In the spreadsheet I released this past Sunday there was a column on the “Rankings” tab labeled “Draft Score”. Several of you asked in the comments section what it meant. I thought I’d take this opportunity explain. And while I’m at it, I also thought I’d point out some players that stick out as obvious draft day bargains according to their estimated draft score.

Here is my response to the inquiries about draft score with a few minor modifications.

FVARz dictates a player’s value compared to the rest of the players. We get there by determining each players’ value above the replacement player at his position. The replacement player is the player you can get off the wire.

A simple example is if you are in a 10-team league and you start only one 2B, then your league really only cares about 10 second basemen. The 11th 2B is considered the replacement 2B. It’s a little more complicated than that in that we probably care about 12 second basemen making the 13th the replacement, but it should give you the idea.

So when choosing between two players, use FVARz. Draft score is just indicator as to whether you are getting good value at the pick. However, I’d always take the player with the higher FVARz regardless of draft score.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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?

Oh well, enough jibber-jabber! Let’s get into 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?

Several of you have asked via email, Twitter and the comments sections of previous posts if I will be generating my spreadsheet again this season. The short answer is, I think so. The follow up question has been, “when?”. To that I say, based on the last two years, it will most likely be some time around the second week of March (or so). Gotta love how I give myself the “or so” escape clause. These things take time. In all seriousness, it really does take a “you know what” load of time to get ready. In the meantime, as part of my preliminary work in generating said projections/rankings, I am publishing my early rankings right now. I thought about starting with shortstop because I’ve yet to see someone start with shortstop, but instead I’ve decided to be boring and kick it off with first base.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s the Winter Meetings, Part 2:  This Time Free Agents Are Really Signing.  Starring as Eric Hosmer is Turtle!

Starring as Wil Myers is your goofy friend from high school who now works for Enterprise Rent-A-Car:

Trailer Voice, “What if all of MLB’s owners weren’t in collusion….But just the rich teams!”  In the last few days, the Padres, Twins and Rays got some deals done, which is kinda like shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic.  Some ‘perts will likely move Hosmer down in their rankings, but I always assumed Hosmer would be a Padre, and ranked and projected him as one in my top 20 1st basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball.  There, I said, “Here’s what I will say when Hosmer signs, “I made the case last year that Hosmer was Joey Votto Jr.  I called him Kangaroo Embryo.  I just thought of a kangaroo wearing a Kangol, but I’ve never thought about an alligator wearing an Izod shirt, I’ll have to discuss this with my shrink.  At one point, Wil Myers said he’d move to the outfield for Eric Hosmer to come to the Padres, and I thought to myself, “If I were Hosmer, I’d tell Myers to please not do me any favors.”  San Diego is like the Trojan Horse of cities (for baseball and just visiting).  It’s like this, “Oh, man, San Diego is gorgeous.  What’s this, 77 degrees every day?  I can get used to this!”  Five minutes later, “I am bored out of mind.”  Five minutes after, “Damn, can we get out of here?”  Ten minutes after that, “If I see one more white person in flip-flops I’m going to readily embrace going to Tijuana.”  Any hoo!  Hosmer isn’t exactly a home run hitter.  His fly balls were goofy low last year for a guy with 25 homers.  He was the third lowest for fly balls (22.2%), fourth highest ground balls and the 29th lowest for Hard Contact.  He does hit a decent amount of line drives, and feels like a 23-26 homer guy with a few more fly balls.  He might be Kangaroo Embryo this year, but to emulate Joey Votto Jr. he’s going to need to elevate the ball more.”  And that’s me quoting future me!”  And that’s me quoting me quoting future me!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for 2018 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Our 2018 Razzball Commenters Leagues are in full signup mode.  I even heard there were a few people from Anonymous that signed up!  They said, “To the world, I’m Anonymous, just another white man who sits in parking lots with binoculars watching women.”  Man, that Anonymous guy is depressing!  As we always do about this time, I eviscerate the haters and complicators!  I eviscerate the not-knowers and the over-knowers!  I eviscerate the ESPN goers and the garden hoers!  I overuse a word like eviscerate that I just learned!  I am the Fantasy Master Lothario (don’t abbreviate it) and I’ve come for your children!  See, because blog writing doesn’t pay so well, I’ve taken a second job as a bus driver, so I’m literally here for your kids.  Like a baller!  A shot caller!  An “I’m outside of Hot Topic at the maller!”  My eviscerating (I’m conjugating my new word!) today comes at the expense of ESPN and their 2018 fantasy baseball rankings.  To the tune of Baby Blue (Feat. Chance the Rapper) by Action Bronson:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Draft This: Justin Bour, MIA ~ Not That: Eric Hosmer, FA

Welcome to part two of an ongoing series where I take a lot of heat in the comments for telling you why you should draft one player who is going significantly later in drafts than another player. Last week saw me sliding-in cleat first at the catcher position and now I’m going to take on the lumberjacks at first base.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Wooooooooo! It’s the Nature Boy Grey Albright back for another week of pre-season ranks on the Razzball Podcast! This week we dive into one of the most fantasy relevant positions in today’s game, the top 20 first basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball! We go from Goldy to Smoak and everything in between. We debate Hosmer vs Hoskins for 2018, and talk the strategy behind when to fill your first base and corner infield spots. We go 20+ deep and still had another 20 players we didn’t get to. First base be deep yo! Finally, please make sure to support our sponsor by heading over to and entering promo code “SAGNOF” for 20% off the highest quality t-shirts in the fantasy sports game. It’s the latest edition of the Razzball Fantasy Baseball Podcast:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In this series I’m going to be helping you find values at each position. There are players whose ADP has risen higher than their actual fantasy value based on name value or anticipated performance. Like a health-conscious cook book I’ll give you the alternatives to the unhealthy high calorie options that will give you heart trouble in a few months.

Draft This: Mike Zunino, SEA

Not That: Salvador Perez, KCR

This first recommendation is not for the risk averse. Perez is the picture perfect example of your safe, average fantasy catcher. In standard leagues where only 10-12 catchers will be drafted, Perez can be pretty attractive mid-round pick. Over his last 4 season he has a .258 average with .260, .260, .247, .268 averages over those seasons. You can pretty safely predict he’ll hit within that narrow range again in 2018. In that same time he has slightly increased his home run power over that time too: 17, 21, 22, 27 (4-year average: 22 per season.) So why would I recommend one of the most disappointing catchers over the past 4 seasons over Perez? Well when you look at their ADP and their 2017 stats — you could make the case. Well not you I guess — ME! And according to ME you should be looking at drafting a player for $1 and hoping he produces like a $10 player not drafting a player for $5 and him producing like an $5 player.

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I have to keep this short, because after the jump is going to be the longest post you’ve ever seen in your life.  How do I know all the posts you’ve seen to compare this one to?  Because I’m sitting behind you.  *waves*  Hey!  I’ve given you the top 10 for 2018 fantasy baseball, top 20 for 2018 fantasy baseball and top 20 catchers for 2018 fantasy baseball.  All projections included are mine, and where I see tiers starting and stopping are included.  Let’s do this!  Anyway, here’s the top 20 1st basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?