Thursday, December 31, 2009

Week 17 Start Sit Made Easier: BEst & Worst pass Defenses

Not sure if this list is more meaningless than a Week One, but you decide.

Pass RankTeamPYAVsDecision
1Kansas City89.7@DENSit Brandon Marshalll
2Arizona136.3GBSit Greg Jennings_Donald Driver
3NY Jets148.7CINSit Chad OchoCinco
4Baltimore154@OAKSit Louis Murphy?
5New England164@HOUSit Andre Johnson
6Buffalo183.7INDSit Reggie Wayne
7Indianapolis186.3@BUFSit Terrell Owens
8Oakland190BALSit Derrick Mason
9Denver195.5KCSit Chris Chambers
10Pittsburgh202.7@MIASit Devone Bess
23Philadelphia234.7@DALStart Miles Austin_Roy Williams
24Dallas238PHIStart DeSean Jackson
25Washington240@SDStart Vincent Jackson
26Tennessee252.7@SEAStart TJ Houshmandzadeh_Nate Burrelson
27Cleveland255JAXStart Mike Sims-Walker
28Jacksonville261@CLEStart Mohamed Massaquoi
29Seattle278TENStart Nate Washington
30Green Bay281@AZStart Larry Fitzgerald_Anquan Boldin
31New Orleans286.7@CARStart Steve Smith
32St. Louis316.7SFStart Michael Crabtree

MLB Trade Rumors: Chicago Cubs

ESPN: Chicago Cubs Sign Marlon Byrd:

"The Cubs still are seeking trades and free-agent signings. General manager Jim Hendry is looking to solidify his bullpen and maybe add one swing starting pitcher/long reliever.

The team has had several conversations with the agent for former White Sox pitcher Jose Contreras, and have had conversations with Colorado about outfielder Ryan Spilborghs, who would fill the role of the fourth outfielder behind Byrd, Alfonso Soriano and Kosuke Fukudome.

The Cubs also have talked to the Toronto Blue Jays about bullpen pitchers. Former Oak Forest High School pitcher Jason Frasor is on the Cubs' radar. Frasor was a starter at Southern Illinois for four years."

Dem be some pretty minor names. I don't see the Cubs making any real splashes in the trade market unless the team can get the New York Mets to take the $54MM owed Carlos Zambrano.

MLB Trade Rumors: Matt Holliday To St. Louis

Derrick Goold with the St. Louis Dispatch:

"The wait might have been worth it for the Cardinals, as the club and free-agent outfielder Matt Holliday are working toward an agreement that multiple sources described as gaining momentum and potentially is the largest ever offered by the franchise....Boras has been seeking an eight-year contract with an average salary that compares with the $18-million salaries Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Lee currently make and exceeds the $16.5-million salary Jason Bay reportedly just signed with the Mets."

Largest until Pujols' contract. I can't wait to see how the mid-market Cardinals construct a roster in 2013 with Holliday and Pujols taking up $40+MM of payroll.

Add-in SP Adam Wainwright and...of wait, I'm not going to project AW that far in the future because an arm injury takes him from $15MM to incentive-laden deal.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

MLB Trade Rumors: Dan Uggla & Chicago Cubs

John Perrotto at Baseball Prospectus:

"The Braves are emerging as the team most likely to trade for Uggla after the Giants decided to sign free-agent infielder Mark DeRosa than deal for the second baseman. … The Cubs are considering free agents Rick Ankiel, Marlon Byrd, and Scott Podsednik to play center field, but they also have interest in trading for the Rays’ Fernando Perez. …"

Sorry about the potentially misleading headline. As a Jeff Baker owner, I'd prefer the Cubs not address 2B and let the former Clemson HR champ get a season of full-time ABs.

As for the three potential centerfielders, I am having a hard time believing any serious contender would want Rick Ankiel on anything more than a one-year deal. Marlon Byrd intrigues me as he offers power.

Why Byrd hasn't got more press this off-season puzzles me.

MLB Trade Rumors" New York Yankees & Jermaine Dye

Buster Olney at

"I wanted to know if you believe the Yankees will sign Jermaine Dye, another free agent, or go with their own talent? Or, if they go with their own talent, who will be there outfielders in 2010? --Robert Montin, Birmingham, Ala.

Robert: They aren't in the running for Dye, who really doesn't fit what they're trying to do defensively. The guess here is that they go for someone along the lines of Jerry Hairston/Randy Winn type, someone who has some versatility and plays decent defense. Johnny Damon is a longshot, if he'd be willing to come back and play for a 50 to 60 percent pay cut."

As a fantasy player, I'd prefer Brett Gardner to see a lot of time and provide cheap SBs. As a Yankees fan, adding a professional like Rany Winn to work with Gardner makes the team stronger defensively.

I'd prefer Damon, though. Proven players in New York mean something.

Fantasy Sleeper: 3B

With HRs down, the value of the 20 HR hitter has increased. There exists a 3B/OF qualifier who is likely to be a single-digit player in AL-only auction drafts and an end-game draftee/free agent in mixed formats.

His name? Mark Teahen.

While there is little in his profile to make anyone believe he can hit 20 HRs (50% groundball rate, sub-80% contact rate), he does have a new home ballpark, U.S. Cellular Field. In it, Teahen has a career SLG of .510 and a HR/AB rate of 5.8% compared to a .424 and 2.3% rates at Kauffman Stadium.

The math works out to 21-22 HRs assuming the relationships hold in 2010.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

MLB Trade Rumors: New York Mets

Buster Olney:

"Q: Why won't the Mets do anything good this offseason? I have been waiting and checking every day to see what they do, but they won't do anything.
--Nick Chiappetta, North Salem, N.Y.

A: Nick, It's only a matter of time; they'll be doing some stuff soon. Whether or not you'll like what they do is another question entirely. We'll see what decisions they make in the hours and days ahead."

HitTracker: Melky Cabrera

HitTracker :: Player and Field Detail

I know the Atlanta braves got hosed dealing Javy Vazquez for Melky Cabrera and two minor leaguers. I also know that Melky had his best season to date last year - 13 HRs and 28 2Bs - with a very good contact rate of 92%.

As a contrarian, I wonder if the 24-year-old Cabrera could surprise and produce a season of 15/75. His Hit Tracker data shows 8 of his 13 HRs headed towards the sweet spots of the new Yankees Stadium. I am not holding out as much hope as Barack Obama held out to his believers.

With a couple more years of control than the Yankees have with Vazquez, the Braves can win the trade if Melky manages to repeat his 2009 production, though.

Predicting The Future

Dave Cameron at Fangraphs:

"I would like to make a plea with anyone who plans on writing anything about how a team’s off-season has gone – please, please, please do not treat 2009 as a constant."

Decent advise assuming you have other tools and indicators to help understand what affects performance. With baseball moving towards defense, ask yourself if a team has added better defensive players when trying to predict pitching improvement.

Of course, there is so little data to make projections that one must use the previous season production as a foundation. By little data, I mean seasons as sample size.

Monday, December 28, 2009

MLB Trade Rumors: Matt Holliday To Mets?

Talking Baseball With Mets GM Omar Minaya - NY Sports Day

For whatever reason, my browswer didn't allow my to select text from the article that reports Omar Minaya saying the New York Mets are pursuing Matt Holliday. While I think it is a smart move - Holliday has never been portrayed as anything less than a consumate professional, I am curious how far Scott Boras reaches in playing offf the Mets and the Cardinals.

That aside, I am leaning towards the believe the Mets need a star who can deflect attention from David Wright. The spotlight may have been too much for the 3B last season.
Fantasy football is finished but for a few dying very hard leagues. I happen to play in one so there will be the occasional mention of the 2009 fantasy football season in the present tense.

That said, I found the results of an expert draft I did for the 2009 fantasy baseball season. With hindsight, I am curious to get opinions on how well I initially drafted.

Did I identify the types of sleepers in the later rounds who'd be considered top rounds draft picks by season's end? Did I identify those players in the middle rounds who did the same? Did I just embarass myself?

FWIW, I played in two mixed leagues and finished 1st in one and lost the second one thanks to absolutely shitty Yahoo! innings rules that allow a team to go over the stated limits as long as the team begins the day under the limit.

R17OF Ryan BraunMIL
R218SS Jimmy RollinsPHI
R3311B Adrian GonzalezSD
R442OF Curtis GrandersonDET
R555SP Roy HalladayTOR
R666OF Hunter PenceHOU
R779SP Cliff LeeCLE
R890SS Jhonny PeraltaCLE
R9103SP Matt CainSF
R101143B Ryan ZimmermanWAS
R11127OF Torii HunterANA
R12138RP Jonathan BroxtonLA
R13151C Chris IannettaCOL
R141622B Jose LopezSEA
R151751B Pablo SandovalSF
R16186RP Brian WilsonSF
R17199SP Andrew SonnanstineTB
R18210OF Carlos GomezMIN
R19223SP Wandy RodriguezHOU
R20234OF Cameron MaybinFLA
R21247RP Chris VolstadFLA
R22258C Ramon HernandezCIN
R23271SP Gil MecheKC

Sunday, December 27, 2009

MLB Trade Rumors: New York Mets, Jason Bay & Matt Holliday

Baseball Prospectus | On the Beat: Weekend Update:

"Free-agent outfielder Jason Bay appears to have no chance of topping the four-year, $65 million offer he received from the Mets, but is still hoping to sign the Mariners; returning to the Red Sox is his fallback option. … The Mets are considering pursuing free-agent left fielder Matt Holliday if Bay does not accept their offer soon."

