Brad Evans

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Brad "The Big Noise" Evans is Yahoo! Sports fantasy’s resident baseball, football and bracketology expert.

  • Patterson is a hot commodity in early mock drafts. (USAT)

    Place your ear to the grapevine this time of year and chances are you’re bound to hear stories of despair, mediocrity and, of course, excessive hype …

    This group of draft prospects is RISING. That group is FALLING. Everyone in this class is destined to overachieve/underachieve.

    The wild speculation, whether positive or negative, is seemingly endless. Sonny Weaver, the fictional general manager of the Cleveland Browns in ‘Draft Day,’ would certainly agree. Just look at the insane rumors regarding former Pitt QB Tom Savage and Drake's brother from another mother Johnny Manziel.

    Smokescreens or not, fantasy owners, who function similarly as GMs over fledgling virtual franchises, face identical dilemmas. Receive poor intel and you’re likely headed to an early grave filled with constant ridicule and liquid therapy. However, buy into rock solid intel, and jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash aren’t a figment of the imagination, they’re reality.

    We may be months away from meaningful football, but the buzz surrounding a number of players is rapidly building. To ensure you don’t fall into a Ryan Leaf deathtrap, here’s my take on seven commodities sure to be sensationalized in fantasy drafts come August:

    Cordarrelle Patterson, Min, WR (Current ADP: 51.5, WR22)

    The Buzz: Under the direction of vertical-minded Norv Turner, CP is sure to take a major leap forward possibly topping out as a high-end WR2 in 12-team leagues.

    Believe or make believe? BELIEVE. Slow out of the gates in his rookie season, Patterson turned on the afterburners from Week 13 on as then OC Bill Musgrave finally pulled head out of posterior, calling the youngster's number often. During that stretch he totaled 375 combined yards and six touchdowns. His resulting 14.7 fantasy points per game average in standard formats ranked top-five among wideouts and carried owners to championship glory. Because of his route rawness, much of that production came on the ground, in the return game or on designed wide receiver screens. On 11 targets beyond 22-yards he caught just one pass and only one of his TDs was scored beyond 10 yards. In his second season, he should add some polish becoming a more complete WR. With Norval calling the shots, he could transform into a poor man's Josh Gordon.

    Bottom Line: Patterson's length, catch radius, versatility and breakaway speed has Turner's ticker pumping with anticipation. The OC will get very creative with his new toy. However, the $64,000 question remains: Who will pass him the rock this fall? Matt Cassel and burning couch Christian Ponder are back, but it seems highly likely the Vikes will entertain a QB (Manziel anyone?) at No. 8 overall in next month's draft. Regardless who is under center Week 1, Patterson should vault up draft boards as the summer progresses. In 12-team drafts, snapping tendons for his services early in Round 3 wouldn't be moronic.

    Read More »from First Down: Should you buy the hype on Patterson, Foles, others?
  • MLB Over/Under: Will slumping Bryce Harper meet high expectations?

    It's been a tough-to-swallow start for Harper. (USAT)

    Poster boy of hype Bryce Harper, who is 7-for-32 to start the season, combined rest of season homers/steals 34.5

    Dalton – OVER. Sure, he’s looked bad so far, but unless there’s some injury I’m unaware of, there’s no reason to change how I felt about him entering the year, and I had Harper pegged to go well above a 34.5 homers/steals combo.

    Scott – OVER. I'm shocked there's been so much talk and angst here. I do worry about Harper crashing into a wall or what not with his crazy style of play, but I have no worries about his ability.

    Andy – WAY OVER. C'mon. We're a week into the season. We're not sure if he can go 18-18? Pffft.

    K machine Prince Fielder, who has stumbled out of the gates in his new Texas digs, rest of season RBIs 99.5

    Scott – OVER. Fielder is fine, and Shin-Soo Choo is going to be on base all summer. Durability won't be a problem. Arlington's weather is your friend. Maybe you can buy low.

    Andy – At least this one is a respectable number. I'm still going OVER. We know

    Read More »from MLB Over/Under: Will slumping Bryce Harper meet high expectations?
  • Free Agent Frenzy: Ball, RGIII top list of most fantasy impacted

    Ball to the wall. A second-year explosion is on the horizon for the ex-Badger. (USAT)

    All it takes is a change of scenery.

    For some, a fresh start can awake the fantasy beast within, elevating a player into a different statistical realm while handsomely rewarding those who invest in his services.

    Take Reggie Bush for instance.

    Arguably the most sought after rusher in last year’s free agent class, Kim K’s former canoodler traded in the limitations of Miami for the fast-track of Ford Field, a move that paid a lucrative fantasy dividend. Underused in the pass game under Joe Philbin the year before – he absurdly caught just 35 balls in 16 games with the ‘Fins in 2012 – Bush thrived in Scott Linehan’s vertical offense, resembling the explosive, well-rounded back he once was in New Orleans and earlier in his career with the Dolphins. Working in tandem with bruiser Joique Bell in Detroit, Bush finished with 1,512 combined yards, 54 receptions and seven touchdowns in 14 games. Impressively, he landed inside the RB top-20 in all but three weeks. His resulting 17.7 fantasy points per game was the seventh-best mark among RBs in PPR-friendly formats.

    Money well spent.

    Read More »from Free Agent Frenzy: Ball, RGIII top list of most fantasy impacted
  • MLB Over/Under: Will the Grady train keep rolling?

    Sizemore, finally healthy, is already an early season surprise. 

    Grady Sizemore, a man who would probably break a nose wrestling a Jello-O mold, total 2014 at-bats 449.5.

    Andy – UNDER, but we're all just guessing. It's obviously a fun story, and I don't really want to trample on it. I'd expect the Red Sox to give Grady plenty of rest, plus he's always been a walker — when he draws a BB, no official at-bat.

    Dalton – UNDER. I'm rooting for Sizemore and love the story, but he hasn't topped this amount since 2008. I hope I'm wrong, but it's pretty safe to expect Sizemore to fall well short of this number.

    Scott – Fine, there's no Santa Claus. I have to go UNDER, too. There's too much injury history, and the Red Sox will rest him more liberally than the typical regular. 

    Emilio Bonifacio, who's an amazing 11-for-16 on the very young season, 74.5 total runs.

    Andy –UNDER, because this team is not going to be in the business of scoring runs. I do, however, think Bonifacio will be hitting lead-off a ton. He'll have value, no question.

    Dalton – UNDER. He's

    Read More »from MLB Over/Under: Will the Grady train keep rolling?
  • Tourney Pick'em 101: Bracket tips that could net you a billion

    ONE. BILLION. DOLLARS.

    Let that soak in for a moment. Private planes, personal chefs, golden toilets, diamond-studded collars for your teacup yorkie, entire island nations in the Caribbean – they could all be yours.

    That is, IF you pick an impeccable bracket.Heck, the odds are only one in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808.

    [Get a chance at $1 billion: Register to play the Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge now!]

    For those non-Mathletes in attendance that's just barely over nine quintillion. Sure the likelihood of you getting mauled to death by a mountain lion, flattened by falling space junk or contracting the human version of mad cow disease is stronger, but as Lloyd Christmas mouthed so poetically in "Dumb and Dumber," "So you're saying there's a chance?!"

    Enter the game. Fill out a bracket. And you most certainly will.

    Lace up your Chucks, self-proclaimed bracket guru. There are limitless riches on the line.

    TIP-INS – A FLIGHT FULL OF COMMON STRATEGIES

    Below are five tips chock-full of

    Read More »from Tourney Pick'em 101: Bracket tips that could net you a billion
  • Over/Under SP: Should fantasy baseball owners want Yu?

    Owners will have to slap the wallet hard for Darvish. (USAT)

    Yu Darvish, who punched out 277 strikeouts in a monster year last summer, Ks in the follow-up 249.5.

    Andy – Huh? Too low. OVER. Yu is vicious. If anyone can strike out 300, it's this guy.

    Brad – OVER. He's the Japanese/Iranian version of Roger Clemens, minus the controversy. He possess the most impressive repertoire and, possibly, endurance in the game today. Agree with Behrens, 300 Ks no pipe dream.

    Scott – OVER. We're all recommending Trident, we're all Tangled Up in Yu. So long as Darvish doesn't get hurt (and there's no reason to predict that), he'll sail past this number. The adjustment to American baseball had a few speed bumps in 2012, but it was smooth sailing from the opening pitch last year.

    Super Sophomore. Which second-year starter finishes with the better fantasy year: Michael Wacha or Danny Salazar?

    Andy – SALAZAR. I like 'em both, but this kid really wowed. Not only does he bring triple-digit heat, but he has phenomenal command. If you need additional detail, here's

    Read More »from Over/Under SP: Should fantasy baseball owners want Yu?
  • Over/Under C: Does a move to 1B move the meter on Mauer?

    Mauer's switch to 1B could help boost his numbers. (USAT)

    Joe Mauer, who will retain catcher eligibility despite moving to first base full-time, overall draft position in 12-team mixed leagues 49.5. Also include your 5x5 projection.

    Brandon – UNDER. I'm happy to be the bullish one in regards to Mauer. In '12, he was a top 50 fantasy hitter with a line of .319/10/85/81/8. Playing 1B full-time obviously gives him a significantly better chance to avoid injury this season and push career highs in plate appearances. Sure, he won't hit for much power, but you can take his .300 average to the bank, and he should once again push 80 RBIs and Runs. Plus, you still get to use him at catcher, a position where few reach 20 home runs (Mauer's lack of power won't hurt you here). It's also a spot where many of the rosterable backstops will be happy to finish even close to a .270 batting average (put Mauer down for a huge advantage here). I think he finishes very near to his '12 numbers.

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

    Andy

    Read More »from Over/Under C: Does a move to 1B move the meter on Mauer?
  • Over/Under OF: Will Billy Hamilton steal the show?

    Blazing Billy could be the next Vince Coleman. (USAT)

    Much discussed speedster Billy Hamilton, projected to bat leadoff for the Reds, stolen bases 79.5

    Brad – OVER. Opinions on where Hamilton should be drafted vary greatly, but, if he can secure 475-plus at-bats and the lead-off gig, he could sail over 100 steals. And that's not the silly sauce talking. He's a once-a-generation base-stealer, akin to a Vince Coleman or Ricky Henderson. In Round 5 or Round 6 of a 12-team mixed draft, he's more than worth the risk.

    Scott – UNDER, mostly because it's such a huge number. I'm not putting those expectations on any rookie, especially someone who's capable of hitting his way out of a job. During mock and magazine season, the price was reasonable on Hamilton. But now that the helium has taken over, I'm out of the mix.

    Andy – OVER. If he plays, he steals. Hamilton's minor league speed totals were insane: 100-plus steals in back-to-back years, with a record 155(!) in 2012. All he needs to do is tread water as a major league hitter, and he'll stick

    Read More »from Over/Under OF: Will Billy Hamilton steal the show?
  • Over/Under MI: Will Carpenter hammer the runs category again?

    Post-scoring handshakes were common for Carpenter last year. (USAT)

    Fantasy is a speculative game. Predict the future, and you look like a genius. Don't, and you're painfully human. Gazing into the crystal ball, here's our view on a dozen middle infield over/unders entering the spring.

    One of last summer's biggest breakout stars, Matt Carpenter, who set a blistering pace in runs last year leading the bigs with 126, plate touches in the follow-up 99.5

    Brad – OVER. He's a high-contact hitter slated to bat leadoff in a favorable lineup. Only a catastrophic injury would prevent him from sailing over the 100-run mark yet again.

    Scott – UNDER, since that's such a huge number. No other second baseman got past 92 runs last year, and it's a position filled with stars and name players. I'm thinking Carpenter scores around 90 runs in 2014, and I'm still bullish on his draft stock.

    Andy – UNDER. Hitting triple-digits is no simple feat, you guys. It's hardly a responsible total to forecast for any player, outside the elite hitters. A single short-duration DL stint

    Read More »from Over/Under MI: Will Carpenter hammer the runs category again?
  • Over/Under CI: Should you seek comfort in Chris Davis?

    Some of our experts say you shouldn't necessarily embrace Davis. (USAT)

    Fantasy is a speculative game. Predict the future, and you look like a genius. Don't, and you're painfully human. Gazing into the crystal ball, here's our view on a dozen corner infield over/unders entering the spring.

    Post-hype sleeper to the third power, Chris Davis, finally slugged his way into the hearts of fantasy owners, reaching the cheap seats 53 times over 584 at-bats in 2013. Total dingers in the follow-up 39.5

    Dalton – UNDER. I expect him to come very close and am in no way calling Davis a bust in 2014, but only two players hit more than 37 home runs last season. Moreover, Davis hit "just" 16 dingers over 241 at-bats after the All-Star break. It's tough to bank another 40 bombs.

    Scott – Has to be UNDER. The first-half barrage was a blast last year, but otherwise he profiles to a guy with 30-something homers, a ton of strikeouts, and a handful of batting risk. I won't take him in the first round.

    Andy – UNDER, but not because I dislike Davis. In fact, I think he should

    Read More »from Over/Under CI: Should you seek comfort in Chris Davis?

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