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08-17

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Fantasy Freestyle: The Quietly Valuable Lorenzo Cain
by
Matt Collins

08-11

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Fantasy Freestyle: Homer Happy
by
Mike Gianella

08-09

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Fantasy Freestyle: Re-Calibrating Danny Salazar
by
Mark Barry

08-04

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: Closers of 2018
by
Matt Collins

08-03

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Fantasy Freestyle: My Trade Deadline
by
Wilson Karaman

08-03

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Fantasy Freestyle: Fantasy Valuations: 2017 Fourth Edition
by
Mike Gianella

07-28

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8

Fantasy Freestyle: On Sustainability
by
Scooter Hotz

07-27

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Getting Ready for the Trade Deadline
by
Mike Gianella

07-26

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7

Fantasy Freestyle: Paying for Utilities
by
Mark Barry

07-26

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Fantasy Freestyle: Salvador Perez: The Most Valuable Catcher in Fantasy Baseball?
by
Eric Roseberry

07-21

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5

Fantasy Freestyle: Anthony Rendon's Leap to Superstardom
by
Matt Collins

07-14

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7

Fantasy Freestyle: Players Switching Leagues in Deep AL-Only and NL-Only Leagues
by
Scooter Hotz

07-13

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Fantasy Freestyle: Catching Up With The Touts
by
Mike Gianella

07-12

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Fantasy Freestyle: The 10-Day DL and Six Degrees of the Dodgers Rotation
by
Mark Barry

07-07

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Fantasy Freestyle: My Favorite Midseason Trade Targets
by
Matt Collins

07-05

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Fantasy Freestyle: Let’s Talk About Travis Shaw
by
Eric Roseberry

06-30

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: Be True To Your League
by
Scooter Hotz

06-29

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3

Fantasy Freestyle: Self Assessing at the (almost) Halfway Point
by
Mike Gianella

06-28

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Fantasy Freestyle: What is up with Zack Godley
by
Mark Barry

06-23

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Fantasy Freestyle: Sticking It Out With Avisail Garcia
by
Matt Collins

06-22

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Fantasy Freestyle: The Art of the Deal: Transforming a No into a Yes
by
Mike Gianella

06-21

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Alex Wood: Elite Fantasy Performer?
by
Eric Roseberry

06-19

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10

Fantasy Freestyle: The Evolution and Decline of Francisco Lindor
by
George Bissell

06-16

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: Fighting The Last War
by
Scooter Hotz

06-15

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: The Pitching Landscape Has Changed
by
Mike Gianella

06-14

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Fantasy Freestyle: Stash List Supplemental
by
Greg Wellemeyer

06-12

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Fantasy Freestyle: David Price: Checking In
by
Mark Barry

06-09

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3

Fantasy Freestyle: The Next Five Relievers
by
Matt Collins

06-07

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Fantasy Freestyle: I Believe In Andrelton Simmons
by
Eric Roseberry

05-26

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: So About That Nick Castellanos Breakout
by
Wilson Karaman

05-26

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Fantasy Freestyle: Miggy's Decline?
by
Matt Collins

05-25

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5

Fantasy Freestyle: Fantasy Draft Rankings for Imaginary Players
by
Mike Gianella

05-19

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: Home League Temperature Check
by
Scooter Hotz

05-12

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3

Fantasy Freestyle: Selling Low on Two Pitchers
by
Matt Collins

05-01

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3

Fantasy Freestyle: Stash List Supplemental
by
Greg Wellemeyer

04-28

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Fantasy Freestyle: The All-April Team
by
Matt Collins

04-27

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8

Fantasy Freestyle: I’m Very Nervous
by
Mike Gianella

04-21

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3

Fantasy Freestyle: My Fantasy Investment Portfolio—Minor Leaguers I Own Across Multiple Leagues
by
Scooter Hotz

04-20

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Reconsidering Your Targets
by
Mike Gianella

04-14

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5

Fantasy Freestyle: Three Surprising Strikeout Surgers
by
Matt Collins

04-14

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Fantasy Freestyle: My Fantasy Investment Portfolio: Major League Players I Own Across Multiple Leagues
by
Scooter Hotz

