in the majors. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: MEST ACQUIRE YOENIS CESPEDES FROM TIGERS

The New York Mets finally pulled the trigger on a trade for an outfielder after whiffing both on Carlos Gomez and Jay Bruce.  They came to an agreement with the Detroit Tigers to obtain Yoenis Cespedes for two pitching prospects that did not include Zack Wheeler.  Cespedes will be a free agent at the end of the season.

Analysis:  Finally.  The Mets got the better player in Cespedes over Bruce so they win there.  Cespedes will anchor the middle of the lineup with his power, which has been good but not great this season.  What has been very good is Cespedes' batting average which was an issue in the past. 
The fact the Mets got to hold onto Wheeler was also big for them. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE BREAKING NEWS: RED SOX INVOLVED AS THIRD TEAM WITH CUBS/PADRES

The Boston Red Sox have been revealed by USA Today to be a third team involved in trade talks with the San Diego Padres and Chicago Cubs for a package that would highlight SP Tyson Ross and closer Craig Kimbrel.  The Red Sox are also high on Ross so it would be interesting to see who would wind up with him.

Analysis:  At the very least, the Padres have to be content with the fact no one wants James Shields or Andrew Cashner and that if they want to complete a deal, Ross will have to go.  The Red Sox want affordable pitching in looking ahead to next season but again the Cubs want Ross as well so we have to see how this shakes out. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE BREAKING NEWS: METS ONLY FOCUSED ON YOENIS CESPEDES

The New York Mets have completely abandoned talks with the Cincinnati Reds over outfielder Jay Bruce and now are fully in on Yoenis Cespedes and the Detroit Tigers.  The Los Angeles Angels are a late entrant in the Cespedes talks but the Baltimore Orioles and San Francisco Giants are out of the discussion. 

Analysis:  The Mets are all over the place with trades over the last few days, going from Carlos Gomez to Bruce and now Cespedes.  The Tigers really want to move Cespedes and so the motivation is there to get a deal completed. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE BREAKING NEWS: CUBS TRYING TO GET BOTH TYSON ROSS AND CRAIG KIMBREL

The Chicago Cubs are not done after trading for Miami Marlins SP Dan Haren as reports indicate they are still trying to pry Tyson Ross away from the San Diego Padres.  In addition, the Cubs also want to try and get closer Craig Kimbrel as well in a package deal, with Javier Baez again the headline prospect coming back. 

Analysis:  I mean the Padres really have to for lack of a better word, S*it or get off the pot when it comes to doing a deal.  Kimbrel was slated to go to the Yankees before the Padres got cold feet and they have resisted so far on Ross in trying to move James Shields instead. 

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE BREAKING NEWS: TWINS PICK UP RP KEVIN JEPSEN FROM RAYS

The Minnesota Twins finally made a move to help them stay on top of the AL Central or wild card standings, helping their struggling bullpen by picking up RP Kevin Jepsen from the Tampa Bay Rays.  No word on what the return package is but Jepsen has pitched to a tidy 2.81 ERA on the season while also saving some games for the Rays. 

Analysis:  Nice move for the Twins who need a better bridge to closer Glen Perkins.  Jepsen will help there and likely move to the eighth inning spot.  The Twins could use a bat though before the deadline but it doesn't appear they are close to getting a deal done there. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: BLUE JAYS KEEP UP RAPID TRADING PACE BY REELING IN BEN REVERE

Just minutes after closing on a deal for Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Mark Lowe, the Toronto Blue Jays kept up the fun Friday by dealing for Philadelphia Phillies speedy leadoff man Ben Revere.  Revere will now slide into the leadoff spot in the monstrous Toronto lineup, with Troy Tulowitzki being moved down in the order. 

Analysis:  So that now makes it Lowe, Revere, Tulowitzki, LaTroy Hawkins, and David Price as far as trade acquisitions over the last week.  We think Toronto could be finished.  Maybe.  Revere will see a nice uptick in runs leading off for such a powerful lineup and he will continue to steal bases with reckless abandon and bat for a useful average. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: METS NOW CONCENTRATING ON YOENIS CESPEDES AFTER TALKS WITH JAY BRUCE REACH IMPASSE

The reported deal between the Cincinnati Reds and the New York Mets at the moment is being held up due to the Reds' nervousness about taking back the injured Zack Wheeler.  As a result the Mets are now holding court with the Detroit Tigers regarding outfielder Yoenis Cespedes who is very much available. 

Analysis:  The Mets really have to stop with the parade of prospective outfielders and just get a deal finished already.  Cespedes is a better fit for them than Bruce and a deal could come together quickly. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE BREAKING NEWS: BLUE JAYS PICK UP RP MARK LOWE FROM MARINERS

The Toronto Blue Jays made yet another trade Friday, picking up relief pitcher Mark Lowe from the Seattle Mariners for three minor league players.  Lowe has pitched very well for the Mariners on a minor league deal this season, ringing up 47 strikeouts in 36 innings.  Lowe joins Troy Tulowitzki, LaTroy Hawkins, and David Price as trade acquisitions this past week.

Analysis:  Wow the Blue Jays keep adding guys as they sit six games behind the New York Yankees in the AL East standing as of this writing.  Lowe will help them in setup as a bridge to closer Roberto Osuna but he has little to no fantasy baseball value. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE BREAKING NEWS: DAN HAREN DEALT TO THE CUBS

The Chicago Cubs got starting pitching help that they were seeking going into the July 31 trade deadline, pulling off a swap for Miami Marlins innings-eater Dan Haren Friday.  The Marlins get two minor league players for Haren in return as he joins a strong Cubs rotation fronted by Jon Lester and including Jason Hammel, Jake Arrieta, and Kyle Hendricks. 

Analysis:  Haren is actually having a very good season for the Marlins with a 3.42 ERA and 1.09 WHIP while giving his usual durable innings.  He gets a downgrade in ballpark going to Chicago but you never were going to have Haren as more than an SP 5 anyway. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: GERARDO PARRA OFFICIALLY AN ORIOLE

Updating an earlier item, the Baltimore Orioles officially picked up outfielder Gerardo Parra from the Milwaukee Brewers for pitching prospect Zach Davies. 

Analysis:  We said this early Friday morning and now it is official.  Parra will be an excellent addition to lead off for the Orioles.  His stock has exploded this season and Parra will be a terrific outfielder 2 with his new club. 
 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: YANKS/PADRES REACH IMPASSE ON CRAIG KIMBREL

Updating an earlier item, the New York Yankees and San Diego Padres have reached an impasse on closer Craig Kimbrel when a deal was reportedly imminent earlier in the day Friday.  The Padres apparently asked for additional prospect from the Yankees in addition to Jorge Mateo which they wouldn't do. 

Analysis:  Another piece of evidence that A.J. Preller is tough to deal with.  It looks like he is sinking the Padres in not being able to get any deals done as the deadline beckons.  The Yankees will now turn all of their focus on Aroldis Chapman. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE BREAKING NEWS: CARDS PICK UP RP JONATHAN BROXTON FROM BREWERS

The Milwaukee Brewers continued with their housecleaning Friday as they sent reliever Jonathan Broxton to the St. Louis Cardinals.  Broxton has struggled all season to the tune of a 5.89 ERA but the Cards evidently see something there that could help.

Analysis:  Nothing major here as Broxton's arm is toast.   Not sure what the Cards are thinking there but they have long earned the right to be given the benefit of the doubt. 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: DODGERS COULD FLIP ALEX WOOD IF THEY GET YOVANI GALLARDO

The Los Angeles Dodgers are now involved in trade talks for Yovani Gallardo and if a deal is reached, would likely flip Alex Wood who they just got from the Atlanta Braves.  The Dodgers already have Wood and Mat Latos joining Brett Anderson, Zack Greinke, and Clayton Kershaw but have still been interested in Gallardo.

Analysis:  Boy the Dodgers have to be involved in everything.  Gallardo is a better and more experienced pitcher than Wood so that makes sense.  The Yankees have also been connected here as well so this could be a battle between the two for Gallardo's arm. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE BREAKING NEWS: BLUE JAYS HOT AFTER BEN REVERE

The Toronto Blue Jays are hot on the trail of Philadelphia Phillies leadoff man Ben Revere.  With the Baltimore Orioles landing Gerardo Parra from the Milwaukee Brewers, they have cooled on Revere which opened the door for the Blue Jays. 

Analysis:  The Blue Jays could use a leadoff guy after trading Jose Reyes as they are going with Troy Tulowitzki there.  Revere is a very good stolen base guy who also helps in runs and batting average. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: D-BACKS OUT ON AROLDIS CHAPMAN, DOWN TO YANKS AND ASTROS

The Arizona Diamondbacks are out of the Aroldis Chapman sweepstakes, with the suitors down to the New York Yankees and Houston Astros.  The Reds were not wowed by the package the D-Backs offered and instead have continued talking with the Yanks and Astros. 

Analysis:  Chapmand and Kimbrel seems to be competing against one of another to see who gets dealt to the Yanks or Astros.  Either one would be a major upgrade to each bullpen.  Stay tuned. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: DAN HAREN/YOVANI GALLARDO PITCHERS BEING MENTIONED THE MOST FRIDAY

Miami Marlins SP Dan Haren and his counterpart in with the Texas Rangers Yovani Gallardo are the two starters that are being bandied about the most on Friday ahead of the trade deadline.  Gallardo has more of a market of potential suitors but Haren is starting to pick up steal as the dealine soon beckons.

Analysis:  Either guy could help a team at the back end of their rotation as the season winds down but neither is guaranteed to move.  Gallardo is the better bet to go but nothing concrete has stepped up yet. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: GERARDO PARRA HEADING TO BALTIMORE



Updating an earlier item, the Baltimore Orioles have come to an agreement with the Milwaukee Brewers to acquire outfielder and leadoff man Gerardo Parra.  No word yet on what the return will be for Parra but the speedy outfielder will likely slot right into the leadoff spot as soon as Friday night.

Analysis:  Parra has been tremendous this season as he has fully taken advantage of playing every day for the first time in his career.  The contact rate is top-notch, the speed impressive, and Parra also has some pop that has him as a poor man's five-tool fantasy baseball player.  He will fit in just nicely in the offensive park that is Camden Yards. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: METS' DEAL FOR JAY BRUCE IS "DONE"



The New York Mets have agreed to a deal with the Cincinnati Reds for outfielder Jay Bruce according to a source who called the trade talks "done."  The Mets will send Zack Wheeler to the Reds and likely another prospect. 

Analysis:  This was obvious as both sides talked all night about a deal.  Bruce's arrival means Juan Lagares goes to the bench and Curtis Granderson to centerfield.  A very streaky power hitter in his career, Bruce is under control for another season for the Mets. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE BREAKING NEWS: YANKS STAYING IN ON AROLDIS CHAPMAN IN CASE CRAIG KIMBREL DEAL FALLS THROUGH

The New York Yankees are staying in touch with the Cincinnati Reds regarding closer Aroldis Chapman as a safety valve in case the reported agreement they have for Craig Kimbrel falls through with the San Diego Padres.  Reports are that a deal is in place between the Yanks and Kimbrel but that medical issues on a prospect heading to San Diego is holding up an announcement.  Chapman is also being heavily courted by the Arizona Diamondbacks as well. 

Analysis:  It looks like a given that the Yankees will come out with either Kimbrel or Chapman and thus give themselves an impossible bullpen to deal with.  This is getting real interesting. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: ORIOLES MOVING CLOSE ON GERARDO PARRA

The Baltimore Orioles appear as though they will be the winners in the Gerardo Parra sweepstakes as they reportedly are close to acquiring the speedy leadoff hitter.  The Orioles have also been in close contact regarding outfielder Ben Revere but Parra seems like the better bet to end up in Baltimore as the team continues to fight for a wild card spot. 

Analysis:  The Brewers have pretty much moved whatever is not nailed down, having already sent Mike Fiers, Carlos Gomez, and now likely Parra packing.  The Orioles will move Chris Davis to first base when this trade does go through and Parra will likely move right to the leadoff spot for the team. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE BREAKING NEWS: DEAL IN PLACE BETWEEN YANKS AND PADRES FOR CRAIG KIMBREL



The New York Yankees are on the verge of announcing a deal for San Diego Padres closer Craig Kimbrel according to multiple sources.  The Yankees could be moving top infield prospect Jorge Mateo in the deal but the true package going back to the Padres is yet unknown.  However the sources indicated a deal has been struck and an announcement could come shortly. 

Analysis:  There you go.  The Yankees surely felt the need to do something after seeing the Blue Jays go nuts the last few days.  Kimbrel will join Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller to give the Yankees are truly frightening bullpen.  With Miller blowing a save Thursday night, it would not be a shock if Kimbrel is thrust right into the closer role for the Yankees. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE FALLOUT: MIKE LEAKE GETS BALLPARK BOOST IN SAN FRANCISCO



When we use then term "smoke and mirrors" in discussing a pitcher, what we mean there is that a guy excels despite not having a good fastball or what you would label as decent "strikeout stuff."  we have seen many examples of guys putting up yearly ERA's under 4.00 and maybe even lower despite K rates that sail along under the 7.00 mark.  One such guy over the last few seasons has been Cincinnati Reds veteran Mike Leake who was dealt away to the San Francisco Giants late Thursday night.  Leake goes to San Francisco with a solid 3.56 ERA and he is coming off a truly dominant stretch where he has given up only 2 runs in his last four starts spanning 30 innings.  All this despite the fact Leake has struck out only 90 batters in 136.2 innings this season.  And despite the fact Leake operates in one of the best power ballparks in the major leagues.  The best part of the this trade for Leake now is the fact he goes from the offensive haven that is Cincinnati's home park to one of the best pitcher's parks in San Francisco.  Thus his already solid numbers figure to go even lower in his new home.  When evaluating Leake as a pitcher, the guy possesses terrific control with a 2.24 BB/9 and an even better home run rate at 0.92 which is doubly impressive considering his former home park.  The 5.93 K rate is ugly no doubt but Leake doesn't make things harder on himself by giving up home runs and walking guys and thus he has kept his ERA in the high 3.00-range as a result.  He should be a very solid addition to the San Francisco staff and thus continue being a daily starter in terms of fantasy baseball terms. 


 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: CUBS USING JAVIER BAEZ AS BAIT TO LAND STARTER



The Chicago Cubs are using top infield prospect Javier Baez as the main piece to try and acquire a starting pitcher ahead of the trade deadline.  The most recent chatter has the Cubs engaged with the Cleveland Indians to see what it would take to acquire Carlos Carrasco.  The Cubs have also been connected to Yovani Gallardo, Matt Shoemaker, and Tyson Ross.

Analysis:  The Indians would be completely foolish to move Carrasco who is under their control at affordable terms for a few more seasons.  The Cubs are looking hard for a starter they think can put them over the top and are more likely to get something done for Shoemaker or Ross. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: PADRES DETERMINED TO MOVE A PITCHER BEFORE DEADLINE



The San Diego Padres have failed to get a significant deal done despite putting a 'For Sale' sign on anything not nailed down.  They continue to field offers for Justin Upton, Derek Norris, Craig Kimbrel, James Shields, Tyson Ross, and Andrew Cashner.  GM A.J. Preller in fact is "determined" to move a starting pitcher before the deadline, preferably Shields and the three years remaining on his contract. 

Analysis:  Rumors are that Preller is incredibly tough to deal with which is why they have not made a big trade yet despite having prime players.  Shields is going to be a tough sell due to his contract but Upton and Kimbrel should both be sent packing if Preller has any sense. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: ALL QUIET ON JEFF SAMARDZJIA FRONT



A front office official with the Chicago White Sox said on the condition of anonymity that "all is quiet" on the Jeff Samardzjia trade talks.  With the Toronto Blue Jays having acquired David Price on Thursday, that eliminated the most interested part for Samardzjia.  Instead the White Sox will likely keep Samardzjia and try to overtake the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central.

Analysis:  This is mildly surprising as Samardzjia had quite a bit of interest early on but now that has cooled with the Dodgers, Astros, and Blue Jays all getting their hands on pitchers.  We are hearing the Chicago Cubs remain interested in a possible reunion and are dangling Javier Baez which bears watching.  Also don't discount the New York Yankees if they can't work out a deal for Yovani Gallardo. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE: REDS MULLING D-BACKS OFFERS FOR CLOSER AROLDIS CHAPMAN

The Cincinnati Reds are going to be very busy on Friday as they continue to mull multiply trade offers for a number of their players.  One such scenario is an offer made by the Arizona Diamondbacks for closer Aroldis Chapman.  The Yankees have also made inquiries on Chapman as well as the 5:00 deadline gets closer.

Analysis:  Chapman is a major difference-making bullpen weapon for any team that gets their hands on him for the stretch run but many in the industry doubt that the Reds will pull the trigger there.  Jay Bruce on the other hands seems destined to wind up with the New York Mets as long the two sides can work out money issues.

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: METS CONTINUE TO HAGGLE OVER MONEY IN JAY BRUCE DEAL

The New York Mets and Cincinnati Reds have a tentative deal worked out for outfielder Jay Bruce but the sticking point in talks has been about how the money involved.  The Mets want the Reds to pick up a portion of the $12 million Bruce is owned next season but the Reds to this point are not interested in doing that.  The return package for Bruce is highlighted by Zack Wheeler but another prospect reportedly is involved as well from the Mets. 

Analysis:  The Mets look very bad after Carlos Gomez went to the Houston Astros Thursday and they really need to save face after that fiasco.  Bruce is a streaky power hitter who hurts in the average department but he will be a help to whatever teams he winds up on. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: YANKS MOVING TO THE LEAD ON YOVANI GALLARDO

The New York Yankees have moved to the lead in the Yovani Gallardo trade talks, just a day after putting Michael Pineda on the DL.  Gallardo is now expendable by the Rangers after they completed a deal for Cole Hamels on Wednesday but the Yankees are getting strong competition from the Blue Jays and the Cubs.

Analysis:  Gallardo to the Yankees makes too much sense not to happen but the price could be high as the veteran is now one of the last available pitchers standing.  His fantasy baseball value is dwindling as Gallardo is going through his annual lade fade and a move to the AL East would be tough however. 

FANTASY FOOTBALL TRAINING CAMP REPORT: TYLER EIFERT LOOKING LIKE A NICE SLEEPER CANDIDATE FOR CINCY

Another day at NFL training camps brings another rounds of fantasy football news items worth talking about.

