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[Ed. Note- Our RCL's are under way! Go be a Commissioner, because there are really no other opportunities in life to have the title of Commissioner. Well, unless you are really into wildlife. In that case though, you can have two Commissioner titles, which is totally what you should be going for.]

Not gonna lie, I never thought I’d be writing a Fantasy Baseball article at 3 am.  But when your boss calls you in for some OT late on a Sunday night and you’re thinking ‘nice, a little wink, wink, nudge, nudge and I move up the corporate ladder’ and they wonder why you’ve come to work in stilettos, lipstick and a ‘Spank me I’ve been bad’ pink t-shirt, you find yourself lying awake in the wee hours wondering if you’ll have a job in the morning.  Of course, when talking about deep leagues, it’s almost like being an after-midnight infomercial.  I mean, when you’re in the late hours of your draft, sometimes you get the Snuggie and sometimes you get the Tiddy Bear.  It’s the nature of the beast.  But with all that said, BILLY MAYS HERE AND I’D LIKE TO SHOUT AT YOU FOR A WHILE ABOUT AN UNDERRATED PITCHER!  In all truthiness, I don’t know of a deep league that has pitching problems.  Pitchers are just too abundant to ever say deep league rules apply but that doesn’t mean you can’t bargain hunt late and spend more time on your hitting earlier because of it.  So let me introduce to you a pitcher who’s very much under the radar for 2014.  Mr. Tyson Ross, c’mon down and see why you’re a contestant for sleeper for the 2014 Fantasy Baseball season…

Now maybe its the sleep deprivation but Ross’ name makes me think of chicken.  Ok, ok Tyson foods is known  for their chicken but for some reason Tyson Ross makes me think of Foster Farms…yeah, I’m sleep deprived.  But not unlike the San Diego Chicken, Ross’ 2013 was fairly masked from the general public despite having numbers that normally don’t go unnoticed.  Of course, not reaching the minimum innings pitched to qualify on most sites will do that.  So here’s my suggestion.  Go to your site of choice and reduce your minimums down to say 100 IP.  Or if you wanna live dangerously, 125 IP.  That’s how many innings Ross pitched last year and of those IP, 94 were as a starter.  So here’s something you might want to nuzzle with in the late rounds of your draft: 9.29.  Yeah, it’s odd to nuzzle with a number, let alone a number with a decimal.  Those things are so fragile, might just fall off if you’re not careful.  But that was Ross’ K/9 rate as a starter in 2013.  I heard that.  Your eyes just popped out and landed on the floor from reading that.  That’s disgusting BTW, you need better eye discipline.  To put that number into perspective, Stephen Strasburg finished the year at a 9.39 K/9 rate.  So all this to say, there’s something to really like about Ross for 2014.  When you tack on his other starter stats from last season – 3.06 ERA, 2.94 K:BB ratio and a 1.10 WHIP – you have to consider a top 25 finish for SP is possible if he can maintain his progress from last year.  In fairness, he’ll probably have some form of innings cap for 2014 but I’ll take 160 innings of that any day, wouldn’t you?  So go for a little infomercial love late and party like it’s $19.95…plus shipping and handling…offer not available in Utah.

 

Sky Sperling is a contributor for Razzball Football and Razzball Baseball. He’s also a lover of fine beer, fine women and fine-toothed combs. You can follow him on twitter @Sky_Razzball and in your most sweetest of dreams.

  1. Troy says:
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    Good stuff sky was waiting for it! Thanks man you all do great work

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Thanks Troy!

  2. Nice work. I’ll be eying Ross in my draft. There’s been a trend of top pitchers going early so far. The mid/late round starting pitcher picks could be key to success?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Definitely a viable strategy. Of course, value is value. If a stud pitcher slips, no harm in taking one. But offense is slipping, pitching gets a handicap for it.

      • RandomItalicizedVoice says:
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        @Sky: I’m starting to have some doubts about this. Since there is SO much good pitching out there, I’m starting to think that in order to gain an advantage in the pitching categories, you DO need to take a reliable ace. I still very much believe in focusing on hitting in the first 8-10 rounds…but I honestly think the sands are shifting…and that getting one top tier pitcher may be more beneficial. I’m not saying I’ve concluded this…but there seems to be some thought in the expert community and I’m starting to see their point. In particular now, when many top tier pitchers are allowed to slip somewhat. Something I’m keeping my eye on as the expert draft results roll in.

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          Value is value, plain and simple. The ‘pitching is deep’ mantra is more about understanding you don’t have to overpay. If say Kershaw slips further down than he should go, he has value.

          I’m very on board with taking what comes to me in drafts. People can strategize themselves right out of making smart decisions because they stick to a draft plan and ignore value and the direction their draft is going. In the end, though, in terms of health and reliability year over year, hitting does typically win out in the long run. 30-35 starts vs 150 when drafting in the first 2 rounds is pretty significant.

          • RandomItalicizedVoice says:
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            @Sky: yes I agree with this….no reason to take a pitcher in the first round or two….I’m talking the Wainwright through Sale or Fernandez tier in the 3-4 rounds.

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              I could see doing that. All about getting good value.

  3. Prez says:
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    No tyson ross? Oh wait…

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Haha, was amazed at the outcry for him. Didn’t know many saw what he did over the second half of the season.

  4. stan kankels says:
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    What do we think of this squad heading into spring training?
    The keepers are Freddie Freeman, Adam Wainwright and Zack Greinke

    DEPTCH CHART After Mock
    C – Matt Wieters
    1B – Freddie Freeman
    2B – Aaron Hill
    3B – Edwin Encarnacion
    SS – Everth Cabrera
    OF – Adam Jones
    OF – Alex Rios
    OF – Allen Craig
    UTIL – Albert Pujols
    UTIL – Matt Adams
    UTIL – Jedd Gyorko
    Bench:
    Dexter Fowler
    Brad Miller
    Avisail Garcia
    Jonathan Villar

    Pitching
    SP – Adam Wainwright
    SP – Zack Greinke
    SP – Alex Cobb
    RP – Greg Holland (RP)
    RP – Koji Uehara (RP)
    P – Danny Salazar
    P – Sonny Gray
    Bench:
    Nate Jones (RP)
    Chris Archer
    AJ Griffin

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Not bad looking. Would be a little worried about average but you have some good pieces to start the year with that way. Not all that big on Pujols bounce back personally but decent squad nonetheless.

    • Dr Hocker says:
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      @stan kankels: Love that team..Cobb– Salazar..nicely done.

  5. Peter Nincompoop says:
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    Excellent article and good beat on Tyson Ross for 2014. In fact, I like Cashner (26), Ross (26) and Johnson (30) all off the Padres this coming year. The Petco factor continues to be underplayed and given the fact that all three of the aforementioned miss bats on a regular basis, there numbers should be sustainable on the road. There’s some really good upside there. Good stuff.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Agree on all counts. Cashner’s Ks were missing for some reason last year. Was very confusing. Still, attractive grab. Josh and his health always worry me. Depends where he lands if I buy. Like Kennedy a little more than JJ and Cashner because of the lack of recognition when talking Pads.

      • Jay

        Jay says:
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        @Sky: he dropped his slider.

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          @Jay: Ah, Cashner did? You just dropped your trousers seeing another post on a Pad, don’t deny it.

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @goodfold2: @Peter Nincompoop: you’re FREE! go boy. Man those jockies sure do like their drugs.

  6. Spammer Jay says:
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    Ross seems to be everyone’s sleeper.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Well I wrote this in early January so he was mine first!

      • Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
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        @Sky: wait, you wrote it a month ago, but Grey made you retype it up at 3 AM now. Tell him to wait a few hours. Damn.

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          Haha. I really did pull an all-nighter at the day job in January. There was a pocket where we were waiting on some things to come in and I said to myself, ‘welp, might was well write about Ross’. True story.

  7. The Ghost of the Disappeared says:
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    Sky: Nice to know you are in an elite group (The Cell) – The Jay Wrong Fan Club…

    On the personal front; I’m beside myself with joy as I’m in Jay’s personal Razzball league by special private invitation . Yep, all signed in and everything. Isn’t that wonderful? I think, he owns all the other 11 teams as the league was full as of this morning. That does not matter to me. I’m content just being near to him.

    It is nice that you thrown TSOTS Pads another chicken bone on here today. I’m certain the Lidless Eye of Razzball – whom, I’d always thought never slept – now proven so – with a 3AM wake up call to duty – hates them and never prints anything about them. ( You could get in trouble for this you know. You might even be banished back to doing the NFL with Jay for even mentioning San Diego in a show.)

    Tyson Ross. Is my super sleeper pitcher of the year. Great return to the SP role last year mid-season out the door. He is worthy of a pickup in ESPN or Yahoo Shallow leagues IMO

    I was on record last year – before being disappeared- as saying to the Lidless Eye, when he was talking up Peacock, I thought, the discarded Ross would be the better choice to have a solid season than Peacock. Well, Ross sure did .. NL at Petco vs Stro-world aside… It was a bold prediction – don’t you agree? I don’t think, the Lidless one forgot being shown up like that once Ross got going. I was shortly thereafter disappeared.

