Archive March 2012

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Course Management - Applying a strategic approach to a 162 game ROTO season using a Par 5 framework.

Managing a 162 game fantasy baseball season is not for the mild or meek. By employing a goal based, strategic approach you will be able to track your progress and adjust your course, while the other owners are blindly holding court over their ill managed rosters. Rosters that are neither goal orientated, or measurable in their status, are rosters that are playing in the dark.

In our final pre-draft analysis I'll lay out the ROTO strategy that I have been using successfully to manage my fake teams season.

Giancarlos Stanton or Andrew McCutchen? Brandon Morrow or Ted Lilly? Each of these players are more, and less, valuable than the other. The key is to maximize their statistical impact on your scoring sheet in a calculated way.


Random Thoughts and Baseball Observations

Is it really a surprise that Michael Pineda overthrew and hurt his shoulder two days after his manager threatened to send him to the minors despite good spring stats due to low velocity? It's one thing for the media to annoy players over that kind of thing, but his own manager? What did Girardi think was going to happen in Pineda's next start?

My NFBC Team

By popular request, and by that I mean one person, here's my 15-team NFBC team:

Fantasy Baseball Draft Software Tips

If you're not using the RotoWire Fantasy Baseball Draft Software, this is the year. It's become the tool all of the RotoWire staff members use during drafts -especially in keeper leagues where you can quickly figure out who's available, who has money left to spend and what the estimated inflation will be for players.

Here are some tips on new features we added this year:

Last Call for the ADP Trend Risers and Fallers

How appropriate that the final edition of this series coincides with a relatively stagnant ADP Trent Report. There are still some risers and fallers worth discussing, but, for the most part, there has been very little fluctuation between rounds 1 through 20 lately.

Twas the Night Before Draft Day

I've got my draft this weekend and I can't sleep.


In the Not For Long league there is always some young stud chomping at the bit to steal the show, to make a name for himself. To be next. While it’s sad to see some of the greats fade away and have to hang up their cleats, I’ve always loved the aspect of who’s next. And I’ve always felt that mindset is exactly what you should use when drafting for a keeper league.

Some Predictions For The 2012 Season

A look inside my crystal ball:

How to Interpret Past Performance

There's not a huge range of values for established, healthy prime-age players like Dustin Pedroia or Robinson Cano. Maybe you get them for $1 cheaper than you thought, or someone pays $2 more, but for the most part, we know where they slot. The more interesting and variant players are ones whose past performance (as measured by their stats) made a sharp jump or decline last year, and also those who due to youth and inexperience, or injuries and age, might change dramatically. The question when evaluating these more difficult players is how to interpret their past performance. Or, put differently, how much to ignore it.

ADP Trend Report: Unusual Late Risers

Welcome to the official start to the 2012 MLB season. That’s right. At 6:00 AM (eastern) the Mariners and the A’s dueled in Japan for 11 innings with Seattle walking away with a 3-1 victory. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t still fantasy drafts coming!

Greatest Players in NBA History: Kevin Garnett

In this blog I pick one of the top players in NBA history as voted on in this project and discuss some of his career accomplishments…in other words, what made him so great that he deserves a spot among the greatest? This week’s player is Kevin Garnett, either a jack-of-all-trades/master-of-none or one of the most complete players in NBA history that also has had the biggest on-court impact of his generation...depending on who you ask.

The Ones That Got Away

I will be playing in about 15 leagues this year (I haven't done the final count, but I stop counting after 10) in various formats, including Scoresheet, Strat-o-matic, Ottoneu in addition to a number of different roto-style formats. You would think that with as many leagues that I'm in, I'd own pretty much anyone that I like, aside from maybe a couple of the elite guys thanks to my draft position or that player being kept in all of my keeper leagues, limiting my shots at him. But, this player pool is so vast that there are plenty of my pet players that I annually get locked out from getting. Here are some of those that got away.

My Portfolio

Here are my squads so far this baseball season. (I have one left to go - an NFBC satellite league):

2012 NFL Mock Draft

Free Agency did not disappoint this offseason with big moves being made all over the NFL.  Most notably, these moves have impacted what teams will do in the 2012 NFL draft, which is less than a month away.  Draft stock risers and fallers have already been established and not much can be done on that front from here on out, but all it takes is one team to believe in a player to make him a reach or a steal.  This is who I think will shine and fade away come draft day.  Enjoy.

ADP Trends for Closers: Dealing With Injury

The rash of injuries that has descended upon the closers this spring has been absolutely brutal for most fantasy owners.

Tout Wars - Mixed League Team Review

For most of this spring, Jeff and I have been running mock drafts during the radio show, often replicating the 15-team mixed league formats utilized by The National Fantasy Baseball Championship. Part of that process allowed us to determine where we would like to draft in the main event, as draft slots are chosen Kentucky Derby style where the first choice simply affords an owner to pick their own seat.

The consensus for us was that picking in the back half of Round 1 is the preferred option because when the draft order snakes back in Round 2, there is a significant drop-off in talent after the first 20 or so players are taken. Subsequently, this leaves a large group of as many as 30-35 players who will be selected in the middle and late part of Round 2 through the early picks in Round 5 with very little to separate them.

MLB Notes

A look around the league:

My AL Tout Team

On Saturday we got together for the American League Tout Wars auction at the Sirius XM offices in midtown. It's a standard 12-team 5x5 AL only league with one twist: One of the 5 OF spots can be used as a U spot for either a pitcher or hitter of any position. Here's my squad:

Top 20 Fantasy Effects of the Offseason (part 2)

A couple days ago I began a discussion of the 20 moves of the offseason that have the biggest fantasy impact, ranking 1-10. Here is the conclusion of the list with the 10 less-heralded moves that will be very relevant next year.

Keeper League Strategy: A statistical analysis of prospect success.

Today we’re going to talk keeper league strategy in preparation for this month’s drafts. Acquiring top ranked, minor league prospects is a common strategy in keeper leagues. As you are about to see, this strategy is more speculative than it may appear.

Updating Keeper Ranks, Part 2: Around The Infield (Including Catchers)

RotoWire's infield keeper rankings have been updated for the new season. Who rose and who fell?

ADP Trend Report: Late Spring Risers

The biggest advantage to drafting this late in the spring is that you, obviously, have all the latest news on injuries and position battles heading into the season

Top 20 Fantasy Effects of the Offseason (part 1)

Thanks to the Peyton Manning Sweepstakes it was one of the more exciting free agent periods in a long, long time. And with basically all of the big names now signed, it's never too early to start considering the fantasy implications in the aftermath. Here's a look at the ten most important offseason moves from a fantasy perspective and how they impact the new landscape.

Greatest Players in NBA History: Kobe Bryant

In this blog I pick one of the top players in NBA history as voted on in this project and discuss some of his career accomplishments…in other words, what made him so great that he deserves a spot among the greatest? This week’s player is Kobe Bryant, an amazing player that is either battling Michael Jordan for the title of best player ever or may not even be one of the top-3 players of the 2000s...depending on who you ask.

Amateur Mock(ery) Draft: What's the Difference?

What's the difference between mock drafting with "experts" and amateurs in 10-team leagues?  Not much.  In fact, if you analyze this amateur mockery with MDC's "expert ADP" (which none of the players had access to during the draft), there are very few outliers.    

Updating Keeper Ranks, Part 1: Starting Pitching

RotoWire's starting pitching keeper cheatsheet is now up to date. Who rose and who fell?

Recent ADP Trends: Free Fallin'

While it’s always more fun to look at the risers on the ADP trend report and analyze the strong play that has put them into fantasy GM’s good graces, it’s also very important to see who’s dropping in the rankings as well.

Why You Might Want to Punt Saves at Your Draft

In a typical 5 x 5 league, and by this I mean one with nine generic pitching slots, it can make a lot of sense not to draft any closers. (This is emphatically not the case in a league where you have specific relief slots to fill, or one with a low innings cap where closers have enhanced value).

Rethinking BABIP

This post analyzes net babip data for the past 4 years of college baseball in all divisions. Last year the NCAA switched to composite bats that are meant to mimic wood. The ball no longer flies off the bat like it used to and babip has dropped significantly. This is meant to serve as a caution for fantasy players who comb previous year's babip data for sleepers, arguing that those "sleepers" probably simply weren't hitting the ball very well the previous year.

My YF&F Team

We had the now 13-team Yahoo! Friends and Family draft today. It's a 5 x 5, standard Yahoo! format (C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, CI, MI, 4 OF, 2 U, 9 SP, 3 Bench). And there's a 1250 IP cap. Here's my squad:
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What I Think You Should Know About The USMNT
Needless to say, it's been a great World Cup thus far. The USMNT having some success would be awesome.
La-La-La-L.A. Gets Lord Stanley!
Just a few things that caught my eye:
  • Alec Martinez's Cup-winning goal celebration? # priceless. I wonder if he'll ever get his gloves back.
  • Henrik Lundqvist stopped the 50th shot of the game. He couldn't stop the 51st. #connsmythe if the Rangers had found a way to come back in this series.
Do Analytics Take the Fun Out of Sports?
Apparently that was the topic of one of the presentations at the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston last week. The presenter, Yale's Edward Tufte, opined:

Don't let people tell you analytics are reductionist and take the joy out of sports. They mostly just take the stupidity out of sports.

Is he right?

RotoWire's AL LABR Squad
The 2014 AL LABR auction went down at the Arizona Republic offices in downtown Phoenix Saturday night. It's a 12-team, 5 x 5, AL-only league with 2 C, 1 1B, 1 2B. 1 3B, 1 SS, 1 CI, 1 MI, 5 OF, 1 U and 9 pitchers. Everyone has $260 to spend.
The Problem With Drafting Billy Hamilton
Billy Hamilton went for $28 in the NL LABR auction this past weekend. I discussed this with a fellow writer who participates in Tout Wars with me later this month and we discussed the problem with investing heavily into Hamilton.

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