This is one of the most difficult posts to write all year.  Maybe I shouldn’t try to write it with my feet.  Eff it, you know what?  No guts, no glory.  No toes, no post either, naw mean?  There’s just so many different ways the top 20 for 2016 fantasy baseball could go.  Maybe next year I’ll write a top 10 with a ten way tie for the tenth ranked guy.  Last year, I had Nolan Arenado higher than anyone and Ian Desmond.  You win some, you lose some.  I also had Donaldson, Bryce, Hanley and Bautista in the top twenty.  Again, win, win, lose and…DRAW!  Two words…I’m drawing what appears to be a pirate only he’s in front of a mic stand… It’s Fetty Wap!  I wouldn’t draft a starter in the top twenty, so I rank them accordingly.  If you want to bemoan my ranking of Kershaw or any pitcher, then bemoan away.  Just remember, a bemoaner sounds a bit to me like “U be a boner.”  All the positional rankings will live under the 2016 fantasy baseball rankings.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 for 2016 fantasy baseball:

11. Jose Altuve – This tier started in the top 10 for 2016 fantasy baseball.  This tier ends here.  I called this tier, “These names could surprise you.  Boo!  That boo was also meant to surprise.”  As for Altuve, I wanna keep this short.  *tries to stop from giggling, bursts*  Dah, sorry, okay, okay.  Is it me or is it weird that Altuve sounds like altitude in Spanish?  He should be Jose Subterraneanuve.  During the offseason, Altuve insulted someone in his native Venezuela and they challenged him to a duel.  So, they put their backs to each other and marched twenty paces out, but then when they turned around, Altuve had barely moved.  Okay, enough!  As his mom yelled at him when he reached five-two.  The better the Astros get the less likely it is Altuve will steal 40+ bases as he did one year in his four-year career.  He gets caught too much, for one.  Well, you would too if you needed 10,000 steps between 1st and 2nd base.  Okay, seriously, that’s it!  The big surprise for me ranking Altuve here was that I was ranking him here.  I kept trying to move him down, then I looked at him and I was like, “Isn’t he low enough?”  2016 Projections:  103/12/57/.304/35

12. Starling Marte – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Martinez.  I call this tier, “Excuse me, sir, but you don’t have anything for Grey to poop on?”  I want one of these guys and the only way I’m drafting them is by ranking them this high.  Sue me if they’re ranked too high for your tastes.  I must remind you that “sue me” is simply a shorthand here.  Due to man hours at a minimum wage of $9/hour, Razzball is running in a $500,000 cash flow hole, so you can’t technically sue me for anything except complaints; those we are running in the black on.  A lot of Grey’s poop on’ing in this tier has to do with HR/FB%.  Due to this, I nearly put Correa in the Grey poop ons, but how can you put a country in a jar of mustard?  I think when guys are fast, with 30-steal speed, it’s not necessarily a terrible thing that fly balls and how many go for homers are an issue.  You don’t want fast guys hitting everything in the air.  In fact, Marte hits next to nothing in the air.  He had the 8th lowest fly ball rate for qualifying hitters last year.  The big difference with the guys that usually hit no fly balls (like Ben Revere, for unstints) is Marte hits balls far.  His homers on average went further than Arenado, Bautista, Edwin, Goldy and Miggy to name a few high-profile sluggers.  So, Marte had a 22.7% fly ball rate, but hit homers deep.  If you’re on the No-Fly List, you also want to be on the Deep-Fly List.  By the by, am I the only one that sees the No-Fly List, which is a list of people who are not permitted to board a commercial aircraft for travel in or out of the United States, and thinks, “I wouldn’t mind if you let them fly together.”  In previous years, Marte hit a 29.2% fly ball rate and a 27.5% FB%.  If Marte had a 29% fly ball rate last year, he would’ve hit 30 homers.  There’s obviously no guarantee he goes back to that rate of fly balls, but I don’t think it’s silly to think the possibility exists either.  Is it more or less possible than, say, Donald Trump reveals his entire candidacy was to boost enrollment to Trump University?  I’d say Marte hitting 30 homers is more possible.  So, there’s some for Grey to poop on, but his outlook is still Gulden’s.  Why do I feel like Colonel Mustard?  2016 Projections:  86/20/93/.282/31

13. Mookie Betts – I swear to you, I kept trying to move players above Betts in the rankings, but do you know who kept being more impressive?  Mookie Betts.  I’d go as far as portmanteauing that into imBettsive.  First, where are the “Grey poop on’s” with Betts?  I think the lineup behind him is old and getting older by the minute.  I don’t mean that like, “Hey, I’m a human and I’m getting older by the minute because that’s what humans do.”  I mean that as in Pedroia, Ortiz and Hanley might play a combined 150 games with 120 of those coming from the 54-year-old Ortiz and the other thirty combined from Pedroia and Hanley.  Pedroia and Hanley are the oldest 32-year-olds since the high school friend of yours on Facebook who had a baby at 15 and whose kid is now looking at colleges.  Those aren’t terrible “Grey poop on’s,” or “the non-deli style” if you’re reading this at a lunch counter.  What’s to like?  I’m glad you asked, Clunky Transitional Question!  Betts had a 8.2% HR/FB rate with a 42.4% fly ball rate.  If he can get his HR/FB% to 10%, which is nothing, and hold his fly ball rate, he’s going to hit 23 homers without changing a single thing.  He hit 18 homers last year with only a 395 average distance, but he’s 23 years old.  You have to think he’ll add a bit more power this year.  He had the 6th most doubles last year with 42.  You don’t need Bip Roberts gifting you a Rosetta Stone to translate this.  If he hits for a little more power, he could hit 27 homers.  All the fly balls don’t bother me much in Fenway either, because on most days he pulls them and they hit off the wall for a double.  As for the speed, he’s an easy 20-steal guy.  In Double-A, he had 22 steals in 54 games.  If he stole 40+ bases this year, it wouldn’t shock me.  Wanna know who Betts is?  He’s a young Pedroia.  I will call him, Pedobear.  2016 Projections: 105/24/67/.307/22

14. J.D. Martinez –  Just Dong hit 38 homers and .282 last year.  His value will come from whether or not he can repeat.  Just Dong hit 38 homers and .282 last year.  Clearly, I can repeat them.  Okay, my intern who writes these up was getting wise there, and I obviously didn’t feel like backspacing.  Backspacing is for people who make milkshakes.  So, where’s “Grey poop on” Just Dong? Welcome, Googlers of anything in that preceding question!  Fantasy baseball may not be what you’re expecting.  Martinez’s HR/FB% was 20.8 and 19.5% the year before.  Nothing really alarming there.  Maybe he hovers down to 17% HR/FB, but he hits the ball hard.  His Hard Contact rate last year was the best in baseball for qualified hitters.  He averaged around 400 feet on his homers and he had a 43% Fly Ball rate.  He has the profile of a home run hitter.  If we take a modest step back to a 38% fly ball rate and a modest regression to 17% HR/FB, he still hits 27 homers.  Steamer projects him for 27 homers in 141 games (he played in 158 last year), so Steamer isn’t expecting nearly as much regression as I’m suggesting could happen.  What does all of this mean?  I had to work really hard to turn Martinez into a negative, and I still wasn’t able to get there.  Like my kidney on the black market, I’m sold.  I’ve shuffled Martinez in the rankings to as low as out of the top 20 to as high as right here.  I’m done pussyfooting around and now I’m Just Dong’ing it!  2016 Projections:  88/34/105/.287/5

15. Andrew McCutchen – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Edwin.  I call this tier, “I have reservations, and I don’t mean a land parcel for a Cleveland Indian.”  This tier doesn’t scream stay away, but it’s definitely whispering, “There could be trouble ahead.” Am I avoiding everyone in this tier?  I’m going to attempt to, yes.  I’ve already said I’m not drafting Kershaw, but he’s not an avoid if he’s around to be drafted at 16th overall.  He just won’t be available to be drafted there.  I’m hoping the same with Miggy, Abreu, McCutchen and Edwin too.  I doubt there’s any situation where every single player I have ranked above these guys is drafted.  For me to even get to a place where I need to draft one of these guys, it would mean A) I get stuck with the 15th pick and everyone above these guys is already gone.  Very unlikely.  B) I get to my 2nd pick and one of these guys are there.  At that point, these guys are good value and I’m happily taking them.  C) There’s no C.  As for McCutchen, I don’t like that he struggled with knee issues.  If a problem with a knee arises again, then his 11 steals last year could become seven steals.  On the reals, I don’t even see him stealing more than 20 bases again in his career.  Good knees or bad knees, dirty knees, look at these.  That’s fine if he had 30-homer power.  Last time I checked, he had 22-25-homer power.  I think he’ll be fine overall, but in the top twenty I want the bee’s knees, not bum knees.  2016 Projections:  89/24/98/.289/14

16. Clayton Kershaw – He sorta has no reservations, Anthony Bourdain.  Kershaw has a little thing called, “He’s not a hitter.”  That’s the snafu there.  I can get you to a team 3.25 ERA without drafting a top ace.  That’s my pledge to you or my name isn’t Grey Albright, Fantasy Master Lothario (don’t abbreviate).  Would I draft Kershaw here?  Sure, but that’s a hypothetical like, “Would you cheat on your wife if Jessica Alba wanted to sleep with you?”  Just like if Sean Connery wanted to sleep with my Cougar.  Go for it, Cougs!  …Except it’s a hypothetical that has no real world significance, i.e., you can draft Kershaw here, but he won’t be here to draft.  You can say, “But what if he is?” until you turn blue in the face, but now you’re just a Smurf and you still won’t have the opportunity to draft him.  Sorry, didn’t want to be a Gargamel here.  2016 Projections:  18-6/2.28/0.90/277 in 224 IP

17. Miguel Cabrera – Doesn’t get more obvious in this tier why I have some reservations for this guy.  Miggy has stopped staying healthy.  Even a healthy Miggy might only mean 25 homers.  Of course, 25 homers, .320 average, 100 runs and 100 RBIs does have some value.  And by ‘some’ I mean yum.  No, Miggy, I didn’t say rum.  Out of all of the guys I’m ranked so far, Miggy feels to me like the one with the best chance of getting injured in Spring Training and sending fantasy baseballers’ heads slamming into their walls, which would ruin their beer posters.  2016 Projections:  101/25/104/.318/1

18. Jose Abreu –  He bored the pants off of me last year.  Speaking of which, my mom was right, I should always have on clean underwear.  My bad, moms!  Abreu still got to 30 HRs, .290 and 101 RBIs.  He’s now done 30/100 in his first two years, which is some kind of arbitrary record he shares with Pujols.  I’m flippant because Abreu played in Cuba first and a lot of players could’ve achieved that record if they weren’t held back until June for their rookie year call-up.  So, it’s a nice record, but it’s not buttering my biscuit, if you catch my drift.  Abreu does feel like a lock for thereabouts 30/100 and there’s value to that, especially when it comes with a guy that can hit .300.  So, where’s the reservations?  In Cheektowaga, New York.  Oh, where’s my reservations on him?  I told you, I owned him last year and he’s boring as dog balls.  Must I repeat myself?  And that’s me quoting me!  There is no C.  Any hoo!  2016 Projections:  93/29/105/.296/1

