2015 Fantasy Baseball First Basemen Rankings

Feb 26

2015 Fantasy Baseball First Basemen Rankings

As we begin to take a closer look at the 2015 Fantasy Baseball First Basemen rankings, it’s important to take a look back at the position over the past few years to get an idea of what to expect going forward. We know the first base position is usually full of big, barrel-chested players whose main asset is power and the ability to knock runners in. That’s pretty much what we got in 2014, but we also saw a ton of players get first-base eligibility during the season, which made an already deep position much deeper. Guys like Miguel Cabrera, Jose Bautista, Todd Frazier, Jonathan Lucroy, Brian McCann, Joe Mauer, David Ortiz, Michael Morse, Chase Headley, Pedro Alvarez, Yasmani Grandal and Daniel Nava all added first-base eligibility to their profiles last year. But only a few of them will keep it heading into 2014. Even Deeper than Before It’s tough to imagine the first base position being much deeper in the past couple decades, from a Fantasy perspective, than it will be at the start of this season. Just look at the grouping outside of the top 12 first basemen. (In other words, these three first basemen wouldn’t be recommended starters in Head-to-Head leagues that don’t use Corner Infielder as a position.) Mark Trumbo, Joey Votto, Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols could all easily turn in top-five seasons at this...

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2015 Fantasy Baseball Catchers Rankings

Feb 25

2015 Fantasy Baseball Catchers Rankings

Doing the 2015 Fantasy Baseball catcher rankings reminded me of something about this position. In Fantasy Baseball, catchers are like Adam Sandler movies: “Happy Gilmore,” “Billy Madison” and “The Wedding Singer” are some of the most quoted movies of our generation. Yet, it’s hard to believe “Little Nicky,” “You Don’t Mess With the Zohan” and “Jack and Jill” came from the same mind? And then there are a whole bunch of movies in between that are fair-to-middlin’, depending on who you ask, like “The Waterboy,” “Grown Ups,” and “Big Daddy.” In that same vein, Fantasy Catchers have some great ones, led by the two unquestioned leaders at the position entering 2015, in San Francisco’s Buster Posey and Milwaukee’s Jonathan LuCroy. But then, there are also starting catchers in baseball like Rene Rivera and Kurt Suzuki, which is still better than finding Jose Molina on your Fantasy Baseball roster. (By the way, what happened in the Molina household? They churned out Bengie and Yadier Molina, two of the best Fantasy catchers in the past 20 years, but then they also pumped out Jose Molina, who has been considered one of the worst starting players (not just catchers) in all of baseball?) Catching Up On Fantasy Catchers Who doesn’t love catchers!?! Well, beside sevil people thinking we should get rid of one of the two starting catchers in Rotisserie leagues, but still! Our 2015 Fantasy Baseball catcher rankings should give you a good idea of where the position stands before your draft. This position is solid among the top 15 or so, but arguments can be made to get some of those players in the 20s moved up into the teens, and that makes this position similar to Tight Ends in Fantasy Football. You can spend an early pick on a great one, or pick up an average player in the middle rounds – or hope for hitting gold with a late up-and-comer in the final rounds. Some interesting notes on the 2015 Fantasy Baseball catchers rankings: Players no longer eligible to be drafted as Fantasy Catchers (fewer than 20 games at catcher last year) include Carlos Santanaand Joe Mauer, which certainly takes a big bite out of the top 10 spots in...

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2015 Fantasy Baseball Top 45 Relief Pitcher Rankings

Feb 24

2015 Fantasy Baseball Top 45 Relief Pitcher Rankings

So here’s the thing – closers are shaky. And not all relievers are closers. And some relievers are actually starters. And each team really only has one pitcher that they’d like to hand the ball to in the ninth inning. So all of these factors make the Relief Pitcher rankings for 2015 a little crazy. By crazy, I mean that you’d be hardpressed to find a set of Relief Pitcher rankings for 2015 on two different sites that look even remotely similar. You’ll see in the rankings tool below by FantasyPros.com. They show you the Experts Consensus Rankings (ECR) next to the player/team name. It shows how much higher or lower my ranking is compared to the consensus. You’ll see lots of crazy numbers in the ECR. Some of those numbers can be attributed to our site ranking some starting pitchers with relief eligibility among the relievers, while some rankings only list them with the starters. Since they have at least 10 relief appearances and five starts, they are listed at both positions for us. We’re cool like that. Other relievers with big differences in the ECR – well, I’ll try to explain as we go. 2015 Relief Pitcher Rankings Here are some players that stand out in our relief pitcher rankings compared to the ECR: Trevor Rosenthal, St. Louis: I was reluctant to jump on the Rosenthal wagon last year because he really hadn’t proved himself much in the closer role … Dellin Betances, N.Y. Yankees: … Which is also why I likely won’t end up owning the Yankees’ new closer. Betances is certainly talented – and can help your team a lot with strikeouts even if he isn’t the closer. But that last-inning pitcher can turn a young pitcher into a headcase. I’ll be all in on Betances next season if he dominates in the ninth this season. Kenley Jansen, L.A. Dodgers: Jansen could miss all of Spring Training, as well as a month-and-a-half of the regular season with a foot surgery to remove a growth. He’s also going to have to get into shape, holding his own Spring Training in May. Santiago Casilla, San Francisco: Closer on the reigning World Champs in a great pitcher’s park?...

