After the top 20 outfielders for 2012 fantasy baseball, guess what we have here?  The top something-something’s? Cute, random italicized voice.  We have the top 40 outfielders for 2012 fantasy baseball.  That’s right, Wonderful just gave birth to Awesome.  Wanna hear something even awesomier?  I’m going to turn this to 60 then 80.  Hopefully I don’t blow my amp.  The hardest part about writing these 2012 fantasy baseball rankings posts is writing this opening.  Trying to make the clerical stuff sound less clerical, ya know?  So I just copied the openings from previous years where applicable.  As with other rankings, where I see tiers beginning and ending are mentioned along with my projections.  Anyway, here’s the top 40 outfielders for 2012 fantasy baseball:

21. Drew Stubbs – This tier started in the top 20 outfielders for 2012 fantasy baseball.  This tier goes from here until Kendrick.  I call this tier, “I’ll happily reach for one of these guys if I have to, in the non-sexual way.  Though it’s kinda sad this is the third tier of outfielders that I’m excited about.  Times is tough, yo.”  Stubbs isn’t really the same player as Fellatio Upton, so I battled with how to get him out of the same tier.  I battled myself by dunking my hands in two bowls of Jell-O, then thumb-wrestling myself to a ten round draw.  I ended up figuring it was fine to put Stubbs in the same tier but below him.  2012 Projections:  80/17/55/.240/40

22. Krispie Young – Krispie is another guy that I kinda wanted to move to another tier and he’s even pretty far below Stubbs (though it sure doesn’t seem that way in these rankings).  What Krispie has going for him that Beej and Stubbs don’t is 25-plus homer power.  He’s pretty seriously deficient in average though, and when I’m saying that compared to Stubbs and Upton, it’s saying something.  Grey said, “Something.”  See?  2012 Projections:  85/25/80/.235/25

23. Jason Heyward – This is probably the furthest I’m out on a limb with an outfielder.  He could be a worse pick than Markakis.  Last year Heyward hurt his shoulder, then Glass Chipper started questioning his manhood even though Chipper invented the oblique just so he could miss 40 games a year.  Heyward’s BABIP was obscenely low so he should hit at least 40 points higher without much effort.  Hitting for a better average with a healthier shoulder should help him build confidence, move him up in the order and hit for more power.  You could blend those variables together and you may end up with a wheatgrass/kale antioxidant health drink that is supposed to be good for you but just makes you want to vomit.  If at any point in the spring there’s news that his shoulder is still bothering him, I’ll drop him way down in the rankings.  2012 Projections:  80/22/90/.280/10

24. Howie Kendrick – I went over Kendrick’s projections in the top 20 2nd basemen for 2012 fantasy baseball.

25. Shin-Soo Choo – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Gordon.  I call this tier, “I could see myself missing out on these guys because others are believing them more than me.” Most ‘perts are looking at Choo’s 2011 as an aberration.  That wasn’t Soo Choo, that was Soju.  An Asian flush with bad luck.  So last year he had a .317 BABIP (off his career rate, but not really that terrible), a 1o.4% HR/FB (again, not hideous), a 10.1% walk rate (not bad) and a 21.8% K-rate (around his career rate).  He missed a bunch of games because of injury.  If he’s healthy, he’s back to the 17-20 homer, 17-20 steal guy.  Yay.  I don’t know; it’s all right.  I’m not excited to draft him.  2012 Projections:  80/17/85/.280/17

26. Carl Crawford – Last year, things started poorly and went from bad to Mad Libs in the cliche.  Slumps get into guys’ heads and if there isn’t a big girl around to have sex with that slump can last longer than anyone wants.  I’m willing to ignore last year.  Really, I am.  Then the wrist surgery this offseason.  Damn, that wrist got me pist.  Red Sox are reporting he should be ready for Opening Day.  I’m reporting he’s going to miss a month.  There’s a small silver lining.  His wrists aren’t his legs.  Hey, I should’ve gotten better than a C in Human Anatomy!  If he falls, I could see gambling on him, but it’s probably not going to happen if you follow my rankings.  2012 Projections:  75/10/70/.280/30

27. Alex Gordon – Here’s what I said at the end of last year for Gordon, “Gordon’s line this year was 101/23/87/.303/17.  Terrific!  Wonderful!  Tonderific!  But if you peek under the hood, things aren’t as they seem.  His BABIP is .358, easily a career high in the majors.  His walk rate and line drive rate dropped from last year, and his ground ball rate nudged up.  His homers and speed look about right, but if luck goes against him those two categories could get affected.  He’s probably much closer to a .280 hitter with 17-20 homers and 12-15 steals.  With just a tad bad luck, he becomes a fifteen homer guy with 10 steals and a .265 average.  That’s far from spectacular.  That’s spectaculess.  I just made that up; you like it?  You use it.”  And that’s me quoting me!  2012 Projections:  85/20/100/.280/12

28. Brett Gardner – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Rasmus.  I call this tier, “I’m targeting these guys for my teams.  They might all end up getting sleeper posts.  You’ve been forewarned.  (Bee tee dubya, the projections in this tier are a bit optimistic, but I’m sick of hiding my excitement.  Let me free-ball and show you my love!)”  I’m unabashedly a fan of Gardner, which makes very little sense if you’ve read this site for an extended period of time because usually I ignore SAGNOF’ers and just grab one later or off waivers.  To me, Gardner is underrated, which is odd because Yankees are usually overrated.  Gardner is just an enigma wrapped inside a riddle inside a fortune cookie that reads, “Person who sleeps with scratchy rear wakes with smelly finger.” 2012 Projections:  105/8/50/.280/50

29. Jayson Werth – Ponder this, guys and three girl readers, is Werth that different from Corey Hart?  Okay, stop pondering it, your eyes are crossing.  He’s not hitting 35+ homers again like he used to in Citizens Flank, but he should also be better than last year and the Nats offense is looking solid.  Yeah, I know how weird that sounds.  Don’t point out the obvious.  2012 Projections:  75/22/90/.265/15

30. Logan Morrison – His Isolated Power was .221.  Dan Uggla’s was .220.  Paul Konerko’s .217.  Jay Bruce’s .217.  Logan Morrison only hit 23 homers last year.  He missed almost 40 games last year because of injuries and his inability to put the cone of silence on his Twitter account.  He’ll only be 24 years old for the better part of 2012 and the Miami Marlins revamped their lineup by throwing some fabulous moolah around for a World Series ring.   2012 Projections:  60/25/75/.270/5

31. Michael Cuddyer – Went over Cuddyer’s projections in the top 20 2nd basemen for 2012 fantasy baseball.

32. Peter Bourjos – What does it mean that Bourjos is ranked this high?  It means we’re all screwed.  Sorry, don’t mean to yell fire in the theater of Razzball, but outfield is shallower than a conversation with a Kardashian.  I already went over my Bourjos 2012 fantasy.  I wrote it while refusing to eat at Subway because it reeks of onions.  2012 Projections: 85/15/50/.255/35

33. Alex Rios – I wrote an Alex Rios 2012 fantasy post.  It pained me to write that post and I hope you forgive me but I felt like it needed to be said.  Now please forget the apology if I’m right or forget that I wrote the post if I’m wrong.  Thanks, over-the-internet friend!  2012 Projections:  75/17/85/.270/22

34. Colby Rasmus – I’m out on serious limbs with some the players’ rankings in this tier.  Just when you thought I was totally out of my gourd with my Rios ranking, here’s Rasmus about 35 spots ahead of where I see some other ‘perts ranking him.  The key thing with drafting is you are drafting for the upcoming year, don’t try and put together a team that would’ve kicked serious booty while bagging last year’s doubloons.  That’s not going to win you something, but hopefully I just learned you something.  Hey, that sounds like a rhyme Pitbull would make.  Blah blah blah Kodak, blah blah blah Kodak.  2012 Projections:  85/22/70/.265/10

35. Corey Hart – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Ethier.  I call this tier, “I’ll reluctantly draft these guys, but I’d rather not.”  On first glance, Corey Hart’s season last year looks okay.  On second glance, his 2010 season of 31 homer, 7 steal 2010 and 2011 of 26/7 look remarkably similar — he simply had 15 less games last year.  On third glance, you see his fly ball rate plummeted and start to think his homer per fly ball rate is unsustainable.  On fourth glance, you start to wonder why you’re looking at Corey Hart’s numbers four times.  On fifth glance, there is no fifth glance.  On sixth glance, you think about how he may not break 75 runs or RBIs without Prince Fielder, fifty games of The Hebrew Herpes and the invariably injured Weeks.  On seventh glance, you accidentally hypnotize yourself and begin to cluck like a chicken in front of an audience of strangers.  2012 Projections:  75/24/70/.265/8

35 1/2. Yoenis Cespedes – I went over my Yoenis Cespedes fantasy while studying for Jeopardy!  2012 Projections: 65/20/80/.250/12

36. Nick Markakis – The last four years his homer totals have been 20, 18, 12, 15.  One of these years he may stand up and say he is Sparkakis, but until then I don’t care to gamble on a guy that is averaging 16 1/4 homers a year.  I mean, who ever even heard of quarter homers?  Those are singles, Nick.  Elevate the ball.  2012 Projections:  80/18/85/.295/10

37. Ben Zobrist – Went over Zobrist’s projections at the top 20 2nd basemen for 2012 fantasy baseball post.

38. Andre Ethier – This tier that I’m planning on missing makes an already shallow outfield that much more shallow.  I get that.  That’s why I named this tier, “I’ll reluctantly draft…”  I don’t like Ethier, but I can’t turn my nose up at dozens of guys this year.  I don’t buy into Ethier bouncing back to being a top 20 outfielder.  I say if you draft him, you’re going to get a top 30 outfielder at best.  That means he’s ranked near his ceiling.  Opportunity costs will probably have me looking elsewhere.  Hypothetical things that have no weight need to be weighed.  It’s all very scientific.  2012 Projections:  70/22/85/.295

39. Torii Hunter – This is a new tier.  This tier ends at Vernon Wells then starts again in the top 60 for 2012 fantasy baseball so I can sneak in the SAGNOF tier.  I call this tier, “Vets that I’m either lukewarm about or slightly more than lukewarm about.  Read the temperature gauge.”  The guys in this tier are mostly okay, unless you draft your team then get in a DeLorean and play out your fantasy league in 2004.  Then they’re awesome!  Maybe one of the guys in this tier has a Lance Berkman 2011 year.  There always seems to be one, but don’t say you know which guy it is — someone might be listening.  If I had to bet on a surprising year from one vet, I’d go with Torii Hunter.  Lineup’s going to be the best he’s had in a while and he can lamp in the outfield.  Will he definitely surprise like that doode from Community coming out with one of the best albums of 2011?  Nah, but the Torii Hunter gambino won’t cost you much.  2012 Projections:  80/24/90/.270/7

40. Vernon Wells – Cause crazy talk isn’t just something that I reserve for Alex Rios, I also wrote a Vernon Wells sleeper post.  No, there will be no sleeper post about Todd Helton, but that’s funny and sarcastic.  You’re a double threat!  2012 Projections:  75/25/85/.260/8

40 1/16. Michael Bourn – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until the end of this post.  I call this tier, “SAGNOF!”  I just throw all these schmohawk steals guys in the same tier, because, well, frankly, interjection, they’re the same shizz.  Bourn gets you nothing but steals.  If you think that’s a smart way to build a team, I got a Lorenzo Cain, Michael Brantley or yadda3 off waivers that says you should follow the SAGNOF theorem of evolution that says these guys ain’t got no face.  Double negatives being damned, and all.  2012 Projections:  90/2/40/.280/50

40 1/8. Emilio Bonifacio – I went over Bonifacio’s projections in the top 20 shortstops for 2012 fantasy baseball.

40 1/4. Coco CrispCoco Crisp could be a cheap Brett Gardner.  Yes, I’m being cereal.  2012 Projections:  65/7/50/.260/35

40 what/fraction-is-this? Nyjer Morgan – Or should I say Tony Plush?  I could see a scenario where Morgan gets confused by not seeing Fielder and Braun and steals two bases in one inning for two different teams.  Sorta like a Joel Youngblood move, only crazier.  2012 Projections:  65/3/30/.270/27

40 3/4. Juan Pierre – Doesn’t have a team yet, but if he gets an everyday job then he’ll give you the usual.  If you don’t know what Juan Pierre gives you fantasy-wise, I have a copper-plated zinc portrait of Lincoln to sell you for $19.99.  2012 Projections:  85/1/40/.285/30

40 7/8. Rajai Davis – Doesn’t have a starting job right now, but didn’t last year and stole 34 bases.  Nothing like a basestealer that has a walk rate under 5%.  Rajai, you can’t steal first base, but you can throw your elbow into a pitch or two.  Keep that in mind.  2012 Projections:  40/1/20/.260/30

  1. Random Collmenter says:

    Oh man, oh man. Are you making us draft Markakis over Braun on a Larkakis? Shit’s getting Darkakis. The MVP vs. the guy who in the last two years has only hit 27 balls out of the Parkakis. The drug-taker vs. the Narcakis.

    Plus you think Braun will only hit .280?! It’s almost like you’re jumping the Sharkakis.

    I hate that the best hitter in the league cheated like a fat-kid-hates-kakis.

  2. barker says:

    that was awesome rando

    great rankings grey

  3. Steve says:

    Feels like every draft this year, I’ll turn away from the computer to tell the kids to stop bothering me, and when I turn back, all the OFs will be gone.

  4. Black Beard says:

    Is Heyward worth keeping in a 7 keeper, ten team league?

  5. ichiro says:

    Pierre is ranked higher than me?

  6. TheNewGuy says:

    Lol like how you clumped all the speedsters together at the end (apart from Bourn anyway), I agree they are all basically the same. Would put Bourn a bit higher though, as he’ll steal at least 50, a bit like Gardner.

    Agreed though OF sucks this year! And a real lack of upside/ sleeper picks.

    Think ill be targetting 2 good OFers early on to avoid my outfield becoming too shizzy.

  7. Billy says:

    trade help, Please! should i make this deal?

    I trade Longoria for Beltre and 2nd round pick

    h2h league, we keep 7, 14 teams….

  8. exactly says:

    @Grey: I’m being cereal…good stuff!

  9. Last year in 247 ABs, Desmond Jennings hit .259 w/10 HR, 44 runs, and 20 steals. I’m inclined to think that he’s only going to get better…

    On the other hand, Heyward.

    But for Jennings not to be in the top-40 is kinda mystifying to me.

  10. Cheese

    Cheese says:

    @MStark: That’s because he’s in the top 20……….

  11. Sam Malone says:

    No love for Maybin? At least he’s got some upside potential.

  12. The Talented Mr. Dope Man says:

    Yes, Yes, and YES!

  13. Griff says:

    I was scoping some BABIP stats a few days ago and noticed that Heyward’s infield fly ball percentage was absurd, over 20%. (Infield pop-ups produce the lowest BA of any ball in play, per common sense.)

    On the one hand, he has to get better, right? But on the other, his swing seems like it was pretty busted last year. This is one of those things I don’t think you can predict. Either he gets his swing back and turns into a 2nd rounder next year, or he drops a Cleveland steamer on your BA in April and May before you drop him.

  14. Captainpyper says:

    not only will I forget #32 I will forgive! I am, however, going to the Wells for a glass of Vernors

  15. BEASTDOG says:

    Be interesting once Cespedes signs to see where he fits the list. Looks like Miami is the favorite. Yanks scout compared him favorably to Trout. Love to see the Phils get in the mix.

  16. OaktownSteve says:

    Lots of talk about thin positions this year. 1st, SS, 3B, OF, all are being described not just here as thin. But what does that mean really exactly. No stars? No depth?

    Obviously the last few years have been pitching heavy. Less offense means that the range of player values from the top to the bottom gets compacted. There’s thinner margins between players and thinner margins seperating the teams in your league during the season.

    But it’s been bothering me to hear the positions described as thin. Not just to be snarky, I say there are the same number of players going to play in the MLB this year as there are every year.

    I think the “thin” thing is something of an illusion based on the fact that the numbers are deflated across the board by the good pitching, new parks etc. (As a sidebar, I have always said that MLB controls the game by tampering with the baseball. I say they juiced it during the Steroid Era to get fans to come back after the labor disputes and I say they took the air out of it subsequently to enhance the perception that baseball has cleaned up).

    The job of the fantasy player is the same as it it every year: construct a roster with a chance of winning and get better players than the other guys in your league. The difference is that now you have to be more precise, the margin for error is smaller, because there is just less total offense in the game.

    The question is, does this mean you should spend more on offense or less? I have my thoughts…be interested in yours.

  17. Love me a healthy dose of Grey in the morning!! Funny shiz man!
    I’m with you Rasmus (I asked about him yesterday and our thoughts are very similar). The Jays are no joke!
    To agree with/defend your seemingly low Braun ranking. The cat will miss 50 games. Fielder is gone. Can’t DL him. He will have every camera and microphone following him around for weeks when he returns (can you say pressure?) Plus, it will take 50-100 AB to get his mojo back. I’m avoiding him like a case of ass warts.

  18. chata says:


    “…(As a sidebar, I have always said that MLB controls the game by tampering with the baseball. I say they juiced it during the Steroid Era to get fans to come back after the labor disputes and I say they took the air out of it subsequently to enhance the perception that baseball has cleaned up).”

    not one to do much research ,
    but in our lifetime , aren’t these balls made in some 3rd world country ,
    by women who are earning 75 cents/day ?
    doubt they’d have the expertise or drive to do much tampering .

    perhaps it’s just the same there as it has been in the States …. quality
    standards are in a continual state of decline .

    i DO love a good conspiracy theory , though .

  19. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Random Collmenter: Well done.

    @barker: Thanks!

    @Steve: Yup, and I don’t even have kids.

    @Black Beard: Maybe

    @ichiro: Not really

    @TheNewGuy: Yup, shizz is dire.

    @Billy: Longoria side

    @exactly: Thanks!

    @Sam Malone: He’s coming.

    @Griff: I agree, he might continue to be busted, but think about how excited everyone was for him when he hit that homer in his first at-bat.

    @Captainpyper: Ha

    @BEASTDOG: Yeah, Miami makes sense.

    @OaktownSteve: Spend more on offense just as I always have.

    @Dr. Stats: Yeah, totally agree with Braun. I think the people who will draft him will bench him then not be paying attention to fantasy baseball two months in to see if they can rally their team out of the basement.

  20. royce! says:

    @OaktownSteve: I’m not sure what I will do with the question of depth in my drafts this season. In the mocks I’ve done so far I’ve drafted just about the same as I did in 2011 (maybe 2 SP within the first 8 rounds), but I may forego a SP to grab a SS early.

    But I think you might be overstating your premise. I don’t think that overall the offensive positions are “thinner” (I’d rather say “shallower”) than they were last year. It could be just me, but this year C, 1B, 3B and 2B seem deeper than or as deep as last year. OF definitely seems shallower. Based on the mocks I’ve done, it seems that SP might actually be slightly shallower, but I’m not confident of that.

  21. Pochucker says:

    My main money league is OF specific and let me tell you LF sucks. Back in the “steriod” era LF was strength and CF was crap then RF became weakest. Ahh but OF specific sure increases element of roster management to game –nothing like it.

  22. MattH says:

    How does Braun’s value change in a 10-team H2H league, where you’re looking at 110 games of Braun and 50 games of replacement-level OF?

  23. Tony says:

    @OaktownSteve: I agree with grey. I’ve always been in the camp to draft offense. Last year I went a little heavier with pitching than I ever have. In the first 7 rounds I had 3 pitchers on my team (Lester, Hanson, Liriano). Yeah that worked out great, hurt and crappy half the year. From what I’ve been seeing looking at the ranks there just isn’t alot of depth. In the OF you can’t even rank Bautista there because everyones plugging him into 3B. probably the deepest position is 1B so it makes me NOT want to waste one of my first picks on a 1B. I haven’t done a mock yet, so i’m interested to get started. I do know I wont be taking a pitcher until about the 6th round like i use to every other year before last year. Those years I finished 1st or 2nd for the past 5 years, last year i was in almost last all year and got up to 7th by years end. You can always deal for pitching in my opinion. I’d much rather have a surplus of hitting, you can’t always take your “great pitching” and deal for hitting. At least not any hitters that are proven. I look at pitching as pretty damn deep so I’m going to stock up on the bats.

  24. El Famous Burrito says:


    What do you think of this trade?

    I give Youk to get Heyward.

    I already have Bautista at 3B, so position is not a factor.

  25. Teledingo says:

    SO whadda we got – 27 days or so til pitchers and catchers?

    That means its time to talk Keepers!

    I get 6 and am having trouble on the last.

    Keeping: Verlander, Votto, AGonzalez, Justin Upton and the Dread Pirate.

    For the last spot, I can go either Elvis Andrus or Jay Bruce.

    I think Bruce is going to be a monster, but he’ll be my third OFer in a deep position. I feel I have to go for Elvis and his steals in a great line-up at a shallow position (even if Ron Washington refuses to bat him lead-off for No Good Reason – he is wasted batting second, for when he gets on base he just has to sit and wait on first for the big bats, whereas Kinsler would be the PERFECT high contact high BA two hitter batting behind Elvis, who would then have freer reign to run. SIGH).

    ANYwho – seems Elvis is the way to go, though I’m not so happy about that. Or is Bruce just too monstrous?

  26. OaktownSteve says:

    @Grey and Tony…c’mon guys give me a little credit. Of course you spend more on hitting than on pitching. What I am saying is that given the diminishing amount of available offense and the narrowing of the margins of victory and defeat, do you envest even a higher percentage in offense or scale it back.

    @Royce: I am not overstating the premise. Here is the average runs scored per team over the last few years:

    2011: 694
    2010: 710
    2009: 747
    2008: 753
    2007: 777

    and in good old 2000 it was 832. You don’t have to have had a 500 math SAT like me to see that’s a serious downward trend.

    Not sure I made my point clear. If you were in a 12 team league and there were going to be exactly 13 runs scored in all of MLB all year, the margin of victory would be one run. If there were going to be 100 runs scored, teams might be separated by a couple of runs here and there. At 1000, more distance. You see what I mean? The less total volume in the system, the more compact the standings and the more homogenaity between the players within the system. Which is why I don’t think it’s thinness, scarcity or anything else. It’s sameness.

  27. @Cheese: Ha. I was starting to think I needed a mustache of understanding. Glad to see that I was just an incompetent reader.

  28. Grey

    Grey says:

    @MattH: In a 10-team H2H, you can bump him up slightly.

    @El Famous Burrito: Sounds solid.

    @Teledingo: Tough call, I’d go Andrus, begrudgingly.

    @OaktownSteve: I meant, I go with what I always have with what to spend. $100/$160 split… I wouldn’t spend more on offense than I used to because it’s shallower. It’s shallower for everyone.

  29. @OaktownSteve:

    Last year I finished second in the RCL overall race by punting SP and loading up on relievers and offense. I didn’t take an SP until the 15th round.

    Later, I was able to get some great waiver gems (Bumgarner, Leubke), and I got lucky with two trades (early in May, after Smoak enjoyed a hot start, I paired him with Stubbs to get Weaver; a month later I traded Valverde and Walden for Verlander).

    So yeah, my trades ended up being pretty key, but if you’ve got a lot of offense and closers, you’ll always be able to find teams with extra pitching that need saves or offense.

    Last year was crazy. I finished with 118 points. That’s probably not going to happen again. But who cares? Take 15 points away and I’ll still have a really good chance of coming in first again.

    Yeah, it’s gonna hurt me to see other teams pick Strasburg and Verlander and Halladay and Kershaw… But there are enough Peacocks and Minors and Moores and Terehans out there to keep your team respectable in pitching categories (remember – all the closers are going to help you keep up in K’s, will guarantee you 12 points in Saves, and they are usually good for your ratios).

    So yeah… If MLB offense is thin, it means pitching is deep. In most of my leagues, I’ll probably follow the same strategy that worked for me last year. I’ll punt SP.

