As the final days of spring training wind down, and teams make final cuts, opening day rosters begin to take shape. While many re-draft players are busy drafting their teams over the next week plus. Dynasty managers are on the other side of the spectrum, as this is the time when you look to acquire players that you see as potential breakouts. In my humble opinion these weeks leading up to the season can be amongst the most important for managers looking to reload and rebuild. So how should you approach this buying window? Who should you be looking to add? That’s a great question, but a difficult one to answer, because unlike re-draft not everyone is in contention every year. Values in dynasty and deep keeper leagues are dependent upon your team’s current window for competing. This is why player values from manager to manager within your league can vary greatly. So keep in mind, not every player is a fit for every roster. You need to decide what your window is, and build with that in mind. For example, if you have a win now team, with a great deal of aging vets you might be looking to get a little younger. Or you might throw caution to the wind, go full Dombrowski, and buy for today. While a non-competing team might be looking to acquire the best talent under 25, no matter position. Regardless of where your team falls on the competitive spectrum, it’s important to identify players you want to own, and those you’re looking to acquire. Below is a list I’ve made of the players I want to own. So all those in leagues with The God Emcee (that’s me) look away. I’m sure that worked. Now that my leaguemates are out of the room, let me just say I love these players. Some are prospects, while others are young vets. These are the guys I can see taking a step forward. These aren’t all that players with breakout upside, but they’re the ones I felt like writing about.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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Today concludes the fantasy baseball sleepers‘ portion of our program.  *nudges homeless woman sleeping on my couch that I tried to get Cougs to agree to a threesome with*  No more sleepers, Francine.  Meh, I’ll let her rest.  Like the outfielders to target, this post is necessary.  You need to target the right names at the end of the draft for starters.  Last year’s starters to target post included Gausman, Paxton, Velasquez, Nola, McCullers and Rich Hill.  All guys who this year are in my top 40 starters.  This year…the world!  Well, not the world, just some starters.  As with other target posts, these guys are being drafted after the top 200 overall.  Anyway, here’s some starters to target for 2017 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

We (me) have gone over the catchers, 2nd basemen, shortstops and 3rd basemen to target, cause I have to do everything around here!  Look at me, throwing shade like a beach umbrella!  That makes sense…if you don’t think about it!  That’s what I want my bumper sticker to say, and then when I step out of my car, I want my clever t-shirt to say it too, “That makes sense….if you don’t think about it.”  How can I arrange my life so this happens?  I need a personal assistant.  “So, it says you worked as Kanye’s assistant and you bought mirrors for nine months straight….”  That’s me checking the CV of my favorite imaginary assistant.  Okay, so this post is all the outfielders that are being drafted after 200 overall that I have uber-sexy feelings for.  Last year, I featured Joc Pederson, Khris Davis, Wil Myers and some guy named Delino DeSomething.  No idea who that is!  Now, this is a (legal-in-all-countries-except-Canada) supplement to the top 100 outfielders for 2017 fantasy baseball.  Click on the player’s name where applicable to read more and see their 2017 projections.   Anyway, here’s some outfielders to target for 2017 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

Excuse the exposition and this clunky intro into aforementioned exposition, but here’s the catchers to target, 1st basemen to target, 2nd basemen to targetshortstops to target and something to stick to your dartboards to target.  These 3rd basemen to target are being drafted after 200 overall.  Keep in mind, nephew (and five niece readers), your Uncle Grey likes to have a corner man drafted by the time these guys appear, so you’re looking at potential utility men more than anything.  Now, this is a (legal-in-all-countries-except-Indonesia) supplement to the top 20 3rd basemen for 2017 fantasy baseball.  Click on the player’s name where applicable to read more and see their 2016 projections.  Anyway, here’s some 3rd basemen to target for 2017 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

Last year, this post and the 2nd basemen to target were necessary evils like changing underwear.  Whether you wanted to or not, it was a good idea to take a flyer on a late middle infielder, and you were still expecting to get crapped on.  Now?  Well…. I like some late middle infielders, could see owning one, but there’s a ton of early, sexy-AF middle infielders, so there’s a chance I own an MI before I even reach the 100th pick overall.  In other words, I could own a shortstop, 2nd baseman and shortstop or 2nd baseman all in the first eight or so rounds.  Yeah, crazy time we live in.  In no other way is it a crazy time, except for fantasy baseball.  Then again, I have the 2016 election results on my DVR and I haven’t watched yet.  No one ruin the surprise!  This is a (legal-in-all-countries-except-Lichtenstein) supplement to the top 20 shortstops for 2017 fantasy baseball.  The players listed have a draft rank after 200 on other sites.  Click on the player’s name where applicable to read more and see their 2017 projections.  Anyway, here’s some shortstops to target for 2017 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

Psst!  This post is gonna list 2nd basemen that you should target in your 2017 fantasy baseball drafts.  I’m whispering because you don’t want everyone to see this post.  No, I can’t whisper louder, then it WOULDN’T BE WHISPERING!  Okay, gig’s up (or maybe that’s jig’s up), the love I’m about to reiterately (Made Up Word of the Day!) confirm is on these guys I love later in drafts.  I’m not going to mention Rougned Odor other than this one mention of him where I say I’m not going to mention him.  I love Odor, and not just because when he chops a 3-2 pitch into the dugout the announcer says, “Foul…Odor stays alive.  Hey, Bill, change your shirt.”  I’m not mentioning Odor other than this mention of not mentioning him because these are players that you’re looking at later and all of them have ADPs after 200.  Some could be the 2nd baseman on your team, they are more than likely MIs.  This is a (legal-in-all-countries-except-Croatia) supplement to the top 20 2nd basemen for 2017 fantasy baseball.  Click on the player’s name where applicable to read more and see their 2017 projections.  Anyway, here’s some 2nd basemen to target for 2017 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

I don’t think I’ve ever done this post before.  My prior, uber, hard-line stance has been that you with that one hair wrapped around your head acting as a hairstyle don’t want to draft a sleeper 1st baseman.  By the by, I tried to replace Uber with Lyft in the previous sentence, but it didn’t make sense.  Previously, I’d tell you to go to my top 20 1st basemen for 2017 fantasy baseball (not clickbait at all) and draft some top guys and stop fooling around with sleepers at this position.  Of course, I’m malleable like Gumby and this year I could see drafting a sleeper first baseman, though at my corner infidel or utility slot.  Yes, I still want a top 1st baseman.  No, utility slot doesn’t have multiple meanings.  Yes, even for fantasy.  As with other positions like the catchers to target (again, not clickbait), these are 1st basemen that are being drafted after the top 100 overall.  I love Wil Myers, but he’s not going to appear here.  Kapeesh?  And, no, Kapeesh isn’t the Indian guy who works at the corner store.  Anyway, here’s some 1st basemen to target for 2017 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

Here, friend, are some catchers that I will be targeting at my 2017 fantasy drafts after the top options are gone.  I’m not going to get into the strategy of punting catchers.  Been there, half-drunkenly wrote that years ago.  Click on the player’s name where applicable to read more and see their 2017 projections.  This is a (legal-in-most-countries) supplement to the top 20 catchers of 2017 fantasy baseball.  Now, guys and five girl readers, I am not saying avoid catchers like J.T. Realmuto if they fall, but to get on this list, you need to be drafted later than 200 overall, and, to preemptively answer at least seven comments, yes, I will go around the entire infield, outfield and pitchers to target very late.  Anyway, here’s some catchers to target for 2017 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   

Your classic 12 team, 25 man roster format, will sift through 300 players in creating the other 11 competitors to conquer for fantasy glory. Once you kick it up a notch to 15 teams, rosters start looking uniquely constructed, especially yours, if you choose to wait a little bit longer on pitching in favor of all the electric bats on display in the top 100 – I’m looking at you Dominic Brown.

I’ve paid extra attention this offseason to some deep starting pitchers, which in early drafts, I have gladly targeted at their current price tags to create some SP depth. These guy are somewhat overlooked, placed in the 300+ sphere in Razzball’s top 500 rankings, and sure to give you heart palpitations come April 2nd and beyond. Why care about them? Well, it really only takes one or two of these guys to hit and you’re staring at a top 40 SP that you paid a Jered Weaver price tag for.

That tag apparently says $3m on it too. Wait, wasn’t that what Dellin Betances got in his horror story arbitration hearing over the weekend? Something seems a bit off. If Randy Levine thinks Betances is surely worth less than $5m, I can’t imagine his thoughts on Jered Weaver.

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Way back in January, when the very first signs of ADP data sprouted out of the ground, I went down the rabbit hole, hoping to catch a glimpse of early signs of value. ADP at that point was more convoluted than forming an expectation for how much Pablo Sandoval would weigh coming into Spring Training, but since it was the only sign we had as to the ‘market’ rate for various players, I utilized it as much as I could.

James Paxton was the poster-boy of my early preseason eyebrow raise. He was going past the 200th overall pick with a maximum just outside of the 11th round. Paxton sits right now with an ADP around 192 overall according to NFBC data, with a max that has ticked up to 109 overall. Grey has Paxton as his 41st ranked starting pitcher and his 162nd overall player. Finally in the process of publishing my personal rankings, Paxton is my 27th overall starting pitcher and my 115th overall player, with still some finagling to bring that up even more if I feel so moved.

What Paxton accomplished last season was nothing short of fascinating. We see mechanical changes in pitchers a lot, but rarely do we see changes that cause such palpable success and subsequent expectations that aren’t afraid to project out that success. Fangraphs did a really nice dive into exactly what Paxton changed and why success followed. Simply put, Paxton reverted to his natural arm slot on the mound, opting to venture away from the ‘over-the-top’ motion he used that we’ve seen cause problems in the past – see Wacha, Michael. This slot helped him hone his command on the inner third of the plate to righties, opening up the outside of the plate to his insanely effective cutter/slider. Eno Sarris breaks this down in the piece linked above.

When I uncovered this story last season, I was wildly intrigued for one reason. A natural arm slot, logically to me, would mean less risk for injury. The DL is something Paxton hasn’t been able to avoid for most of his career, but if there was ever a storyline to give hope for health, I can’t think of a better one than him being more comfortable on the mound…

Please, blog, may I have some more?
   
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