Good morning, I’m Dan Gartland. I wish there was a way to prevent my fantasy football league friends from getting this email.
On today’s SI:AM:
🔮 SI’s Fantasy Football Draft Kit
☀️ Ayton remains in Phoenix
🎯 Future goals for college conferences
If you’re reading this on SI.com, you can sign up to receive this free newsletter in your inbox every weekday at SI.com/newsletters.
The start of football season may seem far away, but NFL training camps actually open next week. (The Raiders and Bills are first, with rookies reporting Monday.) So it’s a perfect time to start thinking about how you will build your fantasy roster.
Our fantasy team released their Fantasy Football Draft Kit this week, and it’s incredibly comprehensive. I counted a total of 99 connections, ranging from positional rankings to mock drafts and potential sleepers. I can’t imagine there’s anything else you need to become a fantasy expert this season.
Since everyone loves hotshots, my favorite set of articles is probably Michael Fabiano’s case against series in which he explains why some typical fantasy superstars might not be such safe bets. He totally convinced me to stay away from drafting DK Metcalf, who, while an undeniably talented receiver, was actually inconsistent from a fantasy standpoint last season:
“Metcalf averaged 14.4 fantasy points per game last season, down from the 17 points he averaged in 2020. However, he was very inconsistent as he scored less than 12.1 fantasy points 10 times in 17 games. That’s almost 60% of the time. He also scored seven of his 12 touchdowns in just three games (58%) and was held nine times. Metcalf also had just one game with more than 100 receiving yards.”
And he did that with Russell Wilson as his protector. Now he will catch passes from both Gino Smith or Drew Locke.
Fabiano also made a compelling case for tempering expectations about the Cooper Cup:
“Kupp was so incredibly productive last year, though, that he could see a drop from seven to eight fantasy points per game and still average 18 to 19 points in 2022. That kind of projection would put Kupp on the same level as Justin Jefferson, who averaged 19.4 points per game and finished fifth in fantasy scoring among wide receivers last season.”
I think what Fabiano writes about Kupp is important to keep in mind for all players when it comes to fantasy. It’s like the stock market disclaimer: “Past performance is no guarantee of future performance.” If you had Kupp on your fantasy team last year, chances are you were near the top of your league’s rankings. But if you missed your league’s playoffs last year, don’t bother drafting Kupp (or Derrick Henry or Davante Adams), thinking he would guarantee you a championship by repeating his record-breaking season.
One of my least favorite parts to tell the people I work with Sports Illustrated when they think I must be a fantasy football expert and ask me for advice. I once met a friend of a friend who kept texting me all season asking which guys should start and sit like I wasn’t languishing at the bottom of my own league. But now that I have reviewed the SI actual incredibly detailed reviews by fantasy experts, I am confident in my ability to answer these questions this fall.
Also, let me recommend another free SI newsletter called Winners Club, which focuses on all SI betting and fantasy content. You can sign up at SI.com/newsletters.
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The best of Sports Illustrated
In today’s Daily Cover, Emma Bachelieri examines the legacy of Own leaguewhich celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.
Ben Pickman checks on the Dream’s Arie MacDonald, the No. 3 pick in last year’s WNBA draft, who has bounced back from a crappy rookie season and looks more like the star she was in Arizona. … Pat Ford came up with a formula to determine which Power 5 schools are the most desirable targets in conference realignment.
In the world of sports
The Suns have reportedly matched Deandre Ayton’s record offer list. … The Yankees are reportedly no longer interested in trading for Andrew Benintendi after it was revealed he was not vaccinated. … Freddie Freeman’s ex-agent is suing Fox Sports radio host Doug Gottlieb for defamation. …WWE Raw will reportedly receive a TV-14 rating for the first time since 2008.
The first five…
… things I saw yesterday:
5. This catch from ball boy in toronto.
4. Diamond DeShields emphatic block.
3. Oneil Cruz’s 97.8 mph throw from the leg stopsthe fastest throw by an infielder since MLB introduced the Statcast system in 2015.
2. Si Woo Kim hiding from a bunker after failing to escape on his first attempt.
Although not organized by FIFA, the first Women’s World Cup ended on this day in 1970. Who won the tournament?
- West Germany
Yesterday’s SIQ: How much money did a local Detroit kid get for returning Babe Ruth’s 300th home run ball back to the Yankees?
Answer: $20. this is how new York times described the deal:
“Today a young man was happy and $20 richer. Before he even rounded the bases, Ruth was yelling to his teammates on the field, “I want that ball! I want that ball!’ Emissaries were sent to run after the youth, who returned the ball after it cleared the fence, and it was returned to Ruth in the Yankee dugout in exchange for $20.
That equates to $442 today. By comparison, Barry Bonds’ 756th home run, the one that broke Henry Aaron’s record, was auctioned for $752,467 in 2007.
It’s safe to say that in 1934, no one could have predicted a baseball selling for three-quarters of a million dollars, mostly because no one could have predicted that anyone would hit more homers than Ruth. The times confidently stated that Ruth’s record would never be broken:
“A record that promises to last forever was set at Naveen Field today when Babe Ruth hit his seven hundredth career home run. It promises to live on, first because few players in history have enjoyed the diamond longevity of the immortal Bambino, and second because only two other players in baseball history have hit more than 300 home runs.”
Today, there are 152 players in MLB history with at least 300 homers. Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt is knocking on the door with 299. I bet whoever catches 300 will get more than $20.
From the Vault: July 15, 1957
I first discovered this crying monkey cover back in January when I first started working on what SI:AM would be, and I’m excited to finally be able to show it to you.
SI in the 1950s was basically unrecognizable from what it would become. Of course, there were many articles on the major professional sports of the day—baseball, boxing, horse racing, golf—but the magazine also devoted a lot of space to sporting activities enjoyed by ordinary people. Consider this three-week series of covers from October 1957: “How Good a Bridge Player Are You?” (October 14), “Wings at Dawn: The 1957 Waterfowl Season” (October 21), and “A Walk Into Autumn” (October 28).
The last two covers, like the one above, were an opportunity to highlight top-notch photography. Most of the magazine was black and white (like most print in those days), so a color spread of fall foliage or zoo animals was something that sold copies.
The zoo spread is wacky. Titled “The Human Zoo,” it features five photos of zoo animals with captions attributing human emotions to them, such as an orangutan that has just been pulled over by the police.
The rest of the magazine is also worth flipping through. There’s a story about an 18-year-old standout athlete from Texas (who went on to play for the Cowboys), one about a guy from upstate New York who invented a device to train pilots and then became an underwater explorer and a brief subject for the experiment of television station in New York with a new technique for broadcasting baseball: the center field camera.
See more from SI’s archives and historical images at vault.si.com.
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