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Hold the Line – Relievers

Almost two weeks into the 2017 baseball season and the view of each clubs bullpen is starting to become clear…unless you’re the Oakland A’s. Even as some closer roles are still undecided, it’s becoming clear who is in line to get holds for each team.

While this article has the most value for folks in holds leagues, there’s reason to read on if your league doesn’t count holds. A few weeks ago I wrote about how 3 good relievers could easily get you the combined stats of an ace. Most of the guys included in this article are of that ilk. Guys with high K/9 and low ratios that will do nothing but help you staff.

You’ll probably notice a few teams have several players on this list, and that’s because the teams that have had the most close ballgames will have the most holds (seems obvious enough). So you’ll see a team like the Rockies have several guys on this list as they’ve been in 6 games won by less than 2 runs so far this season.

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PGA DFS: RBC Heritage

Even though it feels like there should be a break after The Masters, the grind of the PGA never stops. Sergio Garcia finally earned that elusive major win in a playoff with Justin Rose. It was a great tournament from start to finish despite Dustin Johnson’s absence. The tour heads to Harbour Town Golf Links for the RBC Heritage this week.

Harbour Town Golf Links is a Pete Dye designed Par 71 that plays just over 7,000 yards. The description alone should lead you to a couple realizations as a PGA DFS player. A Par 71 course means that there will be 11 Par 4s instead of the usual 10. The yardage of Harbour Town puts this as one of the shorter courses on Tour. All of that adds up to the following key stats:

  • Greens in Regulation
  • Driving Accuracy
  • Par 4 Scoring
  • Strokes Gained: Approach
  • Strokes Gained: Around the Green

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Dylan Bundy Needs to be Added in All Leagues

We are just one week into the season, and it’s easy to overreact to hot starts and early slumps, we forget this is a long process as we buy the hype way early and want to make big roster moves to help uswin our league. This idea is dangerous and sometimes foolish as paitence is a birtue in fantasy baseball, but there is  one player that had a great start and needs to be added in most formats, and that is Orioles starter Dylan Bundy, who is owned in just 57% of Yahoo leagues and 49% of ESPN leagues. This early in the season any add/drops made should be rationally aggressive, with a long term purpose in mind. It’s okay to chase hot starts as long as you understand the risk balance between who you are adding and who you are dropping, and you do some cursory research before making a move. Breakouts and league winners emerge in April, and Dylan Bundy has the makings of one.

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A New Way to Look at Special Teams Scoring

Over the course of the previous few seasons, there has been a growing trend of removing the kicker position from fantasy football leagues. Most feel that kicker scoring is either too random to predict (there is good data in the ethos to state otherwise) or should not have as big of an impact on fantasy as say a WR or RB. For those that believe the later, I agree, kickers should not determine outcomes of fantasy games or championships. Just because Justin Tucker goes 4/4 from 50+ on a Sunday in December, doesn’t mean that your team is entitled to win a league playoff game or the ultimate prize, a fantasy football championship.

We do have to remember that kickers are people too, not just on the field to be ridiculed when they miss a PAT or a tackle in the open field. They do belong in fantasy football, but I do believe they should have a slightly reduced role. The slack could be picked up by another aspect of special teams that is typically grouped in with defenses or an afterthought altogether, the return game.

In standard scoring settings (I’ll be using ESPN) all return TDs count for 6 points for an owner’s DST with no regard for the amount of return yardage that is associated with said return. Don’t get me wrong, there are leagues that do reward return yardage to deepen the pool of playable WRs and RBs, but this would be the grouping together of the “3rd phase” of the game into a cohesive scoring system. With a couple of small changes, the issue of kickers determining too much throughout a fantasy season can be addressed and properly grouped along naturally with the return game in what I’m calling Team Special Teams. Continue reading A New Way to Look at Special Teams Scoring

Catching Fire: Drafting Your Fantasy Baseball Catcher

It’s a dirty and thankless job, and catchers are often an afterthought in the minds of many fantasy owners. That’s because there’s really no fantasy baseball value that rewards baserunners thrown out, perfectly framed pitches, or “most hitting tendencies studied.”  While no one can doubt their importance on the actual diamond, that importance is lost in translation when the position is viewed from a fantasy baseball perspective. Catchers typically generate less counting stat production than any other among the starting 9, and to put it bluntly, that can render them useless in the opinions of fantasy owners. It’s true that game-changing, seasonal outcome-affecting power catchers like Piazza and Pudge are a rare, if not altogether missing in fantasy baseball these days.

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The Scariest Pitchers for 2017

With Halloween a mere seven months away, it seemed “fitting” to write about the scariest pitchers going into drafts, and the following three pitchers give me the spooks. All three of them flashed some serious warning signs last season, and none of those warning signs are priced into their current draft positions. The following pitchers are three I would avoid in all formats this season.

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