Archive July 2009

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Training Camp Notes

Pierre Thomas has added 10-to-15 pounds of muscle this offseason, mostly in his legs.  Currently, we have Thomas ranked 17th on our running back chart.  He will lose some touches to Reggie Bush and Mike Bell, but is definitely the best option of the three.  Thomas had nine touchdowns over the last six games he played in last year, so it would not be surprising to see him finish as a top-10 back in 2009.

Bill Belichick did not rule out the New England Patriots signing Michael VIck.  New England has been mentioned several times as a possible destination for Vick, although it is all speculation at this point.  A minor roadblock for signing him could be Myra Kraft, Pats' owner Robert Kraft's wife, who is a big animal activist.

Victor Martinez Now A Member Of Red Sox Nation

Media reports indicate that Victor Martinez has, indeed, been traded by the Indians to the Boston Red Sox.

Trade Deadline Live Blog

This might end up being anti-climatic, given how much has already occurred, but we're going to track today's events here in the blog in addition to our usual coverage.

Training Camp Notes

Brian Robiskie agrees to a four-year contract with the Browns.  He will challenge for the #2 WR spot for Cleveland.  He could also play a bigger role if Braylon Edwards' ankle injury proves to be nagging heading into the regular season.

MLB Notes

Over his last four starts, Chad Billingsley has a 9.45 ERA with a 1.989 WHIP. He threw 200.2 innings last season and doesn’t rank among the top-10 in Baseball Prospectus’ pitcher abuse points in 2009, so it’s not like he should be wearing down. It’s probably just a blip on the radar and nothing to worry about, but improved control would be nice, as his 4.02 BB/9 mark is worse than last season. Teammate Clayton Kershaw’s 4.85 BB/9 mark actually ranks last in the league, but both pitchers remain successful because they are just so tough to hit. In fact, Kershaw’s .200 BAA is the second lowest in major league baseball. The fact Kershaw has a 2.76 ERA and 1.23 WHIP despite the worst walk rate in the game reveals huge upside moving forward. Kershaw should win a Cy Young someday and is easily one of the five most valuable pitching commodities in a keeper league.

Rotowire Fantasy College Football Draft Analysis

Today, some of the good folks of Rotowire, myself included, had a draft for the Rotowire Fantasy College Football League. It is a 10 team league, starting one QB, two RBs, three WRs, one TE, one D/ST, and last and certainly least, one K. That may be a tad bit shallow, but it can be used to provide some insight into how people are seeing some of the players available this year. Here is some analysis of the first six rounds, plus a few more picks that interested me personally.

Brian Sabean Strikes Again

When I first heard of my Giants trading Tim Alderson for Freddy Sanchez, my blood immediately started to boil. I let the expletives fly. I then decided to give up on the team until Brian Sabean is gone. I’ve since tried to talk myself into it, and while I’ll acknowledge the team is better today than they were before the deal, the more I think about it, this trade was indefensible and terrible.

Under The Big Straw Hat - No. 8: Does the Cycle of Wait Until Next Year Prevail Forever?

Just once. Just once couldn't the Cleveland Indians be on the other end of a blockbuster deal?

Training Camp Notes

Here’s the latest news around the league:

Cliff Lee to the Phillies-Some Preliminary Thoughts

The Indians continue to be active in the trade market in their effort to rebuild their pitching staff and their organizational options. They certainly took another step this afternoon by reportedly shipping Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco to the Phils. What does it all mean?

Training Camp Notes

Continuing our new feature, here is the NFL news that broke today, July 28, 2009. 

Garko to Giants-Indians Add More Pitching

The Cleveland Indians accomplished two goals prior to their game Monday night with the Los Angeles Angels. They shed some salary and they acquired yet another pitcher.

Metro Sports Draft

The third annual Time Warner Cable & Metro Sports Industry Draft took place today, The format is 1-QB, 2-RB, 3-WR, 1-Flex (no QB), 1- TE, 1-K, 1-D, PPR scoring. (Time Warner Cable's show "Fantasy Huddle" will have us on from Aug. 27-30 to discuss the draft)

Here are the results:

Training Camp Notes

We’re going to start a new daily feature highlighting the latest news around training camps. Here’s the first crack at it:

Where Will Vick Land?

Is anyone going to give the former Falcon another chance?

Subversive Trade Deadline Strategies, Fans' Edition

How Yankees fans can sabotage the Rays' playoff chances.

NFBC FAAB Results for Week 17

Busy bidding week for me - I had to address the news that Kevin Slowey probably isn't coming back, at least anytime soon.  I overpaid for Swarzak, but I'm comfortable with that, given how many games he has against the AL Central remaining.

Lakers Better Not Let Odom Get Away

I have written, repeatedly, about how underrated Lamar Odom is when considering the Lakers' success.  If the Lakers decide to let Odom walk, next year they will get a reality check.

Dalton and Liss' Dynasty

We got a free entry into the Fantasy Football Open Championships thanks to a second place finish in our division last year. The format is 10-team leagues, 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 Flex (can be QB), 1 TE, 1 K, 1 D. Standard scoring except defense and kickers score more than usual - especially defenses. 10 starters, 10 reserves. (Can only draft three QBs max). I drafted the team (with DDD's help), and he'll run it. We picked third.

Thoughts About The Matt Holliday Trade-Albert Pujols Probably the Biggest Winner

Matt Holliday winds up in the same lineup as Albert Pujols and the Oakland A's wind up with prospects no worse than they got from their winter deal with Colorado. It seems that everyone might actually come away with value in this deal.

What I'm Watching At The Deadline (And The Rest Of The Season)

As much as teams try to look at the big picture, today's actual problems always seem to carry more weight than tomorrow's theoretical problems. A team with a great pitching staff in paper that's getting lit up leading into the trade deadline might feel compelled to reach out for an ace or a bullpen stopper. A team expected to score a ton of runs that hits a July offensive swoon might have trouble resisting the urge to trade premium prospects for a middle-of-the-order bat.

Here are two situations we're watching that could prompt teams to make deals they wouldn't have expected to make a few months, or even a few weeks ago.

Under-the-Radar Offseason Moves

This has been a pretty hectic offseason in the Association. Instead of organizations lying low and waiting for the fabled free-agent class of 2010 to hit the open market, teams across the league have made numerous high-profile moves to try to cement their place as championship contenders. The numerous trades and big name free agent signings have been discussed ad nauseam, but some moves that could have an impact in fantasy have fallen through the cracks. Here's a look at some of those moves.


The Value of Defensive Coordinators

This offseason four prominent defensive coordinators on top defensive teams (Steve Spagnuolo Giants, Jim Johnson Eagles, Rex Ryan Ravens and Jim Schwartz Titans) have left - three for head coaching gigs and Johnson due to illness. Should we expect a major dropoff in defensive production for those squads?

MLB Notes

Over his last nine games, Yunel Escobar is hitting .467 with four home runs, 14 RBI and eight runs scored. While he’s never going to be a big power/speed guy, he’s already eclipsed last year’s HR total in 203 fewer at-bats. Although Escobar has frustrated Braves’ management at times, leading to rumors of a trade, there’s no questioning how valuable he’s been in the batter’s box. In fact, his .857 OPS ranks third best in all of baseball among shortstops, and while his ridiculous .442/.457/.767 line with RISP is certain to regress, Escobar has established himself as a top-10 fantasy shortstop.

Is the Curse of 370 Overblown?

A few years ago, Football Outsiders concluded based on historical data that backs who eclipsed the the 370-carry mark are especially prone to break down the following season. While it makes sense generally that heavy workloads would tend to wear players down, it doesn't follow that any one cutoff point (300, 350, 370, etc.) would have any special significance given the diversity of running-back body types, blocking schemes and running styles. Nonetheless, the 370-rule gained some traction, and some owners have avoided these 370-plus backs (Michael Turner is the only one from last season). Are they wise to do so? Not according to analysis by Advanced NFL Stats which explains the 370 curse as garden-variety regression to the mean, normal running back injury rates and some cherry-picking of stats. (h/t: Yahoo! Sports' Scott Pianowski and Andy Behrens).

Why Is Tony Bernazard Still a Mets Employee?

Tony Bernazard should be fired for his latest incidents as these are just the topping on what has already been a poor stint in NY.

The LeBron Dunk

Video footage has finally emerged from the infamous facial, and while the quality of this one is much better than TMZ’s version, the dunk itself is hardly worth the hype. LeBron has no one to blame but himself for making this a much bigger deal than it was, as there’s no way the hype would have reached this level had he not gotten Nike to take the footage.

Pirates Trade Adam LaRoche To Red Sox For Two Minor League Players-Any Significance?

The Pittsburgh Pirates today traded first baseman Adam LaRoche to the Boston Red Sox for shortstop Argenis Diaz and right-handed pitcher Hunter Strickland. Will this trade have an significance?

MLB Notes

Over his last 10 starts, Felix Hernandez has a 1.30 ERA and a 0.947 WHIP with 73 strikeouts over 76 innings. The schedule hasn’t been particularly tough, but his 1.42 G/F ratio is also fantastic. After Tim Lincecum, Dan Haren and Roy Halladay, Hernandez enters the mix as next best fantasy starter. And he should be a top-five option for years to come.

Under The Big Straw Hat - No. 7: Factors That Could Impact the NL Pennant Races

As discussed the last time I crawled out from under the big straw hat, there are factors that influence the outcome of pennant races. This time I'll take a look at some of the factors that could impact the races in the National League.
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