Monthly Archives: August 2016

Are Any Eagles Worth Coveting in Fantasy?

Regular season football is almost here. Hallelujah hallelujah. This means the beginning of fantasy football as well. Drafts should be in full force over the next nine days as the third week of the preseason is over and all the studs should be idle waiting for the real games to start. No more worrying about devastating preseason injuries (lol @ Tony Romo) that could derail your fantasy season before it even started for those who drafted too early.

If you’re anything like me, one of your favorite things is getting at least one Eagle on your squad. It’s a double win on Sundays when a Bird scores in a game and he is also on your fantasy team. This is also why I usually try as hard as I can to refrain from drafting any Cowboys, Giants or Redskins because that forces me to somewhat cheer for them to perform well statistically. Yack.

Back in the early Chip Kelly days this was great. Guys like Foles, Jackson, Maclin and Shady were lighting up the stat sheets. Now a days, not so much. Our offense is about as vanilla as they  come and Doug Pederson’s scheme looks like it’ll be a lot of dink and dunk with an emphasis on ball control. A very sound football strategy that sucks for fantasy purposes.

Let’s take a look at who you should take a chance on and who to stay away from on the Eagles roster come draft day.

Quarterback

Don’t touch them. Like stated earlier, this offense lends itself to running the ball and quick short passes. The west coast scheme can have a big play aspect to it, but not with this personnel. In standard fantasy leagues you only carry two quarterbacks, if not just one. Bradford is not worth a roster spot. The only way he should ever make it onto your team is if your guy is on a bye and he has a juicy match-up. Otherwise, stay away.

If you’re in a dynasty league you could take a flier on Wentz in the late rounds and stash him but even that is a bit of a stretch.

Running Back

The RB position is really weak this year. For the first time in my fantasy career I would take a WR if I had the first overall pick. Ryan Mathews is a low end RB2 and a high end RB3. It’s really all about health with him which is a huge if. If he can stay upright, Mathews will tote the rock upwards of 15 times per game and catch passes out of the backfield. Volume is what you’re looking for in a fantasy RB and Mathews will have the first shot at getting a substantial amount of it on this roster. Last year he posted four double digit fantasy games in standard scoring. That was with him being hurt for a couple contests as well as being a secondary option most of the year to DeMarco Murray. Mathews could surprise fantasy owners with a solid year if he can avoid the injury bug. Look to draft him in the late 6th or early 7th round.

Darren Sproles could be worth one of your final 3 picks if you just want to have an Eagle on your team. His production is not consistent enough to merit starting him on a given week or even keeping him on your roster. If for some reason you’re desperate enough to start him at any point due to a heavy bye week or injuries you better hope he breaks off a huge play or returns a punt for a TD.

Barner/Smallwood aren’t worth drafting. Look to snag one of them off the waiver wire when Mathews goes down with a nagging injury.

Wide Receiver

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Top 10 Philly Sports Radio Personalities

Wow. Last week was a doozy in the world of sports radio. The internet exploded when it was found out that Dwayne from Swedesboro was a fraud. Then the very next day Josh Innes gets canned by WIP for his comments about that very situation (among other things).

We thought it would be a perfect time to look into who the best sports radio personalities are in this city. We included Innes for fun.

1. Mike Missanelli – Love him or hate him, Mikey Miss is the man when it comes to Philly sports talk. He’s arrogant, funny, righteous and cultured. He’d be a great ESPN First Take kinda guy because he always picks a completely one-sided opinion and sticks with it, even after he’s proven wrong. To his credit, Missanelli is probably the best interviewer in the biz. He’s definitely a huge douche but he’s so good at his job that he’s untouchable, even when his callers are fake. All jokes aside, I honestly don’t think the Dwayne thing was a big deal at all. Radio is supposed to be entertainment and Dwayne was funny as hell. All the people who want to make it a race issue need to stfu. Myrtetus, Egan and Nahigian all got suspended while Missanelli escaped unscathed. I genuinely don’t think he knew but all of this proves that he is indeed bigger than the station.

2. Angelo Cataldi – Angelo is WIP. The Morning Show has been running for over 25 years strong with Cataldi at the helm. Angelo is at times hilarious and other times painfully bad. He’s Philly’s drunk uncle. Angelo mailed it in years ago and basically just hits on chicks 50 years younger than him, which made him the perfect host for the Wing Bowl. He’s been the face of WIP for the last quarter century, and will likely retire when his contract is up next year.

I don’t care if this is acting on his part or not, I’ll always treasure this clip.

And who can forget the good ol days, when Angelo would round up a group of ruthless savages to unload their years of pent up anger at the future of the franchise the moment he became an Eagle.

3. Rob Ellis– Most people will probably call me a Delco homer for having Ellis this high on the list (he’s from Upper Darby) but I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves. He’s pretty bland but whatever, Rob’s not really a hate-able guy which is rare for a sports radio host (and probably the reason he won’t ever draw much attention). He’s like the out-of-touch dad who still tries to take like he’s in college. Ellis is extremely knowledgeable and for the most part has pretty accurate takes. The guy also works his ass off. Some days you’ll see him on BOB from 6-8 AM, then the 97.5 midday show from 10-2 then on Philly Sports Talk on CSN from 5-6 PM. That’s like a 16 hour day from start to finish. Gotta respect the hustle. Rob is underrated in my opinion.

4. Anthony Gargano – Cuz. The Big Ragu. Gags. Gargano has long been a staple in Philly sports radio, known for his Italian liveliness and over-the-top optimism, which can be a little much sometimes. He brown-noses every single guest caller to the point where you want to change the station, so he has plenty of critics in this town. But as a fellow sports optimist, he’s always a go-to when I want to hear positive but honest sports chatter on my way to work.

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Thank you, Chooch

And then there was one.

The Phillies said goodbye to one of the last remaining heroes from their 2008 World Championship team on Thursday, trading catcher Carlos Ruiz to the Los Angeles Dodgers for catcher A.J. Ellis and minor league pitcher (Haverford College grad) Tommy Bergjans and a player to be named later.

That leaves Ryan Howard as the last Phillies left from 2008 and that homegrown core of talent led the city to its first championship since 1983.

Ruiz was not only the ultimate embodiment of Philadelphia he was the epitome of Delco — a hard nosed, blue-collar player who was signed out of his native Panama at the age of 19 for just $8,000 — and who grew into a Philly sports hero.

A second baseman at the start of his career, Ruiz spent almost two years at the Phillies Dominican Republic development academy learning the catching position before finally making his minor league debut with the Gulf Coast League Phillies in 2000.

Playing six-plus seasons with the Phils’ minor league affiliates, Ruiz’s years of hard work finally paid off in May 2006, when he was called up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to make his major league debut — fulfilling a promise he made to his mother as a young boy following his father’s death.

“Chooch” notched his first MLB hit three days later, on May 9, against future Hall of Fame pitcher and former Phillie Pedro Martinez.

Ruiz gained the full-time starting backstop job in 2007, playing in 115 games that season, batting .259 with six home runs and 54 RBIs as the franchise won the NL East and returned to the postseason for the first time since 1993.

When the Phils won their second consecutive division title in 2008, Ruiz was one of the team’s best hitters in the playoffs, hitting .313 in the NLCS against the Dodgers and .375 in the World Series against Tampa Bay.

Chooch departs the City of Brotherly Love with 898 career hits in red pinstripes, including 68 big flies, but his biggest and most memorable was also his shortest — a 40 foot dribbler in Game 3 of the 2008 World Series to score Eric Bruntlett and give the team a 2-1 series advantage over the Rays and an eventual World Series title.

Throughout his 11-year career in Philadelphia, Ruiz was heralded by members of the Phillies’ pitching staff for his ability to call and manage games.

