As I begin to prepare my projections and rankings for the 2017 season, I like to look back on the previous season’s attempt to not only assess my work, but also to learn how I can do better next time. Projecting statistics in any sport is a tedious and arduous task. The variables, formulas and algorithms are constantly changing and if you don’t adapt with them, your results will lose their precision and accuracy. However, I’d like to make one point blatantly clear, projections are nothing more than calculated guesses. Some are better than the next, but none are even close to perfect.
Let’s see how I fared with my 2016 efforts. For all positions I will provide the following six numbers: projected points, actual points, projected rank, actual rank, projected points per plate appearance and actual points per plate appearance. I am including points per plate appearance because it helps put a player’s projections vs performance into perspective when they’ve missing time due to injury. For pitchers I’ve replaced points per plate appearance with points per start. I’ve also included a column showing the percentage by which my points projections were off. Any player with an “n/a” listed in this column is because that player spent at least 30 days on the disabled list.
Lastly, a quick note about the rankings listed in this post. These rankings are based purely on points. This season I plan to provide additional rankings that allow me to adjust them based on three important factors: intuition, gut and my sporadic conversations with Nostradumass.
It took us a few weeks, but we have arrived at the finale. We can finally wrap up the Couch Managers 2017 Industry Mock Draft recaps. It feels like just yesterday I was getting started on what was likely to be a 60,000-word article on all 23 rounds of this mock draft before Grey slapped me and told me to put down the bourbon and split this into multiple posts. Below, I’ll be posting the results of rounds 19-23, my thoughts on said results, and the final team for every owner.
In case you have yet to see my previous posts, here is a quick recap of the league rules for this mock:
This mock was for a 15-team, 5×5 roto, with 23 roster spots made up of 9 pitchers (9), 1 spot for each position (8), a second catcher (1), 2 more outfielders (2), one corner infielder (1), one middle infielder (1), and one utility position (1).
As we continue our 2017 fantasy baseball rankings, we head into the homestretch of ranking hitters. For those confused, homestretch isn’t when you shoot up late at night, remembering there’s a Dorito under the couch and go reaching for it. That is the opening to my short film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dorito. The main character has just been Frito-Laid off and is described as Pringley and Ruffled. Last year, this post had Adam Duvall, Jackie Bradley Junz, Jay Brucespringsteen and a bunch of vomit. So, there is some value to still be found in the outfielders, it’s just a matter of finding it, like in the landmark film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dorito. As with the other rankings, my projections are included and where I see tiers starting and stopping. Anyway, here’s the top 80 outfielders for 2017 fantasy baseball:
Greetings, friends. I hopped over to the football side of things once last year’s baseball season ended, but now I’m back. And apparently, I am such a disturbed individual that I am doing fantasy baseball mock drafts in early January. And, I am writing about them. And, well, I just wanted to start another sentence with and because it feels so wrong but so right at the same time. Anyway, moving on.
I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Couch Managers 2017 Industry Mock Draft, and we’re going to recap it here. This mock was for a 15-team, 5×5 roto, with 23 roster spots made up of 9 pitchers (9), 1 spot for each position (8), a second catcher (1), 2 more outfielders (2), one corner infielder (1), one middle infielder (1), and one utility position (1). As long as I did that math correctly, that is 23 spots.
Below, I will provide the results for the first six rounds and a give my thoughts for each round. I’ll do the same for rounds 7-12, 13-18, and 19-23 in subsequent posts. I’ll try to keep it brief. All we really care about are the results here, right? Feel free to tell me how awesome or crappy you think my team is, along with what you think were the best and worst picks of the draft or the different rounds…
True or false: A) Dansby Swanson is famous for being Ted Knight’s caddy in Caddyshack. B) Starting a meme at his frat house in Arizona where he’d put his checkered pants on a cactus with the caption, “I’m thirsty, yo.” C) There’s no C. D) All the above. E) Was drafted a second ago by the Diamondbacks 1st overall, then traded to the Braves for the fellow WASP, Shelby Miller, and all-around terrible pitcher. If you answered D) All the above, how did you know what all the above was before reading E? Also, it was a true or false quiz, what the hell is all of the above?! So, Dansby Swanson is being called up by the Braves just in time, no lie, for their series against the Diamondbacks. Dayum. Hello, wounds, here’s your salt. In Prospector Ralph’s midseason top 100 prospects, Dansby was 22nd overall, right by Willie Calhoun, who totally tanked Mike Dukakis’ campaign. Swanson is a 22-year-old that was a’ight in Double-A (8 HRs, 6 SBs, .261 in 84 games). That’s neither here nor there, he’s young; he should be owned in most mixed leagues; you’re not going to find his talent level on waivers in many leagues; semicolons; fun. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Chad Green was out there painting corners like he was on work release and someone decided the yellow curb needed to be yellower! Green ball in the corner pocket is what he felt! Green was dealing like a sad-looking, poker dealer at a poker room that is badly lit, which is known for having great dealers! Green for the money, gold for the honeys! Yesterday, Green was the envy of the league, though not a shizzton happened, admittedly. He threw 6 IP, 0 ER, 2 baserunners, 11 Ks vs. the Jays. Because his name is Green! Nah, that’s prolly not the reason, but it’s an interesting thought. Green has worked well in the minors (1.52 ERA in Triple-A), and gets strikeouts (9.5 K/9) with his mid-90s MPH fastball, and cutter. At this point, I’d still rely on the Stream-o-Nator with him for shallower mixed leagues, but I could see a flyer on him in keeper leagues for a chance there’s something here moving into 2017. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
As we’ve seen countless times, a logjam in a starting rotation never ends up being a hurtle. At first, the Astros were seemingly cutting out Lance McCullers with boring vets like Doug Fister and Scott Feldman, the latter who has really not worked out as a starter… Feldman was throwing some good RP innings though, before they dumped him north of the border… Anyway, with McCullers’ elbow barking, it opened a spot for Joe Musgrove to step right into the rotation.
I’ve been thinking back; has there been a more exciting SP debut for a guy coming out of the bullpen at first? 4.1 innings coming in for the injured McCullers with 1 hit, 1 walk, and 8 Ks and a Jose Fernandez-esque fiery presence from Musgrove. Brian McCann will be a big baby whenever the Yankees face him… 8 strikeouts has to be close to a record for an MLB debut out of the bullpen (broadcast tells me it tied the record, nice work Astros broadcast!)… I guess without the clear opening through the season, it dulled the fantasy love for Musgrove, who had a crazy 10.25:1.03 K:BB in AA and 8.69:1.07 in AAA. Makes Phil Hughes look wild! Although, throwing Phil Hughes’ name in here isn’t exciting anyone… Hopefully a good outing and sexy GIFs will do that! Here’s how Musgrove looked yesterday afternoon in his first career MLB start:
Like Swiss cheese, Chris Archer‘s 2016 pitching performance has holes in it. A few things concern me with Archer’s numbers this season. The main concerning being the 91.2 mph average exit velocity hitters are getting off his pitches. That 91.2 mph puts him in the top 10 highest average exit velocity among qualified starting pitchers. This may be the reason for his 17.5% home run to fly ball ratio, which is 6.4% higher than his career average. Hitters have been doing most of their damage off his fastball. Hitters have averaged a .545 slugging off it this season. However, not is all bad for Archer. His ERA may sit at 4.38 (the lowest it’s been since may), but his xFIP sits at 3.47, which is in line with his 3.54 career average ERA. In his last three starts, he has racked up 25 K while only issuing 3 walks. Walks were an issue for Archer earlier in the season, but over his last 5 starts he has only gave up 6. Archer only has 5 wins on the season which is not good for DFS, but today the Rays are facing off against the Twins. Chris Archer should have a much higher chance at a win as the Twins have the second lowest winning percentage in the entire league. And with that I give you the rest of my Saturday DFS picks…
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Steve Cishek hit the DL with the same injury that sounds like it once affected Nadia Comaneci –a torn labrum. Grey’s got Olympics fever! Which this year sounds like it can be transmitted by a mosquito. “I’m not wearing my Brazilian national flag t-shirt to sit in the room all day! Actually, I feel a little woozy too.” That’s a family of four coming down with the Zika Virus at this year’s Olympics. With Cishek likely out for the year, grab Edwin Diaz in all leagues. On a related note, I’ll leave you with the Double Dutch Bus, a song that Missy Elliott later made famous on Gossip Folks. The chorus for Double Dutch Bus sounds like it’s just me trying to say the name Steve Cishek. Fast forward to 2:15 if you’re not feeling early 80s funk and just want the guy to say Steve Cishek repeatedly.
Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
“But I can’t Jo-Fer that (Jo can do). No, I can’t Jo-Fer that, (Jo can do). Oh, I can’t Jo-Fer that (Jo can do), I can’t Jo-Fer that, can’t Jo-Fer that, can’t Jo-Fer that, but Jo can do!” I can do this all day. Seriously. That yin vs. yang, angel vs. devil, Ho-Hos vs. Yodels constant battle wrecks havoc on me. Jose Fernandez showed why he’s one of my favorite pitchers yesterday. I mean, goddamn, he made that pitch famous, he made that pitch famous! His line: 6 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 14 Ks. So, what’s the problem? What is the yang, devil, Yodel? That he will be shut down barely into September. If the Marlins stay in the pennant race, Jo-Fer may even be shut down earlier to give him a chance to pitch in October. I love him, but if you can get anything close to equal in value for him, I could see trading him in redraft leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball: