One recurring question regarding my 2011 fantasy baseball rankings is why do I have so and so above so and so if I say I like the second so and so better than the first so and so? Okay, so I’ve never received that exact question, because that’s massively confusing. Here’s a variation of the so and so question that you might actually recognize. If you look at my top 60 starters for 2011 fantasy baseball post, I have Ricky Romero below Brett Myers. But I also say in that post how I wouldn’t own Myers. So I’d take Romero before Myers? Yes and no. I’d wait until Myers was drafted, then I’d draft Romero. Why exactly? That late in a draft I’m going with upside over the predictable. Then why not just put Romero above Myers? A few reasons: 1) If I only ranked players I’d own, there would be maybe a 100 total guys across all rankings. 2) Myers does have value because he has less risk, but, as previously mentioned, I don’t want less risk that late. Some drafters may. 3) Romero may not even have the value I’m giving him there. I’m being optimistic with his projections. He’s a risky upside pick. I’m putting flashing lights around a player’s name in the player blurb.
There was more I wanted to say on point 3, but I was beaten by Ron Shandler. And, hey, when you’re beaten by Shandler, you take your noogies. This article he wrote two years ago has so many great points I suggest you read it yourself, but I’m going to highlight a quote that I think pertains:
“…when our projection says $27, it is intended solely to make you say $22 when the bidding stops at $21 (assuming the context of normal market conditions). If we had published a projection of $23 or $24, that’s not enough of a psychological push for you to take that last leap of faith.”
This is what I’m doing with certain projections. I’m attempting to push you towards certain players. It’s why you see my Edinson Volquez projections are way above any other ‘perts. I might be wrong on Volquez, but I’m pushing you towards him. But then Ricky Nolasco is above Volquez in the rankings? Yeah, random italicized voice, but he’s in a tier called, “Some ‘perts are drafting these guys. I’m not.” My commentary is as important as the actual rankings. So do you want boring or risk and upside and maybe downside? These are decisions you have to make for your own team. (Oh, and you’ll see Volquez’s actually above Nolasco in the top 300. How’s that for further confusion?)
It’s why I have Danny Espinosa ranked below Martin Prado but his projections say he’ll be better. I think Espinosa will be better, but he has more risk. It’s a limb. You need to know how many limbs you’re going out on. A few per team is fine. If every player on your team is a limb, your team is tipping over.
As said in the rankings post, there’s latitude amongst the rankings. I’d say the top 20 have a latitude of around a +/- 2. The top 50 around a +/- 10; the top 100 around a +/- 20, the top 150 with a +/- 40. And so on. The most important part of the rankings is my commentary. If I like a guy, I’d reach for him in certain circumstances. If I need an outfielder who gives me a 10/30 year, then I’m taking Peter Bourjos. I would draft him 180th overall even though I have him at 229th. Each team is different. The rankings are meant to be a jumping off point with my commentary and projections telling you where I stand.
Lots of people may not want to hear this, but there are no rankings on the planet that will tell exactly how to draft. As soon as you draft your first player, you’re now drafting for your own team and every team is different. If you draft Tulo and Carl Crawford with your first two picks, you shouldn’t draft Jacoby Ellsbury or Reyes unless they drop 100 picks and you plan on trading them for half their value.