It’s mid August, which means it’s football season for everyone except those still in contention in baseball leagues (and those gracious, absurd souls that maintain high effort levels on out-of-it teams). The author of this piece confesses that he, in fact, is not one of them. Of the three leagues for which I drafted teams, only one –the one I’m currently in first– commands my honest attention.

But lemme tell ya, I really want to win that one league. Real bad. And I’m guessing if you’re reading this, you are in a similar spot in your league and can Relate. If we call Level 1 “Showing up to the draft” and Level 2 “Replacing injured players”, then I’m operating on like a Level 13 level right now. That means doing all the little things right like making sure I’m taking advantage of platoon splits, dropping fringe guys with unfavorable upcoming matchups (sorry Grady), and starting a guy in every spot on every night, every day of the week. That last part is what this column is all about, so let’s take a look at some of the lesser-owned hitters at our disposal this Thursday.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I don’t know about you, and let me preface this by saying most if not all of my league mates at least know I contribute fantasy baseball (OPS) content, but I keep getting the old “But, he’s a Catcher/Shortstop so he’s worth more” and from a position scarcity perspective, that’s obviously true. However, I am A) going for the win-now so all I want is to take the lead in certain (all) categories and B) position scarcity-schmarcity: give me the best available.

So it’s time for your 5×5 (HR,SB,R,RBI,OPS) rankings for both position scarcity and position schmarcity.

FYI, I use the FVAR (fantasy value above replacement) approach to fantasy valuation vs. SGP (standard gains points) approach since I don’t have all of your leagues’ current and historical information. Feel free to look this up or ask below.

For reference, here are the positional replacement 5×5 values and associated players (the 5 z-scores for each category are summed up; the sum is adjusted in each position by this positional replacement value i.e. each Catcher gets .73 added to their z-sum while each First Baseman only gets .01 added to their z-sum i.e. all catchers values are inflated more because of the lower replacement-value):

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As many of you know, Bruce Bochy has the biggest head in the major leagues. As a player, when he was traded, he would have to take his helmet with him to his new club because the new team wouldn’t have a helmet big enough for him. It made traveling easier, since everything he needed would fit inside the helmet. We all know the story about how when Giants rookie, Joe Panik, was called up, he forgot to make arrangements to stay somewhere in the San Fran area, so he draped a sheet over Bochy’s cap and slept in there. Lots of good has come of Bochy’s giant melon. Of course, the 27-pound bowling ball has its drawbacks. Like when he went to see Toy Story and blocked half the audience. Lots of angry parents that day. Or the time he was in South Dakota and people starting climbing up his side thinking he was Mount Rushmore. Sometimes what would take a person with a normal-sized head a week or two to figure out, thoughts bounce around in Bochy’s Metrodome much longer. So when Sergio Romo wasn’t good for the month of May, then again in June, it took longer for Bochy to realize a change was needed, but he finally figured it out. Bochy said Santiago Casilla would replace Romo, then he banged the side of his head for 15 minutes waiting for another thought, and finally it came out that Jeremy Affeldt would see some situational saves, as long as Gilbert Gottfried isn’t introducing Affeldt at games. Yesterday, Affeldt got hit, and Casilla looked solid as he has all year. I’d grab Casilla in all leagues if you’re SAGNOF’ing around for saves. Hopefully, even if Bochy thinks about putting Romo back in the role, it takes a few weeks for that thought to land in the right spot in his cavernous whale head. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Or is it Jean a buy quoi? Voulez-vous coucher avec moi Segura? Mmm hmmm gotcha gotcha Segura da da? A little help! I’m stuck in a Moulin Rouge-inspired snow globe and I can’t get out! For those of you that don’t speak French, but do speak fourteen-year-old text: Jean Seg-U-R-A Buy! Jean Segura has done a lot of bleh with a side of roasted yawnuts. “I see you sitting there on my team and I wonder if I wouldn’t be better with Asdrubal, at least his name makes me giggle,” that’s you wearing a beret, listening to jazz. I hear ya on Segura; he’s been a bore to own. The good news (if you don’t own him) is he has been a bore to own, so you could acquire him for next to nothing. Right now, he’s on pace for 8 HRs, 30 steals and a .260 average with 74 runs and 49 RBIs. Last year, when he broke out, he had 12 steals and 44 steals and a .294 average with 74 runs and 49 RBIs. So, he’s off on average and steals, the rest is negligible. Well, I’d go as far as to say it’s all a negligible difference. If he were to hit for a better average by getting maybe three extra hits a week, wouldn’t his steals go up and his counting stats? Rhetorical! So, is he capable of a better average? Certainly. Or sointly, if you’re reading this in a Curly voice. He’s fast — no shock there — so a .300+ BABIP wouldn’t be a stretch, and right now it’s below .280. If his luck just neutralizes, he’ll hit for a better average. It’s not like his strikeouts have gone up — they’ve actually gone down. It’s not he’s not making solid contact — his line drive percentage has gone up too. He’s hitting more ground balls and they’re getting caught. I wouldn’t trade the farm, but I’d definitely look to see if I could acquire him. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, there was a pitching performance that truly captured the minds and hearts of the general public. You know, the general public — the people you smile at on the street and wonder how they got their shirt on because they look so dumb. Those people! This pitching performance wasn’t done by just any average pitcher. No, it was done by…an outfielder. Travis Snider struck out Joey Votto! Whaaaaaaat?! Oh, and Clayton Kershaw threw a no-hitter. It should’ve been a perfect game, but Hanley didn’t feel like it. It’s okay, Hanley, don’t beat yourself up over it too much. Let Dodger fans do it for you! Kershaw’s game wasn’t perfect in the strictly record book sense, but it was in the fantasy sense. 15 Ks, no hits, no walks — you now have the best pitching performance of this year, and it might be a top ten fantasy start of all-time. I wonder if you could buy him low. I keed! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, the Astros had a scare when Jose Altuve was hit hard on the hand by a pitch and he immediately left the game. Because of the nature of Altuve’s hand, a broken bone would’ve been devastating. You know those tiny boats that people use tweezers to put into little bottles? Those people are called tinyshoremen. Tinyshoremen are the only ones capable of working on a hand as petite as Altuve’s. Finding a doctor who is also a tinyshoreman? Good luck with that! Thankfully, X-rays came back negative and he’s day-to-day. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Money means time. Time is money. I don’t got much of either today, so I’m skipping the silly intro part that I’m convinced no one reads anyway. Don’t worry, my feelings aren’t hurt; I’m what you call a constitutionally strong person. That’s the opposite of a constitutional weakling, you know, the guy who has his night ruined after you tell him his shirt collar has been flipped up the whole time, and the next thing you know, your friendship is on the rocks and you’re sitting on a couch across from Steve Harvey talking about it. That won’t happen with me.

So, as Captain Tenneal would say, LET’S GO!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Cause you got a build up of wax in your eyes and haven’t been digesting the non-verbal medicine I’ve been doling out about Khris Davis, he’s getting a lede. This is coming to you from a tough love perspective, so whatever I say I don’t wish to offend or denigrate. Y’all seem like good people. Some of you I would even consider friends. Friends that I’ve never met and friends that when you called me to make plans I’d lie about other plans I didn’t have to avoid you, but friends nevertheless. You all have good souls. Each and other one of you. Now, it’s time to unload on you. Damn, in the middle of softening the blow, I forgot what the blow was. Well, you should own Khris Davis. I know that was part of it. He’s been out-homering Chris Davis. Everyone knows there’s only one way to spell Khris Davis. Spelling it with a C is for cream puffs. Even that should be khream! Is Khris the answer to your season? Prolly not, but he is capable of 30 homers and he has 10 as of right now. Plus-minus that shizz and you have a bunch more homers in his bat. Oh, and four of those homers came in the last eight games. He is only 26 years old so there might even be a chance here for huge upside. I.e., his ceiling is unknown. All that is known is that he’s hit for power everywhere he’s played. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I feel I need to have a moment of honesty with you all. It’s been a tough go of late. Don’t worry, I don’t need to be institutionalized (note the sweet Pirates hat in the video). I think I need to retire the Hit of the Week. I messed with the Razzball gods, and have been burned by the flames that surround that animated baseball. I’m a creepy guy who should stick to writing about Creeper’s. That is what the universe wants and that’s what it gets. Don’t get me wrong, unfortunate managerial decisions have killed some of my calls. Cameron Maybin got benched for three games that week in favor of Quentin! *shakes fist* Kole Calhoun was sucked into the abyss of the Sciosciapath’s path. I really wanted to suggest C.J. Cron this week, but I fear the folly of Big Mike and his managerial circus. Maybe Jack Clark and Chili Davis should of hit him harder? Last week Mitch Moreland did a lite version of the Full Loney, a Cuarenta Uno? I would of been happy with a Forty Twenty all week from him. Thanks for the new term OTS! What am I to do? My “others to consider” have actually done better than my main calls. Mark Reynolds, Chris Carter and Kolten Wong all out hit Mitch Moreland this week, and the week before, Garrett Jones and Adam Dunn both killed it, while Kole Calhoun sucked it. So you can take this one of two ways. Either only pay attention to the others under consideration because they will be useful, while the focus player won’t, or there is no other choice. I’m kidding, this isn’t a perfect science. In one of my leagues, the FCL, the quality batty calls are amazing. Those dudes are on fire with their adds *tips cap*. Speaking of the FCL, I would like to send a shout out to my new favorite commenter de Nachos. Dude looks like Brett Favre, owns a fungo bat, bought a championship belt for our league, and got a concussion the other day. I lit a prayer candle for you homeboy…..Life’s a risk, carnal!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Braves called Tommy La Stella up to replace Fuggla. Here’s what I said about a month ago, “Incredibly, we already had a Tommy La Stella fantasy post. Don’t you people sleep?! There, Dano compared him to Pedroia and not because he needs his tippy toes to get on a roller coaster. I think that comparison might be a tad bizzonkers. Or as the gentle fantasy writers of our day would say, “That’s a bit more bullish than I’d say.” Has any group of people said the word bullish more? This word feels like it’s dominating all fantasy conversations. It’s a polite way to say, someone is smoking more crack than another person. Of course, in a world of small sample sizes, anything could happen, but La Stellllllllllla looks like an NL-Only play with a chance for 5 homers, 7 steals and a decent average if he were called up in June.” And that’s me quoting me! Now that he’s been called up, I’d add him in deeper mixed leagues (think 15+), but I still don’t have high hopes for him outside of maybe a decent average. He’s basically a forty-twenty. If Fredi Gonzalez had any brains in that squishy melon on his shoulders, he’d bat La Stella leadoff and move Heyward down the order. Smarts and managing baseball teams don’t always go hand-in-hand though. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?