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Welcome to the 2016 Razzball Team Previews! You’ll find everything you need to know about each team to get yourself ready for the upcoming fantasy baseball season. And I mean everything, folks. We’ve got line-ups, charts, Slurpees, lube, a guide for beginner electricians, and even a cactus! Well, that’s a lie. That’s what Jay had last year sitting in front of him. This year? Um…a little less lube? Take that as you will. But hey, we’ve got teams to preview and questions to ask, so let’s hop to it. We a very special guest for this post… James Attwood, to provide his take on what the team has in store this season. Now enough rambling, let’s see what 2016 holds for the Arizona Diamondbacks!

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All of the infield has been done for the 2016 fantasy baseball rankings.  Where it says 2016 fantasy baseball rankings, that’s a link, and that link goes to the 2016 fantasy baseball rankings where there are more links to all of the positions that have been ranked for 2016 fantasy.  Seamless linking!  The top 20 outfielders for 2016 fantasy baseball is going to go into the top 40, top 60, top 80 and finally top 100.  I love a lot of outfielders this year, and will go over this more at a later time, but I could see myself leaving the top 100 overall with three outfielders while wanting, like, twenty-five of them.  Shoot (not you, Dick Cheney!), I desperately want five of the top ten outfielders and I’m not even counting the top four that are a given.  McCutchen is the only outfielder in the top ten I’m kinda whatevs on.  The last time I was this excited for an outfielder Ryan Klesko was delicately connecting his sideburns to his mustache.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 outfielders for 2016 fantasy baseball:

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I’m a stat junkie. Way back in the pre-internet days when I was just a little Magoo, I would run outside first thing in the morning to grab the daily paper so I could immediately check out the previous night’s box scores. There’s Tony Gwynn leading the league in batting average yet again. A slam and legs (before I even knew what that was) by that Bonds fellow. The Big Unit piled up another dozen Ks. Another high scoring game in Colorado. What’s the deal with that place anyway?

This fascination with statistics has led to the fantasy baseball obsession that I’m burdened with today. Only now, with all of the advanced statistics and metrics that are available at the click of a button, the obsession is worse than ever. Fortunately for you, all of the man hours that I’ve wasted poring over stats this offseason has allowed me to discover some interesting nuggets of information that I think are fantasy-relevant for the upcoming season, and I’d like to share some of them with you today. At least, I find them to be interesting and potentially useful for fantasy purposes, and I hope that you will too.

From here on out, I’ll be listing various statistics with little to no analysis so that you can be the judge of how relevant each statistic and/or trend is in regards to the 2016 season. This article focuses on hitters only, and the stats that will be highlighted range from the basic (home runs, stolen bases, batting average, counting stats) to the slightly more advanced (plate discipline, batted ball profile).

And now, without further ado, here are some interesting stats and trends to consider for the 2016 fantasy baseball season:

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Went over the catchers1st basemen2nd basemen and shortstops and top 20 3rd basemen for 2015 fantasy baseball.  Guess what’s next!  No, not pitchers. Read the title, man.  In 2010, there were only 5 outfielders that hit 30 homers, in 2011 there were 9, 14 in 2012, in 2013 there were 3, a small bounce back with 6 in 2014 and this year there were eight.  Going the right way, for sure.  Though, steals were basically gone.  There were 14 outfielders who stole 30 bases in 2012, 10 in 2013 and there were 11 in 2014.  This year there were only five outfielders who stole 30 bases (only seven players total).  Five outfielders with 30 steals!  Dubya tee eff, we need Ron LeFlore and his cocaine, stat!  As before, these rankings are from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 outfielders for 2015 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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If you’ve been following along all season, you already know that this was the first year of Razzball’s very own dynasty league – the Razznasty – made up entirely of Razzball writers and commenters. It was an absolute blast, and I was glad to have the opportunity to commish this one. It’s a 16-team, 40-man roster, keep 30 dynasty format. This year was a battle for first place between Razzball’s own J-FOH and commenter Csifu (Hannibal Montana). It was a tight race all year and at times the difference was a mere point or two. But J-FOH put his foot on the gas down the stretch and pulled away. The Hateful One did it with style by racking up top five finishes in eight of the ten categories in September, including 32 wins and 367 strikeouts over the final month. When it was all said and done, J-FOH came within four points of a clean sweep 160 for the year. Impressive stuff, and so with this final post I’m handing him the microphone so he can share a bit of his strategy and how things played out for his squad.

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Just yesterday morning, they let me know you were gone.
Baseball, the schedule they made put an end to you.
I walked out this morning and I wrote down this song,
All I was wearing was a thong.
I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain. I’ve seen sunny days when I thought the season would not end.
I’ve seen lonely times for Matt Williams, I mean, he’s a dope, but he can’t even find a friend from his own coaches.
But I always thought that I’d see Giancarlo again.

