Fantasy Baseball – When to Start Playing for Next Year

If you've played rotisserie-league baseball for more than a couple of years, you've probably finished out of the money at least once or twice. Without you are a lucky owner in a league full of chumps, you've had to end a season where you had Kerry Wood, John Smoltz, Derek Lee and Todd Helton all end up with extended stays on the DL. In such situations, there is often no way to turn your team around. You simply have to face up to a lower-division finish. Hey, it happens in the major leagues as well as fantasy baseball.

The trick is knowing when to cut bait on a losing team to maximize your chances of winning in the coming years. For inspiration, let's look at a couple of MLB teams who have either sprung up from the depths of futility, or have remained stuck in "loser" mode.

Detroit Tigers

Year ………… Record …………. Payroll

2007 ………… $ 95 million

2006 ………… 95-67 ………….. $ 82 million

2005 ………… 71-91 ………….. $ 69 million

2004 ………… 72-90 ………….. $ 46 million

2003 ………… 43-119 ………….. $ 49 million

2002 ………… 55-106 ………….. $ 55 million

2001 …………… 66-96 …………… $ 49 million

When the Tigers won the ALCS in 2006, it had been nearly 20 years since the organization had been to the postseason. Detroit hit rock bottom in 2003, winning only 43 games (a .265 winning percentage), one of the worst seasons in the history of Major League Baseball. That season, the Tigers' salary ranked 24th out of 30 Major League teams. The next season, Detroit won 72 games, an amazing increase of 29 games over the previous year. Only AFTER they experienced success with their younger, inexpensive players did they begin to substantively increase the team payroll in 2005.

When team ownership saw that they needed a few more stars to contend, they added veteran pitcher Kenny Rogers, closer Todd Jones and infielder Placido Polanco, all at multi-million dollar departments. Of course, the 2006 season was a smashing success, but despite the high salary, the team's foundation is still its youth. That young, inexpensive nucleus should make the Tigers competitive for years to come.

An important part of the Tigers' success has been player evaluation. In the same way, a fantasy team owner needs to assess which players will help the team in the coming years at minimum cost. Players such as Jeremy Bonderman, Mike Maroth, Brandon Inge, Craig Monroe and Jamie Walker all made huge contributions in 2006 at very affordable salies (under $ 3 million apiece). Those players had all been around for a couple of seasons, and the team decided they were worth keeping. Combining these guys with the outstanding core of young players and adding in a few well-chosen veterans at the right time has been the Tigers' recipe for success.

Baltimore Orioles

Year ………… Record …………. Payroll

2007 ………… ……………… $ 93 million

2006 ………… 70-92 ………….. $ 72 million

2005 ………… 74-88 ………….. $ 73 million

2004 ………… 78-84 ………….. $ 51 million

2003 ………… 71-91 ………….. $ 73 million

2002 ………… 67-95 ………….. $ 60 million

2001 ………… 63-98 ………….. $ 74 million

If you want to have a fantasy team stuck in mediocrity for years, emulate the Orioles. They have not had a winning team in years, yet team payroll is consistently in the top half of the league. They already add players for huge sums who are at or near the end of their careers, yet do not have the strong nucleus of young players or the roster of talented veterans to support those mid-level acquisitions.

Here's a list of recent seasons, and some of the high-salaried players who did not live up to their billing:

2003

Albert Belle …….. $ 13 million

Scott Erickson …. $ 7 million

2004

Omar Daal ………. $ 4.5 million

David Segui ……… $ 7 million

2005

Sammy Sosa …….. $ 17 million

Sidney Ponson …. $ 8.5 million

2006

Kris Benson ……… $ 8 million

Javy Lopez ………. $ 9 million

Bruce Chen & Rodrigo Lopez ….. $ 4 million each

This year, it's more of the same. The names change, but the result will be similar to past years …

2007

Danys Baez ………. $ 6 million

Kris Benson ……… $ 7 million

Jaret Wright …….. $ 7 million

Perhaps Orioles management will get the hint after 2007. They have a developing core of young players, such as Erik Bedard, Daniel Cabrera and Corey Patterson, but they lack the superstar talent to justify spending over $ 90 million. They consistently bring in players like Kevin Millar, Jay Payton, Steve Trachsel and Aubrey Huff, all of what will probably be out of baseball in three years.

