Please see our player page for Max Stassi 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.

*insert musical note* Hello, darkness, my old friend. It’s something-something, me again. So, I don’t know the words. Are you here for musical theory or for a recap of the craziest season in recent memory? I thought so! Today’s jazz handsy recap is of the catchers. Please don’t ask if this is ranking for next year. It’s not a ranking for next year. It’s me recapping last season (last two months?). Please, for the love that all is holy, understand this. It’s all I ask of you. Well, that and shower me with praise. The latter isn’t hard, the former is. Also, remembering which is the ‘latter’ and which is the ‘former’ is hard too. Quibbles and semantics, my good man and five lady-mans. It wouldn’t be fair for me to preseason rank the players, then rank them again in the postseason based on my opinion, so these postseason top 20 lists are ranked according to our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. It’s cold hard math, y’all! Anyway, here’s the top 20 catchers for 2020 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

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This is what they call in the biz a GAP — a General Appreciation Post. It has not been a general appreciation type year, but Juan Soto (1-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and a slam (12) and double legs (4, 5), hitting .345) aka Sexy Dr. Pepper makes me wake up at quarter to 6 every morning, jump out of bed like Dicky Fox and scream, “I love Juan Soto!” Then Cougs rolls over and mutters, “865,” which is the number of times she’s said to stop screaming that first thing in the morning. Listen, it’s been a trying year, and I appreciate all of you sticking with us through what was the craziest year on memory, and I’m not gonna get choked up, because I’m way more appreciative of Juan Soto. HE’S BETTER THAN TROUT. Sorry, but Mr. Al Caps is right. Sexy Dr. Pepper is 12 years old and he’s doing things not seen since 2002 when a headless ghost Ted Williams was teaching a bone-sober and dead Babe Ruth why he was striking out so much. It’s an absolute joy to watch. I think I like Treat Urner (3-for-6, 1 run and his 11th and 12th steals) partially because he plays with Juan Soto. In 2021, I’m not sure yet if I’m going to have Juan Soto in the top two, three, four or five, but this is only the beginning of that discussion which will go until 2030, when we’re all finally stepping out of quarantine like a bunch of vampires. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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We’ve reached the home stretch. If your lineup needs a short shot in the arm heading down the stretch, look no further than Samwell Tarly lookalike, Rowdy Tellez (23.9% ESPN, 20% CBS). The Blue Jays’ power lefty has been on a tear of late and has made some really impressive gains in the plate discipline department. Tellez has cut his strikeout rate nearly in half thanks to a lowered O-Swing rate and an increased Z-Contact rate. For the year, he sports a .383 wOBA and has managed to hit lefties pretty hard. That’s kept his bat in the lineup full time. Just take a look at his Baseball Savant page, it’s full of “Red”. Tellez currently sits as the 14th ranked first-baseman on the ESPN Player Rater and has provided positive contributions in every category except stolen bases. I was very surprised to see Rowdy as low owned as he was, so scoop him up now and ride the hot hand! Let’s take a look at some other pickups to help you down the stretch.

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Welcome back to JKJ’s School of Waiver Wire Wizardry. It’s time for Lesson Two, where I hope to improve upon my decently successful Lesson One.

James Karinchak doesn’t have the closer gig like I and many others thought he would, so that’s a big time bummer, not only as-an-analyst-wise, but also multiple-Karinchak-owner-wise. Still worth a stash because Brad Hand really isn’t all that great anymore, and Karinchak is a good ratios and strikeout guy, and holds if your league counts ’em. Hand’s K-rate is still very healthy, but man he’s given up a lot of barreled balls already and the xERA is over 4. I really think it’s only a matter of time.

Colin Moran predictably has gone cold. Teoscar Hernandez a little bit as well but the BA is still healthy (for now). JaCoby Jones has been holding up nicely, at least. Oh, and that Trent Grisham guy is raking. He’s looking like a budding superstar, with the rare power and speed combo we just don’t see much in baseball anymore. I tossed in a quick note about Donovan Solano at the end, and he’s been smacking base hit after base hit since. Planned to cover him this week but his ownership rates ballooned.

Nothing to write home about with my other picks from last week. Let’s see if I do better this time around.

Remember, students, 2020 is a weird one. The hotties need to be given a shot. Don’t be the guy who looks back at the missed opportunities that could have given you your asterisk-laden fantasy baseball title! Just kidding, for the record. No asterisks this year. We’re all in this same crazy boat together.

Note: Only players in the 30th percentiles (39% or below) on either Yahoo! or ESPN are considered. All stats as of 8/7/2020. 

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If I’m putting all my cards on the table, I’m not even sure where to begin with advice. This season is just plain crazy. Figuring out who, what, where, when and why almost seems impossible. I’m certainly not the first to say this, but it seems like the best thing we can do is to play the hot hand. As Frank the Tank said, we’re going streaking! Not to show of my math skills, but in a 60-game season a 8-game hot streak is the equivalent of 21 game hot streak in a regular season. That’s one hell of a month of baseball. In years past we’ve looked at small sample sizes and pointed out that they were just that, small samples. No such thing as a small sample size in 2020.

Before I jump into a few players to whom I intend to give a shout out, I’d like to bring up a few points. With all of the game cancellations and postponements, fantasy leagues with weekly lineups just aren’t going to work. For years I’ve always hated when a player hits the IL on a Tuesday in a weekly league and I end up practically taking a zero. It seems senseless. In order for things to work, head-to-head points leagues need to have daily lineups this year. Owners need the ability to adjust to the constantly changing landscape. We need to be able to pivot. Losing a week simply because you had more players have their games canceled is garbage. Especially in a season that has so few weeks. While I realize that at this point in the fantasy season it’s too late to make these kind of changes, I still feel compelled to say so.

