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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Here we are, the third of four posts about the Couch Managers 2017 Industry Mock Draft. Previously, I posted recaps of rounds 1-6 and rounds 7-12. This post is for rounds 13-18. The final post will be for rounds 19-23. Complicated stuff, I know. But try to keep up.

In case you have yet to see my previous posts, here is a quick recap of the league rules for this mock:

This mock was for a 15-team, 5×5 roto, with 23 roster spots made up of 9 pitchers (9), 1 spot for each position (8), a second catcher (1), 2 more outfielders (2), one corner infielder (1), one middle infielder (1), and one utility position (1).

As I have done with the other posts, I’ll post the results below by round and will offer a few of my thoughts for each round…

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I’ve decided to do something different for this top 60 outfielders for 2017 fantasy baseball.  Instead of listing the players’ names, I’m going to list their favorite cheese course:  Muenster, Cheddar, Cheddar, Cheddar, Swiss, Gruyere.  Gruyere?!  C’mon, Puig!   Maybe I should go back to listing players’ names.  Yeah, I don’t even remember who Limburger was.  Fine!  I will rank with names and numbers!  As with all of my 2017 fantasy baseball rankings, my projections are included and where I see tiers starting and stopping.  Anyway, here’s the top 60 outfielders for 2017 fantasy baseball:

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Greetings, friends. I hopped over to the football side of things once last year’s baseball season ended, but now I’m back. And apparently, I am such a disturbed individual that I am doing fantasy baseball mock drafts in early January. And, I am writing about them. And, well, I just wanted to start another sentence with and because it feels so wrong but so right at the same time. Anyway, moving on.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Couch Managers 2017 Industry Mock Draft, and we’re going to recap it here. This mock was for a 15-team, 5×5 roto, with 23 roster spots made up of 9 pitchers (9), 1 spot for each position (8), a second catcher (1), 2 more outfielders (2), one corner infielder (1), one middle infielder (1), and one utility position (1). As long as I did that math correctly, that is 23 spots.

Below, I will provide the results for the first six rounds and a give my thoughts for each round. I’ll do the same for rounds 7-12, 13-18, and 19-23 in subsequent posts. I’ll try to keep it brief. All we really care about are the results here, right? Feel free to tell me how awesome or crappy you think my team is, along with what you think were the best and worst picks of the draft or the different rounds…

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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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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:

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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:

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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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Yesterday, Kyle Hendricks went 7 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 4 Ks, lowering his ERA (if that’s even possible at this point) to 2.09.  The Seattle museum, Experience Music Project is going to need to update their Hendricks section.  EMP Tour guide, “In 1970, Hendricks said, ‘I’m going to take my guitar, grab Janis, impregnate Afeni Shakur, have my lawyer write a letter that says Ben and/or Jerry can never name an ice cream after me while simultaneously sucking and blowing this joint.  Then thirty-six years later, I’m going to win the NL Cy Young if the BBWAA votes based on ERA.’  Now, let’s move on to our five floors of Nirvana memorabilia.  There’s some interesting flannel stories I can’t wait to share.”   No, of course, Kyle Hendricks isn’t this good.  His fastball velocity is down to 87 MPH, he’s relying heavily on a changeup that isn’t that much slower and his BABIP is absurdly low.  Not saying you drop him, but if Hendricks does win the Cy Young, in 2017, the same faith that befell Dallas Keuchel this year will happen to Hendricks too.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Mike Napoli hit his 27th homer yesterday.  He now has five straight games with a home run.  On the year, he is top 30 for fantasy value on our Player Rater.  Dude is such butter right now brioche buns be jumping up on his back.  (Why am I not writing rap lyrics?)  Uh-oh, Napoli’s so hot, he’s bringing out my rap alter ego, B-Fire.  Napoli is such butter right now brioche buns be jumping up on his back!  Yo, he’s not whack like some homeboy going to a strip club with a quarter stack!  In fact!  Grey’s got more indoors, then you got outdoors, and technically there’s more room outdoors for you to have more but nope, my room’s got floors!  *dance, prance, romance off your pants*  My action lines got asterisks, smooth.  Your action lines got an asterisk with an excuse down below why you can’t move.  *said while bowing sushi chef-style*  Napoli.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?