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J.P. Breen 

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10-15

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Playoff Spotlight: Lorenzo Cain
by
J.P. Breen

10-06

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: Playoff Spotlight: Sergio Romo
by
J.P. Breen

10-06

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6

Playoff Prospectus: A Royal Shocker
by
J.P. Breen

10-03

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7

Playoff Prospectus: Baseball Nirvana Game Previews
by
Sahadev Sharma, Jeff Quinton, Mike Gianella, Doug Thorburn and J.P. Breen

10-02

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Are Elite Pitchers Becoming More Numerous?
by
J.P. Breen

09-22

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Circling Back to The Holy Trinity
by
J.P. Breen

09-17

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: Streaming Strikeouts
by
J.P. Breen

09-10

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2

The Buyer's Guide: Lance Lynn
by
J.P. Breen

08-27

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0

The Call-Up: Jorge Soler
by
J.P. Breen and Mauricio Rubio

08-25

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2

The Buyer's Guide: Carlos Carrasco
by
J.P. Breen

08-21

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0

Flags Fly Forever Podcast: Ep. 31: J.P.! You Made It
by
Bret Sayre, Mike Gianella, J.P. Breen and Mauricio Rubio

08-20

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: Being Wrong About Yovani Gallardo
by
J.P. Breen

08-18

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2

The Buyer's Guide: Jonathan Lucroy
by
J.P. Breen

08-13

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3

Fantasy Freestyle: Setting Expectations on Superstars
by
J.P. Breen

08-11

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1

The Buyer's Guide: Josh Harrison
by
J.P. Breen

08-11

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7

The Call-Up: Michael Taylor
by
Tucker Blair and J.P. Breen

08-04

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2

The Buyer's Guide: Lucas Duda
by
J.P. Breen

08-01

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14

Transaction Analysis: The Great Big David Price Trade
by
R.J. Anderson, J.P. Breen, Sam Miller, Jordan Gorosh, Paul Sporer, Craig Goldstein and Jeff Quinton

08-01

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4

Transaction Analysis: Astros, Marlins, Swap Sell-Low Guys
by
Zachary Levine, Jeff Moore, J.P. Breen and Jason Parks

07-31

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0

Transaction Analysis: Andrew Miller Goes to Baltimore
by
R.J. Anderson, Tucker Blair and J.P. Breen

07-31

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2

Transaction Analysis: Brewers Get Parra's Glove
by
R.J. Anderson and J.P. Breen

07-28

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The Buyer's Guide: Francisco Liriano
by
J.P. Breen

07-23

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3

Fantasy Freestyle: Useful Non-Closer Relievers
by
J.P. Breen

07-21

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9

The Buyer's Guide: Jason Kipnis
by
J.P. Breen

07-14

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2

The Buyer's Guide: Howie Kendrick
by
J.P. Breen

07-09

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6

Fantasy Freestyle: Don't Forget About Me
by
J.P. Breen

07-07

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1

The Buyer's Guide: Michael Brantley
by
J.P. Breen

07-01

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7

The Buyer's Guide: Jake Arrieta
by
J.P. Breen

06-25

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Checking in on Cinderella: Pitchers
by
J.P. Breen

06-24

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6

The Call-Up: Marco Gonzales
by
Jeff Moore and J.P. Breen

06-23

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5

The Buyer's Guide: Billy Butler
by
J.P. Breen

06-18

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7

Fantasy Freestyle: Checking in on Cinderella: Hitters
by
J.P. Breen

06-16

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5

The Buyer's Guide: Michael Wacha
by
J.P. Breen

06-09

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5

The Buyer's Guide: Pablo Sandoval
by
J.P. Breen

06-02

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13

The Buyer's Guide: Homer Bailey
by
J.P. Breen

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This is a BP Fantasy article. To read it, sign up today!

August 18, 2014 6:00 am

The Buyer's Guide: Jonathan Lucroy

2

J.P. Breen

The Brewers backstop has emerged as a darkhorse MVP candidate, but his is improvement at the plate sustainable?

Approach at the plate has been on my mind in recent weeks. I’ve been specifically ruminating on the learned aspect of plate discipline; for example, how gifted 20-something hitters who have otherworldly hand-eye coordination can learn to eschew a simple bat-to-ball approach and focus on quality pitches to hit. That is to say, how can hitters develop the inner filter to discern between pitches they can hit and pitches they should hit, or which pitches they can merely hit and which pitches they can drive.

Obviously, such a development would be desirable for any player, and it can happen for many different reasons. Maybe it’s a maturation process. Maybe it’s a new pitching coach who presents the information in a different way. Maybe it’s trial and error. Maybe it’s studying the numbers. But I’ve been more convinced that most big-league hitters are only able to carve out sustained success over multiple seasons if they can adjust and refine their approach at the plate, at least to some degree.

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August 13, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Setting Expectations on Superstars

3

J.P. Breen

Reevaluating the fantasy value of two elite hitters you may have been nervous to draft this spring.

“He’s just a name-brand at this point. He’s not as good as people think. At this point, people are blinded by previous performance, rather than current or future performance.”

My buddy, Drew, leaned forward and smiled as he crossed off Tom Brady’s name from our pre-draft ranking sheet. Drew and I have co-owned a fantasy football team for years. He’s the brains of the operation. I’m along for the ride because it makes me more interested in the NFL than I otherwise would be, but Drew spent the better part of two months preaching to me that Tom Brady was no longer the quarterback everyone had grown accustomed to over the past decade. We had him as the no. 8 QB in our pre-draft rankings and it’s not difficult to imagine the smug look on our faces as we watched Brady go as the third-overall QB in the second round.

