Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Week 1: A Win and a huge Loss

Week 1 is in the books.  I was able to pull out a W, but I lost my best player, and the only player I was able to draft before my computer shat the bed.  Ryan Grant is now out for the season.  So my choices are:  use most of my free agent budget to pick up Brandon Jackson, leaving me little extra money to make moves the entire rest of the season, or let someone else get a stud RB to fill out their team.  Just thinking about what this season has become makes me want to throw up.  Not to mention the fact that I was willing to pay $20 for Arian Foster, but instead he went to someone else for $6.  It's no wonder baseball is my game.  I am cursed when it comes to football. 

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Not so bad off afterall...

So after my embarrasing showing at the draft, I've been able to make a few moves, and grab a couple guys off of waivers so that I feel a lot better about my team.  I used some of my depth at WR and TE to fill a couple holes, and now I'm not feeling so bad.  This is a 12 team league with standard ESPN scoring.

QB: Tom Brady
RB: Ryan Grant
RB: Ronnie Brown
WR/RB: Beanie Wells
WR: Percy Harvin
WR: Steve Smith NYG
TE: Dallas Clark $10
DEF: Jets D $4
K: Ryan Longwell $1

BN: Hines Ward
BN: Ricky Williams
BN: Visanthe Shiancoe
BN: Sammy Morris
BN: Mohammed Massaquoi
BN: Laurent Robinson

So I've kept some pretty good depth at WR and improved my QB and RB situation.  Not saying I have the best team in the league, but I think I can definately do some damage.  Also, we have a $100 waiver budget for the season, and I was able to add depth cheap.  Should be an interesting season.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Rookie mistakes...

Alright... this is embarrasing.  I was hoping to write today about the awesome, studley, well planned, over researched fantasy team from last nights auction draft.  All the mock drafts I've done.  My spreadsheets with all the possible value combinations... all wasted.  The bar where a bunch of the league was drafting from hated my computer... or my computer hated it.  Every time I tried to bid, I lost my connection.  Everytime I tried to log in and set to auto draft, I lost my connection.  After about pick 15, I was able to set auto draft, and then I raced home to find the draft almost done.  In between all the madness, I was able to get a winning bid in on Ryan Grant.  So here is my team as drafted:

QB:     Eli Manning              $1
RB:     Ryan Grant               $42 <-- only player I was able to bid on
RB:     Ronnie Brown          $17
WR/RB:  Ricky Williams     $11
WR:    Steve Smith Car       $26
WR:    Steve Smith NYG     $20
TE:      Dallas Clark             $10
DEF:   Jets D                       $4
K:       Ryan Longwell          $1

BN:    Hines Ward               $14
BN:    Percy Harvin              $12
BN:    Micheal Crabtree       $15
BN:    Mike Sims-Walker     $15
BN:    Antonio Gates           $11
BN:    Adrian Peterson         $1 <-- Had on nominate list to thow people off, but got stuck with the "other" AP

So, lesson learned kids.  Even if you plan on being at the draft... always set your auction values before hand, because you never know.  Overall, not a bad autodraft... extremely deep at WR.  Arguably the best TE tandem (one of these guys will be traded for better RB/QB), and solid DEF and K considering.  We'll see what happens... plenty of trade requests out there to better balance out the offense.  Can't believe I blew the draft, but who knows, maybe I'll be better off.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Daily $200 Fantasy Football Auction team -- Bye week Experiment #7 -- Week 10

Week 10 offers probably the most balanced options of all the bye weeks.  Solid QB's, solid RB's and solid WR's.  You can go with a value pick at QB with Rivers, and get Grant and Matthews at RB, or take a Brees/Rodgers at QB and go with Pierre Thomas at RB.  Also solid upper tier and value WR's:

QB:     A.Rodgers  $44    Also Avail:  Brees $51, Rivers $20
RB:      R. Grant    $40
RB:      R. Matthews $27  Also Avail:  Bush $10
WR/RB:  P. Thomas $20
WR:     G. Jennings $25
WR:     M. Colston  $24   Also Avail:  V. Jackson $15
TE:       J. Finley      $12    Also Avail:  A. Gates $17
DEF:    Packers       $1
K:        Kaeding       $1

Week 10 bye teams:  Chargers, Packes, Saints, Raiders

Only $6 to fill your bench, but a solid, balanced team!

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Daily $200 Fantasy Football Auction team -- Bye week Experiment #6 -- Week 9

If you're going for an All-Bye-Week-9, you will have to take some risks.  Week 9 is all Running Backs, all the time.  There is a scarcity of good WR's with week-9 byes, and you will have to take some risk at QB as well.  Here we go:

QB:     V. Young           $3  Also available:  D. McNabb $5, A. Smith $3, T. Tebow $2
RB:     M.Jones-Drew    $65
RB:     F. Gore               $58  Also available:  C. Johnson $71, S. Jackson $60, K. Moreno $29
RB/WR:  C. Portis         $10
WR:    M. Crabtree       $17
WR:    M. Sims-Walker $18
TE:     V. Davis              $16
DEF:   49ers                  $1
K:       Bironas               $1

Week 9 bye teams:  Titans, Jaguars, 49ers, Redskins, Rams, Broncos

Only $11 left for you bench, but your RB situation is strong!

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Daily $200 Fantasy Football Auction team -- Bye week Experiment #5 -- Week 8

Unlike weeks 4-7 that only had 4 teams on a bye, week 8 has 6 bye teams, and it is stacked.  So you will not just be able to pick out the top picks, you will have to have a plan.  You probably can't afford Ray Rice and Michael Turner.  So here is one possibility, with options to the right:

QB:     Joe Flacco     $10         Also available:  M. Ryan $11,
RB:      Ray Rice       $63
RB:      L. McCoy     $20         Also available:  M. Turner $53, M. Forte $24
RB/WR: R. White     $34
WR:      A. Boldin     $22
WR:      D. Jackson   $28        Also available:  S. Smith $19, H. Nicks $18, J. Maclin $13
TE:        T. Gonzalez  $13        Also available:  B. Celek $14
DEF:      Ravens         $1         Also available: Phili $1, Giants $1, Bears $1
K:          Gould            $1

Week 8 bye teams:  Falcons, Ravens, Eagles, Bears, Browns, Giants

This only leaves $8 to fill your bench... but there's some solid names here.

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Daily $200 Fantasy Football Auction team -- Bye week Experiment #4 -- Week 7

Week 7 has some definate stregnths at QB and WR, but is pretty slim at RB (unless you are completely sold on Jahvid Best).  Week 7 is another week I might avoid:

QB:     P.Manning    $33
RB:     S. Greene     $35
RB:     J. Addai       $15
WR/RB:  J. Best     $18
WR:    A. Johnson  $40
WR:    C. Johnson  $32
TE:     O. Daniels     $8
DEF:   Jets           $5
K:       Vinatieri    $1

Week 7 bye teams:  Colts, Texans, Jets, Lions

This to fill your bench.  Other Week 7 bye players:  M. Shaub $20, R. Wayne $41, D. Clark $19, P. Garcon $9, S. Holmes $7, A. Gonzalez $3, 3 possible starters from the Houston backfield -- cheap

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Daily $200 Fantasy Football Auction team -- Bye week Experiment #3 -- Week 6

Week 6 might be the weakest, team wise, but there are some solid players here.  I would not suggest using week 6 if you are going to try this stategy, unless you want to build a solid bench.

QB:        C. Palmer    $12
RB:        C. Benson    $39
RB:        B. Wells       $26
WR/RB: D. Williams   $28
WR:       L. Fitzgerald $46
WR:       C. Ochocinco $19
TE:         L. Pope         $3
DEF:      Bengals          $1
K:          Rackers         $1

Week 6 bye teams:  Bengals, Cardinals, Bills, Panthers

This leaves you $25 to fill your bench.  Also available week 6:  J. Stewart $21, K. Warner $15, Fred Jackson $6, Marshawn Lynch $18, T. Owens $5

Daily $200 Fantasy Football Auction team -- Bye week Experiment #2 -- Week 5

Ok, so week 5 doesn't have the same star power at RB as week 4, but solid at WR, and good balance. (All starters have week 5 byes):

QB:     T. Brady     $31
RB:     Mendenhall  $36
RB:     R. Brown     $18
RB/WR: R. Moss   $49
WR:    B. Marshall  $38
WR:    W. Welker  $12
TE:      H. Miller      $3
DEF:   Pittsburg      $1
K:       Gostkowski  $2

Week 5 Bye teams:  Patriots, Steelers, Dolphins, Seahawks,

This leaves you $10 to fill your bench and gives you arguably the strongest WR core in your league.  Also available with Week 5 byes:  Ricky Williams $17, Roethlisberber $3, All 4 New England RB's, M. Hasselback $5, Julius Jones $5

Daily $200 Fantasy Football Auction team -- Bye week Experiment #1 -- Week 4

Some people like to stack their Fantasy Football teams based on bye weeks.  If you are one of those people that like to try to get as many players on the same bye as possible, a plan that gives you a good shot of going 6-1, or 5-2 during weeks 4-10, you will like the next 6 posts!  I will post ultimate $200 Auction teams based on all 9 starters with the same bye week.  (Only the starters will have this bye week, and the bench will be drafted as the best depth available).  This may sound a little crazy, but it works:

Bye Week #1 (Week 4):

QB:     T. Romo      $18
RB:     A. Peterson  $68
RB:     J. Charles     $23
RB/WR:  M. Barber $13
WR:    M. Austin     $30
WR:    S. Rice         $15
TE:      J. Witten      $11
DEF:   Minn            $1
K:       Longwell      $1

Week 4 bye teams:  Cowboys, Vikings, Cheifs, Bucs
This leaves you $20 to fill your bench.  Also available with Week 4 Byes:  Favre $12, F. Jones $15, D. Bowe $16

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Daily $200 Fantasy Football Auction team for Thursday

Here's your daily $200 auction league football team.  Here are the rules: 15 man team, with 9 starting positions: QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR/RB, TE, DEF, K. You will have a $200 budget, and values listed are preseason values listed on ESPN. Here we go, Team 1:

Here's a team with a top 3 QB, and a top 2 RB.  Remember, if you go real high on one of the top picks, your other spots are going to be somewhat thin.  Make sure you save a little money for bench depth:
QB P. Manning $33
RB A.Peterson  $68
RB M. Forte     $19
RB B. Jacobs    $17
WR W. Welker $12
WR A. Boldin   $22
TE J. Witten      $11
DEF Ravens      $2
K    Longwell     $1

BN Dez Bryant   $7
BN L. Tomlinson $4
BN K. Smith       $1
BN M. Stafford   $1
BN J. Morgan     $1
BN A. Collie       $1

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Daily $200 Fantasy Football Auction team

Fantasy Football draft season is upon us!  For those of you who are in auction leagues, or who may be considering an auction league for the first time, here's some help.  Since, in an auction league, every player is available to you, you really have to come of with a solid strategy prior to draft day.  You can't just wait to see what good player is available on your turn, you need to budget by player/position/depth, etc.  To that end, I will be posting a daily team, budgeted differently every day.  Here are the rules:  15 man team, with 9 starting positions:  QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR/RB, TE, DEF, K.  You will have a $200 budget, and values listed are preseason values listed on ESPN.  Here we go, Team 1:

Today's team goes for balanced value at the 5 starting skill positions, with a top 5 TE, and Top 2 DEF.  Kicker will always be $1, so rule is take best $1 Kicker you can (Never pay more than $1 for a Kicker)

QB     Joe Flacco     $12
RB     Ryan Grant     $42
RB     Mendenhall     $36
RB     Shonn Greene $35
WR    Boldin             $22
WR    D. Jackson      $28
TE     V. Davis          $16
DEF   Jets                 $5
K       Prater              $1

BN     Maroney         $3
BN     Slaton             $6
BN     Bradshaw       $2
BN     K. Walter       $1
BN      Stafford          $1
BN     Berrian            $1

Of course, these values will change greatly from league to league, but this gives an idea of the type of team you can put together.

Friday, August 13, 2010

More Fantasy Football help... Drafts are coming!

It's almost draft time for everyone in Fantasy Football.  Regardless of the type of league you have there are plenty of solid resources out there to help you.  Here are some that I like to use:

1)  Fantasy Football Toolbox:  2010 Auction values and rankings

2) CBS Sportsline:  More auction values and rankings

3)  NFL.com:  Even more auction values and rankings

4)  ESPN:  Player rankings and 2010 projections

Monday, August 2, 2010

Trade deadline moves from a Fantasy persepective

Here is a great article breaking down some of the recent trades from a fantasy perspective from Brad Berreman of Sportsbuff.com.

Fantasy Football draft resources -- It's never too early

For those of you out of the race in fantasy baseball, and setting your sights on fantasy football already, here are some key resources for your draft prep:

Bleacher Report - Up to the minute updated blogs from all over ESPN

FFToolbox - Keeper/Dynasty rankings

FanHouse - Rankings

Insider Football - Full service

Friday, July 30, 2010

Breaking down the Oswalt trade

Well, the Phillies did it again.  The last two years have shown that not only are the Phillies committed to building a team to compete in the playoffs, but also that they understand how to do it.  Roy Oswalt adds depth to an already scary starting rotation that features Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels with a solid 4-5 of Joe Blanton and Kyle Kendrick.  It's hard to see anything other than a Yankees or Tampa Bay vs. Phili World Series this year.

On the other hand, the Astro's may not have done so bad themselves.  The first part of the deal is J.A. Happ.  At 27 last year, he was not your typical rookie, however, his 12-4 record with 2.93 ERA and 1.23 WHIP were good enough to get him second in the Rookie-of-the-Year voting.  The 6'6" lefty is a solid performer, with a lot of upside.  His injury this year is cause for some concern, but he is a very good piece to the Astro's rebuilding effort.  The second part of the deal was two Phillies prospects, Anthony Gose and SS Jonathan Villar.  Gose was immediately traded to Toronto for power hitting 1B prospect Brett Wallace -- a long term solution to Lance Berkman.  Villar is a 19 year old speedster with 82 SB's in a 200 minor league games.  Wallace is major league ready, and will probably get a shot when rosters expand in September.  Villar is a few years away, but has some solid tools, and could be the Astros SS of the future.

All in all, both teams will benefit from this trade.  The Phillies right away, as they continue their Hall of Fame SP merry-go-round.  And the Astros for the future, as they add some solid pieces to their rebuilding effort.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Domonic Brown's under the radar?

Phillies Domonic Brown made a quiet debut last night... quiet because it came in the midst of the trade deadline, off the heals of another MLB no hitter, and during another ho hum complete game near-shutout for Roy Halladay.  In his major league debut, Brown had 2 hits, including a double, and 2 RBI.  The Phillies #1 prospect is a solid 5-tool player with unlimited potential.  At 22 years old, Brown cruised through the minors this year.  In 93 games, he hit .327 with 20 HR's and 17 SB's.  He has better-than-average patience for a young hitter, and he hasn't even grown into his 6'5" frame.  He became available in Yahoo leagues yesterday, and is already owned in 23% of leagues.  If he's available, get him now.  Look for 5-10 HR's and 10-15 SB over the next two months at minimum.

The wasteland between First Base and Shortstop

One of my leagues is a straight points league, rather than head to head or rotisserie.  The 2B position, with the exception of a few nice surprises, has been decimated by injury... along with Aaron Hill remembering that he is Aaron hill.   Below were the leading point getters last year, along with thier average draft position this year, and the current point leaders for 2010:

2009 Leaders                2010 Avg Draft Pick       2010 Leaders             2010 Avg Draft Pick

1)  Aaron Hill                49th                                  1) Robinson Cano       44th
2)  Robinson Cano       44th                                  2) Martin Prado          214th
3)  Chase Utley              5th                                    3) Rickie Weeks           117th
4)  Ian Kinsler                18th                                  4) Brandon Phillips     42nd
5)  Dustin Pedroia          27th                                 5) Dan Uggla                 76th
6)  Brian Roberts            48th                                 6) Kelly Johnson            216th

If you weren't smart enough to draft Cano, or lucky enough to get a bargain on Uggla, Pardo, or Weeks, it's very likely that your 2B situation has been a mess this year.  Hill has completely disappeared off the face of the earth.  Utley had an incredible start, had a huge slump, and then has been on the DL since late June.  Kinsler is headed to his 2nd stint on the DL this year starting today.  Pedroia is trying to come back from a broken foot.  And Roberts has missed the first 3 1/2 months of the season and is currently hitting .194.

At the beginning of this year, 2B looked very deep.  For those of you that waited on a 2B, good for you.  The rest of us are trying to piece together an infield.

Trade Deadline resources

The trading dealine can be a very exciting time, both in MLB and in fantasy baseball.  Closers can become set up men, and vice-versa.  Struggling arms and bats can come alive all of a sudden when putting on a new uniform.  With 2 full days left before the July 31st deadline, here are some solid resources to track what's going on:

ESPN (Buster Onley):  MLB Rumors

ESPN (Jared Stegall):  Bleacher Report

Yahoo! (Mark J. MIller):  Scoop Du Jour

MLB (Tim Dierkes):  MLB Trade Rumors

Pro Sports Daily:  MLB Trade Rumors

Happy hunting!

Filling in for Joel Piñeiro

We are now getting to the time of year when injuries could very well end the season for a lot of players.  In a fantasy baseball world, this is actually ok sometimes.  In single year formats, it makes the drop/carry on DL decision very easy (although having to drop a key starter in the stretch run is rough). 

With Joel Pineiro being shut down for 6-8 weeks, there's a pretty good chance he will miss the rest of the season.  Even if he does come back, it might be too late to help anyone.  Pineiro was just starting to heat up, winning 7 of his last 8 decision with a 3.12 ERA and a 1.21. WHIP over that period, prompting most leagues to have someone scoop him up.

Now that he's out, here's a list of possible replacements.  All of the following pitchers are owned in less than 50% of leagues (Yahoo leagues):

- Madison Bumgarner (40% owned) - 2.43 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and coming off 4 straight wins.  Next young stud ace coming from the Giants system

- Ted Lilly (49% owned) - His win-loss is not impressive, but his 3.69 ERA and 1.14 WHIP are.  He has been given absolutely no run support this year (2.7 runs per start), so his record should look a lot better, and that kind of support can't keep up all year... can it?

- Travis Wood (21% owned) - Love this kid.  2.87 ERA and 0.96 WHIP!  He went head to head with Roy Halladay, matching him 9 one-hit, shutout innings with 8 K's in an extra inning ND a few weeks ago.  He has given up 2 or fewer runs in 4 of his 6 starts, and is averaging almost 8K's/9 innings.  The Reds are fighting for a playoff spot, and Wood has been incredible so far.

- Jonathon Niese (29% owned) - 3.43 ERA and slightly high 1.37 WHIP.  Has been extremely consistant this year.  In his 18 starts this year, he has only given up 4 or more runs 4 times.  Solid 7K/9Inn and is 6-2 over the last 2 months.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Spot starter for Thursday July 29th

Hot pick for tomorrow:

Madison Bumgarner:  (40% owned) -  2.43 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and coming off 4 straight wins.  If you need pitching depth, and he's still available in your league, grab him now.  The Giants are hot, and so is Bumgarner. 

Monday, June 21, 2010

Spot starter for Tuesday, June 22

After a crazy week and a half at my real job, I'm back and ready to get some good momentum going.  My last few picks got me back to .500, and I'm feeling pretty good about myself after putting some serious distance between me and the rest of the league in my points league.  Here's who I like for Tuesday:

Tommy Hunter (12% owned) -- a previous pick for me.  I love Hunter.  He left his last start early with right hip discomfort, but this kid is a horse and is ready to go tomorrow.  I will probably pick this guy every 5th day until he's owned by 50% of the league.  I really like him at home against Pittsburg tomorrow.  His 2.08 ERA and 0.92 WHIP are nothing to sneeze at either.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Spot starter for Friday June 11

Huge complete game win for Saunders last night (I'll try not to hurt myself patting myself on the back...).  Most importantly, it got me back to .500 -- which for picks of guys under 50% owned is not bad.  Here are my stats so far:

Starts    W     L     Inn     CG   Shutout    Hits     ER     BB     ERA     WHIP
12          5      5     73.1    2            1          83      41      18      5.03      1.38

Here's who I like for Friday:

No one makes me super confident tomorrow, but I have a hunch about Luis Atilano (2% owned).  Not a power pitcher, but has had a great start to his rookie season.  His only bad start came against the Mets, and it was the second time he's faced them.   If you look at his numbers against teams the first time he faces them,  he is sporting a 5-1 recored with a 3.47 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP.  He goes against the struggling Indians at home tomorrow who are worse at home then they are on the road.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Spot starter for Thursday June 10

Well, no repeat performance for Galarraga last night, but a decent ND.  Here spot starter stats so far:

Starts     W     L     Inn     H     ER     BB     ERA     WHIP
11           4      5     64.1  76    40      17      5.60      1.45

I really like my pick for tomorrow:

- Tommy Hunter - (6% owned) - Hunter had a very impressive season last year, and threw a complete gave victory against the Rays in his only start this year.  Hunter has the Nolan Ryan old school mentality.  He is an innings machine with great command and I like him a lot tomorrow at home vs. Seattle.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sell low.... or wait?

Now that June is here, it's time for most fantasy owners to look at their under-performing (or non-performing) players and start do decide just how much longer they are willing to carry them.  Case in point:  Mark Teixeira.  If you have drafted Tex, you most likely did in the first round (avg pick 10.2 in Yahoo leagues), which means that you are probably pulling your hair out right now knowing that you either need to trade him for half his value, or sit him on the bench and start a backup 1B -- neither are good options for your #1 draft pick.

Teixeira is a notoriously bad April hitter -- career .237 avg and .700 OPS, a far cry from his .286/.911 career numbers.  And when the calendar turned May and Tex hit .400 over the first 8 days, including a 3 HR game, he seemed to back to business as usual.  So what do you make of the fact that on June 8th, he's hitting .211 with a .689 OPS and only 8 HR's... playing in that stadium... in the middle of that lineup...??  Honestly, I don't know.  But what I do know is that you definately don't want to sell low, unless you get comparable undervalue in return (such as Prince Fielder, for example).  Otherwise, you need to ride out the slump.  He struggled almost as bad last year (granted not into June) and still finished with 39 HR's and and 122 RBI.  It's a stretch to think he's going to hit those numbers, but a couple 8-9 HR months are not out of the question.  For a little encouragement, here are Tex's career numbers for June - Sept

June:  170 games -- .271 avg, 40 HR, 128 RBI, .900 OPS
July:   174 games -- .284 avg, 41 HR, 119 RBI, .898 OPS
Aug:   198 games -- .311 avg, 49 HR, 162 RBI, .972 OPS
Sept:  183 games -- .305 avg, 50 HR,  166 RBI .994 OPS

So it's obvious that Tex gets better as the year goes on.  Unless there is something seriously wrong with him physically right now, expect his numbers to return to normal over the next few weeks.  In the meantime, hope there are no more 5 strikeout, 0-6 games...

Spot starter for Wednesday June 9

No pick on Sunday, and Armando Galarraga going tonight.  Here's who I like on Wednesday:

-- Joe Saudners (13% Owned) - Saunders has had an up and down season so far, but I really like him tomorrow @ Oakland.  Saunders last start against Oakland was his second career shutout back in May and he is 10-4 career against Oakland.  He's also facing Dallas Braden who is 0-3 in his last 5 starts since his perfect game.  I would not use Saunders past tomorrow, but he's a solid pick if you need a fill in.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Spot starter for Tuesday June 8

No pick for Monday since I couldn't find anyone I liked enough and I need to get back on track.  Saturday and Sunday were better:  Cahill no decision and Brett Myers win.  Here is my pick performance so far:

Starts     W     L     Inn     Hits     ER     BB     ERA     WHIP
   10        4      5     59.2    69      38      15     5.76       1.42

Here's my pick for Tuesday:

- Armando Galarraga (11% owned) - I picked him last week when he was only 2% owned.  I'm expecting another strong (though probably not perfect) start against another struggling offense:  Chicago.  He may not make my under-50% rule after this week.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Spot starter for Sunday June 6

Ugh... my picks have been stinking on ice.  RA Dickey did pull out the win, but Davis got shelled.  Going forward, I'm going to only have 1 pick per day.  I'm spreading my self a little thin.  Here's the results for week 1:

Starts    W        L       Inn      Hits   ER   Walks ERA WHIP
  8         3         5        46.2     56    33     10        6.36   1.41

Pick for Sunday:
Bret Myers (12% owned) - coming off a 10K performance against Washington, Myers is have a solid comeback season this year with a 3.04 ERA and has not given up more than 4 runs all season.  I like him tomorrow at home vs. the Cubs.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Spot starters for Saturday June 5

Ok, back on the horse.  Tim Wakefield got hit around a little yesterday.  I thought the Sox offense would get him off the hook for the loss, until the bullpen imploded.  Here's my spot starter results so far and my picks for Saturday:

Starts      Wins     Losses    Innings    Hits    ER    Walks    ERA    WHIP
    6                2           4            37.0      40     22        8         5.35      1.30

- Trevor Cahill - (7% owned) - not sure why this guy is such a big secret.  Next in the long line of great young A's pitchers.  Currently is 4-2 with 3.02 ERA and 1.15 WHIP.  He's 2-0 at home this year with a 0.77 ERA (1 earned run in 11.2 innings).

That's all I got for tomorrow.... there are a lot of aces going.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

On a side note...

I will try to keep my Boston bias out of this Fantasy Baseball blog. That being said, I would like to make the following announcement:

Thank you... carry on.

Spot starters for Friday, June 4

Well, I would have loved to say that one of my spot starters threw a perfect game (and unofficially, he did), but that's how it goes.  Congrats Armando Galarraga!  Yesterday was an improvement, and here are my results so far:

Starts   W   L   Inn     Hits   ER  Walks    ERA    WHIP

   5        2   3    31.0   32     16      8        4.65      1.29

Picks for Friday:

- Wade Davis (27% owned) - Davis has only had one start all year where he's given up 5 earned runs.  The Texas hitters haven't seen him yet, and CJ Wilson has struggled in his last 3 starts.

- RA Dickey (1% owned) - It's scary to pick a knuckleballer two days in a row, but Dickey has pitched great in his 3 starts this year, and he Mets offense is starting to wake up.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Relief help in Milwaukee

Well, you can pretty much stick a fork in Trevor Hoffman... he is done.  Somehow, he was able to dazzle major league hitters in '09 with that 85 mph fastball, and better than average change-up.  But this year, batters have been teeing off like they were taking batting practice.  After a couple of scoreless no-pressure, late inning, mop up appearances, he took the ball in the 7th inning last night with a two run lead and proceeded to pour gasoline all over the field.  All together, 1 inning, 3 hits, 2 walks, 3 runs, and another giant L for maybe the best closer ever to take the mound.

So, short term, the Brewers need to assign a closer (look for them to possibly make a deal if they can stay in contention).  As of now, the most likely candidate is John Axford.  Axford is currently owned in only 15% of Yahoo leagues, so if you need short term help in the saves department, he will make a nice pickup.  He has overpowering stuff, and is showing signs he could be a real closer.  He has 13K's in only 8 innings, and opponents are only hitting .148 off of him.  A 2.25 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP make him a slightly better option to Villanueva to close games out.

Spot starters for Thursday, June 3

So, I got off to a rocky start on Tuesday... Lilly lost a game he should have won, Harden won a game he should have lost, and Blackburn... well, Blackburn sucked.  Hopefully my guys tonight will do a little better.  Since, unlike most blogs that pick, I hold myself accountable,  here's where we're at after 1 day:

Starts Wins Losses Innings Hits ER Walks ERA WHIP

   3       1         2      16.1    23   12     7     6.61   1.84

Thursday is a short schedule, so I only have one pick:
Tim Wakefield - (4% owned) - Wakefield is a much better pitcher at home than on the road, and is 11-6 in his career against Oakland.  Also, the Sox offense is on fire.

Also, special props to David Huff for taking the mound just a couple days after taking an A-Rod line drive to the head.  Grande huevos amigo!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Spot starters for Wednesday, June 2

A couple of guys I like for tomorrow that no one has:

- Armando Galarraga - (2% owned) -I have to admit, I've had a fantasy crush on this guy for a couple years.  He helped me a lot in 2008.  Back in the Tiger rotation, he's had mixed success in his 2 starts so far this year.  His career stats are eerily identical between home and away, but I like him tomorrow at home vs. the struggling Cleveland offense and Carmona who is coming off 2 straight losses.

- Jeff Francis - (17% owned) - Francis is trying to get back to pre 2009 form, and two of his three starts this year have been solid.  He will miss Lincecum/Cain/Zito/Sanchez and get to throw against Todd Wellenmeyer instead.  He comes into the game with a 2.89 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and is still well below most owners' radars.

Good luck!

Monday, May 31, 2010

New Twitter Account

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Spot starters for June 1, 2010

Now that June is here, I am going to start putting up a daily list of spot starters I like for the following day.  Spot starters will be guys owned in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues, who I like for a solid game.  I'll also keep a running tally of how my picks are doing:

- Ted Lilly (48% owned) - Lilly has struggled early this season, but is coming off a 7 shutout inning no decision vs. the Dodgers.  He had 5 K's and only gave up 3 hits against a potent lineup.  Look for another solid performance against Pittsburg tomorrow.

- Rich Harden (43% owned) - Many people have given up on Harden this year, but I like him tomorrow against the White Sox.  The White Sox offense has been non existent this year, and historically June is Harden's best ERA, WHIP, Batting Average Against, and K/9 month.  I'm a little worried about facing Buehrle in Chicago... but I have a good feeling about Harden.

- Nick Blackbun (23% owned) - Blackburn is coming of 5 straight wins, and is one of the truly underrated starters out there.  He does give up his share of hits, but has only given up 2 homeruns in his last 5 starts (37.1 innings - including a complete game).  He also gets a lot of ground balls and is 2nd in the majors in getting batters to ground into double plays, making his 1.41 WHIP a bit less worrysome.

Good luck!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Tough break...

Hello all you Angels fans and Kendry Morales owners… how’s your Memorial Day weekend going? I don’t mean to rub it in, but only in baseball do injuries like this happen. Morales just hit a walk-off grand slam only to break his ankle while jumping on home plate as his teammates mobbed him… I guess technically it’s not a walk-off homerun if you are taken off the field on a stretcher…

So, what’s done is done. Now what? Before you start offering crazy deals to the guy with two stud first baseman, or taking this as a sign that you are spending too much time of fantasy baseball and mailing in the rest of the season, consider some of the following options:

1) Paul Konerko – currently owned in 81% of Yahoo leagues. Started the season on fire, and has cooled off a lot. If he’s available take him. If not, see if the current owner wants to dump (I doubt he’s anyone’s #1 1B, and with his current struggles, they are probably willing to move). Konerko is better than his .256 average and only strikes out about 89 times/full season. His HR production has dropped a bit over the last few years, but he has 14 already this year. His best power months over his career are June and July, and his best Batting Average months are June and August.

2) Nick Swisher – currently owned in 71% of Yahoo leagues. Swisher has good power, which becomes great power hitting at Yankee Stadium, and this year is hitting .327 on the road as well. Anyone on the Yankee offense is a safe play, but Swisher has been hot of late, and adds versatility with OF eligibility as well. His average probably won’t stay above .300 all year, but he’ll probably be good for 30-35 homeruns.

3) Adam LaRoche – Currently owned in 55% of Yahoo leagues. LaRoche has been a consistent performer all season. He had 25 HR, and 83 RBI last year while bouncing around with 3 different teams. His strikeouts are a little high, but he’s a good option compared to a lopsided trade.

4) Ike Davis: Mets prospect has been pretty good right out of the gate. Hitting over .270 in the cleanup spot. Big strong lefty bat with tons of potential. He’s a little young at 23 years old, but has tremendous upside.

Guys I would avoid:

1) David Ortiz – If he’s still available in your league, pick him up. Otherwise, don’t offer any value in a trade. Odds are, whoever has him picked him off of waivers and is looking to sell high. He’s still technically in a platoon situation against lefties, which makes him one slump away from losing AB’s.

2) Troy Glaus, Todd Helton, Jose Lopez, Mark Teahen… All past their prime and not worth the risk.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Jesus is coming...

I took a small hiatus, but now I’m back. Currently in 1st place in my 10 team total points league, and 4th place and gaining in my 10 team head-to-head dynasty league (come on Prince Fielder!). Let’s get this rolling again.

So the calendar is just about to turn June. This is the time when many teams prepare to roll out their can’t miss, hopefully-ready-for-the-big-time studs that they’ve been saving on the shelf in order to keep under their control for one extra year. Enter Stephen Strasburg. Expect to see Strasburg make his MLB debut around the first weekend of June.

Nicknamed “Jesus” by future Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez because when he throws the ball, everyone says “Jesus!”, Strasburg brings a lot of hype with him. He also brings a triple-digit fastball and a 12 to 6 hammer that freezes batters a la Pedro Martinez. While the sample size is still small, his domination of the minor leagues is undeniable. In 9 minor league starts, he boasts a 6-1 record, 0.99 ERA, and 54 K’s in 45 1/3 innings. His AAA starts are even more impressive with a 3-0 record, 0.39 ERA (1 earned run in 23 1/3 innings) and opposing batters are hitting .139 against him. In short, this kid is ready. Dwight Gooden/Tim Lincecum ready. I’d like to see him struggle just once in the minors, just to see how he comes back from it, but I don’t know if that’s going to happen. Not by next week anyways.

Chances are, he’s not available in your league (owned in 81% of Yahoo leagues on 5/27). But if he is, grab him now. Even if he takes a couple major league starts for him to get comfortable, he will be worth it. There are hot prospects, and then there are rare talents, and few people in baseball history could do what this kid can do. I just hope playing in Washington doesn’t hold him back.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Jason Heyward experiment

Jason Heyward is undoubtedy the hottest prospect in baseball for 2010.  And since Atlanta has announced that Heyward will be heading to Altanta to start the season with the big league club, Heyward has been flying off the draft board.  In the last few days, Heyward's ADP has jumped from the low 200's to 183 in Yahoo draft's which it huge for this late in the spring.  I've been asked by a few people what I think about Heyward and drafting him this year.  I actually don't have him in any of my leagues (even my dynasty league), and I'm ok with that (for this year).  Here are my feelings on Heyward for 2010:

1)  Age.  He's only 20.  With all the hype, and spring training craziness, it's hard to overlook this point.  No 20 year old (not named Ted Williams) walks right into the majors and dominates.  Heywards raw power is undeniable, but with the quality of pitching in the NL, there is definately going to be some growing pains.

2)  Experience.  Heyward has 226 games of minor league ball under his belt, with 176 at the A level, 47 at AA, and only 3 games at AAA.  In those 226 games, he has 28 homeruns.  To me, that makes it pretty obvious that a 25-30 homerun projection for this season seems a little over optimisitc.

3) Shin Splints?  Heyward was left out of the game today because of shin splints.  If he has a nagging injury like this going into the season, don't expect a lot of stolen bases.  Also, the team is going to treat Heyward with kid gloves.  Any sign of injury will put him on the bench, or back to AAA.  Even an early season slump could get him a trip back to AAA to avoid destroying his confidence.

Don't get me wrong... I like Heyward.  A lot.  Since Bond's retired, OF's have taken a back seat in the top tier of the power department to A-Rod and first basemen.  Heyward could be the second coming of Hank Aaron.  But not yet.  Not in 2010... maybe not even in 2011.  Plenty of people are salivating over Heyward this year, so if you have him, now is a great time to trade him.  If he's available after pick 200, and you want to take a risk, go ahead, but don't reach for him unless you are in a dynasty league and can lock him up for 3 to 4 years.  As far as projections, if he can get 140+ starts this year, I've got him at 18 HR's, 70 RBI, 65 Runs, 7 Steals, .275 Batting Average.  To me, that sounds like a great season for a 20 year old, but not quite the astronomical numbers some people are talking about.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Closers -- Battles and value

If your draft is done, or if you are looking to pick up some later round closers, there are definitely still plenty of saves out there. The nice thing about getting Saves is that you don’t always have to have the big names on the top teams. You can get almost as good of numbers if you wait patiently and get some lesser known closers:

Minnesota: With Joe Nathan out for the year, the closers job is up for grabs. Don’t count the Twins out from making a deal for a closer (Heath Bell’s name has been thrown out there), but right now, it’s between John Rauch, who has some experience closing, and Matt Guerrier, Nathan’s set up man. Though they might both see some save opportunities, it’s likely Rauch will be the guy.

Toronto: This one is totally up in the air. Toronto brought in Kevin Gregg in the offseason, but his 5.40 spring ERA is not helping. Scott Downs just gave up his first runs of spring the other night, but the fact that he’s one of the few lefty’s in the pen means he might be used more as situational relief. That leaves Jason Frasor who started off horrendous, but has shown improvement, and looks to be the favorite right now. I’d wait-and-see on this one… no matter who they name the closer, it’s probably going to be up for grabs well into April.

Houston: Brandon Lyon was slated to be the closer in the offseason, but since he is just returning from a shoulder injury now, it looks like Matt Lindstrom will get the nod to start the season. Lindstrom struggled some last year, so this could be a battle all year long to see who gets the ball in the 9th inning.

Cleveland: Kerry Wood will start the season on the DL (Shocker!) so Chris Perez will start the season as the closer. Perez throws hard but might not be ready to close games just yet. Last season he had 5 save chances and blew 3 of them and finished the season with a 4.32 era. He does have strikeout stuff, but we’ll see if he’s got the closer mentality.

Here’s a quick list of other closers you can get late that have little-to-no competition for the closer duties: Octavio Dotel (Pittsburg), Matt Capps (Washington), Mike Gonzalez (Baltimore), Leo Nunez (Florida).

2010 Fantasy Sleepers -- Starting Pitchers

As always, starting pitching can be a crap shoot. Pitchers (not named Lincecum) are much more injury prone and therefore, are riskier to draft high. I typically will take one stud pitcher near round 5-6, and then wait a few rounds before I take a few more. As always, your league rules/settings will determine the best picks, but I’ve outlined a few guys that will help you this year and you won’t need to burn a high pick on them. Thanks for checking me out, and I hope this helps:

Brandon Webb – I love taking elite pitchers coming off of major injuries. Last year I got Chris Carpenter late in all my leagues and he was lights out. Look for similar things from Webb this year, and you can pick him up around round 12-14, though he may not be ready to go until late April/early May.

Tim Hudson – Same deal as Webb, looks good in the spring so far, and is being drafted in rounds 18-20.

Jonathan Sanchez – Electric stuff. His ERA, BA against, and WHIP have all dropped each year over the last 3 years, while his K’s have increased. This is the year he will put it all together, and the last year he will be cheap.

Brett Anderson – Next in the long line of A’s pitching prospects. Will be the ace of the staff by May.

Rich Harden – Injury prone, but his K/9 is outstanding, and that Texas offense will give the starters a lot of wins this year.

Phil Hughes – Has great stuff, and was just named Yankees #5 starter. Will be around 1K/inning, and could come in below 1.20 WIP. Another pitcher who will steal wins even on bad days because of his potent offense.

2010 Fantasy Sleepers -- Offense

This is one of my favorite times of the year. With the end of winter comes baseball, and with baseball comes Fantasy Baseball. I’m not sure what it is that draws me to fantasy baseball, but I’m totally addicted. Some of my drafts have already started, and some are still coming up, but believe me, my research is done. I will share with you here some of my Fantasy Baseball sleepers for 2010. Please let me know if these end up being helpful, and if you would like to add to my list – and unlike many other sites, this info is FREE. Thanks and good luck!
Catcher -- If you can’t get a stud, consider one of the following
- Buster Posey: One of the top Catching prospects in baseball. May get a chance at the major league level this year, but more likely a good pick in a keeper/dynasty league. Not your typical sleeper because the word is already out on this guy.
- Miguel Montero: Has good power and can hit for average. Split duties with Chris Snyder last year but will win everyday job this year. Hit .294 last year and projected at 18-20 HR’s for 2010
- Geovany Soto: Had a terrible sophomore slump, but look to see his numbers rebound, if not exceed his 2008 numbers. Should be able to get cheap/late in most drafts

First Base – First is loaded as always, but look for some of these later round steals
- Kendry Morales: The quietest 34 HR, 108 RBI, .306 Avg season in the history of baseball last year – and he’s only 26!
- Chris Davis: Another horrible sophomore year with monster power and huge upside. Don’t reach for him, but he should be there late. Also has 3B eligibility for one more year (at least).
- Garrett Jones: I don’t know why I love this guy, but I do. 21 HR, 10 steals and .293 avg last year in only 82 games. Huge upside, and he will be available VERY late. Also has OF eligibility

Second Base – Not a lot of power after the first tier, but plenty of value
- Rickie Weeks: Started last season on fire before injury. Is 27 years old with possible 20 HR/20 Steal projections – best you’ll get this late.
- Scott Sizemore: Tiger rookie with huge expectations. Possible 20 HR/30 steal/.300 average in a year or two. Look for closer to 10/15/.275 this year, but this kid is the real deal.
- Ian Desmond: Nats rookie who hit .354 in AAA last season with potential 15 HR/ 25 Steals this year
- Gordan Beckham: See 3B note below. Will have 2B eligibility after first week of season.

Shortstop – Hardest position to draft once again. After the top 5 guys, it’s a crap shoot.
- Everth Cabrera: 40-50 steal potential with great plate discipline for a young player. Look for 85 to 95 runs scored, but 5 homeruns would be a high projection
- Alcides Escobar: Similar potential as Everth Cabrera, but much better hitter. Should crack .300 with 35-40 steals. If he can win the leadoff spot, look for 100+ runs scored, if not, he’ll hit towards the bottom of lineup and maybe 70-75.
- Ian Desmond: See above, should have 2B and SS eligibility in most leagues

Third Base – Top half of the draft is deeper than usual this year, still plenty of value late
- Gordan Beckham: Think 23 year old version of David Wright. He is moving to 2B this year, so will have 2B/3B eligibility after first week of season. 5-tool future superstar. If you can’t get one of the top 5 guys, wait a few rounds and get Beckham. You won’t be sorry.
- Chris Davis: See 1b note. Most likely last year with 3B eligibility. 40 HR potential
- David Freese: This one is a little bit of a reach, even for me. Solid bat, potential 25 HR, .280 batting avg guy, and I’m sure no one in your draft will have heard of him.

Outfield – My specialty. I rarely draft OF in the first 10 rounds, and I still always win. Here’s who I like cheap:
- Andrew McCutchen: Lightning fast with surprising power. Solid 20HR/35 steal/.290 avg with 25/50/.310 potential
- Carlos Gonzalez: 20 HR/20 Steal potential before going to Colorado. Look for 25/20 this year with potential to be a 30/30 guy. Only 24 years old
- Julio Borbon: Texas has built one of the most potent offenses in baseball. Had 4 HR, 19 steals, and .312 avg in only 46 games last year. Look for 100+ runs, 40+ steals and a .300 avg out of the leadoff spot. 15 HR’s is also not out of the question.
- Drew Stubbs: Another burner with 50 steal, 10 HR potential right away. Doesn’t get on base enough to hit leadoff, but can fly.

Hope some of these picks help you out.  Remember, how you draft depends on your league. Check out my eHow article on how to draft a winning Fantasy Baseball Team! Also, if you've never used FanGraphs for your draft prep, you should!