Happy almost September! Most MLB teams are past the halfway point of this insane little 60 game season, but if your leagues are anything like mine, there’s still all kinds of standings volatility happening. A couple of bad starts can be devastating, while one day of big offensive production can help by leaps and bounds. I’m not sure how many of my leagues will go down to the wire, but I’m trying to grab every extra counting stat when I can, while I can. And speaking of trying to improve one’s team, time for our weekly look at some names that may be of interest to those of us in AL-only, NL-only, and other deep leagues, keeping our list to players who are around 20% owned or less in CBS leagues.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Author: Laura Holt
Read some of Laura Holt's 193 posts
We’re beginning week 6 of the MLB season, friends, and as I type this baseball is still being played, stats are being counted, and fantasy leagues continue to hum along. If you’re in one of those fantasy leagues and need some hitting reinforcements over the next month, let’s take a look at some names that may be of interest to those of us in the deeper end of the fantasy baseball world — we’ll concentrate on guys that are under 15% owned in CBS leagues this week.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Just as we expected, the 2020 baseball season has seen its share of highs and lows. On the deep-league fantasy front, let’s hope your season has seen more highs (if you’re reading this, Anthony Sandander, Teoscar Hernandez, or Brandon Lowe, thank you for everything so far, and please keep it up!), than lows (sorry, Oscar Mercado, but I’m looking at you). If you’re in the fantasy baseball thick of things but need some reinforcements, let’s take our weekly look — AL version — at some guys who may be of interest to those of us in deeper leagues (we’ll use a 20% or less owned in CBS leagues threshold this week).Please, blog, may I have some more?
Well, I knew the 2020 season would be weird, but I guess I really wasn’t expecting it to be quite so grueling. Filling in for injured players, COVID list players, and players not playing due to other teams’ COVID outbreaks has been from exhausting to downright impossible in my deeper leagues. Carry on we must, though, as MLB continues to seemingly defy the odds and keeps checking games off the calendar. This week, we’ll look at some NL names who may be of interest to those of us in the deep-league world.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Well, the season’s been as weird, wild, and worrisome as expected so far. We’ve seen some horrific starts from first round hitters, and, not as surprisingly perhaps, some ridiculously good starts from some of our under the radar deep league hitters. Assuming that major league baseball games are still being played this week, let’s look at some of those good starts, with an eye to the future and who might be able to keep it up for 2020 and perhaps beyond.
Colin Moran. I drafted the Pirates third baseman in a deep league or two because I thought he’d get more playing time than he deserved (he has), not because I thought he’d be leading the league in homers (5) as of Saturday (which he is… which I guess proves me wrong about that whole deserving playing time thing). I’ll hold tight in the leagues I own him, and hope this is a sign to come for 2021 since one of those leagues is a keeper league, but I’m not going crazy over him in standard leagues. I’ll be rooting for him, sure, but I can’t imagine he’ll have another week and a half of production this year that matches his huge start to the season.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Happy Opening Week, folks — I’m exhausted as I’ve had more to do over the last week than I had in the previous four months combined, but I’m not complaining! Let’s get right to what we’re here for… a look at some under-the-radar players (all of the following guys are 5% owned or less in CBS leagues, and let’s just say the pickings are slim when using that metric) who might be of interest to those of us in AL-only, NL-only, and other deep leagues as we navigate the weirdest baseball season ever.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Greetings, friends! It’s with both excitement and a bit of trepidation that I welcome you to my final post before actual major league baseball games are scheduled to be played. I don’t want to say I have an overly emotional relationship with fantasy baseball, but when I pulled up a player’s page this morning and saw his line of 2019 stats — that I’ve been staring at for what seems like decades — replaced with “2020” and a bunch of fresh, clean zeroes… well, I had a visceral reaction that is hard to explain but involved momentary shortness of breath and near-tears. If we’ve gotten this close only for things to go awry now, it will be quite the crushing blow… but at least I’ll have had several weeks worth of entertainment in trying to prep for this crazy thing we’re calling the 2020 major league baseball season. As we finish drafting and dot those i’s and cross those t’s on teams we’ve already drafted, let’s take a look at some players who have had a potential bump in value of late: deep-league, AL edition.Please, blog, may I have some more?
As I prepare for my final drafts ahead of a potential 2020 season, I’m still trying to strike a balance between staying true to my longstanding general strategies for constructing a fantasy baseball team, and zigging and zagging much more than usual in light of the 60-game, pandemic-altered season. One realization I’ve made, especially when it comes to my deeper leagues, is that I may need to concentrate on quantity over quality more often than I usually do.
In most standard leagues, the quantity vs. quality decision is one that rarely needs to be made: if you do your research, there should theoretically be enough solid every day hitters, starting pitchers, and full-time closers that you can fill out a roster without needing to worry too much about your players having serious shortcomings. But in deeper leagues, we’re used to accepting players with major warts in one way or another because often that’s all we have to choose from. This year, I’ve realized that when it comes to hitters, a potential lack of playing time and at bats is one blemish I want to try to avoid as much as possible.
Choosing a relatively low upside player who will likely be in the lineup every day over a sexier/more talented choice who may or may not get a ton of at bats may be boring, but it feels appropriately safe in a year when we’ve all had to put safety ahead of fun more often than any of us would have ever guessed. Everything feels unpredictable about this year, and there are no sure things in baseball or anywhere else (which anyone who drafted Aroldis Chapman last week after seeing how strong and healthy he looked upon arriving to summer camp can tell you). But when it comes to deeper leagues, I’m going to try to find a little security in some veteran hitters, largely overlooked when it comes to fantasy baseball in 2020 (they all have an NFBC ADP between 300 and 400, and are listed in order of earliest to latest drafted), whom I think have as good a chance as anyone to be solid fixtures in their respective lineups.Please, blog, may I have some more?
If MLB is actually able to pull off an abbreviated 2020, I’ll have four or five drafts/auctions the week of July 23rd. Right now, even though I’m not planning on veering far from my normal draft plan, I do realize that some major adjustments in strategy may need to be made for what will certainly be a bizarre season, and I’m still pondering potential tweaks to my game plan in case I have any brainstorms about what might give me an edge in 2020. One thing I have decided to do is to pay a little less attention to ratios and more to counting stats this year, assuming they’ll be slightly more predictable with such a small sample size of a season.
Speaking of ratio stats that may be harder to control than ever this year, a while back I saw a suggestion somewhere on Fangraphs or a similar website mentioning the notion of punting ERA as a strategy for this season. There was no follow up in terms of how one might go about doing so, and it seemed like a crazy idea to me, since punting ERA without destroying WHIP seemed impossible even from an on-paper standpoint. But in an effort to at least consider out of the box ideas this year, I decided to follow up the thought by trying to put together a pitching staff that I felt had a solid chance to be relatively successful once I didn’t take ERA into account at all, largely using last year’s performance as a guide. Even though prior year’s performance isn’t necessarily an indicator of what will happen in the present even in normal times, looking at things through this lens has, if nothing else, revealed some numbers that surprised me a bit. The bottom line is, if I’ve decided that I’m not going to put as much stock as usual into ratio categories like ERA — and I think I have — then I may have discovered a few starting pitchers that I’ll be more interested in drafting for 2020 than I would have guessed.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Anyone who plans on engaging in a little fantasy baseball fun over the (hopefully) upcoming 60-game season has certainly been thinking about the overwhelming number of meaningful changes that have occurred over the last several months. There are so many alterations and unusual circumstances, and so much incomplete information, that it’s been hard for me to begin even preparing for how to attack things in 2020. How this all translates specifically to AL-only, NL-only, and other deep leagues is yet another wrinkle that it may be tricky to successfully iron out before it’s too late.
I have a few teams that have sat “frozen” since as early as November that will re-open for FAAB and waiver wire moves soon, plus at least three more deep-league drafts to do over the next few weeks. As I begin formulating some strategies for addressing these teams, I’m going to start by checking in on some deeper-league injury situations. Since I’m writing this several days before players are expected to show up at their new camps, there will likely be a flurry of news and updates soon, but for now let’s take a look at some of the health news that’s come in over the last week or so. We’ll keep it deep league by checking in on some players outside the top 300 in NFBC ADP this year, listed in order of earliest drafted to latest drafted. These are guys that we might have forgotten about and who might get ignored in standard leagues regardless of whether or not they’re ready to take the field, but who, if healthy, might help those of us who are going to need to get a little more creative with our roster construction.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Well, I thought by the time June rolled around I’d be writing knowing whether or not a plan was in place for at least an attempt at baseball in 2020, but instead as I write this the immediate future of the MLB, along with much else in the world, is still painfully up in the air. As we all deal with everything going on around us, though, I don’t think it’s too self-indulgent to turn to a favorite past time/hobby/obsession/part-time job to help strengthen us mentally and emotionally — and for the readers and writers here at Razzball, that past time, of course, is fantasy baseball.
Since I’ve always been a fan of mining bad real-life MLB teams for deep-league value — attempting to find treasure in the perceived trash pile that other owners may overlook completely — we’ll take one of those bad MLB teams and see what it might have to offer, especially for us deep leaguers. I’m choosing the Marlins, since for about five months now I’ve just had a feeling that they could be at least a bit better than folks expect, especially in fantasy terms (though in a shortened season with expanded playoffs, who knows what craziness could ensue). I’ve gone through my rosters, and here are the Marlins I have on multiple teams, all of whom I’d consider grabbing more shares of if and when I draft more teams for 2020. Let’s see who on this team is leading the charge to make me think there might be something to see here…Please, blog, may I have some more?
There have been a lot of strange things about this off-season. I mean, in addition to the obvious, like constantly worrying about the health of ourselves, our loved ones, and the fate of mankind while not having baseball as a job/hobby/distraction. For me, one of the odder consequences of the delayed season is the fact that I have yet to draft an NL or AL-only team this year, as all of my private leagues are waiting to draft until we have a better idea what the coming weeks and months will bring. Another very weird thing that seems to have happened to me over the last several months is that I have evidently developed a propensity for paying more than ever before for catchers on my fantasy baseball teams.
I realize now that this trend actually started back in
another lifetime late November, when my first draft of the season took place. I’ve drafted quite a few teams since then — mostly 15-team mixed format, 2-catcher leagues, with a standard 5×5 roto scoring system. Unlike every other season of my fantasy baseball career, almost every one of them features at least one catcher that I had to pay for with either a mid-round pick of a handful of valuable auction dollars. Last year, I literally did not even include catchers on my master spread sheet… I just had a handful of names in mind that I knew I could grab at the very end of a draft or with my last dollar in an auction. This year, paying for a catcher was not a strategy that I came into draft season with; it just kind of happened. Draft after draft, it just continued to occur: time to make a pick, and I felt a catcher was the best value on the board. This happened back in my first drafts this winter, and continued through my last drafts a couple of weeks ago — so in terms of the catching position, my take on how to construct the best team really didn’t change once the uncertainty of the season’s timeline and potential format changes came into play. What I’m also realizing is that I’m pretty happy with how most of my teams turned out overall on paper — to the point where, if worse comes to worst and we have no baseball in 2020 and I don’t get to see if my don’t-wait-as-long-as-usual-to-draft-a-catcher method worked, I will most likely jump right back in and employ a similar strategy in 2021.