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The majority of fantasy baseball rankings (Grey’s included) are based on a 20 game position eligibility that is used by ESPN, CBSSports, and most other leagues.  Yahoo fantasy baseball, however, uses the threshold of 5 games started or 10 games total at a position. If Yahoo was any more liberal in appointing positions, Ulysses S. Grant might rise from the grave and claim copyright infringement.

Strained and obscure US political jokes aside, Yahoo fantasy baseball is popular among our readers.  We want to stay popular among our readers.  Therefore, following up on last year’s post on Yahoo fantasy baseball draft strategy, this post looks to answer two questions:

  1. How should I adjust standard rankings and $ estimates to reflect this position eligibility difference?
  2. Which players of note have a significant change in value in Yahoo fantasy baseball vs ESPN/CBSSports fantasy baseball because of position eligibility?

How To Adjust Rankings/$ Estimates Based on Position Eligibility Differences

I took the stats of the projected average hitter for a Yahoo! 12-team league’s roster through my auction value estimator and got the following values + overall ranks (which include pitchers).  The average of $14 is based on taking a budget of $260 and spending 58% on hitting (about+3% more than you’d get if you took the number of rostered hitters (10) and divided  it into the sum of hitters + pitchers (18)).

Value of Average Hitter In Yahoo! 12-team Leagues
Pos $  Rank
C $23.0 36
SS $15.3 76
2B $14.0 90
Average $14.0  90
3B $13.7 100
OF $11.6 116
1B $8.1 153
DH $5.4 184

This ‘average’ adjustment factor for $ / Rank will typically increase the lower a player is valued/ranked and decrease the higher a player is ranked.  This will be clear when we get to the case of Adrian Gonzalez in the next section.

To calculate the adjustment for a player using the above chart, you take the difference of their ’20 game’ most valuable position and their ‘Yahoo’ most valuable position and apply to the $ or ranking.  So if Victor Martinez was a DH in one format and a C in another, you should add about $18 to his auction value ($23-$5.4) and boost him 148 spots in the rankings (184-36).

In the case of players who gain additional position eligibility but that position is less valuable based on the above chart, I would say there is some nominal value to this.  For a player like Everth Cabrera who has 2B/SS eligibility in Yahoo (SS-only in 20 game leagues), this certainly provides some roster flexibility in case of injuries or on an off day for your starting 2B.  I could see maybe bidding an extra $1 if a player had eligibility in another position that was close to their most valuable position (SS with 2B, 2B with 3B, OF with 1B, etc.).  In a case like Dustin Ackley’s 1B eligibility in Yahoo, I’d value that at about $0.00 (rounded to the closest cent).

Players With A Positive Change In Value Thanks To Yahoo’s Liberal Position Eligibility Rules 

Below is a list of all notable players whose value increases in Yahoo! because of a change in their most valuable position (‘MV Pos’).

Given that Adrian Gonzalez’s rank boost (37) is greater than Grey’s ranking (20), it’s probably best to audible versus give him a ranking of negative 17.  Personally, I think Grey’s ranking of 20 is too high to begin with given Adrian’s 2 year power outage so I definitely wouldn’t draft him any earlier because of the OF eligibility.

In two catcher or very deep Yahoo! leagues, keep an eye on Wil Myers and Jordan Pacheco.  Yahoo credits Pacheco at catcher as he made 5 starts their in 2013.  I have Pacheco projected as only getting about 300 PAs this year but he could hit 20 HRs if he could win the Rockie 1B or 3B job at some point this season.  Wil Myers was drafted as a catcher but has not played it in the minors since 2010 – no idea why Yahoo still has him there but he could be a huge bargain in the 2nd half if you could afford to stash him on your bench. (Obviously influenced by this post, Yahoo! has decided to remove Wil Myers’ C-eligibility for 2013)

Notable Players With Different ‘Most Valuable Positions’ In 2013 Yahoo Fantasy Baseball
Name Team 20 G Pos Yahoo Pos MV Pos Switch Razzball 12 Team $ Est. $ Boost from Position Grey’s Ranking Rank Boost
Adrian Gonzalez LAD 1B 1B,OF 1B -> OF $21 $3.5 20 37
Martin Prado ARI 3B,OF 2B,SS,3B,OF 3B -> SS $12 $1.6 123 24
Adam Dunn CHA 1B 1B,OF 1B -> OF $4 $3.5 186 37
David Ortiz BOS DH 1B DH -> 1B $4 $2.7 104 31
Mark Trumbo LAA 1B,OF 1B,3B,OF OF -> 3B $4 $2.1 79 16
Michael Young PHI 1B,3B 1B,2B,3B 3B -> 2B $3 $0.3 199 10
Kyle Seager SEA 3B 2B,3B 3B -> 2B $0 $0.3 120 10
Logan Forsythe SD 2B 2B,SS 2B -> SS -$1 $1.3 298 14
Mark Reynolds CLE 1B 1B,3B 1B -> 3B -$4 $5.6 185 53
Brett Wallace HOU 1B 1B,3B 1B -> 3B -$6 $5.6 225 53
Donovan Solano MIA 2B 2B,SS,3B,OF 2B -> SS -$14 $1.3 325 14
Jordan Pacheco COL 1B,3B C,1B,3B 3B -> C -$15 $9.3 402+ 64
Justin Turner NYN 2B 1B,2B,SS,3B 2B -> SS -$16 $1.3 402+ 14
Emilio Bonifacio TOR OF 2B,OF OF -> 2B -$17 $2.4 116 26
Luke Scott TB DH 1B DH -> 1B -$18 $2.7 402+ 31
Chris Parmelee MIN 1B 1B,OF 1B -> OF -$20 $3.5 356 37
Pedro Ciriaco BOS 3B 2B,SS,3B,OF 3B -> SS -$25 $1.6 365 24
Matt Carpenter STL 1B,3B,OF 1B,2B,3B,OF 3B -> 2B -$25 $0.3 351 10
  1. Brettj72 says:
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    Grey said that if Ortiz is 1B eligible he should be ranked just above Ike Davis. That puts him at #60 overall which is 44 spots lower than his original ranking of #104.

    • @Brettj72: So he went with 44 spots – my estimate would’ve been 31 picks (184 – 153). This is more of an art than science to guess Grey’s ranking. I think this came pretty close….

  2. ChillmanCometh says:
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    Alright, Rudy G., considering Wil Myers has C eligibility this season, in a 12 team, re-draft league, would you suggest he is draft worthy? If so, like the 19th round?

    Additionally, I’m in a 10 team, 4 player Yahoo keeper league, and I have my eye on Myers. How does his C eligibility effect his draft stock in this sort of scenario/do you see his short term (next two years) making him worthy of being one of those 4 players kept? I currently have Miggy, Hanley, Bautista, and Kershaw, but this could change with the development of trades.

    • @ChillmanCometh: In any keeper/re-draft league on Yahoo, Wil Myers has some additional value. Remember, there is NO way he plays catcher 5 times this year for TB so he’ll be straight OF next year. But his C-eligibility will give him much more upside than at OF. So he’s a much more worthwhile play for 2013 with the same value in 2014 going forward.

      We’ll see how Myers does this year. I’d think Miggy and Kershaw are must keepers with Hanley and Bautista as potential swaps for Myers.

      • ChillmanCometh says:
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        @Rudy Gamble: Which is what any sane person should aspire to do–wait and see with Myers… but I guess I’m asking if I put a (imaginary) gun to your head, what’s the earliest you would draft Wil Myers? Today, I’d say 177 overall… but then again, I may feel better about going after Oscar Taveras later on considering Myers will lose C eligibility.

    • Jordan73 says:
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      @ChillmanCometh: Just a heads up, Yahoo has issued a statement saying Myers will have his C eligibility removed for this season as well, so he’ll be OF only.

