Please see our player page for Trea Turner 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.

Yesterday, Stephen Strasburg went 6 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 2 walks, 8 Ks. And, um. That’s roughly one-thousand percent surprising. Take every cat that’s every jumped out of a closet in a movie and put ’em together and you have a catomic bomb of shock and it’s less shocking than how well Strasburg pitched. Take the “I see dead people” twist and put it in The Crying Game “ding dong” twist and that’s nowhere nearly as surprising. Take a surprise party where the guest of honor has a heart attack and you have something, okay, about that surprising. Yet. Dot dot dot. Still don’t trust Strasburg. If you have him, then I wish you well, but it would not be me. Now I’m simply second-guessing whether or not my fears were for naught. By the way, try to say “naught” without sounding like you’re in a movie in South Boston with Ben Affleck. You simply cannot. “Where’s my munchkins?” “I went to Dunkies and they were out.” “Naught?” “Naught.” See what I mean? Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It seemed like a nothing move at the time. Just a transactional move that people would forget about within hours, if not minutes. Just ten days ago, the Nats announced they would be demoting Carter Kieboom. Then, before leaving town, Carter Kieboom watered down all the hand sanitizer. Now Patrick Corbin, Yan Gomes, Josh Bell, Brad Hand (ah HA!), Will Harris, Josh Harrison, Alex Avila, Jon Lester, Jordy Mercer and Kyle Schwarber are all on the IL, as the Nats recalled Luis Garcia and Kieboom. “Kieboom goes my flight to the minors!” That’s Carter Kieboom as he mixed a cocktail of Palmolive and Capri Sun into the hand sanitizer bottles. “These stupid straws!” That’s Kieboom struggling to get the juice out of the plastic-metal pouches. Wow, Kieboom is not being very stealth. So, it sucks if you had Hand, Schwarber, Corbin, Bell…Well, the guys there you might’ve had. Hopefully, they all return shortly. For all these moves, the only guy I grabbed in leagues was Tanner Rainey, who might now get saves, but Daniel Hudson is also there, so that’s a crapshoot too. “All these crapshoots and I should clean my hands…Hey, why does this soap smell like tropical punch?” Off to the side, snickering, “More like Crappy Sun!” Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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?

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. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

One time. That’s all I’m asking for. One time where all the BABIPs and xWOBACONs in the universe align to propel me to the $150,000 grand prize in the NFBC Main Event. I understand that I’m a huge long shot, especially given the fact that it’s my first time in this contest. But remember that movie Little Giants, where a bunch of rag-tag underdogs coached by Rick Moranis went on to beat the clearly superior Cowboys? That movie gives me hope that even the biggest long shots can come through sometimes. One of the pivotal moments in the Giants’ upset victory was when Rudy Zolteck let out a huge fart and cleared the running lanes for Johnny “Viper” Vennaro.  I may not be planning to let out any massive farts during the draft (unless I accidentally pick Hyun-Jin Ryu) but I do think there’s a path for things to fall into place and for me to take down the overall. Another thing Little Giants taught me is the importance of preparation. While they had the Annexation of Puerto Rico playcall queued up for the game’s most important moment, I’ll have my “Mapping out the Main Event” pulled up throughout my draft.  This is the 3rd and final installment of that series, where I take you through rounds 9-1 and provide you with the finished hypothetical product. If you’ve missed out on the first two parts of this series, check them out here and here. Remember y’all, we’re building this team backwards with a focus on constructing a balanced team that can compete in all 10 roto categories. I’ll give you my main target in each round as well as outline  one back-up option if I miss on my main target. Let’s get to it. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I don’t get it. This…this…this “pitchers have to be drafted early” …thing! Am I the only one who lived through the last baseball season? Even if you were to say to me, “I always draft starters early,” I’d say you’re living in some kind of goofball world made out of unicorns and iPhones that don’t correct the F word to duck. But fine! If this were a normal year. “If this were a normal year” is the ying, the yang, the sun and the moon. No pitchers are going to throw a lot of innings. Less innings means Gerrit Cole, if he’s the best pitcher, and the tenth best starter are going to be closer together. Pitchers as pancakes. Have one, and it’s Yum City, population: You. Have two, and it’s solid, great. Have three and it’s, “Do you have blueberries or something for these?” Have four and it’s, “Well, I liked my first two.” Have five and it’s, “I want bacon.” Have six and it’s, “I don’t even remember liking the first two anymore, and I never want to see another pancake.” All these guys taking starters crazy early are eating pancakes. Before I even drafted a starter, one team took Cole, Woodruff and Glasnow! “Cole…cool, cool. Yum City!…Woodruff…Um, yeah, but maybe I can get some blueberries or something…Tyler Glasnow? Stop! I’m diabetic!” For those unfamiliar, this is a standard 5×5, 16-team league, and, since it’s Yahoo, it’s 4 outfielders and two UTIL. As always, I used Rudy’s War Room, which is available with a subscription to our Razzball Tools. Anyway, here’s my Yahoo Friends & Family draft recap:

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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.

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.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s a relatively rare feat to witness a player finish in the top-two overall on the Razzball player rater as well as in NL MVP voting two consecutive seasons, then follow up such elite fantasy production with a 99th percentile exit velocity, 98th percentile hard hit rate and 88th percentile xwOBA in the third year to follow. That’s two years of high-end, top-two fantasy production followed by sexy batted ball metrics in the third year. What’s even rarer is to see a player with that exact profile currently possessing an ADP of 12th overall in drafts entering the 2021 season. Impossible, you say? Well, so is the story of Christian Yelich. And although we all know those batted ball metrics don’t tell the full story of Yelich’s 2020, we can at least all agree that his current ADP is straight-up bonkers, right? Especially when considering that Yelich’s two consecutive seasons in the top two on the Razzball player rater (2018, 2019) represented full seasons, while his disastrous 2020 campaign came in an abbreviated 60-game slate. What is this madness — and how can you capitalize on it as a fantasy owner this upcoming season?

Please, blog, may I have some more?