Through the first month of the first year of our new dynasty league here at Razzball, team Hannibal Montana (owned by commenter Csifu) has jumped out to an early lead. Thanks in part to a ridiculously good 2.22 team ERA and top 5 performances in all but two of our ten categories, Csifu is sitting on 132.5 points in the early going. Razzball’s own JFOH (119.5) is hot on his tail, with Ra’zbahl Al Ghul (113) rounding out the top three. It’s a 16-team, 40-man roster dynasty league with weekly FAAB pickups and no restrictions on how long players can be kept (we keep 30). I love this format, and the league has been active in both trades and pickups. Considering how many players were owned coming out of our 40-round draft, there has been a lot of activity on the waiver wire. Here’s a peek at our league’s standings, as well as the trades and major free agent acquisitions that have gone down so far…

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Masahiro Tanaka hit the DL with a strained forearm. It’s not related to his partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. So, here’s my question? Why not just play through the forearm strain too? That’s where he draws the line? It’s like, “I was fine sleeping with my wife’s sister, and having a baby with her that no one knows about, and plotting to kill my wife on a weekend jaunt to Mexico, but I will not jaywalk. Those people in New York are crazy!” You have nothing to lose, Tanaka, get in there and shank someone in the yard and Hacky Sack the ball to the plate! The Yankees haven’t announced how long Tanaka will be out, but maybe they’ll try to sneak in Tommy John surgery while he’s sleeping. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Welcome back my friends and opponents to the best RCL coverage on the net… hey, wait, didn’t I say that last week? Get some new tricks J-FOH! Oh hi there Sky, how did you get into my post? I don’t appreciate you telling everyone that I’ll be jumping out of a cake. You know I hate cake and consider myself a pie guy. Sorry, but I thought the pie trick would be messy. Would you prefer if I have you jump out of an over-sized keg? Perfect, as long as it’s half full, now carry on. [Jay’s Note: I’m pretty sure he would demand that it be a fad microbrew instead…] Thanks for coming in Sky. Okay, now back to where I talk about you readers. It’s still early and it looks like some of you are going into panic mode and that’s one reason why I’ll be highlighting some trades that have gone down this past week that show how hard people are reaching… (these views and opinions do not reflect Grey Albright Inc./Razzball and any affiliates and/or subsidiaries). Not all of them are reaches, but I wouldn’t make some of these trades. I hope some of the traders read this and come in and talk about those deals. As usual, we have the leaders of the week, the leaders of the pack (the top-10) and a new twist on an old staple where I highlight a random league for the whole world to see. You better put your pants because you never know when I will be popping in to take a snap shot. Oh, who am I kidding, who wears pants when they play fantasy baseball? I literally wear the same basketball shorts and sleeveless shirt all season. I wash it during the all-star break.

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Imagine a world without Greg Holland.  Okay, got it… because it’s here… sorta.  There would be no tulip or windmill jokes and Wade Davis would basically be the freaking mac.  I was interested to see what his numbers really were, since he basically became a full time reliever towards the end of the 2013 season, and up to this date thus far in the season. So over the 89 innings of relief work, he has allowed 42 hits, 9 ER, and K/BB rate of 124/28.  I don’t curse very often, but holy sh*t.  The best thing about him is that he doesn’t have to be all-pressured to be the closer if he doesn’t want to.  Kinda like the cool kids in school, they sometime bring books to class or they just punch a juke box and say words that word normally sound like a euphemism for IBS.  I am by no means wishing Greg an injury-riddled year because, irregardless, Wade is going to do what he do.  He is far and away the most important reliever in baseball, argue that if you want… you will lose, but it’s fun to argue.  Enjoy the week’s closer updates and rankings…

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The closer carousel continues to spin round and round. In the season’s first week, Joaquin Benoit’s ride ended abruptly in the fallout of the Craig Kimbrel trade and Jason Grilli climbed aboard to take his place. This week, thanks to the early season struggles of 42 year old former closer LaTroy Hawkins, Adam Ottavino (+83.9%) became the new 9th inning reliever for the Rockies and was the most added player in fantasy baseball. A Rockies reliever? Awesome! Why don’t I just pick up Kelly Gregg and put my ratios out of their misery? That’s your Coors Field park factor voice playing devil’s advocate. When you consider Ottavino’s abilities to keep the ball on the ground (62.5% GB% this season in 6.1 IP – small sample size alert!; 45.6% career), rack up the strikeouts (54.6% K% this season; 25.7% in 2014), and limit his walks allowed (4.6% BB% this year; 5.9% in 2014), the Coors concern is somewhat alleviated. He also appears to have ditched his ineffective change-up in favor of a cutter to keep left-handed hitters honest and improve his split issues against that side. Factor it all in and he looks like a potential top 10 closer this year and an early treasure for fantasy owners. “In Ottavino, there is truth…” Here are a couple of this week’s other big adds and drops in fantasy baseball:

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It’s trendy to be trendy and follow your nose like Toucan Sam.  Unfortunately, there are no Fruit Loops here, only Holds.  Holds with a silver lining of saves that helps everyone.  For now though, it’s all about the holds.  It’s only a dozen games into the season and it’s never too early to turn a side eye to what’s going on with the key bullpen pieces around the league.  These guys are mostly for holds only leagues, but the elite of the elite are the rosterable guys that should be universally owned.   So, for those that are new to the Bullpen Report, it goes a little like this…  I focus on relievers that are pitching in high leverage situations, games with the lead, inherited runners and the inherited runners they allow to score.   Those more or less correlate to the stat we are chasing, and no it’s not that white dragon.  It’s the hold.  Team situations, team success, and the players ability in those situations all dictate that stat.  It’s no coincidence that teams with better teams usually have more save chances, it just happens.  So have a gander at some trendy type stats that have happened in the games so far.  Be aware that stats this early are misleading like a Polish GPS, so be aware and don’t go for the first car you see when your hitchhiking your way through the holds life.

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Just hours before the first official pitch of the 2015 MLB regular season was thrown, the Braves traded reliever Craig Kimbrel to the Padres and significantly altered the fantasy values of a couple of players in the process. Joaquin Benoit‘s role changed from projected closer to primary setup man, and his fantasy value took an enormous hit in standard 5×5 formats. Unsurprisingly, he was week one’s most dropped player (-85%). This trade’s main beneficiary from a fantasy perspective appears to be Jason Grilli (+81%), who was easily the most added player in the season’s first week. Grilli promptly locked down three clean saves to solidify his new role as the team’s stopper. While he was effective in the closing role for the Pirates in 2013, Grilli imploded in the first half of last season and was traded into a setup role with the Angels. From treasure to trash to treasure once again. As the one-time R&B/pop sensations Milli Vanilli can attest to, it can be a quick fall from the top of the mountain to the valley below. All it takes is a record skipping or a couple of blown saves to drastically alter one’s fortunes. Guys and four girls, you know it’s true – ooh, ooh, ooh… SAGNOF rules. Here are a couple of this week’s other big add and drops in fantasy baseball:

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Welcome back to the most important Razzball Commenter Leagues post you will read all week. Okay, well, it’s the only one, but lets not split hairs. Speaking of splitting hairs, I really need a haircut and a beard trim. I look like a hippy. Which reminds me of a movie I watched the other day after another fantasy related bout of insomnia. Back in the 90’s, we had a lot of good low budget flicks to entertain us while we waited for the internet to get better. PCU was one of my favorites from this genre that still to this day holds up with its commentary on the ridiculousness of higher education, why you shouldn’t get high and go out in public and of course the concept of don’t be that guy. [Jay’s Note: Swingers is better.] Oh the good times we had on couches with cheap pizza and malt liquor. Now, you might be wondering what this movie has to do with the RCL’s and you are right in asking, so I’ll tell you. Nothing, I’m just distracting you because it’s still too early for the master standings. I’m sorry guys and four girl readers. We will have to wait until next week to premier the official standings. Until then, assume you are in first overall if you are in first place in your league. We cool? Alright then let’s move on…

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Dustin Pedroia will hit you two homers (3-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs) and then run out after the game to help hawk papers, “Extr-ee, extr-ee, read all about it!” “Keep the change, kid.” “Thanks, mister!” While Pedroia sold Boston Heralds on the corner, Hanley Ramirez (also homered twice; 2nd one was a grand slam; 2-for-4, 2 runs, 5 RBIs) was tricked into a youth-rejuvenating oxygen chamber by piping in the smell of roasted pig. All the Red Sox did was put a game-used Sandoval jersey over a fan. Buncha tricksters! Or maybe that’s trickstahs in Boston. Also homering yesterday was Mookie Betts (2-for-4, 2 runs). Well, in this game. In other games, everyone homered at least once. If your fantasy team didn’t hit at least three homers yesterday, check again, you might’ve been accidentally looking at your fantasy football team. New commissioner-slash-new-step-dad, Rob Manfred, wants your love and if that means using juiced balls and no curfews, so be it! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Saves can often come from little known sources.  That concept is something we Razzballers call SAGNOF – Saves Ain’t Got No Face.  I played in one RCL (Razzball Commenter League) last year and in that league I owned Sean Doolittle from Sunday March 30th until the last day of the season.  I didn’t draft him.  I picked him up because I was looking for someone that could help with ERA and WHIP as well as adding some additional Ks (the latter of which can’t be bolstered through extra starting pitchers because of the games started limit) and his projections indicated he was worth it.  I didn’t really care about whether he was going to contribute any saves because I had David Robertson, Steve Cishek, and a DL’d Aroldis Chapman which seemed like a good group for a 12-team league.

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