    Here was my draft:
    8 Joey Votto, Cin 1B
    17 Robinson Cano, NYY 2B
    32 Jose Bautista, Tor 3B
    41 B.J. Upton, TB OF
    56 Jacoby Ellsbury, Bos OF
    65 Buster Posey, SF C
    80 Drew Stubbs, Cin OF
    89 Shane Victorino, Phi OF
    104 Chris Perez, Cle RP
    113 Aroldis Chapman, Cin RP
    128 Jose Valverde, Det RP
    137 John Axford, Mil RP
    152 Francisco Cordero, Cin RP
    161 Brad Lidge, Phi RP
    176 Mitch Moreland, Tex 1B
    185 Brandon Beachy, Atl SP
    200 Coco Crisp, Oak OF
    209 Alexi Casilla, Min 2B
    224 Drew Storen, Wsh RP
    233 Tim Stauffer, SD RP
    248 Alexi Ogando, Tex RP
    257 Justin Smoak, Sea 1B
    272 Jordan Walden, LAA RP
    281 Mike Adams, Tex RP
    296 Marco Scutaro, Bos SS

  30. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:

    As an editor and someone fully enjoying (not suffering from) OCD, I always sees typos, spelling errors, grammatical mistakes… sort of like the way Russell Crowe saw patterns in A Beautiful Mind (yes, with the dementia and all). I refrain from pointing them out because, well, who really cares about syntax on a fantasy baseball site? You write “parentical,” my brain sees it glowing and rewrites it as “parenthetical,” both of me laugh, and we move on.

    However, I feel compelled to point out when something not only slips through on the first pass, but is then quoted and slips through a second time:

    “But if you peak under the hood, things aren’t as they seem.”

    As a word nerd, peek/peak/pique is my favorite of the homophone mixups, both because it’s relatively rare, and because they have such disparate meanings that they often create alternate meanings to the sentences they’re mistakenly written into. In this case, the alternate meaning isn’t very amusing (Alex Gordon is reaching his full potential under the hood? I dunno’), so you’ll just have to trust me on this one.

    In other news, this is the first page I stumbled across when searching for information about a new MTV Challenge show:

    Now, who would you immediately assume is part of the new cast? Mais non… her luscious tatas are just there to grab your attention. Job well done, ladies.

  31. VinWins

    VinWins says:

    @Awesomus Maximus: Shouldn’t that be “I always seize typos, spelling errors, grammatical mistakes…”

  32. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Awesomus Maximus: You love Corral. I’m actually embarrassed when I find typos. I pride myself on not being a total moron when it comes to writing, but I do think it’s slightly easier to proofread someone else’s work, so I give myself a bit of a bye. I haven’t watched the Challenge from last night yet, so no spoilers.

  33. zzzzzz says:

    Best 7 keepers with $260 salary cap?

    Active Batters Salary
    Napoli, Mike(1B,C) TEX 11
    Fielder, Prince(1B) MIL 31
    Longoria, Evan(3B) TB 16
    Castro, Starlin(SS) CHC 11
    Andrus, Elvis(SS) TEX 21
    Wright, David(3B) NYM 40
    Fowler, Dexter(OF) COL 8
    Holliday, Matt(OF) STL 22
    Upton, Justin(OF) ARI 20
    Werth, Jayson(OF) WAS 18
    Gordon, Alex(OF) KC 8
    Lawrie, Brett(2B,3B) TOR 1

    Active Pitchers Salary
    Chacin, Jhoulys(SP) COL 6
    Marcum, Shaun(SP) MIL 15
    Beachy, Brandon(SP) ATL 4
    Cueto, Johnny(SP) CIN 8
    Lincecum, Tim(SP) SF 16
    Pineda, Michael(SP) NYY 8

  34. Curt says:

    Keeper league, 14 teams……Should I keep Beachy at 16 or Cahill at 12???

  35. zzzzzz says:

    10 team, mixed, H2H

  36. Curt says:

    Meaning round, from previous question.

  37. Derek in Utah says:

    @Grey: Correction about Bourn- not only will he give you mega SB’s, but he will throw in Runs Scored and a decent BA.

    That’s just the kind of guy he is.

  38. MStark says:

    Lemme add two points:

    1) When you overdraft offense, even (or especially) in later rounds, you increase your chances of hitting 1) a jackpot – the middling player that turns in a career year; or, 2) someone that starts hot and can be used to trade for a (perhaps slow-starting) pitcher that was drafted in an earlier round

    2) The desperation for solid closers should not be underestimated. If you have 6 or 7 on your team, you’ll probably sprint to a huge lead in the category. That should increase the perceived value of each closer among your competitors. The thinking is similar to what Oaktown argued earlier. If you are soaking up 30% of your leagues saves, that leaves 70% for the rest of the league to fight over. Fewer available saves means smaller gaps between the remaining competitors. Smaller gaps translates to each contending owner valuing each save (and each closer) more because the save category is unique inasmuch that one player can single-handedly and dramatically impact a teams’ overall point total.

  39. Randy BoBandy says:

    Drafting a Jays OF this year could be a risky proposition, unless they make some more moves this off-season. Lind is still capable of playing OF, throw in Bautista, Snider, Rasmus, Davis, & Thames. I think there will be some platooning going on in that outfield (Bautista aside) which doesn’t help the others (fantasy wise) over the course of a season.

  40. Grey

    Grey says:

    @zzzzzz: Fielder, Longoria, Castro, Lincecum, Upton, Gordon, Lawrie…

    @Curt: Beachy

    @Derek in Utah: If you like to turn your steals to 11.

    @MStark: As I’ve said in the past, closers gain value once the draft is over where base stealers lose value.

  41. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:

    @Grey: So much easier to proofread someone else’s work. There’s a reason why your brain made the error while writing, and it’s likely your brain will make the same error when reading. You send me your columns early, I proofread them, as compensation I get your wisdom before everyone else. Sound good? Sounds good. Have your people talk to my people.

    Oh, and please… I’ve been spoiler-free since my mama birthed me. Even before that, actually… they tried to check my sex on the ultrasound but I covered up my no-no bits. You wanna’ see the show? Buy some tix. (<– there's a rap rhyme in there somewhere)

    @VinWins: Exactly.

