Greetings and welcome to the first installment of the offseason stock report. If you love this silly, fake game as much as I do, you’ve either shined up your 2014 winner’s trophy several times and have shamelessly admired it since the end of the season or have shed many tears over the disappointing fantasy results that you’ve just endured. Either way, it’s time to move on and look forward to the start of the 2015 season.

In this series, I will attempt to analyze the performances of various players from this past season and project what can be expected from them next season. After digging into all of the underlying peripheral statistics, each player will be deemed either a “buy” or a “sell” depending on whether he can be expected to improve, regress, or maintain his most recent level of production. Much like commodities on the actual stock market, the idea is to buy low on a player that stands to gain value in the near future while selling high on one that is likely to lose value. Of course, players who are already valued highly but appear likely to maintain a high level of production should be targeted, while players who have experienced a sharp decrease in value and appear unlikely to improve upon their current production levels should be avoided.

Without further ado, let’s dig into three of the biggest early round busts from the ’14 season and decide if their poor results are a sign of things to come or if a rebound is on the horizon.

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Top 20 catchers, 1st basemen and the top 20 2nd basemen for 2014 are in the books. What a strange, glorious trip it’s been! Though not really. Today, the top 20 shortstops for 2014 fantasy baseball get to shine. Hmm… Actually, most of these won’t shine. They’re cloudy with a chance of crapballs. To be a bit more specific, Dee Gordon was 5th for 2nd baseman, here he’s second overall. Then it stabilizes with Zobrist being 13th at 2nd basemen and only 12th here. But then the shortstops flat line with guys like Jordy Mercer and Brock Holt appearing on this list and not even making in the top 20 2nd basemen. Either way, it’s ugly. Okay, enough of the hubbub on the tomfoolery. To recap, this final ranking is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments. The Player Rater allows me to be impartial while looking at how I ranked them in the preseason. Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2014 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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Nicholas Tropeano sounds like a sitcom character, doesn’t he? Like that’s his real name, but he goes by the nickname of The Boof or simply Boof. Then only his mom, Mrs. Tropeano calls him Nicholas. Some girls call him Nick, but Boof or The Boof, that’s what you know him as. At one point, he even went to a technical school with Arthur Fonzarelli and Joseph Tribbiani Jr. I went over The Boof briefly the other day when he threw a five inning, meh start. There I said, “Breezed through the minors as only an Astros prospect could. What I mean is they don’t have a ton of major league options, so if someone does okay, they promote the crap out of them. In Triple-A, he had a 8.7 K/9, 0.99 WHIP and a 3.03 ERA in 124 2/3 IP.” And that’s me quoting me! This Buy is more for AL-Only leagues and keepers (I’ll go over mixed league starters to stream in the post). Shoot, this Boof buy could even be considered more for 2015 fantasy baseball. Now, maybe I’m really just having residual feelings for what Collin McHugh and Dallas Keuchel did this year, but Tropeano looks like a $1 flyer in very deep leagues that could reap similar benefits. I know it’s far from glamorous to put faith in Astros, but I’m likely to call Tropeano a sleeper for 2015 and point back to this post next year. I’d love if his velocity was a tad faster to go with his nasty change, but The Boof could pay dividends for savvy owners in deep leagues. Ayyyyy! *pounds wall, jukebox turns on* Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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“We’re more alike than we are different.” That’s what Mary Ann said of her and Ginger, but it could also be said of Marcus Stroman and a Flat-Billed Pitchypus. He needs maybe a fifteen-second ironing and a quarter-cup of starch and he’d be there. Considering the tumultuous recent years of the Flat-Billed Pitchypus, maybe it’s for the best. “You want more starch on this?” “Yes.” Dontrelle Willis reaches for his TGIF’s hat, drops jalapeno poppers on his foot and screams. Yesterday, Stroman threw a shutout in 93 pitches. Greg Maddux called and said, “You owe me a nickel.” Stroman’s sparkling like I screwed his head into my SodaStream, pushed down the level way too long and bubbles started coming into his eyes. Mary Ann’s existential quote could also be used to say there’s more similarities than differences between Stroman and an ace. He shouldn’t generate that much velocity from a five-foot-nine frame. Yet, there he is throwing 94 MPH while high-fiving his teammates on a step stool. He’s credited with a six-pitch arsenal that he can locate with pinpoint accuracy. I’m going to have a Marcus Stroman post for 2015 fantasy baseball to highlight his sensational stuff for next year, and then he’ll probably be in the top 10 pitchers for 2016. A star is born just don’t iron the brim any further; you’re good. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Let me begin by thanking Papa and Nana Lifshitz for taking my two little rugrats last night so the Mrs. and I could go out for our 8th wedding anniversary. We went to a great Italian place in town and left in a food coma that put the two of us out of commission until early this morning. Not to worry Daily Fantasy Junkies I’ve arisen and am here to give you the DK knowledge you need to Get Money. I know what you’re all thinking, my Wife is truly the luckiest woman in the world. After all she’s married to me. Let’s think about this, not only am I handsome with six-pack abs, I’m also always there to explain baseball metrics like K/9, wOBA, and wRC+. Seriously I’m a real gem. You know who else has been a gem of late? Madison Bumgarner! Over his last ten starts he’s averaged 25.5 DraftKings points, he’s had 19+ point efforts in each of his last five games, and best of all he’s had two 47+ point efforts in his last 5. At a price of $11,200 he is tops on the board today but he’s totally worth it if he can keep up his hot streak. The one caution I will throw at you is his poor home ERA of 4.58. This is a little confusing when you consider that AT&T is a pitchers park but not everything makes sense now does it? (BTW am I the only that still wants to call it Pac-Bell?) I’d like to focus more on his August ERA of 1.58 in 40 innings thus far. Ready for this his K/9 for the month is 11.03 while his BB/9 is .45, those are the kind of numbers that make Grey stay at home at night and wax his mustache. They get me really excited, maybe too excited. His wOBA against is .194, those numbers are just video game on easy with cheat codes good. Sure this was an easy call and sure I’ll give you cheaper options but I always feel the need to remind you of great players playing great. These streaks only happen a few times over the course of a career even for a very good player like Mad-Bum. Well my fellow DraftKings welcome to my first DK installment on the newly minted HipHop Sunday let’s proceed to give you what you need.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 Teamer of Razzball writers and Friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care!

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Adam Wainwright went 6 IP, 3 ER, 9 baserunners, 5 Ks as he was out-dueled by Jeff Locke (7 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 3 Ks). Wainwright being out-dueled seems to be the norm lately. In August, his ERA is 5.17 and he says he’s going through a ‘dead arm’ phase. Ways that a dead arm could help (in no particular order): tricking a zombie while playing dead, making your other arm feel more alive, doorstop, can’t pick up a bill because your wallet is in the dead arm pocket, screaming out “Sorry, dead arm!” when cutting off people while driving and making your Bernie Lean more believable. Ways that a dead arm won’t help: pitching. Verlander’s arm must be so dead that necrophiliac stray dogs try to constantly hump it. You have to hold onto Wainwright and hope he comes out of it, but obviously this was not what you wanted to hear. By the by, Rudy tells me after he learned his wife was preggers with twins he went through a ‘dead penis’ phase. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Grab Luke Gregerson! Ah, that’s how you start a post. Some sweet, sweet SAGNOF. It’s like when I walk into a room and it just lights up. Guys and four girls be going, “Ooh, what’s his name, and can I get his number?” My mustache is yours. *eye wink* There’s plenty of me to go around. On the other hand (wasn’t that the first hand?), there hasn’t been that many closer jobs changing hands (there’s those hands again). This weekend us save chasers caught a lucky break when Sean Doolittle came down with a strained intercostal. Yes, he strained the highway that runs down the side of Florida. What the H do I know? Handsome, that’s the H I know. Now, go grab Gregerson and come back for some straight fantasy flavor from the Fantasy Master Lothario (don’t abbreviate it, thank you). UPDATE: A’s said they might go to or Eric O’Flaherty, the dad from Freaks and Geeks. I’d grab both Gregerson and O’Flaherty until the situation worked itself out. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Yu Darvish hit the DL with elbow inflammation.  In Grey’s 2nd half rankings, he said, “BAM!  What?  (Darvish) should be in the top 20 with the rest of the big-name pitchers, but I’m worried about an injury, so I ranked him much lower and that gets a BAM!”  And that’s me quoting Grey!  Dayum, son, Grey called that one.  Sure, he called it so long ago that no one even remembers it, but he called it neverthehoo!  Actually sounds a bit like Grey is writing this.  Oh, shoot, here he comes!  Hey, who wrote those previous, beautifully written sentences?  Sure as heck wasn’t me!  Guess that’s what I get for leaving my computer open at a Starbucks while I order a double foam, half-Sanka, half-espresso mocha, goochie, goochie, ya ya latte, LaBelle-style.  Well, I told you I had concerns about Darvish and when I have concerns, I make it happen with my mind like some crazy, telekinetic-fantasy-baseball-Scott-Baio-in-Zapped mofo!  The Rangers haven’t given a timetable for Darvish’s return yet, but like I also said in the 2nd half rankings, the Rangers have nothing to play for so they could shut him down.  Give him more time with his lady friends.  What does Darvish’s girlfriend call Yu’s erections?  YD Bulger, and it’s in hiding.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Several aces take the mound today, but with Clayton Kershaw costing $14K and David Price $12.5K, I’m going to save a few bucks and use Johnny Cueto ($9,900) as my #1 starter. Not only is his price much more reasonable which allows me to buy a few better hitters, but Cueto gets a nice match-up against the Marlins. Cueto has been dominant this season with a 2.04 ERA and a strikeout for every inning pitched. The 28-year-old right-hander is coming off of a complete game against the Indians. He actually faced the Marlins in the previous start, striking out nine while allowing only one earned run and one walk in seven innings pitched. I’d expect similar success again today. The Marlins are in the middle of the pack in terms of wRC+ against right-handed pitching (91) but their strikeout percentage against righties (24.1%) is the worst in baseball.

If you are new to DraftKings, use our promo link to get started. New players that click on that link will get a free contest ticket with a first time deposit (only new users eligible). The winner of the contest gets entry into our $500k Showcase with a $100k top prize. Also, if you haven’t tried the DFSBot via Rudy, check it out: it compares projected values to actual DFS prices for the day. Here are some other picks for DraftKings contests on 8/10/2014…

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How do you like your eggs? Scrambled? Hard-boiled? Sunny-side up? Fertilized (or Shawn Kemp style for you NBA fans)? Me, I like mine Odorizzi. What Egg puns using Jake Odorizzi‘s names are lame? Well soooooorry! You try and be super funny, relevant, and informative several times a week. This is hard work ladies and gents, and I’m in the trenches. What, I’m rambling? Sorry I’m coming off a three day coke binge and haven’t slept since Tuesday. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you view drug abuse, that isn’t true. I just worked a ton of hours and have been spending my down time trying to digest baseball for these daily leagues and football for the fall. The work for a fantasy sports writer never ends. Or it never sleeps, or maybe that’s Wall Street, or money. Yeah I think it’s something with money. Either way my brain is now so filled with mundane factoids about baseball I yelled out wOBA while making love to my wife last night. And Yes, I have indeed taken up residence on the couch for the foreseeable future. Hey! I found a peanut M&M in between the cushions. Score! So what does all this have to do with Jake Odorizzi? Nothing! I told you I’m super tired and have the mental capacity of a jack rabbit on meth.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 20 Teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care!

Please, blog, may I have some more?