I’ve never been a big fan of early fantasy drafts and the Jordy Nelson (Green Bay Packers) injury is my biggest reason why. Nelson was the 3rd highest scoring wide receiver in our league behind Antonio Brown (Pittsburgh Steelers) and Demaryius Thomas (Denver Broncos). As you know Nelson torn the ACL in his right knee. The injury will require surgery and Nelson will miss the entire season. If your draft was before the Packers pre-season game last week Nelson was probably one of the first wide receivers to come off the draft board. Mike Evans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has a hamstring injury, but they’re saying he’ll be ready to go for Week 1, but with this type of injury you never can tell. There are quite a few players you’ll have to check and see where they are with their injury as you go into your draft. Alshon Jeffery (Chicago Bears) is dealing with a calf injury. Denver’s Emmanuel Sanders also has a hamstring issue as well. Julian Edelman the New England Patriots wide receiver has an ankle injury and hasn’t been practicing. Now all these players are suppose to be ready by Week 1, but when you have a draft too early it’s difficult to follow all the injuries. Luckily all 3 of the leagues that I’m in will be drafting Labor Day weekend; so I’ll have time to see who’s still out injured and if there have been any more players that got injured. If you have a league that has already drafted I’d be interested to know how you like it or why your league decided to draft early.
If you’ve listened to the Sports Time Radio podcast I’m sure you’ve heard us mention our two fantasy football leagues. We have a traditional snake style draft in one league and then the other league is an auction league draft. Both leagues are free so we do them for fun and of course for bragging rights on the podcast. Just for fun in the snake league we have to start 2 tight ends a week. Oh; by the way both of our leagues are 20 team leagues. That means that 40 tight ends start every week in our league and of course you should have a back up on your bench to cover Bye week; so there are about 60 tight ends drafted in our snake style league. I did it just for fun one season and so many people complained about it that there was no way I was going to change it. I want the draft to be challenging and this is one of the ways that make it that way. You’ll hear us joke around about this quite a bit on the podcast during the football season and at some point in time during the season someone will go on our league message board and complain about it. Luckily for us teams throw the football a lot more in today’s NFL; so there are tight ends out there to find if you look in the right places. Obviously there’s Rob Gronkowski (Patriots) and Jimmy Graham (Seattle Seahawks) at the top any tight end list, but who’s after those two. There’s been a lot of talk about Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs taking a step up as that next tight end. Don’t forget that no Chiefs wide receiver caught a touchdown pass last season; so maybe Kelce will be the pass catching threat around the end zone. Greg Olsen (Carolina Panthers) sometimes gets lost when experts talk about top tight ends, but he’s right there and a good weapon for Cam Newton to use.Chicago Bears tight end Martellus Bennett caught 90 passes last season, but I’m not sold that he’ll get back to that number this season. It’s when you get down to filling that last tight end spot that you really have to hope you landed a sleeper. Lance Kendricks of the St. Louis Rams won’t catch a lot of passes during the season, but he could be used around the goal line. As a 3rd tight end in our league it’s worth taking a chance on a player who may get 1 catch for 1 yard and 1 touchdown. Will it be Richard Rodgers who gets some extra catches in Green Bay’s offense with Nelson gone? He’ll be worth a late round pick or maybe sooner depending upon how you feel about him. Jacob Tamme signed with the Atlanta Falcons this off season; so he may be the tight end catching the passes. The Baltimore Ravens have Maxx Williams and Crockett Gilmore looking to fill the tight end void created when Owen Daniels sign with the Broncos and Dennis Pitta was placed on the P.U.P. (Physically unable to Perform) List. Both Mr. Fantasy and I thought we had something with Jace Amaro of the New York Jets last season, but that didn’t really come through for us. Will Amaro be a bigger factor in the Jets offense this season? So as you can see we have to do some digging to fill our rosters with tight ends, but to me it makes it more fun to draft. I don’t know maybe it’s just me.
Hanley Ramirez told the Boston media yesterday that he will be the Red Sox everyday 1st baseman starting with the 2016 season. I was a little surprised to hear that it would be Ramirez moving to 1st base. I thought it would be Pablo Sandoval who would make the move across the diamond and take over at 1st. The Red Sox do seem to have quite a few outfielders in their system and next years outfield may have Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Rusney Castillo in it. I thought there was a chance that Travis Shaw would be given a look at 1st base with the numbers he put up so far this season. In 29 games Shaw is hitting .315 with 6 home runs, but it’s doesn’t appear right now that he’ll be given a chance at 1st base. There doesn’t seem to be a spot for Allen Craig either. Now Craig has struggled since being acquired by the Red Sox for John Lackey last season. Craig hasn’t appeared in a major league game with the Red Sox since May 9th and at this point I’m don’t even think the Red Sox could get much in return for Craig in a deal. 1st base will actually be the 4th full time position Ramirez has had at the major league level. Ramirez started his career as a shortstop and has played 1077 games there. In 2012 he was moved to 3rd base while playing for the Miami Marlins and has played 99 career games at 3rd. This is his first season in leftfield or any outfield position for that matter. He’s played 92 games in leftfield this season for the Red Sox. Ramirez has had some injury issues throughout his career; so a move to 1st base might help that issue and help keep his bat in the everyday line up. There has been some talk of Ramirez getting some games at 1st base this season;s o keep an eye out for his position switch.
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