A Loch Ness Monster waits nervously in a doctor’s office.  He turns to his left to a unicorn.  “What brought you in here?”  “I was having a weird pang behind my horn for a few weeks while in Candyland, and I went for an MRI when they found a growth.”  The unicorn chokes back its fears, finishing, “I’m having a biopsy.  You?”  The Loch Ness Monster hands the unicorn a tissue, then, through tears, “I’ve been pooping this tar-like substance, and they’re not sure…what…it…is.”  As the the two of them sob uncontrollably, they look across the receptionist area to Vladimir Guerrero Jr.  The unicorn fights through tears and asks, “Why are you at the National Institute of Made-Up Injuries and Diseases?”  “The Jays said I had an oblique injury to delay my free agency.”  So, Vlad Guerrero Jr. has an oblique injury, which, honestly, is likely a real injury, but doesn’t sound serious.  Maybe it is just an aching venient injury.  Who knows.  I’ve been saying for a while that I’m not drafting Vlad, due to his ADP, and wrote a Vladimir Guerrero Jr. schmohawk, so this doesn’t affect me a ton.  Nor his MLB ETA.  He wasn’t starting the year with the Jays either way.  I haven’t changed his projections or ranking in my top 20 3rd basemen, though there have been a bunch of changes in my rankings, so let’s get to it.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in spring training for 2019 fantasy baseball:

Salvador Perez – Damaged UCL.  Terrible news for Royals fans, but think, it could be worse if it was a damaged UL Washington.  We must protect UL Washington at all costs.  I’ve removed Perez from my top 20 catchers for 2019 fantasy baseball, and took 45 minutes to try to guess the Royals’ new catcher for 2019.  Finally, I guessed Drew Butera, but the Olympic strongman is on the Phils.  Three days later, I woke in a sweat and screamed, “Cam Gallagher!”  But, alas, that was a nightmare even to the Royals and they went out and signed Martin Maldonado.  That’s Candy’s son who was conceived during The Golden Girls episode that Martin Mull guest starred in.  Maldonado for fantasy?  How about Maldon-no-no?  Alas, I added him into my catchers’ rankings.

A.J. Minter – Snitker said Minter and Vizcaino would split save chances.  He actually scribbled it in his journal, which he calls a Snitker doodle.  In my top 500, I have Vizcaino as the Braves’ closer, and I don’t think that’s gonna change much with this news.  I have Minter projected for 11 saves, which seems about right.  Plus, Minter had shoulder issues earlier in camp.

Chris Paddack – So, his spring training hype can no longer be ignored and I added him into the top 100 starters.  Here’s what Prospect Mike said, “Paddack has a double-plus change and plus command. Splitting time between High-A and Double-A in 2018, he pretty much made opposing hitters his b**** – whiffing 15 per nine and walking just over one per nine. He should be on all radars, even redrafts, as he’s likely just an injury or string of poor outings away from a call to San Diego.  Speaking of injuries, can I pay someone to injure Grey?”  Hey, what’s that about?  PM thought about a month ago an injury or poor performance by a Padres starter moved Paddack into the rotation, but as we travel further into spring training and Paddack puts on a clinic, he could just be in the rotation to start the year and I’ve already drafted him.  For his price, there is no earthly reason to not at least take a flyer.  There’s many ethereal reasons to draft him.  He was also added to my Fantasy Baseball War Room and the top 500.

Matt Strahm – Da duh duh, da duh duh!  Let the boys be boys!  Strahm!  Due to his spring training performance, I couldn’t overlook what Strahm Da duh duh, da duh duh! was doing anymore. He throws 94 MPH fastball with a curve, slide-piece and change that are varying levels of plus.  In the minors, he regularly registered a 10+ K/9 and even tamed his once-wild command to respectable levels in the last year.  I love NL West pitchers, and there feels like a real chance for a breakout here.  So, definitely draft Strahm Da duh duh, da duh duh!  Let the boys be boys!  (If you can say his name without the rest of that, you’re a better man than I.)  See top 80 starters for his projections, and I updated my pitchers’ pairings if you dig that sorta thing.

Travis Jankowski – Out with a broken wrist.  Jankowski is an anagram for Janki, ow, SK.  SK is the country code of Slovakia.  Slovakia’s national anthem is Travis’s song, Side, because they call every injury an oblique injury because their country never sees any sun.  “Broke your wrist?  That is oh-bleek.”  That’s a Slovakian doctor. If you think all of this is a coincidence, then you’re not seeing the forest because your forehead is smack up against a tree.  Jankowski was never in my top 500, so no harm, no foul, except to him.

Miguel Sano – Out until May with a debridement procedure on his Achilles.  Think of debridement as a divorce of a mucousy wound.  “I’m sorry, I’ve fallen in love with another pus pocket.”  “You never loved me, admit it!”  I’ve lowered him further in my top 20 1st basemen and top 20 3rd basemen.  On an unrelated note, I moved Pete Alonso up in my top 20 1st basemen.  Draft him, prematurely balding men!

Adam Jones – Signed with the Diamondbacks to play…*sees crowded outfield* …um… *looks up news about a DH being added to the NL* …hmm… *Googles if Adam Jones can pitch* I guess Jones is going to play mostly outfield and Ketel Marte pushes Nick Ahmed to the bench, or Jones just doesn’t play.  Moved him down to the top 100 outfielders.

Carlos Gomez – Signed a minor league deal with the Mets.  He joins Rajai Davis and Gregor Blanco as non-roster invitees to camp.  This, folks, is the Met’ greatest test.  In years past, they would’ve made an Opening Day outfield of Rajai, Gomez and Blanco, benching everyone else, but they’ve grown…Right, Mets?  Right?

Kyle Seager – Underwent an MRI on his hand, which he injured while diving for a ball.  If he was playing soccer, this would’ve never happened!

Jose Altuve – Out with an oblique injury, that the Astros haven’t yet called an oblique injury.  Why does it feel like this preseason is filled with injuries to guys I would never draft to begin with?  Rhetorical!  The Astros are saying Altuve will be fine for the start of the season. We shall see.  Or not.  Your choice!

Jeremy Jeffress – Was shut down for a week, due to a shoulder injury, but hopes to be ready for Opening Day.  Jeremy’s spoken.  Though, Jeremy’s broken.  I haven’t moved him yet in my rankings, but I’m not drafting him until I hear more.

Steven Wright – Suspended 80 games for testing positive for a banned substance.  Droll Steven Wright, “I thought the banned substance would help me play the guitar.”

Luke VoitYankees said there will be no platoon.  It’s either going to be Voit or Bird.  Bird or Voit.  Finkel/Einhorn.  If you own Voit because of my Luke Voit sleeper, or want me to look brilliant, now is the time you hunker down to think good thoughts.

Luis Severino – Shut down with shoulder inflammation.  Damn, so far in my tier to avoid in the top 20 starters, it’s Kershaw and Severino who are sidelined.  Greinke is goofy awful, but always stays healthy (which is what a prognosticator says right before said player is injured), so I need to go 4-for-4 in that tier to make sure my Noah Syndergaard schmohawk doesn’t look dopey.  I docked Severino 20 innings from his projections and — surprise! surprise! — I still would not draft him.

Zack Cozart – Grade 1 calf strain and unlikely for start of the season.  This is after he was already returning from a shoulder surgery.  Cozart’s full name is Woofgah Ama-DL-es Cozart.  I didn’t move him in my top 20 2nd basemen, because I wasn’t giving him a full season anyway.

Andrew Heaney – Inflammation in his elbow.  Lowercase yay!  I only drafted him in every league so far.  Stupid early leagues.  Your whole family is dumb, early leagues!  All of them!  On the bright side that’s not entirely bright, he threw on Friday (a whole 25 pitches) and says he felt fine.  Further good news (that is barely good news), he had this same issue last year, returned mid-April and was fine.  Maybe his elbow doesn’t like the spring.  Hey, my knee doesn’t like the winter.  I haven’t moved him in my rankings yet, but that’s prolly just because I can’t bear it.

 
  1. Another Dan says:
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    Morning Grey,

    Excellent article.

    I only really draft in one league. Most of my leagues are dynsaty. Am going to ask for some feedback on this team, it’s a 5 keeper league.

    13 team (5×5) roto. One for each IF position (no CI/MI), 3OF and 2UT. 9 Pitchers (3 x SP, 3 x RP, 3 x P). 7 BN spots. 162 starts and 1500 IP maximum.

    C – Jansen
    1B – Hoskins
    2B – Muncy
    3B – Machado
    SS – Peraza
    OF – Acuna, Benintendi, Soto
    UT – Escobar, Voit

    SP – Clevinger, Marquez, Bieber, Lucchesi, Chase Anderson, Musgrove, Gonzales, Eflin
    RP – Osuna, Iglesias, Strickland, Parker, Woodruff

    Any areas I need to address ?

    Best FA’s are :- Mullins, Urias, Wacha, Dereck Rodriguez, Peralta, Steckenrider

    Best wishes,

    Another Dan

    • Another Dan says:
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      @Another Dan:

      Forgot that I currently have two BN bats :- Sunday Santana and Joey Wendle

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Another Dan: Nice looking team, love the hitting, maybe a hair light on SBs… Pitching looks great, guys I would draft… Lose Eflin or Anderson for Mullins, you don’t need 8 SPs (maybe 9 with Woodruff)

      • Another Dan says:
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        @Grey:

        Thanks.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          No problem

  2. Hebrew Hammer says:
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    Drafted Voit with my second to last pick (SLEEPER, SLEEPER, SLEEPER!!)

    Hunkering down. Positive VIBBBBBES.

    I do not like BIRD[s].

    Thanks for spring training update.

  3. Peter Ehrmann says:
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    Good morning,

    Gotta a keeper question. 5×5 Roto, 14 tema, KEEP 5 forever.

    Keeping: Goldschmidt, Stanton, Harper

    Need to pick 2 from: Correa, Springer, Andujar, Conforto, Sale.

    I think Sale has to go back into the pool. Current rankings would say its a no brainer to keep Correa and Springer. But is that the right call long term? I’m pretty sure Correa is in. But for some reason, which I can’t explain, I am meh on Springer. Does keeping Andujar or Conforto make any sense? And if so, which one?

    Thanks as always.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Peter Ehrmann: Sale, coin flip… Springer… No idea why it’s a no brainer to put Sale back

  4. Scott says:
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    Are you planning on moving German up in your rankings? Am I the only one who thinks severino is going to be out way longer than everyone is saying? Sabathia had angioplasty and his knee scoped and will be 39 in July. Paxton and happ are not exactly durable. How much more mileage can tanaka get on that arm that was not fixed by getting tjs? They probably will sign or trade for someone, but everything seems to be lining up for german to get a long look imo. Thanks

  5. Tigres says:
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    Grey! Only 9 more days til season gets underway! And only 11 more days until the season goes on hold again for another week! And only 18 days til it gets underway, again! whew, just used four exclamation marks this early in spring training, I may have strained the oblique in my typing finger.

    I drafted over the weekend and missed on Paddack, but Strahm is available. Will look at adding him as FA, in place of some Rays reliever who will probably just end up pitching the 1st inning anyway.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Tigres: Haha, I know, can’t wait for the season to start then stop again… Strahm’s a little better bet than Paddack, but similar

  6. Ante Galic says:
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    Grey!!!!!

    Great update/report.

    a. So Vladdy, huh? They really don’t like how heavy he is, he looks like Cecil the Vessel’s son reborn, body-wise.

    b. Love Paddack, love that they will only allow him to pitch 5 INN so he can get 10 Ks per outing. They’re monitoring his IPs this year following return from injury.

    c. Love your boy Strahm. I drafted him 2 years ago when he was still with the Royals because of you and started him that one start in April when he got blown up. Thanks for that. Hope he does better this year on my team.

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Ante Galic: A. Ha B. Yeah, he won’t throw more than 120 C. He’ll throw about 140

      • Ante Galic says:
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        @Grey: Grey!!

        You like Alonso a lot? In a redraft points league for 2019 who would you prefer as a bench bat?

        1. Alonso
        2. Eloy
        3. Laureano

        Cheers,
        Ante

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          There’s more than one Alonso… Eloy there, it’s not close

  7. Jeffrey Gilden says:
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    Hey Grey –

    Thanks again for all your help the past few years. I’m coming off a championship largely due to the fact that I listened to you.

    It’s time to select keepers. I can keep 7 of the following for the amount of money listed next to them. The league uses HR, R, RBI, OBP, SLG, SB /// IP, QS, K/9, WHIP, SV+HLD, ERA. We use 5 OF and CI and MI in addition to regular positions. 5 player bench.

    Batters – Judge (7$), Shaw (1$), Khris Davis (1$), L Cain (16$), V Robles (3$), E Suarez (11$), J Aguilar (1$), Muncy (1$), Mallex Smith (1$), J McNeil (1$), B Lowe (1$), Franmil Reyes (1$)

    Pitchers – Kluber (36$), Snell (9$), Taillon (10$), Kimbrel (19$), Berrios (1$), Knebel (1$), J Alvarado (1$)

    Definitely holding Judge, K Davis, Snell, Berrios (unless you say I shouldn’t). Which of the others would you suggest I keep? I loved having Cain – is he worth the hold at his price? I have concerns about Shaw and Aguilar (and McNeil) regarding playing time. Will Muncy be playing every day?

    Thanks,
    Jeff

    • bigbear says:
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      @Jeffrey Gilden: Your 4 (Judge, Davis, Snell, Berrios) plus Robles and Shaw. For the last one I’d lean toward Muncy. Good value, position flexibility heading into the draft, and you’ll have money to spend. But it kind of depends on the league.

      • Jeffrey Gilden says:
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        @bigbear: Thanks for taking the time. Much appreciated!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Jeffrey Gilden: No problem… Judge, K Davis, Snell, Berrios, Aguilar, Robles, Shaw… So many options tho, nice keepers

      • Jeffrey Gilden says:
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        @Grey: Thanks, as always, Grey! I appreciate the response.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          No problem

  8. James Hanna says:
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    G’day Gray (that’s how we spell it down here under something(never work out what exactly))

    Quickie about 3B options late in the draft piece, either as 1st or backup.

    Donaldson
    Asdrubal (now that is Rangers regular and little depth at the position, and likely carrying heavy relief pitching due to injury / usage concerns on starters)
    Franco (now that he is Phillies regular)

    There’s a pretty big gap in your projected rankings from Donaldson to Asdrubal, and a note that Franco will be adjusted if/when he is the everyday starter.

    Either Asdrubal or Franco able to be a worthwhile fantasy starter (and what sort of adjusted / projected stats) if one wa to “punt” the position?

    Good on ya mate

    Roy, Oz

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @James Hanna: Haha, g’day! I don’t love any of these three… I’d prolly lean Maikel… I don’t trust Donaldson at all, and Asdrubal’s a bore

  9. Bas Hoedemakers says:
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    Sir Grey,

    I hope u had a great weekend!
    I had my draft in my 5×5 12 team keeper league (keep 8). Looking back on it my weekend could have ended better;-)
    I used the Rudy spreadsheet tool during the draft but got mixed up with the columns (what didn’t help is that I opened it for the first time a hour before the draft;-)).
    Either way a great tool and well worth the price for the subscription (besides the rest we are getting!).

