Note: the following post is only for roto leagues.

Most of us have had this problem, whether during the draft or mulling over a trade or waiver pickup: Are those 10 home runs worth more or less than those 30 runs? Are those 5 wins worth that .4 hit to my ERA?

Not being in Points based leagues, it's difficult to gauge the absolute value of a player's contributions to roto categories. Some categories are ratio based, like WHIP and AVG, while others are counted which means that there is no such thing as negative impact.

I'd like to share with you all a formula that converts roto categories into workable numbers that I found I'm not sure how long ago or where. But after using it for a while it seems to work pretty well, and answers the type of vexing questions I listed at the beginning of this post.

EDITED to take into consideration the impact of ABs, I calculated 519 to be the average number of ABs for a fantasy hitter:

Hitters: 2 x {[2.5(AVG above .280)ABs] + R +RBI} + 5 x (HR + SB)

What that means is that you simply multiply the players' AVG over .280 as a decimal with his number of At Bats and 2.5, then add that and Runs and RBIs together, and multiply that by two. Then you add the players HRs and SBs together and multiply that by five. Finally you add the sum and you have the points value of a player for a roto league.

This formula takes into consideration the global sums of each statistic in both the major league baseball and fantasy baseball universes. It takes into account just how much 10 home runs or 30 runs mean in the final roto totals for a team at the end of the season compared to the total number of home runs and runs scored in a fantasy league added together. It also takes into account the production of the average fantasy hitter, the “replacement” player, as well as uneven distribution of statistics, such as a small group of hitters contributing an inordinate number of Stolen Bases.

The formula for pitchers is my own creation. I modeled it after the logic of the hitter formula. Just add up the sums. I had 4.3 calculated to be the average pitcher's ERA and 1.3 to be the average WHIP in fantasy baseball.

Each W=13

Each SV=6

Each K=1

ERA=.5(Player’s ERA-4.3)IP

WHIP=2.5(Player’s WHIP-1.3)IP

The beauty of this system is that you can compare players from different positions to either fill out your Utility spot or to compare position scarcity. If your projections have Marcus Giles scoring 590 pts and the next tier of 2B at 525 pts while Jeter is still available and you project him according to my formula to score 570 pts but the next tier of SS will only score 480 pts, then you would be able to perceive the difference in value and pick Jeter. Of course if you were filling your Utility spot with these players you would be able to tell that Giles’ 290 90 20 80 24 in 600 ABs is slightly more valuable than Jeter’s 310 110 10 80 10 in 600 ABs, which you might not be able to perceive at first glance.

An example with pitchers is a top closer and a good starter.

My projections:

Lidge: 5 38 112 2.85 1.06 86IP

Hudson: 16 0 125 3.34 1.02 203IP

Absolute values:

Lidge: 581

Hudson: 578

You can then use those absolute values to compare with other players at their positions and find out who is the better value.

And you no longer have to worry about guessing the inexact amount of greater impact that a SP’s higher number of Innings Pitched will have over a RP’s. The formulas make it exact. In fact the inexactitudes of all roto categories will have been taken out in favor of concrete knowledge of the relative value of say a HR vs. an RBI vs. ten points of BA in 550 At Bats.

The formulas assume you don't have a crazy draft strategy like going for all the SB and no HRs, in which case SBs for players will have very little value compared to HRs from those players for your team. It assumes your draft strategy is reasonably balanced.

I have seen similar posts on the Cafe but I've added my own formula. Hope it helps.