Join SI.com's James Quintong in a discussion of some of the latest news in football, baseball and other sports and how it relates to fantasy teams and leagues.
7/28/2006 05:44:00 PM
Early training camp nuggets
Training camps have been open just a couple of days and there's already a number of different stories that could affect your draft (or your team if you've already drafted):
-- Center LeCharles Bentley, the Browns' prized free-agent signing, injured his knee in training camp Thursday and is out for the year. That's not good news for the Cleveland offense, especially running back Reuben Droughns, who hoped to improve upon his 2005 campaign, and quarterback Charlie Frye, who may not have as much time to find his improved receiving corps.
-- Bears running back Thomas Jonesinjured his hamstring Thursday -- while taking his physical. He was a no-show at minicamp, which pushed him behind Cedric Benson on the depth chart. This injury doesn't help his cause, either, giving Benson's fantasy value a boost for now while dropping Jones'.
-- Reggie Bush appears he will be a holdout at Saints camp, although no one knows how long that will be. It would be nice to see him in camp sooner rather than later to see how he and Deuce McAllister will work together in the Saints offense, but running backs also seem to be less affected by holdouts than quarterbacks (Philip Rivers comes to mind).
What impact, if any, will these early news nuggets have on your drafts (mock or otherwise)?
Carlos Lee should thrive in hitter-friendly Texas.
Many of the potential trade deadline deals don't usually have immediate fantasy impact on both sides, which is why it's a bit of a breath of fresh air to see the Carlos Lee trade go down Friday afternoon.
Lee, an underrated power-speed double threat, takes his 28 homers, 81 RBIs and 12 steals to Texas and cozy Ameriquest Field, where he should thrive in the middle of a nice lineup that includes Mark Teixeira, Michael Young and Hank Blalock. Lee is an RBI machine and that shouldn't change now. His value goes up in mixed leagues, and AL-only leagues will be falling over each other to get Lee back in the fold.
The Rangers also got a bit of steal in getting Nelson Cruz in the deal. Cruz is hitting .302 with 20 homers and 17 steals for the Brewers' Class AAA team in Nashville. Texas may not use him in the majors now, but he's someone to watch in the future, especially if it doesn't re-sign Lee in free agency.
As for the Brewers, they get a couple of outfielders in Kevin Mench and Laynce Nix, who obviously don't stack up to Lee. Mench had hit 51 homers the past two seasons but was down to just 12 so far this year; however, he'll start in Milwaukee and is worth picking up to fill Lee's place in NL-only leagues. Nix, on the other hand, has struggled in the minors after losing a starting job to Gary Matthews Jr. early in the season. He's no guarantee to see time in Milwaukee, so he's a marginal play.
But the big coup on Milwaukee's side is getting Francisco Cordero, who lost his closer's job to Akinori Otsuka earlier this year but has been a solid setup man since his demotion. Cordero likely will become the Brewers' closer, especially since Derrick Turnbow was taken out of the role earlier this week. Cordero is a bit of risk given his early-season struggles, but he may be back getting saves in no time.
Welcome to the first post on my official Fantasy Blog, where I'll offer some quick thoughts in the world of fantasy sports. While the main emphasis will be on fantasy baseball and fantasy football, I won’t hesitate to dive into other fantasy sports like basketball and hockey. I might even throw in a bit about golf or racing if the mood hits (I've written on both for the site a few years ago).
I'd been wavering as to what my first post would cover, I'm going to hit the gridiron first, especially with a few training camps having already opened. (Don’t worry, there will be plenty of fantasy-focused baseball trade deadline coverage on its way.) But even though training camps have just opened, there are plenty of leagues that have already drafted for the 2006 season. As Ethan Trex noted in his column, draft preparation begins earlier and earlier each year. By the Fourth of July, fantasy football games are open for signups and a flood of magazines have taken over the newsstands. Even SI did a rather thorough fantasy football preview last week -- nearly two months before the '06 season kicks off.
I know I’m part of the problem, already putting up a bunch of rankings and taking part in a handful of drafts already (to show how "early" I’ve drafted, I was part of a draft that took place just hours after Ben Roethlisberger’s motorcycle accident), many of them “expert” leagues that supposedly guide other players on how to make your picks.
But is there really a "too early" to draft your fantasy football team? Injuries during exhibition games can really wreak havoc on a team taken too early -- I can remember exactly where I was when I heard about Michael Vick’s broken leg a few years back -- but for the most part, the key players and positions have been set for months. Then again, there are those players who come out of nowhere during camp -- Willie Parker last year comes to mind -- and become a major fantasy force. Then you’ll have to wait for your first waiver period (usually after the season begins) to get them.
So has your league drafted yet? If not, when do you expect to hold yours? And is there any real advantage to an early draft or a late draft.