ANNOUNCING: Bolick’s Guide to Fantasy Football Prospects 2014

Bolicks Football 2014 v3 cover 400wideThe iBook version of Bolick’s Guide to Fantasy Football Prospects 2014 is available now. Click here to buy for $1.49.

The Kindle version is out now! You can buy it here for $2.99. Lower price coming soon.

The pdf version is now live. Also $1.49.

(If you own the Fantasy Football Guide 2014, see below for how you can obtain a free version of Bolick’s Guide. It contains scores of profiles of

  • Quarterbacks
  • Running Backs
  • Wide Receivers
  • Tight Ends.

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Link: Causes of Competitive Balance Equals Selig

Joe Posnanski has a theory why so many lower budget teams are doing well this year. I like that he doesn’t say it is definitively the Age of Peds, but includes that possibility in with some of the other things going on at the end of the last millennium.

In the meantime, it seems, rich teams overinvested.

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Ask Rotoman: Four For the Price of One?

Dear Rotoman:

I am pretty sure I already know the answer, but I have a question about who to start in my lineup for week 22.  I have Chris Sale and Max Scherzer and they are pitching against each other.  I could sub one of them for a 2 start Chris Tillman or Kyle Lohse. Should I do it?

“Doubling Up or Down?”

Dear Doubling:

Sale and Scherzer are better than Tillman or Lohse, so the answer generally is to play them.

But if you’re in a cluster of wins in the standings and they have outsized importance down the stretch, it would make sense to get extra starts. Tillman has been very effective in recent months and would make a gutsy and bold move that could pay off.

If your ERA and WHIP are safe, it may make sense to play both Tillman and Lohse instead of your two aces facing off against each other, since you’ll

But don’t you have less effective pitchers who have one start you could replace instead?

Slicingly,
Rotoman

On Sun, Aug 24, 2014 at 4:52 PM, Paul <wordpress@www.askrotoman.com> wrote:

Name: Paul

Email: vintage1970@aol.com

Ask Rotoman: I am pretty sure I already know the answer, but I have a question about who to start in my lineup for week 22.  I have Sale and Scherzer and they are pitching against each other.  I could sub one of them for a 2 start Tillman or Lohse.

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NEW! The Fantasy Football Guide Podcast

FFG14_PodcastLogoAndy Goldstein and Derek Jones launch their latest podcast, in this inaugural release they  tackle Quarterbacks and Running Backs.

Listen here:

http://www.askrotoman.com/wordpress/podcast/the-fantasy-football-guide-podcast-1/.

The podcast should be appearing soon in the iTunes store (waiting for approval).

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ASK ROTOMAN: Which Pitcher Should I Take?

Dear Rotoman:

So I’m activating Michael Pineda. I wanted to see his first couple starts, and I’m impressed. So who do you think has the best season going forward – Dallas Keuchel, Ian Kennedy, or do I not add Pineda?

Keuchel has that great sinker/slider. He goes deep into games. Kennedy is a strikeout machine. Although when he’s hit, he’s hit hard. And the offense behind is abysmal.

Both have identical fantasy points to this point.

Pineda is kind of a wild card. He could be great. He has massive potential. His start to the season was great. But he doesn’t have more then a dozen starts in the past 2 years.

I’m stuck Rotoman! I just activated Cole, but it was the worst good news ever, as I put Garret Richards on the DL. Help me finally bring home the ship this year!

“Pitching A Fit”

Dear Pitching:

In the short term I think your choice is either Kennedy, because of the strikeouts, or Pineda, because of the high variance. That is, he’s had two great starts. At most he has another six or seven. Maybe he’s in a groove and will fool hitters for the next five weeks, and will post a ridiculous ERA over that time.

It could happen.

He might also find his new ace control is not a total antidote to balls trickling through and others getting painfully swatted out of the park.

That could happen, too.

Keuchel, at this point, may be a more reliable version of Pineda, but he’s not more valuable than Kennedy, and lacks the strikeout punch, so he’s stuck in the middle. And so are you.

I’ll take Kennedy, he’s got the strikeouts. But the fact is that all three of these guys are borderline in a mixed league and I might take Pineda if I need to get lucky.

One other possibility is to stream these guys, looking for good matchups each week. Just note that Kennedy has been better away from Petco this year than at home.

Sticking pins for the most part,
Rotoman

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Andy Goldstein’s Latest August 15, 2014: A Fantasy Football Guide Update

Screenshot 2014-07-27 18.58.42Andy Goldstein writes for and edits the position pages of the Fantasy Football Guide, and has for many years now.

One of the things that happens when you commit to ideas and opinions is that some turn out not to go the way one expected. Here are Andy’s thoughts about some of those this year:

So if we had to do that one again…

In order to put out a gorgeous, comprehensive fantasy football magazine, certain deadlines come into play. Sometimes major fantasy-shifting events occur and I’m here to remedy that problem. Now, I’m just one humble writer branching off from the team-effort consensus the magazine illuminates. It should go without saying that while I anticipate my Fantasy Football Guide cohorts would more or less agree with my assessments, they are still not to be mistaken as “official” for whatever that really means!

Johnny Manziel (Magazine Rank – 32) - When we compiled the rankings for the magazine, it hadn’t been that long since Brian Hoyer had compiled nearly 600 yards and 5 touchdowns in stunning back to back performances. Of course, Hoyer was seriously injured and Cleveland drafted Manziel to much fanfare in the draft. Even heading into training camp, it looked like Manziel would have to start the season as a backup. Obviously, we figured Manziel would see playing time. But had we known that by the second week of the preseason, Manziel would be the favorite for the Browns starting job, we probably would have moved him up. His current ADP is actually #17 for quarterbacks which is certainly too high. But I think cutting the difference, which moves him up to 23rd or 24th, is fair. He’s still not an ideal fantasy backup, but as a late round flier? Sure!

Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams (Magazine Ranks – 28 + 42) - When the magazine went to print, David Wilson (ranked 48th by us) was still very much in the picture. Sadly, the supremely talented Wilson was forced into early retirement due to his neck injuries. I could go on and on about how good Wilson could have been, but that would be outside the scope of this article. Jennings and Williams both stand to benefit from Wilson’s departure. And both looked particularly good in New York’s first preseason game. Jennings’ ADP (#18 for RBs) has jumped almost a full round just in the last week while Williams’ (41st for RBs) is just starting to climb. At this point, the current ADP for Jennings feels about right. I think Williams could climb even further as a host of other rookies with cloudier situations continue to sit ahead of him. I’d bump Williams up into the 30’s as a high-ceiling player who looks to be in line for 100-150 carries if Jennings stays healthy for 16 games, which hasn’t been his strong suit.

Josh Gordon (Magazine Rank – Unranked) - Sorry Cleveland fans. We didn’t really believe. Gordon was seemingly facing a year long suspension before he was involved in another traffic stop. Obviously, we still have no idea where this soap opera ends. As the World Turns with Josh Gordon has surprisingly headed towards a friendlier conclusion than any of us really thought possible just months ago. The latest information seems to suggest the phenom might “only” be facing an eight game ban. That’s not good, exactly, but having Gordon for a fantasy playoff run could be a difference maker. The problem, of course, is getting to the fantasy playoffs with dead roster weight for eight games. It’s no easy trick. Gordon’s ADP has gone from off the chart to #43 for wide outs, just behind Tavon Austin! I am still not quite that high on Gordon, at least not until we know for sure it’s just a half-season absence for him. Right now, I’d take him around 48th or so, but he definitely needs to be on the radar now.

Jordan Reed (Magazine Rank – 17) - Of all the rankings in this year’s publication (600+!!!!), this is the one I think we just missed on, myself included! Reed’s 2013 was quietly really great. He was on pace for nearly 1,000 yards, something only Mike Ditka has done as a rookie in NFL history. IN NFL HISTORY. That’s pretty great for a player that wasn’t really on many radars last preseason. Of course, the concussions are a major problem and Reed stands as a fairly high injury risk. But at tight end, his current ADP (#7 for TE’s) is closer to being right than our ranking was. Consider this my personal mea culpa!

