If you had to write a fill-in-the-blank to summarize fantasy baseball in 2016, it would look something like this: “________ hit 30 HRs in 2016, a career high. He will hit half that amount in 2017.”
2017’s fill-in-the-blank is going to look like this: “_________ was placed on the 10-day disabled list.”
Last week I was astonished to only have nine players hit the disabled list. This week, the injury bug came back with a vengeance — there are a whopping 20 players who have been added to this dubious club. Some of them are really earning those DL frequent flier miles.
This week there are six outfielders and nine starting pitchers mentioned in this article. Rather than try to find six healthy outfielders and nine healthy starting pitchers to add I am going to list a few shallow, standard and deep league targets you can add as fill ins. I’ll add this list at the bottom of the article.
As always, if you’ve got a league specific question, please leave a comment and I’ll get back to you ASA-quick.
Hope everyone is ready for a sun tan today! The Tampa Bay Rays are going to give our skins some much needed color…ok, I’m done I promise. I’m sure you already know, but I like the Rays as a whole today. As a team they’ve been heating up, and they’ll be facing off against a pretty unknown pitcher in Austin Bibens-Dirkx. WHO? I didn’t even know he existed before today, nor if he was any good or not. I did some digging and his stats aren’t terrible in the minors with a little over 3.00 ERA this year. Also has an ERA of just under 4.00 this year in long relief. I’m still going to load up on bats here. Mostly because of three things: stadium, conditions, and how often does a long reliever last more then a few innings? The bats I’ll be targeting start with Logan Morrison at $3,500. I think he’s a great play for the price and the potential. I also like Evan Longoria at $3,300. He’s had a rough time this year but I think he’s a much better hitter then what he’s shown. Corey Dickerson at $4,200 seems obvious at this point, but he’s always in play if your stacking Rays. Last guy I really like from this team is Tim Beckham at $2,900. The former #1 pick hasn’t done much of anything in his career but with the injury to Matt Duffy, he’s finally getting a chance to play everyday. Its beginning to pay off as he’s showing a power stroke and a decent average. I expect his success to continue through today, at least.
Now on to the picks…
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The stolen base market is put into two categories: Billy Hamilton and basically everyone else. Capitalizing on the “everyone else” is the problem. The dreaded ebb and flow theory of SAGNOF is a beer served at room temperature. Yeah, at its core, it is still a beer, and yes some beer is served at room temperature. I know there will be some beer snobs that chime in and say “blah, blah this about micro brews and room temperature”. My response is nothing, you are on ignore. Come hang with me and you will see dudes that know how, like to, and will drink. Ask Prospector Ralph, he knows we can bang. Anyways, grabbing a SAGNOF guy on the waivers is a tumultuous beast. Trying to say that he will steal or he will get on base to actually attempt to steal the base… It’s a crap shoot outside of stolen base wizard Billy H. Even when looking at the usually candidates from the preseason and their potential for stolen bases, they are down. The stolen base as a whole is almost as dead as being in Buffalo Bill’s well. We all drafted Trea Turner for his 50-plus SB potential. To date, he has 11, and is on pace for 44. Charlie Blackmon has gone from 43, to 17 last year, to 4 this year. He has basically turned into a RBI machine and it shows by him being the MLB leader in the category. And don’t get me started on Jean Segura or Jonathan Villar… go trade for Dee Gordon, Billy Hamilton or anyone else in the top-5 and quell all your stolen base woes. Trying to make up on the category but nickle and dime’n is the worst ideas since screen doors on a submarine. In case you think I am pushing pork pies and you don’t wanna listen, here is a fancy chart for catchers to abuse for streaming, and some more SAGNOF tidbits. Cheers!
The humans are making their move now! Mad Beach Bums (Rakers Nation) continues to put the heat on Rudy Is Snooty and our human hero, Cram It has vaulted up the standings into third overall. It might be slightly unfair for the robots as Cram It seems to be half human, half Razzball Commenter League machine. We’re all pulling for you Cram, make us humans proud! Only two of the four bots remain in the top 10 overall, however, all four remain in the top 20. Of course, two of those four bots are in the top four overall. They are the bread to the human sandwich of MBB and Cram. It was yet another excellent week for our Fantasy Master Lothario, Mr. Grey Albright. Despite this, he slipped back a spot from 7th overall to 8th overall. It was a very busy week of trading in the RCLs with a whopping 19 being completed. Some of the most competitive leagues were very active with three trades being completed in each of the ‘Perts League, ECFBL and DFSers Anonymous. All this, plus a familiar name makes an appearance as the team of the week. Come check out this and more in the week that was, week 8:
Like the old saying goes, “Never trust a man with two first names”, and that is exactly how it feels every time Robbie Ray ($18,400) takes the mound. He is a fantasy enigma, one day he can be the ace for your team then the next day he walks 6 batters and last 4 innings in a start. One of his biggest Jekyll and Hyde characteristic is his Home and Away splits, this season he has an ERA of 6.75 at home and 0.81 on the road. A matchup on the road against the low hitting Pittsburgh Pirates is exactly what we are looking for when building a line up. The Pirates have struggled all year versus lefties hitting .217 and carrying a very pedestrian .689 OPS. He should be able to rack up some strikeouts as that is his best asset. His K/9 this season is at 11.10. Speaking of Elite K rates, Chris Sale ($26,000) is making his return to Chicago, lets just hope he doesn’t go into his old locker room and cut up all the jerseys. The way he is pitching this season it would be hard not to pick him at whatever price he is listed at. There are some good pitchers he can be matched with and some quality bats as well. Lets take a look at the picks.
New to FantasyDraft? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!
I tried to re-create the magic of last week’s podcast, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t take. Instead, Grey goes full Reality TV villain mode, and not so sneakily tries to chip away at the unbreakable Halph relationship. He’s an only child, he doesn’t like to share! He then announces I will be sold off to the 16th person to sign up for next week’s Razzball Only FantasyDraft Contest (there won’t be a contest this week), in our new “Win a Date with Halp” segment. Yes, even if it’s a dude (apparently, I didn’t read the fine print in my contract). I also congratulate MattTruss for breaking through and absolutely dominating the field in last week’s tournament. On the fantasy baseball side, I point out that nobody in “the industry” (that term just bothers me for some reason) was as high as Grey in the preseason rankings on two of the bigger pitching breakouts this year, Lance McCullers and Michael Pineda, while also discussing the past and future rankings of Mookie Betts, Charlie Blackmon, Bryce Harper, Aaron Judge, and many more. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Podcast.
Does anyone remember when Vince Vaughn was funny? It was a time long ago in a land far, far away, your wife was still dating guys wearing Armani Exchange shirts, and George W. Bush was using words like strategrey. It was long before the abortion that was True Detective Season 2, or Couples Retreat, and sometime between Swingers, and The Breakup. In that wrinkle in time Vince Vaughn ruled the box office, and the douchy part of our soul where things like Ed Hardy t-shirts, mirror selfies, and Criss Angel performances still roam free. So where am I going with this awkwardly constructed analogy? I’ll hurry up and get to the point, today’s subject Vince Velasquez has much in common with his big screen brother in initials, way beyond his first name and banal use of the word “Bae-be”. He too started his career with a bang, and universal love during his brief stay in Houston, and then the early season dominance in 2016. And much like Mr. Vaughn, Velasquez took on the task of leading man in the drama that is the Philadelphia Phillies 2017, but unfortunately he just hasn’t been able to recapture the magic. Maybe Velasquez’s nightmare seems less like a heroin dream, and more like a string of poor performances. But the effect is still the same, you just don’t view their latest release with the same excitement you used to. So when I was tasked with covering Velasquez this week by our fearless leader Grey Albright, it felt like a choir singing to me. Perhaps it was the angelic voice of Mr. Albright, perhaps it was my paycheck. Either way, when Grey Albright comes to you and asks “Can you see what’s happin’ with this young brother”, you A. wonder when he became a member of 5% Nation, B. you profile Vince Velasquez. So to the God Grey Albright this is for you…
Over the past few weeks, Yasmani Grandal has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball. Despite being a pinch-hitter who sometimes wears the wrong helmet, he has been hitting .345 with a .392 wOBA over his last 30 days. Part of that has to do with an unsustainable .409 BABIP during that span, but most of it has to do with Grandal being locked in and being more aggressive at the plate. While he has a history of being frustrating to fantasy owners who aren’t utilizing him in OPS or OBP leagues, Hot Yasmani has been very different this season.
Regular Yasmani is a patient hitter who posts OBPs 100 points higher than a mediocre AVG, who walks 15% of the time and strikes out 25% of the time. He can hit home runs but hurts AVG in standard leagues. Last season, he rewarded fantasy owners with 27 home runs, which is great, especially at the catcher position. But, again, he hit just .228, struck out 25.4% of the time, and recorded just 86 hits. That means a third of his hits went for home runs. With 116 strikeouts and 62 walks, it also means that he either struck out or walked 50% of the time. Other than the home runs (which, again, are great to get at the catcher spot), those numbers are fine for OBP/OPS leagues but are not ideal for your standard leagues.
Hot Yasmani, 2017 Yasmani, is a different story. Hot Yasmani has no time for patience at the plate. He wants to eat. HY’s BB% over the last 30 days is less than 6%, and it’s below 10% on the year. He already has 42 hits and is on pace for well over 100 for the first time in his career. He his hitting around .300 after hitting below .235 the last four seasons. The home runs are down, for now, but he is making up for it with career marks in nearly every other offensive category (except walks, of course). I included HY in this week’s Top 100 because he is no longer just posting good numbers for a catcher; he’s one of the hottest hitters not named Charles Cobb Blackmon (full name, look it up) right now.
A funny thing happened while I was setting my lineups for this week. I picked up not one, BUT TWO starting pitchers from the Colorado Rockies. Here’s where I blow your mind….They’re both named Tyler! Weird, right? You see friends, there once was a myth in fantasy baseball that the only good Rockies’ pitcher was the one not on your roster. My how times have changed. I mean, people are listening to albums again, The Rock is contemplating a Presidential run and a good portion of the Colorado pitching staff is fantasy relevant. What’s real anymore? Is this the Upside Down?? Anyway, both Tyler Anderson and Tyler Chatwood have dates with the San Diego Padres this week and here’s the best part: The games are in Petco Park. I just high-fived myself. Both Anderson and Chatwood are lightly owned, just 11% & 7% respectively. That’s bargain bin shopping amigos. Ignore Anderson’s ugly ERA (5.38) and focus on this: He’s allowed just seven runs and racked up 32 K’s over his last 24.2 innings across his past four starts. Chatwood owns a 4.50 ERA (Thanks Coors!), but he’s been effective on the road dropping that number to 3.06 while producing a 3.86 xFIP. The Padres meanwhile, have decided to continue their tradition of being all but unwatchable by turning in a .641 OPS, .148 ISO and 73 wRC+. Those numbers rank 29th, 29th and 30th respectively. So yeah, this seems like a great time to get to know the Tyler’s.