-Cincinnati Bengals third-year tight end Tyler Eifert declared himself 100 percent healthy Thursday and also said he was ready to become a main target in the team's passing offense that coordinator Hue Jackson said will air it out more.  The Notre Dame product missed virtually all of 2014 with an elbow injury suffered in Week 1 but the Bengals cleared the decks for Eifert heading into the season by letting Jermaine Gresham walk.  Eifert was lauded for his receiving skills when he came out of Notre Dame and he looks like a very nice sleeper candidate this season to go along with Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Jordan Cameron. 

-Breshaud Perriman was running with the first-team unit Thursday for the Baltimore Ravens and the rookie has the inside track to a starting wide receiver spot opposite veteran Steve Smith.  Perriman was a guy the Ravens had to have in the draft and they picked him in the first round to be a main cog in the offense right out of the gate.  We all saw how many rookie wide receivers carries immense fantasy football value a year ago and Perriman should have a clear chance to be part of the newest wave there.  Use a late round pick on the kid.

-Things continue to be very muddled in the Cleveland Browns backfield as Terrance West got first team reps Thursday, followed by Isaiah Crowell.  Rookie Duke Johnson has been the talk of the offseason amid reports he could literally run with the starting job.  We won't go that far however and ultimately think Crowell will get the goal-line work which will make him the only guy worth owning here.  The biggest running back mess in the NFL easy. 

-Darren McFadden is already sitting out as he was put on the PUP list by the Dallas Cowboys.  McFadden is hobbled by a hamstring injury which is allowed James Randle to continue getting the main work out of the backfield.  Randle got an endorsement from Jerry Jones on Wednesday and with McFadden already hurt, the former is the one to own as far as Dallas runners are concerned. 

-Tennessee Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt has already come out and stated that rookie QB Marcus Mariota will be under center Week 1.  This was already assumed and Mariota, while he has some major upside, is nothing but a backup play in fantasy football 2015 right out of the gate. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: THURSDAY



Derek Norris:  5/5 with his 12th HR while hitting .238.  I would say Norris had a nice day.  Like water in the desert here as Norris was released from a majority of his teams over the last months due to his crazy slump. 

Justin Upton:  1/5 with his 18th HR while hitting .251.  Clutch homer from Upton who hits a three-run bomb against Jeurys Familia in the ninth.  The power can't be held in any ballpark but those who own Upton are crossing their fingers he gets moved before tomorrow's deadline to maximize that in a more offensive park.

Curtis Granderson:  2/4 with his 16th HR while hitting .259.  Granderson could have moved out of the leadoff spot and into a more RBI-conducive place in the batting order if the Carlos Gomez deal had gone through but that is not happening.  The average is almost up to .260 which is like .290 for Granderson and he has been hitting the baseball hard for almost two months now. 

Jeurys Familia:  third straight blown save with 3 ER in 1 IP with an ERA of 2.22.  Wow this is bad.  Tyler Clippard could be on the verge of closing for the Mets as Familia could be on fumes right now.  The difference from pitching in setup to closing games is so much more intense on a pitcher's arm and Familia is paying the price based on his very ugly results over his last three save chances.  I think Familia gets one more shot but I also wouldn't be shocked if a change is officially made as this one was very bad. 

Juan Uribe:  1/4 with his 9th HR while hitting .276.  The guy hits no matter where he plays.  Uribe doesn't fit in mixed leagues anymore but he is great third base insurance there.

Ryan Zimmerman:  2/4 with his sixth HR while hitting .216.  Amazing at one time we all wanted him as our fantasy baseball first baseman.  Should not be drafted anymore, so stark is the decline and health. 

Max Scherzer:  7 IP 3 H 0 ER 3 BB 6 K with an ERA of 2.22.  Yeah Zack Greinke is the best pitcher in all of baseball this season but don't think for a second Scherzer is not far behind. 

Dan Haren:  6 IP 4 H 1 ER 2 BB 4 K with an ERA of 3.42.  Unlike Justin Verlander and C.C. Sabbathia, Dan Haren has figured out how to still be a very solid pitcher despite losing his heater.  Props all around for the veteran starter who has been the epitome of a solid SP 5 and looks like he has some more mileage on that arm of his. 

Carlos Santana:  1/3 with his 12th HR while hitting .227.  So let's see now.  Santana can't hit .230, he wont hit 25 home runs and maybe not even 20.  He strikes out a ton.  Why do we even care about the guy anymore?  I know I don't anymore.  Unfulfilled potential that will never be found since Santana is planted firmly in his prime.

Carlos Carrasco:  9 IP 2 H 1 ER 1 BB 7 K with an ERA of 4.03.  I said last month that I thought Carrasco was primed for a monster second half just like in 2014 due to the fact he suffered some poor BABIP and strand rate luck in the first half and was still punching out a ton of guys.  Third straight complete game here from Carrasco and he is firmly earning a reputation for being a second half monster which is the trend you want your pitchers to have. 

Seth Smith:  1/4 with his 9th HR while hitting .263.  If every pitcher in major league baseball wasa lefty, Smith and Chris Young would be first round picks. 

Brian Dozier:  1/4 with his 22nd HR while hitting .256.  Right now I just want Dozier to finish the season with an average over .250 as he has to prove he can not be a trainwreck there to go with his other stellar numbers in the other four categories. 

Eddie Rosario:  3/5 with his 5th HR while hitting .294.  Rosario is a decent option in AL-only leagues as he hits for a solid average and can pop the odd home run.  Standards always so much lower in those setups. 

Alex Hicks:  3/4 with his 5th HR and 9th SB while hitting .299.  Hicks was a stalled prospect after being a first round pick way back in 2008.  He has not hit a lick leading up to the season but he is starting to show some progress and using the tools that he has like what we have seen with Cameron Maybin this season.  I would take a stab in five outfielder formats. 

Phil Hughes:  5 ER in 5 IP with an ERA of 4.11.  It just has not happened for Hughes this season as he is losing the home run battle again badly which is the main reason his ERA has spiked so badly compared to his terrific 2014 campaign.  Again we always tell you to avoid guys who give up a ton of home runs as it always overshadows peripheral numbers that could be so much lower if that rate was even average. 

Anthony Rizzo:  3/4 with his 18th HR while hitting .284.  Rizzo will be right up against 30 home runs which seems to be his baseline as he is pretty much on the same rate he was at in 2014.  That works just fine for us. 

Gerardo Parra:  2/4 with 2 steals (9 for season) while hitting .328.  What a season Parra is having as he picks up two hits nightly at the very least.  The D-Backs didn't see this one through enough and some team should pony up for the guy before today's trade deadline. 

Jimmy Nelson:  7 IP 2 H 0 ER 3 BB 8 K with an ERA of 3.76.  I have said numerous times this season that Nelson is a decent sleeper for 2016 as he has fought through the typical rookie inconsistency in 2015 but is starting to round into form.  Nelson has very good strikeout stuff that can shut down any lineup in any given start and the control is improving.  Keep him on the watch lists for next spring. 

Matt Shoemaker:  7 IP 3 H 0 ER 1 BB 7 K with an ERA of 4.24.  Shoemaker has thrown two straight shutouts with 17 K's in his last 13 innings.  A little too late for Shoemaker's original owners as 80 percent of them don't have him on their roster anymore but it does reinforce what we thought he could be this season as the arm is very good.  We hate to be repetitive but when Shoemaker keeps the baseball in the park, he dominates. 

Scott Kazmir:  7.2 IP 3 H 0 ER 3 BB 5 K with an ERA of 2.10.  I have to hand it to Kazmir who is having a great season as the ERA hovers near 2.00.  Kazmir has always had awesome stuff and only health and fatigue holds him back which is obviously not the problem right now.

Yoenis Cespedes:  3/5 with his 18th HR while hitting .293.  Love the current version of Cespedes who has gotten back the average he posted as a rookie, cutting down on his K Rate a bit while also taking more pitches on average.  Could be his last home run as a member of the Tigers and all Cespedes owners are hoping for a new locale in a prime hitter's park.  Still trying to figure out how he screwed up the Boston thing. 

Adam Jones:  1/3 with his 16th HR while hitting .287.  Jones's numbers are slightly down from the last few seasons as he won't go near 30 home runs and stolen bases now seem like they are a thing of the past at the age 30 since he has only 3. 

Chris Davis:  2/4 with his 25th HR while hitting .244.  Along with Lucas Duda and Carlos Gonzalez, no one is lighting up the home run scoreboard more than Davis. 

Pedro Alvarez:  1/3 with his 15th HR while hitting .237.  Yawn.
 
Marlon Byrd:  3/6 with his 17th HR while hitting .245.  Byrd has been very solid since the middle of June as his power still is impressive as he sits in his late 30's.  You can ride him as your outfielder 3 for the rest of the season at the very least.

Brandon Phillips:  4/5 with 2 home runs (7 for season) and two stolen bases (13 for season) while hitting .278.  Almost like Phillips owned himself in Draft Kings yesterday. 

A.J. Burnett:  7 ER in 4.1 IP with an ERA of 3.06.  Burnett has a 1.34 WHIP which shows you that there has been quite a bit of good fortune to his ERA this season so this is not a total surprise.  Could be a rocky finish with Burnett having an aging arm that likely is tiring some. 