  3. SiPZ says:
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    Zobrist and Hanley should be on this list. I know they’d ideally be used at SS, but their eligibility at 2B/OF and 3B, respectively, adds value in case of injury or days w/o a full lineup. And if you’re willing to add them you might as well throw in Josh Rutledge – 2B/SS.

    • @SiPZ: I mentioned in the post that the list is limited to those with 1) Different Yahoo position eligibility than ESPN and 2) see a boost directly because of that difference in position. Hanley and Zobrist have the same multi-position eligibility in ESPN and Yahoo. Rutledge is SS-only in ESPN and 2B/SS in Yahoo but the SS part is more valuable. I noted Everth Cabrera as an example like that and said, at best, I’d bid $1 more for having an additional position that’s less valuable than one’s main position.

  4. Hyppie says:
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    Not sure if I asked this before, but OPB league, keep any 6. Who you got?
    Bautista
    Braun
    Cano
    Kemp
    Ellsbury
    A Gone
    Longoria
    Reyes
    Pujols
    Votto

    • @Hyppie: Braun, Votto, Cano, Kemp, Pujols, Longoria

      • Hyppie says:
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        @Rudy Gamble: No Reyes? SS is not so deep

        • @Hyppie: He’s solid but he’s no longer an elite SB guy. I’d prefer taking my chances with the other 6 and backfilling a SS. BTW, is this a 6 person league?

          • Hyppie says:
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            @Rudy Gamble: Any good ss i can target? Im not liking a lot of names here. This was a 10 man, now being downgraded to an 8. League has been going on since 2003 and I think I’ve managed the players well.

            • For an 8 team league, your keepers are amazing. i haven’t compared my rankings vs. ADP but i think zobrist and rutledge could be had at relative value. Worst case, punt and use Aybar and you can stream during the season.

              • Hyppie says:
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                @Rudy Gamble: Thank you for your help. I had decent pitching too but lost my 10 man last year in the semi finals. So sad.

    • Hats for Bats says:
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      @Hyppie: How the hell did you manage to get all those studs? Is this a keeper and you’ve been hustlin since 2001 or are you playing against mentally handicapped chimpanzees?

      • Jordan73 says:
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        @Hats for Bats: Sometimes, it’s not as hard as it seems. I’m in an 8-team (used to be 10) league, up to 5 keepers and auction draft, and my list of players to keep every season is impressive. Shrewd drafting, trading, and pickups can do wonders in combination with leaguemates that aren’t paying close enough attention. Hell, I have 13 players worth keeping this year, so I’ve got some big decisions to make.

  5. Todd25 says:
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    wow Rudy, fascinating stuff as always, your formulas rock my socks off.
    So Victor Martinez is currently sitting at 117 on Grey’s list, and your example says to boost him 148 spots. that results in another negative number like Adrian. So where would be a reasonable position to boost him to?

    • @Todd25: Thanks. V-Mart has C eligibility in ESPN and Yahoo so there’s no reason to adjust him. He just provided a handy extreme example.

      • Todd25 says:
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        @Rudy Gamble: ah ok, well follow up question: yahoo has him ranked at i think 90th, so when would be the earliest you would look his way? just thinking ahead, the possible 300 avg and 90+ rbi at catcher only seems to be available from him, Posey, and Mauer… and i am surrrre not going to be paying the premium on those 2.

        • @Todd25: i’m more bearish than Yahoo. i have him at 169 and behind Posey, Mauer, Molina, Santana, Wieters, Rosario, Napoli, and Montero. The big question mark I have for him is how much is he going to play. I have him at 122 games / 453 PAs which is about 100 less than FG Fans and most other sources. He’s 35, hits lefties better than righties, is coming off a big injury, is not a great catcher, there’s no room at 1B, and DH is the easiest position to substitute for. V-Mart is a sucker bet – I’d rather wait for Yadier or Santana who are younger and better bets for 550 PAs.

          • Todd25 says:
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            @Rudy Gamble: hmm thats all true and something to consider. so when would you start looking towards santana?

