Tuesday, October 6, 2009
See you there.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
The football season is finally here. Many of us die-hard fantasy football players have waited months for this, and have done our best to build a great team. With the season less than 24 hours away it's time to check out the best week one match-ups for quarterbacks.
My No.1 quarterback for week one is Drew Brees.
He was the number one quarterback last season, and should get off to a great start again this season. He will face off against a weak Lions defense week one. Last season the Lions defense gave up an average of 15.6 points to the other teams quarterback. That was third worst in the league las season.
Another plus for Brees is that it's a home game. Last season he threw for 300 or more yards in all but one home game. He also had an astounding three or more touchdowns in six of those eight games.
Drew Brees is good enough on his own that he doesn't need to be facing a weak defense. The fact that he's facing the Lions makes him a lock as the number one quarterback for week one.
My No.2 quarterback for the week is Kurt Warner.
Kurt Warner will face the San Francisco 49ers week one and should have a pretty good week. Last season he had 46 points against the 49ers defense for an average of 23 points per game.
With the game being played in Arizona's dome it should be optimal passing conditions which should lead to a big week out of Warner. In the dome last season Warner had 33 points against San Francisco and could put up numbers similar to that this season.
Overall the 49ers defense was 12th worst in points allowed to quarterbacks with an average of 13.4. Warner has above average wide receivers and should have a really strong start to the season.
My No.3 quarterback is Aaron Rodgers.
He starts off the season against the rival Chicago bears in prime time on Sunday Night Football. Now the Bears were tied for 14th best against quarterbacks last season with a 12.5 average, but nobody told Rodgers that.
He put up 39 fantasy points against the Bears last season. If he sticks to that he should have 19 or 20 points in week 1. I think that it's possible he does even better than last season. Green Bay's offense looked great in the preseason and will look to carry that over to the regular season.
I expect big things out of Aaron Rodgers this season, and I expect him to start off his season in a big way.
My No.4 quarterback is Phillip Rivers.
Last season Rivers threw for 43 fantasy points against the Raiders. He only threw for 11 in Oakland, but I expect him to do better than that this time around.
The Raiders were tied for the 13th best against quarterbacks this season and shouldn't be much worse this year. One key for the Raiders is that Nnamdi Asomugha will play the game with a "club" on his hand. This could slow him down a little, and could hurt his range. With him not at 100 percent the Raiders secondary takes a huge hit.
Rivers will look to take advantage of the beat up Raiders secondary and should put up pretty good numbers in prime time on the west coast.
My No.5 quarterback is Tom Brady.
The Bills were tied with the Raiders for 13th best against quarterbacks last season. That probably won't affect Brady too much in week one.
Playing on Monday Night Football in his first game back should boost his numbers. He will probably be determined to show everybody that he is healthy. Brady will have numerous weapons to sling the ball to on Monday and should put up great numbers.
He easily could be higher up, but I'm going to say he starts off a little rusty. There is no reason to sit Brady, and if you drafted him you better use him.
Well, there you have it. My top five quarterbacks for week one. Nothing too out of the ordinary here. Good luck to all fantasy footballers and thank God, football is finally here.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Looking for a little something extra in your daily or weekly lineups? The guy you need just might be sitting on the waiver wire in your league. With the trade deadline having passed in most leagues, the wire waiver is your only option for help at this point of the season.
Time to get rid of some bigger names who aren't producing in favor of some less-owned players who will give you results.
The fantasy playoffs are approaching rapidly, and if your team is on the verge of making the postseason then you might want to give these 6 guys a second look.
1) Rajai Davis-A's
Since being promoted to an everyday player on a struggling Oakland team, Davis has done nothing but put up fantasy-worthy numbers.
His speed threat alone makes him roster worthy is most formats, but especially in roto leagues where you are lacking in steals.
Rajai won't blow you away with the power numbers, but his 27 steals and .289 average are nothing to laugh at, especially if you are trying to make up ground in those categories. His 39 runs scored won't hurt your cause either.
