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General fantasy thoughts

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General fantasy thoughts

Postby Ender » Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:35 am

1. Positional scarcity - This is one of the bigger shams out there. The generic ranking of most to least scarce positions matches almost exactly with the most to least injured positions. You are spending extra to get lesser production that is higher risk. Positional scarcity should really be defined by at what point in the draft you feel terrible with all of the options left. You don't draft someone in the 1st round because the position is scarce, you draft someone in the 10th+ round because it is scarce. This is especially true for Cs. Taking a C in the first 3 rounds or so is just a pure downside move.

2. Draft position - First off you cannot control the draft from the ends. That is one of the silliest comments I've ever heard. You have to somehow force someone to pick a player that they wouldn't have normally picked in the next 24-30 slots to have controlled anything. I have been drafting 4-6 leagues for 14 years now and never once seen anyone control a draft with their end picks. At best you can produce a run of players that would have been gone anyway by the next time you get to pick. As far as which pick you want from a pure value standpoint you want #1 and it almost purely goes down to whatever the last pick is, you cannot catch up value later. Having said that the uncertainty of players is much more extreme in the later half of the 1st round and if others make poor plays you can certainly come out ahead with a late pick.

3. All 5 stats count. Every year going into drafts this one bothers me. Sure player X will get you 25 HR and 90 RBI and that is valuable but if he gives you 70 R, 1 SB and a .250 AVG he is still a pretty crappy player overall. Yeah this guy gives me 40 SB but if he hits .270 with 80 R, 0 HR, 35 RBI he is almost worthless unless I'm desperate for steals. Yeah the fact that I can get a guy just like Jose Reyes 15 rounds later only with a lower AVG, lower RBI and lower HR doesn't mean Reyes is worthless etc. If you are talking up 2 to 3 stats and ignore 2 to 3 you probably aren't properly evaluating players.

4. Early pitchers are a suckers play, period. You only get at most 4 stats, you take on a lot more injury risk, the actual stats themselves are a lot less reliable and with innings limits in roto you basically are working with 5 rate stats of which a good RP beats a good SP in 4 of 5.

5. SB shouldn't be your target early. SB by far out of every single stat in the game are the easiest to claim off of waivers (even easier than SVs imo). Every young player seems to struggle with AVG, gets put into cruddy spots in the batting order and tends to steal more than old dudes. Every FA you pick up is going to add to SB even if they play off positions. I personally like well rounded players so I don't have to take any speed guys at all but I would never pick a pure speed guy in the very early rounds.

6. SV is not all that matters for a closer. Kimbrel won a lot of leagues last year, easily as many as Verlander did. Those uber elite Ks, ERA and WHIP make a huge difference as do the 40+ saves.

7. Leagues aren't won in the draft except for getting lucky on random breakout guys I guess. I'm a firm believer that leagues can only be lost in the draft. High risk picks are just random noise, they are a way of saying I don't think I can win without hitting a HR in the draft. You want to go heavy reliability early which puts you in striking distance no matter what barring horrific injuries. Then you want high upside guys in the later rounds with the ability to cut bait on the misses and take your chances with the FA you like best.
Last edited by Ender on Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:42 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: General fantasy thoughts

Postby AussieDodger » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:36 am

Ender wrote:1. Positional scarcity - This is one of the bigger shams out there. The generic ranking of most to least scarce positions matches almost exactly with the most to least injured positions. You are spending extra to get lesser production that is higher risk. Positional scarcity should really be defined by at what point in the draft you feel terrible with all of the options left. You don't draft someone in the 1st round because the position is scarce, you draft someone in the 10th+ round because it is scarce. This is especially true for Cs. Taking a C in the first 3 rounds or so is just a pure downside move.

7. Leagues are won in the draft. I'm a firm believer that leagues can only be lost in the draft. High risk picks are just random noise, they are a way of saying I don't think I can win without hitting a HR in the draft. You want to go heavy reliability early which puts you in striking distance no matter what barring horrific injuries. Then you want high upside guys in the later rounds with the ability to cut bait on the misses and take your chances with the FA you like best.


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Re: General fantasy thoughts

Postby stevethumb » Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:48 am

years ago baseball notebook ran thousands of simulations AFTER THE SEASON (thus knowing the stats) and found that drafting by "position scarcity" was ineffective
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Re: General fantasy thoughts

Postby wingman3110 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:35 am

One of the best posts I've read on the Cafe, great points! ;-D
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Re: General fantasy thoughts

Postby Frenchiegangsta9 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:08 pm

Terrific post Ender. Thanks for putting in the effort and sharing.
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Re: General fantasy thoughts

Postby Skin Blues » Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:53 pm

Agree with pretty much everything here. I even go so far as to partially convert all the pitching projections to rate stats. I do think that a league can be won during the draft though. Takes luck with injuries, and you always need to be on the lookout for new closers and breakout players, but anybody that drafted Mike Trout last season was about 90% of the way towards winning a league. A couple more big hits like Headley, Encarnacion and having healthy effective closers would just about do it. Of course, you'd never actually know you won a league during the draft until after the season so it's probably my a moot point anyway.
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Re: General fantasy thoughts

Postby Ender » Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:27 am

but anybody that drafted Mike Trout last season was about 90% of the way towards winning a league


I definitely agree with this but that was pure and simple luck. Every year some guys are going to hit it out of the park with luck. You take upside when you can and some times it really pays off but most times it doesn't. Trout was a late enough pick that he isn't the type I'm talking about in general though. It is the team that drafted Lawrie, Hosmer and Moore and then complains that they all had bad years that I'm talking about. When you take a bunch of big shots really early in the draft you are setting yourself up to lose because the risk is just not worth it at that point in the draft. If you took fliers on a bunch of 15+ round guys and some hit I don't have an issue with that.
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Re: General fantasy thoughts

Postby Izenhart » Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:05 am

I agree with all of what you said except this:

Ender wrote:4. Early pitchers are a suckers play, period. You only get at most 4 stats, you take on a lot more injury risk, the actual stats themselves are a lot less reliable and with innings limits in roto you basically are working with 5 rate stats of which a good RP beats a good SP in 4 of 5.


To me, there is no difference between drafting Prince Fielder or Clayton Kershaw in round 1. They are both elite 4 category players and have roughly the same value at an auction (IMO). I also look at it like I'm starting 10 hitters and 8 pitchers, 3 of which will be relievers, so I'm getting about 7.5 starters worth of innings (when all is said and done), so an elite pitcher makes up for more of your pitching totals and roto points than an elite hitter (Kershaw VS Fielder). The real argument against it is pitching is deeper and good pitchers can be found even at the end of a draft. That is no excuse to downgrade the top tier though.

Injury risk is on a player by player basis. Typically young pitchers rack up K's before their arm wears down, so the risk is not knowing how injury prone a guy is if he is young. I also disagree that early round pitchers are less reliable than hitters. Last year round 1 picks of Kemp, Votto, Upton, Longoria, Pujols, Bautista, Adrian Gonzalez, Tulo and Ellsbury all performed under what was expected of them while the top two pitchers Verlander and Kershaw did very well.

This year I trust about 6 hitters in round one and I wouldn't be shocked to see 2 or 3 of them fall flat. I feel safer with a big arm this year than in the past.
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Re: General fantasy thoughts

Postby Ender » Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:34 am

It comes down to reliability. There is no way around it, pitchers are less reliable than hitters. K are the only reliable stat a pitcher has and they get season ending style injuries much more often than a hitter. They are a lot easier to replace in the middle of the draft and if you need to you can even game around pitching by rotating in good matchups. There is a reason that auction players invest 1/3 of less of their money into pitching.
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Re: General fantasy thoughts

Postby Chaos151p » Fri Feb 22, 2013 5:27 pm

Izenhart wrote:To me, there is no difference between drafting Prince Fielder or Clayton Kershaw in round 1. They are both elite 4 category players and have roughly the same value at an auction (IMO). I also look at it like I'm starting 10 hitters and 8 pitchers, 3 of which will be relievers, so I'm getting about 7.5 starters worth of innings (when all is said and done), so an elite pitcher makes up for more of your pitching totals and roto points than an elite hitter (Kershaw VS Fielder). The real argument against it is pitching is deeper and good pitchers can be found even at the end of a draft. That is no excuse to downgrade the top tier though.

Injury risk is on a player by player basis. Typically young pitchers rack up K's before their arm wears down, so the risk is not knowing how injury prone a guy is if he is young. I also disagree that early round pitchers are less reliable than hitters. Last year round 1 picks of Kemp, Votto, Upton, Longoria, Pujols, Bautista, Adrian Gonzalez, Tulo and Ellsbury all performed under what was expected of them while the top two pitchers Verlander and Kershaw did very well.

This year I trust about 6 hitters in round one and I wouldn't be shocked to see 2 or 3 of them fall flat. I feel safer with a big arm this year than in the past.


Music to my ears - I can't help but think pitching is becoming more reliable then hitting. True they could have more season ending injuries while a 1st-2nd round hitter might only be out 2-3 months. In fact, I'll have to do some research - it's been awhile since top pitchers (plural) were falling off for the season, and I can remember each year for the past 2 or 3, top hitters being lost until next year. Halladay jumps out last year, and Lincecum's been on the decline... but Kemp/Tullo/Longo... Ellsbury a previous year. If anything the risk is balanced, IMO.
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