As the focus shifts increasingly to football, we're going to need a new name for this beloved daily blog post. Suggestions are encouraged. The leader in the clubhouse is "Nine on Nine Drill." No, this feature will not go away. Stop pestering.
Perhaps you've already heard that Michael Vick(notes)
signed a deal with the Eagles. In a nutshell: You're crazy to roster him in public leagues; in a dynasty format, you're almost crazy not to roster him. There should be a bench spot for Vick in larger two-quarterback leagues, but don't expect more than a Wildcat/decoy role anytime soon. There's no telling how much he's lost, if anything, but you can believe he didn't magically improve while he was in the pokey. The Philadelphia Inquirer collected reactions to the signing on their Eagles blog, including an exclamation point-heavy tweet from Ocho. [Birds' Eye View
Finally, there's movement on the Stephen Strasburg
front. Various Nats executives flew to the Strasburg/Boras compound last week to visit with the top overall draft pick. Everyone expects him to sign at the 11th hour, for a few billion dollars. And if he doesn't? "If the Nationals do not sign Strasburg by the deadline, they would receive the No. 2 pick in the 2010 draft as compensation, in addition to their regular selection, which would be the No. 1 pick if the season ended today."
Washington currently leads the Bryce Harper sweepstakes, but the Royals and Bucs are still in the hunt. [Washington Times. Bonus coverage: MLB.com]
Jim Callis offers a useful guide to the needs and wants of the unsigned draft picks. Many first-rounders are seeking multimillion-dollar bonuses from teams that wouldn't top $5M/1Y for Bobby Abreu. This just in: MLB compensation is nutty. [Baseball America
Advanced NFL Stats takes a whack at fantasy player rankings, Marcel-style. This is definitely worth a read, and it should be enough, on its own, to exempt today's 9U from the usual "This articel is useless!!!" comments. (For the record, I wish to respectfully point out to the author that Yahoo! finished among the top-10 in player rankings at every position in '08). [Advanced NFL Stats
THT's Alex Pedicini concludes, to no one's great surprise, that Yankees prospect Austin Jackson isn't ready to make an impact in the majors. Just keep in mind that age relative to level is a big deal; you have to respect a .301/.362/.413 line from a 22-year-old at Triple-A. Jackson is 21-for-25 on stolen base attempts, too. [The Hardball Times
The Yahoo! Friends & Family draft took place on Thursday afternoon. We're going PPR this year, but I couldn't talk anyone into IDP. Cowards. If we would have just collected Chris Liss' chat, we could have assembled two columns and a draft kit. Some men are born to analyze, others have analysis thrust upon them. [Draft results: Rotosynthesis
Another nugget for draft lurkers: We're making slow but steady progress in the Bruno Boys experts league. The F&F draft taught me not wait on DeSean Jackson(notes).
If you want him (and you should), he's a fourth-rounder. [My Fantasy League
Marc Hulet has been reviewing top rookie hitters and pitchers by league in a multi-part series. There was obviously no denying Randy Wells a spot on that list, but, well … whoa. Still a little startling to see it. [FanGraphs
Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith
(shoulder) has somehow returned to practice, in full pads. Here's Darin Gantt: "When Smith went down Monday night on his right shoulder, he gave the impression he'd be out for months, if not years. He does this sometimes. Last year in the preseason against Washington, he went down like he was shot with an elephant gun, but was back later that half." Good stuff. All is well, Smith drafters. [The Herald
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