It’s nice to have a breather now and then. To kick back and relax, enjoy some time with your family and re-energize for the final home stretch of the baseball season. Of course, I’m talking about myself seeing as the All-Star break just happened and I didn’t write a post last week to do DraftKings coverage. What, you thought I was doing a send up to the actual ball players? Psssh, they’re finally tuned athletes, they don’t need no stinkin’ rest. Plug them into the wall, let’um recharge overnight and send them back out there, damned prima donnas. But as mentioned, it was nice to get a reprieve from the DK roll that we’ve been rolling on. It reminded me that life is short and that I should do something different than DK baseball. Yeah, something important. SOMETHING THAT COULD CHANGE THE COURSE OF HISTORY. So I wrote about my team for the Scott Fish Bowl over on Razzball Football, of course. Yeah, that’s live right now if you wanna talk to me there while I’m also over here. Bi-posting, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. But for those of you who don’t give a rip about Fantasy Football, let’s get down to brass tacks. Your favorite niece may look pretty in a polka dot dress but my favorite, Jonathon Niese, probably wouldn’t look good in an armani suit. That nose, bro…but of course, what has looked good is starting a left-handed pitcher against the Mariners so far this year. To date, the Mariners have the second lowest team wOBA and wRC+ (.286 and 80, respectively) against southpaws. Not to mention the worst ISO against them on the year at .102. They always say it’s tough to start a pitcher coming back from a DL stint which is true but I think the matchup will hold precedence and Niese will keep the M’s at bay for the day, making him a solid shot as your SP1 despite only being priced out at $7,200. But enough family talk, let’s move on. Here are some other picks and observances for July 21st contests on DraftKings for 2014 Fantasy Baseball…

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It was May of 2001, Beyoncé was the lead singer of Destiny’s Child, people still listened to Limp Bizkit, I was huddled in some college dorm room taking gravity bong hits, and Barry Bonds was hitting steroid fueled dongs at an alarming rate. Bonds hit 17 that month, numbers we were never supposed to see again in the post-steroid era. Then Edwin Encarnacion woke up from his early season slumber and started rounding the bases at Bondsian rates, imaginary parrot in tow. Unfortunately I didn’t draft E5 on a single team and after watching his recent tear this pains me deeply. It’s not that I didn’t like Encarnacion, I just preferred his teammate Jose Bautista in the second round of my drafts. This my friends is what makes DraftKings such a beautiful thing. Every night I can make up for the mistakes of March and own players like Encarnacion or Nelson Cruz, but wait it gets even better! If you haven’t played daily fantasy on DraftKings before you can play for free by joining.

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The Braves called Tommy La Stella up to replace Fuggla. Here’s what I said about a month ago, “Incredibly, we already had a Tommy La Stella fantasy post. Don’t you people sleep?! There, Dano compared him to Pedroia and not because he needs his tippy toes to get on a roller coaster. I think that comparison might be a tad bizzonkers. Or as the gentle fantasy writers of our day would say, “That’s a bit more bullish than I’d say.” Has any group of people said the word bullish more? This word feels like it’s dominating all fantasy conversations. It’s a polite way to say, someone is smoking more crack than another person. Of course, in a world of small sample sizes, anything could happen, but La Stellllllllllla looks like an NL-Only play with a chance for 5 homers, 7 steals and a decent average if he were called up in June.” And that’s me quoting me! Now that he’s been called up, I’d add him in deeper mixed leagues (think 15+), but I still don’t have high hopes for him outside of maybe a decent average. He’s basically a forty-twenty. If Fredi Gonzalez had any brains in that squishy melon on his shoulders, he’d bat La Stella leadoff and move Heyward down the order. Smarts and managing baseball teams don’t always go hand-in-hand though. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Lots of people tried to explain to me why you don’t slide into first base. I still don’t get it, so apparently I’m dense. Is 1st base lifted higher than other bases? Are there Lilliputians standing by first base with mini hammers? Is there a mini MC Hammer there singing U Can’t Touch This which is just so bizarre it screws you up and you hurt yourself? I get that it slows you down, so there’s no point to doing it. I understand that sprinters don’t slide into the finish line. I’ve heard that from countless announcers. I do kinda wish in the next Summer Olympics a sprinter would slide into the finish line just so announcers would stop saying it. I still don’t understand why people invariably get hurt doing it. Josh Hamilton for one. He’s out for 6-8 weeks with thumb surgery. He should’ve just had Ryan Braun look at it, he can cure thumbs just by brining them in vinegar. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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So I’m writing this prior to Oakland even taking the field for the first time this year which worries me. Baseball is all about streaks. No, no silly, I didn’t need to see the inside of your undies (and gross, BTW). I mean hot and cold streaks. But we’re at the start of it all, so it’s hard to get a grasp on whether you’re hot or you’re cold, or if you’re yes and you’re no…sorry, started thinking about Katy Perry there. You know, for her singing skills…yeah, that’s it. But more on point, maybe Oakland has a huge game to start the year off and feels hot and bothered about playing Corey Kluber. If that’s the case, mea culpa. But I swear by my Corey Kluber Sleeper post that I do believe you get a good outing out of him today and at a dirt cheap price of $7,800. May God remove it from the interwebs if he fails…oh what am I saying, nothing ever leaves the internet! Keep that in mind as JFOH will never live this one down. But as promised yesterday, we’re gonna be a bit more lightning round’ish around here on our Draftkings writeups. That last link, BTW, is your gateway into the DK world care of Razzball. It’s a way for you to show us you love us without having to actually physically touch us. It’s the best of both worlds! And after you’ve signed up? How about another 50/50 Razzball Jamboree League? It’s just a buck. That’s less than a King Size Snickers! And if you win, guess what? You can now afford said King Size Snickers. Wow. But for realsies, let’s move on…to another link! Yeah, yeah it’s the first week, gotta make sure you guys still get in on the Razzball Draftkings Contest this Friday. Go reserve your seat and get your lineups going when they open. Ok, now really let’s move on. Here’s Razzball’s Draftking picks for April 1st, 2014…no foolin…ok I was. Three more important plugs. One is the Stream-O-Nator. Two is the Hitter-Tron. Three is…well, I can’t really tell you about that plug. But I hear Cougars everywhere love it! Now on with the show.

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As the seminal prog band Emerson, Lake and Laura Palmer once sang: “Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends, we’re so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside.” (The song went on for 45 minutes before ‘Yes’ came out and kicked their ass.) Opening day is here and the Razzball Lounge is open for bid’ness. Have a seat, grab a cold one and a pickled egg, and don’t get hypnotized by my bedazzled turban my fantasy freaks. Here in the lounge we dedicated, often celebrated, and usually acquitted (we have a great legal team) Razzballin’ scribes gather every opening day to bicker and banter, indulge and imbibe and moan and marvel at our fantasy teams and Grey’s magnificent ‘stache. On this last lazy Sunday (before things get serious) we find Sky in a dark corner slowing rocking back and forth muttering his mantra of “Tulo, Tanaka, Trumbo” over and over. Bellying up to the bar is podcasting paladin Nick Capozzi, clad only in his Expos throwback demanding another Labatts, showing off pics of his rolling Razzball ride and asking no one in particular, “Get your 32in32in32 tickets yet, eh?” Dropping quarters in the jukebox we find Jay Wrong demonstrating his “Paradise by the Dashboard Lights” interpretative dance – “Will you love me forever?”  *bottle smashes above head* Stumbling out of the ladies room is the one and only Tehol Beddict casually zipping up his skinny jeans and introducing his new lady friend, “Guys, I’d like to introduce you to my cousin. Ain’t she pretty?” And here at the pool table is your humble-but-nonetheless handsome Guru putting the finishing touches on my 27 rosters. *closes eye, takes aim, sinks eight ball off two rails, drops shot glass into pint, downs boilermaker, lights cigar, sets turban on fireWith the drinks starting to flow let’s run though the jams and crams at each position for Week 1 of the 2014 fantasy baseball season. We’re not talking Miggy, Trout or Goldy here, we’re looking at players owned in less than 50% of most leagues that could help grab you an early lead on your way to fantasy glory. Good luck this season, it’s time to jam it or cram it.

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As you probably know, I not only write these fantastic points leagues posts for all of you, but I also cover dynasty leagues for the football side of the site as well. Yep, I can do it all. In fact, I spent some time doing a fantasy football AMA over on Reddit the other day (which was a ton of fun). Although I’m sure y’all are well aware of it because you read it. Ya see what I did there? Nice little play on words. Yeah, no big deal… Go back re-read it in case you missed it… Anyway, the point is — I swing both ways (no, not that way). Another way to describe it might be to call me versatile, being able to flip back and forth between the two sports seamlessly. That’s not to say I’m great at any of it. Even though I probably am. I mean, come on! All that said, in fantasy baseball, having players that are versatile can potentially be the difference between winning and, well, not winning. If you don’t like to win, you should probably stop reading right now… Still here? Good. What I’m getting at here is that versatility gives you very valuable lineup flexibility.

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The hardest division in the league, which includes last year’s world champs, looks to be just as intense again.  For that matter, it probably will be that way for the foreseeable future.  My favorite team is also being covered here.  I’ll do my best not to be biased about the Yankees, and I think I’m pretty good at keeping my emotions away from the reality of the team.  That being said, I think the Yankees are going to win 120 games this season. (You can check out the NL West Spring Training Preview here, the AL West Spring Training Preview here, the AL Central Spring Training Preview here and the NL East Spring Training Preview here.)

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Today we go over the top 80 outfielders for 2014 fantasy baseball, which comes after we went over the top 60 outfielders for 2014 fantasy baseball, which came after the top 40 outfielders for 2014 fantasy baseball which followed the top 20 outfielders for 2014 fantasy baseball. Link dump! Tomorrow we hit the 80-100 best outfielders then on to the top 100 starters. It’s the best day of your life because I’m bestowing on you wonderful like your father never did. Don’t ask me to go see you play Little League though, that’s not happening. As always, my tiers and projections are noted and all of the 2014 fantasy baseball rankings are there. Where? There. Dur. Anyway, here’s the top 80 outfielders for 2014 fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday, we went over the top 20 shortstops for 2014 fantasy baseball and today we (hint: it’s in the title) go over the top 20 3rd basemen for 2014 fantasy baseball. Now that we’re knee deep in the 2014 fantasy baseball rankings we can get a better idea of how deep certain positions are. Martin Prado is 16th overall on the top 20 2nd basemen for 2014 fantasy baseball but 23rd here. Juan Francisco is 34th on the top 20 1st basemen for 2014 fantasy baseball, but 28th here. Quickly we can surmise that the 3rd basemen is shallower than the 1st basemen, but deeper than the 2nd basemen. Outfielders are obviously the deepest, and will be coming tomorrow, and, after that, positions rank from deepest to shallowest: 1st basemen, 3rd basemen, shortstops, 2nd basemen then catchers. Not much change from previous years, except for the flip-flop with the middle infielders. As always, my projections and tiers are noted. Oh, and if you don’t believe the magic in my fingertips, here’s the review of my rankings from last year. Anyway, here’s the top 20 3rd basemen for 2014 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?