Three Running Back Sleepers to Target

There are just a few weeks left before the start of the 2014 NFL season, and that means plenty of people are looking for fantasy football sleepers to possibly pick up. The running back position is especially important, and some players are making a case for themselves in the preseason. Here is a look at 3 fantasy football sleepers to target.

Jonathan Stewart

Cam Newton might not be 100% to start the year, and the passing game in general for the Carolina Panthers is a bit hit or miss. That means the team will be relying on a pretty strong running game, and Jonathan Stewart seems up for the task. He might not be considered a top running back in the NFL at this point in time, but he could really emerge as a solid contributor in 2014. Staying healthy is always an issue, but he could become a top 30 performer when it is all said and done.

Zac Stacy

There were some people who were concerned at the beginning of the 2014 season that Stacy would lose his starting position to rookie Tre Mason. While the newcomer is a pretty talented player, Stacy is still considered to be the featured running back. That means you’ll get plenty of touches, and he can improve on a stellar end to the 2013 season. What makes him one of the best fantasy football sleepers is that he really excels in short yardage situations, so expect plenty of touchdowns.

Stevan Ridley

In the last preseason game, Ridley reminded people why he is considered to be a bit of a wild card. He fumbled the ball in a preseason matchup for the New England Patriots, but he is hoping to stay out of the doghouse all season long. If he can return to his 2012 production, he is going to be one of the best fantasy football sleepers out there. Anything north of 1200 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground would make him a true standout. Expect him to have quite a bit of success.

This post is courtesy of Fanduel.com.

Pre-Trade Deadline Spar

Joe to Greg (July 24th)

Well a lot has happened since we last did this so let’s address the one elephant in the room first. LeBron. As I’ve told you I’m in the middle of writing an NBA piece highlighting all the free agent signings this offseason so I’ll keep my comments short. Besides the fact that you TOTALLY CALLED THIS, I’m still surprised.

I always knew he’d go back, just to set the record straight. To be honest, I didn’t think it would be this soon. I can’t believe we’ve been watching LeBron James for 11 years now. Those four years went by faster than I thought and in those four years, James wound up with 4 Finals appearances and 2 titles. Why would he want to leave that? Well Wade was aging and Bosh was past his prime, but why not sign a 2-year deal with an opt-out again next summer? Obviously make another Finals appearance because the East is well…the East and then sit back and evaluate things. I don’t think that is guaranteed with the Cleveland roster now (although there are still moves to be made and one move sounds LOVEly). I think in the end his heart was always in Cleveland and I never doubted his return, just the timing of it. I know you’ve written a separate post about this, but any thoughts now that time has passed?

Greg to Joe (July 24th)

Personally, if you think that LeBron could lead the Heat to the NBA Finals, you have to think he could lead the Cavs. Wade is done. Unless they can work some Duncan resting magic on him, he may be done for good. I think Bosh is really underrated, but he and James together isn’t as good as Kyrie, Wiggins, and a bunch of young guys that can run. With Love, the Cavaliers have to become the favorites to win the title. I bet that deal happens and the Sixers will end up getting Dion Waiters, Kevin Martin and a first round pick because they joined as the third team. Wolves will get to unload a bunch of big contracts, Wiggins, Bennett, and a bunch of picks. It will work out nicely for them. I see Kevin Love as a Cav, but we’ll see in a month because Wiggins cannot be dealt for a month.

So on a baseball note, do you think the Red Sox will be sellers? I think that they should just pack it in and get some more prospects. I would deal Jon Lester for a young pitcher and outfielder. Then I would try to resign him after the season. I think they could also deal Koji, former Oriole great, but I am not sure who else they could deal. It is going to be interesting to see what they do. Also, do you see any big deals happening before the trade deadline? I would have said David Price, but I don’t think the Rays will deal him anymore after their mini-hot streak.

Joe to Greg (July 25th)

Quick LeBron note: I think you know this, but Thursday, Wiggins was offered a contract. With that contract, he isn’t allowed to be traded for 30 days. Which means any trade going on between Cleveland and Minnesota would have to be after August 23rd. I think, and I’ll elaborate on this more in my NBA piece, that Chicago has a better deal in place for Minnesota and you could see them swoop in before Wiggins is trade eligible. Don’t sleep on Golden State either, they could easily throw Klay Thompson in the mix, but they hate the thought of losing that Curry-Thompson duo.

As far as the Sox are concerned, they should be in full sell mode. Their biggest mistake was not signing Lester at the beginning of the season so I think they should look for some prospects to get in some sort of trade. Also Jake Peavy could be on his way out, I think he is something like 1-9 right now. His record doesn’t show much, but he’s still a veteran pitcher who can support the back end of a rotation for say the Dodgers or the Cardinals or some team in the playoff race. I’m with you on the Price scenario. I thought he was on his way out, but why not ride his hot hand the rest of the season and see if you can sneak into a wildcard spot? Besides that, Lester could be the biggest name out there, but I can’t see many other big trades happening before the deadline.

What are you thoughts on the Ray Rice 2-game suspension? Was it too much or too little?

Greg to Joe (July 26th)

Yeah, thats why I said we need to wait a month about Wiggins because I knew that contract would be signed. The only competitor to the Cavs are the Warriors in my opinion. If they add Klay Thompson, they get Kevin Love. Easily. I don’t think the Bulls are a huge competitor because I doubt they will trade Douggie McBuckets and if they do, they have the same 30 day restriction the Cavs do with Wiggins. I also hope that the Bulls do not trade Nikola Mirotić because I am really excited to see him in the NBA and have him on my fantasy team.

I think the Peavy trade was great for the Red Sox. I do not know much about Edwin Escobar, but I do know the Heath Hembree will be the Red Sox future closer and could even start closing at the end of this year. He has a power arm with great stuff, but he needs to control it better. I think that getting Hembree in this trade makes Koji EXTREMELY expendable. I see him getting dealt before the trade deadline as well and hopefully, it is to a team that has outfield prospects because the Red Sox need outfielders. I know I said this before, but I do not think it can be overstated. Lester might get dealt as well, but I think he still has a chance to be on the 2015 Red Sox.

The Ray Rice suspension is a black mark on the NFL. I think that he should have been suspended much longer. As a Ravens fan, I am pretty happy because I think that he could have a good year in Gary Kubiak‘s 1-cut running system, but I just can’t believe that he will be allowed to play after two games. I think 8 should have been the punishment, and I love Rice. I think he is a great person, and this happened to be his only mistake. It just also happened to be very public in nature.

Gronk is ready for training camp, you excited about that? Also, who do you think will win MVP this year… if it wasn’t allowed to be a Quarterback?

Joe to Greg (July 28th)

I have to do some more research into Embree and Escobar, but hopefully they can fill some of the gaps in the roster in the coming years. What are you thoughts on the development of Matt Kemp/Jon Lester rumors? Can you imagine Lester in that Dodgers lineup the way Kershaw and Greinke have been pitching this seaon? Is Kemp even worth going for from the Sox persepctive?

As far as Ray Rice is concerned, again, I’m with you. I think that he should have gotten a bigger penalty. It just makes the NFL’s discipline system look all out of sorts. The only reason I can see why it was a less severe penalty is because he’s a first time offender. In the long run, this helps the Ravens out a lot, but I do think they have to be careful in those first two games because they are both divisional games.

I’m very excited for Gronk to return. He is Brady‘s favorite target by far and I’ve enjoyed watching highlights of them hooking up in mini camp this past week. I’m interested to see how Darrelle Revis does this year because if he does well, I think he would be more inclined to resign next season considering hes on that one-year deal. If I were to pick an MVP, and it wasn’t a quarterback, I would say Shady McCoy has a chance to have another great year this year. I haven’t put a lot of thought into this, or fantasy for that matter, so I may have to change that. Who do you think will be the non-quarterback MVP?

Greg to Joe (July 28th)

Kemp wouldn’t be the centerpiece of the deal. The Red Sox wouldn’t take him unless they were getting a top prospect and the Dodgers pay most of his salary. The Dodgers pitching would be sick, but I don’t think Kemp has much left in the tank for the Sox. The ankle injuries really took a toll on his defense.

I think Revis is more of a mercenary. I honestly do not think he cares about winning that much. He just wants his money. He will go to whichever team will pay him the most. The team that pays the most, will probably win more because of him, but he only cares about money. I think he is a great addition to the Patriots. He should really help the pass rush out by locking down one receiver.

My non-quarterback MVP would have to be Jamaal Charles. He led his team in rushing and receiving, and he finally got paid. To which I say, good for him.

Greg Danchik (@gregdanchik)

Joe Meola (@brosephmeola)

So About Last Night…

The Athletics do something that they usually don’t do and gave up a couple of cheap players for some expensive ones. The pick up pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel (former Oriole…) for the best SS prospect in baseball in Addison Russell, Billy McKinney (2013 1st rounder) Dan Straily, and a player to be named later/cash.

I personally think they Cubs made out great in this deal. First, they get a young pitcher with talent who has struggled in the American League. This is the perfect pitcher for the Cubs. They STOLE Jake Arrieta from the Orioles last season. The Cubs basically have given him permission to use his cutter (Something the Orioles refused to let him throw), and now he is pitching like a stud with a no-no into the 7th in Boston last week.

Addison Russell (Photo Cred: Bill Mitchell/Baseball America)

Addison Russell (Photo Cred: Bill Mitchell/Baseball America)

The Cubs also pick up Addison Russell and Billy McKinney. Russell is a great defensive shortstop that turned out to have a great bat too. He has had an average around .300 at every level with an OPS above .800, including .939 this year. Billy McKinney is a corner outfielder that is projected to have a great bat but be a slow baserunner and a below-average defender.

Since the Cubs have too many infielders after this trade (Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Arismendy Alcantara, Starlin Castro, and Anthony Rizzo), do they deal Baez for a pitching prospect?

Javier Baez and Arismendy Alcantara for Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero and Gonzalez Germen.

Who says no?

Jeff Samardzija playing for Notre Dame against Stanford. (Photo Cred: Getty Images)

Jeff Samardzija playing for Notre Dame against Stanford. (Photo Cred: Getty Images)

Now for the Athletics, they pick up the Major League talent in this deal. Samardzija becomes their best pitcher and Hammel slots in as a back of the rotation guy who is over-achieving this year. Samardzija has been brilliant this year even though he only has 2 wins. He has increased groundballs, decreased the flyballs, decreased his home run to fly ball rate, and decreased the amount walks. He has been superb. The reason for the lack of wins is his league slow run support of 2.41 runs per game… TERRIBLE! The Cubs probably just hate him because they can’t spell his name. Who knows…

Coming of an injury-filled year with the Orioles last year, the Cubs were able to sign Hammel to a 1-year deal for $6 million. For that price, he is  having a career year with his highest strikeout percentage and lowest walk percentage in his career. It will be tough for him to keep those numbers up with the move the AL, but the A’s believe he can do it so you know what? So do I!

I think that his deal was very fair, but the Athletics will need to make a World Series and see Samardzija and Hammel be big pieces for this type of deal to be worth it. They do not have the kind of money to sign Samardzija long-term so they have to win this year or next with him, or they will have wasted a top prospect, also known as a cheap star, for no title.

This is not the type of deal that the Athletics can make every year and sustain a winning team because they purely do not have the money for it. However, the Athletics must have decided this is the one deal that they can make that will push them over the top, and with one of the top front offices in baseball (along with the Astros, Cardinals, Cubs,  and Red Sox), I have to believe this is the right move, and I now think the Athletics are clear favorites to win the AL Pennant and a top 3 favorite for the World Series title.

