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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

2018 FANTASY FOOTBALL TRADE FALLOUT: DEMARYUIS THOMAS GETS NEW LIFE IN HOUSTON

The Houston Texans wasted little time finding a replacement for wideout Will Fuller who was lost for the season last Thursday due to an ACL tear as they completed a trade for Denver Broncos' veteran Demaryuis Thomas Tuesday afternoon.  With Thomas having been in trade rumors almost all season, the Broncos finally sent him packing which ends a very productive stint with the team but one that had grown a bit quiet since the retirement of Peyton Manning.  The move itself is nothing but a boost in terms of Thomas' immediate fantasy football value as he gets a QB upgrade going from Case Keenum to DeShaun Watson and the Texans are airing it out more than ever of late as the latter comes off a four TD passing game versus the Miami Dolphins.  In addition, the move is a big positive for rookie Courtland Sutton who automatically becomes the top waiver add this week.  Given that Sutton has already shown a knack for scoring touchdowns and making big plays, he could be a major difference-maker the rest of the season. 


2018 FANTASY FOOTBALL TRADE FALLOUT: GOLDEN TATE HEADS TO PHILLY TO MAKE CARSON WENTZ A RICH MAN

Some big names were on the move Tuesday leading up to the NFL's trading deadline at 4:00 ET and prominent among them was the Detroit Lions sending longtime slot wideout Golden Tate to the Philadelphia Eagles for a third round pick.  The move is a clear "win now" one for the Eagles who have been languishing a bit so far as they try to defend the Super Bowl championship they won a year ago but the bottom line here is that QB Carson Wentz now has a ridiculous array of receivers that should have him right there as the most productive passer in fantasy football the rest of the way.  Already coming off a three-TD game last Sunday in London, Wentz now has Tate joining Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, and Zach Ertz to give him arguably the best set of weapons in the game.  As far as Tate is concerned, he has been a bit quiet over the last month but is about as durable and consistent as it gets with his customary 90-plus reception, 1000-plus yard receiving, and around 5 touchdown yearly numbers.  He will face some more competition for catches in Philly given all the names surrounding him that we just mentioned but he will remain in the WR 2 range.  Meanwhile, Tate's arrival likely puts Agholor in the WR 4 bench/waiver wire realm as this move will hurt him the most.  On the other side, Kenny Golladay will take on more targets from QB Matthew Stafford, as will veteran Marvin Jones.  All in all though, it was a terrific move for almost all involved. 


Saturday, October 20, 2018

2018 FANTASY FOOTBALL TRADE FALLOUT: CARLOS HYDE SENT PACKING, NICK CHUBB COULD BE MID-YEAR MAJOR DIFFERENCE-MAKER

Every year in fantasy football we get situations where a running back suddenly goes from little-to-no playing time and then just like that falls into a tremendous workload based on an injury or a trade.  Think C.J. Anderson a few years ago as a guy who came in for the Denver Broncos in November and then rattled off huge games the rest of the way to tilt leagues on its head.  Such a scenario could now be unfolding in Cleveland where rookie Nick Chubb all of a sudden has a huge workload in his future starting with a very plush assignment Sunday versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after the team traded veteran Carlos Hyde to the Jacksonville Jaguars Friday.  The move was a surprise since T.J. Yeldon had done pretty much in the injured Leonard Fournette's place but it likely had more to do with the never-ending injury woes of the latter who could return in Week 9 from a bum hammy.  Either way, this is bad news for Yeldon, Hyde, AND Fournette who will now have to share a crowded backfield.  Also remember it was just Week 1 where Fournette was working as the clear workhorse until injuring his hamstring and the rest as they say is history.  As far as Hyde is concerned, a nice September where he surprisingly got the lion's share of touches in Cleveland has turned into a very mediocre October which likely prompted the move.  Hyde now sees a drop from RB 2 status to RB 3. 

As far as Chubb, the electric former Georgia star can have as big an immediate impact as former teammate Sony Michel is having in New England in terms of running the ball at least.  Chubb can go zero to sixty in a flash as we saw when he ran for two scores on only 3 carries versus the Oakland Raiders at the end of September.  Chubb is a huge get for anyone who picked him up or who held him the whole season waiting for this moment.  Not to be overlooked is Duke Johnson who will now have more of a chance to contribute his impressive receiving skills.  So all in all, adjust accordingly here as this is one mid-season move that really has shaken up the game. 


Friday, October 19, 2018

2018 FANTASY FOOTBALL STATUS REPORT: PHILIP LINDSAY SHOWING STAYING POWER

Another week and another game where Denver Broncos speedy running back Philip Lindsay continued to open eyes and cause almost all NFL personnel executives to re-think why he went undrafted last spring.  Thursday night it was Lindsay rushing for 90 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries, while also catching one pass for another six yards.  Lindsay actually did score a second touchdown but it was called back on a penalty.  Be that as it may, Lindsay now sits with the following numbers:

436 rushing yards
5.8 per carry
2 TD
15 catches
119 receiving yards
1 TD

What quickly jumps out above is the supreme rushing average and it is build mainly on tremendous instant acceleration that gets Lindsay from 0-to-60 in a flash.  This is a very crucial skill for Lindsay as he is slight of build at 5-8 and 190 but is is overall easy to see the home run ability he brings to the field on any given touch.  Unfortunately for Lindsay's owners, fellow rookie Royce Freeman remains in a clear timeshare capacity and that doesn't look like it will change anytime soon.  It is actually probably for the best as Lindsay probably would not be able to handle a full rushing load given his lack of size and Freeman does perform well near the goal-line.  So going forward both Lindsay and Freeman work as RB 2's in fantasy football leagues; with the former having the more potent upside.  Either way, Lindsay looks like a gem not only for the Broncos but for his very happy fantasy football owners this season. 

UPDTAE:  With Freeman having suffered an ankle injury last week, Lindsay may be in line for even more work in the immediate future.  


2018 FANTASY FOOTBALL ISSUES: DAVID JOHNSON

This just has to stop.  Please I can't be tortured anymore.  Run after run right into the middle.  Behind a line that was missing their two starting guards.  No imagination.  No movement out in space.  No play action.  Only as severe a case of player neutering I have never seen before in fantasy football.  The madness needs to end Friday morning when Arizona Cardinals OC Mike McCoy gets canned before Week 8 for the second season in a row.  There can be no other way when your best player by a mile David Johnson gets most of his brutal 10 points in garbage time.  A guy who has single-handily destroyed my Experts League team to such a humiliating degree that I am in uncharted territory in terms of futility.  The madness has to end right here, right now.  My season in Experts is over because of this man and thousands of others have fallen by the wayside as well.  Hey, let's run up the middle again! 

Seriously though it has now gone beyond ridiculous with David Johnson who rushed 14 times for 39 yards and caught 3 balls for another 31.  Two of those catches came in garbage time as there was nothing doing here at all which will likely sink me to yet another loss in the Experts League (went from 50 percent chance to win down to 40 with ONE player).  Also condolences to those who picked up Arizona's defense for this one which looked like a decent play on paper considering they have played well lately and Case Keenum and the Denver Broncos offense couldn't get out of their own way.  Here is hoping against hope Steve Wilks reads the tea leaves that he too will be fired by the end of the season if he doesn't make a change but Johnson's utter disgrace of a year so far means it will arrive too late to save out teams. 


Thursday, October 18, 2018

2018 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 7 QB RANKINGS

Here are the fantasy football Week 7 QB rankings based on opposing matchups.

1.  Pat Mahomes
2.  Tom Brady
3.  Matt Ryan
4.  Jared Goff
5.  Cam Newton
6.  Jameis Winston
7.  Andy Dalton
8.  Philip Rivers
9.  Drew Brees
10. Kirk Cousins
11. Andrew Luck
12. Joe Flacco
13. Carson Wentz
14. Matthew Stafford
15. Baker Mayfield
16. Eli Manning
17. DeShaun Watson
18. Mitchell Trubisky
19. Dak Prescott
20. C.J. Beathard
21. Blake Bortles
22. Alex Smith
23. Marcus Mariota
24. Brock Osweiler
25. Case Keenum
26. Sam Darnold
27. Josh Rosen
28. Derek Anderson


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

2018 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 7 ISSUES: JERMAINE KEARSE SHAPING UP AS TERRIFIC VALUE PLAY GIVEN JETS' INJURIES

It is only Wednesday but already the New York Jets is filled with injuries that will likely reshape the offense for the team in going against the Minnesota Vikings at home in Week 7.  Having already lost top wideout Quincy Enunwa to an ankle injury, deep threat Robert Anderson didn't practice on Wednesday due to a sore hamstring.  Making matters more troubling was that Terrell Pryor also sat out with a sore groin which means Jermaine Kearse is the only man left standing in terms of a Jets wideout having fantasy football value.  Kearse does come off a nice Week 6 where he caught 9 passes from Sam Darnold and those in PPR formats should especially be intrigued regarding his fortunes against the Vikings.  For the time being, add Kearse given the fact Enumwa is definitely out and Anderson's suddenly looking a bit murky to go. 


2018 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 7 ISSUES: COOPER KUPP (KNEE) RULED OUT WEEK 7

It was no surprise on Wednesday when Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay announced that second-year wideout Cooper Kupp would miss Week 7's game versus the San Francisco 49ers due to the MCL sprain he suffered last Sunday.  It was shocking to see Kupp return to the game after going down in a scary fashion via a horsecollar tackle and one has to wonder if that caused further damage.  Be that as it may, this is good news for Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods who are both in the WR 1 region in a plush matchup against a San Fran defense that just got sone getting strafed by Aaron Rodgers Monday night.  Given the short week to prepare for the nuclear Rams offense, Cooks and Woods figure to put up a bunch of points.  


2018 FANTASY BASEBALL POSTSCRIPT: KRIS BRYANT 3B CHICAGO CUBS

What on earth is going on here?  Just two short years from being in consideration for a top 2-3 pick in fantasy baseball drafts and at a time when he is just reaching the prime years, Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant is in the process of trying to halt two straight years of declining offensive numbers.  While it was bad enough that Cubs manager Joe Maddon planted Bryant in the second spot in the team's order in 2017 (which robbed him of RBI chances), it is concerning that he still saw declines in 4 out of the 5 standard ROTO categories (all but batting average) that were just the undercard to what became an even more horrifying performance a year later.  Even though this publication and pretty much everyone else in the fantasy baseball community gave Bryant a mulligan for his 2017 dip, no one could have foreseen him hitting just .272 with 13 home runs and 52 RBI in 447 at-bats last season.  Now right off the bat, it does need to be said that Bryant was severely impacted by a persistent shoulder injury that lingered almost the entire second half of the year.  Any shoulder ailment almost always negatively hurt prospective power and so Bryant's sizable decline in homers and RBI can at least partly be explained on that front.  Bryant does need to take some blame though for striking out more often (K/9 going from 19.2 in 2017 up to 23.4 last season) and at the same time drawing fewer walks (14.3 BB/9 down to 10.5 during the same span).  Perhaps the extended slump Bryant dealt with contributed to him being more aggressive at the dish and falling out of his swing more often but the numbers were a complete letdown considering the spring cost.  Finally, Bryant already seems done with stealing bases as he has now gone from a high of 13 in 2015 all the way down to just 2 a year ago.  So after digesting all the negativity, what happens next?  Well let's start with Bryant going into just his age-27 season in 2019 and we all know that is when the prime years begin and often the offensive numbers take off.  We also firmly believe the shoulder was a big problem that both Bryant and the Cubs minimized to the public and was directly responsible for the numbers decline.  So figuring Bryant enters into 2019 spring training with a clean bill of health, we could be looking at a return to around 30 homers, 100 runs/RBI, and an average that will be in the neighborhood of .290.  That would certainly be a mighty valuable batch of numbers and be worthy of a second round pick in drafts.  The best part is that Bryant may slip to Round 3 coming off such a tough season and there we would not hesitate for a second jumping back into a fantasy baseball relationship with the guy.  The talent is just too obvious.
2019 PROJECTION:  .288 28 HR 95 RBI 110 R 7 SB

2018 FANTASY FOOTBALL INJURY FALLOUT: DEVONTA FREEMAN DONE FOR 2018 AS THE INJURY WOES CONTINUE

So in essence Atlanta Falcons running back and former Pro Bowler Devonta Freeman looks completely shot at the age of 26 after it was learned Tuesday he would be headed to IR due to needing groin surgery.  With Freeman having also dealt with knee and foot problems already this season which has kept him to just 14 carries for 68 meaningless yards, pretty much the entirety his 2018 campaign has gone bust and already we have clear evidence the guy serves as an example of a running back who has declined at a rapid rate due to the rough nature of the position.  While no one can take away how good Freeman was his first two years in the league, the troubling signs began in 2017 when he seemingly was hurt all year and didn't run very well when he was actually on the field.  Having always had an upright running style and an all-out approach that invited contact going back to his college days, the cumulative amount of punishment he received hastened this decline.  So now with Freeman out of the way, we get Tevin Coleman serving as the 1A to rookie Ito Smith's 1B and that means pretty much the same division of work in the past when Coleman was 1B to Freeman's 1A.  This obviously means Coleman is the guy to own primarily but Smith has had a knack for collecting touchdowns so far this season so he is worth an add as well.  Also when you think back to Coleman being far from a health marvel, Smith takes on even more long-term upside.  As for Freeman, obviously cut him loose but the Falcons may already be faced with cutting him loose after signing the guy to that big contract prior to 2017. 