19. Edwin Encarnacion – I think it’s a fair question to ask why Edwin and no Bautista.  Bautista feels like he’s about to make a steady decline from a plateau; Edwin looks like he’s on the very edge of the plateau with the ability to stave off decline for one more year.  Again, Edwin’s numbers aren’t screaming it.  It’s more like we’re in a library and his numbers are saying, “Psst, you see this?”  Last year, Edwin’s fly balls came down and his soft contact was at its highest in four years.  He hit a ton of infield fly balls, which backs up the weak contact, but he swung at more pitches inside the strike zone than he had in four years.  What does this mean to me?  If he was swinging at pitches outside of the strike zone and making weak contact it would be one thing.  A guy swings at a ton of pitches inside the strike zone and makes weak contact?  That means he’s losing ground.  His average homer distance in 2014 was 408 feet.  Last year, it was 406.  Then again, he had a ton of No Doubt homers, which doesn’t mean he circled the bases singing, Just A Girl.  Though, his parrot might’ve been.  Obviously, Edwin’s not falling off a cliff, or, keeping this with a Blue Jays theme, falling off a Cliff Johnson.  Rogers Centre should soften the abrupt decline, but I think it’s coming.  With all of that said (Here goes Grey throwing out everything he said prior), Bautista and Edwin are kind of a coin flip.  Only I want Edwin’s head to come up more, and Bautista is just outside of the top 20 for those that can’t wait.  2016 Projections: 84/33/97/.260/3

20. George Springer – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here to here.  I call this tier, “On every team.”  The tier name refers to where I want Springer.   I looked around at other rankings and I was like, “Springer’s ranked in the thirties?  That’s insane.”  Then I looked elsewhere and I was like, “He’s ranked in the 50s?!  Okay, that person is on drugs and those drugs are making them daffy.”  Then I looked somewhere else and thought, “Nice, he’s ranked in the top 20.  Oh, wait, I’m looking at my own rankings.”  I tried to fit a lot of other guys into this top 20:  Justin Upton went nearly 30/20 last year and is still young, Chris Davis hits 50 homers like it’s his job (which, actually, it is), Bautista eats homers for dinner then farts the scent of plums, Pollock isn’t just a Eastern European who pushes on a door labeled ‘Pull,’ Arrieta gave up like two runs in the final three months of last year, #CharlieBlackmonMatters… There was Todd Frazier, Votto, Braun, yadda3.  They all make a case for the top 20.  Sure, I didn’t try that hard to fit Upton, Frazier, Votto, Braun or Arrieta into the top 20, but I tried.  Stop doubting my effort.  They all failed to impress me and my team of a hundred monkeys that type up these posts.  Something that is going on in the top 20, which I sang like Buffalo Springfield, then remixed with Public Enemy.  (By the by, if someone wants to open a Brazilian wax shop called Pubic Enemy, let me know, because I trademarked the name.)  That something is you want guys that hit 20-ish homers and steal 20-ish bases, and you know -ish don’t kill my vibe!  Springer’s giving you power and speed.  He had a 33% strikeout percentage in 2014, this past year 24% (more evidence that Kris Bryant’s can come down).  Springer’s walks stayed the same, his line drives went up, he went the opposite way more, he’s just entering his prime, and, just to make this run-on sentence completely complete if he went 40/25 this year, it wouldn’t shock me.  A lot of people are going to be drafting Pollock here because of what he did last year.  Guess what?  It’s not last year.  It’s this year and this year it’s time for Springer.  2016 Projections:  104/31/89/.269/22

238 Comments
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tyler
tyler
6 years ago

Wow. bautista behind EE?? thought you were a fan?

Matty
Matty
6 years ago

I have the first pick in my keeper league this year. My keepers are trout, bautista, syndergaard and cueto. I went all in the year before last and won a ship so i screwed myself last year but i have the most picks in the first 10 rounds this year so i am ready for a comeback, i hope. Most likely i will be choosing between altuve, mccutchen, votto, chris davis. There is a chance dude keeps davis over rizzo cause hes crazy like that so thats what i am hoping for. cross your fingers for me!! Super excited for this year!

toneDEAF!
toneDEAF!
6 years ago

This top 20 has me excited about ’16! I have Harper, Au-Shizz, Awe-Rizz, and ARENADO in my keeper! Thanks to your tutelage I seem to be set for YEARS with these dudes.

in
in
6 years ago

Last keeper slot question for you Grey:

$5 Gallo
$9 McCullers

or keep nobody? Long-term keeper league, salaries go up by $5 every year.

SheriffMcRawDawg
SheriffMcRawDawg
6 years ago

alright is this one a no brainer? owner just sweetened this deal and offered: my first round pick (2nd overall) and cole hamels (4th round keeper) for his 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th round picks…

my first pick would be giancarlo or donaldson. not sure which exact # picks I’d be getting, but should I go for it?

12 team roto (MI, CI, 5 OF), keep 8, here are mine for reference:

4 – Cole Hamels
6 – Nelson Cruz
10 – Dallas Keuchel
17 – Taijuan Walker
18 – Chris Davis
19 – Joey Gallo
21 – Lorenzo Cain
25 – Jeurys Familia

thoughts?!

Troy
Troy
6 years ago

So will the pirates entire outfield be in Grays top 20 next year?

goodfold2
goodfold2
6 years ago

Do you believe (best thing i can do right now is go off current depth charts) these guys are likely to stay in these roles? C = closer, S1 = set up first man in line, S2 = set up 2, 2nd man in line. going over available guys to bid on in FA (broken apart into 4 nearly equal sized groups, each nearly a week long starting Jan 31st). I’ll probably hope to get 2 of this list (and if not i’ll get lesser middle relief types for cheaper, saving money for 2 SP spots and some bench bats, maybe werth for homers but he might cost too much, plus i’m already paying his bitch-ass 6 mil not to be on my team right now)
COL motte (closer),
b.logan (set 2)
LAD – hatcher (set 1)
yimi (set 2)
SD – chuck newtown (set2). guessing i should just avoid this guy, doubt he repeats that crazy better than he is ERA again
CIN – b.wood (set 2). this guy’s been out of MLB for a bit.
MIL – jeffress (set 2)
ATL – grilli (C)
NYM – reed (set 1)
robles (set 2)
PHI – d.hernandez (C)
l.garcia (set 1)
hinojosa (set 2)
HOU – w.harris (set 2)
LAA – salas (set 2)
OAK – r.madson (set 1)
– hendriks (set 2)
SEA – cishek (C)
CLE – mcallister (set 2)
DET – lowe (set 1)
BOS – uehera (set 1)

goodfold2
goodfold2
Reply to  goodfold2
6 years ago

@goodfold2: yes, original question was do you believe these guys have a chance at having those roles above? copy/paste errors. I also asked Smokey.

cullenstfu
cullenstfu
6 years ago

Random question for Grey, you think Eovaldi has a chance at a breakout season? He’s been one of the hardest throwers in the MLB for a few seasons

Scott Kimmel
Scott Kimmel
6 years ago

Grey

He declined my offer and countered with a ridiculous offer

I give up: Buster Posey, Servino, Conforto, Zimmer
I get: Upton, Longo, Morales, Lackey

Which I refused quickly. Was I right to do that?

Scott Kimmel
Scott Kimmel
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

Grey

Was I right to turn it down?

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Scott Kimmel
6 years ago

@Scott Kimmel: yes you were right

Scott Kimmel
Scott Kimmel
Reply to  J-FOH
6 years ago

J-FOH the guy said I am a special kind of stupid whatever that means because I said that trade offer does nothing for me

Bdub
Bdub
6 years ago

Hey Grey little help… 12 team 5×5 standard… keep 6:

Schwarber
Rizzo
Dozier
Baez
JD Mart
B Gardner
Upton
Freeman
Harvey
Sonny Gray

Obviously Rizzo, JD Mart, Schwarber. Leaves 3 of the rest.

Teddy Heater
Teddy Heater
6 years ago

BFF, Ran out of room up top. This keeper is a bit tougher as I have some young bucks. 12 team standard 5×5 avg is replaced with OBP. I need 6 in this as well and I have the 12th pick so Harper won’t be there. These are the 4 I’m locked on;

Harper 1st
Stanton 3
Donaldson 8
Bryant 22

The last 2 will count for my 24th and 25th as they were waiver pickups except Joc who I drafted in the 25th

Lindor 24/25
Mccullers 24/25
Schwarber 24/25
McCullers 24/25
Corbin 24/25
Pederson 25

Teddy Heater
Teddy Heater
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey: Thanks, Last one I promise. I just need to pick one. I initially was thinking Jake, but now I’m leaning Noah for value.

Arrieta 7th
Syndergaard or Salazar in the 25th

Teddy Heater
Teddy Heater
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey: Preesh!

Bill Lumbergh
Bill Lumbergh
6 years ago

@Grey et al: Trade my Dee Gordon for his George Springer? 12 team mixed roto dynasty league. Don’t know how big gap is between these 2, but Gordon’s BA and SB contributions saved me last year! Other owner really wants Gordon… Thx!

nick the dick
nick the dick
Reply to  Bill Lumbergh
6 years ago

@Bill Lumbergh: Mmmyeah, i’m gonna have to go ahead and ask you to do that trade.

The Great Knoche
the great knoche
Reply to  nick the dick
6 years ago

@nick the dick: Dynamite Office Space reference

nick the dick
nick the dick
Reply to  the great knoche
6 years ago

@the great knoche: when his name is Bill Lumberg what choice do I have?

Manny4president
Manny4president
6 years ago

I start getting excited for baseball when the Grey rankings start getting released, thanks for all you do!

We keep 2 hitters, 2 pitchers, 1 rookie, and two minor leaguers. I sold a lot of pieces off last year for a championship run. It’s a 16 team, h2h points, keep forever and lose the round they were drafted. I have Machado and Springer both free as my hitters. My current rookie is either Lamb or Dom Santana. Pitchers are SOnny gray, free and Teheran free or Hamels 1st round. I pick 13th overall.

I’ve been offered Carlos Martinez, 8th round, Justin Upton 9th round, and Addison Russell (rookie and free) for Springer. Obviously Springer has the highest upside, but Upton’s pretty awesome and good value, Martinez > Teheran and Russell has the pedigree and plays 2nd/ss.

I hate to bail on Springers upside and lose some middle round picks, but this deal is too good to pass up, isn’t it?

Any insight would be appreciated from the razzball community as well. Thanks everyone!

james
james
6 years ago

I got a crazy offer in my 12 team dynasty (keep forever), it is an OBP league with OPS and holds (so 6×6 with the rest being standard cats).

My Carlos Correa and Byron Buxton
for
His: Nolan Arenado, Brandon Crawford, Jonathon Paplebon, Yu Darvish, Jose Quintana and Masa Tanaka.

I can fit basically the whole trade into my current roster without making any meaningful cuts (as often becomes the issue in a 2 for 6 trade), the league expanded rosters by 3 this offseason, and i have cut some weight in other trades.

james
james
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey: Put the manager under the skrews and got the Arenado side plus Sean Newcomb for the farm. Basically just took a mediocre at best pitching staff and turned it into one that should be one of the best (Salazar was my best SP before… and then Shelby Miller, Jamie Garcia, Corbin, Medlin, Moore and Micheal Pineda)

Thanks for advice.

MattH
MattH
6 years ago

So glad fantasy is back. Awesome Top 20 Grey! Keep up the good work.

Scott Kimmel
Scott Kimmel
6 years ago

Hey there Grey. You missed my birthday yesterday but I’ll forgive you for that. Will Conforto, Severino and either Starling or Zimmer be enough to get J Upton and Longoria

Fungazi
Fungazi
6 years ago

Who’s your money shot pick this year Grey?? Gregy Polonco? Eaton? Lindor? Someone else?

Fungazi
Fungazi
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey: Aw man, no spoilers?

Greys Bum Hair
Greys Bum Hair
6 years ago

With your rankings in mind would you trade

Round 1 Keeper M Trout (two more seasons) and get
Round 6 Keeper A Rizzo (3 more seasons)

6×6 with OBP

Other two keepers are Correa and Springer. Rizzo would go to round 1 for years two and three
Thanks

M
M
6 years ago

I know you preach waiting on pitching (yes it is deep and you can almost always find waiver wire gems), what is your opinion on nabbing an ace even though you have Kluber & Arrieta in a 6×6 roto league (IP, W, K/9, ERA, WHIP, SVs) where you cannot stream and the rosters lock at the beginning of the week?

Would a Kershaw/Scherzer/Price type be wise to add and then focus the rest of the draft on hitting?

Crapshoot Kershaw
Crapshoot Kershaw
6 years ago

what’s odd is that with all these RCL’s you would think that in some of them kershaw would go quite late, since who’s more likely to follow your rankings/draft strategy than razzball readers, but time and again he keeps on going top 10.

titan
titan
6 years ago

Grey – who do you keep?
10 team, HTH, 6×6(OPS/Holds), Weekly league

Choose 2 keepers below (2016 draft round cost – and can keep for 3 rounds better each year indefinitely also)
(6) Jose Abreu – lock as my #1 keeper (drafted in 12th rd 2 years ago)
(5) Chris Davis
(4) Jake Arrieta
(10) Wade Davis (was huge in this format last year)
(12) Mark Melancon
(9) Eric Hosmer
(2) Starling Marte
(7) Jason Kipnis

In order of my gut

titan
titan
Reply to  titan
6 years ago

@titan:

Also I pick 7th of 10 for a snake draft….choked in the playoffs after having best team all year.

abdoozy
abdoozy
6 years ago

Thanks Grey. Not only did I use your 2015 rankings to grab Harper with pick #24 in a 12-team snake, I also finageled myself into the position of Active Commissioner of said 12-teamer before the season started, and instituted a new keeper rule. We can now keep two players, no restrictions.

My keepers? Harper and.. Trout, who I grabbed with pick 1. Bwahahaha.

One of these days the others in this league are going to discover Razzball, and start following you, and then I’m screwed. Until then, keep up the good work.

abdoozy
abdoozy
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey: Last year in this league, six (!) starters were picked before Harper.

Kershaw (2), Felix (6), Scherzer (12), Sale (20), MadBum (22) and Stras (23).

It’s that kind of league. (The guy who drafted Kershaw and Stras finished in 9th place, mainly because his best bat was JDMartinez. When I remind him he could have drafted Goldy and Harper he just looks at me with Chris Walken-in-Annie-Hall eyes.)

Meanwhile, I’ve never drafted a pitcher higher than round 3, and have won 3 of the last 4 years (and only lost in ’14 because Mike Fucking Fiers broke my Giancarlo).

Even if I never read anything else you wrote, that one bit of advice — never draft elite starters in the top 20 — was worth the price of the margarita. Top shelf margarita, even. What’s your pleasure? Alquimia? Casa Noble? 1800? HRD? Montezuma?

BRS
BRS
6 years ago

Hello again,

As mentioned before, at least one hitter and one pitcher must be kept. Otherwise keeping abreu over kluber would be a no brainer. Our league has one IF spot and a utility. I’m stuck between abreu or altuve, or possibly seeking to acquire Correa via trade.

BRS
BRS
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey: abreu in 8th and altuve in 6th.
Everyone keeps 5 (12 team)
I’m already keeping harper Donaldson machado and kluber.

Beware the Shit Rope
Beware the Shit Rope
6 years ago

wow, in a 16 teamer dynasty i drafted 3 in the top 14 last may in rizzo/bryant (25th overall ain’t looking too early already)/jew don. also not feeling so stupid having taken jew don 80 picks ahead of where avisail went, and at the time i thought that was overpaying due to that.

SwaggerJackers
SwaggerJackers
6 years ago

Wow! A couple curveballs!

I didn’t expect Just Dong that high. I did expect Pollock somewhere in there (especially given his power/speed combo).

Still wondering where the Chris Davis love is? Good lineup, good ballpark, has hit 50 bombs, has drugs, Grey loves power. All of this normally would land someone in the top 20 around where Just Dong is sitting.

Beware the Shit Rope
Beware the Shit Rope
Reply to  SwaggerJackers
6 years ago

@SwaggerJackers: maybe his HR/FB were really high last year or somesuch. (guessing here) also with his K rate his average could be quite a bit worse than last year.

Mike Schwab
Mike Schwab
6 years ago

Hey Grey,
Great Top 20. Keeper question. 8 Team, H2H and points based league. You can keep forever. Trade Cargo and Baez for Springer?
Thanks.

Big Magoo
6 years ago

Altuve at 11? Who’s rankings are these really, hmmm?

Big Magoo
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey: Just like the height-checker at the amusement park

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Big Magoo
6 years ago

@Big Magoo: a magoo jab. Subtle yet speaking columes

Big Magoo
Reply to  J-FOH
6 years ago

@J-FOH: Not at all. Just much higher than he’s been in the past.

The Great Knoche
The great knoche
6 years ago

No Desmond????

The Great Knoche
The great knoche
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey: I think the guy from Assassins Creed would have a better chance than Ian or Jennings….love the 10,000 steps comment.

dem ribbies
dem ribbies
6 years ago

Yo Grey, Happy January!

Quick question. In auction leagues, do you think Stressbird will cost as much, about the same, or less than what he cost in 2015? Could keep, or could release and try to buy him back at a little discount. But he did end strong…

Do I even want to get on this ride again??

Wake Up
6 years ago

“Grey poop on just dongs mustard on kidneys”

Hello new friends, looks like I’ve been redirected from the West Hollywood adventurous eaters club chat room. Measure twice cut once…

Wake Up
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey: Wrecking Ball?

Wake Up
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey: Yeah, ok then hun…

GhostTownSteve
GhostTownSteve
6 years ago

Pollock is going inside the top 15 in NFBC a lot. I’d take him ahead of Cutch.

The Great Knoche
The great knoche
Reply to  GhostTownSteve
6 years ago

@GhostTownSteve: Agree, think he has same Power, and has the speed. Dread pirate going to need a peg leg before end of year.

Ollie
Ollie
6 years ago

Any worries about Springer’s injury history? Granted the two incidents seem like freak accidents, but health is a skill! Wrist problems = power problems, no?

Jax
Jax
6 years ago

Hi Grey,

Did a RTSports “draft it and forget it” league, just for s’s and g’s (I know it’s super early, but I find you can get deals on players most of the time). 10-team, 5×5, Roto (4th pick). Here goes:

C – Grandal (204)
1B – Abreu (17)
2B – Schoop (124)
SS – Bogaerts (64)
3B – Frazier (37)
CI – Sano (57)
MI – Segura (184)
OF – Harper (4)
OF – C Davis (24)
OF – A Jones (44)
Util – Polanco (177)
P (x9) – Salazar (97), Rodon (104), C-Mart (117), Walker (137), Robertson (77), Giles (84), Perkins (157), Betances (164), Strickland (197)

I realize I will rank near last in SBs. Also, pitching may be a smidge weak, but if I can place in the top half of 3 or 4 out of the 5 cats, I should have a chance.

Your War Room is obviously not out yet, so wondering what you think, even though it’s super early?

Looking forward to the rest of the rankings!

Thanks,

Jax

Jax
Jax
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey: in retrospect, the room went early on pitching, so I could’ve grabbed an ace instead of A Jones (could’ve taken J-Fer…*sigh*), since the likes of Polanco, Pederson, Gomez, Dickerson, and Eaton went real late. Quality SBs, as opposed to just SAGNOF, seems to be a bit lighter than normal this year. Love me some SAGNOF, but this format doesn’t really allow for it

Thanks again!

Charlie
Charlie
6 years ago

Grey,

In a keep forever league, 6×5 (including obp) who you going with where you have to forfeit the round the player was drafted in

Starling Marte (round 3)
Byron Buxton (round 21)

Charlie
Charlie
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey:

Happy belated birthday!!!! I ate a cupcake in your honor last night btw.

What do you need to know? I’ve got answers!!!

Rest of my team is

Trout, Stanton, Goldschmidt, Arenado,Bogaerts, Scherzer and one of Buxton/Rendon…unless I turn Buxton into Marte. Then I’d keep Marte.

Charlie
Charlie
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey:

Of course!!! YOU ARE THE GRAND MASTER LOTHARIO OF FANTASY BASEBALL!!

Gotcha. The owner changed his mind about the trade. Balls.

The more I think about it the more I keep leaning towards Rendon over Buxton. I mean Buxton is great value but in a 10 team league his value is muted.

With my team above, would you keep Rendon and try and re-draft Buxton, or keep Buxton and try and re-draft Rendon? Buxton is round 21 value and Rendon round 24 value.

Charlie
Charlie
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey:

Thanks!

nick the dick
nick the dick
6 years ago

Pedobear? Isn’t that one of those stuffed animals for kids point out where they were touched in molestation cases?

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  nick the dick
6 years ago

@nick the dick: you know this from experience? “He touched where I pee pee and poo poo”

nick the dick
nick the dick
Reply to  J-FOH
6 years ago

@J-FOH: you know the best part about having sex with twenty one year olds? There’s twenty of them.

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  nick the dick
6 years ago

@nick the dick: hahahahahahaha

nick the dick
nick the dick
Reply to  J-FOH
6 years ago

@J-FOH: So my birthday is the end of next month and from what I hear, the roast of me is in the works. I’m scared Foh…

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  nick the dick
6 years ago

@nick the dick: first, we’ll need a live feed to the event. Second, a computer connected to a projector and a large screen. The live feed of Grey roasting you must be over 100 inches (hollywood ego of his) third, someone to slap you anytime you start getting scared, I’d do it myself, but not worth the airfare. Let me ask Ralph if he can come down

nick the dick
nick the dick
Reply to  J-FOH
6 years ago

@J-FOH: Roast from coast to coast! His face needs to be up on screen the whole time so we can all hear his infectious cackling throughout the roast. Preferably in HD or maybe some 3D glasses…one hearty slap will probably knock the jitters out of me. Just don’t spit on it first.

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  nick the dick
6 years ago

@nick the dick: Ralph has carte blanche on slap execution, I can’t speak for him and his hand

nick the dick
nick the dick
Reply to  J-FOH
6 years ago

@J-FOH: That’s okay, my beard absorbs 90% of any impact to my face

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  nick the dick
6 years ago

@nick the dick: I guarantee my hand will be 70% effective against your beard

nick the dick
nick the dick
Reply to  J-FOH
6 years ago

@J-FOH: Well we’re talking normal people hands, not those giant bear paws you have. My beard still eats those

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  nick the dick
6 years ago

@nick the dick: do you get the bear claws stuck right here?

Oranje
Oranje
6 years ago

Coming back with the following:
Harper
Stanton
Heyward
A. Russell
Machado
Arrieta
Lester
Odor
I have one more spot to fill with one of the following at the price listed: Cain (9), Yelich (5) Posey (30), Kluber (19).
Who should I keep? Unfortunately, I can’t change any of the players in the initial list. Thanks.

Oranje
Oranje
Reply to  Oranje
6 years ago

@Oranje: another option is Rendon for $5

Oranje
Oranje
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey: Those are the dollar values for next year. 5×5 stats…

J-FOH
J-FOH
6 years ago

If you learn Yiddish I highly recommend not announcing it in your name like this, Grey Albright: Yiddish Speaker & Fantasy Master Lothario

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey: it could in the Poconos?

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey: just don’t let them acronym that (GAYSFML)

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey: speaking g of upstate new York this gives me an off season idea. Fantasy baseball dinner theater. You are a one man show with an audience of FBBers.

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey: ye..as long as its a purple velvet then we good (sign of royalty)

Teddy Heater
Teddy Heater
6 years ago

BFF, I missed you!! Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy early Birthday to me with the Top 10 and Top 20 (my Bday is Sunday and you got me the best present, don’t tell Bug as I think she’s working on a red Yankees cap and a couple Lacoste polos) I took a little Football Sabbatical and honestly I have to refrain from reading too much baseball stuff cause then by the end of February I’m all Horny for Baseball and I end up doing like a hundred mock drafts, HA! I do click on your page every morning so you can get those advertising pennies! Hope all is well on your end, I’m still trying to figure out this Kennedy signing. It’s not like KC has Ray Searage, but hello Jonathan Niese.

Teddy Heater
Teddy Heater
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey: Happy Belated Bday!! Did Cougs or Teddy get you anything? Niese can sniff out the k’s now he has the pitching whisperer.

Bob
Bob
6 years ago

I am in a 7×7 H2H 8 man league. We get 5 keeps with no attached penalties. I am keeping Altuve, Pollack, Arrieta, and Bumgarner. I know your thoughts on taking pitchers early but my league takes and keeps a lot of SPs so I am locking up 2 and drafting offense for the first few rounds. Having said that, I am struggling between Edwin and Sano for my final keeper. You mentioned that there are hints of Edwin regressing or about to regress while Sano is just starting. Is Sano a better keeper based on future potential? I believe Sano will be in UTIL in ESPN but should gain OF in April if they intend to move Mauer to DH.

Warren
Warren
6 years ago

You convinced me to keep Abreu. I won the title last year and have a ridiculous set of keepers, pretty much no brainer to keep:

Harper
Rizzo
Donaldson
Correa

Then I think I’ll keep Abreu for that UTIL spot and then Arrieta to anchor my staff.

Malicious Phenom
Malicious Phenom
6 years ago

Justin Verlander gets to play with 2 Upton’s in Mo-town now..

booya
booya
6 years ago

Also do you prefer Buxton or Soler this year is 5×5 leagues?

booya
booya
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey: Alright I’ll make my own decisions haha. Going Buxton!

booya
booya
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey: Thanks Grey, appreciate all your hard work!

Jeff P
Jeff P
Reply to  booya
6 years ago

@booya: I’ve been watching Buxton from the time he was drafted. Everything about him screams ‘adjustment year’. Like Bogaerts’ 2014 or Pollock 2013. Very excited about Buxton for 2017.

Malicious Phenom
Malicious Phenom
6 years ago

Pete Rose to be inducted into the Hall of Fame in June…The REDS HOF..

booya
booya
6 years ago

Please rank these closers:
Casilla, Tolleson, Papelbon, Perkins, Boxberger, Ziegler

Thanks!

booya
booya
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey: Can you give me your top 2 from that list? I’m leaning Casilla or Papelbon…

What's a Drexl?
What's a Drexl?
Reply to  booya
6 years ago

@booya: i would think based on stuff perkins and tolleson would be higher than casilla.

Old School Brother
Old School Brother
6 years ago

Pretty sure I saw Edwin mouthing the words to Bathwater when he homered against the Rangers in game 5 of the ALDS. I remember thinking “Damn you Encarnacy! But I can’t hate you, your taste in music is wonderful”.

Altuve over Odor? This smells of corruption and wreaks burrito farts

KB
KB
6 years ago

I was extremely excited about Marte entering ’15 and acquired him before the season in a keeper league. Then he did basically everything I could have hoped for and for some reason I am no longer excited about him. Not entirely sure why, but a couple of things that concern me … His 19 HBP scare me. After watching him writhing in pain, crouched down by home plate after being hit in the ribs, forearm or wrist area many times last year I feel like I dodged a bullet each time. I also don’t care for the Pirates lineup. I’m not sure where he bats in the lineup either. 2-hole and his RBI plummet. 5-hole and the R drop. Pittsburgh lineup not good enough to get him to 90/90 w/ Jaso/Harrison at the corners. I think PNC caps his HR output too and there was a noticeable difference in the first half and second half. In the first half he hit 13 of his 19 HR, but was obviously more aggressive with a 24% K-Rate. In the second half, he hit only 6 HR with a 14% K-Rate. Did he change his approach to utilize his speed more and put more balls in play instead of swinging for fences? If so, that probably caps his HR total at 12-15. His upside is probably prime Carlos Gomez, which would put him in the Top 10-12, but Gomez played half his games in Miller Park in typically a pretty good lineup. I just traded Marte for a return that would be fair for a Top 30-35 player. If you’re right I made a bad move, but I just have some reservations after watching him for a full season.

Geoff
Ralph Lifshitz
6 years ago

I’m sitting here in the AJ Pollock section with Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett Smith and we’re boycotting.

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Ralph Lifshitz
6 years ago
Geoff
Ralph Lifshitz
Reply to  J-FOH
6 years ago

@J-FOH: Just so we’re clear AJ is Jackson’s nephew only he uses condiments for paints.

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Ralph Lifshitz
6 years ago

@Ralph Lifshitz: #polishlivesmatter

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey: hey do the right thing was good in 198eeeeee wahtever. Good point.

Geoff
Ralph Lifshitz
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey: Yeah awful movies!! Have you seen She Hate Me? I lost video store privileges for like 4 years with the wife after renting that pile of scat. Thank God video stores went the way of Brad Hawpe.

BTW don’t google scat, apparently that’s the buzzword for the poop-porn industry…. be back later I’m in the midst of being fired after googling scat on my work computer.

J-FOH
J-FOH
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey: don’t draft Colorado pitchers they will scat all over your ratios

What's a Drexl?
What's a Drexl?
Reply to  Ralph Lifshitz
6 years ago

@Ralph Lifshitz: i’m pretty sure any other definition of “scat” should be called the trendy new buzz idea, scat’s 2nd oldest definition was dung, filth, poop. 1st being that jazz one.

Duda Want to Build a Snowman?
Duda Want to Build a Snowman?
6 years ago

Love all of this. Is Springer top 10-15 in an OBP league?

Duda Want to Build a Snowman?
Duda Want to Build a Snowman?
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey: And I thought I was high on him last year! Can’t wait for this one. I bet he’s out there at pick 40 in most leagues–at the very least, I’ll almost certainly be the only one in my league wanting him over the Dread Pirate.

KB
KB
6 years ago

What’s your position on trading draft picks for players in a keeper league? Would you prefer to enter a draft with most of your picks in tact or would you trade away top picks to acquire Top 10-25 talent understanding that since its a keeper league the best player available in the draft is closer to Top 100 than Top 10?

Clint
Clint
6 years ago

So does yesterday’s signing of The Good Upton in Detroit change JD’s value in any way already?

alex
alex
6 years ago

In a ten team head to head most categories keeper league with the categories being

Batting Average (AVG)
Home Runs (HR)
Runs Scored (R)
Runs Batted In (RBI)
Stolen Bases (SB)
On Base plus Slugging Pct (OPS)
Total Bases (TB)
Hits (H)

Earned Run Average (ERA)*
Strikeouts (K)
Walks plus Hits Per Innings Pitched (WHIP)*
Wins (W)
Saves (SV)
Losses (L)*
Home Runs Allowed (HR)*
Blown Saves (BS)*

I know its weird having loses and blown saves be a category but it adds more strategy as often you weigh whether to start a pitcher or closer towards the end of the week and risk getting the L, BS, and/or another HR allowed. Because pitching can be hit or miss, I always try to stock up on Hitters.since we only need 9 categories to win the week.

My current keepers (as of today) are

Stanton (1st round)
Abreu (5th round)
Klubber (14th round)
Correa ( 21st round)
Schwarber (22nd/ last round)

I also have Crush Davis (4th) and Frazier (6th) as backups. So now that you know the backstory here’s the question.

As a counter to my original offer I was offered Rizzo (10th) and Arrieta (6th) for Abreu, Frazier and Schwarber. Should I make this trade and if so would you keep Arrieta instead of Davis? I’m tempted to go Crush here and try to dominate hitting but have to admit pairing Arrieta with Klubber does intrigue me.

Hawk
Hawk
6 years ago

Not sure how Chris Davis isn’t in the top 20 but Altuve is. As long as Adderall is legal, Davis is a 50 HR guy for the forseeable future. That doesn’t grow on trees. 20/20 type guys are nice, great even, and if your team is full of them you’ll win more often than not…but if I’m in a “2nd round, have the chance for a 50 HR guy and a 20/20 guy” sitch, I’m taking 50 HR.

Sport
Sport
Reply to  Hawk
6 years ago

@Hawk: I agree with you on Davis in the second round, especially over someone that won’t reach 20 HR. I guess it depends too on who the first pick is. If it’s Stanton I can’t see taking Davis. Davis teamed with Rizzo, Trout, Harper? Nice !

Chucky
Chucky
6 years ago

Dynasty forever league, possible trade my Crush and Kyle Seager for his Harvey and Cory Seager? What say you?

jack florida
jack florida
6 years ago

very interesting rankings, these ranks could change some drafts this season

Sport
Sport
6 years ago

Altuve at 11 definitely surprised me! A less than 20 homer hitter in the first round?

In a league where you only need one second baseman, (yahoo roto), could you see using Deshields as a poor mans Altuve and going after Marte, Betts, JD late in the first or early second instead?

Thanks for the feedback and the top 20. I love reading your stuff! I’m interested to see where Sano and my first Starting pitcher off the board will be in your rankings!

jack florida
jack florida
Reply to  Sport
6 years ago

@Sport: i do not believe deshields will be have 2b eligibility this year, only out field

stonepie
stonepie
Reply to  Sport
6 years ago

@Sport: i would go after those guys and wait for cano or odor.

Sport
Sport
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey: Sorry, I overlooked that on his sleeper post. Thanks for the heads up.

Jerry
Jerry
Reply to  Sport
6 years ago

@Sport: Grey, I get to keep one player for 2016.
Miggy, Carlos Correa. or Arenado?

DBo
DBo
6 years ago

Dynasty salary cap league, I have Pujols and prospect Josh Bell at 1B. Was offered Lucas Duda for Bell. Do you feel Bell transitions to the majors well? Bell or Duda? Thanks!

Robert
Robert
6 years ago

Altuve, Betts, Marte, Rizzo, and Springer I like all of them a lot. In a 10 team league picking towards the bottom 8-10 could be big advantage, could come out with first 2 picks of Rizzo/Stanton or Rizzo/Altuve. Still realistic shot of Springer falling to 3rd round. Still think you undervalue Kershaw. He’s like when Randy Johnson and Curt Schillling were 20 years ago in pitching, total stud. Huge K numbers and great era and whip. I

Wilson
Wilson
6 years ago

J Upton is joining DET and I own him.
His value seems better than before.

I need starters due to I have only Cole and Cueto in a shallow league.
What kind of starter do you think I can propose? Thoughts appreciated.

Wilson
Wilson
Reply to  Grey
6 years ago

@Grey: Yes I own J Upton
And, I also own Staton Bautista JD.
They are in the similar type so I want to trade away J Upton for starters.

What kind of / Who do you think I can propose to? Thanks

Viz
Viz
6 years ago

Thanks for the laugh this morning Grey with the Cheektowaga reference; I knew i would contribute to more than hockey on this website! The reservations aren’t here (they’re in Niagara Falls and Irving) but it doesn’t matter, you had me laughing like you were on the podcast! Well done.
As for the rankings, hard to argue with any of it. It feels weird having Just Dongs that high but like you pointed out, he simply fits there. I might drop Edwin out of the top 20 but my fears may be premature.

The Theory
The Theory
6 years ago

I want to be in a league of 11 Greys, so that I can pick Kershaw at pick 15, so all Grey16 can be all “lowercase yay” when he gets to draft McCutchen and realizes that he’d have much rather had not McCutchen.

(I’d actually probably prefer gambling on Springer than most of these guys, Kershaw included, so it’s a moot point. Betts, Springer, then the rest of these bland options.)

RTB
RTB
6 years ago

Made my week seeing your 2016 ranks! Let’s do this! I see many ‘perts saying they want to draft at the back end of the first round this year. Beyond that, would you say getting 3B in the first two rounds is critical? Seems extra shallow this year. 1B on the flip, seems deepest, no?

Nittanychris
Nittanychris
6 years ago

There is risk involved for almost every guy in this tier except one, Abreu. He’s a virtual lock for 30/100/.300 avg and in the top twenty you want oaks, not risk. You’ve helped convince me that he’ll be undervalued this year. Thanks January Grey!