Atlanta Falcons: A 2011-2012 Fantasy Perspective
Players you want: Matt Ryan (QB), Michael Turner (RB), Roddy White (WR), Julio Jones (WR), Tony Gonzalez (TE), Matt Bryant (K), Falcons D/ST
Players you don't: Michael Jenkins (WR), Jerious Norwood (RB), Jason Snelling (RB)
Players to watch: Tony Gonzalez (TE) - Yes, we had him as a player you want, but only if he drops to around 10 on the Tight End list. Age is not on his side, and whilst he will still post some decent numbers, he's no longer one of the elite in his position.
Quick Slant: A major mover in the draft, the Falcons gave away a lot to obtain Jones. Clearly they have signalled their intentions and will be handing full control over to Matty Ice. Sure, he lacks the ability to throw a consistent deep ball, but he has the weapons in White and Jones that will be able to break-open for a number of big plays. The Falcons are pretty much unbeatable at home, and have a plethora or fantasy options available. Turner and White will be taken in early in drafts. Fantasy owners will benefit from the fact that the Falcons play their home games in a dome, a factor which helped them be one of the top scoring teams in the league last season. It will be tough for them to replicate the 13-3 success of last season given the competition they face within the NFC South.
Need help with your fantasy draft? Check out The Fantasy Dudes NFL pre-season fantasy rankings.
Arizona Cardinals: A 2011-2012 Fantasy Perspective
Players you want: Kevin Kolb, Larry Fitzgerald, Jay Feely
Players you don't: Everyone else
Players to watch: Ryan Williams and Jim Dray
Quick Slant: Where to start with this team... coming off a 5-11 season, in one of the weaker divisions, they ranked last in rushing yards, second last in passing yards, possessed one of the lowest scoring averages (courtesy of the Kurt Warner departure), and their defense wasn't anything to write home about. All of this makes it very hard to like anyone from a fantasy perspective besides the three listed above (Kolb to Fitzgerald will feature often)... at least they have a nice home stadium.
The Fantasy Dudes recommended site: Revenge of the Birds
Need help with your fantasy draft? Check out The Fantasy Dudes NFL pre-season rankings.
A little while back we showed you the teaser preview video for EA Sports' Madden NFL 12. They've now released another video, featuring the Baltimore Ravens entrance and Ray Lewis' pregame dance.
It's pretty inspiring stuff and gives us hope that there will be something NFL-related to do whilst the lockout is in "progress".
Ok, having lost 2 straight games at home and facing a 0-2 series deficit, it does not look good for the Lakers. Plenty of critics have been quick to write them off, and based on their recent play, for good reason. What's the problem? I'm sure you are all fully aware of the lacklustre performance against the Hornets, and now against the Mavericks, a lack of team unity (or 'trust' as Bynum put it) and late game execution has cost them. Statistically, when comparing their season's numbers to those so far in the current playoffs, there has been a vast difference: less points (poorer shooting), less rebounds, less assists, less steals, and less three's. The main culprit has been the drop in production from Pau Gasol... He is averaging 5 less points, 2 less rebounds a game, and really, has looked a little lost. However, he isn't solely to blame. The Lakers need greater production from their bench – Yes, I'm talking to you Odom, Barnes, Brown and Blake.
However, despite the concerns, any team that featuring the likes of Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, not to mention coached by one of the all-time greatest, Phil Jackson, needs to be given some credit. Don't forget, they are the current defending champs, and you know that even without Artest (suspended for game 3), the Lakers will come out all guns blazing in games 3 and 4 as they fight for playoff survival. Kobe Bryant believes it's not a time to for desperation, but rather a time to relax, and to focus on the task at hand (as big as it may)... spoken like a true NBA veteran. Interestingly, back in 2004, the Lakers were down 0-2 in the conference finals against the Spurs. They went on to win the series 4-2. The Lakers just have to keep their composure (as 'Frank the Tank' from Old School so eloquently put it) and believe – The Fantasy Dudes think they can do it. 2011 NBA Playoffs – Where comebacks happen!
Things are a bit uncertain in the NFL. There will be a lockout; there won't be a lockout; there will be a lockout... will there be a lockout?
Today a US District Court judge ordered that the NFL lockout would be stopped by an injunction. The NFL Players Association was thrilled with the decision which stops the owners from locking the players out -- effectively keeping the players' income streams open... for now.
The NFL immediately filed a notice of appeal, effectively meaning that the decision may be overturned and the lockout may be back on -- meaning that the NFL season is back off.
Of course, no fan wants the lockout. This kills us.
And ironically, fake football (or "fantasy football" as the non-girlfriends out there know it as) can not go on unless the real football season is under way. So, there are a lot of nervous football fans out there...
In the meantime, if we have no real football and no fake football, we can always rely on that other fake football, provided by none other than EA Sports and their Madden series.
Details are about to be released of the features in the latest iteration of the franchise: Madden 12. Here's a teaser of the teaser to come...
With the NBA playoffs now upon us, The Fantasy Dudes (well two of them - the other is away on holidays) sat down to discuss briefly each match-up and who we believe will win. Here were our selections:
Bulls Vs Pacers: Easy decision here, the Bulls will take this series easily... even if Reggie Miller suited up for them.
Magic Vs Hawks: Despite losing the regular season head to head battle, we both concur that the Magic will take care of business.
Celtics Vs Knicks: This shapes up to be the most interesting series in the East. We both see the Celtics winning, but this will either be a clean sweep or will go down to the wire.
Heat Vs Sixers: LeBron, Wade, Bosh and company will just be too good for the up-start sixers, no matter how many hugs get handed out by the coach.
Spurs Vs Grizzlies: Spurs will prove why they led the league most of the way through the season. Had Rudy Gay be playing, it would be a stiffer test for the number 1 seed.
Lakers Vs Hornets: Probably the easiest first round match-up in the West. No David West = No chance. Sweep is on the cards.
Mavericks Vs Blazers: A mouth watering match-up. Interestingly both of us picked the Blazers. They have a great team led by LaMarcus Aldridge. Dallas will choke again.
Thunder Vs Nuggets: The only first round battle that we were split on. Mark picked the Nuggets (changed his mind at the last minute), whilst I picked the Thunder. I'm pretty confident with my pick, and believe the Thunder could be a darkhorse for the title.
Bulls Vs Magic: This stands to be a great series. The Magic have the experience, however the Bulls have... well... Derrick Rose, not to mention Deng, Boozer and Noah. The Bulls just have too much depth, and should Dwight get into foul trouble, they will really struggle. Bulls to take this in 6-7 games.
Heat Vs Celtics: Again, another classic. The Celtics have hit the wall at the wrong time, whilst the Heat are flying. We still think the Heat are weak in their front court, but after the Celtics traded away Perkins, so are they (missing a healthy Shaq). Heat in 6.
Spurs Vs Nuggets/Thunder: Two outcomes here. Mark believes the Spurs will take this series, with the original Big 3 stepping up against the Nuggets. On the other hand, I see the Thunder pulling off an upset. I am concerned about Manu, and i'm just not sure they'll be able to contain Westbrook, Durant, and the twin towers in Ibaka and Perkins.
Lakers Vs Blazers: This is where the playoffs begin for the Lakers. Bynum should be rested, and they'll need him. The Blazers are a hungry team, but the Lakers just have far too much talent. Lakers in 6.
Bulls Vs Heat: Homecourt advantage is vital here. Whilst Mark believes karma will come back to bite the Miami Thrice, I think they'll be beaten by a better team so long as everyone stays healthy. A lack of front court size and a sporadic bench does not bode well for Miami. Bulls in 7.
Lakers Vs Spurs/Thunder: Again, two potential match-ups, but the same outcome. Lakers still have what it takes to win another title. For the Spurs, we dare say this might be their final run, whilst for the Thunder, perhaps they are just one year away. It will be a close one. Lakers in 7.
Lakers Vs Bulls: Wouldn't Stern love this??? Although the Bulls have homecourt, they don't have the experience the Lakers do. The teams match-up well, and it stands to be a classic, but the Lakers will want to send Coach Phil out on a high, plus you know Kobe wants to win again, whilst taking home another finals MVP in the process. This is what it's all about for the Lakers. Lakers in 6.
Agree? Disagree? We'd love to hear from you. Shoot us through your thoughts in the comments section of this article.
If statistics are anything to go by, then Chicago, Miami, Boston, San Antonio, Los Angeles and Dallas are sitting pretty right now. Based on the numbers over the past ten years, only one of the top three seeds in either conference have won the NBA title, with the fourth seed only featuring twice without tasting success. Terrible news for fans of the teams not listed above... but really, does anyone else factor into the title discussion??? Perhaps Oklahoma and Orlando, but very unlikely for anyone else.
Interestingly, of the entire play-off bracket over the past ten years (150 match-ups), did you know that the home team has won 75% of the time (including finals)? As such, all signs point to a return of the championship to Chicago... but the Spurs, Heat, Celtics, Lakers and Mavericks won't give up without a fight. For what it's worth, the seed with the most upsets in the opening round is the 5th seed.
Are you ready for the play-offs? Tell us who you think will win in our comments section below. Also, check us out on Facebook and Twitter!
Scouring the waiver wire for players to pick-up? Look no further as The Fantasy Dudes have put together a small selection of picks for you to consider based on averages over the past 14 days. Our picks are look at players that are owned in less than 40% of leagues, meaning if you play in a deep league, there is a good chance that some of these players will be available:
Francisco Garcia, SG/SF, Kings:Cisco has been on a tear of late and is in the Kings starting line-up. Strong in %'s, three's and steals.
Shawne Williams, SF/PF, Knicks: With the amount of players that left the Knicks in the Melo trade, someone had to get more minutes. That has been Shawne. Strong %'s, three's, steals and blocks.
Ryan Anderson, PF/C, Magic: Has actually been given enough minutes to render fantasy relevance. Good source of three's and blocks, to go along with nice shooting %'s.
CJ Miles, SF/SF, Jazz: Moved into the starting line-up, he has provided a much needed scoring punch. Strong shooting %'s, three's, points, and steals.
Tony Allen, SG/SF, Grizzlies: The move to acquire Battier did hurt somewhat, but Allen still continues to start. Strong %'s, steals and blocks... vital for fantasy playoffs, however he is inconsistent (feast or famine).
Kenyon Martin, PF, Nuggets: The new leader for the Nugs, he has actually been producing. Strong FG %, points, rebounds and blocks. However, he is a poor FT shooter, but lucky for fantasy owners, he doesn't shoot many.
Ed Davis, PF/C, Raptors: Points, rebounds, steals are all solid, however, like Kenyon, poor shooting from the stripe. Numbers will take a bit of a hit with the return of Amir Johnson, as he will likely move back to bench role.
Kyle Korver, SG/SF, Bulls: Despite most of his shots coming from downtown, he actually shoots a decent FG %. Great source of 3's with very low turnovers, but that's pretty much it!
As we near closer to the end of the regular season, the debate as to who will win the NBA regular season MVP (Most Valuable Player) begins to heat up... chants of M.V.P. go around a raft of arena's as fans let the league know who they believe should win... with a hint of bias. No, Brian Scalabrine, 'The White Mamba', does not stand a chance!!!
In this article, The Fantasy Dudes check out the leading candidates for the MVP award this season, breaking down their season statistics thus far. However, before we get into that, let's take a minute to review the past 5 (well 4) winners of the MVP, and the stats they put up:
Ok, so the stats of those guys above are pretty impressive... but what is the one thing they all have in common? Each of their teams finished the season either 1st or 2nd in their conference, meaning that to be an MVP, your team must be a winning team. Keep this in mind as we now show the statistics of the Top 10 candidates. We have included their current record to give you some indication (names are in alphabetical order):
* Note, we have excluded Boston due to a number of players performing across the board. Same can be said about the Miami Heat, but we have included LeBron as a guide as he is current MVP.
Again, some pretty solid numbers across the board. Based on their current records however, there are only three players that fill the bill of their team currently sitting as one of the top two seeds in their conference: Manu Ginobili, Dirk Nowitzki, and Derrick Rose.
Whilst there is a case for Manu (best record in the league), he is really helped by others around him (Tim Duncan, Tony Parker), hence would probably rule him out. That leaves Dirk and Rose. If you were to take one of them out of their team, which would have the biggest negative impact? One could argue both. However, looking at their stats head-to-head, it is clear to us that Rose is the winner. His shooting is inferior to Dirk, however he beats him in points, assists, steals, three's and given he is a point guard, blocks (he averages more of them per game than LeBron James). Just check out how much Derrick has improved over the past few seasons... this season is shown in the red (all up on previous years):
If anyone has seen a Bulls game this season, you would see how much he means to his team. His quickness and athletic ability on the court is second to none, whilst his finishing (particularly around the basket) is simply unbelievable. This season, he has also developed a 3 point shot, making him a deadly player to guard (especially with that killer crossover of his). He is not only the Bulls #1, but this season, he'll also be the NBA's #1 (in just his third NBA season).
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Looking to make some changes to your fantasy basketball team? The Fantasy Dudes have scoured the waiver wire to come up with the best options for you:
Randy Foye: Comes back into fantasy relevance with Eric Gordon out once again. A good source of points, three's and steals.
Chase Budinger: Looking for three's and points? Chase is the answer following his move into the Rockets starting line-up. He'll also throw in a steal and a few rebounds too.
James Harden: Don't sleep on James... he is the third leading scorer on the Thunder team, and is one of the key beneficiaries of the Celtics trade. He's good for three's, points and steals.
Ryan Anderson: He may be a reserve, but he is vital to the Magic rotation. The numbers won't be spectacular, but for a PF/C position, it is hard to find someone that can shoot the ball from downtown.
Samardo Samuels: Someone had to benefit from the loss of Jamison. Over his past three games he has averaged over 30 minutes a game. He plays hard, shoots a nice FG %, and he'll help you in points, rebounds and blocks.
Kris Humphries: Rebounds, rebounds and more rebounds. He leads the Nets in double-doubles (no, not Brook Lopez).
Gerald Henderson: With Gerald Wallace gone, and Stephen Jackson potentially being shut-down, it opens the door for someone to step through. He'll be a good source of points and steals, but not much else.
Mike Miller: Looking for three's? He'll get plenty of opportunities down the stretch for the Heat as he continues to work his way back into the rotation.
Brendan Haywood: A serviceable center replacement whilst Tyson Chandler is out. Over the past 4 games he has averaged 7.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1 steal and 2.5 blocks.
Have a fantasy basketball question you want answered? Ask The Fantasy Dudes.