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In a previous post, I laid out a methodology for testing fantasy baseball player rankings/auction values and all the components involved in projecting player values.  I got feedback from some smart folks that didn’t ‘get’ the test.  Since the common variable in that equation was me, I’m going to try explaining it one more time before I jump into the results of my test across 14 player rankings across 12 sources (2 f0r ESPN & Razzball) + the Average Draft Position (ADP) for the 456 (38 leagues of 12 teams) Razzball Commenter Leagues participants.  (feel free to skip the next paragraphs if you just want to see the results).

There are three main components to developing pre-season fantasy baseball rankings:

  1. Playing Time Estimates (PA/AB and IP)
  2. Statistical Projections (HRs per AB, K/9, etc.)
  3. Methodology For Converting #1 and #2 Into Player Rankings/Value

Most player rankings are published as ‘Top 200′ or ‘Top 300′ with no stat projections.  I call these ‘curated’ lists.  Each curator creates their list differently but I’d gather that they probably all use some source for Playing Time and Stat Projections and then use their fantasy experience to determine each player’s value (vs. an actual formula).  For testing purposes, you have to test the composite effectiveness of these three variables since they aren’t explicitly listed in the rankings.

It would seem straightforward to just test each Player Ranking (or isolated component) against the end of year results.  Matt Swartz of FanGraphs did a great test of Projection systems isolating wOBA and ERA.  But here are the challenges that I see for such a test to have fantasy baseball relevance:

  1. The test needs to consider all the fantasy baseball categories.  If you just focus on ERA, what about Wins, WHIP and K’s?  How would that help with Closers?  So you would need to figure out a way to test and properly weight each statistical category.
  2. There is a BIG difference if your pre-season ranking screw up the value of a Top 3 round player vs a late round player.  So you would need to figure out a way to weight players based on their likely draft status.
  3. If a player misses significant playing time (for a hitter, let’s say 30+ games), the timing and sequencing of these missed days as well as the availability of waiver/FA pickups plays a major role in terms of the player’s impact on a team’s success.  For instance, a player like Chipper Jones who might miss games throughout the season is harder to replace than Nelson Cruz who goes on 15 day DL trips.  If a player gets sent down before opening day (like Lonnie Chisenhall), it’s even easier to adjust for the loss in expected playing time.  So you would need to credit replacement level performance that varies depending on the timing/sequencing of missed playing time.
  4. The timing and sequence of a player who underperforms can dramatically change how a player impacts one’s fantasy team.  Let’s say Player A and Player B had equal pre-season rankings and both underperform, hitting .220 with 15 HRs for the season.  If Player A goes .150 with 0 HR in April and Player B goes .240 with 3 HR, Player A will likely be dropped quicker and that team might find a replacement player who performs above replacement value.  So you would need to account for how quickly/slowly a player was replaced as well as estimate the impact of the replacement player.

Now, I can see an argument that particularly #3 and #4 come down to chance vs. a prognosticator’s skill.  But that’s not entirely true.  Some players are more injury-prone than others and they may be marked down accordingly (e.g., I knocked Kinsler’s playing time down about 50-75 PAs from my sources which took his value down about 10 spots in the rankings.  Shouldn’t I be credited/hurt because of that choice?).  And while there is some chance involved, I’d argue it’s still better to reflect the real impact these chance instances had on teams vs. find ways to remove them (like testing a rate stat like HR per AB instead of total HR).

So here is the test I put together that I think addresses these ‘near impossible to model’ variables:

  1. Take the draft results by team from the 38 Razzball Commenter Leagues in 2011 (hosted on ESPN using ESPN’s default league formats for 12 team 5×5 MLB leagues).  This amounts to 456 teams’ worth of draft data.
  2. Create team total values based on ‘expert’ rankings/$ totals/other arbitrary metric (like Point Shares or THT Z-Score)
  3. See how these team totals correlate with each team’s final Total Standings Points

Since we’re testing based on a team’s pre-season aggregated player value and their end of year Total Standings Points, we are factoring in all the categories (#1).  The pre-season rankings provide a natural way to weight each player’s value/impact by matching them up against ranked auction dollar amounts (#2).  Since the end of year Total Standings Points reflects how fantasy baseball managers behaved when facing situations involved lower than expected playing time or performance, it accounts for these two last variables (#3 and #4).

Hope that makes sense to everyone!  Now on to the good stuff!

2011 Pre-Season Rankings Tested (click here for the aggregated results, links provided for rankings that are still posted):

Here are some general notes before I start throwing data out:

  • Most rankings do not provide $ estimates.  Since there is a larger gap in value between earlier draft picks vs. later (e.g, average gap between 10th and 11th best players greater than difference in 150th vs 151st best players), I converted all rankings into dollar estimates by providing the $ estimate for the corresponding rank from my Point Shares.  I used the published dollar estimates if they were available (vs forcing my $ estimates).  For HardballTimes and my Point Shares, I used the player scores since they estimate the value between picks (vs. just an arbitrary 1 between picks when done as rankings).
  • I believe all these rankings were released between Feb 1 and March 30th with the majority in the March time frame.  To be fair, I gave everyone the same values for the following players whose value dropped significantly during Spring Training – even if they had not ranked them.  The values are based on my Point Share value as of late March (I put a Z-score equivalent to $6 for THT):
    • Adam Wainwright – $0 – Tommy John surgery
    • Chase Utley – $6 – Knee issues became more problematic
    • Kendry(s) Morales – $6 – Comeback plans hit a snag
  • Most rankings do not specify the league format (# of teams, positions, etc).  Since the Razzball Commenter League format is about as standard as it gets (12 team, 5×5, ESPN roster format), I thought it was still fair to include in this test.  When possible, I used a source’s ’12 team MLB’ rankings/estimates.
  • Some rankings (ESPN/Matthew Berry, KFFL, USAToday) ranked only 200 players.  I tested the impact of adding the next 100 players based on a composite of the other rankings and the correlation percentages decreased.  I didn’t feel this was fair so I kept it as just the top 200.
  • Any player not in a source’s rankings who was drafted was valued at $0.
  • I capped (or is it floored?) any estimates at the equivalent of $0 as only some sources such as Point Shares and Last Player Picked report negative dollar values for players.  This is probably for the best, anyway, as players with negative projected value before the draft are dropped like luxury good brand names in rap songs – early and often.
  • In the previous post, I tested whether there was a clear bias in the RCL teams’ draft behavior.  The ADP of the RCL teams’ correlated closer to the ESPN Top 300 (96.7%) than either Grey’s rankings (92.6%) or my Point Shares (81.5%).  While I don’t have a second non-RCL sample to confirm, I would theorize the largest bias in the RCL teams’ behavior is driven by ESPN being the draft host and providing default rankings.

