High Fives: King of fantasy

Brandon Funston
Yahoo! SportsMay 13, 2005
Yahoo! Sports' trio of fantasy experts will each offer up, on a regular basis, a look at their top five lists dealing with a variety of topics.

This week's topics: The consummate fantasy player, storied venues, poorly-run franchises, outrageous athletes and one-hit wonders.

Top 5 fantasy players across NBA, NHL, MLB and NFL
Brandon Says: Mike Says: Matt Says:
  1. Kevin Garnett, Min (NBA)

    Averaged 22 pts, 13.5 boards, 6 ast in an "off year"

  2. LeBron James, Cle (NBA)
  3. LaDainian Tomlinson, SD (NFL)

    Never misses a game, rushing numbers are top shelf and he adds 100-catch ability

  4. Albert Pujols, StL (MLB)
  5. Alex Rodriguez, NYY (MLB)

    Easily on pace for his seventh season with 40 HR, 100 RBI and 100 Runs

  1. LaDainian Tomlinson, SD (NFL)

    TD Machine who battled through injuries to find the house for owners in 2004. Priest has to return from injury and fend off LJ

  2. Albert Pujols, StL (MLB)

    Unstoppable hitting machine. First four years rank among all-time greats

  3. Kevin Garnett, Min (NBA)
  4. Peyton Manning, Ind (NFL)

    Sometimes I forget it's not CGI or a video game with the ease that the Colts put up points

  5. LeBron James, Cle (NBA)
  1. LeBron James, Cle (NBA)
  2. Johan Santana, Min (MLB)

    Hitters are prone to slumps, but not Santana – at least 5 IP and 5 Ks in 32 straight starts

  3. Kevin Garnett, Min (NBA)
  4. Peyton Manning, Ind (NFL)
  5. Martin Brodeur, NJ (NHL)

    Partially a product of system, but averages of 40 wins and 7.5 shutouts over last seven seasons are mind-boggling

Top 5 most storied U.S. venues across all sports
Brandon Says: Mike Says: Matt Says:
  1. Yankee Stadium

    Aesthetically, I'm not a fan. But the volume of legends and great games that were born here speaks for itself

  2. Madison Square Garden
  3. Rose Bowl

    You can't argue with the "Granddaddy of them all"

  4. Indianapolis Motor Speedway
  5. Fenway Park/Wrigley Field

    Cheated here, but it's not fair to claim one ahead of the other

  1. Lambeau Field

    "The Mystique" may have dropped somewhat in the past couple years, but late-season games here take on a mythical status

  2. Augusta National

    Who didn't watch multiple replays of Tiger's shot on 16 from the 2005 event?

  3. Madison Square Garden
  4. Fenway Park

    The Monster, the Curse and its recent exorcism and Bucky "Insert Middle Name Here" Dent

  5. Daytona International Speedway
  1. Madison Square Garden

    Willis Reed became Willis Reed here. Stephane Matteau and Muhammad Ali also left their mark

  2. Yankee Stadium
  3. Churchill Downs
  4. Los Angeles Coliseum

    Two Olympics, two Super Bowls, a World Series and a visit from the Pope. Not a bad history

  5. Augusta National
Top 5 worst run franchises of the past 25 years (NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL only)
Brandon Says: Mike Says: Matt Says:
  1. Los Angeles Clippers

    Hard to be succesful when winning isn't a priority for the owner

  2. Golden St. Warriors
  3. Arizona Cardinals

    One winning season in the past 20 years

  4. Atlanta Hawks
  5. Texas Rangers

    One playoff win since the team moved to Texas, and, of course, there was that A-Rod contract that baseball is still trying to recover from

  1. Los Angeles Clippers
  2. Chicago Blackhawks

    Bill Wirtz's refusal to allow broadcasts of home games limits fan base, not like it matters right now. This pick can be replaced by "Chicago (fill in team here)

  3. Atlanta Hawks
  4. Golden State Warriors

    Had a nice run in Run-TMC days, but the last decade or so is a disaster. Trade for Baron Davis has them poised to break out of the funk

  5. New Orleans Saints

    Why win? The Super Bowl comes to town every couple years anyway

  1. Chicago Blackhawks

    Ownership rapidly turning Chicago faithful into fans of the AHL Wolves

  2. Los Angeles Clippers
  3. Golden St. Warriors

    All started with drafting J.B. Carroll No. 1 in 1980. After Joe Barely Cares, Todd Fuller, Cliff Rozier, Victor Alexander, Tellis Frank and Chris Washburn followed as first-round busts

  4. Atlanta Hawks
  5. Pittsburgh Pirates
Top 5 most outrageous sports characters of the past 25 years
Brandon Says: Mike Says: Matt Says:
  1. Dennis Rodman

    15 rebounds a night will buy you a lot of leeway from management

  2. Rickey Henderson

    Genuinely lives in a world all his own

  3. Brian Bosworth

    Many a child of the 80s, at one time, rocked a "Boz" hair cut?

  4. Charles Barkley
  5. Turk Wendell
  1. Steve McMichael

    Rattlesnake wrangler, unfiltered commentator for Bears broadcasts, member of the Four Horsemen and oh yeah, a tremendous defensive lineman

  2. Dennis Rodman

    Any list of the eccentrics has to include the master. Honorable mention for Scot Pollard for wanting to follow in The Worm's footsteps

  3. Moises Alou

    Had a nice, quiet career going until the whole bit about hardening his hands in the corridor to the clubhouse. That elevates his status here, not to mention the tantrum he threw that served to escalate Bartman-gate

  4. Turk Wendell
  5. Charles Barkley
  1. Charles Barkley
  2. Rickey Henderson
  3. John Daly

    Winning major championships, on-course meltdowns, songwriting, knocking back wings at Hooters -- all in his wheelhouse

  4. Dennis Rodman

    Outrageous yes, but his act had a very calculated feel to it

  5. Kevin Mitchell

    Anyone who bare-hands fly balls and eats Vicks Vapo-Rub belongs on this list

Top 5 one-hit wonder players of the past 25 years(NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL only)
Brandon Says: Mike Says: Matt Says:
  1. Ickey Woods, Cin (NFL)
  2. Barry Foster, Pit (NFL)

    Led AFC with 1,690 rushing yards in '92. That would turn out to be 800-plus yards more than his next highest season total

  3. Kevin Maas, NYY (MLB)

    New York media was buzzing about this guy after 21 HRs in 79-game debut in '90. He hit 23 HRs in twice as many at-bats the next year and was out of the game shortly after that

  4. Pat Listach, Mil (MLB)
  5. Dalton Hilliard, NO (NFL)
  1. Timmy Smith, Was (NFL)

    Gained 204 yards with two scores in Super Bowl XXII for the Redskins. Appeared in only one more NFL game, carrying the ball six times for six yards

  2. Jerome Walton, ChC (MLB)
  3. Mike Anderson, Den (NFL)

    A product of the great Denver system, Anderson had his big year in 2000 (1,500 yards and 15 TDs). He then fell back into the committee

  4. Bob Hamelin, KC (MLB)
  5. Rashaan Salaam, Chi (NFL)

    Great rookie year (1,074 yard and 10 TDs) in 1995, then battled Ricky Williams' vice and ended up in the XFL

  1. Mark Fidrych, Det (MLB)

    Could make the characters list, too. Nineteen out of 29 career wins came as a rookie.

  2. Joe Charboneau, Cle (MLB)
  3. Ickey Woods, Cin (NFL)

    5.3 yards per carry with 15 TDs as a rookie. A mere 459 yards later he shuffled into retirement

  4. Brady Anderson, Bal (MLB)

    Career .256 hitter blasted 50 homers and hit near .300 in 1996

  5. Barry Word, KC (NFL)

Reader response to last week's High Fives
Brandon, huge props for referencing Xavier McDaniel's performance in "Singles." Such an underappreciated movie and an underappreciated movie line. Although my favorites are "That's a nice hat, and I mean that in a totally non-hostile way" and "I just happened to be nowhere near your neighborhood." … Great reference. – Luke, Chicago, IL

This week's High Fives – best athlete performance on screen – goes to the same guy with the best performance in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Jesus Shuttlesworth, baby! That Ray Allen kid, now He's got Game. – Jay, Ottawa, Ontario

I'm glad to see someone recognizes the genius of Phil Hartman. Personally, I would have ranked Bill McNeal a close second following any of Phil Hartman's characters on "The Simpsons." If I may use a sports term, "News Radio" was the most underrated program of its time and was never the same after his unfortunate passing. – Leland, Nashville, TN

For the sitcoms, props to the Seinfeld characters, but no mention of Joey Tribiani of "Friends?" No character of a sitcom goes solo unless they did something right. – Pat, Chicago, IL

Brad Penny, Odalis Perez and Derek Lowe comprise the best trio of starters anywhere except on your lists. You'll See … – Mike, Cullowhee, NC

What about Al Bundy or Bart or Homer Simpson for Top 5 sitcom characters of the past 25 years? – Mike

I can't believe that on a list of sports figures appearing in movies, none of you put Roger Clemens in "Kingpin." He actually has a couple of lines, and he's hilarious. – Kevin, Manchester, NH

I was looking at your rankings for the top 5 teams with the three best starting pitchers and I noticed not one of you guys chose my team, the Twins. Let's get serious, any staff with the reigning Cy Young winner should at least be a write in at No. 5. Not to mention, Johan Santana is followed by a ground-ball inducing Brad Radke, and … Carlos Silva … I mean they have won us back- to-back-to-back Central Division championships. – Mike, Minnesota

In your list of top 5 sitcom characters, I totally agree with Dan Fielding, Cliff Clavin and George Costanza … but how could none of you pick the most quoted character ever … AL BUNDY! Nobody ever made failure so funny. … Ed O'Neill cemented his place on that list and should not have been overlooked. After all, he scored 5 touchdowns! – Dennis, Bayside, NY

Top 5 actors on screen and you clowns couldn't pick Jim Brown from any number of his great appearances from the Dirty Dozen to whatever he's done more recently? Come on! – Akira, Durham, NC

How could the Minnesota Twins not grace a single top five starting rotations list? … Santana, Radke, and Silva all have ERAs in the 3's, K/BB ratios over 10 and share a combined record of 10-5! The numbers speak for themselves. The Twins' top three should be in the top five. – Pueblo, Eden Prairie, MN

I was somewhat not surprised to see all of you list Dontrelle Willis on the top 5 streaking players you expect to come back down to Earth soon. Thing is, it humored me to see that you all listed the Marlins Staff as a top trio in the league, so what is it? Is Dontrelle going to be a second-half dud again or is the Marlins staff tops? The way I see it, Dontrelle is off to a start that he won't be able to match, but his rookie year everyone attributed his hot start to his weird delivery, and then last year when he was a bust, everyone said it was because hitters got his timing down and that he altered his mechanics. What's the excuse this year? And don't forget, he was drafted by the Cubs, and you know how ex-Cubs always seem to blossom a few years post-Cubs. – Joshua, Fort Collins, CO

In regards to your (Funston) High Fives comment concerning Garland: "Fifth-best AL run support; facing Seattle, Oakland, and Detroit in 4 of 5 starts has helped."

Garland has been lights out and would've gotten the wins with even Grienke-like run support. The fact that Garland has been winning games 8-0 and 9-1 means that if his ERA does eventually start to climb, he has the fifth-best run support as a safety net. Saying that he gets good run support would help the argument for continued success more so than it would hurt it. And while Oakland's lineup isn't great, Seattle's is, and Detroit's is not too shabby. Giving up one run through 17 innings against Pudge, Guillen, Meathook, White, Inge, and Monroe is not an easy task. – Mike, Boston, MA

Even though "Happy Days" started in the 70s, it was still on TV in the early 80s, so you have to include "The Fonze" (Henry Winkler) as a top 5 sitcom character of the past 25 years.

Also, all three of you seem to be Cheers buffs. How can you not include either one of Kevin McHale's guest starring roles on Cheers … in the Top 5 athlete performances on-screen? Both, IMO, are very funny Cheers episodes with Kevin acting well for an athlete. – Steve, Elsmore, KY

I can't believe that none of you guys listed any Brian Bosworth movies like "Stone Cold" in your top 5 athlete performances. Did I just say that? In all seriousness, Lance Armstrong's scene in "Dodgeball" was pretty good. – Josh, Chicago, IL

What was Matt (Romig) thinking when he listed Dmitri Young among the Top 5 streaking players you expect to come back down to Earth soon? He has had some injury problems, but if you check the stats, he has never hit below .297 in a complete season and he is on pace for only his second best HR output. An average of .311 (at the time) hardly qualifies as streaking, especially with an improved lineup around him. It would seem he doesn't have far to fall. – Mike

Harmon's suggestion that Carl Everett will 'stay in orbit' …I think he might have missed the meaning. I thought you were talking about guys who will continue to be nice players, not guys who literally belong in orbit. – Mike, Springfield, MA

1. Homer Simpson – Far and away the greatest sitcom character ever, all other characters pale by comparison. "MMMmmm – bacon covered Donuts."
2. Al Bundy – A lovable slob who always failed.
3. George Jefferson – Walked the famous walk …
4. Alex P. Keaton – Still the best Republican out there.
5. Cliff Huxtable – The ideal father figure, stern AND hilarious. – Dillinger, South Winsdor, CT

In High Fives, for best sitcom character, you listed Kramer, but for athletes on-screen performance, you forgot Kramer's famous run-in with Paul O'Neil

Kramer: "Yeah, I promised him you'd hit him two homeruns, is that no good?"

O'Neil: "No, that no good, that's terrible! Homeruns are hard to hit!"

Kramer: "Yeah, well, it's really important …"

O'Neil: "How'd you get in here anyway?"

Or who could forget Costanza's batting tips to Jeter and Bernie Williams when Bernie uttered the famous line: "Are you the guy who put us up at that Ramada in Milwaukee?"

Those were some great scenes from a great show. – Chuck, Cromwell, CT

I just want to thank the two guys (Funston and Romig) who brought up Phil Hartman on "NewsRadio." "NewsRadio" might be the most underrated show of all time! – Nich, Eaton, OH

Let me guess, you're not going to give Clint Barmes his respect because he plays in Colorado? You know, I am getting sick of people using that excuse to not give Colorado players respect. Todd (Helton) lost out on Rookie of the Year because of that. Get over it, the ball only carries nine percent more here in Colorado. – Brandon, Denver, CO