The Perspective…

…a collection and expansion of my notes from the week in sports

March 12, 2014

This season I did not do any Fantasy Baseball Rankings. I intended to, and started strong. But, by the time I got thru the Catcher’s and First Baseman, it was somewhere around the 20th Second Baseman that life got in the way. By the time I got back to it, I felt I was already too behind the 8-ball, so I scrapped it all together. If you follow me on Twitter you can get an idea of some of my Buy’s and Sell’s for this year, and I will expand on some in these articles as well (see Avisail Garcia, and below for Drew Smyly). The reason I mention this is because, fortunately for you, I can still recommend a Draft Pack to help you out. You may have noticed, on the right hand side bar, a picture for the 2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft Pack. If you click on the link it will take you to BaseballProf’s downloadable draft guide. It does cost $15, but I fully endorse it. It is a trusted reference I personally use, and has tremendous tools you will have to experience for yourself to believe. If you are looking for a top notch guide to help you draft this year, it does not get much better than this. The link is also here: BaseballProf.com 2014 Draft Pack. Give it a try! Now on to one of my prized Starting Pitcher bargains for 2014…

Drew-SmylyDrew Smyly, Detroit Tigers
Todd Andrew Smyly is currently being drafted around the 250 mark (FantasyPros.com has him #251). This tells me that many are unaware of Todd Andrew, or that professionally he goes by just Drew. All of this should make you, the Fantasy Baseball owner, not just Smyl but absolutely glow. As obvious as that poor use of his last name was, should be as obvious as the signs pointing to a successful 2014 season for the young lefty. The Detroit Tigers are perennial World Series favorites, so it should be assumed that every effort to improve the roster is being made. You do not dispatch an integral part of a team’s rotation for spare parts. Yet, that is exactly what the Tigers did when they traded Doug Fister to the Washington Nationals for a return headlined by Steve Lombardozzi. Lefty reliever Ian Krol was also acquired in that deal, and could provide a big boost in the bullpen. Coincidentally, Krol is replacing Smyly in the bullpen, while Smyly replaces Fister in the rotation. I am sure there is another name joke here, but I will leave that to your imagination. Fister was terrific last season in winning 14 games for Detroit, and while you can argue his age (29), and contract ($7 million) were factors, those alone did not prompt the trade. Drew Smyly’s ability to get major league hitters out is what did. He has made a quick ascension through the minor leagues, so there is still some mystery to him sustaining his success, but his K per Inning Pitched ratio is encouraging. He will occupy the 5th spot in the rotation, and by season’s end could challenge the bigger names, Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, and Anibal Sanchez, for the team lead in Wins. It is more likely to expect around 160 innings, and, if he can reach that number, he offers a ton of strikeouts. Matching Fister’s 14 Wins is certainly reasonable, but the former Tiger did that over 200 innings last season. I would set the ceiling on Smyly this year at 12 Wins with 150K’s, and an ERA in the mid-three’s. An ADP of 250 means you can get Drew Smyly in the 20th Round of a 12 team league. His returns could cut that number in half with his actual value. Invest heavily and reach as early as the low-teens to draft him. The Smyl’s all season will be free.

Sports DayNFL Free Agency began yesterday, and my head is already spinning. The endless coverage gave me the feeling it was all going to happen in one shot – kind of like the Draft. Truth is, while many deals have already been made, there still will be plenty more, leading up to training camps this summer. One of the biggest names to hit the open market was DeMarcus Ware, which came about two minutes before the bidding began. I would suspect he, and others, will be signed sooner than later, but not immediately. Darrelle Revis may stay in Tampa Bay; he may not. It all hinges on his ridiculous contract and the compensatory draft picks associated to it, which take on new meaning each day he remains a Buccaneer. Vontae Davis was on many team’s wish list. Guess what: he re-signed with the Indianapolis Colts, so there goes that. There is so much that can and will still change. Never a dull moment in the NFL these days…

phil-jacksonDid you ever expect to think of the New York Knicks when people referred to the circus at Madison Square Garden? The Ringling Brothers are currently trying to sign Mike Woodson and company to their center ring. How can they distract the public from continuing to publicly abuse them? Of course! Start up the old Phil Jackson coming to the franchise rumors. We have been down this road before, and if Jackson is as smart as he wishes us all to believe, he will ultimately pass on the position being offered. A position, by the way, that no one seems to have any confidence in naming. Throughout the sideshow, the team has actually gone on a four game winning streak. Couple that with the off-chance Jackson agrees to join the team and the Championship juice will begin being served…

MFF_2013_LogoEvery year at this time, I am reminded why March is my favorite month of the year. The summer winds begin to assemble, Spring Training is underway, the NFL Draft is around the corner, and approximately 3,000 college kids enjoy the best moments of their lives, on full display. The NCAA Men’s Basketball Conference Championships, and subsequently the NCAA Tournament itself, should remind us all how great sports can be. In a one and done setting, the chance for a true Cinderella is always present. Whether it is a last minute shot like Christian Laettner’s to beat Kentucky, a player going on an improbable run like Kemba Walker, or a magical team run like Butler’s in consecutive seasons, any outcome is possible. Wichita State is who many will think of this year as a Cinderella. But if you have watched them at all, and with their probably #1 seed, they are a favorite. In reality they are the exact opposite of a Cinderella team. Of the teams who have already won their conference’s automatic bids, there are a few to take note of. Harvard dominated the Ivy Leagues once again, and the conference always gives opponents a run for their money at the dance. Eastern Kentucky is incredibly hot, having upset both Murray State and Belmont to continue in the post-season. They are playing with confidence, and “house money,” and should be a tough out in the first round. Delaware has been winning all season and feature a trio that can score in bunches. Devon Stadler (19.8 ppg), Davon Usher (19.7), and Jarvis Threatt (18.1) can create a matchup nightmare for any opponent. There will be more teams to pay attention to as conferences crown champions. The closer we get to the March 18th opening round of the 2014 NCAA Basketball Tournament, the more wide open it seems to be. This very well could be the year a “Wichita State” wins it all…

Last but not least… I have been given a tremendous responsibility, and opportunity, to head the Content portion of the newly formed LevelUpFantasy.com. It is a true One-Stop location for all of your Fantasy Football needs. You can host your own mock drafts for free, and customize anywhere between 2 and 16 teams: Rookie only, IDP, you name it. It is also a league host site, where you can manage and run your existing (or new for 2014) league: full live scoring, fully customizable of course. And, we are building a writing staff to provide you with some of the best content you can find anywhere. Currently, the software is in beta mode, but it is available to use. Please try it out today and let us know what you think! All feedback is appreciated and encouraged. Look for the launch on March 21st. #ComingHuge #3-2-1  LevelUpFantasy.com

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