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12-29

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2

Fantasy Team Preview: St. Louis Cardinals
by
Matt Collins

12-23

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: Still Holliday Season
by
Wilson Karaman

12-23

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7

Fantasy Team Preview: Los Angeles Dodgers
by
Craig Goldstein

12-22

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8

Fantasy Team Preview: Pittsburgh Pirates
by
Keith Cromer

12-22

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: Is Marcus Stroman the Real '6 God'?
by
Nick Shlain

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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15

Transaction Analysis: All the Fantasy Angles
by
J.P. Breen, Mike Gianella, Wilson Karaman, Ben Carsley and 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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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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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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11

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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0

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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0

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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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

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

December 29, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Team Preview: St. Louis Cardinals

2

Matt Collins

The Redbirds roster is loaded—as usual.

It’s getting to be boring to see how well this organization is run, and how much talent they put on their roster year after year. It appears that 2015 will include another playoff run for the Cardinals, with plenty of young talent and solid veteran play to at least keep them in contention through the year. It hasn’t been an overly loud offseason for this team, but they did add a couple of bats in Jason Heyward and Mark Reynolds. It’ll be largely the same group that took the field a year ago, and at this point it’s hard to envision them not only being one of the best squads in the game, but one of the deepest rosters out there for fantasy purposes.

A note for our readers. While informative, since we are still months away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training, these previews are far from definitive or complete. Free agent signings, trades, and other offseason news will change the landscape for most if not all teams. For any moves that take place after a team preview is written, please look to our Transaction Analysis coverage for instant reactions, and then check back on the Team Previews for more detailed updates (including lineups, rotations, bullpens, etc.) as we get closer to Opening Day.

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December 23, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Still Holliday Season

0

Wilson Karaman

The Cardinals' left fielder isn't finished as a fantasy asset just yet.

I’d like to start by offering a scalding #hottake: Matt Holliday has been very good at hitting baseballs in his career. Since his 2004 debut he’s posted the eighth highest batting average (minimum 4,000 plate appearances), hit the 13th most homeruns, driven in the sixth most runs, and scored more times than every other Major Leaguer but three. He is, however, also rapidly closing in on his 35th birthday as of this writing. He’s also coming off a season in which he failed to crack the top 50 among hitters in standard league value, returning “just” $20 of mixed league production in 2014. That development necessarily begs the twin questions of whether Holliday has started his inevitable decline in earnest, and how he should in turn be valued for 2015. So let’s take a look under the hood and see what changed last year, and then hopefully we can figure out whether 2014 was in fact the beginning of the end.

Here’s a basic chart showing some notable metrics in his performance portfolio since he turned 30 and headed east to St. Louis, along with his relative ranking among outfielders in the triple slash categories:

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

December 23, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Team Preview: Los Angeles Dodgers

7

Craig Goldstein

The highest-payroll club unsurprisingly has a wealth of fantasy assets.

The kings of payroll can claim no legitimate throne, having been bounced early in the playoffs and losing the offseason to the Padres or the White Sox or someone else. They’ve made moves, no doubt, consistently trading players they’d just acquired, but to what end? Efficiency, no doubt, but also to give fantasy owners a bit of a headache. Despite trading Kemp, the Dodgers have a crowded outfield that’s likely to feature a platoon in center and a platoon in left, and that doesn’t address whatever it is Andre Ethier is going to do. The rotation additions are fantasy friendly though, as Brandon McCarthy escapes the offensive environments of Arizona and New York and lands in the much more neutral Chavez Ravine. Similarly, Brett Anderson will try to stay on the mound in a place much better suited to success than Coors, where he actually was pretty good anyway. A deep roster, pitching staff, and predictable back of the bullpen makes for a fantasy-friendly lineup, platoons or not.

A note for our readers. While informative, since we are still months away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training, these previews are far from definitive or complete. Free agent signings, trades, and other offseason news will change the landscape for most if not all teams. For any moves that take place after a team preview is written, please look to our Transaction Analysis coverage for instant reactions, and then check back on the Team Previews for more detailed updates (including lineups, rotations, bullpens, etc.) as we get closer to Opening Day.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

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

December 22, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Team Preview: Pittsburgh Pirates

8

Keith Cromer

There's a talented young core in the Steel City, with more intriguing prospects on the way.