    I was looking for a draft analyser on the site but the war room doesn’t work. I guess I do something wrong.
    So I hope I can get some feedback here:

    C) Grandal (12)
    C) Beef (20)
    1B) Rizzo
    2B) Schoop (15)
    SS) Story
    3B) Andujar
    MI) Pereza (9)
    CI) Franco (was looking for a sp and panicked) (18)
    OF) Acuna
    OF) Judge
    OF) Santana (16)
    OF) Ozuna
    OF) Bauers (19)
    UT)Palka (23)
    BE) Woodrum (24)
    BE) McMahon (28)
    BE) Wendle (26)

    SP) T. Bauer
    SP) Scherzer
    SP) Lucchessi (17)
    SP) Porcello (21)
    SP) Skaggs (22)
    RP) Iglesias (10)
    RP) Hader (11)
    RP) Bradley (13)
    RP) Vizcaino (14)
    BE) Wacha (27)
    BE) Romo (25)

    Thanks for the feedback!

    Many thanks,
    Bas from Holland

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Bas Hoedemakers: Looks like a solid power hitting team, you’re lacking some SBs and AVG…Your pitching is stacked, better than it needs to be, which hurt your hitting a little…

  10. Snacks Zillion says:
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    Grey, I know your big on Folty. Does his elbow concern you at all moving forward?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Snacks Zillion: It concerns me a little, yes… But he’s saying he’s okay, so haven’t moved him down yet

  11. C says:
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    Grey –

    I’m defending the title in my 12-team 6×6 (R, RBI, HR, TB, NSB, OBP / K, ERA, WHIP, NSV, H, W) Yahoo League this year. Draft did not go at all how I expected, as I was sniped a number of times and drafted more or less where I didn’t want to be (pick 7) smack in the middle of the draft. That said, how’d I do? Looking forward to reading your columns all season long!

    C – W. Castillo
    1B – C. Bellinger
    2B – B. Dozier
    3B – M. Moustakas
    SS – A. Mondesi
    LF – A. Benintendi
    CF – C. Yelich
    RF – M. Haniger
    Util – M. Olson
    Util – J. Smoak
    Bench – G. Polanco

    SP – B. Snell
    SP – G. Marquez
    SP – T. Glasnow
    SP – S. Bieber
    SP – T. Skaggs
    RP – J. Hader
    RP – C. Knebel
    RP – C. Allen
    P – D. Betances
    P – S. Dominguez
    Bench – N. Eovaldi
    Bench – L. Trivino
    Bench – R. Pressly

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @C: Thanks! Your hitting looks like a much deeper league team, your pitching is better than it needs to be which hurt your hitting…

  12. Frank says:
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    Hey Master Lothario,

    Keeper league 12 team 5 keepers. i have a few extra picks in this years draft. (Draft starts after 60.) My keepers are weak and looking to target a couple players the can make that jump into the top40 or maybe even 20 keeper status. Similar to the sleeper guys you had in the past like Judge, Story, Bauer, Blake Snell, who do you think can really make that jump this year or nextt year? I know Dahl and mondisei are your guys. Mondesei, vlad and eloy are taken. Can you name some players in order that have the best chance to crack keeper status.

    Thanks , Frank

  13. Happy Bumgarner Day says:
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    Keeper for this year and next—- Yelich, Lindor or DeGrom? Thx!

  14. Mike says:
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    10 team, H2H. My keeps are trout, Harper, Soto and Verlander.

    With a solid OF already, what do you recommend my first pick should be in the draft, bat or arm? My thought is to take a couple picks to build a good infield, then take an arm or two. I know that thought could changed depending on who falls where, but really wanted to get your take.

    Thanks and looking forward to another season of reads!

    • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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      @Mike: any of the top shortstops available? One of those with your first pick might be great…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Mike: Bat, you have an ace

  15. Nick says:
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    Grey,

    i was high on Paddack for a week or so,

    but after AJ “the Mint” shoulder ‘ issue,

    i added Honey-oh well hoping he’d land on my IR spot awaiting the call up ,
    but he was sent down for rehab.

    Scoubidoo’s friend Paddington likes the Paddack a ton !

    who would you drop now, Honey-well or Robertson PHI RP?
    SAGNOF ,,, non full-closer
    for Paddack in dynasty…

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      @Nick: Tough, but probably ditch Robertson if you can’t trade him

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Nick: Agree with DT

  16. Sweatpants Nation says:
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    I’ve noticed the Pads have been giving Myers time in CF (and he has some games there in past years). With jankowski now out of the playing time picture it may mean they are intending on using Myers in center to give Franmil some ABs. I gotta believe the leash is short on Margot since his ship has left the dock and is close to completely sailing. Myers is not a good defender but who needs good CF play, right?

      • Sweatpants Nation says:
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        @Grey: Or at least him playing CF might speed up his DL clock.haha

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Cue evil laugh

  17. MICHAEL BICKHAM says:
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    You guys going to be posting Top 100 Keepers any time within the next week?

  18. Drew says:
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    Any concern on Folty and his hurting elbow (which sounds like the name of a bad children’s book)?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Drew: Yeah, there’s some concern, I mentioned him last time I did an update

      • Drew says:
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        @Grey:
        Would you move Folty and a prospect like N. Pearson for Wheeler? 16-team keeper.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I’d want Wheeler

  19. Mex says:
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    Good Morning,

    My apologies if this is a duplicate post, not sure if the 1st one went through .

    14 team, 5×5 Roto, KEEP 5 guys forever.
    I’m keeping Goldschmidt, Harper and Stanton.

    Need 2 from the followings: Sale, Correa, Springer, Andujar and Conforto.

    I don’t trust Sale in a dynasty league, so he is not gonna make the cut. I think I’m gonna give Correa another year. But, for some reason, and I don’t know why, but im meh on Springer. Does it makes sense to keep Andujar and/or Conforto?

    Before I make a final decision I was curious what you guys thought.

    Thanks as always.

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      @Mex: I’d keep Sale and Springer or Correa

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Mex: Agree with DT

      • Mex says:
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        @Grey: Hmmm…you guys are making me reevaluate. Sale just seems like a guy that has pitched a bunch of innings and thrown a boat load of pitches the last 5 years and he is at the beginning of the end of his time as a top starter…I gotta go back and look at his numbers.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          You using black magic to draft?

          • Mex says:
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            @Grey: i have been using Razzball rankings a bunch…is there a Tier called “Black Magic” that I missed , perhaps it’s related to the “Sex Farm “ tier.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              It’s the tier with Ervin

  20. Hometown Heroes says:
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    In a 12 team AL only keeper league would you do Correa $16 for Devers $1 and Adames $1 (2yrs)

  21. peacecoast says:
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    About to pick up Strahm in my home league, unless I get sniped by one dude ahead of me.

    Picked up Wendle for my last hitter spot as CI. Then he hits a HR in ST. You wrote a sleeper on him so he’s gotta be good right.

    Stressed about Voit too. I have a gut feeling they go with Bird to start the year. They both been hitting well and taking walks.

    So Vlad looks fat. There I said it. Not athletic at all. This injury may be the first of many. I bet the head office guys in TO were high fiving when they heard of the injury that will put him out just the right amount of time.

    Jack Ryan is a decent show after all, not that into his love interest though. She is meh.

    Expanse S3 is awesome, back into that too. Holden is such a dweeb though amirite?

    Vikings is not as good as TLK in the end, not bad though. Worth a watch if you have time.

    • wass says:
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      @peacecoast: TLK ends up better than Vikings? I definitely have to watch TLK next then…

      • peacecoast says:
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        @wass: well I have not gone far into Vikings yet so “in the end”is not accurate. I also was meh on TLK in the first season so I should maybe shut up.

        • wass says:
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          @peacecoast:I think Vikings is great (my favorite) for first 3 seasons then it just becomes good/entertaining for the last two so feel like “in the end” may be accurate for a lot of people haha still going to give TLK a shot just based off what everyone has said about it here!

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            @wass: I really get around to watching this…

            • wass says:
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              @Grey: hahah i do that with shows all the time, just keep putting them off… got E1 S2 of gomorra in this weekend between fantasy drafts… i really think gomorra is my favorite show now and i still have 2 seasons to go!

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                It’s the best! I love that show… I have another one for you, but you need to finish Gomorra first

                • wass says:
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                  @Grey:That will be awesome! Hope to finish S2 soon.