Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fantasy Football Rankings: Quarterback

I just had my first draft a couple of days ago, and I've got a couple more in the next week, so with me compiling my personal fantasy football rankings, I figured it would be good to post them here. Not to sound vain, but I've had success in the past with fantasy football. But like the stock market, past performance does not guarantee future returns, so take these rankings for what they're worth.

1. Tom Brady
Duh. Maybe he can't match last year's numbers (right?), but all of the main weapons are still in place, meaning more big numbers for Brady.
2. Peyton Manning
3. Tony Romo
4. Drew Brees
Add in Jeremy Shockey and a healthy Robert Meachem, and the passing game should be even more dangerous. The Saints threw the ball more than anyone else last year, and while they might try to be a little more balanced this time around, Brees will have the ball in his hands quite often.
5. Carson Palmer
6. Ben Roethlisberger
7. Derek Anderson
Continued pressure from Brady Quinn will force Anderson to play at a high level. It doesn't hurt that the Browns added big play guy Donte' Stallworth to receiving threats Kellen Winslow and Braylon Edwards. The Browns are a trendy pick in the AFC North - the passing game is the reason why.
8. Matt Hasselbeck
9. Jay Cutler
Physically, he's one of the most gifted QBs in the game. If a second receiver can step up, he can potentially be a top 5 QB.
10. Donovan McNabb
11. Marc Bulger
12. David Garrard
Has a lower ceiling than some guys below him, but also a lower floor. You know what you get with him... he'll make some plays, take care of the ball, and get you a TD or two a game.
13. Eli Manning
14. Matt Schaub
15. Jake Delhomme
Reports are that he's healthy, and he put up pretty good numbers last year when that was the case. Top threat Steve Smith is still there, and that makes Delhomme a legitimate threat as long as he's healthy.
16. Philip Rivers
17. Aaron Rodgers
Pressure will be on, but having good receivers helps. And Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, James Jones, and Jordy Nelson is a pretty nice top 4.
18. Jason Campbell
19. Jon Kitna
20. Matt Leinart
Looks like he's the starter. For now.
21. Vince Young
22. Tarvaris Jackson
23. Jeff Garcia
24. Alex Smith
If he gets the starting nod and if he grasps Mike Martz' offense, he could be a legitimate fantasy threat. But I'm not holding my breath.
25. JaMarcus Russell
26. Trent Edwards
27. Kurt Warner
We know what he can do. If he plays.
28. Rex Grossman
29. Shaun Hill
30. Brodie Croyle
There is something to be said about being the undisputed starter, I guess. But still, if you're in any type of position where you need to rely on Brodie, my condolences.

Your thoughts? What do your rankings at the top look like?

Monday, July 07, 2008

My American League All-Star Picks

With the midseason break approaching, time to give my picks for the American League All-Star team starters.

Joe Mauer
(MIN) - Mauer is the real easy choice here. He currently sits 2nd in the AL in batting average, he's showed his usual great plate patience (.410 OBP is also second in the AL), and he's been a solid doubles hitter. We're still waiting for the homerun power to come on a semi-consistent basis, but he's still indisputably the best catcher in the AL.
Other Options: Dioner Navarro (TB)
Actual Pick: Joe Mauer

First Base
Kevin Youkilis (BOS) - I feel much less sure on this one... Jason Giambi has been a better hitter, but he has a lot less ABs and less value in the field. Youkilis has been a little better hitter than Justin Morneau, but Morneau has almost 40 more PAs. In the end, Youkilis is my choice... he's been his typical self getting on base at a .375 clip, and he's hitting for good power this year, with 13 HR and 22 2B. Plus, as always, he plays solid defense at 1B.
Other Options: Justin Morneau (MIN), Jason Giambi (NYY)
Actual Pick: Kevin Youkilis

Second Base
Ian Kinsler (TEX) - Again, a pretty easy choice here. Of all regular 2B in the AL, Kinsler has the highest average, gets on base the most, and has hit for (easily) the most power. He's even stolen 23 bases while only getting thrown out once. Brian Roberts has been very good as well, but Kinsler is hitting for a lot more power and stealing bases more effectively.
Other Options: Brian Roberts (BAL)
Actual Pick: Dustin Pedroia (BOS)

Third Base
Alex Rodriguez (NYY) - No surprise that A-Rod is once again the best 3B in the AL. The man in a machine, and continues to be one of (if not the) top all-around players in the MLB. He's in the top 6 in lots of major offensive categories, including #2 in OPS.
Other Options: Mike Lowell (BOS), Evan Longoria (TB)
Actual Pick: Alex Rodriguez

Michael Young (TEX) - Honestly, not a lot of inspiring choices for AL SS. I think Young has probably been the best of a pretty mediocre bunch of AL SS's this year.
Other Options: Derek Jeter (NYY), Jhonny Peralta (CLE)
Actual Pick: Derek Jeter (NYY)

Grady Sizemore (CLE) - Sizemore continues to be one of the best all-around players in the MLB, despite playing for an underachieving Indians team. Sizemore's average is down a bit this year, but he is still working the count to get on base, and is leading the AL in HR as of this writing. He combines that with good defense in CF, and 20 SB (only caught 3 times). Sizemore does it all on the baseball field.

Josh Hamilton (TEX) - Hamilton is one of the best stories in the MLB, and he's made it even better by becoming one of the most dangerous hitters in the AL. He's hitting for average (top 10 in AL) and power (2nd in HR, top 5 in SLG), and is far and away leading the AL in RBI with 85 as of this writing. His numbers are skewed a bit because of the ballpark he plays in (his home/road splits are pretty ugly), but he's still my choice.

JD Drew (BOS) - Drew is playing like he finally deserves that big contract, as he's been one of the best hitters in the AL so far this year. His OPS easily is tops among AL OFs with enough ABs to qualify. He's 3rd in the League in SLG, and he's getting on base at an excellent clip, also 3rd in the American League.

Other Options: Carlos Quentin (CHI), Jermaine Dye (CHI), Nick Markakis (BAL)
Actual Picks: Josh Hamilton, Manny Ramirez (BOS), Ichiro Suzuki (SEA)

Designated Hitter
Milton Bradley (TEX) - No contest here whatsoever. Bradley has likely been the best hitter in the American League so far this season, and is definitely far and away above the other DH candidates. If you were going to bet on baseball, what were the odds you could have gotten if you would have picked Milton Bradley to be leading the AL in OPS at the midway point?
Actual Pick: David Ortiz (BOS)

What would your picks be?

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

Yay for America!

Hope you have a relaxing and enjoyable holiday!