Yesterday, I went over the top 10 for 2018 fantasy baseball.  Today, I throw out preconceived notions, drink some potions and lather up my body with lotions as I sloppily slip and slide my way through the most precarious top 20 for fantasy baseball I’ve ever encountered.  This top twenty is a blind man playing Twister.  Half the time, I’m grabbing for things not knowing if they’re there or not.  I legit think this top 20 could go countless other ways.  Is countless a widowed Countess?  No, it’s not, it’s a confusing AF top 20 for fantasy baseball.  Last year, I ranked no starters in the top 20.  This year I decided to rank one so low you’d never draft him.  If you want to bemoan my low ranking of one starter, 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 2018 fantasy baseball rankings.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 for 2018 fantasy baseball:

11. Francisco Lindor – This tier started in the top 10 for 2018 fantasy baseball.  I called this tier, “ADP says what?”  This tier ends at Rizzo.  Last year Lindor went 33/15/.273 and now he’s 24 years old.  Yup, no place for him to go.  Only down.  He’s done.  Put a fork in him.  Not in his eye, you sicko.  Poke the fork in his thigh or something.  I mean, you’re trying to hurt him but not seriously injure the guy.  Glad the Lindor party is over, makes that easy.  So, how was your winter?  Get anything good for Christmas?  Make any new friends?  File any sexual assault charges?  WAIT A SECOND!  The Lindor party is not over!  Holy crap, this is the biggest comeback since Joey Fatone’s star redefining tour de force on Dancing with the Stars!  Wow, Lindor was over for five even six sentences, and then, bam, right back.  Crazy.  Honestly, I can’t even figure out why Lindor’s being under drafted in leagues I’ve seen so far.  He’s a top 12 player if I’ve ever seen one.  And, let me tell you, you old so-and-so, I’ve seen one!  His HR/FB% was 14%, far from ridiculous.  He didn’t hit his homers very far (397 feet on average), but he upped his fly balls and hard contact.  He also pulls a decent amount and, if you’ve ever watched him, he can Major Lazer a baseball just over any fence.  Maybe his power comes down to 27 HRs, but he’s more of a 15-20 steal guy vs. a 10-15 steal guy.  Also, his BABIP was low last year, and is closer to a .290-.305 hitter.  27/17/.295 in the middle of a lineup with room for upside is not good?  C’mon, man, don’t answer that, it was rhetorical!  2018 Projections:  112/27/81/.294/17 in 601 ABs

12. Freddie Freeman – A fluke injury — not a hirame injury, which is when a sushi chef cuts himself slicing a white-fleshed fish — to his left wrist sidelined Freeman for fifty games, and then, when he returned, he said shizz was only at 80-85%.  When a player says something is 80-85%, it’s around 60-65%.  The good news is he still hit 9 HRs in August and September, and now has an entire offseason to get right with his, uh, left wrist.  Prior to the injury, he had 16 HRs and a .348 average in 161 ABs.  Ya know, the ol’ 40-homer, .320 pace, which, if 100% healthy, isn’t too far off from what I’d expect.  Health brings some risk, but with no risk comes no power, to mangle a Spider-Man quote.  To make Spider-Man passive aggressive, “With great power comes great responsibility, so good luck meeting those expectations.”  2018 Projections:  93/35/103/.308/8 in 577 ABs

13. Jose Ramirez – Confession Alert!  I only ranked Jo-Ram 13th instead of 12th because I wanted to separate the two Indians.  Man, that sounds awful out of context.  Your friend, “Why did you move Nadel Patel to the biochemical engineering department across the office complex?”  You after reading my post, “I wanted to separate the two Indians.”  Your friend, “You’re racist.”  You after reading my post, “That’s the best comeback since Joey Fatone’s star redefining tour de force on Dancing with the Stars.”  Your friend, “Well, you do have good taste in the Cha-Cha Slide.”  Weird thing happened during the season of seventeen after twenty, I began to love the fudge out of Jose Ramirez.  Indians must’ve felt the same way because he was moved into the three hole and never looked back.  Are you sure he didn’t look back because he had a crick in his neck?  Quiet, Random Italicized Voice.  Jo-Ram was similar to Lindor in his average footage on homers, but Altuve doesn’t hit moon rockets either, so I’m gonna put that info right here…*opens garbage chute, places home run feet data in, can’t shut chute door, leaves*  “Hey, did you just clog the garbage chute?”  “Not me!”  *runs*  Ramirez also pulls the ball and can drop a badonkadonk like a Cardi B twerk if he needs to.  Ramirez is .315 hitter, with speed and power and that’s not evaporating in his age 25 season.  He’s top ten for best swinging strike percentage, and makes the 15th best contact with pitches inside the strike zone.  That tells me, he knows when to swing, and doesn’t miss his pitch.  In an age of strikeouts, he doesn’t.  He was the 4th lowest for strikeouts, Mookie Betts was 6th, Votto was 9th and Altuve was 12th.  If Bad Company’s number one song was Bad Company (how’d they come up with that name?), Jose Ramirez’s band would be named Is In Good Company with the song, Is In Good Company.  2018 Projections:  101/25/91/.315/21 in 577 ABs

14. Anthony Rizzo – The epitome of this tier of, “ADP says what?”  Actually, for Rizzo, it’s more like “ADP says whaaaaaaaaaat?”  Do you think Rizzo is capable of 99/32/109/.273/10?  No?  That’s weird, because that’s exactly what he did last year.  I guess .273 is a little low, but he also had a .273 BABIP, which is a bit low for him, so he’s more of a .285 hitter.  Also, backing this up, he lowered his strikeouts from 16% to 13% and raised his walks from 10.9% to 13.2%, while maintaining nearly identical line drive rates, hard contact rates and spray charts.  I’d put Rizzo on a list of about five guys who have a better than 5 to 1 odds to win NL MVP.  Of course, the Cubs help, and his lineup and HE HAS 2ND BASE ELIGIBILITY!  This is the biggest crock of shizz.  This is a crockpot filled with shizz that is on low for eight hours while you take a shizz for eight hours in the bathroom.  There’s literally two craps being had for an eight-hour period simultaneously to metaphorically illustrate how stupid it is Rizzo has 2nd base eligibility.  That’s what a crock it is!  He didn’t play 2nd base, he switched gloves, you maniacs!  So, if Schwarber takes his catcher’s glove to the outfield, he’s a catcher?  Is he?!  Okay, I’m getting the taste of blood in my mouth from my bleeding ulcer and need to move on.  2018 Projections: 101/34/112/.283/9 in 581 ABs

15. J.D. Martinez – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Bellinger.  I call this tier, “Want some limbs, here take my arm.”  Brucely, I’m being honest with you.  There’s risk with these guys.  I like these guys a lot.  More than most people, but are they completely solid bets for certain stats?  Um, maybe, prolly — prollbe?  If you tell me Just Dong, Bellinger or Springer are solid bets, I’m gonna call you a liar, then we will be wrasslin’ because you won’t like me calling you a liar, and I won’t like you not accepting my nickname for you, Liarry McLiarface.  As for J.D., I went over him when he signed this offseason– Kidding!  Nothing happened this offseason!  Here’s what I would’ve said, had he signed somewhere, “Sure, going to Chase Field for half a season in a walk year is like having some half-baked rhymes and getting to work with Dr. Dre.  You can throw out there a line like, “You think I’m being a cock with my rhyme, but I think chickens keep the thyme,” and that shizz goes triple-platinum even though no one but seventeen hipsters in Brooklyn buy albums anymore.  What do call a millennial that says ‘Bedford-Thighvethant?’  A lispster.  Take it, Highlights, it’s yours.  Being in Chase for half a season in his walk year was like being a nobody-nothing who is working an assistant job cleaning out potted plants that Weinstein just irrigated, then finding out you have a high count of midichlorians in your blood and you’re mothereffin’ Frank Skywalker, Luke’s other kid.  And you’re not Frank Skywalker like Frank Stallone, but you have some real qualities to add to the mythology.  That’s J.D.’s last year.  However (Grey’s turning the ship around?), J.D.’s able to hit wherever he’s played.  His home/away splits in his career are better at home, but everyone’s are.  It’s just easier to hit at home because you’re sleeping in your house, you don’t need to travel, you don’t have to tell the hotel’s front desk to please tell Archie Bradley’s room to be quiet.  Road scholars are rare, and are a little weird anyway.  Only thing stopping Just Dong, and what has also stopped him in the past is his health.  Other than subtracting 75 ABs from the bottom line, there’s not much we can do with that, i.e., I love J.D. but there’s injury risk.”  And that’s me hypothetically quoting me!  When he signs somewhere, I might change his stats and rankings a little, but as I said, he’s pretty much who he is at this point, unless he signs to play in Coors, Petco or Japan.  UPDATE:  As I said in the above blurb, Just Dong is who he is, and Fenway’s gonna be a lovely place for him to just, uh, dong.  2018 Projections: 91/36/109/.284/4 in 505 ABs

16. George Springer – I didn’t rank Carlos Correa in the top 20.  Let’s get that out of the way right up front.  Well, up front after 2400 words.  Are people ranking Correa in the top 20 (sometimes in the top 15) because they think it will reflect favorably on them when Kimberley Jong-un goes nu-cu-lar?  I don’t know.  I’m also not sure what to do with Springer.  Talk show audience chants, “Jerry!  Jerry!  Jerry!”  Wrong Springer, guys.  Last year, Springer stole five bags in 12 attempts.  *stifling a laugh*  Well, at least he’s trying, right?  The previous year he stole nine bags in 19 attempts.  Are we sure the Astros don’t have a hole of quicksand next to 1st base?  On one hand, we know Springer is going to try to steal.  On the other hand, he’s likely going to get caught a lot.  On a third hand that is Hamburger Helper, he’s still going to give you a lot of other stats.  Springer had 34 HRs in a season where he missed nearly a month, hit .283 average, cut his strikeouts from 23.9% to 17.6% and is atop a great lineup.  The steals have more question marks than Riddler’s leotards, but everything else should be solid.  2018 Projections: 116/35/84/.281/8 in 611 ABs

17. Cody Bellinger – Yes, I’m ranking him over Aaron Judge.  You got it, over Correa.  You’re seeing correctly, over Kershaw.  Yes, over Sale.  Yup, no Donaldson.  If I get to pick 17 and Bellinger is available, I will literally (not literally) jump out the window in enthusiasm.  He missed nearly a month of the season and still hit 39 HRs and stole 10 bags with a .267 average.  Sure, the Ks weren’t great, but he looks like Joe DiMaggio for strikeouts when you compare him to Aaron Judge.  Bellinger wasn’t even bottom 15 for strikeout rate with 26.6%.  He also had the 28th best walk rate, in a season he started at the age of 21.  Are you kidding me?  Seriously, are you effin’ kidding me?  How is someone like, say, Correa going before Bellinger?  Not to sound like a pissed off Native American, but HOW!  Bellinger was 5th in the majors in ISO.  The top four:  Giancarlo, Judge, Gallo and Trout.  Oh.  *reads War and Peace*  Kay.  And please don’t say, but uh, uh, uh, in the postseason, Bellinger didn’t look good.  If anyone should know about small sample sizes, it’s you.  2018 Projections:  101/35/109/.265/12 in 561 ABs

18. Charlie Blackmon – This is a new tier, and final tier of the top 20 for 2018 fantasy baseball.  All positions will be found in the 2018 fantasy baseball rankings.  I call this tier, “Chuck Berry, if his cousin Marvin Berry never called him to introduce him to rock and roll.”  By the tier name, I mean you’re likely getting relatively the same as last year, if you don’t believe in fictitious anecdotes from a Robert Zemeckis movie.   But if you do believe in the Power of Love, and/or McFly and think there’s something to my anecdotal concerns, you’ll avoid these guys.  As for Chazz Noir, his last year numbers were 137/37/104/.331/14 as he was the top ranked player for all of fantasy.  Um, yeah, those numbers are goofy with goofballs.  Once in a career a guy has numbers like that, even with Coors.  If you want perfs and you’re not talking short for perfume, and you don’t mean the cologne, Chazz Darkkar, his Ks went up, his HR/FB% was high for him, his line drives were down, his contact went down, his first strike swinging went up, and he’s turning 32 years old in July as his steals continue to slide down to the 10-ish range.  Coors helps alleviate some concerns, but not this many.  I’m going with McFly being a difference maker, and avoiding.  2018 Projections:  107/24/71/.289/15 in 597 ABs

19. Joey Votto – With Rizzo and Votto at 1st base, Freddie Freeman should change his name to Fredo Paisano to keep the Italian-American theme going.  I don’t even want to say what the Italian 1st basemen would call Charlie Blackmon.  So, Votto, whatcha done lately?  Last year he hit .320.  Okay, but what did you hit the year before?  .326.  Okay, okay, OKAY, but the year before?  .314.  Joey Roboto has spray charts the execs at Aqua Net would be jelly of.  Infield pop-ups are the worst contact a hitter can make.  Know how many times Roboto has popped up to an infielder in 11 years?  16 times.  Todd Frazier did it 31 times last year.  Sure, Todd Frazier sucks.  Fair enough.  In a shortened season, Mike Trout hit 14 infield pop-ups last year.  Only two less than Votto in his career!  At one point, Votto pulled only one ball into the stands on a foul in…Know how long?  C’mon, guess how long it took Votto to pull one pitch into the stands.  He pulled one ball into the stands in two years!   In 25 years, people are still going to be talking about Votto.  So, Votto is Roboto because he’s the rock of rocks of consistency, but then put him in a tier with McFlys? (McFlies, McFlii?)  Votto is kinda like the Poseys of 1st basemen.  He gets my real, earned baseball respect, but he’s inflated for fantasy.  2018 Projections:  99/28/95/.317/4 in 546 ABs

20. Max Scherzer – Before you say, “Grey, you’re handsome AF, and super smart.  You rub-a-dub places I thought only ladies could rub and/or dub.  Yet, you say you’d never draft a starter in the top 20, but you’ve ranked Scherzer in the top 20.  Should I not draft Scherzer if he’s available?  Thank you for your time, you are a real pleasure.”  This always drives me crazy.  Not the compliments, those are nice.  You ask if you should draft (fill-in player name) if he’s available, because I have him ranked around where he’s going.  If you’re following my rankings, Rizzo, Jo-Ram, Lindor, Trea, Bryant, Springer, J.D., Bellinger and Freeman are ranked higher than their ADP and where others are ranking them (for the most part; there’s exceptions, obviously).  So how on earth did you get to pick 20, and have no one else available to you but Scherzer?  Are you in a league with eleven me’s?  Otherwise, there’s guys to draft I like more than Scherzer available.  A companion piece to this question is the guy (and, let’s be honest, it’s always a guy), who says, “Only players available were Scherzer and Freeman and I didn’t want to draft Freeman, so I went with Scherzer.”  So, you don’t want to listen to me on who to draft for Freeman but you want me to say it’s okay to draft a guy I’ve ranked later who I’ve said not to draft?  Okay…*places traffic cone on head, kneels down in driver’s ed course, gets slammed by pimple-faced teenager*  So, why even rank Scherzer 20th overall if I wouldn’t draft him here?  I gotta rank him somewhere!  What, I’m gonna rank him 450th overall by Jarrod Saltymochachino?  As for Scherzer, doode’s a mixed-eye dynamo.  Last year, his K/9 was 12 with a 2.5 BB/9 and 2.51 ERA.  His 3.28 xFIP was a bit high, but he always throws 200 IP and his team could easily set him up to win 20 games.  Last year, he had a 30 pitch value on his slider.  The likes of which we have not seen since Randy Johnson.  By the way, in Vegas, I was at a urinal and there’s a crazy tall guy next me, so I look up and it’s Randy Johnson.  I immediately blurt out, “Hey, it’s the Big Unit!”  Not what you wanna say at a urinal.  Awkward.  2018 Projections:  18-7/2.46/0.94/277 in 222 IP