It’s almost unbelievable how many times Dan the Man, Mr, Fantasy, Schaumburg Stu and I have all taken the same team to win a game in the NFL and that team has lost. I should’ve known something was up when we all picked the New York Jets to beat the Buffalo Bills on Thursday night. While it was a closer game than most of the Thursday night contests by no means was it a good football game. I’m sure the most interesting part of the game for some people where the uniforms the team where wearing. Buffalo wore all red while the Jets went with all green for a very Christmas kind of a look. I did hear an odd stat; 9% of people have what’s called Red/Green Color Blindness and if they would’ve tried to watch this game they would’ve only seen gray. In the end the Bills got a 22-17 victory and we all start off Week 10 with an 0-1 record.
If you where invested in this game fantasy wise it may be a long week for you. There where 3 touchdowns scored and they all came through the air; so hopefully you didn’t have a running back going in this game. Let’s see what we can find for fantasy owners. Tyrod Taylor went 17 for 27 for 158 yards and 1 touchdown for Buffalo; he was also sacked 4 times, but did add 6 rushing attempts for 12 yards. On the Jets side Ryan Fitzpatrick was 15 for 34 for 193 yards; he threw 2 touchdowns and was intercepted 2 times as well. Fitzpatrick was sacked just 1 time and had 3 rushing attempts for 30 yards.
LeSean McCoy put up good rushing numbers for the Bills with 19 carries and 112 yards, but didn’t get into the end zone. McCoy also had 5 receptions for 47 yards. Karlos Williams was a popular add while McCoy was battling injuries and I did see a couple of fantasy experts say he was “The Play” in this game. Williams ran the football 7 times for 24 yards, but he did add 1 reception that went for 26 yards, but more importantly it was a touchdown catch. Chris ivory led the Jets ground game with 18 carries for 99 yards; he also added 2 receptions for 36 yards and did fumble. Numbers wise it was a good rushing night for both teams as their main backs averaged 5.5 yards a carry or better, but the fact that neither found there way into the end zone will hurt fantasy owners.
Tight End Charles Clay was Buffalo’s top receiver with 5 catches for 52 yards. The Bills wide receivers didn’t contribute much to their fantasy teams this week as both Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins each caught 3 passes. Woods went for 19 yards while Watkins went for 14 yards. Jets wide receiver Eric Decker was the best pass catching fantasy option on the night as he had 6 receptions for 85 yards and 1 touchdown. Brandon Marshall caught 3 passes for just 23 yards, but one of them was good for a touchdown. Devin Smith (22 yards), Tommy Bohanon (18 yards), Jeremy Kerley (7 yards) and Kembrel Thompkins (2 yards) all had 1 catch on the night.
The best fantasy option in this game may have been Buffalo kicker Dan Carpenter. Carpenter did miss and extra point going 1 for 2 on the night, but he made all 3 of his field goal attempts with his longest being from 47 yards. The Jets regular kicker Nick Folk was placed on season ending injured reserve with an with a Quad injury; so Randy Bullock was signed to do the kicking for the Jets. Bullock made all his kicks hitting 2 extra point attempts and a 29-yard field goal.
On defense Preston Brown led the Bills with 8 tackles. Marcell Dareus had the Buffalo sack on the night. Corey Graham had an interception while Bacarri Rambo had an interception and a fumble recovery; Duke Williams also recovered a fumble for the Bills. David Harris led the Jets defense with 9 tackles and had a sack on the night. Demario Davis added 8 tackles and a sack and Muhammad Wilkerson had the other 2 sacks for the Jets defense.
Craig Kimbrel was dealt for the 2nd time in his career this time going from the San Diego Padres to the Boston Red Sox. It was talked about that the Red Sox would be looking to add starting pitching and with Koji Uehara in place as closer this move is a bit of a surprise. Of course Uehara will turn 41 at the start of next season and injuries did limit him to just 43 appearances last season. Kimbrel is one of the top closers in baseball, but he is coming off a season where he had his highest ERA at 2.58. It’s still a very good ERA but when you’ve put up 1.61, 1.21 and 1.01 in the seasons before that it’s noticeable. Kimbrel also had career lows in saves at 39 and innings pitched at 59 1/3rd, but you have to factor in that the Padres where 74-88 in 2015. In return for Kimbrel San Diego gets outfield prospect Manuel Margot, shortstop Javier Guerra, infielder Carlos Asuaje, and lefty Logan Allen make up the return. All four players rated among the thirty best Red Sox prospects. Don’t forget that San Diego trade away most of their top prospects last season to get the likes of Kimbrel, Justin Upton and Will Myers; so this deal will help rebuild the farm system. While the Padres appear to have gotten some quality prospects in return the question now becomes who closes games for them next season. Kimbrel’s in Boston and Joaquin Benoit was dealt to the Seattle Mariners earlier in the week, Before Kimbrel was acquired before the start of last season there was some talk that Kevin Quackenbush would close; so maybe he gets the first shot at the job.
When I first heard this rumor they said the Atlanta braves where just “listening” to offers for shortstop Andrelton Simmons. Just a few hours later Simmons and minor league catcher Jose Briceno are headed to the Los Angeles Angles of Anaheim for shortstop Erick Aybar and two of the Angles top pitching prospects lefthander Sean Newcomb and right handed pitch Chris Ellis. Simmons is considered by many not only the best defensive shortstop in baseball, but the best defensive player in the game regardless of position. Simmons offense hasn’t caught up to his defense yet, but a lot of experts think it will get there. Simmons did put up his best batting average (.265) for a full season in 2015. After a 17 home run season in 2013 his power number have been way down; 7 home runs in 2014 and just 4 last season. Simmons did win the Gold Glove in 2013 and 2014 and this week Wilson named him the Defensive Player of the Year for 2015. Aybar has 1 year left in his contract and the Angeles sent about $3 million to help cover part of his 2016 salary in the deal. Simmons signed a long term deal last off season; so the Angels pick up his remaining 5 year and the $53 million left on that deal. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Aybar is with the Barves for just the one season he has remaining on his deal as they have a highly-regarded young shortstop in Ozhaino Albies in there minor league system. This looks like a deal that really favors the Angels, but remember Atlanta is building towards 2017 when they open there new ballpark; so this move appears to be another in that future.
There was a little bit of history made in baseball yesterday as Colby Rasmus (Houston Astros), Matt Wieters (Baltimore Orioles) and Brett Anderson (Los Angeles Dodgers) became the first players to ever accept a qualifying offer from there teams. They all get 1-year deals worth $15.8 million. Instead of the qualifying offer Marco Estrada and the Toronto Blue Jays where able to agree to a 2-year deal. If I understood this the qualifying offer is determined by taking the average salary of the top 125 players salaries from the previous season. The players that didn’t accept the qualifying offer are now free agents, and can sign with any team. However the team that signs a player who was extended a qualifying offer has to send it’s 1st round draft pick to his former team unless it’s a Top 10 pick. Who else is confused?
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