I love this time of the year, the opportunities for fleeting teams to make a splash fantasy wise gets really fun.  Guys pop up here there and everywheres.  Young guys looking to plant the next year seed in their clubs minds is a great thing for all of us.  This week, we focus on the go-go Brewers.  Yeah… them.   My apologies to the 50’s White Sox, but there wasn’t fantasy back then or I would be waxing poetic about Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio.  Alas, a different era and a completely different town.  Same like for beer, which automatically makes me a fan of either.  So we shine the LED spotlight this week on Keon Broxton.  The evictor of everything Niewenhuis. Over the past 14 days of games, he is flashing an OBP of .447, with 8 steals and an almost crazy 19% BB rate.  Those are all things we look at from a straight SAGNOF contributor, but throw in the .320 batting average and a run every 6.5 plate appearances and he is a swoon for the stretch run of cheapie SB’s.  Best part is he has only gotten two games off this month, minus the PH appearances for one quality AB in the stat column.  Ownership is the key here, and he is being carried in just over 16% of ESPN RCL leagues, That, my friends, is probably a tad low for the ones surfing for pre-September goodies.  The Brewers are most likely going to give him the go for the final 40 games, which should net him 130-140 at bats.   So go use those stimulating numbers I gave above and extrapolate those over those games.  If all stays the same, he should get you 10-12 Sb’s and 15-18 runs.  Good for a regular team not a team cruising 20 games under .500.  Lets see what else is going down in the world of cheap SAGNOF-dom…

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Come on in and talk it over.  So many the Erie warriors would want to say, but I think the platoon is very much over.  So Jose Ramirez has embedded himself in the land where former Chisenhall’s roamed.  Who, by happenstance, is playing here, there, and most left of nowhere… which is left field.  Jose is getting all the good spot-stuff you need for a guy to be rostered, and I am not just referencing the SAGNOF love.  He is hitting .431 over the last 15 games with 10 RBI’s 15 runs scored, 4 home runs, and the salt on the rim of the margarita glass is 6 steals.  If you wanna lump in the fact that he is eligible in most formats at four positions…  This is Hernan part deux the redux of multi-eligible position players with Latino descent showing out.  He is currently, over the last 15 games, in the top-2 of all players in the ESPN database.  Only Mr. Blackmon can hold sway over him.  Now the ownership has spiked and he is currently in the 80’s, but hey, some leagues are dumb and slow, so just in case, he is there, which he shouldn’t be (just check). Worse comes to worse, he makes for an interesting guy to trade for down the stretch because his name isn’t sexy and could probably be involved with a bigger name with some draw.  SAGNOF report is incoming with some players to look at and some saves ups and downs from the three days that you missed me so…

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I remember years ago the gold standard for fantasy goodness was getting 20 home runs and 20 steals.  That trend is unfortunately not in our favor anymore.  As I have waxed poetic before about the growing trend of the stolen bases laying by the roadside and becoming less of an accumulated stat across baseball…  This year, we roughly have 50 games to go and we have one player that has just accomplished the feet, and if someone would have guessed that it would have been Wil Myers in preseason, I would have spit out my grape Fanta.  With other players on pace to eclipse this mark, the number is still trending in a bad way. In the last six years, the number was the highest in 2011 with 12 players making the 20/20 barrier.  Since then, it has reduced every year, 9 in 2012, 8 in 2013, 5 in 2014 and 4 just last year.  With Myers, there is some hope that a few other players get there, but the numbers are not in the stats favor to be opposite of what they once were, and there is no way that I can see it getting up to double digits again.  This tells me a few things about rostering SB guys, first, the elite are more coveted.  Players like Jose Altuve to me should be a top-5 player next year because he basically wins you, or at least is the reason that you win two categories.  Second thing is that grabbing players that are steal-only guys is probably not worth the chase, and the punt of the category is most likely the best strategy.  But hell, what do I know, I have only been here since forever and a day.

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I have waxed poetic about him for three straight weeks and still have never given him the lede.  Well, Travis is the pure definition of what SAGNOF is.  It’s Grey’s term, but next to it in the glossary of Razz-terms, there should be a picture of Mr. Jankowski drinking a mai-tai while laying around on one of those full size ab-machines that he uses as a lounge chair.  All the dude has done is have basically half the plate appearances of a regular over the past 30 days, post a near .400 OBP, and have one less steal in that time than MLB leader Starling Marte (with 12).  Now, I am no numbers genius, I am a realist, and I really like the low-cost ability that he has for a team that has no other real choice but to play him, if he continues to do what he do. In all seriousness, where are the Padres going?  No wheres is the answer.  Guy is a newly minted 25, has shown decent enough OBP skills and prowess for thievery, that he may be wax-penciled into their lineup next year as someone they should try and build around and play smaller ball with.  I mean, they could do worse… they could sign Melvin Upton.  Oh, wait, that turned out good.  They can see if Wil Myers can play first base on the regular, yet again something else that went right.  For the small things, maybe the Fathers are starting to get things in the right direction, and instead of spending crazy stupid money for free agents and trading assets, they should start modeling themselves after what A.J Preller knows best.  They are a small market club with big club aspirations, start acting like it.  Just my two cents.  Let’s see what else is going down on the 90 feet thieves and sneaky saves department…

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On this high holy season of fireworks and excessive drinking, it all unfortunately comes to an end on a Monday.  Today.  July 5th shouldn’t be a day of the hangover and partial powder burns…  So in honor of our noble sacrifice, let’s touch on some chaps that have some steal value.  We will attack it slow so you can read this, and in between flip the burgers and dogs on the grill.  The steals game is slowing down.  Look at the numbers we expected from guys this year based off last years stats.  Guys like Rizzo, and Goldy, and even Ryan Braun all down.  The expectations across the board have to be lowered.  It should be lowered enough that we open the window and chuck it out that same window.  Unfortunately, we can’t, because counting stats are counting stats and it is still a whole category which we must choose to score points in.  The days of steals being a reliable category are long gone.  The “punt a position” for SB’s is a mythical lore of the whole Pegasus persuasion.  It exists only because we remember the days that it actually happened.  The weekly guys for the leaders in the category read like an extra list for a CSI episode, it is not fun, but we get drawn into the allure of the chase.  The chase is fun, the end result is just a let down like an aerial photo of your upcoming date from Tinder.  So here is the week ahead, behind and below SAGNOF targets and guys that are contributing for their teams that will make you give a second look if chasing that SB fix.  Cheers!

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In the world of fantasy, when players hit the rewind button and show flashes of brilliance from days gone by, the buy-in factor is sometimes slower than most waiver acquisitions.  Well, enter B.J., Melvin, or Bossman Jr. Upton.  Whichever name you want to use for him, he is quickly becoming a must own player and is pushing to be the SAGNOF waiver wire pick-up of the year. Currently, I think Eduardo Nunez is in that spot, wait, did I just say that and mean it?  When all is said and done though, I think Melvin is the most likely to sustain his value and is on a 23HR/35SB pace.  Had we known that in preseason, it would have put him in 2nd round draft range.  But alas, he wasn’t, and is still only owned in 43% of all ESPN leagues.  His on-pace numbers are basically production wise to what we got from Charlie Blackmon last year.  Blackmon, was of course, a top-30 player entering the season.  The only problem holding Upton back is that he has been bad for a few years, in his favor though, is that he has been bad for a few years.  What I mean by that is that I don’t think he has much value to anyone but the Padres.  He will play every day for an offense that is near the bottom in all categories, and doesn’t appear to be a sell candidate for them at the deadline.  So add away my friends, and happy SAGNOF’n this week.  Here are some updates to the pitchers that are easiest to steal against and some waiver wire type blurbs for steal/save streaming…

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With the complexity of scoring, much like that of Scrabble, the steals game is all about the triple word score.  With names and with letters that are uncommon for words, you know the J’s and X’s of the world.  We all can cheat and make the word “jo” or “ox”, but imagine the scoring erection you will get when you use Rajai   This wordsmith of the basepaths has been giving new form to the SAGNOF game.  Over the last 14 games, no one in the game has more steals than Davis.  Rajai has been the Magi of it for years, and it is crazy to think that he’s crazy Joe Louis old.  He is 35, which isn’t quite as old as me, but I also don’t even run when chased, let alone run 90 feet from pillow to pillow.  For the most part, Rajai is the goods because he basically fills all your SAGNOF needs and isn’t and absolute void in other categories like a newly DL’d Mallex.  Davis, over the last 14, has put up 2 HRs and a cup full of RBIs.  It is more than what we get from Mallex, who offers nothing but steals. even is an abysmal in BA, and his one saving grace is that his OBP is decent because he takes walks at almost a 17% clip.  So for the few of you that are surfing for a SAGNOF savior to replace your Mallex fix…  here are some names that could be good for now and later.  Side note, I used to love that candy.

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It is more simple then just correlating the “every stolen base is essential” represents a swipe to the right.  It goes farther the that, for some guys. it is like fish in a barrel… for others. it is a game they just don’t play.  Anyone that has partaken in the chicanery that is Tinder, gets the other far deeper references here because there are endless similarities.   Over the past seven games of play, there have been 13 teams with one steal or less, on the contrary to that, there was only four teams that swiped more than five.  That does not add up to a ton of stats to go around, especially when players like Cody Asche, owned in 0.6% of ESPN leagues, and Marwin Gonzalez (3.0%) are toeing the line of stolen base leaders for the week.  Only being one behind the leader for the week, of a mass total of three.  The sexy factor of steals is like a 2 AM special at the bar: dark, desperate, and a crap shoot.  So I am not here to tell you to not shoot for the moon with guessing with stolen bases, I am just saying that it is a game of haves and have-nots.  So be heady my good friends, as you search the waiver wires for good situations, pay attention to the pitchers who allow the most steals.  Pay Attention to the last 14 days of OBP, and of course with lesser owned fellas, watch general playing time.  Here are some fish in the barrel types for this week…

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When the season started, the hype was on top prospect Byron Buxton… he had the center field job won out of spring training and had the tools to be a fantasy asset.  Then he started the season going 7-for-49 with not enough counting stats to warrant him being on your fantasy team any longer, so the Bill Heywood-led Twins demoted him to Triple-A.  Down there, he worked on his composition, his derogatory comebacks, and sharped the tools in his shed.  That resulted in him slashing .336/.403/.603 with 6 homers and 4 steals in 29 games.  Now, fast forward to a week ago when he was promoted, everyone could see he was on (or most likely on) waivers, feeling burned by the failures of his previous performance.  He has gone 7-for-20 in his second chance at life in Minnesota, reaching base in every game and looking like a completely different player confidence-wise.  Because confidence doesn’t come in a bottle, which will kill all the snake oil salesman’s pension funds… but oh well.  Byron has made a slight timing adjustment to his swing and it is working wonders, and he’s, from this point on, someone to watch as he brings speed defense and youth vigor to an already “looking forward to next year” Twins team.  If he can maintain an OBP of between .320-.330, I think he can have a healthy steal total by the all-star break and be pushing 25-30 for the season.  If and buts were soup and nuts, my grandma always said, and it remains to be seen if he can be the asset we all thought, but the prospect status is almost gone from him now and he needs to show it or be buried in fantasy waiver wire purgatory.  Let’s see what else was going down on the basepaths this week in the SAGNOF report…

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The reflexive of what I have been covering in the last few posts has been looking at trends with pitchers and the stealers themselves.  In a steal equation, the catcher plays a part in this.  If he wasn’t involved, it would look like the scene from Naked Gun where Leslie Nielson is throwing the balls back.  We wouldn’t like that from a whole Enrico Pollazo type way, not one bit.  So for now, let’s stop googling that video and focus on the backstops, the teams running most against and their success (or lack there of).  Yes, there are other factors into being caught stealing, a bad jump, shoes being untied, or maybe even a cramp.  So before all the stat gurus get all huffy and puffy and get their mom’s basements in a tizzy, let’s just say that catchers and their caught stealing prowess are on the even keel that they are what their numbers say they are.  As I discussed last week, stolen bases are down across the board this year and a downward trend has been materializing for years… this has direct affect on the numbers for caught stealing, and attempts.  Without one you can’t have the other.  So here is some interesting stat dirt that I have dug up with teams to run against and the possible streaming value added by playing guys against those teams.

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