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As we learned in our recent poll, Razzball readers play three main roster formats (adds up to > 100% b/c some play multiple formats):

Format # of Respondents %
Yahoo! standard (C/1B/2B/SS/3B/3 OF/2 UTIL/2 SP/2 RP/4 P) 626 42%
ESPN standard (C/1B/2B/SS/3B/5 OF/CI/MI/UTIL/9 P) 452 30%
NFBC/2 Catcher format (2 C/1B/2B/SS/3B/5 OF/CI/MI/UTIL/9 P) 261 18%
Other 620 42%

Note:  About 8.5% plan to play both ESPN and Yahoo formats.

There are many different permutations in ‘Other’ but the similarities across them tend to be:

  • Requiring a certain # of SP and RP (about 50%)
  • Lineups with less than 13 hitting spots and less than 9 pitching spots (about 50%)
  • Dividing OF into RF / CF / LF (about 15%)
  • Other 2 Catcher variations (about 10%)

In this post, I’m going to tackle what I think is the biggest outstanding question:  How do player rankings vary based on ESPN and Yahoo! roster formats?

Background

Before I dig in, I think it is worth noting that I believe the vast majority of mixed player rankings (i.e., ranking all hitters and pitchers together) outside of the Yahoo! bloggers are based on the ESPN format as that is closer to the standard in most expert leagues.  (Most expert leagues use 2 C but I think most experts greatly discount the increased position scarcity this creates and just draft a 2nd catcher for $1 or at the end of the draft).  So this would mean that it’s possible that Yahoo! ADPs might be unduly biased by Yahoo! fantasy leaguers using off-site rankings.  Seems like an opportunity!

For the sake of the analysis, I’m going to focus on the most popular format – 12 Team MLB.

Hitters

The differences between the Yahoo! and ESPN default roster formats are:

-2 less OF
- No CI
- No MI
- 1 extra UTIL

In all, there are three less hitters in Yahoo! vs. ESPN which increases both the quality of rostered hitters as well as the players on waivers.

The biggest wildcard in understanding how this impacts the value at each position is how each team fills its 2 UTIL positions.  The best assumption for how teams will fill those UTIL position is using the best available hitters.  To estimate hitter value, I am using a formula that I got from Tom Tango of InsideTheBook.com – HR+SB+R/3+RBI/3+(H-0.27*AB).  The below chart shows the curve for hitter value based on each fantasy baseball position (for players with multiple position eligibility, I order the most valuable to least valuable for positions as: C, SS, 2B, 3B, OF, 1B, DH.  So a 1B/OF is placed at OF.)

Here is the OF value curve:

In the ESPN format, the cutoff for roster-worthy hitters is at about 50 points.  For Middle Infielders, this is typically at about the 18th 2B/SS which are used to fill in the last MI spots.  The same would go for 3B as it fills out some of the CI spots.  1B typically has enough depth to help contribute to the UTIL position but it’s mostly carried by the OF position (Ortiz was the only DH worthy of being rostered in 2011).

In the Yahoo! format, the fewer roster spots raise the floor for roster-worthy hitters to about 60.  If we look at the 13th most valuable 1B/2B/SS/3B, we can see that 1B still has greater value than 2B/SS/3B.  For 2011, I estimated that 4 of the 24 UTIL spots would be filled by 1B.  The 37th OF is still close to 80 points and about 20 OFs can be drafted before their value dips below 60.

The net impact is that the lack of mandatory CI/MI spots and a 2nd UTIL spot results into deeper rostering of OF in proportion to 1B/2B/SS/3B (catcher was never a threat for a team to take more than necessary).  Thus, the average OF becomes relatively more valuable in Yahoo whereas the average 1B/2B/SS/3B becomes relatively less valuable (with catchers staying at the same relative value).

