Just as I went around the league and highlighted 2017 fantasy baseball rookies, I will now do the same with 2017 fantasy baseball sleepers.  These sleepers are gonna be so butter margarine gonna be like, “Yo, you got me, I’m not real.”  These sleepers are gonna be so terrific they’re gonna call up the West Virginian woman, Terri Fic, and tell her to change her name.  These sleepers are gonna be so illuminating they’re gonna explain WHAT THE HELL IS THE HARMON FAMILY HIDING?!  Seriously:  what is Pam Dawber, her husband Mark Harmon and their kids, Sean Harmon and Ty Harmon hiding with all of these blocked accounts?  If they are living in a log cabin somewhere in the mountains, I say send in the U.S. Marshals!  We want answers, Mark Harmon and Co.!  Does NCIS stand for Notably Cloaked In Secrecy?  I want to know!  So, our first sleeper is Byron Buxton.  Hayzeus Cristo!  I just wrote Buxton’s name and ran into the bathroom while screaming, “Give me five minutes of peace and quiet I need to explore myself!”  No, there is no particular order with these sleepers, but I am kinda goofy crazy for Buxton.  Last year, he disappointed with 10 HRs, 10 SBs and a .225 average.  Luckily, this isn’t last year, fantasy baseball fans and fans of Mark Harmon conspiracy theories who found us in Google.  So, what can we expect from Byron Buxton for 2017 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday….yesterday….yesterday….
All my fantasy baseball titles seemed so far away.
Now it looks as though one is here to stay *sung in a very fast voice* oh, crap, nope, because I drafted Matt Holliday,
Oh, why did I believe in Holliday…day…day…day.
Suddenly!  Jacob deGrom’s arm is not half of what it used to be.
There’s a shadow hanging over me,
Oh, it’s Giancarlo’s injured groin that I made of plaster of Paris and that just came to me suddenly!
Why the season had to go, I don’t know, it wouldn’t say… because it can’t talk, it’s a baseball season that ended yesterday…yesterday…yesterday!
Fantasy Baseball was such an easy game to play,
Now I need a mother’s basement to hide away.
Oh, I believe in yesterday…day…day.

*sniffles*  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 a Mets’ pitcher elbow?  Does Daniel Murphy’s butt hurt or is he just butt-hurt?  What will we do without a Bryce Harper 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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Tonight should make for a fun decision on pitchers, and by fun I mean, un-fun. There’s the big two of Madison Bumgarner and Clayton Kershaw followed by a mass of mediocrity. The gap between these two and the rest of the field is pretty enormous. I’m tempted to pay up for both of the studs and pay for certainty they bring to the table. Paying up for pitching is nice for cash games, but I’m even considering this strategy for GPPs as well. With bad pitchers, bad match-ups and pitch counts abounding I don’t think I can pinpoint two lesser starters to get behind. It’s not worth it to risk tanking my roster trying to dig for pitching value tonight. It’s not easy to spend that much on hitting and come up with a great roster. People don’t like things that aren’t easy, therefore, the double aces might just be the contrarian play. My advice is to pay the $13,400 for Bumgarner (@SD) and $12,800 for Kershaw (vs. COL) and dig for value hitters. Don’t worry, I’m here to make that digging a little easier for you. Consider me your designated shoveler. Let’s take a look at what we can uncover for tonight:

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 September 26th 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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Steven Matz is likely done for the year after hurting his shoulder again.  I’m not even joking.  I kinda wish I were.  NY Post writer, Joel Sherman’s headline, “How Terry Collins broke Matz news to Mets in stirring meeting.”  Unless everyone had coffee, creamers and were stirring, Joel, buddy, you’re overselling.  Quick aside, sportswriters assume their audience is a bunch of illiterate 8th graders.  *makes farting noise with hand under armpit*  That’s what I think of that.  Any hoo!  If I could toot my own horn, I’d never leave my house, but I told you Matz wasn’t going to start.  If I were a Mets fan, I’d be particularly worried about the Mets going deep into the playoffs, because, unlike Joel Sherman, I’d like to point out this will be more innings on Gsellman and Lugo’s arms.  Ya know, the same thing that got Matz, Harvey and deGrom in trouble this year.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This week’s most added player, Minnesota Twins outfielder Byron Buxton (52.6% owned; +34.6% over the past week), needs no introduction to those of you familiar with the prospecting circles. Well, I guess I should clarify and say prospect circles since we can leave the prospecting to his agent(s) and entourage. The bottom line is that Buxton has been widely considered to be one of the best (if not the best) young talents in baseball for the last several years. While rising up the minor league ranks, he’s shown the abilities to hit for average and power, field his position well, consistently throw runners out when they attempt to take an extra base, and run really, really fast. That’s basically just a long-winded way of saying that he’s a five tool player. Unfortunately for Buxton and his fantasy owners, these tools haven’t led to much on-field production during his time in MLB thus far. At least early on, that is. From his MLB debut on June 14th of last season through August 5th of this season, Buxton managed just a .199/.248/.319 triple slash line through his first 109 MLB games (356 PA) with 3 homers and 11 steals along the way. His 34.8% K% over that span showed that the 22-year-old wasn’t quite able to adjust to big league pitching just yet. Since being sent down to the minors last month and reemerging in the majors on September 1st, Buxton has looked like a different player. In 10 games (40 PA), he’s produced a .405/.436/.919 line with 12 runs, 5 homers, and 13 RBI over that span. He’s managed to cut his K-rate down to 27.5% as well. A large part of this newfound success (especially the power) can most likely be attributed to a leg kick that he reintroduced into his plate approach after abandoning it last season. However, despite the recent surge in production, Buxton has actually been as undisciplined at the plate as ever, in some regards. His 41.7% O-Swing% and 17.3% SwStr% over the last 10 games are up significantly from his previous 31.6% and 14.2% marks in his MLB career. He’s clearly being much more aggressive at the plate during this recent stint, which is great when the ball is consistently flying out of the park, but could spell trouble when his 45.5% HR/FB and .476 BABIP come back down to Earth. Buxton reminds me quite a bit of another young, toolsy outfielder with a similar build, skillset, and approach by the name of B.J. (though you might know him as Melvin) Upton – fantastic speed, solid pop, and a few too many Ks. I’m referring to the Rays version of Upton, of course, who topped 30 steals five times (including 40+ three times) and smashed 20+ homers on three different occasions while in Tampa. His shaky plate discipline generally kept his batting average just south of .250, but his power/speed combination was very impressive. The back of Buxton’s baseball card could look very similar to that of the Tampa version of Upton over the next few years. Dynasty leaguers – giddy up! Oh yeah, he should be a solid asset in redraft leagues over the next few weeks too as pitchers attempt to adjust to Buxton’s new approach.

Now that that run-on paragraph is finished, here are a couple of quick takes on players who have been among the most added/dropped in fantasy leagues over the past week:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Houston’s 32-year old Cuban rookie Yulieski Gurriel was 2-for-4 with his first stolen base Friday night. Or is it Guerriel? Gourriel? Don’t worry about spelling his name correctly, the media sure doesn’t–what’s important is Friday’s two hit night capped off an impressive week for the third baseman where he hit .321 with four runs, two home runs and drove in five runs. Debuting at the end of August, Yulieski got off to a slow start after struggling with a mild hamstring injury, but that looks to be a thing of the past and he’s now hit safely in his last six games, and has homered in two of his last three games. Players like Yulieski require praise, they demand it. As soon as manager A.J. Hinch let him know he was a good Gurriel, and started rewarding him with treats (he really likes Combos) Yulieski turned it on. Atta Gurriel! Yes, you are! Who’s a good Gurriel? You arrrre! Yulieski was less than impressive during his short minors stint (.250/.262/.429 line with two home runs and 14 RBI in 15 games), but he bat .500 with 15 homers in 50 games in Cuba last year which is a about as good as it sounds, so there is little doubt our boy is major league ready. Did you read Grey’s Yulieski Gurriel fantasy? I read it while conducting a scientific tasting of all the different Combos flavors. Pepperoni pizza won in a landslide. Lord Byron Buxton will be the hot-shot rookie pick up of the week, and by all means, if he’s available grab him, but Gurriel could be a nice add if you lost the Buxton sweepstakes, and he’s still out there in over 80% of leagues. I’d own him in any league where wanted to win. Yulieski can do it!

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

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“What about Asdrubal?  Asdrubal, Cron, Buxton, Peraza, Morales and Puig?  Puig, Morales, Asdrubal, Buxton and Morales?  Have I already mentioned Morales?  What about Puig?  What about Cron?  WHAT ABOUT CRON?!  Hardwiring is smoking!  I think I’m overheating!  Don’t throw water on me, I’ll short circuit!” It’s too late.  As the water hits the Fantasy Master Lothario’s mainframe, a sickening mix of smoke and sizzle expels from his metal joints.  He staggers to a pole and places his metal hand down.  With one last flicker, he looks up with his metallic, blue eyes and asks hopefully, “Is Puig facing a lefty?”  And shuts down.  The metal pole he placed his hand on wasn’t just any pole, it hung Old Glory.  As if the ghost of George Washington himself was a fan, the American flag lowers onto the Lothario’s shoulders, draping him like a metal Kid Rock.  If only people would’ve just picked up C.J. Cron!  My one major quibble with Cron — Or is it queef?  I always confuse those two. — is Cron going to have The Sciosciapath try to outsmart the universe and start benching one of the hottest hitters?  Not even the Sciosciapath can answer that, for he does not know what his brain tells him to do.  Plus, he’s crazy.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Psyche!  Before we get into the Buy/Sell, just wanted to say a huge fantasy football announcement is coming in the next few days.  Let’s just say it sounds like Stream-o-Nator, but it’s got a football vibe to it.  And it’s less lonely.  Oh, Stream-o-Nator so lonely!  I wonder if the Stream-o-Nator and Hitter-Tron ever tried to date.  Anyway II, the Buy/Sell:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Happy Thursday everyone! I hope you’re all shaking off the dust from a productive Burning Man, and are looking to fine tune your offseason dynasty strategy. Actually I don’t really wish those things, it was just the first thing that popped into my head. With that said, welcome back to another episode of the Razzball Prospect Podcast with myself, Prospector Ralph, and Michael Halpern of Imaginarybrickwall.com. This week on the pod we talk Byron Buxton‘s resurgence, Rockies rookies Raimel Tapia and Tom Murphy (of course!!), and the curious case of Shohei Otani. Then as always we get into this week’s edition of “Lists w/ Prospectors”, as Halp and I take your through our Outfield Prospect ranks. We discuss in painful detail, such luminaries as Austin Meadows, Victor Robles, Lewis Brinson, Bradley Zimmer, Eloy Jimenez, and several others. Enough with the words! Subscribe, tune in, and tune out. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Prospect Podcast.

And be sure to check out the newest episode of the Razzball Football Podcast with Tehol, Zach, special guest Ramona from SportsGalPal, and Jay going over the first week of the NFL!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Maybe it was the food poisoning I had yesterday, but I had a dream Toomgis, the AM/PM mascot, and I were driving around talking about September baseball.  It feels like half the teams are either resting regulars for the playoffs, or the other teams that are out of it are resting regulars to give rookies a chance.  Those are the matchups you need to capitalize on with starting pitchers.  By the way, Toomgis is so obvious a creation of stoned creatives.  It’s a collection of stoner food and Toomgis stands for ‘Too Much Good Stuff.’  Um, okay, but there’s an I in there.  Stoner creative, “Eye-shmeye, we just need to move on before I eat our prototype.”  One more Toomgis point, how is this not Colorado’s national bird?  Any hoo!  So, with this matchups point hidden amongst my fracking in on Toomgis, we have Jharel Cotton capitalizing.   In his first major league start, 6 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 3 Ks.  Jharel Cotton makes me think of Faye Dunaway in a heavy Southern accent saying, “I shall avert my eyes.”  Cotton showed good control in the minors, and solid Ks, but in redraft leagues, you’re more worried about matchups this time of year.  For 2017, Cotton idolized Pedro Martinez and I can see why.  He’s five-eleven soaking wet (but I’m not sure people get taller when wet).  He also relies on the speed of the fastball and the break of the change.  A change that might carry him to glory, as soon as next year.  In keepers, I’d be very interested.  For this year, go with Toomgis’ advice on matchups.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When things are ugly, they tend to be really freakin’ ugly. The pitching on Tuesday night is deplorable. Corey Kluber clocks in as the top option due to his strikeout ability, but after that, things get quite ugly. With that said, Kluber makes a solid cash game option. After that, the following players are solid GPP plays: Brandon Finnegan vs. New York Mets, Tyler Anderson vs. San Francisco, and, oh my god, Wily Peralta at home against the Cubs. Starting with Peralta, this is the kind of play that could win a big stakes GPP. He could easily get hammered like Lenny Dykstra at a retirement home, but his ownership will be so low that if you do hit, you’ll look like a genius. The Giants continue to struggle and Anderson has actually been a decent option at Coors Field. He is averaging 17 DK points compared to 12.5 on the road. Finally, Finnegan has been killing it like O.J. Simpson. I mean, home, road, it hasn’t mattered. He is slicing and dicing the competition and has 29 strikeouts over his last 20 innings pitched. If I were to pair and pitcher with Kluber or Gio Gonzalez in cash games, it would be Finnegan.

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 September 12th 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?