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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…

People are are flat out getting punch drunk on Trea Turner. Talk about drinking the kool aid. OH YEAAHH! In fact, while I haven’t yet confirmed it, rumor has it that even ESPN is high on Turner! Trea Turner, or Twin Turbo (TT) as I like to call him, is trending upwards on any platform that supports trending. Someone even told me that Bryce Harper picked Turner with the first pick of his league’s fantasy draft. That’s when I called bullsh!t, because we all know Harper would be drafting Harper. And right after he selected himself, Mike Trout, Mookie Betts and Nolan Arenado all burst into laughter. Actually so did everyone else that was present.

I’m still fine tuning my 2017 projections, but when I enter the command-line equivalent of the “Go” or “Run” button, here’s what version 3.07 of my software says about Trea Turner.

G PA AB H 1B 2B 3B HR RBI R BB SO HBP SB SF AVG
151.8 664.6 599.7 177.2 107.5 31.0 10.4 18.1 70.1 94.3 40.8 129.8 2.3 44.6 3.3 .295

Falling a few home runs short of the 20/40 club, these stats are still better than your average bear. But let’s take a look at the only number that matters, points. Based on these projections Turner would amass about 386.02 fantasy points. While that’s certainly a respectable amount of points, it doesn’t scream “draft me in the second round”. If we look at 2016 stats, 386 points would earn Trea a tie for 51st with Adam Eaton. And that’s just amongst hitters. Once we factor in pitchers to the equation, Turner’s spot in the rankings and overall value drops even lower.

While I still have a few iterations of projection fine tuning, Turner’s 386 points ranks him 30th among hitters. He lands between Corey Seager (387) and Matt Carpenter (377). Personally this sounds just about where he belongs. Carpenter’s ADP is approximately 56, while Seager is being drafted in the third round.

So why is his average draft position so high? It only takes one person per league to move the needle. That’s it, just one. People say it takes a village. I say a village is short an idiot, and I know exactly where said idiot is. He’s not missing, he’s not hiding, and he didn’t run away. He’s sitting right in front of his laptop drafting Trea Turner in the second round!

Let’s say there were only one thousand leagues. In every one of those leagues one person was anxious to draft Turner. In his mind Turner was/is the next big thing, the last being Brock Lesnar of course. The other eleven players in each league all have realistic expectations for Turner. Well when that one person in each league drafts him with their second round pick, do you know what his ADP is going to be. That’s right, somewhere in the second round. It doesn’t matter that 91 percent of the fantasy baseball league population thinks he deserves to be drafted in the fourth round. The village idiots are ensuring that Turner will be drafted in the second. And let’s face it every league has at least that one guy who has to have Turner.

Essentially what we have is manufactured hype, and what it boils down to is a supply and demand problem. Just about everyone wants to own him, and at least one person insists on owning him. But guess what, there is only one Trea Turner, and that is causing people to consider taking him a round (or two) early. This is driving up his ADP and making everyone else think to themselves “If I want him on my team I’m going to have to take him by a certain pick”. And that pick is now the second round. It’s a frenzy. It’s only a matter of time until he starts slipping into the end of the first round in some leagues. Just watch.

Trea Turner’s market value has been set and there’s no changing it now. The train has left the station and it’s not about to turn back. Every draft from this point on is doomed to repeat the mistakes of the one before. People aren’t selecting Turner in the second round because he offers second round value, they are drafting him in the second round because all the charts say his average draft position is the second round.

Blame the guy who in the first draft of 2017 grabbed Turner in the second round. Let’s call that guy Bob. Well guess what, Bob blew it. Coincidentally there was pitcher back in 1902 named Bob Blewett that pitched for the New York Giants. As his name would suggest, he was not a very good player. Considering he passed in 1958 we really cannot blame him for helping Turner shoot up the draft board, but it does make for a good story.

Let’s put on our aluminum foil helmets for a second and pretend that we believe Turner can not only repeat what he did last season, but also do so over the course of a full season. Based on his 73-game stint, he’d end the season with approximately 27 homers, 83 RBIs and 66 stolen bases. If he can do that, then he’d be worth every cent, but do you really think there’s a chance? Who does he think he is, Rickey Henderson?

