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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

57

No, that is not my age.

Rather, that is my golf score for the first nine holes of golf I've had a chance to play this year.

In fact, it is just about the first time I picked up the clubs period for 2010.

After a month of record setting oppressive heat and humidity, we even hit 100 degrees one day last week, four of us decided to pick the first cool (<90 degree day and low humidity) evening to go for a round of twilight golf at Reston National. And yes, I really did have a shot end up like this one at the base of a tree.

It was the first time I had ever been to Reston National and thoroughly enjoyed it.

It was loads of fun and I only lost one ball!
But I must say that it did make a very impressive splash as it went into the water!

And that is the measure of my success!

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Stardom

It's not enough just to be a pro athlete anymore, if you are going to be a true star, you need to hit every multimedia format.

And Devin Thomas did not have to make the 6 O'clock news or police report to do it.



Looks like Devin found a more dignified route by staring with Fantasia in her new music video, "Bittersweet,".

Now if he can only make the sports highlight videos featuring a TD celebration with Donovan he'd be all set.

Read more...

Monday, June 28, 2010

Generating Hits

Wow,

The Nats offense , is dead.

According to Google trends, so is Britney Spears! It's a hoax.

and

Marilyn Monroe's chest was exposed! Her X-rays were sold for something like $50K.

Maybe the Nats just need to create some trashy headlines on the web...

That always seems to generate hits for everyone else...

Read more...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Hours of Entertainment !

One of the presents my kids gave me for Fathers Day was the ESPN Fantasy Football 2010 Magazine.

Beyond all the stats, they have a bunch of information on Sleepers and Busts, Rookies and Veterans, Keepers and last but not least Strategy!

For this post, I’m going to start with their reviews of strategy.



1) Bookends: This is more of an analysis of draft position rather than a strategy. I’ve always hated drafting in the dead middle of the pack and their statistics seem to prove the point. But unless if you are in a league which allows trading for position this first tid bit of information is next to useless. Mainly because you generally have little to None control over it. So, this is interesting but little to no value for strategy. The key to Fantasy Football is paying attention for the entire season.



2) Cuff’em: This can be a draft strategy but it’s true value is in an overall league and season strategy. This is when you pick the backup to a Top Tier player. And, this is definitely one to keep in mind and use wisely and definitely falls into the “pay attention” strategy for the entire season. For a draft strategy this can be a bit risky since you can not accurately predict injuries but lots of people use this strategy on the waiver wires. Again, pay attention to waiver order throughout the season! Acquiring the backup can change the whole power plays of you league and give you added advantage in both matchups and potential trades.



3) Value Based Drafting: Here is the scenario; it’s your turn to draft in the second round and you have 3 really good players still on the board all of who scored just about the same total points last year. Who do you pick? Answer: The one who outscored his competition the most. VBD is the difference between a players point total and the baseline score for his position. How do you calculate it? First you calculate how many roster spots are drafted on average in a particular league. The example ESPN used was 16 QB’s, 38 RB’s, 33 WR’s in a 10 team league. Take the point total of the 16th QB and that is your Baseline Score for QB’s. So, lets say you have a choice between Joe Flacco and Ryan Grant. Both scored 197 and 196 points respectively in the ESPN stats last year. But Ryan Grant scored 103 points more than the baseline for his position compared to -2 for Joe Flacco. VBD says pick Ryan Grant.



4) Forget about RB-RB drafting: Draft WR-WR or RB-WR. Based on their stats, WR-WR-RB-RB and WR-RB-WR-RB outscored RB-RB-WR-WR every time. Why? More and more teams are using RB by committee now which makes the top WR’s more valuable. Personally I have almost always avoided RB-RB because I like to diversify rather than putting all my eggs in one basket.



5) Slow down on the TE’s: This one is more rather, if you don’t jump the gun and or get really lucky getting the top or top 2 TE’s better hold off on getting one and load up on QB, RB, and WR instead. Why? It actually has something to do with VBD. Historically the total difference between the 5th and 14th total scores for TE was 30 points. That is less than 2 points per game. Hardly a significant difference in their opinion.



6) Respect Seniors – Just don’t draft them: Statistically this is very true for RB. The 30 and over club sees at least a 12 – 14% drop per game as compared to when they were 29 and nearly 30% less than their 25 year old counterparts. So, who are the 25 year old studs this year? Reggie Bush, Justin Forsett, Shonne Greene, Chris Johnson, MJD, Laurence Maroney, Adrian Peterson and Pierre Thomas. Who is 30 and over this year? Justin Fargas, Willie Parker, Larry Johnson, Derrick Ward, LT, Thomas Jones, Chester Taylor, and Ricky Williams.



7) Draft the West Coast: Here is their scenario. Your star player is slated to play in the second set of games on Sunday and is listed as questionable. Your prime backup is healthy and listed as ready to play in the first set of Sunday Games. If you draft your backups from the west coast, the theory says that most of the time your stars will be playing first and the backups second. That way if for some reason your star, sits out, you can adjust your roster to activate your backup. So, which teams have double digit late starts? Arizona, Denver, Indy, Oakland, San Diego, Seattle. There are a ton of teams with double digit early starts. So chances are that with the majority of teams having early starts, chances are your starters will play early more often than not. So, which have zero late starts? Buffalo, Cleveland, and Detroit. Hmmm. . . I am a bit more skeptical with this strategy than the others. Pros are paid to play and unless if you have one who is going to be a crybaby every time he gets a booboo I don’t put a lot of substance in this strategy.



8) Don’t bench your big guns: Even if Hell or Green Bay Freezes over. . . Out of the 17 coldest snowiest contests, only 3 featured more rushing yards than passing. Again, just like the previous example, the pros come out to play.

9) Bid Fearlessly: If you are in a bidding league they claim this strategy works if you follow their example. Don’t bid on the first one or two players offered up. But bid aggressively on any and all others. So if AP and Chris Johnson go for $62 and $60 bid up to $67 for Ray Rice. If somebody out bids you then fine, let them. Bid just as aggressively for all others. Once people see how crazy you are, they will either not bother or bail early and you will be able to get somebody like MJD for a much better bargain. I’ve never been in a cap or bidding league and probably never will. So I will just take their word for it. However, there is something to be said about psychology and playing mind games with others in Fantasy Football. This is especially true with potential trades. Again, a strategy to keep in mind throughout the season.



10) Stack your Byes: I actually came across this one while trying to figure out who to keep, if anybody, in my Borderless League. I noticed that a fair number of my potential keepers had the same bye weeks this year. So I did a little research and, as it turns out, so did ESPN. The best bye weeks to stack your players is 8, 4 and 7. The theory is this. If all of your starters have the same bye week, then yes you probably will lose that weeks match up, but they will all be playing while other teams are trying to juggle the one or two starters they have out over the span of 2 or 3 weeks or more during the season. You could be looking at a 4 – 7 point advantage during those other 2 – 3 weeks. Of course, good luck in trying to draft all your starters with the same bye week, but it is an interesting idea.



I think, simply because I have a lot of players I like on my current team I will limit my draft preferences to these weeks. So, who shows up on my list? BTW, I included week 6 because two of my favorite choices for “wanting back” are on this week. The players in Red are the ones who are currently on my team who I like and are considering either keeping and or getting back in the draft.


