- Andy Behrens at Roto Arcade14 hrs ago
This business of grading every NFL team's rookie class only hours after the draft — sorting out the winners and losers immediately , prior to any actual on-field winning and losing — is, of course, ridiculous. I'll concede that point right here at the top.
When Seattle was building the foundation of a two-time NFC championship roster, for example, many draft analysts were handing out Cs and Ds. Predictive analysis of any sort is tough in the NFL. Where the draft is concerned, it's absurd.
And still ... well, here we are.
- Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade17 hrs ago
Players to Buy
Dallas Keuchel, SP, vs. TEX (Detwiler), $8500: He’s just the No. 5 starting pitcher on the pricing board, but he’s the biggest Vegas favorite on the night (slipping past a road-starting Clayton Kershaw). That will work. Keuchel obviously is light on the strikeouts, but his efficiency allows him to work deep into games. And let’s give the guy credit for what he does exceptionally well – inducing ground-ball contact and weak contact. He’s on zero of my seasonal teams, which depresses the hell out of me. But I’ll have Keuchel dialed up for Monday DFS.
- Dalton Del Don at Roto Arcade1 day ago
What’s going on with Corey Kluber? Last year’s Cy Young winner has yet to win a game this season and is sporting a 4.24 ERA. He’s been especially bad of late, as he’s allowed 14 earned runs and 31 hits over his last three starts, spanning over just 17.1 innings. Some of this may be attributed to Yan Gomes getting injured, as Kluber owns a 2.58 ERA over 45 games with Gomes catching compared to a 4.66 ERA over the other 36 games when throwing to someone else. Kluber also has a poor defense defense working behind him to go along with a shaky bullpen. But his SwStr% (12.9) and GB/FB ratio (1.87) are both career highs, and his 18.2 K-BB% remains top-20 in MLB, so there’s plenty of reason to suggest his start to the 2015 season is flukier than him being the best pitcher in the AL last year. Go try to trade for Kluber if his owner thinks otherwise.
- Brad Evans at Roto Arcade1 day ago
In the fantasy football vernacular no word is misunderstood, misidentified or misused more than "sleeper."
Similar to the grossly miswritten "ironic" in the English language (Example: If a fan wearing a Josh Gordon jersey bumped into the Cleveland receiver at a 4/20 gathering, that isn't ironic.), the term is thrown around too loosely, often attached to players drafted as starters in 10-team leagues.
Generally speaking, self-described aficionados claim a "sleeper" references generic players unbeknownst to the general gaming community. Throw PLAYER X out during your draft and someone is bound to blurt out, “WHO THE HECK IS THAT GUY?!”
The above definition is fair. However, in an age where information is readily available at the touch of a screen, any fantasy player with the tiniest ounce of gumption can uncover pertinent player information spewed by scouts, coaches and insiders. In the classic sense, the controversial word no longer applies.
- Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade1 day ago
Players to Buy
Adam LaRoche, 1B, at MIN (Pelfrey), $2600: Generally I throw seasonal player trends into the trash, but LaRoche has an extended profile that tells us he won’t hit much in April. His career OPS is a mere 713 for the opening month, then it jumps to .801 in May (and, to be fair, .860 after the break). If you want a buy-low, LaRoche certainly fits the bill. And when you see Mike Pelfrey on the opposing mound, you want to load up on left handers.
(There is one pesky thing about the White Sox offense - you can’t stack Jose Abreu and LaRoche together in Fan Duel since they’re both first base qualifiers. Ah well, so it goes. It’s only a matter of time before he gets comfortable in his new city and role.)
- Brad Evans at Roto Arcade2 days ago
Entering the 2014 NFL season, workhorse running backs, similar to compact discs, flip phones, folding maps and, presumably sometime very soon, Burger King’s not-so-delectable Chicken Fries, were on the verge of extinction.
Clydesdales like Arian Foster, Marshawn Lynch and LeSean McCoy were rare breeds, 300-carry rushers who demanded a draft day premium from fantasy investors. Extreme volatility, after all, was the name of the game at RB, especially in an era of rotational backfields. To those who stubbornly clung to supposedly antiquated RB-RB methods last August, shelling out exorbitant sums for proven rushers was a necessary evil, no matter the risks attached (43.8 bust percentage of all projected RB1s/RB2s picked in fantasy drafts since 2009).
DeMarco Murray only substantiated that belief.
- Dalton Del Don at Roto Arcade3 days ago
Jake Arrieta, SP, vs. Mil (Fiers), $9800 at FanDuel: He has a 2.03 ERA and 0.94 WHIP during a dominant start to the year and faces a Brewers team that’s scored the fourth-fewest runs and has the second-worst road OPS in major league baseball. The Cubs are the biggest favorite on the board Saturday, as opposing SP Mike Fiers has struggled badly, having allowed 36 baserunners over 18.2 innings this season.
Pablo Sandoval, 3B, vs. NYY (Eovaldi), $3200: His power numbers have disappointed early on in Boston, but the switch-hitter is batting .407 against RHP and .400 at home. Sandoval is also 10-for-14 with 10 RBI during his career against Nathan Eovaldi.
- Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade3 days ago
It’s easy to see why fantasy players talk themselves into Jason Heyward. He carried a boatload of prospect buzz prior to making the majors at age 20. He posted some fantasy-useful seasons in Atlanta, especially 2012. He looks good in the uniform. He’s athletic and multi-talented, one of the best defensive players in the game (that’s why WAR loves him so much).
And when Heyward shifted teams last winter, it was the Cardinals making the call. If you made a short list of organizations you want to backline, St. Louis is on it. Heyward also was entering a contract year, if that angle means anything to you (it doesn’t always check out if you grade those things in bulk, but motivation obviously varies from player to player).
- Dalton Del Don at Roto Arcade4 days ago
Jon Lester, vs. Mil (Peralta), $8700 at FanDuel: It’s a tough day for starting pitching, as the two obvious choices (Matt Harvey and Max Scherzer) face each other in a game that’s essentially a pick ‘em. The second biggest favorite Friday features Tom Koehler, who has a 12:8 K:BB ratio over 22.0 innings. The Cubs are the biggest favorites, and despite the ugly ERA, Lester has a 24:5 K:BB ratio over 21.2 innings. Moreover, the Brewers have an MLB-low .488 OPS against LHP this year, which is 52 points lower than the next worst team. But to use Lester you’ll have to be ready to play the lineup guessing game, as the Cubs play in Friday’s lone early contest.
- Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade4 days ago
Here's my ten cents, worth less in Winnipeg.
The Big Name Fade
Stephen Strasburg, SP, at NYM (deGrom), $9200: At some point Strasburg is going to find his form and throw some monster strikeout game at somebody. But for the moment, he’s a little off his game, strikeouts down, walks up. The Mets put the ball in play, eighth in walk rate and fifth in strikeout avoidance. I’ll spend my blue chips elsewhere, ask Strasburg to give me a prove-it game first.
Players to Buy
Daniel Norris, SP, at CLE (House), $5800: It’s been an up-and-down go for Norris, though he was very sharp in his last turn, a tough-luck no-decision against Tampa (7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 7 K). The Indians offense isn’t doing much against southpaws: .213 average (that ranks 25th), .623 OPS (27th).