Razzball Video Draft Kit 2018

Welcome welcome welcome! I have an aunt-in-law that says everything in thirds, and it’s cute the first time, and the second time, but after you’ve heard “Love you love you love you” for the 800th time, it’s gets old. Always like starting with a random tangent, don’t I? Anyway, these are my OPS-only rankings (meaning OPS replaces AVG). I play in 6×6 leagues, and they make some sense to me, but can’t we just kick average to the curb already? I’d rather play in an OBP and OPS league, and if I’m doing that let’s just stick with 5×5, amirite? But I digress.

These are hitter rankings, no pitchers. I don’t like Pitchers, and I’ve even recommended in this space eliminating them from Fantasy Baseball and going to team pitching like they used to do on MLB.com’s fantasy baseball site. They still might, but I’m not playing on their website; I mean, Yahoo! (Ohtani as two players?) and ESPN are bad enough (and CBS I haven’t even checked in on in years). Makes me understand the move to Fantrax for Razzball Commenter Leagues (Join one here!)

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In the spreadsheet I released this past Sunday there was a column on the “Rankings” tab labeled “Draft Score”. Several of you asked in the comments section what it meant. I thought I’d take this opportunity explain. And while I’m at it, I also thought I’d point out some players that stick out as obvious draft day bargains according to their estimated draft score.

Here is my response to the inquiries about draft score with a few minor modifications.

FVARz dictates a player’s value compared to the rest of the players. We get there by determining each players’ value above the replacement player at his position. The replacement player is the player you can get off the wire.

A simple example is if you are in a 10-team league and you start only one 2B, then your league really only cares about 10 second basemen. The 11th 2B is considered the replacement 2B. It’s a little more complicated than that in that we probably care about 12 second basemen making the 13th the replacement, but it should give you the idea.

So when choosing between two players, use FVARz. Draft score is just indicator as to whether you are getting good value at the pick. However, I’d always take the player with the higher FVARz regardless of draft score.

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Two years ago, 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.  Then last year, I got goofy with myself and thought there were a ton of early, sexy-AF middle infielders.  You know what they say, “When you think, you make a think out of you and me.”  This year, I’m back to punting MI and there’s about a dozen 2nd basemen/shortstops that are going to make this possible, so let’s get in there like swimwear.  This is a (legal-in-all-countries-except-Lichtenstein) supplement to the top 20 shortstops for 2018 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 2018 projections.  Anyway, here’s some shortstops to target for 2018 fantasy baseball:

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On March 6th, I took part in the Tout Wars Mixed Draft – a 15-team snake draft that is unique amongst expert leagues in that it is a 5×5 OBP league. Otherwise, pretty standard. Weekly transactions. 2 catchers. $1000 FAAB. This is the 5th year for the mixed draft (the AL/NL-only ones have been around longer) and my 4th year participating in it.

Last Year Recap (here was my post-draft recap and final standings)
FINALLY. After two straight close 2nd place finishes to Adam Ronis, I won this league (Even better, it was a Razzball Tout sweep as Grey won Tout Wars NL).

As the standings below suggest, I had a charmed season. Everything broke right for me. I think I drafted/managed a little bit better than the previous 2 years but no doubt I was probably the luckiest team in the league as well. Shout out to pal Scott White from CBSSports.com (1st year in league) and the always tough Ray Murphy of BaseballHQ who did great jobs but, unlike me, did not sell their soul to the fantasy gods.

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Is it weird that there are only seven days of spring training games this year that will actually take place in the spring? Maybe. Do we care? Nope, because as much as I appreciate the vernal equinox, my mind is consumed more with the fact that we’re finally in the thick of fantasy baseball drafting season. It’s time to take another look at players who may not be on the radar of our “normal” fantasy brethren (and five or so sistren*), but could come into play for those of us happily skulking around in the world of NL-only, AL-only, and other deep leagues. (*thought I made this word up, but I guess not. Turns out it was used back in the 12th to 15th centuries, then disappeared, and then according to the Oxford Living Dictionary, “it has recently been revived, typically by feminist writers, with the new meaning ‘fellow women’.” I bet your wives, girlfriends, mothers, and sisters won’t believe you when you tell them your favorite fantasy baseball website is now shoving a feminist agenda at you while it tells you who you should be aware of in your 11-team NL-only league!)

