Many people don’t know this, but one of the great scenes in modern cinema was nearly about fantasy baseball but was turned on its head due to a misunderstanding. Darren Aronofsky, being Polish and thus having things assbackwards, originally intended Jennifer Connelly in Requiem for a Dream to be doing a scene about head-to-head fantasy baseball strategy instead of what turned out to be ass-to-ass. Sometimes it takes a true auteur to recognize happy accidents and go with them. “So, I said to Darren, you want me to debate the merits of taking a pitcher early while I’m connected to this other girl by a dildo? And he just gave me a blank stare.” That’s a line from Jennifer on the DVD commentary. Head-to-Head, or H2H, doesn’t change a lot to our 2014 fantasy baseball rankings. There are 300 billion suns in the Milky Way galaxy. There are 100s of billions of galaxies in the universe. There are at least 256,000 planets exactly like Earth. Time is a flat circle, says Rust Cohle. Yet, there’s only one Miggy Cabrera. (Though Ciggy Mabrera on Planet Yurick is pretty good too. Not a first rounder though.) H2H doesn’t change that. The strategy for playing in the middle of the season in H2H leagues changes. You aren’t hoping Billy Butler hits 25 homers by October, but whether or not he’ll hit a homer on Sunday or if you should sit him to try and win steals. It’s all about the match-ups, y’all! So you want to build a team that can match up well with any other team. (FYI, I’ve gone over this stuff before, but some of you might need a pine tree refresher hung from your rear view.) Anyway, let’s look at some H2H fantasy baseball draft strategy:

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“Get in a line, and limp.” That’s the master of ceremonies at the latest calfalcade. Chase Headley has a Grade 1 strain of his calf. Grade 2 or higher would be a cow. Semantics, perhaps. He’s supposed to be out for two to (stutterer!) three weeks. I’ve dropped him a couple of spots in my top 20 3rd basemen for 2014 fantasy baseball and my top 400 for 2014 fantasy baseball. Probably if he was in Coors for his home games, coming off a 30-homer season and/or whispered in my ear sweet nothings about Giancarlo, I wouldn’t have moved him in my rankings at all. However, he’s in Petco, coming off a 13 homer season and any reason to not mess with a Padre is good enough for me. You say confirmation bias, I say keep your Psych 101 terms and Headley. To give you a present day example of another player with a calf strain who I’m not currently moving in my rankings: Josh Hamilton. If this were the 2nd week of March, I’d re-rank him, but he’s got time to heal or get injured worse. I’ll be monitoring Hamilton like a cyclops with a monocle. Anyway, here’s what else has been going down in Spring Training for fantasy baseball:

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In past years, I’ve said the following analogy. There’s years of looking up to your father, whether you agree all the time or not. Then, one day, he takes a poop on your couch. You take him to the hospital; he’s in need of some sort of psychology examination. If the tests come back conclusive that he pooped the couch simply out of laziness, then that’s ESPN. If tests come back that he’s gone crazy, well, over at Yahoo The Noise ranked Matt Carpenter 37th overall. A recipe for success at Yahoo involves Kosher salt because you need to take Yahoo’s rankings with a bigger grain of salt. Now, with that said, I think this year Yahoo’s flipped the script on ESPN. Yahoo’s rankings are better this year, i.e., they’re closer to mine than ESPN. At least that’s the vibe I get from looking at them, I didn’t actually stop and weigh the differences and divide that weight by pi to the seventh integer and multiply by X. I simply looked at what they had vs. me and think Yahoo did a better job this year. They have also changed their rankings dramatically in the last week. See, I originally had The Noise down as ranking Carpenter 30th overall. Just about every guy in the chart at the end of this post has moved closer to my rankings in the last week. I’m not saying they’re copying (or they’re not copying fast enough), because, well, they’re still off and now it’s time to spit fire:

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Jason Kipnis? More like bacon with Kaddish! Am I right, twelve-hundred and eleven Jew readers? What? Google tracks this shizz, don’t look at me. For all of y’all that be up in my grill day in and day out about Jean Segura’s crizzappy 2nd half, let’s go off topic to bring it back to topic, shall we? Thanks, expository question! Segura had a ridunkiculous 2nd half, if you’re dunking turds in a bucket. Tis true, homies and four homettes. I agree. He’s also 23 years old and was in his first major league season. Never before had he played that much, so he was probably tired. Well, he did play a lot the year he played winter ball in the 8th grade because his dad told him, “You either play ball for 12 months or work at my pizza place, Papa Jean’s. Oh, and if anyone asks you about the lawsuit, Papa John’s and Papa Jean’s are not the same thing.” Segura was also hurt at the end of last year. But no excuses, he wasn’t good in the 2nd half with one homer and 17 steals. So, Kipnis, who the world and thy Lord in Fantasy Heaven, likes, did what exactly last year in the 2nd half? 4 homers and 9 steals. YAY!!! Seriously, I’m going to jump off the Bridge Of Who Cares after reading those numbers. Kipnis is also 26 years old and did the exact same tail off the previous year in the 2nd half, so this is a pattern you don’t need to be a knit maker to spot. So why is Jason Kipnis overrated for 2014 fantasy baseball?

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I’m looking at my 2014 fantasy baseball rankings compared to ESPN’s fantasy baseball rankings and my iTunes is hitting White Walls by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (featuring Schoolboy Q, Hollis and me).

I wanna be free, I wanna just live… Inside my rankings… This is my shizz…
Now throw it up (ESPN’s rankings make me wanna throw up),
That’s what it is (that’s what it is),
In my R-A-N-K-I-N-G-S, Mitch (Moreland),
Can’t see through their love for Kipnis (nah ah),
I’m drafting real slow (slow motion),
In my hot wet dripping love for Giancarlo, he’s 24 (handsome fella),
ESPN don’t got love for the 24′s (nah ah),
But they’re on those oft-injured Jacoby’s,
That’s in those New York short walls,
R-r-round them hundred year old folks (Jeter),
Old school like Old English in that brown paper bag,
Yovani’s rolling in with the same WHIP that my granddad had,
Hello, haters, damn y’all mad,
$30 on a starter, now how backpack rap is that?

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Rudy’s been dropping a bunch of fantasy baseball strategy posts lately. Here’s one on how to split up your hitting and pitching. And here’s one looking at the consequences of showing up to your draft ten minutes late. As for my strategy posts, they’re timeless — so I recycle ‘em. For most of you, been here, read this shizz already, but there’s Razzball newbies (Razzbabies?) that need some coddling occasionally. If you know PEDS, skip ahead into the comments and discuss innovative uses for my mustache. I’ll start, “If you get really close to me, you can use my mustache as an umbrella.” For the Razzbabies, come here and let Uncle Grey burp you. Maybe I can get you to spit up everything you learned at ESPN. Fantasy baseball strategies are as old as the earth, if the earth were ten or so years old. There’s a LIMA Plan (Low Investment Mound Aces) by Ron Shandler. There’s been a ZIMA Plan by Matthew Berry; it involves a lot of stumbling around, groping and the hiccups. There’s been a Punt One Category draft strategy. There’s been a Punt Two Categories draft strategy, which was conceived by a leaguemate of Punt One Category who just couldn’t stand being upstaged. And there’s the Forget When Your Draft Is So Your Team Is Autodrafted strategy. I love when my leaguemates use that one. Then there’s my fantasy baseball snake draft strategy, Performance Enhancing Draft Strategy or PEDS. (You might even want to use this strategy for our Razzball leagues. Join now. Thank you.)

PEDS has five basic steps. If you follow these steps, you will place near the top in all of your leagues. No plan is foolproof because, unfortunately, they still have to play the games, but PEDS puts you in the best position possible to win coming out of your draft. Actually, this plan is foolproof and you should ignore the previous sentence that said no plan is foolproof. No sentence is foolproof, that’s more accurate. Okay, onto the steps:

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There’s different levels of sleepers. Some sleepers are great for 10-team mixed leagues and others are bargains late in, say, a 10-team AL-Only league. Some sleepers never wake up. Todd Frazier, it’s June 11th, c’mon, man, you’re gonna be late for the season! With the Indians fielding more outfielders than fro-yo shops in the Fro-Yo Jungle of So-Cal, Michael Brantley won’t play every day. He’ll come close, but I know in shallower leagues, you’re gonna get sick of moving him in and out of your lineup for when the Indians face lefties. For those in shallower leagues, skip ahead to the comments and compliment me on my manscaping. If you’re here for a deep league special, Brantley just had a career year, hitting 10 homers, .284 and stealing 17 bases. If that were his peak, I wouldn’t be piqued — turn of a phrase point! If that were his apex, I’d be looking for the apexit — can I make it three?! If that were his pinnacle, I wouldn’t be a cyclops with a monocle. Okay, now I’m just rhyming shizz. So, what can we expect from Michael Brantley for 2014 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

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Hey, I’m outside of a mall in my home state, New Jersey, and I’m carrying a long microphone that I got from a garage sale. The microphone was supposedly used by Curt Gowdy in the 70′s. I’m out here today, while being filmed like it’s a bad 1980′s commercial, because I want to ask people what they think of Jacoby Ellsbury for this year. “Do you think Jacoby Ellsbury can stay healthy?” “What the f**k did you just say to me?” “Was wondering if you thought Jacoby Ellsbury could hit 25-plus homers again with the short porch?” “How about you get on a short bus, f**k nuts?” “Can Jacoby Ellsbury steal 50-plus bases?” “Go f**k yourself.” There you have it! The people of New Jersey have spoken. Yeah, Jacoby Ellsbury has had seasons of illustrious glory. Capable of 30 homers? He did that. Capable of 70 steals? And you know that. Has dreadful seasons? *looks slowly right, looks slowly left, tiptoes out of the room* Anyway, why is Jacoby Ellsbury overrated for 2014 fantasy baseball?

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In the top 20 2nd basemen for 2014 fantasy baseball post January Grey mentions that there will need to be an overrated post for Matt Carpenter written at some point. Way to pass the buck, bucko! Well, two can play that game, Morris Chestnut, so I’m going to copy some of the shizz January Grey spewed at ya and vomit it right back, “Last year, Carpenter scored 126 runs. That’s the third highest runs total since 2008. To give you an idea of what the guys who beat him did the following season: Granderson scored 136 runs in 2011 and 102 the following year and Trout scored 129 in 2012 and 109 last year. No one scores 120 runs in back-to-back years without a crapton of steroids. Do I smell an overrated post coming for Carpenter? I can’t smell due to a build up of cerumen that’s made its way into my nasal passages, but it sounds about right. (BTW, the Wikipedia picture for cerumen is so nasty. Don’t look, seriously. And now that just made you want to look. Suckers!)” And that’s me quoting January Grey! So, what makes Matt Carpenter overrated for 2014 fantasy baseball?

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When January Grey was working on the rankings, I doubt he ever thought he’d be setting up February Grey to write an overrated post on Joe Mauer. January Grey, “Don’t be mad cause I’m doing me better than you doing you (repeat 3 times).” Here was a guy (Mauer, not January Grey or Childish Gambino) who hasn’t done well in years. Not just last year. In 2012, he was completely healthy and played in 147 games and notched 545 at-bats. Both marks would be generous to give any everyday player, so it had nothing to do with missing games due to catching. If you said to me you can draft Miguel Cabrera but you’ll only get 147 games and 545 at-bats, I’d take it in a second. In 2012, Mauer was also 29 years old and had Morneau for 134 games and a 35-homer Willingham in the lineup with him. Plouffe hit 24 homers that year and Denard Span and Ben Revere were getting on base and stealing bases. This wasn’t a bad Twins team. Not good, but not bad. They were 16th in the major leagues for runs scored and 10th for OBP. That year Mauer had the stat line of 81/10/85/.319/8. Shoot, I must’ve did something wrong. Hold on, I need to say it louder — That year Mauer had the stat line of 81/10/85/.319/8! Oh, well, I thought balloons might drop from my ceiling after I said his line. Maybe it wasn’t so good even though he had a healthy 545 at-bats. Anyway, why is Joe Mauer overrated for 2014 fantasy baseball?

Please, blog, may I have some more?