We Talk Fantasy Sports: March 2013 We Talk Fantasy Sports: March 2013

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Fantasy Baseball Week 1 - Two Start Pitchers

Every season, fantasy owners rely on streaming starting pitching.  If you don't know which pitchers will get two starts that week, you might run out of roster moves faster than you want to!  We will keep you up to date on each weeks two start pitchers and break down the guys we think are worth adding to your roster for the week!  If you have any questions, let us know your league settings, what site you are playing on and who you would have to drop in order to add your streaming pitcher!

This week the Cincinnati Reds host the Los Angeles Angels in what will be the first ever interleauge play on opening day. The Philadelphia Phillies host the Kansas City Royals in this weeks other interleague series.

The Seattle Mariners start the season on a 7 game road trip during week 1 of the fantasy season.  The Oakland Athletics also play 7 games this week, but start with 4 games at home.

Fantasy Baseball - Draft Day Opening Day Freeroll

Draft Day offers a wide variety of single-day fantasy games for all major pro sports, including no-risk freerolls and just about every level of buy-in you can imagine. As a special sign-up perk, they're offering a 20% bonus on your initial deposit of up to $500. If you need additional help or haven't played daily fantasy sports before, be sure to refer to their handy tutorial before you get started.

To join the Freeballin' MLB Opening Day Freeroll, click here!

Fantasy Baseball - Daily Joust Opening Day Freeroll

With a budget of $1.2 mil, construct a roster that will earn the most fantasy points!  There are 12 games on Monday so that give you 24 teams to choose players from.  First pitch is 1:00pm EST in the Bronx, when the New York Yankees host their division rivals, the Boston Red Sox.  Don't be left out, create your team today!

If you make a cash deposit on Daily Joust before April 1, 2013 you qualify for $250 freeroll! Top 25 places paid. Winner also gets a King Arthur badge!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Opening Day Fantasy Fillers

The 2013 MLB season has yet to see its first pitch, yet there are plenty of fantasy studs who will begin the season rehabbing an injury.  Players that would normally be drafted in the early rounds fell deep in drafts and when they return could prove to be difference makers, but until that time you need players accumulating stats from Day 1.  Let's take a look at each division, see where teams are plugging gaps and which of these players can help your fantasy team!

AL East

Boston Red Sox
  • David Ortiz - Right Heel Inflammation
    • It is possible Big Papi returns in April but I wouldn't count on it.  He was able to take batting practice on Wednesday but until he can run (by his standards) he won't be in the lineup.  At the moment it appears Jonny Gomes will fill in the DH spot in the lineup, while rookie phenom Jackie Bradley gets the go in the OF.  

Fantasy Baseball - Fantazzle Opening Day Freeroll

Fantazzle Weekly Fantasy Games

OPENING DAY Daily Fantasy Baseball Salary Cap - MON 1:05PM ET Start (4/1)

Fantazzle offers several fantasy baseball games during the regular MLB season in different formats including - Pick'em, Salary Cap and Limited Lineup. These games will be offered in daily, weekly, monthly, and season formats, with different formats being available in four different durations throughout the season.

Our daily game is available every day and the weekly game every week (starting every Monday), monthly games will be available at the beginning of each month, while our playoff games start when the MLB playoffs begin. Each game offers players the chance to win cash prizes by using their fantasy skills and knowledge. All cash prizes are awarded as soon as the last pitch is thrown.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

RotoBaller - How to Use ADP Data

This article originally appeared on www.RotoBaller.com: RotoBaller Strategy: How to Use ADP Data The first piece, RotoBaller.com Draft Day Strategy can be found here.

ADPs are perhaps the single biggest obsession and reference point for the great majority of fantasy baseball drafters. And it makes sense: you can see where a player is being drafted, judge whether you like him more or less than his ADP, and poof, you’ve spotted the guys to avoid or target in your draft. Do it successfully and you may just have found yourself a few draft day bargains. What’s not to like? BUT, there is a huge, elephant-sized hitch: not everyone in your league uses the same ADPs to do their research. Not even everyone uses ADPs at all. So if you’re deciding when to draft players based solely on their ADPs, and your fellow fantasy GMs don’t even reference those ADPs, your ADPs wind up being meaningless because you really have no good way to tell when your fellow GMs will actually draft a player! Whatever direction the ADP data steers you in will be the wrong one. You will be targeting players based on their ADPs, while your competition may take some of those players way earlier because they’re not using that ADP data at all!

Breaking Down the Bracket - West Region

The Zags were the only 1 seed to be eliminated and that should be music to your ears if you picked Ohio State to represent the West Region in the Final Four.  Wichita State upset Gonzaga and the Shockers will have to beat fellow bracket buster 13 seed La Salle.  The Explorers beat the Rebels of Ole Miss last night on a beautiful drive and finish from Tyrone Garland.

TV Schedule (EST):

Thursday, March 28
(W) 2 Ohio State vs. 6 Arizona TBS 7:47 pm
(W) 9 Wichita State vs. 13 LaSalle  TBS 9:57 pm

Breaking Down the Bracket - East Region

While there have not been many surprises in the East Region, if you do not have Indiana, Syracuse or Miami making the National Championship you better be rooting for a Marquette Final Four appearance!  If the Golden Eagles can somehow surprise everyone as a 3 seed (weird), it can really make a Bracket that has Kansas or Florida from the right side of the Bracket.

TV Schedule (EST):

Thursday, March 28
2 Miami vs. (W) 3 Marquette CBS 7:15pm
1 Indiana vs. (W) 4 Syracuse CBS 9:35pm

Breaking Down the Bracket - Midwest Region

The Oregon Fighting Ducks have knocked off Saint Louis, who people were riding to the Sweet 16.  There was a lot of pre-tourny hype surrounding Oregon, but I believed in Saint Louis' ability to play defense.  Louisville and all those riding the Cardinals to the Final Four and the National Championship could be in BIG trouble!

TV Schedule (EST):

Friday, March 29
(W) 1 Louisville vs. 12 Oregon CBS 7:15 pm
(W) 2 Duke vs. 3 Michigan State CBS 9:35pm

Breaking Down the Bracket - South Region

The Round of 64 really hurt every ones bracket, when the 15 seed Florida Gulf Coast Eagles took down the 2 seed Georgetown Hoyas.  It caused even more problems for those few people who actually picked San Diego St to upset the Hoyas in the Round of 32.  Next up for Cinderella are her neighbors, the Florida Gators.

The top half of this bracket has gone according to plan with no major upsets and has 1 seed Kansas facing the 4 seed Michigan.

TV Schedule (EST) :

Friday, March 29
1 Kansas vs. (W) 4 Michigan TBS 7:37 pm
(W) 3 Florida vs. 15 Florida Gulf Coast TBS 9:57 pm

Monday, March 25, 2013

Fantasy Take: Kyle Lohse Signing

Kyle Lohse finally signed with a team today, and that means he should be off your fantasy team by this weekend.

Look, if he's on your waiver wire, you've got to add him. Unless you found a mega sleeper, he's going to be better than your last-round pick. And if you drafted him in a late round, waiting for the day he would sign, that's a smooth move. But I don't think you should hold on to him.

Call me skeptical, but Lohse has a career ERA of 4.45. And even last year when he was fantastic, he still only had 143 strikeouts. Last year he ranked 35th overall, which is awesome--but to do that, he needed a 2.85 ERA and 16 wins. Not being a strikeout guy, Lohse needs a sparkling ERA to be a fantasy stud, and I'm not sure he gets it in the more hitter-friendly Miller Park.

RotoBaller - Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy Tips

It seems like we spend so much time planning our draft-day strategy, only for one or two random picks by other managers to completely screw it all up and send us into a maniacal spiral of horrendous decision making. We've all been there, in those dark draft minutes where our "guaranteed first place" roster all of a sudden took a turn for the toilet. That's why RotoBaller is gonna give you the straight talk on draft-day strategy. So let's prepare for your fantasy baseball draft in 2013.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Mid-Round Draft Advice: Look for XBH

Last year, Miguel Cabrera led the league in extra-base hits in 2012 with 84. Robinson Cano followed him with 82.

In third place? Aramis Ramirez, with 80.

Yet in fantasy, one of those things is not like the other. Cabrera and Cano will cost top-5 draft picks, whereas Ramirez has an ADP of 73.

Many fantasy managers find it pretty easy to rank their top 30 or so players, and then identify their can’t-miss sleepers for the late parts of the draft, but finding value in the middle rounds is a little trickier. In fact, I’m not sure many GMs even try--usually mid-round picks go more like “oh hey, I still need a SS” or “oh hey, I’m low on steals, let’s take Michael Bourn.” And while I absolutely believe you need to react based on how the draft is progressing, a little prep work on mid-round values could net you some bargain production.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Fantasy Baseball Outfielders Rankings

The Outfield is where you are going to find the most value.  Last season 10 of the top 25, 19 of the top 50 and 36 of the top 100 fantasy baseball players were outfielders.  That list does not include OF eligible players like Chase Headley and Ben Zobrist.  If you can not land a top 3 or 4 first baseman, Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano, or the Justin Verlander's of the pitching world, then you better be drafting outfielders in the first two rounds!  Using our scoring system from last season (1B - 1pt, 2B - 2pts, 3B - 3pts, HR - 2pts, RBI - 2pts, R - 2pts, BB - 1pt, SB - 1pt) 28 OFs had at least 600 points while just 29 other NON pitchers reached 600.

The Arizona Diamondbacks will be without sleeper Adam Eaton until the end of May or even early June, as he deals with a sprained UCL.

Curtis Granderson will miss 10 weeks, breaking his arm after being hit by a pitch.  This was Granderson's 1st spring training plate appearance so it might even take longer than 10 weeks for Curtis to return to the New York Yankees lineup.  Draft wisely!

* - New Team
** - Sleeper

1.) Mike Trout - Los Angeles Angels
  • Mike Trout has to be 1st player ever to go from rookie to #1 overall draft pick in a single offseason in fantasy baseball history. He was unreal last year and there is no reason to believe he wont score 100+ runs, hit .300 with 30 doubles, 10 triples, 30 home runs, drive in 100+ RBI and steal 50 bases ...OUT OF THE LEADOFF SPOT! - @WeTlkFntsySprts
2.) Matt Kemp - Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Matt Kemp won fantasy championships for owners in 2011. Owners who drafted him in 2012 may not have been as happy. In a year where his goal was 50/50, he missed 60 games. No one will complain about his .300 average and 20+ HRs, but owners were expecting so much more. In 2013, Kemp may be part of one of the most talented lineups to ever play together in an MLB season. If he runs like he did in the past, he will once again win people fantasy championships. - @Schuch10
3.) Ryan Braun - Milwaukee Brewers
  • Beast Mode. Ryan Braun was supposed to fall back to Earth after his acquittal of his positive drug test. Unfortunately, for his critics, he had a 40/30 season after posting a 30/30 season. He has not hit under .300 since 2008 and has never hit under .285. 2010 was the only season Braun did not hit 30 HRs. In addition, he has had 30 or more steals in back to back seasons. In addition to the gaudy numbers, Braun has also proven to be durable, playing over 150 games since 2008. I am hard-pressed to find any chinks in the Hebrew Hammer?s armor. - @Schuch10
4.) Josh Hamilton *- Los Angeles Angels
5.) Andrew McCutchen - Pittsburgh Pirates

