So Harry Potter and the Order of The Phoenix was on HBO tonight and before you ask, no I still don’t have cable. Me not having cable is a running joke around here. Sorry if you don’t understand, but this intro is for those who understand that I understand how silly it is, you understand? Anyhoo, it put me in the mindset for this title and it’s also apropos to the actual topic. AJ Griffin…admittedly I could give two bee-sized bowel movements about how good he is or has been. Overall, he’s just not good. He’s about as SP3/4 vanilla as you can get for an MLB team, but that’s neither here nor there. The Royals have suffered so many injuries this year and have seemingly thrown in the towel on the season as they’ve gone into full blown sell mode. I don’t know if that’s what is affecting the production on the field, but it’s clear this team isn’t sniffing the 2015 version. The K rate as a whole is up nearly 4% and they sit mired in 24th overall in wRC+. Factor in they’ve actually been worse since the All-Star break and you have the perfect spot to take advantage of a $6,500 priced pitcher who doesn’t need a gem to outplay his price. When suggesting a pitcher that has a 4+ ERA, it should go without say but yeah, this is a tourney only call. So let the sorting hat decide whether you’re courageous enough to follow through with Griffin and let’s get on with the rest. Here’s my Goblet of Fire hot 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 August 1st 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?

The Twins’ lineup could generate power for any remote control, because they’re filled with Double-A batteries.  High five me!  C’mon!  You don’t appreciate a good snap!  I’m zinging over here!  Fine, be that way.  The Twins traded the 29-year-old Eduardo Nunez to the Giants, which makes him the youngest player the Giants have ever acquired and the cheapest player the Twins have ever traded away.  A double first!  Which sounds almost like how you picture your ex describing herself on Tinder.  So, Eduardo Nunez goes from a neutral park to a pitching park and from a lineup that could be best described with their two-hole hitter, Grossman, to a lineup best described as “in the middle of a panic.”  Or a Panik in the middle.  This move likely doesn’t change his value much, but if anything it takes him down a notch.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Gerrit Cole‘s start yesterday — 9 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 2.78 — wasn’t the most impressive start.  *walks around, shaking people out of their slumber*  Hey, what’s going on, guys and five girl readers?  Was it the opening sentence?  Okay, so Gerrit Cole didn’t look as good as, say, Dylan Bundy over five innings.  Cole looked solid, salt-of-the-earth, lumberjack-shirt-for-a-tablecloth-middle-class-sturdy-as-oak-workman-like for nine innings.  By the way, you know what they call a hyena with lines instead of spots?  Hyphena.  Take it, Highlights, it’s yours.  Do we have to have starters that are all lordy-me-I’m-fainting-with-a-handkerchief-to-my-forehead filled with upside?  Well, I’d like it, and Cole prolly has it somewhere in there.  *knocks on Cole’s chest*  Is a near-9 K/9 in there still?  Hello?  Okay, I think it is, but it’s just not answering now.  Maybe it’s taking a nap from Cole’s less-than-stellar K-rate.  That’s been the story of his season, actually.  Great results for real baseball, but a little lacking on the flash (7.5 K/9).  He’s still throwing hard (95 MPH), maybe he fell asleep while Contact was on late-night TV and woke up deciding to throw to contact.  Not sure, but if I had to bet, I’d bet every day on a 25-year-old who throws 95 returning to his previous flashy Ks while maintaining his excellent ERA results.  But there’s nothing wrong with a lumberjack shirt for a tablecloth.  It’s Murica!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In 1906, the Cubs won a major league record 116 games.  In 1907 and 1908, the Cubs won back-to-back World Series championships.  Anticipating a third championship in 1909, a young, enterprising Chicago man bought up all the toilet paper in Chicago, planning on selling the toilet paper back to the celebrators for twice the amount of money for their ticker tape parade.  The Cubs never won again, but it turned out people still needed toilet paper in their everyday life.  So, he still sold it back to them at a huge markup.  Now, most people would’ve been annoyed with this man, but he was so charming, which later became Charmin.  A titan of industry.  So, with this in mind, I’ve invested my life savings in toilet paper, and will sell it back to Cubs’ fans this October.  I’m gonna make money, y’all!  