Monthly Archives: July 2019

Week 17 Fantasy Baseball Circle Of Trust

Orioles OF Anthony Santander

Batting .321 in the last 28 days.  Owners looking to stream an outfielder that can help in batting average with a lower strikeout rate may want to use Santander.  A rule 5 pick from the Indians in the winter of 2016. Career minor league track record of .270/.335/.450 in 8 minor league seasons.  Playing time shouldn’t be a problem as the Orioles will continue to see if they’ve caught lightning in a bottle with this 24 year old CF.  

Reds 2B/LF Josh VanMeter

.464/.531/.964 slash rate the last 28 days. Career .341 OBP in 7 minor league seasons.  The Reds may continue to move the 24-year-old around to get him At-Bats. I would recommend VanMeter in daily leagues, not quite weekly locking yet.  The trade deadline could possibly open up a more stable role for VanMeter in the lineup.    

Royals SP Brad Keller

2 starts this week Monday at home vs. the Blue Jays followed by a Sunday road tilt with the Twins.  I’m using Keller on Monday for the great matchup and hope Sunday’s performance doesn’t undo Monday’s. The Blue Jays have a .233 team batting average, which is the 2nd worst in all of baseball.  While the Twins .271 avg. is 2nd best in all of baseball. Thomas Pannone and his 6.39 ERA is Keller’s opponent on Monday. Faces Jake Odorizzi on Sunday. Odorizzi has displayed a most malodorous air his last 4 starts to the tune of a 9.35 ERA.  Keller out of the break is 3-0 with a 1.27 ERA 0.938 WHIP and 7.2 SO/9 in 3 starts.

Fantasy Football Prep Strategery

Everyone studies for fantasy football drafts differently.   Some owners do research online, while some guys will just pick up a magazine at the grocery store right before the draft. I’ve made a good amount of money of those types of owners.  Mock drafts can be great tools for people to help project where players maygo. I personally don’t use them because it makes me spend more time thinking about where I can get a player instead of formulating why I like a player or team.  I focus all of my efforts figuring whether or not I like a player/team.   

All my efforts are spent figuring out the situation’s so I can definitively have an opinion on each team or player.  Let’s use Tevin Coleman as an example, I believe he will be the running back to own in San Francisco. Coleman was signed to a 2-year deal and previously played for Kyle Shanahan in Atlanta.  Matt Breida is always hurt and Jerick McKinnon could be a cap casualty coming off an ACL tear. Coleman can also catch passes out of the backfield. He will lose touches to Breida, but still be a flex or solid RB 2 in PPR formats.  With the Niners playing at a faster pace, Coleman should provide a good middle round value for fantasy owners in 2019.    

Rankings will give me a rough idea of what range of the draft to select a player.  Ultimately rankings are just rankings and I don’t use them as gospel. The plan is always to go up for players that I think will break out.  I’ve watched owners become slaves to the rankings and have it sabotage their draft. If you’ve done enough research in believing a player will break out there’s no reason you shouldn’t go up for them.     

Moving onto another time wasting practice, I never spend time figuring out who’s going to be there with the draft slot I draw.  Counterproductive because it doesn’t help me formulate opinions on why I like players. Also I have to then spend time getting into the thought process of X number of people.  Totally pointless in my opinion. How does trying to figure out what someone else will do help me to figure out what I will do? Those options may not be there when I pick, also there’s typically a curveball thrown in the mix.   

Other owners know my draft strategy very well.  I approach drafts with the you know what’s coming try and stop it mentality.  Auctions are much different than snake drafts, for this piece I’ll just focus on the snake format.  Auction strategery will be later post. I tend to draft the best player available in my first few rounds.   I wait on quarterbacks because the depth at that position is the greatest. I’m usually the last person to draft a quarterback but the first to have two.  For years my QB’s were a duo of Tony Romo, Matt Stafford, or Eli Manning. Waiting on quarterbacks allows me to gain an advantage at Tight End, Wide Receiver and Running Back.  The difference between the top Tight End and the Middle Tier Tight Ends is massive. The difference between the top scoring Quarterback and the middle-of-the-pack Quarterback isn’t nearly as massive as Tight End.  Position scarcity is most apparent at the Tight End position.   

In the middle rounds, I’m looking for value and or upside to fill out my lineup.  There are players that have fallen thru the cracks and provide value. Last year I drafted Deshaun Watson and grabbed Pat Maholmes because he was still sitting there. That worked out well.  The final third of my draft is all upside picks regardless of position. I’m looking for as many lottery tickets as possible. The reality is if the lottery ticket doesn’t pan out those are the guys that I’m willing to cut early in the season to find the next one.  

Drafts can be lost by blowing your first 5 picks but I believe that leagues are typically won by nailing your middle and end picks.   I mentioned the Maholmes pick from another league earlier, but my favorite was my 26th gem, Colts WLB Darius Leonard. Bears MLB Roquan Smith was selected in the 8th.  I was proud of that one, knew Leonard was going to be on my roster once Antonio Morrison was traded to Green Bay. Fantasy football is much different today than it was years ago everyone really has access to all the information right at their fingertips.  I try not to believe I’m the smartest guy in the room, leads to arrogance and missed picks. Each person in the league has done as much homework if not more than me. That has kept me sharp in staying in flow with the draft and not missing out on players I wanted.

This is the strategery I’ve learned works the best for the way I play fantasy football.  May not work for everyone, but maybe it will help you win this season.        

Week 16 Fantasy Baseball Circle Of Trust

Marlins 1B Garrett Cooper

11 Dongs this season 6 vs. RHP, 5 Vs. LHP.  .333/.436/.697 slash rate the last 14 days. A road series in the launching pad this is the south side of Chicago and home vs. the Diamondbacks.  Misses Giolito in White Sox Series, will see Greinke and Ray in Arizona matchup. Owners looking for OBP and Power may want to roll with Cooper. 

Giants OF Mike Yastrzemski

3 dongs in the last 7 days.  Yaz has a .375/.400/.917 slash rate in the last 7 days for the surging Giants.  With games in pitchers parks San Francisco and San Diego this week, the homers may go down.  In those spacious parks, Yaz may be able to still produce with extra base hits. Ride him while hot. 

Padres SP Chris Paddock 

2 starts this week on Tuesday vs. the Mets on the road and Sunday against the Giants 0.466 WHIP and 10.2 SO/9 during the last 28 days.  I’m really surprised Paddock isn’t universally owned in fantasy baseball.

Week 15 Fantasy Baseball Circle Of Trust

Dodgers OF AJ Pollock

I was able to stash him on an IR spot and pick him up during the All Star break in another league. .375/.444/.750 since returning from injury.  Pollock gives fantasy owners a power-speed combo. With the all-around talent on the Dodgers Pollock may have more value in daily leagues, than weekly locking formats.  

Pirates OF Bryan Reynolds 

.333/.409/.522 slash rate in 259 plate appearances in the show this season.  Minor league career OBP is .373 so it’s possible Reynolds won’t have a full regression.  Was the 59th pick in the 2016 draft by the Giants and was part of the Andrew McCutchen trade.  The Pirates are in the thick of things for the NL Central Division. I believe Reynolds is in the Pirates lineup to stay. He should be in more of fantasy players lineups as well. 

Braves SP Max Fried

2 starts this week on Monday vs. the Brewers and a Saturday home tilt with the Nationals.  Both offenses can do damage with the long ball, however Fried is the better starting pitcher in both matchups.  He is projected to face Adrian Houser and Max Scherzer, however Mad Max is now on the IL.

Looking for “The Situation” in Fantasy Basketball

Fully understanding the fall out of the NBA Free Agency period helps to separate the contenders from the contributors to the fund in fantasy basketball. Figuring out the situation for each player on their respective teams is the key to unlocking fantasy basketball success.  The situation has more of a direct result in basketball than it does in baseball or even football. I will often take a slightly lesser talented player if he’s in a better situation. I learned long ago the highest scoring players in fantasy basketball aren’t necessarily the best NBA players. There’s a huge difference.   

Potential usage rate, the surrounding talent, and coaching strategery are the major factors I use to determine the situation.  My fantasy basketball stategery is to avoid the top level guys that cost too much in drafts and collect as many next tier players with upside.  It’s a numbers game, teams beat individuals. These are the players impacted by the fall out that I believe will lead to potential gold in fantasy basketball for the upcoming season.    

Celtics SF/PF Jayson Tatum will enjoy life with Kemba Walker more than he ever did with Kyrie Irving.  Last year, Tatum saw his PPG go up with the True Shooting Percentage and 3-Point Percentage drop off. Entering his 3rd year in the league with a less toxic situation, I’m buying a Tatum breakout.  He fits perfectly into my strategery of buying younger players ready to take the next step. This will be the cheapest Tatum will be until his career winds down. My absolute must have player entering drafts for this year.  I also believe Jaylen Brown breaks out, just not to the level of Tatum.

