Archive for the ‘Fantasy Baseball’ Category

That Old Draft Grind

Well, I guess I have my answer.

In the weeks leading up the 9th annual fantasy baseball draft, I was openly wondering how the early draft would influence my own strategy, and the strategy of all the other league members. Turns out not much.

Everyone brought their A-game and seemed prepared and ready to go. I guess it will make it all the more satisfying when Rays Those Cowbells clinches his second championship!

Enough small talk, let’s get to it.

The Clock Hits Zero

Once again grumblings about the absurdness of CBS’ draft rankings were the prevailing topic of conversation as we all entered the draft room. Every year they seem to get worse. On what planet should Sonny Gray be ranked ahead of Jose Bautista? Luckily I had a magazine with a much better player ranking list in front of me. I hope everyone else was that lucky.

With his annual first overall pick, Dennis snatches up the best player in the world, Bryce Harper. Wait it wasn’t Dennis? It was his brother? Oh! Regardless, a great start to team Stogies.

In the days before the draft, Dave told me he really wanted Paul Goldschmidt with this pick. Dave lied, and Mike Trout joins team Yankeehater.

I was very curious to see which direction Dylan would go in his return from the fantasy abyss. The best pitcher in the world is a great way to start.

WillisBeTheYear takes 56 seconds to select Paul Goldschmidt. That’s about 50 seconds too long.

The Love Boat Captains grab Joey Vo…. nope. It’s Anthony Rizzo, and it’s a great pick. Dylan is back and Ginger isn’t drafting Votto? It really does feel like 2009.

Is Mike live drafting? Is he live drafting but just not chatting? Wherever he is, Josh Donaldson at #6 is grand larceny.

After spending last season making fun of me for hyping up a rookie SS so much, Allan spends his 7th overall pick on Carlos Correa. Funny how things work out.

I’m only one pick away from having my favorite player this year, Manny Machado, fall to me. Nope, team RedRays is going to pick him at #8. Outstanding pick! If he gains SS eligibility, game over.

I didn’t know my first round pick preference until like 7:45. The pick is Miggy Cabrera, and I’m praying he has one more elite season in the tank.

Dennis closes out a great first round for everyone by grabbing an anchor for his rotation, Max Scherzer.

Round Two

Dennis finishes his double dip by taking Nolan Arenado, Dave’s favorite player ever.

Giancarlo Stanton is the pick for Rays Those Cowbells at #11, and my team might lead the league in time spent on the DL.

Team RedRays grabs Madison Bumgarner at pick #12, continuing an age old tradition of starting his team with a bat-arm combo.

Believe The Hype certainly believes in the Astros, as he double dips  and grabs Jose Altuve. Hey Allan, you better hope the Astros win the AL West.

Mike follows Allan’s lead and grabs a second Blue Jay to anchor his lineup. Donaldson and Encarnacion might hit 85 HRs between them.

Mookie Betts is pick #16 to the LBCs. It’s too early for me, but hard to doubt the three time champion.

WillisBeTheYear hits a home run and snatches the most underrated player in baseball, AJ Pollock. I thought Ginger would take him the pick before.

Dylan nabs Jose Bautista, and three Blue Jays hitters have gone in the first 20 picks.

Dave takes the next big thing in Kris Bryant at #19. I don’t have the heart to tell him he’ll strike out 200 times.

Team Stogies closes out the second round by grabbing 2016’s biggest bust, Zack Greinke.

Round Three

Dave V redeems himself in a big way and grabs Andrew McCutchen to open three. The guy is 29 years old. He’ll bounce back.

Jose Abreu reminds me of early career Evan Longoria, in that people keep drafting him expecting a next step. It’s a good pick for team Yankeehaters, but he’s reached his peak.

Dylan takes Buster Posey, and he now has the best pitcher and the best catcher.

Ginger is on deck, and Willis grabs Joey Votto. The rest of the draft is hushed into a stunned silence. The Love Boat Captains don’t have Joey Votto, and it’s the end of an era.

Ginger quickly recovers and grabs her anchor from last year, Jake Arrieta.

I wonder if Chris Sale ever gets tired of being drafted by team sportsmanMike? Remind me to ask him sometime.

Allan makes his best pick of the draft with Jacob deGrom. He may win the NL CY Young.

Team RedRays barfs on his keyboard and takes Justin Upton at pick #26. Sorry, but I hate this pick. There were so many better players on the board. This is a reach.

I was sure that David Price would go to team RedRays the pick before me. I quickly snatch him up to lead my rotation. I don’t care what uniform he wears.

Dennis drafted Dallas Keuchel last year and hit a home run. He figures if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

Round Four

Is it just me, or does it seem like there’s still a ton of elite players left on the board at this point? Dennis follows up on grabbing an ace by taking Sonny Gray at pick #31. A nice two-headed monster going forward.

Dan takes Matt Harvey at pick #32 in 2015. Dan takes Matt Harvey at pick #32 in 2016.

Team RedRays entire season might depend on whether or not Felix Hernandez bounces back from his slight decline from last year. I think he will. He’s still only 30. Good pick here.

Allan told me after the draft he was targeting Todd Frazier with this pick. It’s solid, but I think he could’ve got him a round later.

The champion takes Chris Davis here, and if this was a roto league, he would already have the “HR” category in the bag.

One of these years George Springer is going to hit 40 HRs. Ginger thinks it will be this year. She might be right.

Why does Corey Kluber tank in the draft every year? He’s a lock for 250 strikeouts. Willis is smart enough to not let last year’s fluky 9-16 record scare him away from an ace.

I’ve never liked Cole Hamels as much as everyone else seems too, but he was pretty dominate after the trade to Texas last year. Dylan has a couple dynamic lefties leading his rotation.

Why was Gerrit Cole still on the board here? Dave is probably wondering the same thing. Excellent pick.

Team Stogies makes Johnny Cueto the pick to close out round four. Will he bounce back? I’m glad it’s not my problem to worry about.

Rounds 5-10: Where Championships are Won

Stogies: Troy Tulowitzki, Adrian Gonzalez, Trevor Rosenthal, Adrian Beltre, Steven Matz, Drew Smyly.

Yikes, this is pretty impressive run of picks. If Tulo and Beltre bounce back, they’re absolute steals. Adrian Gonzalez is so solid and consistent it’s become boring, and Steven Matz and Drew Smyly might be my two favorite mid-rotation arms in the draft. I’m not sure why he took Rosenthal so early, but when you hit a home run with every other pick, I suppose you can sneak a bloop single in there somewhere. Excellent job.

Yankeehaters: Stephen Strasburg, Jon Lester, Xander Bogaerts, Starling Marte, JD Martinez and Justin Verlander.

Dave does what he always does in the mid-rounds, grabs a mixture of young up and comers and veteran studs. The Strasburg pick was god-awful and a rare miss by Dave, but Lester will be better than last year, Bogaerts might be a top 3 SS, and Verlander was pretty good in the 2nd half last year. Getting Marte and Martinez in rounds 8 and 9 to fill out your outfield is pure gold.

Roger Dorn: Maikel Franco, Garrett Richards, Hisashi Iwakuma, Daniel Murphy, Jose Reyes, Curtis Granderson.

Is Dylan getting tired at this point? He auto-drafted Richards and Iwakuma. I love the Franco pick, he gets so little respect because he’s on a god-awful Phillies team, but he’s among the best young players in baseball. I’m not a fan of the Reyes and Granderson picks, but they’re veteran producers who might have something left. Can Daniel Murphy turn his October heroics into more consistent fantasy production?

WillisBeTheYear: Jose Fernandez, Matt Carpenter, Nelson Cruz, Ketel Marte, Miguel Sano, James Shields.

One thing we know about Willis is he loves him so Jose Fernandez. For good reason too. Inning per inning, he might be the best fantasy starter not named Clayton Kershaw. Miguel Sano might be the steal of the draft. He strikes out a ton, but he’s the closest thing in MLB to Giancarlo Stanton in terms of raw power. Nelson Cruz and Matt Carpenter are going to be solid bats for this lineup. Marte could be a good SS, but I’m not sure how much Shields has left in the tank. I think there were better arms available at that spot.

Love Boat Captains: Corey Seager, Danny Salazar, Roughned Odor, Kyle Seager, Taijuan Walker, Jose Quintana.

Ginger takes the title running away for youngest team in the league. The average age of her roster might be 23 years old. The Seager brothers will be happy to know they’re on the same team, and Odor might be this years breakout second baseman. Everyone is pretty familiar with my man crush on Danny Salazar, and Walker could take the next step and fulfill his potential this year. Jose Quintana is your classic “LBC mid-rotation arm”.

sportsmanMike: Carlos Martinez, Kyle Schwarber, Colin McHugh, Stephen Piscotty, Brandon Crawford, Ryan Braun.

Mike must’ve turned on a few Cardinals games last year, because he got two of their young studs in Piscotty and Martinez. They could be this seasons breakouts. McHugh is underrated every year, and Kyle Schwarber might be the most exciting young player in baseball. Mike ends up with a player like Brandon Crawford every year, he freaks out when he doesn’t have a position filled and takes a guy 5 rounds too early. Last year it was JJ Hardy in round 9. He makes up for it by nabbing epic douchebag Ryan Braun in round 10. I hate his guts, but it’s good value.

Believe The Hype: Adam Wainwright, Chris Archer, Yoenis Cespedes, Yu Darvish, Marcus Stroman, Freddie Freeman.

Allan has vowed to bounce back after last years debacle, and a run of picks like this is a pretty good start. Throw out taking Yu Darvish 5 rounds before anyone else would have, and you have home runs at every other spot. Archer is a boarderline ace going at a SP #3 discount, Stroman is the next big thing on the mound in Toronto, and Freeman is as solid as they come on a bad Braves team. Wainwright didn’t injure his arm, so he should bounce back rather easily to ace form, and Cespedes got shoved down the boards because nobody knew where he would land in free agency. This is a sensational run of picks here.

RedRays: Adam Jones, Francisco Lindor, Brian Dozier, Kenley Jansen, Jason Heyward, Jordan Zimmerman.

Win, Win, Win, Win, Win, Win. Team RedRays strikes gold with every one of these picks. He snatches 2016 comeback player of the year Adam Jones the pick before I could get him, grabs the next big thing at SS in Lindor, and nabs the always underrated Jordan Zimmerman. Heyward will have a career year in Chicago, Dozier is a lock top-five second baseman, and Jansen closes games for a World Series contender. This run of picks might put you in the playoffs. Excellent work.

Rays Those Cowbells: Carlos Carrasco, Noah Syndergaard, Anthony Rendon, Robinson Cano, David Ortiz, Carlos Gomez.

Normally, I hate bragging about myself. But looking at it from an objective point of view, these picks are all slam dunks. Carrasco was my favorite pitcher in this draft. With better Cleveland defense, he’ll compete for the CY Young. Syndergaard has no innings-limit, throws 100 MPH and pitches for a World Series Contender. Rendon was the best young hitter in baseball in 2014. With better health, I’m counting on a serious bounceback. Gomez should bounce back nicely on an elite Astros team, and Ortiz will slam 35 HRs on his retirement tour. Is Cano washed up? Maybe, but it’s still 20 HRs and a .290 average from your second baseman in round 8. This run put me in the playoffs.

The October Boys: Lorenzo Cain, Masahiro Tanaka, Dee Gordon, Charlie Blackmon, Albert Pujols, Michael Wacha.

While all we talked about is Ginger getting Votto every year, Dennis is sneakily drafting Tanaka every single year. He’s a solid mid-rotation arm. Dee Gordon stole like a million bases last year and lasted until round 7. Made no sense to me. Blackmon was a poor man’s AJ Pollock last year, and Pujols still has his power if nothing else. Cain and Wacha seem to get better every year. This is a really great run of picks.

Picks I Really Love, Rounds 11-21

Round 11: Wade Davis by SM. Might be the best closer in baseball this year. Craig Kimbrel by RTC. Might be right behind him.

Round 12: Raisel Iglesias by LBC. A heavy RTC target. He’s good.

Round 13: Patrick Corbin by YH. Everyone seemed to be targeting him. Ken Giles by RTC. Electric arm on an elite team.

Round 14: Luis Severino by LBC. The hype is real, he’s gonna be great. Byron Buxton by Stogies. Last year was a fluke, if he gets the time, he’ll show what he can do.

Round 15: Matt Wieters by BTH. I totally forgot about this guy. He can hit 20 HRs. Carlos Santana by RR. This guys walks a ton. How did we forget about him in a points league?

Round 16: Prince Fielder by SM. I get that he has no position, but he still hit .300 last year and plays in an elite hitters park.

Round 17: Victor Martinez by RD. Says he’s healthy, although Dylan autopicked him, so whatever. Good pick I guess. Joe Ross by LBC. He was my next pick, so that sucked.

Round 18: Billy Hamilton by TOB. He kinda sucks, but he’ll still steal 1000 bases.

Round 19: Aroldis Champman by Stogies. Still a top 5 closer when his suspension ends.

Round 20: Alex Gordon by BTH. In a points league, he still has value as a backup OF.

Round 21: Jonathan Schoop by YH. Dave waited until the final round to grab his second baseman and got a player with potential, so he gets some credit for that.

Picks I Really Hate, Rounds 11-21

Round 11: Yan Gomes by Stogies. The dreaded auto-draft. There were much better catchers on the board here.

Round 12: Yasiel Puig by BTH. You’ll never fool me again. The most overrated player in baseball in my lifetime.

Round 13: Evan Longoria by RR. I’m over him. You’re making 100 million dollars, do better.

Round 14: Logan Forsythe by SM. Huge regression coming. He’s simply not that good.

Round 15: Good round everyone.

Round 16: Ditto round 15.

Round 17: Corey Dickerson by SM. I don’t hate the pick, I just wanted to point out that I knew Mike would take him.

Round 18: Jamie Garcia by YH. His arm hasn’t fallen off left?

Round 19: Ian Kinsler by RTC. An abysmal pick. I ran out of time and auto-drafted him. He’ll be cut when waivers start.

Round 20: Anibal Sanchez by RTC. I simply ran out of ideas at this point.

Round 21: Alex Rodriguez by Willis. (Barfs on keyboard)

Have you stuck with me this long? I really appreciate it! The draft recap is the biggest grind of the season, but I really enjoy writing it because this is the best league in the world and everyone is really passionate about our league and the game of baseball. I plan on once again writing the weekly fantasy review, every single Monday. Hopefully you’ll be reading along with me throughout the year! Now for the moment of truth….

The Final Four

Love Boat Captains

Rays Those Cowbells

The October Boys



Thanks for reading! Is it opening day yet?


The Early Bird?

Hey gang!

The Super Bowl has come and gone, and another MLB off-season is coming to a close, which can only mean that fantasy baseball draft is fast approaching.

And oh boy, do I mean FAST approaching.

Apparently thanks to some prior commitments by other league members, we are moving our draft to a crazy early start date of March 6th.


Personally I have yet to form an opinion on this. I see it going one of two ways.

-The rankings don’t have a chance to set themselves fully, spring training sleepers haven’t broken out yet, and Average Draft Position trends don’t have a chance to shift around. The more prepared members of the league dominate. The people who don’t put as much prep work into the draft start the year off horribly. Dan’s extra prep work pays off in spades, resulting in his 2nd title. Dan requests we draft early every year.


– Prep work is irrelevant. The early draft throws all your plans into chaos. Your sleepers don’t win jobs out of spring training, and your 7th round breakout candidate is sent to AAA because he had a 7.21 spring ERA. Dan’s first round pick rips up his ACL before opening day. Dan proceeds to kick Dave in the shin. Rays Those Cowbells tumbles to an 8th place finish. Dan requests we draft in mid-June next year.


Maybe I’m overreacting? Maybe the early draft won’t have an impact either way. I guess only time will tell. I’m just as excited as ever for baseball season to start, and I’m planning big things and lots of posts here on in the near future.

Oh, and can I take a second to welcome long lost contributor Dylan back into the fold? It’s gonna be a crazy season with you back into the mix. I hope you come in blazing, talking smack and making deals. Just like old times.

20 days.



The New Champion: Mike’s Rise To The Top

I feel like we’ve come a long way to get to this point.

It was the spring of 2010, and fantasy league was fresh off it’s second season. I had just completed my rookie campaign, Ginger had won her first championship, and the McLaughlin family was talking smack and preparing to rebound from disappointing efforts from the year before. It was an exciting time.

As we all gathered to sign up and prepare for a new season, the McLaughlin family, who had been a staple on ever since it’s inception,  was suddenly nowhere to be found. Dave and Ginger went into full on scramble mode and came to me and asked if I knew anyone who could fill in at the last minute. Somebody passionate about the game, and somebody who would be as committed as the rest of us to playing this game that we all love.

I asked Mike if he wanted to play, and he quickly agreed. But I think he was surprised at how competitive and serious league can be. There is no room for coasting or not being all-in. He had to learn very quickly.

I’ve known Mike for over 20 years, and I can tell you that he’ll never be the guy that spends 2 hours pouring over stat sheets and doing mock drafts. I’m not saying he’s not committed of course, but he’ll never be the baseball psychopath that guys like Dave and myself are. But he always goes with his gut, never gives up, and always learns from his mistakes.

I know Mike got a lot of flack from the infamous “Braun and Felix trade” of 2012 and that helped lead me to a championship, but he never let me forget it. He’s been the toughest negotiator in the league for me ever since, and has completely destroyed me in every trade we’ve made since then.

There’s nobody in the league I wanted to see win a championship more than Mike. He worked really hard this year, and won big games every single time he was faced with the collapses that have haunted his past seasons. He mastered the waiver wire, getting studs like AJ Pollock, Mookie Betts, Alex Rodriguez, Brian McCann and Curtis Granderson, all of whom were in his starting lineup the last 2 months of the season. He made a huge trade at the deadline, swapping his best pitcher Chris Sale for three pitchers in an effort to improve his depth. It was a really risky deal at the time, but Mike trusted his gut and it paid off in a big way. He would not have won the championship without making that deal.

Is Mike ready to become a powerhouse in our league? That I can’t say. But I know one thing for certain. In the 2015 season, team sportsmanMike was the absolute best. He pushed all the right buttons, and took down two of the league’s biggest juggernauts in the playoffs in the Yankeehaters and the Love Boat Captains.

This was no cheap win or fluke season. Mike deserves to be called the best, and for the next six months, I hope he enjoys being called the champion. Congratulations, you deserve it.

I wonder what the name of his trophy will be?

Dethroning Allan, The Final Four

Well it’s that time of year, and I won’t be apart of it. I finished just short of the playoffs. I’m pretty bummed and really wanted to be apart of the final four, but this post isn’t about me. Congratulations to our four playoff teams. The Yankeehaters, WillisBeTheYear, sportsmanMike and the Love Boat Captains. Now the that pleasantries are over, who has the edge in the chase for the championship?

