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I'm sitting here staring out the window. We're all kind of in no-man's land right now. Playoff football is ongoing, but fantasy football is basically over for most people (those playoff leagues just don't do it for me). I'm one of the few people who actually plays fantasy hockey, and likewise there is a small but dedicated group that plays fantasy basketball, but we are in the minority. So where does that leave most fantasy sports addicts? It leaves you begging for the fantasy baseball season to begin. It's about a month until pitchers and catchers report, and February is usually when the heavy lifting really starts with fantasy baseball, though to be honest, I've literally been writing about the 2011 fantasy baseball season since October. I know, I have a disease don't I?

I'll also be attending the FSTA Trade Association meeting in Las Vegas this weekend, so if you're gonna be there let me know and we'll grab a beer (or a fruity drink with an umbrella in it).

PLAYER RATINGS

Over at ESPN they have a whole section devoted to different player rating systems: Inside Edge, The Baseball Encyclopedia, ESPN Rating and Elias. Here are a few things that jumped out at me from those rankings.

Miguel Cabrera was the top player in 2010 according to two of the systems (ESPN and Elias). The man widely regarded as the best player in baseball - Albert Pujols - was second on the ESPN scale and came in at 6th in the Elias Rankings.

According to Inside Edge, the best player in baseball last year was Josh Johnson. I don't know what the formula is for this measure, but when your top-5 includes Johnson, Cliff Lee and Paul Konerko, consider me dubious as to it's value.

The top-3 performers according to the Baseball Encyclopedia were Troy Tulowitzki, Pujols and Robinson Cano. How could a guy who appeared in only 122 games last season be the best player in baseball?

You can check out the rankings for yourself at the link above, but here is their top-10 based on the average ranking of the four systems:

1- Albert Pujols 2- Miguel Cabrera 3- Roy Halladay 4- Joey Votto 5- Felix Hernandez 6- Jose Bautista (seriously) 7- Paul Konerko (gulp) 8- Ubaldo Jimenez 9- Adam Wainwright 10- Josh Hamilton

PLAYER PROFILE - LANCE BERKMAN

I wrote about the new Cardinals outfielder in Breaking Down: Lance Berkman. Here is a brief synopsis of what I said there.

"Currently sporting an ADP in the 300's, it would seem that Berkman is in a good position to far surpass the value he is currently being assigned. It would be wise to avoid expecting a return to the salad days for Berkman, but if he slips far enough in drafts he is well worth taking a shot on as a mutli-position guy who will hit behind, arguably, the two best right-handed hitters in the National League."

PAVANO STAYS WITH TWINS After flirting with signing a big money, 1-year deal with the Yankees (how desperate are the Bronx Bombers when you realize they contemplated bringing back a guy who won nine games over four years with the club back in 2005-08?), Pavano decided he liked where he was signing a 2-year, $16.5 million deal to remain with the Twins. I predicted back on December 6th, 2010 that Pavano would hit it big as the second best starting pitcher on the market in Around the Horn: Hot Stove, Dec.6, 2010. I missed on that one. I'm surprised that in this market, where middle relievers were getting 3-year deals at more than $4 million a season, that Pavano was only able to lock down a two year deal.

JUST BECAUSE...

One of the greatest set of lines in movie history thanks to Ron Burgundy.

By Ray Flowers




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About Ray Flowers

The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Thurs 7 PM, Fri. 9 PM EDT), Ray also hosts a show Sunday night (7-10 PM EDT). Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.

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