We Talk Fantasy Sports: March 2012 We Talk Fantasy Sports: March 2012

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Fantasy Basketball Week 14 (3/25-3/31)

3/31 - Jeremy Lin will miss the next 6 weeks after surgery.  He can no longer help your fantasy basketball team and needs to be dropped, if you have not done so already.  Linsanity is over!
3/28 -
  • Amare Stoudemire is officially out 2-4 weeks.  He will not be able to help your fantasy basketball team any more this season.  He is to be dropped immediately if you have not done so already.  Let us know who is available in your league if you need to replace Stat.
  • Jerryd Bayless will miss the remainder of the season with a Torn Oblique.  It really hurts me that I still have to say this but Goran Dragic is still just 68% owned.  He is a MUST ADD and should be on your roster if he is available. 

3/26 - Nikola Pekovic is eyeing a Friday return.  If this does not happen, he could choose surgery, most likely ending his season.  It is time to officially move on from the big guy as every game counts from here on out, with most playoffs starting this week or next.  Over the past 2 weeks, Zaza Pachulia (38% owned Yahoo) and Derrick Favors (33%) have earned more fantasy points than Amare, Marc Gasol and Boozer.  Jason Thompson (45%) is the only other player less than 75% owned that ranks in the top 25 over the past 2 weeks.

Chris Paul (98) and Kyrie Irving (83) were the only PGs to have more fantasy points this past week than Goran Dragic (79).  If you are looking for a push before your playoffs start, Dragic is a must add.  He is still just 63% owned in Yahoo leagues so there is a chance he is still available. 

Teams Playing 5 Games

Atlanta Hawks (29-20) - Currently the 6 seed in the Eastern Conference, the Hawks will face 5 teams currently sitting in a playoff position.  They start off with a home game against the Utah Jazz , whose 6 game win streak has propelled them into the 7 seed in the West.  After a night off they have a road game in Milwaukee against the Bucks followed by a home game against the Bulls.  Those two teams are a combined 15-5 in their last 10 games.  After a night off the Knicks come to town before Atlanta travels to Philly to take on the 76ers.  The Hawks have a very tough week ahead of the, but Joe Johnson and Josh Smith have been playing above their seasons stats over the last 5 games with Johnson scoring 21 a night and Smith averaging a double-double (19/11).  A key to this week and the rest of the season will be Jeff Teague finding his 3 point stroke again.  He has made just 3 in the last 5 games and just 7 of his 35 attempts in the month of March.

March Madness 2012 - Breaking Down the Brackets

If you are not familiar with Profanity or daily fantasy sports, take a peak now!

Saturday March 31 Final Four TV Schedule
Louisville vs Kentucky 6:09pm EST on CBS
Ohio St vs Kansas 8:49pm EST on CBS

What did your Final Four look like before the tourny started?  Let us know in the comment section!

Did You Know (Final Four)?      Pick Distribution        Popular Brackets
  • 58% of the brackets selected Kentucky to win in the Final Four
  • 18% of the brackets selected Kansas to win in the Final Four
  • 12.9% of the brackets selected Ohio State to win in the Final Four
  • 1.3% of the brackets selected Louisville to win in the Final Four
East - Break down of each team

Isn't is a law that the Vermont Catamounts have to make it to the Tournament?  I mean when was the last time they didn't play in the round of 64?  This is their 5 straight appearance after knocking off the Lamont Cardinals.


Possible First Round Upsets
  • Southern Miss (9) over Kansas St (8) 24% picked Sourthern Miss
  • West Virginia (10) over Gonzaga (7) 46% picked West Virginia
  • Texas (11) over Cincinnati (6) 25% picked Texas
Potential National Champions - Ohio St, Syracuse

Friday, March 30, 2012

Stat Grabber Spring Training Edition - Andrew Ericksen

You can’t take the numbers too seriously. After all, it’s just spring training, pre-season, the Florida baseball league where players are just warming up, trying to get their rhythms going before the 162-game stretch that will consume the next 5 months of their lives. That doesn’t mean that we can’t take a little peak at the progress of some of the top performers and players struggling at the bat so far this preseason. So Stat-Grabber’s got an eye out for the numbers that might be good to know.


10 – Amount of players hitting .400 or better so far this spring (minimum 35 at-bats). Some of the more important fantasy names amongst them: Lorenzo Cain, Alex Gordon, Howie Kendrick, Delmon Young, Dee Gordon, Chris Young and Hanley Ramirez. Young leads the pack of .400 hitters with 5 home runs and 19 RBIs while Dee Gordon’s 10 steals leads all spring training participants. Cain could be interesting to watch based on where he’s put in the Kansas City lineup and after a rough 2011 campaign, it’s nice to see Hanley showing some determination to do his thing.

6 – Current three-way tie for the lead in spring-training home runs between Ryan Raburn, Alfonso Soriano, and Dan Uggla. While Uggla’s a sure thing to put up some big power numbers this year, it will be interesting to see what the solid spring-trainings from utility man Raburn and aging outfielder Soriano mean for the 2012 season.
12, 4 – Total walks and home runs in 44 plate appearances for White Sox DH/1B Adam Dunn. Coming off quite possibly the most disappointing season throughout the league last year - .159 batting average,11 home runs – a .455 On-Base-Percentage this spring is particularly nice to see. We like him as a solid bounce back candidate.

Fantasy Baseball 2012: Roster Moves Prior to Opening Day

Within minutes of every draft wrapping up there are moves made.  Sometimes its because you missed the beginning/middle/end of the draft and the computer auto drafted someone that you are not fond of, or was a 3rd shortstop.  Other people look back at their draft and say what the hell was I thinking?!  Well thankfully the waiver wire is always full of talent before the season begins.  Below are the top players from last season that are less than 75% owned in Yahoo leagues.  If you are still looking to improve your roster before the season really begins, take a look!

Fantasy Points are based on the following scoring system:

Singles - 1pt
Doubles - 2pts
Triples - 3pts
Homeruns - 2pts
RBI - 2pts
Runs Scored - 2pts
Walks - 1pt
Stolen Bases - 1pt
Win - 10 pts
Innings Pitched - 2 pts
Earned Runs Allowed - (1pt)
Strike Outs - .5pt

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Advanced Fantasy Baseball: 2012 Closer Strategies - Finding Cheap Saves#links#links

This week alone we have seen Joakim Soria, Royals Closer, go down needing Tommy John Surgery, Ryan Madson, Reds Closer, also need TJS, and Drew Storen, Nationals Closer, has inflammation in his elbow but apparently no structural damage, he may not be available for the start of the season. That is enough to make almost anyone question the decision to pay market rates for saves.

Original Story

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Brad Wolff: Time To Put The One-And-Done Debate To Rest

Following NCAA President, Mark Emmert's, halftime interview with Jim Nantz on Sunday, the engine was revved up again. The catalyst for the debate not worth debating: the never ending saga of the one-and-done in college basketball. A topic that has been thought provoking enough that Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari has had to continuously defend his means. Regarding John Calipari's usage of the one-and-done, Emmert defended the 53 year old coach saying, "Any coach who's using the rules and operating inside the rules to provide them with a competitive advantage is certainly within their prerogative." On his Final Four squad, the Kentucky coach has six freshman players, including player of the year candidate, Anthony Davis. Those six clocked 4,014 minutes played in the 36 games prior to their victory over Baylor, three hundred minutes more than last year's freshman class. In the interview on CBS, Emmert expressed his desire to amend the rule to at least make it a two-and-done rule, stating the current system is "a travesty of the whole notion of student as athlete." The question becomes, does implementing a recyclable, one-and-done system give the team a better chance to win a National Championship?

Original Story

Friday, March 23, 2012

Approaching Your Fantasy Baseball Auction Draft - Johan Lang

Can you believe that baseball is already around the corner? With the helter-skelter scheduling of the NBA shortened season, coupled with the fantasy basketball playoffs around the corner and March Madness on the horizon, baseball has been nothing more than a distraction for most fantasy owners. Spring training just kicked off its first leg of what will sure to be filled with intriguing sleepers, busts, and a slew of Buster Olney. As half your league prepares for the playoffs, others should begin focusing on how to approach the upcoming fantasy baseball season.

So whether you are returning for yet another marathon baseball season, or entering your very first league, its important that you understand the Do’s and Don’ts of fantasy auction drafts. First off, let me preface this by saying that if Category leagues are the new Rotisserie, then Auction drafts are the new Snakes. Snake drafts are played out, while auction’s are not only much more fun and intense, but shows the true mettle of a fantasy owner. While most snake drafts are formulaic, as most players will be going within 1-2 rounds of their ADP either way, auctions are incredibly unique and different every time you are involved in one. Prices fluctuate, guys go at different times and for way different prices then they were supposed to (higher and lower) and everyone has a different strategy. The key is to be prepared.
Seeing as every auction is a separate entity of itself, you should approach it that way and adjust the ebb and flows of the draft. A rough flow of a typical auctions goes something like this:
  • Superstars come out early and go for the right prices
  • Next tier guys usually go a little cheaper than they should
  • The last 1/3 of draft pool goes for way too much money  as there are much less quality players and thus guys go much higher than they normally would
With that said, although this is a base of how a “typical” auction may go, it usually never happens that way. So the key is to be patient and wait for the right deal. Below are some tips and tricks to help you make the right decisions when the bids are flying back and forth.
  1. Be Patient: While other owners will come out firing, be patient and wait for the right deal to come to you. Baseball is the deepest of all the fantasy sports, it is a detriment to your future to blow your budget early. There are plenty of good players out there, and they can be had for a cheaper price if you wait a little longer than others.
  2. Build a COMPLETE Team: Unlike football where you can rely on 2 or 3 studs to carry you week to week, you need a full team to be competitive. You are more likely to lose if you spend 75% of your budget on 3 first round picks as the rest of your line up will have a bunch of duds to pick up the pieces. Major league baseball is a team sport, fantasy is no different.
  3. Don’t Overpay for Anyone: Set your limits and stay the course. Baseball is deep, and there is tons of value across the board at every position.  You are much better off paying the average value of everyone, then falling into the trap of getting into a bidding war for one specific player when another of similar value is just 3 or 4 picks away.
  4. Pay for 1 first round hitter and 1 Ace: Just like the first round of draft, you should set your sites on acquiring one top 10 hitter. Your budget allows for this and regardless of position you can build around him. You should also aim to get a top 7-8 pitcher who will be plugged in from day 1 and won’t be removed other than injury. It’s ok to mix and match your staff afterwards, but you need to have one guy that you can rely on week in and week out. This will be harder to find as everyone else will be chomping at the bit to grab one of these guys, but find 2 or 3 guys to target, wait to see what their prices fall to and snatch them up.
  5. Take a chance on a star on the DL: Chances are you will get more value from the ace or stud hitter that is out till May than you will on the upside flier in the last round. When you are picking from the scraps at the end, take the guy with the proven track record than the little known minor leaguer that you hope will explode.
  6. Save some money for the end: Not a ton, but enough that you can outbid other owners for guys that you want. When everyone has a dollar left to pay for the rest of the draft board, try and have 2 bucks per player. This way you always get the guy that you want, while they scream at the computer. Don’t forget the old adage, championships aren’t won in the beginning of drafts, but at the end.

Good luck in your drafts everybody.

Fantasy Basketball Week 13 (3/18-3/24)

3/22 - Kevin Martin's MRI revealed a tear in his shoulder.  He has missed 6 straight games and will continue to miss games.  Courtney Lee has been starting in place of Martin but is not the answer for your team.  Klay Thompson (49% owned Yahoo) is.  With Monta Ellis playing for the Bucks and Steph Curry still missing games, Thompson has taken full advantage of his new role.  18 points 2.5 rebounds and 3 assists over his last 5 games, that is nearly EXACTLY what Martin was averaging on the season, only Thompson's numbers are decimal points better!

3/21 - JJ Hickson has been picked up by the Portland Trail Blazers.  There will be plenty of playing time in Rip City for JJ.  Wait a game or two to see how they use him and then pick him up if you need help.

3/21 - Boris Diaw and the Charlotte Bobcats have agreed on a buyout.  It is unclear where he will sign but since he was cut before Friday, he is eligible for the playoffs.  Looks like the Celtics and Spurs are currently in the mix. 

3/20 - JJ Hickson was waived by the Kings, and looks like he will be scooped up by the Warriors.  He will be added to the rotation in the Golden State so give him a couple of nights to see what his numbers look like.  He is just 23% owned so there is no rush to scoop him up.

3/20 - Danilo Gallinari will miss another 4 weeks with a broken thumb.  And just like that Wilson Chandler is going to be the hottest thing on waivers.  He has already been added in 15,000 leagues since yesterday.  But even that number only puts him at 32% owned!  If you just lost Gallo, or just want to be that guy in your league, go pick up Chandler now!  He scored 13 points and added 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, & 1 block in just 28 minutes in his season debut!

3/19 - Wilson Chandler and the Denver Nuggets have agreed on a 5 year deal worth $37 mil.  No rush to pick him up just yet as Danilo Gallinari and other are standing in his way, but watch his progress.

Jerryd Bayless of the Toronto Raptors is averaging 21.8 points 7.6 assists and 3.6 rebounds a night over his last 5 games.  If you need help at the PG/G positions go pick him up!  He is just 33% owned in Yahoo leagues!

Teams Playing 5 Games

Atlanta Hawks(25-19) The 6 seed Atlanta Hawks face just one team currently in a playoff position and that is the Boston Celtics who have currently lost 2 in a row.  But before hosting the Celtics on Monday, the Hawks will be in Cleveland taking on the Cavaliers, who will be coming to ATL on Wednesday night.  Atlanta finishing the week hosting the Nets and traveling to Washington DC to face the Wizards who traded JaVale McGee and Nick Young.  Point being, this should be a nice week for fantasy owners of Joe Johnson, Josh Smith and Jeff Teague.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Fantasy Basketball Week 12 (3/11-3/17)

3/16 - NBA Trade Deadline Recap
  • Dwight Howard is still on the Orlando Magic and will be there next season as well.
  • The Wizards, Nuggets and Clippers completed a 3 team deal:
    • Wizards receive Nene - Increase in fantasy value
    • Nuggets receive JaVale McGee - Increase in fantasy value
    • Clippers receive Nick Young - Increase in fantasy value
  • The Portland Trail Blazers were involved in multiple deals
    • Gerald Wallace was traded to the Nets - Increase in fantasy value
    • Marcus Camby was traded to the Rockets - Value stays the same
  • Stephen Jackson, who was just traded to the Warriors, was shipped to San Antonio for Richard Jefferson - Jackson's value increases, while Jefferson's value decreases.  I wouldnt own either player though
  • The Lakers were involved in multiple deals as well acquiring Ramon Sessions and Jordan Hill - Both players value increases but only Sessions' should be owned.
  • Leandro Barbosa is now a member of the Indiana Pacers - Fantasy value decreases

3/13 - The Milwaukee Bucks have acquired Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh and Kwame Brown from the Golden State Warriors.  In return they will send Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson to the Bay Area.  Given that Andrew Bogut has not played since January 25th, this is a STEAL for the Bucks.

3/12 - Kyle Lowry will miss 2-4 weeks due to infection.  Goran Dragic is A MUST OWN.  At just 24% owned, Dragic will be running the point for the Rockets.  In his two starts for Lowry, he has posted back to back 20 point games and dished out 16 assists.  He also shot 15-29 over those two games knocking down 8 3s!

After a week off vacationing in Miami Florida, we are back with Week 12 Basketball.  We hope all of you had a good week without any help from us.  This is a good week to come back as Ricky Rubio has been ruled out for the season with a Torn ACL.  He will be nearly impossible to replace, but Luke Ridnour(58% owned Yahoo) gave owners hope that he could continue playing near Ricky's level before the injury.  In his start on Saturday night against the Hornets, Ridnour scored 14 points while dishing out 10 assists.  He is most likely available in your league, but I would look elsewhere.  Lou Williams(79%) should be your first option.  He is averaging 19 points 3 assists and 3 rebounds over his last 5 games.

Teams Playing 5 Games
Boston Celtics (21-19) - A 5 game west coast road trip starts in LA with games against the Lakers and Clippers.  Clearly a test for the aging Celtics, they are 4-1 in March heading into today's game with the Lakers.  After LA they head to Golden State, Sacramento and Utah.  This is actually the start of an 8 game road trip for the Celtics.  Expect less minutes per game for Allen, Pierce and Garnett as the week moves on.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Go BIG or Go Home - Jake Magnusson

If sporting a bronze or silver trophy makes you happy there’s nothing wrong with that but, if you want to string together a few championships you need to start going the extra mile. Nothing wrong with having a little fun with your buddies but, why waste your time for three months playing with the hand the draft dealt you, when you could be a nerd for a few days a year and give make an actual run.

Since you mean business you might as well treat it like one. The three P’s… preparation, planning, and players. This is your chance right now to create a Trade Debate Fantasy Basketball folder and add a few memos including this article. Make next year’s draft day party rock by peeking your file a few days before. Next Year’s draft should be epic since this year’s shortened season produced a new crop of ballers that will level the competition around your league.

The evolution of the wingman has produced a number of premier scorers that have changed the game by exploiting teams that can’t defend well and who cannot score enough points. The impact of the shot blocker has owners clamoring for the next big man to provide solid numbers that reward them every week by locking up the block category. Since there is a shortage of these giants an opportunity awaits in next year’s draft to break into this cache of rare point totals. Having that extra advantage week in and out allows your squad to win when they don’t perform. Looking at the components of those lineups that are consistently edging out wins, it seems a particular DNA is being developed as the season emerges. Just like the evolution of the big three roster in the NBA next year’s draft, should you choose to go big, it should go a little something like this.

Round 1- Premier Superstar
Round 2- 2nd Best Superstar still available
Round 3- No.1 Shot Blocker/Rebounder (Preferably on playoff team)
Round 4- No.2 Shot Blocker/Rebounder; Due to their being very few premier players
Round 5, 6, &7- Best Guards Available
Round 8- Prospect PF, C; Interchangeable due to Early Injury
Round 9- Touted Rookie

Going big early is like the first two times around the monopoly board. If you’re able to pick up key pieces that generate the most points across all categories you win the game. The reason is a) Consistency with the Superstars will carry you at the top all season. Recently the wingman scorer has been branded better to build a team around then the previous power forward. The athleticism of the pure scorers has been pushing the points per game higher than ever.  With that said their second attribute and most underrated I might add is the superstar’s durability. Without the abuse of banging around down low it’s far less likely they will be out at some point. Russell Westbrook, Deron Williams, and Monta Ellis should go much earlier in the 2013 draft. B) Shot Blocker/Rebounder is the difference maker between you and the rest of the league with the NBA having a great shortage in these 8 few elite. My god the most owned person in the NBA should be Serge Ibaka as every week he decimates this category along with Kevin Love who outperformed the giant expectations that he already was living up to. Guys like Marc Gasol, Love, Howard, and Ibaka are far fewer than the number of great guards and therefor far more valuable. And C) As I stated earlier categorically good guard play keeps you in matchups as Fantasy Points favor having strength at guard. If there is a sidebar or caveat it would be that saving room in your lineup for the next Jeremy Lin or Marshon Brooks and keep a close eye on past conference leading teams as they tend to be a very deep reservoir of talent as such in the case of the Mavericks, Clips, and Sixers where you can most likely find value in their rosters during in a pinch. Rodrigue Baeubois, Mo Williams and Lou Williams proved to be worth their weight in gold for many clubs this year. Next year no one will be discounting these guys for a late add.

Drafting this way next season will keep you competitive in almost any league and against almost any opponent. The association is back with a vengeance and with it comes a renewed Fantasy League full of possibility. Unlike past draft days the 2013 draft should be exciting and interesting. Getting a good read on the top crop right down to the last weeks of this season may prove worthwhile to see who’s a pretender and who’s a contender for your team.  

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fantasy Basketball 2012 - Sophomore Midterm Grades

This year’s sophomore class has been less than stellar. Even as rookies most of them disappointed. While the sophomore slump has affected a majority of the players, there are a handful of 2nd year players who are taking full advantage of their minutes and have increased their efficiency this season.

Warning: These players are not necessarily worth looking at for your fantasy team.
Stats provided by Hoopsstats

Valedictorian: Jeremy Lin – Only player with an efficiency rating increase greater than 10

  • "Linsanity" was short lived, but any basketball fan, especially in New York will tell you that they knew he was not a superstar by any means.  It was all media hype and put a ton of unnecessary pressure on the sophomore.  Lin has come back down to earth and so have his stats but this is where he will be from here on out.  Up to 15 points a night with the random 20 pt game thrown in and 7-10 assists a night.  he will continue to be a valuable fantasy player and a must own in all league formats.  Just remember the turnovers are not going away anytime soon.
“A” Students: Nikola Pekovic, Greg Monroe, Jordan Crawford, Greivis Vasquez, Paul George, Timofey Mozgov, Tiago Splitter, Gordon Hayward  – Have 5 point increases or better
  • Pekovic is averaging 18 points and 9 rebounds a game in the month of March.  In his last 3 games he has scored 70 points and has 10 double doubles since Feb 1.
  • After averaging 18 points and 10 boards in February, Greg Monroe has struggled in March scoring just 11.8 points a night.  But with his recent struggles, the Pistons are 7-4 in their last 11 including 2 wins over the Celtics along with victories over the Lakers and Hawks.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Second Half Forecast: Can They Keep It Going? - Andrew Ericksen

Everyone loves a good sleeper, someone coming out of nowhere.  It's one of the best feelings when you either draft or pick up the key ingredient to a future playoff run.  Owners of these players have reaped the rewards of their statistical improvements this year, but should we expect these good times to continue?

Jeremy Lin
2010/11 – 2.6 ppg, 9 minutes per game, 1.5 assists, 1.1 steals
2011/12 – 14.4 ppg, 24 minutes per game, 5.8 assists, 1.5 steals

Since taking over the starting point guard spot, the increase in numbers has been even more drastic. Lin’s the biggest surprise story of the first half of the fantasy season, and the question on all Lin owners’ minds is whether or not the magic will continue.  In Carmelo’s first three games back, Lin put together two very solid fantasy outings and then got trounced by the Heat.  Miami put more pressure on Lin than he’s seen so far, and that could be a bad omen for things to come.  If teams take notes on how Miami constantly challenged Lin, the turnovers could keep increasing while the field goal percentage falls, but you’ve got to keep riding the Linsanity until this little theory proves valid. Don’t expect the “unreal” Lin of the first 7 games, but we’re buying in as a very solid #2 PG.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Fantasy Basketball 2012 - February Recap

The Oklahoma City Thunder boost the NBA's best record at 28-7.  How does that translate into fantasy basketball?  Well they were only team to have 4 of the top 50 players for the month of February.  Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Serge Ibaka each had a great month and got into the top 50 in different ways. 

Durantula ranked #1 in the month of February by scoring nearly 40 points more than the next best guy...Russell Westbrook.  On top of the points, KD35 also ranked top 10 in steals and defensive rebounds.

Russell Westbrook ranked #4 and on top of his scoring spree, Westbrook added 30 offensive rebounds, 76 assists and 21 steals. 

Is Ezekiel Elliot Still a 1st Round Pick?