Tuesday, October 16, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL POSTSCRIPT: JOSE RAMIREZ 3B CLEVELAND INDIANS

One of the major themes heading into fantasy baseball drafts last spring centered on whether or not the jump to 29 home runs for Cleveland Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez in 2017 was sustainable or not.  Having made a jump from just 11 long balls to the 29 that year, this became a major topic of discussion since Ramirez was being selected in the very pricey Round 2-3 range.  Well one MVP-type season later, we can firmly state that Ramirez is not only a power-hitting dynamo but also a complete five-tool monster as he absolutely went bonkers in all five standard ROTO categories.  Taking another sizable leap in homers with 39, Ramirez also set career-highs with 106 RBI, 110 runs scored, and 34 stolen bases.  Even though the average dipped a bit to .272, that was a fluke number due to Ramirez suffering from an unlucky .254 BABIP.  Basically no matter where you looked, Ramirez was exemplary and the fact he made a solid run at a 40/40 campaign speaks to how tremendous a player he has developed into.   Already universally acclaimed for possessing one of the best hitting approaches in the game going into the year, Ramirez dazzled in the advanced metrics world as well with a splendid 15.2 BB/9 and 11.5 K/9 rates.  Really, the only issue was the average but we already talked about how unlucky Ramirez was there with the batted ball.  Driving the latter point home, Ramirez has hit .312 and .318 the two seasons prior and with such exceptional patience/contact ability, there is no reason he can't go back to being a .300 hitter.  So while Mike Trout and Mookie Betts are set as the 1-2 picks in 2019 fantasy baseball, Ramirez is every bit in the discussion to go number 3.
2019 PROJECTION:  .304 37 HR 109 RBI 115 R 27 SB

Sunday, October 14, 2018

2018 FANTASY FOOTBALL ISSUES: LE'VEON BELL STILL NOT IN TOUCH WITH STEELERS

In what has been nothing short of a ridiculous drama to this point in the season, Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell still has not had contact with the team as he continues his holdout amid indications he will finally report during the Week 7 bye.  There are rumors Bell is not happy that the Steelers plan on using him in a committee with the emerging James Connor but this entire episode is a big issue for those owning fantasy football stock in both players.  Those who have shares in Connor want Bell to stay as far away from the team as possible since his arrival would eat into his workload by a decent margin.  Meanwhile, those who own Bell hope to get SOMETHING out of what has been a colossal draft bust pick at the top of Round 1 this past summer.  The best case scenario for both players would be if Bell were to get traded but there is nothing happening on that front yet.  As the drama unfolds heading to the Week 7 bye, hopefully, some more clarity will be found on this mess.  


2018 FANTASY BASEBALL EARLY HEALTH WATCH FOR SUNDAY'S GAMES

While the ACTIVE/INACTIVE lists won't be released for the 1:00 games until around 11:30 ET, we already are getting word on the following key health-related news:

-Washington Redskisns wideout Jamison Crowder won't be active due to a bum ankle.  It is no big loss since Crowder has been tremendously disappointing this season as he failed to come through as a potential PPR guy with Alex Smith at QB.

-Houston Texans QB DeShaun Watson will be a go.  Watson was never in any jeopardy of missing the game with a chest injury and he should be started with confidence vers Buffalo. 

-Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end O.J. Howard will play versus the Atlanta Falcons despite dealing with a knee injury but the return of Jameis Winston at QB who loves to target Cameron Brate at the position is bad news for his fantasy football outlook.

-Once again Redskins running back Chris Thompson can't stay healthy as he will sit Sunday with both a rib and knee injury.  Thompson is a big loss in PPR given his pass receiving chops and he will be replaced by Kapri Bibbs who only has moderate appeal as a deep-league FLEX option.

-New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell will start despite being limited during the week with an ankle injury.  This is a bummer for those who picked up Bilal Powell hoping for a swell workload against a brutal Indianapolis Colts defense. 

-Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook will be active Sunday but will be on an annoying snap count of between 20-25 which barely makes him worth starting.  This hamstring thing is becoming a major season-long issue that is turning Cook into a sizable bust.

-Matt Breida will be a game-time decision for the San Francisco 49ers with an ankle injury but given the Monday night start, he should be a no-go for all his owners.

-Greg Olsen will return to the Carolina Panthers today which is a big development for those who snagged him off the waiver wire (there were a decent amount who did) but the re-injury risk is very high.  A true boom-or-bust guy in every start the remainder of the season. 


Saturday, October 13, 2018

2018 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 6 ISSUES: RUNNING BACK SITUATIONS IN FLUX

Week 6 is already underway and we have seen the current chaos at the running back position as the Philadelphia Eagles had to split work between Corey Clement and Wendell Smallwood which made it a guessing game among the fantasy football community wondering which guy to use.  There are some other setups at hand for the remaining slate of games to throw further chaos at the position.  Let's take a look:

-It looks like Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook will return to a plush matchup versus the Arizona Cardinals but the player then threw some shade on that when he said to reporters Friday he won't go until he is "100 percent."  There is still the chance of re-injury here so Cook is far from a sure thing but it looks like he will be a go.

-The New York Jets have listed Isaiah Crowell as a game-time decision which means Bilal Powell needs to be scooped up everywhere since he is a very capable running back who also is a supreme pass catcher.  Powell would be looking at a tremendous matchup versus a brutal Indy Colts defense but a late report Friday suggested Crowell will give it a go which leaves both in RB 2 territory. 

-San Francisco 49ers running back Matt Breida was said to have a chance to play Monday despite an ankle injury but there is almost no chance of that happening.  Also given the Monday night start, his owners can't deal with the potential headache of a late scratch.

-Already those who own Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette are pulling their hair out about him missing so much time with an injured hamstring but he was said to have gotten in some work Friday.  Either way Fournette is out Week 6 and maybe even Week 7 by the looks of things.  T.J. Yeldon remains a big RB 1 in PPR.

-There is at least some mild concern that New England Patriots running back Sony Michel is being listed as questionable with a knee issue considering the Sunday night start time and the plush matchup versus the Kansas City Chiefs possible being missed.  All signs do point to Michel going but this is something to keep tabs on. 


Friday, October 12, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL POSTSCRIPT: SCOOTER GENNETT 2B CINCINNATI REDS

Anyone who took a look at overall 2018 fantasy baseball drafts would have quickly realized that there was very little respect coming Cincinnati Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett's way after what was a very good career-year performance the season prior when he smacked 27 home runs, drove in 97, and batted .295.  What likely stirred this trend was Gennett absolutely sailing past his previous norms in the power categories as he served mostly as a doubles hitter who could post decent averages but also not steal bases while working the middle infield.  While Gennett still doesn't steal bases, his power game was in fine working order again in 2018 as he clubbed 23 home runs, drove in 92, and posted a .310 average in 638 at-bats.  The numbers don't lie as they always say and they read Gennett cementing himself as a mid-20's home run guy who also posts 80-plus marks in runs/RBI, and an average hovering around .300.  That type of four category production works nicely on any fantasy baseball roster despite the small demerit of not much in the way of steals from a position you like to get a decent haul in that category from.  Still, only 28 as 2019 arrives, Gennett was a classic case of a hitter who put it all together when the prime years arrives. Stamp him as 100 percent legit folk and take advantage of any league that overlooks him again. 
2019 PROJECTION:  .304 25 HR 93 RBI 84 R 6 SB  

2018 FANTASY FOOTBALL THURSDAY WRAPUP: EAGLES/GIANTS

While the NFC East went into Week 6 with no team over .500 and everyone at least having a somewhat legitimate chance to claim the crown, you can now scratch off the New York Giants after what can only be described as a monstrously pathetic effort in losing 34-13 to the Philadelphia Eagles last night.  Still they had one major bright spot:

-Boy Saquon Barkley is the real deal.  In what was a nationally televised coming out party, Barkley was beyond electric in evoking Barry Sanders memories as the former Penn State star rushed for 130 yards and a score on 13 carries; while also chipping in 9 catches for 99 more yards.  Making a literal run at a Marshall Faulk-like season (including possible 100 catches), Barkley already is in the conversation as the most dominant offensive player in football and MAYBE takes a backseat to just Todd Gurley among running backs.  Maybe!

