I've played Yahoo fantasy baseball for the past 6 or 7 years, and have never strayed from this site. Right now, though, for the first time I'm involved in a league that will be run somewhere else. Enter "Sandbox".
It's a 14 team "fantasy points" scoring league. I'll post the scoring breakdown at the bottom here, since it's kinda long and it might dominate the page.
Anyway, my main question is about DRAFT STRATEGY. On Yahoo I usually like to employ a simple best position available for 4 rounds, 1 or 2 closers in the next few rounds, grab an ace, then start filling the holes with cheap pitching and quality offense. On Sandbox, I looked at the projections, and here's there projected top 10 fantasy point scorers for 2008:
1. Johan Santana, NYM 2. Erik Bedard, BAL 3. Jake Peavy, SD 4. J.J. Putz, SEA 5. Albert Pujols, STL 6. Brandon Webb, ARZ 7. Alex Rodriguez, NYY 8. C.C. Sabathia, CLE 9. Josh Beckett, BOS 10. John Lackey, ANA
2 hitters, 8 pitchers? Is pitching really this dominant on Sandbox? Am I really supposed to draft guys like John Lackey and J.J. Putz is their available in the 2nd round? I'm getting mixed signals... so, how should I go about this in my draft? Should I draft like I normally would on Yahoo, or should I try to get 2 or 3 dominant pitchers early?
I'm sooo confuseddd . Any and all help is appreciated!!!
Scoring Format: Hitters Run Scored (R) 1 Base Hit (H) 1 Double (2B) 1 Triple (3B) 2 Home Run (HR) 3 Run Batted In (RBI) 1 Walks (BB) 1 Strike Out (K) -1 Hit by Pitch (HBP) 1 Stolen Base (SB) 2 Caught Stealing (CS) -1 Error (E) -1 Sacrifice (Sac) 1 Hit for the Cycle (HC) 5
Pitchers Each 1/3 Inning Pitched (IP) 1 Win (W) 10 Loss (L) -5 Save (S) 10 Blown Save (BS) -5 Hit Allowed (H) -1 Walk (BB) -1 Strike Out (K) 1 Complete Game (CG) 5 Complete Game Shutout (CGSO) 10 Earned Run Allowed (ER) -1 Wild Pitch (WP) -1 Error (E) -1 Hit Batter (HB) -1 Balk (BK) -1 Complete Game No Hitter (CGNO) 20 Perfect Game (PG) 30
Bloody Sox wrote:Can't you look at the 2007 scoring to see how pitchers fared compared to hitters? That should give you some idea of how skewed it is.
Yeah I can do that, and I have...and it reaffirmed their projections (Peavy outscored A-Rod by 50 FP - sizable amount). And the top 12 was 10 pitchers, 2 hitters.
My dilemma is that draft has played out like a normal yahoo draft so far...2 pitchers drafted and 19 hitters drafted. So I was curious if this is normal, and I should generally follow suit, or if I should take advantage of this and start loading up on pitchers. It's basically the exact opposite of my normal draft strategy, so it just throws me off a bit...and I hate relying on pitching, which is sooooo inconsistent [and in general, injury prone]. That's where some experienced advice about Sandbox will come in handy.
I have played in the Sandbox for years, and I can tell you a few things....
No matter the format, starting pitchers will go two rounds sooner than you think. Two rounds is about right. Don't over-think it.....
The most important scoring change is the minus one for strikeouts. Adam Dunn's value drops a lot. Same with guys like Roberts and Pierre or Furcal. Players need to bring more to the table than just batting average and steals. Sandbox drafters will NOT fall all over themselves trying to get:
Brandon Phillips BJ Upton Derek Jeter Eric Byrnes
Closers tend to go right where you would expect them to....
We don't trust kids. Rookies will go two rounds later than you would expect, or worse. Ellsbury just went 170 in my slow live draft in a league that contends for the website title called "Sandbox Showdown".
Starting pitchers who don't walk many go a little higher. The minus one for walks is not as big as the batter strikeout penalty, because WHIP reflects wildness too.
What you need to realize is veteran Sandboxers will chase starting pitchers who can go seven innings with close to ten strikeouts a game. The innings and the whiffs mean more to us than wins. And a great staff will carry an average hitting team a lot longer than a really good hitting team carrying an average rotation that would normally look good in a roto league.
The scoring system also rewards you if your men play a lot. So try to draft hitters who will hit in the top four of their real team's batting order.
NO ONE will ever trade you pitching. There is no such thing as trading away too good hitters for an average hitter and a really good starting pitcher. If you don't draft these "aces", wou will never get one from someone who has played at sandbox for a long time.
Watch the wavier wire for pitchers. You can make a lot of hay if you are the most active manager in your league.
JDD -- thanks a lot for your insight, that's exactly what I was looking for. I'm on the clock with the 25th overall pick and only Peavy and Johan are off the board, but based on everything I've seen and what you told me I should definitely look to grab one of these top tier aces before they vanish (regardless of what my common sense "yahoo" strategy suggests). Thanks again!
Those complete games can really affect a SP's value. Pretty much anyone who can pitch deep into a game and gets K's is going to have good value.
I remember the default scoring for IP being 1 pt/IP and you are getting a point per out. Going 7 or 8 innings is going to be a lot more valuable than going 6.
I'd still focus on bats for the most part early in the draft. The top heavy nature of the top scorers being SP's is a bit like kickers all scoring alot of points in fantasy football. That doesn't mean you change your draft strategy remarkably to draft them early.
Webb had 3 shutouts last year, 4 CG's. I might take him in the 3rd or 4th round. Halladay rang up 7 CG's, just one shutout. If he does that again he'll be a steal in the 7th round. Sabathia probably has a nice year as well in that format with his K's and ability to go all the way in a game a few times a season. A guy like AJ Burnett in the 12th or 13trh round might provide some good numbers if he can throw alot of innings.
Take a shot on a couple guys who have a little history of pitching CG's. They are a little tough to predict, but those CGSO's and the rare perfect game are huge point bonanza's worth taking a couple fliers on here and there.
I have been playing on Sandbox for years also since the free days. I only play FP leagues and it's rather easy in my opinion. You just draft the best available players you don't ignore SP like a lot of the cafe people would like you to believe is the way to build a team. You want a equally powerful SP/RP and Bat pts. If you end up taking bats first try to get 2-3 pitchers by the 6-7 rounds. Maybe something like..
Bat Bat SP RP SP Bat RP
You can have two really strong bats two good #1-2 SP and a very good start to your RP. Keep an eye on your games you won't have to worry about batting so much but SP/RP a lot more. In a league being 14 teams you must must must be complete across the board.
Any of you guys remember the forums rusty had or mod'd or w/e lol.
Never played Sandbox before but looking at the scoring for pitchers point per 1/3 IP means you want guys that throw 200+ IP a year. Not really sure about how the scoring looks for hitters but I think you should look at stuff like position scarcity or value over replacement. I have a hunch that hitters will still be higher.