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 we are, the third of four posts about the Couch Managers 2017 Industry Mock Draft. Previously, I posted recaps of rounds 1-6 and rounds 7-12. This post is for rounds 13-18. The final post will be for rounds 19-23. Complicated stuff, I know. But try to keep up.

In case you have yet to see my previous posts, here is a quick recap of the league rules for this mock:

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 I have done with the other posts, I’ll post the results below by round and will offer a few of my thoughts for each round…

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Now that we’re four positions in we can get a sense of how deep each position is.  Our thermometers?  Jedd Gyorko and Wilmer Flores.  If Wilmer cries, the thermometer has gone too deep.  So, on the top 20 1st baseman for 2017 fantasy baseball, Gyorko and Wilmer were 26 and 41, respectively.  Here, they’re 24 and 38, so we have less depth in the top 20 3rd basemen for 2017 fantasy baseball.  At the top 20 2nd basemen for 2017 fantasy baseball, they are 22 and 37.  So, 3rd base and 2nd base are fairly close, but, they’re all crazy close.  Finally, the top 20 shortstops for 2017 fantasy baseball, only has Gyorko where he is 19th overall.  So, depth rankings on infield are shortstops, 2nd base, 3rd base and 1st base, but it doesn’t tell the whole story.  Carpenter is 12th here, but 21st on the 1st basemen, and Villar is 5th here and at the 2nd basemen.  There are areas where each infield position has its strengths and weaknesses and relative equality like I’m not sure we’ve seen before, which is what everyone says about everything.  People say now we have more things we’ve never seen before than any other time in history.  Any hoo!  My projections are noted for every player and all positions are at the 2017 fantasy baseball rankings.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 3rd basemen for 2017 fantasy baseball:

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We’re under a month away until pitchers and catchers report to two of the worst states in the Union. This is a good time to check-in with some of those idiots who ruined your fantasy season last year. Each week I’m going to be taking a look at any player who is listed as injured or is about to come back from injury or who is just an injury waiting to happen–looking at you Mike Stanton–I’ll call you Giancarlo when you start acting like Giancarlo. This first article might be a little long, but hopefully I won’t have to cover 14 injuries in a single week during the regular season.

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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…

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Stephen Strasburg hitting the disabled list puts the punctuation mark on the end of my fantasy baseball season. This has not been a season I’d like to remember. Despite having the third most points scored in my head-to-head points league, I am sitting one spot out of last place. The only take home is that I will have the second pick in next year’s draft. Can’t wait. Seriously though I couldn’t be more ready for fantasy football at this point. However, I still have an obligation to my four readers. Wait, do I? Grey? Ok fine! Not everyone is in the same position as me (or is it “as I”). I guess it’s whatever I write. It’s not like the grammar police is one of my four followers. And if they are, what are the chances they will correct me.

So where did I go wrong this season? Coming off a championship season, how did I fall so far? Was it just bad luck or bad decisions? Or was it the fact that I had last pick?

Note: My Fantasy Football RCL is almost full and drafts tonight! Join here

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I missed out on Julio Urias in all of my leagues.  Shame because I was just looking at his stats the other day — 9.8 K/9, 1.8 BB/9, 1.10 ERA and I was like, “Those can’t be real,” and he winked at me.  An interminable wink.  And I was like, “Are you winking that those stats are real or are you winking at me that they’re not?”  He didn’t answer, he just kept winking.  So, I tried to pull a fast one on him and was like, “Wink once if I should wait to pick you up, wink twice if I should pick you up now or wink three times if you’re going to be called up to be a middle reliever.”  And he winked once.  Again.  Then, like I do at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, I climbed onto his head and blew into his eye to see if he was alive.  He wasn’t.  I mean, he is, but this was just a picture of him.  Don’t be like me, don’t worry about the wink test with Urias and just grab him in all leagues.  He could be a number one starter for the time he’s in the rotation.  That’s the catch, however.  (Or is it pitch?)  He’s filling in for Alex Wood, who has triceps tightness.  Wood could be out the rest of the season (not saying he is) and Urias would still not stay in the rotation.  The Dodgers have said they will limit Urias’s innings.  He could only pitch 60 more innings this year, which is about ten starts.  My guess is he’ll pitch a few starts in the rotation, then move to the bullpen and pitch an inning or three a week.  Sound about right to you, Urias?  Wink once for yes…. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Devon Travis was activated from the DL yesterday (1-for-4, 1 run).  Be interesting to see what he can do in his return from shoulder surgery.  Shoulder surgery never really stopped anyone from doing well before.  “Yes, Michael Brantley?  Ask your question.  Okay, if you’re not going to ask your question, at least put your arm down.  You can’t put down your arm?  Oh.”  The Blue Jays said that Travis could move up the order soon, and hit leadoff.  No way, Azul Jays!  You mean Jose Bautista isn’t a leadoff hitter?  That’s downright shocking.  I never would’ve guessed that.  Shiver me Timberlands, and stockpile my hatch chiles before Trump kicks New Mexico out of the union.  There’s been a lot of talk in the comments about how unenthused I am for Travis, and it’s not entirely true.  I would take a flyer on him in all leagues, but it takes hitters a while to return from shoulder surgery, so I’d tempura my expectations.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday, Matt Harvey (5 IP, 5 ER, ERA up to 6.08) briefly held the honor of having the worst ERA of any National League starter at 6.08, which means Harvey is the only one happy with Shelby Miller this year.  It’s time we addressed the giant imaginary rabbit in the room, Harvey.  The Mets thought that Harvey’s problems were mental and considered burning all of his locker’s contents to rid him of the bad juju.  Can you put his “animosity for Terry Collins” in the locker too?  How about his “bitterness at not being the star pitcher anymore?”  Does that fit in a locker?  What about “brooding?”  Does brooding fit in a locker?  Someone needs to salve Harvey’s ego with some Jergen’s lotion because you can see his buttsoreness (totally a word!).  His velocity looked fine yesterday, but his slider is not being located with precision.   Also, check this:  1st time through the order facing Harvey:  .241/.292/.373; second time:  .301/.326/.518; third time:  .509/.563/.764.  What does that tell me?  He’s having a hard time keeping his pitches fresh the 2nd and 3rd time a hitter sees him, which goes back to the slider.  I don’t think his problems are unfixable, but he may need a trip to the Disgraceful List with a mysterious ailment to clear his head and figure out his slider.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Tolleson had his cookies tossed for the last time on Tuesday.  Or maybe Shawn Tolleson caused his owners’ cookies to be tossed?  Sounds too passive, said Flesch-Kincaid, but you get the idea.  By the by, why is tossing food so gross?  Tossing one’s cookies should be a glorious thing.  Who doesn’t want cookies tossed at them?  Please toss your cookies into my mouth!  Then there’s tossing salad?  That sounds healthy and like a spring morn.  Why is tossing salad so bad?  I’d love a salad tossing and a jog around the Maypole!  Any hoo!  There’s no more Tolleson, and Sam Dyson will step in as the Rangers closer.  Glad to see Rangers manager, Jeff Banister, finally react.  Though, it took a long time since Tolleson’s ERA is over nine.  Banister’s reflexes are so slow Bautista could’ve snuck in a punch on him.  Maybe they should’ve let Odor punch Tolleson’s card.  He would’ve been out on April 4th.  “You’re done!”  “That was one pitch.”  “I don’t care, now I will punch you.”  Sam Dyson should be owned in all leagues.  Will Tolleson regain the role?  Maybe, if Dyson gets injured, but it seems highly unlikely otherwise and can be dropped in most leagues.  Hey, Tolleson, don’t let the door hit you, where Odor split your lip.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?