Mark Reynolds Rockies
Mark Reynolds went two for three in the Rockies’ opener with a double, a home run, three RBI and a walk. With Ian Desmond on the shelf with a hand injury, Reynolds should see his fair share of at bats. While it seems like ages ago (actually it was 2011) when he hit 37 home runs, he should be a nice early source of power.
Reynolds hit 14 home runs in 118 games last year for Colorado in 393 at bats. He got off to a nice start last April, hitting .311 with two home runs, 11 runs and seven RBI in 61 at bats.
Throughout his career April has been a pretty solid month.  Reynolds hit a home run in 6.03 percent of his at bats, which is his second highest ratio (August – 6.52%). He also has his highest RBI per at bat ratio (18.55 percent).

April 647 39 6.03% 120 18.55% 0.238
May 835 41 4.91% 129 15.45% 0.255
June 845 44 5.21% 131 15.50% 0.237
July 772 44 5.70% 107 13.86% 0.209
August 767 50 6.52% 137 17.86% 0.262
September 666 34 5.11% 91 13.66% 0.209
October 38 0 0.00% 2 5.26% 0.105

Colorado plays 13 home games in their next 22 games, which plays into his favor. In 319 at bats at Coors Field Reynolds has a .301 average with 16 home runs and 56 RBI in 319 at bats.
Reynolds is likely available in your fantasy league. If you can stomach his average and strikeouts, he could be a decent power source early on.

Charlie Morton Astros
Charlie Morton, Houston Astros vs. Seattle Mariners
Morton makes his debut with Houston. Since 2011 he is 35-42 with a 3.97 ERA.
Season Totals:  1 start, 0-1, 5.2 IP, 4 Ks, 4.76 ERA (3 earned runs), 1.59 WHIP (7 hits, 2 walks)

Clayton Richard
Clayton Richard, San Diego Padres at Los Angeles Dodgers
Richard was 3-4 last year with a 3.33 ERA, but was 3-3 with a 2.52 ERA with the Padres. He had a 1.80 ERA at Dodger Stadium last year.
2016 Season Totals: 134 Starts, 52-34, 779.2 IP, 649 Ks, 4.06 ERA (352 Earned Runs), 1.25 WHIP (765 hits, 208 walks)

Ricky Nolasco Angels
Ricky Nolasco, Los Angeles Angeles @ Oakland A’s
There aren’t many streaming options on Opening Day as teams trot out their aces.  Nolasco, coming off an 8-14, 4.42 ERA season is one of the few exceptionx. In 11 starts with the Angels last year he was 4-6 with a 3.21 ERA and 1.07 WHIP. He was 1-2 with a 3.67 ERA against Oakland last year.
2016 Season Totals: 134 Starts, 52-34, 779.2 IP, 649 Ks, 4.06 ERA (352 Earned Runs), 1.25 WHIP (765 hits, 208 walks)

Kenley Jansen
I present the Lester’s Legends 2017 fantasy baseball closer/relief pitcher rankings for NL Only fantasy leagues.
1. Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers
2. Wade Davis, Chicago Cubs
3. Seung-Hwan, St. Louis Cardinals
4. Mark Melancon, San Francico Giants
5. Jeurys Familia, New York Mets
6. A.J. Ramos, Miami Marlins
7. Tony Watson, Pittsburgh Pirates
8. Blake Treinen, Washington Nationals
9. Raisel Iglesias, Cincinnati Reds
10. Jim Johnson, Atlanta Braves
11. Adam Ottavino, Colorado Rockies
12. Brandon Maurer, San Diego Padres
13. Jeanmar Gomez, Philadelphia Phillies
14. Fernando Rodney, Arizona Diamondbacks
15. Neftali Feliz, Milwaukee Brewers
Also check out:

Corey Dickerson
Tampa Bay Outfielder Corey Dickerson is rated as the 72nd outfielder at FantasyPros following a decent 2017 campaign. He could easily put up numbers that would exceed that 6th outfielder (12 team leagues) projection.
His primary benefit to fantasy baseball players last year was his power. Dickerson hit 24 home runs with 70 RBI in 148 games.
Dickerson’s batting average of .245 hurt fantasy owners and limited the number of runs he scored to 57. History suggests that he could rebound.
In 196 games in 2014 and 2015 combined Dickerson had 204 hits in 660 at bats for a .309 batting average. He scored 104 runs, hit 34 home runs, drove in 107 runs and stole eight bases. Extrapolated out to a 162-game schedule, he would have a .309-86-28-88-7 line. Dickerson did play home games at Coors Field during that stretch, but there is reason to believe he can tops those numbers.
Dickerson’s BABIP last yer was .285. It was .367 in 2015, .356 in 2014 and .307 as a rookie in 2013. If Dickerson’s luck can improve in 2017, his batting average will jump along with his counting numbers.
There is some speculation that he will hit leadoff against right-handed pitchers. After not stealing any bases last season, it’s a sign that he would given some green lights on the base paths this coming season.
Dickerson’s career average in the big leagues dropped to .279 after last year’s performance. He hit .321 in the minors (.365 at Triple-A) and .459 in college. A nice bounce back in that category along with solid power numbers and you could find yourself with a nice value pick for your outfield.

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Jason Heyward
Jason Heyward struggled in his first season with the Chicago Cubs hitting just .230 with 61 runs, seven home runs, 49 RBI and 11 stolen bases. His struggles could be somewhat overlooked for Cubs fans as the team is loaded with talent and they won their first World Series in ages.
During his first five seasons Heyward averaged 134 hits for a .268 average, 26.3 doubles, 3.5 triples, 16.2 home runs, 58.7 RBI and 14.3 stolen bases.
Things didn’t get better for Hewyard during the postseason as he hit .104 with 13 strikeouts in 48 at bats.
Heyward has worked on fixing his swing to return to a prior form. He was plagued with too many softly hit balls.
The hope is to make better contact, which would improve on his dreadful .266 BABIP that contributed to that paltry batting average. His BABIP was .329 in 2015, .308 in 2014, .281 in 2013 and .319 in 2012. For a player that has stole at least 20 bases in three of the past five seasons, that BABIP should improve.
Heyward  is currently projected to be outside of the top 70 outfielders in fantasy baseball drafts. That puts him at a sixth outfielder in 12-team leagues. He should be able to hit at least 15 home runs with at least 15 stolen bases. He should come close to 80 runs and 70 RBI. While they aren’t numbers worthy of his loft contract, they should help fantasy owners.

Joe Panik
In 651 at bats to start his big league career, San Francisco Giants’ second baseman Joe Panik compiled 201 hits for a .309 batting average. During those 173 games he scored 90 runs, hit 37 doubles and nine home runs and drove in 55 runs. For what amounts to just about a full season, those are pretty solid numbers.
Last year things went south. In 127 games and 464 at bats Panik finished with 111 hits for a .239 batting average. He scored 67 runs, hit ten home runs and drove in 62 runs. Those numbers certainly put him off the fantasy radar.
There are some reasons to believe that he could turn it around in 2017. He suffered a concussion last year that sent him to the disabled list. He contributes that concussion and issues with his vision to his season statistically spiraling down the drain. On June 25th he was batting .259 with 45 runs, seven home runs and 36 RBI. He went on the disabled list with those concussions symptoms. When he returned he hit .215 over 57 games with 22 runs, three home runs and 26 RBI.
Panik has been doing eye exercises during the offseason to restore his vision. It’s obviously difficult to hit the ball when you can’t see the ball. With his eyes back in order, that should help Panik return to form.
Panik’s luck should also be better in 2017. His batting average on balls in play (BABIP) was .245 in 2016, which is a far cry from his .343 and .330 marks he had in his first two seasons. Should he bounce back, even to the .300 mark his batting average should see a nice jump.
Panik still isn’t a starting caliber fantasy baseball second baseman as he doesn’t offer any power or speed numbers. He should be a decent middle infield option or bench depth. Panik should help your batting average (.370 college hitter, .294 minor league hitter, .280 MLB hitter). He has hit .285 against lefties and .278 against righties so he’s fairly safe to roll out almost regardless of matchup.

