Fantasy Baseball Player Rankings – First Basemen

 

Fantasy Baseball Player Rankings

Updated 2/21/11

FIRST BASEMEN

 

Kyle Stafford – @KStafford32

Player Rankings by Position:

Catchers

First Base

Second Base

ShortStop

Third Base

Outfield… coming soon

Starting Pitchers… coming soon

Relief Pitchers… coming soon

Closers… coming soon

 

The rankings are based upon the following:

Random Variance Score- shows the results random variance had on a player’s 2011 season and the probability that a player will exceed or regress in 2012. Scoring is a -5 to +5 scale that measures several sabermetric categories that reflect if a player is prone to regression.

The Mayberry Method- a 0-5 scale of a fantasy players Power, Speed, Batting Average, and Playing Time.

Health & Age- Player is given a score A to F based on the combination of health history and age/regression.

Runs Above Replacement (RAR)- Estimated number of runs a player will generate above his replacement

On Base Plus Slugging Average (OPS)- Combines On Base percentage plus slugging percentage to show a players overall performance. Elite players will bat .900 or higher. Stars will bat .800 or higher. The average player will bat above .650. A bad score is anything under .650

 

1. Joey Votto, Cin

Age: 28   2011 Stats: .309-29-103

Rand Variance Mayberry Health / Age RAR OPS

0

5145

A+

27.6

.947

 

You can’t get a better example of an all around 1st baseman. He hits for power, average, and runs the bases well. He hits both RHP and LHP, and his walk rate shows pitchers fear him. In 2011 he showed a power surge in the second half, 18 HRs. We have yet to see the best from Votto.

 

2. Prince Fielder, Det

Age: 28   2011 Stats: .299-38-120

 

Rand Variance Mayberry Health / Age RAR OPS

0

5045

A

29.6

.976

With Prince signing with the Tigers, I am still dumbfounded on how he is a good fit for Detroit. I see how they needed a replacement for V-Mart, but I am still searching how a $214 mil makes them better than they were in 2011. Fielder will obviously play 1B/DH, so that adds a valuable DH to those AL Leagues out there. His ceiling in the past is .299-50-141. Changing leagues and moving to Comerica Park, I see a “down” year for Prince. The biggest drop will be in his power. He will have to hook a lot of balls to right. He also goes to a lineup with a lower OBP, and less speed. That equals less RBI oppurtunities and a higher walk rate. Count on .270-30-100, which is still a great season….just not $214 mil great.

 

3. Albert Pujols, LAA

Age: 32   2011 Stats: .299-37-99

Rand Variance Mayberry Health / Age RAR OPS

+2

4155

B+

9.3

.906

Pujols had his worst season .299-37-99, which would be a career year for majority of the league. The Angels lineup should provide equal if not more RBI opportunities for Pujols. Random Variance shows he is due a rebound, +2. Pitchers seemed to have found a way to pitch him by pounding him inside. It showed by him receiving the fewest intentional walks he has ever received in a season. With Pujols regressing, it is safe to say he will have great year in 2012, but he is 32….Allegedly.

 

4. Adrian Gonzalez, Bos

Age: 30   2011 Stats: .338-27-117

Rand Variance Mayberry Health / Age RAR OPS

-3

4445

A

23.5

.955

The overall numbers show that Gonzalez had a career year, OPS of .955 and BA of .338. Had a drop in power, which has to be due to the comeback of shoulder surgery. Fenway Park is built for him, I could see a healthy Gonzalez having a shot as the top fantasy 1B in 2012.

 

5. Mark Teixeira, NYY 

Age: 32   2011 Stats: .248-39-111

Rand Variance Mayberry Health / Age RAR OPS

+2

4135

A-

-4.1

.828

From what I hear from the “experts”, Teixeira is undervalued by fantasy owners. His falling batting average (.308 in 2008 to .248 in 2011) and declining OPS does not warrant him to be a top 5 First Baseman. He does have elite power, hits in an All-Star linup, and the metrics predict a bounce back year in 2012. At 32 he is a safe pick for now but I would not invest in a big way on him.

 

6. Eric Hosmer, KC

Age: 22   2011 Stats: .293-19-78

Rand Variance Mayberry Health / Age RAR OPS

0

3245

A+

-5.6

.830

You can’t get a better keeper pick than Hosmer. He is compared to Joey Votto often. He is doing more at 22 than Votto was doing at 25. I would overpay for this talent yesterday. His ceiling is .330-40-110.

 

7. Paul Konerko, CWS

Age: 36   2011 Stats: .300-31-105

Rand Variance Mayberry Health / Age RAR OPS

-1

4135

B-

11.7

.905

Konerko is still putting up elite metrics at 36. Age is always a concern, but he will be undervalued because of his age. Don’t be afraid to add him to your team. 2012: .290-30-100

 

8. Ryan Howard, Phi 

Age: 32   2011 Stats: .253-33-116

Rand Variance Mayberry Health / Age RAR OPS

0

5125

C+

1.9

.830

Howard’s torn ACL and declining numbers in 2011 suggest we have seen the best already. Now as age settles in, be ready for the fall. I strongly believe this will be his last season in Philly. His elite power will be the only true asset to invest in. Keep track on his rehab, hopefully he is ready for Opening Day.

 

9. Freddie Freeman, Atl

Age: 22  2011 Stats: .282-21-76

Rand Variance Mayberry Health / Age RAR OPS

-2

3125

A+

-10.6

.282

Freeman is a young player on the rise. I wouldn’t expect All-Star stats, but is a strong keeper and displayed great power in his first full year. His contact rate was low in 2011 which could suggest low expectations. At 22 and on a strong Atlanta team, the risk is worth taking. 2012: .260-25-80

 

10. Lance Berkman, Stl

Age: 36   2011 Stats: .301-31-94

Rand Variance Mayberry Health / Age RAR OPS

-1

4135

B-

33.7

.959

Berkman showed what he can produce when healthy. All of the metrics show the numbers are solid and that if he can stay healthy you should expect a repeat. I would not expect 500 AB and he lost the protection of Pujols in the lineup. The move to Firstbase should limit the chance of injury.

 

 

If you would like to explore more in-depth about Advanced Metrics, here are some amazing resources/people that have made a priceless impact on the way I evaluate players and it has shown in the success I have each year. I do not get any kick backs from this list, just like to promote great materials/information when I see it.

http://www.baseballhq.com  – Ron Shandler is amazing, buy Baseball Forecaster… it’s my “Fantasy Bible”

http://baseballguys.com/ – Ray Flowers gives simple, but great wisdom on the world of Fantasy Sports. Follow him on twitter @Baseballguys

http://www.billjamesonline.com/ - Bill James is the Godfather of SABR, If you are new to the game here is where you start to learn advanced metrics

 

Questions? Comments? Follow me on Twitter @KStafford32

 

 

Fantasy Baseball Player Rankings – Catchers

 

Fantasy Baseball Player Rankings

Updated 1/24/11

 

 

CATCHERS

 

Kyle Stafford – @KStafford32

Player Rankings by Position:

Catchers

First Base

Second Base

ShortStop

Third Base

Outfield… coming soon

Starting Pitchers… coming soon

Relief Pitchers… coming soon

Closers… coming soon

The rankings are based upon the following:

 

Random Variance Score- shows the results random variance had on a player’s 2011 season and the probability that a player will exceed or regress in 2012. Scoring is a -5 to +5 scale that measures several sabermetric categories that reflect if a player is prone to regression.

 

The Mayberry Method- a 0-5 scale of a fantasy players Power, Speed, Batting Average, and Playing Time.

 

Health & Age- Player is given a score A to F based on the combination of health history and age/regression.

 

Runs Above Replacement (RAR)- Estimated number of runs a player will generate above his replacement

 

On Base Plus Slugging Average (OPS)- Combines On Base percentage plus slugging percentage to show a players overall performance. Elite players will bat .900 or higher. Stars will bat .800 or higher. The average player will bat above .650. A bad score is anything under .650

 

 

1. Mike Napoli, Tex

Age: 30   2011 Stats: .320-30-75

 

Rand Variance Mayberry Health / Age RAR OPS

-2

5145

B-

44.1

1.044

 

Napoli was the MVP of the second half, hitting .378-20-50. Obviously, hitting in Arlington and in that All-Star lineup has helped. He is still in the same position coming into 2012 to continue his breakout. My only concern is his health. Playing in the Texas heat has proven to be a factor for players. With him reaching the 30 year old mark, you would hope Washington puts him at DH in Late July and into August.

 

2. Brian McCann, Atl

Age: 28   2011 Stats: .270-24-71

 

Rand Variance Mayberry Health / Age RAR OPS

0

4125

B

16.1

.816

 

One of the more consistent catchers in the game over the past 5 seasons. I would take note in the oblique injury that he suffered in 2011. There are reports of possible effects that could resurface in 2011. You should expect the usual 70+ RBI, 20+ HR.

 

3. Carlos Santana, Cle

Age: 26   2011 Stats: .239-27-79

 

Rand Variance Mayberry Health / Age RAR OPS

+1

4125

A-

26.4

.809

 

2012 should be a big year for Santana. He has 35-40 Homerun, 110+ RBI potential. He is an asset that I would try to keep and hold onto if you are building the core of your team.

 

 

4. Miguel Montero, Ari

Age: 28   2011 Stats: .282-18-86

 

Rand Variance Mayberry Health / Age RAR OPS

0

4135

C+

16.3

.813

 

One of the most underrated players in fantasy baseball, Montero quietly put up 18 Homeruns, 86 RBIs, while batting .282. He is in his prime and on a very good Arizona team that is on the rise. I could see his batting average drop some, but his power potential is 30 HR.

 

 

5. Matt Wieters, Bal

Age: 26   2011 Stats: .262-22-68

 

Rand Variance Mayberry Health / Age RAR OPS

+1

4135

A+

12

.777

 

I admit, I almost gave up on Wieters. So I kept him last year and gave him one last shot and he made it well worth the wait. Displaying that power that we all heard about, he his has 30-35 HR potential with a chance to drive in 100 RBIs.

 

 

6. Alex Avila, Det

Age: 25   2011 Stats: .295-19-82

 

Rand Variance Mayberry Health / Age RAR OPS

-4

4125

A

37.8

.898

 

Continuing the trend of power surging catchers, we welcome in Mr. Avila and his 2011 breakout season. 10 HR in the first half and 9 in second shows the power is legit. The metrics show that his batting average will not hold up, but at his age I see a lot of growth still ahead.

 

 

7. Buster Posey, SF

Age: 25   2011 Stats: .284-4-21

 

Rand Variance Mayberry Health / Age RAR OPS

-2

2225

D-

1.7

.744

 

Coming off such an ugly injury, it is hard to really predict what Posey will do in 2012. The injury will hurt his power, until he regains full strength in his lower body. I think it is conservative to say his projections for 2012 will be .255-10-60. In deep keeper leagues it is still worth paying for the “Star Pedigree”, just be patient.

 

8. Yadier Molina, Stl

Age: 29   2011 Stats: .305-14-65

 

Rand Variance Mayberry Health / Age RAR OPS

-1

2145

B+

14.5

.816

 

You can bet on an average hovering around .300 for Molina. What we saw last year was a surge in his power numbers. Even as a cardinal fan, I don’t put Molina in that “Elite” category. He is Elite behind the plate, but at the plate he is All-star worthy but not Elite.

 

9. Joe Mauer, Min

Age: 29   2011 Stats: .287-3-30

 

Rand Variance Mayberry Health / Age RAR OPS

+1

1145

F

3.9

725

 

Catchers are like running backs in football, and guys like Joe Mauer and Buster Posey prove my point. To be honest, I thought about leaving Mauer out of my top 10. He made it on pure potential alone, because he has shown me nothing. What he has shown is an aging player, that is overworked and can’t stay on the field to justify that mega contract the Twinkies threw at him a few years back. Here is a tip when it comes to evaluating catchers: When a catcher begins to have lingering back or leg/knee problems, run as far away from them as possible. I was jumping off the Mauer bandwagon after the 09 season when his injury problems started. I would only take a shot at Mauer LATE in the draft. Consider it a favor to your team when the rest of the league drafts him with a top round pick.

 

 

10. Kurt Suzuki, Oak

Age: 28  2011 Stats: .237-14-44

 

Rand Variance Mayberry Health / Age RAR OPS

+1

2125

A

-3.7

.680

 

I have been waiting for Suzuki to have that breakout season since 2007. It has to happen this year. The potential shows 20+ HR power. His batting average has fallen almost 40 points the past 3 seasons. At 28, he is in the prime years, lets hope he makes the best of it.

 

 

If you would like to explore more in-depth about Advanced Metrics, here are some amazing resources/people that have made a priceless impact on the way I evaluate players and it has shown in the success I have each year. I do not get any kick backs from this list, just like to promote great materials/information when I see it.

 

http://www.baseballhq.com  – Ron Shandler is amazing, buy Baseball Forecaster… it’s my “Fantasy Bible”

 

http://baseballguys.com/ – Ray Flowers gives simple, but great wisdom on the world of Fantasy Sports. Follow him on twitter @Baseballguys

 

http://www.billjamesonline.com/ - Bill James is the Godfather of SABR, If you are new to the game here is where you start to learn advanced metrics

 

 

Questions? Comments? Follow me on Twitter @KStafford32

Fantasy Baseball 2012

 

The Know-It-All’s Fantasy Prep

 

 

Fantasy Baseball 2012

Kyle Stafford – @Kstafford32

After a long hiatus due to family and job changes, I am back. So lets get to work. Your 2012 Fantasy Baseball season is approaching fast. Most leagues will draft in March and there are many formats to play on. I enjoy the traditional 5×5 Roto League. There are many spinoffs to the traditional Roto-Style, but they all have the same base. If you are in a Keeper League, you are examining your roster and the possible draft pool. I feel for the Ryan Braun and Victor Martinez owners out there. Between now and opening day, there will be a variety of subject matters that I will break down. Everything from the Minor Leagues, International Talent, Draft Formulas, Picking a League, and everything in between will be covered. If there is anything that you the reader would like to discuss or if you have a questions/comments, feel free to contact me via twitter @KStafford32 or comment below.

For Starters here are some quick points on offseason moves/news that I find noteworthy:

- Coming to America, the Yu Darvish arrival

I have been waiting for this guy since it was rumored he was coming to the states in 2009. I wouldn’t overdraft on him like I did on Tsuyoshi Nishioka last year. (Yes I admit my mistakes)

 - Ryan Braun shooting up???

Being a “Baseball Traditionalist”, I love guys like Ryan Braun, or so I thought. None of this is good for the game. Players must continue to be held accountable for their actions. I am for even greater penalties, but that is for another article.

 

- Victor Martinez out for the season

His torn ACL takes away a guy that qualifies at so many valuable positions for deep leagues. Martinez also provided valuable protection in that lineup for Miguel Cabrera. Going to be a long summer for Detroit Fan.

- No Love for Prince

Am I the only one completely shocked that here we are in the middle of January and Prince Fielder is still a Free Agent? If the Nationals do sign him, as I predict, the NL East will be the most compelling division in baseball.

 - The Padres loading up

Yonder Alonso, Carlos Quentin, Edinson Volquez, Houston Street, Andrew Cashner all added via trade this offseason. It has to be exciting being a Padres fan for 2012 and beyond.

 

Questions? Comments? Follow Me on Twitter @KStafford32

 

 

 

2012 Fantasy Baseball Offseason Update – Minor League Edition

 

2012 Fantasy Baseball Offseason Update – Minor League Edition

Kyle S. Stafford – @KStafford32

  

The 2011 Fantasy Baseball Season may be over, but it is never too late to start game planning and getting your draft prep ready for 2012. If you are in a league with 12+ Teams, 30+ man rosters, and a rule book that is 5 pages long then you and I have something special in common. Fantasy Baseball is my passion. Your best friend’s girlfriend cannot be handed a Top 300 sheet and win a league like in Football. The complexes and formulas that it takes from the first pick of the draft to the 162nd game makes the competition level at an all-time high. You can also have the simulated experience of a real general manager by building a team through your own philosophy.  

For those of us in deep keeper leagues it is critical to keep a close eye on the minor leagues. Digging for prospects is like playing the jackpot, but the chances are much higher to win if you know what to look for.  Organizational Depth is very important in my evaluation process. If a prospect is being blocked by a player in the majors it doesn’t matter how good that player performs in the minors. A look a recent history shows players like Ryan Howard of the Phillies who was blocked by Jim Thome for several years, or more recently Jesus Montero of the Yankees who has been blocked by Jorge Posada.

In no particular order here are several prospects I am keeping an eye on for 2012:

 

Top Pitching Prospect Jarrod Parker

Jarrod Parker RHP, ARI

Parker is a once top prospect in the D-Backs system. He has recovered from Tommy Surgery and reports are showing that he looks strong. Has a great slider and an above average fastball to complement it. Has a great chance to complete for a starting spot in spring training. Arizona has a bright future with young pitchers like Trevor Bauer, Tyler Skaggs, and Parker.

 

Wilin Rosario C, COL

Rosario’s name is already surfacing as the starting catcher for the Rockies in 2012. He is projected to have great power in Coors Field. He seems to handle a pitching staff well for only being 22, and should work well with the young pitching staff Colorado will have in 2012. The only concern I have is that he does not hit for average.  I like my catchers to be consistent.

 

Kole Calhoun OF, LAA

Calhoun hit .324 with 22 homeruns, driving in 99 RBI’s. He also swiped 20 bags. The Angels have several aging outfielders that could eventually open a spot for Calhoun.  He is a poor mans Mike Trout, but if the success continues I could see a mid season call up in 2012.

 

Juan Oramas LHP, SD

The Padres purchased Oramas from Mexico after the 2009 season. Since then his development has shown great progress. The 21 year old went 10-5 with 102 Strikeouts in 104 innings in Double A – San Antonio. With the Matt Latos trade talks heating up I could see a future spot opening up for this lefty.

Matt Carpenter 3B, STL

Carpenter hit .309 and showed great ability to pull the ball to the opposite field in the minors. Similar comparisons of Brandon Belt have been leveled against Carpenter. I don’t think he has the big power potential, but he can drive the ball. I project him as a corner outfielder for the Cardinals, but you never know what spots might open up if Pujols doesn’t resign.

 

Cardinals Third Base Prospect Matt Carpenter

 

Questions?   Comments?   Follow me on Twitter @KStafford32

 

Week 5 Fantasy Football Update

The Know-It-All’s Fantasy Prep

 

Week 5 Weekend Player Updates

 

Kyle Stafford – @Kstafford32

As Week 5 approaches, I feel the need to mix it up a little. I am going to lay out the top 5 free agents for each position. Here we go:

Quarterback:

Matt Hasselbeck, TEN:  As I predicted, another great week 3 TDs 200+ yards. Faces a Pittsburgh Defense that has had a lot of holes this season.

Broncos will pick between Brady Quinn and Tim Tebow soon

Mark Sanchez, NYJ:  Did not look good against Baltimore, but who does? Faces New England and Miami Secondaries the next two weeks. Should bounce back.

Kevin Kolb, ARI:  Is going up against a Vikings Defense that let Matt Cassel beat them deap many times last week.

Donovan McNabb, MIN:  This is one of the few times you will see something positive written about him from me. I favor his matchup this week. The Cardinals secondary is young and careless.

Tim Tebow, DEN:  Ya, I went there. If Orton can’t get the job done this week you could see a change at the QB postion. Now before you bash his throwing mechanics look at what he did in 2010 (2010 Game Stats). In the final 2 games he had a rushing TD in each game, threw for 300 in one game and rushed for 94 in the other. He is atleast Tyler Thigpen 2.0.

Running Backs:

Ryan Torian, WAS:  You never know who Shanahan will hand the ball off to, but you can almost count that they will be productive.

Dexter McCluster, KC:  Looks to be getting the bulk of the carries. We will see how long he holds up. Has a favorable matchup against Indy.

Former LSU Star Stevan Ridley is showing up strong in New England

Isaac Redman, PIT: With Mendenhall and Moore injuryed, Redman should see the bulk of the carries in Pitt for Week 5.

Stevan Ridley, NE:  Has came out of nowhere and is giving Ben J-G-E a run for his carries. BUT  New England has never been consistant with their running backs over the years.

Montario Hardesty, CLE:  Has not forfilled his full potential, but did a decent job in Hillis’s absence

Wide Receivers & Tight Ends:

Jacoby Jones WR, HOU:  With Andre Johnson out, you can expect his targets to go up

Preston Parker is emerging as a threat in Tampa

Jared Cook TE, TEN:  With Kenny Brit gone, Cook is now Hasselbecks favorite target. Look for his fantasy numbers to spike.

Antonio Brown WR, PIT:  Pittsburgh’s run game has been ineffective. Look for Brown’s role to grow as they expand the passing game.

Jermaine Gresham TE, CIN:  As Andy Daulton develops, he will rely more on his pass catching TE.

Preston Parker WR, TB:  Nobody is paying attention to this kid in Yahoo/ESPN leagues. He is owned by less than 6%. He is getting the targets and as Freeman becomes more comfortable in this offense look for his production to rise. Tampa is built to be a passing team if Freeman can take hold of it.

***I do get responses/questions about my articles from the readers of Can of Corn and I thank you for them. For my week 6 article, I would like to answer questions from readers on any general fantasy questions. You can ask questions below in the comment box or tweet me on twitter @KStafford32

 

Questions? Comments? Follow Me on Twitter @KStafford32

The Know-It-All’s Fantasy Prep

The Know-It-All’s Fantasy Prep

 

Week 4 Weekend Player Updates

 

Kyle Stafford – @Kstafford32

You are either one of two people at the moment. You are sitting high and mighty at 3-0/2-1 or you are in a state of panic and disbelief at 0-3/1-2. I have been in both situations in the past. It can be easy for the team at the top to get complacent about their place in the standings and not work their team hard enough. You can also reach a level of discouragement being the guy at the bottom and want to just stop working your team.  The Fantasy Season is about 25% of the way thru. Don’t give up and don’t get complacent. There is a hard lesson I am learning in my Fantasy Baseball League at the moment, It’s not how you start, It’s how you finish……..

Digging for Gold:

Ending Week 3, injuries continue to be the trend. There are still players in the Free Agent Pool that can help, but in some cases you can’t fix a stab wound with a band aid…example Jamaal Charles owners.

Quarterback:

Matt Hasselbeck, TEN- Hasselbeck has put up very consistent fantasy numbers this season. He is averaging 300 yards a game and has two games of 20 or more fantasy points scored. You could see a drop in production with the news of Kenny Britt tearing his ACL and landing on the IR. Hasselbeck faces Cleveland, Indy, and Cincy over the next 5 games.

The Jets are turning into a passing team with Sanchez under center

Mark Sanchez, NYJ-  Sanchez is quietly having a solid start to the fantasy year. He has passed for over 330 yards twice, has thrown for 2 touchdowns in every game, and has a QB rating of 90.0 for the year. The only big negative for Sanchez is Interceptions. If he can cut down on the turnovers I can see him as a valuable start if the matchup is favorable.

Running Back:

Steve Slaton, MIA- It is still a mystery what happened to this former fantasy 1st round talent. Now that he was claimed by the Dolphins, he is worth a look. Slaton seems to have overcome his injury problems, but was the low man in a crowded Houston backfield. With Reggie Bush as an hourly injury concern, Slaton could pick up some valuable carries and targets behind rookie Daniel Thomas. Remember he once rushed for 1,282 yards, 9 Touchdowns with only 268 attempts. He also caught 50 balls that year.

Roy Helu could overtake the starting spot in Washington

Roy Helu, WAS- In a Mike Shanahan backfield, you never know who will emerge. Helu seems to be splitting carries with Tim Hightower, but it is a matter of how many touches he gets. He is a nice handcuff for Hightower owners, and could emerge as the #1 option.

 Wide Receivers:

David Nelson, BUF-  It’s time to drink the Kool Aid in Buffalo. Nelson has been a consistent target. If Buffalo could find him in the endzone more then he would be a top fantasy sleeper pick. He has had back to back 80+ yard performances, scoring 24 fantasy points in week 2.

With Kenny Britt on Injured Reserve, Nate Washington will be the #1 Wideout

Nate Washington, TEN- With Kenny Brit out for the year, Washington takes over the #1 Wideout spot. Titans have proven that they are not afraid to throw the ball, so Washington should receive an above average amount of targets. He has favorable matchups 3 of the next 5 games, and blasted Denver for 8 receptions, 92 yards, and a touchdown.

Antonio Brown, PIT- Last week I had Brown on my list for players that were on the decline. In Week 3 I noticed a trend. If you look at Brown’s targets, they have increased every week. He has 22 totals targets this year, more than Hines Ward at 18. He has also clearly out-performed Emmanuel Sanders the past 2 weeks. I am not a fan of Pittsburgh Wideouts, but Brown is worth keeping an eye on.

Tight Ends:

Todd Heap, ARI-  He has passed Jeff King as Kevin Kolb’s favorite Tightend. The Cardinals offense looked horrible Sunday, but Heap was able to grab 6 balls for 61 yards. He is not going to put up huge numbers. If you are looking for some low consistency to get you by, Heap is worth the look.

Brandon Pettigrew, DET- Finally broke out for 11 receptions and 112 receiving yards. As Stafford continues to grow this year, I see this connection becoming stronger.

 

The Ups & Downs:

Three weeks of football has displayed to us some valuable trends that show us a lot about how players are developing.

Players on the Rise:

Matt Schaub QB, HOU: After a disappointing week 1, Schaub has improved the last two weeks. He posted 373 yards and 3 touchdowns against the Saints on Sunday. As long as Andre Johnson is running routes for the Texans, Schaub will always have the chance to score big.

 

Manning carved up the Eagles for 4 touchdowns Sunday

Eli Manning QB, NYG: Against a stacked Eagle Secondary, Manning threw for 250+ yards and 4 TD’s. He was mediocre the previous 2 weeks, but he is starting to move on without Steve Smith.

 

Ryan Mathews RB, SD: Mike Tolbert is not stealing Mathews spotlight as of late. The second year back is finding his was into the endzone and racking up plenty of yards in the process. Mathews has all the tools to do his best LT impersonation in San Diego, but has Norv Turner finally put his trust in him?

 

Wes Welker WR, NE: Count them up… 20 targets in one game! Wow… some #1 Wideouts have that many for the season so far. The Welker-Brady connection continues to thrive in New England and the sure handed Welker is putting up “off the chart” numbers. 16 catches/216 yards/2 touchdowns on Sunday. He is by far the top Receiver option in Fake Football at the moment.

 

Players on the Down:

 

Santonio Holmes WR, NYJ: He has been decent at best. Bothered by a sore quad in week 2, and too many forced balls his way have given Holmes a slow start to the season. He has the talent to bounce back, but currently Plaxico Burress is showing him up.

 

Santonio Holmes has not lived up to his potential this year

Steven Jackson RB, STL: The Rams have overloaded Jackson with carries since he was drafted and it is catching up to him. When he is 100%, he is easily one of the Elite Backs in the game, but with a lingering quad injury and a poor team around him, there is not much hope for this star.

 

DeAngelo Williams RB, CAR: Carolina was thought to be a run centered team in preseason. The emergence of Cam Newton has changed that. With less carries and Jonathan Stewart being the favored back, Williams should be stored away on your bench until fate turns in his favor.

 

Reggie Bush RB, MIA: With no Drew Bress throwing him the ball and no Sean Payton drawing up plays for him, Bush has looked below average at best in Miami. Rookie Daniel Thomas has taken over the #1 spot, and newly acquired Steve Slaton could also steal the show from Bush. High Powered Passing attacks is what appeals to his skill set and Miami just doesn’t have it.

Sam Bradford QB, STL: The trend of Spread Offense Quarterbacks coming out of the college is normally not good. Bradford seems to be following that trend this season. Granted, his team around him has not improved, but his costly mistakes are what have made him a Non-Fantasy Option.

 

Buy or Sell:

You should always be looking to buy low off another team’s rosters and sell high on your roster. Just don’t get trade happy. The goal is to upgrade your current position.

 

Buy Low:

Josh Freeman QB, TB-                        Freeman has a favorable schedule, and has shown improvement

Jimmy Graham TE, NO-          Is becoming the option Shockey never could fill

Phillip Rivers QB, SD-              Stock is down a little, a chance to buy low. He will produce

Reshard Mendenhall RB, PIT- Has had a slow start, but will come around

 

 

 

Sell High:

Darren Sproles RB, NO-          Top 7 RB, value will never be higher

Is Mike Vick worth the injury risk for your team?

Steve Smith WR, CAR-              Rookie QB, and tough schedule ahead

Antonio Gates TE, SD-             2nd season of foot problems, cannot stay on the field

Robert Meachem WR, NO-    Colston is on his way back, sell him before his targets disappear    

Mike Vick QB, PHI-                 When he is good, he is elite… BUT can’t stay healthy. See if you can get good value in return

 

 THE GOLDEN RULE:

Fantasy Sports is all about Perseverance. When you are down you have to work 10x harder than the rest of the league to get to the top…..and when you are at the top you have to work 20x harder or someone might catch you by surprise.

Questions? Comments? Follow Me on Twitter @KStafford32

The Know-It-All’s Fantasy Prep: Week 2 Edition

The Know-It-All’s Fantasy Prep

 

Week 2 Weekend Player Updates

Kyle Stafford – @Kstafford32

Injuries continue to be the theme this season. We saw plenty of season ending injuries, to the nagging injuries continue this week. Could it be poor conditioning due to the lockout? It is important to keep an eye on injury reports. Brandon Lloyd was a surprise late scratch. Arian Foster started but was pulled in the second half because of his hamstring. Injured players can also contribute. Santonio Holmes and his bum ankle started and scored, Miles Austin and his bad hammy put up 41 fantasy points, and Tony Romo brought the Boys back with fractured ribs.

Digging for Gold:

As we wrap Week 2, we are starting to see trends begin with players. Cam Newton and Ryan Fitzpatrick stayed on the list for the second straight week. There is plenty of gold still left in your Free Agent Pool. Injuries by star players are giving backups the reps to shine.

Quarterback:

Ryan Fitzpatrick, BUF- If Fitzpatrick is still in your FA Pool, now is the time to pick him out. Fitzpatrick is completing over 60% of his passes and spreading the ball around nicely. His biggest asset is the guy calling the plays, head coach Chan Gailey. The Bills offense has racked up two 38+ point performances back to back, which means more opportunity for Fitzpatrick to shine. He has 7 TDs to 1 Int for the season.

Cam Newton is putting the doubters to rest...for now

Cam Newton, CAR- Wow…. If you saw this coming, shut up and sit down because you are a liar. Newton is still breaking records in only his second week as a pro. He looked very comfortable in the first half but got too comfortable in the second half. Still I am sitting here trying to dig for the negatives about this kid and trying not to buy the hype. The fact that he is a rookie and that Carolina has the NFL’s toughest schedule are the only big negatives I can come up with. Here are the positives that make it worth taking a chance on him. Newton is completing over 60 percent of his passes. Newton is a threat to run, 2 rushing TD’s this season and over 50 yards rushing in week 2. Carolina is clearly letting him air it out, 46 attempts in week two and back to back 400 yard passing games. Worth the waiver claim.

Running Back:

Thomas Jones, KC- Jamaal Charles is done for the year with a torn ACL and in steps the veteran. The 33 year old running back’s better days are way behind him, but he is the first in line to handle the running game for the Chiefs. The Chiefs do not have another clear choice to go to so Jones job looks safe. I would not expect huge results from Jones, but he is worth the bench spot on your team, until a better option emerges.

Former K-State star Daniel Thomas is emerging as the #1 back in Miami

Daniel Thomas, MIA- Was the only bright spot for Miami on Sunday. Rushed for over 100 yards in his debut with a 5.9 yards per carry. Has had some minor injury concerns, but Thomas complements Reggie Bush as the between the tackles back. If Bush goes down this year… ok not if but WHEN Reggie Bush goes down you will see Thomas have a chance at more targets in the passing game. If he is not on your bench then this is the week to pick him up. Could develop into a nice flex option.

 

Wide Receivers:

Eric Decker, DEN-  Trying to do his best Ed McCaffrey impression wearing #87, Decker filled in for the injured Brandon Lloyd and made the best of the 9 targets thrown in way. 100+ yards receiving and 2 Touchdowns helped the Broncos to victory. He is competing with the underperforming Eddie Royal for a starting spot. Lots of injuries have given Decker this opportunity. Kyle Orton is known to favor one receiver and load them down with targets. So when Lloyd returns you will see a decline in Decker’s numbers.

The Crypt Keeper aka Al Davis still controls the Oakland Offense

Denarius Moore, OAK- The rookie posted 146 yards and a touchdown Sunday. With Ford and Murphy injured this is another speedster that Al Davis has picked to “Go Long”. Oakland hasn’t been able to produce a consistent wideout since Tim Brown, but as long as Al Davis is “calling the plays”, you expect the Raiders to look for the deep threat.

Preston Parker, TB- With Mike Williams producing negative yardage, Josh Freeman found comfort in Parker. Eights targets produced 98 yards for the second year player. With Josh Freeman trying to find a rhythm, Parker could shine in the slot as Williams demands the double team this year.

Tight Ends:

Scott Chandler, BUF-  Chandler found the endzone again. Only 2 catches, but 3 redzone targets. Fitzpatrick seems to be building a nice relationship with his tightend.

Dustin Keller, NYJ- Six targets, Six catches. 101 receiving yard and a Touchdown was a big day for Keller. Mark Sanchez has always looked his way, I still don’t understand why people refuse to draft this consistent TightEnd. As Sanchez grows, Keller will get more chances to shine.

 

The Ups & Downs:

With the amount of injuries in week 2, several players have stood out.

 

Players on the Rise:

Matt Ryan QB, ATL: Ryan came to play against the tough Eagles Defense. He got banged around all game, but was still able to get the ball in the endzone and find open receivers. The Falcons high powered offense in finally taking off.  Hopefully this is the year Ryan takes his game to the next level.

 

Can Matt Stafford stay healthy for 16 games?

Matt Stafford QB, DET: Another great performance by Stafford with a 30+ fantasy point production. Stafford has been predicted by some to top 30 touchdowns this season, that’s if he can stay on the field.

 

Matt Forte RB, CHI: Forte has put up huge total yardage numbers again. He just hasn’t been find the endzone enough. Looks like a poor mans Marshall Faulk.

 

Javid Best RB, DET: If Javid Best is on your bench, move him up now. This second year back is a threat on the ground and in the passing game. If Stafford and him stay healthy, this connection has very high potential. Best had 110+ total yards and had the ball 25 times. Health and the curse that he is a Lion are his only downfalls.  

 

Players on the Down:

 

Knowshon Moreno RB, DEN: Being in a pass heavy offense the past 2 seasons has not helped Moreno’s cause. Now with more injury problems in 2011, Moreno’s chances of living up to the fantasy hype are running away from him. If you currently own him, try to sell as high as you can. If you have room on your bench you can store him there and hope for better health and a bigger role in the Broncos offense.

 

Arian Foster RB, HOU: One of many running backs battling to get on the field, Foster has yet to win the battle. I urged everyone to stay clear of him in the draft, and I will continue that theme throughout the season until he can prove he can play 100% and stay 100%. Ben Tate is also stealing Foster’s thunder. The Texans would be smart and shut him down for a few weeks, and get him back 100%. You would also be smart staying away from this 2010 Fantasy Stud for the obvious reasons.

 

Kerry Collins has to be missing retirement

ALL INDY WIDEOUTS: With Kerry Collins wishing he would have stayed retired, and Curtis “I Should Have Been A” Painter as the next best option, all hope looks about as broken as Peyton Manning’s neck. Reggie Wayne has been decent with 33 pts so far, but he can hardly receive targets because Collins can’t get the ball out of his hands fast enough with that swiss cheese O-Line in front of him. If you look back at a previous article ( Player Evaluations), I explain how it is important to draft and acquire players from successful teams. The Colts, Chiefs, and Seahawks are reinforcing my point.

 

Antonio Brown WR, PIT: Before this season this kid was on my sleeper picks, and then he was on everyone’s sleeper list before long. The only thing that scared me was the Steelers anti-pass offense. That and the emergence of Emmanuel Sanders has limited Brown’s targets. Many wideouts have left Pittsburgh complaining about this issue and it is something to consider when drafting #2 and #3 wideouts on the Steelers.

Donovan McNabb QB, MIN: I do not blame Sunday’s loss on McNabb, it was the head coach that lost them the game. BUT! McNabb came into this season with a lot to prove to all the doubters in the Redskins and Eagles organizations, and he has yet to show us anything. After a disaster performance against the Chargers, he rebounded with 60% completion rate and did throw more than 39 yards. No Touchdowns, or game changing performances on Sunday makes one to wonder when Christian Ponder will be getting his first snaps in Minnesota.

 

Buy or Sell:

You should always be looking to buy low off another team’s rosters and sell high on your roster. Just don’t get trade happy. The goal is to upgrade your current position.

Buy Low:

Mike Thomas WR, JAC-          Didn’t do much against a tough Jets D, but is the #1 option in Jacksonville

Matt Ryan QB, ATL     –           4 TDs against the Eagles. Lots of Weapons around him. The Sky is the limit

Shonn Greene RB, NYJ-           Has been low key so far, added 6 more carries in week 2 and is a nice option as LT wears down

Fred Davis is becoming a favorite target in Washington

Daniel Thomas RB, MIA-        Will take over the lead back role in Miami, if he can stay healthy big numbers are ahead of him

Fred Davis TE, WAS-               Grossman’s favorite target. Put up great fantasy value back to back weeks

 

Sell High:

Chris Johnson RB, TEN-           Fire Sale! If you didn’t listen to me last week, Trade him this week

LaDainian Tomlinson RB, NYJ-            Has seen his better days behind him, now a mentor to Shonn Greene.

Felix Jones RB, DAL-                Cannot stay away from injuries. Even with his high ceiling, he has little value if he can’t play 

The D Bowe show is wrapping up in Kansas City

Dewayne Bowe WR, KC-         With the current trend in KC, Bowe might find himself on the IR. With his attitude he will have a hard time finding motivation with the Chiefs.

Cam Newton QB, Car-                        His stock could not be higher, will probably have one more stellar week against the Jaguars, but then that tough schedule kicks in.

 

 

 

THE GOLDEN RULE:

Stay Focused on the Free Agent Wire. Good chance “That Guy” dropped Ben Tate for Cam Newton this week. Seize the Moment.

Questions? Comments? Follow Me on Twitter @KStafford32

The Know-It-All’s Fantasy Prep

 

 

Week 1 Weekend Player Updates

Kyle Stafford – @Kstafford32

Week One is solid proof why we lust for football. So many storylines, So many unpredictable’s. Let us take a look at the impact Week 1 had on our Fantasy Football Leagues and Teams.

Digging for Gold:

Let’s start out and keep this in perspective. It’s just one week. Say that again, It’s just one week. Remember to think big picture. In looking at the possible Free Agents there are several gems that shined, and a couple options that might be worth taking over an injured player.

Quarterback:

Ryan Fitzpatrick, BUF- The Chiefs defense made Fitzpatrick look like a Pro Bowler. He ranked in the top 20 in 2010 out of all fantasy players. I would not expect 4 TDs and a pass rating of 133.0 every game, but he was very efficient spreading the ball around. Five Buffalo receivers had 5 or more targets verse an above average KC secondary.

Cam Newton ties record with 422 pass yards by a rookie

Cam Newton, CAR- 422 yards, 2 TD, 1 Int, & 110.4 passer rating are off the charts for not just a rookie, but any quarterback would love to have their name next to that stat line. I would try very hard not to get caught up in the hype though. The Panthers were handed the NFL’s toughest schedule this year. Newton will face off against the Packers, Bears, & Saints over the next 4 weeks. I was impressed with his play, as were many. Newton was going up against a weak Arizona secondary that was starting a rookie who they targeted one on one with Steve Smith all game.

Running Back:

Ben Tate, HOU- The scouts seem to have got it right. A healthy Tate carried the ball 16 times for 116 yards and one touchdown. Tate does have several obstacles in his way. If Arian Foster gets back healthy, then that limits Tate’s chance at getting carries. Derrick Ward also looked good on Sunday and was a former 1,000 rusher with the Giants. Health concerns also follow Tate who was banged up in Sunday’s game. I would say Tate at least belongs on your bench, if not in your flex spot.

Cadillac Williams, STL- To no surprise to me, Steven Jackson is injured. Strained Quad, questionable for Week 2 vs. Giants and will probably linger throughout the season. In enters Cadillac Williams, who rushed for 91 yards and was productive in the passing game (6 catches, 49 yards, 10 targets). Williams has a well documented history of injuries, but when healthy he is a top fantasy performer. Would be a great flex start against a Giants Defense who gave up 70+ yards and a touchdown to Tim Hightower.

Wide Receivers:

Doug Baldwin, SEA- The former Stanford receiver signed as a rookie free agent with Seattle as a kick returner. On Sunday, he was Tarvaris Jackson’s go-to receiver with 4 catches, 83 yards, 1 Touchdown, and 6 Targets. At 5 10, Baldwin may be hard to spot on the field but his speed and elusiveness stood out against the 49ers. Worth a look on your bench as you are dropping Danny Amendola this week.

Doug Baldwin looks to be the option in Seattle until Sidney Rice comes back

Jerome Simpson, CIN- In 2010, Simpson shined at the end of the season with back to back 120+ yard games. Even though he did not put up major stats (4 catches, 44 yards) he was targeted 9 times. As this young Bengal team develops, Simpson’s targets may turn into more catches.

Roy Williams, CHI- The former 1st round pick looked very efficient on Sunday. Four targets, Four catches. He is a big receiver that doesn’t mind going over the middle. He has the opportunity in a Mike Martz pass heavy offense to shine. Look back in Denver when Cutler had a big and tall wideout named Brandon Marshall.

Tight Ends:

Jermaine Gresham, CIN-  If Andy Daulton comes back from his wrist injury, Gresham is his safety blanket. Eight balls came his way against the Browns, with Gresham hauling in 6 catches and a touchdown. In an offense that is going to rely heavy on the run this year, Gresham will be a nice sure handed option in the passing game.

Fred Davis, WAS- Rex Grossman almost made my list for FA Quarterback, but then I remembered his years with the Bears and I got my head straight. Grossman did show us that he prefers Fred Davis over Chris Cooley. Davis had 6 targets with over 100 yards receiving. Grossman has always relied on his TE over the years, so it is worth watching how this connection develops.

 

The Ups & Downs:

With teams still trying to scramble and implement their playbooks post lockout, there where many players that stepped up and also plenty that took a giant leap back.

 

Players on the Rise:

Jay Cutler QB, CHI: With already a year under Mad Martz, Cutler is figuring it out. Did a great job of distributing the ball around. The Falcons Defense may have came into the season a bit overrated but this was a matchup of the #1 and #2 seeds from last year. Cutler carved them up with 312 yards and 2 TDs. Cutler may have 30 TDs this season, but the only concern is will he have 30 Ints to go along with it?

 

Mike Thomas WR, JAC: The 5 foot 8 inch Thomas is the top target in Jacksonville. With 11 targets thrown his way, we can only hope Luke McCown can turn into a decent quarterback. He has big play ability deep, and can also find success in the open field.

 

Anquan Boldin WR, BAL: Boldin is finally healthy and it showed. Four catches for 74 yards and a touchdown. With Derrick Mason gone, Flacco has Boldin as his main option. You just hope Baltimore doesn’t abandon the pass game like they have done in the past.

Boldin is the main target in Baltimore

 

Javid Best RB, DET: If Javid Best is on your bench, move him up now. This second year back is a threat on the ground and in the passing game. If Stafford and him stay healthy, this connection has very high potential. Best had 110+ total yards and had the ball 25 times. Health and the curse that he is a Lion are his only downfalls.  

 

Players on the Down:

 

Chris Johnson RB, TEN: The Titans could have used a little help on Sunday from their recent  investment, but Johnson performed like he was still holding out. 49 totals yards was all Johnson could come up with. With his huge payday behind him and stuck on a mediocre team, Johnson has little to play for. While many fantasy owners are all in on Johnson, I have been very skeptical since his holdout. A quick look at recent history, I would say the Larry Johnson effect is on in Tennessee.

 

Donovan McNabb QB, MIN: McNabb should have considered retirement after his last season with the Eagles. This once top Quarterback could only produce 39 yards with a pass rating of 47.9. This not only effects the production from the talented Viking receiving core, but the Vikings are going to have to rely on Adrian Peterson even more. Unless McNabb can find some of his old magic, the Vikings are likely to end up at the bottom of the NFC North.

McNabb looks to be leading the Vikings to the bottom on the NFC

 

Rashard Mendenhall RB, PIT: Mendenhall had a disappointing outing against Baltimore again. Just like the last time Mendenhall faced the Ravens, he couldn’t rush for more than 45 yards and produced zero touchdowns. I would not push the panic button yet on Mendenhall, but the Steelers also like his backup Mewelde Moore.

 

Vincent Jackson WR, SD: Two Catches for 31 yards is not what you expect from an elite fantasy wide receiver.  Jackson looked uninterested and sloppy on Sunday. Luckily for the Chargers, Philip Rivers found Gates and Floyd for 21 total targets. Jackson is capable to putting up huge numbers, but holdouts and contract distractions have been his biggest highlight over the last 12 months.  

 

Buy or Sell:

You should always be looking to buy low off other team’s rosters and sell high on your roster. Just don’t get trade happy. The goal is to upgrade your current position.

Buy Low:

Newton stole the show Sunday, but Kolb got the win

Michael Turner RB, ATL-        Put up a quiet 100 yards on Sunday

Plaxico Burress WR, NYJ-        Looked like the Plax of old against the Cowboys

Mike Thomas WR, JAC-          Most owners don’t realize his potential because he plays in Jacksonville

Ryan Mathews RB, SD-           Had 118 totals yards on Sunday, and Tolbert’s health is in question

Fred Jackson RB, BUF-            The Curtis Martin of this era, give him his due

Kevin Kolb QB,ARI-                  Another 300+ yard game. Consistent and nice weapons.

 

Sell High:

Chris Johnson RB, TEN-           I would get value for him now, before your season is over

Joseph Addai RB, IND-            The Colts probably have the worst overall team in the league, get what you can out of Addai

Frank Gore RB, SF-                  Even though the 49ers won Sunday, the offensive line looked horrible. I don’t see much for the aging Gore.

Reggie Wayne WR, IND-        Curtis Painter is one Kerry Collins injury away from being the starting QB. This would be devastating for Wayne owners. Sell Now!

Cam Newton QB, Car-            His stock will never be higher in 2011, claim him off waivers and trade him.

 

THE GOLDEN RULE:

Do not panic, it’s only Week One……. Unless your roster is Peyton Manning, Arian Foster, Steven Jackson, Danny Amedola, and Tony Moeaki…. Then by all means…. panic

 

Questions? Comments? Follow Me on Twitter @Kstafford32

The Know-It-All Fantasy Football Ramblings

 

Preseason Player Updates

 

 

Kyle Stafford – @Kstafford32

Throughout the season I will give weekly Updates on Quality Free Agents, Players on the Rise & Decline, and Players to Buy/Sell on. This is the inaugural “Player Update” Article. Enjoy!

Digging for Gold:

If you are looking at Free Agency before the season here are 3 reasons why:

#1        You are unhappy with your draft

#2        You where handed the dreaded “Auto Pick”….. Get a better connection

#3        You took Arian Foster in the 1st round…. Follow me on twitter and you would not have made that mistake

Filling a need at this point is a huge shot in the dark. Look for the players that are receiving the most targets/carries. They are your best chance to have an immediate impact. Also take a look at players who are the backup to a starter with injury risks.

If you drafted Arian Foster in the 1st round, what is your next move?

 

 

The Ups & Downs:

Do not pay attention to preseason stats. Teams do not show the entire playbook during preseason and playing time is limited. Preseason does show who is moving up or down on the depth chart and the health of players coming back from injury. It also gives you a glimpse how new players will fit into the current system.

 

Players on the Rise:

Antonio Brown WR, Pit: His stock has been soaring. Looks to fill the Big Play role.  Unfortunately this is a negative for the veteran Hines Ward. If he doesn’t survive the draft don’t overpay, he is not a high target receiver

 

Lance Kendricks TE, STL: Kendricks fits the Rams scheme. Although Sam Bradford relied heavy on the TE position in his rookie year, I see him growing and spreading the ball around this year. Look at the Josh McDaniels offense in Denver last year. Kendricks is comparable to Tony Moeaki as a Rookie.

 

Tim Hightower RB, Was: Hightower will get more looks this year than any previous year he had with Arizona. The Redskins have zero talent on offense, but I see Hightower as the goal line back that can also catch the ball. It is worth it to mention Mike Shananhan’s amazing history with running backs in his run-block scheme.

 

Vince Young QB, Phi: Yeah I went there… he has looked surprisingly comfortable in Andy Reid’s Offense and if/when Mike Vick gets blindsided he will have plenty of weapons around him.

 

Tim Hightower hopes to be the next in line to have success in Shananhan's Run Blocking Scheme

 

Players on the Down:

 

Tim Tebow QB, Den: I believe he could put up amazing but meaningless stats that would vault him into a Top FANTASY Quarterback. Look what Tyler Thigpen did in 2008 with the Chiefs. Obviously, John Elway and John Fox do not play fantasy football because they are taking a play out of Herm Edwards book and are Playing to Win the Game. The past 4 weeks Tebow has gone from Fan Favorite #1 Jersey Selling Starting Quarterback to Fan Favorite #1 Jersey Selling 4th String Quarterback. Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn have looked very impressive this preseason and will keep their jobs as long as the Broncos are around .500.

 

Clinton Portis RB, FA: Portis is running out of teams to play for. Huge questions about his health and his age are keeping this once consistent Fantasy Runner out of the league. If you want to see how this story ends look at the end of Shawn Alexander’s Career.

 

Brandon Gibson WR, Stl: Gibson had a lot of hype after the Rams acquired him from the Eagles last year. The Rams were hit with lots of injuries that promoted Gibson to the #1 target. He put up 620 yards with 53 catches in 12 games. With Donnie Avery coming back, and Mark Clayton resigning there just isn’t enough balls to go around for Gibson. Gibson also has a hard time with dropped passes. Recent injury reports say he has a possible Turf Toe injury that could linger all season.

 

Jonathan Baldwin WR, KC: The 2011 First Round Pick of the Chiefs was expected to be a big redzone target opposite of Dewayne Bowe. Baldwin had a disappointing training camp with players and coaches complaining about his immaturity and lack of respect for the coaching staff. Thomas Jones took matters into his own fists and put Baldwin in his place…. Which also put the rookie on the injury report with a broken wrist out 4-6 weeks.

 

Jonathan Baldwin got lit up by those guns on Mr. Jones

 

 

Buy or Sell:

 I will not list players until after the season starts. A few notes on trading before the season starts.

-Always counter to all trade offers. If keep trade talks alive and you never know if someone might accept your offer. Why Not?

-Fills holes without creating holes. You drafted your Key Players for a reason, don’t sell the farm before the season starts

-Find the Guy that loves Trading. Identify the Owner in your league that makes a trade every week. Send him offers or feelers now, eventually he will send you an offer that you will like because he is addicted to trading.

 

Don't Be "That Guy"

 

THE GOLDEN RULE:

Always schedule your draft after the Preseason wraps up. Otherwise you will be “That Guy” with Peyton Manning, Wes Welker, and Arian Foster.

 

Questions? Comments? Follow Me on Twitter @Kstafford32

The Know-It-All’s Fantasy Football Prep: The Perfect Draft Formula… and DON’T MESS WITH IT!

 

Kyle Stafford – @KStafford32 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IDENTIFY THE FIELD:

The Great Unknown, aka the 1st Round of a Fantasy Football Draft. Here is where the foundation of a team can be built, or a foundation of jokes about the guy who takes Brett Favre with #1 overall pick are built. The average team owner is in the dark when it comes to making that first round selection. A lot of guessing and man crushes for players become exposed in the top half of a draft. You can take advantage of this glorious opportunity.

While the rest of your league is blindly selecting their team, you can already have your team set before the first sticker is tagged on the board. Your first move is to look at your league rules and scoring. Determine if your scoring is based on Points Per Reception (PPR), Touchdowns + Yardage, or my personal favorite PPR + TD + Yardage. Once you identify your scoring, you can now decide how you will draft.

Remember when you are drafting, you are drafting for production. The goal is to put together the most complete team that will put you in the best chance to win throughout the season.

WRITE IT DOWN:

This is not Rocket Science. This is about numbers. If you can identify numbers than you can put together a successful draft formula. Here are 3 areas pay attention to:

Position Scarcity: What position is the least depth found? If you look at the previous years stats this is a no-brainer, it’s Running Back. There is a huge gap after the Top 15 players. There is a larger gap after the Top 20. Quarterback is the sexy pick in the 1st round, but look at the Top 20 overall in 2010:

PLAYER, TEAM POS  

PRK

PTS

Tom Brady, NE QB  

1

361

Aaron Rodgers, GB QB  

2

348

Peyton Manning, Ind QB  

3

345

Michael Vick, Phi QB  

4

342

Philip Rivers, SD QB  

5

330

Drew Brees, NO QB  

6

329

Arian Foster, Hou RB  

1

313

Josh Freeman, TB QB  

7

296

Matt Ryan, Atl QB  

8

294

Matt Schaub, Hou QB  

9

285

Eli Manning, NYG QB  

10

283

Matt Cassel, KC QB  

11

271

Joe Flacco, Bal QB  

11

271

Carson Palmer, Cin QB  

13

264

David Garrard, Jac QB  

14

254

Jay Cutler, Chi QB  

15

242

Kyle Orton, Den QB  

16

240

Ben Roethlisberger, Pit QB  

17

235

Adrian Peterson, Min RB  

2

232

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buf QB  

18

231

Notice only two Running Backs are in the Top 20. Quarterback is so deep Ryan Fitzpatrick made the Top 20. You should be looking nothing but Running back in Rounds 1 & 2. If you are in a straight PPR league you should consider a Top Wide Receiver in later part of the 1st Round, but the pass catching Running Backs are gold. When evaluating PPR don’t look at receptions, look at how many targets a player is getting.

Quarterbacks can be found late, Ryan Fitzpatrick was a top fantasy scorer last season.

Consistency: You want players that are going to contribute positively all season long. A player that can’t keep himself on the field is dead to you. This should be your mindset when selecting any starters. The more consistent players also tend to be on the more successful teams. Know the players you are drafting, for more information take a look at my previous article on “Player Evaluation”.

Actual Value:  If you can draft the same type of player in the 2nd round that you can get in the 6th round why waste the pick? My example for this is Quarterback. Sure everything would love to have Aaron Rodgers, but what if I told you that you are better off with Josh Freeman? Now you think I am crazy. The stats do not lie. Rodgers averaged 21.8 pts in 2010 while Freeman put up 18.5 pts a game. That’s only 3.3 points per game between the two. Let someone else feed their mancrush and waste a pick on Rodgers so you can draft your pass catching running back in the 1st round or stud wideout in the late second, early 3rd round. You will come out of the draft with the more complete team, while the rest of the league still has holes to fill and questions unanswered.

What Does It Look Like?

1st Round: Target the pass catching, high production Running Backs

2nd Round: Do the same, but if your friends also read this article go after a Top Wideout

3rd-5th Rounds: Standard Rosters have 2 RB, 2 WR, and 1 Flex. I would draft best available player between RB & WR until you fill those starting spots.

6th Round: Here is where you take your Quarterback. There is a good chance you will see names like Freeman, Cassel, Flacco, and Cutler. Take your choice.

7th Round: Here is where you pick your TE. Todd Heap, Pettigrew, Keller, Hernandez are all nice options here

8th Round & Beyond: I would stack heavy on RBs on your bench, and then look for quality WRs. I would not take a backup QB cause you normally can find one off FA the first 3 weeks of the season. Do not draft backup TE, Defense, or Kicker.

I always make a list of probable players to look for in each round. It helps me judge if I am reaching or getting a steal at that particular pick.

THE GOLDEN RULE

Thou Shall Not Take a Kicker till the Final 2 Rounds! Kickers are as irrelevant in fantasy football as they are in real life.

Be on the lookout for more Draft Prep Articles as we get closer to the season.

Questions? Comments? Follow Me on Twitter @KStafford32