Things can start simply and end up a classic.  Or at the very least, well remembered…ok, just remembered.  I don’t know, it’s Beck, you view him as you see him.  I liked him but never thought he was going to be a superstar.  How does a guy win a Grammy when the first lyrics people heard from him contain, ‘With the plastic eyeballs, spray paint the vegetables, dog food stalls with the beefcake pantyhose?’  Even people tripping on acid would say he’s too far gone with that kind of writing.  Either way, here we are over 20 years after his break into the industry and he has some hardware on his mantle for his 12th studio album.  I’m sure some would say the industry was just saying ‘We didn’t get it 20 years ago’ by giving him the prize now and by ‘some’ I mean ‘Kanye.’  Regardless, we’re not here to talk about Beck but in keeping with the Grammy theme, I just won myself Best New Artist of the NFBC $150 Draft Champions league I was in.  Yup, you can put me up there with the big names now like Hootie & The Blowfish, Paula Cole, Esperanza Spalding…ok, maybe/hopefully this isn’t a trend as I’d love to win more than one in my currently illustrious NFBC career.  It was an interesting league to be a part of and I will break down how I done won it below.  Join me, will you?  (BTW, you might know me as the DFS guy on the site.  You might also know DFS is getting hit hard by people (legislators) trying to get FanDuel and DraftKings to cut states into their kitty.  I’m all about putting hands in the kitty, but not this way.  To offer support, fill out this petition.)  Anyway, here’s a recap of how I came out a champion in my 15 team NFBC league for 2015 Fantasy Baseball…

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A more accurate title for this post would have been “interpreting scouting reports of prospects for the purposes of fantasy baseball” but that’s a bit too much. I did a similar primer on fantasy prospects last year, and while some of this info will be the same, it’s always good to take a deep breath and look at the big picture before diving into the heart of the prospect season. This year’s minor league previews will (hopefully) be even more useful for fantasy players than last year’s. If you’re a baseball fan, you’ve likely seen a traditional scouting report and have a general idea of how the 20-80 (or 2-8) scouting grades work. You’ve also probably heard of the “five tools”, which are hit, hit for power, run, field, and throw. Baseball reality is concerned with all of those tools, but fantasy players probably don’t care much about the last two on that list. There’s a ton of scouting information out there for the public now. So the question becomes how we can get down to brass tax and glean a quick fantasy profile from a traditional scouting report. Here’s a few thoughts on that…

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A couple of years ago Bret Sayre invited me to participate in his dynasty league – The Dynasty Guru Expert League, or TDGX. At the time I was writing for him at his site, and while I don’t anymore, I’ve been allowed to remain in the league as a representative of Razzball. I’d like to say my team has been killing it, but that hasn’t been the case in the first two years. The league is a lot of fun, and there are representatives from sites like Baseball Prospectus, Fangraphs, Baseball HQ, and CBS. It’s deep and it’s challenging. Tim McLeod and Ian Khan took the championship in each of the first two years, so major kudos to them.

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If you’ve been following along all season, you already know that this was the first year of Razzball’s very own dynasty league – the Razznasty – made up entirely of Razzball writers and commenters. It was an absolute blast, and I was glad to have the opportunity to commish this one. It’s a 16-team, 40-man roster, keep 30 dynasty format. This year was a battle for first place between Razzball’s own J-FOH and commenter Csifu (Hannibal Montana). It was a tight race all year and at times the difference was a mere point or two. But J-FOH put his foot on the gas down the stretch and pulled away. The Hateful One did it with style by racking up top five finishes in eight of the ten categories in September, including 32 wins and 367 strikeouts over the final month. When it was all said and done, J-FOH came within four points of a clean sweep 160 for the year. Impressive stuff, and so with this final post I’m handing him the microphone so he can share a bit of his strategy and how things played out for his squad.

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My lead WAS going to be Noah Syndergaard. Key word there in all caps, of course. Mother Nature doesn’t take too kindly to cities that won’t build domes and she is showing her wrath this Friday. You wanna start somebody on the east coast, you say? Well good luck, I say snidely, with a side eye chloe for good measure. There doesn’t seem to be much hope along the East Coast to see these games through on Friday as no precipitation-o-meter has a game along that side of the country under 50% chance of rain. Analysis on a night like this goes a bit out the window because your first analysis is ‘what games actually play?’. That doesn’t mean there aren’t good plays but I was really happy with Thor tonight, I’m not gonna lie. Of course, we all know this is Hurricane Joaquin’s fault. Maybe it was for all those times someone in New York called in Joe-A-Kin? Not sure, I just know it ain’t happy and it’s ruining our happiness for it. So keep that in mind while we bust down this all down, wouldja? So without further ado, let’s have at it. Here’s my El Nino takes for this Friday DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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It’s my last post of the year, so thanks to all who read each Thursday. It’s been a fun time, but these past few weeks have been frustrating with the expanded rosters when trying to set my DraftKings lineup. Who is going to play? Who will throw five innings and be pulled? I continue to wish that baseball would have the expanded rosters at the beginning of the season and not at the end.

Anyway, let’s get straight to the cash, homie.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 20 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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Our final division in this breakout prospect series is the NL West. These are players who “broke out” statistically in 2015 and were either ranked in the bottom half of their team’s preseason top ten list or didn’t make their team’s list at all. Some of these names will look familiar and have already been scooped up in many dynasty formats. Others may still be flying low enough that their big performances have gone undetected. I’ll see most of you on the other side when the offseason posts start next Wednesday, but in case I don’t – thanks for a great season and good luck to you on the final weekend! Here are the breakout prospects from the NL West…

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It’s not a great year to be rooting for Milwaukee and it just got worse as the year progressed. GM fired? Check. Big name star traded? Double check. Big name stars hurt? Triple check. Your mama always taught you not to kick someone while they’re down, but your mama didn’t play DFS. What, were you expecting a ‘your mama’ joke? What is this, 1989? I’m sure your mama is nice, just don’t ask me why she wanted me as a job reference on her resume (subtle maternal insults are the best!). But back to beating on the bad teams…Brewers are bad. Since we started off with a beer analogy, let’s keep it rolling and say this is not Milwaukee’s Best. Or maybe it is? I’m a beer snob but haven’t had that beer so I’ll pretend it doesn’t taste like runny pig bile and give you MB lovers the benefit of the doubt. Whichever side makes me insult you less is the side I’m going for, though, let’s make that clear. Choose your own adventure here and let’s move on to why we talk of the Brew Crew being the pew crew: Andrew Cashner. Would I love to attack the Brewers with a safer option? You betcha. Am I ok with taking this chance at a low end price of $6,100? YUP. So tip a few back as you watch the DK points rack up. Or maybe as you tip a few back it just looks like you’re scoring a lot cuz you’re seeing double. Whatevs, just enjoy yourself. Here’s the rest of my PBR takes for this Wednesday DK slate…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 25 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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I said it last week and I’ll say it again, if you’re still reading our DFS content at this point in the game, then you most likely had yourself a profitable season. Congrats and come on into the comments and brag about your successes. Let’s see if we can finish off the season on a high note and maybe win a little extra spending money before the holidays. Also, if you’ve done well this season (Over $600 in winnings) you’ll need to set a little aside for taxes, you know, if you’re into paying those.

Now, come sail away with me to Arizona. Don’t worry, it’s a “dry” heat. Once we’re there, we’re going to check out Robbie Ray. Ray checks in with a very affordable $6,900. Let’s face it, he’s affordable because he isn’t really that great, but, and it’s a big but, he’s got a couple things going for him. Well, he’s got one thing going for him and that’s his opponent. The Rockies are such a beautiful disaster away from Coors field, that they can make even make the most mediocre pitcher look amazing. Away from home, the Rockies have the lowest team OPS in the majors, about 50 points below league average as a matter of fact. Even more in Ray’s favor is his handedness. The Rocks are bottom five in team OPS vs. Lefties. Add this up and you can see a lefty on the road is death on the Coors crew. It makes sense really, their only scary RHB is Arenado. Does DJ LeMahieu strike fear in your heart? Wilin Rosario maybe? I thought not. Ray’s been fairly respectable in his own right. His 3.53 ERA is right in line with his 3.55 FIP and his 8.3 K/9 is nothing to sneeze at. Ray’s biggest issue is being a little WHIP-y at times and that can get him into trouble. I think this match-up really sets up well for him though and he can be a low-priced star for tonight’s slate. Let’s look at a few more potential stars tonight:

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 7 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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I’m not sure if DK has been monitoring what J.A. Happ has done since being traded to Pittsburgh, but he’s at the bargain price of $7,600 for tonight. How about we keep it a secret between us Razzballers? Since being traded in early August, Happ is 6-2 with a 2.43 ERA while striking out 58 batters in 48.1ings. His first start as a Pirate he let up 4er and Tuesday night, in Coors, he gave up 3er, but he still K’d 8 over 5.1ings. Throw out those two games and dude looks like Greinke with a sparkling 1.39 ERA and 44K’s over 38.9ings. Happ gets the Cards tonight which may seem like a bad matchup, but they’re only batting .232 and they’re the NL’s numero uno in strikeouts versus LHP. Happ’s resurgence after making the move isn’t a surprise as the Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage is a friggin genius whisperer on a whole different level. This guy is so great that instead of buying him a few beers, a brewery named a beer after him; for realsies, check out the Bucco Blonde. At a relatively low sticker price of $7,600 you can match up Happ with Mad Max at $12,000 or the aforementioned Greinke at $13,100. Let’s keep the good times rolling and raise our pints to Ray Searage and The Happ Slapp!

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

Please, blog, may I have some more?