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Break the League: Yahoo Points League Ranker


A hot mess...Oh, I'm sorry. Didn't someone just ask how I would describe Yahoo point leagues in three words or less? No? Oh. Well for the record, if anyone ever wants to know how I would describe Yahoo point leagues in three words or less, my official answer is, "a hot mess". The system was already flawed entering 2020, with scoring and roster restrictions that made properly valuing players a confusing, and likely ignored process. But then Yahoo upped the ante in 2020 and said, "Please briefly bear my yeast-fermented beverage that's flavored with malt and hops...Watch this".

If you've been reading along at home, you probably think I'll now say something about trust. Well, no swerve. Point league players (and particularly new ones) need to be able to trust their chosen provider of game and content. To that end, gamemakers should make sure players understand how the game is played and should announce any systemic changes to the game in a loud, clear voice. Instead, Yahoo shook their game up in a boggle box of synergy, trying to fix a problem they didn't understand. In the end, they succeeded only in making things more confusing for users. Three words: hot mess express. That's a freebie, from me to you. Let's go.

This article will present RotoBaller's Yahoo Points League Ranker Tool, which is designed to give Yahoo Points League players a leg up on their competition. To read a general overview of our Points League Ranker tool, and the methodology behind it, check out this intro article we just published. You can read various analysis on fantasy baseball points leagues including undervalued / overvalued players and draft targets / avoids. And you can of course read the rest of this Point League Ranker series as well covering CBS, Fantrax and ESPN platforms.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off. Get access to our exclusive articles, rankings, projections, prospects coverage, 15 in-season lineup tools, daily expert DFS research, powerful Research Station, Lineup Optimizer and much more! Sign Up Now!

 

Yahoo, Serious?

Everything starts with the scoring system, the backbone of any points league. Consequentially, I've spent a considerable amount of time looking at all of the settings pages that show how each platform plays. And then one day I went to Yahoo and everything was different. Everything was totally new and by no small margin. Jesus, Cletus...Color me confused.

Actually, color me panicked. Had I somehow been going to the wrong page over and over again, basing my calculations on the wrong values? They were just there, I'd seen 'em! But now they weren't! Oh, my god...Do I see dead pages? It was touch-and-go for a minute but luckily before I went full- Haley Joel, I remembered that the internet contained mysterious "cached web pages". If I could figure out how to find them, could I prove I wasn't crazy?

Unfortunately, I barely know how to use the internet. Fortunately, however, I've seen parts of "Swordfish" about a thousand times on cable over the past decade, so I knew exactly what to do. So I chugged eight Red Bulls, bumped the techno up to 11... and googled "finding cached webpages". I don't know if it was because I was seeing the internet like Neo in "The Matrix" or if it was just the dangerous levels of taurine in my bloodstream but I quickly found the old settings page I'd been using before. They'd been changed two days prior, which meant I wasn't crazy! Huzzah!

At the time I wasn't concerned about why they had suddenly changed the settings, only the work I needed to redo in order to reflect the new scoring. The hitter scoring looked heavy at first glance but I reserved judgment because I knew better than to guess at values without running all of the numbers first. Besides, there were decimals! Surely that meant mathematical thought and care had been put into assigning these values, right? But then I ran the numbers...While I cannot speak to the thought and care put into these changes, I'm quite sure math wasn't invited to the party.

Here were the top-25 point scorers in 2019, along with how they would've scored under 2020's new rules:

Name OLD PTS NEW PTS OLD RANK NEW RANK
Gerrit Cole 935 1077 1 88
Justin Verlander 896 1059 2 95
Ronald Acuna Jr. 802 1652 3 2
Cody Bellinger 799 1679 4 1
Shane Bieber 768 856 5 160
Peter Alonso 764 1575 6 5
Stephen Strasburg 763 843 7 169
Rafael Devers 749 1566 8 9
Alex Bregman 745 1651 9 3
Jacob deGrom 742 872 10 151
Freddie Freeman 739 1564 11 10
Lance Lynn 738 775 12 189
Anthony Rendon 736 1570 13 7
Christian Yelich 733 1582 14 4
Jorge Soler 724 1502 15 14
Nolan Arenado 723 1494 16 16
Charlie Morton 722 795 17 185
Mike Trout 721 1568 18 8
Trevor Bauer 721 721 19 214
Patrick Corbin 712 774 20 190
Xander Bogaerts 706 1538 21 12
Juan Soto 694 1529 22 13
Marcus Semien 692 1574 23 6
Bryce Harper 686 1498 24 15
Max Scherzer 685 769 25 192

 

Yahoo Brings the Juiced Ball to Fantasy

Whoa. Like Dominic Torretto running from the law, Yahoo injected straight NOS into their points system, with 99% mainlined into hitting.

HITTING 1B 2B 3B HR R RBI SB BB HBP
OLD 0.5 0.5 0.5 4.5 2 2 2 0 0
NEW 2.6 5.2 7.8 10.4 1.9 1.9 4.2 2.6 2.6
PITCHING IP W SV SO L ER H BB HBP
OLD 1 5 5 2 0 -0.5 0 0 0
NEW 3 4 4 2 0 -2 -0.9 -0.9 -0.9

Yahoo already had a goofy system - with singles, doubles, and triples carrying equal value but home runs being worth 10x more - but this was something else entirely. And thy name was synergy. In an effort to "add more value to batters"  they'd simply swapped in the scoring from their daily fantasy game, just as they had for football and basketball in the previous year. Later, we'll get to whether or not they succeeded in actually adding value but they certainly succeeded in adding points to batters. Gerrit Cole and Bryan Reynolds both would've scored 1077 points in 2019; Shane Bieber and Willson Contreras would've finished with 856 points. If you think that's gonna buff right out, then you're still nothing but a buster, Brian.

For a moment, let's put a pin in the scoring changes and talk about the other pillar holding up a player's value. There are really only two components that control a player's value in a given points system. What categories are scored and how rosters are required to be constructed. The confusing scoring changes may be new but Yahoo has been jerking player values around via their roster sizes since jump street.

 

The Black Sheep of Rosters

With no middle-infielder or corner-infielder, only three outfielders and two "reliever" slots, Yahoo's default roster settings are certainly unique in comparison to the other platforms. But unique doesn't always mean good.

Default Roster Size: - 1B - 2B - 3B - SS - OF (3) -UT (2) - SP (2) - RP (2) - P (4)

While most will give consideration to how players can score points, not as many consider the roster restrictions of their platform. Head on over here for a more thorough explanation but roster size must be accounted for so replacement levels can be set.  Comparing 12-team leagues in ESPN to Yahoo, the latter only uses three outfielders with no middle infield or corner infield slot but two UT spots. That translates to Yahoo players requiring 24 fewer starting outfielders, 12 fewer corner infielders, 12 fewer middle infielders, and 12 more utility players. That's 36 fewer starters total; 36 players that would be starters in ESPN but sit on benches or the waiver-wire in Yahoo.

And then there's the pitching. Yahoo has two SP slots, two RP slots, and four P slots, unlike ESPN, Fantrax, and NFBC, which have nine generic slots into which any pitcher can be placed. The fly in the ointment is that pitchers don't actually have to pitch in the role that their slot demands, they only have to be eligible in it. Being able to use a starter in an RP slot isn't much of an advantage in roto because you're still not going to get the category (saves) that you're generally looking for your RP slot to get. But you don't hunt categories in points, only total player performance. Which is how this happens...May I present to you, the projected number-one reliever in 2020 according to Nick Mariano's premium rankings, Carlos Carrasco!

