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?

All the final 2016 fantasy baseball rankings for hitters are done.  For those that skipped today’s title, this starts the top 20 starters for 2016 fantasy baseball.  This is NOT for 2017 (caps for those who can’t read titles; supposedly it’s easier to read caps, I have my doubts).  This is a recap.  Will these affect next year’s rankings?  Sure.  But not entirely.  To recapitulate, these rankings are from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater.  We’re (me’re) using it to fairly gauge our (my) preseason rankings.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 starters for 2016 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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Imagine the Cubs decided to use Lester, Hendricks, Hammel and Lackey in the playoffs, and not Jake Arrieta.  Not sure it would be the wrong move either.  Arrieta isn’t just out of gas, he’s on a late-70s gas station line, cursing Jimmy Carter.  He’s eaten six Chalupas and a Pintos ‘n Cheese from Taco Bell, washed it down with a 16-ounce Coke, and can’t produce any gas.  He’s staying at a Marriott in Saudi Arabia where OPEC is meeting and all hotel guests get a complimentary barrel of petroleum and Arrieta can’t produce any gas.  Yesterday, Arrieta went 5 IP, 7 ER and his ERA went up to 3.10.  About five months ago, I said Arrieta doesn’t look right.  I said it around the time of his no-hitter.  That took some pants grapes.  What’s funny (not funny) when you’re super early at calling something out, people write you off as cuckoo in the coconut.  On April 29th, I said, “It’s hard to find a positive when you take this year’s numbers vs. last year’s (of Arrieta).  Velocity is down, K-rate is down, walk rate is up, xFIP is up, luck is up, homers are up, ground balls are down and fly balls are up.  It’s like looking under a Maserati’s hood and seeing a Mercedes engine.  It’s not bad, but it’s not a Maserati.”  And that’s me quoting me!  On May 9th, I said, “Not to sound like a broken record, but his peripherals just haven’t been as good as last year thus far.”  And that’s me quoting me sounding like a broken record!  I continued to say more or less the same for a few months, then SUDDENLY everyone else started saying it.  For 2017, I picture Arrieta being drafted a lot like Felix Hernandez in the preseason this year.  People are concerned, but he’s so good, they’re still drafting Arrieta around 60th overall.  Yeah, and it won’t work out either.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Can you imagine such a surprise thing in the delivery room? I can barely fathom the idea of fatherhood, let alone the extra money and work having two babies at one time can be. Thankfully, this isn’t a stay at home dad blog so of course, the title don’t mean shizz in terms of giving birth to two bundles of expensive joy at once. Nay, I’m talking about my favorite type of bundle of joy: cash. The kind of cash you get when starting someone against the Twins. Heck, you can look back just to my Friday post to see how I think of said Twinkies. Synopsis: they trash and I look to take advantage of that knowledge as often as possible. How do I plan to implement this info today, you ask? By starting Jason Vargas. Yes, I hate Minnesota that much…apologies to Prince #RIP. Vargas showed decently in his last outing but really, this is a two fold call. One, the Twins have been at or near the bottom all year in terms of offensive output and are currently streaking further down, dropping a wRC+ of 41 and a 31.3% K rate over their last 7 and a 62 and 27.9% over their last 14. Basically, Dozier stopped hitting a HR every day so their offense went south. Funny that. Anyhoo, we now get to look at that Vargas price tag of $4,600 and get to ask ourselves a very simple question: can he score around 15 points against such a bad opponent? Well if his 11.2 in Cleveland over just 4 innings in his last outing is any indication, the answer is yes. Due to pitch count concerns and because, well, he IS Jason Vargas, I wouldn’t play him outside of tourneys tonight but he’s a great price reliever if you wanna pay up for an SP2 or for big bats. So grab a couple of cigars and celebrate with me. Here’s my spank to make you cry taeks for this Wednesday DK slate…

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 Monday October 3rd 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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Mets outfielder Michael Conforto was 2-for-3 last night, scoring two runs with his 12th home run, and three RBI. Could this be the start of something big? Who’s Conforto, you ask? Lol, you pleb–Don’t you know anything? He’s just an uber prospect for the New York Mets.  *Sips cold brew coffee, adjust horn rimmed glasses, strokes beard* Sigh. You’ve probably never heard of him. Have I mentioned he’s the hipster’s favorite player? Do I really have to mention that? The man hit .365 with four homers, 11 doubles and 18 RBI in April, then completely fell of the planet. He was busy working on his documentary film/visual novel/app for dogs. Sitting in an abandoned warehouse turned secret speakeasy/corn hole arena/craft cider house/live-bluegrass music cafe, I sip my gluten-free organic cold brew coffee (cage-free beans, obv) and curl my finely waxed mustache, pondering what life would be like with a fantasy baseball championship. I put down my Gabriel García Márquez book (I only read South American novelists), let my hair free out of its man-bun, and realize that Michael Conforto could be the key to everything. All that magical realism is really paying off! Sure, he struggled mightily all year, and sure, Jay Bruce threatens to steal some of his playing time. But Bruce is also 2-for-31 (.065 BA) in the past two weeks, and Conforto’s got all the upside. If I were you, and I’m not, because I’m obviously way hipper than you, I’d grab Michael Conforto, who’s available in about 90% of fantasy leagues, before he gets hot. In fact, this could only make you cooler because when he does finally break out, that means you picked him up before he was cool. And there’s nothing cooler than that!

Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Shhh, can you keep a secret? Please don’t let him know. I’ll be passing the ‘Do you love me? Check yes or no’ note to Carlos Perez prior to first pitch so please don’t blow my cover, internet, on which I am writing about Alex Meyer for everyone to see. Ok, maybe ‘love’ is a strong word for a pitcher with only 18.2 career innings and a 7.23 ERA. At 26, the shine is probably off this former first round pick, but the course to true ‘love’ – ok ‘like’ – never does run smoothly…especially when it goes through Minnesota! If you know me, which of course you do, you know I have despised the Twins organization for quite some time. This is the team that told Francisco Liriano to pitch to contact. Said Liriano went to Pittsburgh and became a fantasy star again. This is the team that willfully started Eddie Rosario in 2015 and compounded this failure by actually making him a part of their 2016 ‘playoff contending team’. They are one of the worst developers of young talent this league has so whenever I see a pitcher move away from them, my interest is immediately piqued. The cliff’s notes version of Meyer’s scouting report is as follows: good stuff, shaky command. There’s nothing that says this still isn’t a problem, but hey, this is DFS and we care about price and expectations. The Astros are 4th in the league in K% on the year and Meyer rolls in with a 10+ K/9 over the course of 2016. A 10+ K/9 at the $4,000 pitcher min salary? *Inserts ‘OK’ Emoji*. There’s obvious no floor here so rostering Meyer is strictly for tourneys, but 16 points isn’t an unlikely outcome and really, that’s all you want when your pitcher is a free space. So who will I pair him with? What types of wondrous bats can I pay for with him on my roster? Follow on to find out. Here’s my ‘he loves me, he loves me not’ taeks for this Friday DK slate…

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 Monday September 26th 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.

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?

You know how people write stuff on a grain of rice.  With that in mind, on Rich Hill‘s blister this is written, “Took a whole lot of tryin’ to get up that Hill — R.I.P. Sherman Hemsley.  I can’t believe I not only had room on this grain for an inspirational quote, but also room to attribute the quote to the wrong person and to also add in this meta comment about my inspirational quot–”  Damn, he wasn’t able to fit everything.  That’s the worst.  That’s like when you’re writing a birthday card to someone and you start writing a note only to get to the end and need to start writing super-tiny and curved to fit it in.  And that’s not the first time you’ve heard your curve is super-tiny.  Rich Hill was perfect on Saturday — 7 IP, 0 ER, 0 baserunners, 9 Ks — but, to be honest, Hill has been perfect for the last two years (though only 29 IP last year).  This year, 1.80 ERA, 0.96 WHIP with a 10.4 K/9 and 1.74 ERA over the past two years.  So, ya know, your usual ace you get about 120 IP from.  For 2017, it’s going to be hard to rank him much below the top 25 with the caveat that you’re only getting him for three to four months.  Makes you wish rice grains were just a tad bigger to fit all of the superlatives on there for Rich Hill.  Know what I mea– Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta certainly has a lot of things going for him these days. He’s the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner. He’s the ace on a team that’s the favorite to win the World Series which would end the longest championship drought in professional sports and cement his place in MLB history. He’s in tremendous physical shape and he’s not afraid to show it off. He’s won 16 games already this season, and his 2.84 ERA and 1.05 WHIP are once again among the best in the game. However, despite all of these great things that Arrieta has working in his favor, he’s actually been in somewhat of a slump recently. Over his last twelve starts, Arrieta is just 5-4 with a 4.26 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. These are certainly not terrible results, but it almost feels like blind luck when he delivers the finishing blow to his opponents these days. So what’s going on here? Is Arrieta’s slide just the result of bad luck in a relatively small sample size or something more concerning?

Let’s take a look at Arrieta’s profile to determine if his recent production is just a blip in the radar or a sign of things to come. Here are a few thoughts and observations:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

To paraphrase Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, “America has so many enemies:  Iran, Iraq, China, Mordor, Josh Tomlin in away games, Justin Upton, Melvin Upton for the last two months, Clint Hurdle, the people on Twitter that take a trending topic and attach linkbait, Giancarlo Stanton’s groin when its injured, but not at all when its healthy, anyone that gets Mookie Betts out the once-in-a-blue-moon when someone can get him out, Clint Hurdle again, anyone that doesn’t appreciate blue raspberry, undesirable immigrants, by which I mean everyone that came after Carlos Martinez.”  Yesterday, Carlos Martinez went 6 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners with 13 Ks to lower his ERA to 3.07.  Thank you, come again!  From last year to this year, C-Mart’s strikeout rate is down (9.2 to 7.8), his walk rate is unchanged, his velocity is virtually the same and his xFIP is up due to a lucky BABIP.  So, what does that mean for Carlos Martinez 2017?  Random prediction alert!  I won’t be enthused about drafting him again next year, but he’ll likely be a solid #2 fantasy starter, i.e., good in a pinch, but not exciting, i.e., convenience forever, freshness never!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?