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.

Continue reading

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A Day of Tout Wars Trading

Yesterday was the trading deadline in Tout Wars. You can see the NL standings by clicking here. I currently have 58 points.

Screenshot 2014-09-01 15.39.03As recently as the third period in July I had 73 points and was battling with four other teams for the title.

But then a series of injuries, which cost the season or serious playing time for all my stars (Hanley, McCutchen, Tulowitzki, Ryan Zimmerman, and dreadful play by Jay Bruce), knocked me down the ladder.

Now I’m playing to stay above 60 points, which is where a next-year FAAB penalty kicks in, and to gain as many places as I can, to earn an earlier reserve round pick next spring.

Alas, there was no easy path to gaining points. While I’m in last in RBI and Runs, I still have points in HR and SB to defend and to attain, so selling off my hitters for pitching didn’t work. Similarly, I’m in a fight for Wins and Strikeouts, as well as in a scrum for ERA and WHIP.

The interesting thing yesterday morning was that the return of McCutchen and Hanley had stabilized the team in HR, and I was content to ride with the FAAB hammer and my squad going forward, hoping that Zimmerman and Votto might make contributions in the last couple of weeks. I was getting enough playing time from the scrubs I’d picked up to possibly hold on. But then I got an email from Scott Wilderman saying he wanted to trade Kenley Jansen and Francisco Rodriguez.

Weeks earlier I had tried to pry them from him for some starting pitching, but he didn’t want to do it. Instead, I ended up trading Rafael Soriano away, so that now Scott’s saves had little value for me. I almost said no to him, but then offered him Wily Peralta and Alfredo Simon, who have been struggling a bit and aren’t huge K guys. He said yes.

Now I had two closers, but no chance to gain in Saves, so I offered the closers for good middle guys plus offensive help. I received a few different offers and took these:

Kenley Jansen and Charlie Culberson for Jordan Walden and Scooter Gennett from Brian Walton.

Francisco Rodriguez and Kevin Frandsen for Tyler Clippard and Chris Owings from Mike Gianella.

The only downside on this was I was hoping to turn Frandsen into Dilson Herrera, but as it turned out my bid (which I had to withdraw) wasn’t nearly high enough. So, I’ll take my chances with Owings, who isn’t expected to play full time, but should come off the DL today.

Having replaced two starters with Clippard and Walden, I looked to FAAB and picked up Dylan Axelrod and Felix Doubront, both of whom have looked good lately. My hope is some extra strikeouts and some good innings, though this is a risky proposition.

Still, I now have Clippard, Walden, Doubront, Axelrod, Owings and Gennett instead of Peralta, Simon, Broxton, Diekman, Frandsen and Culberson. There’s something to be said for fresh faces.

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The Second FFG Podcast is Out Now!

You can find Andy Goldstein and Derek Jones talking about Wide Receivers and Tight Ends and other things by clicking right here.

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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?


On Sun, Aug 24, 2014 at 4:52 PM, Paul <> wrote:

Name: Paul


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:

The podcast is available through iTunes, too.

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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,

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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 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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