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Monday, November 30, 2015

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: CHRIS JOHNSON DONE FOR SEASON WITH FRACTURED TIBIA

Arizona Cardinals running back Chris Johnson suffered a season-ending fractured tibia during Sunday's victory over the San Francisco 49ers and he likely will be placed on I.R. in the next 24 hours.  With Andre Ellington also injured again with turf toe, rookie David Johnson is expected to be the starter Sunday. 

Analysis:  David Johnson is looking like the top pickup off the wire this week and rightly so.  The rookie can really catch the football and he has scored a bunch of touchdowns in limited time this season.  Go get him. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL INJURY FALLOUT: GRONK TO MISS "MULTIPLE WEEKS" WITH KNEE INJURY

While he will not miss the entire season as first feared, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will sit out for "a few weeks" according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.  With Schefter's reports almost always being on target, that means Gronkowski will miss at the very least and likely Week 14 as well.  The timing is simply awful as Gronkowski will not be available to his owners for the last or second to last week of the fantasy football regular season and his loss is as big as it gets.  To put Gronk's impact in perspective around the NFL, only he and Houston's J.J. Watt were given perfect grades by the Madden video game entering into the season.  That would be an understandable rank as Gronkowski is simply as big a mismatch as a receiver can get, blending supreme size with terrific athleticism that makes him one big play waiting to happen.  Unfortunately injuries seem to always be part of the narrative when it comes to Gronkowski, who has now undergone serious surgeries on his knee and back in recent seasons.  With Gronkowski now ruled out for at least Week 13, the fallout is big for QB Tom Brady and the rest of the New England offense.  For one thing, Brady will be hurt big-time by this as he continues to lose weapons by the week.  With Julian Edelman and Dion Lewis already out for the season and Danny Amendola hobbled, Brady can't afford to lose anyone else.  Amendola is likely to return for Week 13 though and he should instantly be the biggest passing target of Brady.  In addition, Brandon LaFell and tight end Scott Chandler will see a sizable uptick in targets as well.  Chandler in particular is a big addition this week off the wire as he has good hands and can be a force in the red zone.  Make the move as we all know how much Brady loves to chuck it to his tight ends.  Overall Brady is still to be started each and every week but his outlook is not looking as glowing as it did a few weeks earlier. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: TIGERS ANNOUNCE FIVE-YEAR DEAL WORTH $110 MILLION FOR JORDAN ZIMMERMAN

The Detroit Tigers made it official on Monday that they signed free agent SP Jordan Zimmerman to a five-year deal worth $110 million.   The news was first announced early on Saturday and Zimmerman will now likely front a Tigers rotation in the ace role for 2016. 

Analysis:  We did a long piece on Zimmerman earlier in the day in terms of how the move impact his fantasy baseball value so scroll down below to see that.  Overall in a nutshell, a small jump in ERA and WHIP is expected with his move to the tougher league. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: RED SOX INK CHRIS YOUNG TO ONE-YEAR DEAL

The Boston Red Sox signed outfielder Chris Young to a one-year deal, with the terms not yet disclosed.  Young will likely man the same role he had with the New York Yankees last season in terms of starting when a lefty is on the mound and sitting against a righty.  His power is still holding steady in that setup as he hit 14 home runs in 140 games a year ago.

Analysis:  Nothing to say here in terms of fantasy baseball usage for Young as he is a limited player even at the major league level.  In AL-only formats that run deeper, you can plug Young in when a lefty is on the mound but that is as far as it goes. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: ROB GRONKOWSKI LIKELY AVOIDED MAJOR INJURY SUNDAY

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski likely avoided serious injury to his knee after he was bent back awkwardly in Sunday night's loss to the Denver Broncos.  It looked like Gronk suffered a devastating injury when he was carted off the field but initial testing centers on no ligament damage. 

Analysis:  We should get a more clearer picture here in the next few days but at least it sounds like Gronk is not done for the season unlike counterpart Jimmy Graham who tore the patellar in his knee.  Of course Week 13 could be iffy but as long as Gronk is not finished for the season his owners will take it. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: JOHNNY CUETO TURNS DOWN MAMMOTH DEAL FROM D-BACKS

According to multiple reports, free agent starting pitcher Johnny Cueto turned down a six-year deal worth $120 million from the Arizona Diamondbacks.  The D-Backs have made Cueto their top priority in free agency and have stepped up their efforts once Jordan Zimmerman signed with the Detroit Tigers.

Analysis:  We would like to see Cueto go back to the National League as he was an annually ace with the Cincinnati Reds but then struggled badly once he was dealt to the Kansas City Royals midway through 2015.  The fact Cueto won a World Series mean he is likely looking for as much dough as he can get. 

2016 FANTASY BASEBALL PLAYER ANALYZER: JORDAN ZIMMERMAN SP DETROIT TIGERS

The first if the "Big Four" of free agent ace-level starting pitchers signed on the dotted line Sunday when the Detroit Tigers reeled in former Washington Nationals righthander Jordan Zimmerman.  Annually one of the more underrated high-end starters in the game going back over five years, Zimmerman will now front a Tigers rotation that is looking for an ace since losing Max Scherzer to the Nats prior to 2015.  With the ink still fresh on the deal, let's dig in and see what Zimmerman's fantasy baseball value will look like in his new home.

Turning only 30 in May, Zimmerman remains in his pitching prime and should once again be a very solid stock to invest in for 2016 fantasy baseball.  Ever since undergoing Tommy John surgery at the start of his major league career, Zimmerman turned into a prime front-of-the-rotation arm for the Nationals starting in 2011 when he registered a 3.18 ERA and 1.15 WHIP.  It was the start of a very impressive run where Zimmerman's season ERA's and WHIP's starting in 2012 and going through last season read as the following:

2012:  2.94 ERA/1.17 WHIP
2013:  3.25 ERA/1.09 WHIP
2014:  2.66 ERA/1.07 WHIP
2015:  3.66 ERA/1.20 WHIP

Looking at the numbers, it is easy to see why we here at the Fantasy Sports Boss have called Zimmerman one of the best starting pitcher values in the entire game and who served as one of the more affordable fantasy baseball-worthy aces.  What separates Zimmerman from the top of the heap when it comes to fantasy baseball ace pitchers is the fact his K rate and strikeout totals are not on par with the Clayton Kershaws, Corey Kluber's, and Zack Greinke's of the world.  Zimmerman's career-high in K's was the 182 he had in 2014 and that total is an outlier since he has never topped 164 in any other season.  Thus you have to factor that into the equation when it comes to Zimmerman's 2015 fantasy baseball stock.  On the plus side, Zimmerman has some of the best hit rates in the game and he also doesn't beat himself with walks.  Finally, Zimmerman moving from the NL to the AL with his new deal with the Tigers is obviously going to hurt his numbers a bit.  The going rate for such a move for a pitcher is about a half-run increase in ERA and .05 of a bump in WHIP.  Still Zimmerman remains in a prime pitcher's park in Comerica Park and that should help offset some of the rise in his ratios. 

2016 PROJECTION:  14-8 3.62 ERA 1.14 WHIP 159 K 

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 12 WRAPUP

Julio Jones:  Those who own stock in Atlanta Falcons wideout Julio Jones were royally let down on Sunday as the big-play star was held to just five catches for 56 yards in the team's listless loss to the Minnesota Vikings.  The departure of pass-happy offensive coordinator Dirk Kotter has not been a mere coincidence in terms of the awful season being engineered by Matt Ryan and the offense as a whole has been disjointed in the passing game.  Jones was brought down in this one and one has to wonder if the team's continued malaise will hurt his numbers in the fantasy football playoffs. 

Jeremy Maclin:  After being in the fantasy football witness protection program for the better part of a month, Kansas City Chiefs wideout Jeremy Maclin exploded Sunday by catching 9 passes for 160 yards and a touchdown in the team's mammoth win over the Buffalo Bills.  The overall season for Maclin has no doubt been disappointing compared to his big 2014 but the drop in numbers is not a total shock since he was moving to a very conservative offense with the Chiefs. 

Adrian Peterson:  On pace to be the oldest running back to lead the NFL in rushing yards since Curtis Martin, it was another monster game Sunday for Minnesota Vikings star Adrian Peterson.  Against an Atlanta Falcons run defense that was one of the best units in the league in curbing that part of the game, Peterson ran for 158 yards and 2 touchdowns on 29 carries while also catching 2 balls for another 29 yards.  Nothing can stop Peterson now as he is showing no signs of fatigue and has more than lived up to the notion he could be a prime running back 1 again in being refreshed from sitting out almost all of 2014.  Just an incredible season. 

Tevin Coleman:  It was a decent day running the football for Atlanta Falcons rookie running back Tevin Coleman as he picked up a tough 110 yards on the ground on 18 carries but he went O-fer in the passing game with zero receptions.  The difference between Coleman and Devonta Freeman was stark as Freeman is the more explosive runner and is a terrific pass receiver.  Coleman only has value in standard leagues but Freeman is expected to return in Week 13. 

Philip Rivers:  San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers was locked in Sunday as he threw four touchdowns passes in taking apart the Jacksonville Jaguars defense.  Despite the Chargers record-wise being among the worst teams in the NFL, Rivers continues to sling the football with very good effectiveness.  There are some who likely jumped ship in terms of using Rivers in fantasy football as the losses piled up over the last month but he is still showing that he is not giving up. 

Drew Brees:  In a shockingly poor afternoon, New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees was held without a passing touchdown as the team failed to cross the goal-line for the first time in 155 games.  Overall Brees completed 25-of-44 passes for 228 yards with 0 scores and 1 INT.  The Saints offense as a whole has been brutal over the last three games and anyone who has Brees as their starting QB have to start worrying about him again just like they did during the first month of the season. 

Brandon Marshall:  It was a big comeback week for the New York Jets offense on Sunday, with top wideout Brandon Marshall a major part of the story as he caught 9 passes for 131 yards and two touchdown's in the team's annihilation of the Miami Dolphins.  Memories of the monster start to the season Marshall had and at least for one week it looks like he is back on track with QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. 

