Please see our player page for Jack Flaherty 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.

Welcome to my new column in Razzball: The Magazine! Every week I’ll be responding to letters from fans who are in a fantasy crisis. Let’s jump right in and see our first question:

Dear EverywhereBlair, 

I drafted Sixto Sanchez in the first round. I know! I’m a sucker for alliteration. I even named my team, “Sexy Sixto Stacks Stampede.” You told me ADP was a trap and I could draft whomever I want whenever I want! 

Signed, 

Suxto See Sixto Sick

Well, we’ve got ourselves a humdinger for the first mailbag question! Did you hear that Sixto has a sore arm? You really don’t need to be taking pitchers in the first round. But it’s your team, you do you. You can fix your team by drafting Jacob Stallings, and renaming it the Sticky Stallings Smashers. Onwards, to the main event!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

*rubs ancient lamp, a blue genie appears* I have three wishes for this baseball season. My first wish is “No one I own get hurt.” I didn’t draft Dinelson Lamet, Josh Donaldson or Trevor Rosenthal, so I made your job easy for you, great, powerful Genie. My 2nd wish is “Everyone I drafted do well.”  I drafted Juan Soto, Trevor Story and Alec Bohm, so, really, I’m doing much of the heavy lifting for this wish too. My 3rd and final wish is “All defensive shifts are eight catchers stacked on top of each other like a totem pole.” Thanking you in advance, Genie. Wait a second, you’re not a genie, you’re Bartolo Colon in Blue Man Group paint. Damn you!

Okay, breathe in, breathe out. Take a moment. Really feel the ground below your feet. The air in your lungs. The soon-turds in your lower intestine. You’re alive. That’s the feeling. April baseball, you giant love muffin! I missed you so much. I’d get choked up, but I cried out all my tears at Luis Castillo’s start. Remember, the only thing you really should take away from yesterday’s player performances is:  It’s one game. Anyway, here’s what I saw yesterday for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I walked down a dark hallway of Razzball Headquarters, some corner I had never been before. The walls were the color of aquarium gravel. I squinted in the dim light to verify that I had the correct office. I knocked on the door and peeked my head inside, seeing the Fantasy Master Lothario himself, Grey Albright, sitting in an office chair behind of a well-built desk. The image of Don Draper in a sweater-vest.

“Everywhere!” he said, wringing his hands excitedly. He put his hand out for a shake. I reached for it, but he pulled his arm back as if almost touching a hot stove. “Nah-ah!” he smiled and wagged his finger. “Not in the time of Covid!”

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In Japan, you bond with your coworkers by going to an enkai. You say it like “N-kai,” and the Kai is as in Cobra Kai, not “Kay” as in, “I’m so American I can’t envision speaking any language than N-glysh. The enkai is usually where the office (not the TV show) gets together for some BBQ and beers. Everybody goes to the enkai, even if they don’t like beer and BBQ. Sometimes, Japanese managers conduct official office business at the enkai, which makes it somewhat awkward when they pass out documents to read while you’re navigating grilled meat. Then comes the nijikai, or “second meeting,” when the “cool people” leave the “squares” behind, and they go to a place where there’s more beer, some snacks, and some karaoke. But for the bold — and those who are truly initiated into the office — there’s the sanjikai, or the “third meeting.” This is the event where only the hardened drinkers, the Buddhist teetotalers, and those people trying to forget the horrors of 9-5 hyper-capitalism are found. For the sanjikai, you’re out there not because you have to, but because you want to. Because you’re driven, by some supra-rational urge that verges on the paranormal, to see what’s hidden behind the curtain. You want to suck the marrow out of life and maybe get a bone splinter in your gums. You know the world has made its mark on you, and you want to mark the world before you transit off this plane of existence into the cosmos, awaiting to be reborn on your ascent to Nirvana. You might not get home tonight if you go out to the sanjikai, but that’s OK because you’re willing to sit in the park and watch the stars until first train.

That’s what this third pre-season edition of the Top 100 Starting Pitchers is all about: You want to know what the others don’t know. You’ve probably drafted already, but you’re here to get prepped for who to pick up off the waiver wire and what to do for next year. You, my dear reader, are initiated into my office, and I invite you to the sanjikai of my weekly pitchers series.

This article is probably my greatest contribution to fantasy sports so far, and I hope you enjoy it.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m sure many of you have spent countless hours pouring over Grey’s 2021 fantasy baseball rankings to see who he’s got way higher than anyone else. Grey’s rankings are great but they’re focused on categories so they don’t tell the whole picture for points leagues. For example, average isn’t important for points. Yes a higher average means more hits but you also get points for walks as well. What we’re really looking for is total bases. I still highly recommend that you check out Grey’s thoughts because he knows what he’s doing, but mostly he’s pretty entertaining. 

