While killing time waiting for 2012 projections to be ready (hoping Point Shares are up sometime next week), I finally got around to calculating Point Shares / $ values for 2011. I’ve posted it for 10/12/14/16 team MLB formats as well as a 12-team ‘Best Value’ comparison that includes RCL ADP, my pre-season Point Share projections, Grey’s rankings, and stats on how RCL teams that drafted those players fared (big thanks to VinWins for his RCL work – check him out in the forums!).
Below is a quick position-by-position review based on the 12-team Best Value comparison.
Catchers – Only 5 catchers were taken in the top 100 ADP (Mauer – #37, V-Mart – #49, Posey – #53, McCann – #57, and Santana – #97). V-Mart and Santana provided slightly above-average value (+$4), McCann was slightly below value (-$6), and Mauer + Posey were disasters. The big values after the top 5 were Napoli (+$17.5) and Avila (+$18) with Soto (-$10) and Posada (-$8) the worst values. Point Shares and Grey’s Rankings generally agreed with the RCL participants with Point Shares (correctly) less bullish on Mauer and Soto, more bullish on Napoli and Santana, but not bullish enough on Wieters and M. Montero. Grey was best on Weiters and Montero, was less all-in on Posey, and was hurt a bit more by Posada.
Rudy’s POV: Solid C drafting by RCL but, if you’re not getting any bargains by drafting a C in the first 10 rounds, might as well pick one up later in the draft. Rule of thumb – figure out value of Catcher and then add 2 rounds (or -$2) before drafting.
First Basemen – The RCL, Point Shares, and Grey were in general agreement on 1B rankings. Elite 1Bs remains one of the safest sources of value as the top 7 1Bs were worth $23+. That’s the good news. The bad news is that Adam Dunn, Justin Morneau, and Kendrys Morales were the next 1Bs taken. Several 1B bargains were available at the end of drafts or waivers including Mark Trumbo, Eric Hosmer, and Freddie Freeman but were best-suited for CI vs. 1B.
Rudy’s POV: Hard to fault the RCL drafting here. I would just beware overpaying in late 1st round through 3rd round for 2nd-tier 1Bs. At this point, the top tier = Pujols/M-Cab/Votto/A-Gonz/Fielder in some order. After that, there’s a notable dropoff (Teixeira is closest but his AVG woes dip into this value)
Second Basemen – Cano, Pedroia, Kinsler, and Phillips were all picked (on average) in the first 4 rounds and exceeded their pick value by an average of over $7. Even Uggla came in relatively close to his ADP. It was the next tier of 2Bs (Utley, Weeks, Prado) where it went downhill with only Grey (on Prado) being able to dodge the wreckage. Point Shares were the most bullish of the three in predicting Zobrist’s sneaky good year (99/20/91/19/.269). There weren’t a ton of waiver wire bargains to be had with Danny Espinosa ($11) and Ryan Roberts ($15) turning out best.
Rudy’s POV: In the past, I felt 2Bs were drafted too high because drafters overrated position scarcity. It doesn’t seem to be the case anymore – partly because there are several 2Bs that are great hitters regardless of position. Just don’t panic if there’s an initial 2B run – better to bet on upside in the late round and play the waiver game if they don’t pan out vs. overpay for a Kelly Johnson/Aaron Hill type.
Shortstop - Aside from the Hanley Ramirez debacle, the RCL drafting of top SS was pretty solid. Tulo didn’t quite deliver on his 8th pick but was close (25th overall ranking). Jose Reyes, Elvis Andrus, and Jimmy Rollins were all picked near their value by both RCL and Grey’s rankings (Point Shares was less bearish on Andrus and Rollins). The next tier of SS all slightly underperformed their draft status (Jeter, Al-Ram, Drew, Desmond, Furcal) with the horrifically injured Drew the biggest disappointment. 2011 was definitely the year to pick high or punt as there were several bargains (that none of us saw) at the end of the draft or on waivers: Asdrubal Cabrera, Jhonny Peralta, Erick Aybar, and J.J. Hardy.
Rudy’s POV: It’s hard to get a SS bargain except with a late round flier. If you’re going to pay market rate, at least get someone with upside like Tulo or Andrus. Otherwise, there are enough starting SS around by the end of the draft that I’d focus on other positions instead.