In fact, three of the four most-valuable "relievers" are starters, with Carrasco and Josh Hader being joined by Kenta Maeda and Kyle Gibson. Because of course they are! Points scored are points scored, whether they come from saves or innings pitched and starters will pile up more points merely through attrition. Maeda could pitch six average innings in a win and score over double the points of Josh Hader getting a clean save with three strikeouts. It's all well and good to have separate SP and RP starting slots (in fact, I prefer it) but only if players used in SP/RP slots can only get points if they pitch in that role. Because if your system makes Kyle Gibson the fourth-most valuable reliever, your system is, well, not ideally constructed, to put it nicely. Period.

So it wasn't just the scoring system that made player values so topsy-turvy in the previous years, it was also their antiquated roster settings. But let's get back to those mammoth point totals. If you've read my previous introductory articles you're probably wondering why I've only talked about total points scored. But what about points-above-replacement, Nick? Why haven't you talked about the changes in PAR and how players are now valued in the new system? Maybe you're wrong and Yahoo is running the long game, with the changes in scoring changing the PARs in such a way as to make all value more equitable. They're playing 3-D chess, while you stumble through checkers. Maybe Christian Bale has had an identical twin the entire time!

 

The Prestige

So, what did the changes in scoring do to player's true values? Did Yahoo accomplish their goal of balancing scoring as to make batters more valuable? Umm, yes? Kind of? No? They certainly did at the top of the food chain with the number of pitchers in the top-25 most-valuable players dropping from 13 players to 4. If you want a system where Marcus Semien, Xander Bogaerts, Carlos Santana, Yasmani Grandal, and Jorge Soler are all more valuable than #23 Jacob deGrom than this is the system for you! The deeper we go down the list, the weirder (ie: confusing) things become, not just with how the balance of hitters and pitchers stratifies in different sections of the top-300 but also with how wildly many individual players (both hitter and pitchers) had their values change. Highlights include:

Top-100 (38 pitchers under old scoring, 31 under new scoring)

Biggest Risers in Dollar-Value: Yasmani Grandal (#73 to #19), Whit Merrifield (#82 to #38),  Rhys Hoskins (#106 to #47), Anthony Rizzo (#84 to #55), Adam Eaton (#172 to #92)

Biggest Fallers in Dollar-Value: Pitchers. That may seem glib but it was the top tiers of pitchers that took a near across-the-board drop in value, even while many lesser pitchers increased in value. Of the 38 pitchers who were in the top-100 of overall value, all but eight dropped over 20 spots.  And it's not just how many changed, it's who and how. Walker Buehler dropped from #36 to #57 but was also less valuable than Trevor Bauer and only barely better than Aaron Nola, Sonny Gray, and Eduardo Rodriguez.

Top-200 (86 pitchers under old scoring, 84 under new scoring)

Biggest Risers: Mike Soroka (#126 to #102), Victor Robles (#154 to #104), Amed Rosario (#158 to #115), Chris Paddack (#160 to #127), Andrew Benintendi (#226 to #149), Alex Gordon (#200 to #159), Joey Votto (#267 to #182), David Fletcher (#263 to #193)

Biggest Fallers: Max Fried (#75 to #108), Rougned Odor (#93 to #132), Joc Pederson (#120 to #145), Edwin Encarnacion (#111 to #156), Franmil Reyes (#131 to #160), Miguel Sano (#129 to #189)

Top 300 (126 pitchers under old scoring, 146 under new scoring)

Biggest Risers: Lorenzo Cain (#261 to #206), Zach Davies (#248 to #211), Emilio Pagan (#258 to #212), Adam Frazier (#265 to #214), Brett Anderson (#245 to #216), Frankie Montas (#307 to #241), Zach Plesac (#342 to #272)

Biggest Fallers: Eloy Jimenez (#155 to #210), Giovanny Urshela (#174 to #216), Hunter Renfroe #189 to #251), Yordan Alvarez (#206 to #251), Adalberto Mondesi (#216 to #270), Jurickson Profar (#216 to #266)

Confused about how exactly values have changed and how it should affect your play going forward? You should be.

