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Friday, April 18, 2014

NHL Playoff Observations -- Thursday

Just a few things that caught my eye:
  • Welcome to Broadway, Martin St. Louis -- you successfully elicited the patented stink eye and verbal abuse from Henrik Lundqvist after the errant tip of Andrew MacDonald's point shot. He's been doing it for years, only to apparently express some kind of remorse the next day. At some point, you have to think that wears guys a little thin.
  • Mike Brown and Raffi Torres -- what an antidote to the Kings so-called physical advantage. Still, there were 121 hits in that game. Yes, 121. No matter who wins in the West, they'll limp into the Cup final. Yikes.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014

NHL Playoff Observations -- Wednesday

Just a few things that caught my eye:
  • Six-foot-six isn't tall if you're always on your knees. Stand up, Anders Lindback -- STAND UP! They already know about that glove hand of yours. Don't give them anything else!
Thursday, April 10, 2014

World Fantasy Baseball Championships


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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Mock-It-Yourself: The Cowboys

With over a month to go before the draft, I found a toy that should keep us plenty amused until the real thing comes along.
Monday, March 31, 2014

My NFBC Main Event Team

I drafted it in Vegas Saturday morning. It's a standard 15-team NFBC format with prizes for winning your league and a big ($125 K) overall prize.

Here are the results:

Sunday, March 30, 2014

My Rotowire/NFBC Online Championship Team

12 teams, 5x5 no-trade league. I wonder what the team that took 8 pitchers with his first 10 picks and cornered the market for speed will do for homers and RBI?
Saturday, March 29, 2014

Favorite Mid-Round Bargains With Stable ADP Trends

With the season going into full-swing as of Sunday night, this will be the last look at some of the recent and relevant ADP trends for those of you who still need to draft. Earlier in the week, we looked at some nice late-round bargains and then Friday we took a final look at how the top-50 overall were shaping up, so it’s only fitting that we wrap things up with a look at the middle. Your first six to eight picks usually set the tone for your draft while your last few are usually reserved for late-round fliers or potential sleeper picks. The middle, however, is the meat of your draft and can be the battleground where your season is won or lost.
Friday, March 28, 2014

A Last-Minute Look at ADP Trends in the Top 50

With the real Opening Day…er….I mean….Night…..coming on Sunday, any leagues that haven’t drafted yet are cramming them in over the next three days. So this figures to be a big weekend for many of us in the fantasy baseball community. If you’re still waiting to draft, then the ADP trends that we have been witnessing over the last month are going to be important for you. Earlier in the week I went over some late-round options you may want to consider, so today we’re going to focus on those first few rounds.
Thursday, March 27, 2014

Huge Deposit Bonus on FanDuel for RotoWire Readers


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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

My Favorite Bargains Based on ADP Trends

As spring training winds down, we’re in crunch time for drafts. With the exception of a few position battles that may or may not be even be decided until the season actually opens, you’ve probably got all the information you’re going to get. You know who’s doing what this spring and what the expectations are heading into the season. In addition to that, you’ve hopefully done a number of mock drafts and have studied the bulk of the ADP data and trends we’ve been discussing since January. It’s a lot to digest, but the payoff in the end is nothing short of spectacular. There’s really nothing better than bringing home a championship and really sticking it to your friends and colleagues.
Monday, March 24, 2014

My Portfolio

Here's my portfolio of players after completing seven of eight drafts:

The Unwanted: Top-10 ADP Fallers

Looking at ADP risers and fallers in the NFBC is a great way to look at some of the trends from your more hardcore fantasy players, but it doesn’t always prepare you for some of those more-casual leagues where reaches tend to be a lot greater. Hardcore fantasy players usually have the good sense to not overreact to spring numbers or rumors and/or news coming out of either Florida or Arizona. The ADP over at Mock Draft Central often gives us a better look at what the casual fantasy players are thinking – who they like, who they don’t and who is gaining or losing in popularity amongst the masses. Earlier in the night we were taking a look at the top-10 ADP risers at MDC over the last two weeks; the popular kids, if you will. Now we’re going to pay some mind to that “loser” over there in the corner; to those kids who are shunned by the popular kids and are cast aside. With the help of the ADP trend report, we are now going to look at the 10 biggest ADP fallers.
Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Popular Kids: Top-10 ADP Risers

Remember back in high school when your class elections were going down? People weren’t necessarily voting for the person whom they thought would do the best job. They were voting for the person they liked the most. It was a popularity contest, not a political election. Well, sometimes when assessing your fantasy baseball draft plan, you need to look at players much in the same way. Not that you’re selecting them based on their popularity, but adjusting your strategy based on it. The more popular they are the higher the auction bid and the higher some people may be willing to reach for them in snake drafts. With the help of the trend report on Mock Draft Central, a good gauge for player popularity amongst the masses, we’re going to check and see just who would have earned a place on the student council had they been in fantasy baseball high school right now.

Do You Have To Spend It All?

I got an email from someone I've played in leagues with for a few years that raised an interesting question.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014

ADP Trends of 2014's Trendiest Picks

The old adage is, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” Well, it’s no different in the fantasy baseball community. Each and every year, there is always one group of players whom the fantasy writers latch onto and write about and those players, subsequently become the hottest commodities of the draft season. The names are always different, but the buzz about them is always the same and consequently, the fantasy community becomes obsessed with drafting them.
Monday, March 17, 2014

My $75K Winning RotoWire Fantasy Baseball Online Championship Draft

Last Thursday (Mar. 13) I had the privilege of drafting with 11 other owners in a RotoWire Fantasy Baseball Online Championship League that we're running in conjunction with our friends at the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. You can win a $75,000 overall prize along with winning a $1,400 league prize. For this league it's also a “beat the RotoWire expert” league and the winners get a three-month rotowire subscription if they place higher than me in the standings. Last year that was easy pickings as I finished last in my league. I did win my football league in the same contest (NFFC), so I'm batting .500.

