So, how’s everyone holding up without fantasy baseball every day?  I don’t know what to do with myself!  This week I wandered into a Starbucks and told the coffeerista about Aaron Sanchez for 2017.  Then I sobbed into a cheddar scone until someone asked me to leave.  We’ve gone over the final 2016 fantasy baseball rankings for hitters and the top 20 starters.  This is different than Final Fantasy rankings where you rank Final Fantasy 1 thru Final Fantasy 15.  That’s hardcore nerd shizz!  This is simply fantasy baseball, we’re softcore nerds like Emmanuelle.  So, there’s no more of these godforsaken recap posts left.  You’re welcome.  I, my over-the-internet friend, will be talking next about 2017 rookies.  Anyway, here’s the top 40 starters for 2016 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

21. Aaron Sanchez – Couple of things about how off I was with Sanchez.  A) I said to draft him in all of your leagues.  B) I owned him in a few leagues.  C) There’s no C.  D) I picked him up off waivers in some leagues so there was obviously no problem getting him.  E) I really wish he only threw 130 IP as I projected him for.  F) me, I really, really wish he only threw 130 IP.  G)  E and F were the same thing, and now you expect a G?  H) Seriously?  I)  Stop!  Preseason Rank #76, 2016 Projections:  8-9/3.46/1.24/110 in 130 IP, Final Numbers:  15-2/3.00/1.17/161 in 192 IP

22. Jose Quintana – Big picture generalization here, you did not need to reach for top pitchers because all of the guys in this post could’ve either been drafted way after where they’re ranked here or picked up off waivers, except for Hamels, Archer, Samardzija and Carrasco.  Then throw in the six starters who surprised in the top 20, and you have 22 starters in the the top 40 who had huge value. And you thought it was a good idea to draft pitchers high.  I’d go as far to say if you drafted high starters, you actually did yourself more of a disservice.  Don’t believe me?  Ask the guy who held Matt Harvey way too long because he drafted him high.  Preseason Rank #47, 2016 Projections:  13-10/3.49/1.24/175, Final Numbers:  13-12/3.20/1.16/181

23. John Lackey – One side note on these pitchers, was there anyone in the top 25 starters that was not on a playoff team?  Yes, there was, but not a ton.  Wanna know why?  No?  Okay, fine.  Oh, you do?  Oh, okay.  Because good pitching beats good hitting so their teams win, and Wins are a category.  Preseason Rank #63, 2016 Projections:  14-11/3.72/1.24/167, Final Numbers:  11-8/3.35/1.06/180

24. Rich Hill – It’s too bad Hill was derailed by a blister that reappeared more than Jason Voorhees, because he was on his way to a top ten starter season, but that’s always been an issue with Hill:  his health.  Why didn’t the Dodgers just buy a tube of Blistex in August is a question as puzzling as “Why don’t the teams playing the 49ers just start playing the National Anthem in the middle of a play so Kaepernick takes a knee?”  Is it too obvious to work?  Preseason Rank #77, 2016 Projections:  7-3/3.24/1.22/105 in 90 IP, Final Numbers:  12-5/2.12/1.00/129 in 110 1/3 IP

25. Cole Hamels – Came pretty close to my preseason rank and end of the season one, which doesn’t mean much.  I don’t mean that as in my rankings don’t mean much, what I mean is as long as I’m telling you to pick up, say, Duffy, when he’s on waivers, it’s still solid advice even if I ranked Duffy way later.  If I ranked Duffy 26th overall in the preseason it would mean I’m a witch, but also unnecessary.  You don’t need to rank Duffy 26th overall to own him.  You just need to grab him off waivers as I did in two leagues.  As for Hamels, you know him.  Preseason Rank #22, 2016 Projections:  14-10/3.60/1.18/202, Final Numbers:  15-5/3.32/1.31/200

26. Danny Duffy – He was a thing of beauty to own for the better of the year.  Funny (not funny) how things suddenly click for some guys.  Duffy showed great stuff — the Duff stuff? — for five years then — bam! — out of nowhere, he puts it all together.  Why did I just think of Taijuan for 2017?  Stupid brain!  Preseason Rank #94, 2016 Projections:  9-10/4.08/1.37/111, Final Numbers:  12-3/3.51/1.14/188

