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08-27

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: Better Late Than Never
by
J.J. Jansons

08-26

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5

Fantasy Freestyle: Raisel Iglesias on the Rise
by
George Bissell

08-26

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Second-Half Pitching Trainwrecks
by
J.P. Breen

08-19

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: On Hard-Hit Balls and Batters Who Hit Balls Hard
by
Wilson Karaman

08-18

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: The Jacob deGrom Gambit
by
George Bissell

08-11

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Fantasy Freestyle: The Case For Carlos Correa
by
George Bissell

08-04

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5

Fantasy Freestyle: The Middle-Relief Monster: Carter Capps
by
George Bissell

07-28

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3

Fantasy Freestyle: What's Wrong With Carlos Carrasco?
by
George Bissell

07-16

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Fantasy Freestyle: Francisco Liriano: Back Among the Elite?
by
Greg Wellemeyer

07-14

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21

Fantasy Freestyle: Bryce Harper Goes Boom
by
George Bissell

07-10

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: Is Taijuan Walker on the Cusp of Stardom?
by
Greg Wellemeyer

07-09

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: Grading The Buyer's Guide, Part One
by
J.P. Breen

07-08

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26

Fantasy Freestyle: Predicting the Second Half Fallers
by
Mike Gianella

07-02

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Fantasy Freestyle: The Evolution of Rubby De La Rosa
by
George Bissell

07-01

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: How We Got Here
by
Mike Gianella

06-24

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11

Fantasy Freestyle: The Injured Starter Market
by
J.P. Breen

06-23

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: What Can We Learn From Mookie Betts Exit Velocity?
by
George Bissell

06-18

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Desert Ray
by
George Bissell

06-16

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8

Fantasy Freestyle: Projecting Buy-Low and Sell-High Pitchers by cFIP and DRA-
by
Wilson Karaman

06-12

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: Dynasty League Risers: Pitchers
by
J.J. Jansons

06-10

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: May/June Leaders
by
J.P. Breen

06-09

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: Jesse Chavez Is Better Than You Think
by
George Bissell

06-05

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5

Fantasy Freestyle: Hello Vickrey, My (Now) Old Friend
by
Mike Gianella

06-04

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10

Fantasy Freestyle: Dynasty League Risers: Hitters
by
J.J. Jansons

06-03

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Fantasy Freestyle: Don't Forget Your Eraser
by
Nick Shlain

06-02

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Who Is This Williams Perez?
by
Wilson Karaman

06-02

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: Coming Up Rosales
by
Nick Shlain

06-01

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: The Chris Young Enigma
by
George Bissell

05-29

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Table-Setting Thieves
by
J.J. Jansons

05-26

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Fantasy Freestyle: Two American League Outfielders of Interest
by
Nick Shlain

05-21

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Fantasy Freestyle: Rebuilding = Opportunity
by
J.J. Jansons

05-21

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Fantasy Freestyle: Revisiting the AL-Only Reliever Landscape
by
Nick Shlain

05-20

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Fantasy Freestyle: Early-Season Back-End Breakouts
by
Wilson Karaman

05-20

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8

Fantasy Freestyle: Staying Afloat in a Sea of Fluctuations
by
Jeff Quinton

05-20

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: The Evolution of Lucas Duda
by
Greg Wellemeyer

05-19

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Fantasy Freestyle: AL-Only Adds, Part Two
by
Nick Shlain

05-18

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: In Search of the Next Joc Pederson
by
J.J. Jansons

05-14

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5

Fantasy Freestyle: Danny Salazar: On the Cusp of Stardom?
by
Greg Wellemeyer

05-12

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Fantasy Freestyle: Finesse the Pitching
by
Nick Shlain

05-07

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5

Fantasy Freestyle: Changed Expectations
by
Nick Shlain

05-06

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5

Fantasy Freestyle: Hey, So What Happened to Jason Heyward?
by
Wilson Karaman

05-05

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5

Fantasy Freestyle: Junior Circuit Players to Monitor
by
Nick Shlain

04-30

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6

Fantasy Freestyle: Checking in on April Leaders
by
J.P. Breen

04-29

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Daily Leagues and Strikeouts
by
J.P. Breen

04-28

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6

Fantasy Freestyle: AL-Only Adds
by
Nick Shlain

04-23

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Fantasy Freestyle: Preaching Patience
by
Nick Shlain

04-22

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9

Fantasy Freestyle: Early-Season Stat Line Scouting
by
Wilson Karaman

04-21

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8

Fantasy Freestyle: CC Sabathia's Early-Season Promise
by
Nick Shlain

04-16

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5

Fantasy Freestyle: New Managers and Stolen Bases
by
J.P. Breen

04-15

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Fantasy Freestyle: Streaming Two-Start Pitchers
by
J.P. Breen

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August 27, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Better Late Than Never

0

J.J. Jansons

These hurlers didn't come up until late in the 2015 season, but that might not stop them from earning Opening Day rotation looks next year.

