Tuesday, November 13, 2018


That's right we are already looking ahead to 2019 with the release of our first of two offseason 2019 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guides as our 230 page "Early Offseason Edition" has hit the shelves.  You can purchase the guide using the Amazon link below and our later "Post-Free Agency Edition will be out by the end of January.  As always our player previews go deeper than any other publication out there and we also left no stone uncovered with separate features such as top rookies, busts, sleepers, Tommy John 2019 risk report, position eligibility, and much more.  So use the link below to get your copy today!


                                                              Image result for adalberto mondesi

For the kid once known as "Raul Jr.", it is not an understatement to say that Kansas City Royals shortstop prospect Adalberto Mondesi will be among the most-hyped "have to have him" players entering into 2019 fantasy baseball drafts.  While Mondesi's ugly hitting struggles prior to last season were well-documented, it appeared that a change in his stance at the dish while in the minors have unlocked what can only be described as tremendous pure physical talent.  It is very rare to find a player who is built both for high-end power and speed like Mondesi is and his 75-game run with the Royals a year ago (.276, 14 home runs, 32 stolen bases) was a league-clincher for many who were lucky enough to pick him up off waivers.  Even though it is far from an exact science, extrapolating Mondesi's half-season run with the Royals last season would result in absolutely silly numbers and that will fuel the hype train as 2019 drafts arrive.  So in terms of what to do with Mondesi in such a crazed environment, it is would be an impossible sell to avoid paying what is expected to be a very high price for the power/speed marvel this spring but we also need to remind you of the endless cases of guys with similar half-year explosions falling on their faces the following year.  It is under this conservative breath where you need to really focus in on the fact that despite all the beautiful surface numbers last season, Mondesi's plate approach remain very ugly as his 3.8 BB/9 was pathetic and the 26.5 K/9 were nothing to write home about either.  So that .276 Mondesi hit last season is unlikely to be repeated going forward if those advanced metrics don't improve and remember this is still the same guy who hit .170 and .185 during trial looks with the team from 2016-17.  In the end, you really don't want to get caught up in the craziness that will be Mondesi's 2019 draft cost because the jury is still out here on what kind of overall offensive player he can be. 

2019 PROJECTION:  .253 23 HR 65 RBI 77 R 44 SB  


It is a very lean week in fantasy football as Week 11 brings a slew of bye weeks that will take a out a slew of prime players who need to be replaced by some slim wire pickings at this late stage of the season.  Still, we will always strive to look for value where it presents itself which brings us to this week's waiver wire adds.

Marcus Mariota:  Somewhat of an injury-prone enigma since coming into the league, it appears that Tennessee Titans QB Marcus Mariota has found some solid footing as he has tossed two touchdown passes in each of the last two games.  With the always brutal Indianapolis Colts defense on tap for Week 11, Mariota is our top streaming QB play of the week.

Eli Manning:  Finally getting some semblance of protection Monday night versus the San Francisco 49ers, New York Giants QB Eli Manning had a turn-back-the-clock outing in tossing three touchdown passes in bringing his team behind late to get the win.  Manning now gets the simply horrendous Tampa Bay Buccaneers pass defense for Week 11 and the addition of OG Jamon Brown may just help further keep his QB upright to do some more damage. 

Josh Adams:  It is last call on Eagles running back Josh Adams who was in this space a week ago and now has a public endorsement from head coach Doug Pederson to be used more freely in Week 11.  Adams is a bruising back who can be an instant goal-line gem and has deceptive speed in averaging over 6.0 per carry his past two games as well.  This could be another big mid-season add for those who are aggressive here. 

Theo Riddick:  This obviously applies just to PPR leagues as Riddick has gotten a ton of targets the last two weeks since Golden Tate was sent packing.  Riddick has always had some good RB 2/3 value in PPR when he is featured like this and so he is an especially good add in those formats given the light schedule for Week 11.

Rashaad Penny:  It has been nothing but frustration trying to figure out the Seattle backfield this season and more of the same is on tap for Week 11 as rookie Rashaad Penny finally looked like a first-round pick last Sunday.  The injury return of Chris Carson figures to cap the output of Penny though and so this is likely a RB 3 situation for all involved.

Anthony Miller:  Basically any Chicago Bears offensive player is worth an add given how great this unit has been this season and that goes for rookie wideout Anthony Miller who comes off his best game of the year in Week 10 and who has firmly passed Taylor Gabriel on the depth chart.  Given how much the Bears have been throwing of late, Miller is a big add for this week. 

