Tout Wars Transactions: Adams’ New Roto Family

Apr 15

Tout Wars Transactions: Adams’ New Roto Family

The Tout Wars transactions results are in!!! WOO-HOO!!! OK, so it’s not really all that exciting. But still, Tout Wars transactions make a big difference in my Monday morning. Who did I get? Who did I miss out on? Who spent a bunch of money on players I’m not crazy about!?! Rookie SP Tony Cingrani is expected to work out of the Reds’ rotation for a while, as Johnny Cueto (lat strain) rests. Cingrani is a big strikeouts guy, with 26 strikeouts in 14 1/3 innings pitched at Triple-A Louisville. With just two walks on the season, it’s obvious that Cingrani’s control makes him a candidate to stick around (sorry, Mike Leake) even after Cueto returns. I bid $4 on Cingrani, and he was sold for $11 to MLB.com’s Fred Zinkie. In retrospect, I underbid on him, but bidding more than one-tenth of my season’s FAAB budget on a rookie starting pitcher, when my pitching was already solid, wasn’t something I was crazy about. This week, it was Cardinals’ slugging 1B Matt Adams and Boston reliever Andrew Bailey that ended up with high FAAB salaries too. They both sold for $7 this week, and tied as the second-most expensive of the week. Bailey takes over in Boston as the team’s closer for a bit, as Joel Hanrahan deals with hamstring issues. Many are expecting Bailey to hold onto the role, even when Hanrahan is healthy again, which is expected to be later this week. And Adams is a big, barrel-chested slugger in the mold of Jim Thome, and the Cardinals’ first baseman has three homers and eight RBI in just five games this season. That’s the problem. He’s a part-time player as Allen Craig owns the post-Pujols first-base spot for the Cardinals. The Cardinals will find a way to get him into the lineup, however. No one hits home runs sitting on the bench. As for my bidding, I short-bid on Adams as a James Loney replacement, just because I know I am going to need some power sooner than later. My pitching staff has been fantastic, so I expect I’ll trade someone from the staff to amend my power deficiencies — especially now that Mike Morse has a...

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Neil’s Weekly Fantasy Baseball Preview: April 15th-21st

Apr 14

Neil’s Weekly Fantasy Baseball Preview: April 15th-21st

I love good old fashion roto fantasy baseball, but points based head-to-head leagues are my favorite.  I’m in 2 local leagues and am undefeated so far, which is awesome, but now I face my brother in both leagues in week 3.  What are the odds?  Don’t answer that smart ass, it was a rhetorical question. But the problem is that my brother is the real fantasy expert.  Colin and I are in 6 leagues together, alright smart ass just because I cannot calculate simple probability equations doesn’t mean I can’t count.  But, the real issue is that as these leagues have progressed I’ve been stealing all his picks, because that is what happens when you try to outsmart and show up your older brother. He is always out driving me on the links too and he only plays twice a year, plus I likely outweigh him by 60 pounds and spent the money for my wife’s Mother’s Day present on a flashy new Taylor Made Burner Driver last year.  He is even better at card tricks and juggling, I might just go by B.J. Upton from now on.  Backtracking, Gonos, am I even allowed to say ass? So remember when I came clean about my degenerate addiction to fantasy baseball?  Well I’m not oblivious to the implications of my passion because this week things could get way to real.  I have been living large in fantasy baseball land successfully for about a month now and totally coasting through my everyday life, but I’m nervous about what this week will bring. Did I tell you about the time that I missed my turn on the way to work because I was so lost in the epiphany that I was going to draft Bryce Harper that night?  Well if I did, it gets even worse because I made my U-Turn in KFC and didn’t even go through the drive-through and order up a Colonel’s Snackers Value Box Meal.  It isn’t because I didn’t have the money either, because I did!  It was because fake baseball has taken over my life and worst of all, the turn I missed isn’t even 2 minutes away from my house! So back to these 2 leagues,...

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Fantasy Baseball: WHIP It Good!

Apr 10

Fantasy Baseball: WHIP It Good!

Like many of you, I have been playing Fantasy Baseball for many years. In my case, this is my 23rd season (when exactly did I get THAT old?), and I also happen to be the reigning champion of my NL-only auction league. It’s not a league of published “experts,” but it is a highly competitive league with knowledgeable owners, several of whom have been in the league at least as long as I have. I’d like to think I have learned a thing or two over the years about building a contending team. Most of the leagues in which I play are your typical 5×5 Rotisserie league where categories like batting average, RBI, wins, saves and ERA are still used. While these stats have been replaced in real life by much more accurate measurements of actual player value and ability, they still matter in many Fantasy leagues. This tends to get lost in a lot of player evaluations that I read, particularly pitchers. Statistics found at sites like Fangraphs or Baseball-Reference are worthwhile, but may not be as relevant when seeking a replacement pitcher for my Fantasy team. I’ll pause for a moment while some of you throw objects at me for that bit of baseball blasphemy. Now then, the category I refer to first when looking at a pitcher is his WHIP ratio. To me, it is the most important pitching statistic in a typical 5×5 league. When a pitcher has a lousy WHIP, his earned run average likely is poor as well, so there are two categories in which he is hurting your team. Conversely, if a pitcher has a good WHIP (lower than 1.30), then his ERA will be decent. If he is a starter, chances are good that he is pitching effectively enough to last five innings and get your team a win. This boosts your team in three of the five categories. Similarly, if he’s a closer, he probably is getting a save for your team – another three-category contributor. If your pitcher can rack up strikeouts in addition to these other categories, then you have a bona-fide Fantasy stud on your team (i.e. Clayton Kershaw or Craig Kimbrel). The WHIP category is what I...

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Tout Wars Transactions: Will Axford Get the Axe?

Apr 08

Tout Wars Transactions: Will Axford Get the Axe?

Taking a look at the Tout Wars Mixed League bids before Week 2 of the Fantasy Baseball season! It looks like several owners have lost faith in Brewers closer John Axford, as they made reliever Jim Henderson the most expensive free-agent purchase of 2013 so far. Axford has looked bad, so it could be a matter of time before he gets the hook. He started slow last year as well. For my team, I need a middle-infield replacement for Brian Roberts (hamstring), so I picked up Dodgers 2B Mark Ellis for one buck. I’m not excited about it, but there just aren’t a lot of decent middle infielders available. I was also looking at Donovan Solano of the Marlins.   Tout Wars Transactions – Bids entered: Cory Schwartz: res JQuintana CWS: pur JGuthrie KC 1 Patrick Davitt: res BMyers Cle: pur JHenderson Mil 11 pur MMelancon Pit 1 pur SPryor Sea 0 pur JHoover Cin 0 pur DSmyly Det 0 res MFiers Mil: pur MMelancon Pit 1 pur SPryor Sea 0 pur JHoover Cin 0 pur DSmyly Det 0 Derek Van Riper: dis CHart Mil: pur CHeisey Cin 5 pur DDeJesus ChC 3 pur NMcLouth Bal 2 pur JValdespin NYM 2 pur JFrancoeur KC 2 res FFreeman Atl: pur GSanchez Pit 2 pur GDobbs Mia 2 pur ErChavez Ari 1 pur JMayberry Phi 1 pur ChJohnson Atl 1 pur MAdams StL 1 res SSantos Tor: pur JHenderson Mil 3 Conditional Releases   rel WDavis KC Nando DiFino: res RMartin Pit: pur EGattis Atl 7 Zach Steinhorn: dis ARamirez Mil: pur ChJohnson Atl 6 pur PPolanco Mia 6 pur JDonaldson Oak 5 dis BMcCann Atl: pur JValverde Det 2 pur JRauch Mia 0 dis RLudwick Cin: pur JFernandez Mia 7 Seth Trachtman: res JWestbrook StL: pur JHenderson Mil 35 pur BZito SF 1 pur JGuthrie KC 1 pur KSlowey Mia 1 res JBlanton LAA: pur BZito SF 1 pur JGuthrie KC 1 pur KSlowey Mia 1 Nicholas Minnix: res OTaveras StL: pur JBuck NYM 2 pur CGetz KC 0 pur BDozier Min 0 pur MEllis LAD 0 pur SSizemore Oak 0 pur MAdams StL 0 pur AGonzalez Mil 0 pur BCrawford SF 0 pur JDonaldson Oak 0 pur RTejada NYM...

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Neil’s Weekly Fantasy Baseball Preview: April 8th-14th

Apr 07

Neil’s Weekly Fantasy Baseball Preview: April 8th-14th

Last week I was going all 1990 on you and that was fun and all, but 2013 is here and Bryce Harper is now the best Fantasy Baseball player ever.  Sorry Mr. Ryne Sandberg. Twenty-one months ago I drafted Harper in a shallow 20 team Roto 6 player keeper league. Can a 20-team league even be shallow? Ten hitters and 5 pitchers without a bench seems shallow to me, but 20 teams makes it deep. No wonder I was in the basement at the mid-season draft in 2011, which is also the only time to add or drop a player after the initial draft. So I took Edinson Volquez with my first pick to remain awful because I was looking ahead to a top pick in 2012 and hoping Volquez would magically morph back to his 2008 self. Remember last week when I proclaimed that my Fantasy Baseball career has been downhill since 1990?  Well, I am off the Volquez now and I know that you hear all the time that guys claim to go clean, but I won’t even stream him in fear of a prolonged relapse. I am not even going to get into my Justin Smoak‘ing addiction, except that I owned him in this league before 2010.  He was in the minors the whole time, and remember that no bench thing, what was I thinking?  But back to Bryce, I didn’t even care that he was likely an entire year away from MLB action, which is obvious as a former minor-league Smoak owner, because I was still in full on rebuild mode for a third consecutive midseason draft. I was so pumped about adding Harper that I proceeded to drop him with my third-round pick for Shin-Soo Choo, who was dropped in the 2nd round because he was injured in 2011.  That is my Bryce Harper story — he was mine for roughly half an hour, a single beer or two, and exactly one year from my drafting and dropping of the greatest Fantasy Baseball player ever, he was the first overall selection at the league’s 2012 midseason draft. I’d feel stupid if my continual tanking didn’t eventually land me a runner-up finish last season and...

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Daily Fantasy Baseball Saturday Extravaganza

Apr 06

Daily Fantasy Baseball Saturday Extravaganza

This past week, I’ve really started to get into playing Daily Fantasy Baseball. And this morning, I woke up at like 7am after a long night of drinking and then some late-night pizza, and decided to jump into a bunch of games for a Saturday extravaganza … Maybe the alcohol hasn’t worn off. Then I thought, let’s share those lineups – and the results – and discuss! It’s the first full Saturday of baseball!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m still trying to figure out which sites I like best, so for today, I set up lineups on four different Daily Fantasy Baseball sites. My DraftDay.com Lineup I won some dough here yesterday, and a couple times this week, and I absolutely love the Head-to-Head challenges for $5. You challenge me for free and the winner gets $5! I ended up six points short of winning $500 in their jackpot game yesterday. I nearly stabbed myself in the eye after that one. I think I’d rather finish 33rd than second in a winner-take-all event. Call me crazy! So on this site, I have five games going, for varying amounts. Here’s the lineup I’ve set for each of them (for some reason, I haven’t gotten into hedging and filling out several different lineups. P Jonathon Niese vs. MIA – $12,100 — Third-most expensive pitcher on the site, but the Marlins are scoring two runs per game. P Shelby Miller vs. SF – $8,500 — Great spring coupled with the Giants’ slow start at the plate. C Chris Iannetta at TEX – $5,300 1B Todd Frazier vs. WAS – $7,600 2B Dustin Pedroia at TOR – $9,100 SS Danny Espinosa at CIN – $6,650 3B David Wright vs. MIA – $9,250 – Wright is hitting nearly .400 in over 60 at-bats against Ricky Nolasco. OF Bryce Harper at CIN – $11,300 OF Shin-Soo Choo vs. WAS – $9,400 OF Mark Trumbo at TEX – $8,050 DH Miguel Cabrera vs. NYY — $12,350 – Phil Hughes (back) comes off the DL unexpectedly for this start, and the Yankees bullpen is beat up. Jackpot! Salary remaining — $400   My FanDuel.com Lineup Two games for me over here, including a Head-to-Head matchup, and a 100-player tournament. This lineup...

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Fantasy Baseball Tips – No. 80 – “Pretend Opening Day is June 10”

Apr 02

Fantasy Baseball Tips – No. 80 – “Pretend Opening Day is June 10”

This is an excerpt from my e-book, “101 Fantasy Baseball Tips,” which is still available for the low, low price of just $0.99! It has 59 writers from 37 websites, with 12 categories — and 101 Fantasy Baseball Tips! There is probably no other day on the schedule that has more people checking in on their Fantasy teams than on Opening Day. There are always some out-of-nowhere performances by Fantasy free agents, and there are always some first-round pitchers that get inexplicably hammered. So while you might be ready to over-manage your fantasy baseball team after just one day of games, think about this: Are you going to cut off one millimeter from your hair today because it grew too quickly since your haircut Monday? How much did your savings account increase from last night to today? How much weight did you lose when you walked from your bedroom to the fridge this morning? How much weight did you gain after eating three slices of pizza for breakfast? Anyone that has followed baseball for a few years knows that Opening Day always brings up names like Tuffy Rhodes — and for good reason. In 1994, he smacked three homers for the Cubs on Opening Day – becoming the first NL player to ever accomplish the feat. Imagine the rush to the waiver wire that day! Unfortunately, in all six seasons of his major league career, he only went on to hit 10 more home runs. Don’t value Opening Day bigger than any other day in the majors. If you feel the urge to grab a player, which likely means giving up on another player you’ve researched all offseason, then think about June 10, 2007. On that day, Raul Casanova, Craig Counsell, Mike Fontenot, Mark Grudzielanek, Brendan Harris, Miguel Olivo, Tony Pena, Robb Quinlan and Marco Scutaro all homered on the same day in what I have termed, “The Day Light-Hitters Struck Back!” It was just another random day during a six-month MLB regular season. Just like Opening Day. Gonos and Emack used to host Opening Day festivities at CBSSports.com, grilling up hot dogs, drinking lots of beer, getting into fistfights, throwing up in the bathroom … It’s weird that...

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