Monthly Archives: April 2019

Week 5 Fantasy Baseball Circle Of Trust

Brewers 1B Eric Thames

.318/.404/.682 slash rate in semi-regular action.  Jesus Aguilar is hitting just .129 so far this season. The tide may have swung back to Thames in terms of playing time at 1B.  Aguilar may still get starts, but Thames may be the leader in the clubhouse at this point. Thames provides power and should be active in lineups for daily league players or DFS.  

Rangers OF/1B/2B Danny Santana

.321/.345/.500 slash rate the last 7 days. Santana is getting playing time at 1B with Ronald Guzman on the DL.  Has bounced around from the Twins to the Braves and now is getting a shot with the Rangers. On a rebuilding club, maybe Santana can force his way into more playing time when Guzman returns. Santana’s hot bat and position eligibility will help DFS players in the short term.

Braves SP Mike Soroka

2-starts this week vs. the Padres at home on Monday and a Saturday road matchup vs. the Marlins. The Padres have a team batting average of .222 while the Marlins check in at .227.  Soroka is a player that typically is owned in Dynasty leagues, but seasonal players may want to jump on board this week.

Week 4 Fantasy Baseball Circle Of Trust

Orioles 3B/DH Renato Nunez

Getting an extended look batting cleanup for the Orioles.  .304/.345/.532 slash rate so far this season. Nunez minor league track record .265/.321/.466 over 8 seasons and previous MLB experience don’t project a cleanup hitter.  That doesn’t matter right now as Nunez is making the most of getting AB in a premium spot. Maybe Nunez has figured things out at 25. Deploy Nunez in lineups until he proves otherwise.

Royals 3B/1B Hunter Dozier

Former 1st round pick is starting to do damage in the KC lineup.  .292/.397/.585 slash rate so far this season. The Royals are in a full rebuild and will give this 27-year-old a long leash.  Owners looking for power from a corner infielder should look to use Dozier.

Mariners RP Roenis Elias

Consecutive Saves for Elias. The Mariners have used a committee with Anthony Swarzak and Elias.  The southpaw has 4 saves and a 1.024 WHIP so far this season. The SO/9 of 6.6 isn’t what fantasy owners look for in Closers.  Owners chasing Saves may want to use Elias until the closer situation in Seattle settles itself out. Elias will still help owners with ratios even if the Saves fluctuate.  

Targeting Age In Fantasy Drafts

As I’ve gotten older I’ve noticed that my body is starting to break down. Happens to everyone, even professional athletes.  My aging has helped me to come up with a better game plan in fantasy baseball, basketball, and football leagues. There’s a specific age bracket that I’m looking for in fantasy leagues.  If a potential replacement is obviously drafted by the team, then that player is completely off my big board.

I do not want to roster older players in weekly lock fantasy baseball leagues.  They often will miss day games after night games that’s a lot of at-bats missed throughout a season.  In a daily format I will give older plays more consideration since I can adjust the roster if they’re not going to play.   Investing in an older player means I’ll need to possibly secure a high end backup.

I don’t want anybody over the age of 32 as one of my hitters.  Too much wear on the player and signs may start to show. I don’t want a player to break down on my roster.  I miss on good players in the process, but tend to have a healthier roster. I actually passed on Justin Turner this year even though I think Turner still a real good player just because of his age.  I think very highly of Josh Donaldson, but he has shown too many signs of wear and tear. Donaldson slid in drafts this season, but I still didn’t want to invest at a discounted rate.

Just 4 fantasy baseball teams this season for me. The following is a breakdown of the oldest hitter on each roster.  Buster Posey is my backup catcher this season and is age 32. I kept him for cheap and plan to use him as a bench player.  Jonathan Lucroy at 33 is my backup catcher. Both teams the oldest everyday player is Anthony Rizzo at age 29. Yuli Gurriel is the oldest player I have in a daily categories league at age 35. I drafted Yuli with one of my last picks due to his 1B/2B/3B eligibility.  Paul Goldschmidt is my oldest starter at age 31. On the last team Justin Upton at age 30 is the elder statesman.

