Fake Sports Grudge Match: Football vs. Baseball

The Beginning:

I started playing fantasy baseball 6 years ago. The first league I played in was crazy, 16 different categories in a head-to-head format with 11 other guys. I was in over my head. I wound up finishing in the middle of the pack, but decided that if I wanted to continue to play that I would have to tone it back and learn the basics. I felt like I was trying to jump off the high dive before I even knew how to swim. Over the next couple of years I played in more simplified leagues, which included 10 categories (hits, HR, stolen bases, batting average, RBI, wins, strikeouts, saves, ERA, WHIP). We had 10 different guys in that league and it was a blast. I finally got the concept of how the game was played. The format was weekly, so you set your lineup on Monday and not again until the following week. This is nice for people who work full time, and while at the time I was in high school, many of the other people I played with did not have as much time to spend on it daily. The other interesting thing about that league was that it was an auction league. For those who do not know, auction leagues are set up in such a way that each player is bid on during the draft, and the players are auctioned off. Some owners are aggressive and bid right away, others sit back and grab a ton of above average guys and maybe only have one superstar on their team. Auction leagues give owners a lot of say in who is on their team unlike snake drafts where you might not have the chance at specific players based on your draft order.

For me, the first few years of fantasy baseball were just something to do while I waited for fantasy football to start back up again. I set my lineup on Monday and would check it daily but couldn’t make any changes. I liked the idea of being able to make daily changes and so I asked some buddies who I played fantasy football with if they would want to play fantasy baseball. 10 guys were in and we started creating what the league should look like. We came up with our categories and decided that we all had time to look enough to make daily changes. Once I started playing in leagues where you could make those daily changes, I was hooked.

Fantasy Football:

For those who know me or have read anything I have written since I started at The Sports Script, you know how much I love  fantasy football. I watch every Thursday night game unless something more important keeps me away. Sundays afternoons are usually spent in my basement (I wrote about my sweet setup here). Sunday nights are spent on the treadmill at the gym, where I strategize about what I need to have happen in the Sunday night and Monday night games. On Monday nights I am usually back on the bike to watch the first half before rushing home to catch the second half at my house. While I realized this year that maybe 7 leagues is a few too many, I still had a blast not only writing about fantasy football, but playing it as well. I love the rivalries with friends, I love the trophies and stories you hear on about on Twitter and I love the fact that millions from age 8 to 80 play the game. There are hundreds of different formats and everyone has a favorite player (or least favorite player) based on how they won (or lost) you a fantasy championship over the years. Mine is Matthew Stafford, if you want the story you will have to ask me about it on Twitter. It is one of my favorite stories to tell, even though it ended in tears of sadness and happiness all at the same time. So after all this, how can I tell you that while I like fantasy football, I love fantasy baseball?

Fantasy Baseball:

simpsons-sabermetricsBaseball is truly amazing, and I think that is why the fantasy game is so great. Football gets the ratings, football gets the hype, football rules all other sports when it comes to North American popularity, but football still doesn’t have that simple feel that baseball fans have come to love. Football has so many rules and penalties and changing of players between offense and defense. Have you ever tried to explain football to someone who has never seen the game before? I would rather take Organic Chemistry. Baseball is as simple as you want it to be. 9 positions and 9 hitters per team. The majority of the batters also play out in the field and when they get three outs they get to come to bat. Explaining baseball to someone who hasn’t seen it before is easier than grabbing a second plate of food at a buffet. For those who do not want simplicity, baseball has some of the most advanced stats in any sport that can have you wandering around Baseball Reference for hours. They have stats for a batter’s average when they hit the ball hard. They have a rate to see how often pitchers give up groundballs relative to fly balls. How many times did the pitcher throw a change up on a 0-2 count in the last 30 days? I am sure all you have to do is a little research and you can find pretty much any stat you want on any player. The game can be simple, but it can be advanced and that brings in an audience that is very diverse.

Fantasy baseball reaches those same people by how advanced leagues are. Your league can have 5 categories or 20. Your league can have 4 teams or 25. You can hold a classic snake draft or an auction. You can use keepers from year to year, or you can make each season a new adventure. While you might look at this list and say that fantasy football provides the same array of differences, the best thing about baseball is how many games there are.

162 Games:

The baseball season is long. Longer than most of Kim Kardashian’s marriages, longer than a foot-long hotdog at the ballpark and longer than any other major professional sport. The NHL and NBA each play 82 games and the NFL plays 16 games during their respective regular seasons. For many, 162 games is the reason they don’t play fantasy baseball. Too many games or too long of a season are excuses I have heard for many who have denied my invitations over the years. For some, their love of baseball is trumped by the commitment needed over the course of an entire season. Those individuals may like the weekly game I mentioned earlier. Owners can check it once a day or once a week and the outcome won’t be different because changes cannot be made once the lineup is locked.

For me, the reason I love fantasy baseball is because there are so many games. There are few days between April and August where you will not find live baseball on your television. There are games on when you are at work and days on when you get back home. Your home team might play on a Thursday afternoon and then again Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. Sometimes if you are lucky, your favorite team or players might play twice in one day! You might come home and see that David Wright just hit for the cycle or that Phil Hughes just threw a gem while you were finishing up at the office. Baseball doesn’t take breaks and either do daily fake baseball leagues. Every day you can make moves whether you want to add a hot bat off the waiver wire or pick up a pitcher who is starting.

Skill or (Andrew) Luck:

Take this quick example about fantasy football and how great teams might not make the playoffs. I know you probably don’t care about my team, but hear me out. Week 16 concluded one of my leagues and so I went and looked at the team that I thought was best. My team (at least to me) was stacked. It was headlined by Russell Wilson (QB3), DeMarco Murray (RB1), Le’Veon Bell (RB2), AJ Green (WR21), Julian Edelman (WR17) and Martellus Bennett (TE5). Keep in mind, this is a 10 team league. My final record? 4-9. 4 and 9!

Many times in fantasy football, the team with the best roster does not win. Sometimes they don’t even make the playoffs. Maybe your quarterback has just one bad game in the playoffs and your undefeated team might be out of the running for the championship. I see this a lot less in fantasy baseball, regardless on if you play in weekly leagues or daily leagues. The best overall team over the course of the season usually finds themselves in the playoffs and fighting for a championship (Editor’s note: It’s the sample size, man!). You can build your team around pitching or you can build your team around hitting or you can try to balance them out. Roto has been around forever though, which allows all the teams in the league to compete against one another over the course of the entire season, thus eliminating much of the luck. There’s a good chance some football leagues begin to move this way in the very near future.

fantasy-football-team-embarassesmentFor those who read this article and have read my Weekly Stream column every week, thank you for your continued devotion to my writing. Do not look at this article as a bash on fantasy football because obviously I still have a love for it. What readers should take away from this article is that there are other fantasy sports out there and baseball is one that can not only keep you occupied during the football offseason but also give you a completely different outlook at how you can play fantasy sports. Playing fantasy baseball and playing football are completely different but both provide entertainment, which is the main reason that we play fantasy in the first place.

For newcomers to the game of fantasy baseball, look for an article from me in the next couple of weeks about websites to help you get started with your league. I will also include some stud Twitter follows, and maybe a couple of basic vocabulary words to get you going. Look for continued articles from all of us at TSS. We had some great articles covering the Winter Meetings and will be providing more content as we move on from football. As always thanks for continuing to read and for the good words on social media.

Happy New Year! We’ll see you in 2015.

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/g2byu1, http://goo.gl/PTSPTz

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

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

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The Weekly Stream: Defense; Week 15

Ravens Defense
The Ravens are a lock for double-digit fantasy points in week 15

Tuesday morning I was strolling (Editor’s note: I think he means *trolling*) through my Twitter feed and noticed a trend. There were a lot more pictures then there usually are. Not because the Victoria Secret Fashion Show was the other night, but because a ton of fantasy gamers were posting photos of their playoff matchups. Teams were winning by small margins and bragging about their lineups, or they were showing how close they were to advancing, only to have Aaron Rodgers kneel down on the last play of Monday’s game to cost them a spot in the next round. I looked through my fair share of matchups and noticed that they all had a common theme. One of the teams had a defense that went absolutely crazy.

There were a couple of teams I saw that streamed the Giants defense against Tennessee. An opponent of mine did the same thing, and while it wasn’t the deciding factor in my match, it was hilarious to watch the Giants lead fantasy in defensive scoring in week 14.

Last Week’s Results:

Last week I recommended 3 teams. They included the Texans, Rams and my hometown Vikings. If you decided to trust your playoff matchup with one of these defensive units, you were rewarded with great production. The Rams posted their 2nd-straight shutout while adding in 2 picks, a touchdown and 7 sacks en route to 24 fantasy points. Another team with a great matchup was the Houston Texans. They recorded 4 sacks on their way to a solid 11 fantasy points. The last team I recommended was the Minnesota Vikings. I thought the they had a good chance at keeping Geno and the Jets (you read that line and felt like Elton John, admit it) to a low point total. While they allowed 24 points and had to take the game into OT, the Vikings did pick off Geno once in Sunday’s chilly affair at TCF Bank Stadium. They also recovered a fumble and oh yeah, that interception was returned for  touchdown. Toss in 3 sacks and you have yourself a solid showing; 10 points for the purple people eaters.

Week 15 Targets:

Week 15 will bring along more pictures on social media of fantasy matchups that will end up coming down to the wire. If you survived last week, week 15 is all about putting yourself in the best position to win and get into your championship. Taking chances would not be my advice to you. Play your studs, and look for defenses with good matchups. Let’s not try to get too cute here with the season on the line.

  • Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs defense has not been playing as well as many expected them to coming into this season. A couple of heartbreaking losses have left them befuddled but this is their week to shine. The last time they met Oakland, the Raiders won their first game of the season. An embarrassing loss for the Chiefs to be sure. I look for Kansas City to have a big day in a revenge game.
  • Baltimore Ravens: The season is winding down which means so is my weekly segment of “stream whoever plays Jacksonville.” Let’s not look to the future though, instead, let’s get ready to celebrate a great matchup for week 15. Baltimore’s unit generates the majoroty of points from sacking the opposing quarterback. The Jaguars give up sack after sack on a weekly basis, something that should once again happen on Sunday. Put the two together and you’ve got yourself double-digit fantasy points for the Ravens. Book it!

So where do we go from here? I decided that while most fantasy playoffs end in week 16, I would continue to write this article through the end of the regular season. For the few people who have week 17 matchups, I didn’t want to leave you out in the dust. That leaves us two columns left after this one before I move onto playoff football, as well as some baseball content as well. Good luck to you as you continue your playoff push.

As always, happy streaming!

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

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

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

Ricky’s Week 11 Fantasy 5-Pack; Sleepers

Welcome! I give you 5 guys who I think can give you the best bang for your buck in daily fantasy. I provide one player per position who I think fits the bill that you can use on the cheap to fill your daily rosters (I play on DraftKings and FanDuel, so that’s where my pricing will come from).

QB: Andy Dalton vs. New Orleans Saints (DraftKings $5600, FanDuel $7900): Raise your hand if you have been bitten by the Dalton bug on daily fantasy! Yep, thought so. So why in the world would I trust him this week? Well it’s pretty simple, the matchup is tasty and I think Dalton has a chip on his shoulder. While I don’t think he is a very good real quarterback, i think he’ll do just fine this week. The Saints are terrible against the pass and Cincinatti’s speed will be too much for them on the fast-track. The value is nicer on DK, but his price on FanDuel is decent, too.Steven Jackson

RB: Steven Jackson vs. Carolina Panthers (DraftKings: $4400, FanDuel $6700): This is the steal of the week. He is a bargain-buster on DraftKings and bottom of the barrel on FanDuel. His week 11 matchup is super sexy. The Panthers have given up multiple touchdowns to opposing tailbacks in 4 of the last 5 games. Jackson will enter this game coming off a contest in which he had 81 yards on 16 carries (5.1 YPC). He’s also scored in each of last two games. The Falcons offense rolls much better when they get the running game going early. You would be insane not to have Jackson in your lineup this weekend.

WR: Mohamed Sanu vs. New Orleans Saints (DraftKings $6000, FanDuel $7300): Sanu had his worst output of the season last week against the Browns, catching only 2 passes for 20 yards. However, I like Sanu for the same reasons as Dalton. He has 7 or more targets in 7 straight games and has become a real catalyst in this offense, he is bound to explode in the dome and the Saints will likely focus on shutting down AJ Green this week.

TE: Travis Kelce vs. Seattle Seahawks (DraftKings $4000, FanDuel $5900): I’ll be 100% honest, Gronk will be in all my daily lineups this weekend but if you aren’t looking to pay the price, Kelce is your man. He had a tough week last week against the Bills but has a fantastic matchup against a Seahawks team that has been exposed by tight ends all season.

Defense: Cleveland Browns vs. Houston Texans (DraftKings $3300, FanDuel $5200): This matchup makes way too much sense for me. The Browns are coming off an emotional high beating the division rival Bengals and have a really soft matchup this Sunday against Houston. The Texans will be without Arian Foster and are throwing inexperienced quarterback Ryan Mallett into the fire. Love it.

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/ve5QJn

Ricky is a co-owner and fantasy sports writer at The Sports Script. Follow him on the Twitter machine @rickygangster!

 

The Weekly Stream: Defense; Week 10

Sundays rarely disappoint. Actually, let me rephrase that. Sundays from September to January rarely disappoint. You gather with friends, co-workers, neighbors, family, and fantasy buddies to watch the week’s football games. You might make chili, order pizza or grill burgers while it is still nice out, but once the game starts, everyone hovers around the TV.

Everyone has a different place where they watch football on Sundays. In the basement of my house we have a 70-inch TV that is great for video games, but better for NFL Sundays. Last year we would hook up Sunday Ticket from my computer to the 42-inch TV that sits next to the 70 inch. The quality was bad, if it worked, and it left me without a computer to check throughout the day. Not ideal. This year we decided to invest in another cable box. It works perfectly as the 42-inch TV handles the RedZone channel, while the 70-inch carries the Vikings game or any other game that might be on at that time. We have room to comfortably sit ten. The fridge is always stacked and the bar is always full of food and drinks. It couldn’t get any better.

Last Week’s Results: 

I recommended the Kansas City Chiefs and the hometown Minnesota Vikings. The Chiefs were a bit of a letdown given their matchup. At the end of the day they did only allow the Jets to score 10 points while sacking the carousel of Jets quarterbacks 3 times. That was good enough for 5 standard fantasy points. The Vikings took on Washington at TCF Bank Stadium, in a game that welcomed RGIII back into the fold. The Vikings gave him a nice welcome, taking him down for five sacks and knocking him all over the field. Still, RGIII and Morris lead Washington to 26 points. Overall, the Vikings grabbed 7 more fantasy points in week 9. In the last four weeks, 7 is the minimum amount of fantasy points that they have gathered. The 6th ranked Vikings defense will take this week off and look to come back strong against divisional opponents after their bye.

Week 10 Targets:

  • Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys are this week’s winner in the “who plays Jacksonville” sweepstakes The Cowboys are coming off of a 9-point performance last week against the Cardinals. This week they travel to London to take on the Jaguars. While Blake Bortles has looked better in the past couple of weeks, this trip to will be a big change for him. I expect a defensive touchdown for “America’s team” as they head across the Atlantic, leaving fantasy owners who pick them up enjoying their tea and crumpets this Sunday.
  • Pittsburgh Steelers: You may have heard that the best defense is a good offense. If you have, you are probably looking no further than the Steelers for your defense this week. Have you seen Big Ben play the past two weeks? Setting the NFL Record with 12 touchdowns passes over the past two weeks, the Steeler offense has been staying on the field more often. This alleviates pressure on the defense and more time for them to rest and get ready for the upcoming drive. This week the Steelers travel to New Jersey to face the Jets. The Steelers came into week 9 as the 12th best fantasy defense, and have been playing very well of late. James Harrison has gone from retired to the spark the Steelers need in a matter of weeks. The Steelers are looking at a 2 interception game with the addition of 4 or 5 sacks as well.

A couple other defenses to consider are the Patriots and the Bills. The Pats are coming off a matchup where they played the Broncos. Many people (including me) were concerned that they wouldn’t play well against Manning, instead they had 2 interceptions and Julian Edelman found paydirt on a punt return. Check to see if they got dropped and pick them up where you can. The Bills were on the bye last week but now have a good schedule for a couple weeks. This week against the Chiefs at home might be a little tough, but the Bills have done well all year (ranked 3rd going into week 9) and should provide good value for upcoming weeks.

Week 10 should provide more fun and excitement in the NFL. No matter where you are watching, make sure that you have one of these defenses so you can cheer when they post a pick-six. Grab a cold one and enjoy, another week of football is upon us.

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

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

Ricky’s Week 8 5-Pack Fantasy Sleepers

Each week, Ricky Valero will unleash his 5-pack of fantasy sleepers for the upcoming week. These players are going to make for great value plays while you construct your weekly DFS lineups.

New to Daily Fantasy? Head over to FanDuel.com and use Promo Code SCRIPT and get 100% match on your first deposit!

Be sure to tune in to The Sports’s Scripts two weekly fantasy football shows as well! The Fantasy Forecatser: Football is live on Tuesday at 10 PM EST and Sunday morning before kickoff at 11:30 AM EST! You can stream live or subscribe here.

For season-long fantasy football chatter, follow Ricky on Twitter @rickygangster!

The Fantasy Forecaster: Week 7 Start/Sit

Ricky was joined by fellow TSS writer Doug Moore and they discussed their Must Start/Must Sit for week 7

Here is the short version of the show just telling who we picked.

You can also subscribe/download on iTunes here. Leave a rating, don’t be shy!

Make sure to follow Ricky (@rickygangster) and Doug (@DMM0822) on Twitter!

The guys will be back next week (October 22nd)! Get your questions in on Twitter using the #TSS tag.

Ricky’s Week 7 5-Pack Fantasy Sleepers

Each week, Ricky Valero will unleash his 5-pack of fantasy sleepers for the upcoming week. These players are going to make for great value plays while you construct your weekly DFS lineups.

New to Daily Fantasy? Head over to FanDuel.com and use Promo Code SCRIPT and get 100% match on your first deposit!

Be sure to tune in to The Sports’s Scripts two weekly fantasy football shows as well! The Fantasy Forecatser: Football is live on Tuesday at 10 PM EST and Sunday morning before kickoff at 11:30 AM EST! You can stream live or subscribe here.

For season-long fantasy football chatter, follow Ricky on Twitter @rickygangster!

The Fantasy Forecaster: Week 6 Start/Sit

Ricky was joined by fellow TSS writer Doug Moore and they discussed their Must Start/Must Sit for week 6

Here is the short version of the show just telling who we picked.

You can also subscribe/download on iTunes here. Leave a rating, don’t be shy!

Make sure to follow Ricky (@rickygangster) and Doug (@DMM0822) on Twitter!

The guys will be back next week (September 30)! Get your questions in on Twitter using the #TSS tag.

Ricky’s Week 6 5-Pack Fantasy Sleepers

Each week, Ricky Valero will unleash his 5-pack of fantasy sleepers for the upcoming week. These players are going to make for great value plays while you construct your weekly DFS lineups.

New to Daily Fantasy? Head over to FanDuel.com and use Promo Code SCRIPT and get 100% match on your first deposit!

Be sure to tune in to The Sports’s Scripts two weekly fantasy football shows as well! The Fantasy Forecatser: Football is live on Tuesday at 10 PM EST and Sunday morning before kickoff at 11:30 AM EST! You can stream live or subscribe here.

For season-long fantasy football chatter, follow Ricky on Twitter @rickygangster!