While we’re playing make believe, and we have on our princess dresses, why not throw Gary Sanchez into the mix. Wait, am I the only one wearing a princess dress? It’s actually called a “dad costume”. Sanchez played 53 games last year. If we take his stats from those games and expand them over 137 games (the average number of games played last year by the top twelve catchers based on points), he would have ended the season with 51.7 home runs, 108.6 RBIs and 87.8 runs (assuming the same pace). This would have resulted in about 465 points which would have sandwiched Sanchez in between Freddie Freeman and Manny Machado.

So where is all the love for Gary Sanchez? While Turner has generally hit for average and stolen bases in the minor leagues, he has not really shown signs of power. Why are people willing to go all-in on Turner, but not for Sanchez who is currently being drafted in the fifth round (sixth for ten-team leagues).

The truth is, the fifth or sixth round sounds about right for Sanchez. The second does not for Turner. The only way I’m taking him in the second round is if I just spent two hours (fully clothed) in a van with Tim Lincecum and Ron Washington. Even then I might have better common sense. I’m not sure why I felt the need to point out that we’d be fully clothed.

This post really wasn’t intended to be an anti-Trea Turner piece. I do like the kid, but I can’t see myself owning him if it means drafting him in the second round. It doesn’t make sense to accept fourth round value with a second round pick. The goal is the opposite, try and draft second round value with your fourth round pick.

The purpose of this post was to remind you to make the most of your draft picks, especially the early rounds. After the first five (or so) rounds, it’s ok to reach a few rounds for the right player, but during those first five rounds, it’s crucial to maximize your potential. Play it safe. Play it smart. Don’t let ADP force you into selecting a player too soon. Let someone else in your league take the value hit and risk. Try and keep the odds in your favor.

My 2017 projections will be ready next week!

 

 

Follow me on Twitter at @malamoney as I plan to be much more active on social media going forward.

   
  1. BKOne says:
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    Perfect Timing. I’m in a 15 team points league (draft this weekend) and I am considering Turner at the 2/3 turn. Would eligibility at 2B, SS (pending), and OF bump him into your top 40?

    He was top 10 in Points Per Plate Appearance for 2016, but that was an unsustainable pace. Any shot at him improving his K rate this year?

    • malamoney says:
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      @BKOne: Keep in mind that you’re talking about a 15-team league. The 2-3 turn picks are around pick number 30. Sadly he will be gone by then. However, I don’t think I’d take him with the 30th pick. But that very much depends on your scoring system and how it values pitchers vs hitters. Still, I want him around pick number 40.

      Position eligibility certainly merits discussion for a slight bump, but not an entire round. At least not in the early rounds of the draft. Would I take a guy in the 7th instead of the 8th or 9th, sure. Having players that are eligible at multiple positions really helps when you have injuries.

      I’m having a hard time accepting his 2016 performance. Personally I’m expecting his K-rate to remain about the same somewhere around 18%.

      • BKOne says:
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        Makes perfect sense. We play 1 at every infield position, 3 OFs, 1 DH, 4 SPs and a Cl. 2 Bench Spots.

        +1/-1 for BB/K for both SPs and Hitters. SPs win the league, but much harder to project bc it’s largely based on volume.

        Other hitters I’m considering in that area are Bogaerts, Bautista, K. Seager, and Braun. Not excited about any of them.

  2. Lance

    Lance says:
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    Good stuff Malamoney!

    Where do you have Turner roto?

    I feel like I’m not going to own any shares of him, just way too high for me unfortunately.

    • malamoney says:
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      @Lance: Thanks bro! I haven’t gotten that far yet. Still working on my points league rankings. My guess, however, is that I am going to rank him lower than his ADP and I too will own zero shares of him.

      I don’t play in many roto leagues so those rankings are the last I do. Probably in a week or two…

      • Lance

        Lance says:
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        @malamoney:
        No prob!

        Just wanted to see your thoughts, trying to find the minority of us out there that don’t like his value overall for this season. We gotta stick together haha

        • malamoney says:
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          @Lance: Agreed!

  3. Mickey Maloney says:
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    Hey, thanks for all of the Points League articles! My buddies and I are changing our roto league into a H2H Points league. Do you happen to know a good resource or website to help us determine proper scoring and roster settings? These are the current settings:

    ROSTER

    C
    1B
    2B
    SS
    3B
    OF (3)
    Utility (2)
    SP (4)
    RP (2)
    P (2)
    Bench (5)

    SCORING

    Single 1 point
    Double 2 points
    Triple 3 points
    Home Run 4 points
    Walk .5 point
    Strikeout -1 point
    RBI 1 point
    Run 1 point
    Stolen Base 2 points
    Caught Stealing -1
    Hit for Cycle 10

    Innings Pitched 3 points (1 point/out)
    Strikeout 1 point
    Walk -.5
    Earned Runs -1 point
    Hits Allowed -.5 point
    Win 7 points
    Loss -5 points
    Save 5 points
    Blown Save -3 points
    CG 10
    Shutout 10
    No Hitter 10

    Thanks!

    • malamoney says:
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      @Mickey Maloney: I sure do. It’s called Razzball. In all honesty, everyone is going to have an opinion on what makes a good scoring and roster system. I have played around with the numbers for quite some time and last year I finally settled on what I think is the best for several reasons.

      Roster: 30 players (23 starters)
      C, C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, CI, MI, OF, OF, OF, OF, OF, OF, UTIL
      SP, SP, SP, SP, SP, SP, RP, RP
      B, B, B, B, B, B, B

      Scoring System:
      1B(1), 2B(2), 3B(3), HR(5), R(1), RBI(1), HIT(1.5), SB(1), BB(1), CS(-1), KO(-1)
      IP(3), K(1.5), BB(-1.5), H(-1), ER(-1), W(5), L(-5), S(7), BS(-3), WP(-1), HB (-1), PO (1)
      Bonuses: CYC (25), NH (20), CG (5), PG (50) (you can eliminate these if you don’t like bonuses)

      Here is my explanation for the distribution of points across the selected categories.

      Basically the goal here is to have a scoring system that results in hitters and pitchers being relatively equal. What I wanted was a points system where the top pitcher gets about the same number of points as the top hitter. In the top ten overall players I’d like to see a fair mix of hitters and pitchers. After the top ten I expect to see more hitters than pitchers, but that is because there are more hitters in the player pool. This makes sense since there are 8 non-pitching positions.

      Runs – To win a baseball game you need to score runs. All other stats in some way relate to runs. With that said, runs must be a stat that results in fantasy points.

      RBI – Some will argue that RBIs are a situational stat that hitters have little control over. While this is largely an accurate assessment, it doesn’t change the fact that driving in runs is an essential element of the game. Getting that run across the plate has to count for something. Is an RBI as valuable as a run? They seem pretty complimentary and as a result I’m awarding them the same point value (+1).

      1B, 2B, 3B – This is pretty standard.

      HR – I’ve decided to give a home run five points instead of the standard four. A home run is the only hit that guarantees at least one run will be scored. Because of this I believe it deserves slightly stronger recognition.

      Hit – Some might question why the need to award points for a hit when we are already including singles, doubles, triples and home runs. Here’s why. Hits are the backbone of a productive offense. Hits move runners. Hits score runners. Without hits an offense will suffocate. I could have added 1.5 points to each of the hits subcategories, but I wanted to separate the two ensuring that the number of hits stat is included in the formula. The 1.5 point value is one of the keys in establishing a balance between hitters and pitchers.

      Walk – I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “a walk’s as good as a hit”. This isn’t entirely true. Walks are valuable, but unless the bases are loaded a walk doesn’t result in a run. If there is a runner on third, and often second, a base hit will, more often than not, score said runner. A walk can’t say the same. Therefore the 1.5 point value is a point less than the 2.5 single.

      Strikeout – Strikeouts are the arch enemy of an offense. The ultimate rally killer. If we are giving 1.5 points for a walk, then I am subtracting 1.5 points for a strikeout.

      Stolen Base – Stealing a base is a gamble. When successful the runner is now 90 feet closer to scoring a run. 90 feet closer to being an RBI. Base stealers can change the dynamics of the game. Pitchers need to be aware of them when they are on the base paths, keeping them from giving the batter their undivided attention. Plus one for a stolen base.

      Caught Stealing – Every gamble has both a payoff and downside. Being thrown out when attempting to steal a base slides in right after a strikeout. In some cases it’s just as bad, if not worse depending on the situation. I considered making a caught stealing minus 1.5 or 2 points, but my calculations point at negative one.

      Wins – I’m not a big fan of wins, but they have to be accounted for. Wins require run support. Run support is entirely out of the pitchers hands. At least in the American League. I was very happy to see Felix Hernandez win the Cy Young Award back in 2010 with only 13 wins. But a win is a win and it has got to mean something. I say it’s worth five points.

      Losses – Like wins, losses are not entirely the burden of the pitcher. But generally, in order for a pitcher to get the loss he has to have given up at least a run. While it can be an unearned run, the pitcher has still had some participation in the matter. If a win is worth five points, a lose has to be negative five.

      Innings Pitched – To me this really boils down to each out a pitcher gets. I could argue that this is one of the more relevant stats we should focus on. The longer the pitcher is out there, the more likely it is he is pitching a good game. Everyone loves innings eaters. I went back and forth on how much an out should be worth and finally settled on one point, making a full inning pitched worth three.

      Strikeouts – Who doesn’t love a pitcher that strikes out a lot of batters? That was a rhetorical question, as is this statement. For a batter a strikeout is like a kick in the nuts. To a pitcher it’s the complete opposite. If a batter loses 1.5 points for striking out, then a pitcher gets 1.5 for striking out a batter.

      Walks – A strikeout is pretty much the shittiest thing a batter can do. While some might argue that for a pitcher it’s giving up a home run, I’m going with giving up a walk. I’d rather the pitcher let the hitter make contact and give his defense a chance to make the out. A walk is a free pass and the key ingredient to disaster. Minus 1.5 for a walk.

      Saves – In order to give closers realistic value we have to throw points at a save. As you will notice seven points is the most for any category in the list. Even at seven points this still won’t bring closers near the top, but it does give them value. Closers don’t need to be near the top, they just need to be relevant.

      Blown Saves – There has got to be a penalty for a blown save.

      Hits – Hits for a batter are good. For a pitcher, not so good. The more hits a pitcher gives up, the better the chance the opposing team has to score runs. Hits are the gateway to runs, or something like that. Minus one point for a hit is fair.

      Earned Runs – The more runs a pitcher gives up, the less chance his team has at winning.

      The remaining pitching categories (pickoffs, hit batsmen and wild pitches) should be self explanatory.

      Hope this helps. Just make sure you are subtracting for strikeouts. In my opinion, it needs to be at least one full point.

      If you are looking for a completely different approach, take a look at Ottoneu.

      • Mickey Maloney says:
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        @malamoney: Dude, this is amazing. Thank You. I al oat feel like it’s an article on its own. Much appreciated!
        .
        Are your rosters based on a twelve team league? With all of the hitters plus so many bench spots, does it eliminate waiver activity dueing the season?

        • malamoney says:
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          @Mickey Maloney: No problem. It’s based on a 12-team league. There is more than a fair amount of waiver wire activity.

  4. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    Great post. Would you value Carpenter similarly in OBP + OPS leagues (counting those stats instead of AVG)?

    He’s getting no love anywhere, but I’m really digging a cheap 3-hole Cardinals hitter who will put up .370+ OBP and .850+ OPS, even if he only donks 25 HR . . .

    • malamoney says:
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      @Duda Want to Build a Snowman?: Thanks.

      I like Carpenter a lot because I think he is flying under the radar. He’s not awesome, but he offers good value at his ADP. I haven’t run the OBP and OPS numbers though, so I can’t really answer from that perspective. Is this a roto league?

      • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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        @malamoney: thanks. H2H category. I like him as a cheap balance to the hr/sb but eh ratio guys.

  5. Jimmy says:
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    Hey malamony,

    Great post. I think you might have started your Turner manifesto on a comment of mine a few posts back lol. Makes a ton of sense and I am definitely coming around to the idea of drafting for best value in points leagues. I’ve almost always playing in H2H points leagues and for the longest time had to go off experts roto rankings. Now coming to the realization that points are points no matter who they come from and that means chasing points instead of traditional roto ideals.

    To the question. When you come out with your rankings will, will you do so based on generalized points settings? Is it possible to customize you’re rankings to our own league settings? That’s the difficulty with points leagues… one leagues trash could be another’s treasure!

    • malamoney says:
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      @Jimmy: Thanks. I think you are right. Perhaps you inspired me.

      My projections and rankings will allow you to edit the scoring system to match your league’s settings because you are indeed right that one league’s treasure is another’s trash. I will likely be writing a post on that topic too. Started it the other day.

      Take a look at last year’s posts about projections and rankings. You should be able to download last year’s spreadsheets to give you an idea of what to expect this year.

      Here are links to those posts:

      2016 Points Leagues Projections:
      http://razzball.com/points-leagues-projections-charles-back-charge/

      2016 Points Leagues Rankings
      http://razzball.com/points-leagues-overall-rankings-pick-nick-under-the-stars/

      Hope this helps…

  6. cable says:
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    h2h points league..drafting from #8 in a 12 team league snake draft….I believe a draft stratergy depends on draft position…. do you have a draft stratergy going into drafts depending on draft position or do you take best player available

    • malamoney says:
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      @cable: Best player available when it’s my turn. With a slight caveat though. If the best player available is a SS, and one of the next best is a 2B and I don’t have a 2B, I’ll take the 2B. You have to consider the remaining player pools at each position as related to your team’s open roster spots.

      The main differentiator in league size with respect to a draft is how long it will take to get back to you. How many more players will be taken off the board by your next pick. This could also help you determine who might still be available (or gone) by that time and influence your pick. But the biggest factor should be “best player” (most points).

  7. Mantis Toboggan MD says:
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    good article, and thank god somebody around here doesn’t think he has to put “new york X giants” when talking about one of those teams. it’s quite clear you mean a baseball team that is named the “new york giants” so you don’t need to insert “baseball” into it like you’ll see at least 2 writers do EVERY time they mention the current new york giants (clearly i mean the football team, and when they mention this team it’s even more clear as it’s in a football article, yet they seem to think it’s at all needed to post “football” in that name).

    • malamoney says:
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      @Mantis Toboggan MD: Thanks. I think I’ve been guilty of that before. I think I was trying to meet a word minimum!

  8. cable says:
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    Malamoney……you have a draft strategy in h2h points snake style drafts for when you draft
    SPers , for me know matter what draft position I draft from I wait until 4th-5th rds before I start thinking about drafting my 1st one, but when I break the seal it’s usually followed by a SPer run for me…. every year by mid season my hitters are strong and I wish I had that one stud to carry me through the playoffs, trading for a top SPer in my league isn’t a option, once teams have their staff set they will not trade…..

    • malamoney says:
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      @cable: I always try and maximize my current pick, but most importantly the first ten picks. And that could mean taking a pitcher with any of those picks. The league’s scoring system determines how to value/rank the players. If I had the first pick, in many leagues I’d be taking Kershaw. If not, I will probably had an SP no later than the 3rd round. Otherwise you will find yourself without a true ace…

  9. cable says:
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    thanks for reply…..doing mock drafts but the are mostly catered to roto style mocks, can’t find h2h points style mocks…..drafting from #8 my best drafts seem to be when I take a SPer in 2nd rd then run out hitters until the 6th when I take another SPer….

    • malamoney says:
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      @cable: Unfortunately we live in a world dominated by roto. That’s not a bad strategy. In the 2nd you’ll get a true ace and then in the 6th you can get a good #2…

  10. But seriously folks says:
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    Hate to interrupt the love fest–but Turner is basically Starling Marte with a higher batting average and outstanding roster flexibility. Comparing him to Adam Eaton is comical.

    • malamoney says:
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      @But seriously folks: This most certainly is not a love fest.

      My projections, which don’t seem to be all that far off from most others (I think I am higher than most in home runs), put him at exactly the same number of points scored by Adam Eaton. Points leagues only care about points. If two players both score 386 points, then their contributions to your team are equal. But I’d say Eaton would be much more valuable because he can be drafted several rounds later.

      I believe Turner will have more points than Eaton this season. But probably not more than 50 more. Over the course of 20 weeks, that 2.5 points per week. I’d much rather have Eaton in the 10th than Turner in the second.

      If we are ignoring all other relevant factors, sure, I’d take Turner every time, but that’s not how things work. Eaton’s price tag is much lower, raising his overall value to your team…

      • But seriously folks says:
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        @malamoney: Your work is sound, so let me be clear about that. And i should not have used the word comical. In a points league your point is well made….but i’ve observed Eaton for awhile and even though he was solid the last couple years, in my view the jury is still out as to the high end of his value and durability. He’ll lose a little by no longer being in The Cell (or whatever they call it now) and the shortening of the lineup with no DH…now is the Nat lineup going to help him? Yes and Harper will get back closer to 2015 this year in my view….is the jury still out on Turner too? Heck yeah. So your position wins in points leagues–but ONLY in points leagues…in say roto or H2h i need every smidgeon of production from every slot and what Turner should do from middle infield is formidable vs a near dime a dozen OF like Eaton. But since this is a points league discussion–what the hell am i talking about? :)

  11. ebudz says:
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    so will your points rankings based on grey’s projections? in other words what projections will you use to generate rankings? also i’m hoping there will be some excel spreadsheet that can be adjusted based on league specific points settings?

    • malamoney says:
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      @ebudz: First I will release my own projections. My projection process involves generating projections and then averaging them with several other trust projection sources. Then I will release my rankings which will be based on my projections.

      And yes, there will be a spreadsheet that can be updated to match your league’s scoring system just as I have done the past two seasons.

  12. icefires says:
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    I’m in a 12 team points keeper auction league.
    We get to keep 7.
    I have cut it down to 9. Can you tell me the two you would not keep?
    Arenado $12
    Correa $7
    Odor $4
    Dahl $10
    J Bradley $10
    LeMahieu $10
    G. Cole $5
    C. Martinez $6
    A Sanchez $7

    Thanks

    • malamoney says:
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      @icefires: I think I’d probably get rid of Dahl and Bradley. I like Dahl, but his injury issues concern me right now. Arenado and Correa are no brainers. Odor at $4 is dirty cheap. It comes down between Dahl, Bradley and LeMahieu. I like LeMahieu over Odor, but not when Odor is $6 cheaper. Do you need Odor and LeMahieu. Probably not. So maybe you drop LeMahieu and Dahl.

      There are other factors too. How long can you keep these players. Do you need Dahl right away. I might like him more longer term than Bradley Jr.

      And lastly, it all depends on your league’s scoring system…

      • icefires says:
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        @malamoney:

        Thanks!
        We can keep a player 5 years, so I could have Dahl through 2020. I could plug LeMahieu into the DH spot, especially when he is playing at home or has a good matchup. We also set lineups daily, so LeMahieu could be used when the Rangers are off.
        Batter scoring:
        1B 1
        2B 2
        3B 3
        HR 4
        RBI 1
        R 1
        SB 2
        CS -1
        BB 1
        K -.5
        GDP -1
        HP 1
        CYC 10

        • icefires says:
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          @icefires:
          Oh, and I don’t need Dahl right away – I just need to draft enough outfielders.
          Our auction draft is March 28th. I could draft Dahl again if I don’t keep him, but I don’t know what he will go for.
          Thanks

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