Posts tagged 2013

The FantasyTrade411 Fantasy Hockey Draft Guide

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 8.22.00 PM
The time has come!

 

A process that has been in the works since early July has finally come to fruition, and the FT411 Hockey Draft Guide is finished and ready for your perusal.

 

The process involved of getting this done has been lengthy at times. Something that is of this size requires hundreds of man-hours not only from myself, but from my editor Tony Mauriello and the owner of FT411, Nick Raducanu.

 

While we are charging a modest fee for this year’s guide (last year’s was available for free, but we did accept donations), it is certainly money well spent on your part if I do say so myself.

 

Included in this year’s Draft Guide:

  • Introduction To Fantasy Hockey – An explanation of different league set-ups, what statistics are commonly used, as well as a walk-through for first-time Commissioners to help set up their leagues.
  • My 10 Commandments For The 2013-2014 Season – General rules to follow for most of your leagues.
  • Draft Day Tips/Strategies – This overlaps with the Commandments a bit, but goes into a little more detail.
  • Auction Strategies – Values are not included, but strategies are.
  • Rookies/Sophomores To Watch For
  • Power Play Expectancy Rankings – A contribution from friend Neil Parker on quantifying expected power play points for/against.
  • Players Who Should Improve On A Down Year
  • Players Who Should Regress From A Career Year
  • Independent Defensive Position Hockey Leagues – A contribution from fellow FT411 writer Chris Wassel, who explains an interesting spin on normal fantasy hockey leagues.
  • Sleepers – These guys might return value from their draft day position, and vary from shallow leagues to the deepest of deep leagues.
  • Busts – Guys who will not return draft day value, again from varying depths of leagues.
  • Team-By-Team Previews – I take a look at all 30 NHL team’s 2013 season, look ahead to their 2013-2014 season, and go through who each team’s Fantasy MVP/Sleeper/Bust will (should/might) be.
  • Points-Only Rankings – This was by reader request. I have a list of my Top 200 points-only league players
  • Roto Rankings – I get more in-depth here than with my points-only rankings. I rank 350 players based on standard roto leagues (~200 forwards, 100 defensemen, 50 goalies).
  • Hockey Analytics – A lot of what I do is based off of statistics and analytics. The Draft Guide will contain about a 10,000 word treatise on what hockey analytics are and how they relate to fantasy hockey.

 

I will also be posting updates on FT411 for rankings movements with regards to suspensions, injuries, line combinations or any other reason right up until the day the season starts.

 

For those looking for Daily Fantasy Hockey tips, I omitted them from the Guide because I want to do something separate than lumping it in with a season-long guide. That will be on the website in the next couple of days.

 

So dive in and enjoy over 150 pages of fantasy hockey goodness. Draft season is here, and the fee we are asking 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 $4.99 through the PayPal button below and we’ll get a copy to your inbox immediately after! We’ll also be offering a season-long membership + draft guide package (that includes the draft guide, daily fantasy hockey lineups, and email access for answers longer than 140 characters) so if you’d like the season-long daily fantasy hockey membership AND the draft guide, enter in $9.99 below. If you’re only looking for the draft guide by itself, that’s still just $4.99.
 

 

Thanks everyone for your continued support, and let’s welcome back hockey!

 

*note: There was one reference in the analytics section to Tyler Seguin’s 2011-2012 PDO. That was in reference to an article written by Cam Charron for The Score

The FantasyTrade411 FantasyFootball Draft Guide

DraftGuide
If you’re one of those smart people who hasn’t drafted yet, I’ve got some good news for you: the 2013 FantasyTrade411 Fantasy Football Draft Guide is ready!
 
After getting such great feedback on the baseball draft guide, I took the same model and carried it over to our football draft guide. I called in some favors to some of my favorite experts from Sports Illustrated, Yahoo, Rotowire, RotoViz, and tons of other great sites that you check every day to give you guys over 125 pages of exclusive content that will help you prepare for your draft and put you on the right track for winning your league.
 
In the 2013 FantasyTrade411 Fantasy Football Draft Guide, you’ll find rankings, draft strategies, auction strategies, expert mock drafts, how to get your wife or girlfriend into fantasy football, advanced statistics for dummies, Daily Gaming 101, team previews, sleepers & busts, bold predictions, injury risks, and more!
 
How do you get your hands on it? We have a couple different options for you to purchase the draft guide:
 
1. Daily Gaming Options
 
We’re pleased to announce that we’ve partnered with our friends at DraftStreet to provide you with an exclusive offer that lets you draft a new team each week (and win some money) as part of DraftStreet’s daily gaming site AND get a free copy of the draft guide (NOTE: this offer is only for NEW DraftStreet customers). How do you do that?
 
A. Deposit $10 into DraftStreet and get a free draft guide: $10
 
B. Deposit $20 into DraftStreet and get a free draft guide & FantasyTrade411 membership* (details below): $25
 
2. Non-Daily Gaming Options
 
If you are already a DraftStreet customer and/or want to buy the guide as a stand-alone, there are two ways you can do so:
 
A. Enter $10.00 into the PayPal link below and I’ll shoot you a copy of the draft guide.
 
B. Enter $25.00 into the PayPal link below and you’ll get the draft guide AND access to an in-season membership* (details below)
 


 
**What’s a FantasyTrade411 Membership? It gives you access to:
 

  • a private  Twitter account where you can get quick and prioritized answers
  • exclusive DraftStreet lineups we’ve put together for you
  • exclusive members-only games on DraftStreet where you can take me on for cash
  • members-only chats with me and other fantasy football analysts
  • access to an exclusive weekly podcast where you can call-in to get lineup advice from me and another analyst

 
And if you’re still dubious about the membership, here’s a testimonial from one of last season’s members:

My team was 2-6 and tied for last place in a high stakes league.  I knew changes needed to be made, but I was having a hard time getting trades done in my league. I play in a league in which just about every other team is run by guys who are delusional about their players’ trade value, and a few of them are pretty sneaky.  I regularly check rankings, but that doesn’t really help me evaluate trades.

 

I noticed X was answering a ton of trade questions via twitter, and with nothing left to lose I became a Fantasy Trade 411 member.  X took a look at my roster and told me which moves to make and which trades to reject with extreme prejudice.  When you’re in a league with guys who try and hustle you, it always helps to get a second opinion on trades.  He took into account my league’s unique scoring system as well as the strengths and weaknesses of my team (something other rankings sites don’t do) and with his advice I revamped my roster.

 

Since then I’ve won four straight and I’m guaranteed a playoff spot, even if I fall to 6-7.  A month ago I was in last.  X’s advice was a big factor in my success, and I’ll definitely renew my membership next year.  He offers a service no one else does, and he’s a proven authority.

If you have any questions, you guys know where to find me.

 

- Nick “Trader X”
 

Fantasy Baseball: Hold or Drop

Even Roy Halladay can't bear to look

Even Roy Halladay can’t bear to look

By Richard Janvrin

 

How often is it that highly-touted players struggle early on, sending owners in to a frenzy of whether to hold him, trade them or even drop them outright.

 

That’s where I come in. To diagnose the problem and give you a little more clarity of the situation. Here goes…

 

1. Eric Hosmer, 1B, Kansas City Royals - Owned in 79.5% of ESPN leagues, Hosmer is struggling. Right now, he’s batting a modest .250 with 0 HR and 9 RBIs through 76 ABs. Though there is a power outage, he is getting on base (.341 OBP). However, not every league counts OBP and traditional 5×5 leagues count HR, RBI, SB, BA, and SBs. And in those area’s, he’s struggling mightily.

 

Diagnosis: Drop.

 

2. Jason Kipnis, 2B, Cleveland Indians - Supposed to be the next big thing at second base, but thus far through 18 games and 74 ABs, he’s not showing it. Right now he’s batting below the Mendoza Line at .189 with 1 HR and 4 RBIs. He’s also 98.6% owned in ESPN leagues. Right now Omar Infante, and Donovan Solano are out performing him. He also only possesses a .255 BABIP which is middle-of-the-pact material. His ISO is at, what Fan Graphs considers awful, .081. Given his his high ADP and upside you might hesitant to drop him, though.

 

Diagnosis: Hold. Give him a month, if he bucks his current trend, drop him.

 

3. Brett Lawrie, 3B, Toronto Blue Jays - Another highly touted player coming in to the season, Lawrie is struggling as well. He’s owned in 98.7% of leagues and is batting .214 with 2 HR and 6 RBIs. He has a decent BABIP of .263 and an average ISO of .161.

 

Diagnosis: Hold. Sit tight. His number should rise.

 

4. BJ Upton, OF, Atlanta Braves - As a Rays fan, his stat line makes me smirk. But, fantasy-wise, he, for the lack of a better term, sucks. He’s batting…. .138? Really? Also possesses 3 HRs, 5 RBIs and 3 SBs. His BABIP stinks at .172, too. Yikes. Not to mention, he’s 99.2% owned.

 

Diagnosis: Hold. Given his high ADP, you might be hesitant to drop him, so try to explore a trade with someone in your league who is a “BJ Upton hopeful”. Give him a few weeks, if no trades come to fruition, and he continues to struggle, drop him.

 

5. Roy Halladay, SP, Philadelphia Phillies - Take a look at this: 100% owned, 6.75 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 2 W, 31 Ks. Yeah.. About that…

 

Diagnosis: Drop. Again, high ADP, high percentage owned, but I don’t care, drop him. You won’t be able to trade this guy. His only real great start came against the AAA-like Marlins line-up.
 

By Richard Janvrin

Richard is 20 years old and a father of one. He was born and raised in New Hampshire, but hates all Boston sports teams. He is a die hard Tampa Bay Rays, Baltimore Ravens, Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Knicks fan. In joining the FT411 team, he looks forward to bringing you some of the best fantasy advice possible!
 
 

NHL Fantasy Hockey FanDuel Lineup for April 2, 2013

Now is your chance to play with the big boys on that second line. Step it up.

Along with most fantasy sports owners, I was rather busy following baseball yesterday, but I did get a chance to watch much of the NHL games late last night. Let’s continue our winning streak as my lineup (assuming you saw my swap in of Corey Crawford for Ray Emery) finished well in the money in your standard 50/50 contest.
 
This lineup on FanDuel locks at 7:00pm East / 4:00pm West.
 
What is Daily Gaming?
 
In case you had not noticed, “daily gaming” has made giant strides in the fantasy sports world over the past two years. Daily games in fantasy hockey allow you the opportunity to pick a new team of your favorite players each night. Depending on the type of game you play, you could earn thousands of dollars in any given contest. The best part about this is that, in the majority of U.S. states, it is all legal so you do not have to go around talking about how you risked “jelly beans”.
 
