Well, here we are towards the end of “week 1.” If you had Teoscar Herandez and Kyle Lewis as your top OF after week 1, you are lying. If you are for real then you are a witch. (Burn the witch!) In our ‘Perts RCL draft, Grey was joking that he was setting auto-draft Round 1 to Kyle Lewis… *shocked face emoji* Who knew this mustached man was Nostradamus? Nostradamustache? Anywho, now that this season is off and running and everything that we thought was true isn’t anymore, and everything that wasn’t is. My rankings are for looking forward not just where things currently are. If you want to see just current, take a peak at our Player Rater tool. Nothing is now something (Teoscar above), and the thing that was (Acuna et al) is now nothing.

Here’s what I have been seeing around the league:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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We got a week in the books, folks, and I didn’t think I’d being doing another post this year after the unthinkable, unspeakable, most-obvious-thing-to-happen happened when a good quarter of the Florida Marlins team tested positive for coronavirus. Most would think when a worst case scenario like this occurs, the season would be halted, or at the very least restructured. (After watching some NBA last night, the bubble certainly appears to have been the way to go). But no. It’s just the Marlins, right? Who cares. I wonder to myself, “Self, would the reaction have been the same had 15 Yankees tested positive.” But they didn’t, it’s just the Marlins. The “worst” team in baseball. Besides this was a one off thing, right, what are the odds another team gets it? *Fast forward three days* Oh, three teams have it now, you say? Welp. And Commissioner slash idiot Rob Manfred claims he could shut down the season Monday if the “players aren’t more careful.” L-O-L. Careful like sending hundreds of players and workers back into situations where they not only have to travel, but its often impossible to maintain social distancing? So now we have six teams not even playing, teams that actually “matter”, and its an absolute mess not just for players and fans, but anyone trying to field a daily fantasy line up. Phew. OK, sorry for the tangent but this could very well be my final post of 2020, so I’m going to write about what I want, and I want to write about Taijuan Walker’s best start and first win in almost four years! After missing the majority of the past two seasons due to Tommy John, Taijuan Walker returned “home” to start in Seattle for the first time since 2016 Friday night. Walker looked dominant pitching seven scoreless innings, allowing just one hit, two walks and striking out eight A’s. Tai consistently threw strikes and used his fastball effectively, topping out at 95 mph. Sweet sassy molassy! His Jordan cleats were hitting different, too. It’s always the shoes! The cutter was cutting, his breaking ball had good movement but it was really the way he commanded that fastball that made the difference. After a rough first start in Houston last week, it was an excellent rebound for Walker to get him and the M’s back on track. Rotoworld called a Walker add quote “risky” today, but as I ranted above, this season is all about risk, so why not take a risk on Taijuan Walker!

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Commissioner Manfred is threatening to bring the ol’ number six down (you can search that one on YouTube yourself) on MLB’s head. That’s because you can only tell players not to spit or give each other five. You can’t make them do it. Changing behavior is hard. If the Dodgers are going to pat themselves on the back for learning to ‘air five’ we all have a long way to go. This virus is Taggert, and Sheriff Bart (who is played by Rob Manfred) is not coming to save us. We’re going to have to turn to bubble machines and social distancing and plain old wearing masks. It’s so boring and uncomfortable. Why can’t we have nice things? The MLB season isn’t canceled yet. That’s a nice thing. The suddenly chic San Diego Padres are in Colorado, and that’s a very nice thing for DFS. The trick is cramming as many of those players into your lineup as possible, kind of like stuffing a steak sandwich to the breaking point, and still have a decent bet at pitcher. As always double check your lineups before first pitch to make sure all your players are starting. Now, lets see what we can do.

New to FanDuel? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well, be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Let me get this out of the way: some of these starts below might not even happen. Half of the Marlins are on IVs right now, COVID is about to spread like wildfire through the Cardinals locker room, the Nationals, Blue Jays, Phillies, and Brewers have also had some COVID scares themselves. 

Looking over these pitchers there’s a bunch of quality pitchers who had rough opening starts (Yu Darvish, Charlie Morton, Lucas Giolito, Carlos Martinez) that I’m willing to overlook. Some of them already bounced back in their second starts — but I’m treating these early starts as extended spring training. I know there’s a lot of anxiety and pressure since this is a short season, but just be patient with your pitchers.  

This week I’m ranking these tiers by Animal Crossing villager popularity. (Ask your kids about this one.) 

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY YESTERDAY ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $5/MONTH.)

Was having a chat in the comments the other day with Razzball writer, Coolwhip, and I said to him something like, “Wonder if starters who throw weak-sauce fastballs are going to be better this year because there will be less effort, and leff esort (sic) this year is better because no pitchers can throw hard with no real ramp up to the season.” Leff esort is such a great concept. It’s like saying ‘less effort’ without opening your mouth, so it is being said with less effort — hence, leff esort. Leff esort is such an easy way to live, yet alone pitch. Could all those jacked 99 MPH fastballs be just too much this year and leff esort is the way to go? I don’t know. But it does seem like guys sneaking by on 91 MPH or slower fastballs are having a much better time so far. Aaron Civale couldn’t get arrested with his 91 MPH fastball (if there was a law against 92+ MPH fastballs), yet here he is. Giddy up, Ryan Yarbrough (88 MPH), you slow dog! Sure, you’ll do, Jon Lester (89). Hey, look at Ross Stripling (91), and you too, Matt Shoemaker (91). Merrill Kelly had moments of 92+ MPH fastballs in his first game, but he is more about his cutter (90 MPH), curve and change. Last September, Kelly also dominated, and I’m adding him everywhere. Maybe we’re all just trying too hard and we need leff esort. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

We are now just over a week into the season and all bets are off.  In most years, we should be taking a longer view of these rankings and accounting for the ebb and flow of the season.  In this uncertain environment we do not have time to wait to see if a guy is just having a slow start to the season.  To win in what may be a ‘coin flip’ at the end of the season we must play the hot hands and cut bait on the sleepers that aren’t showing the promise we projected.  Sure, there will be mistakes along the way, but the bigger mistake is being left behind.

A few things to focus on this week:

  1. If you are playing for the Phillies, Marlins, Blue Jays or Yankees you are dropping in the rankings. There are rumblings of playing 7 inning doubleheaders to catch up on the season and anybody on those teams will take a hit.  If playing for the Marlins was not penalty enough…
  2. Who is off to a hot start or cold start? We can’t really base anything off of one-week, but as I mentioned in the intro I would much rather move on too early than wake up and realize the season is over because I didn’t want to bench or drop that high draft pick.
  3. Finally, we need to look at opportunities again. We have just hit the point where any call ups will have an extra year of time control.  Nothing like the roar of the crowd (or silence of cardboard cut outs) to get somebody off to a hot start to their career.

3 Up!

Dansby Swanson – Dansby Swanson broke out last year in a big way.  With shortstop (and middle infield) being so deep this year, he was getting sleeper love but is still owned in less than 70% of Yahoo leagues.  I will be honest and admit I was not fully buying the breakout leading up to the season.  On the other hand, he did increase his Barrel %, Launch Angle and Hart Hit % in 2019 and has not slowed down this year.  I get it is early, but he is top 5% in the league in Barrels and xSLG.  If he is available, grab him now and ask questions later.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

It’s been a busy few days for bullpen shuffling as I try to keep up from my vacation at the shore. Injuries are popping up. Ineffectiveness will also be tolerated far less. Each week of the season is roughly ten percent of it. You’re already running out of time to adjust. Since I’m not into contagious viruses I won’t be partaking in the usual boardwalk indulgences. Therefore, the tier themes will have to do.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Today is the day that DFS’ers and daily lineup setters alike have been waiting for – the first series of the year at Coors Field. In case you’re not familiar, Coors is the ultimate hitter’s park and the best run scoring environment imaginable. On FanDuel, literally every hitter in either the Padres or Rockies lineup is in play. That makes Tommy Pham (3,800) and Trent Grisham ($3,300) top targets at their prices. And if someone like Matt Kemp ($2,800) makes his way into the lineup, he’s worth playing too. Coors hitters are a popular strategy, but it’s for good reason, so expect plenty of production from a Padres or Rockies stack.

New to FanDuel? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well, be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Daulton Varsho was called up by the Diamondbacks. His numbers in the minors are gorge, as in they will engorge you. 18/21/.301 in Double-A, and he’s a catcher. Oh…*climbs to top of world’s tallest stack of pancakes*…kay. Yo, Varsho, you the greatest living catcher ever? Varsho! Here’s what Prospect Itch said, “Prospects don’t get much rarer than Daulton Varsho. My estimated time for his arrival says late 2020, but that might be dependent upon Arizona deciding to stop developing him as a catcher. He struck out just 13.9 percent of the time while walking in 9.3 percent of his plate appearances. That along with his .301/.378/.520 slash line and 159 wRC+ in a decent pitching environment suggests he might be ready for the leap to MLB pitching right now. Can Grey take a leap?” Not cool, man. I haven’t been this excited for a catcher since I married my Cougar. My guess is he plays DH, since the DBacks ditched Kevin Cron, and already have Total Request Live and Rock the Vogt to catch. Playing time could be an issue, which is why I didn’t grab Varsho in every league, but I did try him in one very shallow league, knowing I can just drop him if he doesn’t work out. Yo, do you even lift, bro? Also, he’ll be in this afternoon’s Buy, which you could already be reading if you subscribe to our Patreon. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

With the 2020 season now underway, prospects that failed to make their respective teams’ opening day rosters have arrived at alternate training sites. In a normal year, this would be prime prospect writing season, as we’d follow players’ performances at various levels of the Minor Leagues making all sorts of analysis and predictions about their MLB ETAs, future fantasy output, relevance to the current season at hand, etc. With no Minor League Baseball this season, we don’t have that, but we do know that all of the information there is to know is already out there, with some extra flavor sprinkled in from summer camps. As the summer progresses, I’ll continue to stay in tune with what I’m hearing about countless players situated at those alternate sites. One player I’m especially intrigued by for the 2020 campaign is Clarke Schmidt of the Yankees, otherwise known as Clark D. Schmidt, son of Clate Schmidt, of the late Claudius P. Schmidt, descendant of Cletus Z. Schmidt. The first two were true.

Big D. Schmidt came into summer camp with a fair amount of hype as the No. 88 prospect in the game, but he was slightly overshadowed initially by 21-year-old phenom Deivi Garcia, MLB.com’s No. 92 prospect. During his time at Yankees camp, Schmidt did nothing but prove that he’s close to being Major League ready despite only having 19 Double-A innings under his belt. Before being optioned to New York’s alternate site, Schmidt performed admirably in both simulated and exhibition game action, ultimately earning the team’s 2020 James P. Dawson Award, given to the most outstanding Yankees rookie in spring training. Translation: we strategically gave you this award so you wouldn’t be pissed when we put Mike King on the roster instead of you. Even dating back to Spring Training, Schmidt still had a locker at Yankees camp when everything shut down. And for good reason, because on top of having a plus-fastball (two-seam and four-seam mix) that ranges from 92-97 MPH and an above average-to-plus tumbling changeup, he possesses a curveball that can do this:

Please, blog, may I have some more?