Daily Fantasy: Fantasy Football Does Not Suck Anymore

Originally published at DFSEdge.

Sorry folks, but it appears this is going to be my last go at the Daily Blog for a while. It's time to divert our attention to football, which Iím told is another sport that uses a ball and keeps score.† Apparently it's popular.† Donít worry, though, Iíll still be writing on baseball four times a week (two Strong Plays, two strategy pieces).

This change leaves me with mixed feelings. Iíve spent a good portion of my career as a fantasy baseball analyst deriding those who give up on their fantasy baseball squads to focus on football, leaving behind an empty shell of a team with a roster full of players that no one can trade for (not true of experts, of course, but many home leagues).† While Iíll still look down on you football dudes (I kid), I am coming around to the idea of fantasy football because of the advantages that the daily space provides.† While the traditional fantasy baseball league message boards are usually a ghost town by the middle of August, thatís not the case in daily. No one has a team they get tired of seeing at the bottom of the standings.† Every day thereís a new team to draft and a new game to win, so you never have to abandon your team because all hope is lost.† You can play both all season long, especially when you only spend one day a week picking your football team.† And for those who play both, there are fewer distractions on the football side to take your interest away from baseball -- i.e. no trades to make or lineups to tinker with all week.

As much as I joke about football being the inferior fantasy experience, I do play fantasy football myself and enjoy it very much, albeit to a lesser extent than baseball.† And next week in this space, Iíll be writing my first-ever fantasy football article.† Granted, Iíve never gone through any sort of football scouting school or examined the scores of data that I have for baseball, but I do think there are a lot of similarities between the two games.† Iíll leave the nitty gritty of ďplay him but donít play himĒ to the other, more qualified analysts we have here on staff -- at least for the time being, until I feel comfortable that my football player evaluation skills are up to the level of my baseball skills -- but I will be writing a lot on strategy.† Iíve always felt this was one of my strongest skills in fantasy baseball, being able to understand the game theory aspect and figure out the best ways to gain advantages for a given setup, and this is a skill thatís very much transferable to football.† I feel I have a unique way of looking at things, and Iím really excited to see how my first season as a football analyst unfolds, what Iím able to bring to the table, and what Iím able to learn from the game itself and from all of you.

Because of daily, fantasy football does not suck anymore.

ó The Pirates have called up Andrew Lambo from Double-A.† Heís gone through a lot to get to this point (trades, injuries, suspensions, poor performance, bear attacks), and this is the first year in a while that heís looked like a legitimate prospect, but he may be worth playing while heís cheap.† He definitely has big-game power, even if heís lacking in speed and potentially lacking in above-average batting average skills.

ó Tommy Hanson was demoted to the minors to make room for Jason Vargasí return.† That means Garrett Richardsí job is safe.† I like Richards as an undervalued player from a true talent standpoint, and he has a good matchup later this week against the Astros.† He pitched well in a road matchup against the Yankees last night (8 IP, 2 ER) despite taking the loss.

ó Call-up Matt Davidson didnít start in his first night with Arizona, instead taking a walk and coming around to score in a pinch-hit appearance.† He figures to get a lot of starts going forward, though, and is a solid cheap play in good matchups.

Yesterdayís Pitcher Pick Rundown
Hereís how my pitcher picks from yesterday fared:

ó Ricky Nolasco took the Win in a 6.1-inning, 2-run performance with 2 K and 2 BB.

ó Yu Darvish took the Win in an 8-inning, 1-run gem with 15 K and 1 BB.

ó Wade Davis took the Win, pitching 6 innings with 2 ER, 3 K, and 2 BB.

ó Danny Salazar fared worst, lasting just 4 innings with 3 ER, 5 K, and 3 BB and taking the Loss.

Event Tip: While the big contests of many daily sites are out of the qualifying rounds and into the end-game phase, FanThrowdown is running qualifiers for their $100,000 Grand Slam Tournament through September 2.† First prize is $25,000 with the top 75 spots getting paid out.

Contest Tip: Every Friday at DraftStreet, you have the chance to compete against me in a $300 free roll using their Pick ĎEm format.† It takes like three minutes to pick a team and is one of my favorite daily contests these days. Make sure you join with this link.

Life Tip: If youíre out at the bar and see a beautiful girl walking through a dark doorway, snap to action, and stop her with your winning charm, make sure that sheís not being followed out the door by her half-drunk, roided-up, clearly-more-insecure-than-my-grade-school-piggy-bank Neanderthal of a boyfriend whose natural reaction to someone talking to his girl is to, fists closed, charge them in a fit of blind rage.† Thatís how you almost get into your first bar fight.

Quick, whatís your all-time favorite Disney Channel show?† Mine is List-y McGuire.† (Man, Iím gonna miss these sweet puns.)

Top 5 Pitchers for Today
  1. Gio Gonzalez vs. SFG
  2. Bartolo Colon vs. HOU
  3. Adam Wainwright vs. PIT
  4. Kris Medlen vs. PHI
  5. Alexi Ogando vs. MIL
There are lots of good options today, so many so that we can fill out a list entirely with home pitchers; weíve recently established that home-field advantage is a very good thing.

Top 5 Teams to Stack Today
  1. Atlanta Braves ó Home vs. RHP Ethan Martin
  2. San Diego Padres ó Away vs. RHP Jeff Manship
  3. Minnesota Twins ó Home vs. RHP Zach McAllister
  4. Miami Marlins ó Away vs. LHP Bruce Chen
  5. Cleveland Indians ó Away vs. RHP Samuel Deduno
Inexperienced flyball pitcher with control troubles on the road?† The Braves are going to eat Martin alive today.

And now for the part where I force my non-fantasy views upon you, berate you if you dare disagree, and send you a friendship bracelet if you tell me how impeccable my taste isÖ

Top 5 Ways to Order Your Bourbon
  1. Neat
  2. Neat
  3. Neat
  4. Neat
  5. Neat
Never on the rocks.† I suppose you could mix it in the form of something like a Manhattan or an Old Fashioned, too, if youíre looking for a change of pace.† But if you ever order it "neat on the rocks," please save me the trouble and poison your own drink.

Top 5 Signature Drinks of TV Comedy Characters
  1. Macallen neat (Jeff Winger, Community)
  2. Mojito (Thad Castle, Blue Mountain State)
  3. Anything that comes with a cocktail umbrella (Marshall Erickson, How I Met Your Mother)
  4. Wine in a can (Frank Reynolds, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia)
  5. Bloody Mary (Woodhouse, Archer)