How was your week

Posted: August 24, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in fantasy, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

I had my first fantasy football draft of the season last night. I had the 5th pick in a 16 team snake style draft. The roster break down for this league is you start 1 quarterback, 2 running backs, 2 wide receivers, 1 tight end, 1 flex position which can be a running back or wide receiver in this league, 1 kicker and 1 defense. There are also 8 bench spots to fill.

Sitting at #5 I was interested to see how this draft would shake out since in some of the  rankings on Yahoo I’ve seen quarterbacks rated very high. I this case there where no quarterbacks taken until the last pick of the 1st round when Patrick Mahomes came off the board at #16.

Before I made my first pick there where three running backs and one wide receiver picked. Looking at the draft board I decided to pick Le’Von Bell. He was rated 8th in this draft, but I liked him better than the other running backs they had ahead of him; so he was my pick.

Being that it’s a snake style draft there where 22 players that came off the board before I made my 2nd selection. There where quite a few players that came off the board that I had hoped would be there when it was my pick. After checking things out I decided to pick another running back and I went with Devonta Foreman.

A little bit of a quicker turn around this time as there where only 8 picks before I got to make my 3rd pick. As you can guess the big name wide receivers where long gone, but I saw Robert Woods sitting there and I liked his value as a 3rd round pick; so I went with him.

As it came around to my 4th pick I didn’t see ay player that jumped out at me and I didn’t want to reach for anything; so I ended up taking Tevin Coleman. It’s three running backs in the first four picks, but there’s a flex position and remember Coleman had his most productive seasons when Kyle Shanahan was his offensive coordinator. I understand that he’s in a crowded backfield, but they wouldn’t of signed him if they weren’t going to use him.

Coming back to me in the 5th round was Alshon Jeffery. He’s still the #1 receiver in Philadelphia and it seemed like a good value to me to be able to find a player like him here. If his starting quarterback can stay healthy this season it would make this an even better pick.

I thought I had a pretty solid base to start my draft off and I started to notice that teams where reaching for players. When it came back to me for my 6th pick I went with Lamar Jackson. I thought that it might be a little too early to grab a quarterback, but Jackson was a player I targeted and once his name came up on the board I knew I either had to take him or lose him.

I’m of the belief that if you don’t end up in a position where you get one of the top tight ends you wait on the position. I was hoping to wait a little longer than the 7th pick to take my tight end, but it was another instance where his name appeared on the draft board; so I grabbed him. I went with Jackson’s teammate Mark Andrews in the 7th round.

Now that my starting line up was more or less set I started to look for players I was interested in and I thought where good values. What I noticed between my 7th and 8th and even my 9th pick there was quite a run on defenses, but I didn’t want to get caught up in it.

When my 8th pick came around I took wide receiver Jamison Crowder. Crowder has always been one of those players that everyone likes, but he’s been unable to stay healthy. I was willing to take a chance on him here since I already had two wide receivers.

After watching all of these defenses get drafted I decided to see if I could start another run with my 9th pick. I went with a kicker; yes a kicker. There had only been one kicker taken by this time and that was two picks before I made this one. I went with Stephen Gostkowski.

My idea worked as there where 8 kickers selected between my 9th and 10th pick. I guess every once in a while I do something right.

Since I had locked up a solid kicker and the run on defenses was done I went looking for a defense I like that I thought offered some value. I ended up taking the Tennessee Titans as my defense even though in my mind I knew I would be taking a second defense just in case.

As for picks 11 and 12 I went with players that I wanted to have and I liked the fact that I was able to find them here. In the 11th round I took San Darnold as my back up quarterback. Then in the 12th round I picked up Darren Waller a tight end that there’s been quite a bit of talk about. Hopefully Darnold improves under his new head coach Adam Gase. Waller was a bit of a flyer, but a lot of fantasy experts think he could be an underrated tight end this season and remember he’s just my back up.

At #13 I wanted to add another running back and I know it’s never a good thing to target a position, but I had a good idea how I wanted to wrap this draft up; so I needed a running back here. I took a chance with Chris Thompson here. I am worried that he won’t play as much this season as he did last season if both of the running backs in front of him stay healthy, but I thought it was a chance wort taking here. After all he is my 4th running back.

Since I had a couple of players hiding for my final two picks I decided to shore up my defense and kicker in rounds 14 and 15. In the 14th I took Kansas City’s defense and then in the 15th round I took Graham Gano. I try not to take two defenses or kickers, but I decided to give it a shot this season.

I had saw what I thought was some value at wide receiver starting to fall in this draft as teams where making sure to get back ups at their positions; so I tried to grab some of it to end this draft. In the 16th round I selected Demaryius Thomas and with my final pick I took Andy Isabella. Thomas is coming back from a serious injury, but he landed in New England and I thought he was worth a risk here. Isabella is one of the many receiver the Cardinals added this off season and I’m hoping they like the rookie enough to get him some snaps.

There’s what I ended up with. How do you think I did? I can tell you that Yahoo didn’t like my draft as I received a “D” grade.

Don’t forget to listen to the Sports Time radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live just head over to TuneIn.com and you can listen whenever you want.

Also feel free to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

 

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Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: August 21, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

I’m not sure how any people remember this and I know that the people who said and wrote it will never admit to it now, but when the New York Yankees signed DJ LeMahieu they didn’t think it would be a good signing. By the time the Yankees had signed LeMahieu they had already added Troy Tulowitzki and believe it or not these people thought that Tulowitzki was the answer at shortstop until Didi Gregorius returned from his injury. How did that work out?

Tulowitzki managed to stay healthy for 5 games and hit just .182 before announcing his retirement. Good thing the Yankees where smart enough to sign LeMahieu as well as Tulowitzki even though there where people out their who thought it was a bad idea.

Of course sign LeMahieu was coming to the Yankees from the Colorado Rockies there was immediately talk about if his stats would translate, but they seem to forget that LeMahieu isn’t a power hitter.

