Results tagged ‘ fantasy ’

Mailbag: What To Do About Rickie Weeks?

rickie weeks.jpg

Any suggestions for
how to replace Rickie Weeks? It’s a 12 team league with an MI spot, so needless
to say, the 2B and SS options on the wire are pretty Weeks.

 

I see what you did there at the end.  It’s funny because his name is descriptive of
the situation.  I get jokes.

 

Losing Weeks is a tough blow, but you should be able to
survive it, especially since it sounds like you had him slotted into your
middle infielder slot.  Playing in a
league that uses a MI position is a mixed blessing in these situations.  It does thin out the overall player pool, but
it also gives you much more flexibility when targeting a replacement.

 

I’m assuming you are exploring all your trade options and
like all owners who lose a guy for the year, you’re hairline deep in low-ball offers.  If it’s clear you have excess in another
category, you should move it to balance to fill your new hole, but only after
you negotiate past all the insulting Scutaro-for-Santana type proposed deals
and you check-in with Alexei Ramirez’s owner to find out just how disgusted he
is with the White Sox alleged budding star (you never know, it’s possible you
could get him with a low-ball offer of your own).  You might even have a power surplus, since
you got a surprising number of bombs out of Weeks before his injury (though
there was no chance he was going to keep it up and hit 30 plus on the
season.  And since there is absolutely no
way we’ll ever know if that’s true, I stand by it 100%). 

 

Assuming you can’t make a trade, I’d look at the following
guys who are available in many 12-team leagues.

 

iwamura.jpg

Akinori Iwamura
He’s a career .282 hitter and is batting over .300 so far this year.  He’s also stole 8 bases this year as the Rays
continue to be extremely aggressive on the basepaths.  He replaces Weeks speed in your lineup and
doesn’t hurt you anywhere but in homers. 
He also has a sweet name which makes him sound like a villain in “Heroes.”  You could do worse.

 

Christian Guzman
How a guy hitting .377 at the top of the lineup for a team that scores over
five runs a game can be owned in fewer than half of all leagues is a mystery to
me.  He won’t contribute much to your
power numbers, but he’ll give you A+++ production in batting average and runs.  At MI, I’d rather have a guy who puts up huge
numbers in two categories than a player who puts up slightly better than
mediocre numbers in all five.

 

Alberto Callaspo
Another guy who isn’t getting enough pub. 
He’s been trending upwards over the last several seasons and is now
batting .338 with 16 ribbies and runs scored. 
He’s batting second in the Royals lineup, and while his RBI pace may
slow down a little, he’s still going to provide similar overall value to a
dozen guys who have much higher ownership numbers.

 

If all those players are owned, send me an email and we can
try to come up with another approach. 
Thanks for reading.

Rain Delay – Another Roundtable

Once again real life is interfering with my fantasy life, so the Mailbag will not run until tomorrow.  But to hold you over, here is the roundtable discussion from this week where myself and eight guys who actually know what they are doing give advice on this season’s unlikely power hitters.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090520&content_id=4833260&vkey=fantasy&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

body {margin:8px} .tr-field {font:normal x-small arial} Thanks for reading, I’ll be back tomorrow.

Marry, Bury, Date: Week 7

Welcome back to another week of Marry, Bury, Date — the
childhood game I’ve hijacked to provide the framework for my initial foray into
providing expert fantasy baseball advice.

 

The premise of the game is simple.  Three names are thrown out and the participants
must pick which one they would Marry (ie commit to long-term), Bury (get rid of
forever), or Date (could be fun in the short-term).  When considering trade offers or waiver wire
pick-ups, fantasy players are faced with these same three decisions all the
time, so in an effort to help aid these choices, I’ll name one player who I
like for the rest of the season, one player who I think could help in the
short-term, and one guy I wouldn’t touch in this space each week.

 

prom.JPG

After I’m done, if you want to whisper to the player that I
“like ’em, like ’em” that’s up to you. 
If you do, I look forward to the awkwardness that ensues all the way
through the Junior High Prom.  Maybe I’ll
get my courage up and ask them to dance during All-4-One’s “I Swear.”

 

This week’s picks are below.

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Expert League Update: When Things Go Wrong in H2H Leagues

Another week, another win for my merry band of miscreants in
the Fantasy Baseball Search Expert League. 
This time, I caught starting pitching guru Evan Dickens on an off week
and swept all five pitching categories on my way to a 7-3 victory.  The win puts me back in first place in my
division as we reach the quarter point of the season, thus setting me up for a
devastating collapse later on.  Pride
cometh before the fall indeed.

