Please see our player page for Ozzie Albies 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.

Well, just over one week into the season, who is ready to dump Ozzie Albies and who is ready to trade the farm for Chris Owings? OK, no one with a functioning brain will do any of those two things, but that is the reaction some fantasy owners are feeling at this point of the fantasy season.

If this were the middle of July, a bad week from Albies and a hot week from Owings wouldn’t move the needle much in the fantasy world. But when the season is brand new, who’s who and who’s not leads to excess celebration or hair pulling. These rankings will reward those who produced and punish those who had a bad stretch of play – though there are always exceptions as we have to look forward and not always in the rear view mirror.

With that in mind, you won’t see Albies sitting at the top of the rankings as the best second baseman – but he is still ranked. Six players who weren’t ranked in the final preseason rankings are now listed below, though one of them – Jonathan India – was a player to watch during those final rankings. So let’s stop wasting time and get to the rankings.

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The season is a week old which means we finally have some real data to analyze. So let’s overreact to all of it.  The best part about the early weeks of the season are the lesser known guys come out swinging and light the world on fire. First on the list is Akil Baddoo who is here to save your fantasy season. If you haven’t picked him up yet, stop reading right now and go grab him. You can ride the molten lava hot start while it lasts. Naturally the average will come down at some point but the power should remain and he has the tools to be stay in your lineup all season. He’s taking the league by storm after smacking a home run in his first at bat with his parents in the stands. It’s Baddoo’s world and we’re all just fortunate to be living in it. 

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In just a few short days, the screams of “play ball” will be yelled on baseball fields across Major League Baseball  – finally. The darkness of winter is finally giving way to the warmth of the sun and the sounds of baseball. Even better, the cheers of fans will once again be heard in baseball stadiums in anticipation of the first pitch.

The start of the season also means the endless hours spent pouring over statistics and coming up with intricate formulas to create the perfect ranking list for players at each position is coming to an end. Instead, we can all rank a player based on his actual current performance. That gut hunch you had about Gavin Lux will either be proven right, making you look smart for taking him a three rounds ahead of the his ADP,  or  leave you looking foolish for reaching on an unproven player.

These rankings first appeared more than a month ago, at a time when drafts had yet to happen or were just starting. The rankings weighed several factors – position eligibility, re-draft league value, dynasty league value and just the good ol’ gut hunch factor. With the season nearly here, the top 25 second baseman rankings have some players in new slots and some new players being ranked altogether.

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I’m sure many of you have spent countless hours pouring over Grey’s 2021 fantasy baseball rankings to see who he’s got way higher than anyone else. Grey’s rankings are great but they’re focused on categories so they don’t tell the whole picture for points leagues. For example, average isn’t important for points. Yes a higher average means more hits but you also get points for walks as well. What we’re really looking for is total bases. I still highly recommend that you check out Grey’s thoughts because he knows what he’s doing, but mostly he’s pretty entertaining. 

Now onto points leagues. I crunched some numbers behind the scenes to see who should get shifted in the ranks. Basically made my own simplified version of malamoney’s spreadsheet using the Razzball/Steamer projections and what seems to be the standard scoring system. The result is some cold hard data on who’s going to do what this season. 

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Hey malamoney! What? The points league community called. And? They want the damn spreadsheet. Ohhhhh… the spreadsheet. I could do a two hour rant on how much I dislike creating the spreadsheet. I’m not kidding. I absolutely love having it on draft day, and enjoy sharing it with you fine individuals (well most of you at least), but to say that putting it together was a chore would be an understatement. Perhaps it would be easier if I used a single source for projections, but that feels dirty to me. I like to gather multiple (reliable) sources and average them together along with my own homegrown blend. Then I take that result and average them all together again, but this time I include the results of the first averaging. I’m pretty sure it’s some flavor of the kind of math they teach in the elementary schools these days.

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March, a month where the snow is hopefully gone, trees and flowers start to bud and bloom, and the days start to grow long once again. For those of in the south March just means we get to spend another weekend mowing the lawn. But as baseball fans flock or social distance in flocks to Florida and Arizona to see their favorite teams get ready for the season, March is also the month for fantasy players to draft teams and dream of winning championships.

There are numerous types of leagues, from redraft leagues to dynasty leagues. Which league you prefer will greatly influence how you draft. Redraft leagues are great, but they are more for those who like instant gratification. You draft, you win, you start over next year. Dynasty leagues are for those who like to build something and see it last. These leagues require you not to just think about today, but next year and the year after that.  Thus, it requires you to think differently when drafting your team, with potential and youth being more important than a known quantity and experience.