Moving to pitching, I’m looking for starters that are in between their 2nd and 7th year in the league.  Pitchers in that bracket tend to have a high strikeout rate and can go deeper into games. Going deeper into games increases the potential for Wins, K, and better ratios.  Older pitchers done at 100 pitches have less of a chance of pulling out wins in this era of bullpenning. Rookie pitchers are out of my target age bracket because of growing pains and shutdowns due to workload at the end of the season.  

Tommy John surgery can happen at any pitcher at any time it’s unavoidable.  Older pitchers may show signs of shoulder problems and more importantly back problems.  The velocity goes down incrementally making the hurler get by more on guile than stuff. Harnessed stuff outperforms guile in fantasy leagues.               

Take Clayton Kershaw as an example, had a terrific age 27 season, was effective in 21 starts at 28, lights out at 29.  Age 30 was still solid, but the strikeout per 9 dropped a bit. For the early round draft choice required to take Kershaw, that fantasy owner didn’t get return on his value.  In my theory Kershaw won 21 games in his 7th season, but went on to have value afterwards. I missed out on that production, but also wasn’t left holding the empty bag in 2018.      

With an 82-game season in the game of basketball I am very strict in terms of age limits. I’m looking for players aged 28 and under especially in weekly lock leagues.  Younger players play more games and more minutes which in turn leads to more stats. Younger players don’t break down as often and don’t have maintenance days. Following the idea by Gregg Popovich teams are starting to build in rest days to the schedule.  Can’t completely avoid the rest days, but try my best to limit them. Lebron James in 2017-2108 blows a hole in my theory playing his only 82 game season at age 33. This season however at age 34 played a career low 55 games. I squeaked out a championship in my basketball league this season.  LeBron James cost $51 dollars at the draft. For that amount I was able to draft Devin Booker $23, Rudy Gobert $22, and Luka Doncic $6. I got maximum value on my $51 dollars and the team with LeBron ended up going 6-14 on the season.

Football I view in a similar fashion.  Running backs John Riggins, Curtis Martin, and Thomas Jones all had great seasons into their 30’s, however a majority of backs that age go the other way.  I’m looking for running backs in between their 1st and 6th seasons. Running backs take an absolute beating playing the position. I tend to track Yards Per Carry like a hawk each season as I prepare for drafts.  If the YPC slipped was it poor line play, inept scheme, or diminishing skills? Often it’s due to loss of skills at that age. I tend to have the Hugh Hefner approach to running backs, I’m always looking for newer younger models.  

Wide Receivers the age bracket I’m looking for is between their 1st and 8th seasons.  Medical marvels like Jerry Rice and Randy Moss are exceptions to the rule. I’m tracking yards per catch totals in comparison to career average.  The YPC can give me an idea if a receiver still has the ability to take one to the house at a moments notice. If the YPC is falling the receiver slides farther down my draft board.       

Tight Ends I will often put a premium on the position and draft one of the top options early in drafts. The top options tend to fit into my age brackets as well.  Having a premium TE is a such a huge advantage. The amount of TE that break out each season to make a difference is so small in comparison to RB and WR.

Quarterbacks are the one position where I will consider drafting a little older player.  Escapability and arm strength are the aspects I look for in drafts. If a QB has his feet in cement, I’m avoiding him like the plague.  Drew Brees and Tom Brady are sure fire hall of fame QB’s however I question their ability to be able to crank it up for 16 games. With the amount of passing that takes place in the league, younger options are available later in drafts.     

I’ve really tried to refine my age brackets each season to fit how the leagues are trending.  Avoiding the older players is not a sure fire way to winning, I’ve missed on quite a few good performances by veteran players.  To minimize my risks I’m always looking for youth that is on the upswing. The strategy allows me to hit on lottery tickets and turn over my roster for the next big thing.  Most importantly the strategy is the best way I’ve found to limit injuries.

Week 3 Fantasy Baseball Circle Of Trust

Rays 2B/OF Brandon Lowe

.350/.400/.725 slash rate in the last 14 days. Home games this week vs. the Orioles and Red Sox.  Orioles have a 6.30 team ERA, while the Red Sox staff checks in at 5.80. Has hit safely in 8 consecutive games. Worthy streamer with good matchups.

White Sox 1B Yonder Alonso

Gravy matchups vs. the Royals at home and on the road in Detroit.  Alonso has a slash rate of .150/.320/.300 so far this season. Career stats of a .370 OBP vs. the Royals and .354 OBP against the Tigers. Owners looking to stream power this week may want to roll with Alonso.

Cubs SP Yu Darvish

2 starts this week for Darvish. On the road Monday vs. the Marlins followed by a Sunday tilt with the Diamondbacks.  The Marlins have a team batting avg. of .221 while the Diamondbacks have a .271 avg. Weekly lock players may want to use Darvish for the 2 starts, while daily players will definitely use him vs. the Marlins.

WR Breakouts for 2019

Panthers WR DJ Moore, 49ers WR Dante Pettis, and Broncos WR Courtland Sutton are no-brainer breakout candidates for the 2019 season.  I own all three of these players in my dynasty league. Keeper costs increase by 1 round each season so I plan to have these players as part of the core of my team for the foreseeable future.  Plenty of other lesser hyped wide outs will take a step forward in 2019 as well.

Bears WR Anthony Miller

33 catches for 7 TD last season. Shoulder problem limited his production in 2018.  I own Miller in the previously stated dynasty league and expect big things in 2019.  Miller is one of the highest upside skill position players entering the 2019 season. With his skill set and Matt Nagy’s scheme, I fully expect Miller to lead Bears in receiving. Look his last 2 years of college at Memphis 95/1,432/12 as a junior and 96/1,462/10 senior campaign.  Bears GM Ryan Pace traded with the Patriots to draft Miller. Owners may want reach up in drafts to acquire Miller. I view him as WR3/4 with huge upside. Bear Down.

Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin

Departures of Adam Humphries and DeSean Jackson could lead to Godwin catching more than the  7 TD of last year. Mike Evans and OJ Howard will more than likely be the top 2 receiving targets in the Bucs passing attack.  In a Bruce Arians offense, Godwin as a 3rd wheel still will have value to fantasy owners.

Redskins WR Trey Quinn

Played as a freshman and sophomore at LSU before transferring to SMU.  Quinn in his 1 year with SMU caught 114 balls for 1,236 yards and 13 TD.  Quinn played in only 3 games for the Redskins as a rookie. Has good hands and runs good routes as a slot receiver. With Case Keenum under center and Jamison Crowder out of town Quinn is a player I will track this offseason.  I’m looking to see if Redskins draft other slot receiver types. If not Quinn becomes an interesting flier.

Steelers WR James Washington

2nd Round pick didn’t do much during his rookie season. With Antonio Brown gone, Washington will be able to slide into a sizeable role in the Steelers offense. Put together a highlight reel of chunk plays at Oklahoma State. WR4/5 with upside due to scheme and QB. I will be paying close attention to Steelers preseason games this summer.

Week 2 Fantasy Baseball Circle Of Trust

Royals OF Alex Gordon

.294/.481/.647 slash rate to start the 2019 campaign.  Gordon bats in upper portion of the Royals lineup and should have RBI opportunities.  Ride the hot streak for as long as it lasts.

Braves SS Dansby Swanson

.353/.478/.765 slash rate to start the season.  Swanson had 1,229 career major league plate appearances before the start of the 2019 campaign.  In his 4th season Swanson could be a post hype sleeper breakout. Grab him early in case he’s finally figured things out.  

Rays SP/RP Diego Castillo

2 Holds and 1 Save so far for Castillo. His role as a high leverage reliever could lead to some Wins as well. I own him in a daily categories league due to his SP/RP eligibility and SO/9.  7.2 so far this year 10.3 in 2018.