Josh Donaldson:  2/3 with his 25th HR while hitting .291.  Still wondering what Billy Beane was thinking dealing this monster away.  35 home runs here we go. 

Russell Martin:  1/3 with his 15th HR while hitting .263  Anyone who invested very cheaply in Martin would be happy if the home run total and average at this very moment was his final tally. 

Jose Abreu:  1/4 with his 17th HR while hitting .295.  Abreu is still the tremendous hitter he was as a rookie but opposing pitchers are being more careful with him this season and rightly so after his awesome rookie debut.  I am not down on him like some others are which is sort of ridiculous as 17 home runs is fine and the .295 average very solid as well.  Enjoy any slight discount next season and dive right back in.

Rusney Castillo:  2/4 with his second HR while hitting .256.  I would give Castillo another shot.  call me stubborn but the guy has skills.  They eventually figure it out. 

Chris Sale:  7 ER in 5 IP with an ERA of 3.20.  Ugh.  Always shocking to see a guy as awesome as Sale get bombed like this.  Not a story until it happens a second straight time though. 

Mark Teixeira:  3/4 with 2 home runs (26 for season) while hitting .263.  The Yankees told Teixeira before the game that instead of destroying the dugout as he did the other day when thrown out at a play at the dish, take your anger out on the baseball.  Message received.

Brian McCann:  2/5 with his 16th HR while hitting .253.  Very good season from McCann who is now a guy you plug in at catcher and not pay attention to due to his knack for supplying the numbers expected out of him each season. 











 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE BREAKING NEWS: ASTROS ACQUIRE CARLOS GOMEZ AND MIKE FIERS FROM BREWERS

Just a day after it appeared as if he was heading to the New York Mets in a trade, the Houston Astros stepped up and acquired outfielder Carlos Gomez and SP Mike Fiers from the Milwaukee Brewers for prospects.  The Mets reportedly pulled out of the Gomez deal over money and not issues with his health and the Astros quickly swooped in to net the speedy outfielder and Fiers to help the rotation. 

Analysis:  Wow did the Mets screw this one up and they deserve to get destroyed by it.  The Astros came out smelling like roses here as Gomez and Fiers join Scott Kazmir in a nice haul for the AL West leaders.  As far as fantasy baseball is concerned, Gomez is an outfielder 1 no matter where he is while Fiers is nothing but an SP 5 at the very best and maybe not even that going to the American League. 

 

THE FANTASY SPORTS BOSS 2015 FANTASY FOOTBALL QB PREVIEW


FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: PIRATES ACQUIRE TIGERS CLOSER JOAKIM SORIA

The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired closer Joakim Soria from the Detroit Tigers late on Thursday, supplying their own stopper Mark Melancon with a prime setup man.  The Tigers continued with their midseason fire sale, having already moved ace David Price earlier in the day. 

Analysis:  Soria loses pretty much all of his fantasy baseball value now that he will be setting up in Pittsburgh.  As far as who will close now for Detroit, both Bruce Rondon and Neftali Feliz has ERA's over 8.00 so that leaves Al Alburquerque as the most likely candidate. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE FALLOUT: DODGERS-BRAVES-MARLINS EXECUTE 13-PLAYER DEAL

For the second time in two days, we have a Trade Fallout involving the Dodgers and Marlins regarding Mike Morse and Mat Latos.  However there are now 11 other players involved in the deal as the blockbuster three-way trade was consummated Thursday.  Let's revisit what we said about Morse and Latos yesterday, along with the other prime players involved.

Mat Latos:  Latos clearly is the headliner in the deal and the veteran has been one of the hottest pitchers in baseball over the last month which coincided with his return from the disabled list.  Overall Latos goes West with a cumulative 4.48 ERA and 1.25 WHIP while striking out 79 in 88.1 innings pitched.  However those numbers are deceiving as Latos has pitched to a splendid 2.96 ERA and struck out 43 batters in 45.2 and only 9 walks since coming off the DL.  Clearly the pre-DL version of Latos was inhibited by injury and not pitching like the firm SP 2 he was during his stay with the Cincinnati Reds and San Diego Padres.  Latos seems like he is back at that level as evidence by his numbers from pronouncing himself healthy coming off the DL and the Dodgers are certainly buying at the right time here.  What is even more attractive is the fact Latos gets to remain in a prime pitcher's park moving from Miami to Dodgers Stadium.  Both parks are among the most pitcher-friendly in baseball and Latos' propensity for giving up home runs is minimized there.  Overall the trade doesn't change Latos' current fantasy baseball value but he should have been picked up off waivers by now if anyone dropped him earlier in the season.

Alex Wood:  Wood joins Latos in heading to Los Angeles to give the Dodger are ridiculous rotation as they join Clayton Kershaw, Zack Grienke, and Brett Anderson.  Wood has been mildly disappointing this season in fantasy baseball terms, having pitched to a solid 3.54 ERA but with a very ugly 1.41 WHIP due to a ton of baserunners allowed.  Wood has not looked anywhere near like the future star that he appeared to be in 2014 when he registered a 2.78 ERA and 1.14 WHIP while punching out 170 batters in 171.1 innings.  Instead Wood has seen his K rate dip sharply and give up 132 hits in his 119 innings which is very high.  He stays in a prime pitcher's park going to Los Angeles so nothing changes there.  Perhaps moving to a pennant race will boost him mentality a bit and unleash some more attractive numbers.

Jim Johnson:  Johnson was fresh off closing games for the Atlanta Braved, an assignment given to him just a few weeks ago when Jason Grilli was lost for the season with injury.  After being nothing but a complete trainwreck over the last two seasons, Johnson has had a nice comeback season in 2015 with a 2.25 ERA and 1.23 WHIP.  He will pitch in setup ahead of stopper Kenley Jansen and thus lose almost all of his fantasy baseball value.  As far as who closes now in Atlanta, our best guess would be Arodys Vizcaino.

Mike Morse:  Morse has become a sort of de factor hired home run gun as he has spent time with the Baltimore Orioles and San Francisco Giants (not to mention Seattle) over the last two seasons.  Signed by Miami as a free agent to man first base this season, Morse once again lost the battle to injuries as went on the DL early in the year and struggled at the dish in hitting an awful .214 with only 4 home runs in 159 at-bats.  Morse will be a spare part with the Dodgers, seeing his best chance of swinging the bat as a late inning pinch hitter and sometime starter.  He should not be owned in any fantasy baseball format.

As far as the rest of the deal is concerned, the Braves give up highly touted infield prospect Jose Peraza but did wind up with 30-year-old Cuban infield prospect Hector Olivera who is said to have immense potential as a future star beginning next season.  The Dodgers also get injured SP Bronson Arroyo from the Braves but he is no factor in fantasy baseball.  Finally the Dodgers get top infield prospect Jose Peraza as well.  There are some other minor league names involved but nothing worth talking about in terms of fantasy baseball impact. 



 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: ORIOLES CHECKING IN ON YOENIS CESPEDES

The Baltimore Orioles have checked in on Yoenis Cespedes with the Detroit Tigers as they sit just a game back in the wild card standing.  The Tigers continue to peddle Cespedes, along with closer Joakim Soria and outfielder Rajai Davis after dealing away David Price earlier on Thursday. 

Analysis:  The Orioles are right there and could use another bat which makes sense they would look at Cespedes.  Things continue to heat up as the MLB trade deadline gets closer, with the outfield market still flush with options like Cespedes, Jay Bruce, and Justin Upton available. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: YANKS PICK UP DUSTIN ACKLEY FROM SEATTLE

Plagued with infield issues all season, the New York Yankees traded for second baseman/outfielder Dustin Ackley from the Seattle Mariners for outfielder Ramon Flores and RHP Jose Ramirez.  There is no word yet on whether or not Ackley will start at second base for the Yankees as the former number 2 pick in the 2009 draft has his most experience there and at the very least this move will likely keep Rob Refsnyder in the minors until September. 

Analysis:  Surprising and somewhat needless move by the Yankee as Refsnyder should be starting at second base.   Ackley has proven he simply can't hit, having batted under .250 for his career with little to no power.  Meanwhile the Yanks need to get moving on getting a starting pitcher after losing Michael Pineda to the DL earlier in the day on Thursday. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL INJURY FALLOUT: MATT HOLLIDAY COULD BE DONE FOR 2015 WITH QUAD, TROUBLE BREWING FOR MICHAEL PINEDA

A couple of big names went down on Thursday, with St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday and New York Yankees SP Michael Pineda both ending up on the 15-day disabled list.  In the case of Holliday, he goes back on the DL for the second time this season with an injured quad.  Holliday missed six weeks earlier in the season with the quad as it healed very slowly.  Apparently Holliday didn't completely get over the injury as it flared again as it was officially deemed a right quad strain.  There is some talk that Holliday could be out for the rest of the season as a result, which is why the Cardinals likely went out early Thursday and traded for Brandon Moss from the Cleveland Indians.  One of the best pure hitters of his generation, Holliday had seen all of his numbers slip outside of his usual .300 average this season as he is now in his mid-30's.  Clearly Holliday is on the back side of his career and his standing now is of nothing but an outfielder 3. 

