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12-18

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Don't Forget the Vets
by
Matt Collins

12-18

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3

Fantasy Team Preview: San Francisco Giants
by
Jeff Quinton

12-17

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0

Fantasy Team Preview: Milwaukee Brewers
by
J.P. Breen

12-17

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: Undervalued NL Starting Pitchers
by
Keith Cromer

12-16

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10

Fantasy Freestyle: The Trouble With Tiers
by
Mike Gianella

12-16

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8

Fantasy Team Preview: New York Mets
by
Bret Sayre

12-15

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2

Fantasy Team Preview: Atlanta Braves
by
Nick Shlain

12-12

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9

Fantasy Freestyle: Shortening Your Dynasty Rebuild
by
J.P. Breen

12-12

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0

Fantasy Team Preview: Miami Marlins
by
Ben Carsley

12-11

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: Jose Quintana, Forever Underrated
by
Matt Collins

12-10

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Fantasy Freestyle: American League Speed Options on the Cheap
by
Keith Cromer

12-10

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4

Fantasy Team Preview: San Diego Padres
by
Wilson Karaman

12-09

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: Is Yordano Ventura Overrated Now?
by
Nick Shlain

12-09

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5

Fantasy Team Preview: Cincinnati Reds
by
Bret Sayre

12-08

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1

Five to Watch: Fantasy-Relevant Winter Meetings Rumors
by
Ben Carsley

12-08

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0

Fantasy Team Preview: Philadelphia Phillies
by
Mike Gianella

12-05

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: The Moderate Rebuild
by
Craig Goldstein

12-05

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9

Fantasy Team Preview: Chicago Cubs
by
Jeff Quinton

12-04

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9

Fantasy Team Preview: Colorado Rockies
by
J.P. Breen

12-04

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: Hey, So What Happened to Mike Minor Last Year?
by
Wilson Karaman

12-04

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3

Retrospective Player Valuation: Mixed-League Pitchers
by
Mike Gianella

12-03

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6

Fantasy Freestyle: Relief Help
by
Keith Cromer

12-02

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0

Retrospective Player Valuation: Mixed-League Hitters
by
Mike Gianella

12-02

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: Keeper Decisions
by
Nick Shlain

12-01

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2

Fantasy Team Preview: Arizona Diamondbacks
by
Matt Collins

11-26

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2

Fantasy Team Preview: Baltimore Orioles
by
Craig Goldstein

11-25

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: Christian Yelich is Poised to Break Out
by
Matt Collins

11-25

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Offseason Trades and Responding to the Default Effect
by
Jeff Quinton

11-25

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: 40-Man Additions to Know
by
Craig Goldstein

11-24

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0

Fantasy Team Preview: Detroit Tigers
by
Nick Shlain

11-21

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5

Fantasy Team Preview: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
by
Wilson Karaman

11-20

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: Offseason Trades and the Default Effect
by
Jeff Quinton

11-20

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0

Retrospective Player Valuation: National League Pitchers
by
Mike Gianella

11-19

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4

Fantasy Team Preview: Kansas City Royals
by
Ben Carsley

11-18

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3

Retrospective Player Valuation: National League Hitters
by
Mike Gianella

11-18

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9

Fantasy Freestyle: Five Fantasy Busts
by
J.P. Breen

11-17

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0

Fantasy Team Preview: Oakland Athletics
by
Keith Cromer

11-14

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Fantasy Team Preview: Seattle Mariners
by
Nick Shlain

11-13

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8

Retrospective Player Valuation: American League Pitchers
by
Mike Gianella

11-13

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Fantasy Freestyle: Five Fantasy MVPs of 2014
by
J.P. Breen

11-12

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11

Fantasy Team Preview: Cleveland Indians
by
Matt Collins

11-12

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3

Five to Watch: More Post-Hype Prospects for 2015
by
Ben Carsley

11-11

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0

Fantasy Team Preview: New York Yankees
by
Bret Sayre

11-11

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1

Retrospective Player Valuation: American League Hitters
by
Mike Gianella

11-10

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7

Fantasy Team Preview: Toronto Blue Jays
by
Wilson Karaman

11-07

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0

Fantasy Team Preview: Tampa Bay Rays
by
Jeff Quinton

11-06

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5

Five to Watch: Post-Hype Prospects for 2015
by
Craig Goldstein

11-06

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: What to Make of Odrisamer Despaigne
by
Keith Cromer

11-05

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: Curb Your Pitching Enthusiasm
by
Nick Shlain

11-05

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Fantasy Team Preview: Chicago White Sox
by
J.P. Breen

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December 9, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Is Yordano Ventura Overrated Now?

1

Nick Shlain

Have 100-mph bullets and the Royals' postseason success blown the righty's value out of proportion?

It didn’t take very long for me to push my anti-pitcher agenda here at Baseball Prospectus, as my first Fantasy Freestyle was about curbing spending on pitchers in auction-style drafts. I’ll continue to not love pitchers today as I take a closer look at Yordano Ventura, who has generated plenty of buzz coming off the Royals’ October run.

