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News-Herald Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Kleps doesn’t just write headlines and stories. He also checks on his fantasy sports teams. A lot. See if the moves and news from the world of sports affect your fantasy teams.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Fantasy baseball: Final 2012 rankings

I know what you're thinking.

Another blog about fantasy baseball rankings?

Well, we ran our updated (again) rankings at over the weekend (click here for the batters, here for the pitchers and here for the top 100 overall), and I wanted to explain a few of the key changes in the numbers between the N-H stories and the rankings that were posted on this blog.

-- We dropped Phillies second baseman Chase Utley from No. 5 to 8 at his position because of the news he would miss the start of the season with an ailing knee.

-- The Nationals' Michael Morse slipped three spots in the outfield (from 21 to 24) because of  a shoulder injury that has hampered his spring.

-- St. Louis' Chris Carpenter dropped from No. 23 to 35 at starting pitcher because of a "nerve irritation that has weakened his right shoulder." If the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's report from Friday that Carpenter likely will miss a couple of months is accurate, 35 is much too high. He should be drafted as a No. 5 or 6 starter at best in a 12-team league.

-- Royals closer Joakim Soria will miss the rest of the season because of elbow surgery, dropping him from No. 10 among the relievers to out of the rankings (obviously). After our rankings were published, we learned Reds closer Ryan Madson would also miss the season with an elbow injury.

With that in mind, Madson -- who had taken Soria's place at No. 10 in our rankings (the curse of No. 10?) -- is out and I would consider Seattle's Brandon League now among the top 20 in the bullpen after the recent run of injuries.

Before we go, remember Oakland and Seattle kick off the major-league season Wednesday and Thursday morning in Japan. In head-to-head leagues, those games will count in most leagues, and Week 1 will stretch over a ridiculous span of 19 days -- March 28 to April 15 -- since the remainder of MLB doesn't open the season until late next week, and the first full week of games isn't until April 9-15.

MARCH 23 N-H RANKINGS: Batters, Pitchers, Top 100 overall

UPDATED BLOG RANKINGS: Batters, Pitchers, Top 100 overall

EARLY POSITION RANKINGS:  Catchers, first basemen, second basemen, shortstops, third basemen, designated hitters, outfielders, starting pitchers, closers, top 100 overall

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