Fantasy Football Boom or Bust: Week 13

Even though Ellington has struggled in recent weeks, he should used heavily by Arizona in week 13
Though Ellington has struggled in recent weeks, he should be used heavily by Arizona in week 13

This is my favorite week of the year. There are endless amounts of food, some great games, no more bye weeks and major playoff implications (both real and fantasy)! To make things even better there are four games featuring many of the top fantasy players that are lining up to be shootouts. The games I am talking about are the Bears/Lions, Cowboys/Eagles, Saints/Steelers and Patriots/Packers. If only given these eight teams you could make multiple solid fantasy squads. When it’s all said and done I think we are in for a week where we see huge fantasy numbers and some very full stomachs. Before we dive into my picks for week 13 let’s see how I did last week.

I posted a solid 9-5-3 record in week 12 with McCoy, Steve Smith, and the Colts defense highlighting my boom picks. Even though Roddy White and Kenny Stills didn’t have “boom” games they were very solid contributors, hauling in 9 and 8 catches for 96 and 98 yards respectively. I was expecting big things from Jay Cutler against the Bucs, but was disappointed when he put up a dismal 130 yards passing with only one touchdown. Denard Robinson was another guy who had a great matchup but was very limited on the ground and had another early fumble. I was almost perfect on the bust side of things last week. Stafford, Ingram, Hopkins, Gates, Tamme, and the Lions D all had awful performances. The only player that I missed on was Golden Tate. Although I wouldn’t say he was a bust, Tate was shut down after the 1st quarter. Like I predicted, Revis followed him all day while Browner and a safety double-teamed Megatron. Tate was still able to break 100 total yards, but I am going to give myself a pat on the back for predicting the Patriot’s gameplan. I am done living in the past. Let’s lace ’em up and get ready for this week’s slate!

Boom:

Ryan Tannehill: I love me a some Tannehill this week. He has looked like a top-ten QB the last few weeks, producing 10 touchdowns to only four turnovers over his last four games. If he can go for 240 yards and 4 touchdowns against the Broncos I see no reason why he can’t do the same against the Jets. Gang green has allowed 2+ passing touchdowns in 10 of 11 games this year.

Andre Ellington: Ellington has rushed for 23, 42, 24 yards and just one touchdown in his last 3 games. With those stats I would normally tell you to stay away from the Cardinal, but he has a very favorable matchup this week against the Falcons. Atlanta is the league’s second worst run defense, giving up 14 touchdowns on the ground. The Cardinal’s offense has struggled since losing Carson Palmer so look for them to lean on Ellington quite a bit.

Tre Mason: Gut call here. Mason has established himself as the lead back in the St. Louis. In 4 very tough matchups against San Fransisco, Denver, Arizona and San Diego, Mason has averaged 87 total yards per game. With the Raiders surrendering an average of 126 rush yards per game, I feel that Mason is primed to break a big run and get into the end zone for the second time this year.

Odell Beckham Jr.: ODB should be a must start on any roster. He is averaging 8 catches for 126 yards over the last four games. Don’t let him being a bit banged up deter you from starting him against the Jags.

Martavis Bryant: I’ve been big on Saints’ shutdown corner Keenan Lewis all year and the other New Orleans corners are awful. While watching Monday night’s game I saw Baltimore’s two Smiths combine for ten catches and 187 yards and none of those catches occurred when Lewis was the man in coverage. Watch for the Saints to give a lot of attention to Antonio Brown as well as putting 8 in the box to stop Le’Veon Bell.

Travis Kelce: Living in Denver I know the Broncos don’t have anyone that can cover him. In their first meeting, Kelce had 4 receptions for 81 yards. The Broncos struggle covering big, athletic tight ends like Gronk, Gates, and Dwayne Allen who have combined for 4 scores this year. If the Chiefs fall behind and have to start passing, Kelce is their number-one option

Colts D/ST: The Redskins have allowed 5+ sacks in each of their last three games. The Colts offense is far superior to the Redskins defense and should give their own defense an early lead and many opportunities to get sacks, cause turnovers and fluster Colt McCoy.

Bust:

Matt Ryan: Matty Ice has been the most consistent quarterback which is great if you are cool with 10-15 points per week. He has thrown multiple touchdowns in only 5 games this year and hasn’t had a 300 yard performance since week 5. It will be tough sledding this week against the Cardinals who blitz more than any other team. The Cardinals have allowed only 5 passing touchdowns in their last 6 games which doesn’t bode well for Ryan and his shaky offensive line.

Ryan Mathews: I love how Mathews looked last week and love him for the playoffs, but this week he faces the best run defense in the league. The Ravens have held teams to 3 rushing touchdowns all year and haven’t surrendered one at home. Don’t expect Mathews to rush for a lot of yards either as the Ravens have only allowed one team to run for 100 yards and that was the Colts way back in week 5 when they ran for 105.

Patriots running backs: Is it going to be Blount? Is it going to be Gray? Is it going to be Vereen? Or maybe the Pats will decide not to run the ball at all. Vereen has some upside in PPR leagues, but for now this is a situation to avoid.

Mike Evans: Evans has a very tough match up vs the Bengals this week. Oh wait, never mind, Mike Evans scores a touchdown every week regardless who the Bucs are playing.

Julio Jones: I hate that I am going against my own advice to never sit a top-10 receiver, but Patrick Peterson has just been playing too well. Julio has not acted like a top receiver this year either, only having 4 games over 100 yards and scoring in 3. With Matt Ryan under pressure in this game I don’t see Julio winning many of his battles against against Arizona’s star corner.

Heath Miller: As bad as the Saints pass defense has been they have been excellent against tight ends. They have allowed just 3 touchdowns to the position in 2014. Miller has become, at best, Big Ben’s fourth option on offense. He has only had more than 50 yards in a game twice all year.

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/ykU7MW

Check out FantasyRundown.com for all of our latest articles and other great fantasy content.

Payton is the newest fantasy football contributor to The Sports Script. Be on the lookout for more of his work in the coming weeks and follow him on Twitter @PaySand!

Transaction Scripts: Ernesto Frieri to Tampa Bay

Can Frieri find the force and a consistent second pitch in Tampa Bay?
Can Frieri find the force and a consistent second pitch in Tampa Bay?

Pressing the rewind button and looking at the Tampa Bay Rays signing of reliever Fernando Rodney in 2012 makes for a very interesting comparison, even if only two years later. Rodney’s signing was virtually ignored for fantasy purposes due to his horrid 2011 season in which his ERA was a robust four and half in only thirty-two innings pitched. While I will never say that history has the chance to repeat itself, it is hard to ignore the irony in Ernesto Frieri signing an 800 thousand dollar contract with the Rays for 2015 with a chance to earn 2.35 million more in incentives if he closes games. As much as I think that Jake McGee can handle closing full time, there are no guarantees how a new manager will structure the bullpen. Even with the late-season emergence of Brad Boxberger, this is a small chance to take when closers like David Robertson are turning down big contracts. Take a look at Fernando Rodney and Ernesto Frieri’s years prior to signing with Tampa Bay:

Fernando Rodney 2011: 3 W, 3 Saves, 39 G, 32 IP, 7.3 K/9, 4.50 ERA, 4.71 FIP, 5.09 xFIP, 1.69 WHIP
Ernesto Frieri 2014:
1 W, 11 Saves, 48 G, 41.2 IP, 10.4 K/9, 7.34 ERA, 5.41 FIP, 3.67 xFIP, 1.46 WHIP

Although Frieri was terrible in 2014, he had a higher K/9 and lower xFIP (expected fielders independent pitching) and WHIP than Rodney during his fall from closer to being released by the Pirates. Looking at his velocities there are no major changes in any of his pitches, though in 2013 Frieri used his cutter 10% of the time whereas in 2014 he only threw it at an 8% clip. Frieri did experiment with a slider last season, throwing it 16% of the time after not throwing any in 2013 as he searched to find a consistent second pitch to compliment his fastball. On a brighter note, Frieri threw his fastball just under 95 MPH (94.98 2013, 94.8 2014) over the last two years. What he lacks that Rodney does possess is a second pitch. Rodney has an 83 MPH changeup to compliment his fastball and sinker that average around 96 MPH.

When Rodney first arrived in Tampa I remember reading about how they moved where he stood on the pitching rubber to make his fastball more effective. Using the home ballpark to his advantage, Rodney went from throwing his fastball 32% of the time in 2011 to only 7% in 2012 going primarily with his sinker (55%) and changeup (37%). Over the last three seasons Frieri has tried to use a slider, cutter and changeup but none of the three have become strong second options for him. What is encouraging however is that even though Frieri only threw 8 cutters in 2014, opponents did not record a hit. I know, small sample size especially when hitters averaged .375 versus his cutter in 2013, but it is a start. It is difficult to give up on a pitcher that can use his fastball as a weapon. Because Frieri’s fastball can create run and backspin, he can be successful with just one secondary pitch. The key is discovering what that pitch will be. Here is a blind resume for the last three years:

Pitcher A: 8 W, 71 Saves, 182 G, 176.1 IP, 12.5 K/9, 4.08 ERA, 4.07 FIP, 3.48 xFIP, 1.20 WHIP
Pitcher B: 4 W, 48 Saves, 165 G, 168.1 IP, 11.8 K/9, 2.89 ERA, 2.52 FIP, 3.02 xFIP, 1.21 WHIP

In 2014, pitcher B threw his 98 MPH fastball 79% of the time, his 88 MPH changeup 13% of the time and his curveball only 5%. Because he could locate his fastball to generate outs he was successful, though there were bumps in the road. Pitcher A has a higher K/9 and lower WHIP even with the disparity between his ERA and FIP. The xFIP paints a closer picture with pitcher A’s being at 3.48 and pitcher B’s at 3.02. However, in drafts last year pitcher B would have cost your team an average pick at spot 80 as the fifth closer taken. Pitcher B resides in St. Louis and is Trevor Rosenthal, while pitcher A is Ernesto Frieri. In no way am I saying that Frieri is in the same realm as Trevor Rosenthal as a closer but the numbers blindly paint an intriguing image. Rosenthal is only 24 years old and entering his prime but he had his bumps in the road as the Cardinal closer in 2014. I am not fully endorsing Frieri, I just think he should be an endgame consideration for AL-only managers.

I love a closer with a sense of humor and WHIP's under 1 Boxberger 0.84 and McGee 0.90 in 2014
I love a closer with a sense of humor and WHIP’s under 1

What may make Frieri’s path to closing more difficult than Rodney’s are the emerging arms at the back end of Tampa’s bullpen. Jake McGee and Brad Boxberger are two talented relief pitchers coming off very strong campaigns. Even though McGee features mainly his fastball (96% of the time at 97 MPH) he was able to hold hitters to a .180 batting average against. Boxberger is a more two-pitch reliever, using his 94 MPH fastball 62% of the time and mixing in his 81 MPH changeup at 31% with an occasional slider. Hitters batted .088 against Boxberger’s fastball and .267 versus his changeup. The Frieri signing is curious because McGee has been dominant over the last three seasons:

Jake McGee last 3 years: 15 W, 20 Saves, 213 G, 189.1 IP, 11.3 K/9, 2.61 ERA, 2.31 FIP, 2.68 xFIP, 0.96 WHIP

If McGee is going to get a chance to close, the emergence of Jeff Beliveau will be key as he can fill the role of the left-handed matchup artist to bridge to McGee in the 9th. However, this could be closer by committee type pen that strictly plays matchups, similar to how Joe Maddon used it last season. Because of the core of talent that the Rays possess, it will be very difficult to predict the roles of Frieri, McGee and Boxberger moving forward. While many teams like Detroit would kill for this level of depth in their bullpen, the Rays will not only have flexibility but as many as three pitchers capable of closing effectively.

Jake McGee 2014: 5 W, 19 Saves, 73 G, 71.1 IP, 11.4 K/9, 1.89 ERA, 1.73 FIP, 2.58 xFIP, 0.90 WHIP
Brad Boxberger 2014:
5 W, 2 Saves, 63 G, 64.2 IP, 14.5 K/9, 2.37 ERA, 2.84 FIP, 1.95 xFIP, 0.84 WHIP

With a burgeoning young staff and a very deep bullpen, it will be interesting to see how Tampa Bay rounds out it’s roster. Be attentive to the Spring Training ramblings and take note if Ernesto Frieri is learning a new pitch or adjusting his position on the pitching rubber. Burn us once Tampa Bay you might, but if Frieri becomes the closer again, you will not burn us twice.

Statistical credits: Baseball-Reference.com, Fangraphs.com, BrooksBaseball.net
Photo cred: http://goo.gl/alb5z8 (Frieri), http://goo.gl/hMxuFH (Boxberger and McGee)

Check out FantasyRundown.com for all of our latest articles and other great fantasy content.

Greg Jewett is The Sports Script’s senior fantasy baseball writer. Follow him on Twitter @gjewett9!

Transaction Scripts: Josh Donaldson to Toronto

Bringer of Rain Donaldson may make it rain 30 times or more in Toronto
Donaldson may make it rain 30+ times next year in Toronto

One day after Thanksgiving the Athletics seemed to still be in a giving mood. In a surprise move, the A’s shipped All-Star third baseman Josh Donaldson to Toronto for Brett Lawrie, Minor League pitchers Sean Nolin, Kendall Graveman and infielder Franklin Barreto. This trade probably tells us that Billy Beane is far from done and more moves could be on the horizon. A full rebuild perhaps? For Toronto, this trade meant moving two of their best Minor League pitching prospects who are almost big league ready. The transition to Oakland certainly enhances their respective outlooks. For Donaldson, this has to boost his fantasy value, as he moves from Oakland’s 21st ranked park in terms of homer effect to Toronto’s 3rd ranked stadium. After improving from 24 dingers in 2013 to 29 a year ago, 30+ certainly seems like a good bet for the slugger in 2015.

The hardest thing to figure out is why is Oakland was willing to take on the Brett Lawrie experience. Not only has Lawrie been a fantasy tease the last couple of seasons, but he has a hard time staying healthy. Although, I can understand taking a chance on a guy when his value is at it’s lowest. Remember, Oakland has helped turn around the careers of players like Donaldson and Brandon Moss. With the acquisition of two almost-ready Minor League pitchers whose profiles fit the strengths of Oakland’s park, there have to be more deals coming. This seems like a calculated risk for Oakland, who, after going for it all in 2014 is retooling for another run in the future. This is punctuated by this tweet:

Toronto has now signed Russell Martin to a lucrative deal and shipped some of their more desirable young arms for Donaldson, signaling to the rest of the AL East that they plan to play for a division title.

Josh Donaldson to Toronto:

After dealing with the on-again-off-again shenanigans at third base the last two years, the Blue Jays have found consistency, and his name is Josh Donaldson. Brett Lawrie has played 302 games over the last three seasons but in Donaldson’s first two full seasons in the majors he has played 158 each year or 14 more games than Lawrie in one less season. Not only that, Donaldson has hit 53 home runs over the last two years and driven in an average of 96 runs. Here are his stats averaged out for the last two seasons:

Josh Donaldson last 2 year avg: 158 G, 91 R, 27 HR, 96 RBI, 6 SB .277/.362/.470

Donaldson’s batting average dropped from .301 in 2012 to .255 in 2013, but his underlying stats suggest this can be due to a bit of bad luck. Although his line drive rate fell from 20.6% in 2013 to 13.5% in 2014, he lowered his O-swing and O-contact, which are good signs. I don’t think Donaldson is a .300 hitter, but if we average out his slash lines from the last two seasons I think we can come up with a good idea of who he is. What fake gamers really want to know though is whether the move will help Donaldson evolve into one of the game’s elite power hitters. Last season, Donaldson’s average home run distance was 398.1 feet, with balls leaving the bat at 104.6 MPH.

For a sneak peak, here are his 2014 homers with an overlay of the Rogers Centre:

donaldson overlay torontoAlso, even with the drop in batting average in 2014, his home run and RBI totals increased, and his zone profile courtesy of BrooksBaseball.net shows the devastating power he has on inside pitches:

donaldson zone profile sluggingWith third base being a position in flux, Josh Donaldson’s move will only enhance his value, but will the price be too high? This past season, Donaldson was the seventh third baseman off the board at pick 65.4 according to FantasyPros.com. I have to estimate that Donaldson’s power numbers will climb into the 32-35 range on the move to Toronto. Not only that, his defense will be a welcome change for young starters like Marcus Stroman along with the addition of Russell Martin.

Lawrie and three minor leaguers to the Athletics:

One of the funnier tweets I read referenced that Billy Beane has obviously not owned Brett Lawrie on a fantasy team. It’s true. After his breakthrough performance in 2012 he has been riddled with injuries and inconsistencies throughout his young career. But it bears repeating that Lawrie is only 24 years old. He has been beyond frustrating to own in fantasy, but when he is healthy and hot, he puts up stats. However, as his average season over the last three years suggests, those times are few and far between:

Brett Lawrie last 3 year avg: 100 G, 47 R, 11 HR, 44 RBI, 7 SB .260/.316/.405

I find it hard to say that now is the time to divorce Lawrie in fantasy, but it will be hard to invest in him for more than a cheap middle infielder. Until he can prove he can stay healthy I don’t think he is a mixed league player, especially with the move to Oakland. Over the last three years Lawrie has seen his line drive percentage, batting average and on base percentages drop and his swinging strike rate rise. Not the recipe for success. The only silver lining was his HR/FB%, which increased in 2014 but that is mitigated by his new ballpark. Some may find success in buying low on Lawrie and I will applaud them if they do. For myself though, I will have him on my no draft list.

Sean Nolin and Kendall Graveman prospects rise:

Sean Nolin and his plus changeup move to Oakland
Sean Nolin and his plus changeup move to Oakland

On the opposite end of the spectrum, young pitchers Sean Nolin and Kendall Graveman see their fantasy values rise with the trade to Oakland. With the Athletics ballpark being a renowned pitcher’s ballpark with plenty of foul territory, what is not to like?

Sean Nolin is a 6’5” lefty who is only 24 and though his 2014 was disappointing, he got extra work in during the Arizona Fall League and fared well. He features a 92 MPH fastball, an 83 MPH slider, an 81 MPH curveball, and his best pitch, the 75 MPH change piece. It’s deceptive with his motion and has good sink. His arsenal will be a key to his success as his fastball is enhanced by the changeup. Here are his Minor League stats in 2014 across three levels. However, he did have a groin injury during the season:

Sean Nolin Minor League 2014: 4 W, 20 GS, 97 IP, 88/39 K/BB, 3.43 ERA, 1.22 WHIP

What may have caught Oakland’s scouting eye was his performance in Arizona during the Fall League. He was able to win two games and had 24 strikeouts against six walks in 22.1 innings with an ERA of 4.03. Not off the chart, but in a strong hitting environment Nolin did well finishing his season strong. If he had stayed in Toronto, his path to starting may have been blocked this year but there may be opportunity sooner rather than later if Oakland moves a starting pitcher or two as the offseason progresses. Nolin projects to be a solid #3 starter for real life purposes.

As for Kendall Graveman, he discovered a new pitch during the season which propelled him across four levels of the Minor Leagues in the span of five months. In a game at Dunedin early in the year he threw his fastball a bit differently than normal and it handcuffed a left-handed batter. Graveman described it as something different and the ball moved in to lefties and his catcher noticed. What Graveman discovered was a cutter. It was this pitch that took him from an 8th round draft pick out of Mississippi State to Toronto in less than two years. While Graveman is not an overpowering pitcher, his fastball has gained a couple of miles an hour and if he can maintain the control of his cutter, he may be able to cut it (no pun intended) as a starting pitcher in the Major Leagues. Here is his 2014 minor league season:

Kendall Graveman Minor League 2014: 14 W, 27 GS, 167.1 IP, 115/31 K/BB, 1.83 ERA, 1.03 WHIP

Graveman will need to maintain his ground ball rates and have the support of a strong defense since he only averaged about 6.2 K/9 in the minors, but the cutter is the key. According to his former manager and Major League catcher Gary Allenson, Graveman is a “soft-tosser” but offered up this statement:

“A big-league starter? I don’t know.” Allenson said. “He doesn’t light up the radar gun. But he’s got good movement on his fastball, and it’s late movement. You do a game report after he pitches and he’s thrown up 12 or 13 ground balls.”

Whether it was the discovery of the new pitch or his propensity to the ground ball, Oakland sees something to gamble on in Graveman. Savvy AL-only owners may do well to stash him this upcoming season.

Franklin Barreto is a young middle infielder who is described as a “baseball player.” Barreto will be only 19 in February of 2015 so there is time for him to further develop. Oakland is in need of young middle infielders and Barreto is a good prospect for them to get. He has good speed (60-70) on the scouting scales and developing power. In short-A last year his stats were impressive:

Franklin Barreto (A): 73 G, 65 R, 6 HR, 61 RBI, 29 SB .311/.384/.481

There are some who feel he may grow out of shortstop but here is a video of him hitting:

As perplexing of a move for Oakland this is, I guess I can understand it. Josh Donaldson is the big winner here as he not only gets a shiny new ballpark to hit in, but his defense and overall game will be a hit in Toronto and may propel him into the MVP discussion for 2015. Brett Lawrie gets a new chance in Oakland and may be joined soon by Sean Nolin and Kendall Graveman according to Jane Lee:

It is far too early to claim which team won the trade, but it appears the Athletics are going to rebuild going forward. Jeff Samardzija or Scott Kazmir could be on the move next with their replacements arriving from Toronto.

Statistical credits: Baseball-Reference.com, Fangraphs.com, ESPN.com, BrooksBaseball.net, FantasyPros.com
Photo cred: http://goo.gl/2u0ils (Donaldson), http://goo.gl/LSqVeN (Nolin)

Check out FantasyRundown.com for all of our latest articles and other great fantasy content.

Greg Jewett is The Sports Script’s senior fantasy baseball writer. Follow him on Twitter @gjewett9!

Fantasy Profile: Kyle Seager

Seager may sign a 7 year deal for 100 million, why this is a bargain for Seattle and fantasy owner's alike
Seager’s 7-year, 100 million dollar deal spells value for both the Mariners and fantasy owners

While talking to my son the other day I told him a story about how the only day of high school I missed was to sleep overnight to get my Dad tickets to see his favorite artist, Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band. Of course, his first question was “who is Bob Seger?” So I explained, saying that he had no relation to Kyle Seager. My son plays baseball and loves it, but gave me the same look. “Who is Kyle Seager?” Fantasy owners seem to have the same question. The problem here is that Kyle Seager plays in the Great Northwest and is probably still overshadowed by the old guard at his position. Entering 2014 drafts, Seager was the 11th third baseman selected at pick 106, or only 25 spots after Pedro Alvarez. If you were fortunate enough to draft Seager, he rewarded you with a 7th place finish on the ESPN Player Rater.

What Kyle Seager lacks in sexiness, he makes up for in consistency. He has played an average of 158 games per season since 2012, and with all of the inconsistent performers at third base, this is a welcomed trait. Here is the average of his last three seasons:

3 Year Avg: 71 R, 22 HR, 84 RBI, 9 SB .262/.329/.434

Seager made strides last year, especially in his RBI total:

Kyle Seager 2014: 71 R, 25 HR, 96 RBI, 7 SB .268/.334/.454

It’s surprising that he had his best homer total in 2014 considering his home run distance and speed off the bat have trended downward. Here are his first three full seasons according to ESPN’s home run tracker page:

2012: Average standard distance off the bat 400.5 feet, average speed off bat 103.3 MPH
2013: Average standard distance off the bat 385.1 feet, average speed off bat 102.3 MPH
2014: Average standard distance off the bat 382.8 feet, average speed off bat 102 MPH

While the speed off the bat has only seen a slight dip, the distance drop of 18 feet can be a bit concerning. Seager still smacked 25 homers in 2014 and his stats paint the picture of an upward pointing arrow. He just turned 27.

2012: wRC+ 108, HR/FB% 9.8, SwStr% 8.3, OPS .738
2013: wRC+ 115, HR/FB% 9.9, SwStr% 7.2, OPS .764
2014: wRC+ 126, HR/FB% 12.9, SwStr% 6.9, OPS .788

Even though Seager’s average home run distance has dropped, his home run per fly ball percentage has risen over the last 3 seasons. If Seager can push his OPS over .800 he is in line for another career year. If he puts together a year of hitting well on the road and at home, this is easily possible.

Kyle Seager career slash at home: .249/.324/.394
Kyle Seager 2014 slash at home: .300/.370/.523
Kyle Seager career slash on road: .274/.332/.461
Kyle Seager 2014 slash on road: .240/.301/.393

He has been able to hit away from Seattle in his first 2 seasons but struggled on the road last year. His home statistics last year prove he can thrive in a tough ballpark environment. Two things could really allow Seager a real breakout in 2015: hitting well on the road and using left field for more power. Seager has only hit 1 career home run to left field, though he does use that side of the field. First here is his career spray chart:

seager career spray chartAnd his chart from 2014:

seager 2014 spray chartNine of Seager’s 27 doubles were to left or left-center and so were two of his four triples. To avoid a shift and push his home run total toward 30, Seager will need to use the opposite field for power. His zone profile suggests this is possible. Here is his career slugging zone profile:
Seager career slugging zone profileThen his profile from 2014:

seager 2014 slugging zone profileOn pitches middle and away Seager slugged .552 last year. On offerings in the top third of the strike zone and outside he slugged .429. It appears that Seager is on the cusp of a small but profitable breakout. Seattle acquiring another viable power bat would really cement this. Although he hit .293/.356/.503 in 40 games as the cleanup hitter, how nice would a right-handed power bat look between he and Robinson Cano? It appears that the Mariners are trying to make this happen and if it does this should move Seager up in preseason rankings. I definitely see Seager as a top-five option at third base and will be taking him over the likes of Evan Longoria, David Wright and Josh Donaldson moving forward. While Pablo Sandoval will be getting all the hype moving to Boston, Seager keeps doing his thing in gloomy Seattle. To this day, sharing that concert with my Dad was a top-five show for me as I got him seats in tenth row center. Maybe after reading about Kyle Seager some of you will accompany me on his bandwagon. Seattle will be doing well to lock him up for 2 more years than Panda for the same price. Get your tickets in 2015, this may be the last time to get Seager this cheap.

Statistical credits: Baseball-Reference.com, Fangraphs.com, ESPN.com, BrooksBaseball.net
Photo cred: http://goo.gl/vXJszq

Check out FantasyRundown.com for all of our latest articles and other great fantasy content.

Greg Jewett is The Sports Script’s senior fantasy baseball writer. Follow him on Twitter @gjewett9!

Transaction Scripts: Yasmani Tomas to Arizona

Yasmani TomasJesse Sanchez of MLB.com has reported that Yasmani Tomas has accepted a 6-year, 68.5 million dollar offer to sign as an international free agent with the Diamondbacks. His power is off the charts, but his approach may be the topic of discussion moving forward. Hitting in Arizona should only enhance his fantasy value.

As former scout Bernie Pleskoff points out, this gives the Diamondback options to change their roster moving forward. They have a mix of outfielders and middle infielders with many teams searching for a shortstop to address their pitching needs.

As for Tomas, his power is a 70 out of 80 on the grading scale. Some scouts feel his swing is long but I would be more concerned about the presence of the uppercut in this home run:

Tomas also struggled against breaking pitches during the World Baseball Classic, so adjusting to Major League pitching may be a bit of a struggle for him. There’s no doubt that he will run into some fastballs and hit them a long way, however. Trusting his stats from the last three seasons in Cuba will be tough, especially considering his 2014 was cut short due to injury. Regardless, here are his numbers:

2011 – 2012: 240 PA, 36 R, 16 HR, 42 RBI, 4 SB .301/.340/.580
2012 – 2013:
342 PA, 45 R, 15 HR, 70 RBI, 1 SB .289/.364/.538
2013 – 2014:
257 PA, 28 R, 6 HR, 35 RBI, 6 SB .290/.346/.450

Although his home run totals dropped, he does posses immense power. He homers about once every 22 plate appearances but ballpark effects in Cuba are hard to gauge. For comparison’s sake, here are some number of other recent Cuban Major Leaguers:

Yasmani Tomas: 821 PA, .293/.350/.523, OPS+ 134
Jose Abreu:
1015 PA, .356/.478/.681, OPS+ 180
Yoenis Cespedes:
1190 PA, .303/.384/.564, OPS+ 138
Alex Guerrero:
1009 PA, .327/.405/.578, OPS+ 129
Rusney Castillo:
556 PA, .322/.369/.518

Based on the data, Tomas probably compares the closest to Yoenis Cespedes. Though they are built differently, their slash lines and OPS+ are relatively close. The stats above underscore just how good Jose Abreu was in Cuba. For reference, Cespedes was 26 when he made his Major League debut for Oakland and Tomas just turned 24. But Cespedes’ rookie season looked like this:

Yoenis Cespedes 2012: 129 G, 70 R, 23 HR, 82 RBI, 16 SB .292/.356/.505 OPS+ 139

Cespedes was able to keep his slash lines close while improving his OPS+ by 1 with Oakland in his first season. With 3 extra years of experience but a much lower rated ballpark effect in Oakland, I would use Cespedes’ rookie year as the top of any projection for Tomas but would not recommend planning on it. Rather, I could see a slash line more like .245/.335/.485 for his rookie year with 20 to 25 home runs as he adjusts to life in the American Major Leagues. That is nothing to ignore at a time when power hitting corner outfielders are at a premium. I am willing to adjust my projections during the spring after we can get a look at how healthy his wrist is. If Tomas can hit the breaking ball he will be a great source of power as soon as 2015, just do not use Abreu as a guide. Pay for the power and be pleasantly surprised if he can hit .260 or higher.

Statistical credits: Obstructedview.net, Baseball-Reference.com, MLB.com
Photo cred: http://goo.gl/uhaH8A

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Greg Jewett is The Sports Script’s senior fantasy baseball writer. Follow him on Twitter @gjewett9!

Eight In The Box: IDP Waiver Wire Week 13

Jared Allen
Jared Allen is going to eat on Thanksgiving, you can book it

I have been working on going through my predictions for the year to see how good (or bad) I have been doing. I have completed the results from my recommendations since I have been on the Fantasy Forecaster podcast beginning in week 8.  Rather than include everything I have recommended, I will begin to include the previous week’s results as well as the summary stats for the year.

Since there are so many scoring systems I will use a threshold of 5 solo tackles or 10 combined tackles. Above that for starts or below that for sits will count as a “win.” In addition, if I recommend a player as a start and they get a sack or interception that will also be counted as a win regardless of the tackle numbers.

By the end of the season I will go through all of these columns and compile those results as well. Although, these are more difficult to decide if they are wins or losses because many of the recommendations may be to monitor or pick up as a speculative add. Those are difficult to quantify as wins or losses so I will make a judgment call.

Week 12 results from the podcast:

Player Stats Start/Sit Result Type
Avery Williamson 5/1/0 start Y IDP
Aldon Smith 3/0/2 start Y IDP
Carlos Dunlap 3/2/1 start Y IDP
Jared Allen 2/0/0 start N IDP
Keenan Robinson 7/1/0 start Y IDP
CJ Mosely 9/0/1 start Y IDP
Cameron Wake 3/0/0 sit Y IDP
Terrell Suggs 4/2/1 sit N IDP
Jerrell Freeman 5/4/.5 sit N IDP
Mychal Kendricks 7/0/0 sit N IDP
Eddie Lacy 25-125; 2-13; 2 TD start Y Offense
Jay Cutler 130 yds, 1 TD start N Offense
Theo Riddick 2-12; 3-40 sit Y Offense

Week 12: 8-5 (62% success)

Season (since week 8): 42-16 (72% success)

*IDP stats are listed as: solos/assists/sacks; PD = pass defensed, FR = fumble recover, INT = interception

Week 12 Results from this column:

Player Stats Start/Sit Result Type
Clinton McDonald 2/0/1/FR Start Y IDP
Mario Williams 3/0/2 Start Y IDP
Rob Ninkovich 1/0/1 Start Y IDP
Robert Quinn 0/0/0/1 PD Start N IDP
Aldon Smith 3/0/2 Start Y IDP
Jamie Collins 2/2/0 Start N IDP
Dont’a Hightower 5/3/0 Start Y IDP
Justin Houston 4/0/1 Start Y IDP
Reshad Jones 2/0/2 Start N IDP
Ha Ha Clinton Dix 7/2/0/1 PD Start Y IDP
Michael Griffin 11/1/0 Start Y IDP

Week 12: 8-3 (73% success)

Season: Still compiling

I am open to suggestions. If there is anything you want clarified or think my thresholds are wrong please let me know. Any input is appreciated. On to this week’s information:

IDP Injuries of note:

  • Brodrick Bunkley (NO DT): Bunkley is thought to have torn his quad in the game on Monday Night. This will most likely end his season. It isn’t a big blow to any IDP squad as he wasn’t putting up good fantasy numbers anyway. However, the Saints run defense will take a big hit as he occupied a lot of blockers in the middle of the defense.
  • Lance Briggs (CHI LB): This has been a very frustrating year for Mr. Briggs. He missed a bunch of time early due to a rib injury and now it looks like he will be on the shelf again with a groin issue. He is safe to drop at this point as he will most likely miss several weeks.
  • NaVorro Bowman (SF LB): Bowman was thought to begin practicing each of the last couple weeks but it hasn’t actually happened. He will miss this week as well. At this point in the season he should be dropped if you were holding out hope.
  • Jarvis Jones (PIT LB): Jones is still on the IR-designated to return but he is nearing a return. It appears he will miss out on this week’s game but could return in a 2-3 weeks. He is nothing more than a big play scoring league speculative add and dynasty hold right now.
  • Ryan Shazier (PIT LB): Shazier may see the field again this week. He is likely to play but I wouldn’t start him. Let’s see if he can make it through a game first. He has had a highly disappointing first year but is a nice buy-low candidate in dynasty leagues if his owner is playing for this year or is just frustrated with the injuries.
  • Troy Polamalu (PIT DB): Let’s just stick in Pittsburgh. Troy is supposed to return to the field this week after the sprained knee he suffered several weeks ago. This will be a boost to their defense but probably not worth your time in the IDP world. Wait and see how this week goes before making any moves.
  • Ike Taylor (PIT DB): It is a wonder the Steelers could field a defense with all the players in this section. Taylor is set to return from his broken forearm this week. He might be a sneaky play against the Saints but is not typically a strong IDP candidate.
  • Kyle Fuller (CHI DB): Finally, a non-Steeler. Fuller sprained his knee last week and isn’t expected to play on Thanksgiving against the Lions. He is a hold in corner-required leagues but he can otherwise be kicked to the curb.
  • Tashaun Gipson (CLE DB): Gipson tore his MCL and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks. You can drop him in redraft leagues.
  • Eric Berry (KC DB): Berry has been placed on the non-football injury list and is out for the rest of the year. In case you haven’t heard, the found a mass in his chest and believe he has lymphoma. This is a really unfortunate situation and everyone is hoping for the best. Get well Mr. Berry.

Who to use (or not):

DL:

  • Cameron Wake (MIA DL): Wake has a dreamy matchup against the Jets on Monday night. He has been very consistent over the last few weeks with 6.5 sacks since week 6. The Jets give up sacks on about 7% of their drop backs so this is a nice opportunity for him to pick up another sack or two.
  • Jared Allen (CHI DL): Allen is facing the Lions on Thanksgiving, and I think he eats. The Lions have given up a league-leading 33 sacks on the year and Allen will be very hungry.
  • Everson Griffen (MIN DL): Griffen is facing a Panther team that gives up sacks at almost 8% of their drop backs. That is good for the 6th worst in the league. He is having a solid year with 9 sacks but is on a two-game drought. I expect that to change in week 13.

LB:

  • Jelani Jenkins (MIA LB): Coming off a game where he put up 9 solos and had a sack he is in good position to have another solid tilt against the Jets. The Jets are middle of the pack when it comes to tackle opportunities so I think Jenkins gets his share this week.
  • Mychal Kendricks (PHI LB): Last week I recommended sitting Kendricks on the podcast. I learned my lesson. Kendricks is a must start LB1 and going against Dallas I expect him to put up double-digit tackles.
  • Von Miller (DEN LB): Miller is a strong play in any big play scoring system. He has 9.5 sacks on the year but only 1 over the last 4 games. He gets Kansas City this week who are 5th worst in the NFL in sack percentage allowed at almost 8%. A big game could be coming for Miller on Sunday night.

DB:

  • Ha Ha Clinton Dix (GB DB): Ha Ha continues to rack up the tackles and should get plenty of opportunities this week against New England. Double-digit tackles are coming his way.
  • Barry Church (DAL DB): Church gets the high volume Eagles on Thanksgiving. Play any good tackling safety against Philly and you will be rewarded.
  • James Ihedigbo (DET DB): Coming off a 9-solo game against the Patriots, I expect something similar this week against the Bears. I don’t think the Bears will have much of a running game and Cutler will be slinging it. Ihedigbo should continue his solid tackle numbers in this one.

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/4z1WXZ

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Shane Gallimore is a fantasy football contributor and co-host of the live Sunday edition of The Fantasy Forecaster for The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @Gally4!

Waiver Wire Wizardry: Pickups for Week 13

The final week of the regular season for standard leaguers is upon us. Check your waiver wire to see if any of these players are available and good luck in week 13!

Quarterback:

Ryan Tannehill (66% Y!): After the Broncos lost in stunning fashion to St. Louis last weekend, Miami almost handed Denver a second straight defeat, as the Broncos narrowly won in an offensive showdown. The main reasons Miami nearly upset the Broncos was because of Ryan Tannehill’s play, as he produced 4 touchdowns; 3 through the air and 1 on the ground. Tannehill has been terrific over the past 4 games for the Dolphins, with 10 touchdowns to only 2 picks. He’s made a solid connection with rookie wide receiver Jarvis Landry (see below) and has a terrific matchup this week against the dreadful Jets’ secondary. He is a low-end QB1 that could really help you if you’re on the cusp of a fantasy playoff appearance.

Running Back:

Murray
Is there finally a member of the Raiders worth using in fantasy circles?

Latavius Murray (24% Y!): This man set the world on fire last Thursday, rushing 4 times for 112 yards and 2 scores in only one half of football. He went down with a concussion, but it was a Thursday night game and this is Murray’s first ever concussion. He should have no problem getting cleared by Friday and will likely be ready to go against a putrid Rams defense. Head coach Tony Sporano indicated that after this performance, Murray would be granted even more work. He’s got a very high ceiling and could even wind up in the low-end RB2 discussion.

LaGarrette Blount (30% Y!): What a turn of events for Blount over the last 10 days. He was released by the Steelers early last week, only to sign on with New England (the team he played for in 2013) to a 2-year deal. Blount was only expected to be a change of pace back, but with Jonas Gray foolishly oversleeping and missing practice, the keys to the run game were handed over to LaGarrette. He stepped into a familiar offense and showed the same tough running skills that made him so popular with the New England coaching staff a season ago. Gray did not even receive a carry and may be in the doghouse for good, leaving Blount as the primary rusher with Shane Vereen as the main pass catcher. Blount had 2 rushing scores on Sunday aganst a very tough Lions defense and should be considered a low-end RB2 this week.

Wide Receiver:

Jarvis Landry (21% Y!): The “other” LSU rookie wideout (opposite to Odell Beckham Jr.) makes his debut on this list after putting together a string of 4 solid performances. Quickly emerging as Ryan Tannehill’s favorite target, Landry has at least 5 catches in the past 4 games. Further, he’s scores 4 times and has at least 46 yards receiving in each game during that span. He’s putting up solid numbers and is coming off of a 2-touchdown game against Denver on Sunday. In leagues that award extra points for return yards, he’s even more valuable. Landry is a mid-tier WR3 and a low-end WR2 in PPR leagues, thanks to ability to play in the slot.

Kenny Stills (34% Y!): While every other fantasy football writer was predicting Marques Colston to see a big boost in production in the wake of Brandin Cooks’ season ending thumb/hand injury, this guy (points at self) predicted Kenny Stills to see an uptick in production. Stills set a career high in targets (9) and catches (8) in only the first game since Cooks went down. Stills’ uptick in targets along with a terrific rest-of-season schedule make him a receiver to snatch up now and utilize as a higher-end WR3.

Charles Johnson (2% Y!): Johnson began the season as somewhat of a sleeper. He was waived early on by the Browns and was subsequently picked up by the Vikings. Over the past 2 weeks, it seems as though Johnson has emerged as Teddy Bridgewater’s favorite target. During this span, he’s hauled in 9 (18 targets) passes for 139 yards while finding pay dirt once. With Minnesota’s other aerial threats being next to invisible (I’m looking at you, Cordarrelle), Johnson is in a great position to produce. Unfortunately, we have to temper our expectations for him right now and make him a high-end WR4. However, Johnson has a very high ceiling and another great performance could elevate him to WR3 status.

Tight End:

Tim Wright (15% Y!): The man that was supposed to take over for Aaron Hernandez in New England had not really been used much before Sunday. As Rotoworld points out, Wright had never played more than 21 snaps in a game and all of a sudden played 61 out of 81 snaps against the Lions. He had 5 catches for 36 yards and 2 touchdowns on 6 targets. Now this could be a game-specific explosion, or it could be the start of something and owners shouldn’t hesitate. He’s a high-risk start, but probably needs to be owned in more leagues. The tight end class is crap and we know that. Make it happen.

Kyle Rudolph (47% Y!): When it came to potential breakouts in 2014, Rudolph was one of the more talked about players at the tight end position. He’s disappointed so far, mainly due to a groin injury that kept him inactive for all but 4 games, but he is back on the field and should be ready to produce. He played 61 of 69 snaps on Sunday and had 5 targets as well. He should be seen as a low-end TE1 right now who could strike gold for owners who scoop him up for the fantasy playoffs.

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/pSHmt8

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Doug Moore is a fantasy football contributor at The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @DMM0822!

The Weekly Stream: Defense; Week 13

Josh Huff Kickoff Return
Different week, same result. Yet another touchdown for the Eagles D/ST. Is this unit matchup proof?

The best catch of the week, the year, and maybe the decade (depending who you ask) came in week 12 . Odell Beckham went up and somehow came down with the football, even after being grabbed by the Dallas defender. I have watched the catch on Vine over and over and I still cannot figure out how he caught that ball. After watching him play at LSU and seeing some of his warmup catches before last Sunday’s game, I am not surprised that he would be the one to do such a thing. I was watching the game with my brother and the catch actually made him yell out loud. He stood there in disbelief as we watched the replay over and over and over. Speaking of over and over and over, I have been the advocate for streaming any defense against Jacksonville this year. I have told you over and over and (for the most part) it has worked out in your favor. As we move to week 13, Odell’s New York Giants get to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars. While I do think that the fighting Giants will win this game, I do not believe that the Giants are a good streaming option this year. They are the 30th ranked defense in fantasy and haven’t proven that they can succeed, even when given great opportunity. Before I tell you who I do think will succeed, let’s take a look at how we did last week.

Last Week’s Results:

The Eagles have been the fantasy game’s best defense this year. It’s that simple, and while I am all for streaming a defense, the Eagles have been pretty matchup proof. You can use them on a weekly basis and expect great results. I recommended them last week, and the game started with Philly returning the opening kickoff 109 yards for a touchdown. They also tacked on an interception, two fumble recoveries and five sacks. This performance was good for 16 standard fantasy points. Money. My other recommendation was the Colts. Obviously we’re going to want to use them, they faced Jacksonville! 4 sacks, a fumble recovery and a pick later, the Colts defense did their job. They only gave up a field goal to the lowly Jacksonville offense. Oh, and the Colts get the Redskins at home this week.

Week 13 Targets:

  • Saint Louis Rams: The Rams are not having a very good season. The loss of quarterback Sam Bradford and other injuries on their line have left them struggling to win games. Currently 4-7, the Rams play their best when they play really good teams. 3 of their wins have come against the Broncos, Seahawks and 49ers. This week they get the Oakland Raiders, and while the Chiefs could not get it done against them, the Rams will be ready to play. Oakland is coming off their first win of the year and might not win another game for the rest of the year. The Rams have 4 interceptions in their last 3 games and have averaged 10 fantasy points in the past 4 weeks (41 to be exact). Only 24% owned, the Rams are a great streaming option in week 13.
  • Houston Texans: The Texans have been interesting all year. Their offense has struggled to keep it together, which has caused their defense to have to spend extra time on the field. They have one of, if not the best defensive line in football, and they have risen to the challenge. This week, the Texans have a date with the Tennessee Titans who just allowed 5 sacks in their last game. I expect at least that many for JJ Watt and the Houston defense. I’m not worried about the Titans putting up some points, as the Texans defense has proven valuable even while allowing some touchdowns. Houston is my play of the week, and the defense that I will look to stream going into the most important week of the year before the fantasy playoffs.
  • Indianapolis Colts: I love the Colts this year. Their defense is good, their quarterback is a rising star (maybe you’ve heard of him) and they just play great football. Earlier in this article I showed you how I used the Colts defense last week against the Jaguars and was rewarded for doing so. This week as I mentioned, Washington comes into Indianapolis and I expect much of the same. The Colts have had 5 double-digit fantasy weeks, 4 of them coming at home. Their ownership totals jumped up last week as many streamed them against the Jags but at just over 50% owned, it is worth a shot to see if you can snag them up in your league for the upcoming tilt.

In most leagues this is the final week before the playoffs and many teams need a win. If your defense has a bad matchup or a bad schedule for the playoffs now is the time to kick them to the curb. Allow the other teams in the league to pick up those defenses. Now is the time to play matchups and give yourself the best chance to win before it is too late and you are not even playing next week.

Good luck and happy streaming!

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/SloHxJ

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Jared “Minnesota Nice” Hines is a fantasy football contributor at The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @Jared_Hines27!

Transaction Scripts: HanRam and Panda in Beantown

HanRam bring his high OPS back to where he started in Boston for five years at 90 million dollars.
HanRam bring his high OPS back to where it all began for him

What does $190 million dollars over five years buy nowadays? If you are the Boston Red Sox, it appears that it will be a 28 year old third baseman nicknamed Panda and a 30 year old metrically challenged shortstop prone to injuries and a somewhat mercurial clubhouse personality with great offensive prowess. With conflicting reports swirling this morning, Pablo Sandoval (5 years, 100 million) and Hanley Ramirez (5 years, 90 million) have agreed to contracts with the Red Sox. While nothing is official yet the fantasy ripples of these moves are interesting. Where will Hanley play? Rumor has it that the Sox signed him to play left field. However, he’s only played 10 career games in the outfield and learning the Green Monster is difficult even for good outfielders. Oh yeah, and they also already have Yoenis Cespedes out there. What happens to he and Xander Bogaerts?

It is not a stretch to say that Boston needs to add some pitching for the upcoming season since right now the projected starters are Clay Buchholz, Joe Kelly and Allen Webster along with whoever else they add going forward. Since their farm system is well stocked, it stands to reason that if the Red Sox do not get Jon Lester via free agency, they would be big players in the Cole Hamels trade market along with other pitchers on the block. This is a work in progress to say the least but the Red Sox are positioning themselves for a very eventful winter. As for the players they obtained today, here are their 2014 seasons first:

Pablo Sandoval 2014: 157 G, 68 R, 16 HR, 73 RBI .279/.324/.415
Hanley Ramirez 2014:
128 G, 64 R, 13 HR, 71 RBI, 14 SB .283/.369/.448

Not bad lines to be sure and even though Hanley was limited by injuries, his production in home runs and stolen bases with shortstop eligibility keeps him on our radars. But like Troy Tulowitzki, his inability to stay healthy (124 G average last three years) gives us caution for reaching on HanRam too soon in drafts. As for Pablo Sandoval, his consistency is clouded by the fact that people want him to be a power-hitting third baseman. But since his 2011 season with 23 home runs and a career high 16% HR/FB rate, his three season since have leveled out. He has averaged 14 home runs per year over that span. His HR/FB% the last three years are 9.5, 8.3, 8.6, which are solid but not spectacular. Sandoval’s career HR/FB% is 10.3 and is buoyed by his 2009 and 2011 seasons. With about 38-million per year for the two players combined here are their three year averages to see what the Red Sox are buying:

Pablo Sandoval 3 year average: 135 G, 60 R, 14 HR, 72 RBI .280/.335/.424
Hanley Ramirez 3 year average:
124 G, 68 R, 19 HR, 73 RBI, 15 SB .299/.368/.506

Sandoval's fantasy power numbers should see a jump but do not pay for over 20 HR's
Sandoval’s power numbers should see a jump, but don’t get too excited

Whether you are a Red Sox fan or an interested fantasy owner, the biggest concern here has to be the games played per season for each player. Yes Sandoval’s games played have increased over the last three years while HanRam’s have been a yo-yo but given his propensity to streakiness, how will Panda react to the Boston media surge when he is in the throes of a slump? Ramirez should be more acclimated to the media crush after his time in Los Angeles but Red Sox Nation is nothing if not demanding. What will happen the first time Ramirez doesn’t run a ball out or is pouting about whatever he pouts about? Both players have talent and the ability to thrive in Boston if healthy.

For Sandoval, the Green Monster may become his best friend from both sides of the plate, San Francisco depresses power numbers but this is an area that should increase for Panda moving forward. Here is Sandoval’s slugging zone profile from last year:

sandoval slugging zone profile
A friend of mine asked me to research his home runs from the last three seasons in relation to Fenway and only one of his home runs would have been lost but I venture that he has more to gain in Boston. Here is his home run tracker from last year with the Fenway overlay:
Sandoval 2014
As for Hanley Ramirez, his OPS over the last three years is .874 with Miami and Los Angeles as his home ballparks. The key here is not only keeping Hanley on the field, but keeping him happy. These signings are a clear message to the rest of the American League that Boston is once again going for it in 2015. It should be fun to see what moves come next, not only for Boston but for the rest of the American League, including the East. As for their respective fantasy numbers, both should see bumps in production hitting in a potent Boston lineup. I’d be comfortable paying for a Pablo Sandoval that hits 20 homers and .285+. It’s all about the health with Hanley, when he is on the field he produces at a high level. Averaging 19 homers and 15 steals over the last three seasons in only 124 games Ramirez can be fantasy gold when active. But predicting how many games he will play is the problem. If he can play 130 games this year then Ramirez can be worth the second round price tag. But that value will drop if he loses shortstop eligibility as he moves forward unless his production in Boston across all categories sees a huge jump. Feeling lucky?

Statistical credits: Baseball-Reference.com, ESPN.com, Fangraphs.com, BrooksBaseball.net
Photo cred: http://goo.gl/qPVZex (Ramirez), http://goo.gl/hhYxFA (Sandoval)

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Greg Jewett is The Sports Script’s senior fantasy baseball writer. Follow him on Twitter @gjewett9!