If you visit the comments section on a regular basis, you’re probably familiar with some of the most common questions that are posted there. “Who should I draft – player X or player Y?” “Why do you have player X ranked ahead of player Y?” “Why do you love/hate player X so much? He was great/awful last season!” The answers to these questions will vary depending on who you ask. Grey will tell you to avoid players in their 30s and draft Delino DeShields at all costs. “Take DeShields.” “But I need a pitcher…” “DeShields!” Rudy will direct you to his dollar values and remind you why positional scarcity is a myth. Sky would probably advise you to load up on power. Jay might extoll the virtues of Cory Spangenberg. While all of these opinions have merit, the question is: whose opinion should you value the most? The answer is… yours!

In this article, I’ll be sharing some of the basic, but important, things that I look for when evaluating hitters for fantasy baseball. I’ll provide brief explanations of the specific things that I focus on as well as why I believe these things are significant in the evaluation process. Hopefully, you’ll be able to use one or two of these tips to improve your own player evaluations.

Without further ado, here are some of the things that I look for when evaluating hitters for fantasy baseball:

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Why are we talking about the Top 100 Fantasy Baseball Keepers again? I know, right? I thought we were past this, but then I had a revelation… and an email from Jay. After reflecting on some of the comments, I felt that I owed you guys… and five girls a little more about my evaluations. Got it? Good! Let’s not beat around the bush (TWSS), and jump right into this. When I started the keeper list, I was looking at this through the lens of people already in existing keeper leagues. I think to rank out a first year draft would require 200-plus ranked players and a multi-format strategy guide to compliment it. Then we would need meditation sessions to help conquer the inner conflict of win now versus win later. Pulling off the now and later is a tall task that requires two elements: 1) A hefty haul of young talent that takes a step forward this year and 2) A league of morons that don’t know how to draft… kidding… sort of. My general assumption is that if you are reading this site, then you are already gaining an advantage over your league-mates. We do a damn good job between writers and active commenters to cover anything and everything fantasy related. Now go grow your in-season stache, sign up for an RCL commenter league or start your own, and buy a round of daquiris for your bartenders (that’s us). Hhhhhmmm, does that make Grey Sam Malone?

Take on your favorite writers in the 2016 Razzball Commenter Leagues! Join here

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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…Wick Terrell, to provide his take on what the team has in store this season. Now enough rambling, let’s see what 2016 holds for the Cincinnati Reds!

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What goes through J-FOH’s head when he does these ranks? I’m glad you asked. Wait… you didn’t ask? Are you sure? No? Not at all? Sheesh, thanks guys… and four girls. I’m going to be my usually contrarian self and tell you anyway. I’m looking at players from their floor to their ceilings over the next 3-5 years (and beyond). I’m looking at games played over the previous few seasons, projecting risk going forward, and predicting how they will age based on their skill set. A player whose value is heavily dependent upon speed will usually lose that speed going into the 30’s and players with power will usually keep that a little bit longer. There are always guys who defy the odds like David “I never juiced” Ortiz or Adrian Beltre. They are a special breed that should never be slept on ’til the day they retire. There is science, stats, and anecdotal B.S., and then there are “those guys”. Joey Bats and those sweet bat throws would fall into that class for me. Excuse me while I preach for a second. I love bat flips. I think they should be mandatory for any home run after the 7th, 6th for the Yankees. This is a kids game that is suppose to be fun and guys like Mad Bum need to either throw the punch or shut the front door. Any a-hole can stand there shouting with a team behind him. At least Robin Ventura had the cojones to try and fight. (I want that shirt!) Now that we have my major side track out of the way, let’s move down to some words about the list before we get to the list. Note to self, take an english class at the local adult education center next year.

Take on your favorite writers in the 2016 Razzball Commenter Leagues! Join here

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I mentioned in the top 20 outfielders that there’s a ton outfielders that I want to draft.  The top 40 outfielders for 2016 fantasy baseball extends my enthusiasm.  I’d say it’s like Cialis, but then I’d have to go through a five-minute spiel of all of its side effects.  “Drafting six outfielders in the first seven rounds can lead to high blood pressure, diarrhea, sudden heart attack, fever, a fever after a heart attack which makes your loved ones think you’re still alive because you’re burning up but you’re actually dead and nausea.”  As with all of my 2016 fantasy baseball rankings, included are my projections and where I see tiers start and stop.  Anyway, here’s the top 40 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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“All year.  All.  Year.  I’ve been starting Jeff Samardzija in one 15 team league.  It’s an NFBC league so I couldn’t drop him (there’s no waivers).  It’s not a great league to bench starters.  I had options like Colby Lewis and Adam Warren.  Not great options.  But, finally, yesterday, I decided enough was enough.  If I was going to lose, at least I would lose with Samardzija out of my lineup.  So, Samardnuts goes out and throws a one-hitter (9 IP, o ER, 1 Hit, Zero Walks, 6 Ks).”  That was how I concluded the story to the doctor when I first ended up in the mental asylum.  Samardzija is actually easier to type while wearing a straitjacket.  Coincidence?  Immediately following the story, I cackled myself to sleep in a puddle of my own bodily fluids.  I’m not even sure what fluid it was.  I’m guessing urine, but you got me on specifics.  As we know, earlier this year Oxford Dictionary replaced &@*^&*@%! that connotes a curse word with Samardzija, and I can think of nothing more fitting than screaming SAMARDZIJA!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday, I was watching the Twins game and I fell asleep and had a dream that Razzball’s Twitter account got one of those blue check marks.  I’m not sure what this says about my fantasies, but it says something about Tyler Duffey and the Twins.  They lack a certain je ne sais Michelle Kwan.  The Twins seem to do this on purpose.  Very workmanlike.  Like a Minnesota woman who would handily beat me in an arm wrestling match.  Pun noted.  I’ve never been to Minnesota, but I picture the women looking like Jesse Ventura when he used to wear feathers in his hair and leotards.  As with just about every Twins pitcher since Radke, minus Liriano and Johan, Duffey is yet another Twins hurler that has solid control and okay, not great strikeouts.  Yesterday, he went 6 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 9 baserunners, 7 Ks vs. the Tigers, and had a 2.53 ERA in Triple-A with a 7 K/9.  I don’t see any huge upside here and is better in real life, which apparently the Twins play in.  The Stream-o-Nator hates his next start, but I would start him if I needed to gamble.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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A scant three weeks remaining in the regular season, an injury or stint on the disabled list now tends to stick the proverbial fork in someone’s season. In addition to the normal injury reports, a slew of pitchers and hitters returned to active rosters today. Just call me Professor Farnsworth because “Good news, everyone!” we have a lot of players to discuss.

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Yesterday, Masahiro Tanaka went 8 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 10 Ks.  I took some guff in the preseason for being down on Tanaka, in the non-sexual way.  I projected him for the line of 10-4/3.49/1.15/150.  His line right now is 11-6/3.57/1.01/125.  Yeah, I was waaaaaaaaay off.  Multiple A’s to allow time for an eye roll.  Kids write me letters and say, “Unkie Grey, how did you know what Tanucky (sic) would do so mediocrely?”  My answer is always the same, I’m a witch.  Then I continue, “No, that’s just a broom.  Male witches ride around on Vespas.”  Tanaka was an easy person for me to avoid this year due to his elbow tendon.  For 2016, sadly, I don’t see my enthusiasm changing.  Or at any point for him until he has surgery, rehabs for 12-16 months and then returns.  I wish he would, because I would like to get excited about him, but it’s just not gonna happen, said like Dana Carvey impersonating George H. W. Bush.  Now, excuse me, I double-parked my Vespa on Sandoval’s foot.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?