By the way, Cubs could be World Series champs within days of Donald Trump becoming president, that fallout shelter doesn’t seem like such a bad idea.  As for Aroldis Chapman, the trade was completed yesterday with him going to the Cubs for a bunch of prospects.  This kills Hector Rondon’s value for redraft leagues, since he’ll be pushed into the setup role with Aroldis closing.  Whereas in New York, Andrew Miller goes from a top setup man to a top five closer.  Now, here’s hoping for an Indians/Cubs World Series so I win either way with all of this TP.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Francisco Liriano went 6 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 4 baserunners, 13 Ks with zero walks.  Insert the madman cackle of Francisco Liriano’s owners who owned him up until last night when he had a 5.11 ERA.  He had 13 Ks without a walk!  This came from a guy who had a 5.7 BB/9 coming into the game.  That’s not bad.  No, no.  You think that’s bad?  You should swipe right on Tinder the next time you come across a thesaurus if bad’s all you got.  That’s effin’ egregious.  That’s the 1980’s Lower East Side before Donald Trump fixed the entire New York City as narrated by Jon Voight.  That’s the worst walk rate since Todd Van Poppel’s walk rate of 6.87 in 1994.   Since 1980, there’s only been walk rates of 5.7 or worse four other times.  In 36 years!  Jesus, 36 years?  I’m getting old.  This start came against the Brewers who have struck out more than any other team in the major leagues.  So, nice start, but I wouldn’t go near him.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m doing fine without games every day.  Thanks for checking in on me.  *nervous giggle, looks into the mirror, laughs hysterically*  I’m just fine!  The other day at 7 PM EST, I took a magic marker and every few minutes I wrote on my computer, giving my fantasy team a run, RBI and the occasional home run.  Sadly, even with my fantasy fantasy team accruing stats, Chris Archer gave up four earned in six innings.  Since there were no games this week and players haven’t been able to get hot or cold or humid, this Buy/Sell is going to be slightly different.  This Buy/Sell includes some players that are owned in more than 50% of leagues.  Okay, that’s not different for the Sells, but it does change the Buys.  The other day on our podcast I asked JB if he knew the one and only white reggae artist, Snow, because he has a doppelganger on the Pirates, Ja-Snow, but JB didn’t know Snow because JB was born in the 2000s.  But I was also asked by him who is my biggest buy of the 2nd half.  For that I said, “Um, well, I have to say, actually, actually, actually, my biggest buy is, uh, um, hmm.”  Spit it out, Grey!  You know how your own voice sounds weird?  I wonder if that holds up for the Movie Trailer Guy.  Finally, I said David Price, who I will get to shortly.  Yes, that was the worst intro ever to Michael Brantley.  I was trying to squeeze Brantley into my top 100 for the 2nd half, then I was like, “Grey, you’re handsome, smart and other words for those two traits.  You’ll find a way to squeeze in Brantley if you really think he belongs.  Also, what are we having for lunch?”  Salmon poke, but no dice on Brantley.  At the end of the day, that day specifically, I decided Brantley’s shoulder injury worries me too much for inclusion, but I’d still stash him on my DL or buy him crazysupercheap, which is also the price for the CrazySexyCool album on CD.  “These things will never go out of style!”  That’s me spending thousands of dollars on CDs.  For the 2nd half, Brantley’s projections look like Yunel’s 5 HRs, 4 SBs, .295, but maybe his last cortisone shot will take and he’ll be his old self for six weeks to two months.  For the price you can get him right now, it’s worth it to find out.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As much as I hate projections, I’m going to give them to you anyway. Who cares what you actually want, right? Just let me throw some darts at some numbers and I’ll be right with you. Seriously, I’d love to try that one of these years. Next year I will be debuting my new dartboard projection system which is practically guaranteed to be no worse than any other expert. I think that’s actually how CBS and ESPN calculate their yearly projections. How bad could they be? Don’t answer that. Instead of stooping to such a level (at least yet) I have married weighted versions of my preseason projections with weighted year-to-date performances to determine rest-of-season projections. Usually I cater to the points league enthusiasts, but today I am flipping the script and going full roto. I realize that Kirk Lazarus warned us to never go full rotard, but I’m just feeling it today. If I go home empty handed, then I go home empty handed.

Here are my rest of season projections for four of the five major roto categories…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If your fantasy portfolio is anything like mine, it probably means that there’s some work to be done to ensure you’re sitting at the top of the standings at the end of the season. Sure, there have been some good calls along the way. Drafting Mookie Betts looks like it’ll work out just fine. That late round SAGNOF pick of Jonathan Villar is making you look like Nostradamus right about now. But it hasn’t exactly been all sunshine and katydids for your fake teams. That Stanton/Upton/Heyward monster outfield that you assembled on draft day has put up some scary numbers this year (and not in a good way). Perhaps you decided to go the two ace route since a Harvey/Archer combo was just too good to pass up back in March. And just like that, you went from feeling like Nostradamus to Nostradumbass. Fantasy can be so cruel sometimes. The point is that things don’t always go according to plan. Fortunately, there’s still plenty of time to turn things around, and plenty of widely available players with which to do so. The purpose of this article is to identify some of those players who have the potential to provide significant fantasy value in the second half of the season as well as a few of the expendable players who might be burning holes in your roster.

Today, we’re going to look at some hitters of interest while focusing on pitchers in the near future. Without further ado, here are some potential second half treasures on the hitting side who are widely available in ESPN leagues (ownership percentage in parentheses):

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Welcome, prematurely balding men and five women who are married to prematurely balding men and decided if you can’t beat them, join them!  Make yourself comfortable, this is gonna be a long post.  Here, enjoy some coffee.  Oops, you just drank rat poison.  Don’t worry, it can’t be worse than owning Chris Archer in the 1st half.  Oh, you owned him and that’s why you drank the poison!  Now, I’m following!   Hey, I’m supposed to be leading!  Before we get into the top 100 for the 2nd half of 2016 fantasy baseball, let’s just be glad our 18-year-old selves can’t see us now, we’d get beat up!  But our twelve-year-old selves would think we’re the coolest!  So, as with all of the other 2016 fantasy baseball rankings, take this list with a grain of salt.  If you need a 2nd baseman, but an outfielder is above him that doesn’t mean you can’t trade that outfielder for that 2nd baseman.  Also, things change in fantasy baseball.  Daily.  I could put Bryce Harper number two on the top 100 list for the second half of 2016 and he could pull a–Well, we won’t even mention an injury with Bryce.  Why soil a good thing, ya know?  This list is a road map for where I think guys are valued.  It’s not the Holy Grail in the Church of Grey, that would be my mustache.  This list is NOT (caps for emphasis, not aesthetics) where I see guys ending up if you were to take their first half and combine it with the 2nd half. This is simply a list of the top hundred fantasy baseball players if you were to pick them up today.  So while David Price did not have the greatest first half, he will appear on this list because I still believe.  The projections are not their combined 1st half and 2nd half numbers; these are their projections for the 2nd half of 2016.  I also liberally used our rest of the season Fantasy Baseball Player Rater.  That’s right, we have a Player Rater that tells you what players will do.  It’s like that camera from The Twilight Zone.  Welcome to the future!  Anyway, here’s the top 100 for fantasy baseball for the 2nd half of 2016:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

After swinging a deal for Aaron Hill on Wednesday, the Red Sox have beefed up their bullpen trading for Brad Ziegler. Ziegler was rocking a 2.82 ERA, 1.46 WHIP and 18 saves with Arizona but he will likely be relegated to set up duty in Bean town. This is not to say his value is completely shot…yet. With Craig Kimbrel crying about his sore knee, Boston may be in need of an interim closer. Koji Uehara is the obvious first choice but his 4.96 ERA and 8 homers allowed in 32.2 IP make it seem like the choice ain’t so obvious. Still Koji’s 46/9 K/BB ratio makes me happy, and he notched the save Friday night (after surrendering a home run), so he’s the best bet for saves if Kimbrel misses any time. As for your new closer in the land of the rising sun? Tyler Clippard is the most likely candidate if you need saves or a buzz cut. He’s got a 3.06 ERA with 39 strikeouts over 32.1 IP, and saved 19 games for the Mets and A’s last year, but his career 57% save conversion rate certainly doesn’t inspire a whole lot of confidence. Daniel Hudson is the ideal saves candidate in Zona but has struggled mightily over the past month (12.96 ERA, 2.40 WHIP in 8.1 innings). Regardless, if you need a save and a haircut, I’d grab Clippard and Hudson in that order. And if you’re a Boston Red Sox team that desperately needs starting pitching, I’d recommend trading for a infielder and a relief pitcher.

Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?