Andy Behrens

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Andy Behrens is the editor of Roto Arcade, the Yahoo! Sports fantasy blog. Andy has been writing about fantasy sports for the past decade and playing them much longer. He's won his share of experts leagues and accuracy titles. He's also the author of three novels for young readers. He also consistently beats the Evans-Pianowski team in barroom shuffleboard, no matter who he's paired with.

  • Closing Time: Wily Peralta would like your attention

    OK, so Milwaukee starter Wily Peralta didn't quite dominate the Cardinals lineup on Wednesday — he went 6.1 innings, allowing six hits and one run, recording three Ks — but he did manage to pick up his second win of the year. We're now three starts into Peralta's season, and his ERA sits at 1.96, his WHIP at 1.09. The kid has faced nothin' but playoff-caliber lineups, too: Boston, Pittsburgh, St. Louis.

    The schedule finally takes a friendly turn for Peralta next week, as he'll double-dip at home against the Pads and Cubs. He's unowned in 91 percent of Yahoo leagues at the moment, available to most of you. Without question, Peralta is worth a one-week test drive. He's a hard-throwing sinker/slider/groundball-type (95-96 mph), a 24-year-old righty with top-prospect credentials. This is a talented pitcher with K-potential on a quality team, perhaps making a leap.

    Make the move as needed, then hit the bullets...

    George Springer's first major league hit was a tapper that traveled maybe 25

    Read More »from Closing Time: Wily Peralta would like your attention
  • The Saves Index

    The Saves Index is a ranking of the top 50 relievers, based solely on their potential to earn saves from the present through the remainder of the season. In a case where two relievers have similar saves potential, the additional standard roto categories will be used to differentiate them.

    View projected leaders for saves at FantasyPros

    Saves Index: Top 50 relievers
    PlayerTeamStock
    1. Craig Kimbrel ATL Kimbrel is dealing with some shoulder discomfort, but the Braves don't seem too alarmed at the moment. David Carpenter is Plan B in this 'pen.
    2. Kenley Jansen LAD Saved a pair over the weekend, while not allowing a hit. Same old Kenley.
    3. Greg Holland KAN  
    4. Jason Grilli PIT  
    5. Sergio Romo SFO Terrible spring, but April has gone awfully well. No obvious cause for concern here.
    6. Fernando Rodney SEA Seven Ks and two walks allowed in his first four appearances. And still the best hat in baseball, no question.
    7. Steve Cishek MIA  
    8. Glen Perkins MIN Perkins got off to an ugly start,
    Read More »from The Saves Index
  • While it was happening, Shawn Kelley's save opportunity on Monday did not actually seem like an actionable fantasy event. David Robertson had pitched in three of New York's previous four games (saving two), so a day of rest was perhaps in order. No big thing.

    But following the Yankees' 4-2 win over the O's, manager Joe Girardi announced that Robertson is dealing with a grade-one groin strain and likely headed to the DL. Kelley's save, it turns out, was something more than a one-time rogue event. We'll probably see him again in the days ahead.

    [Baseball 2014 from Yahoo! Fantasy Sports: Join a league today!]

    Kelley's stint as an interim closer got off to an excellent start, as he threw a clean frame against Baltimore. His career ratios aren't exceptional for fantasy purposes (3.72 ERA, 1.26 WHIP), but he did strike out 71 batters in just 53.1 innings last year. As a placeholder, he seems just fine. Add as needed.

    Grade-one strains are the mild variety, so this isn't necessarily the worst

    Read More »from Closing Time: Shawn Kelley is saving games; Matt Moore exits with elbow issue
  • Uh-oh: Ryan Braun's thumb is not working properly

    Ryan Braun is reportedly still dealing with the hand/thumb problem that troubled him last season. So that's a troubling piece of news. The primary issue is an inflamed nerve between Braun's right thumb and index finger. He's dealing with numbness, which has led to other woes.

    [Baseball 2014 from Yahoo! Fantasy Sports: Join a league today!]

    Additional details here, via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Tom Haudricourt:

    "It's the same thing [as in 2013]," said Braun, who was robbed of his power by the issue last year before finally being suspended for the final 65 games for PED use. "The nerve is messed up so my whole thumb is numb, so I can't feel gripping the ball or the bat. So I gripped it too hard and I have crazy bruises and blisters."

    Asked if there was any chance it would improve, Braun said, "It is what it is. I hope [it doesn't last all year]. I'm optimistic that eventually we'll figure something out."

    Surgery is apparently a possibility here, although the procedure isn't a

    Read More »from Uh-oh: Ryan Braun's thumb is not working properly
  • Scott Kazmir was cruel to his former team (USAT Images)

    Scott Kazmir authored a terrific comeback story last year in Cleveland. He struck out 162 batters in 158 innings while posting the best walk-rate of his career (2.68 BB/9). Kazmir finished the season with a not-terrible ERA of 4.04, and the underlying stats told an even better story (3.36 xFIP). His velocity returned and his command was, weirdly, better than ever — impressive stuff for a guy who was pitching for the independent Sugar Land Skeeters in 2012.

    Kazmir, now with Oakland, faced his former employer on Wednesday afternoon, and the lefty brought his best stuff to the park. He tossed 7.1 scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and no walks while striking out five. Everything was humming. Kazmir even managed to work around a lead-off E5 in the seventh, facing the heart of Cleveland's order.

    [Baseball 2014 from Yahoo! Fantasy Sports: Join a league today!]

    It's tough not to like the full-season setup for Kazmir this year, as he's a flyball pitcher in a spacious, friendly park. This is an excellent pairing of player and team. Fantasy-wise, I'm fully on board. Kazmir is still available in over one-third of all Yahoo leagues as of this writing, so we've got some adding to do. Wednesday's start was no fluke.

    All was not perfectly right in Oakland, however...

    Read More »from Closing Time: Scott Kazmir, James Paxton, Josh Fields and the usual closer madness
  • On Monday, New York Mets closer Bobby Parnell coughed up two hits, one walk and an earned run in an eventual loss to the Nationals. His velocity was notably poor by his standards.

    On Tuesday, we learned the reason for Parnell's struggles. After he complained of forearm tightness, an MRI revealed a partial tear of the medial collateral ligament in his right elbow. So that's terrible news. Parnell received a platelet-rich plasma injection, and he'll reportedly rest for two weeks before a determination is made about the need for surgery.

    [Baseball 2014 from Yahoo! Fantasy Sports: Join a league today!]

    Jose Valverde is suddenly a viable fantasy add, which is not something I'd expected to write ever again.

    Valverde pitched in a set-up role on Monday, striking out three of the four batters he faced, throwing 13 of his 16 pitches for strikes. Of course Papa Grande is also a 36-year-old who hasn't exactly been lights-out in recent seasons. He's a sketchy interim closer, no doubt.

    But Valverde

    Read More »from Another closer has fallen: Bobby Parnell diagnosed with partial tear in elbow
  • Robin Ventura, not currently our favorite manager (USAT Sports Images)

    Yup, Robin Ventura got us again. Shoulda seen this one coming. My bad.

    *points to self*

    On Monday afternoon, Ventura officially named veteran Matt Lindstrom his closer. He did this because he dislikes me, personally. Nate Jones will pitch in a setup role for now. Because we all needed to be reminded of the Hector Santiago debacle of 2012.

    [Baseball 2014 from Yahoo! Fantasy Sports: Join a league today!]

    Read More »from Ventura’d, again: Matt Lindstrom, not Nate Jones, will close for White Sox
  • Six names for the opening day watch list

    Tanner Scheppers, unlikely opening day starter (Getty Images)

    Call 'em sleepers, if you like. Or lottery tickets, or fliers, or persons-of-interest, or ... well, use whichever label you prefer. Here are six names on my early-season watch list, all of them lightly owned in Yahoo leagues...

    [Baseball 2014 from Yahoo! Fantasy Sports: Join a league today!]

    Tanner Scheppers, SP, Texas Rangers (36 percent owned) — Coming off an outstanding season in relief in 2013, Scheppers delivered an excellent spring (1.02 WHIP, 14 Ks in 14.2 IP). He not only earned a spot in the Rangers' rotation, but injuries cleared a path for him to get the nod in the opener. Scheppers will face an uncharacteristically healthy Phillies' lineup, so that's a rough way to begin. Still, the righty offers plenty of K potential, and run support shouldn't be an issue.

    UPDATE: OK, so that maybe could have gone a little better. But that's why he only made the watch-list, not the add-list.

    Kolten Wong, 2B, St. Louis Cardinals (31 percent) — Wong gets the No. 2 spot in the Cards' opening day batting order, a clear fantasy win. The eighth spot in the N.L. is often like a death sentence. Wong offers modest power, speed and on-base skills — and, like everyone else on this list, he had a terrific spring (18-for-48, 10 R, 2 HR, 2 SB). He's a middle of interest, tied to an excellent lineup.

    Read More »from Six names for the opening day watch list
  • Game on! Roto Arcade’s official MLB predictions for 2014

    LET'S DO THIS THING! (USAT Sports Images)

    Welcome, friends, to the third opening day of the 2014 season. Very soon, we'll all have a few stats to enjoy. And some of us will soon have a few beverages to enjoy, while watching Monday's epic Nolasco-Sale tilt at historic U.S. Cellular Field. This day is pretty much the greatest.

    In keeping with Roto Arcade tradition, today we unveil the official staff predictions for 2014. Accept no substitutes. This right here is the gold standard for prognostication. In fact, you should probably print out this feature right now and take it to Vegas, because our experts are known to be deadly accurate.

    [Baseball 2014 from Yahoo! Fantasy Sports: Join a league today!]

    Below, you'll find a few dart-throws from Dalton Del Don, Scott Pianowski and myself. Feel free to add your own projections in comments. Let's get started with best guesses regarding the 5x5 leaderboard...

    Read More »from Game on! Roto Arcade’s official MLB predictions for 2014
  • A.L. Tout Wars recap: Mike Trout, Matt Moore, and so many broken Rangers

    Jurickson Profar, in happier times (USAT Images)

    Immediately upon finishing the A.L Tout Wars auction on Sunday afternoon, I was feeling upbeat. Pleased. Confident, even.

    And then my roster began to break like so many Rich Hardens.

    At almost the exact moment the auction concluded, one of my pitchers (Matt Moore) was drilled in the face by a line drive. Minutes later, my second baseman (Jurickson Profar) was scratched from a spring game with shoulder soreness, which quickly escalated to a torn teres major muscle. And not long after that, one of my starting catchers (Geovany Soto) tore the lateral meniscus in his right knee.

    [Baseball 2014 from Yahoo! Fantasy Sports: Join a league today!]

    Add those three injuries to Craig Gentry's back strain — the one preexisting condition on my team that was fully understood at the time of purchase — and you really have a giant mess of health concerns. So yeah, timing is everything in fantasy.

    Read More »from A.L. Tout Wars recap: Mike Trout, Matt Moore, and so many broken Rangers

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