In 7 seasons with the Rockies LeMahieu hit .299 and won a batting title. He only hit 49 home runs in his seven seasons with the Rockies, but he 161 doubles while with them. As a 2nd baseman for the Rockies LeMahieu picked up three Gold Gloves.

There may have been one or two people after the signing who realized that LeMahieu’s swing was going to play really well in Yankee Stadium and it has. LeMahieu is hitting .339 and has set a career high in home runs already with 21. For some reason people seemed to forget that LeMahieu has always been good at hitting the ball to the opposite field and Yankee Stadium has that short porch in rightfield; so that may explain the increase in home runs. LeMahieu is currently sitting at 86 RBI’s; so it looks like he’s on his way to his first career 100 RBI season.

With the injuries the Yankees have had this season imagine if they would’ve listen to some of the people out their and passed on LeMahieu. The Yankees may still be a playoff team if they had made another choice and let LeMahieu sign somewhere else, but they might not have the 10 game lead that they have in the AL East and their road to the playoffs might’ve been a lot tougher.

Pretty much every year they try to stuff Mike Trout down everyone’s throat for AL MVP, but this season there’s no need for that as he is probably going to be a unanimous for that award. If not for Trout having the season he’s having it may be LeMahieu who would be the player being talked about as an MVP. It looks like LeMahieu will finish a strong 2nd in the MVP voting which would be the highest finish in his career.

On the plus side for Yankees fans when they decided to sign LeMahieu they signed him to a two year deal; so he’ll be with the team next season.

Each team in Major League Baseball has a little over 30 games to play and there are still quite a few teams hanging around in the playoff race even if it is just for a wild card spot. We’ve seen wild card teams win the World Series before; so teams just need to get in.

As the Boston Red Sox slowly fade away it looks like there will be three teams in a race to for wild card spots. Right now the Cleveland Indians have one of those wild card spots while the Oakland A’s and the Tampa Bay Rays are pretty much tied for the final wild card spot.

In the National League it’s a different story as you can rightfully say there are seven teams with a legitimate shot at earning one of the two wild card spots. Currently the Washington Nationals and the Chicago Cubs who are holding down the wild card spots, but there are some teams nipping at their heels. The Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets are just 2 games out of a wild card spot. The Milwaukee Brewers are just 3 1/2 games out of a wild card spot. The Arizona Diamondbacks are 4 games out of a wild card spot and even though the San Francisco Giants have cooled off from the way they played in July they are still hanging around just 4 1/2 games out of a wild card spot.

The A’s don’t have any games left against either the Indians or the Rays, but next Friday the Rays will host a three game series with the Indians. Since we are looking at just three games with over 30 games left it might not mean a whole lot in the standings, but it could send one of those teams in a direction they don’t want to go.

Of course with so many teams involved in the wild card race they’re going to have quite a few games against each other. Also the Cubs and the Brewers are still right there in the race for 1st place in the NL Central; so it may be the St. Louis Cardinals as the Central team that’s chasing a wild card berth. The Cubs are just a 1/2 out of 1st place in the NL Central while the Brewers are currently 4 games out of the division lead.

In an interesting move the Atlanta Braves claimed outfielder Billy Hamilton off of waivers from the Kansas City Royals. Hamilton struggled with the Royals hitting just .211 in 93 games with the Royals. Now the Braves have suffered some injuries in the outfield as Nick Markakis and Ender Inciarte have recently joined Austin Riley on the Injury List. The interesting thing about the Hamilton signing is the way the Braves had said they’re goin to use him.

Atlanta has more or less said that they have no plans to let Hamilton make any plate appearances. That means he’ll be used exclusively as a defensive replacement and pinch runner. Hamilton has always bee a top base stealer and even in a down season he still had 18 steals which put him 2nd on the Braves as soon as he was acquired.

How do you think the Hamilton signing will work out for the Braves? Do you think that he’ll get any at bats with them?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRado.com, but if you miss the podcast live just head o over to TuneIn.com and you can listen to the podcast at your leisure.

Don’t forget to look me up on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: August 17, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Can you name a team in Major League Baseball that doesn’t need help in their bullpen. Go ahead take some time and let me know if you come up with a team. I think if you did find a bullpen you’re comfortable with it was a stretch to get there. Why is this; well I think I have an idea.

As teams began to protect young starting pitchers more and more those inning had to go somewhere. Think about it. Unless you’re a top tier veteran pitcher with a proven track record as soon as you get close to the 100 pitch mark or you’re about to face the teams you’re pitching against line up for the 3rd time the bullpen is up and going. The you add in that even the best pitcher in baseball is going to have a short start to two as the season goes on. Where do those inning go?

Think about this; if a teams starting pitcher averages just 5 innings a game that leaves 648 innings over the course of a season for the bullpen to cover. It’s insane to expect them to be able to do that.

In the American League the division leaders are currently the New York Yankees, Houston Astros and Minnesota Twins. In the National League you have the Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves and the St. Louis Cardinals leading their respective divisions. The Yankees have 22 blown saves, the Astros have 16 blown saves while the Twins have 17 blown saves. On the other side the Dodgers have 20 blown saves, the Braves have 22 blown saves and the Cardinals have 10 blown saves this season.

Looking at this there seems to be an easy fix to it, but teams don’t seem to want to go that route. Just teach your starting pitchers in the minor leagues how to pitch deeper into games. It sounds simple doesn’t it and you have to wonder why teams don’t want to do it. Instead they’d just rather load their bullpens up with hard throwers an hope they can piece together the end of games.

I’m not sure how many people remember this, but when Nolan Ryan was President and CEO of the Texas Rangers from 2008 to 2013 one of the things he said he wanted the team to do was teach starting pitchers how to work deeper into games and he got killed for it by just about everyone.

In case you don’t know baseball history Nolan Ryan was a first ballot Hall of Famer who received 98.8% of the vote the year he was inducted. That is currently the 4th highest percentage of a player who was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Only Mariano Rivera, Ken Griffey Jr. and Tom Seaver have received more votes than Ryan when they where eligible for the Hall of Fame.