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DBag and Top Dog of the Week (8/26)

Top Dog of the Week – Kobe Bryant

I mean, did Kobe actually do anything this week? Nope. But neither did anyone else, so I guess he wins. My mans turned 38 and LA named August 24th “Kobe Bryant Day” in his honor. But that’s enough for everyone to lose their shit and post Kobe highlights 10 times a day, highlights I will never tire of. Kobe is a top 3 shooting guard of all time. Watching his last game in Philly and his final game ever nearly brought a tear to my eye, even though I fucking hate the Lakers. He’s just a transcendent athlete whose likes will probably never be seen again. I am going to miss him and his asshole personality dearly this year, but I’ll be okay as long as Nike continues making his absolute fire shoes. Cue the highlights:

Douchebag of the Week – Whoever wrote this piece of shit article

(http://time.com/4464435/harambe-the-gorilla/?xid=time_socialflow_twitter)

Notice I don’t even mention this human being’s name because she literally made me vomit and deserves no recognition nor credit. She took a trip to journalism hell and dragged me down with her. This blog will suffer until I can escape the fiery pits of unreadability fully. But I’d like to clarify that I don’t detest her because I care about our precious Harambe that much, because that’s dumb. I loathe her because she is a grown adult that is stupid enough to actually get angry at teenagers on the internet making memes about a dead gorilla. It is beyond my human comprehension why people online think they are the authority on what is funny and when a joke is old. She put out a freezing cold take and I feel dumber after being subjected to it. I would drink a tall glass of piss with every meal before I let some halfwit mother of two tell me what to laugh at, who thinks feminism is a real thing.

Written by Brendan Feeney

Image Sources: HypeBeast and Twitter (Parentwin)

Trade Vince Velasquez

Last week I told you all why trading outfielder Odubel Herrera could be one of the worst moves the Phillies front office could make, but now, I’m going to tell you why they should do everything they can to trade another one of their young stars.

When the Phillies traded 25-year-old reliever Ken Giles to the Houston Astros last offseason, the reaction by fans was mixed to say the least. Giles had proven himself as a dominant reliever with the Phillies in his first two seasons, posting ERAs under 2.00 in both 2014 and 2015, as well as a ludicrous 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings.

In that trade, the Phillies received top Astros pitching prospects Vince Velasquez, Mark Appel, Thomas Eshleman, Harold Arauz and veteran lefty Brett Oberholtzer.

And though Appel was the first overall pick in the 2013 MLB Draft out of Stanford, it was Velasquez who was the real get for the Phils in that deal — a tall, hard-throwing right-hander who was a second round pick of the ‘Stros in 2010. Out of Pomona, California, Velasquez had been ranked as the 69th best prospect in baseball entering the 2015 season, and was regarded as one of the rising stars on a young Houston team.

He came to spring training in Clearwater, Florida, and earned a starting rotation spot by beating out Oberholtzer and lefthander Adam Morgan, and followed up his strong spring with a red-hot April, all while Giles faltered in Houston, pitching to a 9.00 ERA in 11 games out of pen.

Matt Klentak looked like a genius. In addition to Vinny’s auspicious start to the year, Appel looked like a new pitcher in AAA ball, and Eshleman was toying with Florida State League hitters at the A-level.

Meanwhile, Velasquez went 3-1 with a 1.78 ERA in four April starts, highlighted by a superb complete-game, three-hit, 16-strikeout performance against the San Diego Padres in just his second start of the season. He finished the month with a 0.87 WHIP, with opposing hitters batting just .174 against him.

But starting in late May, things started to go south for Velasquez. On May 23, he threw 95 pitches in just four innings against Detroit, surrendering nine hits and three runs, and then was shelled for seven earned runs in just 4.2 innings against the Cubs in Chicago six days later.

A flip of the calendar didn’t do much to help Vinny. In his next start, which came on June 3rd against Milwaukee, manager Pete Mackanin again was forced to pull the plug on Velasquez after throwing 94 pitches in four innings. Against the Cubs at home on June 8th, he was forced to leave after retiring just one batter due to an apparent biceps injury, which kept him out for three starts.

He came back strong with five scoreless innings and seven strikeouts against Arizona on June 27, and put together a string of quality starts in July. It looked like he had turned the page and was regaining his mojo.

But then August happened, and it has been everything but kind to the young Phillies hurler.

Velasquez has taken the mound four times this month for the Phils, and is 0-3 with an 8.86 ERA in those starts. He’s tossed a grand total of 21.1 innings in those outings, surrendering 21 runs on 28 hits.

As fun as it was to watch Velasquez earlier in the year, its been that much more frustrating to see him pitch over the past month or so. And while that 16-strikeout performance against the Padres in April was impressive, it may have been the worst possible thing to happen to the talented hurler.

And while some of you might say I’m overreacting by suggesting the Phillies trade young Vinny, here’s why you’re wrong:

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Eagles Fans are Savages and Dallas Sucks

 

Okay I don’t use this word often, but that is absolutely savage. “Let it die, fuck it” ARE YOU KIDDING? All time quote. And no, fun police, I do not care if it’s fake, which it very well may be. Someone still would have had to take the time to obtain a baby, purchase Cowboys shit, drive to a parking lot while probably drunk, throw it in a car, and get 4 friends together to make a hilarious and believable video. So either they’re unreasonably dedicated or just completely reckless individuals. Either way you can’t not respect it. Call it a PECO Power Move, if you will. That being said, this is one of those few videos where I don’t want follow up. Like Harambe. It was funny to watch this baby cry like it was funny to watch a 500 pound gorilla drag a child across water like a rag doll. But it wasn’t funny to hear Harambe got shot (RIP), just like it won’t be funny if this baby is actually dead. So I guess my options are to believe in the moral convictions of these beater-wearing Philly fans, or stay off twitter for a couple weeks to avoid the news. Lose-lose situation I guess. Regardless watching this video made me want to do nothing but toss on my handy-dandy hard hat and pretend everything is okay.

Dallas Hard Hat

Anyway I’d like to take this fuck Dallas topic to segway into something really cool that I saw. Some Eagles fans are trying to make a documentary called “Dallas Sucks: A Completely Biased Documentary” which is basically going to entail why the Cowboys are soft, thumb sucking losers, and why the Eagles are not. They put together a quick 5 minute preview video, and I suggest you give it a watch and give a donation. Even my broke ass tossed in $20.

PS – Don’t worry, if they reach their donation goal this guy and his god awful voice will not be narrating.

Written by Brendan Feeney

Image Source: Kickstarter. Dallas Sucks Documentary

Nerlens Noel Trade Rumors

Nerlens Noel seems like the most likely Sixers big to be dealt.

Recently he blacked out his avatar and tweeted out a pro-Boston sentiment out of the blue. Basically his passive aggressive way of asking to be traded to the Celts. I’m a big Nerlens guy, put this is a petty move.

Of course, management should never overreact to this kind of shit, especially if it’s on Twitter, but it’s still a sign that Noel isn’t too happy with the situation. I don’t blame him for being upset. And I still don’t want him to be traded.

But no matter what side of the Jahlil/Nerlens fence you lean on, it’s hard not to feel for the guy. He spent his first 3 seasons playing for a team that didn’t care about winning in the short term. It’s one thing to ask your fans to put up with tanking, it’s a whole different favor to ask of your players.

And while Hinkie’s BPA ideology may have been correct in theory, if I’m Noel I’m pissed that I basically outperform expectations in years 1 and 2, and my reward is having the team I play for draft big men 3rd overall in consecutive drafts.

I’m pro-Noel because defense from center position is much more valuable than offense. Okafor’s not likely to be anything more than an average defender, and I don’t want my most important defensive position to be played by a guy who probably won’t even be average. You want a guy who can be a beast on that end of the court, and that’s what Noel is. He is the 3rd player in the shot clock era to have at least 1.5 steals and 1.5 blocks per game over his first two seasons (David Robinson and Hakeem Olajuwon being the others).

This whole thing blows. While I was optimistic about BC’s ability to draft and spend money, I’m pretty cynical when it comes to his trading acumen. My bet is he gets bent over backwards and trades Nerlens for cents on the dollar.

