Showing posts with label Advanced Fantasy Football. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Advanced Fantasy Football. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Advanced Fantasy Baseball Daily


R.I.P. Kamala a.k.a. James Harris

Ramon Laureano Suspended For Brawl

Laureano was suspended for the Brawl (you can see it in the attached video) that ensued when he could no longer take the antagonist Alex Cintron's (Oakland's Hitting Coach) taunts and threats. Considering he never landed a punch or really even got the opportunity to try before being tackled, his punishment (especially in the short season) seems severe. That is why we have appeals.
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Don't Call It A Comeback

Charlie Blackmon cannot be stopped this season. Last night he collected another three hits to bring his batting average to .500 in 68 At-Bats. Blackmon is the first to achieve this feat since Barry Bonds in 2004. If he starts stealing bases again I would vote for Blackmon as Fantasy MVP! If nothing else his performance is fun to watch in a season with all sorts of unpredictabilities (and some sort of obvious) making the sport difficult to manage. Not to mention he makes the Rockies look good which is incredibly difficult given their tendency to do weird stuff to build their team.
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Unwritten Praise

Had I written the sleeper/breakout reports I used to write every pre-season this year, I would have spent a good amount of inches on Nick Solak. I love the guy. I tried to trade for him in my AL-Only league only to be rejected multiple times. If I had written about him I could be bragging about my level of fantasy genius. He looks like the Rangers new center fielder and plays just about every day.
From Baseball Prospectus:
The Rangers’ answer to that conundrum appears to be: everywhere. In 15 games, Solak has seen time in left field, center field, second base, first base, and at DH. The latter is probably his ultimate home, but the important thing for Texas is that he’s starting to do what they’re counting on him for: hit. And he’s about the only Ranger doing so. Even before Tuesday’s three-hit outing, Solak led the Rangers with a 121 DRC+. The power hasn’t been there (no homers and just three extra-base hits) but his BABIP (.293) doesn’t suggest he’s been getting lucky; he’s shown a keen recognition of the strike zone, too, with just seven strikeouts against six walks.

And In Completely Unrelated...

Presidential Candidate Joe Biden selected Kamala Harris as his running mate. I think this is a solid choice especially given his previous promise to select a woman and POC. Some in the Black Community blame her for the incarceration and long prison sentences of POC during her time as a State Attorney in California. This is ridiculous. She was doing the job she was hired to do putting away drug dealers and the like. She did not arrest anyone. She did not write the laws she was enforcing. She did not invent the sentences. She only did her job to the best of her ability. It should be a plus not a mark against her. If she does her job as VP half as well we will all be better off for it.


Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Fantasy Baseball Bats Disappear in Odd 2020 Season

Baseball Bats Slump Hard

 This has definitely been an odd season. 2019 featured a juiced ball that sent baseball's offense soaring to new heights. Even little middle infielders were contributing to the onslaught against starting pitchers. The 2020 season seems to be providing the pitchers with a bit of revenge, though maybe not quite as much as the slumpers on your fantasy team would lead you to believe. Check out this piece from Eno Saris of the Athletic:

The Giants had just four batters projected to be better than league average before the season, and one of them was Buster Posey. The Brewers’ Lorenzo Cain was one of only 12 center fielders projected to have an above-average bat across baseball this year. In Yordan Alvarez, the Astros had a player that was projected to have the 10th-highest OPS in baseball this year. These teams all lost vital cogs when these players opted out or were unable to join their teams.

But is there any evidence that this missing talent skews more toward the hitters? When it comes to non-COVID IL visits, the evidence is clear that pitchers are actually suffering more. Even when you look at the two teams most affected by the virus so far — the Cardinals and Marlins — though they are missing a lot of players, neither team was projected to be above league average with the bat. Friends, family, and fans of course are rooting for their recovery and return, but their absence does not explain the drop in league-wide offense.

A subscription to the Athletic is well worth a few dollars per month or the discounted annual rate. Eno goes on to give several reasons for the hitters slow start to the season - The Hitters Being Ahead of the Pitchers, The Ball is Less Lively, Pitching Strategies are Optimized, Even More Shifting, A Bigger Strike Zone and A Lot of Missing Talent. 

I have certainly experienced the missing talent. From my three teams alone I've lost Lorenzo Cain, Yoenis Cespedes and Nick Markakis (I traded him before he came back) to opt outs. I have had to do without Jorge Mateo, Mike Moustakas, Miguel Rojas, Drew Smiley, Tim Anderson, Justin Verlander, Ken Giles and Roberto Osuna! I am not the only one suffering. The fact that I have managed to stay near the top in these leagues is testament to that. 

The good news is if you managed to draft a good pitching staff you are probably doing pretty well. The current league average hitter is a new level of pathetic. If your guys are batting .220 or better, getting on base at .300 or better and hitting a few homers - that with solid pitching has been a winning combination in a lot of leagues. 

Not All Bad News:

MLBTR went through a few of the potential breakout batters for 2020. These guys are all off to strong starts and if by chance they are available in your league you should grab them post-haste!