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(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY YESTERDAY ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $5/MONTH.)

The following happened last weekend: Bryce Harper laid on the hotel bed, on his stomach, feet up behind him, as he whispered into the hotel phone, “Tell me another story.” From the other side of the line, “I’ve told you all my stories,” replied the Phanatic. Bang! Bang! Against the hotel window, something loudly rapped. The Phanatic asked Bryce, “What’s that?” “Oh, Phillies fans have been standing outside the hotel throwing batteries at my window.” Bang! Bang! Another loud rapping. Finally, Bryce went to the window to politely ask the fans to cut him some slack. Bryce slid the window open and hanging from the side of the balcony was, “…Oh, hey, Spencer Howard? What are you doing?” “They told me I was pitching this weekend, and no one was allowed in and out of the hotel.” “No games, man. I’m just flirting–um, talking to the Phanatic.” With that Bryce closed the window, and moments later, a muffled, “Uh, could you let me in?” And Bryce shut his window’s curtains. So, Spencer Howard is being called up any day now. Prospect Hobbs gave us about 1200 words about him in his Spencer Howard fantasy, but here’s a juicy bit of tid, “Across rookie-level (just 5 1/3 innings), High-A and Double-A in 2019, Spencer Howard churned out 71 frames with 94 strikeouts to achieve a 2.03 ERA/0.83 WHIP/2.62 FIP. In producing those numbers, he cut down on his BB/9 from 3.2 in 2018 to 2.6, also finishing with a 11.2 K/9 in 2019. 30 2/3 of those innings came at the Double-A level, where he produced an equally impressive 2.35 ERA backed up closely by a 2.66 xFIP. For the complete picture, Howard pitched 211 1/3 innings across parts of three seasons in the Minors with a 3.28 ERA/1.14 WHIP, 12.0 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 and 0.4 HR/9. That’s as good as Grey is bad.” Okay, not cool, but I’m in love with Spencer, and would grab him in all leagues. By the way, regarding the title: You’ve seen one New Jersey joke, you’ve seen a mall. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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Surprised Dylan Bundy is breaking out, said no one because literally everyone said exactly that when he was traded to the Angels. Okay, maybe the O’s are surprised, but I have a feeling even they knew it was coming. They just like losing, right? “We like to be owned by the good teams.” That’s the O’s front office. Even the Pirates are like, “Damn, for Bundy, we would’ve traded you Tyler Glasnow, Austin Meadows and…well, we don’t have anyone else. You want Colin Moran?” So, Dylan Bundy was masterful yesterday, going 9 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 10 Ks, lowering his ERA to 2.08. He has changed his pitch mix in a dramatic way. Leaning way more on a slider and easing off his fastball, that has been become increasingly bleh in velocity. His command and Ks have been outstanding, but, I’ll be honest, I’m not 100% sold. Don’t get me wrong, I can be sold. I’m not saying it’s a mirage, go buy some more tigers, Steve Wynn. I’m just saying it’s 21 2/3 IP in three starts. Oh, I’d own him in 100% of leagues, but decreased velocity makes me want to see more. Promising vs. Promise Land. Me like vs. Me likey. Yummo vs. Gummo is a masterpiece. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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It’s 1993. Funny man and lady slayer, Billy Crystal hosts the Oscars; Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time becomes a bestseller because guys buy the book to put on their shelves to be a lady slayer like Billy Crystal, and a mother and father fawn over a newborn: “What do you want to name him?” “I like the name Tejay.” “I think it’s an abbreviation.” “Does it have to be?” And with that Tejay Antone was brought into the world. Yesterday, he announced himself with a start vs. the Indians of 4 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners (4 BBs), 4 Ks, ERA at 2.08, but the line might not do it justice. He had a solid number of called/swinging strikes in yesterday’s game, and his 83 MPH slider, and 80 MPH curve really dips off the table from his 96 MPH fastball. Honestly, he looked to me like a great bullpen arm, or, if he can command his stuff, a high-upside starter. I kinda drooled at some of his offerings. Don’t think he’s there yet for mixed leagues, outside of favorable Streamonator matchups, but he went from off my radar, to definitely on it. As T.J. Lavin would say to a mirror, “You’re killin’ it, Teej!” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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What’s up, everybody? We’re working our way through the shortened season while trying to avoid the COVID potholes. The Marlins will be returning to action today albeit with 19 new players as 18 players tested positive and Isan Diaz opted right on out of that clubhouse. One silver lining is the Marlins are calling up Monte Harrison to the big league club. The power/speed prospect played just 58 games in 2019 after having wrist surgery following an injury diving for a ball in the outfield. Harrison still managed 9 homers and 20 stolen bases in AAA before the injury. That’s after putting up a 19HR/28SB performance in AA the year prior. The only knock on Harrison is his plate discipline as the Marlins prospect posted strikeout rates of 36.9% and 29.9% the last two years. Although he did manage to make gains in his walk rate, raising it to 10.2% last year. With Harrison getting the call and starting his service time, the Marlins have no reason to not give him at-bats. Monte Harrison is rostered in just 1.7% of ESPN leagues and 8% of CBS Sports leagues, so if your team needs a shot in the arm, grab him now as he could help out in both homers and stolen bases. Let’s take a look at some other players that may give you a head start on your competition.

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