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How do I determine the replacement-level player?

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How do I determine the replacement-level player?

Postby poogums » Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:09 pm

Hey guys,

Long time reader, first time poster. I'm trying to create some custom rankings for my 12-team, ML H2H 6x6 league with OPS and Holds. I'm using the aggregate projections from Curtis Pride (thanks again for your work: http://www.fantasybaseballcafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=367584&hilit=Aggregate+Rankings), and my plan was to find the "replacement level" for each position, then use Z-scores for each stat, and finally sum the Z-scores to assign a single value to each player. (I'm aware basketballmonster and lastplayerpicked use very similar methods, but I wanted to do it myself, both so I can use projections that I trust and so I can learn how it's done).

For example, looking at catchers, should I take the 13th best projected run total from catchers as my runs (let's say it's Hernandez with 65), do the same with RBI's (Pierzynski with 68), etc., so that I have six numbers from up to six different players? Or should I pick one player and use his entire line, and just guess as to which player is the 13th best? I've also considered averaging the stats for the top 12 catchers and using that as my baseline, but once again, I'm having trouble determining who are the top 12.

Thanks for your help!
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Re: How do I determine the replacement-level player?

Postby GotowarMissAgnes » Tue Mar 10, 2009 5:07 pm

What I would recommend is looking at the overall rankings for 2008 (not the O-Rank, but the actual rank), and take the average of the catchers ranked 10th through 15th. This would be the lowest three ranked catchers likely to be on a team, plus the next three catchers. Their averages for each cat should center on what a "replacement" catcher would do. That way you are not relying on any one player's performance, but still getting a sense of what the "average" player at the bottom looks like.
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Re: How do I determine the replacement-level player?

Postby rookies and cream » Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:16 pm

GotowarMissAgnes wrote:What I would recommend is looking at the overall rankings for 2008 (not the O-Rank, but the actual rank), and take the average of the catchers ranked 10th through 15th. This would be the lowest three ranked catchers likely to be on a team, plus the next three catchers. Their averages for each cat should center on what a "replacement" catcher would do. That way you are not relying on any one player's performance, but still getting a sense of what the "average" player at the bottom looks like.


Very good suggestion. I never thought of doing this...
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Re: How do I determine the replacement-level player?

Postby talan37 » Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:48 pm

Something to keep in mind. Replacement level isn't the "worst player" on a team, but what is easily available from the waivers, which if your in a 12 team league, usually isn't the 12th or 13th player. The numbers I use which come from a hardballtimes article I read(it does vary a little depending on year), but the numbers are for a 12 team:

18 catchers(30 in a 2 catcher league)
24 1B
19 2B
21 3B
19 SS
50 OF

Your generally better off using the average around this guy(so for catchers 16,17,18,19,20) in case there is a serious outlier in the bunch like someone who steals a lot of bases or hit a few extra homeruns but is terrible at everything else so is replacement level. Depending on your league this may vary a little bit but I think its a good baseline for 12 teamers.
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Re: How do I determine the replacement-level player?

Postby californiasunshine » Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:19 pm

poogums wrote:Hey guys,

Long time reader, first time poster. I'm trying to create some custom rankings for my 12-team, ML H2H 6x6 league with OPS and Holds. I'm using the aggregate projections from Curtis Pride (thanks again for your work: http://www.fantasybaseballcafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=367584&hilit=Aggregate+Rankings), and my plan was to find the "replacement level" for each position, then use Z-scores for each stat, and finally sum the Z-scores to assign a single value to each player. (I'm aware basketballmonster and lastplayerpicked use very similar methods, but I wanted to do it myself, both so I can use projections that I trust and so I can learn how it's done).

For example, looking at catchers, should I take the 13th best projected run total from catchers as my runs (let's say it's Hernandez with 65), do the same with RBI's (Pierzynski with 68), etc., so that I have six numbers from up to six different players? Or should I pick one player and use his entire line, and just guess as to which player is the 13th best? I've also considered averaging the stats for the top 12 catchers and using that as my baseline, but once again, I'm having trouble determining who are the top 12.

Thanks for your help!


The problem with using z-scores to only compare catchers to other catchers is that it makes sb's more valuable. For 1B it also makes sb's a lot more valuable than HR's, for SS it basically makes HR's more valuable than SB's. Basically it makes the rare categories of each position more valuable then they actually should, it doesn't matter what position your sb's come from as long as you have them.
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Re: How do I determine the replacement-level player?

Postby Amazinz » Tue Mar 10, 2009 8:00 pm

You can determine the relative value of a unit (a Run, a Save, etc.) and apply this to every player's production above the replacement level. This gets rid of the catcher SB 'problem' and is also a nice middle ground between the scarcity and BPA crowds. (In other words, generate a player's value not on his actual stat line but rather his contribution to the environment.)

I never use fuzzy baselines. I think went it comes to generating dollar values it is of questionable use.
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Re: How do I determine the replacement-level player?

Postby GotowarMissAgnes » Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:34 pm

talan37 wrote:Something to keep in mind. Replacement level isn't the "worst player" on a team, but what is easily available from the waivers, which if your in a 12 team league, usually isn't the 12th or 13th player. The numbers I use which come from a hardballtimes article I read(it does vary a little depending on year), but the numbers are for a 12 team:

18 catchers(30 in a 2 catcher league)
24 1B
19 2B
21 3B
19 SS
50 OF

Your generally better off using the average around this guy(so for catchers 16,17,18,19,20) in case there is a serious outlier in the bunch like someone who steals a lot of bases or hit a few extra homeruns but is terrible at everything else so is replacement level. Depending on your league this may vary a little bit but I think its a good baseline for 12 teamers.


Good point. I was forgetting about bench players on rosters.
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