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2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide

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We’ve been hunkered down for the last month or so working on the 2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide and we’re pleased to announce that it’s finally ready! Just like last year, we’ve gotten some of the best and brightest minds in the fantasy baseball community to contribute and have upped the ante this year with both a PDF copy (like last year) and a brand-new iBook version (that looks pretty darn awesome on an iPad and includes some awesome interactive projections.

 

Included in this year’s Draft Guide, you’ll find:
 

  • Draft Day Tips/Strategies
  • Rankings that will be updated regularly
  • Player Projects
  • Expert Mock Drafts that will be updated weekly
  • Sleepers & Busts
  • Sabermetrics 101
  • Daily Fantasy Baseball 101
  • How 2013 can help 2014
  • A Look at Power vs Speed
  • Why Not to Pay for Saves
  • 30 Team Previews
  •  
    (scroll to the bottom for more image previews)
     

    The fee we are asking for the draft guide ($10) is a small price to pay for year-long bragging rights (and maybe some cash) in your personal leagues. To get a copy of the guide in PDF and iBook format, just donate $10 through the PayPal button below and we’ll get a copy to your inbox immediately!
     

     

    Thanks everyone for your continued support and we hope you enjoy the draft guide!

     


     

    7 Reasons Why Women Should Play Fantasy Baseball

    Reason #8: You can be just like Rihanna and own Matt Kemp!

    Reason #8: You can be just like Rihanna and own Matt Kemp!


    By Haley Dennis
     
    You are either here because you have been sitting on the fence about whether or not to play fantasy baseball, or you are here because you were investigating your boyfriend’s computer history, you jumped to conclusions when you saw the word “fantasy”, and you assumed that he’s the reason those ads keep popping up.

     

    Whichever case it may be, stop being skeptical. Here are 7 reasons why you should join a fantasy baseball league.
     
     1. Learn more about the game
     
    Let’s be honest, you probably know who Bryce Harper is (Yes, the hot young outfielder for the Nationals.), although you might not know that he bats left-handed but throws right-handed. When you play fantasy baseball, you will learn all the statistics needed to impress every man you have a conversation with about baseball. Try it at a bar. You won’t pay for a thing, all night.
     
    2. We love to be social
     
    As women, we cannot deny our love affair with the social life. Fantasy baseball is a six-month-long social event, from the draft, to the playoffs, and everything in-between. For example, you will be constantly talking to your competitors about possible trades, and then, shooting them dirty emails when they decline your request. You can also use fantasy baseball as a way to make small talk in the office, and you can use social media to brag about how awesome your team is doing, as your beating the pants off of all the men in your league. That brings me to my next reason…
     
    3. You get to shamelessly talk smack
     
    Forget being ladylike, when it comes to fantasy sports. Females are the minority in most co-ed leagues, so we have to learn to talk trash with the boys. This is probably the only time it will be acceptable to dauntlessly tell your boss (if you are in an office league) that “a team of blind kids with no arms or legs could do better than the garbage he has in his lineup.” Talking smack is an essential part of fantasy baseball. They go together like Derek Jeter and Supermodels.
     
    4. Experience the feeling of winning
     
    If you are like me (a Cubs fan), and you don’t really know what it feels like for your team to win a World Series, then, by doing well in fantasy baseball, you will have the opportunity to experience the ecstasy that comes from winning a championship with a team that you care about. I only hope it takes your team less than 105+ years.
     
    5. You are the boss
     
    This is your team. You put Mike Trout into this lineup, and you can take him out of it (not that you ever would, barring injury)!! You make all of the executive decisions. You draft your own players. You set your own lineup. What woman wouldn’t get excited about picking her own group of guys, from hundreds of candidates? It’s like the Bachelorette, but with more men, and they are all in baseball pants. Plus, where else, besides fantasy baseball, can you trade a man out, whenever you want, and not feel bad about it?
     
     6. It is not as tough as you think
     
    Your excuse for not playing last year might have been, “It seems too challenging and too difficult to keep up with.” Well, I guarantee you, fantasy baseball is much easier to keep up with than the plot twists of a daytime soap opera. There are cheat sheets to help you scout players, mock drafts to give you a sense of what your draft day will be like, and experts to tell you why it could be a bad idea to draft Dan Uggla. You are running out of excuses. Better start thinking of a witty team name.
     
     7. 162 games
     
    There are 162 games in a regular season of baseball. That means, you have six months of winning most, losing some, smack talking, learning new things about the great game of baseball, excuses to eat your feelings when your players end up on the DL, being the coolest woman in the office, and the sheer pleasure of annihilating all of the men in your league.
     
    Ladies, embrace fantasy baseball. You won’t regret it. Trust me, I am a woman, and we are always right.
     
    Haley Dennis is a 24 year old aspiring sports journalist who lives in Oklahoma. She uses fantasy sports to escape the realities of being a Chicago Cubs and Dallas Cowboys fan and spends most of here free time defending Tony Romo. You can follow Haley at @hungoverhaley.
     

    The Return Of The Injury Ninja….

    Oh damn! He's back...the fantasy hockey purveyor of doom...the Injury Ninja!

    Oh damn! He’s back…the fantasy hockey purveyor of doom…the Injury Ninja!

     

    That sound of fear is hockey fans and fantasy hockey owners cringing in fear as the Injury Ninja has returned. As always, the tradition is to check out the latest injury report and break down a few injuries.

     

    The Injury Ninja List

     

    ANAHEIM

    Player Date Status Description
    Teemu Selanne 2014-03-07 questionable for Friday’s game against Pittsburgh flu-like symptoms
    Mathieu Perreault 2014-03-07 questionable for Friday’s game against Pittsburgh upper body

    BUFFALO

    Player Date Status Description
    Chris Stewart 2014-03-07 doubtful for Friday’s game against Florida knee
    Zemgus Girgensons 2014-03-07 doubtful for Friday’s game against Florida lower body

    CALGARY

    Player Date Status Description
    Kevin Westgarth 2014-03-02 expected to miss at least one week concussion
    David Jones 2014-03-04 out indefinitely shoulder
    Jiri Hudler 2014-03-07 questionable for Friday’s game against the NY Islanders upper body
    Dennis Wideman 2014-03-07 questionable for Friday’s game against the NY Islanders upper body
    Matt Stajan 2014-03-07 questionable for Friday’s game against the NY Islanders personal

    CAROLINA

    Player Date Status Description
    Justin Faulk 2014-03-03 on injured reserve upper body

    CHICAGO

    Player Date Status Description
    Marian Hossa 2014-03-02 expected to miss 2-3 weeks upper body

    COLUMBUS

    Player Date Status Description
    Blake Comeau 2014-03-07 questionable for Saturday’s game against Nashville sprained left knee
    Nikita Nikitin 2014-03-07 questionable for Saturday’s game against Nashville upper body
    Ryan Murray 2014-03-07 questionable for Saturday’s game against Nashville lower body

    DETROIT

    Player Date Status Description
    Henrik Zetterberg 2014-02-24 on injured reserve and is out indefinitely back surgery
    Pavel Datsyuk 2014-02-28 expected to miss three weeks right knee inflammation
    Daniel Cleary 2014-02-28 will miss at least one week sprained knee
    Darren Helm 2014-03-05 out indefinitely head

    EDMONTON

    Player Date Status Description
    Anton Belov 2014-03-02 on injured reserve and is expected to miss at least two weeks partially torn oblique
    Viktor Fasth 2014-03-07 probable for Friday’s game against Los Angeles lower body

    MONTREAL

    Player Date Status Description
    Carey Price 2014-02-26 on injured reserve lower body
    Josh Gorges 2014-03-06 out indefinitely broken hand

    NY ISLANDERS

    Player Date Status Description
    John Tavares 2014-02-24 on injured reserve and will miss the remainder of the season torn meniscus/MCL in left knee
    Eric Boulton 2014-03-07 questionable for Friday’s game against Calgary bruised hand

    NY RANGERS

    Player Date Status Description
    Mats Zuccarello 2014-03-07 questionable for Friday’s game against Carolina broken left hand

    OTTAWA

    Player Date Status Description
    Clarke MacArthur 2014-03-07 questionable for Saturday’s game against Winnipeg undisclosed

    PHILADELPHIA

    Player Date Status Description
    Ray Emery 2014-03-07 will miss Saturday’s game against Toronto lower body

    PHOENIX

    Player Date Status Description
    Martin Hanzal 2014-03-07 questionable for Saturday’s game against Washington lower body

    TAMPA BAY

    Player Date Status Description
    Radko Gudas 2014-03-07 questionable for Saturday’s game against Boston left leg

    TORONTO

    Player Date Status Description
    Colton Orr 2014-03-06 questionable for Saturday’s game against Philadelphia undisclosed

    VANCOUVER

    Player Date Status Description
    Daniel Sedin 2014-03-03 on injured reserve and is out indefinitely strained left hamstring
    Brad Richardson 2014-03-07 questionable for Saturday’s game against Calgary undisclosed

