Went over the catchers1st basemen2nd basemen and shortstops and top 20 3rd basemen for 2017 fantasy baseball.  Guess what’s next!  No, not pitchers. Read the title, man.  In 2010, there were only 5 outfielders that hit 30 homers, in 2011 there were 9, 14 in 2012, in 2013 there were 3, a small bounce back with 6 in 2014, eight in 2015.  Last year, 11 outfielders hit 30 homers.  This year…DRUM ROLL!….15 outfielders hit 30 homers.  Obvious trend.  As for steals, there were 14 outfielders who stole 30 bases in 2012, 10 in 2013, 11 in 2014, five in 2015 and seven in 2016.  This year:  two (!) outfielders stole 30 (Hamilton and Maybin) and only six players overall.  So, how about that power, huh?  As before, these rankings are from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 outfielders for 2017 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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For those looking for pictures of ballplayers taking off their ballcap and recapping themselves, you’re in the wrong place!  Something I’ve noticed from recapping each position is not every hitting position was deep.  Outfielders?  Crazy deep.  1st basemen?  Deep, dawg.  2nd basemen?  Not bad.  Shortstops?  Awful.  3rd basemen?  I’ve seen better.  Travis Shaw was the 8th best 1st baseman, here he’s 4th.  Yeah, not that deep.  Scooter was the 9th best 2nd baseman, here he’s 8th.  Okay, 3rd basemen suck.  This recap 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 players in the preseason. Now, let’s get this, young money. Anyway, here’s the top 20 3rd basemen for 2017 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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Yesterday….yesterday….yesterday….
All my fantasy baseball championship titles seemed so far away.
Now it looks as though one is here to stay *sung in a very fast voice* oh, crap, nope, because I didn’t draft Daniel Murphy because he didn’t believe in the lifestyle of a gay,
Oh, why didn’t I believe in Murphy like he didn’t believe in a…gay…gay…gay.
Suddenly!  David Price’s arm is not half of what it used to be.
There’s a shadow hanging over me,
Oh, it’s Giancarlo’s groin that I made of plaster of Paris to admire and it just exploded in paste on me…Suddenly!
Why the season had to go, I don’t know, it wouldn’t say… because it can’t talk, it’s a baseball season that ended yesterday…yesterday…yesterday!
Fantasy Baseball was such an easy game to play,
Now I need a mother’s basement to hide away.
Oh, I believe in yesterday…day…day.

*sniffles*  Here, take a tissue.  You have to excuse me, I don’t have any clean ones.  What will we do for the next few months without an update on a Mets’ pitcher elbow?  Will Rougned Odor reveal he was accidentally batting while crossing his eyes and that’s why he barely hit .200?  What will we do without a James Paxton injury update?  WHAT?  WILL?  WE?  DO?  Prepare for next season, of course.  But, first, let’s bask in the last day of the season.  Today is the day when you realize you’ve spent 27,000 man hours this summer beating eleven other strangers to win a virtual trophy, and it feels great!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Grey Albright and I started the podcast by reminiscing about porn in the pre-internet days, where going “incognito” meant sneaking into the bathroom for five minutes with a Playboy. That seamlessly transitioned us into fantasy baseball talk, of course, as we got equally as excited about the historic rookie seasons of Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger. We broke down Miguel Cabrera’s disappointing year, and discussed how far he will drop in 2018 rankings. At the midway point, Ralph Lifshitz joined the show to discuss Jeff Samardzija, Marcus Stroman, Jose Ramirez, Marcell Ozuna, and Amed Rosario. Finally, please make sure to support our sponsor by heading over to RotoWear.com and entering promo code “SAGNOF” for 15% off the highest quality t-shirts in the fantasy sports game. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Podcast:

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Let’s see, all rise for the Judge.  Can I get a witness for Judge?  Judge, jury and executioner of fastballs.  This is one Judge who should never see the bench.  There’s a ten from the East German for Judge!  Well, you can be the Judge of that, not really tho.  You can Judge a book by how hard he knocks the cover off the ball.  And, of course, five minutes to Judge Mollywhopper.  All right, all right, enough.  Yesterday, Aaron Judge went 2-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs with his 47th and 48th homer, as he hits .281.  I don’t want to have to bring out the caps, but he’s a ROOKIE.  *inserts meme of white guy blinking*  He has the rookie record for walks, within one of the rookie record for home runs and the first player with 200 Ks and a .262+ average in baseball history.  I looked through the last 120 years of baseball for a comparable year, and I found Mike Schmidt’s best year and a not-yet-white Sammy Sosa.  So, a Phillie hero and vitiligo.  In the 2nd half, Judge ‘only’ has 18 homers, and increased his K-rate to 32.9% from 29.8, only hitting .213.  In 2018, there’s going to be huge risk and reward when drafting Judge.  I’d be shocked if he falls further than the top 15 overall, so you’re gonna have to gamble that he won’t hit 40 HRs with a .240, and be essentially Khris Davis.  Either way, it’s gonna be tough to Judge.  Ugh.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Over the last couple of weeks, Dr. Easy — my fantasy baseball partner-in-crime — and I having been playing the “Where Are They Now?” game, which has been pretty enlightening — for us, anyway. We’ve looked back to the beginning of the 2017, to compare the top 12 players on the Razzball Pre-Season Player Rater (PS PR) versus the top 12 as of right now per the Razzball Season-to-Date Player Rater (STD PR). With the regular season drawing to a close (<sob>), how have things changed? What can we glean for next season: Who’s steady; who isn’t? In week 1, we looked at Trout, Betts, Kershaw, Turner, Machado, Altuve, Scherzer, Goldschmidt and Arenado. In week 2, we went over Harper, Cabrera, Bryant, Blackmon, Stanton, Sale, Votto, Judge, Kluber and Andrus. This week, we’ll move into the next 6 according to the PS PR and the STD PR.

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Tim Anderson is a guy that I would glance at earlier in the season and then move on with my life and with our beloved Top 100. He is a nice young player and all, but he wasn’t spongeworthy. Now, though, we’re in the last couple weeks of the season, and homeboy is lighting it up. And more than just hitting, TA is running wild. He has six stolen bases in his last seven games after not running much at all this year, so he is providing SAGNOF value, as well.

Anderson has been so hot that he is your PR15 king this week, with a 17.18 rating. That stretch of games only includes two home runs, which should give you an idea of just how hot he has been at the plate in order to be able to record a 17+ PR15 with only two long dongs. Our boy is hitting everything in sight and swiping bags now.

If you are battling down the stretch in roto leagues, Anderson can help you while providing some SAGNOF. If you are battling it out in weekly H2H league playoffs, though, he doesn’t have the same kind of appeal. IF (read: big IF) he stays hot, he will help across the board except for power and possibly RBI, while helping with AVG, R, and potentially SB. Compared to the standard stiff on the waiver wires, he looks like a stud. But in terms of cross-category production and overall value, he does have a pretty low ceiling. Grab him for the hot streak, but don’t drop anyone of value for him if you can help it.

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Second edition of a post where I take a player’s potential 2017 stat line, sprinkle in a bit of Lance bias, and determine where said player might fall come early 2018 ADP.

To read the first edition of this column, and for a slightly better breakdown of my simple methodology, follow this link. In that post I covered: Anthony Rendon, Luis Castillo, Alex Bregman, Josh Bell, and Zack Godley. Below I’ll touch on four more players; two hitters and two pitchers.

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As the story goes, Daniel Mengden entered the Lion’s Den Friday night with a 6.59 ERA through 17 career major league starts, and somehow left the game with his first career complete game shut out allowing just two hits and striking out seven retiring the last 11 batters in the row for his first win of the year. He looked dominant at times allowing only two base runners in the outing with Philadelphia not being able to manage any hard contact off the young right hander, who’s got a funky handle-bar mustache and an even funkier looking windup/delivery. This was by far the best start of the 24-year old’s young career, and just his second scoreless start in the majors. He added his first career hit as well and scored a run to help his cause. Whata night for the youngster! After struggling with a 6.50 ERA, and 1.61 WHIP through 14 starts last year, and two subpar outings in May/June of this year, Mengden has returned to the rotation in September and now put up back-to-back quality starts including a six inning two earned run performance against the fearsome Astros line up last week. Mengden may not be the safest fantasy option out there on waivers, but the A’s seem to be playing the role of spoiler late in the year and he remains a pitcher available in most leagues. I’d take a flier on Mengden, bible readers know how Daniel fared against the lions, let’s hope he can keep it going as he heads to the Tigers den next week in Detroit.

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

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After twenty-one weeks and 163 contestants the Hey Batter contest finally has a champion. In case the title didn’t give it away, the winner is LenFuego. It seems that winning the regular season portion of the contest and earning the ability to pick one Unpickable each week of the playoffs was enough of an edge to win it all. With the help of Jose Altuve (17), Mike Trout (25), Charlie Blackmon (34), Paul Goldschmidt (27) and Anthony Rizzo (13), LenFuego ended the playoffs with 303 points. His biggest contributors, however were Giancarlo Stanton (44) and Anthony Rendon (36).

Peter guigli finished in second place with 283 points. The difference was Jonathan Schoop, who scored 20 points for LenFuego back in week one of the playoffs. Or perhaps it was Leury Garcia who only managed five points in week four for Peter guigli. We could play this game all day, but at the end it will still be LenFuego standing tall.

The top hitter over the course of this contest was Giancarlo Stanton who scored 476 points. Joey Votto (512) and Charlie Blackmon (488) were actually one and two, but since they were Unpickables, Stanton is the king. Aside from Stanton, Jose Ramirez and Marcell Ozuna were the only other batters in the top ten that were not Unpickable players.

Congratulations to LenFuego and thanks to everyone that participated in this inaugural event. Here are the final playoff standings…

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