Please see our player page for Matt Wieters 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.

Nostalgia can be a funny thing. In challenging times, especially, it can be nice to revisit things that you think back on fondly. It wraps you in a warm, comfy blanket of good memories and better times. Even now, as I’m writing this, I just put on a random 90s alternative rock/grunge playlist that I found on YouTube. I have some very nostalgic feelings about the music from that era. Alice in Chains? Yes please. Soundgarden? Mmm… so cozy. Better Than Ezra? Sure, why not. Underrated band. Tal Bachman? Ahhhh, that’s… wait, what? Joan Osborne? Brrr… it’s getting drafty in here. Savage Garden? Hey, where the hell did my blanket go? Time to pull a Randy Savage and drop the big elbow on this list. Magoo’s gettin’ angry!

Well, so much for my nostalgic musical trip. That brings us back to baseball. It’s really the ultimate source of nostalgia for me. Whether playing, watching, or getting hooked on the fantasy side of things, it’s been a constant in my life since I was about four years old. A nice, warm blanket that’s always at the ready. So to be sitting here in late April with no baseball in sight feels weird. Really weird. And while nobody really knows when or where or in what form our national pastime will return, I’m hopeful that it will at some point this year. But instead of focusing on what we can’t control, let’s focus on what we can control, shall we?

Which brings us to the topic at hand. We might not know when and where baseball will be played this season, but we can certainly choose who we want playing on our fantasy teams. With that in mind, I’ll be discussing all of the players who I’ve drafted in my fantasy baseball leagues in 2020. It might sound like a lot, but it’ll just be covering five leagues in total – four NFBC Online Championship leagues, and one NFBC Draft Champions league. For some perspective, the four OC leagues are 12 team mixed with weekly lineup locks, weekly pickups, and the following starting lineup requirements: 2 C, 1 1B, 1 2B, 1 SS, 1 3B, 1 MI, 1 CI, 5 OF, 1 Util, and 9 P. There is a 1000 innings pitched minimum, but no specific minimum or starting requirements for starting or relief pitchers. The Draft Champions is a 15 team mixed league format with the same starting lineup requirements as the OC format, except it’s a 50 round draft-and-hold with no in-season transactions. What you draft is what you’re stuck with until the end of the season. There is no trading and no injured list in both formats as well.

I’ll be breaking things down by position, briefly discussing my pre-draft strategies followed by a quick analysis of each player that I ended up pulling the trigger on. Since this article is already longer than a typical baby seal comment, I’ll just be covering catchers and corner infielders today, with middle infielders, outfielders, and pitchers soon to follow.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Last night I awoke in a rush. I was sweating, panting almost – awakened by a nightmare more ghastly than you can imagine. One more horrific than the chronic nightmares I had as a child in which the tiny troll figurines stalked my bedroom through all hours of the night. One quick Google search and I’m reliving those dreams – and it’s all too real. Yet, even such horrors do not compare to the demons which disturbed my slumber last night.

Over the past several weeks, I have been struggling to cope with the delay of the Major League Baseball season – something I’m sure you can all relate to. While trying to keep a healthy perspective concerning the real issues and concerns of the present, I have been unable to keep my mind from wandering to the darkest corners of the baseball world. Before the Coronavirus even put the MLB season on hold, I dreamed of such harsh realities taking form. *queues Danny Glover voiceover* You can call it a vision. You can call it a coincidence. I don’t care what you call it, but last night, it got worse.

I found myself walking through an unfamiliar land in which Airpods were even more popular than they are now. Wandering through the streets, I was passed by an Amazon drone engaged in an air delivery. While gazing at its sheer beauty, I stumbled through the gates of Camden Yards and a game program subsequently blew though the wind and onto my startled face. As I pulled the flier away and began to read its text – I instantly gasped in disbelief. 2023 All-Star Game: The Long-Awaited Return of the Midsummer Classic it read, with an action shot of superstar catcher Adley Rutschman spread across the front page.

As I stood in disbelief, I overheard a conversation between two young fans, arguing who indeed was the top backstop in the game, Rutschman or San Francisco’s Joey Bart. But what about J.T. Realmuto, I thought? Or the mid-career development of Willson Contreras? I continued to eavesdrop with the hope that more details would soon become clear.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You might remember ten years ago I drafted in the live LABR NL-Only auction. Okay, you don’t remember, but I do, so you’ll have to take my word for it. It was the first major league I was in. I was sailing on the wind of doves. I thought my feces smelled like Reese’s Pieces. I even joined the Local 564, a railway union, thinking LABR had something to do with that. Ah, the memories…they sure were fleeting! I was booted from the league after one year. Why? I’m not sure, but my money’s on I insulted someone. Well, ya boi’s back and he’s learned his lesson! Though, someone drafted Rhys Hoskins for $28 and I was cackling about that for a good 45 minutes. Yo, just send Rhys flowers and a ball in the dirt for him to swing through; he might respond quicker. For those of you not in the know, this is a 5×5 league with average. (If you want a shallower league, play against me and hundreds others for prizes –> Razzball Commenter Leagues.) Anyway, here’s my LABR 12-team, NL-Only draft recap:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hello, deep-league friends and acquaintances!  Welcome back to the area of Razzball where each week we dig in every little crevice we can find in hopes of discovering buried fantasy baseball treasure.  In our world we are used to having to be beggars, not choosers, when it comes to looking for free agent and waiver wire help for our fantasy baseball teams… but that just makes it all the more satisfying when we do manage to stumble upon a hidden gem.  For the most part, though, we’re just looking for everyday rocks which which we can plug the holes of our lineups — once again, here are this week’s handful of names who could, in the right circumstance, be useful to those in NL-only, AL-only, and other deep leagues.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Sometimes on a FanDuel slate the starting pitchers aren’t the shiniest objects.  Yes, there are Aces, but first basemen are the main attraction.  The stats are just too compelling.  And when it comes to production stats, ISO (Isolated Power from Fangraphs), combined with our awesome Razzball tools, is the straw that stirs the drink.  That production leads to scoring on FanDuel, which leads to winning.  More after a word from our sponsor.

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Please, blog, may I have some more?

Since the season started, us fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term!) have been listening for one distinctive sound.  The sound of TSSST.  The sound of TSSST is not a snake with a lisp.  That would be pfft.  No, no, the sound of TSSST is the sound of a Coors being opened in the summer.  A soft sizzle sound.  Yesterday, we heard our first TSSST of Coors.  Pitchers pitchslapping pitchers; hitters hitting bloop singles because everyone needs to defend against the double; ten lords of leaping onto home plate for both teams.  This is why I keep saying buy David Dahl (4-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 5th homer); buy Trevor Story (4-for-6, 3 runs); buy Daniel Murphy (3-for-5, 1 run, 3 RBIs); by Ryan McMahon (3-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 6th homer) is hopefully Brendan Rodgers (0-for-1).  If baseball is bizzonkers for home runs this year, and it is, can you imagine what Coors is going to be like?  Every visitor is going to have a great day, whether it’s Christian Walker (2-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 9th homer) or Eduardo Escobar (2-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 14th homer) like yesterday.  Though, I still wish The Grand Cronyon was in the lineup hitting them to Boulder!  (By the way, seeing a box score with Walker and McMahon both having HRs as a multiple owner of Cron/Rodgers is like seeing a picture of two guys high-fiving while treating a loved one like a Chinese finger trap.)  More on Kevin Cron in this afternoon’s Buy column because my favorite movie is Die Hard With Old Habits.  Speaking of buys (can you believe the smoothness of these segues?), buy all hitters in Coors.  Not even Daniel Murphy, but especially Daniel Murphy.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Moment of silence for the White Sox. Their gambit failed and now they’re stuck with every top free agent’s in-laws.  Their clubhouse chemistry is gonna be like Meet the Fockers but more Dominican.  Meet the Focktinez!  “That’s my cat, Señor Mal Suerte.  He uses el bano all by lonesome.”  That’s Yonder Alonso.  Bryce Harper’s dad eyes Señor Mal Suerte, then replies to Yonder, “You can milk anything with nipples.  Even Yolmer Sanchez.”  Any hoo!  Bryce Harper finally signed with the Phillies.  Halleberrylujah!  It’s not even Easter and baseball season has already risen!  Bryce Harper returns to the City of Brotherly Love, where he first visited with the Phillies’ front office six months ago.  “We want you to be a Philadelphia Phillie.”  “I want $330 million.”  “Okay.”  Then six months later, “You’ve got a deal!”  Harper and Boras drive one hard bargain.  They accept the first deal they’re given, but nearly a half year after they’re given it.  Bryce Harper’s gonna love playing in Philly.  They have the best fans in the world.  They’ve already announced May 1st is Rain Batteries On Bryce’s Head Day.  A crowd favorite, for sure.  I don’t think this changes anything about my preseason projections for him, tee bee aitch.  I always assumed he’d end up in Philly, New York or with the White Sox, because, brucely, those were the only three teams ever serious about him.  Maybe the Giants, but let’s just be glad that didn’t happen.  In my top 20 for 2019 fantasy baseball, I kept his projections.  Only difference now will be if Gabe Kapler and Bryce’s dad get into an arm wrestling fight, and Daddy Harper wins and Bryce is randomly benched for Scott Kingery.  Also, I updated the top 80 outfielders and top 100 outfielders for Roman Quinn and Nick Williams, respectively, and my War Room has been updated.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, Gary Sanchez went 2-for-4, 4 RBIs and his 17th homer, hitting .184.  As I’ve mentioned, I’m busy on the backend of the site doing year-end recaps for every position, and, yes, even the catchers, which will be released after the season ends.  With that said, did good ol’ Gary have the worst season ever for a consensus number one at a position?  Was it consensual?  “Why ya gotta put the word sensual in consensual?” every man in 2018.  By the by, was there a grabby hands discount coupon at GropeOn that I missed?  Sanchez’s year makes Cervelli look like a first ballot Hall of Famer.  And, if there’s ever a wing for concussions, I hope Cervelli’s CTE is one day in there.  Sanchez might be the first person to ever achieve exactly half of his preseason projections.  Even his batting average is about half of what was expected.  For 2019, I could see him recovering, but I won’t be the one to draft him to find out.  In other words, I’ll be bringing out major hedges with Sanchez, while drafting Austin Hedges.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Corey Kluber (7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 2.83, and his 1st 20-win season) just passed Trevor Bauer with 216 Ks, giving the Indians four guys with 200 Ks.  They may not even win as many games as the Rays, but you’re really coming for the Indians in the playoffs?  I predict a red-blooded, all-American Indians-Braves World Series.  “Hello, my name is Woke Wally.  Yes, I’m wearing a badge that reads, ‘Woke.’  I received this honorary badge as a participation trophy from my wife, Margaret.  Do you know what I was participating in?  Citizenry!  I’m here at your sheriff’s office to file a formal complaint on behalf of the millions affected by a casually racist World Series.”  The Stream-o-Nator lines Kluber up vs. the Royals for his final game, but I can’t imagine he throws more than three innings in that start, and is likely just skipped.  For 2019, Kluber is once again going to be way out of reach for me, like an imaginary tassle on the end of a Braves fan imaginary tomahawk.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Padres began yesterday by lifting their brown, monk robe they purchased from the Dan Brown collection and showed their first twig of the prospect tree they have cloaked beneath:  Luis Urias.  Whenever you hear the Padres fans shout about their MI prospect — they scream, “Our Luis Urias,” and they sound like John McEnroe barking at a line judge.  BTW, you know you’re old if you’ve ever asked a barber to give you a Jimmy Connors, and then complained after they gave you a Pete Rose.  Podcaster Ralph and I go over Luis Urias on today’s pod, but, I will give you the general gist, which was also my high school band name.  You might remember General Gist from such noteworthy songs as, “Keep Me Near You Or Thereabouts.”  Urias is a solid all-around bat, think .300 hitter, without huge power or speed.  He’s young though, which means he could blossom, so remain calm.  For now, I will call you, Zen Bobrist.  I would grab him if you’re struggling at MI to see if he can catch fire and master Zen and the Art of MI Maintenance.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?