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When trying to determine overlooked players for the upcoming season I always take a peek back in time. Last year’s sleepers can be a good start. They may not necessarily be the classically coined “post-hype sleeper” but players that were intriguing going in to last year and did fine. They can easily slip right in line again especially if they are young. Twins’ outfielder Max Kepler fits the bill. Still 25, now entering his third season in the majors, Kepler has established himself as a pretty okay player. Coming into 2017, many expected some sort of breakout. Unfortunately, his production in 2017 mimicked 2016 a little too closely. But why can’t 2018 be the year we all wanted 2017 to be for Kepler?

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The other day I had a dream that Giancarlo and I were hosting a white party in the Hamptons, and I turned to Giancarlo and said, “You know who else I wish were here?”  And he said, “Zsa Zsa Gabor?”  And I said, “No, we’re not gay in the traditional sense.  We’re only gay for each other.”  Then he said, “Well, who do you wish were here then, silly?”  And I said, “Ronald Acuna,” only I said it in exclamation marks shaped like Gregorian letters, if Gregorian letters is what you call these things I’m typing out with my hand-toes.  That’s right, snitches, Greycarlo is sending out Evites and Ronald Acuna’s invited!  And guess what, jerks?  I also drafted Ronald Acuna on a fantasy baseball team (for SEO)!  This league was hosted by CBS’s Scott White, and all your favorite ‘perts were there, like that one guy whose name you forgot, and that other guy who has diabetes who you also can’t remember.  They were all there!  Oh, and returning champ, our very own, Lance Broshitz!  Anyway, here’s my 12-team, NL-Only draft with some thoughts:

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This is a post for the fantasy baseball drafters who use Excel, Google Docs, or some other war room software that automatically totals a drafted team’s stats while in the middle of a draft. Or perhaps for those of you who do mock drafts or simulated drafts.

The below grid represents my projected 75% mark in each stat category across 10/12/14/15/16 team ESPN and Yahoo default roster format leagues.

These numbers should only be used directionally. Please note that each projection source projects to a different league average so your team may look great if using a ‘bullish’ source and look poor if using a ‘bearish’ source. These are based on the Steamer/Razzball projections.

While I stand behind these numbers as they are part of the foundation behind my Player Rater $ estimates, I do not use these as part of my draft. I prefer to add up the dollar values per category. Same difference I suppose but it is easier to see counting totals for ratios and it lets me fixate less on the numbers (e.g., I see $7, I know they are good…I don’t fixate on 20 SBs vs 25 SBs).

The 2018 Razzball Commenter Leagues are now open! Free to join with prizes! All the exclamation points!

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While most things stay the same, the more they don’t change.  I believe this is the old adage that I read on the men’s room urinal wall.  I had to skip past the “For a good time call or be here at 7:00 PM for a good time” stuff, but that struck me as something that made sense so I am running with it. How it relates to steals this week is that steals are a patterned beast.  Last year there were 2,527 steals across MLB by all 30 teams.  The number of importance right now is the number from the leadoff spot in the mine-up.  That number is 674 steals, or 27.5% of all the teams steals came from the top of the order. For your curiosity, the next four spots with steals frequency are 2nd, 8th, 7th and 9th.  The next four spots combined to make up nearly 40% of the remaining steals. Which, if you are a math wizard, steals aren’t the favorite destination for the meat of the order.  Now, not every hitter hit at the top of the lineup last year.  So figuring out who is going to hit where in the lineup and predicting that teams propensity to steam from that spot is the trick.  Digging a little deeper and some other SAGNOF tidbits are after the jump…

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Welcome to Razzball’s 2018 team previews. Over the next couple of months, we’ll be previewing all of the teams and talking to writers who represent those teams around the web. We want to provide the best and most in-depth fantasy projections to go along with the asking the most useful questions to those who know their teams best. We want to talk about the players in the first half of your draft and also the deep sleepers that make you log into google and start watching Midwest Single-A ball for hours. Just kidding, don’t do that, hopefully we don’t go that far…

The Milwaukee Brewers showed an interesting way to start winning baseball games last year. After a short period of sub-par baseball, they built an efficient line up without spending a ton of money or going through a 5 year rebuilding period. Eric Thames came out of the gate tearing the cover off of the ball and Travis Shaw outproduced his projections… by a lot. Orlando Arcia and Domingo Santana both got a full season’s worth of at bats and showed that they are here to stay. The Brewers also found a strike out artist in Corey Knebel to close games out. Well, this off season, the Brewers got a little more aggressive. Milwaukee added Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich who are both balanced hitters who can also scoot on the base paths. Lead prospect analyst of Rotowire, James Anderson joined me to talk more about the BrewCrew.

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