Our 2017 Razzball Commenters Leagues are in full signup mode.  I even heard there were a few people from Anonymous that signed up!  They said, “To the world, I’m Anonymous, just another white man who sits in parking lots with binoculars watching women.”  Man, that Anonymous guy is depressing!  As we always do about this time, I eviscerate the haters and complicators!  I eviscerate the not-knowers and the over-knowers!  I eviscerate the ESPN goers and the garden hoers!  I overuse a word like eviscerate that I just learned!  I am the Fantasy Master Lothario (don’t abbreviate it) and I’ve come for your children!  See, because blog writing doesn’t pay so well, I’ve taken a second job as a bus driver, so I’m literally here for your kids.  Like a baller!  A shot caller!  An “I’m outside of Hot Topic at the maller!”  My eviscerating (I’m conjugating my new word!) today comes at the expense of ESPN and their 2017 fantasy baseball rankings.  To the tune of Kanye’s Runaway:

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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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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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We’re taking these outfielders to 120 total, so this should still be the beginning of wonderful for you, but as you look down this list, guys like Matt Kemp become more attractive and not just if you’re an R&B singer.  Rap is not pop, if you call it that then stop.  I’m going aggressive for guys like Kepler and Piss-hotty (sounds like watersports, right, Mr. President?), because the alternative is dank with excitement.  Stephen Hawking’s hitting his keyboard robotically telling us, “It’s a black hole for outfielders, we need to spontaneously combust some new ones.”  Then Stephen jots down a letter to Eddie Redmayne about a sequel to The Theory of Everything; Eddie’s got a binder of these letters.  As always, my projections are noted for each player and where I see tiers starting and stopping.  Anyway, here’s the top 40 outfielders for 2017 fantasy baseball:

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Greetings, friends. I hopped over to the football side of things once last year’s baseball season ended, but now I’m back. And apparently, I am such a disturbed individual that I am doing fantasy baseball mock drafts in early January. And, I am writing about them. And, well, I just wanted to start another sentence with and because it feels so wrong but so right at the same time. Anyway, moving on.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Couch Managers 2017 Industry Mock Draft, and we’re going to recap it here. This mock was for a 15-team, 5×5 roto, with 23 roster spots made up of 9 pitchers (9), 1 spot for each position (8), a second catcher (1), 2 more outfielders (2), one corner infielder (1), one middle infielder (1), and one utility position (1). As long as I did that math correctly, that is 23 spots.

Below, I will provide the results for the first six rounds and a give my thoughts for each round. I’ll do the same for rounds 7-12, 13-18, and 19-23 in subsequent posts. I’ll try to keep it brief. All we really care about are the results here, right? Feel free to tell me how awesome or crappy you think my team is, along with what you think were the best and worst picks of the draft or the different rounds…

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With the top 40 outfielders for 2016 fantasy baseball, we’ve finished all the hitter recaps.  We meaning me, but I’ll include you.  No, that’s not a cue to try to hold my hand.  Why are you now patting my butt?  Don’t muss my hair!  The pitching recap will begin next.  You can hardly wait.  No, you!  To recap, the end of the season rankings are based on our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater.  I felt the easiest way to keep it objective would to go this route.  This way when I say someone finished 30th and I ranked them 23rd in the preseason, it carries more weight like a non-vegan Bill Clinton.  Anyway, here’s the top 40 outfielders for 2016 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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Welcome back for another star-studded event!  Assuming you hack into your favorite online dictionary and replace the definition of ‘star’ with “guy who lives in his mom’s basement and screams when someone finishes his Doritos,” and next to the definition of ‘stud’ you put a picture of yourself.  The Razzballies are the only award show where it’s totally fine to show up in sweatpants, and for your fingers to be orange from Cheetos.  We don’t judge.  We will occasionally mock.  Mock-judge, tomato-tomahto.  Get over it!  I hope you enjoyed the clip show where I inserted myself into various baseball clips from this year.  How about the clip where I was Joe Maddon intentionally walking Bryce Harper?  Hee-lar-e-US!  So, before I’m talking to no one but a room full of seat-fillers, here’s the year-end awards for the best and worst of fantasy baseball:

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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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Every off-season my phone prepares itself to get a lot less use; not checking it every five minutes to see stat updates  makes my wife happy.  For me, there’s a bittersweet feeling.  It almost seems like the baseball season isn’t six months long (wait, yes it does). In a week it’s bye-bye to Stat-tracker, Yahoo! and ESPN apps, MLB Network and MLB AtBat; now it’s time for just watching baseball.

I’m talking a whole nine-inning game, not just highlights and live look-ins or catching three innings of a game when I can; or hitting up a few games, getting a hot dog, complaining about parking and overpriced beer, never catching a foul ball, leaving early because it’s a blow out; I’m talking playoff baseball.  My Cubs are in it and I’m ready to see them get to that World Series.  Yes, this is the year.  No more curses, stupid goats or nerdy scapegoats.  This is the year!  And now that I’ve sufficiently jinxed the Cubbies, back to fantasy baseball.

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Can you imagine such a surprise thing in the delivery room? I can barely fathom the idea of fatherhood, let alone the extra money and work having two babies at one time can be. Thankfully, this isn’t a stay at home dad blog so of course, the title don’t mean shizz in terms of giving birth to two bundles of expensive joy at once. Nay, I’m talking about my favorite type of bundle of joy: cash. The kind of cash you get when starting someone against the Twins. Heck, you can look back just to my Friday post to see how I think of said Twinkies. Synopsis: they trash and I look to take advantage of that knowledge as often as possible. How do I plan to implement this info today, you ask? By starting Jason Vargas. Yes, I hate Minnesota that much…apologies to Prince #RIP. Vargas showed decently in his last outing but really, this is a two fold call. One, the Twins have been at or near the bottom all year in terms of offensive output and are currently streaking further down, dropping a wRC+ of 41 and a 31.3% K rate over their last 7 and a 62 and 27.9% over their last 14. Basically, Dozier stopped hitting a HR every day so their offense went south. Funny that. Anyhoo, we now get to look at that Vargas price tag of $4,600 and get to ask ourselves a very simple question: can he score around 15 points against such a bad opponent? Well if his 11.2 in Cleveland over just 4 innings in his last outing is any indication, the answer is yes. Due to pitch count concerns and because, well, he IS Jason Vargas, I wouldn’t play him outside of tourneys tonight but he’s a great price reliever if you wanna pay up for an SP2 or for big bats. So grab a couple of cigars and celebrate with me. Here’s my spank to make you cry taeks for this Wednesday 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 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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