* Note:  One thing I didn’t test but can theorize is the impact of Yahoo’s 10 game position eligibility policy vs. ESPN’s 20 game policy.  My guess is that it has little to no impact for those who gain additional 1B/2B/SS/3B/OF eligibility as those positions have little scarcity (and any infielder displaced by an OF with IF eligibility will likely be drafted as a UTIL in place of an OF so it balances out).  The only case where I think it has notable impact is at Catcher where the likely 11th/12th catchers wouldn’t have UTIL appeal.  In that case, it likely would reduce the scarcity at catcher with minor (if any) impact to the other positions (notably b/c it’s unlikely anyone with partial C eligibility would be drafted otherwise).  On quick review, I don’t see any notable catchers who would have Yahoo but not ESPN eligibility except for maybe Jesus Montero (who only had 3 games at C in 2011 but could be a judgment call) and he’ll likely earn C-eligibility anyway.

Pitchers

The enforcement of at least 2 SP and 2 RP eliminates the chances that someone employs an all-SP or all-RP rotation.  This is a rare tactic and one which I think IP min/max limits already address.  So I would say, in general, that 2 SP / 2 RP/ 4 P is really no different than 8 pitchers.

One key difference between hitters and Starting Pitchers is that it is more effective rotating SPs (or SP/RP) because of the days off between starts.  Even in weekly leagues, managers can rotate ’2-start’ pitchers in place of ’1-start’ pitchers.  The net impact is that fantasy league managers tend to get the equivalent of 9 pitchers out of the 8 roster spots.  I tested this hypothesis in one Yahoo! expert league we’re in and found the average team had about 1,340 IP which is about where the average team in the Razzball Commenter League (with 9 pitchers) averaged 1,341 IP.

Since there is little to no difference in terms of pitcher usage between the ESPN and Yahoo! formats while shallower hitting lineups are used, there is greater scarcity among pitchers than hitters (also could be phrased that replacement value for pitchers is relatively lower).  Thus, pitchers increase in value vs. hitters.

Conclusion

At the end of the post are charts with the top 50 ranked hitters (based on Point Shares) in the Yahoo! vs. ESPN default roster formats .  As you’ll see, pitchers generally creep up the ranking at the expense of hitters with C and OF values benefiting vs. 1B/2B/SS/3B.

After going through the full results, there isn’t a clear-cut formula I can provide on how to convert ESPN-based rankings to Yahoo.  I’ll be producing Point Shares in both formats for 2012 so you’ll be able to see the differences.

My general guidance for Yahoo! snake drafts would be (same for roto and H2H):

1) In the first 5 rounds, try to only draft 1B/2B/SS/3B if they are close to the best hitter available (position-agnostic).

2) I would aim to take an SP in the first 3 rounds and two in the first 5 rounds.  After that, you can draft SPs every 4-5 rounds with the goal of drafting at least 6 SPs.

3) I would keep the same general strategy for OF – draft one every 4-5 rounds.

4) I would keep the same general strategy for Catchers – don’t draft a catcher until they at least come at a 2 round bargain.  There will always be decent catchers available at the end of the draft and on waivers.

5) I wouldn’t draft a closer in the first 10 rounds unless they have 80+ K potential and almost no threat of being dethroned.  I would draft closers in volume in the latter half of the draft to stockpile saves and minimize risk (since they are more likely to lose their closer role).

The net result should be a team that’s stronger on pitching and OF with a likely need to dig for free agents at one or more of the 1B/2B/SS/3B positions.  With the available depth and shrewd managing, you should be able to put together a good offense and be in better position to snag breakout players vs. your competitors (who’ll be focused on SP/RP/OF on waivers).

