Monday, March 29, 2010

Fantasy insanity a good time

Well the weekend was full of March Madness as I'm sure most of yours were, too, but also a little dose of fantasy baseball. Oh that's right, fantasy baseball...the elusive fantasy sport that I will probably never learn to embrace. But on Saturday night my husband and I joined some great fantasy sports writers (yup, I'm talking about you, Scott Engel, Andy Behrens and Nick Minnix) at the screening of Fantasyland, a movie that's spun off of the premise of the book by the same name, Fantasyland, by Wall Street Journal writer Sam Walker. The movie follows a regular dude, Jed, as he joins the illustrious Tout Wars fantasy baseball league - though to call this guy regular would be an understatement. Jed truly might be insane - he literally is making trade deals from the hospital as his wife is gearing up to delivery twins; he travels to meet Tigers and Royals players in person and let them know he's counting on them for the good of his fantasy team; he drives nearly 8 hours to peer pressure a leaguemate into a trade...he basically is the kind of guy that would be incredibly entertaining as a friend, but you thank God is not related to you. All in all, the entertainment of Jed combined with a smattering of interviews and vignettes about fantasy sports enthusiasts make for a far more entertaining 90 minutes than I was expecting. I laughed out loud, I learned something new (Meat Loaf was in 60 fantasy baseball leagues one year!), and generally enjoyed myself. If you want to watch it, never fear, you can do so right now.

Movie review over - let's move on to today's links...

  • So lots of draft action out there. We've got mock drafts starting to come out of the woodwork, and some of my favorite sites are getting in on the draft analysis, too, so let's take a look:
  • Fantasy Knuckleheads take a look at some of this year's RBBC (running back by committee) messes that all owners will want to beware of come draft day in A Short Look at the Not So Elite 8. Good read but gotta say I think these guys might be a bit more pessimistic than I am; or play in shallower leagues than I do since it's unlikely really any of these guys would come anywhere near riding my bench in most leagues I play in. A flex spot or RB2, sure, but "worthy of a bench spot no doubt" for the Charles/Jones tandem in KC seems harsh, no?
  • So I think you'd all agree with me that there's been plenty of discussion about LT going to the Jets and what that means for Greene. But there's been surprisingly little discussion about how San Diego might adjust, or what their plans might be - so for some quality thoughts about what's next for the Chargers, read CBSSports.com's Chargers returning to aerial ways?
  • As a nice counterbalance to the earlier link to the rookie wide receivers, let's take it in a slightly different direction here and scope out Razzball's 2010 Dynasty Rankings: Wide Receivers, Vol. 2. If you missed it, here are the first 45 receivers in Vol. 1.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Basketball steps in for Friday fun

There are few things that put a smile on my face like an overburdened dogwalker in NYC - well okay, any dog is likely to make me happy, so put a whole bunch on a leash and I'm highly entertained. On my walk to work each morning I routinely see the same woman with roughly 5-9 dogs cruising up 5th Avenue with surprising ease and dexterity. Since I don't work on Fridays, gotta say I'm kind of missing my daily dose of dog entertainment. Fortunately there's basketball on tonight (big one for this Vols-loving family) that might just even out my dogwalker loss...and of course, some great fantasy links to get the weekend started right.

Speaking of the weekend, I'm heading to a screening of a fantasy sports movie, Fantasyland on Saturday night. It primarily focuses on fantasy baseball from what I've heard but I'm pretty sure any fantasy sports fan will get a kick out of it - I've seen lots of publicity for the film in fantasy circles, and have heard good things so far, so I'm intrigued and looking forward to the screening. Will let you know how it is...

So let's get to today's links:

  • First up, a few injury updates. I heart Owen Daniels and it sounds like he's recovering well from his knee injury. I guarantee I'll be that owner taking a gamble on Daniels this year. Another player to keep up with: Kevin Smith. PFT reports that he's also on schedule post-ACL tear...though gotta wonder what exactly will evolve in the Detroit backfield in 2010.
  • Lots of McNabbiness going on - since there's so much evolving I'll just send you to a few different folks, some more recent than others:
  • FFXtreme is on the projection train already my friends...yup, you know the season is getting closer when projections are being cranked out. See their 2010 RB Full Season Projections - both PPR and non-PPR are offered.
  • As you might remember I went to the MIT Sloan Sports Conference earlier this month and Football Outsiders has posted a link to a video of the keynote panel from the conference, which featured Bill Polian, Bill Simmons, Mark Cuban, Daryl Morey, and Jonathan Kraft - and moderated by Michael Lewis. Scope it out, good stuff.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Overtime = health care?

Not to get all political on you guys but I was watching Sports Center tonight with coverage on the changes to overtime in the NFL and I was struck by some serious similarities to the health care legislation coverage. There was Mort, reporting from the NFL owners meeting, talking about how many folks weren't 100% sure that the OT rule changes were exactly the right ones to make, but that everyone agreed changes needed to be made, and this was a move in the right direction. Now substitute "OT rule changes" for "health care reform" and basically you have the same commentary that I swear I read from politicos yesterday morning. Just another example that basically all of life is mimicking football in one way or another...heh.

But if you want the details on the OT rule changes, head on over to the Fifth Down's coverage, New Rule for Settling Overtime, or see what Peter King has to say in this week's MMQB, Modifying OT seems like longshot.

If you're up to your ears in OT news though, let's head on over to a few other links for the day:

  • A bit of QB news - my beloved Broncos have gone ahead and named Orton their starter. Interesting approach. But hey, why not?
  • Meanwhile back in NE, all you Tom Brady lovers (yes, I'm talking mostly to my sister), can breathe a sigh of relief now that TB has appeared in Foxborough for preseason workouts.
  • Meanwhile Fighting Chance Fantasy's Quarterback Breakdown looks at circumstances that might make some incoming rookie quarterbacks a great addition come late April.
  • If the NFL Draft is all you want to think about these days, well then I'm so happy to have you here! You're a little bit crazy...but just my type. And have I ever got a nice link for you - head on over to The Hazean who has put together a few NFL Mock Draft links to help the obsessed get a little more nutty.
  • Finally my favorite IDP writer, Matt Schauf, turned 30 today. To help the youngster celebrate, thought I'd send a little link love over to his article that compares his accomplishments to some of our favorite 30 year olds in How Does My 30 Compare?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Here's to the underdog

It's almost a shame that this beautiful spring weather had to come to NYC right at tourney time - but then I just think of my buds in Boulder, Colorado, who were socked with a big snowstorm this weekend and I feel supremely grateful that I was able to spend plenty of time outside this weekend in between big games.

So yeah, plenty of basketball watching here this weekend - a few things I've learned: I'm on the Cornell bandwagon (gotta love smarties doing so well), I'm amazed at how gigantic the Purdue shorts seem to be, the final shot in the Michigan State win over Maryland was money, and years of being a Northwestern fan have turned me into a big fan of the underdog (though it helps that much of my bracket is decimated...thanks, Kansas).

But I'll move on from basketball now - I know you're all really here for the football talk:

  • I know I've waxed on in the past about how much I enjoy local beat reporters as a source for team info to help inform your draft and/or waiver wire picks, and I think it's time that I expand that to reach to great local bloggers as well. The Fanball Sports Network has done a lot of the dirty work for us and found some of the best sports blogs out there - Bryan Douglass takes it a step further in NFL Blog Breakdown and highlights some top NFL options. 
  • The FFManiaxs argue that there are enough issues in New England to warrant some question about 2010 production. Agree? Disagree? Either way, see what they're thinking in Tom Brady & Randy Moss' Fantasy Football Decline in 2010
  • According to my husband, 2010 rankings are useless until we're past the draft, but hey I say it's never too early to get the rankings wheels a turnin'...so let's head on over to the CBSSports.com player rankings, which are doubly good this year with analysis from both Dave Richard and Jamey Eisenberg.
  • So if the draft is the turning point for the land of rankings relevancy, then let's get to the draft talk:

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Orange you excited about the tourney?!

My mom and dad lived in New York City back in the late 60s, early 70s and they have both talked about how glorious spring in New York can be. And my friends, I can now concur. I don't want to get my hopes up since I realize it's the funkiest of all weather months (you know I love it), but take the near 70 degree temps we've had here lately and combine them with daylight stretching later into the evening...and you've got one happy librarian. I don't work on Fridays, so I'm trying to figure out where I can take my laptop to spend some time outside while still watching tomorrow's big tourney games. Man, life is good!

