In the spreadsheet I released this past Sunday there was a column on the “Rankings” tab labeled “Draft Score”. Several of you asked in the comments section what it meant. I thought I’d take this opportunity explain. And while I’m at it, I also thought I’d point out some players that stick out as obvious draft day bargains according to their estimated draft score.

Here is my response to the inquiries about draft score with a few minor modifications.

FVARz dictates a player’s value compared to the rest of the players. We get there by determining each players’ value above the replacement player at his position. The replacement player is the player you can get off the wire.

A simple example is if you are in a 10-team league and you start only one 2B, then your league really only cares about 10 second basemen. The 11th 2B is considered the replacement 2B. It’s a little more complicated than that in that we probably care about 12 second basemen making the 13th the replacement, but it should give you the idea.

So when choosing between two players, use FVARz. Draft score is just indicator as to whether you are getting good value at the pick. However, I’d always take the player with the higher FVARz regardless of draft score.

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The American League West. Home to the defending World Series Champion Houston Astros. Home to the best player in baseball. Is that Mike Trout or Shohei Ohtani? Home to the team that has a need for speed, as the Seattle Mariners acquired Dee Gordon. Can some of that speed and “other stuff” be transferred to the arm of Felix Hernandez? Home to the only team that has had a Bush own the team, pitch for the team, and had, not one, but two POTUS’s. Or is it POTI? Home to the team with the second-lowest payroll in all of baseball. The Oakland Athletics are at $50.7 million for the 2018 season, while the Boston Red Sox have a $229.7 million payroll for the upcoming season. Ladies and gentlemen, the American League West.

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

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The hits keep coming as Castle Grey-Shitz is ready to make your dreams come to true. Then again maybe your dreams don’t come true, and instead your team comes crashing down around you, leaving you preparing for your fantasy football draft in late May. Try and avoid that, listen to Grey’s top 20 Third Basemen post, and use this podcast as your book on tape. Draft good players, win your league! We can help! This is turning into an infomercial and not the introduction to a podcast. Where did I go off the rails? Any who, here we are, third basemen; Machado, Arenado, Bryant, Ramirez, Rendon, and the whole gang. We go about 30 deep on this one, giving you all the jewels and gems that Mobb Deep dropped on ‘Em. We talked to ‘Em and recovered the gems. Oh yeah, Third base be deep yo! Finally, please make sure to support our sponsor by heading over to 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:

**On a more somber note, a member of the Razzball extended family was touched by the tragedy that took place last week in Parkland, Florida. Our very own numero uno sponsor Kenneth Cashman lives in the Parkland area, and one of his neighbors, and the niece of one of his close friends, Gina Montalto was amongst the victims. The family has setup a Memorial Scholarship in her honor, and it would be much appreciated if all of you could do your part by donating, liking, sharing or retweeting. You can get involved by clicking here. **

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Our 2018 Razzball Commenters Leagues are in full signup mode.  I even heard there were a few people from Anonymous that signed up!  They said, “To the world, I’m Anonymous, just another white man who sits in parking lots with binoculars watching women.”  Man, that Anonymous guy is depressing!  As we always do about this time, I eviscerate the haters and complicators!  I eviscerate the not-knowers and the over-knowers!  I eviscerate the ESPN goers and the garden hoers!  I overuse a word like eviscerate that I just learned!  I am the Fantasy Master Lothario (don’t abbreviate it) and I’ve come for your children!  See, because blog writing doesn’t pay so well, I’ve taken a second job as a bus driver, so I’m literally here for your kids.  Like a baller!  A shot caller!  An “I’m outside of Hot Topic at the maller!”  My eviscerating (I’m conjugating my new word!) today comes at the expense of ESPN and their 2018 fantasy baseball rankings.  To the tune of Baby Blue (Feat. Chance the Rapper) by Action Bronson:

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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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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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The concept is simple: phrase hypothetical scenarios where events that didn’t happen actually did, or events that did happen actually didn’t (I’m already confused). Detailing how these changes – or lack thereof – would have impacted the coming 2018 fantasy baseball season creates some interesting “what ifs”.

What if Giancarlo Stanton didn’t adjust his mechanics?

For anybody with an idea of what Giancarlo Stanton looked like in the box from years prior, his shift from June to July of 2017 was noticeable – very noticeable. While I often find more satisfaction in subtle changes – 2017 Chris Taylor comes to mind – if a change pushes said player into the MVP discussion, I put my particulars aside.

I’ve always found Stanton’s motions in the box exceptionally rhythmic. Flat bat, considerable bat speed, two-handed follow through with a uniquely refined path to contact that creates head-scratching home runs like this one.

Stanton closed off his stance considerably, becoming an aesthetic comp to Adrian Beltre, plus 20 pounds and six inches (of height – get your mind out of the gutter!).  “” has a nice breakdown of this evolution, despite having nothing to do with Barry Manilow or whatever a “tewk” is. Their freeze frame gif captures the gradual rotation of Stanton’s upper body prior to the pitch, making his numbers more visible to the pitcher.

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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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Can you name the top five in the AL for batting average?  I’m talking those qualified.  The person who said Erik Kratz for being 1-for-1 on the year is unqualified to answer.  By the way, if you’ve taken too many quaaludes to answer, does that mean you’re unquaaludified?   I pose this question to you while sprawled on a tiger-skin carpet like Burt Reynolds in a centerfold for Cosmopolitan.  “Loni, feed me grapes, would you doll face?”  Totally making current references right now.  The top 5:  Altuve, Avisail Garcia, Hosmer, Reddick and Jose Ramirez.  Yo, batting average leaders nowadays are weird.  There’s only ten guys in the league over .300, and two of them are Joe Mauer and Lorenzo Cain.  Yesterday, Avisail went 5-for-5, 2 runs, 7 RBIs and his 17th homer, as he hits .333.  Let me be the first to tell you, he has not really broken out like your teenaged face.  He’s hitting 52% ground balls, a .397 BABIP (!), not even top 70 for Hard Contact percentage, a high HR/FB% for him and still only has 17 homers.  There’s very little to point to that he’s breaking out, and not just getting crazy lucky.  Now watch him win the batting title and go full Terry Pendleton.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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So, where does Mookie Betts go in 2018?  That’s what we all want to know, right?  That and WHAT TIME IS IT?!  Sorry, was listening to Steppin’ To The A.M.  I was not listening to Time to Get Ill, however, because I don’t like the Beastie Boys, but it might be more appropriate with The Bettsie Boy, Mookie.  Home run distance is a weird thing.  Well, maybe not weird, but hard to trust.  Yeah, that’s the ticket, said like that Jon Lovitz character.  In hindsight, it’s obvious.  Mookie had so many Just Enough home runs last year, of course, he’s not hitting as many this year, but I thought there would be enough mitigating factors to lessen Betts’ drop off.  He’s young — power still peaking; he’s in a good park — Pesky/Wall; the lineup — oh, that lineup.  Didn’t play out that way for power and average.  His average is nearly fifty points off of last year, and his power will end likely down about five homers from last year.  Not huge?  Well, that is around a 15% drop — even after his big game yesterday of 3-for-5, 6 RBIs and his 20th and 21st homer.  So, what does all this mean for next year?  I think he’s going to be undervalued, and I expect a bounce back of sorts.  Likely closer to a 27-homer guy than his 30+ last year, but there’s no way he hits near-.265 as he is right now.  He’s hitting as many line drives as last year, hitting the ball harder, in general, and a .267 BABIP.  He’s gotta be one of the unluckiest hitters this year.  He’s basically hitting line drives up the middle, but a squirrel is knocking it down into a fielder’s glove.  Maybe he’s not Mookie Best this year, but I’m not counting out Mookie Ballgame yet.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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