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2015 Fantasy Baseball Top 75 Starting PItcher Rankings

Feb 23

2015 Fantasy Baseball Top 75 Starting PItcher Rankings

Fantasy Baseball draft season is finally here, which means I have to get my rankings together. Normally, I’d start from catchers and go forward in the rankings posts through the infielders and outfielders, before getting to the pitchers. But this season, I’m starting with the top 70 Starting Pitcher rankings for 2015 Fantasy Baseball! Normal order of things be damned! Well, the real reason I’m doing it this way is because it just plain seems like a better place to start. Everyone already has a great idea of the top catchers, first basemen, etc., but knowing the best options for your third or fourth starting pitchers? That’s a little trickier. Top 75 Starting Pitcher Rankings for 2015! These rankings are based on Rotisserie Fantasy leagues, which means pitchers with lower ERAs on bad MLB teams might be ranked a little higher because losses aren’t as big of a negative attribute. Before we get into the Starting Pitcher rankings, I thought it would be good to discuss a couple things Fantasy owners should keep in mind. Make sure when you’re looking at Average Draft Position for starting pitchers, you keep in mind the dates that those drafts were held. For instance, any set of ADP before Max Scherzer signed with the Nationals is probably not indicative of his current value. Scherzer was a beast in Detroit, and now he joins an excellent pitching staff with a better bullpen in Washington (not as good as last year’s Nats bullpen, but still). He also gets to pitch in an above-average pitching park in Nationals Park, and he’ll be an American League pitcher moving to the National League. Remember Doug Fister? He blazed the trail for Scherzer last season, going from Detroit to Washington, and we predicted his breakout last year, too. Fister improved his record from 14-9 in 2013 to 16-6 in Washington in 2014 (despite seven fewer starts). He also dropped his ERA from 3.67 down to 2.42 last season. Scherzer will be facing pitchers instead of designated hitters, and has moved into my top five pitchers overall with this switch. RotoWire.com’s Chris Liss has talked about Scherzer being a late-first round pick at the turn in 15-team drafts. I don’t...

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The Four Faces of Fantasy Baseball Mount Rushmore

Feb 21

The Four Faces of Fantasy Baseball Mount Rushmore

A couple days ago, I wrote an article about the Best Five Fantasy Baseball Books that every owner should read – if they want to win. In doing so, I mentioned how I believe Ron Shandler of BaseballHQ.com would be one of the faces on a Fantasy Baseball Mount Rushmore monument. When I wrote that, I initially thought to myself – well, who would be the other three faces? Then someone jangled some keys and I lost my train of thought. Fantasy Baseball Mount Rushmore The next day, I got a tweet from @AndrewRFesta that forced me to consider it all just a little longer. @davidgonos Who else is on your #FantasyBaseball Mount Rushmore? — Andrew Festa (@AndrewRFesta) February 19, 2015 That’s where this article post came in to play, as I decided to write about my four selections. I feel like each of these choices affected Fantasy Baseball in a great way, whether it’s with something new or just something incredibly useful. These guys were game-changers. Face No. 1: Ron Shandler He writes the Baseball Forecaster each year (dating back to the mid-‘80s!) and he helped found Tout Wars, which is the biggest/baddest Fantasy Baseball Experts League in all the land. Then the guy went out and won the AL and NL versions of the league in ONE season! Shandler is a Bill James disciple that also came up with the LIMA Plan (Low Investment Mound Aces) and the Strand Rate (LOB%). Face No. 2: Greg Ambrosius You likely know him as the king of the NFBC over at NFBC.Stats.com, but us old people know him as the guy that was behind one of the very first/best Fantasy Sports magazines. Dating back to the late ‘80s, Ambrosius and his crew wrote and published the Fantasy Sports Magazines that I bought every single year. He was even president of the FSTA for a few years. Face No. 3: Matthew Berry While he’s certainly more known for his Fantasy Football work at ESPN, let’s not forget he got his start writing at the Talented Mr. Roto back in the day. No one has done more to help the Fantasy Sports industry burst into mainstream sports news and the pop culture...

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Fantasy Baseball Magazine Review: “The Fantasy Baseball Guide 2015”

Feb 20

Fantasy Baseball Magazine Review: “The Fantasy Baseball Guide 2015”

Over the past three or four years, on Fantasy Baseball magazine has stood out above the rest – and I really don’t think it’s close. I got my digital copy of “The Fantasy Baseball Guide 2015” this week, and once again, I’m supremely impressed by the people involved, the design and – most of all – the content. While I’ve worked with several of these writers in the past, which has only increased my admiration for their knowledge and work ethic. Even Larry Schechter, the six-time Tout Wars champion who wrote “Winning Fantasy Baseball” last year, said this is one of his favorite magazines to grab every offseason for the dollar values. He likes to compare them to his own to help him gauge value plays. I was involved in the CBSSports.com Fantasy Baseball Magazine in every year of its existence, from 2004 to 2008, as a writer and an associate editor. I know how much work goes into the construction, design, analysis, writing, and distribution. This magazine blows our magazine – which I am extremely proud of – away. I have a real soft spot for magazines because I had worked on them during my tenure at CBS. Eric Mack and I would write like 900 player profiles, then a January trade would happen and screw up everything! Can you imagine how the past Hot Stove League, one of the most active offseasons in baseball history, affected this magazine!?! But they’re on top of it – because they’re pros. If you decide to order this magazine (PDF or digital copy for your iPad or tablet), make sure you use the coupon code, “gonos15” and save $1 off the magazine cover price! Fantasy Baseball Magazines = Championships. Why? Because you’re deep-dive researching on-the-go. Everywhere you can take your iPad or iPhone, you’ll be doing some research for your Fantasy teams. “The Fantasy Baseball Guide 2015” Magazine As always, the magazine is just a really beautiful publication. These guys – every season – always put out a great-looking magazine. This is a well-constructed and laid out magazine. They’ve been making these magazines for a while now, and they’ve figured out how to do it early – and they keep doing...

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Branching Out: Introducing SoCalledFantasyExperts.com

Jan 24

Branching Out: Introducing SoCalledFantasyExperts.com

You may or may not have noticed that I’ve been slacking on my January blog posts on DavidGonos.com. You know I’ve been writing for several sites lately, from SportsIllustrated.com to FantasySports.About.com to SKYLLZONE. But now, I’ve launched an entirely new Fantasy Sports website called SoCalledFantasyExperts.com, where I’ll be joined by dozens of Fantasy Baseball and Fantasy Football writers to produce top-notch articles and tools. I’m super excited about this news because ever since I left OPENSports.com, I’ve wanted to start another Fantasy Sports site that published all sorts of Fantasy writers. As a matter of fact, that’s what my very first foray into the Fantasy industry was. Back in the early 2000s, I started FantasyRef.com, and I slowly built that up to a small team of earnest Fantasy writers. Here I am 15 years older, 15 years wiser, and with a whole lot less hair – but I’m ready to make this new site my best project yet! What Will SoCalledFantasyExperts.com Offer? This site is going to be home to veteran Fantasy Baseball, Fantasy Football, Fantasy Basketball and Fantasy Hockey writers. But we’re also going to be the training grounds for young writers that are looking to find a foothold into the Fantasy Sports industry. We’ll have deep statistical dives that some of the stat-geeks love, and we’ll have standard Fantasy fare, that we’ve all become used to. One of the things Doug Anderson and I thought this site should have is some great Fantasy tools. We’ll have a dollar-value generator soon, and it will join our 2015 MLB Position Eligibility page as our first Fantasy tools. Do you have an idea for a great Fantasy tool? Shoot me a note @DavidGonos and let’s see if we can create one – you’ll get full credit! Throughout the Fantasy Baseball preseason, we’ll be churning out tons of strategy pieces, including this one on if you should draft a starting pitcher early or not (it’s much more in-depth that it sounds!). We’ll post our Fantasy Baseball rankings, busts, sleepers and everything else you can imagine. That also includes our 2015 Fantasy Baseball Team Previews in the Fantasy 30 For 30 Series. Once the Fantasy Baseball season starts, you can bet that...

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