-On the flip side for the Giants, wideout Odell Beckham Jr. failed to build off his terrific Week 5 performance as he caught 6 balls for 44 yards.  With the Giants and QB Eli Manning unable to throw deep, Beckham was effectively neutered in this one from the jump.  So far Beckham's fantasy football owners are not getting what they paid for to secure the first-round talent and now let's see if the next outburst arrives.

-Speaking of Manning, the embattled Giants QB completed just 24-of-42 passes for 281 yards with 0 TD and 1 INT.  Manning is quickly earning a "Checkdown Eli" label as that is all he seems to do nowadays and the passes he was missing were downright scary last night.  Already Manning looks like one of the worst passers in the league and while Barkley has been beyond terrific, it is becoming more apparent by the day the team messed up not taking QB Sam Darnold last April.

-Eagles QB Carson Wentz is now looking like he has knocked off the rust as he was in complete control last night in completing 26-of-36 passes for 278 yards with 3 TD and 0 INT.  Throwing well on the move and showing great timing with his receivers, Wentz looks almost all the way back to his MVP form of last season.

-The main target for Wentz on his big night was wideout Alshon Jeffery who snagged 8 balls for 74 yards and 2 scores.  Once again Jeffery showed a knack for scoring touchdowns but he has been a PPR monster two of the last three games as well.  All the guy has to do is stay healthy which has been his biggest challenge. 


Thursday, October 11, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL POSTSCRIPT: PAUL GOLDSCHMIDT 1B ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Reaffirming how the fantasy baseball season is six months long and not three, we present to you the maddening 2018 campaign of Arizona Diamondbacks All-Star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.  A locked-in superstar who had been an incredibly dominant five-tool fantasy baseball for years, Goldschmidt was almost universally seen as one of the most stable prospective first-round picks given the fact he was flat in his prime at the age of 30 and was as durable a player as there is.  What happened next almost defied comprehension as a slow start to the season in March/April (.273, 4 HR, 30.3 K/9) soon morphed into a comically inept May (.144, 3 HR, 31.5 K/9) that actually elicited outlandish talk that Goldschmidt was going through a premature decline or that he was maybe on steroids previously.  While we were as shocked as anyone about how poorly Goldschmidt was swinging the bat, patience was preached from this peanut stand given his youth and for the fact, the veteran was simply fighting through an extended slump which happens to everyone at various times.  Thus, it was no shock when Goldy proceeded to go absolutely nuclear with the bat from that point onward as he batted .364 in June, .317 in July, and .356 in August to completely re-establish himself as the premier first baseman in fantasy baseball.  Despite those rough first two months, Goldy still ended up with another overall dominant campaign as he batted .290 with 33 home runs, 95 runs, and 83 RBI while making it four seasons in a row accruing at least 665 at-bats.  In terms of the advanced metrics, Goldschmidt's K/9 went up a bit to 25.1 but that was skewed by the 30.0-plus marks the first two months of the season.  The remaining four months saw Goldy back to around career norms which means there is no need to say there are some growing holes in his bat.  Really, the only quibble we have with Goldy was the massive drop in stolen bases as he swiped just 7 in 2018 (down from 32 and then 18 the two years prior) but this is no shock when you consider that bigger-bodied players like the D-backs slugger tend to lose their speed quickly when they reach the age of 30.  So while we need to project the loss of steals in Goldy's price tag moving forward, he is still top-shelf in the other four categories which place him again in first-round territory.
2019 PROJECTION:  .295 34 HR 107 RBI 104 R 8 SB  

2018 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 6 ISSUES: BAD SEASON JUST GOT WORSE FOR DEVONTA FREEMAN

As 2018 fantasy football drafts got underway, yours truly had the nagging suspicion that Atlanta Falcons running back Deonvta Freeman was someone you may want to avoid.  While Freeman was healthy as training camp got underway, he was coming off a rough 2017 where he missed time with a knee injury and also rushed for fewer than 1,000 yards for the first time since he was a 2014 rookie.  Then there was Freeman's history of concussions and a violent running style that seems to invite contact and thus put the guy in constant additional injury jeopardy.  With very capable backups in Tevin Coleman and Ito Smith behind him, Freeman was also not guaranteed as big a piece of the carry pie as he was from his big years in 2015-16.  

Fast forward to present day and it looks like Freeman will miss Week 6 with a foot injury, which of course follows missing 3 other games with a bum knee.  With just 68 yards rushing, 5 catches, and zero total touchdowns to this point, Freeman has been a gigantic fantasy football bust is every sense of the word.  Already it is beginning to look like Freeman is not able to stay healthy and going back to his days in college, his upright running style has taken a major toll on his body.  While Freeman is still in his prime for a running back, the fact he can't stay on the field is a terrible omen for the rest of the season.  Add in the decent play of both Coleman and especially Smith and Freeman's days in Atlanta could be numbered in terms of 2019.  So while Freeman's owners can't simply just cut the guy loose given the high 2018 price tag, we can't say that things will be getting a whole lot better as we move along.  


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

2018 FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 6 ISSUES: NEW LIFE POSSIBLY ON TAP FOR LeSEAN McCOY

The rumors began in earnest on Monday and by early Wednesday they were beginning to take on a life of their own in terms of social media hype and attention.  We of course are talking about reports indicating the Philadelphia Eagles have engaged the Buffalo Bills about reuniting with running back LeSean McCoy who would presumably fill the void left by Jay Ajayi being lost for the season with a torn ACL.  With McCoy wasting away on a rebuilding Buffalo team, this report makes a ton of sense as the veteran showed in Week 5 that he still has some juice left in the tank and he surely would be rejuvenated going to an Eagles team who have one of the best offensive lines in the game.  It has been a rough go of it so far for both McCoy and his fantasy football owners but this could be a big light at the end of the tunnel if the rumors become a fact.  What is likely happening is that the Eagles want to take a look to see if Wendell Smallwood and Corey Clement can adequately handle being the co-starters at running back for the team Thursday versus the New York Giants and if they don't come through, a deal could be completed quickly.  So for those owning stock in McCoy, stay patient as a sizable move upward in value be arriving soon.  


2018 FANTASY BASEBALL POSTSCRIPT: JOSE ABREU 1B CHICAGO WHITE SOX

For the first time in five MLB seasons since coming over from Cuba, Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu went down as a fantasy baseball disappointment.  Having established himself the previous four years as one of the most consistent players in the game, Abreu saw his offensive numbers fall across the board as a barren White Sox lineup lent little support and health woes that cropped up during the second half of the season furthered the trouble.  In the end what we got out of Abreu were just 22 home runs, 78 RBI, and a .265 average which all went down as career-low totals for the slugger.  While those numbers fell short of what was anticipated, some perspective is needed here on a number of key fronts as we look toward his potential impact for the upcoming fantasy baseball season.  For one thing, Abreu will still be just 32 when the 2019 season gets underway which still represents prime years for a power-driven player.  In addition, Abreu’s advanced metrics show a hitter who is still the same guy he has always been since making his debut in 2014 when he slammed 36 home runs, collected 107 RBI, and batted .307.  Both Abreu’s BB/9 (6.7) and K/9 (19.7) rates were in the middle range of his historical performances in those categories and one of the main reasons the batting average fell to .265 last season (after previously never going under .290) was due to the fact his .294 BABIP was a major outlier compared to those career norms.  Digging into that crucial last point a bit more, Abreu’s BABIP during his first four years in the majors ranged from .327 and .356 which right there tells you last season’s .294 was a primary cause for the batting average tumble.  Taking this a step further, if you were to throw out the highest and lowest BABIP’s of Abreu’s five-year career (see you later .294 and .356), the remaining three marks would be .333, .327, and .330 which are almost clones of one other.  So it stands to reason that Abreu’s typical BABIP is around .330 which is a sizable leap from the .294 of a year ago and this also means a batting average uptick in 2019 to around .290 is likely.  What will also help the average and the rest of Abreu’s counting numbers would be good health and that was not part of the equation for the first time in his career last season as well.  Having previously never had a season without at least 622 at-bats, Abreu’s paltry 553 total in 2018 compared to his career norms is an easy to spot indicator of why he fell away from the 30-HR/100-RBI mark.  In the midst of what was his best hitting stretch of the season during the month of August, Abreu first was forced to undergo emergency surgery for a strangled testicle (it hurts just typing this).  Things then got even more bizarre in mid-September when Abreu was hospitalized due to complications from an ingrown hair and that proved to be the final nail in the coffin for his 2018 season.  So as you can see, Abreu’s injuries were not of the baseball variety and really were as fluky as can be which means we don’t have to worry about him being a constant source of DL frustration going forward.  With Abreu hopefully having better luck on the freaky injury front, the counting totals should rebound to where they should be.  So in putting this all together, it is easy to make a case that Abreu will go right back to the upper-tier fantasy baseball first baseman he historically has been before his very difficult 2018 clouded the picture a bit.  With some very unlucky health and a tough BABIP combining to do an unfair number on Abreu a year ago, our advice is to take advantage of the draft discount this spring and dive back in here without hesitation. 

2019 PROJECTION:  .288 26 HR 98 RBI 84 R 1 SB  

ANNOUNCEMENT #2: BACK UP AND RUNNING

All right so for those who didn't already notice the new posts from yesterday, we are officially back up and running on a daily basis both on the site and through Twitter (@RotoBoss).  I have to say that we were bombarded with requests and pleas to keep the site going and a few donors helped get things back up and running in terms of the costs I talked about earlier.  So with yesterday being the starting point, we are once again ready to share the latest fantasy football/fantasy baseball news, notes, and features here on a daily basis.  Glad to be back!  

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL POSTSCRIPT: J.T. REALMUTO CATCHER MIAMI MARLINS

J.T. Realmuto:  Meet the new number 1 catcher for 2019 fantasy baseball!  With previous top options Gary Sanchez of the New York Yankees and Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants both coming off a bad year to differing degrees in 2018, it was the Miami Marlins' J.T. Realmuto who set the bar offensively at the position last season by reaching career-highs in home runs (21), RBI (74), and runs (74); while also batting a solid .277 in the magical age-27 campaign.  While Realmuto had to deal with a severe lack of support in the Miami lineup, he continues to reach new offensive levels every season which is the path you want your prospective fantasy baseball players to be traversing.  The fact Realmuto can combine a good batting average with 20-home runs power makes him extremely valuable due to the utter lack of offensive contributors at the position but of course, the debate about using an early-round pick on a catcher is one of the more pronounced discussions each spring.  By now you all know that our stance is firm in suggesting not to use an early round pick on a catcher and we only have to see the hurt that Posey and Sanchez put on their fantasy baseball owners the year prior as evidence of the risks in making such a move.  With that said, Realmuto is the guy you take if you do choose to go that route and since he is just getting into his prime, there should be nice offensive stability here despite the high risk of injury when manning the tools of ignorance.  About the only other quibble we have here outside of the injury factor is that Realmuto's days of running already appear to be over as he swiped just 3 bags in 531 at-bats last season.  After swiping 12 bases in 2016, Realmuto has sharply declined in that area in taking just 8 and last year's 3 since.  Considering how unmatched the rest of Realmuto's numbers are at the position compared to the rest of the catchers, this is not a major deal by any means in terms of the guy's 2019 value.
2019 PROJECTION:  .279 19 HR 75 RBI 77 R 4 SB 

2018 FANTASY FOOTBALL ISSUES: MARK INGRAM USAGE A CONCERN FOR ALVIN KAMARA OWNERS?

Hmmmmm.  When one were to look at the final score of New Orleans Saints 43 Washington Redskins 19 from Monday night's game, fantasy football owners of running back Alvin Kamara had to expect at least one touchdown and maybe two considering the high score.  Add in a bunch of rushing yards and receptions and Kamara would add another layer to what has been a monstrous 2018 fantasy football campaign.  Alas, Kamara's owners had to be at least a bit uneasy seeing the returning Mark Ingram grab 10 more carries than his counterpart (16-6), while also catching one fewer pass but for more yards.  Perhaps the most worrisome aspect of the Saints' attack Monday night was Ingram getting all of the goal-line work when it came to a running back getting the carry and the veteran made good on two rushing scores.  Then there was the nott-to-be-overlooked aspect of Saints QB Taysom Hill getting 5 carries for 23 yards and a score himself as the former BYU star is now being featured as a goal-line runner.  Add it all up and Kamara's 6.00-plus points in fantasy football last night was a pure dud.  Now the question is whether or not this was a one-game deal or an indication of how the future attack will look.  As far as my thoughts, I think Ingram is a very real goal-line threat to Kamara and it will only help the former that he made good on two rushing scores from in-close.  Add in Hill's growing role around the goal-line and this is not the development Kamara's owners want.  On the flip side, Kamara was a monster last season with Ingram in the lineup and his receiving back responsibilities don't figure to change much.  So in PPR formats I think Kamara will be just fine at maybe a bit of a reduced RB 1 price but in standard formats there is a concern here for sure.  Stay tuned as the Saints have a bye in Week 6 but this is something to monitor going forward.