Tuesday, August 2, 2016

2011 Week 6 NFL Fantasy Football: Top Free Agents

If you are looking for players to add to your fantasy football rosters for Week 6 and beyond, the following were available in both of my 12-team leagues.

1. RB Jackie Battle – Kansas City Chiefs

When running back Jamaal Charles went out for the season with an injury, the Chiefs spent a couple of weeks using Thomas Jones and Dexter McCluster as replacements. Neither were effective, so in Week 5 the Chiefs turned to fantasy unknown Jackie Battle. Battle responded with 21 touches and totaled 119 rushing yards and 21 receiving yards. There should be no reason for the Chiefs to turn away from him at this point. Grab him and monitor how he progresses.

Other running backs who may be available: Jonathan Dwyer, Stevan Ridley

2. QB Tim Tebow – Denver Broncos

Denver quarterback Kyle Orton has struggled this season in the Broncos offense. Everyone from professional analysts to interested fans have been awaiting the chance for Tebow to show what he could do. Entering the game in Week 5 after halftime, Tebow led the Broncos from a 13-point deficit to nearly pull off a comeback victory against the San Diego Chargers. His Hail Mary pass to win the game was not successful, but his 30 minutes of playing time were. He threw for one touchdown and ran for another, showing a spark that the Broncos have lacked this year. He could help you on a playoff run later this season or at least be a quality bye week or injury replacement. (Tebow has a bye this week and the Broncos have not yet named him a starter, so if you are interested, monitor the situation over the next few days.)

Other quarterbacks who may be available: Alex Smith, Curtis Painter

3. WR Doug Baldwin – Seattle Seahawks

Wide receiver Doug Baldwin had been quietly having a good season for four weeks. Then in Week 4 starting quarterback Tavaris Jackson left the game with an injury and back-up quarterback Charlie Whitehurst took over. Whitehurst and Baldwin were also on the same page and connected for a 27-yard score, helping the Seahawks upset the New York Giants. Baldwin finished with eight catches for 136 yards and can no longer be ignored as a fantasy player until he proves otherwise.

Other wide receivers who may be available: Steve Breaston, Darrius Heyward-Bey

Mike Patton has been a fantasy enthusiast since 1997 and has won championships in baseball, football, basketball, hockey, and pick ’em leagues. He maintains a winning percentage of approximately 80% in a dynasty football league established in 1998.

Tags:2011 Week 6 NFL Fantasy Football: Top Free Agents

2012-2013 BCS NCAA Football Championship Contenders: Week 5

As of September 30, 2012, there are 19 teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) with an opportunity* to play in the BCS National Championship Game, January 7, 2013, at Sun Life Stadium. Here are all of the contenders, ranked in order from having the easiest to the most difficult path to the championship game.

1. Louisville, 5-0: The Cardinals have not played any ranked teams and have only one on their schedule, #22 Rutgers in their final game on November 29th. Unless there are at least two other unbeaten teams remaining, with a 12-0 record Louisville would be in the 2013 BCS National Championship Game.

2. Rutgers, 4-0:
The Scarlet Knights only ranked opponent will be #19 Louisville, November 29th. The reason they are ranked behind the Cardinals is because they have eight total games remaining, compared to seven for Louisville.

3. Florida State, 5-0: The Seminoles have only one AP Top 25 team remaining on their schedule, #10 Florida, on November 24th. To finish a perfect 13-0, they will then need to win the ACC Championship Game on Saturday, December 1st.

4. Northwestern, 5-0: Surprisingly, the Wildcats have a chance to go unbeaten in the Big Ten with only one game against a ranked opponent, #21 Nebraska on October 20th. To finish 13-0, they would then need to win the Big Ten Championship Game on December 1st.

5. Alabama, 5-0: The defending national champion Crimson Tide is currently ranked #1. They will be heavily favored over each of their remaining opponents, including #20 Mississippi State and #4 LSU, especially if LSU loses before their meeting on November 3rd.

6. Cincinnati, 3-0: The Bearcats only have two ranked teams on their schedule, #19 Louisville on October 26th, and #22 Rutgers on November 17th. With a perfect 12-0 season, as the Big East champion, they would be on their way to the BCS National Championship Game unless there are at least two other unbeatens remaining.

7. Kansas State, 4-0: The Wildcats have the easiest path to finish 12-0 and win the Big 12, the strongest conference in the country. They have three remaining opponents currently in the top 15; #8 West Virginia, #11 Texas, and #15 TCU.

8. Notre Dame, 4-0: As an independent, the Irish need to beat quality opponents. They have already beaten #10 Michigan and #18 Michigan, and have remaining dates with three more teams in the top 18; #18 Stanford, #17 Oklahoma, plus a season-ending game against #13 USC. Five wins against ranked opponents would surely give Notre Dame a spot in the BCS National Championship Game.

9. West Virginia, TCU, and Texas, 4-0: The Mountaineers, Horned Frogs, and Longhorns each have four remaining opponents in the top 17, to finish 12-0 as the Big 12 champion.

12. Georgia, 5-0: Georgia has the easiest path to win the SEC, as the only contender who will not play either Alabama or LSU in the regular season. They will, however, face two ranked opponents in October; #6 South Carolina and #10 Florida, and then have the SEC Championship Game to play.

13. Oregon State, 3-0: The biggest suprise of the 2012 season thus far, the Beavers have already beaten #13 Wisconsin and #19 UCLA. To win the Pac-12, however, they still need to defeat three more ranked teams, including #2 Oregon in the November 24th Civil War. If the Beavers remain unbeaten at that point, all that will remain is the 2012 Pac-12 Championship Game on November 30th.

14. Oregon, 5-0: The Ducks are currently ranked #2, but to stay unbeaten they will need to defeat four more teams currently ranked in the top 25, plus a potential fifth in the PAC-12 Championship Game.

15. South Carolina, 5-0: The sixth-ranked Gamecocks have three consecutive ranked opponents looming to begin October; #5 Georgia, #4 LSU, and #10 Florida. If they survive unscathed, they would still have one more, #15 Clemson on November 24th, plus the SEC Championship Game in a likely battle with #1 Alabama.

16. LSU, 5-0: The Tigers are currently ranked #4, but have not played any ranked opponents. That changes October 6th, when they host #10 Florida. Get by that game and their will be three more teams in the current top 20 remaining, including the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide on November 3rd.

17. Texas Tech, 4-0: To finish 12-0 and win the Big 12, the Red Raiders have the most difficult schedule ahead, with five top 17 opponents, in five consecutive weeks beginning October 6th.

18. Mississippi State, 4-0: The Bulldogs only have to beat two ranked teams to win the SEC West. Those two teams, however, are #1 Alabama and #4 LSU.

19. Florida, 4-0: The Gators have the most difficult remaining schedule of any team in the nation, meeting four of the top six teams in the current AP rankings; #3 Florida State, #4 LSU, #5 Georgia, and #6 South Carolina. If they survive those matchups, they would like meet current #1 Alabama in the SEC Championship Game.

Prediction: The 2013 BCS National Championship Game will be between the champions of the SEC and Big-12 conferences, provided they are both unbeaten.

* I believe more than one team will be unbeaten at the end of the season. Thus, all teams that have a loss have already been eliminated. Also, I don’t believe the BCS format would allow a team from the MAC or WAC to play in the championship game, which may be unfair to currently unbeaten teams from Ohio, Texas-San Antonio, and Louisiana Tech.

Harold Andrews has been a fan of the Oregon Ducks for nearly 50 years, through the bad and recent good years.


Tags:2012-2013 BCS NCAA Football Championship Contenders: Week 5

2011, Year of Social Commerce

Since the change in “Become a fan” to “Like” My own sense of “Like” on my Facebook page to increase sharply. From just a few fans page artist, now we knew already swelled to 61 likes with ease.

I also noticed the pages of my friend. Many also have the likes of more than 50. Most of the likes that is the brand of products or services. How easily we like something. Instead, fans need to be feeling much stronger. Only a few brands that can generate such strong feelings in users. Not so if only just “Like.”

This change was put to good use by the owners of the brand. More and more brands to make fans page on Facebook. More and more ads up products that offer an increasing number of “Like.” The more widespread promotion of the brand on the up this is the beginning of the marriage of social media with e-commerce.

Moreover, since Facebook launched a feature “Like” that can be posted on web sites, the more we can feel the reality of social commerce. Social commerce is defined as part of electronic commerce (e-commerce) involving the use of social media, online media that supports social interaction and user contribution, in helping the process of purchasing goods / services online.

Since the features of “Like” on the website was launched last April, with immediate button exists everywhere. The owners of brand rate is one clever way to take advantage of 500 million people up in the whole world.

Financial Times notes there are now more than 350,000 websites that feature set. Not a little of that web site that reported a significant impact, ranging from increased traffic to increase sales.

IMDB, movie database site, visitor traffic reports from up doubled since installing the “Like” on its website. ABC news site reported an increase of 250 percent statistic.

Some brands use the “Like” is to find out which product is preferred web site visitors. Then this may be associated with promotional activities of certain products based on the choice of visitors.

It would be more ideas and new strategies associated with social commerce. Altimeter Group survey recently found 86% of respondents were getting ready to launch a social commerce strategy in 2011.

Tags:2011, Year of Social Commerce

2012 Back to School Shopping on a Budget

2012 Back To School Shopping On A Budget

Back to school is just around the corner and you can believe that it is never too soon to begin your back to school. As a matter of fact if you haven’t already started your back to school shopping for this year, you my friend are late. It’s hard to do that and still buy name brand clothing, top of the line shoes and supplies, and electronics, but it can be done.

I am a middle class stay at home mom with three kids and I like to make sure that they have everything that they need for school and at least some of what they want. That’s how I learned to “thrift shop”, and now I save money on everything!

Meet My Crew

These are my kids – Brent 13, 7th grade, Bradley 11, 5th grade, and Brandy 9, 3rd grade so, as you can see if I didn’t shop on a budget for back to school my kids would likely be very limited on what they got for back to school each year.

I got these back to school list last year.

Brent, 13, 7thGrade

  • · Ergonomic backpack
  • · Reusable lunch box (cloth or hard plastic) with refillable drink container
  • · Calculator
  • · Protractor
  • · Ruler in centimeters and in inches
  • · Index cards
  • · Pack of post it notes
  • · Planner for keeping track of assignments
  • · Three full boxes of number 2 pencils, sharpened at home
  • · Two large pink erasers
  • · Pens 2 – 10pks Black, 1- 10pk Blue, 1 10pk Red
  • · Colored pencils
  • · Highlighters
  • · Pencil case or supply box
  • · Glue stick
  • · 6 Spiral notebooks, or a large binder notebook with loose leaf paper and multiple dividers
  • · Two reams of white paper
  • · 6 Pocket folders in multiple colors
  • · Flash drive (2 GB or larger)
  • · Tablet PC
  • · 3 sweat suits

Brantley 11, 5th grade and Brandy 9, 3rd grade

  • · #2 pencils
  • · 12″ ruler with centimeters and inches
  • · Assignment notebook
  • · Blue, black, and red ballpoint pens
  • · Colored pencils
  • · Crayons
  • · Erasers
  • · Glue
  • · Highlighter
  • · Map pencil
  • · Pencil pouch
  • · Pocket folders
  • · Protractor
  • · Sharp-pointed scissors
  • · Spiral notebooks
  • · Three-ring binder
  • · Tissues
  • · Water-based markers
  • · Wide-lined notebook paper
  • · Tablet PC

Set A Budget And Make A List

Each year I set myself a budget (at least $125.00 per child). Then I go through everything that they have from last year, and make a list of all items that still fit. This allows me to dedicate more of my money to buying good shoes and this year “electronics”.

Schools are using computers more and more each year and I think that it’s important for children to have their own computer. Using some of last year’s cloths and shopping wisely I should be able to get three tablet PC’s even though I’m spending a $100.00 less this year.

This school year wasn’t so bad after going through all of the kids cloths plus sorting through what I had bought throughout the year I only had to buy the following items. The best thing was though that I got all my children’s school cloths plus got three tablet PCs.

  • · 6 pr Jeans
  • · 5 T- Shirts
  • · 30 Pr Socks
  • · 30 Pr Underwear
  • · 1 Sweat Suit
  • · 3 Pair shoe
  • · 3 Button down shirts
  • · 2 Jackets
  • · 1 Skirt
  • · 3 Pr Leggings
  • · School supplies for 3 kids
  • · 3 Tablet PCs

This year I shopped alone and stayed within my budget and I really saved some dollars for it. It really does pay to start shopping early and to shop smarter.

When And Where To Shop For Back To School

Yard sales, Flea markets, Bargain barns, Outlet stores, and Thrift stores are all great places to shop for school cloths. I prefer to carefully monitor the clearance racks at all of my favorite stores, especially the end of season sales.

Spring and early summer are the absolute best times to shop for back to school cloths because that’s when people are cleaning out their closets and finding all of those cute outfits that they bought last year that were never worn. These items will find their way into yard sales, thrift stores, and into hand me down bags. So, don’t be too proud to take those hand me downs everybody knows that in the shape that the economy is in today we all need all the help that we can get.

Tags:2012 Back to School Shopping on a Budget

2011 : a Year of Restoration (1)

“The Lord says, ‘I will give you back what you lost to the stripping locusts, the cutting locusts, the swarming locusts, and the hopping locusts.” Joel 2:25.

This year shall be a year of restoration to you. God is saying that He will give you back what you lost. He says that your pasture will become green again. Your trees shall be filled with luscious fruit and your vineyards shall flourish once again. You are going to recover what was taken away from you, and also advance to greater heights. Restoration simply means to get something back to the original form. I don’t care what has happened to you, or how you got to your present condition. All I know is that God shall restore what the enemy has taken away from you. It could be your health, your job, your family, your business, your position, relationship, or even your joy. The Lord is restoring all to you.

Restoration can mean to reinstate, re-establish, reinstall, repair, return or replace. They are all talking about putting back what has been removed. The enemy has stolen from you, but God is saying today, that He will replace. You were victimized. You were used, humiliated and dumped. You lost you capital, connection, or all you laboured for. You made a terrible mistake that has turn out to be very costly, and you think nothing can be done about the situation again. You were falsely accused and sanctioned. You put in your best, but was misunderstood and mistreated. You were sacked unjustly from your job. And you have been in pain, sorrow and tears. Please, stop weeping, for the Lion of the tribe of Judah has risen for your sake. Yes, you read that correctly – stop weeping. Stop sorrowing. Stop complaining about. Stop soliloquising. Stop the blame game. Just position yourself for this imminent restoration that is coming your way now.

Our text from the book of Joel clearly declares what God is about to do. He is saying that He will give you back what the devourers have destroy or taken away from us. And these attackers are well described and categorised. The King James Version called them the locusts, cankerworms, caterpillars and the palmerworms. While the New Living Translation described them according to their operations – stripping, cutting, swarming and hopping locusts. And in verse four of Joel chapter one, it well stated their activities. “After the cutting locusts finished eating the crops, the swarming locusts took what was left! After them came the hopping locusts, and then the stripping locusts, too!” Terrible!

You know sometimes they come in that order. The project or dream will be cut (stopped). Before you know what is happening, the trails, persecutions, losses, etc, are swarming on you. Hopping from one area of your life to the other; stripping you of all that you have acquired through the years. Removing your hard-earned resources, your reputation, your health, your joy, glory, the relationship you laboured to build. Leaving you thoroughly stripped.

When I saw that word stripping, my mind quickly went to Joseph and his envious brothers. They stripped him of his beautiful coat of many colours and cast him into a pit; thinking that they have finished him. But they did not know that the glory and favour that were upon the young boy were beyond the physical. They were divinely in-built. God had programmed him to be great and no amount of stripping could stop the divine mission. You know his account very well. The more he was persecuted, the more God was determined to bring to pass His word upon his life. And so it is with you. No stripping can obliterate God’s mandate (will) upon your life.

I see all that were taken away from you being restored now in Jesus’ name! They will also come with the accumulated interests. Begin to receive them. Share this good news with others. And to be part of this, you must receive Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. You cannot afford to go into this year without Him. You must confess your sins and accept Him into your life. Do that immediately. Write and share your testimonies with us. Till next week, we wish you a happy, fulfilling year of restoration!

Pastor Agbo is of the Assemblies of God Nigeria.

Tags:2011 : a Year of Restoration (1)

2012 Audi R8 GT - Overview

The Audi R8 in my opinion is one the best designed super cars out on the market today. The car looks, sounds, and rides amazingly good. The all new 2012 Audi R8 GT is an improved model over last years with slightly more horsepower and some savings on weight.

Last year’s Audi R8 had a 5.2 liter FSI V10 which put out 525hp. The 2012 Audi R8 GT puts out 560hp with the same liter engine through different exhaust and some engine tuning. The new R8 also saves about 220 pounds with lighter components throughout the car. Last year’s Audi R8 5.2 could scoot from 0-60 in about 3.7 seconds and had a top speed of 196 mph. The 2012 model’s 0-60 is an improved 3.5 seconds and does the quarter mile in a lightning 11.5 seconds.

Needless to say the new R8 is faster than the 2011, but there is one drawback, the price. The price of this car will run you just over $200,000. Sounds like a lot of money, but for this type of car, it really isn’t. Consider Ferrari’s 458 Italia; the price on this car is about $220000. It will produce 562 HP which is just two more than the R8 GT. 333 Audi R8 GT’s will be built and 90 of them will make it to the United States. Audi has really outdone themselves on the design which hasn’t changed since the launch of the R8, but still looks very fresh.

On the track the R8 has always been one of the better supercars in this area. The 2011 R8 wasn’t as quick as some of the other cars that were tested on a 0-60 test, but beat them on the track because the handling was so superior to the rest. The 2012 has more horsepower which would typically make the handling decrease, however this is not the case. On a track the R8 is more “touchy” than it used to be. You need some skill to drive this car and you must have a good reacting speed.

The 2012 Audi R8 is equipped with standard launch control which comes in very handy if you are going to race one of your friends. The launch is very smooth and does not take long to hit the 60 mph mark. It gets an estimated 13/19 mpg which is very respectable for a car of this class. The new R8 is quite an experience for those who will manage to get their hands on one of the 333 that are going to be released. Overall I think this is a great improvement over last year’s model and I would recommend it to anyone who is in the market for a supercar.

Tags:2012 Audi R8 GT - Overview

2012 Fantasy Baseball: Breakout Players - Top 10

2012 Fantasy Baseball Breakout Players are based on a standard single season redraft mixed AL/NL fantasy baseball league for the 2012 season. Scoring settings include: runs scored, home runs, RBI, stolen bases, and batting average – (R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG). ( ) = players age.

Fantasy Baseball Breakout Players are based on players who have the potential to post a significant increase in offensive statistics during the 2012 season. Breakout Players are players to consider drafting a round or two earlier in your fantasy baseball draft, based on their offensive stat potential likely being greater than what their fantasy baseball draft position is to begin the 2012 season.

These breakout players are NOT SLEEPERS, they are established players who offer a ton of upside, and for example: from being drafted in the 5th round to begin the season, to finishing the season as a 2nd round pick. Think VALUE with these players, and be willing to draft them a round or two earlier than what their ranking says they should be drafted.

2012 Fantasy Baseball: Breakout Players – Top 10

Desmond Jennings – TB – OF (25)

Finally getting an opportunity to start and play everyday for the Tampa Bay Rays last season, Jennings made his season debut at the end of July and immediately made an impact as an offensive force. Posting an exceptional 20 stolen bases and 10 stolen bases over just 247 at bats as a rookie last season, Jennings is easily a 20 home run and 40 stolen base threat in 2012. Offering outstanding upside in all major stat scoring categories, Jennings is one player that I would definitely be willing to draft earlier than what his fantasy baseball ranking determines he should be drafted.

Average Fantasy Baseball Draft Ranking: ESPN – #61 overall

2011 Minor League Triple A Stats: 338 AB, 68 R, 12 HR, 39 RBI, 17 SB, .275 AVG

2011 Major League Stats: 247 AB, 44 R, 10 HR, 25 RBI, 20 SB, .259 AVG

2012 Stat Projections: 100 R, 18 HR, 80 RBI, 45 SB, .270 AVG

Brett Lawrie – Tor – 3B (22)

Making his major league debut in August of last season, Lawrie immediately lived up to his offensive potential as an everyday starter in the Blue Jays lineup. With the third base job his for the taking in Toronto, Lawrie is poised for a breakout season that could easily have him finishing the year as a top 5 scoring fantasy baseball third baseman in 2012. Anything in the range of 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases is easily within reach for Lawrie in 2012.

Average Fantasy Baseball Draft Ranking: ESPN – #114 overall

2011 Minor League Triple A Stats: 292 AB, 64 R, 18 HR, 61 RBI, 13 SB, .353 AVG

2011 Major League Stats: 150 AB, 26 R, 9 HR, 25 RBI, 7 SB, .293 AVG

2012 Stat Projections: 85 R, 25 HR, 85 RBI, 20 SB, .280 AVG

Jason Heyward – Atl – OF (22)

Coming off of a very successful rookie season in 2010 as a full time starter in the Braves lineup, Heyward was expected to become one of the Braves top run producers during the 2011 season. Unfortunately Heyward struggled mightily during his sophomore season in the majors in 2011, and now entering the 2012 season, Heyward’s expectations have dropped significantly. However, Heyward is just 22 years old and is poised to reclaim is star status in 2012. Don’t pass his potential up in your fantasy baseball draft this year.

Average Fantasy Baseball Draft Ranking: ESPN – #112 overall

2011 Major League Stats: 396 AB, 50 R, 14 HR, 42 RBI, 9 SB, .227 AVG

2012 Stat Projections: 85 R, 25 HR, 90 RBI, 12 SB, .275 AVG

Buster Posey – SF – C/1B (25)

Entering the 2011 season with the potential to become the top scoring catcher in fantasy baseball leagues last year, Posey’s 2011 season lasted just 45 games, as he was forced to miss the remainder of the 2011 season after breaking his leg in May. With his health expected to be back to 100% to begin the 2012 season, Posey could easily tally stats to make him a top 3 scoring catcher in fantasy baseball leagues in 2012. A breakout season of 20 plus home runs, 80 rbi, and a .300 batting batting is easily within reach for Posey in 2012.

Average Fantasy Baseball Draft Ranking: ESPN – #121 overall

2011 Major League Stats: 162 AB, 17 R, 4 HR, 21 RBI, 3 SB, .284 AVG

2012 Stat Projections: 90 R, 20 HR, 90 RBI, 5 SB, .300 AVG

Eric Hosmer – KC – 1B (22)

After a very successful rookie season in 2011, Hosmer who is just 22 years old, is poised to become a top 5 scoring first baseman in fantasy baseball leagues in 2012. Offering 25-30 home run hitting ability, to go along with 10-15 stolen base potential, and a .300 batting average, Hosmer could be considered a younger mini version of Joey Votto entering the 2012 season. A breakout season is definitely and very likely for Hosmer in 2012.

Average Fantasy Baseball Draft Ranking: ESPN – #56 overall

2011 Minor League Triple A Stats: 98 AB, 21 R, 3 HR, 15 RBI, 3 SB, .439 AVG

2011 Major League Stats: 523 AB, 66 R, 19 HR, 78 RBI, 11 SB, .293 AVG

2012 Stat Projections: 85 R, 28 HR, 95 RBI, 12 SB, .300 AVG

Freddie Freeman – Atl – 1B (22)

Taking over as the Braves everyday starting first baseman in 2011, Freeman posted an exceptional rookie season that included 21 home runs and 76 rbi, to go along with a .282 batting average. At just age 22, Freeman should continue to develop his power hitting ability, and anything in the range of 25-30 home runs and 80-100 rbi is possible for this young up and coming first baseman.

Average Fantasy Baseball Draft Ranking: ESPN – #109 overall

2011 Major League Stats: 571 AB, 67 R, 21 HR, 76 RBI, 4 SB, .282 AVG

2012 Stat Projections: 75 R, 28 HR, 90 RBI, 3 SB, .285 AVG

Dustin Ackley – Sea – 2B (24)

Considered one of the top pure hitters in the minor leagues to begin the 2011 season, Ackley received his major league debut in the middle of June last year, and took over as the Mariners everyday starting second baseman. Offering a solid combination of power hitting ability and speed, Ackley should easily finish the 2012 season as a top 10 scoring fantasy baseball second baseman, with upside to finish in the top 5.

Average Fantasy Baseball Draft Ranking: ESPN – #150 overall

2011 Minor League Triple A Stats: 271 AB, 57 R, 9 HR, 35 RBI, 7 SB, .303 AVG

2011 Major League Stats: 333 AB, 39 R, 6 HR, 36 RBI, 6 SB, .273 AVG

2012 Stat Projections: 90 R, 12 HR, 75 RBI, 15 SB, .285 AVG

Brandon Belt – SF – OF (23)

After earning an opening day roster spot to begin the 2011 season with the Giants, Belt struggled offensively over the first month of the season, and he was eventually sent back to the minors in late April. However after a mid July call up back to the majors, Belt received near everyday playing time while switching between first base and left field in the Giants lineup. With a full time starting spot Belt’s for the taking in left field to begin the 2012 season, there is plenty of reason to believe that Belt will have a breakout season in 2012.

Average Fantasy Baseball Draft Ranking: ESPN – not ranked in the top 250

2011 Minor League Triple A Stats: 165 AB, 32 R, 8 HR, 32 RBI, 4 SB, .309 AVG

2011 Major League Stats: 187 AB, 21 R, 9 HR, 18 RBI, 3 SB, .225 AVG

2012 Stat Projections: 85 R, 25 HR, 85 RBI, 10 SB, .280 AVG

Starlin Castro – ChC – SS (22)

During his second season in the majors in 2011, you could easily say that Castro was a breakout player last year and not this year. However, even after tallying 10 home runs and 22 stolen bases to go along with an impressive .307 batting average as the Cubs lead off hitter during the 2011 season, Castro enters the 2012 season often ranked around the #70 overall spot in fantasy baseball drafts. If you ask me, a shortstop who has the potential to tally 10 home runs, 30 stolen bases, 100 runs scored, 60 rbi, and a .300 batting average, definitely needs to be drafted as a top 50 overall player in fantasy baseball leagues. In other words, feel free to draft Castro a round or two earlier in your fantasy baseball draft. You will likely be extremely happy to have him on your roster at a scarce shortstop position this season.

Average Fantasy Baseball Draft Ranking: ESPN – #73 overall

2011 Major League Stats: 674 AB, 91 R, 10 HR, 66 RBI, 22 SB, .307 AVG

2012 Stat Projections: 95 R, 10 HR, 70 RBI, 30 SB, .300 AVG

Colby Rasmus – Tor – OF (25)

Considered a young up and coming potential all-star outfielder after the 2010 season, Rasmus took a huge step backwards as he struggled to have any consistency at the plate during the 2011 season. However, Rasmus is still only 25 years old entering the 2012 season, and he is already a proven 20 plus home run hitter in the majors. If Rasmus can finally put all his talent to use, he has the potential to tally 25 home runs and 15 stolen bases. Entering the 2012 season with a fantasy baseball ranking well after the top 150, Rasmus is an excellent high upside player to target in your fantasy baseball draft this season.

Average Fantasy Baseball Draft Ranking: ESPN – #186 overall

2011 Major League Stats: 471 AB, 75 R, 14 HR, 53 RBI, 5 SB, .225 AVG

2012 Stat Projections: 80 R, 22 HR, 80 RBI, 12 SB, .270 AVG


Tags:2012 Fantasy Baseball: Breakout Players - Top 10

2012 Buick Regal with eAssist Officially Announced

General Motors announced that the 2012 Buick Regal will also come in Hybrid version, becoming the second Buick model after the LaCrosse to benefit from the eAssist fuel-saving technology, which offers a fuel economy improved by up to 25 percent over the conventional four-cylinder powertrain.

“Buick’s eAssist technology means customers don’t have to trade a premium driving experience for efficiency,” said Tony DiSalle, vice president of Buick marketing. “We believe Regal and LaCrosse with eAssist provide more logical and affordable choices, compared to other hybrid midsize and full-size luxury sedans.”

The eAssist system consists of an 115V air-cooled li-ion battery powering a 15 kW electric induction motor-generator which can provide an extra 11 kW (15 hp) during acceleration and up 15 kW during braking. The power is added to the 2.4-liter four-cylinder Ecotec engine which delivers 182 hp (136 kW) at 6,700 rpm and peak torque of 233 Nm (172 lb-ft) at 4,900 rpm. As for the transmission, the 2012 Regal with eAssist will come with a next-generation Hydra-Matic 6T40 gearbox enhancing the engine’s overall efficiency, fitted with an extra transmission oil pump whose role is to keep the fluid flowing when the car’s engine is shut down in traffic.

“The capability to deliver electric boost to the powertrain system during heavy acceleration and grade driving enables the engine and transmission to operate more efficiently,” said Steve Poulos, global chief engineer of the eAssist system. “Full fuel shutoff at stops and during deceleration complements electric boost and regenerative braking with additional fuel savings.”

However, the new powertrain comes with a slight drawback, which is a slightly reduced trunk space of 11.1 cubic feet (314 liters), due to the battery pack whose size is very compact, only 29 kg (65 pounds). The battery pack is cooled by an electric fan drawing air from a vent behind the rear seat and is alsi very quiet, not disturbing the passengers.

Beside the hybrid powertrain, the new 2012 Buick Regal with eAssist will also come with a set of unique features such as an infotainment system with a 7-inch display, special 17-inch lightweight alloy wheels and low-rolling resistant tires, an ECO mode for greater efficiency and also a fuel consumption optimized air conditioning system. According to GM, the 2012 Regal will also feature improved underbody aerodynamics aimed at further increasing fuel economy.

And speaking of fuel economy, General Motors announced an estimated fuel consumption of 26 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway, numbers which are significantly better than those of the Regal’s main competitor, the Acura TSX which gets 22 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.

The new 2012 Buick Regal with eAssist will be available at all dealerships across the United States starting this fall.

Tags:2012 Buick Regal with eAssist Officially Announced

2012 Fantasy Baseball: Starting Pitcher (SP) Sleepers

2012 Fantasy Baseball Starting Pitcher (SP) Sleepers are based on a standard single season redraft mixed AL/NL fantasy baseball league for the 2012 season. Scoring settings include: wins, losses, saves, strikeouts, ERA, and WHIP – (W, L, SV, K, ERA, WHIP). ( ) = players age

Starting Pitcher (SP) Sleepers are based on players who have the potential to make a significant statistical impact during the 2012 season, and are typically ranked and drafted lower in fantasy baseball leagues than what their potential stats warrant for the 2012 season.

2012 Sleepers: C — 1B — 2B — 3B — SS — OF — SP — RP — Printable Cheat Sheet

2012 Deep Sleepers: C — 1B — 2B — 3B — SS — OF — SP — RP

2012 Starting Pitcher (SP) Sleepers

Derek Holland – Tex – SP (25)

After a stellar second half of the 2011 season and a respectable showing in the postseason, Holland is poised to take another step up as a front of the rotation starting pitcher in 2012. With a 16 win season under his belt from last year, and an excellent Texas Rangers offense backing him this season, there is plenty of reason to believe that Holland will tally between 15-20 wins during the 2012 season. As a starting pitcher who is often ranked after the top 50 SPs in fantasy baseball leagues, Holland is an excellent mid round sleeper SP pick that fantasy teams will not want to pass over.

2011 Major League Stats: 198 IP, 16 W, 5 L, 162 K, 3.95 ERA, 1.35 WHIP

2012 Stat Projections: 210 IP, 18 W, 4 L, 175 K, 3.30 ERA, 1.25 WHIP

Jair Jurrjens – Atl – SP (26)

If not for the injury bug over the past two seasons, Jurrjens would likely be considered a top 20 fantasy baseball starting pitcher entering the 2012 season. However as it stands, Jurrjens is a proven successful major league starting pitcher when he is healthy. With an ability to maintain a sub 3.00 ERA, Jurrjens offers plenty of potential to all fantasy baseball teams in 2012, if only he can just stay healthy. As a mid round option in fantasy baseball drafts, Jurrjens is easily worth the risk and pick in 2012.

2011 Major League Stats: 152 IP, 13 W, 6 L, 90 K, 2.96 ERA, 1.22 WHIP

2012 Stat Projections: 200 IP, 16 W, 5 L, 150 K, 2.80 ERA, 1.20 WHIP

Brandon Morrow – Tor – SP (27)

With the ability to rack up huge strikeout numbers, Morrow entered the 2011 season with high expectations of becoming a front of the rotation ace starting pitcher. Unfortunately those expectations were slow to develop, as Morrow began the 2011 season injured and ultimately never really got comfortable on the mound until June. After an up and down season in 2011, Morrow enters the 2012 season as an excellent sleeper who will often be ranked outside of the top 50 SP in fantasy baseball leagues, but he clearly has the potential to put up stats worthy of finishing as a top 20 scoring SP in 2012.

2011 Major League Stats: 179 IP, 11 W, 11 L, 203 K, 4.72 ERA, 1.29 WHIP

2012 Stat Projections: 200 IP, 14 W, 8 L, 230 K, 3.80 ERA, 1.25 WHIP

Others to Keep an Eye on

Edinson Volquez – SD – SP (28)

Jonathan Sanchez – KC – SP (29)

Luke Hochevar – KC – SP (28)

Drew Pomeranz – Col – SP (23)

Jonathon Niese – NYM – SP (25)

Juan Nicascio – Col – SP

Lance Lynn – StL – SP

Mike Leake – Cin – SP (24)

Homer Bailey – Cin – SP (25)

Phil Hughes – NYY – SP (25)


Tags:2012 Fantasy Baseball: Starting Pitcher (SP) Sleepers

2012 a Critical Year for Wind Power in the U.S

Producers of wind electricity were among those who followed last year’s Washington budget drama in hopes that alternative energy subsidies wouldn’t become a victim of spending cuts. Federal subsidies for wind generated electricity have been in existence since 1992. If congress doesn’t take any action to extend the subsidies or rework them by the end of 2012 the industry might find itself without federal backing for the first time in two decades. This leaves investors and potential investors in wind projects in limbo.

Along with the government subsidies for wind electricity many states have passed renewable energy mandates which required that a certain amount of electricity come from renewable sources. All of this has allowed wind technology and the wind industry to flourish in recent years. Energy produced from wind is approaching so-called “cost parity” with more traditional methods of generating electricity like coal.

Given the new economic realities, the real question for the wind power industry is whether or not the technologies have come far enough so that electricity from wind can continue to be competitive on a cost basis without the benefit of government funding. Can wind compete on cost on a level playing field with other energy sources?

The shale gas revolution in the natural gas industry and resulting drop in natural gas prices make it even tougher for renewable energy including wind power to compete on cost. Electricity rates in Texas have fallen substantially since 2008 due to the decrease in natural gas prices brought about by these often controversial techniques. Texas gets a large portion of its electricity from power plants that burn natural gas, as do a number of other states. This will make it even more challenging for wind to compete on a cost basis for at least the next several years.

This is an example of how long term energy planning often conflicts with short term economic conditions and pricing cycles. The longer natural gas remains so underpriced relative to other energy fuel sources the more electricity production will be shifted to natural gas. This could create a situation where electricity prices become susceptible to future price spikes in natural gas as the nation’s energy portfolio becomes less diversified. 2012 will be a pivotal year for wind and other renewable energy sources. Policy makers will have to determine if the public should continue subsidizing renewable energy while the free market will have to determine if there is even a place for renewable energy in the absence of subsidies.

Tags:2012 a Critical Year for Wind Power in the U.S

2012 Conspiracy Theories: Project Enoch

The closer 2012 gets, the crazier the world’s people will become. I recently read about how the black populations will be sacrificing children in the coming apocalypse. The new world order apparently involves killing kids to get protection from the spirits. Crazy!

This is not the caveman days and while I agree that things are likely to get ugly, I not only scoff at this theory, I spit at it! Enough already.

If you’d like to know which site was the inspiration for this post, type in:

project enoch and then look for the description that says:

“…will be used to disrupt Christianity on a global scale.”

I’m refusing to provide a direct link between the site and my blog and considering the photo of Obama and Hitler together, I wonder if they’ve let their obvious racism cloud their common sense so much that they simply have no brain cells left.

So what is Project Enoch? There was nothing that I could find associated with any project or true conspiracy, no proof. However, Enoch yielded millions of subjects. I possibly overlooked something but I doubt it. I found no specific mentions of Enoch and 2012 despite the gross number of articles connecting them.

Here’s the short of Enoch.

God made man. The Angels watched man and became obsessed. They too wanted to walk and lay with women. They broke the Lords’ law and not only had tyrannical, monster-like children with people, they also taught them things like sorcery and the splitting of roots, which corrupted mankind, ruining God’s creation. Their offspring were giants who were wiped from the earth by the hand of God crashing down in anger.

(An interesting note here. I had someone recently point out that the dinosaurs were giants who were wiped from the planet. Made me think.)

All those involved in the crime, people and Angels, were damned for their sins, not to be forgiven until the end of the world,(explaining to some, the craziness of people in this century to see the end of the world come). If it ends, all sins are forgiven and people get to rise to Heaven. The Angels would also be free to resume their places at God’s side, also making some think these Angels are here on Earth now, trying find a way to cause the end so they can go home.

Enoch the Ethiopian delivered the punishments, handled pleas from the sinners to God for mercy,(Denied), and generally leads a good life. His story is best known for a particularly chilling version of visiting the Lord God on his Throne.

Enoch the Ethiopian is a part of the Apocrypha, or lost books of the Bible. Lost books? Not sure what those are? The lost book are part of the Bible that was removed. Here’s an article about it.


The Project Enoch Theory is a new world order set to reach it’s peak in the year 2012. It involves purification of the planet’s population by 80%, with many of those being in underground concentration camps, out of sight of the others. It is perpetuated by the African American community and also includes the Mark of the Beast theory, which will be used to identify those who have converted. Supposedly, this is underway even now.

I personally think this theory is a huge load of manure that those who fear blacks have put out to further their own hate-filled agendas. Shame on you for being a part of the problem!

Here’s two much more likely theories for what will happen in 2012.

Solar flares are uncommon but they certainly do a lot damage when they do show up. One of the worst blackouts in history was caused by a solar flare. Actually, it was caused by the waves of radiation that came just after the flare from the sun and…Read More.

Probably nothing. Everyone wishes they knew. Is it just coincidence about Nostradamous and the Mayan Indians? Was the prediction simply a clever writing opportunity seized? Impossible to know. Many believers will say there is no way that two different cultures at two times that far apart, could have predicted exactly the same date for the world to end…Read More.

Tags:2012 Conspiracy Theories: Project Enoch

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