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Keith Cromer 

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01-20

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2

The -Only League Landscape: National League First Basemen
by
Keith Cromer

01-13

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2

The -Only League Landscape: National League Catchers
by
Keith Cromer

01-08

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11

Fantasy Freestyle: Bounce-Back Candidates: Starting Pitchers
by
Keith Cromer

12-16

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0

Expert League Auction Recap: CBS NL-Only: A Retrospective
by
Keith Cromer

12-09

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0

Fantasy Categorical Breakdowns: Runs Scored: Over/Underachievers
by
Keith Cromer

12-02

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3

Fantasy Freestyle: 2015 Endgame and Waiver-Wire Recap: NL-Only Pitchers
by
Keith Cromer

11-18

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0

Fantasy Categorical Breakdowns: Batting Average: Over/Underachievers
by
Keith Cromer

11-04

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: 2015 Endgame and Waiver-Wire Recap: NL-Only Position Players Hitters
by
Keith Cromer

10-21

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: 2015 Endgame and Waiver-Wire Recap: AL-Only Pitchers
by
Keith Cromer

10-07

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: Endgame and Waiver-Wire Recap: AL-Only Hitters
by
Keith Cromer

09-25

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1

Free Agent Watch: Week 26
by
George Bissell and Keith Cromer

09-23

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0

Deep League Report: Week 25
by
Keith Cromer

09-18

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0

Free Agent Watch: Week 25
by
Mike Gianella and Keith Cromer

09-16

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2

Deep League Report: Week 24
by
Keith Cromer

09-11

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4

Free Agent Watch: Week 24
by
Mike Gianella and Keith Cromer

09-09

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2

Deep League Report: Week 23
by
Keith Cromer

09-04

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2

Free Agent Watch: Week 22
by
Mike Gianella and Keith Cromer

09-02

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0

Deep League Report: Week 22
by
Keith Cromer

08-28

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0

Free Agent Watch: Week 21
by
J.J. Jansons and Keith Cromer

08-26

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4

Deep League Report: Week 21
by
Keith Cromer

08-21

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4

Free Agent Watch: Week 21
by
J.J. Jansons and Keith Cromer

08-19

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1

Deep League Report: Week 20
by
Keith Cromer

08-14

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0

Free Agent Watch: Week 19
by
J.J. Jansons and Keith Cromer

08-12

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4

Deep League Report: Week 19
by
Keith Cromer

08-07

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6

Free Agent Watch: Week 18
by
J.J. Jansons and Keith Cromer

08-05

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5

Deep League Report: Week 18
by
Keith Cromer

07-31

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1

Free Agent Watch: Week 17
by
Jeff Quinton and Keith Cromer

07-29

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4

Deep League Report: Week 17
by
Keith Cromer

07-24

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4

Free Agent Watch: Week 16
by
Jeff Quinton and Keith Cromer

07-22

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4

Deep League Report: Week 16
by
Keith Cromer

07-17

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5

Free Agent Watch: Week 16
by
Greg Wellemeyer and Keith Cromer

07-15

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6

Deep League Report: Week 15
by
Keith Cromer

07-10

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5

Free Agent Watch: Week 14
by
Greg Wellemeyer and Keith Cromer

07-09

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4

Deep League Report: Week 14
by
Keith Cromer

07-03

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1

Free Agent Watch: Week 13
by
Keith Cromer and Jeff Quinton

07-01

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5

Deep League Report: Week 13
by
Keith Cromer

06-26

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1

Free Agent Watch: Week 13
by
Keith Cromer and Greg Wellemeyer

06-24

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1

Deep League Report: Week 12
by
Keith Cromer

06-19

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3

Free Agent Watch: Week 12
by
Keith Cromer and Jeff Quinton

06-17

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0

Deep League Report: Week 11
by
Keith Cromer

06-12

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0

Free Agent Watch: Week 11
by
Keith Cromer and J.J. Jansons

06-10

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0

Deep League Report: Week 10
by
Keith Cromer

06-05

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3

Free Agent Watch: Week Nine
by
Keith Cromer and Jeff Quinton

06-03

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7

Deep League Report: Week Nine
by
Keith Cromer

05-29

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7

Free Agent Watch: Week Nine
by
Keith Cromer and Nick Shlain

05-27

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1

Deep League Report: Week Eight
by
Keith Cromer

05-22

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4

Deep League Report: Week Seven
by
Keith Cromer

05-22

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2

Free Agent Watch: Week Eight
by
Keith Cromer and Mike Gianella

05-18

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5

Free Agent Watch: Week Seven
by
Keith Cromer and Mike Gianella

05-15

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2

Deep League Report: Week Six
by
Keith Cromer

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January 20, 2016 6:00 am

The -Only League Landscape: National League First Basemen

2

Keith Cromer

An senior-circuit overview of the position, and some value plays for deeper formats.

Following a 2014 season that did not see a single first baseman crack $30 in earnings in standard NL-Only 5x5 scoring formats, 2015 saw the return of a few elite fantasy performances at the position. Paul Goldschmidt ($41 earned) and Joey Votto ($32) returned to the $30 club, and Anthony Rizzo, who led all NL first basemen with $28 earned in 2014, proved that his breakout season was no fluke as the left-handed slugger launched 31 home runs with 101 RBI and 17 steals on his way to $32 in fantasy earnings. However, heading into 2016 drafts, only three other first-base qualifiers cracked $20 in earnings, and one of those players was Buster Posey, whose 46 games played at first base this past season will qualify the backstop at this position for the fourth consecutive year.

As we look forward to the upcoming baseball season, similar to last year, based on the current NL first-base landscape, you will certainly want to grab yourself a top first baseman. Below is a chart reflecting the top 10 most expensive NL-only first sackers in terms of salary in 2015. Please note the “Price” column is the average cost of that player in the CBS, LABR, and Tout Wars expert leagues, as prepared by our own Mike Gianella:

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January 13, 2016 6:00 am

The -Only League Landscape: National League Catchers

2

Keith Cromer

An in-depth look at the senior-circuit backstop menu.

As we did last year, we will begin the 2016 installment of this preseason series by looking at the senior circuit’s backstops, hoping to provide insight at the position from a fantasy perspective for those who participate in standard NL-only 4x4 and 5x5 scoring formats. Looking back, when we were preparing for upcoming drafts last year, the NL-only catching pool looked very deep, and the position scarcity we had seen in previous years was no longer driving up the bids for the upper-tier NL catchers. We began to see these top-tier backstops go for prices closer to market level, and that held true to form throughout last year’s drafts. Looking ahead to this year, there is much more uncertainly regarding the upper-tier in the NL catching realm, as injuries, underperformance, and position battles raise some doubt about the members of this group.

Heading into 2015, the previous three years had produced multiple productive catcher options for NL-only fantasy owners to choose from. During those three seasons there had been 12 $20 fantasy-earning seasons posted by NL catchers in NL-only leagues, and six more $15 seasons. In 2014 alone, 12 of the 15 regular NL catchers cracked double digits in home runs, and 10 surpassed $10 in total fantasy earnings. As such, with the minimal relative drop-off in value between the elite catchers to the next 10 NL options, in 2015 drafts there were only two catchers with an average salary of $20 or more (derived from the prices in CBS, LABR, and Tout Wars, as prepared by Mike Gianella): Buster Posey ($27) and Jonathan Lucroy ($20). The next eight NL-only catchers in terms of salary went for an average salary of $14, further illustrating the depth at the position.

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January 8, 2016 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Bounce-Back Candidates: Starting Pitchers

11

Keith Cromer

These hurlers are coming off poor or injury-plagued seasons, but there's reason to believe they could fare better in 2016.

Matt MooreTampa Bay Rays
2015 stats: 63 IP, 3-4 record, 5.43 ERA, 1.540 WHIP, 6.6 K/9, 3.3 BB/9

After missing most of the 2014 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, the talented southpaw returned to the Rays rotation this past July and heads into 2016 hoping to pick up where he left off prior to the surgery. An All-Star in 2013 at the age of 24, Moore was 17-4 with a 3.29 ERA and 8.6 K/9 that season, and was a highly targeted arm in 2014 fantasy drafts. After a lost 2014 campaign, Moore struggled early in his return to the Rays this past season, but finished the year strong, posting a 2.97 ERA and 1.156 WHIP over his last six starts with a 7.2 K/9 and 2.9 K:BB ratio. When the 2016 season begins, it will be nearly two years removed from his TJ procedure and I am bullish that Moore can return to his 2013 form.


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December 16, 2015 6:00 am

Expert League Auction Recap: CBS NL-Only: A Retrospective

0

Keith Cromer

Keith looks back on the makings of his top-three finish.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the approach we have taken this offseason from a fantasy perspective, focusing on recapping the past year and having BP staff writers take a retrospective look at their 2015 preseason articles and predictions, for better or worse. In keeping with this theme, I have boldly chosen to throw my hat into this arena by dissecting my NL-Only CBS Expert League auction from this past February.

Coming off a 2014 season in which I was fortunate enough to finish in a first-place tie in this league, I felt extra pressure to follow up that campaign with another title in 2015, because back-to-back championships are, well, pretty neat. While I fell short of a repeat, I was able to squeeze enough out of my squad to put up an 86-point team and secure a third-place finish. Oddly enough, I felt pitching would be my Achilles heel after the auction, but my staff kept me in the race until the last month of the season, as my 54 pitching points were the most in the league and seven above the eventual champ, Scott White of CBSSports.com.

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December 9, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Categorical Breakdowns: Runs Scored: Over/Underachievers

0

Keith Cromer

Examining the players who exceeded or fell short of expectations in this category last season.

As we continue the Fantasy Categorical Breakdowns series this offseason, this week we will be taking a deeper dive into the RBI and runs scored categories. Yesterday George Bissell did an excellent job in presenting his survey of the overall RBI/Runs landscape, and today Matt Collins and I will take a retrospective look at players in both leagues who took big steps forward in 2015 in these statistical categories, as well as identify a handful of hitters who regressed from the previous season. I will address the runs category here, and Matt will give his perspective on the RBI breakdown in a separate piece on the site today.

In doing the research for this piece, I chose to only include players who played in at least 115 games in each of the past two seasons. That appeared to be the best threshold to give a fair assessment of the over/under achievers in this counting stat from the past season.

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December 2, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: 2015 Endgame and Waiver-Wire Recap: NL-Only Pitchers

3

Keith Cromer

Reviewing the senior circuit's bargain pitching buys from the past season.

In my last Freestyle article, I profiled NL-only position players who were hovering near the bottom of our sheet prices, or were not even on our draft-day radars, but proved to be fantasy assets in deep NL-only formats. This week we’ll turn our attention to senior-circuit hurlers who provided substantial dividends for their owners this year despite accounting for a fraction of auction salary dollars and FAAB budgets. We’ve broken out by starting pitchers and bullpen arms so each get their respective dues.

Starting Pitchers

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November 18, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Categorical Breakdowns: Batting Average: Over/Underachievers

0

Keith Cromer

Examining players who exceeded or fell shy of expectations in the AVG department last season.

We kicked off the Fantasy Categorical Breakdowns series last week, focusing on the home run and strikeout landscape, and this week we will be taking a deeper dive in the batting average category. Yesterday Matt Collins did an excellent job in presenting his survey of the overall batting average landscape, and today’s piece will take a retrospective look at players who took big steps forward in 2015 in this statistical category, as well as identify a handful of hitters who regressed in batting average from the previous season.

In doing the research for this piece, I was able to find several players in both leagues with significant variances in their batting averages the past two seasons, both positive and negative, but have only noted the notable names for your consumption. Please also note that I am only referencing players who registered enough plate appearances in each of the past two seasons to qualify for the batting title, which is why you will not see the likes of Bryce Harper, Joey Votto, Prince Fielder, Mike Moustakas, or Victor Martinez mentioned this article.

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The senior circuit's best fantasy bargain bats from the past season.

My last two articles profiled AL-only position players and pitchers who were hovering near the bottom of our preseason sheet prices or were off our draft-day radars entirely, but proved to be fantasy assets in deep formats. This week we’ll turn our attention to the senior circuit to recognize endgame and FAAB position-player finds that provided substantial dividends for their owners despite accounting for a fraction of auction salary dollars and FAAB budgets.

Matt Duffy, IF, San Francisco Giants

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October 21, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: 2015 Endgame and Waiver-Wire Recap: AL-Only Pitchers

0

Keith Cromer

The junior-circuit arms who proved to be bargain-bin steals this year.

Fantasy Freestyle – 2015 end game and waiver wire recap: AL-only pitcher’s edition

In my last article I profiled position players who hovering near the bottom of our sheet prices, or off our radars entirely, on draft day but proved to be fantasy assets in deep AL-only formats. This week we’ll turn our attention to junior circuit hurlers who provided substantial dividends for their owners this year despite accounting for a fraction of their auction salary dollars and FAAB budgets. We’ve broken these out by starting pitchers and bullpen arms so each get their dues.

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October 7, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Endgame and Waiver-Wire Recap: AL-Only Hitters

1

Keith Cromer

The best hitter values and finds in junior-circuit formats this year.

For us grizzled roto veterans who toil for months over player valuations as we prepare for our auctions and drafts, in the back of our minds we know going into draft day that championships are ultimately won in the endgame and by plucking hidden fantasy gems off the waiver wire early in the season. While most prevalent endgame and waiver-wire fantasy rewards come in the saves category, there is always gold unearthed with a handful of position players who were hovering near the bottom of our sheet prices, or not even on our draft-day radars at all.

To pay homage to these 2015 fantasy saviors, below are a few hitters who provided substantial dividends for their owners this year despite accounting for a fraction of their auction salary dollars and FAAB budgets in AL-only formats

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September 25, 2015 6:00 am

Free Agent Watch: Week 26

1

George Bissell and Keith Cromer

If these players are available, they might be worth a look, depending on the format of your league.

Welcome to Week 26 of The Free Agent Watch, Baseball Prospectus’ weekly free agent answer to Dear Abby. This column is designed to offer a brief glimpse into the top free agents in 12-team mixed, 15-team mixed, and AL- and NL-only formats, with the idea being that while we can’t address every unique free agent situation in your league, we can guide you through the waters and help with the broader strokes of the decision making process.

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September 23, 2015 6:00 am

Deep League Report: Week 25

0

Keith Cromer

Examining players who might pique your interest in deep leagues.

As a friendly reminder, the Free Agent Watch article, which appears every Friday, will cover any midweek transactions that might impact your interest in available players in -only leagues. With that said, here’s what we have to pique our interest on the fantasy free-agent market to this point in week 25.

AL-ONLY

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