The Empire State

Is it foolish to say that baseball is now front page news in New York? Well, given the state of the rest of the town’s teams (Giants, Jets, Knicks all pitiful) one could argue that the baseball offseason has given New Yorkers hope and something to talk positively about in these cold, snowy winter months.

Both the Yankees and Mets have been busy so far. Big names have been inked to free agent deals and are coming to the Big Apple in April. The Yankees stole Jacoby Ellsbury away from the hated Red Sox. Curtis Granderson switched sides of town to play for the Mets.

It could be that just because they are doing something, these teams have created a buzz around town and just gives everyone an excuse to talk about something other than a five INT game from Eli Manning again or another Knicks loss to a terrible team.

The preseason is the best time to be a fan in every sport because every team is a contender. It’s a new year, things are looking up, and new faces are in that exude optimism.

But listen up New Yorkers-baseball season won’t bring about anything different than what you are going through now.

Let’s start with the Mets. They might be easier to deal with due to the fact that, let’s face it, they haven’t been good and really are never expected to be. Continue reading

Advertisements

The Saddest Thing In Life Is Wasted Talent

I’m calling for a plan of action.

Fantasy football was created in the image of the holy sport we all love so much. The status quo, however, devalues the unquestioned leaders of the NFL on the offensive side of the ball and instead crowns the dime a dozen running backs king. It’s about time somebody stands up for a position that simply doesn’t get the respect it should, in an era where it dominates the game.

Quarterback strategies have become pretty black and white for the past decade or so. When there’s little depth, take them early. When the position is loaded, wait it out. While it affects your draft, it only affects one component for your starting lineup, unlike the wide receiver and running back positions. In most drafts, the planning around wideouts and halfbacks is more much intricate than it is with quarterbacks.

The problem I have with what’s going on is simple; with quarterbacks putting up madden-like numbers on a consistent basis (Josh Freeman just had a 4,000 yard season) in thanks to freakish athletes, innovative schemes,  and more aggressive playcalling, playing in leagues with one quarterback just doesn’t cut it.

Look at this ADP chart for standard drafts from fantasyfootballcalculator.com

adp

How is it that a defense gets drafted before a very good starting quarterback? Jonathan Stewart, an injury prone back in a timeshare that currently is running on two bum ankles is being drafted ahead of Jay Cutler and Ben Roethlisberger (although his ADP has dropped nearly 3 rounds in the last week). These guys are being drafted for depth, ahead of the players who will undoubtedly put up more points than them during the season.

These quarterbacks are left to ride the virtual pine, hoping for the occasional matchup play, injury, or bye week along with your injured, failed, or stashed players when they should be getting your team points. Something has to be done.

That’s why I actively participate in and support as many two quarterback leagues as possible. This is much easier to do in 8 or 10 team leagues (although I loathe 8 team leagues) than it is in 12 team leagues, where the lack of backups make having a rb/wr/te/qb a more feasible option. In 10 team leagues, you are forcing the league to be more resourceful. All conventional wisdom goes out the window once a second quarterback is added. Instead of deciding whether to go qb early or late, you must now take into account how you will draft your quarterbacks, and how your plan affects where and when you fill the rest of your roster. Maybe you’re pairing an upside guy like Cutler with Brees and are hoping a breakout year from Cutler gives you two stud qbs while you focused more on top running backs and mediocre wideouts. Maybe you want all dual threat guys so you get Cam Newton and RG3 as the meat of your team. Or perhaps you just got so caught up with the lack of running backs and plethora of wideouts that you wound up with Eli Manning and Josh Freeman, with CJ Spiller, MJD, and Chris Johnson as your first three picks.

Regardless of what strategy you incorporate, one thing remains the same; the guys who get the points are in your lineup, and like any other position, depth is just as important. Handcuffing a volatile qb situation can prove to be as beneficial (remember the back and forth between Vick and Kolb in 2010?) as handcuffing Arian Foster with Ben Tate. On the flip side, don’t you find it a challenge to have to think about who you want to start at quarterback for once, especially if one of your starters go down and a few waiver wire heroes can make or break your season?

As football is pushing boundaries with the level of quarterback play, so too should your fantasy league. We need to get these contributors in your starting lineups ASAP instead of letting them waste away on your bench along the likes of Sidney Rice, Jonathan Stewart, and Joique Bell. If three different running backs from the same team can all contribute to your fantasy team on a consistent basis in deeper leagues, why cant a starting quarterback who throws for 4000 yards and 25 TDs?

It’s about time the 2 QB system takes over, and I’m calling for it now.

Joe’s Fantasy Football Bible

So what’s it gunna be then, eh? If you’ve ever seen or read A Clockwork Orange, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. In fantasy football, it’s question you ask yourself over and over as the clock is winding down and you need to pick. You’ve read every ESPN, Yahoo!, and Rotoworld article imaginable, scoured through every cheatsheet, and have even made your own rankings. No matter how prepared you are (or think you are), be prepared for chaos. You may think you know what you’re going to do until you’re on the clock. I’ve done it. I remember blurting out “Torry Holt!” as time expired one year. This of course was when he signed with Jacksonville, clearly was on the decline, and in that stupid moment of word vomit, I ruined my chance at back to back championships.

Don’t be that guy. If I’ve learned anything from playing fantasy football the past decade, it’s hold back the word vomit. Fantasy football isn’t a time to let chaos ensue. Your guy gets taken? So what, there’s a hundred other guys that can make up your team. Be angry, upset, afraid, whatever, for a few seconds, then take a deep breath, and get back to the board. Be cold and calculated, not reactive and emotional. These, along with the rest of this piece, will be tips to help you not only survive, but dominate your draft.

Continue reading

#UniformUpdate: MLB to honor vets with camo uniforms

By: Mike Wagenman (@mjwags23)

Happy Memorial Day sports fans! To help America honor its many veterans, Major League Baseball has designed camouflage jerseys and hats for the players to wear on the field. All proceeds from these uniforms will be donated directly to the USA’s veterans.

In the past, MLB teams have worn red or blue caps, caps and jerseys with the American flag inside the logo, and even white caps with red or blue brims. This year, camo is the design. Although they are not getting the best reviews, they are paying a tribute to this country’s heroes.

Here they are:

Image

Image

#GTD

The Old Timers Offense: Offensive Line

By: Joe Siniscalchi (@Joe_Siniscalchi)

Yesterday, I wrote a piece on some of the best players over 30 that would make up a great offense. In this part, I’ll go over the best offensive lineman over 30.

Continue reading

#RememberWhen: Vince Carter literally dunked OVER a 7-footer

By: Mike Wagenman (@mjwags23)

Site: Sydney, Australia

Year: 2000

Event: Olympic Gold Medal Game

Opponent: France

Ok, the scene is set. Team USA was 7-0 and well on its way to a perfect 8-0 Olympic Games record and a gold medal. Vince Carter took it to a new level. I’ll let the video do the rest of the explaining:

Continue reading

#UniformUpdate: Dallas Stars leak new logo

By: Mike Wagenman (@mjwags23)

Since the Stars moved from Minnesota to Dallas, they have experimented with a number of different uniform and logo designs.

The 1993-94 season was the team’s first in Texas. Since, the Stars’ primary logo design has remained the same, but has just gotten progressively darker. Dallas has also experimented with a jersey style that literally looks like a giant star was cut out of it.

Starting in 2007, the team decided to put player numbers on the front of the jersey in addition to the back and the sleeves. The Stars abandoned the logo on the chest in 2011 and replaced it with an arched “DALLAS”.

Don’t forget this nightmare alternate logo:

Image

Safe to say the Stars’ logos and uniforms have not exactly worked out particularly well.

Now, they have decided to go in a new direction. A more clean and simple style. Personally, I think the designers could have done a bit better, give how simple the name “Dallas Stars” is. But, they did not do a bad job by any means. Here’s the primary logo:

Continue reading