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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We’re taking these outfielders to 120 total, so this should still be the beginning of wonderful for you, but as you look down this list, guys like Matt Kemp become more attractive and not just if you’re an R&B singer.  Rap is not pop, if you call it that then stop.  I’m going aggressive for guys like Kepler and Piss-hotty (sounds like watersports, right, Mr. President?), because the alternative is dank with excitement.  Stephen Hawking’s hitting his keyboard robotically telling us, “It’s a black hole for outfielders, we need to spontaneously combust some new ones.”  Then Stephen jots down a letter to Eddie Redmayne about a sequel to The Theory of Everything; Eddie’s got a binder of these letters.  As always, my projections are noted for each player and where I see tiers starting and stopping.  Anyway, here’s the top 40 outfielders for 2017 fantasy baseball:

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Earlier this week, I posted the first six rounds of the Couch Managers 2017 Industry Mock Draft. You’re never going to believe this, but I’m now going to post rounds 7-12. At the end of it all, there will be four posts and 23 total rounds. It’s a lot of work, but you guys are worth it.

Here is a quick recap of the league rules for this mock:

This mock was for a 15-team, 5×5 roto, with 23 roster spots made up of 9 pitchers (9), 1 spot for each position (8), a second catcher (1), 2 more outfielders (2), one corner infielder (1), one middle infielder (1), and one utility position (1).

As I did the last time, I’ll post the rounds below with some of my thoughts beneath the picks. I’ll keep the thoughts brief since we have a bunch of rounds to get through. That pissed off at least one commenter last time who apparently wanted more Mike Maher analysis and less Mike Maher patting himself on the back. Let’s see if I can do better this time around…

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Greetings, friends. I hopped over to the football side of things once last year’s baseball season ended, but now I’m back. And apparently, I am such a disturbed individual that I am doing fantasy baseball mock drafts in early January. And, I am writing about them. And, well, I just wanted to start another sentence with and because it feels so wrong but so right at the same time. Anyway, moving on.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Couch Managers 2017 Industry Mock Draft, and we’re going to recap it here. This mock was for a 15-team, 5×5 roto, with 23 roster spots made up of 9 pitchers (9), 1 spot for each position (8), a second catcher (1), 2 more outfielders (2), one corner infielder (1), one middle infielder (1), and one utility position (1). As long as I did that math correctly, that is 23 spots.

Below, I will provide the results for the first six rounds and a give my thoughts for each round. I’ll do the same for rounds 7-12, 13-18, and 19-23 in subsequent posts. I’ll try to keep it brief. All we really care about are the results here, right? Feel free to tell me how awesome or crappy you think my team is, along with what you think were the best and worst picks of the draft or the different rounds…

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Happy Labor Day DKer’s! Hopefully most of you got to sleep in today and if you didn’t you should have, because I’ll only be featuring the late games due to scheduling conflicts. The Early Bird usually fairs well in most aspects of life, but for me in DK it’s just the opposite, as I tend to win in the later contests. My theory is that the East Coasters are putting together weak ass lineups because they’re all loaded up on Bud Light & Blue Crab, trying to chase the dragon from the earlier games. Regardless if there’s any proof to my theory, I can assure you that we’re in line tonight to cash in on some holiday DK dough as long as you follow my lead. There are some top Aces’s taking the mound tonight, I’m hoping that Drew Pomeranz, $12,000 at San Diego gets passed over for the bigger names like Max Scherzer, Chris Sale, Justin Verlander and Cole Hamels. I’m sure Pomeranz was ecstatic when he found out he was being traded to a playoff contender at the trade deadline and they told him he was going to Fenway (lowercase yeah). When the trade went down, everyone questioned his durability after having an All-Star first half, because he’s never pitched more than 97 innings in his previous five seasons. Initially he made the critics look like they knew what they were talking about as he definitely took a few lumps when he arrived in Bean Town. In fact some of the Boston Brass thought there may have been an undisclosed injury, because in his first three starts he went 0-3, coughed up 12 ERs in just 14.1 innings and looked like hot garbage. Good thing for the Red Sox he figured things out, because this Dr. Drew has been carving up AL opponents over his last six starts. He’ll never light up the radar gun, but he’s got a nasty hook that’s contributed to 39 Ks over his last 36.2 innings to go along with a 2.78 ERA. I know it seems like I pick on San Diego every Monday, but this has all the right ingredients for a monster performance by the former Padre. I love rostering guys that are facing their former team, although I’m sure he was happy to leave San Diego, there’s still a little part of him that wants to shove it! I’m expecting double digit Ks tonight to go along with a W thanks to the big Boston bats beating up on Edwin Jackson in Petco.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run today to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. Wanna know what the best part is about signing up with us? The free subscription for the rest of the season to our DFSBot, that’s what! For details on the how to, please visit our Razzball Subscriptions page.

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For those of you expecting Dan Pants, well the pants are off today. And when the pants come off, malamoney comes out. Did I just talk about myself in third person? I love when I do that. I think Grey might have asked every Razzball writer before asking me to fill in. I’m not sure I blame him, but did he really have to ask the Chinese food delivery guy too? Just because it was Chien-Ming Wang doesn’t lessen the blow to my already diminished self esteem. Speaking of self esteem, Jon Lester was on a roll last night. I’m not a big fan of Lester, but I was watching the box score thinking to myself how much easier this post would be if he completed the no hit bid. Nonetheless, with two outs in the seventh, Hunter Pence hit 1-2 pitch over the wall that Trump is going to build to keep the illegal Mexicans out to break up Lester’s no-no. “No no” is exactly what Trump plans to say to any Mexican caught trying to scale his new wall. Rumor has it that Jorge Cantu caught Pence’s home run ball and threw it back over the wall in disgust. Then he and Yovani Gallardo put on sombreros and cracked open some cervazas. Lester went the distance giving up just three hits and the one run. He struck out four and walked two throwing just 102 pitches…

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I went over some September call-ups primer yesterday.  It was written pretty smoothly.  Meaning:  I took a laxative and crapped out a post.  I’m a modest man of modest means.  What can I say?  Everyone wants Yoan Moncada all over their fantasy shizz.  Some of y’all got Tom Murphy on the brain.  Others of you are wondering about Jose De Leon and how his great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-uncle’s quest for the Fountain of Youth was shorter than the time it took the Dodgers to call Jose up.  None of you are interested in Byron Buxton.  Been there, eff that.  I hear you, prematurely balding internet friend.  He’s all served us a steak that later turned out to be tofu that left us scrubbing our tongues with our fingernails.  All the way back in March, Buxton was still considered a sure-fire, can’t miss prospect.  I think he still is.  Not everyone takes the path of least resistance.  For unstints, I saw a video of a McNugget on Twitter that showed much resistance.  Yesterday, Buxton went 1-for-3, 3 RBIs and his 2nd homer, and I would grab him in all leagues looking for A) Spark. B) Speed. C) No C.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Today’s nighttime DraftKings slate consists of a whopping three games. Three games times two starting pitchers per game gets you… I’ll wait while you type that into your phone calculator app. Ok, got it? Six! We have six starting pitchers to choose from in the main evening slate. Sure, there aren’t that many position players to choose from, but at least you only need one at every position but outfielder, and really, the pitchers are going to determine who has a successful day and who doesn’t. I will be suggesting my go-to starters, and of course you should follow my directions, but if you don’t want to follow me, at least think long and hard about your arms. They’ll determine whether you have a chance of swimming amidst high ownership, or if you’ll just sink.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Thursday September 5th to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. Wanna know what the best part is about signing up with us? The free subscription for the rest of the season to our DFSBot, that’s what! For details on the how to, please visit our Razzball Subscriptions page.

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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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Manny Machado put up his right hand yesterday to measure it against a hand drawing every clubhouse has posted on its wall.  The drawing is of Mark Whiten’s hand that once held four baseballs in it.  Four baseballs for the four homers he hit in one game.  In the Padres’ clubhouse, this hand has been removed because it’s just a not-so-subtle reminder of what will never be.  In the Indians’ clubhouse, the hand is made into a turkey to celebrate the first Thanksgiving.  In the Astros’ clubhouse, the hand has been cut out and fashioned into a t-shirt for Altuve.  Imagine if Donald Trump wins the presidency and throws out a first pitch.  He may never make it to the field, too distracted in the clubhouse by measuring his hands against Whiten.  Yesterday, Machado came a fingernail short of the hand, hitting three homers with seven RBIs.  Now has 25 homers on the year with a .307 average.  Terrific, stupendous, adjective!  What’s more remarkable is he does not have one steal all year.  Almost as crazy, he’s only attempted three.  Did he have a knee transplant this offseason with McCutchen as the donor?  Machado stole 20 bases last year.  To go to none?  Wow, his feet definitely don’t measure up to the Rickey Henderson foot drawings in each clubhouse.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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