 

Who Cares? It's Just Defaults

Just as with ESPN, CBS, and Fantrax, default settings can be changed, so what's the big deal? This is a game philosophy I find particularly irksome. Yes, default settings can be changed. No, most casual players won't and new points players certainly won't. In our world, default settings equal trust, especially in regards to things that a user may be new to or may not understand enough to change. With our technology-driven society, how often are people recommended to use default settings unless they know what they're doing enough to change them? Are users (both new and old) really going to go in and start fiddling around with the point settings? No, I don't think they will. Most of these new players only want to play a game and will assume that the system set up by the platform is the one that works the best.

In order to grow the game, users should be able to walk into a game that is easy for them to pick up and understand. But on Yahoo, they walk into a system whose confusing values will almost necessarily turn them from new players into ex-players.

 

Solving the Yahoo Points Puzzle

Good luck? But in all seriousness, you can grouse all you want about Kyle Gibson, "elite reliever", but the system is what the system is. And given that we're dealing with a company that would apparently need to rewrite the fabric of time in order to make Shohei Ohtani into one player, I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for any changes that make the game a more enjoyable fantasy experience. The system is what the system is and we can only try to break the league that we're in. With that in mind, let's talk about how I'd attack a Yahoo draft.

Pocket Aces Are a Go

Depending on the draft, I'm often more inclined to zag against the traditional strategy of loading up on top pitching in points leagues. I've been even more so inclined this season as pitcher values seem overinflated across all formats. But the scoring changes in Yahoo have made elite pitching the scarcest of resources and I'd be trying to hoard early.

According to ATC projections, the top-three pitchers are Cole ($39.9), deGrom ($35.6), and Scherzer ($32.9). After that, we have Buehler and Bieber at around $27 before tumbling down to #15 Blake Snell sitting at $20. Regardless of my slot, my queue goes Trout (at an overwhelming $49.9), Cole, and deGrom. Done-zo. If they're all gone then I'll have decisions to make. But regardless of who I get first, I'll be taking someone out of Scherzer, Buehler, or Flaherty with my second pick.

Pile Up Hitting

And then pile up some more. Don't be fooled by how many points are scored by batters now because the ones that are actually valuable start drying up fast. I may take starters with my first two (and possibly three) picks but then I'm slamming hitting until after pick-100. I'll let my opponents take Noah Syndergaard (70 ADP, $18.5 value) while I scoop Matt Olson (71 ADP, $22.7 value). They can have Jose Berrios (80 ADP, $18.5 value), I'll take Marcus Semien (81 ADP, $21.7 value).

Monopolize "Elite Relievers" and "Average Starters"

Carlos Carrasco, Julio Urias, and Kenta Maeda are going to be RP monsters. Go get 'em. Even besides those RP cheat-codes, values abound after the first 100 picks. Why would I want Chris Paddack (49 ADP, $16.8 value) when I could have Zack Wheeler (112 ADP, $16.6 value)? Or Tyler Glasnow (73 ADP, $12.9 value) over Max Fried (136 ADP, $15 value)? Zac Gallen (135 ADP, #12.25 value) or Jon Gray (271 ADP, $12.24 value)? These deals go on, and on, and on. If only you knew where to look.

 

The Points Pipeline Keeps Flowing

That wraps up this edition of Break the League but we've upped the ante on points coverage here at RotoBaller and now have dedicated tools and focused analysis to help you bring home the gold in 2020. Read about our platform-specific Points League Rankers here. If you're in a Yahoo Points league, these rankers, which set behind our premium wall, are essential draft tools for you.

Our premium tools include customized rankings for each platform and utilize the exclusive projections of RotoBaller's Nick Mariano (2018's most accurate MLB ranker), to calculate projected points, points-above-replacement, and per-PA rates of scoring In the coming weeks, we'll have more and more analysis articles with the specificity you need to identify the best and worst players on your particular platforms. Stay with us, ye long-neglected points players. We come bearing gifts.

