This is a post for the fantasy baseball drafters who use Excel, Google Docs, or some other war room software that automatically totals a drafted team’s stats while in the middle of a draft. Or perhaps for those of you who do mock drafts or simulated drafts.

The below grid represents my projected 75% mark in each stat category across 10/12/14/15/16 team ESPN and Yahoo default roster format leagues.

These numbers should only be used directionally. Please note that each projection source projects to a different league average so your team may look great if using a ‘bullish’ source and look poor if using a ‘bearish’ source. These are based on the Steamer/Razzball projections.

While I stand behind these numbers as they are part of the foundation behind my Player Rater $ estimates, I do not use these as part of my draft. I prefer to add up the dollar values per category. Same difference I suppose but it is easier to see counting totals for ratios and it lets me fixate less on the numbers (e.g., I see $7, I know they are good…I don’t fixate on 20 SBs vs 25 SBs).

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Back in late February I took down the ADP for the top 300 players with the intention of later reflecting on that data. I knew it would come in handy when thinking up an idea for a future column, and my clairvoyance has been fulfilled.

I’ve always been a proponent of NFBC’s ADP because of the amount of money their leagues generally require in order to play ($125+, upwards of $5,000+ in main events). It eliminates crazy outlier picks better than your casual ESPN mock drafts, and paints a great picture for value in rotisserie leagues.

As ‘weekly lock’ are their standard format, it deviates a little bit from our typical RCL that we have on this fantastic caldron of fantasy knowledge know as Razzball, but heading into the last week of drafts, I hope this will give you a great idea of the fluctuation of players in across the league.

The time frame of the change, as you will see, is between February 28th and March 26th. I’ll break up some of our specimens based on overall ADP, as players who are going later in drafts (150+ overall) have much more room to rise and fall than a player in the top 50.

To address players who have fallen due to a temporary injury, I’ve eliminated guys like Ian Desmond, Alex Reyes, and David Dahl, in favor of taking a look at performance and playing time based fluctuations. If you desire the +/- of any other player you don’t see here, feel free to mention in the comments below and I will dig in and find it for you (as long as their in the top 500).

Keep in mind, in order for a player to fall by a given amount, that player has been drafted further above or further below what their ADP on March 26th states. This is because NFBC ADP is a rolling average. For Yoenis Cespedes to increase from 59.08 to 56.66, he would have been drafted, on average, higher than the 56.66 overall from March 26th says. Not simply the +2.42 spots my interval of change shows you!

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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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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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You’re the monster preparing for your fantasy draft, and I’m Dr. Frankenstein telling you it’s all going to be OKAY.

If you are one of our beloved loyal Razzball readers, you know by now that this site tends to discourage you from taking catchers early in fantasy drafts. The argument is simple: the difference between a top 5 catcher and a 5-15 range catcher is negligible. At other positions, the difference is much more significant. Plus, there are always surprises who end up either getting drafted later or picked up on waivers who put up top 10 catcher numbers.

Some years ago, a younger Grey with what we can only assume was a less prominent mustache wrote about his draft strategy for punting catchers. I’ll wait here while you give it a look. Go ahead. It’s the same website, so I won’t get in trouble. I might even get some kind of bonus for encouraging clicks or something.

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Here’s what I know about projections, they’re guaranteed to be mostly wrong with a handful of unpredictable close calls. That’s probably the most accurate projection I’m about to make, which is not quite the ringing self-endorsement one my expect to read in the introduction paragraph for a 2017 fantasy baseball projections post. Let’s be honest with ourselves, projections are bullshit. They’re little more than slightly educated guesses. This is not meant to take anything away from the hard work and resulting labors of love bestowed upon us by very smart statisticians and baseball analysts, but at the end of the day, I almost feel like the projections-hungry fantasy baseball population would be better off without them. Having just written that sentence I find it extremely ironic considering I am about to release my projections in just a few moments. I think they call that the pot calling the kettle black. Maybe the pot is just racist. Did anyone ever consider that the kettle might have started the name calling? Was it Tim Lincecum’s pot?

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It only seems fitting that I should take up the mantle of the 2017 Fantasy Baseball War Room. I’ll be the first one to admit that the satisfaction of working up a beautiful Excel spreadsheet gives me the same kind of goosebumps as when someone utters to Grey the words…“Giancarlo Stanton”. Is it nerdy? You bet. But nerds win leagues, so let me help you win yours. Without further ado, I present the 2017 version of the Razzball War Room “Excel edition” to assist in your league-dominating draft performance. Let’s delve into the features:

First and foremost, this workbook is auto-updating. So long as you click ‘refresh data connections’, you are guaranteed to be seeing Grey’s latest and greatest projections which are updated throughout the pre-season.  To do so: click the “Data” tab in your ribbon,  and then “Refresh all”; if you don’t know what the ribbon is, then this spreadsheet version is probably not for you, and let’s hope for your sake that your league opponents don’t read Razzball or are all drafting from Android devices with no Excel in sight. Seriously, though, if you find the Excel version too daunting, be sure to check out the web version of the War Room linked from Grey’s how-to post for the online Fantasy Baseball War Room.

Features in the 2017 Excel edition include:

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I believe I’ve got a theory. Okay, perhaps it’s more of a conspiracy than a theory. Now that I think about it, it’s really just a topic for the next fifteen or so paragraphs I’m about to write. Is Trea Turner the primary subject of market manipulation? Say what! Seriously, what could that possibly even mean? Wikipedia defines market manipulation as “a deliberate attempt to interfere with the free and fair operation of the market and create artificial, false or misleading appearances with respect to the price of, or market for, a security, commodity or currency“. If we really consider the entire landscape it’s easy to come to the conclusion that “market manipulation” really doesn’t apply, or make sense in this context, but it got me thinking…

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I have no idea if anyone at ESPN actually ranks people.  There’s talk of it.  Like, “Yo, Klara Bell, you do your rankings yet?”  “No, did you?”  Then Cockcroft makes farting noises with his armpit.  All I ever see at ESPN is consensus rankings.  I have to figure out how to do this “consensus” thing.  Talk about a nice way to avoid taking any blame for anything.  “Hey, man, sorry about Andrew McCutchen being ranked so high this year, but these are ‘consensus’ rankings.”  Let’s turn to a conversation between two random fantasy baseballers.  “Cockcroft has said he doesn’t like Cano this year.”  “But ESPN has him 34th overall.”  “Yeah, doesn’t apply when talking about Cockcroft.”  “So, when does it apply?”  “When talking about ESPN.”  “But Cockcroft is at ESPN”  “Yeah, still doesn’t apply.”  “Can you explain that?”  “Nope.”  Then heads explode.  Consensus rankings are done by committee.  Only thing ever done better by committee is jerk seasoning.  Now, while you might think ESPN’s rankings have a ton of jerk seasoning, they are just an indecipherable mess.  But why bring up all of this when I’m about to take a blowtorch to Yahoo’s 2017 fantasy baseball rankings?  Thanks for asking, clunky expositional question!  Yahoo has consensus rankings, but they also show their work.  Each ‘pert is accounted for in their rankings.  This is already much better than ESPN.  You can at least see what Pianowski, Funston, Behrens and Triple D are thinking individually.  This, of course, doesn’t mean I agree with all of their rankings, but at least I can point to how they came to their consensus.  Anyway, here’s where my 2017 fantasy baseball rankings differ from the 2017 Yahoo fantasy baseball rankings:

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So the title is a bit of a superlative.  What was I gonna say, “The Mostly Kinda Good Fantasy Baseball Team?”  You’ll get over your scoffing; I have faith in you.  This is the best 2017 fantasy baseball team that I can put together when drafting from my top 100 for 2017 fantasy baseball and top 500 for 2017 fantasy baseball.  Honestly, I could draft another 25 teams from those lists, and they’d all be different, but equally terrific… Well, one of the twenty-five would only be sorta terrific, but it would be really hard to tell which one that is.  If I took Carlos Correa in the 2nd round, everything after would change.  If I took Arenado in the 1st round, everything after would change.  I’ve previously gone over my 2017 fantasy baseball draft prep for the first few rounds and pitchers pairings.  For this exercise, I’m taking Mike Trout first, because, well, I have him first overall.  Until pick 100, I’m taking one guy somewhere in every fifteen picks.  It would be nice if I was in a league where someone drafted Scherzer and Kershaw in the first two rounds and I was able to take Rougned Odor in the 2nd round (which is very likely), but since Trout and him are in my first 14 picks, according to the rules I’ve set up for myself, I can’t take them both.  Then, as we all know, once you get into the 100s, there’s wide gaps between ADP and where players are actually taken.  People tend to look at team need over value.  So for this exercise, once I get to pick #101, I’m going to pick two players every twenty picks.  Finally, because there is so much latitude in the last 300, I gave myself free reign to fill up my team.  Throughout the draft, I also gave myself the ability to reach to a lower draft pick, but not reach forward.  Or reach around, if you’re feeling frisky.  It should still be my ideal team… Or not.  Let’s see, shall we?  Bee tee dubya, this team is 5×5, one catcher, 5 OFs, MI, CI, 1 UT, 9 P, 3 bench, just like the Razzball Commenter Leagues (go sign up or start a league).  Anyway, here’s the best 2017 fantasy baseball team:

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