Davis is owned in only 26.2 percent of ESPN leagues, so he is available to help your team if you need his services.
2) Mike Lowell-Red Sox
Lowell has always been a great hitter in his career, and this year has been no exception to that trend.
Lowell has really picked up his game of late, and has two HR and six RBI in the past week. In a Red Sox line-up that seems to be finding its stride, the RBI opportunities should continue to present themselves for Lowell.
He is hitting .302 with 16 HR and 65 RBI on the season. Those are pretty solid stats across the board. Why not use him at this point, even if it's just as a fill in? With guys like Pablo Sandoval DTD with minor injuries, you can plug Lowell in for a few days and make up for the lost production.
Lowell is owned in 61.2 percent of ESPN leagues, so he is still out there in a good chunk of leagues. I'm by no means saying to drop your regular 3B if they have produced for you all year, but only to utilize Lowell as a fill-in while your guy is out for a few days.
3) Travis Snider-Blue Jays
With the loss of Alex Rios to the White Sox, the young Snider has been entrenched into an everyday role for Toronto.
Since being called up on August 18th, Snider has gone deep three times in his first nine games as a big league starter. The most impressive part to me is that those 9 games have been against the Red Sox, Angels and Rays, all of which are postseason contenders.
If you are looking for a power surge or a temporary OF fill-in, Snider might be the guy to fill that void for you. No guarantee that the power will continue, but I see no reason why the AB's should decline at this point.
Snider is owned in only 8.8 percent of ESPN leagues, and classifies as a deep flier with huge upside. Why not take a chance that the upside will pull through for the rest of the year?
4) Josh Willingham-Nationals
Willingham had a torrid month of July, which prompted a large increase in his ownership. He has since cooled off some, but looks poised to go on another streak.
What makes me say that? Try a 4-4 performance with two HR and six RBI on Tuesday.
Willingham is hitting .301 with 21 HR and 56 RBI on the season, yet he is only owned in 32.7 percent of ESPN leagues.
If you are in need of OF help and power production, take a chance that Willingham goes on another tear. If you wait until it happens he might not still be sitting there.
5) Andrew McCutchen-Pirates
The Pirates have traded away every good player this season, or at least it seems that way sometimes. Well, that statement is not completely true.
Andrew McCutchen is a rising star, and one of the only bright spots on an otherwise dim team at this point.
McCutchen's biggest asset is his speed, but he will flash the occasional pop that is just icing on the cake. Since being given the green light to steal whenever he likes, McCutchen has been running more often.
He has stolen 15 bases this year in 16 attempts. Since August 11th, around the time he was given the green light, Andrew has six SB. His .287 average, eight HR, 38 RBI and 50 runs scored are all helpful stats as well.
Andrew is owned in 42.7 percent of ESPN leagues, but his overall numbers suggest that he should be owned in more. If you are a victim of underachieving big-name OF's, why not give the future star a chance to bolster your categories?
6) Gordon Beckham-White Sox
The White Sox are postseason contenders, and Beckham's play, both offensively and defensively, is one of the reasons why.
Beckham is eligible at 3B and SS, and his numbers make him roster worthy in all formats in my opinion.
Beckham is hitting .284 with eight HR and 47 RBI. He has also added 38 runs and five SB. Keep in mind that he hasn't been in the big leagues all season either.
Gordon is owned in 47.9 percent of ESPN leagues. Surely some teams on the verge of the postseason could slot the youngster into the 2B/SS hole in your lineup.
These guys aren't the only jewels sitting on the waiver wire, but they are six players that caught my eye. If you are struggling to make up ground in your league with some big name underachievers, maybe giving these guys a go could solve your problems.
Monday, August 24, 2009
I feel that all of the receivers have questions, and that is why I only did my top five. I feel that a lot of guys could switch by one to four positions very easily.
My No.1 rookie wide receiver is Brian Robiskie of the
Robiskie is considered the most pro-ready wide receiver from this year's draft class. He has very good hands and is a great route-runner.
He is in a great position to make an impact this season. He has very little competition and will most likely start alongside Braylon Edwards.
