It was a year to remember for the Amazins in 2015. Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, and Noah Syndergaard fronted the best starting rotation in MLB. Yoenis Cespedes had a 2nd half for the ages after being acquired at the trade deadline. Curtis Granderson put his forgettable 2014 season behind him and played at an all-star level. Michael Conforto made quite an impact as a rookie following his July call-up. Jeurys Familia was one of the best closers in all of baseball. Daniel Murphy got white hot in October and helped propel his team to the World Series. Who am I forgetting? Oh yeah, there’s that Lucas Duda character. Does he even play there anymore?

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After drudging through an Andy Dufresne-type tunnel for the top 20 catchers for 2015 fantasy baseball, I find myself with a group that actually really hurt or helped your team depending on how you drafted.  If you went wrong with your 1st baseman, it could kill your season.  Hey, Freddie Freeman, no hard feelings from me.  We are totally fine since I knew to not draft you.  If you went right, you might’ve won your league.  If you’re looking at the top 20 1st basemen in a vacuum, it appears that offense is making a comeback.  And my what a big vacuum you have!  Lots of guys on this list not only did well, but did better than their preseason projections.  In fact (Grey’s adding on!), if you followed my rankings (saying to avoid V-Mart and Freeman), you did just fine at 1st base.  To recap, this final ranking is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 1st basemen for 2015 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

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There’s only a few more roundups left on the season, then I’ll be recapping the rest of October, then rookies in November, then sleepers in December, then rankings in January, then I draft Arenado again in February and then March hits and my Cougar wife says to me, “I’ll see you again in October.”  So, as you can see, we don’t have a ton of time before next year.  So, Part II:  So So Again; I wanted to talk briefly about the insanely sexy, hump-taker, Marcus Stroman.  Yesterday, he pitched a fantastic little start — 8 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 8 Ks, to leave his ERA at 1.67 since his return, but I’m more concerned with Stroman for next year.  Or as I like to call it, Sixteen after Twenty, The Year of The Stroman.  If I call it that, it might give away the ending here, but I’m going to love Stroman in 2016.  Stroman, my pain with his fingers.  One time, one time.  Well, I loved him coming into this year prior to his injury.  An injury, mind you and mind the gap, that wasn’t on his arm.  What’s to like about Stroman?  How about this checklist:  solid ground ball rate, solid Ks and excellent control.  You know who that is?  Dallas Keuchel.  Stroman can be that dominant in 2016 too.  As for 2015, he’s done, so, yo, Grey, hit the segue!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday, Lucas Duda went 3-for-5, 3 RBIs with two homers (26, 27).  He now has five homers in the last three days.  Duda goes from doodie to Duda in the blink of an eye.  He’s like a sports car that goes 0 to 60 in five seconds flat that you only drive three times a year, because, while your penis may be small, you’re also reasonable enough to realize if someone crashes into you, you’re going to cry and that’s embarrassing in front of your future trophy wife.  It seems like no matter how many games Duda misses and no matter how deep his slumps get, he gets scorching hot at some point and will get to thirty homers.  His hot streaks are shorter, but he reminds me of a poor man’s Chris Davis.  I will call him Piss Davis.  Maybe I won’t call him that to his face.  Somehow, Duda is available in over 40% of ESPN leagues. (Though 85% of leagues are abandoned already so he’s owned in 125% of leagues.  Hmm…) So, if he’s out there, grab him before he takes the car back into the shop and pays $54,000 for a new taillight.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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We have one reader in Nigeria who emails me privately about how I’ve won large amounts of muney (sic), so I don’t need to be working, which means this is more of a PSA, and should be taken even more seriously:  Starling Marte is a God.  There’s Jesus, there’s his Dad, there’s Jehovah, there’s Mormons’ magic underpants, there’s whoever the Jews pray to — Mel Brooks? — there’s Chief Jay Strongbow, there’s the Pope, there’s Allah, there’s Halla, the Arab God for dyslexics, and there’s others, I’m sure.  My God is Starling Marte.  You know how the religious say, “Peace be with you?”  For baseball players, they should say, “May you always hit in Coors.”  Yesterday in Coors, Marte went 4-for-5, 1 run, 1 RBI, which is the rainbow jimmies on the ice cream that has been his season.  He has 18 HRs, 29 SBs and is hitting .288.  Right now, he’s around top 25 on our Player Rater.  For 2016, it’s gonna be hard for me to wait past the top 20 overall.  Yes, he’s that good, and I may just rank him above McCutchen.  Oh, snap!  Don’t need the police to try to save them, your voice will seize, so please, stay off my back or I will attack and you don’t want that.  Hit the bass, hit the anyway and let’s do this!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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In the spirit of the playoffs, I’m going to run through one widely available player at each position who might be able to help you in your OPS stretch run. Let’s get started.

Catcher: Grey gave you J.P. Arencibia and Francisco Cervelli as buys yesterday. But, if those guys are taken and you are hurting at catcher, take a look at Florida’s J.T. Realmuto. Over the past two weeks, Realmuto has gone 13-for-34 with 3 home runs and a 1.084 OPS.  He’s been one of the hottest hitting catchers going of late and he is owned in about 15% of ESPN leagues. I also considered Detroit’s James McCann for this one. Over the past week, McCann trails only Buster Posey, Kyle Schwarber, and Salvadaor Perez in OPS, posting a .853. But, playing time is a bit more of a concern with McCann, so Realmuto is the pick.

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Don’t be judging my title. I’m always late to the topical title party. I’m lazy! I haven’t seen Straight Outta Compton because I refuse to pay for overpriced tickets to movies that have nothing visually cool to offer. Seeing the clips and Grey talking it up and being in the same room as Cube has made me reflect… When that album broke, I was in the 8th grade and it was the biggest game changer for us since the Beastie Boys and RUN DMC (I group them together because it felt like it was around the same time). I wasn’t a huge hip-hop head, but I had friends that listened to nothing but street poets. Then came NWA and Eazy-E (I say them separately because Eazy’s album dropped a month after Straight Outta Compton and was treated like a companion piece). It was impossible to own one and not the other. Now, I bring this up because this movie reminds me of the first time I heard Eazy Duz It. I was coming back from Carpenteria (its just south of Santa Barbara) with my good buddy and his mom. He asked her if we could play his new tape on the way home. She, being the very open minded lady she was, obliged and sat through that whole album. Damn, I don’t miss my buddy since he turned into a bitch ass when we got older, but his mom was the baddest mom I knew. From Boyz N’ Tha Hood to Eazy-er Said Than Dunn, we would bump this almost as much as SOC. Hey, we were from L.A., it was great to get someone changing the game from our backyard. Now, you might be asking yourself what this has to do with this weeks creeper. Nothing, I just felt like waxing about NWA.

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Last weekend I wanted to go see Action Bronson when he performed at the Shrine Auditorium in LA. I was feeling my usual cheap self, so I hit up some of the homies in the lighting game to see if anyone was working the show. Well, they weren’t, and I didn’t go. So bummed I couldn’t use the connects to get a pass into the show. That group of friends have been good guys to know, and if they are working an event they can sometimes get a few cats access. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those guys always looking for a freebie, but it’s nice to have a guy. You know that guy, the one who can score you the primo stuff, get you in contact with the right people, get your car smogged (California BS) because it’s customized like a mother f***er, or help you out of a bad spot. The last one is never advisable, because then you owe them a favor and that’s not the kinda favor you want to owe them. To go along with the theme of the title, I hope I’m your Creeper guy, your go to creeper caller. This week I’m the guy telling you to add the Guy(er) to be your guy… for the coming week. Okay, enough about guys, this is starting to get weird… let’s get to creepin’.

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It’s time once again to check in with our dynasty league…the Razznasty. J-FOH has put some distance between first and second place this month and now sits on a seven point lead heading into the home stretch. Hippos has held strong in the third spot, and – hey wait a minute! That’s Kid A kissing 110! Kid put up top five numbers in all but one hitting category in August, while at the same time posting the second-most strikeouts on the pitching side. Just when it looked like the Hippos might be getting comfortable in their pond, Kid put together an August run that has got to be making Truss sweat just a little. Our league’s trade deadline has come and gone, so at this point we’ve got to dance with the girls we brought or press our luck on the wire. Spoiler alert – it’s basically been picked clean at this point. Like…it’s kinda fugly. Here are the updated standings, recent trades and FAAB acquisitions for the month of August…

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Don’t worry, I’m not going to talk about U2. I already go over boring hitters below. Seriously, they are one of the most overrated bands ever. They are like the 80’s and 90’s version of the Eagles. The closest they get to my iPOD is this song. This week we are going in a different direction than before, because I killed the Top 100. After receiving Grey’s blessing (thanks bossman!), here’s what’s going to happen: After going through the evolution of ranking players this season, it became clear to me that it wasn’t working. By June 1st, you know what you have and it’s generally a good point to start making trades to address needs. As the season goes forward, those needs get increasingly particular until you get to this point. After some discussions with Mike, Sky and Big Magoo, I got some good input and a really confusing emoji text conversation with Sky. Still not sure if we cool, but I got my Japanese friend coming over later to translate. This week, I have a Top 50 Hitters and a few sub lists for you to check out. Every week, it’s my plan to mix a few different sub lists in to help cover all bases… pun point!  I have included Steamers, ROS, HR/SB, projections, the ROS player rater, dollar values, and my own HR/SB projections. Don’t worry if you don’t see someone here, they are probably going to appear in another list next week or thereafter. Some people may even appear on multiple lists. You never know? Any questions? Good moving on…

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