The late rounds of fantasy baseball drafts are filled with players who have questions surrounding them. It’s usually not too difficult to categorize these players, particularly in terms of starting pitching. There’s the post-hype group (Trevor Bauer, Kevin Gausman, Tony Cingrani), the declining veteran tier (CC Sabathia, Dan Haren, Bartolo Colon), and the unproven prospect tier (Noah Syndergaard, Andrew Heaney, Archie Bradley). Several high floor, low ceiling options (Ervin Santana, Kyle Lohse, Wei-Yin Chen) and volatile injury-prone pitchers (Clay Buchholz, Matt Garza) tend to remain on the board for quite a while as well. In recent years, Brandon McCarthy has generally been perceived by the fantasy community as someone who falls into one of the latter two categories. Is this perception accurate? What can be expected from McCarthy in 2015?

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Sex sells. Just turn on your t.v. and tune into any non-Disney/PBS/kid-friendly channel for a few minutes and you’ll see what I mean. Beer commercials, video game ads, movie trailers. You’re bound to catch a glimpse of Kate Upton or one of the Victoria Secret models flaunting her assets at some point. But what does sex have to do with baseball, and fantasy in particular? Good question.

The answer is power. Power is sexy. Power bats and power arms. Giancarlo Stanton just received $325 million from an owner who still clips coupons out of the Sunday newspaper every week. Felipe Paulino might be the chick at the bar with the butterface and the muffin top, but the D-cups keep teams coming back for more (though they’re probably more like B-cups stuffed with socks these days). What’s Joel Zumaya up to these days anyway? His right arm might be held together by chewing gum and duct tape, but I bet some team would offer him a minor league deal if he somehow managed to flash a plus fastball in a throwing session. That brings me to Danny Salazar.

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In the first article of this series, I looked at some of the most disappointing fantasy performers from this past season and attempted to project what should be expected from those players in 2015. If you missed it, you can check out that post here. This time around, I’m going to break down a few players who unexpectedly produced some of the best overall numbers in fantasy baseball during the 2014 season. None of these guys were thought of as core players for fantasy owners to build around prior to the season, but all of them found their way onto many championship teams due to their elite production.

Are these breakout performances sustainable going forward? Should significant regression be expected? Let’s investigate further…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Greetings and welcome to the first installment of the offseason stock report. If you love this silly, fake game as much as I do, you’ve either shined up your 2014 winner’s trophy several times and have shamelessly admired it since the end of the season or have shed many tears over the disappointing fantasy results that you’ve just endured. Either way, it’s time to move on and look forward to the start of the 2015 season.

In this series, I will attempt to analyze the performances of various players from this past season and project what can be expected from them next season. After digging into all of the underlying peripheral statistics, each player will be deemed either a “buy” or a “sell” depending on whether he can be expected to improve, regress, or maintain his most recent level of production. Much like commodities on the actual stock market, the idea is to buy low on a player that stands to gain value in the near future while selling high on one that is likely to lose value. Of course, players who are already valued highly but appear likely to maintain a high level of production should be targeted, while players who have experienced a sharp decrease in value and appear unlikely to improve upon their current production levels should be avoided.

Without further ado, let’s dig into three of the biggest early round busts from the ’14 season and decide if their poor results are a sign of things to come or if a rebound is on the horizon.

Please, blog, may I have some more?