Astros corner infielder Yulieski Gurriel continues to mash going 3-for-4 with 2 runs, his second home run and two RBI. Opposing pitchers be like, why you all up in my Gurriel, Yuli? When you’re on fire and everyone knows you’re flame. The Gurriel is hot, where da burgers and dogs at? Dude is  hitting .436 (17-for-39) over the past two weeks with 7 runs, 2 homers and 6 RBI. Sure he hit just .260 with 3 homers and 15 RBI in 36 games last year with Houston, but he ALSO hit .500 with 15 homers in 50 games in Cuba in 2016 which are the better stats that I will cherry-pick for the purposes of this blurb. I’m just saying it’s not like this success is coming out of nowhere. He’s a good Gurriel and he knows it, and he’s batting 6th in a stacked Houston lineup. If we take a look at some of the advanced metrics (NERD!), the .371 BABIP may unsustainable, but fantasy is about riding streaks and Yuli Gurriel is a hot little potato right now. Grey told you to BUY and he’s available in about 75% of leagues. Pick him up you only Yuli once! Whoa, now that’s two Drake references in the same lede. That’s how you know it’s going to be a good day!

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

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When struggles happen, the fantasy geeks come out of the wood work with words like “decreased velocity”, “contact rate” and “swing strike percentage”.  Now I am no geek, but Roberto Osuna is failing the eye test for me.  Control is all over the place and he has zero confidence in his pitches.  Yes, if you look at all his secondary pitching attributes, they are all down or up for the worse.  First, his velocity is down almost two MPH from last year.  Granted, he did miss some time this spring though, so there is a reason to have a letter from his mom to explain that.  His z-contact rate (pitches in the strike zone) is off the charts bonkers.  It currently sits at 91%.  If he had pitched more than five innings to date and qualified, he would have the highest such contact rate in baseball among relievers.  That is not a good trait to have as a closer, let alone a mammal.  Finally, his swing strike percentage has bottomed out at a cool 10%, which would put him outside the top-100 relievers.  And surrounded by names like Tommy Hunter and Michael Ynoa, all staples to a flourishing fantasy team.  So what do we do?  You cuff him.  Jason Grilli is the best name there and Ryan Tepera just got the save in extra innings the other day.  All we can hope for from Bobby Osuna is that with some more innings and builds back up to the 9-plus K/9 reliever we drafted as our 1A closer.  It isn’t time to panic, but do yourself a favor and cover your bases.  Here’s what else is going down in the end game… Cheers!

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Greetings! Not only did opening week provide screen addicts everywhere an opportunity to put down the joystick for a few hours in order to put more focus into fantasy baseball, obsessing over each pitch like a scorned lover, pretending like any of this REALLY matters as we block out a myriad of life problems, but it provided me with an excuse to write a column, which is a big time win in my book. Heck yea! Super Cool! Sweetness!

Kudos to you if you’ve just recently discovered Razzball, for you are in store for the kind of magical journey you’ve only watched on film. Think ‘Hook’, ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’, the ‘Harry Potter’ flicks, ‘The Lord of the Rings’ Trilogy and ‘Basic Instinct’ all in one. Read further if you’d like to see me spread my legs for you, a la Sharon Stone… metaphorically of course.

I am Tehol Beddict and this is Disgrace/Delight. Take heed!

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I wonder if Freddie Freeman has Fletch-like dreams where he pictures himself with a huge afro and his name is Freddie World B. Freeman.  “He’s actually 6-5, with the afro, 6-9.  Pretty good hands, loves to hit ones deep.  His club is behind by three, and World B. Freeman drains a three-run homer!  Wow, was that some kind of hit.  You know this kid from the gritty streets of Orange County, California sure can play.”  By the way, gritty in Orange County refers to a Sonic Drive-In that has a B grade from the Health Department.  So, yesterday, Freeman put up those stats that I told you to pay a 2nd round price for — 4-for-5, 3 runs, and a double slam (1, 2) and legs (1), hitting .346 on the year.  I was truly perplexed how low I saw some people ranking Freeman in the preseason.  If anything, I think a stronger case could’ve been made to have Freeman ranked above Miggy, who was a consensus top 12 pick everywhere.  Guess Freeman could use the name Mr. Under-ranked when he sneaks into country clubs to visit Dansby Swanson (1-for-5, 1st homer, hitting .179).  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It was right in front of our faces and we ignored it.  No one said the obvious.  The elephant in the room.  We all should have known that we were getting fooled by the A’s because we trusted a Melvin.  A Melvin!  After years of hoodwinking by Upton, we now get the reflexive of this, and are getting bobbed.  Predictably, the A’s manager has made a real hash of the bullpen situation already, and we only sit four games into the season.  I get his mentality in some states, because you want your best pitcher pitching to the best players in the opposing lineups and yadda, yadda, yadda.  But this is fantasy baseball sir.  We don’t have the time or social skills warranted to be able to deal with this type stuff.  So for those of you living on a house boat with no wifi, the A’s bullpen usage is a flummoxed up mess with no one to trust.  It’s like November 23rd, 1963 in Dallas, Texas type of questioning everything.  Madson was the presumed closer and he has been treated as the go to guy for getting the tough outs.  Twice against the middle of the order which included a Trout named outfielder.  Then the first day went to Santiago Casilla, then the next day to Ryan Dull.  But the things that boggles the mind is set orders here.  I get that it is early and mixing and matching is cool like millennials do with socks now, but we need some kind of pecking order for rostering-type priorities.  I can’t deal with this madness, I am going to alphabetize my canned goods.  In the mean time, check out the closer menu, now with a deal on salads.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Back in late February I took down the ADP for the top 300 players with the intention of later reflecting on that data. I knew it would come in handy when thinking up an idea for a future column, and my clairvoyance has been fulfilled.

