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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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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Erasmo Ramirez was masterful Friday night in what was one of his best starts of the season going eight strong innings against the we-don’t-lose Windians, allowing just three hits, one earned run and striking out a season high 10 batters. Erasmowing down hitters? ErasMo Innings, Mo Strikeouts? ErasMost definitely more comfortable in Seattle than in Tampa? Ugh, I know. Headlines are hard you guys, I ran out of steam about three weeks ago and I’m sorry but that’s the best I’m going to do. However you headline it, after being wang-jangled around the Rays pitching staff, from starting rotation to bullpen and back again, Ramirez has settled nicely into the starting pitching job he deserves since being acquired by his old team, the Seattle Mariners, in July. He holds a respectable 3.79 ERA in 10 starts with the M’s since, but it’s the 52/13 K/BB ratio that really raises my eyebrow, Dwayne Johnson. If we remove a hiccup he encountered with a rough start in Houston, Erasmo has three quality starts in September with a 22/4 K/BB ratio. Yes, more please! He gets to finish his season strong with a favorable start next week in Oakland, and outside of the obligatory Matt Olson home run, I could see him pitching a successful outing there. At about 10% owned, Ramirez is a streaming option readily available in most fantasy leagues if you’re looking for an easy win to push you over the edge. And if you’ve been out of contention for weeks and are still reading this, first, Ramirez could be a decent late-late round sleeper to consider for 2018, and second, thanks for sticking with us and not jumping ship to fantasy football coverage (which you can check out here). You guys are the true Razzball MVPs. Except of course for the writing staff, obviously, they the real MVPs, especially me.

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

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Yesterday, Dee Gordon went 4-for-6, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and stole his 55th base.  Mean’s while, his teammate and my crush-bae, Giancarlo Stanton went 2-for-5, 3 runs, 4 RBIs and hit his 55th homer.  According to Elias Sports Bureau, the last time two teammates hit their 55th homer and stole their 55th base in the same game was Jimmie Foxx and Sugar Cain in 1932.  Though, historians, led by Ken Burns, have said Sugar Cain played on a doctor’s prescribed cocaine named Hurry Coke, a precursor to Cherry Cola.  Sugar used to bunt with one hand while rubbing his gums with his other hand.  Any hoo!  Dee Gordon is carrying my NFBC team in steals, where I’m in first, and SAGNOF, and all of that, but steals are pathetic this year, as they were last year.  25 players have 20 or more steals, after 28 last year, but with a few players at 19 steals, we should get to 28 players again.  However, 14 guys stole 30 bags last year, and, this year, we’re at six players.  I will now laugh hysterically to avoid crying.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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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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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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So, where does Mookie Betts go in 2018?  That’s what we all want to know, right?  That and WHAT TIME IS IT?!  Sorry, was listening to Steppin’ To The A.M.  I was not listening to Time to Get Ill, however, because I don’t like the Beastie Boys, but it might be more appropriate with The Bettsie Boy, Mookie.  Home run distance is a weird thing.  Well, maybe not weird, but hard to trust.  Yeah, that’s the ticket, said like that Jon Lovitz character.  In hindsight, it’s obvious.  Mookie had so many Just Enough home runs last year, of course, he’s not hitting as many this year, but I thought there would be enough mitigating factors to lessen Betts’ drop off.  He’s young — power still peaking; he’s in a good park — Pesky/Wall; the lineup — oh, that lineup.  Didn’t play out that way for power and average.  His average is nearly fifty points off of last year, and his power will end likely down about five homers from last year.  Not huge?  Well, that is around a 15% drop — even after his big game yesterday of 3-for-5, 6 RBIs and his 20th and 21st homer.  So, what does all this mean for next year?  I think he’s going to be undervalued, and I expect a bounce back of sorts.  Likely closer to a 27-homer guy than his 30+ last year, but there’s no way he hits near-.265 as he is right now.  He’s hitting as many line drives as last year, hitting the ball harder, in general, and a .267 BABIP.  He’s gotta be one of the unluckiest hitters this year.  He’s basically hitting line drives up the middle, but a squirrel is knocking it down into a fielder’s glove.  Maybe he’s not Mookie Best this year, but I’m not counting out Mookie Ballgame yet.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Greetings and welcome back to everyone except salty commenter Fogimon. Just kidding. Love you, Fogimon. If you didn’t read Saturday’s post, I moved up north from South Florida just in time to avoid Hurricane Irma, avoiding the chaos of evacuating or staying and hunkering down for the storm. Can’t have much better luck than that, I guess.

Hopefully, you survived without me for a week as we head into the home stretch and fantasy playoffs. If you didn’t, then you are probably not reading this, I guess. So, welcome, survivors. Let’s all bring these leagues home.

We only have so much time left, so we have to continue to focus on the players who are contributing now. If that means dropping Miguel Cabrera (in non-keeper and non-dynasty formats) in order to pick up Matt Olson or a Nick Williams, so be it. Now is not the time for name value consideration. I usually preach patience in this space, but we only have a few weeks left here to close this out. Go, go, gadget Jose Reyes!

Expanded rosters make these last few weeks even more difficult, especially if you have players on teams like the Dodgers or Nationals who can afford to rest players like Daniel Murphy and Corey Seager. You want to make sure you have some additional positional flexibility where possible, which makes waiver wire additions such as Eduardo Escobar and Matt Olson that much more valuable. Not only are they producing right now, but they play a couple positions and give you some added flexibility.

I touch on Olson a bit in a blurb below, but Escobar is a guy who taking a look at because of his eligibility at both shortstop and third base. He won’t have too much value once Miguel Sano returns, but it sounds like Sano is progressing pretty slowly. With only a few weeks left in the season, we probably still have at least another week of Escobar playing time, if not more. There is no guarantee that he continues to play every day once Sano comes back, but it is equally possible that, if he keeps hitting, the Twins find a place for him in a lineup that could certainly use the help. For a guy with a 9.92 PR15 who is owned in less than 20% of ESPN leagues, I would definitely be willing to take a chance.

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If you’re a risk-it-for-the-biscuit kinda guy (or gal), you’d do well to back J.A. Happ ($7,700) tonight. He holds a .196 AVG vs. the current Red Sox lineup, and has struck out 31 of Boston’s hitters to go with it. I normally liken Happ to a sparkling bottle of Merlot – too much is a bad thing, but just enough can be quite healthy. Therefore, go ahead and get plastered on Happ tonight. He’s allowed an earned run in 18 of his 19 games this season, but hey, the Red Sox have struck out 58 times at Rogers Centre this season – their highest ballpark total away from Fenway. On a night where there’s few “elite” pitchers to pick from, Happ is your man. Here’s who else I like on this fine Wednesday.

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