If you had to write a fill-in-the-blank to summarize fantasy baseball in 2016, it would look something like this: “________ hit 30 HRs in 2016, a career high. He will hit half that amount in 2017.”

2017’s fill-in-the-blank is going to look  like this: “_________ was placed on the 10-day disabled list.”

Last week I was astonished to only have nine players hit the disabled list. This week, the injury bug came back with a vengeance — there are a whopping 20 players who have been added to this dubious club. Some of them are really earning those DL frequent flier miles.

This week there are six outfielders and nine starting pitchers mentioned in this article. Rather than try to find six healthy outfielders and nine healthy starting pitchers to add I am going to list a few shallow, standard and deep league targets you can add as fill ins. I’ll add this list at the bottom of the article.

As always, if you’ve got a league specific question, please leave a comment and I’ll get back to you ASA-quick.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This morning, I decided to look at my deepest NL-only league to see who the highest-ranked player who went undrafted was. It didn’t take long to find him: as of Tuesday morning, Anthony Senzatela was ranked as the eleventh most valuable pitcher in standard, mixed 5×5 fantasy baseball leagues. My NL–only league includes a fairly complex farm system as well, so it is beyond hard to find a diamond in the rough, since most minor league players with any decent prospect status at all were drafted years ago. It’s clear why Senzatela slipped through the cracks, though – he was a mid-level prospect at best, who entered spring training as a long shot to be part of a pitching rotation in the worst pitchers’ ballpark baseball has ever seen…

Will Senzatela still be the eleventh best pitcher in fantasy at the end of 2017? Uh, no. We’d have to expect some major bumps along the way even if half of his starts weren’t going to come at Coors Field. But he’s owned in just 20% of Yahoo leagues (21% of ESPN), which I think is too low. I am basing this almost entirely on the gut feeling I had while watching him pitch. In fantasy, upside can be overrated: just ask the Robert Stephenson owner in the league I mentioned above. Stephenson has been taking up a minor league spot on his owner’s roster for four years now. Even worse, now that he’s on the big club and his owner feels pot-committed to him, Stephenson and his 5.40 ERA are taking up a valuable active roster spot. There is no guarantee that even the highest-ranked prospects will even reach star status, either in real baseball or the fantasy variety. Taking a flyer on gut feeling won’t always work out either, and sometimes can be fairly disastrous, but it’s a risk that I think you need to take from time to time in a deep league. Otherwise, how will you ever find this year’s Junior Guerra — that guy whose past statistics make you absolutely sick to your stomach, but looks damn good on the mound every time you watch him pitch… and before you know it, has been a major contributor to the success of your single-league team.

Moving on to some other deeper-league names, starting with the AL…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So Harry Potter and the Order of The Phoenix was on HBO tonight and before you ask, no I still don’t have cable. Me not having cable is a running joke around here. Sorry if you don’t understand, but this intro is for those who understand that I understand how silly it is, you understand? Anyhoo, it put me in the mindset for this title and it’s also apropos to the actual topic. AJ Griffin…admittedly I could give two bee-sized bowel movements about how good he is or has been. Overall, he’s just not good. He’s about as SP3/4 vanilla as you can get for an MLB team, but that’s neither here nor there. The Royals have suffered so many injuries this year and have seemingly thrown in the towel on the season as they’ve gone into full blown sell mode. I don’t know if that’s what is affecting the production on the field, but it’s clear this team isn’t sniffing the 2015 version. The K rate as a whole is up nearly 4% and they sit mired in 24th overall in wRC+. Factor in they’ve actually been worse since the All-Star break and you have the perfect spot to take advantage of a $6,500 priced pitcher who doesn’t need a gem to outplay his price. When suggesting a pitcher that has a 4+ ERA, it should go without say but yeah, this is a tourney only call. So let the sorting hat decide whether you’re courageous enough to follow through with Griffin and let’s get on with the rest. Here’s my Goblet of Fire hot taeks for this Friday DK slate…

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Please, blog, may I have some more?

Two weeks ago we looked at the speedsters from 2013 and there were more than a few names on the list that were available on the waiver wire at some point. For deeper leagues and daily fantasy players that need to maximize each and every matchup, even the smallest advantages can mean the difference between a win and a loss. That’s why we focused a lot on matchups this past year, and we’ll do it again in 2014. Even the best base stealers get caught once in a while, so it’s good to know as much as we can about who might be doing the catching before deploying our fantasy lineups. There’s a lot that goes into a stolen base, of course, and the battery of pitcher and catcher is a large piece of the puzzle. Pitchers who are good at holding baserunners can be avoided while pitchers who have a tendency to cough up a lot of steals can be exploited. Here’s how some starters fared in 2013 and over the last three years against the stolen base.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Joaquin Andujar once said, “You can sum up in one word the game of baseball: ‘You never know.'”

Well said Joaquin, well said.

You never know how the season will go and what stars will emerge and what stars will fade to black (someone please cue up Metallica here. I’m tired of boy bands). That’s part of the fun and frustration of fantasy sports. But even if you drafted well, with all your players off to a hot start and you are filled to the brim with confidence and trash talk, you just never know when you are going to hear that one word the game of baseball truly despises: The disabled list. *tips cap to Professor Andujar*

Please, blog, may I have some more?