Happy almost-Fall Equinox, deep-leaguers! We’ve continued to tick the days off the calendar and here we are with just over a week to go in this glorious time of year we like to call the fantasy baseball season. I seem to forget each year how random (and often frustrating) setting a lineup gets each September, with expanded rosters wreaking havoc on playing time situations, pitching rotations, and accurate injury reports, but it will all be in the rear-view mirror soon enough. If nothing else, in the deep-league world, this is a good time of year to keep an eye on the teams at the bottom of the standings, looking for that proverbial diamond in the rough. This week we’ll concentrate on guys who’ve been getting regular playing time for bad teams. I find bad MLB teams are always a great place to look for deep-league fantasy help, and perhaps never more so than these last weeks, when players who would be lucky to be scraping together a few at bats for a contending team often find themselves in an eliminated team’s lineup daily. As is our deep-league norm, it’s unlikely any of these players will make a standard-league fantasy impact any time soon (or perhaps ever), but some may be of interest to those in NL-only, AL-only, or other deep leagues – either for the last days of 2018, or for us to put a pin in for when we head into the 2019 season and beyond.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s crunch-time, readers, as we’re down to a number of 2018 major league baseball games left that we can count on our fingers and toes. If you’re still in the pennant hunt in an NL-only or AL-league, there’s probably at least one category where just a few RBI or a couple steals could affect your team’s status in terms of gaining or losing a point or two, and ultimately make a difference in your league’s final standings. This week we’ll look at hitters that could potentially help deep-leaguers with a few of those counting stats over the next two and a half weeks. Everyone on this list is less than 10% owned in CBS leagues, and while many of them are playing sporadically at best, most of them have actually been more productive than many of their shallow-league brethren lately. You never know who might hit that grand slam or steal those two bags on the second to last day of the season that put your team over the top!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hello again, deep-league friends! Get your calendars out and get ready. If things aren’t going exactly as planned as far as 2018 fantasy baseball goes, don’t sweat it — in case you haven’t heard, next year’s MLB season-opener will be the earliest in MLB history (not counting games out of the country). New baseball that counts will be here before you know it, with all thirty teams scheduled to play on March 28, 2019. And if that news isn’t exciting enough, there’s also going to be actual baseball even earlier than that: speaking of baseball games out of the country, the A’s and Mariners will be playing real games in Tokyo on March 20th and 21st. Just a little something to look forward to if your 2018 fantasy players haven’t been treating you so well (or even if they have). For now, let’s take our customary look at a few players from each league that might be of interest to those in AL-only, NL-only, and other deep leagues as we head into the final few weeks of 2018 major league baseball.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We begin this week with a public service announcement to remind you that playing in the deep end of fantasy baseball is not only fun and challenging, it can also be beneficial to other aspects of your fantasy baseball life. I mention this so that I can clumsily and shamelessly make reference to my Razzball Writers’ League RCL team, which I took on with some hesitation since the format felt so foreign and, well, difficult. My draft was not bad but not great, and the learning curve was indeed steep as the season began. But cut to the end of August, and I sit comfortably at the top of our league standings. I may even be in the top 5 overall, as I was last week, but evidently my team has scored so many runs that the overall standings couldn’t be accurately calculated (MattTruss may have explained this slightly better in his wrap-up on Tuesday). Am I crediting my perhaps-unexpected success in my first foray into the RCL world to my background playing in and writing about deep leagues? Not exactly, but it sure hasn’t hurt. Even though it is rare for an ultra-deep league guy to seriously come into play in leagues like the RCLs, it does happen on occasion.  If nothing else, I certainly feel that needing to know more about depth charts and bullpens and such than the average fantasy player does help me in every league, regardless of format. Just something to think about if you haven’t taken the deep-league plunge yet but are considering it for next year… for now, we’ll move back to the present look at a handful of players that may be of interest to those currently in NL-only, AL-only, and other deep leagues.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. Or maybe I mean it’s better to be desperate than good. Either way, when you don’t have a lot of choices to make, sometimes what seems like a bad decision actually works out. In the RCL-style leagues, where daily changes are allowed and there is always a plethora of legit options to choose from on the waiver wire, you’re never going to have a guy like Mark Reynolds in your lineup when he does something like collect 10 RBI in one game, as he did back in July.  But you might have had him active in a deep NL-only league, even though you would have never chosen to if you’d had just about any other option. I drafted Kevin Plawecki this year in 12-team NL-only, 2-catcher league, and here we are more than halfway through August, and he still sits in my active lineup. I’m sure that sounds rather pitiful to anyone in a “normal” fantasy league, but there is nothing that even remotely resembles a productive major league catcher available in the free agent pool. Turns out that’s just as well, since if there was, I would have missed out on a couple of big games from Plawecki last week: 5 hits, 5 runs scored, and 7 RBI in two games is some pretty sweet fantasy production in any fantasy league, from any position. So if you are in a deep league where you’re playing bottom of the barrel-type guys because you have no other options, maybe it’ll work out in your favor every once in a while, and you’ll get an unexpected gift of some much-needed fantasy production from the unlikeliest of sources.

For now, we move on to do what we like do here each and every week: take a look at some names of players who may be of interest to those in NL-only, AL-only, and other deep leagues.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If your fantasy baseball league is anything like (most of) mine, your trade deadline has probably come and gone, and scouring the waiver wire is your only option for help and reinforcements for the rest of the season.  In the deepest of leagues, said waiver wire is likely picked to the bone, especially since we’re still two weeks away from September call-ups, but press on, my friends.  In a tight fantasy pennant race, you never know when a few strikeouts or a couple of runs might make a standings-changing difference at the end of the year.  As usual in our deep corner of Razzball, you won’t find any fantasy monsters on today’s list, but you may find a guy who can give you that tiny handful of extra strikeouts or runs scored… or in some other way help you out in NL-only, AL-only, and other deep leagues.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Greetings, deep-leaguers, let’s get right to it this week — it’s hot, we’re tired, and paying close attention to fantasy baseball is starting to feel like a bit of a chore rather than the most fun thing on the planet.  If you are grinding it out and frustrated in a league or two, just think about how sad you’ll be this winter when there are no box scores to check and players to disappoint you!

Last week we looked at players aimed at ultra-deep leagues — we’ll continue to search for those 5%-or-less-owned guys, as always, and also dial it back a bit and throw in some players of the medium-deep variety this week (in the 10 – 20% owned range in CBS leagues).  With that being said, you know the drill:  here are a smattering of players that may be of interest to those in AL-only, NL-only, or other deep leagues.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Well, the non-waiver trade deadline has come and gone, and now those of us who have unrealistically been hoarding relief pitchers praying for some of them to end up at the back end of their team’s bullpens can sort through our rosters and go on with our lives. (Sure, there will most likely be a few more moves made before the “real” trade deadline, but I’m going to throw caution to the wind and finally dump David Hernandez in the leagues I’ve been holding him!) Since those of you in deep leagues have most likely already figured out that fellows like Austin Meadows (now up to 35% owned in CBS leagues), Tyler O’Neill (22%),  Ken Giles (40%), and even Jose LeClerc (20%) may have had a serious value spike based on moves that have been made, we’re going to do some extra-deep digging this week. All of the players listed today are owned in 5% or fewer of CBS leagues, so this will truly be an ultra-deep league group (but if you have comments or questions of the slightly-less-insanely-deep variety, throw them out there – it’s always fun to remember what it’s like to have actual options in the (oxymoron alert!) “real” fantasy baseball world.)

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Every time Max Muncy hits a home run, a little piece of me dies. Okay, perhaps I’m being a bit melodramatic, but that’s exactly how I feel these days. It would be bad enough if I’d just read about Muncy and not taken a fantasy flier on him, but given that I was one of the folks actually suggesting him as a pick-up — because his past numbers were better than I thought they’d be after I looked them up, because Dave Roberts was finding a way to keep Muncy in the lineup even as the players he’d been replacing were returning from their injuries, because he just looked like he knew what he was doing at the plate — and STILL not wrapping my head around the notion that he’d be a productive player as the season progressed… well, that just makes a girl feel silly. And a bit sad.

In the deep league world, guys like Muncy can be insane difference-makers. I have a couple NL-only leagues where I’m hovering around 4th place, trying to scratch and claw my way to a money finish. If I had picked up Muncy in those leagues, he singlehandedly would have provided stats that would likely have me in 2nd place, where a strong last couple of months could put me over the top and give me a good shot at winning my league.

I’ll regret Muncy all season – and perhaps beyond in my keeper leagues – but nothing I can do about it now. Time to get back to my Muncy-less NL-only reality, scouring the waiver wire for anyone that might provide a boost between now and the end of September.  And speaking of the waiver wire, time to get down to business and take a look at some names who might be available for those looking for help in the deep-league world.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Greetings, friends!  We’re finally past the real halfway point of the baseball season, and almost to the fake halfway point of the baseball season… either way you look at it, a good time to take stock of your team(s) and remember that there is lots of baseball left in 2018, of both the real and pretend variety.  Whether you’re sitting comfortably at the top of your league standings trying to maintain your position, or buried towards the bottom hoping to scratch and claw your way to a money finish in the second half, you probably have something to play for (even if it’s just pride/not looking like a jerk for quitting).  We’ve had some pretty amazing out-of-nowhere hitting seasons so far this year, but since the Max Muncys and Jesus Aguilars of the world are no longer super-deep-league names, we’ll need to dig a little deeper.  (Also, I’m only looking at players currently on MLB rosters, so no Willie Calhoun-types on this list).  Many of these guys we’ve talked about before, and all of them are 15% owned or less in CBS leagues — this group may not be a cavalcade of all-stars, but you never know who will end up being a difference-maker, especially in the deep-league world.  And who knows — someone from this list might even be a legitimate option in shallower leagues by the time August and September roll around.

Please, blog, may I have some more?