All the final 2016 fantasy baseball rankings for hitters are done.  For those that skipped today’s title, this starts the top 20 starters for 2016 fantasy baseball.  This is NOT for 2017 (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’re) using it to fairly gauge our (my) preseason rankings.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 starters for 2016 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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papiout

Today, ladies and gentlemen, is officially the last day of school. And by school I mean me writing fantasy baseball posts in 2016. Over the next few months I’m sure Grey will take a gander at the numbers to determine if yours truly will be back in 2017. Hopefully my eight remaining followers have enough pull to see me through to the other side and get me invited back to Razzball Spring Training. But if not, it’s been a good run. This post is my 94th baseball-related post. I have big incentives in my contract if I make it one hundred, so I hope that doesn’t influence Grey’s decision in a negative way. There are a lot of hungry points league writers out there that just might be willing do what I do for even less. Will they be as cool as I am? Doubtful. As funny? Certainly not. And lastly, will they have the maturity level of a third grader? I certainly hope so. Here’s to hoping Grey just flips a two-headed coin.

Before I jump the gun and start saying any official goodbyes, I think we should take a look back at 2016 and what happened in points leagues…

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A lot has been said about Jose Fernandez in these last few days, ever since our slow entries into a relaxing Sunday morning were abruptly jarred with the news of his passing. I cannot sit here typing from Syracuse, New York, never having been anywhere near Jose Fernandez, and attempt to do him justice. I think the one thing we can all do in memory of this great young man that has been lost is to smile. Each and every day, we can attempt to smile even half of the smile that Jose seemed to flash in his every waking moment. If everyone smiled like Jose Fernandez, imagine how pleasant a world we would live in. And so I ask you, on this day and every day, to smile. Smile even if your DraftKings lineup is an utter, complete failure. Smile even after your boss yells at you. Smile even when your grade on that test isn’t what you were hoping for. Remember what Jose went through to get to this country, and smile in the blessings we have. We’ve been blessed enough to have the time to read this article; we’ve been blessed enough to know the beautiful world that is baseball; we’ve been blessed enough to revel in the smile of Jose Fernandez. Bring joy to others the way Jose brought joy to all of us, by smiling and appreciating each and every moment of each and every day. If we can do that, I know Jose will look down in between innings of the Heavenly ballgame he is pitching in, and he will smile right along with us.

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 October 3rd 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 ourDFSBot, that’s what! For details on the how to, please visit our Razzball Subscriptions page.

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Never in a million years would I have fathomed that my final DraftKings article of the year would start off touching on the death of one of the best pitchers that this generation has ever seen. I can easily say that–even though Fernandez was 24 years old–because his talent was off the charts and he had the numbers to back it up. This season alone, he posted a 2.89 ERA with a whopping 253 strikeouts in 182.1 innings pitched. That gave him a league leading 12.5 K/9. It was a somber scene in Miami on Monday night, but in true baseball fashion, an unbelievable moment was created when Dee Gordon–who came into the game with eight career home runs in over 2,200 plate appearances–hit a lead off home run and was balling his eyes out as he crossed home plate. As fans, we didn’t know Jose Fernandez personally. The Jose Fernandez was knew was the elite pitcher that was on the mound every fifth day. His smile lit up the stadium and clearly his teammates thought the world of him. Baseball is unlike any other sport in the sense that these guys are with each other every single days for over seven months out of the year. Unlike other professional sports, there are games practically everyday. The tribute was touching and well deserved, but this is a tough one for every baseball fan on the planet. Time will pass and the wound of losing Fernandez will start to heal, but he will forever be etched in our memories. Rest in peace. Thanks, Jose.

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 October 3rd 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.

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As this is our final Monday of the regular season, I was about to go out all silly with the last Pitcher Profile of the season, but the pitching world – and the sports world as a whole – woke up Sunday morning to the news of the heartbreaking passing of Jose Fernandez. The young phenom was such a pleasure to watch; not only for his youthful exuberance, but his pure pitching stuff seemed to somehow reflect that personality. Monster fastball, video game slider, and he could hit the ball too! Fantasy, and well sports in general, brings people together in the sense that we can just share something intangible – the spirit of a team, momentum of a game, the thrill of winning… Or just experiencing, together, the personality of one of the game’s greats. So instead of merely reflecting on a life taken from us too soon, I felt we should take this slice of time we spend together talking about pitching/fantasy baseball/sports and celebrate Jose Fernandez with a pitcher profile on his last start. Unsurprisingly, it was another absolute gem. Here’s how JoFer looked the final game he toed the rubber:

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Growing up my Dad always talked about how great of a player Thurman Munson was and of course I never questioned it, because my Dad was the ultimate authority on all things sports. According to my Dad, he was one of the best catchers to ever play the game, he played it the way it was meant to be played. He was the epitome of a Captain/Catcher, hard nosed, full of grit, determination, above all he played the game with an immeasurable heart and passion. On August 22nd, 1979 we lost one of the greats in his prime and yesterday our baseball generation suffered a similar loss with the passing of Jose Fernandez. JFer was an intense competitor, he was the spark that ignited everyone around him, he played the game with that contraversial Cuban attitude and in my opinion he truly loved the game of baseball. He was the type of player you either loved or loved to hate, there was no in between when it came to JFer. I’m sure there’s a number of old school baseball critics that didn’t appreciate his playing style, but shame on them, because he was one of the brightest young stars to play the game. Whether he was on the mound striking out hitters in bunches, chirping at opponents on the bench while he was rehabbing or showing off that Cuban flair while rounding the bases, JFer was electric! JFer’s competitive fire burned so hot that he immediately became must watch TV anytime he was playing and he was an absolute Beast in DK when he was toeing the mound at home. He’s truly going to be missed in every aspect of the game and I hope that one day I can speak about Jose Fernandez in the same manner my dad spoke about Thurman Munson. Rest In Peace Jose D Fernandez you were one of the good one’s, you’re what every young Cuban baseball player should aspire to be on the field and more importantly off the field, in the game of life. In honor of JFer I’m skipping the DraftKings games tonight and I’ll be making a donation to ALS as he was a big supporter during his time as a Miami Marlin. I wish I had the right words to describe this loss to the baseball community, but unfortunately I’d be lying to myself if I could justify losing this Flamethrower.

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 today 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.

Editor’s Note: As an aside, there’ll be no picks for today. We at Razzball take our fantasy world seriously, but we are feeling that loss of J-Fer pretty big. We’ll be back at it tomorrow, thank you for reading and for your understanding.

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On Sunday morning, I woke around 8 AM to read a text from Rudy saying, “Awful news, Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident.”  I put on my glasses, no time for contacts, and turned on the TV.  It was still on Fox Sports West because I was watching Vin Scully tributes all weekend.  Yesterday morning, Fox Sports was playing Anglers Chronicles, a fishing show, which is wrong in so many ways.  After switching the stations, groggy-eyed and still half asleep, I realized TV was not the place anymore to go for breaking news.  I shut it off and turned to the internet.  I’m still piecing together my thoughts.  He was 24 years old, even if he never played baseball this is a horrible loss of life.  I’m reminded of all the friends I lost to motorcycles in their twenties.  I’m struck by how inconsequential fantasy feels.  There’s a giant pit in my stomach.  Then, I think about how I never saw Jose Fernandez not smiling.  Not having fun.  I think about how on that boat, Saturday evening, you know Jose Fernandez was having a great time, because he was always having a great time.  That exuberance came through in everything he did.  I think about how he spent time in prison after one of his numerous failed attempts of escaping Cuba, and how, even then, he was likely making fellow inmates smile.  How the excellence he brought to the mound every fifth day was felt all the way back in Cuba to raise up even the darkest corners of Cuba’s prisons.  “That was us.  That is us,” the inmates, who are still incarcerated for trying to escape, likely said.  How baseball does that.  How special that is.  You see what you’re going to see in tragedy, but I see Jose Fernandez pitching, and baseball, and making himself and others smile.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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At this point, points leagues should be over or wrapping up today (Sunday). I hate when fantasy leagues carry on into the last weeks of the MLB season and teams are handicapped when their players, usually pitchers, are shut down. In my main points league the World Series ended with week 22. No championship should be decided because one team lost its ace because he had reached his innings limit. Although there are some that will contend that is all part of the package when you roster said player. After all the Nationals did shut down Strasburg in 2012. Regardless, it is now week 25, sh!t or get off the pot!

Now that the points leagues season is over, at least as far as I am concerned, I have decided to announce my 2016 Points League Awards. Television has the Emmys. Broadway has the Tonys. Movies have the Oscars. Music has the Grammys. And points leagues have the Malamoneys.

Just a quick explanation. The “Best” category is awarded to the best overall player at a position. The “MVP” award considers other factors such as average draft position and position eligibility into its equation.

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In order to be competitive, the Marlins would need All-Stars at every position all farmed from their minor league system.  Sorta like what the Cubs have managed to do.  Not impossible, but that’s what it would take for the Marlins because they are cheap AF.  By the way, AF is my favorite acronym.  Props to whoever first started using it.  Feels like it started on Twitter because of the character limit.  Keeps shizz short and simple AF, kinda like me (short and simple).  Any the hoo!  I was saying the Marlins need to be precise AF (I’m overusing it now) with their minor league system like they were with Jose Fernandez.  He’s AF as AF comes.  His nickname should no longer be Jo-Fer but AF.  Or maybe AF-Fer.  Nah, that looks like a trade union.  A-Fer?  That looks like algebra.  Fernandez should own Abercrombie & Fitch he’s so AF.  Yesterday, Jose Fernandez went 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 hits, zero walks and 12 Ks.  He has 253 Ks in 182 1/3 innings.  Seriously, digest that for a second.  WTF AF?!  Of course, I wish the Marlins would shut him down until 2017, but I have no chance of owning him next year.  Not that I don’t love him.  He’s the best pitcher in the game if I’m building a dynasty league.  Yeah, I said it.  I want him over Kershaw.  Kershaw has been durable up until this year, but all pitchers are durable up until the point when they’re not.  At one point, Jake Peavy was durable AF, too.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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You know one of those posters where they feature celebrities from different eras that may or may not have ever been together in the same room?  Like James Dean, Mickey Mouse and Lenny Bruce standing at a bar, smoking cigarettes.  Okay, I’m pretty sure those three never hung out.  In 75 years, when we’re all dead and buried, except for maybe some of my preteen readers — YASSSSSS I never forget you! — they will decide to make a poster featuring some standouts from this year:  Trump, Hillary, Nadiya from The Great British Bake Off.  Also, on that poster will be one player from the 2016 World Champion Cubs team, the last Cubs team to win the World Series in 75 years.  Which player will be on that poster made from the last remaining tree?  I don’t think it’ll be David Ross, prolly not Arrieta, not for this year, maybe Bryant, maybe Rizzo, maybe Hendricks and maybe Jon Lester.  Yesterday, pushed forward Lester’s agenda to get on the “last tree poster” — 8 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 8 Ks, lowering his ERA to 2.40, moving his record to 17-4, and, since the All-Star break, it’s a 1.47 ERA in 73 1/3 IP.  His ERAs over the last four years:  3.75, 2.46, 3.34 and 2.40.  And you thought Saberhagenmetrics were some contrived statistical model.  Look in the mirror, and pfft yourself.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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