If only Adam Jones had gotten injured that headline would’ve been perfect. Well, it looks like we are in the thick of baseball injury season! When I went to put this week’s article together, I had 20 players listed that I needed to check out. Luckily, some guys like Brian Dozier, Logan Forsythe and Gregory Polanco were back in their team’s line-ups by the time came for me to check out their current status. Other guys like Jarrett Parker, Mallex Smith and James Kaprielan aren’t really fantasy relevant enough to worry about. But if you are in a deep or AL/NL-only league, feel free to ask me about anyone you want in the comments. Also, many of my fill in recommendations are for deeper leagues, so if you want to know who to pick up in shallower leagues, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments as well! 

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In the 1700’s, magic meant going into an oven with raw meat and coming out wearing a hamburger as a hat.  That magic awed people, even though they had seen an oven and a hamburger before.  We’ve seen Thames before, and we’ve seen home runs before, but Eric Thames still feels like magic.  He is a modern day beef illusionist.  I will call him, David Copperfood.  Yesterday, Eric Thames went 3-for-4, 3 runs with his 7th homer, and 15th homer in the last four games, as he hits .405.  We go over Thames on the podcast that’s coming later today, but, damn, I wish I owned him everywhere.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Joining Paul Hollywood at The Great Britton’s Brach Off is Orioles’ manager, Buck Showalter.  Showalter said, “Craig Gentry (2-for-5, 3 RBIs) hit a home run with his leadoff Battenberg cake even if it is missing the mark on OBP, but I love its moistness, and I apologize for using the word moist.”  Trey Mancini (3-for-5, 4 RBIs, and his 3rd and 4th homers) was crowned this week’s Star Baker, beating out Mark Trumbo (2-for-5, 1 run), who was in the cleanup spot, saying, “Why do these people have to use so many pots and pans?”  The Great Britton’s Brach Off didn’t end without losing one baketestant.  Zach Britton over-whisked his meringue and left with a forearm strain.  The Brits are calling it, Zaxit.  So, Britton will be out for at least ten days with Brad Brach filling in, behind Brach will be Darren O’Day, who sounds too IRA to me, then behind him will be Mychal Givens, who is Mike Tyson and Robin Givens’ child.  Buck Showalter said he hopes Britton will be ready in ten days, but forearm strains don’t work that way, so you should grab Brach, at least.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Halleberryloujah!  *does sign of the Marlins, kneels*  Blessed be thy lord of a Technicolor unicorn statue who graced his tight baseball pants around Giancarlo’s lower half.  I won’t take too much of your time, I know you are prolly busy.  Should I say probably when I’m addressing you?  You know, I’m gonna move on rather than wait for an answer.  I want to thank you for bringing Giancarlo Stanton into the 2017 season.  I saw him in a game last week back off a changeup like he was still scared after taking the beanball off the melon.  Was he scared?  If he was, I wouldn’t have blamed him.  I get scared too.  Like when my wife says, “Hey, Grey I made plans for us to go out with my friend and her husband.”  That scares me too.  But now that he hit two homers, going 2-for-3 with 4 RBIs, I’m relieved.  It was early, he was just getting into the swing things.  Pun!  What?  You don’t like puns?  Again, I’m fine not waiting for an answer.  Okay, now I’m going to cut this short because a sprinkler is going off into my face and I’m kneeling on my neighbor’s lawn.  Thank you.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I feel like I could list every Boston Red Sox player in my post this week. A bunch of their players came down with the flu, even the untouchable Andrew Benintendi, who apparently threw-up in the dugout during a game this week. He might’ve ralphed due to hearing about his .174 AVG so far though. Relax everyone, he’s 14-years-old and we’re only in Week 2. Don’t overreact! However, if you happen to visit Fenway this week for their games — make sure to wash your hands well, seal up your plastic bubble boy suit and keep away from patient zero (probably Dustin Pedroia — he seems like the superstitious type to not wash during the season for luck).

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Last year, this post and the 2nd basemen to target were necessary evils like changing underwear.  Whether you wanted to or not, it was a good idea to take a flyer on a late middle infielder, and you were still expecting to get crapped on.  Now?  Well…. I like some late middle infielders, could see owning one, but there’s a ton of early, sexy-AF middle infielders, so there’s a chance I own an MI before I even reach the 100th pick overall.  In other words, I could own a shortstop, 2nd baseman and shortstop or 2nd baseman all in the first eight or so rounds.  Yeah, crazy time we live in.  In no other way is it a crazy time, except for fantasy baseball.  Then again, I have the 2016 election results on my DVR and I haven’t watched yet.  No one ruin the surprise!  This is a (legal-in-all-countries-except-Lichtenstein) supplement to the top 20 shortstops for 2017 fantasy baseball.  The players listed have a draft rank after 200 on other sites.  Click on the player’s name where applicable to read more and see their 2017 projections.  Anyway, here’s some shortstops to target for 2017 fantasy baseball:

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Usually, as one does, I type with my fingers.  Hunt and peck with mostly the index’ers, but definitely fingers all the way.  I’m so pumped up going for the win this year I’m typing up this post with both fists.  WE MUST WIN!  BY WE I MEAN ME!  BY ME I MEAN I, IF “I” WAS SUPPOSED TO BE USED IN THAT SENTENCE INSTEAD OF ME; I DON’T KNOW, AND AM TOO HYPED UP TO LOOK INTO IT, IN FACT, THIS SENTENCE IS KINDA KILLING MY HYPE BY EVEN DISCUSSING GRAMMAR.  GRAMMAR BOO!  WINNING THIS LEAGUE YAY!  Actually using my fists is not enough.  I will now type up this post by banging my forehead on the keyboard.  ABCJIVS1I7$  Damn, that didn’t work so well.  Maybe I’ll try my nose.  Hekko, froend.  Ugh, that didn’t work either.  Okay, I’m gonna use my fingers again, but I’m just as pumped up.  RAWR!  Anyway, here’s my Yahoo Friends & Family team, it’s a 14-team, mixed league:

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I have no idea if anyone at ESPN actually ranks people.  There’s talk of it.  Like, “Yo, Klara Bell, you do your rankings yet?”  “No, did you?”  Then Cockcroft makes farting noises with his armpit.  All I ever see at ESPN is consensus rankings.  I have to figure out how to do this “consensus” thing.  Talk about a nice way to avoid taking any blame for anything.  “Hey, man, sorry about Andrew McCutchen being ranked so high this year, but these are ‘consensus’ rankings.”  Let’s turn to a conversation between two random fantasy baseballers.  “Cockcroft has said he doesn’t like Cano this year.”  “But ESPN has him 34th overall.”  “Yeah, doesn’t apply when talking about Cockcroft.”  “So, when does it apply?”  “When talking about ESPN.”  “But Cockcroft is at ESPN”  “Yeah, still doesn’t apply.”  “Can you explain that?”  “Nope.”  Then heads explode.  Consensus rankings are done by committee.  Only thing ever done better by committee is jerk seasoning.  Now, while you might think ESPN’s rankings have a ton of jerk seasoning, they are just an indecipherable mess.  But why bring up all of this when I’m about to take a blowtorch to Yahoo’s 2017 fantasy baseball rankings?  Thanks for asking, clunky expositional question!  Yahoo has consensus rankings, but they also show their work.  Each ‘pert is accounted for in their rankings.  This is already much better than ESPN.  You can at least see what Pianowski, Funston, Behrens and Triple D are thinking individually.  This, of course, doesn’t mean I agree with all of their rankings, but at least I can point to how they came to their consensus.  Anyway, here’s where my 2017 fantasy baseball rankings differ from the 2017 Yahoo fantasy baseball rankings:

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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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Shortstop is top heavy, and you don’t want to leave your drafts, especially OPS-style, without one of the top six.  Can I call them the Secret Six?  Like the DC Comic?  (Quick tangent, if you liked the Suicide Squad (movie or comic) and want an even better tale of misfit villains, then pick up Secret Six.  It’s got Bane, Deadshot, great stories, and is just plain awesome.  One of my favs of all time…) Anyhoo, so do you know what separates these six? They are the only guys I have predicted for an OPS over .800.  Shortstop sure isn’t second base this season; who could believe all the power at the keystone?

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