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…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So, how’s everyone holding up without fantasy baseball every day?  I don’t know what to do with myself!  This week I wandered into a Starbucks and told the coffeerista about Aaron Sanchez for 2017.  Then I sobbed into a cheddar scone until someone asked me to leave.  We’ve gone over the final 2016 fantasy baseball rankings for hitters and the top 20 starters.  This is different than Final Fantasy rankings where you rank Final Fantasy 1 thru Final Fantasy 15.  That’s hardcore nerd shizz!  This is simply fantasy baseball, we’re softcore nerds like Emmanuelle.  So, there’s no more of these godforsaken recap posts left.  You’re welcome.  I, my over-the-internet friend, will be talking next about 2017 rookies.  Anyway, here’s the top 40 starters for 2016 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m OCD about my iTunes.  I listen to a new album a few times, pick out some songs that I like, five star them, and then play them endlessly until I’m sick of them.  My top 20 for most played is embarrassing.   I like Lil Wayne more than anyone should ever admit.  Sometimes I have a song on repeat, and I’ll get a phone call (rare; only old people use the phone for calling people), the doorbell will ring (less rare; Cougs orders a ton of shizz on Amazon) or I’m just called away from my desk for some reason.  Then I’ll forget I have a song on repeat and I’ll go to lunch, dinner or…No, those are the only reasons I leave my fantasy cave.  When I come back and see a song’s play count has been artificially boosted with me not listening, I will edit info in iTunes and reset the play count to where it was before the accidental repeat.  It’s important to have a gage to tell how much you like a song.  Do you like it enough to play it 200 times like, say, Aloe Blacc’s Red Velvet Seat or do you like it enough to listen to it 120 times like, say, Tom Petty Yer So Bad (actual play counts)?  Why do I bring this up now?  Because Rick Porcello should roll his win count back to 15.  21 wins?!  C’mon!  That is misrepresenting him in every conceivable way.  Yesterday, Rick Porcello went 9 IP, 2 ER, 4 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.08, to move his record to 21-4 <–LIES!  He’s pretending to be Eazy E vs. Johnny Cash (great song; play count 278) when he’s really Randy Newman’s Short People (good song, but you ain’t listening to that nonsense more than once every few months; play count 59).  His ERA isn’t even accurate.  It’s saying, “I’m Bon Iver’s Skinny Love (play count 175),” when it’s really You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb by Spoon (play count 96).  The only thing that is sort of legit is his 0.98 WHIP, but that’s more Men At Work’s Overkill (play count 186) legit.  Have a season, Rick Porcello, but you are so Rihanna’s Diamonds (play count 86) and not Martians vs. Goblins (play count 365).  Also, if you want more, we talk about Rick Porcello on today’s podcast.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Real talk:  is there some kind of unwritten law that the first year a new baseball commissioner takes over he’s allowed to institute juiced baseballs?  Is Our Commissioner Manfred sticking Capri Sun straws in baseballs across the league?  Does he have someone else do the actual juicing?  When Bud Selig told Manfred that he could juice the baseballs did he finish by doffing his toupee?  Does Manfred own Dozier in fantasy?  I got questions, y’all!  Yesterday, the Pirates added five more homers to MLB’s bottom line:  Sean Rodriguez (2-for-5, 3 RBIs) with his 14th homer; Jordache Mercer (1-for-4, 3 RBIs) hit his 11th; John Jaso Jingleheimer Schmidt (1-for-4) his his 6th, but the real damage was done by The Undread Pirate, Andrew McCutchen (3-for-5, 3 runs, 3 RBIs) with his 22nd and 23rd homer, hitting .250.  McCutchen got old real fast in every conceivable way over the last two years.  His BABIP fell faster than a 40-year-old on the Cheesecake Factory Diet, his Ks shot up like he’s Danny Glover and he “ain’t got time” for walks and his steals dried up quicker than Cougs’ cactus.  An actual cactus she bought at the supermarket and forgot to water over the course of three years.  What did you think I meant?  Oh c’mon!  All of that for McCutchen who is still only 29 years old!  I’m beginning to think he’s 29 years old like Debra Winger’s listed as 29 years old on her headshot.  In 2017, I think McCutchen won’t be drafted anywhere near where he’s been in the last two years.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see him fall to the 75 to 100 range, which might actually reverse his fortunes and make him a value play again.  Except for those that drafted Carlos Gomez this year, they’re not falling for the ol’ banana in the tailpipe again.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You know one of those posters where they feature celebrities from different eras that may or may not have ever been together in the same room?  Like James Dean, Mickey Mouse and Lenny Bruce standing at a bar, smoking cigarettes.  Okay, I’m pretty sure those three never hung out.  In 75 years, when we’re all dead and buried, except for maybe some of my preteen readers — YASSSSSS I never forget you! — they will decide to make a poster featuring some standouts from this year:  Trump, Hillary, Nadiya from The Great British Bake Off.  Also, on that poster will be one player from the 2016 World Champion Cubs team, the last Cubs team to win the World Series in 75 years.  Which player will be on that poster made from the last remaining tree?  I don’t think it’ll be David Ross, prolly not Arrieta, not for this year, maybe Bryant, maybe Rizzo, maybe Hendricks and maybe Jon Lester.  Yesterday, pushed forward Lester’s agenda to get on the “last tree poster” — 8 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 8 Ks, lowering his ERA to 2.40, moving his record to 17-4, and, since the All-Star break, it’s a 1.47 ERA in 73 1/3 IP.  His ERAs over the last four years:  3.75, 2.46, 3.34 and 2.40.  And you thought Saberhagenmetrics were some contrived statistical model.  Look in the mirror, and pfft yourself.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Can you believe it’s September already? With just under four weeks to go until the end of the MLB regular season, it’s time to push your chips all-in. Outside of the elite players, everyone is expendable in redraft leagues from this point on. If you want to make that final surge up the standings before it’s too late, production trumps reputation. Nursing a sore wrist? Thanks for the memories, Marcell Ozuna. Looking for more than a .220 average with mediocre counting stats out of your #5 outfielder? See you later, Josh Reddick. Need some ratio relief down the stretch? Adios, Marco Estrada. The problem is that trade deadlines have passed and the waiver wire is looking pretty thin at this point of the season. Who are you going to replace these players with? Fortunately, the recent roster expansion has allowed for a fresh influx of rookie talent at this key time in the fantasy season. The youngsters who were held down in the minors earlier this summer for some extra seasoning (or to delay their arbitration clocks) are being called up to get a taste of the big leagues. This week’s most added player, Boston Red Sox third baseman Yoan Moncada (39.6% owned; +33.3% over the past week), is a prime example of the upsidey September call-up. Moncada is about as toolsy as it gets – plus-plus speed (94 steals over the last year and a half in the minors), above average power (.254 ISO in Triple-A), and a patient approach at the plate (double digit walk rates at every level) – which has made him one of the top prospects in all of baseball. His plus throwing arm has allowed the Sox to move him over to third base from his natural position of second base as well. The one caveat is that he strikes out. A lot. He’s already whiffed six times in his first fourteen MLB at-bats and his 30.9% K% in 207 Double-A plate appearances this season is a concern. That being said, it wouldn’t surprise me if he hit three homers and stole half a dozen bases over the season’s final month. Moncada is definitely worth adding for his upside alone.

Here are a couple of other interesting adds/drops in fantasy baseball over the past week:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

To paraphrase Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, “America has so many enemies:  Iran, Iraq, China, Mordor, Josh Tomlin in away games, Justin Upton, Melvin Upton for the last two months, Clint Hurdle, the people on Twitter that take a trending topic and attach linkbait, Giancarlo Stanton’s groin when its injured, but not at all when its healthy, anyone that gets Mookie Betts out the once-in-a-blue-moon when someone can get him out, Clint Hurdle again, anyone that doesn’t appreciate blue raspberry, undesirable immigrants, by which I mean everyone that came after Carlos Martinez.”  Yesterday, Carlos Martinez went 6 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners with 13 Ks to lower his ERA to 3.07.  Thank you, come again!  From last year to this year, C-Mart’s strikeout rate is down (9.2 to 7.8), his walk rate is unchanged, his velocity is virtually the same and his xFIP is up due to a lucky BABIP.  So, what does that mean for Carlos Martinez 2017?  Random prediction alert!  I won’t be enthused about drafting him again next year, but he’ll likely be a solid #2 fantasy starter, i.e., good in a pinch, but not exciting, i.e., convenience forever, freshness never!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Mike Napoli hit his 27th homer yesterday.  He now has five straight games with a home run.  On the year, he is top 30 for fantasy value on our Player Rater.  Dude is such butter right now brioche buns be jumping up on his back.  (Why am I not writing rap lyrics?)  Uh-oh, Napoli’s so hot, he’s bringing out my rap alter ego, B-Fire.  Napoli is such butter right now brioche buns be jumping up on his back!  Yo, he’s not whack like some homeboy going to a strip club with a quarter stack!  In fact!  Grey’s got more indoors, then you got outdoors, and technically there’s more room outdoors for you to have more but nope, my room’s got floors!  *dance, prance, romance off your pants*  My action lines got asterisks, smooth.  Your action lines got an asterisk with an excuse down below why you can’t move.  *said while bowing sushi chef-style*  Napoli.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So Harry Potter and the Order of The Phoenix was on HBO tonight and before you ask, no I still don’t have cable. Me not having cable is a running joke around here. Sorry if you don’t understand, but this intro is for those who understand that I understand how silly it is, you understand? Anyhoo, it put me in the mindset for this title and it’s also apropos to the actual topic. AJ Griffin…admittedly I could give two bee-sized bowel movements about how good he is or has been. Overall, he’s just not good. He’s about as SP3/4 vanilla as you can get for an MLB team, but that’s neither here nor there. The Royals have suffered so many injuries this year and have seemingly thrown in the towel on the season as they’ve gone into full blown sell mode. I don’t know if that’s what is affecting the production on the field, but it’s clear this team isn’t sniffing the 2015 version. The K rate as a whole is up nearly 4% and they sit mired in 24th overall in wRC+. Factor in they’ve actually been worse since the All-Star break and you have the perfect spot to take advantage of a $6,500 priced pitcher who doesn’t need a gem to outplay his price. When suggesting a pitcher that has a 4+ ERA, it should go without say but yeah, this is a tourney only call. So let the sorting hat decide whether you’re courageous enough to follow through with Griffin and let’s get on with the rest. Here’s my Goblet of Fire hot taeks for this Friday 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 August 1st 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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Decisions, decisions…we all love when a bad hitting team gets to go up against a good to great pitcher. But do we love it when it’s in a friendly hitter’s park? This is the question you’re going to have to ask yourself today. With so many good pitching options on this slate priced reasonably, is it the kind of day you should toss Jon Gray out there on your team? Clearly Gray isn’t without risk given Coors is the backdrop but lets consider a few things for a moment. His K/9 on the year is nestled right in between David Price and Jake Arrieta. His GB% sits at a healthy 47.8% and his xFIP (3.53) is nearly a run less than his ERA (4.33). Also, Gray has done a tremendous job this year of taking advantage of cush matchups no matter where he was at. He went seven and K’d seven Padres back on June 10th in Coors and just finished up the Braves in Atlanta with eight Ks for a seven inning shutout. When Jon is given an opportunity to take down a bad team, he does it with authority. The asking price of $8,200 isn’t the cheapest nor is it unmanageable; it’s just there asking you if you like taking a bit of risk with your LU. Well, do ya punk? Alright then, let’s get on with the getting on. Here’s my fuerte taeks for this Friday 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 July 25th 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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?