Please see our player page for Austin Romine to see projections for today, the next 7 days and rest of season as well as stats and gamelogs designed with the fantasy baseball player in mind.

It feels like just the other day the baseball regular season started. You wrote “I heart baseball” in permanent marker on your arm, then you met a girl who wrote “I heart guys who heart baseball” on her arm, then, during sex in July, you screamed out, “Give it to me, Giancarlo!” and now you don’t have baseball or a girlfriend. C’mon, calendar, make like a soldier and turn to March. The only cure for the post-baseball season blues — recapping the preseason top twenty lists and being hand-fed Doritos. First up, Cool Ranch and our preseason Top 20 Catchers for 2018. It’s important to look back before we look ahead to 2018. To paraphrase the one and only B-Real, “How do you know where you’re at, if you don’t know where you’ve been? Understand where I’m coming from?”  It wouldn’t be fair for me to preseason rank the players, then rank them again in the postseason based on my opinion, so these postseason top 20 lists are ranked according to our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. It’s cold hard math, y’all! Please, for the love that all is holy, don’t ask me if this is for next year.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2018 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

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Join the 2018-19 Razzball Fantasy Premier League for a chance at prizes! Don’t know about Fantasy Soccer? That’s okay, Smokey is here to walk with you throughout this journey of exploration and an absurd amount of accent marks on player names. So probably hide all your snacks. It’ll be a long journey…

Ah, words.  It is funny how the simplest play on words could lead to such stupid humor.  Because on one hand, Mallex Smith could be an exotic dancer… on the basepaths, and the other?  Well, we know the implication.  Either way, in his artistry it can only be called one thing:  SAGNOF sexy.  The base-stealing profession hasn’t been the most flourishing business, with the price of liquor licenses and the growing deficit of accumulation on the stat.  It is a dying business.  One that allows you to jump all nimbly-pimbly from steal branch to steal branch.  When looking at steals, especially in the SAGNOF world, I try to break them down into a two week stretch.  I look for who is getting the at-bats, who is getting on base, and of course who is actually stealing bases.  Over that 14 game stretch, Mallex is doing all three.  He is getting at-bats, and not all from the leadoff spot either.  ( He’s getting on base at a .528 clip, with a BB% of 13%.)  These numbers are all the dream scenario for a SAGNOF savior for a week or three.  Steals?  Well, he stole more bases (6) than everyone in baseball not named Jose Ramirez or Whit Merrifield. The joyous thing about this, is that the Rays are basically punting but not actually trying to lose.  So the at-bats and opportunities will and should continue.  As with most saviors of the theft, counting stats are going to be spotty and the one thing you can count on slightly are runs scored, but in smaller comparisons, because… well, the Rays don’t score a ton.  So if you are on the lookout for a few here and few there steals, then Mallex is your boy for the next few games, or even a week.  But don’t fall in love, because he will break your heart by Labor Day.  Cheers!

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Was thinking about this the other day.  Bear with me, it’s not fully formed (like the rest of this shizz).  Is there a higher upside move than becoming a magician?  David Blaine scored, Penn & Teller seemed to have done all right for themselves, Siegfried & Roy did fine until that white cat went ape…But how about all of the 18-year-old’s who are like, “Mom, Dad, I’m declining the full ride to Brown.  I want to do this…” *pulls sheet off table to reveal their daughter sawed in half*  “Oh, crap.  Marci?”  The world is littered with failed magicians!  You want upside?  There’s no greater upside call than deciding you want to be a magician for the rest of your life.  The Indians team?  They’re all freakin’ magicians!  Hey, Jose Ramirez (2-for-4, 5 RBIs and his 26th and 27th homer), you’re David Blaine!  Francisco Lindor (1-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 25th homer)?  You’re David Blaine!   Michael Brantley (2-for-4, 3 runs, 2 RBIs)?  You’re David Blaine!  You’re all David Blaine!  We even have some David Blaine magic for Jason Kipnis (2-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 9th homer, and 2nd homer in the last three games).  If you went Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez with your 1st two picks, you’re also a magician, according to the Fantasy Baseball Player Rater.  (The other way to look at this theory is only a handful of knuckleheads are actually stupid enough to want to be a magician, and the world is not littered with failed magicians and no one is turning down a free ride to an Ivy League school to become a magician, but we don’t talk about this part of the Upside Magician Theory.)  Thank you, Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor and all the Indians, I believe your magic is real.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Is this the end for our hero? Jesus Aguilar has made Ryan Braun (1B/OF, back strain) obsolete at first. Christian Yelich, Lorenzo Cain and Eric Thames/Domingo Santana/Keon Broxton have made Braun expendable in the outfield. He’s not helping his own case with a .235 average and a multitude of injuries. Stash or Trash: This is a tough trash because Braun has been one of the best fantasy contributors of the last decade, but I think we’re seeing the final step in his decline. He’s hurt, he’s under-performing and the Brewers have too many players at positions Braun can play. Replacement:

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Some days on DFS, it’s like standing sadly in the grocery store at 7 a.m. the morning after a long weekend (happy upcoming Canada Day, by the way, fellow Canadians!); i.e., the shelves are BARE. Other days, it’s as if you’ve been let loose in Whole Foods with a $500 gift card and everything’s on sale. [Sidebar: I may or may not be hungry at time of writing.] This is one of those latter days, people. One of those delirious days where the pitchers are good, many of the parks are pitcher-friendly, and there are bargains a-plenty to be had for your slate on FanDuel. I’m putting Jacob DeGrom at the top of my list today, but really I could just do the eenie-meanie-miny-mo thing over Streamonator’s top 10 and be reasonably happy about whomever I landed upon. Of course not all of them are cheap (that would be too much to ask), but let’s take a look at some options for hitters alongside all that sumptuous pitching.

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During the slow Monday, when there was five games on the docket, and half of them were Yankees, I started thinking about some either/or’s.  Though maybe because I was listening to Elliott Smith — that guy was uplifting!  Luis Severino was out doing his norm — 8 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 2.20 and 0.93 WHIP with peripherals that are just as gorge — 10.7 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, 2.83 xFIP.  First either/or for you, wait for it, here it comes, follow the arrow –> Next year, Luis Severino or Kershaw?  Is it even close?  Don’t think it is.  Okay, next either/or, Luis Severino or every pitcher not named Max Scherzer?  Maybe, maybe not.  There’s pitchers with better peripherals than Severino right now — Scherzer, deGrom, Cole, Corbin, Kluber and Syndergaard.  Throwing the two Mets out because they’re injury risks; Corbin and Cole don’t have the track record; semicolons are fun.  That leaves us with Scherzer, Kluber and Severino.  So, three’s company, and Severino is Joyce DeWitt.  Come and knock on my door!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Warning, this post has no consistent theme. When I sat down and began thinking about what to write I really couldn’t focus on a single concept, so instead the result is a hodgepodge of points league material. If I was going to talk about Eric Hosmer who has a measly 114 points I could borrow the term hodgepadre from a much better writer. But if I’m being honest, I couldn’t give a shit about Hosmer as his 0.51 points per plate appearance. While we’re discussing Padres let’s spend a sentence or two on Christian Villanueva and his 14 home runs. Despite leading all rookies in dingers, Villanueva also has 51 strikeout in 156 at bats. That’s an impressive (unimpressive?) strikeout rate. Ignoring my recent post about not penalizing a batter for a strikeout, this is not good in points leagues. This is why he only has 97 points and is still on the wire is over twenty-five percent of points leagues.

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The first Frankencatcher Report came at a pretty ironic time for me. Right before sitting down to work on this report, I checked my lineups and saw that Welington Castillo was placed on the disabled list with tendinitis in his shoulder. Castillo missed Monday’s game with neck spasms, and the assumption was that he would be day-to-day and likely be fine by Wednesday or Thursday, but screw me I guess. So, I had to pick up a catcher before getting started on this. I’ll go over who I picked in some detail below.

Continuing with a trend of the past few years, catcher is not exactly a prominently contributing position in fantasy baseball this season (hence the need for such a handsome Frankencatcher Report). If you don’t get lucky with one of the elite catchers, of which there are very few these days, you are likely going to have to stream the position at some point in the season.

In ESPN leagues, there are only 11 catchers with an ownership percentage of more than 70. The next highest is Russell Martin, at just over 47%. And of those 11, one of them is Gary Sanchez, who has been on the disabled list for a couple weeks and only has 20 at-bats to his name on the season. Here are those 11:

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The Braves opened up their new park in style last night and Ender Inciarte began the charge going 2-for-4 with his third home run and two RBI. It’s a new year and new park and with that comes and new line of over-the-top ballpark food. Come for the cannolis, craft beer and 5 lb pork chop sandwich, stay for the Braves win. Speaking of winners, this was Ender’s Game and we were all just alien Buggers living in this crazy war-torn universe, preparing for the next Invasion against the Fleet. Just ignore that the book/movie is subliminally telling you to hate the gays and eat at Chic-fil-a. Inciarte must be a “Third.” Ender has the privilege of being the first player in SunTrust park history to collect a hit, score a run, and hit a home run. That’s right, folks, Inciarte is officially the greatest hitter in SunTrust Park history. In addition, he’s now homered in back-to-back games after hitting two bombs on Wednesday and Ender has been known to get hot quick. In 131 games last year, Ender hit .291 with 3 homers and 16 stolen bases. He’s already matched his 2016 homer total! That’s gotta be a good sign, right!? He’s available in about 40% of ESPN leagues, and if he’s still out there I’d grab him while the Braves are still undefeated at home. This might not last long. Come on Atlanta, let’s give him the chop!

Here what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night:

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Bases haven’t been nearly full at all in Michael Fulmer‘s starts this past month!

After a rocky beginning to his Major League career, Fulmer has been absolutely on fire the past month, vaulting from “meh, another big prospect called up too early, schwatev” to “this guy is ROY!”  As in, Roy Campanella!  Wait, I don’t think he was a pitcher…

Featuring a huge fastball and an awesome beard, it’s getting tougher and tougher to not jump on board the Fulmer train on his incredible scoreless streak and 5 Ws in a row.  I usually write the intro before breaking down the start, but I worked a little out-of-sequence today.  Spoiler alert!  I’m so on board.  I’m trading in my “Mustache Rides – $0.25” shirt with Grey on it to “Beard Rides – $0.50” with Fulmer.  So without any more ado or facial hair-play, here’s how Fulmer looked yesterday in a dominating start against the Yanks:

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