Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Fantasy Man FEED - Is this worth $20 for the entire season???

Would love to boost up funds for FBE & The Fantasy Man to help make it better for 2009, so I would appreciate anyone who wants to support the cause and who appreciates all the free information I dish out on a daily basis. This is why I do the free information, in hopes that everyone will support the FEED..... Thank you in advance....

This is the first Fantasy Man FEED of 2008 sent out to current subscribers! This WILL NOT be posted every week. This is so you guys can see what goes into the FEED and what you can potentially get out of it to help your fantasy team succeed in 2008. Is it worth the investment??? You decide....

The Fantasy Man FEED

March 28, 2008
www.fantasybaseballexpress.com
www.thefantasyman.com

Quick Hits
- Here is your first real installment of the FEED! Keep in mind that this is a work in progress, so at times I or we may decide to switch things up a bit and add things that work and delete things that don’t work! Please keep in mind that I appreciate your feedback on a weekly basis, so if something is great, I want to hear it! If something blows, please let me know so I can look at it and make the necessary changes. Also, I spend a good few hours on this each week. If there is something that 95% of you is not using, let me know and I’ll scrap it and save myself some time. Again, thank you for the support!

- Oh, only 3 days left to sign up for
Home Run Mania . 10% discount when you mention my code thefantasyman and you get a free team when you send 2 of your friends! Hurry up and register and compete against The Fantasy Man!

- For a free salary cap game, check out
RotoHog! The market opens on Monday!Password: thechampishere League ID: 100193

The Fantasy Man’s Weekly Strategies
1. There are 8 teams playing 7 games this week – Oakland, Washington, Boston, LA Angels, Minnesota, San Diego, Houston, Atlanta…. So those of you in H2H leagues and/or daily leagues, make sure you have these guys in. Also, in weekly leagues, if you are deciding between two full-time players, pick the guy on one of these teams because they get the extra game, the extra at bats and the extra potential stats!

2. Using Middle Relievers – Keep in mind, even in the beginning of the season, its always wise to start a top notch middle reliever if your pitching staff overall is weak in the ERA/WHIP categories. In reality, I’d rather start a RP who can pitch 5 innings of shut out ball over the course of a week, strike out 4-5, walk 1, give up 2 hits and 0 ER over a guy like Tom Glavine for example who can go 6 IP, 2K, 8H, 2BB, and 3 ER. You are getting the extra K’s, the better WHIP and the better ERA…..all assuming you use the RP’s who are effective. The RP’s I’d trust right now are Broxton, Betancourt, Okajima, Accardo, Turnbow, Joba, Rauch, Marmol, Bell, Meredith…and that’s where I would stop for now. If I had to pick a guy to falter this first week, its Heath Bell…because of all the hype he’s received….

Weekly Pitching Recommendations
**Key**
No Brainers
(SP’s I’d start over the next 5 days if it were my team no matter who the opponent)
Flip A Coin (These guys I’d probably start over the next 5 games if I needed an SP to fill my active roster but knowing there is risk involved or potential. These are the guys I might look at matchups**)
Umm No! (Just what it says….UMM No! I wouldn’t start these guys if my pants were on fire!**

- The only Match ups in regards to offense I’d be cautious with are the Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Rockies, Brewers, Indians, Phillies, Braves…. No other teams scare me at this point! Nope, not even the Mets!

For Sunday 3/30 and Monday 3/31
No Brainers – Hudson, Halladay, Wang, Verlander, Harang, Webb, Zambrano, Shields, Sabathia, Myers, Johan, Bedard, Weaver, Snell, Oswalt, Peavy
Flip a Coin – Meche, Sheets, Guthrie, Buerhle, Bergmann ( I like the potential), Francis, Wainwright, Zito , Penny, Glavine
Umm No! – Odalis Perez, Hendrickson, Millwood, Livan Hernandez

Tuesday 4/1
No Brainers – Pedro, Dice-K, Cain, Young, Felix
Flip a Coin – Garland, Bonser, Lowe, Blanton
Umm No! – VandenHurk (But has potential to be a huge sleeper), Backe, Padilla

Wednesday 4/2
No Brainers – Harden, Lilly, Haren, Burnett, Vazquez, Carmona, Hamels, Lincecum, Billingsley
Flip a Coin – Bannister, Rogers, Perez, Mussina, Gorzelanny, Jurrjens, Garza, Cook, Slowey, Maddux
Umm No! – Wakefield, Suppan, Arroyo, Miller(No I wouldn’t ;), Redding, Cabrera, Wellemeyer, Santana, Wandy, Silva, Jennings

Thursday 4/3
No Brainers – Pedro, Dice-K, Cain, Young, Felix
Flip a Coin – Jimenez, Cueto, Westbrook, Greinke, Bonderman, Saunders, Bush, Wolf, Hughes, McGowan
Umm No! – Davis, Danks, Thompson, Chico, Moyer, Dempster, Williams, Maholm, Hampton, Sonnanstine, Loewen

Activate/Bench Recommendations by Position
C
– J.R.Towles, Chris Snyder and Kurt Suzuki round up the cheapies I like to start the week. I am a bit cautions with Geovany Soto since he didn’t have a fantastic spring, so I am thinking about sitting Soto if I have a decent back up at least for a few weeks to see if he’s for real or not! The other guy I am looking at is Ryan Doumit who hit .289, 2HR, 9RBI with a .365 OBP. Remember he has OF eligibility too and with 450AB, I believe Doumit has 20 HR potential. As of now he is the #2 catcher but he could be #1 by midseason! I’d bench Yadier Molina and his .222 spring average and I wouldn’t go crazy about I-Rod’s 8 dingers, although I’d definitely start him! He has early season slump written all over him.

1B – I have been hyping Dan Ortmeier but I’d probably sit him this week and give him a month or two to figure it out! Bench Joey Votto as he looks to start in a platoon but don’t worry so much about the slow springs from Tex, Morneau and D-Lee. I highly recommend Todd Helton, Adrian Gonzalez, Casey Kotchman, Lyle Overbay, Billy Butler and my main man Carlos Pena as are all looking good this spring and deserve to start if you have the space over guys like James Loney, Ryan Garko and Conner Jackson as the un-provens who are struggling. Travis Hafner is also a big question mark after last year’s terrible season and his spring struggles. Personally, I might bench Hafner the first week in favor of a Butler or Kotchman if I was desperate.

2B – Cano, Kendrick and Polanco will continue their torrid summers with the batting average. Realistically, you can expect 330+ from each potentially! Rickie Weeks was off to a terrible spring start, everyone make a big stink about it, he’s been dropping a bit in drafts, yet he’s batting .215 with 2 HR, 3 Trips, 10 RBI and 8 SB. If you can make up for the poor average with other players, I’d still start Weeks. He was hitting .159 last week so he has improved and heated up this past week or so. Three guys who can slip by everyone on your waiver wire… Orlando Hudson, Erick Aybar, Jorge Cantu who will probably get more playing time than anyone is expecting right now. Start Aaron Hill and Pedroia but bench Jose Lopez. Big time sleeper here is Eugenio Velez who has ripped up the spring with 14 SB and a .299 AVG in 77 AB. With Vizquel and Fransden down, Pedro Feliz shipped out and Ray Durham blowing, Velez made the team and will be an everyday starter. Assuming he stays on Course, this guy can be a Chone Figgins clone!

3B – The biggest news at 3B is that Evan Longoria was sent down after finishing the spring batting .262, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 2 SB, with a .407 OBP. He was only sent down because of money issues so DO NOT DROP LONGORIA!!! Keep him stashed! Don’t get crazy about the scorching spring Mike Morse had but he is still someone to stash in deeper leagues as a utility guy and use daily leagues when he plays. Blalock, Gordon, Kouzmanoff, and Zimmerman all looked good this spring and all batting over .300 with a couple of dingers each. I wouldn’t worry about Wigginton, Lowell and of course Miguel Cabrera. But I would be cautious with Troy Glaus who is hitting .360+ and Adrian Beltre who always has great springs only to disappoint the first month or two of the season. Edwin Encarnacion has had the most alarming spring batting .164 with a .227 OBP but he’s only had 15 K in 61 AB but has pulled in 11 RBI. That shows clutch hitting, a mix of bad luck and who the heck knows what else. He’s the one risky guy I still might start despite the bad spring. Josh Fields was sent down, Eric Chavez was out and I would keep Joe Crede benched until he shows he can hit! I might consider benching Mark Reynolds too if I had some better options.

SS – Rafael Furcal looks great and if you have a draft or auction this weekend, I suggest you grab this guy on the cheap! He looks like he’ll have a nice comeback season. Hanley appears fine, Velez I mentioned before could be a cheap source of steals with his multi-eligibility, and Michael Young looks to be back on track as well and another guy you can get cheaper than usual. I’d love to say that my other main man Felipe Lopez was starting but it doesn’t look like it. However, Christian Guzman is only hitting .250 this spring. If you have no options, leave Lopez in as a utility guy to hog some SB’s but I’d probably start guys like Bobby Crosby, Ryan Theriot, and Yuneal Escobar over Lopez. By the way, Escobar looks like he could turn into a nice player, and a nice break out candidate. Jeff Keppinger also looking like a serviceable “average” guy and should keep his job over Alex Gonzalez in my opinion. The other highly touted player (by me), Stephen Drew is ending the spring hitting .294 with 2 HR and 10 RBI and a .356 OBP….which is nice to see. I’d say its safe to start him. I would probably keep Eckstein, Bartlett and even Khalil Greene on the bench if you have better options. Jhonny Peralta hitting over .300 this spring as well.

OF – I’m telling you guys right now…. The biggest break out….. Hunter Pence! I am saying to you now that Pence in the 5th round of a draft is a freaking steal! Everyone compared Alex Gordon to David Wright, well, I am comparing Hunter Pence to David Wright….you’ll see by the end of the season. Believe it or not, Pence does have 30+ HR potential! Matt Kemp had a great spring hitting .294 with 3 HR and 18 RBI but he still looks to be platooning in the OF. Personally, I’d still start Kemp because I believe he will be productive in the at bats that he does get. Chris Young, Milledge, Teahen, Ankiel and Corey Hart as of late all look great! Felix Pie hitting .350, Aaron Rowand hitting .300, and Josh Freakin’ Hamilton hitting .448! All should be activated. I’d think about benching Jermaine Dye hitting under .199, Fukadome .246, and Willingham batting .254 with only 4 RBI and 0 HR along with Andruw Jones, Delmon Young, Alex Rios, Jason Bay all looking stinky in spring training. And my other three favorites…. Nate McLouth batting .302, 2 HR, 8 RBI and 4 SB winning the starting CF spot, Carlos Gomez and his .286 with 10 SB’s starting in CF, and Jayson Werth, well, he’s not doing very well batting under .199. Want a sneaky waiver wire pick up??... Take a look at Ben Francisco in Cleveland. My money is on him stealing an everyday job at some point in the season!

Minor League Awareness Program:
Carlos Gomez - Will start in CF
Chase Headley - Sent back to minors but should be up by late May
Josh Fields – Sent back to AAA – Joe Crede gets the 3B job
Cameron Maybin - Sent to minors because of MLB service time issues
Jay Bruce - Sent back to the minors
Joey Votto - Will platoon with Scott Hatteberg who has had a much better spring
Evan Longoria - Sent to minors because of MLB service time issues .... stupid if you ask me....
Joba Chamberlain - Will start in the bullpen
Ian Kennedy - Named the 5th starter
Colby Rasmus - Will open the year in Triple A
Andy LaRoche - Sent to minors, injured
Clayton Kershaw - Sent back to minors
Edison Volquez - Most likely gets the 3rd or 4th spot
Johnny Cueto - Most likely gets the 3rd or 4th spot
Homer Bailey – Will be sent back to minors, should be up by midseason
Carlos Gonzalez - Could start the year in AAA if he can't get his hamstring problem worked out, may start season on DL
Justin Upton - Will most likely start in the OF and is hitting .370+ this spring
Matt Antonelli - Minors but could be up by All-Star break. He's behind Headley on the depth chart

Weekly Injury Report – Here we will keep up with “useful” fantasy players we use on a daily basis…
Randy Johnson – He’s not hurt, just still getting back into shape. He’ll miss the first 6 games, that’s pretty much a lock but keep an eye on him for fantasy week 2.
John Smoltz – Says his shoulder is fine and is on track to start April 6th
Josh Beckett – They still haven’t said if he’d pitch this weekend but if not, he’d be a possible two-starter for fantasy week 2. He’s healthy, pitched 4 shut out innings in a minor league game.
JD Drew – What else is new….. he is having back problems and is unsure if he will get at bats this weekend. Bench him this week.
Curtis Granderson – 15 day DL – has a broken finger and is most likely out until the end of April!
Jeremy Hermida – Will start the season on the DL but retro active so he will be eligible to come off April 5th. I’d might still bench him until he heats up anyway.
Kaz Matsui – on DL with Hemorrhoids but should be ready to go April 5th
John Lackey – Tricep tendonitis is out until Mid May. Grab him in the later rounds (7-9) and stash on your bench!
Kelvim Escobar – Forget this guy, I’d say he’s out for the season but they haven’t confirmed that yet.
Jeff Kent – Questionable this week with a hamstring issue. Bench him this week.
Nomar Garciaparra – hand injury, out until mid April. His spot could be soaked up by prospect Blake DeWitt
Mike Cameron – Suspended for 25 games…. Dooh!
Yovani Gallardo – On track to be back mid-April. I’d pick up Manny Parra or Carlos Villanueva to take his place on your roster until Gallardo returns.
Andy Pettitte – Back issues and his start was pushed back to April 5th. Keep an eye on this situation.
Brad Lidge – Eligible to return to the closer role April 5th. Struck out 4 of the 5 batters he faced in a minor league game on Tuesday. Use Gordon as a stop gap until the 5th!
Freddie Sanchez – Has a bad shoulder but they are saying he’ll probably play, but I’d bench him if you have other options.
Chris Carpenter – Out until Late July. Recovery going well and on schedule.
Scott Kazmir – Strained elbow should be back by mid April, maybe as early as fantasy week 2.
Scott Rolen – Fractured finger looks like he is out until early May.
B. J. Ryan – If all goes well, he could be closing by Fantasy week 3!


The Fantasy Man’s Mailbag…. A couple of good questions with useful responses this week…
Question: What do you think of this trade offer?
I get: Adrian Beltre & Jake Peavy - I give up: Ryan Braun
Is this a good idea?
FM Response: Nope! Unless your offense is already top notch and you desperately need pitching, I would not do this deal! Braun will produce like a first rounder. In most cases, Braun for Peavy straight up is fair if you have a good offense and need pitching. Both rank about the same, but a top notch hitter is ALWAYS more valuable than a top notch Pitcher if they are ranked about the same....and Braun ranks slightly higher...

Question: Here is my staff for next week….
Starting: YOUNG, WEAVER, BILLINGSLEY, GORZELANNY, SLOWEY
Bench: KAZMIR AND MORALES
On Waivers: DANA EVELAND, OLSON AND GREINKE, KERSHAW, BANNISTER, COLON, RANDY JOHNSON, J SCHMIDT, C. CARPENTER….. any thoughts?
FM Response: Simple…. I’d pick up Randy Johnson and stash on your bench until he’s ready in a week or two hopefully. I’d drop Morales for him for sure. Keep Slowey and Gorzelanny in there to start this week. I also like the potential of Eveland but you can’t leave Randy sitting there on the waiver wire…

Remember...... Stay Active! Checking your team once a day keeps the doctor away......




The Fantasy Man
Fantasy Sports Express, Inc.
Fantasy Baseball Express
www.FantasyBaseballExpress.com
The Fantasy Man's Blog
www.TheFantasyMan.com
Member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Keeping Tabs on the Rookies/Prospects of 2008

Man, I was way off.....Here is the updated version as of 3.25.08..............

Each year we scramble on draft day to nab the best rookies and stash them on our bench. With all the confusion this spring as to who is going where, here is a quick list to help you manage your team....


Oh, only 5 days left to sign up for Home Run Mania . 10% discount when you mention my code thefantasyman and you get a free team when you send 2 of your friends! Hurry up and register and compete against The Fantasy Man!

For a free salary cap game, check out RotoHog! The market opens on Monday!
Password: thechampishere League ID: 100193


Rookies/Prospects to watch:
Carlos Gomez - Will start in CF

Chase Headley - Sent back to minors but should be up by late May
Cameron Maybin - Sent to minors because of MLB service time issues
Jay Bruce - Sent back to the minors
Joey Votto - Will platoon with Scott Hatteberg who has had a much better spring
Evan Longoria - Sent to minors because of MLB service time issues .... stupid if you ask me....
Joba Chamberlain - Will start in the bullpen
Ian Kennedy - Named the 5th starter
Colby Rasmus - Will open the year in Triple A
Andy LaRoche - Sent to minors, injured
Clayton Kershaw - Sent back to minors
Edison Volquez - Most likely gets the 3rd or 4th spot
Johnny Cueto - Most likely gets the 3rd or 4th spot
Homer Bailey - Most likely sent back to minors
if he doesnt get 5th spot
Carlos Gonzalez - Could start the year in AAA if he can't get his hamstring problem worked out, may start season on DL

Justin Upton - Will most likely start in the OF and is hitting .370+ this spring
Matt Antonelli - Minors but could be up by ALl-Star break. He's behind Headley on the depth chart

Better???