So speaking of the tourney, I hope you all are enjoying this year's March Madness. I've been wiping away my Northwestern-lost-in-the-NIT-again tears...meanwhile, tonight is big for my husband and in-laws who are all big Tennessee fans. I've committed to eating only orange food for dinner tonight in support of the Vols but I'm pretty sure oranges, carrots, and cheez-its might not sustain us for the whole night...

Time for the links:

  • When it comes to free agency moves, it pays to remember that it's not just the free agent that benefits from a change of scenario - NFL.com's Michael Fabiano looks at 8 winners and 8 losers in this year's free agency moves in Flacco a big fantasy winner during early free-agent period.
  • As free agency moves along you might be wondering about other Areas of need, so thank goodness for that exact article from Rotoworld, which addresses the 5 biggest fantasy vacancies. 
  • For the latest from the land of mock drafts, see what KFFL.com put together today.
  • With Mike Bell now in Philly, I found Philly.com's Is Bell an effective short-yardage back? a good nugget to read and tuck away to help inform some mid- to late-round RB decisions during your fantasy draft.
  • There's always talk during the off-season about upcoming 3rd year players who are poised for their breakout season - the FFManiaxs take a look 10 WRs and 5 TEs who might fit the bill.
  • The NFL is proposing some changes to playoff overtime rules - read up on the adjustments in the Fifth Down's N.F.L. Overtime Proposal: Keep it Simple?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Offseason musings

Well I think we can all agree I've been a bit of a slacker with the blog posts for the past week or two. My apologies - the offseason + friends in town + tournament hype = a slow librarian. But that doesn't mean the offseason has slowed down along with me...if you need to catch up on any free agency news, head on over to Rotoworld's NFL Headlines or the FantasyFootball.com's Off-Season Player Tracker.

Before getting to today's links, let's talk March Madness for a bit. I recently fooled RapidDraft into thinking I know what I'm talking about when it comes to basketball, so they invited me to be one of their pro drafters in their Hoops Madness game. Come on by and set up a team to combine the fantasy fun of drafting with tourney time!

One final comment on basketball before turning to football: my Northwestern Wildcats take on the University of Rhode Island on Wednesday night in the first round of the NIT...go Cats! Now finally, linkage time...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Feeling out the fantasy impact

Before I delve into fantasy football today, just have to give a little nod to my Northwestern Wildcats who just got their first 20-win season in school history when they beat Indiana during the first round of the Big Ten tourney. Congrats Cats!

Plenty of free agency news out there - let's start with a few news tidbits before getting into the fantasy analysis angle:

Monday, March 08, 2010

From old friends to free agents

For a few years after college I lived in DC, which is when I met my husband and also made a bunch of awesome friends. One of those friends is here visiting us for a few days and it's funny how hanging out with him takes me back immediately to the good times of the early 2000s. We've talked football, I've scoped out photos of the Steelers kegerator he built, and we've all stuffed ourselves full of food from his favorite restaurant in Brooklyn. Love having him here and since he's a big FFLibrarian reader he's of course supportive of me taking some blog time now...so let's get to the linkage:

  • Free agency rolls on so we'll start things off with some info from that frontier:
  • Rotoworld's Evan Silva takes a stab at his second mock NFL draft of the season now that the combine has passed in Post-Combine NFL Mock Draft.
  • The Lead Pipe Lock is full of interesting stuff - poke around a bit, definitely a site that looks at stats and figures out how to make it relevant to fantasy players. One link to scope out - 2010 Early Fantasy Points Against Ranks - looks at how each of the 32 teams fared against each skilled position in 2009 and uses that as a launching point for how they'll do in 2010, with recent roster changes taken into account.
  • Finally, a heads up for those of you who are Hatty Waiver Wire Guru fans, take a look at the site's redesign that just went up in the past few days - definitely a new look for a new season.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Free Agency Unfolds

The free agency fun begins, my fantasy football friends. While I was peacefully sleeping in the wee hours of the morning, Adam Caplan was tweeting about Nate Burleson's move to Detroit...this goes to show how valuable twitter will be in sharing free agency news, so stay hip by checking out the latest from folks like AdamSchefter, greggrosenthal, ProFootballTalk, and daverichard. Lots of other great news tweeters out there - feel free to leave any in the comments if you've got some other favorites to share.