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Rotoman’s Tout Wars Wipe Out

Today my Tout Wars team lost Troy Tulowitzki for the rest of the season. In an OBP league, as Tout is, he’s earned close to the $29 I paid for him, so this doesn’t count as tragedy. And I got him for $29 because he hasn’t been the most durable player over the years.

But if you read this piece I posted the other day at ToutWars.com you’ll see that losing Tulo wasn’t half my problems. Note that since I posted Andrew McCutchen went on the DL as well.

It was a fun run, and I just hope I can stay in the fight for fourth.

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The David Price Equation

A quick post trading deadline note.

Regular readers will recall that I tried to deal David Price at the start of July, based on the likelihood he would be traded out of the American League by the end of the month. I did not receive an offer that I though had enough of a premium until the third week, when I accepted a deal for Huston Street.

Even though I was kind of out of the saves game.

My thinking was that there was about $12.50 value left in Price for the last 10 weeks of the season. There was about $9 value left in Street. Since there was somewhere between a 25 to 50 percent chance Price would be traded to the NL (and my league would not count his stats), he was worth somewhere between $6 and $9 to me going forward.

Because of my position in Saves Street wasn’t an ideal match, but he would help my qualitatives and he meant I would end up with something rather than nothing.

After I acquired him I quickly moved past the one team immediately ahead of me in Saves, and the team that was behind me in Saves dealt his bevy of White Sox closers. I seemed secure at three points, with one team with no closers 10 saves ahead. That was the only other Saves point Huston Street could get me.

So, I offered up Huston Street for trade, and eventually dealt him for Kole Calhoun and Luke Gregerson. I hope Gregerson will put up good qualitative numbers, to help my team’s ERA and Ratio the way Street would have, and Calhoun will help offset some of what I lost when Eric Hosmer went down.

If Street was worth about $9 at this point, Calhoun was worth perhaps $7 to $9. He’s earned $11 in 4×4 already, in 300 AB. He should get close to another 200, making this a fair deal that better suits my team’s needs. Plus Street goes to a guy who can pass one of the guys I’m battling for first in Saves.

So: Price * 1/2 = Street = Calhoun + Gregerson. But it isn’t as straightforward as that.

 

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Why the Washington Football Team Should Adopt a New Team Name.

I have no doubt that for many the use of the Washington NFL team’s nickname is meant to be an honor. My objection to the name is simple. There are many Native American tribes and groups who are opposed to all uses of Native American imagery and reference for non-Native American sports teams. There are many individuals of Native American descent who are similarly opposed and have said so publicly.

I’m aware that many other Native Americans say they’re proud of the names and teams, and I’m certain the reason there is a debate now is because of this ambivalence within the community.

But what I hear in the objection is more personal and moving than is the support. Many people find the use of the nickname painful and demeaning and would like it to stop. In 1972 the Stanford sports teams stopped using Indian imagery and references for their team names. My favorite college, St. Johns, stopped using the team name Redmen years ago, as have many other teams at every level in the US and Canada.

They’ve done this out of respect for the Native Americans who have objected, who have said that using the names is disrespectful and hurtful. For me, that’s the side I want to be on.

okflagvignetteOne thing I learned from this discussion was that the state name Oklahoma is a combination of two Choctaw words that add up to mean Red People. The funny thing about this is that the state is proud of its Indian heritage, and features on its shield five flags, each representing one of the major Native American tribes that reside there.

I say funny, because these five tribes, the Creeks, Choctaw, Seminoles (isn’t that the name of a Florida football team?), Chickasaw and Cherokee were forcibly resettled in the state. Not, I’m assuming, because of its bountiful natural resources. There’s a reason this forcible relocation from their homes in the southeastern part of the US, in a devastating march west, is called the Trail of Tears.

This is a heritage all of us live with, even if many of us don’t think about it all that often. Which is why I listen when I’m reminded  of it, especially by people whose personal history has been so starkly and dramatically colored by it. For me, if our continued use of their caricatures on our sports teams is painful, it is time to stop.

In any case, I hoped to provoke discussion and thought about the use of Native American names and imagery by omitting the Washington team’s name from the Guide, and I appreciate the letters from those who have objected to it, as well as those who’ve spoken out in support. If we continue to discuss and argue about the real issues here, I’m sure we’ll eventually come to a proper resolution.

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