Just two weeks or so into the regular season and it is time to start jostling those rankings.  We have some big moves in the early going with some big names.  While it certainly is early and not the time to overreact to small sample sizes, there are a few guys that are moving up due to delivering on early promise such as Seiya Suzuki.  However, the biggest surprise in our rankings this week might be a year-over-year first rounder that seems to be trending in the wrong direction.  Will fortune favor the bold or will you and I regret moving on from Mookie Betts.  In this week’s article we run down the Top 100 Hitters for the rest of the 2022 fantasy baseball season and see who is moving up, who is moving down and where we need to keep a watchful eye over the coming weeks.

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Around Major League Baseball, there are a host of outstanding players at every position. But the deepest position is unquestionably shortstop. Need some convincing? Eleven of the top 50 players in the Razzball Player Rater rankings or shortstops.

And these are not shortstops in the mold of Ozzie Smith or Omar Vizquel. These shortstops are in the mold of Cal Ripken Jr. and Alex Rodriguez, both the steroid and non-steroid versions. Fernando Tatis Jr. is must-watch television when he steps to the plate. Xander Bogaerts, Marcus Semien, Bo Bichette, and Carlos Correa are also must-watch television every time they are hitting.

I’m not giving anything away when I tell you they are my Tier 1 shortstops right now. As a group, they average 54 runs scored, 17 home runs, 48 RBI, and eight steals while slashing .294-.366-.553. Of the top 50 home run hitters in baseball, eight of them are shortstops. And shortstops account for nine of the top 50 RBI leaders this season. What does this have to do with fantasy rankings? Well, if you don’t have Tatis Jr. or one of the other Tier 1 shortstops, the position is so deep you can make a trade for a player from Tier 2 or 3 and still greatly improve your team.

Without wasting more of your valuable time, let’s see what the ranking order is for the Tier 1 group and the rest of the rankings for shortstops.

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Fantasy rankings are always an interesting exercise. How much do you weigh a slump at the plate? Should an injury penalize a player? The answer to that is the oh-so-great “it depends.”

Is the slump over the past week or two? If yes, then the player may drop down in the rankings a bit but he won’t disappear, especially if he is a proven veteran. If it is a month-long slump, then that player is obviously not one of the top 25 players at that time. I don’t think anyone could realistically rank Francisco Lindor as a Top 25 shortstop during the first month of the season.

Now that we are two-plus months into the season, I look at players on three levels when I consider trading for them or adding them from the waiver wire. The obvious level is what are his overall statistics. I then look at what they have done in the last 14 days and 30 days.

If I’m going to add a player to one of my dynasty teams, I want production, not just this year but for the next year or two. Thus, I’ll go even deeper into the weeds and look at their exit velocities, hard-hit percentage, and strikeout percentage and compare them to past seasons. If a player’s counting stats look nice but his overall numbers are trending down, I’m going to think twice before trading assets for him or picking up a free agent and thus have to drop one of my current players.

As for injuries, if a player is out for 10 days, I’m not going to drop him out of the rankings unless he was already near the bottom of the rankings. But if a player is out for a considerable amount of time, then that will affect where he is ranked. That is why Corey Seager is not ranked right now. In real life, he is still a top 25 shortstop. No MLB would drop Seager from their roster because he is hurt. But in fantasy baseball, Seager is not helping anyone. He has not produced for weeks and it will be weeks before he hits the field – so he is not a top 25 fantasy shortstop right now.

But there are plenty of players who are not injured and who are not slumping at the plate. Which players have moved up the rankings or entered the Top 25? Let’s find out.

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Great Sunday to you, Sunday Brunchers. Try to keep those hats on.

We have ten games on the FanDuel Main Slate today, and almost all will be significantly effected by wind. Let us hope we can break this wind together. Let’s crop dust the rest of the field and use the wind to our advantage.

In each of these games wind should provide a great advantage to hitters, given the speed, direction, and air density. Any pitcher with a poor fly ball to ground ball ratio or who relies on movement or deception to induce weak contact should be faded or avoided entirely:
• Baltimore Orioles at Cleveland Indians, wind at 18 to 21 mph to center, positive VMI for hitters, temps in the mid 80’s
• Colorado Rockies at Philadelphia Phillies, wind at 12 mph to left/center, temps in the 80’s
• Los Angeles Dodgers at Cincinnati Reds, wind to left at 16 mph gives a bump to right handed hitters
• Toronto Blue Jays at Chicago White Sox, wind to left at 17 mph bumps right handed hitters
• Houston Astros at Boston Red Sox, wind to left/center at 15 mph
• Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees, wind to left at 12 mph
• St. Louis Cardinals at Texas Rangers, wind to right at 9 mph, temps in the 80’s

Games with more room for error than usual for pitchers:
• Milwaukee Brewers at Atlanta Braves, wind in from right at 10 mph counter the usual positive hitting conditions in Atlanta
• Oakland Athletics at Detroit Tigers, wind in from right at 16 to 18 mph and light rain to end the game counter otherwise positive hitting conditions in Detroit
• New York Mets at Miami Marlins, wind in from center at 11 mph, matters only if roof is open

So, how can we use the wind to wind up winned? Continue reading below for the best picks of the day.

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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When you’re perusing the latest prospect lists for the next fantasy star, the next Mike Trout or Manny Machado, it’s important to keep in mind the variables that go into such rankings. Defensive ability plays a major role in player evaluation — it’s not all about the hit tool and the power potential. And when it comes to guys who play premium positions on the diamond (catcher, center field, shortstop), a plus defensive projection can vault a prospect far, far up the board. This sort of inflation based on defense oftentimes skews perspective when considering prospects from a fantasy perspective. When we constantly see a certain light-hitting shortstop pop up in the top 20 overall prospects at Baseball America or MLB.com, it can be easy to look past the scouting report and simply click “add player” once he surfaces in the bigs. To help avoid such unnecessary blunders, I’ve detailed a couple of the more highly-touted defense-first prospects below. I’ll go over a couple more next time through.

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