Archive for the ‘Gaming’ Category

A Look At 2015 St. Louis Rams Rookies

Posted: August 21, 2015 by The Cheap Seat Fan in Gaming, NFL
Tags: , , ,

Gurley_

When the 2015 NFL Draft concluded earlier this year, the St. Louis Rams came away very satisfied. They felt like they addressed a bunch of needs, while getting some elite-level talent. Some experts might not be quite as high on the picks, but in a few weeks, everyone will get a chance to see how they perform. Here’s a closer look at what to expect out of their top rookies.

 

Todd Gurley

Obviously, this rookie running back is going to make or break this draft class. He has the chance to be one of the best in fantasy football money leagues, but as for right now he is trying to just be healthy enough to play in 2015. A rough knee injury ended his college career, but he looks at it as a new beginning. St. Louis won’t rely on him solely, but he should still be in the running for offensive rookie of the year in the NFL.

Rob Havenstein and Jamon Brown

After taking a flashy running back in the first round, St. Louis addressed their OT concerns by grabbing these two. Havenstein will now be an anchor on the line for them, as Jeff Fisher hopes  to run the ball more often this upcoming season.

Brown very well could be better pro than college player. He was a tackle in college, but St. Louis could use him inside as a guard. He is big and athletic, and that is exactly what the Rams needed.

Bud Sasser

Third round pick Sean Mannion will probably not play much if at all at quarterback in 2015, and Andrew Donnal is just a solid OT to add to the line. However, those in fantasy football money leagues have a chance to learn more about Bud Sasser as the season moves along. He is a bigger receiver, and Fisher likes using guys like that. He had a lot of success at Missouri, and he could get some targets in 2015.

St. Louis is hoping that this draft class can get them back into playoff contention as early as this year. It will mostly come down to Gurley, but don’t sleep on all the line help they stockpiled.

By James Martin, guest post

 

For the past few years, Cheap.Seats.Please and the good folks over at Fanduel, the home of one-day fantasy leagues covering the entire sporting spectrum, have teamed up to bring analysis to get you ready to put your money where your mouth. With baseball season upon us, we are once again coming together to breakdown a particularly important portion of the game: starting pitching.

Wild Card Game - San Francisco Giants v Pittsburgh Pirates

 

Last week, I broke down my top 10 starting pitchers today, but now another take on the game’s top arms is ready to weight in on that debate as well, but from a fantasy baseball perspective. And as you will see, regardless of purpose for ranking, it remains a position where the riches are truly plentiful.

Having good starting pitching is one of the most important keys to success in baseball. That is why teams are willing to spend top dollar in free agency to sign great arms, and they will hold onto young and promising guys as tightly as possible. They might be a bit too unpredictable to be drafted really early on in fantasy baseball, but World Series champions know how much they mean. Here is a look at the 5 best pitchers in the game right now going into the 2015 MLB regular season.

 

Clayton Kershaw

When you win a Cy Young Award and a MVP trophy in the same season, it is supposed to be celebrated as one of the best seasons in baseball history. However, the ending of the 2014 season for Kershaw was a little bit bittersweet. He was hit around in the postseason, and that led to an early exit for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is healthy, in the middle of his prime and hungry to show that he is as dependable as they come. Do not be surprised if he is once again the best regular season pitcher in the game.

 

Felix Hernandez

He didn’t end up winning the Cy Young last year for the Seattle Mariners, but he was still the main reason why they were able to stay in the playoff race until the very end. With some extra support added to the roster in 2015, he will be looking for an even better year statistically. Not only has he been dominant since the beginning, but he has been pretty consistent as well. Pitching in spacious Safeco Field does help him out a little.

 

Madison Bumgarner

By fantasy baseball standards, many look at Bumgarner as a guy who will be extremely overrated going into the regular season. You see, he did not put up monster numbers last year, and he probably will not in the regular season in 2015 either. However, he is still a top 10 pitcher by fantasy baseball standards, and he is arguably the best big-game pitcher in the game right now. He is the ace of the pitching staff for the reigning World Series champions. That has to count for something.

 

Chris Sale

Casual baseball fans might be a bit surprised to see him ranked this highly, but the Chicago White Sox expect big things out of Sale in 2015. He probably would have been the Cy Young Award winner in the American League last year if it was not for some missed playing time. He is still very young, and the White Sox have better talent around him now. He racks up strikeouts with ease, and that always helps all the other numbers as well.

 

Max Scherzer

It can always be tough for a pitcher to change not only teams, but leagues as well. That is what Scherzer is going through this offseason as he joins the Washington Nationals. He will also have the weight of a huge contract on his shoulders that could take a toll on him in general. With all that being said, he is been consistent for a few years now, so it really should not be that much of an issue for him to stay strong.

 

wilmer-flores

Here at Cheap.Seats.Please., its always about looking forward. And there’s little that gets the year moving along quicker than getting ready for your fantasy season. Baseball is the gauntlet of all of fantasy league competition, and once again, our friends at Fanduel.com have returned again with some tips on how to get ahead of the competition…as well as get the most out of your fantasy dollar, with a new chance each week.

 

One of the bigger storylines this winter for the New York Mets will revolve around Daniel Murphy’s status with the team. After putting together a solid fantasy baseball season in 2014, the Mets are in a sticky situation. They love his offense, but his defense is a downfall. Although Dilson Herrera has higher upside in the minor league system, the Mets could see Wilmer Flores as someone who makes Murphy expendable right away.

Flores received minimal playing time in 2014, especially at 2nd base. He finished the season hitting .251/.286/.378 with six home runs and 29 RBI in just 259 at-bats, and the 23-year old seems to still be scratching the surface of his potential. He has quite a bit of power, which is rare for a 2nd baseman. His defense was also an upgrade over Murphy, although the sample size was rather small.

Murphy is the more dependable, pure hitter out of the two, but the New York Mets know that they will have to take a slow downgrade at first if a trade is pulled off. They should be more than satisfied with Flores as the permanent second baseman for now, especially since he is a young, talented guy with upside. If he can give them an upgrade on defense and in power, he will fit in perfectly with New York’s rebuilding plans.

Some fans might not like the fact that New York is planning to trade away yet another All-Star. In fact, he was the Mets’ only All-Star in 2014. With that being said, it is time for the younger guys to show what they are capable of if New York wants to start competing again in the National League East. Flores, with Herrera as a long-term option down the road, should hold down the hole left behind.

 

For more articles, contests and Fantasy games across the year, head over to FanDuel.com and @FanduelFantasy and get in the game. For more on baseball season as a whole, follow me on Twitter at@CheapSeatFan.

 

 

By Fanduel.com

 

Here at Cheap.Seats.Please., its always about looking forward. And there’s little that gets the year moving along quicker than getting ready for your fantasy season. Baseball is the gauntlet of all of fantasy league competition, and once again, our friends at Fanduel.com have returned again with some tips on how to get ahead of the competition…as well as get the most out of your fantasy dollar, with a new chance each week.

Just about every fantasy baseball owner out there would agree that the key to a successful draft is to find sleepers and potential breakout stars in the middle of the draft. Anyone can draft perennial All-Stars early on and be competitive if they follow cheat sheets. In fantasy baseball 2014, there will once again be some guys stepping it up and producing great numbers. So how do you identify them? It’s certainly anyone’s guess, but these players listed below will have the opportunity for success.

Cincinnati Reds v Texas Rangers

Jurickson Profar

A season ago, Profar was considered by some to be a pretty nice sleeper. However, he was stuck juggling a bunch of positions for the Texas Rangers, and his hitting suffered. When the Rangers traded Ian Kinsler away, that opened up the starting 2nd base position for the youngster. Expect him to be much better in fantasy baseball 2014 as he has additional stability to work with. Remember, he will be in just his age 21 season, so it is silly to sour on the talented infielder.

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Taijuan Walker

He has been mentioned in trade rumors this offseason, but the Seattle Mariners are hoping to keep their talented flame thrower. Seattle gave him three starts at the end of the year in 2013, and he was able to give fans a glimpse of the future. Pitching at Safeco Field will definitely help his numbers in fantasy baseball 2014, so he is worth a look even if he doesn’t make the starting rotation out of Spring Training.

Springer_

George Springer

The two guys listed above have both appeared at the MLB level, but Springer will likely be making his debut in 2014. Houston was absolutely terrible last season, but they still refrained from giving their talented outfielder the call. He is more than ready though, as he hit .303 with 37 home runs and 45 stolen bases. Some see him as being the next Mike Trout or Yasiel Puig when he is finally let loose at the MLB level. Don’t sleep on him in the late rounds.

 

 

For more articles, contests and Fantasy games across the year, head over to FanDuel.com and @FanduelFantasy and get in the game. For more on baseball season as a whole, follow me on Twitter at@CheapSeatFan.

The Cheat Sheet: NFL Picks, Lines and Upsets – Week 12

Posted: November 21, 2013 by The Cheap Seat Fan in Gaming, NFL
Tags: , , , , , ,

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The playoff picture is beginning to take shape, as regular season NFL is nearly down its final quarter of the year. And with that, the levels of the league are sorting out as well. The elite are who they are, the bums are likewise. Yet as always, its the middle that complicates things, as well as collisions at the top, as there are the teams that have proven they are better than we thought they are.

Chief among those teams are the Panthers, who upset the pick sheet for the second week in a row. They’re the top of the list of risers in the league, and are looking like this season’s version of the Seahawks rise from late last year. The smart money is with them, in the same way that life is returning to the Giants and Steelers, who brought L’s to the Sheet last week.

Looking to Week 12, there a few blow outs that will likely take place (starting with tonight in Atlanta and carrying right through to Monday), but there are some tight games that wreak of upset as well.  The road team could rule the week as well, and its a good chance to place the smart money not on the records, but on the situation (look no further than New York and Green Bay for proof of this).

Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady have a date on Sunday Night. Hell of a week ahead, and after the worst week of the year on the picks sheet, it time to have one here too again.

RECAP

Free Money Picks: 5-6

Upset of the Week: 2-4

Record—Week 11: 7-8, Season: 94-52

 

 

THURSDAY

New Orleans Saints (8-2) at Atlanta Falcons (2-8): [NO -9, Over/Under: 53] **Free Money of the Week #1**

SATURDAY

Chicago Bears (6-4) at St. Louis Rams (4-6): [EVEN, Over/Under 45]

Pittsburgh Steelers (4-6) at Cleveland Browns (4-6): [CLE -1, Over/Under: 40]

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-8) at Detroit Lions (6-4) [DET -9.5, Over/Under: 48]

Minnesota Vikings (2-8) at Green Bay Packers (5-5): [GB -4.5, Over/Under: 43.5] **Upset of the Week**

San Diego Chargers (4-6) at Kansas City Chiefs (9-1): [KC -5, Over/Under: 41.5]

Carolina Panthers (7-3) at Miami Dolphins (5-5): [CAR -4.5, Over/Under: 41.5]

New York Jets (5-5) at Baltimore Ravens (4-6): [BAL -3.5, Over/Under: 39]

Jacksonville Jaguars (1-9) at Houston Texans (2-8): [HOU -10, Over/Under: 43.5]

Tennessee Titans (4-6) at Oakland Raiders (4-6): [EVEN, Over/Under: 41.5]

Indianapolis Colts (7-3) at Arizona Cardinals (6-4): [ARI: -2.5, Over/Under: 45]

Dallas Cowboys (5-5) at New York Giants (4-6): [NYG: -2.5, Over/Under: 44.5]

Denver Broncos (9-1) at New England Patriots (7-3): [DEN: -2.5, Over/Under: 54] **Free Money of the Week #2**

MONDAY

San Francisco 49ers (6-4) at Washington Redskins (3-7): [SF -6, Over/Under: 47]

 

 

Via Hannah Miller of FanDuel.com

At the start of each baseball season, optimism usually runs rampant. Just about every club feels like they can make a run to the postseason, and way too many players look like they could be on the verge of a breakout season after one hot week in Florida or Arizona. The harsh reality is that there are always going to be disappointments. While predicting these are just as difficult as predicting stars, here are three players who are showing some warning signs that this could be a poor 2013 season for them individually.

Hanley-Ramirez-Dodgers-602x339
Hanley Ramirez

The little bit of life Ramirez showed after the trade to the Dodgers seemed like nothing more than a tease for this quickly aging infielder. At one point in his career, Ramirez was a reliable first round pick who had five tools. Now, Ramirez seems out of shape, unable to play third or shortstop with any consistency and striking out more than ever. He will be entering his age 29 season, which isn’t that old, but age and weight issues are slowing him down on the base paths.

It is remarkable that a player who hit .332 in 2007 and .342 in 2009 is now a .250 hitter. While that average should go up a bit this season, he is no longer a guy who should be able to get by on name recognition. Avoid Ramirez in the early rounds to prevent disappointment.

Jered Weaver

Staying in the Los Angeles area, Jered Weaver is a pitcher who might not seem like he is declining, but the warning signs are there. For starters, his velocity on all of his pitches is way down from even a couple of seasons ago.  This in turn has affected his strikeout rate, although his ERA and WHIP appear unaffected.

It is hard to argue with three straight top five AL Cy Young award finishes, but now 30 years old, Weaver’s durability seems to be a bit of a cause for concern. Playing on a solid team like the Angels will help his value by getting him wins, but he seems to currently be going too high in FanDuel.com Fantasy Baseball 2013 mock drafts.

Edwin Encarnacion

After a career year in 2012, Edwin Encarnacion then received word that the Blue Jays would be bringing in other talent to help him out. Jose Reyes, Melky Cabrera and others might appear to be helpful, but in order for Encarnacion to use them to his advantage, he must repeat his numbers from a season ago.

Injuries have always held back Encarnacion during his career, but his 2012 numbers of .280, 43 home runs, 110 RBI, 93 runs and 13 steals seem too good to be true. There appears to be no way he can repeat those numbers given his history. Considering that some mock drafts have him as the 10th-15th best fantasy option, that seems like a swing and a miss just waiting to happen for owners.

For more articles, contests and Fantasy games across the year, head over to FanDuel.com and @FanduelFantasy and get involved. For more on baseball season as a whole, follow me on Twitter at @CheapSeatFan.

There’s very little that frustrates me more than when something doesn’t live up to its potential. So I get downright enraged when potential just has its face spit in, by itself, then laughs at itself in the reflection. (And yes it is possible to spit in your own face. Take a few seconds and think about that).

Essentially, that’s what boxing has officially done to itself. A formerly much hallowed and iconic contest has now officially jumped the shark into becoming a parody of it, and Saturday’s conclusion to the Manny Pacquiao/Timothy Bradley bout was the organ tuning up at the sports funeral. Paul Bearer himself should have been the official that night, or at least took on Michael Buffer’s role (how awesome would it be to hear PB break out the “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble” in his shaky promo voice from like ’92?). For a sport that is already on several brinks of disaster, allowing for its co-biggest star to get screwed XNXX-style is unforgivable. And now, what’s left to care about when it comes to big fight boxing?

Before we go too far into that, I have to give my recap of what happened on Saturday. We switch from the end of the Heat/Celts game in time for the middle of round one (once we found an appropriately good link online, because no way I’m paying for boxing PPVs at this point, more on that later). Get through round four or so, and Pacman is landing everything he needs to, and it looks like business as usual, because it is. When the fight starts to look like re-run of everything Manny’s done over the last few years, save for the Passion of Ricky Hatton, I’ve chalked it up to yet another win in the holding pattern that is anybody he fights not named Floyd Mayweather.

Now here’s where the world burns. The first sign of fuckery is the split decision. I’m still not sure how Bradley, who landed absolutely no impact blows, nor enough cuts that weren’t off, clinches being broken, gets even one card. But when I hear Buffer breakout his patented “Newwwwwww (fill in the blank) Champion” call, the fourth wall just broke: boxing has just broken into hallowed category of sports entertainment.

This could have just as easily been Triple H or Randy Orton and I wouldn’t have known the difference on Saturday night.

Let’s be clear: I love sports entertainment. Ever since I realized that there’s no way grown men are punching each other in the face and not bleeding in a “Gangs of New York” style, I’ve really loved the WWE. But the match is rarely the big deal over there; it’s the whole package of getting behind a character, seeing some trash talked, somebody smacking somebody with a chair in front of his girl, and then them settling it over the next few months. There’s no expectation of realistic results, because it’s not “real” in the first place. Boxing however has always been the place where the words get mixed up, then you fully expect somebody to really beat the brakes off somebody later. And if they don’t knock them out completely, there will still be an accurate enough call to get a winner.

Well, those days are apparently over and while I’m not a sports conspiracy theorist, I also wasn’t born yesterday. The first sign of “Hey, something could go wrong here” was when word on a November rematch leaked this week. Under what circumstances would there be any reason for a rematch between these two guys? Bradley is a good fighter, but Manny is one of the biggest of all-time. If he beats him, why should the upstart get another shot?

Hindsight reveals much. In this situation, hindsight shows that the November fight was the rematch all along, perhaps even the only “real” fight at all. The fight where the “fallen hero” comes back for what’s his own, to build himself back up, right? That’s a great premise too….everybody didn’t know the outcome already.

For what it’s worth, Bradley looks ready for the part….of being an Academy Award candidate. Because he played an amazing role of the underdog; one that Christian Bale should have studied before shooting ‘The Fighter’. I mean bravo to him for portraying like he had a legit shock that he won the match. However he was the one that leaked the promo screen for the rematch beforehand. So while I have no doubt he is very humbled by getting yet another big payday to face Pacquiao again, he definitely isn’t humbled by the shock of the decision or the glory of the upset. 

The biggest fat cat on the fix though? Fight promoter & Pacquiao handler Bob Arum, who made Don King look like a candidate for Pope with the way he set this all up. Arum is sport’s public enemy #1: the reason why Mayweather and Pacquiao REALLY can’t get in the ring together, and now the author of the biggest sham since baseball’s pill popping fiasco.

But you know what Bob? You screwed yourself, and pulled boxing down to its knees with you. You tried to spring sports entertainment on us all, but you underestimated how wise we are. See this is where McMahon has always gotten it right; People don’t mind having lies be told to them, as long as they know it in advance. I got more actual competition drama, even looking backwards now, out of The Rock beating John Cena at WrestleMania a few months ago. And I’ve got a huge problem with something I knew was already decided going in giving me more suspense than something that wasn’t supposed to be. If you’re going to force a dream on me, at least let me know I’m sleep in advance.

But now the idea that “the desire to see Pacquiao get even” will make the next fight a huge buy is over. Because everybody knows they were duped already, and already know how the next fight will end. Now, in order to get your biggest ticket back on top, you’ve forced him into a match with Mayweather that now has a much lesser sense of importance. It is a fight where Floyd holds all the leverage now; because he’s not fighting a potential peer anymore, he’s fighting a puppet, a pawn, a character even.

All of the spinning and faux-investigations aren’t convincing either, the jig is up. There is nothing to watch boxing for at all now. Sacrifice Bradley to Mayweather early next year if you want to. Floyd drilling him into the ground just would further the crock it was that he was ever allowed to have appeared to beat Pacquiao.

It’s just a matter of time before Vince buys out all 300 Boxing Federations & turns them into a Wednesday night offshoot for his show.

When legacies are sacrificed for money, it’s never a good idea. It ruins the morality that people still like to believe in out of sports. When legit competition is ruined and trust is lost, there’s no easy way back from that.

I just hope it was worth it, because that was the end of an era. Maybe you should have brought out Paul Bearer to do a “Rest in Peace” for boxing at the end of the PPV on Saturday. Because it’s not about its only fitting since that’s what the “sport” has come to be now, merely off the cuff entertainment.

I just know this much, if boxing is going to keep up with the closest thing it has to a rival now in sports entertainment, they better hire some better script writers than Arum.

 

Follow me on Twitter, where both my sports and entertainment are all written by me, at @CheapSeatFan