MLB: NLDS-St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates
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The Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks were already Men at Work, kicking off the 2014 Major League Baseball season in Australia. The Dodgers will continue to be the spotlight franchise as they square off with the San Diego Padres on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. On Monday, March 31th we’re off to the races with a flurry of day games. Here are 10 things to keep in mind as you set your lineups.
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1. Be aware of Early Starts
If you are in a fantasy baseball league that allows you to make daily changes to your roster, make sure you make your adjustments early. The only day next week that doesn’t have multiple (or any at all) day games is April 1st, and that’s no joke. I recommend setting your lineup at least the night before to make sure you are adding your bench players to the active lineup. There is nothing more frustrating than seeing quality counting stats sitting in your bench. Do a quick check of your lineup in the morning and enjoy. Having games spread out throughout the day is awesome for baseball fans that have been clamoring for the real deal for months.
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2. Pay Attention to the Weather
“April showers bring May flowers.” That isn’t just a cliché. Last April there were 18 games postponed. If you stay on top of things you can make roster changes as needed to maximize the number of games your fantasy team plays in a given week. I’m not suggesting you start following Al Roker, but due your due diligence so you don’t miss out on opportunities.
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3. Keep an Eye on Injury Updates
Early in the season there tends to be a rash of minor day-to-day injuries as players tweak their hamstring, groin, etc. It’s a long season so there is no point risking a long-term injury, which means starts can get pushed back or position players are given the occasional day of. Make Rotoworld your friend.
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4. The Philadelphia Phillies Get an Extra Bat
The Philadelphia Phillies open their season playing the Texas Rangers. Tony Gwynn, Jr. and/or John Mayberry could get the nod at DH. They could be worth a look in NL-Only leagues.
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5. The Milwaukee Brewers Will Get a DH Too
The Milwaukee Brewers face the Boston Red Sox in Fenway in their second series of the season. Logan Schafer could find himself playing some outfield while Ryan Braun occupies the DH slot. Lyle Overbay and Mark Reynolds could also share first base and DH duties.
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6.Road Warriors
There is something about a team’s home opener. There is a buzz of excitement and optimism that is usually reserved for the pennant chase. There are seven teams that only play on the road during the first week. The Atlanta Braves, Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees, Phillies, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners and St. Louis Cardinals won’t get any home cooking this week. If you’re on the fence for one of these players, check their home and road splits. Cue Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again“.
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7. Beware of Slow Starters
Speaking of splits, another thing to look at is how a player plays in March/April. Yahoo is a great place to check. You can see that Mark Teixeira has a .239 career average in 802 April at-bats. Play your studs, but use past performances to be a deciding factor between two like players.
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8. Study Your Opponent
Is your opponent built for power? Maybe they stocked up on speed guys. Maybe they opted to go with a strong stable of closers or punt the saves category altogether. If you can’t keep up with a particular category, focus your lineup to play to your strengths and your opponent’s weaknesses. You don’t want to go toe-to-toe with a heavyweight.
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9. Francisco Liriano to Start Opener
Francisco Liriano will start in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ opener against the Chicago Cubs. He was 1-0 with a 2.12 ERA against the Cubs in 34 innings over five starts last year. They Cubbies hit .158 against him. Liriano should also make a second start this week against the St. Louis Cardinals. Liriano won all three of his starts against them last year with a 0.75. The Cards hit .127 against him. Both are home starts. Liriano was 8-1 at PNC Park with a 1.47 ERA (8-7, 4.33 on the road).
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10. More is Better
AT&T is on to something. Barring a postponement there are seven teams that play seven games this week. If you are in a fantasy baseball league that doesn’t allow you to make daily lineup changes consider using players from the Colorado Rockies, Miami Marlins, Oakland Athletics, Giants, Mariners, Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays.
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Adrian Peterson 2012
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The Super Bowl is over. The smoke has cleared and the confetti has been swept away. What better time to start looking ahead at the 2014 fantasy football season and the LestersLegends early running back rankings.
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1. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings
A down year for Adrian Peterson consisted of 1,437 total yards and 11 touchdowns. I’ll take that kind of production all day (pun intended). Norv Turner has had a great history of success with running backs of a similar ilk (Emmitt Smith and LaDainian Tomlinson). Look for big things from AP.
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2. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs
Andy Reid knew how to get the very best of LeSean McCoy, which made him a perfect fit for Jamaal Charles. Charles combined for 1,980 total yards and 19 touchdowns. Another stellar season should be in store for this electric back. Charles could easily be the first pick, especially in points-per-reception (PPR) leagues.
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3. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles
LeSean McCoy finished with 2,146 total yards and 11 touchdowns. He was a perfect fit for Chip Kelly’s up-tempo offense and put the concussion concerns to bed en route to the rushing title. McCoy could also be the first pick, particularly in PPR leagues.
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4. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks
Marshawn Lynch showed everybody that he’s “’bout that action, boss”. Beast Mode compiled 1,573 total yards and 14 touchdowns. He averaged 96 yards per game while scoring four touchdown during the Seattle Seahawks’ Super Bowl run. He’s a power back. Use accordingly.
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5. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears
Matt Forte had a lot in common with Charles and McCoy. They all are dual-threat backs that thrived under a new coach. Forte finished with 1,933 total yard and 12 touchdowns under the vision of Marc Trestman. He should continue to put up impressive numbers.
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6. Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers
Eddie Lacy put any weight issues to bed by rolling for 1,178 yards and 11 touchdowns even as Aaron Rodgers was limited to nine games. Lacy added 257 receiving yards to show he’s not one-dimensional. As long as there isn’t a sophomore slump, Lacy should be a strong RB1 in 2014.