Here are the test results – see the following file for the raw results including the draft picks per team and the total standings points per team:

Chart #1:  Correlation % Between Team Final Standings’ Points & Team Drafted Player Projected Value By Rankings Source 

Rank Source $ Converted Correlation
1 Razzball – Point Shares (Late March) N 8.0%
Razzball – Point Shares (Late March) Y 7.7%
2 Razzball – Grey’s Rankings Y 7.7%
Razzball Point Shares (March 8th) N 6.8%
Razzball Point Shares (March 8th) Y 6.6%
3 RotoChamp top 300 Y 0.0%
4 HardballTimes - Jeffrey Gross (Z-score) N -0.9%
5 RotoExperts Top 300 Y -3.2%
6 KFFL Top 200 N -3.5%
7 FantasyPros Aggregated Top 300 Y -3.88%
8 USAToday Top 200 Y -3.93%
9 RCL ADP Top 100 Y -5.0%
10 Last Player Picked N -5.8%
11 RCL ADP All Y -6.1%
12 SI.com top 300 Y -7.7%
13 CBSSports Top 300 N -8.0%
14 FoxSports Top 300 N -8.1%
15 ESPN Berry Top 200 Y -9.3%
16 ESPN Top 300 N -12.2%

 

For those that care about this sort of thing, here is a link that tests the Point Shares (Late March) against the other sources.  Other that Grey’s rankings, Point Shares performed better at a 99.9+% statistical confidence level.  This means that – based on these results – it would have lost to one of the other sources in less than 1 in 1000 instances.

General takeaways (all specific to the 12-team MLB 5×5 format although I imagine much of it would apply to other formats):

  • The vast majority of pre-season rankings have a slight negative correlation with projected team performance.  Even the few that were positive aren’t very positive (8% being the high) when you consider the previous test showed that 64% of a team’s success is correlated to the actual performance of their draft picks.  It’s likely there are high-stakes fantasy baseball players or subscription sites who could exceeded this 8% but, for now, it’s the ceiling.  So I surmise that…
    • Somewhere around 55% of fantasy baseball team performance is driven by drafted players performing above/below consensus expectations (including injuries) – or, in other words, luck.  (Note: This isn’t the sum of all luck as I would think there is also luck involved around in-season pickups performing above/below consensus expectations)
    • The delta between the best performing rankings and worst performing rankings (~20%) is perhaps a rough estimate of the true difference between the best and worst drafted teams prior to the season (assuming the worst drafter didn’t veer too far from ADP).
    • Further proof can be seen in the nominal difference (-5.0% vs. -6.1%) between the ADP of the top 100 finishing RCL teams vs. all 456 teams.  The Top 100 teams clearly drafted  better judged on final season performance but it couldn’t have been predicted to any significant degree before the season started by any of these sources (and, I’d surmise, anyone)
  • Pre-season standings calculations are – by and large – a waste of time and energy unless it can be shown that the source’s stat + playing time expectations greatly exceeds the 8% ceiling found in this study (i.e., Having the most Point Shares $ value after the draft would increase one’s chances of winning by a negligible amount above 11-1 odds (1 in 12) in a 12-team league) 
  • RCL ADP’s correlation for the Top 100 and All Teams is further from 0% than I expected.  I have a theory later in the post on why.
  • The small delta (0.2-0.3%)  between the $-converted and non-$ converted Point Shares calculations (March 8th and Late March) is a positive sign that no ranking source was significantly helped/hurt by the $ conversion process.
  • Aside from major injury news (Wainwright, Utley, K. Morales), the learnings from early March until opening day are fairly minor.  Point Shares improved from 6.8% to 8.0% in correlation.  This difference is statistically confident at an 81.3% level – so it’s meaningful but not overwhelming so.  So for you multi-league drafters who have a late March draft, don’t feel too much pressure to update your rankings (I would scan for injuries/playing time shifts though).
  • Combining/averaging rankings (like FantasyPros.com does) pays some dividends but is no panacea.  I use multiple sources for both my stat projections and playing time estimates based on the belief that my rankings are more likely to suffer from an outlier than benefit (case in point, if you used just Oliver like THT, you’d have Juan Francisco as a top 10 player in 2011).  But if you are just combining a bunch of ‘safe’ rankings (the next section will define this further), you are not removing any risk.  You are just creating one big vanilla-flavored rankings porridge.  I’d rather identify a base rankings source (I’d recommend Point Shares) and then average it with a 2nd source as a sanity check
    • I averaged my Late March Point Shares with Grey’s rankings and got 8.1% (vs. 8.0% for Point Shares alone).  So no major gain but it didn’t hurt either.
    • I averaged my Late March Point Shares with FPro’s rankings and got 2.76%.  So adding in the safer rankings just dragged Point Shares down towards mediocrity.

Personal takeaways:

  • I’m obviously quite happy to see how (relatively) well my Point Shares did – although it’s humbling how small a percentage it explains in team performance.  Here’s the humbling math – if one team in a 12-team league used +8% correlated rankings (Point Shares) and the others used -8% correlated rankings, that would increase the +8% team’s chances of winning from 8.33% (1/12th) to 9%.  Perhaps that explains why Grey and I didn’t have a ton of fantasy baseball success last year despite doing so well in this test.  (That and Mornoooooooooooo!)
  • I can’t believe Grey did so well.  Given that he published them in February and his percentages beats my March 8th estimates, I’d say he’s the real (if not statistically significant) winner.  It’s quite annoying because it makes this study seem rigged – all I can say is that I did not make any changes to all the sources’ rankings (other than the 3 players noted ab0ve),  RCL Draft results, or final standings.

I ran two correlations to better understand the similarity (or lack thereof) between the various rankings.  The first chart (Chart #2) shows how each source’s player rankings correlates against Point Shares, Grey’s Rankings, and FantasyPro’s aggregated rankings (average of 18 separate rankings).  The second chart (Chart #3) shows how each source’s projected team values correlate vs those three sources.

Chart #2:  Correlations of Each Source’s Player Rankings vs. Point Shares, Grey’s Rankings, and Industry Average (Sorted by Uniqueness to FPRo Aggregated Rankings)

Rankings Correlations
Source  Point Shares (Late March) Grey’s Rankings FantasyPro Aggregated Rankings
HardballTimes – Jeffrey Gross (Z-score) 57% 62% 67%
Razzball – Point Shares (Late March) 100% 73% 82%
CBSSports Top 300 82% 79% 85%
KFFL Top 200 74% 71% 85%
Rotochamp – Top 300 81% 77% 86%
Last Player Picked 90% 79% 87%
Razzball – Grey Rankings 73% 100% 89%
ESPN Berry Top 200 78% 79% 89%
FoxSports Top 300 70% 82% 89%
SI.com Top 300 80% 83% 91%
ESPN Top 300 80% 85% 92%
USAToday Top 200 78% 80% 93%
RCL ADP Top 100 85% 90% 93%
RCL ADP All 84% 91% 93%
RotoExperts Top 300 83% 90% 94%
FantasyPros Aggregated Top 300 82% 89% 100%
Average 78% 81% 88%

Chart #3 Correlation of Team Projected Values By Each Rankings Sources (Sorted by Uniqueness to FPro Aggregated Rankings)

Team Projected Value Correlations
Source  Point Shares (Late March Grey’s Rankings FantasyPros Aggregated Rankings
Razzball – Grey Rankings 2% 22%
HardballTimes - Jeffrey Gross (Z-score) 57% -7% 37%
Razzball – Point Shares (Late March) 2% 59%
RotoChamp top 300 67% -15% 61%
ESPN Berry Top 200 37% -4% 63%
Last Player Picked 73% -21% 64%
RCL ADP Top 100 45% 39% 66%
RCL ADP All 43% 40% 68%
CBSSports Top 300 52% 1% 70%
KFFL Top 200 49% 8% 72%
ESPN Top 300 41% -9% 73%
FoxSports Top 300 36% 17% 74%
USAToday Top 200 49% 6% 78%
SI.com top 300 44% 16% 78%
RotoExperts Top 300 47% 31% 80%
FantasyPros Aggregated Top 300 59% 22%
Average 47% 8% 64%

Some observations:
  • While Chart #2 is a more straightforward test (e.g., compares rankings directly vs. running the results through 456 RCL teams), I think Chart #3 is the better test.
    • Example #1:  Grey’s rankings look close to the other systems in Chart #2 but are wildly unique when valuing RCL Teams.  If Grey’s rankings were as close as Chart #2 suggests, his team values wouldn’t have been so divergent from the rest of the sources (8% correlation is really low)
    • Example #2:  Point Shares should correlate highest with three other automated/quant-based systems (HardballTimes, RotoChamp, Last Player Picked).  This is not the case in Chart #2 but clearly the case in Chart #3.
  • The four most unique rankings in Chart #3 finished in the top 4 in correlating to team success while the 5th (Matthew Berry) finished 2nd to last.  I don’t think this isn’t a coincidence – the most unique rankings should be furthest above/below the consensus rankings.
  • It is odd how ESPN’s Top 300 could finish last and yet be so safe in terms of similarity to consensus rankings.   FantasyPro’s Aggregated Rankings finished middle of the pack so there appears to be some safety in consensus.  Seems most likely that ESPN just had some bad luck.
  • The 4 quantitative-based solutions (HardballTimes, Point Shares, Rotochamp, and Last Player Picked) finish in the top 6 for uniqueness.

Two unsubstantiated theories:

  • I have no idea how to prove this but here’s a theory for why so many rankings are below 0%….Most of the ‘curated’ rankings reflect conventional fantasy baseball thinking (e.g., don’t draft pitchers in the first 15 picks).  This conventional thinking either feeds or just mirrors what ends up as the default rankings within draft software.  Weaker players lean on the default rankings more than stronger players.  While success in a 12-team mixed league requires a lot of luck, there is enough skill during the draft (and in post-draft roster moves) that weaker players in aggregate will perform worse than stronger players.  If weaker players depend more on default rankings/ADPs than stronger players, a negative correlation would arise between team success and any ranking system similar to default rankings.  (If correct, this also means that if the RCL somehow used Grey’s rankings or my Point Shares as the default rankings, they’d automatically fare worse in a test like this.)
  • The common advice of “Zag when others zig” seems true for both experts who publish rankings and fantasy baseball players who seek those rankings out.  If I was curating a rankings list, I’d follow Grey’s lead and take a lot of chances.  (We’ll see if Grey has similar success in 2012).  ‘Safe’ rankings have value only if people are drafting without default rankings (or with really bad default rankings).  If I were building a system from scratch to quantify player values, I would do my best to avoid using traditional rankings as a benchmark (I’d also advise against this because there’s a lot more learning curve than you think….I’d just use Point Shares for my draft and invest that time doing something that might get you laid like learning to play guitar.)

Other Notes:

  • I plan on running a similar test at the end of 2012.  We’ve got about 10 more RCLs than last year (38 to 48) – more sample is always better.
  • Since I got such a late start on this analysis, I’m going to hold off analyzing stat projections (Marcel, ZiPs, Steamer, etc.) until the offseason and have 2 years of data to reference.  I”ll only be including projections that are directly available for users.  Projections available for subscription will require direct permission from the publisher.
  • The worksheet provided in Google Docs is considered public domain – feel free to create and publish complementary or contradictory analyses  with it.  Please just link to this post and note the data is available courtesy of Razzball.

Final Note:

109 Responses

  1. mac says:
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    Hey this is off the subject…
    but i really need help on this..
    i’m in a 12 Team h2h 5×5 plus obp and holds(4 Keepers)
    I got off work late and missed the 1st 5 rds..hence the 2 SS

    My question is:what should i do to make my team more competitive?

    C:Ramos
    1B:Konerko
    2B:Cano
    3B:Freese
    SS:Andrus
    OF:Cutch,LoMo,Crawford

    Bench:Duda,Cain,Rollins(1 empty spot)
    DL:Carp,Craig

    SP:Halladay,Hamels,Lester,Darvish,A.Sanchez,U.Jimenez
    RP:Santos,Farnsworth,Pestano,Chapman

    Best Free Agents available are:

    Josh Willingham
    Carlos Pena
    Jason Kubel
    Kelly Johnson
    Chris Heisey
    Yonder Alonso
    Jose Tabata
    Eric Thames

    looking forward to hearing you view..
    Thanks in advance

    • @mac, Why so many bench hitters? I guess Crawford goes to the DL as well so you star Duda or Cain but there’s no need for more than 1 bench hitter. None of those FA hitters are necessary but you should upgrade your 3B and LoMo. I’d see who has the weakest SS and see if they have a 3B or OF that’s an improvement. Cain isn’t going to have much value in this league (you’re fine on save) – I’d rather have Willingham who usually is solid on OBP.

  2. EK says:
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    I’m thinking of trading Reyes for Ian Kennedy.. I have Hanley and Asdrubal already at SS and am desperate for a starter.. 12 team H2H points.. thoughts?

    • @EK, You’re on the lesser end of the trade but 80 cents on the dollar is something at least. The other option is to trade Asdrubal for a lesser starter.

    • Former Skeptic says:
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      @EK, I’d say trade asdrubal for a “lesser” starter rather than trading reyes for ik.

    • Big Magoo says:
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      @EK, I agree with the above comments. Try to move Asdrubal for a Beachy, Darvish, Latos, Moore type.

  3. Nonstoptalk says:
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    Rudy… Opinion on my team?

    10 Team Standard Mixed

    C: Russell Martin
    1B: Mark Reynolds
    2B: Dan Uggla
    3B: Evan Longoria
    OF: Jose Bautista
    OF Jay Bruce
    OF: Michael Bourn
    UTIL: Jayson Werth
    SP: Cliff Lee
    SP: Zack Greinke
    SP: Mat Latos
    SP: Rickey Romero
    SP: Adam Wainwright
    SP: Wandy Rodriquez
    SP: Francisco Liriano
    SP: Edison Volquez
    RP: Huston Street
    RP: Brandon League
    RP: Carlos Marmal
    RP: Rafael Betancourt
    Obvious average is gonna be terrible but do I have enough HR, Steals, RBIs and Runs to compete on offense to complement what I think is a good staff?

    Thanks in advance Rudy.

    • @Nonstoptalk, you don’t have middle infielders in your league?

      • Nonstoptalk says:
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        @Rudy Gamble, No, it’s a very shallow league with some friends which I haven’t been a part of in the past. Don’t have much experience drafting in such shallow leagues which is why I wanted a second opinion.

        • @Nonstoptalk, So your league doesn’t have a SS? Did Derek Jeter nail the commissioner’s girlfriend or something? The starting pitching staff looks great – having bourn + uggla is a good power/speed mix. Yes, you have enough on offense (HR/RBI/SB).

          • Nonstoptalk says:
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            @Rudy Gamble, lol. I’m sorry brother. Didn’t even notice I omitted a SS. Thought you were talking CI, MI. I have Dee Gordon so that should help some more with SB. He was an important aspect because I wasn’t sure if having Bourn and Gordon together would neutralize my power bats too much. Sorry for the confusion and thanks again for all your hard work.

            • @Nonstoptalk, np. gordon and bourn should help you dominate SBs. would consider trading one for help in another category at mid-season.

  4. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    Rudy we love you,but you make my brain hurt,hehe

    • @AL KOHOLIC, that’s the hangover talkin’

      • Dirty Jersey says:
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        @Rudy Gamble, @AL KOHOLIC,

        I get the feeling that Rudy’s office resembles the office of Russel Crowe’s character in “A Beautiful Mind”

  5. joe from point pleasant says:
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    @Rudy Gamble:
    12 team H2H *Points*
    5 Keepers

    As you can tell, you need a lot of quality SP for a points league. We have a 15 start weekly max that everyone tries to hit, and by carrying around 10 SP you reduce the amount of streaming you need to do. (There’s literally nothing out there)

    C-Wieters
    1B-Votto
    2B-Kipnis
    3B-Moose
    SS-Tulowitzki
    OF-Granderson
    OF-Jennings
    OF-Swisher
    UTIL-Melky
    UTIL-Cain <– my boyyy
    DL-Utley

    SP1-Verlander
    SP2-King Felix
    SP3-Strasburg
    SP4-Holland
    SP5-Luebke
    SP6-Liriano
    SP7-J Santana
    SP8-Worley
    SP9-Volquez
    SP10-Bedard
    SP11-Capuano

    CL-Marshall
    CL-C Perez
    CL-J Johnson

    Anyway, how do you think my team is? Any comments/suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    • @joe from point pleasant, seems like a solid team. i like you haven’t gone overboard on SBs or SVs for H2H.

      • joe from point pleasant says:
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        @Rudy Gamble,

        Thanks!

        I just picked up Joel Peralta too with the news on Farnsworth.

        Hope it works out.

  6. bobby jones says:
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    Fair deal? Capuano/Grilli for DeJesus/Mujica? What if Nicasio replaced C-Cap?

    • @bobby jones, This must be a deep league. NL-only? The trade seems fair. I like Nicasio this year more than Capuano but both are serviceable in NL-only.

  7. thurman says:
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    12 team h2h 5×5 daily league… who would you rather have in this trade:

    pestano & greg holland for joe nathan

    2nd,

    which would you rather have: gallardo, or madbum?

    my other sp’s are Dhud, latos, matt moore, zimmermann

    finally, would you rather have zimmermann or gio gonzalez?

    • @thurman, Nathan (1 closer > 2 MRs). Gallardo. Gio.

  8. Phil says:
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    Pick up Joel Peralta now that Farnsworth is probably going to hit the DL (arm stiffness), or is Alfredo Aceves still the better for saves? I have no one else to drop.

  9. Jamiehov says:
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    So glad I ran into the site, thanks for the info and all you guys do. Glad to see last years rankings came out so favorably. Mind taking a look and letting me know how I came out…  10 team rotisserie 5X6 w/ holds. Same group since ’98 and the same guy has won 8 straight years,

    C: Ramos
    1B: Votto
    2B: Kinsler
    3B: Zimmerman
    SS: Andrus
    OF: Mccutch
    OF: Bruce
    OF: Berkman
    UTIL: Sheriff Reynolds

    SP: Gallardo
    SP: Bumgarner (8th rd keep)
    SP: Nat Gio
    SP: Anibal Sanchez
    SP: Ubaldo
    RP: Broxton
    RP: Holland
    RP: Balfour
    RP: Street
    RP: Guerra
    RP: Jansen

    Any help or thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

    • @Jamiehov, 8 years in a row the same winner. Jeez. Seems to refute my article. I like your offense. Good blend of power/speed/AVG. Gallardo/Madbum are a solid #1/#2. Not a fan of Ubaldo this year but he’s probably worth giving a try for the first few weeks. I wouldn’t be afraid to drop Reynolds, Anibal, Ubaldo, Broxton, or Holland if they struggle in the first couple of weeks.

      • Jamiehov says:
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        @Rudy Gamble,

        Thanks Rudy!

        I was thinking about dropping Jimenez but was happy that he threw at Tulowitzki. My team has a bounty program that encourages such behavior and he will be rewarded for plunking another teams top 5 pick. If Broxton sticks, I’ll keep him as a closer with Holland for holds, if Holland ends up closing, Broxton will go.

  10. sean says:
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    Really interesting. Despite the big industry that fantasy rankings/advice/projections has become, having the best rankings/projections only gives you a marginally better chance of actually winning your league. Just seems to prove the old adage true that you can’t win your league in the draft…

    • @sean, yup. the biggest impact from ‘big industry’ is reducing the gap b/w the most informed and least informed drafter by adding default rankings.

  11. Hemmo says:
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    you are a God, Rudy.

    • @Hemmo, beats being the inverse of God (literally and spelling-wise)

  12. shibboleth says:
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    Hey Rudy, thanks as always for the solid info! Care to diagnose my draft?

    12-team roto, R/HR/BI/SB/OBP/SLG; QS/SV/K/ERA/WHIP/HLD. (bench)

    c- Iannetta
    1- Pujols
    2- Uggla (Altuve)
    3- Aramis
    ss- Castro
    ci- Ike Davis
    mi- Cozart
    of- Stanton, BJ Upton, Bourjos, Boesch, Smith (Mayberry, Thames)
    sp- Gallardo, Garza, Latos, Morrow, Garcia, Lewis, Niese
    cl- Axford, Marshall, F. Francisco,
    mr- Chapman, KRod

    • @shibboleth, Seems like a solid draft. Deep crop of SPs. Focused on power instead of speed (given the SLG is a 6th cat).

  13. Eddy says:
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    Grey was right, his mustache did just fuller.

    You’ll need to encase his head with a burlap sack to prevent it from getting to big now.

    Next thing you know he’ll be recommending Vernon Well and Alex Rios because he thinks he’s infallible.

    Wait…

    I keed. Great job, Rudy. As if I needed another reason to put Razzball high and above any other fantasy baseball site!

    • @Eddy, Thanks Eddy. Yeah, I’m glad I waited until after draft season to post this – otherwise, Grey might’ve gone commando on the drafts…

  14. Jim says:
    (link)

    Wow that post was impressive. I’m sure a lot of work went into that. I’d love to get your opinion on a trade I was proposed. I get Gardner and Strasburg and give up Jay Bruce. I feel I am short on SB’s and starting pitching but don’t want to give up someone who is harder to replace than those I would be getting. 10 team standard 5×5 mix league.

    My current lineup:
    Arencebia
    Hosmer
    Kinsler
    A. Ramirez
    Tulowitski
    Stanton
    Bruce
    Pence
    C. Young or Lind (util)

    SP’s = Haren, Cain, Scherzer, and Beachy.
    What is your opinion?

    • Thanks. The trade is fair. I like Bruce a lot but it seems like your team is just fine on power. Point Shares loves Strasburg this year and values him not much less than Bruce..so him + Gardner means very good value.

      • Jim says:
        (link)

        @Rudy Gamble, Thanks Rudy. Just curious, does the Point Shares value for Strasburg take into account his innings limit of around 160?

        • @Jim, Here’s what I had: 164 IP / 13 W / 2.85 ERA / 1.14 WHIP / 177 K. Steamer and ZIPS in near agreement on ERA/WHIP/K-rate.

  15. Griff says:
    (link)

    Nice work, Rudy.

    I’m going off to learn guitar.

  16. Combo says:
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    Rudy, how down on Logan Morrison are you? Drop him for Eric Thames, Brent Morel, or Tori Hunter in 10team mixed?

    • @Combo, I have him worth $7 in 10 team mixed (ESPN) and $5 in Yahoo! I like Torii better $1-$2 better than Logan.

  17. The Rhymenoceros says:
    (link)

    Trying to slog through this mess of mumbo jumbo makes me glad that I teach English! Math makes me feel stoopid! Is there anyway to break down these results so someone who abhors math can understand what the hell it means?

    • Look at the first chart. The higher they are on the chart, the better they are at ranking players for fantasy baseball.

  18. Project_badass says:
    (link)

    12-team 5×5 (QS instead of W) roto league, 200 GS limit, 4-keeper league (loose the round you drafted them)

    Good afternon Rudy…what do you think about this trade offer…I need pitching help and was offered Strasburg (Round 24) and Cuddyer(Round 8) for Lawrie (Round 26). What do you think?

    My team
    C- Jesus Montero
    1B- Miggy
    2B- Phillips
    3B- Lawrie
    SS- Desmond
    MI- Aaron Hill
    CI- Youk
    OFx5- McCutchen, Hamilton, Heyward, Jennings, Bourjous
    DH- Thames
    BN- Pastornicky

    SP- CJ Wilson, Hudson, Gio, Chacin, Cahill, Filthy Sanchez
    RP- Valverde, Putz, Marmol, Myers, Jim Johnson, Henry Rodriguez

    • Project_badass says:
      (link)

      @Project_badass, Cuddyer (Round 8 )

    • I’m not giving up Lawrie as a keeper right now. Love Strasburg in redraft leagues but no confidence he’ll stay healthy.

  19. Buck says:
    (link)

    Rudy, Do you love Thames as much as Grey does? Would you prefer him over Colby Rasmus? Rasmus just got cut in my leagues and even though he sucked this Spring, it’s tempting to drop Thames and pick him up.

    • I like Thames as a late round OF but would prefer to gamble on Rasmus’ upside.

  20. Buc Lover says:
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    Rudy, what does PA stand for?

    • Former Skeptic says:
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      @Buc Lover, Plate appearances.

  21. DasPeck says:
    (link)

    This is amazing. Thank you for all this extensive research. Are there sample draft data for rcls? I didn’t click every link to raw data, but id like to see a team a vs team b vs team c breakdown kind of thing, just a sample.

    I’m also glad to know that the rankings I trust most are least statistically insignificant.

    I’m off to take a statistics exam, thanks for reminding me why.

  22. Buc Lover says:
    (link)

    just kidding :-)

  23. pablo says:
    (link)

    Hey Rudy – Can you take a quick gander at my squad and give me your thoughts?

    10 team 6×6

    r, rbi, sb, tb, obp, slg
    c mesoraco
    1 hosmer
    2 phillips
    3 longoria
    ss d gordon
    ofx3 m kemp, gardner, c. young
    utilx3 m reynolds, bourjos, j montero
    bn c. rasmus
    bn bj upton

    mesoraco was just to spell J. Montero while he gets eligible. Montero now filling in for Upton.

    sv, hld, era, whip, k/9, qs

    spx3 cliff lee, matt latos, b beachy
    rpx3 storen, h street, motte
    px4 a chapman, s romo, j broxton, henry rodriguez
    bn m sherzer
    bn ani sanchez
    bn matt moore

    p.s. to follow up on what Byrone said, re:sxsw, i would second Real Estate, and also recommend the new Mikal Cronin and First Aid Kit records.

    • @pablo, Man, I’ve had more ganders this past couple days than the whoriest goose. ithe team looks pretty good (harder for me to judge 10 team vs. other leagues). ‘d get matt moore into the lineup. i think you’ve got overkill on speed so would trade for power with anyone who gives a fair offer for Gordon, Gardner, or Bourjos.

      • @Rudy Gamble, And will give a listen to Real Estate.

  24. SF Values says:
    (link)

    Hey Rudy-

    Love the site, love the math-heavy posts. Would really appreciate your take on my auction from last week.

    It’s a 12 team H2H points 8-player keeper league. The auction values of starting pitchers went bonkers, so I zigged (zagged?) and refused to pay much over pt. shares for any starters. 1) How desperately should I be trading for an ace or two and 2) where can I afford to move guys? Even though points are points are points, I’m thinking 1) extremely and 2) outfield.

