Predictions

Fantasy Football: Gurley Contract Solidifies Position

Tuesday, 24 July, 2018

Follow@cimini

Following contract moves is a staple in any sports industry. Linking a prime contract unfortunately does not mean benefits for a franchise. Often times a player’s contract can detract instead of attract forward progress.

This can be a huge issue for fantasy football owners. Whether auction or draft-based decisions on prime candidates are the biggest issue to battle pre-draft. Miss in a standard draft at the top of the board and you’re almost certain of finishing with a subpar record. Shelling out high dollars in an auction league and missing can be even more detrimental.

The situation surrounding Todd Gurley is almost unique in all phases. Most young backs do not get inked for a big contract at Gurley’s age of 23. St. Louis is avoiding the inevitable contract issues and got out in front with a major deal.

They have a blossoming offense that should only grow under Coach McVay’s eyes. Their talent picked up on both sides of the football in the off-season that has put them in serious contention in Las Vegas’s mind.

Gurley’s ability out of the backfield and as a rushing tailback already had him solidified as a go to draftee atop everyone’s board.

The new question is does his contract propel him to top of the line?

After three to four years with running backs falling from a commodity position in fantasy football, it appears that reluctancy label has fell off.

All mock draft early indications are that running backs are back in style. This makes it impossible to feel the draft out and get a tiered system of running backs.

Now you must go in aggressively as in years past or your team could have gapping holes.

Gurley is the cream of the crop now with a full clearance green light for bids/drafts.

Gray A Candidate to Move

Saturday, 3 June, 2017

Follow on Twitter@cimini

Believe it or not we’re getting closer to the MLB All-Star game. It’s been a rapid first couple of months of MLB. Thus far atypical to the grind of everyday baseball are injuries.

Staffs have been decimated with injuries up and down their rotations.

Finding a prime target to snatch to boost a playoff run is a standard goal.

With young prospects struggling to stay in rotations, it’ll likely leave a couple of veterans as prime attractors.

Out in Oakland, Sonny Gray’s name is a constant amongst trade rumors.

Questions surrounding him have derailed his teams from seeking the high price of Gray.

Over the past two seasons he has had repeated DL stints. Returning from those stints has resulted in sporadic inconsistency from Gray.

Yet he has showcased a couple of adequate performances recently to increase his trade value.

In his prior start against the Marlins he threw ten strikeouts.

While he is not a top rotation pitcher anymore, Gray can sustain as a solid third rotation guy.

Barring his health I’d expect Gray to be on the move this go around here in July.

Cuse’ Made the Right Move

Saturday, 3 June, 2017

Follow@cimini
Much has been said over the past three months on the decision to void Boeheim’s retirement agreement at Syracuse.

After a lengthy NCAA investigation Syracuse was deemed to have violated several NCAA rules.

Penalizing the school was handed down harshly via the NCAA. Syracuse was banned from NCAA tournament participation in 2015, and deducted scholarships for the next several seasons.

All in all many believe this was an over the top handling of levying penalties by the NCAA.

Deductions of scholarships one could expect but for as long as the allotted time just seemed outrageous.

Furthermore, Coach Boeheim was suspended nine conference games. Fortunately the Orangemen used that poor stretch to rally the rest of the season and to the NCAA Final.

The coach in waiting forever has always been Coach Hopkins. Hopkins passed up opportunities in the past including at Charlotte to remain the Coach in waiting.

While many expected the change over to happen seamlessly, I never fully believe that Boeheim wanted to go.

To see the domino happen of Hopkins taking a prime Pac-12 job cause a reactionary move many Syracuse fans wanted.

Boeheim in charge for as long as he deems proper not the higher ups.

It can never be denied how he has done for the city of Syracuse.

Losses or a return to the Final Four will not change my perception.

Go Cuse.

Cubs Struggles Tied to Spring Training

Thursday, 1 June, 2017

Follow@cimini
Call it what you want. A championship hangover is the common verbiage used in sports for a defending champion slow out the gate.

Last fall’s transcendent game seven and pennant win for the Cubs was a classic. With the plethora of youth talent in hand it was a no-brainer to see Vegas offer the Cubs as clear favorites to win again in 2017.

Heading to spring training the victorious celebrations did not stop. The city of Mesa, Arizona heralded the Cubs and even gave Joe Maddon the keys to the city.

Unprecedented charted waters for a spring training city. Yet, Mesa truly does have a Chicago vibe along with other Valley of the Sun cities. Many Chicago transplants have relocated and settled their new lives in the comforts of 365 days of inarguable weather.

Many lauded Maddon for his use of pitching during spring training, but in wasn’t any more drastic from his past experiences.

Two seasons ago the Cubs faced similar direction as they trailed the Cardinal. Too young of a team at that juncture they faded out of contention for the title and weren’t of playoff consideration.

Last year’s team obviously responded in all phases.

This year’s is proving to show glaring weaknesses in a veteran pitching staff that has arms eroding. Keep in mind Kyle Hendricks came out of no where last season and all the other pitchers have been through the crossroads of their careers.

At the plate no one has found their comfort zone, and a treacherous schedule has not helped matters.

Fortunate for the Cubs it’s only the beginning of June. In an expected tight division race they have the legs and roster to withstand the dog days of summer. Pulling through for a division title should be expected but another playoff run shouldn’t.

Expect some tweaks to overhaul the pitching before the trade deadline and for the Cubs to not fade as they’ve shown here in May.

Dbacks Bullpen Set to Cave

Tuesday, 30 May, 2017

Follow on Twitter@cimini
Early season anomalies are common in sports. Perhaps no more so than in MLB. A high dependance on extended pitching is called upon for a seven-month season.

Out in the NL West the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks have surged out in front.

Could we see the success happening offensively for both teams? Yes, the Rockies have been a power offensive team for years and the Diamondbacks have one of the best hitters in the game in Paul Goldschmidt.

Vegas and offshore books showed that they didn’t expect the Diamondbacks to improve. Off of last year’s horrid season the Dbacks win total was given between 74 and 77.5 wins.

Several moves with current roster arms and signings set the stage for a quality beginning by the Diamondbacks pitchers. Veteran arms in Jorge De La Rosa and closer Fernando Rodney were brought in. While both had rocky 2016’s they’ve held a strong role thus far in 2017.

The biggest move though for the Diamondbacks was moving Archie Bradley from the starting rotation to the bullpen. Tonight, marked his first true struggling performance as he sustained his first loss of the season against the Pirates.

How will he bounce back from allowing a walk-off home run? Psyche of a pitcher can flip overnight based on one outing. Based on Bradley’s history of stringing together poor starts last season, one has to be worried as a Diamondbacks fan.

I for one was in disagreement that the Diamondbacks did not use him the closer role originally or bring him back into the starting rotation when Shelby Miller went down.

It’s almost a no-brainer for an organization to bring up their best reliever with starting pitching experience over calling up a pitcher. Yet, that was not the case with Bradley.

Fantasy owners still believe in Archie somewhat as he is owned in over 67% of NFBC leagues. In all likelihood that number has been based more on a stash with hope for a bigger role.

My overall recommendation would be to cut Bradley and expect struggles to lurk much more than what has transpired.

Lebron Needs To Answer to No One

Monday, 29 May, 2017

Follow on Twitter@cimini

June is the time of year where criticism arises like no other. It’s been a tradition since I can recall the days of Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Reggie Miller, and countless others faltering in the NBA Finals.

Great careers that fell short of the old regurgitated necessity of a players career being defined by a championship.

As the dollars of the NBA have rose so has a circular free agency market. Staying put and building a team as a contender is no longer done like the old days. Instead players can recruit and build to their liking.

That’s the new age era and Lebron James has been the true king of it.

If not for his tough decision to leave Cleveland in the first place the media’s discussion would have a different beat.

Before the beat consisted of Lebron deferring too much in the final seconds. A nature that has proved to be completely misguided.

Also railed to no end was the notion of how improper Lebron’s decision was. Is the same stated when player’s are cut abruptly or traded hours before the deadline? No. He made a tough decision and in the end it ascended his career at a period that looked dead in the water.

Six years later and he is now in his seventh straight NBA Finals. Having grown up in the 90’s as a youth my observation of basketball history lies with the 90’s, 2000’s, and current.

I have to say that LeBron’s quiet defiance and persona of doing it his way is what stands out from him and Michael Jordan. Championships are a dead discussion and comparisons of era to era are unwarranted. Adaptations from the 90’s to now are freakish in terms of conditioning, athleticism, diets, and team personnel.

So lets tone down beating a dead horse. Enjoy the fact that two great teams are playing for a third straight June. Curry or Lebron and Kevin Durant’s chase. No—it’s a stellar setup for what basketball is all about.