The Tigers announced that Joe Nathan had a torn UCL and would require season-ending Tommy John surgery. This could be the end of a once-illustrious career. To commemorate all that Nathan has done for baseball, this Fourth of July, at Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, they will be eating Nathan’s discarded elbow tendons. Takeru Kobayashi said, “I’ll be training on udon and Brandon Beachy tendons for the next few months, then a week before I will eat nothing but Sabathia’s knee ligaments to widen my gullet.” Gotta love that guy’s ambitious spirit. So, Nathan’s done and Joakim Soria now becomes a top twelve-ish closer with the chance of being top seven-ish by season’s close. As long as -ish don’t kill my vibe! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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How many times have you found yourself making lineup changes on a day with a full slate? I’ve done it numerous times and in DFS MLB, it can be even more frustrating trying to squeeze the right players into your lineup to stay under the salary cap. Today I’m focusing on good value players. Meaning, what players can you choose that’ll produce at a high level and cost you less compared to the other players at that position. We do the same thing in our season-long fantasy sports leagues, and you can even do it when playing DFS on DraftKings. The obvious choice is to start picking your Pitcher first, mostly because that is the first option you see. But how about starting with a few hitting positions and start picking good value players first, and then move on to your pricey Pitchers. You may end up with more money left over, but that is a better problem to have instead of trying to pick your third OF with $500 left. I can’t pick Mike Trout, Clayton Kershaw, and Miguel Cabrera everyday, so here are some good value players, along with a few that you can’t help but play. If you’re in a big ‘guarantee’ entry, and only have hopes for the first place prize money, you’ll need to roll the dice on some of these good value players.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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Wow, what an amazing opening day. I thought I fell asleep in my DeLorean and went back to the juiced up era. And by juiced up I mean the players and/or ball. Am I the only one (I know I’m not) who thinks that blaming the players bad habits was just a smokescreen for the other culprits in the heist of our game? It was also the owners and their puppet Mr. Selig, the GM’s and the players association. Now don’t get me wrong, the players were dirty and deserve everything, they are getting but why not the rest of the guilty? Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox, I got laundry to do. If you didn’t get a dong on opening day this year, then your team is terrible and you will lose. I kidd, I kidd. This feels like when I was growing up and if you were the last one to get garbage pail kids cards or acid washed jeans, then you were lame. This week there are no master standings since the season is only two days old, so just assume you are tied for first and sleep well til next week.

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Can you smell that? Can you? It’s the smell of a brand spanking new baseball season about to begin and with it, the smell of popcorn, fully chewed Redman, hot dog-flavored water, and gun powder. Why gun powder? MURICA! That’s why! What are you a bunch of red commies that hate freedom? No?!?! Good! Now that we’ve established your patriotism, let’s move on to our first two-start pitcher post of the young season. As I did at the end of 2014, when I took over this ship, I’ll break down all of the starters into a few tiers based on quality of the pitcher and then of course their matchups. To back up just why I’m placing each pitcher into a particular tier, I’ll provide stats on the pitcher and the lineups they’re facing. Considering the only data I have at this point in the season to go on will be last year’s numbers…and what good are those? I’m going to skip this step and just do my rankings and usual blurbs per tier. After all, it is Week 1, and much like a toilet in a unisex bathroom, we’re dealing with everyone’s 1’s and 2’s. Plus, we have plenty of tools to help you figure this stuff out… So sit back, relax, catch ya contact, sip ya cog-ni-ac, and feel free to share your perspective in the comments. I didn’t think the last part about laundering money applied.

Shameless Plug Alert!!!! When you’re done here, head on over to Razzball Soccer and catch all the goodies that Smokey and I are providing for Fantasy Premier League!! Do it!

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bryant_park

Those of you that live in the New York City area or have visited the world’s greatest metropolis have likely walked past Bryant Park. Perhaps you even stopped to take a leak or even sat down on a nice sunny day to do some fantasy baseball research and adjust your lineup. Located between between Fifth and Sixth Avenues and between 40th and 42nd Streets in Midtown Manhattan, Bryant Park is actually built on top of an underground building containing the archives for the New York Public Library. I know… who gives a shift. Besides, I’m more of a Washington Square Park kinda guy anyway.

For those of you that thought Bryant Park was the name of the Chicago Cubs spring training stadium, guess again. That would be Sloan Park in Mesa, Arizona, which happens to be the largest spring training stadium (by capacity) with room for 15,000 people. [Jay’s Note: Had amazing sight lines, rugged, yet modern feel. 8/10, would go again.] I think that translates into 25,000 little people, but my math could be wrong. Despite his herculean efforts this spring, not only did they not rename the stadium after him, but Kris Bryant was denied the opportunity of being on the Opening Day roster. Instead, Theo Epstein gave us all some bullshart excuse that he needs more time in the minors. Listen Theo, say what you want, but there isn’t a baseball fan north of the border that doesn’t believe this isn’t a service time maneuver. I’m not a Boras fan, but I love how he called him out on this. Even Cubs manager Joe Maddon has said that he’d love to have him in the lineup. I guess I’ll see you in a few weeks Kris.

