For the fifth straight year, Razzball is competing in CBSSports.com’s AL-only league (we also compete in NL-only). It has been a struggle the past three years after Grey and I won it in 2012. Beginning last year, we divided up AL and NL-only duty with the other one as co-manager as a backup. One look at last year’s squad and you will see that it effectively served as my “Everything bad happen to this one so my other teams are spared” team.

I enjoy the CBSSports leagues for two reasons: 1) We are in the mixed league versions of LABR and Tout Wars so this league lets us compete in an expert AL-only league and 2) There are daily pick-ups in this league with a $0 FAAB option – this hugely favors maniacal daily players like me.

Below is the team I drafted on Wednesday, February 24th. Here is the complete CBSSports AL-only draft as well as the LABR auction prices for those players from March 5th. Notes below…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

For years, Grey and I have been thinking about what would be the perfect low-stakes paid league complement to our free Razzball Commenter Leagues (sign up now).

In 2014 and 2015, we co-sponsored 15-team $150 NFBC leagues (50 round slow drafts) and got a positive response from many of you. I cannot say enough good things about NFBC – great service, great people, great site. Unfortunately, we did not get anywhere near the turnout we get for RCL leagues (100 leagues vs 3?!) which puts us in a Field of Dreams-esque position when it comes to lobbying/negotiating a format more attractive to Razzball readers. No offense to people who love that movie but ‘build it and they will come’ does not work very well in the business world.

I mentioned this dilemma to my buddy Dr. Roto when he told me that Scout.com – which has hosted the Fantasy Football World Championships for years – was contemplating Fantasy Baseball paid leagues for 2016. A partnership was born….

Here are the rules for the $88 Scout MLB Razzball Pennant Leagues that are available NOW and will feature Razzball writers + Scout.com Fantasy experts.

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I wrote a detailed post last year on position adjustments where I looked at the subject from a few different angles. While I still have the same position that the concept of ‘position scarcity’ (aka boosting up the values of certain positions like C/2B/SS) in mixed leagues is false but largely benign, the illogicality of it is driving me a little nuttier this year. Hence, another post.

I will be focusing on standard mixed league formats. AL/NL-only is a different beast where ‘scarcity’ could occur at any position given the percentage of major league starting players who are drafted.

To start, here is a hypothetical question. Let’s say a player is projected at 80/20/80/5/.280. Should he more expensive in a draft as a 2B or a 3B? Catcher or SS? 1B or OF?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

For those of you in leagues where SP and RP are rostered positions, the below list includes all SP/RP eligible pitchers (defined as 5+ Games Started and 5+ Relief Appearances in 2015). You can arrange the list via seven categories; 2015 games started, 2015 games pitched in relief, projections for both 2016 games started and games pitched in relief, and by ERA, WHIP, and K9. Any questions, feel free to post them below!

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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):

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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?
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