The part I like the most about making predictions is that it’s my opportunity to get my gut feelings out on paper in way where it won’t jeopardize the success of my fantasy teams. What I mean is that when it comes to draft day I will only act on my instincts and select a certain player when the decision is between two relatively similar players. I am a person of numbers. I spend a shitload of time preparing and fine tuning my estimations and league specific rankings for the exact purpose of sticking to the results on draft day. Winging it just isn’t in my game plan. I play it pretty much by the letter. I do allow for some wiggle room in the later rounds of the draft, but early on and mid-draft there is something a bit robotic about my choices.
However, when it comes to predictions, I am free to toss out any crazy idea I might have. I’d like to preface the upcoming predictions by saying these shouldn’t play more than a coin toss role in your decision making on draft day. What that means is that you shouldn’t use this information to make any serious choices when it’s your turn to pick. However, if it comes down to a toss up between player A and player B, feel free to consider my thoughts when deciding whom to pick. And if that’s not the proper use of “whom”, I don’t care.
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…
Greetings! I’m just feeling so grateful to be alive and to be given this international platform to share my thought process with you fine people. I’m even thankful for the haters, for without pond scum, there would be nothing for the snails to feast upon in the filthy mud puddles throughout this great land.
Today, I give you some players I plan on reaching on, and some I plan on avoiding in my upcoming drafts. I’m not necessarily passing on them because of their abilities or projections, but because I feel it necessary to do so on my prime path to glory. Originally, I was going to base this off of Grey’s rankings, but I looked, and as per usual, Grey’s thought process is pretty much on par with mine (I hope he’s not insulted by this), so I chose another fantasy lord I sort of respect in ESPN’s resident fantasy nerd, Eric Karabell, who I imagine as the spawn of Sky Sperling and Garth Algar. Many of you will be facing others who go off of ESPN lists, as they for some reason haven’t seen the light, and switched to 100 percent Razzball based advice, so this should give you a major advantage. That is, if I’m correct. If I’m wrong, forget I said any of the following.
I am Tehol Beddict, and these are my reaches and recoils! Take heed!
I love keeper leagues. Love ‘em. Can’t get enough of ‘em. Redraft leagues are fine and all but with keeper leagues you become more connected to certain players and have an affinity for them over all others. They become the unofficial “face of your franchise” and are synonymous with your team. Hanley Ramirez will always be one of my favorite players because he was one of my keepers from 2007 (back when he was a 50 base stealing FLORIDA Marlins shortstop) until 2012. I grabbed 26 error third basemen Ryan Braun in 2007 and he was my ride or die until he was 61 games-played outfielder Ryan Braun in 2013. I still haven’t forgiven him for embarrassing the Roswell Aliens like that…
Keeper leagues add a new wrinkle to your draft strategy. You’re keeping Gary Sanchez? Great! You don’t have to decide whether you want to draft James McCann or Tucker Barnhart in the 25th round! Keeping one of the big-4 aces? Wonderful! You can now load up on offense early and wait to take Kyle Hendricks as your second starter.
If I were writing this article pre-season 2017 pitchers would be few and far between on this list. Only Clayton Kershaw would’ve been found in the top 25. Now, in this juiced ball era, starting pitchers find themselves a bit more valuable. Although, with this universal humidor situation it’ll be interesting to see what happens to the faces of our teams. For example, the day after the Arizona Diamondbacks announced that they would utilize a humidor in their stadium I saw a tweet that said Paul Goldschmidt fell to the 15th overall pick in one draft. If they kept Paul Goldschmidt himself in a humidor for all of 2018 I’d still draft him before pick 15.
Let’s get into my methodology here. I’m going to be mainly focusing on 2018 because the future is hard to predict. However I’m not going to completely ignore that if you’re reading this article you’re probably not in a 1-year keeper league so there will be some projecting for the next few years as well. That means age will be a factor here. Joey Votto can still smash, but is 34 while his younger brother Freddie Freeman hits just as well and is only turning 29 at the end of this season. Position will also be a factor. Needing 1 second basemen in a shallow pool means that they’re more valuable than the 3-5 outfielders you’ll need. The intersectionality of speed/power and age will also be considered. Dee Gordon is turning 30 in April — how long will his legs hold up? Chone Figgins went to Seattle in his 30’s in 2012 and his career was donezo by 2013. Injury history should also be considered. Giancarlo Stanton was an MVP in 2017, but had over 500 ABs just twice in his previous 7 seasons. As a Yankee fan I’m hoping he stays healthy, but as a fantasy baseball owner I’m cautious. Have any of you actually read any of this or did you just jump straight to the chart to find your players?
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!
42 days into the new year and 50 percent of you abandoned your new year’s resolution. Last year, according to sources that don’t exist, our attrition rate on things you shouldn’t need an arbitrary date to commit to, sat around 55 percent. I’m proud of you all for the improvement. Your reward is Grey’s fantastic videos which we’ve embedded into his positional rankings, enjoy!
My resolution was to exercise more. But instead, I’ve opted to toy with semantics and perform more exercises, like the one we’re about to coast through: comparing Razzball’s Player Rater ranked auction values for 15-team NFBC leagues, to NFBC’s average draft position (ADP).
Is this comparing apples to oranges? Kind of. I’d say it’s comparing opples to aranges, which are two fruits I just made up and am sure exist (confirmed). The value here is highlighting who the Player Rater is actually bullish or bearish on, and by how much compared to where they are going in the upper echelon of industry leagues. If our Player Rater has “Player A” – one of my sleepers this year – inside the top 50 in terms of production, but Player A is going outside of the top 100 in NFBC leagues, it might be valuable to look at the dissenting opinions.
Below, my “difference” is calculated by subtracting NFBC’s ADP from the Player Rater’s ranking of the same player based on their total dollar return. Players with positive values mean Razzball is expecting the player to produce more value than NFBC’s ADP is suggesting.
This edition features two outfielders – Christian Yelich and Byron Buxton – who have values that differ between our two sources of information. I plan on publishing multiple versions of this column with different players before the season starts, but if you just can’t wait for more value differentials, take a look at the aggregated list by following this link.
It seems fitting for me to debut with a sneak peek of the 10 best base stealers in the majors for 2018, because let’s be honest, I like to go fast (I promise I won’t reference Talladega Nights again). In my opinion, speed is one of the most exciting elements in baseball. It would be easy to look at statistics from 2017 and list the 10 athletes that led the league in steals, but we’re going to take a deeper look at the speedsters I like for the upcoming 2018 season, and we’ll be doing this for all of the major scoring categories throughout the preseason. And sure, you’ll see plenty of the usual suspects, but who knows, maybe I’ll throw in a few surprises as well. Included next to each player are Razzball’s own 2018 fantasy baseball ranking and FantasyPros most recent Average Draft Position (ADP).
One word about this top 100 for 2018 fantasy baseball, before I give you another 5,000 words. I’m going to avoid repeating myself from the position rankings in the 2018 fantasy baseball rankings. If you want to know my in-depth feelings about a player, then you need to go to his positional page, i.e., the top 20 1st basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball, the top 20 outfielders for 2018 fantasy baseball, the top 20 Gucci handbags for 2018– Ah, I almost got you. This post is meant to give you an idea where guys from different positions are in relation to each other. Since this post is only the top 100, there’s more players where this came from. 428 more, to be very exact. Next up, there will be a top 500 that will go to 530. Then, after that, there will be a top 7,500, then a top 25,000, then a top 600,000, until we end up with a top kajillion in April. Or maybe I’ll stop at the top 500. Yeah, that makes sense. Not to get all biblical on you, but this is the gospel. Print it out and take it to Mt. Sinai and it will say, “Win your 2018 fantasy baseball league, young prematurely balding man.” Projections were done by me and a crack team of 100 monkeys fighting amongst themselves because there were only 99 typewriters. Somebody please buy Ling-Ling his own typewriter! Also, the online Fantasy Baseball War Room is, uh, online. Anyway, here’s the top 100 for 2018 fantasy baseball:
O Captain! My Captain! is a poem by the esteemed poet Walt Whitman. According to my go-to source, Wikipedia, it’s a long metaphor about the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.
This piece of literature in the space of fantasy baseball, can tie, in a very improper sense, to players you’ll consider undraftable due to personal vendettas come 2018. Everybody’s favorite triple crown winner, Miguel Cabrera, is where my mind wanders when thinking of players that fit this criteria. (Sorry Yastrzemski, I’m a millennial.)
Instead of focusing on my terrible metaphors, let’s talk about Cabrera’s rough 2017.
In an incredible turn of events, I’ve done all the infield 2018 fantasy baseball rankings. Less incredible, you’ve read them. It’s like that time your favorite team won because they played better than that other team but you convinced yourself they won because you cheered loudly. When I win the Fantasy Baseball Blogger of the Millennial in 2099, and my frozen head is accepting the award, I’m going to thank you, the readers, but I’m secretly going to be thanking myself. Without me, none of this would be possible. You’re a close second though! Okay, enough ranking you and me, let’s rank some outfielders! Last year, there was one outfielder I said I didn’t want in the top 20, Carlos Gonzalez. This year, well, let’s save it for the post! All my projections are listed by the players and where I see tiers starting and stopping. Anyway, here’s the top 20 outfielders for 2018 fantasy baseball: