Archive October 2012

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Rotowire Injury Analysis: Fantasy Football Week 8

It’s time for Week 8 Injury Analysis.  Not a lot of significant injuries to report so will devote much of this blog to providing some updates on injuries to key players from previous weeks.

Greg Jennings: Weeks ago I had told my readers to be cautious of playing Jennings....

Rotowire/FanDuel $500 NFL Week 9 Contest

If you're into fantasy football, you're going to be blown away by FanDuel - where fantasy football leagues last just one week. AND you can play for real money. With instant cash payouts and a brand new team every single week of the season - FanDuel takes fantasy football fun to a whole new level.

MLB Notes: Offseason Day 2

With my annual trip to the Arizona Fall League getting underway Wednesday morning, this space will include notes from games I attend including the Rising Stars Game on Saturday night.

Free agency begins in earnest at 12:01 am EST on Saturday morning, so there should be plenty of activity in the coming days.

MLB Notes: Offseason Day 1

A total of 137 MLB players became free agents Monday. The full list is available here courtesy of ESPN's Adam Rubin.

Teams will have an exclusive five-day window (through 12:01 AM EST on Saturday morning) to negotiate with their free agents, at which point they will officially hit the open market.

The aforementioned list also includes players with options for 2013, and many of those are already being exercised as teams officially begin the offseason.

Draft Hits and Misses

With the regular season set to tip-off Tuesday, fantasy basketball draft season is nearing its end. I'm playing in 10 leagues this year. Nine of my drafts are completed, with Monday night's Rotowire Staff Keeper Auction League being the last of the bunch.

There are always certain players you target or avoid in drafts, but when you are in double-digit leagues with varying roster and scoring settings, you'll likely end up with a wide net of players. Lets take a look at some of the players who I scooped up on multiple teams, and other players who I missed out on completely.

NBA Preseason Notes

Perry Missner looks at the ripples created by the Thunder-Rockets trade.

Week 8 Observations

The Giants didn't look good against the Cowboys, but don't read too much into that. It's like worrying about the Patriots after they barely beat the Jets at home. Sometimes long-time rivals have a different read on each other than the rest of the league would.

NBA Preseason Notes

RotoWire's Nick Falk breaks down the fantasy ramifications of the trade on Saturday between the Thunder and Rockets.

Week 8 NFL Live Blog

A lot of the game-time decisions worked against me today - I didn't want Donald Brown to play, just for clarity purposes with Vick Ballard. Jordy Nelson isn't playing. Trent Richardson and Montario Hardesty is a big mess today - lots of tough calls.

NBA: Preseason Notes

A glance at news coming out of the NBA from Friday.

Strategy for the Playoff Drive

Welcome to the first installment of the BrainBlog, an exclusive to RotoWire.  I'll talk about players in this space, but my primary goal is to help you think strategically about the game of fantasy football.  We won't just look at the here-and-now but how all of the pieces work together to make you more competitive over the long haul.

This time of year I'm looking at where I can pick up value, specifically with an eye toward the playoffs.  Just about any team at this point will fall into one of two categories:  (1) Gearing up for the playoffs; or, (2) Trying to make a desperate push to get into the playoffs.  I hope you are in the former group, but either way I think I can help.

If you are gearing up for the playoffs you should be looking to buy low on guys that might be injured or who have been off their game for some reason.  If you are trying to make a push to get into the post-season you are going to be looking to grab those high draft picks that just having been playing up to their potential.  You'd be hoping that you can add under-performing assets cheaply so that they start playing up to their normal standards thereby lifting your team into contention.

Cam Newton and Matthew Stafford spring to mind as players who has underperformed their draft day value.  If you are in need of a QB you might be able to pick one of these guys up for a song.  Look to see if the current owner has someone like Robert Griffin III or Ben Roethlisberger as a starter.  They may be just frustrated enough with their projected starter that they will deal them to you for pennies on the dollar.  Look, Newton and Stafford might not turn it around but this sort of hail mary is the only thing that can catapult you into the playoffs,

On the other side, maybe you are looking good for the playoffs.  I'm in enough leagues that I've got a bunch in this category and I own Greg Jennings in a few of those leagues.  I've got to tell you that it hasn't been too much fun this year.  When healthy he is definitely an "A" player who is worthy of a start on your fantasy squad regardless of the matchup, but as we all know he hasn't been healthy.  They say that his surgery next week will put him on the shelf for three weeks, plus rehab.  So, could he be back in week 12?  Yeah, maybe.  Week 13?  Could be.  Fantasy playoffs?  Well, yes, I think so.

Let's look at the positives:  Jennings is in the prime of his career, he'll be a free agent after this year (for those of you who attach meaning to that sort of thing), he's got an amazing quarterback throwing the ball to him, and he is the #1 receiving option on one of the best offenses in the NFL.  He's an "A" player.

Even with the injury, Jennings is so good that if you drop him he'd certainly be picked up right away.  Someone is going to be willing to stash him on their roster.  It might as well be you since you have already made the investment.

We're all about strategy here on this blog, so I don't want us to limit ourselves to just Jennigns or just this point in the season.  There have been other obvious players in this situation like DeMarco Murray right now and Hakeem Nicks a couple weeks ago.  Ahmad Bradshaw was banged up earlier this year, came roaring back, and might be injured again.  CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson were out and are now working  themselves back into shape.  Antonio Gates is also an "A" player, and up until recently his picture was on a milk carton.

So, what do you do with these guys?  You really only have two options:
  1. Trade them for a "B" player
  2. Stash them and hope for the best
That's pretty much it.

In general I'm an advocate of stashing the player, and I'll explain why.

Back to Jennings.  You probably took him in the late second round or more likely somewhere in the third, which is a sizable investment.  You probably drafted something like two "B" player receivers a little later and maybe a fourth option who is a "C" player with upside.  Something like that: A stud WR1, two guys to rotate at WR2, and a bench guy who could blow up.

In any given week, let's say you start two WR's and possibly three if you put a WR in your flex spot.  Additionally, for the sake of argument, let's say that Jennings won't play until week 14.  You might be able to deal him for a "B" player right now and get the production of that guy for the next six weeks (big bonus) and beyond.

But, let's think about what that does for you.  Sure, you have the option of playing the matchups with your (now) three "B" receivers.  You can mix and match and use that flexibility to help you win each week.  This is an undeniable benefit.

But, to me, there are greater advantages to stashing the "A" player.  Look, you've already got your two "B" guys plus another guy with upside.  You might also be able to grab someone off of the waiver wire who is a good one-week fill-in.  You can still play the matchups almost as effectively as if you had that third "B" level player. 

The big thing, though, is that you'll have Jennings for weeks 14, 15, and 16.  He can be a difference-maker for you in the post-season, and winning the championship is all that matters.  Flags fly forever.

That is huge.  I don't care if you go 13-0 in the regular season or if you limp in with a 7-6 record, when those playoffs hit everyone is 0-0 again.  Give yourself every advantage you can in those weeks, assuming you can get in fact get there.

So, if you have a guy like that do your best to stash him.  If you don't have Jennings, or Nicks, or Murray, or someone like them, start testing the waters to see if you can acquire one on the cheap.

You saw what Nicks did for the Giants in the real-life playoffs last year.  Give him a chance to lead you to victory this year.

NBA Preseason Notes

Nick Pitner plucks noteworthy happenings around the NBA...

NBA Preseason Notes

Perry Missner puts a spotlight on the big news from around the NBA.

Rotowire Injury Analysis: Fantasy Football Week 7

Maurice Jones-Drew: Jones-Drew is another of many who have suffered a foot injury this year which as I stated in last week’s injury analysis, I’m not really sure why this is becoming the “injury of the year” but there have definitely been several of these foot injuries that are always difficult to predict completely the timetable for return to play but they surely represent injuries that take several..........

NBA Preseason Notes

Mike Barner examines Tuesday's news and notes from around the NBA.

NBA Preseason Notes

A look around the NBA as the start of the regular season nears.

Week 7 Observations

Robert Griffin III converted a ridiculous 4th-and-10 play with the game on the line while spinning and changing directions to avoid Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck. The one mistake he made was scoring too quickly with a bomb to Santana Moss. That left 1:40 and two timeouts for Eli Manning, plenty of time to drive gradually, so the Redskins couldn't just plant their safeties 30 yards off the line of scrimmage. As a result, Victor Cruz was able to run by them. Still, RGIII is exceeding the substantial hype preceding his arrival into the league, and if I were to pick a QB to run my real-life franchise for this year only, I'd already take him ahead of Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford, Joe Flacco and maybe Tony Romo and Philip Rivers. In fantasy, I think only Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers can be safely ranked ahead of him. Consider also that RGIII has missed his top receiver Pierre Garcon for most of the year and his No. 2 target Fred Davis for some of it (and now the rest of it).

NBA Preseason Notes

Perry Missner takes a stroll through the latest NBA news from the preseason.

NBA Preseason Notes

Nick Falk breaks down some weekend news.

Week 7 NFL Live Blog

My Bengals actually play the Sunday night game, so my viewing options are wide open all day. I'll probably stick with the Red Zone channel at least for the first half. Which early game are you most looking forward to?

Really awful split today - eight early games, two late ones, and one of those is Jacksonville - Oakland. Be still my beating heart. I might play soccer with my girls instead if NE-NYJ becomes a blowout.

NBA Preseason Notes

A look at NBA News from Friday

NBA Preseason Notes

Nick Pitner updates the latest preseason occurrences...

NBA Preseason Notes

Charlie Zegers looks at Wednesday's news and notes from around the NBA.

Rotowire Injury Analysis: Fantasy Football Week 6

DeMarco Murray: In last weekend’s game, Murray was forced to leave the game due to a foot injury.  While x-rays were negative, his MRI did show that he has a “foot sprain”.  I’m sure owners are being tired of hearing this “foot sprain” as it appears this year it is turning into the “high ankle sprain” of years past.  We have seen numerous people suffer this type of injury and the biggest concern is whether it is in fact a Lisfranc injury which appears that it is not.  However, any foot sprain means there is ligament damage and this is never a quick recovery.

What does all this mean to your fantasy football team?  You should.....

NBA Preseason Notes

Mike Barner examines Tuesday's news and notes from around the NBA.

NBA Preseason Notes

A look around the Association as preseason play continues

NBA Preseason Notes

Perry Missner takes a spin through the weekend's NBA preseason action and notes.

Week 6 Observations

I finally got DirecTV installed in the converted garage and hooked up to two 42-inch flatscreens. I leave one on the red-zone channel and another on whatever game I'm watching, flipping around during commercials. I'm sure many of you already have set-ups like this (and better), but I've always had either one screen at home with the package or the sports bar. Two big screens make a huge difference.

Week 6 NFL Live Blog

This is when the bye weeks are starting to take their toll, and as Scott Pianowski pointed out on his Yahoo blog, next week is even uglier.

The RotoWire Steak League has 16 teams and we start three receivers, and I've got bye week (Marques Colston, Brandon LaFell) and injury (Pierre Garcon) issues. So I've had to resort to starting, gulp, Chris Givens, Josh Gordon and Ramses Barden. Yes, my receivers suck to begin with - that's part of the problem.

But point being, it's pretty ugly out there right now.

NBA Preseason Notes

Taking a look at Friday's preseason action.
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