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Below you will find all of RotoBaller's fantasy football rankings, tiers, player news and stats for Week 7 of the 2020 NFL season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Weekly PPR Rankings Weekly Half-PPR Rankings Weekly Standard Rankings Dynasty League Rankings  ... Read More


Fantasy Football Trade Targets - Week 7

The fantasy trade market is always a fun one to evaluate. Articles like this are essentially glorified "Who's Hot and Who's Not" pieces but the tables are turned to where sometimes, you want to trade for those that are cold and trade away those hot. Now, six weeks into the season, we have several big-name players underperforming... Read More


Re-Evaluating the Rookie Running Back Class of 2020

We're six weeks into the 2020 NFL season and are starting to get some good ideas of what usage patterns are looking like. Which means we probably have enough data now to start to re-evaluate where certain players stand in relation to other players. For example, we've got a better idea of how this year's... Read More


WR/CB Matchups to Target and Avoid - Week 7

The CB Matchup Chart has been a helpful resource all season, specifically in Week 6. Last week's article was predictive in forecasting boom games for Julio Jones, Justin Jefferson, and Christian Kirk. It also predicted let-downs from Robby Anderson, Cooper Kupp, and Mike Evans. This week's chart will give the most accurate landscape of CB matchups yet,... Read More


Pivot Plays and Post-Waiver Pickups - Week 7

Things are starting to get difficult for fantasy football managers. Indianapolis, Minnesota, Miami and Baltimore all have the week off, so fantasy managers are already playing shorthanded. Fielding a full lineup is going to be tough as it is if you have a few injuries. If one of your key guys is listed as questionable... Read More


Week 7 Stream Team - Shallow and Deep-League Pickups

Welcome to Week 7 of the NFL season. Each week we will be providing streamer advice for all of those who need it, which is pretty much anyone and everyone. Streaming players with the best matchups each week as well as during your stud's bye weeks is an integral part of winning a fantasy championship... Read More


Lies, Damned Lies, and Fantasy Football Statistics (Week 7)

The more data we get as the season goes on, the better equipped we are to interpret matchups and make informed decisions. Then Week 6 comes along and blows it all to hell. The unpredictability of sports is what keeps us intrigued, as frustrating as it may be at times. Numbers are supposedly to be... Read More


The King's Week 7 Fantasy Football Lineup Rankings (Premium Content)

Welcome back, RotoBallers!  Below you will find my Week 7 fantasy football lineup rankings. The ranks are available in PPR, Half PPR and Standard formats. They will be updated as needed, so make sure to check back for the latest versions. Skill Position analysis is primarily based on the PPR ranks. The rankings are powered by... Read More


Slow Starters Ready to Break Out in Fantasy?

We are now more than a third of the way into the fantasy football season and a seemingly clearer picture is available across the landscape. After a pandemic-shortened offseason and lack of preseason exposure, there were plenty of worries headed into the first month specifically. Thus far, one of the most prevalent topics with regards... Read More


Fantasy Football Warning Signals for Week 7

The warning signals get brighter by the week since we have more data to work from. The larger the sample size the easier it is for us to connect the dots from the latest trends. Football is a game of small samples and many variables, making it one of the hardest sports to predict. How... Read More


How to Value Clyde Edwards-Helaire with Le'Veon Bell in KC

Clyde Edwards-Helaire or Jonathan Taylor? Coming into the season this was the biggest question for fantasy GMs, both dynasty managers who were thinking long-term and redraft managers who wanted to know who would be better for this season. There were many different theories and believe me when I say, both sides thought they were 100%... Read More


NextGen Stats - Quarterback Breakdowns and Takeaways

It's been a month since the last time we took a look at our beloved quarterbacks. Numbers are numbers, and numbers don't lie. You can twist them, but looking at them objectively, numbers say that no matter what, rushing the ball is almost always a worse option than passing it in today's game. That's why... Read More


Fantasy Football Risers and Fallers - Week 7

Whether due to their own play, the play of others, or injuries, players' stock increases and decreases on a weekly basis. Perhaps more than any other, the NFL is a league that experiences ups and downs at a rapid pace. With only 16 games, there’s little room for error and seemingly endless opportunities for improvement.... Read More


Coaching Matters: Offenses That Will Improve From Week 6

This series continues into its sixth week of where I dive into offensive areas that will improve or decline based on coaching in order to glean insight as to fantasy football value. In Week 6, we saw performances such as Ryan Tannehill throwing for 364 passing yards, the Houston Texans running backs combining for 66 rushing yards, and the New... Read More


Tape Tells All: D'Andre Swift's Week 6 Performance

Welcome to another edition of Tape Tells All. I've been thinking of rebranding as just TAPE. All-Caps like that. Probably wouldn't be a good idea for SEO purposes, right? Anyways, this week we'll be discussing Detroit Lions rookie running back D'Andre Swift. Swift set a lot of career highs this week, with bests in carries... Read More


Week 7 Waiver Wire Pickups & Adds

Week 6 was like the 2020 of fantasy football weeks. All those great matchups meant nothing, those studs let you down, and your bench likely went crazy. The good news is that we didn't have any season-ending injuries to running backs or games canceled due to COVID, so in retrospect maybe we shouldn't complain. The... Read More


FAB Bidding - Week 7 Waiver Wire Targets

Whether it's injuries, bye-week blues, or simply poor performance, we've got the waiver-wire cure...but it just might cost you! Alongside our famous waiver wire pickups list and our weekly waiver wire columns by position, this column focuses on suggested waiver wire bidding percentages for fantasy football owners in leagues using a Free Agent Budget (FAB). In... Read More


Waiver Wire Express - Week 7 Lightning Round

Week 6 was relatively healthy and had no coronavirus delays, so let's just take a moment to bask in that. That said, we still saw Miles Sanders (knee) and Zach Ertz (ankle) go down, while Mark Ingram (ankle) has a bye to get healthy. Week 7 byes are Baltimore, Indianapolis, Miami, and Minnesota. Let's get... Read More


Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 7

Fantasy GMs are to be commended for rising to the unique challenges that have unfolded during this regular season. Injuries to critical players is an unwelcome reality that occurs every year. This is also the case for backs that were expected to operate as RB1s, but have been relegated to committees. However, this season has... Read More


Wide Receiver Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 7

Six weeks of NFL football are behind us, aside from a pair of Monday games, including a late afternoon game between the Bills and the Chiefs. In terms of wide receiver production this week, we didn't have the huge breakouts like we had in Week 5. Chase Claypool didn't score four touchdowns. In fact, only... Read More


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Of the 1,015 hitters sampled(1) between 2015 and 2019, there were only 14 instances of hitters making more productive contact against pitches outside of the strike zone than against pitches inside of the strike zone based on xwOBAcon. Based on the same sample, the average hitter was a whopping .116 points better against pitches inside... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 23rd, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 23rd, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Lineup Order Risers and Fallers: AL West 2020 Review

It’s the offseason and there are about to be a bunch of moving parts. This allows for speculation in terms of players gaining or losing playing time, moving up or down a batting order and much more. The idea here is to highlight some lineup situations for each team and some potential winners or losers... Read More


2021 1st & 2nd Year Players with James Anderson - Benched with Bubba (Episode 317)

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Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 21st, 2020

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RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 20th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Bubba and Bat Flip 54: 2 Early Mocks APD Player Debates - Benched with Bubba (Episode 316)

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Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 18th, 2020

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The 2020 MLB season will always be one for the record books, even if everything that took place will have multiple asterisks attached to it. Evaluating Statcast numbers is a nice way to find hot and cold hitters, as well as underachievers and overachievers. Now that the regular season is over, let's reflect on the... Read More


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RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 16th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


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Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by Bat Flip Crazy (@BatFlipCrazy) to take a deeper look at the 2 Early Mocks ADP. They dig into trends, some interesting risers/fallers, and much more. They also go over some listener questions at the end to keep the Fantasy Baseball information coming even in the offseason. Be sure to subscribe... Read More