After a disappointing first half Norichika Aoki has really turned it on, resulting in a +46% spike in ownership which made him this week’s most added player. Most fantasy owners invested in the Royals’ outfielder expecting a high average, lots of runs scored, and a steals total somewhere in the twenties. But prior to the All-Star break, Aoki was hitting a ho-hum .260 with seven steals (four caught stealing) and only 36 runs in 306 plate appearances. On top of that he suffered a groin injury and was promptly released by many frustrated fantasy teams. The 32-year-old right-fielder’s recent play has made some of those same teams turn around and pick him right back up though. In his last eight games he has recorded eight runs scored, six runs batted in, and five steals. Regaining his role at the top of the lineup for the first-place Royals, Aoki should continue to see good counting stats moving forward. In leagues as shallow as ten teams Aoki is a worthwhile add during his current hot streak. Here are this week’s other big adds and drops in 2014 fantasy baseball…
Please, blog, may I have some more?

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Yeah, last week I told you to buy Kris Bryant. This week it’s Jorge Soler. Next week, it’ll probably be Jody Davis Jr. After that, we’re all going to move to the north side of Chicago, get one of those beef sandwiches they say are Italian that don’t look like anything any Italian I know would eat, then we’ll chow down on some pizza that could double as mattress padding and we’ll say da instead of the. Chicago’s my kind of fantasy prospect town. The only reason why I’m talking about these Cubs prospects — well, not the only reason, but a good reason — it’s late in the year and prospects are called up on September 1st. Specificlly talking about Cubs prospects, because I want to get in a Hot Tub Time Machine with them and go back one minute every other minute so I can stretch out my time with them. Like a real romantic! So, on Jorge Soler. He’s hot butter on Oprah’s thigh with Stedman moving in. Sexy and weirdly erotic. Soler, Bryant and Baez are like 1A, 1B, there’s no 1C and 1D. Soler missed a month earlier in the year with a hamstring injury, but he’s been fine for a while now. Shoot, I’d even say F-I-N-E, fine. He has some slight speed, 30-homer power and a .280 average. Basically, every All-Star outfielder of the last ten years. Unlike Bryant, Theo hasn’t said Soler won’t come up. Soler almost definitely will. Grabbing a guy with something to prove with this much talent, this is what H2H leagues are won with! Or any leagues, for that matter. Look at Baez, he’s on a 70-homer pace. What, you don’t want 70 homers? I’d stash Soler now. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Ughhhhh, is it the playoffs yet? Why does this year seem to be taking longer than ever before? Maybe it’s because I’m in only free leagues this year and I feel like I’m having my back blown out by my boy, Mandingo (google him, NSFW), in each and every one of them. I was graciously offered the opportunity to relinquish my fantasy baseball posts in order to give 100 percent of my focus on the football side of things as we are ramping up for America’s new favorite pastime. I thought to myself, “Beddict, you have a life; chickens to feed, male thong ads to shoot, and an endless supply of women to satisfy, therefore none could truly blame you for focusing all your efforts into football. It’s not your fault Bryce Harper is a tool and Ryne Sandberg is the worst manager in baseball. MOST of your other advice has worked out splendidly. You’ve done enough…..” FEAR NOT, my friends, for the day I walk away from writing for baseball is the day Grey and Rudy show up at my immaculate abode, Chinese finger trap my bottom b*tch, film it, stomp me out afterward, and take back my framed Razzball certificate of employment. I know for a fact that I have at least TWO readers who enjoy these posts and I absolutely refuse to let them down as Nicolas Cage has his fans with his seemingly endless supply of duds. Yes, these next few weeks shall be permeated with more Beddict than ever before, covering both baseball and football, and that, my friends, is what’s known as a “Tehol Twofer.” That term is ordinarily reserved for when I sexually pulverize two women, back to back, but I believe this was newsworthy enough to borrow the term, though I’m borrowing it from myself, so I suppose it doesn’t matter. ANYWAY, let’s hop right in. I missed some action due to the fact I was reeling in Tyee’s up in Canada, but per usual, I’ll be giving it 110 percent. This is, Disgrace/Delight.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s mid August, which means it’s football season for everyone except those still in contention in baseball leagues (and those gracious, absurd souls that maintain high effort levels on out-of-it teams). The author of this piece confesses that he, in fact, is not one of them. Of the three leagues for which I drafted teams, only one —the one I’m currently in first– commands my honest attention.