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Writing for Razzball is a pretty sweet gig. The fantasy master lothario himself, Mr. Grey Albright, has provided me with a tremendous amount of creative control over the subject matter that I choose to write about. All that I’m required to do in return for this freedom is ensure that the topics that I choose to discuss are fantasy-relevant as well as consistently heap praise upon my employer (nice stache Boss!). While this arrangement is usually a blessing, it can also be a bit of a curse at times. There are so many different things to write about, so many potential angles to pursue when analyzing statistics. It can be difficult to narrow it down and focus on a specific set of search criteria. Sometimes, I know exactly how this guy feels.

Want to take me on in a Razzball Commenter League? Join my league here!

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What was I thinking when I thought this would be a fun post? I came into this wanting to be Grey’s opposite for S’s and G’s, but that ship sailed south really fast. If you are disappointed that I bailed on that idea, then go to his comments any day and you can view my contrarian ways as I try to keep him honest and keep myself being…well, me being good ole me. When Rudy told me he would make me a table doing a side-by-side with dollar values, I was a little worried about how that would be accepted by the Grey-heads. Then I thought to myself, who doesn’t like money? Well maybe Monty Brewster, who hated money for 30 days, but I would too with what he had to do in that classic 80’s baseball flick. On a hunch, I went into the archives to find that Rudy wrote this post last year and realized I got duped into doing it for 2015. Well played señor Rudolfo…well played indeed.

Want to take me on in a Razzball Commenter League? Join my league here!

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Everyone has their own method of determining their draft board and I imagine mine is rather unique. My early focus is on playing time/injuries so I can run Steamer rates against them and run the results through my Player Rater $ calculation. I then compare this against NFBC ADP and any expert drafts to get a sense for the outliers. As the preseason crawls on, I find myself digging into more and more players and determining whether they are players I want on my team based on their market value.

My tweak this year has been to analyze the outliers (guys my Player Rater is high/low on) earlier in the preseason. Projections are far from perfect and I have no problem drafting a guy above or below my $ value if I feel passionately about his value. These analyses are not terribly thorough – just scanning their FanGraphs pages for peripheral stats and reading Baseball Forecaster and Baseball Prospectus player summaries (the former of which being more helpful than the latter). I also check against Grey’s rankings so I can identify on which players we will inevitably debate.

Below are three pitchers – Julio Teheran, Mat Latos, Tyson Ross – where my Player Rater is way more pessimistic than the other sources I have reviewed. While my reasons vs Steamer’s reasons may differ, it still ends up with the same conclusion: I think these guys are being overvalued and I cannot see how any of three will end up on any of my teams.

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Keeper league rankings are here (the 2014 Rankings can be found here), and I am going to absolutely shock the world with my number one. This is all about zagging when others zig. You gotta get out in front of the pack with advanced statistics and clever strategory. Sometimes you have to be bold and go against the grain to get that competitive edg…what’s that? Everybody else has Mike Trout number one too? It’s common sense? Well…crap. These are my personal rankings and take into account the 2015-2019 seasons. Don’t start flipping through your calendar – that’s 5 years. It means the senior citizen players are really going have to provide some nice statistics in the first year or two to rank highly. It also means players who are in or, better yet, just entering their prime get a bump. It’s not a hybrid list, so no prospects or Cuban rookies…sorry. It’s also not set for any specific pricing or league settings so assume a standard 5×5 roto format with no penalties to keep a player. Basically it’s a ranking of what I think these players will be worth over the next 5 years as a whole. It’s that simple. Here are my top 100 keepers for 2015 and beyond…

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With the 2015 fantasy baseball rankings for every position done, we turn our lazy eye towards the top 100 for 2015 fantasy baseball. These 2015 fantasy baseball rankings are one part fresh and two parts to def. They own a cat, a dog and a lizard in a two bedroom apartment where pets aren’t allowed. Know why? Cause they don’t care! None of this top 100 for 2015 fantasy baseball is meant to surprise. *jumping out of a closet* Boo! Now, that was meant to surprise. This top 100 is just taking my positional rankings and putting guys in The Big Picture. You really should read each ranking post because the blurbs in this top 100 are on the skimpy side because there’s so many of them, and I went over each one of these guys already. Obviously at a hundred players, some guys just didn’t make it. About 300, to be inexact. It’s okay; there will be a top 400 tomorrow. Shortly, Sloth, you’ll have your Baby Ruth. 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 2015 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 2015 fantasy baseball:

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