This is the start of a new series called Deep Impact. Having played in deep fantasy baseball leagues before, I know it is often tough to keep reading the same articles about the same guys to pick up that have been owned forever in your league. I will try to ease that pain and give you some ideas of guys to pick up. Obviously, this is easier said than done; the realm of “deep leagues” is far reaching and can mean almost anything. Between looking at guys that are available in a few of my deeper leagues and just trying to use some intuition to find some obviously undervalued players, hopefully we can work together to help you unearth some hidden gems.

The first section of this post will focus on a few players who are good adds in deep redraft leagues, or leagues with a small keeper number. Dynasty leagues are a whole different beast, but in any deep league where there is a lot of roster turnover year to year, you’ll want to get the most possible production in the here and now. Without further ado, let’s begin!

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Hey what’s going on here? Is this your annual late round flyers post? Or is this your deep league thoughts post? Why are you messing with us jacka**? No silly Razzits, it’s both. In the Razz spirit of Portmanteuing, I have combined them into one tidy little post since they aren’t that different from each other. I could of gone with Larofldeleghts, but knowing my luck I might be offending someone who used to call the Soviet Union home. I already have a rivalry with our only Hungarian reader after I kicked his goulash to the curb last year in the Razznasty. *smooches* Seriously, I have been short on time, and after reviewing the parameters of each post it only makes sense to compact me down to a smaller size, I’m huge! (Not what she said.) Here, look at this beautiful beast. No, not Nick Capozzi, me! You have been advised. I could lose a few… or 50, my doctor says 50 to start. Okay, enough about my rubenesque physique and more about the corner men, because, really, let’s be honest. Who here wants to read me talking about me?… Yeah, me neither.

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Two years ago I was invited to take over an abandoned roster in a 30-team dynasty league. It looked like what I imagine most abandoned dynasty teams look like – a couple of good players with good contracts, a couple of decent players with bad contracts, and a bunch of horses***. Each roster is capped at 75 players, so there are over 2,200 players owned. There are probably readers out there who scoff at that kind of depth, but for me it was by far the deepest fantasy league I’d ever been in. The biggest problem with righting the ship was the state of the farm. It was just a handful of non-prospects. The previous owner didn’t use all of their available roster slots, so there was no new blood coming in via minor league signing bonuses, etc. Additionally, all of the supplemental draft picks in the prior year were traded in acquiring a “bad” major league contract. I don’t write these details to crap on the previous owner – I don’t even know them and I’m sure they’re a cool person – but rather to illustrate the state of the team and to relate to some of my readers who also find themselves trying to revive a dead roster. So how did I tackle this particular rebuild?

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Are you all like me? Do you spend hours and hours contemplating how to maximize the value out of that last roster spot currently occupied by a fringe player you aren’t sure about?  It’s crazy, we spend all this time leading up to the draft analyzing everyone, then, for me at least, once the season begins, it’s all about contemplating guys on waivers in bottom 20% ownership range.  I know that if I can figure who, among these guys will climb up the ladder in value/ownership, he can either make my team’s season, allow me deal him to someone else in the league for an underperforming proven commodity, or potentially for an elite player as part of a package deal with a medium-value player.  Thus, really understanding the bottom 20% of available players can actually allow you to drastically improve your roster if you know to leverage it.

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Hey deep leaguers! Last week I went through why Odubel Hererra ain’t worth your time.  In the comments, people asked for me to take a look at Wilmer Flores, which as a Mets fan, I consider a tasty treat of an assignment.  I feel like I ought to have some sort of a disclaimer, like stock analysts that hold the stock their writing about; I own Flores in a couple of leagues, and as a Mets fan, I can’t help but hope he does well, so just in case you think I’m a biased SOB, you’re probably right!  Then again, I don’t know Wilmer personally, so there is no reason to root for him versus any other Mets player. And if I thought he sucked, I’d be clamoring harder than anyone for the Mets to trade him while they can.  Then again, you’re reading Razzball on a Friday afternoon, so I figure a contributor’s potential bias might not be high on your list of worries.  Aaaah, I should really stop writing about bias and get on with the analysis already…

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Recently, I’ve been struggling with middle infielder availability on my own team.  I was left between, Odubel Herrera off waivers or Brad Miller, so what did I decide to do?  Trade Matt Harvey for Troy Tulowitzki  – that’s right, I’m about as high on either of these guys as John Stewart is on – well, height.  For this post, I’m going to get into why exactly Herrera doesn’t do it for me; we’ll get to Miller another day.

If you’ve read either of my previous columns, you’ll know that I’m not your typical fantasy writer – if you want to base your roster decisions on statistical indicators, this isn’t the place for you.  I like to roll up my sleeves and dig into how guys play; if you’re also enamored with the art of the game, welcome home friend.  As a reminder, when analyzing hitting approaches, I break the swing into three universal components: stance, trigger, and swing path.  I provided a detailed explanation of each component at the bottom of the article in case you aren’t familiar.

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Preston Tucker is up and the no longer LAstros have shown the confidence to not only start him, but bat him third a few times already this year, so I decided to break down this guy and see if he can keep sticking himself in that luscious three hole.  When looking at Tucker’s mechanics, I noticed something that relates to a perennial fantasy enigma, so if you stick around, you’ll get more than you bargained for in this post…

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Every so often, we get reminded that players sometimes just need minor mechanical or mental adjustments to finally unlock their potential.  As we all know, Chris Colabello profiles as the classic quad-a player, lacking statistical precedent to sustain success in the bigs.  I saw his insane average over 50 ABs and wondered if he changed anything from his approach from when he was with the Twins to warrant further review.   Last year, Steve Pearce proved that a breakout (temporary as it might have been) is possible for players their 30s and I need not remind anyone of how bad Encarnación and Joey Bats were to start their careers.

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Week 5 of the fantasy baseball season will be underway on Monday and now is the time to start preparing.  Adding quality players off the waiver wire isn’t the easiest thing to do in deep leagues, and that’s why we’re here to help.

In this week’s edition of “Deep Impact”, I’ll be discussing a few players who can give you an edge in the stolen bases category – one SAGNOF and two who can provide more than just speed.  As per usual, ownership percentages are taken from ESPN.com, but since every league has different settings, I can’t guarantee every player I suggest will be available in each of your individual leagues.  Let’s not waste any more time ¡Ándale!

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Did you know that the baseball season is just over 10 percent complete?  Great timing for an article covering players who are under 10 percent owned in fantasy leagues.  Time flies, and so do the free agents on your waiver wire.  In this week’s edition of “Deep Impact”, I’ll be discussing some first basemen that can help you in the near future.  As per usual, ownership percentages are taken from ESPN.com, but since every league has different settings, I can’t guarantee every player I suggest will be available in each of your individual leagues. Heeeeere we go!

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