September 25, 2008
So I went to lunch today with a friend of mine who founded a company called, Bleacher Report and he showed up wearing Trojan colors as any good USC Alum would do on game day.
After talking a little shop we moved on to tonight’s game and immediately started talking about the point spread. USC -25 in Corvallis. My initial reaction was 25 points will be a drop in the bucket for the Trojans. It almost seemed to easy.
So I went on to our NCAA Head to Head College Football application and saw that over 75% of fans are picking USC to win by more than 25 points.
So I did a little research and it looks like this Oregon State team can move the ball to the tune of 439 offensive yards/game (against Stanford, Hawaii and Penn St.) Oregon State likes to move the ball in the air and USC will be missing one of it’s starting CBs. (although it may not matter if Beavers QB Lyle Moevao has no time to throw). The Beavers have played competitively against the Trojans in Corvallis even stunning the Trojans outright in 2006.
So what does this all mean? It means that if you have any Trojans on your friend list, here’s your chance to own them.
Take the Beavers plus the 25 and own a Trojan fan today.
September 24, 2008
Yes, for those of you who have asked (and believe it or not there were a few), I did beat Brooklyn Decker this week to narrowly avoid an 0-3 start. I survived some big-time mismanagement as I benched serious points from the likes of Ronnie Brown and TJ Housh in favor of sub par performances out of Sammy Morris and Lee Evans. I was actually saved when the Jets didn’t trot Brett Favre out for that last meaningless almost TD drive.
Anyways, enough of that. Everyone knows the first rule of fantasy football is no one else cares about YOUR fantasy football team.
One cool feature of our fantasy football app that many of you might not know about is the fantasy resource center. It has all the content and notes you need to make all of your important game day decisions. There’s even a great area that shows you what players are being most added and dropped by all the users across all leagues.
It definitely highlights how quickly fantasy fans can get swayed. The top five most added players this week in order are:
1. Brandon Lloyd
2. Eagles D
3. Ryan Longwell
4. Chansi Stuckey
5. Bo Scaife
With bye weeks galore, it will be interesting to see how many of these five are on the most dropped list next week.
September 23, 2008
So I just got back in from lunch and it’s 75 degrees here with a warm breeze and almost zero humidity. It’s the end of September and we will likely have days like this on and off for the next month and a half.
But here’s the problem. Our offices are two blocks away from Telecom-to-be-Named-Later Park and as the Giants prepare for their final homestand and a potential Cy Young coronation nary a word can be heard about them in the hood. Contrast that to anywhere in Boston where I’m sure the streets are buzzing with anticipation of a Yankees elimination party tonight.
One needs only to spend a little bit of time on Red Sox Nation and Giants Faithful to see the difference in the passion of the fans. In the last ten minutes alone there have been 12 cheers for the Red Sox. My favorite of which was from Beth Herman, who wrote “Red Sox don’t need a new stadium to prove they are the team to beat”. You have to go back three hours to find a cheer from a Giants fan and it’s a very original “Go Giants”.
I know this is really an unfair comparison since one team is in the hunt and the other is long out of it but the raw numbers too are staggering. There are 2360 members of Giants Faithful versus 617155 members of Red Sox Nation.
Enough Giants fan bashing for now. I’m headed outside to go for a walk in the sun.
September 22, 2008
So with one week left to go in the baseball season (yes baseball is indeed still going on), there are some interesting races yet to be determined. If we assume both the Angels and Cubs are in and will have home field advantage, in the AL we’re left with the race in the East, AKA who gets to host the White Sox at home, and the race in the Central (the Twins will need a sweep in their head to head).
In the NL, the DBacks have either a 5.3% or 6.9% chance of winning the West according to Baseball Prospectus and ESPN.com. I did my own analysis and I think they have a slightly higher chance of stealing the division from the Dodgers, largely due to a last weekend which will see the Dodgers face Cain and Lincecum and the Dbacks will be able to throw Haren, Webb and Randy Johnson against the Rockies.
While doing my back of the envelope analysis, I gave the Phillies a 100% chance of making the playoffs. This was confirmed by both BP and the four letter network which both give the Phillies over a 98% chance of making the playoffs.
Last week a friend of mine posted as his Facebook status that he was going long mattresses because that’s where everyone was going to start putting their money. Well, when I looked at the PROTRADE market rankings and saw the Phillies trading as the 11th best team, I decided that going long the Phillies might be more lucrative.
One last note, if you want to make some sure money, short the Tigers. I don’t think there’s any chance they are making the playoffs. Unless they are playing more than 162 games this season and nobody told me.
September 19, 2008
When we decided to aggressively enter the fantasy football space by building Fantasy Football 2008 I knew that I was going to have to be in more than one fantasy football league this season.
That was an understatement.
I ended up in 14 fantasy football leagues and so far this year I am 17-11 in all my leagues combined. When you do more than one league in a season, inevitably you end up caring more about some leagues than others.
As a way to gain more awareness for our fantasy application we organized a celebrity league with the winner getting a $5000 donation made to the charity of their choice. Playing against the likes of Peter King, Brooklyn Decker, Michael Phelps, etc for charity seemed like fun friendly competition but certainly nothing to lose sleep over.
Until professional poker player Phil Gordon raised the ante (pardon the pun). Before the draft he challenged me to a side bet since of course he bets on everything. I certainly couldn’t back down from the challenge and before I knew it my fun and casual celebrity league became my $1000 side bet league.
Unfortunately, my draft was not as strong as some of my others and guys like Billy Beane and Jeremy Roenick snaked players out from under me throwing off my strategy. I did not adapt very well and sit 0-2 going into week three.
I have tempered enthusiasm for my team this week as I face SI Swimsuit Model Brooklyn Decker. I have some questions at RB – do I start injured Ryan Grant against Dallas, old Jamal Lewis against Baltimore or fat LenWhale White versus Houston but I do like my QB matchup – Kitna versus SF and my WR’s Brandon Marshall and Lee Evans (with TJ Houshmandzadeh on the bench)
Either way this is a do or die game for me as I don’t want to be 0-3 when I’m already all in against Gordon.
September 18, 2008
So two and a half years ago, my friend Kyle and I sat down to watch the Sugar Bowl together. It had been a long day of football watching and this game, a match up of a young, relatively unknown West Virginia team against a more seasoned Georgia Bulldogs squad had the makings of a blow out. Couple that with a very partisan New Orleans crowd and Kyle and I immediately took to rooting for the underdog Mountaineers.
Well what took place in the next four hours, was the stuff of legends. For any of you who didn’t watch that game, it was the coming out party for Rich Rodriguez, Pat White and Steve Slaton.
Although it was Slaton that ran for a Sugar Bowl record 204 yards that night, and Rodriguez who coached a masterpiece, the guy that really caught my eye was Pat White. Since then I have always been a Pat White fan going as far as to buy a number five West Virginia jersey and start a website called Pat White Plays Here. (okay I didn’t actually start the website)
Fast forward to present day. Only Pat White remains from that trio and he must lead his Mountaineers back from the biggest upset of his career, a 24-3 loss to then unranked East Carolina. He faces an up and coming Colorado Buffaloes team. The Mountaineers are installed as three point favorites.
72% of the fans on our Head to Head College Football Application think the Mountaineers will cover this spread. I’m not sure if I agree but here’s to hoping Pat White puts on a show for us.
September 18, 2008
There are three books that have changed my life. The first is Bringing Down the House for obvious reasons. The second is Moneyball because it spawned PROTRADE and indirectly introduced me to Mike Kerns, Michael Lewis, Jeff Moorad, Kevin Compton and Billy Beane.
The third book isn’t really a book of course and for any of you that follow what we’ve been up to in the last year you’ll know that it’s actually a website called Facebook. The bottom line is these three books helped me parlay an MIT education and an interest in numbers and games of chance into a career in sports – my true passion in life.
I was talking to a friend today and I realized that I’ve been playing fantasy sports for 19 years. Which makes it even sadder that I sit in last place in our celebrity league. I play Brooklyn Decker this week in a battle of winless teams. If I sit winless at this time next week I may have to reconsider my profession and life existence for that matter.
Finally, today’s Sox-Rays game is a huge game in so many ways. Not only will the Sox gain a tie for first in the standings with a win but they will tie the overall series with the Rays making winning the division that much more likely. It’s amazing to see the cheers on Red Sox Nation. Red Sox fans are so much more confident and arrogant than they’ve ever been in my lifetime. I wonder what the cheers would have been if we had launched Red Sox Nation pre-2004.
September 15, 2008
We’re working on getting the scores for all three defenses corrected for Week 2. Chicago and Tennessee are each missing 6 points for punt block return touchdowns and Seattle is missing 6 points for a fumble return touchdown. This should be corrected later tonight. Thanks for your patience.
September 14, 2008
The NFL has just rescheduled this week’s Baltimore Ravens/Houston Texans game to Week 10 due to storm damage by Hurricane Ike. Given the length of the postponement, any Baltimore or Houston players (and defensive teams) will be scored as though they had a BYE week in Week 2. We have set all projections for Baltimore and Houston players/teams to zero and we recommend you put any starters from those two teams on your bench this week.
September 10, 2008
Week one is done. Brady is done. Your fantasy team with Brady is done. That’s all you need to know about the first week of the season.
OK, losing a player of Brady’s caliber is always going to hurt your fantasy team, but having it happen in week one means you can still recover. Obviously you should try to pick up Matt Cassel, but you never know who else might come out of nowhere to put up monster stats. This Derek Anderson last year. Or Big Ben last year. My advice is to find the guy who just lost Colston for 4-6 weeks and trade one of your WR for his backup QB (assuming it’s a decent player). Just a thought.
As far as the Fantasy Football 2008 application goes, things went very smoothly in Week One with the exception of a busted stats feed from Stats Inc which caused some rookies and defenses to show no stats. Those issues have been fixed and we will be rolling out the final Week One stats today, so it’s possible your score might change. Let us know if you have any issues.
My not-very-bold predictions for top scorers by position in week 2:
QB – Kurt Warner
RB – Purple Jesus aka All Day aka Adrian Peterson
WR -Brandon Marshall
TE – Shockey
K – Folk
DEF – Cardinals
Who you got?