ESPN Bottomline 2.0

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bruins v. Capitals Oct. 19 preview: Storify

Monday, October 4, 2010

Capitals Convention 2010: Slideshow

Well, even though I thought this was a good slideshow on the Capitals Convention 2010, I cannot sell everything. Be it money, politics or the Redskins, this is now great stuff for Sports Chutney. Enjoy.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Brett Favre's fantasy: More football


Brett is back.

A little less drama than usual, but the Favre is back in his proper place in the world – playing football somewhere in the American Midwest.

As a fantasy football owner the question becomes – how much do you really care?

Outside of Favre fan boys (who will take ye olde gunslinger with their first pick regardless and yes, these people do exist) it takes more of a discerning eye to quantify the value of Favre this year. It is his 20th NFL season.  In the “Not For Long” league, that is an eternity, especially at one of the skill positions. How is Favre holding up? Is that ankle going to be a significant problem? Can he just jump into action a month after the start of training camp and pick up where he left off?

These are valid questions. The short answers are that Favre’s arm will probably be fine, the rest of his body has held up well through the years and he is perhaps the toughest player ever to drop under center (in reference to his ankle).  Twenty years gives Favre somewhat of a right to be given the benefit of the doubt, from fans, coaches, teammates and fantasy owners alike.

Senility set in with Favre long ago. Reference various retirements for proof. More importantly though, reference his actual performance through the years. Yes, last year he was remarkable. Perhaps even MVP worthy remarkable if it was not for the Era of Manning in the NFL. Yet, can you really expect more of the same from Favre this year? Look at last year’s numbers against his career averages.

2009 (Career)

Completion percentage – 68.4 (62.0)
Yards – 4202 (3648)
Touchdowns 33 (26)
Interceptions 7 (16)
Rating – 107.2 (86.6)

Favre was 201 yards off his career high, set in 1995 (with his second best mark at 4212 in 1998). He threw for more than 30 touchdowns for the first time since 2004. He had a career-low in interceptions with his previous low of 13 in both 1995 and 1996. Remember, this is the man who owns the all-time NFL mark in both touchdowns AND interceptions.

So, the question to ask yourself is: can Favre do it again?

Short answer?

No.

Last year was a special year for Favre. It was his “Stick It To The Packers” year along with a year that his franchise has legitimate Super Bowl aspirations that came just short in overtime of the NFC Championship game. Favre was also in camp earlier last year, though that should not be as big a problem as some will make it. This year Favre seems almost like it is an also-ran type of thing. He wanted to make sure he was healthy, he wanted to miss most of training camp (a guess but after 20 years of getting beaten by large men in the sweltering summer heat, would you want to show up if you did not really have to?), he wanted his annual 15 minutes of Summer Favre Mania.

The biggest thing that I notice this year is just the way Favre seems to be approaching it. Last year it was “I am thrilled to be a Viking and we are going to go out and win a god damn Super Bowl!” This year he is saying “Well, shucks, I just owed it to Minnesota to come back.” You know, unfinished business and all.

Favre is a guy who plays with fire and the brighter the better. It is almost like Terrell Owens in a roundabout way. When Owens burned his bridge with one team, he would go to the next and be a (relatively) model citizen and productive player. Then the next year he was back in his high chair screaming at whoever would listen about the indignities he had been served.

Look at Favre’s stats for the last couple of years. The last year in Green Bay was one of his best, slightly below what he did in Minnesota in 2009 (28 touchdowns, 15 interceptions, 4155 yards, 66.5 completion percentage, 95.7 quarterback rating). For all anyone really knew, that was going to be his last year in the NFL and he had something to prove with Aaron Rodgers being the quarterback the team seemed to favor going forward (in retrospect, with good reason).

The next year, things never really clicked with Favre in New York. It did not seem like his first choice of destinations, the team was mediocre and New York is definitely not Green Bay (or Mississippi). Subsequently Favre’s numbers slipped (22 touchdowns, league-leading 22 interceptions, 3472 yards, 65.7 completion percentage, 81 quarterback rating).

No fire. No Favre.

The thing to look for in Favre this time around in Minnesota is his decision making. Last year Favre was motivated last year to take care of the ball. Hence his highest career completion percentage and his lowest ever interception total. Yet, looking back on Favre’s trends, he is been a bit of a yo-yo. His penultimate year in Green Bay he threw 18 touchdowns and 18 interceptions (much like that 22/22 split for the Jets) with a mediocre team. Without that chip on his shoulder, Favre becomes undisciplined and unfocused and is a middling to bad quarterback.

That probably will not be entirely the case this time around with the Vikings. He still has a good team around him and perhaps a bit of a chip after yet-another playoff ending interception and this time it could possibly be the real end to his career. The last shot at glory. Favre probably will not be as good as last year but he will still be decent.

Where does that put him on your draft board? Think top-10 quarterback in the draft. Perhaps eighth or ninth. That would put him in the 65 to 80 pick range, depending on the priorities of your league. Anything above that and you have gone senile along with your quarterback. Anything below and he will probably be gone.

This post can also be found at rotoinfo.com

Also, if you are not a fan of the title, it is alright. It is a colleague's suggestion for an SEO optimized version thereof. Kind of clever actually. I hope.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bruins press release in NHL investigation of Marc Savard's contract

BRUINS STATEMENT REGARDING NHL’S INVESTIGATION OF MARC SAVARD’S CONTRACT
EXTENSION

BOSTON, MA - Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli issued the
following statement today regarding the NHL’s investigation of the
seven-year contract extension signed by Marc Savard on December 1, 2009:

“We are cooperating fully with the League in its investigation of the
Marc Savard contract extension.  The League informed us upon their
registration of the contract on December 1, 2009 that they would be
investigating the circumstances surrounding this contract.  From that
point on, they commenced their investigation and it has been ongoing
since then. On August 4th, I met with two League appointed lawyers as
part of the investigation.  We will continue to cooperate with the
League in any future investigative proceedings if necessary and we will
have no further comment on the matter at this time.”

Monday, August 9, 2010

Fantasy Baseball -- Impact of the trading deadline on pitchers

What does the MLB trade season mean to you?

It is the part of the baseball season when good players go from the dredges of the league to contenders. Where top-tier prospects get swapped and get their chance at big league jobs with bad clubs and minor moves make all the difference when it comes for a chance at October glory.

It is also one of the last opportunities for fantasy owners to make roster changes for the final push at the coveted league title.

Owners who have players like Cliff Lee, Dan Haren and Roy Oswalt are satisfied that the marquee pitchers on their rosters have moved on to greener pastures. When it comes to fantasy, the hope is that what real-life general managers did in July (and into the waiver season of August) translates into a couple extra wins, strikeouts, runs or home runs for fantasy owners.

That is the perception at least.

It does not always work out like that though. Lee is obviously worth more to the Rangers (and to fantasy owners) than he was for the Mariners. Through 13 starts in Seattle this season, Lee was a 3.0 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) pitcher, posting and 8-3 record with a 2.34 ERA through 103.2 innings. The Mariners are dead last in the majors this year in runs scored so it would figure to benefit Lee to move over to a Texas team that historically been known for its pop and sits at sixth in the league in the scoring department.

In theory.

So it is with baseball. What seems like a no-brainer outcome – better team, better offense, more wins – is no sure thing. In Lee’s 13 starts with the Mariners the team scored a respectable 4.8 runs per game for him (slightly above the league average of 4.7). The Rangers in six starts thus far?

A tick above 2.4.

That leaves Lee at 2-2 early in his Texas career. His ERA is higher that it was in Seattle at 2.63 while his home run rate has raised from .4 per nine innings to .7 and his strikeouts per nine has decreased from 7.7 to 6.5 (his career rate is 6.8).

This will even out, to a certain extent. So far Lee’s WAR in Texas is 1.7, a little more than half of what he had in Seattle in about half as many games. Yet, The Ball Park at Arlington (or whatever it is being called these days) has never been a friendly place when it comes to pitchers and home runs, so Lee’s ERA is probably not going to drop back down the 2.00 level, no matter how much Nolan Ryan or Chuck Greenberg compel him or how many carrots are promised in his next contract. Texas is just not friendly to pitchers. Of the nine home runs that Lee has given up this year, four have come with Texas, all at home (with three coming against Baltimore in his first start in a Rangers uniform).

Lee has perhaps 10 starts left with the Rangers this year. It is a fair assumption that Texas will start scoring more than 2.4 runs per each of his starts but it is not a foregone conclusion. If he wins eight of those starts, it will be a minor coup.

So, what is the fantasy conclusion for Lee now that he is in a Ranger uniform? Trade him now. Trade him to a pitching-needy team that is willing to pay for the perceived promise of those eight wins and make them overpay for a potential Cy Young winner. If you cannot extort a fair sum from your opponent you can keep him on the roster and know that he will not be hurting you down the stretch.

Let’s take a look at some of the early returns of big name pitchers changing teams.

Haren

With Arizona – 21 starts, 141 innings, 7 wins, 8 losses, 4.60 ERA, 1.348 WHIP, 9 K/9

With Los Angeles – 3 starts, 20 innings, 0 wins, 2 losses, 3.60 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 7.2 K/9

Analysis – If you are in a keeper league, you should be very happy that Haren is out of the Arizona desert and into the California one. Yet, the Angels this year are not exactly a “good” team and Haren moves to the tougher league. So far his peripheral numbers look a little better than with the Diamondbacks but all you can really count on Haren for is strikeouts. Fantasy analysis? Keep him stashed away at the bottom of your rotation and let him help you in his one reliable category.

Oswalt

With Houston – 20 starts, 129 innings, 6 wins, 12 losses, 3.42 ERA, 1.109 WHIP, 8.4 K/9

With Philadelphia – 2 starts, 12.1 innings, 0 wins, 1 loss, 4.38 ERA, 1.297 WHIP, 6.6 K/9

Analysis – Oswalt was motivated towards the end of his Astros career and his 8.4 K/9 (over a 7.4 mark through his career) was evidence of that. As such it appears that he is going through a bit of a “dead-arm” period right now with the Phillies and his numbers has suffered the short-terms effects of that correspondingly. Good for keeper leagues but trade him now if you can.

Matt Capps –

With Washington – 47 appearances, 46 innings, 3 wins, 3 losses, 26 saves, 2.64 ERA, 1.304 WHIP, 7.4 K/9

With Minnesota – 5 appearances, 5 innings, 1 win, 0 losses, 2 saves, 1.80 ERA, 1.400 WHIP, 14.4 K/9

Analysis – There is no reason to think that Capps cannot get it done in the Twin Cities the way he was getting it done with the slightly-less-than-awful-than-usual Nationals. He is a fair candidate to make an attempt to trade for as Minnesota battles for its playoff life.

 Dan Rowinski is a Fantasy Baseball Columnist for Rotoinfo.com. If you have any questions or comments feel free to e-mail him at danrowinski@rotoinfo.com. You can follow him on Twitter at Dan_Rowinski.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Fantasy Baseball: Yunel Escobar -- Wherever you go, there you are


Yunel Escobar rounds third after grand slam
 homerun July 18 against Baltimore. Image from
Toronto Sun (via Reuters).

I am always a little skeptical when pundits and scouts say that all a struggling player needs is “a change of scenery.” Yet, with limited access to actual major league clubhouses, there is little insight I can give into how a certain player is fairing on the field because of the situation around him.

Sometimes a change of scenery is really what is needed to offer a boost of moral and productivity. Think about it: Have you ever left a job just to go somewhere else to do the same exact job and been much happier for it?

My guess is that you probably have and, at least initially, you thought that the move was the best possible thing that you could have done for yourself. Yet, one of the simplest and oldest clichés applies to the change of scenery notion of productivity.

Wherever you go, there you are.

A mere hop from one spot on the map to another is not going to change the fundamental characteristics of your personality. Yes, it may offer a temporary blip of energy and purpose, but after a while you find that you are doing the exact same things that you did not like (or others did not like about you) in the place that you left. Without fundamental character growth and maturity, a will to engage life in a professional manner, you are bound to regress back to the level of productivity that had become your statistical norm. If being complacent or angry or easy-going is in your nature, a brand new location is not going to fundamentally change that characteristic.

Given that this is a fantasy baseball article and the MLB trade deadline is ten days away, you may see what I am getting at here.

I am speaking specifically of Blue Jays’ shortstop Yunel Escobar, who was traded from the Braves to Toronto for Alex Gonzalez on July 14. I will circle back to Escobar shortly.

Think about some of the prominent trades in the last couple of years. The biggest and most pertinent name in this discussion would have to be pitcher Cliff Lee, currently with the Rangers after having been shipped from Cleveland to Philadelphia to Seattle and finally to Texas since last year’s trade deadline. Lee, regarded as one of the most professional players in baseball, has not changed a bit in the maelstrom of moves since leaving the Indians. In that period he has pitched 201.1 innings with an absurd 10.05 strikeout to walk ratio (171/17) with a 15-8 record and nine complete games. In going from Seattle to Austin earlier this month he just kept on chugging along, going nine innings in both of his first two starts with his new team. Clearly this is not a player affected by environment.

Now let’s go back and look at the trade that sent Manny Ramirez from Boston to Los Angeles in 2008. Ramirez, who was regressing due to age despite still being a very productive hitter, found new life down the stretch for the Dodgers hitting .396/.489/.743 for a ridiculous 1.232 OPS with 17 homeruns and 53 RBI in 229 plate appearances. His line before leaving the Red Sox that year was .299/.398/.529, an OPS of .926 with 20 homeruns and 68 RBI. That is a rather large statistical jump as he produced nearly as many homeruns and RBI with the Dodgers as he did with the Red Sox in nearly half the plate appearances. His OPS+ split between the two was 136 in Boston to 221 in Los Angeles (with 100 being considered average on a percentage scale).

Since that torrid stretch, Ramirez has regressed back to his career means. Take into account the alleged lack of performance enhancing drugs and his age he has not really changed as a hitter. His 155 OPS+ in 2009 and his 152 mark in so far in 2010 (in limited playing time due to suspension and an increasing injury rate) are right in line with his career OPS+ of 155.

Granted, there was no way that Ramirez could have sustained his 2008 performance with the Dodgers but it does go to show the temporary benefits of change of scenery can do for a player. In the end though, Manny is still Manny, no matter where he is playing.

Now for Escobar. This is a talented shortstop who, at the age of 27, should be approaching his prime production period of his career. His career slash line of .293/.370/.408 is respectable if a little light on the slugging side (.414 is about league average slugging) and he has a career 107 OPS+ over 450 games and 1867 plate appearances. That makes him seven percent better than a league average shortstop. His 2009 breakout, which was to be expected of a player entering his third year in The Show, of .299/.377/.436 is perhaps a touch higher than his expected overall performance over the course of his career but does offer a decent guideline into what type of player he can be – a slightly better than league-average middle infielder with a propensity for streakiness depending on his mood.

The Braves could not wait to get Escobar out of Atlanta and gave him up for a shortstop with a career OPS+ of 81 (which is, oddly enough, Escobar’s 2010 OPS+) and a couple middling prospects. For a business-like team trying to win in manager Bobby Cox’s last season, his lack of professionalism and poor fielding as a consequence were a poison on the field and in the clubhouse.

It should then come as no surprise that Escobar has been on fire in his first couple of games in Toronto going 8 for 17 with four runs, two homeruns and seven RBI. Contrast that to his run production in Atlanta (28 runs, zero homeruns and 19 RBI in 301 plate appearances) and it is clear that the change of location has lit a temporary fire under Escobar.

Before Blue Jays fans and fantasy owners get too excited though, remember that this cannot last. Escobar is at an age where he is not a likely candidate for any remarkable statistical breakout and eventually he will be what he has been all along . . . decent but not outstanding.

Ultimately it will come down to Yunel being Yunel, no matter what city he plays in.

Dan Rowinski is a Fantasy Columnist for Rotoinfo.com. If you have any questions or comments feel free to e-mail him at danrowinski@rotoinfo.com. You can follow him on Twitter at Dan_Rowinski.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Twitter -- @EarlyBird and the endless possibilities

I have been wondering how Twitter was going to make money.

I love the idea of Twitter, if not alway in practice. I tweet, a lot, and try to be more than an automaton linking my articles and breaking the occasional bit of news. As someone from the company said recently, Twitter is a "information media" platform as opposed to a "social media" platform and in that regard I believe it to be true.

Twitter has come to replace a lot of folks RSS readers and it is great if you are in the news junkie business and have an affinity to scroll. This is what makes Twitter important to me and as such I have been hoping that they would eventually acquire a business model to stay at the top of the microblogging hierarchy. Hey, I have brand loyalty sometimes too!

Yet, I have not been sure how they were going to do this. My first thoughts that Twitter, in and of itself, does not have a lot of business potential. Advertising is tricky because a vast portion of the network operate from third party clients (I am a TweetDeck and UberTwitter for my Mac and Blackberry, respectively), hence "Promoted Tweets" on trending topics does not seem like it could have scale. Placing ads within peoples timelines could work to penetrate that third party system (or, as Twitter has been doing, consolidate the third party functions to vertical integration) but that may cause a user backlash that their trusted company and platform was, more or less, spamming them.

The thing that I saw that Twitter really has as blue chip asset is the most important thing when it comes to the interwebs -- data. The Twitter data "Fire Hose" is impressive and growing. That is why it did not surprise me that the first revenue model that Twitter employed was to sell access to the data stream to Bing and Google along with other various businesses. The business-to-business model allows Twitter a marginal economic core to sustain it while figuring out other business models that will allow it to grow in to a tech powerhouse, climbing the ranks from "successful startup" up the latter to Facebook or even Google status (though I do not envision Twitter to ever be as big as Google).

Yesterday, Twitter unveiled the @EarlyBird program. Essentially, @EarlyBird is a akin to Groupon or Woot -- partnered deals with companies to distribute advertiser deals.

From Tech Crunch:


Looks like Twitter is about to start offering users exclusive, time-bound deals, events and sneak peeks, for which it has partnered with a number of (yet unnamed) advertising partners.
Those advertisers will distribute offers via the @EarlyBird account, and they get to determine the terms of the offer, including availability, amount, and pricing. And you? You get to opt in to them.
If you want to get access to said exclusive deals, you need to of course follow the @EarlyBird account, although you may also see offers if someone you follow retweets a tweet from that account. Yes, that means exclusive deals are bound to get viral pretty quickly, which will be interesting to observe given that many of the offers distributed via the account will be time-sensitive of nature (otherwise it wouldn’t be called Early Bird, of course).
I was reading this last night and, all of a sudden, everything became clear . . .


Twitter can do everything.


Name me a business model on the web. Search? Twitter has its own impressive search already and it is not a stretch to jump from Promoted Tweets on trending topics to promoted tweets on search terms integrated into the feed or on the page. Groupon, deals and partnerships? @EarlyBird has the early lead on that. Location aware partnerships, a la FourSquare, with local businesses and other media properties? Does not seem that far away as Twitter already does location. It could augment part of the service in the mobile sector to have the option to always know where a tweeter is and send promoted tweets from nearby businesses. Auctions, eBay style? Tweets seem a ready made way to operate an online auction with the proper supervision.


Twitter probably cannot (and should not) jump into straight ecommerce. Amazon and company have that taken care of. But, partnering through @EarlyBird gives them a portion of that revenue stream.


Twitter's rise and relative ubiquity compared with FourSquare and Groupon make it the perfect platform to steal the thunder from those business models as they attempt to grow. 


The only problem is that Twitter is going to need to grow up and in a hurry. The scalability issues they have been dealing with (and painfully highlighted by the World Cup) cannot exist if Twitter is going to make lasting partnerships on the advertorial and marketing level. Businesses are going to want the money they spend on these various models to payoff at times of highest traffic. The problem with Twitter right now is that times of highest traffic cause the system to fail. If they can work that out in the near future, Twitter can take off as the model Web 2.0 company heading into the next decade.


A year ago I was baffled as to how Twitter could possibly sustain itself. Now, the possibilities seem endless.

Fantasy Football -- Running Back Tandems


Every year you anxiously await to see if you land the first overall pick in your fantasy football draft in hopes to grab the stud running back who will lead you to the promised land.

For most of you, that is not going to happen.

The No. 1 pick, naturally. There are draft various draft strategies to employ that can still lead you team to fantasy football glory even if you missed out on the Adrian Peterson Sweepstakes.

In years of playing fantasy football, I do not think I have ever received the first pick. Multiple leagues a year and never once have I had that shining moment. That does not mean I have not won my fair share of leagues. It just takes a little practice.

When it comes to running backs, if you miss out on Peterson or Chris Johnson (this year’s consensus first overall pick), the drop off is significant. Yes, Maurice Jone-Drew, Stephen Jackson and Ray Rice are all fine backs but after the first couple of picks there are better first round options than a running back. That is why I like to wait if I cannot get in on the big names and go tandem style for maximum efficiency.

That means taking two running backs, from the same team in relatively short order. Some fantasy owners like to make it a sandwich. For instance, they will draft a team’s top running back, get a second-tier guy early and then come back for the backup. This method can work and does help your team avoid the nasty pitfall of production that comes about when your primary and backup running backs have their bye week (which always seems to come at the most inopportune time, doesn’t it?)

Yet there are some tandems that you will want to take rapidly to keep them together as they often work in cohort as opposed to a feature back and the guy that spells him. Drafting this way can also allow you to look for other production at other positions as these players will be on the board in later rounds at good value. So, here are half a dozen running back tandems to keep an eye on heading into your draft.

