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About Rick Lucks - RotoBaller

Hello fellow Rotoballers! I'm a guy that was reading fantasy baseball magazines before I was old enough to legally play. Now that I am, lets win some leagues together!

Rick Lucks - RotoBaller has written 210 articles so far, you can find them below.


Baseball's hot stove is finally starting to heat up a bit, with names like Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole headed to new addresses in 2018. It's late in coming, but now is the time some fantasy owners begin overlooking the smaller moves to concentrate on the biggest names. Don't make that mistake. This doesn't mean that... Read More

Much is made of a team's projected batting order early on in the offseason, but the discussions quickly become moot as the realities of the regular season alter every team's plans. Slumping players move down the batting order, replaced by their more productive teammates. A utility guy could escape the bench and become a fixture... Read More

The following analysis is presented with some misgivings. Both Chase Headley and Starlin Castro were moved this offseason, making them candidates for a change of scenery examination. However, these veteran players do not present an obvious fit with their presumably rebuilding clubs and have been included in trade speculation, with Castro reportedly asking to be... Read More

We have previously seen that both West Coast teams and bad teams are great places to mine for fantasy gold because nobody is keeping up with their games. There is a third category that also goes underappreciated: the Tampa Bay Rays. The team isn't projected to be bad (80-82 projection by Steamer) and they're not... Read More

Last week, we looked at how West Coast players frequently become fantasy values because not everyone can stay up late enough to watch them play. The same principle applies to teams that fantasy owners expect to be utterly terrible. The 2018 iteration of the Miami Marlins is therefore a great place to look for potential... Read More

If you want to know the secret to finding unheralded fantasy assets, the answer could be as simple as looking at poor teams out west. Most media coverage centers on east coast players that the entire country is awake to see. Exceptions might be made for studs like Mike Trout or Clayton Kershaw, but no... Read More

Fantasy baseball has long been a game of perception. Will Player A continue his hot start or slump back into mediocrity? Are Player B's recent struggles signs of things to come or a temporary blip on the radar? An analysis of each specific player is the best way to answer these questions, but fantasy owners... Read More

As sabermetrics become more widely accepted, analytical stats such as OBP are replacing more luck-based metrics such as batting average in a lot of formats. Playing in leagues like this frequently indicates a willingness to embrace a more realistic approach to the game, but many owners fail to adjust their rankings to their new reality.... Read More

The last day of the Winter Meetings continued the same trends that had previously categorized them. The Angels added Ian Kinsler to capitalize on the contention window opened when Shohei Ohtani decided to sign there, and Miami continued their fire sale by shipping Marcell Ozuna to the Cardinals. A change of scenery should result in... Read More

In what has become something of a South Florida tradition, the Miami Marlins are again selling everything on their roster in an effort to reduce costs. The team is unlikely to have any established names when the 2018 season starts, setting it up as a land of opportunity for fantasy owners searching for gems on... Read More

Now that big names like Giancarlo Stanton and Shohei Ohtani have moved, it's easy to stop paying attention to the lesser names on the transaction wire. Don't fall into that trap! The most prepared owners frequently perform the best, and everybody will have an educated opinion on guys like Stanton. Spin rate is still beyond... Read More

The hot stove has been more of an ice box so far this season, as few moves have been made of any fantasy consequence. This seems poised to change in the near future, as both Shohei Ohtani and Giancarlo Stanton should provide some clarity regarding their intentions before the new year. That said, the two... Read More

Thanksgiving is over, meaning that it is officially time to start preparing for 2018 fantasy baseball drafts! This column usually uses sabermetrics to determine whether a given player is worth his current cost, but draft data isn't reliable this early in the offseason. Instead, we'll do a deep dive on the lesser offseason transactions. Players... Read More

What’s even more fun than making bold predictions? Looking back at the end of the season to see how good (or so, so hilariously bad) they were. It's my turn to determine if my preseason picks make me a Champ or a Chump. I was terrible this year, so the answer is the latter. Let's... Read More

Way back in March, I wrote a multi-part tutorial on how to use all of the metrics cited in Champ or Chump. I concluded the series by introducing Barrels and Brls/BBE, arguing that the metrics could have been used to predict Chris Carter's 2016 HR title had they been available before the season started. Gary... Read More

Owners in weekly formats have set their last lineup for the season. The transaction wire for daily formats has likely fallen silent with most of the teams settled into their final place in the standings as well. There are probably a few leagues out there with races going until the final day, but rooting for... Read More

If you play in a weekly league, this weekend is likely your last opportunity to set a lineup before the winner is crowned. There is a widely held belief that you cannot move up in rate stats such as batting average or ERA this late in the season, but you actually can most of the... Read More

With only two weeks left in the regular season, it is not an exaggeration to say that anything can happen. Power hitters could hit for a high batting average if the ball bounces their way. A pure speedster could win a league by hitting an unlikely pair of homers on the last day of the... Read More

While it's easy enough to target stats like SB or HR if you need them from the waiver wire, counting stats are a little more challenging to predict. Runs scored in the past are a poor indicator of future performance in the category, especially if a player's real life lineup slot has changed since April.... Read More

The minor league shuttle continues to deliver players of interest into the fantasy pool. The Rangers are taking a look at Willie Calhoun, a 22-year old bat-first prospect received in the Yu Darvish swap. Meanwhile, the Pirates summoned 24-year old Tyler Glasnow after a dominant stint at Triple-A. He was awful in his previous stint... Read More

If somebody with solid season numbers is available on waivers this time of year, you can almost assume that something is awry under the hood. Every team in your league has had to deal with injuries and poor performance at this point, plucking whoever they felt was the best fill-in at the time. How could... Read More

The list of top prospects given a taste of the major leagues expanded by one last Tuesday night, as the Phillies decided to take a look at shortstop JP Crawford. Anybody with his pedigree deserves fantasy consideration, but his numbers figure to be underwhelming at first. It seemed like we were done analyzing players who... Read More

September is always a challenging month for this column, as nearly anything can happen in a month-long sample. The production expected based on underlying metrics is still the most likely outcome, but it is impossible to say that it will be realized over the next 30 days. Trade deadlines have also passed in most leagues,... Read More

I frequently say that the minors are the only place to find impact players on the waiver wire this time of year. That's not entirely true, as a gifted player another owner gave up on may become available to you if he starts looking better. Luke Weaver is a perfect example of the first group:... Read More

Conventional wisdom says to stick with struggling stars early on in the season. This is sound advice, as most of them live up to the back of their baseball cards eventually. At this point in the season, however, you have to be willing to pull the plug, cut your losses, and accept that you are... Read More

It's easy to stop paying attention to the weaker teams this time of year, as the small portion of media coverage baseball gets with football starting up is devoted exclusively to the pennant races. The weakest teams are arguably the most interesting from a fantasy perspective, however, because they are trying to unearth the gems... Read More

The transactions fantasy owners make this time of year can appear odd in a vacuum, as significantly better players are sometimes dumped in favor of players who only contribute in a category or two. The roster moves make sense when you look at the standings and notice that the team in question only cares about... Read More

Neil Walker's recent relocation to Milwaukee proves that fantasy relevant names can still be moved after the Trade Deadline. He debuted for his new team as a cleanup hitter playing third base, suggesting that the Brewers intend to shuffle their pieces around on a nightly basis to give their Cinderella season a fairy tale ending.... Read More

Owners looking for first base help were in luck this past week, as both the Mets and the Phillies called up highly regarded prospects. Dominic Smith, age 22, has generated a significant amount of buzz with his Triple-A performance. Rhys Hoskins is a little older (24), but his minor league stat lines would play in... Read More

If looking for hitters on the waiver wire is a dicey proposition this time of year, finding a worthwhile starting pitcher is a verifiable minefield. Everyone has been looking for pitching all season, and there just hasn't been enough of it to go around. Owners in need of arms should still look to recent call-ups... Read More

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