I have no idea if anyone at ESPN actually ranks people. There’s talk of it. Like, “Yo, Klara Bell, you do your rankings yet?” “No, did you?” Then Cockcroft makes farting noises with his armpit. All I ever see at ESPN is consensus rankings. I have to figure out how to do this “consensus” thing. Talk about a nice way to avoid taking any blame for anything. “Hey, man, sorry about Andrew McCutchen being ranked so high this year, but these are ‘consensus’ rankings.” Let’s turn to a conversation between two random fantasy baseballers. “Cockcroft has said he doesn’t like Cano this year.” “But ESPN has him 34th overall.” “Yeah, doesn’t apply when talking about Cockcroft.” “So, when does it apply?” “When talking about ESPN.” “But Cockcroft is at ESPN” “Yeah, still doesn’t apply.” “Can you explain that?” “Nope.” Then heads explode. Consensus rankings are done by committee. Only thing ever done better by committee is jerk seasoning. Now, while you might think ESPN’s rankings have a ton of jerk seasoning, they are just an indecipherable mess. But why bring up all of this when I’m about to take a blowtorch to Yahoo’s 2017 fantasy baseball rankings? Thanks for asking, clunky expositional question! Yahoo has consensus rankings, but they also show their work. Each ‘pert is accounted for in their rankings. This is already much better than ESPN. You can at least see what Pianowski, Funston, Behrens and Triple D are thinking individually. This, of course, doesn’t mean I agree with all of their rankings, but at least I can point to how they came to their consensus. Anyway, here’s where my 2017 fantasy baseball rankings differ from the 2017 Yahoo fantasy baseball rankings:
Let’s go with some facts, because everyone loves facts, at least that’s what I heard on some Fake News broadcast. Last year, Freddie Freeman was the 23rd best player on our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. Throw out pitchers, because I don’t believe in drafting pitchers high, and he’s the 21st best (that’s right, only two pitchers in the top 23. Yet, everyone’s got you drafting multiple pitchers in the top 20. Any hoo!). Freeman is on a less-than-stellar team, but that team was less-than-stellar last year. The Braves got better this offseason, I’d contend, maybe not the best word here because they’re not that good. So, Freeman’s going to be worst this year? Why? He’s 27 years old; his power is peaking; he had the best Hard Contact percentage for players still playing (bye-bye, Papi); he led the league in line drive percentage; has a good track record of health; 1st base isn’t as stacked as it once was; he chucks in a few steals and he gets on base. That tells me, I want Freeman, and I’ve ranked him as such. Yahoo, though, they have him ranked 30th overall. He’s going to be worse this year? They have six starters in front of him. Six! Sale in front of Freeman? That only makes sense in the midst of a standard riot conversation such as, “Sale? Nah, it’s free, man!” then you throw a lawn chair through a window.
Here’s a fun one, and by ‘fun’ I mean it makes you scratch your head until it bleeds. A 24-year-old hits 27 homers and steals eight bags in only 97 games. A 31-year-old hits 25 homers and steals two bases in 150 games. The 24-year-old is ranked 36th and the 31-year-old is ranked 35. The 24-year-old is a shortstop; the 31-year-old is an outfielder. The 24-year-old–Oh, c’mon already! You know it’s Story and CarGo. Though, tee bee aitch, this isn’t just Yahoo; everyone has Story much further down in the rankings than I do in my top 20. Rudy’s Yahoo 12-team rankings has Story down in the 70’s overall. Ouch. Like a cat jumping out of a closet, this is shocking to me. This scenario works for horror films, or when a male cat lives with a female cat for 18 years, then says it’s gay.
Yahoo, like most everyone, also loves Kyle Schwarber. Okay, I kinda love him too, but not at his price. Right now the gang at Yahoo has him at 53 overall. By gang, I mean ‘Our Gang’ and Funston is Alfalfa. Hard to argue hard against Schwarber, because he does do some great things well. The big problem is he’s in a platoon, and Maddon won last year without him, so I doubt he’ll be in a hurry to rock the boat and start Schwarber every day. Baez needs to play, Almora will play and you know Maddon loves a guy like The Federalist. Schwarber can’t have top 50 value and platoon. Pianowski seems to agree, docking him about twenty spots in the rankings, but Behrens is channeling his inner Joe Buck and ranking Schwarber at 37 overall, in front of guys like J.D. Martinez, Story, Ian Desmond, Villar, Cespedes, well, the list goes on obvi if he’s at 37 overall. Before I blow a casket like a necrophilic who doesn’t know the idiom is gasket, I’m moving on.
*me scanning down the starter rankings vs. my starter rankings* Looks fine, looks okay, Strasburg is too high, but that’s fine. Wow, a lot of these look pretty similar–WAIT A SECOND, MATT HARVEY IS RANKED WHERE?! Hold up (wait a minute!), he’s ranked in front of Lance McCullers? Jameson Taillon? Rich Hill? James Paxton? Matt Harvey who may not be able to pitch as effectively as he once pitched? That Matt Harvey? I want no part of Matt Harvey in any league. Okay, one league, the league where you have a category: Times A Pitcher Says He Is Healthy While Not Being Healthy, because you know he’s going to dominant that category. My Magic Eight Ball says, “Matt Harvey will be on the DL while saying he does not need to be on the DL at least three times this year.” All due respect, Magic Eight Ball, I think you’re underestimating Harvey’s ability to be injured and not say he’s injured.
(For those wondering if I’m going to look at CBS’s rankings, I’m not. CBS’s rankings are like a 3-month-old pooping on your couch. If you use CBS’s rankings, you should’ve known better to leave non-diapered rankings where you didn’t want them to defecate.)
I’m going to list players in a handy chart like I did the other day with ESPN’s rankings. The Thank You’s have it. It being good value from my rankings vs. Yahoo’s. The No Thank You’s don’t have it. They’re bad people. Meh, they might be okay people, but they’re likely not ending up on any of my Yahoo drafted teams. For this, I’ll be using my 2017 fantasy baseball rankings (go figure!) and Yahoo’s 2017 fantasy baseball rankings (crazy, right?).
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NO THANK YOU
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