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Fantasy Baseball Third Basemen Rankings

The hot corner is one loaded with young, risky, talent.  Guys like Manny Machado, Brett Lawrie and Mike Moustakas all provide fantasy owners with huge upsides and increased positivity when reading about them.  But last season Lawrie was hit with the injury bug and Moustakas suffered a sophomore slump.  If these two guys can give owners consistent production with 500-600 ABs, third base could be the position that wins you your fantasy league!  With Alex Rodriguez' hip and off field issues, Kevin Youkilis might just see enough ABs to move him up this list, but with Eduardo Nunez' bat waiting for opportunity, the New York Yankees would be silly not to share the weatlh.  All 5 guys before the jump are 1st and 2nd round worthy, but be VERY careful with Evan Longoria due to health and have a SOLID backup plan just in case!

The Los Angeles Dodgers will be without Hanley Ramirez for two months after thumb surgery.

The San Diego Padres will be without Chase Headley for the first month and maybe more.  Headley has a fractured thumb.

Same Face, New Place - Infielders

*- New Team
** - Sleeper

1.) Miguel Cabrera - Detroit Tigers
2.) Adrian Beltre - Texas Rangers
  • Beltre is a model of consistency. From 2010-2012, Miguel Cabrera leads third basemen in R, HR, RBI, AVG, 2Bs, and SLG %. Miguel Cabrera is considered a top 3 pick. Adrian Beltre is second in all these categories, except R (he is 3rd). The only thing Beltre lacks is speed, which is the only reason David Wright can creep in the conversation for the second rated third basemen. www.mockdraftcentral.com (MDC) ADP- 16  - @Schuch10
3.) David Wright - New York Mets
4.) Evan Longoria - Tampa Bay Rays
5.) Ryan Zimmerman - Washington Nationals

Fantasy Baseball Starting Pitchers Rankings

With big names leading this list, it can be hard to pass on them in the early rounds.  I think this is the season we should all let the rest of our leagues draft pitchers in the early rounds.  I have finally come to the understanding that a guy who plays 30 games out of 162 just can not win you your fantasy baseball league.  Take last season for instance, I had a guy who drafted Roy Hallady and Cliff Lee with his first two picks and you know where he finished? DEAD LAST!  Try not to get caught up in that rush of pitchers once someone starts the trend.  Instead, continue to pick guys that will give you value on a daily basis and fill in your pitching staff with solid consistent quality starts like Jonathon Niese, Jordan Zimmermann and Anibal Sanchez.  Pitching is so deep because of 5-man rotations and injuries are so frequent to top notch pitchers that the waiver wire always plays a huge role in a teams roster by the end of the season.  Because of that you need to maximize your players value and take advantage of the everyday players while filling in the pitching staff along the way.

The Cincinnati Reds are answering Aroldis Chapman prayers and moving him back to the bullpen and he is the Reds closer.  If you already drafted him, I apologize for the Reds stupidity.  They never should have attempted this stunt in the first place!

* - New Team
** - Sleeper

1.) Justin Verlander - Detroit Tigers
2.) Clayton Kershaw - Los Angeles Dodgers
3.) David Price - Tampa Bay Rays
4.) Stephen Strasburg - Washington Nationals
5.) Felix Hernandez - Seattle Mariners

First Ever Auction Draft

Yesterday afternoon, I registered for an Auction League Mock Draft on ESPN.  This was my first experience with this style of drafting and I was lost to say the least.  I know this sounds stupid, but I had no idea it was an actual "auction."  I didn't understand how there was a draft order and that players had to be nominated for bidding, or using the budget wisely.  But I did end up with Mike Trout, Robinson Cano, Jose Reyes, Carlos Gonzalez, Stephen Strasburg and David Price!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Asdrubal Cabrera vs Ian Desmond - Who Would You Rather Have?

With statistics this close over the last 3 seasons, it is hard to argue who is more valuable, Asdrubal Cabrera or Ian Desmond.  But when looking at the average draft position, you might want to wait a bit on the SS position and land Cabrera in the new look Indians offense.  Unless your league values stolen bases above normal, which Desmond has the advantage, there is nothing Desmond can do that Cabrera can't.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Draft Advice: Don't Pay For High Steals

I love speed. Always have. And I've always made stolen bases a category I try to dominate in fantasy. I'm not sure why; it's one category just like any other. However, I think there is a correct way and an incorrect way to go about winning it, so if you hope to be strong in the category this year, read on. Note: I'm approaching this article from a head-to-head scoring perspective.

I often hear guys say things like "I'm going to target Michael Bourn and Juan Pierre in the draft, so they can just carry me in steals and I won't have to worry about it." While the idea of 2 players dominating a category for you is nice in theory, it unfortunately just doesn't work.

Bourn and Pierre were 4th and 9th overall last year in SB, so they were definitely elite in that category. But can they carry you in the category? Let's do the math. They combined 79 steals. Over a 22-week fantasy season, that's just 3-4 per week. That is not going to win the SB category that week.

RotoBaller - Relief Pitching Tier Rankings

RotoBaller.com is your ONE stop for baseball & fantasy baseball news, advice, rankings, tools, expert analysis and player profiles. RotoBaller.com is all about providing you with the BEST fantasy baseball advice available ANYWHERE. That’s why we’re constantly writing our own articles, searching the world of baseball news for the juiciest tidbits, and making them available to you in ONE PLACE - at www.RotoBaller.com.

Stay Informed, Stay Connected, Be a RotoBaller.

There are some clear Dos and Don'ts when it comes to drafting closers, but lets get the biggest one out of the way first: don't reach for a closer too early. If you reach for a closer, you'll likely be the one kicking off the infamous "run on Closers". If you want to win your league, you'll want to avoid being that guy. Not only can you expect many of the fantasy baseball closers below to perform roughly equivalently to one another, but all your league managers will target you all year for closer trades and make it difficult to live-down being the sucker who splurged too early on a closer!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Pedro Alvarez vs Todd Frazier - Who Would You Rather Have?

Todd Frazier is one of the biggest sleepers of the 2013 Fantasy Baseball season.  Playing in a lineup that features Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and now Shin-Soo Choo, Frazier will have plenty of RBI opportunities.  Scott Rolen is no longer standing in the way of the 27 year old and the ABs will finally there for Frazier.  His career numbers have shown us what he can do with a full season and 30 doubles, 6 triples, 25 home runs and 82 RBI from a guy being drafted between 175-200 overall is unbelievable.  Frazier currently has 1B, 3B, and OF eligibility in Yahoo leagues.   I would be very comfortable with Frazier as my starting 3B.

Fantasy Baseball First Basemen Rankings

First base is slowly starting to become a dominate position in fantasy baseball again.  Last year 6 of the top 50 players were first basemen and 4 in the top 25.  With names like Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder and Joey Votto it is hard to not want to use a 1st or 2nd round pick on the position.  However, if you miss out on these 3 and even Edwin Encarnacion, do not worry about waiting a while to snatch up guys like Adam Dunn, Billy Butler or even Mark Teixeria who is slowly dropping down draft boards year after year.

Be sure to listen to the Fantasy Baseball Podcast from Dear Mr. FantasyThere is a special treat around the 11:50 mark!

Same Face, New Place - Infielders
Who Would You Rather Have? Adam Dunn vs Ryan Howard

* - New Team
** - Sleeper
  • Mark Teixeira says his wrist injury might keep him out longer than expected! Jose Bautista had a similar injury last season and ended up needing season ending surgery!  Keep your eyes and ears open!
  • More bad news for the Milwaukee Brewers. Mat Gamel injured his surgically repaired knee and will miss the entire season.  MLBDepthCharts thinks prospect Hunter Morris will get the gig.  
    • Corey Hart will miss the first 3 to 4 months of the season after knee surgery.  Mat Gamel will fill in.

1.) Albert Pujols - Los Angeles Angels
  • Mike Trout had the most impressive season for a 20 year old. Ever. But Pujols's 21 year old season may have been equally impressive. Pujols had 48 less SBs, but 47 more RBIs. Trout had 17 more Rs, but Pujols had 7 more HRs. Fantasy players in 2013 may not care about Pujols's 2001 season, but they should care about Trout's season. Pujols had a dismal April, but his play seemed to improve once Trout was promoted. And the addition of Josh Hamilton adds additional protection behind him. Pujols, in his "worst" season, still managed 30 HR and seems to still have enough speed to successfully steal 7-8 times. We need to remember, Albert is a machine.  (www.mockdraftcentral.com) MDC ADP- 7 - @Schuch10
2.) Prince Fielder - Detroit Tigers
3.) Joey Votto - Cincinatti Reds
4.) Edwin Encarnacion - Toronto Blue Jays
  • Encarnacion's coming off a breakout season with career highs nearly across the board. Can he keep it up in 2013? That's the question on every fantasy manager's mind. My answer: a resounding YES. Encarnacion might be the player with the most benefit over the offseason, with the Blue Jays unprecedented roster additions. Encarnacion figures to hit cleanup in a lineup that 1-5 will look like this: Reyes, Cabrera, Bautista, Encarnacion, Lawrie. In short, Encarnacion has the best opportunity in baseball to produce, with two proven hitters with speed hitting 1-2, the God of Canada hitting third, and the young phenom Brett Lawrie (who enters his 2nd full MLB season with expected improvement) hitting fifth. Encarnacion's numbers will look a lot like 2012; he's a top first baseman this season. For more on Encarnacion in 2013, check a full breakdown here. - @Jewish_Jeff
5.) Adrian Gonzalez - Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Gonzalez might be set up for a MONSTER season in 2013. Gonzalez will be hitting 4th in an absolute stacked Dodgers lineup. Not only will he have Carl Crawford and Matt Kemp hitting in the 2 and 3 hole right in front of him but he will have  Hanley Ramirez and Andre Ethier right behind him. If Crawford and Kemp can stay healthy, they'll be on base quite often and Gonzalez will have a ton of RBI chances, and pitchers will have to pitch to him because of the support in the lineup behind him so he will see plenty of good pitches. Gonzalez will hit .300, hit 25 home runs, drive in 110 runs and score 105 runs. - @Mike_WeTalkFS

Friday, March 15, 2013

Same Face, New Place - Outfield

So many valuable fantasy outfielders have traded in the old cap for a new one.  Some guys will have to live up to the pressure of a big contract, while others will be out to prove to their old team that they were worth more than they were traded for.  

Fantasy Baseball Outfield Rankings

*Sorted Alphabetically

B.J. Upton - Atlanta Braves
  • Big Brother Upton signed with Braves after 8 up and down seasons with the Rays.  He has become somewhat of a power hitter in the last few seasons, so it's in everyone's best interest to NOT hit him leadoff.  If the Braves move him down in the lineup his value increases. 

ESPN Fantasy Baseball ADP Mock Draft

Understanding Average Draft Position is a key element to a great draft.  You may feel that other people have players ranked as high or low as you do, but 9 times out of 10 every ones rankings are different.  Your draft strategy will determine if you reach for starting pitching early, or if you fill up your starting second base position last.  Last week we took a look at Yahoo ADP and did a mock draft, and got some interesting results.  This week we took ESPN ADP and as expected the results were quite similar, but it is interesting to note that depending on which service you are using, players values differ.  Teams consist of the following rosters:

1 Catcher
1 First Base
1 Second Base
1 Third Base
1 Shortstop
3 Outfielders
3 Starting Pitchers
1 Relief Pitcher

We did have to shuffle around some guys to make sure each 12 man roster filled the necessary requirements, but it is a good understanding of what your starting team could look like in a 12 man league, based on your draft slot.  ESPN Live Draft Results made it very difficult to shuffle the players around as they are listed with just a single eligible position.

(1) 1 Miguel Cabrera, Det 3B
(2) 24 David Price, TB SP
(3) 25 Jose Reyes, Tor SS
(4) 48 CC Sabathia, NYY SP
(5) 49 B.J. Upton, Atl OF
(6) 72 Aaron Hill, Ari 2B
(7) 73 Desmond Jennings, TB OF
(8) 96 Fernando Rodney, TB RP
(9) 97 Ryan Howard, Phi 1B
(10) 120 Hunter Pence, SF OF
(11) 121 Hiroki Kuroda, NYY SP
(12) 144 Brian McCann, Atl C

Every owner with the 1st pick is going to have to decide on Miggy, Trout and Braun.  Miggy is the safe pick, Trout has the highest ceiling and Braun is on the worst team.  I would go Trout, but hopefully I get pick #2 and don't have to make that decision!  Love Price, Reyes and Sabathia but not a fan of B.J. Upton in the top 50.  Aaron Hill is another guy I am not a HUGE fan of but he has power from the 2B position so thats a bonus.  Jennings could provide a ton of value in the 7th round and Fernando Rodney was unbelievable last season.  I would pass on Ryan Howard, but Hunter Pence is a guy who do a lot of different things for your fantasy team.  Kuroda has yet to have an ERA above 3.76 in a season and Brian McCann will be back eventually so not a bad idea to add him in the 12th round!

Overall - B+

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Same Face, New Place - Infield

Last year Jose Reyes, Ryan Doumit, Aramis Ramirez and other infielders signed with a new team and had solid seasons.  This year, there seems to be a larger list of players that are donning a new cap.  Most of these guys should continue to produce as usual, but be careful when drafting some of the older players on this list!

Fantasy Baseball Catcher Rankings
Fantasy Baseball First Base Rankings
Fantasy Baseball Second Base Rankings
Fantasy Baseball Third Base Rankings
Fantasy Baseball Shortstop Rankings

*Sorted Alphabetically

A.J. Pierzynski  - Texas Rangers
  • Pierzynski did something he had never done in his career before last season; hit 20 home runs.  He hit 27!  Do NOT expect that to happen again which means his RBI totals should decline as well.  The guy is 36 years old and he will still provide you with a bunch of doubles and could still drive in 60 RBI for the Rangers.  Don't go reaching for him, but if you find yourself in need of a catcher and he is there, he is a pretty safe option.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

RotoBaller - Starting Pitching Tier Rankings

This article originally appeared on www.RotoBaller.com: RotoBaller.com Rankings: 2013 Starting Pitcher Rankings with ADP Comparison

RotoBaller.com is your ONE stop for baseball & fantasy baseball news, advice, rankings, tools, expert analysis and player profiles. RotoBaller.com is all about providing you with the BEST fantasy baseball advice available ANYWHERE. That’s why we’re constantly writing our own articles, searching the world of baseball news for the juiciest tidbits, and making them available to you in ONE PLACE - at www.RotoBaller.com

Stay Informed, Stay Connected, Be a RotoBaller.

Starting pitchers are my favorite position in fantasy baseball. They give you a ton of draft flexibility, and help you win your leagues. If you can pick the right guys in the later rounds, then your early rounds can be used to stock up on hitting. Let’s put it this way... fantasy SPs are like kegs-- a bottomless barrel of fun, and there’s always plenty left to keep coming back for more. There are many SP slots on any given fantasy baseball team (compared to a single spot for most position players), and that means many opportunities to make good value picks and make a “profit”. You can often find similar production from pitchers being drafted a few rounds apart. Because there are so many starting pitchers in the majors (at least 150 at any given time), there will always be more SPs available in a fantasy baseball draft (or on a waiver wire) than your league will ever use at any given time.

Same Face, New Place - Starting Pitching

Last season, A.J. Burnett was the beneficiary of a trade to the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Sounds weird, especially coming from the New York Yankees, but the deal must have helped Burnett relax because he won 16 games.  Something he had only done once in his career before, and NOT with the Yankees.  Burnett never won more than 13 games in 3 seasons with Pinstripes and never had an ERA below 4.  But one season in Pittsburgh, at the age of 35, and Burnett has the second best season of his career.  It is amazing what a simple change of scenery can do.  This year, the group of starters that has changed uniforms is a good one and it will be interesting to see if pitchers going from the NL to the AL struggle and who will be this years A.J. Burnett.

