The top 20 shortstops for 2016 fantasy baseball were once as bad as the top 20 2nd basemen for 2016 fantasy baseball that I went over the other day.  Now the shortstops have had an influx of youth — or utes, if Joe Pesci is reading — and the future’s so bright I gotta wear shades, Arvid.  I’m happy for the shortstops, and happier for myself.  For a while, the top 20 shortstops were Tulo and those other guys.  Kinda like the top 20 catchers is Posey and those other guys.  Oh, and there was a top 20 1st basemen for 2016 fantasy baseball post already too (organic linking!).  Hopefully, the shortstops aren’t just showing up in a librarian’s outfit with red-rimmed glasses and appearing sexy, then turning out to be Sally Jessy Raphael.  As with the other top 20 rankings, I point out where tiers start and stop and my projections.  All the 2016 fantasy baseball rankings can be found under that thing that says 2016 fantasy baseball rankings.  Unsuccinct!  Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2016 fantasy baseball:

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The Indians have a balanced system with good bats, good arms, and fantasy upside at all levels. At the tippy top there’s Bradley Zimmer and Clint Frazier. Both should arrive in the next two years and the one you like better depends on whether you’re more of a speed freak or a power geek. You really can’t go wrong with either at this point. 2015 was the debut of Francisco Lindor, who exceeded expectations with his bat and was as advertised with his slick fielding at short. Given how hard it is to find offense at the position, it will be interesting to see how strongly fantasy players believe in his rookie year numbers and how high he’ll go in 2016 redrafts. I’m guessing pretty high. The Tribe had, in my humble opinion, a great 2015 draft and walked away with good players at great values. Their low minors is well stocked and it was honestly difficult to choose which players to profile down there.

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We’ve (Me’ve) have already gone over the top 20 catchers, top 20 1st basemen, top 20 2nd basemen and now it’s time for the top 20 shortstops for 2015 fantasy baseball.  It’s fun to see how many people read this in a way that makes them think this is for next year.  Let’s read it like them real quickly, “Top 20 shortstops…Tulo too low, Andrus too high, Lindor too low, how do I make a comment that illustrates my snideness about what an idiot I think Grey is without incurring the wrath of others so I can still ask a trade question in two months without any hard feelings?  Maybe I’ll just say a name with a question mark and that’ll be enough to inform Grey that I think he’s a moron, but vague enough to not set off others.”  Those people, who I’m sure aren’t reading this opening, are the true highlight of the offseason.  Here’s a comment for them to post, “Yunel???”  To recap, this final ranking is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments.  The Player Rater allows me to be impartial while looking at how I ranked them in the preseason.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2015 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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Despite a season of disappointment and injury, Stephen Strasburg won me my points league championship. As one of my keepers coming into this season, I was excited for the potential of a Cy Young campaign. Instead what I got was a season of heartache and despair as he spent more time on my bench than he did in my lineup. In his last three starts however Strasburg threw a total of 23 innings, striking out 37 batters, walking 3 and yielding only 2 earned runs. During that three game stretch he scored 103 fantasy points for an average of 34.33 points per start. I’m happy when I get 25 points from a start. Just when I thought I had my keepers figured out for next season, Strasburg has to go and do this and put his name solidly back into the mix. On a side note, a few weeks back I suggested he grow a Bumgarner-like beard in hopes of helping him find his lost ways. Instead he seems to have shaved himself clean and I am thrilled with the result it has had on his performance. I just re-read that sentence and it can certainly take on a different meaning.

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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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“Hello, and welcome to the Izod Center in downtown East Rutherford, New Jersey!  We’re only 35 minutes from New York!  On tonight’s fight card, we have everyone vs. George Zimmerman and, our main event, Bryce Harper vs. Jonathan Papelbon!  Harper has him on height by a good six inches, if you count his mohawk.  They’re both tipping the scales like heavyweights, if you count their egos, but Papelbon has the reach by three and a quarter inches since Harper will be fighting off his heels, as he’s been known to do his whole career.  The Loafer vs. The Soft Shoe!  The Cock vs. The Guy With A Haircut That Makes Him Look Like A Cock!  The Veteran Who Plays The Game The Right Way vs. The Upstart Who Just Plays The Game Better Than Anyone Else.  Hosting this event is Donald Trump.  Making this country great again like he did in Atlantic City!”  Yesterday, I said, these two mix like vinegar and douche, and then the Nationals made sure they wouldn’t have to mix at all.  Papelbon was suspended for the rest of the regular season, which opens the door for Blake Treinen, Matt Thornton and/or Casey Janssen.  That’s the order I’d grab them for saves, but like a carrot in minestrone, it’s real dicey.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I’m not sure if DK has been monitoring what J.A. Happ has done since being traded to Pittsburgh, but he’s at the bargain price of $7,600 for tonight. How about we keep it a secret between us Razzballers? Since being traded in early August, Happ is 6-2 with a 2.43 ERA while striking out 58 batters in 48.1ings. His first start as a Pirate he let up 4er and Tuesday night, in Coors, he gave up 3er, but he still K’d 8 over 5.1ings. Throw out those two games and dude looks like Greinke with a sparkling 1.39 ERA and 44K’s over 38.9ings. Happ gets the Cards tonight which may seem like a bad matchup, but they’re only batting .232 and they’re the NL’s numero uno in strikeouts versus LHP. Happ’s resurgence after making the move isn’t a surprise as the Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage is a friggin genius whisperer on a whole different level. This guy is so great that instead of buying him a few beers, a brewery named a beer after him; for realsies, check out the Bucco Blonde. At a relatively low sticker price of $7,600 you can match up Happ with Mad Max at $12,000 or the aforementioned Greinke at $13,100. Let’s keep the good times rolling and raise our pints to Ray Searage and The Happ Slapp!

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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Thomas Pham (+21.5%) was the most added player in fantasy baseball over the past week. No Holliday? No Grichuk? No problem! “Just call up the kid who’s name sounds like an oil filter. And change the oil in my Escalade while you’re at it.” That’s Cardinals GM John Mozeliak delegating authority while sipping on some single malt scotch in his office. Basically an afterthought entering this season, Pham has made the most of his sudden opportunity. The 27-year-old rookie has flashed little power and occasional speed in the minors since his promotion to AA ball in 2010 (single season highs of 10 homers and 20 steals in 2014), but has produced a 1.654 OPS with 4 homers and 1 steal with the Cards over the past week. Schmotato alert! His upcoming slate against the Reds and Brewers staffs is far from imposing as well. Enjoy the fling while it lasts, but be wary of a long-term commitment.

Here are a few other significant adds and drops in fantasy baseball over the past week:

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Brandon Finnegan pitched five innings allowing just three hits an earned run, two walks, while striking out four to notch his first win with the Cincinnati Reds last night. James Joyce would be so proud. Although his praise would be written in the form of a street ballad that would take years to completely analyze and understand. Finnegan was the big get in the Johnny Cueto deal with Kansas City and we are starting to see why. The 22-year old lefty showed good control with a low 90s fastball and nasty change up. Used primarily as a situational lefty with the Royals, the Reds are committed to stretching Finnegan out as a starter, and it looks like that decision could pay off in the long run. Brandon was sharp last night shutting down a strong Milwaukee offense and now holds a 2.38 ERA and 1.03 WHIP with a 29/16 K/BB rate. Finnegan is more of a name to keep in the back of your mind for your 2016 drafts but I could also see streaming him next week versus the Cardinals if you feel like gambling on some rookie nookie.

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

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While I like to come up with witty original titles, I realize that today’s has already been played. So has “Cespedes For The Rest of Us”, another solid specimen. I tried to figure out a way to use the video game Centipede, but came up empty. So I decided I would just recycle. There’s no getting around it, today’s post needed to center on Yoenis Cespedes. With 139 points, no other batter has scored as many points as Yoenis in the last 28 days. During that stretch he has 15 homers, 34 RBIs and 28 runs scored. He leads all batters in all three of those categories. He even has 3 triples and 2 stolen bases. Cespedes is like a man obsessed. Obsesspedes! I’d love to know how many teams that have made the fantasy playoffs have him on their roster.

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