Archive February 2011

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The Most Important Parameter: Replacement Value

On Monday I discussed the importance of understanding your league parameters. There is perhaps no more important parameter than "replacement value".

Early Spring 12-Team Mock Results

We gathered for our first of many industry expert spring mocks on Monday afternoon, starting our Mocktus League slate with a 12-team mixed format.

My position was the 12th and final spot of Round 1, leading to double selections and long 22-pick breaks between players. Any time I'm drafting from the final slot, I tend to be more aggressive in the early and middle rounds to get the higher upside talent that can make or break my roster. That is, rather than trying to time the market perfectly, I knowingly make slight reaches for players that will undoubtedly be gone before my turn comes up again, even if it may be 10-12 picks "too early" to grab them based on ADP.

What The Dickens Is Going On: The Potential Impact Of An NFL Lockout On Fantasy Football

Fantasy football enthusiasts know what’s at stake. Certainly such issues as revenue sharing, pension benefits, deciding whether or not to create a rookie salary cap or add two regular season games are important. However, the most significant issue is whether or not there will be a season at all next year and how the potential lockout might impact fantasy football owners.

Best Wing Players in the NBA by the Numbers

This obviously has to come down to LeBron or Kobe, right?  Or does it?

The Yankees Are All Right

In the spirit of the Oscars, I've found an easy title. Just like the kids, the Yanks are "all right" this year.

The Importance of Understanding Your League Parameters

On one level, this is obvious - an old school 4 x 4 league that doesn't count strikeouts will devalue starting pitchers and significantly boost closers. A league that counts hitter's strikeouts as a negative will find contact specialists like Juan Pierre and Placido Polanco in high demand. But even in more common 5 x 5 formats, there are some important factors to consider. For example, does your league require one starting catcher or two?

Spring Training Notebook-Week #1

The spring training games have started and I had an opportunity to see some exciting players in the first week.

Combine Thoughts (2/26)

The Combine is in the midst of its fourth day, and things are just starting to pick up.

MLB Notes

A look around the league:

Stick a fork in the Cardinals

You should've bet the under on the Cardinals when you had the chance.

Early Morning Trade Rumors... A Chat Primer

We're taking a quick look over lingering rumors and possible moves that could happen as the deadline nears. If you're looking to get caught up on the chatter before joining the chat, here's a good primer. And be sure to check out Charlie Zegers' post from last night wrapping up yesterday's trades. Gotta love all this action!

NBA Trade Deadline Chat

Join Kyle McKeown in an NBA trade deadline chat up to and beyond the 3 PM EST close. We're here to answer your questions and get you the scoop on any new trades as soon as they break.

Mock Market Report

This week's Mock Market Report highlights a disappointing 2010 trade deadline acquisition, a National League Cy Young candidate, a shortstop most of our staffers wouldn't be afraid to scrap with and a closer with an opportunity to earn one more decent paycheck in free agency with a bounce-back season.

The data below is an ADP snapshot from Feb. 23, while the changes are based a period over the previous two weeks. A full trend report can be viewed here.

NBA Trade Deadline Moves: Deron Williams, Marcus Thornton, etc.

Quick thoughts on the Deron Williams and Marcus Thornton trades... and any more that go through while I'm writing this post.

14-Team Mixed League Mock Results

Jeff Erickson and I opened up a WCOFB-style mock Tuesday. Nelson Sousa from the World Championship of Fantasy Baseball also participated in the draft that was populated by listeners of RotoWire Fantasy Sports Today (XM 147, Sirius 211).

This was a 24-round draft (no bench spots), featuring the following position requirements:

2 C, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, CI, MI, 5 OF, Ut, 6 SP, 2 RP, 2 P

In this format, lineup changes during the season are allowed twice weekly, so there is a lot of flexibility with those 10 pitcher spots. As a result, many teams will draft pitchers much earlier than usual in the effort to secure a high number of quality innings with the elite starters. Hindsight is 20-20, but the value on the board from my spot at No. 5 in the odd rounds, No. 10 in the evens led me to draft four of my five outfielders during the first five rounds of the draft.

This presented a very interesting challenge of attacking the infield spots and my entire pitching staff in the middle rounds, but I think the final roster actually turned out pretty well. (A full grid of results can be viewed here.)

Deep Thoughts

Why does anyone extend keepers more than a two years in leagues where each additional season entails a $5 bump? Every additional year cuts into your present profit, increases your downside risk and depreciates due to the time value of money. Plus, once you start looking far into the future, you have to worry about global catastrophic events like nuclear war, Super Volcanos, etc. I have Cliff Lee at $5 this year, and I'm going two years at $10.


Looking at the resumes of some teams from the big six conferences...

Carmelo Anthony Traded to Knicks... Instant Reaction

Carmelo Anthony was traded to the New York Knicks on Monday night in a move that has altered the landscape of the NBA, but how will the trade affect fantasy leagues the rest of the season?

2011 MLB Over/Under Win Totals - Initial Thoughts

I'm a big fan of the over/under win total bet for baseball. Since 2000, I've written a column each spring with my picks (here's last year's story where I went 2-of-3). Over that span I've picked winners at 60.4 percent of the time (29 of 48) and 70.1 percent on a cash-weighted basis.

Here's the first over/under totals I've seen this spring, from (h/t to

A Weekend in Vegas

Friday morning, I had a court hearing in Vegas.  It was really tough to have to fly to Vegas for a "business" trip, especially since the hearing was short and the client paid for the flight and the hotel.  If you're going to do Vegas, I recommend doing so on somebody else's dime - and finding a way to extend the stay through the weekend.  Anyway, here are my random thoughts after a weekend in Vegas. 

Some Early March Madness Talk

We're only 2 weeks away from the first conference tournament starting and less than 4 weeks from having brackets in our hands for the NCAA Tournament.  With that, I want to discuss RPI, the new 68 team field, conference tournaments, and some of the BracketBuster games this weekend. 

Early ADP Comparisons

It's very early in the fantasy baseball season, but most of the major fantasy software sites are up and running.
I wanted to compare the market for players between some of the major sites after the first week or two of drafting and see if I could fine any discrepancies. Groupthink will probably make the rankings align in a few weeks, but there may be some values due to the quirks of each format or population playing there.

I took ADP values from, Yahoo! Sports and CBSSports.
All are for 5x5 mixed leagues. Yahoo's standard league has 1 catcher, just three OFs and two UT players - so that's one big difference.

Here are some players who stuck out:

MLB Notes

A look around the league:

Camps Are Open-Here's What I'll Be Watching

The countdown is over. Spring camps are open and buzzing in both Arizona and Florida. Here are some things I'll be watching.

Should You Draft Target Field As PETCO East?

I've seen a trend in early fantasy baseball drafts where Twins hitters are being discounted for their lack of success at hitting home runs at Target Field last season. Sure, it played as the worst home run park in the majors. But it was just one season. Is there an opportunity to bet against this trend? Let's take a look.

Last Year's Bums Team

It's nearly always the case that the market overreacts to recent performance, and so often players who were disappointing last year wind up being good values. This was the case with Vernon Wells, Alex Rios, Josh Hamilton, Vlad Guerrero, Geovany Soto, Delmon Young, Chris Young (AZ), Corey Hart, Aubrey Huff, Francisco Liriano and Ervin Santana among others in 2010. The key is to target players who are healthy, reasonably assured of playing time and underperformed expectations a year ago for whatever reason. Here's my preliminary list for 2011:

Your Premier League update

With a scattered schedule, and frankly, with my focus on the Super Bowl and Michigan actually having a relevant basketball team this year, I've lost focus a little bit on the Premier Leauge. When you wake up at noon on Saturday, that doesn't help either...

NBA Trade Deadline Road Trip: Part 3 of 3: New York to Washington

Walk through all of the NBA's rosters with Kyle McKeown (twitter: @fbm_kyle) as he considers who might emerge with fantasy value as a result of a trade deadline deal. Part 3 of 3: New York to Washington

Talkin' Baseball

Random notes...

Foreign Player Cheat Sheets

If you're in a keeper league, RotoWire is scouring the earth to evaluate talent for you to consider.
We've just updated our Non-MLB/Foreign Player Cheat Sheet for 2011.

Yu Darvish remains the No. 1 player not in MLB.
And there were rumblings he could come over to the U.S. this winter. We could see him in 2012. The odds are against it, but it's enough of a possibility that he's worth drafting in larger keeper leagues (if your rules allow it).

Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker, who's become the leading English news source for Japanese players and the Japanese leagues, contributed heavily to the rankings. I've done a lot of research on Cuban players and added them to the list.

In addition Newman writes an article on Japanese players in our RotoWire Fantasy Baseball Guide 2011.
I wrote an article on recent Cuban defectors in the same magazine. [MLB teams have spent more than $75 million on contracts and bonuses for Cuban defectors].

When we started these rankings about 1.5 years ago, it seem far-fetched that Aroldis Chapman would defect. And a player such as Tsuyoshi Nishioka was a name I didn't recognize on the rankings. Both are names to know now for 2011. Hopefully we can help you get familiar with foreign players before they come to the U.S. To that end, don't forget we provide extensive player notes for Foreign Leagues.
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