Frank Grimes of Sunnyvale, California! He was lucky number 401 of the 993 submissions in our Win a Free Awesome Dell XPS 13 Laptop Like the One I Use! contest. I am psyched that the randomizer function I ran picked a longtime reader/commenter (Frank’s been commenting on Razzball since 2013).

My condolences to the 992 of you who failed to win (none of you are losers in my book) and those of you who failed to enter the contest. If you are in the market for a laptop, though, I do give a Fred McGriffian endorsement to the Dell XPS 13 laptop. Below is my review of the laptop from the original post in case you missed or forgot it.

Thanks to Dell for providing the free laptops (I got one too). I look forward to seeing my avatar and endorsement stamped on Dell laptop boxes going forward!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Thanks to the fantasy baseball sabbatical of our longtime pal Nick Minnix, the Tout Wars Mixed League (15-team, snake draft) had an extra spot for good ol’ Rudy. Grey is also in the league (his draft review here) which gives Razzball two chances to win and me three chances to beat Grey in a 2015 league (RCL and Yahoo Friends & Family the other two). It is also the 3rd straight expert draft (LABR Mixed, CBS AL) that fellow Austinite Paul Sporer was in the same draft as me. So I have the opportunity for two hat tricks this year (or to be hat tricked….grr, pessimistic parentheticals).

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This is a post for the fantasy baseball drafters who use Excel, Google Docs, or some other war room software that automatically totals a drafted team’s stats while in the middle of a draft.  Or perhaps for those of you who do mock drafts or simulated drafts.

The below grid represents my projected 75% mark in each stat category across AL-only and NL-only 10 and 12 team leagues. These are based on the standard 2 Catcher/1B/2B/SS/3B/CI/MI/5 OF/UTIL/9 P roster format.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This is the 2nd post in a series (Post #1 was about position adjustments) in which I am going to combine my thoughts on category valuation and general fantasy baseball auction value quality checks.

Determining how to value a player’s contributions across each statistical category is the fundamental challenge of building a system for ranking/valuing fantasy baseball players in the Roto format. Please, blog, may I have some more?

Please, blog, may I have some more?

For the 4th straight year, Razzball is competing in CBSSports.com’s AL-only league (we also compete in NL-only – here’s Grey’s draft post). We won AL-only in 2012 but have struggled the past two years (8th and 9th). The big change for 2015 is that this will be my team exclusively where we co-managed in 2012-2014.

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 Tuesday, February 24th. Here is the complete CBSSports AL-only draft. Notes below.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The road to creating fantasy baseball auction dollar projections is paved with many decisions. Some are plagued with methodological potholes but, if done right, the resulting $ projections should basically get to the same place. (The player projections are the primary driver in differences between competent systems)

Since this is the time of the year where this topic matters, I thought I would shine a light on some of the less visible decisions that impact fantasy baseball auction dollar estimates. I will do my best to keep this from devolving into a mathematical or methodological exercise.

These musings will bleed into at least a second post. This first post is going to focus solely on Position Adjustments.

I have been spending a lot of time thinking about position adjustments this preseason. A significant portion of the fantasy baseball world seems to unconditionally believe that ‘position scarcity’ exists. EVERY draft has a number of C/2B/SS that would be drafted later if they were 1B/3B/OF.

Here are four theories on position adjustments – ranging from smallest to largest:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This is a post for the fantasy baseball drafters who use Excel, Google Docs, or some other war room software that automatically totals a drafted team’s stats while in the middle of a draft.  Or perhaps for those of you who do mock drafts or simulated drafts.

The below grid represents my projected 75% mark in each stat category across 10/12/14/15/16 team ESPN and Yahoo default roster format leagues.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Everyone has their own method of determining their draft board and I imagine mine is rather unique. My early focus is on playing time/injuries so I can run Steamer rates against them and run the results through my Player Rater $ calculation. I then compare this against NFBC ADP and any expert drafts to get a sense for the outliers. As the preseason crawls on, I find myself digging into more and more players and determining whether they are players I want on my team based on their market value.

My tweak this year has been to analyze the outliers (guys my Player Rater is high/low on) earlier in the preseason. Projections are far from perfect and I have no problem drafting a guy above or below my $ value if I feel passionately about his value. These analyses are not terribly thorough – just scanning their FanGraphs pages for peripheral stats and reading Baseball Forecaster and Baseball Prospectus player summaries (the former of which being more helpful than the latter). I also check against Grey’s rankings so I can identify on which players we will inevitably debate.

Below are three pitchers – Julio Teheran, Mat Latos, Tyson Ross – where my Player Rater is way more pessimistic than the other sources I have reviewed. While my reasons vs Steamer’s reasons may differ, it still ends up with the same conclusion: I think these guys are being overvalued and I cannot see how any of three will end up on any of my teams.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

xps13_1160b-100249349-origI have been saddled (by employers) with mediocre PC laptops for years. Most companies have their IT
groups recycle (aka ‘refurbish’) laptops to save costs. Inevitably, all but a couple people end up with 3-year old models that are heavier, slower, and lamer than the latest/greatest model (kind of like comparing a Miguel Cabrera 2014 to Miggy 2011).

Just as my latest laptop started acting up, an e-mail popped into my inbox from Dell. They wanted me to test drive their XPS 13 laptop and share with all of you my thoughts on it. As an incentive, I could keep the laptop and give one out to our wonderful readers. Wow, last year I got a free book to review. This year, a laptop. Just putting it out there that Rudy could use a non-minivan to drive around in…

Please, blog, may I have some more?