It's a 12-team, 5x5 mixed league that's pretty standard. The one exception is that in this contest there's no trading. That makes loading up on one category very risky. Last year my downfall was too many light hitters who could steal and not enough balance. I also didn't draft enough starting pitching and struggled to find starters on the waiver wire. So those were two areas I wanted to improve. I had the seventh draft slot. Let's see if I did it:

Sunday, March 16, 2014

FSWA Draft Review

Mock draft season is over, real drafts are in full swing, and I couldn't be more excited for this. Last Monday night, I participated in the R.J. White Fantasy Sports Writers Association league. It's a 12-team, 5x5 mixer with quality starts in place of wins and on-base percentage and slugging percentage in place of average and homers. The format is unique, but my goals heading into the draft were still the same. I didn't want to leave any category behind and by the end, I felt like I was able to accomplish that with a balanced group of both hitters and pitchers. Without further adieu, let's get into it.
Friday, March 14, 2014

Recent Starting Pitcher ADP Trends

It’s time to talk a little starting pitcher ADP right now which seems appropriate considering the debates we’ve been hearing lately with regard to when you start drafting starters. You’ve got those you firmly stand by using higher picks to grab elite hurlers as they are supposed to be the most consistent/predictable, while the other side of the coin, which tends to be where the majority lie, is that the position is so deep, so rich with talent, that you can and should wait on it while you build your offense up to juggernaut level.
Thursday, March 13, 2014

My FSWA team

FSWA does a nice thing each year when they name their leagues after their award winners. So, no pressure for me when I have to draft in a league named after me, right?
Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Payne's Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup

It's Hump(hries) Day! (Sorry couldn't resist)

Recent Outfield ADP Trends and Observations

We’ve gone through the recent ADP trends in the infield, so it’s time to head on out to the grass and check in with the trends we’ve recently seen in the outfield. I have to say, this position is one of the trickier ones to draft well if you don’t act quickly. That’s not to say that the position isn’t deep and rich with talent, because it is, but as I’ve seen with the obscene number of mock drafts I have done this spring, those who act quickest to fill their outfield, tend to have some of the stronger teams come the end of the draft.
Monday, March 10, 2014

The Exception to the Rule: How to Profit in Fantasy Sports

While as a rule pitchers might be less reliable than hitters and should be discounted on that basis, what if there were a certain class of pitchers for whom that was not the case? While everyone was discounting all pitchers, you might buy the exceptional ones at a significant profit.

If everyone believes pitchers with low BABIPs in a given year will regress to roughly the league average (or at least the average given their teams' parks and defense), and you've noticed Mariano Rivera has a career BABIP well below it, you'll realize projections systems which normalize for BABIP will undervalue him.

Certain players and classes of players are exceptions - for some particular reason or collection of reasons they don't adhere to the general truisms which form the basis of most projections systems.

Payne's Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup

Missed posting yesterday but broke even over the weekend, losing Saturday but winning Sunday.
Sunday, March 9, 2014

My NFBC RotoWire Online Championship Team

The results from my NFBC draft, where I had a plan, but things went awry early that forced me to adjust on the fly.
Saturday, March 8, 2014

Payne's Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup

Friday night...a disaster.
Friday, March 7, 2014

Recent Third Base ADP Trends in the NFBC

When I was growing up and playing baseball, I lived behind the plate. While the guys on the mound and the ones who played the infield got most of the attention, there was nothing I loved more than being the unassuming presence behind the mask. Sure, some of the kids poked fun and said that I was back there because I had the speed of a three-legged turtle, but the coaches always made me feel better when they told me that, in little league, you put your best athletes at shortstop and your smartest behind the plate. I took a lot of solace in that and continued to spend my time emulating the likes of Thurman Munson and Johnny Bench.

Payne's Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup

A nice slate of games to pick from tonight.
Thursday, March 6, 2014

Payne's Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup

Winner, winner, chicken dinner, the hard ways.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Payne's Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup

Just when I thought things couldn't get worse...they did.

Recent Shortstop ADP Trends in the NFBC

If you thought the second base position’s ADP was stagnant, just wait until you look at the shortstops. Not only is the order of players drafted relatively unchanged, but the ADP numbers really aren’t fluctuating too much either. There’s very little movement at the top end of the rankings and while there’s some ADP change near the bottom, the only fantasy owners who will likely be affected are the ones who are in the deepest of AL or NL-only leagues. Even deep mixed league owners won’t have too much change with which to be concerned as the position sits a little deeper than it has been in recent years and few people are forced to fish through the dregs at the bottom of the barrel.

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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
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Payne's Daily Fantasy Basketball Experiment
Let's see if I can make any money doing daily fantasy hoops.
My 12-Team NFBC RotoWire Online Championship Team
I drafted out of the 11-hole for the "Beat Chris Liss" league. I had done a fair amount of research on optimal roster construction from that slot, and I decided I'd go hitter in the first round, three pitchers in 2-4 and then hitting for the next 10 rounds or so before filling in with upside pitchers late. Of course, few battle plans survive the actual war. Here are the results:

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