Plenty of football news out there and of course some nice fantasy analysis pieces, so let's get right to it:

Finally, if you're new to the site and wondering who on earth I am or just want some more background scope on how I became the FFLibrarian, take a look at FantasyEthos.com's recent interview with me.

I'm heading to Boston today for the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference tomorrow - if any of you will be there, let me know!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

It's an offseason stat-fest

I'm officially in transition time between the Olympics and March Madness - fortunately I have the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference up in Boston this weekend to keep me entertained. I'm heading up on Friday and will stay with an old college roommate, which should be great. A weekend of sports analytics talk from some big names plus time with old friends? Doesn't get much better.

Today's links are of course full of looking ahead to the 2010 season...only 5 more months until preseason games start!

  • First off, let's conclude the combine talk with CBSSports.com's Combine wrap-up: Value runners, DT conundrum, diva QBs and The Hazean's Reactions from the NFL Combine.
  • Sports Buff always provides solid IDP advice so I was pleased to see the IDP Sleepers: NFC North article - lots of details in terms of past and future for these value picks.
  • Meanwhile if you want even more IDP suggestions, try Kilryoz Krystal Ball's 2010 Dynasty IDP Rankings: Defensive Backs.
  • A little something for those of you into Dancing with the Stars...okay, so none of us watch it, but you might be intrigued anyway that Ochocinco will be a contestant this season as well as Erin Andrews and Olympics star Even Lysacek among others. 
  • Time for a little Jets love (hey, I'm in NYC now...) - with Thomas Jones likely being released this week there are all sorts of discussions swirling around in fantasyland. Start with Lester's Legends' Thomas Jones' Possible Destinations and then chase it with Razzball's Shonn "Gang" Greene for a lovefest on one of last year's hottest rookies going into the season.
  • Now I'm sure you're all wondering who might be the hottest rooks for 2010, right? Well we'll hash that one out for the next 6 months but Hatty Waiver Wire Guru's 5 Rookies to Watch gets us off on the right foot.
  • I'm saving my favorite link for last - you guys all know how I love my stats...therefore you can imagine my delight at seeing Advanced NFL Stats' Individual Player Stats by Team post (though the stats are also up by player position as well) - it's a thing of beauty. So many numbers, so little time my friends.  
P.S. I caved and bought rain boots. Looks like my feet will be toasty and dry today!

Monday, March 01, 2010

Combine love

Well as you all can imagine, I was very sorry to see the Olympics wrap up last night, particularly after putting up a pretty decent showing in RosterSlots.com's fantasy Winter Olympics game. I even found myself bragging to my sister about my new fantasy olympics skills.

But we've got lots of combine news out there so let's delve right in to today's links...

  • FFToolbox takes a look at results from the combine at a variety of positions - scope out their look at quarterbacks, running backs, tight ends, and let's throw some offensive linemen in there since I love seeing what's new on the o-line front.
  • Meanwhile you can never go wrong with the Football Outsiders' combine report - check out either Friday's combine report or Saturday's report.
  • SI's Fantasy Clicks: The potential deification of C.J. Spiller devotes some time to combine standout C.J. Spiller, top free agent backs, fastest 40 times, and of course a ranking of this year's rookie class.
  • If you find yourself sick of combine talk like Rotoworld's Chris Wesseling, then head on over to Pancake Blocks to see what he's put together for the first round of a mock draft. Gotta say I'm kind of agreeing that Charles is a bit too high here. I love the guy's potential and think a lot of the hype is for good reason, but I just am not confident enough about the Chiefs o-line to draft him in the first round.
  • A reminder to always stay up on player news and updates in the offseason - in case you missed it, both Thomas Jones and Terrell Owens are set to be free agents next week. Tons of other news out there evolving including guys like Portis, Sproles, and Campbell. Stay hip to news with Rotoworld's NFL Headlines or KFFL.com's Hot Off the Wire.
  • Another good place to stop for news is FFXtreme's Player Spotlight page - it's frequently updated as news warrants and provides solid fantasy advice for the upcoming season.
  • If you're wondering about fantasy implications for 2010 with all the movement on the RB front, Fighting Chance Fantasy has you covered in Big Changes at RB in 2010.
  • Meanwhile for some dynasty thoughts on RBs, swing on over to Razzball's 11 tiers of running back goodness.
  • Another final nugget of interest? The NFL is considering changing the format of overtime