Fantasy Sports Rules

If you run a league, it better be a damn emergency for you to schedule the draft/auction on opening night.

I’ve been in this football league for seven years.  It’s a keeper league with relatively high stakes (for me, anyway).  Literally every league member has complained about our draft being tomorrow night, but the commissioner has refused to move it.

Fantastic way to take the air out of the season opening joy balloon.

Weekend Roundup

Here’s a look at what I was reading this week.

Pondering the Donovan McNabb Legacy [The Big Lead]
Good discussion of Donovan’s status in NFL QB lore

Top 5 Crazy Things Playstation’s Hirai Said Today [Wired|Game Life]
Even if a couple of things might have a hint of truth, this guy is clearly out of his mind, and it’s not a good sign for Sony if someone with his head this far up his ass is calling any shots

How’s Your Hangover [Iggles Blog]
Most Eagles fans seem rather satisfied and only a little disappointed about Sunday’s loss.  Not Derek.

Dust Off Your Magnifying Glass to Be Frugal and Still Enjoy Life [Frugal Dad]
I love this site, if for no other reason than this guy’s thoughts help me from hitting that “Add to Cart” button on a few things I don’t need on Amazon every month.

Let’s Look at the Linebacker Question [Big Blue View]
Keeping tabs on the enemy.  The Eagles linebacker situation is immeasurably better than the Giants’.

Monday Eagles Hangover:  At Least They Found a New Way to Fail [Bounty Bowl]
Some very reasonable and funny thoughts on Sunday’s loss.

Cowboys Offering Roster Spot on Reality TV [BGN]
JasonB does his usual solid work, this time taking our favorite NFL owner to task for his idiocy.

Will Shurmur’s Exit Sway Donovan [Eaglesville]
Interesting take on Shurmur’s departure.  The guy who told Donovan he was benched is gone, will it affect Donovan?

Bill Sheridan Named New Giants’ D-Coordinator [Big Blue Interactive]
Some Giants react to their new D-Coordinator

Audibles at the Line:  Conference Championships [Football Outsiders]
Must read, every week.

Brian Sabean and the Case of Positive Acquisistions [McCovey Chronicles]

The 3400 Club [RotoAuthority]
If you’re playing fantasy baseball this year, an important look at injury-risk pitchers.

Fantasy Baseball Advice — Checking in on my Predictions

One of the fun things about this blog, from my perspective, is the ability to look back on some of the boneheaded things I was thinking two weeks, two months, or two years ago.

It’s fun in that I can see what paths my mind has traveled since then — but I also hope it’s fun for anyone reading to get a glimpse of my dementia and the glorious turns it takes.Dustin McGowan

Back in March I gave out some free fantasy baseball advice. Today I’ll judge, 6 weeks into the season, if that advice looks good, bad, or somewhere in between.

1. Go young. If I’m trying to make a decision between two players with similar stat projections, I’m going with the younger one. Younger players tend to be injured less and more likely to have an even better season than you would expect. As an example, if you’re looking for a #1 outfielder in your AL-Only league and you’re trying to decide between Bob Abreu and Alex Rios.. go with Rios.

2. In a mixed league, try to take one closer from the AL and one from the NL. It really sucks when your closers are playing each other.

3. With Johan Santana gone, there’s no sure things in the AL for top-tier pitching. Take a chance on some guys who just came off “down years” — like Jeremy Bonderman.

Those were three general principles I was going to follow at my auction and draft this year. #1 looks like sound thinking to this point — especially in the pitching department. Guys like Gavin Floyd, Jarr Jurjens, Edwin Jackson, Clay Buckholz, and Tim Lincecum are tearing up the league. I could name five or six more guys.

Many of the hyped young hitters aren’t making as big of a splash — Carlos Gomez is OK if you need steals. Adam Jones isn’t making any noise. Jeff Clement, a top catching prospect for the Mariners, has had a rough start to his career.

So maybe that piece of advice is more like a mixed bag to this point.

#2 on my list isn’t really anything capable of judging. Outside of St. Louis and Milwaukee, closers have been more reliable than usual this season.

#3 however, at least the specific player I named, has been a complete disaster. Bonderman has been hit in nearly every game he’s pitched. He’s been wild, too — issuing 29 walks in 45 innings. Not a good start for the 26-year old.

Let’s move on to some player specific advice I had that day. I listed some guys to have on your radar, and some guys to keep off:

Guys On My Radar:
Dustin McGowan (SP, Blue Jays) — Coming off what was quietly a very good second half.Jack Hannahan (3B, Oakland A’s) — Eric Chavez mystery injury sounds like it could keep him out for a while. Hannahan may not smack a ton of homers, but he’s hit for average at every level.

Jeremy Bonderman (SP, Detroit) — Coming off a down year so stock could be low. Only 26.

Jeremy Guthrie (SP, Baltimore) — Future ace in Baltimore

Jeremy Accardo (Closer, Blue Jays) — BJ Ryan is not ready for full-time duty and may not be for some time.

Edwin Encarnacion (3B, Reds) — Ready for a breakout year.

McGowan: This guy is a stud, even with the dud against the Indians over the weekend. He strikes out a ton of guys and he’s got three fantastic pitches. He’s young and will have some inconsistent moments, but this is a guy you could build an AL staff around.

Bonderman: Booo!

Jeremy Guthrie: This is another inconsistent youngster, though he’s giving more good innings than bad. He’s got a solid WHIP (1.26) — but predictably doesn’t get much run support.

Jack Hannahan: He’s been a disappointment so far. He does walk a ton, but that doesn’t really help any fantasy team. He’s started to heat up a little bit of late (6 for his last 13), so keep an eye on him.

Jeremy Accardo: Was pitching well until he hurt himself. Dud.

Edwin Encarnacion: 8 home runs so far. That could be fantastic production from a guy you should have taken late.

Guys I’m staying away from:
Josh Beckett (SP, Boston) — Let someone else pay a king’s ransom for him. He came in to camp fat and he’s already injured.

Any Hitter on the Giants — **Tear…

Jermain Dye (OF, Chicago) — Getting old, due for an injury, and if the White Sox are in trouble could be traded out of the AL (they have Carlos Quentin waiting).

Nick Markakis (OF, Baltimore) — Everyone is talking about him, and he has no protection in that lineup any more.

Richie Sexson (1B, Seattle) — Do not even consider him. Just cross him off before you start.

Carlos Delgado (1B, NYM) — For whatever reason, people still consider him a legitimate #1 first baseman. He’s not.

OK, so I was wrong about Beckett. He’s been fantastic. Jermain Dye had a difficult April, but may be coming around. He has six homers. Nick Markakis is predictably having a difficult time finding guys to drive in. Richie Sexson is a disaster, as is Delgado. I couldn’t have been more right about those two.

In summation, a mixed bag. I did a great job on some (McGowan, Encarnacion, Sexson, and Delgado) but completely missed on others (Hannahan, Beckett). If you’re interested, I’ve included a screenshot of my 12 team 4×4 AL-only roster after the jump (I’m currently in 5th).

Read the rest of this entry »

Fantasy Baseball Advice

Opening day is nearly upon us and the busiest weekend of the year for fantasy geeks is imminent. I have two events to attend: an 8+ hour auction for an AL-only league on Saturday, and a shorter, simpler draft for a mixed league on Sunday.

I’m always interested in reading general fantasy advice when I come across it — whether I agree with it or not. With that in mind, here are some general principles I’m trying to stick to this year:

1. Go young. If I’m trying to make a decision between two players with similar stat projections, I’m going with the younger one. Younger players tend to be injured less and more likely to have an even better season than you would expect. As an example, if you’re looking for a #1 outfielder in your AL-Only league and you’re trying to decide between Bob Abreu and Alex Rios.. go with Rios.

2. In a mixed league, try to take one closer from the AL and one from the NL. It really sucks when your closers are playing each other.

3. With Johan Santana gone, there’s no sure things in the AL for top-tier pitching. Take a chance on some guys who just came off “down years” — like Jeremy Bonderman.

Dustin McGowan
Guys On My Radar:
Dustin McGowan (SP, Blue Jays) — Coming off what was quietly a very good second half.

Jack Hannahan (3B, Oakland A’s) — Eric Chavez mystery injury sounds like it could keep him out for a while. Hannahan may not smack a ton of homers, but he’s hit for average at every level.

Jeremy Bonderman (SP, Detroit) — Coming off a down year so stock could be low. Only 26.

Jeremy Guthrie (SP, Baltimore) — Future ace in Baltimore

Jeremy Accardo (Closer, Blue Jays) — BJ Ryan is not ready for full-time duty and may not be for some time.

Edwin Encarnacion (3B, Reds) — Ready for a breakout year.

Guys I’m staying away from:
Josh Beckett (SP, Boston) — Let someone else pay a king’s ransom for him. He came in to camp fat and he’s already injured.

Any Hitter on the Giants — **Tear…

Jermain Dye (OF, Chicago) — Getting old, due for an injury, and if the White Sox are in trouble could be traded out of the AL (they have Carlos Quentin waiting).

Nick Markakis (OF, Baltimore) — Everyone is talking about him, and he has no protection in that lineup any more.

Richie Sexson (1B, Seattle) — Do not even consider him. Just cross him off before you start.

Carlos Delgado (1B, NYM) — For whatever reason, people still consider him a legitimate #1 first baseman. He’s not.

Note: I may update this list as the day goes on, as I’ve made the decision to completely forgo work for the rest of the day in favor of fantasy research. God Bless America.