These will be our draft rooms, and we’ll have to adapt on the fly.
For the past few seasons, I’ve been playing extremely early NFBC Draft Champions leagues with Donkey Teeth. Have gotten into Fantrax of late, too, with B_Don and DT setting up Best Balls of multiple shapes and sizes. This allows us that Red Dead sensation of fresh powder. Open prairie. A drafter and his wits. I was shocked to learn they update the ADPs even during the first few drafts and think the drafts should maintain the starting ADPs throughout, though I suppose it only makes an impact that first month or so, and I suppose not many people are handwriting and color-coding their positional breakdowns.
I was always a geek for a deep-sea diving book or TV special. Find the Giant Squid, kind of thing. These past few years, I’ve become a geek for the depths of these draft rooms, and just this week I’ve geeked out a little getting a look at DT’s battle of the podcasts draft just now exiting round 36. I’m seeing a lot of fun names on the board beyond the 600s, so that’s where I’ll set the arbitrary line for this article.
My last fantasy team preview went live on May 1, 2020. What a simpler time! Back then we were debating the new cross-league divisions they were thinking of creating. I was a rather stupidly optimistic man who predicted we’d get a return to baseball on July 4th. Now with 10 baseball camps claiming they’ve had someone come down with the ‘VID we’ll be lucky if we even see the Long Island Ducks take on the Morristown Mud Rats. Now be honest — how many of you have already googled “NPB fantasy baseball leagues” and searched Amazon for “conversational Japanese for baseball fans?” I know it’s not just me. I’ve already got my first round draft pick lined up for my yakyu chimu: the league’s best ni-rui shu Tetsuto Yamada! He hits lots of hon-rui da and gets tons of tourui.
Come on Rob SaidFred — let’s get this league back up and running!
As with all of fantasy team preview articles this year I’m not talking about the guys you know to draft. A healthy Joey Gallo is a lock for 45 HRs. Elvis Andrus will still be one of the deepest 15/15 threats in the league. Shin-Soo Choo will continue to be the Korean God of walks until he’s 64. Instead, I like to look deeper at the teams to help you find value you might not have heard of yet — or someone who has been slipping in drafts.
Baseball, like a flower, blooms in the spring. They also share equally effusive PR people. Just the other day I read about how a petunia’s branches gained 15 pounds and was in the best shape of its life. Sure, it’s always good to look at spring training numbers to give you an idea what you can expect from guys during the season — can I draft Adalberto Mondesi yet?! Players in spring training are facing the top pitchers who are all displaying their best stuff. No one needs time to get warmed up. No one’s trying new pitches or getting a feel for the ball. They are at the height of their game in the beginning of March. Our former commissioner, Bud, once doffed his toupee and tried to have the World Series played in March. Since these spring training numbers mean so much, I decided to look at some players stats so far:
This is gonna be a weird one. Just when you think the top 20 1st basemen for 2020 fantasy baseball are stacked chef’s kiss finding a vacation home on House Hunters International, they take a left turn and become ugly like the Property Brothers. Well, mostly the one who always wears plaid. Any hoo! This post goes on for about 1.8 million words, so let’s dive in. Here’s Steamer’s 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. All projections included here are mine, and where I see tiers starting and stopping are included. Let’s do this! Anyway, here’s the top 20 1st basemen for 2020 fantasy baseball:
They say New Jersey can only be appreciated by people from New Jersey, which seems stupid. Where else can you get your ass beat over a sub while meeting the love of your life in a Wawa parking lot? Where else can you say you’re from New York when you’re from New Jersey? Where else can you win loose Newports in a boardwalk claw machine? Is there anywhere else you can simply lower the window to hide the smell of a fart? I think not! Similarly, maybe you have to own Eugenio Suarez (3-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 43rd and 44th homer, hitting .269), to appreciate him, but I just dug in on him, and there’s some concerning stats for 2020. His HR/FB% is goofy high, even though he’s hitting the ball less hard and more in the air. That’s a recipe for a plummeting batting average, and the skyrocketing Ks won’t help. His exit velocity is that of Amed Rosario; his average feet per homer is Piscottish (totally a word) and not Soleresque. The ball dripping of juice could fix all of this, but Suarez looks a lot more like a 32-homer, .255 hitter vs. this new incarnation. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Yesterday, Robinson Cano went 4-for-4, 5 RBIs and became the oldest 2nd baseman to ever hit three homers in a game (and he still has 4+ years on his contract!), hitting his 7th, 8th and 9th homers, and nearly had a fourth homer, but pulled it fowl (Mets sold the rights to their foul poles to Chick-Fil-A; don’t ask). Kill me now:
Seriously, lay me down on the hot pavement and let Tawny Kitaen stomp my genitals like I’m Chuck Finley. The awfulness of owning Robinson Cano coupled with actually owning him for a three-homer game while he’s on my bench is too much to bear. Sprinkle Doritos dust on my head, put me in an office chair, and roll me towards Billy Butler, then run the other way so you spare yourself. He was going against Chris Paddack (5 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 2.84) — my baby boo! — how could I start Cano? How? *screaming in the rain, shaking fists at the heavens* How?! So Cano hasn’t been good, but maybe this is the turnaround he needs. More than likely, I’ll now put him in my lineup for an 0-for-45 stretch. HOW?! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Welcome to the weekend fellow DFSers! We have a full 15-game slate on FanDuel for our Friday and I’m paying up for my pitcher tonight, so later in this article we’ll focus on finding some value bats. For now, let me introduce you to my main man, Gerrit Cole ($12,000). I know, I know, I’m sitting here telling you to play the most expensive pitcher on the slate. I originally started this write-up with a different title and planning a different intro, but once I dove in some more, I realized by recommending Max Scherzer, I was hyping the second best pitcher, both in terms of skills and matchup. For the season, Gerrit Cole outpaces Scherzer in both strikeout rate (38.6% to 33.3%) and SIERA (2.58 to 2.95). Both of those numbers for Cole leads all qualified starters. Today, Cole faces the Blue Jays and Scherzer gets the Diamondbacks. Toronto sits next to last in wRC+ against right-handed pitching and has the fifth highest strikeout rate. The Diamondbacks on the other hand have the 20th best wRC+ against righties and are middle of the pack in strikeout rate. Now that you know who the top pitcher on the FanDuel slate is, lets take a look at some other options, before getting to some value bats.
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The last time anything this exciting came from a Reds’ DD was Kevin Mitchell in 1994 when demonstrating his barehanded catch on Morganna. Yesterday, Derek Dietrich went 3-for-4, 6 RBIs with his 15th, 16th and 17th homers. To add insult to injury, it came against the Pirates, who earlier this year he homered off of, which sparked a benches-clearing brawl because of how he was lallygagging around the bases. For yesterday’s home runs, Dietrich would not be outdone. For his first home run, he tagged Ric Flair and had him WOOOOOOOO around the bases. A totally legal maneuver, says in the rulebook. For his 2nd homer, he stood on the shoulders of a bear on roller skates and skated around the bases. Then, not to be topped, for his third home run, the PA announcer played porn music and Dietrich stopped at every base and mimed sexual acts with the Pirates infielders. So disrespectful to the game! Ex-Marlin Dietrich has 17 homers, the entire Marlins team has 36 homers. *lays on the floor, rolls around, laughing* If only there was an acronym for that. If you drafted Dietrich, Bellinger and Yelich (a totally reasonable possibility), please drop by the comments so I can bathe in your glow. As for Dietrich, reminds me of Scooter’s breakout a few years ago. Not sure if Dietrich gets to 30+ homers–Excuse me, I should say I’m not sure if he gets to 30 homers by the All-Star break. Speaking of which, vote Derek Dietrich for the All-Star Game so he can do a three-day home trot. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Sorry, but first I must purge myself of all Yu song references. If you don’t like that, Yu Can’t Always Get What Yu Want, but, if Yu try, Yu might get what Yu need, because all Yu Need Is Love, and I Wish Yu Were Here. Yu Give Love A Bad Name, but I’m gonna Run to Yu. Even if Rick rolled, I’m Never Gonna Give Yu Up, and shut don’t go up, but Yu do. Yu Take My Breath Away when Yu pitch well, but Yu Never Give Me Your Money, which makes sense since Yu Don’t Know Me. Without or Without Yu Yu (stutterer!) can put together a solid rotation, but Yu Light Up My Life when it’s the Best of Yu. Have I Told Yu Lately he needed to cut down on his walks? Yesterday, he went 5 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 11 Ks (zero walks!), ERA at 5.14, and I Know What Yu Did Last Summer (disambiguation: song), but what about now? Don’t Yu (Forget About Me). Did the Rangers closer, Chris Martin, Fix Yu? Remains doubtful, but no walks is Arthur’s Theme (Best Yu Can Do). Any hoo! Yu Darvish might’ve been dealing with a mechanics issue, and maybe now that’s fixed. He does have a near-12 K/9, the only bugaboo is his 7+ BB/9, but if he can tame that he immediately shoots to at least a number two, and stops plopping out number twos. Do Yu Understand (ft Tory Lanez & Gunna). Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Today we have a very special Game of Thrones edition with your host, Ball-less Greyjoy. Or, I guess since it’s a Buy, as in pick up off waivers, it’s a Game of Thrones addition. To prep for the Game of Thrones finale, I pushed a kid out a window. As I get into bed with Cougs, I yell, “The one-eyed raven is here and winter is coming!” This show better not end as a Bob Newhart dream or in a snow globe of an autistic boy. As Daenerys would say, “I just flew to King’s Landing and boy are my armies tired.” I wonder if Daenerys used to be Daenery but added the S on the end like Kendrys. Speaking of which, Kendrys Targaryen has no position flexibility, and is just rigid, due to the 75 years he’s been guarding a freakin’ wall. Why does he guard the wall? Because of the dreaded White Walkers. The Night King, head White Walker, is Christian Walker. Since Kendrys Targaryen unleashed his dragon and it ate a Lamb (then burped fire), Christian Walker could see more time on the other side of the dugout wall. He’s shown good pop (who doesn’t sleep with mom who is his sister) and I’m adding him in all leagues. He hit 30+ homers in Triple-A, during his last full season there. Hopefully, George RR Martin doesn’t stop doing his bend the knee burpees at a Westeros Fitness and kill him off. Spoiler Alert! Game of Thrones ends with Fonzie jumping over a dragon. Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball: