The view is good

The White Sox ended a seven-game winning streak last night against the Oakland As. Javier Vazquez pitched one of his best games of the year, so it was the red-hot offense that carried the burden for the defeat. It’s been a great week and a half, with the Sox following a tough sweep at the hands of the Cubs by winning two of three against the Dodgers. It’s sweet revenge for the 1959 World Series. The Sox avenged their sweep by taking the Cubs out in three straight. The next three games against the Indians were tough, but the Sox won them all, including the last two in extra innings. In the second game the Sox were down 2-1 in the bottom of the 10th inning when Alexi Ramirez hit a home run just past the outstretched glove of Ben Francisco. In the final game Grady Sizemore hit a home run to tie the game in the ninth, and in the tenth A.J. Pierzynski won the game with a homer.

It’s a fun season after last year’s hitting and pitching disaster. The Twins are equally as hot although I can’t see them keeping up. The Tigers, once left for dead, are making a move and could contend come September.

I, of course, will keep one eye on the race as two important events begin. The NFL begins its season the second weekend of September. On September 2, the final season of the Shield begins. That deserves a hearty “good times.”

I thought I was set to earn my second extra pick in this year’s AUFL draft. I turned Ryan Grant into a fourth-round pick, although that move may work out better for my trade partner. I was in negotiations to trade an extra running back to an owner who had zero running backs currently on an NFL roster. Once the announcement went out that keepers were due on July 9, other offers started pouring in. One owner has Adrian Peterson and Steven Jackson (he finished in 10th). My dad has Clinton Portis, Frank Gore, and Marion Barber. In the latest Football Guys ratings, those RBs are rated 7, 8, and 9. Barber has been a draft-day bargain for three years, and a core member of both of my dynasty teams. This year, he’s going around pick six in redrafts. Last year Barber set a career high with 204 carries. 240 might be his limit. You have to hope that he gets a ton of goal-line carries, and that’s no guarantee.

I’m still vacillating between Maurice Jones-Drew and Willis McGahee. I think McGahee is the man this year but MJD could be a stud once (if) Fred Taylor retires. It’s hard to hitch your wagon to a RB who isn’t going to get a ton of touches. Last year MJD averaged 13 touches a game. He had ten touchdowns (one in the return game). His carries were very consistent. Only three times did he have fewer than ten carries, although only once did he have more than 15 carries. You have to deal with wideouts who get few touches. Running backs in the same boat are going to be less predictable, although MJD is a lock for 160 carries and could get up to 200.

McGahee has never had fewer than 259 carries in his four seasons. He also scored 13 TDs in his first year and has averaged six a year since. McGahee had a career high of 43 receptions last year (MJD had 40). With Cam Cameron coming in after making Ronnie Brown a superstar (pre-ACL tear of course), I could see his numbers improve. The Jaguars have a good QB and the Ravens do not. That’s a consideration. In any case, McGahee will get at least 200 more touches than Jones-Drew. In the AUFL, McGahee outscored MJD by 37 points. In my dynasty league, Jones-Drew outscored McGahee by 12 points. Return yardage counts in that league.

I’m leaning toward McGahee at this point, with MJD as a strong consideration with my number three pick. Even with a couple of trades I should do no worse than Joseph Addai, Frank Gore, and Marion Barber at that pick. I’d say that even I couldn’t screw that up, although last year I took MJD over Brian Westbrook. Oops.

One Response to The view is good

  1. Shannon July 7, 2008 at 6:31 pm #

    i know none of the people you are talking about…not sure about me and fantasy football getting along. unless the only goal would be to fill the last place slot.

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