As far as Michael Pineda is concerned, we just got done featuring him in a piece on pitchers who are fatigued as we reached late July, typically the time we see this out of guys who are either young or who are coming back from injuries which means their arms are not conditioned for big innings totals.  Pineda came down with pain in his forearm and was quickly placed on the DL.  This of course brings back very bad memories when Pineda missed all of the 2012 and 2013 season with shoulder trouble and has stints on the DL a year ago as well.  The Yankees are calling Pineda's injury a right flexor muscle strain which is a Grade 1 and the least severe.  Still closer Andrew Miller sat out a month with the same injury earlier in the season and that seems about right for Pineda which should also get the Yankees going in trying to acquire a pitcher.  Even before the injury, Pineda's stellar numbers in April and May sunk badly in June and July as fatigue set in.  The injury only compounds what is shaping up to be a very shaky finish to his season. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE FALLOUT: DAVID PRICE BACK IN THE ROUGH AL EAST

After striking out with Scott Kazmir, Johnny Cueto, and most recently Cole Hamels despite having a crying need for a starting pitcher, the Toronto Blue Jays couldn't be blamed if they felt some desperation slipping in.  That feeling was not allowed to marinate too long however as the Blue Jays stepped up and delivered their second blockbuster trade in three days when they completed a deal with the Detroit Tigers for ace SP David Price.  The entire deal has the Blue Jays dealing LHP's Daniel Norris, Jairo Labourt, and Matt Boyd to the Tigers for Price, who instantly becomes the ace of the shaky Blue Jays.  Price also finds himself back in the American League East after spending 7 years with the Tampa Bay Rays during which he quickly developed into a top tier fantasy baseball power pitching ace.  So with the deal still freshly agreed upon, let's dig in on the particulars for those involved:

David Price:  Obviously if you are an owner of David Price, about the last place you wanted to see him go to would be Toronto and in the American League East which has had a major offensive revival in 2015 after an off 2014.  While Price succeeded tremendously while with the Rays in the division, Tampa Bay had a firm pitcher's park that helped offset some of the AL East offensive fireworks.  Price now goes to the number one offensive park in all of the major leagues and the one that generates the most home runs.  This is somewhat troubling for Price as his one major weakness in the home runs ball (remember he gave up a certain monumental home run to a certain New York Yankees shortstop) and to this point he has given up 13 lognballs on the season.  Price was actually pretty horrific in that stat a year ago as he gave up a career-high 25 home runs despite having spacious Comerica Park as his home base in Detroit.  This is a decent-sized concern whenever Price starts at Rogers Center but again this is a fantasy baseball ace who has rung up 200-plus strikeouts three times in his career, including a monstrous 271 a year ago.  As far as 2015 is concerned, Price heads to Toronto in the midst of another stellar season with a 2.53 ERA and 1.11 WHIP while striking out 138 batters in 146 frames.  Price has admittedly made it a point to avoid pitching as much in the strike zone as he did a year ago, which was the main reason both for the 271 strikeout total and the high for him mid-3.00 ERA.  A free agent at the end of the season, we all would love to see what Price could do if he finally finds his way into the National League but that is a discussion for another day.  For now, Price still is a fantasy baseball ace despite moving to such an offensive juggernaut in Toronto.  Just watch those home runs.

Daniel Norris:  Norris is a highly regarded pitching prospect who will love moving from Rogers Center to Comerica Park.  Having made only five starts this season, Norris has been decent with a 3.86 ERA but with a very high 1.50 WHIP.  Norris has a good fastball that can generate strikeouts and he was a second round pick in 2011 due to his solid potential.  He is a story for 2016 however, as are the other two pitchers the Tigers received in the deal. 

There you have it.  Post your thoughts below. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL ISSUES: FATIGUE SETTING IN ON SOME BIG-NAME PITCHERS

Heading into the 2015 fantasy baseball season, there were a number of moderate-to-big-name starting pitchers who had a firm asterisk attached to their names when it came to their outlook.  While the vast talent of some of these pitchers almost ensured at least four months of high-level pitching, the arrival of mid-summer serves as a sort of line of demarcation before the dreaded fatigue sets in.  Whether it was due to this pitcher missing a large chunk of the previous year with injury or for simply due to youth, these starters come with a "Sell High" tag sometime at the beginning of July just to be on the safe side.  The following are some of the pitchers who fell into this category prior to the season and how the fatigue issue could be the prime reason they are struggling as we get set to move onto August. 

Michael Pineda:  The talent was never in question when it came to the hard-throwing Pineda.  It was always his utter inability to stay healthy as he missed the entire 2012 and 2013 season with a shoulder injury and than logged just 76 frames in 2014 due to more health woes.  Finally healthy entering 2015, there was almost no chance Pineda would hold the big numbers he began the season with as he moved into uncharted innings territory as the summer arrived.  Fresh off his second straight beating Friday night, Pineda is right on schedule there.  Consider his month-by-month numbers:

April:  3.73 ERA/1.12 WHIP
May:  3.00 ERA/1.15 WHIP
June:  5.72 ERA/1.48 WHIP
July:  3.55 ERA/1.14 WHIP

June was a trainwreck and on the surface July looks decent but Pineda has given up 9 earned runs in his last 11.1 innings which is a major red flag.  Fatigue no doubt is the culprit as Pineda has hardly pitched in the majors the previous three seasons and so we are past the time to sell high already.  It is likely going to be an ugly finish.
UPDATE:  Pineda was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a forearm injury. 

Michael Wacha:  I have already talked a bunch about Wacha, who missed a large segment of 2014 with shoulder trouble.  Still a young pitcher, Wacha was far from a finished product in terms of his innings endurance as 2015 began.  Like with Pineda, Wacha had a big start and now is getting his head beaten in as evidenced by the monthly performances:

April:  2.42 ERA/1.04 WHIP
May:  2.17 ERA/1.04 WHIP
June:  3.7 ERA/1.23 WHIP
July:  5.50 ERA/1.11 WHIP

The slide is quite stark here as Wacha himself is moving into uncharted innings territory which is showing up in his rising ERA and WHIP.  Another guy who should have been sold high on.

Jesse Chavez:  For the second season in a row, Chavez has struggled badly once the calendar turned to June.  A very underrated pitcher who has solid strikeout stuff and a good array of pitches, Chavez' constant movement from the rotation to the bullpen has not allowed him to build up enough endurance to make a full season of starts.  In April and May this season Chavez was terrific in posting ERA's of 2.55 and 1.93 as one of the best values in the game among pitchers.  June was a disaster though with a 4.85 ERA and July worse at 5.31.  An arm can only throw so many pitches before fatigue sets in as Chavez is dealing with currently. 

Yovani Gallardo:  Other than maybe Dan Haren, no other pitcher has been more of a stark first half gem/second half dud than veteran starter Yovani Gallardo.  After going with the trend almost every season of his career with the Milwaukee Brewers, Gallardo was not looked at as much of a fantasy baseball option in beginning 2015 with the Texas Rangers and their bandbox ballpark combined with diminished stuff.  However after a somewhat up-and-down April (4.08 ERA), Gallardo was very good to even terrific in May (3.75 ERA) and June (0.54 ERA) to become a decent add in fantasy baseball circles once again.  Just like when with the Brewers, Gallardo hit the skids in July, with the latest being a 5-earned run bomb Saturday night that marks his second straight outing giving up that many runs.  That brought Gallardo's July ERA to an unsightly 4.97 with a hideous 1.93 WHIP.  In other words Gallardo is once again waiver fodder the rest of the way. 

 

2015 FANTASY FOOTBALL DRAFT DEBATE: DEMARYUIS THOMAS/DEZ BRYANT WIDE RECEIVERS

We are set for another 2015 fantasy football draft debate as drafts continue to rage on as NFL training camps get underway.  Today we go right to the top of the wide receiver rankings behind only Antonio Brown in order to determine who in fact should come off second among this group.  The two obvious candidates are freshly re-signed Demaryuis Thomas and Dez Bryant, two guys who are extremely similar in skill and numbers. As always we compare the two between their relevant fantasy football scoring categories in order to determine who comes out on top. 

RECEPTIONS:  Thomas is the only one who has crossed the 100-catch plateau, coming in 2014 with 111.  The two years prior to that excellent haul, Thomas grabbed 94 and 92 balls as the number 1 target of QB Peyton Manning. Bryant meanwhile has never caught 100 passes and in fact only got his hands on 88 last season compared to the 92 and 93 the two seasons prior.  Clearly Thomas has been a bit more active in the receptions department over the last three seasons and the same could be true again in 2015.  Of course the Cowboys will be throwing it more now that DeMarco Murray is in Philadelphia but on track record Thomas wins.
ADVANTAGE:  Demaryuis Thomas

TOUCHDOWNS:  This is one category where Bryant stands supreme as he led the NFL in receiving touchdowns in 2014 with 16 and over the last three seasons has a total of 41 scores.  Thomas meanwhile went for 11 in 2014 and over the last three seasons has a still excellent 35.  Bryant has fewer competition on the other side when it comes to touchdowns unlike Thomas, as Emmanuel Sanders is a trusted outlet in the red zone as well.  With Cowboys likely throwing a whole bunch more in 2015, it would be a shock if Bryant didn't collect at least 15 which is a number Thomas has never reached. 
ADVANTAGE:  Dez Bryant

YARDAGE:  As easily as Bryant has led Thomas in touchdowns over the last three seasons, the same can be said for Thomas over his counterpart in receiving yardage.  Thomas has exceeded Bryant in receiving yardage each of the last three seasons and he has gone for over 1,400 in all three campaigns.  That is a strong track record we can't ignore.
ADVANTAGE:  Demaryuis Thomas

WINNER:  Demaryuis Thomas

You really can't go wrong with either guy but Thomas is the slightly better choice when it comes to overall numbers, especially in PPR formats. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL TRAINING CAMP DAILY REPORT: JOSEPH RANDLE MOVING UP, JOSH HILL MOVING DOWN

NFL training camps opened en masse on Wednesday, with the holdout coming together Thursday as the 2015 fantasy football season will now start to come into focus.  With all that said, let's start checking in on the daily items that are of interest to those of you who will be drafting leading up to the opener. 

-This is one peanut stand that has never been on board the whole ridiculous "Josh Hill is the next stud fantasy football tight end because he will take Jimmy Graham's place in the starting lineup" chatter.  One publication even had Hill number 6 overall already among tight ends which is absurd.  This from a guy who has hardly played since being drafted.  Well it didn't take long for Saints head coach Sean Payton to follow my lead in throwing cold water on this story as he said Wednesday that Hill will not be used anywhere near the way Graham was.  Noting the stark differences in athleticism alone, Payton seemed to suggest Hill will be nothing but a low-end complementary piece to the passing offense.  Points for Marques Colston and Brandin Cooks and negative points for Hill who should be nothing but a very late round speculative pick which his current ADP says he is not.  In that case just pass him by.

-Joseph Randle was spoken of highly by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones Wednesday in terms of his belief that the young back should be able to handle being the number 1 runner on the team in replacing DeMarco Murray.  Darren McFadden is also in camp but Jones seemed publicly intrigued by what Randle could bring.  Randle only has value in fantasy football standard formats due to the fact he doesn't catch the football and McFadden should not even be drafted as he has had three miserable seasons in a row both on and off the field with his rampant injuries.

-Tre Mason is set to be the main ball carriers for the St. Louis Rams early on as rookie Todd Gurley continues to recover from his torn ACL last season.  Gurley will be handled with kid gloves after the Rams used a first round pick on the speedster last May.  Mason meanwhile comes off a solid rookie season where he should he can be a big play guy.  While Mason did disappoint as a receiver, he figures to remain involved even when Gurley is ready to go.  Ultimately though Gurley is the guy who will get the higher end of the carries from November on when fantasy football titles are decided.

-Rookie WR DeVante Parker is on the PUP list to start camp after undergoing surgery on his foot to have a screw replaced.  The Miami Dolphins think Parker won't need the PUP list to begin the season which would cost Parker the first six games but missing Week 1 and maybe even Week 2 is possible.  Not the start Parker wanted to say the least.

-Early reports out of San Francisco indicate the team will employ the dreaded running back committee in the team's backfield after Frank Gore signed as a free agent with the Indianapolis Colts.  I find this tough to believe as second-year power back Carlos Hyde seems fully suited to be the primary ball carrier but Reggie Bush does figure to be heavily involved on third down and in the passing game.  In standard formats you draft Hyde as a RB 2/3 and avoid him in standard. 

-It was nice to hear Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson publicly state that he plans to "open things up" in terms of the team's passing game this season after being a run-dominant unit in 2014.  That is tremendous news for wide receivers A.J. Green and Mohamud Sanu, not to mention QB Andy Dalton who sunk to bench status at best a year ago when the Bengals rode the power running of rookie Jeremy Hill and the shiftiness of Giovani Bernard to control games on the ground.  Dalton could ascend back to low-end QB 1 status given the fact the Bengals are loaded with offensive weapons such as Green, Sanu, Bernard, Hill, Marvin Jones, and Tyler Eifert.  Meanwhile Green could easily push back to the 90-catch mark under this plan also. 

-Atlanta Falcons WR Roddy White is one to avoid this season in fantasy football as he admitted that his chronically sore knee was drained in June and will have to be drained again prior to Week 1.  White is hobbling around as he approaches his mid-30's and Julio Jones has firmly replaced him as the number 1 receiver in the Falcons passing offense.  While we were big fans of White in the past, even we have to admit he is a guy you want to have someone else deal with this season. 

-Joique Bell was a surprising PUP entry Wednesday as he is still not ready to get onto the field after offseason knee/Achilles surgery.  This gives rookie Amir Abdullah a prime chance to showcase his stuff and stake his claim to the starting RB job for the Lions as Bell has averaged less than 4.0 yards per carry each of the last two seasons.  Something to watch early on as camp gets going. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: METS OFFER UP ZACK WHEELER IN DEAL FOR YEONIS CESPEDES

Quickly moving on from Carlos Gomez after the trade for the Milwaukee Brewers fell through, the New York Mets began exchanging proposals with the Detroit Tigers for outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.  The Tigers officially made it known that Cespedes and David Price were both available and the Mets reportedly offered up Zack Wheeler and another prospect for him.  The two sides are expected to continue negotiations throughout the day Thursday.

Analysis:  The Mets need to save face after being the ones to pull out of the Carlos Gomez trades and so it is understandable they are going hard after Cespedes.  Jay Bruce and Justin Upton have also been connected to the Mets but Cespedes is the one they want.  Stay tuned. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: METS WERE ONES TO PULL OUT OF CARLOS GOMEZ DEAL DUE TO HIP CONCERNS

Wilmer Flores is now probably crying tears of joy as it was learned late Wednesday night that the New York Mets were the ones who pulled out of the Carlos Gomez trade due to concerns about his hip.  It was first reported that the Brewers were holding up the deal due to looking over Zack Wheeler's medicals due to his having undergone Tommy John surgery GM Sandy Alderson later admitted it was the Mets who scuttled the deal. 

Analysis:  Just a weird scene all the way around last night, what with Flores crying on the field and still being in the game when the trade looked like it went down, to Scott Boras coming out publicly in saying Gomez is perfectly healthy.  So Gomez stays put and now no team will likely get involved here given the medical concerns.  The Mets now will move back to Jay Bruce or Yoenis Cespedes, with some traction already gained on the latter. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL WRAPUP: WEDNESDAY

Andrew McCutchen:  2/4 with his 14th HR while hitting .290.  No matter how much McCutchen would have struggled this season, he still was going to be a first round pick in 2016.  Injuries were the main culprit for his early struggles and McCutchen is almost back to his standard rates over the last month or so.  No worries.

Jung-Ho Kang:  3/5 with his 7th HR while hitting .295.  There is a nice story developing here that I told you all forcefully the other day to address by picking him up.  Kang looks like he is past whatever early adjustments he had to make against major league pitching and with that all precious shortstop tag, is now looking like a daily play. 

Francisco Lindor:  2/5 with his 5th HR while hitting .258.  I think Lindor can be a sort of Jimmy Rollins-lite player when he is finally fully developed and so far he has looked decent enough.  While the power won't translate to what Rollins has done, Lindor is very similar with his speed and sometimes shaky batting average. 

Michael Brantley:  2/4 with his 8th HR while hitting .301.  If Brantley can somehow get to 15 home runs, we will sign off in saying that was good enough as we never bought into 20-plus as most others did.  Right now the 2015 version of Brantley is who is, for better or worse. 

Yan Gomes:  2/4 with his 5th HR while hitting .230.  The average has not come around for Gomes who is starting to slide into the "2014 fluke" file.  I won't go there yet but Gomes needs to have a good finish to stay relevant into drafts next season. 

Corey Kluber:  9 IP 5 H 1 ER 1 BB 6 K with an ERA of 3.44.  Seems like so long ago when many were openly wondering if Kluber was a 2014  mirage.  Seems laughable now and no doubt Kluber has graduated into a safe ace pitcher in fantasy baseball. 

Asdrubal Cabrera:  1/3 with his sixth HR while hitting .231.  Feel free if you want to pick up the newly healthy Cabrera.  I say stop living in the 2011 past. 

Justin Verlander:  8 IP 4 H 1 ER 0 BB 10 K with an ERA of 4.86.  Vintage Verlander here and a nice visit down memory lane.  He has been so magnificently bad over the last two seasons that we need to see this again at least one more time before we even think of looking here again.  And that is a big "If." 

Chris Archer:  7 IP 3 H 0 ER 1 BB 11 K with an ERA of 2.54.  Wow Archer has gotten zero run support lately and actually has a 9-8 record now which is comical.  I like to call Archer the new James Shields circa Tampa Bay era. 

Carlos Gonzalez:  1/3 with his 21st HR while hitting .275.  Gonzalez has now taken over from Albert Pujols as the hottest power hitter in baseball right now.  There are conflicting reports on whether or not Gonzalez will be dealt but he certainly is helping his trade value.  Another veteran who is starting to bring back some nice earlier memories. 

Anthony Rizzo:  1/4 with his 17th HR while hitting .279.  With Rizzo's monster start to the season, truth be told I thought he would have more home runs at this point.  Still the guy is a stud no matter how you slice it, introducing a stolen base game to his immense power.  Top five fantasy baseball first baseman easy. 

Dexter Fowler:  1/2 with his 10th HR while hitting .244.  Moving right along.

Jon Lester:  8 IP 5 H 2 ER 1 BB 14 K with an ERA of 3.26.  The WHIP is now down to 1.17 as Lester has been virtually unhittable for weeks.  Starting to really earn that dough. 

Wellington Castillo:  2/3 with 2 home runs (10 for season) while hitting .247.  Castillo was underutilized with the Cubs and has found a home with the D-Backs.  He has hit for a decent amount of pop on a per game basis and grades out well as a nice catcher 2 option. 

Felix Hernandez:  7 ER in 6.2 IP with an ERA of 3.02.  Only the second time Hernandez has had his head beaten in like this.  I you own him, too bad.  Deal with it.  We all wish we could own Hernandez for even one start. 

Patrick Corbin:  6 IP 3 H 1 ER 2 BB 6 K with an ERA of 3.21.  Corbin was in the midst of a nice breakout season before succumbing to Tommy John surgery a year ago.  He had shown an uptick in strikeouts before the surgery and so far, so good there again.  He should not be on the wire. 

Jake Peavy:  6 IP 4 H 0 ER 0 BB 3 K with an ERA of 4.12.  Prior to the season I liked the outlook on Peavy in having a full season to pitch in such a nice park like in San Francisco but his ongoing health woes prevented it.  At least he is healthy for the next 1.5 weeks so I would go with it until the next malady strikes. 

Bryce Harper:  3/4 with 2 home runs (29 for season) while hitting .335.  Wonder if Bryce Harper and Josh Donaldson are already practicing their MVP speeches.

Michael Taylor:  1/3 with his 10th HR while hitting .242.  Things are getting a bit crowded now in the Washington lineup with Jayson Werth and Ryan Zimmerman back but if Taylor keeps hitting three home runs in a week, he won't have to check to see if he is in there.

Lucas Duda:  3/3 with 3 home runs (18 for season) while hitting .243.  Throw this guy in the Carlos Gonzalez conversation for the hottest home run hitter in the game right now as well.  For all the moves the Mets made over the last week, the re-emergence of Duda's power after a two month hibernation could be the biggest acquisition they make. 

Justin Upton:  2/4 with his 17th HR while hitting .252.  Keith Hernandez said something very true about Upton in this game.  He said Upton accumulates his very good numbers quietly.  Couldn't have said it any better myself. 

Tyson Ross:  5 IP 2 H 1 ER 4 BB 6 K with an ERA of 3.38.  This start epitomizes what Ross has been all about this season as he leads the majors in walks, thus not allowing him to pitch deep into games and overshadowing good overall stuff. 

Chris Tillman:  8.2 IP 4 H 0 ER 0 BB 2 K with an ERA of 4.35.  Tillman had no-hit stuff tonight and he is doing his second half Cy Young imitation as he has done pretty much every season of his career.  Pick him up in all formats and I don't care what the ERA and WHIP looks like right now. Those numbers don't have any bearing on you and only the Cy Young ones that Tillman always puts up from July on do. 

Troy Tulowitzki:  3/5 with a home run in his first game with the Blue Jays while batting leadoff.  Excitement all around here as Tulo did the expected in homering at Rogers Center, while he unexpectedly batted leadoff.  There will be more home runs where that came from. 

Jay Bruce:  1/4 with his 17th HR while hitting .257.  The Mets got Carlos Gomez so they are out of the Bruce sweepstakes.  Bruce is doing his part to get a deal done, homering at a high rate over the last two weeks. 

Anthony DeScalfani:  7 IP  H 0 ER 3 BB 3 K with an ERA of 3.75.  DeScalfani has done a nice job preventing himself from falling off the edge as it looked like he was doing in May after his big April arrival.  Stays with his NL-only value though no matter how good he looked in this outing. 

Adam Eaton:  3/6 with his 9th HR while hitting .260.  After waiting 27597203 years for all of this potential to finally come out of Adam Eaton, we may finally have reached that point, albeit with no stolen bases.  Since everyone was so tired waiting all that time for it to happen, he should be there on the wire waiting to be added to your roster. 

Mike Napoli:  2/3 with his 12th HR while hitting .210.  Forget he was still a major league ballplayer. 

Albert Pujols:  1/4 with his 30th HR while hitting .260.  This is Albert Pujols saying to Carlos Gonzalez and Lucas Duda, "Not so fast." 

Preston Tucker:  1/3 with his 10th HR while hitting .260.  The Astros have themselves a fine player her in Tucker and the best part is that he can hit over .250 which is a rare commodity in that locale. 

Lance McCullers:  7 IP 5 H 1 ER 0 BB 5 K with an ERA of 2.48,.  This kid has not gotten nearly enough attention or hype considering how dominant he has been as a rookie in the heart of a pennant race.  Reminds me so much of Sonny Gray when he debuted and we have seen how great that has turned out. 

Jon Singleton:  2/3 with his first HR while hitting .205.  Already Singleton is fitting right back in with his power and barely hitting over .200.  I wonder what they are teaching these kids there on the farm.  It is strange how prevalent this trend is with all young Astros hitters going back the last four seasons or so. 

Brett Lawrie:  4/5 with his 9th HR and 5th SB while hitting .280.  Lawrie has been pretty good for Oakland as he has stayed healthy and is hitting for his highest average ever.  He is being flooded out of the third base market though given the infusion of monster stars there this season and I can't think of many guys who are held in disgust among the fantasy baseball community than Lawrie so the usage is not there which is understandable. 

Yasiel Puig:  2/4 with his 7th  HR while hitting .254.  Speaking of enigmas, Puig is going right to the top there given his petulance, immaturity, and downright disappointing numbers.  Remember when some actually drafted him in the first round the season after his rookie debut?  Yeah we all kind of overreacted with this one.




 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Fantasy Sports Boss Fantasy Baseball MLB Trade Deadline Podcast: Car...


FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: COLE HAMELS TO THE RANGERS NEAR COMPLETION

Updating an earlier item, the Texas Rangers will reportedly acquire ace SP Cole Hamels from the Philadelphia Phillies.  Hamels and the Rangers have been in talks all day Wednesday and an announcement is expected momentarily.  No word yet on what the Phillies will receive in return. 

Analysis:  There you go.  We talked all day about how Hamels was heading to Texas and the deal is pretty much completed.  He faces a much tougher league in moving to the AL and the ballpark is just as home run happy as the one he is leaving but Hamels remains on of the best pitchers in the game no matter which team he is on. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE FALLOUT: METS ALL IN ON 2015, ACQUIRE CARLOS GOMEZ FROM MILWAUKEE

The New York Mets owned the 2015 MLB Trade Deadline, as they completed a blockbuster deal with the Milwaukee Brewers Wednesday for injured starting pitcher Zack Wheeler and shortstop Wilmer Flores pending physicals.  The trade brings Gomez back to where his major league career started back in 2007.  The late bloomer took a bit to find his major league footing but Gomez has become an All-Star five-tool fantasy baseball number one outfielder and he is slated to now bat leadoff for the Mets once the deal becomes official.  As always, let's dig in on the deal and find out how it impacts those involved.

Carlos Gomez:  The centerpiece of the deal, Gomez takes his five-tool talents back to the Mets who will gladly slide him back into the leadoff spot where he has his most value.  While 2015 has been a bit troubling due to some persistent injuries that have negatively impacted his numbers, Gomez is still flat in his prime as he won't turn 30 until December.  Going into the trade, Gomez was hitting .266 with 8 home runs and 7 stolen bases but again he has battled injuries and a recent slump to sink his numbers a bit relative to his last few seasons.  It was 2012 when Gomez finally put things all together after being discarded by the Mets and Twins as a completely undisciplined hitter.  It was during that season Gomez hit 19 home runs and stole 37 bases while hitting .260.  2013 and 2014 only reinforced that breakout as Gomez put up the following numbers:

2013:  .284/24 HR/40 SB
2014:  .284/23 HR/34 SB

Clearly Gomez is the rare and extremely valuable commodity that we call a five-tool fantasy baseball outfielder 1 and he will take that ability to New York in the heat of a pennant race.  While the move from Milwaukee to Citi Field is a clear downgrade in terms of ballpark potency, Gomez should only see a slight dip in home runs and RBI, while still posting good to very good stolen base and runs tallies.  The batting average can be a bit sketchy as Gomez has never been able to solve his high strikeout tendencies but overall he is still a safe outfielder 1 no matter where he is taking up his athletic residency. 

Wilmer Flores:  It has been a season filled with inconstancy for the 24-year-old Flores as he heads to Milwaukee with only a shoddy .249 average with 10 home runs and 40 RBI.  Known primarily for his power (which is always very rare at the shallow shortstop spot), Flores has not gone deep even once in July and his batting average is a problem.  In addition, Flores has zero speed which his a sizable negative when it comes to middle infielders since you want to get a decent amount of your steals from there.  The Brewers are likely intrigued by the power which figures to get a boost going to the offensive tendencies of Milwaukee's park but Flores only has value in NL-only formats. 

Zack Wheeler:  Wheeler will not be seen again until June or July of 2016 as he recovers from Tommy John surgery that was performed soon after the start of spring training.  The hard-throwing Wheeler appeared on the cusp of ascending into a very good power pitcher, coming off a 2014 campaign where he pitched to a 3.54 ERA and striking out 187 batters in 185.1 innings.  While Wheeler struggles with his control which leads to a high walk rate, the development is on hold for awhile.  Ultimately Wheeler is nothing to concern yourself with until 2016 when you can draft him as a hedge second half bet.  Until then, ignore Wheeler.

There you go.  Another big trade as the deadline continues to put forth some tremendous trades this week. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: METS TO ACQUIRE OUTFIELDER CARLOS GOMEZ FROM BREWERS

The New York Mets have completed a blockbuster deal with the Milwaukee Brewers, acquiring outfielder Carlos Gomez for shortstop Wilmer Flores and injured starting pitcher Zack Wheeler.  Gomez reunites with the Mets who first drafted him and where he made his MLB debut before he was moved in the Johan Santana trade with the Minnesota Twins.  Wheeler meanwhile is out all of 2015 and half of 2016 as he recovers from Tommy John surgery but was considered a top pitching prospect before the procedure. 

Analysis:  Wow.  I mean.....Wow.  Huge deal for the Mets who in the last week have acquired Kelly Johnson, Juan Uribe, Tyler Clippard, and now Carlos Gomez.  They also promoted top outfield prospect Michael Conforto as well.  Gomez will likely lead off for the Mets, allowing Curtis Granderson to move down in the order to collect more RBI with his power. 

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE BREAKING NEWS: BLUE JAYS OFFERING DALTON POMPEY FOR TYSON ROSS

The Toronto Blue Jays continue to try and find starting pitching help, with their most recent focus being on San Diego Padres young hard-thrower Tyson Ross.  The Blue Jays have offered centerfield prospect Dalton Pompey to the Padres for Ross but the San Diego front office would rather move Andrew Cashner or James Shields instead due to Ross' affordability. 

Analysis:  The Blue Jays are starting to see the starting pitching market dry up a bit as Johnny Cueto and Scott Kazmir are off the market and Cole Hamels has Toronto on his no-trade list.  The Padres figure to move one of their pitchers before the deadline but more likely Cashner. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: COLE HAMELS WON'T ACCEPT DEAL TO HOUSTON

A source that has knowledge of the trade talks between the team and player indicated Wednesday that Cole Hamels has refused to waive his no-trade inclusion of the Houston Astros in order to consummate a deal.  Hamels has remained steadfast in his desire not to be moved to the Astros and instead is likely going to land with the Texas Rangers.  The San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers are also somewhat connected by the Rangers have escalated their talks with Hamels in the last 24 hours to more "serious" stage. 

Analysis:  Hamels seems destined for Texas where they will pair him with a recovering Yu Darvish to give the team a massive top two starters.  The ballpark and league are a decent-sized drag on Hamels' fantasy baseball value though but he has managed to be an ace starter in a bandbox like Philly.  Stay tuned. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE FALLOUT: MAT LATOS/MIKE MORSE HEAD WEST TO A PLAYOFF RACE



The always aggressive Los Angeles Dodgers made their first sizable move leading up to this Friday's MLB trade deadline, acquiring both SP Mat Latos and first baseman Mike Morse from the Miami Marlins Wednesday.  While not a blockbuster, the move does help address some back-end rotation struggles in Latos and also supply some added power for the bench in Morse.  In terms of fantasy baseball, let's see how the move impacts the principles involved.

Mat Latos:  Latos clearly is the headliner in the deal and the veteran has been one of the hottest pitchers in baseball over the last month which coincided with his return from the disabled list.  Overall Latos goes West with a cumulative 4.48 ERA and 1.25 WHIP while striking out 79 in 88.1 innings pitched.  However those numbers are deceiving as Latos has pitched to a splendid 2.96 ERA and struck out 43 batters in 45.2 and only 9 walks since coming off the DL.  Clearly the pre-DL version of Latos was inhibited by injury and not pitching like the firm SP 2 he was during his stay with the Cincinnati Reds and San Diego Padres.  Latos seems like he is back at that level as evidence by his numbers from pronouncing himself healthy coming off the DL and the Dodgers are certainly buying at the right time here.  What is even more attractive is the fact Latos gets to remain in a prime pitcher's park moving from Miami to Dodgers Stadium.  Both parks are among the most pitcher-friendly in baseball and Latos' propensity for giving up home runs is minimized there.  Overall the trade doesn't change Latos' current fantasy baseball value but he should have been picked up off waivers by now if anyone dropped him earlier in the season.

Mike Morse:  Morse has become a sort of de factor hired home run gun as he has spent time with the Baltimore Orioles and San Francisco Giants (not to mention Seattle) over the last two seasons.  Signed by Miami as a free agent to man first base this season, Morse once again lost the battle to injuries as went on the DL early in the year and struggled at the dish in hitting an awful .214 with only 4 home runs in 159 at-bats.  Morse will be a spare part with the Dodgers, seeing his best chance of swinging the bat as a late inning pinch hitter and sometime starter.  He should not be owned in any fantasy baseball format.

There you have it.  As always we will dissect all of the upcoming trades leading up to the deadline this Friday. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: NEW YORK METS "LIKELY" TO ACQUIRE AN OUTFIELDER BEFORE DEADLINE

According to a team source, the New York Mets are "likely' top acquire a power-hitting outfielder before Friday's 4:00 PM trade deadline.  The Mets continue to be connected to the Jay Bruce from Cincinnati and now Yoenis Cespedes from Detroit. Carlos Gonzalez and Justin Upton are also two other names the Mets continue to monitor.

Analysis:  The Mets are all-in as they should be since they are now just one game back of the Washington Nationals.  Cespedes is the more likely option since he will be a free agent but the Mets are also constantly being connected to Bruce as well over the last few days as the deadline gets close. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: TIGERS LET IT BE KNOWN DAVID PRICE & YOENIS CESPEDES AVAILABLE

After seeing David Price get shelled Tuesday night, the Detroit Tigers and GM Dave Dombrowski have let it be known that their ace, outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, and anyone else on the roster is pretty much available with the trade deadline 48 hours away.  The New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers,  and Toronto Blue Jays have already been mentioned as potential suitors for Price, while the New York Mets are very interested in Cespedes.

Analysis:  This is the right move by Detroit as they are not getting to the playoffs and both Price and Cespedes will be free agents.  The trade chatter should really heat up in the next 24 hours concerning these two and playoff races in both leagues could be greatly impacted by where they go. 



 

FANTASY FOOTBALL DRAFT SLEEPER: AUSTIN SEFERIAN-JENKINS TIGHT END TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS


                                                Austin Seferian-Jenkins

Like with the catcher position in fantasy baseball, the tight end spot in fantasy football annually is one that is very top-heavy and leaves many playing the waiver wire weekly for their starter.  2015 is no different in fantasy football as we have our standard top-heavy twosome in Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham, followed by a second tier of solid players in Travis Kelce, Greg Olsen, Martellus Bennett, and Julius Thomas.  Once you get past those six, the bottom starts to drop out and the mess begins.  That means it is always a good idea to look for value from the tight end position and this season there are some names that hold solid sleeper value.  The most popular of course is Josh Hill who everyone is drafting heavily early on since he will be replacing Jimmy Graham in the New Orleans passing game. 

While we like the potential of Hill, the price not so much.  Instead we will look today at Tampa Bay Buccaneers second-year tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins who has quietly earned massive praise during the offseason as his extremely athletic body is starting to become synched with his NFL mind.  Most tight ends as rookies are not very productive given the pass blocking that has to be learned along with the receiving routes.  Seferian-Jeknkins was no different as he caught only 21 passes for 221 in 9 games as he battled injuries.  Still the massive 6-5 and 262 pound Jenkins was a second round pick (number 38 in 2014) to stand idly on the sidelines.  Having a nice burst for a tight end, Jenkins looks primed for a big season in 2015 as the Buc's work in a rookie QB in Jameis Winston.  Winston and Jenkins looked like a very potent tandem during offseason workouts and the Tampa Bay beat reporters continually wrote glowing stories on his progress through the summer.  Of course now is the time to shine with training camp here and some games to judge him on but Seferian-Jenkins looks ready for the chance to put his name on the fantasy football map this season. 

Outside of the athletic skills that he possesses, Seferian-Jenkins is in line for a big uptick in receptions due to Winston alone.  We all know that rookie QB's look toward their tight ends even more often than their wide receivers as a sort of a safety valve and that should be the case for Winston and Seferian-Jenkins this season as well.  That should also be especially true near the red zone where the Buc's would be smart to take advantage of his size and ability. 

When you put it all together, Austin Seferian-Jenkins looks like a very intriguing fantasy football tight end sleeper for 2015.  He is better priced than Josh Hill and could even have better numbers given the uncertainty of his New Orleans counterpart.  This is a guy who can be snagged with the very last pick in your draft and thus the value could be great. 

2015 PROJECTION:  55 receptions 791 yards 6 TD

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING TRADE DEADLINE NEWS: YANKS ENGAGED IN TALKS WITH REDS FOR AROLDIS CHAPMAN

The New York Yankees seem intent on making their bullpen the best in major league history in terms of strikeout potency as they reportedly have re-opened trade talks with the Cincinnati Reds regarding fireballing closer Aroldis Chapman.  With Andrew Miller closing and Dellin Betances pitching the eighth with a massive amount of strikeouts throw in, Chapman would complete arguably the best reliving trio in MLB history if a deal comes through. 

Analysis:  Wow.  The Yanks have already repeatedly checked in on Craig Kimbrel as well so this is not a smokescreen.  Tough to imagine Chapman not closing for the Yanks despite how good Miller has been this season but the Reds are asking a bunch in return which makes this interesting to watch.