Sunday, July 20, 2008

Jeff Pearlman's blog

The Counselor is IN:

JeffPearlman.com is a fun sports related blog. It gives a small glimpse into the mind of a well known sports writer. He is also a best selling author. Below is a little bit about Jeff.

Jeff Pearlman is a columnist for ESPN.com's Page 2 and a former senior writer with Sports Illustrated. His new book, Boys Will Be Boys, explores the dynamic, explosive, controversial life and times of the Dallas Cowboys of the 1990s. He is also the author of the New York Times' best-seller, The Bad Guys Won! as well as the non-New York Times' best-seller, Love Me, Hate Me. Pearlman lives in New York with his wife and two children, and dances professionally on the World Polka Challenge Tour.
Check out Jeff's blog.

The Counselor is OUT:

Cheatsheets: Art or Science?

The Counselor is IN:

Most fantasy owners use cheatsheets to help prepare for their fantasy draft(s). Every magazine has different rankings and cheatsheets. Many fantasy sites offer their own lists and rankings. Every cheatsheet appears to be different. Many of these claim to be the most scientifically sound with the best research. It brings up the question, are cheatsheets really scientific or are they more of an art form?

I know that good cheatsheets examine what a player has historically preformed at, inspect their team and teams they will play against, and project out what should be expected from the player. Also they will be based the projections on specific rules (most are on the standard yardage points plus touchdowns).

When it comes down to it, cheatsheets are really an art form. You are speculating on how a player will perform. What was the cheatsheet value of Ryan Grant last year? Where was Reggie Bush on these lists? Neither one preformed where there were expected. Sometimes it just clicks for some players while other players underachieve after a break out year. One can use all the scientific methods to develop lists but it is still a guess.

Some of the best rankings use intuition as well as data to make their predictions. The gut feeling about a player often drives the rankings of one player up and another player down. This clearly brings the cheatsheets into an art form status.

There is no shame in admitting that cheatsheets are an art form. Art is a wonderful devise that helps one see beyond their thinking. Using intuition is a key part in drafting a good fantasy team. Why should it not be when creating rankings in a cheatsheet?

I will be listing my cheatsheets over the next few weeks. Yes they will be an art form instead of a hard science.

The Counselor is OUT:

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Balk: The Hamilton Show

The Balk is half Larry's rambling thoughts on baseball and half fantasy baseball thoughts.

The Counselor is IN:

Larry's Ramblings:

Josh Hamilton had an unreal first round in the home run derby. He was too tired to win in the finals but what a great performance with 28 homers in the first round. When you mix this with his dream that he would be in the Home Run Derby in Yankees Stadium before they announced where the game would be, it becomes a surreal story. Josh appeared to be a real classy guy at the Derby and the Yankee crowd got behind him. He has come a long way since he was the first round selection for Tampa Bay and was a Cocaine Addict. My ball cap is off to you, Josh Hamilton.

Fantasy Section:

*All Star Game

The All Star Game is upon on. This gives fantasy owners a break for a few days. This is the perfect time to inspect your team. Examine where you are strong and weak. You need to know what your needs are.

Some leagues, like my AL Only League, have their trade and contract extension deadlines during the All Star Game. Re-examine your rules if you do not know when your deadlines are. If the All Star Game is your deadline, then you need to start working the phones.

* Question of the Week

Dear FSC,

My stud pitcher was traded to the National League in my American League only fantasy league. What should I do now?


Dear Devastated,

Firstly, I feel your pain. If your rules allow you to pick up a free agent for the lost player, do so as soon as possible. If you are in contention, you will want to examine trade options to try to pick up a stud pitcher that is not on the MLB trading blocks. You may not get a trade that you want but you do not know until you ask. I would keep your eyes open and talk to the other owners to see what is available at what kind of price. If you are out of contention, then you have to decide if you want to trade off your other good players or not. If you are in a keeper league, you can score a lot of good young cheap players. If it is a re-draft league, then try to keep the best team possible for pride.


(For any fantasy questions, please e-mail FSC at llitle1@sbcglobal.net)

The Counselor is OUT:

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Best Fantasy QB: Manning Vs. Brady

The Counselor is IN:

Let us take a look at who the best fantasy QB in a comparing of Brady and Peyton. I know some people will complain that I am not comparing other quarterbacks like Romo, Brees, Palmer, Anderson, and Eli. These other QBs are not at the same level as these two studs. Personally, I hope that Romo will be in this discussion next year.

Last year, Tom had the greatest fantasy season of any quarterback ever. Not only did he have 50 touchdown passes but he also rushed for two scores. He totaled 4806 yards passing. The addition of Randy Moss and Wes Welker gave Brady the receivers he needed to demonstrate his explosiveness.


This was the first season that Brady was a fantasy stud. He was always a good fantasy QB but never a top fantasy QB. The two years previous, Brady had 26 and 24 touchdowns. That is 50 total for the two years before. One has to wonder if last year was a fluke and if Brady will post more pedestrian numbers this year.

Peyton is Mr. Consistent Fantasy Stud. Over the last 3 years he has thrown 28, 31, and 31 touchdowns. He threw around 4000 yards each year. Indy continues to be an offensive Juggernaut of a team.


There are very few weaknesses in Peyton's game. Harrison is getting older but Reggie Wayne has stepped up to be the go to receiver. Peyton will probably not throw 50 touchdowns this year.

My Opinion:
I would choose Peyton Manning between the two. He is more consistent than Brady. I would think that the running game of the Patriots will be more involved than they were last year. If that is true, it will take away opportunities from Brady.

The Counselor is OUT:

Friday, July 04, 2008

The Balk: The Rays delight and Fantasy Insight

The Balk is half Larry's rambling thoughts on baseball and half fantasy baseball thoughts.

The Counselor is IN:

Larry's Ramblings:

After watching the Rays come back and win against the Red Sox earlier this week, I have decided to cheer for them. This young team has good pitching, solid fielding, surging power, and speed. It was difficult not to enjoy watching them perform on the field and mount their comeback against the World Champs.

They are not replacing my Texas Rangers as my favorite team. But I am going to be pulling for them when they are facing the other teams in the American League. I hope the Rays can win the tough AL East. I would love to see the Rays make the playoffs. GO RAYS!

Fantasy Section:

* RHP Closer Joe Borowski was designated for assignment. It is unknown who will be designated for the closing role. Rafael Betancourt and Masa Kobayashi are two possibilities.

*OF Andruw Jones was activated from the disabled list.

*2B Luis Castillo was placed on the disabled list.

*SS Rafael Furcal will be out for 2 months with back surgery.

*LHP Jeff Francis was put on the 15 day DL with shoulder inflammation.

*SS Jason Bartlett was put on the 15 day DL after spraining his knee.

*OF Matt Holliday has been involved in several trade rumors including to the Angels and the Cardinals.

* SP C.C. Sabathia is being rumored in numerous possible trades through MLB. This will be very important to the team that brings him in, their divisional rivals, and if the fantasy owner especially if they are in an AL or NL only league.

The Counselor is OUT:

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Mort's View on the Rookie Salary issue

The Counselor is IN:

This morning Chris Mortensen, ESPN NFL expert, was on ESPN Radio's Mike and Mike show. I usually agree with Mort on most issues but not on this issue. Here is what Mort had to say about the Rookie salary issues.

"Chris Mortensen, NFL- Mort says the rookie salary cap issue is a brilliant public relations stunt by the NFL. It's not like owners will take care of veterans if rookies had a cap. There's $400M available now for that. Why should rookies like Jake Long and Matt Ryan be punished? Owners are asking to be saved because agents beat them in negotiations." (Mike and Mike)

Mort was asked about raising the minimum cap to ensure that the owners would pay out the money to the veterans. He stated that the owners would not agree to raise the minimum even with lowering the rookie wage scale because "it is not an issue with the owners". He also stated that the rookies have proven themselves in College and this should provide them with the ability to get the big pay day.

By his logic, Cedric Benson and Ryan Leaf should have been paid the big bucks they were because they had proven themselves. How many times have we heard the NFL is a completely different game than college. So why would players not have to prove themselves in the NFL before becoming a top paid player at their position.

The Counselor is OUT: