Yes, I know that title doesn’t really make sense, but my mind is clouded by the lack of meaningful box scores. I normally like to be on vacation during the All Star Break, especially ever since Major League Baseball cruelly lengthened it from three to four days. In my opinion, the only thing worse than having no baseball for four days in the middle of the summer is having fake baseball and something called the ESPYs on for three days in the middle of the summer, and I’d rather be as busy as possible during this time.  Sure, every once in a while something interesting will happen during the Home Run Derby, and occasionally the actual game is watchable, I suppose.  But seeing Yadier Molina hit a bomb that doesn’t count for any of the fantasy teams I own him on just makes me, well… sad.

Basically, watching baseball the last two days was just a few hours of waiting for things NOT to happen. It was worrying that a player crucial to one of my teams would screw up his swing trying to hit pretend homers, or pull a hammy running out an infield hit that wouldn’t even help his own batting average, let alone my fantasy team’s. It was also a painful reminder of why I’m not doing well in certain leagues – namely, having to watch the players I don’t own anywhere who came out of nowhere (and by nowhere, I mean the late rounds of a fantasy baseball draft) to become bona fide 2017 all stars, often leading their fantasy team owners to the top of the standings.

Drafting players in the middle and late rounds who outperform their draft position or auction cost is important in any fantasy league regardless of structure, but it is absolutely crucial in NL-only, AL-only, and other deep leagues. I’m sure Clayton Kershaw and Jose Altuve are on plenty of first place fantasy teams, but I suspect the real names you’ll find over and over again when looking at the top of the standings are more like Ryan Zimmerman, Ervin Santana, and Jason Vargas. With that in mind, and with no fringey deep league player playing to talk about picking up, I thought I’d use the break to take a look at the players who are some of the first half MVPs in deep fantasy leagues: those that have outperformed* their 2017 pre-season ranking** by the widest margins. We’ll also take a look at their second-half futures via Steamer projections for the rest of the season (with some completely unscientific, woman’s intuition-style guesses from me as to whether or not I agree). Obviously none these guys is likely to be available in a shallow league, let alone deep formats, but with most of us facing a fake baseball trading deadline around the same time the real one hits, we’ll need to be thinking about whether any of these players are worth buying… or selling, at the right price.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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Happy All Star Break my fellow RCLers.  The Razzball Commenter Leagues can take a toll on your time, you social life and your personal hygiene.  I hope you’ve used the break to take a shower, get out of your sweat pants and get reacquainted with your roommates, also known as, your family.  They’ve missed you.  Spend a moment and remind them that you are in fact, alive and well and that you haven’t been held against your will for the past 14 weeks in an old abandoned mine in the local woods.  In fact, you’ve just been winning fantasy baseball leagues.  You know, just like you idol, Grey Albright.  Speaking of Grey, he made a big splash in the top 10 overall this week and there is a new overall leader in the Master Standings.  Is it Grey?  Is it a robot?  The suspense is killing you, I know.  Check out this and other RCL drama in the week that was, week 14:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

Aaron Judge baffles me. Is he a beefy version of early 2000s Richie Sexson, or he is something more legit? No offense to early 2000s Richie, of course. His (we’re back to Judge, now) numbers in the minors (albeit a relatively small sample size of) suggest more of the former, but his 2017 insists on the latter. Strikeouts aside, he seems to have combined a complete and nearly flawless approach at the plate with a compact swing and elite power. In March, we weren’t even sure if he was going to be the everyday right fielder for the Yankees. Now, he is a lock to win Rookie of the Year, the clear favorite to win MVP, and could very well win the Triple Crown.

