Before we jump right into this draft recap, let’s go over a little bit of background about the league and its details. This isn’t like the typical RCL 5×5 rotisserie league we often talk about in this space. LOEG is a 10×10 head-to-head keeper league, with 10 teams and four keepers per team from year to year. The league has been around for something like ten years and has been graced by the presence of yours truly for the past five.

Since the categories, scoring, and rules are a little different in this league I’ll break down all the details below. I think it’s important to break this down a bit first because not only do I want to bore you to death, but I want you to have all the information while you are going over the results and making fun of my team in the comments section. Anyway, here we go:

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Soda Glover, Yoda Glover, Coda Glover, but no Koda Glover.  That’s my constant struggle with my autocorrect.  Let’s break down those typos, shall we?  Soda Glover has been better than 7-Up and seven down.  Me strike out batters you like, man with toothpick, says Yoda Glover.  The concluding event at the section of the baseball game called the ninth inning will be the Coda Glover.  Dusty Baker hasn’t yet named a closer, but, unless they trade for someone (and this isn’t out of the question), all indications are that Koda Glover will be the Nats’ closer.  Jon Heyman wrote, “….but with Shawn Kelley not considered a closer candidate due to two past Tommy John surgeries…”  Such a throwaway line.  Like it’s common knowledge.  Either Heyman heard something from the Nats, which led him to believe everyone knew this, or Heyman’s totally in the dark.  Could be either, but I’m thinking Nat-Nat-Nat-Nats’ all folks for Shawn Kelley, who has barely thrown this spring.  In my fantasy baseball rankings and my top 500, I’ve moved Koda Glover above Blake Treinen and Kelley.  Also, adjusted my Fantasy Baseball War Room.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:

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I hate early drafts.  There’s absolutely no skill involved in drafting on March 3rd and avoiding Ian Desmond due to a broken hand that hasn’t happened yet.  It’s like not getting on a subway car and you end up marrying a Cougar vs. Coldplay’s Chris Martin and you keep forgetting your Apple ID so you can’t download a song you really want to hear vs. getting free iPhones hand-delivered by Bono.  Admittedly, I never saw the movie, Sliding Doors, but I picture the plot being something like that.  I want to marry Chris Martin and get iBonos!  Man, this effin’ sucks.  Looks like I’m going to have to battle just a wee bit harder in Yahoo’s Friends & Family draft where I took Desmond.  *cries uncontrollably*  But I don’t want to battle harder!  The tears running down my face have fallen onto my desk and are spelling out, “Why can’t you have anything mice?”  Mice?  What the hell are you talking about tears?  I’ve updated my top 20 overall, top 100 and my top 60 outfielders.   The Fantasy Baseball War Room is updated, and, since Mark Reynolds will be the Rockies’ 1st baseman, I’ve updated the top 20 1st basemen.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:

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There have been a few unexpected side effects from me writing a weekly injury article for Razzball. First, due to Spring Training I’ve had to pay attention and care about every irrelevant player’s bump, bruise and sniffle (why did you all let me include Tyler Collins in my article last week?!) Going forward I’m going to try to focus on the injuries that may actually have a fantasy impact. No one cares that Joe Mauer  missed one hour of practice because he had what the Twins medical staff is referring to as a “minor boo-boo.”

Another unexpected side effect is the schadenfreude I feel whenever I read about a major player getting injured. “Oh YES! David Price might miss the whole year?! More content!” What type of monster have I become?

Anyway, here’s whose pain I have gotten enjoyment out of this week:

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JB and I went to spring training this past weekend in Arizona.  Had some great meals, drank some iced Cuban coffees that I tried to order as an ‘iced Puig,’ saw way too many Angels games, obviously went to a Brewers game, and enjoyed my very first six-foot, seven-inch spooning.  I needed JB’s oversized spoon after hearing about David Dahl and his rib injury.  He has a stress reaction of his sixth rib, and I have a stress reaction with many expletives.  You can’t spell David Dahl without dah.  Seriously, I tried.  Now, I can’t see his name without thinking it’s really “Dah!”  Rockies manager Bud Black said that Opening Day is out of the question.  I moved him out of my top 20 outfielders and into my top 40 outfielders.  I still would draft him, even if he’s no longer in my top 100 overall.   The Rockies said Gerardo Parra will fill-in for Dah!, and I’d draft Parra in the last rounds as a flyer just in case Dah!’s injury turns out to be worse than thought.  I just jinxed him, didn’t I?  Dah!  By the by, between Charlie Blackmon and manager, Bud Black, the Rockies have so many white guys trying to take advantage of affirmative action, they should sign C. Thomas Howell star of Soul Man.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this spring training for fantasy baseball:

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I believe I’ve got a theory. Okay, perhaps it’s more of a conspiracy than a theory. Now that I think about it, it’s really just a topic for the next fifteen or so paragraphs I’m about to write. Is Trea Turner the primary subject of market manipulation? Say what! Seriously, what could that possibly even mean? Wikipedia defines market manipulation as “a deliberate attempt to interfere with the free and fair operation of the market and create artificial, false or misleading appearances with respect to the price of, or market for, a security, commodity or currency“. If we really consider the entire landscape it’s easy to come to the conclusion that “market manipulation” really doesn’t apply, or make sense in this context, but it got me thinking…

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Let the overreaction to Spring Training numbers begin! Gregory Polanco went 3-for-3 with 2 stolen bases in his debut — 115 SB prediction for Polanco! Jason Castro went 2-for-2 with a HR in his first game — 60 HR for Castro! Shelby Miller allowed 2 runs, 3 hits over 2 innings — that is actually pretty on-brand for Shelby Miller. Do not trust Shelby Miller! Health is really what you’re looking for in Spring Training and these guys are failing that test so far…

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I have no idea if anyone at ESPN actually ranks people.  There’s talk of it.  Like, “Yo, Klara Bell, you do your rankings yet?”  “No, did you?”  Then Cockcroft makes farting noises with his armpit.  All I ever see at ESPN is consensus rankings.  I have to figure out how to do this “consensus” thing.  Talk about a nice way to avoid taking any blame for anything.  “Hey, man, sorry about Andrew McCutchen being ranked so high this year, but these are ‘consensus’ rankings.”  Let’s turn to a conversation between two random fantasy baseballers.  “Cockcroft has said he doesn’t like Cano this year.”  “But ESPN has him 34th overall.”  “Yeah, doesn’t apply when talking about Cockcroft.”  “So, when does it apply?”  “When talking about ESPN.”  “But Cockcroft is at ESPN”  “Yeah, still doesn’t apply.”  “Can you explain that?”  “Nope.”  Then heads explode.  Consensus rankings are done by committee.  Only thing ever done better by committee is jerk seasoning.  Now, while you might think ESPN’s rankings have a ton of jerk seasoning, they are just an indecipherable mess.  But why bring up all of this when I’m about to take a blowtorch to Yahoo’s 2017 fantasy baseball rankings?  Thanks for asking, clunky expositional question!  Yahoo has consensus rankings, but they also show their work.  Each ‘pert is accounted for in their rankings.  This is already much better than ESPN.  You can at least see what Pianowski, Funston, Behrens and Triple D are thinking individually.  This, of course, doesn’t mean I agree with all of their rankings, but at least I can point to how they came to their consensus.  Anyway, here’s where my 2017 fantasy baseball rankings differ from the 2017 Yahoo fantasy baseball rankings:

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As I begin to prepare my projections and rankings for the 2017 season, I like to look back on the previous season’s attempt to not only assess my work, but also to learn how I can do better next time. Projecting statistics in any sport is a tedious and arduous task. The variables, formulas and algorithms are constantly changing and if you don’t adapt with them, your results will lose their precision and accuracy. However, I’d like to make one point blatantly clear, projections are nothing more than calculated guesses. Some are better than the next, but none are even close to perfect.

Let’s see how I fared with my 2016 efforts. For all positions I will provide the following six numbers: projected points, actual points, projected rank, actual rank, projected points per plate appearance and actual points per plate appearance. I am including points per plate appearance because it helps put a player’s projections vs performance into perspective when they’ve missing time due to injury. For pitchers I’ve replaced points per plate appearance with points per start. I’ve also included a column showing the percentage by which my points projections were off. Any player with an “n/a” listed in this column is because that player spent at least 30 days on the disabled list.

Lastly, a quick note about the rankings listed in this post. These rankings are based purely on points. This season I plan to provide additional rankings that allow me to adjust them based on three important factors: intuition, gut and my sporadic conversations with Nostradumass.

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Shortstop is top heavy, and you don’t want to leave your drafts, especially OPS-style, without one of the top six.  Can I call them the Secret Six?  Like the DC Comic?  (Quick tangent, if you liked the Suicide Squad (movie or comic) and want an even better tale of misfit villains, then pick up Secret Six.  It’s got Bane, Deadshot, great stories, and is just plain awesome.  One of my favs of all time…) Anyhoo, so do you know what separates these six? They are the only guys I have predicted for an OPS over .800.  Shortstop sure isn’t second base this season; who could believe all the power at the keystone?

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