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."

Start Sit Week Nine

RB Ryan Moats or Steve Slaton, Houston Texans: I'm going with the talent. In this case, that is Slaton.

WR Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions: After last week's surprise inactive status, who knows? If you have a better option, sitting CJ could be done, but does that better option have more talent?

WR Anquan Boldin, Arizona Cardinals: Two weeks of gimpiness says he should be sitting until he is 100%.

RB Brian Westbrook, Philadelphia Eagles: If he is active, he starts.

RB Kevin Smith or Maurice Morris, Detroit Lions: Smith is the better back.

RB Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs: In PPRs, he is a legitimate RB2. In non-PPRs, you worry he continues to roduce like LArry Johnson did.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Start Sit Made Easier: Ten Worst Run Defenses

Rush RankTeamRYAVsDecision
32Buffalo174.1BYEStart 0
31Cleveland170.5BYEStart 0
30Tampa Bay162.4GBStart Ryan Grant
29Oakland161BYEStart 0
28Jacksonville160.1KCStart Jamaal Charles
27St. Louis134.8BYEStart 0
26San Diego132.1@NYGStart Ahmad Bradshaw_Brandon Jacobs
25Kansas City131@JAXStart Maurice Jones-Drew
24Carolina127.6@NOStart Pierre Thomas_Mike Bell
23Atlanta121.7WASStart Clinton Portis

Friday, November 06, 2009

Jeremy Hermida Trade Winners

Yesterday, the Florida Marlins moved disappointing OF Jeremy Hermida to the Boston Red Sox. The immediate effect is to save the Marlins money in the Hermida's 2nd arbitration-eligible off-season.

Nearly simultaneously, Hermida's value goes up on two fronts. He gets a P.R. reprieve by going to an organization in which the herd of sabre sychophants worship. Second, he gets to play after being benched in favor of rookie Chris Coughlin.

Assuming LF Jason Bay signs with another team, Hermida will get the chance to start in LF. A change of scenery and ABs makes Hermida a potential J.D. Drew type. In a seemingly barren fantasy outfield landscape, 20 HR and 70 RBI is rosterable.

For the Marlins, the question is who plays RF. The easy answer is Cody Ross, but he is also eligible for arbitration for the second time and would be lloking at a similar salary to that Hermida may have been granted.

Assuming Ross is also dealt for the same financial reason, look for the Marlins to rotate Coghlan, Emilio Bonifacio and a couple of older prospects like John Raynor and Scott Cousins through left and right field.

Start Sit Made Easier: Ten Worst Pass Defenses

Pass RankTeamPYAVsDecision
32Tennessee282.4@SFStart Michael Crabtree
31Atlanta256.4WASStart Santana Moss
30Cincinnati253.3BALStart Derrick Mason
28San Francisco252.1TENStart Nate Washington?
28Kansas City252.1@JAXStart Mike Sims-Walker
27Detroit251.9@SEAStart TJ Houshmandzadeh_Nate Burrelson
26St. Louis238.6BYEStart 0
25Minnesota238BYEStart 0
24Dallas237.1@PHIStart DeSean Jackson
23Cleveland236.6BYEStart 0

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Spreadsheet Smarties Or Real Life

Teahen To The White Sox | FanGraphs Baseball:

"The two players Moore got back from KC aren’t franchise changers – they’re just useful parts to have around in spring training when putting a roster together. Teahen is just not someone that should be making significant money, and given his arbitration status, he’s basically a non-value asset. The White Sox could have acquired a similar or better player by just spending the $5 million they’ll give him in free agency without sacrificing any talent."

I just can't help thinking the value of major league average performer is harder to attain than the spreadsheet smarties think. The spreadsheet smarties have no conceptualization of the selection bias necessary to perform at league average.

Start Sit: Calvin Johnson

Will Carroll's Black & Blue Report at Football outsiders:

"One thing to note is that knee injuries for wide receivers tend to linger a bit and limit them in ways that may or may not be able to be adjusted for. With his size, Johnson should be, at worst, a red zone target."

Read: He is not 100%.

Start Sit Made Easier: Top 10 Run Defenses

Rush RankTeamRYAVsDecision
1Pittsburgh76.4@DENSit Knowshon Moreno
2San Francisco84.9TENSit Chris Johnson
3Denver86.9PITSit Rashard Mendenhall
4Baltimore87.6@CINSit Cedric Benson
5Cincinnati88BALSit Ray Rice
6Miami92.4@NESit Laurence Maroney
7Minnesota94.6BYESit 0
8Arizona96.4@CHISit Matt Forte
9Green Bay99.4@TBSit Cadillac Williams
10Seattle101.3DETSit Kevin Smith

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Start Sit Made Easier: The Top 10 Pass Defenses

A good defense measured by passing yards allowed is often a function of horrendous run defenses.

Pass RankTeamPYAVsDecision
1Carolina160.6@NOSit Marques Colston
2NY Giants163.9SDSit Vincent Jackson
3Washington164.6@ATLSit Roddy White
4NY Jets165.3BYESit 0
5New England176.3MIASit Devone Bess?
6San Diego178.4@NYGSit Steve Smith_Hakeem Nicks
7Indianapolis180.1HOUSit Andre Johnson_Kevin Walter
8Denver180.6PITSit Hines Ward_Santana Moss
9Green Bay184@TBSit Antonio Bryant
10Philadelphia195.9DALSit Miles Austin

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Braves Top 10 Prospects

I can't believe these started already! Prospects: Rankings: Organization Top 10 Prospects: Braves Top 10 Prospects

1.Jason Heyward, of
2.Freddie Freeman, 1b
3.Julio Teheran, rhp
4.Mike Minor, lhp
5.Craig Kimbrel, rhp
6.Christian Bethancourt, c
7.Randall Delgado, rhp
8.Zeke Spruill, rhp
9.Cody Johnson, of
10.Adam Milligan, of"

Start Sit: Shonn Green

From Sunday's comments:
"How effective Greene is is still up in the air. He is not a change of pace back and Thomas looks great. To me, it is not clear how much work he gets especially if he does not chip a rusher or two early in the game. Second, the Raiders are so pathetic that his effort last week could be a major fluke."

Close enough. I know there is a waiver wire rush to pick-up Houston Texans RB Ryan Moats following his very impressive game, but let Greene's follow-up to his very impressive effort act as a warning. Not only did Moats do it against a crappy run defense like Greene did, Moats also has a healthy #1 ahead of him like Greene had with Thomas Jones.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Waiver Wire: Fantasy Basketball

Because fantasy baseball and football are so ubiquitous, the games' players assume whatever information they have become accustomed to seeing is widespread across other fantasy games. In an effort to avoid that mistake, here is a list of the NBA players picked off waivers in the 1st week of the season. The source of this information is an 8-team non-keeper league with deep rosters and a 12-team keeper league.

8-team, non-keeper:
Add C Andray Blatche Drop Tyson Chandler
Add SF Danilo Gallinari Drop Tyler Hansbrough
Add SG Courtney Lee Drop SF Mike Miller
Add C Channing Frye Drop Brad Miller
Add C Marreese Speights Drop SG Kelenna Azubuike
Add PF DeJuan Blair Drop Anthony Morrow

12-team, keeper:
Add SF Corey Brewer Drop Delonte West
Add SG Courtney Lee Drop Kendrick Perkins
Add C Marreese Speights Drop Tyson Chandler
Add SG Ronnie Brewer Drop PG Jarret Jack
Add PF Paul Millsap Drop PG Ramon Sessions
Add PG Rafer Alston Drop C Chris Anderson
Add SG Chris Douglas-Roberts Drop Mike Bibby
Add C Ben Wallace Drop C Hasheem Thabeet

Waiver Wire QBs

QB Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers
Why: Rookie WR Michael Crabtree looks like a legitimate WR2 right now, and TE Vernon Davis gives a second option. Add in the ability of RB Frank Gore to catch passes and the 49ers look like a completely different offense than the one established pre-Crabtree.

QB Vince Young, Tennessee Titans
Why: 12 carries for 30 yards. Those rushing yards were the equivalent of 75 passing yards. I'm also wagering Young will vulture a handful of goalline TDs if he gets 10 rushes per game.

Waiver Wire RBs

RB Ryan Moats, Houston Texans
Why: WTF Steve Slaton! 126 yards and three rushing TDs along with two receptions. In the receiving vacuum created by the loss of TE Owen Daniels, Moats could be a valuable Flex option even if Steve Slaton is OK.

RB Maurice Morris, Detroit Lions

Why: A starting RB is worth picking up. If Kevin Smith is OK, then grabbing Morris is even less imperative.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Week Nine Waiver Wire: The Sits

Byes: Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams, Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets

Top players on bye:
QB: Brett Favre
RB: Steven Jackson, Adrian Peterson, Thomas Jones
WR: Sydney Rice, Percy Harvin
TE: Zach Miller, Vinsanthe Shiancoe, Dustin Keller
DST: Minnesota

Amongst these, just Adrian Peterson would be a cause for serious concern. Steven Jackson would normally be included but he has underwhelmed all season. After eight weeks, you've likely adapted notwithstanding today's effort.

Start Sit: Ahmad Bradshaw

Despite a Week Six explosion, New York Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw has been a disappointment. He is not getting many more than 10-12 carries a week and is not catching passes.

With that reality, news of a stress fracture in his foot casts Bradshaw down the start decision ladder. Now one must ask whether the risk of a defensive player targetting the foot and sending BRadshaw to the sidelines early in a game is worth taking if one has a Jamal Lewis sitting on the bench.

If the RB has no competition and an average match-up, Bradshaw sits. This week, the Eagles enter the game with the 8th fewest rushing yards allowed over the past three games and 11th fewest over 2009.

Start Sit: Marion Barber, Felix Jones, Tashard Choice

The 2009 version of the three-headed RB the Baltimore Ravens used in 2008 is a live and well. Marion Barber plays the role of LeRon McClain. Felix Jones is Ray Rice, and Tashard Choice is Willis McGahee.

The concern about using Jones and Choice is neither gets double digit carries and are heavily dependent on breaking big gains to accumulate yards. With these points in mind, start or sit any of the three based on yours needs.

Start Sit: Andre Johnson

Spitting up blodd thanks to a lung contusion is enough to cause hesitation when choosing between Johnson and another viable option. However, Johnson's elite status combined with his full participation in late week practice makes the decision much easier.

Start Andre Johnson.

Start Sit: Reggie Wayne

The Indianapolis Colts top WR Reggie Wayne did not practive all week with a sore groin. All indications are he will play. Given his elite status and the difference in expected production between him and a free agent WR, I'd start Wayne.

Start Sit: Calvin Johnson

Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson is reported to still be less than 100%. This unsettles most fantasy owners who expected the bye week to clear up any lingering aches. When Lions head coach Jim Schwartz was the defensive coordinator with the Tennessee Titans, he vowed he would never be upfront with injury news when he became a head coach.

With that in mind, I'd start Calvin Johnson.