JaCoby Jones, OF, Tigers: .333/.391/.786

Kyle Lewis, OF, Mariners: .373/.440/.567

Dylan Moore, OF, Mariners: .333/.388/.689 

Austin Slater, OF, Giants: .333/.450/.667

Donovan Solano, INF, Giants: .458/.476/.661

Mike Yastrzemski, OF, Giants: .306/.442/.629

The Giants (and Mariners) should be rocking with this news but instead they loss Buster Posey to an opt out, Brandon Belt to injury and poor performance, and a gang of guys getting old really fast! But back to the good news - these underrated guys are also doing great so far:

David Fletcher, INF, Angels: .313/.400/.493

James McCann, C, White Sox: .345/.387/.655

Giovanny Urshela, INF, Yankees: .312/.393/.583

Teoscar Hernandez, OF, Blue Jays: .300/.321/.620

(I wouldn't call it a comeback but...)

Charlie Blackmon, OF, Rockies: .484/.514/.703

I wonder why so many more breakouts are in the American League...




 

Friday, August 07, 2020

John Sickels Retires From Baseball

 I was sad to see this on Facebook this morning, from John Sickels:

I am retiring from baseball.

The pandemic has put a lot of things in perspective for me. There are no minors to write about, which means no money coming in.  And I realized that the only thing keeping me connected to the game was money and that aspect of my career had grown stagnant in recent years.

As an analyst, I was one of the pioneers, starting on-line baseball analysis back in 1996. I was at the top of the game for a long time and am proud of that. But nowadays, there are lots of people doing this work, and the best of them do it better than I do.

It is time for me to clear the field and leave it to people who are the innovators. I'm a dinosaur nowadays, and I want to go out on my own terms rather than just fading away. The universe is telling me it is time.

John was one of the very best for a long time. ESPN, Minor League Ball and the Athletic all benefited from his analysis and writing skills. He will be missed. 




Thursday, August 06, 2020

Back In Business

 It has been a while. I was writing sporadically at best and less and less frequently as time went on. Unfortunately, I slacked so much that I neglected to renew my advanced fantasy baseball domain and lost it. I've moved everything over to the new Advanced Fantasy Sports. Along with the domain change comes a change in direction which I'll explain. 

Writing baseball articles started to feel repetitive. I got tired of writing variations of the same sort of thing every day. So, I have a new plan. For the 2021 pre-season you will once again get my preparation articles, transaction reviews and sleeper predictions. But along the way you'll also get updates on the movies, tv, comics, books and so forth that keep me entertained. You may even see the occasional political article but I promise not to judge if you have a different opinion on things. In fact I encourage you to share your differing opinions. I don't think an echo chamber helps anyone. 

Between now and the end of the truncated 2020 season you'll see the occasional rant or idea about players or anything else. If you have questions or need advice on your fantasy teams, please leave me comments and I'll do my best to help. I'm not nearly as out of touch as my sporadic posting might suggest. 

I hope to see you around.  

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Draft Kings Lineup October 4th, 2015



I didn't place a lineup last week. But week two was a disaster...

QB Andy Dalton
RB Latavius Murray
RB Joseph Randle
WR A.J. Green
WR Julio Jones
WR Larry Fitzgerald
TE Larry Donnell
Flex Karlos Williams
Def Tampa Bay

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Draft Kings Lineup Sept 20th , 2015



I may regret replacing Alfred Morris with Lagarrette Blount at the last minute but we'll see...  Last week I netted $6 on $12 bet.

QB Drew Brees
RB L. Blount
RB Carlos Hyde
WR Antonio Brown
WR Davante Adams
WR Kendall Wright
TE Tyler Eiffer
Flex Larry Fitzgerald

Sunday, September 13, 2015

September 13th, Draft Kings NFL Lineup

My Draft KIngs NFL Lineup for this week:



QB Sam Bradford - The best situation he has ever been in as a pro, he finally has both protection and targets.
RB Eddie Lacy - He is a stud running back playing on a team that forces defenses to look for the pass.
RB Latavius Murray - He's been inconsistent but I think this is his year.
WR Dez Bryant - No doubt stud receiver with an above average QB.
WR Davante Adams - Forced into the starting lineup, I think he'll be a solid number two and an eventual stud.
WR Stevie Johnson - The best quarterback he's had in his career and plenty of targets available. Underrated.
TE Tyler Eiffert - He's healthy and could be the underneath weapon the Bengals need.
Flex Justin Forsett - A stud running back without the stud running back price-tag.
Def Bengals - The number one defense in the NFL this season.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

2015 Big Finishes and Slow Fades


Whether you are in contention or rebuilding, the player movement around the trade deadline is bound to be of interest. The contending teams are hoping to see big names changing leagues while the re-builders are hoping that some fresh young talents find new roles on new teams while they can still be had cheaply. But as fantasy owners we can not count on MLB owners and general managers to create the influx of talent we are all hoping to see. We are forced to make the best of what is already available and that is the focus of today's article.

The Big Finish - these are the players I see as likely to be better down the stretch than they may have been in the first half of the season.


C - John Jaso, Tampa Bay Rays

Jaso was hurt on the first day of the 2015 season and didn't player again until just a couple of weeks ago. He is already off to a hot start. Jaso hits for average with only occasional power but for a catcher (where he still qualifies in most leagues) he is an excellent hitter.

1B - Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox

The White Sox offense has been embarrassingly bad this season after making some big moves over the winter months in hopes of putting a contender on the field. Instead most of the White Sox young players have disappointed or crashed altogether. Abreu has had a fine season thus far, though not on the blistering pace of 2014. There have been signs of the White Sox breaking out of their team-wide slump and I think a big finish for the entire team is in the cards. When they do, Abreu will be right in the middle of it.

3B - Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox

Bogaerts has had a strong season thus far but I think it gets even better from here. While Bogaerts has been working on making better contact, he is also starting to hit the ball harder and I think we're about to see a power surge. He also has the speed to do more on the bases than he has thus far, though that may not be part of the game plan.

2B - Robinson Cano, Seattle Mariners

After an extremely slow start, Cano is finally cranking like an MVP should. Over the last three weeks he has hit .314/.368/.600 with five homers 15 runs and 14 RBI. You can probably get him on the
cheap from a disappointed owner out of the running.

SS - Cesar Hernandez, Philadelphia Phillies

Hernandez was a decent infield prospect a few years back but has always been blocked by the Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley legacy. Now that Rollins is a Dodger and Utley's performance and health has declined to the replaceable level, Hernandez is getting his shot. Ruben Amaro has already made it clear that the job is Hernandez's to lose for the rest of the season. He is hitting for average and stealing bases. He is still available in a lot of leagues.

OF - Matt Kemp, San Diego Padres

After the first two months of the season it would be easy to call Kemp a bust in San Diego and the deal that brought him there a horrible one fot the Padres (and they may still be true). Howver, Kemp has looked a lot like Kemp since June 1st. I bet you can get him for a song from his non-contending owners.

OF - Michael Conforto, New York Mets

Conforto is not the strongest or the fastest prospect in the Mets system but he was their best prospect because he works and the Mets can be confident he will continue to work to be the best player he can possibly be. He should hit for average with decent power this season. I think he is destined to be a Mets favorite for the next decade.

OF - Odubel Herrera, Philadelphia Phillies

Odubal Herrera has already had a solid season in limited at-bats. As the Phillies trade off veteran bats, expect Herrera's playing time to increase and his stats to improve with more consistent at-bats. The former Mid-West league betting champ could become a .300 hitting, gold-glove worthy center fielder with 40 steal speed in the very near future.

SP - Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies

Hamels is expected to be on the move soon. Returning to a contender should be the spark that pushes Hamels back into the top tier of major league starters. The no=hitter certainly won't hurt his trade value.

SP - Carlos Carrasco, Cleveland Indians

Carrasco has had a solid season marred by some bad luck. The bullpen has let him down to a certain extent and his BABIP against has soared this season to a fairly ridiculous .341 which should fall steadily if there is any justice in the world. His 2.89 FIP tells the story.

SP - Jeff Samardzija, Chicago White Sox

A poor start to the season and an under performing lineup have been a bad combination for Samardzija owners. But of late he is pitching well and I think the opportunity to play for a contender down the stretch and build value for his upcoming free agency will drive him forward.

MR - Kevin Seigrist, St. Louis Cardinals

Unless disaster strikes Trevor Rosenthal, Seigrist is unlikely to gain a closer role this season. But the Cardinals are winning so much and Seigrist has been so good that he is a worthy pickup in any league. He will probably add another half dozen saves down the stretch of the Cards keep winning.

MR - Ken Giles, Philadelphia Phillies - Giles is not perfect, he still walks a few too many and his BABIP is high. But Giles is the clear next-in-line as closer for the Phillies when Papelbon is traded.

CL - Jonathan Papelbon, Philadelphia Phillies

Papelbon has had another very good season on a lousy team. He has been adamant amount moving on to a contending team and the Phillies seem likely to grant his wish. Papelbon's value should only improve on a better team.

Bonus Prospects to Watch:

Corey Seager SS Los Angeles Dodgers - The consensus best prospect still in the minors is ready.

Hector Olivera 3B Los Angeles Dodgers - Olivera just needs to stay healthy and Justin Turner slows down.

Ketel Marte SS Seattle Mariners - A potential stud shortstop with a real bat needs to stay healthy and a shot will come.

Luis Severino SP New York Yankees - The Yankees best prospect is ready for the big leagues.

Robert Stephenson SP Cincinnati Reds - He is still developing but should get an opportunity if the Reds trade off their impending free agents.

Derek Law RP San Francisco Giants - His recovery from TJS seems to be complete and he could be a dominate reliever down the stretch.

Carl Edwards RP Chicago Cubs - He still walks too many but if the Cubs are still in it down the stretch he could be a big arm in the bullpen.



Thursday, June 13, 2013

Football: Michael Floyd 2013 Sleeper?

I do not have much to add this morning but I thought I would share a cool article I read about wide receiver Michael Floyd this morning. He's been working closely with Larry Fitzgerald and could be developing into a nice mid-to-late round sleeper.


Michael Floyd's Hunger to Improve

His best game of the season came in the finale, an eight-catch, 166-yard performance in San Francisco that flashed his strengths. It underscored another belief of Floyd around the Cardinals, that he may be the type of receiver that gets better the more he is fed the ball.

Floyd shrugs his shoulders at this notion. “The more I got reps, the better I got (last year),” Floyd said, before adding with another smile, “It doesn’t matter how many catches, although the more you get sure helps the confidence.”

Floyd ended up with 45 catches for 562 yards and two touchdowns in 2012. He may not double the receptions, but there is definitely a hope he can join Fitzgerald as a 1,000-yard receiver. Floyd isn’t going to make any grand proclamations, although he points out “B.A. gives you a lot of opportunities to be that wide receiver.”

“I am really happy with him,” Arians said. “I see him making leaps and bounds getting better. He’s very serious about what he does. He doesn’t like to make mistakes. He’s totally bought in and if he just continues to improve his fundamentals he’s another guy who can have a breakout year.”

The progress he has made has been significant and noticeable. He seems light years beyond a year ago, when Fitzgerald playfully – although pointedly – jabbed him through Twitter when Floyd didn’t attend one of Fitzgerald’s Minnesota workouts even though Floyd was 10 minutes away.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Distracted By Super Bowl 47



This time of year can be tough on a fantasy owner. Pitchers and Catchers is still an agonizingly long couple of weeks away. Fortunately we have the Super Bowl to distract us until then. As a fan of the New England Patriots I am a bit disturbed by how willingly I am rooting for the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens have become a rival for the Patriots in a way the division rival Miami Dolphins have not been in at least a decade. The Super Bowl 47 Odds favor the 49ers but the contest between the Harbaugh Brothers should be a ton of fun either way. Have brothers ever been opposing coaches in a game of this stature before?

As if the brother versus brother saga did not provide enough drama – this Super Bowl will make either the Ravens or 49ers the only remaining team to be undefeated in multiple Super Bowl appearances. The 49ers are undefeated in their five Super Bowls and the Ravens won their first and only previous appearance in 2000. With a victory the 49ers would also tie the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most Super Bowl victories with six. The Ravens have been defying the odds throughout the playoffs though I am certain the 49ers long history in the Super Bowl will sway the Super Bowl 47 Betting their way. 

The Ravens seem like a team of destiny this year. The Ray Lewis retirement seems to have rallied the entire team in a way that we do not see often enough in sports. Lewis has had to answer some embarrassing questions about an accusation that he used a banned substance contained in Deer Antler Spray this week. He has denied the charges. Christopher Key who runs S.W.A.T. - Sports with Alternatives to Steroids also claims he can cure A.I.D.S. and Cancer so at least to some degree his credibility should be in doubt. Others have used the focus on Ray Lewis and the Raven to drag up the 2000 Nightclub murder story. But Ray Lewis has used his spirituality and engaging personality to win over most of the media and most football fans.

The Super Bowl is a fantastic event for football fans and even non-fans are often caught up in the excitement. The timing of the Super Bowl is especially fortunate for those baseball fans (like me) who dread the re-birth of the Alex Rodriguez steroid scandal. The Bio-Genesis story is already dominating much of the sports media attention. I prefer to ignore the steroid scandal as much as possible and just get hyped up for the Super Bowl. I am very ready for some football.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Jose Bautista, Best of the Best?

Wow.

Last night Jose Bautista hit his 17th and 18th homeruns of the season. His fantastic start to this season has kicked off (ouch, sorry Football Fans) a debate not on whether he is for real (no longer much doubt about that) but if Bautista might be the best player in MLB! I'm not quiteready to take the title from Albert Pujols just yet. But I have to admit, Bautista is looking a lot like Pujols' Buster Douglas.

As of this writing, Bautista is hitting .364/.509/.841 with 18 homers, 37 runs, 31 RBI, and even five stolen bases. This complemented by a 22.2 percent walk rate, and just a 15.9 strikeout percentage. His .323 BABIP is high (a career high for him) but not not so high you might start calling him absurdly lucky or anything. Obviously, you'll have a tough time adding him to your fantasy team if you haven't already. If you own him he is no doubt worth whatever you paid.

A few Bautista links followed by other links you may be interested to read.

Is Jose Bautista the Best Hitter in the AL?
Essentially what it comes down to is how much weight you put on the most recent performance. If you think Bautista’s eight month power binge is evidence that he’s a changed hitter, then it’s hard to get away from the conclusion that he has passed Miguel Cabrera and is now the best hitter in the American League. More conservative types might want to see him keep this up a little bit longer before making drastic changes in their evaluations. I’m not sure either side has enough evidence to be clearly right or wrong, honestly.

José Bautista breaks down a life-changing home run, explaining the power swing that’s made him a star

“Last year was magical for me,” he says, settling by his locker in Dunedin, as footage of his homer loads on a laptop. “I made a lot of adjustments and some other things fell into place.” But to count among the perennial greats—that’s been his dream since he was five years old. “You have one great season,” he says with a smile. “Why wouldn’t you want to repeat it?”

Long-toss debate shakes up MLB draft


The Owasso, Okla., native surged to the head of the high school class this year thanks to a fastball that reached 100 mph this season, a beyond-his-years cutter and the sort of mature approach scouts believe can land him in the major leagues by 2013. Dylan Bundy’s ascent toward the end of the spring sent him to the top of at least one American League team’s draft board, according to a scouting director, and Baseball Prospectus’ Kevin Goldstein called him the top talent available.

Eric Hosmer And The Gathering Horde

The argument for Eric Hosmer, though, is simply that he was dominating Triple-A to such an extent that he simply had nothing left to learn against minor league pitching, and keeping him in the minors would hinder his development. Most hitting prospects – even most top hitting prospects – are not finished products as rookies. Yes, there’s a chance that Hosmer is Albert Pujols, who was one of the five best players in baseball on his first day in the major leagues – but more likely than not, he’ll be a better player as a sophomore than he is as a rookie. The more reps he gets this year against major league pitching, the more likely he is to go off on the league next year – and next year, the Royals will want their best team on the field from day one, because next year their playoff odds figure to be a lot higher than 10%.

Updates on Strasburg, Ankiel, Wang, Perez
Stephen Strasburg was in Washington yesterday for a scheduled check-up with Nationals orthopedist Wiemi Douoguih and will begin throwing off a bullpen mound "any day now," according to general manager Mike Rizzo.

This Just In: The Mariners Suck!


For a season and a good part of two months, the Mariners have had pitching and known what they lacked - offense. So they broke camp this year with Milton Bradley batting third and Jack Cust at DH. Now Miguel Olivo has batted cleanup and so has journeyman infielder Adam Kennedy. Chone Figgins has been, as the Cleveland broadcast team said last week, "a bitter disappointment."
Fixing the Royals Lineup...

You may recall that when Eric Hosmer was called up, I suggested that he bat leadoff. This led to a discussion with Nate Bukaty and Steven St. John on 810 WHB, with Nate suggesting that for clubhouse reasons it wasn’t practical to lead off with Hosmer, but that you might be able to do it with Alex Gordon. Which was fine with me. At this stage of their careers, Hosmer and Gordon are pretty similar offensive players – left-handed hitters who can hit for a good average, will take a walk, and have power to the gaps if not to the bleachers, and while neither one is a threat for 40 steals, they both have the speed to take the extra base and occasionally catch the opponents napping with a steal.

Sean Burroughs Returns to MLB

Son of former major leaguer Jeff Burroughs, who hit 240 home runs and was AL MVP in 1974, the younger Burroughs led his team to Little League World Series titles in 1992 and 1993. By the time he was 18, he was nearly his dad's size at 6-2, 200, and when he was selected ninth overall in the 1998 draft, he turned down an offer to play college ball at USC to sign with the Padres.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Check out Position Reviews at the Football Site

Over at Advanced Fantasy Football (its still pretty new, so be nice) I have just begun running a series of NFL Position Reviews written by Bob Lung of BigGuyFantasySports.com. Bob uses Quality Game Scores to measure player consistency. If you've ever led your Fantasy Football League in overall points and failed to make the playoffs, you will want to read this. Here's a small sample:

Read the Rest at Advanced Fantasy Football

So, let us start with the first tier of wide receivers ranked by their Quality Game Success Rate.

TIER ONE

Player Name

Total Points

Pts Rank

Total QG

Total GP

QG Success Rate

Larry Fitzgerald

187.20

5

12

16

75%

DeSean Jackson

189.40

4

11

15

73%

Wes Welker

162.40

12

10

14

71%

Miles Austin

197.80

3

11

16

69%

The top tier of consistent wide receivers for 2009 consists of wide receivers that had a 69% - 75 percent QGSR (Quality Game Success Rate). Only four receivers met our criteria during the 2009 season. That may seem like a very small group. However, in 2008 the top tier of wide receivers with a 69 percent or higher QGSR included six players.

Many fantasy players new to Quality Game Scores (i.e., consistency factor) expect the most consistent wide receivers to also lead the position in overall fantasy points. As you can see, they are not. Wes Welker ranked 12th overall, while the other three receivers ranked third, fourth and fifth. The top two overall receivers did not earn a Quality Game Score more than 70 percent of the time. The recent trend of teams spreading the ball around to multiple receivers (an effort to stop teams from double-teaming the studs) appears to be working for the real teams, but not the fantasy teams.

Read the Rest at Advanced Fantasy Football

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Brian Fuentes Demoted? Matt Kemp Rising! Tomko Dealing?!?!

To baseball in a minute. Has anyone out there seen Whiteout yet? Its based on this Graphic Noveland stars Kate Beckinsale. It has to be worth seeing, right?