I’ve always been a proponent of NFBC’s ADP because of the amount of money their leagues generally require in order to play ($125+, upwards of $5,000+ in main events). It eliminates crazy outlier picks better than your casual ESPN mock drafts, and paints a great picture for value in rotisserie leagues.

As ‘weekly lock’ are their standard format, it deviates a little bit from our typical RCL that we have on this fantastic caldron of fantasy knowledge know as Razzball, but heading into the last week of drafts, I hope this will give you a great idea of the fluctuation of players in across the league.

The time frame of the change, as you will see, is between February 28th and March 26th. I’ll break up some of our specimens based on overall ADP, as players who are going later in drafts (150+ overall) have much more room to rise and fall than a player in the top 50.

To address players who have fallen due to a temporary injury, I’ve eliminated guys like Ian Desmond, Alex Reyes, and David Dahl, in favor of taking a look at performance and playing time based fluctuations. If you desire the +/- of any other player you don’t see here, feel free to mention in the comments below and I will dig in and find it for you (as long as their in the top 500).

Keep in mind, in order for a player to fall by a given amount, that player has been drafted further above or further below what their ADP on March 26th states. This is because NFBC ADP is a rolling average. For Yoenis Cespedes to increase from 59.08 to 56.66, he would have been drafted, on average, higher than the 56.66 overall from March 26th says. Not simply the +2.42 spots my interval of change shows you!

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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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Surprise.  Huston Street is already injured and being replaced by someone who isn’t the full measure or picture of health in Cam Bedrosian.  Cam is the goods, it is just a matter of him grabbing that role, remaining healthy, and then riding off into the sunset like the end of the movie Shane.  Minus the slumped-over presumably a dead thing.  The thing that I love about Cam is that he is growing as a pitcher.  He always had the K/9 rate (9.3 in 2014, 9.2 in 2015, and 11.4 in 2016), but the thing that says that he is legit is that his walk rate was basically halved last year.  To extrapolate on that further, in his last 26 appearances of last year he faced 92 batters, walked 8, and allowed 12 hits.  Good for a slash line of .146/.239/.159 for a .398 OPS.  That is approaching reliever stalwarts like Bush and Barraclough. And we know how much they are coveted right now, and they don’t have a sniff of savedom. Oh… and add in only one earned run during that time.  Stats sound great because they are basically forgotten about, because his season ended the first week of August.  He was basically licking the closer bait, and then poof.  Til now.  If you are looking to invest in him for the season, he is basically going to give you Kelvin Herrera type production, and by his ever rising ADP (last week 200, this week 140) the secret is out for the save chase in La La Grey.  Let’s see what else is going down in the realm of closers as we get ever closer to draft days…

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I think this will conclude this year’s rankings for all players, but with the way closer roles can change between now and Spring Training, finishing will be bountiful. There seems to be a big difference among experts in the top-10, and I am no different.  Also, the bottom tiers for the rankings are a “wait and see” proposition, as there are easily 7-8 teams with a closer by committee situation, or at best, a closer who is a retread of a retread.   Everyone knows who you are Fernando, you don’t have to stand up and raise your hand or shoot an arrow fictitiously at me.  So as we approach draft season and beyond, use this list for now, because the situations will be fluid from here on out.  As I promised two weeks ago, you will get a new list every two weeks, with a holds post (no it won’t be in different color for people who just skip the preface of an article) in betwix.  Get excited folks! Spring is sorta here, and with that comes all of Grey’s rankings, my closer and bullpen stuff, and basically every tool under the sun to help you be the best you can be.  Now get out there and win one for Flipper!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

That is probably the worst word when it comes to drafting or even trusting in a reliever in a bullpen for fantasy.  The guy could be a tax evader, steal lollipops from kids, or never wash his hands after using the lavatory.  It still wouldn’t matter, the stigma of being placed into a committee is just awful come draft day.  This happens every year when bullpens usually light on talent get paired down to barely usable pieces, or when players return from injury and are an unsure thing.  Then again, you get a weird situation like that in Cleveland…  It’s very familiar to last year’s draft day conundrum with that of the Yankees.  Both Cody Allen and Andrew Miller are draftable and draft worthy within the first 150 picks or so.  That number increases for players in “Net Saves” and Holds leagues, because they will steal from each other but on the positive end, one will get a hold and the other the save, and vice versa.  The only problem is that Cleveland, after being in the World Series, is a hot button team and both players have some helium to their names, Miller especially.  So drafting both is a good idea, stats-wise, but bad for team building it’s structure in other areas.  So my best advice is to look elsewhere, yes the stealing thing I mentioned helps you in leagues that contain Holds, but in leagues that don’t, it could be a sticky situation of frustration over saves.  Last year down the stretch, Miller wasn’t the closer very frequently.  Allen steered that ship.  This year, I think the secondary stats: K’s, ERA, WHIP, will all be there, but the counting stats will be split.  And since I talk about saves and holds, I am most definitely referencing the saves here.  So with their respective rankings spread between 100-130 for both guys, I think the best offense, or with a committee situation, is to grab someone ranked in same neighborhood guys like Ken Giles and Kelvin Herrera.  You may thank me later, but I do occasionally deserve the bird.  So instead of just going into the rankings this far into preseason, here is a cool little chart for you to reference. I will update this chart all preseason and will add some sleeper posts for both closers and holds.  So enjoy my friends!

Please, blog, may I have some more?