The top 20 shortstops for 2011 fantasy baseball are a shallow bowl of dung and ranked only ahead of the catchers for depth.  All the 2011 fantasy baseball rankings can be found under that thing that says 2011 fantasy baseball rankings.  (Don’t worry, one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to link to things a little more seamlessly).  Shortstops usually get the short end of the stick when I’m drafting.  If I don’t get Hanley, I’ll probably just take a flier on some late round player.  Yes, I don’t even really want to mess with Tulo.  In leagues that play a middle infielder, then you might need two of these schmohawks.  Hopefully, you can grab two decent 2nd basemen and only need one of these guys.  As with the other top 20 rankings, I point out where I think tiers start and stop and my projections.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2011 fantasy baseball:

1. Hanley Ramirez – In the top 10 for 2011 fantasy baseball post is Hanley’s projections.

2. Troy Tulowitzki – In the top 10 for 2011 fantasy baseball post is Tulowitzki’s projections.

3. Jose Reyes – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Andrus.  I call this tier, “These are the last two shortstops you should draft for about eight rounds.”  I would not under any circumstances draft a shortstop between Andrus and Desmond unless they fall about six rounds after where I think they should be drafted.  As for Reyes, for those thinking Reyes had a poor 2010, consider he was the 3rd best shortstop on ESPN’s Player Rater.  Sure, that has its flaws, but who was better?  Jeter?  Alexei?  Elvis?  Reyes hit 11 homers and stole 30 bases last year.  Not to mention it was in only 133 games so if you filled him in halfway decently from your waiver wire, you had additional stats from his spot.  2011 Projections:  110/12/60/.290/40

4. Elvis Andrus – I already went over my Elvis Andrus fantasy for next year.  At 22 years old, he might be still come in under my projections, but he’s capable of a huge fantasy-defining season.  I’m willing to take the chance that it happens.  2011 Projections:  95/5/50/.270/45

5. Jimmy Rollins – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Furcal.  I call this tier, “Holy crap, the shortstops are really shallow.”  Seriously, Rollins is the 5th best shortstop?  Rollins has been getting progressively worse the last three seasons and I don’t think he’s suddenly going to turn things around at the age of 32.  Yeah, you really should punt at this point.  Look at Drew or others later on.  A few things on Rollins.  In 2006, Rollins had 15 infield hits.  That number has gone down every year.  His line drive rates have fallen every year since 2008.  His ground ball rate last year was a new career high.  His speed was at an all-time low last year for his career.  You know what happens when a guy gets older and hits the ball on the ground?  He gets thrown out at first.   2011 Projections:  85/14/65/.260/20

6. Derek Jeter – So I’ve been watching the first season of Friday Night Lights.  Great show.  I’d say SPOILER ALERT! but the show’s like seven years old.  Anyway, when Riggins was stealing Minka from Street, I kept imagining Street yelling, “So, Jeter, it’s okay to steal a cripple’s girlfriend, but you won’t fight a cripple?!”  Maybe it’s just me.  As for Jeter — eh, you know what you’re getting by this point.  Light power, some steals, good runs.  Plus, you can tell your lady friend that you drafted Jeter and watch how much tail you get.  Unless you live in Boston.  Then put on the Nomar jersey.  “I’m dating Charlene, Ma.  You gotta get used to it.”  I love Mark Wahlberg.  2011 Projections:  105/12/65/.280/15

7. Alexei Ramirez – Here’s one of those borderline guys.  If he hits 17-20 homers and steals 15 bases, you’re okay.  Shave just a few off either and you have a 15/12 guy, i.e., a guy that steals 2 bases and hits less than 3 homers per month.  That grows boring really fast during the course of the season.  I don’t mind trading for Alexei on May 1st, but his first month makes his overall stats look just a’ight.  BTW, we should have a glossary term for Latin players who don’t play well in the cold weather months.  2011 Projections:  80/17/70/.280/14

8. Rafael Furcal – Last year in only 97 games, he went 8/22, but I wouldn’t prorate that over a full season.  Seems to actually play better when he plays an abbreviated season.  Maybe because he’s 33 years old.  If you’re in a shallow enough league where you can readily replace him when he’s hurt, I’d consider drafting him.  In most leagues, I wouldn’t bother.  2011 Projections:  75/8/45/.280/17

9. Stephen Drew – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Escobar.  I call this tier, “Okay, grab one quick because they get ugly again real fast.”  (Note:  All projections in this tier are optimistic, but whatevs.)  Feels like we’ve been waiting forever for Drew’s big breakout.  At 28 years old in 2011, this is the year.  Or so my gut is telling me.  He had a solid 2nd half — 11 homers, .281 in 267 ABs and that’s about as much positivity I can muster.  He has so many major league ABs, he shouldn’t just explode for an incredible year, but I can’t help think he’s due.  Hey, I said it was a gut call more than anything.  His 2011 won’t be MVP-worthy, but it could be valuable and at shortstop you gotta take some upside fliers.  2011 Projections:  90/24/70/.275/7

10. Ian Desmond – Could be a cheap version of Alexei Ramirez.  I know, that sounds about as enticing as walking in on your grandparents having sex.  But if Desmond exceeds expectations and Alexei falls just short and if and but’s were dollar bills I’d be a millionaire.  Okay, Desmond’s an upside flier, just go with it.  2011 Projections:  80/15/70/.280/20

11. Alcides Escobar – I already hit you up with an Alcides Escobar fantasy sleeper thing-a-woozie.  2011 Projections:  70/3/40/.275/30

12.  Starlin Castro – This is a new tier.  This tier goes until Tejada.  I call this tier, “And they just got ugly again.”  I almost put Castro in the above tier, because he does have yute on his side.  In the end, I’m too worried Castro may get drafted as if he has this huge upside.  I’d lower my expectations with him.  He gets caught stealing way too much and he doesn’t have great power.  2011 Projections:  75/5/55/.305/12

13. Ryan Theriot – Wanna know the problem with the state of shortstops?  How about this:  Theriot was ranked 18th for 2nd basemen.  That about covers it.  Went over Theriot’s projections in the top 20 2nd basemen for 2011 fantasy baseball post.

14. Cliff Pennington – What a butt ugly group we have here.  Pennington is basically Theriot with a few more steals and homers and a potentially terrible average.  Also, he looks good in plaid pants, if that’s a category in your league.  2011 Projections:  60/5/40/.245/30

14 1/2. Mike Aviles – Went over Aviles’ projections in the top 20 2nd basemen for 2011 fantasy baseball post.  (Note:  Only has 13 games at shortstop so he got a half.)

15. Juan Uribe – Went over Juan Uribe’s projections in the top 20 2nd basemen for 2011 fantasy baseball.

16. Jhonny Peralta – Member the days when Jhonny and Khalil Greene would go around putting silent H’s in people’s names?  Charlos Lee got so mad!  Ah, yes, and I have nothing to say about Jhonny Peralta.  2011 Projections:  65/17/80/.255

17. Jason Bartlett – Went over my Bartlett fantasy when the Padres got him.  Go there to read the Bartlett blurb.  Or Blurblett, if you’re into portmanteaus.  2011 Projections:  80/5/55/.270/17

18. Yunel Escobar – Um… Well… Uh… Wait, why is he being ranked?  Oh, because he basically has the same projections as Mike Aviles.  Yeah, shortstops are bad this year.  Have I mentioned that before?  2011 Projections:  75/10/60/.290/7

19. Omar Infante – Infante’s 2010 reminds me of Zobrist’s 2009 on a much smaller scale.  Utility man makes good, news at 11.  I’m gonna move on before I bore us both any further.  2011 Projections:  65/5/40/.280/8 ( Note: Only has 19 games at shortstop.)

20. Miguel Tejada –  Somewhere Sabean is twirling his mustache thinking about how much he’d love to sign Bartlett in three years.  My Tejada projections are assuming he won’t start shooting up again.  2011 Projections:  65/13/75/.275/3

After the top 20 shortstops for 2011 fantasy baseball, there’s a bunch of names, but here’s two that stand out:

Reid Brignac – I just couldn’t end the top 20 shortstops with Miguel Tejada.  The Rays have to play Brignac, right?  I mean, they can’t let him just keep getting older and not give him a fair shake, can they?  Yeah, I don’t know.  If they give Brignac an everyday job, his fantasy value will drop him around 10th on this list.  Since it’s the shortstops, I’d throw a flier Brignac’s way with or without a job and hope you get lucky and he starts.  2011 Projections:  60/15/75/75/.260/7

Asdrubal Cabrera – Consider Asdrubal above Starlin Castro on this list, but I wanted to highlight him.  Gotta throw out 2010 with Asdrubal.  He got injured, can’t hold his bad year against him. Plus, a bad year is so amorphous, how are you gonna hold that against anyone?  At 25 years old, Asdrubal is still in his prime and can put together a decent season for a MIF — Middle Infielder Flier.  2011 Projections:  80/7/60/.295/20

 
  1. Al Swedgin says:
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    “Stinco ’til Mayo”?

  2. Czernobog says:
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    I’d put Jed Lowrie with Brignac, since he has some power, a sensible team would give him starts ahead of Scutaro, and he shouldn’t be terrible in any stat. He’s sort of like a 3rd Drew brother. I’d gamble on him before I drafted Theriot or anybody lower on the list.

  3. Steve says:
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    The phrase ‘barely disguised contempt’ was coined for tihs post.

    Well played, sir.

  4. Giant JJ says:
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    You are truly great at what you do Grey. And you clearly love what you do. I’m grateful to have stumbled upon this site. You’ll be having a few drinks on me at some point this summer. I get more productive info from you than my pay sites. I’ve played roto for 10 years and have been consistently average. Last year I finished first in two leagues and 5th out of 20 teams in my super competitive league. I believe Razzball had a lot to do with my success. You and your site kick ass.

  5. Tony says:
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    asdrubal just signed an extension with the tribe today to avoid arbitration for something like 2 million.

  6. Johnny Tuttle says:
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    Hot Tamale?

  7. GopherDay says:
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    “Latin Brain Freeze”

    “Latin Cold Sore”

  8. tom thumb says:
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    Grey,
    How good is this team? I gotta stop mock drafting because I can’t believe I got this team…

    C- Matt Wieters
    1B- Miggy
    1B- Prince
    2B- Kinsler
    2B- Zobrist
    2B- Hill
    SS- Andrus
    3B- Reynolds
    OF-Kemp
    OF- J Upton
    OF- Stanton
    OF- Krispie
    OF- Stubbs
    OF- Morrison
    OF- Scott

    SP- Josh Johnson
    SP- Kershaw
    SP- Tommy Hanson
    SP- Gio
    SP- Bumgarner
    SP- Marcum
    SP- Jhoulys
    SP- Lilly
    RP- Street
    RP- Aardsma

  9. Fanatic says:
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    Late-ins. Latin players who show up late.

  10. quimmy says:
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    “Bastardo Frizado”

  11. Yep, I said it... says:
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    I am afraid to ask, but what about Clint Barmes?

    Context: At the deadline last season, I traded away Elvis in my 20-team dynasty league, and after playing mostly with an empty roster spot at SS down the stretch, I surprised even myself by winning the league. After everything was decided, I picked up Barmes as a flyer. This off-season I have been trying to trade for Brignac. But I am considering the possibility of just sticking with Barmes and seeing how he does through May in his full-time job at SS in Houston.

    Thoughts about Barmes? Is the step up to Brignac really worth the trouble and cost of trading for him?

  12. Yep, I said it.... says:
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    What about Clint Barmes in a really deep league now that he has a full-time job in Houston? I have the chance to trade for Brignac but am not sure if the difference between the Barmes and Brignac is worth the trouble and the cost in trade. What do you think?

  13. FANTHEAD says:
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    Thanks, Grey. But doesn’t Erick Aybar (who is not ranked) have the wherewithal to match #11’s numbers (70/3/40/.275/30)?

  14. brett says:
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    This is entirely unnecessary nitpicking but shouldn’t it be “In the top 10 for 2011 fantasy baseball post ARE Hanley’s projections.”

  15. brett says:
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    And shouldn’t I use question marks? Yes I should.

  16. Sean says:
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    @ grey:

    i would like to ask u a couple questions. just making some conversation/debate and not trying to criticize at all. i think you do a great job all year round, and i’d imagine you would like a little debate every so often anyway.

    1.) im just curious how u rank stephen drew so low with such a good projection?

    2.) i think i agree with andrus projection but how do those numbers make him the 4th best SS?

    3.) Any reason why you’re so high on alcides? The kid couldn’t hit a lick last year and he moves to a much worse lineup. Are these rankings just a by-product of the 2010 mancrushes you had on Alcides and Elvis? Cant blame you if it is, i have certain guys I love and will constantly hype such as Nick Markakis. (he let me down big last year)

    4.) Why would you touch hanley(restraining orders aside), but not tulo? Hanley is a player whose numbers have steadily declined, whereas tulo seems to be breaking out. Hanley lost uggla which believe it or not will make a big difference, and tulo hits in a loaded lineup with a GREAT home park. I understand tulo has had some injuries in the past, but none of them have been very serious, and he is only 26 years old coming into his prime. If healthy for a full season he has the ability to be the #1 fantasy player in the league. I don’t see much more injury risk in tulo than the next player.

    Thanks for the great rankings!

  17. Sinep says:
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    Ramirez? By now everyone knows he’s a Frozen Margarita. Put a pretty umbrella in him and chill out ’til it gets warm. Who drinks frozen margaritas when its cold? College girls and fantasy baseballers who get stuck on draft day that’s who.

  18. Swagger Jackers says:
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    Latino Frio: Frozen Latino player?

  19. “BTW, we should have a glossary term for Latin players who don’t play well in the cold weather months.”

    Okay, I’ll throw one in for discussion – Alexis Frios (or Frios Rios).

  20. Where’s Scu Scu Scutaro

  21. Earl Battey says:
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    Thanks for the SS post. . . leads nicely into my question about a first baseman and an outfielder.

    I’m stuck on my last keeper. It’s between Delmon and Kendry. Kendry is a dollar more than Delmon, so that’s close. I’m leaning toward keeping Delmon. In this league, Votto and AGonz might be the only 1Bs kept (Miggy and Konerko could join them). Most of the other 1Bs have huge contracts so they will be returned to the auction pool. I’m guessing, but it looks like more OFs will be kept (Cutch, Heyward, Hamilton, Pence, Stanton, Werth, Bruce, Rios, Crawford, Cruz, Rasmus, CarGo, Jennings, and possibly a few others).

    I’m already keeping Dom Brown and Bruce. Should I keep Delmon and go after one of the 1Bs in auction, or is Kendry the much better value?

    Thanks.

  22. sean says:
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    It scary how shallow the major leagues are in terms of hitting talent. They called last year the year of the pitcher, but every freakin’ position hits the wall after about 5 guys. At catcher, they go so early that you can’t afford to draft any of them. At first base, we got past Morneau and fell off a cliff. With the 2B, after five guys we’re hoping Rickie Weeks can hold another MacGyver season together with bubble gum and paper clips. When I thought it couldn’t get any worse, I looked at the SS and realized, as much as I didn’t think it was possible to get any more shallow, that SS is a kiddie pool that makes Cliff freaking Pennington draftable. 3B is going to be even worse. Other than Ryan Braun there’s not a 40 HR threat in the OF, and the whole lot of them run around the OF and the bases looking more like running quarterbacks (Crawford, Dread Pirate, Kemp, Ellsbury, Jones, etc) than MVPs. This is going to be a real minefield year in drafts.

  23. Zach says:
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    I’d rather draft a good pitcher than mess with the SS position. I’ll try to draft a sleeper late like Alcides

  24. Czernobog says:
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    Lowrie shouldn’t be terrible for a SS, anyway. I could see him matching Alexei Ramirez’s projection but with 10 less steals & 10 less runs, i.e. 70/17/70/280 + a few steals. With potential for more power and a 260 average. Even better in OBP leagues, since he actually knows how to take a walk, unlike most of the speedy hackers that play SS.

  25. birrrdy says:
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    yer killin’ me Grey. You have Desmond at 15/20, with stats better than everyone above him including Rollins at #5, yet you rank him at #10 and in a lower tier. I’m in a keeper league, and have to make a big call on Desmond. Your projected stats scream Keep Him! while your rankings (and commentary) say Bleh.

  26. Rick says:
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    I don’t like to put specific team questions on these replys but I was offered Reyes for Hamilton in my keeper league. It’s a 12-team league, but no MI or CI and only 3 OF…so replacing a 1st baseman or outfielder off the wire is pretty easy, but replacing 2b or SS is obviously much more difficult. For these reason I was considering doing it. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

  27. birrrdy says:
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    …in case you want to chime in on the keeper decision (which would be awesome), we can keep up to 8 players, 10 teams, NL only 5×5, 13 hitters (5 OFs, 1 C and all other INF pos), 10 pitchers, can DL after first week of games, $300 total for keepers and draft.

    Here are my best choices (in declining order of price, an asterisk next to my default keepers for now):

    Lincecum – $35 *
    Wright – $34 *
    Phillips – $23 *
    Bay – $20
    Axford – $19
    Hart – $16 *
    Myers – $15
    G. Jones – $15
    Ike Davis – $14
    Desmond – $13 *
    Sandoval – $12 *
    Doumit – $10
    J. Zimmerman – $3
    Johan Santana – $2 *
    Eric Young – $2
    Blanks – $1
    Carlos Gomez – $1 *

    Thoughts?

  28. GopherDay says:
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    So in regards to the Glossary term, I second Sinep’s “Frozen Margarita”

  29. birrrdy says:
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    thanks, Grey. Wow, no Lincecum on the keepers? Also, Young over Gomez – no platoon for him and J. Lopez?

  30. Dom says:
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    remember the good ol’days for A-Rod, Nomar, and Jeter….

  31. birrrdy says:
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    yes, I have to think Lincecum at $35 in our keeper league is worth it. When Halladay came over from the AL last year, he went for something in the high $60s. top-15 starters go in the 20s and low 30s, depending on who’s kept. solid closers go for low 20s – high teens. Plus, we have no limits for how long we can keep a player. Their price will change year to year, but I’ll have dibs on Timmy for a decade, if I want him…

    Thanks for all the help. Got it on Gomez. Would probably drop J. Zimmerman from your list to keep Lincecum unless you differ. THX!

  32. The Dude says:
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    I know I’m a day late and a dollar short – but it was celebrating MLKJ Day yesterday and didn’t have a chance to catch up on my Razzball until today…

    I’ve got Cano in a keeper (the type where you just keep 8 guys with no cost or inflation associated). With his perceived value slightly higher than his production value does it make sense to ship him out?

    I’ve spent the last three years amassing keepers that fill all the infield spots so that I can have some draft flexibility. I really love what the result is for my team. I’ll be able to focus on Pitching and OF in the draft without having to punt any position in hitting (sans Catcher). 12 team 5×5 Yahoo style Roto:

    Keeps:
    Cano
    Arod
    Tulo
    Howard
    Choo
    Felix

    Probable Keeps:
    Werth
    Weaver

    Other options:
    Ichiro
    Oswalt
    Zobrist
    Hughes

  33. EnglishMetsFan says:
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    Late-inos
    May to DeezHombres
    NY Mets (although they disappear in September)

  34. birrrdy says:
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    thanks again. Halladay was drafted for that price. So was Santana the year he came over. we don’t allocate separate money for new players, just irrational exuberance in the free market of our auction draft.

    That high on Jordan Zimmerman? I smell a “2011 fantasy sleeper” post coming!

  35. Re: Alexei Ramirez’s slow starts, I’d say he’s a Mercurio. A Mercurio being any Latin player that, like mercury, rise when it gets hotter out and fall when it gets colder out.

  36. Jury says:
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    I’m in birrrdy’s league. Halladay went for $55 in the draft, not FAAB. Other draft prices for top starters who were available: Wandy $36, Nolasco $33.

    Now, who should I reserve:

    Hanley $36
    Braun $35
    Uggla $29
    Latos $27
    Rasmus $18
    Gallardo $18
    Broxton $18
    Soto $18
    Stewart $12
    Storen $11
    Volquez $9
    Morrison $7
    C. Jones $5
    Espinosa $3
    Seth Smith $3
    Minor $2
    Stauffer $1

  37. EnglishMetsFan says:
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    Slopez

  38. teddyballgame says:
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    frostbitch…. el (los) frostbitch(es)

    ie: Alexei is a huge frostbitch.

    : Jay Bruce frostbitched yo ass.

    or not.

  39. birrrdy says:
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    Hey, get your own ‘pert, Jury. I was here first! ;^)

  40. RMM says:
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    may-grant workers…. too much?

    Also what about Betancourt, is he worth grabbing? I dont think 15 hrs with a .270 is out of the question and the brewers line up produces so there probably could be good run/rbi numbers

  41. Fanatic says:
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    How about Latin April? It’s like Latin 28. A player thinks he’s 28 but is really 33 or whatever. A Latin player thinks it’s April but it’s really May.

  42. steve b says:
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    Is Lowrie an everyday starter with Scutaro there?

  43. k roc says:
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    The projections for Andrus and Castro aren’t too far off each other, other than the steals, which you could make up somewhere else. But I probably wouldn’t wait that long to get a SS.

  44. Will says:
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    I am trying to decide which 5 to keep in a Roto 10 team league

    Cano, Cargo, Zimmerman, Fielder, J. Upton, McCutchen, Choo, and Reyes

  45. xenocide says:
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    Castro Vs Alcides?

  46. charlie batch says:
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    Also, what are your thoughts on Paul Janish @ SS in deep leagues? In particular, over Brignac? Brignac’s been getting playing time so far.

  47. Ryan Martin says:
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    Ive been reviewing all of the top 20 lists for each position and it seems there all off quite a bit from reality, whats happening as of today and original assumptions, from some fantasy guru supposedly thought to be the case.

    Where is Asdrubal and Darwin?

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