Don't be shellfish...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+

Spring training has sprung! Where’s my Rusty Staub Expos throwback? I got this in junior high and it still fits great. I have the body of an 11-year-old girl. *moonwalks across living room, falls on face* Most fantasy ballers are in the mocking mood right now with the for real fake drafts firing up in a few weeks. (There’s still time for you to commish an RCL league wink wink nudge nudge slap in the back of the head.) As we prepare this year’s team(s) (ss) and (sss), let’s fire up the jammer crammer machine once again and turn our all knowing fantasy eye toward first base. First base may have plenty of quality to find through the first 100 picks – Señor Stache has 15 first baseman in the top-100 – but the position ain’t what it used to be (and that’s what she said). Only six first baseman had more than 30 bombs last year, the fewest in over two decades. Is Andres Galarraga still playing? Those were the fantasy baseball golden years. Personally, I’d grab one early, say within my first three picks. We are not talking about whether or not to jam Paul Goldschmidt or cram Chris Davis here, we know what’s up there. We are looking towards players not ranked in the top 100 that can win you your league and all the cash, bragging rights and glory holes that go along with it. Last season, players with first base eligibility like Michael Cuddyer and Daniel Murphy were ranked (according to the Yahoos!) outside the top-100, but finished in the top-45. Any expert that told you they predicted that is actually from the moon and a time traveler. Sorry, watched Lunopolis on Netflix last month and just found out it wasn’t a documentary. While I’m no man on the moon, let’s cue up Mott the Hoople, make like Andy Kaufman in a wrestling match and jam it or cram it. Nothing is cool.

 

Jam or Cram: Brandon Moss, Oakland Athletics

2013 Rankings: Opening Rank #190, Final Rank #75

2013 Stats: 73 R, 30 HR, 87 RBI, 4 SB, .256 AV.

2014 $$$ Value: $13

The Gist: Moss has everything I hate in a fantasy player: High strikeout rate, low average, terrible splits and a ginger beard. Then why do I love him so much? He’s my favorite PlatoonyTunes: .266 average with 26 homers, 71 RBI, a .906 OPS against righties and roster flexiblity. Don’t look at the numbers versus lefties – they cannot be unseen.

Dirty Turban 2014 Projection: 67 R, 27 HR, 78 RBI, 4 SB, .255

Jam it or Cram it: While your non-Razzballin’ buddy’s pass on Moss for “sexier” names like Mark Teixeira and Ryan Howard, grab some cheap power late (thinking round 12 or later) and watch those friends sing your praises while cursing behind your back come August. JAM

 

Jam or Cram: Brandon Belt, San Francisco Giants

2013 Rankings: Opening Rank #136, Final Rank #106

2013 Stats: 77 R, 17 HR, 67 RBI, 5 SB, .289 AV.

2014 $$$ Value: $12

The Gist: We all want to believe in Belt. He’s popped up on every prospect, rookie, sleeper list since he hit 85 homers in tee ball. However, belief doesn’t equal truth. I learned this from my three years in the Church of Scientology – I’m still waiting for Xenu and Tom Cruise to show up. Still waiting on Belt, too.

Dirty Turban 2014 Projection: 75 R, 18 HR, 66 RBI, 5 SB, .285 AV.

Jam it or Cram it: The problem with Belt is his average lineup and the fact he hits in the Snake River Canyon (Evel Knievel reference. Drink) with 11 of his 16 dingers coming on the road last season. We dream of Belt and a Paul Goldschmidt kind of season and all we get is numbers that are closer to Daniel Nava. CRAM

 

Jam or Cram: Matt Adams, St. Louis Cardinals

2013 Rankings: Opening rank #135, Final rank #313

2013 Stats: 46 R, 17 HR, 51 RBI, 0 SB, .284 AV.

2014 $$$ Value: $12

The Gist: Adams put together some healthy stats for only getting 300 AB’s last year. Big Country’s 17.4 HR/AB ratio ranked him 16th among all big league players (Hey, Goldy’s was 16.8%). 2014 should be a better year simply with the subtraction of Carlos Beltran, Allen Craig shipping to the outfield and Jon Jay the likely bench bat. If Adams has first base all to his lonesome he may hit 30 homers.

Dirty Turban 2014 Projection: 72 R, 26 HR, 83 RBI, 1 SB, .280 AV.

Jam it or Cram it: Here’s where any good fantasy writer worth his rosin bag spouts of things like “upside” and “breakout season.” These are code words from fantasy writing 101 that mean, “I have no f***ing clue.” However, a late pick with 30 home run potential is worth a gamble. JAM

 

Jam or Cram: Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox

2013 Rankings: N/A

2013 Stats: (In 42 games in Cuba) 37 R, 13 HR, 36 RBI, .382 AV

2014 $$$ Value: $21

The Gist: There’s a lot to be learned about the latest Cuban sensation since Daisy Fuentes. Abreu could be the next Yasiel Puig, he could be the next Jesus Valdivia. Who? Exactly. Only Homeland Security knows for sure. According to our friend in the feds, who we’ll call “Mox Fulder,” here’s what we know: Abreu is 27 (allegedly), bats right-handed (true), averaged 34 homers in Cuba (math is fun) and loves tostones rellenos (deeeelicious). What we don’t know? Everything else. He may be some sort of MLB Manchurian candidate and Bud Selig is the Queen of Diamonds.

Dirty Turban 2014 Projection: 70 R, 23 HR, 77 RBI, 2 SB, .260 AV

Jam it or Cram it: I’m not going crazy here expecting a Puigish season from Abreu. If I can get him in the right spot, I’ll jump. Currently, I’m seeing Abreu drafted around the eighth round. Too early for my trigger finger. I’m avoiding the unknown. Viva la CRAM!

 

**BONUS TRACKS**

Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees: If you play in the 2005 fantasy league he’s all jam. If you’re planning on winning this year, don’t waste a spot on a 34-year-old switch hitter who might hit .250, struggles against fastball pitchers and has missed nearly 200 games in the last two years. CRAM

Corey Hart, Seattle Mariners: Projecting Hart is like wearing your sunglasses at night (apologies, had to do it) and driving through the Lincoln Tunnel. He could go off for 30 bombs and 20 steals or he could hit 15 in the Safeco gorge and blow out a knee. I’ll JAM if he’s there around pick 190ish, otherwise CRAM.

Yonder Alonso, San Diego Padres: Alonso has 20 homer, 10 steal potential and is entering that magical age 27 season. He has magical upside for a late round target. JAM

Jon Singleton, Houston Astros: Singleton is the 22-year-old future at first for the Lastros. He has 30-homer power, but will likely start the year in minors. Here’s what our prospect guy Scott had to say about Singleton. I’ll take a look in June if he hasn’t smoked himself out of the league by then. CRAM

 

Follow The Guru and his dirty turban on Twitter @TheGuruGS for fantasy ballin’ updates and scotch-fueled selfies.

 

 

  1. Jeff in Southern Indiana says:
    (link)

    Other super late 1B guys I’m looking at:

    Lind
    Morneau

    Morneau in Coors for a CI in the last couple rounds seems an appealing gamble, what do you think Guru?

    • stonepie says:
      (link)

      @Jeff in Southern Indiana: im looking to platoon some form of moss/lind/morales/morneau in my UTIL spots this year

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      Worth a roll of the dice with one of your last two picks, I guess. Definitely worth grabbing in 2006 leagues.

  2. Troy says:
    (link)

    Like ur stuff but abreu going after 10th round in most yahoo drafts I’m in and I’ve been all over him in rounds 10-12. Here’s hoping ur wrong on that one! Lol other then that agree with every other guy on ur list even though I think belt could be much better but risk is there for sure. Thoughts on Napoli? Falling past round 150 in some drafts. Seems crazy late doesn’t it?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      I like Abreu in that range, any earlier I’d rather grab I guy I have more of an idea of what they’ll do.

      Put Belt in another ballpark and maybe he lives up to expectations. This is a make or break year for him.

      Napoli was a deal last year with the C eligibility, not so much this year. Don’t think he’ll maintain the BABIP of .367 that he had last season. Still, he’s somewhat useful in deep leagues.

      • Yaomiiiing says:
        (link)

        Would drafting Abreu in a keeper league change your thoughts about him or about an 8th rd pick? Let’s say 12 team 5X5 league.

        • The Guru

          The Guru says:
          (link)

          That sounds about right in a keeper.

          • Troy says:
            (link)

            @The Guru: yea I think belt needs a big year and they are finally going to leave him be. Napoli in the 15th-17th round is pretty useful without catcher still. Take him over guys like Lind or morneau. But my favorite sleeper is moss no respect for that guy in yahoo. I passed on abreu in my dynasty league for tanaka which I think I might regret but was way to tempting to have a top 4 of darvish scherzer tanaka and wacha lol

  3. bossmanjunior says:
    (link)

    Thoughts on Chris Davis in the first round? Every year I keep looking at the peripherals and each year I keep expecting a huge bust. Met the man 3 years ago at a McDonalds and point blank told him to his face that he killed my fantasy team the previous year. He literally told me to draft him the next year and I wouldn’t regret it. But did I? Of course not! Did I learn from my mistake and draft him last year? Of course not. Now Im really torn between the idea of drafting a guy like Davis or one of Jones/Braun (assuming I don’t get a top 4 pick).

    • Jeff in Southern Indiana says:
      (link)

      @bossmanjunior:
      You met him, you have to take him.

      Quit screwing up. If you don’t take him he’ll hit 70 HRs on the current trajectory of you passing on him.

      • goodfold2 says:
        (link)

        @Jeff in Southern Indiana: he really doesn’t just because he met him. last year i was able to trade rape a guy due to odorizzi visiting his frizbee golf store, which led him to really want odorizzi (this is redraft league,and it was after odorizzi’s first start, which was terrible)

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      I’m not as high on Davis as say someone like Tehol. Given the choice of Jones, Prince, Harper or Davis, I’ll take the other 3 over him. Davis’ second half numbers last year dropped off a cliff. Why pitch to this guy.

      I found these combined numbers from the last 3 years interesting:
      Player A: 216 R/95 HR/282 RBI /.251 AV

      Player B: 203/91/242/.277

      B is Davis, A is Mark Trumbo.

      • papasmurf says:
        (link)

        @The Guru: You are joking right? Davis in 2011 had 76 ABs. Trumbo had 539!

        Look at the last TWO years for the players.

        • The Guru

          The Guru says:
          (link)

          The AB’s are a big factor, sure. I just said it’s “interesting. ” Watching “True Detective” through the holes in a cracker is also interesting.

  4. Tehol Beddict says:
    (link)

    Chris Davis has been blessed by the elder Gods with inhuman strength and modelish good looks. In fact one would think him and I were related. #BeautifulMen

    • frankgrimes says:
      (link)

      @Tehol Beddict: I’m more likely to think that you blew him

      • Tehol Beddict says:
        (link)

        @frankgrimes: it would be tough to turn down with that stunning one eyed monster staring me in the face

        • frankgrimes says:
          (link)

          @Tehol Beddict: 12 team Weekly H2H points league what ratio do you like for Pitchers? We have to start eight. Some years I’ve tried all starters one year I tired all RP with only Felix and Timmy. We keep 3 players and Starters go early and often in the draft and I usually wait on pitching (relievers are becoming less popular in our league).
          10 points for a W -3 for a L 6 save -2 blown save. Gimme your H2H strategy sir.

          • Tehol Beddict says:
            (link)

            @frankgrimes: I don’t use any relievers but closers as I’ve always hated that strategy in any form of league. i refuse to look at middle relief as an option. 3 closers would be my ideal situation. depends on how many bench spots you have etc. for rotating starters. But 2/3 closers should be about right

            • frankgrimes says:
              (link)

              @Tehol Beddict: Yea I meant closers. So you would start three closers every week? Do you go for the top tier or look for “value”?
              Four bench spots that I use mainly for pitching maybe stash a prospect like I did with Cole last year. Thanks bro.