Jarvis Landry:  Despite being hobbled by a sore ankle, Miami Dolphins slot receiving dynamo Jarvis Landry did not have to deal with top Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis on Sunday as he went off for 13 catches for 165 yards and a touchdown.  Landry has more than solidified as one of the very best slot receivers in the game and in fantasy football terms he has moved up to a firm WR 2. 

Ryan Fitzpatrick:  Amid questions regarding whether Jets head coach Todd Bowles should pull veteran Fitzpatrick for backup Geno Smith, all those questions were put to rest on Sunday to say the least.  Fitzpatrick was on fire through the Jets' easy win over the Miami Dolphins as he completed 22-of-37 passes for 277 yards and 4 touchdowns.  This was a much-needed performance by Fitzpatrick who was turning the football over at a high rate over the last month to go along with needing surgery on his left thumb.  He is back to being under consideration in two-QB formats. 

Sammy Watkins:  The pendulum swung upwards for inconsistent Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins who caught 6 passes for 158 yards and 2 touchdowns in the team's loss to the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday.  Watkins generally has been a WR 3 since entering into the league in 2014 but his production has swing wildly mainly due to injuries and the awful state of the Bills' QB's. 

Russell Wilson:  With the Seattle Seahawks looking to make a late season push, they were led by their QB on Sunday as Russell Wilson tossed FIVE touchdown passes to help the team to a big win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Overall Wilson completed 21-of-30 passes for 345 yards and the 5 scores as he had no trouble torching the Pittsburgh secondary all game long.  While Wilson's numbers have fluctuated this season from game-to-game, it looks like he is saving is best for last this season. 

Markus Wheaton:  It was Markus Wheaton's turn to rule the day for the Pittsburgh Steelers wideout as the speedy deep threat caught 9 passes for 201 yards and a score in the team's late loss to the Seattle Seahawks.  With Antonio Brown bottled up by star cornerback Richard Sherman all game, Wheaton took advantage of single coverage to continually toast the Seattle secondary.  Still with Brown remaining the clear number 1 guy and with Martavis Bryant number 2, Wheaton is a risky play in Week 13 given the uncertainty of his looks. 

Ben Roethlisberger:  It was a bit of a mixed bag for Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger on Sunday as he completed 35-of-55 passes for an extreme 456 yards but that included just one touchdown pass and two interceptions.  In addition, Big Ben went out with a possible concussion late in the fourth quarter which would be his third injury issue for the season.  As always, the fate of Antonio Brown's numbers depend on how Roethlisberger responds this week. 

C.J. Anderson:  It took almost three full months of the season but Denver Broncos running back C.J. Anderson finally did something of note in the 2015 season when he rushed for 113 yards and 2 touchdowns on 15 carries in the team's upset victory over the New England Patriots Sunday night.  By now though all Anderson owners cut bait on him weeks ago as his horrible play and elevation of Ronnie Hillman ruined his season.  No need to make a move here after just one game. 


 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING HOT STOVE NEWS: TIGERS OFFICIALLY SIGN SP JORDAN ZIMMERMAN

Updating an earlier item, the Detroit Tigers and free agent starting pitcher Jordan Zimmerman have come to an agreement on a contract according to CBS' Jon Heyman. 

Analysis:  This came together very quick as Zimmerman becomes the latest acquisition by the Tigers on the heels of picking up closer Francisco Rodriguez via trade.  Clearly the Tigers want to contend based on these moves and Zimmerman will now front their rotation.  As far as fantasy baseball is concerned, Zimmerman will likely see his ERA and WHIP go up a bit in the DH league and it should bump him to SP 2 status whereas he was an ace in the NL. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: CHARCANDRICK WEST OUT, TRAVIS KELCE IN

Updating an earlier item, Kansas City Chiefs running back Charcandrick West is OUT Sunday due to a hamstring injury, while tight end Travis Kelce is ACTIVE despite battling a sprained ankle. 

Analysis:  As we reported earlier.  Spencer Ware is worth starting in all league against a Buffalo Bills defense that has not played well all season.  Meanwhile Kelce is a must start in all formats no matter the week. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: RED SOX ALREADY TRYING TO MOVE HANLEY RAMIREZ

Just one year into the mammoth free agent contract the Boston Red Sox gave Hanley Ramirez prior to 2015, the Boston Glove is reporting that the team is already trying to move the outfielder.  Ramirez has dealt with ongoing injuries over the last few years and also has seen his once supreme athleticism erode as he ages. 

Analysis:  Ugh.  Both Pablo Sandoval and Ramirez were awful buys from the Red Sox and no doubt the team has a ton of regret over the moves.  Ramirez was once the number 1 player in all of fantasy baseball but now he is slipping everywhere.  The average is now cemented in the .260 range and the speed is shot.  Throw in the increasing injuries and loss of shortstop eligibility and Ramirez is a clear shell of his former self at this stage of the game. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: TIGERS AND JORDAN ZIMMERMAN MOVING CLOSER TO DEAL

It appears as though it is only a matter of time before the Detroit Tigers and Jordan Zimmerman come to terms on a free agent contract.  The two sides entered into serious talks right before the Thanksgiving holiday and went into overdrive Saturday amid reports an agreement in principle was made. 

Analysis:  It looks like Zimmerman will be the first free agent ace starter off the board which should get things moving with Zack Greinke, David Price, and Johnny Cueto.  Zimmerman has been an excellent and often underrated starter the last five years, putting up low ERA's and WHIP's with a solid enough K rate.  Moving to the American League is not ideal however as Zimmerman will see a slight jump in his numbers. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: CHARDANDRICK WEST (HAMSTRING) EXPECTED TO SIT OUT SUNDAY

Kansas City Chiefs running back Charcandrick West is expected to miss Sunday's game due to the hamstring strain he suffered in last week's game.  While the NFL Network's Ian Rappaport indicated there is at least a chance West could play, all indications are that Spencer Ware will get his first NFL start. 

Analysis:  Tough call here but West was facing a severely uphill battle to play anyways.  Ware meanwhile was very good in rushing for over 100 yards and two scores in garbage time last week and is worth a look in all formats. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: TRAVIS KELCE (ANKLE) TO START SUNDAY

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce is expected to start Sunday despite dealing with a sprained ankle suffered in Friday's practice. 

Analysis:  We didn't think Kelce would sit out with an ankle sprain but he will be playing at less than 100 percent.  Kelce has been up and down lately with his numbers but he is a rock solid top five tight end play in any given week. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: JARVIS LANDRY (KNEE) TO PLAY SUNDAY

Miami Dolphins wideout Jarvis Landry is expected to start Sunday despite being very limited over the last week with a sore knee.  Landry was listed as questionable but all indications are that he will be able to go. 

Analysis:  Landry is a tough and durable player so this is no shock that he will be out there.  His production has lagged a bit over the last month after a very hot first two months but he is still an every week play. 

 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

2016 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT SLEEPER: MICHAEL CONFORTO OUTFIELDER NEW YORK METS

                                              michael conforto

With the fantasy football season winding down, we are already turning the page toward 2016 fantasy baseball.  We already are posting our initial 2016 position rankings but today we also begin with our player profiles starting with a sleeper look at New York Mets burgeoning outfielder Michael Conforto. 

When one thinks of the current state of the New York Mets franchise, inevitably the talk goes right to the ridiculously talented stable of pitching arms the team has at its disposal.  Fronted by ace Matt Harvey and supplemented by the high-end Jacob DeGrom, Noah Syndegaard, and Steven Matz, the Mets are the envy of baseball when it comes to pitching.  However the Mets also have a big-time hitting prospect on their hands in the form of the powerful Michael Conforto and based on his impressive debut in 2015, the kid looks like he is slated for upper-level production real soon.  Originally the Mets' first round pick at number 10 overall in just 2014, Conforto's rise in the team's system was beyond rapid.  Conforto would spend just 45 games at Double-A in 2015 where he hit an impressive .312 with 5 home runs and 26 RBI before the Mets called him up in late July to help in their playoff push.  Showing he was not overmatched against major league pitching at such a young age, Conforto would hit .270 with 9 home runs and 26 RBI in just 56 games with the Mets as the team went all the way to the World Series.  Conforto was no slouch in the postseason either, cracking a home run off Clayton Kershaw in Game 1 of the NLDS and then two more in Game 4 of the World Series.  Needless to say, Conforto is slated to be a big part of the Mets' outfield for 2016.

As we look ahead toward 2016, Conforto is expected to be the team's everyday leftfielder despite the fact he will turn just 23 in March.  The Mets think the ceiling is very high here and so do we as Conforto's hitting approach is already advanced beyond his years and the power is developing nicely as expected.  Conforto struck out 20.1 percent of his at-bats as a rookie in 2015, a nice total for a rookie and a guy who is mainly swinging for power.  In addition, many in the industry believe Conforto will be a 25-home run guy before too long and 20 this season is very likely.  Throw in 80-plus RBI and 70-plus runs to go with a decent batting average and Conforto is looking like a tremendous sleeper pick in the middle rounds of your draft.  The only thing Conforto does not help in is stolen bases as his speed is only average.  As long as you don't draft Conforto expecting anything in the way of help in that category, he will be a good investment with solid upside. 

When looking at the 2016 draft, be sure you have Michael Conforto on all of your sleeper lists.  Young players with his type of power potential as becoming very rare in today's game and Conforto at the very least should be a 20-home run asset as a high-end outfielder 3 or low-end outfielder 2 this season. 

