The top 20 shortstops for 2016 fantasy baseball were once as bad as the top 20 2nd basemen for 2016 fantasy baseball that I went over the other day.  Now the shortstops have had an influx of youth — or utes, if Joe Pesci is reading — and the future’s so bright I gotta wear shades, Arvid.  I’m happy for the shortstops, and happier for myself.  For a while, the top 20 shortstops were Tulo and those other guys.  Kinda like the top 20 catchers is Posey and those other guys.  Oh, and there was a top 20 1st basemen for 2016 fantasy baseball post already too (organic linking!).  Hopefully, the shortstops aren’t just showing up in a librarian’s outfit with red-rimmed glasses and appearing sexy, then turning out to be Sally Jessy Raphael.  As with the other top 20 rankings, I point out where tiers start and stop and my projections.  All the 2016 fantasy baseball rankings can be found under that thing that says 2016 fantasy baseball rankings.  Unsuccinct!  Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2016 fantasy baseball:

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One of the great things about playing in a dynasty league is the active offseason. Since most of the players on a roster are kept, the draft is usually just a handful of rounds and consists of other teams’ trash and fresh signees. That means offseason trading can get pretty intense as owners attempt to improve their roster, whittle down their keepers, or accumulate higher draft picks. Razznasty has been no different, and there have been a ton of trades since our offseason opened in November. The league started last year. It’s a 16-team/keep 30 of 40 dynasty league made up exclusively of Razzball readers and writers. I won’t go into every trade in detail, but rather comment on a few of the bigger ones in this post. You can, however, view every trade made this offseason here.

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Seattle’s farm produced two interesting players for the 2016 fantasy baseball season. I like Ketel Marte as a late-round flyer at a shallow middle infield position. He can hit and steal, and should be a good source of runs if he bats in front of Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz as he’s currently projected. Then there’s Carson Smith, who I imagine a lot of fantasy owners will be drafting as the closer in waiting if he hasn’t already taken the reins by opening day. The first thing I noticed when putting together this preview is the plethora of outfield prospects in the Mariners’ system, as well as the lack of impact talent from the 2015 draft (they didn’t pick in the first round). It’s a bit dicey gambling on hitters that may call Seattle their home one day, so this has never been my go-to system for fantasy prospects. Of course the flip side of that is that their pitching prospects have a little more room to breathe.

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One of the most unlikely stories of the 2015 season has been the surprising renaissance of 35-year-old southpaw Rich Hill (+30.9%), who was ESPN’s most added player over the past week. In three September starts, Hill is 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA, 0.52 WHIP and 30/2 K/BB ratio over 23 innings. He’s logged 10 strikeouts in each of those outings, which represent his first MLB starts since 2009 due to injuries and control issues (5.95 BB/9 from 2010-14). In terms of impressive comebacks, this one has to rank somewhere between that of Super Mario (the hockey player, not the plumber) and Kim Kardashian. Hill is scheduled to pitch once more this season on Thursday in The House Next to the House That Ruth Built in what appears to be a tough matchup for the comeback kid. However, the Yankees have the 4th worst team wOBA (.303) in MLB during the month of September thanks to a pedestrian .232/.302/.394 triple slash line which places them in the bottom four in each of those individual statistical categories during that span. I think that the Bombers will have some trouble with the curve. I know that Clint Eastwood baffles me these days.

Here are a few other significant adds and drops in fantasy baseball over the past week:

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“Hello, and welcome to the Izod Center in downtown East Rutherford, New Jersey!  We’re only 35 minutes from New York!  On tonight’s fight card, we have everyone vs. George Zimmerman and, our main event, Bryce Harper vs. Jonathan Papelbon!  Harper has him on height by a good six inches, if you count his mohawk.  They’re both tipping the scales like heavyweights, if you count their egos, but Papelbon has the reach by three and a quarter inches since Harper will be fighting off his heels, as he’s been known to do his whole career.  The Loafer vs. The Soft Shoe!  The Cock vs. The Guy With A Haircut That Makes Him Look Like A Cock!  The Veteran Who Plays The Game The Right Way vs. The Upstart Who Just Plays The Game Better Than Anyone Else.  Hosting this event is Donald Trump.  Making this country great again like he did in Atlantic City!”  Yesterday, I said, these two mix like vinegar and douche, and then the Nationals made sure they wouldn’t have to mix at all.  Papelbon was suspended for the rest of the regular season, which opens the door for Blake Treinen, Matt Thornton and/or Casey Janssen.  That’s the order I’d grab them for saves, but like a carrot in minestrone, it’s real dicey.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Zach Britton has a mild lat strain.  He hopes to return soon as he’s complained that the loneliness of not pitching is killing him.  Britton went on to say, “Bollocks!”  Maybe that’s a Briton.  Any hoo!  Or as a Briton would say, “Tally hoo!”  The Orioles haven’t said Britton is shut down, but I highly doubt he closes another game in the next week.  Or as a Briton would say, “My Full Monty is knackered.  Let’s scallywag over a fag, you donkey arse.”  The Irish have fought for independence for the better part of a century, and yesterday they exacted some revenge as Britton went down to an O’Day.  Darren O’Day said, “Blarney stone something something potato something something Guinness.”  It was hard to understand.  I would grab O’Day in every league if you need saves as he’s now converted two in two like Chuck Woolery, and, holy crap, Woolery got old!  Have you seen The Voice?  His son was on there and Woolery looked like he was gonna turn to dust.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I’m going down the path of J-FOH and others here and trying to give general, “win your league” type advice these last couple weeks.  I’ve decided this week that advice will come in the form of how many games each team has left, along with noting which teams have Monday and Thursday off days. It’s not only useful for stolen bases but whatever category you need.  And I’ll also be noting as I did last week, some speedsters that have gained playing time recently, these are players to consider for streaming stolen bases these last two weeks.  So definitely couple this advice with the stolen bases versus starting pitchers SAGNOF tool and stream, stream, stream for steals, if you are up to the task.  Here’s this weeks “Names to consider” from speediest to least speedy:  Sam Fuld (Athletics), Abraham Almonte (Indian), Mikie Mahtook (Rays, decent power too), Andrew Romine (Tigers), Cory Spangenberg (Padres).  Some of those aren’t exactly household names, which is basically the point.

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The Big Magoo inspired todays title… don’t ask. He told me to tell you guys (and five girls) to grab Chris Carter for the lefty match-ups this week. I like the call, but wanted to give him his own space for that, and since I’m all out of creative juices, I’m just going to talk about him while I kill some space to get to what happens below, or should I say what is not below. Freedom!!! This week, I’m dropping the ranks as they have become redundant the last month. Going forward, my main goal is to help you H2H players with your playoffs and those fighting until the bitter end in roto. The list will be divided into position groups (CI, MI, OF). Many of these players have been listed in previous posts, and I will identify what match-ups are the most favorable. Oh, and I expanded the cut off to 25% owned. Alright! We cool? Moving on…

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Brandon Finnegan pitched five innings allowing just three hits an earned run, two walks, while striking out four to notch his first win with the Cincinnati Reds last night. James Joyce would be so proud. Although his praise would be written in the form of a street ballad that would take years to completely analyze and understand. Finnegan was the big get in the Johnny Cueto deal with Kansas City and we are starting to see why. The 22-year old lefty showed good control with a low 90s fastball and nasty change up. Used primarily as a situational lefty with the Royals, the Reds are committed to stretching Finnegan out as a starter, and it looks like that decision could pay off in the long run. Brandon was sharp last night shutting down a strong Milwaukee offense and now holds a 2.38 ERA and 1.03 WHIP with a 29/16 K/BB rate. Finnegan is more of a name to keep in the back of your mind for your 2016 drafts but I could also see streaming him next week versus the Cardinals if you feel like gambling on some rookie nookie.

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

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