Unlike some lists, I don’t have some big introductory explanation here. I trust you grasp the premise and intend to skip this paragraph, but if I still have your eyes for the moment, I’ll say I imagine a start-up build for a 15-team, 2-catcher dynasty league when parsing through the lists and try to explain when a player’s value varies based on settings. If you’re in a contention window, your rankings should look a bit different than they’d look on the front end of a rebuild. I’ll flag some players along the way for whom the disparity in value can get especially large from build to build.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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Look, I’m not going here and pretend that this love letter to Gleyber Torres is something you haven’t read before on any other site. It’s quite well known by now that Torres is the de facto “rebound” selection going into the 2021 season. I guess everyone knows that Torres had a pretty terrible 2020. What this post presupposes is… maybe he didn’t? Look, I’m not going to be that guy, since I’m not nearly brave enough to, and go full contrarian here, but I think it’s still worth looking a bit more on what makes Torress so primed for that breakout, if the analysis out there matches some basic litmus tests, and the idea that if this player truly is the rebound avatar that everyone loves to have, how much should you really pay for him? That and more after the jump!

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The utility hitting position in fantasy baseball can be used in two different ways:

The “Matt Stairs” – This approach is using the position the same way Matt Stairs used baseball teams, as a revolving door. Stairs played for 12 different teams during his career always finding a new way to be useful.  In this strategy, the Utility position in the lineup is used to plug in the most useful player for that particular day whether based on matchup, hot streak or just plain guessing.
The “Edgar Martinez” – This approach is all about set it and forget it. Just like Edgar Martinez for most of his career, this strategy looks to bring in the most impactful player for the position.  What this approach will lose in flexibility for the roster, it will look to gain in production.

There is not a right or wrong strategy and often the best strategy will not be known until the ebb and flow of draft day opens an opportunity to follow one of these strategies.  In today’s column we are going to focus on two players that fit into the latter of these strategies due to their positional inflexibility.

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Howdy, folks!

Thanks for tuning in for my next weekly project: tracking all them ding dang injuries. I’m transitioning from transactions to trauma. From moves to maladies. From signings to sickness. From business to band-aids. From…that’s all I got.

Don’t we all love injuries? What would fantasy sports be without all those cute lil’ red “DTD”s and “IL”s and “O”s and “Q”s sprinkled all over our lineup pages?

I jest, of course. F*** injuries. Nothing sours your fantasy GM mojo like freakin’ injuries. Last year was banonkers (bananas + bonkers = banonkers) with COVID, and we’re already getting some of that fun as Spring Training kicks off. I keep seeing stuff about this wild California strain, and if there’s any proof in that pudding, then we could very well be in for a lot more COVID fun in 2021. I mean, we will be anyway, but this could compound it further. Joy.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

I look out my window and see piles of snow, covered in a strange sheet of ice, and yet, I can smell it in the air – baseball. I’ll be here covering the rest of season rankings for third base this year. In order to get to the ROS part of the rankings, we have to establish our starting point. I’m not here to give you hOt TaEks just to generate outrage and clicks. My purpose is to help you win your league this year. If you have questions or comments, please feel free to reach out and we’ll get these trophies together. Without further chatter, let’s get to my initial rankings.

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Choosing fantasy baseball players is a little bit like choosing who to marry. In both cases, we’re making a commitment to somebody while trying to make our best prediction of the future using incomplete and sometimes unquantifiable data. I know, they’re not completely the same. Unless you’re the most polyamorous m’fer around, you’re probably not choosing 50 people to marry one year and then starting all over again a year later. But to each their own. Listen, the point is that we have to engage in some level of risk assessment in both of these situations. 

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The best 2021 fantasy baseball team is a misnomer. Thankfully, none of us know what misnomer means. Sounds to me like someone tentatively wants to date the Travelocity Gnome’s daughter, “Miss Gnome, er, you wanna grab some boba and chill?” Miss Gnome brushes back her hair and bats her eyelashes that are almost as long as her two-and-half foot body, “I’d love to,” but her voice is high-pitched, which is a turn-off, so you cancel plans with her repeatedly until she gets the hint. Sorry, Miss Gnome, I like my women’s voices low like their stature. Any hoo! So the title is a bit of a superlative. What was I gonna say, “The Mostly Kinda Good Fantasy Baseball Team?” You’ll get over your scoffing; I have faith in you. This is the best 2021 fantasy baseball team that I can put together when drafting from my top 100 for 2021 fantasy baseball and top 500 for 2021 fantasy baseball. Honestly, I could draft another 25 teams from those lists, and they’d all be different, but equally terrific… Well, one of the twenty-five would only be sorta terrific, but it would be really hard to tell which one that is. If I took Adalberto Mondesi in the 2nd round, everything after would change. If I took Trea Turner in the 1st round, everything after would change. I’ve previously gone over my 2021 fantasy baseball draft prep for the first few rounds and pitchers pairings.  For this exercise, I’m taking Cody Bellinger in the first, because, well, people complained previously I always did this post by taking the first pick, so I’m switching it up, like when you combover your hair right instead of left. Last year in my “Best Fantasy Baseball Team” post, I took Tatis with my 1st pick, when ESPN was telling you to draft him 43rd overall. Cust kayin’. Until pick 100, I’m taking one guy somewhere in every fifteen picks. It would be nice if I was in a league where someone drafted Gerrit Cole and deGrom in the first round and I was able to take Trevor Story in the 2nd round (which is likely in some leagues), but since Bellinger and him are in my first 12 picks, according to the rules I’ve set up for myself, I can’t take them both. Then, as we all know, once you get into the 100s, there’s wide gaps between ADP and where players are actually taken. People tend to look at team need over value. So for this exercise, once I get to pick #101, I’m going to pick two players every twenty picks. Finally, because there is so much latitude in the latter rounds, I gave myself free rein to fill up my team after pick 200. Throughout the draft, I also gave myself the ability to reach to a lower draft pick, but not reach forward. Or reach around, if you’re feeling frisky. It should still be my ideal team…or not. Let’s see, shall we? Bee tee dubya, this team is a 12-team, 5×5, one catcher, 5 OFs, MI, CI, 1 UT, 9 P, 3 bench, just like the Razzball Commenter Leagues (go sign up, you Big Chungus).  Anyway, here’s the best 2021 fantasy baseball team:

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Ahh, college. What a magical time. I can still remember my roommate freshman year. He never showered, wore shoes and frequently left bowls of boiled noodles out, unrefrigerated, only to pick them back up several days later and eat a few. Ahh, yes. It still brings tears to my eyes when I think back fondly on the kid who dressed up as a bush every day so he could jump out and scare other student on their way to class. The college years truly represent a time when young minds grow and evolve, and the same goes for the college crop of baseball talent. The 2021 NCAA baseball season began just last weekend, which means many of the top names for the upcoming MLB Draft and subsequent first-year player fantasy drafts are finally back on full display. After coming out with my rankings of the Preseason Top 50 College MLB Draft Prospects at the beginning of February, several stars have already made headlines or showcased telling impressions after the first week of play. I’ll continue to follow all of these names from now until July, working towards a Complete College Top 100 in advance of the 2021 MLB Draft. But for now, let’s check in on a few key names and discuss what I saw in this week’s collegiate corner. All are welcome, so long as you don’t leave your noodles out.

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Eddie Murphy’s Boomerang is an American classic. I don’t care that Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 43% rating on its Tomatometer. Rotten Tomatoes is stupid. I don’t care the audience score is only 59%. 41% of people have no taste. It has a young Halle Berry looking mighty fine, John Witherspoon showing us how to coordinate, and Grace Jones telling us what the essence of sex smells like. Then there’s Eartha Kitt, an old who keeps trying to seduce Marcus Graham, played by Eddie Murphy, by purring, Marcus, Darling, every time she sees him. This brings me to Marcus Semien of the Toronto Blue Jays. The Athletics weren’t fond of him, as they refused to pay that man his money. Offseason drafters haven’t been particularly enamored with him, as he is the 15th shortstop and 134th overall player being selected in NFBC drafts. Many are saying that he’s an old whose best days are behind him. So, will Marcus be a darling or is he someone we should be disregarding?

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Donkey Teeth and B_Don are joined by a perennial podcast guest favorite, Tim McLeod of Prospect 365. Every pre-season Tim is kind enough to jump on the podcast to discuss the newest crop of Japanese and Korean league signings across the majors. We ask him to give us the down low on Ha-Seong Kim, Kohei Arihara, Chris Flexen, and Matt Moore. We also ask Tim what he expects from some of the other Asian league signings from recent years like Yusei Kikuchi and Yoshi Tsutsugo.

We then turn our attention to a couple of Tim’s leagues as he recently drafted in the mixed LABR league with our own Rudy Gamble. Plus, Tim has agreed to join the RazzSlam for the first time this season. We start by asking him what he thinks of the RazzSlam and give him the 4-1-1 on the league setup before asking him what his strategy might be. Finally, we wrap up with Tim’s LABR team from his first 4 picks to some of the prospect picks we’ve come to expect from the great Tim McLeod.

Please, blog, may I have some more?