No, you haven’t stumbled onto a WebMd bait page.  Well… this is an advisory blog, none the same, but we won’t scare you into believing that you have clinical depression with every symptom.  I mean, I’ve seen some other fantasy sites that attempt to advise on bullpen strategy.  It’s easy to throw stuff up about closers and bullpens and say this guy will fail because of this and that.  Heck, I like watching Jeopardy and guessing at the stuff I don’t know about either.  Add in the fact that I remember my first beer…  So this is one of the last pieces of the fantasy bullpen puzzle before we get down to brass tacks.  The NSVH question…  I always get it from the fantasy inspectors of the net of how and what to do about it.  Do I stick with what I know, or do I go complete rover and draft whatever, whenever?  That’s why I am here, hopefully to quell all ills in the race for bullpen dominance.  The NSVH leagues are tricky and can be described as: people don’t know until they have to know.  I know that really isn’t a draft strategy that I am going to “learn” you with this post, since I am better than that and take pride in leading my disciples into reliever bliss.  So go get a comfy seat upon the porcelain throne of fantasy knowledge and let me guide you, for I am the fantasy bullpen shepherd.

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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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What if I told you that the top-four teams last year in Holds didn’t make the playoffs?  I know the obvious answer would be: it’s a made-up stat that does nothing but clog a fantasy roster with fodder and otherwise un-rosterable relievers.  Well, if you said that out loud, then I am mad at you and you can not come to the Razzball Winter Dance Carnival.  No, but seriously, I get offended when people make such determinations.  Listen, you are either in a league that uses Holds or you aren’t.  Not all of these guys is basically like having a second doorstop (when one doorstop will do).  Many of these guys are usable in most formats as ratio gaps in K/9, looking for cheap wins or for a slow day of waiver wire madness.  My theory on any league is to roster any two relievers that are non-closers at all times.  At worst, they decimate your rates for one day.  At best they give you an inning or two and give you great rates and a few K’s.  Now, for Holds leagues, I am a hoarder.  I live by this simple motto. Two pairs and a wild, just like five-card poker. It stands for two closers, two stud holds guys, and a streamer.  In moves leagues, it’s a little more difficult to do, but in non-move limited league, it’s a fun way to just basically win your Holds category by August, save yourself the innings/starts and then stream the holy hell out of the last seven weeks.  So since you have searched around the web and found zero other info on the topic (yeah, I looked, so take that), here are the holds tiers and sleepers for the 2016 year.

“A Hold is credited any time a relief pitcher enters a game in a Save Situation, records at least one out, and leaves the game never having relinquished the lead. Note: a pitcher cannot finish the game and receive credit for a Hold, nor can he earn a hold and a save.” ~ The edited out part of the Emancipation Proclamation, Abraham Lincoln.

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Everyone likes maximizing stuff, hell, it’s the reason we shop at Costco for wholesale BJ’s. [Jay’s Note: They have that at Costco? I thought it was just hot dogs and slices… I’ve been doing it wrong.]  Wait that’s not right, not completely wrong, but off-topic slightly.  So maximizing, we are all looking to divest our teams with the best stat stuffers as possible, and the K department is tough to make up when you are chasing it.  So how can you make it up slightly?  Well relax, I am here to point you in the right direction like a well-trained German Shorthair.  So everyone knows the top guys and then the handcuffs, but what about the guys who are owned tiny amounts in almost every format, but have been lighting it up the last few weeks? (And they are just as good as the known guys.)  Sounds good to me, though, I did just write it so I kinda have to believe it.  The trick is getting you to buy into it.  If you’re losing, and not everyone is in first place in every league, you may wanna peer at what I have to say.  So bullpens are where we need to focus and sometimes it gets tricky because of the limitations on roster size sometimes.  So analyze your roster and keep that in mind with space and such.  The relievers that have SP eligibility and give you the best stats are like a chick who has a sense of humor.  So stick around, it’s a bit of a change up on the week’s review of holds fellas.

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In my first ever post on points leagues in the beginning of May, I left you with the closing statement, “POINTS ARE POINTS.  SELL THE NAME TO WIN THE GAME.”  The premise is simple, don’t worry about the guys who garner all the attention in traditional category leagues.  Find ways to score more points, regardless of the players’ name recognition value.  Points leagues are their own little fantasy worlds that exist under some vary skewed parameters.  Think of points leagues like fetish porn.  Razzballin does invoke some interesting imagery as the title of an adult film.  Eeeee… Some thoughts just can’t be unremembered.  Grab some hard stuff and throw it back to help ease trauma.  The foreplay of the season is behind us and July signals the time to really turn it on to make the push for your fantasy playoffs.  Let’s get you lubed for some nice 2nd half moves.

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Has anyone noticed the year Derek Holland is having? This is me raising my hand. You can’t see it, but you’ll just have to trust me. I’ve noticed. And I’m sure those in Arlington have noticed. And perhaps even a Derek Holland owner here and there has maybe gotten a whiff of what he’s cooking. Hopefully it’s brisket. I mean, yes, he’s certainly cooking some great pitching stats (3.18 ERA, 8 Wins, 135 K’s) for teams throughout the fantasy baseball universe. But what I’m saying is, why can’t he also be cooking brisket? Furthermore, why am I not cooking brisket? These are all fantastic questions. Does this have anything to do with baseball at all? Fantasy baseball even? No, it doesn’t. So? I’m not even going to bother justifying it. It’s brisket. I should be able to write in a superfluous fashion about that crispy burned concoction of cow breast, slowly cooked with a spicy yet savory rub… Mmmmmmm. Mmmmmmm. Err, you were saying? Derek Holland? Who the ef cares about Derek Holland? Brisket bro

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Wow. Dot, dot, dot. I mean, WOW. Dot, dot, dot. Pause for reaction. WOW. Wow. WOW. Stunned silence. I mean, we all knew the suspension was coming, but everyone also figured he’d appeal it like Papa Smurf, you know, until he was blue in the face. The only explanation is the MLB had him dead to rights, which isn’t the same as an epitaph for a pigeon you feed instant rice; that’s dead to rice. Ryan Braun probably realized that 1) The Brewers aren’t going anywhere this year. 2) He’s injured. 3) There’s no three. With the suspension of the Jewish Braun by the Jewish Selig, Selig becomes the 1st Jew ever sanctioned by the Jewish Anti-Defamation League, but Selig received high marks from the Jewish Self-Deprecation League. “As Selig was suspending Braun, Bud also pointed out how he had to bring out his media-friendly toupee,” said Jewish Self-Deprecation League president, Yitz Steinberg. Mr. Steinberg added, “That kind of self-deprecation is hard to pull off.” Obviously, Braun is droppable in all redraft leagues, and, if you’re holding onto an expensive Braun in keepers, I’d look to drop him there too, if I needed the room. The good news is you can find off of waivers what Braun has been giving you thus far this year. The bad news, now they have to add an asterisk to the Famous Jewish Athlete pamphlet. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I have no idea of how to tie in one of the most famous AHnold soundboard choices, but like last weeks selection of ANIMAL!, I really don’t need a reason. I have established this, and it feels good to make said establishment. I also have no idea what we’re are still doing here, playing in these deep leagues. Sometimes I panic that I won’t have anything to write about, and then I remember, there’s always money in the banana stand. No, wait, that doesn’t make any sense. Ah, yes. We’ll always have Humberto Quintero to talk about. The fantasy catching equivalent of seppuku. And guess what? I haven’t even typed a player blurb on Tom Gorzelanny yet, so exciting times indeed! God, shoot me now.

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We’ve run into another one of those weeks when it’s probably best to avoid two-start streaming. It’s not as despicable as we’ve gotten this season, but there are really only four or five realistically streamable options in week 14. Meanwhile, there are roughly 1,000 two-start turds for the week ahead. If you’re lucky enough to get your greedy hands on one of the few gems, good for you. But if you’re late to the party, don’t bother. Steer clear of this mess and roll with your core arms.

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

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Do you hear that? Grrrrrrrr. Is that a bear? Grumble, grumble. Is that Grey complaining about how he traded away Manny Machado for David Price while picking up every rookie pitcher known to man? The sound you make while pronouncing Prince’s weird symbol name. Ah, I know what that is. That’s my gut. Not only does it tell me when I’m hungry, it speaks fluent crazy musician. True fact: it once explained G’n’R’s Estranged video to me. It’s quite simple really: Axl Rose is a nuttier than a bukkake video. Hrm, maybe I didn’t need my gut to tell me that…anywho, my gut is now trying to tell me something about fantasy baseball for this week and it’s telling me this Oakland guy named Brandon Moss will be a good play this week and is only 31% owned in ESPN leagues and 21% in Yahoo. Ok, it didn’t tell me the last part, my eyes did cuz I looked him up. But I can tell you’re not convinced so let’s see why Moss should be a good play for week 12 of the 2013 fantasy baseball season…

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