Bears

Fantasy baseball outfielder rankings

Fantasy baseball outfielder rankings

By David Ferris
CSNChicago.com

1. Mike Trout, Angels
NOTE: A Top-5 draft pick next year, easy.
2. Ryan Braun, Brewers
3. Andrew McCutchen, Pirates
NOTE: Front-runner in MVP discussion.
4. Matt Kemp, Dodgers
5. Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies
6. Adam Jones, Orioles
7. Josh Hamilton, Rangers
NOTE: How many teams can logically afford and fit him?
8. Mark Trumbo, Angels
9. Matt Holliday, Cardinals
10. Alex Rios, White Sox
NOTE: Nifty comeback with little fanfare.
11. Allen Craig, Cardinals
12. Curtis Granderson, Yankees
13. Josh Willingham, Twins
NOTE: Target Field isn't so bad for righty power.
14. Michael Bourn, Braves
15. Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox
16. Adrian Gonzalez, Red Sox
17. Shin-Soo Choo, Indians
18. Austin Jackson, Tigers
19. Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins
NOTE: Pop returned in first week back.
20. Carlos Beltran, Cardinals
21. Desmond Jennings, Rays
NOTE: Head clearer, swing back to normal.
22. Nelson Cruz, Rangers
23. Carl Crawford, Red Sox
NOTE: Beware, not 100 percent healthy.
24. Jason Kubel, Diamondbacks
25. Jay Bruce, Reds
NOTE: Plateau years are frustrating.
26. Ben Zobrist, Rays
NOTE: Should have shortstop eligibility soon in many leagues.
27. Shane Victorino, Dodgers
28. Ben Revere, Twins
29. Yoenis Cespedes, Athletics
NOTE: Debut better than many expected.
30. Jason Heyward, Braves
31. Michael Morse, Nationals
32. Andre Ethier, Dodgers
33. Martin Prado, Braves
NOTE: Not a sexy pick, but quietly contributes.
34. Nick Markakis, Orioles
35. Hunter Pence, Giants
36. Michael Cuddyer, Rockies
37. Rajai Davis, Blue Jays
NOTE: Much better in roto than in real life.
38. Garrett Jones, Pirates
NOTE: Mashes righties, struggles otherwise.
39. Alfonso Soriano, Cubs
40. Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
41. Carlos Gomez, Brewers
42. Alex Gordon, Royals
43. Justin Upton, Diamondbacks
NOTE: Hasn't looked healthy all year.
44. Josh Reddick, Athletics
45. Corey Hart, Brewers
46. Trevor Plouffe, Twins
NOTE: How quickly will thumb recover?
47. Torii Hunter, Angels
48. Alejandro De Aza, White Sox
49. Colby Rasmus, Blue Jays
50. Drew Stubbs, Reds
51. Michael Brantley, Indians
52. Nick Swisher, Yankees
53. B.J. Upton, Rays
NOTE: Desperately needs a change of scenery.
54. Dexter Fowler, Rockies
NOTE: Always seems capable of more.
55. Ryan Ludwick, Reds
56. Jon Jay, Cardinals
NOTE: Handy glove really helps, too.
57. Starling Marte, Pirates
58. Carlos Lee, Marlins
NOTE: Could be moved in waiver deal.
59. Ichiro Suzuki, Yankees
60. Juan Pierre, Phillies
61. Cody Ross, Red Sox
NOTE: Speciality player, but park fits.
62. Coco Crisp, Athletics
63. Cameron Maybin, Padres
64. Travis Snider, Pirates
65. Emilio Bonifacio, Marlins
NOTE: One-trick pony but it's a neat trick.
66. Lorenzo Cain, Royals
67. Raul Ibanez, Yankees
68. Angel Pagan, Giants
69. Carlos Quentin, Padres
70. Bryce Harper, Nationals
NOTE: Numbers have collapsed in second half.
71. Chris Young, Diamondbacks
72. Domonic Brown, Phillies
73. Howie Kendrick, Angels
74. Justin Maxwell, Astros
NOTE: Small-market bat makes good.
75. Matt Joyce, Rays
76. Norichika Aoki, Brewers
77. Dayan Viciedo, White Sox
78. Jayson Werth, Nationals
NOTE: Stay grounded off a major injury.
79. Justin Ruggiano, Marlins
80. Eric Young, Rockies
NOTE: Electric run, but will Jim Tracy stay the course?
81. Denard Span, Twins
82. David Murphy, Rangers
83. Will Venable, Padres
84. Chris Davis, Orioles
85. Jordany Valdespin, Mets
NOTE: Tremendous athlete, deserves bigger 2013 role.
86. Delmon Young, Tigers
87. Brandon Belt, Giants
88. Tyler Colvin, Rockies
89. Andy Dirks, Tigers
NOTE: Sweet swing but not a big power source.
90. Yonder Alonso, Padres
NOTE: Line drive bat, but how much power develops?
91. Brennan Boesch, Tigers
92. Mitch Moreland, Rangers
93. John Mayberry, Phillies
94. David DeJesus, Cubs
95. Scott Hairston, Mets
96. Steve Lombardozzi, Nationals
NOTE: Where does he play when everyone is healthy?
97. Seth Smith, Athletics
98. Lance Berkman, Cardinals
NOTE: Nothing guaranteed here.
99. Michael Saunders, Mariners
100. Andres Torres, Mets
101. Jarrod Dyson, Royals
102. Anthony Gose, Blue Jays
103. Gerardo Parra, Diamondbacks
104. Nyjer Morgan, Brewers
105. Quintin Berry, Tigers
106. Brett Jackson, Cubs
NOTE: Holes in his swing, a project.
107. Steve Pearce, Astros
108. Alexi Amarista, Padres
109. Gregor Blanco, Giants
110. Jeff Francoeur, Royals
NOTE: Obviously the contract was a mistake.
111. Moises Sierra, Blue Jays
112. Andruw Jones, Yankees
113. Chris Denorfia, Padres
114. Jonny Gomes, Athletics
115. Vernon Wells, Angels
116. Brian Bogusevic, Astros

As the Bears begin to form an identity, special teams need to catch up

10-19michaelcampanaro.jpg
USA Today

As the Bears begin to form an identity, special teams need to catch up

If you squint, you can start to see the Bears forming an identity. The offense, at its best, will control the game with Jordan Howard and an offensive line that’s improving with cohesion over the last few weeks. The defense will stop the run, rarely blow assignments and — at least last week — force a few turnovers. 

Those can be the makings of a team that's at least competitive on a week-to-week basis. But they also leave out a critical segment of this group: Special teams. And that unit is obscuring whatever vision of an identity that may be coming into focus. 

Jeff Rodgers’ special teams unit ranks 29th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA ratings, and is below average in all five categories the advanced statistics site tracks: field goals/extra points, kickoffs, kickoff returns, punts and punt returns. 

Had the Bears’ just merely "fine," for lack of a better term, on special teams Sunday, they would’ve controlled a win over the Baltimore Ravens from start to finish. But a 96-yard kickoff return (after the Bears went up 17-3) and a 77-yard punt return (which, after a two-point conversion, tied the game in the fourth quarter) were the Ravens’ only touchdowns of the game; they otherwise managed three field goals. 

Rodgers didn’t find much fault with the way the Bears covered Bobby Rainey’s kickoff return — he would’ve been down at the 23-yard line had the officiating crew ruled that Josh Bellamy got a hand on him as he was tumbling over. But the Bears players on the field (and, it should be said, a number of Ravens) stopped after Rainey hit the turf; he got up and dashed into the end zone for a momentum-shifting score. 

“A lot of our players stopped, all their players stopped,” Rodgers said. “There were players from both teams who came on to the field from the sideline. So there’s a lot of people on that particular play who thought the play was over.”

That return touchdown could be chalked up to an officiating-aided fluke, but Michael Campanaro’s punt return score was inexcusable given the situation of the game (up eight with just under two minutes left). The Bears checked into a max protect formation, and no players were able to wriggle free and get downfield toward Campanaro (Cre’von LeBlanc, who replaced an injured Sherrick McManis, was knocked to the turf). Rodgers said O’Donnell’s booming punt wasn’t the issue — it didn’t need to be directed out of bounds, he said — and instead pointed to a lack of execution by the other 10 players on the field. And not having McManis isn’t an excuse here. 

“We expect everybody to play at the standard at which that position plays,” Rodgers said. “I don’t put that touchdown on one guy getting hurt, but you’d always like to have your best players on the field.”

In isolation, the special teams mistakes the Bears have made this year can be explained — beyond these two returns, Marcus Cooper slowing up before the end zone was baffling, yet sort of fluky. But while the Bears’ arrow is pointing up on defense and, at the least, isn’t pointing down on offense, these special teams mistakes collective form a bad narrative. 

“We take those players, we practice it, and like all mistakes, you admit them and then you fix them,” coach John Fox said, “and then hope to God you don’t do it again.”

Fantasy Football Fix Podcast: Midseason trade targets and who you should sell high on

derrickhenry.jpg
USA TODAY

Fantasy Football Fix Podcast: Midseason trade targets and who you should sell high on

Rotoworld and NBC Sports fantasy analyst Josh Norris joins the Fantasy Football Fix Podcast to discuss if Derrick Henry's time in Tennessee has finally arrived. Plus, the CSN Fantasy crew analyzes which players you should sell high on and who you should target in midseason trades.