- Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade16 hrs ago
Kolten Wong is the most-added player in Yahoo's game over the last half-day, so many of you already read the memo. But the overall ownership tag is just 22 percent, so there's still work to be done.
Wong's minor-league pedigree showed a second basemen who could hit for average, work the count and steal bases. That's enough for mixed-league value on its own, but maybe there's more to the story. Wong has a surprising four homers since returning to the lineup last week (off a shoulder injury), part of a 7-for-19 burst. He's also stolen two bases over that span.
- Dalton Del Don at Roto Arcade1 day ago
With LeBron James “coming home” and rejoining the Cavaliers, ramifications will be felt throughout the league. While more of the fallout will happen in the coming days, there are a handful of repercussions we can reasonably decipher right now. The first being King James himself, whose fantasy value likely stays mostly the same with the move to Cleveland. He’s played a ton of minutes throughout his career, including four straight deep postseason runs including reaching the Finals, so it’s possible the Cavs rest him a bit more during the regular season, especially with them now being the heavy favorites to win the East. According to Basketball Monster, James finished as the No. 5 ranked fantasy player last season, his lowest mark since 2007/08 (when he finished No. 6), so he’ll safely be drafted second in almost every fantasy league this year.
- Andy Behrens at Roto Arcade1 day ago
Milwaukee Brewers prospect Jimmy Nelson hasn't allowed a run, earned or unearned, in any of his last three starts for Triple-A Nashville, and his year-to-date minor league numbers are silly: 10-2, 1.46 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 9.5 K/9. On Saturday, Nelson will bring his scoreless innings streak with him to Miller Park for a degree-of-difficulty start against the Cardinals. Marco Estrada has been exiled to the bullpen.
If you can find a use for a National League starter with swing-and-miss stuff and the backing of a quality lineup, give Nelson a look. He's a gigantic right-hander (6-foot-6, 240-ish) who features a tailing, mid-90s fastball and terrific slider. In case you missed his work for Milwaukee earlier in the year, check the tape. It ain't bad.
Nelson's re-arrival is well-timed for the fantasy community, because an A.L. ace hit the DL on Thursday...Sun, Jul 1311:10 AM PDTSt. Louis at MilwaukeePreview Game
- Brad Evans at Roto Arcade1 day ago
When it comes to NFL wide receivers Andre Johnson is a bit of a wallflower. Despite wallowing in mediocrity for the better part of 11years – the Texans have just two playoff berths to speak of during that time – he’s been punctual for mandatory practices and camps, kept to himself and churned out consistent production. Unlike so many egotistical WR divas that throw repeated temper tantrums or insist on conceited requests, he remained selfless, a consummate employee, a consummate professional.
However, like anyone who grows tired of the same old (expletive) at work, Johnson has reached a breaking point.
Road meet fork.
- Andy Behrens at Roto Arcade2 days ago
This is one of those Juggernaut entries where it's important to point out, right here at the top, that we're having a fantasy discussion. No one is going to argue that Carolina can't deliver another 12-win season. This team has a stellar defense, plus a record-setting dual-threat quarterback. The Panthers will clearly be a dangerous team in 2014.
But, again, we're here to have a fantasy conversation. For all of this team's obvious real-life strengths, Carolina doesn't have a receiver or running back on the roster who will be started in standard fantasy leagues in Week 1. When that's the case, you're something less than a fantasy juggernaut. The Panthers ranked near the bottom of the NFL in passing last year, and — with apologies to Jerricho Cotchery and Jason Avant — it's not as if their receiving corps significantly improved during the offseason. The committee backfield is still in place, too, and it's just as uninspiring as it was in 2013.
- Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade2 days ago
Kolten Wong is doing all he can to push his way into the fantasy conversation. Now we hope the Cardinals are paying attention as well.
Wong returned from his shoulder injury last weekend and he's been a smash since. He's on a 5-for-12 binge with three homers (one a walk-off job), two walks and a stolen base in that period. The frustrating thing for fantasy owners is that Wong's doing all this at the bottom of the lineup - he's batted seventh or eighth in every start this week. He was routinely hitting second for most of his time back in May.
Although Wong showed some pop in the minors (a .451 slugging percentage, 27 homers over a couple of seasons), his biggest fantasy appeal comes with batting average and stolen-base potential. He was a .305 hitter in the bush leagues (.367 OBP), and he swiped 20-of-21 bases in his 107 Triple-A games last year. He's 13-for-14 on steal attempts in the majors, over a modest 64 games. He knows what he's doing on the bases already, and he's still just 23.
- Dalton Del Don at Roto Arcade3 days ago
Yordano Ventura just turned 23 years old last month and currently sports a 3.28 ERA, so he’s been highly impressive. But something weird has been going on with his strikeout rate, as he’s fanned more than four batters in just two of his last nine outings (with six being the high). Put differently, Ventura posted a 9.8 K/9 rate over his first 48.2 innings this season compared to a 5.5 K/9 rate over 53.0 innings since. Ventura missed a start with an elbow injury, always a concern for any pitcher, let alone such a young one who throws so hard, but he’s responded with a 3.05 ERA over 44.1 innings since then despite the decreased strikeouts. And it’s not like Ventura’s velocity has been down during this stretch, as if anything, it’s actually been up. It’s an odd combination for which I have no explanation, and his 10.3 SwStr% is encouraging. Despite the recent inability to K batters with such incredible stuff, I think it’s safe to say Ventura’s future looks awfully bright, although it’s tougher to stay healthy when throwing so hard – the average velocity of his fastball (96.7 mph), cutter (94.6) and curveball (82.7) lead all starters this season, which is pretty amazing.
- Brandon Funston at Roto Arcade3 days ago
The idea behind the "Last Year's Bum" theory of drafting is that you target guys that have proven themselves to be stalwarts of the fantasy game but are, for one reason or another, coming off disappointing seasons. When a high draft pick lets an owner down, that leaves an indelible impression upon that owner, and it's hard for that owner to look at that player in a positive light again, even if said player had valid reasons for the dropoff. Of course, the by-product of this collective feeling of disappointment is that the player usually drops significantly in value on draft day compared to where he was a year earlier. The key then becomes to target those players that you think have everything in place to return to greatness, and enjoy a draft-day discount in the process. Myself, and the rest of the Yahoo experts, offer up five such comeback candidates:
- Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade3 days ago
Everyone knows Jimmy Graham is the cream of the tight end crop, the man, the No. 1 target, Top Jimmy. But things really get interesting when you get to the No. 2 spot on this year's tight end board. We polled four Yahoo scribes and actually came up with four answers, which is what we'll discuss today. Who's Sundance to Graham's Cassidy? Help us figure it out.
Del Don stumps for Thomas : I’ll acknowledge Julius Thomas has an injury history and that Rob Gronkowski likely has more upside, but he’s safely the No. 2 tight end on my board regardless. This a raw player who has just 15 career starts in the NFL (14 coming last year) after never playing football until his fifth year in college. Despite that, he hauled in 12 TD catches last season over just 14 games, and again, there’s room for plenty of growth as Thomas continues to improve his route running.
- Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade3 days ago
But maybe the Reds will be just fine. Time to watch Billy Hamilton run through that door, and around the bases as well.
Hamilton was a standout in Cincinnati's doubleheader sweep Tuesday, collecting four hits, two steals and one knock-off strike (lucky as it might have been). He went 2-for-4 with four RBIs in Monday's win. He's turning into a fantasy overlord right before our eyes.
To be completely fair to Hamilton, he's turned out to be a much better real-life player than most expected. Back in March, the consensus said Hamilton would be a speed demon but a poor ballplayer in real life; someone much more valuable to fake baseball than the Reds.