As I begin to prepare my projections and rankings for the 2017 season, I like to look back on the previous season’s attempt to not only assess my work, but also to learn how I can do better next time. Projecting statistics in any sport is a tedious and arduous task. The variables, formulas and algorithms are constantly changing and if you don’t adapt with them, your results will lose their precision and accuracy. However, I’d like to make one point blatantly clear, projections are nothing more than calculated guesses. Some are better than the next, but none are even close to perfect.

Let’s see how I fared with my 2016 efforts. For all positions I will provide the following six numbers: projected points, actual points, projected rank, actual rank, projected points per plate appearance and actual points per plate appearance. I am including points per plate appearance because it helps put a player’s projections vs performance into perspective when they’ve missing time due to injury. For pitchers I’ve replaced points per plate appearance with points per start. I’ve also included a column showing the percentage by which my points projections were off. Any player with an “n/a” listed in this column is because that player spent at least 30 days on the disabled list.

Lastly, a quick note about the rankings listed in this post. These rankings are based purely on points. This season I plan to provide additional rankings that allow me to adjust them based on three important factors: intuition, gut and my sporadic conversations with Nostradumass.

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Yasmany Tomas, Odubel Herrera, Nomar Mazara.  What do those players have in common?  Guys that were in last year’s top 100 outfielders post that made it out like this is Orange is the New Black and those guys were Taystee.  Only then Taystee got reincarcerated and brought with her that badass b*tch Vee, and Vee then started running shizz and that white ho, who the show was originally about that is annoying AF, started getting institutionalized with panty-selling and lez ho’ing and–Well, anyway, you get the point.  There’s not a ton of sunshine in this top 100 outfielders, but occasionally you do get glimmers of hope.  All the 2017 fantasy baseball rankings are under that link-ma-whosie.  As always, my projections and tiers are included.  Anyway, here’s the top 100 outfielders for 2017 fantasy baseball:

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On Sunday morning, I woke around 8 AM to read a text from Rudy saying, “Awful news, Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident.”  I put on my glasses, no time for contacts, and turned on the TV.  It was still on Fox Sports West because I was watching Vin Scully tributes all weekend.  Yesterday morning, Fox Sports was playing Anglers Chronicles, a fishing show, which is wrong in so many ways.  After switching the stations, groggy-eyed and still half asleep, I realized TV was not the place anymore to go for breaking news.  I shut it off and turned to the internet.  I’m still piecing together my thoughts.  He was 24 years old, even if he never played baseball this is a horrible loss of life.  I’m reminded of all the friends I lost to motorcycles in their twenties.  I’m struck by how inconsequential fantasy feels.  There’s a giant pit in my stomach.  Then, I think about how I never saw Jose Fernandez not smiling.  Not having fun.  I think about how on that boat, Saturday evening, you know Jose Fernandez was having a great time, because he was always having a great time.  That exuberance came through in everything he did.  I think about how he spent time in prison after one of his numerous failed attempts of escaping Cuba, and how, even then, he was likely making fellow inmates smile.  How the excellence he brought to the mound every fifth day was felt all the way back in Cuba to raise up even the darkest corners of Cuba’s prisons.  “That was us.  That is us,” the inmates, who are still incarcerated for trying to escape, likely said.  How baseball does that.  How special that is.  You see what you’re going to see in tragedy, but I see Jose Fernandez pitching, and baseball, and making himself and others smile.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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bulldozier

In the last month Brian Dozier has been bulldozing opponents like it’s his job. Technically it is his job, but he gets an “A” for effort and is the run away candidate for Employee of the Month. Gary Sanchez who? After two hot weeks, he’s been more like Harry Sanchez. And in case you didn’t know who Harry Sanchez was, the Urban Dictionary defines him as “Same as Dirty Sanchez with the addition of pulling the hair from ones taint, and making a mustache from the left overs of the dirty sanchez.” While I’m pretty sure anyone can add entries to the Urban Dictionary as I’ve done so myself, I’d have to say this description is pretty accurate considering Gary has totaled zero points in the last two weeks. Just in time for points leagues playoffs. (This opening was written on Friday before Sanchez hit two home runs.)

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narcos_pic

If you’re still focused on fantasy baseball, pat yourself on the back for either making it into the playoffs or at least being in the playoff hunt. Here’s an interesting, and possibly false, stat. I started the season with thirty-one followers. I am currently down to eighteen. Seventeen of those eighteen have put themselves into a playoff position by reading my posts. The one follower that is not is my wife. She doesn’t even play fantasy baseball, she just reads my posts every week to make sure I am actually writing a post when she asks me to do something and I tell I can’t because I have to write an article. Ok, so I don’t really know how many followers I had or still have, or how many have actually benefited from my guidance, but I do know this. One hundred percent of my readers that are in the playoffs are actually in the playoffs. They’ve done studies, you know. 60% of the time, it works every time.

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I had an idea to make the Olympics more watchable.  You know how you watch it now and you’re like, “Damn, he just ran the length of two football fields in 20 seconds?  I mean, it looked like he was going fast, but the guy next to him ran it in 21 seconds, so it’s hard to tell exactly how fast he was running.”  Enter my idea:  in every event, there should one normal person competing so we get a better idea of how great the Olympians are next to average schmos.  Tell me you wouldn’t watch the platform diving if between the North Korean and Chinese diver, I was there trying to get the nerve up to jump from three floors up, then plunging awkwardly into the water on my back.  Or running next to Usain Bolt, doing an 85-second 200 meter dash.  So, this brings me to Kris Bryant, who right now is making other major leaguers look like ‘normal people.’  Yesterday, he went 5-for-5, 4 runs, 5 RBIs with his 29th and 30th homers.  On our Player Rater, he’s in the top five for the season.  Member in the preseason when people were saying Bryant was going to strike out too much to draft in the 1st round?  Those people are enjoying themselves some Jose Abreu!  For 2017, it’s gonna be hard to rank Bryant much later than the top five, as he enters only his age-25 season.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Twenty-six years after my Lord and Savior, Reggie Jackson, retired from professional baseball to collect cars, full-length fur coats and start a business where you use cocktail franks as cocktail stirrers, I saw a young Mariner by the name of Brad Miller.  To this day, when you Google “Brad Miller sleeper,” you still see archival footage of Grey’s massive excitement — that’s not what she said!  I was jazzed back in 2013 because Miller had hit 20 HRs, stole 11 bases and over .300 between the majors and minors.  Then 2014 and 2015 happened, Miller did nothing, and I retreated into my cubby hole of snack food that I eat out of sight from my Cougar wife.  “I’m snacking on kale, baby doll!”  “Grey, you sound louder than usual.”  I was being amplified due to eating a nacho cheese Bugle.  Finally, this year I was sure not to own Miller anywhere.  So, of course, he breaks out.  Yesterday, Brad Miller went 3-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 25th homer, 5th homer this week, while hitting .265.  On our 30-day Player Rater, Miller is 5th most valuable for hitters.  The top 4 –> Blackmon, Hamilton, Braun, Betts.  Yeah, pretty good company, like Reggie’s cocktail frank stirrers’ company, The Dog That Stirs The Drink, Inc.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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True or false:  A) Dansby Swanson is famous for being Ted Knight’s caddy in Caddyshack. B) Starting a meme at his frat house in Arizona where he’d put his checkered pants on a cactus with the caption, “I’m thirsty, yo.”  C) There’s no C.  D) All the above.  E) Was drafted a second ago by the Diamondbacks 1st overall, then traded to the Braves for the fellow WASP, Shelby Miller, and all-around terrible pitcher.  If you answered D) All the above, how did you know what all the above was before reading E?  Also, it was a true or false quiz, what the hell is all of the above?!  So, Dansby Swanson is being called up by the Braves just in time, no lie, for their series against the Diamondbacks.  Dayum.  Hello, wounds, here’s your salt.  In Prospector Ralph’s midseason top 100 prospects, Dansby was 22nd overall, right by Willie Calhoun, who totally tanked Mike Dukakis’ campaign.  Swanson is a 22-year-old that was a’ight in Double-A (8 HRs, 6 SBs, .261 in 84 games).  That’s neither here nor there, he’s young; he should be owned in most mixed leagues; you’re not going to find his talent level on waivers in many leagues; semicolons; fun.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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As a Mariners fan, it’s very rare I have much of any empathy for other teams and their fans, especially teams that just came off winning a World Series. And yet, here I am looking at the sad state of the Royals and think to myself ‘how many black cats crossed this team’s path?’. A majority of KC’s masterpiece last year was the young nucleus staying healthy, guided by Alex Gordon as the vet, and a crazy good bullpen. Flash forward to this year and it seems like the entire team is on the DL. No really! This is not the roster it was back in 2015 and the numbers resemble it. The Royals have the 5th worst wRC+ on the year and are K’ing about 5% more than they did last year. But even those numbers lie a little because it keeps some of the early part of the year – read: when the team was healthier – in the equation. So instead, I’m looking at their second half numbers and yup, worst team in baseball by wRC+ standards. Yes, worse than the Phillies and the Braves. Yes, that is really, really gross. But now that I’ve done all that research, it’s time to turn it into some cash money and with that, we get Tyler Duffey. Tyler’s game log inspires zero confidence as it’s about as up and down as a certain type of professional dancer around certain poles. That said, at $5,700, he inspires me to call him my SP2 in tourneys. Now that we’ve turned the Royals’ pain into our gain, let’s see what else we should do. Here’s my hung over and maybe still drunk taeks for this Saturday DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday August 15th to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. Wanna know what the best part is about signing up with us? The free subscription for the rest of the season to our DFSBot, that’s what! For details on the how to, please visit our Razzball Subscriptions page.

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Have you ever had one of those pineapple upside down cakes? Those things are weird, I can’t get over the fact that it looks like the cake is staring at me. It’s like some sort of creature from the deep I wouldn’t want to bump into while out for a snorkel (Snorkeling? Snork?). Weird is also a great way to describe Michael Pineda’s season thus far. April and May saw him post around a 7 ERA while June has provided a 2.75 ERA. What will July bring? Well, the K rate has increased from 10 to 12 and the walk rate has dipped slightly from 2.5 to 2. Both are good signs. The best sign of all though is the number of hits he’s allowed. April/May’s hit rate was over 12 per 9 IP. June’s hit rate is about half that, at 6.75 H/9. So what happened here? Well, even though it FEELS like Pineda’s been around forever, he’s only 27 and maybe he just hit a rough spell. The metrics weren’t really that out of whack and we could have is a classic case of a guy getting unlucky, pressing, having some control issues and things snowball before something clicks. I’m guilty of hitting the panic button, perhaps a bit too early, in my season long leagues. In the daily game, it’s time to hop back on board thanks to the strikeout upside Pineda can provide. With any luck, the masses will still be scared off by the ugly overall numbers. Ugly like a pineapple upside down cake. Here’s some more picks for the night’s DraftKings slate:

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday July 11th to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. Wanna know what the best part is about signing up with us? The free subscription for the rest of the season to our DFSBot, that’s what! For details on the how to, please visit our Razzball Subscriptions page.

Please, blog, may I have some more?