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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 $
C Alex Avila 17 0 0 >300 0
1B Lance Berkman 26 0 11 224 4
2B Ryan Roberts 15 0 0 >300 0
SS Asdrubal Cabrera 26 2 1 223 4
3B Jose Bautista 43 26 16 36 22
OF Matt Kemp 59 27 31 18 30
OF Jacoby Ellsbury 52 20 16 57 19
OF Curtis Granderson 48 17 15 89 14
OF Melky Cabrera 28 0 0 >300 0
OF Alex Gordon 29 1 0 >300 0
CI Michael Morse 24 0 0 >300 0
MI J.J. Hardy 17 0 0 >300 0
UTIL David Ortiz 23 3 6 142 10
SP Ian Kennedy 23 2 8 198 6
SP James Shields 23 4 4 210 5
SP Doug Fister 13 0 0 >300 0
SP Ricky Romero 15 3 6 188 6
SP Josh Beckett 17 5 6 196 6
SP Justin Verlander 37 21 17 47 20
RP Fernando Salas 13 0 0 >300 0
RP Craig Kimbrel 21 8 5 178 7
RP Sergio Santos 11 0 0 >300 0

 

$ 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 $
C Joe Mauer -6 23 21 37 24
1B Adam Dunn -18 25 24 32 25
2B Chone Figgins -19 7 12 132 13
SS Hanley Ramirez 4 47 47 2 52
3B Pedro Alvarez -19 15 16 89 16
OF Carl Crawford 6 36 29 7 39
OF Shin-Soo Choo -5 30 24 34 25
OF Jason Heyward -3 24 27 35 25
OF Alex Rios -1 16 19 52 22
OF Colby Rasmus 1 12 15 86 17
CI Justin Morneau -19 19 25 43 23
MI Chase Utley 4 17 22 67 20
UTIL Ryan Zimmerman 5 24 30 17 32
SP Francisco Liriano -7 9 19 71 19
SP Ubaldo Jimenez -2 19 17 57 21
SP Josh Johnson 1 20 17 63 21
SP Roy Oswalt -1 15 17 79 18
SP Felix Hernandez 14 27 25 22 30
SP Tommy Hanson 8 15 13 54 22
RP Carlos Marmol 9 17 17 89 16
RP Joakim Soria 9 16 17 93 16
RP Jonathan Broxton 0 14 12 124 13

36 Responses

  1. Bombo Rivera says:
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    RCL openings!

    Two people have not accepted my invitation and have not responded to my e-mails, so I’m looking for replacements. It would be great if you are a little flexible about draft times.

    If you’re interested, e-mail me at mattfin at hotmail dot com.

    • mic says:
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      @Bombo Rivera, yo for some reason i didn’t get an invite… i’ll e-mail you again…

  2. Bourne says:
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    Rudy, do you think it is better to buy a top 5 2b or top 5 SS and wait for a flier on the other? Or would you recommend going hard after both or neither?

    • @Bourne, As long as the 2B/SS is near their projected value and generally has been consistent health wise, I’m fine drafting a 2B and/or a SS in the first 5 rounds. I think I had H-Ram and Tulo in my pre-season top 5 last year. I think Cano is a 1st round pick at this point. I just caution against overdrafting a 2B/SS just b/c of their position.

  3. Max says:
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    What do you think about this trade offer?:
    20 players keeper league:
    Team A receives: Cory Luebke, Jarrod Parker and 22nd Round Draft Pick (256th Overall, what would be my second pick in the draft)
    Team B receives: Max Scherzer and Chris Carpenter.
    I’ve been thinking a lot and I can’t decide yet. I was the champion last year, so my team is ready to compete. Thanks!

    • @Max, That’s a big step back in expected 2012 performance. I fyou want to compete this year, I wouldn’t make that trade. But if you were rebuilding, it’s an okay offer (Scherzer’s still young so tough to trade him)

  4. Benny says:
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    When Jorge Soler is signed, how long do you think he’ll be in the minors? I know he’s young but the likely 4yr 25-30m deal could potentially push clubs to move him thru the minors faster. I don’t know much about him besides Rosenthal saying he has Stanton-esque power.

    • Benny says:
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      @Benny, To clarify- im not suggesting he has any value this yr. this question was more for dynasty lg purposes.

      • @Benny, I think it’s likely 2-3 years before he sees the majors. I can’t think of any Cubans this young being able to start immediately in the majors (he’s “19″).

  5. Lance Berkman says:
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    Oh yeah…big Berk making it on the list

  6. Tony says:
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    Rudy- that best value squad makes me sick, i mean seriously look at that team! Besides Kemp and Verlander I hate almost all the players on there or wouldn’t have drafted them in a million years. I do like Asdrubal, but wow…. that teams a head scratcher. Do you or anyone think 2011 was a bit odd? With the guys that flopped, the guys that got hurt, it was a trainwreck….?

    • @Tony, Yeah, I know. It wasn’t a great fantasy year for me in mixed leagues so maybe there’s something to your theory :)

      • @Rudy Gamble, That reminds me…I’m going to add an all ‘bust’ team…that’ll probably be more gut-wrenching…

        • @Rudy Gamble, Just added. Still guts me how much Morneau hurt some of our expert teams and how Choo and Rios combined to torpedo my otherwise awesome AL-only squad.

          • mc serch says:
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            @Rudy Gamble, @Rudy Gamble, love the air quotes ’round Soler’s age in earlier comment….picking up on Tony’s comment, I think the “best value” team is also a pretty good list of players that are subject to being overvalued this coming year and the “worst value” team has many guys that could give tremendous value this year. With regard to the latter, what’s your take on Hanley, Crawford, Heyward and Choo? SS and OF seem real shallow and these guys could make a big difference methinks…bee tee dubs, we gonna see the Risky Pitcher’s post soon? Me love you long time!

            • @mc serch, I agree that the ‘best value’ players will likely regress and the ‘worst value’ players are likely to improve. I haven’t run the stats yet but my expectation is that I’m going to like Heyward and Choo (relative to ADP) more than Hanley and Crawford. Too much of Hanley/Crawford’s value tied to speed and not sure they’ll be healthy enough to steal a ton of bases (look at Reyes last year).

              We’ll see on Risky Pitcher…what a humbling exercise :)

              • Tony says:
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                @Rudy Gamble, wow ya half my guys i drafted last yr were on the bust team, awesome…. guys just fell flat on their faces.

  7. Rennan says:
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    Rudy,

    Great post! I recall you and Grey did a post last year on teams you “drafted” based on your preferred method (don’t recall exactly the different methods or strategies). It would be nice to know how your teams compared based on last years numbers.

    • @Rennan, Yup, the Grey vs. Rudy Challenge where we rostered the players with the biggest differences in draft value between our rankings. I’ll get to that soon. From what I remember, both our teams sucked and it made me feel stronger that ‘our two heads are better than one’ strategy in expert leagues has some validity.

  8. Amish G says:
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    @Rudy. I’m in an ultra competitive 3 year keeper auction league (h2h). We’ve switched from total k’s in a 5×5 scoring sytem to K/9. Years past I loaded up on SP’s and closers to try and win k’s, wins and saves. Now, I’m rethinking rolling out 4 stud starters and try and draft 2 more closers. We have a 27 inning a week minimum. Here’s who I have and want to roll out:
    Lee/Weaver/Grienke/m.Moore – bench Chapman/Minor
    Motte – need two more closers (we have 2 RP slots and one P slot)
    I like my chances of winning K/9, whip and era (maybe saves…what are your thoughts Rudy? Thanks!

    • @Amish G, Moving to K/9 definitely reduces SP value. Racking up starts helps W/K while risking the two rate stats (ERA/WHIP). Now, the only benefit to marginal starts is Wins. This puts a lot of emphasis on SPs. Lee/Weaver/Greinke are an awesome first three.

      Moore and Minor are solid prospects (I’m eh on Chapman). I can see those 2 as part of a rotation of 2 other SPs where you start 1-2 based on weekly matchups.

      Agreed two more closers would be good. But I wouldn’t go crazy for saves as H2H leads to some fluky outcomes (where one closer beats three closers in Saves). If closers are overvalued, go with high-K MRs who could help on the three ratios and maybe surprise with a W.

      • Amish G says:
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        @Rudy Gamble, Thanks! Right now I’m tying 30% of my cap on the pitching I have, and plan on using another 10% (60/40 split)to fill out my staff, including Rp’s…liking the high K-MR’s route…guys like clippard/venters/abreau should go fairly cheap.
        Wish I could get that number to 70/30, but I really like those 3 SP’s anchoring my staff. Do I let one of them go with mid tier SP as my #3? If so, who do you drop between Lee/Grienke/Weaver?
        Thanks!

        • @Amish G, i’d stick w/ the 3 aces. you can always trade one during the season for a bat.

  9. chata says:
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    @ Rudy :

    enjoyed the article very much .

    not being an expert , which requires being proficient at analyzing the full gamut of players , i must pick and choose my battles carefully .

    would like to take this moment to recall a preseason discussion that i had with Grey , where i guaranteed that ellsbury would hit 3 times as many
    home runs as brett gardner .

    since it was , perhaps , the defining moment of my 2011 season , i just wish that his guy could have lived up to his end of the bargain .

    • @chata, Ellsbury definitely surprised with the power last year. There’s always the promise that the high SB guys will provide HRs (think Crawford and Reyes) but they often max out at 15 or so. Ellsbury was a great buy-low candidate b/c he was young and his struggles were non-leg health related. Hope you were able to draft Ellsbury in a few leagues based on your hunch!

  10. The Vaporizers says:
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    Hey Rudy, had a keeper question for you.

    I’m in my 2nd year in a dynasty league where I took over for a last place team. I have made all sorts of deals and needed a little feedback on my last keeper. Its a 12 team league and most of the owners overvalue hitting when it comes to their keepers. We get to keep 8 major league players (as long as we want), one of which had to be a rookie last season and 8 minor league players Its 7×7 where we also include OPS and hits as well as Holds and Quality Starts.

    The 2nd half of last year I went to all out rebuilding mode.

    My minors are:
    Harper, Trout, Machado, Mesoraco, Kipnis, Belt, Marisnick and Castellanos

    My majors are:
    Braun
    Bruce
    Ike Davis
    Jimmy Rollins
    Michael Young
    Verlander
    Beachy *Rookie from last year

    And then I have room for one more. On my roster I also have Brett Gardner, Miguel Montero, and Daniel Hudson or I can easily acquire Drew Stubbs.

    Who do you keep in this situation? With Gardner or Stubbs I’d be getting some speed obviously and I would have a 2nd OF that will be playing at the start of the season. It will be a couple months before Braun, Trout and probably Harper are playing regularly. But speed can always be found in a draft. Montero is easily the best catcher not being kept. I do have Mesoraco, but he isn’t going to get a full season of AB’s. Then I also have my crush, Daniel Hudson but that would leave me with keeping 3 pitchers which has been proven to not be the best strategy in this league.

    • @The Vaporizers, Tough call. I just don’t think Gardner, Montero, or Stubbs are keeper-worthy. I’d roll the dice on Mesoraco next year and hold onto Hudson. He’s got the best chance of the group for being great in 2 years which is how you should be thinking for keepers.

  11. quimmy says:
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    @Rudy @ALL: Great Article!

    quick question. i have fielder in rd 2, kemp in rd 3, jup in rd 4 and panda in rd 6 in my keeper league. i also have a 1st round pick in this scenario. the player pool is pretty thin though and my choices aren’t great. with my keepers in mind, would u rather have uggla or s.castro with my first pick? we use 6×6 (standard +OBP). thanks!

    • @quimmy, Well, neither is going to work as a keeper. Surprised someone didn’t have Castro as a keeper. I’d take Uggla.

      • quimmy says:
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        @Rudy Gamble, thank you sir.

  12. WallyCleaver says:
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    Rudy, Great post. Last year I had a little of both from each list and ended up in the middle (figures).
    Keeper question: I’m in a 10 team league 6×6 with OBP instead of average and hits as the 6th category. $260 budget. Struggling between Peralta at $2 (as my projected MI) or Stubbs at $2. I don’t have much other speed and what is likely to be there draft day in the OF is either more expensive (Bourn) or mediocre. I could get it from SS though with more of a financial commitment. Another option is to bag both and keep Adam Jones for $7 or Zobrist for $16 but they’ll probably go for that anyway. What do you think?

    • @WallyCleaver, I’d definitely keep Stubbs in that scenario as he’s set to leadoff which should help in Hits and Runs. He’s decent on HR and SB too. Wouldn’t worry too much about SB in this format but you can’t afford to completely punt it. Let Peralta go – he’s due for major regression. Neither Jones/Zobrist are great deals….i’d consider Jones before Zobrist given those rates.

  13. WallyCleaver says:
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    Thanks. I was leaning that way and this pushes me that way.

  14. mic says:
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    @Rudy Gamble, who has the best value in the 4th round of an NFBC draft: Andrus, Castro, Uggla, Hosmer, McCann, Sandoval…

    • @mic, tough call. give me a week to figure that one out (once i’ve done point shares). off the top of my head, i’d say McCann and then Andrus.

  15. thekingadrock says:
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    Great post thanks! I’m wondering how your draft strategy would change for SP in leagues using CG?

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