Fantasy Baseball Starting Pitchers Rankings

*Sorted Alphabetically

Brandon McCarthy - Arizona Diamondbacks
  • McCarthy's season ended on a scary play last year that resulted in a skull fracture.  He has never started more than 25 games in a season or passed 171 innings pitched.  He is not a big strikeout pitcher, but has learned how to induce the groundball.  The Diamondbacks could provide some nice run support this season for McCarthy, but even with a full season under his belt he is a 10-12 game winner, best suited as a back of the rotation guy in deeper leagues.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Seattle Seahawks Acquire Percy Harvin

UPDATE: The Seahawks have released Leon Washington, so Percy Harvin WILL be playing Special Teams.

The Seattle Seahawks have traded for Percy Harvin of the Minnesota Vikings.  This just after Vikings GM said to the media that Harvin was not going anywhere. 
 "We have no intent to trade Percy Harvin." - Rick Spielman 2/21/13 via Fox Sports North
According to RotoWorld, the Vikings will get 2013 first-round pick, 2013 seventh-rounder, and a middle-round pick in 2014.. 

While this is clearly ANOTHER great move by the Seattle front office, the Minnesota Vikings now have 2 options on offense:
  1. Hand the ball to Adrian Peterson
  2. Get out of the way of Adrian Peterson
While Harvin has had his fair share of injuries, he is an electric offensive weapon.  Adding him to Sidney Rice, Golden Tate, Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson makes the Seahawks serious Super Bowl contenders.

While it would be easy to assume Percy Harvin's fantasy value increases, he will most likely NOT be doing special teams anymore with Leon Washington on the Seahawks roster.  Also, his targets will most likely come down a bit with other receiver surrounding him, but he could see more yards per receptions.

So in reality, Harvin might actually be a less valuable fantasy option this season than previous years.  The only way he can correct that is by finally getting in the endzone consistently.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Case For Hanley Ramirez

Hanley Ramirez is one of the more aggravating players in fantasy baseball. Players see his tantalizing ceiling, then heave exasperated sighs when he fails to reach it. However, on draft day, players take this frustration and make the crucial mistake of avoiding Hanley. The sentence “Hanley is a headache so I won’t draft him” has a true premise (Hanley IS a headache) but a false conclusion -- you absolutely SHOULD draft him.

Look, the potential is huge. We know this; there was a time when fantasy players considered taking Hanley #1 overall. So up front, we know the ceiling is there, but that’s the last I’ll mention of it. The potential is a bonus; I’m saying I’ll draft Hanley regardless of if he hits it or not.

49ers Acquire Anquan Boldin

Just moments after the Seattle Seahawks made their move, trading a package of picks to the Minnesota Vikings for Percy Harvin, the 49ers respond by trading a sixth round draft pick to the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for WR Anquan Boldin!  The 49ers were already a dominate team, but now they have one of the best receivers in the game, who is not afraid to catch the ball over the middle, and is a great red zone receiver.

The way Colin Kaepernick turned Michael Crabtree into a top flight wide receiver last season turned heads, and providing him with another weapon like Boldin boosts the entire 49ers offensive talents fantasy values.  This opens up the field even more for Frank Gore who rushed for 1214 yards and 8 TDs last season.  How can you possible guard Crabtree, Boldin and Vernon Davis while even thinking about stopping Gore and containing Kaepernick.  Look out NFL.

Boldin was going to be cut by the Ravens as they could not hold onto him after signing Joe Flacco to that ridiculous contract, making him the leagues highest paid player.

This has been a great start to the NFL offseason which doesn't even officially begin (free agency) until tomorrow!

Kyrie Irving Season is Over

The Cleveland Cavaliers will finish another disappointing season without their superstar PG Kyrie Irving.  Irving left Sunday's game with a left shoulder AC sprain and will miss the next month.  With the Cavaliers schedule ending on April 17, Irving season is essentially over.

For fantasy owners, this is just heartbreaking news.  The playoffs are just around the corner, and now you have to try and replace 23 points, 5.7 assists and 3.7 rebounds each night, which by the way you most likely won't be able to do.  There is a sever shortage of point guards at the moment with Rajon Rondo done for the season, and Tony Parker and Ramon Sessions recently getting injured.  Here are some ways you can try and stop the bleeding:

Shaun Livingston - 2% Yahoo 0% ESPN 7% CBS
Avery Bradley - 45% Yahoo 12% ESPN 47% CBS
Nate Robinson - 34% Yahoo 23% ESPN 61% CBS
J.J. Barea - 11% Yahoo 6% ESPN 30% CBS
Mario Chalmers - Yahoo 44% ESPN 31% 30% CBS
Devin Harris - 21% Yahoo 6% ESPN 32% CBS

Be sure you check out HecmanHoops H2H Playoff Schedule ranking before adding a player to your playoff roster!

Numbers Never Die: March Madness - The Strength of a Team

As sports fans prepare for arguably the most exciting time in sports, the NCAA committee will prepare to be the most criticized group over their decisions in setting the field. Every year there are fans and analysts giving their opinions on which teams deserve to make the tournament and what their seed should have been. With the so-called “Mid-Major” conferences improving their level of talent and competition over the years, it will draw even more attention to the committee and the teams themselves. A Mid-Major is the number one team in the country for only the third time in the last ten seasons and it was Gonzaga’s first number one ranking in school history. In addition to individual team success, the Mountain West conference has battled the mighty Big 10 for top spot in conference RPI all season.  So the real question is, just how important are all of these rankings and formulas when comparing the strength of teams?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Draft Strategy: Dream to Stream

As we noted in our starting pitcher rankings, it’s an incredibly deep year for starting pitching. Most of the We Talk team has recommended waiting to draft starting pitchers, arguing that that you can still get quality SP in the late rounds. Add in the fact that there are always a handful of waiver wire SP gems, and a savvy manager can build an elite staff without drafting the Verlanders and Kershaws of the world.

In this post, I'm going to take it a step further and say that you can take this tactic and turn it into the entire foundation of your team. If you're going to wait on drafting SP, I'm going to recommend you don't take a guy like Ross Detwiler - you may think "cool, a 3.40 ERA in the late rounds, that could help my staff," and you'd be right, but not on the team I'm proposing in this article.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Creating First Base Scarcity

Three years ago I was asked to join a very competitive league that was not short on smack talk or prize money. As the newbie to the league, I bore the brunt of most of the pre-draft smack talk. I knew I had to earn some respect and decided I couldn’t attack this league the way I normally do. Players who are advanced know the typical things that other advanced players know: older examples that ring a bell are “wait on SP,” or “don’t pay for saves,” or “SS/2B are shallow and I don’t want to be stuck with Yunel Escobar, again.” In order to win this league, I would have to be creative.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Yahoo Fantasy Baseball ADP Mock Draft

Understanding Average Draft Position is a key element to a great draft.  You may feel that other people have players ranked as high or low as you do, but 9 times out of 10 every ones rankings are different.  Your draft strategy will determine if you reach for starting pitching early, or if you fill up your starting second base position last.  We took Yahoo Average Draft Position and did a mock draft to fill out teams with the following rosters:

1 Catcher
1 First Base
1 Second Base
1 Third Base
1 Shortstop
3 Outfielders
3 Starting Pitchers
1 Relief Pitcher

We did have to shuffle around some guys to make sure each 12 man roster filled the necessary requirements, but it is a good understanding of what your starting team could look like in a 12 man league, based on your draft slot.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Fantasy Baseball Shortstops Rankings

The Shortstop position is weaker than ever these days and it seems like most of the top guys are injury prone.  I wouldn't want to bet my season on any shortstop, which is why I do not suggest rushing into drafting one.  Just 3 of the top 50 players were short stops and that included Jimmy Rollins and Derek Jeter.  Both guys are way past their primes and are huge risks.  Starlin Castro is your safest bet due to his consistancy and ability to cover mulitple categories.  Ian Desmond finally gave fantasy owners a reason to WANT to draft him this season as his 25 home runs lead all shortstops.

The St. Louis Cardinals will be without SS Rafael Furcal this season as he will undergo Tommy John SurgeryPete Kozma should be the everday replacement.

Same Face, New Place - Infielders
* - New Team
** - Sleeper

1.) Starlin Castro - Chicago Cubs
2.) Jose Reyes *- Toronto Blue Jays
  • Marlins owner Loria decided he did not want to compete in 2013 and decided he would help stack the cards in Toronto?s favor. In the past, "super teams" have not gelled immediately and at times there can be friction. Nevertheless, I see something different in the Jays. For varying reasons, this superstar-studded lineup is filled with players with something to prove. Melky was using PEDs. The former Marlins "failed" in Miami. Joey Bats had a significant wrist injury. Reyes will be part of a lineup that does not have many holes. He may not have the power that the young Castro possesses, but he provides a high volume of SBs with limited risk in the BA category. When you draft Jose Reyes you know what you will be getting, steals, runs, an above average BA, and 8-12 HRs. - @Schuch10
3.) Elvis Andrus - Texas Rangers
4.) Troy Tulowitzki - Colorado Rockies
  • Here is what we know. SS has always been a shallow position, which allowed Tulo to be a first round pick. From 2009-2011, he averaged 30 HRs, 13 SBs, and hit .304. Before his 2012 groin injury, he was on pace for a slight drop in HRs, RBIs, and SBs, but an increase in Rs. He missed the final 4 months of 2012 in a tantalizing way, but reports seem to indicate he is close to, if not, 100%. Draft him knowing the injury history, balanced with his past production. - @Schuch10
5.) Ian Desmond - Washington Nationals
  • Desmond is getting drafted around here because everyone is asking the same question: Can he repeat? I counter with: so what if he doesn’t? Shortstop is super thin this year. Even if Desmond has some regression, it’s not like you’ll say “Ugh, I missed out on JJ Hardy because I took this guy.” Take Desmond and hope he’s an All-Star again because he’s a true difference-maker at the position if so. And if not, oh well; the rest of your league has mediocre shortstops too. - @RDevinHughes

Orlando Magic Future is Bright with Rob Hennigan

The Orlando Magic franchise looks very different these days.  No longer is Dwight Howard wearing #12 on his back with the word Magic on the front, Stan Van Gundy is no longer the head coach, J.J. Redick wears purple and green and Ryan Anderson will be a Pelican next season.  But new GM Rob Hennigan has started surgically repairing this broken roster.  You knew that this franchise would be rebuilt the day the Orlando Magic hired Hennigan because of his resume.

Hennigan spent the past four seasons with Oklahoma City, including the last two seasons as the Thunder’s assistant general manager/player personnel. Hennigan spent his first two seasons with the Thunder as the team’s director of college/international player personnel.

Prior to joining the Thunder, Hennigan spent four seasons with the San Antonio Spurs. He was named director of basketball operations in September of 2007. Hennigan began as an intern during the 2004-05 season and was later named the team’s basketball operations assistant during the summer of 2005. The Spurs won the NBA World Championship in 2004-05 and 2006-07. - NBA.com
Look where those two teams are today and you can understand why the Magic hired the (at the time) 30 year old and made him the NBA's youngest GM. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Fantasy Baseball Vision: Target & Avoid - NL East Edition

Our good friend Brett Barton (@BrettBarton_FBV) at Fantasy Baseball Vision will help you prep for your upcoming drafts. Last time he gave us the Target & Avoid players from the American League East.  Follow him on twitter so you don't miss the Fix My Team segments and of course position rankings.

Atlanta Braves
Target: Kris Medlen
Medlen was drafted by the Braves in 2006 in the 10th round as a Junior College athlete who pitched and played shortstop which shows he is an athlete and not just a pitcher. Once he turned pro he amazed the scouts with his pitching. His first gig was as a closer where he posted a 0.41 ERA with a 36/2 K/BB. His next two stops were just as impressive with a 0.87 ERA 33/3 K/BB then a 1.13 ERA 28/7 K/BB. Since coming to the bigs he has been patient waiting his turn for a spot in the rotation. His pro career looks like this; 120 games with 30 starts, a career 19-8 record with a 2.85 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP…All-Star caliber. What I am trying to say is his minor league and big league numbers are no fluke, he is for real. Currently the 14 SP off the board with an ADP of 78 that I see will rise. If you are like me, I pass on taking a SP in the early rounds (1-5) a Verlander or Kershaw in the first couple of rounds is not going to win your league.  Get your hitters then build your staff after round 5 where Medlen is there as your Ace. A Medlen – Sale or a Medlen – Sabathia staff will match up with any staff that the moron who takes Verlander in the 1st round will run out there.  An added bonus is that Medlen still has RP eligibility, the best dual eligibility pitcher in the draft.

RotoBaller 2013 Impact Prospects, Part I

Here at RotoBaller, we’re all about providing you with the BEST fantasy baseball advice available ANYWHERE. That’s why we’re constantly searching the world of baseball news for the juiciest tidbits and making them available to you in ONE PLACE.  And as always feel free to reach out to us if there’s something you’re looking for, need help with, or just curious to know about. We will ALWAYS respond to you, and try our best to help you with your fantasy needs even if we cannot help you ourselves.
Stay Informed, Stay Connected, Be a RotoBaller.

Follow on twitter @RotoBaller

This is the first in a three-part series counting down the top fifteen prospects who will make a fantasy impact in the 2013 season. Keep in mind that this list is specifically focused on fantasy impact players - those guys who you can expect to contribute significantly to their teams and yours in the coming campaign. With that in mind, let’s get into the first group!

#15: Jose Fernandez (SP, MIA)
Highest Level in 2012: High A
Age: 20
Jose Fernandez pitched at two levels of A-ball in 2012, and no one touched him at either one. He threw a total of 134 IP and gave up– get this– 89 hits. He walked 35 batters, good for a .925 WHIP, while striking out 158. The most amazing thing about Fernandez is that he has done it with only one major-league ready pitch, an exploding high-90s fastball with great movement. Jose will start the season at AA, but if he tightens up his changeup and continues to make minor league hitters look helpless, I see him with the Marlins this September. He has one of the highest ceilings on this list; it’s just a question of how quickly he gets his chance.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Aaron Hill vs Dan Uggla - Who Would You Rather Have?

Second base lost one of its best this offseason when the Tampa Bay Rays signed Kelly Johnson, shifting Ben Zobrist to the outfield.  The top of the rest of the best are injury prone and while their upside is high, I just find them to risky to draft in the early rounds.  Keith ranked Aaron Hill just a single slot higher than Dan Uggla, but Average Draft Position is showing them being drafted MUCH further apart.

If we were drafting based solely off of the 2012 MLB season than Aaron Hill is your pick here and it's a no brainer.  Hill hit a career best .302, with 44 doubles, 6 triples, 26 home runs, 85 RBI and scored 93 runs. Uggla had his worst season at the age of 32, hitting a career low .220, with 29 doubles, 0 triples, career low 19 home runs, 94 RBI and scoring 86 runs. Also if you're in a league where strike outs hurt you then Hill has a huge advantage their as well as he struck out 86 times compared to Uggla's 168.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Tony Parker Out Until April

UPDATE: Cory Joseph will get the start over Nando De Colo and Patty Mills.

The San Antonio Spurs best player and point guard, Tony Parker, will miss the rest of March with a grade 2 ankle sprain.  Tony Parker has been unbelievable this season averaging 21 points per game (only other time he averaged 20 points per game was the '08-'09 season) and adding 7.6 assists per night.  The Spurs will miss him big time but they have proven to be a very well rounded team that plays well when their stars get the night off, or take time off due to injury.

This SHOULD increase guys like Tim Duncan, Kawhi Leonard, Tiago Splitter and Danny Green scoring production.  It will also open the door for guys like Nando De Colo and Patty Mills to see increased minutes.

In order to replace Parker for the time being, fantasy owners should look at guys like E'Twaun Moore, C.J. Watson, Avery Bradley.  Obviously NONE of these guys can replace Tony Parker's statistics, but you need to pick a category to keep filled or find a guy who give a little bit of everything.  Don't go looking for everything from one guys, because you will be disappointed!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Believe in Spring Training

Spring training brings with it the optimism of a new year. Memories of summer come with the crack of the bat. Prospects get a chance at the big leagues while veterans warm up after a restful off-season. Hope is in the air, but beware, spring training is a test of small sample sizes. Here, stats will fool you. Expectations will rise only to be crushed by a gruelingly, long season.

Consider these 3 hitters' slash lines:


I'll take those average and power combinations in the first round! To give you a comparison, Miguel Cabrera (you might remember him as last year's Triple Crown winner) had a slash line of .330/.393/.606. These spring training numbers leave you feeling good about a player.