FANTASY PLAYS: Machado expectations, DeRozan with Spurs
The Dodgers landed a huge puzzle piece in infielder Manny Machado toward their bid to reach another World Series. In NL-only fantasy leagues, he was a gift to the team in position to grab him off the waiver wire.
But Machado's history suggests he may be more sizzle than steak.
Machado has had a lower average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage away from Camden Yards. He also has seemed to run out of steam later in seasons. Post All-Star Break, Machado is a .269/.316/.460 hitter in his career, all under his career averages. His numbers are even worse after Sept. 1, where Machado craters into a career .240/.296/.406 hitter. He's also struggled in NL West ballparks.
No matter what, Machado is a good bargaining chip. But beware of inflating expectations.
SPURRED OUT OF TOWN
The NBA had yet another blockbuster when the Spurs sent forward Kawhi Leonard and guard Danny Green to the Raptors in exchange for swingman DeMar DeRozan and center Jakob Poeltl.
From a fantasy perspective, DeRozan will be the winner here, as his style of play and three straight seasons of player efficiency ratings (PER) of better than 21.0 will fit in well with a Spurs team that is swinging to a full commitment to youth. DeRozan enters his 10th season this October, yet is only 29. As of now, he looks like a steady performer whose numbers can improve if San Antonio makes him the focal point of the offense.
Leonard, who played in only nine games last season, will be a risky play if drafted within the first 3-4 rounds. His adjustment to the Raptors will be more difficult and while a healthy Leonard will be a beast on the defensive side of the court, it's going to be hard to envision him returning to the 20-point scorer he was the previous two seasons prior to last year.
T-2: BOMBS AWAY
Browns quarterback Tyrod Taylor is a late-round pick who will emerge as a steal. Taylor is in an offense that fits his style of play and is loaded with an underrated group of receivers including Jarvis Landry, Josh Gordon and Corey Coleman along with running back Duke Johnson.
Look for Taylor to shatter his previous career bests of 3,035 yards and 20 touchdowns. He could be a 3,900-yard passer with 23-25 touchdowns and when his rushing prowess is added, Taylor can bring another 4-6 rushing scores to the table.
This column was provided to The Associated Press by the Fantasy Sports Network, http://FNTSY.com