Put Your Season in the Right Hands

by Eddie Mayrose

They are the foundation of most Fantasy Football rosters.  The stud running backs of the NFL, posting 100 yard games and lugging the pigskin over the goal line enough to make their owners kings of their Fantasy leagues.  The problem is, with so much invested, your season is doomed if your prime ball carrier disappoints.

Such was the case last year with Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville’s star back who had registered 27 TD’s over the previous two campaigns. In 2011, however, despite the fact that his rushing total was, essentially, flat, his TD total plummeted to a measly 5.  Given the fact that he was likely selected in the top five of most drafts, it’s hard to believe that Jones-Drew was a member of too many Fantasy champs.

In addition to securing a marquee back, sleepers become equally important as they allow a Fantasy owner the luxury of filling other holes with better players. Owners that passed on Ray Rice last year in favor of a WR like Calvin Johnson or Roddy White were rewarded well by Ahmad Bradshaw, whose numbers compared very well to Rice.

Let’s take a look at the studs you need to have, the sleepers that will help and the busts you need to avoid. Continue reading »

Wild Card Format Hurts Rivalry

by Eddie Mayrose

It should have been a baseball fan’s dream.  The game’s biggest rivalry, Yankees-Red Sox, taking center stage in the middle of August with the teams dead even atop the AL East standings.  In years past, each city would have come to a dead stop as the series played out.  This time around, however, in the dreaded era of the Wild Card, it was just another three game summer set.
There has been much excitement generated by the playoff format that was expanded in 1995.  Not only have teams that would have otherwise been eliminated enjoyed the added thrills and ticket sales generated by a pennant race, more than a few have manage to win the World Series. Iis there that advocates of the system point when extolling its virtues.

There is a dark side to this, though, one that the suits at MLB choose to ignore, and it made its annual appearance in the middle of the AL East race.  With both the Bombers and Bosox nine games clear of their closest Wild Card contender, each is virtually guaranteed a playoff berth already.  Thus, there is no urgency to juggle pitching rotations in order to create favorable matchups or rush injured players back on to the field.  Why bother?  The division title has been rendered meaningless by the playoff system that Bud Selig and his money grabbing minions have sworn to uphold. Continue reading »

Things to Remember in March 2012

by Eddie Mayrose

Dear Moonlight,

I’m writing  from here in August, 2011 to urge you, the 2012 Moonlight Graham, to remember a few, critical points as you sit down at the draft table.  Just a few suggestions that, if taken, should spare you the misery that your 2011 self has had to endure.

I feel this letter is necessary because, had I been fortunate enough to receive the same courtesy from the 2010 Moonlight, I’d at least have been reminded to stay away from the almost irresistible temptations that pop up during a Fantasy Draft.

It happens to all of us.  No matter how much we’ve prepared, there comes a moment during a draft where we must put our money where our mouth is.  To strike boldly and grab that young player we believe to be on the cusp of stardom and resist the fading star that MIGHT have another big season left.  To ignore position scarcity and bolster the roster with the most talented player available and, most of all, know in your heart that a history of injury will likely continue. Because I was weak this year, turned my back on solid info in favor of a few pipe dreams, I’m hoping that this letter will save you from the same pitfalls. Continue reading »

NFL Lockout Sets Rookies Back

by Eddie Mayrose

The story is always the same.  Whenever there is discord within a family, the children bear the burden of the animosity.  Such is the case heading into the 2011 NFL season, as the dispute between the owners and players as to how to split billions of dollars resulted in months of lost time for the rookies drafted into the league in April.

Even under the best of circumstances, most rookies are behind the eight ball as they struggle with a new playbook and the increased speed and talent while trying to carve out some measure of playing time for themselves. This year, however, that task became even more daunting for first year players as the league’s labor dispute erased all of their pre-camp preparation and forced them to acclimate themselves on the fly.

Traditionally, the freshman class is an area where Fantasy Football owners look to uncover a hidden gem or two in the late rounds. By the time they arrive at their draft tables, they have, at least, some idea about a rookie’s potential playing time and how he fits in to his team’s offensive scheme based on his pre-season performance. Not so, this season, as owners selecting a rookie must do so with their fingers crossed.

Make no mistake, there are a few diamonds in the rough available. They’ll just be harder to find. Here’s an idea of how the old professor sees things. Continue reading »

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