But lemme tell ya, I really want to win that one league. Real bad. And I’m guessing if you’re reading this, you are in a similar spot in your league and can Relate. If we call Level 1 “Showing up to the draft” and Level 2 “Replacing injured players”, then I’m operating on like a Level 13 level right now. That means doing all the little things right like making sure I’m taking advantage of platoon splits, dropping fringe guys with unfavorable upcoming matchups (sorry Grady), and starting a guy in every spot on every night, every day of the week. That last part is what this column is all about, so let’s take a look at some of the lesser-owned hitters at our disposal this Thursday.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If you’re at all interested in how valuable a power-hitting middle infielder might be, take a look at Javier Baez and his +93% jump in ownership this week. Like any big call-up there is some helium to sift through, but once we get past the hype and the temporarily high-pitched voice, we are left with a very talented player – the type that can impact fantasy teams down the stretch. This has been well-documented, but Baez has typically struggled early on with each promotion to a new level. He also has a lot of swing and miss in his game which we’re already seeing with 12 strikeouts in his first 29 plate appearances. On the positive side, he’s made the necessary adjustments at each level (most recently his June/July surge in Triple-A) and with that swing and miss comes elite bat speed and home runs. Baez can also steal bases by the way. He swiped 16 in 104 games with the Iowa Cubs prior to his call up. As a top prospect he should have been long gone in keeper leagues, but owners in redraft leagues as shallow as 10 teams should be acquiring Baez for the stretch. There’s more upside in his bat than any you’ll find on the wire, and it’s my guess that as the calendar turns to September, we’re already going to see less strikeouts and more slugging. Here are the other big adds and drops for this week in 2014 fantasy baseball…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This is not to be confused with Krispie Young. I’m squarely in on a Buy for Kris Bryant. I need a Bryant! Great, now I’ve alluded to Anita Bryant and Buys in two sentences and I will be flagged by the Association of the Free and Unified Commitment Keepers. Though it would be fun to get a strongly-worded letter from them on their letterhead. Bigots can be unintentionally funny, but only if they were THAT funny. “Hello, this is Anita Bryant from the Ass. F.U.C– Hey, Paul, are we sure we want to go with the acronym here?” Kris Bryant has torn the roof off minor league pitching, then built a roof ten feet above that first roof, tore that 2nd roof off too, and then jumped in a hot air balloon, soared up 3,000 feet and built another roof. Between Double and Triple-A, he has 36 homers, 15 steals and is hitting .341. Seriously. He’d be a prospect to keep an eye on if he were a third baseman playing behind Josh Donaldson. In other words, if he had to surpass a great 3rd baseman for playing time, he’d still be someone to watch. Right now, he’s behind Luis Malbuena. *extended burp* The Cubs have already brought up Arismendy and Baez. They are not sitting on prospects anymore and the next one to get the call is Bryant. He could be a top 50 player for all of fantasy as early as next year, but for now he’s a flyer in redraft leagues that I’d absolutely take right now. Grab him, he could be up within two weeks and carry your teams in the final six weeks. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

PSYCHE! Before we get into the Buy/Sell, I just wanted to remind people to go join a Razzball fantasy football league. As if pride wasn’t enough reason, you can win a custom bobblehead! You know you always wanted a little bobbly bust of yourself. Anyway II, here’s the BUY/SELL:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Despite his recent clunker, Marcus Stroman was the most added player on ESPN with a 49% jump in ownership. It’s well deserved, as the 23-year-old right-hander has put together a nice season for the Blue Jays. After spending the first part of 2014 yo-yoing between the minors and a brief role in the Jays bullpen, Stroman has a 3.49 ERA (3.30 xFIP) with a 7.9 K/9 and 2.09 BB/9. Those are solid numbers from a rookie, and while it was speculated that he could be hurt by the long ball, he’s managed to keep his HR/9 at a nice 0.58 rate. He’s not a big guy, but if you’ve seen him pitch this year you’d agree he’s got good stuff. The Toronto faithful have even made this cool hat. Like all rookies he’ll have bad days like this past Sunday, but sandwiched between two bad starts were three beauties. Prior to that start he had strung together 21 innings with only one earned run and 20 strikeouts. He hasn’t walked more than two batters in his last five starts and he hasn’t given up a homer in six of his last seven. It’s possible the Jays will be careful with Stroman moving forward so keep an ear to the ground for news of a possible innings limit. Outside of that I’d roster Stroman in all forrmats despite Sunday’s hiccup. He’s right there with fellow rookies Jake Odorizzi and Kevin Gausman and I’d actually prefer Stroman over both at the moment. Here are this week’s other big adds and drops in 2014 fantasy baseball…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

With the Twins saying th-th-that’s all Fuld, it opened up a spot for Kennys Vargas in their lineup. My God, they killed Kennys (with kindness by promoting him)! He’s a David Ortiz clone. Too bad the Twins can’t have the real thing. Oh, wait. They used to! Oh, God, Twins, you fell for the oldest trick in the book, mon. Hopefully they don’t trade Lil Papi for a piece of spearmint gum the Red Sox find on the Pesky Pole. “So, you’re saying Denis Leary once touched this gum? We’ll take it!” The Twins trade for once-touched-by-Denis-Leary gum, and execs are lauded by Twins fans! Here’s the thing, if the Twins were in a different market, their moves that are ‘lauded by their fans’ would not be lauded. Sorry, but it’s true. People in Minnesota are too kind. With that said, I do like Vargas and he looks like he’s going to play every day. You don’t become Lil Papi without some power and Vargas has it to spare. In Double-A, he had 17 homers in 356 ABs, and a rock solid OBP and K-rate. He slugs, but doesn’t do it like most sluggers with huge strikeouts. He could hit .275 and 25+ homers over the course of the season, and I’m going to like him a lot next year if he has a starting job (which he should). For this year, I’d take a flyer on him if I needed power. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Pain heals, chicks dig scars, glory lasts forever.”

With that being said, it’s officially go time! Time to make that valiant push into the playoffs, time for me, Tehol Beddict, to assist you however possible in turning your dreams into reality. There’s no time to waste so let’s swan dive right into this thang. This is, Disgrace/Delight!

Note: Are you brave enough to battle not just my fantasy football wit, but my fantasy football loins… powered by the Elder Gods? Take me on in our fantasy football RCL’s for special prizes!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s nice to feel good about a call now and then. This week’s most added player was Austin Jackson (+42%). He was one of the first players in this column to get the “treasure” label back in early June when he was one of the most dropped. Back then I said, “It looks a little bleak now, but I still think Jackson gets to double digit homers and 20 steals by the end of this season. I’m not going crazy over him, and if you have better options please start them. However, he’s not a straight drop for a hot schmotato and it might be wise to inquire with a Jackson owner before the buy-low window closes.” And that’s me quo-, you get it. I’m not so sure about the homers and steals, but Jackson’s hitting for average and accumulating counting stats.

The 27-year-old outfielder has been starting regularly and leading off for the Tigers. In July, he’s hitting .351 with a .385 OBP, 18 runs scored and ten runs batted in. Should he continue to lead off, Jackson will be a nice source of runs scored from this point forward. Steamer projects him for another four homers and five steals. I think he could easily pass that steals mark with the Tigers being more aggressive this season.

Here are this week’s other big adds and drops for 2014 fantasy baseball…

Please, blog, may I have some more?