I expect the Mets to make a ate push for Matt Holliday when they realize Jason Bay wants nothing to do with the organization that dealt him for Steve Reed and Jason Middlebrook in 2002.

Here is what Baseball America said about Bay it that trade's analysis:
"Bay, a 23-year-old outfielder, won the low Class A Midwest League batting title last year with a .362 average. A 22nd-round pick out of Gonzaga in 2000 by the Expos, he joined the Mets along with minor league righthander Jim Serrano in a March 26 trade for Lou Collier. In 102 games between Double-A Binghamton and high Class A St. Lucie in 2002, Bay has hit .272-13-73 with 34 steals in 39 attempts. He has some gap power and on-base skills, runs well for a 6-foot-2, 200-pounder and has a strong arm that's an asset in right field."

Championship Week: 10 Worst Run Defenses

Rush RankTeamRYAVsDecision
32Kansas City265.3@CINStart Cedric Benson
31Detroit181.3@SFStart Frank Gore
30Buffalo170@ATLStart Jason Snelling
29Denver166.5@PHIStart LeSean McCoy_Leonard Weaver
28Tampa Bay153.3@NOStart Pierre Thomas_Mike Bell
27Arizona137.3STLStart Steven Jackson
26Chicago135MINStart Adrian Peterson
25Carolina126.7@NYGStart Ahmad Bradhsaw_Brandon Jacobs
24Indianapolis125.3NYJStart Thomas Jones
23Minnesota118.7@CHIStart Matt Forte

Saturday, December 26, 2009

MLB Trade Rumors: New York Mets #1 Target

MLB -- Buster Olney: New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals and Seattle Mariners are among the teams with money to spend on free agents - ESPN:

"They [New York Mets] need a left fielder and a front-line catcher, and Joel Pineiro is likely to be their No. 1 target in the market of starting pitchers."

As long as Piniero's groundball tendencies were a veteran maturation and not a dictat from Cardinals' pitching coach Dave Duncan (1.60 in 2009 around 1.00 in all other seasons), this looks like a very good plan for the Mets.

Championship Week: 10 Worst Pass Defenses

Pass RankTeamPYAVsDecision
32New Orleans321.3TBStart Antonio Bryant
31NY Giants296.3CARStart Steve Smith
30Seattle291@GBStart Greg Jennings_Donald Driver
29Cleveland283.3OAKStart Louis Murphy?
28Washington281DALStart Miles Austin_Roy Williams
27San Diego263@TENStart Nate Washington
26Atlanta262.7BUFStart Terrell Owens
25Green Bay262SEAStart TJ Houshmandzadeh_Nate Burrelson
24St. Louis260.3@AZStart Larry Fitzgerald_Anquan Boldin
23Dallas258.7@WASStart Santana Moss

Friday, December 25, 2009

Championship Week: X-Mas Start/Sit

Merry Christmas!
Rush RankTeamRYAVsDecision
21San Diego112.3@TENStart Chris Johnson
10Tennessee99SDSit LaDanian Tomlinson
Pass RankTeamPYAVsDecision
27San Diego263@TENStart Nate Washington
22Tennessee256.3SDStart Vincent Jackson

Who Would You Keep?

An AL-Only, 4x4, $260, up to 14 protects, 23-man roster.

Pick two: 2B Dustin Pedroia at $34, OF Bobby Abreu at $35 or Miguel Cabrera at $49

A simple sort by 2009 HR totals shows the likely top hitters by power (HR/RBI) available at the draft.

1. Teixeira (39/122)
2. Jason Bay (36/119) If he signs in AL
3. Cabrera (34/103)
4. Nelson Cruz (33/76)
5. Justin Morneau (30/100) Can be protected at $38
6. Hank Blalock (25/66)If he signs in AL
7. Mike Cameron (25/70)

I was going to try for Top 10 but the point was driven home once Hank Blalock showed-up. Mike Cameron insured it was no fluke.

This was posted at Fake Teams two days ago with a poll.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

MLB Trade Rumors: The Boston Red Sox Have How Much To Spend?!?!?

ESPN's Buster Olney on Jason Bay:

"One source indicated Wednesday night that the [Boston Red Sox] has less than $5 million in spending money. Short of blowing up their budget, the only way the Red Sox could work something out with Bay would be to find a way to dump some existing contracts, such as the newly signed Mike Cameron (who would have to lend his permission to such an arrangement)."

Someone is blowing smoke. Otherwise, the state of the baseball economy is teetering on collapse.

Championship Week: Top 10 Run Defenses

Good luck! Remember these ranks cover the last three games.

Rush RankTeamRYAVsDecision
1Green Bay63.3SEASit Justin Forsett_Julius Jones
2NY Giants70.3CARSit DeAngelo Williams
3Washington78DALSit Marion Barber_Felix Jones
4Dallas79.3@WASSit Quentin Gather
5NY Jets84@INDSit Joseph Addai
6Houston85.7@MIASit Ricky Williams
7Seattle90.7@GBSit Ryan Grant
8Jacksonville91.7@NESit Laurence Maroney
9Cincinnati93.3KCSit Jamaal Charles
10Tennessee99SDSit LaDanian Tomlinson

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

How Does Arodys Vizcaino Compare?

Baseball America's Ben Badler Chat at

"David (Queens, NY) In regards to the haul the phillies got for Cliff Lee, Would you say Atlanta got more for their ace Javy Vazquez?

Ben Badler (2:12 PM) Yes. I'd rather have Arodys Vizcaino than any of the prospects the Phillies got for Cliff Lee."

Make the Braves feel good, Ben. It won't change the fact Vizcaino will only be making his full-season debut in 2010.

MLB Trade Rumors: New York Yankees And LF

ESPN's Buster Olney: "One of the first questions in St. Louis was whether the Yankees' trade on Tuesday would mean that they are now in the market for a pricey bat, and the answer is no"

On MLB Home Plate yesterday, disgraced former GM of the Washington Nationals, Jim Bowden, positvely averred the Yankees will make an outfield signing before the Holidays are over. Whehter it is worth repeating ehre is debatable, but given how prescient Buster was yesterday morning, I figured it was worth putting out there.

Championship Week: Top 10 Pass Defenses

Good luck! Remember these are over the past three games.

Pass RankTeamPYAVsDecision
1NY Jets101.3@INDSit Reggie Wayne
2Kansas City102.3@CINSit Chad OchoCinco
3Buffalo133@ATLSit Roddy White
4Cincinnati152KCSit Chris Chambers
5Baltimore160@PITSit Hines Ward
6Denver161@PHISit DeSean Jackson
7Chicago163MINSit Sydney Rice
8Arizona170.7STLSit Donnie Avery
9Tampa Bay179.7@NOSit Marques Colston
10Houston195@MIASit Devone Bess

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

MLB Trade Rumors: New York Yankees

Buster Olney mongers a Yankees rumor in the way bloggers get excoriated doing.

"And they are moving closer to a deal for somebody.

Who? As of 5 a.m. Tuesday, I'm not sure.

A free agent? The best of the remaining starters, Joel Pineiro and Vicente Padilla, figure to cost something in the range of $7 million to $10 million a year....There are the usual suspects of salary-dump players, like Derek Lowe of the Braves, or Aaron Harang, who the Yankees would've taken in a mid-summer deal with the Reds if Cincinnati hadn't stuck to its demand for big-time prospects. Javy Vazquez could be a fit, if the Yankees were willing to consider bringing back a player who failed with them before....The Yankees could also target some arbitration-eligible pitchers who would cost them good young players, like a Josh Johnson, John Danks or Jorge de la Rosa (to be clear, this is pure speculation, but these are the sort of pitchers that the Yankees typically go after). Maybe it's a second-tier arbitration-eligible pitcher, like Joe Blanton...."

Monday, December 21, 2009

MLB Trade Rumors: Matt Holliday

With Buster Olney taking today off, I had to work harder and go directly to the St. Louis Dispatch for an update on the Matt Holliday situation. The best I see is this:

"Boras is believed to be seeking an eight-year deal for Holliday, a length of contract some interested teams like Boston are reluctant to match. A source familiar with the talks said the Cardinals have not been resistant to a contract that could reach eight years."

8 years for a 30-year-old LF in the NL seems like something that won't be a major concern until the middle of the next decade. Is that too far in the future to worry about paying a 36-year-old $18MM per year for another three years?

Why Coco Crisp?

Fangraphs: "The A’s are reportedly on the verge of signing Coco Crisp to a one year, $5 million deal. Now, Crisp is a decent player – he’s racked up +15.7 WAR in 832 career games, averaging about 2.7 WAR per 600 plate appearances. He’s a very good defensive outfielder and has been about a league average hitter for most of his career. That’s a good combination."

Of course, no mention of his sucking last year.

My guess is the A’s will try to win without having to score runs. Their model must show that pitching and defense are 100% of the game.

We all know how wonderful models are now, don't we?

More Fantasy Baseball Expert Draft Analysis

To beat again upon the drum of fantasy experts drafting as a herd. Last week's 1st expert draft at Mock Draft Central gave fantasy baseball fans everywhere their 1st look at the expected draft values of last year's players.

While I profess no less expertise than the participants, I do consider myself to have merited the moniker of fantasy expert while at Fake Teams. Do I become less of one now that I don't write for public consumption nearly as much as I previously did?

Rhetorical question or not, I do recognize the tendency of the fantasy experts to herd together in their valuations for the 2010 season. Because of that (and other reasons), I have done a mock draft on my own prior to the release of the expert valuations into the blogosphere.

Here are the five players who the experts drafted in the 1st two rounds that I chose later than the 2nd round.

1. Carl Crawford
2. David Wright
3. Grady Sizemore
4. Jacoby Ellsbury
5. Brandon Phillips
6. Joey Votto

Sunday, December 20, 2009

MLB Trade Rumors: Javier Vazquez To Los Angeles Angels

Boston Red Sox - Potential trade consequences can run deep - The Boston Globe:

"If the Braves can’t work out a deal with the Angels for Javier Vazquez, reportedly for outfielder Juan Rivera, Lowe could enter the picture instead. Lowe has three years and $45 million remaining on his contract. He acknowledged he didn’t pitch well last season, but he still won 15 games. Lowe may soon become the next big target for teams in need of a starter."

Wow. If the Braves are trying to deal Vazquez and failing to do so, the team isn't really interested in doing so. read: Asking for the sky.

Start Sit Larry Fitzgerald by Will Carroll

FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | Black and Blue Report: December 17, 2009:

"The Cards have hope and Fitzgerald has indicated he thinks he can play this week. The Cards have a good record of handling this type of situation and holding back players -- I'm looking at you, Anquan Boldin -- so the decision is going to be handled by the medical staff properly. It will also come very, very late so keep your options open."

After reading Stephania Bell's take and adding my snark, I thought Will Carroll's take was important. Note the comparison to the caution the Cardinals took with Anquan Boldin.

My snark about the fantasy football play-offs still applies.

Start Sit Larry Fitzgerald

Stephania Bell's Week 15 injury report: Fitzgerald, Vikes WRs iffy - ESPN:

"Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals, (Q): Fitzgerald's Monday night injury was not as serious as it originally appeared, and the Cardinals, along with Fitzgerald's fantasy owners, have to be relieved. Fitzgerald was back in practice on a limited basis all week and the biggest challenge the Cardinals faced was holding him back. Fitzgerald wants to play Sunday; it will be a medical decision as to whether he looks good enough in pregame warm-ups to go. There is the issue of playing on turf that might factor into how concerned the team is about Fitzgerald's being out there. Be sure to check the inactive list before kickoff but it looks like the Detroit Lions may have yet another reason to be nervous."

The semi-finals of the fantasy football play-offs and Fitzgerald offers yet another reason why so many hate the format - a juicy match-up where a star can disappoint thanks to injury.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

MLB Trade Rumors: Jason Bay & New York #Mets

MLB -- Buster Olney -- Milton Bradley will get a fresh start with the Seattle Mariners; is this his last chance? - ESPN:
"Heard this: Internally, the Mets are convinced they are the lone big-money bidder on Bay. They continue to monitor the market on Matt Holliday, but to this point they have not made an offer.

The Mets' offer is still close to the four-year proposal it made last week, writes Anthony McCarron."

Does anyone remember when free agents where just given long-term deals? It wasn't that long ago. Now they are fighting for a 5th year.

Smarter owners? Scorched Earth by agents after years of lying?

MLB Trade Rumors: Matt Holliday To Boston Red Sox?

Derek Goold: Boston bid on Holliday? And other Baseball Beat Tweets | Cardinal Beat | STLtoday:

"Gammons, the Hall of Fame baseball writer, tweets:
Boston ecstatic with Lackey. Before he stepped foward, Sox offered 4x$15M to Bay and 5x$16.5 to Holliday.

Olney, a senior writer at ESPN Magazine, follows with his tweet:
Heard this: Before the Red Sox signed Lackey for $82.5 million, they offered $82.5 million to Holliday. Now they’re out on Holliday.

The search for the “mystery team” bidding on Holliday continues, with some indications that there is actually a second team courting the free-agent outfielder."

No way, no how Matt Holliday goes off the board around $80 MM. If so expect the New York Yankees to feel obligated to top that bid the same way you'd top a $15 bid for Derek Jeter in an AL-Only auction league. Just too good a value.

Start Sit Made Easier: 10 Worst Run Defenses

Rush RankTeamRYAVsDecision
32Buffalo186NEStart Laurence Maroney
31Kansas City179.7CLEStart Jerome Harrison_Chris Jennings
30Detroit169AZStart Tim Hightower_Beanie Wells
29Carolina159.3MINStart Adrian Peterson
28St. Louis150HOUStart Ryan Moats_Chris Brown
27Chicago146.7@BALStart Ray Rice
26Oakland142.3DENStart Knowshon Moreno
25Arizona138@DETStart Beanie Wells_Tim Hightower
24Pittsburgh137.3GBStart Ryan Grant
23Tampa Bay135.7@SEAStart Justin Forsett_Julius Jones

Friday, December 18, 2009

HitTracker :: Nick Johnson

HitTracker :: Player and Field Detail: "2009 Season Home Runs for Johnson, Nick"

A click through to the link shows six of Nick Johnson's 8 2009 HRs going to RF. Of those, 2/3s went to what is the sweet spot of the New Yankees Stadium. While Curits Granderson gets lots of hype about his new hitting environment, he can't be expected to do much better than the 30 he hit last season.

However, one could see Johnson doubling his 2009 HR output assuming his HRs from 2009 are representative of the direction of his batted balls. With 15 HRs and a .300 AVG, Nick Johnson would provide considerable upside from his draft position (undrafted).

MLB Trade Rumors: Matt Holliday

ShareThis: "But Holliday has indicated to St. Louis teammates that he really wants to return to the Cardinals. And the Cardinals have made a very good offer. So if things get close — if the Cardinals grow impatient and threaten to move onto other options — will Holliday take charge of his own career and life? Or will he end up like Andy Benes in 1997?"

Eight and $16MM gets Matt Holliday into Barry Zito money. Is there any team in need of a power-hitting LFer with the flexibility to pay that much?

The New York Mets should have it, but Jason pay at half the dollars seems to be their preference.

How about the Los Angeles Angels? Vlad Guerrero just came off the book. But his deal was only $75MM or so over five years.

Anyone else or does it seem like Holliday will be a Cardinal for most of the second decade of the 21st century?

Start Sit Made Easier: 10 Worst Pass Defenses

Pass RankTeamPYAVsDecision
32Seattle306.3TBStart Antonio Bryant
31New Orleans304.7DALStart Miles Austin_Roy Williams
30NY Giants303.7@WASStart Santana Moss
29New England291.3@BUFStart Terrell Owens
28Philadelphia278SFStart Michael Crabtree
27Washington276NYGStart Steve Smith_Hakeem Nicks
26Atlanta272.7@NYJStart Braylon Edwards_Jerricho Cotchery
25Detroit261.3AZStart Larry Fitzgerald_Anquan Boldin
24Indianapolis256.3@JAXStart Mike Sims-Walker
23Oakland254.3DENStart Brandon Marshalll

Thursday, December 17, 2009

MLB Trade Rumors: Derek Lowe

"One possibility could be to consider Derek Lowe, who's being made available by the Braves. The Angels could consider trading Juan Rivera to the Braves for Lowe, then think about signing Bay to replace Rivera"

Seems like a good get for the Los Angeles Angels. I don't think either player's fantasy value would change much.

Rivera would remain a solid value pick, and Lowe would still have to deal with the doubts about his ability to rebound effectively from a disappointing 2009 season.

Expert Mock Draft

Fantasy Baseball League Draft - Live! MDC Fantasy Baseball Expert Draft: "League Draft: Live! MDC Fantasy Baseball Expert Draft"

FWIW, the herd will begin valuing players now. Looks like David Wright will only be slightly discounted from his 2008 levels (ADP around 5) to early 2nd round pick.

Fortunately, I have drafted seven rounds of players and will be immune to the herd thinking at least that far into a mock draft.

MLB Trade Rumors: Which Red Sox Is More Valuable Than Adrian Gonzalez?

ShareThis: "Obviously, we are sensing the proverbial next shoe is about to drop. If it is Adrian Gonzalez (with an outside shot at Miguel Cabrera), which would be a ginormous move by the Red Sox to cap what would be an eye-popping offseason, then what is there not to like? Well, one thing: if one of the players going to San Diego is Jacoby Ellsbury."

Absolutely crazy. This is a firable offense. Ellsbury at 26 is a year younger than the 40-HR Gonzalez.

I can't think the writer thought of this himself. He has to be acting as a mouthpiece for the Red Sox front office in an effort to negotiate via public relations.

Start Sit Made Easier: Top 10 Run Defenses

Rush RankTeamRYAVsDecision
1Green Bay66@PITSit Rashard Mendenhall
2Cincinnati76.7@SDSit LaDanian Tomlinson
3NY Jets80.3ATLSit Jason Snelling
4Washington81NYGSit Ahmad Bradhsaw_Brandon Jacobs
5Tennessee83.7MIASit Ricky Williams
5Seattle83.7TBSit Cadillac Williams
7NY Giants86.7@WASSit Quentin Gather
8Jacksonville88.7INDSit Joseph Addai
9Atlanta90.3@NYJSit Thomas Jones
10Minnesota91.7@CARSit DeAngelo Williams_Jonathan Stewart

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

MLB Trade Rumors: Boston Red Sox & Adrian Gonzalez

John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus reports:

"The Red Sox are again pursuing Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez in a trade, but they would have to give up right-hander Clay Buchholz and top pitching prospect Casey Kelly to make a deal."

Maybe it is the lack of prospect worship on my part, but I can't see how the Red Sox don't acquire AGonz at that price barring the fact the Red Sox have not shown the proclivity towards dealing their top prospects for elite major league talent.

Start Sit Made Easier: The Top 10 Pass Defenses

Looks like a bad time to be in the qaurter finals fo the fantasy football play-offs for the owners of elite WRs.

Pass RankTeamPYAVsDecision
1NY Jets84.3ATLSit Roddy White
2Buffalo150.7NESit Randy Moss_Wes Welker
3Cincinnati153@SDSit Vincent Jackson
4Minnesota167.3@CARSit Steve Smith
5Tampa Bay169.7@SEASit TJ Houshmandzadeh_Nate Burrelson
5St. Louis169.7HOUSit Andre Johnson
7Green Bay171@PITSit Hines Ward
8Denver174OAKSit Louis Murphy?
9Baltimore175.7CHISit Devan Hester
10Kansas City191CLESit Mohamed Massaquoi

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Fantasy Baseball John Lackey Value

The Red Sox give Lackey AJ Burnett money. Think the Sox get 30+ starts? If not, Lackey will be over valued.

In mixed formats, Lackey is a 9th rounder plus one round/minus two rounds.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Start Sit: Tom Brady

Stephania Bell's Week 14 injury report: Questionable QBs - ESPN:

"There is little doubt that Tom] Brady will play Sunday, but there is some question as to how healthy (and therefore effective) he will be. Given the fact that Brady played throughout last week's game, despite likely suffering the injury during the contest, it would seem that Brady should not be too challenged this week. But rib injuries can be delicate in that another shot to the same area could be enough to force him out, or at least hinder his effectiveness. Rib injuries can also make throwing and twisting less comfortable, progressively so as fatigue sets in or following repeated contact. Brady's protection Sunday could be the primary factor toward determining not only how he performs but how long he lasts."

If you have Brady, you're stuck starting him in Week One of the fantasy football play-offs. If he struggles and you lose, you will recall why so many people who play fantasy football think of it as little more than luck.

Start Sit: Mike Sims-Walker

Missing practice on Thursday and Friday has sent the Jags top WR to my bench in favor of Matt Forte. It pained me to do so against the big play allowing Miami secondary.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

MLB Trade Rumors: Matt Holliday

MLB -- Buster Olney -- Roy Halladay, Matt Holliday, Jason Bay … There's plenty of unfinished winter meetings business - ESPN:

"The Cards made an offer to Matt Holliday for less than $18 million per year, writes Joe Strauss, and they want an answer by early in the week.

If they're bluffing about their hard line, then the Cardinals are showing an excellent poker face, but executives with other teams are convinced that St. Louis isn't going to create a problem for itself by giving Holliday more money than what they're paying Albert Pujols now. We'll see."

Sounds about right. Pujols is going to see Alex Rodriguez money.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Start Sit Made Easier: Ten Worst Pass Defenses and 10 Worst Run Defenses

Good luck with your fantasy play-offs. May you season not ride on a fluky start/sit decision.

Pass RankTeamPYAVsDecision
32Kansas City300.3BUFStart Terrell Owens
31Cleveland299.3PITStart Hines Ward
30Atlanta296.7NOStart Marques Colston
29NY Giants292PHIStart DeSean Jackson_Jason Avant
28Detroit284@BALStart Derrick Mason
27Seattle275@HOUStart Andre Johnson
26Washington272.7@OAKStart Louis Murphy?
25New England272.3CARStart Steve Smith
24Arizona271@SFStart Michael Crabtree
23San Francisco257.3AZStart Larry Fitzgerald_Anquan Boldin
Rush RankTeamRYAVsDecision
32Buffalo169.3@KCStart Jamaal Charles
31Oakland168WASStart Rock Cartwright
30St. Louis157.7@TENStart Chris Johnson
29Kansas City151BUFStart Fred Jackson_Marshawn Lynch
28Chicago150.3GBStart Ryan Grant
27Houston149.7SEAStart Justin Forsett
26Carolina149@NEStart Laurence Maroney
25Tampa Bay138.3NYJStart Thomas Jones
24Miami135.7@JAXStart Maurice Jones-Drew
23Indianapolis120.7DENStart Knowshon Moreno

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Start Sit Made Easier: Ten Best Rush Defenses

Rush RankTeamRYAVsDecision
1Minnesota53.3CINSit Cedric Benson
2Jacksonville57.7MIASit Ricky Williams
3Green Bay69.3@CHISit Matt Forte
4Tennessee73.3STLSit Steven Jackson
5Denver75.5@INDSit Joseph Addai
6Cincinnati76.7@MINSit Adrian Peterson
7Atlanta88NOSit Pierre Thomas_Mike Bell
8Philadelphia89.7@NYGSit Ahmad Bradhsaw_Brandon Jacobs
9NY Giants91PHISit LeSean McCoy
10Dallas100.7SDSit LaDanian Tomlinson

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Start Sit Made Easier: Ten Best Pass Defenses

Recall these rankings are over the past three games.

Pass RankTeamPYAVsDecision
1Cincinnati146.7@MINSit Sydney Rice
2Buffalo152.7@KCSit Chris Chambers
3NY Jets157@TBSit Antonio Bryant
4St. Louis161.3@TENSit Nate Washington
5Denver169@INDSit Reggie Wayne
6Green Bay177.7@CHISit Devan Hester
7Houston186.7SEASit TJ Houshmandzadeh_Nate Burrelson
8Tampa Bay187NYJSit Braylon Edwards_Jerricho Cotchery
9San Diego194.3@DALSit Miles Austin_Roy Williams
10Philadelphia204.3@NYGSit Steve Smith_Hakeem Nicks

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

MLB Trade Rumors: New York Yankees & Curtis Granderson

#3960: "Arizona acquires right-handers Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy while the Yankees pick up centerfielder Curtis Granderson. Detroit receives right-hander Max Scherzer, left-handers Phil Coke and Daniel Schlereth and outfield prospect Austin Jackson."

The big winner of this trade is the Detroit Tigers. In firesale mode, they land a less expensive SP, two relievers in the 0-3 price range and a top CF prospect.

The loser is the New York Yankees. They traded Austin Jackson, Phil Coke, and Ian Kennedy for a player who cannot hit left-hander pitching. However, the team must be praying 2009 was an aberration and not a screaming signal of a permanent decline against left-handers. 183/249/239 in 183 ABs against lefties....Well, at least he should hit 20+ HRs with the short right-center porch.

Finally, the Arizona Diamonbacks must have felt Ian Kennedy was worth the extra money to be paid to Edwin Jackson in arbitration. Something of a head scratcher though.

Fantasy Baseball Draft: Rounds 5&6

Click here to get to rounds 1-4 results.

49Kevin Youkilis3B
50Joey Votto1B
51Adam WainwrightSP2
52Felix HernandezSP1
53Javier VazquezSP2
54Lance Berkman1B
55Kendry Morales1B
56Jon LesterSP2
57Gordham Beckham3B
58Dan HarenSP1
59Cliff LeeSP1
60Matt WietersC
61Derek Lee1B
62Dustin Pedroia2B
63Bobby AbreuOF2
64Mariano RiveraCL1
65Joe NathanCL1
66Michael BournOF3
67Clayton KershawSP1
68Raul IbanezOF1
69Adam Dunn1B
70Andrew McCutchenOF1
71Josh JohnsonSP2
72Jonathan BroxtonCL1

Monday, December 07, 2009

Fantasy Baseball: Is Derek Jeter The Best AL SS?

By HRs in 2009, Derek Jeter is the top AL-Only SS. Thrown-in 30 SBs and an AVG over .300, and Jeter easily becomes the top SS in AL-only formats. The question that needs to be answered is whether the 35-year-old can repeat his 2009 performance in 2010.

FWIW, Jeter finished 4th overall amongst SS qualifiers in HRs according to ESPN. Hell, Ronny Cedeno's 10 HRs ranks him 12th!

SS is a shallow position with little breakout potential after Stephen Drew.

Week 14 Waiver Wire: 2010 Sleeper and WTF Edition

RB Shonn Greene, New York Jets: How the heck is Thomas Jones defying his RB age? For play-off bpound teams, I'd stash him in case Jones' fountian of youth goes dry at the most inopportune time for his owner.

QB Chad Henne, Miami Dolphins: Order up my #6 Miami Dolphins jersey! And if the QB is relevent, then he must have a receiver worth rostering. Devone Best: a dread-locked Wes Welker.

WR Pierre Garcons, Indianapolis Colts: I know he isn't available, but take a look at 2010's top fantasy sleeper at WR. Or as sleeper-y as a player likely to go int the 3rd or 4th round can be.

RB Philadelphia Eagles: Leonard Weaver and Evra Buckley get an equal share of touches with LeSean McCoy?!?! That is why many are glad fantasy football is over! Yeah, and I'll toss in a WTF for Mike Bell getting 16 carries to Pierre Thomas' 6 in New orleans!

WR Devin Thomas, Washignton Redskins: 7 and 100 with a TD just as the fantasy football season ends for non-play-off teams. Maybe he is going to be the real fantasy sleeper at WR. 3rd year WR in 2010.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

MLB Trade Rumors: Boston Red Sox

Baseball Prospectus | On the Beat: Pre-Winter Meetings Shopping Lists: "They would be willing to part with right-hander Clay Buchholz in a trade for Halladay, [Adrian] Gonzalez, or [Miguel] Cabrera. The Red Sox would also deal first baseman Casey Kotchman and right-handers Manny Delcarmen, and Daisuke Matsuzaka. The only untouchable in the farm system is pitcher/shortstop Casey Kelly."

If only Miguel Cabrera didn't blow a .26, he'd be a perfect fit for the Red Sox to buy low on. The Detroit Tigers are struggling economically. Cabrera is signed to a very expensive deal and has body issues.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Start Sit Made Easier: The 10 Worst Run Defenses

Rush RankTeamRYAVsDecision
32St. Louis185.3@CHIStart Matt Forte
31Oakland161.3@PITStart Rashard Mendenhall
30Carolina156.3TBStart Cadillac Williams
29Tampa Bay152.3@CARStart DeAngelo Williams
28Arizona150MINStart Adrian Peterson
27Miami144.3NEStart Laurence Maroney
26Buffalo142.3NYJStart Thomas Jones
25Chicago142STLStart Steven Jackson
24Houston138@JAXStart Maurice Jones-Drew
23Cleveland133.7SDStart LaDanian Tomlinson

Friday, December 04, 2009

Fantasy Baseball Sleeper

No real surprise here, but 3B/OF Jake Fox, now of the Oakland A's, is a mixed league sleeper. The ease with which sluggers hit 20+ HRs no longer exists in the form most fantasy players have become accustomed to assuming.

As a result, Fox's 11 HRs 216 ABs in 2008 means he should easily surpass 20 HRswith a season's full of ABs. As long as he avoid a Jack Custian sub-.240 AVG, he will have value in mixed formats.

FWIW, 30 players hit 30 or more HRs in 2008. 77 hit 20-29. The math in standard mixed leagues: 12 teams with 13 hitters equals 156 players. In 10-team leagues, that is still 130 hitters.

Start Sit Made Easier: Ten Worst Pass Defenses

Pass RankTeamPYAVsDecision
32Detroit330@CINStart Chad OchoCinco
30San Francisco298@SEAStart TJ Houshmandzadeh_Nate Burrelson
30Indianapolis298TENStart Nate Washington
29Arizona289.3MINStart Sydney Rice
28Seattle287.3SFStart Michael Crabtree
27Kansas City274.3DENStart Brandon Marshalll
26Atlanta269.3PHIStart DeSean Jackson_Jason Avant
25New England268.3@MIAStart Devone Bess
24San Diego253@CLEStart Mohamed Massaquoi
23Jacksonville244.7HOUStart Andre Johnson

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Fantasy Baseball: Placido Polanco

Twitter / Jon Heyman: #phillies expected to fina ...: "#phillies expected to finalize deal for polanco (believed to be $18 mil for 3 years) to play 3B today."

Polanco's 2010 fantasy value improves based on three points:
1. He retians 2B eligibility
2. He will obtain 3B eligibility
3. He will hit in a stronger line-up albeit batting 7th. The RBI opportunities should be as good despite line-up drop.

Start Sit Made Easier: Top 10 Run Defenses

FWIW, I'd start RBs Fred Jackson and Thomas Jones and sit WRs Terrell Owens, Jerricho Cotchery and Braylon Edwards.

Rush RankTeamRYAVsDecision
1Minnesota46.7@AZSit Tim Hightower_Beanie Wells
2Green Bay67.7BALSit Ray Rice
3Jacksonville71.7HOUSit Steve Slaton
4Tennessee73.7@INDSit Joseph Addai
5Cincinnati75.7DETSit Kevin Smith
6San Diego86@CLESit Jamal Lewis
7Pittsburgh87OAKSit Justin Fargas
8NY Giants87.3DALSit Tashard Choice_Marion Barber_Felix Jones
9San Francisco99@SEASit Justin Forsett
10Dallas102.3@NYGSit Danny Ware_Brandon Jacobs

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

MLB Trade Rumors: New York Yankees Have Best For Halladay

From Joel Sherman at the NY Post:
"Yankees officials have spoken to their Toronto counterparts enough to know they have prospects capable of landing Roy Halladay and that the Blue Jays will not trade their ace without giving them a chance to make the best offer."

The implication is clear - the New York Yankees have more of what the Toronto Blue Jays want than any other team in the Halladay sweepstakes. C/LF/DH/1B or whatever position Jesus Montero eventually plays in late 2010/early 2011 leads the potential package.

Fantasy Baseball: 2010's Matt Weiters

From Buster Olney at

"The Indians have alternatives at catcher, so rather than pay Kelly Shoppach $3 million for 2010 -- a rebuilding year -- it makes more sense for them to play Lou Marson, and to continue to develop star prospect Carlos Santana, who could be in the big leagues by the middle of next season."

Exactly. Whilst rookie Lou Marson does his best Mike Redmond impersonation, Carlos Santana will have fantasy players salivating for the next great catching prospect. The issues will be whether Santana garners the hype that Wieters did and whether he fails to live up to it once he is recalled.

Start Sit Made Easier: The Top 10 Pass Defenses

Good luck if you need to win this week. For the rest of us, fantasy baseball 2010 can't get here quick enough.
Pass RankTeamPYAVsDecision
1Cincinnati163DETSit Calvin Johnson
2Baltimore172.7@GBSit Greg Jennings_Donald Drive
3Denver177.5@KCSit Chris Chambers
4Minnesota179.3@AZSit Larry Fitzgerald_Anquan Boldin
5Carolina180TBSit Antonio Bryant
6St. Louis191@CHISit Devan Hester
7Tampa Bay194.7@CARSit Steve Smith
8Miami195.3NESit Randy Moss_Wes Welker
8Buffalo195.3NYJSit Braylon Edwards_Jerricho Cotchery
10Philadelphia197@ATLSit Roddy White

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

2010 Fantasy Baseball Draft: Rounds 3 & 4

Last week, I posted Rounds 1 & 2. There are clear issues that make the 2010 drafts different from the commonly-held draft strategies of the past. With four rounds posted, you should be able to gleen what they are.

A note about my methods. The one fact often ignored by rankings is the fact, irrefutable, that a team's selection in one round influences the selections in the subsequent ones. If a team selects a SS in the 1st round, the team won't select another one in the 2nd round even if that player is the highest ranked one available.

Any rankings worth using should account for this. otherwise, you will come away from your draftn thinking the rankings were useless.
25Derek JeterSS
26Ryan Zimmerman3B
27Adrian Gonzalez1B
28Grady SizemoreOF1
29Jimmy RollinsSS
30Brian Roberts2B
31Pablo Sandoval3B
32Justin Morneau1B
33Brandon Phillips2B
34David Wright3B
35Carl CrawfordOF1
36Roy HalladaySP1
37Jayson WerthOF1
38Jason BayOF2
39Carlos LeeOF1
40Nelson CruzOF2
41Chone Figgins3B
42Jacoby EllsburyOF2
43Adam LindOF2
44Brian McCannC
45Victor MartinezC
46CC SabathiaSP1
47BJ UptonOF1
48Robinson Cano2B

Monday, November 30, 2009

MLB Trade Rumors: Roy Halladay

John Perrotto at Baseball Prospectus:

"It appears that the market for Blue Jays right-hander Roy Halladay has been narrowed to the Red Sox and the Yankees, as they have both the prospects to make a trade and the financial wherewithal to sign him to a desired long-term contract extension, though the Angels and Phillies still remain dark horses"

We'll see. I think the New York Yankees have the premier prospect to offer in C Jesus Montero, who hit 317/370/539 as a 19-year-old in AA. The Boston Red Sox do not have enough compromised baseball pundits to make anyone believe SP Casey kelly is in the same room as Montero.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

MLB Trade Rumors: Boston Red Sox SS

Lowe prefers not to be spun out of Braves’ rotation - The Boston Globe: "The Sox have inquired about Scutaro, and don’t rule out a deal with the Diamondbacks for Stephen Drew...."

The challenge with all rumors is whether or not the writer, Nick Cafardo in this case, is guessing or leaking out information he has gleened from club sources. If the Red Sox do acquire Stephen Drew, then the baseball writers glob praise on Theo Epstein and company in ways that would make the mainstream media coverage of Brack Obama look like a discussion between Rush Limbaugh and Barney Frank.

Start Sit: Steven Jackson, Cedric Benson, Michael Turner

RB Steven Jackson, St. Louis Rams: Agita. Coming into the season, Jackson wore the injury-prone label and saw his draft value fall into the late 1st round. He has played every game this season, dispelled the impression of injury-prone and produced like a Top 5 RB. Then Week 12 sees him miss practice all week. If he is active, start him. I'm not sold he isn't being given a breather.

RB Cedric Benson, Cincinnati Bengals: So he is active. Do you start him with reports Bernard Scott will get significant work? Why not. Coaches say things to the press about players getting rests, less work, blah,blah blah and never follow-up. 18 touches for Benson in a great match-up makes him no less a start than Ronnie Brown of the Dolphins was.

RB Michael Turner, Atlanta Falcons: A high ankle sprain is a multi-week injury. The fact the team keeps leading the press into printing he may play is just another example of the flagrant lying that is allowed by the NFL about injuries.

Of course, that was written before news broke late Saturday that Turner looks like he could play. What makes this such a difficult call is his playing makes Jason Snelling a must sit. Unfortunately, the three Thursday games have eliminated the options available for teams to substitute for Snelling.

Stephania Bell's Injury Take - Michael Turner & Steven Jackson

"Michael Turner, Atlanta Falcons: Turner's status will be a game-time decision, but there are a few clues. Turner told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday that he was "progressing slowly."....While we can't rule out the possibility of Turner making a Sunday appearance, it seems more likely that it will be Jason Snelling and Norwood, not necessarily in that order...

Steven Jackson, St. Louis Rams: Jackson's back was sore enough to prevent him from practicing all week, although Friday he was able to do a little work on the side....Jackson tweeted Friday that his back was improving....but this one will come down to how he feels during pregame warm-ups."

For more thorough information from Ms. Bell on Cedric Benson et al, read her Injury Blog on

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Start Sit Made Easier: 10 Worst Rush Defenses

Rush RankTeamRYAVsDecision
32Tampa Bay168.9@ATLStart Jason Snelling
31Buffalo166.3MIAStart Ricky Williams
30Oakland157.7@DALStart Tashard Choice_Marion Barber_Felix Jones
29Cleveland155.5@CINStart Cedric Benson_Bernard Scott
28St. Louis146.4SEAStart Justin Forsett
27Kansas City138.6SDStart LaDanian Tomlinson
26Jacksonville134.4@SFStart Frank Gore
25Carolina130.7@NYJStart Thomas Jones
24Washington128.1@PHIStart LeSean McCoy
23Atlanta126.1TBStart Cadillac Williams

MLB Trade Rumors: Josh Johnson

Twitter / John Perrotto on Twitter: "Keep hearing #Marlins are very willing to trade Josh Johnson right now for the right package."

If true, Roy Halladay's wish to be dealt to a contender has been thwarted by the Florida Marlins. Why give a boatload of elite prospects for a year plus $100+MM for Halladay when the same package gets you three seasons of Johnson?

Hell, you can probably get a 30-HR 2B thrown-in to boot!

Friday, November 27, 2009

2010 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper

The New York Yankees released 30-year-old right-handed slugger Shelly Duncan. A season after Garrett Jones made himself into a fantasy-relevent OF, Duncan has the chance to do the same.

While I think his right-handed power makes him a perfect fit for the Minnesota Twins, I'd prefer he land on a team with more opportunity.

MLB Trade Rumors: Roy Halladay To Boston Red Sox

Buster Olney: "In order for the Red Sox to trade for Halladay, they would almost certainly have to surrender Clay Buchholz and minor leaguer Casey Kelly... And Kelly...appears to have an excellent chance to have a high impact in the majors...."

I love dreaming about the upside of prospects as much as anyone, but worrying about a prospect who just finished A as a dual SS/SP seems like a jumping-the-shark moment on the value of prospects. If a 25-year-old Clay Buchholz and Casey Kelly is too much for one of the top pitchers in the game, then the Red Sox are not as smart as they are lauded to be.

Of course, the Sox probably know how irrational the prospect market is given they helped set it.

Start Sit Made Easier: 10 Worst Pass Defenses

Pass RankTeamPYAVsDecision
32Detroit275.3GBStart Greg Jennings
31Tennessee271.7AZStart Larry Fitzgerald_Anquan Boldin
30Atlanta256.6TBStart Antonio Bryant
29San Francisco256.1JAXStart Mike Sims-Walker
28Kansas City250.9SDStart Vincent Jackson
27Arizona247.7@TENStart Nate Washington?
26Cleveland244.9@CINStart Chad OchoCinco
25St. Louis238.7SEAStart TJ Houshmandzadeh_Nate Burrelson
24Seattle236.8@STLStart Donnie Avery
23Miami235.4@BUFStart Lee Evans_Terrell Owens

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Start Sit Made Easier: Thanksgiving Edition

Rush RankTeamRYAVsDecisionPass RankPYADecision
4Green Bay90.7@DETSit Kevin Smith7191.8Sit Calvin Johnson
7Dallas100.7OAKSit Justin Fargas21229.2Start Darius Heyward Bey?
9NY Giants103.8@DENSit Knowshon Moreno2176.5Sit Brandon Marshalll
17Denver115.8NYGStart Danny Ware_Brandon Jacobs3182.5Sit Steve Smith_Hakeem Nicks
18Detroit116.2GBStart Ryan Grant32275.3Start Greg Jennings
30Oakland157.7@DALStart Marion Barber_Felix Jones12207.5Sit Miles Austin_Roy Williams

Start Sit Made Easier: Top 10 Run Defenses

Rush RankTeamRYAVsDecision
1Pittsburgh69.1@BALSit Ray Rice
2Cincinnati84.3CLESit Jamal Lewis
3Minnesota85.4CHISit Matt Forte
4Green Bay90.7@DETSit Kevin Smith
5Baltimore92.1PITSit Rashard Mendenhall
6San Francisco94.7JAXSit Maurice Jones-Drew
7Dallas100.7OAKSit Justin Fargas
8Arizona103.2@TENSit Chris Johnson
9NY Giants103.8@DENSit Knowshon Moreno
10Philadelphia104.1WASSit Rock Cartwright

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

MLB Trade Rumors: Roy Halladay

John Perrotto at Baseball Prospectus mongers this:

"New Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos wants to bring a quick end to the Roy Halladay situation, and is most likely to trade him before the winter meetings end on December 10 at Indianapolis. If the Jays can live without shortstop Erick Aybar being included, they have a good chance of striking a deal with the Angels. …"

I am not sure what the Los Angeles Angels have in their minor league system that entices the Blue Jays. As a matter of fact, I'm not sure what they have on their major league roster that entices the Jays either.

Perrotto mentions SS Erick Aybar, but I can't believe the Jays would settle for a package led by him for one of the best pitchers in the game. This looks like it is going to be Johan Santana all over again.

Start Sit Made Easier: Top 10 Pass Defenses

Pass RankTeamPYAVsDecision
1Washington161.4@PHISit DeSean Jackson
2NY Giants176.5@DENSit Brandon Marshalll
3Denver182.5NYGSit Steve Smith_Hakeem Nicks
4NY Jets182.9CARSit Steve Smith
5Carolina185@NYJSit Braylon Edwards_Jerricho Cotchery
6New England187.3@NOSit Marques Colston
7Green Bay191.8@DETSit Calvin Johnson
8Chicago197.8@MINSit Sydney Rice
9Buffalo200.4MIASit Devone Bess?
10Philadelphia202.3WASSit Santana Moss

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Stephania Bell on Calvin johnson

Calvin Johnson, Matthew Stafford unlikely to play on Thanksgiving - ESPN: "...held out of Tuesday practice because of problems with the knee and hand. The Lions have a short week, so resting him does not come as much of a surprise, but given that Wednesday is expected to be a light practice day, Johnson will not test himself much before the Thanksgiving Day game. Expect a game-time decision for Johnson on Thursday."

2010 Fantasy Baseball Draft

One fact often ignored by rankings is the fact, irrefutable, that a team's selection influences the subsequent ones. If a team selects a SS in the 1st round, the team won't select another one in the 2nd round even if that player is the highest ranked one available.

1Albert Pujols1B
2Hanley RamirezSS
3Alex Rodriguez3B
4Chase Utley2B
5Tim LincecumSP1
6Joe MauerC
7Matt KempOF1
8Ryan BraunOF1
9Justin UptonOF1
10Prince Fielder1B
11Mark Teixeira1B
12Ian Kinsler2B
13Jose ReyesSS
14Troy TulowitzkiSS
15Ryan HowardUT
16Miguel Cabrera1B
17Zach GreinkeSP1
18Ben Zobrist2B
19Matt HollidayOF1
20Evan Longoria3B
21Mark Reynolds3B
22Aaron Hill2B
23Justin VerlanderSP1
24Ichiro SuzukiOF1

Monday, November 23, 2009

Week Twelve Waiver Wire Gambles

RB Rock Cartwright, Washington Redskins: 7 receptions is all one needs to see from a 30-year-old RB who was a distance 3rd on the depth chart when the season began. With a couple of weeks left to make the fantasy play-offs, one prays for another 140 yard game with a score. Pleeeeeeeese?

TE Brandon Pettigrew, Detroit Lions: 7 receptions and a TD in the 10th game of a rookie season? Gamble he can no longer be considered a rookie.

TE Jermichael Finley, Green Bay Packers: I can't recall a player more hyped in the pre-season by fantasy experts. There was a reason for it. With just six games left in the 2009 season, he can be great over that time and still have overall mediocre production.

RB Fred Jackson, Bufallo Bills: If is Marshawn Lynch is out, Jackson recovers the 4th round value he had in the pre-season. Against a Miami Dolphins run defense that just lost Jason Ferguson, Jackson should be good for 100 total yards - at least.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

MLB Trade Rumors: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Baseball Prospectus | On the Beat: Weekend Update: "The Angels have interest in re-signing both right-hander John Lackey and third baseman Chone Figgins as free agents, but feel they only have the finances to sign one or the other, making Figgins the more likely to return. …"

Buh-bye, Brandon Wood.

Week Eleven Start Sit

RB Cedric Benson, Cincinnati Bengals: The real question is whether to start Benson despite the hip injury if he is active. The match-up is so favorable one would expect a solid 70 yards and a TD even if he splits time to take it easier on his hip.

RB Steve Slaton, Houston Texans: He lost his job for two weeks. Now he is #1 again but plays Monday night against a middling-to-poor Tennessee run defense. The Monday night start plus the uncertainty sowed by his benching means you start another back if you have him or you gamble on a high risk play if you must i.e. start Slaton over a Joseph Addai.

WR Brandon Marshall, Denver Broncos: The fantasy commentariat are way down on Marshall following QB Kyle Orton's injured ankle and the subsequent play of back-up QB Chris Sims in last week's game. I'm not convinced Kyle Orton is to Chris Sims as Peyton Manning is to Jim Sorgi. As one sees from Jay Cutler's travails in Chicago, Marshall brings somethign to the success of his QB not the other way around.

RB Jason Snelling, Atlanta Falcons: Start him. With Michael Turner out and Jerious Norwood still battling an injured hip, there is no one else to take the carries. Expect 20 touches. In PPR formats, I can see a Ray Rice-ian like effort - 15 carries and 5-7 receptions.

QB Carson Palmer, Cincinnati Bengals: While the focus is on the poor Oakland run defense and the great opportunity it provides RB Bernard Scott, don't forget Eli Manning managed 3 TD passes in a half against the Raiders. One can easily imagine a more balanced attack if Cedric Benson is out.

Start Sit Cedric Benson

Stephania Bell- ESPN: "While Benson's injury (hip abductor strain) has not appeared serious, he did not practice this week and the rating of 'doubtful' suggests he will not be facing Oakland in Week 11. Let's face it: This is a good opportunity for Benson to rest his hip and gear up for the latter part of the season."

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Is Joseph Addai An RB1

I am trying to throw caution to the wind and make a two- or three- for one deal that rids my teams of depth in exchange for a solid RB1. My current roster of RBs includes Knowshon Moreno, Ahmad Bradshaw, Ladell Betts, Jason Snelling, Jamaal Charles, Ryan Moats, Lawrence Maroney and Donald Brown.

With that in mind, I am being pursued by a team offering me Joseph Addai. Is he a #1 RB or just more of the same?

I believe the question is rhetorical. Here are the RBs I rather have ahead of Addai in no particular order and not including those already on my team.

Adrian Peterson
Ray Rice
Chris Johnson
Steven Jackson
Ricky Williams
Thomas Jones
Rashard Mendenhall
Maurice Jones Drew
LeSean McCoy
Matt Forte
DeAngelo Williams
Michael Turner
Pierre Thomas
Frank Gore

Geez a list of RBs I wouldn't have a ahead of Addai would have been shorter!

Start Sit Made Easier: Ten Worst Run Defenses

Rush RankTeamRYAVsDecision
32Oakland176CINStart Cedric Benson_Bernard Scott
31Cleveland168.7@DETStart Kevin Smith
30Arizona168@STLStart Steven Jackson
29Kansas City163.3PITStart Rashard Mendenhall
28St. Louis162AZStart Tim Hightower_Beanie Wells
27New Orleans161.3@TBStart Cadillac Williams
26Tampa Bay158.7NOStart Pierre Thomas_Mike Bell
25Jacksonville158.3BUFStart Marshawn Lynch
24Denver157.3SDStart LaDanian Tomlinson
23Buffalo156.7@JAXStart Maurice Jones-Drew

Friday, November 20, 2009

Start Sit Made Easier: Ten Worst Pass Defenses

Pass RankTeamPYAVsDecision
32Detroit298CLEStart Mohamed Massaquoi
31Indianapolis282.3@BALStart Derrick Mason
30San Francisco273@GBStart Greg Jennings
29Cincinnati263@OAKStart Darius Heyward Bey?
28Carolina260MIAStart Devone Bess?
27Seattle258.3@MINStart Sydney Rice
26Buffalo257.3@JAXStart Mike Sims-Walker
25New Orleans254.3@TBStart Antonio Bryant
24Miami250.7@CARStart Steve Smith
23Arizona246.7@STLStart Donnie Avery

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Start Sit Made Easier: Miami Dolphins @ Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panther WR Steve Smith injured his ribs on Sunday. Coming off a short week, one must start him against the big play allowing secodnary of the Miami Dolphins - if reports say he will play.

From Stephania Bell on Tuesday:
"...suffered bruised ribs after taking a hit in the back when he made his second end zone grab Sunday. While it is still early in the week, there is no hint from the team yet that his Week 11 status is in jeopardy."

Rush RankTeamRYAVsDecisionPass RankPYADecision
18Miami119.3@CARStart DeAngelo Williams24250.7Start Steve Smith
16Carolina118MIAStart Ricky Williams28260Start Devone Bess?

Start Sit Made Easier: Top 10 Run Defenses

Rush RankTeamRYAVsDecision
1Pittsburgh59@KCSit Jamaal Charles
1Cincinnati59@OAKSit Justin Fargas
3Houston76TENSit Chris Johnson
4San Diego81.3@DENSit Knowshon Moreno
5Green Bay84.3SFSit Frank Gore
6San Francisco85.3@GBSit Ryan Grant
7Dallas91WASSit Ladell Betts
8NY Giants95.3ATLSit Jason Snelling
9Minnesota96.3SEASit Justin Forsett
10Baltimore99.3INDSit Joseph Addai_Donald Brown

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fantasy Baseball Who would You Rather Have?

Same salary. Nick Swisher, Nolan Reimold or Garret Jones

Start Sit Made Easier: The Top 10 Pass Defenses

Pass RankTeamPYAVsDecision
1NY Jets134.7@NESit Randy Moss_Wes Welker
2Baltimore143.7INDSit Reggie Wayne
3Chicago145.3PHISit DeSean Jackson
4Washington150@DALSit Miles Austin_Roy Williams
5Tennessee190@HOUSit Andre Johnson
6Jacksonville192.7BUFSit Lee Evans?
7Oakland194.3CINSit Chad OchoCinco
7Denver194.3SDSit Vincent Jackson
9Cleveland199@DETSit Calvin Johnson
10Kansas City203.7PITSit Hines Ward

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fantasy Baseball 2010: Now Or Later

Do you over emphasise future production over current production in keeper leagues? Most serious players in that format do.

The alpha opportunity is to deal future value for current production A real life example from one of my leagues. A $23 Andre Ethier was dealt for three highly regarded prospects, none of which will out produce Ethier in 2010.

2010 Fantasy Football Draft: Top 4

1. Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans
2. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings
3. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars
4. Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens

On Wall Street, there is an adage that says no portfolio manager gets fired for buying IBM. (Maybe Google in the 21st century?) In fantasy football, anyone can place Adrian Peterson a #1 and expect no criticism.

What the three non-AD RBs need to do is finish the season healthy, and no one will cry landing the 1st through 4th picks in 2010 drafts.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Week Eleven Waiver Wire Pick Ups

With the bye weeks finished and just three weeks until the fantasy football play-offs begin, the team you have is as strong as it can be at this point. As a result, adding players via the waiver wire will be more all-or-nothing than looking for 5-10 points of fill-in performance.

With that in mind, three players emerged on Sunday who can become Flex/WR2/RB2 type of players. Two are likely rostered and the third has appeared in this column previously.

1. WR Donnie Avery, St. Louis Rams: With QB Marc Bulger looking healthy, Donnie Avery could become the 5th round sleeper so many thought he would be. Expected production of 6/75/1 is possible every week.

2. RB Jason Snelling, Atlanta Falcons: By far the most interesting pick-up. With receiving capability, Snelling offers more than Michael Turner did in PPR formats. A max free agent bid for those teams whose fantasy season rides on high risk gambles hitting must do so on Snelling. 100 total yards and a TD is not outrageous.

3. RB Justin Forsett, Seattle Seahawks: If Julius Jones kept Forsett on the waiver wire, then that no longer exists after his 100+ yards rushing performance. Solid RB2 should be expected.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Week Nine Start Sit

RB Brian Westbrook, Philadelphia Eagles: If he is active, one cannot be faulted for sitting him. If I had a better option, I'd sit Westbrook anyways.

RB Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs: Wow. Worse decision: Jamaal Charles or a Washington Redskins' RB not-named Ladell Betts? Mike Sellers or Jamaal Charles? I'd sit him barring a nightmare situation at RB.

WR Anquan Boldin, Arizona Cardinals: If he is active, expect the Cardinals to try and get him the ball. Like Westbrook, though, I'd sit him if I had a better option.

RB Ladell Betts, Washington Redskins: Can he really sit out given the chance to play following Clinton Portis' concussion?

WR Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions: Many a fantasy team sees their season circling the bowl thanks to the immensely disappointing season of Johnson. Unlike Westbrook and Boldin, there doesn't appear to be recent injury news to cause concern.

Start Sit: DeAngelo Williams & Jonathan Stewart

Stephani Bell: Getting relief from the bye week - ESPN: "Williams, however, injured his knee (no specifics; coach John Fox referred to it earlier in the week as a 'tweak') last Sunday. After not practicing Wednesday, Stewart returned to limited practice Thursday but then was unable to practice Friday. Regular readers of this blog know that I am very suspicious when a player is unable to practice after initially returning to practice post-injury. Williams is now a game-time decision. This may be a week in which Stewart sees increased action, even if Williams is ultimately active."

The switch in pronouns makes it seem as if it is Jonathan Stewart Ms. Bell talks about, The final sentence says Williams. Other reports support the Williams angle.

One has little choice but to start an active Williams and hope this knee injury is nothing. I wouldn't be surprised to see Jonathan Stewart have a heavier day in terms of touches though. I'd start Stewart as my Flex - at a minimum.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Fantasy Baseball Drafting Strategy For OF Position Scarcity

In my 1st 2010 fantasy baseball mock draft, I drafted a team of players whose track record is limited to a season or two of top production - SS Troy Tulowitzki in the 2nd, 2B/OF Ben Zobrist in the 4th and Pablo Sandoval in the 5th. In between I sprinkled in established veterans - 3B Alex Rodriguez in the 1st, Brian McCann in the 3rd and 1B Derrek Lee in the 8th - and veterans with injury concerns - OF Carlos Beltran in the 6th and SP Chris Carpenter in the 7th.

What stuck out to me was the relative lack of OF production. "OF production" means a general lack of established producers in the 30/100/.300 area. This is often conveyed by the fantasy expert community as representative of position scarcity.

The question is how to draft a team around the premise of scarce OF talent. The strategy is to build a strong infield around players whose expected production exceeds its peers by more than the expected production of the lower tiers of outfielders whose efforts won't trail too far behind their peers. The difference between the expected production of C Brian McCann and a 15th round catcher is greater than the difference between a 3rd/4th round Nick Markakis and 16th round Franklyn Guitierrez.

Call it higher volatility amongst the infield positions versus lower volatility in the outfield.

Start Sit: Clinton Portis

From Will Carroll's Black & Blue Report at Football Outsiders:

"Clinton Portis had a bad concussion. Jim Zorn said he was knocked out and after the game, Portis had no memory of the incident. Right there, at best, Portis is looking at a Grade II concussion, though the time of unconsciousness isn't always the best indicator of how severe the concussion is. As Dr. Jorge Cantu, one of the leading experts in the field, explained to me earlier this year, the only way to grade a concussion is after all the symptoms have cleared. (Cantu should know -- the grading scale is named the Cantu scale because he invented it.) Portis will undergo ImPACT testing and other medical tests to help determine when he'll be back. We'll have to watch to see if he's exhibiting any symptoms at the end of the week, but it's very unlikely that he'll play this weekend, leaving the carries to Ladell Betts."

The strikethrough is mine. I have no idea what the Redskins will do at RB, but there is little reason your fantasy team should be dependent on that pie-in-the-sky gamble.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Start Sit Made Easier: Ten Worst Rush Defenses

Rush RankTeamRYAVsDecision
32Buffalo206.7@TENStart Chris Johnson
31Tampa Bay181.3@MIAStart Ronnie Brown
30Tennessee172.7BUFStart Marshawn Lynch
29Chicago171.3@SFStart Frank Gore
28Cleveland170.7BALStart Ray Rice
27Oakland161KCStart Jamaal Charles
26New Orleans160@STLStart Steven Jackson
25St. Louis149.7NOStart Pierre Thomas_Mike Bell
24Arizona149SEAStart Julius Jones
23Kansas City142@OAKStart Justin Fargas

Fantasy Baseball Sleeper

Riggleman: Guzman a second baseman | News: "'I don't know if Desmond will be the shortstop, but as I stand here right now, I would be happy with it, because I know what kind of effort I'm going to get,' Riggleman said. 'I know the energy that he brings to the team. I know how athletic he is. I'm excited about Desmond's future. He has a future somewhere. It might be this year.'"

This doesn't comport with the anonymous NL sources who told FOXSports the Nats want veterans Alex Gonzalez or Adam Everett to play SS for their last place, going nowhere team, but it is the kind of statement that strengthens a sleeper like Ian Desmond.

Over the past three seasons, Desmond has seen his SLG go from the high .300s in 2006 to the high 400s in 2008. At SS, he is a sleeper. Add-in double digit HRs and 20+ SBs and you have the potential to send the on-line baseball community into spasms of apolexy if the Nats waste space on a veteran SS.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sart Sit Made Easier: Ten Worst Pass Defenses

Pass RankTeamPYAVsDecision
32Detroit294@MINStart Sydney Rice_Bernard Berrian
31Cleveland286.7BALStart Derrick Mason
30Miami283.3TBStart Antonio Bryant
29Cincinnati268@PITStart Hines Ward_Santana Moss
28Atlanta266@CARStart Steve Smith
27Tennessee263BUFStart Lee Evans
26Minnesota260.3DETStart Calvin Johnson
25San Francisco252.7CHIStart Devan Hester
24Philadelphia247.7@SDStart Vincent Jackson
23St. Louis241NOStart Marques Colston

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Start Sit Made Easier: The Top Run Defenses

Rush RankTeamRYAVsDecision
1Cincinnati68@PITSit Rashard Mendenhall
2Pittsburgh69CINSit Cedric Benson
3Houston76BYESit 0
4Carolina77ATLSit Michael Turner
5Green Bay83.3DALSit Tashard Choice_Marion Barber_Felix Jones
6Minnesota92.3DETSit Kevin Smith
7Philadelphia93@SDSit LaDanian Tomlinson
8NY Giants95.3BYESit 0
9Seattle96.3@AZSit Tim Hightower_Beanie Wells
10Dallas97.3@GBSit Ryan Grant

Start Sit Made Easier: The Top 10 Pass Defenses

Pass RankTeamPYAVsDecision
1New England115@INDSit Reggie Wayne
2NY Jets116.7JAXSit Mike Sims-Walker
3San Diego117PHISit DeSean Jackson
4Washington141DENSit Brandon Marshalll
5Green Bay174.3DALSit Miles Austin
6Chicago187.7@SFSit Michael Crabtree
7Jacksonville191@NYJSit Braylon Edwards_Jerricho Cotchery
8Oakland197.7KCSit Dwayne Bowe
9Tampa Bay198.7@MIASit Devone Bess?
10Indianapolis200NESit Randy Moss_Wes Welker

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

2010 Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft With 4th Pick

Player Team Acquired
3B Alex Rodriguez NYY R1
SS Troy Tulowitzki COL R2
C Brian McCann ATL R3
2B Ben Zobrist TB R4
3B Pablo Sandoval SF R5
OF Carlos Beltran NYM R6
SP Chris Carpenter STL R7
1B Derrek Lee CHC R8
C Matt Wieters BAL R9
RP Ryan Franklin STL R10
RP Brian Wilson SF R11
OF Juan Rivera ANA R12
OF Jermaine Dye CHW R13
SP Neftali Feliz TEX R14
RP David Price TB R15
OF Franklin Gutierrez SEA R16
OF Dexter Fowler COL R17
SP Mark Buehrle CHW R18
SS Everth Cabrera SD R19
SP Stephen Strasburg FA R20
RP Billy Wagner NYM R21
OF Kyle Blanks SD R22
SP Derek Holland TEX R23

Monday, November 09, 2009

Baltimore Orioles Top 11 Prospects

Baseball Prospectus | Future Shock: Orioles Top 11 Prospects:

"Five-Star Prospects
1. Brian Matusz, LHP
Four-Star Prospects
2. Josh Bell, 3B
3. Jake Arrieta, RHP
4. Zach Britton, LHP
Three-Star Prospects
5. Matt Hobgood, RHP
6. Brandon Erbe, RHP
7. Brandon Synder, 1B
8. Mychal Givens, SS
9. Caleb Joseph, C
Two-Star Prospects
10. Brandon Waring, 1B/3B
11. Cameron Coffey, RHP"

Week Ten Waiver Wire: Lance Long & Earl Bennett

WR Earl Bennett, Chicago Bears
Why? A pre-season sleeper thanks to being QB Jay Cutler's main target in their Vanderbilt days, Bennett has failed to impress with just 25 receptions in the team's 1st 7 games. With 9 yesterday, he looks like he has earned another chance to be that sleeper. With the fantasy football season nearly over, there is likely no need to rush to add him via a waiver claim.

WR Lance Long, Kansas City Chiefs
Why? Eight receptions in a game for a team who has not had a 2nd WR emerge will always garner attention. However, I believe the recently added Chris Chambers will trump Long on name recognition and a 54-yard TD. I'm attending more closely to the eleven targets Long received and the four Chambers had.

Week ten Waiver Wire: Ladell Betts

RB Ladell Betts, Washington Redskins
Why? Three years ago, Betts was a trendy sleeper and remained one two seasons ago. In 2009, he fell off the radar. With RB Clinton Portis leaving with a concussion, Betts becomes the top back. While FB Mike Sellers looked like the 3rd down back yesterday (3/56 one three targets to Betts 1/23/1), Betts does have a 53-reception season under his belt. The question is whether a professional running back's effectiveness is measure by usage (154 carries combined in 2007 & 2008) or chronologically (30 years old).

Sunday, November 08, 2009

MLB Trade Rumors: Nelson Cruz

Baseball Prospectus | On the Beat: Fire Up the Hot Stove: "Though Cruz hit 33 homers and was selected to the All-Star Game this past season, the Rangers are looking to sell high because they feel he had a career year."

Statements like that will quickly let other teams know not to buy high either.

Start Sit Brian Westbrook

Twitter / Adam Schefter: Two people have told me th ...: "Two people have told me that Eagles RB Brian Westbrook is not expected to play tonight versus the Cowboys"

No way, no how, do I start Westbrook. Sunday night inactives won't be known until the 2nd half of the 4 o'clock games.

Start Sit Calvin Johnson

Uncertainty at wide receiver - ESPN: "Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions, (Q): Johnson is one of the key fantasy question marks heading into Week 9 and the Lions haven't made planning any easier by designating him as a game-time decision. Johnson had a similar designation in Week 8 and did not play. It's worth noting, however, that Johnson did very little in practice leading up to last week. Known for his athleticism and acrobatic catches, Johnson would have been at risk of either not playing up to par or reinjury had he returned too soon. This week Johnson has been reported to be running smoothly and has seen increased practice time, including reps with the first-team offense. Coach Jim Schwartz has not tipped his hand as to whether he expects Johnson to play or not and no doubt will want to see him running well in pregame warm-ups before making the final decision. This is a late game, so fantasy owners may be taking a gamble here by waiting until that decision is made. The evidence thus far supports an increased likelihood of Johnson playing as compared to last week, but questionable literally means there is a 50-50 chance it could go either way. The fact that it does come down to game time also belies the fact that Johnson is not at full strength just yet, but there is little doubt if he does play that Stafford will take advantage of his best deep threat."