State of the Fantasy…03-30-2014

Here we are at the start of the MLB season and fantasy is back in full swing. I, however, do not know fantasy baseball very well. To that point, I will not be making a weekly postings as I did for fantasy football. I’m trying to get some other people in as writers and podcasters to cover this but I’m not having a lot of luck. I’ll be checking with a few people again for this purpose. If anybody out there has an interest, feel free to speak up.

I only have one fantasy baseball team and we did our draft on Saturday. Not sure how I did but one of the guys in the league thought I had one of the stronger teams. Not to sure about that myself but even if I do I’m sure I can make the least of it. Take a look at what I ended up with and let me know.

C – Yadier Molina – StL

1B – Adrian Gonzalex – LAD

2B – Matt Carpenter – StL

3B – Miquel Cabrera – Det

SS – Everth Cabrera – SD

OF – Giancarlo Stanton – Mia

OF – Jason Heyward – Atl

OF – Michael – Cuddyer – Col

Util – Chase Headley – SD

Util – Carl Crawford – LAD

BN – Billy Butler – KC

BN – Coco Crisp – Oak

BN – Starlin Castro – ChC

BN – Nick Swisher – Cle

BN – Mark Teixeira – NYY

SP – Justin Verlander – Det

SP – Dan Haren – LAD

RP – Addison Reed – Ari

RP – Jose Veras – ChC

P – Adam Wainwright – StL

P – Clay Buchholz – Bos

P – R.A. Dickey – Tor

Good luck to all you players and your leagues.

Who Knew, Bo?

For those of us of the right age, we can look back and see a bright light that still flickers in the distance. It’s a light that once shined so brilliantly that you almost couldn’t believe you were seeing it. There are few true super stars in sports and only one that was a super star in two sports. We may never see one like Bo Jackson ever again and unfortunately he may one day himself be forgotten.

I took the time to watch something that had been sitting in my Netflix queue for quite some time. Something that I had always wanted to see by never wanted to watch. ESPN’s 30 for 30 series did a show “You Don’t Know Bo”. Being a Raiders fan and knowing what happened to Bo Jackson made me not want to see this because it is a tale of a great career cut short.  When I did watch the show those feelings of sadness and questions of “what if” came as expected but was also came was a sense of one man’s true greatness and what we really saw in him. Bo Jackson was a great athlete by nothing other than what he was given at birth. What you find out is that he was a great man because of his up bringing and life off the field. Even when his career was cut short and taken from him, he shows no bitterness or resentment. No more perfect than the rest of us, he has dealt with everything in life the best he can. It’s now been almost twenty years since he last played professionally but he has carried on.

What struck me most was the thought that one day Bo Jackson may not be remembered. As great an athlete as he was, he did not play long enough to likely be elected to either sport’s hall of fame. In fact the only individual accomplishment he has is his Heisman trophy. The most he may be remembered for is his “Bo Knows” ad campaign with Nike. There was no other athlete in memory that was as captivating as he was and doing it in two sports made it even more special. It’s easy to say Michael Jordan was the best in basketball in his time. It’s easy to say Wayne Gretzky was the best hockey player of his time. You may even get away with saying Lawrence Taylor was the best of his time. Today you can argue who is the best in these same sports: LeBron James for basketball, Sidney Crosby for hockey, and Adrian Peterson for football. These are all argumentative if they are the best but none of the people I named did it in two sports. Others have tried, Deion Sanders on of the more notable, but have never had the same success or notoriety.

bo-jackson-200x300What we are left with are highlight reels and memories. For people who saw Bo Jackson play, either in person or on television, we speak of his plays as if they were legend. We look back at these flashes of light and stare into them to ignite our memories. Bo tearing off the long run down the side line. Bo powering the baseball over the crowd. Bo flying through the air against Alabama. Then we are left to lament as our eyes draw away from the light and our hearts dim thinking of what may have been. One play, one tackle, no different from any other took him from us. We feel bad that we didn’t get to see more huge hits or long runs so selfishly. Bo Jackson has moved on with seemingly less remorse than we have.

We may never know what Bo knows. Maybe what Bo really knows is something greater than what Nike could ever let on. If you want to have some semblance of what Bo may know, watch this 30 for 30 on Netflix.

State of the Fantasy…..0011

As promised, let’s wrap up this season and look forward to next year.

To all of you who won championships, congratulations. For the rest of us, better luck next year. I ended up losing my championship match by over fifty points. My last-ditch efforts did little if nothing to help me but keeping my old line up would not have fared much better. I can say I made it to the championship and did the best I could. Ultimately, I will take it that I am one of many whom lost to a team that was headed by Peyton Manning.

Never will I call the season a loss. The biggest thing I will take from it is that I need to put forth more effort in several key areas. Mostly, I need to research and evaluate talent better along with monitoring my roster versus any talent available via trades or waivers. My own complacency cost me at times. Along with that I was too risk averse, always choosing the safe route and looking away from players with big upsides.

Not only is there room for improvement in my fantasy play, there is also room for improvement in my fantasy posts. The effort I put into researching the players better will help but I also need to allot more time to do the column itself. I have to apologize for the quality of the last two post in particular. I may tweak the format a bit as I look things over but I don’t want to get into ranking positions every week. Looking deeper into teams and their weekly matchup is something that I am considering. I felt like my postings were very superficial and that was an effect of the limited amount of time I was putting into them.

There is the potential that I will begin posting before the next fantasy season starts. Mostly some pre-season rankings by position or I may stick with looking at fantasy potential per team but I think that may not be useful when considering draft choices. Those post most likely won’t start until the NFL pre-season is under way.

As we end the year, we can all look back and what we did in fantasy and in real life. We can all improve on both. Happy New Year to you all.

State of the Fantasy…..0010

This is it. The last week of the season and fantasy. With the possibility of coaches sitting players for the playoff, this week is pretty muddy. Let’s look at what we have to work with this week.

Sunday – 12/29/2013

  • 1:00pm – Carolina at Atlanta – Carolina is looking to win this game to secure the division and Atlanta is playing for pride. Since Atlanta has been somewhat competitive in the last few games, look for Cam Newton to play most of the game.
  • 1:00pm – Baltimore at Cincinnati – This game is for the division, therefore both teams will be going full-bore. I still would stay away from any body on Baltimore though. I don’t trust Andy Dalton but I would take A.J. Green.
  • 1:00pm – Houston at Tennessee – Chris Johnson, if you don’t have anything better.
  • 1:00pm – Jacksonville at Indianapolis – This game means nothing to Indianapolis and they will probably pull their starters early – I would not play any of them. I don’t think you want anyone from Jacksonville.
  • 1:00pm – NY Jets at Miami – Miami is clinging to playoff hopes so Ryan Tannehill, Mike Wallace, and Brian Hartline are all good plays.
  • 1:00pm – Cleveland at Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh is also clinging to hope but I don’t know who you can trust here. Maybe Ben Roethlisberger.
  • 4:25pm – Denver at Oakland – Rashad Jennings and Rod Streater are good plays. I know you want to use your Denver players but look for them to be out in the second half.
  • 4:25pm – Green Bay at Chicago – The usual suspects of Alshon Jeffery, Brandon Marshall, and Matt Forte will start. I also have to think that Jay Cutler and Aaron Rodgers should be started. Both teams are fighting for the playoffs and will be out there to perform.
  • 4:25pm – Buffalo at New England – Nobody. New England can get the number one playoff seat without even winning.
  • 4:25pm – Tampa Bay at New Orleans – Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham need to do well to make sure New Orleans makes the playoffs.
  • 4:25pm – San Francisco at Arizona – I would not want to play any San Francisco players if I didn’t have to.  Arizona is going to come out swinging in this home game that has the faintest hope of a playoff berth. I don’t particularly like anybody on Arizona either.
  • 4:25pm – Kansas City at San Diego – Remember be saying that Denver will be sitting people? Kansas City is more likely to do so.
  • 4:25pm – St. Louis at Seattle – Seattle is playing to get their home mojo re-established. However, Russell Wilson has been mediocre of late and St. Louis is pretty good on defense. I would take the St. Louis defense.
  • 8:30pm – Philadelphia at Dallas – Here is where I contradict myself. I will be starting Nick Foles over Aaron Rodgers. It is only because of the match up. I usually don’t go into match up plays but in a game where the division is on the line I have to stick with the man who got me through the last half of the season. The unknown of Rodgers scares me to a point. Start DeMarco Murray because will probably get the ball a lot to keep the load off of Kyle Orton.

As far as my championship hopes, I am still in one game but I am down thirty-five points in a two-week playoff. I made some pretty big changes to try to make up the differential. It may come down to how early Payton Manning sits down since that is my opponents quarterback.

Good luck this week. I’m planning a wrap up post next week.

State of the Fantasy…..0009

Well….this is a late post and it will be a short post. No Thursday game to worry about and the busy season has caused me to slip on getting this posted. It also turns out that I am only still in one playoff race. Furthermore, I wasn’t even in one playoff hunt. Guess I should have paid better attention to that league.

Let’s do this quickly.

Sunday – 12/22/2013

  • 1:00pm – Miami at Buffalo – Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline, Fred Jackson, and C.J. Spiller. Buffalo will have to rely on the run with its receiving core depleted.
  • 1:00pm – Minnesota at Cincinnati – Adrian Peterson should play but look for game time decisions to change that.
  • 1:00pm – Indianapolis at Kansas City – Jamal Charles could set more records today. Alex Smith may just hand the ball off all game. Andrew Luck will be slinging the ball in a catch up effort.
  • 1:00pm – Tampa Bay at St. Louis – Zac Stacey and the St. Louis defense. Not much trust in anything else.
  • 1:00pm – Dallas at Washington – If Tony Romo can’t score on this defense then I’ll take over at quarterback.
  • 1:00pm – New Orleans at Carolina – I want to like Drew Brees, Jimmy Graham, and Darren Sproles to work over the Carolina defense but look for the defense to keep them caged up. New Orleans has not been good on the road. Cam Newton should be fine.
  • 1:00pm – Tennessee at Jacksonville – Most likely MJD won’t play and you won’t want him any way.
  • 4:05pm – NY Giants at Detroit – Start anybody from Detroit. The Giants are just bad.
  • 4:05pm – Arizona at Seattle – Start everybody from Seattle. Seattle is great at home and Arizona is limping in.
  • 4:25pm – Pittsburgh at Green Bay – Yuck.
  • 4:25pm – Oakland at San Diego – Poor Oakland. Look for everybody on the Chargers to have a great game.
  • 4:25pm – New England at Baltimore – This game could be a total mess. Both offenses sputter and both defenses look lost. I don’t like anybody here.
  • 8:30pm – Chicago at Philadelphia – Take every offensive player from Chicago you can get and start them. Same thing with Philadelphia.

Monday – 12/23/2013

  • 8:30pm – Atlanta at San Francisco – I don’t want to insult Atlanta but….they are not good and San Francisco is going to roll on them. Start your players from San Francisco and avoid anybody from Atlanta.

Sorry for the brevity of but kind of busy. Good luck!

 

State of the Fantasy…..0008

Well, I won two out of three playoff games but the one I lost was the one league that meant the most. Damn you Washington – more on that later.

If you are still in it, let’s see who you need to play.

Thursday – 12/12/2013

  • 8:25pm – San Diego at Denver – Peyton Manning and Phillips Rivers should be started. I’m still taking Danny Woodhead. You won’t want to start Wes Welker even if he does play. Look for Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas to do well.

Sunday – 12/15/2013

  • 1:00pm – Washington at Atlanta – Harry Douglas???
  • 1:00pm – Chicago at Cleveland – Josh McCown helped contribute to my fall with a big game but it won’t be that good again. Matt Forte will do decent but don’t look for him to be big. Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall should do well. Josh Gordon could go crazy again on this defense. I think I could get two hundred yards passing on this defense with him on the other end.
  • 1:00pm – Houston at Indianapolis – Damn you Andrew Luck. I bench you for poor play and you put up big numbers even if in a losing effort. My suspicion is that he’ll be just fine against Houston’s defense.
  • 1:00pm – New England at Miami – Tom Brady without Rob Gronkowski does not look good. I don’t think you can count on any of New England’s wide receivers or running backs. Miami is at least offering Brian Hartline and Mike Wallace against a poor New England defense.
  • 1:00pm – Philadelphia at Minnesota – Nick Foles is still doing well, keep rolling him. Give DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy for having good numbers against what defense Minnesota can muster. Minnesota’s run game is hobbled two men deep. Both Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart are banged up. Be ready with other options.
  • 1:00pm – Seattle at NY Giants – Play everybody you have from Seattle and nobody from the Giants.
  • 1:00pm – San Francisco at Tampa Bay – Frank Gore may get slowed down by Tampa Bay’s defense but that should open the passing game up for Colin Kaepernick to Aquan Boldin, Michael Crabtree, and Vernon Davis.
  • 1:00pm – Buffalo at Jacksonville – With Maurice Jones-Drew questionable, be ready with a backup – like Fred Jackson.
  • 4:05pm – NY Jets at Carolina – Look for Carolina’s defense to make this NY Jets offense look even worse. Cam Newton is going to have a big game, start him.
  • 4:05pm – Kansas City at Oakland – Alex Smith under performed for me last week but that wasn’t his fault. Washington was so bad he didn’t have to bother playing most of the game. I like him again in this match up but I fear Kansas City’s defense and special teams may make him irrelevant again. If Jamal Charles even needs to play he should run all over this defense. I’m not sure Dwayne Bowe is officially back but if you have injury concerns with other receivers you may want to look him up.
  • 4:25pm – Green Bay at Dallas – No Aaron Rodgers? Jordy Nelson is now a second-rate receiver because of his quarterback. Eddie Lacy is going to do ok but not great because no one is going to respect the Green Bay passing game. Tony Romo is right where you want him for a fantasy play. His team is fighting for the division and playoffs. Dez Bryant has a chance to make fools of Green Bay’s defense.
  • 4:25pm – Arizona at Tennessee – Even sans “The Honeybadger”, I expect to see a defensive struggle. I still favor Arizona’s defense thinking they will cap Chris Johnson. I think Larry Fitzgerald may comeback down this week.
  • 4:25pm – New Orleans at St. Louis – I don’t like anybody from St. Louis other than Zac Stacey. You’re playing Drew Brees, Pierre Thomas, and Jimmy Graham if you have them. I don’t think Marques Colston and Darren Sproles will be big again.
  • 8:30pm – Cincinnati at Pittsburgh – This is always a tough match up and Pittsburgh is clinging to its last hopes of the playoffs. LaVeon Bell and Ben Roethlisberger will do their best but I think the Cincinnati defense will get the better of them and keep them in check. Look for Cincinnati’s offense to struggle and be useless fantasy wise.

Monday – 12/16/2013

8:30pm – Baltimore at Detroit – Calvin Johnson will be the only thing worth watching in this game.

Hopefully you are still competing for the championship in your most meaningful leagues. I’m going to keep fighting in the consolation bracket. Until the season is completely over, I’ll keep up on the updates. Good luck, as always.