Archive for May, 2012

Is the NBA Draft Lottery Rigged?

Posted: 05/31/2012 by levcohen in Basketball

Over the years, there have been all kinds of theories involving the NBA and the lottery. It started in 1985, the first ever draft lottery. The Knicks won that lottery and got the rights to Patrick Ewing, the best prospect in years. The reason people see this as a conspiracy is that the Knicks had been bad for a while, and the NBA wanted more money coming out of New York. Anyway, at that time they put team envelopes into a globe and shook them up before taking one out. The 4th one that went in (the Knicks), bent against the side of the globe. David Stern, then and now the NBA Commish, ended up picking up the Knicks envelope and the Knicks got Ewing. Anyway, I think all of that is silly, and the 1985 draft was not rigged.

The debate was kickstarted by this past draft lottery, which happened yesterday. Last year, the New Orleans Hornets- the NBA’s only league owned team- tried to trade their star Chris Paul to the Lakers in a big 3 way trade. The trade was:

Lakers trade Pau Gasol to the Rockets and Lamar Odom to the Hornets for Paul
Rockets trade Kevin Martin, Luis Scola and Gorgan Dragic, and a 1st round pick to the Hornets for Gasol
Hornets trade Paul for Martin, Scola, Dragic, 1st round pick, Odom

To me, that was a really good trade for the Hornets, as they were going to have to end up trading Paul anyway. However, since the NBA owned the Hornets they were able to veto the trade, saying it was unfair. The Hornets went on to trade Paul to the other LA team, the Clippers. Anyway, Saints owner Joe Benson reportedly bought the Hornets this offseason. However, the team is basically still owned by the NBA.

There are some major reasons to believe that this lottery was rigged. One is that the soon to be #1 pick Anthony Davis was seen wearing a Hornets hat two weeks before the lottery. It seems that it is just a little to perfect that the Hornets ended up with the #1 pick.

Another reason could be that Stern felt bad about vetoing the Paul to Lakers trade. Maybe he realized that Kevin Martin is a scoring machine, Scola is a great inside presence with 20 points/ 10 rebounds per game potential, and Dragic would be a good PG if he ever got playing time. Maybe Stern decided that he messed the Hornets up and decided to reward them with the block machine Anthony Davis.

A third reason is that Stern wanted to convince Benson to buy the team. As the owner of the Saints, Benson has been involved in the huge Bounty-Gate scandal this offseason. So it is plausible that Benson is just not a great guy and cheats to win. Maybe Stern reallly needed to find someone to buy the Hornets.

A lot of team executives are angry about this, and they think it is rigged. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! reports, “It’s such a joke that the league made the new owners be at the lottery for the show,” one high-ranking team executive told Yahoo! Sports. “The league still owns the Hornets. Ask their front office if new owners can make a trade right now. They can’t. This is a joke.” It is interesting that even owners and GM’s of rival teams think that this could really be rigged. Usually, it is all just fan and media speculation. This time, team executives are joining in on the fun.

Verdict: I think that this year’s Draft Lottery was rigged. There are just so many reasons to believe that it is. While I don’t think anybody will ever be sure, I think this is much more likely to be rigged than the Ewing draft. The addition of Benson to the Hornets, and the picture of Davis wearing the Hornets hat before the lottery is just too much.


Now for the AL.

C: AJ Pierzynsky, White Sox. .312 average, .352 OBP, .539 SLG. 8 HR

AJ has been a pleasant surprise for the White Sox, and he has gone under the radar. While hitting near the top of the lineup he has produced with 32 RBI and should continue to rake. Last year, his OPS jumped 200 points from June to May.

1B: Paul Konerko, White Sox. .399 average, .476 OBP, .681 SLG. 11 HR

Konerko is another White Sox player who has gone wayyy under the radar throughout his career. He has had a tremendous season, with an OPS nearly even with Josh Hamilton’s. This is amazing because Hamilton gets soooo much more publicity. Konerko is just fantastic.

2B: Robinson Cano, Yankees. .297 average, .355 OBP, .503 SLG. 7 HR.

Cano leads a group of underwhelming AL second basemen. He hasn’t been at his best for most of this season, but recently he has really turned it on

3B: Adrian Beltre, Rangers. .318 average, .337 OBP, .553 SLG. 10 HR

Beltre has been his normal self, with a .300+ average, great power, and no walks. Look out, as in the past 3 years Beltre’s OPS has increased by 100+ points from May to June.

SS: Derek Jeter, Yankees. .338 average, .380 OBP, .465 SLG. 5 HR

This was a near tie between Jeter and Asdrubal Cabrera of Cleveland, but I’ll give it to Jeter because he has been breaking records this year, and is now the 14th career player in hits. This year, Jeter has 10 more hits than any other AL SS.

LF: Josh Hamilton, Rangers. .368 average, .422 OBP, .753 SLG. 2o HR.

Hamilton has been an absolute monster. He leads the league in these categories: HR, RBI, OPS, SLG. He is second in R, OBP, AVG and third in hits. That is just dominant.

CF: Adam Jones, Orioles. .308 average, .349 OBP, .595 SLG. 14 HR.

Adam Jones has led the Orioles to a surprising AL East division lead. He has 26 XBH and 8 stolen bases, a nice combination.

RF: Josh Reddick, Athletics. .276 average, .338 OBP, .568 SLG. 14 HR

Reddick leads a lackluster Athletics offense. The offense is so bad that Reddick has only 27 RBI to go along with his 14 HR. Along with the HR, he also has 5 SB. This could lead to a 20-10 HR-SB by the all star break, which should get him a start. It probably won’t, though, because Jose Bautista is a much bigger name.

DH: David Ortiz, Red Sox. .309 average, .385 OBP, .564 SLG. 10 HR.

Ortiz is the obvious choice here, as he is on pace for a 90/30/90 .300 season, which will always have him near the top.

SP: Justin Verlander, Tigers. 5-2, 75 IP, 75 K, 2.15 ERA, .81 WHIP

Verlander has had another dominating start to the season, with a near no hitter. his ERA is tops (or bottoms) in the AL, and so is his WHIP. He is also tied for first in strikeouts.


C: Joe Mauer, Twins
1B: Prince Fielder, Tigers. Chris Davis, Orioles.
2B: Ian Kinsler, Rangers. Jason Kipnis, Indians.
3B: Mark Trumbo, Angels. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
SS: Asdrubal Cabrera, Indians.  Alcides Escobar, Royals
OF: Curtis Granderson, Yankees. Jose Bautista, Blue Jays. Matt Joyce, Rays. Mike Trout, Angels
DH: Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays. Adam Dunn, White Sox
SP: David Price, Rays. Jered Weaver, Angels. Felix Hernandez, Mariners. Chris Sale, White Sox. Jake Peavy, White Sox.  CJ Wilson, Angels.
RP: Jim Johnson, Orioles. Fernando Rodney, Rays. Chris Perez, Indians

Roster Breakdown:
Chicago- 5
New York-3
Texas- 3
Baltimore- 3
Boston- 1
Detroit- 3
Oakland- 1
Minnesota- 1
Los Angeles- 4
Tampa Bay- 3
Kansas City- 1


Today I will predict the NL starters and bench, and tomorrow will be the AL. This is based on STATS, and not by how popular their names are.

Btw.. Each team gets at least 1 all star


C: Carlos Ruiz, Phillies. .366 average, .419 OBP, .592 SLG. 7 HR

Carlos Ruiz has been the best Phillies hitter by far this year, and he is third in the NL in average. He has an OPS over 1.000, which is third best in the NL.

1B: Joey Votto, Reds.  .325 average, .466 OBP, .606 SLG. 8 HR

Votto is by far the best 1B in the NL. After a slow start this year, he has been fantastic recently. He has the second best OPS in the NL. What really sticks out to me about Votto is that other teams are extremely scared of him. He has 42 walks already, 10 more then the next best in the NL. He also has 6 intentional walks, also the most in the NL.

2B: Dan Uggla, Braves. .257 average, .367 OBP, .434 SLG. 7 HR

Some other 2B have better numbers than Uggla at the moment (Jose Altuve and Omar Infante). But I think that Uggla will pick it up, while the others will slow down. Uggla is a streaky hitter, and by the time the all star game comes he will have 17 homers and 45 RBI. I think Infante and Altuve are just average hitters, and they have been lucky. As the luck evens out Uggla will pass both in the all star voting.

3B: David Wright, Mets. .382 average, .484 OBP, .592 SLG. 5 HR

It would be a crime if the fans didn’t vote for David Wright at 3B. He has blown away any other NL third baseman, and has been the best player in the national league. Much like Votto, he is by far the most talented player at his position in the NL.

SS: Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies. .278 average, .353 OBP, .462 SLG. 7 HR

Tulo started out very slowly, but has gotten much better of late. He is in a groove, and is the most talented SS, so I expect him to keep it up.

LF: Melky Cabrera, Giants. .369 average, .412 OBP, .556 SLG, 4 HR

Melky Cabrera is extremely underrated. He has the second highest average in the NL, and he has been one of the few consistent hitters in the Giants lineup. Two things stand out to me about Melky. Don’t judge him by the 4 HR’s so far, because he has more power than that. He has 19 NON HR extra base hits, including an NL leading 6 triples. Those 19 are tied for second in the NL behind Joey Votto (Votto has 21 doubles). The second thing that stands out is Melky’s speed. With 9 stolen bases, he is in the top 15 guys in terms of speed.

CF: Matt Kemp, Dodgers. .359 average, .446 OBP, .726 SLG, 12 HR

Kemp doesn’t qualify among the leaders for most stats because he doesn’t have enough at bats (Has been on DL for last two weeks). However, he still probably has the best all around stats in the NL, led by his 12 homers and monster OPS. If he comes back shortly, there is no reason not to vote for him.

RF: Carlos Beltran, Cardinals. .290 average, .388 OBP, .605 SLG, 15 HR

Beltran is having a monster year, with NL leading 15 HR and 41 RBI. He has been great for a dynamite offense.

DH: Ryan Braun, Brewers. .312 average, .386 OBP, .607 SLG. 13 HR

Braun has put all the steroid questions behind him with another spectacular season. After winning the MVP last year, don’t be surprised if he does again this season.

SP: Gio Gonzalez, Nationals. 55 innings, 6-1, 1.98 ERA, .99 WHIP, 69 K

Gonzalez has lead the Nats to the best NL east record, and he should be recognized for that. However, there are 3 or 4 other SP’s that could be on here.


C: Buster Posey (SF), Yadier Molina (STL)

1B: Yonder Alonso (SD)

2B: Jose Altuve (HOU), Omar Infante (MIA)

3b: Martin Prado (ATL)

SS: Starlin Castro (CUB), Rafael Furcal (STL)

OF: Giancarlo Stanton (MIA), Andre Ethier (LAD), Andrew McCutchen (PIT), Carlos Gonzalez (COL),  Justin Upton (ARI)

DH: Jay Bruce (CIN)

SP: Brandon Beachy (ATL), Cole Hamels (PHI), Clayton Kershaw (LAD), Stephen Strasburg (WAS), Wandy Rodgriguez (HOU) , Zack Greinke (MIL), Johnny Cueto (CIN)

RP: Craig Kimbrel (ATL), Aroldis Chapman (CIN), Jonathan Paplebon (PHI)


Atlanta- 4
Miami- 2
New York- 1
Philadelphia- 3
Washington- 2
Chicago- 1
Cincinnati- 4
Houston- 2
Milwaukee- 2
Pittsburgh- 1
St. Louis- 3
Arizona- 1
Colorado- 2
LA- 3
San Diego- 1
San Fran- 2

Money and Championships (NFL and NHL)

Posted: 05/23/2012 by levcohen in Football, Hockey

continued post from the other day.


2007-8: New York Giants beat New England Patriots
Giants payroll: 75.5 million, 32nd (last) in NFL. Patriots payroll: 118 million, 2nd in NFL
Worst NFL team in 2007-8 season: Miami Dolphins, Payroll: 92.5 million, 28th in NFL

2008-9: Pittsburgh Steelers beat Arizona Cardinals
Steelers payroll: 129 million, 6th in NFL. Cardinals payroll: 122 million, 8th in NFL
Worst NFL team in 2008-9: Detroit Lions, payroll: 96 million, 26th in NFL

2009-10: New Orleans Saints beat Indianapolis Colts
Saints payroll: 121.5 million, 4th in NFL. Colts payroll: 103.5 million, 19th in NFL
Worst NFL team in 2009-10:  St. Louis Rams, payroll: 99.5 million, 24th in NFL

2010-11: Green Bay Packers beat Pittsburgh Steelers
Packers payroll: 135.5 million, 7th in NFL. Steelers payroll: 123 million, 18th in NFL
Worst NFL team in 2010-11: Carolina Panthers, payroll: 111 million, 22nd in NFL

2011-12: New York Giants beat New England Patriots
Giants payroll: 118.5 million, 12th in NFL. Patriots payroll: 113 million, 19th in NFL
Worst NFL team in 2011-12: Indianapolis Colts, payroll: 114 million, 17th in NFL

Conclusion: The superbowl winner has averaged the 12th best payroll, a number that was driven up insanely by the Giants last place payroll in 2007-08. If I was to take that out, the winner would have averaged the 7th best payroll. The superbowl runner up has had the 13th best payroll on average. The worst NFL team has averaged the 24th best payroll. Overall, the NFL can be won by a team with a big payroll or a small one,  more so than in the MLB and NBA.


2006-7: Anehiem Ducks over Ottawa Senators
Ducks payroll:  40.5 million, 15th in NHL. Senators payroll: 43.5 million, 7th in NHL
Worst NHL team in 2006-7: Philadelphia Flyers, payroll: 44 million, 5th in NHL

2007-8: Detroit Red Wings over Pittsburgh Penguins
Red Wings payroll:  44.5 million, 16th in NHL. Penguins payroll: 41.5 million, 20th in NHL
Worst NHL team in 2007-8: Tampa Bay Lightning, payroll: 39 million, 25th in NHL

2008-9: Pittsburgh Penguins over Detroit Red Wings
Penguins payroll: 56.5 million, 7th in NHL. Red Wings payroll: 56.5 million, 8th in NHL.
Worst NHL team in 2008-9: NY Islanders, payroll: 33 million, 30th (last) in NHL

2009-10: Chicago Blackhawks over Philadelphia Flyers
Blackhawks payroll: 61 million, 4th in NHL. Flyers payroll: 58 million, 7th in NHL.
Worst NHL team in 2009-10: Edmonton Oilers, payroll: 51 million, 18th in NHL.

2010-11: Boston Bruins over Vancouver Canucks
Bruins payroll: 65 million, 5th in NHL. Canucks payroll: 71 million, 1st in NHL.
Worst NHL team in 2010-11: Edmonton Oilers, payroll: 45.5 million, 25th in NHL

Conclusion: The Stanley Cup winner has an average of the 9th highest payroll in the NHL. The runner up has a similar payroll, but just a little higher(8.6). The worst team in the NHL has a payroll of 21st in the NHL on average. In the first two years, all 3 teams had almost identical combined payrolls. However, as the top teams decided to spend more, the gap widened. In the last three years, the cup winner and the runner up both have an overall 16th payroll finish, making 5 and a third on average. In that time, the league’s worst team has had their payroll’s finish up around 24th.



FINAL Analyses:

Let’s take a look at all the numbers together:

MLB: 6th (winner), 20th (runner up), 22nd (last)

NBA: 5th, 14th, 18th

NFL: 12th, 13th, 24th

NHL: 9th, 9th, 21st

it is clear that while money doesn’t buy championships, it definitely helps teams win them.

Final standings (in order of in which sports it is easiest to buy championships). This is just by the numbers:

1. NBA
2. NHL
3. MLB
4. NFL

Can Money buy championships?

Posted: 05/21/2012 by levcohen in Baseball, Basketball

Today I will take a look at the last 5 champions of the MLB and NBA, and their payroll and rank.


2007: Boston Red Sox beat Colorado Rockies in 4 games.
Red Sox Payroll: 143 million. 2nd in MLB. Rockies Payroll: 54.5 million. 25th in MLB.
Worst team in MLB in 2007: Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Payroll: 24 million. By far the lowest in the MLB

2008: Philadelphia Phillies beat Tampa Bay Rays in 5 games.
Phillies Payroll: 98 million. 12th in MLB. Rays payroll: 44 million. 29th in MLB
Worst team in MLB in 2008: Washington Nationals. Payroll: 55 million, 26th in the MLB

2009: New York Yankees beat Philadelphia Phillies in 6 games:
Yankees payroll: 201.5 million. By far the most in MLB. Phils payroll: 113 million. 7th in MLB
Worst team in MLB in 2009: Washington Nationals. Payroll: 59 million, 27th in MLB

2010:  San Francisco Giants beat Texas Rangers in 5 games:
Giants payroll: 98 million, 10th in MLB. Rangers payroll: 55 million, 27th in MLB
Worst team in MLB in 2010: Seattle Mariners. Payroll: 98 million, 9th in MLB

2011: St. Louis Cardinals beat Texas Rangers in 7 games:
Cardinals payroll: 105.5 million, 11th in MLB. Rangers payroll: 92 million, 13th in MLB
Worst team in MLB in 2011: Houston Astros. Payroll: 70.5 million, 20th in MLB

Conclusion: The average payroll for the WS champion has been 6th. The runner up average has been 20th, which is pretty surprising. The worst team in the MLB’s average payroll has been 22nd.


2007: San Antonio Spurs beat Cleveland Cavaliers in 4 games.
Spurs payroll: 65 million, 9th in NBA. Cavs payroll: 63 million, 17th in NBA
Worst team in NBA in 2007: Memphis Grizzlies. Payroll: 61.5 million, 21st in NBA

2008: Boston Celtics beat LA Lakers in 6 games.
Celtics payroll: 75 million, 5th in NBA. Lakers payroll: 72 million, 8th in NBA
Worst team in NBA in 2008: Miami Heat. Payroll: 73 million, 7th in NBA

2009: LA Lakers beat Orlando Magic in 5 games.
Lakers payroll: 79 million, 6th in NBA. Magic payroll: 63 million, 22nd in NBA
Worst team in NBA in 2009: Sacramento Kings. Payroll. 69.5 million, 12th in NBA

2010: LA Lakers beat Boston Celtics in 7 games.
Lakers payroll: 91.5 million, 1st in NBA. Celtics payroll: 82 million, 3rd in NBA.
Worst team in NBA in 2010: New Jersey Nets. Payroll: 56.5 million, 22nd in NBA

2011: Dallas Mavericks beat Miami Heat in 6 games.
Mavericks payroll: 86 million, 3rd in NBA. Heat payroll: 54.5 million, 21st in NBA.
Worst team in NBA in 2011: Minnesota Timberwolves. Payroll: 37.5 million, 30th (last) in NBA

Conclusion: The average payroll for the NBA champion in the last 5 years has been 5th in the NBA. The runner up has a 14th best payroll in the last 5 years. The worst team in the NBA has been 18th in the last 5 years.

NHL and NFL are tomorrow

Trevor Bauer, SP, ARI:

Bauer was recently called up to AAA, and the D-Backs need some help at the back of their rotation. Bauer is a top 5 prospect, and tore up AAA. He has a few control problems, but if and when Arizona calls him up he will K a lot of guys. His first start in AAA: 8 innings, 4 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 11 K’s. Impressive.

Wil Myers, OF, KC:

Myers has been absolutely destroying the ball this year in AA, and was recently called up to AAA. In 3 games and 11 AB’s so far at AAA: He is 5 for 11 with a 1.227 OPS. (2 of 5 hits have gone for extra bases). His overall stats this year: 51 for 145 (.352 average), 12 doubles, 13 HR, 32 RBI, 34 R, 4 SB, 1.152 OPS. The Royals can definitely use that.

Anthony Rizzo, 1B, CHI:

Like Myers, Rizzo is tearing it up in AAA. The problem for him is that so is Brian LaHair at the MLB level at 1B. The Cubs want LaHair to move to the outfield so they can call Rizzo up, but he really isn’t good enough defensively. Either way, when LaHair cools down, the Cubs will be quick to pick up Rizzo, who’s numbers so far are: 54 for 156 (.346 average), 10 doubles, 14 HR, 39 RBI, 27 R, 2 SB, 1.106 OPS.

Julio Teheran, SP, ATL:

The next time some  Braves pitcher gets demoted or injured, expect them to call their top prospect Teheran up. Teheran has been decent in AAA, with a 3.31 ERA. A problem area is his control, as he already has 17 walks in 35 innings. High pitch counts have kept his average innings pitched per outing well  below 5.  While he hasn’t been overly impressive, the Braves want him to pitch in the majors. So whether he will stick for the rest of the year or it will only be a spot start, Teheran should be up soon.

Danny Hulzten, SP, SEA:

Let’s face it. The Mariners aren’t going to contend this year. So why not bring up their top prospect Danny Hultzen? Hultzen, a polished pitcher, is currently making AA hitters look silly. His numbers: 45 innings, 24 BB, 44 strikeouts, 1.81 ERA, .99 WHIP. Besides the 24 walks, these are nearly flawless stats. He can strike guys out, and has given up only 2 homers in 45 innings. He will be moved up to AAA soon, and hopefully be called up by the M’s soon after.

Starling Marte, OF, PIT:

Marte hasn’t had a good year in AAA, but was very close to making the team out of spring training. With the way the Pirates offense looks, they could use something new. Insert Marte.

Garrett Richards, SP LAA:

In Los Angeles, the #5 starter is Jerome Williams. He stinks. With Mike  Trout in the MLB, Richards is now the Angels top prospect. With an under 4 ERA and 45 K’s, he has been solid in AAA. Time to get rid of Williams and re-energize this fan base.

Brad Peacock, SP OAK:

Peacock should make it to the show soon. He plays for an organization that is always rebuilding, and they traded their ace in a deal for Peacock and others. Peacock almost made it to the MLB coming out of spring training and has pitched solidly in AAA. He should be up soon.

Ryan Lavarnway, C BOS:

Jarrod Saltalamacchia is the current Red Sox catcher, and he is decent at best. Lavarnway should be the starting C. His biggest knock is his defense. However, Salty is already one of the worst defensive C’s in the MLB, so that shouldn’t really make a difference. Lavarnway has better power and plate discipline than Salty. In 139 plate appearances, Lavarnway has 17 walks and 23 K’s. In 103 plate appearances, Salty has 4 walks and 27 K’s. So far this year, Salty has been good overall. But Lavarnway should at least make it as the backup, and when Salty cools down he should sneak in some starts.

Jonathan Singleton, 1B HOU:

Singleton has been smoking the ball in AA, with an average near .300 and an OPS at .900. He has 26 walks to 37 K’s, a great rate for a slugger. Singleton should soon be called up to AAA, and then later this year to the MLB. If I were the Astros management, I would platoon JD Martinez and Brian Bogusevic in RF, move Carlos Lee to left, and plug Singleton in at first. For a rebuilding team, they really don’t have very much youth in the lineup (Jose Altuve is a notable exception, Jordan Schafer is decent as well).

Here are my top 10 rookies for THIS year, and then afterwards the top 10 for DYNASTY leagues (keeper leagues)

1. Trent Richardson, CLE RB   Most scouts have called him the best running back since Adrian Peterson. He was picked #3 overall, higher than Peterson. #3 overall is extremely high for a running back, as the top RB’s in the draft usually go around 10-20. We know the Browns really like him, as they traded a lot to move up 1 spot to nab Richardson. With Peyton Hillis gone, he will be the #1 back in Cleveland. He will likely get 300 carries, and with his skills he could easily be a top 10 RB in his first year.

2. Doug Martin, TB RB    Martin was picked #31 overall by the Bucs. This is a great situation for Martin. The current starting running back in Tampa is LaGarrette Blount. Blount is a decent runner, but he isn’t electrifying and can’t catch balls out of the backfield. On the other hand, Martin is a guy is fast, has great moves, and is a complete running back. In the last 2 years at Boise State, he caught 56 passes for 900 yards. He has a chance to immediately start on the Bucs.

3. Robert Griffin III, WAS QB   RGIII was picked #2 overall by the Redskins. While he is a great talent, he won’t have great guys to work with in Washington, as the WR core isn’t great. However, they did sign Pierre Garcon in the offseason, and Santana Moss returns, so there is hope there. Griffin is also here because he can run with the ball. That is a great trait for a rookie QB. The Skins will depend on him, and he should be able to become a top 15 fantasy QB immediately (although not as good as Cam Newton a year ago).

4. Andrew Luck, IND QB  With the #1 overall pick, the Colts picked Luck, a QB out of Stanford. The Colts are going to have to lean on him, since they have no run game. They also drafted Stanford’s TE, Coby Fleener. The Colts also retained Reggie Wayne, so Luck will have a few weapons to work with. Expect him to have a season similar to Peyton Manning’s rookie year; not that great (3,700 yards, 26 TD, 28 INT).

5. Michael Floyd, ARI WR   Floyd was drafted in the middle of the first round by the Cardinals. This is a guy who has better overall talent than the first WR off the board (Justin Blackmon). He is faster, bigger and stronger than Blackmon. Floyd will not get many double teams, since defense’s will need to double team Larry Fitzgerald almost every time. Kevin Kolb is the QB, and he hasn’t really proved himself. Expect Kolb to get better this year, and Floyd to develop into a solid WR2 with WR1 upside.

6. Justin Blackmon, JAG   Blackmon was the first WR picked in the draft, and will immediately become the WR1 on a Jags team that also signed Laurent Robinson, making a solid combo. However, the QB will be Blaine Gabbert. Gabbert is probably the worst QB in the NFL right now. Blackmon is talented, but on that team we have to temper our expectations.

7. Coby Fleener, IND   Fleener was the first TE picked in the draft, early in the second round. He will be reunited with his old QB, Andrew Luck. Luck loves throwing to Fleener, so expect a lot of catches. Fleener is a really underrated guy, as TE’s don’t really get a lot of love. He is probably a fringe fantasy starter this year in 10 team leagues. I would probably rank him around 12-14 in my TE ranks, which means he will be valuable during bye weeks.

8. David Wilson, NYG   The final running back on this list is David Wilson, who was the last pick in the first round. Wilson won’t start, but the starter, Ahmad Bradshaw, is injury prone. Wilson will get a lot of carries this year.

9. Alshon Jeffery, CHI    Jeffery was picked in the middle of the first round by the Bears. The Bears made a big effort to improve their WR, signing Brandon Marshall and adding Jeffery. Jeffery doesn’t have great speed, but could be a red-zone target for Jay Cutler, the Bears QB. He should have a decent amount of TD’s this year.

10. Brandon Weeden, CLE  Weeden is unusually old for a rookie QB (28), as he played minor league baseball for a while. That tells us that the Browns won’t want to wait to start him. He will most likely start immediately for a team with a couple of decent deep threats. With Trent Richardson, team’s won’t be able to defend some of the talent wide receivers who haven’t been able to get open in other years (for example, Josh Cribbs). On the other hand, the addition of Richardson will limit Weeden’s pass attempts, which will limit his fantasy potential. He will be a solid #2 starter in fantasy.

Dynasty rankings:

1. Andrew Luck, QB IND
2. Trent Richardson, RB CLE
3. Robert Griffin III, QB WAS
4. Doug Martin, RB TAM
5. Justin Blackmon, WR JAG
6. Ryan Tannehill, QB MIA
7. Isaiah Pead, RB STL
8. Michael Floyd, WR ARI
9. David Wilson, RB NYG
10. Coby Fleener, TE IND