Greetings and welcome to the first installment of the offseason stock report. If you love this silly, fake game as much as I do, you’ve either shined up your 2014 winner’s trophy several times and have shamelessly admired it since the end of the season or have shed many tears over the disappointing fantasy results that you’ve just endured. Either way, it’s time to move on and look forward to the start of the 2015 season.

In this series, I will attempt to analyze the performances of various players from this past season and project what can be expected from them next season. After digging into all of the underlying peripheral statistics, each player will be deemed either a “buy” or a “sell” depending on whether he can be expected to improve, regress, or maintain his most recent level of production. Much like commodities on the actual stock market, the idea is to buy low on a player that stands to gain value in the near future while selling high on one that is likely to lose value. Of course, players who are already valued highly but appear likely to maintain a high level of production should be targeted, while players who have experienced a sharp decrease in value and appear unlikely to improve upon their current production levels should be avoided.

Without further ado, let’s dig into three of the biggest early round busts from the ’14 season and decide if their poor results are a sign of things to come or if a rebound is on the horizon.

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What a world we live in. Just a couple of months ago, me telling you an Oakland stack would be a good idea would’ve lead to you rolling your eyes, giving me your best Charlie Sheen, and ignored the rest of what I had to say because I was clearly not giving any info others weren’t already doling out. YO GUYS LISTEN TO ME, KING FELIX IS A MUST START TODAY. Sheeeiittt, like we don’t know a top pitcher is a good get for the day. But again, days go by and still I think of the times when the Athletics were the stack du jour. You couldn’t tune into any write up about DFS without being told to at least throw in a Brandon Moss or a Josh Donaldson. Oh how the mighty have fallen. Not only have the A’s relinquished the lead in the AL West, they’re now scratching and clawing just to stay the lead wild card for the AL. But that’s what happens when guys like Moss hit 21 bombs in the first half and follow up in the second half with only three while hitting .178. Yes, it’s been that brutal. Why did they trade away Cespedes again? Oh well, what’s done is done. But that definitely makes them a nice stack on a day in which they should be good but probably won’t be looked upon given their offensive struggles. Fair warning here: this stack call ain’t for the faint of heart. The Athletics have scored more than 10 runs just twice in the last two months. This is an offense that’s been giving us more struggle face than Rob Ryan could ever muster. But I will be building an Athletics stack for GPPs today and yes it will have it some Donaldson and Moss. Heck, it might even get a Coco Crisp, Sam Fuld, Josh Reddick, and/or Adam Dunn. We all know everyone is gonna be on the COLvsLAD game in terms of stacks but that doesn’t always win you the tourney calls. You have to think outside the box and the Athletics have become just that. Oh and I guess we should talk a bit about why: Nick Tepesch. Hrm, you need more than that? Well what about his .378 wOBA away from Texas. Yes, he’s worse on the road than he is at home. Hard to do, I know, but given the Rangers season we can’t be all that surprised. But now that I’ve given you an off the wall stack, let’s get down to business. Here’s how I’d play today’s DK slate the rest of the way…

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 check theDFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

That’s what time of year it is! Juan Lagares gets a buy lede. Read between the lines here, and what does it tell you? That as you get older you have to eat salad for lunch three times a week? Hmm, I’ve found that too, but that wasn’t what I wrote between the lines. Try again! That you don’t get embarrassed being seen in a public restroom, but get embarrassed being seen walking out of one? Me too. Still not what I wrote between the lines. You look for the skinniest person in a conveyor belt sushi place and sit next to them? Didn’t write that between the lines either, but lambda! (Lambda is the Greek letter used to indicate wavelength, so when you want to indicate you are a nerd and to tell someone you’re on the same wavelength just say lambda. That’s what I do. “I was thinking we should go to a movie.” “Lambda.” See? Now go have nerd babies!) Okay, between the lines it actually read that we’re firmly in the part of the year when it only matters what a player did in the last week. Lagares is about as hot as anyone right now. Better still, Terry Collins said he wants Lagares to run more. Let’s do a quick equation. Player who is trying to prove their worth + Suggested by manager that they run = Merle Haggard! Wow, math’s off there. Was supposed to equal tremendous fantasy value. Now, if Lagares wasn’t hitting it wouldn’t matter that Collins told him to run, but he is hitting and running like crazy — five steals in the last week while hitting over .300. He’s also been inserted into the leadoff spot. Thinking you should own him? Lambda! Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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The Denver Homerlette is like the Slam & Legs, except it’s 2 HRs, while Tulo and CarGo hold their legs. As most of you know, Rudy writes the title for most of these. Currently, Rudy and I are in a tough battle for 1st place in our RCL and he owns Corey Dickerson, so I thought I’d share with you the first few titles Rudy suggested, “Dickerson Poops On Grey, But Of Coors” and “Suck My Dickerson.” Stay classy, Rudy! Since Rudy won’t or can’t toot his own horn, I will for him. Hmm, that sounds weird. Maybe if he could’ve tooted his own horn, his wife wouldn’t be spitting out kids like they were sunflower seeds. In February, Rudy released his rankings, and he had Dickerson at 102 overall. I don’t think I saw Dickerson within 100 spots of that anywhere. I was one of the other few people who even ranked him, and I didn’t have him within 150 of that. Yesterday, Dickerson hit two bombs, raising his season total to 22. In addition, he has a .311 batting average to go with 8 steals. Right now, he’s top 60 overall on our Player Rater and near the top 15 for outfielders. That’s after Walt Weiss played with his ding-a-ling for a month, platooning him. That ranking won’t be far from where he’s ranked for 2015 either. Everywhere he’s played he’s shown solid power, average and some speed, then throw Coors into the equation and he could be a top 30 bat overall in 2015. Yup, I kinda love him. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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In 1778, Benjamin Franklin pulled the first American flag from Betsy Ross’s, uh, clutches and proclaimed a holiday to be called Labor Day in the then-resort city of Philadelphia. Since then there’s been a long history of great Philly pitchers: Steve “Lefty” Carlton, Jackie “Kid” Gleason, Robin “ESPN anchor” Roberts, Curt Schilling, who later went on to be known for saucing his French fries with ketchup out of his sock, Jim “Beds Are” Bunning and Brett “I’ll Show You Slap Hits” Myers. Philly’s not the same town now as it was in Ben’s day, as the battle for best cheesesteak tore up most of the city. “Geno’s? How about I give you a jihad wit wiz?!” It’s ugly, without much joy in the City of Brotherly Love, a nickname adopted due to the popularity of a WWF manager in the early 90’s. Yesterday, for a moment, all of that sorrow was told to go to ‘morrow, as Cole Hamels and Jacob Diekman, Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon combined for a no hitter. Hamels only made it through six innings, because he took Labor Day literally and struggled with five walks. If I had to give an award out because I had an award and didn’t know what to do with it, I’d ask someone next year if Jacob Diekman ever threw a no-hitter, and would reward them with that unwanted trophy if they said yes. A great day for Philly fans everywhere (except for the fans that came to the game with D batteries hoping for a reason to throw them at a player). Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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So there I was, huddled with my family in the basement. Waiting for the tornado. I kept thinking, “I’m from Massachusetts why am I in the basement at 9 o’clock at night, the Sunday before Labor Day waiting out a tornado warning?” (Entitled Northerner Alert!!) To get my mind off of what was potentially headed my way, I went and checked my DraftKings roster. GREAT GOOGLY MOOGLY!!12TH! My mood went from somber to ecstatic almost immediately. That’s the highest I’ve ever finished in a Moonshot before. Sure I’ve had a dozen or so top 100 finishes and a couple of top 50’s but top 12? Hell nah! Now I really hoped to make it out of this basement in one piece. I’m cashing like crazy tonight baby. Get Money indeed!

Not to worry Razzaholics, the storm passed, the Tornado was canceled (I didn’t know that they canceled these things) and the Lifshitz clan is safe and sound. Great! more time to focus on turning these winnings into a vacation to San Diego or Hawaii or some place warm for the winter. Welp, I think I just locked up the award for the most dramatic opening of a post on Razzball. As well as the award for the Father who’s priorities are the least in order. In my work for Football later this week, I’ll be gunning for the most times the word selfie has been used in a post, and the least informative content. What can I say I aim high. You know who is aiming high these days? (Segue FTW!) Corey Kluber! Today he’s got the difficult task of trying to tame the Tigers. This is no feat for mere mortals, in fact Mr. Kluber himself has fallen a victim to the Jaws of the Tigers before. Primarily saber tooth sluggers Miguel Cabrera (15/28, 3 hr’s, 7 RBI, 6 K’s score one for Corey!) and Victor Martinez (8/21, 2 hr’s, 3 RBI, 2 K’s). I’m not under any delusions that tell me Kluber is going to get rocked, but as I said in Two Start-A-Palooza on Saturday I could see a 6 IP, 3 ER, 5 K kind of game. Not bad but also not worth $11,800. Just so we’re clear I love Kluber I’m just giving him the Labor Day fade. (UPDATE: Now that I know that Miggy will be out of the lineup for the foreseeable future I’m upgrading Kluber to a good start in all formats) The same goes for David Price and his $12,200 price tag. There are too many great pitching options today to bother with aces facing good offenses.

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 check the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

