The year was 1987. I was ten years old and my biggest hobby was collecting baseball cards. Topps. Fleer. Donruss. You name it. And once Upper Deck was released in 1989, watch out! Hello Ken Griffey Jr. Baseball cards were awesome in the 80s. So were a great many other things, but I’ll save some of those for another post. The excitement of ripping open a pack of baseball cards and the anticipation of finding out who I got in that pack is something that can still get me going today. But back to 1987 for a moment. I was walking with my dad to his car in the parking lot of Matthew’s Diner in Teaneck when I uttered my first curse word in his presence. At the time I was busy trying to complete my set of 7-11 Slurpee baseball coins. You remember those gems? They were underneath a small flap on the bottom of the cup. As you tilted them they’d give the illusion of movement. As if Slurpees weren’t good enough on their own.

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“It’s an All-Star edition of Chopped!  I’m your host, Ted Allen.  Let’s meet the competitors.  First up, Aaron Sanchez.”  *hits fast forward button*  “You know, I didn’t think you could put together such a great starter with turkey jerky, kumquats, Mallomars and boxed rice, but this sauce you made is divine.”  Alex Guarnaschelli lifts the bowl and slurps.  Geoffrey Zakarian, “I thought it could’ve used a bit more spice.”  “Okay, GZ.”  True Story Alert!  My dog’s name is Ted, and the dog walker’s name is Allen, so in my phone I have him listed as Ted Allen.  Whenever he calls, I yell out to Cougs, “I finally got on Chopped!”  So, I started Aaron Sanchez and he threw a dazzler, 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 8 Ks.  His 89th pitch was a 97 MPH fastball.  Sign me up for some of that!  I grabbed him off waivers in my RCL (no idea why he wasn’t owned), and I plan on starting him every time out, Stream-o-Nator be damned!   To keep the runner at first, I’m gonna quick pitch this one.  For the cost of four cups of coffee, you get the Stream-o-Nator.  To buy stats for all major leaguers that helps the tools run costs us about $8,000.  There’s a shizzton of man hours for Rudy to make the tools.  A lot of it is a labor of love; we get that.   No one is getting rich here; again, it’s all good.  I don’t want to pay extra taxes anyway!  Now, with that said (here comes a reversal!), I take the Stream-o-Nator with a grain of salt in April.  Sample sizes need to grow.  Ugh, that’s what she keeps saying!  That’s the size of the sample, sweetheart.  Please, don’t put me on the DL with a fractured ego.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Baseball is coming. So is winter. By the time you actually read this the start of the Major League season will be less than a day away. And for those of you lazy readers that catch up on Razzball on Monday mornings when you get to your desk, the season will already be three games deep. By the way, if you are one of those Monday morning people, I’d like to point out your first mistake. Fantasy baseball slows down for no one. If you’re not keeping up with baseball’s current events, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage because I can assure you that at least one person (likely most) in your league is (are). And if you just prefer to get your information from another site, I guess it’s better than nothing, but all biases aside, where else are you going to read a post that was written while sitting on the toilet. Just me, my laptop and my squatty potty. Wait a minute, let me rephrase that a bit. Where else are you going to be able to read a post where the author actually admits to penning it from the throne?

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If you’re not a fan of The Walking Dead or haven’t watched last week’s episode, then you can just skip this paragraph. Am I that only one that cheered when that arrow shot through Denise’s eye? That was awesome. Her insufferable rant made me want to jump into the television and drop the People’s Elbow on that thang. Thankfully the writers took care of that for me. I also loved seeing Daryl reunited with his crossbow. Welcome back! With only two episodes left I’m on the edge of my seat waiting to see what will happen. Here’s my theory. A major character has to die. It’s happened every season. So who’s going to die? My money is on Glen. Here’s why? The writers have already teased his death. Back in episode 3 “Thank You” Glen appeared to meet his demise after he fell off the dumpster. It wasn’t until episode 7 “Heads Up“, four weeks later, that we found out he survived. I believe the writers were testing the waters to see how the fans would react to killing off Glen. That’s my theory. With that said, if they kill off Daryl I’m going to lose my sh*t. Literally!

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Ever get an invitation to a party you shouldn’t have been invited to? You know, like that IQ party you got invited to junior year of college, because you dated way outside your social circle, and spent 6 months with the hot girl from the rockets and brain surgery school. You had no idea how you got there, but there you were, with the future rocket scientists and Ben Carsons of America. Hopefully you wore your largest belt buckle to protect you from the brain surgeon’s steely knives, and also steered clear of any conversations involving jet propulsion, or other “rocketry”. So why am I asking you to dig through the painful cobwebbed recesses of your brain? Because I found myself in a similar position just a few short weeks ago, and was hoping to draw upon your ability to feel empathy. I know, look at me treating you like a fully developed well rounded adult. What can I say? I think highly of you. But why this long diatribe, begging for empathy? Because I somehow weaseled my way into the Couch Managers Expert Mock with some rather reputable names. People like Adam Ronis, Mike Gianella, and you know yada, yada, yada, I’m in the draft. Me!….Ralph, the Prospector, or whatever I am, so here’s my team..

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charles

F=ck Fuller House! Seriously does anyone actually give a sh!t about that show. In the world of House of Cards, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones and Better Call Saul how could such a show even be considered. Uncle Jesse is a loser. Actually so is just about everyone in that show. I saw on Facebook that there were people that binge watched the entire season the day it came out. There are the real winners people. I’m not sure if the sad part is that they binged watched it on day one or that they admitted to it on social media. If Netflix is going to bring back some old school shows then I have a few suggestions. While I’d love to round up the cast of Diff’rent Strokes it seems that Willis (Todd Bridges) is the only main character still alive! Maybe they could give him his own show called What You Talking About Willis. How interesting would a Cosby Show reboot be right about now?! And what about Scott Baio. Now there’s a dude with quite the list of female bedmates. Scott Baio has more conquests than Genghis Khan. Speaking of the Khan Dynasty, Marco Polo is pretty good. Based on his recent tweets Baio ain’t got jack squat going on. Give me Charles Back In Charge!

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projections

If they made fantasy baseball’s version of Monopoly Money they’d have to put Paul Goldschmidt‘s face on one of the higher denomination bills. Who is he? He’s the guy that put the “go” in Goldschmidt. He’s also that guy that has finally taken the top spot in projections from perennial favorite, Mike Trout. Even though he has never finished the regular season with the most fantasy points, everyone’s favorite Angel Fish has been projected to do so since 2013. And until this season, after Clayton Kershaw, he would have been my first pick had I the opportunity. In 2016 my previous statement is no longer true. Truth be told, when you factor in position-based value above replacement, I would probably select five or six players before I opted for Mike Trout. As for who those players would be, after Kershaw and Goldschmidt, I’ll save the rest for an upcoming post in which I use position adjusted replacement to collectively rank all hitters and pitchers in one long list.

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What goes through J-FOH’s head when he does these ranks? I’m glad you asked. Wait… you didn’t ask? Are you sure? No? Not at all? Sheesh, thanks guys… and four girls. I’m going to be my usually contrarian self and tell you anyway. I’m looking at players from their floor to their ceilings over the next 3-5 years (and beyond). I’m looking at games played over the previous few seasons, projecting risk going forward, and predicting how they will age based on their skill set. A player whose value is heavily dependent upon speed will usually lose that speed going into the 30’s and players with power will usually keep that a little bit longer. There are always guys who defy the odds like David “I never juiced” Ortiz or Adrian Beltre. They are a special breed that should never be slept on ’til the day they retire. There is science, stats, and anecdotal B.S., and then there are “those guys”. Joey Bats and those sweet bat throws would fall into that class for me. Excuse me while I preach for a second. I love bat flips. I think they should be mandatory for any home run after the 7th, 6th for the Yankees. This is a kids game that is suppose to be fun and guys like Mad Bum need to either throw the punch or shut the front door. Any a-hole can stand there shouting with a team behind him. At least Robin Ventura had the cojones to try and fight. (I want that shirt!) Now that we have my major side track out of the way, let’s move down to some words about the list before we get to the list. Note to self, take an english class at the local adult education center next year.

Take on your favorite writers in the 2016 Razzball Commenter Leagues! Join here

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Complex-chalkboard-equations-revenue-requirements

Head-to-head points leagues are a completely different animal than roto leagues. A player’s value in one format does not translate to the other. He (or she) that uses roto rankings at a H2H points league draft is like the jackass that brings a knife to a gunfight when he knows he’s headed to a gunfight. A prime example would be Chris Davis who is much more valuable in roto leagues than he is in points leagues. To further complicate the matter, all points leagues are not created equal. Not even close. Nearly all leagues have their own version of some “standard” scoring system. Perhaps one league awards two points for a stolen base and another gives just one. That subtle difference boosts the value of a base stealer in the two-point stolen base league resulting in a different set of rankings. Jose Altuve becomes more valuable than both Albert Pujols and Andrew McCutchen (based on 2015 stats). Knowing your system is essential to navigating a draft or auction.

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So the title is a bit of a superlative.  What was I gonna say, “The Mostly Kinda Good Fantasy Baseball Team?”  You’ll get over your scoffing, I have faith in you.  This is the best 2016 fantasy baseball team that I can put together when drafting from my top 100 for 2016 fantasy baseball and top 500 for 2016 fantasy baseball.  Honestly, I could draft another 25 teams from those lists, and they’d all be different, but equally terrific… Well, one of the twenty-five would only be sorta terrific, but it would be really hard to tell which one that is.  If I took Carlos Correa in the 1st round, everything after would change.  If I took Arenado in the 1st round, everything after would change.  I’ve previously gone over my 2016 fantasy baseball draft prep for the first few rounds and pitchers pairings.  For this exercise, I’m taking Mike Trout first, because, well, I have him first overall.  Until pick 100, I’m taking one guy somewhere in every fifteen picks.  It would be nice if I was in a league where someone drafted Arrieta and Kershaw in the first two rounds and I was able to take Anthony Rizzo in the 2nd round (which is possible), but since Trout and him are in my first 10 picks, according to the rules I’ve set up for myself, I can’t take them both.  Then, as we all know, once you get into the 100s, there’s wide gaps between ADP and where players are actually taken.  People tend to look at team need over value.  So for this exercise, once I get to pick #101, I’m going to pick two players every twenty picks.  Finally, because there is so much latitude in the last 300, I gave myself free reign to fill up my team.  Throughout the draft, I also gave myself the ability to reach to a lower draft pick, but not reach forward.  Or reach around, if you’re feeling frisky.  It should still be my ideal team… Or not.  Let’s see, shall we?  Bee tee dubya, this team is 5×5, one catcher, 5 OFs, MI, CI, 1 UT, 9 P, 3 bench, just like the Razzball Commenter Leagues (Go sign up or start a league).  Anyway, here’s the best 2016 fantasy baseball team:

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