Archives for: 2009, week 35


Fantasy Football Draft Results - Team #2

Permalink 04:30:00 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

I was at it again Thursday night drafting another fantasy football squad in a random ESPN 10 team free league. On Monday night, my New York Muggers drafted from the second slot (results posted on blog dated 09/01/09). I went with the same league format again and finally drafted from the middle of the pack which is right where I wanted to be (#5). Drafting fifth (of ten) allows fantasy owners opportunities to gain valuable players even though some of the games projected elite players get gobbled up 1-4. Unfortunately, 3 drafters never showed up. Luckily, one of them had pre-ranked players.

Here's my round by round results for the "Gridiron Bruisers" (round #/overall pick #):

1/5 - RB DeAngelo Williams (CAR) - Almost went with Brees here but had to nail a top RB in 1st round. Williams had huge fantasy games in '08. Hoping for bigger and better in '09. Peterson, Turner went 1-2.

2/16 - WR Andre Johnson (HOU) - Went off script early. Rule of thumb is pick up the best RB's early. However, most were taken so I gambled a quality back would still be available by my next pick especially since Moss/Fitzgerald were taken right before my turn. Johnson is a playmaker. He just needs a healthy QB to get him the ball. Had big yardage games in '08. I'll need him to record more td's to make this pick look better.

3/25 - RB Ronnie Brown (MIA) - I like this pick here while most others might scoff it. Brown completely healthy and in a contract year. You know what that means. He's going to be on top of his game. Miami is a run first team. Hoping he's the go to guy in goal line situations.

4/36 - RB Thomas Jones (NYJ) - Don't really like this pick. TJ hasn't played well in preseason but I credit this to Jets giving rookie QB Sanchez every opportunity to find his rythm. Leon Washington is also hungry for carries and could cut into Jones playing time. TB's Ward & Indy's Addai would have been better here. This could be a strong pick or major early round bust.

5/45 - TE Tony Gonzalez (ATL) - Future Hall of Famer should get plenty of looks from 2nd year QB Ryan as Atlanta opens up their new passing game. Gonzo is one of my all time favorites.

6/56 - WR Eddie Royal (DEN) - Denver's #1 speedster wideout will see plenty of deep passes. He's been going late in most drafts. I'm expecting major production here. 91 catches as a rookie and NFL 2nd best 72.2% catches of balls thrown in his direction.

7/65 - RB Cedric Benson (CIN) - Most analysts do not like his fantasy value. I'll differ for one reason and one reason only. He's never played with a game breaking QB. Was last of full time starting RB's available. Plenty of QB's remained so this was a no harm no foul depth pick.

8/76 - K Stephen Gostkowski (NE) - Why take a kicker here you ask? Because he's #1 on my charts worth no less than 140 points playing for one of NFL's best offenses. That's why.

9/85 - QB Carson Palmer (CIN) - Once a gambler, always a gambler. Palmer's elbow is a concern after missing 3/4 of '08. He has great WR's (Ocho Cinco & Coles). Threw for 32, 28, 26 TD's and averaged 4000 yard seasons before getting banged up. Calculated gamble should pay dividends especially when Cincy plays most of their games from behind meaning more passes to catch up.

10/96 - WR Devin Hester (CHI) - One of NFL's best deep threats. Pure speed. Outstanding special teams kick returner. Finally has a QB who can deliver a deep pass. One question... can he catch?

11/105 - WR Laverneaus Coles (CIN) - Deep threat left Jets for bigger bucks in Cincy. Another depth pick gamble. My opinion he was best available starting WR. He'll probably only start when my others have bye weeks unless he becomes a favorite target for Palmer.

12/116 - D/ST New England Patriots - Uncharacteristically waited a long time before selecting a defense. One of two things can happen with Pats D. Either they'll pick off a ton of passes when playing way ahead (NE has top offense) or they'll give up a lot of meaningless late game points. Maybe both. Not expecting much here and will start them in favorable matchups. Buffalo is opening game. Pats D will play big vs terrible Bills.

13/125 - QB Jake Delhomme - Everyone except me seems down on Jake in '09. He's healthy, a winner and plays for a great offense. Running game will take away passing attempts but open up play action for potential red zone td's. Solid backup and starter in favorable matchups.

14/136 - D/ST Miami Dolphins - Nice compliment to NE's D. If offense can play ball control games then Dolphins D could record good fantasy numbers.

15/145 - K Nate Kaeding - 607 points in 5 Charger seasons. Good backup for Gastowski.

16/156 - TE Visanthe Shiancoe (MIN) - Favre loves his TE's and looks for them often. Final two picks in this draft mirrored Monday night. Surprised no one has been taking Shiancoe. I'm betting he's a big go to guy inside redzone in '09.

Gridiron Bruisers aren't great on paper. However, favorable scheduling matchups could provide big dividends from this bunch. Selecting Thomas Jones was this drafts snafu. My crystal ball claims this team will put up points. Having multiple teams affords plenty of drafting variations. Two drafts in the books. First draft far better on paper. Bruisers have me curious.

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2009 NCAA Football Ranking Predictions

Permalink 09:23:05 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

College Football's opening kickoff took place earlier this evening. Now it's time for me to rank NCAA Football's Top 20. Last year, preseason experts ranked 1 thru 5 Georgia, Ohio State, USC, Oklahoma then Florida. Not quite how things unfolded as the Florida Gators ended up National Champs (Final AP Polls: Florida, Utah, USC, Texas, Oklahoma). I don't have too many suprises in these rankings. However, a few boosters might get miffed...

Digger's Top 20:
1- Florida
2- Texas
3- USC
4- Alabama
5- Oklahoma
6- Virginia Tech
7- Ohio State
8- Mississippi
9- Penn State
11-Oklahoma State
12-Boise State
13-Georgia Tech
18-North Carolina

National Champions: Florida Gators

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2009 Cy Young Races (AL)

Permalink 05:00:00 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

How voters determine who wins AL Cy Young Award will be interesting. There's no clear cut odds on favorite anymore. Earlier this season, Roy Halladay and Zack Greinke were favorites. They've slumped recently. CC Sabathia has been on fire going deep into games and has been nearly unbeatable since the break. Mariano Rivera has been nearly perfect saving 38 of 39 including 34 in a row. My short list might make for a few upset fans. And so it goes...

Mariano Rivera (NYY) 1-2, 1.78, 38 of 39 Saves. Rivera is my pick at the moment unless CC reaches 20 wins. No American League pitcher has dominated hitters more than Mariano. 34 consecutive saves. Relievers seldom win. Dennis Eckersley was last closer to win in AL back in 1992. Rivera was runner-up in 2005. This could be his year.

CC Sabathia (NYY) 16-7, 3.48 CC had a rough beginning in the Big Apple. April is long gone as CC has gone 9-1 in his last 11 starts just in time for Cy Young voters to take notice. He'd get my vote by reaching 20 wins.

Felix Hernandez (SEA) 14-5, 2.65 Felix is having a great year for a so-so club. He deserves far more recognition than received. Big city media has ignored him which might hurt chances. Perhaps voters will take notice and reward him with CYA? Time will tell.

Justin Verlander (DET) 15-7, 3.38 Detroit's big name starter has enjoyed a fine season. He has devastating stuff. Not as dominating lately but remains a strong candidate. 215 K's leads AL starters.

Zack Greinke (KC) 13-8, 2.32, 202 K. AL ERA leader and #2 in K's. Might have been a 20 game winner if he pitched for a respectable team? His first five starts netted 5-0, 0.50 ERA. He's come back to earth since. Lack of run support hurts. Easily best pitcher of 1st half. Competition caught up in 2nd half.

Honorable mention: Roy Halladay, Scott Feldman, Josh Beckett.

Rivera would get my pick if the season ended today. CC is he reaches 20 wins. Let the debate begin. AL Cy Young race is wide open.

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2009 Cy Young Races (NL)

Permalink 11:27:41 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

All World All Sports Blogs

-Digger's Daily-

Baseball's 2009 Cy Young Award features many eligible pitchers. Last year's winner Tim Lincecum has been getting much attention from the sporting media again in '09. He's definitely in the hunt, but, there's more than one horse in this race. Only a few more starts remain for NL candidates. Here's my short list of NL's top hurlers. All of these guys have a legit chance of taking home the hardware...

Tim Lincecum (SF) - Dominating in first half (10-2, 2.33) but has managed only 3 wins since the All Star break. He's been the main reasons Giants remain in playoff contention. Overall, 13-4, 2.33, 222 K. Mighty fine numbers but faces stiffer competition this year.

Adam Wainwright (STL) - 16-7, 2.47 has been improving every year. 6-2, 1.29 since the break. AW has a shot at being NL's only 20 game winner. If he gets 20, then he's my pick. Dominating 2nd half has helped Cards pull away in NL Central. Only 1 complete game and no shutouts might work against him if voters are stat happy. Nonetheless, Wainwright is one of NL's top hurlers.

Chris Carpenter (STL) - 14-3, 2.20 Former winning has returned to dominating form after recovering from surgery. Nasty stuff and my current front runner to take home CYA. I'm expecting LaRussa to restrict Carp's innings down the stretch in an attempt to keep him well rested for playoffs.

Matt Cain (SF) - 12-4, 2.60 but only 2-2 after break. Victim of lack of run support even though his 2nd half ERA is better than 1st half. Also working against his chances is Lincecum's popularity. He's deserves consideration even though I don't belief he has any shot at winning CYA.

Ryan Franklin (STL) - Relievers generally don't bring home CYA's. Franklin's career year is worth noting. 2-1, 1.37, 36 of 38 Saves has been dominating and a key ingrediant to Cards winning NL Central. Never had an ERA below 3.00 in career. He's making it look easy.

Three Cardinals and two Giants on my short list. Some might argue Florida's Josh Johnson (13-4, 3.08) deserves to be in the mix. The others have been far too dominating so I doubt JJ will garner any first place votes. We'll see how it shakes out. As of this moment, Carpenter is my pick unless Wainwright reaches 20 wins.

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Fantasy Football Draft Results

Permalink 01:46:47 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

All World All Sports Blogs

-Digger's Daily-

Tonight I participated in my first fantasy football draft. I usually draft up to 3 teams. It was a snap decision as I entered a random ESPN 10 team free public league (usually join private leagues). Generally speaking, I seldom enjoy drafting 1st/2nd or 8th-10th because way too many players get gobbled up by other owners between picks. All things considered, if you can't draft from the middle of the pack then going early is preferred. As luck would have it, my New York Muggers drafted from the second position. After my first pick, Atlanta Falcons RB Michael Turner, most of my early wish list players were long gone before the Muggers second selection was on the clock.

Here's how the New York Muggers roster filled out round by round (round #/overall pick #):
1/2 RB - Michael Turner (Atl) - wanted Pederson, he went #1.

2/19 WR - Randy Moss (NE) - happy to sign Moss this deep.

3/22 RB - Clinton Portis (Was) - one of my favorite backs and was best of the rest at 22.

4/39 TE - Tony Gonzalez (Atl) - altered thinking and went after my fav big game TE.

5/42 QB - Matt Ryan (Atl) - not expecting big numbers from week to week, missed out on bigger names.

6/59 WR - Eddie Royal (Den) - explosive play maker, expecting big numbers and td's, nice pairing with Moss.

7/62 WR - Anthony Gonzalez (Ind) - should get plenty of opportunities with Peyton tossing.

8/79 RB - Jamaal Lewis (Cle) - not sure what to expect this year after a flat '08.

9/82 D/ST - Minnesota Vikings - took a gamble & played a hunch taking Vikes D. I like their speed and ability to cause turnovers. Offense should keep these guys well rested for a change.

10/99 RB - Julius Jones (Sea) - not a great pick, went for depth. Seattle will be much better creating opportunities for Jones if he can produce. Was terrible last year.

11/102 QB - Eli Manning (NYG) - Eli was still available, I'm a Giants fan, what the heck? If no-name receivers step up then he might be my full time starter. Brees & Brady were my top 2 choices (both drafted very early).

12/119 D/ST - Chicago Bears - needed solid backup D/ST for Vikes.