2016 PROJECTION:  .277 19 HR 78 RBI 74 R 2 SB 



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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 12 WIDE RECEIVER RANKINGS

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

1.  Odell Beckham Jr.
2.  DeAndre Hopkins
3.  Antonio Brown
4.  Allen Robinson
5.  Julio Jones
6.  Demaryuis Thomas
7.  A.J. Green
8.  Larry Fitzgerald
9.  Brandon Marshall
10. Amari Cooper
11. Mike Evans
12. Brandin Cooks
13. Allen Hurns
14. Eric Decker
15. Stevie Johnson
16. Jarvis Landry
17. Emmanuel Sanders
18. Michael Crabtree
19. Danny Amendola
20. Martavis Bryant
21. Travis Benjamin
22. Stefon Diggs
23. Vincent Jackson
24. Sammy Watkins
25. John Brown
26. Brandon LaFell
27. Kamar Aiken
28. T.Y Hilton
29. Desean Jackson
30. Jeremy Maclin
31. Willie Snead
32. Donte Moncrief
33. Nate Washington
34. Marvin Jones
35. Risard Matthews
36. Reuben Randle
37. Doug Baldwin
38. Cecil Shorts
39. Pierre Garcon
40. Tavon Austin

 

FANTASY BASEBALL HOT STOVE SIGNINGS: J.A. HAPP REMOVES ANY FANTASY APPEAL SIGNING WITH TORONTO

When it comes to free agency as a starting pitcher, about the only place outside of Rogers Center in Toronto you would want to avoid would be Coors Field in Colorado from an offensive potency standpoint.  Well that didn't seem to occur to veteran starter J.A. Happ who on Friday signed a three-year deal worth $36 million with the Blue Jays to fill out a back-end rotation slot.  Happ clearly capitalized on a very hot stretch with the Pittsburgh Pirates during the second half of 2015 when he registered a 1.88 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and 69 strikeouts in 63.1 innings after coming over from the Seattle Mariners via a trade.  Now 33, Happ is setting himself up for major trouble in the offensive haven that is Toronto for the 2016 season and thus removing himself from fantasy baseball consideration even in AL-only formats.  This has disaster written all over it as Happ was nothing but a beyond mediocre starter throughout his career before his hot run with the Pirates, habitually posting ERA's in the mid-4.00 range to go with middling K rates.  With the way the AL East is annually a monster offensive division and given the runs that go up like a machine in Toronto, Happ will struggle to keep his ERA under 4.25 this season to go with other ugly ratios.  Avoid completely. 

 

Friday, November 27, 2015

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: CHIEFS LIKELY TO SIT CHARCANDRICK WEST SUNDAY

The Kansas City Chiefs expected to sit Charcandrick West for Sunday's game and instead go with Spencer Ware in the team's matchup against the Buffalo Bills.  West has battled a strained hamstring all week which has not responded to treatment and as a result has not even practiced this week. 

Analysis:  Ware is very interesting as he ran for over 100 yards and 2 touchdowns and so we want to see more of what he can do.  West meanwhile is a big loss as he has been terrific since taking over for the injured Jamaal Charles.  Ware is worth using against a shaky Bills defense that has not played up to par all of this season. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: DEVONTA FREEMAN RULED OUT FOR SUNDAY WITH CONCUSSION

The Atlanta Falcons have ruled out starting running back Devonta Freeman for Sunday's game, instead turning to rookie Tevin Coleman to make the start.  Freeman has struggled to overcome a concussion he suffered in last week's game and the Falcons decided to just play things safe.

Analysis:  Right call here as Coleman is quite capable of doing a good job in Freeman's place.  Unfortunately Coleman gets a beyond rough matchup this week against a top Minnesota Vikings run defense and he is really just a standard league play since he is not the greatest receiver either. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL THANKSGIVING DAY WRAPUP

Matthew Stafford:  27/38 for 337 yards with 5 TD.  Typical Stafford in that he goes nuts when no one has any interest in owning the guy, especially in single passer formats.  His inconsistent label is well-earned and up until this one, the Detroit offensive line was so horrendous that it made throwing impossible at times for Stafford.  The weapons are very impressive for Stafford but we still would be leery trusting him in single-passer leagues. 

Mark Sanchez:  19/27 for 199 yards with 2 TD.  The second score was during garbage time and Sanchez is reminding us all that he is nothing more than a backup guy in the NFL and so much less in fantasy football.  Sam Bradford should be back next week anyways. 

Theo Riddick:  2 carries for 6 yards to go with 5 catches for 62 yards and 1 TD.  Shout out to Riddick who quietly has been very good in PPR formats with his total of 55 receptions.  Riddick is hardly ever used in the running game so he is clearly format dependent but the kid deserves a mention for what he has done in the receiving game.

DeMarco Murray:  14 carries for 30 yards.  Murray did not catch a pass either in this disgrace of a game and horrific overall season for the veteran power back.  By now it is obvious to see Murray is a terrible fit in the Chip Kelly offense but the one bright spot is that a new coaching staff for 2016 should get him back to doing what he does best in terms of straight ahead running. 

Jordan Matthews:  3 catches for 60 yards and 1 TD.  I thought Matthews would be a lock for 80 catches in Kelly's offense but he is just another example of all that has gone wrong there. 

Calvin Johnson:  8 catches for 93 yards and 3 TD.  Monster games like this from Megatron are becoming more spaced out as he ages but this is a reminder of how dominant the guy can be when things are clicking on all cylinders.  Don't write Johnson off from the prime WR 1 list yet. 

Golden Tate:  7 catches for 50 yards and 1 TD.  Solid outing from Tate who has been the WR 3 we thought he would be with Johnson healthy. 

Cam Newton:  16/27 for 183 yards to go with 12 carries for 45 yards and 1 TD.  Luckily Newton got the one score on the ground as he did nothing in the passing game.  Surely not the start of the week Newton's fantasy football owners wanted but you can't really in clear conscience criticize the guy given how incredibly he has been this season. 

Tony Romo:  11/21 for 106 yards and 3 INT.  Even before Romo broke his collarbone again which finishes his ugly season, he couldn't go anything against the potent Carolina defense.  We have been major proponents of Romo's in the past but we have to admit Father Time could be really doing its thing by the looks of it. 

Darren McFadden:  10 carries for 11 yards to go with 4 catches for 46 yards and a 2-point conversion.  Yeah the Panthers defense bottled up McFadden completely in this one as well which is not a total shock considering how good that unit has been this season.  Basically whatever McFadden's owners have gotten to this point has been a bonus anyway.

Dez Bryant:  2 catches for 26 yards.  Yuck.  Just a complete non-factor of a game for Bryant whose owners have to be throwing their hands up now that Romo is out again and their top wideout will have to deal with Matt Cassel throwing him passes. 

Jason Witten:  4 catches for 36 yards.  After a hot first two weeks, Witten has been quiet all season.  Age too is not being kind to the guy. 

Greg Olsen:  5 catches for 70 yards.  You can write in ink at least five catches a game for Olsen's as Newton's only consistent receiver and he continues to get better when you think he has topped off on his yearly production. 

Jay Cutler:  19/31 for 200 yards with 1 TD.  Solid but unspectacular game from Cutler who is actually having his most efficient season in the NFL.  Ideally you want Cutler only for two QB formats but he has enough weapons to be usable in deeper single passer setups. 

Aaron Rodgers:  22/43 for 202 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT.  As opposed to Cutler, Aaron Rodgers is having one of his worst season ever as rampant injuries to the Green Bay Packers' skill players is taking a major toll on his numbers.  Rodgers survived an injury scare in this one as well but obviously you ride him out no matter how bad the slump since he is still the number 1 passer in the game.

Eddie Lacy:  17 carries for 105 yards to go with 4 catches for 34 yards and a TD.  Third straight game with a TD for Lacy who is finally delivering on his top five overall status.  Of course it could be too little, too late for many of his owners but Lacy at the very least is back in the running back driver's seat as he received ten more carries than James Starks. 

Matt Forte:  15 carries for 44 yards to go with 1 catch for 9 yards.  Forte missed on a touchdown by an inch but overall he looked terrible.  Meanwhile Jeremy Langford ran 12 times for 48 yards and picked up a TD on the ground.  This looks like a clear split in workload which puts owners of both players in a major bind with the fantasy football playoff weeks arriving soon. 

Alshon Jeffery:  7 catches for 90 yards.  Once again Jeffery puts up monster numbers when in the lineup.  He has dealt with a rash of injuries all season but in between he has shown he is fully ready to assume the mantle of top ten fantasy football wide receiver. 

Zach Miller:  2 catches for 10 yards and 1 TD.  Miller started in place of the injured Martellus Bennett and even before this he has become a major red zone weapon for Cutler.  The raw receiving totals are just not there though so Miller can't be used as a starter. 

Randall Cobb:  6 catches for 74 yards.  Overall it has been a disappointing season for Cobb who I thought could catch 100 balls as the main receiver in the Green Bay offense.  Instead he has dealt with injuries and diminished play. 


 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: TONY ROMO RE-INJURES COLLARBONE

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo re-injured his previously broken left collarbone in Thursday's Thanksgiving Day loss to the Carolina Panthers and there are already reports he suffered another break.  If the break is confirmed, Romo would be out for the remainder of the 2015 season.

Analysis:  Unbelievable and you can't make this stuff up.  Stick a fork both in Romo and in the Cowboys and obviously you cut him loose in all formats.  Just a disastrous season all the way around for the aging Romo and one has to wonder if Dallas could move on from him for 2016. 

 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

FANTASY FOOTBALL INJURY REPORT: RUNNING BACK CARNAGE FOR WEEK 12

The running back injuries have been nonstop and they are the main theme for this week in fantasy football.  Let's get to all the latest.

-Marshawn Lynch can now be classified as a colossal draft bust as the mid-first round pick will undergo season-ending hernia surgery.  Lynch now joins Jamaal Charles, Le'Veon Bell, and a slew of other backs who have missed time with injury and who were first round pick.  Also looking at you Eddie Lacy and Matt Forte.  Anyways we had Lynch first and foremost among our biggest name bust candidates that we discussed over the summer and in our annual draft guide due to the high mileage on his body and look what happened.  Already the contract extension the Seahawks have Lynch prior to this season looks like a major mistake and Thomas Rawls is already showing he can be the better back as he comes off a 200-plus yard outing.  Cut Lynch loose in all formats and my goodness the first round of this past summer's draft looks like a complete joke. 

-Upstart Kansas City Chiefs running back Charcandrick West sat out Wednesday's practice with an injured hamstring as Spencer Ware continues to be a flavor of the week candidate.  Andy Reid is sounding more and more pessimistic about West's chances of playing which will give Ware the chance to build on his terrific second-half last week when he ran for over 100 yards and picked up two scores. 

-Matt Forte will return to starting in the Thanksgiving night game versus the Green Bay Packers on Thursday.  While Forte is expected to start, rookie Jeremy Langford has been so good over the last three weeks that he should get his share of carries and most likely goal-line work.  This could be a very frustrating development for both Forte's and Langford's owners.

-Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman is still not out of the concussion protocol which is calling into question his Week 12 availability.  Rookie Tevin Coleman is the obvious handcuff and the fact Freeman is just in phase 1 of the protocol means he is likely to sit this one out. 

-Indianapolis Colts running back Frank Gore missed practice on Wednesday as he rests up a sore knee and quad.  Reports out of Indy indicate that Gore should be able to go Sunday but that his workload will be limited due to his age and late part of the season.  Meanwhile Ahmad Bradshaw is looking like the main third down back now and he stole two touchdowns last week which hurt Gore.  Overall Gore has not had the fantasy football impact we thought he would have in his new location. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL NEWS AND NOTES: A FEW DEALS BEFORE THE HOLIDAY

With Thanksgiving on tap tomorrow, MLB teams seemed to make it a point to get some deals done before everyone sits down for dinner.  Let's get to all the latest.

-The Oakland A's re-acquired infielder Jed Lowrie from the Houston Astros Wednesday for minor league arm Brendan McCurry.  Lowrie was an Athletic in 2014 before an injury-marred 2015 campaign with the Astros that included a thumb issue that sent his numbers tumbling.  Still young at the age of 31, Lowrie is the classic buy low player that the A's year after year target cheap.  Lowrie is still young enough to continue with his usual 10-15 home runs and .260 average but keep in mind he also is always hurt.  For the time being, Lowrie is just an AL-only option for the infield.

-The Pittsburgh Pirates picked up righty pitcher Allen Webster from the Arizona Diamondbacks in another minor move Wednesday.  Webster was destroyed whenever he got on the mound last season but he also had some decent prospect buzz when he first got drafted.  The Pirates could look at Webster in the spring as a possible SP 5 but he has zero fantasy baseball value until he shows he can even be viable.

-Speaking of the Pirates, they continue to offer up 1B Pedro Alvarez and 2B Neil Walker in potential deals around baseball.  The thinking is that the Pirates will move one of the two, with Alvarez the better bet.  Walker and Alvarez are solid but limited players who are toward the bottom of 12-team mixed league consideration. 

-The Los Angeles Dodgers continue to look at bullpen arms, with Ryan Madson being the latest they made contact with.

-The Houston Astros have jumped to the lead on the Aroldis Chapman sweepstakes as they reportedly are hell-bent on improving their ninth inning arm over Luke Gregerson.  While Gregerson did a nice job in 2015, the Astros want a more dominant arm at closer as they also have made contact with teams about David Robertson, Ken Giles, and Andrew Miller.

-The Chicago White Sox gave a one-year deal to veteran catcher Alex Avila.  Avila figures to give some competition to fellow veteran backstop Tyler Flowers.  Neither guy is worth owning in fantasy baseball, unless you are in a deep AL-only format. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 12 RUNNING BACK RANKINGS

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

1.  Todd Gurley
2.  Doug Martin
3.  Adrian Peterson
4.  Thomas Rawls
5.  Jonathan Stewart
6.  Devonta Freeman
7.  DeMarco Murray
8.  Darren McFadden
9.  Chris Ivory
10. LeSean McCoy
11. T.J. Yeldon
12. Mark Ingram
13. Lamar Miller
14. Javorius Allen
15. Eddie Lacy
16. Latavius Murray
17. Matt Forte
18. DeAngelo Williams
19. Alfred Blue
20. Chris Johnson
21. LeGarrette  Blount
22. Ronnie Hillman
23. Giovani Bernard
24. Frank Gore
25. Jeremy Hill
26. Antonio Andrews
27. Chardandrick West
28. Danny Ware
29. Jeremy Langford
30. Karlos Williams
31. Shaun Draughn
32. Danny Woodhead
33. Duke Johnson
34. Melvin Gordon
35. Ahmad Bradshaw
36. Darren Sproles
37. C.J. Spiller
38. C.J. Anderson
39. James Starks
40. Theo Riddick

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 12 QB RANKINGS

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

1.  Aaron Rodgers
2.  Cam Newton
3.  Carson Palmer
4.  Drew Brees
5.  Eli Manning
6.  Tom Brady
7.  Ben Roethlisberger
8.  Matthew Stafford
9.  Philip Rivers
10. Andy Dalton
11. Blake Bortles
12. Brian Hoyer
13. Derek Carr
14. Tony Romo
15. Russell Wilson
16. Jay Cutler
17. Marcus Mariota
18. Matt Ryan
19. Brock Osweiler
20. Jameis Winston
21. Josh McCown
22. Tyrod Taylor
23. Ryan Fitzpatrick
24. Teddy Bridgewater
25. Ryan Tannehill
26. Kirk Cousins
27. Matt Hasselbeck
28. Alex Smith
29. Sam Bradford
30. Mark Sanchez
31. Case Keenum
32. Blaine Gabbert
33. Matt Schaub

 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

FANTASY FOOTBALL MONDAY NIGHT WRAPUP: BILLS/PATS

The Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots put the finishing touches on fantasy football Week 11 so let's get to all the newsworthy items coming out of the game.

Tom Brady:  20/39 for 277 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT.  Hmmm.  To say that Tom Brady was the first half fantasy football MVP was the understatement of the century as the Pats QB has gone nuclear against every opponent on a weekly basis.  However injuries are mounting at a ridiculous level in the Patriots offense and Brady could now be effected there with his numbers based on this game.  This was easily Brady's worst start of the season and he now has lost Julian Edelman, Dion Lewis, and now Danny Amendola and Aaron Dobson to injuries.  There is only so many weapons for Brady to lose before his numbers get hurt and that could already be happening.  Something to be concerned about with the fantasy football playoffs arriving soon.

Tyrod Taylor:  20/36 for 233 yards.  All the positive vibes Taylor had in September have completely vanished as he is looking more like the NFL backup he has been all along since October.  He has zero impact now in fantasy football.

LeSean McCoy:  20 carries for 82 yards and 1 TD to go with 6 catches for 41 yards.  This was vintage McCoy in blending both the running and receiving game to high effect.  The reception numbers were down on a per game basis this season prior to this one but at least McCoy seems fresh for the stretch run.

James White:  2 carries for 14 yards and a TD to go with 2 catches for 32 yards and another score.  Talk about a TD stealer.  White got his hands on the football four times but yet scored twice and at the very least he looks like the guy who will fill some of Dion Lewis' past responsibilities.  I would not go crazy making a pickup here as LeGarrette Blount (16 carries for 56 quiet yards) will handle the running duties while Branden Bolden will also be a factor on both sides of the offensive attack.

Rob Gronkowski:  2 catches for 37 yards.  This is pretty much as close to a non-factor as Gronkowski can get as opposing defenses can now double-team him all game long with the rest of the receiving corps hurting so much.  This is also a decent-sized concern for Gronkowski's owners going into the fantasy football playoffs but he is much too talented to be kept under wraps like this again.

Danny Amendola:  9 catches for 117 yards before exiting with a knee injury.  Amendola was typically targeted at a very high rate in replacing Julian Edelman in the slot but in going along with his career trends, he got injured as the snaps piled up.  Amendola simply can't withstand the rigors of full every snap usage and now he is headed for an MRI on his knee which doesn't sound good at all.  We might have seen the last of Amendola for awhile. 

Chris Hogan:  6 catches for 95 yards.  The sure-handed Hogan was the primary target of Tyrod Taylor but he has not shown enough consistency to yet be a factor this late in the fantasy football season. 

Sammy Watkins:  3 catches for 39 yards.  The ongoing inconsistency of Watkins continues as he just can't put together back-to-back games as he constantly fights through injuries.  He is just barely a WR 3 in fantasy football considering the letdown numbers he more often than not puts forth to his owners. 

 

Monday, November 23, 2015

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 11 INJURY REPORT: JUSTIN FORSETT JOINS RUNNING BACK INJURY CARNAGE

Week 11 in fantasy football continued to sabotage rosters as more injuries came down the pike.  Let's take a look at all the latest injury news and notes>

-The biggest injury of the day could have come from either one of two Baltimore Ravens offensive players.  First running back Justin Forsett broke a forearm which puts him out for the entire 2016 season.  Later in the game, QB Joe Flacco tore his ACL and maybe his MCL as he too is finished fro the year.  The higher overall value lies with Forsett who was counted on as high as a low end RB 1 in PPR formats and a solid 2 in all other leagues.  Overall Forsett failed to match his tremendous 2014 production from a per game standpoint, while Flacco remained just a QB 2 in both two passer leagues and a backup in single formats.  Forsett now joins Le'Veon Bell, Jamaal Charles, and maybe now Marshawn Lynch as part of the massive amount of injuries striking the top heap of running backs.  The replacement is the mediocre Buck Allen who has only some minor value in PPR formats. 

-Speaking of Lynch, there are reports he needs season-ending hernia surgery which would put the bow on a truly horrific campaign in 2015 for the veteran.  It is looking more and more like all of the massive amount of carries Lynch has had in his career is starting to catch up with him as he was not even running that great when he was on the field.  Meanwhile backup Thomas Rawls is coming off a 200-plus rushing day in Week 11 and if available is the top waiver add.  Surely the Seahawks already are beginning to question the contract extension they handed him this past offseason.

-Yet another running back pulled up lame Sunday as Charcandrick West strained a hamstring.  That opened the door to Danny Ware picking up 100-plus yards and two scores in garbage time in the blowout win over the San Diego Chargers.  The Chiefs are calling West day-to-day as they deem the injury minor in nature but hamstring are always very tricky so this bears watching.  At the very least all West owners need to add Ware. 

-Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte is expected to return for the Thursday night Thanksgiving game versus the Green Bay Packers are missing three games with an MCL sprain in his knee.  Rookie Jeremy Langford scored another touchdown in Week 11 but it also was his worst rushing game since becoming the starter.  It is possible the Bears will split the work 50/50 between the two going forward, with Langford likely getting goal-line work.  This is not good news for Forte who surely will be looking for a new team in free agency.

-Philadelphia Eagles QB Sam Bradford has now passed the concussion protocol and should be able to go Week 12 after sitting out this past Sunday's loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a shoulder and concussion.  Mark Sanchez was terrible in throwing three interceptions in Week 11 which means the Eagles will waste no time getting Bradford back in there. 

-Brock Osweiler will start again in Week 12 as Peyton Manning is still hobbled by the torn ligament in his foot,  Manning is now getting a second opinion on the foot and it is entirely possible Osweiler starts the rest of the way. 

-Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed is hurt yet again, this time a sprained MCL in his knee.  The less severe type of knee injury compared to the ACL, Reed could play in Week 12 if he can get a practice in by Saturday. 

-It looks like DeMarco Murray will get the lion's share of carries again in Week 12 as Ryan Matthews is still not through the concussion protocol and is not practicing. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: ROBINSON CANO WANTS OUT OF SEATTLE

Only two seasons into a mammoth ten-year deal with the Seattle Mariners, second baseman Robinson Cano already wants out of town.  There were rampant reports early Monday that Cano is upset with the front office for leaking word that the managerial staff was not happy with his work habits and how he was being portrayed as a locker room issue.

Analysis:  Ridiculous.  Cano is acting like an incredibly baby through all this as he wanted his money over comfort and now is popping off about it just two years into the contract.  There is no way he will get moved considering how much money is left on the deal and his fantasy baseball stock is slipping off two straight underwhelming seasons in Seattle. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 11 WRAPUP:

Jameis Winston:  Dirk Kotter going to Tampa Bay has already worked wonders on rookie QB Jameis Winston.  The pass-happy Kotter has Winston clicking on all cylinders as he posted his best game as a pro Sunday by completing 19-of-29 passes for 246 yards and 5 touchdowns.  Winston is now 14 passing touchdowns and 4 interceptions on the season as he looks like a guy who will be a major factor going forward as a prime fantasy football QB option. 

Tony Romo:  It was a successful return to the field for Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo who fought through an early downpour to complete 18-of-28 passes for 227 yards with 2 TD and 2 INT.  Romo was understandably a bit rusty early on but he continued with his constant 2-3 TD per game pace.  He should be started as a QB 1 in all formats the rest of the season. 

Cam Newton:  The absurdly fantastic season for Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton continued on Sunday as he completed 21-of-34 passes for 246 yards with 5 touchdowns.  While Newton's completion percentage is below-average, his overall game has been by far his most impressive ever in terms of fantasy football.  Right now Newton is a top five QB in our fake game and is also a prime candidate for real life MVP.  He has won this incessant critic over. 

Matt Ryan:  The Atlanta Falcons continue to struggle and a lot of the blame goes to QB Matt Ryan who actually had his first decent game in over a month Sunday in another losing effort.  Ryan completed 25-of-46 passes for 280 yards but he also threw three interceptions.  The three touchdowns were very good but the turnovers were a killer.  Dirk Kotter and his pass-happy ways going to Tampa Bay have been a death blow to Ryan fantasy football value.  One of our all-time favorites due to his annually underrated value, Ryan is now just a QB 2 in two passer formats. 

Doug Martin:  We were all ready to write off Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin this season as he was coming off tow very disappointing campaigns in 2013 and 2014 after a smashing 2012 debut.  Well Martin has been completely rejuvenated in the new Buccaneers offense, to the point where he is in the running for the top rusher in the game.  That effort was more than helped along Sunday as he rushed for a crazy 235 yards on 27 carries in the team's win over the Philadelphia Eagles.  While Martin did not catch a pass, he has gone nuts carrying the football this season in his terrific comeback year with the team.  He now has put himself into the RB 1 class. 

Kirk Cousins:  He started off well enough but Washington Redskins QB Kirk Cousins was pretty brutal from the second quarter on as his team was blown out by the Carolina Panthers. Cousins returned to his inconsistent ways as he completed 22-of-30 passes for 207 yards with 1 TD to go with 1 INT and a lost fumble.  The guy seems incapable of not turning the football over and for that alone he is just a QB 2 in two passers leagues. 

Joe Flacco:  While he has never been a prime fantasy football passer, Baltimore Ravens veteran QB Joe Flacco has been a rock of stability for his team since being drafted.  That ended on Sunday as Flacco suffered a torn ACL and maybe a torn MCL in his knee that will finish his season.  The Ravens had a nice comeback win over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday but their season was finished even before this injury.  Flacco may not even be back at the start of 2016 either. 

DeAndre Hopkins:  Despite going up against Darrelle Revis, Houston Texans ace wideout DeAndre Hopkins had a big day by catching 5 passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns.  I would say that Hopkins more than won his battle versus Revis as the Texans picked up a big win over the New York Jets.  No matter how you slice it, 2015 has been the full breakout campaign of Hopkins. 

Darren McFadden:  Despite being limited over the last week with a sore groin, Dallas Cowboys running back Darren McFadden was effective Sunday in rushing for 129 yards on 29 carries, also contributing 3 catches for another 20 yards.  It was surprising that the Cowboys gave McFadden so much work considering he was less than 100 percent but once again we reiterate that the veteran has been fully rejuvenated behind the mammoth Dallas blockers this season. 

Julio Jones:  While it was another losing effort by his team, Atlanta Falcons number 1 wideout Julio Jones was tremendous Sunday as he caught 9 passes for 160 yards.  Jones had fallen off his monster September pace over the last month and a half but he seems to have put the earlier aches and pains behind him based on this outing.  His standing as a top five overall star receiver is intact. 

Case Keenum:  The St. Louis Rams benched Nick Foles for backup Case Keenum Sunday but they lost on all fronts.  First the Rams lost the game at the gun and then found out that Keenum suffered a concussion.  Keenum showed he was not up to the task of starting as he completed just 12-of-26 passes for only 136 yards and 1 TD.  He has zero accuracy and was skittish in the pocket.  Needless to say, the Rams' ongoing search for a QB will continue onward into the offseason. 

James Jones:  After he shockingly did not catch one pass last week, Green Bay Packers wideout James Jones was back to being Aaron Rodgers' favorite red zone target on Sunday as he caught 6 balls for 109 yards and a touchdown.  With Davante Adams back in action to go with Randall Cobb, there is much more competition now for Rodgers' passes but Jones continues to carve out WR 3 production in the always potent Green Bay offense.

Eddie Lacy:  Yes Eddie Lacy does exist.  After laughably poor production pretty much the entire season, perhaps Lacy is finally showing some signs he is coming out of his 2015 malaise after he rushed for 100 yards on 22 carries, while also catching one pass for another 6 yards.  Lacy seemed to get better as the game went on and maybe the Packers need to just continue feeding him given what we saw here.  Obviously for Lacy's owners, it is too little too late for most of them but at least there is some return being shown right now.

Thomas Rawls:  If the Seattle Seahawks could do it all over again, they would not have re-signed the aging and now hurt Marshawn Lynch and instead went fully with eye-opening rookie Thomas Rawls.  Rawls has been phenomenal in place of an injured Lynch this season and he saved his best for Week 11 by rushing for an insane 209 yards on 30 carries and one touchdown, while also chipping in 3 catches for another 46 yards and another score.  What Rawls is doing right now is beyond impressive and one has to think that he could continue getting work even when Lynch gets back.  Hold onto Rawls if you are invested. 

Russell Wilson:  The pendulum swing upwards for Seahawks QB Russell Wilson on Sunday as he completed 24-of-29 passes for 260 yards and 3 touchdowns in the team's win over the San Francisco 49ers.  Wilson has been up and down all season which has pushed him to the verge of not being an every week starter in fantasy football but this game should restore some of that luster. 

Chardandrick West:  The uprising that has been Kansas City Chiefs running back Charcandrick West hit a speed bump on Sunday as he left his team's win over the San Diego Chargers with an injured hamstring and was ineffective prior to getting hurt.  Overall West rushed for just 16 yards on 11 carries, while doing a bit better in the receiving game with 2 catches for 48 yards.  He was replaced by Spencer Ware who scored two late touchdowns and would be a big pickup this week if West were to sit out Week 12.  Stay tuned on that front and be prepared to react accordingly when it comes to the wire. 

Kyle Rudolph:  The tight end is always a young QB's best friend as Kyle Rudolph reinforced on Sunday when he caught 6 passes for 106 yards and a TD in the team's loss to the Green Bay Packers.  Rudolph has not found any sort of consistency over the last few years due to injuries and poor QB play which mean he is still just a replacement due to injury or for the bye week. 




 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: JUSTIN FORSETT SUFFERS BROKEN ARM SUNDAY

Baltimore Ravens running back Justin Forsett suffered a broken arm early in the first quarter of the team's game Sunday versus the St. Louis Rams.  Forsett hit the turf hard after an early carry and immediately went off the field in pain.  A quick diagnosis of the break was made in the locker room as Forsett was replaced by Buck Allen.

Analysis:  Stick a fork in Forsett who is likely done for the season now.  Add Forsett to the growing list of fantasy football RB 1 busts this season as the injuries have been tremendous among this class of player.  Cut him loose. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: VINCENT JACKSON (KNEE) EXPECTED TO START SUNDAY

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wideout Vincent Jackson is expected to start Sunday despite dealing with a sore knee over the past week. 

Analysis:  Over the last season-plus, Jackson has been nothing but a bench guy in fantasy football as Mike Evans has ascended to the top of the receiver hierarchy in Tampa Bay.  He should not be used especially in his limited state. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: JOHN BROWN (HAMSTRING) TO GO, MICHAEL FLOYD (HAMSTRING) DOUBTFUL

Speedy Arizona Cardinals wideout John Brown is expected to play Sunday night versus the Cincinnati Bengals despite a persistent hamstring that has bothered him for the last three weeks.  Meanwhile fellow wideout Michael Floyd is looking increasingly doubtful for the game as he too is battling a hamstring issue. 

Analysis:  Brown has shown his toughness by playing through the hamstring but he was virtually a non-factor last week and one has to wonder how effective he can be.  That makes Brown quite risky as a WR 3 in fantasy football.  Meanwhile Floyd has become quite irrelevant in the Arizona passing offense, what with Larry Fitzgerald dominating looks and Brown earning more confidence from QB Carson Palmer. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: DARREN McFADDEN (GROIN) TO START SUNDAY

Dallas Cowboys RB Darren McFadden is expected to start Sunday despite being limited over the last week with a sore groin.  Head coach Jason Garrett has said McFadden might need to be managed a bit going forward given his brittle nature but he should still get the lion's share of work this week. 

Analysis:  McFadden has actually been very good this season after years if listless play out West with the Oakland Raiders but his health is still quite a big problem.  He has RB 2 value given the workload though and that goes for this week as well.  Get him in there. 



 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: ALSHON JEFFERY (GROIN) OUT SUNDAY

Chicago Bears wideout Alshon Jeffery is expected to sit out Sunday's game with both a groin and shoulder injury.  The missed outing marks the fifth game this season Jeffery has missed in his first year replacing Brandon Marshall as the number 1 target in the Bears offense. 

Analysis:  Wow has this been a frustrating season for Jeffery and his fantasy football owners.  When on the field, Jeffery has been the number 1 wideout we all expected but the missed games are really hurting his bottom line numbers.  Marquess Wilson and Martellus Bennette figure to a see an uptick in targets Sunday. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: MATT FORTE (KNEE) OUT, JEREMY LANGFORD TO START THIRD STRAIGHT

Chicago Bears veteran RB Matt Forte is out for the third straight game Sunday due to the MCL sprain in his knee, which means rookie sensation Jeremy Langford gets the start. 

Analysis:  Langford has been unbelievable in his first two starts, to the point there is talk of a split between the two when Forte returns.  That would be bad fantasy football news for both guys but for this week Langford is a high-usage RB 2, even against a rough Denver Broncos run defense. 

 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

2016 FANTASY BASEBALL FIRST BASEMAN RANKINGS

The first baseman are up next as we take a look at our initial 2016 fantasy baseball position rankings.

1.  Paul Goldschmidt:  The standard bear at the position with his 30-HR/20-SB/.315 top five overall bat.
2.  Miguel Cabrera:  Still puts up a batting title average but Cabrera's is clearly showing some age with the increased injuries and dropoff in power.  Loses third base eligibility as well this season.  Not the lock he once was for top tier production.
3.  Anthony Rizzo:  Was on this guy from the start and Rizzo has more than justified the hype with his Paul Goldschmidt-lite production.
4.  Jose Abreu:  A bit of a sophomore slump the first half of last season before Abreu caught fire in the second.  Still waiting on 30 home runs but remains late first round pick.
5.  Joey Votto:  He's baaackkk!  Votto reaffirmed his fading standing as a top tier fantasy baseball bat in 2015, earning MVP votes in slamming 29 home runs.  Knee no longer an apparent issue.
6.  Edwin Encarnacion:  For two years in a row now, Encarnacion struggled badly in April, only to turn it on big-time the rest of the way.  Leaking batting average and always nicked up, Encarnacion's 39 home runs were his most since 2012. 
7.  Adrian Gonzalez:  Among the safest plays in all of fantasy baseball, you can write in ink 25 home runs and 100 RBI with a solid batting average.  Something to be said for consistency in this volatile game. 
8.  Eric Hosmer:  We have to let go of any notion Hosmer will ever hit 25 home runs and instead embrace the very good all-around five category numbers.
9.  Freddie Freeman:  Freeman being hurt greatly by the utter lack of any protection in the Atlanta lineup and believe it or not things look even worse for 2016 on that front.  I would avoid given the setup despite the remaining potential. 
10.  Prince Fielder:  Posted his own Joey Votto-like comeback season in 2015 by hitting .339 first half of season.  23 home runs a modest total though and indicate that this is where Fielder now resides in terms of power. 
11.  David Ortiz:  Back for one more go-round, Ortiz is holding onto his power all the way to the end.  Has been a tremendous value play at UTIL or CI the last five years given the notion in the fantasy baseball community he was finished.  Still waiting on that front. 
12.  Chris Davis:  Still a free agent as of press time, Davis impressed with a tremendous 47 home runs and even posted a respectable average at .262.  Always worried about the average but at least Davis is back to being an early round target with his extreme power. 
13.  Buster Posey:  Can hold his own at UTIL or CI but you obviously want to play Posey at catcher/
14.  Albert Pujols:  Foot surgery will keep Pujols out until at least mid-April which overshadows a terrific 2015 where he hit 40 home runs.  Ugly .244 average though dropped for eighth straight year which is a starkly negative number.  Clear erosion going on here both physically and in overall hitting approach but Pujols is still holding his power.
15.  Mark Teixeira:  Was shockingly in the MVP picture before yet more serious injuries took Teixeria out for the last month-plus of the season.  Remains very limited player who helps just in RBI and power but who also is a physical annoyance. 
16.  Kendrys Morales:  Was an RBI machine for the Kansas City Royals last season and is a very solid 20-25 home run bet.  Draft price always cheap. 
17.  Mitch Moreland:  Became a post-POST-hype sleeper made good in 2015 as Moreland posted his best and most complete season but need to see him do it again before we embrace totally.
18. Lucas Duda:  Was a step back for Duda in 2015 as he lost three home runs and a whole bunch of batting average from the year prior.  Could already have crested.
19.  C.J. Cron:  Kid retains some very solid potential as he showed in a productive second half of 2015 after finally getting the chance to be an every day player.  Keep him on your sleeper lists. 
20.  Carlos Santana:  Loses catcher eligibility which takes off a tremendous amount of value from the sketchy average of Santana.  Natural power leads to 20 home runs but that is about as far as the value goes. 
21.  Adam Lind:  One of the best-priced power bats in the game, as long as you sit Lind against lefties you will always turn a profit here. 
22.  Pedro Alvarez:  Another home run/RBI specialist who will knock down your team batting average.  Was somewhat more valuable when he had third base eligibility but Alvarez not out cup of tea. 
23.  Ryan Zimmerman:  Another one who has lost third base eligibility and thus a great deal of their value.  Constant injuries continue to derail some still solid home run/RBI/runs production. 
24.  Brandon Belt:  Concussion and other leg injuries put a cap on what might have been in 2015 overall but Belt was still quite production on a per game basis with the bat.  Another very frustrating player to own but one who also can be a very affordable late round grab who can greatly exceed their draft price.
25.  Victor Martinez:  We had Martinez as a major bust candidate for 2015 and he more than came through in being hurt most of the year and doing very little with the bat in between.  His 2014 home run total was one of the biggest outlier numbers we have seen in years.  Disregard. 
26.  Justin Bohr:  Hit 23 home runs in only 446 at-bats which is quite intriguing.  Marlins will give Bohr the chance to better late which makes him another very good late round grab. 
27.  Greg Bird:  Likely to start 2016 at Triple-A despite the eye-opening performance the rookie put forth in place of the injured Teixeira during the second half of last season.  With no DH spot available, GM Brian Cashman has said Bird will go to the minors until he is needed. 
28.  Chris Colabello:  Was in the batting title hunt with his .321 average which no one saw coming but there was not much in the way of power despite calling Rogers Center home.  Average clearly in outlier territory as Colabello never came anywhere near that number even in the minors.  Sizable bust potential. 
29.  Mark Trumbo:  Was limited even when calling Chase Field home but the bottom fell out when he was dealt to Safeco Field with the Seattle Mariners.  No thank you.
30.  Matt Adams:  Has never shown the power many thought would come with his hulking frame and now coming off serious injury.  Move on. 

 

Friday, November 20, 2015

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: BLUE JAYS PICK UP JESSE CHAVEZ FROM A'S

The Toronto Blue Jays once again are leading the pack in Hot Stove moves as they acquired veteran starting pitcher Jesse Chavez from the Oakland A's on Friday for RHP Liam Hendricks.  Chavez comes off a solid 2015 campaign where he pitched to a 4.18 ERA while also dealing with a sizable struggle in the second half of the season.

Analysis:  Chavez is a nice pitcher but he is just a back-end guy who has minimal fantasy baseball value.  He has pitched quite well during the first half of the last two seasons but bombed completely in the second halves both times as well.  It looks like Chavez is the classic sell high guy in July as his arm simply has not shown it can withstand the rigors of a full major league season. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: TIGERS ACQUIRE CAMERON MAYBIN FROM BRAVES

The Detroit Tigers acquired outfielder Cameron Maybin from the Atlanta Braves late Friday for two minor league pitchers and cash considerations.  Maybin reunites with the Tigers who originally drafted him 10th overall in 2005. 

Analysis:  The Braves sold high here and once again are unloading anything not nailed down as they complete a massive rebuild ahead of the opening of their new park.  Maybin at 28 finally made good on all the hype he had when he first came up in the majors and bombed out of three organizations.  He hit .267 with 10 home runs and 23 steals which was a visually impressive campaign for the late bloomer but a repeat of that production is far from a given.  He remains nothing more than an outfielder 3 for fantasy baseball. 

