Rajai Davis is, once again, a SAGNOF-ian legend.  Again, again, again, was exactly what he did on Saturday when the 34-year-old outfielder stole 3 bases.  This year he might just be the best fantasy player of all those playing only part time (the other player fighting for this honor, in my opinion, is Alex Guerrero).  He has 6 stolen bases despite starting in only 9 of 18 games through Saturday for the Tigers.  Digging up some career stats I see that he’s never needed much playing time to rack up the SBs.  Since he broke out with 41 stolen bases in 2009 he’s averaged 42 steals per season while at the same time averaging only 124.5 games played.  And many of those games weren’t starts.

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All hail his Grace, Tehol of House Beddict and House Razzball, first of His Name, King of the Andals and the First Men, Lord of Fantasy Baseball, and Protector of the Realm. 

Thank you, thank you. I am honored to sit here before you now, typing away on this astonishingly torturous throne. Though it’s agonizing to ensconce my tantalizingly toned glutes upon this chair forged from the swords of the vanquished, I’d be deceiving you, loyal subjects of Razzball, if I was to inform you that it didn’t put the wenches into the kind of frenzy I’ve only witnessed after a group of aborigines I was adopted by for five memorable years, cut the throats of six dingo’s, and dropped their writhing corpses into the Tasman Sea. [Jay’s Note: What?]

Ah, where to begin… I was a orphan from my birth, in what would have been the 12th year of the reign of our last great and powerful Targaryen King, dumped in an empty stall in the Scribe’s Hearth, where acolytes practiced the art of letters for those who had the need. The course of my entire life was set in stone on that glorious day, when I was discovered by an acolyte who brought me to Archmaester Grey. Grey, who’s rod, mask, and immense c*ck collection were silver, looked upon my squalling grace and announced that I might actually prove of use one day. Grey told me I was destined to become the greatest man thong model in our world’s history, and then, after traveling the world, flexing my cheeks for money that was beyond my wildest dreams, and sleeping with countless D-list celebrities, I would return to the house of Razzball to put my finest talent to use: Mixing fantasy baseball with quotes from Game Of Thrones, otherwise known as the greatest show in the history of the universe. [Jay’s Note: Eh…] Many other websites write multiple posts on this show, but none have the background to answer all your questions. Any fool can watch the TV show and do an episode recap, but only a true legends read the entire series in two weeks, devouring the history of the GOT world like Kardashians do rapper “D”. If you haven’t read these fascinating stories, or at the very least, watched the show, fear not, for I won’t look down upon you like peasants. Though, I will pity you, for the plain and simple truth that you’re omitting the greatest story ever told from your lives, and it pains me deeply to see you go down this treacherous and lonely path. Spoiler alerts ahead…

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Ma nishtana, how is tonight different than every other night? Because there’s some G-D regular season baseball! Ah fanabla! The Padres aren’t wasting any time with bird sex or Joaquin Benoit either as they traded for Craig Kimbrel. Why do I get the sense that the Padres played 2,500 games of Strat-o-Matic this offseason and on Saturday it was 1249 to 1249 and they were like, “Nuh-uh, we didn’t pay $750 million in free agents to tie the World Series. We need to get to that twelve hundred and fifty-first win!” Then the Padres’ management patted themselves on the back saying they were Strat-o-Maticians like that wily Epstein guy. Then another Padre official even said he thought that guy’s name was Wily Epstein. So, Benoit now has the value of a film degree in Hollywood. “Well, we were gonna let Spielberg direct this film, but this guy over here has a Master’s degree!” In Atlanta, Jim Johnson or Jason Grilli could close games. A Braves official said Juan Jaime could even close games. I’m pretty sure he made up the name Juan Jaime. Grilli seems the most likely candidate, and this has all the makings of a situation where you’re so pumped to be the first one to the waiver wire to grab him until Grilli is actually closing games and giving up three runs in the one lead the Braves have every two weeks. Let’s get out of the lede to talk about the rest of the trade and actual baseball that was played last night! Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend for fantasy baseball:

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The pieces are all set, and it’s like the beginning of checkers…  Before you secretly cheat while your cousin isn’t looking, you should know that 28-of-the-30 teams have labeled a guy to be their respective closer.  Now, for some, that’s like being labeled the “Hand of the King” and with bad pitching performances, their heads will soon be on a pike out side of Comerica.  Yeah, that was a shot at you Joe Nathan, we are all whistling happy trails under our breath as you slowly ride of into the sunset Shane style.

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You know what’s a very considerate thing to do? To tell you about some concerns I have for the upcoming season after you’ve already drafted. Due to posting my rankings in January and not tweaking things outside of injuries and playing time updates, there’s some things that I look at now and I wonder what the hell I was thinking. I could update some rankings due to spring training performances, but then I’m throwing out the countless hours (1 1/2 hours) of research I put in to do my rankings. I don’t believe in doing that. There was a reason I ranked how I ranked originally and to move a guy now because he hit a few homers in March doesn’t make any sense. I’m also not completely immune to what was going on for the last month performance-wise with players, so I’m giving you some players that I might’ve ranked slightly different if I let spring training performances come into play. If you want to bump up or down some of these guys, I could understand it. Anyway, here’s some players that have me second-guessing myself for 2015 fantasy baseball:

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Whenever spring training starts to wind down and the closer spot is yet to be determined, it’s never a good thing.  It causes rosters to get fat off the land, and wastes your draft picks on no-news type situations. I will turn my one good lazy eye to the Minute Maid conundrum of “who closes for the Astros?”  Some may ask: “who cares?” But this is the essence of SAGNOF believers. Cheap closers are what makes the fantasy world get on a sit, spin, chug a beer, and scream obscenities at trolley cars.  So from the beginning of the hot-stove baseball season, and even after they signed Luke Gregerson, I believe that it’s still Chad Qualls‘ job.  No news is good news for the incumbent… Even though the news all across the reliever landscape is all speculation, “he said this” and “the beat writer said that”.  Well, the only person who actually knows is the manager, Hinch.  So I am going to do my best to break it down from my ivory soap tower.  Stick around, there may be something fun or edible once you get inside.

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It’s been a long, tough winter (especially for those of you who live in the Northeast), but the wait is almost over. Spring training is in full swing and the regular season is just around the corner. That means, of course, that fantasy baseball draft season is here.

Recently, we’ve attempted to identify the next Corey Kluber and looked at some hitters who displayed above average power and plate discipline over the past couple of seasons. Today, we’re going to focus on relief pitchers. If you’re looking for the latest closer rankings as well as the top handcuff and hold options, check out the Bullpen Report, which provides excellent RP analysis each and every week.

This post will attempt to identify relievers with a very specific profile: power arms with high K-rates. Players who throw hard and miss bats. It’s that simple. Well, mostly. Let’s take a look at the search filters that I used for this exercise:

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Now, I am not here to completely make a crap storm on Dellin Betances one single bit, I just wanna put that out there right away.  I am a Yankees fan first, and fantasy guys on my team second.  I am simply here to make a cumulative prognosis on stats from last year and how they correlate to this year.  In this early part of the preseason, Betances has a manageable ADP of 94, or basically the 5th closer off the books.  There are a few factors that I am worried about as we get nearer to the season, and I just wanted to point them out. (As if you were buying me a beer, and we were sitting at a bar swapping war stories, and comparing notches on each others belts.)

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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 2015 fantasy baseball team that I can put together when drafting from my top 100 for 2015 fantasy baseball and top 400 for 2015 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 almost terrific, but it would be really hard to tell which one that is. If I took Adam Jones in the 1st round, everything after would change. If I took Anthony Rendon in the 1st round, everything after would change. 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 F-Her and Kershaw in the first round and I was able to take Anthony Rizzo in the 2nd round (which is likely), but since Trout and him are in my first 10 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 100’s, 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 200, 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 2015 fantasy baseball team:

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We now get to the ugly step-sister of rankings and the waiver darling position that we all chase.   The relief pitcher is by far the most debated position on who to draft, where, and when.  For the most part, I agree with you (with whatever you think), but the guys you want…if you get them where they are being drafted, usually beat or exceed value.  Injuries suck and do happen, you just can’t prevent them. You just have to be in a position of favor and hope that you land his replacement.  Sucktitude, i.e see Joe Nathan last year, is just a roster burden and usually drags you down all season because he isn’t someone you can just drop, but he makes it awfully hard to roster.  It’s a catch-22, to stat or not to stat.  Last year saw an unforgivable 10 closer changes in the first six weeks. That is not something you can pad your roster with enough save-cuffs for.  So let’s get to the first set of rankings of the year.  I will get into draft strategies for them, and as always, cover holds in the countdown to the season.

Note: Don’t forget to come visit me on the new Razzball Fantasy Soccer home everyday of the week. If you’re not familiar with the format, NBD, relax, you got us. Ralph and I are giving you the best Fantasy Premier League coverage out there. If you haven’t tried fantasy EPL, you’re missing out…

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