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The first run of our 2011 Point Shares for 10 and 12 MLB leagues are now available there and via the 2011 Fantasy Baseball Rankings menu at the top of the page.  The player rate projections are a composite of Marcel projections, FanGraphs fan projections and CAIRO (created/managed by SG at the Replacement Level Yankee Weblog – can be downloaded here).  The playing time estimates (AB/IP) are courtesy of Fantistics – a paid projection service that’s done very well in Tom Tango’s Forecaster Challenge (they beat me in 2010!). I’ve also changed some stats – particularly Saves – where I felt the projections were too bullish.

Once ZIPS projections are available (ETA late Feb/early March), I will incorporate them as well.  By then, I should have the following league formats posted (C/1B/2B/SS/3B/5 OF/CI/MI/UTIL/9P unless otherwise noted):

10/12/14/16-team mixed league
8/10/12 team AL (2 catchers)
8/10/12 team NL (2 catchers)

For those new to Razzball and/or ‘Point Shares,’ please see last year’s post that explains it in detail. The quick definition is that a Point Share represents the value in fantasy baseball standings points of a player compared to the average drafted player at his position (with some consideration taken into account for the value of the player against the average hitter or pitcher).  This is estimated for each player stat and then added up for the rankings.  For example, Ichiro is estimated to be worth 1.2 points more than the average drafted OF. His Runs (+0.4), SB (+1.6), and AVG (+1.8) drive his value. But they come at a price in terms of HR (-1.4) and RBI (-1.2). The theoretical max for a player in one category would be the # of teams divided by 2 and minus 0.5. So a 12-team league’s ‘average’ team would get 6.5 in each category and, thus, I would need +5.5 to win a category (the highest Point Shares in single category right now is Jacoby Ellsbury’s +3.3 in SB).

Three notes:

1) This should not be used as a draft sheet. The goal of drafting is to get the most value and balance out of a draft. Yes, pitchers are generally undervalued in both snake and auction drafts. But drafting Halladay in the 1st round isn’t getting great value (it’s fair value). I’d aim to draft both pitchers (and catchers for that matter) anywhere from 1 ½ – 2 rounds after their value would suggest. So Halladay in the end of the 2nd round would be great value. Also, note that all Point Shares base a player’s worth on their value to an average team. Once you draft a Halladay, your pitching staff starts skewing above average (assuming you draft average pitchers after that). So, drafting F-Her in the next round is worth less to your team than the other teams.

To help on auction drafts, I’ve added a second dollar amount that weighs up hitter values and weighs down pitcher values to reflect a $180 hitter/$80 pitcher split.  I believe that’s more in line with traditional auction draft bidding.

2) Position scarcity is taken into account with Point Shares. For multi-position players, I assign them to the scarcest position (note: I assigned Kevin Youkilis to 3B since he’ll have eligibility after 1-2 weeks).  The progression is C, SS, 2B, 3B, OF, 1B, DH.  Here’s a weighting of positions for 2011 12-team league based on the initial projections I’ve compiled: 1B -100, OF-95, 2B-93, 3B-92, SS-86, C-74.  One thing that’s immediately clear is that the top-tier of shortstops is really shallow. H-Ram, Tulo, and Reyes are in the top 40 for Point Shares and the next SS is Jeter at #99. Assuming you don’t take H-Ram or Tulo over Pujols, I don’t think you can draft those two players too high (H-Ram is #2 and Tulo #5 in position player Point Shares). There’s a case for Votto, Miggy, and Braun ahead of Tulo but it’s close. What I don’t recommend, though, is overpaying on Reyes (late 2nd round would be the earliest) or anyone else. I’ve seen drafts where Jeter is picked in the 4th round. That’s a sucker pick.   When a position is so shallow – and there is little differentiation in the later tiers – it’s your cue to punt the category and stock up on other positions.  More bluntly, in a shallow position, either take a top guy at close to his value or punt.   Worst case, you stream players until you find a keeper.  Remember that EVERYONE will be fishing for free agent OFs, SPs, and RPs once the season starts.  The competition for 2B/SS/3B FA’s isn’t as high.

