July 31, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Fantasy football in NFL stadiums?

While We’re Waiting is a space on the WaitingForNextYear website where we share links every day. We’ve been doing it for about four years or so. Denny Mayo used to be much more amusing with his intros, if you recall. You know the drill: Email us with suggestions at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

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Would the Browns ever try out an area like this? Do they need to? “Inside EverBank Field, during the second half of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ lopsided loss to the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday, Carlos Boria finally found a reason to cheer. ‘Yeah, baby,’ he screamed as tight end Jimmy Graham scored a touchdown. But Graham is not a member of the Jaguars. He was playing for the Saints, about 500 miles away, at the Superdome in New Orleans. Boria’s cheer was part of the cacophony in the new 7,000-square-foot fantasy football lounge at the Jaguars’ stadium, where fans were primarily following not the game they had bought tickets to attend, but those in other N.F.L. cities involving players on their fantasy teams.” [Ken Belson/New York Times] [Read more...]

What do you make of Brandon Weeden? – Cleveland Browns Roundtable

WFNY_roundtable

Craig: The takeaways from this week’s game seem to be setting the tone for the rest of the season. We’re going to continually look to define Brandon Weeden. On one side there will be those who seem to defend him out of hope, those that will bash him out of preemptive judgement, and those that continue to sit and watch and take it all in.

Where are you guys on Brandon Weeden at this point? Do you still have hope and expectations of Weeden that he can be the Browns quarterback? Have you given up on the guy and just wish the Browns could move on right now? Are you in the middle hoping that Weeden somehow proves to be a decent placeholder?

Andrew: Well, first things first, it’s been one game. I have to keep telling myself that, because every last fiber of my instinct is telling me that what we saw is reality. [Read more...]

Casual Friday talking beer pong, bro dudes, Twitter and running – WFNY Podcast – 2013-09-06

WFNY Podcast LogoDenny and I continue the Casual Friday series of podcasts with talk about fantasy football, beer pong, Brian Dunkleman and more.

Why do people hate Ryan Seacrest?

Thinking about Brian Dunkleman

Denny’s brush with bro dude beer guy at a party

How do you play beer pong?

Is it beer pong or Beirut?

Craig’s fantasy draft moving to an auction style

Fantasy basketball

Instantaneous reaction and how it affects your relationship with art

Running and the NYC marathon

Trying not to sound like a snob

Running on towpaths vs. roads [Read more...]

NFL Preseason: Colts 27 Browns 6

ballard-ward

The Browns dropped to 2-1 on the preseason with an uninspiring 27-6 loss in Indianapolis on Saturday night.

As fun as the Browns starters were to watch during the team’s first two preseason games, Saturday night in Indianapolis was just the opposite. Through two and a half quarters Andrew Luck and the Colts outplayed the Browns starters  to the tune of 17-6.

Weeden and Company couldn’t muster much offense against a Colts’ defense that finished in the bottom half of the league in scoring and yards in 2012. Weeden finished 12-25 for 105 yards in a performance that surely will bring the hoards of Browns fans back to earth, following his two stellar games to start the preseason.

The team started the game strong on their first drive, featuring Richardson on three runs for 22 yards and a ten yard swing pass where he made a man miss on his way to a first down. Richardson’s fourth carry was called back on a questionable Joe Thomas holding penalty that ended up killing the drive.

The rest of the first half  the offense  couldn’t get going. Weeden was forced to throw into coverage several times with little room for success on the throw. On one in particular, Weeden threw a dangerous, but brilliant ball to Little out wide who caught it on his back shoulder and turned up field for a 14 yard game. That would be the last first down for the Browns offense in the first half, going three and out in their last three possessions. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting … BDL Previews Cavs, Colts Scouting Report, Jack Hannahan’s Future

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

Kickstarting their annual team previews, KD begins with at least some more optimistic words this year about Kyrie the Kid: “The Cleveland Cavaliers, once again, are a farm team. But unlike the one that put up with LeBron James’ growing pains and hanger-on demands before he skirted off to Miami, this one is essentially acting as a growing field for whatever the team’s front office decides will come next. The team’s rotation is almost entirely filled with players on rookie scale contracts, and while a good chunk of those youngsters won’t bowl you over, they have enough star guard Kyrie Irving to make up for any misgivings you might have about two-through-12.

Irving is an unabashed star. You could probably score on him in a pick and roll, and he doesn’t have John Stockton’s career assists record shaking in its mid-cut sneakers, but the kid is an All-Star level scorer and game-changer. … The other youngsters have a lot of explainin’ to do, though.” [Kelly Dwyer/Ball Don't Lie]

A fun back-and-forth begins with this skeptical outlook of Dion Waiters: “Look, I’m an optimistic guy. I was convinced LeBron would never leave Cleveland. If you dig hard enough, I’m sure you can find a post from my old blog where I predicted the Cavs would make the playoffs when he did leave because of JJ Hickson’s development. I thought the Indians were a lock for the World Series in 2008 after doing absolutely nothing during that offseason. I saw Revenge of the Sith on opening night. I’ve convinced myself of more than my fair share of totally absurd shit. That said, I’m freaking the hell out over Dion Waiters. Questionable (at best) shot selection, erratic drives to the rim, an ugly shot, limited range, the whole manner in which he was drafted, his past behavioral issues, all of it. I’m worried man. Talk me off the ledge.” [Angelo Benedetti/Fear The Sword]

An intriguing positive fantasy perspective on the Browns. You don’t hear that too often: “The Cleveland Browns may have only one victory this season, but in fantasy terms, this team has turned out some reliable contributors, and they’re all rookies. Brandon Weeden has tossed a pair of touchdown passes in each of his last two starts despite having two of his starting receivers watching from the sideline. As a bye week replacement, you could probably do worse seeing how Weeden takes on a soft Indianapolis Colts secondary that has failed to surrender two or more touchdown passes just once in five games.” [Jason and Justin Sablich/The New York Times' Fifth Down Blog]

Planning for the Colts begins with that No. 1 pick: “#1 – Going All-In For Andrew Luck: The decision to cut ties with Peyton Manning and banking on Andrew Luck being “the next elite quarterback” in the NFL was a major storyline this offseason. This isn’t a pick that can be evaluated fully in its first season. Luck has not shined above and beyond the other quarterbacks in this year’s class; even Brandon Weeden is having a comparable season to Luck thus far. … There are a few things to take into consideration with Luck: he is going to throw the ball…a lot. He is averaging 44 pass attempts per game, but he’s only completing 55 percent of those attempts.” [Chris Pokorny/Dawgs By Nature]

Hammerin’ Hannahan time might be over in Cleveland: “Jack Hannahan‘s days in Cleveland are likely numbered. At least, they should be. Hannahan, a journeyman third baseman, was picked up by the Indians before the 2011 season. He was tabbed to be a stop gap at the hot corner as well as a defensive specialist on a club seemingly with plenty of offense. Two seasons later, Hannahan is no longer needed as a bridge to the future. Young prospect Lonnie Chisenhall, if he can stay healthy, appears ready to be the everyday third baseman. The Chiz Kid’s bat, much stronger than that of the 32-year-old’s, is now needed in a batting order that has great need for a quality hitter or three.” [Craig Gifford/Did The Tribe Win Last Night?]

Surprising source here, but Boston scribe Dan Shaughnessy shares his thoughts on Terry Francona’s impact in Cleveland: “‘He believes in Mark Shapiro (president) and Chris Antonetti (GM) and what they are doing. You’ve got to have a roster and a payroll. It takes talent. Since the Indians took him on, he’s been harder to find. He’s been going at it 24/7 right from day one.’” [Bill Lucey/Huffington Post]

Preseason rankings spark Big Ten basketball storylines: “1. The Big Ten Is Under Immense Pressure: The good old phrase, “there is nowhere to go but down,” applies in this situation. Nobody is surprised to see Indiana ranked #1 but the Buckeyes and Wolverines’ rankings may raise some eyebrows. Both of those teams return three key starters from last season – Aaron Craft, Deshaun Thomas and Lenzelle Smith, Jr., for OSU and Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway, Jr., and Jordan Morgan for Michigan. Returning starters and potential All-Americans will trigger a high preseason ranking but three teams in the top five is still a big deal for the league. Having said that, if any of the three teams slip during the early non-conference games, they will slide down the rankings fairly quickly which will eventually lead to “the Big Ten is still overrated” claims among many hoops fans.” [Rush The Court]

While We’re Waiting… Richardson’s Fantasy Value, Revisiting the Ubaldo Deal, and Urban Meyer’s Staff

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

For those already getting their rankings put together: “Purposely dodge Trent Richardson in drafts this year and you will sorely regret it. The ‘Bama product was selected No. 3 overall by Cleveland last April, the earliest a rusher fell off the board since New Orleans snapped tendons to acquire Reggie Bush at No. 2 in 2006. Long gone are the days of Ki-Jana Carter. In an era where RBs are completely dispensable, most would agree it’s silly to shell out stacks of cash for their services. Just ask GMs in Jacksonville and Chicago. Richardson, though, will be the exception. Take the plunge in the late-first, and you could be hoisting a virtual trophy come year’s end.” [Roto Arcade] [Read more...]

Trent Richardson generating rookie fantasy excitement

Many Cleveland Browns fans have taken to their fantasy football teams for enjoyment since 1999 as the real Browns have struggled. For the first time in a long time, fantasy owners might just be looking to the Browns for excitement.

Here’s the thing with Trent Richardson: He projects as a true workhorse running back in his rookie season, and there just aren’t many guys like that in the player pool. It would be a huge surprise if a healthy Richardson failed to finish with 300-plus touches. Yes, he’s tied to an underwhelming offense — his team averaged just 13.6 points per game last year — but he’s such a massive upgrade for Cleveland. Just two years ago, Peyton Hillis topped 1600 scrimmage yards for the Browns, crossing the goal line 13 times. Richardson is a more talented runner, by orders of magnitude.

Just to put things in perspective, 300+ touches is Frank Gore territory. Maurice Jones-Drew led the league with 343 rushing attempts and added 43 receptions if you want to see the extremely high numbers. In Peyton Hillis’ breakout year in 2010, he carried the ball 270 times and also had 61 receptions. That just goes to show how involved the outside world expects Trent Richardson to be in the Browns’ offense this year. Let’s hope those touches turn out to be yards and TDs too, by the way.

And to think all we can do is seemingly talk about quarterbacks, none of whom were drafted anywhere near as highly as Trent Richardson.

[Related: Colt McCoy Through the Lens of Brady Quinn]

My Season Without Fantasy Football

Before the NFL season began, I made the decision that I was done with fantasy football. I wrote about that decision and the two years worth of thought that had gone into it here. I wasn’t entirely sure what this football season would hold for me without updating a starting line-up and making waiver wire moves for the first time since 1992. I thought it would be worth a post to let you know the results, for the couple dozen who responded at the time.

I want to highlight something from the original piece first-

I realize that it is difficult to judge a writer’s mood or attitude when reading a piece. Let me assure you, that I make these comments without a hint of animosity, nor any judgement on those that love the game.

The same still applies. I hold no grudges nor would I consider condemning those who love to play. Enjoy the game. [Read more...]

WFNY Survivor Pool Update – And Then There Were Eight

Sorry I haven’t been better about keeping you up to date on this, but we are down to eight people who can win two prizes from the WFNY Survivor contest.  You probably don’t remember, but the winner will receive a $100 gift card, and the runner up will receive a $50 gift card.  Nice to know that Big League Choo is still hanging in there along with Shurmurmania.  I am especially proud of Lebber612 though, because he waded into the homer waters and bet on the Browns in week 3.  You will notice that he is the only homer (so far) who has picked the Browns and remains active in the competition. [Read more...]

WFNY NFL Survivor Pool Contest

So, somebody brought it to my attention that WFNY hasn’t made any plans for any kind of fantasy NFL stuff this year.  I am here to rectify that.  And yes, I realize that we had some (ahem) problems getting prizes out to winners from our March Madness competition.  (Just ask Jimmer Me Timbers.  Apologies again, Jimmer.)  Yet, we will be undaunted.  I have prizes in hand and there will be no problems at all assuming the winners identify themselves to me.

So go to ESPN Eliminator Challenge and sign up for WFNY Survivor.  The super secret not-to-be-disclosed-password is “12345″ and now I’ll have to change the combination on my luggage.  It’s easy to play.  Every week you choose one team to win.  You keep picking one team per week until you are the last (wo)man standing.  The winner will get a $100 gift card and a runner up will get a $50 gift card***.

So, if you think your one opportunity to pick the Browns is week one before the injuries start to pile up, go ahead and pick ‘em in week one against the Bengals.  If you want to play it “safe” and pick whoever is playing the Bills, just remember that only one team has ever gone winless for the year.    [Read more...]

Taking ‘Fantasy’ Out of Football

In the late summer of 1992, three friends hashed out a fantasy football scoring system and drafted players over breakfast at McDonalds. I do not remember if there were just three teams that first season, or if we had the vision that first morning to draft ‘the ghost team’. I do remember the ghost team sticking around for a couple of seasons. They had one win in their existence. We teased John for a long time about that loss.

This was before the age of the internet. So every Monday morning we gathered at McDonalds and grabbed a USA Today, with the boxscores from all the games the day before. No live scoring updates for us.

It was also before the networks even acknowledged fantasy football. No last minute injury updates. No tickers on the bottom of the screen with fantasy friendly updates. We would see game scores and hope that our players were the ones doing the scoring. We’d watch Sportscenter, but even they didn’t always tell who scored every touchdown in a game. That boxscore was the only way to know for certain.

I’ve been playing fantasy football ever since. Kept the same team name through the years as well. But this year I won’t be making any selections. No draft, no trades, no scouring the waiver wire for me. [Read more...]

Time to Advance Our Prediction Models

Coming into this season there were a lot around the league who decided to ignore the fact that the Browns made wholesale changes to their roster.  They decided to ignore the fact that Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert joined the team.  They decided to ignore the fact that there was massive turnover of the roster since the beginning of last season.  They were slamming the team and telling everyone to take the under 5.5 win total that Vegas was trotting out.  After last week’s game (which most people didn’t watch) I am sure the experts were feeling quite good and smug about their predictions that the Browns stink this year because they stunk most of last year and in major parts of many years before that.  Were they really right though?

The Browns laid an egg in their opener, but not until after they showed an ability to move the ball in spurts.  Eventually they shot themselves in the foot (or maybe Jake Delhomme’s ankle) when they lost the turnover battle, cowered in the corner and tapped out to Tampa’s mild flurry of second-half punches.  It was not a game to be proud of.  I was certainly critical of the performance in my own right.  Still, I haven’t given up on the whole season because the Browns failed to finish a game that we expected them to win.  And those pre-season critics, does the first game mean that they were right though?  They feel good this week, but it is way too early to tell. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting…Future of NBA CBA, Roster Spots on the Line Tonight, Elbow back in shape

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com

Drastic changes on horizon: ‘”The Summer of LeBron has turned into the Summer of Superstar Discontent and may well become the Off-season That Changed Everything. The N.B.A.’s best players are either relocating or trying to, upsetting the league’s balance of power and undermining a system that was once fine-tuned for parity and stability.  The reckoning will come, as with everything else, at the bargaining table, where owners will try to wrest back control in the next labor deal. Already, there is talk among team executives of franchise tags and heavy financial penalties for players changing teams, measures that are anathema to the players union…Never in a single off-season have players demonstrated such a brazen show of self-determination. Rarely has so much high-level talent been on the move. It is a potentially dangerous trend for the league.That is why most team executives (who are forbidden from speaking publicly on labor issues) expect more drastic measures to curtail movement in the next collective bargaining agreement.” [Howard Beck/Off the Dribble]

[Read more...]

WFNY Update

Since WFNY began we have had a singular goal- to give the fans of Cleveland the best we could possibly offer. Since January of 2008 we have tried to do just that. We’ve added writers, expanded our coverage to weekends and gave away about as much as we could along the way.

This summer we have been working hard on some new and exciting additions to WFNY. As you’ve probably already seen, we’ve added WFNY Tickets recently. This partnership with Tiq IQ was designed to give our readers a secondary ticket market aggregate. A one-stop shop if you will for online tickets. We will continue to tweak and improve WFNY Tickets, and we are excited about that opportunity.

Another item we are excited about is a new feature writer. Every Wednesday at 2pm (starting tomorrow) you can check in right here at WFNY for The Amico Report. Veteran sports writer Sam Amico (a must follow on twitter) will offer his take on the Cavaliers and the Cleveland sports scene in general every week. Sam has written for NBA.com, the USA Today, NBC Sports, CBS Sports and a host of other national media. He also founded Probasketballnews.com and the NBA Gab network.

In addition, we have some other exciting new features and partnerships lined up. For those interested in fantasy sports, we are working with RotoHog.com to bring fantasy games to life here at the site. And for you Madden players- keep practicing and watch for news about a WFNY online Madden tournament.