 

But my stellar performance in the league isn’t what I want
to talk about today (and it’s almost certainly not what you want to read).  Instead, let’s discuss the most annoying
things that can occur during a head-to-head matchup.

 

bauer shadows.JPG

The H2H format magnifies every little event during the
course of the baseball season.  A play
that’s barely noteworthy or ignored completely under a roto format can cause a
fantasy manager to have a Kiefer Sutherland level meltdown in a H2H league (the
recent head-butt story is just further proof that there is a Vonnegutesque
blending of fact and fiction going on here. 
Jack Bauer is coming to life. 
Christmas trees and terrorists, beware). 

 

It’s because the impact of a misstep is felt immediately and
can’t be made up for over the course of the full schedule.  It’s also because players who prefer the H2H
format tend to be action junkies and far less rational than their roto-playing
counterparts (I have absolutely no proof of this, but like any good lawyer,
I’ll stick to it til I die).

 

So here is one H2H player’s countdown of the five most annoying
things that can happen during the course of a week.  I find that the more unlikely the event, the
angrier I get, so the list is ordered accordingly.  I’m sure I’m missing something, so a more
expansive version may be coming in the future, but here is what I’ve got for now.

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Fantasy Baseball Expert Interview: Jon Williams

Jon Williams headshot.jpg

Welcome
back to the newest installment in our series of interviews aimed at giving
readers insight into the minds and backgrounds of those fantasy writers and
pundits who have reached the level of “expert.” It seems there
has been an explosion in the number of people claiming the title in the last
few years, but no one seems to know where they come from. These interviews
aim to change all that, while also giving aspiring “experts” (such as
myself) some advice on both how to break into the industry and ways to improve
your fantasy skills.

Our guest this week is Jon Williams, the founder of Advanced
Fantasy Baseball
.

 

In
your opinion, what makes you a fantasy expert? (basically the polite way of
asking – why should people listen to you?)

I suppose a lot of people think that winning championships qualify you but I
would disagree. People should listen to me because I make decisions and endorse
players based on the evidence rather than hunches and following the crowd. In
fact I love when the crowd disagrees with me.

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Mailbag: Can Real Beauty Equal Fantasy Beauty?

Toby, it seems like every year some girlfriend
of a friend ends up in the money in my March Madness Pool when she picked her
teams solely by how attractive their players are. How do you think I would do
in fantasy baseball if I simply drafted the best looking guy for each available
roster slot? I’m fairly confident you have not put together a player hotness
ranking, but some enterprising young girl has here.  Thoughts?

slap-bracelets.jpg

Excellent question. 
Let’s begin with the list you provided. 
That enterprising young girl is now a middle-aged woman, as this list is
from at least 10 years ago.  The domain
was a dead giveaway, as Geocities is like the slap bracelets of the internet
world — All the rage back in the day but irrelevant now (PS – I definitely had
a slap bracelet in elementary school. 
Bendable magnets wrapped in neon fabric? 
Who could resist?).  And if you
couldn’t figure it out from the web address, J.T. Snow is the first baseman and
Manny is listed as playing for the Indians. 
So it’s a bit dated.

 

Luckily for you, I’m very secure in my masculinity.  So after making absolutely, positively
certain no one could see what I was doing, I hit up Google to try to find
current ballplayers that are swoonie.  If
any of you out there go back to check my work, I implore you to make sure safe
search is turned on.  I cannot stress
this enough.  Some things you can’t
unsee.

 

hotbaseballplayer.JPG

After about an hour of running searches that are certain to
lead to some interesting email offers, I was able to compile a pretty decent
list.  To my surprise, there are plenty
of message board posts dedicated to this very subject and the hard-hitting
journalists over at Cosmo filed an excellent expose blowing the lid off the
whole topic. 

 

Now that I’ve gathered the player pool, I can consider your
question.  The whole notion that some
secretary can win an office pool based on crazy criteria such as hotness of
players, cuddliness of mascot, or closeness of the school to Mecca is a bit
misguided.  What really happens is they
end up picking favorites early and then maybe an upset or two later for
some wacky reason that happens to work out. 
When asked why they picked it, they end up spouting off some crazy talk
and everyone thinks she was nuts all along. 
The truth is they mixed a lot of chalk with a little luck.

