Articles by Kevin Payne

Kevin has worked for Rotowire just under a decade and has covered basketball, baseball and football. A glutton for punishment, he roots for his hometown Bills, Sabres and the New York Yankees. He hosts the RotoWire SiriusXM show every Wednesday and Friday and you can follow him on Twitter @KCPayne26.

First Starts By Traded Pitchers

When considering pitchers for DFS it’s tough to determine if a newly acquired pitcher through trade is going to come through the first start for their new team when they take the mound. Here’s a list of pitchers this season and how they’ve fared.

Kevin Gausman – 5 IPs, 6 hits, 3 ERs and 2Ks (L)

Nathan Eovaldi – 7 IPs, 4 hits, 0 ERs and 5 Ks (W)

Chris Archer – 4.1 IPs, 7 hits, 3 ERs and 6Ks (ND)

Cole Hamels – 5 IPs, 3 hits, 0 ERs and 9Ks (W)

J.A. Happ – 6 IPs, 3 hits, 1 ER and 2Ks (W)

Mike Fiers – 5.1 IPs, 4 hits, 1 ER and 8Ks (ND)

Lance Lynn – 7.1 IPs, 2 hits, 0 ERs and 9Ks (W) *His first start, not his first appearance

The totals from these seven starts are 40 innings, eight earned runs and 41 strikeouts. Or put in another way, a 1.80 ERA with a 9.2Ks/9IP. That’s pretty good.

While this isn’t a big sample to say definitively that pitchers do good in their first start for a new team after being traded, it is an interesting dynamic to look into. It’s worth noting too that Lynn, Eovaldi, Hamels, Archer (especially for Coors) and Gausman all had excellent second starts as well.

NFL Training Camp Notes: More Injuries

Here’s a quick look from a quiet Monday around the league:

– Saquon Barkley was the latest to suffer a leg injury although the Giants are calling it a mild hamstring strain. He was injured on a play trying to catch a downfield pass and was later seen with a wrap on the leg. For now owners shouldn’t worry  but Barkley could be sidelined a few days this week and possibly Friday’s preseason game as a result.

– Rashaad Penny left practice early with an injury thought to be minor.  Brian Schottenheimer said he doesn’t think it’s anything serious meaning this shouldn’t linger or cause any panic for his owners. However, Penny’s presence on the field is critical for him to make a push for the starting running back job which appears to be heading towards some kind of a timeshare between him and Chris Carson.

– The 49ers signed Alfred Morris (pending a physical) to add running back depth with both Matt Breida and Jerick McKinnon banged up. Morris averaged 4.8 yards per carry last season as a Cowboy but would need an injury to either one of his two new teammates to get any touches in the San Francisco offense. Morris once again in on a team coached by Kyle Shanahan, the two of whom are very familiar with each other from their days in Washington.

– Roquan Smith ended his holdout and signed a four-year deal Monday with the Bears. The deal is worth $18 million guaranteed with $11 million in bonuses. In case you haven’t seen him play, this guy is an absolute beast who will make an immediate impact in IDP leagues. This will help bolster a Bears defense that needs help if they plan on contending in the NFC North.

– In quarterback news it appears Chad Kelly has moved ahead of Paxton Lynch to the backup quarterback spot. Fans in Denver love Lynch so much someone started a GoFundMe page to buyout Lynch’s contract and drive him out of town. Sam Bradford is expected to play more than one series in New Orleans although Josh Rosen is expected to get a series with the first string as well. Right now Bradford appears to be the favorite to be under center Week 1 but there are several paths to Rosen finding playing time this season.

NFL Training Camp Notes: Sam Signs His Darnold Contract

– Sam Darnold went ahead an signed his rookie contract ending his holdout and promptly reported to camp. The deal is worth $30.2 million that includes a $20 million signing bonus and is fully guaranteed, a nice payday for most. This is a clear indication that he’ll likely take over at some point this season but there’s still a strong possibility that Josh McCown is under center Week 1.