Now onto points leagues. I crunched some numbers behind the scenes to see who should get shifted in the ranks. Basically made my own simplified version of malamoney’s spreadsheet using the Razzball/Steamer projections and what seems to be the standard scoring system. The result is some cold hard data on who’s going to do what this season. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“I did it. It’s done,” Grey said, running his hand through his mustache in splendid celebration. A fire roared in the hearth and cup of sparkling Fresca waited by his side. He pulled on his faux fur thrift store coat, looking every bit the 5’7″ “Legend of Los Angeles” that Fantasy Baseballer Magazine had dubbed him. He moved to his easy chair, reached for the remote, and turned off the National Geographic documentary about the hunting patterns of the Siberian Tiger, which always put him in the mood “to eat the competition” in the draft room. With clear eyes and full heart, he recited his daily mantra, I am the fantasy master lothario. 40 rounds, player upon player upon player upon sleeper. Like a talk show host, he fended off attacks from the left and the right and emerged above the fray, insouciant to what carnage he left in his path.

His mental respite was shattered when Cougs came rushing through the door, home from the grocery store. She whipped off her mask, panting, the twinkle of a tear down her cheek. “Grey, I’m so sorry. Cookie crumbled!” she said.

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THE INVITATION CAME ON 8 FEBRUARY in a gilded envelope, printed with the finest inks of the Far East, on the heaviest parchment I’d ever felt. One knew, simply by sight, that the contents of the envelope were destined to change the life of the man– or woman– to whom it was addressed.

It came from a man named “Donkey Teeth”… I assume this is a man, as sure as I am that the post was not, in fact, sent by the sentient protrusions from the alveolar of an ass. This Mr. D. Teeth was inviting all recipients of the missive to something called a RazzSlam.

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What is up everybody? It’s March, which means March Grey has been burrowing out from his hibernation hole (which is what he calls his pantry) and starting to educate you all about your fantasy baseball teams. DRAFT THIS, NOT THAT! The beautiful spring chirp of the March Grey bird resounds through the forest of fantasy baseballers staring at their Fantrax apps. Just as you’re about to draft Dinelson Lamet in the first round, March Grey swoops in and caws, DRAFT CHRIS PADDACK IN THE TENTH! He then lands in the nearest tree and swigs from an abandoned boba container that may or may not have been sitting there all winter serving as a transient’s chaw spittoon. Now, while Grey’s spending the rest of the week sanitizing his mouth with detergent, I’m coming in hot to give you my takes on starting pitchers for your 2021 fantasy baseball season!

Let’s find that free use graphic I made of Zack Greinke in his Royal Blues!

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I feel like I say this every year around this time — but I LOVE keeper leagues. Especially all the crazy rules and context to them. “If you drafted him in the 13th round, he becomes a 10th round keeper next year, then a 4th round keeper the year after that, then a 1st the year after that. And if you keep him in the 1st you can’t keep anyone else with a 1st.” or “If you bought him for $5 his inflation becomes $18 in 2022. Then in 2023 he’ll be $31.43” or “You can’t keep anyone in the first 5 rounds, because one year Smitty somehow kept Miggy, A-Rod, Barry Bonds, Albert Pujols and Roy Halladay and broke the league.” And let me tell you — I love ALL of it. Your league’s crazy rules are what make it unique and interesting. Navigating this craziness is part of the fun. So these are just my rankings for your standard, vanilla 5×5 roto league. But my favorite part of this article — is always in the comments helping you guys breaking down your crazy keeper rules and making the best choices. So get down there and tell me your league’s crazy keeper system and how I can help you make your best decision! 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I woke up the other day in a sweat from a dream where I drafted Dinelson Lamet, Chris Paddack, and Corbin Burnes as my top starters in RazzSlam. I was confused: did I do well? Did I do poorly? Would the internet validate my team or would they mock me in private chats? Could I ever show my avatar online again? I started to second guess everything about my life. “French fries should be eaten with mayo!” a voice in my head shouted. “And Mariners pitchers are smart draft choices!” My moral compass was haywire. Had I crossed the threshold from “Bold” to “Brazen?” Should I not have made sriracha Oreos? Is Zombies and Bridgerton too much for my next spec script? No! Sexy Victorian zombies are avant garde! It is the world that doesn’t understand me. Brazen is only the beginning…

Please, blog, may I have some more?