Articles by Erik Siegrist

Erik Siegrist is an FSWA award-winning columnist who covers all four major North American sports (that means the NHL, not NASCAR) and whose beat extends back to the days when the Nationals were the Expos and the Thunder were the Sonics. He was the inaugural champion of Rotowire's Staff Keeper baseball league. His work has also appeared at Baseball Prospectus.

Game Cap Recap: Week 1, PIT at NE

I won’t do this for every single game of the season, but when I get the chance I’m going to do a little debrief on my game capsules and examine my assumptions heading into them to see where I was right, where I was wrong, and where I was looney tunes. I fully expect all three to happen at some point, and the latter two categories more often than the first one, but that’s just the nature of the exercise.

It’s always instructive when your thinking collides with reality, as once in a while you can find something useful in the wreckage.

Training Camp Notes: Onward Christine Soldier

I always find it a bit amusing when people make a big deal out of roster cutdown day at the end of the preseason. The “final” 53-man roster for an NFL team is anything but, as front offices scour the cut lists for players they feel are improvements on their current personnel or make a call to another GM asking exactly how committed they are to their third QB or fourth RB… Sunday’s flurry of fantasy-relevant news may have been a little busier than normal, but only a little. In the modern NFL, there is really no such thing as a “final” 53-man roster.

Training Camp Notes: Dysfunction In DC

So, I did a crazy thing. In a recently-completed Yahoo draft for a 12-team non-PPR league where I ended up with the second pick, instead of taking one of the normal top four (or top five, depending on where you slot Marshawn Lynch) running backs, I threw caution to the wind and took Dez Bryant instead.

My reasoning was as follows: in every mock draft I’ve done picking from the top of the draft and taking the expected RB, I’ve hated the WR corps I’ve ended up with. Partially that’s due to spoiling myself with WR-WR starts in later draft slots, but it’s also due to the fact that the talent pool got a lot shallower over the last week. With Jordy Nelson and Kelvin Benjamin out of the picture, elite receivers dry up really quickly, and I couldn’t stomach the thought of not getting at least one of them. More than that though, with your first round pick, floor is more important than ceiling. If you don’t get premium production from your premium picks, your season is all but done, and when I look at those top RBs I see a lot more risk than I do with Bryant. Le’Veon Bell is playing a max of 14 games and lost his starting center for a good portion of them. Adrian Peterson is an old man in running backs years being counted on to rebound from yet another season spent on the sidelines. Jamaal Charles is all but guaranteed to deal with nagging injuries, whether they cost him games or not. And Eddie Lacy… OK, Lacy seems pretty safe. But still, I felt better bucking conventional wisdom and grabbing a secure WR1 than I did drafting Lacy, so that’s what I did.

Had I stuck with Lacy, I essentially would’ve ended up with him and Alshon Jeffery instead of Dez and Melvin Gordon (Lamar Miller went one pick before I grabbed Gordon at the end of the second round). We’ll just have to wait and see exactly how dumb I was.

Anyway, on to the blog. Powered by an epic Cardinals-Raiders preseason matchup being played on the Coliseum infield dirt as we speak, it’s your Sunday TCN!

Training Camp Notes: Rookie Receivers A-Go-Go!

With just one preseason game on the NFL’s slate Sunday, news was a little scarce, but the Colts-Eagles tilt did feature an interesting matchup of rookie first-round wide receivers. Both Nelson Agholor (20th overall to the Eagles) and Phillip Dorsett (29th overall to the Colts) lined up with the ones Sunday and both flashed their considerable skills. Dorsett looked as elusive as you’d expect from a kid built like a prototypical slot receiver, catching four passes for 51 yards, but he also coughed up a fumble and his fantasy prospects for 2015 are limited as he’s buried on the Indy depth chart behind T.Y. Hilton, Andre Johnson and Donte Moncrief, not to mention Coby Fleener, Dwayne Allen and Frank Gore. Andrew Luck could attempt 700 passes this year and there still wouldn’t be enough targets tricking down to get Dorsett on the radar in most formats.

Agholor looked even better, making a leaping catch on a terrible Mark Sanchez pass (but I repeat myself…), then leaving cornerback Greg Toler in the dust en route to a 34-yard TD scamper. The only thing he’s lacking is elite size, but otherwise Agholor’s the complete package as a receiver and he didn’t seem to leave any doubt Sunday that he’d be in the starting lineup come Week 1. He finished the day with three catches for 57 yards, and probably added a full round to his ADP with the performance.

Auction League Strategy: Gurley Men

Last night Rotowire held its Steak League auction, which is also the first big auction or draft for me this season. This is a fairly deep league: 16-team IDP with standard scoring, $200 budget, 1 QB/2 RB/3 WR starting spots (no flex) with six reserves, and it tends to be very competitive not only because of that whole bragging rights thing but because of the side bet that gives the league its name. We’re split into two divisions of eight, and after each season the divisions meet for dinner, with the losers buying steak for the winners.

Two years ago I hoisted the trophy, but in 2014 my team just failed to gel and I missed the playoffs, something I was determined not to let happen again. Rather than targeting specific players, I came into the auction with three main strategic goals: