My fantasy roster is like Rick and his Walking Dead gang, just waiting around to be fattened up for the slaughter in that train car. Doesn’t Daryl have a hidden crossbow? Feel free to kill off Beth though. Currently my team has lost Cole Hamels and David Robertson. Not too bad, but couple that with the injuries to Adrian Beltre, Andrew McCutchen and Yasiel Puig, and my team is on the verge of doing a Hershel. I feel like we should cue up that cheesy music they play at the Oscars when they pay tribute to those stars that died over the past year. Last week, the fantasy world lost Josh Hamilton (smattering of applause), Matt Moore (gasps) and Avisail Garcia (men openly weeping). Just bury them with all the other guys still on the DL – Clayton Kershaw (at least he’s throwing again), Matt Latos (skipping rehab start this week, uh-oh) and Jose Reyes (was born on the disabled list). Add Troy Tulowitzki (quad), Adrian Beltre (quad), Koji Uehara (shoulder quad), and Joe Nathan (dead arm quad) to the walking wounded list as well (guys hurtin’ but not DL’d) and we have a World War Z-sized fantasy apocalypse. Injuries are expected every year, but does it seem like there are more this season? Can I blame instant replay? Harold Reynolds? Someone or something is responsible. Quick, get Bartolo Colon to throw some stem cells in the Gatorade. I hear that helps. *note to self: Pitch embryonic energy drink to Gatorade, make millions, get killed by pro-life crusaders.* It’s time to bring in the fantasy reinforcements. Let’s scour the waiver wire for players owned 50% or less in most leagues and see if we can cure what’s ailing our battered and broken roster. It’s time to jam it or cram it.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Ryan Braun hit his first two home runs off Kyle Kendrick — you know, that Kendrick sure sticks out for a sore thumb — and then Braun emancipated a third ball off Lincoln. Three homers a mere two days after saying he was not able to swing normally is quite the 180. It’s like when Mickey Rourke is one of the best actors — in movies like Diner and Angel Heart — only to have a string of flops, terrible plastic surgery and then he reemerges in The Wrestler. Or Travolta’s career is in the toilet after Saturday Night Fever, dealing with whispers about his bedroom predilections and then he does Pulp Fiction. Doing The McConaughey while McConaughey was still ruining his career. A few years later, Mickey Rourke has another string of flops and his face still scares small children; Travolta does Battlefield Earth and now whispers about his religion have joined the other whispers. (Be forewarned, McConaughey.) So, will Braun now reemerge as the top hitter in the game and hold his Pulp Fiction/Wrestler renaissance or will his thumb continue to haunt him while he commits to Wild Hogs II: Where The Wild Hogs Are? All I know is he was complaining about his thumb a full nine months after he first hurt it, so it doesn’t seem likely to disappear that fast. His value may be even higher now, but I’d still be concerned. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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The greatest sporting event in the history of mankind takes place tonight (if all of mankind lived in a Louisiana trailer park and were named Mick Foley) – Wrestlemania! I’ll admit I come from the deep south of the far north where the pro rasslin’ rivals lobster wranglin’ and coffee brandy drinkin’ as favorite sports. I’ll also admit I haven’t watched wrestling since I was about 11 when Ivan Putski delivered the “Polish Hammer” upside the head of Superstar Billy Graham at the Lewiston Armory.  Fortunately, my Hulk Hogan costume still fits! You may be asking yourself, “Guru, you got that turban on too tight? What do headlocks, pile drivers and the ‘Camel Clutch’ have to do with fantasy baseball?” Well, my Razzballin’ Rick Rude lovers, they are both fake sports and I have 1500 words to fill. This week’s jam or cram has your handsome-but-nonetheless-figure-four-leglocking Guru comparing those old school wrestlers to fantasy ballers that could crown you king of the ring. We’re not talking Mike Trout here. We all know he’s the Iron Sheik of fantasy ball and he’ll make any team he faces humble. We are digging down into the lower levels of the waiver wire (owned 50% or less in most leagues, although it can vary league to league for reasons only Matthew Berry knows) searching for the players that will knock the competition stone cold – Gimme a hell yea! With us Razzballers just a week into the season, DL spots already filled, Closepocalypse 2 upon us and a number of studs delivering duds we have to make some early season roster shuffling. No, don’t panic yet and trade away Andrew McCutchen for Coco B. Crisp just because the dread pirate is being outperformed by a man and is parrot friend. We’re just looking for some outside interference à la Captain Lou Albano style to keep the fight going. With all that ‘splainin’ out of the way, it’s time for my signature move – it involves your eyes and my scotch. It’s time to jam it or cram it.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

It feels like there’s a lot of overreaction going on this year. Maybe it’s just because I live in the Philadelphia sports market, where one day you’re a popular All-Pro with a banner on the side of the stadium and the next you’re slandered and labeled a malcontent gang-banger.

Or maybe it’s some of the fantasy writing I’m seeing this year where a guy changes course five times in the same thought – “Mike Olt was a great prospect for Texas, but we don’t see him holding onto the third base job in Chicago, then again it’s always possible his power stroke could be dangerous in Wrigley. Still, Olt is a rookie and should be treated as such, unless he gets on a roll. Then you should pick him up, if you want to. But you don’t have to. We would.”

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So apparently as of this writing, Draftkings just doesn’t want us to have a full day of games. I went to check and see if I could build a lineup with Max Scherzer, but then I’m stuck with only three or four games to choose from. But when I pick the bigger slate, we’re stuck with good but not the best options on this fine baseball day. What’s a player to do? Well, adjust sucka! Sorry, that was out of line. I try and avoid short slates as it leads too weird lineups winning out, especially in big GPP leagues. So I’m gonna take my 11 games and stay sad I can’t get in on Mad Max while I do it. Tears…oh well, there are still some good things to find. And one play that I’ve been trumpeting since I wrote a Fantasy Sleeper post on him would be Tyson Ross. Said Ross has a few things going for him. One, he’s pitching in a pitcher friendly park. Deux, he finished 2013 looking downright sexy. Thricely, the Dodgers and Padres have combined to score nine runs in two games. That’s runs total for both teams if you’re having a hard time picking up what I’m putting down. So while I can’t promise you a win, the runs should stay low and hopefully the K’s get high and for the fun low price of $7,400, you don’t have to break the bank to get in on it and go buy Scherzer! Damn, forgot…Y U NO ALL GAMES, DK?!? Oh well, just like you can’t hug every cat, you can’t get all the games you want on DK sometimes. C’est la Daily Fantasy Baseball I guess. Speaking of full slates, don’t forget to reserve your spot for the Razzball Draftkings Contest this Friday. Now I WOULD put a 50/50 here for everyone to hop in on but yesterday…well let’s just say that Razzball Nation let me down. It’s no biggie, clearly you don’t need me anymore. You’re all grown up…fly away, lesbian seagulls *sniffs*. Wow, that got emotional. Let’s not do that again. Instead, let’s get to picks for 4/2/2014 for Draftkings Daily Fantasy Baseball…

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Around here at Razzball we are one big family that is some freakish hybrid of the Brady Bunch meets the Addams Family. Honestly, I’m not really sure what to make of all this. First we have our father Grey, the dad who works all day, comes home every night to a daiquiri, and goes out on the weekend and buys us the $100 high tops we want, but mom won’t let us have. He does this to make up for all the little league games he missed because he was bringing home the bacon. Now, Rudy is our mother, and I mean this in the nicest, most masculine way possible. He’s there to keep everything sensible, clean, and in order. Jay and Sky are the older brothers we come to for advice when we get in trouble, or to teach us how to undo a bra with one hand. Guru is Grey’s illegitimate child from a high school girlfriend that is re-connecting with us, and getting to know his dad. Jeremy and I are the younger brothers just glad to get scraps and a hand me down that isn’t filled with holes. Mike is our reliable uncle, who taught us how to properly swing a bat and to drive our shoulder to the plate when we pitched. Smokey is our cool uncle, who gives us beer and taught us all how to roll a doobie so we’ll be ready for high school. Tehol is our creepy uncle, who wears ridiculous clothes that border on illegal, and who our parents never want to leave us alone with since the “incident”. Nick is our neighbor that takes too many pictures and video of the family, even when we aren’t aware of it. Scott is our bachelor neighbor, who drives a kick ass Iroc-Z and dates a different 20-year-old every week. Our cousins Pete, Josh, Dano, and Tom are always hanging out because their mother, Paulie, and father, Dan, are either drinking or drinking. It’s a family over here, I’ll cut any mother f***er who tries to mess with these guys, and have no problem doing a couple a months in county to protect them. That’s why when Jay called upon me to help him out and cover the RCL recap this week I was ready to step up to the plate and help a brother out.

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As the seminal prog band Emerson, Lake and Laura Palmer once sang: “Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends, we’re so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside.” (The song went on for 45 minutes before ‘Yes’ came out and kicked their ass.) Opening day is here and the Razzball Lounge is open for bid’ness. Have a seat, grab a cold one and a pickled egg, and don’t get hypnotized by my bedazzled turban my fantasy freaks. Here in the lounge we dedicated, often celebrated, and usually acquitted (we have a great legal team) Razzballin’ scribes gather every opening day to bicker and banter, indulge and imbibe and moan and marvel at our fantasy teams and Grey’s magnificent ‘stache. On this last lazy Sunday (before things get serious) we find Sky in a dark corner slowing rocking back and forth muttering his mantra of “Tulo, Tanaka, Trumbo” over and over. Bellying up to the bar is podcasting paladin Nick Capozzi, clad only in his Expos throwback demanding another Labatts, showing off pics of his rolling Razzball ride and asking no one in particular, “Get your 32in32in32 tickets yet, eh?” Dropping quarters in the jukebox we find Jay Wrong demonstrating his “Paradise by the Dashboard Lights” interpretative dance – “Will you love me forever?”  *bottle smashes above head* Stumbling out of the ladies room is the one and only Tehol Beddict casually zipping up his skinny jeans and introducing his new lady friend, “Guys, I’d like to introduce you to my cousin. Ain’t she pretty?” And here at the pool table is your humble-but-nonetheless handsome Guru putting the finishing touches on my 27 rosters. *closes eye, takes aim, sinks eight ball off two rails, drops shot glass into pint, downs boilermaker, lights cigar, sets turban on fireWith the drinks starting to flow let’s run though the jams and crams at each position for Week 1 of the 2014 fantasy baseball season. We’re not talking Miggy, Trout or Goldy here, we’re looking at players owned in less than 50% of most leagues that could help grab you an early lead on your way to fantasy glory. Good luck this season, it’s time to jam it or cram it.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This is Part One of a three-part series.

On June 5th, 2013, T.J. Quinn, Pedro Gomez, and Mike Fish collaborated in writing an article in ESPN’s Outside the Line’s*, reporting that Major League Baseball was preparing to suspend such luminaries as Ryan Braun, Alex Rodriguez, Jhonny PeraltaMelky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon, and likely up to 15 other players who were connected to the Biogenesis clinic based in Miami Florida. The founder of the clinic, Tony Bosch, was reportedly going to testify against the players who had over the last several years established connections with the clinic, reportedly purchasing Performance Enhancing Drugs (P.E.D.’s), in order to plea-bargain and lesson the charges for his own egregious offenses.. These players faced up to a 100 game suspension, (which is actually the penalty for the second doping offense), for both denying their connection to the clinic as well as using P.E.D’s. As it turned out, Bosch provided phone records, receipts, data collected by the NSA or intercepted by drones hovering over the clinic. All of the players except for Alex Rodriguez have since then admitted their guilt, and were suspended for the remainder of the season; meanwhile, of course, AROD, the baseball equivalent of the Kardashians, has fought his case against the Lords of baseball, and will be suspended for one season, with his appeal in process.

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We at Razzball realize that exporting our views across the country has damaging consequences on the blogosphere. To help make amends, we are reaching out to leading team blogs and featuring their locally blogged answers to pressing 2014 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2014 Mets Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of Eno Sarris from FanGraphs.

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First off, I would like to say Eric Sogard should be the Face of the MLB; that vote was rigged in David Wright’s favor.  Baseball needs more nerdy-looking, glasses-touting, Bernie-leanin’, jive-walking players.  But without further ado, here is the AL West Spring Training Showdown. (You can check out the AL Central Spring Training Preview here and NL East Spring Training Preview here.)

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