Every other week, RotoExperts’ newest Phenom Dan Weisman (yes he’s trying to steal my moniker) and I will have an email exchange regarding whatever is on our minds. You’ll get your normal Fantasy fix and analyses along with a good look into what goes on in our ridiculous minds.
1/2/13 11:43 PM
Dan: Gregg, I see no better way to begin this soon-to-be standard of Fantasy Basketball journalistic excellence than with a very important question, concerning one of the biggest issues in the Association today:
The Toronto Raptors won last night with 3 starters putting up 0 points. 3! That’s more donuts than Ray Felton consumes in a single sitting.
But before we demand that David Stern intervene and order Chris Paul to pack his bags for Toronto next summer, how many players are Fantasy relevant right now in Canada? There’s no doubt that Toronto GM Bryan Colangelo is the most overrated executive in professional sports, the Mike Tannenbaum of basketball and a guy who is consistently lauded for merely making, not winning, back-to-back championship games in the mid 2000s with the Suns. But I feel like Ed Davis could be one of this week’s best pick-ups, and DeMar Derozan/Jose Calderon are serviceable Fantasy starters.
I look forward to your response. If you don’t hear from me, it’s not because I’m regretting bringing up the Toronto Raptors as our inaugural basketball topic. It’s because I’ve turned my GChat off to research the last time a team won with 3 players putting up 0 points in a game. Either that, or checking out the latest conspiracy theories that Avery Johnson was forced to resign when he found evidence that Kris Humphries is really the father of Kanye and Kim’s baby.
1/3/13 12:17 AM
Gregg: Dan, it is a pleasure to be able to converse with you in regards to all things Fantasy Sports. But it is quite embarrassing that you debut here on RotoExperts.com talking about the Toronto Raptors and making jokes about your favorite basketball team’s point guard. Now even your most loyal fans that follow you on twitter (dweis90) and listen to The Sunday Showdown (every Sunday morning from 11:30-12:30) will begin to doubt you. All except Corey Parson of course. Where’s Jake Lockah at anyway?
Despite the strange starting point north of the border, you did make a good conclusion. As mediocre to bad as the Raptors are at professional basketball, they do house a ton of potential starters in the Fantasy game. You gave the credit to DeRozan, Calderon and Davis, but lets not forget about Kyle Lowry, Alan Anderson, Amir Johnson, a when-healthy-before-he’s-traded Andrea Bargnani, and Landry Fields‘ girlfriend Elaine Alden.
But looking at how bad the Raptors are in reality and seeing how productive they can be in Fantasy land it leads me to a good strategy that many Fantasy players completely gloss over. Simply the fact that you can own and start really good players on really bad teams. Some good example in the NBA include Bradley Beal of the Wizards, Kemba Walker and B.J. Mullens of the Bobcats, and without question Kyrie Irving, C.J. Miles, and Anderson Varejao of the Cavaliers. The Wizards, Bobcats, and Cavaliers may stink; however some of these players are awesome.
What good players on bad teams do you like? And in regards to The Hump being the father of Kimye’s baby; has anyone in Dallas seen Miles Austin lately? He was last seen around Week 5 and then disappeared into the abyss. Maybe he and Reggie Bush were hanging out and talking about the good times, while combining to also destroy my Fantasy Fqootball season. More importantly, how do you think Ray J feels about all of this?
1/4/13 2:24 PM
Dan: Speaking of Humphries, I’d like to now redirect the blame for his break-up with Kim to Deron Williams, who will also soon be responsible for the mid-season retirement of Jerry Stackhouse and I’m convinced is also linked to the death of the Big East.
On the topic of good players on bad teams, I have a soft spot for Ramon Sessions, a solid player who casual NBA fans continually forget what team he is on (others like this include Jason Richardson, Boris Diaw, to a lesser extent O.J. Mayo – did he ever get traded to the Pacers?, and to an even lesser extent Kwame Brown – because nobody cares). Despite the rise of King Kemba in Charlotte, Sessions has flirted with 14 ppg this year due to injuries to Gerald Henderson and other Bobcats throughout the season.
Also, everyone is making a fuss over Kobe Bryant’s recent comments that the Lakers suck because they’re “old as sh*t.” Why are people still buying this act that Kobe actually cares about how old his teammates are? He doesn’t care about their age, or really anything about them.
But there seems to be a bit of an “old as sh*t” renaissance going on in the NBA, as Paul Pierce is a top-20 Fantasy play right now and Jason Kidd has been solid fantasy-wise (and real-life wise! musn’t forget that) for the NY Knicks. Kobe, at age 34, is having a superb season, averaging around 30 ppg. And make no mistake: Kobe is ancient. Just because he was drafted out of high school doesn’t excuse the fact that he was drafted out of high school in 1996. Don’t mistake those hazy photos of him from his early playing days as products of some Instagram filters, because they’re not. They’re authentic.
Is this the year of the old man? And if so, does that mean Jerry Sloan is gonna bust back on the scene to kick some DWill ass?
1/5/13 6:27 PM
Gregg: I also think it’s fair at this point to attribute the lack of NBA careers of Dee Brown and Luther Head directly to Deron Williams. After starring as a big three for Illinois, Deron dumped them both and headed to Utah. Somewhere both Brown, Head, Jerry Sloane, and Avery Johnson are hanging with Steve Busciemi’s character from Billy Madison plotting revenge.
In regards to your suggestion of an old man renaissance, I think it’s clear that the apocalypse is upon us. Along with Pierce and Bryant continuing to thrive, Tim Duncan has had just an incredible year. Duncan is averaging over 17 ppg, along with 9 rebounds as well. His FG% and FT% are both outstanding as well and it’s clear that this revival is all related to sitting out against the Heat on TNT a few weeks ago. Another old guy I’ve been really surprisingly impressed with, is the return of Joseph Stalin favorite, Andrei Kirilenko. Getting a ton of minutes for Rick Adelman’s squad, AK-47 is averaging over 13 points per game and over 6 rebounds as well. With Kevin Love out of the lineup, Kirilenko is a guy whose value is really holding steady.
Let me shift gears for a second, since I’m writing you in the second quarter of this Bengals/Texans game. A guy whose value I have been down on all year, and probably irrationally so, is Jermaine Gresham. The clear number 2 option in the Bengals passing “attack” (that has thus far garnered 3 yards passing all game long), Gresham cannot hang on to anything. He’s someone that I do not like in weekly DraftKings leagues or someone I am particularly interested in drafting next year. If I am doing a weekly playoff league, there is no way I look to a player like Gresham. I wish he was still alive in the playoffs so I can not add him to my team. I’d much rather spend on Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, or Tony Gonzalez than get stuck with a middling talent like Gresham or Dennis Pitta.
Do you feel the same way about tight ends going forward in the playoffs? Where do you try to find sneaky value in a weekly playoff league team? Also, this column desperately needs a name. The big bosses won’t be happy if we just post it without something snappy. Any ideas?
1/6/13 8:53 PM
Dan: I’ll get to the names in a bit. As for playoff TEs, I think we’re seeing an interesting trend as it pertains to the NFL and Fantasy. As more teams find success establishing a two-tight end system a la the Patriots, it’s at the expense of those players’ fantasy stats. Look around at the NFL playoff teams – the Broncos (Joel Dreessen and Jacob Tamme), the Ravens (Pitta and Ed Dickson), the Colts (Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener) all have modeled their two TE approach after what Belichick has done in New England. But none of these guys mentioned can be relied on as fantasy TE options in the playoffs. If anything, Hernandez and Gronkowski are the anomalies – two guys, despite the 2-TE system they are in, that are arguably the most valuable players at their position. As for 2013, I think it’s a similar story for the teams I’ve listed above – while Allen and Fleener offer the most upside of these duos, their individual successes may be checked by their collective presence. So, Gregg, I agree – you don’t want to get stuck with a guy like Gresham or Pitta moving forward in the playoffs, or even guys like Jermichael Finley or Vernon Davis – guys who are the #1 TE options on their teams but don’t fit in well right now with their offenses.
Speaking of Belichick, I Googled his name and the first picture that came up was his Wikipedia profile photo,where he looks massive. I was under the impression that Bill was, you know, under 200 lbs, but his short-sleeved hoodies might be storing extra body-heat and flub for those cold New England winters. Is Belichick actually this fat, or is this some cruel prank being played on him by a Houston Texans fan in preparation for this week’s game? He looks almost as thick as Sexy Rexy, before the weight loss but after his Mark Sanchez tattoo that simultaneously predicted the Tim Tebow chaos two years in advance (which also makes me believe that Rex Ryan is part-Mayan).
I’d like to shift the conversation to Washington D.C. and its slew of young talent. A week after partisan chaos almost pushed the nation into financial disarray, Mike Shanahan may have run Robert Griffin III’s career off a cliff. Also, after a rough start to his rookie season, Bradley Beal looks like one of the best pick-ups in Fantasy Basketball right now; he was December’s Eastern Conference rookie of the month, averaging 13.4 ppg and six games with 15+ points. And finally, today on the Sunday Showdown, Corey Parson suggested that Bryce Harper is a #1 Fantasy Baseball draft candidate.
So, what’s your take on all that’s going down in the District of Columbia these days? Who’s knees are wobblier – RG3 of our current national capital, or Andrew Bynum of our 18th-century national capital? Is Alfred Morris a viable 1st-round pick next year? Does Bradley Beal make your fantasy basketball team? And where does Bryce Harper fit into the Fantasy Baseball landscape?
Final thought about the Redskins: the red hut that the trainers used to examine RGIII’s knee during the Skins-Seahawks game was the sketchiest thing I’ve ever seen in professional sports.
As for names, one idea is to call this email exchange Moving the Chains, for no particular reason other than that I think it is catchy. Either that, or we can just call this Russell Wilson Naked Pictures for SEO purposes. I’m fine with both.
And after a long-winded email, I leave you with this: Dr. James Andrews should be the next OC of the New York Jets, specifically because he can tell when quarterbacks can’t play. Boo ya! Move the chains!
1/8/13 10:25 AM
Gregg: To answer your first question Dan, yes Big Bill Belichick actually is that large. It’s been an underlying secret for years. He is actually the guy that sits in his homeless hoodie outside Carmines in New York City Tuesday through Friday begging for leftovers. So while on the sidelines in New England it may look like he’s famished, believe me he eats enough chicken scarpariello while going over tapes of other teams walk throughs to keep both he and Andy Reid satisfied. You’re right…that one was a joke. Belichick would never share with the man who essentially caused his buddy Pioli to be fired.
But you have to hand it to Big Red for being able to land a job so quickly after the last two dismal years in Philadelphia. Not only did he walk into a team and get full personnel control, but he also owns the first overall pick in the NFL Draft. Unfortunately, the Chiefs roster is not as loaded with playmakers as the Eagles were, but I still think Reid’s arrival in Kansas City bodes very well for Jamaal Charles. Despite Reid’s tendency to forget the running game exists, players like Brian Westbrook, LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown have been ultra successful Fantasy players in Reid’s system. Don’t look now but Reid has already called his 15th inside shovel pass to Charles inside the five yard line. Charles is someone that is definitely going to be higher on my draft board now that Reid is in town. You asked about Alfred Morris as a potential first rounder and I see him right in that same category with Charles. If you are a running back and start for the Shanahans you absolutely deserve first round consideration. Just ask Olandis Gary and Mike Anderson what Shanny did for their careers. It’s also somewhat amazing to me that you went on a DC sports tirade and didn’t mention Stephen Strasburg at all. Strasburg, perhaps one of the first five pitchers off the board in upcoming Fantasy Baseball drafts, (check out the RotoExperts Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit coming soon to a page near you), is now being lauded for being shut down, unlike Bob Griffin III. Crazy how sports work eh?
Looking forward to this weekend, in a weekly playoff league, who do you like? In a sneaky way, I kind of love Eric Decker. Much like I bought before the season started, I think against Houston he can be a really good value play. Marshawn Lynch against Atlanta also seems like a no brainer to me. Beast Mode is going to eat a ton of skittles while he’s carrying the Seahawks on his back. I’m staying away from the Packers receivers again because I have no idea who will catch a pass or a touchdown or even touch the ball. I do like Colin Kaepernick in his first postseason appearance though; Green Bay seems vulnerable to a better version of Joe Webb. Is that what Colin Kaepernick is, a better Joe Webb? Is that a compliment? Also is Arian Foster’s use of Dan Shaughnessy absurd column the best utilization of a twitter avatar ever?
I almost want to end this email quicker so we can pick apart the Jets press conference together because this is just comical. FORGET THE LAST FOUR YEARS. THIS IS A BEGINNING FOR REX Dan, don’t you understand? A beginning…not an end. Except for Mark Sanchez; this is most definitely the end. Can’t we just name this column Rex’s Revenge? The Sanchize’s Demise? Austin Howard’s Glory? Woody’s Incompetence? Hopefully we come up with a good name, otherwise I’ll have to change my tattoo.