I believe they call that a prelude, but since it comes the day after the fantasy baseball season wraps up, it’s not a prelude.  It’s an epitaph.  Here, take a tissue.  You have to excuse me, I don’t have any clean ones.  What will we do for the next few months without an update on Ryan Zimmerman’s oblique?  Will Pablo Sandoval’s back hurt even if we don’t talk about it?  What will we do without a Hanley injury update?  WHAT?  WILL?  WE?  DO?  Prepare for next season, of course.  But, first, let’s bask in the last day of the season.  Today is the day when you realize you’ve spent 27,000 man hours this summer beating eleven other strangers to win a virtual trophy, and it feels great!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Despite a season of disappointment and injury, Stephen Strasburg won me my points league championship. As one of my keepers coming into this season, I was excited for the potential of a Cy Young campaign. Instead what I got was a season of heartache and despair as he spent more time on my bench than he did in my lineup. In his last three starts however Strasburg threw a total of 23 innings, striking out 37 batters, walking 3 and yielding only 2 earned runs. During that three game stretch he scored 103 fantasy points for an average of 34.33 points per start. I’m happy when I get 25 points from a start. Just when I thought I had my keepers figured out for next season, Strasburg has to go and do this and put his name solidly back into the mix. On a side note, a few weeks back I suggested he grow a Bumgarner-like beard in hopes of helping him find his lost ways. Instead he seems to have shaved himself clean and I am thrilled with the result it has had on his performance. I just re-read that sentence and it can certainly take on a different meaning.

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Fall in line, Metropolitans!  Fall in line, you strumpets!  *Jerad Eickhoff goose steps up and down the starting lineup, screaming*  I am going to go nutzi on these weak sister Metropolitan hitters!  Nein chance!  You have nein chance!  *leaning in on Nieuwenhuis*  You look Anglo-Saxon, maybe I take it easier on you.  Not you, Michael Conforto…*then a small beat, in a pipsqueak voice*  Unless you know Mussolini.  Do you?  *can’t wait for Conforto to answer*  Forget it!  Fall in line!  And the Mets hitters did fall in line.  Jerad Eickhoff went 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 10 Ks, to lower his ERA to 2.65, and now has back-to-back 10-K games.  Maybe this guy isn’t a Jer-khoff.  *looks at his minor league numbers*  Yeah, I have no idea.  His minor league numbers give the impression that he’ll be a fourth to fifth starter.  That’s not for fantasy, that’s for real baseball.  A fourth or fifth starter on the Phils, even in 2016, doesn’t scream excitement to me.  Sorry, strumpets.  For this year, drop him and check out the Stream-o-Nator, there’s only three days left.  AHH!!!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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With just over 1 week to go in the regular season it is important to keep a close eye on starting lineups. Many playoff contenders are playing their regulars, but it’s the non-contenders that you really have to watch. Luckily for us, DraftKings lets you switch out players up until each player’s game time. However, with today’s slate, I have my eyes focused on the first game of the day between the White Sox and Yankees in New York. The Yankees are 4 games back behind the Blue Jays in the A.L. East, so we know they’ll have their regulars out there. The visitors are sending a rookie pitcher to the mound who was formerly their top pitching prospect last season. Of today’s 15 games, he is the least expensive pitcher. Take a hint, DraftKings thinks he’ll get destroyed, and so do I. Today’s most confusing and interesting player is Greg Bird. Out of all the hitters on the Yankees, he’s the most expensive at $4,400 and that is $300 more than the second most expensive Yankee, Alex Rodriguez. The three Yankees’ outfielders are all under $4,000. Bird had hit a home run in three straight games last week, but hasn’t done much since. So does that really warrant him being the most expensive Yankees’ hitter? Certainly not. I don’t think Bird is necessarily a bad play, but knowing that information, I may shy away. I will stack Yankees in an entry though, mostly consisting of the three other infielders, and an outfielder, not to mention their perfectly priced pitcher. I really like the matchup. Read on and check out some of my other DraftKings picks for today.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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Rich Hill pitched a complete game two-hit shutout last night against the Mighty Orioles walking just one batter and striking out 10 for his second win. Where the heck was this guy in April when Justin Masterson and Steven Wright were starting? Am I really asking that question about a 35-year-old southpaw journeyman who hasn’t started a big league game since 2009, and was out of baseball in July? Yeah I guess I am asking that because Hill has been an absolute monster since debuting with the Sawx two weeks ago in Tampa Bay. In just three starts, he’s pitched 23.0 IP, allowing just 10 hits and 3 ER, with a 30/2 K/BB rate. Yes, my friends, the Hill Has Ks. That was almost your headline. Also, not for nothing, the three earned runs were surrendered to the Blue Jays, and I mean, come on, it’s the Blue Jays. And just in case you thought this story couldn’t get any sweeter, Rich was pitching for the Independent League’s Long Island Ducks just months ago. He holds a 1.70 ERA and 0.52 WHIP through three starts and although I love what he’s doing, he’s scheduled to take on the Yankees in New York next week and I wouldn’t call it a slam dunk. If you’re feeling lucky, by all means ride the snake, but I’m not sure I’d risk my fantasy season on Rich Hill, despite how awesome he’s been. But cool story, bro!

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

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