This is an organization with no direction. They seemingly can not bring themselves to admit that there's not enough talent to win, and scrap the whole thing and start over.

Do not do this with your fantasy team. If you are not going to win this year, be the first to start dealing your overpriced players to contending teams. You will get the best deals in return. Load up that roster with promising, young players and head into next year's draft looking to pick up a couple of superstars with an eye on contending in the next year or two.



Source by Scott Campanella

NFL – Sports Handicapping Advice

When the Dallas Cowboys and Indianapolis Colts kicked off the NFL 2007 season with the preseason opener, handicappers around the country were getting their minds ready to attack yet another year of football games in the never-ending quest of making money and winning office pools. As a professional handicapper, it is my job to tackle the betting lines each week in a quest to provide winning information to those who seek my service. As a statistics major in college, I have combined the math side of the equation along with proven game trends that have allowed me and my partners to select winners at a 57 percent clip over 20 years. That does not include our five weekly BEST BETS which come in winners at around 62-65 percent. This approach we also use for selecting college football, MLB, and NCAA basketball games.

Now on to our preseason NFL betting trends that we will share with you. One of my favorite betting angles that time and again have proven to be winners is the good old "Home Underdog" scenario. Typically seen when a struggling team plays at home against a winning club, the home underdog angle requires guts and fortitude by the better due to the fact that picking a clearly inferior team against one that is much better goes against every amateur bettor's instincts. For example a typical home underdog the last few seasons was the Houston Texans who seem to struggle every season. Well last season the Texans were home underdogs to the Jacksonville Jaguars who were a playing contending team. The point spread installed the Jags' as 7 point favorites. Many probably saw this game as a gimme and bet heavily on the Jaguars. Well a 27-7 pasting by the Texans made Vegas very happy. This is the perfect type of scenario that betting lines thrive on and what you always have to be on the lookout for. Home underdogs are a great bet and have been a consistent winner for years.

The reason this is so because of the disrespect factor. NFL players are if nothing else, prideful. Being disrespected is about the worst thing you can do to a professional football player and is something that stirs great emotions in those who feel its slight. When a team is playing in front of its home fans, the typical betting line is that the road team gets an automatic 3 points. Once this is established, then the oddsmakers determine the rest based on records, trends, injuries, etc. So after all of these factors are considered, if a team is then made into a home underdog, than what the oddsmakers are really saying is that you are so bad that we think you will get beaten on your own home turf. This drives players crazy and fuels them to prove the naysayers wrong. So what you get is a combustible level of rage, anger, and determination that allow home underdogs to cover at an almost 60 percent clip over the last five seasons. You are probably wondering that if this is so, than why does Vegas do something to change the pointspreads so that they do not lose money on this trend? The answer to that is they do not have to since many bettors still can not resist betting on superior teams over inferior teams, no matter where the contest is taking place.

So your first lesson in the 2007 NFL betting season is that you should pay attention to home underdogs. They are good money makers and will help you get ahead in your office pools. Good luck.



Source by Michael Keneski

What’s the Average Speed of Male Ejaculation?

When a man is ready to ejaculate his body will undergo a series of events.

He will see an increase in the size of the head of the penis and the head may also change to a purplish color. His Cowper’s gland will secrete ‘pre-cum’ fluid which dribbles out of his urethra. His testes will move in towards his body, and increase in size. As well, he may experience a body flush, muscle tension, increase in heart rate and rising blood pressure.

Just before ejaculation he will feel contractions in his vas deferens, seminal vesicles, and the prostate, causing seminal fluid (ejaculate) to collect in a pool at the base of his penis. He will feel a ‘tickling’ type sensation. When ready to ejaculate, he will feel a “throbbing” around his urethra.

Ejaculate will leave his penis at roughly the same rate of travel as a city bus, about 28 miles per hour. But can reach speeds of 43 miles per hour depending how long since the last time he came. (It’s all fun and games until somebody loses an eye!!)

Once he has ejaculated, his scrotum and testes will return to normal their size. He will have a general feeling of relaxation and experience a refractory period (where a he is physically incapable of getting another erection). This period may be from a few minutes to much longer depending on his age.

Sex Tip: Unless he is at the point of no return, you can stop him from ejaculating by firmly (yet very gently) squeezing on the tip of the penis.



Source by Trina Read

15 of the Most Popular NFL Jerseys (and the Players Inside)

1. Brett Favre. Brett's most endearing quality is his longevity and continued success in arguably the most important position in football. On the other hand, Favre's wild tendencies and current waffling over retirement and remaining in the NFL drive many fans crazy. Delighting fans for years as a Green Bay Packer, only to move on to the New York Jets and then finally to the Minnesota Vikings has put Favre's name on many colors over the years.

2. Jay Cutler. Jay is one of those players in the NFL who has bought a lot of promise from the day he was drafted from Vanderbilt College. A mediocre year in Chicago marked his trade from the Denver Broncos. From time spent with the Denver Broncos to currently leading the Chicago Bears, many people along with Cutler himself are looking forward to the future.

3. Troy Polamalu. Troy has arguably become one of the Pittsburgh Steelers most important defensive weapons since joining with the team out of USC. Troy is easily identifiable not only for his skill on the gridiron but also for his long hair and recently appeared in a shampoo commercial. The Pittsburgh Steelers look to continue their success with Polamalu's tough and creative style of play.

4. Michael Vick. Although Michael's recent legal problems have given him plenty of detractors, he maintains a strong following of supporters and has recently been "re-created" with the Philadelphia Eagles. Michael made a turbulent start to his career with the Atlanta Falcons, showing tremendously athletic abilities mixed with questionable personal decisions. Vick's diversity in football allows him to be successful not only as quarterback but at a variety of positions.

5. Ben Roethlisberger. Big Ben has spent his entire career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, leading them in two Super Bowl victories-becoming the youngest Super Bowl winning quarterback at only 23. Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers have dominated much of the last decade, although Ben had had his share of injuries and controversies to go along with his success.

6. Tony Romo. Surprisingly, Tony Romo earned a sort with the Dallas Cowboys after going undrafted in the 2003 NFL Draft. Romo has had a successful career with Dallas and has been surrounded by many skilled (and controversial) players. Tony is poised to continue his success with Dallas into the future, hoping to win his first Super Bowl championship.

7. Mark Sanchez. Known to his NY Jets teammates as "Sanchise", Mark became one of only four quarterbacks to win his first rookie playoff game. In 2009 Sanchez earned the largest New York Jets contract in history, illustrating the team's intention of him leading them into the foreseeable future. After leading the Jets to the 2010 AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts, Sanchez is poised to even greater achievements in the future.

8. Tom Brady. After winning three Super Bowl championships with the New England Patriots and countless other accomplishments, Brady and the Patriots have become synonymous with success in the NFL. Brady's consistency and excellence are a standard in the NFL that Brady and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick are building upon for the future.

9. Adrian Peterson. The Minnesota Vikings selected Adrian "All Day" Peterson in the 2007 NFL Draft. Peterson went on to set an NFL record for most rushing yards in a game and win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. Peterson continued to excel with the Vikings and the Brett Favre led offense.

10. Eli Manning. Eli showed the stellar talent he possesses when he not only won the Super Bowl championship with the New York Giants in 2008 but was named MVP of the game. Since his career start in 2004, expectations have been extremely high for Eli and he continues to excel.

11. Terrell Owens. Terrell began his colorful NFL career with the San Francisco 49ers, and then moved on to the Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys and finally the Buffalo Bills. Known popularly (or infamously) as TO, Owens has achieved great success with his teams while sparking countless controversies.

12. Peyton Manning. Continuing the family legacy of NFL success, Peyton won the 2006 Super Bowl championship with the Indianapolis Colts and has consistently been one of the highest rated passers in the NFL. Peyton is known for his meticulous football planning and for his work as comedy host of SNL. Fans and detractors alike will continue to watch Peyton's accomplishments grow over time.

13. Hines Ward. After being drawn by the Pittsburgh Steelers Hines has become known as one of the most versatile wide receivers in the NFL. Ward is outstanding both as a receiver for short and long yard plays as well as blocking for his teams. Ward achieved the Super Bowl championship with the Pittsburgh Steelers twice.

14. LaDainian Tomlinson. Upon being drafted with the San Diego Chargers in 2001, Tomlinson or "LT" as he is often known, became the top running back with the team. While the ultimate championship has earned LT, he has numerous achievements, including the single season NFL touchdown record. LT has recently signed with the New York Jets and will bring its excellence to this up-and-coming team.

15. Jason Witten. Witten has enjoyed great success with the Dallas Cowboys since 2004, being consistently named to the Pro Bowl in his position as tight end. In 2007 Witten joined elite company as he became just the third tight end in NFL history with 96 or more catches in a single season.

For more quality nfl football jerseys be sure to check out http://www.superfootballjerseys.com



Source by Greg C Smith

NFL Merchandise and Memorabilia

From the noise to the sites, an NFL stadium’s atmosphere can’t be duplicated for any loyal fan. However, some fans do not get the privilege of attending the game of their favorite team so they must watch it through a television set. Regardless of where the game is watched from, there are a few things that are almost for certain. The first thing is that during the time frame that the game is played, the game and only the game is the most important thing in a fan’s life. Nothing else matters but if their favorite team wins or loses. The other thing that is almost for certain is that the fan will be wearing or surrounded by team apparel and merchandise. Watching the game is not the same if team logos, jerseys, and other merchandise are not present.

One of the most popular NFL merchandise sold that is supported by almost any fan attending a game is a jersey of their favorite player. Usually, the jersey is accompanied by a team hat as well. Even the fan watching from home may be wearing a team hat or jersey to get in the spirit of things. Regardless of where this merchandise is worn, the fact and the matter of it all is that these fans purchased this merchandise to show support of their favorite team in the NFL. Authentic jerseys are not sold for cheap and yet they continue to sell because the fan views the purchase of their team’s jersey almost as an obligation and necessity. After that follows the pride in owning this merchandise. People love to flaunt the team they are passionate about, especially on game day or when the team is or has been recently successful. It is the center of arguments and conversations among individuals.

Every NFL team has merchandise available almost anywhere. Most of the teams have for sale the exact same things as the other teams with just colors or logos differing. Along with the jerseys and hats, other popular items include automotive accessories like decals and mats, clothing, flags, clocks, and blankets just to name a few. The companies designing this merchandise have got very clever by creating team apparel that can be present in almost every aspect of the fans life.

Of course, I cannot leave out the memorabilia. Memorabilia is available for those passionate fans who want to flaunt their team apparel even more than just owning team merchandise. The memorabilia includes autographed merchandise by team players and or coaches, collectable team merchandise, merchandise that was used at some point by an NFL team, or even merchandise of extreme importance and value.

Alright, so you are a fan of some team in the NFL and can’t figure out how u can get your hands on some of these amazing products that you keep seeing. Well the easiest way to find a wide variety at a reasonable price is online. You can do this through a simple Google search, the team’s website that you are interested in, or through a sports website like NFL.com.



Source by Richard Laliberty

2012 NFL Mock Draft (With Explanations)

Pick 1, Indianapolis Colts – QB, Andrew Luck, Stanford
The first pick of this years draft will be Andrew Luck. The only question is, who will be drafting him? Colts owner Jim Irsay says the team will draft either Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III with this pick, which is expected. Saying he would take Matt Kalil or Justin Blackmon would just lower the trade value of this pick. A possible trade could have been made with many teams. Browns, Redskins, Jaguars, and Dolphins would be most likely.

Pick 2, St. Louis Rams – WR, Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State
The best value pick here would be Matt Kalil, but Wide Receiver is easily their biggest weak spot on the team. Brandon Lloyd is a free agent this off-season and most likely will not return. Behind Lloyd they have nobody. Sam Bradford needs a weapon.

Pick 3, Minnesota Vikings – OT, Matt Kalil, USC
The Vikings had arguably the worst Offensive Line last season along with arguably the worst Left Tackle (Charlie Johnson). This is a very easy pick as they need to protect their future franchise QB Christian Ponder.

Pick 4, Cleveland Browns – QB, Robert Griffin III, Baylor
This will most likely be the landing place of RG3 if there are not any trade ups to get him. Colt McCoy (drafted in the 3rd round in 2010) has not been successful, and this is the perfect opportunity for the Browns to take their future franchise QB.

Pick 5, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – CB, Morris Claiborne, LSU
Not only is this the best value pick at number five, it's also a big need for the Buccaneers this off-season. (38 year old) Ronde Barber will be a free agent this March, and Aqib Talib could be cut with the legal issues he is dealing with.

Pick 6, Washington Redskins – QB, Ryan Tannehill, Texas A & M
The Redskins number one priority this off-season should be finding a QB, and they have a couple of options. They can move up in the draft to take Luck or Griffin, they can sign Matt Flynn in free agency, or they can trade for Peyton Manning (If the Colts make him available). If none of these options work out, Ryan Tannehill would have been a good pick here. Some might think this is too early for Tannehill, but after Luck, Griffin, and Tannehill there is a pretty big drop off in Quarterbacks.

Pick 7, Jacksonville Jaguars – CB, Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama
This would be a great value pick for the Jaguars taking arguably the best defensive player in the draft. Their top Cornerback Rashean Mathis will also be a free agent this off-season. This pick could also be used for a pass rusher like Quinton Coples.

Pick 8, Carolina Panthers – DT, Devon Still, Penn State
This pick will most likely be used on the best Defensive Player available which would be Devon Still. They have weakneses at Defensive Tackles, Linebackers, and Defensive Backs. Their best case scenario would be if Kirkpatrick fell to the eighth spot.

Pick 9, Miami Dolphins – DE, Quinton Coples, North Carolina
Head Coach, Joe Philbin says that the team's number one priority is to find a QB. Many people think that Joe Philbin (former Packers Offensive Coordinator) will sign Matt Flynn in free agency. If there are looking to get a top QB in the draft they will have to move up. But if they dont move up, they could definitely use the number one DE in the draft.

Pick 10, Buffalo Bills – OT, Riley Reiff, Iowa
The Bills will look for a pass rusher or an offensive Tackle here. Demetrius Bell will be a free agent and he has not been the answer for them at Left Tackle. If Quinton Cople fell down to the tenth spot, this would be a much tougher pick for Buffalo.

Pick 11, Kansas City Chiefs – OT, Jonathan Martin, Stanford
This would be a solid pick filling a big need a Right Tackle. Their other weaknesses are at Inside Linebacker, and Quarterback. Luke Kuechly could also be a possible pick here.

Pick 12, Seattle Seahawks – DT, Michael Brockers, LSU
The Seahawks couldnt sack the Quarterback last season and Brockers would have the best defensive linen available at this spot. If they do not re-sign Marshawn Lynch, this would most liky be where Trent Richardson Lands.

Pick 13, Arizona Cardinals – OLB, Courtney Upshaw, Alabama
Inside Linebacker and Outside Linebacker are two big needs for the Cardinals this off-season. This would be a great pick here to replace their old and injured pass rusher Joey Porter with young talent.

Pick 14, Dallas Cowboys – CB, Alfonzo Dennard, Nebraska
The Cowboys finished with the tenth worst pass defense last season and cornerback has been a need for them the past couple of seasons. Alfonzo Dennard is said by most (Including myself) to be the best Cornerback behind Claiborne and Kirkpatrick.

Pick 15, Philadelphia Eagles – ILB, Luke Kuechly, Boston College
Last season the Eagles did not sign their free agent Stewart Bradley (ILB) who tore his ACL earlier that year, and they went into the season starting 4th round pick Casey Matthews. Matthews was bench later in the year.

Pick 16, New York Jets – OLB, Melvin Ingram, South Carolina
Finding a pass rushing Outside Linebacker is easily the largest need of the Jets going into the off-season. Calvin Pace is not much of a pass rusher, and they have not had a dominant rusher since John Abraham in 2005.

Pick 17, Cincinnati Bengals – RB, Trent Richardson, Alabama
Trent Richardson falling to the Bengals is very possible if he can make it past a few teams. And with Cedric Benson becoming a 29 year old free agent, the Bengals would love this pick jumping that they can get a top Guard with their other 1st Round pick.

Pick 18, San Diego Chargers – OLB, Nick Perry, USC
Ever since Shawne Merriman's knee problems in 2008, The Chargers have been looking for replacement at the rushing linebacker position. Perry would fit perfectly for the Chargers defense.

Pick 19, Chicago Bears – WR, Michael Floyd, Notre Dame
This would be a great pick giving Jay Cutler a Brandon Marshall type weapon. The Bears have been needing a Wide Receiver for a while now and with Mike Martz gone, this pick becomes more likely.

Pick 20, Tennessee Titans – DE, Whitney Mercilus, Illinois
Both Defensive Ends Williams Hayes and Jason Jones will be free agents this off-season. And their 2010 1st Round pick Derrick Morgan has 4 sacks in 19 games. They could also go for a Cornerback or Guard.

Pick 21, Cincinnati Bengals – G, David DeCastro, Stanford
This would be a perfect draft scenario for the Bengals if they could fill two of their biggest needs in Round one. Their Guard Bobbie Williams is going to be a 35 year old free agent, and drafting DeCastro would be great for their young QB and RB.

Pick 22, Cleveland Browns – RB, David Wilson, Virginia Tech
Peyton Hills will be a free agent this off-season and will probably be gone. Back up Montario Hardesty can not stay healthy and has not looked good even when he has been healthy. This would be a great pick having a fresh new lease in 2012 with a new QB and RB.

Pick 23, Detroit Lions – C, Peter Konz, Wisconsin
This might be a boring pick for Lions fans, but it's the best value pick for their needs. Center Dominic Raiola is getting old. They would have to make a reach to take the next best Cornerback or Tackle.

Pick 24, Pittsburgh Steelers – T / G, Cordy Glenn, Georgia
The Steelers have to go Offensive Line in this years draft. Specifically they need a new guard and Left Tackle. Cordy Glenn would be perfect because not only is he the best Left Tackle available, he is also the best Guard available at this pick.

Pick 25, Denver Broncos – DT, Fletcher Cox, Mississippi State
The Broncos could use a lot of help at Guard and Center, but they would need to make a reach to take someone like Brandon Washington or Ben Jones. They have a pretty big need at Defensive Tackle and Fletcher Cox good value pick here.

Pick 26, Houston Texans – WR, Alshon Jefferey, South Carolina
They do not have many needs on the team. So this would be a great opportunity to build on the offensive, and take Alshon Jeffery to line up across from Andre Johnson. Another possible pick could be the 350lb Nose Tackle Dontari Poe, an upgrade over Shaun Cody.

Pick 27, New England Patriots – SS, Mark Barron, Alabama
The Patriots finished the season with the 31st ranked pass defense last season. 2007 1st Round pick Brandon Meriweather turned out to be bust and was cut before the season along with James Sanders.

Pick 28, Green Bay Packers – OLB, Andre Branch, Clemson
Finishing the season with the worst defense by far, the Packers have to go defense with this pick. Branch is a good fit for their 3-4 defense and can line up across from Clay Matthews. Also, Tight End JerMichael Finley is going to be a free agent. So if they do not sign him they could take either Coby Fleener or Dwayne Allen with this pick.

Pick 29, New York Giants – ILB, Dont'a Hightower, Alabama
The biggest need for the Giants is at Tackle, but it would be a reach to take Zebrie Sanders or Mike Adams with this pick. So the Giants will go with another need taking an Inside Linebacker to replace Jonathan Goff (who tore his ACL).

Pick 30, Baltimore Ravens – ILB, Vontaze Burfict, Arizona State
This is a great value pick for the Ravens just like last years 1st Round draft pick Jimmy Smith. Burfict is known to have bad character issues which will make him drop this far. The Ravens have a great locker room and he will learn under Ray Lewis before he retires.

Pick 31, San Francisco 49ers – WR, Kendall Wright – Baylor
Not only could the 49ers use a talented WR, Braylon Edwards, Josh Morgan, and Ted Ginn are all going to be free agents this year. Wright would make a great deep threat and slot WR.

Pick 32, New England Patriots – DT, Dontari Poe – Memphis
Along with Mark Barron, the Patriots can add this 350lb 3-4 Nose Tackle / 4-3 Defensive Tackle to help out with their 31st ranked defense.



Source by John D Oldfield

Fantasy Football Sleepers – Kicker Rankings in Fantasy Football 2009

Kickers are generally drafted in the last 2 rounds of Fantasy Football Drafts. Since most Fantasy Football leagues have 12 owners, your goal is to pick one of the top 12 scoring kickers in the league. There are 32 NFL teams, so you have a better than even chance to get a top 12 kicker, even in a blind draw. The difference between the best kicker and the 12th ranked kicker is only about 2 points per game. Everyone knows Gostkowski et al, but who are the true sleepers out there? Read on and pick up some extra points about sleeper kickers.

Sleeper # 1

Rian Lindell of the Buffalo Bills finished the 2008 season as the 11th ranked fantasy producer at his position. However, that came in a year that saw one of his worst conversion rates ever, 79%. Because of this, he will fall in most owner's eyes. When one looks deer into his stats, you see that he was forced to attempt as many kicks from 40+ yards last year as his previous 2 years combined! This means that with the coming of WR Terrell Owens to Buffalo opponent Lee Evans, more requests from 25 to 35 yards are almost guaranteed, due to the fact that Buffalo has the 13th easiest schedule for WRs. I look for production in the 138 point range, a steal as your last draft pick.

Sleeper # 2

Garrett Hartley was perfect as a rookie for the New Orleans Saints last year, while playing in only 8 games. In a standard scoring format, he scored 67 points, which extrapolates to 134 points in a complete season. Getting 8+ points from a kicker you may be able to pick up in the last round is a great value, and you know Drew Brees, Marques Colston, Devery Henderson, Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas are going to move the ball. Kicking in a dome does not hurt either, and I look for the second year kicker to see about 135 points this year.

Every year, one owner gets itchy and takes a Gostkowski or Akers with 3 or 4 rounds to go, and Touches off a kicker run. DO NOT get caught up in this, pick your kicker last, and take one of the sleepers mentioned above to produce maximum value. Sure a steak dinner for $ 15 is nice, but if you can get a hamburger for a nickel, it sure as heck tastes better.



Source by Patrick ONeill

The Early History of the Chicago Blackhawks!

The Chicago Blackhawks were founded in 1926 with six other American Teams. The Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadians, Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, and the Detroit Red Wings were the first six American hockey teams, and they would later be known as the original six. In 1926 Frederic McLaughlin bough the team and became the first owner of the Blackhawks. Prior to owning the hockey team McLaughlin was a Commander in the 86th Infantry Division at World War 1.

The Blackhawks where the first American Hockey team to have there full starting line all burn in America. In there first year of NHL Hockey (1926) the Chicago Blackhawks would finish the season with a 19-22-3 record that placed them in the middle of the standings. In 1927 the Blackhawks would go to the Playoffs for there very first time, but then ending up lousing to the Boston Bruins in the first round.

From 1927 to 1930 the Chicago Blakchawks had the worst NHL team and finished in last place. Finally in 1931 the Chicago Blackhawks made it to the Stanley Cup finals for the first time, but would lose to the Montreal Canadians. In 1938 the Blackhawks barely made it into the Playoffs with a 14-25 losing season, but some how turned it around in the play offs and then won the Stanly Cup Championship. The Chicago Blackhawks would be the first NHL team to win a Stanly cup, despite having the worst regular season record.

The Chicago Blackhawks have won the Stanly Cup Championship four times, including last season 2008/2009. The 1926 Chicago Blackhawks NHL team were part of the first string of American NHL teams. The Blackhawks have been know to be a rough a tough grind them out type of hockey team, and they will be one of the more popular NHL teams.



Source by Doug Thomas

Wayne Gretzky – The Great One

What discussion of the great game of ice hockey does not begin and end with Wayne Gretzky ? You may or may not be a fan of the Great One , but you can no easier deny his dominance and the impact he had on the game than you can convince Rosie O'Donnell that subtle is better.

Growing up as a huge NBA enthusiast (my tenure as a fan began when I was about 8-10 years old with Julius Erving and ended with the retirement of Sir Charles Barkley ), I was no Chicago Bulls fan, but once Michael Jordan entered the scene, you just knew you were seeing something special.

And like Gretzky (indeed despite the only viable similarity to Gretzky), whether you loved him or hated him, you certainly had to grant the man his place in sports history.

Over the years, many have been tempted to compare the likes of Wayne Gretzky's dominance in the sport of ice hockey to Michael Jordan's own personal statistical stranglehold on professional basketball. Still others are tempted to compare Tiger Wood's dominance in professional golf to the statical marvel of the Great One.

Any such comparisons are done in vain.

Yes, each of the aforementioned superstars dominated (or is dominating ) their relevant sport. But no one did it with the sheer inescapable magnitude of Wayne Gretzky over his twenty year career in professional ice hockey.

To put Gretzky's feats in perspective, if Michael Jordan were to match the Great One's single-season scoring record — statistically speaking — he would have had to average over 70 points per game.

Gretzky started playing Junior B hockey at 14 years old, winning a challenge to existing Canadian amateur hockey rules. That first season, he won rookie of the year, totaling 60 points in 28 games.

As many well know, over his career in the NHL, Gretzky had more assists (1,963) than second place on the all-time POINTS list ( Mark Messier with 1,887).

His record of 2,857 points will never be surpassed.

All said, Wayne Gretzky holds:

40 regular season records

15 playoff records

6 All-Star records

He won 4 Stanley Cups (Oilers), garnered 9 MVP awards, and was the leading scorer in the NHL 10 different seasons.

Not only is he the only player to ever tally more than 200 points in a single season, he completed the feat four times . He scored over 100 points in a season 13 consecutive times, with a total of 15. He also turned 50 hat tricks.

Arguably there has never been a player with such a natural sense of puck flow, ice position, and the ability to create time and space. It was said the Great One had eyes in the back of his head.

In one game, he scored on the drop of the face-off puck twice , against the same goalie.

His greatest attribute, perhaps, was not exemplified by his grace with a stick and puck but rather his presence without them. No dominant force was ever so humble. Rick Reilly , senior writer for Sports Illustrated , once proclaimed the biggest challenge of interviewing Wayne Gretzky was getting him to say anything about himself.

Whether you loved him or hated him, to deny him his place in history is impossible. He was an ambassador for the sport, and reinforced the notion that hockey could be (and is) a game of grace, skill, and honor.

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Source by Robert Guthrie

MLB – Mets Closer Bill Wagner is Out of the Season

The 37-years-old closer pitcher Bill Wagner is possibly out of the MLB season after being in rehab for several months due to an elbow injury that was bothering him for quite some time. However after he was trying to pitch at the simulated game last Sunday, Wagner decided his pain was too strong to keep going, therefore the specialists sent Wagner to an MRI. The results shown a torn ligament in his elbow and a torn flexor pronator in his forearm.

Wagner will need surgery and it will take him more than a year to recover. This news was like budket of cold water for general manager Omar Minaya, who expressed his concern regarding Wagner's health and his decision to replace him.

The Mets are now preparing to play without Wagner, who was a key closer pitcher for the team. "That was a fact that I was not expecting to spend a lot of dollars on, especially to get a new closer. at different options – internally, externally and it's going to be a challenge. We're going to really have to think outside the box, "Minaya stated during a conference regarding the issue.

Before Wagner became injured he had a 4-year $ 43 million contract with the Mets which also incorporated an additional $ 8 million team option when the contract ends in 2010. Wagner knows the Mets a top closer and he knows he will not pitch next year. Neverheless, his family is supporting him as this has become his biggest challenge during his professional career as pitcher and it is very tough.

Wagner knows there is a long way ahead but he is confident he will be back to accomplish his 420 saves and a World Series title. Not only his surgery is a challenge but also his age and the reality check to know that younger and good players are coming to compete against him.

1993 was the first year of Wagner's professional career when he was drafted by the Houston Astros. But his first appearance was not until 1995 against the Mets. After great accomplishments with many saves and strike outs with the Astros in almost 9 years, Wagner was traded to the Phillies in 2004.

In November 2005 he signed a 4-year contract with the Mets for $ 43 million. So far Wagner's best season was in 2003 when he reached career-highs in saves of 44, 86 innings pitched, 78 games played and 105 strikeouts.

As people look through out his 14-years of professional baseball career, they can see he is an incredible baseball player and a very person who will welcome his Tommy John surgery – as he is called – and he will come back to his accomplished goals and retire in the way he always dreamed.



Source by Ally White