  6. farcus says:
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    in a 14 team league would you rather keep:

    Pujols at the cost of a 1st rounder (if you keep a 1st round guy you lose one of your later round keepers)

    OR

    Greinke AND Austin Jackson at the cost of 3rd and 17th rounders?

    • Pujols is a 1st round pick = keeper price 1st round pick
      Greinke is a 3rd round pick = keeper price 3rd round pick
      Austin Jackson is a 6th round pick = keeper price 17th round prick

      Seems like Greinke/Austin Jackson is the way to go and you should be able to backfill Pujols with a 1st round pick.

  7. BeTheCan says:
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    Awesomely helpful analysis. I REALLY struggle to adjust ranks for position eligibility, as I’m in a Yahoo 20- team mixed league. (and to make matters worse, we use the Yahoo auto-draft, which must have been programmed by a drunk with an evil sense of humor).

    Anyhow… Long story short, I have the number 4 pick with trout, puhols, and Cabrera established as keepers in slots 1-3 (league allows option of one keeper). Is the second base talent pool shallow enough to justify Cano over Braun at number 4 in a 20-team league?

    • I haven’t modeled 20 team MLB but I’ve modeled 10-team AL/NL which is equal from a depth standpoint. Position scarcity is a much milder factor for deep leagues as sometimes a ‘warm body’ is the best you can hope for in a position (e.g., Brendan Ryan is owned in AL-only leagues).

      So I’d just draft best player and forget about positions. Given that, Braun is more valuable than Cano (Cano benefits from position in my Point Shares and still doesn’t surpass Braun). Just hope Biogenesis doesn’t bring him down…

      • BeTheCan says:
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        Wow, this is actually completely opposite to my intuition, but I think you’re right. I’ve always thought that position scarcity was more important the deeper the league. But if I draft Cano over Braun, I’ll just end up with a an OF scrub at the tail end of the draft instead of a 2B scrub. So might as well just take the best player up front.

        Plus, the Yankees suck. So there’s that.

        Thx!

  8. anthony says:
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    Really could use help on a keeper trade of mine…

    12 teams, h2h most categories with OPS

  9. anthony says:
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    Please help! Keeper trade!

    12 teams, h2h most categories with ops and walks added!

    Howard and Ethier or Pence and Teixeria??

    How close is it? Thanks a lot and sorry for the double post!

  10. I like Teix>Howard and Pence>Ethier so Pence+Teix my preferred side.

  11. Hats for Bats says:
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    Rudy – I play in a highly competitive deep 12 team H2H Yahoo league with a total roster of between 24-27 players+ 3 DL. Given Wil Myers is C eligible, where do you honestly think I should reach to get him . . . 15th round? 20th Round?

    PS . . . using “insert cool strategy name here” I try to quasi-punt catcher. It looks like McCann will be blehhhtastic. That being said, I am looking at Salvador Perez, Lucroy or Pierzinski. Should I look to grab one of these guys around 10th to 12th round or try to push to the 14th?

    Thanks in advance for your input.

  12. Snake Hips says:
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    Just a heads up: WIL MYERS is getting his”C” card taken away… Yahoo! announced it today.

    • Czernobog says:
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      @Snake Hips: I blame razzball’s announcement.

    • Slapweasel says:
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      @Snake Hips: This is true:

      ID: SLN14258Refers to: Fantasy Baseball
      Description

      Learn why Wil Myers will have his catcher eligibility removed in Fantasy Baseball.

      Resolution

      Wil Myers will have catcher position eligibility removed in the Fantasy Baseball game.

      Myers was inadvertently given both catcher and outfield position eligibility to begin the season, despite the fact he has not played at catcher since the 2010 season.

      Yahoo! Sports determined that rather than allow Myers to be eligible at a position he no longer played, we would have this position removed early enough in the season that it would impact the fewest number of Fantasy Baseball players, while still allowing owners to make roster adjustments in plenty of time before the MLB season began.

    • @Snake Hips: Corrected the post accordingly. All $ values for Yahoo leagues have been updated as well.

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