Have you ever been in the middle of a draft and said to yourself, “How could this player still be on the board? I would TOTALLY draft him if I hadn’t already drafted a guy with a similar skill set!”?

If so, that is crazy I was able to nail every word of your thought. But even if the above is just a paraphrasing of your in-draft frustrations, this post may be helpful.

It is common practice to compare one’s fantasy baseball rankings with the best ADP proxy for your draft to ensure that you aren’t reaching for your draft picks. Through this type of analysis, you quickly get a feel for positions that you are valuing more or less than the market so you can determine whom your values rate as the best bargains at each position.

While prepping for my first draft 0f 2016 (see my LABR draft recap), I leveraged ADP in a more powerful way for hitters. I did an analysis to identify how NFBC ADP values correlate with each of the category dollar values in my Preseason Player Raters. This allowed me to see how the market is weighting each category and adjust my rankings accordingly so I wasn’t overpaying for one category (say AVG) vs another (like HRs).

To do this, I ran a regression test using 136 hitters where my playing time estimates seemed about in line with consensus. The reason category dollars work so well for this analysis is because it puts each of the five categories on the same scale and, thus, you can quickly identify that any category with a weight above 1 is valued higher and under 1 valued lower. The same principle is in place if you have category SGP, Z-scores, the FanGraphs calculator, etc. You might be able to do the same with just projected stats but the weights will look crazier since the scales are so different.

When I tested with all five hitting categories, my $RBI came in with a weight of -0.004 which means that it is not a relevant variable for predicting the market’s valuation of a player. Recalculating with the remaining four categories resulted in the following:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hola Razzball Nation. Much like that Pennsylvanian groundrodent (it ain’t a hog), I’ve been underground prepping the first half of this winter. Though it’s not like I’ve been keeping you in the dark as I posted my 2016 fantasy baseball projections (in collaboration w/ Steamer) and auction dollar values around the actual Groundhog Day.

The middle of February ushers in the most romantic holiday of the year for me – LABR Draft. This year it was Tuesday, February 16th – casting its big shadow over V-Day (I dressed up in sunglasses and a moustache – my wife thought I was Grey) and the “Let’s honor dead leaders by giving your kids the day off from school while non-bank/government employers just consider it Monday” holiday.

For those not familiar, this is a 15 team mixed league snake draft with standard 5×5 roto scoring. Same roster format as we use for RCL except 6 bench spots, 2 starting catchers, and unlimited DL. Rosters can be updated weekly. The free agent budget (i.e., FAAB) is $100 and you can only pick up players on the major league roster (the draft is the only time you can prospect stash).

My 2015 LABR Team came in 5th place – putting up a fight for 3rd place but well behind Mike Gianella and Bret Sayre of Baseball Prospectus who edged out Fred Zinkie of MLB.com. Looking at my 2015 draft is a good reminder how the second half of these drafts is the equivalent of a Joc Pederson at bat. Take a few big hacks and hope for a home run (my big flies last year were Khris Davis in 13th, Danny Salazar in 15th, Santiago Casilla in 17th, and David Peralta in the 26th).

Here are the results of the 2016 LABR Draft. I suggest opening it another tab while reading this post.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So much of life comes down to perspective. There are super successful people that are filled with bitterness and anger while others scrape by and are happy. I constantly have to remind myself how lucky I am – great wife & kids, healthy, have money in bank, love where I live – to avoid getting sucked into the craphole of the daily grind.

It is easy for people that do not play fantasy sports to dismiss our joy or anger at our fantasy baseball teams by saying ‘it is just a game.’ You can reduce just about everything people get passionate about with ‘it is just _____’. But that isn’t productive. Reveling in your successes and dismissing your failures only means you ensure less success because you do not fully learn from your failures. And it takes a healthy perspective to isolate the ‘fault’ from the ‘bad luck’ in one’s failures.

I write all this because my first year in Tout Wars was an excrutiating test to keep perspective. Let’s see how good a job I can do….

Please, blog, may I have some more?

July was a great month for the Razzball daily projections. Based on our ongoing testing vs actual stats (aka our Ombostman), July 2015 was our most accurate month ever (tracking since May 2014) for:

  • Projected starting pitcher values – both Roto $ and DFS Points
  • ERA and WHIP
  • Hitter Plate Appearances, At Bats, Hits, Runs (tied with June 2015), SLG %

July also represented our 2nd best performance for RBIs (with tops being last month) so I am feeling very positive about the enhancements chronicled in our July update.

I guess our competitors have been wise not to take us up on our MLB daily projections challenge. And it is only going to get harder based on our latest update….

While the July update might have been a little tough to grasp, the value of our August update should be as simple as playing baseball according to Colin Cowherd. We have incorporated two critical pieces of information that are unique to ‘same day’ projections (and many of you have been clamoring for):

Please, blog, may I have some more?

A great blonde berobed American once said, “In order to be the man, you gotta beat the man.” When it comes to DFS MLB projections, we want to be the man. We just are not sure who, if anyone, we need to beat to wear the championship belt.

So here is our challenge and it is open to anyone who publishes daily DFS MLB projections online. These projections may be free or sold by subscription (like ours for only $9.99/month!). I am willing to put up $500 to make this worth our while (you’ll have to do the same):

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We have four days with no non-exhibition games so I figured I would vomit out a ‘how are my teams doing?’ post. It has been a pretty good year so far – I’d say 3 of my 7 teams are in contention to win. Read the below at your own peril as – by their very nature – team writeups are sess pools for self-congratulation and self-pity.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

There has been a lot of work behind the scenes to our daily projection methodology since my last update in May. The impact has been very positive – e.g., June represented our most accurate month ever for projecting DFS hitter points.

If you haven’t signed up already, I implurge (implore + urge) you to sign up for a month of DFSBot as for $9.99, you will get our DFS projections for DraftKings (and three others providers), the Streamonator + HitterTron for dominating Roto AND free access to our partner LineupLab’s MLB lineup optimizer leveraging our projections.

Here is a summary of the recent projections methodology improvements:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Yesterday, I shared the latest confidence-affirming test on the Razzball daily MLB projections. Today, I have some great news on how you will be able to make the most out of our projections.

We have partnered with Lineup Lab to create a fantastic lineup optimizer. It is FREE for all DFS Premium subscribers for at least the month of June. For the low price of $9.99/month (or FREE if you open up a new DFS account), you will get our projections and this lineup optimizer for this month).

The optimizers can be accessed via the below links or via the Tools Menu.

http://razzball.com/dfsbot-draftkings-optimizer
http://razzball.com/dfsbot-fanduel-optimizer

Like some of you, I have been using an Excel-based ‘Solver’ to optimize our DFS projections. After doing side-by-side comparisons, I can say with certainty that the Lineup Lab optimizer is superior. Here are some of the examples…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Fantasy baseball brings out the competitive bastard in me. Expert leagues, NFBC, and DFS sites like DraftKings are the standard targets of my affliction but I also get obsessive about our daily projections. Short of maybe gambling and winning big bucks in DFS (not going to happen with my limited risk tolerance), it is hard to find ways to test the quality of our daily projections.

It is not for lack of trying. I compare our DFS hitter and pitcher point projections against DFS site salaries in our DFSBot on our Ombotsman page and – going back to May 2014 – there has yet to be a month where a DFS site’s salary has outperformed us. I did a 2 month test last year against ESPN Fantasy Forecaster that showed our starting pitcher projections were superior. I tested last year’s projections against hitter and pitcher recent game data to find areas that could use improvement (highlighted pitcher IP should leverage recent starts more).

As I was contemplating new targets to compare against, I was IM’ing with our lead DFS writer (Sky) and he noted that he looks at Vegas Over/Under estimates for Runs when considering teams to stack. That got me thinking…I could go for some pancakes. After eating those pancakes, I thought, “What if I test our projections against Vegas!”. Then I napped.

Yada yada yada, below are the (favorable) test results versus Las Vegas MLB lines. See bottom of post for some testing notes. As an added bonus (until someone pays me to take them down), DFS Premium subscribers can see these team run projections updated every day (for today + at least the next 6 days) on our Teamonator page.

Please visit our Subscription page for more information on our daily projection subscription packages. We offer daily, monthly, and season long packages – catering both to the Roto and DFS player (if you play both, even better).

Also, stay tuned tomorrow for an awesome addition to DFSBot!!!

Please, blog, may I have some more?
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