It’s 2016, and that means that most of us will have to make some moves throughout the year to address the catcher position. Long gone are the glory days of 2004 when the top 10 catchers could all be counted on for double digit home runs and an average above .280. In 2004, an already aging Mike Piazza rated as the 10th best catcher with 20 home runs and a .266 average (See: Doping in Baseball). This year, in this sad world that we live in, Travis d’Arnaud was the second catcher taken in many leagues because it was thought that he had the POTENTIAL for 20+ long balls and a .240 average.

So, the chances are that unless you drafted Buster Posey early or were able to keep Posey in a keeper league, you’ll be at least flirting with the waiver wire catchers at some point this year. Perhaps you drafted d’Arnaud and now have his .196 AVG and zero home runs on your DL. Maybe you’re in my league and you traded for Kyle Schwarber on draft day and are now ready to kill yourself. It’s even possible that you drooled over his 2014 stats (25 HR, .273 AVG) and  drafted Devin Mesoraco, but now his .152 AVG and frequent days off have you ready to move on.

The bad news is that catchers in fantasy baseball have become crapshoots, and many owners choose to chase categories instead of trying to find balance. The good news is that you’ll get to pick a new catcher and feel hopeful every few weeks!

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Crank up that AC/DC and let’s get this party started! Oh and in case you haven’t heard Axl Rose will be joining AC/DC as Brian Johnson will be stepping down due to hearing loss. Bittersweet as I loved me some BJ, but it should be fun to see Axl and Angus rock the stage. Nothing gets the Monday morning juices flowing like AC/DC and seeing Thor on the slate, especially with the rest of sub-par starting pitching options for today. Who is this Thor I speak of (rhetorical, unless you stumbled upon us through some sort of comic con accident). The Thor, I speak of is Noah Syndergaard, the highest priced pitcher today at $12,100. Thor had some big expectations coming into the season, but lets face it, living up to the Norse God of Thunder seemed like an even bigger task. Well in his first two games he’s exceeded those expectations, by absolutely dropping the hammer on opposing batters with 21 K’s, 1ER, 2 BB over the last 13 innings. Last season when he was called up he showed that dominate +95 MPH fastball, 99 MPH sinker and 90 MPH change up that actually danced. That’s a lethal combination, especially when you add in his physical attributes, he only stands 6’6″ and weighs 240 lbs (he’s probably closer to 255, cause dude is jacked) He’s got the nickname, the hair, the body and did I mention that he added a 95 MPH slider to his arsenal? His power pitches were already dominating hitters and now he added this nasty slider that is making him miss even more bats. Thor is not without his flaws as it looked like Miami may have found a small chink in the armor. They got him for 7 hits on Tuesday, but most of those were because they were all swinging on the first pitch, the second and third time through the order. If he can be a little more elusive on the first pitch, we may see an out of this universe season from this stud. If anyone is looking to shower the staff here at Razzball with gifts, I’d like to put my request in for this little New York Mets give away on 4/30 Thor Garden Gnome. With the pitching slate extremely thin today, Thor and Jose Fernandez, $11,300 will be highly rostered, so let’s dive into two other guys who might help us cash in.

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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And if Vince V. is so money, it would make the Padres a bunch of Swingers.  Seriously, tell me Vince Velasquez wasn’t money?  He struck out 16, baby.  He only gave up three hits, baby.  He is a beautiful baby, baby.  C’mon, he’s so money.  You gotta grab him, baby, you gotta.  Call him up on waivers, go ahead, c’mon, baby, call him up.  “Hi, uh, this is a random fantasy baseballer, which is, uh, Grey’s mom’s term.  I saw you struck out 16, uh, Padres, in a shutout and I was, uh, wondering–”  Machine beeps.  Call back, baby!  Velasquez wants you to!  “Hi, Mr. Velasquez, it’s me again.  Ha, silly movie answering machines always shutting off prior to a message ending.  I mean, who even has answering machines like this anymore–”  Machine beeps.  C’mon, baby!  You’re almost through that message!  Then you can go on to direct Iron Man and be the namelganger for a Washington speech writer, while I can go do a lot of blow with Jennifer Aniston and singlehandedly ruin True Detective playing essentially myself.  You gotta, baby!  You are so money!  So, Vince Velasquez went 9 IP, 0 ER, 3 hits, zero walks, 16 Ks, and if he’s still on waivers in your league, I want to be in your league.  Yes, you should grab, like yesterday (preferably before his last start).  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I don’t know where it’s coming from with Jeremy Hazelbaker, so I called Keith Morrison of Dateline to investigate.  He went to St. Louis to investigate and left me this message, “Here, in bucolic St. Louis, all seemed right in the world.  Jeremy had just married his high school sweetheart, and they were on a honeymoon of a lifetime when the unthinkable happened.”  I picked up the phone, because I use an old school answering machine, “Keith, St. Louis isn’t bucolic, and I’m not looking for a suspicious murder scenario.  I want to know who Jeremy Hazelbaker is for fantasy baseball.”  Keith continued, “The neighbors had nothing but nice things to say about the couple.  But they didn’t see the dark side.”  “Keith, yesterday, Hazelbaker went 4-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI, and is hitting .526 through a week’s worth of games and hitting 2nd on most days.  Can he continue it?”  “Only that wasn’t pine tar on his bat, it was iron-rich blood.  Coming up after the break–”  So, I don’t know how the Cardinals do this with outfielders every year.  These outfielders that just come out of nowhere to be fantasy relevant; I will call them, The Sons of Ludwick.  Will it continue for Hazelbaker?  It seems highly unlikely.  He profiles as a 5-7 HR, 15-17 SB guy who might hit .245.  But, ya know what, I don’t need to know where it’s coming from or if it will continue to own Hazelbaker, as I now do in a few leagues.   Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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We’re finally starting to settle into the season!  The Opening Week jitters are gone, and while we still say “small sample size” on everything – it’s not the size of the data but how you use it!

With starting pitching, most guys have only made their first start on the year – a few top-of-the-rotation guys have made two – so unless you see something drastic, you’re not panicking.  And full disclosure, I wrote this intro before Joe Ross‘s first start, so admittedly I am a little nervous…  I have several shares of Ross – on all my redrafts teams, I ranked him crazy high, he’s going to have my first born child…  But whatever happens, it’s still only one start!  This is one of the most nerve-racking Pitcher Profiles I’ve done!

My heavy investment in Ross made him an easy choice to break down for the first Profile on the young season, so here’s how he looked on Sunday afternoon hosting the Marlins, after having his start Saturday night postponed:

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The San Diego Padres just went on a scoring bender at Coors, putting up 32 runs over the past three days. Their scoring barrage comes just two days after throwing up triple zeros for the first three games of the season. In case you missed it, that’s the WORST start to an MLB season ever. Yep, you read that correctly, it’s the WORST ever, like ever ever. Obviously they couldn’t go scoreless all season, but I doubt anyone expected them to average over 10 runs a game, especially after that hideous start. I really hope Matt Kemp & Company enjoyed that offensive explosion, because as of 4PM yesterday, they’re all out of that Rocky Mountain Kush……err…. Air. Just like Hangover 2 and 3, this one is going to hurt quite a bit as today they’re due to come crashing back down to reality in Philly. Taking the bump for the Fightin Phil’s is Aaron Nola, No-La, No-La Ay, rolling, rolling, rolling with Kid N Play now (Ear Worm!). Nola looked sharp against Cincinnati on Wednesday throwing 7 innings, with 8 Ks & 1 ER. With San Diego coming off that Rocky Mountain High and combined with his solid $8,500 price tag, look for Nola to keep it rolling (side note, Kid N Play had some great dance moves that even a white kid from the suburbs could pull off). No-La, No-La Ay can easily be paired with Price or Quintana and still leave you with plenty of cash for those offensive options. I don’t know about the rest of you, but the weather has been wreaking havoc on me in DK! I think that last weeks rainouts are about to push some of those chips back to us today with some solid match-ups.

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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I’ve begun working on a program that aims to harness the collective super powers of some of the greatest minds in the last five hundred years. Think of it as a digital hybrid of Nate Silver, Tom Tango, Billy Beane, Kenny Powers and Nostradamus. The beta version, however, was just Powers and Nostradamus. I called it Nostradumbass. According to its calculations I was supposed to draft Adam LaRoche, Torii Hunter and Reggie Jackson. Now call me old fashioned, but if I’m going to get screwed, I’d at least like to get dinner out of the deal. The only guaranteed prediction you can make from those suggestions is that my team is going to suck. If something is a “guaranteed” prediction, is it really a prediction? The aforementioned players project to zero fantasy points for the remainder of the season.

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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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The other day the top 10 for 2016 fantasy baseball was straight sexy like when a model on America’s Next Top Model knows how to smize and booty tooch.   Then, the next day, the top 20 for 2016 fantasy baseball was all the flavors of the Skittles rainbow melted into one giant Skittle that was a color that was not-black even though all colors together should’ve been.  Today, the top 20 catchers for 2016 fantasy baseball is the direct opposite of those wondrous achievements.  This post, here, is, um, catchers.  Lowercase yay.  Most of you know how I feel about catchers.  If you draft a catcher any time before the first 100 picks, you don’t know how I feel about catchers.  Let me freshen up your cocktail with a splash of insight.  I don’t draft top catchers in one catcher leagues.  I Reggie Roby them.  Last year, Posey was the top ranked catcher at the end of year.  Yet, he was only the 8th best 1st baseman, about as valuable as Albert Pujols, who hit only .244.  The best catcher can’t spray aerosol deodorant on the top guy for another position.  The top five catchers last year were Bust Posey, Bri McCann, Eve Gattis, Russ Martin and Sal Perez.  Only one guy was drafted in the top 100.  No one should draft a top catcher because there are no top catchers.  They’re all hot garbage with a side order of gefilte fish, or kapelka as Q-Tip calls it.  Catchers are unreliable to stay healthy; the job is grueling and takes its toll on offensive stats.  There’s not much difference between, say, the tenth best catcher and nothingness.  Last year, Welington Castillo was the tenth best catcher.  He was on waivers for at least half the season.  He was the tenth best catcher with a line of 42/19/57/.237.  Yo, Q, forget kapelka, Welington Castillo makes me vomit.  Also, with this crop of catchers — they’re actually deep in mediocrity.  You can draft the fifth best catcher or the 12th best and they’re tomato-tomato said with a different emphasis.  Because I ignore the top catchers doesn’t mean I’m starting the top 20 catcher list at number twenty-one; some of you might want to know the top catchers.  You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them draft d’Arnaud.  In two catcher leagues, catchers are a little more valuable, but I’d still prefer to avoid them.  You can see other top 20 lists for 2016 fantasy baseball under 2016 fantasy baseball rankings.  Listed along with these catchers are my 2016 projections for each player and where the tiers begin and end.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2016 fantasy baseball:

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It feels like just the other day the baseball regular season started.  You wrote “I heart baseball” in permanent marker on your arm, then you met a girl who wrote “I heart guys who heart baseball” on her arm, then, during sex in August, you screamed out “I love you, Arenado!” and now you don’t have baseball or a girlfriend.  C’mon, calendar, make like a soldier and turn to March.  The only cure for the post-baseball season blues — recapping the preseason top twenty lists and being hand-fed Doritos.  First up, Cool Ranch and our preseason Top 20 Catchers for 2015.  It’s important to look back before we look ahead to 2016.  To paraphrase the one and only B-Real, “How do you know where you’re at, if you don’t know where you’ve been? Understand where I’m coming from?”  It wouldn’t be fair for me to preseason rank the players, then rank them again in the postseason based on my opinion, so these postseason top 20 lists are ranked according to our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater.  It’s cold hard math, y’all!  Please, for the love that all is holy, don’t ask me if this is for next year.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2015 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

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