Everyone that reads Razzball knows me as the guy that writes about points leagues. Either that, or the dude whose posts you never read. What most don’t know is that I secretly dislike points leagues, at least traditional head-to-head leagues. I might have mentioned that at some point in some post in the past, but that’s a discussion for another day. While I focus on points leagues for Razzball, I studied the art of rotisserie baseball at a young age. I was introduced to fantasy baseball back in 1991 when I was only fourteen years old. It was supposed to be an NL-only league, but shortly before the draft the league fell apart so I took over a team in the AL-only league. My dad paid and I played. The league was all adults and me, and I somehow managed to finish in third place out of ten teams. Nowadays the only place you can find an adult league that allows boys is through NAMBLA. Do yourself a favor and do not google that acronym. Is google and official verb yet?

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Holy moly, are we talking actual live MLB players past their limits this week? Yessiree Bobby Jimmy! Michael Halpern the smooth, and debonair brains behind Imaginarybrickwall.com, and yours truly bust into our Top Dynasty Targets for 2017. While we do blur the lines of reality, and talk some major leaguers, we don’t leave you hanging on the prospect front. It’s an all out attack on the senses. Seriously, this episode is so good you can both smell and taste it. Yummy seafood chowder! Am I selling hard here? Good, because in all truthiness, this is the episode where you get a new Ralph, a subdued Ralph. A Ralph who writes about himself in the third person. Maybe I always do that. We go in on everyone from Marcus Stroman to Tyler O’Neill, it’s the whole lot of dynasty values. So take heed, listen up, and check out the latest episode of the Razzball Prospects Podcast.

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I think the biggest question I always get when I’m out for dinner trying to inconspicuously eat is: Who should I cuff and when should I start drafting handcuffs for the inevitable closerpocalypse?  My advice is always: As soon as I am done eating, I will tell you.  I then proceed to give them the Irish goodbye and smile as I gleefully think that I got the best of them.  But in all seriousness, the biggest question is: Do I cuff myself or do I cuff someone else’s closer?  Me personally, I am a “cuff someone else’s” kinda guy.  This way, it gives you better odds to have another closer.  Where as if you cuff yourself, you are only replacing what you already drafted to expect.  So in theory, look for the best cuff options that you currently don’t own and steal them from someone else.  Leaving them short and for you, the possible plus one.  So with this theory in mind, I have made a list of the guys that I would want to draft first, second and so on.  I have done closer lists with their back-ups, holds guys, and the pecking order and now you get the best handcuff options to draft and sit on.  Enjoy!

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Writing this as I watch the WBC Championship game I might be drafting Marcus Stroman on a few teams.  The World Baseball Classic is pretty darn entertaining with so many good lineups and watching the US pull off the win has been awesome.  I like that over the past couple weeks I can have it on in the background because it’s competitive baseball, but there’s no fantasy implications so I can just enjoy it.  These are all-stars playing for their country (for the most part, we all know that “team” Italy, Israel and the Netherlands are stretches) and so so so much better than watching spring training games.

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Raisel Iglesias slipped in the shower and hurt his elbow and hip, which could cause him to miss Opening Day.  This has to be the nastiest Reds locker room incident since Aaron Harang dropped the soap and fell on Dick Pole while showering.  Previously, Harang had only slipped on a banana peel, ya know, a by-product of being The Harangutan.  The 2nd nastiest Reds locker room incident happened when Johnny Cueto swept Bronson Arroyo’s leg and he fell into Dick Pole.  Now that I think about it, all Reds locker room incidents involved Dick Pole.  So, Church’s elbow and hip sound like they will be fine, but Drew Storen, Michael Lorenzen and Tony Cingrani, likely in that order, could sneak into the closer’s role, and steal the job, since I get the feeling Reds manager, Bryan Price, doesn’t really want Raisel in the closer role indefinitely.  This will likely be a shituation where Raisel, Storen and others share 30 saves, say, 17 saves for Raisel, 9 for Storen and the rest for others.  I’ve updated my fantasy baseball rankings, namely the top 500.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:

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As the final days of spring training wind down, and teams make final cuts, opening day rosters begin to take shape. While many re-draft players are busy drafting their teams over the next week plus. Dynasty managers are on the other side of the spectrum, as this is the time when you look to acquire players that you see as potential breakouts. In my humble opinion these weeks leading up to the season can be amongst the most important for managers looking to reload and rebuild. So how should you approach this buying window? Who should you be looking to add? That’s a great question, but a difficult one to answer, because unlike re-draft not everyone is in contention every year. Values in dynasty and deep keeper leagues are dependent upon your team’s current window for competing. This is why player values from manager to manager within your league can vary greatly. So keep in mind, not every player is a fit for every roster. You need to decide what your window is, and build with that in mind. For example, if you have a win now team, with a great deal of aging vets you might be looking to get a little younger. Or you might throw caution to the wind, go full Dombrowski, and buy for today. While a non-competing team might be looking to acquire the best talent under 25, no matter position. Regardless of where your team falls on the competitive spectrum, it’s important to identify players you want to own, and those you’re looking to acquire. Below is a list I’ve made of the players I want to own. So all those in leagues with The God Emcee (that’s me) look away. I’m sure that worked. Now that my leaguemates are out of the room, let me just say I love these players. Some are prospects, while others are young vets. These are the guys I can see taking a step forward. These aren’t all that players with breakout upside, but they’re the ones I felt like writing about.

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Before we jump right into this draft recap, let’s go over a little bit of background about the league and its details. This isn’t like the typical RCL 5×5 rotisserie league we often talk about in this space. LOEG is a 10×10 head-to-head keeper league, with 10 teams and four keepers per team from year to year. The league has been around for something like ten years and has been graced by the presence of yours truly for the past five.

Since the categories, scoring, and rules are a little different in this league I’ll break down all the details below. I think it’s important to break this down a bit first because not only do I want to bore you to death, but I want you to have all the information while you are going over the results and making fun of my team in the comments section. Anyway, here we go:

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Look, I’m not proud of that headline. [Jay’s Note: I am!] But you try to write a catchy, fun headline for such a depressing weekly article. 

We’re inching closer to crunch time. As each day passes, these updates will become more and more crucial as you prepare for your draft. If you have any questions on anyone I’ve missed or anyone you’re worried about — please don’t hesitate to drop me a line in the comments and I’ll get back to you ASA-quick.

Here are some major(ish) players who missed some time this past week…

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I’m going to take a new approach with this post.  No, not because I’m typing with my elbows, but becooooze I’mmmm ryping–Okay, I am typing with my elbows.  On the heels of drafting my third team, I realize there’s some players I absolutely would draft and some I just won’t.  It’s not that I don’t like these players.  Well, some of them, but there’s just some players I won’t draft due to their ADP and where I’m looking to draft at any given moment.  It occurred to me when I was about to draft Carlos Carrasco (prayer hexagon, please) in the fifth round.  Top guys on the board at the time from my 2017 fantasy baseball rankings were Polanco, Myers, Segura, Kyle Seager, Arrieta and deGrom.  I already had two outfielders, so that eliminated Polanco for me; I called Jake Arrieta overrated; I wouldn’t draft deGrom, per my top 20 starters, and I really needed a starter.  I wish I had three picks at that point, because I like Myers and Seager and don’t fully hate Segura, though that price is high.  So, if this is how the 5th round shakes out, how can I draft Myers, Segura, Seager or Polanco this year?  It just seems like it’s not happening.  No matter if I like them or not.  Then, I thought deeper about my situation like I was KRS-One, and realized there were dozens of players I could’ve chosen at that point.  Hundreds of players, really.  I mean, only 60 players were off the board.  Couldn’t I have drafted so many other players?  Actually, no, I couldn’t.  Or, I guess better, I wouldn’t.  In my top 100 for 2017 fantasy baseball, there’s approximately 20 players I’m drafting after the top 25 overall and before we’re out of the top 100.  Why after the top 25?  Because in the top 25, I’d take anyone.  Technically, I won’t draft Kershaw where I have him ranked because he’ll be drafted already, but now you’re quibbling, you quibbler!  Anyway, here’s twenty players I’m drafting in the top 100 for 2017 fantasy baseball:

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Image result for ferrari 488 gtb

It is said that spontaneity is the key to life. Well, I just got a little something something from the wife the other day, out of the blue so…Long live spontaneity!!! In past iterations of Bear or Bull, I compared two players that were being selected in the same range, according to NFBC ADP. Since my endorphins are still floating merrily through my bloodstream from the “sponataneity,” I wanted to change it up this week. Also, the player that caught my eye this week could not be compared to any mere player anyways. Only a Ferrari 488 GTB would suffice.

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