Top 50 Players Based on Point Shares (2011 – Using Yahoo Roster Format)
ESPN Rank Y! Rank Name All Pos Point Shares – ESPN Point Shares – Yahoo $ ($260) – ESPN $ ($260) – Yahoo!
1 1 Matt Kemp OF OF 12.38 13.74 $50 $62
2 2 Justin Verlander SP SP 12.25 12.25 $50 $57
3 3 Jacoby Ellsbury OF OF 10.43 11.41 $44 $54
5 4 Ryan Braun OF OF 9.94 10.84 $43 $52
6 5 Curtis Granderson OF OF 9.50 10.18 $41 $49
4 6 Clayton Kershaw SP SP 10.12 10.12 $43 $49
7 7 Jose Bautista 3B,OF 3B 8.09 7.80 $37 $41
8 8 Cliff Lee SP SP 7.72 7.72 $36 $40
9 9 Roy Halladay SP SP 7.45 7.45 $35 $39
10 10 Jered Weaver SP SP 7.19 7.19 $34 $38
11 11 Miguel Cabrera 1B 1B 6.73 6.28 $33 $35
12 12 Adrian Gonzalez 1B 1B 6.66 6.20 $32 $35
14 13 James Shields SP SP 6.18 6.18 $31 $35
16 14 Ian Kennedy SP SP 5.96 5.96 $30 $34
13 15 Robinson Cano 2B 2B 6.46 5.69 $32 $33
20 16 Justin Upton OF OF 5.45 5.37 $29 $32
15 17 Albert Pujols 1B 1B 5.99 5.33 $30 $32
21 18 Craig Kimbrel RP RP 5.28 5.28 $28 $32
17 19 Prince Fielder 1B 1B 5.93 5.23 $30 $31
23 20 Cole Hamels SP SP 5.15 5.15 $28 $31
19 21 Dustin Pedroia 2B 2B 5.88 5.06 $30 $31
18 22 Ian Kinsler 2B 2B 5.90 4.99 $30 $31
24 23 Dan Haren SP SP 4.76 4.76 $26 $30
22 24 Joey Votto 1B 1B 5.19 4.41 $28 $28
25 25 Troy Tulowitzki SS SS 4.67 4.35 $26 $28
27 26 Carlos Gonzalez OF OF 4.28 4.01 $25 $27
28 27 Alex Gordon OF OF 4.26 3.98 $25 $27
30 28 Melky Cabrera OF OF 4.06 3.75 $24 $26
31 29 CC Sabathia SP SP 3.66 3.66 $23 $26
41 30 Mike Napoli C,1B C 3.27 3.61 $22 $26
34 31 Drew Storen RP RP 3.46 3.46 $22 $25
26 32 Adrian Beltre 3B 3B 4.39 3.38 $25 $25
36 33 Josh Beckett SP SP 3.35 3.35 $22 $25
45 34 Victor Martinez C C 2.96 3.29 $21 $24
29 35 Michael Young 3B 3B 4.21 3.28 $25 $24
35 36 Jose Reyes SS SS 3.41 3.06 $22 $24
43 37 C.J. Wilson SP SP 3.03 3.03 $21 $23
33 38 Lance Berkman 1B,OF OF 3.49 3.00 $23 $23
44 39 John Axford RP RP 2.98 2.98 $21 $23
46 40 J.J. Putz RP RP 2.86 2.86 $21 $23
37 41 Hunter Pence OF OF 3.32 2.83 $22 $23
40 42 Asdrubal Cabrera SS SS 3.27 2.67 $22 $22
51 43 Ricky Romero SP SP 2.61 2.61 $20 $22
53 44 Mariano Rivera RP RP 2.54 2.54 $20 $22
47 45 Michael Bourn OF OF 2.80 2.40 $20 $21
32 46 Mark Teixeira 1B 1B 3.60 2.37 $23 $21
57 47 Matt Cain SP SP 2.35 2.35 $19 $21
60 48 Tim Lincecum SP SP 2.25 2.25 $19 $21
61 49 Jose Valverde RP RP 2.24 2.24 $19 $21
63 50 Jonathan Papelbon RP RP 2.14 2.14 $18 $20

 

Top 50 Players Based on Point Shares (2011 – Using ESPN Roster Format)
ESPN Rank Y! Rank Name All Pos Point Shares – ESPN Point Shares – Yahoo $ ($260) – ESPN $ ($260) – Yahoo!
1 1 Matt Kemp OF OF 12.38 13.74 $50 $62
2 2 Justin Verlander SP SP 12.25 12.25 $50 $57
3 3 Jacoby Ellsbury OF OF 10.43 11.41 $44 $54
4 6 Clayton Kershaw SP SP 10.12 10.12 $43 $49
5 4 Ryan Braun OF OF 9.94 10.84 $43 $52
6 5 Curtis Granderson OF OF 9.50 10.18 $41 $49
7 7 Jose Bautista 3B,OF 3B 8.09 7.80 $37 $41
8 8 Cliff Lee SP SP 7.72 7.72 $36 $40
9 9 Roy Halladay SP SP 7.45 7.45 $35 $39
10 10 Jered Weaver SP SP 7.19 7.19 $34 $38
11 11 Miguel Cabrera 1B 1B 6.73 6.28 $33 $35
12 12 Adrian Gonzalez 1B 1B 6.66 6.20 $32 $35
13 15 Robinson Cano 2B 2B 6.46 5.69 $32 $33
14 13 James Shields SP SP 6.18 6.18 $31 $35
15 17 Albert Pujols 1B 1B 5.99 5.33 $30 $32
16 14 Ian Kennedy SP SP 5.96 5.96 $30 $34
17 19 Prince Fielder 1B 1B 5.93 5.23 $30 $31
18 22 Ian Kinsler 2B 2B 5.90 4.99 $30 $31
19 21 Dustin Pedroia 2B 2B 5.88 5.06 $30 $31
20 16 Justin Upton OF OF 5.45 5.37 $29 $32
21 18 Craig Kimbrel RP RP 5.28 5.28 $28 $32
22 24 Joey Votto 1B 1B 5.19 4.41 $28 $28
23 20 Cole Hamels SP SP 5.15 5.15 $28 $31
24 23 Dan Haren SP SP 4.76 4.76 $26 $30
25 25 Troy Tulowitzki SS SS 4.67 4.35 $26 $28
26 32 Adrian Beltre 3B 3B 4.39 3.38 $25 $25
27 26 Carlos Gonzalez OF OF 4.28 4.01 $25 $27
28 27 Alex Gordon OF OF 4.26 3.98 $25 $27
29 35 Michael Young 3B 3B 4.21 3.28 $25 $24
30 28 Melky Cabrera OF OF 4.06 3.75 $24 $26
31 29 CC Sabathia SP SP 3.66 3.66 $23 $26
32 46 Mark Teixeira 1B 1B 3.60 2.37 $23 $21
33 38 Lance Berkman 1B,OF OF 3.49 3.00 $23 $23
34 31 Drew Storen RP RP 3.46 3.46 $22 $25
35 36 Jose Reyes SS SS 3.41 3.06 $22 $24
36 33 Josh Beckett SP SP 3.35 3.35 $22 $25
37 41 Hunter Pence OF OF 3.32 2.83 $22 $23
38 53 Ben Zobrist 1B,2B,OF 2B 3.31 1.93 $22 $20
39 52 Aramis Ramirez 3B 3B 3.27 2.05 $22 $20
40 42 Asdrubal Cabrera SS SS 3.27 2.67 $22 $22
41 30 Mike Napoli C,1B C 3.27 3.61 $22 $26
42 60 Brandon Phillips 2B 2B 3.07 1.67 $21 $19
43 37 C.J. Wilson SP SP 3.03 3.03 $21 $23
44 39 John Axford RP RP 2.98 2.98 $21 $23
45 34 Victor Martinez C C 2.96 3.29 $21 $24
46 40 J.J. Putz RP RP 2.86 2.86 $21 $23
47 45 Michael Bourn OF OF 2.80 2.40 $20 $21
48 68 Paul Konerko 1B 1B 2.74 1.42 $20 $18
49 51 Michael Morse OF OF 2.73 2.08 $20 $20
50 71 David Ortiz DH DH 2.64 1.27 $20 $17

 

53 Responses

  1. Steve says:
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    Phew – my head hurts. Great job, Rudy. How, if at all, does your guidance change when your Yahoo roster has just one Util and has LF/CF/RF positions?

    • @Steve, Thanks. I’ve never dug into LF/CF/RF vs. OF but I’d assume CF is shallower and would have increase position scarcity vs the other two. Absolutely no doubt that Matt Kemp has to be the #1 pick in a Yahoo standard league with LF/CF/RF.

      • Jim Future says:
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        @Rudy Gamble, Playing in a LF/CF/RF league, the surprising thing you discover about the current OF talent pool is that it’s not CF that’s the weak link as you might expect – it’s LF. LF is putrid; you’ve got Braun, Holliday, then Gordon, then assorted dross – the third most valuable LF-qualified player last year? Melky. (CarGo and Hamilton qualify at both LF and CF, so I’m not counting them.)

      • Steve says:
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        @Rudy Gamble, Thanks Rudy. Hopefully you’re still checking this. What sort of a boost does Car-Go get in my LF/CF/RF Yahoo league where he is eligible at all 3 positions?

        • I haven’t done research on RF/CF/LF but i would think CF would have less depth and make a player more valuable. But don’t know the exact amt.

  2. Melvin Emanuel says:
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    Has yahoo given their o-rank yet? I love the rankings here, but im eager to see the draft rank so I know how I can exploit it.

    • MattTruss223 says:
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      @Melvin Emanuel, Yea man, o-ranks have been up. I have them in an Excel sheet if you’d like them.

      • Cheese

        Cheese says:
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        @MattTruss223, I would actually thoroughly enjoy that if you don’t mind! e-mail – jessemarchese@gmail.com

        Thanks!

  3. Michael says:
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    Wow, I think understood that but I’m not really sure. If I play in a Yahoo league with keepers how does this affect my draft strategy? Currently my team is sitting as follows.

    Keepers (pick given up)
    Matt Kemp (second round)
    Cole Hamels (sixth)
    Ian Kinsler (7th)
    Paul Konerko (11th)
    Ian Kennedy (16th)
    Asdrubal Cabrera (17th)

    I really don’t want to leave the first few round without a 3B and the best 3B left after keepers are Longoria, Wright, and Zimmerman, after that there is a real fall off. My overall picks, thanks to trades last year, are (6th,12th,19th,28th,and 39th). Longoria is ranked 2nd of players left and the person drafting first kept Beltre so I was thinking of trading the person with the 2nd overall pick who has picks (2,15,32,49,and 59). In a yahoo format league is it worth it to trade up to get Longoria over the other two who will be there when I pick and if so how much can I give up without hurting my overall team? (Is swapping 1st,2nd and 4th picks too much?)

    Thanks in advance won last year for the third straight time because these schmohawks I play with rely on espn rankings year in and year out.

    • @Michael, Wow, nice keeper list and congrats on the three-peat (TM Pat Riley). Longoria is great – if he’s the 2nd best hitter available and he’s in a position you need, that’s great. No way you can swap those types of picks though. My rule of thumb (based on some testing) is that the difference in pick value for the first couple rounds is $4/round. So you’d be trading for, say, a $35 pick and trading a close to $35 pick, a $31 pick, and a $23 pick. I’d rather get a lesser 3B if I had to and stockpile in other positions w/ that bounty of picks.

      • GTW says:
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        @Rudy Gamble, Interesting note on $/round values when trading draft picks. I’ve been wondering how linear the trend should be throughout an entire redraft of 25 rounds since I’ve never had to put together player values for an auction draft. Have you written about this before?

        • Here’s the easy way – go to the point shares spreadsheet and pretend the ranks represent draft picks. So the 6th pick in the draft = the 6th highest $ estimate. For rounds, you can average a nimber of picks.

    • Dingbat says:
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      @Michael, By swapping picks do you mean that you would get his 1st, 2nd, and 4th picks in exchange for yours or that you would give up those three picks and just get his 1st pick in exchange?

  4. Hoss says:
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    So, Evan Longoria doesn’t belong in top 50 Yahoo picks?

    • @Hoss, On my current version of 12 team Point Shares for Yahoo (still noodling – will post next week), Longoria is #15. (Above is using 2011 stats)

      • James D says:
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        @Rudy Gamble, Was reading the comments to see if you said when point shares would come out. Now I don’t have to ask about them :)

  5. Skeptic says:
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    Thanks fro man! Tell me why having 5 p slots in an 8×8 (w, l, era, whip, qs, k9, k/bb, s) daily h2h 40inn min league a terrible idea? I argue that relievers are basically worthless and thus the league lacks any sort of fidelity to real baseball. But I get basically zero support to change to 7 p (let alone 9p) from the other 11 leaguemates.

