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Archive February 2009

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Investing in the Chiefs Offense

Scott Pioli takes over and immediately hires pass-happy Arizona offensive coordinator Todd Haley to coach the team, then trades for Matt Cassel. Dwayne Bowe and Tony Gonzalez (if he sticks around) could have big seasons, and Larry Johnson (if he sticks around) won't see as many stacked fronts and would see more goal-line opportunities. Jamaal Charles and Mark Bradley showed some flashes as well last season.

Digging Deep for Saves

Rarely do I like to pony up the auction dollars or surrender anything earlier than a 10th round pick on a closer, leaving me scraping the bottom of the barrel (we’re talking Brandon Lyon here) for saves. It doesn’t always work to perfection, but rolling the dice on a shaky closer or two, grabbing a couple top set-up men, speculating, and paying close attention to each team’s bullpen situation has seemed to serve me well over the years.
Who are this year’s closer bums and set-up stud? A few I’m keeping an eye on:

Johan Santana

I was already extremely wary of Johan Santana, but with news he’s out “indefinitely,” and his availability for the start of the season is in serious jeopardy, I’ll be avoiding him altogether now.

NBA in Trouble?

A couple weeks ago, the Sports Business Journal reported that the NBA borrowed $175 million to get some of its weaker performing franchises through tough times. Bill Simmons breaks down the back story to that in an epic column (more journalism than comedy) and predicts bad times ahead for the league.

Cassel to the Chiefs

Adam Schefter is reporting the Chiefs have acquired Cassel from the Patriots in a trade, although no details were immediately available.

NFL Free Agents

Good list of them on by Jason Cole and Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports.

Is Vince Young Done?

With Kerry Collins signing a two-year $15 million deal with $8.5 million guaranteed, obviously, he's going to be the starter. What does that mean for Young - at least another full season as a backup, and after that point, what's left for him?

Under valued closers

I typically refuse from touching the Mo Rivera's of the world, this year will be no different. Here are three guys that I'd like to get based on their ADP...

The Downside to Having Andrea Bargnani as Your Starting Center

When the Raptors traded Jermaine O'Neal for Shawn Marion, they got more dynamic offensively. But they had absolutely no answer for Shaq who went 20-for-25 against them tonight.

How Much Did the Dodgers Really Offer Manny?

From reading the headlines, you might think the Dodgers offered Ramirez a two-year deal for $45 million with $25 million in 2009 and a player option for the other $20 million in 2010. But before you tear your hair out at the nearly 37-year old Ramirez turning down that kind of money in this economy, according to the LA Times, more than half of the $45 million was deferred without interest. (Hat tip: Faketeams.com).

Sound Drafting Advice

Scott Pianowski's Tip Drill is worth a look before heading off to your draft. Just some basics to prevent you from doing something stupid.

How Good Will the Redskins Defense Be?

With the re-signing of DeAngelo Hall yesterday and today's acquisition of Albert Haynesworth, the Redskins defense looks pretty solid on paper at least. And consider that last season, without Haynesworth, Hall for less than half a season and Jason Taylor banged up, the team finished sixth in points allowed and fourth in yards allowed.

It's just me and Stephon

It is all-but-official now that Stephon Marbury is back in the NBA, soon to be signed by the Boston Celtics.  Basketball analysis aside, you've gotta enter this blog to check out the videos of what Marbury did with his all of the off-time the Knicks gave him.  Surreally hilarious.

Are the Lakers Better Without Andrew Bynum?

Nuggets Coach George Karl raised an interesting question this week in an interview.  "Don't you have to make the statement that maybe they're (the Lakers) better without Bynum?" Karl asked reporters on Thursday.  Is Karl right about that?

Eligibility for Single-League Drafts?

A plea for suggestions -- how best to handle player eligibility for single-league drafts?

Change Comes to the RotoWire Staff League

One of the common issues that keeper leagues have to deal with is how to address dump trades.

Why I'm Not Happy Milton Bradley's a Cub

I cover three teams at RotoWire - the Cubs, the Rockets and the New York Giants. For the most part, the Giants are easy except for the kicker position. It's bad enough that with the Rockets I've had to deal with Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming the last several years. I'd much rather be talking about skill development, team role and opportunity than endlessly reporting on some guy's rehab and timetable and X-ray and MRI - can't they just put those guys out of their misery like they do horses?

Ron Artest Shuts Down LeBron

While Shane Battier was recently written up in part for his defensive work on Kobe Bryant, Artest checked LeBron James Thursday night and held him to 7-for-21 shooting and no assists in the Rockets' blowout win. While Battier is a master at forcing quicker players to go to their weaker hands and take shots they're not comfortable with, Artest is probably the only defender who can guard LeBron on the perimeter while matching up with him physically.

Dalton Del Don, King Kaufman on Fantasy Focus

For Friday's show on Blog Talk Radio (on the Fantasy Sports Channel), we're joined by RotoWire's own Dalton Del Don and King Kaufman from Salon.com.

Sleepers - Part Two


Andrew Miller
– Over his first 181.2 major league innings, Miller has an ugly 5.80 ERA and 1.64 WHIP.  His 5.2 BB/9 IP mark is horrendous. Still, there remains a lot to like about the former sixth overall pick. Last year’s 7.46 K/9 IP mark was solid, as was his 1.24 G/F ratio. His sky high BABIP (.346) and low strand rate (.627) suggest he was awfully unlucky. In fact, his FIP last season was 3.96. Hopefully a revamped delivery can improve Miller’s command as well.

Two Fantasy Baseball Draft Philosophies

There are essentially two ways to go about drafting your fantasy baseball squad. With the first, you decide which players you like and make sure, within reason, that you pay what it takes to get them. I'll call this the "genius" philosophy of drafting. With the second, you enter the draft without any idea what player you're going to draft/buy, and you simply take those who you believe are undervalued. I'll call this the "agnostic" philosophy of drafting. So which is better - the genius or the agnostic. Or more aptly, (since almost everyone combines the two to some extent), what's your split between genius and agnostic?

The Myth of Joe Dumars

How long does Joe Dumars' grace period last?

Baseball Enforcing its "Code of Conduct?"

ESPN's Buster Olney posits that baseball's less tolerant of selfish players and clubhouse cancers - that it's strengthening its "code of conduct."

I'm dubious this isn't just idle chatter from a few managers and GMs eager to move past the steroid embarrassment and justify high ticket prices and massive salaries in a terrible economy, i.e., just some P.R. they know Olney will credulously pass on to the public.

Sleepers

I know, I know. There’s no such thing as a sleeper anymore. Still, it’s an easy way of describing undervalued players. Here I won’t be calling Nelson Cruz a sleeper, but rather, I’ll be searching for more of the catatonic variety.

Derrick Brooks Cut

The Bucs released the 10-time Pro Bowler and former Defensive Player of the Year today. They also cut bait on three-time Pro Bowler and former Man of the Year Warrick Dunn as well as Joey Galloway, one of two players in NFL history to have three 1,000-yard seasons with two different teams (the other being Terrell Owens).

What Happens When PER and +/- Collide?

Today, we’ll look at how two different types of stats can be used together to produce stronger analysis.  We've talked previously about PER and +/- separately and noted the strengths and weaknesses of each.  Well, Roland Beech from 82games.com has combined variations of the two in an ad hoc measure that he calls the Roland Rating.  Mr. Beech has also been kind enough to weigh in with some thoughts about his measurement, to help us understand the strengths and weaknesses of using it.

Promotional Note - Fantasy Faceoff

Check out RotoWire's own Jan Levine tonight on Fantasy Faceoff, on the NHL Network, at 7:00 pm ET.

Why the Raiders Are Terrible

Yahoo! Sports' MJD lists the disastrous free-agent signings by the Raiders last year - it goes far deeper than just the DeAngelo Hall debacle.

Fantasy Focus - Wednesday

Wednesday's show will feature Jason Grey from ESPN.com, and RotoWire Baseball Editor Jason Thornbury.

Adapting to Find Value

Good column in the San Francisco Chronicle by Susan Slusser explaining how the A's have gone from targeting college pitchers in the draft to high school ones. (Hat tip Kevin Kaduk (Big League Stew on Yahoo! Sports).
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Do Analytics Take the Fun Out of Sports?
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Don't let people tell you analytics are reductionist and take the joy out of sports. They mostly just take the stupidity out of sports.

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RotoWire's AL LABR Squad
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My 12-Team NFBC RotoWire Online Championship Team
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