The biggest news we are going to sit on for just a little bit longer.

Enjoy the changes. As always, keep sending in tips and suggestions through tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

Clevelander Wins 2009 World Championship of Fantasy Football

wcOFF_Logo_1Prior to the 2009 season, it was estimated that over 27 million individuals would be participating in fantasy football leagues across the country.  While each league has its own competitive banter, rules, scoring systems and prize, only one is considered to be the league for fantasy football participants to claim that they are in fact the best. 

The World Championship of Fantasy Football (or WCOFF) is the high-stakes money league that has an up front cost of $1,750 for a single team and drafts every September in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Each year, only one team can claim that it was in fact the best and it just so happens that this year’s winner was owned by a Clevelander.  [Read more...]

The NFL Filled With Constant Predictions

On this site every week during the NFL season we do a story about how “The Browns Will Win If…” where we discuss what the Browns need to do (or how many opposing team members need to be on the injury report) in order for the Browns to win the week’s game.  In some cases we make predictions about how a quarterback, running back, or team unit like the offensive line will play against a given opponent in a given week.  And as Scott linked this morning in the WWW there are about a million places to look and find predictions for the season.  Even in picking fantasy teams or joining Survivor Pools it seems that the NFL has become more about predicting things than ever before.  Even the analysts on the pre-game shows are constantly asked to predict winners and sometimes even final scores.  It makes me wonder if we’ve lost a bit of the joy that made us all football fans at the beginning.

I am sure a lot of people want me to stop right here.  The NFL is at an all-time high in popularity.  It is the number one sport in the nation, easily eclipsing baseball and basketball not to mention hockey, Nascar, soccer and pro bowling.  Fantasy football, survivor pools, and gambling (legal and otherwise) are major contributors to the popularity of the sport.  Obviously all three of those things lead to constant predictions by analysts, bloggers and pretty much every other fan out there. [Read more...]

Cleveland Browns 2009 Fantasy Football Preview

browns-helmetHa that title was pretty funny. But seriously, for all those fans that are not quite immersed with Ohio State’s game today versus the Naval Academy, or to those that are just plain old obsessed with fantasy football like me, this feature is for you. I am here to discuss what players for the Browns this season will potentially be productive in terms of your fantasy league, what sleepers there might be and what the value is of some of our supposed stars. I know that in my own league with my brother and his friends, it has always been an odd tradition to avoid Cleveland players, but this could be the year (along with 2007) that that trend sort of fades.

Two years ago, if you had managed to snag Derek Anderson as a waiver wire acquisition or managed to steal Braylon Edwards as a second or third receiver, you were an absolute genius. They both shot up in terms in fantasy production, finishing the year within the top five in their respective positions as well as former Brownie Kellen Winslow. It was an awesome year to be a Browns fan, but last year the team reverted to form and Cleveland fans saw the same old disappointing season that is a big reason why this site is called WFNY after all. Without any further discussion of the past, I will now jump into what to expect and where to rank many of the top contributors for the Browns in 2009:

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WFNY Fantasy Football League

Final Fantasy
So with the football season rolling up on us in a few weeks, we may or may not decide to have a WFNY fantasy football league.  I thought I’d put up a post to gauge the interest that’s out there.  So, if you’d like to participate in an NFL fantasy league along with the fine folks that frequent this arena, leave a comment.  We’ll either do a pick’em league or a full-blown fantasy league (I don’t play fantasy sports, so I assume that’s what a league is called).

Make sure you leave a legit email address if you want in, as some of you jerks leave email addresses that clearly are not for realsies.

At some point in the next week we’ll figure out what we’re gonna do in terms of a league and we’ll let you guys know.  If there’s more interest than spots, we’ll do a super secret drawing of straws to determine who gets in.

And I’m gonna rig it – I get first pick, and I’m takin’ Dan LeFevour.

While We’re Waiting…

While We’re Waiting aims to be the round-up of the recent WFNY-esque information for your morning viewing.  Have something you think we should see?  Send it to our tips email in the sidebar.

“If you count only their Monday night games, they’re astonishingly good,” said [Tony] Kornheiser, who will be in the booth for tonight’s game between the 4-9 Browns and 7-5-1 Eagles in Philadelphia. “I believe they could become only the second team ever to win three Monday night games — and not make the playoffs.” Quite an accomplishment, Cleveland. [Plain Dealer]

[Read more...]