Friday, August 27, 2010

NL King - Reviewing Stephen Strasburg's MLB Season + September Call-ups

It's been a while fellas, between work and working on my tennis game I haven't been writing a lot of articles since the trade deadline. So we come back with an article today on Strasburg and potential September call-ups. For all of you with chances to win your leagues or finish in the money do everything you can between now and the end of the season to pick up as much stats as you can while protecting your percentage categories (Avg, ERA & Ratio).

Stephen Strasburg:
While Strasburg only had 11 starts for the Nats this summer he did not disappoint other than the fact he only made 11 starts. In those starts, Strasburg had 5W, 2.97 ERA, 1.115 Ratio, 86K (vs 17 walks) in 63 2/3 IP. Strasburg showed he can be an ace next season, obviously pitching for a last place club in the Nats will hurt Strasburg wins. Strasburg showed polish and poise with four nasty pitches which he throws for strikes. As long as he stays healthy, and he had a couple of red flags this summer with the shoulder and now the forearm, Strasburg will be a huge pitcher starting next year and years to come. The problem will be because of the hype and enormous potential starting with next years draft you will always have to overpay to land Starsburg in your NL only draft.

September Potential Call-Ups to Watch Out for:
If you are in keeper leagues keep an eye on the following guys if the get called up in September as potential cheap keepers for 2011 (if you can grab them off your waiver wire - free agency for cheap dollars do it). The players to watch out for are: Aroldis Chapman (Cinn, SP), Freddie Freeman (Atl, 1B), Brett Lawrie (Mil, 2B), Jordan Lyles (Hou, SP), Yunesky Maya (Wsh, SP) & Wilson Ramos (Wsh, C).
This Off-Season from the NL King:
This will be my last article until after labor day but I should have a couple of September articles for the home stretch. This off-season I plan to have a bunch of articles to get you guys ready for 2011 season. Have a lot of articles planned and looking forward to writing them.

NL King - C.Lizza

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Fantasy Man - The Art of the Keeper Trade

It's your typical art of the trade article for fantasy baseball but I like to add in some twists to actually make these deals happen. I have real lifetime experience negoitiating deals and to be honest, those skills work in my fantasy leagues. Here's a story that just happened yesterday on how to get keepers for your non-keepable studs in an auction league. I'm hoping you'll find these tips useful.

When dump trading stars for keepers, remember, if you have a manager hooked on a player, don't let them use the "okay, well, I'll just keep who I have" tactic. They want your players but they're just feeling you out to see what they can get. The object for a smart manager in a dump trade is to get your stars AND still try to get some kind of keepable player back in the deal.

For example, I just did a trade in an auction league where I traded....
Robbie Cano $6.00
Max Scherzer $3.60
Wandy Rodriguez $2.40
Kevin Slowey $1.00
Chris Johnson $2.00

Justin Upton $4.40
Clay Buchholz $2.20
Justin Smoak $2.00
Travis Snider $2.40
Carlos Guillen $2.00

These are next years prices. I tanked my team this year for keepers. So here I traded Cano along with 4 other players I know I won't have room to keep. My main goal was to get Upton/Buchholz here but pulling in Smoak and even Snider can prove valuable later on if I want to flip them.  What got this deal done was the fact that the other guy could keep Cano plus, we went back and fourth until I finally caved in and gave him Slowey and Johnson, who I probably don't have room to keep anyway. He clearly gets the best player in Cano, but what do I care?..... I'm in last place. I pulled in 4 tradeable and/or keepable players all with extreme upside. For me, I get Buchholz and Upton, Smoak who is in the minors but a call up and a hot streak away from being a top keeper, and Snider who has the potential to be a superstar as soon as next year but who the other manager had sitting on his bench. Then I took Carlos Guillen for giggles so he'd feel like he won the deal, which he definitely did!  He got his Cano (keepable), Wandy/Scherzer instantly upgrade his pitching, Slowey he can keep next year at a buck and Chris Johnson can help now as he's super hot.

The trick is to make the other owner need your deal. In order for his other deals to go through he needed this deal to fall in place. When he became stingy and didn't want to give me Travis Snider, he said "fine no deal, I'll just wait for my Dustin Pedroia to come back".  So I said, "okay, no problem, I'll pass too". We already had Cano/Wandy/Scherzer for Buchholz/Upton/Smoak settled.  Then he got all upset, "dude, why you being stingy.....", blah bla blah haha. So I said, "look, take a pick from any of these players. I'll throw in Sandoval, Slowey, Chris Johnson, etc., and I'll even take back your crappy Carlos Guillen, all I want is Snider who is sitting on your bench".  See, the object here is to make the other owner feel like they're getting value back, value that you don't care about. So I threw in Chris Johnson who I picked up off the waiver wire 4 days ago and Slowey at $1.00 and it was a done deal.

So then, the other owner goes and trades his Chase Utley to a crap team who wanted keepers. He had Utley and Pedroia on the DL so he needed my Cano to fill his roster but so he could also flip Utley for better players. So see, he needed my Robbie Cano and he wasn't going to let the deal go by because of some of the crap backend players.  Point here is, trust your patience. Don't be overly agressive. Let the other owner come to you. Here's a quick step by step....

- Put your stud on the trade block.
- Wait for an offer to work off of.
- If you put the best hitter on the planet (Cano is one), you should expect the best keeper in the league or a package of 2-3 solid keepers. In my case it was either a $.40 Pedro Alvarez or the Upton/Buchholz deal.
- Let the owner know what it will take to get that stud (remember, they desperately want that player)
- Start throwing in players that will help fill holes and deepen the bench, that's what a championship bound team is looking for. Either players to upgrade or holes to fill. In my case, I bolstered his pitching staff tremendously plus he added Cano who he then was able to flip Utley for more players.
- Don't be shy about taking back the worst player on his team, who cares, your in last place. Your just rostering that player until years end just to get the deal done. It's okay to take the best keeper and 3 crap players. Who cares, you have your keeper!
- Remember, a star player in a deal that's 75% complete is like money already in the bank. If you put the fake skids on a deal, you'll get this guy all nervous and crazy. He's already been day dreaming about these players in his lineup.
- When that happens, simply slide a new player in the deal that has keeper value that you don't care about, give a few options, and the deal to you is now money in the bank.

Keep in mind, a deal can always get done. You have to cater to the other managers needs while still being agressive to get what you want.  Don't settle because the other guy is tough to deal with. He's only being tough because he doesn't want to be the "loser" of the deal and he wants to fill his needs. All you want is the keeper. You can care less who "wins" the deal. Don't be afraid to let go of players you don't need and always try to offer players with keeper value. If your league keeps 5 players and you have 15 possible keepers, let those backend keepers go to get the big one.

Hope that helps. Good luck as the trade deadline is fast approaching still in some leagues.

The Fantasy Man

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

NL King - Mike Minor

Mike Minor, one of the Atlanta Braves' top pitching prospects made his MLB debut on Monday night August 9th in Houston. Minor fared well as he went 6 innings with 6 baserunners (only 1 walk) with 5K's & 3 ER's in a no decision. Minor has great stuff and that's why he was the 7th overall pick of the 2009 draft. Between AA & AAA this year Minor had the following numbers: 21 Starts, 6-7 Record, 120.1 IP, 3.44 ERA, 1.155 Ratio, 146K, only has given up 93 hits but did walk 46 while allowing 9 HR.

Minor will only turn 23 in December so he has a bright future ahead of him. Minor can provide your team down the stretch for 5 to 7 starts with some really good K's and couple of wins and hopefully not hurt your ERA & Ratio(remember he is a young kid).

Lots of potential here. Go grab and stash this guy if you have room in keeper leagues!

C. Lizza - NL King

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Blog Hijacked for a day

I apologize to all our readers who subscribed to the email posts and received an email from the blog with spam and my name on it.  Someone hijacked my account with blogger but I have since taken care of the problem... I hope.

In the future, If you can an email from The Fantasy Man's email address that is not related to fantasy baseball or The Fantasy Man, please do not open it. Every now and then our emails get hacked into.

Sorry for the confusion.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Get Socially Crazy with The Fantasy Man!

I finally decided to get my butt in gear and square up all the main social media sites and get The Fantasy Man brand out in front of everyone more effectively. So here is a post with my three main social media sites that you can friend, follow and connect too! Just trying to make this all a little easier!

Facebook - Let's be friends!

Follow The Fantasy Man

Sunday, August 01, 2010

NL King - Analyzing the Trade Deadline

Let's break down the MLB trade deadline and how it effects the NL fantasy landscape.

The Little Trades - Let's start with the little guys because as my friend Rodney says.... "they get no respect".
- Christian Guzman who was having a very good year as one's 3rd middle infelder leaves for the AL.
- Chad Qualls who started the season as the D-Backs closer before imploding was sent to Tampa (no big loss here).
- Blake Dewitt goes from the Dodgers to the Cubs maybe the Cubs see what DeWitt can do the last 60 games.
- Chris Snyder should now see regular AB's going to Pittsburgh but he'll kill your average.

Changing of the Bullpens:
- With Dotel getting traded to the Dodgers, obviously Dotel will no longer get saves but in Pittsburgh for now the closer duties will be shared by Joel Hanrahan & Evan Meek. One would believe long term Meek will be the closer but that the Pirates are doing this to ease Meek into being the stopper
- Matt Capps gets traded to the AL (Twins) so the closer duties in DC will be shared by Tyler Clippard & Drew Storen. Again the Nats are doing this to ease Storen into the closers role.

Leaving for the AL:
- Edwin Jackson who had a terrible year (how does he have 2 good years in the AL and then bomb in the NL?) was sent off to the White Sox.
- Jorge Cantu a real solid fantasy bat leaves the AL for Texas
- Lance Berkman while hitting in the .240's did provide some punch as he leaves for the Bronx

Not Star Names But Can help you down the stretch:
- Miguel Tejada can give you a good depth bat to fill a whole in your roster
- Brett Wallace the power prospect Houston got from Toronto takes over at 1B for the departed Berkman. Wallace in 95 games at AAA this year had 18HR, 61RBI, 64R, 1SB & .301 Avg
- Scott Podsednik can really help you in the SB category, had 30 steals for KC
- Jake Westbrook joins the Cards and can be a good back of the rotation guy for you. Dave Duncan works wonders remember
- Rick Ankiel goes to Atlanta and provides the Braves with more pop and depth. Remember Ankiel hit 25HR in 08 for the Cards.

Other Notes:
- Adam Dunn was not traded. Makes no sense but NL only owners should be happy he did not got the AL
- Ryan Ludwick stays in the NL but now his home park is Petco in SD
- Wilson Ramos who was part of the Matt Capps trade could be the Nats future #1 catcher.

Keep in mind players can be still traded through August 31st.  Only now players must clear waivers to be traded. With teams watching every dollar with payroll, very few players will be blocked in August who make a decent chunk of change.

NL King - C.Lizza