              • The Guru

                The Guru says:
                (link)

                I’m considering drafting 7 closers, 2 starters and streaming a away w/my friend the Stream-o-nator. Could be an interesting experiment. If it doesn’t work I can blame the bath salts. However, in your H2H league I’d go 5 starters, 3 closers probably.

  5. Sparty Scott says:
    (link)

    Off topic here, but I have a question about 5×5 head to head leagues. When looking at rankings, would you consider the roto rankings more important because you are valuing each category or head to head because you are competing against another opponent? It seems like most head to head rankings focus on points scored, not 5×5 cats.

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      Rankings depend on what kind of league you’re playing in. Personally I play 3/4 roto and the rest H2H as that’s a growing format. Powers guys with average and low K’s are the guys you want in H2H generally it seems to me, speed guys not as valuable.

    • Andrew A says:
      (link)

      @Sparty Scott:

      you want to look at the roto rankings. The only difference is your roto league “resets” every week. Just because you are head to head doesn’t mean that all of a sudden, walks and doubles are more important now (as they are in points). Hope that helps

      • Sparty Scott says:
        (link)

        @Andrew A: thanks for the feedback. I was thinking the same thing.

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      Nice work, Dabeej. Looks like he’s ready to cram to me.

  6. Doc Wolf says:
    (link)

    Choose one…Votto in round 1 or Adams in round 12?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      Depends on who your taking in round one. I like to have those corners filled in the first four rounds. Waiting to the 12th would be tough. Given the choice, I’ll take Votto, I suppose.

      • Doc Wolf says:
        (link)

        @The Guru: I am guaranteed one or the other, also considering Beltre with the 10th pick in the 1st , in which case I lose the rights to both Votto and Adams

        • The Guru

          The Guru says:
          (link)

          Votto and Beltre gives you two of the best corner guys. Give me that!

  7. Tom Thumb says:
    (link)

    Keeper league, where I can keep 5. My choices are:

    Miggy
    Cutch
    Crush Davis
    Scherzer
    JoFer
    Jupton
    Puig

    Have been offered Harper for my Davis and Scherzer. Is this too much?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      Davis and Scherzer seems a little rich for me. Think I’d keep all the hitters except Upton for JoFer.

  8. Doc Wolf says:
    (link)

    Choose one…Votto in round 1 or Adams in round 12?

    Sorry fat fingered the email addressed. Anyway we have a slotted keeper rule thus my dilemma.

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      Votto.

  9. Clint says:
    (link)

    Do you have any Jams or Crams for guys returning from injury who could be either sleepers or pitfalls heading into the season? Last year, I got Han-Ram at a heavy discount because of his early injury & despite his midseason issues that lingered, he propelled me to the title when he was in there. A guy like Manny Machado who may miss a few weeks or the first month comes to mind as does potential Crammer Jaime Garcia who just visited Dr Freeze maybe?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      Will probably have a sleeper jam or cram before the season starts. As far as injuries go, might jam Machado, Pujols, Matt Kemp. They seem to be going later than they should. Crams might be Mike Napoli (don’t trust that hip), Joe Mauer, Josh Johnson, Bobby Parnell.

  10. Ghost of the Disappeared says:
    (link)

    G: Good job!

    I believe both Abreu and Belt have AB issues to consider.

    I do think Abreu is for real – but Dunn and Paulie are there. He is a wildcard though… His BA was #2 in Cuban Biesbol. Even if the Pitching is a mixed bag from low A – MLB levels… That is a nice number… On ESPN, he placed right for his potential – But again, the ABs could be bled off.

    Belt is another bleeder maybe – If Posey steals his time at 1st… I’m not a fan.

    Hart is a better risk than Abreu… He should go at 150 rd or abouts.

    Alonso – spot on … He may be had from the puddle too

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      Thanks, Ghost. I agree with the AB’s being a prob.

      • The Guru

        The Guru says:
        (link)

        Finally baseball is here!

  11. Mike says:
    (link)

    So Jam is good and Cram is bad, right? Sorry… I’m new here

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      You got it, Mike. Thanks for Razballin’ and good luck this year.

  12. Spyre says:
    (link)

    Rizzo vs Matt Adams in a 12 team h2h points?

    Assuming equal playing time, I feel like there will be similar production….

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      I’m with you there. Rizzo may have a few more runs and RBI, slightly higher average. But, you can get Adams about 50 selections later.

  13. mcBlunty says:
    (link)

    have the first and 5th pick and my up coming draft (got the 5th pick via trades), its a 12 team keeper league where we keep 7, so the draft pool isn’t great, options are:
    choo
    holliday
    kinsler
    r zimmerman
    s marte
    b hamilton
    p alvarez

    who would you target with both picks?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      From those guys I’d go Zimmerman and Choo.

  14. Brown L says:
    (link)

    Keep forever in 5×5 H2H: starling Marte or Billy Hamilton?

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      Can I say Xander Bogaerts? Marte it is. My confidence in Hamilton isn’t high. The steals are great, but he just seems like the queen of SAGNOF! to me.

  15. kangaroo hops says:
    (link)

    Kendrys Morales: Jam or Cram? Assuming he finds a team (O’s?), that is. And him or Alonso? Thanks!

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      Cram. At the point I’d probably draft him I’ll take a chance on a guy with some upside like Alonso.

  16. Nick The Podcast Host

    Nick the Podcast Host says:
    (link)

    Expos reference? Even if it should have been Coco Laboy instead of Le Grand Orange you get points. Guru as thr hot pocket master on the Razzball tour? Wait, what? There’s a Razzball tour? Shhhh… You don’t know nutthin’.

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      The secrets in a vault with the Laboy jersey.

  17. Matt says:
    (link)

    Would a $13 Mark Tex in a 15-team 6×6 roto league be worth rostering as a CI?

    • J-FOH says:
      (link)

      @Matt: nope

      • Matt says:
        (link)

        @J-FOH: Wow didn’t think Tex’s injury would completely strip him of his value considering Ortiz and Bautista had similar surgeries…

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      Seems a little pricey for a guy that hasn’t played much in 2 years.

  18. GFY250 says:
    (link)

    10 team keeper question with $260 budget standard 5×5 league. I need to keep at least 1 power bat, either fielder for $38 or Stanton for $30. I don’t want to spend that much for fielder but he’s safe. On the other hand Stanton has a pretty steep price as well but with upside. So fielder, Stanton, or neither?

    • J-FOH says:
      (link)

      @GFY250: If you must i would take Stanton because you can make up the difference with someone else to help or go higher on a guy to beefen up your OF, or let them both go free

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      In a keeper league, I’ll go with Stanton here and try to pick up Freeman or Hosmer later.

  19. J-FOH says:
    (link)

    tottaly agree on Abreau, if he floats up at the right time I take a flyer with my CI spot, if not then oh well. Let him hit 35 bombs and bat .220 on someone else’s team

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      The guy could end up rookie of the year, but he’s risky. Get me a Cuban sandwich, please.

  20. anthony says:
    (link)

    Deep dynasty league..trade Kendrick for two of Pineda, Moustakas, or Leonys Martin? If so, which two?? Thanks man!!

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      Martin, flip a coin on the other two. Probably lean Moosesuckass.

  21. John says:
    (link)

    H2h points league 12 teams. Late first round pick. Fielder or Votto? Then back it up with Tulo or Wright around the bend?

    Thanks

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      Can I say Fielder then Puig?

  22. goodfold2 says:
    (link)

    you’re forgetting that faith is a fact! blooper reel

    • The Guru

      The Guru says:
      (link)

      I’m a jaded agnostic with a meth problem.

Comments are closed.