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August 11, 2014 6:00 am

The Buyer's Guide: Josh Harrison

1

J.P. Breen

The Pirates utility man has outperformed expectations to date, but is there reason to believe he can stay hot?

As experienced fantasy owners, we’re all accustomed to surprise performers early in the season. We all react to differently. Some owners pepper the waiver wire with claims, hoping to ride the wave of success, while other owners wait for the wheat to separate from the chaff, if you will, before jumping on individual bandwagons.

Personally, I try to pick-and-choose my spots. I don’t prefer the claim-and-drop strategy that many owners employ, in which they claim hot-starters and quickly release them once their performance expectedly drops. I claim guys I plan to retain for a good portion of the season, investing in breakout performances I believe in. It perhaps takes a bit longer to make those decisions—and thus I can miss my chance to acquire those players—but it’s a bit more sustainable in the long term.

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August 11, 2014 12:15 am

The Call-Up: Michael Taylor

7

Tucker Blair and J.P. Breen

The Nationals bring up the power/speed prospect to patch up an injured outfield.

The Situation: The Nationals are running low on healthy outfielders, and Michael Taylor continues to rake in the upper minors.

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August 4, 2014 6:00 am

The Buyer's Guide: Lucas Duda

2

J.P. Breen

The Mets slugger is thumping like Chris Davis in 2013, but does that mean you should invest in his services?

Every fantasy owner has a handful of players who have repeatedly burned them. Like the sleeper picks who don’t pan out, yet leave you undaunted and going back to the well next season for another bucket of water, only to find out it’s still polluted, pungent, and undrinkable.

Brandon Morrow was one of those guys for me. I felt a brief sense of vindication when he dominated with a 2.96 ERA over 21 starts in 2012, only to suffer extreme heartbreak when he plummeted into the abyss the following year. Luckily, that next season, I shied away from him in general and only resented my impetuousness in a single league. Progress, right?

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The Mariners clear a logjam, the Tigers get another ace, and the Rays end years of speculation.

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The Marlins and Astros, competitors neither, get in on the trade deadline action.



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The Red Sox trade one of the top lefty relievers for a preseason top-100 prospect.

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July 31, 2014 2:59 pm

Transaction Analysis: Brewers Get Parra's Glove

2

R.J. Anderson and J.P. Breen

Milwaukee upgrades outfield defense for stretch run.

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July 28, 2014 6:00 am

The Buyer's Guide: Francisco Liriano

0

J.P. Breen

The Pirates lefty has fared well in July, but is that reason to believe that the tide has turned on his 2014 season?

It’s no secret that Francisco Liriano remains one of the more electric arms in baseball. He still has a lively fastball, as well as a devastating slider-changeup combination that can induce a myriad of swings-and-misses. When he throws strikes consistently and stays healthy, he can be dominant. Last year, he missed a few starts and only threw 161 innings, but he decimated the NL Central with a 3.02 ERA (2.92 FIP) and struck out more than a batter per inning. Ultimately, he was a top-30 starter and a wonderful surprise in all formats.

Fantasy owners remained skittish when drafting Liriano this spring. His average draft position didn’t reflect his 2013 performance, as owners worried about his health and whether he had truly discovered something that would lead to consistent, reliable performance on the mound.

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July 23, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Useful Non-Closer Relievers

3

J.P. Breen

These bullpen arms might not rack up saves, but they can help you pad other categories in Roto leagues.

In non-dynasty leagues, quality relievers who do not rack up saves are often overlooked. If employed correctly, though, they can be pseudo-saviors for two main types of squads: (1) teams who have an underperforming pitching staff and are striving to recover in specific categories in the second half of the season, and (2) leagues that have strict “games started” limits in order to keep teams from simply streaming starters all season.

Teams who have fallen behind in pitching categories can try to cobble together a trade or two, hoping to bolster their pitching staff for a second-half run. However, trades aren’t always possible. And even in the meantime, it can be useful to target specific relievers who can help in desired categories. This article will outline a few relievers who could be useful waiver-wire pickups to aid in WHIP/ERA or in strikeouts. I’m not including pitcher wins because that seems like a crapshoot.

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July 21, 2014 6:00 am

The Buyer's Guide: Jason Kipnis

9

J.P. Breen

The Indians' second sacker hasn't lived up to expectations in 2014, but is a turnaround in store?

Prior to the season, the upper fantasy echelon of the second base position appeared to be a rather precarious investment. Robinson Cano inked a mega-contract with Seattle, which made many fantasy owners nervous that his power numbers would spiral down the drain. Dustin Pedroia saw his power production drop precipitously in 2013 and had finally found himself on the wrong side of 30. Ian Kinsler compiled rather pedestrian (for him) numbers a year ago and was transitioning that performance to a more pitcher-friendly environment in Detroit.

The traditional fantasy stalwarts at second base were vulnerable. It seemed a changing of the guard could occur and other guys could step into the limelight—and in some ways, that’s exactly what has happened with Dee Gordon, Jose Altuve, and Anthony Rendon asserting their fantasy dominance in the first half of the 2014 season. After the season, perhaps we must re-evaluate who can now be labeled as “elite” at the position.

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