- Brandon Funston at Roto Arcade14 hrs ago
If you look at the Yahoo fantasy wide receiver rankings, you'll find three players (Cordarrelle Patterson, Percy Harvin and Michael Crabtree) bunched together, fighting for the final spots in our top 20. For different reasons (either injury or lack of playing time), all three players offered up incomplete '13 campaigns. As the '14 season approaches, each of these players looks poised to be full season, go-to options for their respective teams. And Yahoos Brad Evans, Dalton Del Don and myself have a difference of opinion when it comes to who we feel is going to best take advantage of their situation.
It's time to fire up the Spin machine and let the doctors debate the merits of this trio ...
[ Smack talk season is back at Yahoo Sports: Sign up and play free Fantasy Football!]
- Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade14 hrs ago
Marucs Stroman is owned in just 35 percent of Yahoo leagues? Come on, guys. You're better than that.
When Stroman first got the call to the YYZ, back in May, the club wanted to use him in the bullpen. A handful of blowups ensued, and Stroman returned to his dominating ways in the minors. Since the subsequent recall, Stroman has been ridiculous: 2.21 ERA, 8.1 K/9, 3.93 K/BB, even a snappy 5-2 record.
The only bad start in that run came in Anaheim, and we'll float him a pass for that - the Angels are the No. 2 offense in the majors, after all. The hiccup didn't bother Stroman much - he hasn't allowed a run over his last two turns, covering 14 innings (5 H, 2 BB, 12 K).
- Andy Behrens at Roto Arcade1 day ago
"I think our offense is broken right now," said John Mara, Giants co-owner, at the conclusion of his team's miserable 2013 campaign.
Soon after, longtime offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride stepped down. Within two weeks, he was replaced by former Green Bay assistant Ben McAdoo. Free agent receiver Hakeem Nicks left for Indianapolis, signing a low-dollar one-year deal following a remarkably poor final season in New York. Running back Andre Brown moved on, as did tight end Brandon Myers. The Giants are also rebuilding an offensive line that did nothing well a year ago — the new line is still a big question mark, but at least it's not the old line.
- Brad Evans at Roto Arcade1 day ago
Weeks ago while you were out sunbathing on the beach, smoking brisket in the backyard or improbably attempting to complete the drinking around the world tour at Epcot, Jimmy Graham was on the verge of changing history.
The Saints’ stud, who's humiliated defenses often in his four-year career, was engaged in a position designation battle for the ages. His claim: Due to his overwhelming usage out wide and in the slot, he was more wide receiver than tight end and deserved to be viewed, under a franchise tag, in a similar fashion as the Calvin Johnsons of the football world.
Graham certainly had a point.
[Smack talk season is back at Yahoo Sports: Sign up and play free Fantasy Football!]
- Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade1 day ago
It's not difficult to unscramble the 2014 Detroit Tigers. They're a good hitting club with a big-name rotation and a horrible bullpen (4.37 ERA). You love watching them hit. You flinch when they try to close out games.
Okay, they're working on that last part.
General Manager Dave Dombrowski knew he needed additions for the back end, so he made a splashy trade Wednesday evening. The Tigers shipped two promising young pitchers, Jake Thompson and Corey Knebel, to Texas. In return, Detroit acquired veteran reliever Joakim Soria. The deal becomes official when all three players pass their physicals.Sat, Jul 266:05 PM PDTDetroit at LA AngelsPreview Game
- Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade2 days ago
Here's the deal: you push Jacob deGrom's fantasy ownership past the 50 percent mark, then we can move on to a newer, fresher story. Got it? Good. Get out the ledger, it's time for another Tommy John success story (deGrom missed all of 2011 after having the procedure).
New York's 26-year-old righty has strong overall ratios (3.01 ERA, 1.29 WHIP), but he's been especially electric over the last month. Check deGrom's last six starts: 39.2 IP, 33 H, 7 R, 11 BB, 45 K. Delicious.
And it's not like deGrom is getting crazy luck over that span - the BABIP is a robust .333, and his seasonal FIP is right around his ERA. He's getting terrific results with his 93 mph heater, and he mixes it with a slider, curve and change. Fun to watch, fun to own. And yet, his ownership tag is barely over the 40 percent mark.
- Dalton Del Don at Roto Arcade3 days ago
It’s easy to forget now, but Jay Bruce was once THE No. 1 prospect in baseball, and while he’s certainly not been a bust, it’s safe to say he hasn’t exactly lived up to expectations. Still, he averaged 32 homers, 102 RBI, 87 runs scored and 8 steals over the past three seasons, so he’s certainly been a valuable fantasy asset. But this is someone with a career .802 OPS despite playing in a home park that’s increased home runs for left-handed batters by 23 percent over the past three seasons (only Coors Field and Yankee Stadium have been higher). Entering his age-27 season this year, Bruce currently sports a .221/.302/.393 line, which represents career lows in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. He has helped fantasy owners by already matching his career high with nine steals, but Bruce’s K% has risen in each of the past five seasons. He owns a career 0.91 GB/FB ratio yet has posted a 1.34 mark in 2014. As if his season wasn’t weird enough, six of Bruce’s 15 hits against lefties this season have gone for homers over just 75 at bats. He has four long balls over 215 ABs against righties. He has a .353 slugging percentage on the road, which would rank as No. 142 in baseball overall, behind the likes of sluggers such as Brian Roberts, Jordy Mercer and Gerardo Parra. Bruce has scored one run over his last 10 games, despite hitting cleanup. It’s probably safe to say he’s going to be much better from here on out, and assuming there’s no underlying injury here, I’d recommend buying low just blindly banking on track record, but there’s no doubt Bruce has been one of the bigger busts so far this season. He’s currently the No. 194 ranked fantasy player.
- Brad Evans at Roto Arcade3 days ago
By nature, fantasy owners are superstitious creatures of habit. Every league has that one guy/gal who believes some celestial force, if appeased properly, will grant their every fantasy wish. Each year at the draft, these are the people who must sit in a particular spot, sip on the same beverage and arrive draped in a well-worn, partially faded Jimmy Clausen Panthers jersey they, for some bizarre reason, are convinced cultivates good fortune.
Apparently, when the phrase “Luck of the Irish” was coined in the latter half of the 19th century it also applied to crappy ex-Notre Dame quarterbacks.
This group of gypsy-like mystics is also overwhelmingly stubborn. Old dogs and Greg Schiano are more apt to learn new tricks. When rule changes are discussed or scoring tweaks are proposed they remain married to tradition, emphatically voting ‘NO!’ on even the slightest enhancement. In their minds things are fine just the way they are. Why mess with it?
- Scott Pianowski at Roto Arcade3 days ago
I used to be disgusted with Stephen Drew (and the whole family, really). Now I try to be amused. We just want numbers, we don't care where they come from.
While Drew didn't go bananas in his first Boston season, a .253-57-13-67-6 line over 124 games is handy for a middle infielder. If your league required a middle-infield fill, Drew was probably owned in your league last year.
Alas, Drew's agent misread the free-agent market, and Drew sat on his couch while the phone didn't ring. No team wanted to sign Drew - especially with a compensatory pick attached - and the stalemate dragged into the season. Eventually the slumping Red Sox bailed out their reluctant infielder, offering a one-year, $10 million lifeline in May.
- Andy Behrens at Roto Arcade4 days ago
Life in the NFC West ain't easy, not with three of the NFL's top six defenses lurking. But the Rams' schedule in the year ahead isn't actually as nightmarish as you might expect, at least for fantasy purposes. This team's non-division opponents include a half-dozen squads that ranked in the bottom-third of the league defensively last season, including Dallas (dead-last) and Minnesota (next-to-last). Fantasy owners will also appreciate the fact that St. Louis doesn't travel to Seattle until Week 17, after most league titles are decided.
So if you're bullish on this franchise for 2014, it's understandable. The Rams fortified both the offensive and defensive lines with high-end talent in the draft, plus the team has depth at the skill spots. If quarterback Sam Bradford can simply play at the level at which he opened 2013, prior to his ACL injury, then St. Louis should contend for ... well, something. Probably not a division title. But something better than the usual sub-.500 season.