It is better to be lucky than good. It is best to be lucky and good.

That is how I would describe the charmed 4-year run I have had in the 15-team ToutWars Mixed league where I have finished 2nd/2nd/1st/1st. I take a lot of pride in those finishes but it is not faux modesty that stresses the ‘charmed’ and ‘lucky’ aspect. All it takes is one or two big injuries to torpedo an otherwise strong draft – ESPECIALLY in a competitive league with weekly vs daily lineup format where there are less ‘grind’ points to gain by using Streamonator or Hittertron. I would feel even more special/lucky about it if the Nadal to my Federer (Adam Ronis) hadn’t gone 1st/1st/5th/2nd in those same years. At least I know I will have good company when the fantasy devil takes my soul and forces me to play in a 4 catcher 13 category H2H NL-only league for the rest of eternity.

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Well, that’s a wrap everyone.  Twenty-Six weeks down and now we have 26 more until the start of next year’s fantasy baseball season.  It’s perfect symmetry, because fantasy baseball is the perfect fantasy sport. The Fighting Hams weren’t perfect, but they were good enough to squeak out an overall Razzball Commenter League Championship over 1-800-BETTSOFF.  The Fighting Hams won by just 0.2 RCL points, the closest mark since 2014 when Colicky Fuddruckers won by just 0.05 RCL points. The Fighting Hams hung around the top 20 most of the season, entering the top 10 in week 14, but falling back out the following week.  The Hams re-entered the top 10 in week 19 in 4th place overall and wouldn’t fall below 5th for the remainder of the season. In week 23 they took the overall lead and held it for the final 3 weeks to win the title. The Fighting Hams really rake it in, winning themselves a $250 Best Buy gift card!  More importantly though, the Hams get a Razzball T-Shirt and RCL glory. Who can put a price on that? Oh, it’s $25, well then, moving on. I don’t believe The Fighting Hams have checked in via comments at all this year, but I could be wrong. Now would be a fine time to do so either way. It’s time to heap on the praise and accept your congratulations.  The Hams fended off some very tough competitors this year to claim the RCL crown. I gave it a run, LauraHolt was pushing for a top spot for awhile there and Backdoor Cutters and STL Squat Cobblers are some of the best RCL players I’ve played with in my time. This is The Fighting Hams’ moment though, so hopefully they show up, take a bow and soak it up, they earned it.  

Here’s what else what happened this year and this final week of the RCLs:

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It’s hard to believe there’s only one week to go in the Razzball Commenter Leagues.  This marathon of a season has seen us torture ourselves for 25 long weeks, agonizing over batty calls, dipping into the streamers with mixed results, cursing players and praising others.  We’ve ignored our families, our jobs and our personal hygiene and now it all comes down to the final week. You may smell like stale Funyuns, but dagummit, that virtual fantasy trophy is all yours!  Speaking of trophies, The Fighting Hams are looking to lock down their overall RCL Championship trophy. The Hams have spent three weeks in the number one spot and with one week to go they added 2.5 points to their league total, bringing them to 113 points.  Those 113 points along with the 103 League Competitive Index has them 2.9 RCL Points ahead of the competition. The Hams are getting hot at just the right time and we’ll see if they can hold on. More on the Hams and the rest of the week that was, week 25 below:

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Something came up in the comments of my last Razzball Commenter Leagues article that I thought I’d address this week.  This is something veteran RCLers from the ESPN days will recall and you’ll also be familiar with this concept if you play in Yahoo Pro Leagues or something similar.  The idea is that you can maximize your pitching counting stats by manipulating the day you go over your 1400 IP. In the ESPN days this was manipulating the day you went over the 180 GS limit by getting to 179 GA and then loading up 9 starters and hitting 188 GS.  The same thing applies here with the IP limit (and also in Yahoo leagues) in that on the day you go over the 1400 IP limit all of your pitching stats count for that day. So, let’s say you work it so you get to 1398 IP, then you load up 9 starters the next day. If all 9 starters last 5 IP, you’d hit 1443 IP and thus gain an extra 43 IP of strikeouts and possibly earn an extra win or two along the way.  The risk is obvious. I have a hard enough time pulling one streamer out of the free agent pool that won’t obliterate my ratios, nevermind eight! Unless you are holding a slim lead in the ratios that you don’t want ruined, there’s not much to lose in maxing out your stats though. So far we’ve had one manger take the shot. We’ll take a look at how they made out and more from the week that was, week 24 below:

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This is looking like one of the better end of season races in Razzball Commenter League history.  Typically there are one or two teams that really separate themselves from the pack and about this time of year you can tell who the winner might be.  Not this season folks. We’ve had 8 different leaders in the Master standings over the past 8 weeks. I had a week at the top, LauraHolt was up there last week, 8 weeks ago it was the STL Squat Cobblers, two different members of Cougs R Us have been in the lead the past 8 weeks and now this week…well, I’m going to make you click on the link to expand this article to find that tidbit out.  Come on, let’s make Grey 1/500th of a cent and check out the new leader of the Master Standings and the rest of the week that was, week 23 in the RCLs:

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I hope everyone has recovered from their Labor Day festivities.  The unofficial end of summer means we’re into the nitty gritty of Razzball Commenter League action.  Last week I told you about how Laura Holt’s team in the Writer’s League was so good that it fired Rudy’s circuits and broke the RCL Master Standings.  Well, a long weekend later and everything is fixed and that leaves LauraHolt back on top of the Master Standings. Numero Uno, tops, the best. Things are still pretty close up there with three teams in a tie for second just 0.4 RCL Points behind Laura.  She’s going to have to work hard to keep the top spot, but she just had herself another killer week, even going so far as to lead all the RCLs in WHIP. With that, she’s looking like the team to beat down the stretch. More on the top 10 and the rest of the week that was, week 22 below:

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As the air starts to turn a bit cooler, the calendar flips to September and a large group of fantasy baseballers turn their attention to fantasy football.  There are only five weeks left in the fantasy baseball season but what an important five weeks they are. As the rest of your league checks out to go play the fantasy sport that requires only one day per week of roster setting (or as I like to refer to it, chess vs. checkers) the true competitors remain to grind it out for Razzball Commenter Leagues glory.  Right now only 0.2 RCL Points separate first from fourth in the Master Standings, so we should be in for a heck of a finish. We’ll take a look this week at the year long RCL records and what teams have a shot at setting new ones. Does your team have a shot at the RCL record books? Find out this and more in the week that was, week 21:

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A familiar name is back atop the Razzball Commenter Leagues Master Standings, that of your humble RCL Update host.  It’s been since week 8 that I’ve finished the week in the top spot, but with 6 weeks to go, it’s not a bad position to be in.  I’m still fighting that ugly LCI of 99 and with 0.2 RCL Points separating first from third, it’s going to be anyone’s game. Even the lightest slip up and you’re out of it.  I think it will take one of the high LCI teams reaching 106+ or a low LCI team such as mine reaching 110+ to win this thing but either way it should be a fun finish! I’m not the only Razzball writer with a shot at overall RCL glory either, Laura Holt continues to put on a shot in the Writers League and is currently in third place, just 0.2 points behind my squad.  Laura is getting dinged by some pretty terribly win-luck as she’s only got 59 Wins in her 976.1 IP. Watch out for Laura if her win-luck turns around down the stretch. She may end up pulling double duty on Razzball after that, Deep Leagues and RCL strategy! Click below for more on the Master Standings and the rest of the week that was, week 20:

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The trading deadline for the Razzball Commenter Leagues went out with a bang on Friday with 15 trades being completed.  Remember back in the day when we used ESPN and they had that crazy noon trade deadline time? Thank goodness for FanTrax making that right!  Speaking of, how are people liking the new add/drop and trade screens? I think that’s a pretty nice mid-season upgrade. Trades seemed to be down across the board this year, I wonder if the early-season trade screen (or lack thereof) contributed to that.  I only counted 60 or so trades this year, but I’m sure I missed a few. By comparison, we had 232 last season. I’m hoping to make a couple changes to the RCL data next year so I don’t have to manually find all the trades, that should help our accuracy quite a bit.  We didn’t have everything set up quite right with the move to FanTrax this season. No matter, the trade deadline might be gone, but don’t fret, there are still plenty of closers losing jobs and September call-ups are right around the corner. Maybe we get some Eloy Jimenez love?  I’m stashing Vladdy Jr. in my 15 teamer hoping for a power surge down the stretch. Check out Ralph’s work for a handy chart.  Not much has changed in a month, Jo Adell is still the man.  Earlier today I took this and sorted by 2018 and 2019 to see who I should try to snag in keeper leagues and who might see some action at the end of this season.  Ralph puts his blood, sweat and white Monster energy drinks into those rankings, don’t let them go wasted! Jump below for more about the trades this week and all the other happenings in the week that was, week 19:

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Happy trade deadline week RCLers.  This is the final week you have to trade for some steals, saves, power or help out those pitching ratios with a big time name.  It’s at this point in the season that you can really see some overpaying going on. Giancarlo for Edwin Diaz? Possibly. Aaron Judge for Billy Hamilton?  It all depends on team needs and where the most points can be gained. Remember, there are no extra points for winning a category by 50. Take a look at the overall standings in your league and see where teams are bunched together.  If there’s an opportunity to leap over multiple teams by taking a category by storm, make your move now. If you’re in second place right now, make that move for first, play to win, go out and make it happen. The Razzball Commenter League trading deadline is Friday, August 10, at midnight (well, 11:59 PM EST technically).  I expect there will be a flurry of activity to break down for next week’s update. For this week however, we have three trades to look at as well as a new overall leader. There were some big shake-ups in the top 10 and we have two weeks worth of data to sift through. Come read about all of this and more in the week that was, week 18 in the Razzball Commenter Leagues:

Please, blog, may I have some more?