Since I know that the only thing most of you like more than rankings and projections are contests, I’ve decided to host a points leagues related fantasy baseball contest this season. Did someone say contest? And for all of you non-points league players, don’t hang up the phone quite yet. The contest is so simple that even a caveman could play it. In all seriousness I urge you to consider participating.

*Just wanted to update everyone in that this contest for Week 1 will lock on Sunday at noon (12:00 EDT) since this week starts on Sunday. All other weeks it will be Monday as stated in the post above.*

Here are the rules…

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Average draft position, more commonly referred to by its acronym ADP, is the bane of my existence. Okay, well maybe that’s a bit of exaggeration. ADP essentially forces your hand. As I touched on in a recent post about Trea Turner, once the market decides a player is going to be drafted in a specific round, that’s the round in which he will consistently be drafted. It doesn’t matter if there are more valuable players still on the board. When the meter says it’s time to select Starling Marte, it’s time to select him. According to my sources his going rate is currently around the 59th pick which translates into the 5th round in a 12-team league. My current rankings have him somewhere around the 8th round depending on your league’s scoring system.

Razzball Commenter Leagues are open! Play against our contributors and your fellow readers for prizes. Join here!

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In case you live under a rock, which is actually Billy Butler in a boulder costume, and it wasn’t as obvious as the fact that Jose Fernandez and Yordano Ventura are going to combine for zero fantasy points this season, fantasy baseball draft season has begun. And in case I wasn’t aware of it, the unending requests for my rankings has surely served as a reminder. Last year I received quite a few emails in anticipation, some of which were rather entertaining. This year, however, one person has topped them all. The email read something like this. “Can you tell me when your rankings will be released? It’s the only post you write that I really care about. My draft is on the 12th.” To that guy I replied with a link to last year’s rankings. I wonder how his draft went. I hope his league gives points for honesty…

Razzball Commenter Leagues are open! Play against our contributors and your fellow readers for prizes. Join here!

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Here’s what I know about projections, they’re guaranteed to be mostly wrong with a handful of unpredictable close calls. That’s probably the most accurate projection I’m about to make, which is not quite the ringing self-endorsement one my expect to read in the introduction paragraph for a 2017 fantasy baseball projections post. Let’s be honest with ourselves, projections are bullshit. They’re little more than slightly educated guesses. This is not meant to take anything away from the hard work and resulting labors of love bestowed upon us by very smart statisticians and baseball analysts, but at the end of the day, I almost feel like the projections-hungry fantasy baseball population would be better off without them. Having just written that sentence I find it extremely ironic considering I am about to release my projections in just a few moments. I think they call that the pot calling the kettle black. Maybe the pot is just racist. Did anyone ever consider that the kettle might have started the name calling? Was it Tim Lincecum’s pot?

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I believe I’ve got a theory. Okay, perhaps it’s more of a conspiracy than a theory. Now that I think about it, it’s really just a topic for the next fifteen or so paragraphs I’m about to write. Is Trea Turner the primary subject of market manipulation? Say what! Seriously, what could that possibly even mean? Wikipedia defines market manipulation as “a deliberate attempt to interfere with the free and fair operation of the market and create artificial, false or misleading appearances with respect to the price of, or market for, a security, commodity or currency“. If we really consider the entire landscape it’s easy to come to the conclusion that “market manipulation” really doesn’t apply, or make sense in this context, but it got me thinking…

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As I begin to prepare my projections and rankings for the 2017 season, I like to look back on the previous season’s attempt to not only assess my work, but also to learn how I can do better next time. Projecting statistics in any sport is a tedious and arduous task. The variables, formulas and algorithms are constantly changing and if you don’t adapt with them, your results will lose their precision and accuracy. However, I’d like to make one point blatantly clear, projections are nothing more than calculated guesses. Some are better than the next, but none are even close to perfect.

Let’s see how I fared with my 2016 efforts. For all positions I will provide the following six numbers: projected points, actual points, projected rank, actual rank, projected points per plate appearance and actual points per plate appearance. I am including points per plate appearance because it helps put a player’s projections vs performance into perspective when they’ve missing time due to injury. For pitchers I’ve replaced points per plate appearance with points per start. I’ve also included a column showing the percentage by which my points projections were off. Any player with an “n/a” listed in this column is because that player spent at least 30 days on the disabled list.

Lastly, a quick note about the rankings listed in this post. These rankings are based purely on points. This season I plan to provide additional rankings that allow me to adjust them based on three important factors: intuition, gut and my sporadic conversations with Nostradumass.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 
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