3) Player position eligibility is based on 20 games in the previous year.  Some online services might use 10 games as the eligibility threshold.  You should check your league rules.  Generally, a  player’s value only increases if his additional position is further to the left of the C, SS, 2B, 3B, OF, 1B, DH progression (e.g., Sandoval adding 1B eligibility to his 3B means very little.  But a player adding C eligibility besides 1B is a bonus.)

20 Responses

  1. NewBVick says:
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    Reminds me of what Basketball Monster does for fantasy basketball, which = win. I’m sure I’ll be the first of many to Thank You for this.

  2. Simply Fred

    simply fred says:
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    From ESPN: “We are looking at the wording of the rules on ESPN.com as they do not point out that a player MUST START +20 games, and NOT JUST APPEAR in +20 games to gain additional eligibility.”

  3. peter says:
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    MANY thanks, Rudy. I look forward to the point shares every year. Really. This is going to be a huge help w/ my auctions this spring. Just out of curiosity, will the point shares (and dollar values) be updated at all between now and opening day?

  4. Eddy says:
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    Thanks a bunch Rudy, we appreciate this very much.

    Though last year I didn’t use Point Shares, my venture into a 14-team and 16-team league this season will most definitely make them resourceful.

    And, to get this question out of the way: when do you think you’ll have all the subsequent point shares up?

  5. Swagger Jackers says:
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    So in a 10 team league, does that mean all of the players arefter about 120 are hurting your team? I always had a feeling to get Mark Reynolds’ homeruns you were hurting your team more than helping it.

  6. Bubba says:
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    Much thanks! I had delusions that I would compile all those projections (plus JEH’s when they go up on FanGraphs), but now I can just be my lazy self, woohoo!

    I noticed that Ks are missing from the 12-team chart, just a heads up. (They’re included in the 10-team version.)

  7. Steve says:
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    Great stuff, Rudy. Pretty much nailed my auction draft last year thanks to Point Shares. Will be using them again for sure this year.

  8. @peter: Thanks. Will update in 2-3 weeks when Zips comes out. Will update playing time estimates at same time which can change a player’s value tremendously.

    @Eddy: Should have them all up by March 1st at the latest.

    @Swagger Jackers: Nah, they are still helping. Could only hurt in AVG. But b/c I based everything on the average player, there are going to be at least 50% in the negative.

    @Bubba: Fixed on Ks.

    @Steve: Cool. Glad they helped!

  9. peter says:
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    @Swagger Jackers: I’d say maybe yes, maybe no. It’ll depend on your team. Also, I like to grab someone with really interesting upside instead of a borderline guy who is ranked higher.

  10. Steve says:
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    Goodness. I’ve owned more players in the 600s and 700s than I care to admit…

  11. steve b says:
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    Rudy you guys really go the extra mile.I’m going to the donation page right now……..

  12. Francis says:
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    Amazing work, fellas! Any chance you can put a 14-team league values up? I am guessing that the values are increased as well as the prices since the pool is diluted.

  13. Lava says:
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    Cheers on the great work Rudy!

    You mention that the point share tables shouldn’t be used as a draft guide, and that you should aim for getting better than fair value for pitchers (1.5-2 rounds after where they would normally go).

    I have a decent handle on auction values, but translating that to value in a snake draft always seems more fuzzy.

    To synthesize, and most likely to betray my lack of understanding, the players should be drafted in the order presented by their rank, except for pitchers, which should be drafted at good (1.5) to great (2) value due to abundance and relative volatility.

    Is this a fair assessment?

  14. Francis says:
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    @Francis: I’m a putz. Just saw that the 14 teams will be up soon. My bad. Awesome work. Thanks guys!

  15. @steve b: Thanks!

    @Francis: I’ll have 14 team up by end of the month.

    @Steve: I’ll aim for a similar post around March 15th. Need a good amount of drafts before there’s reliable Average Draft Position data.

    @Lava: Yup, you got it. You want to get as much value as possible out of every pick and, in general, teams draft heavier on offense than defense in early rounds. So if you want to create a draft sheet, I’d add 24 (or 20 for 10 team leagues) to every pitcher. Even closers. But you’ve also got to adjust to the draft room. If pitchers are being undervalued and there are a number of similar pitchers around but only one good 2B, you maybe reach a little for the 2B vs. draft a pitcher that might be around next pick.

  16. OaktownSteve says:
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    Ryan Howard #8 on Grey’s top 10 list, #48 on the point shares list? ‘Splain and or sum up?

  17. @OaktownSteve: Okay, I personally think 8th is a bit too high for Ryan Howard (You can get a quality 1B in the 2nd round) but 48th is too low. I checked the three data sources (FanGraphs, CAIRO, Marcel) and here are the torpedoes for Howard:

    FanGraphs: 93/39/114/3/.271 – Nothing wrong here except that FanGraph fan projections tend to be higher. 8 1Bs have higher RBI projections are for 1Bs and none of them are Howard (Cabrera 139, Pujols 138, Fielder 135, A-Gonz 127, Votto 126, Dunn 121, Teixeira 118, Morneau 116). Everyone else has similar HRs to Howard except Morneau, Votto and Teix who are in the 29-35 range. And those are Howard’s strengths! His average is lower than all the aforementioned except Dunn. So, FG is projecting him as around the 8th most valuable 1B…

    Marcel: 80/31/102/4/.263 – Marcel is historically low in their estimates so these are relatively high. Howard’s 103 RBIs are actually tops among all players and the HRs are tied for 2nd behind Pujols. So Marcel likes Howard.

    CAIRO: 96/39/126/3/.267 – CAIRO also was kind to Howard as he tops their RBIs and is tied for 2nd in HRs.

    So, aside from potential undervaluing by Fans @ FanGraphs, it’s not like Ryan Howard’s stats are that out of whack. Hell, I think anyone who drafts Howard would be more than happy with an average above .265 as well.

    I think it’s how you value all these stats together. Point Shares is looking more scientifically than Grey does and it isn’t factoring in ‘reliability’ which Howard would score highly on. But looking at 2010 (http://razzball.com/2010-player-rater-for-12-team-mlb-leagues/), I see Howard was #58 among all players, #36 among hitters and 7th among 1Bs in 2010 Point Share value. The 6 ahead of him were Pujols, Votto, Miggy, Konerko, Teixeira, and A-Gonz. Dunn (if credited as a 1B vs. OF) and Fielder were just behind Howard.

    Why? Well, Howard definitely is an average drain vs. the other players. M-Teix had a bad average year (-0.9 PS) which trumped Howard (-0.1) but the other players were between 0.7 and 1.7. Basically, having Howard vs. Votto or Miggy cost a team almost 2 points in AVG.

    The next area where Howard trailed was runs. He was +1.0 PS which beat poor A-Gonz with his shitty Padre lineup and Konerko but was bested by Votto (+1.3), Miggy (1.6), M-Teix (1.7), and Pujols (1.8).

    Now Howard is going into a year when he’s 32 (and he’s going to age bad – cough – Mo Vaughn – cough) and lost the best bat behind him in Jayson Werth. Pujols/Votto/Miggy are clearly better in my eyes. A-Gonz goes to a better stadium and lineup. M-Teix is due for an AVG correction. Fielder is due for some RBI luck. Morneau is due for a non-concussion year. Dunn is Dunn….

    So, net-net, I generally agree with the Point Shares more than Grey. Howard is a safe pick but he really has no chance to deliver 1st round #s. I’d say he’s a safe late 2nd round pick that pairs well with H-Ram or Tulo. But my guess is that teams that draft Howard in the first 16 picks will generally underperform this year. But we’ll have to wait until end of 2011 to validate this with Razzball Commenter League data (2010 teams that drafted Howard performed slightly below average – an average of 7th place in RCL 12 team leagues vs. the ‘average’ of 6.5th)

  18. OaktownSteve says:
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    Awesome response. Thanks for taking the time to give such a detailed answer.

    The more I think about it, the more I’m curious about the methodology of comparing players against the average at their position. Looking again at your preliminary point shares, there are a lot of first basemen ranked well below where their ADP will be: Cabrera (13), Gonzalez (19), Fielder (21), Teixeira (28) and so on.

    The objective of the game here is not necessarily to outperform the other teams position by position, but to outperform overall. I think Grey, without doing the math, has stumbled on to this concept by saying yes, 1st base is deep, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to have one of the guys in the top tier. Of the 14 players forcast by PECOTA to hit 30+ hrs this year 9 are 1st basemen (and one is Chris Carter…no effin’ chance). Obviously the top tier is bringing up the average and bringing the points shares way down, but is it in the right proportion?

    I think there’s a complexity to constructing the roster across 23 players that goes beyond how you’ve modeled scarcity. Something along the lines of, if you don’t draft the guys who hit home runs regardless of position there’s just not enough total power in the whole league at the other positions to compensate regardless of how much value you find relative to the point shares model.

    Thanks again…just stumbled on this site a couple weeks ago. One of the best on the interwebs IMHO.

  19. @OaktownSteve: Welcome to the site and very good questions!

    Yes, it’s true that Point Shares tends to be off from ADP. It’s why I note that it does not make for a great draft sheet – particularly since hitters are generally valued greater than pitchers in drafts. I accounted for that in the 180/80 column which weighs up hitters and weighs down pitchers by adjusting the hitter/pitcher split from 152/108 (which would be an equal distribution of $260 amongst 13 hitters and 9 pitchers) to 180/80 (multiply hitters by 1.17 and pitchers by .74). That moves Votto to #5, Miggy up to #9, A-Gonz to #14, Fielder to #15, M-Teix to #20, and Howard to #29.

    Now the differences between hitters get really small (e.g., Miggy is projected at .08 points less than A-Rod and .35 points behind Holliday) which is well below the likely margin of error. so I wouldn’t take this ordering as gospel. But I do think it’s very helpful to have an impartial guide to avoid personally overvaluing a player. Right now, I agree with Grey in preferring Miggy over Votto (I like Pujols better than Miggy though) and would consider A-Gonz and Fielder in late first round/early 2nd round. And I would consider M-Teix in middle 2nd round, Howard in late 2nd round.

    But the impartiality of Point Shares helps me to make these choices. The reason I wouldn’t consider Howard any sooner than late 2nd round is 1) there is no sign amongst projections that he is superior to the others in R/HR/RBI and 2) there are clear signs that he is inferior in AVG. I have to balance this information against my perceived ‘safety’ in these picks – aka my gut (e.g., is Votto the real deal?). Grey obviously feels safer with Howard vs. M-Teix, A-Gonz, and Fielder. I see Howard as the AVG drain of the four, getting dangerously old for his body type (Fielder is 5 years younger). We’ll debate this before any drafts we co-run and we’ll figure out a blend of our two viewpoints.

    FYI, part of the reason why 1Bs are higher in Point Shares than you might think (b/c of the averaging) is that it is set at 75% vs hitters at your position and 25% vs. all hitters. If it was set at 100% vs. hitters at your position, it would depress 1Bs further at the expense of shallower positions. I think there has to be a balance b/w the two as, at the end, you win based on team totals not positional percentage advantages.

    Re: power/speed scarcity, I think it’s overrated outside of deep leagues (16+ team MLB, NL/AL-only). It’s true there are only so many 30+ HR and 30+ SB players. But you can build strength in power/speed via depth. I prefer to have power throughout my team with, ideally, at least one top SB guy. I find players with power tend to better on average in R/RBI whereas drafting a team of 20/20 guys can often come at the expense of R/RBI/AVG. I mean, if I can finish near the top of HRs in an 12 team NL-only snake draft where I picked Lincecum and Reyes as my top 2 picks, it’s easy in a 12-team mixed league. The depth in 1Bs (after the guys above, there are still Dunn, Morneau, Konerko, LaRoche…) would make me willing to invest a #4 pick in Tulo, hoping I can get M-Teix with the 2nd pick and, if not, I’ll get one of those other guys. My 1B/SS power will beat every other teams 1B/SS power…

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