As a pitcher Ryan appeared in 827 games; 773 as a starter, He threw 5386 innings in his career. Oh; Ryan is also the leader in career strikeouts by a pitcher with 5714, but when he suggested starters try to pitch longer in games he was treated like someone who was stuck in his era and didn’t understand the way the game has changed.

I’m sure there’s some sabermetric stat or an algorithm out there to back up the way pitchers are handled in today’s game, but you have to wonder if Ryan was right. I understand that the risk of injury goes up the more innings a starter pitchers, but you could say that about anything in baseball. A manager has a better chance of getting injured with the more trips he has to make to the mound.

Now I’m not talking about a starting pitcher having to go out and pitch a complete game in every starter, but even if he could give his team an average of 6 inning a start he’d be helping to save the bullpen. in a 5-man rotation if each pitcher went one more inning in each start it would save the bullpen 810 innings in a season. you can’t tell me that wouldn’t be a big help.

Sadly there’s probably not a team out their that’s willing to step out of line and allow starting pitchers to work deeper in games. I guess there’s no sabermetric stat that figures out the wear and tear on your bullpen when your starters aren’t throwing any innings.

It looks like the NL Rookie of the Year race just lost one of it’s top contenders. San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. was placed on the IL this week with a stress reaction in his back. Padres manager Andy Green said that Tatis Jr. is “most likely done for the season”.

Tatis Jr. was in the thick of the Rookie of the Year race with Pete Alonso of the New York Mets and Mike Soroka of the Atlanta Braves.

Tatis Jr. missed some games earlier in the season with a leg injury, but he had played in 84 games for the Padres this season. Tatis Jr. was hitting .317 with 22 home runs which is 2nd among rookies. Alonso is the home run leader with 39. Tatis Jr. also had 16 stolen bases which is also 2nd among rookies. Victor Robles of the Washington Nationals leads all rookies with 19 stolen bases.  His .317 batting average was also 2nd among all rookie as Bryan Reynolds of the Pittsburgh Pirates is leading all rookies with a .334 batting average.

If he would’ve stayed healthy and played out the season it’s clear that Tatis Jr. would’ve received serious consideration for the Rookie of the Year award. Even if he does miss the rest of the season as expected he’ll still gets some votes for Rookie of the Year, but he wont be in the running to win the award.

Tatis Jr. is just 20 years old and he is definitely one of the building blocks as San Diego tries to catch up the top teams in the NL West. With a 56-64 record it’s probably a better choice for the Padres to just shut Tatis Jr. down for the rest of the season even if there is a chance he could come back. At this point in their rebuild there’s just no reason for them to take a chance with what is clearly a future superstar.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live just head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen to the podcast any time you want.

Don’t forget that I’m on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: August 14, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in fantasy, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

ESPN is coming off it’s 24 hours of fantasy football coverage. It’s something they do every year now and there are a few things you can learn from it, but you have to be very, very careful.

I was listening to one of their experts and he said that he won’t be picking a quarterback until the 10th round. Now what this expert forgot to tell you was how many teams where in the league he was talking about. Now me personally I’m in a 20 team league and there’s no way that 180 players will go before a quarterback will be taken. When they give out advice they really need to talk about what size league they’re talking about.

It seems that most of the advice they give out is for 10 or 12 team leagues, but they never specify that’s what they’re talking about. They did do a live on air draft with some of their personalities and it was just a 10 team draft.

If you watched any of the coverage maybe they gave you some advice that will help you this season, but they where no help at all to me and anyone in a bigger league.

The quarterback conversation came up because fantasy owners have to figure out where they’re going to be comfortable taking Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs.

I that ESPN draft that I saw yesterday he was the first player selected, but in the multiple mock drafts I’ve done he wasn’t the first player off the board; it’s been a running back.

Mahomes is rated #1 by Yahoo Sports this year; so he’ll be an early pick in all of their fantasy drafts, but depending o how your league is set up quarterback might not be the way to go in the 1st round.

Besides Mahomes Yahoo Sports has four other quarterbacks ranked in the Top 10. Andrew Luck is at #5, Ben Rothlisberger is at #6, Matt Ryan is at #7 and Drew Brees comes in at #10. So if you’re in a Yahoo fantasy draft it looks like the quarterbacks will be coming off the board very early.

Luckily there aren’t to many quarterback battles; so you’ll know who the starters are heading into your draft. I think the only teams who have to decide on a starter are the Washington Redskins and the Miami Dolphins.

I’m not sure when I’ll end up drafting a quarterback. I just try to play the draft board and if I think that a quarterback is a good value where I’m picking I’ll take him. I’ll let you know who I ended up with after our draft in a few weeks.

Antonio Brown had his hearing with the NFL over his helmet grievance and he ended up losing. Now if you remember Brown threatened to retire if he wasn’t allowed to wear his old helmet. Well to the surprise of no one Brown is schedule to be at Oakland Raiders practice today and won’t be retiring. Did anyone actual think Brown was going to retire over this?

Now we can get to the more serious issues with Brown. Like how are his frost bitten feet? and will they affect him?

You have to wonder how this marriage of Brown and the Raiders are going to work out. How is Brown going to react the first time Derek Carr overthrows him or looks off him and throws the football to another receiver. Brown was spoiled with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The team had a winning record while he was with them, but the Raiders aren’t quite yet in a position to win. How is Brown going to handle losing more game than winning. He’s never handled team adversity well; which isn’t a good sign for the Raiders who many be a few years away from winning. As we know Brown is quite volatile and you just never know what will set him off. Are Jon Gruden and the Raiders coaching staff going to have to manage Brown differently than the other 52 players on their roster?

How bad of a spot are the Dallas Cowboys in? Ezekiel Elliott is in the second week of his holdout. They team made a good contract offer to Dak Prescott, but he turned it down and asked for quite a bit more money than offered. Don’t forget that Amari Cooper is also in the last year of his contract.

Tony Rome came out yesterday and said that he believes the Cowboys will sign all three of their players, but I’m not sure how that’s going to be possible.

Prescott was offered $30 million dollars a season by the Cowboys that he turned down and there where some reports that there was a $40 million dollar a year offer that he turned down. Is difficult to imagine Prescott getting anywhere close to the kind of money they’re talking about. I think the only reason the money has gone so high on him is because he’s with the Cowboys.

Where do you rank Prescott among NFL starting quarterbacks?

Cooper seemed to be a better fit with the Cowboys than he was with the Raiders, but I’m not sure he’s shown he’s a #1 wide receiver. Cooper has reached 1000 receiving yards in three of his first four season, but he’s never had a 100 reception season or scored more than 7 touchdowns in a season.

The issue the Cowboys will have in signing him is he’s looked at as a #1 receiver. Can Cooper show he’s a true #1 receiver this season as he plays for a new contract?

We’ve covered Elliott and his numbers here before. So the questions with him really are, how long will he hold out? And will he get that new contract? Do you see Elliott’s hold out going into the regular season? Do you think it’s possible he’ll hold out the entire season?

How do you think this works out for the Cowboys? Will they be able to sign all three of these players like Tony Rome thinks they will. Or will one of them have to be allowed to leave and if so which one do you see leaving?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live just head over to TuneIn.com and you can listen to the podcast any time you choose.

You can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

 

How was your week

Posted: August 10, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

If your a member of the Oakland Raiders front office, a teammate or just a fan of the team. How are you feeling about the acquisition of Antonio Brown?

According to the numbers he outs up Brown is one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. Over the past 6 seasons he’s had no less than 101 receptions, 1284 yards and 8 touchdowns. As you can see contributing on the field isn’t the problem with Brown; it’s just about everything else that comes with being an NFL player.

Brown has yet to be a full participant at Raiders training camp since it opened last week. Now most everybody thought that Brown was out due to a cryotherapy accident that caused severe frostbite to his feet, but apparently there was another issue.

It was reported yesterday that Brown has threatened to retire if he’s not allowed to wear a 10 year old helmet.

The issue with the helmet actually started in May when the NFL announced that they would be ended the one year grace period for certain models of helmets. One of which was a model Brown prefers to wear.

The reason for this ruling by the NFL was that the style of helmet Brown wants to wear fell short in laboratory testing for head impact severity.

As you know the NFL has been hit with lawsuits from former players about the long term affect the physical play of football has had on them and the concussions they’ve suffered.

I’m sure you’ve heard the term CTE which stands for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. It’s a neurodegenerative disease caused by repeated head injuries. CTE is a big complaint in these lawsuits; so you can understand why the NFL would want to improve safety. Part of that would be finding helmets that protects players better.

All equipment mangers where required to remove all of these now banned helmets and players where informed that these helmets would no longer be NFL approved during Phase Three OTA’s which is the first time players are allowed to wear helmets during o field workouts.

On the first day of Raiders OTA’s Brown requested his old helmet and was told that he would no longer be allowed to wear it. As I’m sure you can guess Brown was quite upset by this and seems to be under the impression that he is being single out as he pointed to quarterbacks Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers not being subject to this rule change. Now I did see a small notation in an article that Brady was unhappy with the helmet change, but he hasn’t voiced his displeasure to the extent that Brown has. As for Rodgers I haven’t heard anything from him about the new helmet rules.

Brown has filed a grievance with the NFL over the league’s enforcement of helmet regulations. He was schedule for a hearing with a neutral independent arbitrator on Friday, but the results of that hearing have yet to be released.

Raiders coaches and Brown’s teammates have called this “honestly the most insane thing I have ever heard of” adding that “I don’t know why it’s so important to him, it doesn’t make sense”.

Would Brown actual follow through with his threat to retire. The Raiders acquired Brown from the Pittsburgh Steelers for a 3rd and a 5th round pick this past draft. Oakland then signed Brown to a 3 year $50,125,000 dollar deal. Brown’s deal included a $1 million dollar signing bonus with $30,125,000 of his money being guaranteed. Over the three years Brown will make an average of $16,708,333 per season.

Do you see Brown retiring and walking away from his new contract if he doesn’t get his way?

Now I don’t know about you, but I thought that July 31st would be the end of trades in Major League Baseball, but apparently I was wrong.

It seems that if a player isn’t on a major league deal he can be dealt and while there won’t be any major names traded because they’re not signed to minor league deals there might be a name dealt that you might know.

I’ve seen three of the deals so far. The Los Angeles Angels acquired left handed pitcher Miguel Del Pozo from the Texas Rangers. The Minnesota Twins acquired outfielder Ian Miller from the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners also sent catcher Jose Lobaton to the Los Angels Dodgers for cash considerations.

Like I said I doubt will be seeing any well known names get traded and I think I was more confused than anything else. I was under the impression that the trade deadline meant no more trades.

To everyone’s surprise the New York Mets where actually buyers at the trade deadline, but it seems to be working out their way.

The Mets have won 15 of their past 17 games and have moved themselves to within 1/2 of a National League wild card spot. As of right now the Washington Nationals and the Milwaukee Brewers are holding onto the two National League wild card spots. The Mets are tied with the St. Louis Cardinals and the Philadelphia Phillies just 1/2 game behind.

Remember at the trade deadline the Mets where going to deal Noah Syndergaard and or Zach Wheeler, but instead they added Marcus Stroman. Most people thought that the Mets added Stroman in hopes of flipping him to a contender. Well as it turned out the Mets where that contender.

To be fair the Mets did go on their run against the Chicago White Sox, Pittsburgh Pirates and Miami Marlins, but you have to beat the teams that are on your schedule and that’s just what the Mets did. Last night the Mets kept their winning streak alive with a 7-6 walk off win over the Nationals.

Do you think that the Mets can keep their momentum going and find their way into a National Playoff spot? Or now that the schedule has change; will they start to return to the way they played earlier in the season?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live all you have to do is head over to TuneIn.com and you can listen any time you want.

Don’t forget that you can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: August 7, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in fantasy, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

I know there are people out their who have already had their fantasy football draft, but for most of us it’s not too far away and we’re in the process of getting ready for it. I have a few fantasy football drafts coning up and as always there are some questions especially at running back.

A few years ago making sure you got a true #1 running back in your fantasy draft became less and less important. For many years you needed that top tier running bac to even contend, but as teams started to go to backfield by committees that changed.

Wide receiver slowly took over as the position to draft in the 1st round and it even got to the point in most if not all leagues that more wide receivers where taken in the 1st round than running backs.

Last year however that changed. In all of the fantasy football drafts that I was in their where more running backs taken in the 1st round than any other position. The question is now; how will it go this season?

It looks like Saquon Barkley and Alvin Kamara will be right their at the top of the draft, but after that the questions can of start.

The obvious one is what will happen with Ezekiel Elliott and Melvin Gordon; who are both currently holding out. Both players are looking for new contracts and both have said that they’re willing to sit out the entire season. They’re two of the top running backs in the NFL, but it could be a big risk drafting one of them in the 1st round if there’s a chance that you’ll get nothing from them this season.

Then of course there’s the injury questions. How are Todd Gurley’s knees? It’s been reported that the Los Angeles Rams are looking to limit Gurley’s work load this season. If they do cut down on his carries will that affect his touchdowns? Gurley led all running backs with 17 rushing touchdowns last season. since the Rams won’t show their cards in pre-season on how they’ll handle Gurley you’ll have to pick him and hope that he puts up similar numbers to his former seasons.

James Connor battled injury last season missing three games, but this season he won’t have Le’Veon Bell’s name hanging over his head. As a clear #1 running back coming into this season Connor if healthy could be a top fantasy running back. Chris Carson could be in the same category as Connor. Carson played 11 games last season due to injury and you have to wonder what kind of numbers he’d put up if he can stay healthy. You could add in both Marlon Mack and Aaron Jones into this group of running backs even though they might be a little below Connor and Carson statistically they’re still solid #1 running backs if healthy.

Then there’s the running backs who get injured in camp or are recovering from an injury that happened at the end of last season. Phillip Lindsay was a huge surprise last season. He broke his wrist and missed the final regular season game last season and there are reports that he may be limited to start this season. Adrian Peterson had a sloid bounce back season, but has been dealing with an ankle injury that seems to linger; so there are questions there. Derrick Henry showed that he could be a #1 running back, but it’s unclear if he’ll be giving that chance this season. Henry is currently dealing with a strained calf; so it’s something to keep an eye on.

Then there are the teams that appear to be going with a running back by committee situation. It can be a risky move and you’ll have to find the running back in that group who’s either going to get the most carries or score the most touchdowns.

The Chicago Bears signed Mike Davis as a free agent and drafted David Montgomery to add to Tarik Cohen. The defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots have a mix of four running backs in their backfield; James White, Sony Michel, Rex Burkhead and James Devlin. The San Francisco 49ers signed Tevin Coleman this off season to add to their running back core that included Matt Breida and Jerick McKinnon who’s returning to injury. The Buffalo Bills brought in both T.J. Yeldon and Frank Gore with LeSean McCoy already on their roster. You can even add the Cleveland Browns into this mix. It looks as though Nick Chubb will start the season as the #1 running back with Duke Johnson picking up some snaps as a 3rd down type of back. It will be interesting to see how Cleveland will handle the situation in their backfield when Kareem Hunt comes off of suspension in Week 11.

Then you have running backs who are going into new offenses with new head coaches. You’ll have LeVeon Bell with the New York Jets, Joe Mixon with the Cincinnati Bengals and David Johnson with the Arizona Cardinals. Bell as everyone knows sat out all last season, but is a top NFL running back. Mixon is coming off of the best year of his young career and Johnson has been battling his way back from an injury he suffered two seasons ago, but did play in all 16 games last season. It looks like these three are solid 1st round fantasy picks and may even be Top 5 picks.

Kenyan Drake is in the same category as Bell, Mixon and Johnson, but he hasn’t shown he has the talent those three do. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Drake go in the 1st round in deeper leagues, but depending on the structure of your league he’s probably a late 2nd or 3rd round pick.

Christian McCaffery is going to be a top pick and deservedly so. He had over 1000 rushing and over 100 receptions. If McCaffery can find his way into the end zone a few more times he’ll be right at the top of the running back class this season.

These are just some of the questions coming into your fantasy draft. Will you go running back in the 1st round?

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How was your week

Posted: August 3, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, MMA, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

The one and only trade deadline in Major League Baseball has come and gone. There wasn’t as much movement as the experts predicted there would be and a lot of the bigger name teams didn’t even make any deals.

You might think this is the end of players being able to change teams as there are no more waivers to put players through, but there still is a way a lot of people didn’t think of. I noticed that very soon after the trade deadline teams started to designate players for assignment. Now when a player is “designated” their team has 10 days to either trade or release them. Well since being traded is no longer an option these players will become free agents and can sign with the team of their choosing. A designated player can also accept a minor league assignment, but with the veteran player that I’ve seen get the designation tag they won’t be headed to the minors.

The first veteran player that I saw get the designation tag was Jonathan Lucroy of the Los Angeles Angels. Lucroy signed a one year $3.35 million dollar deal with the Angels this past off season. He played in 74 games this season and was hitting .242. That is a low batting average for Lucroy, but as a catcher he brings other things to the game as he’s a solid defender behind the plate and is very good at handling a pitching staff.

The Angels seem to think that they’re a better team with Max Stassi as their catcher. Stassi was acquired from the Houston Astros at the trade deadline for two minor leaguers. Stassi appeared in 31 games for the Astros this season and was hitting .167. In his major league career Stassi is a .217 hitter.

I’m not sure how those numbers added up for the Angels, but they save themselves some money. Lucroy’s name had came up in some trade rumors before the deadline, but no deal was able to be worked out. Now Lucroy is free to sign with the team of his choice.

Asdrubal Cabrera now formerly of the Texas Rangers was another veteran player who found himself DFA’d after the trade deadline.

The Rangers signed Cabrera this past off season for one year at $3.5 million dollar and he was expected to take over at 3rd base for the retired Adrian Beltre. Cabrera played in 93 games this season and was hitting .235 with 12 home runs.

While Cabrera has exclusively played 3rd base this season in his career he’s spent time at 2nd and short; so I would expect that wherever he signs he’ll be used as a utility player.

While it was a bit of a surprise to see Lucroy and Cabrera get DFA’d I was even more surprised when the Pittsburgh Pirates decided that to designate Jung Ho Kang for assignment.

Kang has really struggled this season. He was hitting .169 in the 65 games he played in, but he had hit 10 home runs.

After what was considered a surprising rookie season in 2014 where he finished 3rd in the Rookie of the Year balloting Kang followed with a solid 2015. Then after the 2015 season Kang who is a from South Korea got into some legal trouble and was permit to travel to the United States for the 2016 season. He did manage to resolve his legal issues; so he could play last season, but he appeared in just 3 games for the Pirates.

Out of the three players that found themselves DFA’d Kang looks to be the only one that might accept a minor league assignment if offered, but I’m not sure the Pirates will make that offer.

It will be interesting to see if there’s another major league team out their that would be willing to take a look at Kang or if he’ll head back to South Korea and possible find a team in the Korean Baseball Organization to play for. Kang spent 9 seasons in the KBO before joining the Pirates in 2015.

Will designating players become the new waiver deal in baseball or are these just three teams moving on from veteran player with one year left on their contracts? I guess time will tell as will have to see if there are anymore veteran players that meet this fate.

At UFC 240 Cris “Cyborg’ Justino defeated Felicia Spencer by unanimous decision, The win improved her MMA record to 21-2-1, but it also appears that it was her last fight for UFC.

On Friday UFC President Dana White appeared on the company’s YouTube channel and stated that the UFC is “out of the Cyborg business”. White went on to say “I’m going to release her from her contract and I will not match any offers. She is free and clear to go to Bellator or any of these other promotions and fight these easy fights she wants. Done; done deal. I will literally, today, have my lawyer draft a letter to that she is free and clear.

Justino originally signed with UFC in 2013. She was signed to fight in the all female promotion Invicta FC. Justino made five appearance in Invicta before moving over to UFC in 2016.

The boat started rocking earlier this week when Justino was on Ariel Helwani’s MMA show and demanded an apology from White for what she described as ‘bullying” earlier in her career. She also mentioned that this damaged her brand. Now even before this Justino had said that she was going to test free agency and would be taking offers from other promotions. Now with White’s announcement she is free to do that.

It’s unclear where Justino will end up. There had been some talk of her possible following Ronda Rousey into professional wrestling, but that has died down as of late. There was also a mention that she might be interested in a professional boxing match. I’m not sure if there’s enough interest or an opponent that could draw attention to a Cyborg boxing match, but I guess it’s possible.

It’s disappointing that we’re not going to get to see a rematch between Justino and Amanda Nunes. Nunes handed Justino her 2nd career loss with a quick 51 second knockout at UFC 232 and it was always expected that they’d fight again. Of course when it comes to UFC I guess you can never really say never; so maybe we’ll get that rematch at some time.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live just head over to TuneIn.com and up can listen any time you want.

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Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: July 31, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

For the last three seasons the Cleveland Indians have won the American League Central. Unfortunately, those three division win have only equaled one trip to the World Series. In 2016 World Series the Indians lost 4 games to 3 to the Chicago Cubs.

Currently, the Indians are 3 games behind the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central. Cleveland also is holding the top wild card spot in the American League right now. The Indians are currently 2 games ahead in the wild card race. 

Even with a winning franchise the Indians just can’t seem to get fans to show up. Through 53 games this season the Indians ranked 20th out of 30 major league teams. On average Cleveland draws 20,565 fans per game. Besides winning a World Series you have to wonder what else Indians fans need to better support this team.

It appears the low fan turnout has finally gotten to the Indians. This past off season, they allowed Michael Brantley to leave as a free agent and they dealt veterans Edwin Encarnacion and Yan Gomes to try and cut some payroll. There was even talk that the Indians would be willing to deal a couple of their top pitchers be it Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco or Trevor Bauer.

None of the deals for those pitchers materialized during the off season, but it was definitely something that needed to be  kept an eye on. Then Kluber was struck by a line drive and suffered a non-displaced fracture of his right ulna bone. Now Kluber is beginning to throw off a mound in his rehab but he won’t be returning until late August. Carrasco was the next Indians pitcher to hit the IL and his was quite serious as he was diagnosed with leukemia. Carrasco has started a throwing program, but there is no timetable for his return. That left Bauer as the only starter left that they tried to trade in the off season.

Now as far as top of the rotation starters Bauer was an affordable alternative as he was making $13 million dollars this season through arbitration. Bauer has one more year of arbitration before he’ll hit free agency after next season.

In the end it took a three team deal, but the Indians where finally able to move Bauer. It was the Indians, the Cincinnati Reds and the San Diego Padres who coordinated this deal and here’s who landed where.

The Reds were the team that ended up with Bauer. San Diego ends up with Cincinnati outfield prospect Taylor Trammell while the Indians bring 5 players back to Cleveland in this deal. From Cincinnati Cleveland receives Yasiel Puig and Scott Moss. Going from San Diego to Cleveland is Franmil Reyes, Logan Allen and Victor Nova.

It was reported that one of the things Cleveland was looking to acquire was a power hitting outfielder and they got two in Puig and Reyes. Puig has 22 home runs so far this season while Reyes sits at 27 home runs. Carlos Santana was the Indians home run leader with 22 before this trade.

So the Indians end up with 2 quality major league outfielders and three prospects. The Reds get a top of the rotation starter. Which is something they’ve been looking for all season and the Padres get a top outfield prospect who is ranked anywhere from 11th to 33rd depending on which publication you read.

Now the Indians are the only one of these three teams that are in the playoff race and you have to wonder how dealing a top starter like Bauer will affect that. The Indians have a couple of 24 year old starting pitchers in Shane Bieber and Zach Plesac who seem to have started to establish themselves and if Mike Clevenger can stay healthy it looks like Cleveland will be able to hang around not only in the AL Central, but in the wild card race.

Don’t forget if Kluber comes back healthy and is anywhere near the pitcher he use to be the Indians will be adding a former Cy Young award winner to their rotation for the final month of the season.

To be honest, when I first saw this trade reported I wasn’t sure that Cleveland had not gotten enough for a pitcher like Bauer, but now that I’ve had the time to sit down and take a full look at the trade, I think they did vey well. Of course the difficult thing with any deal is you just never know how a prospect is going to turn out. Scott Moss is in Double-A while Victor Nova has only played in Rookie League. Logan Allen made 8 appearances for San Diego 4 of which where starts covering 25 1/3rd innings; so he looks to be major league ready if the Indians want to add him to the roster, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s assigned to Triple-A to begin with.

So now it’s up to you. Who got the better of this deal? Do you like the group of players the Indians got back? Or is it the single players that either the Reds or the Padres got in this deal that have drawn your interest?

While Bauer was the big name pitcher that was dealt yesterday there were two middle relievers traded yesterday that come really help their new teams.

The Chicago Cubs acquired reliever David Phelps from the Toronto Blue Jays for right-hander Tom Hatch who is currently in Double-A. The Atlanta Braves also added some bullpen help as they acquired Chris Martin of the Texas Rangers who’s name was involved with a lot of teams as a bullpen piece. The Rangers received left-hander Kolby Allard who is currently in Triple-A, but did appear in 3 games last season for Atlanta.

It seems as though every team could use some kind of help in the bullpen; so I won’t be surprised if we see a lot of reliever get moved at the trade deadline, but with Bauer off of the board there aren’t too may big time starters out there to trade for.

With the New York Mets acquiring Marcus Stroman over the weekend, will we see them deal Noah Syndergaard, Zach Wheeler or both? The San Francisco Giants are just 2 1/2 games out of a playoff spot, will they keep Madison Bumgarner or trade him? It looks like the Detroit Tigers have decided to hang onto Matthew Boyd, but could the right deal change the Tigers mind? The Arizona Diamondbacks might also be a factor at the trade deadline if they decide to trade Zach Greinke or Robbie Ray.

That’s not a lot of starting pitchers, so there could be some teams battling to acquire one of these guys. This should make it interesting to see what happens later today at the deadline.

Remember you can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live just head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen to the podcast any time you want.

You can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

 

How was your week

Posted: July 27, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

With the trade deadline in Major League Baseball just four days away there’s no shortage of rumors out their. As we’re waiting for the first major trade to happen there has been so much talk on which player might headline that deal that it’s tough to figure out who it might be. There is however one thing that all of these deals seem to have in common no matter who the player is or what position he plays and I’m not sure how everyone seems to come to this conclusion, but apparently the New York Yankees will be acquiring everyone.

If the Yankees actually went out and dealt for 1/4th of the players they’ve been rumored to imagine what their team would look like. They’d have a bench full of All-Stars that could start on any other team in baseball and their pitching staff would feature all starting pitchers and Aroldis Chapman.

While I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Yankees went out and traded for some type of pitching be it a starter or a bullpen piece I’m not sure why they’re name seems to come up when positions players are involved.

Even with all of the injuries the Yankees have dealt with this season they’ve still hit the baseball well. Brett Gardner and Gary Sanchez both landed on the Injured List this week; so maybe there’s a catcher out their the Yankees might have some interest in, but other than that is there a position player that makes sense for them to add?

Pitching seems to be another story. On Thursday the Yankees pitching gave up 19 runs and 23 hits to the Boston Red Sox. Then last night the Red Sox hit double digits again as they scored 10 runs while picking up 14 hits.

There isn’t a Yankees starting pitcher with an ERA under 4.00, but the question seems to be if the Yankees go out and acquire a starting pitcher which one of the five current starters they have should or will lose their spot in the rotation.

Masahiro Tanaka has made the most starts for the Yankees this season with 21. He is 7-6 with an ERA of 4.79. The talk that I’ve heard lately was that Tanaka doesn’t have “swing and miss stuff” which might not play well coming out of the bullpen. Tanaka was the victim of that Thursday night Red Sox offensive barrage. Tanaka lasted just 3 1/3rd innings giving up 12 hits and being charged with 12 earned runs. Could Tanaka be headed to the bullpen?

J.A. Happ is 8-5 with a 5.23 ERA in 20 starts this season. Happ is 1-2 in his last 5 starts and is coming off a rough outing on Tuesday when he lasted just 3 1/3 innings and gave up 6 run on 6 hits against the Minnesota Twins. The Yankees did find a way to win that game, but Happ was nowhere around for a decision. Happ has always been looked at as a guy who pitches well in pennant races, but could he be headed to the Yankees bullpen?

James Paxton was acquired in the off season and I’m not sure the Yankees have gotten what they expected out of him. Paxton is 5-6 with a 4.72 ERA in 18 starts this season. Paxton was the Yankees starter last night and he gave up 7 runs on 9 hits over 4 innings against the Red Sox. Paxton’s strikeout numbers are good, but this is the second start in a row where he’s failed to more than 4 innings. Could Paxton be headed to the bullpen?

Domingo German is the youngest (26) of the Yankees starters and he’s been the best of the starters this season. German is 12-2 with an ERA of 4.03 in 17 games; 16 of which have been starts. Staying o trend German is coming off his worst start of the season. He lasted 3 2/3rd innings on Monday against the Minnesota Twins. German gave up 8 runs on 9 hits, but oddly the Yankees did end up winning this game in extra innings. German may have the easiest time of any Yankees starter to transition to the bullpen. Would German be the guy who heads to the bullpen if another starter is acquired?

C.C. Sabathia is in his 19th and final season in baseball. He’s made 16 starts this season and is 5-5 with a 4.50 ERA. Sabathia has pitched more than just 6 innings in 6 of his starts this season and his last start was his shortest o the season as he lasted just 4 innings. Sabathia appears to be on his way to Cooperstown when his career is over and you wonder if the Yankees would take him out of the rotation in his final season, but it is possible. Could Sabathia be the starter headed to the bullpen?

Even with the Yankees going 2-4 in their last 6 games and the pitching being just terrible they still have an 8 1/2 game lead in the AL East. Sabathia gets the start today against the Red Sox while German makes the start tomorrow in the series finale. Can these two turn the Yankees starting woes around?

The Tampa Bay Rays have been in playoff contention all season. They started off leading the AL East for quite some time and now they’re holding onto one of the two American League wild card spots, but after an injury to last season Cy Young award winner Blake Snell; can they hold onto a playoff spot?

The Rays are currently in the second and final American League wild card spot, but they are only 1/2 a game ahead of the Boston Red Sox and the Oakland A’s. Can they hold off those two teams with Snell on the shelf for a month?

Snell is scheduled to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left elbow to have some loose bodies removed. Snell is expected to be able to return in September, but who knows where the Rays will be in the standings by the time Snell is ready to return.

Coming off his Cy Young award winning season Snell has struggled. In 20 starts this season he is 6-7 with an ERA of 4.28.

I’m sure a lot of this will depend on where the Rays are in the standings when Snell is ready to return, but might it be better for Snell to just shut him down for the season? Snell is 26 years old and appears to have a long career ahead of him as a top of the rotation starter, but is it worth bringing him back this season?

If you’re the Rays; what do you do with Snell when he returns from surgery?

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Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: July 24, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in fantasy, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

With NFL training camps beginning to open the question seems to be; how many 1st string running backs will be holding out?

Melvin Gordon of the Los Angeles Chargers has already made it clear that he’ll be holding out. Gordon is in the 5th and final year of his rookie contract. He’s schedule to make a little over $5.6 million dollars this season. At that salary Gordon is the 11th highest paid running back in the league.

Gordon has had his share of injuries as he’s missed 8 games in his first four season with the Chargers. You have to wonder how much his injuries might play into a new contract. Even though he’s had some injuries Gordon is a true three down running back and those aren’t easy to find in today’s NFL.

In 12 games last season Gordon carried the football 175 times for 885 yards. He scored 10 rushing touchdowns as well. Gordon also caught 50 passes for 490 yards and added 4 receiving touhdowns. In Gordon’s 225 touches last season he only fumbled the football one time.

It looks like Gordon has a good case to ask for more money, but his salary really isn’t to far out of touch with the other top running backs in the league; so it might be tough for the Chargers to see giving him a raise. If Gordon can go out and have a season as good as last years or better he’d be in line to cash in as a free agent or get tagged by the Chargers. Either way Gordon to make more money starting next season; so I can understand if Los Angeles doesn’t want to renegotiate his current deal for just one season.

The other running back who’s name has come up as possibly holding out is Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys.

Now Elliott is in a different psition than Gordon as he has two years left on his rookie contract. Elliott is scheduled to make a little over $4 million dollars this season, but that number jumps to a little over $9 million dollars next season. So he may be under paid next season, but then it loks like he’ll fall right in line with the other top running backs in final year of his contract.

If Elliott decides to hold out he’ll put the Cowboys in a difficult position as Dallas has some tough calls they’re going to have to make in free agency after the 2019 season. Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper will be the big name Cowboys who will reach free agency after this coming season, but they’re also looking at  players like La’el Collins, Robert Quinn, Sean Lee and even head coach Jason Garrett will be free agents after this coming season.

Looking ahead to 2020 the Cowboys have $127,612,645 in committed salaries. This of course can change with trades or a player being released, but this is the number they’re at right now. The salary cap for 2020 is projected to be $188,200,000. This would leave the Cowboys $60,587,355 is that enough money to bring back Prescott and Cooper? Now if Elliott is to hold out and the Cowboys re-do his deal the answer might be no, but which player would they let leave as a free agent?

If you where Jerry Jones how do you handle this situation. Do you re-work Elliott’s deal? Even though he has two years left on it. If you do Give Elliott a new deal and you can only keep either Cooper or Prescott; who are you keeping?

The third running back who may be a hold out isn’t as well known of a name as the first two guys we talked about, but he’s an affective pass catching back and could be very useful in the right offense. That would be Duke Johnson of the Cleveland Browns.

Johnson is in a very crowded backfield with the Browns, but he’s also in a tough position to hold out as he has three years left on his contract. Obviously if Johnson held out it would be to try and force a trade and not for a new contract.

With the addition of Kareem Hunt there’s a good chance that Johnson’s touches will go down, but Hunt is suspended for the first eight weeks of the season; so there should be no issues with Johnson’s playing time until then. Once Hunt comes back; who knows. Will he be in playing shape or will it take him a few weeks to get ready? Those are things we won’t know until Hunt plays, but there a chance that Johnson will still see the football even when Hunt returns.

Johnson led all of Browns running backs with 47 receptions last season. He had 3 receiving touchdowns and 429 yards threw the air last season. Johnson also got 40 rushing attempts and ran for 201 yards last season. Johnson’s 47 receptions where good for 3rd on the Browns last season, but with the addition of Odell Beckham Jr. will Johnson see the same number of targets (62) that he did last season.

Johnson isn’t an every down running back, but he has played in ever game since being drafted by the Browns in the 3rd round of the 2015 draft. The most Johnson has ever carried the football in a season is 104 times, but he does have a career high of 74 receptions; so he definitely has a place in today’s NFL.

There have been some reports out there that say Johnson wil report to camp with the Browns, but what will Cleveland do with him? What do you think the trade market is for a player with Johnson’s skill set?

Now there will be some other big name players that hold out, but I wanted to stick with the running backs for now.

Just imagine how interesting the first round of your fantasy draft might be if Gordon and Elliott are both holding out. The Chargers and fantasy owners could turn to Austin Ekeler, but who would the Cowboys turn to if Elliott does hold out. Does Rod Smith take over as the Cowboys #1 running back?

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