1/9/13 10:09 AM
Dan: I don’t want to get too much into the Rex Ryan/Woody Johnson lovefest yesterday, in fear that I’ll break down in tears while writing this. Instead, I’d like to focus on one comment Rex made yesterday: that he wants to put his mark on the offense. Whatever that mark is, I’m not sure, but hopefully it doesn’t resemble the one on his arm that failed to inspire the quarterback it is designed after. The Jets offense was a 2012 Fantasy joke, a laughingstock that not only failed to provide a viable fantasy option but also prevented bottom-feeding owners from picking up a starting Tim Tebow late in the season (somewhat of a fantasy tradition, much like Kahlil Bell and Joe Webb, the last few years). I don’t want to make any predictions about the 2013 Jets offense before they, you know, get an offensive coordinator and hopefully some better personnel, but one name I’m very interested in for the open OC position is not Norv Turner (meh) or Cam Cameron (really? the 1-15 Miami Dolphins Cam Cameron?) – it’s Hue Jackson. The former Oakland head coach worked with Rex Ryan on the Ravens staff in ’08-’09, and I’d welcome him with open arms to a Jets team in desperate need of offensive innovation.
This weekend, I’m not crazy about Kaepernick, though I like him for 2013 and think comparing him to Joe Webb is like comparing Percy Harvin to Jarius Wright (get it, Leslie? Fantasy 2013 football owners, take note – I’d bet my money on Harvin holding out this summer if he’s still on the Vikings). I concur with your assessment of Marshawn Lynch, and am not fond of Matt Ryan against this tough SEA defense. However, I LOVE Peyton Manning against a definitely beatable Baltimore secondary – hopefully, unlike Andrew Luck, he’ll actually have some time to throw the ball. And then we get to New England facing a sneakily vulnerable Houston secondary. Who do you like on the NE offense to produce this weekend?
This email comes to you amidst news of RGIII tearing both his LCL and ACL and needing surgery. This will be the third of his kind’s second ACL surgery. The recovery timetable is 6-8 months. Will he be undervalued in 2013 fantasy drafts? What are the odds he slips to the 3rd, or 4th round even, or gets consistently bought for under $30 in auction drafts? Also what’s more likely – that Andy Reid scoops up Michael Vick and/or Donovan McNabb in KC or that Mike Shanahan doesn’t start Alfred Morris in 2013? I’d say the former is by far the likelier scenario, but Shanny has done crazier things before, like play his franchise quarterback with a potentially-career ending injury.
Also, what’s your most intriguing NFL free-agent storyline? I like Greg Jennings rejoining Joe Philbin in Miami and teaming up with a budding Ryan Tannehill.
1/9/13 11:47 AM
Gregg: I’m very glad Dan that you are not joining the Norv Turner bandwagon as a Jets fan. I completely agree that getting his old offensive coordinator, a guy that couldn’t help Joe Flacco, seems completely the wrong decision for the franchise. Hue Jackson is an interesting suggestion definitely and I think one positive thing you can say about yesterday’s press conference is that Woody and Rex understand the magnitude of this decision. I can’t see them bringing in some hack(ett) like Paul.
The reason I’m so high on Kaepernick this week is simply because I love the value. Sure you can spend a good amount of your budget on Brady, Rodgers, or Manning, but for much less Kaepernick could be a good steal and then you can really splurge on Arian Foster, Ray Rice, and Beast Mode. I think both Gronkowski and Hernandez have big games this week for the Patriots. In a DraftKings type league, one of those tight ends have to be your starter. They are so much better than the other choices (including Tony Gonzalez and Owen Daniels), that it’s worth it to splurge there and spend a little less filling out the rest of your roster.
You posed a great question about Andy Reid and Mike Shanahan. I think Reid’s trading of McNabb, benching of Vick, and desperation to stay away from Kevin Kolb shows that Andy Reid is not here to talk about the past. (Had to thrown in a Mark McGwire reference on the day he once again won’t get elected into the Hall of Fame). Reid, while bringing in some coaches he is familiar with, will likely move forward with a 2nd round rookie quarterback to be determined, that we will all somehow believe in. All of us except Dwayne Bowe, who is leaving Kansas City so fast you’d think his name, were Todd Haley. Along with Jennings, I think Bowe is a very intriguing free agent wide receiver that also makes a good fit in Miami. If the Jets were under the salary cap, he’d be a good fit there, although it would still be Fantasy doom and gloom.
I would legitimately not be shocked even a little bit if Mike Shanahan opens up training camp naming Roy Helu his starter. You know 1,613 yards and 13 touchdowns aren’t good enough for the Czar. How do you think Morris’ value will be affected with the injury to Griffin III? It’s definitely possible RG3 slips that far in drafts, but also remember that drafters will have the robot Adrian Peterson on their minds when drafting this year. We’ll find out soon enough if RG3 is human or simply bionic.