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7. Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Doug Martin was limited to six games, which netted him 522 total yards and one touchdown. Tampa Bay was dysfunctional at the time of his season-ending injury. The Bucs made strides throughout the year and Bobby Rainey and Mike James had some solid moments as replacements. Lovie Smith will want a run-first offense, which bodes well for Martin. He should also be very active in the passing game a la Matt Forte.
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8. DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys
DeMarco Murray was limited to 14 games, but he finished with 1,474 total yards and 10 touchdowns. The talent and explosiveness cannot be questioned. Durability is another issue.
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9. Zac Stacy, St. Louis Rams
Zac Stacy, at 5’8″ and 224 pounds is a wrecking ball. In his final 12 games he averaged 92.5 total yards and 0.7 touchdowns. He comes with some risk, but also brings plenty of reward potential.
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10. Le’veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers
Le’veon Bell was limited to 13 games last year, but still managed to accumulate 1,259 total yards (96.8 yards per game) and eight touchdowns. He’s a big back at 6′ 1″ and 244 pounds with soft hands (45 receptions).
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Matt Prater
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Here’s a look at the LestersLegends Super Bowl XLVIII fantasy football team kicker rankings.
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1. Matt Prater, Denver Broncos
2. Steven Hauschka, Seattle Seahawks
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Also check out:

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Super Bowl XLVIII
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Here’s a look at the LestersLegends Super Bowl XLVIII fantasy football team defense rankings.
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1. Seattle Seahawks
2. Denver Broncos
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Super Bowl XLVIII
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Julius Thomas
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Here’s a look at the LestersLegends Super Bowl XLVIII fantasy football tight end rankings.
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1. Julius Thomas, Denver Broncos
2. Zach Miller, Seattle Seahawks
3. Jacob Tamme, Denver Broncos
4. Luke Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
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Super Bowl XLVIII
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Demaryius Thomas stiff arm
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Here’s a look at the LestersLegends Super Bowl XLVIII fantasy football wide receiver rankings.
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1. Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos
Demaryius Thomas averaged 89.4 yards and 0.9 touchdowns during the regular season. He has 15 receptions for 188 yards and a pair of touchdowns in two playoff wins over the San Diego Chargers and the New England Patriots. He will have his work cut out for him against Richard Sherman and the Seattle Seahawks secondary. At 6’3″ and 229 pounds with speed and athleticism to burn, he should be able to hold his own against their physical secondary.
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2. Eric Decker, Denver Broncos
Eric Decker averaged 98.2 yards and 1.6 touchdowns in the last five games of the regular season, but has taken a little bit of back seat in the playoffs averaging 52.5 yards. Decker is 6’3″ and 214 pounds with deceptive speed. If Sherman is holding down Thomas, Peyton Manning won’t hesitate to go to Decker.
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3. Wes Welker, Denver Broncos
Wes Welker is averaging five catches for 38 yards. Like I said before the conference championship, if he doesn’t score a touchdown you are in for a mediocre performance. His role doesn’t afford big yardage days.
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4. Percy Harvin, Seattle Seahawks
Percy Harvin is closing out a lost season due to injuries. The talent is there. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him finally make his big splash in the biggest game of the year. Harvin is explosive after the catch. Look for Seattle to be creative in his usage.
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5. Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks
Doug Baldwin had 106 yards against the San Francisco 49ers. He is inconsistent, but is still capable of making plays, particularly if Denver keys in on Harvin and Marshawn Lynch.
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6. Golden Tate, Seattle Seahawks
Golden Tate, like the rest of Seattle’s options are inconsistent. He led all Seahawk receivers with 898 yards, but he’s a roll of the dice.
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7. Jermaine Kearse, Seattle Seahawks
Jermaine Kearse gives the Seahawks a little more size than his counterparts. Again, you are hoping for the best if you are using Kearse.
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8.Andre Caldwell, Denver Broncos
Andre Caldwell had one catch in each of Denver’s two playoff games. If Welker were to get banged up, he could see extra looks. It’s not a bet you should take though.
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Super Bowl XLVIII
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Marshawn Lynch running
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1. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks
Marshawn Lynch averaged 98.3 total yards and 0.9 touchdowns during the regular season. He runs with power, but he also has the ability to break the long run. Lynch is averaging 124.5 rushing yards per game and his three playoff touchdowns have come from an average of 28.7 yards out. Lynch has had at least 20 carries in nine games this season, including in both playoff games. Look for a heavy dose of Beast Mode to keep Peyton Manning on the sidelines. Power running has been a common theme during the playoffs. It should continue in the Super Bowl.
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2. Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos
Knowhon Moreno averaged 99.1 total yard and 0.8 touchdowns per game during the regular season. He has averaged 87.5 total yards and 0.5 touchdowns in the two playoff wins. Moreno is excellent at picking up the blitz and working the screen game. On the biggest stage, he will see a heavy dose of touches. Peyton Manning trusts Moreno and that goes a long way.
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3. Montee Ball, Denver Broncos
Montee Ball has averaged 12.5 touches in the two playoffs wins for 54 total yards. Even though Moreno is the clear lead back, the Broncos are committed to getting Ball involved. He may not see double-digit carries in this one as Seattle tries to shorten the game, but a short touchdown isn’t out of the question.
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4. Robert Turbin, Seattle Seahawks
Robert Turbin only had 85 touches during the regular season and six in the two playoff games. I don’t expect Turbin to suddenly become heavily involved, but he’ll likely get the touches when Lynch takes a breather. It wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility for a relatively unknown to make a big Super Bowl impact.
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Super Bowl XLVIII
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