With only seven games on the schedule today we’re spending the bulk of our money on starting pitching, because once you get passed the top 3 arms, there’s not a whole lot left.  Clayton Kershaw, $26,700 at Philadelphia and Patrick Corbin, $18,600 at San Diego are on top of the Streamonator and I’m feeling both matchups.  They’re both lefties, the’ye both facing two terrible offenses who strike out more than most teams in the league and they’re the cream of the crop tonight.  It’s Kershaw’s four start coming off the DL, so he should be in a good groove and he won’t be on a pitch count less than a 100 pitches.  The reins should be off tonight and I’m thinking he’ll come away with a W and double digit Ks.  Corbin got rocked for 8 ER in 4.1 innings at home against the Padres back on September 8th.  Look for a monster bounce back game in pitcher friendly Petco tonight, as I’m sure he’s been studying tape. Now that we’ve spent a good chunk on our pitchers. let’s get creative and see what we can do on the offensive side.

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I shall open this column by quoting September 1st Grey: “I’m not enthused by the guys headed to the majors this September.” I agree completely – I thought there would be a lot more intriguing under-the-radar call-ups to discuss, both for NL or AL-only help over the next few weeks, or to grab with an eye on next year in keeper leagues. Instead, I’m reminded that keeping one’s head in the fantasy baseball game can be less fun and more chore-like with each passing day as we inch towards October.

In September, there’s a lot more inventory, but less of value. Veteran players on non-contenders are getting rested more often, as are young studs on playoff contenders. Starting pitchers are hitting innings limits. And since expanded rosters mean that there’s often no need to officially DL players, it can be hard to tell who is going to get at bats at all, and who is pretty much done for the year. If you’re still actively managing a fantasy team in a deep league at this time of year, there may be more names than ever to choose from on waivers… the tricky part is finding anyone who might actually help your team over the next three and a half weeks.

Now, just since I started writing this, news has arrived that J.P. Crawford and Luiz Gohara have reached the show, so things are getting at least a little more interesting. Meanwhile, here’s this weeks handful of guys who may still be floating around in the deepest of leagues:

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Let’s just go on what logic tells us.  Not Logic, the rapper, but logic the thing you’ve been chipping away at with your weed smoking.  In 2015, Billy Beane traded Drew Pomeranz to the Padres for Yonder Alonso.  At the time, we have to assume Beane wanted a slugging first baseman.  A guy that could hit 25+ homers.  Okay, so they dealt with terrible Alonso for two years, and, then, when they get what you think they had to be hoping for, they trade him for a prospect (Boog Powell) that many believe is a bench player.  Now, even if Powell pans out, you had in Alonso what you wanted already.  I’m beginning to think Beane just does trades to do trades.  If you were to hear in fifteen years that Beane was trying to make the A’s worse to get out of Oakland, would anyone be surprised?  Moneyball 2 is going to be starring Jamie Kennedy and straight-to-DVD.  Any hoo!  Alonso loses some value going to the M’s because he’ll likely platoon with Danny Valencia (hit his 13th homer on Sunday), though, I guess it could be argued this is a positive move for Alonso, because he’s hit .188 vs. lefties this year.  As for Powell, the A’s might promote and platoon him because what do they have to lose?  Or rather, what do they have to win?  If they’re lucky, Boog will bring some of his trademark ribs.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Only week 1 into Spring Training and we’re already seeing some draft altering injuries. Some predictable (Homer Bailey,) some crushing (Alex Reyes,) and some hilarious (Brian Flynn–who falls through barns in 2017?!) Expect to see this article appearing more regularly now that we’re back in baseball season.

Here are some players who are ruining people’s fantasy lives already before the calendar even turns to March.  

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On Dancer!  On Prancer!  On–Oh, I didn’t hear you come in.  Welcome, reader!  Grab some egg nog and brandy it up to the fire.  You look festive.  I love that Rudolph tongue ring.  That’s the great thing about Christmas, no matter what your interpretation is, it’s all about commercialism.  That’s unless you light the Munenori Kawasaki. The 2017 fantasy baseball rankings are not far away.  Right now, January Grey is throwing darts at a board to figure out where to rank Jay Bruce.  Exciting!   In the meantime, let’s look at the players who have multiple position eligibility for this upcoming 2017 fantasy baseball season.  The biggest surprise from this list?  Marwin Gonzalez played how many games at 1st base?  Hayzeus Cristo!  I did this list of multi-position eligible players because I figured it would help for your 2017 fantasy baseball drafts.  I’m a giver, snitches!  Happy Holidays!  I only listed players that have multiple position eligibility of ten games or more played outside of their primary position.  Not FIVE games at a position, not six, definitely not seven. Ten games.  10, the Laurel & Hardy of numbers.  So this should cover Yahoo, ESPN, CBS, et al (not the Israeli airline).  Yes, Christmas came two days early this year.  Players with multiple position eligibility are listed once alphabetically under their primary position.  This is the only time a year I do anything alphabetically, so I might’ve confused some letters.  Is G or H first?  Who knows, and, better yet, who cares?  Wow, someone’s got the Grinchies, must be the spiked egg nog talking.  Anyway, here’s all the players with multiple position eligibility for the 2017 fantasy baseball season and the positions they are eligible at:

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Happy Black Friday!  Oops, sorry, I mean Happy African-American Friday!  As I type this, I’m being trampled at Bed, Bath and Beyond.  “There’s enough Scrub Daddys for everyone!”  The Diamondbacks got a head start on Black Friday sales on Wednesday when they traded Jean Segura, Mitch Haniger and Zac Curtis to the Mariners for Taijuan Walker and Ketel Marte.  What’s that old axiom, if you don’t know who the sucker is at the table, you’re the sucker.  Mariners, you’re the sucker.  If anyone forgot that the Diamondbacks fired Dave Stewart immediately following the end of the season, this was a reminder.  If Stewart were still there, the Diamondbacks would’ve traded Greinke for Todd Walker.  As Dave Stewart would say after reading that, “I’m not mad at ya.”  Don’t love the move to Chase Field for Walker, but the NL West makes that medicine go down a little easier, chim chiminy chim chiminy chim chim cher-ee!  Walker had a 8 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 last year in 134 1/3 IP.  That goes up to 8.5 in the NL West and he’s pretending to yawn as he puts his arm around a low to mid-3 ERA.  The only thing that’s stopping you from nodding your head like a plus-size Pez is that Walker hasn’t done it yet.  He’s only 24 years old, not doing it yet isn’t a great excuse for never doing it.  For 2017, I’ll give him the projections of 12-11/3.44/1.18/153 in 160 IP.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2017 fantasy baseball:

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Mets outfielder Michael Conforto was 2-for-3 last night, scoring two runs with his 12th home run, and three RBI. Could this be the start of something big? Who’s Conforto, you ask? Lol, you pleb–Don’t you know anything? He’s just an uber prospect for the New York Mets.  *Sips cold brew coffee, adjust horn rimmed glasses, strokes beard* Sigh. You’ve probably never heard of him. Have I mentioned he’s the hipster’s favorite player? Do I really have to mention that? The man hit .365 with four homers, 11 doubles and 18 RBI in April, then completely fell of the planet. He was busy working on his documentary film/visual novel/app for dogs. Sitting in an abandoned warehouse turned secret speakeasy/corn hole arena/craft cider house/live-bluegrass music cafe, I sip my gluten-free organic cold brew coffee (cage-free beans, obv) and curl my finely waxed mustache, pondering what life would be like with a fantasy baseball championship. I put down my Gabriel García Márquez book (I only read South American novelists), let my hair free out of its man-bun, and realize that Michael Conforto could be the key to everything. All that magical realism is really paying off! Sure, he struggled mightily all year, and sure, Jay Bruce threatens to steal some of his playing time. But Bruce is also 2-for-31 (.065 BA) in the past two weeks, and Conforto’s got all the upside. If I were you, and I’m not, because I’m obviously way hipper than you, I’d grab Michael Conforto, who’s available in about 90% of fantasy leagues, before he gets hot. In fact, this could only make you cooler because when he does finally break out, that means you picked him up before he was cool. And there’s nothing cooler than that!

Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:

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Ryon Healy couldn’t have come at a better time for the A’s.  Their corner infidels were about as weaksauce as they come.  Mark Canha?  More like Can’t-hit.  Andrew Lambo?  More like ‘that Lambo is bahhhd.’  Yonder Alonso?  More like ‘over Yonder’ as in everyone’s over him in value.  Though, looking at Healy’s minor league numbers, he doesn’t look much better.  However, Josh Donaldson wasn’t much to look at in the A’s minor league system either.  It wasn’t until he came up and the A’s adjusted his swing to get more lift than a Beverly Hills surgeon.  Not saying in 2017, Healy will be Donaldson, but we shouldn’t write him off as a 15-homer hitter either, as his minor league numbers may indicate.  Why didn’t the A’s give Canha, Lambo, Alonso and others the patented lift?  An anecdote to illustrate:  for a few months, I wore shoe heels like Tom Cruise to give myself an extra two inches.  It was impossible to tell I had them in, they elongated me!  I looked like Fred Astaire (as old people told me)!  But after a few months, I got bunions the size of pearl onions and couldn’t walk.  I had to stop with the lift because it wasn’t natural and making things worse.  Maybe those other players couldn’t do the lift because it didn’t feel natural to them.  Of course, none of this matters for this year.  I’d grab Healy for the last ten days.  Doode’s fahrenhot!  Doode is straight butter that a professional hibachi chef puts on a sizzling lobster tail!  Doode’s Kurt Russell in Backdraft!  Healy is a social worker at a female prison that married a Russian mail-order bride!  Wait, that last one is a plot point for a Netflix show.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week 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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Tuesday doesn’t mark the 2016 Presidential Election, but there is no doubt a clear choice at starting pitcher tonight. The Cubs, who recently clinched the NL Central Division, are sailing into the playoffs and their horse – Jon Lester – continues to lead the way. Lester has been worth every single penny that the Cubs have paid him to date. He is coming off an eight inning, eight strikeout performance against the Cardinals and has given up just one run in his last four starts. On top of that, Lester is averaging 23.5 points per start at home this season with two complete games. The Reds pose no threat to Lester on Tuesday night and he will likely be the highest owned starter in cash games. Don’t let that make you shy away. Pivoting away from Lester could prove to be disastrous.

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