Ronnie Brown/Ricky Williams – Miami Dolphins

The Wild Cat. Got to love it. The Dolphins have resurrected their once-wretched offense in recent years by taking two talented though slightly flawed backs and turning them into the feature of an attack that can be confounding to opposing defenses (just ask the New England Patriots). Brown has always been a bit of an enigma and do not be fooled this year into drafting too high. He platoons heavily with Williams and is injured more often than you would probably like but he holds his end of the bargain pretty well when on the field. He broke his foot after nine games in 2009 so that is something to watch and he has never had more than 1,008 yards in a year but if he is good for between 800 to 1,000 yards and six or seven touchdowns, trust that the Dolphins will find a way to make the rest of the production up with Williams.

Williams, The NFL King of Cosmic Cleansing (or whatever he is doing these days) is still viable at age 33. He definitely got tired towards the end of the year in 2009 when Brown went down but if their stats do not look pretty similar (granting health, of course) by the end of the year, I would be surprised.

Bye Week -- 5

Pierre Thomas/Reggie Bush – New Orleans Saints

Thunder and Lightning. Vanilla and Chocolate. Sting like a bee, light as a butterfly. OK, so now the cliché superlatives are out of the way, Thomas and Bush are a great  tandem of complimentary backs as you will find in the league. Thomas is a top-20 back, probably just barely, and he will have days where you pinch yourself and say “did he just win this week single-handedly for me?” Because he might. Then again, he might not. He is consistent enough to start on a weekly basis but head coach Sean Payton won a Super Bowl last year with an offense that was so dynamic you were not sure what it was going to do play-to-play, let alone week-to-week.

That is where keeping Bush around comes in. Between the two there will be plenty of production to go around for one of the leagues best offenses. Bush is almost the type of player who you would like to start him at wide receiver as opposed to running back and match somebody else with Thomas but alas, that is not how the game works. Bush is also a guy you can sleep on for a couple rounds if you know that you are going to pair him with Thomas since his numbers the last couple of years has not matched his hype.

Bye Week -- 10

C.J. Spiller/Fred Jackson – Buffalo Bills

I was an ACC football beat reporter last year and there was nobody else in the conference as quick or dynamic as Spiller was for Clemson in 2009. He could be the type of back that people always envisioned that Bush would be without actually being Bush. Great vision and cutback ability, good for kickoffs and can punish when he needs to. Spiller has all the makings of a back who can have a great first couple of years in the NFL before the punishment takes its toll and he flames out after five years or so. Being that this will be his first year in the league, it is safe to put him on your fantasy roster and hope the Bills line can give him the three yards he will need to create a cloud of dust.

Jackson had a lot of carries last year and was effective as he could be considering that that aforementioned Bills offensive line is something of a cesspool. There is a reason Buffalo has been looking up at the AFC East heavy hitters for the better part of the last decade. In terms of fantasy though, the Jackson/Spiller combination should provide some decent production at good value later in your fantasy draft.

Keep an eye on Marshawn Lynch as well, who still has the potential to be a productive fantasy back if his off the field problems allow him to get in the lineup. Lynch could be a significant wrench in the duo but it is a situation worth monitoring in training camp.

Bye Week -- 6

A couple other tandems to watch out for:

Matt Forte/Chester Taylor – Chicago Bears

Taylor has always been a second banana in the NFL but Forte has not yet proved that he can be productive individually. Neither Taylor nor Forte should be drafted as stand alone guys but together have decent potential.

Bye Week -- 8

Shonn Greene/LaDainian Tomlinson – New York Jets

The opposite of Forte, Greene has a good thing going with the Jets now that he has inherited the No. 1 slot with Thomas Jones in Kansas City. He has a great offensive line and a coach who loves to run. Tomlinson will be his backup and without the punishment of being The Man on a regular basis probably still has a few shining moments (and touchdowns) in his reserve tank.

Bye Week – 7

Thomas Jones/Jamaal Charles – Kansas City Chiefs

Outside of Johnson in Tennessee, Charles was one of the best backs in the second half of 2009. He probably will not be the heavy torch carrier with Jones at Arrowhead but between them the Chiefs should be able to get back to the great ground game they had between Larry Johnson and Priest Holmes in the not-so-distant past.

Bye Week – 4

Dan Rowinski is a Fantasy Columnist for Rotoinfo.com. If you have any questions or comments feel free to e-mail him at danrowinski@rotoinfo.com. You can follow him on Twitter at Dan_Rowinski.