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Tout Transactions Tonight?

We’re working on it.

Visit: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87952818484 at 8:30 or so.

We’ll be talking tonight’s Tout Wars FAAB pickps and what you should do.

See you then!

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Touts About Their Tout Drafts/Auctions 2021

What were they thinking? Listen to them, read them:

Mixed Draft 12 (Draft board): Entrekin/Fast (podcast) | Flowers | Towers | Behrens | Fast (podcast) | Melchior ($) | Entrekin |

Mixed Draft 15 (Draft board): White | Short | Gamble | Verougstraete | Van Hook | Wiegert |

Draft and Hold (Draft Board): Williams/Anderson (podcast) | Sheets | Hegglund | Hegglund/Gianella (podcast) |

AL (Draft Board): Erickson | Liss | Bloomfield | Podhorzer | Gianella | Gianella/Hegglund (podcast) |

Mixed Auction 15 (Draft Board): Karabell | Swanay | Steinhorn | Sayre |

NL (Draft Board): Kreutzer | Albright | Zinkie | Cockroft/Zola |

Head to Head (Draft Board):

Tout Daily Picks: Tying one on with Walker

Tonight marks the third week of the first period. Andy Behrens of Yahoo! fantasy has the early lead, will he extend his lead or will the Touts make up some of the gap? Taijuan Walker is a popular choice among the pitchers with Cardinals batters getting some attention.

Note: the DraftKings slate commences early tonight, locking at 6:30 PM ET.

Mike Gianella (Baseball Prospectus, @MikeGianella)

Pitcher: Corbin Burnes – Tough matchup, but hard to pass on Burnes right now, even at this price.

Hitter: Paul Goldschmidt – Goldy leads a right-handed St. Louis hitter stack for me against a Patrick Corbin who is showing diminished velocity and is on the ropes.

Shelly Verougstraete (Dynasty Guru, @ShellyV_643)

Pitcher: Taijuan Walker – Walker has looked great to start the season and he faces a very poor Cubs offense

Hitter: Randal Grichuk – He has performed well since entering the starting lineup and his price is perfect.

Charlie Wiegert (CDM Sports, @GFFantasySports)

Pitcher: Corbin Burnes – Best pitcher in baseball this year so far. His K’s make him worth the gamble at his price based on the rest of today’s slate

Hitter: Raimel Tapia – Low cost pick Raimel Tapia at $3400, batting lead off against Houston rookie Garcia at Coors.

Zach Steinhorn (CreativeSports2, @zachsteinhorn)

Pitcher: Luis Castillo – Despite his struggles, tough to pass on him at his current price, which ranks 19th out of the 25 pitchers on tonight’s slate.

Hitter: Nelson Cruz – Boasts a .298/.387/.576 career slash line vs. left-handed pitching and has hit three homers in 19 career at-bats vs. Sean Manaea.

Brian Entrekin (Benched with Bubba, @bdentrek)

Pitcher: Charlie Morton – Burnesis the top play tonight, but Morton makes for a sneaky SP2 vesus th Yankees. The Yankees offense is free falling right now, strikeout out nearly 26% of the time versus RHP. Morton has been giving up some runs this season but strikeouts have been there and he is throwing arond 6 innings per start.

Hitter: Jazz Chisholm – He’s not only fun to watch but also raking at the plate and quite affordable tonight. Over the last week he has hit .450 with a 42.9% barrel rate and a 64.3% hard-hit rate. Oh, he’s also facing Matt Harvey.

Howard Bender (Fantasy Alarm, @RotobuzzGuy)

Pitcher: Luis Castillo – I will happily keep going back to the well at this insane bargain price. He’s not going to suck forever.

Hitter: Nolan Arenado – Since Mike Gianella already said Paul Goldschmidt, I’ll go with the other big right-handed bat against a horrible Patrick Corbin who looks disgusting on the mound right now, possibly because he’s hurt again

Phil Hertz (BaseballHQ, @prhz50)

Pitcher: Eduardo Rodriguez – Price is right; last start went well

Hitter: Jeff McNeil – He may be off to a slow start, but he’s been hitting the ball well. He’s also ridiculously cheap, considering he’s 12-for-23 lifetime against Arrieta.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola)

Pitcher: Taijuan Walker – Cubbies have fanned the third most in the league

Hitter: Yadier Molina – Goldschmidt and Arenado have already been mentioned, so it’s Yadi’s turn. This feels like a trap game for donkeys, but with the righty swinging Cards so stackable, I’ll risk looking like an ass.

Jeff Erickson (Rotowire, @Jeff_Erickson)

Pitcher: Taijuan Walker – Thought about Luis Castillo, but the combination of the weather and perceived high ownership steered me away. Walker gets to face the scuffling Cubs, with plenty of strikeout upside on a very cold night.

Hitter: Jared Walsh – My hitters are concentrated among the Angels, with some cheap Marlins/Orioles to make everything fit.

Steve Gardner (USAToday Fantasy Sports, @SteveAGardner)

Pitcher: Taijuan Walker – The Cubs are hitting an MLB-worst .192 and averaging 3.4 runs per game (30th).

Hitter: Nelson Cruz – Even in Oakland, he crushes lefties. Watch out, Sean Manaea, these Twins have a lot of energy ready to be released.

Ryan Bloomfield (BaseballHQ, @RyanBHQ)

Pitcher: Luis Castillo – Still missing bats/inducing grounders despite the slow start. ARI a pretty soft matchup

Hitter: Ehire Adrianza – Dirt cheap price, taking Acuña’s lead off spot and hitting lefty in Yankee Stadium

Jeff Boggis (Fantasy Football Empire, @JeffBoggis)

Pitcher: Eduardo Rodriguez – Love him at only $8,000 tonight.

Hitter: Mike Trout – Doing some Trout fishing tonight and you should to.

Tout Wars FAAB Report: Sunday April 18

It was an unusually busy week for the Touts, though the high bids overall were relatively tepid. It’s also interesting how the mixed leagues really didn’t have player common to each.

Please keep in mind you can access standing, roster and all the moves for each league by clicking on the league heading.

American League

PlayerTeamBid
TKemp, OakDoug Dennis 86
CIrvin, OakHoward Bender 64
AGarcia, TexChris Liss 57
AToro, HouRob Leibowitz 18
JPalacios, TorRyan Bloomfield 15
JSprings, TBJeff Erickson 13
RLopez, CWSRick Wolf/Glenn Colton 11
JLamb, CWSJason Collette 6
CRodriguez, LAAMike Gianella 6
SSchebler, LAARick Wolf/Glenn Colton 6
JuGuerra, LAAMike Gianella 3
DMendick, CWSPatrick Davitt 2
JRiddle, MinJeff Erickson 1
ACastro, TorPatrick Davitt 0
CHeuer, CWSMike Podhorzer 0
ADeGoti, HouJeff Erickson 0

National League

PlayerTeamBid
WMathisen, AriScott Wilderman 79
EFedde, WasPeter Kreutzer 77
EGonzalez, PitSteve Gardner 47
NHeath, AriGrey Albright 43
LRaley, LADScott Wilderman 39
JPeterson, MilScott Wilderman 24
SNeuse, LADGrey Albright 23
BMcKinney, MilGrey Albright 23
MagSierra, MiaCraig Mish 21
DCastano, MiaScott Wilderman 8
CStammen, SDScott Wilderman 7
DUnderwood, PitPhil Hertz 5
DHudson, WasPhil Hertz 4
JReddick, AriTodd Zola 3
MSchrock, CinCraig Mish 3
CDoval, SFCraig Mish 1
PJohnson, SDPhil Hertz 1
RBrothers, ChCCraig Mish 0
DanRobertson, MilDerek Carty 0
MMoniak, PhiDerek Carty 0

Mixed Salary Cap

PlayerTeamBid
RDolis, TorJustin Mason 223
MFulmer, DetJeff Zimmerman 89
JBukauskas, AriBrent Hershey 83
JJunis, KCScott Swanay 68
CJavier, HouJoe Pisapia 65
JRoss, WasIan Kahn 65
MWacha, TBZach Steinhorn 53
JHarrison, WasJeff Zimmerman 51
DDuffy, KCJoe Pisapia 45
JFleming, TBMichael Rathburn 36
AWood, SFMichael Rathburn 34
DStewart, BalBret Sayre 24
CArroyo, BosBrent Hershey 23
AKirk, TorScott Swanay 13
TRogers, SFMichael Rathburn 9
AGarcia, TexMichael Rathburn 9
JMarmolejos, SeaJeff Zimmerman 5
KGibson, TexIan Kahn 3
JLoaisiga, NYYZach Steinhorn 3
JHoffman, CinDerek VanRiper 2
SPiscotty, OakCJ Kaltenbach 2
TStephenson, CinEric Karabell 1
FGalvis, BalIan Kahn 1
ADiaz, HouBret Sayre 1