    C: Posey
    1B: Hosmer
    2B: Uggla
    SS: Dee Gordon
    3B: Longoria
    CI: Morse
    MI: Kendrick
    OF: Bruce
    OF: Pence
    OF: Cruz
    OF: LoMo
    Util: Jesus Montero
    B: Rasmus

    SP: Marcum
    SP: Zimmerman
    SP: Beachy
    SP: Colby Lewis
    SP: Derek Holand
    SP: Brandon McCarthy
    RP: Motte
    RP: Hanrahan
    RP: Betancourt
    B: Cahill
    B: Peavy
    B: Andrew Bailey (this was pre-injury news and still dumb)

    Thanks for the help!

    • @SF Values, Glad you liked the post. You’re definitely in the minority of readers that like the math-heavy posts.

      I don’t worry as much about aces when it comes to H2H. I just want a lot of SP depth to play the matchups. You’ve got solid SP depth for a 12-team league. I wouldn’t worry about trading for an ace. The lineup looks solid. I wouldn’t worry so much. Montero should be trade bait once he gets C-eligibility. Rasmus is a good bench flier and you’ll need an extra OF with Cruz on the roster.

  25. Giacomo says:
    (link)

    Great article Rudy – I need to revisit my stats text book from college to really understand what the hell you did!

    In any event, I would like your input on my team from my draft over the weekend:

    10 team head to head, standard ESPN roto league with the addition of an extra 4 bench spots (200 start cap):

    C – Avila
    1B – Miguel Cabrera
    2B – Uggla
    3B – Youkilis
    SS – Jose Reyes
    2B / SS – Cozart
    1B / 3B – Michael Young
    OF – Cargo
    OF – Jay Bruce
    OF – Krispie Young
    OF – Markakis
    OF – Swisher
    Util – Bourjos
    BN – Lorenzo Cain
    BN – Altuve
    BN – Tabata
    P – Matt Cain
    P – Yovani Gallardo
    P – Daniel Hudson
    P – Gio Gonzalez
    P – Brandon McCarthy
    P – Jake Peavy
    P – JJ Putz
    P – Matt Thornton
    P – Grant Balfour
    BN – Frank Francisco
    BN – Andrew Bailey
    BN – Tyler Clippard
    BN – Mike Adams

    I figured that a few extra middle relievers with the additional bench spots would help with pitching stats without having a fear of screwing with the innings cap. The Bench hitters really were because I thought I was a bit light on steals. Thee Frank Francisco and Bailey injuries hurt a bit, I should have known about them before I drafted, but I slacked a bit. Melancon is owned, but Rauch is still available. Do you think he is worth the add?

    • @Giacomo, I like MRs in IP/GS-capped leagues but not for H2H. Unless its daily changes vs. weekly and in that case I’m down like a clown. Don’t worry about steals in a H2H league although I kind of like Altuve better than Cozart (find a Grey acolyte as a trading partner). I wouldn’t worry about Rauch – you’re okay for now in Saves. You only need 2 healthy closers in my opinion for a H2H league.

      • Steve says:
        (link)

        @Rudy Gamble, Great post Rudy. I’m and ‘English’ guy ratger than ‘Maths guy, so all this is confounding and yet mightily impressive at the same time.

        Has Grey been touchdown dancing over IM at these results?

        In reference to the above, what’s the thinking on needing just two healthy closers in H2H? In my 12-team league everyone seems to have 3 or more.

        • @Steve, Thanks. Grey’s done a little bragging but nothing too bad. Then again, podcast starts in 5 minutes….

          Saves are so random on a week by week basis. I’d rather throw an extra starter vs cross my fingers for saves.

          • Steve says:
            (link)

            @Rudy Gamble, Hehe, I just re-read my original comment. For an English guy, my spelling and grammar leaves something to be desired ;-)

  26. beardcrabs says:
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    michael brantley or sean reodreguez for an RCL bench spot…

  27. anon says:
    (link)

    This is frackin awesome. Nicely done. So, I know in the past you said you thought point shares were pretty dope (ok those were probably my words), but you said you didn’t necessarily recommend following them as a draft list because pitching is more variable than hitting, etc.

    So, in light of a study like this, are you willing to use the point shares as a draft list in a snake at this point, or do you still advise grabbing hitting early and drafting some SPs in the mid rounds (or at least 3rd at the earliest) as a strategy? ‘Cause you have some pitchers pretty high on point shares, and if you’re manually adjusting for playing time as you did for Kinsler, then I could score some serious value with say a Verlander in the late 2nd round.

    Also, FWIW, as far as I can tell RotoChamp and Last Player picked are also using z-scores, they just modify (methods not explained as far as I can see on their sites) for position. Those systems are very similar to THT.

    Recently I did an AL only draft for the first time and went to load Grey’s rankings, only to realize he didn’t doesn’t have a column on the spreadsheet for league. And I ain’t gonna lie guys, outside of the big names I have no idea who is in what league so I had to find an AL only list or risk using the LAST PLACE ESPN default ranks as my guide in the later rounds after I lost track of everybody!! What I did end up doing, though, is pull up the point shares and draft off that so we’ll see how I do!

    • @anon, Thanks anon. I draft off of Point Shares – I just recommend not always drafting the top available player. In the first couple rounds, SPs will dominate the top players available. I kind of wanted to take Kershaw in the 2nd round of our Y! F&F league but acquiesced to Grey and we took McCutchen and got Cliff Lee in the 3rd. But after this test, I feel like Point Shares is the best at determining the true value and then a good drafter can then get the best value based on the way the teams are drafting. Hope that made sense.

      AL-only is a bitch. I posted the Point Shares late for that since we’re in a big money AL-only league.

      Thanks for the intel on RotoChamp and Last Player Picked. I’ve seen LPP’s position adjustments are mild and so are mine. People go on about position scarcity but I think it’s overrated. But if we suddenly enter an era of Tyler Pastornickys at SS, the weights are set up to adjust for it :)

  28. Buc Lover says:
    (link)

    Rudy, do your teams you draft tend to resemble each other? I’m finding this year, more than most years, to be a year where my teams don’t. I think where you draft has an impact on that since if you draft a 1B or OF or MI first that dictates how the rest of the draft goes, and this year, I drafted early, mid and late. Also, I probably targeted more “value” players than I typically do so my pool of targeted players was larger. I just wonder, do you think that if you had three distinctly different teams (with maybe just 1 or 2 repeated players), in 12 team leagues, that you could win all three leagues? This assuming the leagues were all competitive and all managed to the end.

    • @Buc Lover, There are definite similarities in my teams but this year, the early picks seemed to be very similar b/c I always drafted mid/late 1st round and had a specific philosophy about 1B + Longoria. But since we run a blog where we need to discuss all players, we try to draft Player B if he’s near identical to Player A and we already drafted Player A.

      Yeah, I think there are a lot of ways to win a 12-team league. You can’t go in with too rigid of a philosophy. I prefer to go Power + SP but I don’t want to overpay for either. Basically, if a draft offers up an inefficiency, I’m going to take advantage of it.

