Thursday, June 26, 2008

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Candy -6/26

June 26th, 2008 JunkyardJake.Com

Mike Aviles, Kansas City Royals, SS
In his first extended major league assignment, Aviles is certainly making a favorable impression. After taking over the shortstop job from the remotely hitting Tony Pena, Aviles has stepped in with 3 HRs and a .339 average in 16 games. Aviles success is not really too surprising, as he has improved consistently over the past three seasons at the AAA level. He had 8 HR and a .264 average in 2006, then improved to 17 HRs and a .295 average in 2007. Before his callup, he had hit 10 homeruns in 51 games for AAA Omaha. He looks like he could offer nice power at the SS position, so he makes sense even in a mixed league format.
Available in 47% of all CBSSportsline leagues.

Kevin Slowey, Minnesota Twins, SP
Slowey is one of those underrated pitchers that can produce surprising good results, despite lacking an awe-inspiring fastball. This young hurler normally throws fastballs in the high 80's, and also throws a curveball, slider and a changeup. What makes Slowey a solid pitcher, is that no matter what he throws, they generally go exactly where he wants them to. He was knocked around a little during his short major league trial in 2007, but his minor league stats were very impressive that year - 133 innings, a 1.89 ERA, a 0.96 WHIP, and only 18 walks. He did get bombed for 8 runs versus the White Sox a few weeks ago, but over all, he has had 4 quality starts in his last six outings.
Available in 59% of all CBSSportsline leagues.

David DeJesus, Kansas City Royals, OF
After failing to crack single digits on the homerun scale from 2004 through 2007, it's easy to see why DeJesus has never been known for his power hitting prowess. For some reason he has been cranking out more dingers this year - he already has 8, and is finally on pace to exceed the magic singe-digit barrier. DeJesus is also delivering the solid batting average that was expected from him after last season's dropoff to .259. For the season, he is at .305, and has had equal success against lefties (.295 BA) and righties (.310 BA).
Available in 43% of all CBSSportsline leagues.

Charlie Morton, Atlanta Braves, SP
We know the Braves organization has a long history as a pitcher-producing factory, but even they have to be slightly surpised by the sudden turnaround in the fortunes of Charlie Morton. Before 2008, Morton was roming around the Braves minor league system walking everybody, and typically producing an ERA of around 5.00, with an ugly WHIP. After working on his mechanics, 2008 was a completely story. At AAA Richmond before his callup, Morton had a 2.05 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP. He has decent stuff, including a 90 MPH sinking fastball, and a solid curveball, so Morton is worth keeping an eye on if he can prove that his improved command is not a fluke.
Available in 75% of all CBSSportsline leagues.

Jeff Clement, Seattle Mariners, C
Clement was called up from the minors in May, and didn't accomplish much, but the Mariners say that they are sticking with him this time around. I guess we can believe that when we see it, but in any event, he is definitely worth considering for your fantasy squad right now if you are thin at the catcher position. Clement grades very high on the power scale, and has been an especially prolific HR hitter in the minors during 2008. After 20 HRs in 2007 for AAA Tacoma, the young catcher has 14 in only 47 games this year. (This translates into about 37 HRs over a typical minor league season.)
Available in 71% of all CBSSportsline leagues.

Other Players To Consider:
Jeff Keppinger,Cincinnati Reds,SS
Available in 64% of all CBSSportsline leagues.

Kelly Shoppach,Cleveland Indians,C
Available in 81% of all CBSSportsline leagues.

Chris Iannetta,Colorado Rockies,C
Available in 61% of all CBSSportsline leagues.

Seth McClung,Milwaukee Brewers,SP
Available in 80% of all CBSSportsline leagues.

Chris DavisTexas Rangers,3B
Available in 95% of all CBSSportsline leagues.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Candy -6/15

June 15th, 2008  JunkyardJake.Com

Brandon Marrow, Seattle Mariners, RP  
JJ Putz has been getting himself injured more often than a rodeo clown this season, and at this point, fantasy owners who drafted Putz in the early rounds this year would probably appreciate seeing him drop-kicked over a fence by an irate wild horse. Even when Putz has been 'healthy' he's been pretty damn awful anyway, with a 5.21 ERA, and 3 blown saves. But enough about Putz's sorry situation, the good news is that the Mariners have a replacement closer in Brandon Marrow, who looks to have some real potential. Marrow can overpower hitters with his 98 MPH fastball, and has enough control over his off-speed pitches to effectively close games and is worth an immediate pickup.
Available in 53% of all CBSSportsline leagues.

Andy LaRoche, LA Dodgers, 3B/1B  
Baseball has it's subtle mysteries like 'how does Tim Wakefield even get anyone out throwing 35 MPH?', and 'why is it that when Bobby Cox is captured on camera during a TBS Braves game broadcast, is he always spitting something out onto the dugout floor ?'. Another such mystery is of course, 'who will get regular playing time for the rest of 2008 at the Dodgers corner infield spots ?' If Andy LaRoche, called up recently from AAA Las Vegas, can finally deliver on the potential he has shown as a top prospect, then he should eventually be a significant factor. Blake DeWitt is also a good young player, but LaRoche offers the advantage of switch-hitting versatility, and also should emerge as a better source of HR power.
Available in 83% of all CBSSportsline leagues.

Chase Headley, San Diego Padres, OF/3B  

After bouncing him back to the minors for no apparent reason in April, the Padres have finally recalled Chase Headley this week. Given that Justin Huber and Paul McAnulty failed to distinguish themselves as household names out in left-field, that is probably where the Padres will stick the young prospect for now. Chase Headley, who also plays 3B, looks like a natural .300 hitter, with possible 30 HR power (realistically 20-25 HR given the Petco Park curse), so he is definitely worth a pickup, especially in NL-Only leagues.

Available in 77% of all CBSSportsline leagues.

Armando Galarraga, Detriot Tigers, SP  
Galarraga doesn't have spectacular stuff- he usually brings his above-average fastball at around 92-94 MPH, and has a decent slider and change-up. Regardless, he has demonstrated that he belongs in the Tigers rotation, with a 6-2 record, a 3.31 ERA and an impressive WHIP of 1.03. The young righty probably won't keep up his current pace, but there is no reason to believe he will be a liability in mixed leagues, and his spot in the rotation seems fairly secure now that Jeremy Bonderman has been lost for the season.
Available in 52% of all CBSSportsline leagues.

Alexei Ramirez, Chicago White Sox, 2B  
Despite having that distinctive look of a #87th ranked 145 lb welterweight contender from a country you can't pronounce, evidently Ramriez was a 20 HR hitter down in Cuba. In the 3rd week of May, he was hitting about .195, but after some unspecified revelation, he has boosted his average up to around .290. Juan Uribe has recently returned from the D.L. to attempt to reclaim his stake to the White Sox 2B job, but he is hitting .198. Odds would have it that Ramirez has earned significant playing time, so he makes a solid mixed-league pickup if he can continue to hit with decent power.

Available in 55% of all CBSSportsline leagues.

Other Players To Consider:
Jose Castillo,SF Giants,3B  
Available in 84% of all CBSSportsline leagues.

Ramon VazquezTexas Rangers,3B  
Available in 85% of all CBSSportsline leagues.

Maicer Izturis,LA Angels,2B  
Available in 61% of all CBSSportsline leagues.

Yuniesky Betancourt,Seattle Mariners,SS  
Available in 58% of all CBSSportsline leagues.

Ricky Nolasco,Florida Marlins,SP  
Available in 78% of all CBSSportsline leagues.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

2008 NFL Rookie Report

Ranking the 2008 NFL Rookie Class
Ranking the 2008 rookie class by expected fantasy football significance...

June 11, 2008 JunkyardJake.Com

#1) Darren McFadden,RB
1st Round (#4) (6'2" ,210) 40 Time=4.34
Complete RB with the size, speed and nifty moves. Compares to Adrian Peterson, with the receiving ability of Marshall Faulk. Oakland may mix in scrubs Jason Fargas and Michael Bush, but probably not for long.
Fantasy Significance=

#2) Jonathan Stewart,RB
1st Round (#13) (5'11" ,235) 40 Time=4.45
Power RB that can run over or sprint away from defenders. Only concern is his injury history, but Carolina is apparently considering the use of Stewart as the primary back over incumbant DeAngelo Williams, who is probably better suited for 3rd downs anyway.
Fantasy Significance=

#3) Rashard Mendenhall,RB
1st Round (#23) (5'10" ,225) 40 Time=4.42
Mendenhall has a nice combination of strength, speed, acceleration and smarts. He is probably the superior choice over current starter Willie Parker, but Pittsburgh will likely use both backs, with Mendenhall the better bet for goalline carries.
Fantasy Significance=

#4) Felix Jones,RB
1st Round (#22) (6'0" ,200) 40 Time=4.42
Blazing speed, great elusiveness and a threat to score from anywhere. Likes to run outside, and he's also a dynamic receiver. Is not known as a proficient inside runner, so he should be a nice complement to Marion Barber and Tashard Choice.
Fantasy Significance=

#5) Matt Forte,RB
2nd Round (#44) (6'2" ,220) 40 Time=4.44
The Bears love him, and probably couldn't wait to release the underachieving Cedric Benson. While Forte is the favorite for prime-time carries Adrian Peterson and Garrett Wolfe figure to see action on 3rd downs. Drafting Chris Williams helps the Bears offensive line after a dreadful 2007.
Fantasy Significance=

#6) Kevin Smith,RB
3rd Round (#64) (6'1" ,222) 40 Time=4.51
The Lions running-game has a huge void after the departure of Kevin Jones, and Smith is the favorite to fill it. He is not a track star, but has good vision, instincts and work ethic. Tatum Bell looms, but he looks pretty much washed up after another lost season in 2007.
Fantasy Significance=

#7) Chris Johnson,RB
1st Round (#24) (5'11" ,198) 40 Time=4.25
Chris Johnson becomes the leagues fastest RB, but more importantly, he is an instinctive football player who should become a versatile weapon for the Titans as runner, receiver and kick returner. If Lendale White can't keep his weight down and stay out of court, Johnson's stock will skyrocket.
Fantasy Significance=

#8) Devin Thomas,WR
2nd Round (#34) (6'2" ,215) 40 Time=4.41
He seems like he could be a perfect fit for the new west-coast offense that Jim Zorn brings to Washington. He has the best size/speed combination of the 2008 class of receivers, but has only one solid college season to show for it, so he could be slow to develop.
Fantasy Significance=

#9) James Hardy,WR
2nd Round (#42) (6'6" ,219) 40 Time=4.45
At long last, Lee Evans has a legitimate teammate to take some of the attention off him. At 6'6", he has the size of a tight end, and while he is not going to run behind the secondary, he shows decent quickness, and runs good routes. Could be an immediate starter for the Bills.
Fantasy Significance=

#10) Matt Ryan,QB
1st Round (#3) (6'5" ,227) 40 Time=4.85
Matt Ryan was the most NFL-ready QB in the draft, and has the intelligence, mobility and accuracy to become a quality starter. Although he throws a decent long-ball, he is better managing a quick strike attack. Chris Redman and Joey Harrington may see action early in the season, but Ryan should start before long.
Fantasy Significance=

#11) Ray Rice,RB
2nd Round (#55) (5'8" ,200) 40 Time=4.43
For a small RB, Rice shows a lot of strength and power to go along with his great cut-back ability and lateral movement. He is the heavy favorite to backup Willis McGahee in 2008, and he could see fantasy significance as the preferred option on passing downs.
Fantasy Significance=

#12) Limas Sweed,WR
2nd Round (#53) (6'4" ,215) 40 Time=4.47
Sweed needs to improve his route running, but there is a lot to like about his natural quickness, change of direction and strong work habits. He will start off behind Nate Washington at #3, but that situation should be temporary, and could be a real factor if Hines Ward's knee problems persist.
Fantasy Significance=

#13) Malcolm Kelly,WR
2nd Round (#51) (6'4" ,225) 40 Time=4.65
Kelly joins Devin Thomas to give Washington an impressive pair of young receivers. Thomas is faster, but Kelly is the more physical, natural pass catcher who has amazing hands. Kelly could be relevant very quickly if he outplays Thomas in camp.
Fantasy Significance=

#14) Jerome Simpson,WR
2nd Round (#46) (6'2" ,200) 40 Time=4.42
Simpson has the speed to stretch defenses, an impressive array of nifty moves, and the athleticism to make the tough catch. He is the favorite to replace Chris Henry as the #3 receiver for the Bengals, so he is an intriguing prospect in 2008.
Fantasy Significance=

#15) Will Franklin,WR
4th Round (#104) (6'1" ,215) 40 Time=4.38
Franklin's physical attributes and raw speed potential compare favorably to any receiver in the 2008 draft class. He fell to the 4th round because of doubts that he can learn a complicated pro offense. He has only Jeff Webb and Devard Darling to beat for a starting spot , so he is a player to watch.
Fantasy Significance=

#16) Tim Hightower,RB
5th Round (#149) (6'0" ,225) 40 Time=4.55
Hightower has the prototypical size, vision and power you want in an RB, but the knock on him is his slow 40 time. He lands in a great situation in Arizona, where Edgerrin James is turning 30 this year, and he only has the even slower Marcel Shipp to beat out for significant carries.
Fantasy Significance=

#17) DeSean Jackson,WR
2nd Round (#49) (6'0" ,188) 40 Time=4.35
Jackson is a very talented receiver with rare speed and agility. He was arguably the best deep-threat WR in the draft, but appears to be coming along slowly with the Eagles. On talent alone, he should be a starter over Reggie Brown, but we may need to wait for 2009 to see that.
Fantasy Significance=

#18) Eddie Royal,WR
2nd Round (#42) (5'10" ,185) 40 Time=4.39
Eddie Royal makes up for his small stature with elite breakaway speed, and a football intelligence that is advanced for a young player. The Broncos bolstered their receiving corps with Darrell Jackson and Keary Colbert this offseason, but Royal should immediately compete with Brandon Stokley at the slot position.
Fantasy Significance=

#19) Jamaal Charles,RB
3rd Round (#73) (5'11" ,200) 40 Time=4.38
Depending on the health of Larry Johnson, Charles could achieve significance this season, but he projects as more of a 3rd down specialist because of his size. He is an interesting prospect because of his speed and game-breaking ability, but probably couldn't handle full-time carries.
Fantasy Significance=

#20) Steve Slaton,RB
3rd Round (#89) (5'9" ,198) 40 Time=4.45
Slaton is a small back who will need to add some weight, but he could be an effective change of pace player by virtue of his speed, burst and acceleration. Houston has a crowded RB situation, with Ahman Green, Chris Brown and Chris Taylor vying for carries, so Slaton will need to make an impression.
Fantasy Significance=

Other Rookies to Watch:
#21) Early Doucet,WR
#22) John Carlson,TE
#23) Ryan Torain,RB
#24) Tashard Choice,RB
#25) Dustin Keller,TE
#26) Joe Flacco,QB
#27) Earl Bennett,WR
#28) Mario Manningham,WR
#29) Donnie Avery,WR
#30) Chad Henne,QB