    • @Skeptic, So you want me to give you the ammo to tell the rest of your leaguemates why they are stupid? What about this site gives you the idea that we’d ever mock or make fun of people? I don’t know how many teams are in your league but assuming it’s not 20+, 5 pitchers creates a massive amount of P depth (funnier when said out loud) on waivers. B/c every staff is so good (also funnier when said out loud), I think luck will play a greater role than usual as a bad pitcher injury or just a fluky week (opponent has 2 SPs going twice, you have none) can kill you. With more pitchers, this reduces the luck and increases the skill. Just my two cents…

  6. MattTruss223 says:
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    Appreciate the work that goes into this stuff, Rudy. Pretty amazing we can give input to a poll one week and have information on how that affects player evaluation the next week. Razzball is what all fantasy baseball blogs want to be when they grow up!

    I love the nerdy number stuff that can give you just a little edge on your competition. I play in shallow Yahoo! leagues (6-10) teams so I’ve added CI/MI and an OF spot to keep things competitive, but usually play 1 Yahoo! public league a year for Ss & Gs. Looks like I’ll be adjsuting my draft strategy a smidge there. Thanks!

    • @MattTruss223, Thanks Matt! Look out for the Point Shares next week as I’ll be reporting 10/12/14/15/16 MLB w/ both ESPN and Yahoo roster formats!

  7. chata says:
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    i would love to draft against owners using point shares as their guide ,
    in either format …. of course , i would expect these top 50 lists to show
    some significant change for 2012 .

    • mauledbypandas says:
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      @chata, agreed! Point shares are valuable tools, but they are just tools. Like all other info, you have to take the composite view to find true value.

    • @chata, FWIW, I compared Point Shares vs. the RCL ADP for 2011. They came out about even with Point Shares slightly ahead depending on the hitter/pitcher mix. But, like mauledbypandas said, it’s just one tool. Grey and I also use a lot of judgement/gut when we draft. It’s always helpful to have a baseline to work from…

  8. The Cow says:
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    Rudy: awesome read! In dealing with a league that mirrors the Yahoo format, it confirmed my thoughts of how positions would be valued differently.

    One question for you: in your analysis, you used a 12-team MLB format — would you have any suggestions as to how to project the point shares values (and, subsequently, the auction dollar values) to a 16-team MLB format? Thanks for your help!

    • @The Cow, I’ll provide 12 team and 16 team (as well as 10/14/15). It’s hard to predict how each position will vary but one general trend is that the more teams you add, the more position scarcity plays a role at 2B/SS/3B.

  9. Griff says:
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    Good stuff, Rudy. I’m a little confused as to how outfielders can be more valuable in Yahoo, even though ESPN uses 5 OF. Your point seems to be that OF is much deeper than infield, so most of the UT spots will be filled by OF.

    Some rough estimates for an example:

    In an ESPN league, a team would be expected to carry 5.8 OF (5 OF positions, and .8 of the UT). Then it would carry 6.2 IF (1B,3B,CI,2B,SS,MI, and .2 of the UT).

    In Yahoo, a team would be expected to carry 4.6 OF (3 OF positions and .8 of each UT). In Yahoo, a team would carry 4.4 IF (1B,3B,SS,2B and .2 of each UT.

    So even though Yahoo carries two fewer OF lineup spots, the need for infielders drops off even more dramatically. I happen to play in a league that uses only 9 hitting spots (3 OF, 1 UT). I assume this means that OF would not gain as much of a bump, because the league would not need as many outfielders to fill the (nonexistent) 2nd UT spot.

    • @Griff, Your projections make my point. You have a higher OF/IF ratio in your Yahoo! examples vs. ESPN. Thus, the value of OFs increases as more are needed vs. IF. My OF/IF ratios for 12 team leagues is: Yahoo: 4.5/4.3 and ESPN as 5.6/6.3.

      • Griff says:
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        @Rudy Gamble, Yeah, as I was writing out the example I came to understand your point. I forgot (okay, okay, I was too lazy) to edit the start of my post.

  10. Griff says:
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    Also, pitchers would be very high in value. SP has tended to go much sooner than their pre-ranks in my league, so my league mates seem to implicitly understand this.

  11. TheBravesWear Prado says:
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    I’m a little confused as to your analysis on why OF becomes more valuable in Yahoo. I understand that because there are no CI/MI spots those second infielders become OF but in Yahoo you could only fill 5 spots max with OF (3 OF 2 UTIL) whereas in ESPN you have to play 5 OF minimum. I also understand value relative to IF would go up but I think that would only make the price of those second tier IF go down because they aren’t needed rather than make the price of OF go up.

    Isn’t it really just a matter of Yahoo managers having the same amount of money as ESPN managers but with less roster spots so the price you pay (value) per spot goes up? I don’t know, maybe I missed the whole point.

    • @TheBravesWear Prado, It’s true that the average value for players in Yahoo would be higher b/c you have the same amount of money and less players. A lot of my guidance on relative value refers to the rankings since most Razzballer drafts are snake vs. auction. I’ve had some more time to dig into auction values since I wrote this and it should be reflected in the $ values and rankings in the first version of Point Shares up next week.

      • TheBravesWear Prado says:
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        @Rudy Gamble, Thanks for the response. I look forward to seeing the point shares.

  12. joe from point pleasant says:
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    @Rudy:

    12 team H2H *POINTS* Keeper League (5 keepers)

    I have assembled a ridiculous core of keepers, Votto, Tulo, Verlander, Felix, Strasburg. Being a points league, it is crucial to have a strong pitching staff, and teams usually carry 10 starters in order to hit our 15 start max every week.

    Thus, with my first round pick this year, I have decided to select a pitcher. I am having the hardest time deciding between these three. Pleaseeeee Helppppp!!!!!

    Here are my options:
    Brandon Beachy
    Max Scherzer
    Yu Darvish

    • @joe from point pleasant, Based on the prelim Point Shares, Beachy is by far the highest value. Seems that both ZiPs and Steamer projections both love Beachy’s ERA/WHIP/K potential. Darvish is 2nd. Scherzer is 3rd. I can’t say I’m completely sold on the Beachy projections but he’s definitely one I can see risking a few extra $ on this year.

      • joe from point pleasant says:
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        @Rudy Gamble,

        THANKS!!!

    • Jake says:
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      @joe from point pleasant,

      Well I’m not Rudy, but I would say that’s a slam dunk Beachy pick for me. Would consider Darvish, but he comes with more risk than Beachy and about the same upside. Scherzer is the clear #3 to me.

  13. Janice says:
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    I like Beachy than Scherzer I would never draft Darvish because of his unknown’s of never pitched in the league.

  14. Jay29 says:
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    @Rudy, Every time I read one of your posts I see your picture out of the corner of my eye and think it’s somebody wearing a wide-brimmed cowboy hat.

  15. ChillmanCometh says:
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    @Rudy, Basically how I’m reading this is that my keepers of Miguel Cabrera, Troy Tulowitzski, Ryan Zimmerman, Ian Kinsler, and Clayton Kershaw isn’t too bad?

    The only thing is I traded my 1st round (BA Hamels, Hamilton, Uggla) and 3rd (BA R. Weeks, C. Utley, ) in exchange for Kinsler and an 11th (I’m thinking closer or upside OF)… I may have given up too much, but I love love love that infield.

  16. Rafael Belliard says:
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    As someone who likes to take pitchers late and stock up on hitters early, I’m finding this info and advice hard to swallow. From your perspective and in light of this data, what would happen if I draft my Yahoo teams according to Grey’s PEDS? Aren’t pitchers still more risky in the earlier rounds due to their higher injury rate and the fact that SPs contribute to fewer counting stats than hitters?

    • tenaciousdeucer says:
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      @Rafael Belliard, I think you have to be a very active manager to get away with waiting on pitching. If you are able and willing to change your lineup daily, it is much easier to piece together competitive pitching than hitting over the season.

    • @Rafael Belliard, You can win with a hitter-heavy draft. You just need good skill/luck at finding pitchers later in draft. My general point on that is every team is looking for SP on waiver wire while less are looking at hitter positions. It’s a myth that it’s easier finding good pitching on waivers vs good hitting. Both is hard but requires good luck and persistence.

  17. Skeptic says:
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    @Rudy Gamble, lol It’s a 12 team league. The effective of the 8×8 (+ CG shutouts so it’s really a 8×9 league) with 5 daily pitching slots is that there’s such an elevated incentive to have aces so you can dominate the pitching stats and then try to hold your own on the offensive end. For example, the league champion last year went pitching heavy early — Verlander, Sabathia, Weaver, Cain — and then got a bit lucky with Kennedy and Shields. And he truly would average like 6 pitching cat wins each week. (and I have a feeling he’s going to keep Verlander, Weaver and Kennedy and draft Doc #3 overall)

    There’s zero incentive to have closers (1 cat out of 8) since there’s a 40 inning minimum and when you roll out Liriano/Hudson/BAnderson/Chacin/JVazquez as your staff, the 3 innings/week Kimbrel and Axford would get me wouldn’t be enough to make up for the rest of the filth my starters put in my stats.

    Or maybe I just got unlucky following Grey’s recommendations last season (hence my “Skeptic” moniker) and I should still be able to compete with the Grey pitching strat. Either way, there’s still very little reason to have closer or middle relievers in this format yet, in real baseball, they play a significant role.

  18. T-BZA says:
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    No Cutch? Or am I blind?

  19. tenaciousdeucer says:
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    Hi Rudy,

    Love the analysis, but you have neglected the difference in pitching limits between ESPN (200 starts) and Yahoo (1400 innings). I’m not sure how much it affects draft values, but in ESPN standard roto an active manager can go light on high-end SP while utilizing streaming and RP to rack up counting stats; the beauty of it being that the RP innings are “free” beyond the roster space. I think the Yahoo innings limit makes it more critical to control the quality of each inning from both RP and SP.

    • @tenaciousdeucer, good point. i’m a bigger fan of IP caps vs starts for that reason. but if there’s a loophole, gotta exploit it.

  20. Double A Ron says:
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    Not sure if it really matters but,
    HR+SB+R/3+RBI/3 = HR+SB+R+RBI/3

  21. Mark says:
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    Great work. As far as your drafting strategy on Yahoo, would you change your strategy in a H2H with no innings restrictions? My general strategy has always been to avoid pitching early and put together a stacked offense, then load up on pitching later. I feel on H2H with that strategy I win most hitting categories and usually win Wins, Saves, and Ks. ERA and WHIP I would usually lose since I don’t have top SPs most weeks, but I’m still usually winning 3 out of 5 pitching categories despite not drafting pitching till the mid-late rounds. Basically hit it with quantity over quality. Any thoughts?

    • @Mark, if it’s daily changes, i agree with you. if weekly, i’d want some quality and quantity.

  22. Sal says:
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    So lets say we are playing in a yahoo head to head each league where standard scoring is used….would it be smart to tackle just offense players early and solidify the offense and after draft pure closers and middle relievers once the hitting has been solidified. This would allow one to win at least 4 out 5 categories batting categories more often then not since our offense would be stacked as we would draft top tier starters as everyone else does. Like stated, we have no starters but pure closers of the likes of kimbrel storen and mariano allowing us to win the saves, Era, and whip categories at the expense of wins and strikeouts. Thus every week more often then not we would walk away with a 7-3 win.

    I have done 12 team mock drafts and employing such as technique allows me to walk away with a lineup with the an offense that usually has Kemp, Reyes, Texeira, Bourne, Napoli, Weeks Konerko, Reynolds, dee gordon, paul Goldschmidt and a healthy bench including gaby sanchez and cozart (Looking to win SB Runs Hr and Rbis every week)

    and a pitching staff including mariano, storen walden, heath bell, venters, romo, mike adams and two sub par starters that would not be started (only done because we need to at least get two starters). If anything those two starters could be rotated with free agent pickup for quality spot starts where we wouldnt hurt our ERA and WHIP and vulture some wins and maybe take that category too.

    I have no idea if it would work and wanted to hear your input.

  23. nightpandas says:
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    Nice article!

    What are your thoughts on my five keepers?
    15 team league, OPS a stat (yahoo league)

    Kemp
    Pujols
    Aramis Ramirez
    Rollins
    Choo

    Should I replace Choo with Cuddyer (2B elig) or take a chance on Trout or Gordon. I don’t think I’m going to keep pitchers (only two I would consider would be JZimm or Ubaldo)

  24. Former Skeptic says:
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    Rudy, is there I can see your ‘tango spreadsheet’ formulas? I want to play around with different stat categories. I’ll be happy to share my results with all of Razzball nation.

    • @Former Skeptic, sorry, no can do. but you can just download the data and do it yourself. pretty easy formula.

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