I made a guest appearance on NBA Roto today.  Jimmy went through a series of players asking if I would Buy or Sell them.  Then he asked me to come up with some sleepers that could help your rosters.  Go to NBA Roto for the video version of my responses.  Read on for the printed version.  I did this before last night’s games so I’ll give an update as well.

Buy or Sell 
Tyrus Thomas
– This is a tough one.  If I were in charge, there is no reason why I wouldn’t see what Tyrus could do.  The Bulls stink.  They aren’t going to make the playoffs.  Why not see what Tyrus can do instead of giving the starting job to Drew Gooden.  At this point I’d say sell because he’s going to get 25 minutes at best.
Thomas didn’t score last night in 9 minutes of play.

Charlie Villanueva – He’s had stretches where it looked like Charlie was returning to the form he had when he left Toronto.  Then he opens March shooting 2-15 for a 3.0 point, 4.0 rebound average.  He’s far too inconsistent.  So I’m gonna take sell.
Milwaukee didn’t play last night.
Jeff Green – He’s getting decent minutes (32.8 average in his last five games), which helps.  He’s averaging 12.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in that stretch, which isn’t bad.  He’s also inconsistent, but I think he’s more a focal point than Tyrus or Villanueva.  I’ll buy Jeff Green.
Green had 15 points and 2 rebounds last night.

Josh Boone – He hasn’t been getting a ton of minutes (25.6 per game in his last five), but he’s still been effective.  He’s averaging 10.6 points and 8.4 rebounds.  The only other category he really helped out in was field goal percentage (68.6%).  Despite his shortcomings, I’d still buy him.
Boone had 6 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists last night.

Darko Milicic
– In his last five games he’s only averaging 21.2 minutes.  He hasn’t exactly been taking advantage of the minutes he gets by averaging 6.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.  Those aren’t numbers that motivate me to buy, so I’m selling this first round bust.
Darko had 21 points and 7 rebounds last night.  He’s maddening.
PG Jordan Farmer – The Lakers are so stacked that Farmer is easily lost in the mix.  However, you can’t ignore the 13.4 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 2.2 three-pointers he’s averaged over the past five games while shooting 50% from the floor without missing a free throw.
He had four points and 3 rebounds last night.  Yuck.
SG Matt Carroll – Carroll has been scoring more lately, as evidence by the 16.7 points he’s averaged the past three games.  He’s added 4.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 2.7 three-pointers.  His shooting numbers are pretty good at 48.5% from the floor and 83.3% from the line.
Had 18 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 threes, and 3 steals last night.

SF Jared Dudley – Bad teams often produce sleeper fantasy contributers.  They usually go in spurts so you have to catch them while they are hot.  The last two games Dudley has averaged 32 minutes, 13.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 2.0 steals, and 1.0 three-pointer.  He’s shot 72.7% from the floor and hasn’t missed a free throw.
Had 14 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 steals last night.

PF Brandan Wright – Wright has made back-to-back starts for Golden State, and he’s responded with averages of 12.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks.  He’s shot 68.8% from the floor and 75% from the line in those starts.
Had 5 points and 2 rebounds last night.  Yuck.
C Andray Blatche – In Yahoo leagues he qualifies at SF, PF, and C.  That flexiblity is valuable, especially if you can make daily lineup changes.  In his last five games he’s averaged 10.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.6 assist, 1.6 steals, and 1.6 blocks.  He’s shot 42% from the field, but he makes up for it with a decent 75% showing at the line.
Washington didn’t play last night. 

Images courtesy of Icon SMI

Be sure to stop by NBA Roto to see my video.

 | Posted by | Categories: NBA |

Before we dive into baseball, I want to direct your attention to a fantasy basketball interview I did on NBA Roto.  Pop on over and watch the video.  My pal Jimmy did a great job on it.

Ok, on to baseball.  Here are some outfielders who could explode this year.

Rick Ankiel - St. Louis Cardinals
As long as he doesn’t let the PED issue distract him, Ankiel should have a very solid season.  Last year he was one of the league’s best stories (before the HGH talk) with 11 HR, 31 runs, and 39 RBI in 47 games.

Ryan Braun
– Milwaukee Brewers
I fully expect Braun to improve on the .324, 24 HR, 97 RBI season he had last year in 113 games.  That will be big time.

Chris Duncan - St. Louis Cardinals
Duncan didn’t make the progression that everybody expected last year, but he did have good power numbers.  Perhaps this is the year he puts it together.

Jacoby Ellsbury -
Boston Red Sox
One can’t ask more out of Ellsbury than he did last year when he hit .353 with 20 runs, 18 RBI, and 9 SBs in 33 games.  That is unless you ask him to top the .360, 8 run, 4 RBI he turned in during the Red Sox playoff run.

Kosuke Fukudome - Chicago Cubs
Kosuke should jump right in the Cubs starting lineup (perhaps hitting 3rd) and deliver immediately.  He is a gap hitter that should do well in Wrigley.

Matt Kemp - Los Angeles Dodgers
Kemp delivered in his 98 games with the Dodgers last year hitting .342 with 47 runs, 12 doubles, 10 HRs, and 42 RBI.  He even added 10 SBs.  In a full season I see Kemp scoring 80 runs with 30 doubles, 20-25 HRs, and 70 RBI.

Nick Markakis - Baltimore Orioles
I’m not sure where Markakis will get his protection from, but he should have a solid season to follow up the .300, 97 run, 191 hit, 43 double, 23 HR, 112 RBI season he turned in last year.

Hunter Pence - Houston Astros
In 108 games last year Hunter hit .322, with 57 runs, 30 doubles, 17 HRs, and 69 RBI.  With a full year’s work he could score 80 runs, hit 40 doubles and 25 HR while driving in 80 or better. 

B.J. Upton - Tampa Bay Rays
B.J. showed his worth last year hitting .300 with 86 runs, 25 doubles, 24 HRs, 82 RBI, and 22 SBs.  I think he builds on that success and scores 100 and joins the 30-30 Club.

Justin Upton - Arizona Diamondbacks
He struggled last year hitting .221 in 43 games, but has plenty of talent to produce like the first pick of the 2005 draft.  He’s not ready to outproduce his brother B.J., but he should be a decent 3rd or 4th OF for fantasy teams this year.

Chris Young -
Arizona Diamondbacks
Young scored a decent amount of runs (85), hit for power (29 doubles, 32 HRs), and was a force on the basepaths (27 SBs).  He has plenty of room for improvement with his average (.237) and run production (68 RBI).  I would not be surprised if Young challenges entry into the 40-40 Club.  His ceiling is that high.

Delmon Young - Minnesota Twins
The talented Young was dealt to Minnesota for Matt Garza.  He’ll have a chance to make a name for himself hitting near Mauer and Morneau.  I expect him to build on the .288, 65 run, 186 hit, 38 double, 13 HR, 93 RBI season he had last year.  He’ll have to show more hustle though to avoid Ron Gardenhire’s dog house.

 | Posted by | Categories: MLB |

The NFL’s second season has been fast and furious.  Here is the third installment of the NFL Free Agent Report.  Click here for the earlier reports.

Jacob Bell
St. Louis signed RG Jacob Bell to a six year deal.  He will bolster their offensive line.  He played for Tennessee last year.

Justin Gage
I missed this one initially.  Probably because he’s not a real impact player.  Well, Tennessee actually kept a free agent here.  He had 55 receptions for 750 yards last year.  Not bad.  He got a four-year, $14 million deal. 

Travis LaBoy
Arizona signed LaBoy away from Tennessee.  He had 6 sacks last year and 19.5 in his four year NFL career.  His deal is for five years and $22 million.  They may convert him from DE to LB as a replacement for Calvin Pace.

Randy Moss
New England only pays big bucks to players they feel are irreplaceable.  Evidently Randy Moss qualifies as he signed a three-year deal worth $27 million. You know what Randy brings to table when he’s motivated.  I don’t see that changing next year.

Antwan Odom 
Odom signed a five-year, $29.5 million deal with Cincinnati.  The DE had 8 sacks last year for Tennessee.

David Patten
New Orleans liked what they saw out of David Patten last year and locked him up for two more years.  He had 792 receiving yards last year on 54 receptions.

 | Posted by | Categories: NFL |

I’ve scoured the fantasy baskeball waiver wires to find gems so you don’t have to.

Travis Diener
- It seems as if Jamaal Tinsley is never coming back.  In the meantime, Diener is doing just fine without him.  In his last three games he’s averaging 15.7 points, 8.3 assists, 1.7 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 0.7 three-pointers per game. Unlike Tinsley, he’s even shooting at a decent clip (47.1% from the floor without missing a free throw).

Willie Green - Willie has picked up his play recently, averaging 18.3 points, 3.0 rebound, 3.3 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.8 blocks, and 0.5 three-pointers per game over his last four games.  He’s shot 49.2% from the floor, but you’ll have to deal with the 65% he shot from the line.

Luis Scola - With Yao out, Scola has stepped up his game.  In his last five games he’s averaging 14.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.0 steals (although all five came in one game).  He’s shot 62.7% from the floor and 66.7% from the line.  As a plus, he qualifies at SF, PF, and C.  He’s making Argentina proud.

Carl Landry - Landry has also helped shoulder Yao’s load for Houston.  In his past five games he’s averaging 10.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 0.6 assists, and 0.6 steals.  He’s shot a ridiculous 71.4% from the floor and 66.7% from the line.

Kendrick Perkins - Perkins has stepped up his game recently as well.  In his last three games he’s averaging 12.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 3.3 blocks, and 1.0 steal.  You’ll forgive his 54.5% free throw shooting when you factor in the 84.2% he shot from the floor over the stretch.
Well, that’s it from the Waiver Wire Bin.  Free free to leave your comments.

 | Posted by | Categories: NBA | Tagged: Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Bin |


The gunslinger is finally putting his Colt 45 in his holster and riding off into the sunset.  After 17 record-breaking years, Brett Favre is finally calling it quits.  He didn’t exactly go out on top, but he was pretty darn close.  Being able to retire in a year in which he completed 66.5% of his passes for 4155 yards with 28 TDs to 15 INTs and a 95.7 rating as a 38 year old quarterback is nearly impressive as his collective work. 

It seemed every week he was shooting down another record.  Most TD Passes, Most Passing Yards, Most Passing Attempts, and Most Wins a Starting QB.  He was already the career leader completions heading into the year.  He finished second to Jim Marshall (270) with his 253 consecutive games played.

He won three MVPs and a Super Bowl ring.  He’s completed passes that no other quarterback in history even thought of attempting.  He seemed to have more fun this year than he has in the past.  Maybe he already knew this was going to be the end.  I won’t remember him for the interception he threw that propelled the Giants to the Super Bowl.  I’ll remember him for the snowball fight with Donald Driver, him running down the field to celebrate with his receivers, his improvisation to make seemingly impossible completions, and his passion for the game.

Now it’s time for Aaron Rodgers to follow the legend.  It’s not going to be an easy task, but we all have to give him a chance.  As a football fan I want to say “Thank You” to Favre for playing the game the way it was meant to be played.  Defensive Backs can sleep easier tonight.  I just hope somebody consoles John Madden.


Images courtesy of Icon SMI

 | Posted by | Categories: NFL |

Here are some middle infielders who could break out this year.

Yuniesky Betancourt – Seattle Mariners
Yuniesky has hit .289 in each of the last two years.  He scored 72 runs, had 38 doubles, and 67 RBI last year.  In his third full season he’ll hit 40 doubles and drive in 75 runs.

Asdrubal Cabrera – Cleveland Indians
If Asdrubal can beat out Josh Barfield for the starting 2B spot, he could end up being a nice late round/waiver wire bargain.  In 45 games last year he scored 30 runs, hitting .283 with 22 RBI.  I could see 80 runs, 25 doubles, and 60 RBI.

Stephen Drew – Arizona Diamondbacks
I expect Drew to build on a decent rookie season that saw him producee 60 runs & RBI, 28 doubles, 4 triples, 12 HRs, and 9 SBs.  His average (.238) was awful, but I expect him to improve dramatically as a Sophomore.  He shined in the playoffs last year hitting .387 with 6 runs, 2 HR, and 4 RBI in seven games.

Yunel Escobar - Atlanta Braves
Yunel made the most of his 94 game stint in the Bigs last year hitting .326, scoring 54 runs, with 25 doubles and 28 RBI.  A 90 run, 40 double season is not too far of a stretch for Yunel.

Howie Kendrick
– Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, California, U.S., Earth
Howie hit .322 in 88 games last year scoring 55 runs, slugging 24 doubles, and driving in 39 runs.  If he’s able to reproduce that for a full season you’ll have a 100 run, 40 double, 70 RBI guy that was drafted in the late rounds.  Not too bad if you ask me.

Jayson Nix - Colorado Rockies
Nix hit .292 with 80 runs, 33 doubles, 11 HR, 58 RBI, and 24 SBs for Colorado Springs of the Pacific Coast League last year.  He’s got a great glove, which helps as he’s trying to win the starting base job.  He helped Team USA beat Cuba in the World Cup by hitting .387.

The sky’s the limit for Tulo.

Troy Tulowitzki – Colorado Rockies
I don’t expect a sophomore slump fro Troy, who hit .291 with 104 runs, 177 hits, 33 doubles, 24 HR, and 99 RBI while playing near flawless defense.  I expect him to make the All-Star team, win a Gold Glove, rack up close to 200 hits, 30 HR, and 100 RBI.

Images courtesy of Icon SMI

 | Posted by | Categories: MLB |

Our second look at the NFL’s second season.  Click here for the first report.

Bernard Berrian
The Vikings made a play on Berrian to fix their pathetic passing attack.  They overpaid for him (six years, $42 million), but they thought he was the best WR in the market.  Personally I would have went with Bryant Johnson, which would likely have been considerably less. 

Lance Briggs
Briggs signed a six-year, $36 million deal to stay with the Bears.  He has recorded 100+ tackles in each of the past four seasons.  He wasn’t quite as effective last year, but you can say that about most of the Bears defensive players.

Chris Clemons
Clemons had 8 sacks last year for Oakland, and Philly hopes he can continue to pressure the quarterback in Philly’s blitz happy defense.  He signed for five years and $18.5 million.

Keary Colbert
Colbert never panned out in Carolina, but Denver decided to give him a shot anyway.  In four years he has 109 catches for 1424 yards and 5 TDs.  Still, he was able to secure a three-year deal worth $7.2 million. 

Erik Coleman
Coleman had at least 100 tackles his first three years before getting half of that amount last year.  He signed a four-year, $10 million deal with Atlanta to try and bolster their secondary.   

Alge Crumpler
Crumpler took his good hands and attitude to Tennessee.  He wasn’t happy in Atlanta this year, and it showed.  He’ll get a chance to play with another electric QB in Vince Young.  Let’s hope he makes better decisions than Vick. 

Jeff Faine
Tampa signed Faine to a six-year, $37.5 million deal making him the highest paid Center in the league.  Not a bad gig if you can get it. 

Drayton Florence
Drayton signed a six-year, $36 million deal with Jacksonville to bolster their secondary.  He has had over 60 tackles the past two seasons and 10 INTs in his last four.  Seems to me he was overpaid. 

Randall Gay
Another New England cornerback to bolt.  He returned home by signing a four-year, $17 million deal with the Saints.  Gay has 85 career tackles and 5 INTs. 

Devery Henderson
The Saints brought Devery back for one more year with a $2 million deal.  He had 20 catches last year for 409 yards and 3 TDs.  This move makes sense, but does little to excite me. 

Von Hutchins
Von will also help to bolster Atlanta’s secondary.  Last year he had 95 tackles and an INT for Houston.  His deal was good for four years and $9 million.

Sammy Knight
The Giants turned to Sammy to replace departer Gibril Wilson at Safety.  He signed to a three-year, $5 million deal.  He has 42 career INTs (4 last year) and made 93 tackles last year. 

