Archive for January, 2012

NBA Week in Review

Posted: 01/31/2012 by levcohen in Basketball

Weekly top 5  power rankings:

#1: Chicago Bulls (18-5, last week #1): Despite their four point loss to the Miami Heat, the Bulls will stay at #1. They continue to impress, and that loss to the Heat would undoubetdly be a different story if Luol Deng, the starting SF, had played in the game. They have a +9 point differential, which is one of the top +/- in the league. However, it seems like this team’s achillies heal, so to speak, is their injuries. Nearly all of their contributers have missed games, and they should care more about getting their stars healthy than winning games. They have remained great on the boards, with the most rebounds per game, and still have the best record in the NBA, thanks to Derrick Rose and his 23 points and 8 assists per game. Look for the Bulls to get healthy, and continue to play well during the regular season. The big test, however, will be against the Heat in an inevitable matchup in the Eastern Conference Finals.

#2, Miami Heat (16-5, last week NR): The Heat have picked it up recently, winning five straight games, led by the famous big 3 in LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh. Each of them are averaging 20+ points per game, with Bron leading at 29 per game. However, while five straight wins is impressive, only one has come against a good team, and that was by 4 points against the ailing Bulls. The Heat obviously have tremendous talent, but their are still problems in their 4th quarter, and behind the big 3 there isn’t much firepower.

#3, Oklahoma City Thunder (16-4, last week #3): The Thunder stay in the #3 spot, and continue to be the best team in the Western Conference. They won 3 easy games last week, but lost their hardest test, in the Clippers in LA. Their big 3 remains the same, and they still need more scoring from Serge Ibaka, but, although an imperfect team, Kevin Durant (27 points, 8 boards per game) and Russell Westbrook (21 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game) showed that they can carry the team.

#4, Philadelphia 76ers (15-6, last week #4): The Sixers have won 4 of their last 5, with the lone loss being to the Nets and their red hot PG, Deron Williams. Most recently, Philly sent Orlando to their 4th straight loss, and probably tried to sell Philadelphia to Dwight Howard. They still have 7 players in double figures, but their C depth problem is becoming more and more apparent. Spencer Hawes is still hurt, and as is rookie Nikola Vucevic. That is the reason that Philly has recently been rumored in Amare Stoudomire talks. To get the Knicks talented big man, the Sixers would probably need to trade Hawes and Andre Iguodala, arguably the team’s best defender. They continue to have a balanced attack though, and Elton Brand showed that he can be a good defender when he shut down Howard.

#5, Atlanta Hawks (15-6, last week #5): The Hawks had a pretty nice week, but played against inferior competition, and got killed by the Spurs, by 22. Joe Johnson leads the team’s offensive attack, and Josh Smith and Jeff Teague are also major parts of the offense. The Hawks are doing as well as they could have hoped for without Al Horford, and need to get a team effort every game to stay on this torrid pace.

Fantasy player of the week:
Kevin Love, MIN PF:
In the last week, Kevin Love has put up 28 points per game, 12 rebounds, 1.5 steals, nearly 2 3’s, 58% FG, and an 85% FT. What’s not to like about that?

Fantasy add of the week:
Drew Gooden, MIL PF:
If he is still available in your league, pick him up now! With Andrew Bogut likely out for the season, Gooden will be the top big man option on Millwauke. He has been great for the last 5 games, so pick him up.

Fantasy drop of the week:

Amir Johnson, TOR PF:

Johnson has been mediocre He was at least supposed to give quality blocks and rebounds, but, recently, he hasn’t even been able to do that. He has supplied 2 rebounds per game in the last 6 games, and only 4 blocks in that time. He has also scored 4 points per game in that time. The time to drop him is now

The RB’s

Posted: 01/29/2012 by levcohen in Uncategorized

Just a note before i move on to the RB’s. It seems like nobody realizes that there are two all-star games today! The NHL all-star game and the Pro bowl are both today.. And onto the RB’s:

BenJarvus Green-Ellis, New England Patriots: BJGE- or “The law firm” is a solid but unspectacular RB who works well in the Patriots passing oriented offense. He is a redzone machine, and is tough to take down. He is a big reason the Patriots have recently been near the best in the NFL in turnovers, as he hasn’t fumbled yet in the NFL. Pretty spectacular.

My predictions for BJGE:
12 carries, 49 yards, TD

Danny Woodhead, New England Patriots: The Pats’ second RB, Woodhead is a small guy who can slip through tiny holes in the defense. While he doesn’t get all that many carries, Woodhead plays a big role on the Pats’ team. He is their kick returner, and catches a few screens every so often. The Patriots team seems to be filled with players who wouldn’t have much use on any team but theirs.

My predictions for Woodhead:
2 carries for 7 yards, 2 catches for 13 yards

Ahmad Bradshaw, New York Giants: Bradshaw is an explosive running back on a team that ran a lot until this year. While he didn’t run for an overwhelming number of yards and missed some games due to injury, he is definitely the best RB that will be in this game. He could have a surprising game with the Pats’ focussing on Eli Manning.

My predictions for Bradshaw:
18 carries for 82 yards

Brandon Jacobs, New York Giants: Jacobs is a guy who is past is prime, but still has good skill. A big, powerful running back, he was the feature RB in New York for years, and now has taken over in short rushing situations. It is hard for any one defender to take him down, which serves him well near the endzone and in short yardage.

Jacobs predictions:
7 carries, 29 yards and a TD.

 

BTW.. The NHL allstar game is already at 6-6 after two periods! Now I know why nobody watches it.

1. It’s the NHL and nobody cares about hockey 🙂

2. This is a joke of a game, with no hits and no contact and no goaltending. Just like in the probowl, where intentional grounding is LEGAL.

Patriots vs Giants- the QB’s

Posted: 01/28/2012 by levcohen in Uncategorized

I will everyday for the next week go over a position for each teams and see who has the edge. Now for the QB’s:

Tom Brady, New England Patriots:  Tom Brady is no stranger to big games, and he is a big game QB. This year, he threw for over 5,000 yards and had pinpoint accuracy for most of the year. However, it isn’t as if Brady has nothing to prove. I think everybody remembers the game 4 years ago, when Brady was pressured and sacked, and the Patriots lost to the Giants on a certain catch. Tom has said that he couldn’t watch tape from that game, it was so bad. Also, this is Brady’s first Superbowl since he screwed up his knee a few years ago, so that is a big incentive for Mr. Brady. Thirdly, in the AFC Championship game, Brady played poorly, as he didn’t throw for a TD and had two passes intercepted, resulting in a poor passer rating. Therefore, while the Las Vegas line is Patriots favored by 3, the trendy pick has been the Giants. Look out for Tom Brady and the Patriots to embrace the underdog role, which is one they don’t have too often.

My projected stats for Tom Brady:

29-42, 347 yards, 3 TD’s, 1 INT, sacked twice

Eli Manning, New York Giants: Eli is now a certified big game QB. With a postseason record of 7-3, he always seems to step up under pressure, no matter how often people compare him to his brother. Here will be a chance for him to pass his brother Peyton in the only stat that truly matters: Superbowl rings. Manning has also made a case for the best QB in New York history, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. http://espn.go.com/nfl/playoffs/2011/story/_/page/10spot-superbowl/eli-manning-makes-case-new-york-finest–adam-schefter-10-spot?eleven=twelve  Manning has beaten Brady once before in the Superbowl, and has a golden chance to hand him another devastating loss.

My projected stats for Eli Manning:

31-48, 372 yards, 3 TD’s, 2 INT’s, sacked 4 times

My top 10 fantasy at each position, MLB

Posted: 01/25/2012 by levcohen in Baseball

Today i will tell you my top 10 at each fantasy position day by day, since ESPN recently came up with theirs. I will also split some people from each position into tiers, to get a clearer sense.

Catchers:

Tier one:

1. Carlos Santana, Indians… Trending up… Santana has good talent..

2.  Brian McCann, Braves… McCann is the most dependable C and has been for a while….

3. Mike Napoli, Rangers… General consensus is trending up, but I think he regresses a lot this year….

Tier two:

4. Miguel Montero, D-Backs… Montero has good talent, is in a good place in a hitters park in ‘Zona… Trending up…

5. Buster Posey, Giants…. BUY LOW WITH SOME RISK alert. He has great talent, but after a gruesome injury last year may not be able to return to full strength.. Trending down..

6. Alex Avila, Tigers.. Had a good year last year, should be better this year with Victor Martinez injured… Trending up

7.  Joe Mauer, Twins…. @Buster Posey, but is older and is always injured. Also one of the worst ballpark fits in the Majors…. Trending down

8. Matt Weiters, Orioles…. Another young player with some upside, but hasn’t done well so far.. No trend

Tier three (the potential):

9. Jesus Montero, Mariners…. GREAT POTENTIAL, and he will start everyday in Seattle…. Trending way up

10. Wilson Ramos, Nationals…. Assuming he doesn’t get kidnapped again, he will play well in Washington… Trending up

 

Verdict: Catcher is deeper than people think, but after the top 8 it is just a guessing game.

 

ALSO… Kevin Love has agreed to a 4 year extension… My view: Great for both sides

Tomorrow I will not do the 1B rankings, but have my Superbowl predictions and the head to head matchups at each position

Fielder to the Tigers!!!

Posted: 01/24/2012 by levcohen in Baseball

Wow! This is very surprising, and he got over 200 million $ for 9 years. Scott Boras does a great job getting the most cash possible for his clients. While that is an overpay for the Tigers, they needed to do it to stay competitive, as they recently lost C/DH Victor Martinez for the season. With Fielder moving to 1B, there is a possibility that Miguel Cabrera might move to RF or 3B, or possibly DH. Also, espn.go.com today showed their top 10 at each position excluding P (with way too much buildup, as usual). Here they are:

Note: Ryan Braun might get a 50 game suspension for using PED’s. Interesting that he would be in the top 10 either way.

Catcher Top 10
1. Mike Napoli, Rangers
2. Carlos Santana, Indians
3. Brian McCann, Braves
4. Matt Wieters, Orioles
5. Miguel Montero, Diamondbacks
6. Alex Avila, Tigers
7. Buster Posey, Giants
8. Joe Mauer, Twins
9. Yadier Molina, Cardinals
10. Jesus Montero, Mariners

First Base Top 10
1. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
2. Albert Pujols, Angels
3. Joey Votto, Reds
4. Adrian Gonzalez, Red Sox
5. Prince Fielder, Tigers
6. Mark Teixeira, Yankees
7. Paul Konerko, White Sox
8. Eric Hosmer, Royals
9. Lance Berkman, Cardinals
10. Mike Napoli, Rangers

Third Base Top 10
1. Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
2. Evan Longoria, Rays
3. Adrian Beltre, Rangers
4. David Wright, Mets
5. Pablo Sandoval, Giants
6. Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals
7. Brett Lawrie, Blue Jays
8. Aramis Ramirez, Brewers
8. Alex Rodriguez, Yankees
10. Michael Young, Rangers

Second Base Top 10
1. Robinson Cano, Yankees
2. Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox
3. Ian Kinsler, Rangers
4. Dan Uggla, Braves
5. Ben Zobrist, Rays
6. Brandon Phillips, Reds
7. Chase Utley, Phillies
8. Rickie Weeks, Brewers
9. Howard Kendrick, Angels
10. Ryan Roberts, Diamondbacks

Shortstop Top 10
1. Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
2. Hanley Ramirez, Marlins
3. Jose Reyes, Marlins
4. Jimmy Rollins, Phillies
5. Starlin Castro, Cubs
6. Elvis Andrus, Rangers
7. Asdrubal Cabrera, Indians
8. Alexei Ramirez, White Sox
9. J.J. Hardy, Orioles
10. Derek Jeter, Yankees

Outfielder Top 10
1. Matt Kemp, Dodgers
2. Ryan Braun, Brewers (not suspended)
3. Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
4. Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox
5. Justin Upton, Diamondbacks
6. Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies
7. Curtis Granderson, Yankees
8. Mike Stanton, Marlins
9. Andrew McCutchen, Pirates
10. Ryan Braun, Brewers (suspended)

My take on the deepest positions:
3B, C

Shallowest:
SS, 2B

1B is top heavy, while C is evenly spread. C has a couple of possible bounce back value guys (Buster Posey and Joe Mauer) at a good price.

Posted: 01/23/2012 by levcohen in Basketball, Football
Tags: , ,

And the superbowl will be a rematch of 4 years ago… Giants-Patriots.. Boring… The Ravens (led by John Harbaugh) fell to the Patriots 23-20, less than the spread and one point off my prediction (24-20). In San Francisco, the 49ers (led by Jim Harbaugh) fell to the Giants 20-17 in OT, far off my 27-17 49ers prediction. It all ends with the same old New England vs. New York rivalry. These two teams already played, with NY coming out on top.

Now on to my NBA Power rankings, top 5:

1. Chicago Bulls, 15-3 (last week, #1): The Bulls hold the #1 spot, as they took care of the opposition this past week. They still have a stifling defense, allowing the fewest points per game. Derrick Rose missed the last week with a toe injury, and that is a big blow for the Bulls, because the only way to sufficiently heal a toe injury is rest, and he won’t get a lot with a compressed schedule. Chicago also have a lot of other key players with injuries. Starting SF Luol Deng (arguably the second best player on the team), recently hurt his wrist and will miss at least the next game. Starting C Joakim Noah is nursing a bad ankle, and SG Richard Hamilton just came back after missing 8 straight games. The Bulls notable FA pickup, Hamilton has barely played this year, but is just recently getting healthy. The ironic thing is that the only healthy starting player on the team is PF Carlos Boozer, who is the most injury prone guy I can think of not named Andrew Bynum. Throughout all this, the Bulls are chugging along.

2. Denver Nuggets, 12-5 (last week, NR): The Nuggs made a huge leap this week, winning 4 games in a row, all on the road, including big OT wins against Philly and the Knicks. They have the highest scoring team in the league, and are led by a balanced attack, with 6 players averaging double figures. Led by young stars, (Ty Lawson and Danilo Gallinari) and veteran help, (Al Harrington, Nene, Andre Miller), this team looks like a possibility to dethrone Oklahoma City as the top team in the west.

3. OKC Thunder, 13-3 (last week, #3): The Thunder have won 8 of their last 9 games, and would be #1 in the rankings if not for their embarrassing loss to the cellar dwellers, the Washington Wizards. In my last power rankings, I posted about how unbalanced OKC is, and that is still the same. However, they have continued to be able to find a way to win, and should continue to do so.

4. Philadelphia 76ers, 11-5 (last week, #2): The Sixers slowed down a bit last week, losing 2 of 4 games, including a blowout lose at the Heat. The Sixers continue to beat the teams they should beat, but this past week went 1-2 against tough opponents, beating the Hawks but losing to the Nuggets and Heat. If nothing else, this week was a learning experience for the young Philadelphia team. It also shows that the 76ers are vulnerable without Spencer Hawes, who missed the whole week with a back injury. They have been starting rookie Nikola Vucevic at C, which isn’t the ideal situation.

5. Atlanta Hawks, 12-5 (last week, #5): The Hawks continue to play well, losing only one game last week. It looks like they might make a trade to bolster their roster without Horford. The Hawks were left unnoticed after Horford got hurt, and have surprised people by continuing to win even without their big man. Joe Johnson has been lighting it up, and Josh Smith is a rebounding and blocking machine.

Fantasy player of the week:
LeBron James, SF:
Even if I hate Bron, he had a great week. He averaged 30 points per game, and added 1.5 blocks and 2.25 steals per game on the week, and 7 assists and almost 9 rebounds per game. Those are insane numbers. On top of that, he hit 1.5 3’s per game, after barely hitting any at the beginning of the year. His %’s were very good too, of course. He hit 53% from the field, and 79% from the line.

Fantasy add of the week:
OJ Mayo, SG:
Mayo had a great week, good enough for his coach to give him the green light more, and give him more playing time. Mayo is a great player to round out your roster because of his success in scoring and particularly 3’s. He has 10 3 pointers in the last 3 games

Fantasy drop of the week:
Channing Frye, PF/C:
It is funny that this is the second time Frye has been the drop of the week. That says a lot about his streakiness, and you should only drop him if you are in a shallow league where you can pick him back up. If you are in a deeper league, keep him on your bench until he gets hot, and then trade him, or trade for him now and trade him when he gets hot. You can get Frye cheap right now, as his coach has recently demoted him to a bench role.

NFL predictions

Posted: 01/22/2012 by levcohen in Uncategorized

Today are the NFC and AFC Championship games, and I’m going to make predictions for each:

Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots, (line is at Patriots by 7.5): Patriots 24, Ravens 20.. Ravens are underrated in this matchup, and will cover the spread, but I don’t think they have enough to eke out the win

NY Giants @ San Francisco 49ers, (line is 49ers by 2.5, but the trendy pick is the Giants): 49ers 27, Giants 17.. Just like his brother John, Jim’s 9ers team is underrated. They are favored, but by less than the field goal customarily given to home teams. The 9ers can throttle the Giants, and advance to the super bowl, where they are likely to be undervalued again against the Patriots.