Last season the Browns were 31st in the league in passing yards, but don't let that prevent you from believing in Robiskie. In 2007 the Browns were 12th in the league in passing yards.
This past season the Browns were a mess. I'd expect something closer to the 2007 passing game than last season's. If that's the case Robiskie could be a great pickup in fantasy leagues.
He will also be helped by the lack of other talent. The Browns second leading receiver last season was Kellen Winslow. He has since moved on to
During his career at
His best season was in his junior year. He had 55 catches for 935 yards and 11 touchdowns. His senior year was not as impressive due to the Buckeyes changing their offensive system to accommodate Terrelle Pryor.
With Edwards taking the pressure off the rookie, Robiskie has a great opportunity to put up some big numbers. He’s definitely a rookie to keep an eye on, and is a great pick in the later rounds.
My No.2 rookie wide receiver is Hakeem Nicks of the
Nicks is a guy who was drafted in the right place at the right time. When Plaxico Burress shot himself in the leg he opened up the Giants number one wide receiver spot.
With no true number one wide receiver on the roster, the Giants tried to find one through the draft. Nicks is the early favorite to step into the role which would make him a great fantasy option.
I am by no means saying Nicks will put up Plaxico type numbers, but he should make an impact from day one. He is much smaller than Plaxico so the biggest difference between the two will be red zone touchdowns.
The Giants also lost Amani Toomer this off-season, which opens up more receptions and yards for the taking. Without a doubt Hakeem Nicks will take advantage of these losses.
He had a good 2007 with 986 yards and five touchdowns, but he exploded in 2008. He had over 1,200 yards and 12 touchdowns. His best game of the season was
While we all know college success does not equal NFL success, Nicks has excellent potential. He could end up as the number one rookie wide receiver if he steps up and gets the Giants number one wide receiver job. Either way Nicks should produce this season.
My No.3 rookie wide receiver is Percy Harvin of the
Harvin was one of the best college players in the nation last season. His main question coming into the draft was whether he was a running back or a wide receiver.
Last season at
His upside on the field is huge, but he does have some problems off the field. He tested positive for marijuana at the combine. Knowing he would be tested at the combine he still did it anyways, which really makes a lot of people question his character. If he can keep his head on straight he should have a great year.
One thing Harvin does have going for him is versatility. He can line up at as many as three offensive positions. Wide receiver will be his main position, but he may also play some quarterback and running back. If he plays quarterback it will be in a wild cat formation.
After testing positive for drugs at the combine, his value has risen. The addition of Brett Favre could really help him as a wide receiver. Favre has no problem going downfield which will work great with Harvin’s speed.
With Harvin’s versatility, he should have no problem making an impact in his rookie season.
My No.4rookie wide receiver is Jeremy Maclin of the
The Eagles traded up in the draft to get Maclin with the 19th overall pick. This shows that they believe in him and like something about him.
Maclin will most likely see time as the kick returner and as a wide receiver. He will be used as the returner so that DeSean Jackson can focus on his wide receiver role.
I personally think Maclin will start the season as the third wide receiver behind both Jackson and Kevin Curtis. Others think Maclin will be ahead of Curtis. Either way Maclin will have pretty good value.
Maclin has great speed and is very quick in the open field. He will have plenty of weapons around him taking all of the pressure off of him.
Brian Westbrook and LeSean McCoy will take the pressure off through the ground game. With a successful ground game the Eagles wide receivers will be able to get open easier.
Maclin will also be helped by his fellow wide receivers taking the pressure off of him. DeSean Jackson will be the receiver the defenses pay the most attention to, and if Maclin is the number three, Curtis will also be watched closer than him. This could make it very easy for Maclin to become a relevant fantasy option.
Maclin is almost like a bigger version of DeSean Jackson and is definitely a guy worth risking a pick on.
My No.5 rookie wide receiver is Darrius Heyward-Bey of the
Heyward-Bey is a very intriguing prospect. He was the first wide receiver taken in the draft, but was not the number one wide receiver in most people’s minds.
As everybody knows Al Davis loves speed, and that’s exactly why his Oakland Raiders drafted Darrius. He is the most likely candidate to be a bust, but he has just as much upside.
Heyward-Bey was the fastest wide receiver at the combine with a 4.3 in the 40 yard dash. It takes more than speed to be a good wide receiver, but that won’t hurt his chances of succeeding.
His size will also help him in the NFL. At 6’2” Heyward-Bey has great size to go with his speed. He will have a height advantage over anyone who will be covering him.
He has great speed and height, but he does have some negatives. He has never really used his size and speed effectively. Last season he had 609 receiving yards and only five touchdowns. He struggles with route running and isn’t as effective on “jump balls” as a receiver of his stature should be.
Heyward-Bey is far from reaching his potential, and will need very good coaching to get remotely close to his potential. With his size and speed he could be an excellent receiver, but someone has to help him get to his potential. He is a risky pick that could pay huge dividends for your fantasy team.
As I said before I don’t have a lot of confidence in this class of rookie wide receivers. Maybe you do, and if so feel free to share your opinions. I would be more than glad to hear them.
Not only does this conclude my wide receivers, but this is the end of my rookie rankings series. It took a lot of research, but it is finally complete. Thanks to everyone for reading it and hope you enjoyed it.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
As the new kid on the block, pun intended, I thought this would make for a good first piece. Fantasy baseball, and baseball in general, is one of the things I love most in this life. The 2009 season is winding down, especially fantasy-wise, and I thought this articles might help make or break a few teams out there.
Pitching is important, both in real life and in fantasy. Like all baseball teams, your fantasy squad can live or die by the arm, especially in head to head points leagues. But have no fear, there is help out there, even in the place you would least expect it.
That's right, there are guys on your league's waiver wire that can bolster your fantasy team. With the trade deadline having passed in most leagues, where else are you gonna find help?
Desperate times call for desperate measures, and if you are desperate, you might give these guys a go. Here's five waiver wire prospects to consider for this week, and possibly beyond.
1) Bronson Arroyo-Reds
He is red hot, giving up only one earned run over his last 17 innings. Two games ago he threw a complete game shutout versus the Nationals. I know what you're thinking, but the Nats had actually been one of the hottest teams around at the time.
In his last outing, Bronson went 8 strong innings against the Giants, giving up one earned run. The kicker was that he faced off against Barry Zito, who held the Reds in check for 6 innings, and whose bullpen finished off the job.
Sure he got the L, but it's hard to say that these kind of outings wouldn't help your fantasy squad. And to make things even better, he starts twice this coming week.
Luckily for you, he is owned in only 21.5 percent of ESPN leagues at the moment. Arroyo warrants a try in all formats at this point, especially if you have guys like Mark Buerlhe who are killing your staff with their recent struggles.
2) Randy Wells-Cubs
Who does number 2 work for? Unfortunately it's the Cubs, who have been struggling badly lately. But Wells has been doing his part, so why not take advantage of it?
Apart from one little hiccup against red hot Colorado, Wells has been solid over the past month. His win-loss record isn't great, but his stats are pretty dang good, especially for someone on most leagues' waiver wires.
He tossed 6.2 strong innings against the Dodgers on Friday, but was done in by two unearned runs. Again, not his fault. Despite the unfortunate loss, coupled with the hiccup against the Rockies, Wells has won 5 of his last 7 starts.
His ERA is 2.84, and his WHIP is 1.20 for the season, yet he is only owned in 35.6 percent of ESPN leagues. He gets the Nationals on Thursday, which makes him a great add in my book. Hot or not, it's ultimately still the Nats.
The Cubs desperately need wins at this point. A young pitcher, and the increased urgency of his teammates, equals fantasy success for you. Give him a shot.
3) John Smoltz-Cardinals
Smoltz was mediocre at best in his recent stint with the Red Sox, and I can't really blame them for letting him go. The truth is, maybe they pulled the plug a little too soon. But as they say, hindsight is always 20-20.
Johnny boy probably had Theo Epstein checking his vision on Sunday. Smoltz fanned nine Padres in five shutout innings. He struck out seven in a row at one point, which was both a personal best and a Cardinal record.
Okay, it was against the Padres, I totally agree. But what happens if he goes out and does it again in his next start? Do you think he will still be sitting on your waiver wire then? I would think not, as owners will probably be scrambling to pick him up.
Personally, I would rather pick the guy up and watch him fail then sit back, pass him up, and watch him do well for some other lucky owner. It could backfire, but it could also be the move that pushes your team right into the postseason, and gives you a shot at the coveted prize that is fantasy sport glory.
He is owned in only 12.4 percent of ESPN leagues as of now, but expect that number to go up here in the coming week, especially if he does well next time out.
Hey, the move to St. Louis rejuvenated Matt Holliday, so who's to say it won't work for the 42 year old future hall of famer? Make your move now before it's too late.
4) Scott Feldman-Rangers
The Rangers are having a great year. Quietly, so is Scott Feldman.
He picked up his 13th win of the season on Sunday, throwing 7 shutout innings against the Rays. He struck out 11 Tampa hitters on the way. Oh yeah, and he looked a lot better than David Price, who is currently not on the waiver wire in many leagues.
Tired of trotting Price out there, why not try Feldman? There are some Price-lovers out there who are gonna boo me for this one, but in reality it wouldn't be a bad move at all, especially if you are still in contention in your league. Sure Price might be good someday, but the truth is if you aren't planning on keeping him in your league, it might be time to cut him loose.
The Rangers open up a series with the Yankees on Tuesday, which means that Feldman will dodge that bullet, and not have to face the red hot evil empire. If all goes as planned, he should face the Twins this coming weekend, which isn't a bad match-up at all.
Feldman is owned in only 13.6 percent of ESPN leagues. So, if you're looking for pitching help, it's right in front of your eyes. Take a chance that this youngster isn't a fluke. He's been great since the All-star break, and has a great offense behind him, so it's really not that big of a risk in my opinion.
5) Brett Anderson- A's
Anderson got lit up by the White Sox on August 14th, but apart from that outing, has been surprisingly solid over the past month or so. He also suffered the loss against the Yankees on August 19th, but didn't pitch bad at all in that game. He limited the Yankees to six hits and three earned runs over seven innings.
Before those 2 outings, Anderson had pitched extremely well, and did so against some of the powerhouses of the American league.
He faces the Mariners on Tuesday, and I love that match-up for him. Seattle has faded, and I look for Anderson to build off of that solid performance against the Yankees.
He is owned in only 7.6 percent of ESPN leagues, and warrants consideration as a spot-starter this week if you are in need of strikeouts and wins.
That concludes this week's version of Waiver Wire rotation, tune in next week for more prospects to help your team find it's way into the postseason. I hope this information allows you to taste fantasy glory. Good luck to all.
Sometimes, though, these injuries become worrisome. Key contributors like Stewart Bradley for the Eagles are lost for the season, while others suffer less serious but still harmful injuries. Today, I'm going to take a look at some of the fantasy football impact players whose stock may have fallen due to their time on the shelf. Players gone for the season will not be included.
Jonathan Stewart, RB Carolina Panthers
Stewart's injury didn't seem too concerning at first, but after missing ten consecutive days of practice, some believe his health come Week 1 may be in jeopardy. His Achilles has been bothering him for some time now. He considers it an "ongoing pain", referring to it as a nagging injury. Although he did not play against Miami on Saturday, he did participate in warm-ups.
Stewart shouldn't be forced to miss much of the regular season, if any. As of right now, it's likely he will open the season with DeAngelo Williams. If you are a Stewart or Williams owner, and don't already own both of the two, attempt to do so.
Antonio Bryant, WR Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bryant suffered from a torn meniscus in his left knee two weeks ago, and has been out since. After getting his knee scoped, he appears to be ready for the regular season. He will likely sit out the rest of the preseason, just to keep it safe. A setback isn't likely, but is always a possibility. Fortunately for him, the damage was not terrible.
