The first Frankencatcher Report came at a pretty ironic time for me. Right before sitting down to work on this report, I checked my lineups and saw that Welington Castillo was placed on the disabled list with tendinitis in his shoulder. Castillo missed Monday’s game with neck spasms, and the assumption was that he would be day-to-day and likely be fine by Wednesday or Thursday, but screw me I guess. So, I had to pick up a catcher before getting started on this. I’ll go over who I picked in some detail below.

Continuing with a trend of the past few years, catcher is not exactly a prominently contributing position in fantasy baseball this season (hence the need for such a handsome Frankencatcher Report). If you don’t get lucky with one of the elite catchers, of which there are very few these days, you are likely going to have to stream the position at some point in the season.

In ESPN leagues, there are only 11 catchers with an ownership percentage of more than 70. The next highest is Russell Martin, at just over 47%. And of those 11, one of them is Gary Sanchez, who has been on the disabled list for a couple weeks and only has 20 at-bats to his name on the season. Here are those 11:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Corey Kluber left yesterday’s game with lower back discomfort, before giving up five earned in three innings to the Tigers.  In every game, the Tigers look like John Jaso, just dreadful.  I mean, you ain’t got no alibi.  U-G-L-Y.  Then Kluber makes them look like The Ghost of Charley Lau is gliding each bat from beyond the grave.  “Don’t worry, Alex Avila, I will help you hit .400 and don’t forget to buy your mother a gift for Mother’s Day.”  “Hey, Ghost of Charley Lau, you help with the hitting and let my iCal do the rest!”  That’s so ungrateful, Alex Avila!  Looking at Kluber’s peripherals, there’s some cause for concern, but cause for optimism too, assuming his back will be fine (maybe a large assumption).  His velocity is down a hair, but his Ks, walks, and xFIP are not saying he should be pummeled like a gymnast’s horse.  His Aprils have been terrible for the last two years (yes, I know we’re in May), so I’m hoping Kluber comes out of it.  At worst, he’s a 3.70 ERA guy with 200+ Ks.  At best, it all still comes together. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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: Regerts, I’ve had a few.

Me:  Here Frank, have a Snickers.  Better?

:  Yah.  Why?

Me:  You’re not yourself when you’re hungry.

My wife and I went to see a Frank Sinatra impersonator the other day.  He did Frank.  He did Sammy.  He did Dean.  Shoot, I think he did my wife.  What he didn’t do is regret stacking Tigers against James Shields last week.  Because he didn’t.  Stack, that is.  He sang pretty well though.  Shields was not a great stack.  You know who has a great stack?  Never mind, I won’t regert, er, regret answering that one.  I did win both my bets though.  The Pale Hose allowed me to cover the over against the Tigers and the Nats won.  Ha!

Enough looking back.  Let’s look at our Thursday choices for FanDuel.  We’ll have it…..My Way!  Ha!

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Happy baseball season Razzballers! It’s me, Honcho, your on-again, off-again best baseball buddy. As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ll be handling the streaming duties this season, so you’ll want to check in each week to get the best information in the free world on which lightly owned pitchers and hitters to grab off the wire. Now, I know what you’re thinking…”But how does Honcho know which arms and bats to own each week?” Well, let me tell you my secret: Friends, it’s this simple, I’ll be assisted by both the Stream-o-Nator and Hitter-Tron this season. Sounds exotic or erotic or both. Right? Exactly. These easy to use tools will help you dominate your league, so I urge you to check them out and take the plunge. You can choose which package is right for you and your fantasy needs and enjoy our easy to use tools all season long. Rudy has done a tremendous job creating what I consider the best “tools” in the industry and I plan on giving you a sneak preview each week of what they can do for you. Obviously, since we’re heading into Week 1 of the season, the options will be slim – at least in terms of pitching. However, I’ll dig deep and deliver the best streaming options available along with a few bats that you might want to consider as well. Here’s the best part…..I’ll be focusing on players that are less than 50% owned in ESPN leagues which should provide an opportunity for you to pluck these winners off the vine so to speak. Anyway, enough about me. Let’s turn our attention to the match-ups and stream away…

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Before we jump right into this draft recap, let’s go over a little bit of background about the league and its details. This isn’t like the typical RCL 5×5 rotisserie league we often talk about in this space. LOEG is a 10×10 head-to-head keeper league, with 10 teams and four keepers per team from year to year. The league has been around for something like ten years and has been graced by the presence of yours truly for the past five.

Since the categories, scoring, and rules are a little different in this league I’ll break down all the details below. I think it’s important to break this down a bit first because not only do I want to bore you to death, but I want you to have all the information while you are going over the results and making fun of my team in the comments section. Anyway, here we go:

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You’re the monster preparing for your fantasy draft, and I’m Dr. Frankenstein telling you it’s all going to be OKAY.

If you are one of our beloved loyal Razzball readers, you know by now that this site tends to discourage you from taking catchers early in fantasy drafts. The argument is simple: the difference between a top 5 catcher and a 5-15 range catcher is negligible. At other positions, the difference is much more significant. Plus, there are always surprises who end up either getting drafted later or picked up on waivers who put up top 10 catcher numbers.

Some years ago, a younger Grey with what we can only assume was a less prominent mustache wrote about his draft strategy for punting catchers. I’ll wait here while you give it a look. Go ahead. It’s the same website, so I won’t get in trouble. I might even get some kind of bonus for encouraging clicks or something.

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Here, friend, are some catchers that I will be targeting at my 2017 fantasy drafts after the top options are gone.  I’m not going to get into the strategy of punting catchers.  Been there, half-drunkenly wrote that years ago.  Click on the player’s name where applicable to read more and see their 2017 projections.  This is a (legal-in-most-countries) supplement to the top 20 catchers of 2017 fantasy baseball.  Now, guys and five girl readers, I am not saying avoid catchers like J.T. Realmuto if they fall, but to get on this list, you need to be drafted later than 200 overall, and, to preemptively answer at least seven comments, yes, I will go around the entire infield, outfield and pitchers to target very late.  Anyway, here’s some catchers to target for 2017 fantasy baseball:

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I hope you do, because I’m at best, lukewarm (Yay! Starting off exciting).  I’m not sure which I like least, Catchers in Fantasy Baseball or Kickers in Fantasy Football.  Both score points/runs, both are integral to their teams, and both bore the ever-living crap out of me.  But they are a necessary evil (though would anyone have a problem if we did away with fantasy catchers?  I’m sure less would than doing away with kickers) that we have to play with, so while that’s the case, they get rankings.  Now that you’re sufficiently warmed up, let’s get to it.

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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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Earlier this week I partook (a much fancier word than participated) in my first mock draft of the season. As most of you know I am much more of a points league player, but I have no issue going both ways. This draft, however, represented a less common fantasy baseball format known as the 5×5 head-to-head league. This was actually the first time I had even drafted for this format, and with barely an hour to prepare, I’m not sure how I feel about the results. In hindsight, had I had more time to calculate more precise player values for this league format I believe I would have applied a different strategy when selecting my players. While I obviously cannot go back and actually change my picks, I can imagine the results with a different outcome. After all, imagination is the essence of discovery.

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