04-06

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3

Fantasy Freestyle: The PFM and The Model Portfolio
by
Mike Gianella

04-05

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Fantasy Freestyle: Fixing What Broke in Francisco Liriano
by
Alex Chamberlain

04-03

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: Five to Watch: Leadoff Surprises
by
Greg Wellemeyer

03-27

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: My First Auction of 2017
by
Scooter Hotz

03-23

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: Auction Prep: Auction Podcast Takeaways
by
Jeff Quinton

03-23

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: Reviewing the 2016 Model Portfolios
by
Greg Wellemeyer

03-21

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Fantasy Freestyle: My First Draft of 2017
by
Scooter Hotz

03-20

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Fantasy Freestyle: Adjusting for Smaller Leagues
by
Mike Gianella

03-13

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Fantasy Freestyle: An All-Post-Hype Team
by
Matt Collins

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August 17, 2017 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: The Quietly Valuable Lorenzo Cain

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Matt Collins

Let us appreciate what Cain gives: Consistent support in every category.

It should go without saying that every professional baseball player is remarkable to watch, to listen to and to read about. One simply doesn’t get to this level of the craft without being exceptional at what they do. Of course, when they constantly are compared to their peers, some major leaguers fade into the background. That especially is true from a fantasy perspective. Oftentimes, the most under-appreciated players aren’t the ones who are left on the waiver wire while performing well, but those left in the starting lineup. The most under-appreciated can be those that we just keep in our lineup without giving much thought to the production these players give to our teams throughout the season. Many fit this bill, but one that I’ve noticed is on a couple of my teams is Lorenzo Cain.

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August 11, 2017 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Homer Happy

0

Mike Gianella

How has the big spike in home runs—which has been trending for more than 20 years—affects player values.

Earlier this year, I talked about how to adjust to starting pitchers not throwing nearly as many innings as they used to do. Today, I am going to look at the other change that has altered the fantasy landscape: the big spike in home runs.

All 2017 statistics in this article are for games played through Wednesday.

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August 9, 2017 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Re-Calibrating Danny Salazar

0

Mark Barry

Salazar seems to be transforming from thrower to pitcher in his fourth full season.

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When our colleague Mike Gianella updated the starting pitcher tiers in early June, Danny Salazar barely clung to the bottom in the three-star tier. At the time of the ranking, it’s quite possible it was even a couple spots too high. The flame-throwing righty was striking everyone out, sure, but he also was giving up almost two homers and five walks per nine innings and had a 5.40 ERA. Not great. Salazar was coming off the first of two bullpen appearances, a measure the Indians hoped would help him get things straightened out. After his second outing from the pen, he made another move, this time to the DL. The 27-year-old came off the DL on July 22 and has been HOT FLAME EMOJIS ever since. In 20 innings, Salazar has fanned 28 batters, walked only five, and has surrendered only eight hits en route to a 1.35 ERA. As Paul Hollywood might say while standing over a perfectly baked Genoese sponge cake with raspberry jam, “I like that.”

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August 4, 2017 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Closers of 2018

4

Matt Collins

How about David Hernandez on Chicago's South Side, and Greg Holland with the North Siders?

We’ve flipped the calendar over to August, which means the MLB trade deadline has passed and player are, more or less, where they will be for the rest of the season. It also means that our fantasy trade deadlines are quickly approaching. This is obviously a busy time of year, particularly for those of us in longer-term leagues. If you’re the owner of a team that is not in contention this year, it’s time to start thinking of next year. With that in mind, I thought today I would attempt to predict the closer landscape for next year. Obviously, there are going to be events that I cannot predict, but it’s useful to know who could get saves in the following season and try now to get them on the cheap. So, with that in mind, here is a link to who I see closing for each team at the start of next season. Below is an explanation for teams that are seeing a change from who is closing right now.

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August 3, 2017 5:14 pm

Fantasy Freestyle: My Trade Deadline

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Wilson Karaman

Masahiro Tanaka, Jon Lester, Nelson Cruz, Mark Melancon and Dinelson Lamet are profiled.

Buoyed by the long, winding collective stroll through the charred aftermath of the fantasy landscape one day after the trade deadline, I figure I’ll use the pretense to talk about some of the players I acquired and fired in my own home league, in hopes that those of you playing in leagues with slightly later deadlines will be able to benefit from some insights on a few difficult-to-evaluate players. Let’s take a look at five on the move from one of my rosters.

Masahiro Tanaka (SP)—NYY: Tanaka is having one of the stranger seasons around, with all kinds of strange splits and, underlying everything, an insane home-run rate. His whiff and walk numbers are delicious, and he gets grounders at a good clip to boot. But, much like his fallen comrade Michael Pineda, the contact he does yield is hard contact. And that is, of course, particularly true in the air this year, where his average exit velocity rests around the 20th percentile and is home-run rate has pretty much single-handedly driven his avert-your-eyes ERA.

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August 3, 2017 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Fantasy Valuations: 2017 Fourth Edition

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Mike Gianella

So what are the top fantasy earners worth now?

“It is difficult to believe the 2017 Major League Baseball season is past the 100 game mark,” is the kind of thing people like to say in early August, even though time moves forward in the same way every year. Let’s move past this terrible segue and look at fantasy baseball valuation!

In the linked document, you will find values through games of Aug. 1 for:

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July 28, 2017 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: On Sustainability

8

Scooter Hotz

Leagues offering daily transactions, instead of weekly, open themselves up to losing owners.

A few weeks ago, there was some talk on the message board in one of my leagues about moving from weekly transactions and lineups to daily. I’m firmly on Team Weekly because I prioritize sustainability.

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July 27, 2017 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Getting Ready for the Trade Deadline

2

Mike Gianella

A few simple but important steps you can make, regardless of overall strategy, as we hit the stretch run.

In one of the first fantasy leagues I ever joined, for years the trade deadline was Aug. 1. This is an AL-only league, so the Aug. 1 date gave fantasy managers 24 hours to try and fill any holes created by trades to the National League. This gives away how old the league is. -Only leagues are becoming a thing of the past, and the ones that do exist have mostly switched to permitting players traded to the “other” league to remain on a team’s roster until the end of the regular season.

Most of the leagues I play in now have a trade deadline in late August or early September. In a typical keeper league, nearly everyone already has decided if they are in or out for 2017. But unless your season is going perfectly, you probably are going to need to make some free-agent pickups or trades down the stretch in order to win. This advice is not limited to teams in contention. If you have already given up on your season the last thing you want to do is let your team lie fallow and miss potential keepers for 2018 and beyond.

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July 26, 2017 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Paying for Utilities

7

Mark Barry

Marwin Gonzalez, Scooter Gennett and Chris Taylor

Webster’s dictionary defines “utility” as... just kidding. The positional flexibility craze in baseball didn’t start with Ben Zobrist, but his ability to play several positions at a high level certainly brought more attention to the modern utility player. Every year fantasy rosters are crippled with injuries. It’s terrible and awful and frustrating. It’s also inevitable. Having a super utility player stashed away on the roster is the ultimate luxury, and can help bail you out of such pickles, Benny “The Jet” style. This season, a handful of players have embraced the task of playing multiple positions and have thoroughly excelled in the process.

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Sal Perez isn't striking out, but he's swinging more than ever and his batting average would be a career high. Is that why his fantasy value has been higher in 2017?

Coming into 2017, fantasy owners felt like they had a good handle on Salvador Perez. He was a safe bet to make regular starts at the position who would give you something like a .250 batting average, 20 home runs, 50-60 runs, and 60-70 runs batted in. These totals landed him in the “three star” tier of Baseball Prospectus’ preseason catcher rankings. He was a player who was supplying increasing power at a cost to his batting average.

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July 21, 2017 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Anthony Rendon's Leap to Superstardom

5

Matt Collins

Rendon has been one of the top five or so offensive performers in 2017.

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Jose Quintana moving from the AL to the NL is the rare case when players in an -only league discover "found money" in FAAB free agency. Those who saved can prosper. All-too-frequently however, it can be shrewder to use FAAB money earlier, incrementally, because "big-fish" free agents simply never come.

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