3rd Basemen – Wow, what a brutal year for top 3Bs. Longoria, Wright, A-Rod, Zimmerman, and Youkilis came in far less than their draft status – only Longoria even made the top 150 players based on Point Shares. They were disappointments by all three sources though I will say that Point Shares was more bearish on all five of them. The next tier (Bautista, Beltre, Young, A-Ram) all overperformed ADPs/rankings with ADP/Grey being a lot closer than Point Shares except on Bautista which Point Shares liked the best of the three (and ahead of Youkilis and Zimmerman). Not many bargains at all in this category with Pablo Sandoval and Mark Reynolds being slight values based on ADP (with Grey nailing both their values).
Rudy’s POV: Avoid any 3B north of 30 with an injury history (A-Rod, Youk) or that play in a cavernous stadium. Otherwise, go for it.
Outfielder – It would be great if I could credit RCL ADP, Point Shares, or Grey with predicting Granderson or Ellsbury but we all missed. Most of the OF rankings are pretty close – I’ll give Grey for some credit of rating Berkman higher than most. Several nice bargains to be had with Michael Morse, Alex Gordon, Carlos Beltran, and Melky Cabrera.
Rudy’s POV: Solid drafting by RCL. I remain a fan of drafting an OF every 5 rounds but it doesn’t spare you the pain when you draft a Shin-Soo Choo or Jason Heyward with your first OF.
Starting Pitchers - The top 4 pitchers overall (Verlander, Kershaw, Lee, Halladay) were the top 8 pitchers picked in RCL. While the other 4 (F-Her, Lincecum, Lester, and Sabathia) had solid years, the impact an ace has on a fantasy team is huge. Based on analysis by VinWins, teams that drafted Verlander and Kershaw had the 17th and 35th highest average finish for all drafted players while Lincecum and F-Her drafters finished in 254th and 259th, respectively. The teams that drafted Jered Weaver actually had the highest average finish of all drafted players. Bargains could be found throughout the draft including James Shields (210 ADP), Ian Kennedy (198 ADP), and Doug Fister (undrafted).
Rudy’s POV: Starting pitchers are the hardest category on which to advise drafting strategy. If I feel really confident that an SP will put up elite stats (200+ IP, 200+ Ks, < 1.05 WHIP, solid shot at 17+ wins), I’m willing to take them in the first 2 rounds. But I get less confident by the year on this happening (got burnt by F-Her in one league). Much like OFs, I’d stick with a general strategy of drafting one SP every 5 rounds. And I echo Grey’s opinions on trying to balance risk across the pitching staff – including not falling exclusively in love with K guys (with bad WHIP) or younger upside pitchers (more likely to get injured or underperform).
Relief Pitchers - It was a very underwhelming year for top closers – the first 5 off the board (Marmol, Bell, Wilson, Feliz, Soria) all underperformed. The three most valuable closers (Kimbrel – $21, Storen – $17, Axford – $16) were all drafted outside the first 140 picks. As always, there are several non-drafted relievers who became valuable pickups including Fernando Salas ($13), Sergio Santos ($11), Kyle Farnsworth ($10), and Jordan Walden ($10).
Rudy’s POV – When you invest in a top 10 closer, you aren’t necessarily buying better performance, you’re buying less risk. I like to stock up on relievers knowing 1-2 will likely flame out and, if they don’t, you could always trade them. Best to keep in mind how committed the team is to the closer (a pitcher on the first year of a multi-year contract will get more rope than someone in the last year of a deal).
Last but not least, below are the official ‘Best Value 2012′ and ‘Worst Value 2012′ squads. $580 worth of value for $153 worth of draft picks for the ‘Best Values’. The ‘Worst Value’ team came in at -$40 worth of value for $502 draft dollars (or $55 worth of value if you don’t believe players should receive negative $ amounts – fair in cases where you have DL room and get replacement stats…unfair for those that had to keep Adam Dunn in their lineups last year).
|$ Best Value (12 team MLB, C/1B/2B/SS/3B/5 OF/CI/MI/UTIL/9P)|
|Pos||Name||Actual||Point Shares||Grey||RCL ADP||RCL ADP $|
|$ Worst Value (12 team MLB, C/1B/2B/SS/3B/5 OF/CI/MI/UTIL/9P)|
|Pos||Name||Actual||Point Shares||Grey||RCL ADP||RCL ADP $|