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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You’re the monster preparing for your fantasy draft, and I’m Dr. Frankenstein telling you it’s all going to be OKAY.

If you are one of our beloved loyal Razzball readers, you know by now that this site tends to discourage you from taking catchers early in fantasy drafts. The argument is simple: the difference between a top 5 catcher and a 5-15 range catcher is negligible. At other positions, the difference is much more significant. Plus, there are always surprises who end up either getting drafted later or picked up on waivers who put up top 10 catcher numbers.

Some years ago, a younger Grey with what we can only assume was a less prominent mustache wrote about his draft strategy for punting catchers. I’ll wait here while you give it a look. Go ahead. It’s the same website, so I won’t get in trouble. I might even get some kind of bonus for encouraging clicks or something.

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There are some big names dropping this week. I am less worried about players with broken bones because for the most part they break, they heal. They play. Ligament, muscle, and other meaty bits of your body are a bit trickier to play with. So Ian Desmond and Tom Murphy? Will come back and be fine. Draft ‘em and stash ‘em for a month. Carlos Carrasco, Anthony deSclafani, Jason Kipnis and Sonny Gray? Cause me a bit more concern. These injuries can often linger or flare back up.

Here’s who’s meaty bits have been swelling, inflaming, and tightening this week:

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Greetings! Last I recall, the Elders and I were passing Thai sticks in the Secret Pool of Kuang Si, discussing some profoundly important subjects while we took turns etching ancient symbols into the skin directly on and surrounding the pubic region. But of course, our bodies are all immaculately smooth, hairless and chiseled, as if made from marble and then formed in the scorching lava of Mount Kilimanjaro. Why does this matter, you ask? The context will be necessary on our journey together through what looks to be a tumultuous 2017. Trust me in this, and the opportunities for massive glory in all forms of life may fall at your crusty feet like droplets of acid rain that will one day doom this planet (but not yet), burning all your self-pity and self-doubt away, peeling your skin off like a viper, you can be born anew, with a clearer vision and a more artful plan of attack. Anyways, I just woke up on an airplane, as it seems I’m headed back to the United States and below we have what one could consider a synopsis of sorts, of what the Elders and I discussed about fantasy baseball and “other things”.

I am the great Tehol Beddict and this is Disgrace/Delight! Take Heed!

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I believe I’ve got a theory. Okay, perhaps it’s more of a conspiracy than a theory. Now that I think about it, it’s really just a topic for the next fifteen or so paragraphs I’m about to write. Is Trea Turner the primary subject of market manipulation? Say what! Seriously, what could that possibly even mean? Wikipedia defines market manipulation as “a deliberate attempt to interfere with the free and fair operation of the market and create artificial, false or misleading appearances with respect to the price of, or market for, a security, commodity or currency“. If we really consider the entire landscape it’s easy to come to the conclusion that “market manipulation” really doesn’t apply, or make sense in this context, but it got me thinking…

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I hope you do, because I’m at best, lukewarm (Yay! Starting off exciting).  I’m not sure which I like least, Catchers in Fantasy Baseball or Kickers in Fantasy Football.  Both score points/runs, both are integral to their teams, and both bore the ever-living crap out of me.  But they are a necessary evil (though would anyone have a problem if we did away with fantasy catchers?  I’m sure less would than doing away with kickers) that we have to play with, so while that’s the case, they get rankings.  Now that you’re sufficiently warmed up, let’s get to it.

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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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Earlier this week I partook (a much fancier word than participated) in my first mock draft of the season. As most of you know I am much more of a points league player, but I have no issue going both ways. This draft, however, represented a less common fantasy baseball format known as the 5×5 head-to-head league. This was actually the first time I had even drafted for this format, and with barely an hour to prepare, I’m not sure how I feel about the results. In hindsight, had I had more time to calculate more precise player values for this league format I believe I would have applied a different strategy when selecting my players. While I obviously cannot go back and actually change my picks, I can imagine the results with a different outcome. After all, imagination is the essence of discovery.

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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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After going over my top 10 for 2017 fantasy baseball and top 20 for 2017 fantasy baseball (clickbait!), I move onto the one post all year that make all the ladies say ‘Ooooh…’ The manner in which those ladies in question say ‘Ooooh…’ is as such, “Ooooh…So, are we going to the mall after you’re done reading that fantasy baseball nonsense or can we go now and, while I’m shopping, you sit outside Orange Julius reading that shizz while I’m dropping buckets of duckets on earrings?  And, no, we can’t go to Lush so you can play with the handmade soaps.”  It’s better if we leave it at, this post makes all the ladies say ‘Ooooh…’  The ellipsis says enough, I think.  The projections noted in the post are my own, and I mention where tiers start and stop.  I also mention a bunch of hullabaloo, so let’s get to it.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2017 fantasy baseball:

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