You’re the only one here. And I’m talking directly to you. You, unlike so many who lost their fateful battle with attrition and the baseball season’s relentless length that still persists, are still frequenting fantasy baseball sites because you, Great One, have made your fantasy league’s playoffs. You’re currently face-to-face, hand-to-hand with some scum who dares vie to destroy you and ruin your winter — except, of course, for fantasy football. You, my friend, are smarter than everyone else — you’ve gotten this far and there’s no looking back now. You’re so close to victory and a bundle of jelly beans and winter-long cloud-nine, you… oh, you’re not in the playoffs? That’s why you’re reading a fantasy-keepers column? Your winter’s already ruined and you’re here to commiserate with fellow losers and quixotically dream big about 2014 and the glory it will bring you? Now, now, we’re here. We’re here to help you pick the right keepers for next year. Loser.

I, though, am not in your boat — and if I was, I wouldn’t tell you, because I have a credibility to hold. I write a lot about fantasy baseball and therefore am pretty good at it, so I’m in the playoffs in three out of four leagues. But, with just as much of-courseness as my not being in your boat, I’m also a keeper writer, so write about keepers I will. Because I love you. I… love… you, poor fantasy player. I love you. Let’s figure out how to salvage 2013.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I don’t have enough spam, give me the Razzball email newsletter!

In Dune, a group of nomads called Fremen are almost wiped out by a race led by a maniacal, obese lard whose fat must be held up by a series of suspenders in order for him to move. These Fremen, reputed widely as the best warriors in the universe, are restricted to dwelling in caves and hiding from giant worms for their own safety because, well, apparently being the fiercest fighters in all of existence does not go very far. In Star Wars, a useless princess and ever-failing smuggler are helped by a band of stick- and rock-throwing bears to defeat an organization who has a massive army of laser-wielding clones and can blow planets up with one quick press of a humming button. In Lord of the Rings, a midget is able to evade an all-seeing eye while traversing the entire planet en route to destroying an omnipotent piece of jewelry. Also, the all-seeing eye decides not to station any of his acolytes at the only spot where that omnipotent piece of jewelry can actually be destroyed. All of these movies made their creators very, very, very filthy rich. And yes, they’re all freaking awesome, but that’s only because each was able to make their audience take a leap of faith and believe that — at least in those respective worlds — things like that actually did happen. These stories started out as something stupid, but morphed — via a whole lot of different things — into something great, beautiful, and, most of all, successful. They didn’t have our trust at first, but we gave them our faith, and they didn’t disappoint. I mean, when movies like Battle of LA are sci-fi alternatives, we don’t have a choice. Which leads us, farfetchedly — I do not care if that’s not a word — to the leap-of-faith keepers for 2014.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I hallucinated on Sunday night, and it was really disturbing. You see, the night before was the final night of my trip to the Jersey Shore — one filled with trash of all kinds — on which I can confidently say I imbibed too much low-shelf vodka. I danced with cougars, saw a guy with a mustache, asked if he was Grey, got looked at weird, continued to dance with cougars, got sick, got unsick, had more cougars, and eventually found my way back to my trashy motel. And no, I didn’t wake up with a cougar, but saw the guy with the mustache leave with all six of them. After a nauseating 5-hour ride home earlier in the day, I sat down on my fluffy couch and flipped on ESPN for the Sox/Yanks game. What I hallucinated was a bit odd and was very confusing: I envisioned a guy who isn’t supposed to be playing and who is at war with his team and management get trotted out onto the field to help his team while simultaneously warring with his team, get hit by a pitch, get defended by one of the guys whom he’s at war with, get booed, then cheered, then hit a redemption homer off the pitcher who wasn’t thrown out of the game despite clearly pegging four straight pitches at a player. I saw a manager who never flips out flip out and get ejected while defending a player whom he wishes wasn’t on his team in the first place, yet who he plays everyday. I saw the Yankees beat the Red Sox, and saw Mariano Rivera get hit hard for the hundredth consecutive time. And this wasn’t the first time I’ve felt this confused.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The trade deadline passed in standard leagues. It’s just over. I feel like I’ve had an awesome couple of months talking to and hanging out with a girl, only to hang out with her, have an amazing night, and then find one unbelievably annoying thing about her and call everything off. It had to happen, but it still hurts. “Just try this. No, it’s not gross… it’s good. Of course the chef cooked it fine. No, it’s not going to kill you. Well how the hell do you know you don’t like if you’ve never tried it? People eat it all the time and they’re fine. Just go away. No, you’re stupid. Yes, you are stupid. No I’m not stupid, you are stupid.” Then you curse at her, she indignantly bails, and you’re left sitting there with what seems to be your pinky up your anus, a full check to pay, and some food that does actually look pretty bad. Hopefully you made your moves when you had your chance — that is, hopefully you listened to sha boi and are reaping the dividends. If not, there’s still hope, although I hate you a little. Not all keepers are acquired at the trade deadline or during a draft, but that’s obvious. At this point, we need to look at some small/disappointing/untrusted names that could pop from now until game-162, and who could see their stock skyrocket before the end of the season — we need to look at the guys we should pick up now so we can have them next year at value. Get it? Yes, you do. Know that old adage, “you’re only as good as your last game?” Well, it’s really stupid, but applies here. The ends of seasons have huge impacts on perceived value.

Quick note: so I appeal to more people, and so you’re not looking at me (my writing) and saying “HAY, I KAYNT HAFF HEEM. HE’S AWLRADDY TAYKEN,” I’ll limit it to guys who are owned in less than 50% of ESPN leagues.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We had a photo-shoot today at the mag. One of the models — that is, one of the people who were getting their photo taken because they were being featured in our next issue — was a blonde 26-year-old female. Another one of the models was a 28-year-old brunette. Neither was ugly. “Dude, that blonde is so incredibly hot,” one of my office friends said to me as we creeped covetously from a dark corner. “No, sir, she’s not. The brunette, on the other hand…” “You’re an idiot.” “LOL, why? It’s kind of subjective, don’t you think?” “Not really, the blonde has boobs, a nice bod (he did say bod), a cute face — she’s the definition of hot.” Eventually, after some high-horsing from me on the subjectivity of beauty, we agreed to poll the rest of the guys in the office, and whichever guy’s girl got more votes, he’d get $20 (I work in a weird place). This, friends, is where my metaphor goes off track, and where I start comparing guys like Everth Cabrera to beautiful women.

The beauty of keepers is mixing standard fantasy analysis and our perception of how we think baseball players will be perceived by fantasy players. It’s not just, “this guy mashes I want to pick him,” it’s “this guy mashes, how much will my enemies be willing to pay for his mashing?” I agreed on our “girl bet” because I thought that most of the guys in the office would perceive the brunette as prettier — I applied a value to her because of what I thought others would think about her. Unfortunately I screwed up, but fortunately (or maybe not) I study fantasy baseball a lot more than I do girls, so let’s just delve into keepers before I stare at the $20 void in my impecunious wallet and wallow in my geeky lameness. That is, it’s fantasy keepers time.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I had a dream last night that I was fifteen and Derek Jeter was caught with steroids and suffered the same consequences as Ryan Braun and those who will be suspended from their Biogenesis connections. Smart, interesting people dream about other worlds, space, love, mustaches, breasts, and loads and loads of money — I, on the other hand, seem to be stuck thinking back on my adolescence and how neurotic, nervous, and unconfident it eventually made me. I grew up in New York as a Yankee fan — 2001 ALCS game 7 is my fondest moment that doesn’t involve sex, alcohol, or gambling — and if Cap Jeets was indeed ever connected to PEDs, HGH, IGF, ATD, or any other incriminating acronym, my entire perception of good and evil would be forever skewed. All the Luke Skywalkers, Frodo Bagginses, and Disney Worlds on Earth would be incapable of convincing me genuine goodness exists. I’d probably become homicidal. I’m not even really sure if I can say I’m kidding. All underdog stories would be a joke, right? Did Luke really use his targeting computer? Did Frodo actually just fly one of those giant eagles all the way to Mordor?! (and why didn’t he just do that?) Did Rudy take steroids?! The possible deceptions are endless! My faith wouldn’t keep. I’d be an empty soul. I’d be… Ryan Braun, the soulless rat who could grow back into a prince if we play our keeper cards right.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Monday was probably the most welcome reprieve from fantasy baseball I’ve had in years. After a first half crapped upon and spoiled by my rosters’ inclusions of Jason Heyward, Jose Reyes, Yovani Gallardo (I sympathize, almost every commenter we have), and Andre Ethier, I was saved the Gom jabbar-caliber torture of merely looking at my roster—not setting it, not thinking about it, not watching my team suck giant Andy Dirks, but simply just seeing who’s on my roster. This week, I actually enjoyed a Monday night. I went out with friends, got a few cocktails, had some sushi, chitchatted about things that “actually matter” (FANTASY SPORTS MATTER, MOM! NO I’M NOT HUNGRY), and lived a social life untethered by the emotional and intellectual restraints of staring at stats and hoping for the best. But, despite my melodrama—similar to the past few sentences I just wrote—I’m right in contention in every league. So, pretty reader (hey ;)), let’s take a gander at some guys you might/won’t want for the rest of 2013 and for 2014, 2015, etc. IT’S FANTASY TIME AGAIN YAYYYYYY.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Yo Jaywrong, I’m really happy for you…Imma let you finish your list. But Grey had one of the best lists of all time! One of the best lists of all time!” -Kayne West (Yes, because Kayne calls me late at night. BELIEVE IT BRO.)

Spoiler Alert! We’re doing things deep league style, keeper league style, dynasty style, which ever nomenclature you prefer. Basically, if you hold onto players for more than a year, these are the rankings you’ve been waiting your whole life for. Whole life man. Seriously. Remember, the process for this list is quite different. Unlike Grey, I didn’t type half of it with my mustache. (Mainly because I don’t have one at the moment. Dating! I know, don’t get me started.) Think of it this way. If a draft for a new deep/keeper/dynasty league started today, this is my idea of how it would go, or rather, how I think it would go if the league had anywhere from 12 to 20 owners that were me. That’s a whole lot of Jaywrong ladies. Hey baby, how you doin’, what’s yo name, what’s yo number? (times 12-20.) The actual process involves things like current and remaining production for 2013, projections for 2014-2016, along with future potential, position scarcity, and injury-risk. One things for sure. I believe in the Oxford comma. Wait, what?

Note: I’ve only ranked players who have pitched at least one inning or had one at-bat in their MLB career. Our prospect maven, Scott Evans, has the low down on all those MiLB guys I left out and will have his mid-season list out on Saturday. Go bother him. With hugs and kisses. I’m sure he’s a very handsome man. But I’ve never seen him, so, well, just trust me.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When Jeremy Bonderman was designated for assignment on Monday, I left work, went to the bar next door, bought nine shots of Jameson, drank 11 shots of Jameson — I don’t know where the other two came from — and then drove home. I was ecstatic. Like Grey, I had been desiring an Erasmo-Ram for my behind for quite some time, and not until Monday did I finally get to feel its smooth touch. It was fantastic. On Monday night, in my drunken sleep, I once again fantasized about Erasmo Ramirez, but was interrupted when Grey entered my dream and caught E-Ram cheating on him with me, which pretty much ruined my night. Grey and I weren’t on speaking terms Tuesday, but Wednesday morning we agreed to share E-Ram in some type of fantasy domination sex triangle. The whole triangle, though, of course balances perilously on E-Ram’s nauseating Thursday matchup against the Red Sox — a matchup you don’t want to bet love, or at least sex on. This fantasy baseball Ramirez fantasy is so vivid and marvelous, of course, because Ramirez is one of those young studs that has the keeper potential to carry your staff year-in-year-out, allowing you to focus solely on offense for the first six or seven rounds of your draft. It’s a relieving feeling. I don’t really need to elucidate any further on what Ramirez offers as a one-year pitcher or a keeper guy, because a) Albright did that already, and b) love needs no explanation. What do need explanation, though, are those other guys who might not be so lovely, yet still look keep-able.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

There’s a ping-pong tournament going on in my office today and I wasn’t invited to play. It’s not because they all hate me, but because I just started here — a magazine in New York — and the tournament was bracketed and made before I actually came on board.

At least that’s what they tell me. Little do they know, I often played in tournaments in my Tampa days, so them dawgs is lucky. I’m picturing them wafting shots back and forth like pure n00bs, giggling at the new d-bag who’s upstairs editing stories and deflecting annoying, frivolous emails from the digital team. “Hey Terse, do you approve of the latest SEO titles we put up for the latest magazine issue?” “Yeah, for the eighth time, everything is fine.” “Ok, splendid! How’re you doing in the ping-pong tournament?” “They didn’t have room for me.” “LOL YOU SUCK.” “I know… I know I do, Marc.” Perhaps they all dislike how I insist on being called Terse. I feel like David Adams — everyone hates me before I even get a chance to do anything good. Hopefully there’s not a steroided, crappy Twitter-user waiting in the shadows, willing to pounce and take my spot once his dead hips are resuscitated. I can’t compete with a 38-year-old ex-magazine MVP, I just can’t. I WON’T. Speaking of A-Rod, I think you should pick him up and use him for this year and plan on keeping him for 2014 and 2015. There’s still life in there.

Please, blog, may I have some more?