13/122 K - David Akers (Phi) - didn't want any Eagles but Akers was a solid pick here (wanted Gostkowski).

14/139 WR - Chris Chambers (SD) - why not? he was still available and plays for a big play offense.

15/142 K - Nate Kaeding (SD) - should get plenty of chances to put up points, might end up as #1 K.

16/159 TE - Visanthe Shiancoe (Min) - needed a backup for Gonzo, will have a career year as Favre loves his TE's.

In retrospect, only a couple of picks might come back to haunt me. Romo was still available when I selected Ryan. As a Giants fan, no way did I want Romo. Instead of Anthony Gonzalez, perhaps another RB would have been a better choice (Ward, White & Benson remained). However, getting Jamaal with my next pick for depth purposes might offset my second guessing. Jones will probably ride the bench unless he gets off to a quick start. Seattle picked up vet Ed James to back up or replace a less than stellar Jones.

All in all I'm pretty satisfied considering how may players were taken between draft picks. Muggers should be in good shape barring injury. No single team stands out above others right now. Of course, this can all change once games are actually played.

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MLB MVP Races Part II

Permalink 10:39:23 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

All World All Sports Blogs

-Digger's Daily-

Pennant fever is in full swing. Each year a handful of players turn it on during baseball's final month. Determining MVP winners brings about many philosophical considerations and one never knows how a votes will be cast. What does MVP mean has been subject of many debates. Will the player with best statistics win? Will the award go to a player who helps his team win the most games? How will personal popularity (or negativity) figure into things? Ted Williams once lost out on MVP honors due to a sportswriter from his home town refusing to vote for him. Talk about being spiteful.

Here's my short list of American League candidates heading into baseball's final month. All have their merits.

Joe Mauer (MIN) - Mauer's one of the main reasons Minnesota still has a shot at qualifying for the playoffs. He's been on fire nearly all season long. Stunning stat line for a catcher - .367 BA, 25 HR, 79 RBI, 1.044 OPS. Not a single month batting below .300 and playing excellent defense. He's lived up to projected star status. MVP profile will increase with a strong September finish.

Miguel Cabrera (DET) - He's been Detroit's biggest offensive weapon all year long. .335, 30 2B, 27 HR, 82 RBI, .962 OPS. A pure hitter who fears no pitcher. Not even as a green rookie facing Roger Clemens in the 2003 World Series. He homered on the very next pitch after a high and tight Clemens brush back pitch. It's been all systems go since. He's a legit MVP candidate. Fate may rest on whether or not Detroit wins AL Central. As of now, Cabrera's my pick based on lack of a supporting cast. All other mentioned candidates have teammates enjoying big seasons at the dish. Not in Tigerland.

Derek Jeter (NYY) - Jeter has been the Yanks catalyst. As soon as he got hot in July, the Yankees started winning. Yanks now own baseball's best record and it coincides with Jeter's performance. He's about to become the Yanks all time leading hitter which speaks volumes of his historic career. .334, 94 R, 25 2B, 17 HR, 23 SB, career best .987 FP. Derek might get hurt in MVP selection by teammates receiving votes (Teixeira, Damon, Cano & Rivera).

Kendry Morales (LAA) - Morales is having a superb first full MLB season. LA has had multiple player injuries and Kendry has been the lineups mainstay. Stat line: .311, 34 2B, 30 HR, 94 RBI, .948 OPS. He's having a huge 2nd half helping LA maintain their AL West lead over Texas (.361, 15 HR, 39 games). He's red hot and if this keeps up in September play then don't be surprised if Morales walks away with MVP hardware.

As of this moment, these four represent my odds on favorites. If voting was held today, my pick for MVP goes to Miguel Cabrera or Derek Jeter (split). Keep an eye on these players too. All are deserving and could improve their chances with strong September results. Michael Young (TEX), Mark Teixeira (NYY), Robinson Cano (NYY), Johnny Damon (NYY), Kevin Youkilis (BOS), Justin Morneau (MIN) and Aaron Hill (TOR).

Stay tuned this week for my Cy Young candidates. Final MVP & Cy Young selections will be made once the 2009 season has completed.

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