In a football note…

Josh Gordon gets arrested in North Carolina. If he never plays in the NFL again, is he the greatest one-hit wonder in sports ever?

Lemme know what you think

Greg Danchik

Twitter: @gregdanchik

Email: gregdanchik@gmail.com

The Sports Dojo’s NFL Mock Draft

This mock is a little bit of me being the GMs and a little bit of me guessing what is actually going to happen. I just hope I am relatively close to what actually happens. Hope you enjoy.

Browns trade #4 and #26 to Rams for #2
Rams trade #13 and #26 to Vikings for #8
Bears trade #14 and #51 to Titans for #11
Chargers trade #25 and 2015 1st rounder to Titans for #14
Chiefs trade #23 #87 and #163 for #17 and #194
Patriots #29 for Rams #44 and Rams’ 2015 2nd rounder

Texans
Jadeveon Clowney, DE South Carolina

The best player by far. He would have been the top pick last year had he been allowed to come out. JJ Watt and Clowney on the same defensive line is SCARY! Texans are on their way to a great draft.

Browns (From Redskins via Rams)
Johnny Manziel, QB Texas A&M

Rams flirtations with Johnny scare the Browns. The Browns get scared and hop up two spots to take Manziel and sacrifice their other first round pick. Manziel turns into a bust, just as Trent Richardson did, and their reign of mediocrity continues! Rams get a great haul and will be an NFC Wild Card in 2014-15.

**DISCLAIMER* – I think Manziel will be a star, but Cleveland has a history of taking potential superstars and turning them into busts*

Jaguars
Greg Robinson, OT Auburn

Greg Robinson and Luke Jockel! Thats the base for a great offensive line. All they need is a quarterback, but they’ll pick that up in the second round. They think Chad Henne is okay for another year apparently. Sorry that you have to be a fan of this organization Jimbo…

Rams (From Browns)
Sammy Watkins, WR Clemson

Rams were hoping for Greg Robinson, but they get Watkins instead. Not a bad trade off. Better prospect than AJ Green and Julio Jones. He is fast with great hands and stands 6’1”. Sam Bradford gets some help, but maybe the Rams best bet would be to replace Bradford.

Raiders
Khalil Mack, OLB Buffalo

Raiders need some pass rushers, along with every other position on an NFL roster. Khalil Mack could have gone number 1 overall in a different year, like last year.

Falcons
Jake Matthews, OT Texas A&M

Falcons have huge needs in the trenches. Grabbing the second-best tackle in the draft to help Matt Ryan is not a bad idea. Falcons need a big rebuild. Look for them to draft offensive lineman and defensive lineman the whole draft.

Buccaneers
Mike Evans, WR Texas A&M

Big, strong hands, and power forward-like boxing out skills. He will be a young Anquan Boldin. Bucs will wait another year to get their quarterback of the future.

Rams (from Vikings)
Taylor Lewan, OT Michigan

Rams decide they want Taylor before the Bills can grab him. Trade the 1st round pick that the Browns traded them for #2 to the Vikings to hop over 4 teams. The second biggest piece that they need to help Sam Bradford out. Again, Sam Bradford might not even be the guy they are helping out… (foreshadowing)

Bills
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S Alabama

Jarius Byrd is gone so they need a safety. The Bills get another great one, and I am now pissed because the Ravens lose out on the top safety in the draft.

Lions
Darqueze Dennard, CB Michigan St.

Lions need some help in the back 7 of their defense. I wouldn’t be surprised if they took a wide receiver, but it is just too early to grab one. I do think that they will look to trade down to draft a wide receiver because they LOVE to draft wide receivers.

Bears (From Titans)
Aaron Donald, DT Pitt

Bears sacrifice their 2nd round pick with the fear that the Giants are going to take Aaron Donald at 12. The Bears take Donald to fill the need in the interior of their defensive line. Should help with their NFL worst run defense… 5.3 rushing yard per attempt. Embarassing.

Giants
Eric Ebron, TE UNC

AGAIN! A player the Ravens could use goes ahead of their pick again. Eric Ebron will be the perfect possession receiver the Giants need, and Victor Cruz and Rueban Randle will continue to be playmakers down the field.

Vikings (From Rams)
Odell Beckham Jr., WR LSU

Vikings continue to wait on a quarterback. Beckham Jr. ran a 4.43 40-yard dash and has bigger hands than Sammy Watkins. He will be a great traditional wide receiver next to the a great overall playmaker in Cordorelle Patterson

Chargers (From Bears via Titans)
Justin Gilbert, CB Oklahoma St.

Chargers need a defensive player, and Gilbert is great cornerback that will help solidify their defense. They also prevent the Steelers from taking him with the next pick. Unfortunately, the Chargers sacrificed their 2015 1st rounder to make this deal happen.

Steelers
Kelvin Benjamin, WR FSU

Pissed off that they just lost out on the only cornerback that makes sense at this point in the draft, the Steelers select Benjamin to be the big receiver in the middle of the field, and this gives Antonio Brown free range to run all over the field wherever he wants. Scary thought for defenses.

Cowboys
Calvin Pryor, S Louisville

I might jump off a cliff now. A free-safety that can ball hawk like Ed Reed. Not as good as Ed Reed, but will be the center fielder that prevents all the big plays down the field for the Cowboys. Cowboys will need him to help limit the big plays the Eagles can create.

Chiefs (From Ravens)
Bradin Cooks, WR Oregon St.

Ravens will have the biggest For Sale sign that you will ever see after losing out on Clinton-Dix, Ebron, and Pryor. They trade it to Chiefs, who want to grab Cooks before the Jets do.Chiefs get a legit wide receiver for Alex Smith. Dwayne Bowe finally has someone to draw coverage off of him.

Jets
Marquise Lee, WR USC

They probably should have taken Cody Latimer, but Lee is a good fit for them. If he was able to come out last year, he would have been a top 5 pick. His last year in college hurt him, but hopefully, this receiver works out for the Jets. They need playmakers.

Dolphins
Zack Martin, OT Notre Dame

They need a tackle, and he continues to fall. Dolphins get great value here and get an instant starter to take over for Jonathan Martin.

Cardinals
Blake Bortles, QB UCF

Wut… The Cardinals get a quarterback that could have gone in the top 10 picks. Unfortunately, Bortles will be running for his life in the first year as a pro. Good luck to you Mr. Bortles.

Packers
CJ Mosely, ILB Alabama

Packers luck out with this pick. They need a replacement for AJ Hawk and they get him here.

Eagles
Anthony Barr, OLB UCLA

Pure pass rusher from UCLA will be great for the Eagles. They really need secondary help, but a better pass rush makes the secondary’s job a lot easier.

Ravens (From Chiefs)
Morgan Moses, OT Virginia

They get some picks and a tackle that they need. He’ll replace Michael Oher at right tackle and help keep Joe Flacco protected.

Bengals
Stephon Tuitt, DE Notre Dame

Versatility along the defensive line will go a long way to help the Bengals after losing some of their fierce pass rush to free agency.

Titans (From Chargers)
Ryan Shazier, OLB OSU

Titans need an outside linebacker to help rush the passer and seal the edges. He’ll help the Titans pressure Andrew Luck. The Titans wait until next year for their quarterback of the future.

Vikings (From Colts via Browns via Rams)
Derek Carr, QB Fresno St.

Vikings get their wish. They get a quarterback that they can sit for half a year or a year, and then he can come in an dominate. They’ll be able to spend their high first round pick in 2015 on an offensive lineman to help alleviate the pressure that’ll be coming at Carr.

Saints
Cody Latimer, WR Indiana

A new favorite among experts to sneak into the first round. The Saints get another receiving threat, hopefully this one can stay healthy.

Panthers
Jason Verrett, CB TCU

They need some secondary help and they get it. Small corner, which might not play against the stud wide receivers, but he will get a great slot corner.

Rams (From Patriots)
Teddy Bridgewater, QB Louisville

Texans lose out on Bridgewater’s fall and the Rams manage to trade back into the first round to get their guy. A quarterback, wide receiver, and left tackle in the same first round. I have to say that this is a great draft for the Rams.

49ers
Timmy Jernigan, DT FSU

Big defensive tackle that will be able to learn under Justin Smith and will be able to take over once Smith’s body completely fails him.

Broncos
Bradley Roby, CB OSU

They need some secondary help with Bailey gone, and Chris Harris recovering from ACL surgery from the injury he suffered in the 2013 playoffs.

Seahawks
Ra’Shede Hageman, DT Minnesota

Seahawks get another defensive lineman to fill out their rotation. Huge man that’ll help in the run.

Where QB’s will go
Jimmy Garoppolo (Eastern Illinois) to Jaguars at #39
Tom Savage (Pitt) to Texans at #65
Zach Mettenberger (LSU) to Bengals at #88
Logan Thomas (Va. Tech) to Jaguars at #114 (QB competition with Thomas eventually becoming a tight end)
AJ McCarron (Alabama) to Patriots at #140 (QB to groom until Timmy Brady retires)
Aaron Murray (Georgia)  to Bears at #156
Tajh Boyd (Clemson) to Ravens at #194

The draft will obviously not go this way, but it was pretty fun to make a mock. Hope you thought it was even remotely possible.

Greg Danchik

Post-NBA All Star Game Dojo Spar

Greg to Joe

So the NBA All-Star Game just happened… I didn’t watch. I prefer Saturday’s festivities, personally. I know that the Dunk Contest usually is quite boring, but I always have to watch. I watch so I don’t miss out on a never-before-seen dunk. I had also bet on that event, along with the 3-Point Contest. I had bet on Ben McLemore in the Dunk Contest. Unfortunately, McLemore had to “Battle” against John Wall, who had the best dunk of the night. I, also, did not like the format at all. It was a lot stupider than they led it on to be, and I was left feeling like there was no real winner. Bradley Beal had a valiant effort, but fell short to Marco Belinelli; meaning my bet fell just short.

(And you always have to Celly)

With the NFL season ending two weeks ago, I was able to think about this season as a whole. First of all, the Seahawks were the best team and deserved to win the Super Bowl. They were the best team all year and deserved the title. That is the first time that has happened in a long time. I can’t even think of the last time that happened. It may have been when the Steelers beat the Cardinals in 2009, I think.

I also have some thoughts about some sleepers for next year. Do you have any thoughts about that?

Joe to Greg

I actually listened to the first quarter of the NBA All-Star Game on the radio on my drive up to school. By the end of the quarter the announcers ran out of way to describe the dunks that Blake Griffin was doing. I’m with you though; I prefer Saturday’s festivities more, but I’d have to say I was disappointed. The format was too lackadaisical. The first round was an awkward 90 seconds, and the battle stage wasn’t really as exciting as I was expecting. Props to John Wall on his dunk, I was impressed with that and Damian Lillard‘s between the legs dunk.

I looked back to our past Dojo Spars and we both predicted 4 of the 6 NFC playoff teams in July. I didn’t get a chance to look at the AFC side but there is no question that the Seahawks were the best team this year. The only real concern I had for this team was playing outside of Seattle, and they handled that fairly well, I’d say. As far as sleepers for next year, you’re going to have to give me one more E-mail because I haven’t put much thought into it. I will say that I think some of the players coming out of the NFL Draft have the chance to immediately make an impact on some teams.

Greg to Joe

The NFL Draft is always fun. I can’t wait to see what happens at the combine. I don’t watch, but I like to see the crazy stats that come out of it. Apparently, Jadeveon Clowney said he is going to break a 4.4 40 yard time. That would be INSANE for a man his side. It is also fun to see the crazy changes in mock draft boards after the combine.

Rookies that will make an impact right away, I think, are Clowney, Sammy Watkins, and Mike Evans (You know what? That list really makes me wonder what I am doing with my life because they are all younger than me). I can’t say much about the offensive linemen, but they could be impactful as well. My reasoning for these three are Clowney is just a freak. If he wants to, he can dominate a game. He could end up being on the same D-line as JJ Watt, which would just be scary for all of the QBs in the AFC South and, quite frankly, the NFL as a whole. Watkins will improve any NFL offense he joins. He can stretch the field, but he is also big and can jump. Yet, he is also larger than most CBs in the league. Evans is a Wes Welker-type receiver, and it is not because he is white. He is a great possession receiver that can catch anything over the middle. He will do great as a slot receiver on any team (hopefully the Ravens).

My deep sleeper team for next year has to be the Browns. They have a great defense. If they can keep Alex Mack for their center position, draft one of three top quarterbacks in the draft, and get a receiver at the back end of the first round, they could be deadly. I mean they are the most dysfunctional franchise in the history of the NFL so this probably won’t happen.

My sleeper team for 2015 is the St. Louis Rams. They are in the toughest division in the NFL, but they are really talented. If they could dump Sam Bradford and draft a top QB and grab a lineman or receiver, they could have the offense to compete in the NFC West.

Joe to Greg

I think the Browns have a very good defense. They played extremely well in a game they should have won against the Patriots this season. One of my other predictions is that the 49ers are going to win the NFC West. I don’t think this is too far out of the question, or on the level of a dark horse like the Browns, but I think that they came so close to edging the Seahawks in the NFC Championship game. The 49ers have the team capable of dethroning the defending Super Bowl Champs. That division is only getting better as Arizona looks to improve on a strong finish to their season.

Another team I’m looking for next season is the Chargers. I think Phillip Rivers put together one of the best seasons of his career. He threw for close to 4,500 yards (4,478 is the actual number) and also had his highest completion percentage of his career (69.5 – compare to 64.1 last year). How the Chargers contend with the Broncos and Chiefs will be interesting. Will we see 3 teams from this division go to the playoffs? Is that possible? Who knows.

How do you feel about the O’s picking up Ubaldo Jimenez?

Greg to Joe

If 3 teams from the AFC West go to the playoffs again, I would not be surprised, but I think it will probably be different. I bet the Dolphins make the playoffs this next year. Tannehill is too good, and they will have finally gotten their Bully-Gate behind them.

But enough about football… IT’S BASEBALL SEASON

I am loving what the Orioles are doing. They are paying Ubaldo Jimenez a lot, but it should be worth it because, sadly, he is better than most of their pitching rotation. They also got a STEAL in Nelson Cruz. They get potentially 25-30 homers from him, if he can stay healthy. With the price only being 8 million dollars, that is awesome. I think they shouldn’t stop though. They need to pick up Ervin Santana and accept that they won’t have a draft pick until the 4th or 5th round in the upcoming draft. If they get Santana, the Blue Jays do not get him and he improves the O’s rotation. I am excited for this season and to see what happens with Ervin Santana.

Boston Red Sox starting lineup in Game 1 of the 2013 ALCS (Photo Cred: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Boston Red Sox starting lineup in Game 1 of the 2013 ALCS (Photo Cred: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

You like what the Sox have/haven’t done this off-season and are you excited them for to try and defend their title?

Joe to Greg

Coming into the season I’m extremely excited to see Xander Bogaerts play. That being said, I wasn’t expecting Ryan Dempster to leave. He was a great starter during the season, and I thought he’d stay for at least one more year. I like the addition of Edward Mujica, formerly of the St. Louis Cardinals, as well. I think he strengthens their bullpen going forward.

I think that Cruz addition is great for the Orioles. That just helps their line up out even more. I also agree that the O’s need to keep going. The Yankees have made a splash this off season, the Rays have a great rotation coming in, and the Sox have made a few additions. Its gearing up to be another competitive AL East. I love it.

Greg Danchik and Joe Meola