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Steals might ain’t got no face, but team stolen base attempts definitely do got yes face. (Totally crushed this lede!)

Today we’re going to get into something that normally makes fantasy baseball FAR superior to fantasy football in my opinion: coaching decisions. You could have the best wide receiver in the game, but whoopsie daisy — Mike McCarthy decides he wants to run the ball a lot today. Now you’re out $500. At least with fantasy baseball, the manager will always put his best lineup on the field and it is completely up to the hitter to do his job. The coach isn’t telling him “Hey you, I don’t even want you to swing up there.” 

Today’s article deals with managerial decisions on the basepath — specifically the stealing of second base. I’m going to let you in on some secrets on which managers have itchy trigger fingers when they have a runner on first with an empty base 90 feet away and those who are a bit gun shy when it comes to sending their runners. (Wow with all the violent imagery. What is this, CPAC?) 

First, some alarming data — here are the average manager second base stolen base attempt percentages from the past 10 years. (Analytic nerds will soon refer to this stat as MASBSBAP.) 

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I added You ever get home from a trip to the grocery store, look at what you bought and then wonder if you forgot something? You haven’t? Well, then you either have a personal shopper or you are still living at home with the parents. But for us old timers, it happens more than we like to admit. Doesn’t matter if we have our list and checked it twice, there is always something that we forget after hearing some nagging voice from the other room asking if you got the toothpaste, or enough food to cook well balanced meals for the week. Hey, I remembered to add extra cookies and ice cream, what more do you need?

Anyway, that is kind of how it feels when revisiting the Top 25 Second Baseman for 2021 Fantasy. Everything that was on the shopping list was added to the cart, especially the protein, vegetables and fruits. Knowing I had enough food to prepare some good meals, I paid for everything, got home and then heard that voice from the other room, “are you sure you remembered everything?” Hmmm, did I get enough dairy and grains? Do I like the dairy and grains that I got?

After coming home from the grocery store and putting everything up and feeling good about myself, that voice from the other room asked “Dylan Moore doesn’t make your top 25? Speed is real but hitting a fluke last year?” Crud, did I overlook that block of cheddar cheese at the store? In short, yes. I’m still not sold on Moore. But he is deserving of a spot in the Top 25. So let’s examine Moore a bit further.

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Donkey Teeth and B_Don are joined by a perennial podcast guest favorite, Tim McLeod of Prospect 365. Every pre-season Tim is kind enough to jump on the podcast to discuss the newest crop of Japanese and Korean league signings across the majors. We ask him to give us the down low on Ha-Seong Kim, Kohei Arihara, Chris Flexen, and Matt Moore. We also ask Tim what he expects from some of the other Asian league signings from recent years like Yusei Kikuchi and Yoshi Tsutsugo.

We then turn our attention to a couple of Tim’s leagues as he recently drafted in the mixed LABR league with our own Rudy Gamble. Plus, Tim has agreed to join the RazzSlam for the first time this season. We start by asking him what he thinks of the RazzSlam and give him the 4-1-1 on the league setup before asking him what his strategy might be. Finally, we wrap up with Tim’s LABR team from his first 4 picks to some of the prospect picks we’ve come to expect from the great Tim McLeod.

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I feel like I say this every year around this time — but I LOVE keeper leagues. Especially all the crazy rules and context to them. “If you drafted him in the 13th round, he becomes a 10th round keeper next year, then a 4th round keeper the year after that, then a 1st the year after that. And if you keep him in the 1st you can’t keep anyone else with a 1st.” or “If you bought him for $5 his inflation becomes $18 in 2022. Then in 2023 he’ll be $31.43” or “You can’t keep anyone in the first 5 rounds, because one year Smitty somehow kept Miggy, A-Rod, Barry Bonds, Albert Pujols and Roy Halladay and broke the league.” And let me tell you — I love ALL of it. Your league’s crazy rules are what make it unique and interesting. Navigating this craziness is part of the fun. So these are just my rankings for your standard, vanilla 5×5 roto league. But my favorite part of this article — is always in the comments helping you guys breaking down your crazy keeper rules and making the best choices. So get down there and tell me your league’s crazy keeper system and how I can help you make your best decision! 

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