Los Angeles Angels manager, Mike Scioscia, is calling Kevin Jepsen a co-closer to Brian Fuentes. "Both guys have been an important part of the back end of the bullpen," Scioscia said on Monday night. "But if there are some matches that could be advantageous [to use Jepsen], we will try to take advantage of [them]." Jepsen is probably gone in deeper leagues but any Fuentes owners still in contention should be checking the waiver wires. I doubt this is a situation that would continue into 2010 but it may be worth grabbing Jepsen in keeper leagues where he is still available. You never know.

I think the St. Louis Cardinals made a serious mistake this season. While I love Matt Holiday and his impact on the Cards playoff chances is undeniable, they should have found a way to do it without losing top prospect Brett Wallace. The Athletics had to deal Holiday. They had no shot at retaining him and offering a player like Holiday arbitration in uncertain financial times can be extremely risky. Wallace may not be a stellar defensive player at third base. He may not even be average. But to dump him when your team has such a glaring hole at the position and such a need for a bat like Wallace...It continues to boggle my mind all these weeks later.

Instead the Cardinals continue to use Joe Thurston at third with a very rare dose of Troy Glaus when his fragile bones allow. Glaus has managed just 18 at-bats this season. Is the defense from Joe Thurston and Glaus so much more valuable than a potential all-star bat? I seriously doubt it.

Is Brett Tomko an improved pitcher or is this just a nice run of good luck for him? His 5.39 FIP says it isn't. His strikeout rate is still a barely mediocre 5.18, less even than his career 5.98 rate. His walk rate is down this year to 2.04 per nine innings. But walks have never really been Tomko's problem. The HR9 starts to get at his problem. He has a career rate of 1.26 which is bad enough but this year it stands at 1.88 which is probably still a sign of bad luck even for Tomko. His FB rate is up significantly but since it hasn't really hurt him I think it is safe to assume that he is being aided greatly by Oakland Collesium (or whatever they call it now). The A's defense and bullpen have also helped Tomko build a 84.8 LOB% which is another sign that luck is playing a huge factor in his performance. I'm sure he's tempting to those that are streaming pitchers down the stretch. I would still stay away. Rostering Tomko is like trading your cow for a sack of magic beans.

RotoCommunity.com has lots of great articles you should check out. But of particular interest may be their expert league fantasy football draft results. My team got destroyed in week one. It didn't help that my thin receiving core was counting on Anthony Gonzalez to step up into a quasi-number one type. I have serious work to do. It is not too late to gain some value from looking at this draft. It could confirm an idea or turn you off on another one.

Over at FanGraphs, Dave Cameron is predicting the rise of the center fielder.
There is so much talent in center field that we could be seeing the dawning of the greatest group of talent to ever play the position at the same time. Seriously, just take a look at the current crop of players manning the position.
This spawned nearly 100 comments from readers. Many had a problem with the groupings that Dave used which in my opinion is a little silly. The groupings have little to do with the overall point -- that this is a historic period for center field talent. A few seemed to have a problem with how Matt Kemp was classified. Some arguing that he is overrated and others that he is potentially the best in the game. A couple of the older guys suggested that the Duke Snider/Mickey Mantle/Willie Mays era was easily the best. This is interesting reading that you'll want to check out.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Industry News: Fanball Buys NFFC, NFBC and Fantasy Sports Magazine

The Press Release:

Fanball, the premier provider of online fantasy sports contests, content, strategy and insight, announced the acquisition of the fantasy sports properties from F+W Media, Inc-- including the National Fantasy Football Championship and National Fantasy Baseball Championship contests as well as Fantasy Sports Magazine and the Company’s fantasy sports custom publications division.

Fanball’s acquisition combines two of the fantasy sports industry’s leading online and offline properties.

The National Fantasy Football Championship and National Fantasy Baseball Championship are the leading high stakes fantasy sports live event contests. Both contests feature a $100,000 Grand Prize, along with several other overall and league prizes. The high stakes contests also feature online and satellite leagues with varying price points.

Fantasy Sports Magazine has been published since 1989, and is one of the foremost fantasy sports analysis publications. The magazine currently prints four issues per year. The publication will join forces with Fanball’s wide array of fantasy sports and NFL draft-related publications. Fanball has provided fantasy sports contests and content since 1992, and has awarded more than $50 million in prize money over that time.

"Fanball is leveraging our extensive online userbase to enter the fast growing live events business for fantasy sports," said Ryan Houston, SVP of http://www.facebook.com/l/;Fanball.com http://www.facebook.com/l/;. "This enhances our product offerings and adds key personnel to our group as we continue to look at partnerships. We are thrilled to add two pioneers in the fantasy sports industry, Greg Ambrosius and Tom Kessenich. Their collective industry experience increases our presence on the national newsstand and bolsters our array of existing print publications."

“I’m excited and honored to be working with the Fanball team. This is the right move at the right time for our live events,” said Greg Ambrosius, founder of the National Fantasy Baseball and Football Championships. “With the great customer base that already exists with http://www.facebook.com/l/;Fanball.com http://www.facebook.com/l/; and CDM Fantasy Sports, the future is now brighter than it’s ever been for the NFBC, NFFC and other sports we look to be a leader in. Tom and I are excited about the future of the live events industry, about working on all of the Fanball print and online products, and about being a big part of one of the leading companies in the industry.”

Said David Blansfield, President, F+W Media, “Although we are exiting the fantasy sports market, this does not affect the rest of the sports community at F+W Media. We will continue to build our sports collectibles community through our books and magazines, auctions, data and online presence. It is a testament to their talent and reputation in the field that Greg and Tom, who have managed our fantasy sports and events businesses, have become employees of Fanball concurrent with this transaction. We congratulate them on this new opportunity.”

The National Fantasy Football Championship Main Event will occur Saturday, September 5 in Las Vegas, Chicago, and New York simultaneously, with satellite leagues taking place throughout the the next four weeks. The National Fantasy Football Championship also offers online leagues that are ongoing through the beginning of the NFL season at different price points from $125 to $1,000.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

2008 Quarterbacks Ranked By Yards per Game


Name Team Comp Att Pct Yds Y/G Y/A TD Int Sacks YdsL
Drew Brees NOR 413 635 65 5069 316.8 8 34 17 13 92
Kurt Warner ARI 401 598 67.1 4583 286.4 7.7 30 14 26 182
Jay Cutler DEN 384 616 62.3 4526 282.9 7.3 25 18 11 69
Matt Schaub HOU 251 380 66.1 3043 276.6 8 15 10 23 149
Tony Romo DAL 276 450 61.3 3448 265.2 7.7 26 14 20 123
Aaron Rodgers GNB 341 536 63.6 4038 252.4 7.5 28 13 34 231
Philip Rivers SDG 312 478 65.3 4009 250.6 8.4 34 11 25 151
Peyton Manning IND 371 555 66.8 4002 250.1 7.2 27 12 14 86
Donovan McNabb PHI 345 571 60.4 3916 244.8 6.9 23 11 23 149
Sage Rosenfels HOU 116 174 66.7 1431 238.5 8.2 6 10 9 58
Matt Cassel NWE 327 516 63.4 3693 230.8 7.2 21 11 47 219
Chad Pennington MIA 321 476 67.4 3653 228.3 7.7 19 7 24 121
Shaun Hill SFO 181 288 62.8 2046 227.3 7.1 13 8 23 148
David Garrard JAC 335 535 62.6 3620 226.3 6.8 15 13 42 288
Jeff Garcia TAM 244 376 64.9 2712 226 7.2 12 6 23 100
Brett Favre NYJ 343 522 65.7 3472 217 6.7 22 22 30 213
Matt Ryan ATL 265 434 61.1 3440 215 7.9 16 11 17 104
Brian Griese TAM 110 184 59.8 1073 214.6 5.8 5 7 9 69
Ben Roethlisberger PIT 281 469 59.9 3301 206.3 7 17 15 46 284
Jake Delhomme CAR 246 414 59.4 3288 205.5 7.9 15 12 20 130
Jason Campbell WAS 315 506 62.3 3245 202.8 6.4 13 6 38 266
Eli Manning NYG 289 479 60.3 3238 202.4 6.8 21 10 27 174
Kyle Orton CHI 272 465 58.5 2972 198.1 6.4 18 12 27 160
Gus Frerotte MIN 178 301 59.1 2157 196.1 7.2 12 15 29 164
Trent Edwards BUF 245 374 65.5 2699 192.8 7.2 11 10 23 143
Jon Kitna DET 68 120 56.7 758 189.5 6.3 5 5 15 89
J.T. O'Sullivan SFO 128 220 58.2 1678 186.4 7.6 8 11 32 197
Tyler Thigpen KAN 230 420 54.8 2608 186.3 6.2 18 12 26 162
Joe Flacco BAL 257 428 60 2971 185.7 6.9 14 12 32 276
Carson Palmer CIN 75 129 58.1 731 182.8 5.7 3 4 11 67
Marc Bulger STL 251 440 57 2720 181.3 6.2 11 13 38 263

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Advanced Fantasy Football: Magazines

This is a little bit dated but I thought there might still be some interest in this here. This is a combination of some info that appeared on another short-lived blog of mine (it could come back but there has been no demand so far).

The RotoWire Fantasy Football Guide 2009 ships July 15th and should be everywhere by July 25th. It will include the following according to their website:
  • Player Rankings & Profiles For More Than 250 Players!
  • Comprehensive Cheatsheets & Projected Stats
  • Will Carroll's Injury Analysis
  • College Fantasy Football Preview
  • Top rookies, sleepers, projected 2009 stats and more!
I obviously haven't seen this magazine yet, but RotoWire.com is one of the most reliable sites for Fantasy Football News on the internet. They have a great group of writers/experts who I'm certain will deliver quality product. Rotowire also offers a discount on their premium service to magazine buyers. You can check out the offer at the link above.

