Happy week between sort-of-opening-day and actual Opening Day!  Last week we talked about starting pitchers to target in the deepest of leagues, and this week let’s switch the focus to hitting.  As always, we’re looking at players who may be off the radar in standard mixed leagues, but could be of use to those of us living in the world of AL-only, NL-only and other ultra deep fantasy baseball.  For now, we’ll concentrate on a handful of guys in the American League, looking for players who are likely to open the season getting at least some major league at bats, rather than minor leaguers who may make an impact later in the year.  I’m going to go right to the perceived bottom of the barrel:  all of the players on this list went for a mere dollar in the Tout Wars AL-only and/or the LABR AL-only auctions.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Greetings, friends and fellow humans that enjoy fantasy baseball!

Those of us who spend approximately 52 of 52 weeks of the calendar year thinking about this glorious time we like to call fantasy baseball drafting season have, at this point in March, read countless “sleeper” articles by now recommending players we should be able to pick up late in a draft.  But these articles quickly become laughable for those of us who go the extra fantasy mile and play in AL-only, NL-only, and other crazy deep leagues.  Yep, life sure would be sweet if I could grab Jonathan Schoop or Eduardo Rodriguez at the end of my AL-only draft to fill out my infield and my rotation, but that’s just not how it works.  It would also be nice if I could scoop up Jesse Winker or Nick Senzel for a few bucks at the end of my NL-only auction, but in at least one of my leagues, guys like Senzel have been parked on another fantasy owner’s minor league team for three or four years.  And this brings me to our little corner of the Razzball-verse:  the place where we talk about players who we might actually be able to draft or buy on the cheap in world of deep-league fantasy baseball.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

A couple of weeks ago, I returned to Razzball from my winter slumber and told you all about some early slow drafts I’ve been doing this season, starting all the way back over Thanksgiving weekend.  I only mentioned hitters from these drafts, and am now ready to start discussing their pitching brethren.  Since I’ve noticed that there is suddenly a lot more fantasy baseball content out there over the last few weeks in terms of rankings, ADP, etc., I’m ready to concentrate less on where guys were drafted in my leagues, and move on to looking at a handful of fellows who I’m already feeling at least mildly warm and fuzzy about.  On second thought, these guys may not exactly make me feel warm and fuzzy, more like adding them to a roster will make me a little less sick to my stomach at the end of a long draft than some of the other names that will be out there.  Since deep league fantasy baseball is my usual thing, I’m taking a very, very early look at guys who will be drafted in later rounds.  I’m still contemplating strategies for how I’ll draft (or purchase at auction) starters this year — between the massive disappointments that many of my second and third tier pitchers (must take this moment for obligatory shout-out to my personal 2018 deep league-ruiners, Jose Quintana and Jon Gray) and the wacky “opener” hijinks that will no-doubt be prevalent again this year, I feel like I’m going to need a different strategy for every league based on its specifications.  For now, though, I know that I want to keep an eye on a handful of starting pitchers that I can turn to late in a draft or auction, regardless of format, which brings us to today’s list.  Just to keep things deep-league relevant, all of these guys are outside of the top 225 in terms of current NFBC overall ADP, so anyone on this list is pretty much just waiver-wire fodder for most shallow, standard leagues.  As we deep-leaguers know, however, one man’s waiver-wire fodder…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Baseball is back, friends!  Well, maybe not quite yet, but 2019 brings us the earliest opening day in MLB history (and that doesn’t even count the games in Japan a week earlier), so that’s something, right?  And I guess the offseason really hasn’t been all that slow, especially compared to last year, but it sure feels like it when you’re checking MLB Trade Rumors news every ten or fifteen minutes!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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?