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Monday’s NFL Training Camp Notes

– The big news Monday was that Josh Gordon was placed on the non-football injury list and left the Browns. Gordon tweeted out that this absence was part of his treatment plan to maintain his health. There’s no evidence he failed a drug test or violated some policy so it would appear no suspension is in his future. This looks to be some scheduled maintenance for the talented wideout as he prepares for the upcoming season. This shouldn’t impact his draft status for now; he’s currently going around pick #50 in fantasy drafts.

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Tyrod to Tygone

The Bills made a somewhat surprising move Wednesday announcing the benching of Tyrod Taylor in favor of rookie Nathan Peterman. Peterman led the Bills to a touchdown on their final drive Sunday against the Saints after Taylor led a stagnant offense. Let’s take a look at this move from a few different angles.

The fact that the Bills have five wins is more than surprising, if I remember correctly their over/under for the season was either six or 6.5 when I was in Vegas early July. They still get the Dolphins twice, the disappointing Charger this weekend and the Colts on their remaining schedule. This means they will be strongly in contention for a playoff spot, which would be the first in 17 years. The NFL has changed drastically over the last decade an no longer is a quarterback given three years to produce and develop; that time frame has been cut in half. Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane are making the decisions they believe will have the Bills win now and have no allegiance to Taylor who will likely move on from Buffalo next season. They must believe Peterman gives then the best chance to win now for a few reasons. While Tyrod has a ridiculously low interception rate he also has not thrown the ball down the field often throwing short of the sticks on third down. While taking care of the ball is a skill also throwing down the field effectively is a skill as well. While the Bills don’t have a ton of weapons in the passing attack, Tyrod regularly overthrew 6-5 Kelvin Benjamin Sunday, a hard task to do.

Peterman obviously won’t be as mobile as Taylor but will attack down the field with a stronger arm than Tyrod. He’s looked very accurate in limited snaps during the preseason and the Bills should continue to lean heavily on the ground game. LeSean McCoy’s fantasy value might take a small hit without a running quarterback keeping opposing defenses honest but he could also benefit from the offense staying on the field more. In response to those point out that this quarterback change doesn’t help the Bills’ run defense, note that they lost the time of possession game 41:23 to 18:37 and 33:30 to 26:30 over their last two games. Any defense out there that long is going to get tired and get gashed by a team with a decent running attack.

As far as switching to Peterman, the staff must see something during practice to think he gives them a better chance to win. Let’s look at the rest of the league. Mitch Trubisky has been as good as Mike Glennon, Deshaun Watson was better than Tom Savage and there’s even a case that DeShone Kizer and C.J. Beatheard have been better than their respective veterans. Letting Peterman sit and learn over the first half of the season allows him to adjust to the professional game while learning a new and more complex offense. Unlike Kizer, his confidence hasn’t been destroyed and Peterman is in a good situation with the acquisition of Benjamin, Charles Clay coming back healthy and a strong running game with McCoy. As a Bills fan, I have to trust that Beane and McDermott know what they’re doing and this is in the best interest of the team (I may also have $100 on 5.5:1 the Bills make the playoffs, I know sucker bet) so I hope that’s the case here. Trust. The. Process.

Training Camp Notes: Zeke Is About To Be A Freak

– A judge in Texas (of all places) has ruled that the NFL’s suspension against Ezekiel Elliott will not be ruled and enforced until Week 2 at the earliest. Therefore, Elliott is eligible to play this week on Sunday night football as the Cowboys host the Giants. Harold Henderson, the NFL arbitrator, will still hand down his ruling but at this point it seems unlikely Elliott will serve the full six-games suspension. Elliott is a must-start whenever on the field but faces a tough task against a Giants defense that only allowed only 3.6 yards per carry, the second-lowest mark in the league last season.

– If you have any Dolphins or Buccaneers, get them out of your lineup this week. Hurricane Irma has forced the cancellation in Miami and naturally it makes sense for the teams to make up the game November 19th, when both have a bye.

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