We back baby!  Spring Training is already starting up (We desperately need shorter games, but like 2 extra weeks of Spring Training?!?! I know, I know, WBC, but whatever!), we’re about to March, drafts about to be drafting…  Love this time of year.

So note to self – get the rankings done earlier in 2018.  Second note to self – bitch slap Grey when I see him in person next week for making everyone else look so bad, with his ranks done so early!  But hey, not like he’s got other sports to worry about!  Speaking of, if you haven’t played fantasy basketball yet, shameless plug sentence/link for you to come over and check us out on hoops!  Play in some Hoops RCLs next year maybe!

Ok, JB’s ADHD voice, back to bidness!  My yearly baseball magnum opus is finally complete – weeks in the works – and went from 9600 words last year to 9700!  Weird they were so similar… I’m kinda like Tolstoy, they just gonna keep getting longer, hah!  Of course no one is expected to read War & Peace in one sitting, so take your time getting through this bad boy!  I’ll wait!

I’m pumped to get the Pitcher Profiles ramped up again, better quality GIFs, and another year with the Gamescore+, which maybe we can start to automate with more batted ball data out there.  RUDY?!?!?!  WHERE’S RUDY?!?!?!?!  SOMEONE GET ME RUDY!!!  Also, if you missed the wrap up I put together a few weeks ago, you can check out how Grey and I did vs. ESPN with the 2016 SP ranks.

A question that is always debated and weirdly always different for each ranker/rankings sets is: are these your personal rankings?  Adjusted for ADP?  Are they how you would draft, or how you think guys will finish?  I’ve decided I have the be all, end all answer.  I did these ranks initially without looking at ADP or any other rankings sets.  The ranks are my personal ranks for how I would value guys one over the other, and then I’ll use this list to be malleable for every draft/site/league format.  Pigeonholing ranks to adjust for ADP means you’re stuck looking at one list of ADP data.  So there’s my answer for how I approach rankings.

Anyway, here we go!  Find below my top 100 SP for 2017.  And as always, my top-5 sleepers (to varying degrees) are James Paxton, Sean Manaea, Blake Snell, Ivan Nova & Reynaldo Lopez.  Plus bonus #6 – Tyler Skaggs – moved him up after re-looking at his data.  Apparently I love my lefties this year!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So the title is a bit of a superlative.  What was I gonna say, “The Mostly Kinda Good Fantasy Baseball Team?”  You’ll get over your scoffing; I have faith in you.  This is the best 2017 fantasy baseball team that I can put together when drafting from my top 100 for 2017 fantasy baseball and top 500 for 2017 fantasy baseball.  Honestly, I could draft another 25 teams from those lists, and they’d all be different, but equally terrific… Well, one of the twenty-five would only be sorta terrific, but it would be really hard to tell which one that is.  If I took Carlos Correa in the 2nd round, everything after would change.  If I took Arenado in the 1st round, everything after would change.  I’ve previously gone over my 2017 fantasy baseball draft prep for the first few rounds and pitchers pairings.  For this exercise, I’m taking Mike Trout first, because, well, I have him first overall.  Until pick 100, I’m taking one guy somewhere in every fifteen picks.  It would be nice if I was in a league where someone drafted Scherzer and Kershaw in the first two rounds and I was able to take Rougned Odor in the 2nd round (which is very likely), but since Trout and him are in my first 14 picks, according to the rules I’ve set up for myself, I can’t take them both.  Then, as we all know, once you get into the 100s, there’s wide gaps between ADP and where players are actually taken.  People tend to look at team need over value.  So for this exercise, once I get to pick #101, I’m going to pick two players every twenty picks.  Finally, because there is so much latitude in the last 300, I gave myself free reign to fill up my team.  Throughout the draft, I also gave myself the ability to reach to a lower draft pick, but not reach forward.  Or reach around, if you’re feeling frisky.  It should still be my ideal team… Or not.  Let’s see, shall we?  Bee tee dubya, this team is 5×5, one catcher, 5 OFs, MI, CI, 1 UT, 9 P, 3 bench, just like the Razzball Commenter Leagues (go sign up or start a league).  Anyway, here’s the best 2017 fantasy baseball team:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

One quick note, our War Room guy from last year has dropped out, so if you guys (maybe four girls) want a War Room this year, someone needs to step up to make it happen.  I will take ready, willing and abled-bodied people in the comments.  Oh, who are we kidding, no one here is able-bodied!  I’ll take anyone, just comment and I’ll contact you.  This is for the downloadable Excel War Room.  Any hoo!  With the top 80 starters for 2017 fantasy baseball, we are so close to the end of the rankings I can almost taste it!  Wait, that’s not rankings I taste, I bit my lip and it’s blood.  I wonder if when Dracula bites his lip it’s like when Cougs goes out with her friends and I’m left at home while Emmanuelle is on Cinemax.  You might say to yourself, “Self, everyone is totally fooled by my toupee and do I really need to draft starters this deep in my friendly 12-team mixed league?”  You don’t, except you will own guys from this post this year either from the draft or from waivers or your leaguemates will own them and beat you.  Last year, in the tier of pitchers I liked in the top 80 starters was Aaron Sanchez (pitcher, not chef), Rich Hill (pitcher, not sniglets) and Tanner Roark (pitcher, not Tattoo’s boss).  If you owned just them, you had a 2.74 ERA in 512 1/3 IP.  You really still think you need starters drafted early?  You throw in two earlier starters, say, Kluber and Gausman, and you have way too much pitching now.  I’ll go over exactly how to draft starters in a few days, but there are so many ways to skin a cat we should have PETA breathing down our necks.  All the 2017 fantasy baseball rankings are there.  My tiers and projections are noted.  Anyway, here’s the top 80 starters for 2017 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Here we are, the third of four posts about the Couch Managers 2017 Industry Mock Draft. Previously, I posted recaps of rounds 1-6 and rounds 7-12. This post is for rounds 13-18. The final post will be for rounds 19-23. Complicated stuff, I know. But try to keep up.

In case you have yet to see my previous posts, 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 have done with the other posts, I’ll post the results below by round and will offer a few of my thoughts for each round…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This offseason I’m going to recap sixteen-after-twenty, then I’ll go over the best rookies for next year, then I’ll go into sleepers and, finally, the new rankings.  Holy crap!  We’re already at the new rankings?!  Oh, no, we’re not.  Sorry, I sometimes confuse exposition and reality.  Like, right now, am I explaining I confuse the two or am I really confused?  Any hoo!  I mention some offseason business now as an on-the-nose prelude to what’s to come, but also because I’m excited to talk about Alex Reyes for each one of those upcoming categories.  Best rookies?  Reyes still has eligibility, so check.  Sleepers?  He has a 1.57 ERA, more than a K per inning and averages 97 MPH, so check, check.  Rankings?  I want Reyes on every team next year so where do I rank him?  Check, check, check!  Check pah-vodka-sha!  He trap me with that alligator blood!  Damn, I haven’t seen Rounders in a while, I wonder if it holds up.  *looks to see Rounders DVD holding up crooked bookshelf*  Oh, yeah, baby!  Yesterday, Reyes went 6 IP, 1 ER, 9 baserunners, 6 Ks with the same superb — samperb? — pitching he’s done since he was called up.  I can’t imagine he’s not in the rotation to start 2017, but, as Teddy KGB would say, Cards speak.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

On Sunday morning, I woke around 8 AM to read a text from Rudy saying, “Awful news, Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident.”  I put on my glasses, no time for contacts, and turned on the TV.  It was still on Fox Sports West because I was watching Vin Scully tributes all weekend.  Yesterday morning, Fox Sports was playing Anglers Chronicles, a fishing show, which is wrong in so many ways.  After switching the stations, groggy-eyed and still half asleep, I realized TV was not the place anymore to go for breaking news.  I shut it off and turned to the internet.  I’m still piecing together my thoughts.  He was 24 years old, even if he never played baseball this is a horrible loss of life.  I’m reminded of all the friends I lost to motorcycles in their twenties.  I’m struck by how inconsequential fantasy feels.  There’s a giant pit in my stomach.  Then, I think about how I never saw Jose Fernandez not smiling.  Not having fun.  I think about how on that boat, Saturday evening, you know Jose Fernandez was having a great time, because he was always having a great time.  That exuberance came through in everything he did.  I think about how he spent time in prison after one of his numerous failed attempts of escaping Cuba, and how, even then, he was likely making fellow inmates smile.  How the excellence he brought to the mound every fifth day was felt all the way back in Cuba to raise up even the darkest corners of Cuba’s prisons.  “That was us.  That is us,” the inmates, who are still incarcerated for trying to escape, likely said.  How baseball does that.  How special that is.  You see what you’re going to see in tragedy, but I see Jose Fernandez pitching, and baseball, and making himself and others smile.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So for a lot of these puppies I pump out here for Razzball (That makes sense in oldspeak terms right?! You’re not picturing me birthing a litter under Grey’s desk at the Razzball office, right?! RIGHT?!), I write the intro before a pitcher’s start to unsully my biases so you can read how the pitcher looked in real-time. Yeahhhh, football is on during Sundays now… It’s tough to multi-task watching the Panthers, RedZone, AND baseball! Alas, for this week’s installment of Pitcher Profiling, I had already known the outcome before breaking it down. The title should give it away as well!

I lucked out and nabbed Ivan Nova in several leagues just on a streaming whim within his first few starts on the Pirates, and was reaping the rewards of a late-season pitching surge. All hail Searage! I actually read an interview with Frank Herbert that the planet Dune was actually being mined for “Magic Searage Dust”, but it wasn’t literary-sounding enough, so he just went with “Spice”. Authors are nothing but lazy bums! Which speaking of, I picked a dude who got shellacked and didn’t pitch too deep… But I wanted to take a second look at how he… well, looked (lazy again!), to see if I should just cut bait and move on, or hold onto the most recent Searage reclamation project through the finish line. Here’s how Nova fared pitch-by-pitch, and hopefully a helpful treatises on if you should hold him as well:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I blame Jonathan Villar, Dusty, Francisco Lindor and Rougned Odor, in no particular order.  Those players and Dusty are the reason why I owned Trea Turner and dropped him.  I mean, no one would be crazy enough to put Turner in at Utility when he was first called up.  Wasn’t gonna play him at outfield.  He’s a middle infielder, and I had no room.  *puts thumbtacks on desk, takes particular care to make sure the sharp ends are facing up, slams head onto desk*  If I owned him, Turner would solve so many of my problems.  He’d even fix my irregular bowels!  This weekend Turner had three homers (11), three steals (27) and is hitting .355 in only 60 games.  Trea magnifique!  I haven’t seen this kind of emergence since…Damn, I don’t know how long.  Maybe last year with Carlos Correa?  Ouch, that comparison means Turner could disappoint in 2017?  Don’t hate the player, hate the knowledge that the player possesses that makes him say things that are unlikable, which I guess could be lumped in with ‘hating the player,’ making it okay to hate the player.  About a month ago, I thought Turner was going to be drafted around top 100 in 2017, but that was prior to the power showing up.  With each homer, he’s moved up about a round, and now he’s breathing down the 2nd round for 2017.  Depends if you think you ain’t seen nothing yet with Baseman Turner Overdrive.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?