WillisBeTheYear vs Love Boat Captains

Willis fell just short in his bid for the #1 seed, and his reward is a showdown with the playoff tested Love Boat Captains. You can easily tell that Ginger is a playoff veteran, as she started her absolute best team, rather than load up on mediocre two starters like Brett Anderson. The LBC’s never got Giancarlo Stanton back, which hurts, but Kendrys Morales and Carlos Gonzalez have been borderline hero’s for her off the waiver wire. Willis on the other hand did get his injured Marlins superstar back, as Jose Fernandez returned just in the time to help with his push for the title. This will be a balanced, competitive game. Six PSR’s a piece, and offensive talent all over the place. I’m looking forward to this one. Ultimately? I think two home starts from Dallas Keuchel, where he is 13-0 with a 1.47 ERA, will make the difference in this match-up. He could put up 60 points.

Prediction: WillisBeTheYear in a squeaker.


sportsmanMike vs Yankeehaters

This is the moment that Mike has been waiting for. His first fantasy baseball playoff game! I’m starting to think that Mike picked up Chris Heston just so Dave couldn’t pick him up and slide him into his RP slot to use against him. Smart move. Dave on the other hand is taking the Ginger approach, going with his five best starting pitchers, content to go into the game with only five PSR’s rather than try to load up on mediocre pitchers who start twice. Dave also showed his playoff experience in setting up his offense. Albert Pujols and Adam Jones are big names that helped the Yankeehaters a lot this year, but Dave knows that the playoffs are a 7 day sprint. You can’t afford to have injured or slumping superstars slow you down. Ultimately? I think Dave has the better team, but it’s all about the match-up that week. Mike has the talent and the PSR’s advantage to get his first playoff win.

Prediction: sportsmanMike pulls off the upset


I wanted to be a part of this so badly, but it wasn’t meant to be this season. Good luck to everyone still alive! It’s time to start the drive for the title!

Dethroning Allan, Week Twenty Three

Ah here we are… The final week of the regular season. As much fun as fantasy baseball can be, there’s always a sense of relief when it nears it’s end. Six months of daily updates, trade talks and research. Fantasy Baseball is such a grind!

Things couldn’t be more simple heading into the final week. Team sportsmanMike locked up his long elusive spot in the playoffs, leaving us with only one thing left to decide. Will the Love Boat Captains or Rays Those Cowbells complete the final four? Let’s get some rankings before lineups lock!


Week Twenty Three Power Rankings

1) WillisBeTheYear- Now in position to clinch the #1 seed with a victory.

2) Yankeehaters- Who does Dave want to play? Beating Rays Those Cowbells clinches Ginger a spot… But are you sure that’s who you want to play in round one?

3) sportsmanMike- Into the playoffs for the first time, congratulations! Mike is locked into the #4 seed no matter what happens, and a dangerous #4 seed he makes.

4) Love Boat Captains- Has by far the easier path to the playoffs. All she needs is a win, or a Rays Those Cowbells loss. Ginger could even get in with a loss and an RTC win, provided she outscores me by more than 60 points.

5) Rays Those Cowbells- Well here we go, at least it’s a chance. When you start 5-11, what more can you ask for? Even if Ginger wins, I’d really love to finish with an 8-game win streak and a winning record.  And if Ginger somehow loses… I can’t give Dave the satisfaction of giving me the death blow. I must win! Find a way!

6) Panda the Hammer- If it’s any consolation, even if you were in the other division you’d still be eliminated. Your low point total hurts in the long run. Still, this is a good team.

7) Stogies- Pitching killed him all year. Maybe next year he loads up on the arms early?

8) The October Boys- There is no team I’m more confident will bounce back next season then this one.

9) RedRays- Hard to believe at one point this team was 9-8 and spent the majority of the season in the top half of the power rankings.

10) Believe The Hype- Shock the world Allan, I believe in you! I’m really happy Sonny Gray is starting twice. Even though your encore season didn’t go the way you wanted, you were a great champion. And nobody can ever take Javier away from you.


Game of the Week

Believe The Hype vs Love Boat Captains

What else could it be? Can Ginger clinch on her own terms? I wouldn’t bet against her.


The Final Four





Good luck to Allan in Week 24!!

Dethroning Allan, Week Twenty Two

An exciting Week 21 is in the books and we learned a few things worth noting. WillisBeTheYear is into the final four, Panda the Hammer is finished, Rays Those Cowbells is still alive and the Love Boat Captains don’t like the RedRays very much. But the games are starting early on this Labor Day, let’s quickly get to some rankings shall we?


Week Twenty Two Power Rankings

1) Yankeehaters- I wonder if Dave would rather play the other division winner or the last Wild Card team in the playoffs? He’s fighting for the #1 seed now, and who you play in the first round could be the difference between playing for the title or an early exit.

2) WillisBeTheYear- Into the playoffs officially, congratulations. How good has Dallas Keuchel been this year? AL CY Young perhaps? Great mid-round draft pick.

3) sportsmanMike- Dug deep, WAY deep and got a huge win over the #1 team. He’s right there on the edge of officially clinching a spot and I hope he closes the deal. It’s been a special season for team sportsmanMike, but there’s still work to be done. Stay focused.

4) Love Boat Captains- How strong is the top of this league that you can score 438 (438!) points and not move up a spot? But there’s no room for error now, any loss could open the door for Rays Those Cowbells.

5) Rays Those Cowbells- The LONG LONG LONG journey to .500 is finally over. But no time to relax now, I’m in full on grind mode. Any loss probably eliminates me. Dave rooting against me so hard has given me extra motivation to take this all the way to the final four.

6) Panda the Hammer- A tough loss to Rays Those Cowbells will end his ride. Still has a good team and competed his butt off this year.

7) Stogies- Every time this team looked like getting back into it, they would get blown out. More consistency will be needed as he prepares for next year.

8) The October Boys- This team struggles a lot of weeks but is always a threat to pop off and explode for a huge week. I’m really hoping it’s this week against the Love Boat Captains.

9) RedRays- With games against Rays Those Cowbells and sportsmanMike in the last two weeks, this team will have a say in how the final four shakes out. Big change to play spoiler.

10) Believe The Hype- He was downright giddy with how his fantasy football draft went. It’s pretty good, but I’m not as big a Golden Tate fan as everyone else seems to be. He had great numbers, but was really mediocre in all the games Calvin Johnson played.


Game of the Week

The October Boys vs Love Boat Captains

No contenders really face off against each other, so this is the biggest game in the league this week. With a cake match-up against Allan in week 24, this game could decide if Ginger makes the playoffs or not.


The Final Four




Good luck to everyone in Week 23.

Dethroning Allan, Week Twenty One

Week 20 brought with it our first official clinching of a spot in the playoffs. Team Yankeehaters did what they needed to do and gutted out a victory and will now be playing late September baseball. Congratulations to you.

Elsewhere around the league, losses by team sportsmanMike and the Love Boat Captains continue to tighten things up. The race for the final two playoff spots is getting really really tight. It’s looking like this thing won’t be completely settled until the final week of the season. Let’s get to some rankings.


Week Twenty One Power Rankings

1) Yankeehaters- His spot in the final four now assured, Dave can relax and focus on the upcoming fantasy football draft until the playoffs start. I’ve been there before myself, nothing like having a few stress free weeks when you clinch early.

2) WillisBeTheYear- Is the dominance back? A complete waxing of sportsmanMike. He looks like he’s gearing up for another hot streak, but this one could end in a league championship.

3) sportsmanMike- Still okay… For now. If he wins two of his last three, he’ll get in. I know for a fact that Mike wants his first ever playoff appearance so badly. No team is under more pressure in these final three weeks. A Rays Those Cowbells victory over Panda the Hammer this week would help his cause exponentially.

4) Love Boat Captains- I mean what can you really say, she put up 360 and lost. Is Zack Greinke and Jake Arrieta the best pitching combo ever in our league? The two guys just never give up runs. It’s kind of absurd honestly. Still has the easiest schedule of all the contenders but can’t be feeling comfortable anymore.

5) Rays Those Cowbells- Still going 100 MPH in my desperate late season charge. I’m now only one game back, but I’ve been playing with zero margin of error for two months now. What happens when you burn a candle at both ends for too long? I hope I don’t find out until the season ends.

6) Panda the Hammer- Another team that has been on a mega hot streak and gotten himself back into it. He has even less margin of error than I do. Has one of the toughest remaining schedules of all the contenders. Could really help himself by closing the points scored gap on Mike in the final three weeks. He could still catch him in total points and steal a tiebreaker.

7) Stogies- The longest of long shots. His low point total kills him because he can’t win any tiebreakers. Would need to win out and have the Love Boat Captains and Rays Those Cowbells both lose at least twice. But hey, hope is hope, right?

8) RedRays- Not mathematically eliminated yet, but I’m not sure of the scenario it would take to get him in. Max Scherzer’s stunning decline took him right out of it. It reminds me of the infamous Tim Lincecum meltdown in August of 2010 that sunk my season. Dave still reminds me of that to this day.

9) The October Boys- That dismal performance officially closes the book on the October Boys. I think I said this before, but having three guys in the Yankees crappy rotation on your team is what did you in. Next year, go with your head over your heart a little bit more and you’ll be in great shape.

10) Believe The Hype- Honestly hope he still cares enough to set a great lineup and try to beat Ginger in Week 24. That’s all I got. It’s been a nightmare season for Allan.


Game of the Week

Panda the Hammer vs Rays Those Cowbells

The #5 and #6 teams in the standings face off in what is basically an elimination game.


The Final Four




Good luck to everyone in Week 22.

Dethroning Allan, Week Twenty

This could be shaping up as one of the most exciting finishes we’ve ever had. Has there ever been a season in which we’ve had NINE teams within striking distance heading into the final four weeks? It’s crazy how things are shaping up. Let’s not waste anymore time, let’s get to these rankings!


Week Twenty Power Rankings

1) Yankeehaters- A new clear favorite for the title? His opponent scored 350+ and he still won. This was Dave’s best week of the season and he appears to be rounding into form heading into the final weeks. Dave becomes the first team to officially clinch a playoff spot with a victory.

2) sportsmanMike- Would’ve blown out his opponent by a lot more if all his pitchers hadn’t inexplicably had terrible performances from Wednesday on. He’s weathered that tough stretch and is regaining a stranglehold on his path to the playoffs. AJ Pollock is the most underrated player in baseball. He’s the new Carlos Gomez with a better batting average and way fewer strikeouts.

3) Love Boat Captains- Not a bad performance, but ran into a really hot Rays Those Cowbells team. Her once huge division lead is really tightening up, but she probably has the easiest schedule down the stretch of all the contenders.

4) WillisBeTheYear- No team this season had put up 350 and lost until now. A three game losing streak can’t be fun, but this team appears to have gotten back on track. Unfortunately a really tough game with team sportsmanMike awaits.

5) Rays Those Cowbells- If not for this team’s record, I’d have them ranked 2nd. Some really bad luck allowed me to pile on the losses earlier in the season, but make no mistake, this team is one of the best in the league, regardless of if they make the final four or not. My confidence in myself has returned after a really shaky 2014.

6) Panda the Hammer-Laid a complete egg in the biggest game of the season. This loss doesn’t officially close the door, but he’s two games back with four to play and wouldn’t win ANY of the tiebreakers with the teams in front of him. So in reality, he’s three games back with four to play. Needs to win out to have any kind of shot.

7) The October Boys- Quietly on a three game winning streak and is among a gaggle of teams at 9-11. I’ve thought this team was better than it’s record all year long. Maybe I’ll be proven right in the end.

8) RedRays- The return of Miguel Cabrera has boosted the lineup, but the slump of Max Scherzer was the official death blow to this team. Not officially out of it, anything can happen, but I don’t think this is the team to make that run.

9) Stogies- This team has the lowest “point total to talent” ratio I’ve ever seen in my life. Look at his offensive roster, look at Felix and Hamels. Why is this the 2nd lowest scoring team in the league? I don’t get it.

10) Believe The Hype- Just a nightmare. If I told Allan before the season that nine teams would be within striking distance heading into September, and he was the only that wasn’t, he would’ve laughed at me and called me crazy. Just been one of those years.


Game of the Week

WillisBeTheYear vs sportsmanMike

A hugely important game for playoff positioning. Winner might all but lock up a spot.


Good luck to everyone in Week 21.

Dethroning Allan, Week Nineteen

The wheels continue to turn as we get closer to the playoffs. Mike got the biggest win of his career here in league, ending the four game winning streak of the Love Boat Captains and staying a game ahead of the suddenly surging Panda the Hammer squad. Rays Those Cowbells waxed another opponent and took the lead in the season scoring race, and Dave put a stamp on his trade deadline victory by getting amazing performances by all his acquisitions.

It’s getting late, and no more trades can be made. This is crunch time in the fantasy season, it’s all about mastering the waiver wire and setting the right lineup. Now what do you say we get to some rankings?


Week Nineteen Power Rankings

1) Yankeehaters- Another week, another new number one. I think I can say with certainty that if Dave were still writing the fantasy reviews, it wouldn’t have taken 19 weeks for the Yankeehaters to reach the #1 spot for the first time. But this new #1 team might have some staying power. He really did get a lot better at the deadline. But I can’t have this post be all positive, so I’ll say on record that I still don’t trust your pitching.

2) Love Boat Captains- All is still well in the LBC camp, just lost to a sportsmanMike team that needed the victory a lot more than she did. Can pretty much end my playoff hopes with a victory this week, and don’t think she doesn’t know that. I’ll get her best game this week. Count on it.

3) sportsmanMike- I really do love it when a trade works out for both teams. Team sportsmanMike got like 75 points combined from the three pitchers I sent him and added to his depth, and Chris Sale carried my squad this week with a 60 point performance and we both got victories. That’s how trading should be done. Fair and balanced, not with an eye to milk as much as possible out of your trade partner (Dave).

4) WillisBeTheYear- It’s crazy to me that three weeks ago this was looking like one of the best teams this league had ever seen. He better hope he has another run in him and didn’t peak too early. It doesn’t get any easier as he’s got a hugely tough game with the Yankeehaters this week. I don’t know who Raisel Iglesias is, but I hope it works out for you.

5) Panda the Hammer- I’ve never met Sam in person before, but I’m pretty sure if I do, he gets to punch me in the face. For most of the season I was ragging on his team and saying that he was out of it. Now he looks like the team on the outside in most likely to grab a playoff spot. Good on you, I’ll probably never doubt you again.

6) Rays Those Cowbells- I have a slim outside shot at the playoffs, but that’s not really what’s important to me. I want to win the season scoring title, so I have an excuse and a comeback when everyone makes fun of me next spring for having a lousy season.

7) RedRays- Have a great week, get back in it. Have a bad week, fall back out of it. Rinse, Repeat.

8) The October Boys- To be fair, he does have a two game winning streak going. When was it that Eric Hosmer became the best first baseman in baseball? I must have missed that party.

9) Stogies- What is going on with King Felix this season? Only 16 quality starts? An ERA over 3.60? This is not the king we know. And it’s a shame too, because this team traded Bryce Harper to get him.

10) Believe The Hype- His brother keeping Adrian Peterson really complicates things with his first overall pick. Eddie Lacy is a safe choice, but does he have enough of a “wow” factor to be first overall?


Game of the Week

Panda the Hammer vs sportsmanMike

The Yankeehaters and WillisBeTheYear showdown is huge, but this game might decide who gets the fourth playoff spot. Probably the most important game of the season up to this point.


Good luck to everyone in Week 20.

Dethroning Allan, Week Eighteen

This week was all about change in fantasy land. The trade deadline was chaotic and several teams made big changes to their roster hoping to fortify their standing in the playoff push. It was a hetic day for sure.

Not to mention the changes we’ve had in the standings. For two months now, the four playoff teams looked to be set in stone. WillisBeTheYear, Yankeehaters, Love Boat Captains and sportsmanMike. Well slumps by teams at the top and winning streaks from teams at the bottom have thrown everything upside down, and now as many as nine teams have at least a chance at a playoff spot. It’s getting crazy. Let’s get to some rankings.


Week Eighteen Power Rankings

1) Love Boat Captains- That’s right, we have our first change at the top since week eight. Everything is coming up LBC’s right now, as a four game winning streak has put a choke hold on the beer division. Carlos Gonzalez might end up being the waiver claim of the year.

2) WillisBeTheYear- Yikes. As recently as two weeks ago, this team was looking unbeatable. Injuries and trades have left this rotation in tatters. Jose Fernandez and Corey Kluber are gone, and the rest of the rotation outside of Kershaw and Kuechel? There’s just nothing there. This is still a good team, but nobody in the league is going to regret standing pat at the trade deadline more than Willis.

3) Yankeehaters- The bad news? This team hasn’t cracked 300 points since early July and was just waxed by his arch-rival. The good news? Nobody at the trade deadline improved their team more than Dave. He turned Mike Trout and Noah Syndergaard into Madison Bumgarner, Chris Davis, Kyle Schwarber and Carlos Correa.

4) sportsmanMike- Mayday! This team is in free fall mode. Once a near lock for the playoffs, he’s now only a game up with six to play. The difference between this year and years past? Mike is making moves to do something about it. Pitching depth has been this team’s downfall all year, so Mike traded Chris Sale and turned one great pitcher into three really good ones. That trade could make all the difference for this team.

5) Panda the Hammer- Remember a few weeks ago when I declared this team all but dead? A recent surge has Sam only one game back of a playoff spot, and has plenty of games against the contenders down the stretch. Good on you for not giving up when a lot of people would have. This team can control it’s own destiny with a strong finish.

6) RedRays- Eighteen weeks into the season and I still can’t figure out if this team is a contender or not. Just when I’m ready to write him off and bury him, he has a great performance and gets a big win to put himself into the conversation. I think he’ll ultimately fall short, but he’s gonna scratch and claw until the very end. I expect nothing less from the RedRays.

7) Stogies- Had just an awful week and got blown out by Panda the Hammer by 160 points in a huge game for playoff positioning. This rookie has a lot of talent and will do great things in this league, but it’s not going to be this season.

8) Rays Those Cowbells- It’s been a really crappy season so far, but I can take comfort in two things. Beating the Yankeehaters by 150 points, and knowing that NOBODY in this league wants to see me on their schedule down the stretch. I have an outside chance at the playoffs, but there’s a lot of teams in front of me. I’m going to fight until the end though, I always do.

9) The October Boys- Had a really good week, but it’s probably too little too late for my preseason pick to win it all. He’s brought Bryce Harper and Mike Trout into the fold again, but re-trading for players you drafted in the first place probably isn’t a recipe for success. This team has traded Madison Bumgarner like nine times this season.

10) Believe The Hype- It’s just so tough to trust Adrian Peterson with your first overall pick after he had an entire year off from football. Is it safer to take Eddie Lacy? Or maybe go with a WR? At least he has options.


Game of the Week

sportsmanMike vs Love Boat Captains

The most important game Mike has ever played in this league. He has got to bear down and find a way to beat the hottest team in the league. It’s gut check time in the sportsmanMike camp.


Good luck to everyone in Week 19.