If your fantasy portfolio is anything like mine, it probably means that there’s some work to be done to ensure you’re sitting at the top of the standings at the end of the season. Sure, there have been some good calls along the way. Drafting Mookie Betts looks like it’ll work out just fine. That late round SAGNOF pick of Jonathan Villar is making you look like Nostradamus right about now. But it hasn’t exactly been all sunshine and katydids for your fake teams. That Stanton/Upton/Heyward monster outfield that you assembled on draft day has put up some scary numbers this year (and not in a good way). Perhaps you decided to go the two ace route since a Harvey/Archer combo was just too good to pass up back in March. And just like that, you went from feeling like Nostradamus to Nostradumbass. Fantasy can be so cruel sometimes. The point is that things don’t always go according to plan. Fortunately, there’s still plenty of time to turn things around, and plenty of widely available players with which to do so. The purpose of this article is to identify some of those players who have the potential to provide significant fantasy value in the second half of the season as well as a few of the expendable players who might be burning holes in your roster.

Today, we’re going to look at some hitters of interest while focusing on pitchers in the near future. Without further ado, here are some potential second half treasures on the hitting side who are widely available in ESPN leagues (ownership percentage in parentheses):

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The sexy prospects are finally making it baby!

It’s good to be back to the Pitcher Profile, with so many hot options out there to break down as we head into the ASB. While Lucas Giolito (who I was always spell wrong with two T’s the first time I type his name) has more “overall” prospect buzz, I think I might have been more excited that we finally got the Tyler Glasnow callup. I had continually been ranking him very favorably in my ranks in the 60s, and I’m not gonna lie, when I saw Steven Brault got the call before him (and this is even after Chad Kuhl too), I was dismayed. But alas! Glasnow made his debut last Thursday afternoon against the Cardinals with a lot of encouraging stuff coming out of it. Not too surprisingly, he was sent back down as he wasn’t needed for another start before the All-Star Break, but will he be back soon sooner or later? Well, here’s how he looked in his MLB debut, and an analysis on if you should be holding onto him on redraft rosters:

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With the exception of a few dependable options like Jonathan Lucroy, Wilson Ramos, and Buster Posey, the catcher position has (somewhat predictably) been one of the least offensively productive positions in fantasy baseball this season. Yasmani Grandal and Yan Gomes currently have sub-.200 batting averages. Yadier Molina and the recently injured Francisco Cervelli have combined to hit one home run. Arizona backup Chris Herrmann has been a top 10 player at the position thus far this season. I suppose that the term dumpster fire would be a more apt description to characterize the catching landscape. It should come as no surprise, then, that recent Chicago Cubs call-up Willson Contreras (30.5% owned; +27.4% over the past week) is this week’s most added player in ESPN leagues. Considered by many to be the top offensive catching prospect in the game, the 24-year-old rookie slashed .353/.442/.593 in 55 Triple-A games this season and launched a homer in his first MLB at-bat against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday night. His ability to make contact (13.3% K%) while hitting for power (.240 ISO) in the Pacific Coast League this year displayed a rare combination indeed, especially for a catcher. Miguel Montero and David Ross are the incumbents in Chicago, but they shouldn’t provide much resistance for playing time if the rookie hits the ground running. Contreras is certainly worth adding if available. There’s massive upside here at a thin position.

Here are a couple of other interesting adds/drops in fantasy baseball over the past week:

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Hello everyone, and welcome to Sunday!

Just like always, we’ve got a very hearty 11-game slate on our hands today, with a number of stud SP’s set to take the mound, 5 of which are priced above $10k, which begs the question of which high-priced stud we want.

There’s a couple of issues that I have with each “ace” that we have on our hands today with the exception being Noah Syndergaard.

Max Scherzer: We’ve seen the 20-strikeout performance, and we know the upside that he brings to the table with his high K%, but he brings serious blowout potential with his 21.30% HR/FB rate, his low GB-rate, and the fact that he doesn’t do well against lefties is cause for concern.

Jordan Zimmermann: His 2.45 ERA makes it seem that he is playing at a good level, but that is not true. He lacks the ability to strike guys out with his stuff, with a 16.40 K% and a 7.40 SwK%, and I prefer the likes of Danny Salazar for less.

Cole Hamels: Yes, Houston strikes out a bunch, causing for opposing pitchers to get a price bumb, yet I don’t think anyone should pay up for Hamels when you can get other, better pitchers for less. Hamels has serious blowup potential with a daunting 25.0% HR/FB rate, and while he has been solid this year, he isn’t doing that well for me to want to use him, yet we can’t really pick on him that much with our bats.

With that being said, I don’t think there are any cheap/value options on the slate that we should use, as most of the lower-priced guys are the ones we want to pick on. Especially Alfredo Simon and Phil Hughes.

You ready? Let’s break it down.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well reserve your spot in the 25 Team Razzball Exclusive League set to run Monday May 23rd 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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A few weeks ago, I was but a wee lad writing my first article for Razzball, and you were reading that article because you were either desperate for catcher advice in your fantasy league or because you just plain hate yourself. I recommended picking up J.T. Realmuto for a lengthy dice roll or Jarrod Saltalamacchia for some short term power, and we all laughed a little on the outside and cried a little on the inside.