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 11 RUNNING BACK RANKINGS

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

1.  Adrian Peterson
2.  Charcandrick West
3.  Marshawn Lynch
4.  Todd Gurley
5.  Jonathan Stewart
6.  Devonta Freeman
7.  DeMarco Murray
8.  Darren McFadden
9.  Latavius Murray
10. Lamar Miller
11. Jeremy Langford
12. Chris Ivory
13. Chris Johnson
14.  LeGarrette Blount
15. Giovani Bernard
16. LeSean McCoy
17. Doug Martin
18. Justin Forsett
19. James Starks
20. Danny Woodhead
21. Frank Gore
22. Ronnie Hillman
23. Matt Jones
24.  Carlos Hyde
25. Melvin Gordon
26. Joique Bell
27. Jeremy Hill
28. C.J. Anderson
29. Eddie Lacy
30. Darren Sproles
31. Charles Sims
32. Karlos Williams
33. Alfred Blue
34. Andre Ellington
35. Jay Ajayi 





 

FANTASY FOOTBALL THURSDAY NIGHT WRAPUP: JAGS/TITANS

The Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans kicked off fantasy football Week 11 with a good surprisingly competitive game won late by the former  Let's check out the fantasy worthy numbers coming out of the game itself.

Marcus Mariota:  22/35 for 231 yards with 0 TD and 29 rushing yards with 1 TD.  Mariota has had a very solid rookie season to this point but nothing that has him as an every week guy in fantasy football even in two-QB formats.  He has run a lot less than expected which is a minor knock but the accuracy has been very good.  Questions about his ability to adapt to the NFL are already becoming moot.

Blake Bortles:  21/30 for 242 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT to go with 9 yards rushing and 1 fumble.  Bortles is showing signs himself in his second year in the league of being a very solid NFL passer but his accuracy is still shaky and the turnovers remain a big problem.  Also with a tremendous trio of receivers in Julius Thomas, Allen Hurns, and Allen Robinson, Bortles should be doing more.

T.J. Yeldon:  14 carries for 54 yards to go with 3 catches for 28 yards.  I really like what I have seen out of Yeldon as a rookie this season, as the kid has showcased ability both in the running and receiving game.  Averaging 4.0 yards per carry and up to 27 receptions, Yeldon has been a veyr good RB 2 in all formats.

Antonio Andrews:  15 carries for 78 yards.  Andrews has emerged as the starting running back in Tennessee which is not saying much at all given how terrible this unit collectively has been.  Bishop Sankey has been so bad that he was a healthy scratch.

Delanie Walker:  8 catches for 109 yards.  Walker is having a phenomenal season among tight ends and he is the latest example of how pass-catchers at this position have big years with rookie QB's.  Mariota constantly looks for Walker when going back to pass and with Kendall Wright out injured, the targets will continue to pile up.  Clear top five overall tight end in fantasy football and the best value altogether.

Allen Robinson:  5 catches for 113 yards.  While Hurns collects the TD's, Robinson makes hay with the receptions and yardage for the Jags.  I spoke highly of Robinson going into the season as he was terrific as a rookie in 2014 before going on IR and was mostly forgotten about given how good other first-year guys were at the position.

Allen Hurns:  3 catches for 19 yards.  The TD streak is over and Hurns was a non-factor which is not the start to the week his owners anticipated.

Julius Thomas:  5 catches for 28 yards and 1 TD.  Another tight end who is being used heavily by a young QB.  While Thomas clearly has not been the monster he was in Denver, he is still scoring touchdowns at a high clip.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

FANTASY BASEBALL HOT STOVE REPORT: KEN GILES MARKET HEATING UP

By Michael Wong

The first installment of the Winter Meetings brought forth some interesting trades and moves but they ultimately set the stage of the second phase of the meetings that will take place in December.  Still there is a lot of chatter in the last 24 hours so let's get right to it.

-For the second offseason in a row, the closer market dominated things early on.  The Detroit Tigers have already traded for Francisco Rodriguez to fill their ninth inning void, while the Seattle Mariners got a closer-capable arm in a deal for Joaquin Benoit.  Still the Aroldis Chapman talks continue to progress between the Cincinnati Reds and Toronto Blue Jays and now Ken Giles seems to be gaining steam as a hot commodity.

Some might find it odd that the Philadelphia Phillies are prepared to deal away Gilles given the fact he is entering just his second MLB season and has already put up sky-high K rates and dominated hitters with his pure heat.  However with the Phillies likely once again being one of the worst teams in the game this season, the front office is once again weighing whether having a closer is really worth holding onto in a losing campaign.  Thus the interest in Giles which is picking up the pace after the Rodriguez move.  Right now the Miami Marlins, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Houston Astros are all in on Giles, with the Astros being the most aggressive.  While the Astros do have the very capable Luke Gregerson at closer, the middle relief was a disaster for the team last season and is a must to be improved in order for the team to move forward.  With this many teams in on Giles, a deal seems more likely by the day.

-As far as Andrew Miller is concerned, GM Brian Cashman has not indicated that anything is even remotely hot there and in all honesty we hear that the Yanks have to be blown away for a deal to be made.  However Chapman's name keeps coming up here and one has to wonder if Miller would go the other way in such a move.  Or if the Yanks will pair Chapman with Miller and Dellin Betances to give the Yanks the most potent 7-8-9 trio ever. 

-The Chicago Cubs are in on every free agent pitcher, with the latest chatter centering on Jeff Samardzjia.  Samardzjia is seen as the fallback guy once Zack Greinke, David Price, and Johnny Cueto are off the board as he comes off a down season in 2015 with the White Sox.  However Samardzjia's velocity held steady to his very solid 2013-14 levels and the thinking is that going back to the NL could have him easily back to SP 2 status.  The Yankees also remain in talks here.

-Shelby Miller is a new name to enter into the trade front on Thursday, as both the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers made inquiries.  When it comes to the rebuilding Atlanta Braves, no veteran player is untradeable. 

-Darren O'Day could get close to $40 million in this market as he is being highly coveted by a bunch of teams, with the Astros and Dodgers being the most aggressive.

-The Milwaukee Brewers made their second deal in two days Thursday when they picked up speedy infielder Jonathan Villar from the Houston Astros.  Villar will likely get a crack at starting infielder spot for the rebuilding Brewers and he showed signs last season of progress when he hit .284 in 53 games. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: WHITE SOX LISTENING ON AVISAIL GARCIA

The Chicago White Sox have let it be known that they are willing to move promising outfielder Avisail Garcia in a trade for pitching help.  Garcia reportedly has tested the patience of the front office and is being viewed as the key piece to reinforce the starting rotation as Jeff Samardzjia is expected to move on this winter.

Analysis:  Garcia has nice tools such as 20-steal speed and burgeoning power.  However his hitting approach is weak which leads to some ugly batting averages and the fact the White Sox are already souring on him is a red flag. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: BLUE JAYS FAVORITES TO LAND AROLDIS CHAPMAN

The Toronto Blue Jays have emerged as the front-runners to land All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman from the Cincinnati Reds, with a possible return package being headlined by Aaron Sanchez and Dalton Pompey. 

Analysis:  With the Red Sox and Tigers out of the picture, the market for Chapman is starting to take shape.  The New York Yankes and Houston Astros have also been involved here but the Blue Jays make the most sense since bullpen has been their biggest problem. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 11 QB RANKINGS

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

1.  Tom Brady
2.  Carson Palmer
3.  Aaron Rodgers
4.  Cam Newton
5.  Philip Rivers
6.  Blake Bortles
7.  Derek Carr
8.  Tony Romo
9.  Andy Dalton
10. Matthew Stafford
11. Tyrod Taylor
12. Matt Ryan
13. Joe Flacco
14. Russell Wilson
15. Ryan Fitzpatrick
16. Marcus Mariota
17. Ryan Tannehill
18. Alex Smith
19. Mark Sanchez
20. Matt Hasselbeck
21. Jay Cutler
22. Brock Osweiler
23. Kirk Cousins
24. Teddy Bridgewater
25. Case Keenum
26. Jameis Winston
27. T.J. Yates

 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: METS STILL TRYING TO REEL IN BEN ZOBRIST

A report surfaced on Wednesday that reported on the New York Mets' continued pursuit of utilityman Ben Zobrist.  With the Mets resigned to losing second baseman Daniel Murphy in free agency, the plan is to sign Zobrist to man the position and also serve as third base insurance for David Wright.

Analysis:  Zobrist once again is getting a ton of attention like he did last July at the trade deadline.  His fantasy baseball value is not so great though as Zobrist will not go 20/20 again or come even close to that since his speed is finished. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE FALLOUT: K-ROD TO FINISH GAMES IN DETROIT

One of the few teams to go into the offseason without a bona fide closer was the Detroit Tigers.  After seeing Joe Nathan got under the knife and then trading replacement Joaquin Soria, the Tigers made it a point to get a better 9th inning alternative once free agency began.  Well the Tigers instead went the trade route as they picked up Francisco Rodriguez Wednesday for a minor leaguer and a player to be named later.  Rodriguez was part of a major influx of closers that were made available on the trade market such as Andrew Miller, David Robertson, Aroldis Chapman, and Ken Giles.  Well the Tigers went with the cheapest option in Rodriguez which makes sense since the team is not exactly a lock to be a prime contender in 2016 after dismantling the team last season.  Be that as it may, Rodriguez is the only talking point here in fantasy baseball and with that in mind let's see what he could have in store for his owners in 2016. 

Now aging sharply as he turns 34 in January, Rodriguez is a completely different pitcher than the one who took the game by storm when he debuted with the Los Angeles Angels in 2002.  Back then, Rodriguez was a fireballing monster as he rang his fastball in at near 100-mph and piled up the K's like they were going out of style.  Eventually though the velocity began to leak for Rodriguez as he turned 30 and it almost cost him a major league job as he bombed out to the tune of a 4.38 ERA in 2012 with the Brewers.  With his career on the brink, Rodriguez went back to the drawing board and reinvented himself on the fly to much success.  Relying less on his fastball and more on his still very good offspeed stuff, Rodriguez responded with one of his best seasons ever in 2014 when he registered 44 saves with a 3.04 ERA.  While the K rate dipped under 10.00, his 9.66 mark was still impressive indeed.  In proving that his 2014 campaign was no fluke, Rodriguez was even better last season as he pitched to a tiny 2.21 ERA and locked down 38 more saves.  While the fastball now sits around 90 most of the time, the expanded pitching arsenal is still netting a bunch of K's for Rodriguez and is helping to keep him very viable as a near top-ten fantasy baseball closer.  While we always have the feeling the bottom will drop out on Rodriguez, we will go with the notion that he will be terrific for at least another season. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL BREAKING NEWS: TIGERS ACQUIRE K-ROD FROM BREWERS

The Detroit Tigers acquired closer Francisco Rodriguez Wednesday.

Analysis:  Well that is one closer spot filled.  The Brewers could be one of the worst teams in baseball this season and had no use for Rodriguez.  He remains a solid middle tier closer for 2016.

FANTASY BASEBALL HOT STOVE NEWS AND NOTES

Once again the Oakland A's are shopping in the discount aisle, a trend that goes back over a decade.  In the team's defense, the strategy has overall been a success as the A's have been playoff participants and strong contenders in the division during that span.  However nothing went right in 2015 as they looked completely foolish in dealing away prospective MVP Josh Donaldson to the Toronto Blue Jays among a slew of other poor personnel decisions.  Never one to sit around though, Billy Beane and his lieutenants went right back to work this offseason at the bargain rack, inking starting pitcher Rich Hill to a one-year deal for $6 million.  Hill was the story of the final month of the 2015 fantasy baseball season when he got a shot with the Boston Red Sox who needed any old arm to eat up some late innings and responded with an astounding 1.55 ERA, 0.65 WHIP, and 36 K in just 29 innings in four starts.  This from a guy who was in Independent Ball and pretty much all over baseball the previous five years.  Hill is aging fast at 35 but his stuff obviously still has some life on it.  The A's did a similar move with Scott Kazmir a few years ago which worked out very well for the team so this is a low-risk move.  In terms of fantasy baseball, Hill has a bit of value in Al-only formats but in mixed leagues he is nothing but a mildly interesting SP 5 candidate this season. 

 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 11 WAIVER WIRE ADDS

Fantasy football 2015 is now in the stretch run as there are just 3-4 weeks left of regular season play before things start getting settled.  As always here are the waiver adds for Week 11 in order to keep you on top of the game. 

Danny Amendola:  This one is obvious and Amendola will be the biggest GET this week in fantasy football as he replaces the injured Julian Edelman in the slot.  Starting with Wes Welker and going through Edelman, the slot position for the New England Patriots is about as precious a PPR receiving spot as one can get and Amendola already began showing his stuff in catching 10 passes from Tom Brady in the win over the New York Giants in Week 10.  Amendola could be a monster difference-maker down the stretch.

Brock Osweiler:  In two QB formats, Osweiler has intrigue as his rocket arm and terrific array of receivers puts him on the fantasy football map.  Osweiler is actually good news for those owning stock in Demaryuis Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders who have seen their numbers dip sharply due to the struggles of Peyton Manning. 

Jay Cutler:  We told you in this space two weeks ago to pick up Cutler and all the mercurial QB has done in that span was toss 5 touchdowns total with just one pick.  All of a sudden the Chicago Bears passing offense looks very potent with Alshon Jeffery being joined by Martellus Bennett and Zach Miller.

Zach Miller:  Speaking of Miller, the Bears are using two tight ends religiously now which gets Miller and his good receiving skills onto the field.  Miller is becoming a focal point of the Bears passing attack and he went for a long and very athletic TD reception in Week 10. 

Tony Romo:  This one is obvious as Romo should be picked up wherever available as he makes his return this week versus the Miami Dolphins.

Denard Robinson:  It looks like T.J. Yeldon could sit out Week 11 with an injured foot and that puts the speedy Robinson in play Thursday night against the awful Tennessee Titans defense.  Yes please. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL NEWS: METS AND BEN ZOBRIST CONTINUE TO EXCHANGE NUMBERS

The New York Mets and free agent infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist continue to talk on a daily basis, with the latest report indicating the two sides are beginning to exchange contract proposals. 

Analysis:  It seems like this one is picking up team as the Mets have been the most active thus far in the Zobrist talks.  They certainly have a need now that Daniel Murphy is expected to leave as a free agent but there will be fierce competition for Zobrist, primarily from the Kansas City Royals. 

 

FANTASY BASEBALL NEWS: GIANTS TO SIGN KYLE BLANKS TO MINOR LEAGUE DEAL

The San Francisco Giants are putting the finishing touches on a minor league contract for free agent 1B/outfielder Kyle Blanks according to multiple sources and the official signing could be announced Tuesday morning.  The Giants were looking to add some power and versatility to their lineup for 2016 and Blanks fills both roles with his home run-leaning bat an ability to both play the outfield and first base. 

Analysis:  Not much to see here as Blanks has underachieved throughout his whole career.  There is no doubt the guy has some serious power but contact issues have always undermined him.  Could be mildly interesting if Blanks can carve out a starting spot but until then don't bother. 

 

Monday, November 16, 2015

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE FALLOUT: LEONYS MARTIN GETS FRESH START IN SEATTLE

The Seattle Mariners traded for setup man and potential 2016 closer Joaquin Benoit last week which gave the team the chance to deal from a surplus of bullpen arms.  The result was seen on Monday as the Mariners dealt away lefty reliever Tom Wilhelmsen to the Texas Rangers in a buy low move to acquire outfielder Leonys Martin.  The speedy Martin had some decent expectations attached to his name going into last season due to the fact he was going to get a chance to lead off for a very good lineup and in a major offensive park.  With the speed to steal bases and some developing power, there was some talk Martin could go 15/30.  Well Martin fell incredibly short of those numbers and was demoted to the minors as a result horrific .219 average with 4 home runs and 10 steals in 237 at-bats.  Turning 28 in March, Martin is pretty much done in terms of ceiling and that makes him nothing more than a late round speculative add.  We have seen a number of fresh start cases turning out well though which means Martin at least should be on your radar to see how he takes to Seattle.  With a K rate historically over 20.0 percent though, Martin just doesn't hit enough to be worth using in anything but AL-only formats early on in the season. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: TONY ROMO SET TO RETURN SUNDAY

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo will make his return to the lineup Sunday, a full 9 weeks since he suffered a broken collar bone in Week 2 as the bone was reportedly healed more than enough for him to play.  Romo goes back under center for a Cowboys team that has as many wins (2) than they had when he first got hurt. 

Analysis:  Romo certainly gets a great matchup in his return as the Miami Dolphins defense has been torched all season.  He goes right back to QB 1 territory despite the inevitable rust that needs to be worked out of his game. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL BREAKING NEWS: PEYTON MANNING (FOOT) RULED OUT SUNDAY

Denver Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak wasted little time in declaring Monday that Peyton Manning will sit out Week 11 due to the torn ligament in his foot.  Brock Osweiler will get his first NFL start versus the Chicago Bears and Kubiak did not confirm if Manning would even be ready to go the week after.

Analysis:  This was obvious from the start and we think Osweiler will get a few games as the Broncos want to rest Manning up for the postseason.  Also don't discount the idea that Osweiler could even keep the job if he lights it up.  While that is unlikely, Manning pretty much nothing left in the tank at this stage of his career. 

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 10 INJURY REPORT: LOTS OF CARNAGE ABOUNDS

Week 10 in fantasy football was one of those very ugly weeks when it came to injuries and there were some big names involved to once again throw the season into chaos.  Let's get right to it.

-The biggest injury of the day no doubt belonged to New England Patriots wideout Julian Edelman who suffered a broken foot that will require season-ending surgery.  There is a chance Edelman can make it back for the postseason but for now he is toast when it comes to fantasy football.  This is obviously a tremendous blow, especially for those who take part in PPR formats as Edelman was once again doing his 100-catch thing with an uptick in touchdowns also included.  The fallout means that Danny Amendola becomes the hottest pickup of the week and he was terrific in place of Edelman on Sunday in the win over the Giants as he caught 10 passes for 79 yards.  Amendola will replace Edelman in the slot and thus he has tremendous upsidet he rest of the season. 

-It was a historically bad day for Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning as he tossed four interceptions and completed just 5-of-20 passes overall.  Manning was pulled for backup Brock Osweiler and now Monday we learned the future Hall of Famer has a torn ligament in his foot.  This marks the second straight season Manning pulled up lame with injury following the calf pull in 2014 that ruined his and his fantasy football owners' stretch run.  With head coach Gary Kubiak saying Manning will sit if he is not 100 percent, count on Osweiler being in there for Week 11.  The Broncos have to get Manning as healthy as possible for the postseason as they can't rely on the green Osweiler no matter how strong his arm is.  Either way Manning should be dropped in all fomats.

-Just when Philadelphia Eagles QB Sam Bradford began finding his rythym in terms of production in Chip Kelly's offense, the always present injury bug struck again as he went down with both a shoulder injury and a concussion Sunday.  Mark Sanchez replaced Bradford and was up to his old turnover tricks again.  Don't count on seeing the brittle Bradford out there in Week 11 and honestly he was not worth using in anything but two QB formats anyway.  Sanchez put up solid fantasy football numbers down the stretch last season in place of Nick Foles but again you really should avoid him outside of two passer leagues.

-Ryan Matthews suffered his own concussion Sunday but his value has been limited all season in playing behind DeMarco Murray.  Murray has still playd well below his 2014 standards but he has been at his best the last five weeks.  At the very least this will give Murray even more work if Matthews has to sit.

-Victor Cruz never got onto the field this season as he finally relented to season-ending surgery on his calf.  First Cruz was recovering from last season's knee injury and than he suffered the calf strain during training camp that simply never healed.  It is likely he played his last game with the Giants as they will certainly cut him loose.  It was a short but quite productive run for Cruz with the Giants who gave the undrafted free agent out of UMASS his shot but the ending was shockingly bad.