Player

Bye

Position

Adrian Peterson, MIN

4

RB

Ray Rice, BAL

8

RB

Andre Johnson, HOU

7

WR

Peyton Manning, IND

7

QB

Michael Turner, ATL

8

RB

Larry Fitzgerald, ARI

6

WR

DeAngelo Williams, CAR

6

RB

Cedric Benson, CIN

6

RB

Matt Schaub, HOU

7

QB

Roddy White, ATL

8

WR

Calvin Johnson, DET

7

WR

Tony Romo, DAL

4

QB

Miles Austin, DAL

4

WR

DeSean Jackson, PHI

8

WR

Jonathan Stewart, CAR

6

RB

Shonn Greene, NYJ

7

RB

LeSean McCoy, PHI

8

RB

Beanie Wells, ARI

6

RB

Jamaal Charles, KC

4

RB

Joseph Addai, IND

7

RB

Steve Smith, CAR

6

WR

Sidney Rice, MIN

4

WR

Matt Forte, CHI

8

RB

Joe Flacco, BAL

8

QB

Jay Cutler, CHI

8

QB

Dallas Clark, IND

7

TE

Brandon Jacobs, NYG

8

RB

Felix Jones, DAL

4

RB

Chad Ochocinco, CIN

6

WR

Steve Smith, NYG

8

WR

Anquan Boldin, BAL

8

WR

Jerome Harrison, CLE

8

RB

Percy Harvin, MIN

4

WR

Jahvid Best, DET

7

RB

Tony Gonzalez, ATL

8

TE

Dwayne Bowe, KC

4

WR

Brent Celek, PHI

8

TE

Thomas Jones, KC

4

RB

C.J. Spiller, BUF

6

RB

Jeremy Maclin, PHI

8

WR

Jason Witten, DAL

4

TE

Philadelphia Eagles

8

DST

Matt Leinart, ARI

6

QB

Marion Barber, DAL

4

RB

Baltimore Ravens

8

DST

Steve Breaston, ARI

6

WR

Brett Favre, MIN

4

QB

Pierre Garcon, IND

7

WR

Braylon Edwards, NYJ

7

WR

Ben Tate, HOU

7

RB

Owen Daniels, HOU

7

TE

Santonio Holmes, NYJ

7

WR

Donald Brown, IND

7

RB

Cleveland Browns

8

DST

Kellen Winslow, TB

4

TE

Dez Bryant, DAL

4

WR

Cadillac Williams, TB

4

RB

Chicago Bears

8

DST

LaDainian Tomlinson, NYJ

7

RB

Josh Cribbs, CLE

8

WR

New York Jets

7

DST

Devin Hester, CHI

8

WR

Jerricho Cotchery, NYJ

7

WR

Dallas Cowboys

4

DST

Arian Foster, HOU

7

RB

Kevin Smith, DET

7

RB

Minnesota Vikings

4

DST

Bernard Berrian, MIN

4

WR

Derrick Ward, TB

4

RB

New York Giants

8

DST

Atlanta Falcons

8

DST


Of course, I will have to wait and see who of these get claimed as keepers by the other teams in my league, but it is an interesting list.


Oh, and one last strategy that I happen to use which was not mentioned in the ESPN strategies was that I often try to look at who the potential bubble teams are going to be. You know the ones who towards the end of the season are going to be fighting for a playoff spot as opposed to those, like Indy, who probably will be a lock and either coast in or sit many of their starters. Why do I do this? Because the end of the season is when the Fantasy League playoffs and championships are! And, after all it is the Championship of your league that you are really playing for and want players putting forth their best effort towards now isn’t it!



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Friday, June 25, 2010

To Keep or Not to Keep

DeAngelo Williams
Justin Forsett
Beanie Wells
Larry Johnson

Reggie Wayne
DeSean Jackson
Josh Cribbs

Jay Cutler
Vince Young
Jason Campbell

So, my Borderless League has keepers (AKA franchise player)option this year and I have a decision to make.

Do I keep one of these guys (remembering that my league also counts return yards) or throw them all back into the hopper and choose best player available in the First Round.

I wish everyone else in the league would pick (only two have so far) so I can see who is available and not.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

In Jeopardy

So this week we had the French Soccer team self destructing, embarrassing not only themselves but their coaches and their country, being sent home 3rd class and becoming the laughing stock of the World Cup.

Then we had a certain General dis his Commander and Chief in a Rolling Stone Magazine interview (who does that anyway? Oh yeah the likes of Lady Gaga and maybe the Dixie Chicks) but anyway, he gets put on a plane too to talk to the Pres and to hear the White House Press Secretary put it, "have the undivided attention of the President".

Gee, and I thought it was bad when any sports owner says a particular coach has his complete support and confidence in his ability to lead the team....

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Small People

So, on the one hand you have BP and their executives, and heck, even the entire oil industry and even the Obama administration that folks are beginning to really hate.










On the other hand, you have these people who, though well intentioned, are going about it all the wrong way.












Here is why.

BP does not make a lot of money off of the individual gas stations. And let me stress "individual" because the retailers are often folks from your neighborhood who depend on the sale of not only the gas but all the impulse necessities that go along with it: like Milk, Donuts, Coffee, Hot Dogs, etc etc...

With these economic hard times, the last thing we need to be doing is putting folks out of a job.

BP makes a lot of money off of the crude oil that it sells. That means they sell the crude oil before if ever reaches the gas pump. In fact, you could buy BP crude oil by products from most any other retailers (not just gas station) in most every area of the economy. In fact it could show up in just about any petroleum based product.

Boycotting BP does not really hurt BP nearly as much as it hurts the small people individual people and families in our communities.

So what do we do?

The problem is not just with BP or the Government but with our nations dependency on oil. Period.

A while back I posted this post about seizing the moment to change our energy dependency. Yes, the president mentioned this during his speech the other night but it was a little late.

The plan, everyone needs a plan, should be to ween ourselves off of oil dependency.

Some say do not buy BP stock. Well, that has already happened. BP stock has been cut in half and is still under downward pressure. In fact, whenever they get around to actually stopping the oil leak, I would argue that it is time to buy their stock.

The big question is how low will the stock price go. I think it is probably at a support level now. If it continues downward, look for a 65-70% reduction then beyond that close to 85-90%.

So, how can we make BP pay up and punish them at the same time?

Well, they have already put up $20 Billion dollars worth of their own capital up for compensation. So, we do not want BP to go out of business.

But believe me, if their stock goes down anywhere close to 90% in value, (that would be close to $10 or less in price), I say buy as much as you possibly can. Because when it goes back up, and it will, you can sell that stock you just made a killing on and use the profits to buy an eco-friendly or natural gas car!

Don't worry, by then gas stations will have plenty of options available for fueling or recharging cars.

Read more...
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