Archive for July, 2011

New Locations

Posted: July 31, 2011 in General

As the MLB trade deadline approaches and free agency has begun to run rampant on the NFL.  Several fantasy commodities have changed locations.  Ubaldo Jimenez recently was acquired by the Indians.  Avoiding the AL East was a huge success for owners of Jimenez, and the relatively weak hitting AL Central shouldn’t hinder his future performances.  A battle for supremacy in the NL East continues in the trade market between the Braves and the Phillies as they both acquire Houston Astro’s outfielders.  The Phillies get Pence, and the Brave get Bourn.  Overall Pence is a better player, but I like Bourn to the Braves a little better especially with their injuries.  The get a number 1 hitter, and improve their avg, obp, and steals in the process.  Switching gears a couple moves made that I found interesting include the Bears signing Marion Barber.  Forte still remains the number 1, but Barber is definitely there to vulture goaline TD.  I would downgrade Forte’s value a little in standard scoring leagues, in PPR he still remains a highly viable commodity.  Plaxico to the Jets is an interesting move.  I think it certainly improves the value of Sanchez.  Nobody really knows how Plaxico will perform, but on name alone he will be drafted higher than he should.  Because of this I doubt I will own him on any of my teams.  You never maybe going to prison for two years helps you improve as a football player, just ask Michael Vick.

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Keep Focused

Posted: July 29, 2011 in General

I have to admit I have lost a little bit of focus now that football is back in the picture.  My one true love came back into town, and fantasy baseball has been put on a back burner.  Still to win the fantasy title in any league one must stay focused no matter what distracts them.  Sad new coming out of Marlins camp is Josh Johnson may be shut down for the season.  No surprise here as the Marlins have shown that they won’t be competing this year so no need to risk a prized arm on a lost season.  After his June setback Johnson has not even came close to throwing.  Chalk this up to another injury derailed season for Johnson who when healthy pitches on par with Cy Young Caliber pitches.  I have to admit I was one to tout his Cy Young chances at the begging of this year, then led on a trail of disappointment after another injury.  Johnson was shut down last year in August, and at the time was on a short list of Cy Young favorites.  As promised Joe Nathan has regained the closer role in Minnesota to the tune of 5 straight saves, lets hope he find his strikeout pitch again.  If he does we can again put him on the fragile pedestal of elite closers.

Trading 3B

Posted: July 25, 2011 in General

Most of the season David Wright has been on the DL, as we awaited his return fantasy owners tried to replace him in different ways.  Mark Reynolds was a common add in leagues where owners dropped him.  he will give you power if you can put up with a .192 avg at not much else.  In my league I was very fortunate to acquire Adrian Beltre.  Whether it was a slump or the fact that this owner had a better option at 3B, Neil Walker, may be left unknown.   Beltre has put up solid numbers since I acquired him for nothing, but as soon as Wright came off the DL Beltre decided it was his turn to occupy the third base injury chair.  Not that i am complaining yet Wright has put 2 rbis each game he has played and just hit his first homerun since coming off the DL.  Congratulations on feeling better David, and get well soon Adrian.

Trading Season

Posted: July 16, 2011 in General

In the next couple weeks Major League Baseball teams will begin a barrage of trades that could impact your fantasy team.  One of the first trades to do so involved K-Rod.  Essentially owners of K-Rod lost a closer and gained a set-up man with a chance of some saves, and owners of John Axford may also have to be weary of saves being stolen.  This leaves the Mets without a closer, and the best option is Bobby Parnell even though Jason Isringhausen may get a few chances initially due to his 291 career saves.  Another bullpen that is most likely to blow up in the Padres closer Heath Bell will be traded, and it’s not a guarantee that he will be closing in his new uniform.  Owners of Heath Bell I recommend keeping an eye out on the other Padres’ relief pitchers just in case.  If you happened to land a nice commodity like Melky Cabrera for nothing brace yourself because he may be traded sometime this week to a contender looking for outfield depth, and not necessarilywanting to start him everyday.  Of course we started this topic with the Mets and we end with the same.  Many of the Mets are in play including Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes.  Look for the Mets to hold onto Reyes and try to resign him.  Beltran has actually helped his trade prospects by putting together an All Star first half, and he should continue to produce at the same rate regardless of where he goes.

Closer To Be

Posted: July 11, 2011 in General

Looking at two particular closing situations with suitable set-up men I would like to pose the question when will they become closers?  The closing situations in Minnesota and Cincinnati are very volatile.  Matt Capps has under performed all year for the Twins since taking over for Joe Nathan.  Recently Capps has blown a save and been relegated to a couple of hold situations.  His manager has expressed concern over his role and even spoke of trying different options.  The best option is former closer Joe Nathan owned in 40% of leagues.  He is pitching lights out as of late lowering his era by 2 runs since the beginning of July.  Nathan also touts 250 career saves, and i expect for him to reclaim his role shortly.

Our second situation involves Francisco Cordero, he has blown 3 straight saves and allowed runs in 4 consecutive appearances.  Next in line is fireballer Aroldis Chapman, owned in 38% of leagues,  providing phenomenal pitching since his return from the DL.  It is only a matter of time before he becomes the closer we drafted him to be in March.

So keep an eye out for these two pitchers, and make a move before it’s too late.

Good Ol’ Vernon

Posted: July 10, 2011 in General

Vernon Wells hasn’t been the source of very many positive fantasy articles in recent years, but I think it is time for a change.  Nevermind the ridiculous contract he signed with the Blue Jays or the fact that the Angels wanted to take over that contract.  Let the real owners worry about that it’s not your problem.  In most leagues he was drafted in the middle rounds with fantasy owners hoping he could return to pre 2008 form or just be a serviceable starting outfielder.  By the end of April he was routinely dropped and discarded into the waiver waste pile.  1 homerun and a .186 avg doesn’t cut it, and any number of waiver wire outfielders could easily put up better production.  Something has happened since his return from the DL a month ago that shouldn’t go unnoticed in fantasy leagues.  Vernon remembered how to play or a least stepped out of his funk.  The speed isn’t much, but the power numbers are returning as he has hit 9 homeruns and 23 rbi’s.  Vernon is owned in 60% of leagues and his batting avg continues to climb as he piles up extra base hits.  For those other 40% of leagues it’s time to take a look at a fallen star.  Maybe it’s just a hot streak, but ride it while you can.

Baseball Football Comparrison

Posted: July 6, 2011 in General

I was recently checking out the stats of the newest closer in fantasy baseball, Antonio Bastardo for the Phillies and like his numbers since he became the closer.  3 saves, .000 era, and a .33 whip is a nice start.  I was thinking about a correlation between football and baseball relative to the value of the closer position.  The closest thing I came to was running back.  The ability to plug and play closers in baseball is demonstrated every year as new closers emerge as dominant, their life span is generally short, and they play an important role based upon good and bad performance.  Essentially the same role as a running back.  How many times does a RB go down in the NFL and we find out the back up is equally capable of virtually the same production.  There are always exceptions elite RB’s and closer that have dominant reign that span a decade, but the middle of the pack is pretty interchangeable.