John Ross:  While we are still waiting for the consistently explosive play that made John Ross a college star, he remains in a good spot on a Cincinnati Bengals offensive unit that is in desperate need of consistent receiving production given the injuries to A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert. 

Josh Reynolds:  The season-ending injury to Cooper Kupp moves Los Angeles Rams wideout Josh Reynolds up a notch and that alone makes him a somewhat intriguing option in a major shootout game on tape versus the Kansas City Chiefs. 

Jonnu Smith:  Going along with the recent solid play of QB Marcus Mariota has been tight end Jonnu Smith who has caught a touchdown in each of the last two games.  Given how much Mariota ;iked to throw to Delanie Walker in the past, Smith should be a top tight end priority. 

Friday, November 9, 2018


So life is good this week for Ben Roethlisberger owners huh?  Wow the Pittsburgh Steelers veteran QB was beyond magnificent Thursday night as he completed 22-of-25 passes for 328 yards and 5!!!! touchdowns in completely dissecting the woeful Carolina Panthers defense.  It was almost comical how easy Roethlisberger had it in the game and he is in the midst of one his greatest fantasy football numbers season ever.  While Big Ben does tend to fall off a bit on the road, his fully trustworthy of being a top-tier fantasy football passes into the playoff weeks.

-Coming off a recent run-in with the law after being stopped for driving 100-mph, Steelers wideout Antonio Brown was no worse for wear on the field as he caught 6 balls for 96 yards and a score.  Still without peer as the top wideout in all of fantasy football, Brown is as good as ever in giving his owners a massive advantage heading into any contest.

-Even though he gets overshadowed by his much more heralded position mate, Steelers wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster is no slouch as he caught 3 balls for 90 yards and a score Thursday night.  Smith-Schuster got the fun started for Ben Roethlisberger by catching a 70-yard bomb on the team's first drive and only a lopsided score kept his night from becoming even more potent.  With the Steelers offense as explosive as any unit in the league, Smith-Schuster should continue being graded as a top WR 2. 

-While he got destroyed in pass protection all night, Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey was a TD machine as he rushed for 77 yards and a score on 14 carries; while also adding two more scores on 5 catches for another 61.  McCaffrey has been every bit the fantasy football monster he was projected to be this season coming off a big summer exhibition performance and the fact he has not worn down from the additional workload is another big plus. 

-A possible concussion marred what was looking to be another splendid outing for Steelers running back James Connor who rushed for 65 yards and a score on 13 carries and was looking at a big second-half workload with them up by so much.  Unfortunately, Connor went into the tent to be checked out for the concussion and then proceeded to go back to the locker room to finish his night after a brief return.  With Le'Veon Bell expected to return next week, Connor all of a sudden looks very shaky in the immediate future after a truly outstanding performance leading up to this. 

-A big start for Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton quickly dissolved into a sack-filled disaster as he completed 23-of-29 passes for 193 yards with 2 scores and 1 INT.  While the numbers were not terrible overall, Newton failed to capitalize on obvious passing opportunities in the second half due to a never-ending Steelers rush.  Still, Newton has been very good almost all season and should continue to be looked at as a prime QB 1 the rest of the season. 

Thursday, November 8, 2018


Another season and another all-or-nothing campaign put forth by new Tampa Bay Rays catcher Mike Zunino in 2018.  Already carrying the reputation for being one of the most pronounced strikeout-prone hitters in the game, Zunino's 37.0 K/9 last season was laughable and the corresponding .201 average was predictably terrible.  The real shame of Zunino's high-K approach is that it almost completely overshadows some very impressive power as the former third overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft has cracked 25 and 20 home runs the last two seasons.  Unfortunately, we just can't stomach the brutal average under a level of strikeouts that make even Joey Gallo recoil with disgust.

2019 PROJECTION:  .205 23 HR 57 RBI 44 R 0 SB  

Wednesday, November 7, 2018


Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins could sit out Week 10 due to the foot injury he suffered in last Sunday's game that needed an MRI in order to rule out a break.  While the MRI came back clean, Watkins reportedly was in quite a bit of discomfort on Tuesday and could be headed for a questionable tag.  Chris Conley would then move up into Watkins' spot for Week 10 if needed. 

Analysis:  Watkins has been your classic WR 3 in 2018 fantasy football almost throughout the entire season so far as he sits clearly behind Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce in the receiving pecking order on the team.  Be that as it may, he has established a dependable weekly floor that will be missed if he were to sit out.  Anyone owning stock should grab Conley right away in order to protect themselves if Watkins were in fact to sit out.  This is one injury situation worth monitoring as we head through the remainder of the week. 


Yup already.  We have gotten a ton of emails asking when the first of our two annual fantasy baseball draft guides go on sale and we are happy to say the "Early Offseason Edition" will be available hopefully by this weekend.  As always, our early offseason edition has profiled over 700 players and ranked them all before those who are free agents find new homes.  However our annual sleepers, all-value team, top rookies, Ten Burning Questions, Tommy John report, and so much more are included in this massive 233!!!! page book-style guide.  So if interested, be sure to reserve your early copy by using the BUY NOW tab on the top of the homepage as they will go quick. 


With the 2018 fantasy football season down the stretch, we are always on the lookout for prime difference-makers players who can help solidify a league championship or tilt the balance of power in your league.  Under this premise, we take a closer look at Green Bay Packers numbers 2 wideout Marquez Valdes-Scantling who could be ready to be such a player after the news that former second option Geronimo Allison was done for the year due to a groin injury.  The 2018 fifth-round pick from South Florida was already turning heads before this news took place as he had caught either a touchdown pass or went over 100 receiving yards in four straight weeks including this past Sunday night versus New England.  Blessed both with top-end speed and a mammoth 6-4 frame, Valdes-Scantling now becomes the second option over Randall Cobb and behind only Davante Adams for the remainder of the 2018 fantasy football season.  Anyone who is prime position to catch balls from QB Aaron Rodgers is always a potentially explosive receiving option and so Valdes-Scantling should already be owned in your league based on this potential.  With the Packers facing the awful Miami Dolphins defense in Week 10, Valdes-Scantling should be started everywhere.  

Tuesday, November 6, 2018


Having openly stated that the team was going to concentrate heavily on the starting pitching market this winter, New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman quickly to work by bringing back veteran lefty C.C. Sabathia on a one-year deal worth $8 million.  With Sabathia having successfully reinvented himself from a power pitcher to one who succeeds now pitching to contact, he comes off another solid campaign in 2018 when he registered an ERA of 3.65 ERA and 1.31 WHIP.  In terms of his future fantasy baseball value, Sabathia should only be graded in the SP 5 realm in mixed leagues given his fragile health and mediocre K output.  


The offseason got off to a brutal start for the Houston Astros as we learned late Tuesday that power pitcher Lance McCullers will undergo Tommy John elbow surgery which will sideline him for all of 2019.  The fact McCullers will have the surgery is not a total shock in that he made up the classic case of a young pitcher who had an average fastball above 94 and so this once again adds credence to the notion that hurlers who make up such a class need to be treated with extreme caution in fantasy baseball drafts next spring.  On another front, McCullers' loss likely means the Astros will now be contenders for some of the top arms on the market led by Patrick Corbin. 


Week 10 is already upon us as we head towards the stretch run of the 2018 fantasy football season.  Here are some of the prime pickups for this week's slate of games.

Baker Mayfield:  While Mayfield has looked like a rookie the last few weeks, he gets the always forgiving Atlanta Falcons defense in Week 10 that will likely develop into a shootout. 

Mike Davis:  It look like Chris Carson will miss Week 10 with more injuries and so very capable backup Mike Davis is in play again as a terrific plug-in option against just an average Los Angeles Chargers run defense. 

Duke Johnson:  Speaking of the shootout versus Atlanta, the re-emergence of Duke Johnson as a passing option out of the backfield for Mayfield should result in another swell batch of catches in Week 10. 

Josh Adams:  Now that they are coming off a bye, the Philadelphia Eagles had plenty of time to include Josh Adams as a possible staring option for a listless run game.  Wendell Smallwood and Corey Clement are nice players but neither has distinguished themselves as reliable runners.  You always want to get in on the ground floor in situations like this and so go get Adams. 

Marquez Valdes-Scantling:  The big-play ability of Valdes-Scantling is a great match for Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers the wideout has now either caught a TD or gone for over 100 yards in each of the last four games.  Meanwhile, Geronimo Allison is likely headed for surgery which means Valdes-Scantling will continue to produce. 

John Ross:  With ace Cincinnati Bengals wideout A.J. Green expected to miss two games, deep threat John Ross is slated for a big uptick in targets. 

C.J. Uzomah:  Along the same lines as Ross, Bengals tight end C.J. Uzomah becomes a big potential outlet target of QB Andy Dalton. 


By Michael Wong 

Carlsband, CA.--The New York Mets and New York Yankees plan to battle it out for relief pitching this winter and the biggest name among them will be free agent power arm Andrew Miller.  GM Brian Cashman has always said trading away Miller was a big personal regret a few summers ago and a reunion could very well be in the cards.  Meanwhile, the Mets and new GM Brodie Van Wagenen are also big Miller fans as manager Mickey Callaway has a history with the player and they have him high on their priority list.  Also regarding the Mets, they are weighing whether or not to pursue a reunion with former All-Star closer Jeurys Familia but the optics of bringing him back a year after the failed returns of Jay Bruce and Jose Reyes make it a concern in terms of the fans not being on board.  Adam Ottavino menawhile is a big Mets target and he reportedly is interested in making the trip East. 

-Speaking of the Yankees, there is a big market for starting pitcher Sonny Gray who pitched very well on the road last season but bombed so badly at Yankee Stadium that it is impossible for him to return there. 

-Bryce Harper will be courted heavily by the St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies but the Yankees will not be in on those sweepstakes. 

-Patrick Corbin to the Yankees seems to be a lock according to the various reporters and league execs here. 

-The Los Angeles Angels will likely let Matt Shoemaker walk given his rash of injuries the last few seasons. 

-If Houston Astros pitcher Lance McCullers is forced to undergo elbow surgery as is looking like the case, don't count them out for J.A. Happ or C.C. Sabathia as a fallback option. 

-Speaking of the Cardinals, they are also willing to get involved with Craig Kimbrel and to a lesser extent Familia and Ottavino in looking to fix their ongoing closer issues. 

Saturday, November 3, 2018


Publicly, the Cleveland Indians and their front office personnel will tell you that reports they are interested in dealing away two-time Cy Young ace pitcher Corey Kluber has more to do with the $17 million price tag in 2019 and not as much on numbers.  While the money issue is certainly a big one, we are not totally buying this explanation as Kluber is carrying around some red flags with his advanced numbers that could hint at trouble ahead.  We already got done on our Kluber concerns in our 2019 fantasy baseball draft guide due out later this month and we are going to tell you now that drafting him this season may not go swimmingly.  One reason for such concern is the fact Kluber has now logged five straight seasons of 200-plus innings which is a very heavy workload for a pitcher and especially one who is now turning 33 in April.  Driving this worry home is the fact that Kluber's average fastball velocity has declined every single season since that run began; going from 94.6 in 2014 down to just 92.4 a year ago.  The two items are certainly related and so anyone looking to use a second or third-round pick on Kluber this spring should tread carefully.  We saw some injuries pop up last season as well for Kluber which again goes with the age and innings totals and so it makes total sense the Indians are looking to jump ship.  We will go more into this as the winter unfolds but already start putting Kluber down a few spots on your 2019 cheat sheets.  

Friday, November 2, 2018


Given that Cleveland Indians outfielder Michael Brantley had been nothing but a monumental health mess the previous two years, it was no great surprise when the veteran hitter found himself in the late-round territory when it came to spring drafts.  While this publication was running out of patience with Brantley and all the missed games like everyone else, we also made it a point to say that the guy remained one of the very best pure hitters in baseball.  Continuing on that point, we also made sure to point out if Brantley could ever just scratch out 500 at-bats again, he could prove to be a tremendous value play.  So whether Brantley was praying to the health gods or not, all the planets aligned on that front as he amassed 631 at-bats in what turned out to be a nice comeback season in 2018.  Capable of hitting for average in his sleep, Brantley predictably batted .309 and still showed himself to be a power/speed asset by cracking 17 home runs and stealing 12 bases.  When you add in the 89 runs scored and 76 RBI, it was an all-around impressive haul of numbers by Brantley.  With all that being said, however, we still need to be cautious regarding an investment in Brantley this spring since he still carries an injury-prone label which will only grow at the age of 32.  On the flip side, Brantley is almost a lock for another .300 average and a near 15/15 output in homers/steals which means if you can snag him at an OF 3 price, be sure to do so.
2019 PROJECTION:  .310 15 HR 74 RBI 83 R 11 SB  


-Kurt Warner anyone?  Wow it was certainly an impressive debut for San Francisco 49ers undrafted third-string QB Nick Mullens who completed 16-of-22 passes for 262 yards with 3 touchdowns to torch the Oakland Raiders in the lopsided win.  Despite not having much in the way of size, Mullens was very decisive with his throws and showed very good accuracy as he was in completely control throughout.  I tweeted last night that I had flashbacks to Kurt Warner's debut when he exited the grocery store where he stocked shelves and then engineered one of the greatest rags-to-riches careers in NFL history.  Now I am certainly not suggesting this is where Mullens is headed but the confidence and accuracy was very apparent and operating in a Kyle Shanahan offense always has its pluses.  The fun should continue too as Mullens will get the decimated New York Giants defense the next time out (there is no decision for Shanahan to make here other than to give the kid another start) and so those in two QB formats should absolutely take a look here.

