Spring is on its way! The RCLs are up and running, Grey’s busted through his rankings, and it’s not negative 100 outside my house for once. As if the opening sentences didn’t generate enough excitement, the dynamic duo of Castle Grey-Shitz is back for another week of big audio dynamite. This time we come correct with the top 25-30 shortstops for 2018 Fantasy Baseball from the Book of Albright. We dig in on Carlos Correa’s value, debate Alex Bregman’s running ability, use our meh emojis for Corey Seager, before moving on to Chris Taylor, Xander Bogaerts, Javier Baez, Elvis Andrus, Trevor Story, and many more. Just another week here with Ralph & Grey! Finally, please make sure to support our sponsor by heading over to RotoWear.com 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:

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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:

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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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So I took a catcher with my first pick in the draft. I’m not one to bury the lead, plus you’re intrigued, no? Whether you stick around to understand my point of view or to ridicule me, you stick around the same. So before we go into my wild dynasty adventure, why don’t I do you the courtesy of explaining what exactly I’m talking about. The Rotowire Dynasty Invitational!!! It’s in the title, stupid. In case you were wondering what any of those words mean. First it’s not a Golf Tournament, though I hear Green Jackets could perhaps be involved. It’s actually a new dynasty league organized by the fair, handsome and illustrious James Anderson of Rotowire. Dynasty lesson numero uno muchacho, always talk about your commissioner in glowing terms. When you finally sucker some poor schlub into sending you Mike Trout for a washed up prospect, a back end of the rotation arm, and a kid with a name you can’t spell, who can’t legally buy tobacco products in Utah, you’re going to need that guy. So James approve my trades, I’ll say nice things. Deal? Moving on, this is a 20 team dynasty league organized by Mr. Anderson and comprised of some of the top names in prospects, dynasty, and just fantasy in general. Also the guy that played George Washington in Turn: Washington’s Spies. Don’t worry, I refer to him as “The General” 100% of the time. Anything less would be uncivilized. Plus little known fact, George Washington is my spirit animal. We both have wooden teeth!

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Here’s what I said last year, “We’re gonna find out if the top 20 shortstops are as Ken Bonerific as the top 20 2nd basemen.  Hint:  they are.  Damn, I gotta work on building suspense.  That hint pretty much gives the whole kit away and tacks the kaboodle onto its back as it’s walking out the door.  Goodbye, kit and kaboodle, I just gave you away for nothing.”  And that’s me quoting me!  This year?  Not so much.  Without further Machado, to recap, this final ranking is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments.  The Player Rater allows me to be impartial while looking at how I ranked them in the preseason.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 shortstops for 2017 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

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We already went over the top 20 catchers and the top 20 1st basemen for 2017 fantasy baseball.  Today, we dip our big toe into the top 20 2nd basemen pool.  Weird year for the 2nd basemen.  They had a huge bounce back last year, but this year a bunch of guys got old or just disappointed:  Kinsler, Carpenter, Kipnis and Zobrist.  And that’s only naming the Jews and Gentiles.  (I’m putting Carpenter in both camps.)  To recap this crap (rhyme points!), this final ranking for last year is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments.  The Player Rater allows me to be impartial while looking at how I ranked them in the preseason.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 2nd basemen for 2017 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

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I am a winner who’s probably gonna win again.  Giancarlo, forgive me!  Giancarlo, forgive me!  So many swings I don’t understand.  Sometimes I need to stream Tommy Milone.  Mitch don’t kill my vibe!  Mitch don’t kill my vibe!  I can feel your energy while Judge hits homers two planets away.  I got my drink, I got my music.  I would share it, but today I’m yelling.  Mitch don’t kill my vibe!  Mitch don’t kill my vibe! (repeat 2x)  Yesterday, Mitch Haniger (2-for-4, 3 RBIs) hit his 15th and 16th homers, and now has 4 homers in the last nine games.  He even has a steal, and his run game got the whole world talkin’.  King Kunta.  Oops, wrong Kendrick Lamar song.  If you need help this final week, grab this *itch.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Let’s see, all rise for the Judge.  Can I get a witness for Judge?  Judge, jury and executioner of fastballs.  This is one Judge who should never see the bench.  There’s a ten from the East German for Judge!  Well, you can be the Judge of that, not really tho.  You can Judge a book by how hard he knocks the cover off the ball.  And, of course, five minutes to Judge Mollywhopper.  All right, all right, enough.  Yesterday, Aaron Judge went 2-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs with his 47th and 48th homer, as he hits .281.  I don’t want to have to bring out the caps, but he’s a ROOKIE.  *inserts meme of white guy blinking*  He has the rookie record for walks, within one of the rookie record for home runs and the first player with 200 Ks and a .262+ average in baseball history.  I looked through the last 120 years of baseball for a comparable year, and I found Mike Schmidt’s best year and a not-yet-white Sammy Sosa.  So, a Phillie hero and vitiligo.  In the 2nd half, Judge ‘only’ has 18 homers, and increased his K-rate to 32.9% from 29.8, only hitting .213.  In 2018, there’s going to be huge risk and reward when drafting Judge.  I’d be shocked if he falls further than the top 15 overall, so you’re gonna have to gamble that he won’t hit 40 HRs with a .240, and be essentially Khris Davis.  Either way, it’s gonna be tough to Judge.  Ugh.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Tim Anderson is a guy that I would glance at earlier in the season and then move on with my life and with our beloved Top 100. He is a nice young player and all, but he wasn’t spongeworthy. Now, though, we’re in the last couple weeks of the season, and homeboy is lighting it up. And more than just hitting, TA is running wild. He has six stolen bases in his last seven games after not running much at all this year, so he is providing SAGNOF value, as well.

Anderson has been so hot that he is your PR15 king this week, with a 17.18 rating. That stretch of games only includes two home runs, which should give you an idea of just how hot he has been at the plate in order to be able to record a 17+ PR15 with only two long dongs. Our boy is hitting everything in sight and swiping bags now.

If you are battling down the stretch in roto leagues, Anderson can help you while providing some SAGNOF. If you are battling it out in weekly H2H league playoffs, though, he doesn’t have the same kind of appeal. IF (read: big IF) he stays hot, he will help across the board except for power and possibly RBI, while helping with AVG, R, and potentially SB. Compared to the standard stiff on the waiver wires, he looks like a stud. But in terms of cross-category production and overall value, he does have a pretty low ceiling. Grab him for the hot streak, but don’t drop anyone of value for him if you can help it.

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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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?