I own Bryant in two of my leagues, and this injury doesn't help my thoughts about keeping him. I remain skeptical about not just his knee, but his situation as well. Hopefully we see the Bryant of 2008 rather than the younger, less consistent Bryant.
Steve Smith, WR Carolina Panthers
Unfortunately for Carolina fans, two of the Panthers' playmakers are on this list. On the bright side, Smith's shoulder injury is less serious than originally thought. His agent first reported the fantasy-stud would miss two weeks, at the least. A few days after that, the report changed to day-to-day, and Smith returned to practice just four days after injuring his shoulder. He has yet to play in a preseason game, but is expected to play next week against Baltimore.
He may be a bit rusty to open the season, depending on if and how much he plays against the Ravens. Other than that, his shoulder shouldn't concern you.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
First off, before writing this article, I think I should define the term sleeper. I have a few definitions that I would use.I would define a sleeper as an undrafted player that obtains unexpected success, or a player that is drafted in the later rounds of a fantasy draft and outperforms his draft position significantly.
The key to winning your fantasy league is finding several of these sleepers late in your draft. I have constructed a list of a couple wide receiver sleepers for the upcoming fantasy football season that will help you in your search for one of those gems.
Oh, and just for the record, this list will not include rookies.
I know what you're thinking, Felix isn't much of a sleeper pick. He is expected to do good. For this choice I'm kind of breaking my rules with this pick, but I do think he outperforms his ADP significantly.
Had Felix not gotten injured last year I believe he would've been among the top rookie RB's. In six games last season he carried the ball 30 times, for 266 yards, and three touchdowns. Not to mention he averaged an amazing 8.9 yards per carry, or what he did in the return game.
With the loss of T.O. the Cowboys should be more of a run oriented team. Felix Jones should get a lot more carries this year as the Cowboys save up Barber to close out games.
Jones is a great number three fantasy option and a great flex play in all formats.
Wait, what? Two Cowboys?
Yes, I expect all three of the Cowboys RB's to be featured in the offense. Choice should also be on your team if you own either MB3 or Felix. You all should know what happened after both were injured last year.
In ten games last year (really only five, the other five he had six carries or less) Choice ran the ball 90 times, for 472 yards, and two touchdowns, and 5.5 yards per carry average. He's a nice receiving threat out of the backfield too, last year he caught 21 passes, for 185 yards (8.8 yards per catch) including a 50 yard catch.
Choice is a nice handcuff and sleeper candidate for your fantasy team, especially in PPR leagues. If you own Barber or Jones and this guy is on the waiver wire, pick him up now.
I would actually prefer having Charles on my team over have LJ on my team, but it you're an LJ owner you must have Charles. Johnson is about to turn 30, and is on the decline. I expect Todd Haley to eventually bench LJ in favor of Charles. Something like he did last year with Edgerrin James and Tim Hightower.
Last year Charles had 629 total yards and one touchdown as a backup, 357 of those yards were rushing, while the remaining 272 were from receiving yards.
If Charles stays in the same role he was in last season this season I expect slightly better numbers. However if he takes over for LJ and you have him on your team, you've struck fantasy gold, especially in PPR leagues.
Same story here for Bradshaw as I said for Felix Jones. He's not much of a sleeper, but I do expect some big things from Bradshaw this year.
Bradshaw is a must have if you're a Brandon Jacobs owner. With the pounding a runner like Jacobs goes through he's bound to get injured sometime.
Bradshaw should also be a solid fantasy option, last years backup to Jacobs, Derrick Ward still managed to get enough carries to rush for over 1,000 yards. Bradshaw as the third RB even managed to get 355 rush yards and two total touchdowns last year as a third stringer.
With the loss of Plaxico Burress, the Giants don't really have that number one receiver. Until one of their receivers can solidify themselves as a number one, I expect the Giants to be a run oriented team. Making Bradshaw a good flex play in all formats.
This is it for RB's. Next up: Kickers, kidding of course. Look out for my QB post next.