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Sydney Stone

GA Tech Baseball Slips Past Tar Heels 5-4

ATLANTA, GA-The number one Tar Heel baseball team fell to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, 5-4, on a walk off homer in the first of a three game series on Friday night in Atlanta. Both teams went scoreless in the first inning and just when it looked like UNC wasn’t going to fare any better in the second, Parks Jordan unleashed his first career home run to put the Tar Heels on top of the Yellow Jackets. Senior first baseman Cody Stubbs helped tack on another one for the Heels in the top of the third with an RBI...

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Top 5 Fantasy Football Duds From 2011

After extensive research, countless interviews, and hours of data comparison and analysis, I am proud to present the 5 most disappointing players from the 2011 Fantasy football season.  To keep up the academic integrity of my last piece, allow me to qualify the criteria upon which this list was determined.   Since the conclusion of the Fantasy season, I have surveyed every Fanager I have encountered to get a firsthand look into their 2011 Fantasy experience with individual players.  I wanted to learn things that only someone who has been closely monitoring the players for a full season would know (not to mention, it alleviates some of my workload…).  Factored into this equation are preseason projections as compared to an individual’s actual performance throughout the season. Another important consideration for judging a player’s Fantasy effectiveness is by examining the way he was acquired to see if he exceeded the value of his roster spot.  In other words, if you were given the chance to rebuild your 2011 roster knowing what you know now, would you do it all the same?  Who would you reconsider drafting/trading/adding/starting when you did?   It is important to point out how I considered injuries in this decision because injuries typically make (or more often break) a Fanager’s season, and with the consolidated prep time due to the lock out, this year was no exception. ...

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Top 10 Fantasy Football Surprises From 2011 by Sydney Stone

You may have wondered what would become of my column once the Fantasy Football season was over, and that time has come.  I am happy to report that now is when the real Fantasy Football analysis begins.  The successful Fanager is a perpetual student of the game, and what better time to introduce my first quasi-academic piece than in the “dead week” (the week before final exams where students theoretically have the week off to study) of the NFL (the week before the Super Bowl). Over the past few weeks, I have been surveying actual Fanagers to gather information that goes beyond what statistics can provide me.  For this particular column, I asked Fanagers which players came through the most for their Fantasy team when comparing preseason projections to actual performance.   Now, you might be thinking that I wasted a lot of time doing all that work because those 2 statistical categories happen to be quite easy to discover on a number of Fantasy Football websites.  But I wanted to include additional factors that are not so cut and dry.  For instance, not all Fantasy leagues are the same size, so someone who was a huge success in League A with 14 members, might be considered a dud in League B, with 8 teams.  Moreover, the point of the season in which they produced or didn’t produce their...

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My Fantasy Football Season in Review

If this were a perfect world, I would be proudly reporting to you that I went undefeated in all of my Leagues every week this year and ended up with 3 Fantasy Football Championships. Unfortunately (more so for me), this is not the case, but fortunately (more so for you), my absolutely putrid luck allows fellow Fanagers who suffer through certain Fantasy blunders to relate to me since I regularly experience more than my fair share. In my most competitive League, I thought that I was destined for glory going into the draft because I had the hottest player coming out of the 2010 season: Michael Vick. Not only did I have him secured in this Keeper League, but, since I claimed him off of waivers the previous year, I also got him as my last round draft pick. So when everyone else was choosing his Kicker, I used the equivalent pick to get Vick. I remember those days fondly (sigh). Well, as I prefaced, this story does not have a fairytale ending. As the so-called Eagles “Dream Team” became dismantled, so too did my own, and in quite similar fashion. In fact, my season was much like that of the Eagles. Given my Quarterback and his accompanying advantages (for Andy Reid, versatility; for me, the last round pick), I felt like I had put together a solid roster...

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Just When You Thought Fantasy Football Was Over…

The 2011 NFL Regular Season is over and with its conclusion came the end of the Standard Fantasy Football Season, but that doesn’t mean all the fun has to be over. You may have seen commercials advertising the various Fantasy Football Playoff Leagues associated with popular sports websites, as these commercials seem to run continuously. If you enjoyed the Regular Season, but didn’t fare so well, Playoff Leagues provide Fanagers in need of a little vindication the arena to get it. There are, however, critical differences between Regular Season and Playoff Leagues that Fanagers should be prepared for. First of all, let me break down how the Playoff League works for those of you who aren’t familiar with it. The Playoff League lasts only 4 weeks starting with this Saturday’s opening of the Wild Card Weekend and continuing through the Super Bowl. Fanagers select their roster of players 3 times during the Playoff League prior to: Wild Card Weekend, Divisional Weekend, and finally Championship Weekend and the Super Bowl. Unlike the Regular Season, Playoff Leagues lock your rosters for the final 2 weeks of competition, requiring you to think ahead to the Super Bowl when compiling your Championship Weekend roster the week before. The way players are selected will also be new to Fanagers used to the standard waivers system of acquiring players. Playoff Leagues are similar to Auction...

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Tips to Win the Fantasy Football Finals by Sydney Stone

Well, it’s finally here – it’s Championship week in Fantasy Football for the select Fanagers lucky enough to make it this far (myself included). All of the work you have put into your Fantasy squad this season will come down to this weekend’s matchup, so you better get ready to go big, or go home.   You need every point you can get this weekend, so analyze every single position. Kickers and Defenses are a great place to accumulate extra Fantasy points. One of the defenses that I like this weekend is the Cincinnati Bengals at home against an Arizona Cardinals team that not only struggles on the road, but is also dealing with some Quarterback controversy given the less-than-impressive play of Kevin Kolb. Whether it is Kolb or John Skelton that gets the start, you should look for the Bengals to gain some ground in their pursuit of an AFC Wild Card bid to the playoffs. I also like the Green Bay Packers Defense at home against the rival Bears. After the criticism that this Defense has taken over the course of the season, and particularly after last week’s loss to the Chiefs, I expect the defending Super Bowl Champs to bring the heat to the Matt Forte- and Johnny Knox-less Bears. Not to mention, Josh McCown will be getting the start at Quarterback for Chicago. Even the 31st – ranked Defense in the...

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Tips for the Fantasy Football Playoffs in Week 14

As the Fantasy Football season winds down, so too do many Fanagers’ dreams of a 2011 Fantasy Championship. For some of you, this is the last week of your regular season – for others, it’s the first week of the Fantasy Football Playoffs. If you are already in the postseason, each of the remaining weeks could be your last. You are just one loss away from the end, but also just a few wins away from the glory.  This week is all about the match-ups. You should be comparing the stats (Fantasy Points Against, Offensive/Defensive Rankings, late-season trends, etc.) for all of your players’ games, weighing them against their previous production this season and against this opponent in years past. You also need to consider any NFL Playoff implications that may be decided in this weekend’s games. Some of the guys I would stay away from are: Dwayne Bowe against the Jets (Revis Island can be lonely, especially with Tyler Palko throwing the ball); Beanie Wells versus the top-ranked San Francisco 49ers rushing defense; and all of the Indianapolis Colts (no argument necessary).   One thing worth pointing out is that team statistics for offensive and defensive rankings as well as Fantasy Points Against may be misleading as they are the average of the entire season. Some teams are now consistently playing at a different level than their statistical averages for the season would suggest. A team...

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Making the Fantasy Football Playoffs in Week 13

So this is it – it’s what you’ve been working for all season.  There is just one more rival Fanager standing between you and the sweet Fantasy postseason…or not (let’s face it, someone has to lose too).  For most of us, this weekend presents the most important matchup so far this season.  Whether you are in contention, have clenched a spot, or are mathematically eliminated, the outcome of your matchup in Week 13 will influence your Fantasy Football fate as well as others’.  Your strategy for this weekend should be determined by where you stand in your league. The fortunate Fanagers safely playoff-bound should spend this week preparing for the weeks to come.  Look at who your players are going up against in their NFL games and how the opposing teams may influence your players’ production.  If you have extra bench spots, fill them with handcuffs (back-up players) or players that you like to emerge in a bigger role as their starters rest for the playoffs.  If all of your Wide Receivers are facing talented secondaries in an upcoming week, pick up another Receiver with a favorable match up that may not regularly see a large amount of targets.  I like to pick up 3rd or 4th stringers on teams with elite Quarterbacks approaching the postseason because they typically make the playoffs and rest their starters once they have...

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