Please see our player page for Carson Kelly 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.

This was the hardest draft of my life. I kid sometimes you can draft something like four of five guys in my top 20 overall, unless you’re in a league with 11 other Greys. Well, this league felt like I was in a league with 14 other Greys. This draft was like everyone was sitting in my head and moving my arms and I was Howdy Doody and my team turned to doodie and GET OUT OF MY HEAD, I scream as I take two Dusty Baker collectible toothpicks and jam them into my ears. Honestly, this league kinda filled me with joy. Y’all are so good. I was very impressed with everyone’s drafting. No teams jumped out as complete messes. Well, except for mine. It was like you flew out of the nest, turned around to me your Daddy Bird, smiled, and then motioned for a woodpecker to take out my branch so I would fall to my death. Why are you working with woodpeckers behind my back?! (By the by, we just added ten more RCL leagues due to demand — Play against a hundred of your greatest frenemies! — signups) Anyway, here’s my 15-team, mixed league, NFBC Draft Champions recap:

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Being a former junior-varsity back-up catcher with a pop time of about 5 and a caught stealing percentage of 0% — I have the perfect qualifications to write this column. 

Pop time for the un-initiated is another in a long line of new-age states that we nerds are using to quantify the game of baseball. The long and short of this stat is quite simple: it reflects how quickly a catcher can grab the ball from his glove and whip it to a certain base to catch the stealing runner. The lower the number, the better! However — that doesn’t tell the whole story of a catcher’s success rate at throwing out a runner. You can have a pop time of half a second and throw it over the second baseman’s head every single time and you quickly realize why you never made it to the varsity back-up catcher level.

For the purpose of this article I took a look at each team’s projected starting catcher (or catchers) and ranked them via their 2019 pop time (couldn’t find 2020’s data — sorry!) and paired this with their caught stealing percentage from 2019 and 2020 combined. There are some guys (like Ryan Jeffers) who didn’t record a pop time in 2019 so they’re only being judged on their caught-stealing rate. Unfair? Maybe. Happening anyway? Oh you betcha! 

Below I’ve grouped these guys together by the division they’ll be playing in so I can point out who benefits/suffers based on who they’re playing their most games against. I could’ve ranked and tiered them — but what fantasy info is there to glean from that if you’re not using defensive categories? At least this way, maybe you’ll see that a certain team/division has strong or weak catchers in it which helps certain runners or hurts certain pitchers.  

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*KICKS DOWN DOOR* (Loud non-descript 80s metal plays; a man steps to the mic). Are you ready? *Crowd Cheers* Are you ready for… *Crowds cheers more loudly* Are you ready for 2021 catcher ranks? Everyone stops cheering, looking at each other with bewilderment, turns away sadly and leaves. Except one man, the hero America needs. Position scarcity man, stands there unshaken by the thought of ranking catchers, for he remembers the hey day of position scarcity, he owned Mike Piazza and he’s never letting go. We’re ranking catchers this week. Enjoy!

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After we went over the top 10 for 2021 fantasy baseball and the top 20 for 2021 fantasy baseball in our (my) 2021 fantasy baseball rankings, it’s time for the meat and potatoes rankings. Something to stew about! Hop in the pressure cooker, crank it up to “Intense” and let’s rock with the top 20 catchers for 2021 fantasy baseball. Am I at all selling you on the top 20 catchers being good? No? Good, don’t want to give you the wrong impression. Here’s Steamer’s 2021 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2021 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. The projections noted in this post are my own, and I mention where tiers start and stop. Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2021 fantasy baseball:

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Hello again, my friends. Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.

I had another fun-but-also-terribly-painful experiment for you guys. For some of you this will be euphoric. But as a Cardinals fan myself, well, this just sucks.

My experiment is rather simple, and it’s similar to my last piece on Waiver Wire All-Stars. I’m certainly not alone in this, but I’ve noticed a whole lotta ex-STL players having really, really, really good things happen after leaving town. I got to thinking, and I wondered if it were possible to field a full fantasy squad of 100% ex-STL players and still have a good team. The answer is YUP. Oh, joy.

I had to take some liberties, and I had to do a lot of digging through past draft classes and minor league affiliate rosters, but I’ve built a Yahoo standard lineup of players who at one point in time were in the Cardinals system (with some liberties sprinkled in). It’s not a perfect team, but it’s a damn fine one if you ask me. It just hurts all the more knowing this didn’t have to be fantasy for the Cardinals. IT COULD HAVE BEEN REALITY! MAYBE! *crying baby GIF*

Another thing about this experiment is we gotta assume these players reach or maintain their fantasy ceilings. Some guys weren’t so great in 2020 but have been good recently, or vice versa. Some of them I don’t exactly miss, if I’m being honest, but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t help this fantasy fantasy squad win.

Cardinals fans, get your tissues ready. Have Freese’s heroics from Game 6 of the 2011 World Series playing on a loop in the background as you read. Go to your happy place and try to stay there as you see name after name break your heart over and over again. This is supposed to be therapeutic, right?

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What a different season, and a move from Baltimore to southern California has worked for Dylan Bundy, $9,700. Traded for not-a-whole-lot in December, the Angels move for him didn’t even register a blip. But the Angels presumably looked at Bundy’s arsenal, saw one pitch in particular that has been difficult to hit, realized that ‘difficult to hit’ is a good quality for a pitch to have, saw he threw it about 20 percent in Baltimore, thought, “what if…” then said, in their best Boomhauer voice, “Throw that one pitch of yours more.” Dylan Bundy stared blankly. Apparently Max Stassi understood, because he started throwing down three fingers more often, Bundy is throwing his slider more often, and hitters have been hitting his pitches less often. It’s that simple sometimes. Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t. Let’s take this lesson to heart, and also do more of what works and less of what doesn’t in our DFS lineups. Read on to find out how.

New to FanDuel? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well, be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

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What’s up, everybody? We’re working our way through the shortened season while trying to avoid the COVID potholes. The Marlins will be returning to action today albeit with 19 new players as 18 players tested positive and Isan Diaz opted right on out of that clubhouse. One silver lining is the Marlins are calling up Monte Harrison to the big league club. The power/speed prospect played just 58 games in 2019 after having wrist surgery following an injury diving for a ball in the outfield. Harrison still managed 9 homers and 20 stolen bases in AAA before the injury. That’s after putting up a 19HR/28SB performance in AA the year prior. The only knock on Harrison is his plate discipline as the Marlins prospect posted strikeout rates of 36.9% and 29.9% the last two years. Although he did manage to make gains in his walk rate, raising it to 10.2% last year. With Harrison getting the call and starting his service time, the Marlins have no reason to not give him at-bats. Monte Harrison is rostered in just 1.7% of ESPN leagues and 8% of CBS Sports leagues, so if your team needs a shot in the arm, grab him now as he could help out in both homers and stolen bases. Let’s take a look at some other players that may give you a head start on your competition.

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If you had just one stat to use for your drafts this year, what would it be?

A common complaint I see from fantasy experts is recency bias, that cognitive bias whereby we depart from the most rational decision based on an over-reliance of the most recent data because it’s fresh in our minds. Most of us are aware that this bias exists, and try to counterbalance. We use 3-year weighted projections; analyze exit velocity and launch angle instead of RBI; and pay more for a young player with perceived “upside”. In my view, there’s a danger amid smart fantasy owners of going too far the other way and discounting what just happened. Today, I want to take a look at the way a brand-new fantasy owner might answer my initial question: who played the best in 2019?

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With the likelihood of a shortened MLB season growing by the day streaming and targeting matchups will be more important in our 2020 fantasy world than ever before. One of the best places to take a stab at that is using catcher defense to try and mine some stolen bases. Two things factor into this: how often a catcher is run on and how often they throw runners out. Ideally, you’re getting a good matchup on both sides, like finding toilet paper at the grocery store that’s also not sandpaper texture, but I’d prefer volume to efficiency. Here are the 2019 stats and some of the likely hot spots.

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Here, friend, are some catchers that I will be targeting at my 2020 fantasy drafts after the top options are gone. I’m not going to get into the strategy of punting catchers. Been there, half-drunkenly wrote that years ago. Click on the player’s name where applicable to read more and see their 2020 projections and blurbs I wrote for them. This is a (legal-in-most-countries) supplement to the top 20 catchers of 2020 fantasy baseball. Now, guys and five girl readers, I am not saying avoid catchers like Yasmani Grandal if they fall, but, to get on this list, a catcher needs to be drafted later than 200 overall, and, to preemptively answer at least seven comments, yes, I will go around the entire infield, outfield and pitchers to target very late. Anyway, here’s some catchers to target for 2020 fantasy baseball:

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