On May 5th, the Pirates record stood at 12-20, and they were 9 ½ games out of first place in the NL Central. Following two decades of futility prior to their breakout 2013 season, it appeared the Pirates were headed to another disappointing season. However, tides turned and from that point forward the Bucs went 76-54, including a 17-9 record in September, earning another trip to the NL wild card game.

The back-to-back postseason appearances for the Pirates have been driven by a talented core of young homegrown players (Andrew McCutchen, Gerrit Cole, Neil Walker, Starling Marte, Pedro Alvarez, etc..) and there are more top prospects on the way soon. Replacing a team leader like Russell Martin will be difficult, and with the question marks right now at the end of their rotation, the Pirates could be looking again to their deep farm system for help in 2015.

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

December 22, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Is Marcus Stroman the Real '6 God'?

4

Nick Shlain

A look at whether the young Jays righty can take another step forward in 2015.

Formerly on Fantasy Freestyle, I took a closer look at right-hander Yordano Ventura, whose fantasy stock is a bit inflated after a successful rookie campaign with the Royals. Today we’ll change it up and look at another young American League hurler generating plenty of buzz with the added plot twist that yours truly is even buying the hype.

That young pitcher is Marcus Stroman, who will wear the number six next year. Despite not making his first start until May 31st, Stroman earned $13 in AL-Only leagues this year (according to BP’s valuation Santa Claus Mike Gianella). For comparison, Ventura earned $16 in “only” leagues, but enough about him.

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December 18, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Don't Forget the Vets

2

Matt Collins

They might be on the wrong side of 30, but these players can provide a safer return than many hotshot 20-somethings in 2015.

Youth has always dominated the sports landscape, and it’s only getting more prominent. With more and more press being given to the prospects around baseball, it’s becoming even more fun to dream on a player’s potential in hopes of a bright future. Fantasy baseball is no exception to this. In your various drafts, you will always have people who fall in love with a specific name and put them on their team expecting the upside to be hit. Now, don’t get me wrong, this is an important part of anyone’s draft. If you’re going to win your league, you need to take some chances on the upside plays and hope they provide value relative to where they were drafted or what you bid on them. With that being said, you can’t have a roster full of those guys. Balance is an important thing, and sprinkling in some relatively sure things with the potentially great youngsters is important. The problem, of course, is that after the very top-tier, most of these sure things come in the form of aging veterans, guys who you never know when the decline will actually start. The following group of players won’t be the sexiest pickups for your team, but are a good bet for solid production to surround your young, potentially great players.

Note that these write-ups are for 2015 only. Obviously things change significantly for those of you in dynasty and keeper leagues.

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December 18, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Team Preview: San Francisco Giants

3

Jeff Quinton

A trio of studs compensates for the defending champs' barren farm system.

Champions of baseball, collection of various fantasy baseball talents. We all know the headliners: Posey, Pence, and Bumgarner. Beyond that, there is an unresolved third base role to go along with a lot of veterans and role players. The only interesting 25-or-under talents other than Bumgarner are Joe Panik and Andrew Susac, and interesting is being used liberally here. The Giants minor-league system is even less interesting for fantasy purposes. Anyhow, it is often the boring, the old hat, the suboptimal that gets overlooked in fantasy, and it is these very players that can turn some of the nicest fantasy baseball profits. Continue reading for analysis.

A note for our readers. While informative, since we are still months away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training, these previews are far from definitive or complete. Free agent signings, trades, and other offseason news will change the landscape for most if not all teams. For any moves that take place after a team preview is written, please look to our Transaction Analysis coverage for instant reactions, and then check back on the Team Previews for more detailed updates (including lineups, rotations, bullpens, etc.) as we get closer to Opening Day.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

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

December 17, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Team Preview: Milwaukee Brewers

0

J.P. Breen

Thump and speed in the lineup make up for a mediocre rotation and a possible by-committee closer situation.

The Milwaukee Brewers are an intriguing club for fantasy owners. The squad lacks any obvious flops who project to receive significant playing time. At worst, mediocrity should reign supreme—especially in the starting rotation—but one can reasonably expect above-average production at almost every offensive position. That’s what makes the Brewers attractive for owners; however, that’s also the reason why the Brew Crew could compete for an NL postseason berth, despite being forgotten by the masses due to a quiet offseason.

A note for our readers. While informative, since we are still months away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training, these previews are far from definitive or complete. Free agent signings, trades, and other offseason news will change the landscape for most if not all teams. For any moves that take place after a team preview is written, please look to our Transaction Analysis coverage for instant reactions, and then check back on the Team Previews for more detailed updates (including lineups, rotations, bullpens, etc.) as we get closer to Opening Day.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

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

December 17, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Undervalued NL Starting Pitchers

0

Keith Cromer

These senior-circuit hurlers might be better fantasy assets than you think.

You will always find value with starting pitchers in shallow mixed leagues, but even in the deepest of NL-Only 5x5 leagues, there are usually a handful of pitchers from year-to-year that produce solid earnings, yet never get the love they deserve. In most cases, these pitchers are undervalued because of their strikeout totals, the team they pitch for, the metrics show regression, or simply that there is never any buzz when their names are called out.

I target these pitchers each year, knowing the investment will be low and the earnings will be positive. Now mind you, you don’t want to fill up your pitching staff with pitchers of this ilk, especially in 5x5 leagues. Yet it seems many forget there are three other traditional starting pitcher categories in 5x5, get hung up on K/9 rates and pass these pitchers by. In my experiences, in competitive NL- Only 5x5 leagues, grabbing one or two of these unappreciated arms in your respective drafts or auctions can help you pile up quality innings and wins without hurting your ratios.

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December 16, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: The Trouble With Tiers

10

Mike Gianella

Why adhering to tiered rankings might be an impediment in auctions.

It is only a few players into your 2014 NL-only fantasy auction and you are already unhappy with how the auction has progressed. It isn’t because you panicked and overspent on a player or two early but rather because everyone else is buying players and you’re still sitting on the sidelines, waiting to hit your spot. The problem is that you’re reaching the point of the auction at which you have to fill your top offensive slot with a $30-plus player and they’re almost entirely gone. You don’t want to pay $35 for Hanley Ramirez, but the only alternative left is David Wright, and you have a bad feeling about him this year.

For some fantasy players, this scenario might not sound familiar. However, if you use a tiered approach to auctions, it is entirely possible that you can get trapped in a scenario where you feel like you have to overpay a player or two in order to fill out your “tiers” on offense.

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December 16, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Team Preview: New York Mets

8

Bret Sayre

Things are trending upward in Queens.

Another year, another almost middle-of-the-road season for the Mets—who have now won between 74 and 79 games in each of the last five seasons. However, over the last four, the direction of the franchise has been noticeable and it’s reflected in the blurbs that make up this fantasy preview. Even in an age of diminishing offense, the Mets have gone from allowing 742 runs in 2011 to 709 to 684 to 618 runs in 2014. What the organization has lacked in producing homegrown hitters, they’ve done their best to make up for on the mound—and with the specter of a Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard playoff rotation dangling in the future, they find themselves without the necessary offense to make it a reality.

It’s been a very quiet off-season so far for the Metropolitans, who signed Michael Cuddyer and John Mayberry and have otherwise sat on their hands. They also haven’t been rumored for any big name free agents, with the exception of Korean superstar Jung-Ho Kang (who may or may not be a shortstop—stop me if you’ve heard that before with this organization). Additionally, in what appears to be a yearly rite of passage at this point, the Mets are also moving the fences in yet again at Citi Field—this time solely in right-center field. While this could be mildly good news for the left-handed sluggers on the team, it’s unlikely to make a substantial difference.

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December 15, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Team Preview: Atlanta Braves

2

Nick Shlain

Jason Heyward is gone and Justin Upton might follow, but there are still a few studs on Fredi Gonzalez' roster.

The Braves appear to be a team in flux after failing to win at least 80 games for the first time since 2008. Atlanta isn’t necessarily full-on rebuilding, but with turnover in the front office as well as on the field—the Braves said goodbye to Jason Heyward, Ervin Santana, and Jordan Walden this offseason—they aren’t so far away from that. Still, the National League East isn’t the strongest division and a run at the second wild card isn’t out of the question. Now that I’ve sufficiently angered optimistic Braves fans, let’s take a look at the fantasy relevant players in Atlanta.

A note for our readers. While informative, since we are still months away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training, these previews are far from definitive or complete. Free agent signings, trades, and other offseason news will change the landscape for most if not all teams. For any moves that take place after a team preview is written, please look to our Transaction Analysis coverage for instant reactions, and then check back on the Team Previews for more detailed updates (including lineups, rotations, bullpens, etc.) as we get closer to Opening Day.

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