Scott Pianowski

  • Running Back Shuffle Up: David Johnson could rule the world

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 21 hrs ago

    Somewhere along the way, I started to hate running backs.

    I hate their rate of injury. I hate how platoons have taken over the NFL. I hate the unpredictability, the uncertainty.

    And yet, at some point, you stop worrying and learn to love how much easier running backs are to handle these days. Yes, I said easier .

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    Our expectations have come down for what a typical RB1 provides, and they’ve come down significantly for what a RB2 gives us. Flex players might be wide receivers or tight ends these days; the running backs used to own that domain. I’ve never felt as comfortable waiting on this position, or bargain-shopping at this position, as I do in 2016.

    Here are your running back tiers for now. I’ll add comments at some point tonight.

  • What's Not In My Wallet: The case against Cam Newton

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 2 days ago

    My wallet is like anyone else’s — some cash, some credit cards, some receipts I probably should throw away. Oh, and a whole bunch of football players.

    I’ve drafted more than ever in 2016, in anticipation of the fresh fantasy football season. Later this week, I’ll discuss the common-thread players I keep landing, the keys to my year. In today’s blog, the focus will be on the players I haven’t been drafting, the most interesting names who are missing from my rosters.

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    In many cases, it’s simply a case of not liking the price a player currently demands. We are, after all, trying to leverage a marketplace. There are some other themes that come into play, and I’ve tried to outline them here.

  • Quarterback Shuffle Up: Andrew Luck shows the way

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 5 days ago

    It would be lovely to have a snappy tier name for my quarterback rankings and groupings, but all the good tier puns are already taken. So we’ll keep shuffling about.

    You’ll disagree with many of these prices and ranks because that’s why we have a game. Try to stay grounded and rational with your players, it’s one of the most important skills in your fantasy toolbox.

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    The prices are unscientific and just a way to compare the players. When players are at the same price, it means they are considered even. I do not compare prices with other shuffles (or compare prices between different positions), and I do every shuffle from scratch. Season to taste, and your own particular league rules and parameters.

  • Tip Drill: Eight Mistakes Fantasy Owners Make

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 10 days ago

    Fantasy mistakes, I’ve made a few. If you’ll allow me the courtesy, I’d like to frame it all under “experience.”

    Below I’ll talk about eight fantasy themes I’ve learned through the years, a collection of notes that cover the 22 years I’ve played fantasy football. I’ll start with the more rudimentary concepts, then shift to subtler ideas. I’m all ears for your thoughts, pics and pans; catch me on Twitter: @scott_pianowski. Let’s try to solve this puzzle together.

    [Join a Yahoo Fantasy Football league for free and make 2016 your season]

    101-Level Mistake — An Inflexible Draft Plan

    It’s wonderful that you have a draft blueprint ahead of time. By all means, mock and mock and mock draft some more. Join side leagues, low-maintenance leagues, best-ball leagues. Talk football on the Internet. Do everything that gets you ready for your primary league and auction.

    But whatever plans you do write down — make sure they’re in pencil. Don’t lock yourself in. Don’t become so focused on your expected path that you miss gold at your feet.

    101-Level Mistake — Mishandling September’s Waiver Wire

  • Catcher Shuffle Up: Yasmani Grandal rakes, Mike Zunino rises

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 16 days ago

    The idea is 5×5 value for rest of season. What’s happened to this point is merely an audition. I didn’t rank anyone on the DL, or anyone in the minors. Everyone seems to be more optimistic on injury returnees and hot prospects than I am.

    The prices are unscientific in nature, and players at the same price are considered even. I’m just looking for a way to show the pockets of value as I see them. I don’t look at old prices when I construct these — it’s all from scratch. I don’t even see the point of looking back there; live in the present, look to the future.

    [Yahoo Fantasy Football is open for the 2016 season. Sign up now!]

    I welcome your respectful disagreement (hit me up, here). Obviously you will feel passionate about what you don’t agree with, that’s why we have a game. The discussion can be deep and illuminating if you want it to be.

  • A likely No. 1 receiver at a throwaway draft price

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 17 days ago

    The 2015 Baltimore Ravens were a full train wreck, a season obliterated by bad luck and injuries. It was the first losing record of the John Harbaugh era, a five-victory drop from the previous season. Just about everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.

    But in the middle of the rubble, a handy fantasy receiver emerged. And yet a year later, roto players are surprisingly cool to Kamar Aiken. Let’s try to take advantage of that.

    Aiken was forced into a regular role over the second half of the year, and he was more than ready for his close up. Aiken posted a snappy 56 catches for 673 yards over his last nine games, securing 63 percent of his targets. If you grade all receivers by PPR value over the second half, Aiken checks in as the No. 22 player.

    Aiken isn’t one of those high-pedigree targets; he wasn’t drafted back in 2011. He bounced from the Bears to the Patriots to the Ravens before finding a niche. Perhaps that’s why many fantasy owners haven’t fully embraced the story yet.

  • Outfielder Shuffle Up: The Bryce Harper problem

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 21 days ago

    The idea is 5×5 value for rest of season. What’s happened to this point is merely an audition. I didn’t rank anyone on the DL, or anyone in the minors. Everyone seems to be more optimistic on injury returnees and hot prospects than I am.

    The prices are unscientific in nature, and players at the same price are considered even. I’m just looking for a way to show the pockets of value as I see them. I don’t look at old prices when I construct these — it’s all from scratch. I don’t even see the point of looking back there; live in the present, look to the future.

    [Yahoo Fantasy Football is open for the 2016 season. Sign up now!]

    I welcome your respectful disagreement (hit me up, here). Obviously you will feel passionate about what you don’t agree with, that’s why we have a game. The discussion can be deep and illuminating if you want it to be.

    And there is the problem.

  • Closing Time: Max Kepler and the surging Twins

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 22 days ago

    The Cleveland Indians have been one of the best pitching staffs in baseball all year. But it basically threw batting practice over the last three days.

    That’s what you get when you face the Minnesota Twins, the hottest offense in baseball as we move through the dog days of August.

    Minnesota has decisively kicked around the Tribe this week, collecting 12-5, 10-6 and 13-5 victories. Danny Salazar was knocked around on Monday, Carlos Carrasco got it Tuesday, and Trevor Bauer didn’t have it Wednesday. The Twins have 154 runs over the past 30 days, 20 runs clear of the field.

    We talked about Max Kepler a month ago, so we assume you’ve been riding the train there. Kepler is the No. 2 hitter in Yahoo over the last month (.284-22-10-24-1), using a gorgeous left-handed swing to reach the seats regularly. He’s also settled in as the team’s No. 3 hitter. Kepler hit four homers, scored eight runs and knocked in 10 during the Cleveland series, and stole a bag for good measure. He’s still unowned in a lagging 44 percent of Yahoo leagues, oddly. Keep enjoying the ride.

  • Closing Time: Edwin Diaz leads parade of new closers

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 23 days ago

    Anyone with fantasy baseball experience knows all about chasing saves, the closing carousel. In the nutty baseball season of 2016, it’s been a crazy train.

    About half of MLB’s closing situations have experienced turbulence since the beginning of June, a ridiculous turnover rate. Monday’s trading deadline fueled some closer swaps, and injuries and ineffectiveness have sparked other changes.

    A number of new closers earned their wings, and handshakes, in Tuesday victories. Let’s check in on them.

    • Edwin Diaz got the call for the Mariners, asked to protect a skinny one-run lead against Boston, and looked ready for the gig — one walk in between three strikeouts. His wiffle ball stats are begging for respect — a 1.73 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 26 innings since his early-June promotion. A 97 mph fastball and a plus slider are Diaz’s preferred weapons.

  • Spin Doctors: A.J. Green, Alshon Jeffery, Jordy Nelson

    Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade 25 days ago

    Wide receivers have crashed the Fantasy Football draft party with a vengeance in recent seasons — they now run the room for the first few rounds. Ten of the Top 18 picks in current Yahoo ADP are wide receivers, and with that in mind, we need to spend extra time considering them — and extra time examining where we do and don’t agree.

    Three of our Yahoo pundits have an interesting divergence of opinion on a handful of name-brand receivers: A.J. Green, Jordy Nelson and Alshon Jeffery. Which Northwest Pass Catcher makes for the best cornerstone? Brandon Funston, Brad Evans and Scott Pianowski are here to play the feud.