As the big market maxim goes, if you can’t draft ’em, sign ’em.  The Cubs have struggled to produce major league-ready pitching, and rather than rely on a solid, if unspectacular pitching staff, they signed Yu Darvish for a shizzton of money, though likely his going rate.  Speaking of which, have you heard all the whispers of collusion?  This one doesn’t involve Russians, unless Scott Boras has Russian ancestry.  Have to check 23 and Me for that.  This offseason seems to be dropping breadcrumbs towards a work stoppage in 2021.  Hopefully, I’m wrong.  However, when teams are making hundreds of millions of dollars, then refusing to pay free agents things start to look suspicious.  Not to mention, Derek Jeter seems to have shorted Marlins stock.  When you sell off the whole team to make $60 million in revenue sharing, eyebrows are raised.  Unfortunately, for Jeter, it wasn’t his eyebrows, because his forehead seems to be losing hair by the day, and he could use some raised eyebrows to cover that shiny dome.  Any hoo!  As I said in the top 20 starters for 2018 fantasy baseball, “Yu signed with the Cubs for $126 million.  If you just had Siri read that off to you, stop celebrating, and get off the phone with the Lambo dealer.  It’s not you you, it’s Yu Darvish.  Not saying this is everything, but I just looked at the park factors for Wrigley vs. Dodger Stadium.  I mean, I knew they were grossly in favor of Dodger Stadium for pitchers, but I just wanted to confirm.  And, what do you know, I confirmed it.  Darvish had a 3.44 ERA in Los Angeles in 49 2/3 IP, and, while Wrigley won’t be as gentle, it won’t be any worse than Arlington, where he played previously with success.  He feels like a richer Archer.  Call him, Robin Hood: Prince of Ks.”  And that’s me quoting me!  I also updated Darvish in the top 100 for 2018 fantasy baseball, the top 500 for 2018 fantasy baseball and the pitchers’ pairings.  Finally, Rudy updated his fantasy baseball rankings and Darvish moved up about 30 spots.  That reminds me of the DJ Khaled song produced for the Huffington Post called, Clickbait Drop.  I upped Darvish’s projections, and moved him into a more favorable tier, realizing I had been too harsh on him previously.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this offseason for 2018 fantasy baseball:

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With these top 100 starters for 2018 fantasy baseball, I’ve finished our (my) 2018 fantasy baseball rankings for positions.  Still coming will be a top 100 overall and top 500 to see how all the positions mesh together like your mesh Redskins jersey that meshes with your burgundy sweatpants.  Trust me, when you see how long this post is, you’ll be glad I kept this intro short.  As always, my projections are included, and where I see tiers starting and stopping.  If you want an explanation of tiers, go back to the top 10 overall and start this shizz all over again.  Anyway, here’s the top 100 starters for 2018 fantasy baseball:

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Alex Reyes is the guy that’s going to be the difference maker on my points league teams this season. Well, except in any league where any of my opponents read this post. If I’m thinking outside of my “points league box”, he has the potential to make a difference in all fantasy formats this season. I see him as a mid-season sleeper that’s going to take up a roster spot for at least one or two before you have a chance to see if holding him will pay any dividends. This is a risk I am willing to take, and is one I’m recommending to the rest of you.

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All the final 2017 fantasy baseball rankings for hitters are done.  For those that skipped today’s title, this starts the top 20 starters for 2017 fantasy baseball.  This is NOT for 2018 (caps for those who can’t read titles; supposedly it’s easier to read caps, I have my doubts).  This is a recap.  Will these affect next year’s rankings?  Sure.  But not entirely.  To recapitulate, these rankings are from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater.  We’re (me’re) using it to fairly gauge our (my) preseason rankings.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 starters for 2017 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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Oh, I get it, it was a C lineup for a team whose B lineup ain’t an A lineup.  Understood, my dude, don’t be rude.  *smacks face*  No more rhyming and I mean it!  Anyone want a peanut?  But yesterday showed the flashes of greatness from Carlos Carrasco — 8 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 14 Ks, ERA at 3.29, and notched 200 IP for the first time in his career — that he is constantly hinting at, and I don’t want to end a sentence with at — dah!  If only he’d stop with the hinting.  Paint the corners — great!  Paint a picture of an ace — super!  But we’re not playing Pictionary here, stop with the hints!  He’s 30 years old already.  At what point is it no longer what he can do and rather this is who he is?  No question mark actually.  This is it methinks, I said dressed like a leprechaun.  Some amazing starts, some lackluster starts, some random DL stint, some of the parts is greater than whole.  Yes, I know I spelled sum wrong, don’t make me go back there!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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If you’re at all familiar with management theory, then you’re probably aware generally of the “Peter Principle”. The concept is simple, managers rise to the level of their incompetence. Here’s where you think about your current manager, and snicker. Are you done? Okay, so it’s concept that many of us can relate to, some of us first hand. But what does this have to do with the subject of today’s profile Marlins starter Dillon Peters? Ahhh, his name is Peters? It works right? But perhaps there’s more there. Or maybe I’m overthinking. Yeah, totally overthinking it. Then again, is it possible that Peters has risen to his own level of potential incompetence here in the Bigs? His numbers over the last two years in the minors have been phenomenal, rarely letting up multiple earned runs in a game. In fact over the last two years, across 37 starts between high A and AA, Peters has amassed a 21-9 record with a 2.11 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, .224 BAA,  7.5 K/9, and 1.74 Bb/9. While allowing just 5 balls to leave the park in 191.2 innings. So to say he’s on a great run the last few years is an understatement. Will that continue here in the majors or is he due for a heavy regression? Through Peters first few starts he’s been solid but lucky. I actually intended to profile his start last Tuesday at Philadelphia, but pivoted to Sunday’s turn for the rescheduled home game vs the Brew Crew. I figured in case things went awry in Milwaukee recency bias would win out. Here’s what I saw.

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With only seven games on the schedule today we’re spending the bulk of our money on starting pitching, because once you get passed the top 3 arms, there’s not a whole lot left.  Clayton Kershaw, $26,700 at Philadelphia and Patrick Corbin, $18,600 at San Diego are on top of the Streamonator and I’m feeling both matchups.  They’re both lefties, the’ye both facing two terrible offenses who strike out more than most teams in the league and they’re the cream of the crop tonight.  It’s Kershaw’s four start coming off the DL, so he should be in a good groove and he won’t be on a pitch count less than a 100 pitches.  The reins should be off tonight and I’m thinking he’ll come away with a W and double digit Ks.  Corbin got rocked for 8 ER in 4.1 innings at home against the Padres back on September 8th.  Look for a monster bounce back game in pitcher friendly Petco tonight, as I’m sure he’s been studying tape. Now that we’ve spent a good chunk on our pitchers. let’s get creative and see what we can do on the offensive side.

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Welcome to the home stretch, boys, gals, and in-betweens. Like we discussed last week, the two-start starters list has been dwindling due to expanded rosters, young arms having their innings limited, and many teams opting for six-man rotations as a result. This week, with many teams also having an off day, there are fewer than 30 options for two-start starters. (By the way, fogimon, will you be watching Corey Kluber’s second start tomorrow? #KissyEmoji)

There are still some options for two-start streamers, however. Checking in with Streamonator, here are the two-start starters for this week with a positive dollar value who are owned in less than 75% of RCLs:

  • German Marquez COL, $16.80, 20%
  • Jharel Cotton OAK, $5.60, 18%
  • Blake Snell TB, $4.70, 31%
  • Tyler Mahle CIN, $1.70, 1%
  • Dan Straily MIA, $0.70, 53%

Despite the light list, we still have five starters with positive dollar values. Of the names on this list, I like Marquez and Straily the most. Snell I would gamble on if I needed to, but I would stay away from Cotton and my cousin Tyler Mahle (not really my cousin).

Marquez shines through this week because of his matchups: at San Francisco and at San Diego. Two teams who have struggled mightily at the plate, and he gets them in their pitcher-friendly ballparks. He is not without risk, but you could not ask for two better matchups.

I’m not sure how Straily is still only owned in 53% of RCLs, but sign me up for that, too. His matchups aren’t as good (vs. Mets and at Diamondbacks) because of that trip to Arizona, but I am still willing to roll with him over the others on the list.

Snell is meh, but he doesn’t scare me as much as Cotton or Mahle. Despite their positive value, if I am in need of starts in H2h playoffs, I am not going near either of those two. Their potential for disaster outweighs any value they provide, at least in my eyes. Stay away and save yourself.

And now, to the charts!

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Yesterday, Matt Olson went 1-for-2, 2 RBIs with his 18th homer, hitting .273, all in only 49 games, and seven homers in his last ten games.  Dizzamn, who is he the American League’s Rhysus?  I’d call him Olsonus, but that sounds stupid.  We’re ridin’ the Ols-mobile?  That’s better (not)!  Like me after Taco Bell, he is Olplosive (much worse!).  I hear the train a comin’ rollin’ round the bend!  I ain’t seen the sunshine since I don’t know when!  Well I’m stuck with Matt Olson and time keeps dragging on!  While a train keeps a rollin’ like Olson to San Antone!  Well when I was just a baby my mama told me Olson, Olson, OLSON!  Always be a good boy don’t ever play with guns (flexes, showing gun show).  Well I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die, not OLSON!  When I hear that whistle blowin’ I hang my head and I cry because I don’t have OLSON!  Whew, that was exhausting.  So, obviously, if you need power, you should grab Olsonus, and ride the Ols-mobile.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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To anyone from Southeastern Massachusetts my title means something to you. If you’re anything like me it signifies the first time in your life you were severely disappointed. I can still remember packing into my parent’s station wagon with another family my parents were friendly with. We were headed to the “World Famous King Richard’s Faire“. Six year old Ralph couldn’t believe I was headed to THE fair of THE King Richard. I mean he was the best king ever, and here I am headed to his fair! Me, lowly 6 year old Ralph with a golden bowl cut! Welp, much like everything else in life since, it was a massive disappointment. What was supposed to be a day of jousts, knights, kings and princesses, quickly turned into reality. That reality was drunk bikers with swords, mutton, and the inescapable smell of feces and urine. The strangest part is it smelt just as much like urine as it did poop. It was as if the two smells were competing for dominance, each pushing itself to it’s limits but neither overtaking the other. Needless to say I never went back. I could have, but I did better things with my time like drinking or masturbating. What does this have to do with Garrett Richards and his most recent start? Well let’s just say I was excited, only to be disappointed. That’s my big market tease, trust me you’re bound to be disappointed…

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