With these top 100 starters for 2017 fantasy baseball, I’ve finished our (my) 2017 fantasy baseball rankings for positions.  Still coming will be a top 100 overall and top 500 to see how all the positions mesh together like your mesh Redskins jersey that meshes with your burgundy sweatpants.  Trust me, when you see how long this post is, you’ll be glad I kept this intro short.  As always, my projections are included, and where I see tiers starting and stopping.  If you want an explanation of tiers, go back to the top 10 overall and start this shizz all over again.  Anyway, here’s the top 100 starters for 2017 fantasy baseball:

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The Phils have a game plan, and it looks a something like this:  trade and/or sign washed-out AL East starters.  Worked last year with Jeremy Hellickson, and now they’ve traded for Clay Buchholz.  This is the first trade where I can declaratively state both teams won and I don’t even know who Josh Tobias is, the infielder the Phils sent to the Red Sox.  Yes, I used declaratively.  Watch out, reading comprehension!  Looks like Tobias has some speed, but it doesn’t matter.  The Sox needed Buchholz off their team because they have a set rotation without him, and the NL East is about as good a landing place can be, even if Citizens Flank is slightly offensive-minded, and I don’t just mean the insults that rain down from the stands.  “The only time the Phils ever strung three W’s together is with their website.”  That’s a Philly fan.  “Now lean down so I can puke on you.”  That’s the same Phils fan.  Buchholz looks to be in possession of all his pitches that he had when he had a 3.30 xFIP in 2015.  Of course, those pitches couldn’t have looked more pear-shaped than last year with his 5.32 xFIP.  Honestly, I think he could be anywhere from a 3.50 ERA pitcher to a 4.50 ERA one.  Is he a mixed league starter?  Maybe as a streamer, or if he starts off well, but not out of the gate, as they say in horse racing.  For NL-Only, I’m going to like him as a late-round flyer.  For 2017, I’ll give him the projections of 8-10/4.07/1.31/117 in 145 IP.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in the offseason for 2017 fantasy baseball:

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Imagine the Cubs decided to use Lester, Hendricks, Hammel and Lackey in the playoffs, and not Jake Arrieta.  Not sure it would be the wrong move either.  Arrieta isn’t just out of gas, he’s on a late-70s gas station line, cursing Jimmy Carter.  He’s eaten six Chalupas and a Pintos ‘n Cheese from Taco Bell, washed it down with a 16-ounce Coke, and can’t produce any gas.  He’s staying at a Marriott in Saudi Arabia where OPEC is meeting and all hotel guests get a complimentary barrel of petroleum and Arrieta can’t produce any gas.  Yesterday, Arrieta went 5 IP, 7 ER and his ERA went up to 3.10.  About five months ago, I said Arrieta doesn’t look right.  I said it around the time of his no-hitter.  That took some pants grapes.  What’s funny (not funny) when you’re super early at calling something out, people write you off as cuckoo in the coconut.  On April 29th, I said, “It’s hard to find a positive when you take this year’s numbers vs. last year’s (of Arrieta).  Velocity is down, K-rate is down, walk rate is up, xFIP is up, luck is up, homers are up, ground balls are down and fly balls are up.  It’s like looking under a Maserati’s hood and seeing a Mercedes engine.  It’s not bad, but it’s not a Maserati.”  And that’s me quoting me!  On May 9th, I said, “Not to sound like a broken record, but his peripherals just haven’t been as good as last year thus far.”  And that’s me quoting me sounding like a broken record!  I continued to say more or less the same for a few months, then SUDDENLY everyone else started saying it.  For 2017, I picture Arrieta being drafted a lot like Felix Hernandez in the preseason this year.  People are concerned, but he’s so good, they’re still drafting Arrieta around 60th overall.  Yeah, and it won’t work out either.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I don’t understand this.  The Padres’ Triple-A affiliate made a run for the Triple-A championship against the Yankees’ affiliate, so the Padres were holding down their top prospects to play in the championship.  On the surface, it seems straightforward enough.  Making run for championship, want best players there.  Okay, I get that part.  The part where I get lost, WHY DO YOU CARE IF YOU WIN A TRIPLE-A CHAMPIONSHIP?!  Sorry, my keyboard got sticky the other day when Giancarlo returned.  Don’t ask.  The Padres are in the business of winning AAA championships?  I don’t remember the Yankees keeping Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge and Tyler Austin in Triple-A to help their Triple-A team.  I’d love to go into the Padres’ front office, throw some furniture against a wall and start screaming, “Let’s win some major league games for a change!”  They need a organization-wide readjustment, and Grey Albright, Fantasy Master Lothario (don’t abbreviate it), is just the man to do it!  So, with this said, the Padres called up Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot (and some other guys).  Margot and Renfroe, who sounds like a name that exists to only be said by Scooby Doo, are top 100 prospects.  Margot is straight SAGNOF this late in the year, maybe could provide a few steals in the last ten days, and Renfroe is the exact opposite, with a chance to provide a few dingers.  They’re not going to make much impact in ten days.  Too bad they had a Triple-A playoff run to attend to first.  Which they lost!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball:

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Oakland rookie third baseman Ryon Healy continued to rake Friday night as he collected two hits and scored a run to extend his hitting streak to seven, with six multi-hit games in that span. Sometimes I get fantasy advice from good friend of mine and rapper 50 Cent, who is a much better fantasy baseballer than he is a real baseballer. In between freestyle seshs, Fitty says to me, “Yo D (he calls me D), you gotta get on Ryon Healy, if you been Patiently Waiting for a decent corner, dude is a P.I.M.P., get rich and buy Ryon, do-you-know-what-I-am-saying?” OK, thanks, Fitty. Not a bad headline either…also, funny, how you plugged a bunch of your songs there, but I guess these be tough times. He’s right though. Healy has been a certified G-Unit soldier in the month of September, batting .400, with 9 runs, 4 homers, 5 doubles and 12 RBI. If that ain’t a wanksta, I don’t know what is. Honestly, I really don’t. Is it bad or good? Regardless, in the past week the rookie has been very, very good. He’s hitting .517 with 8 runs, 3 homers and 9 RBI. That’s in seven days, people! How many more fantasy days left? Can’t be much more than seven, so sounds like Ryon Healy could be a nice player to own down the stretch. He was a BUY this week and I picked him up! 50 grabbed him too and he’s available in about 80% of leagues. Hate it or love it, pick him up if you want to win!

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

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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:

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You know how people write stuff on a grain of rice.  With that in mind, on Rich Hill‘s blister this is written, “Took a whole lot of tryin’ to get up that Hill — R.I.P. Sherman Hemsley.  I can’t believe I not only had room on this grain for an inspirational quote, but also room to attribute the quote to the wrong person and to also add in this meta comment about my inspirational quot–”  Damn, he wasn’t able to fit everything.  That’s the worst.  That’s like when you’re writing a birthday card to someone and you start writing a note only to get to the end and need to start writing super-tiny and curved to fit it in.  And that’s not the first time you’ve heard your curve is super-tiny.  Rich Hill was perfect on Saturday — 7 IP, 0 ER, 0 baserunners, 9 Ks — but, to be honest, Hill has been perfect for the last two years (though only 29 IP last year).  This year, 1.80 ERA, 0.96 WHIP with a 10.4 K/9 and 1.74 ERA over the past two years.  So, ya know, your usual ace you get about 120 IP from.  For 2017, it’s going to be hard to rank him much below the top 25 with the caveat that you’re only getting him for three to four months.  Makes you wish rice grains were just a tad bigger to fit all of the superlatives on there for Rich Hill.  Know what I mea– Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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We interrupt your regularly scheduled Grey post for my shenanigans.  Hi all, I’m Razzball’s resident Troy McClure.  You might remember me from such times as when I used to write more than just our DFS content.  Yes I do, in fact, still write on here and yes I just, in fact, pimped some of our writings.  *Slides on shades* deal with it and if you don’t like it, take it up with Grey who told me he had a bout of food poisoning.  As I’ve reminded him more than once, just because Ted eats out of the trash can doesn’t mean he has to, too.  I won’t mention what he said about Cougs’ cooking and it’s comparison there of with regards to said trash can.  I don’t rat on my friends, I’m just that kind of guy.  But now that we’ve been cordially reacquainted with the writer that is moi, let’s get on to Jonathan Villar.  Went 3/5 and had a delicious slam (13) and legs (52).  Was sexting with JFOH the other day about Villar since I owned him everywhere this year including my keeper and am looking to 2017 with him.  Thankfully, Virtual Reality isn’t really available on smartphones just yet.  Can only imagine what that eggplant emoji would do…anyhoo, the thoughts on Jonathan overflowed.  On the one hand, the BABIP (.396) has to come down given his K rate (26.2%), but on the other, he does the right thing by taking plenty of walks (11.3%), hitting the ball on the ground (55.8% GB rate), and is 8th in the MLB in pitches per plate appearance.  All and all he’ll be drafted too high in 2017, but still looks good for .270, 10 HRs, and 40 steals.  Or as Grey likes to call him, the Delino DeShields that wasn’t.  Ow, I just felt how cold that was and I was just on the delivery end of it!  Anyways, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball…(<— yes, I did copy and paste it; don’t mess with the recipe, fool!).

Football has arrived! Our Rankings (rated highly and in the top-20 percentile of all experts the past two years) for Week 1 can be found here!

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So the inevitable return of Wade Davis came, and just like we expected in typical awful luck scenario, he came into the game for the save.  Which any Kelvin owner was dreading, clutching their fists, and shaking it widely. “Curses” they screamed.  I have to admit, I didn’t think that the first day off the disabled list he’s be thrown right into the fray.  He experienced two set-backs and wasn’t really his normal dominant self in the minor rehab appearances that I noticed.  I get that a guy who has the previous experience and job should get the job, but the Royals were cruising along with Herrera in the big boy chair.  In fact, he was darn near flawless minus one hiccup, garnering 7 straight saves and 9 appearances in 15 with a clean no-hit inning.  I mean, I am no manager, hell I am an admitted couch potato… But I do know closers and that my friends is getting it done.  The Royals are still in the thick of the playoff hunt and I think the worst thing to do for them is to change the end game.  Davis is going to be dominant in the closer role or set-up role, and he has the goods to be great at either.  Now, it may take one more ineffective appearance from him to show it, but I think Herrera is still very much in the foray for save chances in KC.

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Yesterday, Ivan Nova threw a complete game with one earned run — 9 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 6 Ks — ERA at 3.20 on the Pirates, after having a 4.90 ERA on the Yankees.  This Ray Searage guy can do miracles.  People should travel far and wide to go see him with their ailments, anguish and general malaise.  “So, I was standing in line for a frappuccino and I was thinking, ‘What’s the point?’  So, what is the point, Searage?”  “Sounds like you should use the change more.”  By the way, malaise is not the actress that plays Arya Stark.  Ray Searage is a modern-day miracle worker.  Move over, Anne Sullivan!  This is also exactly what they said about Searage in regards to Juan Nicasio before he flamed out about three weeks into the season, and Gerrit Cole has been pretty gross.  Searage seems totally competent, but to think he can fix all Pirates pitchers seems foolhardy.  No relation to Tom Hardy.  I could see grabbing Nova if the matchups are right, but I’m not running out to grab him in 12 team mixed leagues.  Not simply because my computer’s at home and it makes no sense to run out anywhere.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?