Getting out of Boston will also help Terry Rozier as the situation in Charlotte is very intriguing.  Rozier’s a career 38% shooter from the floor and has more value in points leagues. His Usage Rate of 18.6 last year should jump way up as a starter in Charlotte.  I anticipate Rozier with an increased usage rate putting up solid numbers for points leagues players. The lack of an established supporting cast means the situation is right to reach for Rozier in drafts. 

Delon Wright moving onto Dallas also caught my attention.   The steals-per-game of 1.6 in 26 games with the Grizzlies is where Wright can help fantasy owners.  I don’t see a high usage rate with Doncic and Porzingis spearheading the offense. Wright with all-around production can be an underrated player in points leagues.  One of my targets late and cheap in auctions. 

Willie Cauley-Stein wanted a fresh start out of Sacramento and should find one with Golden State. WCS was a career high 6.7 Win Share last season.  His offensive win share went from 1.7 up to 3.8 while his usage rate decreased by 4.3%. The Warriors are among the best at evaluating their talent and getting the most of it.  WCS has progressed as a player along with a better situation makes him a target in points leagues. One of the most underrated signings of free agency in my opinion. The lack of blocks and killer free throw percentage downgrade WCS in categories leagues.  I think the best is yet to come.  

The Pacers sign and trade for Malcolm Brogdon was an eye opener.  Living in Milwaukee, I got to see Brogdon progress as a player. Brogdon fit in on the floor to what the Bucks needed at the time.  He can score, get teammates involved when needed, and provide on the ball defense. The Pacers are paying him lead the team. He’s a very intelligent player and will do well in Indiana.  The situation leads me to project a breakout for Brogdon due to the lack of perimeter scoring and a pair of highly skilled bigs at his disposal in Sabonis and Turner. Victor Oladipo’s return is unknown at this point, could be December or January.  Brogdon was a 50/40/90 player last season. With having to be more of the creator, Brogdon may have to take more bail out shots or tougher shots which could limit his efficiency. Worth reaching for in the middle rounds. 

Heat C Bam Adebayo’s stock rises with the Hassan Whiteside trade to Portland.  I find it hard to believe Meyers Leonard will make a significant dent in Bam’s minutes.  Blows last year’s average of 8.7 PPG and 7.8 RPG out of the water. I would anticipate the 23.3. MPG of last year jumping closer to 30 if Bam can stay out of foul trouble.  Shot 74% from the charity stripe and 58% from the field. Adebayo’s value is terrific in both categories and points leagues. I love him and plan on spending big to acquire Adebayo’s services this season.  

Julius Randle going to the Knicks is a perfect situation for fantasy owners.  The Knicks are in a perpetual rebuild and Randle will be the best player of a bad lot.  Randle will have a high usage rate and contribute stats across the board. Last season on a bad Pelicans team Randle averaged 21.4 PPG and 8.7 RPG.  Randle’s PF/C eligibility and the situation could lead to fantasy gold. I’ve owned Randle for 3 consecutive seasons, hopefully for a 4th.  

Thomas Bryant received a 3-year extension with the Wizards and Dwight Howard was shipped out.  Bryant should see more than the 20.8 MPG he saw last year. On the rebuilding Wizards developing Bryant will be a top priority.  Owners in points and categories leagues should look to target the emerging Bryant in drafts this season. I owned him last year and the inconsistency was frustrating.  I anticipate more stable production this year. I don’t see Mo Wagner or Ian Mahinmi taking away much of the playing time.  

Lonzo Ball gets a new lease on life outside of the spotlight of LA.  Lonzo has a janky jumpshot, but is a much better basketball player than some fans realize.  Underrated for his on the ball defense. He has career averages of 10.0 PPG, 6.4 APG, 6.2 RPG, and 1.6 SPG.  For the right price, I’m buying Lonzo for the all around production. Assists should be easier to come by with Zion Williamson running the floor while Jrue Holiday and JJ. Redick are knocking down 3’s.  This is a better situation for Lonzo where he won’t be asked to do too much. I’m buying Lonzo in my points league. Remember Jason Kidd couldn’t hit a jumper when he came into the league.  

These are the players that based off the situation, I plan to target in upcoming fantasy basketball drafts.  I believe their production will outperform the draft slot or auction cost. Get enough of those players and you have a good chance at winning a league championship.