Mixed Draft

PlayerTeamBid
ZMcKinstry, LADShelly Verougstraete 123
JHarrison, WasTom Kessenich 81
JBrubaker, PitTim McLeod 75
JJunis, KCTim McLeod 62
RDolis, TorTim McLeod 59
DStewart, BalMichael Beller 54
JBukauskas, AriMichael Beller 47
ACobb, LAAMichael Beller 47
BGarcia, DetScott White 33
MFulmer, DetRudy Gamble 29
SPiscotty, OakGreg Ambrosius 28
BMcKinney, MilPerry Van Hook 27
JAlvarado, PhiRudy Gamble 26
JAguilar, MiaPerry Van Hook 17
WMiley, CinPerry Van Hook 17
DSolano, SFMichael Beller 17
MKopech, CWSMichael Beller 17
TRogers, SFPerry Van Hook 13
LUrias, MilRay Murphy 12
JFleming, TBPerry Van Hook 7
MBrosseau, TBRay Murphy 6
ASanchez, SFRay Murphy 6
JTrevino, TexMichael Beller 5
CDoval, SFRay Murphy 4
RNunez, DetAdam Ronis 4
ACabrera, AriRudy Gamble 3
EPagan, SDScott White 3
JLyles, TexSeth Trachtman 1
VCaratini, SDShelly Verougstraete 1
JHoffman, CinAdam Ronis 0

Head to Head

PlayerTeamBid
MBarnes, BosClay Link 59
MFulmer, DetFrank Stampfl 52
JLowrie, OakChris Welsh 45
HYnoa, AtlRyan Hallam 45
YGarcia, MiaClay Link 43
CMize, DetPaul Sporer 34
JRoss, WasFrank Stampfl 32
ADuvall, MiaPaul Sporer 27
MShoemaker, MinNick Pollack 25
WCalhoun, TexChris Welsh 21
KGibson, TexNick Pollack 20
JDunn, SeaNick Pollack 19
DPeterson, NYMAndrea LaMont 18
RDolis, TorNick Pollack 18
WMiley, CinNick Pollack 18
ELongoria, SFFrank Stampfl 13
AFrazier, PitFrank Stampfl 13
CDickerson, MiaGreg Jewett 13
JFleming, TBAndrea LaMont 11
DPeralta, AriClay Link 8
MGonzalez, BosRalph Lifshitz 5
LTorrens, SeaClay Link 2
SCastro, WasAndrea LaMont 1
JAlvarado, PhiGreg Jewett 0

Mixed with IP & Saves+Holds

PlayerTeamBid
ABenintendi, KCRay Flowers 104
JBrubaker, PitAndy Behrens 88
JKarinchak, CleRon Shandler 79
ADeSclafani, SFJeff Boggis 71
ZMcKinstry, LADJake Ciely 55
ADuvall, MiaJeff Boggis 51
TShaw, MilAl Melchior 44
JRoss, WasAl Melchior 42
DGregorius, PhiDoug Anderson 41
DDunning, TexJennifer Piacenti 36
JUrquidy, HouJake Ciely 35
AviGarcia, MilBrian Entrekin 34
MKopech, CWSJennifer Piacenti 33
DDuffy, KCMiami Beach Swag – Jim Bowden 33
TRogers, SFMiami Beach Swag – Jim Bowden 33
AGimenez, CleChris Towers 32
LTrivino, OakDoug Anderson 31
CKelly, AriAl Melchior 22
LWeaver, AriDoug Anderson 17
SBarlow, KCAl Melchior 13
TStephenson, CinMiami Beach Swag – Jim Bowden 12
AWood, SFAlex Fast 5
JLowrie, OakJeff Boggis 2
JStallings, PitDoug Anderson 2
JFleming, TBBrian Entrekin 2

Tout Table: Revealing Trade Offers

It’s rare the Touts agree on anything, but an overwhelming majority feels the same way about this week’s question:

What is your policy with respect to revealing another person’s offer in trade negotiations?

Fred Zinkie (Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, @FredZinkieMLB): Trading, who would want to waste their time with that? Well, often me. I never, ever reveal other specific offers. It’s not fair to the other manager, who should be able to negotiate with others without me sharing their dealings. I might tell someone that I am negotiating with others. I might (although not usually) tell them specifically who I am negotiating with. But that’s it.

Doug Dennis (BaseballHQ, @dougdennis41): I think the key here is remembering that your rep in the league matters. Particularly in leagues where you want to remain friends and want to remain in the league, long-term. I don’t share anything at all, unless it is something to move the proceedings along “I have another offer that I am considering” when I have one that I am legitimately considering. I typically make targeted offers, or receive what I expect is a targeted offer and I don’t try to get something lopsided, so in my experience, it happens quickly or ends quickly anyway. Conversely, I am not mad when someone is shopping broadly and tells someone else they have a potential deal pending. I have never really run into an issue and if I have missed opportunities, I really see no reason for blaming someone or having hard feelings about it.

Anthony Aniano (Rotoballer, @AAnianoFantasy): I would not reveal someone else’s offer for a particular player of mine in a trade scenario. However, if I am open to trading the player who was asked for, I will make his availability public in the hope of receiving a potential better offer. Often you can limit your return when trading in secret.

Alex Fast (Pitcher List, @AlexFast8): Don’t a lot of us get into this business because we secretly want to be a GM in real life? If I’m the GM of a MLB team, I’m doing what is best for my team. If that means letting another GM know that I have another, better offer on the table, I’ll let them know I have another, better offer on the table. With that, I usually don’t say what the “better offer” is in terms of player specifics just that I feel the deal is overall better.

Michael Beller (The Athletic, @MBeller): I don’t think there’s anything wrong with sharing the details of an offer I’ve received with someone who didn’t make it. We’re all just trying to make the best possible trades to improve our teams. How can I know that I’m definitely getting the best offer from Person B if they don’t know what they have to beat from Person A? I have zero problem being on the other side of this, either. If you’re negotiating with someone else and want to share the details of the offer I’ve made you, be my guest. All I ask is that you give me a shot to beat what they offer before you accept.

Tim McCullough (Baseball Prospectus, @TimsTenz): I would never reveal the terms of a trade or discuss them with anyone aside from the person making the offer. I have told other parties that I have another offer, or a better offer on the table, but that’s as far as I would go. Trading in some leagues is tough enough without poisoning the waters by revealing trade offers to other league members.

Greg Jewett (Fantasy Alarm, @gjewett9): When reviewing a trade, first does it address a need on my team? How can it be reworked to benefit each involved party? Hopefully one does not receive a lowball offer which happens often. If I consider trading a player, perhaps see if another team with the same need (target) may make a better offer. It’s definitely ok losing a trade on paper if it makes my roster better.

Grey Albright (RazzBall, @razzball): After I have someone sign an NDA and pinkie swear, there’s no backsies on that, and if someone decides to do a backsie, then I will be required to litigate to the fullest extent of the law–What’s that? I have no legal standing. Hmm, hearing from my attorney I can’t sue. Will need to find a new attorney, until then, I don’t share deals with league mates, outside of maybe “I’m in talks with other managers, and that player might not be available for long.”

Jeff Boggis (Fantasy Football Empire, @JeffBoggis): I like to propose a trade that is slightly more than I want, with the hope that their counter offer meets my original expectations. I do not publicly call out league managers and players during any trade negotiations because it may come back to hurt you. I let every league manager know up front that I am the Walmart of trades, and that I make trades for less.

Scott Engel (Rotoballer, @scotteTheKing): Each offer and conversation is separate to me. I don’t need to create leverage, I will just go for what I want without the extra tactic. I will disclose if I am weighing other offers, but never cite the actual players involved. Either you and I are doing this or not, otherwise I am moving onto something else. That is just my style. I don’t want to complicate things for us with extra moving parts. Especially in Tout Wars, where you don’t pull sell jobs on others, just be straight up.

Vlad Sedler (Fantasy Guru, @rotogut): I never specify the details of another negotiation, only say: “I’ve got a better offer” and keep it vague, turning focus back on the negotiations at hand.

Ryan Hallam (Fighting Chance Fantasy, @FightingChance): I would not reveal someone’s trade offer to another owner in order to get better deal from someone else. It might seem like a viable strategy but it doesn’t look good on you and it certainly would not shine a positive light on you with the other manager. This is a long term game and it doesn’t set the stage for future negotiations if you are just flaunting your offer around to others.

Tim McLeod (Prospect361.com, @RunTMc59006473): I’m not one to play the nickle and dime game. Give me your best offer and if it works for me it’s a done deal.

Eric Karabell (ESPN, @karabelleric): I keep trade negotiations private because you never want to potentially embarrass another fantasy manager. Relationships matter. Trading isn’t always easy because we may view player value different, but that’s between just us

Nick Pollack (Pitcher List, @PitcherList): Trades are about finding something that works for both parties involved and should be approached with that good spirit in mind. You’re not trying to fleece them, you’re trying to find a fit for both sides! Revealing another trade offer should be an act of full transparency and not one of showcasing leverage. It should only be presented when the response would be one of understanding.

Matt Williams (NBC Sports Edge, @MattWi77iams): I prefer to keep trade negotiations private for a few reasons. First, I would never want to embarrass another person which sometimes as a byproduct. Second, if used for a negotiation tactic I would prefer to be vague and just let them know “I have a better offer,” rather than reveal specific details. You risk losing the trust of someone by revealing private conversations which could impact future trades with other teams.

Mike Gianella (Baseball Prospectus, @MikeGianella): In redraft leagues, no. Your trade partner doesn’t really need to know if an offer is better or worse, and I don’t feel any need to provide proof of concept. In keeper or dynasty, though, I find the etiquette surrounding this is different because there can frequently be skepticism about what needs to be done in terms of future value to put a deal over the top. Even then, I try not to mention specific players, but I’ve often walked away from a deal in keeper leagues because without evidence I feel like I’m bidding against myself if I don’t know what offer or offers I’m up against.

Nando Di Fino (The Athletic, @nandodifino): When someone pulls it on me, I pretty much stop emailing and tell them good luck. Like “Oh, Pianowski is offering me Jo Adell and Tyler Glasnow, so you have to beat that.” Alright, dude. Go trade with him. Most of the time that mysterious trade never happens, and they’ve screwed themselves by playing a couple teams against each other when both teams know that’s probably not happening. So I hate doing it. I’ll never do it. Come at me with your deals, I’ll counter the one I like. If it’s a pass, I’ll go to the next one. Work in a vacuum and you get the deal you want without being a dick to your fellow league mates

Patrick Davitt (BaseballHQ, @patrickdavitt): I would feel pretty comfortable telling a potential trade partner I had a competing offer, but like Ray and others, I wouldn’t say from whom or for what players. That said, I typically don’t bother with any of it, since everybody always says they have better offer, and I always figure they’re BSing me, and I can’t blame anybody else for thinking I’m BSing them. I usually assume any potential trade partner knows I’m listening to offers, just as I assume that of them, so we can just get on with it.

Anthony Perri (Fantistics, @Anthony_Perri): I do not mention specific trade offers to others in my league. I may on occasion let others know that I am considering trading a specific player, but never give away another team’s offer. The only exclusion to this, is if I mention it on air. In that case it’s for entertainment purposes, but I keep league GM names out of it and confidential.

CJ Kaltenbach (Fantasy Guru, @TheSeigeDFS): End of the day, my job is to get the best offer I can. While I won’t use specific players I’ll give general ballpark. For example, I’m being offered a top 10 1B and Top 15-20 closer for Player. That way I’m not outing the team but also allows me to get best deal I can.

Mike Podhorzer (Fangraphs, @MikePodhorzer): I’ve never been in a position where revealing an offer I’ve received was even a consideration. Sure, if you think revealing a current offer to another team to try to entice a better offer will work, then by all means, do it. I’m just not sure revealing names is going to make much of a difference.

Shelly Verougstraete (Dynasty Guru, @ShellyV_643): I prefer to keep details about other offers private. I’m not sure it would help move the needle all that much and I wouldn’t want to embarrass anyone.

Seth Trachtman (NBC Sports Edge, @sethroto): I never offer specifics, but I will present the other offers I have in general terms when appropriate. For example, if I’m looking for a closer and I receive an offer that isn’t as good as an offer I’ve already received, I will point that out. That said, I don’t have a problem if someone does reveal specific trade offers when they are negotiating. Ultimately, we all want to get the most we can in a trade.

Ray Murphy (BaseballHQ, @RayHQ): I’ll generally not reveal specific players, but in some circumstances it’s easy parameters of an offer without breaching confidentiality. For instance in Scoresheet, I can easily say “I’ve got an offer of a round X pick in hand, you’ll have to beat that”. Beyond that, generalities like “Thanks for offering closer X, but I’ve been offered another closer that I value more highly, so you’ll need to sweeten somewhere else.”

Ray Flowers (Fantasy Guru, @BaseballGuys): I would never reveal another offer. I would say – I’m talking to someone else about player X – but I would never let on what the other offer is. Totally fair to say – I’ve got a strong offer from another – but I just wouldn’t reveal the details.

Michael Florio (NFL Network, @MichaelFFlorio): I do not reveal other offers, but I’ve definitely told someone that I am talking to others and will even say oh I have a better offer. I’ve also spoken about deals I am mulling over with other, individually. But I will say, if you get a terrible offer from someone (you know the classic here’s a bunch of junk for one good player offers) that roasting in a group chat is acceptable!

Ryan Bloomfield (BaseballHQ, @RyanBHQ): I don’t do this that often (I probably should!) since my general policy is to not waste people’s time in the trade game. Keep the trade negotiation simple, to the point, and get the deal done. That said, I’m with the majority here on keeping the details of other offers out of it, mostly out of respect for other managers. It’s fair game to weave in generalities to make sure your trading partner knows there’s interest.

James Anderson (Rotowire, @RealJRAnderson): I don’t think anything should be off limits with regards to this, but I don’t think I’ve ever explicitly told someone what the exact offer is that they have to beat unless it’s a keeper/dynasty league where I’m looking for a draft pick. In that case, I may say I’ve got a third rounder on the table, so that the prospective manager knows what the high bid is.

Brad Johnson (Patreon/BaseballATeam, @BaseballATeam): It depends on context. If I’m simply auctioning someone off for “best offer,” then I’ll sometimes note the offer to beat – either specifically or more often with generalities. For example, “current best offer for SB-wild Ramon Laureano is an ace and a closer.” Often, I’m trying to pry a specific player from a rival so my due diligence process is to find a couple players I prefer and make the same offer. Rather than reveal someone else’s offer, I’m just shopping my own.

Brent Hershey (Baseball HQ, @BrentHQ): I speak in generalities when negotiating / weighing several offers, rather than revealing specific players. I think that comes from my perspective that the offer I choose is going to be what I feel is the best return for my team—and that others may or may not agree with my evaluation of “best.” (It’s what makes all these trades possible, and this game fun: the differing evaluations on players.) So I don’t really see the point in saying, “I’ve got player A and player B on the table, you’ll need to beat that,” as my potential trading partner could well have a different opinion than I of what “beats” that. So I find framing other offers in generalities most helpful and efficient.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola): OK, full disclosure, this was a selfish question (and I come up with the questions but take requests) because I am in the “None of your business” crowd, but I’ve been wondering if I’m doing it wrong. I polled Twitter: 14% reveal up front, 34% will reveal if asked and 52% won’t reveal — so about half are willing to unveil another offer. I don’t think there is a right or wrong, but I still prefer to keep the actual players under wraps, but like most everyone else, I’ll frame the deal. The main reason is I don’t like it when someone else shares my offer(s), so I assume there are others feeling the same way. That said, each league has its own culture, and if you are at a competitive disadvantage by being covert, that’s a mistake. I used to be in a league like that — operative word “used”.

Jim Bowden (Fantasy Alarm, @JimBowdenGM): If you’re negotiating a trade with another team….and you want to reference a “TRUE” trade proposal another team has given you….there is nothing wrong with that….the key is It has to be the truth…….that being said….I personally never did this as a reality or fantasy GM…I always preferred to just say I had a better offer ….I never wanted to hurt my relationship with another owner and if you use this practice…the other owner might be reluctant to make trade offers with you in the future. especially if other owners start to criticize them for the proposals they’ve been making…..

Perry Van Hook (Mastersball, @): I agree with several here – I would never reveal the team behind a trade proposal, but I would say I what I was offered at least positionally so the team I am currently corresponding with has an idea of what they need to beat or match. You can also make comps to the team you are talking with – “I was offered an OF like you X and a pitcher like Y

Michael A. Stein (Fantasy Judgment, @FantasyJudgment): As the Chief Justice of Fantasy Judgment, I could never condone violating another GMs trust by disclosing what may be considered confidential information. It is fair game to negotiate with others and say you are having discussions with other GMs and considering better offers. But I would not reveal the specific deals on the table because I would not want my own negotiations disclosed without my approval. Trading is difficult enough, so GMs should be able to negotiate freely without fear that their dealings will be made public. There is nothing wrong with telling another GM that you are considering other proposals, but the terms of the deal should be kept to yourself unless you are given permission to disclose it.

Ariel Cohen (CBS Sports, @ATCNY): I would never reveal the exact details of a trade negotiation to others. I typically would not reveal to others the name of the team that I am negotiating with, but on rare occasion – if I was asked “are you working on a trade with x,” I might say yes or no. I have many times, however – indicated that I was negotiating with another party, and that their current offer was superior or inferior to the team in question.

Charlie Wiegert (CDM Sports, @GFFantasySports): The Godfather always makes an offer that cannot be refused! I don’t believe in revealing offers I have, but will mention I have other offers.

Ron Shandler (RonShandler.com, @RonShandler): About 15 years ago, I sent an email blast to one league with all the offers I received for a key player. Part of it was wanting to lure out a better deal, part of it social experiment, part of it column fodder. The result was that I got the best deal, but also made enemies, one of whom refuses to trade with me to this day. I suppose it comes down to what’s more important, getting the best players or making friends? It probably depends upon the league, the level of camaraderie and how much you want to win. I’ve never shared trade offers since, and I’ve also yet to win that league. There’s a lesson in there somewhere.

Rob Leibowitz (Rotoheaven, @rob_leibowitz): In a scenario where a reveal of what another team is offering would even occur it would be as a result of having shopped a player in the first place league-wide. So, there is no advantage to revealing offers from other teams other than indicating you have other offers in hand. Everyone already knows who you’re shopping and if they have any insight at all, they know who they’re competing against for that player and would (or should) make their offers accordingly. More typically if I’m making someone an offer, I want to be as clandestine as possible, targeting a specific player to fill a specific need and certainly would not want my offers being shared with others in that scenario, especially if I’m making a late-season or trade deadline all-in push and trying to making multiple deals occur all at once

Dr. Roto (FullTime Fantasy, @DrRoto): I won’t give out the exact offer of another person but I will say something like, “I know I can get so and so” from another team. This usually helps to get a better offer or have the person say they can’t beat that other offer.

Derek VanRiper (The Athletic, @DerekVanRiper): I don’t reveal the details of other trade negotiations when working on a potential deal, though I might let someone know if I’m in talks with another person in the league in order to be transparent about the possibility of players we’re discussing getting moved elsewhere.

Craig Mish (FNTSY Radio, @CraigMish): You get one really bad trade offer from me where I say nothing. The second one I will probably bark back at how ridiculous it is. Three times, and I remove you from my phone like a closer who blows three saves in a row. I’ll deal with someone else. Yeah, I may also out you after the third one too. First two, I’ll keep to myself.

Doug Anderson (Fantrax, @rotodaddy): I usually will not talk specifics of an outside offer, but share that I can gain more of a certain stat or category from another owner. Then talk about how you’d rather have the player on their team, but have to take the best offer.

Scott Swanay (FantasyBaseballSherpa, @fantasy_sherpa): I will let a potential trade partner know that I’m talking to other teams, if that is indeed the case and time is of the essence. But I think any potential leverage that could be created by mentioning specifics to another owner is more than likely outweighed by the bad feelings doing so will probably generate. No one likes to feel used, whether in fantasy baseball trade negotiations or just about any other facet of life. The only miniscule exception I’ll make to the preceding general rule is if I’m trying to get a few $FAAB for a player I’d otherwise release. In that case I don’t think it’s bad to mention to Potential Trade Partner B that Potential Trade Partner A has already offered me $X (assuming that’s in fact the case). Even then, I wouldn’t reveal the identity of PTP A to PTP B. Of course, those types of deals are pretty low impact and account for a small portion of all trade discussions.

Toby Guevin (BatFlipCrazy Podcast, @batflipcrazy): I rarely play in redraft trading leagues, but do play in dynasty and keeper leagues. In those leagues, I only reveal details if it just involves draft picks, since it doesn’t identify the owner. I do let other owners know if I’m in negotiations with others, but not who.

Adam Ronis (Fantasy Alarm, @AdamRonis): I won’t reveal details of another trade negotiation. I might say I have a better offer on the table and I will need more to make the trade work to gauge how serious the interest is.

Jeff Zimmerman (Fangraphs, The Process, @jeffwzimmerman): I would never reveal specifics to anyone, but I may let the league know that I’m looking at trading scarce commodity like a closer or steals source. I wish others would also. I don’t have the bandwidth to know how each owner feels about their team and who they are looking to trade.

Scott Wilderman (OnRoto): I think pretty much anything goes except revealing an exact offer, and if the entire league knows an owner is shopping a specific player, bringing that up is fair game. I think it’s even okay to say you have a better offer on the table when you don’t.

Andy Behrens (Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, @andybehrens): The only circumstance in which I might be tempted to disclose another manager’s offer is if the offer itself was hilariously lopsided — like, insultingly so. If you’re trying to flip Jed Lowrie for Juan Soto, then you should perhaps be publicly shamed. But if it’s an honest offer, I wouldn’t generally disclose details to others in the league. In some cases, a manager might be aggressively shopping a player to everyone in a league — sending mass emails, updating trade blocks, etc. — and in such cases it’s hardly a secret, so really there’s no great issue discussing the proposed deal.

Zach Steinhorn (CreativeSports2, @zachsteinhorn): Revealing specific offers simply isn’t proper etiquette, so out of respect for the league and my leaguemates, I never do it. I might mention that I have another offer that I’m seriously considering and in order to top it, Player X would need to be included in the deal, but that’s as far as I’d go.

Phil Hertz (BaseballHQ, @prhz50): With few exceptions, I might say I’ve got an offer from x, but never the specifics.

Bret Sayre (Baseball Prospectus, @BretSayreBP): There’s nothing wrong with letting other owners know approximate parameters of other offers you’re getting on a no-names basis, but sharing a specific offer is both something that is bad form and usually not even helpful in conversations.

Tout Daily: Luis, Luis, Luis, Loua

It’s Week 2 of Tout Daily with a lot of great pitching options. Luis Castillo was one of the most popular choices. Here’s the array of selections offered up by the Touts as they seek the first Golden Ticket.

Jeff Boggis (Fantasy Football Empire, @JeffBoggis)

Pitcher: Trevor Bauer – Lucas Giolito and Shane Bieber are other strong options, but they go against each other tonight.

Hitter: Ronald Acuna Jr. – Worth every penny of $6,100. Can’t argue with his early stat line of .447/.500/.947.

Shelly Verougstraete (Dynasty Guru, @ShellyV_643)

Pitcher: Brandon Woodruff – Facing a pretty swing happy Cubs team and the price is nice.

Hitter: Alex Bregman – Facing Matt Boyd (who gives up a bunch of HRs) in HOU, which is pretty nice HR park.

Zach Steinhorn (CreativeSports2, @zachsteinhorn)

Pitcher: Luis Castillo – Bounced back nicely after rough Opening Day outing and now gets to face a Giants team that is averaging just 3.1 runs scored per game.

Hitter: Wilson Ramos – Four homers in his last six games and reasonably priced at $3,400 on Draftkings.

Brad Johnson (Patreon/BaseballATeam, @BaseballATeam)

Pitcher: Max Fried – I’m not 100% going to use him as there are better-projected pitchers. However, he’s fourth-cheapest and in the neighborhood of 10th-best in a slate of 22 pitchers.

Hitter: Austin Meadows – Back on track after a lost 2020, affordable price, juicy matchup.

Howard Bender (Fantasy Alarm, @RotobuzzGuy)

Pitcher: Luis Castillo – Criminally underpriced on Draft Kings, especially after his last outing. Sure it was Pittsburgh, but are we looking at the Giants as that much better an offense?

Hitter: Austin Meadows – He’s 6-for-17 with three doubles and one home run over his last five games and now gets Kyle Gibson. The breakout season is on its way.

Phil Hertz (BaseballHQ, @prhz50)

Pitcher: Stephen Strasburg – He’s pitched well and is healthy, for the moment

Hitter: Wilson Ramos – What Zach said.

Charlie Wiegert (CDM Sports, @GFFantasySports)

Pitcher: Lucas Giolito – He’s a strike out machine against a weak hitting Indians line up, and pumped up for the matchup with Bieber..Get em!

Hitter: Alex Baddoo – At $3800 he saves some $’s, he’s been red hot and going against a less than stellar Jake Odorizzi. Put one in the Crawford Boxes young man!

Mike Gianella (Baseball Prospectus, @MikeGianella)

Pitcher: Luis Castillo – Priced too low for a favorable matchup against the Giants

Hitter: Ronald Acuna Jr. – Hot hand with the bat and if it’s Wallach again could easily run wild.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola)

Pitcher: Brandon Woodruff – Man, it’s tough to fade both Lucas Giolito and Shane Bieber with Bill Miller behind the plate, but I want budget for bats.

Hitter: Jose Trevino – Catcher pricing is whack. Are we really in “I want to go cheap elsewhere so I can pay up at catcher mode?” Yes, yes we are. But not tonight.

Jeff Erickson (Rotowire, @Jeff_Erickson)

Pitcher: Brandon Woodruff – There are too many good pitching options tonight, and not enough hitters. I’m playing less tonight than I have been of recently as a result. But I love Woodruff and Luis Castillo against the Cubs and Giants respectively at their prices.

Hitter: Randy Arozarena – I went with four Rays and spent up elsewhere – why not stack against Kyle Gibson?

Steve Gardner (USAToday Fantasy Sports, @SteveAGardner)

Pitcher: Brandon Woodruff – Seems like the chalkiest pick of the night, given the Cubs’ offensive struggles this season.

Tout Table: Early Season Watch List

Grab a snack or two, or be like Chris Paddack and order a pizza — there is a lot of information to take in. This week, we asked the Touts:

Is there anything in particular you are monitoring the first few weeks of the season?

Brad Johnson (Patreon/BaseballATeam, @BaseballATeam): I prefer to focus on stats with immediate meaning. Controversial, huh? Common examples include pitcher velocity, max exit velocity for hitters, running speed, and other similar metrics which are more of a physical measurement than a statistical exercise. Beyond that, I’m looking for potentially erroneous narratives. For example, we were fed a line about Vladito raising his launch angle over the offseason. So far, it checks out!

Jason Collette (Rotowire, @jasoncollette): The early indicators on homers are pointing toward more drag on the baseball this year. While exit velo and HH% are up, distance is down and we’re seeing homers hit at a rate not seen since the 2018 season out of the gate. Through five games, we’re at a homer ever 34.2 plate appearances whereas that number has been 31.3 and 30.0 each of the past two seasons. Only 2018 (35.2) and 2017 (34.4) got off to slower starts with home runs.

Jennifer Piacenti (Fantasy Alarm, @jenpiacenti): I am monitoring pitcher use in general. Not only relievers, but starters, too. Since my league has IP as a category, I am interested in how deep into games managers are letting their starters go. Will there be more innings limits? I’m curious if middle relievers will be used more than ever this year, and if they could have some value.

Anthony Aniano (Rotoballer, @AAnianoFantasy): Early this season I am keeping a close eye on inning limits. Seeing starters go only 3-4 innings may become more of a norm than people would realize and thus make multi-inning relievers more valubale in fantasy baseball.

Alex Fast (Pitcher List, @AlexFast8): I’m usually pretty pitcher oriented so I’ll be taking a look at things that stabilize pretty quickly like pitch movement/a new pitch. For example, the FB that Wheeler showcased in his first start showcased both additional rise and run and while he isn’t someone you can pick up off the waiver wire, it’s good to know where to look. It’s really difficult to say based off of one or two starts what a pitcher is going to focus on or if they’re going to make changes to utilization but Lance McCullers Jr. threw his new slider 30+ times in his first start. Are any waiver wire guys throwing new pitches? Are they throwing them more frequently than anticipated? If so, could be a potential add. Lastly: CSW. Becomes reliable around 5 starts but if you want to know who is making strides, check out their CSW’s.

Scott Engel (Rotoballer, @scotteTheKing): Seeing who is saving games is natural, so I am looking at starting pitching. Who is showing eartly signs of breaking out and may have a new arsenal or refined mechanics? There could be some interesting early adds.

Perry Van Hook (Mastersball, @): I agree with those who are watching pitching usage. This year in particular starter usage and tendencies of the clubs towards that. Alex Cora said the Red Sox are “taking care of their guys (starters) so they will have them available later in the season

Ray Flowers (Elite Fantasy, @BaseballGuys): I will be focusing on trying to convince people that they should trust the research that they put in the last four months instead of believing that 28 at-bats, or 12 innings pitched, should drastically change the outlook on players. It is amazing to me, bordering on baffling, how once games start folks seem to forget everything they spent all that time prepping for as they grasp for every shinny toy available to them on waivers. This is a prime time of year to flip those hot starting players for the players that will actually carry you to titles in 2021.

Rudy Gamble (Razzball, @RudyGamble): For hitters, I’m focused on playing time and batting order. For starting pitchers, velocity and general stats (K, BB). For relievers, I’m focused on velo and role. But most of my early season decisions are through the lens of “this upcoming week” and thus my Razzball weekly projections and a player’s value plays a major role for me. My ideal is finding guys that work for the week and then I may hold onto for a while if they do well and their weekly values are above water.

Justin Mason (Friends with Fantasy Benefits, Fangraphs, Fantasy Alarm, @JustinMasonFWFB): To be quite honest, I’m mostly just enjoying games. I’ll look at lineups and bullpen usage, but we have been without baseball for so long, I just enjoy it being back

Doug Dennis (BaseballHQ, @dougdennis41): I am looking at K%, K-BB%, HR/9, RP usage, injury indicators with pitchers. With bats, I am looking at platoons and multi-position to see if there are more ways to get someone into lineups. I am looking at current IL players for news of when they return and how that affects current rosters. I am always looking at schedule and how to maximize matchups (or try to do that). I am also looking at FAAB bids by my competitors–who is aggressive, who is holding back for later. Finally, I am looking at my own roster constructions and seeing where I have projected outages and then combing through other rosters to make trades (in the 3/6 leagues where trades are an additional way to change the talent mix) and perhaps not wait through some of these early season hot streaks to create more balance where I need it.

Patrick Davitt (BaseballHQ, @patrickdavitt): Closers, of course. Watching for changes in batting orders, especially those 1-8, 8-1 switcheroos. I’m interested in pitchers with new effective pitches, velo changes, and/or mix changes, but I have to get that from fantasy sites because I don’t have time to do the legwork myself.

Ariel Cohen (CBS Sports, @ATCNY): Closers, of course. Watching for changes in batting orders, especially those 1-8, 8-1 switcheroos. I’m interested in pitchers with new effective pitches, velo changes, and/or mix changes, but I have to get that from fantasy sites because I don’t have time to do the legwork myself.

Frank Stampfl (Fantasy Pros, @Roto_Frank): For hitters I’ve noticed I’m paying closer attention to former star players who had down seasons last year for reasons we couldn’t really quantify. Most notable are J.D. Martinez, Christian Yelich, and Javier Baez. So far Martinez is performing the best of the bunch. Along with lineup placement for hitters, I like to pay attention to plate discipline early on. For pitchers, I like to focus on pitch usage and velocity. Is a starting pitcher using a new pitch or just using a pitch more or less than they have in the past? Which pitchers are throwing harder than last season? If a particular pitcher’s velocity is down, is it due to weather?

Eric Cross (Fantrax, @EricCross04): There are several things I look at early in the season. For hitters, it mostly has to do with plate approach, exit velocity, and any potential lineup shake-ups. For pitchers, I monitor bullpen situations, strikeout and walk rates, and any pitch mix changes. Whether that’s adding/subtracting a pitch, altering usage, or added/lost velocity.

Brent Hershey (Baseball HQ, @BrentHQ): I’m making a more concerted effort here early in the season to actually go back and watch pitcher’s outings — often relievers that I may not have seen before — via MLB.tv. Having a visuall of how these pitchers work their way through their innings — that their pitches look like, mechanics, etc — gives me another piece of info to go along with the numbers. And I realize not everyone has access to MLB.tv to watch an entire inning or several innings, but even searching for highlights of a pitcher on MLB.com can be helpful and provide some more information that could drive fantasy roster decisionmaking. Also, great point by Ray Flowers above on trusting your own off-season and draft-day evaluations, and resisting the temptation to jump on the teeny samples.

Michael A. Stein (Fantasy Judgment, @FantasyJudgment): I am keeping an eye on pitching moreso than hitting. While offense will probably trend downwards compared to the past few seasons due to changes to the baseball, it will not be as volatile as pitching for a variety of factors. No one has any concrete answers on how pitchers will be used due to coming off a truncated season. Starters are tending to go even fewer innings, middle relievers are being used longer than normal, and closers change seemingly on a daily basis. MLB teams are starting to use their best relievers in the most critical parts of a game, even it is not in the 9th inning. Health is always a concern for pitchers, but even moreso in 2021. The lack of a DH in the National League also subjects pitchers to more risk of injury. The key is to have sufficient depth and handcuff options because pitching, overall, is completely unpredictable right now.

CJ Kaltenbach (Elite Fantasy, @TheSeigeDFS): The biggest thing I’m keeping an eye on is the starting pitching usage. With all the early off-days I’m not too worried about hitting usage yet. So far It appears teams were telling the truth about limiting starters usage which will make wins harder to find than ever.

Steve Gardner (USAToday Fantasy Sports, @SteveAGardner): Nothing unusual. Batting orders, bullpen usage are always worth watching, especially early. Maybe guys playing different positions. This season, it’ll be interesting to see if there really is a difference in expected fly-ball distance with the “new” baseballs, but that will likely take some time to figure out.

Fred Zinkie (Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, @FredZinkieMLB): I’m watching bullpen usage a lot. I’m trying not to get carried away with batting orders or hot/cold starts. I’m looking at pitcher velo a lot. Mostly I’m crossing my fingers each night that my players stay healthy. That’s more important than anything in April.

Mike Podhorzer (Fangraphs, @MikePodhorzer): I’m watching starting pitchers whose velocity was confirmed to be up by Statcast or supposedly up according to articles and tweets. Now that the season has begun, are their fastball velocities still higher than last season? If yes, I’m buying. If no, my pre-season opinion/projection would remain unchanged.

Jock Thompson (Baseball HQ, @JOCKatHQ): Didn’t play fantasy in 2020; just watching baseball took a toll. Dropped the ball early on draft-and-hold basics—like not benching my Utility DH-only Nelson Cruz as the Twins were scheduled to play Milwaukee. So feeling stupid, but now focusing on schedules, bad pitching staffs, injuries, spring weather.

Charlie Wiegert (CDM Sports, @GFFantasySports): playing time and linuep spot. it seems some teams are still moving a lot of guys around, so watching for platoon situations and where in the batting order guys are playing. such as, sad to see miles straw at the bottom of the Astros lineup. it hurts his value!

Glenn Colton (Fantasy Alarm, @GlennColton1): This year is so different that many others. That said, the key is not to overreact. I am watching who is closing, who is playing everyday, who seems to have discovered a new pitch, skill or role, etc. I am also trying extra hard this year not to change my view of a player, formed after months of study, after just days of games!

Shelly Verougstraete (Dynasty Guru, @ShellyV_643): For pitchers I’m focusing in on starting pitchers velo and pitch mix changes as well as bullpen usage. The whole closer role is in flux with so many teams and hopefully some roles are determined within the next few weeks. For hitters, I’m really looking at lineups, roles, and platoons. There are a bunch NL lineups, the Mets and Dodgers come to mind, that I am focusing on. I was a big fan of Dom Smith and Will Smith but without the DH, their usage will sadly be limited.

Alex Chamberlain (Rotographs, @DolphHauldhagen): Statcast and the ball. It’s becoming increasingly clear the ball is bouncier but has more drag, resulting in higher EVs without the corresponding improvements in production. This might lead analysts to expect improved production by virtue of many hitters–perhaps most hitters–improving their average and maximum EVs. Because Statcast routinely uses historical evidence to establish its “xStats,” it’s entirely possible that a hitter’s xwOBA (or, on the flip side of the coin, a pitcher’s xERA) will overvalue the EVs he is generating in 2021. I think this is probably a big reason why you don’t see 2021 data yet on any players’ Statcast pages–the Statcast folks need to recalibrate the xwOBA (and related) models. In fact we all need to recalibrate our mental benchmarks for EV. At this point this feels like the only trend worth monitoring until there’s some clarity; even something helping in small sample like max EV is rendered inert if it can’t be compared apples-to-apple with previous years. Everything else is too noisy, even pitch-level metrics like plate discipine and pitch usage. (New pitches are always interesting, though!)

James Anderson (Rotowire, @RealJRAnderson): It’s this time of year when I hate myself for being in so many leagues. Generally, I’m not focused on performance, I’m mostly focused on usage, be it a reliever competing for high-leverage opportunities or a position player competing for at-bats against same-handed pitching.

Greg Jewett (Fantasy Alarm, @gjewett9): Due to covering relievers, what feels like full-time, the usage patterns, closer chaos and how many innings relievers continue to log early on. Plus, entering game action on Tuesday, there’s been 34 saves but 13 could have been by relievers not on many active rosters. While it seems like saves may be on the rise, if one-third happened without being on fantasy rosters, could fewer saves place higher in leagues? Market inefficiency exists when chasing saves, especially if they continue to aggregate in fluid situations. Also, discerning how the baseball continues producing high exit velocities but reduced distance aligns slightly with the intended effects put forth in the KBO limiting flight by increasing draft resistance.

Nick Pollack (Pitcher List, @PitcherList): New pitches and their velocities! We can get a quick sense of a pitcher searching for improvements out of the gate. Jordan Montgomery throwing his cutter, Lance McCullers Jr. with a new slider, and Carlos Rodon showcasing 95+ mph velocity after sitting sub 94 mph across his career. It can be hard in the reverse (i.e. pitchers throwing softer than usual) as many may need a few more outings to ramp up. Keep watch of the individual pitches and it can go a long way grabbing an arm who will pay off for months.

Peter Kreutzer (Ask Rotoman, Fantasy Baseball Guide, @kroyte): Every day I look for the way my fringy guys are being used. My drafts are done, so it’s all about figuring out how what happened today is possibly affecting what I expected would happen going in. (I did not anticipate a Brad Hand Covid problem, but, ya know, fomites. He’s well named.) The other thing is remembering which guy is on which team. It’s not all there yet. Ronald Acuna two homers today? Yeah, I rated him highly. But do I have any shares? I have to check. I do! On the other hand, did I settle for Tyler Naquin after getting squeezed on Justin Williams in last week’s Tout NL FAAB run? Yes I did. I’m okay with that.

Lou Blasi (Fantistics, @LouBlasi): Most early, I am paying attention to how managers are handling their bullpens and I am looking at pitchers who dealt with injury issues last year. I’m watching their velo, their pitch deployment, and if they are beating hitters. Kluber is an example. In his first start, his pitch deployment was pretty similar to his prime years with just a little more offspeed than prior years. But his velo was off considerably. I was thinking he’d rely on his FB less. Hopefully, his velo will tick up as we go here, and he had a healthy CSW%. It’s one start so you don’t dig in too deep on conclusions, but I got no warm and fuzzies from start #1. I have also seen what looks like a lot of noise in terms of identifying offspeed pitches for starters, so I am taking deployment percentages with a grain of salt. With young kids, I am watching how they seem to be handling the majors and whether they seem overwhelmed or not. MLB hitters sometimes struggle early so I am not panicking on slow starts for batters. Finally, more and more rosters in the majors have platoon elements and emphasize position versatility, so I am looking at how managers of these teams are handling playing time.

Larry Schechter (Winning Fantasy Baseball, @LarrySchechter): I’m watching closers. The season started with many unsettled situations and many Fantasy Baseball players making assumptions…No…Jordan Romano was not absolutely the Toronto closer…but some people drafted like he was…and no, neither is Matt Barnes…it’s still to be seen if it might be Ottavino instead…and several other bullpens…just look at KC and Jesse Hahn got the last save. LMFAO

Toby Guevin (BatFlipCrazy Podcast, @batflipcrazy): I look at different things for hitters and pitchers. For hitters, it’s changes in opportunity or role. A move up or down the lineup or access to playing time as a result of injury can have a big impact on player values. For pitchers, I look for tangible changes like increased velocity or a pitch mix change, whether changing their approach with existing pitches or adding a new one. I also focus a lot on underlying skills as opposed to results. If a pitcher has a rough outing, but shows increased velocity and a higher swinging strike rate I keep a close eye, just like a player who has good results but poor underlying metrics and a velocity dip I might be less interested in.

Andy Behrens (Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, @andybehrens): Lemme tell you what I *don’t* have to monitor in the opening weeks, because my Tout league happens to have excellent scoring settings: Saves. My mixed league uses saves+holds and it’s an absolute delight. I didn’t have to spring into action when Jesse Hahn made a surprise appearance in the ninth. I don’t have to convince myself that just maybe Baltimore’s closer can survive at 75 mph. Instead, all I need to do is collect a few bankable, talented late-inning relievers and let ’em go to work. I cannot recommend saves+holds enough, people. Rid yourselves of the tyranny of SVs.

Ron Shandler (RonShandler.com, @RonShandler): I have nothing to add to the above, but even in the first week, I am thankful I am in a few leagues that use Saves-plus-Holds and don’t have to get into bidding wars for Julian Merryweather. But at the same time, I am lamenting all the lost wins in leagues that are using innings pitched. I am impossible to please.

Chris Towers (CBS Fantasy Sports, @CTowersCBS): Production hardly matters to me at this point in the season, so it’s more about trying to identify which things can be meaningful this early. Roles are chief among them — who is getting save opportunities, who is consistently sitting against certain types of pitchers, who is batting leadoff, etc. But obviously also stuff on a pitch level like velocity, spin rate, and new additions to arsenals that could prove to make a significant difference. And, with the likes of Akil Baddoo and Yermin Mercedes, I’m looking for signs that their underlying skill sets are MLB quality — Baddoo’s hard-hit rate and max exit velo of 107.9 mph are a great start, especially.

Adam Ronis (Fantasy Alarm, @AdamRonis): I am looking at pitchers with added velocity, new pitches and pitch mix. I am also looking at how manager are utilizing pitchers in the bullpen to try and potentially get a jump on a cheap reliever that could work their way into saves at some point.

Scott Swanay (FantasyBaseballSherpa, @fantasy_sherpa): For hitters it’s primarily playing time and position in the batting order. For pitchers I’m curious to see how starting pitchers compare with the start of the 2019 season with respect to innings pitched, batters faced, pitches thrown, etc. to see if fears of lighter workloads this year have merit. For individual pitchers off to very good/bad starts, looking for changes in velocity, pitch mix, etc., that might give clues as to whether their early-season performances are blips or trends.

Mike Sheets (ESPN, @MikeASheets): I’m looking at playing time and lineup position more than I’m looking at stats. The first couple weeks of the season, we get insight into who is being platooned and who is playing every day. We’re seeing who is batting near the top of the order, and who is near the bottom. Victor Robles batting leadoff for the Nationals is a big deal. The fact that a guy like Nick Madrigal is batting ninth most of the time also matters. Of course, it’s fun to watch a relative unknown like Yermin Mercedes light the world on fire, but what’s most important to me is that, for right now anyway, he’s playing almost every day and is batting in the heart of the White Sox’s batting order.

Zach Steinhorn (CreativeSports2, @zachsteinhorn): Bullpen roles have always been my primary focus in the first few weeks but it seems like this is now impossible to get a read on with only a handful of clear-cut closers and not too many defined next-in-line options. I’ll continue to monitor this closely but I have a feeling that the saves hunt will be more frustrating than ever in 2021. I’m also looking at playing time, especially at the catcher position, as it’s good to know if your catcher is the guy playing two out of three games or one out of three games. If it’s the latter, it might already be time to make a change.

Tout Wars FAAB Report: April 11

It was a busy night for the Touts as five of the six leagues featured bids in the triple digits, led by Joe Pisapia dropping 333 on Jose DeLeon in the Mixed Salary Cap League. The American League fell $1 short as defending champion Chris Liss paid $99 for Zack Collins.

Here are this week’s winning bids. Remember, you can access standings, rosters and transactions for every league by clicking on the league header.

American League

PlayerTeamBid
ZCollins, CWSChris Liss 99
NPivetta, BosHoward Bender 76
MFulmer, DetChris Liss 45
KGarlick, MinRick Wolf/Glenn Colton 26
SBrown, OakLarry Schechter 23
ATejeda, TexLarry Schechter 23
CArroyo, BosHoward Bender 18
DKremer, BalJeff Erickson 17
JLagares, LAARyan Bloomfield 17
HSawamura, BosRob Leibowitz 5
BPhillips, TBJason Collette 4
GWhitlock, BosJason Collette 3
NNelson, NYYRyan Bloomfield 2
BMarsh, LAARick Wolf/Glenn Colton 2
NWilliams, CWSJeff Erickson 2
JAlcala, MinDoug Dennis 0
BAbreu, HouDoug Dennis 0

National League

PlayerTeamBid
ZMcKinstry, LADFred Zinkie 112
DFloro, MiaLenny Melnick  75
SNewcomb, AtlPeter Kreutzer 38
JOviedo, StLBrian Walton 36
KGinkel, AriTristan H. Cockcroft 15
HYnoa, AtlFred Zinkie 12
MBeaty, LADGrey Albright 11
EAdrianza, AtlBrian Walton 5
WDifo, PitTodd Zola 3
WPeralta, SFBrian Walton 2
AAdams, SDPhil Hertz 1
CBrogdon, PhiDerek Carty 0
KFinnegan, WasCraig Mish 0

Mixed Salary Cap

PlayerTeamBid
JoseDeLeon, CinJoe Pisapia 333
CKnebel, LADAlex Chamberlain 133
TNaquin, CinBrent Hershey 123
SCrichton, AriJustin Mason 77
MKeller, PitJustin Mason 77
TShaw, MilDerek VanRiper 77
ERios, LADScott Swanay 74
RoPerez, CleScott Pianowski 70
TWidener, AriJoe Pisapia 65
MGonzalez, BosScott Pianowski 64
LTrivino, OakBrent Hershey 61
ACabrera, AriBrent Hershey 48
YDiaz, TBBrent Hershey 43
HYnoa, AtlJeff Zimmerman 42
JBruce, NYYJeff Zimmerman 35
JLuplow, CleScott Engel 29
DFowler, PitScott Engel 25
ASimmons, MinJoe Pisapia 25
DNunez, ColScott Engel 19
MFoltynewicz, TexIan Kahn 13
PEvans, PitMichael Rathburn 13
ZMcKinstry, LADDerek VanRiper 11
RNunez, DetJeff Zimmerman 10
WMiley, CinZach Steinhorn 8
JCave, MinCJ Kaltenbach 4
KGraveman, SeaDerek VanRiper 3
JAlvarado, PhiEric Karabell 2
NGoodrum, DetCJ Kaltenbach 2
SBrown, OakScott Pianowski 0
LTorrens, SeaJeff Zimmerman 0
KKela, SDBret Sayre 0

Mixed Draft

PlayerTeamBid
LTrivino, OakAdam Ronis 178
SMatz, TorPerry Van Hook 169
TNaquin, CinTom Kessenich 161
LArraez, MinShelly Verougstraete 137
JGray, ColPerry Van Hook 69
HKim, SDAdam Ronis 68
CKnebel, LADPerry Van Hook 57
JProfar, SDD.J. Short 50
BBelt, SFTim McLeod 46
TLocastro, AriMichael Beller 44
PEvans, PitPerry Van Hook 33
DBote, ChCTim McCullough 31
TWilliams, ChCGreg Ambrosius 19
MShoemaker, MinAdam Ronis 18
CMoran, PitAdam Ronis 18
TWidener, AriD.J. Short 16
SVogt, AriMichael Beller 14
MRojas, MiaAnthony Perri 13
KGinkel, AriRudy Gamble 7
JLowrie, OakD.J. Short 5
KGraveman, SeaMichael Beller 5
HRobles, MinScott White 4
KZimmer, KCScott White 4
TBarnhart, CinAdam Ronis 3
HYnoa, AtlTim McCullough 3
KMiddleton, SeaMichael Beller 3
DKremer, BalMichael Beller 0

Head to Head

PlayerTeamBid
EClase, CleClay Link 143
TNaquin, CinChris Welsh 76
ZMcKinstry, LADClay Link 64
JCueto, SFRyan Hallam 54
GHampson, ColLou Blasi 51
CMullins, BalNick Pollack 46
ABaddoo, DetRyan Hallam 31
RHill, TBGreg Jewett 27
TShaw, MilGreg Jewett 27
LArraez, MinNick Pollack 26
DCastillo, TBFrank Stampfl 23
ASanchez, SFAriel Cohen 22
AHouser, MilFrank Stampfl 18
JLoaisiga, NYYPaul Sporer 17
JWendle, TBAndrea LaMont 13
IKinerFalefa, TexFrank Stampfl 13
LTrivino, OakAriel Cohen 13
MRojas, MiaAriel Cohen 13
TLocastro, AriGreg Jewett 9
DDuffy, KCRalph Lifshitz 8
RGrossman, DetAriel Cohen 7
YGurriel, HouAndrea LaMont 7
CValdez, BalAndrea LaMont 6
TBarnhart, CinLou Blasi 5
JPolanco, MinPaul Sporer 5
VCaratini, SDPaul Sporer 3
CFlexen, SeaPaul Sporer 2
TTrammell, SeaRalph Lifshitz 2
JGray, ColLou Blasi 2
BZimmermann, BalLou Blasi 2
PSeverino, BalClay Link 1

Mixed with IP & Saves+Holds

PlayerTeamBid
TNaquin, CinJennifer Piacenti 112
MMelancon, SDChris Towers 112
HYnoa, AtlMiami Beach Swag – Jim Bowden 103
CRodon, CWSChris Towers 94
CKnebel, LADChris Towers 91
ABaddoo, DetMiami Beach Swag – Jim Bowden 88
DSolano, SFAndy Behrens 86
JCueto, SFMiami Beach Swag – Jim Bowden 75
NLowe, TexDoug Anderson 71
YMercedes, CWSJake Ciely 64
JArrieta, ChCJeff Boggis 51
YGarcia, MiaJeff Boggis 51
JGray, ColJeff Boggis 51
TBarnhart, CinJeff Boggis 51
ELongoria, SFJeff Boggis 51
MFulmer, DetJeff Boggis 51
KGraveman, SeaJeff Boggis 51
TLocastro, AriChris Towers 51
DFletcher, LAAJeff Boggis 51
YGurriel, HouRay Flowers 36
CMoran, PitRon Shandler 27
ASanchez, SFBrian Entrekin 26
IKennedy, TexRon Shandler 23
DStewart, BalAl Melchior 22
JProfar, SDBrian Entrekin 21
TWidener, AriAlex Fast 15
JPolanco, MinDoug Anderson 9
DNunez, ColDoug Anderson 4
VGonzalez, LADDoug Anderson 4
RoPerez, CleMiami Beach Swag – Jim Bowden 2

Tout Daily: Is Freddy Ready?

It’s the first week of Tout Daily, the once-a-week DFS league with several of the Tout Warriors matching wits. Every Tuesday night, we’ll post the picks to click as everyone aims for a Golden Ticket and admission into the Tout Daily Championship Tourney.

Anthony Aniano (Rotoballer, @AAnianoFantasy)

Pitcher: Tyler Glasnow – Glasnow is a legitimate Cy Young candidate and could easily replicate the 6 IP 6K performance from opening day versus this Red Sox lineup

Hitter: Vlad Guerrero – The sample is small but Guerrero has started the season strong with plus .BA and plus .OBP and tonight faces Dane Dunning who’s innings should be somewhat limited

Steve Gardner (USAToday Fantasy Sports, @SteveAGardner)

Pitcher: Lucas Giolito – One of the best pitchers in the game going against a weak Mariners lineup? I’ll pay the freight.

