Scout and Razzball teamed up to bring you 12-team mixed league slow drafts, and, when I say slow, I mean that I’ve seen paint dry faster and with more upside.  It’s exactly like our 12-team, mixed Razzball Commenter League drafts (there still might be a few spots), but in this league there’s two catchers, no waivers and 44 rounds.  So, I guess, it’s really not that similar to the RCLs.  No waivers changes everything.   I would never draft two top starters in a regular mixed league, let alone one in a 12 team league, but when you can’t pick up a starter off waivers or stream, it changes the dynamic.  You can’t worry about upside as much as you need to make sure you have innings when a rash of injuries hits.  Same with hitters.  Upside is nice, but at-bats are even nicer when you lose five outfielders to injuries in July.  This kind of leagues makes John Jaso Jingleheimer Schmidt and Tyler Flowers appealing.  Dot dot dot.  Okay, nothing makes Tyler Flowers appealing.  Anyway, here’s my 12-team, mixed league draft recap:

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Last week, we looked at a few metrics that I like to use when evaluating hitters for fantasy baseball. This week, it’s time to take a look at some of the key pitcher stats that are useful for projecting future performance. If you’re a fantasy nut like me and have several more drafts lined up over the next thirteen days (six more for me, to be exact), it’s probably a good idea to dispense with the jibber jabber and get to it!

With that in mind, here are some things that I look for when evaluating pitchers for fantasy baseball:

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Chicago_Cubs5

Welcome to the 2016 Razzball Team Previews! You’ll find everything you need to know about each team to get yourself ready for the upcoming fantasy baseball season. And I mean everything, folks. We’ve got line-ups, charts, Slurpees, lube, a guide for beginner electricians, and even a cactus! Well, that’s a lie. That’s what Jay had last year sitting in front of him. This year? Um…a little less lube? Take that as you will. But hey, we’ve got teams to preview and questions to ask, so let’s hop to it. We a very special guest for this post…Neil Finnell, to provide his take on what the team has in store this season. Now enough rambling, let’s see what 2016 holds for the Chicago Cubs!

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With the top 80 starters for 2016 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 Wacha, Carlos Martinez and Heaney.  They had an ERA of 3.26 in 467 IP.  You put three guys like that together with, say, Kluber and Rodon and you have all the pitching you need.  Or team three starters like that with Hamels and Corbin or Ventura and Lester.  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 2016 fantasy baseball rankings are there.  My tiers and projections are noted.  Anyway, here’s the top 80 starters for 2016 fantasy baseball:

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You know, this signing of Zack Greinke with the Diamondbacks isn’t much of a surprise since Greinke is so intellectually driven and Phoenix is on the cutting edge of cyber-learning.  Did you know 1 out of 24 graduates from the University of Phoenix go on to make six figures?  Of course, 1 out of 24 graduates from the University of Phoenix are chosen to be in their commercials and paid $100,000.  That gives me an idea, we should start a college and charge students $200,000 for a 4-year degree, then hire every graduate for $24,000/year.  Shoot, every college and company are already working this scheme.  Any hoo!  Zack Greinke goes to the Diamondbacks and takes a hit in his value or will take multiple hits on his value.  Don’t think the Dodgers are really that much better offensively than the D-Backs.  Actually, they’re worse.  So, it’s not a hit due to chance for wins.  It’s a hit due to home stadium change.  Arizona’s decidedly a hitters’ park and the Casa de Doyers is not.  Arizona is around top five for hitting, whereas Dodger Stadium is around bottom five.  Things sway yearly, but Chase Field has had years in the top two for offense, only sniffing Coors’ butt.  Mean’s while, Dodger Stadium has had years in the bottom three for all offense, only staying in front of Safeco and Petco.  I doubt Greinke falls back to a 4+ ERA pitcher he was his last year on the Royals, but he was a 3.83 ERA pitcher in another hitting-friendly park in Milwaukee, and that’s not so good.   Oh, and Greinke is 32 years old.  Yeah, you don’t need a degree from the University of Phoenix to know this deal could go sideways real fast.  For 2016, I’ll give him the projections of 15-8/3.54/1.16/194 in 210 IP and someone I am not going near.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in the offseason for 2016 fantasy baseball:

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All the final 2015 fantasy baseball rankings for hitters are done.  For those that skipped today’s title, this starts the top 20 starters for 2015 fantasy baseball.  This is NOT for 2016 (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) using it to fairly gauge our (my) preseason rankings.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 starters for 2015 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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If you’ve been following along all season, you already know that this was the first year of Razzball’s very own dynasty league – the Razznasty – made up entirely of Razzball writers and commenters. It was an absolute blast, and I was glad to have the opportunity to commish this one. It’s a 16-team, 40-man roster, keep 30 dynasty format. This year was a battle for first place between Razzball’s own J-FOH and commenter Csifu (Hannibal Montana). It was a tight race all year and at times the difference was a mere point or two. But J-FOH put his foot on the gas down the stretch and pulled away. The Hateful One did it with style by racking up top five finishes in eight of the ten categories in September, including 32 wins and 367 strikeouts over the final month. When it was all said and done, J-FOH came within four points of a clean sweep 160 for the year. Impressive stuff, and so with this final post I’m handing him the microphone so he can share a bit of his strategy and how things played out for his squad.

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It’s been a great year, and it’s been a pleasure talking to you all throughout the course of the season. But as much as I thank you for all the comments, feedback and conversation over the year, I have to thank all my favorite plays this season for the joy, and sometimes heartburn, they gave me.

SP: Zack Greinke, Corey Kluber, Chris Sale: Some nights I gave the ball to Greinke with no hope to cash in my lineups. The bats were cold, the chips were down…all was lost. But Greinke came through anyway, all season long. First month Kluber had the underlying metrics without the results, mid-season Kluber found the groove and made late season Kluber jealous. And Sale….well, nice knowing that it never mattered how many runs you have up, because those Ks….those sweet Ks, always delivered. Thanks, fellas.

C: Kyle Schwarber: The Swarb has a warm back rub when the day was so tense. Sweet, delicious power in a catcher, forever eligible on DraftKings. The stuff cash was made of.

1B: David Ortiz: Last season he led in both hard hit rating and expected power and he spent the last 2/3 of the season getting back to that. Never age, Papi, never age.

2B: Luis Valbuena, Cesar Hernandez: Valby has been a vs. RHP crutch since his time in Chicago last year. He goes for the downs every time up and does it enough to make it worth rostering him, though he cost a bit more as time progressed. Cesar was a sub-3K dynamo for far too long, ripping base hit and steals at the top of the Phillies lineup. Cesar the Great? He sure was.

SS: Carlos Correa, Andres Blanco: Correa came up and raked and hardly ever stopped. His price eventually rose to All-Star heights, but he was fun to own for long time. and Andres Blanco is my favorite vs. LHP masher at SS and is always priced like he’s homeless. Gotta love the vs. LHP Phillies.

3B: Alex Rodriguez, Yangervis Solarte: ARod was fairly modestly priced all season and early on, he was a monster and great fun to roster as the Yankees were crushing. Solarte started leading off in San Diego and was a base hit, hard hit metrics darling and paid off often at his price tag, which always hovered around 3K.

OF: From Joey Butler and Grady Sizemore to Nelson Cruz and Mike Trout all the way through The Grandy Man, JD Martinez and Gerardo Parra, the Milwaukee version, the outfield produced so much good times, it’s hard to single anybody out. Thanks fellas.

Let me know who your favorites were in the Comments area and enjoy the last couple of days of baseball. I’m going to treat the Saturday slate as if these teams will all give a darn, but check the lineups for fun and games. Thank you all!

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 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! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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The other day I made the best purchase of my life (okay, of the last week).  I bought a thermometer that has a laser beam on it.  You shoot the laser on the object and it tells you its exact temperature.  It’s meant–Actually, I don’t know what it’s meant for.  I bought it because our oven seems to be about 100 degrees off.  Though, I got it five days ago and I haven’t used it for the oven once, but have measured the temperature of about twelve hundred other things.  The coldest drinking water I’ve had was 49 degrees at this pizzeria around the corner from my house.  Oh, yeah, I’ve been taking this out with me.  I’ll go up to people on the street, shoot their temperature and be like, “You have a fever, you might want to take an aspirin.”  I like to put on my flip flops when they’re between 68 to 71 degrees.  Any colder and it stiffens my toes, any warmer and it raises my body temperature a full .4 degrees.  I know this because I have a thermometer with a frickin laser on it!  So, how does this relate to fantasy baseball?  I was watching Justin Bour slug his 23rd homer yesterday, his 2nd of two homers in the game, and I shot his temperature.  A blistering 109 degrees!  Doode’s fahrenhot!  Doode is straight butter that a professional hibachi chef puts on a sizzling lobster tail!  Doode’s Kurt Russell in Backdraft!  Yes, you should own him.  In fact (Grey’s gonna say more!), you should’ve owned him for the last few months.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement, began yesterday, and Brad Ausmus, the Tigers manager who doesn’t believe in a manger, started atoning for his mistakes, by sending the Tigers closer, Bruce Rondon, home due to a lack of effort.  This sends an interesting message.  I’d guess, with a motorized scooter and knee-bypass surgery, Victor Martinez still wouldn’t be at 100% effort.  Kyle Lobstein and Randy Wolf wouldn’t be at 100% effort with a pitching machine standing next to them as they mimed throwing.  Shoot, I don’t know if Miggy was at 100% effort even in his Triple Crown season.  Also, what does this say about Ausmus?  That he’s managing a team in last place, but he’s coaching at 100% effort?  Wouldn’t he be better off pretending he was at, say, 60% effort?  How about this, “I sent Rondon home because he was at 40% effort.  I lead by example around here, and I demand everyone give 50 to 55% effort, as I do.  What?  You thought I was at 100% effort and we’re in last place?  Please!”  Alex Wilson is the likely replacement closer, maybe Neftali Feliz also sees some saves, but he blew one last night.  Then, in Kansas City, Greg Holland let the entire organization off easy by saying he had a tight elbow and is done for the year.  This saves everyone from calling for Wade Davis to close while berating and belittling Holland worse than a tourist who doesn’t smoke pot and hates windmills.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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