Then Realmuto hit .500 over the course of the next week. .500, as in half of his at bats were hits. .500, as in the batting average of some of the top high school baseball prospects (except Realmuto, he hit .595 and had 119 RBI in 42 games. Found those stats by accident while searching for a picture of the Realmuto family crest.). .500, as in—OK, enough. It was only a week.

Realmuto cooled off a bit the next week, but he was still more than solid, especially for a catcher: 8-23, 0.348 BA, 2B, 4 RBI, 2 R, SB, .739 OPS. Not too shabby, even if there isn’t a ton of power there. I would like to take this time to point out that my predictions (read: ANALYSIS) for Realmuto, Salty, and Wilson Ramos were all pretty much spot on. Ok, now that we got that out of the way, we can move on.

The free agent catcher wasteland is as bleak as it has ever been. I checked the top 3 free agents by position yesterday in my CBS league, and the top 3 catchers available were: Saltalamacchia, Chris Herrmann, and David Ross. I think most of us would agree that the logical reactions to those three are “old news,” “who?,” and “really?,” respectively. It’s bad, guys. Let’s start with the catchers to stay away from, first.

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There’s embarrassment and then there’s having to cover in detail a fantasy baseball league you’re nearly dead last in. So begins our first monthly update on the in house dynasty league “The RazzNasty”. For those of you that are new here, “The RazzNasty” is a Razzball founded dynasty league made up of Razzball writers, readers, commenters, and Methodists! It’s a 16 team roto with semi-weekly adds/drops via blind auction. We have 30 man MLB rosters and 10 man minor league rosters. Since we last updated you in early March there’s been a flurry of activity including trades, wire adds, a second commissioner switch, and a banana or two in the tailpipe. So yes it’s more or less high stakes Mario Kart.

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I’m fascinated by things that are outside of the box and things that challenge what is considered the “norm”.  A good knuckleballer is a joy to watch.  Trevor Bauer and his pregame routine and training regime is so intriguing.  I wish he’d have some success so people might take it a little more seriously.  Basically, it’s no fun doing things the exact same way every, single time and there’s no way to evolve and learn if we don’t try something new.  In this same vein, we have Hector Santiago, the only pitcher in the major leagues to throw a screwball last year.  He will also probably be the only pitcher to throw one in the majors this season.  This pitch was very popular back in the early days of baseball but has since become almost entirely extinct due to the threat of injury it possess.  I get it, but you’d think if you’re the only pitcher throwing a pitch that funky in MLB, you’d have an advantage.  Well, Mr. Santiago is having himself a year so far in the early going, but I’m not so sure it’s screwball related.  Santiago has raised his K/9 from 8.07 last year to 8.71 so far this year and he’s lowered his BB/9 from 3.54 to 2.61.  Also of note is the 2 MPH he’s added to his fastball.  Early jumps in fastball velocity are typically a great sign that a pitcher’s early season success might be more than just a fluke.  Another sign that something has changed for Santiago is the change in GB/FB ratio.  Santiago has typically been an extreme flyball pitcher, which wasn’t always wonderful in US Cellular field.  His flyball percentage is still high-ish, but it’s dropped from an average of 48% for his career to 44% this year.  The big change though is in his ground ball percentage which has jumped from his career average of 33% up to 47% so far this year.  That has lead his GB/FB to jump from a career norm of 0.7 to over 1.0.  So, we’ve got a pitcher with increased fastball velocity, with better control and who’s inducing more grounders.  Did I mention he’ll be facing the Mariners where he’ll have the platoon advantage against just about everyone outside of Nelson Cruz?  At $8,400 he’s the perfect compliment to Jose Fernandez for the night slate.

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 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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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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The Reds are like the slowest team ever to rebuild.  They sell off a piece every few months or so.  “We’re getting rid of Cueto as we look to the future.”  Dot dot dot.  A month later, “Someone make us an offer for Leake.  We’re rebuilding…kinda.”  Dot dot dot.  A few months later, “Okay, who wants Aroldis?  For what it’s worth, he has a gun permit.”  Dot dot dot.  “Todd Frazier anyone?  Everything must go…eventually!”  Dot dot dot.  “Hey, what do y’all think of Brandon Phillips?”  The teamsters on three hours of sleep broke down the Titanic set quicker than the Reds.  By August of 2016, Votto may be hitting between Kyle Waldrop and Cozart, and, knowing Votto, he will still hit .320.  Any hoo!  Moving to the White Sox doesn’t hurt Frazier, in theory.  I say that because I feel like everything the White Sox touch turns to the wall of a Porta-Potty. Maybe it’s the Curse of Bill Veeck.  Or just the Curse of the “Ill, Eek.”  Capital I’s with an L next to it are weird, right?  Okay, back to baseball!  Frazier had 35 HRs last year and a 15.1% HR/FB, which is nothing.  That’s around his career norm.  He achieved this by hitting everything in the air.  If he keeps that up — literally — in Chi-town, good things can continue to happen.  Of course, every action has an equal opposite reaction, and more fly balls could hurt his average, which would hurt his runs and RBIs.  Brucely, I’d take that trade off.  Then throw in his 15-ish steals and you have a guy that should be near the top 25 overall for fantasy.  For 2016, I’ll give him 86/30/98/.250/14.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason in 2016 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?