It’s my first post of the year.  I’m so excited!  Thursdays are short schedule days and there’s a nice choice of players this week but still less games means others will have the same plays as you.  Especially if they follow my lead.  Ha!  By the way, has there been a James Shields citing, er siting yet this year?  He should be cited for his performance last year.  You don’t need a coat of arms on your shield today.  But Big Game James will need to protect his arm…and probably neck.  Shields was big time terrible with the White Sox last year after his trade from the Padres.  He gave up a 1.70 whip along with 31 home runs in 119+ innings with the Pale Hose.  Twenty three of those were in 78 US Cellular Field innings.  Shoot, he’s allowed SEVENTY-THREE home runs in his last 384 innings.  That’s a lot of WHIPlash from hard hit balls.  It’s time to play your Tigers.  The Tigers as a team have hit a whopping .299 with 12 home runs in 288 at bats.

I’m all about extra at bats in my daily fantasy games.  Number one and two and three hitters are my favorites.  And if they hit on a team ready two go off on a bum pitcher, even better.

Here’s a look at my picks for Thursday April 6.

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Since I know that the only thing most of you like more than rankings and projections are contests, I’ve decided to host a points leagues related fantasy baseball contest this season. Did someone say contest? And for all of you non-points league players, don’t hang up the phone quite yet. The contest is so simple that even a caveman could play it. In all seriousness I urge you to consider participating.

*Just wanted to update everyone in that this contest for Week 1 will lock on Sunday at noon (12:00 EDT) since this week starts on Sunday. All other weeks it will be Monday as stated in the post above.*

Here are the rules…

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Writing this as I watch the WBC Championship game I might be drafting Marcus Stroman on a few teams.  The World Baseball Classic is pretty darn entertaining with so many good lineups and watching the US pull off the win has been awesome.  I like that over the past couple weeks I can have it on in the background because it’s competitive baseball, but there’s no fantasy implications so I can just enjoy it.  These are all-stars playing for their country (for the most part, we all know that “team” Italy, Israel and the Netherlands are stretches) and so so so much better than watching spring training games.

Razzball Commenter Leagues are open! Play against our contributors and your fellow readers for prizes. Join here!

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Raisel Iglesias slipped in the shower and hurt his elbow and hip, which could cause him to miss Opening Day.  This has to be the nastiest Reds locker room incident since Aaron Harang dropped the soap and fell on Dick Pole while showering.  Previously, Harang had only slipped on a banana peel, ya know, a by-product of being The Harangutan.  The 2nd nastiest Reds locker room incident happened when Johnny Cueto swept Bronson Arroyo’s leg and he fell into Dick Pole.  Now that I think about it, all Reds locker room incidents involved Dick Pole.  So, Church’s elbow and hip sound like they will be fine, but Drew Storen, Michael Lorenzen and Tony Cingrani, likely in that order, could sneak into the closer’s role, and steal the job, since I get the feeling Reds manager, Bryan Price, doesn’t really want Raisel in the closer role indefinitely.  This will likely be a shituation where Raisel, Storen and others share 30 saves, say, 17 saves for Raisel, 9 for Storen and the rest for others.  I’ve updated my fantasy baseball rankings, namely the top 500.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:

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Before we jump right into this draft recap, let’s go over a little bit of background about the league and its details. This isn’t like the typical RCL 5×5 rotisserie league we often talk about in this space. LOEG is a 10×10 head-to-head keeper league, with 10 teams and four keepers per team from year to year. The league has been around for something like ten years and has been graced by the presence of yours truly for the past five.

Since the categories, scoring, and rules are a little different in this league I’ll break down all the details below. I think it’s important to break this down a bit first because not only do I want to bore you to death, but I want you to have all the information while you are going over the results and making fun of my team in the comments section. Anyway, here we go:

Razzball Commenter Leagues are open! Play against our contributors and your fellow readers for prizes. Join here!

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Look, I’m not proud of that headline. [Jay’s Note: I am!] But you try to write a catchy, fun headline for such a depressing weekly article. 

We’re inching closer to crunch time. As each day passes, these updates will become more and more crucial as you prepare for your draft. If you have any questions on anyone I’ve missed or anyone you’re worried about — please don’t hesitate to drop me a line in the comments and I’ll get back to you ASA-quick.

Here are some major(ish) players who missed some time this past week…

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As I begin to prepare my projections and rankings for the 2017 season, I like to look back on the previous season’s attempt to not only assess my work, but also to learn how I can do better next time. Projecting statistics in any sport is a tedious and arduous task. The variables, formulas and algorithms are constantly changing and if you don’t adapt with them, your results will lose their precision and accuracy. However, I’d like to make one point blatantly clear, projections are nothing more than calculated guesses. Some are better than the next, but none are even close to perfect.

Let’s see how I fared with my 2016 efforts. For all positions I will provide the following six numbers: projected points, actual points, projected rank, actual rank, projected points per plate appearance and actual points per plate appearance. I am including points per plate appearance because it helps put a player’s projections vs performance into perspective when they’ve missing time due to injury. For pitchers I’ve replaced points per plate appearance with points per start. I’ve also included a column showing the percentage by which my points projections were off. Any player with an “n/a” listed in this column is because that player spent at least 30 days on the disabled list.

Lastly, a quick note about the rankings listed in this post. These rankings are based purely on points. This season I plan to provide additional rankings that allow me to adjust them based on three important factors: intuition, gut and my sporadic conversations with Nostradumass.

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Here’s a post that’s gonna make you wanna slap ya mama and tell her Don Magic Juan sends his best.  The other day I told you how to draft your pitchers for 2017 fantasy baseball.  I laid it out to you nice and simple (if you have a degree in “What The Hell Is Grey Talking About?” Not a PhD, mind you.  Just a BS.)  Today, we forget all that jabberwocky on the who-ha and get down to business old school-style (which means if you don’t comprehend, I will hit you over the head with a baseball bat signed by Joe Clark.)  What I’m hoping to lay out to you is who do you draft 2nd if you’ve drafted so and so first.  I think it might be helpful to go through pairings for your 5 outfielders, all your middle and corner infielders too.  I’m not sure I’ll have the time or patience to do them.  We’ll see!  Or not.  Your choice.  (Actually, my choice.)  For easy reference, the royal we will be using the top 10 for 2017 fantasy baseball and the top 20 for 2017 fantasy baseball and the beginning of the top 100 for 2017 fantasy baseball.  I’m going to assume you’re in a 12 team, 5×5, MI, CI, 5 OF, 1 Utility, 1 Catcher league, similar to our Razzball Commenter Leagues. (Assuming ESPN ever opens its doors again.)  Anyway, here’s some pairings for the first two rounds of 2017 fantasy baseball drafts:

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Earlier this week I partook (a much fancier word than participated) in my first mock draft of the season. As most of you know I am much more of a points league player, but I have no issue going both ways. This draft, however, represented a less common fantasy baseball format known as the 5×5 head-to-head league. This was actually the first time I had even drafted for this format, and with barely an hour to prepare, I’m not sure how I feel about the results. In hindsight, had I had more time to calculate more precise player values for this league format I believe I would have applied a different strategy when selecting my players. While I obviously cannot go back and actually change my picks, I can imagine the results with a different outcome. After all, imagination is the essence of discovery.

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One word about this top 100 for 2017 fantasy baseball, before I give you another 5,000 words.  I’m going to avoid repeating myself from the position rankings in the 2017 fantasy baseball rankings.  If you want to know my in-depth feelings about a player, then you need to go to his positional page, i.e., the top 20 1st basemen for 2017 fantasy baseball, the top 20 outfielders for 2017 fantasy baseball, the top 20 Gucci handbags for 2017– Ah, I almost got you.  This post is meant to give you an idea where guys from different positions are in relation to each other.  Since this post is only the top 100, there’s more players where this came from.  416 more, to be very exact.  Next up, there will be a top 500 that will go to 516.  Then, after that, there will be a top 7,500, then a top 25,000, then a top 600,000, until we end up with a top kajillion in April.  Or maybe I’ll stop at the top 500.  Yeah, that makes sense.  Not to get all biblical on you, but this is the gospel.  Print it out and take it to Mt. Sinai and it will say, “Win your 2017 fantasy baseball league, young prematurely balding man.”  Projections were done by me and a crack team of 100 monkeys fighting amongst themselves because there were only 99 typewriters.  Somebody please buy Ling-Ling his own typewriter!  Anyway, here’s the top 100 for 2017 fantasy baseball:

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