  42. Yep, I said it! says:

    @Grey. How about Carlos Zambrano as a mild sleeper this year? New team, and I can’t believe he is only 31. I would have guessed he was more like 36.

  43. MH says:

    LoMo=the new Nick Swisher, an likeable goofball who may always be more valuable IRL than in fantasy thanks to a solid walk rate but only two or two and a half decent fantasy traits. I don’t buy entirely buy the power output, he only once ISO’d better than .165 in the minors and that was way back in A-ball in 2007 and he hits a lot of balls on the ground. His power may still be developing a touch, but the 18.1% HR/FB is pretty unsustainable looking. His BABIP was a bit low considering how many grounder he hit, but he’s not a speed guy so a GB-heavy profile shouldn’t necessarily lead to an above average BABIP, and if he starts hitting more balls in the air that certainly won’t help his BABIP either. I’m not sure if he’s going to wind up a .260-25 guy or a .270-20 guy, but either way, its pretty meh. Lucas Duda or even Dayan Viciedo could be pretty similar like, 100 picks later. In fact, James has Duda at .279-21 if you prorate him to 500 PAs and LoMo at .265-18 at the same number.

    I’m not sure “Shallow” is the right word for outfield. Its weak in the middle, but there are quite a few deeper options I like. Its a complicated position this year and there are a lot of guys in the middle ranks I’ll be avoiding, but I’m pretty confident I can make up for it with some shrewd deep selections.

  44. Wake Up says:

    12 team mixed 5×5 mock draft
    Please comment, mock me, laugh, belch, or just fart out your penises(penii?)

    C Geovany Soto C-CHC
    1B Eric Hosmer 1B-KC
    2B Dan Uggla 2B-ATL
    3B Evan Longoria 3B-TB
    SS Elvis Andrus SS-TEX
    OF Carlos Gonzalez OF-COL
    OF Jay Bruce OF-CIN
    OF Shin-Soo Choo OF-CLE
    UTIL Brett Gardner OF-NYY
    P Madison Bumgarner SP-SF
    P Gio Gonzalez SP-WSH
    P Mat Latos SP-CIN
    P Jordan Zimmermann SP-WAS
    P Joakim Soria RP-KC
    B Logan Morrison OF-MIA
    B Adam Lind 1B-TOR
    B Sergio Santos RP-TOR
    B Carlos Marmol RP-CHC

  45. royce! says:

    @OaktownSteve: I understand that offense overall has declined, but think the depth question should be approached differently. In my mind, the depth would refer to the distribution of talent, such that one would ask how much one would lose by holding off on drafting a certain position. For example, when I look at C, I think I can hold off because the difference between what I expect the earlier-drafted and later-drafted players to produce is not as great as what I expect for SS. So for depth the questions is not “how many runs will the top 80 OF produce overall?” but “will there be a huge gap in value between OF in the top 20 and those in 60-80?”

    But we might be writing past each other. I see that your point is that if there are less runs to go around, they become more valuable. I’m not sure how to approach that, but I might have screwed up my usual perception of these things by finishing high in the overall RCLs after having bucked the razztrend and drafted SP high (Lester and Verlander in 4 and 5) and getting lucky with later SP (Shields, CJ Wilson, Bumgarner, and Hellickson). I don’t expect to do that again, though.

  46. Wake Up says:

    @OaktownSteve: Everyone is playing the same game, by the same rules. I will be trying to find the best value for each player, just as always. The whole pitching vs hitting argument seems to come up every year and while it is interesting to discuss, it never seems to change any of my decisions. It doesn’t matter to me whether I get $25 value for a $20 pitcher or hitter. Value is value.

  47. mic says:

    @OaktownSteve: you’re making my head hurt… i believe in keeping things simple and not over thinking things… SS and 3B base suck balls, find value where you can…

  48. mic says:

    and if you can’t find value, kick a punt smoke a blunt…

  49. MH says:


    Fascinating argument. In a certain sense, I agree with your overall premise–on the marco scale it makes sense. On the micro scale though, and this even somewhat applies to marco analysis, part of the issue is that offensive output in MLB=/=Fantasy output. The easiest example of this is that a player who steals 40 bases with a 70%ish success rate offers negligble run scoring value to his team, but has a ton of fantasy value. Additionally, there is no “defense” or “run prevention” in fantasy, run prevention in real baseball gets counted in the positive in fantasy, so in a sense this issue of granularity is zero-sumish. For all the spread offense loses, pitching gains.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think the argument is valid, but I think the impact is particularly overstated without expressing the idea that “replacement level” is not a static value. This is even more true in fantasy, where the universe of values is smaller, since we don’t use as many players. When offense weakens, its not just that the range of values deflates from the top down towards a zero point–that zero point moves downwards too, or better put perhaps–that zero point CAN move downwards too. It doesn’t have to, but it typically does.

    All of this speaks to the distinction between the concepts of scarcity and range of value. These both important in evaluating players. Scarcity is a question of volume of players who carry positive value. Range is the spread between each value level–which can be estimated by looking at the difference between the replacement level and the top producer relative to the median and mean levels of production.

  50. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Awesomus Maximus: I can make tix and no-no bits rhyme.

    @Yep, I said it!: He probably is 36. I’m not going near him.

    @MH: He could basically be Swisher, I’ll agree with that. But you can grab him early and still get Swisher. If you actually wanted both, which I’m not sure you do.

    @Wake Up: Pretty shallow 12 teamer, and it looks really solid. Only potential concern is average and that’s whatever.

    @mic: Ha

  51. mauledbypandas says:

    great stuff as usual. I have a bad case of baseball fever this year for some reason, so the early start is much appreciated.

  52. Grey

    Grey says:

    @mauledbypandas: Thanks!


  53. Wake Up says:

    @Grey: Thanks. Yeah, I don’t know why it was only 18 rounds. I probably would have went with 2 more SP and 1 CL or 2 CL, 1 SP. Where is the podcast? I think I’m missing something.

  54. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Wake Up: Podcast will start in February/March, just heard the song and was pumped about it. The band we got knocked it out of the park.

  55. OaktownSteve says:

    @MStark: Of the top 5 finishers in last year’s NFBC auction championship overall (out of 135), two punted pitching hard across the board and the overall champion punted saves. I think it’s very worthwhile to explore your spend splits in auctions to look at weighting hitting. I don’t think that being closer heavy can work in the NFBC just because of the league size (15 teams), the expertise and the format.

  56. OaktownSteve says:

    @Royce: I think that distribution and tiers are key, so we basically agree. Tactical considerations that are very specific about your roster construction and are in support of your strategy are more important than anything else. That’s why I think deep/thin or scarce don’t really have much meaning.

    Lots of buzz on the internets about how early SPs are going in “expert” mocks. I think in a weird way the depth of the SP encourages these runs at the top of the draft.

  57. OaktownSteve says:

    @Wake Up: Everyone is playing the same game by the same rules and everybody is looking for value. But value is not enough. If you have $500 worth of value in a $260 auction, you can still finish last if all that value is derived from saves and steals. The reason the question remains relvant is that in order to succeed against the best competition, you have to have a plan for how you will find maximum value by creating an overriding strategy and then executing on that strategy. Part of the strategic consideration is around offense vs pitching distribution. Keep in mind that you can beat weekend players and old way.

  58. chata says:


    did you intend ‘macro’ ?

    otherwise , explain , please .


    agree with Wake UP .
    after hounding you for 2-3 years , i damn well expect advance notice .

    music ?
    interesting , but not surprised .

  59. OaktownSteve says:

    @MH: You don’t say anything that I disagree with but I still think you need to consider the impact of fewer overall inputs into the system. While derrived player values of course move together relatively, a decrease in the hard currency (# of runs, # of SBs, # of HRS) definitely impacts the economics. I appreciate the thoughtfulness or your reply and everybody else’s too. Nice discussion this morning.

  60. Grey

    Grey says:

    @chata: Yeah, we’re doing a podcast, but it won’t start until Feb/March. Was just listening to the theme song.

  61. Wake Up says:

    @Grey: Ah, nice!

  62. birrrdy! says:

    @Grey – who gets the better end of this trade in our 5×5 NL-only $300 auction keeper league (with no limits to how long you can keep a player, max 8 keepers)…

    Hanley ($31), Holliday ($31), D.Hudson ($17), Tabata ($7)


    Braun ($36), LoMo ($9), Strasburg ($18), Latos ($22)

  63. Awesomus Maximus

    Awesomus Maximus says:

    I been spoiler-free since my momma birfed me
    Hell, even before that, actually
    In the womb they tried to photograph my no-no bits
    I said, “You wanna’ see the show you better buy some tix.”
    It’s like haters always raggin’ on my ride and my clothes
    and runnin’ they mouths, tryin’ to ruin my shows
    But erry body knows they ain’t know flaws with this
    shi… how you think I got the name Awesomus?

    Will somebody drop a beat so we can start countin’ paper?

  64. Howard says:

    @Grey Who would you rather keep: Lester or Greinke? I know Lester plays in the AL East but Greinke will be without much run support this year. Thanks!

  65. polczek5 says:

    @Grey: podcast? sweet, can’t wait.

  66. Wake Up says:

    @OaktownSteve: C’mon guy, give me a little credit. Of course you are not going to try to derive all of your value from saves and steals. Of course hitting is more heavily weighted than pitching.
    What I meant by everybody is playing the same game, is it doesn’t make much difference to me if the average team scores 700 or 800. If you score 700, I want to score 701, not 800.
    Having a rigid strategy against the best competition, presupposes that you know how the best competition will act, which doesn’t make them that great in the first place. I prefer to be more nimble and react to every draft differently, as the way I find more value than you cannot possibly be known until I know what you are going to do.
    Fantasy Baseball has about as much to do with baseball as ladybugs have to do with ladies.

  67. OaktownSteve says:

    @Wake Up: First of all, no disrespect was intended of course. My example of steals and saves was just meant to illustrate the point by using an extreme.

    I should clarify my point further, I think. As I mentioned before, in the NFBC, many of the top performers are crafting strategies that seek to arbitrage players through structure. As an example, the guy who punted saves was thereby afforded the opportunity to draft low strikeout rate pitchers with good whip and era (because he was using 9 pitching spots on starters in a no innings limit format). This is not to say that a balanced strategy cannot work; the NFBC grand champ uses a balanced strategy trying to compete in all 10 categories. My point is that you have to know what your strategy is. I see plenty of people who have a plan of getting the most value relative to ADP or anticipated auction value and after the event you already sense that the team in question will have a hard time competing because there is no cohesive strategy as to how that team will accumulate enough points in enough categories. I mention that this is especially true in the highest level of competion because there are a lot of people doing pretty careful analysis because there is money to be made. In those leagues, you need to know ahead of time not just what players you want, but how you intend to win.

    So my point is that the value of a player is in the context of your own strategy and different guys have different values to different teams depending upon the organizing principle behind that team.

  68. chata says:


    can’t be any more succinct than that .

  69. StewZilla says:


    I keep reading about Ryan Braun’s value being impacted like Maurice Gibb’s colon in non-keepers, but I need some keeper league advice.

    We keep 4-7 players each year for a max 3x so Braun is now available again after a few years. My pick is coming up (since i won the league last year i’m last) and Braun is still available. Problem is so is Matt Holliday, ARod, Crawford, Cruz, Kinsler (and maybe Reyes, but probably not).

    So my hunch is to take Braun here. I think everyone else is scared away, but insteading of fretting over 50 missed games (that isn’t even official yet), I’m looking at 3 more years of production after that. I figure with a clever draft this year, I can rotate in the hot players in April and May until he’s ready and still have him when it’s important, for the end of the season and playoffs.

    What say you (or anyone else reading this)?

  70. StewZilla says:

    BTW, if it makes any difference my 4 keepers are Cliff Lee, Konerko, Uggla, and Votto

  71. Wake Up says:

    Let me say, first, that I always enjoy reading your comments. And, of course, some level of disrespect was intended with your advice on beating weekenders. But, no worries, as it was also pretty funny.
    As you stated, the grand champ employed a balanced approach. Which, over the long term, is, in my belief, the most successful.
    Seeking to mitigate risk by competing in 9 out of 10 categories over a finite amount of time, also mitigates success, in most cases. So, yes you will most likely finish near the top, but not at the top. And, who really wants to play for second?

  72. Wake Up says:

    @Wake Up: the above should be addressed to Oaktown…

  73. OaktownSteve says:

    @wake up: I am going to put a response in the forums later. I’m out of pocket at the moment but enjoying the thread. I’ll post it in the RCL forum category in case you and others are interested in keeping the conversation going.

  74. BigFatHippo says:


    It’s that time of year again, when you get inundated with repetitive queries about keepers from guy’s who go by such such monikers as Hippo, AlKoholic and Steve (where’d he come up with that silly name?)

    Allow me to post the first of many of the same questions………

    Keepers, 8 team league, 300 cap, can keep up to 6.

    Hanson (the pitcher, not the nerd glasses wearing hockey players or a member of your favorite band)-23
    Mad Bum-6
    CJ Wilson-5

    A Gonz-41
    BJ Up-16

    Pick 6, thanks

  75. Grey

    Grey says:

    @BigFatHippo: Bum, Panda, Wilson, Beckett, Upton, Ellsbury… Go heavy on power bats… You have plenty of pitching and speed. I could see only keeping 5 and throwing back Upton since he’s redundant with Ells…

  76. BigFatHippo says:

    @Grey: (Steve and Al….look away….your kind is not welcome here)

    Wow, Panda and Wilson huh? Didn’t think you’d be that high on them, I couldn’t give Wilson away to Al last year.

    The problem in our league with power in the draft is most big bats are keepers but I’ll roll the dice. Whatever you say Grey……….

  77. sandles says:

    15 team mock NFBC rules and roster and only 23 rounds!
    C Sotto
    C Mesoraco
    1b Lind
    2b Uggla
    SS Cabrera
    3b Longoria
    OF McCutchen, Cruz, Morrison, Rasmus &Presley
    CI Howard
    MI K Johnson
    UT M Reynolds
    SP Bumgarner, Morrow, Oswalt, Minor & Peacock
    RP Santos, Thorton, Capps, Francisco
    What ya think?

  78. Grey

    Grey says:

    @BigFatHippo: Wilson was a top 20 starter and he’s $5, seems like a no brainer. Panda $6? Easy choice there too…

    @sandles: Your team might hit .255 collectively. Also, pretty light on speed. I like your pitching…

  79. sandles says:

    Thanks for your input. 2 for 2 when it comes to you being a fan of my pitching! first draft not enough power and now not enough speed. Why can’t I find a happy balance between the two? LOL
    Instead of Reynolds should have pluged in Gardner.

  80. Random Collmenter says:


    any general advice for an 9-team AL-only league where we can also draft three NL players? was thinking about waiting until the last 3 rounds to draft my NL guys (since a max of only 24 NL guys will have been drafted), but then again i don’t want to miss out on any elite players i might have a shot at, esp. ones with position scarcity (tulo, reyes, etc.).

    have u ever been in a league like this? it’s my first year and i’m a little nervous about the draft but excited too. last year some amazing NL talent dropped way down in the draft- hanson in the 11th, kemp in the 13th, bruce in the last round.

  81. Grey

    Grey says:

    @sandles: Yeah, Gardner would’ve helped.

    @Random Collmenter: Not sure I fully understand. You can use 3 NL players the whole year or they have to be traded into the AL? If you can use them all year, why would a top tier guy like Kemp go in the 13th? Draft NL top guys early as you would AL guys, no?

  82. Random Collmenter says:

    sorry to be confusing. no, you can use the three NL players the whole year. i don’t know how/why kemp dropped that low (i wasn’t in the league last year), but some NL studs plummeted WAY down in the draft. since guys can only take 3 NL players, most people try to wait as long as possible to draft NL guys and stock up on AL players.

    do you think that technique is worth trying out (it worked for some people last year), or should i just treat the draft like a normal mixed league, and if i happen to draft all three of my NL picks in the first three rounds, so be it?

    another interesting thing about this league are there are two mini-drafts during the season where you can draft up to three more NL players… kinda cool.

  83. danksforallthefish says:

    Nice job Grey, this has become my first website of the morning for baseball content, if only because you’ve done such a fine job for the past several years. Question, though…I’m not sure I get the Crawford ranking…looks like Gardner, Werth and even Rios have similar or better overall value (if you think an HR is worth an SB (or two) when putting together your team)…is the Crawford ranking based on the upside that he morphs into pre-2011 Crawford and beats your projections for him? If so, I assume not everyone is ranked with upside above and beyond the projections…is there some way to denote when people are ranked at a certain level due not only to the “projections” but also their potential upside (asterisk, arrow, cialis pill, etc.)? I actually like Crawford for a decent bounce back season, but cannot figure why he is ranked where he is unless you feel the same and didn’t fully factor it into his projections…

  84. Cole says:

    Nice call on Gambino. If you like that I’d check out the new Das Racist and J. Cole. I like both quite a bit.

  85. royce! says:

    Seems there has been a lot of disagreement here today (though watching the debate may have bled over in my brain), but I think we can all agree, this shizz rules:

  86. Random Collmenter says:

    @royce! that’s the greatest blog ever. i hope they keep it going- would love to see some old Bo Jackson posters.

  87. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Random Collmenter: Yeah, just take the best players available whatever league they’re in.

    @Cole: Yeah, I have both of those albums too. Good stuff.

    @royce!: Bash Brothers! Ha!

  88. Grey

    Grey says:

    @danksforallthefish: Thanks for the kind words! I feel like there’s factors in the rankings beyond their stats, yeah. If someone can exceed them or might disappoint that’s factored in, but there’s risk then.

  89. Larkin Cunningham says:

    how can you have Brett Garner so far ahead of Michael Bourn?

  90. Larkin Cunningham says:

    wow if Torii Hunter has the type of season you’re projecting he could be one of the best values in all of fantasy baseball this season.

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