Our 2020 Razzball leagues are in signup mode. Robot in Signup Mode, “I am entering contest to win Razzball t-shirt even though I’ve never seen a robot wear a shirt. Starting….” The Robot begins to peter out, “…New…Fad.” Oh no, the Razzball Robot has died! *screaming to heavens* What hath you forsaken me?! Heavens, “Focus on the ESPN rankings, you moron.” Wow, the heavens do not take well to histrionics. So, this year’s ESPN rankings are a tad goofier than I remember them, but maybe I just got smarter — Smarterened? Smartered? Became the smarts? Meh, I don’t know. What I do know is ESPN has Tim Anderson ranked 143rd overall and that made me cackle like a hyena for so long a group of white-jacketed asylum workers showed up at my house and tried to cart me away. Me singing to the tune of Pharcyde, “Can’t keep gettin’ carted awaaaaaaaaaay…Can’t keep gettin’ carted awaaaaaaaaaay…Can’t keep gettin’ carted awaaaaaaaaaay…” Any hoo! I’m clutchin’ my pearls like a Barbara Bush hologram and about to take out some ‘perts! *slowly, menacingly sharpens index finger for more incisive typing* I’m about to cut up somebody with words! Now let’s open a window and defenestrate ESPN’s 2020 fantasy baseball rankings. To the tune of Major Tom, I call this Major Dumb:

Standings there alone, the fantasy ‘ship is waiting
All rankings systems are go, are you sure?
Control is not convinced
But the computer has the evidence
No need to abort

The ESPN’s ranking sharts

Watching in a trance, the ESPN crew is certain
Nothing left to chance, all is working
Trying to relax, up in the capsule
Joey Votto is ranked 149th,” jokes Major Dumb
The count goes on

Four, three, two, one
They have Josh Bell above everyone
Drifting, falling
Floating, weightless
Calling, calling Dumb

There’s so many straight whothunkits in ESPN’s rankings, I don’t even know where to begin. Let’s focus in on the top 20 1st basemen — aperture out; Instagram blur filter in; Wonder Twins activate in the form of a bust. *sees a Dolly Parton chest begin to form* No, no, no! Not that kind of bust. ESPN has Josh Bell 41st overall, which is hilariously misguided. Sure, the Pirates have hitting behind Bell, um, Jacob Stallings, and Bell just had a 2nd half of:  25/10/32/.233/0 but why inject common sense into this? Last year on our Player Rater, Bell was 42nd overall — those finks are stealing our data! How’sever, Bell had a 28.4% HR/FB in the 1st half last year, and zoomed back to earth in the 2nd half with a HR/FB% close to his career norm. Josh Bell will be drifting, falling…floating, weightless…calling, calling Dumb.

Then, take a gander at Joey Votto. Above Yasmani Grandal. No, the Fantasy Master Lothario isn’t a fan of drafting catchers high, but can you honestly imagine a scenario where Votto out-produces Grandal? Is it possible to twist your medulla oblongata enough to even imagine this? Are you demented enough to conjure this scenario in your brain?! Are you?! I’m not. More power to you if you are. Your melon just might be seedless, though. Want a good crack up? They have Yandy Diaz above Danny Santana. Why? I’m guessing for s’s and g’s. As I figured months ago, my Christian Walker sleeper is still making a ton of sense, since (almost stutterer!) they ranked him after…wait for it…oh, this is good…are you still there?…I promise you’re gonna love this…Walker is below Eric Hosmer! Hosmer, and his 56% ground ball rate, wouldn’t even rank himself above Walker! I need to move on, because I am forming an ulcer.

Second base is yuck, we’re now in orbit
Stabilizers up, ESPN thinks Merrifield runs perfect
Starting to collect requested data
“What will it effect, when is Altuve done?”
Thinks Major Dumb.

In my top 20 2nd basemen, I have Keston Hiura above Merrifield, as any rational fantasy baseball ‘pert would. It should not surprise you that ESPN does not. Know why? Same reason as last year and year before and year before that, in perpetuity. They rank for what they think you want to see. Here’s how ESPN thinks:  Players that are known commodities they rank high. They rank to avoid the least amount of waves. Case in point, I told you to draft Acuña 4th overall last year, they told you 18th overall. This year, they have Acuña ranked 2nd overall. As more people found out about Acuña, they moved him up. Last year, they ranked Adalberto Mondesi 106th overall (me: 20); Flaherty 83rd (55); Muncy 165th overall (71); Shane Bieber at 203rd (115) and they were high on Jo-Ram, Altuve, Severino, Syndergaard, Votto, Posey–If someone is a known commodity, they inflate their value. This year, they’re higher on Acuña, Muncy, Flaherty, Mondesi, Bieber and lower on the others (though, still too high on some of them). What changed?  The general public’s feelings shifted on these players. They regurgitate to you what you want to see if you’re the type to start your research the morning of your draft.

Back at ground control there is a problem
Look at starters, not responding
“Hello Major Dumb, are you receiving?
Turn the thrusters on to draft an ace, we’re standing by.”
There’s no reply
Four, three, two, one
Luke Weaver below everyone
Drifting, falling
Floating, weightless
Calling, calling Dumb.

In their top 300, they have Luke Weaver ranked 300th. I will now list a few starters they have above him:  Marco Gonzales, Wade Miley, Jeff Samardzija, Domingo German (who has to serve an 80-game suspension — you can’t even make this shizz up), Reynaldo Lopez–Whoa, whoa, WHOA! They have Reynaldo Lopez ranked above a ton of guys since they have him ranked in the top 240 overall, and they have an arrow pointing up by his name. I wonder if gravity works backwards in Bristol. Let’s take me out of the equation, they have Reynaldo Lopez ranked above Julio Urias. On Rudy’s auction rankings, he has Urias as the 64th pitcher off the board and Reynaldo as the 83rd, an overall difference of about 70 spots, and I think that’s optimistic on Reynaldo! Moving on while I still have a few gaskets which haven’t yet blown. ESPN has Lucas Giolito 22nd overall starter, and below Shohei Ohtani. Even if you are an Ohstani, that’s almost as ludicrous as Ludacris’s acting career. Actually, oh and this is really rich, they have Severino and Ohtani above Giolito. Two guys who combined for 12 IP last year and Giolito, who was the 13th best starter last year. *weighing on hands* 12 innings total…13th best starter…Yup, about even. *steams wrinkles out of shirt from steam coming out of my ears*

On a less-Major Dumb tip, here’s a chart of the biggest values from ESPN to me (Thank you!) and the players that ESPN overrates (No thank you!). A small note, since I did this chart a few days ago, ESPN has already adjusted their rankings, so some of these might be a little off, but it goes to show you the influence I’m having on them.  They so shook, y’all!

THANK YOU

Player Grey’s Ranking ESPN’s Ranking Overall Difference
Trevor Story 5 15 10
Fernando Tatis Jr. 10 43 33
Jose Ramirez
11 22 11
Pete Alonso
15 30 15
Adalberto Mondesi 20 76 56
Matt Olson 21 63 42
Keston Hiura
43 83 40
Lucas Giolito
46 101 55
Chris Paddack 53 82 29
Jorge Soler 54 94 40
Max Muncy 57 100 43
Yu Darvish 59 122 63
Ramon Laureano
62 99 37
Tim Anderson 66 143 77
Sonny Gray
68 159 91
Jose Berrios 81 135 54
Oscar Mercado
86 152 66
Luis Robert
87 113 26
Brandon Woodruff 102 153 51
Dinelson Lamet 103 198 95
Hyun-Jin Ryu
107 144 37
Zac Gallen
110 175 65
Jake Odorizzi
113 286 173
Hunter Dozier 130 222 92
Scott Kingery 136 189 63
Danny Santana 140 205 65
Marcus Stroman 151 unranked
J.D. Davis
152 259 107
Jo Adell 197 unranked
Joe Musgrove 205 unranked

NO THANK YOU

Player Grey’s Ranking ESPN’s Ranking Overall Difference
Gerrit Cole 17 7 10
Alex Bregman 16 9 7
Jose Altuve 30 21 9
Aaron Judge
37 23 14
Charlie Blackmon 71 24 47
Chris Sale
74 35 39
Giancarlo Stanton 72 36 36
Kris Bryant
83 39 44
Josh Bell
98 41 57
Joey Gallo
84 45 39
Paul Goldschmidt
76 50 26
Nicholas Castellanos 91 59 32
Tommy Pham
85 61 24
Andrew Benintendi 115 66 49
Carlos Correa
147 67 80
Whit Merrifield 94 72 22
Shohei Ohtani 125 92 33
Will Smith (RP) 225 98 127
Lorenzo Cain
267 106 161
Jean Segura 215 129 86
Justin Upton 272 139 133
Joey Votto 386 149 237
 
  1. galica says:
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    Grey!!!

    Great report. Looking forward to other gaffes out there.

    a. Grey, it’s official. In many mock drafts that I’ve been in where there are 11 other humans…Votto has gone undrafted. It’s official…the end of the Vottoman empire. Sad but true.

    b. These trends are a little bit worrying in that all the pitching will be gone by the 4th or 5th rounds. Elaborate one more time for those of us who are weak of heart why good hitters should be favored over good pitchers in roto? I’ll start with the fact that a hitter’s worst day is the golden sombrero whereas a pitcher’s worst nightmare is no outs, 4 runs, 2 walks and 2 hits (well it could be worse David Weathers fans). Right?

    c. MLB quote of the day for May 2, 1987

    ‘Do you want to know the truth, or see me hit a few dingers?’

    Mark ‘Big Mac’ David McGwire

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Thanks, Ante!

      A. Yeah, it’s been done, everywhere except in ESPN

      B. Pitcher’s worst nightmare is much worse than that, my good man — then he won’t pitch again until the following week

      C. HAHA

      • Jon10do says:
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        B- yep, gets way worse. I had the unfortunate luck of streaming Chase Anderson for his career worst start against the Nationals. Final line: 2.1 IP, 10 W+H, 10 ER.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Ha, yup, it can get brutal

    • bigbear says:
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      A. Yep.

      B. Dr. Andrew’s just called and is willing to hold. He’s a patient man but he says he has an appointment for the worst nightmare scheduled in Op Room #4 at 2 pm.

      C. Haha, that quote is rich! Well played Ante!

      • galica says:
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        BigBear!!

        Many thanks.

        Cheers,
        Ante

    • LeMaster of my Domain says:
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      Ante, you are that wine (maybe cheese? lol) that took awhile to appreciate, but with time has become a well-aged fount of goodness. Your MLB quotes soar above previous offerings…well done!

  2. Snacks Zillion says:
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    Ha, love it!! Thanks for the knowledge, the disparity charts are great for my upcoming drafts. I did sign up for the RCL commenters league with L Holt, DT whooped up on me in football so hopefully I do better in baseball.

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      Go get her Snacks!

    • The Great Knoche says:
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      Laura’s twice the fantasy player DT is. Good luck.

      • Snacks Zillion says:
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        Ha, I need it!

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Maybe 3 times

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Laura’s better than Donkey, you’re done, Snacks

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Joking aside, Laura and I are in a league where she beats me every year — for 20 years!

      • Donkey Teeth

        Donkey Teeth says:
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        But she wouldn’t stand a chance against me in an Eating Trash Out of Grey’s Garbage Can Competition!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Donkey dropping irrefutable truth

          • Snacks Zillion says:
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            Ha!! Thats great, I will do my best

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              You better!

  3. Sweatpants Nation says:
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    “ESPN has already adjusted…” You’re an influencer!
    Always a favorite post.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Or under the influence

      Thanks!

      • Klara Bell says:
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        I got my eye on you, Grey.

        • Hater Bell

          Grey says:
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          I look forward to seeing you in Florida for the LABR draft

  4. Spazoid Floyd says:
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    Ohtani question- in a 20 team daily Cbs league he is a batter on DH days and a pitcher on rotation days. So where would you put him in the rankings in that format? I see him as a $20 pitcher combined with a $15 hitter. Since that would make him a $35 player I’d think his draft spot would be in the early 2nd round of a 20 team league. What do you think? Thank you!

    • Spazoid Floyd says:
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      I just read your blurb on ohtani and I agree, there’s no way he’s a $20 pitcher this year. Maybe a $10 pitcher at most. So my revised estimate of where he should be drafted In my league is pick 47. Good?

      • Donkey Teeth

        Donkey Teeth says:
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        I definitely think there’s a chance he’s a $20 pitcher this year. Why can’t he throw 120-130 elite innings? Isn’t that worth $20?

        Pick 47 seems fine in a daily league.

        I’m on the other side of the fence from Grey here…

        • Spazoid Floyd says:
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          Round 2 pick 36 too soon? I feel like it’s not. 24/10/.290 plus 100 innings

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            Round 2 sounds early — but yes, 24/10/.290 and 100 IP isn’t terrible if you can get all those at-bats and IP, which I bet you can’t

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Ohtani is going to throw 130 IP this year? Oh, Donkey — You’ve lied to Spazoid

          • Spazoid Floyd says:
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            Ha!! He’s not going to pitch until late May they’ve said. It sounds like you are saying you don’t recommend pick 36 but you think it’s at least debatable. I’ve taken enough of your time thanks a bunch.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Yeah, I heard on May, and that’s what they’re saying now…Could get to May and there’s a setback, or just pushed until June/July

          • Donkey Teeth

            Donkey Teeth says:
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            I’d never lie to Spazoid!

            I missed that mid-May pitching news yesterday. Boooooo.

            At least he’ll DH full-time…

            • B_Don

              B_Don says:
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              Going to be bouncing back and forth from the minors doing rehab starts, so, not sure it will actually be full time.

              • ML says:
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                And THIS is the point those in flexible daily move leagues are missing!

                If he pitches in the minors every 7th day, you demote him, acquire a hot hitter. Promote him, drop a cold hitter. Throw a few good batter / bad pitcher for bad batter / good pitcher trades..

                Repeat to title.

  5. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    Oof odorizzi!

    • Robb says:
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      These posts are great every year. Are you doing one for Yahoo this year?

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Yeah next week

  6. Dave D says:
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    Tatis at 43 and Mondesi at 76 is ludicrous. ESPN’s priority is focus on social justice, not accurate sports rankings, and convincing white males we are racist oppressors rather than the great grandchildren of immigrants who fled oppression in Europe for opportunity in the US.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Votto one bothers me immensely… They made that mistake last year, and they didn’t learn

      • Dave D says:
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        Maybe you will eventually reach the stage I am in with ESPN: I pay them no mind and they receive none of my money. I might wipe my a$$ with them and nothing more. They are unworthy.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Oh, I’ve been there, but part of our audience still uses them, so obvious part needs to be said

          • Dave D says:
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            Yeah, that’s kind of like people watching network news to get “information” and form opinions. It seems like everything is an infomercial now. Maybe ESPN is trying to fool the general public with their rankings to lead them astray. Come to think of it, that’s kinda the norm now on most venues.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Most people play at ESPN, so they’re bound to see their rankings…NFBC is not the standard for most casual players

    • Justin says:
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      Dave D I gift you an axe to grind

      • Dave D says:
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        Haha, Justin!!!

  7. Will says:
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    Bud Black names Wade Davis the closer in Colorado over Oberg. As if you needed another indicator that the Rockies have exactly zero clue what they are doing. Where did ESPN rank Wade Davis??? LOL

    • Dave D says:
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      Seriously? Wow.

      • Will says:
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        Yep:

        Wade Davis – Named closer

        February 11, 2020

        Davis will be the Rockies’ closer to start the year, Nick Groke of The Athletic reports.

        • The Great Knoche says:
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          Start the year is the key here. As in after 1st blow up it’ll be next man up.

          • Dave D says:
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            Maybe. I’d still only draft him in a DC and still would only plug him in sparingly on road trips if I did.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Yup, he will be a mess

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      I just drafted Wade Davis yesterday in a 20-team dynasty supplemental draft. Pray for me.

      • Dave D says:
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        Ok, will do.

        Are you still planning on playing NFBC Solo Shot?

        • Donkey Teeth

          Donkey Teeth says:
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          Yes, I’m in and drafting on that last possible day. You?

          • Dave D says:
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            I’m likely doing it too. Just waiting to see how much prize money I have to work with in my war chest as their NFC hockey wraps up. I think I should easily haven enough for Solo Shot plus a $500 satellite or OC league.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              You won some hockey leagues?

              • Dave D says:
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                I’m actually leading, dare I say dominating, the NHC Online Championship. First overall currently by 44 points (1,614 total) over next guy.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Wow, big payday for it?

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  I looked it up…Wow, a lot fewer peoople for hockey, huh? Not bad prize winnings tho for out of 35

                  • Dave D says:
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                    Yeah, its first year so it’ll grow. 5k if I win it all. Hockey is the fantasy sport most like baseball and its a little easier IMO.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Not a bad haul!

                  • Dave D says:
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                    Cross your fingers for me, Grey!!!

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      Looks like you don’t need my help!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, I updated my top 500 — Bud Black should be fired for that alone, and I have about 40 other grievances

      • Dave D says:
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        Maybe. That contract is probably the only reason for this. I bet the owner is calling shots on this. If he’s decent then they will do everything they can to deal him in July.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yes, if the Rockies had any sense or if Davis is good, both seem like longshots

  8. LennyDykstraIsJustMisunderstood says:
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    I’m in a CBS leageu as well and i compare their ranking to razzball it helps to get an idea of what those who use scott whites rankings will draft. I have to say their rankings are never even close to razz.

    • Turd Wendell says:
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      Dude, that was tremendous. I know ESPN is hot trash but this is borderline sabotage. The Giolito ranking is just disgrace. Guy was a horse last year. Appreciate you Grey, otherwise look at the “help” we get

      • Turd Wendell says:
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        Sorry that was supposed to go in the general comments, Lenny.

        • LennyDykstraIsJustMisunderstood says:
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          No prob

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, I hear ya, Lenny… I’m in a league with Scott White this Friday

      • LennyDykstraIsJustMisunderstood says:
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        He has moved around to you way of thinking a little last year weighing hitters a littler more than he used to

  9. Earl says:
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    I have a slow email 12 team roto draft starting today.

    I have picks 11 and 14 to start.

    Suppose I can hope either Story or Lindor fall to me at 11 but maybe that is wishful thinking.

    Might have to select from Trea Turner, Juan Soto, Jose Ramirez, Arenado, Rendon, Freeman for the 2 picks. Really hoping that Story or Lindor fall to get some speed out of it as I typically do not like Turner just for speed. If I get one of those guys for speed then would like to take a thumper at 14 say Arenado, Rendon or Freeman.

    I am intrigued with Soto as well but also concerned about how he will do in Nats lineup with Rendon gone and now he will be looked upon to be ‘the guy’ for Nats.

    Any thoughts my fellow Razzers!
    Thanks

    • The Great Knoche says:
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      Turner/Soto sounds good. Turner/ Torenado sounds super juicy.

      Turner has more than just speed.

      • Earl says:
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        would u take Turner over Story or Lindor?

        Just think one is giving up alot in the homer and RBI dept with Turner. TO me, he is a 3 category player in 5×5 roto. Wonder if the speed really makes up for that?

        Thanks

        • The Great Knoche says:
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          I’d want Story then Lindor.

          Turner is only light on RBIs.

      • Earl says:
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        Thought u might say that!

        No concerns really with Turner or Soto; especially maybe Soto?

        Thanks

          • Earl says:
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            Got Arenado and Turner to start with.

            Think that is good overall combo to build from.

  10. scott says:
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    Projections Grey picks Eddie Rosario before Jose Ramirez

    Eddie: 579 ab, 94 r, 31 hr, 107 rbi, 4 sb, 0.281 avg
    Jose: 574 ab, 89 r, 28 hr, 96 rbi, 27 sb, 0.263 avg

    • scott says:
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      …and two seconds after I post I check to see if I had leftover scoring adjustments from last draft. Eddie is actually a little after Jose, so I’ll use Starling Marte instead.

      Starling: 581 ab, 96 r, 22 hr, 86 rbi, 22 sb, 0.289 avg
      Jose: 574 ab, 89 r, 28 hr, 96 rbi, 27 sb, 0.263 avg

      sorry about that

      A more fun example might be
      Amed Rosario $10, 578 88 17 70 23 0.294
      vs
      Gleyber Torres $24, 551 88 32 95 5 0.264

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I pick Rosario before Jo-Ram? Huh?

      • scott says:
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        Not you, you’re “$ Grey”. I’m talking about “Projections Grey”. That guy values Rosario almost as highly as Jose Ramirez, and Amed Rosario with Gleyber. $Grey vs Projections Grey would be a fun topic to pursue if I weren’t such a muddled thinker.

  11. CT says:
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    Grey!

    If you have any gaskets left, I have a keeper question for you.

    12 team, mixed roto league. I am allowed to keep up to two players, one from the first half of last years draft and one from the 2nd half (and then I have to give up those picks this year). Also, I can only keep up to one hitter and one pitcher. Confused yet? My options are:

    Clevinger (6th round price)/Lux (17th round) or
    Olbombson (10th round price)/Maeda(13th)

    I was leaning Clevinger/Lux all offseason but then your rankings started coming out, and you wrote a sleeper post for Maeda, and now I’m flustered. Any thoughts on which way you’d go here?

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      Tough call, they’re both great options. I lean Clevinger/Lux also but no strong conviction.

      Grey loves Olson so pretty sure he’ll go that direction…

    • The Great Knoche says:
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      I’d want Olson/Maeda, especially now with Maeda pitching in a crappy division and having a job for whole year.

      • Tom says:
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        I’m out on Olson and Maeda, especially Olson at his current adp, 30 hrs. .255 avg from Olson in round 4-5 meh, no thanks. I don’t think going to Minny helps Maeda whatsoever.

        • The Great Knoche says:
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          .270 50HR potential in round 4-5. That’s gold. You be out, I’ll take him.

          • Tom says:
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            Seems like a pipe dream, good luck.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Olson/Maeda

      • CT says:
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        Thanks Grey et al! It is much appreciated as always

        I guess I’ll flip a coin to decide.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          No problem

  12. Jake says:
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    Drew Waters and Sixto Sanchez for Keston Hiuria in a NL only where there’s 3 more years left to keep Hiuria. Which side do you like?

    • Malicious Phenoms says:
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      I’d want this guy:

      Keston Hiuria

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      Hiura

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Agree with others

  13. Matt says:
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    Keeper question.
    NL-only auction ($260), 7 team, standard 5×5 roto.
    Strategy that has worked last 2 yrs: dominate hitting, focus on sv/era/whip (3-4 SP, 2-3 CL, 2-3 elite MR for $1). I try to spend about $200-210 on hitting and $50-60 on pitching. I find breakthrough FA pitchers more common than FA bats.

    Here are my current keepers:
    1B Freeman $36
    2B Hiura $10
    SS Tatis $10
    3B or MI Machado $15
    OF Yelich $39
    OF Soto $15
    SP Corbin $15
    SP Flaherty $15
    RP Hader $6

    One more keeper to choose:
    Blackmon $31, Eaton $11, Senzel $1, Yates $15, Gallen $10

    Blackmon was initially at the bottom of my list (was leaning Yates or Gallen), but I project the top bats in the draft to be:
    Goldschmidt, Bryant, Segura, Villar, Eaton, Conforto, McCutchen, Braun, Seager, Hosmer

    A few owners will have $ for bats, so the above will go at inflated prices. I will have the least $ available which means I can’t outbid inflation. Should I just keep Blackmon? Blackmon for $31 is not ideal but I don’t think I could reinvest that money any better. Won’t have a ton of money left, but I normally go for 3-4 $1 players to churn that part of the roster.

    Is that crazy? Who would you keep?

    Thank you as always!

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      Not crazy when you lay it out like that. If you think Blackmon goes for quite a bit more at auction, then keep him. None of the others are must keep at their prices.

      It’s always tricky when inflation comes into play in auction keepers…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Meh, I’d go Gallen, use extra $21 for something else

  14. MattH says:
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    Could you imagine Tatis Jr. sitting there in the middle of the 3rd round. Ya, me either.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Yeah, it doesn’t make any sense…And honestly I bet they even know that, but they rank this way bc they think readers want to see it

  15. Matty says:
    (link)

    Dang- Matt, MattH, and now Matty- we had really uncreative parents and it’s trickled down.

    Thanks for this one. I love the rankings (and this wouldn’t be possible without them), but I feel like this post and the same for Yahoo are the most informative ones each year for all of my drafts except RCL. It helps to narrow down which guys to target and expect to own. Looking forward to a team built around FTJ, Adalberto, and Olson.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Haha, No problem

  16. Big Magoo

    Big Magoo says:
    (link)

    Klara… Bell? Are you really surprised? But man, looks like they just forgot about Odorizzi and scribbled him in at the last minute. That’s the only way I can rationalize that one.

    Starting to get concerned about Mercado. Domingo’s on board (as long as his elbow checks out – don’t know if the deal’s been finalized yet), and DeShields is lurking. Reyes should see everyday ABs at the other corner. Could see him losing some playing time.

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
      (link)

      Agree, that Indian’s outfield is shaping up to be a headache.

      • Earl says:
        (link)

        Agree with you all about Mercado.

        I was thinking of targetting him for some speed but not sure about playing time now.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Not worried about Mercado, Greg Allen and Bauers go to bench before him

      • Big Magoo

        Big Magoo says:
        (link)

        Did Francona or the Cleveland front office say that? I hadn’t seen

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Not sure how you’re seeing different… Franmil at DH, bc they don’t have anyone else; Allen/DeShields in right; Bauers/DeShields in left; Mercado in CF

          • Big Magoo

            Big Magoo says:
            (link)

            DeShields has played the vast majority of his career in CF and has graded out as a plus defender. Better than Mercado last season too. I’d prefer not to make those types of playing time assumptions, especially with a top 100 pick.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
              (link)

              If I may be so bold, I think you’re overthinking it to make it seem like Mercado has more risk than he does — DeShields, while an absolute Grey fave, is a bench player, utility, platoon guy… Mercado would need to hit .150 in April to be in danger of losing playing time

              • Big Magoo

                Big Magoo says:
                (link)

                I like Mercado too. Just reading the tea leaves. I think you’re underestimating the risk factor if you still assume that he’s locked in for 600+ PA.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
                  (link)

                  What risk? DeShields and Allen and Jake Bupkis aren’t risks to him…

                  • Big Magoo

                    Big Magoo says:
                    (link)

                    Allen isn’t a risk. He’s positional depth. But DeShields is a superior defender, and Reyes/Santana look like regulars. They traded for Bauers and are unlikely to completely give up on him so quickly. All of a sudden, 650 PA turns into 450 for Mercado. I can see that being a possibility. Not a death knell in daily formats, but tough to use regularly in weekly ones.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
                      (link)

                      Well, we still agree most times, but gonna have to disagree here….Mercado is the everyday starter

                  • Big Magoo

                    Big Magoo says:
                    (link)

                    Yeah, we’ll have to disagree. He’s a higher floor, lower ceiling version of Hampson for me now. I’d put him in that risk bin.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
                      (link)

                      You’re worried about playing time and you’re drafting Hampson? The Rockies just announced Wade Davis is closer, they will announce Ian Desmond is the starter next over Hampson

                  • Big Magoo

                    Big Magoo says:
                    (link)

                    Similar risk when factoring in cost. Hampson is much cheaper, and has a higher ceiling. I’d rather take a chance on him 80-100 picks later.

                    And Wade Davis is a case in point. Who thought he’d still be closing? DeShields can’t possibly be a threat, right?

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
                      (link)

                      You’re mixing apples and oranges and not making ambrosia — Wade Davis is a warning sign with the Rockies and why they won’t play Hampson — Davis is not a warning sign for the Indians’ OF

                  • Big Magoo

                    Big Magoo says:
                    (link)

                    The Davis announcement is indicative of two things:

                    1. Confirmation, yet again, that Bud Black is an idiot.

                    2. The decision-making/interests of real life MLB clubs don’t always align with us fantasy folks. And smart/successful organizations aren’t excluded.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
                      (link)

                      1. Yup

                      2. That’s fair, but don’t see Mercado as a concern, but we shall see — btw, always good to talk these things out!

                  • Big Magoo

                    Big Magoo says:
                    (link)

                    I know my offseason patience has run out when I’m arguing against a player that I like. Hope I’m wrong, but I’ll probably just avoid this mess and bump Robert up a bit.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
                      (link)

                      Luis Robert? Yeah, I like him too…Him or V. Robles?

                  • Big Magoo

                    Big Magoo says:
                    (link)

                    Yeah, Luis Robert. I like Robles too, but would probably opt for Robert if forced to choose. Higher ceiling.

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
                      (link)

                      Nice, we’re back on the same page

    • Andrew edenbaum says:
      (link)

      Reyes is an awful right fielder. Watched him up lose all last year.

      • Big Magoo

        Big Magoo says:
        (link)

        Agreed. They could still use him out there though. Bauers too.

  17. The Great Knoche says:
    (link)

    The ESPN ranking Sharts.

    I will sing that now every time I hear this song. So did it take a few minutes to come up with this idea and then hours of listening to Major Tom for the new song lyrics? Tell the truth, you’ve been writing this since November and just waiting to compare the rankings right?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Haha, I’m not sure if it’s better or worse to say it came to me around 2:30 PM and I was done by about 3 or if it’s better that it seems like I crafted this for days

  18. Matt says:
    (link)

    Hey Grey,

    16 team 5×5 H2H allowed to keep 5 veterans and 2 rookies.

    I’m keeping Soto, Judge, Hiura, Machado, Correa, Luzardo and Eloy.

    Just got offered Giolito for Eloy straight up. Im thinking this is a no brainer and I have to pull the trigger to get an Gio. Thoughts?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Seems like Gio makes more sense for you

  19. kelly leak says:
    (link)

    Great write up!
    Always at least a couple guys in ESPN leagues that follow these. It’s like playing old dudes in air hockey at the arcade.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Haha, classic Kelly Leak!

  20. Ryan says:
    (link)

    In a 14 team h2h, who do you want more? Tatis or Soto?

  21. Cliff says:
    (link)

    You can abuse the ESPN rankings so badly that with a mid-late pick I’ve been able to get Lindor, Story, JRam, FTJ, Olsen, and Mondesi before getting a pitcher.

    Assuming you’re still able to get FTJ, Olson, Mondesi from rounds 4-6, would you splurg on a top pitcher in round 3 like Flahtery or just keep adding bats?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Sure, I’d exploit ESPN rankings if I could

  22. eballs says:
    (link)

    True or False

    You’re not drafting your 1st Reliever until about the 10th/11th Round (120th overall)

    • NUX says:
      (link)

      True for me for sure

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      I grab my 1st RP usually between 110-120, depends if anyone falls…If, say, Hader falls to 100 (from 70), then I’d take him

  23. Jolt In Flow says:
    (link)

    Grey, off topic questions. How many fantasy baseball leagues teams do you manage each year?

    Just seems like you have your hand in at least 20 of them.

    DT, if you’re reading this, same question for you.

    Thanks.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Nah, nowhere close…I have about 8-10, more than enough

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
      (link)

      15-20 usually. Trying to scale back this year but doubt it happens.

  24. Swaggerjackers says:
    (link)

    Love this post every season but wish you’d do it a month from now. ESPN changes their rankings as the weeks go by and some guys you’re noting as values won’t be by the time most drafts are happening. I usually end up making my own list of names using this format a few days before my draft. Would it be worth me sharing it in the comments this season?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Sure, do it up!

  25. Mike Adamson says:
    (link)

    Well, OTOH, water is still wet and OTOH, Major Tom has always been a criminally underrated song. So thanks for this.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Ha, No problem

  26. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
    (link)

    How’s my ranking if the guys below in a keeper league?

    $4 giolito
    $9 Robles
    $3 woodruff
    $16 bieber

    Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Nah, shallow league, just go with known — Bieber, Gio, Robles

      • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
        (link)

        Thanks – makes a lot of sense, plenty on the wire…

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          No problem

  27. Coolwhip

    Coolwhip says:
    (link)

    Remember when ESPN ranked Posey as a 3rd rounder? Pepperidge Farm remembers.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Haha, when was that? 2018?

      • Coolwhip

        Coolwhip says:
        (link)

        might as well have been, seemed like it went on for like 4 years straight, after he “broke out” and had an OF3 kinda year.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Haha, yeah, people getting jollys off on ranking a catcher high always amuses me

  28. Scott Kimmel says:
    (link)

    Grey,

    The guy with Edwin Diaz wants to trade him for Frankie Montas, while I want to offer Hunter Dozier. Would you make either deal?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      I’d trade Montas for him

      • Scott Kimmel says:
        (link)

        trade Montas for Diaz and take on the $18 difference in salary?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Does $18 matter in a league with $1300 salary?

          • Scott Kimmel says:
            (link)

            if i make the deal I would be $463 under the cap. But I am also trying to get Nate Anderson from TB?

  29. 183414 says:
    (link)

    Have 7th pick tonight. I see what you ranked Alonso, but I think I’d prefer Albies @31 (assuming I’ll get a s.s. in the 1st round), and hope that Olson is still there @55. Risky, yes, but on the down side, figure 1 of Rizzo, Abreu, Muncy will be there @79.
    I try always looking ahead.
    Thanks

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      That works too

      • 183414 says:
        (link)

        Thanks.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          No problem

  30. NJW says:
    (link)

    This is great. Every year I trade my high draft picks at the deadline to compete and have much less to work with at draft time. And every year, because of Grey and the rest of the Razzball staff, I’m back in the hunt because you guys are able to point out major deficiencies like this in ESPN’s rankings.

    This year, despite trading all my picks away, I’m still going to get Mondesi, Giolito, Olson, Muncy, Darvish, Mercado, etc and everyone is going to tell me “you’re going to finish last this year,” then they’ll wonder why I made the playoffs again.

    Thanks again Grey!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Haha, nice!

      • NJW says:
        (link)

        No, thank you! Couldn’t do it without you!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          No problem

  31. ashtray says:
    (link)

    I’m in a 14 team league where you can keep 6 guys forever. Does it make sense to keep Wander Franco knowing he’s going to be using up a roster spot all year long? The Fangraphs list showing Franco as their first ever 80 grade prospect has me thinking about it. It’s not much different from when I kept Stanton last year. Other options for my 6th keeper are Hoskins, Bryant, Lamet, Giolito, Woodruff, Severino.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      I could see keeping Wander, he’ll be a top 75 overall pick next year like Luis Robert this year then possibly top 20 year after

  32. Crime Dog says:
    (link)

    I’m sure you’ve covered this so apologies in advance if I’ve missed it. First time RCL’r. If you’re in a league that doesn’t fill up do you get put in another league that’s not full or you just don’t get in that league?

    Who won last year?

    Thanks!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      You have to join another league, but they should fill up, still lots of time

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Oh and there’s a master standings for last year in top menu

  33. DavidS says:
    (link)

    Thanks Grey……14 team h2h, 5×5 with OBP replacing AVG, which 3 do I keep? Judge as a 5th rounder, Mondesi 10th, Laureano as a 15th, Alonso as a 16th or Vlad Jr as a 20th. Thanks

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Mondesi, Alonso, Vlad

  34. Simps says:
    (link)

    All,

    Looking for some help on the best site to order a draft board for a live draft.

    Thanks in advance

  35. 183414 says:
    (link)

    Assuming Yordan and Albies are available @31, (and assume I’ve taken a s.s. and a s.p.), who do you take. I assume Yordan will qualify for o.f. by June. Love Albies upside, but also love Yordan’s.

      • 183414 says:
        (link)

        Last question (still have 1 hr. 40 minutes to pastime: If Betts and Story were available @7, my choice may well be Betts/Mondesi v. Story/Albies. Pretty interesting.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          Betts/Mondesi is sexy

        • Dave D says:
          (link)

          Some nice options there, Andrew!

  36. baby seal says:
    (link)

    You probably post this rag every year — but you totally took this idea from me!! See the influence the baby seal has on you!

    Oh, snap. Before I forget! The important stuff first. Fell down a Razzball rabbit hole yesterday. I saw Donkey’s Twitter and Razzslam post. Clicked on it (signed up, again, but that’s not important now). Then saw that lovely hyperlink to your infamous Canseco interview. Listened to about half of it. LOL, nice job man. WTF, that was hilarious.

    Then I saw your Matthew Berry “interview” and the subsequent Deadspin articles and what not. Another LOL / WTF post. You really had more chutzpah back in the day! Make Grey Great Again!

    Draft update (yes, it’s still going on!) …

    As you know, these things take forever. We’re only in round 33 here.

    Not sure how much you recall the team from before, but we left off w/ me taking Lugo, Akiyama, then your lovely Hirano suggestion. I can post the squad again, but I doubt you want that.

    Since then–starting in round 23:
    – Plesac (makes him my first depth arm)
    – Barnhart (C1)
    – Jason Castro (C2)
    – Wade Miley
    – Matt Manning
    – Spencer Turnbull
    – Chance Sisco (C3 — see I did it, Grey!)
    – Markakis
    – Isan Diaz
    – Colin Moran

    I’m assuming it’s smart to keep trying to fill depth w/ people who actually play ~ every day. Depth seems like a major issue for everyone here. “It’s a war of attrition,” they say! Those players are nearly dried up now, though. Some people have been pounding middle relievers / “talented setup men” hard. Think I may swing at a couple soonish. But have taken your advice not to go too crazy there.

    Let me know if you have any general thoughts, weaknesses, whatever. Should I start pounding some more prospect types soon? Manning is my only real prospect.

    I’m on the clock right now actually. Just took Moreland! Woohoo this is so fun!!

    Urena is available, Brian Goodwin? (idk), Candelario (HELP ME), Bote (AHHHH), Kuch (NOOOOOO!!!!! (but maybe eventually, haha)), Buttrey / May (this seems OK eventually *shrugs*), Maldonado (when do u get a 4th C??), Kelenic (is he seeing the field this year??) … I could go on, but I’m feeling generous. This post is only 2,300 words!

    Damn, Kyle Wright just went. That’s what you say right before asking yourself, “how did this happen to me and where did it all go so wrong?” So very wrong, Grey.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Haha, baby seal, you didn’t hear Canseco interview prior? Oh, it’s such gold — “Hello…Jose? Are you there…?”

      Chance Sisco!

      Moreland’s fine for ABs…I like the schmohawks you’re taking, good ABs and IPs…Which is most important…I don’t mind some upside from a rookie here and there either… Ian Anderson maybe? With Hamels down, he’s got a little more possibility…But F-Her prolly 1st arrow shot in Atlanta

      • baby seal says:
        (link)

        Haha, no! You need a “Best of Razzball” series/link. “The Razzball Hall of Fame” — founded by and featuring, yours truly, Grey.

        JOSE!?!

        I didn’t know about ya’ll back then. Only got back into fantasy the last few years. Never going back! Once you go …. never mind!

        Ian Anderson is avail! Queued up.

        Lol, it’s The Return of the King! *shudders*

        So, exactly, you made my point! The guy w/ Hamels has a staff of: Bieber, Snell, Chapman, Luzardo, Giles, Keller, Hamels, Givens, J James, Beede, Sixto.

        Let’s give benefit of the doubt Keller starts the year in the rotation, and Sixto does not. (By the way, the pitchers remaining are puke city.) There are 9 starting spots. This guy only has 9 dudes after 500 picks in the draft. What? IDK what this guy is thinking, or smoking.

        James isn’t a starter really. Luzardo has an innings cap. Beede is your 4th starter, bro! LOL. My 4th is Maeda and I didn’t take any “top arms” like you. Sad!

  37. hitzone says:
    (link)

    16 team pts league dynasty

    A BB is 1 pt same as a hit

    Hold chance disco for upside or grab Roberto Perez?
    C ?s already

  38. 183414 says:
    (link)

    Follow up question above. Thanks Grey.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      No problem

  39. 183414 says:
    (link)

    Assuming they’re both available @7th pick: Betts/Mondesi v. Story/Albies.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Betts/Mondesi

      • 183414 says:
        (link)

        Thanks Grey Man !

        • Grey

          Grey says:
          (link)

          No problem

  40. MrBaseball says:
    (link)

    SOME DUDE WANTS Dahl – he wants to send me Dustin May – its a keeper league – I see you think and eat baseball everyday – both young players

  41. Earl says:
    (link)

    Not sure if any of you guys are still around?

    Man amazing that so many starting pitchers have been taken in 2nd and 3rd round of draft I am doing.

    I have Arenado and Turner for my 1st 2 picks.

    Remaining starters for me at my next pick (35 and 38) might be Snell, Gioloto, Corbin, Castillo and Paddack (in Grey’s ranked order).

    Would you guys be comfortable with any of them (in this order) as your SP1? Feel like if I wait to our 5th round (pick 59) that might be too late and they might all be gone.

    Also, I think Grey has Pete Alonso and Matt Olson pretty close in rankings and projected stats. do people see either being that much better than the other. Loved Alonso last year and wondering if he will repeat this year.

    Might take one of these two for 1b along with SP with picks 35 and 38.

    Thanks

    • Al KOHOLIC says:
      (link)

      I’d want one of those pitchers myself and Alonso

  42. AL KOHOLIC says:
    (link)

    Grey ole buddy. Hey buying you add free deal now and It says discount code. Are we supposed to enter one or is that just for different circumstances. Thanks again looking forward to it???

  43. kelly leak says:
    (link)

    I like your Betts ranking. 27 years old, new team, he wants to get paid… but what do I know, I just got let out of Juvie and wrecked my Harley. Took Acuña #4 last year so In Grey I Trust.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
      (link)

      Appreciate that, Kelly…Don’t forget to ice your arm, might need you tomorrow

  44. Matty says:
    (link)

    Hey Grey
    What are your initial thoughts on the Yahoo Rankings?
    Yours are better!
    Are they bad enough you will be writing an article?
    In Grey I trust !

    One other quick question long term prospect dynasty league- CJ Abrams or Julio Rodriguez

  45. Troy Pfuntner says:
    (link)

    For those of us that “follow” Razzball and draft on ESPN, I want to say , SHUT UP!!! I have GREAT drafts due to the fact none of my fellow players follow RAZZBALL! If you influence ESPN to change their rankings, I Don’t get such an awesome team! I like having great players ranked bad. STOP IT! HAHA. I hate level playing fields.

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