Tag Archives: predictions

DraftKings: Our 2 Cents on a $2 Payout

Like the phoenix that rises from the ashes, Section 426 returns to the fantasy field where we fell only a couple of months ago. Foregoing the long-term commitment of a sixteen-week NFL season, we turn to DraftKings, a FREE week-to-week fantasy football game that allows participants to pick their own players while staying under the $50K salary cap. The weekly winner takes home $2. In the event that our selected lineup is good but not good enough, that’s okay because the weekly top 5 finishers all get $2. I know what you’re wondering: since we do work with a low budget at Section 426, why do we take such big risks.

Every time we participate, we’ll show who we’re picking, how much they were drafted for, and some key notes regarding their season (for example, their NFL rank by position, their NFL opponent’s rank, etc.)

Here’s who we’ve chosen this week:

Philip Rivers $6,600 – 10th in NFL in passing yards, 6th in passer rating
DeMarco Murray $8,500 – 1st in NFL in rushing yards, 1st in carries over 20 yards, 1st in yards/game
Joique Bell $4,900 – 23rd in NFL in rushing yards
A.J. Green $7,300 – 49th in NFL in receiving yards (7 games played)
Josh Gordon $6,300 – 1st in NFL in receiving yards in 2013, 1st in receptions over 20 yards in 2013
Sammy Watkins $5,600 – 22nd in NFL in receiving yards in 2014, 19th in receiving targets
Zach Ertz $3,100
Darren Sproles $4,500 – 4 TD on 61 touches
Colts $3,200 – opponent is 2nd in NFL in Giveaways

What do you think? Can this lineup conquer all? Who would you have drafted? Let us know in the Comments section below.

Jay Cutler and Crew Cut My Survivor Season Short

And just like that, my Survivor season is kaput. To my credit, my decision to take San Francisco in this game had more to do with who wasn’t going to play for Chicago than who was already playing for the 49ers.

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Seventeenth Heaven for NFL Survivor Pool Entrants

Seventeen doesn’t get the buzz that its odd-number counterparts 7-11, Lucky 13 and Product 19 get. When it comes to NFL Survivor Pools, though, the number 17 might as well be numeric royalty.

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Do MLB Players Get Better or Worse as they Age?

Life is full of questions that don’t have an easy answer:

Why do we drive on a parkway and park in a driveway?

Why are there 90 feet between home plate and first base?

How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Life has a funny way of balancing itself out though. As proof, these types of questions are balanced out by those with more obvious answers. To demonstrate what ‘more obvious answers’ are, here is a commercial from AT&T’s ‘It’s Not Complicated’ ad campaign.

If you don’t have 32 seconds, it goes like this: a man asks a group of elementary-school-aged kids a simple question like, ‘which is better: bigger or smaller?’ and why. In another spot, he asks the kids if being faster or slower is better.

This got me thinking: Phillies GM Ruben Amaro and his front office personnel should be forced to sit in a room. A moderator walks into the room and asks the group: ‘Is it better to flush money down the toilet or spend it wisely?’ Amaro et al. may collectively agree that it’s better to spend money wisely, but based on the contracts they’ve given out to “the core” in the past three years, it would be hard to take this ownership group seriously.

Start with Ryan Howard. Forget about the fact that Amaro offered him the contract a year and a half before he was set to hit free agency. In a nutshell, Ryan Howard could have gone 0-for-the-next- year-and-a-half and his value would have dropped considerably. As a result, Amaro could have offered Howard much less than the 5-year, $125 million contract extension he signed. He didn’t go 0-for-the-next-year-and-a-half but you get the point. Ryan Howard’s first full season with the Phils was 2006. His on-base percentage was .425, and his slugging percentage was .659. By 2009, his OBP had dropped .065 points and his SLG had dropped .088 points. In and of itself, there was nothing wrong with the drop.  As hitters age, their skills begin to diminish. That’s life. The problem arises when you reward a declining 29-year-old player with a long-term contract and guaranteed money. Since the beginning of his contract extension in 2010, Howard’s OBP fell another .034 points to .319 while his SLG fell .040 points to .465.

Okay, it happened once. Amaro learned his lesson and it won’t happen again, right? Wrong. Yo, Kevin Nealon and Dana Carvey from Saturday Night Live, can you back me up on this one?

Jimmy Rollins’ peak OBP occurred when he was 29. His peak SLG occurred at age 28. Not only was a 32 year old Rollins rewarded with a three-year contract three years after his SLG peaked, he was actually given a $2.5M raise per season. Again, player performance goes down while pay goes up. Why does the Boob keep doing that? Just flush the money down the toilet.

The Boob did the same thing to Chase Utley this season, offering the soon-to-be 35 year old second baseman a two-year contract, with performance incentives that can keep him a Phillie through 2017. While I don’t think two years is too much to offer Utley at this stage of his career, I do think $13.5 million a season could be better spent elsewhere.

Catchers Carlos Ruiz (age 34) and Erik Kratz (age 33) have seen their SLG drop over .100 points to .326 and .403, respectively. Outfielder John Mayberry Jr.’s (age 29) OBP has dropped .080 points in three years, while his SLG has dropped more than .400 points.

I’ve made some predictions in blog posts before, and I feel very comfortable making this one: these three guys over the age of 29 – Mayberry, Kratz and Ruiz – will all be on the active roster come Opening Day 2014.

I’m one of thousands of Phillies fans familiar with Ruben Amaro’s (or Ruin Tomorrow’s) penchant for throwing money at players whose skills are diminishing. Maybe if the team had been competitive since 2012, we could look past some bad contracts. But they haven’t so we can’t.

If we can see it, why can’t Phillies’ ownership?

Now there’s a question that doesn’t have an easy answer.

Thoughts and Predictions — the Short, Short Version

Yes I haven’t blogged in awhile.

No I’m not watching the All Star Game.

Yes I like that the winning league gets home field advantage in the World Series.

No my team will not be in the World Series so why should I care.

No I am not a bandwagon fan.

No I did not watch the Home Run Derby.

Yes we have already heard Chris Berman say ‘back, back, back’ before.

No it’s not cute anymore.

Yes I am concerned about the Phillies.

Yes I wish the team’s GM wasn’t a moron.

No I don’t know who else I would want as a GM.

No I would not be a ‘buyer’ for a bullpen arm.

Yes I would trade Michael Young.

No I would not trade for a centerfielder.

Yes I would trade Chase Utley.

Yes the GM is going to get fleeced again on July 29th aka ‘Trade-A-Phillie’ Day.

No the Phillies will not play .600 baseball to make the postseason.

Yes I am looking forward to football season.

Yes I think the Eagles’ offense will be exciting to watch.

No I am not convinced the Eagles’ defense will be any better this season.


Yes the 20 statements above count as one blog post

Yes I Googled ‘do 20 statements count as a blog post?’

Thoughts?

Two Words for You Domonic Brown: Mea Culpa

“When I’m wrong, I say I’m wrong.”

It’s the phrase uttered by the late Jerry Orbach in the classic ’80s flick, Dirty Dancing. It’s also a completely apropos statement relating to Phillies’ outfielder Domonic Brown. Thanks to a home run barrage by Brown in May, he’s made bloggers like me look plain silly. Continue reading

On My Mind: May 20 – May 21

It’s been awhile since my last ‘On My Mind’ post — it was February 18th to be exact. On that date, the Phillies weren’t losing games. They also weren’t winning games. Pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training on February 12th. Continue reading