Scott Pianowski

  • Daily Dime: Coors Field, Mad Max, Niese Day

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 10 hrs ago

    Here are ten recommended DFS plays for Tuesday evening, and yes, Virginia, they collectively fit under the Yahoo Daily cap. Be sure to double-check on lineups and weather before you make your final commitments. 

    The first thing we see on the Tuesday slate is a game at Coors Field with non-aces on the mound. It’s imperative to attack that matchup first. 

    Nelson Cruz, OF, at COL (Gray), $21: Okay, Jon Gray is a hot prospect and all that, I get it. But Coors Field is where so many of these young arms go to die. And with Cruz on a home-run bender (four in four days), how can you look away? 

    [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football: Sign up and join a league today!]

    As for everyone else at regular sea levels, let’s complete the lineup.  

  • Opening Time: Jesus Montero, what's the question?

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 15 hrs ago

    Like most old jokes, there’s variability in the retelling. This is how it was explained to me, many years ago, by the estimable professor and renaissance man, Gerry O'Connor.  

    Graffiti at a restaurant in Cambridge:

    Jesus is the answer

    (Under that, in different writing) - What’s the question? 

    (Under that, in different writing) - Who was the third Alou? 

    Is Jesus Montero the answer? Heck, what’s the question? 

    We talk about post-hype sleepers often in this space, and make no mistake, that tag applies to Montero, Seattle’s wayward slugging prospect. Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus tabbed Montero a Top 10 prospect for three straight years, from 2010-2012. When the Mariners and Yankees made a deal centered around Montero and Michael Pineda in January 2012, no one was sure which side did the right thing. Mostly, we were thrilled to see two gigantic talents moved in the same swap. 

    Montero was fully expected to be a monster, a batting superstar. 

  • Daily Dime: Kluber, Karns, Coors, a couple of Giants

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 1 day ago

    Here are ten recommended DFS plays for Monday evening, and yes, Virginia, they collectively fit under the Yahoo Daily cap. Be sure to double-check on lineups and weather before you make your final commitments.

    Corey Kluber, SP, at LAA (Richards), $48: After watching the Angels offense stumble around the last week (.194 average, 16 runs), I’ll take a stab with Kluber here. The Cleveland ace offers a very high floor - he’s gone seven innings or struck out seven men in eight consecutive turns.

    [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football: Sign up and join a league today!]

    Brandon Belt, 1B, at ATL (Foltynewicz), $18: His best results have come on the road this year (.856 OPS), and now he’s facing an inexperienced right-hander that’s handing away a .336/.379/.541 slash line to left-handed opponents.

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  • Backfield Blueprints: Zero RB versus Anchors Aweigh

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 2 days ago

    Fantasy Football draft strategy has evolved considerably over the years, and that’s especially true at the running back position.  

    In the old days, several owners would bunker down on draft day and load up on the early backs, not even looking to the side. Starting with two backs was fairly common – many viewed it as a mandate – and some flex owners would look to open with three straight running backs. 

    [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football Pro Leagues are open: Sign up today!]

    Football 2015 is a different animal. The NFL has morphed into a pass-happy league, and several teams now consider the running back position as platoon-oriented, a collection of specialists. 

    Most of my fantasy strategy comes from an agnostic tilt –  I’ll take what the room gives me, so to speak –  but that doesn’t mean I don’t consider draft blueprints and themes before the big day arrives. I’m just sure to compose plans in pencil, ready to erase and rewrite at all times. 

    Here are some of the backfield blueprints I’m thinking about on an early August afternoon. 

  • Daily Dime: Jaime Garcia, Ryan Howard, Jay Bruce, Eddie Rosario

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 2 days ago

    Before you commit to anything, be sure to double check the lineups and weather. Now go assemble your Yahoo DFS monster, make us proud. 

    Jaime Garcia, SP, vs COL (Flande), $45: Although he’s the biggest Vegas favorite on the Sunday card, Garcia is merely the No. 8 pitcher in Yahoo price. Some might be a little concerned about Garcia after a layoff, though he did turn in a quality start on July 28. His overall ratios are excellent (2.00/0.89), and everyone knows the Rockies aren’t as much fun on the road. 

    Noah Syndergaard, SP, vs. WAS (Zimmermann), $52: Sure, it’s a pay-up price, but the Baby Faced Ace known as Thor has ungodly powers at home (1.46 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, six walks, 51 strikeouts). That’s going to work. So long as you have John Kruk on mute, you'll have some fun on Sunday night. 

    [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football Pro Leagues are open: Sign up today!]

  • Rapid React: Yoenis Cespedes hits the Big Apple

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 4 days ago

    I had a lot of pointed things to say about Yoenis Cespedes in the preseason. I called him overrated, a sucker play. I ranked him lower than just about anyone. 

    Thus far, Team Cespedes is having the last laugh, an extended last laugh. He’s currently the No. 10 outfielder in Yahoo 5x5 value, enjoying a strong .293-62-18-61-3 season. So long as you didn’t pay a ridiculous price in March, this has been a fun profit season for you. 

    [Friday Daily Fantasy contest: Turn $5 into $5K]

    Everyone knows that NL baseball is shaded by the lack of a designated hitter, while AL baseball enjoys the DH and a freer scoring environment. The average AL club slugs .405 and has 432 runs for the year; in the NL, it drops to .391 and 404. 

    Cespedes isn’t just going to any offense of course, he’s going to the Mets –  the lowest-scoring club in baseball entering Friday’s action. He’s not going to get a lot of help here. 

  • Closing Time: Alex Wilson steps into the Detroit void

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 4 days ago

    For most of the season, the Tigers didn’t look to Alex Wilson for holds.  But in the new world order Thursday at Baltimore, the club decided the 28-year-old righty was worthy of a handshake. 

    Wilson only had two holds on the year through his first 38 appearances, despite a pretty set of ratios (1.84 ERA, WHIP under 1). With that in mind, it wasn’t clear if he’d be part of the closing chase after Joakim Soria was dispatched to Pittsburgh. Bruce Rondon had the big strikeout rate and seemed like someone who would get a chance, despite other flaws. Al Albuquerque also strikes guys out, though he has a walk problem. Blaine Hardy is generally a lefty specialist. Neftali Feliz has been horrendous since joining the Tigers; that's the first name I eliminated. 

    [Friday Daily Fantasy contest: Turn $5 into $5K]

    [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football Pro Leagues are open: Sign up today!]

  • Five mistakes even good fantasy football owners make

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 5 days ago

    We're bringing back five tips from last year to help you prepare for drafts in the coming weeks.

    I'm not going to list off the common and inane "mistakes to avoid" that are regularly trumpeted in this kind of piece; let's try to be better than that. Everyone knows not to draft off last year's stats. Everyone knows not to rely on a magazine cheat sheet that was created several months ago. Everyone knows not to show up at the draft reeking of Old Milwaukee. Everyone knows to monitor the waiver wire like a hawk. 

    No new tale to tell there. 

    Here are five mistakes I see even smart fantasy owners make, the second-level of leakage. Consider them, make of them what you will. Add your own ideas in the comments. 

    [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football: Sign up and join a league today!]

    The league changes too quickly. No sport reshuffles as thoroughly as the NFL.

    Play For Today.  

    But these things need to be constructed with a pencil, not a pen. You don't want to be locked into anything.

  • Opening Time: Aaron Hicks would like your attention

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 5 days ago

    The Minnesota Twins, for all their fine play this year, are not an attention-grabbing franchise on the national landscape. Perhaps that’s why Aaron Hicks is still kicking around free-agent wires despite a strong rally this summer.  

    Although Hicks is just 25, he’s already had his share of ups and downs during his pro career. He was the 14th overall pick in the 2008 draft, and was ranked favorably in prospect circles for the ensuing four years. But the star quickly faded when Hicks flopped with the Twins in 2013 and 2014. Over what’s essentially a full-season sample, he posted a putrid .201/.293/.313 slash, along with nine homers and 13 steals, in those two campaigns. 

    [Play a Daily Fantasy contest for cash today!]

    Hicks is ready to add in 95 percent of Yahoo leagues. He might just make it after all. 

  • Opening Time: Bullish on J.T. Realmuto

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 6 days ago

    Catcher is the most physically-demanding position on the sandlot, and maybe that explains why the position has been such a fantasy mess this year. 

    Consider all the big names disappointing us. Carlos Santana hasn’t returned what we expected. Yadier Molina’s power might be gone for good. Yan Gomes got hurt, hasn’t hit since. Devin Mesoraco also got hurt, and basically punted the year. Wilin Rosario isn’t in the mix in Colorado. Matt Wieters has been so-so since his injury return. 

    [Play a Daily Fantasy contest for cash today!]

    With all that in mind, we savor the players who have panned out, and the surprises that emerged from nowhere. Russell Martin is no hoser in the YYZ. Yasmani Grandal is an OBP machine in L.A. Francisco Cervelli is here to help your batting average. Buster Posey remains one of the most bankable and reliable players around. 

    And very quietly in South Florida, rookie J.T. Realmuto is making his mark with the Marlins.