Hitter: Randy Arozarena – He hit .400 against left-handers last season and will get Martin Perez at Fenway Park. I’m expecting a monstah game.

Zach Steinhorn (CreativeSports2, @zachsteinhorn)

Pitcher: Lucas Giolito – A true ace facing a Mariners offense that has so far posted a .627 OPS? Sign me up.

Hitter: Ketel Marte – Marte’s scorching hot bat is bound to cool off at some point, but it won’t happen in Coors Field.

Todd Zola (Mastersball, @toddzola)

Pitcher: Yu Darvish – Going back to what brought me success — pay up for pitching and find bats. I’m hoping Darvish’s 10K price limits his exposure to my competition.

Hitter: Vlad Guerrero Jr. – The Globe Life Field roof will reportedly be open, game time is listed at 80 degrees, giddyup!

Brad Johnson (Patreon/BaseballATeam, @BaseballATeam)

Pitcher: Lucas Giolito – Chalk! He’s the top-projected pitcher and the top-projected bargain (points per $1,000). It would probably be cleverer to fade him, but I’ll holster metagames until after the first week.

Hitter: Alec Bohm – One of my favorite pivots. Dude puts well-hit balls in play and doesn’t cost anything. It’s not a good matchup, but it’s always helpful to have punts with obvious multi-hit potential.

Justin Mason (Friends with Fantasy Benefits, Fangraphs, Fantasy Alarm, @JustinMasonFWFB)

Pitcher: Lucas Giolito – Giolito is the easiest call on the slate today. Gio looked great in his first start and gets a struggling Marines team that is striking out almost 30% of the time

Hitter: CJ Cron – Weather could be an issue in Coors but if they play, Cron is Playing at home versus a pitcher that struggled in 2020 and spring

Brian Entrekin (Benched with Bubba, @bdentrek)

Pitcher: Lucas Giolito – Giolito was outstanding in his first start. Mixing his pitches in on his way to a solid DFS evening. Facing the Mariners tonight at as the 3rd highest priced pitcher is a lock button for me. Mariners offense is off to a brutal start to the season, especially versus RHP striking out around 28% of the time.

Hitter: Nate Lowe – Talk about being locked in. Lowe has hit safely in all 4 games to start the season and should be slotted into the middle of the Rangers order. The Rangers & Jays are a great pivot off of Coors tonight.

Phil Hertz (BaseballHQ, @prhz50)

Pitcher: Freddy Peralta – The price is right.

Hitter: Yermin Mercedes – Ride the hot hand until it’s no longer hot.

Charlie Wiegert (CDM Sports, @GFFantasySports)

Pitcher: Glasnow and Peralta – Hoping for 10-15 K’s and 10-15 innings

Hitter: Corey Seager & Vlad Jr. – Playing the hot hands, Seager has been on fire

Shelly Verougstraete (Dynasty Guru, @ShellyV_643)

Pitcher: Freddy Peralta – The price is right and the Cubs to be a free-swinging team again

Hitter: Joey Gallo – Gallo vs Tanner Roark. What is not to love…unless you are Roark, I suppose

Ray Murphy (BaseballHQ, @RayHQ)

Pitcher: James Paxton – Veering away from the chalk Giolito, even though I am a believer.

Hitter: Trevor Story – Expensive for a reason.

Tout Wars FAAB Results: April 4

With only a weekend’s worth of games since the first FAAB run, it was a relatively quiet Sunday for the Touts with Yermin Mercedes the top AL target as he opened the season with a remarkable eight straight hits. Gerardo Perdomo was a popular target in the NL while closers Jerry Merryweather and Cesar Valdez both compiled a pair of saves in the opening weekend thus garnering a lot of FAAB attention.

Please note, you can see the standings and rosters for all the Tout Wars leagues by clicking on the league heading.

American League

PlayerTeamBid
YMercedes, CWSHoward Bender 168
CValdez, BalJeff Erickson 173
LTrivino, OakChris Liss 41
MZunino, TBHoward Bender 32
KMiddleton, SeaRick Wolf/Glenn Colton 26
CMcCormick, HouLarry Schechter 19
CCulberson, TexLarry Schechter 15
SHaggerty, SeaJason Collette 2
WDavis, KCDoug Dennis 0
RStanek, HouDoug Dennis 0
HRobles, MinMike Podhorzer 0
JDavis, TorRob Leibowitz 0
MFoster, CWSDoug Dennis 0

National League

PlayerTeamBid
GPerdomo, AriGrey Albright 47
LCampusano, SDSteve Gardner 39
RWeathers, SDSteve Gardner 33
CDevenski, AriBrian Walton 13
LBrinson, MiaBrian Walton 12
JRoss, WasPhil Hertz 7
YHernandez, WasCraig Mish 2
NNeidert, MiaCraig Mish 1
RSmith, AriPeter Kreutzer 0
TMarcano, SDDerek Carty 0
PSandoval, AtlScott Wilderman 0

Mixed Salary Cap

PlayerTeamBid
JMerryweather, TorScott Pianowski 421
ABaddoo, DetCJ Kaltenbach 88
BGarcia, DetScott Engel 88
YMercedes, CWSScott Engel 77
CValdez, BalCJ Kaltenbach 66
AMorejon, SDJeff Zimmerman 58
MTaylor, KCJeff Zimmerman 56
MShoemaker, MinJeff Zimmerman 48
JGray, ColZach Steinhorn 47
JDiekman, OakIan Kahn 47
JGant, StLCJ Kaltenbach 44
ELongoria, SFIan Kahn 42
JTeheran, DetScott Engel 39
GPerdomo, AriJeff Zimmerman 35
DPoncedeleon, StLMichael Rathburn 34
CFlexen, SeaScott Swanay 34
TAnderson, PitAlex Chamberlain 33
LArraez, MinScott Swanay 28
AMisiewicz, SeaAlex Chamberlain 23
GCrochet, CWSScott Swanay 17
ACobb, LAAScott Pianowski 13
AHouser, MilJustin Mason 13
TWilliams, ChCDerek VanRiper 11
JLowrie, OakCJ Kaltenbach 8
JBrubaker, PitIan Kahn 8
JFraley, SeaScott Pianowski 5
GCooper, MiaIan Kahn 4
FMejia, TBEric Karabell 1
ASanchez, SFJustin Mason 1
LGarcia, HouScott Swanay 1

Mixed Draft

PlayerTeamBid
JMerryweather, TorSeth Trachtman 256
KIsbel, KCPerry Van Hook 169
CValdez, BalTim McCullough 142
YMercedes, CWSTom Kessenich 138
CMullins, BalTim McLeod 127
CFlexen, SeaTim McLeod 49
CMcCormick, HouTim McCullough 38
NMazara, DetAnthony Perri 32
AFrazier, PitD.J. Short 30
GWhitlock, BosTim McCullough 21
YTsutsugo, TBRudy Gamble 18
AMorejon, SDRudy Gamble 13
CDevenski, AriRay Murphy 13
JFuentes, ColAdam Ronis 13
SRomo, OakAdam Ronis 8
JArrieta, ChCPerry Van Hook 7
MWacha, TBCharlie Wiegert 5
THouck, BosD.J. Short 5
ELongoria, SFPerry Van Hook 3
ABaddoo, DetScott White 2
MBush, TexScott White 1
TShaw, MilScott White 1
TRainey, WasScott White 0

Head to Head

PlayerTeamBid
JMerryweather, TorClay Link 89
YMercedes, CWSChris Welsh 75
ACobb, LAAChris Welsh 53
NMazara, DetRyan Hallam 41
JChisholm, MiaRyan Hallam 35
ACabrera, AriRyan Hallam 34
JDiekman, OakFrank Stampfl 33
JBerti, MiaAndrea LaMont 29
MTaylor, KCFrank Stampfl 27
AMorejon, SDAriel Cohen 13
THouck, BosFrank Stampfl 12
EAndrus, OakLou Blasi 10
MStassi, LAAClay Link 8
TWidener, AriAndrea LaMont 8
TWilliams, ChCAndrea LaMont 6
SMatz, TorAndrea LaMont 6
ADeSclafani, SFLou Blasi 2
MMargot, TBClay Link 1
BreAnderson, MilAriel Cohen 1
JoseDeLeon, CinGreg Jewett 1

Mixed with IP & Saves+Holds

PlayerTeamBid
JMerryweather, TorJake Ciely 85
GCanning, LAARay Flowers 43
BGarcia, DetMiami Beach Swag – Jim Bowden 37
MMargot, TBRon Shandler 37
JCandelario, DetRay Flowers 37
JChisholm, MiaAl Melchior 26
KIsbel, KCDoug Anderson 23
ADickerson, SFAl Melchior 22
CMullins, BalAlex Fast 11
THouck, BosDoug Anderson 9