He has 30 home runs to only 13 doubles (big boy has three triples, too), which means nothing except that when he connects he CONNECTS. Lifting power, my friends. The fly ball revolution is upon us, and only 50 years after Ted Williams told us all about it. And with Judge’s superhuman power, a willingness and ability to drive (and lift) the ball to the opposite field, a right field porch in Yankee Stadium that is a few feet behind first base (roughly), and juiced baseballs that are leaving parks like they’re golf balls, what is a popup behind second base for most batters is a home run to the upper deck in right field for Judge. That was a very long sentence. Let’s pause to catch our breath here.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

Grey was in such a great mood to begin the podcast, talking about frolicking around town on his off day eating rolled ice cream and LA ham sandwiches with little Asian girls. That is until I mentioned a bad podcast review we got on iTunes, which irreversibly changed the tone of the entire podcast and had him flying off the handle. He talked crap on the comments he gets under his daily articles which bother him, he goes hard at Fangraphs for incorrectly predicting Rougned Odor’s lack of power would make him cry at the all-star break, and he threatens to ban the IP address of the rogue bad reviewer if he ever finds out who did it. Through the angst, we manage to breakdown his Top 100 2nd Half Rankings, starting at the top with Bryce Harper, Paul Goldschmidt, Max Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw, and Mookie Betts. We dig into his optimistic Aaron Judge ranking and cautious Cody Bellinger ranking, and also discuss his ranking of young aces Lance McCullers, Luis Severino, Alex Wood, and James Paxton. Finally, we bring on our boy Kenneth Cashman from RotoWear.com to talk t-shirts and rapping, and he leaves us with an insane Razzball rap to end the interview. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Podcast:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

Welcome, prematurely balding men and five women who are married to prematurely balding men and decided if you can’t beat them, join them!  Make yourself comfortable, this is gonna be a long post.  Here, enjoy some coffee.  Oops, you just drank rat poison.  Don’t worry, it can’t be worse than owning Matt Harvey in the 1st half.  Oh, you owned him and that’s why you drank the poison!  Now, I’m following!   Hey, I’m supposed to be leading!  Before we get into the top 100 for the 2nd half of 2017 fantasy baseball, let’s just be glad our 18-year-old selves can’t see us now, we’d get beat up!  But our twelve-year-old selves would think we’re the coolest!  So, as with all of the other 2017 fantasy baseball rankings, take this list with a grain of salt.  If you need a 2nd baseman, but an outfielder is above him that doesn’t mean you can’t trade that outfielder for that 2nd baseman.  Also, things change in fantasy baseball.  Daily.  I could put Bryce Harper number two on the top 100 list for the second half of 2017 and he could pull a–Well, we won’t even mention an injury with Bryce.  Why soil a good thing, ya know?  This list is a road map for where I think guys are valued.  It’s not the Holy Grail in the Church of Grey, that would be my mustache.  This list is NOT (caps for emphasis, not aesthetics) where I see guys ending up if you were to take their first half and combine it with the 2nd half. This is simply a list of the top hundred fantasy baseball players if you were to pick them up today.  So while Mike Trout did not have the greatest first half, he will appear on this list because, well, Mike Trout.  The projections are not their combined 1st half and 2nd half numbers; these are their projections for the 2nd half of 2017.  I also liberally used our rest of the season Fantasy Baseball Player Rater.  That’s right, we have a Player Rater that tells you what players will do.  It’s like that camera from The Twilight Zone.  Welcome to the future!  Anyway, here’s the top 100 for fantasy baseball for the 2nd half of 2017:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

This is an excerpt of a phone call Razzball intercepted during Sunday’s afternoon games.  Since every state involved is a two-party consent for recording, we cannot reveal who recorded the call, but it rhymes with Trudy Gramble.  Here, let’s listen in:  “Hello, this is the CEO of Super Ball, the world’s hardest, bounciest, craziest, shouldn’t-be-used-as-a-baseballiest ball.  Who is this calling?”  Our Commissioner Rob Manfred disguises his voice so he sounds raspy, “I’m Kathleen Turner.  I was wondering if you would sell me 70,000 Super Balls to not be used for baseball purposes.”  “Body Heat Kathleen Turner?  Not to get all James Lipton, but I am a huge fan of your–”  “Okay, toots…”  Manfred lowers the phone receiver, to his secretary, “Toots?”  Back into the phone, “Um, so don’t make me kill you and blame a different femme fatale.  I need those Super Balls.”  So, yesterday was bonkers for homers, yet again.  I will now list the home runs by guys in just the Astros game:  Yulieski Gurriel (2-for-5, 2 runs) hit his 11th; Jose Altuve (3-for-4, 4 runs, 3 RBIs, hitting .347) hit his 13th; Evan Gattis (2-for-5, 2 runs, 4 RBIs) hit his 8th and Carlos Correa (4-for-5, 5 RBIs) and two homers, his 19th and 20th.  Holy Salami Tom, there’s a crapton of home runs this year.  I have two mixed leagues where I feel like if I’m not getting at least five homers per day, I’m falling behind.  Also, on a pitching front, if I can just maintain a 3.50 ERA, I could come in first for ERA.  By the way, I hope we’re not sued by Our Commissioner Rob Manfred, but something must be done.  Get the Super Balls out of baseball!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

July 9th at 4pm marks the exact time I’m certain Prospector Ralph’s mind will explode with excitement. That feeling of pure elation can only be achieved in one scenario. Watching the game’s budding talents in the 2017 Futures Game – streaming on MLB.com – after spending countless hours researching and following prospects of this caliber (From the Razzball family and its incredible base of readers, we sincerely thank you for your work Ralph!). Well, maybe there are a few other scenarios. According to BuzzFeed there are 42 others where this pure form of joy and satisfaction arises. They include unraveling knittingcrunching leaves, and breaking the yolk. Aside from the fact that I’m certain breaking the yolk is a sexual innuendo for something completely different, we live in a truly sad world if these things make people as happy as Ralph on Futures Game Sunday.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

It’s prospect list madness this week with mid-season top 100 prospect lists dropping faster than Ralph’s productivity at work. Ralph posted his top 100 last Sunday (and continued on to 200 earlier today) and I’ve been slowly ranking the top 100 over on my website ImaginaryBrickWall.com (currently up to 70). We discuss the discrepancies between our rankings, including Triston McKenzie vs. Walker Buehler and where we slot the 2017 MLB Draft guys, along with comparing our rankings to the behemoths of the industry, Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus. We talk similarities too, as we both gush over some of the top breakout prospects, such as Estevan Florial and Ryan McMahon. Finally, we rep our podcast sponsor RotoWear.com, who is hooking up all Razzball readers/listeners with 15% off their purchase by entering promo code “SAGNOF.” It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Prospect Podcast:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

When I was a kid, it was routine to go thrift shopping with my mother every Sunday morning (queue the Thrift Shop song by Macklemore). My mother has a niche for finding deals and bargains. I reflect back and look to use some of those skills to find the pitcher I’ll be pairing with Clayton Kershaw in my cash games. I look no further to Trevor Cahill. This will be Cahill’s second start since coming off the DL with shoulder issues. Prior to Cahill’s injury he was having a career year. I was a bit worried watching his rehab starts coming back from the shoulder injury but he handled the Indians in the 4 innings he pitched. With guys coming off injury there is always the risk of getting pulled early because their pitch count is limited. The Padres allowed him to go 85 pitches in his first start back. I’m not worried about the pitch count given he faces a deflated Phillies lineup who is amongst the worst versus right handed pitching this season. Cahill is the bargain of the day at $15,300. The Padres are the favorite on the road today and I will be pairing Cahill with Kershaw in all cash games.

New to FantasyDraft ? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond?  Well be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.  Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

That’s right, we’re pushing well beyond the 100 threshold this year, and pushing it all the way to 200. I for one am excited, but that might just be the speedball of cocaine, redbull, meth, and the behind the counter cough syrup. I’m seeing the words and their auras, man. No jokes, this is all from a vision, an immaculate epiphany I was led to by a culturally appropriated wise character of some sort. Really, I just wanted to get into a whole bunch more prospects I didn’t get a chance to talk about. If you didn’t catch it, last week I dropped my Top 100, this is a continuation of that going from 101 – 200 with full writeups and statlines for each. Hopefully you get caught up on few off the radar names, brush up on some old ones, and get your prospecty fill for the All-Star Break. It’s the Top 200 Fantasy Baseball Prospects!

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   
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