3rd basemen are the new Dolly Parton.  They are so top heavy they haven’t seen their toes in years.  After the top ten 3rd basemen, the rest are a wing, a prayer and Winger doing a cover of Living on a Prayer, which can’t hold a candle to Bon Jovi, because A) Jersey B) No one can hold a candle to Bon Jovi because of Jersey. C) There’s no C.  D)  Jersey!  I can’t remember a position like this for any other year in recent memory, but I’ve killed my brain for years with hard drugs.  If you don’t have a 3rd baseman by the 100th overall pick, you might be kissing your 3rd baseman position goodbye.  Literally, smooching your computer monitor like you’re in that Spike Jonze movie with Scarlett Johansson robot-talking.  By the way, Johansson is 31 years old, in nine years, she’s gonna be old.  In nine years, I’m gonna be distinguished.  Damn, Hollywood, you’re messed up giving me these ageist ideas!  As always, my projections and tiers are noted.   Anyway, here’s the top 20 3rd basemen for 2016 fantasy baseball:

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After the top 20 catchers for 2016 fantasy baseball, it’s all downhill.  And by downhill, I mean it will pick up speed and start moving quickly.  That really should be what “it’s all downhill” means.  I fixed you, English language, you’re welcome.  The top 10 for 2016 fantasy baseball and the top 20 for 2016 fantasy baseball were done the other day too.  I think this is what they call getting you up to date.  I don’t mean that as in, “We have to shave his unibrow into two eyebrows, and maybe have him wear something other than a sports jersey, so he’s ‘up to date’ a girl.”  This top 20 1st basemen for 2016 fantasy baseball goes to about 60.  Every year it seems like it gets longer and more unwieldy like the story you tell people on why you didn’t finish college.  As always, for each player there’s my projections and where I see tiers starting and ending.  There’s the position eligibility chart for 2016 fantasy baseball, and all the 2016 fantasy baseball rankings are under that linkie-ma-whosie.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 1st basemen for 2016 fantasy baseball:

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Javier Baez takes another shoveling of dirt as he gets buried further.  “Is this a staged Off Broadway adaption of The Revenant?”  Javier asks as he spits dirt out of his mouth.  “You have a toothpick?  I have dirt stuck between my teeth.  Hello?”  Baez doesn’t know why this shadowy figure won’t stop shoveling dirt on top of his body; he’s obviously not dead.  Or is he?  Just then, the camera swings around, and, in a crazy twist that only M. Night Shamalamadingdong could’ve came up with, the person that is doing the shoveling is Arismendy Alcantara.  “If I can’t have fantasy value, then never can you!”  Arismendy yells as he cackles maniacally.   Then, “You still want that toothpick?”  And…scene!  So, Jason Heyward signs with the Cubs and moves Arismendy and Baez even further down the depth charts.  At this point, they are closer to playing on the Padres after a trade than they are at playing in Chicago.  Heyward had sneaky value last year, as in it seemed like he disappointed, but since steals are scarce (only seven players last year stole 30 bags), and since Heyward provided some value in all categories, he wasn’t that bad.  His numbers last year seemed like a poor man’s Lorenzo Cain.  I will call him Crack Cocaine.  Moving to the stacked Cubs lineup and into Wrigley could provide Heyward’s best season to date.  I’ll give him the projections of 87/22/77/.274/15, which has him hitting leadoff for about 80 games and shuffling between 2nd, 3rd and 5th in the other games.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason in 2016 fantasy baseball:

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Cubs traded a player to be named later for Austin Jackson.  Assuming the player to be named later isn’t anyone on their current roster, this was a solid trade for them from a real baseball perspective.  Real baseball has more spitting than fantasy baseball, but about the same amount of scratching.  The areas that are scratched are similar too.  Like just below the FUPA.  Austin Jackson clouds up the Cubs’ current roster in all the worst ways.  Can one team have too much of a good thing?  The short answer is yes.  The long answer is yeeeeeeeees.  Now, Coghlan (1-for-4), Fowler (2-for-5 and his 15th homer), Schwarber (1-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI) and maybe Baez, when he’s called up, are squeezed for playing time.  If anyone can make this work, it’s Maddon.  Sadly, only Maddon will understand how, why, what and every journalistic question as to when Jackson or anyone will play.  Oh, and Soler will return shortly too.  And by “shortly,” I don’t mean the manner in which Altuve does something.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I’m channeling some inner-Albright this week. Seat of your pants son! Speaking of Grey, I used the photo he took of me giving him the Larry Bird for my new avatar since it made sense to me that I should use Grey’s photo on his site. In other news, I shook up my top-100 this week as we get to the third leg of the 400-meter stretch run relay. If you’re not in the top-60, then you can be cut at any time. If you are hot, ascending, or the type of player who can go on a monster power or speed run, then I want you. Obviously, I couldn’t get everyone here, for this isn’t the Top-120, but you may notice the name brands in the bottom of the list. They are there because it’s difficult to cut some of them, but if you must, then you must.

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Does this happen to people? You’re working on something, and listening to certain tunes and that informs the way you go about your work. I’ve never had a real job in my life, so I don’t know how this works for those. Does a toll collecting juggalo listen to Insane Clown Posse while working and violently throw change back at drivers? Is this why a building’s roof caves in because the construction crew was listening to Because I Got High by Afroman? Or if you were to suddenly change a hitter’s walk-up music from say Next Episode by Dr. Dre (which seems to be at least one hitter’s song on every team) to The Pina Colada Song would that change everything? I don’t know, but I’m a deep thinker, and I saw Johnny Cueto‘s start yesterday and thought he had to be listening to the Silver Jews, specifically this one section, because that gets me so jacked I could jackhammer a driveway with my foot. I took a hammer to it all! *banging foot on cement* Right?! Okay, maybe it’s me. That’s why we’re having this one-sided conversation, to better understand each other. Yesterday, Cueto threw a farkin sparkler — a farkler, if you will — 9 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA down to 2.61. Cueto’s the bomb dot gov. He’s almost exactly in line with what he was doing last year when he had a 2.25 ERA in 243 2/3 IP. And, if anything, he’s actually pitching better this year, lowering his walk rate from 2.4 to 1.7. For whatever reason, he seems to stay out of the conversation for the best pitchers in the major leagues, but yesterday he took on Max Scherzer (4 2/3 IP, 5 ER) and took a hammer to it all. A hammer to it all! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Are you all like me? Do you spend hours and hours contemplating how to maximize the value out of that last roster spot currently occupied by a fringe player you aren’t sure about?  It’s crazy, we spend all this time leading up to the draft analyzing everyone, then, for me at least, once the season begins, it’s all about contemplating guys on waivers in bottom 20% ownership range.  I know that if I can figure who, among these guys will climb up the ladder in value/ownership, he can either make my team’s season, allow me deal him to someone else in the league for an underperforming proven commodity, or potentially for an elite player as part of a package deal with a medium-value player.  Thus, really understanding the bottom 20% of available players can actually allow you to drastically improve your roster if you know to leverage it.

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There was some speculation that the Mets were considering moving Noah Syndergaard (6 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 11 Ks) to the bullpen and bringing up Steven Matz. The NY Post seemed to believe the Mets were talking about it, at least. It could be that a NY Post reporter, hiding in their usual spot inside a Mets equipment broom closet with a Solo cup pressed to the door, overheard, “Hey, should we move Noah to the bullpen and bring up Matz?” “Maybe, but I’m the front office intern and you’re the ticket taker from Gate 3C so I’m not sure our opinion matters.” “Or is that Matzers?” Then they laughed, and the NY Post reporter shot off an article detailing the discussion, but left off the sources. More respected Mets journalists thought Syndergaard wouldn’t go to the bullpen, and Dillon Gee would be designated for assignment. Gee, guess who was right. Right now, Matz has a 2.30 ERA and 9.3 K/9 in Triple-A in 78 1/3 IP. Those numbers are great, fabulous, adjective, but they get better. He’s pitching in the PCL, which is like hitting in an anti-gravity chamber with an aluminum bat. What makes Matz so damn desirable is he can strikeout out hitters and has good control. That’s the one-two punch of “Let me put hearts on my Trapper Keeper.” The Mets are saying Matz will come up around July 1st, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s called up for this weekend, so I’d stash him right now. Or if you have a DeLorean, stash him yesterday. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Joey Gallo (+71.3%) was the most added player in fantasy baseball this past week. The 21-year-old top prospect was a bit of a surprise call-up by the Texas Rangers following the injury to Adrian Beltre, but fantasy owners don’t seem to be complaining. That’s because of what Gallo brings to the table. Power. Lots and lots of power. Since being drafted in 2012, he’s hit an incredible 113 homers in 330 minor league games, including 30 in 102 games at the Double-A level over the past two seasons. On the flip side, Gallo strikes out at a rate that makes Mark Reynolds look like a contact hitter. His 33.6% K% in Double-A this season was actually a substantial improvement over his 39.5% K% across nearly three months at that level in 2014. For the rest of this season, expect some tape measure shots with a few golden sombreros mixed in. Here were a couple of other big adds and drops in fantasy baseball from this past week:

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If Friday, when I last wrote, was the worst pitching day I had ever seen, this one looks fantastic.  Aces abound.  Congrats if you recognize the reference from my title.  One of my favorite movie scenes from a great movie, Rounders.  Classic really, it could be a little overplayed and some may say overrated, but I’m a big fan.  It’s an aces full day and so I’m going to skip to fellas I’ll be looking to pair with my aces.  Some folks will pay up and pair two aces tonight, it’s a matter of your own personal strategy and risk assessment.  Two aces will be more “safe”.  Kluber/Syndergaard will probably be amazing.  Scherzer/Gray, that would most likely be incredible.  However, with a game in Coors and some high priced bats, I’m much more likely to take one lower tier ace (like Syndergaard for instance) and pair him with a cheap upside play, someone such as Mike Foltynewicz.  Mike’s point totals throughout May are a bit of a mixed bag, but his strikeouts are not.  Starting May 6th his K totals are: 7, 7, 7, 7, 8, 5.  San Diego is willing to play along as they rank 3rd in MLB in Ks right now.  They’re an all or nothing, HR or strikeout style team a’la the Astros.  For $7,200, I’ll take my chances that tonight is a nothing night  and the kid can rack up the Ks at home.  Let’s look at a couple more value pitchers to pair with our aces.

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