Fanball.com Three-Pack


I know a few of the writers at Fanball.com and can confidently state that the writing on this three-pack of Fantasy Football Magazines will be very good. The Fanball.com package consists of three fantasy football magazines:
  • The Annual Guide - Often referred to as "the Bible of fantasy football," the full-color Annual Guide is in its 10th year of bringing readers the best analysis in a distinctive entertaining style. Chock-full of team reports, cheat sheets, sleepers, busts, profiles and projections for every relevant player, and much more, it is the ultimate draft-day reference. (Mid-June)
  • Just Cheat Sheets - Tired of those run-of-the-mill fantasy football rags? Then this is the publication for you. Jam-packed with cheat sheets, mock drafts, auctions and specific player write-ups for almost every scoring format imaginable, Fantasy Football Just Cheat Sheets 2009 has everything you need to trounce the competition on draft day. (Early July)
  • The Draft Issue - The fantasy football landscape is constantly changing with injuries, signings, trades and job battles, which is why the Draft Issue is a must-have resource. It contains the most up-to-date rankings and content on the newsstand, ensuring you enter your fantasy draft with all of the information you need to build a championship roster. (Early August)
The Fanball.com Combo is a great deal at $19.95 for all three issues. With the average Sports Magazine Annual approaching ten dollars a book any discount is going to be very welcome. I also like the fact that the release dates are spread out so that the later magazines will actually contain updated information that could be the primary difference between this magazine and many of the others.

Rotoman's 2009 Fantasy Football Guide

I consider the Rotoman's guide an Old School fantasy magazine because it features the work of so many experienced fantasy writers and experts such as the great staff of RotoRob.com and the Rotoman himself. They've made a few changes to the guide this year. They've finally arranged the capsules by position rather than alphabetically, a welcomed change for many frequent buyers.

The mag also features the KFFL Injury Guide, Strength of schedule, mock drafts, rookie reports, and the annual Overlooked/Over-Hyped blurbs throughout the magazine. This is good stuff and a magazine I'll pick up. It is available now.

Fantasy Football Index 2009

I love this magazine and the baseball version. One of my favorite features is the survey of fantasy experts. They are asked all sorts of questions from their favorite sleepers to players to avoid. They also offer a wide variety of cheat sheets and rankings. There is always a mock draft or two as well.
Fantasy Football Index magazine: $7.99
Fantasy Football Index includes 200 pages of player ratings, team analysis, stat projections, defensive player analysis, unique stat charts, sleeper picks, rule suggestions, offensive line analysis, and more -- plus passwords needed to access some web pages in the Toolbox area of the Fantasy Index website. The price includes shipping via USPS first-class mail, and there's no sale tax unless you live in Washington state. (mailed to subscribers July 1st - should be in stores Mid-July)
This is the one magazine I've actually subscribed to receive, because I want it that badly. I like most of you don't depend on magazines for analysis but like you I love having them for reading on the bus or in the bathroom.

The Roto Times Guide to Winning Fantasy Football ($6.99)


Roto Times has a collection of the best and most experienced fantasy football experts in the business. This guide is a must have if for no other reason than it includes Bob Lung's annual Quality Game Scores articles. This is one of the best performance predictors available.
Expert analysis from expert league winners, player profiles, mock drafts, player values, rookies to watch, team and position overviews and the best projections anywhere. Includes free update in late August. The Roto Times Guide to Winning Fantasy Football will be shipped the week of July 25.
The Street&Smith and Sporting News Fantasy Football annuals are now just one book. The cover image is from last year's annual because the only photo of this year's cover was ridiculously small. This magazine is supposedly already on the magazine stands although I have not seen it yet.
Fantasy Football 2009 $7.99
The Sporting News Fantasy Football annual proves why it is number one with features like exclusive player rankings and projections, NFL depth charts, a pull out cheat sheet and over 500 individual scouting reports. All of this plus “7 Must-Know items to win your league” and other draft day tips will be everything needed to help readers become number one of their fantasy football leagues.
Together Street & Smith and the Sporting News have a long history of solid publications. Although sometimes both magazines cater to the shallower leagues, it still contains lots of useful information and entertaining reading. The scouting reports are great for newbie owners who need to double check a player before drafting him. Plus you get three-year stats for just about every player. I usually buy it as one of the first releases of the season.

2009 Footballguys Strategy Guide Magazine - FREE

This is a fantastic resource for Fantasy Football participants at every level. It includes everything you need to dominate your drafts this season. It has taken me more than a week to finish reading it and I'm tempted to print it out and place it in a binder so I can keep it forever. It is that good.

Here's what the Football Guys have to say about their own product:
David and I have decided to produce our Footballguys 2009 Strategy Guide Magazine in a pdf that you can download online instead of printing the magazine and selling from the newsstand. The price to download this pdf online? NONE. NADA. ZIP. As in FREE. The magazine that we would have normally written in May, printed in June and put on the newsstand in July is now available to you on June 5th. For FREE. We figured if we were going to write the magazine in June, we might as well make it available to you as soon as we finished writing it. Pretty much like we do everything else. It's not conventional wisdom to give away a product we used to charge $8 bucks for. But we know things are tight out there. Call it our Footballguys Stimulus Package. You get the 2009 Footballguys Magazine for FREE. Then you take it from there. Check out the link in the headline. Let us know what you think. Share it with your friends if you really want to help us. But mostly, enjoy.