Music We Like: Ingrid Michaelson

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Don’t be fooled by the low-ish album rating below. Ingrid Michaelson’s Lights Out is a good listen all the way through.

When I first started listening, buoyed by her hit single Girls Chase Boys, I thought this was going to fall under my “guilty pleasure” tendencies. Turns out, not really.

Michaelson delivers an easy-listening performance with Lights Out. I throw it on first thing in the morning at work and she gets me through the first hour with ease. I don’t feel guilty listening to this like I do with other artists (Avril Lavigne, Ke$ha, etc.) because it’s actually respectable music.

Lights Out is a well-produced album (AKA it sounds real nice, y’all) and significantly pop-py and catchy, with a few slow tracks thrown in to mix things up. For me, it hit the spot when I grew tired of listening to She & Him, Miss Li, A Great Big World, and The Cardigans first thing in the morning.

Let’s not ignore the fact that Michaelson is rocking the Lisa Loeb look, too. So hot.

Album Rating: 57 percent

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Apr 23, 2014 2:03 pm

The Daily Haze: World Cup Fever

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If you are not a fan of the NHL playoffs, the NBA playoffs, or the MLB regular season, there is one thing that should pique your interest this summer.

The World Cup.

I’m not a huge fan of the NHL, NBA, or MLB, so I’m already geeked up for this summer’s WC in Brazil. It should be a great way to pass some of the time until our football season returns.

Someone spent a decent amount of time making that 8-bit version of each participating country’s kit, and for that I am thankful.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to head over to GameStop and pick up the latest version of FIFA.

H/T Jeans & Ties

STORIES WE LIKE

Chris Johnson has been a frustratingly productive fantasy football running back the last few years. Will that continue in New York? [XNSports]

A two-round NFL mock draft from a respectable source in the industry. [RotoWorld]

Just a nugget from this story worth mentioning: Marshawn Lynch could be a cap casualty in Seattle next offseason. Keeper leaguers should invest in Christine Michael this summer. [ESPN]

There are a laundry list of reasons to like Montee Ball this season. [RotoViz]

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Apr 23, 2014 9:02 am

The Daily Haze: The Washington Redskins’ Offense

Fantasy football owners — and Redskins’ fans — will remember this:

That was a good night for DJax and an epic one for Michael Vick.

Now that Jackson is a member of the Redskins, Washington fans are hoping to see some of that from Robert Griffin and Jackson. But what about the other pass-catchers in the Redskins’ offense?

Plenty of opinions on Twitter after Jackson signed with Washington a few weeks ago.

Clay expects the current regime to replace Roy Helu with a rookie running back. Alfred Morris is not much of an option in the passing game, hence why his name is not on the list.

But that doesn’t mean Alf has zero value in this offense, as mentioned by Zegura. Also, Jordan Reed. If he is over the concussion issues, having Pierre Garcon and Jackson outside will open things up for Reed inside and over the middle.

Plenty of potential in Reed, as fantasy owners saw during his healthy weeks last season. The big question mark is how Jay Gruden plans to use him in this offense.

STORIES WE LIKE

Find the next Josh Gordon, Justin Blackmon, Alshon Jeffery, or Michael Floyd right now using something called “fantasy equity scores”. [XNSports]

The Broncos think they upgraded at wide receiver by letting Eric Decker go and signing Emmanuel Sanders. That ought to do wonders for Sanders’ ADP this summer. [ESPN]

A “what should they do” NFL mock draft. [2MugsFF.com]

Drafting a quarterback in the first round has been mostly bad news for general managers since 2009. [The Big Lead]

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Apr 22, 2014 9:03 am

The Daily Haze: Drop Catch Bottle Opener

Can’t wait for football season?

Spend your offseason upgrading features around your home before kickoff this fall. TV upgrades, surround sound systems and outdoor entertainment are all good places to start an upgrade.

But don’t forget about upgrading your drinking experience, too. I drink a lot of bottled beer during football season, so I’m thinking about adding one of these Drop Catch Bottle Openers:

http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0064/9302/products/dropcatch-3_grande.gif?v=1385573387

Not only is it functional, but it also is a great conversation piece. In case you want to have a conversation during half time or something.

H/T Jeans & Ties

STORIES WE LIKE

Reggie Bush and Joique Bell are going to split carries this season in Detroit. [XNSports]

The 10 worst passing franchises over the past decade. [numberFire]

The best NFL mock draft websites over the last five years? There’s a website for that. [The Huddle Report]

Some thoughts on Blake Bortles as a NFL quarterback. [The Rookie Scouting Portfolio]

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Apr 21, 2014 9:02 am

The Daily Haze: NFL Mock Draft Update

Our 2014 NFL mock draft started this week, and there have been a few surprises. Case in point, Johnny Football to the Browns.

Media preview

I could see it happening, even though the Browns have given every indication that they are not interesting in Manziel. Believe nothing this time of year.

See the rest of the results of the first round so far for yourself:

The Hazean’s 2014 NFL Mock Draft

The top-10 picks:

1. Jadeveon Clowney
2. Sammy Watkins
3. Blake Bortles
4. Johnny Manziel
5. Khalil Mack
6. Anthony Barr
7. Greg Robinson
8. Justin Gilbert
9. Teddy Bridgewater
10. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

STORIES WE LIKE

C.J. Spiller was expected to break-out last year, but instead he busted. Better value this summer, but do you trust him? [CBSSports.com]

What positions does your favorite NFL team need to address in the upcoming NFL Draft? [Yahoo! Sports]

The amount of effort that goes into these rookie scouting reports is impressive. [The Rookie Scouting Portfolio]

I didn’t like Cam Newton before he got to the NFL, but now I do. I feel like the same thing is happening to me and Johnny Manziel. [The Big Lead]

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Apr 18, 2014 9:02 am

Music We Like: Tokyo Police Club

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Ready for summer?

If so, fire up your favorite music client (mine is Spotify), pop in your headphones, and queue Tokyo Police Club’s latest release, Forcefield.

Summer anthem after summer anthem. If you’re stuck behind a desk behind multiple monitors in a cubicle underneath florescent lights with no windows in sight, just close your eyes and listen. You’ll see the beach, the sand, the water, and the waves, I guarantee.

Ironic that an indie rock back from Canada can produce such an exceptional summer, beach rock album. Eh?

This is cruising-with-the-top-down music. For one reason or another, I couldn’t come up with a comparable band although I know one is out there. It’s on the tip of my tongue.

So I looked at Spotify’s “Related Artists” section for Tokyo Police club, and this is the company they keep: Two Door Cinema Club, Phoenix, Grouplove, Broken Bells, Bombay Bicycle Club.

Fantastic grouping.

Short album — nine songs, 33 minutes — so it’s perfect for your summer playlist. Top tracks are, in my opinion, Hot Tonight, Toy Guns, and Through The Wire. All are playlist-worthy right out of the box.

Album Rating: 67 percent

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Apr 17, 2014 2:02 pm

The Daily Haze: Kentucky Derby Giveaway

Any derby fans?

Found this little gem via Jeans & Ties the other day:

For those within driving distance to Louisville, here’s the chance to win two tickets to the Derby and a sweet duffel bag

You can enter the giveaway here.

This year’s Kentucky Derby is Saturday, May 3.

STORIES WE LIKE

Building a tight end production model. [RotoViz]

If you are struggling to succeed in daily fantasy leagues, blame your brain. [XNSports]

Way too early wide receiver rankings for 2014 redraft leagues. This won’t be “way too early” for much longer. [Football Guys]

More fantasy football rankings! [ESPN]

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Apr 17, 2014 9:02 am

The Daily Haze: How Do Bad Offseasons Affect Fantasy Football Owners?

Fantasy football is a value-driven enterprise. Owners who can see value and draft value, even in the face of preconceived notions and popular opinion, often fare better than owners who cannot.

Sometimes, players do irreparable damage to their fantasy football value on the field. And sometimes, they do it off the field.

Such could be the case for two players this offseason: Ray Rice, who was involved in an altercation earlier this year, and Colin Kaepernick with a more recent off-the-field incident.

So, fantasy owners, how much do these off-the-field incidents affect how you perceive a player’s value heading into a fantasy draft? Are you less inclined to draft Rice and/or Kaepernick, for example, now than you would have been before?

STORIES WE LIKE

Knowshon Moreno left Denver for Miami, clearing a path for Montee Ball to start at running back for the Broncos this season. A lucrative position. [RotoWorld]

For NFL Draft nuts: Comparing Odell Beckham and Mike Evans, two of the top wide receiver prospects in this year’s class. [RotoViz]

The next time you think to yourself, “I’ll NEVER draft so-and-so player again,” stop and read this. [The New York Times]

Jerricho Cotchery, Jason Avant and Tiquan Underwood are your starting receivers in Carolina. Yikes. [The Fake Football]

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Apr 16, 2014 9:01 am

The Daily Haze: The Titanic Sank 102 Years Ago Today

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April 15, 1912. Never forget.

The sinking of The Titanic is my favorite historical event, so every year I do two things:

1. I re-watch James Cameron’s blockbuster movie from 1997. Now in Blu-Ray and — spoiler — you still cannot see the iceberg coming until it’s too late.

2. I read a Titanic-related book. This year’s literature:

The Ship That Stood Still: The Californian and Her Mysterious Role in the Titanic Disaster

April 15 also happens to mark Income Tax Day here in the United States. Hope your financials aren’t foundering!

STORIES WE LIKE

The Tennessee Titans need help at two of the most important positions on the offensive side of the ball in the upcoming NFL Draft: Quarterback and running back. [RotoWorld]

The impact of defensive packages on yards per carry. Smart read. [Pro Football Focus]

You’ve got to get past the “injury prone” label, people. DeMarco Murray was a man down the stretch last year and is poised for a big season in 2014. [SportsDayDFW]

Get used to hearing this name around here this summer before your fantasy football drafts: Jay Cutler. [XNSports]

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Apr 15, 2014 9:02 am

The Daily Haze: Reader Mock Draft Starts Today

To celebrate National Mock Draft month, we enlisted the help of several readers, bloggers, and friends for our annual NFL mock draft.

It starts today.

You can follow along here, if you like:

The Hazean’s 2014 NFL Mock Draft

As you can see, we still are looking for a few GMs to represent some of the NFL teams in the first round. If you are interested, get in touch with us. Otherwise, we’ll use consensus rankings/opinions to make those picks.

We’ll also be posting mock draft updates on Twitter @thehazean.

STORIES WE LIKE

We wrote about Ray Rice and his future with the Ravens earlier this spring, and now others are mirroring our sentiment. Dark days ahead for Rice. [RotoWorld]

What to expect from Chris Johnson as a running back from here on out. [Pro Football Focus]

Sammy Watkins, who may not be as good as we all seem to think, still is an impressive wide receiver prospect. [RotoViz]

Hue Jackson is the new offensive coordinator in Cincinnati, and he vows to bring more of a threatening rushing attack to the Bengals. Gio Bernard uptick. [ESPN]

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Apr 14, 2014 9:02 am
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The Hazean

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