It’s week four and The Hey Batter, Batter, Batter contest is in full swing. And since it’s week four that means it’s time to announce week two’s winner. Before I do, let’s take a look at the top batters from that week. Eric Thames is hitting the ball like a guy that just whacked the shit out of the ball in the Korean Baseball Organization. Oh wait, he did that? For the last three years Thames has done his best Mike Trout impression for the NC Dinos by averaging 41 homers, 127 RBIs, 114 runs scored, a .347 batting average and 21 stolen bases. Heck, those stats make Trout seem like a second rounder. Many did not expect his success to translate back to the MLB, but I wasn’t as skeptical. My preseason projections were higher than most as I had him as a top twenty outfielder in points leagues. His 200+ ADP allowed me to scoop him up in many of my important leagues. I can’t imagine he keeps up his current pace, but he should be opening up a lot of eyes. Unfortunately the “buy low” period was during draft season.

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Boy, do we have a lot of games going today. I’m tired just thinking about it. Waitress another coffee please. Let’s cut straight to the good stuff ladies and gentlemen. I thought about getting cute today and suggesting someone other than Noah Syndergaard but then I remembered we’re all here to win money. This will be Thor’s first start at home this season and its a night game so expect the crowd to be there rooting on their ace. If you take a look at his career splits you’ll notice he loves pitching at Citi. One of the most important things to remember when playing FantasyDraft is to pick pitchers with a high K upside and a pitcher who is going to limit the runs. Thor comes in at a modest $22,800 and by modest, I mean most expensive. Cripes! Now let’s see if I can sell you on the most expensive pitcher of the day. Last season Thor finished 4th in k/9. Not sold yet? He finished 3rd in ERA last season. Still not putting him in your lineup? What if I told you he has the lowest o/u and is a heavy favorite to beat the Marlins. Okay I give up, don’t put him in your lineup (sarcasm).

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After fourteen drafts/auctions I am finally done selecting players. It was a long (and tiring) stretch of two weeks, but I don’t regret one thing. Although give me a few more days of watching my pitchers get knocked around and I might have a change of heart. The aforementioned drafts consisted of four points league auctions, one points league snake draft, five various mock drafts with the fantasy baseball gurus over at CBS, and four Razzball Commentator Leagues, concluding with the Razzball Experts league. Towards the end, my selections almost began to feel robotic. Something akin to a human auto-drafter. And while we’re discussing auto-drafting, I’d like to announce that I hate auto-drafters. Not the actual person, but the act of auto-drafting. Unless you’ve actually taken the time to legitimately rank your players, your presence (or lack there of) at our draft annoys me. And if you end up with two or more catchers or a handful of middle relievers/closers I’m talking about you.

Of all the drafts/auctions I participated in the one I’d like to discuss is the experts points league auction for the league known as The Points League. I’ve accepted that points leagues are the red-headed step child of fantasy baseball, but the bottom line is that many do play the format. Despite this fact most “experts” refuse to give points leagues much, if any, attention. And if they are in a points leagues, they generally don’t publicize as much. I bet the number of closet points league players is staggering. It’s 2017 people, you can come out of the closet.

A few weeks back I decided I was going to attempt to organize an experts points leagues by inviting some very smart, and mostly respected, fantasy baseball analysts/writers from across the online world of fantasy baseball. When all was said and done, and the league was filled, here are the fierce competitors vying to be the champion of The Points League:

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Holy Shizz!  I can’t believe Opening Day is already here, it seems like a couple weeks ago I was opening up the 2016 season with Mad Max.  I hope you all had a great off season, but now it’s time to get back into the swing of things and started building that DFS account.  Practically every ace is going today, so I know you’re asking yourself, why Danny Duffy, $16,800?  Although I maybe a little rusty with my picks, I can assure you The Duffman won’t be showing any signs of rust as he’s already in mid May form.  I’m sure you all followed the WBC this year, dude was absolutely lights out grabbing 2 W’s, 8 K’s, and 1 ER in 8 innings of work.  He has a solid matchup versus the Twins and I think he’s stretched out enough to give us a solid 6 innings.  Granted, it’s early so dumping all your money on top arms isn’t the best strategy, so I’m really feeling the mid level guys like Duffy, Kendall Graveman at $11,200 and Jon Gray at $15,200.  Just a quick update on the DFS format.  We’ve changed gears this year and I think you guys are really going to enjoy the format with FantasyDraft Sunday thru Tuesday.  It’s still a two pitcher roster, but you have three IF, three OF and two Utility spots, so the positions don’t matter.  That means no more catchers; Woo Hoo!  There’s still catchers available to roster, but you won’t hear much from me about them.  I’m really excited about the new format as it allows for a lot more flexibility.  Anyways, on to the picks!

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Writing this as I watch the WBC Championship game I might be drafting Marcus Stroman on a few teams.  The World Baseball Classic is pretty darn entertaining with so many good lineups and watching the US pull off the win has been awesome.  I like that over the past couple weeks I can have it on in the background because it’s competitive baseball, but there’s no fantasy implications so I can just enjoy it.  These are all-stars playing for their country (for the most part, we all know that “team” Italy, Israel and the Netherlands are stretches) and so so so much better than watching spring training games.

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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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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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One word about this top 100 for 2017 fantasy baseball, before I give you another 5,000 words.  I’m going to avoid repeating myself from the position rankings in the 2017 fantasy baseball rankings.  If you want to know my in-depth feelings about a player, then you need to go to his positional page, i.e., the top 20 1st basemen for 2017 fantasy baseball, the top 20 outfielders for 2017 fantasy baseball, the top 20 Gucci handbags for 2017– Ah, I almost got you.  This post is meant to give you an idea where guys from different positions are in relation to each other.  Since this post is only the top 100, there’s more players where this came from.  416 more, to be very exact.  Next up, there will be a top 500 that will go to 516.  Then, after that, there will be a top 7,500, then a top 25,000, then a top 600,000, until we end up with a top kajillion in April.  Or maybe I’ll stop at the top 500.  Yeah, that makes sense.  Not to get all biblical on you, but this is the gospel.  Print it out and take it to Mt. Sinai and it will say, “Win your 2017 fantasy baseball league, young prematurely balding man.”  Projections were done by me and a crack team of 100 monkeys fighting amongst themselves because there were only 99 typewriters.  Somebody please buy Ling-Ling his own typewriter!  Anyway, here’s the top 100 for 2017 fantasy baseball:

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Even though it’s barely February, I thought it was time to put together some very early pre-projections rankings for points leagues. I’m not a big fan of early rankings because so much can change between now and draft day, but why not give it a go. I never understood how people could buy those fantasy baseball magazines they sell at the newsstand. They are printed months in advance, and the content is easily outdated by the time you read them. I guess with the internet now those have seen a drastic drop in sales, but I can’t tell you how many guys used to pick one up on the way to the draft and use that as their holy grail.

I found these gems in a box in my basement!

Personally I dislike online drafts. Don’t get me wrong, they are convenient and, at this point, a necessity, but they take way too much of the preparation out of the process. I miss the days when I had to show up live with a Trapper Keeper containing the research I had done over the last four weeks. Players organized by position using folder tabs, handwritten cheatsheets, a set of highlighters and, of course, one of those magazines I just sh*t on just because I felt I had to. Now you can log into your league’s online draft site ten minutes before your draft and it has all the players laid out for you with rankings, projections and average draft position. What used to take weeks of hard work and determination has now been reduced to something many take for granted. What I hate the most is that a player isn’t going to slip by someone because they missed them when doing their research, or they forgot to write their name down when they were transferring their notes from a page of scribble to a much neater sheet of players. Now when it’s your turn it pretty much shows you who you should pick. With that all said I realize that the days of live drafts has come and gone. They are just not realistic anymore. My primary points league has participants spread out all over the country. Does California still count? Aren’t they pushing for secession? That’s about as good of an idea as drafting Yordano Ventura with your first round pick! Too early?

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Yesterday, I went over the top 20 catchers for 2017 fantasy baseball, and, today, you guessed it (if you didn’t read the title and just fell here from outer space), it’s the top 20 1st baseman for 2017 fantasy baseball.  Something weird happened last year — okay, a lot weird happened last year, but I’m going to focus on fantasy baseball.  Middle infield got deep and 1st base got shallow.  I have some theories why this happened.  First theory, a lot of kids who are playing now grew up watching Bret Boone and Alex Rodriguez and their frosted hair and, like a moth to a flame, or peroxide to a hairstyle, kids became middle infielders.  Second theory, it happened just cuz.  So, I don’t have a lot of theories on it, per se, but offense is deep this year, but not 1st basemen.  My projections are included, and here’s all of our fantasy baseball rankings.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 1st basemen for 2017 fantasy baseball:

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