Bleacher Report Fantasy League: Week One in the Books!

Scott FenderCorrespondent IApril 14, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - APRIL 4: First baseman Carlos Pena #23 of the Tampa Bay Rays gets congratulated by teammates left fielder Carl Crawford #13 and third baseman Evan Longoria #3 after hitting a 3 run home-run in the top of the first inning during the game against the Philadelphia Phillies on April 4, 2009 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The Rays won 9-7. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

Week one is over. Evan Longoria is No. 1 in the game right now, Emilio is No. 2, and Josh Johnson is the best pitcher right now. With plenty of surprises at the top of the boards and plenty of season left to play let's dive into the league and its activities this week.

Here are the standings after week one:

1. Leftfield Lunatics8-2-0     
2. End of the Dugout7-2-1     
3. Brooklyn Bashers5-4-1     
4. RIP Harry Kalas5-4-1     
5. Pothead Penguins5-4-1     
6. A's4-4-2     
7. Civardi's BALCO Boys4-4-2     
8. The LOUsers4-5-1     
9. Machete Squad4-5-1     
10. MetAL MuLiSHa4-5-1     
11. Sons of Cuyahoga2-7-1     
12. LB's Maniaxs2-8-0     


Some of the other managers have given their perspectives on week one. End of Dugout and Leftfield Lunatics have written articles already. Here is a team by team look of the league.

As you can see, Leftfield Lunatics has jumped to the top of the standings after week one. Three teams are tied for third.

One thing to make mention of, Undefeated in 6 OTs has changed there name to RIP Harry Kalas. What better tribute then to name your team after a fallen favorite.

Leftfield Lunatics rise to the top can be attributed to Evan Longoria and his pick up of Emilio Bonaficio. He also has the number four hitter in Alfonso Soriano.

Now that we have done a quick recap, let's take a look at the moves and deals of the past week.

Leftfield Lunatics was led by Evan Longoria, but he won't have that bat in his lineup the rest of the year. He and Brooklyn Bashers orchestrated a deal this week that will possibly send shockwaves for the rest of the season.

The deal is this:

Brooklyn Bashers send:

Conor Jackson (Ari - 1B,OF)
Nick Markakis (Bal - OF)
Josh Beckett (Bos - P) 

Leftfield Lunatics send:

Evan Longoria (TB - 3B)
Curtis Granderson (Det - OF)
Joba Chamberlain (NYY - P) 

I talked to both managers and here is what they each had to say about the deal:

Leftfield Lunatics are going to be first.

You are giving up a great young talent in Evan and Joba but are getting some young guns in Nick Markakis. What was the original offer and how did it develop into the three for three trade that it is?
Well, the Bombers first asked us about Jose Reyes, but I wasn't willing to part with our No. 1 overall draft pick. We had a glaring need for a staff ace, since we had absolutely nobody that could really hold up the ship.
So we then added another player, and finally a third to even it out. That's just what ended up working for us. One or two players just didn't cut it on our end. 

Who was the main cog in you making this trade?
Scott Boras

Many will wonder why you gave up Evan Longoria, who is tearing the cover off of the baseball right now. Please respond to those critics.
I don't see any critics. Look, the kid can play, everyone knows that.
Every year, you get a couple players who will tear it up at the beginning of the season, but to think he, or anyone, would continue a pace like that throughout the entire season is out of their mind.
We gave up a hot bat, but we also brought in another young guy in Nick Markakis who we feel can absolutely tear it up as well, playing in a suddenly effective Orioles offense.
We know what he is capable of when he drove in 112 two seasons ago and we feel like he could be even better this year. 

What is your expectations for your three new players and why did you want to make this trade?

We just expect them to be themselves. Markakis is the cog that makes the Orioles' offense go, so we expect him to hit for power and score just like Evan. We needed to make a move for a staff ace like Josh, who will consistently contribute wins and a positive ERA to our young rotation.

Finally, we brought in Conor Jackson as part of the deal and we really liked his versatility, being able to play the infield and outfield. He won't hit tons of home runs but we know he will contribute a very solid batting average.

Let's hear what the Brooklyn Basher's had to say:

You are giving up a great young talent in Nick Markakis but are getting some young guns in Evan and Joba. What was the original offer and how did it develop into the three for three trade that it is? 

It was very hard for me to give Markakis away, but you have to give good players to get good players.  The original trade was my, Khalil Greene, Rich Harden, and Matt Lindstrom, for Lunatic's Jose Reyes. 

He rejected it and responded with this to say, "I'm going to reject this for now. Reyes is probably the guy I'm least interested in moving, especially when the best player I get in return will probably spend 75 percent of the season on the DL. If you're really interested in Reyes, I'd try to work out a 2-for-2 deal but I'd want a starter like Beckett in return." 

After that, I tried a couple more times for Jose, but it was too tough, I then started to look at some of his offers and build on them.  I liked his ideas, he wanted Beckett, and even though I like him, and he had a great first start, I wasn't totally against trading him. 

We shot several offers back and forth to each other over the course of a couple days and we finally agreed on this one here.

In my opinion you are giving up solid talent but are getting more in return in Evan and Curtis. Do you want Joba or was he the piece to swing Beckett over to the Lunatics? 

Who wouldn't want Joba, lol.  The real answer is that Lunatics gave me three pitchers to choose from him.  He let me pick from, I think, Verlander, Slowey, and Joba.  I picked Joba, because he's got a lot of nasty stuff, and I see him having a great year. 

I think that Beckett is only slighter better than Joba, and that Joba will put up Beckett like numbers throughout the season.

What is your expectations for your three new players and why did you want to make this trade? 

I think that Granderson is going to put up an average close to 300. and have good all around stats.  Longoria, is only getting better and will build off his rookie of the year campaign. 

Joba is filthy and has the ability to dominate every team he faces, and I'm happy to have that ability on my team. The trade started when Lunatic's left a message on the board asking for offers.  I sent a couple offers and then we built from there.

Bleacher Creatures who got the better part of this deal? respond in comments and the poll.

For the free agent pick up of the week I give it to Left field Lunatics, for jumping on the Emilio Bonaficio bandwagon. Left field had an astounding 29 moves by the end of the week and two teams hadn't even done anything yet. To put it into perspective, RIP Harry Kalas had the second most with six moves.

Finally, here are my tips and pickups of the week.

First, do not panic or overreact. It is week one. Don't go dropping your top picks for Emilio, Swisher, or Lind. While they are solid picks, you do not need to become the type of manager who picks up the flavor of the week.

This is not fantasy football. The season is not 16 weeks and 16 games long. You have to think of the 162-game season. Fantasy baseball is all about potential and taking a hot player for a cold player, but stars are still stars. Every roster has a few players cut worthy.

Scan the wire and see if there are players who you think will do better over the year, week, or day, for your team. Think of this as the VORP for fantasy sports. VORP stands for value over replacement player. If a player on the waiver is better than your player on your team, pick him up.

If you have a rookie he will make mistakes and have bad games, but there is untapped potential. Winning teams exploit untapped potential and proven vets to create a solid team all around.

Five Players you should target this week:

Emilio Bonaficio (FLA 2B,3B)- if you do not know this name by now, then why are you playing fantasy baseball? He started the year off with an inside the park home run. He is not a power threat and is a bit sloppy at third base so if your league has errors as a stat he may not be what you want.

But he has the 2B eligibility that many crave and can run like the wind. I forecast three home runs, .270 average, 45 SB's.


Nick Swisher (NYY-1B,OF)- He is a utility player for the Bronx Bombers, but he is a hot bat. The Yankees bailout investment at 1B will logjam Swisher, but with four positions he can play he will be finding at bats. Not a regular starter but if you have Tex you may want him to cover for the next two games.

Also, he tried his hand at pitching today throwing one inning of scoreless relief with a K. While that won't count sadly to your team, it shows the Yanks will use him anywhere. He should get at bats through the end of the week which is what you play, week to week, in head to head leagues.


Adam Lind (TOR-OF)- The hot hitter for the Jays is finally up in the bigs and looks like he is staying for good. With plenty of power potential he should find a spot on any team. If he is there grab him if you need the power or another outfielder.


Kyle Davies- (KC-SP)- I targeted Zach Grienke in most of my league drafts this year, but KC has a great pitcher in Davies as well. He has nasty stuff and can get you the K's you need. He will struggle from time to time but he can be a quality pitcher in the AL. Take him if you need a spot starter or have an extra spot.


Oakland Athletics Pitchers- This team is sending out great relievers and great starters. But no one has heard of any of them. Take a look at the team depth chart. Players you should look at: Trevor Cahill, Santiago Casilla, Michael Wuertz, Dallas Braden, and Brett Anderson.

The Athletics are stacked it seems in the pitching department. They have plenty of arms ready to pitch and some on the DL. Take notice and keep an eye on them.


This concludes week one of the season! keep checking in every week for more updates on the league and tips from yours truly, the Pothead Penguins. Thanks and good luck in your leagues! (Unless you are in the Bleacher Report League in which case good luck on taking second.)


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