I want you to take some deep breaths and clear your mind. Now, I want you to fill in that blank space with the MLB’s most boring baseball player. He’s a bit older, has been in the league a while but hasn’t done anything too notable. He’s more than likely a utility infielder that doesn’t have great speed. He hits reasonably well but can’t get past 20 home runs and can’t hit too close enough to .300. Nothing terrible though. He holds his own. He definitely doesn’t play for a contender, the A’s perhaps. His name doesn’t stand out nor does his number. He’s no Rougned Odor. In your mind’s eye, you have conjured Jed Lowrie, the MLB’s most boring baseball player.

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The most important thing in fantasy baseball relief-dom in terms of holds is consistency.  Without consistency of opportunities, of placement in the bullpen, and a team’s consistent success in utilizing their bullpen to your fantasy advantage… you get left out out in the cold when it comes down to accumulating a stout holds based relief pitching corps. Until there is a shift in the utilization of bullpens for the benefit of fantasy, more so, the leagues that use the hold stat.  I will admit that I am more of an eye test person than a numbers guy.  Numbers scare me.  They prove too many things that don’t factor in the human error factor and the good ole eye test.  So against my better mental state, I used numbers from the past five years to show that the bullpens are being used more frequently.  Not just by some teams, but by all teams.  I know, duh.  This is something that we all eyed to be happening than Smokey goes in the opposite direction like a dyslexic salmon and gets some data to prove the incline of a stat that he holds so near and dear to his fantasy bear heart.  Well sit back, relax, it’s going to be a fun ride on the holds bus this week as we do some research and than put the top-50 relief pitchers into hold tiers.  Enjoy!

The 2018 Razzball Commenter Leagues are now open! Free to join with prizes! All the exclamation points!

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It’s finally February, football is in the rear view mirror, spring training is on the horizon, and it’s time to start breaking out the player ranks and loading up the mock drafts (or waiting for Yahoo to let us). While we wait for any MLB team to sign a free agent I have been struggling on which players I plan on keeping this season in my keeper leagues. I’m not talking about Dynasty leagues, where you keep every player, but the leagues where you only can keep two, three, or at most five players every season. These types of keeper leagues seem to be a mainstay for dedicated players and leagues as of late. I have noticed it’s rarely the same players you’re keeping every season, especially if you have so few to keep…

Keeper leagues can be tough because every draft is going to be so unique. Whether each team is keeping two players or five your draft is going to look very different when missing multiple draft day studs forcing you to go into the draft with a completely different strategy. Do you want to keep a great player but forfeit a top pick or somebody not as proven but for a much lower pick? Do you go with the respected fantasy players you can count on like Mike Trout and Clayton Kershaw or with the young guns with the high ceiling and questionable floor like Cody Bellinger and Luis Severino

What factored into my list was how much you can trust each player, what round they were taken the previous season, how good of a fantasy contributor have they been throughout their career, their team, age, etc. Even though every league has different keeper numbers and keeper rules I have ranked out 10 tiers of my top 40 keepers. This list is mainly skewed for leagues with just a handful of keepers. Most of the rankings consist of top players going in the first couple rounds or players that majorly outperformed their ADP last season. I did leave off some guys who I would take in the earlier rounds like Corey Seager, Francisco Lindor, and Justin Verlander because the juice just might not be worth the squeeze. Getting Aaron Judge or Cody Bellinger in the last few rounds this year is almost laughable and hard to pass up even with your 2nd or 3rd overall pick. Below is my Top 40 separated into tiers of how important I see these players going into keeper leagues.

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If you are new to playing Head-to-Head fantasy baseball or if you are a veteran looking for some advice on how to dominate your league, you came to the right place. H2H leagues are personally my favorite because it combines the traditional “roto” aspect of fantasy baseball, while also furthering the competitive spirit by going against a single, rotating opponent every week. Instead of the champion being crowded at the end of the year by who has the most roto points, teams are fighting year long in the standings in hopes to earn a playoff spot and ultimately win a couple playoff matchups to bring home that coveted championship trophy.

There are a few different variants to playing H2H leagues. You can play using point-based scoring, similar to how fantasy football works, or using categories like roto leagues. Categories is much more popular than points, but I still want to touch on both. For points leagues, hitters and pitchers earn fantasy points based off the statistics they accrue throughout the week and give their owner a raw total. The team with the most points at the end of the week gets a win while the other team gets a loss.

Categories leagues typically use 5×5 scoring, which means 5 hitting categories and 5 pitching. For hitting they are typically batting average, runs, RBIs, HRs, and SBs. Pitching is usually ERA, WHIP, Wins, Saves, and Ks. Throughout the week both teams’ stats are tracked under each of the categories which you can get a single win, loss, or tie in each. So if you are winning six categories, losing three, and tied in one your score will appear as 6-3-1. The two variants to category scoring are Head-to-Head with a single win/loss, and H2H where each category counts as a win, loss, or tie individually. For example, winning 6-3-1 in week 1 can either make you 1-0, or it can make you 6-3-1 in the standings if you score using each category.

I personally think that playing H2H Each Category is the ideal way to play as it combines tracking each category like roto leagues, with the competitiveness of playing a new opponent every week to keep things fresh.

I know the following advice I offer may not be groundbreaking, but these are things that have helped me win many leagues that I wish to share with you so bear with me. Without further ado, here are my keys to dominating your H2H league.

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Boner alert! It’s another week of the Razzball Podcast starring the one the only, the King In The Standings, The Master of Rankings, The Opener of Jars! It’s our very own Fantasy Master Lothario, Grey Albright. This time around we’re not talking nothing but the keystone. It’s second base this week, as we cover Grey’s top 25 or so names at the position. We debate Dee Gordon, Robinson Cano, Jonathan Schoop, and many more! I learn what boba is, and immediately decided I would never ingest it. 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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It’s only January (at least at the time I started writing this) and I’ve already participated in two mock drafts for the 2018 fantasy baseball season. To say I’m excited for the next few months would be an understatement. To say my sun dial was pointing at high noon might be a bit much, but when have I shied away from saying something unnecessary? Halloween and draft season are my favorite times of the year. Now while I prefer an auction to a draft, I still take great pleasure in selecting a team according to snake draft rules. Especially when it doesn’t officially count.

Over the last three years only one batter has averaged more fantasy points per season than Nolan Arenado. That player is Paul Goldschmidt, who has averaged 599.5 points. Arenado’s average is 592. These averages will vary depending on your league’s scoring system, but for the most part, the ordering of players should remain mostly the same. When it was my turn to make my first pick at the four spot, Mike Trout, Jose Altuve and Mr. Goldschmidt were already gone. This left me with what I feel was the obvious choice of Arenado. Quite honestly I’m almost inclined to say that given his age, he’s the better pick over Goldschmidt. Did I really just say that?

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The top 20 3rd basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball ends the infield rankings for 2018.  I say, Amed to that!  Rosario, specifically.  With the end of the infield rankings, we can get a bigger picture, uh, picture on depth of each position.  I call this segment of the program, The Fantastically Flexible File on Marwin Gonzalez.  Or The Marvelous Mr. Marwin, if Jeff Bezos is reading.  Since Marwin’s got more eligibility than a guy who lives in his mom’s basement and has a cat named Kylo, let’s look at where he is in each ranking.  For the top 20 1st baseman for 2018 fantasy baseball, he was ranked 30th, for the top 20 2nd basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball, he was ranked 22nd, for the top 20 shortstops for 2018 fantasy baseball, he was ranked 20th, and here he’s 24th.  Clearly, the infield positions from deepest to shallowest are:  1B, 3B, 2B, and SS.  Marwin, you illuminating mother!  Any hoo!  My projections are noted for every player and all positions are at the 2018 fantasy baseball rankings.  By the hoo, Rudy has all his 2018 rankings up on the Preseason Player Rater.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 3rd basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball:

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Before we get into the top 20 2nd basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball, let’s go bobbing for clickbait.  Here’s my top 10 for 2018 fantasy baseballtop 20 for 2018 fantasy baseball, top 20 catchers for 2018 fantasy baseball and the top 20 1st basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball. So, without further hubbub on the tomfoolery, the top 20 2nd basemen were shallow like how Altuve likes his pool water as recently as three years ago, then bounced back two years ago, then were drowning in a puddle last year.  So, what about this year?  Thanks for the expository segue!  As always, my projections are included and I mention where I see tiers starting and stopping.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 2nd basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball:

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The dynamic duo is back for the second time. Or potentially the first. Were we in fact back the first time if we had never been there before? Wow, I’ve talked myself into a circle. Any the flippidy flap, January Grey is back, and he brought his Top 20 with him! That’s right, these are the spoken words to go with the written ones. We talk about why Mike Trout is good, Goldy vs. Jose Altuve, Freeman vs. Rizzo, and Lindor vs. Jose Ramirez (psssst not the Braves reliever). We pretty much make all the decisions in the first two rounds for you. It’s a glorious discussion of what will be in the two dot eighteen. When Grey isn’t dropping Top 20 knowledge, he’s rapping lyrics to Belly. Enough of the spoilers, just listen blood! 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 Prospect Podcast:

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Yesterday, I went over the top 10 for 2018 fantasy baseball.  Today, I throw out preconceived notions, drink some potions and lather up my body with lotions as I sloppily slip and slide my way through the most precarious top 20 for fantasy baseball I’ve ever encountered.  This top twenty is a blind man playing Twister.  Half the time, I’m grabbing for things not knowing if they’re there or not.  I legit think this top 20 could go countless other ways.  Is countless a widowed Countess?  No, it’s not, it’s a confusing AF top 20 for fantasy baseball.  Last year, I ranked no starters in the top 20.  This year I decided to rank one so low you’d never draft him.  If you want to bemoan my low ranking of one starter, then bemoan away.  Just remember, a bemoaner sounds a bit to me like “U be a boner.”   All the positional rankings will live under the 2018 fantasy baseball rankings.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 for 2018 fantasy baseball:

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