27. Drew Pomeranz – Again, not to harp on how my crazy projections really aren’t that far off, but I was the only one even ranking Pomeranz as a possible starter.  Steamer projected him for 71 1/3 IP and 4-4/3.50/1.24/71.  As for Pomeranz, I didn’t know he was such a great artist, because he perfectly illustrated the difference between Petco and Fenway, and NL West and AL East. Preseason Rank #114, 2016 Projections:  5-5/3.46/1.22/122 in 125 IP, Final Numbers:  11-12/3.32//1.18/186 in 170 2/3

28. Dan Straily – I’m legit not being daft when I say this, but there’s guys in this top 40 who I’m not even sure how they ranked in the top 40 even after looking at their stats.  This goes for Straily and the next guy.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  14-8/3.76/1.19/162

29. Bartolo Colon – Hahahahahahahahaha–Breathe, Grey, breathe!  Bartolo was a top 30 starter?!  This isn’t counting leagues with a category for lard, either.  Nor a category for Lardasses, or Asses of Lard, or Asses Made of Lard, or Pounds Of Lard in Ass or anything to do with asses, lard of any combination of the two.  I would’ve bet my l’chaim there was no way Bartolo was a top 30 starter, even if you bet me yesterday.  Oh, and Colon wasn’t even that good this year!  128 Ks and a 3.43 ERA?  Blehzeus Cristo.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  15-8/3.43/1.21/128

30. Jason Hammel – We should have a nickname for the predictable 2nd half collapse of Hammel every year.  Doode tires out more than a Goodyear donut.  Preseason Rank #52, 2016 Projections:  12-7/3.51/1.19/169, Final Numbers:  15-10/3.83/1.21/144

31. Julio Teheran – This guy is Exhibit A on why you don’t draft based on wins even if you can predict a lack of them.  Also Exhibit A on why you don’t draft guys based on how much you want to visit cities that sound like their last name.  See also Samardzija, Chechnya.  Preseason Rank #65, 2016 Projections:  10-13/3.60/1.25/174, Final Numbers:  7-10/3.21/1.05/167

32. Michael Fulmer – I’m gonna have to look closely at Fulmer for next year, because just about everything he did surprised me, but when I look at his velocity (95 MPH) and his control, I’m even more surprised that he surprised me.  Then I was further surprised he had a kinda bleh 7.5 K/9.  I am just a big ball of surprised with this guy.  Kinda like how I am watching Atlanta with Donald Glover.  I did not know he was capable of this, but I am so consistently surprised.  Get that Paper Boi!  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  11-7/3.06/1.12/132

33. Carlos Carrasco – He missed fifty innings due to injuries, but, if he would’ve thrown them, I’m convinced he would’ve ended up ranked around 13th overall with 200+ Ks.  Not just convinced like a person on Ancient Aliens, but convinced like a mental health professional watching a person on Ancient Aliens.  Preseason Rank #13, 2016 Projections:  14-8/3.09/1.04/223, Final Numbers:  11-8/3.32/1.15/150

34. Jeremy Hellickson – I had no intentions on drafting Hellickson this year, but somehow I ended up with him on more teams than any other player.  This could be why I had a Wins problem in multiple leagues.  It also might illustrate how terrible pitching was this past year.  Hellickson was a top 35 starter, and there were lots of moments during the season when I either saw him on waivers and didn’t pick him up or dropped him from my team only to pick him up again.  I’m pretty much convinced that there’s little reason to draft a top pitcher, but even less reason to draft a starter in the 20-50 range.  You can just go fishing in the starters from 50-100 and try to get lucky, like the legend of the Phoenix.  Preseason Rank #137, 2016 Projections:  8-7/4.09/1.31/141, Final Numbers:  12-10/3.71/1.15/154

35. Jerad Eickhoff – As a starter, how do you get into the top 40?  Easy, have a K/9 around 7.5 or higher and pitch at least 170 IP.  There’s hard evidence that this is all this Jer-khoff did.  Preseason Rank #95, 2016 Projections:  7-11/4.06/1.28/139, Final Numbers:  11-14/3.65/1.16/167

36. Chris Tillman – Why should you own middle relievers to help with your ratios?  Um, I don’t know, maybe because the 36th best pitcher had a 3.77 ERA and in my RCL a 3.77 ERA would’ve got you only 3 ERA points.  If you just drafted a bunch of starters and let them go out there every fifth day, even if those starters were good, they weren’t good enough to win your league.  Preseason Rank #99, 2016 Projections:  13-9/4.12/1.31/140, Final Numbers:  16-6/3.77/1.28/140

37. Ian Kennedy – How bad was starting pitching?  Well, you can say what you want about whether or not it was accurate to put Kennedy 68th overall in the preseason with the projections I gave him, but those projections were nearly matched and he ended the year as the 37th best pitcher.  That makes me sad like Chris Darden being called an Uncle Tom by Johnnie Cochran.  Preseason Rank #68, 2016 Projections:  9-11/3.88/1.29/180, Final Numbers:  11-11/3.68/1.22/184

38. Marco Estrada – He recorded more Ks — that’s right, Estrada with the Ponch-outs — than I thought was humanly possible for him.  He didn’t even have a full season or ten wins and made the top 40 because his K/9 was 8.4, after a 2015 with a 6.5 K/9.  Oddly enough, he upped his K-rate, while losing a mile off his already slow-as-shizz fastball (88 MPH).  He did throw a ton more cutters. Though, not as many as Chris Sale at a yard sale.  Preseason Rank #103, 2016 Projections:  9-12/4.09/1.22/128, Final Numbers:  9-9/3.48/1.12/165

39. Jeff Samardzija – It’s like all the starters got together and decided we’re not going to be very good, but we’re going to pitch a lot of innings with a 7.5 K/9.  There’s likely a Real Housewives of Atlanta GIF for this, because there’s a Real Housewives of Atlanta GIF for every situation.  Preseason Rank #38, 2016 Projections:  11-9/3.66/1.19/197, Final Numbers:  12-11/3.81/1.20/167

40. Chris Archer – What a perfect way to encapsulate how terrible starters were this past year.  Archer was a top 40 starter, and he was unownable for a majority of the season, and if you started him every time out, you did fine in Ks, but, damn, if his ERA, WHIP and wins didn’t put you in a hole.  A hole?  Yes, he also made you feel like that for owning him.   Preseason Rank #14, 2016 Projections:  12-10/3.02/1.12/238, Final Numbers:  9-19/4.02/1.24/233

 
  1. Swfcdan says:
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    The biggest start of the great Kershaw’s career? He needs to win a WS to be considered a true great, and he wants it more than anyone. I think he’ll be right on his game and the Dodgers will do enough against Hendrick. Think we have a game 7 here folks.

    And yeah pitching really was a crapshoot this year. Thank god for pitchers like Rich Hill and Duffy emerging.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Swfcdan: I don’t think he needs to win to be considered a true great… He does have to win, otherwise I’m not going to a World Series game this year unless I fly to Chicago and spend $5,000 on a ticket

      • Big Odio says:
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        @Grey: thank you for saying what you did about kershaw. Jack Morris was an all time great….playoff pitcher but his season stats were meh. I hate how people judge a career based on the playoffs and not the 162 marathon they do every season.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, I don’t understand how a few random playoff games when his bullpen gives up runs would affect Kershaw

          • Big Odio says:
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            @Grey: and I also don’t like how some guys pitch 6 innings and their done every 5th day when this guy carries the load and goes deep into games each and every week. Not to mention he strikes fools out at a high clip. Last year he k’d 76 more betters than greinke and finished behind him in the Cy young. That many k’s with that era and whip is awesome. Groundout are fine but a K is an art

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              That only thing that would hurt Kershaw is if he falls off as dramatically as Lincecum for the next five years, but I think Kershaw’s peak was much higher, like a Koufax peak and might have already sealed his legacy unlike Lincecum

              • Big Odio says:
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                @Grey: it felt like this was the peak before the back injury. Those numbers were going the way of best season ever in the modern era

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  Yeah, his peak is above Lincecum’s peak, I believe

                  • Big Odio says:
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                    @Grey: not even close. Linceum had great years when the entire NL west was total dogshit. He didnt even deserve the 2nd Cy Young, the Cardinals pitchers cancelled themselves out

                    • Grey

                      Grey says:
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                      I just looked at Lincecum’s great years… They were great, not on Kershaw’s level, you’re right

  2. Ante GALIC says:
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    Grey!

    Good work, man.

    a. I can’t believe what I’m seeing. This even more emphasizes the need to draft hitters first. But how about if hitting becomes more scarce? Does that make drafting hitters first the right move or not?

    b. Been busy, hopefully my American colleague will access razzball.com. They left this morning.

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Ante GALIC: A. Always draft hitters first b/c they’re more predictable B. Did he go on a three-day journey to the 7-11?

      • Ante GALIC says:
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        @Grey: Grey!

        a. No, my buddy Lance flew from here to Abeche and then from Abeche to N’Djamena. They left today 11h15 and arrived N’Djamena around 15h00 with a 01h40 layover in Abeche airport!

        b. True story! My first job lasted exactly one day. I was paid 5$/hour for 8 hours of work. My job consisted of removing roof tiles (you remember those shingles that you could throw for a mile if you grabbed the corner – tar in the middle – could have been a pop tart if it weren’t for the tar in the middle) from a church roof, launching them as close as I could into a huge garbage bin 60 feet below. 40$ in 1982 worth at least 40$ in 2016, right?

        Cheers,
        Ante

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          A. A breeze! B. Okay, this is crazy, but I once paid a friend in high school $5 to jump off a church roof. If you had thrown my friend, we could’ve combined the jobs

          • Ante GALIC says:
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            @Grey: Grey!

            a. LOL!!! Hope it wasn’t too high, did he break anything? That’s crazy. Did he jump into a mattress or something?

            b. Rich Hill could be a good must-add all over next year but like in the 10th round or so if he’s still out there.

            c. Aaron Sanchez 15-2 record is crazy!!

            d. Have a bad feeling for the Dodgers, but stranger things have happened. So it’s CK for game 6 and Hill for game 7, with all hands on deck if needed?

            Cheers,
            Ante

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              A. A six foot above ground pool B. He’ll likely be drafted, I just don’t think that high… Unless he shows some heroics on Sunday and again in the World Series C. Crazy, right? D. Yup, it doesn’t feel like the Dodgers have momentum

  3. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    Injury risk aside, is there anything fluky about Rich Hill’s stellar performance when on the mound? Can’t help but think about targeting him as a sneaky cheap $4 back end (7th) keeper (over a Tim Anderson/Schoop/Ozuna type) given everyone’s general hesitation to keep old injury prone guys.

    He, Bartolo, Beltran, and Rajai strike me as AARP guys who could still provide a great deal of value next year (to varying degrees) at very low draft prices solely due to age.

    In addition to top rookies of 2017, ever thought about doing a top Zombinos of 2017? Or is that too unpredictable / covered somewhat by the sleeper posts?

    • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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      @Duda Want to Build a Snowman?: (adding $4 Conforto and $3 Judge to that grouping for the final keeper)

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Duda Want to Build a Snowman?: Bartolo, Beltran, and Rajai are guys that will be cheap again next year if you want him… Rich Hill might be worth a bit more, but he’s not going to be that expensive next year… Prolly be drafted around $12… Haven’t though about Zombinos…Holliday?

  4. PK says:
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    Middle infield was deep, and starting pitching was terrible. Hello there, bizzaro fantasy world!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @PK: Haha, yup!

  5. Big Odio says:
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    Funny thing about Bartolo the Great is that as good as he pitched this year his 2016 will always be remembered for the dong he hit in Petco. I had the honor to be at that game with a couple thousand crazy new yorkers. I can honestly say that was one of the greatest moments I’ve ever got to experience in person.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      That is amazing, I forgot you were at that game

      • Big Odio says:
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        @Grey: If/when I ever figure how to make a video I can splice together my crowd reactions. When he came up to bat I walked down to the front of the section in the case he got a hit. These people( the 7 line army) were already nuts, so I had my camera phone on record so I got to capture the fan response up close. Insane in the membrane!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I’m sure, that’s a once in a lifetime unintentional comedy moment

          • Big Odio says:
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            @Grey: there is nothing funny about tears of joy

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              You need a shirt commemorating the Colon homer

  6. Marty Jannetty_Was Set Up says:
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    Thanks again for another great season of content brother Grey!

    Alas, I lost out in my top league…but there’s nothing I can do about facing Rockies pitcher’s that throw CG shutouts…in coors while I have 3 top 20 bats slumping.

    Consolation, thanks to Razzball I owned alot of the arms on this list and took the ship in my other 2 leagues.

    Enjoy the offseason and daiquiri’s. Cheers!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Sucks you lost the top league, but congrats in others… thanks!

  7. Big Odio says:
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    I’ve been thinking of turning my baseball notifications off til the playoffs are over. I keep getting the dumbest alerts. A constant feed of clichés, useless updates and my favorite today the “our fans deserve this”. Couldn’t any player ever at any level say the same thing. From being a kid and wanting to see your father proud of his son for winning a championship or any player ever who lovesd the roar of the crowd. All fans deserve a championship. Could a player say, “nah, our fans don’t deserve us winning it all”. Fuck no! Why do I need an alert telling me Arrieta said the fans deserve this. Well duh, all fans of every team ever deserve that. We pay their damn salaries. Of couse we do. The 24 hour news cycle in sports blows ass

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      You know why people loved Reggie Jackson? Cause he said I’m the shit… Namath is dining out on saying he’s the shit 50 years later… players saying cliches is the worst and they don’t seem to understand that

      • Big Odio says:
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        @Grey: when modern athletes speak we usually all lose…a little more respect for them

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          It’s so obvious that if players are themselves they usually gain — except Daniel Murphy — so why not do it? Prolly the reason Harper is more popular than most

          • Big Odio says:
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            @Grey: and that’s why Keith Hernandez is the best color man in baseball

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Agreed

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Big Odio: Philly fans don’t deserve championships. After all they booed Santa.

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Santa is a lie created by Toys R Us

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Grey: Jet fuel can’t melt steel beams!

          • Big Odio says:
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            @Ralph Lifshitz: santa is more real than the 911 narrative they fed us? No argument here

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            Chinese steel!

  8. Scott says:
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    Maybe the increased offense this year wasn’t because hitting was better. Perhaps it’s because pitching was worse. Hmmm.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Hmm, I don’t think so, but maybe

  9. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:
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    Archer being the 40th best pitcher makes me sad.

    Finally convinced my girl to start watching Veep. I’ve been re-watching them with her when I get home from work. Good god I love that show. That might be my favorite show on television, and I’m inexplicably even 2 seasons behind now. First season – “You’re not even your mother’s favorite Jonah.”

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Hahaha… love that show too… Jonah running for congress is the best

      • Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:
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        @Grey: Was that new? I’ve missed the last 2 season. That sounds amazing.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Oops, yeah that this past season but it’s not really a spoiler, not that you can spoil a comedy, can you?

          • Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:
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            @Grey: I see Veep set up a real campaign website for him. It’s taking all I have not to watch all of his commercials.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Pretty fantastic stuff with him this past season… I was actually worried bc this past season the creator of the show left, but the show is just as good this year with a Seinfeld writer coming in

              • Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:
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                @Grey: I didn’t realize the creator left. Glad to hear nothing else changed.

                • Grey

                  Grey says:
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                  I think it might’ve been better this year… One of the Eurotrip writers came on to run the show, who I love…

      • Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:
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        @Grey: “I’d make more money if I installed Will here as a full-time glory hole greeter at a Georgetown gay bar. Which I’m pretty sure he already does part-time.” – Dan Bakkedahl

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Haha, so good

        • Big Odio says:
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          @Dr. Kenneth Noisewater: I so need to see this show, its the one I never started watching and wish I would of

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            It’s an easy watch, you could zip though it

            • Big Odio says:
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              @Grey: Oh I plan on doing the power watch

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                Gots to!

              • Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:
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                @Big Odio: Yeah, 30 minute show is rare these days. Perfect power watch.

  10. Lougle says:
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    I’m in a dynasty league with a $260 max auction budget and have Cole, Syndergaard, Matz and Norris for a combined $8. I have Familia as a closer at $12 and since this is a S+H league I can source that category inexpensively. My bats are weak. What do you think about a strategy of spending nearly all of my auction budget on bats and going for cheap SP? Thanks.

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