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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Our 2017 Razzball Commenters Leagues are in full signup mode.  I even heard there were a few people from Anonymous that signed up!  They said, “To the world, I’m Anonymous, just another white man who sits in parking lots with binoculars watching women.”  Man, that Anonymous guy is depressing!  As we always do about this time, I eviscerate the haters and complicators!  I eviscerate the not-knowers and the over-knowers!  I eviscerate the ESPN goers and the garden hoers!  I overuse a word like eviscerate that I just learned!  I am the Fantasy Master Lothario (don’t abbreviate it) and I’ve come for your children!  See, because blog writing doesn’t pay so well, I’ve taken a second job as a bus driver, so I’m literally here for your kids.  Like a baller!  A shot caller!  An “I’m outside of Hot Topic at the maller!”  My eviscerating (I’m conjugating my new word!) today comes at the expense of ESPN and their 2017 fantasy baseball rankings.  To the tune of Kanye’s Runaway:

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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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So the title is a bit of a superlative.  What was I gonna say, “The Mostly Kinda Good Fantasy Baseball Team?”  You’ll get over your scoffing; I have faith in you.  This is the best 2017 fantasy baseball team that I can put together when drafting from my top 100 for 2017 fantasy baseball and top 500 for 2017 fantasy baseball.  Honestly, I could draft another 25 teams from those lists, and they’d all be different, but equally terrific… Well, one of the twenty-five would only be sorta terrific, but it would be really hard to tell which one that is.  If I took Carlos Correa in the 2nd round, everything after would change.  If I took Arenado in the 1st round, everything after would change.  I’ve previously gone over my 2017 fantasy baseball draft prep for the first few rounds and pitchers pairings.  For this exercise, I’m taking Mike Trout first, because, well, I have him first overall.  Until pick 100, I’m taking one guy somewhere in every fifteen picks.  It would be nice if I was in a league where someone drafted Scherzer and Kershaw in the first two rounds and I was able to take Rougned Odor in the 2nd round (which is very likely), but since Trout and him are in my first 14 picks, according to the rules I’ve set up for myself, I can’t take them both.  Then, as we all know, once you get into the 100s, there’s wide gaps between ADP and where players are actually taken.  People tend to look at team need over value.  So for this exercise, once I get to pick #101, I’m going to pick two players every twenty picks.  Finally, because there is so much latitude in the last 300, I gave myself free reign to fill up my team.  Throughout the draft, I also gave myself the ability to reach to a lower draft pick, but not reach forward.  Or reach around, if you’re feeling frisky.  It should still be my ideal team… Or not.  Let’s see, shall we?  Bee tee dubya, this team is 5×5, one catcher, 5 OFs, MI, CI, 1 UT, 9 P, 3 bench, just like the Razzball Commenter Leagues (go sign up or start a league).  Anyway, here’s the best 2017 fantasy baseball team:

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OPS leagues are greatest! So now you know.  Or at least act like it.  Coming off a 2016 with all the homers (even guys like Didi Gregorius) hit, now is the perfect time to jump in and join! OPS incorporates walks like OBP does, and adds in slugging percentage to make a super sexy combo, not unlike Emily Ratajkowski and Instragram.

OPS leagues are all about home runs and power guys. So speed guys, well, they’re tolerated. High average guys, well, they’re okay, as long as they hit triples. In that spirit I encourage every one of you to join an OPS league; once you do, you’ll never go back. I’ll have an OPS league to join if you want to try one with the info at the bottom (so you have to read, or at least scroll; I swear it’s worth it).

Now the 2017 season is basically almost upon us. It snuck up on me; month long new years hangover, I wasn’t even thinking about baseball, and then, I logged on to Razzball and there it was, Grey’s top 10 for 2017…and just like that, I was back! And there’s no time to waste!

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Our 2017 fantasy baseball rankings are humming right along.  The last post, the top 20 1st basemen for 2017 fantasy baseball, was the longest post ever written on the internet by a relatively sane person.  The post before that, top 20 catchers for 2017 fantasy baseball, was the longest post ever written by a relatively insane person.  Incredibly, these are the same person.  Glass half sane, glass half crazy, nah mean?  So, without further hubbub on the tomfoolery, the top 20 2nd basemen for 2017 fantasy baseball was shallow like how Altuve likes his pool water as recently as two years ago, but that was not the case last year, and almost rivaled 1st basemen for depth.  So, that’s the same again this year, right?  Well, let’s see about that.  As always, my projections are included and I mention where I see tiers starting and stopping.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 2nd basemen 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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Yesterday, was the first time the Cubs have won 100 games since 1935.  Though, in 1994, the Cubs were so gonna win the final 49 games if the strike didn’t happen, giving them 98 wins, then two losses were going to go under review and get reversed.  What?  My crystal ball is very specific.  Why don’t you people believe me?  Kidding, I know you believe me because I can see you in my crystal ball.  Put on some pants that don’t have an elastic band, would you please!  Kyle Hendricks (6 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners (0 walks), 5 Ks, ERA down to 1.99) did his usual magic.  I say let him sit out his final start so he can end the year with a minus-2 ERA, and I bet the Cubs say the same thing as me.  Know why?  I have the best words.  People love my words.  No one has words like me.  Carrying them offensively was Javier Baez (2-for-5, 6 RBIs and his 14th homer).  Whenever Hendricks grooves, Baez seems to play himself a little ditty, too.  Must be their Woodstock connection.  If Joan Baez didn’t perform at Woodstock, don’t tell me, for folk’s sake.  Baez is going to be a tough nut to peg (totally a saying) for 2017 fantasy.  He’s made great strides with his strikeouts.  Looks like an easy bet for a 17/17 season if he were to play every day, but 17/17 is just a tad boring compared to 20/20.  By the way, Tad Boring never gets any dates on Tinder.  Also, we’re not sure if Baez will have an everyday job.  Cubs’ playing time can be Maddon’ing.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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At this point, points leagues should be over or wrapping up today (Sunday). I hate when fantasy leagues carry on into the last weeks of the MLB season and teams are handicapped when their players, usually pitchers, are shut down. In my main points league the World Series ended with week 22. No championship should be decided because one team lost its ace because he had reached his innings limit. Although there are some that will contend that is all part of the package when you roster said player. After all the Nationals did shut down Strasburg in 2012. Regardless, it is now week 25, sh!t or get off the pot!

Now that the points leagues season is over, at least as far as I am concerned, I have decided to announce my 2016 Points League Awards. Television has the Emmys. Broadway has the Tonys. Movies have the Oscars. Music has the Grammys. And points leagues have the Malamoneys.

Just a quick explanation. The “Best” category is awarded to the best overall player at a position. The “MVP” award considers other factors such as average draft position and position eligibility into its equation.

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It’s never too late to start talking about next year, is it?  Well, that is the direction I am heading.  I don’t know if anyone has noticed, but second base, and for that matter middle infield, is going to be an interesting position come draft time or even for some keepers.  This is the first time in a few years that there will be a dearth of players with a value at the position, so I am personally sorta excited, about as excited as getting a onion ring in my french fry order.  The middle rounds for these second base eligible guys is going to be an interesting pecking order of who covets who more, and what we have seen this year steers them.  Now, this is a steals post and most of the guys I am talking about are going to have value there and in some ancillary stat contributions, I am not talking about the over-drafting of Brian Dozier, and to some extent, Robbie Cano.  Steals only guys, they in this case, have faces until at least your draft or keepers are pot committed. So this week, I am looking at some second sackers that will shine for you next year based on the second half stats.  For giggles afterwards, since the season isn’t over, some two-week guys that will help you down the stretch and of course some save stealers…

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