As you prepare for your fantasy baseball drafts approach you may want to start think about having some fun with your fantasy baseball team name. Here are some ideas.
Bull Dozier – Brian Dozier owners
Cashner Outside, Howbow Dah – Andrew Cashner owners
Just Sano to Drugs – Miguel Sano
Kluber Lang – Corey Kluber owners
Netflix And Cahill – Trevor Cahill
Place Your Betts – Mookie Betts owners
Schoop There It Is – Jonathan Schoop owners
Three Little Puigs – Yasiel Puig

By Josh Williams


One of the great things about the National Football League is that there are always headlines and stories throughout the entire year, including the offseason. With free agency already starting and the NFL Draft approaching, this is a great time to look forward to the start of the season. With that said, here is a look at who you should be targeting for your Fantasy Football team next season.

Must Have Players


Pittsburgh Steelers Running Back Le’Veon Bell


At age 25, Bell will be entering the prime of his career. Bell should be healthy after having groin surgery to repair the injury that bothered him during the playoffs. Bell is known for his patient style of running and rushed for over 1,200 yards last season. Bell also caught 75 passes out of the backfield. He should have another big season. Of course, everything is depending on quarterback Ben Roethlisberger returning.


Arizona Cardinals Running Back David Johnson


Johnson sprained his MCL in the final game of the season, but should be healthy for the start of training camp. Johnson had a fantastic season and made a lot of fantasy football owners very happy. Johnson scored 20 touchdowns and nearly gained a 1,000 yards both rushing and receiving. Stud running backs are hard to come by in fantasy football, so if you have the chance to draft Johnson, do so without blinking. With defenses making him the focal point of their game plan, he may not score 20 touchdowns again, however Johnson will still make fantasy owners rejoice this season.


Dallas Cowboys Running Back Ezekiel Elliott


The fourth overall pick in last year’s NFL Draft, Elliott took the league by storm as a rookie, leading the league in rushing by gaining 1,631 yards to go along with 15 rushing touchdowns. Will Elliott suffer a sophomore slump? It is extremely unlikely given the talent that surrounds Elliott in quarterback Dak Prescott, tight end Jason Witten, and wide receiver Dez Bryant. The Cowboys also have arguably the best offensive line in football, so Elliott could potentially surpass his rookie year.


Atlanta Falcons Wide Receiver Julio Jones


Julio Jones has a scary combination of size and speed that makes him a matchup nightmare for defenses. Jones was impacted by a painful foot injury in the playoffs and still dominated. When healthy, Jones is one of the NFL’s most dangerous weapons and should be targeted early in the fantasy league draft.


Cincinnati Bengals Wide Receiver A.J. Green

Cincinnati Bengals v Arizona Cardinals

Due to injury, Green failed to gain over 1,000 receiving yards for the first time in his career last season, which is a sign of how great a player Green is. Green makes great use of his 6’4” frame to win jump balls over smaller defensive backs. If healthy, Green should have another outstanding season.


Quarterbacks To Target


Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers


Rodgers remains the most talented quarterback in the NFL. Despite the major injuries on offense, Rodgers almost single handedly lead the Packers to the Super Bowl. Even in a down year, Rodgers still threw for 40 touchdowns and over 4,000 yards passing.


New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady


At this point, you can make a strong argument that Brady is the best player of all-time. Looking for his sixth Super Bowl ring this season, Brady could have one of his best seasons as the team recently acquired speedster wide receiver Brandin Cooks.


Breakout Players


Los Angeles Chargers Running Back Melvin Gordon


Gordon could be primed to cement himself as one of the best running backs in the NFL. Entering his third year, Gordon should rush for over 1,000 in his career for the first time and record his second straight season of scoring double digit touchdowns.


Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Carson Wentz


Wentz had a solid if not spectacular rookie year. However, The Eagles have given Wentz some weapons this offseason in wide receivers Torrey Smith and Alshon Jeffery to go along with Jordan Matthews. Wentz could have a big year.


Players To Avoid


New York Giants Wide Receiver Sterling Shepard

Saints Giants Football

Shepard enjoyed a nice rookie season, scoring eight touchdowns. His role seemed like it would be increasing following the release of Victor Cruz, then the Giants went out and signed Brandon Marshall.


Cincinnati Bengals Running Back Jeremy Hill

Cincinnati Bengals v Cleveland Browns

Hill has stagnated since his nice rookie season, and now he’ll try to get back on track behind a Bengals offensive line that just lost its two best linemen in Kevin Zeitler and Andrew Whitworth during free agency. You should avoid Hill even as a low round pick.

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