We’re less than two weeks in to the 2021 baseball season, and already player values have been changing all over the place.  Deep-league names that we were talking about weeks ago — and who were completely off the radar for most fantasy owners then — have shot up ownership charts.  Guys that weren’t even drafted in many or even most NL or AL-only leagues suddenly have medium/mixed-league numbers.  In CBS leagues, Yermin Mercedes is now an 80% owned player.  Akil Baddoo went from 18 to 68 percent in one week, Cedric Mullins from 20 to 60%.   And in perhaps in the most extreme deep-league rags to standard-league riches story of the young season, Tyler Naquin’s ownership went from 1% to 82% in one week.

So, what’s a deep-leaguer in need of lineup reinforcements but facing a picked-clean waiver wire to do?  I’d say re-group to the changed landscape, and keep looking in case more hidden gems emerge.  There may not be anyone out there who’s going to give you a first-week Tyler Naquin level of production (he’s on pace for 90 homers, 252 RBI, and 18 stolen bases, by the way… so, uh, pretty sure there’s a bit of a cool-down coming at some point), but let’s look at a few names to see if there may be someone who can fill a temporary hole or give you a small deep-league boost.  We’ll go from most to least owned, starting with those that may be available in medium-deep leagues and finishing with some ultra-deep league 1-percenters.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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It’s been a crazy first half-week of baseball, and I’m already struggling a bit trying to keep up with tracking the waiver wire in all of my leagues.  As often happens even after months of offseason research, the first few box scores of the season have featured a handful of surprise names in terms of who’s contributing fantasy stats.  Instead of looking at a few of the young up-and-comers who’ve already made contributions that we may not have been expecting based on our winter planning, I’ve decided that this post should instead be dedicated to some names we were already plenty familiar with but may have passed right over.  It’s been hard for our heads not to be turned — and perhaps rightfully so — by the Jonathan Indias and the Akil Baddoos of the baseball world (both of whom we’ve already chatted about over the past couple of weeks).  But here at Rolling In the Deep, we’ll take one for the Razzball team this week, and concentrate on the Island of Misfit Toys rather than exciting shiny new objects.  To earn a blurb below, each player needed three qualifications:  to be age 30 or older, to have been basically left for dead (or in this case between #570 and #700)  in terms of ADP this year, and to have had at least one impressive/helpful game fantasy-wise to start the 2021 season.  Not gonna lie, those qualifications proved a bit more challenging than I thought they’d be, bringing us to the names below.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Hey friends, can you believe it?  It’s our last deep-league dive before the season starts.  I don’t know about you, but I still have a couple drafts left – and after another long off-season, the last thing I want to do is miss any late injuries or spring training position battle surprise outcomes as I’m trying to get all of my rosters together this week.  So, let’s press on and take one more look at a handful of players whose stock has risen at least a little bit of late, to the point where they may now be more prominently on the radar for those of us in NL-only, AL-only, and other deep leagues.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Just a week and a half to go before the best day of the year, friends!  With Opening Day almost here, it’s time to take a glance at some players who’ve recently boosted their deep-league fantasy stock.  All of these guys have been on the fringe of draftable in even the deepest re-draft leagues this year, but all have gotten at least mild bumps of late – let’s take a look and see if any of them might provide help in NL-only, AL-only, and other deep leagues in 2021.

(Note: I’m reading Grey’s Monday post before turning this in, and seeing that he’s mentioned both Jonathan India and Akil Baddoo.  What does that mean to all of us?  Mostly, that crazy stuff can happen at this time of year in terms of player values… this is not the week to take your eye off the ball!)

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

It’s mid-March, and we here at the Razzball Deep League Department have taken a look at late-round outfielders and each of the infield positions, which can only mean one thing… it’s time to move on to catchers.  I know, I’m already bored too, but think of how good it’ll feel getting it checked off our list.  There were some epic catcher disappointments last year (don’t get me started on the team where I drafted both Mitch Garver and Omar Narvaez) from all fantasy tiers – my most successful teams catcher-wise were in leagues where I splurged on Willson Contreras and/or grabbed Austin Nola at the very end of drafts or auctions.  I’ve found myself with a few shares of Contreras again this year, and while I’m sure there will be several mid-range options who end up paying off this year, I’m once again waiting until late in many drafts to fill the position with whatever’s left.  So, let’s take a look at some of those leftovers – guys that are being drafted all the way outside of the top 300 players according to NFBC ADP – to see who we might be able to find that could be of interest to those of us in NL-only, AL-only, and other deep leagues.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Greetings readers, I want to start today by thanking and wishing good luck to all of the participants who drafted with me in my RCL Sunday night.  I was kept on my toes throughout the draft, as everyone was clearly prepared and ready to apply all they’ve learned at Razzball and in life to conquer what was (lovingly, I’m sure) referred to in our chat as the “Take Down Laura Holt League.”  To those of you who have RCL drafts upcoming and are new to the format, you’ll soon learn what the rest of us have discovered: dollar for dollar (yes, I know most of the leagues are free) it’s about the most fun and challenging format (no) money can buy.

Now, to the business at hand:  it’s time to continue our way around the diamond to the hot corner, where we’ll take a look at some late-round third basemen that may be of particular interest to those of us in NL-only, AL-only, and other deep leagues.  This week, we’ll keep a true deep-league vibe going by looking only at guys who are currently outside the top 20 third basemen being selected, according to current NFBC ADP.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

As I’m writing this, I’m realizing that, gloriously, it’s not all that early any more (hence my last-minute title change).  Players have not only reported to camp, spring training games are being played and Opening Day will suddenly be here within a month.  Those of us who are already drafting are no longer in the bubble of being able to avoid “best shape of his life” comments from players and remarks from managers about bullpen or starting position battles where a few words may lead to a huge ADP rise or fall for certain players.  After looking at second base last week, we’ll begin March by shifting over one spot on the diamond and concentrating on shortstops outside the top 150 players being drafted according to current NFBC ADP.  Since the position is stacked once again this season, I suspect most of us, even in very deep leagues, will have splurged on an expensive or early round stud and will have short covered by the time we get this late in a draft or auction.  But it’s always nice to know what our fallback/back-up/bench depth/lottery ticket options might be, which leads us to the following list of names.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

I’m not sure how many leagues I’m in where I’ll be in the market for an off-the-radar second baseman, because as my drafts have gotten going over the last couple of months I’ve found myself trying to fill the 2B position earlier rather than later.  I’ve found myself willing to perhaps overpay a bit for Ozzie Albies or Whit Merrifield, or maybe gamble on an upside-without-a-long-track-record, relatively early pick of Cavan Biggio or Keston Hiura.  Things get dicey in a hurry, as I’m not remotely interested in, say, Jose Altuve or Dylan Moore at their current ADPs (which are both around 100 overall according to NFBC).  I might take a flier on Mike Moustakas (ADP #120) who qualifies at 2B in most leagues, Tommy Edman (#129), or Nick Solak (#169), but I’m not overly confident that any of those three will provide solid value at those prices, let alone confident enough to reach for any of them.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Over here in the deep-league cubicle of Razzball, we’ve looked at late-round starting pitchers and outfielders, and now it’s time to move on to a group of gentlemen I like to call first basemen.  We’ll look at guys who, according to current NFBC ADP, are ranked outside the top 15 first basemen drafted and outside the top 150 overall.  What I’m going to begin with, though, is a quick public service announcement to anyone in an AL-only league:  in case you hadn’t noticed (and I hadn’t, until I wrote this post), there is as ridiculously steep a drop off from the top few guys to the next group as I ever remember seeing.  Based on NFBC ADP, your top 5 AL first basemen are D.J. LeMahieu, Jose Abreu, Vlad Guerrero, Luke Voit and Matt Olson (whose current ADP is #90).  Looking at the 1B list after that, you get a slew of national leaguers, and do not hit another AL name other than the first two on this list (both of whom also qualify at OF, for what it’s worth) until Miguel Sano at #191.  Yes, I said Miguel Sano at #191.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Happy New Year, Readers!  Yes, I know it’s February, but this is my first post of the year, and as far as I’m concerned, the year doesn’t really start until I can officially start thinking about fantasy baseball.  To the surprise of no one who’s ever met me, it turns out I’ve been thinking about fantasy baseball a lot lately; I’m preparing for my third draft now, after having completed my annual Thanksgiving week draft in November and another the first week of January.  As always, I’m excited to reconnect with the Razzball community and hope you and yours had as good an offseason as possible, and are healthy and ready to win a fantasy championship or two in 2021. I’m crossing all of my fingers and toes that spring training and the season start safely and on time, which means it’s never too early to start looking at some potential targets for those of us who play in NL-only, AL-only, and other deep leagues.  Let’s kick it off with outfielders, as we take a look at a handful of players who currently have ADPs (according to the current NFBC rankings) outside the top 250 — but may have a sneaky something to offer, particularly in the deep league world.

Please, blog, may I have some more?