March Madness bracket 2019: Ryan Fagan’s expert NCAA Tournament predictions

first_imgThe Fagans take our NCAA Tournament bracket seriously. If you finish dead last in the Team Fagan challenge, you have to wear the pink bunny suit — you know, Ralphie’s nightmare from the classic movie ‘A Christmas Story’ — for the following year’s St. Patrick’s Day five-mile run. And no excuses are allowed.  (SN illustration) West region (SN illustration) SN’s MARCH MADNESS HQPrintable bracket | Predictor tool | Best bracket names | TicketsMy brother Seth scheduled his honeymoon during that weekend (saving thousands of dollars to avoid spring break travel fare hikes) but we punished him by making him wear the bunny suit two years in a row. I say all this to let you know I don’t fill out this bracket lightly. And I only fill out one bracket. None of this “different picks for different brackets” nonsense. I go with the picks I feel good about, because of strengths and weaknesses of the teams involved. I love an upset as much as anyone, but with the bunny suit on the line, I’m not going to get stupid just to say “I picked that one!” at the office, y’know?So without further delay, my NCAA Tournament picks for the 2019 dance. MORE BRACKET PICKS: DeCourcy (Duke) | Bender (Duke) | KenPom (Duke)NCAA Tournament bracket picksEast region (SN illustration) South region (SN illustration) … And the agony of defeat: Sporting News staff recalls their most heartbreaking memories from the NCAA Tournament. Get your tissues ready.Top 80 upsets in March Madness history: It’s not March Madness until there’s an upset. Ranking the best we ever saw.Best buzzer-beaters in NCAA Tournament history: The defining shots of the NCAA Tournament, and the reason it’s dubbed “March Madness.” Final Four picks  Midwest region March Madness features from Sporting News”40 Minutes of Hell” to Hog Heaven: Nolan Richardson’s 1993-94 Arkansas team will go down as one of the most fun SEC title-winning teams of all time. It was something he built, one minute at a time.How to stop Zion Williamson: Opposing coaches dish on their strategies to deal with Duke’s freshman phenom and, with some luck, beat the Blue Devils.A barrier-breaking title: The 1961-62 Cincinnati Bearcats made history when they started four black players in their NCAA title game win over Ohio State. We remember the importance of that groundbreaking win.An Oral History of Steph Curry’s 2008 Breakout: In 2008, a little-known, baby-faced guard from Davidson completely took over the NCAA Tournament.Upset City: Reliving the wildest opening venue in NCAA Tournament history.The Fagan Jinx: They’re not just upset “alerts” when Sporting News’ Ryan Fagan is in attendance. Recapping the many improbable upsets Fagan has been on hand to witness. DeCourcy’s best of 30 years: Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy ranks the best games he has witnessed from 30 years’ worth of NCAA Tournament coverage. The thrill of victory …: Sporting News staff recall their favorite memories of the NCAA Tournament.  (SN illustration) read more

2019 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Closer and RP

first_img32Andrew Miller*Cardinals33Jeremy JeffressBrewers34Dellin BetancesYankees35Archie BradleyDiamondbacks36Adam OttavinoYankees37Alex ReyesCardinals38Ross StriplingDodgers39Pedro Strop*Cubs40Corey KnebelBrewers41Chad GreenYankees42Seranthony DominguezPhillies43Jace FryWhite Sox44Jose CastilloPadres45Ty ButtreyAngels46Joe JimenezTigers47Ryan PresslyAstros48Jeurys FamiliaMets49Will HarrisAstros50Keone KelaPirates51Tony CingraniDodgers52Ryan BrasierRed Sox53Drew Steckenrider*Marlins54Adam Conley*Marlins55Wily Peralta*Royals56Blake Parker*Twins57Mark Melancon*Giants58Diego CastilloPadres59A.J. MinterBraves60Oliver PerezIndians61Darren O’DayBraves62Ray BlackGiants63Hector NerisPhillies64Richard RodriguezPirates65Lou TrivinoA’s66Yoshihisa HiranoDiamondbacks67Richard BleierOrioles68Carl Edwards Jr.Cubs69Seth LugoMets70Nate JonesWhite Sox71Kyle BarracloughNationals72Cam BedrosianAngels73Ryan YarbroughRays74Craig StammenPadres75Taylor RogersTwins Closer has long been the bane of fantasy baseball owners’ existences. Around two-thirds of major league teams change their closer at some point during the season, and with more committees and “openers” becoming en vogue, it’s not long before we have no idea what to expect from ninth-inning situations heading into the season, making these rankings even more of an exercise in futility. High-strikeout middle relievers are becoming more than just late-round sleepers, and you should have more than a few circled on your cheat sheet. While you might not draft more than one or two, knowing who can rack up innings and Ks (and possibly wins and saves) while keeping peripherals low is important.Watch ChangeUp, a new MLB live whip-around show on DAZN It’s important to note that for our rankings below, we rank the projected closers above the projected middle relievers. Josh Hader could easily be more valuable than the majority of the guys ranked above him, but given that saves is its own category in most leagues, the importance of getting guys who contribute in that stat can’t be understated (especially H2H leagues). (Update: Hader has been moved up with both Corey Knebel and Jeremy Jeffress injured to open the season, but it’s unclear if Milwaukee really wants Hader in the closer’s role.) Also, with several teams yet to officially name a closer (and Craig Kimbrel still unsigned), it’s fair to say these rankings will undergo quite a few changes before opening day. 2019 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers:Catcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfield | Starter | Each teamBecause closer is such a volatile position, rankings can swing wildly from year to year. Save opportunities can dry up, and even just a couple more homers allowed or a little worse batted-ball luck can really inflate ERAs and WHIPs. That’s why we’re taking a bit of a cautious approach with someone like Blake Treinen, who was dominant last year but hadn’t show that level of brilliance at any point in his career. Still, he should have plenty of job security, at least to open the season, which gives him a boost over some other, perhaps more talented, pitchers.2019 Fantasy Baseball Rankings Tiers, Draft StrategyCatcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfield | Starter | CloserJob security is definitely important but it changes rapidly, so as much as it’s valued throughout our preseason rankings, especially early, it isn’t everything, especially when you get into the RP2 range.2019 Fantasy Baseball Rankings:Catcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfield | Starter | Top 300Drafting at least one secure closer feels like a necessity, although we all know it doesn’t mean much over the course of an entire season. Injuries and cold streaks will happen, and you’ll definitely be hitting the waiver wire at some point. If you don’t overdraft your RPs and get a few high-upside options late in the draft, you can help mitigate the pain. Ultimately, though, you’re guessing and hoping on a lot of these guys. Good luck.center_img DOMINATE YOUR DRAFT: Ultimate 2019 cheat sheetFantasy Baseball Rankings: Closer and RPThese rankings are for standard 5×5, non-keeper leagues. Eligibility based on Yahoo default settings.* = closer battle in spring training**= Not eligible at that position on draft day but expected to play there RankingPlayerTeam1Aroldis ChapmanYankees2Edwin DiazMets3Kenley JansenDodgers4Josh HaderBrewers5Robert OsunaAstros6Sean DoolittleNationals7Blake TreinenA’s8Felipe VazquezPirates9Brad HandIndians10Raisel IglesiasReds11Kirby YatesPadres12Jose LeclercRangers13David RobertsonPhillies14Will Smith*Giants15Wade DavisRockies16Ken GilesBlue Jays17Alex ColomeWhite Sox18Craig KimbrelFA19Brandon MorrowCubs20Trevor MayTwins21Jose Alvarado*Rays22Matt Barnes*Red Sox23Arodys VizcainoBraves24Jordan Hicks*Cardinals25Brad Boxberger*Royals26Sergio Romo*Marlins27Greg HollandDiamondbacks28Cody AllenAngels29Shane GreeneTigers30Hunter StricklandMariners31Mychal Givens*Orioleslast_img read more