 

So, to answer your question, I think you could draft
a very competitive team filled with nothing but attractive players as long as
you picked them at their proper value. 
To illustrate, I went back and cross-referenced the list of attractive
players I compiled with their average draft positions (I know, I know, I’m a
loser, I get it) and came up with the following core team that would cause both
hardcore fantasy players and teenage girls hearts to flutter.


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Rain Delay

Sorry everyone, some real world matters have come up and interfered with this here fantasy world, so no mailbag today.  I’ll be back tomorrow.  In the meantime, check out the link below where eight guys who know what they are talking about and yours truly discuss what to do with Manny.

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/fantasy/article.jsp?ymd=20090513&content_id=4705612&vkey=fantasy&fext=.jsp

Marry, Bury, Date: Week 6

Welcome back to another week of Marry, Bury, Date — the
childhood game I’ve hijacked to provide the framework for my initial foray into
providing expert fantasy baseball advice.

 

The premise of the game is simple.  Three names are thrown out and the
participants must pick which one they would Marry (ie commit to long-term),
Bury (get rid of forever), or Date (could be fun in the short-term).  When considering trade offers or waiver wire
pick-ups, fantasy players are faced with these same three decisions all the
time, so in an effort to help aid these choices, I’ll name one player who I
like for the rest of the season, one player who I think could help in the
short-term, and one guy I wouldn’t touch in this space each week.

 

70s jr prom photo.jpg

After I’m done, if you want to whisper to the player that I
“like ’em, like ’em” that’s up to you. 
If you do, I look forward to the awkwardness that ensues all the way
through the Junior High Prom.  Maybe I’ll
get my courage up and ask them to dance during James Blunt’s “You’re Beautiful.”

 

This week’s picks are below.

(more…)

Expert League Update: Unbelievable Beatdown

When I interviewed The Fantasy Man last week, he described
our match-up as “on like Donkey Kong.” 
His prediction turned out to be entirely true.  Unfortunately for me, he was the 800 pound
gorilla and I was nothing but the barrels.

 

watchmen-rorshach.jpg

After a month long stretch of dominance, I received my first
true whooping in an expert league.  The
Fantasy Man beat me 7-2-1, vaulting over my team into first place in the
process.  I’ve got no excuses.  My team put up decent numbers, but in a
league this competitive “decent” doesn’t get it done.  It’s like seeing a prospect that has a
“decent” fastball tear through the minors, but when he receives his call up to
the show, his first heater inevitably disappears into the night faster than
Rorschach.  Big league hitters make their
living off of “decent.”

 

It’s a healthy reality check as I was starting to get a
little pompous.  My initial success led
me to believe that the rest of the season would be easy and that my powerful sharkelephant
offense
would just continue to trample and eat everything in its path.  I’m sure it’s how EMF felt in 1990 when “Unbelievable”
hit number one on the charts and they felt they’d dominate the music scene
for the next decade.  That didn’t, as
they say, “work out” for them. 
Hopefully, I won’t due something as dumb as featuring Mark David Chapman
(the guy who shot Lennon) on an album released by a British band and I’ll right
the ship this week.

 

emf.jpg

(By the way, this actually happened.  Even Homer’s barbershop quartet declaring
they were bigger than Jesus wasn’t as big a musical misstep.  It would be like Soulja Boy following up “Crank
Dat” with a new track featuring James Earl Ray and then wondering why his
career disappeared.  I have to assume the thought of including Chapman on the record is what inspired them to write “Unbelievable”.  And yes, this is the most ink ever spilled on EMF by a fantasy baseball writer.  And yes, that is a challenge).

Fantasy Baseball Expert Interview: Evan Dickens

evan.jpg

Welcome
back to the newest installment in our series of interviews aimed at giving
readers insight into the minds and backgrounds of those fantasy writers and
pundits who have reached the level of “expert.” It seems there
has been an explosion in the number of people claiming the title in the last
few years, but no one seems to know where they come from. These interviews
aim to change all that, while also giving aspiring “experts” (such as
myself) some advice on both how to break into the industry and ways to improve
your fantasy skills.

Our guest this week is Evan Dickens, a writer for the expert
league’s host site, Fantasy Baseball Search, and one of the co-hosts of the
Fantasy Baseball Tonight podcast.

 

In your opinion, what
makes you a fantasy expert?
 
I believe in, as Cory Schwartz would say, “showing my work.” I will
(almost) never give a fantasy opinion unless I can provide some statistical
support for my position. At the same time, I believe in actually watching
baseball as the best way to evaluate the starting pitchers I recommend.

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