    WASHINGTON

    Player Date Status Description
    Brooks Laich 2014-03-07 questionable for Saturday’s game against Phoenix strained groin
    John Erskine 2014-03-07 questionable for Saturday’s game against Phoenix upper body
    Dmitry Orlov 2014-03-07 undisclosed undisclosed
    Mikhail Grabovski 2014-03-07 questionable for Saturday’s game against Phoenix sprained left ankle

    WINNIPEG

    Player Date Status Description
    James Wright 2014-03-02 on injured reserve sprained ankle
    Mark Scheifele 2014-03-05 expected to miss 6-8 weeks MCL
    Chris Thorburn 2014-03-07 questionable for Saturday’s game against Ottawa facial laceration

     

    Anyone that is anyone knows that Olympic years produce a lot of visits from the injury ninja. It is just a fact. What is going to happen going forward? With over 100 injuries, I can project that there will be dozens of injuries throughout the rest of the month. The last few Olympics really have produced an uptick in injuries.

    The latest big injury really is Carey Price. Montreal fans, including Michael Clifford, have to be in a bit of a panic. It was said hey it is not that bad, now it has morphed into a trip to the injured reserved and a few more games out. Allegedly he could be back by next week. Stay tuned! The bigger question will be is Price really 100%. Let’s be honest. No one really knows that!

    Price will not be the last big injury this season. March has shown to be brutal already and we are only a week in. Stay tuned and brace for the impact in your fantasy hockey leagues. Good luck everyone and follow me @ChrisWasselTHW if you have any questions. Always bring it and thanks for reading!

     

     

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    “Perusing the Perimeter” 2014 Fantasy Baseball Player Profile: Andrew McCutchen

    Going into the 2013 season many of us thought there was a solid chance the Pittsburgh Pirates would compete within the NL division …But I doubt many of us outside of Pittsburgh thought they would do as well as they did… The Reigning National League MVP Andrew McCutchen rightfully deserves that title as the Pirates beat my beloved Cincinnati Reds in the wildcard play-in game and they would never been in position all year to do so without his stellar play….

    If you don’t follow ya boy on twitter …First, let me tell that you should fix that and follow me here @Whudey….Second, that you know my hate runs deep for Pittsburgh and many are wondering have I gone too far with the hate with my ranking of NL MVP Andrew McCutchen ?? As it stands right now, I currently have Andrew McCutchen ranked #14th and that is probably where he will stay for the most in the 12-16 area….While it is highly doubtful anyone would ever see @TheCutch22 hit the second round (currently the 4th to 8th selection in many drafts) I for one will not be drafting him unless he is available to me in the 2nd round and here is why…

    I like you and I think you are a beast…but early first round material…meh…..

     

    It was a banner year in 2013  not just for McCutchen but the team as a whole ….My first and initial feeling is that there is no way the supporting cast makes a race for the division crown two years in a row…When you have a guy entering his sophomore season in Starling Marte who had a ridiculous .363 BABIP to go with just a modest .280 AVG somethings has got to give here…I expect both numbers to drop in a major way…limiting McCutchen’s RBI potential …. and lets look behind him in the order where a guy in Pedro Alvarez who has hit 30+ bombs two years in a row ….the sub .240 AVG on the other hand could mean he may be this year’s version of a 2013 Dan Uggla where the big power just doesn’t translate into success….which hurts McCutchen #s in stolen bases and runs scored. Let alone the pitching staff being an unknown outside of Gerrit Cole for any kind of success.

    Now, let’s take a second to look at the man himself. Like I said before no doubt he deserved the NL MVP as his pre-ASB .302/.376/.471 versus his post-ASB .339/.441/.561 lines pretty much tell you all you need to know. Usually a hot starter so it was werid to see him struggle early on. He was hitting .360 in 2012 Pre-ASB. But folks this is just two years of excellent production ….In 2010 he was just in .286 hitter and in 2011 a robust .259 ……Not to mention his BABIP in 2011 of .291 compared to 2012′s .375 and 2013′s .353 …regression is gonna come at some point (previous career high was .327) …. Could he be just entering into his prime? Sure, but I still think that some regression will be there if not on the part Andrew McCutchen then his surrounding parts will fail him. A Great five-tool talent who I just cannot claim to be first rounder material…Sorry not sorry….

    “Perusing the Perimeter” 2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft Rankings

    It’s that time of year … the clocks getting sprung forward, the snow is beginning to melt, and peanuts and cracker jacks are now a part of a well balanced diet…This only means that Spring Training is here and the start of yet another long but fantastic MLB season is upon us….now is the time to prepare for your respective fantasy baseball drafts….

     

    Don’t worry Tupac, I was just as shocked to see how well I did last year in my Draft Rankings…

    In 2013, ya boy @Whudey finished 3rd out of 65 very talented fantasy baseball writers….read more about that here…While that is nice and I am very excited to have finished as high as I did…it is as they say “Old News” and the new year brings the new challenge of remaining in the Top 10 …a challenge I readily accept…….. So from now up until the first official pitch of the 2014 season…..let my fantasy baseball draft rankings be a loose guide for you to use for domination….check back here for daily updates….Happy Drafting…. Good Luck to you all……


    Fantasy Baseball Rankings powered by FantasyPros

     

    Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft Simulator


     
    Sick of doing mock drafts that are filled-up with draft bots and idiots who aren’t taking the mock seriously after the first three rounds?

     

    Luckily for all of us, our friends at FantasyPros.com have created an excellent mock draft simulator that takes mock drafting to a whole new level. Not only does it speed up the process by automating your opponents’ picks (using FantasyPros.com expert rankings – which include mine!), but it also offers you in-draft advice to help you make solid decisions. And best of all…it follows up with instant analysis of how you performed once your mock is over.

     

    Not only will you get a feel for when players will be drafted (including when your coveted sleepers are likely to be taken), but you’ll also be able to test out different draft strategies. Want to know what will happen if you take some stud pitchers early…or wait on filling your bullpen until the late rounds? No problem, just mock draft your way to a solid plan of attack.
     
    In addition to the great Draft Simulator tool you’ll find below, make sure you check out some other great drafting tools that FantasyPros has made available:
     

  • Come to your draft prepared with an easy-to-use Cheat Sheet Creator
  • Get in-draft help with FantasyPros’ Draft Assistant
  • Instantly analyze your draft with a brand-new Draft Analyzer
  •  

    Click below to give the Draft Simulator a try. It’s free and you can draft as many times as you want. Enjoy!

     

    MOCK DRAFT SIMULATOR
    The easiest way to prepare for your draft.
    Fast. No waiting for opponents to pick.
    Fun. Draft against the top fantasy experts.
    Free. You don’t even have to register.


    Fantasy Baseball Mock Drafts powered by FantasyPros

     

    Fantasy Hockey Waiver Wiring – February 25

    The NHL regular season is starting to wind down and with less than one-third of the schedule remaining, the opportunity to solidify your fantasy hockey teams are running out.

     

    The reality is that fishing the waiver pool that late in the season are last gasp attempts at trying to stabilize teams. With injuries to names like John Tavares, Mats Zuccarello, and Paul Martin, there are holes to fill on teams. The regular season for head to head leagues is about to come to an end too and that means it’s time to stock the bench for a player run. Any way you look at it, waiver wiring is to replace players or bolster depth, not make a significant difference in roto or points leagues.

     

    With the NHL trade deadline just over a week away and rosters being shuffled off the Olympic break, there are names to look at that can help your team down the stretch for various league depths.

     

    Forwards

     

    Mikael Granlund – Minnesota Wild (ESPN Ownership: 38.2%)

    One of the best comb-overs going. (Granlund, F-MIN)

    One of the best comb-overs going. (Granlund, F-MIN)

    The Winter Olympics were a sort of coming out party for Mikael Granlund as he finished T-3rd in scoring with seven points. Despite the naming of Teemu Selanne as MVP, it was Granlund who was Finland’s most consistent offensive threat.

     

    I don’t believe in continuing momentum from a tournament but Granlund gets to go back to centering Zach Parise and Jason Pominville. Those players complement Granlund’s ability to enter the zone efficiently and that’s a good position to succeed.

     

    Granlund doesn’t shoot a lot which means he doesn’t score a lot. That can be an issue in roto leagues. One reason for hope is that Granlund’s (-2) rating has a lot of room for improvement: Granlund is a (-5) at five on five without Pominville and (+7) with him. The possession rates improve to acceptable levels as well so I wouldn’t expect a minus rating for him the rest of the season with some power play points, too. A solid bench stash, even more so in points-only leagues.

     

    Michael Cammalleri – Calgary Flames (ESPN Ownership: 22%)

    Cammalleri has always been one of those players and by one of those players I mean a perennial 20-goal scorer with 30-goal upside and those don’t come by very often. This hasn’t changed much over the last couple years as he’s managed a 0.31 goals/game pace since the start of the 2012-2013 season and that’s a 25-goal pace over an 82-game season.

     

    The problem this year for Cammalleri is that he hasn’t been able to stay healthy – he’s only played 41 games this year – and his team is pretty bad: Cammalleri’s (-22) rating is worst on the Flames and seventh-worst in the NHL this year. For a bit of context here, Cammalleri has never been known as a defensive forward but that team certainly isn’t helping matters.

     

    Cammalleri is almost certain to be traded from Calgary and because of his expiring contract, he will be sent to a playoff contender. If he finds the right situation, Cammalleri’s penchant for shooting could see him score 8-10 goals for the rest of the season. The time to grab him off the waiver wire is now, not in a week when he finally is traded.

     

    Erik Condra – Ottawa Senators (ESPN Ownership: 1%)

    This is a name for deep-leaguers but the opportunities for success this late in the season don’t come often and Condra is getting one.

     

    This tweet came out from Senators practice earlier today:

     

    There was a problem connecting to Twitter.

     

    Condra is a player who has spent most of his time in Ottawa’s bottom six but now gets a chance on the top line alongside Kyle Turris and Clarke MacArthur. That’s an optimal spot on that team for any player and gives Condra an opportunity for success offensively. He’s not just a plug-and-play guy for the team, either: Condra leads the Sens in FenwickCloseRelative% and is fifth on the team in his shot generation rate.

     

    I wouldn’t expect much, if any, power play time and his peripheral stats are not outstanding. His line mates should prevent a minus rating and he can definitely contribute offensively at even strength. This is a must-add player in any sort of deep league (14+ teams).

     

    Defensemen

     

    Olli Maatta – Pittsburgh Penguins (ESPN Ownership: 44.2%)

    They swear he's legal age to play in the NHL. (Maatta, D-PIT)

    They swear he’s legal age to play in the NHL. (Maatta, D-PIT)

    Another player who stood out at the Sochi Olympics was rookie defenseman Olli Maatta. He displayed the same characteristics that had made him successful so far this year for the Penguins; vision and patience are hallmarks of his game. Maatta’s ability to generate offense from the blue line with good outlet passes and helping maintain puck possession going into the offensive zone are exactly what a team like Pittsburgh needs.

     

    It’s never ideal to have players injured and to profit from it, but this is fantasy sports and there’s no room for emotion (though, best wishes to Kris Letang in particular as he recovers from his stroke). With Letang out and Paul Martin having broken his hand at the Olympics, it’s Maatta’s turn to step up behind Matt Niskanen as the Penguins’ puck mover from the blue line.

     

    Maatta can generate shots on goal, will get second power play minutes and should consistently be paired with one of the Penguins’ top two lines. He also had 18 points in 29 games leading to the Olympics so he’s well on his way to becoming a star in the NHL.

     

    Andrej Meszaros – Philadelphia Flyers (ESPN Ownership: 3.2%)

    Hockey is a game that involves a lot of luck and that luck tends to average itself out over the course of a full season, or at least the next season. That luck can be measured in a lot of different ways, the best way is with PDO. Part of a PDO rating is on-ice shooting percentage, or the rate at which a team scores with a player on the ice. It’s hard for the wide majority of players to sustain high level for more than a season, but luckily we’re only talking about five or six weeks here.

     

    On the year, Meszaros leads the Flyers defensemen in on-ice shooting percentage and that’s enabled him to put up 16 points in just 35 games this year. Even if he never became what some thought he was going to be after putting up 39 points as a 20-year-old, he’s still a 30-point defenseman and that’s valuable.

     

    This is definitely a depth play in deeper leagues but Meszaros has shown offensive flashes in the past and is more than capable of riding a hot streak for the rest of the season. If he stays afloat in the plus/minus column, his penalty minutes and points can be helpful for stretch runs in fantasy leagues.
     
    It’s not too late, you can still grab tickets to watch the best NHL teams live in person

    RotoHobo’s 2014 Fantasy Baseball Rankings

    Miggy or Trout? Miggy or Trout? And who's number three?

    Miggy or Trout? Miggy or Trout? And who’s number three?

    Pitchers and catchers! Pitchers and catchers!!

     

    With baseball season (finally) here, it’s time for some rankings! I’ll have mine posted as part of the upcoming 2014 Draft Guide that will be out late-Feb/early-March, but Mr. Ryan Hodge (@RotoHobo) was kind enough to put together his preliminary 2014 Fantasy Baseball Rankings that you’ll find below.
     
    Ryan will be updating these throughout the spring (so keep checking back), but in the meantime…enjoy!
     

    Fantasy Baseball Rankings powered by FantasyPros