    Ross was the victim of a bad contract. One that demanded his placement on the MLB roster, when he signed out of college with the A’s (GO GOLDEN BEARS!!!). He suffered for it for a number of years. Well, he has recovered and I expect at least a serviceable season out of him and maybe, even a very good one. Ross may not turn out to be the 2nd coming of UCB’s THE GREAT Andy Messersmith in MLB. But, he should become a good MLB starting pitcher.

    Nice call here, Sky… I’m impressed.

    Are you in Jay’s league by any chance? It might be nice to have at least one other vote against those trades I expect between those questionably owned other 11 teams.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Haha Jay surely owns the other 11. You don’t know it yet but he probably already owns yours. He’s his own personal Skynet.

      Ross’ changes to his delivery upped the mph on his FB and also were it not for injuries we may never have seen him in the rotation last year. Your pick goes beyond nice call. I believe your Delorean has a flux capacitor…

      He may get too trendy too quick but for now I like where he seems to be in rankings. Time will tell

  8. The Thumb says:
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    Hey Sky, you’re double sport fantasy expertise continues to impress me. Anyway what say you about this squad in a standard (saves+holds) 10 team roto?

    C – Lucroy
    1B – Fielder
    2b – Altuve
    SS- Segura
    3B – Middlebrooks
    CI – Ortiz
    MI – Gyorko
    OF – A Jones
    OF – Bruce
    OF – Rios
    Util – Beltran
    Util – Abreu

    Bn, Miller, Rajai, Hart
    NA: Baez, Taveras

    SP- Anibal
    SP – Gray
    SP – Salazar
    SP – Masterson
    SP – Taijuan
    RP – Robertson, Balfour
    4 P slots – random set up guys
    BN: Beachy, Ross

    I tried to adopt the “abandon pitching” strategy. I feel like I could have not drafted someone like Ortiz and gone for a Cobb/Bailey type for a more reliable staff. Am I too power heavy and low on speed/average?
    Thanks! (Sorry it was a long post)

    • The Thumb says:
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      @The Thumb: and I made a *YOUR error on the first line. Wow.

      • Sky

        Sky says:
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        Yeah, your a looser! Haha, no bigs. You’re in the comments section of a website, not English class.

        • J-FOH says:
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          @Sky: yeah right, tell that to the grammar hammers in Grey’s articles

          • Sky

            Sky says:
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            @J-FOH: that’s because you spell greatness ‘M-A-T-T-H-E-W B-E-R-R-Y’

            • J-FOH says:
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              @Sky: I thought it was ‘S-N-A-F-U-L-A-R-R-Y’

              • Sky

                Sky says:
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                Well you’re the mispeller, you’d know it better than me (zing).

                • J-FOH says:
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                  @Sky: I talk with my fists, not my fingers…

                  • Sky

                    Sky says:
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                    I hear some ladies like that.

                    Signed,

                    Doug Fister

                    • J-FOH says:
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                      @Sky: zing!

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Yeah you could’ve gone Cobb there. That said, staff still looks decent to me. A Beachy bounce back wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest.

      Everyone has their likes/dislikes. I’m not a huge Middlebrooks fan so he probably wouldn’t be my 3B but the team looks solid to me. Average might be an issue if you don’t believe Papi can repeat. Overall, solid squad but 10 teamers are more about moves in season than he draft itself.

      Oh and thanks for the accolades!

      • The Thumb says:
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        @Sky: thanks! Longoria was available when I snagged Segura so I could definitely see taking him in a real draft. I think Middlebrooks has solid potential for a 20 homer .270 year which is great considering his ADP is like 205.

        Anyway, who’s your favorite in Grey’s Cobb tier. I can’t seem to decide between Cobb or Bailey as I think they could both be awesome. Might lean Bailey because he’s in a contract year, in the NL, and seems primed for 200 K’s. Cobb will probably have better ratios though… Thoughts?

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          Yeah everyone has their likes and dislikes. Middlebrooks’ value is there but there are just other value 3B I like more is all.

          I’m a Cobb guy but I had him as one of my sleeper writeups last year so I’m probably homer-picking there. Just like his approach. He probably doesn’t see 200 K but I think Greys projections are approachable.

      • The Thumb says:
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        @Sky: @Sky: thanks! Longoria was available when I snagged Segura so I could definitely see taking him in a real draft. I think Middlebrooks has solid potential for a 20 homer .270 year which is great considering his ADP is like 205.

        Anyway, who’s your favorite in Grey’s Cobb tier. I can’t seem to decide between Cobb or Bailey as I think they could both be awesome. Might lean Bailey because he’s in a contract year, in the NL, and seems primed for 200 K’s. Cobb will probably have better ratios though… Thoughts?

  9. daddiestMac says:
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    sky you r the wind beneath my wings
    you r the air i breath
    you make the clouds piss there pants
    even the sun goes down on u

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Hi Warren

  10. Ellen palm ivory says:
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    Seems like hitters r as abundant as pitchers.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Not sure I agree much with you there. Hitting been pretty down last few years. Big reason why pitching is so abundant.

      • Ellen palm ivory says:
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        @Sky: it’s not an opinion. Take a look at the offensive distribution vs the pitching distribution. Offense has clustered closer to the mean. I didn’t say hitting wasn’t down, it is. But it’s down across the board.

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          Being down across the board means getting the better hitter is more important than getting the better pitcher, which is the opposite meaning of abundant. I get part of what you’re saying but I don’t think your statement really weighs out. Being mired in the same rut everyone else is in hitting won’t help you win. You need more outliers in hitting than pitching because they’re harder to find.

          • Ellen Palm Ivory says:
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            You’re wrong. Like I said – you have to look at cluster. If pitching is abundant, you need to do that much more to best the mediocrity.

            Just look at the numbers, that weighs it out.

            The disparity between top hitting and avg hitting is smaller in the post ped era than the disparity between the best pitchers and avg pitchers. That’s a completely different fact than saying its abundant, which it is. The avg fantasy hitter in the early 2000’s hit 20 hrs; 18 last year. The top hitters in the early 2000’s were launching 50-60 hrs. One guy has done it in the past 3 years. So because the cluster is that much tighter, you’re not gaining that much. This plays out for all the roto categories.

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              Ok

              • Ellen palm ivory says:
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                @Sky: that’s right lazy. Keep passing along sick advice bro.

                • Sky

                  Sky says:
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                  Ok

                  • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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                    @Sky: i think we’ve spent more time with ellen than that show of the same name (i.e., seen that person before)

                    • Sky

                      Sky says:
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                      I think this is a remake but poorly done and shown on the CW in the middle of the night.

  11. Wake Up says:
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    2 things…

    I need my t shirt back at some point…

    nothing is available in UT…dammit…except magic underwear…

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      I couldn’t get the pit stains out but it’s all yours. The boss def don’t wanna see it again.

      UT has great deals, especially in the smaller, back woodsy towns: get one wife, we’ll throw in 5 more for free!

  12. Yescheese says:
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    Tyson, the man, and RP/SP eligibility to boot. What separates him from a bargain bin like Marco Estrada? Park factor and age to mature!

    Jay forgive me, but Padres have a talent logjam at the SP spot. Do you think Tyson is guaranteed a starting spot moving forward?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      I’m not Jay so you’ll have to ask him for a pardon directly. Very few are allowed into the inner chambers of the Padre papacy.

      With Luebke out, I can’t see how he doesn’t get one. It’ll be up to him to hold down the fort.

      • Jay

        Jay says:
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        @Sky: is it bad that now when someone sees a post on a Padre, they just assume I’m behind it?

        • Yescheese says:
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          @Jay: Oh ha, I was still asking you Sky. I mentioned Jay as a sort of ephemeral diety on Padre knowledge…

          • Sky

            Sky says:
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            @Yescheese: Haha, gotcha. Yeah, still like Ross a lot overall. I think he was a nice surprise and would get the boot first if they went to a younger arm but where he’s going in rankings, it’s not worth worrying about.

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          @Jay: I fear for the football community when every Charger is a sleeper. Pick up Ronnie Brown!

  13. Colin says:
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    Sky love your write ups. I agree about Ross. I love his stuff. Side note I need to keep 7 from list below. I’m really high on Baez and Taveras especially at $1 salary each. If I keep them I can have them at that price for as long as I want. It’s a NL Only league…salaries are on the far left ($260 cap). I look forward to your thoughts, thanks.

    BATTERS
    KEEP SAL SLOT PLAYER, TEAM POS
    C
    41 1B Paul Goldschmidt, Ari 1B K
    1 3B Pedro Alvarez, Pit 3B K
    1 SS Javier Baez, ChC SS K
    2 IF Anthony Rizzo, ChC 1B K
    1 OF Oscar Taveras, StL OF K DTD
    47 OF Carlos Gonzalez, Col OF K DTD
    9 OF Allen Craig, StL 1B, OF K
    OF
    5 Bench Everth Cabrera, SD SS
    19 Bench Yadier Molina, StL C
    1 Bench DJ LeMahieu, Col 2B
    1 Bench Justin Morneau, Col 1B
    1 Bench Josh Rutledge, Col 2B
    3 Bench Lucas Duda, NYM OF, 1B

    PITCHERS
    KEEP SAL SLOT PLAYER, TEAM POS
    1 SP Francisco Liriano, Pit SP
    4 SP Hyun-Jin Ryu, LAD SP
    2 SP Matt Garza, Mil SP
    1 SP Jeff Samardzija, ChC SP
    1 SP Marco Estrada, Mil SP
    11 RP Huston Street, SD RP
    1 RP Brad Ziegler, Ari RP
    1 RP LaTroy Hawkins, Col RP
    2 RP Drew Storen, Wsh RP
    1 Bench Zack Wheeler, NYM SP DTD
    12 Bench Mike Minor, Atl SP
    6 DL Bobby Parnell, NYM RP DTD

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Thanks Colin! I’d lean Baez there. You should ask Scott our prospect guy but I’d think he’d be on the same page as me.

      • Colin says:
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        @Sky: ok will do….what 7 would you choose? Goldy is my no brainer.

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          Oops my bad Colin! Freak snowstorm has me powerless at home since Saturday. Reading/typing from the phone so I don’t catch everything sometimes.

          Goldy/Pedro/Rizzo/Craig/Liriano/Wheeler/Baez

          Everth is tempting but with Baez on board Id rather go that direction. Could see swapping him for Craig due to injury history though

          • Colin says:
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            @Sky: thanks Sky, I’m in eastern Canada so believe me I can relate to your plight. I hope your power comes back soon.

            So you would not hold on to Taveras?

            • Sky

              Sky says:
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              Oh I thought there was a rule or something. Thought you could only keep one. Actually throw back Wheeler in that case. Stake out your staff in the draft.

              • Colin says:
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                @Sky: appreciate the advice Sky.

                • Sky

                  Sky says:
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                  No prob Colin. Glad to help when I can.

  14. - yks says:
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    Hey sky, need some keeper advice for my 35 team 12×12 mixed dynasty league. Keep 7

    C – Lucroy
    1B – Fielder
    2b – Altuve
    SS- Segura
    3B – Middlebrooks
    CI – Ortiz
    MI – Gyorko
    OF – A Jones
    OF – Bruce
    OF – Rios
    Util – Beltran
    Util – Abreu

    Bn, Miller, Rajai, Hart
    NA: Baez, Taveras

    SP- Anibal
    SP – Gray
    SP – Salazar
    SP – Masterson
    SP – Taijuan
    RP – Robertson, Balfour
    4 P slots – random set up guys
    BN: Beachy, Ross

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      You should probably ask yourself up above since you already know more than me.

      • J-FOH says:
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        @Sky: Is yks ellen? that’s creepy and uh creepy? I think Ellen is missing the point of scarcity and needs to go back to one them economics classes we all slept through but I think it went something like this, ” the scarcer the commodity the more people are willing to pay for it” or something like that. I think Ellen Degenerate needs to turn her graphs rightside up.

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          @J-FOH: Yeah, some random internet troll. They used aol as both of their phony email accounts. That’s the first sign you’re a troll: using an email account that only someone who still uses the CDs as coasters would use.

      • The Guru

        The Guru says:
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        I did enjoy that exchange. LOUD NOISES!

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          @The Guru: Haha, yeah. I liked how it started as a conversation and then went straight to:

    • Buzzdainer says:
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      @- yks: 35 teams? 12×12? What does that even mean?

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Buzzdainer: it probably means there are 35 fantasy teams in that league, with 12 pitching categories and 12 hitting categories. I’m in at least an 11 by 11 (could be 12 or more, i never really counted them). i’ve never been in a 35 team league though.

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          It’s the same person as Ellen, they weren’t being serious. Just wanted to stir more bunk up.

  15. TheNewGuy says:
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    I suggested Ross as a big sleeper in other posts and Cram shot my down like the asshole he is.

    Where is he now? Hiding in his cave!!!

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Haha, well I am here writing about a guy that Grey didn’t rank and a lot of people either love or hate this year. Didn’t know he was such a crowd-splitting guy. I want you and Cram to get along!

Comments are closed.