My favorite free agent to be storyline is an obvious one. Tebow to Jacksonville. It’s a lock, it will have major Fantasy implications, and it will also guarantee us Hard Knocks: The Shad Khan Mustache Story. If that doesn’t excite the hell out of you, you clearly aren’t a football fan. If/when Tebow joins the Jaguars and whoever-replaces-Mike–Mularkey immediately names him the starter, does Tebow become a top 12 quarterback play? Does Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts drop to un-ownable? Does Maurice Jones-Drew retire Barry Sanders style? Find out next week on HBO’s Hard Knocks: The Shad Khan Mustache Story.
We still have yet to come up with the official name of this column and it’s getting posted tomorrow. The NFL has “Hard Knocks”, the MLB has “The Franchise”, the NBA has “The Association”, FX has “The League”, and ABC has “The Bachelor”. With all of that being said, I propose that RotoExperts now have “The Exchange”. What do you think?
1/9/13 12:42 PM
Dan: Love “The Exchange,” Gregg. We could even capitalize the X (see what I did there, RotoeXperts fans?). And in our inaugural mailbag, I find it fitting that we started talking about the Toronto Raptors and finish talking about the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Nice Paul Hackett reference, especially now that his son Nathaniel just got hired to be the new offensive coordinator in Buffalo under Doug Marrone (not to mention, also the new home of defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, the Jets former DC). In regards to Buffalo, I’ve heard a lot of people speculating over Marrone’s offensive philosophy, and how under-used potential 2013 fantasy superstar C.J. Spiller fits into that system. Let’s end the speculation right here: it doesn’t take a genius to figure it out. You use Spiller as the primary back. Period. It doesn’t matter what your offensive philosophy is; if you have a winning philosophy, you want to center your offense around C.J.. Obviously, the Tashard Choice-loving Chan Gailey didn’t understand this, which was mystifying to everyone who owned Spiller this year. But if Marrone even has a semblance of common sense, I think Spiller and his 2013 fantasy owners will be just fine.
I agree with your Andy Reid assessment, unless he goes and takes Geno Smith #1 overall. But likely, we’re going to see the Chiefs draft a mid-round QB, watch him overachieve in relief of Ricky Stanzi, and then observe as he gets traded to the highest bidder. I just hope that highest bidder isn’t the Jets. But in all honesty, I can’t see Vick latching on with the Chiefs this offseason. Maybe Kolb if he were to be released from Arizona, but not Michael. If I had to guess we’ll be seeing Michael in a very unlikely landing spot – I don’t see the Bills as a viable option, since Marrone and Hackett might be poised to pick Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib in the draft, and the Jets (please god!) won’t take a chance on him. Have we ruled out the CFL for Mr. Vick? The XFL maybe? Could QB whisperer and Montreal Aloutes coach Marc Trestman be in the NFL next season while Vick plays across the border?
And my final thought: I only wish Tebow the best of luck in Jacksonville, assuming that’s where he winds up this offseason. The Jets didn’t give him a fair shake, and who knows? Shad Khan just hired Dave Caldwell of the Falcons as his new GM and looks ready to “unleash” – and I mean, release Blaine Gabbert and potentially replace Head Coach Mike Mularkey with Skip Bayless.
Great eXchange, Gregg. Looking forward to the future.
1/9/13 1:01 PM
Gregg: The fact that we kicked this off with the Raptors and end with the Bills/Jaguars shows we have no New York bias here at RotoExperts; just bad team bias.
To me C.J. Spiller, with Marrone and cooler Hackett in town, should be a first round pick next year. Maybe around the turn, but he is a guy that is going to be on everyone’s break out list. (This is despite the fact that he has already broken out).
As a football fan, this is perhaps my favorite weekend of the season. The legitimate eight best teams in the league, knocking each other off and dwindling down to the Fianl Four over two intense days. It’s hard nosed and awesome and made just a little better when I have a stake in it, with DraftKings.
One final Fantasy Basketball note, my boy Anderson Varejao, is out for the next two months with a tear in his quad. So long Sideshow Bob; your month of Fantasy excellence was wonderful. Now I’ll just have to stick with Tristan Thompson, John Henson and the rest of the Muppets on my squad.
It was wonderful eXchanging with you Dan and I look forward to doing this again soon and talking to you and Corey this Sunday on the Sunday Showdown.
So there you have it. The debut edition of The Exchange. Like it? Hate it? Want to get a beer with Dan and I? Never want us to write anything again ever? Shoot me an email with your thoughts so we can improve our next installment. We do this for you so hopefully you enjoyed reading just as much as we enjoyed writing.