As this is our final Monday of the regular season, I was about to go out all silly with the last Pitcher Profile of the season, but the pitching world – and the sports world as a whole – woke up Sunday morning to the news of the heartbreaking passing of Jose Fernandez. The young phenom was such a pleasure to watch; not only for his youthful exuberance, but his pure pitching stuff seemed to somehow reflect that personality. Monster fastball, video game slider, and he could hit the ball too! Fantasy, and well sports in general, brings people together in the sense that we can just share something intangible – the spirit of a team, momentum of a game, the thrill of winning… Or just experiencing, together, the personality of one of the game’s greats. So instead of merely reflecting on a life taken from us too soon, I felt we should take this slice of time we spend together talking about pitching/fantasy baseball/sports and celebrate Jose Fernandez with a pitcher profile on his last start. Unsurprisingly, it was another absolute gem. Here’s how JoFer looked the final game he toed the rubber:

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samuel-l-jackson

Is there anything cooler than Samuel L. Jackson cursing? I mean seriously, I think even my Grandma would remark ‘he’s so sweet’ after watching this MF’ing montage (ummm, and I shouldn’t have to say this but that thing NSFW…you muthaf@#$a). I’m of course quoting Pulp Fiction, where Jules Winnfield kindly asks Pumpkin, aka Ringo to help Honey Bunny, aka Yolanda to, ahem, ‘regain her composure‘. And again, please read the damn title…you should know that it’s also NSFW. I mean, is there any SFW Tarantino film? Rhetorical! Let’s move on to the real reason you’re here, shall we? Yes, let’s. The cheap go for today is Chad Kuhl. Now I say this with some slight caveatism (<– totally a word). Would I prefer to see this matchup in Pittsburgh? Yeah. Would I prefer that Ryan Braun not be in the lineup today? Sure. But am I gonna pass on the fact that the Brew Crew leads the MLB in K%? Hells to the no, children. And just to clarify that ‘1st in K%’ statement, let’s break things down further. Home K%? Brewers are King. Full season K%? Tops there, too. Last seven days? Yup and in fact, they’ve upped the ante and are sitting at a huge 28.4% level, well above their season number at 25.4%. There are lots of safer choices for your cash games so I wouldn’t consider Chad there, but I’m all about him in tourneys today. So don’t panic and tell that Honey Bunny within yourself to be Kuhl as you roster Chad today. And with that, we’re off. Here’s my great vengeance and furious anger taeks for this Wednesday DK slate…

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In order to be competitive, the Marlins would need All-Stars at every position all farmed from their minor league system.  Sorta like what the Cubs have managed to do.  Not impossible, but that’s what it would take for the Marlins because they are cheap AF.  By the way, AF is my favorite acronym.  Props to whoever first started using it.  Feels like it started on Twitter because of the character limit.  Keeps shizz short and simple AF, kinda like me (short and simple).  Any the hoo!  I was saying the Marlins need to be precise AF (I’m overusing it now) with their minor league system like they were with Jose Fernandez.  He’s AF as AF comes.  His nickname should no longer be Jo-Fer but AF.  Or maybe AF-Fer.  Nah, that looks like a trade union.  A-Fer?  That looks like algebra.  Fernandez should own Abercrombie & Fitch he’s so AF.  Yesterday, Jose Fernandez went 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 hits, zero walks and 12 Ks.  He has 253 Ks in 182 1/3 innings.  Seriously, digest that for a second.  WTF AF?!  Of course, I wish the Marlins would shut him down until 2017, but I have no chance of owning him next year.  Not that I don’t love him.  He’s the best pitcher in the game if I’m building a dynasty league.  Yeah, I said it.  I want him over Kershaw.  Kershaw has been durable up until this year, but all pitchers are durable up until the point when they’re not.  At one point, Jake Peavy was durable AF, too.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I’m OCD about my iTunes.  I listen to a new album a few times, pick out some songs that I like, five star them, and then play them endlessly until I’m sick of them.  My top 20 for most played is embarrassing.   I like Lil Wayne more than anyone should ever admit.  Sometimes I have a song on repeat, and I’ll get a phone call (rare; only old people use the phone for calling people), the doorbell will ring (less rare; Cougs orders a ton of shizz on Amazon) or I’m just called away from my desk for some reason.  Then I’ll forget I have a song on repeat and I’ll go to lunch, dinner or…No, those are the only reasons I leave my fantasy cave.  When I come back and see a song’s play count has been artificially boosted with me not listening, I will edit info in iTunes and reset the play count to where it was before the accidental repeat.  It’s important to have a gage to tell how much you like a song.  Do you like it enough to play it 200 times like, say, Aloe Blacc’s Red Velvet Seat or do you like it enough to listen to it 120 times like, say, Tom Petty Yer So Bad (actual play counts)?  Why do I bring this up now?  Because Rick Porcello should roll his win count back to 15.  21 wins?!  C’mon!  That is misrepresenting him in every conceivable way.  Yesterday, Rick Porcello went 9 IP, 2 ER, 4 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.08, to move his record to 21-4 <–LIES!  He’s pretending to be Eazy E vs. Johnny Cash (great song; play count 278) when he’s really Randy Newman’s Short People (good song, but you ain’t listening to that nonsense more than once every few months; play count 59).  His ERA isn’t even accurate.  It’s saying, “I’m Bon Iver’s Skinny Love (play count 175),” when it’s really You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb by Spoon (play count 96).  The only thing that is sort of legit is his 0.98 WHIP, but that’s more Men At Work’s Overkill (play count 186) legit.  Have a season, Rick Porcello, but you are so Rihanna’s Diamonds (play count 86) and not Martians vs. Goblins (play count 365).  Also, if you want more, we talk about Rick Porcello on today’s podcast.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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“What about Asdrubal?  Asdrubal, Cron, Buxton, Peraza, Morales and Puig?  Puig, Morales, Asdrubal, Buxton and Morales?  Have I already mentioned Morales?  What about Puig?  What about Cron?  WHAT ABOUT CRON?!  Hardwiring is smoking!  I think I’m overheating!  Don’t throw water on me, I’ll short circuit!” It’s too late.  As the water hits the Fantasy Master Lothario’s mainframe, a sickening mix of smoke and sizzle expels from his metal joints.  He staggers to a pole and places his metal hand down.  With one last flicker, he looks up with his metallic, blue eyes and asks hopefully, “Is Puig facing a lefty?”  And shuts down.  The metal pole he placed his hand on wasn’t just any pole, it hung Old Glory.  As if the ghost of George Washington himself was a fan, the American flag lowers onto the Lothario’s shoulders, draping him like a metal Kid Rock.  If only people would’ve just picked up C.J. Cron!  My one major quibble with Cron — Or is it queef?  I always confuse those two. — is Cron going to have The Sciosciapath try to outsmart the universe and start benching one of the hottest hitters?  Not even the Sciosciapath can answer that, for he does not know what his brain tells him to do.  Plus, he’s crazy.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Psyche!  Before we get into the Buy/Sell, just wanted to say a huge fantasy football announcement is coming in the next few days.  Let’s just say it sounds like Stream-o-Nator, but it’s got a football vibe to it.  And it’s less lonely.  Oh, Stream-o-Nator so lonely!  I wonder if the Stream-o-Nator and Hitter-Tron ever tried to date.  Anyway II, the Buy/Sell:

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Maybe it was the food poisoning I had yesterday, but I had a dream Toomgis, the AM/PM mascot, and I were driving around talking about September baseball.  It feels like half the teams are either resting regulars for the playoffs, or the other teams that are out of it are resting regulars to give rookies a chance.  Those are the matchups you need to capitalize on with starting pitchers.  By the way, Toomgis is so obvious a creation of stoned creatives.  It’s a collection of stoner food and Toomgis stands for ‘Too Much Good Stuff.’  Um, okay, but there’s an I in there.  Stoner creative, “Eye-shmeye, we just need to move on before I eat our prototype.”  One more Toomgis point, how is this not Colorado’s national bird?  Any hoo!  So, with this matchups point hidden amongst my fracking in on Toomgis, we have Jharel Cotton capitalizing.   In his first major league start, 6 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 3 Ks.  Jharel Cotton makes me think of Faye Dunaway in a heavy Southern accent saying, “I shall avert my eyes.”  Cotton showed good control in the minors, and solid Ks, but in redraft leagues, you’re more worried about matchups this time of year.  For 2017, Cotton idolized Pedro Martinez and I can see why.  He’s five-eleven soaking wet (but I’m not sure people get taller when wet).  He also relies on the speed of the fastball and the break of the change.  A change that might carry him to glory, as soon as next year.  In keepers, I’d be very interested.  For this year, go with Toomgis’ advice on matchups.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Gerrit Cole has an injured arm, possibly elbow spurs.  I love this scenario:  a pitcher throws like garbage for weeks then the team announces he’s hurt.  Love, love, love.  This is my favorite.  Five innings, five runs, but it’s likely nothing, just a bad start.  Cut to five weeks later of terrible starts.  “Oh, yeah, he’s got a torn tendon/elbow spur/missing forearm due to lost baggage.  Oops!  We should’ve sent him to a doctor six starts ago.  Our bad!”  Here’s what I said after his last start, “I don’t know what’s going on with Cole, but I’d guess injury or dead arm.”  And that’s me quoting me!  How is it that I can guess there’s a problem but a major league team can’t figure shizz out?  That should never be possible.  I couldn’t even pass Bio 101, and a MLB team has a staff of doctors.  Seriously, how does this happen?  I want answers!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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When I was fresh out of college, I worked at a web company (everyone did in the 90s).  There was four of us.  The other three had real job titles; I was the gofer/do-whatever.  It was about a month before I was going back to school for my Master’s.  I had no intention of keeping the job.  Honestly, I doubt they would’ve kept me for that full month if I weren’t leaving.  I failed at everything they assigned me, but they kept giving me new tasks, hoping I’d succeed.  The only task I seemed capable of was heating up pre-cooked sausages from Trader Joe’s.  I made sausages on a grill for three weeks straight, so, when I finally did leave, they gave me a plaque that reads, “Who wants some sausages?”  This brings me to the sudden and incomprehensible rise of Yulieski Guerriel.  The Astros are that company, and YuGu is me.  The Astros seem between a rock of “We really want this guy to succeed” and “We have about a month left and we’re just hoping something works.”  Yulieski hasn’t failed in the minors, he’s looked completely lost.  He hit .118 in Double-A, was promoted to Triple-A and hit .222.  I could see grabbing Guerriel in all leagues to see if he can get lucky, and figure out how to make something other than pre-cooked sausages for lunch, but the Astros are not promoting him because of how well he’s looked.  They’re promoting him because there’s about a month left.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Over the past few seasons, the blueprint for the New York Yankees franchise has been a predictable one: assemble an aging, overpriced roster, finish a few games over .500, rinse, repeat. Reload rather than rebuild. However, those days appear to be coming to an end. 41-year-old Alex Rodriguez and 39-year-old Carlos Beltran are gone. 36-year-old Mark Teixeira has been reduced to a part-time role. High priced relievers Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller have been traded away for a boatload of prospects to restock the farm system. The youth movement is officially underway. One of the newest youngsters on the Yankee roster is this week’s most added player in ESPN leagues, 24-year-old outfielder Aaron Judge (34.8% owned; +31.1% over the past week). Judge’s 6-foot-7, 275 pound frame and impressive raw power have drawn comparisons to Giancarlo Stanton, but I’m not sure that’s entirely accurate. Stanton already had 154 homers on his MLB resumé by the end of his age-24 season while Judge is just getting started. I think that more reasonable comps would be along the lines of players such as Richie Sexson and Mark Trumbo – big, powerful righties who have racked up some impressive home run totals throughout their careers. Another trait that Judge shares with those sluggers is his propensity to strike out, as he’s whiffed in 24% of his plate appearances this season after doing so in 26% of his PAs last year. The homers could come in bunches at times, but there could be some cold streaks as well. A .250ish average with plus power is a reasonable projection for Judge moving forward. He’s worth an add in all leagues for his power upside alone.

Here are a couple of other recent Yankee call-ups who have drawn the attention of fantasy owners over the past week:

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Yesterday, Mookie Betts went 4-for-6, 4 runs, 8 RBIs with three homers (24, 25, 26).  In the long, storied history of the Red Sox, Mookie Betts is only the 2nd Sawx player to have two three-homer games in a season; the other is Ted Williams.  Mookie Ballgame.  The Splendid Splurger.  The Greatest Mookie Who Ever Lived With Apologies To Mookie Wilson and Mookie Blaylock.  The You Can’t Make This Up Because Your Imagination Can’t Come Up With Anything This Beautiful.  The Hamilton Musical In Baseball Form.  The Unfrozen Ted Williams.  I don’t think it’s hyperbole — which is not the chamber Michael Jackson used to sleep in — to think Mookie Betts will be a top three hitter in 2017 fantasy baseball drafts.  He’s now cemented himself in the three hole in one of the best offensive parks, surrounded by a team that is always potent on offense.  Betts or Trout?  There’s a legit case for Betts, The Splendid Splurger!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Psyche!  Before we get into the roundup, just wanted to announce our RCL fantasy football leagues are signing up.  So, go over there and rush the QB!  I’m pretty sure that doesn’t stand for Q-Bert.  Anyway II, here’s the roundup:

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