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NJNR’s Tom ‘The Bomb’ picks $32 Kentucky Derby Winner plus $306 cold exacta! NFL Hall of Famer Harry Carson, mentor to Junior Seau, makes head trauma a priority Titanic message for sports and athletes: Get desperate now
 
NJNR’s Tom ‘The Bomb’ picks $32 Kentucky Derby Winner plus $306 cold exacta!

NJNR’s Tom ‘The Bomb’ picks $32 Kentucky Derby Winner plus $306 cold exacta!

Tom The Bomb Valledolmo, newjerseynewsroom.com racing correspondent and professional handicapper, continued his amazing run in the Triple Crown series by picking the Kentucky Derby winner for the third straight year when he not only tabbed I’ll Have Another, the $32 winner Saturday, but the $306 exacta with second-place finisher Bodemeister as well. Watch for more [...]

NJNR’s Tom ‘The Bomb’ picks $32 Kentucky Derby Winner plus $306 cold exacta!
NFL Hall of Famer Harry Carson, mentor to Junior Seau, makes head trauma a priority

NFL Hall of Famer Harry Carson, mentor to Junior Seau, makes head trauma a priority

BY ADELE SAMMARCO NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM NFL football great, Harry Carson, and Meridian Neuroscience spokesperson, made a surprise visit Thursday to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune. With a charismatic style all his own, the former New York Giants team captain visited stroke patients and popped in on Edison native Ken Kramer in his hospital room. [...]

NFL Hall of Famer Harry Carson, mentor to Junior Seau, makes head trauma a priority
Titanic message for sports and athletes: Get desperate now

Titanic message for sports and athletes: Get desperate now

BY MIKE TULLY NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM COMMENTARY All those Titanic movies over the weekend got me thinking about hitting golf balls. That may sound like an odd connection to make, until you see those passengers standing on the stern, hundreds of feet above the ocean, just before the ship goes down. They are doing anything they can [...]

Titanic message for sports and athletes: Get desperate now

Fantasy baseball 2012: Hot and Cold players

Over a month into the season now, some players are working their way out of preseason slumps, while others are still struggling to find their swings.  Here are the hottest and coldest baseball players of May.

All of these stats are for the last week of games played.

Depending on which category you need help in, there are different players to suit your needs.

WHO IS HOT HOT HOT

HR LEADERS

MIAMI, FL – APRIL 29: Giancarlo Stanton #27 of the Miami Marlins hits a home run in the ninth inning during a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Marlins Park on April 29, 2012 in Miami, Florida. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

1. Giancarlo Stanton – 5

2. Adam Dunn – 4

3. Carlos Beltran – 3

3. Carlos Gonzalez – 3

3. J.J. Hardy – 3

3. Chris Johnson – 3

3. Bryan LaHair – 3

3. Will Middlebrooks – 3

3. Hunter Pence – 3

3. Wilin Rosario – 3

3. Kyle Seager – 3

Mike Giancarlo Stanton has finally found his power stroke as he has cracked 5 HR’s in the last week, one of the hottest waiver wire pickups right now is Bryan LaHair who is absolutely tearing the cover off the ball for the Cubs.  Will Middlebrooks is doing his best to make an impression on the Red Sox as he smacked 3 HR’s in 2 days at Fenway, and Kyle Seager is showing everyone the early season success wasn’t a fluke and he is here to stay for the Mariners.

Stolen Base Leaders

ATLANTA – APRIL 15, 2012 – Michael Bourn pulls in with a double(Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

1.  Emilio Bonifacio – 5

2. Michael Bourn – 4

2. Jose Reyes – 4

3. Alejandro De Aza – 3

3. Rafael Furcal – 3

3. Cameron Maybin – 3

3. Angel Pagan – 3

3. Jordan Schafer – 3

I was dubbing this the year of the stolen base, and so far there are plenty of young speedsters running wild on the base paths.  Most notable is Emilio Bonifiacio who is showing no signs of slowing down, and could eclipse 75 SB’s this year.  Rafael Furcal is nearly old enough for social security, but that isn’t stopping him from running for the surprising Cards, and if he can stay healthy he looks like the steal of the draft thus far.  Jordan Schafer is doing his best to stay fantasy relevant as his only HR came off Jamie Moyer, but with guys like Jose Altuve and J.D. Martinez hitting behind him, he will score plenty of runs and steal you some bases.

RBI Leaders

HOUSTON, TX – MAY 02: Chris Johnson #23 of the Houston Astros gets a high five from Dave Clark #35 of the Houston Astros after hitting a three run home run against the New York Mets in the second inning on May 2, 2012 at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

1. Chris Johnson – 10

1. Kyle Seager - 10

2. Carlos Beltran – 9

2. Allen Craig – 9

2. Chipper Jones – 9

2. Will Middlebrooks – 9

2. Carlos Ruiz – 9

3. Freddie Freeman – 8

3. Carlos Gonzalez – 8

3. Brian McCann – 8

3. Hunter Pence – 8

3. Hanley Ramirez – 8

3. Giancarlo Stanton – 8

No surprise here that most of the HR leaders are also RBI leaders as guys like Will Middlebrooks and Giancarlo Stanton are doing their damage with men on base.  Freddie Freeman has continued his assault on the baseball, I thought he was 2 years away from elite status, but he is trying to get there now.  Hanley Ramirez still isn’t hitting for a high average, but he is doing well in the power and RBI departments, and now that he qualifies at third base and SS, his value has gone up.

High Average Leaders

ATLANTA, GA – SEPTEMBER 1: Martin Prado #14 of the Atlanta Braves and teammates celebrate with Chipper Jones #10 after Jones’ solo home run in the second inning of the game against the Washington Nationals at Turner Field on September 1, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

1. Chipper Jones – .524

2. Asdrubal Cabrera - .481

3.  Elvis Andrus – .480

4. Yunel Escobar – .450

5. Rafael Furcal – .429

6. Austin Jackson – .423

7. Derek Jeter – .423

8. Allen Craig – .421

8. Andy Dirks – .421

9. Howie Kendrick -  .417

10. Starlin Castro – .407

Even though Chipper leads the high average category he isn’t an advisable add due to his age and AB’s per week. Asdrubal Cabrera and Elvis Andrus are proving they are elite shortstops and should be started in all formats right now.  Derek Jeter who is one of my favorite sell high candidates is still hitting for a high average, but as expected the power pretty much disappeared.  Austin Jackson’s new swing seems to have improved his contact rates this year, and he should be picked up in most mixed leagues.

WHO IS ICY COLD

Last 7 days

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – JULY 4: Corey Hart #1 of the Milwaukee Brewers goes down swinging for the 3rd and final out as the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Brewers during their game at Miller Park on July 4, 2011 in Milwaukee, WI. The Diamondbacks defeated the Brewers 8-6. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

 Michael Saunders – CF - Seattle Mariners – .125/1/1  24 AB/ 12 KO  0 SB

Dan Uggla – 2B – Atlanta Braves - .233/1/2  30 AB/ 12 KO  2 BB 5 R

Corey Hart – OF – Milwaukee Brewers - .174/0/0 23 AB/ 11 KO  3 BB  0 SB 2 R

Ryan Raburn – 2B – Detroit Tigers – .059/0/1  17 AB/ 9 KO  0 R

Adam Lind – 1B – Toronto Blue Jays – .111/1/1   18 AB/ 8 KO  0 SB  1 R

Buster Posey – C – San Francisco Giants – .200/0/2   25 AB/ 8 KO   2 R

Dustin Ackley – 2B – Seattle Mariners - .208/0/0  24 AB/ 7 KO  5 R  1 SB

Robinson Cano – 2B – New York Yankees.240/1/4   25 AB/ 7 KO  0 SB  3 R

Danny Espinosa – 2B – Washington Nationals – .150/0/0  20 AB/ 7 KO  1 SB 2 R

Dexter Fowler – OF – Colorado Rockies – .133/0/3  15 AB/ 7 KO  0 SB  2 R

Rickie Weeks – 2B – Milwaukee Brewers – .130/0/0  23 AB/ 7 KO  0 SB  2 R

Brennan Boesch – OF – Detroit Tigers – .125/1/3  24 AB/ 6 KO  0 SB  2 R

Ike Davis – 1B – New York Mets - .118/0/1  17 AB/ 6 KO   0 SB  2 R

This list could go on forever, as there are plenty of star players not producing up to their potential (Albert Pujols).  A quartet of disappointing second basemen in Uggla, Cano, Weeks and Ackley are on the list.  Cano was a late first or early second round pick for most owners in 2012, and he is going to need to heat up soon in order to approach the 30 HR/ 100 RBI plateau most his owners expected him to reach.  Ackley was a favorite sleeper, and after cracking a HR opening day it seemed like the sky was the limit.  Now hitting out of the leadoff spot, he sports a lowly .208 average and just 1 SB so far in May.  Rickie Weeks is playing his way out of many fantasy lineups as he hasn’t showcased much power or speed in 2012, he might be injured, because there is no way he is this bad… right?  There were plenty of owners (not me) who felt that Dexter Fowler was poised for a breakout season this year, and he has shown some power early on, but over the past week hitting just .133 with 0 HR’s and 0 SB’s isn’t helping his cause.  For a supposed speedster he doesn’t steal many bases, and with that long looping swing I still feel it takes him too long to get to the baseball.  I think Fowler gets another year or two with the Rockies and they move on, I keep hoping to see Tyler Colvin get regular playing time as I like his power potential, but with CarGo, Fowler, and Cuddyer in the OF for the Rox, Colvin is currently the odd man out.

Looking for advice on these players or more?  Check out the forums where fantasy baseball discussions are ongoing daily.

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Posted in Baseball35 Comments

Can Anyone Slow Down Rajon Rondo?

Boston Celtic point guard Rajon Rondo has always had a penchant for big games. His affinity for nationally televised matchups is well documented, and practically all of his best performances has come under the NBA‘s brightest lights. Celtic fans have often seen this as a double edged sword because, while Rondo takes his game to another level when he’s on National Television, he often disappears in matchups against lesser competition. He plays great in big games, but he doesn’t play that well all the time which can be frustrating for Celtic fans because they want him to play at that level every game. However here is the good news for Celtic fans – every playoff game is a big game, and through four games of the 2012 NBA playoffs, Rondo looks to be in big game form.

Boston Celtics‘ Rajon Rondo (9) shoots on Chicago Bulls’ Keith Bogans (6) during the second half of their NBA basketball game in Chicago April 7, 2011. REUTERS/John Gress (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

Rondo was playing at an elite level going in to the playoffs, closing out the regular season on a streak of 24 straight games with double digit assist totals, and finishing the year averaging 11.9 points and 11.7 assists per game. Yet unbelievably Rondo has been even better at the start of the playoffs – through four games, minus the one he missed due to suspension, Rondo is averaging 19 points and 13 assists, all career playoff highs. Things can change in an instant in the NBA, and while the Celtics are up 3-1 on Atlanta this series is far from over. However based on a three game sample Rondo sure looks unstoppable, and that makes the Celtics really scary.

The saying in Boston for years has been “as Rondo goes so go the Celtics.” Well Rondo is going and, unfortunately for the rest of the league, there doesn’t appear to be anyone left in the east who can slow him down. When Derek Rose got injured the one player who would pose a legitimate challenge for Rondo exited the playoffs. New Jersey’s Deron Williams has given Rondo problems before, but he and his Nets are on the golf course right now while Jay-Z and the Nets ownership group plan their move to Brooklyn. Milwaukee’s Brandon Jenning is also an awfully good player, but his Bucks missed out on the playoffs in the season’s final week, and he isn’t on Rondo’s level anyway.

Of the point guards left in the Eastern Conference Playoffs the one who has actually defended Rondo best is Atlanta’s Jeff Teague. While somewhat under the radar, overshadowed by other Atlanta stars like Joe Johnson and Josh Smith, Teague has turned into an very good point guard for the Hawks. He’s one of the few players in the league with quickness on Rondo’s level, and in their two regular season matchups he held the Celtic point guard to a miserable 7-30 shooting. Rondo still put up big numbers, recording a triple-double in Boston‘s April 11th win at the TD Garden, but Teague made him work for everything he got and forced into a bunch of bad shots. Teague has done his best to slow Rondo downin the playoffs, but through four games he really hasn’t had any success, and if and when the Celtics get past the Hawks it will only get easier for Rondo.

Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade (R) and Boston CelticsPaul Pierce (L) are held back by Heat’s Mario Chalmers (15) and Celtics’ Rajon Rondo (9) during their NBA basketball game in Miami, Florida April 10, 2011. Both received technical fouls during the play. REUTERS/Rhona Wise (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

Provided that the Celtics get past Atlanta, their next opponent would be either the eighth seeded Philadelphia 76ers, or the Rose-less Chicago Bulls. This would mean either Philadelphia’s Jrue Holliday or Chicago’s C.J. Watson going head to head with Rondo. Both are good players, but one would still expect Rondo to dominate the matchup in route to a Celtic win. If Boston were to make it to the Eastern Conference finals their opponent would likely be either the Miami Heat or Indiana Pacers, meaning a matchup between Rondo and either Miami’s Mario Chalmers or Indiana’s Darren Collison. Again this really should be a case of no contest, and while both teams are good enough to win even if Rondo dominates, they will have a tough time slowing Rondo down which makes beating Boston a real challenge. Nothing is guaranteed. In fact, given Boston‘s injury history and penchant for blowing leads, it’s far from a certainty that the Celtics will even get past Atlanta. However if they do take care of business against the Hawks things are set up pretty well for Boston because there doesn’t seem to be anyone left who can slow down Rondo.

Now as a pass first point guard Rondo’s success still depends on his teammates knocking down shots. If Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Avery Bradley all start bricking the open looks Rondo gets them, or if the injury bug strikes again, the Celtics are in trouble regardless of how well Rondo plays. However as long as Rondo keeps playing at this level, and his teammates stay healthy and keep knocking down open shots, there really is no limit to how far the Celtics can go. They have numerous weaknesses that can be exploited, but since nobody in the east has an answer for Rondo, the Celtics have a fighting chance against any team out there.

Boston Celtics Rajon Rondo (C) scores on an assist from Paul Pierce (not shown) as Los Angeles Lakers Lamar Odom (L) and Ron Artest react during the fourth quarter of Game 5 of the 2010 NBA Finals basketball series in Boston, Massachusetts, June 13, 2010. REUTERS/Larry W. Smith/Pool (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

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Andy Pettitte to start Sunday for Yanks


Yankees GM Brian Cashman has announced that 39 year old Andy Pettitte will pitch this Sunday, May 13th, against the Seattle Mariners. This will be Pettitte’s first start since retiring over a year ago. The veteran lefty has a 240-138 career record but more importantly has a new hunger for the game. The Yankees were stacked with starters entering the year but with injuries (Pineda) and horrible slumps (Hughes) the Yankee staff could use some stability. Pettitte should provide just that, as the reports coming from Yankee camp say that he is in great physical shape and should be ready to compete this weekend. 

I just picked up Pettitte in a league where i needed some help with my ERA and WHIP. Pettitte has a great chance to get you some wins as well.

If you want to talk more about my Yankees hit me on twitter @Awies28

Alex Wiesner

Be sure to check out other great articles at Mr Fantasy Freak.

Posted in Baseball28 Comments

Bobby Valentine’s latest Red Sox cry: Who can pitch?

Here’s the pitch thrown by position player Daniel McDonald that sank the Boston Red Sox last night in the 17th inning at Fenway Park. McDonald, an outfielder, pressed into service as a pitcher threw one right down the middle that the Orioles Adam Jones liked and he rode it over the left field wall for a three run homer. Boston and Baltimore each used eight pitchers before going to position players Chris David and Darnell McDonald. The last time two teams brought in position players to pitch in the same game was 87 years ago, October 4, 1925, when Hall of Famers Ty Cobb of Detroit and George Sisler of the St.Louis Browns closed out the second game of a doubleheader on the last day of the season. The last time any position player wound up as the winning pitcher was May 25, 2011, when Philadelphia infielder Wilson Valdez threw one scoreless inning in a 19-inning victory over Cincinnati. Chris Davis, Baltimore’s DH, now finds himself in baseball records book as the games winning pitcher. As the Orioles DH last night he was terrible. He went 0-8 as DH, striking out five times and grounding into a double play. Davis, struggling at the plate was told by his Oriole manager to get out to the bull pen and start warming up. 

 

Darnell McDonald’s an outfielder. He played for Baltimore in 2004. Last night manager Bobby Valentine reached deep down into his barrel of tricks and ordered him to take the mound in the 17th inning. Before the inning was over Orioles Adam Jones hit his three-run homer. In Boston’s bottom of the 17th Chris Davis shut the Red Sox hitters down, striking out All-Star slugger Adrian Gonzalez, and got Darnell McDonald to ground out into a double play to end a game that took 6 hours,7 minutes. Final score of the 17 inning marathon, 9-6 Baltimore. The win put Baltimore into first place in the American League East Division race, a half game over second place Tampa Bay. Boston’s loss, their fifth straight at home, including nine of their past 10, are in last place, seven and a half games behind division leader Baltimore. Boston’s playing terrible baseball with a 11-16 record (.407)

The New York Yankees are not doing much better sitting in the next to last position,four games from the top with a 15-13 record (.536)

 

There’s no doubt the Boston franchise is in trouble. How much blame can be attributed to the internal conflicts between Red Sox players and Valentine is pure speculation. Obviously an up-set clubhouse is not healthy for any pro sport team. Negative Fenway fan reactions to Valentine has to have ownership/management concerned. Valentine has never managed a “calm”, relaxed ball club. Over time his personality, his abrasive, in your face style of interacting with people ruffle feathers in the clubhouse, and executive suites of franchises he’s worked for. He’s ticked off players, owners, fans in two countries, the United States and Japan. That’s no small feat. His closest friends say,”Bobby Valentine is his own worse enemy-if only he could keep his mouth shut!” 

 

Now we have a great franchise, great team with a history unmatched, the Boston Red Sox, playing .407 baseball, wallowing in last place with no light shining at the end of the tunnel. How long will Fenway fans remain “patient?” How many more times can manager Bobby Valentine step out of the dugout to a sell-out crowd chorus of “boo’s” before even he has to wear down? How many times will it take for the grounds-crew to replace the worn-out grass between the Red Sox bullpen and the mound? How much longer will it take owner John Henry and his new front-office executives to figure out Bobby Valentine was a terrible fit for Red Sox baseball? Many baseball experts voiced those words when we heard the news Bobby was hired. How long will it take for Red Sox ownership to understand once the insane patients (players) took over the asylum, all was lost. Terry Francona and Theo Epstein knew that at the end of last season. Ownership reacted by forcing them out and bringing in Bobby Valentine, the biggest “nut,” biggest “head case” of all. 

Boston’s sport talk radio shows must be bombarded today with callers screaming for change..screaming for Valentines head. Relax Fenway fans, It’s only May 7th, we still have plenty of baseball ahead. Your team can’t do any worse. They’re in last place. No pressure. 

Today’s another day at Fenway Park. When Red Sox players arrive in the clubhouse Valentine’s cry will be -…….”WHO CAN PITCH?”

by Larry Upton

“Upton on Sports”-source:washingtonpost/nydailynews/

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Posted in Baseball37 Comments

NY Post Phil Mushnick Defends Position of Saying Nets Could Be Called Brooklyn Niggers

Before I explain to you how flawed and stupid Mushnick logic is defending his column (NY Post Writer Phil Mushnick Says Nets Could be Called “New York Niggers”) here is what he had to say about Bob Blitz.

Such obvious, wishful and ignorant mischaracterizations of what I write are common. I don’t call black men the N-word; I don’t regard young women as bitches and whores; I don’t glorify the use of assault weapons and drugs. Jay-Z, on the other hand…..Is he the only NBA owner allowed to call black men N—ers?”

Jay-Z profits from the worst and most sustaining self-enslaving stereotypes of black-American culture and I’M the racist? Some truths, I guess, are just hard to read, let alone think about.

(Same column I provide support for Amar’e Stoudemire at a time when everyone in town is ripping him to shreds. That was my LEAD, too, but what does that matter?)

Later in the Mushnick replied to an email from the Village Voice: “”James [King] – did you actually read what I wrote and what I’ve been writing for 30 years? I don’t call black men niggas; my kids never heard the word until folks such as Jay-Z came along. I’d suggest you talk to him about it. What I wrote today was on Jay Z’s artistry, and only the wishful and foolish would so badly misinterpret and mischaracterize it as you plan to do.

First off when did Mushnick become the voice of who can or can’t say Nigger and black stereotypes in America?  Ironically, he is perpetuating one of the biggest stereotypes of all.  That all rappers or black guys in hoodies are thugs and gangsters.

Nelly is a minority sports owner, Usher is a minority sports owner, Marc Anthony is a minority sports owner and ton of other entertainers.

Magic Johnson just bought the Dodgers, does that mean Mushnick can make a column saying their name can be changed to the LA AIDS?

Just because Mushnick wrote nice things about Amar’e that means he can’t write an ignorant column?  That is the “black friend” defense that I told you he would use.

He goes to it often……

He never would call a black man a nigger or a woman a whore, but Jay Z does, so he lazily writes a column about calling the Nets the Brooklyn Niggers.

He might have a beef Jay Z and he might not be a racist, but what he truly is an ignorant individual.  This has nothing to do with Jay Z, this has to do with a white reporter being able to be flippant about calling a team filled with mostly black players niggers.

Nothing funny or creative about that.

It was crude and self serving.  It couldn’t have been done to anyone else without Mushnick being fired.  He couldn’t have said the Brooklyn Chinks or Brooklyn Jews, that wouldn’t have went over very well.

His intent is irrelevant, I don’t care what he meant, I care about what he said.

The fact that the Post doesn’t care tells you all you need to know how they feel about black people in general.  It is still ok for us to be spoken about in a negative way and no one will ever say anything, but Jeremy Lin can have 30 people fired over headlines regardless of intent.

Always remember as a black person as soon as you step out the door you are down 14-0 in society and when they want to cover up their ignorance they will just blame Jay Z.

 

Be sure to check out other great articles at BlackSportsOnline.

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Fantasy Baseball Two start pitchers week 7 May 14th – May 20th, 2012

Week 7 will showcase some of the best pitchers in the game as two start options.  Chances are you won’t need to dip into the third or fourth tier if you are looking for a two start pitcher in the upcoming scoring period.

All projections are current as of May 7th, 2012.  These projections are subject to change if there are rain delays or injuries.

Tier 1

Clayton Kershaw pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Clayton Kershaw – LAD                        5/14 vs ARI – Ian Kennedy                    5/19 vs STL - Jake Westbrook

Stephen Strasburg – WAS                    5/15 vs SD – Anthony Bass                   5/20 vs BAL – Jason Hammel

Dan Haren – LAA                                   5/14 vs OAK – Brandon McCarthy        5/19 @ SD – Jeff Suppan

C.C. Sabathia – NYY                              5/15 @ BAL – Jason Hammel                5/20 vs CIN – Johnny Cueto

Zack Greinke – MIL                                5/15 @ NYM – Dillon Gee                       5/20 vs MIN – Jason Marquis

David Price – TB                                    5/15 @ TOR – Henderson Alvarez         5/20 vs ATL – Tim Hudson

Ian Kennedy – ARI                                 5/14 @ LAD – Clayton Kershaw             5/19 @ KC – Danny Duffy

Cliff Lee – PHI                                        5/15 vs HOU – Aneury Rodriguez           5/20 vs BOS – Josh Beckett

Lee is still a low #1 option as he returns from injury, but should be able to get on track with that first start against the Astros.

Tier 2

Jon Lester – Getty Images

Anibal Sanchez – MIA                            5/14 vs PIT – Erik Bedard                        5/19 @ CLE - Zach McAllister

Johnny Cueto – CIN                               5/15 @ ATL – Tim Hudson                       5/20 @ NYY – C.C. Sabathia

Jon Lester – BOS                                   5/14 vs SEA – Kevin Millwood                 5/19 @ PHI – Joe Blanton

Brandon Morrow – TOR                         5/14 vs TB – Jeff Niemann                       5/19 vs NYM – Miguel Batista

Tim Lincecum – SF                                5/15 vs COL – TBA                                    5/20 vs OAK – Tyson Ross

There is plenty of concern about Lincecum this year, but with 2 very winnable games against the Rockies and A’s, he is a tier 2 starter this week

Colby Lewis – TEX                                  5/14 vs KC – Danny Duffy                        5/19 @ HOU – Lucas Harrell

Kyle Lohse – STL                                    5/15 vs CHC – Paul Maholm                    5/20 @ LAD – Chad Billingsley

Lohse has been one of the surprises of 2012, and is very nearly a tier 1 starter for the upcoming scoring period.  He should be active in all formats while he is pitching like this.

Derek Holland – TEX                               5/15 vs KC – Bruce Chen                         5/20 @ HOU – Aneury Rodriguez

Brandon McCarthy - OAK                      5/14 @ LAA – Dan Haren                          5/19 @ SF – Ryan Vogelsong

Tier 3

Ryan Dempster – Wikipedia

Chad Billingsley – LAD                           5/15 vs ARI – Wade Miley                         5/20 vs STL – Kyle Lohse

Jason Hammel – BAL                             5/15 vs NYY – C.C. Sabathia                     5/20  @ WAS – Stephen Strasburg

Hammel has looked extremely solid through the first month of the season, but with two tough matchups against the Yanks and Nats he doesn’t quite make the second tier of pitchers

Ryan Dempster – CHC                            5/14 @ STL – Jake Westbrook                 5/19 vs CHW – Eric Stults

Dempster pitches like a tier 1 guy, but with no offense backing him up, and the bullpen blowing all his wins, he falls to the third tier for week 7

Josh Johnson – MIA                               5/15 vs PIT – Kevin Correia                      5/20 @ CLE – Jeanmar Gomez

Max Scherzer – DET                               5/15 @ CHW – Jake Peavy                        5/20 vs PIT – Kevin Correia

Scherzer gets two easy offenses in week 7 as he faces the White Sox and the Pirates, and his owners could get a nice week out of the young hurler

Josh Beckett – BOS                                5/15 vs SEA - Jason Vargas                    5/20 @ PHI – Cliff Lee

Drew Smyly – DET                                   5/14 @ CHW – John Danks                      5/19 vs. PIT – Erik Bedard

Tim Hudson – ATL                                   5/15 vs CIN – Johnny Cueto                     5/20 @ TB – David Price

Ross Detwiler – WAS                               5/14 vs SD – Jeff Suppan                         5/19 vs BAL – Wei-Yin Chen

Detwiler has been turning heads in Washington, D.C., and he vaults into the third tier for week 7.  If you are in need of a solid pickup, he should be available in most fomats, and has two very winnable games against the Padres and Orioles.

Erik Bedard – PIT                                     5/14 @ MIA – Anibal Sanchez                   5/19 @ DET – Drew Smyly

Bedard looks like he is capturing his old form, but with two power offenses upcoming in the Marlins and Tigers, it will be hard for him to lock up two wins, and he is a low tier 3 option.

Tier 4

Ervin Santana – Wikipedia

Ervin Santana – LAA                               5/15 vs OAK – Tyson Ross                       5/20 @ SD – Anthony Bass

Most owners still see Santana as a tier 2 or tier 3 option, but this year he is barely ownable as his control is all over the map and strikeouts are down.  The good news?  Two pitchers ballparks in Oakland and San Diego make Santana a high tier 4 option.

Jason Vargas – SEA                                5/15 @ BOS – Josh Beckett                      5/20 @ COL – TBA

John Danks – CHW                                  5/14 vs DET – Drew Smyly                        5/20 @ CHC – Paul Maholm

Henderson Alvarez – TOR                       5/15 vs TB – David Price                           5/20 vs NYM – Dillon Gee

Alvarez is another young arm to keep an eye on in 2012, he is starting to turn heads but with a tough matchup against the Rays he remains a tier 4 option in week 7

Jake Westbrook – STL                             5/14 vs CHC – Ryan Dempster                 5/19 @ LAD – Clayton Kershaw

Joe Blanton – PHI                                     5/14 vs HOU – Lucas Harrell                    5/19 vs BOS – Jon Lester

Ryan Vogelsong – SF                               5/14 vs COL – Jeremy Guthrie                 5/19 vs OAK – Brandon McCarthy

Jeff Niemann – TOR                                  5/14 @ TOR – Brandon Morrow               5/19 vs ATL – Randall Delgado

Danny Duffy – KC                                      5/14 @ TEX – Colby Lewis                       5/19 vs ARI – Ian Kennedy

Duffy might have a funny name, but he throws in the high 90?s from the left side, and could be the ace of the Royals staff in a few years.  Having to face the Rangers and Diamondbacks won’t help much in week 7, which is why you find Duffy in the 4th tier.

Jeanmar Gomez – CLE                              5/14 @ MIN – Carl Pavano                       5/20 vs MIA – Josh Johnson

Tier 5

Homer Bailey – Getty Images

Wei-Yin Chen – BAL                                  5/14 vs NYY – David Phelps                    5/19 @ WAS - Ross Detwiler

Homer Bailey – CIN                                   5/14 @ ATL – Randall Delgado                5/19 @ NYY – David Phelps

Wade Miley – ARI                                       5/15 @ LAD – Chad Billingsley               5/20 @ KC – Bruce Chen

Dillon Gee – NYM                                       5/15 vs MIL – Zack Greinke                     5/20 @ TOR – Henderson Alvarez

Marco Estrada – MIL                                  5/14 @ NYM – Miguel Batista                  5/19 vs MIN – Carl Pavano

Randall Delgado – ATL                              5/14 vs CIN – Homer Bailey                    5/19 @ TB – Jeff Niemann

Carl Pavano – MIN                                      5/14 vs CLE – Jeanmar Gomez              5/19 @ MIL – Marco Estrada

Lucas Harrell – HOU                                   5/14 @ PHI – Joe Blanton                       5/19 vs TEX – Colby Lewis

Bruce Chen – KC                                         5/15 @ TEX – Derek Holland                  5/20 vs ARI – Wade Miley

David Phelps – NYY                                    5/14 @ BAL – Wei-Yin Chen                   5/19 vs CIN – Homer Bailey

Paul Maholm – CHC                                    5/15 @ STL – Kyle Lohse                        5/20 vs CHW – John Danks

Kevin Correia – PIT                                     5/15 @ MIA – Josh Johnson                   5/20 @ DET – Max Scherzer

Tyson Ross – OAK                                      5/15 @ LAA – Ervin Santana                   5/20 @ SF – Tim Lincecum

Jeremy Guthrie – COL                                5/14 @ SF – Ryan Vogelsong                  5/19 vs SEA – Kevin Millwood

There is no reason to own any of the Rockies pitchers in 2012, let alone the “ace” of the staff Guthrie.  Even with two winnable games against the Giants and Mariners, Guthrie will probably give up 4+ runs in each game.

Jason Marquis – MIN                                   5/15 vs CLE – Derek Lowe                      5/20 @ MIL – Zack Greinke

Kevin Millwood – SEA                                 5/14 @ BOS – Jon Lester                         5/19 @ COL – Jeremy Guthrie

Aneury Rodriguez – HOU                            5/15 @ PHI – Cliff Lee                              5/20 vs TEX – Derek Holland

Miguel Batista – NYM                                   5/14 vs MIL – Marco Estrada                   5/19 @ TOR – Brandon Morrow

Jeff Suppan – SD                                          5/14 @ WAS – Ross Detwiler                  5/19 vs LAA – Dan Haren

That is it for today, as always any questions please take to the forums!

Be sure to check out other great articles at Fantasy Team Advice.

Posted in Baseball34 Comments

2012 Early Fantasy Football WR Rankings

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Here’s an early look at 2012 LestersLegends fantasy football tight end rankings.
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1. Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions
Megatron was an absolute beast last year with 96 catches for 1681 yards and 16 scores. He’s number one and it’s not really close.
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2. Wes Welker, New England Patriots
What knee injury? All Welker did last year was catch 122 passes for 1569 yards and nine TDs. With Gronk and Aaron Hernandez it is hard to key in on Welker. Not to mention the addition of Brandon Lloyd.
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3. Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants
Victor Cruz put up better numbers last year, but Nicks was a force as well with 1192 yards and seven TDs.
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4. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals
Michael Floyd should relieve some of the attention on Fitz, who had his fourth 1400-yard season.
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5. Victor Cruz, New York Giants
After 1536 yards and nine TDs there should be plenty more salsa dancing in 2012.
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6. Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers
He’ll be 33, but he still has plenty of speed and an emerging quarterback.
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7. Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons
Recorded his fourth 1200-yard season and has 29 scores over the past three years.
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8. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
At times he was even better than Roddy. He should really emerge in his second season.
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9. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers
He has sneaky quickness and a great rapport with the best QB in the game. Scored 15 times last year.
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10. Andre Johnson, Houston Texans
He makes me nervous because he couldn’t get healthy last year. He finished strong though and should be a great value this year.
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11. Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears
Assuming he stays out of trouble he should build on the 1214 yard, six TD season as he’s reunited with Jay Cutler.
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12. Mike Wallace, Pittsburgh Steelers
For now I consider him likely to return to the Steelers. He has elite speed and is coming off his second big year. Look for more of the same.
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13. Greg Jennings, Green Bay Packers
Was limited to 13 games last year, but still caught nine TDs with 949 yards.
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14. Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints
Continues to produce 1000-yard seasons. He’s averaging 1040 yards and eight TDs per year in his six seasons.
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15. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals
Had a great rookie year (1057 yards, seven TDs). Look for even more.
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16. Brandon Lloyd, New England Patriots
Played with a ridiculous bad cast of QBs in his time with Denver and St. Louis last year. Brady should help him improve on the 966 yards and five scores.
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17. Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings
The Vikes will have to figure out a better way to use Percy and Adrian Peterson at the same time. He was dominant at times, and should continue to be productive both running and catching the football.
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18. Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts
Wayne will take on the role of Andrew Luck’s security blanket. The Colts still figure to be behind most of the time and forced to throw a bunch.
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19. DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles
Coming off a disappointing season (961 yards, four TDs). He’ll be hit or miss, but he should be much better in 2012.
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20. Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
He isn’t in as fantasy-friendly a situation, and you’ll have to worry that he won’t be as motivated after getting paid. Still, he’s got a great speed-size combo and should remain a difficult cover.
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Posted in NFL47 Comments

Michael Vick And Other Fantasy Football Quarterbacks To Avoid In 2012

As Fantasy Football owners continue to list and re-list their cheat sheets for the 2012 NFL Season, several quarterbacks are getting a bit too much love as we head into May. Between coaching changes, injury history or roster turnover, some quarterbacks find themselves either losing value or getting overvalued compared to 2011. Below are my top 5 players who I won’t touch with a ten-foot pole come Fantasy Football Draft time.

Michael Vick may put up big numbers, but his injury history will make me shy away from him.

1. Michael Vick (Philadelphia Eagles) - I’m not avoiding Vick because of his stats. The guy can put up 3500 passing yards and toss in another 500 on the ground without blinking. The problem with Vick is he can’t stay healthy. Because of his continued “I’m going to run when the pressure is on” attitude, he has yet to play a full 16-game season since 2006. There is no doubt that the guy has weapons. DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Brent Celek and LeSean McCoy set Vick up for a promising season again in 2012, but the chances of him missing 2-3 games because of an injury are always too great. If you do draft Vick, you better as hell get a really strong QB2 to make up for that missed time. As of now, I don’t trust any of the team’s other quarterbacks to carry the load if Vick is out. Mike Kafka? I don’t think so.

2. Alex Smith (San Francisco) - Smith not only gets too much love because of the 49ers’ playoff run last year, but also because the team added Randy Moss to the mix at receiver. To me that signing means jack squat. Smith was and will continue to be one of the more inconsistent starters in the entire league. Looking at his stats from 2011, Smith was only able to put up a little over 196 passing yards a game and had 5 games in which he didn’t have a touchdown pass. Even as a QB2 in a bye week, those numbers aren’t exactly spectacular enough to get me a win. Now don’t get me wrong. In a 16-team league, you almost have to take Smith in order to have 2 starting quarterbacks. But in 12 teamers, Smith just isn’t worth the time. If my QB1 went down, I’d rather look elsewhere.

3. Tim Tebow/Mark Sanchez (New York Jets) - So the Jets get in the mix for Peyton Manning, supposedly give Mark Sanchez more money as an “apology,” but then trade for Tebow? Are the Jets quietly trying to kill Sanchez’s self esteem? I give it around Week 6 or Week 7 until Rex Ryan starts feeling pressure from the fans and the front office to put Tebow in as the starter. It’s not like Sanchez was lighting it up before the trade. However, I don’t like Tebow or Sanchez as QB2s or as starters in two-quarterback leagues. Sanchez may not last the whole year. And even if he does, he wasn’t that good of a fantasy option even before Tebow came to the Big Apple. As for Tebow, there is still mystique surrounding him, but he’s going to get torn to shreds in the media and in the locker room if he doesn’t start throwing the ball more. Eventually, both of these guys could cancel out each others’ fantasy value, making both undraftable.

4. Joe Flacco (Baltimore Ravens) - Flacco wants to be paid like a top-5 NFL quarterback, but does he really deserve it? Under Flacco, the Ravens have gotten to the playoffs every year from 2008-2011, but his regular season numbers don’t translate very well fantasywise. In 2011, he averaged around 15 fantasy points a game. Which might be fine for a QB2, but the problem is Flacco continues to be drafted as a QB1 in many leagues and I really don’t know why. The team failed to upgrade their offense in free agency and the draft, instead relying on Anquan Boldin and second-year Torrey Smith. Cam Newton, whose offenses have been critiqued as “too predictable,” figures to continue the run-first mentality with Ray Rice. But Cameron won’t do much to help Flacco progress as a passer. Which is why many fans and analyzers were surprised Cameron was re-signed. The team also lost top guard Ben Grubbs to the Saints. Add that all up and I would rather let someone else deal with the headache.

5. Anyone from the 2012 Rookie Class – (Non-Dynasty leagues) I know it’s tempting to take a rookie quarterback in your redraft league, especially when it’s starting to get in the late rounds. But please don’t do it. While I envision both Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III having great success in the NFL, no rookie is worth taking in your initial draft. Cam Newton may have lit it up last year, but how often do we see a rookie put up those kinds of numbers in their first year as a pro? Newton was the exception, not the rule. If anything, I would rather let all these guys go undrafted and pick one of them up off the waiver wire if one of them does wind up having success early.

Be sure to check out other great articles at Fantasy Knuckleheads.

Posted in NFL39 Comments

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