Archive November 2009

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Monday Night Not-So-Live Blog

Chiming in a little late as I'm multi-tasking between kid duty and work on the baseball mag. But as a Pierre Thomas owner in multiple leagues, the events so far tonight are pretty darn positive.

What is Kevin Garnett's Value?

I wrote recently about how difficult it is to get a handle on Dwight Howard's value because he has several potentially dominant categories but also a couple of terrible ones as well.  Kevin Garnett is the opposite end of the coin in that he contributes solidly but unspectacularly in most categories, but he also doesn't hurt you in any category either.  That makes Garnett just as difficult to put a rotisserie ranking on.

Trend Spotting, Part II

An early look at some of the more significant statistical trends that are having major positive effects on players' values.

Week 12 Observations

  • The Giants destroyed my Thanksgiving. Not only did they play perhaps the worst game I've ever watched at any level in any sport, but that the game was carried only by the NFL Network forced me to leave my friend's house early and rush across town to get back home. To add insult to injury, I bet them as a road favorite, something I almost never do.

  • Week 12 Live Blog

    A lot of game-time decisions today, and still at least one left to go with Kurt Warner. Hopefully it all fleshed out well for you.

    Why Are My Teams So Terrible?

    Four teams, and they all stink.

    What is Dwight Howard's Value?

    After a slow start to the season, Howard exploded with a big game on Thanksgiving.  But even if he put up his numbers from Thanksgiving for the rest of the season, would he be worthy of being the best player on your fantasy team?  And if not, what numbers would he have to put up to counterract the effect of his horrid free throw shooting on your team?

    Turkey (and Pasta for Pianow) Day Live Blog

    It's supposed to be 83 degrees today here in Southern California. Our family is heading over to a non-sports fan's house for Thanksgiving today - it'll be interesting trying to maneuver to get the games on. I don't think they're DirecTV owners, either, so chances of hitting the NFL Network for the nightcap are pretty slim. What are your plans for the day?

    NFL Notes

    A look around the league regarding Week 11:

    Stuck in a Triangular Box

    Don't expect big fantasy numbers from Jonny Flynn as long as Kurt Rambis insists running his mentor's favorite offense.

    More Observations and Thoughts

  • The Monday Night Football announcers were talking about how Tennessee has dominated time of possession since Vince Young took over. But why does anyone care about time of possession? If you run the ball, the clock moves, but if you pass, it will stop on an incompletion. But what's the difference whether you get a first down on three running plays or three passing plays, two of which are incomplete? The defense is still on the field for the same amount of time - it just doesn't count as "time of possession" when the clock isn't running. Put differently, it's not like a defense gets a break just because the pass you threw was incomplete - it still had to rush the passer and cover everyone. And the players are still standing there while you're huddling no matter what the clock is doing.
  • Was McGrady ever as good as LeBron?

    As Tracy McGrady struggles to return from the knee and back injuries that ended his last season and have limited him for the last several years, there is some question as to whether he will ever be an impact player in the NBA again.  Meanwhile, LeBron James is considered to be at worst one of the two best players in the NBA.  But my question today is: was McGrady ever as good as LeBron is right now? 

    Week 11 Observations

  • There are few backs these days that get 20 carries a game, all the goal-line looks, perform ably as a receiver out of the backfield and play for a team that can block well and generate red-zone and goal-line opportunities. Ricky Williams is one.
  • A Big Week for the Bucks

    I really want to believe in the Bucks. After three years of lottery-land, Milwaukee's opened the season with a remarkable 8-3 start. That leaves them percentage points ahead of the Cavaliers and the Celtics in the Eastern Conference, though Cleveland (10-4) and Boston (10-4) are a half-game ahead. Brandon Jennings has obviously been a big factor, rekindling my memories of Nate "Tiny" Archibald. And the Bucks' defense has been just as important as Jennings. They are 7th in the NBA, allowing 94.5 points per game (+5/5 point differential, 7th). The defensive numbers improve to second place when looking at points per 100 possessions (according to This team has to be legitimate, right? They play defense like legitimate
    contenders, but this week will be a big one for the Bucks.

    Peyton Manning - Great Quarterback, or the Greatest Quarterback?

    When Peyton Manning retires one day, will he go down as the greatest quarterback in NFL history?

    Week 11 Live Blog

    Chime in with your thoughts here.

    How Are Those NBA Sleepers Doing?

    Just over a month ago, we checked in on three potential sleepers for the NBA season. How're they doing so far?

    The Killer ABs

    I had intended to just blog about Andrew Bogut today, but the news that he is injured and out for a few weeks was a bit of a buzz kill.  So instead, I decided to expand this to shed some light on all three of the young big men in the league sharing the 'AB' initials: Andrew Bynum, Andrea Bargnani, and Andrew Bogut.

    Case Study: Elton Brand

    Coming into the year with a preseason ADP of 39.2 (Y! Sports), Elton Brand has been one of this season's biggest disappointments thus far with a per-game rank of 111 through 11 games. His market value is especially relevant at the moment as he is coming off his best performance of the season. Brand owners now find themselves in an interesting quandary, unsure of where to go from here.

    Hitting the NBA Reset Button - Eastern Conference

    A little over three weeks into the season and things we knew when the season started are no longer true. Injuries, trades, coaching changes and personnel changes have altered rotations, changed starting lineups and increased some players' value. Who are the players benefitting from early season lineup tweaks in the Eastern Conference?

    The Rest of the Hardware

    Who gets your NL Cy Young and AL/NL MVP votes?

    NFL Notes

    A look around the league regarding Week 10:

    What's Next for Iverson?

    It seems clear Iverson won't pull a Latrell Sprewell and fade away while he still has some productive basketball left in his body. But where will he land? And should fantasy owners have any interest when he does?

    Moving on Up

    With their overtime win Monday night, the Hawks are making the jump from the middle class to the NBA's upper crust. Entering the season, all the talk was the improvments made by Boston, Cleveland and Orlando, but little was mentioned of the Hawks, who unglamorously returned the same core for a third straight season. Well, they wake up Tuesday morning leading the conference with a 9-2 record, which includes road victories over Boston and Portland and impressive home wins against the Trail Blazers and the Nuggets. Atlanta now has won five in a row after a bewildering end-of-a-roadtrip loss to Charlotte.

    Week 10 Observations

  • We've beaten to death Bill Belichick's decision to go for it on 4th and 2 in Sunday night's game (the best take on it I've seen is here), but the real takeaway is how much Cris Collinsworth, Al Michaels, Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison felt it was their duty to spout the conventional wisdom without even attempting to analyze Belichick's basis for the decision. Throw in Bob Costas, and it's appalling that five guys collectively making more than $10 million a year to interpret the sport for us didn't even consider the issue from a probability standpoint. Sadly, the NBC crew is probably the best one on TV. (Update: Jon Gruden just defended Belichick's call on MNF - good for him).
  • Week 10 Live Blog

    Posting a little early today - there's a few huge games on the docket. I like how the big games are all spread out.

    Dominant Offense but Shaky Defense...Barkley and Dirk

    This topic is a spin-off from the Michael Jordan thread of last week.  In the excellent discussion on that thread a mini-debate broke out as to how Charles Barkley compares to Kevin Garnett.  The gist of the brief debate was to question whether Barkley was enough better than Garnett offensively to make them comparable in value as overall players despite Garnett’s huge defensive advantages.  The thing is, though, to me there is a much better comp for Barkley in this generation than Garnett:  Dirk Nowitzki.

    What is Iverson's Legacy?

    What are we talking 'bout? We're talking 'bout *IVERSON*.

    Jennings vs Rose

    Last year Derrick Rose was the NBA Rookie of the Year.  One year later, would you take him over current rookie point guard phenom Brandon Jennings?

    Well, the Big East Sure Turned Thing Around Quickly...

    Last season, the Big East was roundly considered the worst of the "AQ Conferences" in college football. Why, some even posited that they were worse than the Mountain West, and considering the MWC contained Utah and TCU, that wasn't an unreasonable argument. However, a mere season later, I personally find it safe to say that the Big East isn't the worst conference of the AQs. In fact, I think they are a pretty good conference... and maybe the third best conference in college football.
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