Monday, August 31, 2009

Brandon Phillips Has Been Playing With a Fracture in his Wrist?

For two weeks Phillips has been dealing with this issue in his left wrist and considering the reds are clearly out of it, the recommendation may come soon to shut him down for the season and plan for 2010.  If that is the case, many owners will be searching the waiver wire for a new option at 2B.

Fantasy Twist:  If you are searching for a replacement for Phillips, consider Martin Prado (hitting over .300 on the year), Brendan Ryan (getting on base at over a .400 clip in the last 3 weeks), Mark Ellis (13 RBI in the last 21 days), and Ryan Roberts (who is getting on base at a .444 clip during the last 3 weeks).
Monday Night Football Thoughts

-Favre looked good, completing 13-of-18 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown.  The more AP can penetrate the line of scrimmage the more the play action can come alive for the Vikes.  He will likely sit out the Vikes finale, so the next time you will see him is in Week 1.

-Steve Slaton got the goal line carries for the Texans, converting one from 4 yards out for a TD.  Seems to be he has taken that duty over from Chris Brown, so feel comfortable ranking Slaton higher on your draft lists.

-If Matt Schaub can stay healthy, and that is always a question, he and Andre Johnson will have monster years.  Johnson is a freak of nature and will lead the league in receptions.  Schaub has a solid 7.4 YPA and terrific 75.7 completion rate on the preseason and is a solid 7th-9th round pick in all leagues.

-It will be tough for backs to muster anything after Week 4 against the Vikes once the Williams' wall returns from suspension.

-Adrian Peterson is a man child.  The 75-yard TD run was a thing of beauty and once he made the first cut, you knew he was gone.
 Jamal Lewis to Be Cut Before the Season Opener?
Michael Lombardi of the National Football Post is speculating that RB Jamal Lewis may not even make the Browns final roster despite being paid a $4 million bonus in March.  That would come as a surprise given the bonus payment, however with James Davis becoming an impact back during the preseason, anything is possible.

Outlook: Davis ranks 4th in the preseason with 149 yards and while that is not important, his ability to be a playmaker is giving the Browns second thoughts on whether to continue to give Lewis reps.  Drop down Lewis drastically on sheets and make sure you grab Davis in all formats, especially keeper leagues, where I would go as high as a 9th or 10th rounder on the Clemson rookie. 
Mid-Afternoon NFL News & Notes

-Favre tells ESPN prior to MNF he may have a broken rib
-Tom Brady (shoulder) was present for the start of Patriots practice Monday.
-Chansi Stuckey earns #2 WR spot for the Jets
-Steve Breaston returns to Cardinals practice
-T.O. returns to the field and blames injury on a poor choice of footwear
-No update on severity of Matt Cassel's injury
- Pierre Thomas (MCL sprain) is considered questionable for Thursday's preseason finale against the Dolphins.
-Antonio Bryant (meniscus surgery) returned to practice Monday after missing first 3 preseason games
-Kenny Moore to pass Dwayne Jarrett for #3 WR job in Carolina?

UPDATE-Some more tidbits
-Anquan Boldin (hamstring) didn't practice Monday, but went through a "rigorous" workout off to the side of the workout according to the Arizona Republic
-Jonathan Stewart misses Panthers practice for personal reasons
-Cardinals receiver Early Doucet is out indefinitely after fracturing his ribs in Arizona's third preseason game.
Top 20 Fantasy College RB's and WR's

Five of the experts from the Fantasy College Blitz recently sat down and compiled their lists of the top 20 players at Quarterback, Running Back, Wide Receiver and Tight End.  The player pool from these lists includes athletes from all conferences in the Bowl Subdivision.  Check out the top 20 RB's and WR's here:

Check out my final rankings here:
MLB Fantasy Waiver Wire Adds This Week

Chris Coghlan, OF, FLA: Still doing it all for the Marlins

Milton Bradley, OF, CHC: Hit over .500 in the last 7 days
Scott Podsednik, OF, CWS: 3 SB, .375 batting average last week
Matt Diaz, OF, ATL: 3 HR, 12 RBI, .470 batting average last 14 days
Angel Pagan, OF, NYM: 3 HR, 6 RBI, 4 SB last 14 days
Adam LaRoche, 1B, ATL: 5 HR in last 14 days
Andy Marte, 3B, CLE: 12 RBI, .340 batting average last 2 weeks
Randy Wells, SP, CHC: 2 starts this week (HOU/NYM)
Joe Saunders, SP, ANA: Win in return from DL, 2 starts this week (SEA/KC)
Derek Holland, SP, TEX: 2 starts this week (TOR/BAL)
Diary of a Fantasy Sports Wife-August 31

Tom Brady, the topic of many conversations.  Why is it that I know more about his injuries than I know about the new Prada handbag line?  With each passing day, I am surprised with the knowledge I have accrued over the years.  I am married to a sports fanatic.  When at home, there is always a game on the television and at least one on his computer screen.  When we’re out, he is constantly checking his blackberry for updates.  God forbid he not know the score until dinner is over.  We are approaching fanatasy football draft week.   I have been finding notes all over the house with statistics written all over.  Not only is Adam contending with his own fantasy drafts, but everyone he knows has been calling and emailing him about their prospective picks.  For hours he researches these players as if he is managing a professional team.  The trade negotiations can go on for days.  The emails, the phone calls, the bbms, its constant.   When his team does well, he feels proud.  Why?  Is it because he is the one who got the RBI (which I now know means runs batted in)?  Or did he coach the player on how to pitch a no hitter?  No!!!  He simply got lucky and picked a good player who played well.  
While he is doing his fantasy drafts filled with anxiety about not getting the player and frustration because his fellow league mates are taking too long, I’ll be in the other room doing some online shopping and catching up on the newest Prada handbags.  However, I’m sure I’ll have plenty of stories to share.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bringing Down the House-CFB Picks Week 1

Picks in Bold 

Boise State -4.5 vs. Oregon
Yes Boise State lost star Running Back Ian Johnson to graduation and Oregon is one of the favorites in the Pac-10, however the choice here is the Broncos.  BSU went into Autzen Stadium last year and beat the Ducks 37-32 and that was with the Ducks scoring 19 4th quarter ponts.  Yes Jeremiah Masoli did not start that game, however playing their home opener on the smurf turf, with everything on the line for a BCS berth, the Broncos make a statement.

Minnesota -7 @ Syracuse
Despite being a Cuse grad, this pick was not a hard one to make.  The Orange have no one to stop the duo of Adam Weber and Eric Decker and you cannot bet on a team that is starting a Point Guard at QB.

Nevada +14 @ Notre Dame
Would not bet on Nevada winning this game outright but they have enough weapons to make it interesting.  Colin Kaepernick, Vai Taua, and  Luke Lippincott can all move the ball on the ground and their defense is good enough to not let up 50 points.  Too many points against a bowl team for the Irish.

Oklahoma State -5.5 vs. Georgia
Georgia poses a solid defense for the very talented Cowboys offense to go up against.  The problem is on the offensive side of the ball for the Dawgs where Joe Cox and Caleb King take over for 1st round picks Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno.  In a road environment, on opening week, that is a tough matchup and the Cowboys will surely score in the 30's.

Alabama -7 vs. Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech is dealing with the loss of top RB Darren Evans and considering their QB play has been erratic for a few years now, the Bama defense should keep the Hokies in check while their offense does just enough to cover them number.

UTEP -8 vs. Buffalo
Buffalo is not the same team from 2008 that defeated Ball State and made the International Bowl.  QB Drew Willy is gone and last week they lost RB James Starks for the season.  The Miners return star QB Trevor Vittatoe and WR Jeff Moturi, who surely will light up the scoreboard in El Paso.  Miners are an up and coming team which should roll up 40+ in Week 1.

Central Michigan +13.5 vs. Arizona
Arizona is definitely the better team, with the better talent, however 13.5 points is way too much against a team with an experienced and talented QB in Dan LeFevour.  The Chippewas know how to move the ball up and down the field with a solid group of receivers, while the Cats groom a new QB after the departure of Willie Tuitama.

Cincinnati +5.5 @ Rutgers
Many experts are proclaiming Rutgers as the eventual conference champ.  Not so fast.  Cincy, last seasons BCS rep, returns Marty Gilyard and Tony Pike, while the Scarlet Knights replace Mike Teel with Jabu Lovelace.  I will take the experience in a huge matchup in Week 1 every time.

Other Leanings
Miami FL +5.5 @ FSU
Ole Miss -16.5 @ Memphis
Oklahoma -22 vs. BYU
Western Michigan +12 @ Michigan
Preseason Observations from Saturday

-Lance Moore is healthy and in midseason form.  Led the Saints in targets with 7 and scored during his 1st action of the year.

-Hakeem Nicks, despite playing against 3rd string defenders looks like a force.  Keeper league owners take notice

-Outside of Nicks, the Giants receiving group is in trouble.  Steve Smith dropped a sure long TD while Mario Manningham as a 3rd receiver is a scary proposition.

-The Bills confidence in Trent Edwards has to be wavering, as his 6 of 13, 31 yard performance against the Steelers was dreadful.  With 3 INT and 0 TD so far and a backup of Ryan Fitzpatrick, how long until TO demands a trade?

-Jamaal Charles is a must own back in 2009.  Larry Johnson has done nothing this preseason and considering Charles' ability out of the backfield (LJ doesnt play on passing downs), it would not be a shock to see Charles as the lead back at some point.

-Jerious Norwood's status for the season opener is uncertain after he hurt his knee on a kick return.  He is too valuable to keep off return duties, but this is certainly an injury to keep an eye on, as any significant injury would lead to an increased workload for Michael Turner early in the season.

-With the pending signing of top pick Andre Smith, Cedric Benson will have another talented lineman added to the mix.  That can only increase his value.

-Brady Quinn is the future in Cleveland.  After Saturday's performance, including a clear rapport with the Browns only receiving threat Braylon Edwards, if Quinn is not named the starter, it would be a shock.

-Ray Rice is going to finish as a top 10 back in PPR leagues.  He can run with power, in between tackles, catch the ball out of the backfield and is a pure playmaker.
Saturday MLB Fantasy Stars

Barry Zito, SP, SF: W (9-12) 8.1 IP, ER, 7 K

Best of the Rest

Rajai Davis, OF, OAK: 3-5, 2 RBI, SB
Justin Upton, OF, ARI: 3-4, 2 R, HR (21), 2 RBI
Jon Garland, SP, ARI: W (8-11), 7 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 5 K
Colby Rasmus, OF, STL: 2-4, HR (14), 3 RBI, SB
Clay Buchholz, SP, BOS: W (3-3), 8.1 IP, ER, 9 K
Scott Feldman, SP, TEX: W (14-4) 5.2 IP, 0 ER
Jake Fox, OF, CHC: 2-4, 2 R, GS (10), 5 RBI
Garrett Anderson, OF, ATL: 3-4, HR (12), 3 RBI
Sergio Mitre, SP, NYY: W (3-1), 6.1 IP, H, 0 ER, 2 K

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Saturday Night Preseason Stars
Hakeem Nicks, WR, NYG: 6 receptions, 144 yards, 2 TD
Mark Sanchez, QB, NYJ: 13 of 20, 149, TD
T.J. Houshmandzadeh, WR, SEA and John Carlson, TE, SEA: TD catch each
Ray Rice, RB, BAL: 32 yards rushing, 8 receptions, 67 yards
Brady Quinn, QB, CLE: 11 of 15, 128 yards, TD
Justin Gage, WR, TEN: 6 receptions, 57 yards, TD
Rashard Mendenhall, RB, PIT: 48 yards rushing, TD
PIT Defense:  0 points allowed, 2 sacks, Defensive TD
P.J. Hill, RB, NO: 83 yards, 2 TD
Devery Henderson, WR, NO: 63 yards, TD
Tom Brady Removed Friday Night for "Non-Football" Reasons

According to Pats Head Coach Bill Belichick said the decision to remove Brady from the game was a "football decision," not because of injury.  The coach was then asked if Brady needed X-rays.  He declined to comment.  With another coach this might be a bad sign, but with Belichick it's business as usual. Belichick added that Brady "had a desire" to go back into the game.

UPDATE: A source close to the Patriots confirmed to the Boston Globe that Tom Brady's right (throwing) shoulder is just fine after he fell on it in Saturday night's exhibition game.

 Fantasy owners can take a deep breath following this news as the Pats MVP and leader seems to be OK.  If you draft this week, wait for some news and make sure he returns to practice before using an early round pick on him over someone like Manning, Rodgers or Brees.
Paying A Visit to the Fantasy Football Doctor to Answer Your Questions

The following is a sampling of emails and questions received this week in regards to owners upcoming fantasy drafts.

Q: What do you think about taking Tom Brady ahead of Brees and Manning?
A: After about two quarters of last nights game against the Redskins I would have strongly considered it a toss up between Brady and Brees given the fact that the Pats looked like they were playing in 2007 and that was without Wes Welker and any semblance of a running game.  Now with Brady's shoulder a question and an injury to the Saints top back Pierre Thomas, Brees looks like a safer option.  That does not even take into consideration Peyton Manning who is still as good as anyone and Aaron Rodgers who wishes the regular season started two weeks ago.  

Q:  What Wide receiver is going to take the next step and become a superstar?
A: The list of superstars already includes Fitzgerald, Moss, Andre Johnson, Calvin Johnson and Steve Smith.  For my answer I also will not select a receiver like Anquan Boldin, Brandon Marshall or Reggie Wayne who are all household names and right there on that level.  So my two answers are Roddy White and DeSean Jackson.  While many people will select White as their #1 WR, this is the year he becomes a top 3 receiver.  With Tony Gonzalez taking away coverage down the middle, with Michael Turner keeping extra men in the box, and Matt Ryan developing more and more, White will be the prime recipient.  He was rewarded with a new contract this offseason and will make due on it.  

Jackson is simply a game breaker.  While the rest of the Eagles receiving group is average at best, Jackson changes the game with his speed and downfield ability.  If he gets on return duties he may break two or three for scores and add to his point total.  As the offenses most consistent player (due to Westbrook's injury history), the pass-happy Eagles will go to Jackson early and often.

Q: Where do you rank Favre for this year?
A: Favre was a startable quarterback while the Jets were hot last year, but awful during the most important part of their season and fantasy owners seasons.  For 2009, I cannot get excited about him returning.  Despite having AP in the backfield, his receiving group is just ok and with Berrian hurt, that worries me.  He is definitely worthy of a QB2, who I would select after a Hasselbeck, Roethlisberger or Garrard, but before a Leftwich, Sanchez (unless keeper league), Culpepper, Orton or Flacco.

Q: Who is one Tight End that you can wait on and snag later in the draft?
A: If drafting a Gonzalez, Clark or Witten is not for you, and you have missed out on sleepers such as Olsen, Daniels and Winslow, there still are two guys I like late that will have an impact.  The first is Kevin Boss of the Giants, who last year scored 6 touchdowns while averaging over 11 yards a catch.  With Plax gone for the full season and Boss a solid red zone target, an 8 or 9 TD season is not out of reach.  

The second name to watch is Jermichael Finley of Green Bay.  In his second year from Texas, Finley scored twice in the Packers last preseason game and seems to have formered a relationship with Aaron Rodgers.  While it has not been announced yet whether he has passed Donald Lee on the depth chart, we know the Pack love throwing to their tight ends and Finley is their most talented TE option.  As a backup, keeper selection or fringe starter, Finley looks like a solid option.

Q: What back are you worried about heading into the year that wont live up to draft spot?
A:  I think this is the year that Clinton Portis finally breaks down fully.  In Friday's preseason game against the Pats Portis rushed 6 times for 6 yards.  While the Skins like to rest him in preseason, considering his injury history and propensity to take a beating, I think I would look for a safer option then Portis.  He will have monster games this season, but the Skins will be cautious with their star, especially with a solid backup available in Ladell Betts.

For any other questions or comments, please post to the blog or email:

NFL News & Notes From Friday

-Brady bruises shoulder in win vs. Washington
-Leinart throws for 360 yards and 3 TD in Cardinals loss to Packers
-Rodgers tosses 3 first half TD in win against Cardinals
-Urban snags 6 balls for over 100 yards
-Randy Moss scores twice in first half
-Backups Brennan and O'Connell struggle in 2nd half for Pats and Skins
Fantasy Stars of the Night-MLB

Tim Lincecum, SP, SF: W (13-4), 8 IP, 0 ER, 8 K

Best of the Rest

Kendry Morales, 1B, ANA: 5-5, 2 R, 2 HR (29), 6 RBI
Albert Pujols, 1B, STL: 1-4, Walk-Off HR (41), RBI
Andrew McCutchen, OF, PIT: 3-5, R, 2B, HR (10), 4 RBI
Nick Markakis, OF, BAL: 3-5, 2 R, HR (16), 3 RBI
Homer Bailey, SP, CIN: W (4-4), 8 IP, ER, 7 K

Friday, August 28, 2009


The Angels acquired LHP Scott Kazmir from the Rays for 3B Matt Sweeney, LHP Alex Torres and a player to be named later.

The Halos get the starter they badly need while the Rays, who always envisioned Kazmir as their ace, part ways with the lefty who has lost velocity this year while acquiring 3 prospects.  Seems like a win-win for both teams.  Kazmir may be in line for a few more wins down the stretch with the move to the West Coast.
5 Deep Sleepers to Remember on Draft Day

Laurent Robinson, WR, STL:  Starting position players are extremely valuable, even if they are with the Rams.  With Donnie Avery banged up and no one else reliable to throw to, Robinson may be Mark Bulger's #1 target.  Draft him late and see if he produces.

Samkon Gado, RB, STL: Robinson's teammate Gado seems to be earning the backup RB job in St. Louis which means he is a must have handcuff for Steven Jackson.  Gado has 3 touchdowns already this preseason and as of Friday is 3rd in the preseason in rushing yards.

J.T. O'Sullivan, QB, CIN: At what point do we get concerned with Carson Palmer's ankle injury?  O'Sullivan if ever inserted into the starting lineup will have instant value because of the receiving talent he has around him.  Keep an eye on Palmer's injury status and make a move to grab O'Sullivan if he misses any regular season action.

Jared Cook, TE, TEN: Looking for a sleeper at Tight End, especially one in keeper leagues?  Cook is your guy.  He has caught at least 3 passes in each of the Titans preseason games and seems to be pushing starter Alge Crumpler for playing time.  Cook was always an explosive weapon at South Carolina, so expect more of the same for the Titans if he earns reps.

Justin Forsett, RB, SEA: With the uncertainty in the Seahawks backfield, there is an opportunity for Forsett to earn some more playing time.  Julius Jones is not impressing in camp, T.J. Duckett was just released, the Edge was just signed, while Forsett has been playing some solid ball.  Already this preseason Forsett has shown good receiving skills with 8 receptions for 63 yards, while also getting the ball on the ground.  If the 'Hawks give him another shot to produce and he has a big game, pick him up and stash.

Mike Bell, RB, Saints: The one time Broncos sleeper now has some value in the Bayou with the uncertainty around Pierre Thomas.  While the Saints expect Thomas back for the regular season opener against the Lions, who knows.  Bell has already had a 100 yard game this preseason, so he is a solid handcuff for Thomas and Reggie Bush.