Despite a slight build, Ventura held up as his rookie season went along making 30 starts and totaling 183 innings pitched with a 3.20 ERA. He also made four starts in the playoffs. Going forward, how Ventura’s body stands up to throwing 200 innings is a concern, especially when considering he mostly gets by on his flame-throwing as his average fastball velocity was 96 mph this year. Despite his elite fastball velocity, he doesn’t miss bats at an elite rate—his 20.3 percent strikeout rate ranked 37th among all qualified starters this year. Ventura totaled 159 strikeouts this year, the same amount as Justin Verlander. Ideally, Ventura will miss more bats as he matures as a pitcher and improves his secondary offerings. His raw stuff might be too good for it not to happen eventually, but when gauging how to value him for next season it would be extremely unwise to assume improvement without cause.

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December 9, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Team Preview: Cincinnati Reds

5

Bret Sayre

Injuries doomed the Reds to a fourth-place finish in 2014, but there are still four fantasy studs in the Queen City.

The Reds were coming off two straight 90-plus win seasons heading into 2014, and featured almost exactly the same roster that had vaulted them to consecutive playoff appearances for the first time since 1976 (if you consider losing the Wild Card Game a playoff appearance). However, Bryan Price’s first season as manager was filled with injuries and disappointment—leading to 76 wins and a distant fourth-place finish in the NL Central.

Fortunately for the Reds, returning talent in 2015 is the easy part. Keeping it collectively on the field and productive is going to be a different story. And while they’ve been involved in trade talks for an outfielder—usually dangling one of their soon-to-be-free-agent pitchers—any 2015 success in the Queen City will be heavily based on the names you know bouncing back to the levels you’re accustomed to. And that won’t be helped by their farm system either, which despite having some interesting players, isn’t set up for immediate contribution.

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December 8, 2014 6:00 am

Five to Watch: Fantasy-Relevant Winter Meetings Rumors

1

Ben Carsley

A look at how hypothetical moves would impact players' fantasy stocks if they come to fruition this week.

Generally, when writing on the internet, you want to produce content that is evergreen. You're also encouraged to make arguments based on facts, not rumors or conjecture. And tired tropes like "listicles" or Bill Simmons-esque breakdowns based on arbitrary differentiators are discouraged.

Let's break all the rules tonight.

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December 8, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Team Preview: Philadelphia Phillies

0

Mike Gianella

The team is heading downhill, but there's still a handful of fantasy assets to keep in mind.

“The darkest hour is just before the dawn.” – Thomas Fuller (attributed)

After a 2014 season during which it sometimes seemed like the Phillies were floundering without any kind of cohesive plan, interim CEO Pat Gillick laid out a blueprint for contention in 2017, at the earliest. While ownership transparency is refreshing if you are a fan, a full tear down is challenging from a fantasy perspective, particularly at the early stages. The Phillies haven’t shipped anyone out of town yet, and it is impossible to predict when this will happen. Even if the current roster composition holds, the fantasy landscape looks thin. Only eight Phillies were worth owning in standard mixed leagues last year. Even in NL-only formats, the picture wasn’t particularly rosy. There are some opportunities to be had, but most of them come in the form of undervalued veterans, not rookies with upside and the ability to burst on the scene as potential game changers.

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December 5, 2014 10:58 am

Fantasy Freestyle: The Moderate Rebuild

1

Craig Goldstein

Might retooling on the fly be a better plan than tearing it down and starting over?

Author’s Note: This column is intended for deep leagues only

It’s become increasingly clear in the last few years that fans of baseball, fantasy baseball owners included as a subset, are tolerant of essentially two modes of thought when it comes to their team and how it’s built. There’s the contending team, that makes itself known to be attempting contention for a wild card spot, if not a division crown, and the rebuilding team that isn’t competing that year so is all about future assets and long-term growth. These are accepted styles of competition in which one is either competing at the top or dwelling at the bottom with the idea of competing at the top down the line. What’s less accepted is mediocrity, or stagnancy. Move up or move down, or at least make your motives known.

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December 5, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Team Preview: Chicago Cubs

9

Jeff Quinton

No shortage of young talent here.

While we wait and see how the Cubs navigate this offseason, their current roster returns exciting young hitters, Jake Arrieta, and a lot players who would probably play lesser roles on more competitive teams. And they also have all those awesome prospects too.

The important question, for fantasy purposes, is how do all these pieces fit? There really is no good way to answer this question right now given that we do not know how free agency will unfold and the uncertainty inherent in prospects. What we can do is evaluate the players as they currently stand and make adjustments for playing time as we get more information. That said, let us get to it.

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December 4, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Team Preview: Colorado Rockies

9

J.P. Breen

Coors Field can make a fantasy asset out of just about any major-league hitter.

The Colorado Rockies were a caricature of themselves in 2014, scoring the most runs in the National League while having the worst team ERA in Major League Baseball. Fantasy owners naturally gravitate toward Rockies hitters and run screaming from Rockies pitchers. You won’t find much on this list that disagrees with that assessment, though the organization clearly has some arms working their way toward the big leagues who could improve their fate.

My favorite thing to track from year to year: The Colorado Rockies’ offense posted a .902 OPS in home games and a .636 OPS in road games. That road OPS was second-worst in baseball. Keep that in mind. Guys like Tulo and CarGo should be in the lineup everyday, but the lesser guys are perhaps only “must starts” when playing at home.

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December 4, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Hey, So What Happened to Mike Minor Last Year?

1

Wilson Karaman

A look at whether the Braves lefty is primed for a rebound.

I’ll admit up front that I have a huge soft spot for Mike Minor. I acquired him in my home league as a buy-low guy in late May of 2012, and he proceeded to return gobs and gobs of surplus value for me over the following season-and-a-half. I didn’t end up owning him in any leagues this past season, and I was pretty bummed out about that coming out of my assorted drafts. Sometimes the best deals are the ones you don’t make, though, right? According to NFBC data Minor was taken as the 29th starting pitcher off the board last spring, yet Mike Gianella recently figured him as the fourth-biggest bust among NL starting pitchers after he returned exactly zero dollars-worth of production in a season plagued by injury and poor performance. So what happened here, and where should we be setting expectations for Minor in 2015 and beyond?

The injury issues probably deserve front and center attention as top billing in our story. Minor had what can be charitably described as… well, just a terrible-sounding operation to remove scar tissue from his urethra as the new year dawned. In addition to making men around the country wince and recoil, the procedure knocked him off his standard throwing schedule heading into spring training and led to some shoulder inflammation after he tried to ramp up too quickly. The shoulder issue turned out to be a nagging one, forcing a DL stint that cost him all of April and ending his season prematurely in September as the Braves fell out of contention. When he did toe the rubber in between those shutdowns the results were obviously quite poor relative to the pitcher we saw over the previous 18 months. And the first thing that jumps out in looking at his profile is that Minor’s release point for the vast majority of the season was significantly higher than it had been at any point since his first-half troubles in 2012.

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December 4, 2014 6:00 am

Retrospective Player Valuation: Mixed-League Pitchers

3

Mike Gianella

An in-depth look at pitchers' returns on fantasy investments in mixed formats during the past season.

This is the final installment in a six-part series on player valuation. The first five parts of the series covered AL and NL-only league valuation for hitters and pitchers, and mixed-league valuation for hitters. This article concludes the series with a look back at pitchers.

As with the mixed league hitters, there are no plans to reinvent the wheel and run through the painstaking steps that got me to my mixed league valuations. There is a significant change on the pitching side of the ledger that will be addressed within the body of the article. A full look at the methodology behind the valuations can be found here.

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December 3, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Relief Help

6

Keith Cromer

These pitchers might not rack up saves, but they could still hold considerable fantasy value.

From my perspective, it’s never too early to begin speculating about teams’ bullpens during the offseason and researching who could make a fantasy impact the following year. Playing fantasy baseball for as long as I have has taught me that finding those hidden reliever gems can be the difference between hoisting a trophy and waving the white flag in July. Spending time studying every arm in all major-league bullpens is a staple of my pre-draft routine, and just as important as the homework done for position players, starting pitchers, and impactful rookies.

Please note I am not talking about closers, but rather those reliable bullpen arms that have impressive peripherals and produce in high-leverage situations, not just save situations. These pitchers have earned the trust and confidence of their managers and will continuously be given the opportunity to pitch in similar future situations that could result in wins, holds, and potentially some saves. Even in deeper AL- and NL-Only leagues, the value of these relievers is sometimes unappreciated, despite how they can offset bad performances by starting pitchers in any given week.

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December 2, 2014 6:00 am

Retrospective Player Valuation: Mixed-League Hitters

0

Mike Gianella

An in-depth look at hitters' returns on fantasy investments during the past season.

Welcome to the fifth in a series of six articles on retrospective player valuation. I have already covered a vast amount of ground in the last four articles for mono-league hitters and pitchers. Today’s article will take a look at mixed-league hitter valuation; on Thursday I will conclude the series with a look at mixed league pitchers.

For those of you interested in following along at home, you can find all of the AL and NL values here, along with the mixed hitter valuations. Mixed pitcher valuations will be available later this week.

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December 2, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Keeper Decisions

4

Nick Shlain

Resolving a few hypothetical dilemmas involving Kole Calhoun, Kevin Gausman, J.D. Martinez, and Angel Pagan.

Although inspired by a real event, the following story is fantasy and does not depict any actual person or event.

We’re completely entrenched in the slog that is six months without real baseball, but that doesn’t mean fantasy owners are bereft of all decision-making. It’s the time of year when keeper-league owners must make a call on which players they’ll have back next year.

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