Archive April 2012

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NHL Playoff Observations -- Monday

Just a few things that caught my eye ...
  • Alexander Semin was on the wrong side of the grocery stick most of the night. You know, that spot between the back-up goalie and the rest of the team ... the one where the dead wood goes so it doesn't get in the way of on-the-fly changes.
  • Honey badger don't care. Honey badger doesn't give a $%!&.  T.J. Oshie gave up four inches and 50 pounds to Dustin Penner, but he didn't care. Then again, honey badger didn't care when he hit Rick Nash a few years ago, either. I wonder if the NHL would let me get a Blues #74 jersey with Honey Badger on the back.

Buy Lowest

Every year, we hear advice about how it's time to "buy low" on struggling stars like Albert Pujols, Giancarlo Stanton and Robinson Cano. "Get them now for cheap before they heat up!" Except that the market for superstars - at least in competitive leagues - usually doesn't move much after one bad month. (Whether it should in these cases is another question). It's more likely that the Pujols and Stanton owners are doubling down, figuring that only a hot streak from a player of that caliber can undo the damage that's already been done.

That doesn't mean you can't take advantage of the market's early overreaction, but you'll have to aim a little lower and take on quite a bit more risk. The players listed below are those who should be available at an actual discount.

NHL Playoff Observations -- Sunday

Just a few things that caught my eye ...
  • Kevin Klein's on-his-back, twist pass was a little bit Alexander Ovechkin and a little bit Bobby Orr, too. He won't repeat the feat, but it just shows how well Nashville drafts defenders.
  • The only Flyer who showed up ready to play in the first period? None other than Ilya Bryzgalov -- he was the only reason Philly was only down one goal after 20.

NFBC Week #4 FAAB Results

Another week, another set of wild closer bids. Results from my Main Event League and Satellite League follow after the jump:

Fantasy Rookies

Now that the 2012 NFL Draft is complete and rosters look about the way they will when training camps open in late July, it’s time to start the speculation train full steam ahead to fantasy draft days. Many players taken in this class will have a fantasy impact, some immediate, some in small spurts as rookies and some not for years to come.

Holland vs Price - Pitchers Duel?

Can anyone stop the Rangers offense? The perfect time to strike the Over total is when two teams that can hit are facing good pitching. Price keeps the Over around 9 as he is one of the leagues best, but has never defeated the Rangers. Holland is the Rangers ace, but has an ERA of 6.51 vs the Rays.

Betting on the Pirates Again!

Pretty solid day yesterday as we won on the Cards and underdog Pirates. Lost on the Cubs as Blanton found his game.

NHL Playoff Observations -- Round Two Begins

Just a few things that caught my eye ...
  • How long can Mike Smith keep this up? Six of the 'Yotes seven games have gone to OT. And on Friday night, they were outshot 25-7 after the second period. When does exhaustion set in?
  • Chris Keider -- no wonder the Rangers didn't want to give him up to get Rick Nash.

Cowboys Draft: First Blush Thoughts

My initial reactions to the 2012 Dallas draft crop.

Betting on Lohse and the Freak!

Good heavens Lohse and the Cards -155 at home vs Estrada and the Chips cast? Take the Cards who pound the Brewers!

Poor Twins Fans

I fully acknowledge I am a die-hard Yankees fan who lives in MN. People here in the Twin Cities wonder how I can cheer for the Yankees over the Twins since I have lived in MN most of my life? They ask the same question as to why I cheer for the Cowboys over Vikings or the New York Rangers over the Wild?

Top-20 Rookie IDP Players...So Far

Yesterday was the offensive guys, now the defensive guys get some love.

Some NBA Predictions

Handing out awards while giving a brief playoff preview:

Top 20 Fantasy Football Rookies....So Far.

Day 2 is done and I thought it'd be fun to make a top-20 fantasy rookies even though it is way too early to tell. Yes, a lot of the values reflect the draft order, but that is to be expected at this point, right? However, I moved a few guys up the boards, as you will see. Call me crazy, but Coby Fleener will make a large fantasy impact next season starting day one. Enjoy it! IDP-version coming later.

My Daily Joust Lineup:

There's still time to sign up for a $250 freeroll entry into Daily Joust's "Beat Jeff Erickson" contest.

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Daily Joust Contest

My lineup is after the jump:

Second-Round Mock

The font is not uniform and I can't figure out how to change that. Sorry.

Staff Keeper League Notes: Week 4 Free Agents

2012 Week 4 Free Agent and Standings review of the Staff Keeper League.

2012 2nd Round NFL Mock Draft: The Aftermath

How crazy was round 1? A short recap plus a second round mock to follow. Draft grades (perhaps) coming later. Enjoy.

NHL Playoff Observations -- Thursday

Just a few things that caught my eye ...
  • Is it me or did Daniel Alfredsson's post-game handshakes look a little on the final side? I hope not -- he was the best Sen on the ice.
  • John Madden zigged when he should have zagged -- it's remarkable he could come back from this hit. No more pretty boy after that.

2012 NFL Draft Live Blog, First Round

As usual, I'm hoping for chaos, always chaos. Give me lots of trades, wacky picks, and teams not getting up to the podium in time (paging the Vikings). I'll admit - I've been immersed in baseball late, so I've not done the research that colleagues Luke Hoover, Michael Gottleib and Mario Puig have. Lucky for you, you can read the fruits of their labors here on the blogs and our football notes and articles. Still, looking forward to seeing the results from tonight, especially as MLB only scheduled three night games going up against the draft - wise scheduling.

My Packers Draft Class

Last year, on this same wonderful day, I selected three options at each draft spot that I thought best fit the Packers’ needs and values. And once again I've taken the chance to put them on the clock and see if I could continue the building of a champion.

Matusz on the to the ATM!


Grand Slam - Bet the house. You will notice I will not have many of these games throughout the year. I would have picked the Red Sox over the Twins last night though. I was at the game and have a pretty good read on the Twins.

Home Run - Solid pick. Bet the car.

Triple - Make the books nervous.

Double - Where to start if you are in a hole.

Single - Better than a bet just to bet, but not by much.

Caught Stealing - Stay away there are better games on the slate. Think of Kershaw vs Halladay. Why would you take either side? That is called betting just to bet.

Final Mock Draft: Crazy Trade Edition

Going for broke here with multiple trades, but none involving the New England Patriots (may be the dumbest thing I've done to date). A few comments spread in here and there but today is about the players so here they are on display for everyone to see. Enjoy!

Final First-Round Mock

A blind swing at how the first round could go down Thursday.

MLB Notes

A look around the league:

NHL Playoff Observations -- Wednesday

Just a few things that caught my eye ...
  • Do not be surprised if the Bruins send Tim Thomas packing this summer. He was solid enough, but was out-goaltended by a rookie. And he's probably out of favor in the room after tossing his teammates under the bus earlier in the series.
  • It couldn't have happened to a better guy. Joel Ward sniped the winner after taking the hard road to the NHL -- he spent four full years playing hockey for the University of PEI Panthers in the CIS before signing an AHL contract and then working his way up.


What else should we be looking for?

Can You Beat Jeff Erickson?

Can you beat Jeff Erickson at fantasy baseball?

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Cubs Sweep? Twins Upset? Hughes vs Rangers = $$

Hello Everyone!

My name is Tom Vara and my goal is to make you some money betting on baseball period. I have been betting on all sports for over 20 years, but enjoy baseball wagering simply because I love the game. However, the time to bet on any sport is never the first week as there is too much unknown. For instance how about those Angels who looked so great on paper? How about the first place Nationals? Now, a few weeks in we have a better picture of how the 2012 season may shape up. So lets get to it!

NHL Playoff Observations -- Tuesday

Just a few things that caught my eye ...
  • Ilya Kovalchuk needed to be the best offensive player on the ice. He was. His goal was incredible, but his feather pass on the winner was sublime.
  • The perils of youth. Dmitry Kulikov's single crossover to the left as Ilya Kovalchuk entered the zone opened the passing lane to Travis Zajac for the winning goal. He won't fall for that again.
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