I think you’ll agree (because Would I Lie To You?) that it’s been an up-and-down couple of weeks for us Saturday FanDuel devotees when it comes to pitchers. But I’m pleased to report that this week, we’re swimming in them (so to speak). Yes, you could, of course, play Clayton Kershaw, but TBH I’m leery of starting anyone against the Rockies right now, and ClayKer does have his worst ERA at home (that’s 3.11, mind you, but still), and given he costs $12,300, I’m going to steer clear and look to some other, more affordable pitching options. And there are a few, as you shall see. My very favorite is Robbie Ray: yes, his start today takes place in the somewhat terrifying Chase (The Ball Across The) Field in Arizona, but it’s versus the Phillies, who hit .233 against lefties and now have the least wins in the entirety of MLB. (Sorry to remind you of that, Phillies Fans.) Let’s check out some more options after the jump.

New to FanDuel? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well, be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hello, I hope everyone is enjoying their work day.  I welcome you all to another wonderful DFS slate on FanDuel.  I know all the way back in week 1 I said I’d try to never recommend a game in Coors Field…well that ends today.  Sorry, but you can’t ignore the game in Coors Field.  There’s plenty of ways to make sure your lineup isn’t all chalk.  Making multiple lineups and stacking each team or stack a whole team 1-8 across a few lineups and I’m talking right down to the catchers.  Tony Wolters?  Sure, if he’s playing and not Tom Murphy.  What about Chris Herrmann?  Yeah, him too.  The usual suspects are in play as well including Mark Reynolds, Nolan Arenado, Jake Lamb, Charlie Blackmon, and Paul Goldschmidt.  Those OF bats ain’t too shabby either, so check and see if Gregor Blanco, Carlos Gonzalez, and/or David Peralta are playing.  Just remember: don’t use either of these pitchers, though…DUH.  Colorado is playing too well for Walker to make a difference and Hoffman is really really bad.

Now on to the picks…

New to FanDuel? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond?  Well be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.  Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Every year, there are surprises in fantasy baseball. Some players come out of nowhere and breakout or, in the case of Aaron Judge, absolutely dominate. Other players regress after a breakout season the year before. There are even the players who have long track records of mediocrity who, all of sudden, appear to have figured something out en route to becoming legitimate contributors both in fantasy and in, you know, real baseball. I like to call these players Justin Smoak-Logan Morrison-Yonder Alonso. The more popular terms among Razzballers for these players are Schmohawks and Hot Schmotatos.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hello readers, hope you’re ready for another wonderful write up from The Collector!  Today should be an interesting slate as long as we get the pitcher right.  As my title suggests, I think Michael Pineda at $8,700 is that pitcher.  I’ve talked in the past how he has high strike out upside; besides that, he’s also been very consistent this year if you take the Toronto game out.  He’s looking more and more like the Pineda we all fell in love with during his rookie year.  It also helps he gets to face off against a Trout-less Angels team.  Angels in the Outfield can’t even save this team without Trout.  I expect Pineda to have the best game of the slate, though he might be a little higher owned than I normally like.  Today just focus on picking the guy you like and worry about ownership elsewhere.

Now on to the picks…

New to FanDuel? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond?  Well be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.  Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I use a number of different tools, sites, and metrics every week to adjust my rankings and to determine exactly who I should focus on each week. I usually try to focus on players owned in less than 60% leagues, players who are rising or falling and who you should probably buy low or sell high on, or players who are new to the Top 100 or on the cusp of joining the ranks. It has only been a few weeks since I took over these rankings for the legendary M@, so I am still working on creating the most efficient system (I spend wayyyyyy too much time agonizing over these rankings every Sunday).

I start by going over my notes and spreadsheets from the previous week, then take a peek at Razzball’s Player Rater and look at the current rankings and the Rest of Season Projections. Once I jot down some notes from those, I take a look at ESPN’s PR15 Player Ratings for the last 15 days. Lastly, I check FanGraphs with a focus on the best wOBA for the last 14 days and the last 30 days. Usually, once I am finished with that process, I have an idea of who I am going to write about and a starting point for adjusting the rankings.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Springer springer hit a dinger. Actually he hit five of them in week 9. Until last week you might say that he was having a rather pedestrian start to the 2017 season. Coming into the week he wasn’t even a top 30 outfielder with respect to points. As a matter of fact his starting percentage was slowly taking a dip, and as a result, there were quite a few angry managers staring at 45 points on their bench last week. I have a rule that I nearly always abide by in weekly league: Play your studs. Well if George Springer was curious about what it’s like to be in the top 20, he now knows as his week 9 performance has catapulted him in the 17 spot.

Enough about this George dude from Houston, what you all really want to know is who won week 9. Actually there are probably only a small handful that really care. That would be those of you that had at least an outside chance of winning. Well wait no longer. The winner is the contestant that picked George Springer. Since there was only one of you that did so, the mystery winner should be easy to figure out. Ok, fine. I won’t make you go back and do the leg work. The winner was Fungazi with 90 points. Fungazi picked George Springer (45), Carlos Correa (40) and Brian Dozier (5). Dozier’s five points were meaningless considering Springer and Correa were the top two highest scoring players of the week. Second place was The Padre with 73 points. Like I said, no thanks to Dozier. Congrats Fungazi!

Here are the top 5 from Week 9:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

For the first seven years of his career, Elvis Andrus was a light-hitting shortstop that would provide cheap speed for fantasy teams. That Elvis has left the building. Unlike Mr. Presley, who aged into a fat slob which lowered the barriers to entry for employment as an impersonator, Mr. Andrus has become phat. For those that only know # as a hashtag, phat was synonymous with great, back in the 90’s. I still can’t believe phat was a thing.

Anyways, Andrus is the #1 shortstop in fantasy right now. He’s batting .305 with seven home runs, 34 runs scored, 32 RBI, and 14 stolen bases. The wOBA is .353 and ISO is .170.

For perspective, the ISO has been below .100 six of the last eight seasons and the season-high in home runs is eight, which occurred last year…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

While he hasn’t ever been the end all, be all fantasy shortstop, Elvis Andrus is putting it together this year.  He has gone from a Ron Popiel special at SS to a must own, and by own I mean a trade for candidate.  Because I am not sure people really realize how well he is comparatively to some of the leagues elite shortstops with bigger names and bigger draft day price tags.  Across the five counting stats that matter for most leagues, and RCL’s are no different. this is where he ranks among qualified two-and-a-halvers. He sits 5th in batting average (.305), 5th in Homers (7), 5th in runs (34), 3rd in RBI (32) and since this is the SAGNOF post, 2nd in steals with 14.  It is interesting to compare yesterday and this year.  He has more steals at this point in the season than Segura did, and in case you were wondering all counting stats across the board are in King Creole’s favor, but at a 80 pick reduction in price from draft day.  Value plays are what makes the fantasy champ.  If Andrus, through one third of the season, can steal 14, score 34, and knock in 32 for a Rangers team that has yet to really hit their stride offensively…  Why is he not a trade target for someone who may know (that is now you) to someone who thinks that Andrus is like watching paint dry and boring?  His name to me in trade talks would be the most exciting, unless you were really paying attention to things.   Hell, look at what Zack Cozart is doing, and that is not even a joke. So enjoy this week’s tidbits and fantasy snares that may help you on the waivers or taking advantage of some situations this week. Cheers!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I start this week’s podcast by wondering if JB still listens to the show and/or reads the website, but based on the nugget of information Grey passes along, I’m going to assume the answer to that question is no. I also thank everyone for the awesome podcast reviews this week, while Grey is unsatisfied and unimpressed. On the fantasy baseball side of things, our main focus is middle infield, kicking things off with the surprise of Elvis Andrus being the current #1 SS in fantasy, and Zack Cozart being the current #1 SS in real life. We also talk about if Grey is coming around on Daniel Murphy, how real the Whit Merrifield breakout is, and debate Carlos Correa vs. Trea Turner in Dynasty Leagues. Finally, I get excited for the return of the Razzball Only FantasyDraft Contest today, so make sure to sign up and join in on the fun. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Podcast:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Let’s begin by having a moment of silence for the fact that we will be without Mike Trout for two months. I dropped him to 23 in the rankings below, which are considered ROS trade value. I know it is hard to justify Trout over some talented players who aren’t going to miss two months, I just couldn’t bring myself to drop him much lower. The Razzball Player Rater has him all the way down to 71 for ROS projections. Personally, if I were to trade Trout, I would hold out for the highest bid and make someone overpay. Otherwise, I’m not moving him. And in keeper leagues, I would still have him at number 1 and wouldn’t entertain offers.

Now, for the players who are playing right now. The two players I moved up and want to focus on this week are Justin Bour and Justin Smoak. I received some questions and comments on here and on Twitter last week about Smoak, so let’s take a look at him first. He has looked great this season, but I have my doubts.

While Smoak’s slash line and counting stats look great right now, unless he finally figured everything out at 30 years old, I have my doubts. Yes, he is currently on pace for almost 40 home runs. Yes, he is striking out 17.9% of the time, which is almost half as much as he did last season and is well below his career average of 23.5%. Through 55 games and over 200 plate appearances in 2017, the metrics back up what he is doing.

But here’s the thing.

Smoak has been in the league for eight seasons and has over 3,000 plate appearances. He’s a career .227 / .311 / .402 hitter. His previous high for home runs in a season is 20, which he did back in 2013. Take a look at his wOBA by season:

Translation: Smoak isn’t this good. This probably isn’t going to last, and a regression is coming.

Now, as far as Justin Bour goes, I am still skeptical but am less skeptical. Bour is 29 but has just over 1,000 plate appearances at the MLB level. He has displayed this kind of power before, both at the major league level and in the minors, so it is easier to believe that his current power stroke is real. Will he continue to hit up around .300? No, but it is reasonable to expect him to hit in the .250-.270 range and offer up 30 home runs, as long as he can stay healthy (which he can’t always do).

The main point here is that, while Bour is only a year younger, he doesn’t have as much of a negative track record that we can hold against him. He has also displayed plus-power in the past, while Smoak has always struggled to fulfill his potential in that department. Bour is likely to regress a bit as well, but I don’t think his regression will be as extreme as Smoak’s. If I had to pick between these two first basemen as a guy I value higher ROS I am taking Bour every time. Maybe I’m just biased now that I live in South Florida, or maybe their track records are telling us everything we need to know about them…

Please, blog, may I have some more?