  29. MrHappyTime says:
    (link)

    @Rudy, Would you trade Mark Reynolds for Yu Darvish if you needed pitching? Or am I giving up to much/less? Thanks

    • @MrHappyTime, that’s a fair offer – especially if you can spare the power.

  30. MrHappyTime says:
    (link)

    On a side note, now that I lost Bailey as my closer where do I go from here? Francisco, Thornton, Peralta, Lidge, Melancon, Broxton, or Jim Johnson? I’m in desperate need of saves this year!

    • @MrHappyTime, Thornton, Jim johnson, Francisco, Melancon, Broxton, Peralta, Lidge in that order.

  31. Jim says:
    (link)

    Rudy,

    U think Lidge gonna be closing to start? Debating putting him in in a weekly lineup. Him, Scherzer, Lynn my options, not feeling Scherzer at all for week one. Thanks

    • @Jim, yes on lidge. i think he’ll get the save opps.

  32. Goose says:
    (link)

    This is a great analysis, Rudy. Appreciate the effort, even if ultimately it seems like kinda-sorta it all comes down to luck, eh…? Or luck is at least the single biggest determining factor.

    There may also be some variance to note in early season success — as in, a manager who “hits early” on his team, is doing well in the standings and thus grows confident and continues to make quick/good moves to help his categories, etc. -vs.- someone whose picks stumble early and he grows disheartened after a month or two of scuffling and stops paying attention. In other words, viewing the season in sum at the end, the 2nd manager may have actually drafted “better” than the 1st, but because his guys didn’t perform up to their ranking ’til the 2nd half, this 2nd manager didn’t make the in-season moves necessary to bolster his totals, and so it seemed like he was not as successful as, truly, he was. If you see what I mean.

    S’pose we’ll know more after this year (and subsequent years), though, too.

    • @Goose, I agree. I do think teams that start slow may get less attention from their owners. But final season stats for drafted teams still have a 64% correlation with their team’s roto points. so maybe it’s like 66% for teams that start really well and 62% for teams that start slow?

  33. chata says:
    (link)

    @ Rudy :

    gotcha .

  34. Tony says:
    (link)

    rudy: LaHair or Mayberry….?

    • @Tony, Lahair – more assured playing time.

  35. MattTruss223 says:
    (link)

    Blown away Rudy! These math-geek posts are amazing. I started reading this blog 2 seasons ago and didn’t honestly pay much attention to the point shares. This year I went all out with some pretty nerdy spreadsheets for my leagues and got into the PS quite a bit. For a mathematical brain, they are pretty sweet. They made drafting Mark Reynolds in a couple leagues easier and lead me to end up w/Beachy in most leagues.

    It makes me giggle a bit to see ESPN do so poorly.

    I wanted to throw out a variable. Since the leagues are hosted by ESPN, and therefore use their default rankings, there was bound to be more then a handful of teams that missed the draft, ended up with a pile of ESPN pre-rank garbage and through trades and FA pick-ups created a more Grey/Rudy-esque team. Assuming the Grey/Rudy team then performed OK, might it be true that it actually added a bit of positive correlation to the ESPN ranks? Just a thought. There’s a ridiculous amount of variables to consider when you do these kinds of analysis, but I’ve got to say, you seemed to account for many of them. Nice work, keep them coming.

    Can’t wait for this years results.

    • @MattTruss223, Thanks. Hope your teams do well this year! I thought about whether Grey/Rudy advice post-draft would impact the test. I think post-draft that the most active owners tend to do better (there was a positive correlation on # of transactions and total points). I don’t think our advice specifically created a bias in the results.

      Looking forward to the results from 2012 as well to see how similar it is to the 2011 results. Also, I changed my stat and playing time sources so hoping that helps.

  36. Mike D. says:
    (link)

    @Rudy, as Thom Yorke once sang, “arrest this man / he speaks in maths”.

    Seriously, extremely insightful piece. You are truly the yin to Grey’s yang. Looks like lots of studying for you back in the day – you weren’t just hangin’ at Pat’s Steaks every night, correct?

    Questions: I’m pretty sure you base your projections on ZiPs and Steamer, but how do you determine your final projection line for each player? And have you analyzed these projections to see how closely they predict actual player performance?

    Thanks for all the hard work. You make the world a better place for many reasons, man.

    Take care,
    Mike D.

    • @Mike D., Thanks. Had to google to see that was a lyric from Karma Police. I saw Radiohead on the ‘OK Computer’ tour – so awesome. Haven’t really liked anything I’ve heard from them since.

      Pat’s Steaks – you think I’m from Philly?

      I use ZiPs and Steamer for the rates and Fantistics + Rotochamp for playing time estimates. I make some edits to playing time estimates as I see fit – the only edits I made to the rates from ZiPs and Steamer was to increase the ERA/WHIP for relievers turning to starters (tends to be +1.00 in ERA and I think 0.10 in WHIP).

      This offseason I’m going to test the various free stat projection services – when I do that, I’ll test using my preseason playing time estimates so I can test how my ZiPS/Steamer concoction does compared to using a single source.

      Thanks again for the kind words -
      Rudy

  37. Cheese

    Cheese says:
    (link)

    Mind = blown

    • @Cheese, Just don’t kill me like you did Prop Joe.

  38. Hawk says:
    (link)

    Rudy….

    After reading through this the question that comes to mind for me is:

    What level of stat variance between predicted stats and actual stats has to exist for them to be worth using to predict?

    If I told you “I can guarantee the stats you’ll receive in my prediction set are 80% accurate” you’d probably agree that sounds like a prediction off which you can work. For example, lets say I used my algebraic super duper formula to predict Albert Pujols averages 37 HR. That means I am guaranteeing he’ll be between 31 and 45 HR. While it’s probably correct, that wide a range is essentially useless as a predictive tool.

    In my 10 team 5×5 league it took 277 HR to gain 8 points last year. Tops was 315, bottom was 227. These ranges are reasonably similar to the previous few seasons.

    Working backwards, I use my prediction set to guide me to draft a team which predicts out to 277 home runs. That’s my start point. If I get to a predicted 277 home runs with 80% confidence that means my team could hit anywhere between 222 and 333 home runs!

    That level of confidence would leave me predicted to finish first, last or anywhere in between. That level of confidence is therefore useless. For the record, that level of confidence leaves me first, last or anywhere in between in every counting category but Saves (likely because one or two owners punt it).

    Even if my predictions are 90% accurate that would leave me anywhere from 249 to 305 homers which would leave my point total from 2nd to 9th. That level of confidence is essentially the same – a distinction without a difference.

    The way I see it, in order for predictions to actually have meaning in the standings, I need 98% accuracy. If I hit my predictions with that level of accuracy, I’d leave my draft knowing I would be between 6-8 points in Home Runs. As insane as it sounds, 98% is the level of confidence needed for predictions become useful as drafting guides.

    I guess the point I’m belaboring here is that the margins between 3rd place and 8th place in most categories are so tight that predictions under 98% accuracy could leave you anywhere within the range. We are interested in being able to predict how many points we’ll get per category (in roto, at least. H2H is different) In my opinion, such an impossibly high level of confidence required to meet that task renders using predictions essentially useless as drafting guides (and really, that’s what we’re using them for).

    I think fantasy baseballers use them as a crutch. They either make them up on their own, use some formula to create them or find some publication containing predictions with which they agree. The owners then shape their drafts around these predicitons. This explains the phenomenon which takes place of the end of every draft – the part where half of the owners claim their predictions show them in first place.

    To sum it up, until we can get to 98%+ accurate on predictive stats we might as well not use them. And since that’s not happening any time soon….

    • @Hawk, Tough questions. I know we publish them but I never use any target to reach for any stat. Partly b/c I don’t need an additional distraction during a draft and partly b/c I don’t think it adds value for the reasons you bring up.

      But just b/c projections have large margin for errors doesn’t make them useless. Even if all the work I do just creates a 10% edge vs. my competition, that’s still helping me towards winning the league.

      I just wouldn’t sweat trying to hit, say, a HR target when the reality is that almost all the teams will be separated by a small enough margin that everyone could finish many places above/below their projection – hence, my point that preseason standings are pretty much useless aside from getting a gauge at your team’s strengths/weaknesses.

      • Hawk says:
        (link)

        @Rudy Gamble,

        I’m curious how you consider the predictions give you a 10% edge vs. your competition? I am not trying to be a jerk here – honestly trying to understand where you’re coming from and, selfishly, planning to use that edge myself muhahahhahhaha…

        Also, I think you’re in the minority regarding how people use predictions during a draft. I think a large majority of owners (at least, serious owners who good fantasy players need to consern themselves about) use some kind of prediction vs. expected targets comparison during their drafts to help guide them toward players whose skill sets they need (i.e. do I draft Jayson Werth or Cameron Maybin, for example).

        It’s taken me a couple of years of playing around with predictions to get to this point but I agree with your final assessment. Predictions are so scattered and categories are so tight that using them as a drafting guide is actually a disadvantage.

        That being the case, should we tout and encourage other owners to use predictive tools as a Bible?

        Sorry….my evil side coming out. It happens.

        • 10% was hypothetical but, in this test, the Point Shares’ estimation of a team’s value correlates 8% with their roto points. Most of the other rankings are in the -3 to -9 percent range. So you could argue I’m at a 11-17% advantage when playing in a 12-team league if they are using those other rankings.

  39. LadyScorpio says:
    (link)

    Wow! VERY in-depth and WAAAAYYY over my head. LOL! I LOVE this site!

    • chata says:
      (link)

      @chata,

      man-oh-man .
      how boring it would be to have the job that requires you to
      compile pitch-type stats for every freakin’ pitcher .

      glad that i don’t have to do it .

      • @chata, i just use FanGraphs data. And, yeah, seems boring.

  40. jac says:
    (link)

    Hector Santiago is most definitely in the mix for the Chisox closing job. Closed out the game in a non-save situation today. Ventura ran out Crain, then Reed then Thornton, then Santiago. Looking like another Henry Rodriguez. Killer stuff, killer spring, the kind of uncomplicated young dumb gun a mgr with a complex situation might take a flier on. Damn, I have limited moves and don’t want to drop Thornton too soon for Santiago. Or do I?

    • @jac, if you have thornton, you have to hold tight.

  41. Need help says:
    (link)

    Moreland, Chris Davis or Lahair for 1b? Or can move C Santana to 1B and pick up Yadier Molina, W Ramos, Mesocaro, Doumit, Olivo or Iannetta as my Catcher,

  42. PastaMan says:
    (link)

    Great work Rudy!!!! Huge fan right here. What software do
    You use to run your analysis?
    I need to hit the books on stats again, but I feel like I may finally put my STATA to run again since college

    • @PastaMan, I just use Excel. It’s not that heavy of an analysis from a stat perspective. Just a lot of VLOOKUPs and SUMIFs. It’s easy to correlate two columns worth of data using the CORREL function.

  43. captainpyper says:
    (link)

    And now im tracking with you. between the podcast and this post i understand where you are coming from with the pre-draft rankings “test”. after reading that first post about this “test” i was left almost in tears wondering why you had to prove you fantasy superiority over the rest of us by goin over our heads! And speaking of tears, does Greys success have anything to do with putting his players into tiers before ranking the top 300? i feel like after reading this i would never attempt to just straight rank 300 players.

    • @captainpyper, thanks. tried not to make this post about bragging and just report the results. i think most people who do rankings use position tiers. i think it’s that grey takes more chances and, in 2011, they worked

  44. RK says:
    (link)

    This confirms my thinking that rankings are considerably arbitrary, and not based on statistical analysis, which is why I converted ESPN projections into something loosely based on their Player Rater, as to be able to compare one category to another.

    The most insight that I gathered from that is
    1) SPs are underdrafted (as you stated, due to strategy)
    2) Comparing averge draft pick to actual projected value, you can skip a Rickie Weeks and 10 rounds and get the same value from Jemile Weeks

    I’d like to be able to factor in low-medium-high projections, but I don’t think that would get anywhere valuable. That’s the problem with others’ rankings — they are probably based on projections / last year’s numbers, and a gut feeling that they could break out. I’d rather just rely on numbers.

    • @RK, It could be that the rankings are done in a non-arbitrary way and that the chasm between pre-season projections and actual stats is too large. I haven’t tested ESPN projections – they’re probably okay but I doubt they are as good as ZiPs or Steamer. But those would require adjusting the data based on another source for playing time. (Steamer is working on playing time this year so will have to see how that tests at end of year).

      Top SPs are drafted below value. Definitely. It’s not all pitchers in general as it starts stabilizing in the middle rounds.

      And yes on #2.

      I got Jemile Weeks in a few leagues b/c of a similar gut feeling :)

  45. RK says:
    (link)

    Maybe we need a Point Shares Above Replacement (PSAR) stat, which would quantify positional scarscity, or lack thereof, for SPs.

    • @RK, Position scarcity (or lack thereof) is already factored into Point Shares. Based on my last test (http://razzball.com/a-new-way-to-test-fantasy-baseball-player-rankings/), they have almost no value. Best to just focus on getting the most player value per pick and realizing where the market is inefficient (like with MIs, Tier 1 and Tier 3 MIs go for fair value while Tier 2 (Rollins, Jeter, Asdrubal, etc.) tend to be overpriced. 3B is almost all overpriced except Longoria, Bautista, and last tier guys like Moose, etc.

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