Once you have registered for an account at FanDuel and have deposited $10 using PayPal (and I know that you have spent $10 on worse habits such as buying a case, yes, a case of Schlitz), all you need to do is choose a $1, $2 or $535 matchup in the draft lobby, pick your roster while staying under the $55,000 salary cap, and then sit back and enjoy watching your stats compile all night! I promise that it is a great and fun way to enjoy the NHL action on any given night and a simple way to win some quick cash if you know what you are doing (or if you follow my advice).
 
My 4/2/2013 NHL Lineup
 
Now that we have covered the basics, below is the lineup that I will use tonight in a $109 game and a handful of 50/50 games to ensure some payout, which has been my strategy over the past two and a half weeks. More often than not, I have finished inside the top 25 in these 50/50 games and while the payout is small, it somewhat hedges your cash in your head-to-head matchup if you happen to face a shark in any given day. Just to be clear, I play in 50 player 50/50 games as it is much easier, in my opinion, to finish in the top 25 than it is to finish in the top 50% of a smaller 50/50 game. That said, I do roll out the cash for the larger payout 50/50s if I feel great about my squad.
 
On with the lineup:
 
LW: Benoit Pouliet ($4,100)
LW: Alex Ovechkin ($9,600)
RW: Shane Doan ($5,900)
RW: Martin St. Louis ($7,100)
C: Alex Killorn ($4,100)
C: Evgeni Malkin ($8,300)
D: Matt Niskanen ($4,600)
D: John Carlson ($4,600)
G: Anton Khudobin ($6,500)
 
Salary remaining: $200.
 
My net minder anchor tonight had to be Anton Khudobin as the Bruins have started to ramp. Of all of the games on the relatively short NHL slate tonight, I am with the sharps who heavily favor the Kings as road favorites against the Phoenix Coyotes. The Coyotes have been playing poor hockey, having gone 2-8 in their last 10 games, and with Jason LaBarbera in net, I like the Kings to win. That said, I like Shane Doan who feasts on the Kings, especially on home ice. Another team that should absolutely dominate is the Penguins. That seems like a no-brainer call, but with the moneyline at -241 in favor of the home team, I expect the Crosby-less Penguins to continue their winning streak. A sneaky play today is a relatively cheap Tyler Kennedy who will center the second line in between Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis.  Another interesting game is the Boston / Ottawa matchup. The Bruins have won all three games against the Senators this year, but the Senators have been playing better hockey over the past 10 games. Boston is coming off a 2-0 win over the Sabres and the Senators were just shut out 4-0 by the Nazem Kadri Leafs. I mean, the Toronto Maple Leafs. Look for Boston to win a close game with the team that has the best output from its defensemen facilitating the victory.
 
As I set this lineup well before the games are played in any given night, please make sure you check my Twitter timeline close to the first puck drop to see if I have made any swaps. Again, and I cannot stress this enought, as always, the one item that I have not yet nailed down as of this posting is which netminder I want in my lineup. This is the one item that I may change prior to the lock and I do my best to make the change at least 15 minutes before the first puck drops.
 
Access to FanDuel
 
With our new partnership with FanDuel, you get to reap some of the rewards as a loyal reader of FantasyTrade411.com. If you click-through here and sign up for a new account with FanDuel, you will receive free money on your deposit when you put in the promo code “FT411″.  Thus, when you enter the promo code, you will receive an extra $5 for a $10 deposit; a $10 bonus for a $25 deposit; a $20 bonus for a $100 deposit; and a $30 bonus for a $200 deposit.
 
No matter how well you are doing in this shortened 2012-2013 fantasy hockey season thus far, it is never too late to head over to FanDuel, draft a new team for tonight’s NHL action and enjoy watching the games!
 
A 23-year fantasy sports veteran and a California and New York licensed corporate attorney by day, I am the managing editor/senior writer/general counsel of FantasyTrade411.com. I am also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association and a contributor to FantasyPros.com and TheFakeHockey.com. Please feel free to contact me at any time on twitter @TheTonyM with your fantasy sports questions. Be sure to listen to my podcast “Sports Counseling with the Doc and Slim” with my radio partner, Michael Clifford (aka @SlimCliffy) on the Fantasy Trade 411 Radio Network.

Prospect Profile: Zack Wheeler RHP

Zack Wheeler RHP

Zack Wheeler RHP

Zack Wheeler was drafted by the San Francisco Giants 6th overall in the 2009 amateur draft. He spent the 2010 season at the Giants Low A affiliate, where he preformed well enough to pitch in that years Futures Game during the MLB All-Star break. During the 2011 season while making a push for the post season, the Giants sent Wheeler (who was pitching in High A at the time) to the Mets for what turned out to be a “rental” of Carlos Beltran.

 

Since becoming the Mets top prospect, Zack has racked up 179 strikeouts and just 64 walks across three levels in a little over one full season. Being 6’4” he has the length to generate arm speed on his five-pitch repertoire, which starts with his powerful four-seam fastball that has a range of 95-97 mph; as well as a two-seam fastball that he likes to use inside on righties. His other plus pitch is his 72-79 mph curveball. He is continuing to develop his slider, which ranges at 88-91 mph. His 83-89 mph change-up is a bit flat, and with little movement; it is his weakest pitch.

 

Wheeler has been reassigned to minor league camp, and will start 2013 in Triple A. There has been speculation that he could get an April call up, with news of Johan Santana having possibly career ending surgery. As the rumor mills churn, the Mets front office is quick to state their desire to let Zack further develop in Buffalo. He could use that time to sharpen his slider into more of a long breaking pitch. That being said one has to think if any other injuries occur to that rotation, their hand may be forced into bringing him up.

 

There are many Zack Wheeler comparisons to current MLB pitchers out there from a lower end of Phillip Humber, up to a Trevor Cahill type. On a higher end of possible comparisons, he could be a Matt Cain. He should get slightly bigger, but probably not to Cain’s 230 lbs. If Wheeler can fine-tune his mechanics, he will progress quicker than Cain did. If the Mets get their wish, Wheeler may come up in September for a cup of coffee in another “rebuilding” year. Unless there’s some miracle that let’s them push for a playoff spot (highly unlikely), he could be brought in for a bullpen roll. Either way a best guess is that he’ll be up late May or early June.

 

"Help us Zack Wheeler, you're our only hope."

“Help us Zack Wheeler, you’re our only hope.”

Since the trade went down in 2011 Mets fans have been drooling over the potential of Wheeler, with good reason. In a split season between Double and Triple A he finished with 12 wins 8 losses a 3.26 ERA, 148 SO and 59 BB 1.168 WHIP. Now it’s time for fantasy owners to start chomping at the bit as well. He’s a no-brainer in dynasty formats, and in any deeper keeper league. He should also be on the watch lists of anyone in deeper one-year leagues, whenever he does get his shot he should be able to deliver.

 

 

 

 

Born and raised in Massachusetts, Robert now resides in Philadelphia, PA. Has been playing fantasy football since 2003, and is a former high school football coach. Always a student of the game, he uses knowledge of coaching for fantasy wins. He’s always available for advice on twitter at @RoJoPal.

Fantasy Baseball: Ten “Shocking” 2013 Predictions

Will Joey Votto win the National League batting title this season?

Will Joey Votto win the National League batting title this season?

Written by Mike Gianella
 
Every year, baseball writers of every stripe spend copious amounts of (virtual) ink on their baseball predictions. For most serious writers, this is an exercise in following the crowd, not doing anything original or unique. This isn’t a criticism either; I’m prone to doing the same thing. Predictions, after all, should follow a certain form of logic or wisdom.

 

A few years ago, Fangraphs started publishing a series of articles where members of the staff would come up with 10 unusual or unexpected predictions for the upcoming season. These predictions were mostly in earnest, but were also primary designed to start a conversation. In that spirit, I’m throwing my hat in the ring and looking back at the projections I did for the Fantasy Trade 411 Draft Guide and discussing my 10 most “shocking” predictions for the 2013 season.

 

1) The Yankees will be one of the American League Wild Cards

 

After years of dominating the American League during the regular season, a tepid winter without any significant additions combined with a rash of injuries has put the New York Yankees into the unlikely position of potential also-ran. Every pundit has written them off, and everyone is wondering if the banged up Bombers can stay out of the basement.

 

What a number of people fail to miss is that while the Yankees are a walking M*A*S*H* unit in late March, only Alex Rodriguez is expected to miss significant time. Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, and Derek Jeter all should be back at some point this year, and in Jeter and Granderson’s cases should return sooner rather than later. Meanwhile, the team should have a healthy Mariano Rivera and Brett Gardner to go with a full season of Ichiro Suzuki…something they didn’t have in 2012.

 

Something the naysayers neglect to mention is that the Yankees staff is strong. A CC Sabathia/Hiroki Kuroda/Andy Pettitte/Ivan Nova rotation is solid, and Rivera and David Robertson ending games should keep the team in a lot of close ones throughout the year. There is some potential for the team to slip, but a mid to high 80s win total isn’t out of the question by any means.

 

2) Josh Rutledge will be in the minors by June 1…if not sooner

Conventional wisdom in fantasy drafts has Rutledge going very high, and earlier than a number of shortstops. But even if Rutledge’s extreme home/road splits don’t give you pause, his overall profile definitely should. Rutledge never had significant success in the minors, was never considered a top prospect, and has problems getting on base. You can’t steal first, not even in hitter-happy Colorado, and I suspect that Rutledge is going to have enough problems with his OBP that the Rockies may need to send him down to Triple-A for more seasoning. Nolan Arenado is waiting in the wings and Chris Nelson can play second base capably. Maybe Rutledge will eventually succeed, but based on his base skills and prior performance, it seems like a stretch to assume that he will in 2013.

 

3) Joey Votto will hit .350 (or better)

My projection for Joey Votto in the Fantasy Trade 411 Draft Guide was eye-popping to say the least. But the number that jumped out was the .351 batting average I called for in the guide. Ridiculous? Possibly. But Votto’s lack of infield pop-ups is well documented, he’s presumably 100% healthy, and with Shin-Soo Choo in the fold is arguably in an even better line-up than he was in 2012. If any hitter in Major League Baseball has the skills to pull this off, it’s Votto.

 

4) John Axford will lose his job by May 15

Perception is a funny thing. Carlos Marmol is constantly called to task for his incredibly high walk rates, and justifiably so, yet John Axford gets a perpetual pass. Last year, Ax seemed to improve in September, but his high BB% speaks to the potential for continued trouble down the line. The only thing that saved Axford from losing his job in 2012 was the lack of a reliable replacement. My educated guess is that “proven” closer Michael Gonzalez will get most of the saves in this pen, but the more important takeaway is that it’s unlikely that Axford can keep walking the park in 2013 and hold onto his job.

 

5) Justin Verlander won’t be the best pitcher on the Tigers staff

I’m not going so far as to say that Verlander will have a bad year. But I predict that Max Scherzer will have a breakout season, win 20 games, and possibly win the American League Cy Young Award. We’ve all heard this song and dance before and it’s a fool’s errand to parse predictions out of half seasons and small sample sizes, but Scherzer certainly has the stuff and ability to do it. More importantly, his advanced metrics (FIP, xFIP, SIERA) all markedly improved last year. My prediction is that the ERA and WHIP catch up in 2013 in a big way.

 

6) Carlos Gomez hits 25 home runs and steals 50 bases

While some are predicting a significant slump for Gomez, I see a big year ahead. The power is legitimate (see his HR/FB%) and we all know that Gomez is fast. The batting average will always be a risk, but thanks to the $24 million, three-year contract extension the Brewers handed him this offseason, Gomez will play unless he completely falls off the face of the earth. Gomez hit 19 home runs and stole 37 bases across 452 plate appearances in 2012. Hitting the targets I laid out for him in 600 plate appearances is a realistic possibility.

 

7) Bryce Harper stagnates…and maybe even takes a step back

In the long run, I suspect that Bryce Harper and Mike Trout are going to both be superstars that our cryogenically preserved heads tell our great-great-great-great-grandchildren about in some sort of dystopian future where the robots have harvested our bodies for their nefarious purposes. In 2013, though, I believe that Bryce Harper is going to have a hard time. The toutocracy are all pointing their fingers at Mike Trout as a regression candidate, but Harper is subject to the same laws of regression, is a year younger, and has to face the same high quality pitchers making the same adjustments. I’ve seen people taking Harper in the first round or paying $35 for him in only formats. That’s a mistake.

 

8) Matt Moore doesn’t have that big breakout season

Moore is every fantasy expert’s darling this year. I hate to be the wet blanket/sourpuss/voice of reason, but Moore’s high walk rates tell us that we should temper our enthusiasm, at least for now. Yes, Moore was better Post All-Star in the walk department, but this is a case where using partial season stats to support your argument is potentially faulty. I like Moore long-term, and think he could take a step forward this year, but temper your expectations this year and don’t pay for an ace just yet.

 

9) Zack McAllister is the Indians best starter, and a solid mixed league play

After a quick start for the Tribe in 2012, McAllister blew up and finished with some barely noticeable, pedestrian numbers. However, his peripherals were strong and most of his troubles came with men-on-base due to the long ball. McAllister has struggled once at every level before establishing himself and his 2012 struggles fit the pattern. Except a big step forward in 2013 with an ERA under 4.

 

10) Ryan Braun doesn’t get suspended (at least not in 2013)

It never fails. Every time even the tiniest piece of news leaks out about MLBs investigation about Ryan Braun, a host of fantasy players panic and refuse to draft him in the top 3. This is a huge mistake. I’m no lawyer, but joint baseball/legal experts like Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk and Wendy Thurm of Fangraphs both indicate that Major League Baseball’s case against Biogenesis is a long shot. Even if Braun is handed a suspension as a result, it’s highly likely that Braun and the Players’ Association will appeal. Barring injury or, you know, an actual failed drug test, Braun plays a full season this year.
 
Written by Mike Gianella
 

Senior Fantasy Writer, Baseball Prospectus

 

Fantasy Football: NFL Draft Prospects (Running Back)

Will Eddie Lacy's rookie year  look more like Trent Richardson's or Mark Ingram's?

Will Eddie Lacy’s rookie year look more like Trent Richardson’s or Mark Ingram’s?

By Kipp Yates

 
As you may have seen posted not long ago, I am evaluating prospects in the NFL Draft that could make an impact in your fantasy league. In this article, I evaluate the running backs.

 

Eddie Lacy- Another Alabama running back being considered as a 1st round draft pick, whats new? Eddie Lacy is an explosive runner who always fights for that extra yard. He falls forward when tackled on probably 90% of his plays. He has good vision and can be effective when running between the tackles. He can catch the ball out of the backfield and is surprisingly light on his feet for his size. He was running behind one of, if not the best offensive lines in college football history. The offensive line is the core to running backs effectiveness and some teams could honestly see this as something negative. I feel like Lacy could turn out to be a productive back, but never a superstar. He is going to be used as a workhorse and power back if he stays healthy. He will supply his share of receptions but I don’t see it being a huge part of his game. He will have a fantasy impact this year as he will most likely be the first Running back off the board to go to a team in the market for a feature back. I would draft him as a solid Flex or RB2 in this year’s fantasy drafts. In the years to come Lacy could become a safe Flex or RB2, but never a guy you will take in the early rounds. Lacy should be the most productive running back out of the 2013 draft class due to his size and quickness combo.
 
Joseph Randle- Randle is a great versatile running back who can catch the ball out of the backfield with ease. I feel he would fit great in a high flying offense like the Falcons or Packers who are both in need of running back help. I am however very high on Randle, I believe he will flourish as a running back in the right situation. He will mainly have to receive the opportunity to show off his skillset. His only downfall to me is that he runs a little upright. He has great ball skills and is an immediate threat out of the backfield. He can be effective running between the tackles but he is explsoive in the passing game.  If he is the #1 back and for the right team then watch out for him in the PPR leagues.
 
Marcus Lattimore- Lattimore is a huge wild card in the draft after suffering severe knee injuries two years in a row. I personally really like him and feel that he well be a steal in the middle rounds of the draft. He runs downhill and can catch the ball out of the backfield. I would like to compare him to Arian Foster of the Houston Texans. They have the same running style with excellent vision. Marcus Lattimore is better suited for a zone-blocking scheme in the NFL. Lattimore might be the most productive back in this draft in the long run. This year, we simply do not know yet. I feel like he could honestly be a fringe 1,000 yard rusher if healthy. He has proven he can heal fast as he has the mindset and desire to become great. His fantasy impact remains in question.
 

Montee Ball- Ball might be the most reliable running back in the draft. He has the most touchdowns in NCAA history and carried a big load for the Badgers the past 2 years. He is just an all-around good back. Nothing really flashes at you as he does not have superb speed, but he gets the job done and can do everything to a good extent. Ball had an average combine as was for the most part expected. He did however improve his 40 time at his pro day which helps tremendously. I believe that whoever drafts Montee Ball will have a very reliable back for the years to come. I believe that he will be very consistent throughout each and every game in his NFL career. He is a 1 cut back and forces his way up field. He is not very flashy and does not have the best hands but he will supply some team with a solid and consistent backfield. His fantasy football impact could be limited however because he simply doesn’t stand out in any characteristic and doesn’t have that superstar factor. I believe that he can be a decent flex play this year if he is starting. I believe a lot of his impact will depend on the team he goes to.
 

Giovani Bernard- Bernard could be the most electrifying running back in the draft. He is a big play waiting to happen. He is versatile as he returned punts at UNC. He has a very compact and stout stature. He flourishes in the passing and screen game which has come in to play more with the pass oriented league and running backs like Ray Rice, Jacquizz Rodgers, and Darren Sproles. He is also fairly effective between the tackles. My one knock on him however is his tendency to almost accept a tackle. He doesn’t necessarily fight for that extra yard or break a lot of tackles. He will instead use his elusiveness to help get through the open field. I would like to see Bernard be a little more physical and run through someone. I know he can do it because he is a strong stout man. I see Bernard as a RB2 with upside if in the right offense. He could be the missing piece to some teams in the NFL. Bernard will excel in PPR leagues in the near future if given the chance to be a 3 down back.
 
Again, these are just my opinions on the running backs in the upcoming draft class. I wish you all the best in you fantasy football leagues this coming year.
 

By Kipp Yates
Kipp is the newest addition to our FantasyTrade411 family. He covers Fantasy Football and the NFL Draft. He is on the younger side, but do not underestimate him! He has a passion for football and would love to do anything to help. Kipp is newer to fantasy baseball and basketball but is looking to learn more every day. Follow him on twitter @KippYates

 

Fantasy Baseball Player Profile: Evan Longoria

Will Frank Sinatra...err...Evan Longoria finish 2013 as the top-ranked third baseman?

Will Frank Sinatra…err…Evan Longoria finish 2013 as the top-ranked third baseman?

By Richard Janvrin

 

A three time All-Star, two time Gold Glove Award winner, 2008 Rookie of the Year and a Silver Slugger award winner. Those are a few brilliant accolades to describe what has been nothing short of a sensational so far for the 27-year-old third baseman, Evan Longoria. Looking at those milestones and accomplishments, you would think the road to the Bigs was fairly easy for Mr. Longoria, but it was all but that.
 
The Downey, California kid Evan Longoria was a two-year letterman in baseball. Shockingly, he did not receive any scholarship offers from any schools. USC showed interest, but backed out. In order for Longoria to play baseball, he attended Rio Hondo Community College. At this time, recruiters doubted he could play Division 1 ball due to his size and weight (6’1, 170 pounds), but from Rio Hondo he transferred to Long Beach State University after being offered a scholarship. Due to the team already having an established shortstop, Longoria shifted to third base. The “established shortshop” you might ask? Colorado Rockies SS, Troy Tulowitzki. Yes, that is one hell of a tandem. While at LBSU, he hit for .320 and was given All-Conference honors. Longoria was also named MVP of the 2006 Cape Cod League and was Co Big West Conference Player of the Year. Following this, Longoria was drafted.
 
After being considered the “best pure hitter”, the (at the time) Tampa Bay Devil Rays chose Longoria with their third overall pick in the 2006 MLB First Year Player Draft. He received a $3MM signing bonus. Following the draft, Longoria was placed in their Single-A affiliate, Hudson Valley Renegades, but before the season was over he had been brought up to Double-A, the Montgomery Biscuits. In total, during the 2006 season, Longoria combined for 62 games, with 18 HR, 58 RBI’s, and possessed a .315/.360/.597 batting line. Longoria continued this success in to the 2007 season.
 
During the 2007 season, Longoria played in 105 games for the Biscuits hitting 21 HR with 76 RBI’s and also a not to shabby .302/.403/.528 batting line. This success through the 105 Double-A games elevated him to Triple-A, the Durham Bulls.
 
In only 31 games to cap off the 2007 season with the Bulls, Longoria added another 5 HR’s, and 19 RBI’s and combined, had a grand total of 26 HR’s, 95 RBI’s and held a very admirable .299/.402/.520 batting line. But 2008 would be Longoria’s year.
 
On April 12, 2008, after many thought Longoria would open the season as the new look Rays (changed from Devil Rays to Rays the 2008 season) starting third baseman, but sent down to complete his development, the Rays incumbent starting third baseman Willy Aybar was placed on the disabled list which forced a Longoria call-up after only a total of 38 Triple-A games between ’07-’08. He also replaced Aybar on the 40-man roster. During his Major League debut he went 1 for 3 with an RBI and two days later hit his first career home run against the Yankees. Six days after his call-up, the Rays blessed Longoria with a 6-year contract worth $17.5MM with options during 2014, 2015, 2016. The original deal plus the options would have made the deal worth a total of $44MM. During his rookie season, Longoria won the 2008 All-Star Final Fan vote over White Sox OF Jermaine Dye, Royals outfielder Jose Guillen, Yankees first baseman Jason Giambi and the Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts. He had also participated in the Home Run Derby where he hit only 3 home runs. Though ultimately defeated in five games, Longoria led the once terrible Tampa Bay Rays to a World Series where they were defeated by the Philadelphia Phillies. Longoria finished the 2008 season with AL Rookie of the Year honors and with 27 HR’s, 85 RBI’s, 7 SB’s and a .272/.343/.531 batting line. 2009 would hold more accomplishment, statistically wise.
 
Before the 2009 season began, Longoria replaced 3B Chipper Jones on the USA World Baseball Classic roster, a huge honor for any player. Though the Rays fell short of the playoffs that season, Longoria had a career year. He hit 33 HR’s, 113 RBI’s, and hit for .281/.364/.526. He was also awared with a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards. Though the homer’s dipped, Longoria’s overall personal stats improved in 2010.
 
During the 2010 season, Longoria had a career high in average at .294 and an impressive 46 doubles. He also had 22 HR’s and 104 RBI’s. The Rays made the playoffs, but lost in the American League Divisional Series to the Texas Rangers, 3 games to 2. If you were to ask him today, I’d bet Longoria would say 2011 was one of his more memorable years.
 
Despite injuring his oblique and only playing in 133 games in 2011, Longoria made the biggest impact. On the final day of the regular season, in extra innings, Longoria hit a walk-off home run to send the Rays in to the playoffs just 3 minutes after the Red Sox finished a historically bad collapse by going 7-20 in September. The Rays would again fail to beat the Rangers in the American League Divisional Series again, but they accomplished the biggest comeback in Major League history. Longoria finished the year with a career low .244 batting average, but had 31 HR’s and 99 RBI’s. After a great 2011, you’d think 2012 would be nothing but great too, right? Wrong.
 
2012 was a devastating year for Longoria and Rays fans everywhere. On April 30th, against the Seattle Mariners at the Trop, Longoria tore his hamstring causing him to miss 85 games, was placed on the 60-day DL and the Rays went 41-44 during that span. The Rays missed the playoffs.
During the 2012 off-season, Longoria and the Rays agreed to a 6-year, $100MM deal and will keep the beloved third baseman in Tampa Bay through the 2023 season making Rays fans everywhere (including me) smile.
 
Through 637 Major League games, Longoria has a total of 652 hits, 130 HR’s, 456 RBI’s, and a career line of .276/.361/.516. Through 25 post-season games, Longoria has 8 HR’s, 18 RBI’s, but a fairly disappointing batting line of .194/.255/.490.
 
It’s safe to say Evan Longoria is one of, if not the best third baseman in the game today. Longoria, thus far, has had a very promising, illustrious career and at this rate and pending good health, will continue to do so for a very, very long time. Longoria and his wife (Jamie Edmonson, January 2010 Playmate of the Month) were blessed with their first child on February 20, 2013, Elle Leona Longoria.

 

By Richard Janvrin
 

NHL FanDuel Lineup for March 16, 2013 (EARLY Lock)

You thought I was a defenseman? Haha….this beard proves otherwise.

First, apologies to all of you who had been missing these articles since my last Sunday late lock post. Sometimes work gets the best of me and I literally do not have the hour or so it takes to write a proper analysis article. That said, if you have been following me on Twitter, I had put out a lineup each night. I believe that we only lost two lineups this week. I believe that my Wednesday lineup should have finished first in most 50/50s and tournaments. Thank you to all of you who tweeted me with your thanks. That means a lot to me (more than you know). You guys give me the inspiration to keep posting my lineups. Thank you for the Fantasy Hockey love.
 
On with this today’s early lock lineup. My lineup didn’t cash last night, in large part to the fact that (i) the Flyers/Devils game was not the shootout I anticipated (who knew Ilya Bryzgalov could stand on his head in meaningful hockey games) and (ii) I pulled Jimmy Howard and swapped in Pekka Rinne. If you did not see this late change to my lineup, you probably finished in the money in low dollar 50/50s.
 
This lineup at FanDuel locks at 1:00pm East / 10:00am West. This lineup is for all games today, but it just locks early.
 
Let’s start a fresh win streak.
 
What is Daily Gaming?
 
In case you had not noticed, “daily gaming” has made giant strides in the fantasy sports world over the past two years. Daily games in fantasy hockey allow you the opportunity to pick a new team of your favorite players each night. Depending on the type of game you play, you could earn thousands of dollars in any given contest. The best part about this is that, in the majority of U.S. states, it is all legal so you do not have to go around talking about how you risked “jelly beans”.
 
Once you have registered for an account at FanDuel and have deposited $10 using PayPal (and I know that you have spent $10 on worse habits such as buying a case, yes, a case of Schlitz), all you need to do is choose a $1, $2 or $535 matchup in the draft lobby, pick your roster while staying under the $55,000 salary cap, and then sit back and enjoy watching your stats compile all night! I promise that it is a great and fun way to enjoy the NHL action on any given night and a simple way to win some quick cash if you know what you are doing (or if you follow my advice).
 
My 3/16/2013 NHL Lineup (EARLY Lock)
 
Now that we have covered the basics, below is the lineup that I will use tonight in a $109 game and a handful of 50/50 games to ensure some payout, which has been my strategy over the past two and a half weeks. More often than not, I have finished inside the top 25 in these 50/50 games and while the payout is small, it somewhat hedges your cash in your head-to-head matchup if you happen to face a shark in any given day. Just to be clear, I play in 50 player 50/50 games as it is much easier, in my opinion, to finish in the top 25 than it is to finish in the top 50% of a smaller 50/50 game. That said, I do roll out the cash for the larger payout 50/50s if I feel great about my squad.
 
On with the lineup:
 
LW: Jiri Tlusty ($6,900)
LW: Brandon Saad ($5,400)
RW: Brendan Gallagher ($5,200)
RW: Pascal Dupuis ($6,500)
C: Sidney Crosby ($9,900)
C: Patrice Bergeron ($6,900)
D: Slava Voynov ($5,200)
D: Brent Burns ($4,400)
G: Jake Allen ($4,400)
 
Salary remaining: $200.
 
As of the moment of this writing, Jake Allen has already been confirmed to be in net tonight at 8pm Eastern facing an Anaheim Ducks team who is facing a 5 game winning streak. See proof from coach, Ken Hitchcock, here. That said, Allen is 4-0-0 since being called up from AHL Peoria with a 1.99 GAA and .933 save percentage. Plus, it seems as though FanDuel has not yet boosted up his salary. Even if he loses tonight, I’ll take the $4,400 salary and use the money for my skaters. Until Allen destroys my lineup, I will continue to use him, especially at this obscenely low salary.
 
This is one of the more balanced lineups that I have used in a while. I would like to go heavy on the Blackhawks at the Stars, but I want to see them perform. As -134 road favorites, I agree with the sharps (72% on the Hawks at this value) that they win the game, but until they give me some indication that they have regained their firepower, I am somewhat bearish on them. I am sticking with a couple of Penguins though. In two meeting this year against the Rangers, the Penguins put up 3 goals and 6 goals. If you are playing in Vegas, take the over 5.5. One sneaky play is Brent Burns at $4,400. He is listed as a defenseman on FanDuel, but in case you missed it, he is a first line RW playing with Logan Couture and Joe Thornton. I simply cannot pass up his value.
 
As I set this lineup well before the games are played in any given night, please make sure you check my Twitter timeline close to the first puck drop to see if I have made any swaps. As always, the one item that I have not yet nailed down as of this posting is which netminder I want in my lineup.
 
Access to FanDuel
 
With our new partnership with FanDuel, you get to reap some of the rewards as a loyal reader of FantasyTrade411.com. If you click-through here and sign up for a new account with FanDuel, you will receive free money on your deposit when you put in the promo code “FT411″.  Thus, when you enter the promo code, you will receive an extra $5 for a $10 deposit; a $10 bonus for a $25 deposit; a $20 bonus for a $100 deposit; and a $30 bonus for a $200 deposit.
 
No matter how well you are doing in this shortened 2012-2013 fantasy hockey season thus far, it is never too late to head over to FanDuel, draft a new team for tonight’s NHL action and enjoy watching the games!
 
A 23-year fantasy sports veteran and a California and New York licensed corporate attorney by day, I am the managing editor/senior writer/general counsel of FantasyTrade411.com. I am also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. Please feel free to contact me at any time on twitter @TheTonyM with your fantasy sports questions. Be sure to listen to my podcast “Sports Counseling with the Doc and Slim” with my radio partner, Michael Clifford (aka @SlimCliffy) on the Fantasy Trade 411 Radio Network.

Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide Testimonials

As you may have seen, we released the inaugural FantasyTrade411 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide a few weeks ago. The feedback has been overwhelmingly humbling and we wanted to share some of that with you in the hopes of convincing you to pick up the draft guide if you haven’t already. We’ve posted a few previews to give you a taste of what’s in the guide, but if you’re still waffling on whether or not you should buy it, hopefully some of the testimonials we’ve received will help convince you that it’s worth the price of admission:

 

Friend of FantasyTrade411, Adam Richman (of Travel Channel fame) was kind enough to give us a recommendation…

 

My friend @ helped me much during my 1st fantasy US football season. Here’s his baseball guide: http://t.co/Idbn3IfE Enjoy!
@AdamRichman
Adam Richman

 

Celebrity chefs not enough to sway you? Fine…how about some of our fantasy colleagues?

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Micah James

 

Don’t trust those guys? Man…tough customer! Here are some testimonials from people who actually paid for the guide:

 

@ getting the fantasytrade411 guide is a must. Someone else in my league will have it. Need to level the playing field.
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The Fantasy Ginger
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Giancarlo King

 

Even the writers who contributed to the guide have loved it! (ya, I know they’re biased, but still…)

 

Gladly making a donation on the @ site in addition to the $9.99 for The Guide. Well worth it when I'm hoisting trophies.
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Brian Forrester
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Sean P. Galvin

 

Still on the fence? The FantasyTrade411 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide can help you make friends on airplanes…

 

@ btw, your draft guide provided great reading material on my recent flights. Helped start a baseball conversation neighbor.
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Shhhhh. I'm reading the @ Fantasy Baseball Guide at work.
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Brian Forrester

 

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…it can help you up your trash-talking game to league mates…

 

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Brian Forrester

 

…and best of all, getting the draft guide is apparently just like Christmas!

 

 

The 2013 FantasyTrade411 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide: it’s as awesome as Christmas (thanks Oatz!)

 

If that’s not enough to convince you, I don’t know what else to say except that I’m glad I don’t work in sales. If it IS enough to convince you, here’s a link where you can check out the full list of what’s in the guide and read a quick explanation of your purchasing options (one of which is a GREAT deal for first-time FanDuel customers).

 

PS – if you’ve purchased the draft guide and want your testimonial included on this list, please feel free to send me a tweet or email (FantasyTrade411@gmail.com) and I’ll be more than happy to include you.