After drudging through an Andy Dufresne-type tunnel for the top 20 catchers for 2016 fantasy baseball, I find myself with a group that actually really hurt or helped your team depending on how you drafted.  If you went wrong with your 1st baseman, it could kill your season.  Hey, Prince Fielder, no hard feelings from me.  We are totally fine since I knew not to draft you.  If you went right, you might’ve won your league.  Last year, I said offense was making a comeback.  This year, I say, you prophetic son of a B, darn tootin’ offense is making a comeback.  How’d you get so handsome and wise, though not wise enough to answer a question posed by yourself?  Lots of guys on this list not only did well, but did better than their preseason projections.  Offense is in full swoon, like Our Commissioner Manfred is swooning with the guy who wrapped the baseballs a little bit tighter this year.  To recap, this final ranking is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 1st basemen for 2016 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

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On Sunday morning, I woke around 8 AM to read a text from Rudy saying, “Awful news, Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident.”  I put on my glasses, no time for contacts, and turned on the TV.  It was still on Fox Sports West because I was watching Vin Scully tributes all weekend.  Yesterday morning, Fox Sports was playing Anglers Chronicles, a fishing show, which is wrong in so many ways.  After switching the stations, groggy-eyed and still half asleep, I realized TV was not the place anymore to go for breaking news.  I shut it off and turned to the internet.  I’m still piecing together my thoughts.  He was 24 years old, even if he never played baseball this is a horrible loss of life.  I’m reminded of all the friends I lost to motorcycles in their twenties.  I’m struck by how inconsequential fantasy feels.  There’s a giant pit in my stomach.  Then, I think about how I never saw Jose Fernandez not smiling.  Not having fun.  I think about how on that boat, Saturday evening, you know Jose Fernandez was having a great time, because he was always having a great time.  That exuberance came through in everything he did.  I think about how he spent time in prison after one of his numerous failed attempts of escaping Cuba, and how, even then, he was likely making fellow inmates smile.  How the excellence he brought to the mound every fifth day was felt all the way back in Cuba to raise up even the darkest corners of Cuba’s prisons.  “That was us.  That is us,” the inmates, who are still incarcerated for trying to escape, likely said.  How baseball does that.  How special that is.  You see what you’re going to see in tragedy, but I see Jose Fernandez pitching, and baseball, and making himself and others smile.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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I don’t understand this.  The Padres’ Triple-A affiliate made a run for the Triple-A championship against the Yankees’ affiliate, so the Padres were holding down their top prospects to play in the championship.  On the surface, it seems straightforward enough.  Making run for championship, want best players there.  Okay, I get that part.  The part where I get lost, WHY DO YOU CARE IF YOU WIN A TRIPLE-A CHAMPIONSHIP?!  Sorry, my keyboard got sticky the other day when Giancarlo returned.  Don’t ask.  The Padres are in the business of winning AAA championships?  I don’t remember the Yankees keeping Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge and Tyler Austin in Triple-A to help their Triple-A team.  I’d love to go into the Padres’ front office, throw some furniture against a wall and start screaming, “Let’s win some major league games for a change!”  They need a organization-wide readjustment, and Grey Albright, Fantasy Master Lothario (don’t abbreviate it), is just the man to do it!  So, with this said, the Padres called up Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot (and some other guys).  Margot and Renfroe, who sounds like a name that exists to only be said by Scooby Doo, are top 100 prospects.  Margot is straight SAGNOF this late in the year, maybe could provide a few steals in the last ten days, and Renfroe is the exact opposite, with a chance to provide a few dingers.  They’re not going to make much impact in ten days.  Too bad they had a Triple-A playoff run to attend to first.  Which they lost!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball:

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In order to be competitive, the Marlins would need All-Stars at every position all farmed from their minor league system.  Sorta like what the Cubs have managed to do.  Not impossible, but that’s what it would take for the Marlins because they are cheap AF.  By the way, AF is my favorite acronym.  Props to whoever first started using it.  Feels like it started on Twitter because of the character limit.  Keeps shizz short and simple AF, kinda like me (short and simple).  Any the hoo!  I was saying the Marlins need to be precise AF (I’m overusing it now) with their minor league system like they were with Jose Fernandez.  He’s AF as AF comes.  His nickname should no longer be Jo-Fer but AF.  Or maybe AF-Fer.  Nah, that looks like a trade union.  A-Fer?  That looks like algebra.  Fernandez should own Abercrombie & Fitch he’s so AF.  Yesterday, Jose Fernandez went 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 hits, zero walks and 12 Ks.  He has 253 Ks in 182 1/3 innings.  Seriously, digest that for a second.  WTF AF?!  Of course, I wish the Marlins would shut him down until 2017, but I have no chance of owning him next year.  Not that I don’t love him.  He’s the best pitcher in the game if I’m building a dynasty league.  Yeah, I said it.  I want him over Kershaw.  Kershaw has been durable up until this year, but all pitchers are durable up until the point when they’re not.  At one point, Jake Peavy was durable AF, too.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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All season long I’ve been using points per plate appearance as my metric of choice when it comes to comparing players. It’s certainly not the only stat I look at, but it definitely holds its weight when I’m punching numbers into my calculator. After some consideration I realized that points per game deserves a mention as well, especially daily leagues. Knowing how many points a player averages per game is an extremely useful statistic when deciding which players to start each day. Even in weekly leagues PPG is a strong indicator of value.

Here’s a look at all batters for 2016 organized by position…

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If you’re still focused on fantasy baseball, pat yourself on the back for either making it into the playoffs or at least being in the playoff hunt. Here’s an interesting, and possibly false, stat. I started the season with thirty-one followers. I am currently down to eighteen. Seventeen of those eighteen have put themselves into a playoff position by reading my posts. The one follower that is not is my wife. She doesn’t even play fantasy baseball, she just reads my posts every week to make sure I am actually writing a post when she asks me to do something and I tell I can’t because I have to write an article. Ok, so I don’t really know how many followers I had or still have, or how many have actually benefited from my guidance, but I do know this. One hundred percent of my readers that are in the playoffs are actually in the playoffs. They’ve done studies, you know. 60% of the time, it works every time.

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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’m being honest here when I say I don’t think you can stop Gary Sanchez.  Someone needs some breaking pitches and chloroform.  It’s a sequel, The Sanchize II:  Homers > Butt Fumbles.  Trivia:  Gary, Indiana is the birthplace of the Jacksons; Gary Sanchez is a Thriller that Ben making balls Beat It, since Imma sing on a song that Michael sung.  Yesterday, Chez Gary went 2-for-3 with his 9th homer in only his 19th game, as he hits .389.  He has 9 homers in 19 games.  Now is when you cackle deliriously.  Paranoid cause you’re a son like Elroy.  You’d be happy as hell if Sanchez was the real deal.  Please, tell me it’s not Maas appeal.  He had 10 homers in 71 games in Triple-A, so I’m all for the hype, but thinking he’s going to be a top 3 catcher in 2017 might be a bit much due to three weeks of play.  There’s no leagues where I wouldn’t own him right now, even if that meant starting him at utility.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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At Stephen Strasburg‘s summer DL rental, the driveway is an inverted W and he timeshares with Ryan Zimmerman.  The Nationals said Strasburg’s elbow issue is not structural.  Yeah, it’s deconstructed like a Cobb salad at some overpriced restaurant.  I’m sure Strasburg is totally fine and it’s completely coincidental that he has a 10.19 ERA in August.  Totally unrelated, guys and five girl readers, totally unrelated.  Strasburg feels like the kind of pitcher that we can never rely on for more than 150 IP.  In five years, he’s thrown 200+ IP once and he’s 28 years old.  Oh, and ‘member how Strasburg was supposed to bounce back this year?  He currently has the worst ERA of his career.  Yeah, great.  In my fantasy team news, because who doesn’t love someone talking about their fantasy team, Strasburg hit the DL about an hour after my weekly Scout league locked.  The same league where I was in first a week ago before Strasburg went to Coors and Lackey went to the DL.  The same league where I’m now in 2nd.  The same league where I needed Strasburg to start twice this week and Lackey was set to face the Padres.  The same league that ends at the end of August.  The same league that just made me cry.  I need a tissue, you karmic bullies!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Who is the best of the best? Or at least, who is the best at each position? I guess the term “best” is subjective, but since I am authoring this post I get to define its meaning. The three key data points I’ve used here are penis size, number of beers they can drink and 2016 salary. Ok, that’s false. The real stats are current points, points per plate appearance and average draft position. Looking at the results it seems that the only player with an ADP of the first round that actually proved to be the best at his position is Anthony Rizzo, and he was more of an early second round player. That’s not to say that any of the following players are less than studs, there just happens to be a player at their position that was better. Let’s look at the results…

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