There’s a dark side to the expansion of rosters that no one wants you to talk about. Or people do talk about it, but they talk about it as written by the writers of The Honourable Woman so no one can understand it. You laid a cable modem through the Gaza Strip? But now the Palestinians can see which celebrities are on their side. “We got Rihanna! With a hashtag, baby! If we could only buy her albums. What does she sing? S&M? What’s that mean? Whips and chains? Oh, yeah, like torture? Oh. Regarding sex? Hmm, we’d kill her for singing that. What other songs does she have? Umbrella? It doesn’t rain here. What else does she sing? Only Girl in the World? That is neither accurate nor encouraging. Could she remix it to 72 girls in the world?” This MLB roster expansion has a side to it that is that disturbing. With teams expanding, they don’t need to DL players. A week ago if Dustin Pedroia was forearm shivered as he was on Saturday, he would’ve hit the DL. Now, well, he’s going to sit on the bench for at least a week. Miguel Cabrera may have also hit the DL a month ago, so he could rest his ankle. Now, the Tigers said he could sit for 4 to 5 days. It’s not great news, though with how he’s hitting, in some leagues it might pay to just bench him and grab a hot bat. As for Pedroia, I’d drop him in most mixed leagues. He could be out for a week or longer, and, brucely, he hasn’t done much this year when he has been playing. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Well that’s a new one. No player. Nope. Not giving you a pitcher. Ok, I kinda am. Sale is da bomb dot gov. But you don’t need me to tell you that. Unless, of course, you haven’t paid attention to this sport we call baseball for the last three years, then maybe you need my insight on the guy that coulda been AL Cy Young if it weren’t for a DL stint. And heck, I’m not even giving you a specific hitter. I’m talking fat stacks…or phat stacks if I were Chris Tucker and it was 1997. Remember when he was funny? Yeah, I don’t either…anywho, this was a theory discussed with a good friend who’s into the DFS game and who had a great take on the psychology of a baseball game. So when you’re the pitcher opposing a certified ace and aren’t really ‘on your game’, you’re gonna get like your GF’s panties get during that certain time of the month: spotty. And when you get spotty, you get dicey. And when you get you know what, I just can’t do the Direct TV commercial. It’s been done to death. The key thing here is recognizing that the other team and their opposing pitcher can get a bit intimidated going up against an arm like Sale. These types of feelings are hard to get around. An error here, a booted double play there…the big thing is, Baltimore and Bud Norris are in a bad spot for today and I plan on taking advantage. And speaking of Bud…gross. That’s both about the beer and the pitcher splits. Norris isn’t great at all at this point but away from Baltimore, he has a 4.55 ERA and a near doubled HR/9 rate at 1.28 away from the ‘friendly confines’ of Camden Yards. In particular, lefties have given him the most trouble with 6 HRs in 33.1 IP and a .354 wOBA. So if you’re against a huge stack, keep in mind Adam Dunn, Alejandro De Aza, and Conor Gillaspie when you’re building your rosters for the day.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 20 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!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yu Darvish hit the DL with elbow inflammation.  In Grey’s 2nd half rankings, he said, “BAM!  What?  (Darvish) should be in the top 20 with the rest of the big-name pitchers, but I’m worried about an injury, so I ranked him much lower and that gets a BAM!”  And that’s me quoting Grey!  Dayum, son, Grey called that one.  Sure, he called it so long ago that no one even remembers it, but he called it neverthehoo!  Actually sounds a bit like Grey is writing this.  Oh, shoot, here he comes!  Hey, who wrote those previous, beautifully written sentences?  Sure as heck wasn’t me!  Guess that’s what I get for leaving my computer open at a Starbucks while I order a double foam, half-Sanka, half-espresso mocha, goochie, goochie, ya ya latte, LaBelle-style.  Well, I told you I had concerns about Darvish and when I have concerns, I make it happen with my mind like some crazy, telekinetic-fantasy-baseball-Scott-Baio-in-Zapped mofo!  The Rangers haven’t given a timetable for Darvish’s return yet, but like I also said in the 2nd half rankings, the Rangers have nothing to play for so they could shut him down.  Give him more time with his lady friends.  What does Darvish’s girlfriend call Yu’s erections?  YD Bulger, and it’s in hiding.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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You know when Shin-Soo Choo (2-for-4, 2 runs and his 10th homer) is hitting homers there’s a Dong Party going on. Dong Party is also my lead single off my album, “Who Let In All These Guys?” The CD cover had me dressed like a sailor, begrudgingly hoisting a man for a keg stand. None of this is ringing a bell? That’s weird, but it did perform better in Asia than here. Choo hadn’t homered since July 4th and only has 4 homers since May 22nd and is hitting .238. Can we say bust? If you can’t, you might want to see a speech therapist. Also joining the Dong Party was J.P. Arencibia (3-for-5, 4 RBIs and his 7th homer). That Arencibia is one spicy meatball! You know what one meatball said to another meatball? What’s up, metaball? What? No good? Okay, I won’t submit it to Highlights. Arencibia has 4 homers in the last eleven games, and has been known to go on a dong run. For those of you who just found us today Googling “dong run.” We won’t judge you here. Next up, for the Dong Party was Robinson Crusoe. He’s got a novel idea. It’s about a shipwrecking. Quite the yarn! Chirinos (3-for-5, 3 runs and two homers) has 11 homers on the year, and I’ve enjoyed owning him in a few two-catcher leagues, but he’s hitting .237 and I wouldn’t get too excited, especially not while you’re at a Dong Party. Finally, arriving at the Dong Party with a homer in the first inning was Adrian Beltre (1-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 16th homer). Getting a bangfizzle at a Dong Party is such a bummer. By the by, Such A Bummer was my follow-up single. Tell me if you want the Sound Cloud link. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?