This time of year, many owners turn their attention to young pitchers getting their first tastes of big-league action in an effort to fill out the back-end of their dynasty-league rotations. Often times, pitchers who are unowned—even this late in the season—in deeper leagues can step in over the rest of the season and make enough of an impact to establish trade value over the winter or secure a place as keepers heading into the 2016 season.

Let’s take a look at three recent starting-pitcher callups who have a chance to establish themselves as back-end rotation options in dynasty leagues over the rest of the season:

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August 26, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Raisel Iglesias on the Rise

5

George Bissell

Why the Reds righty could be your fantasy playoff hero.

In retrospect, The “Year of the Rookie” will be remembered primarily for the unprecedented volume of prospects making an impact at the major-league level. As of this writing, 38 of Baseball Prospectus 2015 Top 101 Prospects have made an appearance in The Show. That number inflates (above 12.5 PSI, hopefully, #FreeBrady) to 46 if you’re using Baseball America’s preseason Top 100 Prospects list. Absurd.

It isn’t just the depth of this year’s crop that’s astounding. It’s the glut of elite fantasy sluggers emerging from the cornfields in Carlos Correa, Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, and Miguel Sano (just to name a few) that has been the real story this season. The infusion of dynamic talent has carried over to the mound as well, with electric young arms like Noah Syndergaard, Carlos Rodon, Luis Severino, Eduardo Rodriguez, Aaron Nola, Taylor Jungmann, and Steven Matz all showing flashes of elite fantasy potential.

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August 26, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Second-Half Pitching Trainwrecks

2

J.P. Breen

These four hurlers have eroded badly under the summer sun.

Ubaldo Jimenez, BAL

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August 19, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: On Hard-Hit Balls and Batters Who Hit Balls Hard

1

Wilson Karaman

Examining a handful of exit-velo studs.

One of the cool things about living (and playing fantasy baseball) in the present day and age is that the amount of information available at our fingertips is simply awesome. And 2015 has been a banner season for data wonks, as it’s the first with full batted-ball data available for public consumption. With the data collection, sorting, and processing still in its infancy, and the relative sample sizes involved extremely small in the grand scheme of things, it is unwise to try to draw sweeping conclusions about what things like exit velocity and trajectory mean for batted-ball success rates. But there are certain basic assumptions that we can make about these things, and one of the more logical is that hitting the ball hard increases your chances of reaching base.

Now, before we dive into some numbers on specific and potentially interesting players for fantasy, it’s worth taking a minute to explore an interesting recent development. Major-league teams have dramatically increased the number of infield shifts they’ve employed against hitters over the past four seasons, but interestingly that change in strategy has had very little aggregate impact on batted-ball results for groundballs. Ground-ball results have remained extremely stable, and in fact offensive performance on worm-burners has ticked up slightly as shifting has increased:

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August 18, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: The Jacob deGrom Gambit

2

George Bissell

As Bob Dylan once wrote "The Times They Are A-Changin"...

The downside of Twitter, most notably #CycleAlert, often outweighs its benefit, but every so often, it leads to an enlightening fantasy baseball discussion. Twitter is where I draw the majority of my inspiration because it is a forum where we can debate the big issues as they relate to fantasy baseball strategy and player analysis. The inspiration for this column took shape just a few weeks ago when Razzball’s Rudy Gamble commented on the factor he believes explains fantasy owners making smarter investments on the pitching side of their rosters.

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August 11, 2015 12:06 am

Fantasy Freestyle: The Case For Carlos Correa

0

George Bissell

Why the Astros shortstop might already warrant consideration to be the first-overall pick in 2016 drafts.

Prospect-savvy fantasy owners knew that Carlos Correa had the potential to blossom into a superstar eventually, but nobody could have anticipated that he would burst onto the scene the way he has over the past two months, slashing .288/.349/.557 with 14 home runs, 31 runs scored, 37 RBI, and nine stolen bases in his first 54 games (235 plate appearances). An intoxicating blend of age, elite five-category production, and shortstop eligibility has Correa poised to rank among the top-10 most valuable commodities in re-draft leagues next season. However, it’s time to start seriously considering whether or not he deserves to be in the conversation with Mike Trout and Bryce Harper for the top-overall selection in keeper and dynasty formats going forward.

Setting aside the small sample size caveat (which certainly applies here), let’s acknowledge that Correa has already established himself as the top shortstop in fantasy baseball at just 20 years old. His .312 TAv ranks second (trailing only Brandon Crawford’s .315 TAv) among shortstops with at least 200 plate appearances this season. Only Crawford, Troy Tulowitzki, and the perennially underrated Jhonny Peralta, all of whom have nearly twice as many plate appearances, have hit more home runs this year. It’s not even much of a debate when you take a closer look at the current valuations, which matter more from a fantasy perspective than anything else.

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August 4, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: The Middle-Relief Monster: Carter Capps

5

George Bissell

Assessing Capps' long-term value is harder than deciding if a hot dog really is a sandwich.

The buzz regarding Carter Capps' transformation into the baseball equivalent of Techmo Bowl Bo Jackson, thanks to a borderline illegal delivery, has mercifully cooled off with the flurry of activity at the trade deadline over the last week. No matter what you think of his truly bizarre style, it’s impossible to overlook his meteoric rise from relative obscurity to being baseball’s most-feared reliever.

The 24-year-old is the just latest relief monster to rise from the depths of the vast fantasy ocean, emerging as a rich source of strikeouts for fantasy owners, following in the wake of other electric setup men like Dellin Betances, Wade Davis, and Ken Giles, this season. Capps has struck out an absurd 49 percent of the batters he’s faced this season and leads the majors with 16.8 strikeouts per nine innings. Filthy.

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July 28, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: What's Wrong With Carlos Carrasco?

3

George Bissell

Is Cleveland cursed or can Mickey Callaway work his magic on Carlos Carrasco again?

At the conclusion of a Herculean 10-start run (1.30 ERA with a 78-to-11 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 69 innings) over the final two months to close out last season, there was virtually no doubt that Carlos Carrasco was on the precipice of a monster fantasy campaign heading into the year.

If the stellar statistical results down the stretch weren’t enough reason for optimism, they coincided with legitimate adjustments (pitching exclusively out of the stretch, enabling him to consistently repeat his delivery) implemented by Cleveland pitching coach/wizard Mickey Calloway, which only bolstered the legitimacy of his breakout.

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July 16, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Francisco Liriano: Back Among the Elite?

0

Greg Wellemeyer

Has the PIrates lefty finally returned to being what we always thought he'd be?

Johan Santana was a cog in my home-league lineup back in the early 2000s, and following a 2004 in which he was a unanimous Cy Young selection, I had a pitching-staff anchor for the long haul. I did until 2006 anyway, when I fell head over heels for a younger, maybe-even-better Twins lefty who threw all the same pitches but harder. I traded Santana. I spent the summer months looking for a Twins bar in central North Carolina. 2006 was my least-favorite fantasy season ever.

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July 14, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Bryce Harper Goes Boom

21

George Bissell

How did PECOTA miss so badly on Bryce Harper?

Four months ago, Harper was voted the “most overrated player in baseball” (for the second consecutive year) by his fellow players in ESPN The Magazine. Despite having racked up 1,489 Major League plate appearances without facing a pitcher younger than him (it finally happened when he faced New York’s Jacob Lindgren on June 10th) and possessing once-in-a-generation-type natural ability, there wasn’t a fantasy analyst on the planet confident enough to forecast that Harper, coming off an injury-marred campaign the previous season, was on the precipice of blossoming into a fantasy superstar at just 22-years-old.

Granted, there were some authentic signs during spring training that Harper was finally poised for a breakout, but given his struggles to stay healthy and backslide in approach at the plate last year, he carried substantially more risk than almost any other player in re-draft formats. Investing an early round pick on Harper was the fantasy baseball equivalent of Kramer and Newman’s scheme to make an extra five cents recycling bottles and cans by driving them to Michigan in an extra mail truck. Sure, the potential for a massive payoff was there if everything broke right, but the odds of Harper blowing up like he did (or Kramer and Newman finding a way to Michigan without incident) were slim at best.

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July 10, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Is Taijuan Walker on the Cusp of Stardom?

4

Greg Wellemeyer

The Mariners righty rattled off a fantastic seven-start stretch, prompting Greg to take a closer look.

Taijuan Walker was rolling entering Tuesday night’s game against the Tigers, having struck out 51 batters in his last 48 1/3 innings against only three walks. A 1.68 ERA and 0.79 WHIP during that stretch lowered his season-long ratios from a ghastly 7.33 ERA and 1.84 WHIP to a tolerable 4.34 and 1.28, respectively. It was a big turnaround for a guy DRA had pegged as the worst starter in the major leagues through the first month-and-change of the season.

I’ve long been a Walker fan, coveting his superior athleticism and the ease with which he generates mid-90s velocity. I own a few shares and while the last month has been enjoyable, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t waiting for the April version of Walker to re-appear up every once in a while. Seven-start stretches of utter dominance are pretty unique but are rarer still when immediately preceded by nearly 50 innings of crooked numbers.

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July 9, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Grading The Buyer's Guide, Part One

4

J.P. Breen

A look at how well you've done if you followed some of J.P.'s preseason recommendations.

As we near the All-Star break, I thought it would be useful to critique myself and my fantasy advice throughout the year. This allows me to own up to mistaken guidance or faulty analysis, while also celebrating my own home runs. In other words, this article hopes to be the “accountability” for which people crave.

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