Monday, June 30, 2008

NFL Rookie Pay Scale

The Counselor is IN:

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has stated that the current money being thrown at early first round rookies is “ridiculous”. It is hard to disagree with him. When you have Jake Long becoming the highest paid Offensive Lineman as a rookie with $30 million guaranteed on a $57.75 million contract over 5 years.

The Players Association appears to find the idea of a Rookie Player Scale as a point of contention. They believe the market is dictating the rookie salaries. They are willing to fight for the salaries of their rookie players.

My big question to the Players Associations is "Why not support the veterans?" If you limit the money for the rookies, then you have more money for the veteran players. The NFL salary cap not only has a maximum but also a minimum salary. So if the cash is not being set aside for escalating rookie salaries, then it has to go to the veterans. I am not sure if this point is lost on the Players Union or not.

The Counselor is OUT:

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Fantasy Draft: LT or All Day?

The Counselor is IN:

It is time to start thinking about fantasy football. In a month, NFL camps will be in full swing. Currently the new stands and books stores have this seasons FF magazine lining the shelves.

The number 1 overall pick for a fantasy draft is always a fun discussion at this time of the year. You can make an argument for Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, LaDainian Tomlinson, or Adrian Peterson. In most leagues, Runningbacks are at a higher premium than Quarterbacks. Because of this, I will focus on the Runningbacks.

Here is a comparison of LT and All Day.


LT has been a consistent fantasy stud since his first season. He has rushed for 18, 28, and 15 touchdowns in the last 3 years. He had 2, 3, and 3 receiving touchdowns on top of the rushing ones. He has rushed for over 1,450 yards in each of the last three seasons (with 1815 yards in 2006). LaDainian is a consistent top 5 fantasy producer.


LT is 29 years old. He is on the downward side of a typical runningback’s productive years. He has been the workhorse in San Diego for years. Is this the season LT will lose a step or even worse?

Peterson's 2007 season was an amazing rookie year. He ran for 1341 yards while sharing time with Chester Taylor. He ran for 12 touchdowns and had another touchdown receiving. He had a 224 and a record setting 296 rushing yard day. The NFL future is bright for Adrian.


Peterson only has one season behind him. There is no history on consistent he will be. A sophomore slump is always a possibility.

Adrian has been plagued my injuries in the past. His hard running style of running over people could lead to time on the injury list.

He is still splitting time with a good runningback in Taylor.

My Opinion:
I have them listed as 1A and 1B. I would love to have the second overall pick in a draft where I will be guaranteed one of them. If I have to pick one, I would go with Peterson's potential. I have been bitten by 29 and 30 year old stud running backs that become pedestrian after 28.

The Counselor is OUT:

Fantasy Football Resource sites

The Counselor is IN:

Below is a mammoth list of Fantasy Football Resources. Some of the sites are fee based and some are free of charge. My friend Deb at Cowboys Pride posted this list. She agreed for me to run her article on this blog.

If you have not been to Cowboys Pride, then you are missing out. This fan site prides themselves not only in loving their Cowboys (and mine) but they have members that are fans from many other teams. They welcome fans from all NFL teams (even the Redskins).

Cowboys Pride goes beyond discussing the NFL. They have coverage and articles on Baseball, NASCAR, Boxing, NCAA, a variety of Fantasy sports, Military Heroes and much more. I am happy to not only be affiliated but to write for this intellectual bunch. This is a full service site that has free membership. Stop in, join up, and let them know that I sent you.

Here is the List:

SportingNews.com Fantasy Football Source - Dominate your fantasy league this season. SportingNews.com's Fantasy Source is just $4.99 and comes loaded with stats and info like player rankings, updates, news, injuries, depth charts, offseason transactions, and expert mock drafts. (And yes, it's printable).

4for4.com Fantasy Football - Providing cheat sheets, draft, NFL and injury report information.

All Pro Publishing - Offering everything from cheat sheets to player rankings.

Ask The Commish.com - Providing mock drafts, a free draft kit, sit or start advice, weekly picks, free contests, and more.

Dominate Your League - Fantasy Football information, rankings, projections, news, articles, tools, links, and forums.

DR U Fantasy Football Guru - If your fantasy football team is ailing, feel free to visit the doc, no appointment necessary.

Dr. Fantasy Football - Features news, player rankings, cheat sheets, depth charts, injury reports, and more.

Dr. Stats Fantasy Sports - Fantasy information to help you win your league, including player news, injury reports, stats & cheat sheets.

DraftHelp.com - Everything you need to create, draft, manage, and run a fantasy sports league. FanInsights - Fantasy football draft guides and rankings available in Excel format.

Fans Fantasy Football - For fantasy fans by fantasy fans... just people that have player the game for 15 years.

Fantasy College Blitz - Taking fantasy football to school - providing fantasy-focused analysis of college football.

Fantasy Football Advice - Free fantasy football info, draft lists, scouting reports, sleepers & more.

Fantasy Football Daily Tips - A blog providing tips, news, and strategy for fantasy football players.

Fantasy Football Digest - NFL news, fantasy leagues, tips, and more.

Fantasy Football Edge - Free player rankings, game day weather report, player news, depth chart & injury reports.

Fantasy Football Experts - Player rankings, daily injury updates, preseason draft features, and weekly matchup analysis.

Fantasy Football Golden Boy - A guide how to play and win in fantasy football. Fantasy Football Indepth - Custom cheat sheets, rankings, expert analysis, and a unique team evaluator.

Fantasy Football Jungle - Free predictions, waiver wire analysis, team rankings, and advice.

Fantasy Football Mastermind - Providing comprehensive fantasy football information since 1996.

Fantasy Football Post - Fantasy football information site offering analysis and opinions.

Fantasy Football Realm - Fantasy football projections, schedules, stats, and fantasy strategy tips.

Fantasy Football Starters - Software tools for draft trade line-up and league/team managers.

Fantasy Football Toolbox - Free information, cheat sheets, draft tips & discussion boards.

Fantasy Gas - Free & premium fantasy football NFL cheat sheets, ranking and projections.

Fantasy Information Central - For the most local fantasy sports news on the net.

Fantasy Playmakers - Fantasy football and fantasy baseball news, information and sports forums.

FantasyDraftEdge.com - Offering customized cheat sheets and personalized one-on-one advice throughout the fantasy football season.

FantasyFootball.com - Offering football packages, a message board, player updates and live advice seasonly.

FantasySharks.com - Fantasy information, articles, projections and interviews. Home of Tony Holm's The Prognosticator series.

FF Geeks - Featuring projections, sleepers, links and articles.

FFL Draft Guide Online - Provides FFL team owners a complete and functional online draft list.

ffWarRoom.com - An online fantasy football community. Football Cash Cow - Provides weekly NFL Picks, waiver wire advice and start/sit recommendations.

FootballDocs Fantasy Football - Providing bench/start advice, articles, cheat sheets, draft software, information, and useful links.

Footballguys.com - Fantasy football information, news, and projections for the fantasy enthusiast.

Footballistics - An online destination for NFL and fantasy football information and interaction.

Forecast Football - Showcase your skill at predicting the fantasy football performance of athletes.

Grogan's Fantasy Football - Fantasy football information, analysis, and tools. Updated daily throughout the season.

Huddlegeeks - Expert fantasy football analysis, cheat sheets, depth charts game recaps and much more.

Junkyard Jake - Roster tips, player stats, team reports, NFL news and weather links, games & a totally free contest.

MoSneaky - Online fantasy football eMagazine featuring cheatsheets, depth charts, and NFL fantasy player rankings.

My Fantasy Ball Football - Fantasy football site with free cheat sheets, customized player rankings, draft guides, and player projections.

myFantasyLineup.com - A free community site dedicated to helping you make the correct start or sit decisions. NFL Freaks - Free fantasy football tips, player news, advice, statistics, rankings and more.

No-Offseason - A 365-day resource with a special emphasis on dynasty formats and individual defensive player leagues.

NumbCruncher.com - Offering QBD League Tool, future weekly stats, and a variety of game ideas.

ProFantasySports.com - Fantasy recaps, injury reports, cheat sheets, start 'em bench em', and more.

Robin Sports - Offering fantasy football information and analysis.

RotoGuru Fantasy Sports - Focused analysis of salary cap games, particularly those offered by TSN, Swirve, and PS Challenge.

RotoJunkie - Your daily dose of fantasy football rants, raves and opinions including The Bull Pen message forums.

Rotokingdom - Fantasy basketball talk, mock drafts, rankings and articles from community members.

Rototaction.com - Analysis, statistics and predictions from nationally syndicated fantasy columnist Michael Salfino.

SkillPositions.com - Year round fantasy and NFL football coverage.

Sport Fanatics Fantasy Sports - Free football news, cheat sheets, mock drafts, depth charts, injury reports and other fantasy sports infos.

StatLeader.com - Statistics and analysis based on real-life player performance applied to league-specific scoring systems.

The Fantasy Football Times - Fantasy football newsletter providing cheat sheets, rankings, news, tips, and resources.

The Fantasy Point - A fantasy football news, information, and analysis website that gets to the point.

The Huddle Fantasy Football - Providing fantasy football information since 1997. Cheat sheets, rankings, advice, news, stats and more.

The Sandlot Shrink - Fantasy sports advisors and statistics.

Xtreme Fantasy Football.com - Offering podcasts, cheatsheets, and player rankings updated daily.

Here are a few extras that Deb did not have on her list.

Fan Nation

Fantasy Insights

Fantasy Sports Central

Football Jabber


The Counselor is OUT:

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Balk - Interleague Reality & Fantasy

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

The Counselor is IN:

Larry's Ramblings:

Has the luster of Interleague games worn off? I have heard some commotion about getting rid of these games between the leagues. Often this is from the "traditionalists" that cry out for Major League baseball to head back to the way baseball used to be played. Of course these same traditionalists don't want us to go back to the days of underhand pitching, a best of 9 game World Series, or using metal polls instead of bases. No they want baseball to be the way it was when they were children. I know it is fond memories of a simpler time when baseball players were more human and less diva. It could be argued that the divas were not as exposed to fans as they are today.

For me, the luster of Interleague play has not worn off. I still find myself intrigued by the match ups of teams in different leagues. I know that it may be less dramatic when the World Series comes around in October if the teams have faced each other. But I think each Interleague Series can be almost that intense.

I watched most of the Cardinals/Royals game from Wednesday night and loved it. I love the rule differences and how the visitors have to adjust. I am fascinated with the American League pitchers batting in the National League parks and the National League pitchers having to face another big bat in the American League parks. It is part of the fun. I hope it becomes something the traditionalists of the future fondly remember.

Fantasy Section:

2nd Half Players/ Studs
Here is a list of players that may play well in the second half of the season. Historically many of them are better after the All Star game than before. Trading for these guys could benefit your team.

--1B Mark Teixeira - you may be able to make a good trade for him. Someone may be willing to part with him since he is batting a mild .266. But he also has 10 homers so it will still cost you something of value. He is starting to get hot. You should get him now if you can.

-- 1B Richie Sexson- Richie always plays better in the second half and it is a good chance he will be on a new team. Rumors are that the Mariners will drop him very soon. His .220 BA is not helping. He could be a source of cheap power off of the waivers but be cautious.

-- OF Carlos Beltran
- He is a traditional second half stud. He is currently batting a good .273 BA with 10 homers and 10 SB. I think he will find his power stroke in the summer months and move the homer total closer to 30 while inching the BA to .285.

-- OF Jermaine Dye- Another player who is known for strong second halves. He is already batting well with 12 homers and a .286 Batting Average. You will have to make a sweet deal to steal him away from a team but I think he will pay off for you.

-- Pitcher Johan Santana- Yes everybody wants Santana and it will be almost impossible to trade for him. I owned Santana in my AL only league for 6 years. Every year he was unhittable in the second half of the season. He is a huge part of my domination of that league. If you can trade for him, do it and laugh all the way to the bank. Johan is a second half super-stud. He already has a 7 wins, a 3.04 ERA and a WHIP of 1.21. Look for 15 to 18 wins with an ERA of 2.80 or less and a WHIP of 1.09.

The Counselor is OUT:

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Balk 6-12-08

The Counselor is IN:

Larry's Ramblings:

I recently spent an evening at Hammons Field, the ballpark for the Springfield Cardinals. The Springfield Cardinals are the AA affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. This team played in the Championship series for the Texas League last year. In Springfield, we do get to see the up and coming players before they become Major League stars.

With prices at $6 a ticket, I can afford to take my family out to the ballpark and have good seats. It has become an economic hardship to my family to Busch Stadium to see the big Cards with the noise bleed seats. Financially there is no comparison.

The game was a reminder of why I love baseball. A live baseball game has wonderful atmosphere. I love the mix of the smell of the grass and the hotdog vender. You have the crowd cheering for the home team. With every man, woman, and child singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame", it was nostalgic and wonderful.

Fantasy Section:
It is nearing the middle of June. You should have a good idea of what your players are doing. You should know if your team is a contender or not.

If a contender, then you need to examine what will make your team better. Do you need that one top starter to push you over or a stolen base guy to help you in a week category? No team is perfect. The other contenders will be examining their teams and attempting to make trades. Even if you are winning your league easily, you should examine possible trades. Rarely have I seen someone leading at the All Star Game not make a move and still win their league in a traditional roto league.

If you are out of contention, then you should be examining big names that you might want to trade. This is particularly true in keeper leagues. If you have a keeper league, trade off that big name for up and coming players. Done properly, this can get you into contention next year. If you are not in a keeper league, then you should be open to trading for quality players to advance your position this year

The key to performing well in Fantasy Baseball is continued to pay attention. So often the long daily season will cause some owners to stop paying attention. Replace your injuries and examine trade options and free agency pickups. If you do this, it should help your team stay near the top.

The Counselor is OUT:

Sunday, June 08, 2008

"The thrill of victory... and the agony of defeat"

The Counselor is IN:

The famous words "Thrill of victory and the agony of defeat" is burned in the memory of many sports fans which grew up in the 70's and 80's. We tuned in many of a Saturday afternoon to see where in "Wide World of Sports" we would be taken. It might be a skiing competition, or a Harlem Globetrotter Game, or Evel Knievel or some other wacky sporting event. We all remember the intro with the skiing accident scene. The voice of this intro, Jim McKay, was often the sportscaster reporting from the event.

Yesterday, June 7, 2008, Jim McKay passed away from natural causes at 86 years of age. Other than the Wide World of Sports, he was most known for his coverage of horse races, like yesterday's Belmont Stakes, and the Olympics. He covered the horrific Munich Massacre during the 1972 Summer Olympics.

My condolences, prayers, and thoughts go out to the memorable sportscaster's family.

The Counselor is OUT:

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Johnson to give Gold metal back for relay

The Counselor is IN:

According to SI, Olympic track sprinter Michael Johnson is set to give back his gold metal for the 2000 Sydney Olympics 1,600-meter relay. The world record holder for the 200 and 400 meters stated that he was shocked by the doping admission, performance-enhancing drugs, of former teammate Antonio Pettigrew. He stated that he will give this medal back to the International Olympic Committee because it is tainted with Pettigrew's admission.

Johnson has 5 Olympic gold metals and will still have 4 when he gives the relay one back. A gold metal is what track and field athletes train for their entire lives. It displays that they were the best in the world on that day. Giving a gold metal back would be pain stakenly difficult. I am sure it will be easier since he still has 4 other gold metals but it still would be a difficult decision to make. I commend Michael Johnson for his good conscience on this matter.

The Counselor is OUT:

Monday, June 02, 2008

The Balk 6-3-08

The Counselor is IN:

The Chicago White Sox face a lot of adversity this year with a lack of offensive prowess. It has not stopped them from leading their division with a 30 and 26 record. It also has not stopped Manager Ozzie Guillen from going on one of his usual tie raids. He stated the following over the weekend, ”I'm sick and tired to watch this thing for a year and a half. I'm not protecting anybody anymore. ... If they can't get it done, Kenny (General Manager) should find someone to get it done." His boss, Kenny Williams, stated that Ozzie should be cautious of throwing him under the boss since he has been the guy defending Ozzie. They ended up burying the hatchet and now love each other again. It appears that they are going to have to live with each other for this season especially if they continue to win in spite of their manager

I have heard it described as "Ozzie being Ozzie". You have to wonder if there does become a point where Ozzie goes from being an asset to a liability. His players do usually like Ozzie and often play well for him. Is this enough to deal with these continual distractions? We will see over time. A couple of years ago, Ozzie had to undergo sensitivity training after calling Chicago Sun-Times sports columnist Jay Mariotti inappropriate names.

Fantasy Information:

* Key injuries

DH- David Ortiz Red Sox: He has a partially torn tendon in his left wrist. Ortiz should be able to avoid surgery on this wrist which is good news. He will be out for at least a month. The Sox will be lucky if he is back right after the All Star Game.

3B- Ryan Zimmerman- Nationals: The 23 year old has a small labral tear in his left shoulder. He was added to the DL retro to May 26. He was hitting .257 with 8 homers and 27 RBIs. With this injury, there is no guarantee when or if he will return this season.

* Players that might be available free agents in your league.

OF - Jay Bruce- Reds: Bruce has been in the majors for 7 days. If he is still available in your league then grab him right now. He is only batting .577, three home runs, seven RBI, and 12 runs. This in 7 games. He will not continue to hit .577 but he has hit for good average in the minors. I expect him to continue to play well and to be in contention for Rookie of the Year.

Starter Pitcher- Bartolo Colon- Red Sox: Yes this is the same Colon that killed you last year. He is also known as the "Big Fat Bartolo Colon" by Matthew "the Talent Mr. Roto" Berry. Bartolo may only be a temporary fix but he does play for the Red Sox so he will win some games. Here are his current stats: 3 wins, 3.50 ERA, and a 1.28 WHIP.

OF- Coco Crisp- Red Sox: Coco is the forth outfielder for the Red Sox. He has already been a source of cheap steals. With Ortiz on the DL, Coco should get consistent playing time, which he has not seen this year. I would expect his average and steals to go up. If you need steals, then here is your source.

The Counselor is OUT: