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Weekly leaguers, you’re here to read weekly league advice, of course.  But let’s begin this week by broadening our horizons with a little daily league chatter.  If you’ve been paying attention to JB throughout the season, you know that we’ve teamed up with DraftKings to offer exclusive Razzball contests all year long.  As JB mentioned on Wednesday, next week’s contest is our last of the year, and it’s a good one.  50 entries, $10-per, six get paid, and the winner pockets a few Benjamins.  If you haven’t given it a shot yet this year, I highly recommend you join our game next Friday.  It’s quite fun — you have my word on that.  More details to follow.  Now for the two-starters.

As always, probable pitchers are subject to change.  For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

MUST START

Clayton Kershaw (@COL, @SD); Adam Wainwright (@CIN, PIT); Madison Bumgarner (@SD, ARI); Homer Bailey (STL, LAD); Stephen Strasburg (@PHI, @MIA); Cole Hamels (@WAS, ATL); Mat Latos (STL, LAD); Chris Sale (@NYY, @BAL); Felix Hernandez (@KC, TB); Justin Masterson (BAL, NYM); Derek Holland (@OAK, @LAA); Hiroki Kuroda (CWS, BOS); Bartolo Colon (TEX, HOU)

  • A bunch of must start action this week should make for some entertaining H2H playoff match-ups.

FIRST TIER

Travis Wood (MIA, MIL); Wade Miley (TOR, @SF); Jon Lester (DET, @NYY); Danny Duffy (SEA, DET); Chris Tillman (@CLE, CWS); Chris Archer (@LAA, @SEA); Matt Moore (@LAA, @SEA); Doug Fister (@BOS, @KC)

  • Danny Duffy (8% owned in Y! leagues) has filthy, bat-missing stuff, and he brings the type of upside we’re looking for from tier one.  He’s grossly under-owned, and he could be the key to a playoff victory, so go get him while there’s still time.  And yeah, I realize he’s facing Detroit next weekend — Duffy 1-hit the Tigers through six frames two weeks ago… It’s probably going to be tough to get your hands on any of the other names here, but Acher, Wood, and Miley are each < 75% owned, so it’s probably worth peepin’ your waiver wire for them.

SECOND TIER

Tyler Thornburg (PIT, @CHC); Ian Kennedy (SF, COL); Charlie Morton (@MIL, @STL); Erasmo Ramirez (@KC, TB); Dan Straily (TEX, HOU); Jose Quintana (@NYY, @BAL); Bud Norris (@CLE, CWS); John Lackey (DET, @NYY)

  • Tyler Thornburg (1%) is replacing Tom Gorzelanny in the Brewers’ rotation.  Thornburg will start on Monday, putting him in line for two outings this week.  He’s pitched well enough to deserve a regular spot in that rotation, and I’m not shying away from him as a start… Ramirez (8%) is my guy, and he’s been showing signs of life in recent outings.  He’s probably a notch lower than this in most other 2-start circles, but I just can’t help myself when it comes to Erasmo… Two home starts out of Straily (10%) — one versus Houston — make him an intriguing streamer option… Others I’m comfortable streaming in week 23:  Charlie Morton (11%), Bud Norris (21%), and Jose Quintana (25%).

THIRD TIER

Paul Maholm (NYM, @PHI); Yusmeiro Petit (@SD, ARI); Brandon McCarthy (TOR, @SF); Todd Redmond (@ARI, @MIN); Andrew Albers (@HOU, TOR); Garrett Richards (TB, TEX); Bruce Chen (SEA, DET); Phil Hughes (CWS, BOS)

  • Tier three, as we know, is desperation station.  It’s playoff time, and maybe your staff didn’t line up too well for the upcoming week.  I can understand taking a chance on Redmond or Richards or Chen if times are tough, but these guys aren’t worth the blow-up risk if you’re already feeling okay about your lineup.

DON’T START

Daisuke Matsuzaka (@ATL, @CLE); Chad Bettis (LAD, @SD); Henderson Alvarez (@CHC, WAS); Paul Clemens (MIN, @OAK)

  • Just don’t.
  1. bossmanjunior says:
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    What do you think about Buchholz the next week? If he comes back the 10th like its being speculated, he would get the Rays away and Yankees at home. Just trying to figure out if I should continue holding him.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @bossmanjunior: I’d hold him through his next rehab start… see how that goes…

  2. Matt says:
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    So you’re serious about starting Duffy with confidence in the fantasy playoffs. Over Quintana?

    • Matt says:
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      @Matt:
      Oh and .. he’s going against F-Her and Verlander. Q has P Hughes, Bud Norris.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Matt: I’d start either, but Duffy brings more upside, IMO.

  3. Eric says:
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    What about Jason Vargas?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Eric: Looks like he’ll go twice… been sharp last couple outings. Easy tier two guy. Thanks for catching that one.

  4. Do You Even Lift? says:
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    Wow, I’m surprised both Bailey and Masterson are considered “Must Starts” considering they’re both so schizophrenic.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Do You Even Lift?: I hear ya on that, but there’s more good than bad with those two & I can’t imagine sitting them. More upside with them than with the first tier group, too… consider them at the low end of the must starts.

  5. Hector Luna says:
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    you rolling out either Nova vs. Baltimore or Cobb @ Oak today? Curious on your thoughts about those two matchups…

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Hector Luna: I’m good w/ both… I like Nova slightly more.

  6. Vinny says:
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    I really dont understand why Mccarthy is so low. He has two top notch matchups and pitched really well last time out. Im starting him over Duffy and Ramirez.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Vinny: Extreme blow up risk in the H2H playoffs. I can see using him over Erasmo, but I certainly don’t like him over Duffy.

  7. Dave says:
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    How are you not afraid of fister? Royals and red sox are on fire lately and he has been getting mashed. That said, really how crazy is it to choose quintana and morton over him?

    Thanks for the list, and prospect help

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Dave: Fister’s an upside arm & I agree he carries more risk than someone like Quintana at this point… I’d probably start both if I had them rosetered, but gun-to-my-head, I’m going w/ Fister’s upside.

  8. C.O.C. says:
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    So tough choices next week for pitching, a week that if I win, I make the playoffs….Gotta start 7: Greinke, Peavy, Samardzija, Cobb, Nolasco, Archer, Wheeler, Gray, Thornburg, and Duffy. I’m thinking sit Nolasco because of the lone start at Coors, and I want to start Thornburg and Duffy because of the 2 starts each. I also would like to start Gray at home vs Houston, but all that means I have to sit 2 of Greinke (no way), Peavy, and Cobb. I could also sit Samardzija, but he gets MIAmi. WHAT TO DO!!!???

    • Matt says:
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      @C.O.C.:
      I’m definitely benching Samardzjia in the face of other lower risk guys like Quintana, Wheeler, and apparently Danny Duffy who everyone’s selling me on today.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @C.O.C.: Greinke, Duffy, Thornburg, Gray, Peavy, Cobb, Wheeler

      • Scott Evans

        Scott Evans says:
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        Sorry, Archer over Wheeler.

  9. Steve Stevenson says:
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    I’m in a bizarro league where the week is Tuesday through Monday, so my 2 starters are a little different. W, L and QS count. Pick 2 out of: Lester (not thrilled about those matchups), M. Perez (@OAK, v PIT), Delgado (v TOR, @LAD), Cosart (v MIN, @SEA), T Walker (@KC, v HOU), Erasmo, E. Jackson (v MIA, @CIN).

    • Steve Stevenson says:
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      @Steve Stevenson: I suppose you could throw Nolasco (@COL, v ARI) in there, as well as he’s been throwing, but I ‘m terrified of trusting him just in time for a Coors start in the playoffs.

  10. Vinny says:
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    Wacha now a double start. What tier?

  11. Di Ro says:
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    Need to start one guy who would you choose;

    CC versus CWS, Ryu @ Col, Samardzija versus Mia

  12. MB says:
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    Hello,

    would you go AJ Burnett or Cahill this week?

  13. Pete says:
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    I have Richards and thinking about streaming at least for tonight. How serious of blowup risk in a 12 team H2H points league? I have my first week of playoffs going. Thornburg’s available but I only have 4 moves to use this week.

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