Roto-Bituaries 9/13/15 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Lawr Michaels   
Sunday, 13 September 2015 07:47


Welcome to "Roto-Bituaries," which we hope will evolve both into a daily review and discussion of who is hot, who is hurt, and who is suspended, focusing on fantasy sports, but noting a lot of goofy things happen all over the planet.

That means the idea is to provide some information that helps you make informed decisions when setting your daily or weekly rosters, but as important, to have some fun (because games are indeed fun).

But, that also means things will be a bit fluid here as the virtual space develops some personality.

So, it is Week 1 for the NFL, with the baseball season streaming to an end and what do we see?


Todd Gurley (out) and Tre Mason (game time decision, but don't hold your breath) are probably not worth a play for the Rams today, and that means Benny Cunningham is the man in the backfield. Truth is, with St Louis facing Seattle, I would walk away, meaning don't think about the great performances of fill-ins Dion Lewis and DeAngelo Williams Thursday. Wait for next week and a less formidable defense.

Alshon Jeffery is also a game-time decision in a rematch of the oldest teams, the Bears and the Packers. Love Jeffery, and the addition of John Fox is a great move for the Bears, but until they get rid of Jay Cutler, it is pretty tough to bank on much of anything Bear-like. Pass on Jeffery.

Michael Floyd is nursing a couple of dead fingers which is tough for a Wide Receiver, but despite limited practice, Floyd is expecting to play against a changing Saints defense, and in this case, I would take a chance, obviously checking up until game time.

Mike Evans says he will play despite a fussy hamstring, but in a game with two rookie signal callers making their debuts, look for the defenses today. Pass on the receiver.

Mark Teixeira is officially out for the season. Tough after a nice resurgant season, but the Gregory Bird era is officially on. For how long, I am not sure, but lock and load for now.

Jose Fernandez is active again for the Fish and still deadly, as witnessed by five shutout innings with seven whiffs over a good Nationals team. Stay healthy, dude.


Aldon Smith signed a deal with the Raiders, keeping the talented but troubled player in the bay area. Smith is ideally in good shape, and ready to step in with a persona that does indeed match the Raiders of the past. And if he can behave, Smith might indeed help kick this (hopefully) improving team, making the Oakland defense a fun and cheap DFS play against the hardly dominant Bengals.

Seattle is indeed missing arguably the best free safety in the league with Kam Chancellor holding out. This is indeed stupid, with so much money involved in the league and salaries where the team and a star player cannot agree on an amount that is apparently less than $1 million. I still love the Hawks defense, but Nick Foles might indeed be able to give the team adjusting to missing an impact player some trouble.


Floyd Mayweather has tied Rocky Marciano's record of 49 straight boxing wins. Boxing (not that I watch it much anymore) does seem different than when I was a kid (just like Indianapolis racing) and it is hard to get too juiced up about men pounding one another, but, think of a time in your life when you successfully did 49 things in a row.

David Ortiz clobbered his 500th homer, making him the 27th player in history to achieve that impressive feat. Although, again, when I was a kid, there were only a handful of such players. Don't think that means I am screaming how the game sucks compared to when I was young, for changes in schedules and training and the game have indeed precipitated the power surges over the last 30 or so years. But, I don't mean to diminish the achievement of Big Papi. Kudos to an icon!

Again, remember you can play against us at the Mastersball 50-team 50/50 Challenge and you can follow me @lawrmichaels.

Last Updated on Sunday, 13 September 2015 09:05
FantasyScore MLB DFS Picks for 9/13/15 (Lawr) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Lawr Michaels   
Sunday, 13 September 2015 07:44

Oh Yovani Gallardo. You had me in the top 10 yesterday until the fifth inning when you ran into Mark Canha. Sigh, amazing how winning/losing seems to rest with that ever important second starter when playing the Mastersball 50/50 Challenge.

But, today is a new day, with new opportunities, and I am going with Zack Greinke ($9100) facing the Diamondbacks, backing him up with Michael Wacha ($8100) dueling the Reds on a day that promises to be clicker (as in remote) happy for most sports nuts.

That is a lot for two starting pitchers, and the cheap gamble play I made was shortstop Jordy Mercer ($2400) against Taylor Jungmann, who has run into a few predictable struggles over his recent starts (though do note Jungmann handled the Bucs well enough ten days ago).

I do like Brandon Belt ($5100) facing Odrisamer Despaigne, and as promising as the Reds' Raisel Iglesias looks to be, give me Kolten Wong ($3900) and Jason Heyward ($4700) this time around the block.

Note Mastersball will be playing a Fantasy Score football contest as well. You can play against the other Mastersballers and me at Fantasy Score and follow me @lawrmichaels

Last Updated on Sunday, 13 September 2015 08:58
FantasyScore DFS Picks for NFL Week 1 (Lawr) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Lawr Michaels   
Saturday, 12 September 2015 11:11


Welcome to the start of 2015 Football Sunday with Mastersball, where we are again partnering with FantasyScore and presenting a 50-team 50/50 Challenge.

So, in addition to Marc Meltzer's (@mastersballmarc) Football Hotpage review, we will be presenting our own picks for Sunday's games on Saturday morning (there may be more than one Mastersballer submitting rosters), and Sunday morning, we will also post with some late thoughts about match-ups, weather, injuries and of course the Zen as we see it.

So, let's have at it.

OK, who remembers Terrance West, Allen Hurns, Brian Hartline or Terrelle Pryor?

In Week 1 of 2014, West gained 100 yards on 16 carries for the Browns while Hurns bagged four catches, good for 110 years and a pair of scores. In Week 1 of 2013, Hartline caught nine for 114 yards and a TD while Pryor picked up 112 yards for the Raiders (the biggest gainer that week).

Now, I get that guys come seemingly out of nowhere, log a huge week for us to spend a wad of FAAB, and then they disappear (are you listening, Jonas Gray?), but Week 1 always seems like a free-for-all of the highest order despite the cool and skill Tom Brady shows us.

Clearly, there are some match-ups that seem obvious--Washington and Miami comes to mind--but if there ever was a week to simply trust your instincts and understand that number crunching and research or not, there is dust to settle, it is making Week 1 selections.

That said, I did go with one Dolphin (Tight End Jordan Cameron for $5000) but, call it man love, hopeful, stupid, or what, but I was so impressed with Derek Carr ($6300) last year as a rookie ball handler that with Latavius Murray and Amari Cooper supporting him, Carr makes a great gamble, at least this week. Although in my season-long leagues, I am equally wed to Carr, so there is a lot of sink or swim associated with him. However, one way or another, the Bengals defense is not that much better than the Raiders. In fact, I think the Raiders will turn out to be the better team by the end of the season.

That low-ball play allowed me to pick Adrian Peterson ($7700), being fresh after a year off with something to prove, against a changing San Francisco defense.

Again, rememeber you can play against us at the Mastersball 50-team 50/50 Challenge and you can follow me @lawrmichaels.

FantasyScore MLB DFS Picks for 9/12/15 (Lawr) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Lawr Michaels   
Saturday, 12 September 2015 09:26

Rainouts yesterday has forced a late completion in Cincy followed by the regularly scheduled game, along with a twin-bill for the Jays and Yankees. And, rain is threatening in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Philadelphia as we map out our rosters for the Mastersball 50/50 Challenge.

There are indeed some top line hurlers going where ideally the weather will not prove so wet and I am taking Noah Syndergaard ($7900) facing the Braves, and later on Yovani Gallardo ($6100) going locally against the Athletics. Gallardo has been solid over his last six starts, allowing seven runs over a pair of games, and none over the other four (33.6 innings) and he is taking on an Oakland team that does whiff.

As for hitters, after the Brewers burned me when I started Jeff Locke a few starts back, I have to play Jonathan Lucroy ($4100), who is .417-1-7 against Locke over the past five years and 24 at-bats, along with Marlon Byrd ($4400), who has been red-hot, hitting .300-3-19 over the 20 games he has been a Giant.

Note Mastersball will be playing a Fantasy Score football contest as well. You can play against the other Mastersballers and me at Fantasy Score and follow me @lawrmichaels

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 September 2015 10:54
FantasyScore DFS Picks for 9/11/15 (Marc) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marc Meltzer   
Friday, 11 September 2015 11:30

As we come into what is arguably the best time of year for sports, the hot weather that has plagued much of the country this week cools down today but there are still some hot plays at the Mastersball 50/50 Challenge. (Note that rain is threatening in Cleveland, Cincinatti, and Atlanta.)

Friday gives us an interesting slate of games and ample choices of expensive and cheap pitching.  Dallas Keuchel ($9400) paired with the inexpensive Steven Matz ($6400) is where I will be going.

On offense, the Rays continue to crush left handed pitchers and provide cost relief.  Logan Forsythe ($4800) with one of the outfielders will give you a lot of room to load up on other higher-priced hitters.

Don't forget you can play against the other Mastersballers at Fantasy Score and follow me @mastersballmarc.

Last Updated on Friday, 11 September 2015 12:02
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