Just finished my first draft if you’re reading this as I type it, and other than one shirtless man in yellow sweatpants standing behind me in this internet cafe, I don’t think anyone’s reading this as I type it.  Unless, of course, there’s micronauts living inside my brain watching as my inner monologue is sending info to my fingers.  Gadzooks, I got micronauts in my brain!  I wonder if these micronauts made me draft Eric Thames.  I need to delve deeper into this subject.  Maybe I will in my pastel journal that is covered in Giancarlo’s picture from ESPN’s nude magazine.  So, I took on the monsters of the industry in an NL Only league that was hosted by Scott White of CBS and I came away with a team that is more imbalanced than Amanda Bynes.  This league is deep so hold onto ye old hat.  (If you want a shallower league, play against me and hundreds of your closest buddies in the Razzball Commenter Leagues.  Please be a commissioner, we need leagues, thank you, and Oxford comma.)  Anyway, here’s my 12-team NL-Only team and some thoughts:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I have no idea if anyone at ESPN actually ranks people.  There’s talk of it.  Like, “Yo, Klara Bell, you do your rankings yet?”  “No, did you?”  Then Cockcroft makes farting noises with his armpit.  All I ever see at ESPN is consensus rankings.  I have to figure out how to do this “consensus” thing.  Talk about a nice way to avoid taking any blame for anything.  “Hey, man, sorry about Andrew McCutchen being ranked so high this year, but these are ‘consensus’ rankings.”  Let’s turn to a conversation between two random fantasy baseballers.  “Cockcroft has said he doesn’t like Cano this year.”  “But ESPN has him 34th overall.”  “Yeah, doesn’t apply when talking about Cockcroft.”  “So, when does it apply?”  “When talking about ESPN.”  “But Cockcroft is at ESPN”  “Yeah, still doesn’t apply.”  “Can you explain that?”  “Nope.”  Then heads explode.  Consensus rankings are done by committee.  Only thing ever done better by committee is jerk seasoning.  Now, while you might think ESPN’s rankings have a ton of jerk seasoning, they are just an indecipherable mess.  But why bring up all of this when I’m about to take a blowtorch to Yahoo’s 2017 fantasy baseball rankings?  Thanks for asking, clunky expositional question!  Yahoo has consensus rankings, but they also show their work.  Each ‘pert is accounted for in their rankings.  This is already much better than ESPN.  You can at least see what Pianowski, Funston, Behrens and Triple D are thinking individually.  This, of course, doesn’t mean I agree with all of their rankings, but at least I can point to how they came to their consensus.  Anyway, here’s where my 2017 fantasy baseball rankings differ from the 2017 Yahoo fantasy baseball rankings:

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As I begin to prepare my projections and rankings for the 2017 season, I like to look back on the previous season’s attempt to not only assess my work, but also to learn how I can do better next time. Projecting statistics in any sport is a tedious and arduous task. The variables, formulas and algorithms are constantly changing and if you don’t adapt with them, your results will lose their precision and accuracy. However, I’d like to make one point blatantly clear, projections are nothing more than calculated guesses. Some are better than the next, but none are even close to perfect.

Let’s see how I fared with my 2016 efforts. For all positions I will provide the following six numbers: projected points, actual points, projected rank, actual rank, projected points per plate appearance and actual points per plate appearance. I am including points per plate appearance because it helps put a player’s projections vs performance into perspective when they’ve missing time due to injury. For pitchers I’ve replaced points per plate appearance with points per start. I’ve also included a column showing the percentage by which my points projections were off. Any player with an “n/a” listed in this column is because that player spent at least 30 days on the disabled list.

Lastly, a quick note about the rankings listed in this post. These rankings are based purely on points. This season I plan to provide additional rankings that allow me to adjust them based on three important factors: intuition, gut and my sporadic conversations with Nostradumass.

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How many hot’s is too many? I’ll say three. Because three’s are wild when I’m dealing. Third Base is going to provide a ton of power this year (we really need to appreciate how many homers were hit last season, and wonder if regression is coming…but what fun is that? Let’s predict even more Power for 2017, shall we?) and there are some speed guys, and some multi-position qualifiers, and just a whole cornucopia of idiosyncrasies going on at third base.

It might be my favorite position this season.  I typed that, never having thought that before, having a favorite fantasy position. Fantasy baseball position, you know that’s what I meant.  My new favorite player, World Series Winner (typing that makes me so dang happy) Kris Bryant, qualifies there (and in the outfield, too) and if you’re a fan as well, check this out.  While he’s number one in my heart, he’s number two in my rankings.   Though number two ain’t bad (well, it depends on who number two works for, doesn’t it?).

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Earlier this week I partook (a much fancier word than participated) in my first mock draft of the season. As most of you know I am much more of a points league player, but I have no issue going both ways. This draft, however, represented a less common fantasy baseball format known as the 5×5 head-to-head league. This was actually the first time I had even drafted for this format, and with barely an hour to prepare, I’m not sure how I feel about the results. In hindsight, had I had more time to calculate more precise player values for this league format I believe I would have applied a different strategy when selecting my players. While I obviously cannot go back and actually change my picks, I can imagine the results with a different outcome. After all, imagination is the essence of discovery.

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Shortstop is top heavy, and you don’t want to leave your drafts, especially OPS-style, without one of the top six.  Can I call them the Secret Six?  Like the DC Comic?  (Quick tangent, if you liked the Suicide Squad (movie or comic) and want an even better tale of misfit villains, then pick up Secret Six.  It’s got Bane, Deadshot, great stories, and is just plain awesome.  One of my favs of all time…) Anyhoo, so do you know what separates these six? They are the only guys I have predicted for an OPS over .800.  Shortstop sure isn’t second base this season; who could believe all the power at the keystone?

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One word about this top 100 for 2017 fantasy baseball, before I give you another 5,000 words.  I’m going to avoid repeating myself from the position rankings in the 2017 fantasy baseball rankings.  If you want to know my in-depth feelings about a player, then you need to go to his positional page, i.e., the top 20 1st basemen for 2017 fantasy baseball, the top 20 outfielders for 2017 fantasy baseball, the top 20 Gucci handbags for 2017– Ah, I almost got you.  This post is meant to give you an idea where guys from different positions are in relation to each other.  Since this post is only the top 100, there’s more players where this came from.  416 more, to be very exact.  Next up, there will be a top 500 that will go to 516.  Then, after that, there will be a top 7,500, then a top 25,000, then a top 600,000, until we end up with a top kajillion in April.  Or maybe I’ll stop at the top 500.  Yeah, that makes sense.  Not to get all biblical on you, but this is the gospel.  Print it out and take it to Mt. Sinai and it will say, “Win your 2017 fantasy baseball league, young prematurely balding man.”  Projections were done by me and a crack team of 100 monkeys fighting amongst themselves because there were only 99 typewriters.  Somebody please buy Ling-Ling his own typewriter!  Anyway, here’s the top 100 for 2017 fantasy baseball:

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Now that we’re four positions in we can get a sense of how deep each position is.  Our thermometers?  Jedd Gyorko and Wilmer Flores.  If Wilmer cries, the thermometer has gone too deep.  So, on the top 20 1st baseman for 2017 fantasy baseball, Gyorko and Wilmer were 26 and 41, respectively.  Here, they’re 24 and 38, so we have less depth in the top 20 3rd basemen for 2017 fantasy baseball.  At the top 20 2nd basemen for 2017 fantasy baseball, they are 22 and 37.  So, 3rd base and 2nd base are fairly close, but, they’re all crazy close.  Finally, the top 20 shortstops for 2017 fantasy baseball, only has Gyorko where he is 19th overall.  So, depth rankings on infield are shortstops, 2nd base, 3rd base and 1st base, but it doesn’t tell the whole story.  Carpenter is 12th here, but 21st on the 1st basemen, and Villar is 5th here and at the 2nd basemen.  There are areas where each infield position has its strengths and weaknesses and relative equality like I’m not sure we’ve seen before, which is what everyone says about everything.  People say now we have more things we’ve never seen before than any other time in history.  Any hoo!  My projections are noted for every player and all positions are at the 2017 fantasy baseball rankings.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 3rd basemen for 2017 fantasy baseball:

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The shortstops are stacked, yo.  They are stacked like Dolly Parton on top of a stack of hotcakes.  There is gorge as far as the eye can see.  If a young boy happened upon this post, he would see love for the first time, then Norman Rockwell would paint him because it was the essence of Americana, if Norman Rockwell were alive and working as a caricature artist at a carnival.  I wanna roll around in these shortstops like I’m Natalie Wood rolling away from a drunk Robert Wagner.  Okay, enough hubbub!  If you’re just joining us, all the 2017 fantasy baseball rankings are under that link-ma-whosie.  With each player is my projections and where I see tiers starting and stopping.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2017 fantasy baseball:

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Our 2017 fantasy baseball rankings are humming right along.  The last post, the top 20 1st basemen for 2017 fantasy baseball, was the longest post ever written on the internet by a relatively sane person.  The post before that, top 20 catchers for 2017 fantasy baseball, was the longest post ever written by a relatively insane person.  Incredibly, these are the same person.  Glass half sane, glass half crazy, nah mean?  So, without further hubbub on the tomfoolery, the top 20 2nd basemen for 2017 fantasy baseball was shallow like how Altuve likes his pool water as recently as two years ago, but that was not the case last year, and almost rivaled 1st basemen for depth.  So, that’s the same again this year, right?  Well, let’s see about that.  As always, my projections are included and I mention where I see tiers starting and stopping.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 2nd basemen for 2017 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?