Rumors

There are a couple of rumors out there. God knows they’re bullshit but it’s probably what made you click on this post in the first place so here goes.

I saw a few people suggest Nerlens and the Lakers 2016 pick for Ingram. That would be cool. But I don’t see LA wanting to invest much more in the center position after overpaying Mozgov and drafting Zubac. And teams simply don’t trade their lottery picks months after drafting them.

The other rumor was a three-way trade with the Celtics and Wolves. The Celtics would get Nerlens, the Wolves would get Amir Johnson, and we would get Ricky Rubio.

Rubio is pretty underrated. He had the most steals per 36 minutest last year, and is one of the best passers in the league. And his shooting woes are a little overblown, as he hit 33% of his threes and shot 89% from the line after the all-star break. He’s still only 25. I wouldn’t mind adding Ricky to the coalition of Euros we already have.

It seems like the Celtics are the front runner for Nerlens. He fits their style of defensive versatility, and he’s from there, which he made clear.

I can already feel Boston getting all giddy over having a defense with Noel, Horford, Bradley, Smart and Crowder. Gahd Dammit.

Written by Tyler Cloran

Image Source: David Zalubowski/Associated Press

UFC 202 Was Great Shit

In the past, I’ve been the one to bitch and complain about forking up $70 to watch a UFC main event. After last night, I can’t complain one bit man. McGregor and Diaz absolutely beat the shit out of each other. I’ll get into the whole Conor walking away from Diaz thing, but these two are the baddest dudes out there right now. Nate Diaz told reporters after the fight how he almost had to drop out of the fight two weeks ago with bad ribs, bad legs, and probably because his IQ is dangerously already too low. Conor ended up fighting a good portion of this bout with a fractured foot. It was flat out war. Besides a knockout or someone getting the daylights choked out of them, this fight had absolutely everything we wanted. Conor walking into the ring like a complete cocksmack, Diaz not being able to see because of too much blood, Diaz giving the middle finger during the fight, and so much more. This was probably the best both fighters have ever “fought”. They fought to hurt, and to survive.

I’ve been hearing a lot of people calling Conor a lot of feminine things because of his strategy to walk away at times last night. Listen, I understand this is a fight but who in their right mind wouldn’t have done the same thing Conor did? I will never call a man a pussy for not trying to get knocked out. The goal of UFC fighting is to ultimately win. Could the UFC look into implementing a point loss for doing such thing? Sure. Nate Diaz brought that up after the fight and I think it’s a fair point. With that being said, there’s no current rule that says you can’t cower away to avoid a knockout and regroup. So, yeah I can’t blame Conor for that at all. Diaz is insane and doesn’t really feel pain. He’s the bigger dude and Conor had to do that to regroup. Conor was giving Diaz everything he had, and that wasn’t enough and left him extremely tired.

Overall, the stats show Nate Diaz should have been the winner. It was close and Conor did knock him down 3 times which is big, but the stronger man at the end of the fight was Diaz. It really doesn’t matter and I don’t think fans should get too worked up about the result. You can only really give Nate or Conor the win when someone gets knocked out or choked out. That fight was a tie in my eyes and by the UFC giving Conor the win, it makes a 3rd fight more possible which would be even crazier.

UFC 202 2

Other than the main event, the 202 card was flat out incredible. Anthony Rumble Johnson knocks teeth out of Glover within the first 14 seconds, Cody Garbrandt continues to dominate and scare the piss out of Dominic Cruz, and I think just about every other fight was a KO.

From here, Conor is likely to go back and fight Aldo to keep his 145 pound fight and who knows what Diaz will do. If we’re lucky we will find these two back at it again within two years.

Written by Mike Cloran

Image Source: Twitter 

D-Bag and Top Dog of the Week

Douche Bag of the Week – Roger Goodell

This tight-ass hardo is the epitome of douchery. He makes me curl with hatred and causes my blood to boil. He’s ruined football for me like six different times by now. If you are just completely oblivious to the world around you, I’ll break it down. This dude is actually threatening to suspend four players if they didn’t show up to a nonsensical interview with him because of an even more nonsensical news report by an even more nonsensical website. So, this report said Peyton god damn Manning was on steroids. They then went on to say James Harrison was also taking steroids. Just one look both of these guys shirtless can tell you that either Peyton’s steroid guy really sucks at his job or this report is bullshit. Personally, I’ll take the latter. But Roger just doesn’t seem to process information like us rational human beings. He interprets everything as a threat to his authority, something he thinks should go unquestioned. He is a mildly educated loser who wants to swing his shrimp sized dick all over, and I despise him for it. So Roger is the D-Bag of the week, and I’m sure it won’t be the last time.

Goodell

Top Dog of the Week – Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt just makes me tingle. I am the most American American you’ll find and I root for the US of A in every single event; except the men’s 100m and 200m. I’m all in on Usain when he runs. Fuck Tyson Gay and whatever the rest of our runners’ names are. I just gravitate to him and his charisma. He just smells of victory and joy. He has single handedly made me root for Jamaica over my own god damn country. I love this dude. He laughs when he dominates races yet puts in so much less effort than any of the guys in the lanes next to him. He’s like a Jamaican Bo Jackson.  I want to see this man run a go route on Josh Norman more than I want to breathe. Guarantee he’d make Odell look like Freddie Mitchell.

Bolt

Honorable Mention (for both, somehow) – Ryan Lochte

Ryan Lochte would probably rival Phelps’ greatness if he didn’t get blackout drunk three times a week. But what he lacks in self-control, he more than makes up for in headline-making ability. In the wise words of Russ Hanneman of Silicon Valley “this guy fucks.” He pisses where he wants when someone doesn’t let him piss where he should. The fact he even thought to bother using a toilet shocks me honestly. And the fact anyone thought he wouldn’t flee Brazil in a heartbeat the second he got a whiff of trouble just appalls me. This dude both won and lost as hard as anyone this week. Also a special shout out the people making incorrectly spelled Hillary Clinton comparisons, you guys just get it.

Written by Brendan Feeney

Image Sources: Deadspin (Goodell), DailyMail (Bolt), Markatlarge.com (Lochte)

What NBA Franchises Would You Trade Places With?

This may seem like a dumb question considering we’re coming off one of the most excruciating seasons of all time. But Hinkie’s asset accumulation is starting to take form into actual players, and the future is bright.

Listen, the goal is to win a title. 50 win seasons are cool, but championships are forever. So in this exercise, winning a championship is the measuring stick I’ll use to compare the Sixers to the 29 other NBA teams.

Simply put, the Sixers are in better shape than most franchises to compete for a title down the road, even if they have a long way to go. Let’s look at each team one by one, and see whether or not they are in a better position to win a title than the Sixers. My future power rank in parentheses.

The No Brainers (?):

The Warriors (1) and Cavs (2) have a legitimate shot in the short term. The Warriors bottom out as “very good” for a while. And LeBron alone puts you in title contention automatically.

Out of respect, I think I’d trade spots with San Antonio (3). They have too much talent, history, and organizational fortitude to dismiss. Although the Big 3 is all but done, and Pop isn’t getting any younger… believe it or not, there’s a case to be made here, especially if you doubt they have enough to overcome Golden State.

After that, it gets interesting. Let’s use the process of elimination.

Sorry not Sorry:

Brooklyn (30) and Sacramento (29) are a mess in the short term and have most of their future assets owed to other teams. They’re out.

Orlando (28) is in a similar situation as the Sixers, except not really at all. They ditched some of their young talent for Ibaka, then stuck Aaron Gordon, their best prospect, at SF. They’re going nowhere fast.

Dallas (27) and Charlotte (26) have maxed out as good but-not-great teams. No way I’d trade a couple seasons of bullshit for what the Sixers fans have to look forward to.

Those are the easy No’s for me.

They Have a Star, but Need Help:

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