Bobby McCray
Bobby signed a five-year deal with New Orleans worth $20 million.  He had 3 sacks last year after recording 10 in 2006. 

Mewelde Moore
Mewelde adds another element to the Steelers’ backfield.  Fast Willie is the burner.  Najeh Davenport is the power back.  Mewelde is an elusive third down back.  He is shifty and has good hands.  He is also valuable in the return game.

Calvin Pace
The Jets continued their offseason overhaul by signing Calvin Pace to a six-year, $42 million deal.  He had 98 tackles and 6.5 sacks for Arizona last year. 

Jacques Reeves
Reeves doesn’t have to move far going from Dallas to Houston.  He had 61 tackles last year and should help Houston’s secondary.

Justin Smiley
After signing a five-year, $25 million deal with Miami, I don’t think he’s ever lived up to his surname like he is now.  He’ll strengthen Miami’s offensive line.

Michael Turner
Turner signed a six-year deal worth $34.5 million.  He’ll get a chance to be the man in Atlanta.  Warrick Dunn was shown the door and Jerious Norwood will have to settle for third down duties.

Demorrio Williams
Kansas City signed the LB away from Atlanta.  He has 299 tackles over the past three seasons as well as 5 INTs.  In 2005 he had 128 tackles, 3 sacks, and 2 picks.  He’ll be 28 this year. 

Damian Woody
The Jets just keep on spending.  They bolstered their offensive line by signing Woody to a five year deal worth $25.5 million.  Eric Mangini knows all about Woody from their time together in New England.

 | Posted by | Categories: NFL |

Photo courtesy of Shelly Castellano ICON SMI
(Photoshop work by Yours Truly – hence the amateur look)

If you’ve been following basketball closely, you’ll know the following players have been playing out of their minds.  If not, it’s time to play catch up.  Here are some of the hottest players in the league.

Kobe Bryant
– His finger doesn’t seem to be bothering him that much.  In his last four games he’s averaged 34.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 2.0 steals, 1.0 blocks, and 1.3 three-pointers per game while shooting 50% from the floor and 82.0% from the line.  Last night he exploded for 52 points and 11 rebounds.

Deron Williams - Williams has been feeding and feeding and feeding lately.  He had 19 assists Saturday against Memphis.  In his last three games he’s averaged 16 points, 14.3 assists, 2.7 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 1.7 three-pointers per game.  He’s shot 45% from the floor and 80% from the line.

Dirk Nowitzki - Everybody’s favorite German is scoring in buckets again.  In his last nine games he’s averaging 31.2 points, 9.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.0 block, and 1.6 three-pointers per game while shooting 50% from the floor and 86.8% from the line.

Mike Dunleavy- Naturally with back-to-back 36 point efforts, Dunleavy was a lock for the En Fuego team.  In his past four games he’s averaged 28.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 3.3 three-pointers per game.  He’s shot 52.2% from the floor and 79.5% from the line.

Dwight Howard -
  Howard has been playing like Superman lately.  In his past six games he’s averaged 24 points, 15.2 rebounds, 1.8 blocks, and 1.2 steals.  He’s shot 66.3% from the floor.  You’ll have to deal with the 54.3% he’s shot from the free throw line. 

Images courtesy of Icon SMI

 | Posted by | Categories: NBA |

It’s time for a look at the Corner Infielders that could be in for breakout years.

Daric Barton - Oakland A’s
Barton hit .347 with 4 HRs and 8 RBI as a September call-up.  Just as impressive was the ten walks he accumulated in his 18 games. 

Josh Fields - Chicago White Sox
Josh showed some pop last year hitting 23 HRs in 373 at bats.  If Joe Crede gets dealt, the third base gig is his.  He’ll have to improve on the .244 average though. 

Ryan Garko – Cleveland Indians
I look for Garko to build on the .289, 21 HR, 61 RBI season he produced last year.  I’m expecting an RBI total in the high 80′s to low 90′s.

Alex Gordon
– Kansas City
Gordon did OK in his rookie year considering the hype he came with.  He hit .247 with 15 HR & 47 RBI.  With a full season under his belt, look for Gordon to improve dramatically.

Andy LaRoche - Los Angeles Dodgers
He’ll have to push Nomar for playing time, but LaRoche has big-time potential.  He didn’t show it last year when he hit .226 in his 35 game stint, but it’s there.  Perhaps he’s still a year or more away. 

James Loney
– Los Angeles Dodgers
Loney had an outstanding season last year hitting .331 with 15 HR and 67 RBI in 96 games.  He’s primed for a 30 HR, 100 RBI season.

Evan Longoria
- Tampa Bay Rays
No, not Eva, although some think he’ll have a rookie season as hot as Mrs. Parker. 

Joey Votto – Cincinnati Reds
He hit well as a call-up last year.  Now he’ll get the chance to earn the starting 1B job.  He’s not going to hit the .321 he did in his 84 at bats last year, but he could be a nice bargain in the late rounds.  He’s got decent speed for a first basemen.

Images courtesy of Icon SMI

 | Posted by | Categories: MLB | Tagged: Eva Longoria |

Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI

Roger Maris was suggested by aaJjoe7, a friend of mine from Sporting News.  Here are my findings.

Image courtesy of Icon SMI

The Numbers
1463 Games 
5101 At Bats
.260 Batting Average
826 Runs
1325 Hits
195 Doubles 
42 Triples 
275 Home Runs
851 RBI 
2429 Total Bases 

World Series:  41 games, 33 hits in 152 at bats (.217), 26 runs, 5 doubles, 6 HRs, 18 RBI 

1960 & 1961 MVP
4 All-Star Games
1 Gold Glove
MVP votes in three seasons

Top Ten Finishes
Slugging % – Three times (Led league in 1961)
OPS – Three times
Games – Twice
At Bats – Once
Runs – Three times (Led league in 1961)
Doubles - Once
Triple – Twice
Home Runs – Four times (actual all-time single-season record in 1961)
RBI – Three times (Led league in ’60 & ’61)
Total Bases – Four times (Led league in ’61)
Extra-base Hits – Four times (Led league in ’60 & ’61)
Walks – Twice
Hit by Pitch – Twice
Intentional Walks – Once

This one is tough.  Yes, he did win back-to-back MVPs.  Yes, he did have a three year stretch where he was one of the very best in the game.  Yes, he did break Babe Ruth’s record of 60 home runs in a season (with or without the asterisk).  Looking at the numbers my head says ”no way”.  However, my gut says something different.  My gut says that Roger Maris endured a lot in his pursuit of the home run title.  Let’s be honest, the asterisk he wore like the Scarlet Letter was much less deserved than the ones we want to pin on steroid users such as Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens.   The back-to-back MVPs brings him to the doorstep for me.  The three World Series wins (and 7 World Series appearances) is what kicks the door in for me.  My gut says that we owe Roger a big apology in the form of a Hall of Fame pass. 


Past Chronicles
Bert Byleven
Andre Dawson
Dale Murphy
Mark McGwire
Bobby Matthews
Tommy John
Buck O’Neill & Minnie Minoso
Jim Rice
Ted Simmons
Lee Smith
Jack Morris
Al Oliver
Steve Garvey
Jim Kaat
Pete Ro$e
Shoeless Joe Jackson
Dave Concepcion
Lou Whitaker
Alan Trammell
Ron Santo
Ron Guidry
Gil Hodges
Dave Parker
Tony Mullane
Keith Hernandez
Don Mattingly
Dwight Evans
Ralph Houk (Manager)
Jimmie Dykes (Player/Manager)
Charlie Grimm (Player/Manager)
Billy Martin (Player/Manager)
Harold Baines
Gene Mauch (Manager)
Whitey Herzog (Manager)
Tom Kelly (Manager)
Joe Carter
Rusty Staub
Gary Gaetti
Jimmy Ryan
George Van Haltren

 | Posted by | Categories: Cooperstown Chronicles, MLB |

Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties