Four Players I Probably Won’t Own This Year

I did this exercise last year, and I’ll copy the intro because it still applies:

A couple caveats before I proceed to the list. First, there’s virtually no player I wouldn’t own in some format at some price, but the odds of me getting any of these in any format in which I play are close to zero. Second, had I done one of these for baseball, Felix Hernandez [Todd Frazier] would have been on it. I think it’s important to remember and publicize your misses in these exercises because we all have them every year, and it’s easy to pose as a voice of expert authority when really you’re just another experienced fantasy owner doing his best to make sense of the available evidence. That out of the way, here are the guys I [probably] won’t own:

Training Camp Notes: Wait On A Quarterback

– Tony Romo had his practice workload heavily reduced during training camp last year after he returned from offseason back surgery. The Cowboys obviously wanted to keep their signal caller healthy when it counted, and it seemed to work to perfection as he produced some of the best numbers of his career. It sounds like this approach will be implemented again during the upcoming camp in an attempt to get the Cowboys back to the postseason. Romo could be primed for another big year behind arguably the best offensive line in the league, and he’ll likely reward the fantasy owners that wait to draft a quarterback in the later rounds.

Jeremy Hellickson is Becoming Relevant Again

It wasn’t supposed to go like this for Jeremy Hellickson. He came through the Tampa Bay Rays system as a blue-chip prospect, landing in the top 10 of industry lists ahead of the 2011 season after a top-20 showing the year before that. He proved him deserving of such high praise immediately with a Rookie of the Year campaign in 2011 that included 189 innings of a 2.95 ERA with a 1.15 WHIP. The skills suggested he was way over his head with just a 15% strikeout rate and 9% walk rate, but he seemed adept at inducing poor contact (.223 BABIP) and stranding runners (82% LOB) although, there was likely some luck mixed in, too.

When he followed it up with a very similar 2012 season (3.10 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 17% K, 8% BB, .261 BABIP, 83% LOB), he started to gain a reputation as someone who could out-pitch his base skills and many believed the 25-year old would still improve those skills to close the gap between his ERA and ERA indicators (4.44, 4.60 FIP totals in those two seasons). He did improve his skills in 2013 – albeit incrementally – with an 18% K rate and 7% walk rate, but the stranding and weak-contact pieces that we started to think might’ve been skills for him completely fell apart with a 66% LOB and .307 BABIP leaving him with a 5.17 ERA in 174 innings.

His chance to bounce back from the brutal 2013 was hampered by an elbow surgery that was originally supposed to cost him around a month or so of the regular season, but ended up pushing his 2014 debut to July 8th. The results were better with a 4.52 ERA in 63.7 innings, while the FIP continued to tick downward at 4.15. Interestingly, his FIP in the two awful results years (4.20 in 237.7 IP despite a 5.00 ERA) was better than what he did during his first two years (4.52 in 366 IP w/a 3.02 ERA). He was dealt to Arizona this past offseason in a move that barely drew any attention as Hellickson’s star has waned considerably.

DFS Amateur Hour – “Seven Out”

Is this good?

I was on quite a heater starting in Vegas two weeks ago where I won money in blackjack and craps, split the purse for the RotoWire staff poker tournament, saw my GOOG and AMZN shares take huge leaps after earnings and posted my best win on FanDuel. Even when I lost money on a given night, I typically got most of my investment back. Not so Tuesday where I put down $100 on two $25 contests and 10 $5 ones and cashed in zero. It was going to happen sooner or later – every hot shooter rolls a seven eventually – but winning zero out of 12 is hard to do.

Let’s take a look at what went wrong:

Training Camp Notes: Brady’s Ban Upheld

It was a relatively wild day in the world of NFL. There were suspension appeals aplenty, and a broken cell phone to boot. While there are still only a couple of teams that have kick-started their training camps, we’re getting closer to the good stuff. Tomorrow, veterans from 11 different teams will report, and the news will start rolling in. For now, we have some tidbits to satiate your football fever.