• Roto Riteup
    The most roto-relevant news of the previous day, recapped in a concise format for your morning coffee.
  • Bullpen Report
    Detailed daily updates and charts on every bullpen in the Major Leagues to help you manage your saves and holds.
  • Prospect Coverage
    Our prospect team mines the minors for top prospects and useful pieces alike.
  • MASH Report
    Award-winning in-depth injury report with analysis from Jeff Zimmerman.
  • The Sleeper and The Bust Podcast
    Paul Sporer, Justin Mason, and Jason Collette lead the RotoGraphs staff in a regular fantasy podcast.
  • Daily Fantasy Strategy
    The RotoGraphs team discusses daily fantasy strategy and then makes picks for the day.
  • Ottoneu Strategy
    Strategy for the year-round FanGraphs Fantasy game.
  • Top 50 Fantasy Prospects
    Marc Hulet adjusts (and updates) his prospect list for fantasy purposes.
  • Field of Streams
    A contest to see who can make the better picks: streaming pitcher and hitter choices for every day of the season in a podcast hosted by Dylan Higgins and Matthew Dewoskin.
C  -  1B  -  2B  -  SS  -  3B  -  OF  -  SP  -  RP

The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 899 – TGFBI Kicks Off + AL Central Closers

3/2/21

The latest episode of “The Sleeper and the Bust” is live. Support the show by subscribing to our Patreon!!

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NOTABLE TRANSACTIONS/INJURIES/RUMORS

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Chad Young’s Ottoneu FanGraphs Points SP Ranks

In order to follow the same preview path as the Ottobot Podcast, we’re gonna pivot off of offensive ranks and jump to SP. I find this to be the most challenging list to create – there are so many relevant players, so many ways to evaluate them, and so little confidence in projections, at least compared to hitters. So in addition to my list, I am going to share a few notes on how to adjust rankings from your favorite pitching analyst.
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Peripheral Prospects of 2019, but for 2021

In 2019, Brad Johnson and I published a weekly series in which we, each on a semiweekly basis, identified three or four or five players in the Minor Leagues who (1) had not appeared on previous top-prospect lists and (2) appeared to us to be capable of producing admirably, perhaps significantly, at the big-league level at some point for fantasy purposes.

Because of an actual force majeure (i.e., the COVID-19 pandemic), Peripheral Prospects was rendered temporarily null as the Minor League Baseball season was cancelled. Alas, we published nothing about peripheral prospects. But that does not mean peripheral prospects did not thrive! Peripheral prospects indeed thrived.

I figured it would behoove me to not only review my favorite peripheral prospects from the end of 2019 but also highlight my favorite (existing) peripheral prospects heading into 2021, before a whole new batch of peripheral prospects is anointed. Yesterday, I revisited my 10 favorites from 2019; today, I’ll highlight another 10 eight whose progress I’m eager to monitor in 2021.

Presented in chronological order (and not by favoritism):

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Fantasy Baseball Chat With Jeff Zimmerman

11:02
Jeff Zimmerman: Hi everyone, I’ll see how many I can get done today.

11:02
Bring back Mookie: In a dynasty points league, I traded away Correa, Snell, and Candelario. Got back Corey Seager and Chris Paddack. How’d I do?

11:03
Jeff Zimmerman: It’s an even trade. I like Seager or Correa and Snell over Paddack. Candelario is a non-factor

11:03
Guest: Civale, Heaney, or Montas, simulation league like scoresheets or dmb, limited keeper league AL Only

11:04
Jeff Zimmerman: This is close, Civale I guess

11:04
Bones: Hey Jeff, thanks for the chat! Who you picking as last keeper in a 12-team, 5×5 with $280 cap: Ramirez ($56), Ozuna $35 or Lynn $16? Already keeping Tatis ($6), Hiura ($6), B. Lowe ($9), L. Gurriel ($12), Buxton ($21) and Bohm for free.

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Beat the Shift Podcast – Injury Episode w/ Stephania Bell

The Injury Episode of the Beat the Shift Podcast – a baseball podcast for fantasy baseball players.

Guest: Stephania Bell of ESPN

Tommy John Surgery

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Building a 2021 $9 NFBC Pitching Staff

Yesterday, I built a $14 NFBC offense using their average auction values and limiting myself to an entire squad of $1 hitters. Today, let’s now build a $9 pitching staff. Unfortunately, I only had 40 pitchers to choose from, but I could guarantee you, my selections would put fear into the minds of all my leaguemates if I finished the auction with this sweet, sweet crew.

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Early 2021 TGFBI ADP

It is that time of year again! TGFBI has started their drafts and twitter is buzzing with draft boards and TGFBI chatter. If you don’t know what TGFBI is, it stands for The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational. It is a collection of 29 15-team leagues with an overall component run by yours truly. To get into TGFBI, you must either be producing fantasy baseball related content, win a satellite league, or win a raffle that I put on during events like Podapolooza.

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The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 898 – Thrift Shopping with The BAT X

3/1/21

The latest episode of “The Sleeper and the Bust” is live. Support the show by subscribing to our Patreon!!

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THRIFTING OPTIONS

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Mining the News (3/1/21)

First, the words written to cover baseball have exploded but it’s 99% fluff. They’ve been completely useless for setting fantasy baseball evaluations.

Second, I’ve started collecting Spring Training velocity readings and the ones I’ve collected so far are in this spreadsheet.

American League

Astros

Yordan Alvarez might play some first base.

With Alvarez’s knees healthy, the Astros are hoping to try him out this spring at first base, like they did early in his Minor League career.

“If he’s able to move around like he did two years ago, he would be capable of playing first base,” Astros bench coach Joe Espada said. “It’s just a matter if the legs feel good enough to stop and push and take those tough angles that are required to play first base. If he’s healthy, we’re going to give it a shot and see how he looks. If he shows the movement and range he showed in 2018 when I first got here, I think he could be very capable of doing it.”

Alvarez’s knees must be gone for the Astros to try him at a new position. I’m so far off him at this point

• Here is a lineup projection from The Athletic.

1. Myles Straw CF
2. Jose Altuve 2B
3. Michael Brantley (L) LF
4. Alex Bregman 3B
5. Yordan Alvarez (L) DH
6. Carlos Correa SS
7. Kyle Tucker (L) RF
8. Yuli Gurriel 1B
9. Martín Maldonado C

I know I’ve harped on this subject in the past, but I can’t believe Tucker is getting buried at seventh for Straw to leadoff. This B.S. can’t last longer than a month, right?

Blue Jays

• Randel Grichuck will mainly start in right field.

Grichuk has been told he’ll see the majority of his playing time in right field this season, but how does that work? The Blue Jays have Teoscar Hernández in right, who’s coming off a breakout season with a .919 OPS, good for his first Silver Slugger Award. Grichuk understands the realities here, but he expects this to develop as time goes on.

Since the signing of George Springer and Marcus Semien, it seems like Grichuck doesn’t have a lineup spot. With this comment, I’m a little worried that Hernandez will lose some at-bats to Grichuck. Both are right-handed and don’t have much for career splits, so there is little chance for a platoon. Hernandez’s value could really take a hit if he loses even 100 PA’s.

Orioles

Cedric Mullins will quit switch-hitting and only bat from the left side.

Other than Mancini, the biggest news of the day was a decision by Mullins to stop switch-hitting. He will focus on hitting left-handed, where he has been a better hitter and starts closer to first to take advantage of his speed. He was 1-for-3 on Sunday.

About time since Mullins has hit .251/.305/.394 from the left side and only .147/.250/.189 from the right.

Rangers

• Ronald Guzman is now focusing on baseball and has reworked his swing.

[Ronald Guzman] wasn’t positive he would be back with the Rangers in 2021, so he wanted to better his game both mentally and physically. Guzmán said he’s now focused 100 percent on baseball. He transformed his entire swing in the offseason, swinging less with his entire body and instead hitting the ball out front.

Maybe he’ll get better at baseball now that he’s trying to get better at baseball.

National League

Brewers

• The shortstop and third base battles are a mess. The following quote is from MLBtraderumors and does a good job summarizing the situation described in this The Athletic article.

Milwaukee has built a lot of flexibility into the left side of its infield, as Urias, Orlando Arcia, and Daniel Robertson can all play either shortstop or third base, while Travis Shaw is also an option at the hot corner. Shaw can play first base as well, and Arcia also said that he is preparing to work out as a center fielder. Arcia made a single appearance in center field (the first of professional career) last season, playing four innings at the position on August 12 in a 12-2 loss to the Twins.

Here are the projections for the four players in question.

The Brewers are just throwing poo against the wall and seeing what sticks.

Cardinals

• There is a chance that Matt Carpenter moves to second base if Tommy Edman has to move to the outfield.

Tommy Edman is set to take over at second base, a place Carpenter — an All-Star there in 2013 — has been preparing for defensively through Spring Training. The pair could platoon, which the Cardinals have been hesitant to do in the past, though Edman seems to be the clear favorite for regular starting time.

The Cardinals could also do this: With questions about their projected outfield’s offensive prowess, Edman — a career rover in the field — could tag back into the grass should Carpenter’s play at the plate force him into starting time. Edman said he has been taking some fly-ball practice in the outfield this spring, but his focus has been primarily on second.

The outfield will really have to fall apart for this scenario to play out.

Padres

Manny Machado had Lasik surgery this offseason.

But Machado did make one noteworthy change. He had laser eye surgery, because he said his vision has felt slightly off during night games under the lights in recent seasons. Why make that change after a season in which he batted above .300?

“Hopefully it helps me see the ball a little better, and I can hit .320, .330,” he said with a wry smile.

Pirates

Kevin Newman reworked his swing.

“I worked on being kind of direct and short to the ball. I felt [my swing] was a little long last year,” Newman said.

Reds

Kyle Farmer reworked his swing.

He revamped his swing this offseason, working with Pirates hitting coach Rick Eckstein near his Atlanta-area home.

The two started by watching video, ultimately deciding that Farmer’s swing wasn’t really ideal for his body. Together, they worked on Farmer using more of his legs and trying to stay down on the ball more than hitting in the air.


Boring Pitchers To Target

As the saying goes, boring is better. A lot of fantasy baseball players look for the next best thing. This is mainly due to the fear of missing out on a breakout or new exciting young player. Sure, it’s extremely valuable to find those pitchers but it’s also really hard to find them. What most don’t realize is that taking those “old” boring players can be just as valuable. With a long track record and decent numbers, these pitchers could give you stable innings and ratios with a predictable floor.

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