Please see our player page for Tim Anderson 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.

Howdy, folks.

Another doozy of a week. I don’t know what it is about this year, but hamstrings and shoulders are DOOMED. Feels like 90% of the injuries I keep getting updates about are “hamstring tightness” or “pulled up lame” or “sore shoulder” or “shoulder inflammation.” Ugh.

If by some stroke of insane luck you’ve managed to avoid injury to this point, no doubt this week the fantasy baseball gods deemed you unworthy after all. I told you in the title that I had bad news. Well, let’s get to it:

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Fernando Tatis Jr. went down in a heap after a swing, and I fell off my couch, rolled three feet and laid there for twenty minutes until Ted, my dog, placed his butt on my face, the sign we mutually agreed on for “he needs to be walked.” Outside, we spotted two pigeons teaching a third how to fly again with broken wings. I stood by that hopeful scene signing Mr. Mister, “Take these broken wings…and learn to fly again, learn to live so free,” and I was briefly uplifted. Then, the branch they were perched on fell, and deposited all three in front of traffic. Feathers blew up in my face, triggering my allergies and I told Ted, “Let’s go home and sob under some blankets.” It’s impossible to know fully, until the Padres say one way or the other, but you’d have to think that Tatis only injures himself on a swing if he was playing hurt already. As of this writing, the Padres are saying a partial dislocation, which would mean weeks vs. months, and would be relatively good news. Also, if you can even think about next steps, I grabbed Jurickson Profar, and Jake Cronenworth and Ha-Seong Kim should see an increase in playing time. I await further news while securely under these blankets. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Welcome to one of the busiest Monday slates of the year as almost every team is playing today We are nearing the end of the rotation at the start of the week which usually lends itself to you having to ponder whether you really want to put Julio Teheran (Yuk!) or Trevor Williams (Oh Boy) in your lineup in order to get to that juicy Dodger stack. Luckily for us, the COVID gods have spoken, and deemed us not worthy enough to have watched a great opening day matchup between Jacob deGrom ($11,000) and Max Scherzer. The fallout from that being we get to put him in our lineup today! Now how fun is that right? DeGrom looked fantastic this spring mixing his 4 pitches like a puppet master pitching 13 innings and only allowing 1 ER while striking out 21. Although Spring Training games mean very little he did face the Astro regulars three times. DeGrom brings a 38.8% strikeout rate from last year and only seems to be getting better with age. He faces a good Philadelphia Phillies lineup tonight but a lineup that is prone to strikeouts which is just up DeGrom’s alley. In an uncanny weirdness to the schedule, he has only started a game against the Phillies 1 game out of the last 28 game he has started going back to last season. Start him with extreme confidence no reason to get cute here.

New to FanDuel? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well, be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

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Last year is officially behind us!

Months after the Dodgers defeated the Rays in the World Series to cap the most unique season Major League Baseball has ever seen, followed by countless offseason moves and meaningless exhibition games, the baseball season has thankfully begun.

Of course, it is impossible to completely put the past behind us. For the Mets and Nationals, they must think that they are still stuck in 2020 as their season-opening series was wiped out due to the COVID virus affecting a host of Washington players. But for everyone else, every hit, home run and strikeout now count. That means we are all checking how our fantasy teams five or six time a not to see how our players are doing on the field.

Gone are the endless updates of our preseason rankings as we prepared for drafts. Now the fun part starts – tracking the players and their performance as the season unfolds. Will the top players perform as expected, or will one of them pull a Christian Yelich or Jose Altuve on us and stink it up all season. With only a handful of games in the books, the Top 25 Shortstop Rankings are basically the same as they were a month ago, but there has been some player movement.

So without further adieu, lets get to the rankings.

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Early season DFS can feel like a crapshoot.  We have nothing but history , some spring training games and hunches to go by.  One of those hunches is that Joe Musgrove ($8,600) is going to be a top 30 starter this season.  Joe upped his K-rate in a major way last season and did enough to catch the eye of A.J. Preller.  To be fair, it appears half the league caught Preller’s eye, but still.  I am excited to see what Musgrove can do with an actual offense behind him and the most pitcher-friendly of parks.  While I’m not sure the 12.5 K/9 of last season (in 39.2 IP) will stick around through a 162 game season I do think we can expect 10+.  Arizona has some talent, but it’s still some time away from being a force to be reckoned with, leaving Musgrove a clear path to a win, a half dozen or so strikeouts and a whole bunch of FanDuel points.  He’s the top pitcher on the board today and we get him as the fourth priced option.  It’s an early season gift.

New to FanDuel? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well, be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!

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My final final final final draft of the year. Believe it was four finals, might’ve been five finals. Finally, the final final, as we extend our arms and coax into the 2021 fantasy baseball season. HalleBerrylujah, we’ve made it. Since this is my fourth or fifth final final draft of the season, I decided to throw everything to do with ADP out the window.

I mentioned at one point in the draft, I wonder what a draft would look like if all players were simply listed alphabetically rather than by ADP, or some arbitrary ranking by someone I don’t trust. It would likely mean at least one person would autodraft Andrew Abbott, but besides that I think it would change the entire draft landscape. Whether people want to believe it or not, they are influenced by the in-draft rankings. When it says a player is the next hitter or pitcher off the board, they don’t sit there for very long. Well, except for Sixto Sanchez in our league who went in the last round to Coolwhip. When you ignore ADP, it feels. Dot dot dot. Freeing. The most YOLO of drafts incoming. Anyway, here’s my RCL draft recap, 12-team mixed league:

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With your NCAA tournament bracket now busted due to the rash of upsets this weekend, you can turn your attention back to baseball. In fact, why was your attention even turned away from baseball? With less than two weeks until the start of the regular season, spring training starts to take on a little bit of importance. OK, who am I kidding? We don’t need spring training to know who the top shortstops are, especially in 12-team mixed leagues.

However, there are plenty of 16-, 18- and 20-team leagues and thus a much larger player pool you need to dip into. Additionally, many deep leagues still require a middle infielder in addition to needing a starting shortstop. Depth is critical in deep leagues, and finding that gem late in the draft can be the difference between winning and losing a league.

With players locked into battles for a starting job, the spring training stats we overlook could help determine if Nico Hoerner earns the starting job with the Chicago Cubs or starts the season in the minor leagues. Or maybe a player you are tracking as a sleeper is having a horrible spring and doesn’t deserve to be on your watch list right now.
However, there are plenty of 16-, 18- and 20-team leagues. The player pool you need to dip into is greatly expanded when you have that many teams. Additionally, many deep leagues like these still require a middle infielder in addition to needing a starting shortstop. Depth is critical in deep leagues, and finding that gem late in the draft can be the difference between winning and losing a league. 

With players locked into battles for a starting job, the spring training stats we overlook could help determine if Nico Hoerner earns the starting job with the Chicago Cubs or starts the season in the minor leagues. Or maybe a player you are tracking as a sleeper is having a horrible spring and doesn’t deserve to be on your watch list right now.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

March is here, and that means one thing: filling out a bracket or two for March Madness. Oh, wait, wrong sport.

In the world that really matters, it is fantasy baseball drafting season. For many, that means after hours and months of going over every player and compiling your own rankings and checking them twice, it is time to match wits against others and quickly learn that the perfect mock draft you created for yourself needs to be thrown out of the window after the second round.

When it comes to fantasy baseball, there are seeming a gazillion types of leagues you can join, from the stats that are going to be used, whether it a head-to-head or points league to the number of teams in the league. Also, is the league a redraft league or are you starting a new dynasty league. That is an important factor, because if it is a dynasty league, how you build your team is very different from a redraft league – or at least it should be.

We all want to win right away, but in dynasty leagues the goal is to win not just this season, but for multiple seasons. If you draft a team that is reliant on older players, you may do well this year, even next. But you don’t want to win just now. You want to win every year. So with the goal of building a team that wins today, tomorrow and three years from now, below is my list of Top 25 Shortstops for dynasty leagues.

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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 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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