Browsing Posts published in November, 2013

The first playoff round is over and our teams finished 1-1. TCC1 came up a little short and dropped a tough 141-113 game to Boomer Sooner while TCC2 won a shootout against Seidel, 163-145. With the win against Seidel, TCC2 will advance to take on Griswolds for the league championship in Week 13. TCC1 must wait until for the Week 14 Championship round to commence. 

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Last week, the 5-6 New York Jets looked completely inept as they dropped a 19-3 decision in Baltimore to the Ravens. As a rookie passer, Geno Smith has looked bewildered against the blitz. The Ravens deployed a multitude of blitz packages and Smith was only able to complete four passes for 42 yards through three and a half quarters of play. The 5-6 Miami Dolphins figure to follow suite and apply pressure early and often. 

The Miami Dolphins, who are no strangers to controversy, head to New York off a very tough home loss to the Carolina Panthers. Carolina QB Cam Newton willed the Panthers to a last second victory and sent the Dolphins into a six-way tie for the final AFC playoff berth. With only five weeks to go, every game is critical. Given how tight the playoff race is, this battle of 5-6 AFC East foes is essentially an elimination game. 

After this week’s home tilt against the Dolphins, the Jets will host the 4-7 Oakland Raiders, travel to take on the surging 8-3 Carolina Panthers, host the 4-7 Cleveland Browns, and square off against the 5-6 Dolphins in Week 17. A win this week will give the Jets a great chance at securing eight wins with the possibility of nine wins. The Jets figure to be a large underdog in Carolina against the Panthers. 

Bookmakers are expecting a tight game between the Jets and Dolphins. A review of past 2013 NFL odds suggest that the Jets are the play as the home team in a ‘Pick’em Game’. The Jets are 4-1 against the spread as a home team this season while the Dolphins are 2-3 ATS as a road team. In addition, the over/under is set at 38.5 points, which is one of the lowest Week 13 totals. Miami QB Ryan Tannehill is one of the most sacked quarterbacks in the NFL, so expect Rex Ryan to deploy pressure looks to test Miami’s offensive line. I like the Jets this week in a very tight contest.

Prediction: Jets 20 Dolphins 17

On Saturday, the Yankees and free agent catcher, Brian McCann agreed to a five-year, $85 million contract. The 6’3″, 230 pound, 29-year-old, lefty swinging McCann spent his first eight seasons with the Atlanta Braves. As Atlanta’s full-time catcher, McCann hit at least 20 home runs in seven of his eight seasons. McCann, a career .279 hitter, also made the NL All-Star team seven times.  McCann will earn an average of $17 million per season, which will make him baseball’s highest paid catcher.

The upgrade from Chris Stewart to Brian McCann is the biggest positional improvement the Yankees could make. During 2013, McCann dealt with a shoulder injury, but posted a .795 OPS, which would have ranked third among American League catchers behind only Joe Mauer and Carlos Santana. Lefty power hitters are always welcome in Yankee Stadium and the short porch in right field will definitely boost McCann’s power numbers.  McCann does not have drastic splits, but he hits righties better (.285/.362/.495) than lefties (.259/.320/.424). Those split should help the Yankees spell McCann with Francisco Cervelli, who hits lefties. Don’t forget about the DH-slot, either where McCann can take a half-day off and mash against righties. 

Defensively, Fangraphs ranks McCann as an above average catcher. According to FG, over the last three seasons, McCann’s superior pitch framing ability alone has saved 65 runs. Over the last ten years, Atlanta has had a revolving door of good, young arms and Atlanta always ranks towards the top of ERA leaders. McCann’s ability to handle a young pitching staff cannot be understated. The Yankees don’t have a surplus of young arms, but McCann’s track record suggests he’ll be able to quickly learn the Yankee staff.

McCann is regarded as an emotional, gritty player and that’s exactly what the Yankees need. McCann has gotten into his share of altercations with opposing players, but that’s what teams want out our their catchers. McCann is a tough guy and will not let other teams showboat or showoff. 

This off-season’s free agent catcher class was headlined by McCann, Carlos Ruiz, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. The Phillies quickly retained Ruiz and the Yankees had a glaring need for an upgrade behind the plate. While the price tag may seem steep, Fangraphs projects McCann as a 4.5 to 5.0 win player during 2014. $6 million per win is the baseline in player valuation and if McCann can exceed a WAR of 3.0, he’ll pay off his salary. Make no mistake about it–Chris Stewart, Francisco Cervelli, and co. did an excellent job behind the plate last season, but McCann will hopefully remind Yankee fans of the glory days of Jorge Posada

The final week of the regular season is over. We took down first place in League #1 and scored the most points in League #2, netting us the #2 seed. After the dust settled, we play in semi-final match-ups during Week 12. Wins in Week 12 head-to-head match-ups advance us to the Week 13 league championship. Regardless of our Week 12 result, both teams advanced into the big money, overall championship round that occurs during Weeks 14-16. 

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Despite coming off a terrible loss to the Buffalo Bills, the New York Jets still have some hope to make the playoffs. Sitting at 5-5 and in second place in the AFC East, they have a favorable last six games on their schedule. So can the Jets overcome the odds and make the playoffs, despite having so many holes in their lineup?

Rookie quarterback Geno Smith has certainly had his ups and downs this season, and he is coming off perhaps his worst professional performance ever. Simply put, be happy that you did not start him in fantasy football last week. The Bills made him look silly, forcing three interceptions and a lost fumble. He was so bad that the Jets benched him for Matt Simms, who looked decent in him limited playing time. There is no quarterback controversy yet, but Smith all of a sudden is under a little bit more pressure.

The Week 12 matchup for the Jets is huge, as they will travel to Baltimore to take on the 4-6 Ravens. Both of these teams are somehow holding onto their playoff life, with San Diego, Miami, Tennessee and others battling as well.

Perhaps the one major calling card for this Jets team right now is their young, dynamic defensive line. They have been largely responsible for their huge wins over the New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints. Their offense is not going to simply outscore opponents, and they have no true fantasy football stars, but this team can win ugly as long as Smith (or Simms) can be competent out there.

The spotlight is always a little brighter on Rex Ryan and his Jets, but this team could take advantage of a top-heavy AFC this season. The loss last week isn’t the end of the world, but it makes this direct matchup with a contending Baltimore club that much bigger.

In case you missed it, I previewed each of the relevant FBS match-ups for Week 13. Part I is here and Part II is here. Based on my research and thoughts on each game, my Week 13 CFB position rankings are presented below. Enjoy.

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Yesterday, I released Part I of my two part Week 13 preview. You can check that out here. The remaining games are presented below:

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Make no mistake about it; daily fantasy sports leagues are starting to explode in popularity. Industry leaders such as Fanduel and Draftstreet are dumping big dollars into marketing and in turn, a new wave of players are entering the fray. I’ve begun to dabble in each sport offering, but I find myself intrigued by college football. College football is very popular among students and alumni, but has not generated much buzz in the fantasy community. There are hundreds of teams across Division I and it’s nearly impossible to know every player. Still, games focused on Top 25 only players or only on FBS sports makes the game more enjoyable. Fanduel and Draftstreet downsize their game offerings to include only a certain sample of games, which makes it much easier for the average player. After doing some research on Saturday morning, I decided to give myself a small bankroll and experiment in this space…My findings are discussed after the jump.

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Week 10: One playoff berth (and regular season championship clinched). Another is only a few points away…

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The New York Giants are 3-6 thanks to the return of running back, Andre Brown. Brown carried the ball 30 times for 115 yards in his regular season debut last week at home against the Oakland Raiders. Brown gave the Giant running attack, which was ranked 30th in the NFL, a huge boost. Prior to Brown’s season debut, the Giants started eight different running backs in their first nine games. Entering their Week 10 match-up, the Raiders ranked 6th in rushing defense, which makes Brown’s debut a little more impressive.

This week’s opponent, the Green Bay Packers, ranks in the middle of the pack, yielding 107 rushing yards per game. Last year, Brown accounted for 64 of 147 rushing yards. Without any competition for carries, Brown seems like a sure bet for at least 100 yards. The Packers boast some skilled defensive players in BJ Raji, Clay Matthews, and AJ Hawk, but Brown found success in the past. 

The Giants are hoping that Brown’s return will take some pressure off of Eli Manning and the passing attack. Impending free agent Hakeem Nicks has yet to find the end zone while Victor Cruz hasn’t scored since Week 4. Nicks, Cruz, and third receiver Rueben Randle all scored last year during last year’s 38-10 romp over Green Bay.

The Giants opened as 5-point home favorite against Green Bay. A few sportsbook reviews have the Giants as a 6-point favorite against the Aaron Rodgers-less Pack. The Giants’ offensive line has struggled, which is obviously a cause for concern. However, as long as Brown runs hard, the Giants should find more balance on offense. Look for the Giants to establish the run early and often as they try to grind down Green Bay’s front seven.

Prediction: Giants 31 Packers 14