Other Players to Consider
Glen Coffee, RB-SF, Jason Avant, WR-PHI, Troy Williamson, WR-JAX, Bernard Scott, RB-CIN, Sammy Morris, RB-NE, Jonathan Stupar, TE-BUF
Replacing Nyjer Morgan's Stolen Bases

For many fantasy owners this morning, reading the news that Nationals speedster Nyjer Morgan is out for the season is not going down very well with that morning cup of Starbucks and Sesame bagel.  Here are some options to consider that may be on the waiver wire so that you do not miss a step in the steals department down the stretch.

Julio Borbon, OF, Texas-Borbon is on fire and if someone has not snagged him up in your league yet stop reading, go to your site, search his name, and add him.  The guy has relegated Hank Blalock to the bench with his amazing debut.  He is hitting .400 with a .466 on base with 9 steals in the last month and has now received regular at bats against righties.  The Rangers lineup is fantastic and they will let this guy run at will to get into scoring position or move up on the base paths.  A must add.

Rajai Davis, OF, Oakland-The A's outfielder has been seeing regular playing time and despite a mediocre .350 on base percentage has gotten 27 steals in only 90 games played.  He is probably available on your wire and snag him before someone else does.

Adam Kennedy, IF, Oakland-Davis' teammate Kennedy has never been known for his wheels, however with 17 steals this season, while getting full-time duty with the A's rash of injuries, he has done a solid job swiping bags.  The A's may call up Brett Wallace to play 3B in September, thus taking some at-bats aaway from Kennedy, however they have also gone on record saying they want Adam back for 2010, so he may still get regular at-bats.

Elvis Andrus, SS, Texas-Andrus is one of the best young players in baseball and while he has a low .333 on base percentage, his 24 steals must get your attention.  He has only been caught twice and considering he is the everyday man at short, he is getting plenty of chances to run.

Scott Podsednik, OF, White Sox-Even with the acquisition of Alex Rios, Podsednik continues to get plenty of playing time and is now up to 22 steals in only 101 games.  Continue to ride his hot streak as he is still hitting .296 and getting on base around .350.

Everth Cabrera, IF, Padres-The speedy Padres shortstop is doing exactly what his owners expect from him.  Hit for a decent average (.296 this month), get on base (.390 this month), and steal some bases (6 this month).  He is probably available in your league and while he wont steal like Morgan, but can make up some of the loss.

Others to Consider that May be Available
Erick Aybar LAA, Luis Castillo NYM, Matt Diaz ATL, Angel Pagan NYM, Jayson Nix CWS
Last Night's Fantasy Stars

Top Star

Javy Vazquez, SP, ATL: W (11-9), 7 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 6 K, 1-3, R, RBI

Best of the Rest
Grady Sizemore, OF, CLE: 3-5, 2 R, HR (18), 2 RBI, SB
Paul Konerko, 1B, CWS: 2-3, 3 R, 2 BB
Trevor Cahill, SP, OAK: W (7-12), 7 IP, 0 ER, 2 K
Mark Reynolds, 3B, ARI: 2-4, 2 R, HR (39), 2 RBI
Ian Kinsler, 2B, TEX: 2-4, 2 R, HR (27), 4 RBI
Joey Votto, 1B, CIN: 3-4, 2 R, HR (20), 2 RBI

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tonight's Preseason Player Notes

Chris Henry, WR, CIN: 2 receptions, 62 yards, TD (3rd straight game with TD)
Michael Vick, QB, PHI: 4-4, 19 yards, 1 rush, 1 yard
Jeremy Maclin, WR, PHI: 4 receptions, 53 yards
Jason Avant, WR, PHI: 5 receptions, 92 yards
David Garrard, QB, JAX: 8 of 14, 93 yards, INT
Samkon Gado, RB, STL: 33 yards, TD
Byron Leftwich, QB, TB: 9 of 17, 100 yards
Cadillac Williams, RB, TB: 54 yards rushing
Maurice Stovall, WR, TB: 6 receptions, 73 yards
Anthony Fasano, TE, MIA: Receiving TD
Top 5 Fantasy Surprises in 2009
Mark Reynolds, 3B, D'Backs
We all knew Reynolds could hit plenty of home runs and strike out plenty of times, however an impressive .281 average, 21 steals and a career-high 38 homers has made Reynolds a sensational 3B option in 2009.  He still strikes out a ton, however when owners get those numbers across the board it is hard to argue with anything he does.

Outlook for 2010:  Likely to remain in the same spot in the lineup and hit in hitter's park.  With better protection in the lineup, his RBI and Runs scored numbers should actually increase.

Jason Bartlett, SS, Rays
When Delmon Young was traded from Tampa to Minnesota 2 years ago it was Matt Garza who everyone spoke of in terms of what the Rays received.  Well Bartlett's 2009 will change all that.  A .343 average, .390 on base percentage, 24 steals, 58 RBI, and 11 homers make him a keeper in many formats.  If not due to an injury during the middle of the season Bartlett could arguably be pushing Hanley Ramirez for the best season by a SS.

Outlook for 2010:  Bartlett will be an interesting case in 2010 to see owners buy into his career year.  In keeper formats he is probably a solid late round stashee depending on where you drafted him, while in re-draft leagues, he should slide into the 6-10 range of drafting SS's.

Ben Zobrist, OF/IF, Rays
Bartlett's teammate Ben Zobrist also makes the list.  Never a starter, it took an injury to Aki Iwamura to give Zobrist an everyday job and he has not disappointed.  A .290 average and on-base over .400 is impressive, as are his 74 runs, 23 homers and 15 steals all coming from a guy who has eligibility just about everywhere but Catcher. 

Outlook for 2010:  Zobrist may need a trade to force the Rays to give him similar at-bats in 2010.  Aki Iwamura will be healthy and unless they can deal an OF bat, Zobrist may have to force their hand again with another solid campaign.

Edwin Jackson, SP, Tigers
Jackson burst onto the scene in 2009 and made himself an All-Star.  Although his late season appearances have been somewhat shaky, his overall numbers are solid.  10-6, ERA under 3.00 and a WHIP at 1.21.  Not bad for a guy not guaranteed a roster spot out of spring training.

Outlook for 2010:  Jackson is a keeper and was always viewed as a talented prospect.  His late season struggles may just be a dead arm or over use since this is more innings then he has ever thrown.  Either way, playing for a solid offense, in a pitchers park, Jackson is a keeper for 2010.

David Aardsma, RP, Mariners
While Ryan Franklin is a possible choice here, he closed last year for the Cardinals and had to be looked at as an option out of spring training.  Aardsma was not and his 30 saves are outstanding for a waiver wire addition.  A 2.30 ERA does not hurt and considering he plays for a team meddling around .500, this is quite a performance.

Outlook for 2010:  You can always snag saves so no need to keep Aardsma.  The M's should resign him and bring him back.  Given the fact the M's play plenty of low scoring, close games, and play in a pitchers park, if Aardsma is back, grab him.

Other players considered:

Randy Wolf, Joel Pineiro, Heath Bell, Andrew Bailey, J.A. Happ, Andre Ethier, Nyjer Morgan, Kendry Morales, Asdrubal Cabrera
Players that will Take a Step Back in 2009

Matt Cassel, QB, KC
No Moss.  No Welker.  New offense.  New coach.  Cassel in no way will repeat his 3,600+ yards and 21 TD's to only 11 INT.  In an offense struggling for an identity in the preseason, with one legitimate receiving weapon, let someone else draft Cassel based off last years numbers.

Chad Pennington, QB, MIA
You can bet that teams are going to better defense the "Wildcat" offense in 2009 and Pennington's amazing 2008 will not be repeated.  He had a solid 19:7 TD to INT ratio, however with Chad Henne the QB of the future in Miami, if they get off to a slow start, expect Pennington to be moved to the bench.

Chris Johnson, RB, TEN
This is not to say that Johnson will have a "down" year, however with LenDale White in better shape and still seeing goal line carries, Johnson will be hard pressed to match his 1,228 rushing yards.  He may score 9 times as he did last year, but to expect that kind of breakout season two years in a row is asking a lot.

Derrick Ward, RB, TB
Ward signed a nice Free Agent deal in Tampa this offseason, however as indicated this week, Cadillac Williams and Earnest Graham will also see a ton of carries and Ward, who signed to become the starter, will have to earn his reps.  While Ward may produce when inserted in the game, a 3-headed RB committee is not good for anybody.

Jonathan Stewart, CAR
Many have hyped Stewart as taking a bigger chunk out of DeAngelo Williams' value in 2009, however I do not buy it.  He has missed 14 straight practices entering Thursday and for owners to expect a quick turnaround is asking a lot.  He will go early in drafts as owners see his 836 yards and 10 scores.  Let someone else grab him and you take Ray Rice or Leon Washington.

Brandon Marshall, WR, DEN
Whether attitude, injuries, or Kyle Orton, Marshall will take a step back in 2009.  Marshall had a stellar 2008 with 104 catches, over 1,200 yards but only 6 scores.  While Josh McDaniels loves to toss the ball aroud the field, in PPR leagues, Marshall wont approach 104 catches again and the yardage seems high.  McDaniels loves to use the TE, so watch Tony Scheffler get some more catches as well.

Antonio Bryant, WR, TB
Another Buc makes the list.  Bryant won many people fantasy leagues last year with his insane performance down the stretch, however with the uncertainty at QB in Tampa, stay away.  Bryant had over 1,200 yards and 7 scores last year, however the strength of Tampa's offense is its running game.  In addition, Kellen Winslow was brought in to lighten the load on Bryant, so expect a ton of targets to go his way.  While others are drafting Bryant take a safer option in Houshmandzadeh or Welker.

Bernard Berrian, WR, MIN
Berrian is already being bothered by an injury in the preseason and his value largely is based on long receptions as he led the league with an average of over 20 yards a catch.  With Favre at the helm and his arm strength decreasing, how many times is Berrian going to be targeted downfield?  He only had 48 catches in 2008 and is not a possession receiver.  Expect Berrian to be one of the first Vikings pointing the finger to Favre in favor of Jackson.
Fantasy Stars of the Night

#1 Star

David Ortiz, 1B, BOS: 2-4, 2 HR (21), 2 RBI, Walk-off HR

Other Stars from Wednesday
Joel Pineiro, SP, STL: W (13-9), 8 IP, 5 K
Andre Ethier, OF, LA: 2-3, 2 HR (27), 3 RBI
Brian McCann, C, ATL: 3-5, HR (17), 4 RBI
Bengie Molina, C, SF: 1-1, PH HR (16), 3 RBI
Overnight News and Notes

-Saints to employ 3-back rotation in 2009?
-Justin Upton returns from DL for D'Backs
-Brad Penny released by the Red Sox
-Ethier hits 2 HR to power Dodgers past Rockies
-Favre creating "divide" in Pack locker room
-Grizzlies make offer to Iverson

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fantasy College Football Experts League Team

What do you think of this squad for the 2009 season?  

7th Overall Pick Zac Robinson

 The Orange Xpress

Rnd  Pick  Pos. Player '08 Avg  
7QBZac Robinson, Okla. St. 22.33  
6RBCharles Scott, LSU 14.74  
7WRJames Rodgers, Oreg. St. 11.67  
6RBToby Gerhart, Stanford 15.36  
7WRJeff Fuller, Tex. A&M 8.57  
6DEFDefense, USC 8.86  
7WRJock Sanders, W. Virg. 7.96  
6RBMikell Simpson, UVA 3.66  
7QBAaron Corp, USC 0.05  
10 6WRJacoby Ford, Clemson 6.23  
11 7RBDavid Wilson, VA Tech 0.00  
12 6WRTramain Swindall, Tex. Tech 4.63  
13 7KHunter Lawrence, Texas 6.29  
14 6TECollin Franklin, Iowa St. 2.70  
15 7QBJacory Harris, Miami-FL 7.68  
16 6DEFDefense, Auburn 8.07  
17 7RBJosh Adams, Wake 4.49  
18 6RBKeith Toston, Okla. St. 8.96