Please see our player page for Trevor Story 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.

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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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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I’m a big fan of the everyman. I consider myself the everyman. I’m every man’s everyman. A pioneer of normcore. Track pants and a blinking light on my car’s dashboard that either means my seatbelt isn’t on or I need oil. That is me. What better way to elevate the Everyman Culture, than to take part in a tourney where no one is smarter than anyone else. Enter the RazzSlam, a Best Ball tourney.  Every everyman likely knows what a Best Ball league is, but, if you don’t, it’s when you draft a team and the computer manages it for you by choosing who are your best players, and you get those stats. It’s basically one fantasy league removed from the robots taking over and killing us all. Well, the last laugh is on you robots, there’s a virus beating you to the punch! Kinda love that Razzball is putting on a tourney (hosted by NFBC — thank you!) that no one really has any clue how to strategize against. A true everyman experience. Oh, I’m sure there’s a few people who think they know the best strategy for, uh, Best Ball, and a few of them might be right, but there’s an under 1% chance they know why they’re right, and it isn’t just luck. In some ways, Best Ball leagues are a lot like Best Ball strategies. Throw a ton of them out there and a few good ones will rise to the top through sheer force of players’ performances and nothing you’re actually doing. That’s the fun. Anyway, here’s my RazzSlam, a 42-round, Best Ball 12 team draft recap:

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A friend of mine Pete Gabriel looked at my team and said, “This team is going to be a sledgehammer!” Then after a brief pause said, “I didn’t capitalize sledgehammer, and I am in no way related to Peter Gabriel or Peter Gabriel’s estate. Any potential confusion is just unfortunate mistake. Please don’t sue me.” Then after filling out a ten-page contract clearing him of any liability, he said, “Your hitting will go boom, boom, boom! Son,” he said, “Grab your things, your hitters will drive guys home!” Then, after a lengthy reconfirmation that he was 100% unrelated to Peter Gabriel, he said, “The light…the heat…Your team is complete in your eyes.” Then quickly added, “But I didn’t sing any of that so don’t confuse me, Pete Gabriel, with the Grammy-winning singer, Peter Gabriel.” It’s exhausting hanging out with that guy. For those unaware, this league is 5×5 with OBP instead of AVG, two-catcher, 12-team NL-Only league. Anyway, here’s my Tout Wars draft recap:

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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?

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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Draft season is upon us and it is time to unveil the inaugural Top 100 Hitter Rankings for the 2021 Fantasy Baseball season.  Throughout the year, I will be updating my rankings and calling out those movers and shakers.  This week we will be covering the first half of the top 100 broken down into six individual tiers.  Before we get started, we need to qualify how the rankings are developed and designed to be used:

The top 100 ranks are aimed at traditional 5×5 scoring with Yahoo roster eligibility and rules. There will be key differences for points and OBP leagues, so adjust accordingly.
Tiers are used to illustrate where there is fluidity in the rankings. It is more important what tier a player is in rather than their ultimate rank.  As the season progresses, we will look to break down the tiers.
Stats from the last few seasons drive much of the initial placement of a player and then adjustments are made based on potential for growth or potential for fluke.

Before we jump in, a quick overview of the top 50 tells us a few interesting notes:

There is only one Corner Infielder in the Top 10, which goes a long way to tell us that positional scarcity is not what it once was.
There is only one catcher and one utility player in the Top 50, however in many leagues with less forgiving eligibility there is one additional utility player (Yordan Alvarez).
Keeping in mind that we are double counting across roles there is decent balance across the diamond with 16 Corner Infielders, 18 Middle Infielders and 23 Outfielders.

Without further ado, we can get into the real reason you are here and begin to dissect the Top 100 Hitter Rankings for the 2021 Fantasy Baseball season.

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Never in the history of fantasy baseball posts has anyone successfully pulled off what I’m about to do. I’m going to write out my pre-draft plan here for everyone to see, and leave it unchanged even if the plan doesn’t come together. I’m the world where Mike Nesmith’s mother never invents Liquid Paper. Yo, keyboard, take away my delete and backspace buttons, don’t need ’em. Have you heard of the My Pillow guy? Well, I’m the My Plan guy. Okay, here goes, prepare your eyeballs. My Plan: Buy top hitters, and cheap pitchers. Use Rudy’s War Room (free with a Razzball Tools subscription). Change underwear in case something happens. Surprise! This is the same plan as I’ve used just about every year in NL and AL-Only leagues. I really need to start changing my underwear more than just prior to drafts. I go for balance in 12-team mixed leagues. (If you want one of those, play against me and hundreds others for prizes –> Razzball Commenter Leagues.) In these mono-leagues, I go for a few big bats, and usually around a 78/22-ish split. Doesn’t always work out; let’s be honest, sometimes I barely spend 18% on pitchers. If you’re wondering why I don’t spend on pitchers, welcome to the site, may I suggest starting at top 20 starters for 2021 fantasy baseball? Anyway, here’s my LABR 12-team, NL-Only draft recap:

Psyche! Before going into the LABR draft recap, Donkey asked that I notify people that RazzSlam qualifier leagues are now signing up. Didn’t get into the RazzSlam and wanna correct that for next year? Top 10 finishers will secure a spot for 2022. Slow drafts (4-hour pick clock) will begin 30-minutes after your league fills. It’s Best Ball, so after you draft, you don’t need to change your lineup. Just slowly rub your hands together and smile evilly. Here’s the RazzSlam rules if you’re a completist. Anyway II, the LABR recap:

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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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