FM


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

2 Great Fantasy Baseball Games to Choose From!

Since I run a fantasy baseball web site, I get the opportunity to help promote two fantasy games that I love! I invite everyone who follows FBE and The Fantasy Man to join!

First, Home Run Mania at www.playhomerunmania.com has only two weeks left to register! Its $50 but if you sign up with my promo code : thefantasyman .....you get 10% off! With HRM, you pick 8 home run hitters and every month the team with the most accumulation of HR's wins cash, $500 each month for 1st and $250 a month for 2nd. The grand prize winner at the end of the season wins $2,500!! Thats not bad for $45! What's great about HRM is that there is a limited number of people participating, somewhere around 250-300 players, so your odds of winning sky rocket! Plus, you get to see if your home run hitters will stack up against mine!!

Oh, and it gets better! Get two of your friends to join and use my promo code thefantasyman and you get a team for free!.....I don't know where else you can beat that!


Second, RotoHog at www.rotohog.com is back! RotoHog is a salary cap game and requires much more attention to detail, meaning you need to be there everyday to ensure your success. Last year, RotoHog successfully gave away $100,000 to the first place team and over $250,000+ in total prizes. This year, RotoHog is taking it a step further and giving away a brand new Ford Mustang to the grand prize winner and also giving away, huge flat screen televisions, Nintendo Wii, Sony Playstation, Blue Ray Surround Sound DVD Systems and more! The best part..... its FREE to register a team!

To sign up for The Fantasy Man League and compete against me, go to
www.rotohog.com , click "Baseball", click "Leagues" and register a team!
Password: thechampishere
League ID: 100193



So if you want a simple league with a nice payout each month, go with www.playhomerunmania.com
If you want a free game and more detail, go with www.rotohog.com
Either way, feel free to broaden your horizons and register for both as they are both fun and exciting fantasy baseball games!

FM

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Albert Pujols Saga Continues.... APE??

Some of us have been following the Albert Pujols Elbow saga, let's call it A.P.E. or APE!

Have you taken a look at Home Run Mania at www.PlayHomeRunMania.com ? I'm already signed up with a killer squad. All you need to do is pick 8 HR hitters and beat me...lol. Its $50 to play with a 10% discount if you mention ' thefantasyman ' in the promo code box at registration. Get two of your friends and tell them to use my code and you get a free team! Its a great deal! They give away $500 to the top finisher each month and the grand prize is $2,500 at the end of the season. There will only be about 200-300 players so odds of winning are great, assuming you pick the right players ;)

March 13, 2008
Now, according to CBS Sportsline, Albert Pujols is saying he can probably play through the year without the surgery thanks to a lot of rest. He's already got 4 HR this spring in 27 AB so he's obviously not showing any discomfort! The risk is still there that this elbow thing can go at any minute, but from the way it sounds, maybe you can feel a little better about taking the risk! I mean seriously, if Pujols falls to you in the 2nd round of your draft, how can you pass him up?...even if its for only half a season! With the strong finish in 2007 and a hot start this spring, I think he's worth the risk! Draft him anytime at the end of the first round or later if he slips and draft a back up 1B for your bench late in the season. Don't have a big bench? Then make your CI slot more useful and draft someone with 1B eligibility, or simply draft another power bat that plays 1B for the CI slot! That's the safest way to play this. For example, you draft Pujols in the early 2nd round. You guys know me, I love Carlos Pena and I'll take him in the 4th or 5th in any draft! Or take Morneau in the 3rd or 4th. I'll put Pujols at 1B, Pena or Morneau at CI and then later in the draft, I'll get a high upside guy like Edwin Encarnacion, Josh Fields, Alex Gordon or Kevin Kouzmanoff that can eventually take over that CI spot if you have to move Pena or Morneau or whoever later in the season in the event that Pujols goes down.

Simple as that!

FM



March 7, 2008
Here is an article I found on MLB.com on the APE situation. It pretty much confirms what we said earlier in that it looks like he'll play until the pain is just too much. According to this article, the cut off is July 31st. If Pujols quits by July 31st, he'll have enough time to get the Tommy John Surgery and rehab and be ready for opening day 2009!

So now, knowing this, here is how I would deal with this from a fantasy perspective....
Pujols is falling as far as the middle of the second round in some snake drafts. To be honest, if he lands to me anywhere in the 2nd round, I have to take him, especially in keeper leagues. Hey, if the Cards stink, which hopefully they will, you'll have Pujols in 2009! Plus, if he gets off to a hot start, which I have a hunch he will, you should have plenty of time to pick up a young player with some upside to take his place off the waiver wire....maybe Daric Barton for example. Also, kowing the situation ahead of time, maybe it would be wise to load up on CI's early in the event that at some point you lose Pujols later in the season.

Even better, in auction leagues, you can now land Pujols in the $30-$35 range which could be a huge discount in 2009 if he opts for the surgery half way through the year. So if you are in a keeper league and you're in rebuilding mode, this is an option you seriously need to look at.

Lastly, look, I am never one to panic about news like this, but it looks promising that Pujols will opt for the surgery on July 31st...I just don't see the Cards having a shot with Chicago, Milwaukee and maybe Houston looking great this year in the N.L. Central. I also feel, and its just a hunch, that with all this "hoop-la" that Pujols will bust out of the gates on fire! I mean, isn't that how these things always seem to work out. Remember when everyone said Alfonso Soriano would suck in Washington??? Then the guy goes 40/40!! Ridiculous. I just have this feeling it could happen with Pujols.

So draft him in the 2nd round if he falls to you knowing the risk and that you will lose him by mid season, and make sure you compensate for that later in the draft. Its as simple as that!

Draft with confidence my friends......


Here is what I posted here on January 25, 2008

Yesterday, I participated in the Krause Publications 2 Expert League Draft which will be featured in the March issue of Fantasy Sports Magazine. I had the 5th pick. I was sitting there thinking I'd have a great shot at David Wright but also though if one of Alex Rodriguez, Hanley Ramirez, Albert Pujols or Jose Reyes slipped, I could grab one of them. Turns out, David Wright gets picked 4th leaving Pujols available for me to take 5th. I just couldn't resist!

This story gets more interesting though. The St. Louis Dispatch reports that Pujols as been battling elbow problems. At this point, according to reports, they say he can't extend his elbow all the way. This is the main reason he slipped to me in the draft. The manager with the 2nd pick who was all set to pick Pujols, opted for Hanley Ramirez instead after hearing this news. It seemed like a panic move to me. Are you aware that Pujols hit .346 in the second half last season with this same problem?

There is a solid chance that Pujols does not last the entire season, especially if the Cardinals are out of the race. For now, it appears that Pujols will be ready by spring training and will play through this. My belief is that if he hit .346 with this problem last year in the second half, there's no reason to think that he can't continue hitting and putting up first round type numbers in the first half of 2008 (or at least until the pain is too much to bear). I look at it like this... If he starts hot and lasts until the All-Star break, I'll have plenty of time to find a back up option and prepare for the worst. As its stands now, there are a couple of quality 1B's available on the waiver wire in this particular league, which has no reserves, only two DL slots. On the other hand, this could turn out to be a bunch of analysts getting to excited and jumping ship much to early, in which case, will allow Pujols to fall in drafts more consistently.


The Fantasy Man
http://www.fantasybaseballexpress.com/
http://www.thefantasyman.com/

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Fantasy Baseball Goes "Green"

Here is a great article by Courtney Hamilton of the NRDC...
View Courtney's blog and this article
here.

By Courtney Hamilton

The MLB just announced their greening initiative. Teams across the country are going eco-friendly. Now it’s your turn to make your league more efficient and help us, help you put more green in your pocket and your practice.

Stage 1: Research
Avoid bedside piles of player-stat baseball magazines this year.Go Online and skip the mags.
Why? with simple internet search functions it means less time, less money, and less trash.
Put your computer to sleep and kill your screen saver during research breaks.
Why? Screen savers keep your computer running at full speed even when you’re no there. Killing the screen saver can cut your electric bill by at least $50/yr.
Or as a last resort, if you can't give up your catalog fix, choose the recycling pile instead of the trash can when it's time to toss them out.

Stage 2: Draft
When meeting with your Fantasy Baseball guys for the draft consider:
Location -reduce your commute, choose a central location for your draft party
o i.e.: if all the guys on your team work in your office, and the 9th floor conference room is open after 6.30pm, and no one is there to hear it, does it matter if you use it for the draft?
- Carpooling- this includes giving rides to your friends who don't have cars.
- Do an online draft- They work just as well, and as an added perk you can look up stats online at a moment's notice when faced with an unexpected draft choice.

Stage 3: Party
- BEER- Choose local mirco-brews, they’re tastier, express local pride, and they don’t travel as far keg to cup…
- Choose reusable (your regular daily stuff), recyclable or compostable, plates, cups and silverware for your game day party.
- Buy the Jumbo size—when your buddies are coming over, grab the bulk size instead of 16 single servings.
o Why? less packaging, less trash to drag to the curb, and bulk = discount, leaving extra cash to spend on tickets to the real game.

Stage 4: Gameday
You've got tickets, you've got beer, you've got...
- Public Transportation?
o Why? There's no arguing about who's the designated driver when there is no car.
- Or carpool with your friends-- planning ahead to travel with your fellow tailgaters is actually the ecofriendly choice. You can also make your friends pitch in for parking and gas.
- Or choose a Park and Ride service.
Any and all of those choices will help decrease post game traffic, and simultaneously reduce your obligation to have to deal with it.

Stage 5: Go Mobile
Rarely does an environmental group make the suggestion that you should use or buy a new supped up cell phone— but in the case of Fantasy Baseball, it makes sense.
- Turn off your computer, use your cell.
o Why? Almost any cell phone with internet access can be used to check stats AND leave the house.
o AND Cells use less electricity, and free you up to do other activities, like watching the local game in the bar with friends.
- Use a laptopWhy? Mobile and designed to use 50-75% less energy per year than a desktop and monitor -- in the long run, they'll save you $$ on your electricity bill.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Keeping up with our favorite sleepers in Spring Training

Let it be known that sometimes spring stats can be deceiving. Anyone who touted Ronnie Paulino last season as a big time sleeper were severly disappointed during the season after Paulino hit .400+ in spring training. Don't let it happen to you. So what I am going to do here is every few days or so I will pick out a few players that we all have on our sleeper lists, maybe some question marks, and maybe some players in position battles, and we'll keep track of them so that you can make better decisions in your upcoming fantasy drafts!

Now, there are a ton of good players doing well and a ton of good players doing poorly. remember that some of the "good" players could be guys working on new things, so don't take Corey Hart hitting a paltry .192 so far this spring as any indication anything is wrong. You just never know what a guy is working on in the spring unless you are right there with him. Plus, its normal for some guys to take longer to get going than others, so when we are speaking about sprint training stats, remember to be listening with an open mind...


As of 3/10/08
Matt Kemp - Batting .333 with 10 hits in 30 AB with 2 SB, 2 HR, 8 RBI - Looks like the Dave Winfield comparision is working towards an everyday OF spot. You have to like this guys potential!

Billy Butler - Batting .400 with 10 H in 25 AB with a .483 OBP - The talk was about placing Butler at 1B but with Ross Gload and Ryan Shealy fighting for a spot and doing well so far, I think you'll still see Butler as the DH.
Lastings Milledge - Batting .367, 11 H, 4 SB in 30 AB - Looks like Milledge showing the speed, but where's the power?
James Loney - Batting .379, 11 H in 29 AB with a .438 OBP - Continuing right where he left off. At this point, its probably safe to assume he will have the full-time 1B job.

Ian Kinsler - Batting .476 with 10 H in 21 AB with a .593 OBP - Only 21 Ab but you have to like this small showing if Kinsler is going to be a lead off guy!
Felix Pie - Batting .321, 9 H, 2 HR, .406OBP in 28 AB - This is what you like to see from a future star who has had some question marks around him.

Some of The Fantasy Man favorites....
Carlos Pena - Batting .463 with a .563 OBP and a HR
Rickie Weeks - Batting .130 with 10 K in 23 AB - He does however have 4 SB
Josh Hamilton - Batting .471 with a .500 OBP in 17 AB

Johnny Damon - Batting .333 with a SB
Felipe Lopez - Batting .125 in 24 AB
Kevin Kouzmanoff - Batting .231 with a HR in 13 AB

Jeremy Hermida - Batting .148 with a HR in 27 AB

This is like betting on football games! At half time your winning every bet, but by the end of the game, its a different story!!....or vice-versa!

FM

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Drafting Minor League Players

This particular column is about the top 6 best minor league prospects and potential rookie of the year candidates out there for 2008. The players mentioned below are the players you should be concentrating on in your upcoming fantasy drafts as they have the best potential in the shortest amount of time.

For a moment, let’s lay out the guidelines. Let’s assume you are playing in a normal league, 10-14 teams, mixed league, 23-25 man total player rosters, roto or H2H (doesn’t matter here), normal 5x5 categories, $260 budget for auction leagues. This is a majority of the leagues out there today. Of course there are variations but let’s speak in generalities.

Normally, you do not want to draft every hot rookie/prospect on the board as that could obviously be catastrophic. What if your rookies don’t make the club out of spring training? What if they start the season in a huge slump? You just can never tell what’s going to happen. So instead, take a look at the absolute best prospects/potential ROY’s available in your draft. Realistically, using the guidelines I described, these should realistically be the only prospects you should consider drafting while remembering that a winning fantasy team will have a healthy dose of young players with upside and good solid veterans to carry your team.

1. Joba Chamberlain, SP/RP, NYY – I am a Joba Chamberlain maniac but when you look at his stats from last year, understand that his full season of starting stats in the minors was even better. Joba in a normal 5x5 league is super valuable even as a reliever because he could help tremendously in ERA/WHIP/K’s. Joba ranks first on this list because he is a definite to make the team out of spring training. He usually jumps off the board between rounds 12-15 and for about $8-$12 at the auction. Just be careful as the Yankees plan to cap Joba at 150 IP. Obviously if he lands in the bullpen, he’ll be fine.

2. Clay Bucholz, SP, BOS – This rookie Phenom has just as much talent as Joba and at the moment, will land that 5th spot in the rotation as it appears that Curt Schilling won’t be ready to start the season. He'll have to stage off Bartolo Colon as well. Bucholz is worth drafting sometime close to round 15. He won’t last much longer. Nab Bucholz for $8 or less.

3. Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, BOS – The question here is whether or not the Red Sox will find room to start Ellsbury everyday. It’s possible he could start the season in AAA but my best guess is he makes the team as the 4th outfielder and eventually takes over full-time by late May. Even so, he’s gone by round 13 in some leagues. I wouldn’t spend more than $10 at the auction but he could be a Grady Sizemore type with more SB but a few less HR. Keep in mind he still has to beat out Coco Crisp for the starting job.

4. Carlos Gomez, OF, MIN – The Twins have said that they are moving Delmon Young to LF and Mike Cuddyer will play RF, meaning Craig Monroe will not be starting and with Jason Kubel as the DH, that leaves CF wide open for Gomez to start the season with a quality spring. If this is the case, Gomez is a candidate for 20HR/30+SB and is known as one of the fastest players in the league, even faster than Jose Reyes step for step.

5. Evan Longoria, 3B, TB – I knock him down a few because although Longoria has 25+HR potential, that’s really all we might get in 2008 along with a .275 AVG, at least that’s what you should expect. Is he this year’s Ryan Braun? Maybe, Longoria walks more than Braun and strikes less but Braun was more successful overall in the minor early last season and obviously in the majors later. Regardless, Longoria is a great 14th round or later upside pick who looks to be starting the season at 3B.

6. Cameron Maybin, OF, FLA – Maybin had a quick cup of tea and did not impress much at the end of last season in the hitting department, but he did with his speed. Maybin has lightning speed and is close in size to Carlos Gomez (both about 6’4”). The Marlins want to move Hanley Ramirez in the third slot with Dan Uggla batting second making Maybin the obvious choice to take over CF and that lead off slot. Think of Maybin as following the footsteps of Hanley Ramirez. Not great in the minors, but busting out in his first major league season. Maybin is a guy you can steal in rounds 20-23 of a normal draft or for a buck or two in the auction and land possibly 15HR/30+SB. He’s a safe choice because the Marlins really don’t have any better CF options.

The following players have some real potential, but at this point may fnd it harder to nail down an everyday job. Obviously, in keeper leagues, you'll want to look at the following a bit closer...
Homer Bailey, SP, CIN – He’s almost a lock for the rotation
Adam Jones, OF, BAL – The main piece of the Bedard deal and will start in CF
Geovany Soto, C, CHC – Extremely over-hyped but should start the season at C
Carlos Gonzalez, OF, OAK – They dumped Kotsay to make room for this stud
Jay Bruce, OF, CIN – Will have to beat out Freel/Patterson for a job, may start in AAA
Daric Barton, 1B, OAK – Talented and young and will have to beat out Dan Johnson
Colby Rasmus, OF, STL – There is a log-jam in STL but Rasmus is the most talented
Andy LaRoche, 3B, LAD – He’s out 4-6 weeks with a torn ligament in thumb
Brandon Wood, 3B, LAA – There is just no room for him at the moment
Matt Antonelli, 2B, SD – Could eventually take over at 2B by midseason
Chase Headley, OF/3B, SD – Maybe headed to LF with a good spring

Thursday, March 06, 2008

17 of the leagues best players with the worst OBP's in 2007

Do you play in a league that counts OBP? Be careful when selecting players in your draft. Some of the players we love most this year could possibly kill your chances of competing in the OBP category, and in the standings all together. Below is a list of the worst OBP players in 2007. Some have upside here, but all I am saying is you should think twice about some of these guys....

2007 OBP BB/K
Chris B. Young .295 43/141
Ryan Zimmerman .330 61/125
Delmon Young .316 26/127
Dan Uggla .326 68/167
Khalil Greene .291 32/128
Torii Hunter .334 40/101
Adrian Beltre .319 38/104
Andruw Jones .311 70/138
Julio Lugo .294 48/82
Jose Lopez .284 20/64
Jermaine Dye .317 45/107
Ivan Rodriguez .294 9/96
Bengie Molina .298 15/53
Corey Patterson .304 21/65
Richie Sexson .295 51/100
Bill Hall .315 40/128

Obviously, if your league does not count OBP, then some of these numbers don't matter. Its just a quick snap shot at what you could actually be drafting without realizing it. Yeah, Chris Young and the potential 30/30 is great, but he comes at an extreme cost. Of course, he could potentially cut down on the K's and put up better overall numbers, but I am just mearly pointing out the worst of the OBP's last year in hopes you could make better decisions come draft day!

FM
www.fantasybaseballexpress.com

Home Run Mania - A New Fantasy Game

Hey guys, I hooked up with a new fantasy game that I absolutely love. Its called Home Run Mania and you can register a team at http://www.playhomerunmania.com/

I'll make it simple for everyone...... all you have to do is pick 8 players to hit home runs! Most HR's by the end of the season wins! That's it! You get $200(play money based on HR's hit in 2007) and you have to choose 8 players. Its tough staying in the budget and getting players that you want but that's where the savviest of savvy come in to play!

When you register, use this promo code: thefantasyman

Feel free to drop my name in the referral box as well: Mike Kuchera

Its $50 to register, but if you join with my promo code, they'll give you a 10% discount! They're giving away about $8,500 in prizes so for $45, its a pretty solid deal!


Here is a quick run down about Home Run Mania...

1. Overview
Home Run Mania is quick, easy, and fun. Just pick a team of 8 players that you think will hit the most HRs during the 2008 baseball season. That's it - just track HRs!. No drafts, trades, or complex scoring systems. Teams with the most HRs each month, and for the entire season, win prizes. Cost is $50 for one team, $35 for each additional team. Approximately $8,500 in prizes/250 contestants.

2. How to Play
- Pick a team of 8 players that you think will hit the most home runs in 2008
- Pick any players you want from the official list provided on the website (all players who hit 15 or more HRs in 2007 are eligible)
- For the 8 players that you choose, their home run total from 2007 cannot exceed 200 HRs
- You can make changes to your team until the March 30th registration deadline
- Once the season starts, there are no trades or player changes; however, only the top 7 players from each team are counted for each contest period (i.e., so one injured player, or poor performer, doesn't kill a team's chances)
- Ties are broken by using the HR total for all 8 players
- The top 2 teams each month win prizes ($500 for first place; based on 250 paid teams)
- The top 5 teams at the end of the season win prizes ($2500 for first place; based on 250 teams)

3. See home page for Basic Strategy link (good suggestions, expecially for new players)

4. See home page for Testimonials that you might want to quote

Miscellaneous Random Thoughts
5. 80% of the gross revenue is paid out in prizes. Most fantasy basebll games won't even disclose what percentage is paid out in prizes and those that do disclose are likely to be in the 50-70% range (I'm not aware of any that promise to pay out 80%, but they could be out there)

6. With only a couple of hundred players, HRM gives contestants a real chance to win. Other fantasy baseball contests may have larger prizes, but they also are likely to have thousands of players and the odds of winning anything are extremely remote

7. HRM is a fantasy baseball game that is unique - I don't believe there are any others like it on the web. Many fantasy players enjoy the idea of building a team through drafts, making trades, managing a payroll, keeping track of complex scoring rules, etc. Home Run Mania, however, is for people who want to put in a relatively short amount of time into the process (i.e., before the season starts), and then sit back and relax, monitor their team's performance, and enjoy the baseball season.

People in a more traditional fantasy baseball league might enjoy HRM as a secondary fantasy baseball experience - one that doesn't require much of their time or energy each week. It's also ideal for newcomers to fantasy baseball who want to get their feet wet and participate in a simpler type of fantasy baseball game, or for those who simply don't want to invest the time and energy need for the more traditional games and leagues.

8. Home Run Mania is a family-run business that was started in 2006. In they're first year, they had 100 paid teams; in 2007, they had 161 paid teams; this year they're expecting 200-250 paid teams. They give contestants personalized attention and pride themselves on outstanding customer service.

9. The HRM website is clean looking, well organized, and easy to navigate. Registration, building a team, making player changes befor the season, and the payment process are all quick and easy. Once the season begins, all contestants have access to the team rosters of every other team. In addition, such things as Yesterday's HRs, Player Stats (HR totals of each player, broken down by month), and Standings (for each month and entire season) are easy to find and understand.


I hope you guys decide to join and play against me! Best to bring your "A" game though.... I think I picked 8 beasts....


FM
http://www.fantasybaseballexpress.com/

Monday, March 03, 2008

FanThreads.com

Has anyone had a chance to check out www.FanThreads.com ?? I feel its my responsibility to let the cat out of the bag and expose fantasy baseball's best kept secret as far as fantasy baseball apparrel goes.

Fan Threads is unique because you can purchase creative shirts dedicated to some of your favorite fantasy players. At the same time, you can create your own designs and slogans for your favorite players and they will make the shirts for you! Then, on top of that, if they print your design ideas and sell them, they cut you in on the profit! So now you can design your own shirts and make a fortune selling your ideas!

You can also "brand" your own fantasy team name as well. How cool is that? I am in a league where one guy like to call his team "Fu Man Chu Kool Aid" .... I don't know what the heck that means but just imagine the possibilities of a cool shirt branding your fantasy team name. Fan Threads can make that happen!

Along with cool shirts, they also have a Trash Talk section where you can talk about related fantasy baseball issues or just baseball in general. Fan Threads also provides a fantasy baseball advice section where you will find your truly along with a live chat board and tips of the week.


So if you hadn't had a chance yet, support a friend of Fantasy Baseball Express and check out www.fanthreads.com

FM

My Three Favorite Myths & Misconceptions in your Fantasy Baseball Draft in 2008

Every year we study our behinds off trying to decipher who the best possible picks will be during your fantasy draft. Sometimes you get so wrapped up in the decision-making that sheer common sense is just simply lost. We look at a magazine really quick, look at whose available on the draft board, see :05 left on the draft clock, and BAM!!!!...we make the worst pick ever!

Happens all the time, even to me. Every year the magazines we buy and the web sites where we pay for draft guides and fantasy baseball information produce advice that is simply put....wrong! Hey, even The Fantasy Man is wrong from time to time. With fantasy baseball advice, all the Experts can really do is predict. Some look at numbers and make predictions while some take the intangibles like age, environment, team situations, etc and make opinionated predictions. We look at all the information in front of us and we make the best possible decisions and predictions based on what we know. But sometimes, we are wrong and we don't find out until well after our content goes to print!

Today, I want to pick out the three best myths or misconceptions of 2008! These are the players other experts, analysts, web sites, and magazines are steering you away from and is either downgrading, telling you not to pick, or just simply are not giving enough credit too. These are three players that while everyone else is overlooking them, you can snatch them right up when the timing is right.....

1. Johnny Damon, OF, NYY - As a native New Yorker and a die-hard Yankee fan, I can tell you with confidence that Johnny Damon will be the everyday lead off batter. Broadcasters have mentioned many times so far this spring that Damon will be the everyday lead off batter and the Yanks will worry about positions after that. Joe Girardi has already said he wants Damon to get at least 600AB. Johnny Damon himself admitted to not being in good shape last year and it lead to injury and a down year. This year he has come to camp in fantastic shape and has set a goal to not only be a better player this year, but to be an elite player. I watch the spring training game on Sunday against the Phillies and I have to say, Damon looks phenomenal. You should be able to find some useful Johnny Damon articles here along with this article about Jason Giambi wanting to be the everyday 1B. Just search "Johnny Damon" when you get there. What's great about all the negative talk and the confusion on Damon and his playing time, is that Damon is falling as far as the 13th-14th rounds in some snake drafts and for as little as $7-$9 in auctions. I'd say grab Damon in the 11th-12th to be sure and be willing to spend $11-$13 on a guy who should hit close too .290/20/75/120/25.

2. Carlos Delgado, 1B, NYM - Let's count all the evidence against Delgado....he's 35, had hip, knee, and wrist problems, and his worst season as a pro. On top of that, Delgado is already experiencing hip problems which you can read about here. What I love about all this negativity surrounding Delgado is that he will fall in every draft/auction I participate in, and I'll scoop him up every time. Delgado is a 35+HR threat you can steal as far as the 16th round of a 12 team snake draft or better yet, for $7 or less at the auction. What's even more fun is that I haven't found one mag or one web site that has any faith in Delgado for 2008. Even when I do mocks or my real drafts, if there is an audience there or just my league mates, every time I pick Delgado so late everyone cringes, hemms and hawhs, and say things like "Delgado is the worst pick ever!" What people don't realize, in the 16th round of a draft, a sure 30+HR guy if healthy, is a fantastic pick in the 16th round.


Let's read between the lines a bit. I am not saying Delgado will be great this year, and yes, he'll probably have to sit out more often, but I just don't believe he'll be as bad as last season. 35 years old is not "that" old yet. What I am trying to say is that the Mets don't have a back up 1B that can steal his job. Delgado has to perform. On another note, Delgado has to perform if the Mets want any shot at winning the division. I have heard interviews a with Delgado this year so far and he is upbeat and ready to show everyone he's not finished. I will take all of this with a grain of salt but if he slips to me as late as round 13 or 14, I have to take him. I need to have that potential power. Once you get close to round 14-16, its okay to start taking risks. This is a low risk move, especially if you have secured other power options earlier. I did one mock draft where I picked Delgado in the 17th!

3. Fausto Carmona, SP, CLE - Do I have a great reason to prove why he's on this list? No. I just believe. Look, last season Carmona was awesome while taking us all by surprise and winning 19 games with 137K in 215 IP. Here is a profile on Carmona. Now, anyone who has seen Carmona pitch knows he has filthy stuff and he throws hard consistently in the 95+MPH range. To me, after learning how to be an effective starter in the bigs over 200+ innings in 2007, and now in his second full season, given the information at hand, I truly believe Carmona could be in for a 150+K season. Follow me here... in 2007, Carmona had...

April - 9 K in 26 IP

May - 14 K in 36 IP
June - 25 K in 34 IP
July - 34 K in 41 IP
Aug - 28 K in 42 IP

Sept - 27 K in 35 IP

I'd say April we can forget about because he was thrown into the rotation. Chalk up May as a month to adjust and the rest of the year is gold! If we take June - Sept and take the average K's for each month we get 28.5 K's per month. Now take that 28.5 per month and project over a full season and you have 171 potential K's. For all of you stat crunchers out there, that's something to look at. Most known stat crunchers are still saying that Carmona isn't as valuable as other top notch starters simply because they probably haven't taken the time to figure out this easy stat. My projection is if we give or take a few, Carmona can reach the 150K mark. To me, that's worth a 6th-8th round pick in a normal 12 team draft. Instead, when a SP run is non-existent, Carmona can usually be had in rounds 8-10...which to me is unacceptable but at the same time, great for us who believe in Carmona. People look, his stuff is just too good, his fast ball as too much on it to think that he won't increase his K rate. I am not saying he'll throw 200K, but don't be surprised if he adjusts and learns how to miss more than 137 bats in 2008! And don't be surprised if Carmona hits the 170+ mark too! You heard it here first!

FM