-Welcome back to the end zone Pierre Garcon.  The always underrated San Francisco 49ers wideout caught three balls for 56 yards and a score Thursday as he quickly became a key target of QB Nick Mullens.  While it has been a tough go of it for Garcon of late due primarily to injuries, he should be watched next week to see if he can build off such an outing and become useful again for fantasy purposes.

-We said from the start of the season that San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle was set to be a huge sleeper and boy has the kid come through.  While injuries are always a threat here, Kittle has been terrific when on the field as he was Thursday in catching 4 balls for 101 yards and a score.  Think Zack Ertz with better speed here as a lofty comparison and already we can grade Kittle as a top-five tight end given what we have seen so far this season.

-The Raiders are giving the Giants a firm challenge for the number 1 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft as QB David Carr and the entire offense was abysmal last night.  As far as Carr was concerned, he completed 16-of-22 throws for 171 yards with no TD's or INT's and took six sacks.  Carr can't take all the blame since the Raiders O-line can't block your grandmother but bout has his career spiraled out of control to the point a benching could be imminent for backup A.J. McCarron.  Obviously Carr has zero fantasy football value but this is becoming quite the horror show even the biggest Raiders haters couldn't have anticipated.

-Tough break literally for 49ers running back Raheem Mostert who suffered an ugly broken arm Thursday night that will finish his season.  The real shame is that Mostert was terrific before the break as he rushed for 86 yards and a score on just 7 carries but now this puts more value on Matt Breida and gets the slow as molasses Alfred Morris back into some carries.

-Nothing doing for Raiders tight end Jared Cook who despite the nice matchup on paper, caught just two balls for 20 yards Thursday.  By now it has become common knowledge that Cook can't ever find consistency but his occasional big games always keep us coming back.  Resist this urge going forward if you can.

Thursday, November 1, 2018


While shortstop Manny Machado may have something to say about it, free agent outfielder Bryce Harper is ready to set records in terms of the massive contract he is expected to ink sometime over the winter in entering the open market at just 26.  Harper certainly did what he could to maximize his earnings potential in 2018 as he hit 34 homers, drove in 100 batters, and scored 103 runs for a surprisingly listless Washington Nationals team.  What was also encouraging to see was Harper stealing 13 bases which were the second-highest total of his career and came just a year after compiling only 4 in 2017.  It wasn't all positive however as Harper's average struggled to reach even .220 during the early summer and he needed a hot to finish to post a still ugly .249 mark.  What is really shocking is that this is the second time in the last three seasons Harper has failed to hit .250.  A lot of that volatility has been as a result of some rapidly fluctuating BABIP marks and in 2018 that number was slightly in the unlucky realm at .289 but also WAY down from .356 the season prior when Harper batted .319.  What we do then is look at some of the advanced metrics and here it is mostly good as Harper walks at some of the highest rates in baseball which will only help a batting average but his strikeouts have trended up of late in rising to 24.3 last season.  Since it is tough to get a true gauge here given all the conflicting numbers, we instead should fixate on the supreme power game and remaining speed in keeping Harper as a late first-round or even early second-round pick given the addition of some new names at the top of the overall rankings.
2019 PROJECTION:  .288 35 HR 97 RBI 104 R 11 SB 


Already the workloads have been impressive in the two games started by Cleveland Browns rookie running back Nick Chubb since veteran Carlos Hyde was dealt to the Jacksonville Jaguars but things are looking like they will take another turn for the better as the Georgia product gets a date with the brutal Kansas City Chiefs defense in Week 9.  Having surrendered the most points in all of fantasy football to opposing running backs so far this season. the only thing that can hold Chubb back from a monster day would be the score quickly getting out of hand which would then increase the usage of Duke Johnson in the passing game.  While this is a real threat, count on the Browns playing one of their better games of the season as the team should have some added juice behind their backs after the firing of Hue Jackson a few days ago and so Chubb should be graded out as a top RB 2 play for Week 9 when all of these factors are taken into consideration.  With Chubb receiving 18 carries in each of the last two games, the explosion that made him such a star in college has been evident so far and the Browns have no plans to alter the workload distribution with him and Johnson at least for the time being.  Even tough Chubb can't really gain RB 1 status in PPR formats due to the lack of receptions (think former teammate Sony Michel in New England for a similar scenario), the athletic ability and speed are there to make him a weekly high-end RB 2 as long as the Browns can resist being blown out early.  With Week 9 looking as enticing a matchup as you can get, Chubb should be started everywhere.