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.

  • N.L. Tout Wars review: Building around Bryce Harper

    The first thing you need to know about the National League player pool is that it is an absolute minefield. A bad place, full of bad ideas. Definitely not for everyone.

    If you've suffered through an N.L.-only fantasy draft already, then you understand the depth of the misery this year. You've stared at a cheatsheet loaded with terrible names — a cheatsheet easily confused with a do-not-draft list.

    [Sign up for Fantasy Baseball | Play for $40K | Expert rankings | Mock draft ]

    Here, for example, are my N.L.-only shortstop tiers for 2016:

    TIER ONE – No one
    TIER TWO – No one
    TIER THREE – Corey Seager
    TIER FOUR – It's possible we did not fully appreciate Tony Womack in his time.
    TIER FIVE – Addison Russell, Brandon Crawford
    TIER SIX – I ACHE WITH LONGING FOR TONY WOMACK
    TIER SEVEN – Jean Segura, Alexei Ramirez
    TIER EIGHT – Jung-Ho Kang, probably not Jose Reyes but maybe

    These are not so much tiers as they are the concentric circles of fantasy hell. But even though the N.L. fantasy landscape

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  • Dissenting Opinions: Price check on Yasiel Puig

    Yasiel Puig broke out in a big way in 2013, then broke down in 2015. Puig is the No. 23 outfielder selected in an average Yahoo draft so far this year, and there exists a wide range of opinions about him within the fantasy expert community. Dalton Del Don ranks Puig as a top-15 outfield option, while Andy Behrens slots him outside his top-35. Let's play the feud...

    [Sign up for Fantasy Baseball | Play for $40K | Expert rankings | Mock draft ] 

    Dalton Del Don is pro-Puig: 

    Puig is coming off back-to-back disappointing seasons and is dangerously close to being slapped with the injury-prone tag. He’s also been successful on just 25-of-43 SB attempts throughout his career, so I get why some owners are fed up with waiting for the huge breakout many keep calling for. But this is a player who hit .319/.391/.534 with 19 homers over 382 at bats as a 22-year-old.

    While he failed to build on that huge rookie campaign in 2014, Puig still posted a .382 OBP, scored 92 runs, hit 16 homers and swiped

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  • Fantasy Baseball 2016: Every team's closer, all in one place

    Back in the day, it was almost impossible to save 20 games unless you threw 100-plus innings and looked as deadly as this dude. Saves were torture and relievers were terrible beast-people.

    But today, of course, saves are not so hard-earned, and the closer aesthetic is far less threatening. You can be as gentle as a lamb, toss 65 innings and still save 40 games. And that's great. No complaints here. Hooray, plentiful saves.

    [Sign up for Fantasy Baseball | Play for $40K | Expert rankings | Mock draft ]

    If you're a fantasy owner, it seems silly to ever punt this category in a standard mixed league, because saves are everywhere. You certainly don't need to draft 'em in the early rounds. Generally speaking, you can find saves late in a draft, and new sources will emerge throughout the season. In a typical year, something like one-third of all MLB closing gigs will flip throughout the season.

    The luxury closers are great, sure — Jansen, Kimbrel, Davis, et al — but you can still position

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  • Wait, Mallex Smith did what?

    So here's the sort of ridiculous stat line you don't see every day...

    No steals, Mallex? C'mon.No steals, Mallex? C'mon.

    Atlanta Braves outfield prospect Mallex Smith absolutely stuffed the box score on Wednesday, tripling twice in the first inning against the O's, later adding a double, homer and three RBIs.

    [2016 Yahoo Fantasy Baseball is open for business. Sign up now!]

    All things considered, a pretty decent start to the exhibition season for the 22-year-old. 

    For those not familiar with Smith, the first thing you need to know is that power isn't typically his thing, despite Wednesday's outburst. Smith slugged just .386 in the high minors last season with 27 extra-base hits (two HRs) over 126 games.

    But here's why fantasy owners need to care about him: Smith has high-end speed — elite, weapons-grade speed. Check the tape. He stole 57 bags last year across two minor league stops, and he swiped 88 in 2014. Smith is a willing walker with a career minor league OBP of .380, so he doesn't generally lack opportunities to run.

    [Fantasy

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  • Dissenting Opinions: Kyle Schwarber and the expectations game

    Hopes are seriously high for Kyle Schwarber as the catcher/outfielder/destroyer of cars prepares to enter his second MLB season. Schwarber's average draft position is 40.4 in Yahoo leagues, and even loftier in the NFBC community. How early is too early? Scott Pianowski ranks Schwarber as his No. 72 overall fantasy option for 2016 — which essentially means that Scott will never own him — and Andy Behrens slots him at No. 37. Our experts are prepared to argue both sides. Let's play the feud...

    Pianowski attacks the Schwarbists: I realize up front that this is a debate I’m unlikely to win. Kyle Schwarber is a fun pick, a buzzy pick. And Andy Behrens is a fine writer, a damn persuasive writer. I’d have a better chance opposing a Kennedy on Election Day.

    [2016 Yahoo Fantasy Baseball is open for business. Sign up now!]

    Here’s the thing: Kyle Schwarber is an expectant pick, a helium pick, a vanity pick. And that’s the type of commodity I generally run away from.

    The Cubs have turned into

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  • Fantasy Freak Show: NBA All-Star preview, trade talk and more

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    If the NBA all-star break is upon us, it must be time to imagine Dwight Howard trade scenarios. 

    [2016 Yahoo Fantasy Baseball is open for business. Sign up now!]

    On today's special edition of the Fantasy Freak Show, Andy Behrens is joined by award-winning Rotoworld hoops guru Ryan Knaus for a little pre-deadline speculation. Also included at no additional cost: All-star weekend predictions, injury discussion, and a second-half look-ahead.

    You've got nothin' better to do on a casual Friday. Click and play. 

    Give it a listen, make it a habit.  

    And check out the iTunes and RSS feeds!

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  • Homer History: Dave Kingman nearly hits one out of Chicago

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    In our Homer History series, writers re-tell the stories of memorable home runs from their perspective. In this installment, Yahoo Fantasy Sports writer Andy Behrens describes Dave Kingman's monstrous home run on a wild afternoon at Wrigley Field. 

    Dave Kingman was, without question, a one-tool player throughout his 16-year major league career. Kong didn't hit for average, he didn't run, he didn't competently field any position, and his on-base skills were poor. But when his violent right-handed uppercut swing connected with a baseball ... well, that baseball usually died.

    [2016 Yahoo Fantasy Baseball is open for business. Sign up now!]

    (Dave Kingman nearly hit one out of Chicago.)(Dave Kingman nearly hit one out of Chicago.)Kingman, for all his faults, possessed terrifying, weapons-grade power. Just look at this bomb, the third and final home run hit by Kingman in a loss to the Phillies on May 17, 1979 — an absurd game that produced 50 hits, 45 runs and 10 long balls. (Naturally, the Cubs dropped a game in which they scored 22 runs.

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  • Pickups of the Week: DeVante Parker among top adds for final push

    Each week, we identify six players to target on fantasy waiver wires, plus a lightly owned team defense. These fantasy assets are all available in a majority of Yahoo leagues. Add as needed.

    Sam Bradford, QB, Philadelphia Eagles, 35 percent owned

    Bradford ownership has not been a pleasant experience at all times — or at any time in his career, you might argue. But over his last six games, he's been tolerable-to-good, tossing eight touchdown passes and only three interceptions while averaging 273.2 yard per game. He's topped 300 passing yards in back-to-back weeks (361, then 380), finally feeding the receivers we'd expected him to feed all season (Matthews and Ertz). Philly will close its season against the Giants in New York, facing a pass defense that ranks dead-last in terms of yards allowed. Expect another 300-plus from Bradford, with a top-12 positional finish.

    FAAB bid: It's Week 17, you guys. Empty the wallet. There is no Week 18. Spend what you've got.

    DeVante Parker, WR,

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  • Is Lamar Miller a fantasy championship option?

    If you made it to Championship Week with Lamar Miller on your fantasy roster ... well, wow. Amazing achievement, buddy. It's pretty much down to you and Ron Rivera for Coach of the Year honors. Miller had a stellar matchup against San Diego in Week 15, yet he received only nine carries and was out-snapped by rookie Jay Ajayi. For reasons known only to the Dolphins coaching staff, Miller has seen single-digit carries in three of his last five games. He's averaging 4.9 YPC on the season, so the workload issues certainly aren't related to poor performance. Miami is actually 5-0 this season when he receives 13 or more carries and winless when he sees 12 or less, so perhaps this is some sort of stealthy tanking plan. Not sure.

    [Yahoo Daily Fantasy: $10 could win you $25K in our $250K contest for Week 16]

    What I can say for sure is this: I don't want any part of Miller in Championship Week, despite another friendly match-up (Indianapolis). Cheering for the Dolphins to install a sensible

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  • Pickups of the Week: C-Mike, Karlos and other familiar adds

    Each week, we identify six players to target on fantasy waiver wires, plus a lightly owned team defense. These fantasy assets are all available in a majority of Yahoo leagues. Add as needed.

    Christine Michael, RB, Seattle Seahawks, 9% owned

    Yup, we're really doing this again. All those other times you added Christine Michael to fantasy rosters (only to drop him the following week after a four-carry performance) were preparation for THIS MOMENT, right now, in which we find C-Mike on the threshold of fantasy domination. It's all happening, C-Mike zealots! This time, it's different. This time, he cannot miss.

    THE NFL'S CHRISTINE MICHAEL ERA IS AT LAST UPON US, AND WOE UNTO THOSE WHO...

    Um ... ahem.

    OK, maybe that's a bit strong.

    Clearly, C-Mike can miss — in fact, he's never not missed. He's visited the rosters of three different teams this season (Seattle, Dallas, Washington). But you'll note that it was Michael, not Bryce Brown, who led all Seattle backs in touches on Sunday, carrying

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