Week 8 Fantasy Baseball Circle Of Trust

Dodgers 1B Adrian Gonzalez

Available in over 50% of fantasy baseball leagues. I picked A-Gone up after the injury to Freddie Freeman. Gonzalez has 12 consecutive seasons of 82 or more RBI. Gonzalez is in a slight decline, but still capable of driving in runs. Pick him up before everyone else realizes Gonzalez isn’t finished just yet.

Giants 2B/SS/OF Eduardo Nunez

Batting .400 in the last 7 days with 6 RBI and 2 steals. The Cubs and Braves each have allowed 13 steals this season. Nunez has 11 swipes on the year and should be off to the races on the base paths this week. Nunez is surprisingly available in 20% of fantasy baseball leagues.

Nationals SP Tanner Roark

A pair of home starts this matchup Tuesday against the Mariners and Sunday vs. the Padres. 0-1 with a 10.24 ERA in his last 14 days. I believe Roark rebounds this week.  Opponents batting avg. of .239 at home vs. Roark this season.  San Diego has the lowest team batting avg. in all of baseball at just .219.  Roark is available in nearly 15% of fantasy baseball leagues.

Week 7 Fantasy Baseball Circle Of Trust

Mets 2B Neil Walker

Over his last 6 games has caught fire with a .462 avg. 6 Runs, 2 Dongs, and 10 RBI.  Has a terrific career track record hitting in Arizona to the tune of a .350 clip. Limited career data hitting in Anaheim. Walker is available in over 60% of leagues.  I picked him up in daily cats league.

Giants OF Denard Span

Career numbers vs. this week’s opponents Dodgers and Cardinals aren’t great, but worth riding current hot streak. 9/21 since returning from the DL with 4 Runs, 2 Dongs and 3 RBI. Owned in just 4.9% of leagues. I picked him up in a weekly league. Needed help in my Outfield.

Brewers RP Corey Knebel

30 K, 0.95 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 11 Holds. Available in 60 % of leagues on average. Knebel should be able to hold off Neftali Feliz and Jacob Barnes for the closer’s job. On a rebuilding club, there’s no reason to go back to the failing veteran in Feliz. The Brewers have been playing good ball and should look to keep momentum going with Knebel at the helm. I believe Knebel is a top 15 closer the rest of the season. Own him in 3 of 5 leagues. Still available in one league and I forgot to make that weekly Sunday 7pm waiver claim. Was spending time with my Mom on Mother’s Day.

Week 6 Fantasy Baseball Circle Of Trust

Braves OF Ender Inciarte

.400/.478/.700 slash rate last 7 days. Inciarte is a sneaky source of steals with 7 already this season. Limited data vs. Astros, but a .323/.380/.446 career slash rate at Marlins Park. Available in nearly 25% of fantasy leagues.

Athletics 1B Yonder Alonso

4 Dongs 8 RBI in last 7 days. Owned in only 15% of fantasy leagues despite a .392 OBP this season. Alonso has success vs. the Angels .360 OBP and Rangers .421 OBP.

Pirates SP Ivan Nova

2-start pitcher this week on the road vs. the Dodgers and Diamondbacks. Nova is available in 15% of fantasy leagues despite a 27:1 K:BB ratio. Pitchers with 0.88 WHIP should be in your lineups.

Rookie Late Round Running Backs To Track

The NFL Draft provides plenty of opportunities for over-analysis. I’ll spare you breaking down all the Running Backs selected in this year’s draft. In this piece I’m targeting the late round Running Backs I plan to pay attention to this offseason and in training camp.

Redskins RD 4 pick 114 Samaje Perine Oklahoma.  Serious threat to take starting job from Rob Kelley. Perine is a smasher that is better in the passing game than advertised. I plan to track Perine closely in training camp to see the rep distribution over Kelley. Matt Jones is possibly expendable after drafting Perine. Solid seasonal fantasy league prospect

Chiefs RD 3 pick 86 Kareem Hunt Toledo.  Excelled at Senior Bowl, but fell flat at Combine. Chiefs traded up to draft Hunt.  Solid runner that could steal touches and possibly job from Spencer Ware. This move downgrades Ware a bit on my draft boards. Late round seasonal fantasy league prospect and has significant value in the Dynasty Format.

Colts RD 4 pick 143 Marlon Mack South Florida. Mack is very physically gifted, but Colts coaching staff has a lot of work to do to get Mack ready to contribute. All of the bouncing outside and indecisiveness running inside doesn’t work in the NFL. With polish could be a solid contributor as a rookie. Worth a Dynasty league pick. Training camp reports will be very important in figuring out if and where to draft Mack in seasonal fantasy leagues.

Bucs RD 5 pick 162 Jeremy McNichols Boise State. 3-down back one of few rookie RB’s that is really solid in pass protection. Should provide competition to Martin, Sims, and Rodgers for playing time. Training camp reports may move McNichols for a solid dynasty pick to a solid late round seasonal choice.

Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy has confirmed that despite drafting 3 running backs, Ty Montgomery is the starter. Late last season Montgomery provided the Packers with a spark in the backfield. We’ll see if the Packers go with more of a committee approach in 2017. Each 4 of these backs presents a different skill set. Camp reports will really dictate how to approach this backfield. If I had to choose today with Rookie RB to draft out of this trio, it would be Jones.

Packers RD 4 pick 134 Jamal Williams BYU.  Inside runner that doesn’t dance. Needs polish in running thru lanes and may not get much more than what is blocked. In Packers offense could be a solid contributor right away.

Packers RD 5 pick 182 Aaron Jones UTEP. Most dynamic out of this trio. Can run inside and has explosive play potential. I like him more than quite a few runners taken earlier in the draft.

Packers RD 7 pick 238 Devante Mays Utah St.  Most physically gifted out of this trio. Ankle injuries derailed his final college season. Mays is a terrific lottery ticket at pick 238. Contributing on special teams would help secure a roster spot. Would like to see if a program with NFL trainers could keep him healthy.

Week 5 Fantasy Baseball Circle Of Trust

Phillies 2B Cesar Hernandez

.326/.374/.522 slash rate this season. Last 7 days .357 OBP.  Owns a .294 career avg. against the Cubs and a .304 vs. the Nationals. Owned in 25% of leagues. I picked him up due to Logan Forsythe going on the DL.

Astros 1B/3B Yulieski Gurriel

439/.465/.707 slash rate in last 14 days. Faces 5 Right-Handed Pitchers this week. Gurriel has a 1.115 OPS vs. righties this season. Gurriel is available in roughly 65% of fantasy baseball leagues. I picked him up late last week after Adam Eaton was declared out.

Rays SP Jake Odorizzi

2 start pitcher off the DL this week. Takes on the Marlins in Miami on Monday followed by a Saturday home matchup with the Blue Jays. Odorizzi is 2-1 in 4 career starts against the Fighting Fish. More of a track record is available against Toronto, 4-2 record with a 3.24 ERA in 12 starts. Odorizzi is available in nearly 40% of leagues. I own him 3 of 5 leagues.

Is Glennon a Building Block or Stop Gap?

The Chicago Bears 3-year deal $45 million dollar deal with Quarterback Mike Glennon was one of eye opening signings in free agency. $19 million of the deal is guaranteed making it easier from the Bears to move on from Glennon after one season. Astoundingly this is near the going rate for starting QB’s. The Bears reportedly plan to draft a Quarterback this year as well.

Moving on from Jay Cutler was one of the top priorities this offseason. Cutler’s 8 years with the team had run its course. My belief is Cutler wouldn’t have played another down for the Bears in 2016 if Brian Hoyer didn’t get injured to miss the remainder of the season. The Bears QB comedy carousel got better as the 49ers signed Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley in free agency.

Glennon gets the opportunity to run an offense with a rebuilding unit. Kevin White hasn’t proven to stay healthy in his NFL career. Cameron Meredith showed flashes last season. Markus Wheaton couldn’t break thru in a talented receiving corps in Pittsburgh, but gets his shot in the Windy City. Kendall Wright put up numbers in Tennessee a few years ago, but was passed over with the current regime.

Glennon’s skill set was on display in 2013 and 2014 in Tampa. The Bucs got the 1st overall pick in 2015 and drafted Jameis Winston to lead their offense. One interesting tidbit that came out is the Bucs offered Glennon $8 million dollars to return as the backup.

His biggest asset to the Bears could be what he offers in the locker room. The Bears signed Glennon in what amounts to a one-year deal to be a stopgap QB. How early of a draft choice the Bears spend on a QB will provide a lot of insight in how the organization views Glennon long term. After a 6-10 season followed by a 3-13 season, GM Ryan Pace and company may need to squeeze out more wins while rebuilding to save their jobs.

Week 4 Fantasy Baseball Circle Of Trust

Cubs OF Jason Heyward

1.035 OPS in last 7 days. His average for the year is up to .297.  Owners that got burned last year should take notice. This season Heyward is hitting .324 away from the Friendly Confines. Career numbers in Pittsburgh and in Boston (on a smaller scale) support having Heyward in your lineups this week. Heyward is available in over 65% for leagues.

White Sox OF Avisail Garcia

Matchups are home vs. the Royals this week and a road series with the Tigers. I really like the matchups this week as the Sox Face 3 LHP this week, along with SP Jordan Zimmerman, who appears to have completely lost it this season.  Garcia has a 1.455 OPS vs. Left-Handed Starters so far this season. The .136 avg in the last 7 days shouldn’t deter owners from using Garcia this week. Available in over 30% of leagues.

Yankees SP/RP Luis Severino

2 starts this week vs. the Red Sox on Tuesday in Boston and Sunday home matchup with the Orioles. 27 K 2 BB so far this season in 3 starts. The 0.800 WHIP is unsustainable, but Severino may have turned the corner this season. Its worth finding out if he has.  Severino is available in roughly 45% of leagues.