Holding off on info during the height of draft time is just not my M.O. So I am bringing the goods and the reliever rankings a week earlier than anticipated. Why go into battle with a water pistol when you can go with the boomstick? At this point in the preseason, having a few teams with committee situations is normally a bad thing, except when you get to grab the right guy in that committee. Having multiple draftable options from one team is more of a benefit than a detriment on draft day, because inevitably one person is going to be wrong in that selection process and it is usually the guy who gets drafted higher. So looking at the situations with the White Sox, Rangers, Cardinals, and Diamondbacks as they sit today committee’s exist. Whether we want to believe it or not, each team has no clear cut closer and if you are skimming, this is still a good thing. Let someone else draft Gregerson, Soria, Parker, and Claudio. While you can sit back and wait a few picks or even rounds and scoop up Leone, Jones, Bedrosian, and Kela. As the season draws closer, this advantage will dwindle down to nothing, but for now use it to your advantage. Miss out on a top 8-10 closer, no worries, load up on the maybe’s and possibilities and if they don’t pan out than you can easily pivot to a more useful option on the waiver. So when someone says a committee is a bad thing, laugh and agree. Then drop the quartet of save possibilities into your team and see what happens. At worst they will cost you four out of your last seven picks. At that point in the draft, you should have an established team with all starters in place and you would be gambling on reliever talent anyways. Now you have the knowledge in your corner and a little bit of rankings goodness from ole’ Smokey. The initial installment of the Closer report with rankings is here, get excited!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Besides pooping, every fantasy baseballian needs to do prep work. Whether that be reading a publication of your choosing or doing a ton of mock drafts. Well, I am going to do you one better than using a mock draft to help steer your hand. I am using actual drafts that people do for money to lend you an ADP hand in the terms of closers. What else would I be doing? After all, I am Smokey, where only you can prevent fantasy bullpen fires. That public service announcement was brought to you by my own personal sponsor of Fischer pillows. Not everyone uses or believes in ADP as a source because some people in mock drafts are crazy, like legitimately Tehol-type crazy. That mock draft data is basically useless, but what if you had a list of drafts that were for actual dinero, and possibly some American money also? The NFBC is a great contest that we here at Razzball take part in and several of our writers have challenged readers, just like you, in these contests. They draw everyday Joe’s and experts from around the deep spaces of fantasy and all compete for money on varying levels of dramatics. Sounds fun? Cool, let me borrow 150 bucks so I can do one too. So I took that data from the past 35 days for a 12-team based ADP and broke it down into two fun categories. Drafts between February 1st and February 20th, and February 21 to March 6th. Just so they sound more legit, the first group had 88 drafts of ADP values to use and the second had 106. The number of ADP resources to draw from will increase by the time we get closer to actual game times, but for now 194 total drafts with data is at your discretion below. Only the closers side of it.
The 2018 Razzball Commenter Leagues are now open! Free to join with prizes! All the exclamation points!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Creep with me as I cruise through Wakanda where all the kids in the jungle call me: Don Beddict Benihana. Ah yes, that they do my goodmen, that they do. WAIT, JUST A MOMENT! Oh, I’m sorry, I must apologize, for many of you may not have the slightest idea of who it is I actually am. Yes, that was a double apology. No, I didn’t succumb to the Syphilis that turned into my junior pogo stick into something resembling a rotting Pacific geoduck corpse. [Jay’s Note: Probably don’t Google that.]
TIS’ I, the enlightened and compelling intercontinental fantasy sports Magus, follower of the Gods of Eld, sexual liberator of nations, father to chickens and Chinese Crested’s alike, the adopted son that Grey and Rudy never wanted, thee greatest showman TEHOL BEDDICT! I am the reaper and death is my shadow! (Is that too dark?)
Anyhow, I’m assuming most of you either have already seen Black Panther or are planning on seeing the Black Panther in theaters, unless of course you’re in the Ku Klux Klan. If that’s the case, I’d recommend you stay home, for your brain might explode. If you truly cannot afford it and you have a child you’d like to take, please write to me below in the comment section and I will take care of you.
Most of you will come to know and love Wakanda through the comic books (like, three of you) or most likely, the record-breaking phenomenon that just hit theaters last weekend. I, on the other hand, have actually traveled there. Tis’ true, I swear it on my dead step-uncle’s soul.
As an honorary Wakandan, mostly due to my Razzball affiliation, I was immediately allowed entry. Did I have an immense longing to dine, drink, and dance the night away, doing Bobby Brown push-ups with some of the most superb female specimens on the planet? Well, yaaah, I almost tore a hole through my chinchilla man thong just thinking about it. I’m only human…. but yet, more. Anyway, I said: “NO!!!! I must speak with T’Chaka, the fallen king at once, for we have extremely important business to discuss! Bring me the Heart-Shaped Herb, IMMEDIATELY.” You know how the rest of the process unfolds, and soon enough, the former King and myself were in an intense smoke session, digging dangerously deep into these year’s MLB breakout fantasy superstars! My goodmen, you haven’t lived, until you smoked Vibranium dipped blunts with royalty! You simply have not lived! The King and I, not to be confused with that lovely film from the 1950’s, broke down who some of are faves were for this upcoming season, and even got into a couple duds. Vibranium takes your mind to strange places, so we compared these chosen players to other Wakandans, and even a couple outsiders, just because we found it humorous. Below, you will read about what we discussed. Take Heed!
The 2018 Razzball Commenter Leagues are now open! Free to join with prizes! All the exclamation points!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Now to finish out the positional rankings for 2018 with my favorite: the relievers! I may have went a little crazy here, 3000 words on closers and one stat fellas is just bonkers to think about. I could have just used “save potential” and “hard hit percentage in medium leverage situations” about 40 times in my rankings, but I didn’t. Ranking relievers is an ever changing game of robbing Peter to pay Paul scenario. There are always going to be injuries and attrition, which lead to relievers getting changed and making the preseason rankings look stupid in hindsight. Last year there were 40 relievers that garnered 10 saves or more. Now, if you are keeping track, there are still only 30 teams so my previous sentence about replacement value in relievers is very true. That is why handcuffs and secondary bullpen pieces on draft day are important, not only for saves but to help your cranky ratios that creep up from day-to-day. This ranking is just based on relievers with potential for saves and how they will stack up in that department. Holds post will be something separate and should be forthcoming, though you sure as hell aren’t getting 3000 words on Holds because I’d rather blow my brains out. Still love the Holds game as much as, or even more than any other fantasy writer, just gotta temper expectations as not many other sites give you so much bullpen love as we do. So enjoy the rankings of 2018 fantasy relief pitchers. (It says 50 but I went ahead and did a little extra.) Enjoy!Please, blog, may I have some more?
When you start drafting fantasy baseball teams on New Years Day, as I did this year, it feels like you’re in a vacuum. There aren’t a bunch of rankings out, ADP doesn’t exist yet, and there are usually several players (more so than ever this year, as it turned out) who are sitting around in real-life free agent limbo. It can be invigorating feeling like it’s just you and your draft cheat sheet against the world, but it’s also a little scary sometimes, especially wondering if you’re grabbing players several rounds earlier than you need to. I always like to put together my own rankings in January, and keep that list to refer to as the pre-season progresses. Sure, my opinions will change, perhaps significantly in many cases, but I like to revisit my initial thoughts, seeing what my lists looked like before countless outside influences crept into my decision-making process. In a deep league, it’s particularly tricky to figure out which of these outside influences to buy into, since things like spring training battles for fifth starter gigs, meaningless in a standard league, take on actual importance in AL/NL-only or other deep formats. Trying to separate helpful information from irrelevant pre-season chatter can be difficult, and I find it impossible to be completely immune from the impact of reports on who’s in the best shape of his life, who swears he’s going to run more this season, or remembering how cute Nick Williams looks in his uniform.
Back to the present — with January in the rear-view mirror, it’s time for me to come up with version 2.0 of my 2018 fantasy baseball prep, even though we’re still a couple weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting. I have a couple real, money-league drafts under my belt and we all finally have a few outside sources to consult to see what other drafters and experts have been thinking (including Grey’s 2018 rankings, which are coming at you fast, fun, and furious). I’m going to concentrate on NL players for this list since I just finished an NL-only draft, but stay tuned for an AL version in the not-so-distant future. Based on my January drafts, early expert analysis, the limited amount of news we’ve actually been getting from major league baseball teams, a close look at early NFBC ADP, and plain old gut instinct, here are some players who I already think I’m more or less likely to draft than I would have been a month or two ago:Please, blog, may I have some more?
As I sit here and awake from my winter’s hibernation, I search for and do only the essentials. Gold chain, check. I also tell myself that the transition from Fantasy Soccer to Fantasy Baseball will be as easy as riding a bike. But you forget, I’m a bear. Nonetheless, here we are fantasy folks and four female folkers. Baseball 2018 is already in high gear with posts from the usual gaggle, and as always my contribution is at the back-end of ball games. Namely saves, holds, and relief pitchers that have intrinsic mixed league value and individual league value heading into the draft stages of this new and bright year. So keeping it simple, I formed a chart that will be included it in every week’s post that will have the bullpen pictures of all MLB teams, updating it with every sleeper or bullpen post… because I am a giver. That and who knows what will happen in the forthcoming weeks that may skew the dynamics of the bullpens around the fantasy world? Once Grey starts doing his pitcher rankings, I will then drop my own rankings in proper fashion. Til then, sit back relax, ask questions about almost anything relating to bullpens or closers, as I will gladly be here as always for my ninth season here at Razzball. So it is with pleasure that I can bring you the first bullpen related post of the year. Individual closer and reliever posts are on the way. Enjoy!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Much like the famous Doors song that shares it’s name, bullpens are drawing near. (Minus the Oedipus complex that the song explores.) I mean, it may… but that is gross and I don’t wanna associate my bullpen goodies to that. Moving on, shall we? This year has been the SAGNOF-fest that we always come to expect. Closers up, closers down. Trades and attrition. It happens every single year and it is the reason why the waiver wire is what it is: So we can get the new third closer for the Twins. The chase for saves never ends, well, I mean it ends for season-long leagues, but for dynasty and keeper leagues, the times never change. Saves are a category. A deeply hated and often cursed at category that will always be debated about. Whether or not to invest earlier picks then normal to get a stud, or just fill in with hope-so’s and also rans. There unfortunately is no right or wrong answer because both strategies work as long as you are a waiver goblin. So with the final post of the year, much like the other years that I have done this, we look to next year… This year’s counting stats and information don’t matter, we want to know what lies on the horizon. So let’s find out!Please, blog, may I have some more?
I have said it here previously that grabbing relievers from a hot team or a team on a winning streak is usually a fantastic strategy from a holds perspective. I really have said it multiple times, so my memory is better than your’s. The Indians are in unprecedented territory as the team is in the midst of a win streak for the ages. It seems like two Hatteberg’s and maybe half a David Justice ago that we remember the A’s had a win streak of twenty. But now the Indians are on their own 20-plus win streak. Winning is a team effort, but Holds are what we care about in the Bullpen report. The Indians Bullpen over the course of their win streak is just over a buck fitty, and that’s not what matters for this post. The accumulation of goodies is what makes them all shiny. The group of Bryan Shaw, Nick Goody, Tyler Olson and Joe Smith have totaled 20 holds over their last 20 games. That total is just crazy, because since the all star break (which was 40 plus games ago) the have more holds than six teams do in total since said All Star break. So investing in Cleveland for bullpen stuff is where it’s at currently. Chase the win streak to aide in your pursuit of a Holds championship. Let’s see what else is going down in the world of holds and bullpens…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Sometimes with the SAGNOF machine it’s best to take a trip on the way back machine. Players long past their usual usefulness of SAGNOF every now and again peep their heads out from the geriatric bingo and arts and crafts tent to be a whole bunch of fantasy useful. We peer our eyes on Jose Reyes. The once polished-up steal machine formerly of NY and now back again. The end of the year flurry which we are seeing could be fueled by his pending free agency, or maybe he has found the fountain of yutes. Either way he is showing out for the final stretch and is basically a must own type entity right now. Slashing .348/.446/.582 over his last 15 and has basically repeated his counting stats in the second half of games, in half the games (83 in first half and 4 since all star break). The middle infidel spot has been a tumultuous path of futility all year with ping-ponging guys that have arguably more value from day-to-day than keeping rostered the whole year. Just to put in perspective how good he has been over the last 30 days, he has better counting stats then Alex Bregman, who is owned in 91% of leagues right now. Reyes is only owned in 32%. If apples were to apples here, I would choose the dude in the big apple because of the speed. No I am not saying dump Bregman for him, I am simply saying that comparatively Jose Reyes should be rostered. Think fast it’s on to the saves and steals news of the past week. Cheers!Please, blog, may I have some more?
It is that time of the year my good fellows, that allegiances and brand loyalty are thrown out the window. As stalwarts start to grow warts, and the season long compilers gather some moss. Allegiances and growing to fond of your roster for Holds is what sets apart first place and the rest of the standings. Who you roster on your team is your own business, but I am here to learn you something as the season long leaderboard for holds is kinda stale. The overall season leader, Taylor Rogers, has 2 in the past two weeks. It doesn’t get any prettier as you go down the top 5 either. Nick Vincent has 1, Jacob Barnes has 1, Jose Ramirez has 2, and Pedro Baez has 2. Not completely awe-inspiring returns for the top of the top for holds. On the contrary, the leaders in the past 14 days: Kyle Barraclough, David Hernandez, and Tommy Hunter all have 5. Far more significant returns for a reliever, and it brings me to my key point… Grab a hold and ditch, period. The names that are garnering late game situations is growing rapidly and will increase even more once rosters expand. This is the “what have you done for me lately” approach to hold accumulation down the stretch. Yes, the guys you roster may be great at K/9 and BB/9 and have stellar WHIP totals etc, but when chasing the one key cog stat for set-up men, that being the hold, no allegiances should remain.Please, blog, may I have some more?