Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It's Baseball Time!

I haven't been keeping in touch and for that I apologize.  I'll see how I do this time around.

I just recently moved to Hong Kong after living and working in South Korea for over a year.  Fantasy Sports is different from this side of the world.  What makes it different?  Time for one.  I am 12 to 13 hours ahead of U.S. East Coast time.  Daylight Saving time isn't observed so the time varies depending on the time of year.  South Korea is 1 hour ahead of Hong Kong so last year I was even farther ahead time-wise.  That makes playing Fantasy Sports different in and of itself. You have to plan your draft times differently.  What is a "normal" draft time in the U.S. is not a normal time here.  While living in South Korea I typically planned all my drafts for Friday or Saturday since it would be Saturday or Sunday for me.

Now I am in Hong Kong, I will again have to plan my draft times carefully.  I work M-F from 2 pm until 8 pm and Saturday from 9 am until 6 pm.  So I can do weekday drafts so long as they will finish before noon or so my time.  So a Tuesday 9 PM draft in the USA will be a Wednesday 10 am draft for me.  Get it?

The other major difference is simply keeping up with the games.  Night games there are morning or even noon games here.  But it can also be an advantage working the wires since most games use 2 AM or so ET as the time for clearing waivers.  That in around 3 PM here so while players sleep in the US I can see who is a Free Agent or which waivers were won.

Now it's time for MLB and I'm using the net for information more than ever.  I use to buy Fantasy magazines but here they are hard to get and expensive to have shipped from  the States so one has to adjust to using mostly on-line services.  I did before but I always had the hard copy also.  Now it is mostly digital.

I'll try to get back into the habit of posting again.  Until then, ....

Monday, April 27, 2009

I told you so ....

It's been a while since I blogged - I seem to twitter more these days. But I'll try to make an honest effort to get back to blogging about Fantasy Sports.

This season I have 2 roto teams on FoxSports whose lineups Include SP and RP and whose lineups are set daily. I also have 1 "Ultimate" team on Sporting News which includes SP and RP also and whose lineups are set daily. The difference is in the number of scoring categories and how scoring is kept. The FoxSports leagues are standard 5x5 roto, the ultimate has more scoring categories and has negatives for outs, strike outs, CS, and for pitchers for walks, hit by pitch, runs allowed, and hits allowed.

My other 3 regular fantasy teams are "once a week" leagues where you set your lineups prior to the first game being played on Monday. My CBS Sports team includes 5 SP and 2 RP while the MLB.com teams only include "team" pitching - you get points based on how well or poorly that team's pitching staff does in the game. I grabbed Boston in 1 league and was left with the Marlins in another. The first weeks the Marlins were the better staff to own but Boston has been looking much better of late. I added Seattle as an alternate in my league with Boston but have Boston going this week.

ALWAYS EVALUATE your team. Where are your weaknesses? Who is under performing? Who is on the Free Agent list in your league that can help you win now?

One of the keys to winning Fantasy Sports is making the right moves during the season as to who you have on your roster, and who you play versus sit on your bench. Don't get trapped by "names". It is stats that matter in Fantasy Sports and only stats. Adam Jones should be starting in your league above much more established "names". Chances are Adam wasn't even drafted or if it was it was a late inning "flier". He has been great. Detroits' Inge is another unheralded player who has been burning it up. I have no idea how long he will stay this hot but he has been one of the better players to own especially if you have him filling in your Catching position.

But both of these players should now be owned. Who is out there available? Look at your Free Agent list. Sort it by points if your league offers that option. If not, sort by RBIs and see who is at the top. Are they outperforming your player(s) at that position? Sort next by Runs and then SB. If your team is power Short you can also sort by Home Runs BUT the RBI sort should have given you those HR hitters also.

In Pitching I always sort by Strikeouts. And I then look at the pitchers who are striking out a lot of batters AND have either a good WHIP or good ERA - preferably both. Eventually a pitcher who strikes out a lot of batters and has a good (low) WHIP and ERA will get their share of wins or saves. If I am choosing between two similar pitchers, I choose the one that has the better offense behind them. This year that has been Toronto. One Pitcher who is worth a look (I grabbed him) is the Blue Jays Scott Richmond. His 2 Wins are nice but what entices me is his K/9 ratio and his low WHIP and ERA. He plays for a team that currently is hitting and scoring as well as any team. So he is a "pick up". Wandy Rodriguez of the Astros also has a great k/9 and a great WHIP and ERA but the Astros are not giving him any runs. If he pitched for the Blue Jays this year he'd be undefeated probably. I still like Wandy but right now I'd expect Scott to get more wins of the 2. Also Justin Masterson should be owned. Washington's Jordon Zimmermann should be owned or watched closely. He has already given me 2 wins and I expect him to only get better.

SP I like who haven't performed well yet are Liriano, Verlander and Kershaw. Ok Kershaw has had the 1 spectacular game that he followed by 2 duds. Liriano and Verlander have been victims of too many walks and too many home runs. I am holding both and looking for a turn around as they get "into the groove".

RP to watch - Marmol in Chicago and R. Soriano in Atlanta. IF they are ever given the closer role they will be worth owning. Until then I would watch them. IF Toronto's Scott Downs is still available in your league, he shouldn't be. Grab Him!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

It's almost time

I am waiting impatiently for MLB fantasy to start. I missed out on fantasy hockey and fantasy basketball this year because of time demands teaching ESL. I was determined to play fantasy baseball regardless but as of last Friday I am no longer teaching ESL. I didn't quit to play fantasy baseball but an effect of my resignation is that I will now have the time to play.

I'll start gearing up soon. How about you?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Waiting for MLB 2009 to start

I missed out on fantasy basketball and fantasy NHL this year. I drafted my fantasy NFL teams early and did fairly well. I had 2 teams make it to the finals but had QBs let me down in both finals. Mcnabb let me down in one (I lost by 12 points) and the next week he played great while Tony Romo let me down big-time and I again lost by a few points. If either QB had just and average game in my fantasy finals I would have won. But they didn't so I finished 2nd in both leagues. In my other leagues I went down earlier in the playoffs. So be it.

Now I am patiently waiting for MLB. I was so busy teaching ESL and tutoring when draft time arrived for fantasy basketball and hockey that I didn't even bother trying. But I will find a way to make time to draft a few MLB teams. I need the diversion fantasy sports provides. It is a form of stress relief from my otherwise busy and hectic schedule.

I am hoping to get ESL ironed out so I have enough free time to enjoy fantasy baseball. Time will tell.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Burning Bridges in Green Bay

A lot of people probably think this is about Bett Favre burning bridges in Green Bay. It isn't. It is about GM Ted Thompson and Head Coach Mike McCarthy burning bridges. When one reads between the lines, Brett Favre was not wanted in Green Bay. The Packers have "spun" the news to make the populace believe Favre is the villain, but according to Favre they have distorted the facts and lied about him. All to make themselves look better. For some reason I find myself believing Favre.

In today's Green Bay Gazette, here are some of the quotes

"sources said that when Favre showed up at Lambeau Field, he wasn’t allowed into the locker room or onto the field, and he watched part of the scrimmage from a luxury box."

"when he arrived in Green Bay before the Packers’ Family Night scrimmage on Sunday and was unable to get Thompson or McCarthy to return his phone calls."

Does that sound like a management that is going to give the player a fair chance at being QB? yes they said it would be an open competition, Favre went to Green Bay with that expectation. But it seems he was neve to be really given that opportunity. Just another press play by the Packers?

"That, combined with his anger over the Packers’ efforts to keep him retired, plus what he considered false stories leaked by the team about his offseason waffling, made it impossible for him to play for the Packers again after his talks with McCarthy and Thompson failed to bridge those differences.

“Mike told me, ‘Hey, we're a better team with you on it’ but wanted to know if I have a problem with an open competition,” Favre told ESPN. “I don't have a problem with competing – you know that, but Aaron should be the starter right now because he's been out here all this time. This is more than about an open competition, and I can do that, absolutely, but this is going to be mass confusion (if there’s a competition) and that's not good for this team.

“I'll practice my butt off, if it comes to that, and I think we all know what the end result will be, but this probably isn't going to work. And I truly understand that if I was in Mike's shoes, I'd see it basically the same way he sees it, I'm sure. And I think if he was in my shoes, he'd see it my way. I think we both agree on that. They want to know if I'm committed, but I want to know if they're 100 percent committed. The problem is that there's been a lot of damage done and I can't forget it. Stuff has been said, stories planted, that just aren't true. Can I get over all that? I doubt it.”

McCarthy’s meeting with Favre made clear the intensity of Favre’s resentment toward the Packers and Thompson for what’s happened this offseason.

Some of that came out in Favre’s interviews on Fox News in mid-July, when he said he didn’t trust Thompson because he thought Thompson had lied about several personnel matters they discussed..."

With Favre set to depart for Tampa Bay or New York probably, Thompson and McCarthy have to hope the Packers do better than the team Brett QBs this season. While a poll in Green Bay that asked fans "who was most concerned about the long-term future of the Packers, Favre and his supporters, or General Manager Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy" was answered the Packers' Management, don't be fooled by the answer. It was a weighed question designed to favor the Management. Obviously Favre is not a 5 year plan for the Packers. But if the question had been phrased "Who is most concerned about the Packers winning this season" I suspect the vote would have been different. And if fans had been asked which QB gave them a chance at winning a Superbowl this season, Favre or Rodgers, who do you think the fans would have chosen?

Now Thompson and McCarthy must hope that Rodgers can get them into the playoffs and that Favre has a bad season. If Favre is productive with his new team, then it will take more than making the playoffs for Thompson and McCarthy to survive in Green Bay. Thompson and McCarthy have placed their bet on Rodgers. It is probably an all or nothing bet. If Rodgers doesn't win and win a lot, look for Thompson and McCarthy to be leaving Green Bay.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Not Bad for a Rookie

Who's the rookie I'm talking about? Myself. This is my first season to play fantasy sports. I started last September with ESPN Fantasy Football when a group at my church formed a league. I decided to join and became quickly addicted, this this blog.

After football was NBA basketball, then NHL hockey (which I knew virtually nothing about to begin) and then in the Spring fantasy baseball. I drafted three teams on MLB.com and this week is the championship. Two of my three teams made it to the championship week and my third team second in its division but missed the wildcard slot of the playoffs by a few points (I had a better record than the #4 team but fewer points for).

So now I wait and see if I finish first or second in two out of three fantasy leagues. I'm not really sure why MLB.com concludes its fantasy season so early but it does.

I also have 3 teams on CBSSports and another on Yahoo. Two of my three CBS teams are contending for first place (the other is in third but way behind the leader). I messed up in my Yahoo draft by not paying close enough attention to the scoring rules. I drafted great starting pitching only to discover the league is weighted to hitting and relief pitching. I'm in the middle in that league but learned my lesson - I now read the scoring rules and roster requirements very carefully of the leagues I join.

In one NFL draft that attention seems to have produced fruit. The league rewards Return Yards (10 yards per point; 25 points at 50 yards; 50 points at 100 yards; 100 points at 150 yards). During the draft a couple of other team managers were making fun of me and talking about me being a rookie as I drafted players such as Jerious Norwood, Tedd Ginn, Jr, Nate Burleson and Devin Hester. They didn't pay attention to the scoring format. Tedd Ginn Jr suddenly becomes one of the most valuable WRS while he sits undrafted in most leagues. The same for WR Nate Burleson, RB Leon Washington, Jerious Norwood. RB Maurice Jones-Drew had value anyway but becomes much more valuable in such a format. Since return yards are also included in DST, a team such as Cleveland suddenly jumps ahead of other defenses since Cribbs is such a great returner and returns both kicks and punts. In fact, Cribbs is fore casted to be a top WR in this league solely due to his return yards.

So pay attention to those scoring rules. Learn from my rookie mistake!

Crowded backfield in Denver

I recently read a fantasy magazines view of the Denver running backs as "if you could combine all of them into one player, you would have a fantasy stud" - my paraphrase rather than a direct quote. Their comment was made in the Spring before Travis Henry and Mike Bell were released (and replaced) but is still a valid point. It appears many running backs will get carries in Denver and guessing which one will get the majority is like playing the shell game - blink and you lost which shell hides the ball.

Yesterday's Denver Post places Anthony Aldridge in the mix now along with Selvin Young, Andre Hall, and Ryan Torain. If you haven't heard of Aldridge, I'm not surprised. He isn't mentioned in 6 of the 7 fantasy football magazines I looked at, and I haven't seen him mentioned as even a sleeper by anyone online. ESPN Magazine was the only one that had him on the depth chart in their publication. So you may want to make one of the Broncos' RB a sleeper pick in your draft but be ready to change horses midstream off the waiver wire this season if you do.