My draft season is over and two long-ass draft posts (LABR, Tout Wars) feels sufficient. So to cover my other 6 drafts (not including my RCL where I ended up with an auto-draft because I blanked) and summarize my draft season as a whole, I put together the below chart. I imagine I will be linking to this post either to gloat or mourn after the season ends (or mourn certain picks yet gloat because I out-managed my leaguemates in season because of our awesome yet affordable season-long tools).

***Tools update – Projections have been run for the first couple of games. You can see all the pitchers in Streamonator and all 3/28 hitters under Hittertron Tomorrow (points league variant available too!). Will shift all days forward so 3/28 is ‘Today’ sometime tonight. Tentative plan is to run the first ‘Next Week’ projections on Saturday night/Sunday morning.***

Here are the leagues I am participating in:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Thanks to everyone who have subscribed to the season-long Razzball tools so far! Returning subscribers and early birds have gotten free access to my Excel-based snake draft war room for 10, 12, 14, and 15 team mixed leagues. This is the one that Grey, myself, and most of our writers use for our drafts. You […]

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On March 5th, I took part in my 5th Tout Wars Mixed Draft – a 15-team snake draft that is unique amongst expert leagues in that it is a 5×5 OBP league. Otherwise, pretty standard. Weekly transactions. 2 catchers. $1000 FAAB.

Quick Perspective On The Difference Between OBP vs AVG
I went over the key things to think about with 15 team vs 12 team mixed league standard 5×5 in my 2019 LABR writeup.

The biggest shift in OBP leagues (besides the obvious one) is that ADP for hitters is much less predictive. This makes drafts a little more unpredictable but it generally advantages the more prepared drafters in the room. I look at ADP but also put my projected $OBP – $AVG right next to it to indicate guys whose value is much higher/lower in OBP.

There are other minor shifts (1Bs look better b/c they typically have highest BB rates, hitters with high AVGs but mediocre BB rates become less valuable, etc.) but this ends up baked into the projections. I have to run 15-team 5×5 OBP custom but you can access my 12-team 5×5 OBP projections and those are updated daily for Season to Date and Rest of Season as well. All free.

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It’s time for my favorite and longest post of the year – my LABR Mixed draft review!

Why is it my favorite?

  • Reason #1 is that I get to talk about my draft and have you ever met anyone who plays fantasy baseball that does not like discussing their own draft?
  • Reason #2 is it is the first draft post of the year so it has the novelty thing going for it
  • Reason #3 is that discussing draft strategy using actual draft results is way easier and more compelling than discussing them in concept.

As always, thanks to Steve Gardner at USA Today for the invite. This is year #6 for me and I am still in search of my first ring.

Quick Perspective On The Difference Between 15-Team Mixed w/ Weekly Roster Changes vs. 10/12-team Mixed Daily Roster Changes
I am going to share with you the only relevant difference between these two formats. If you are someone who plays shallow leagues with daily roster changes (and typically a high transaction cap), repeat this as a mantra in your head when drafting in this format (like in NFBC).

The 2019 Razzball Commenter Leagues are now open! Free to join!

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Every year, MLB trends – e.g., K’s are up, starter innings are down, the opener! – cause a lot of fantasy writers and players alike to rethink how they approach starting pitching in drafts. Reflection is generally a good thing but it is a waste of time if you keep making the same mistake.

There is no one successful way to draft Starting Pitchers. There are factors specific to you (the drafter). Are you better or worse than the average person in your league at finding hitter or pitcher bargains later in the draft? Are you better or worse at streaming during the season? Is your league format conducive to streaming (better in shallow leagues and daily rosters, harder in deeper leagues and weekly rosters)? How do your projected player values line up with the market?

Here is my only evergreen advice on the subject: Do not wing it when it comes to how much you spend of your draft capital (either auction $ or draft picks in snake) on starting pitching.

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Happy 2019 everyone. It seems like like just last year it was 2018. How time flies.

As most of you know, my 2019 fantasy baseball projections (collaboration with Steamer) and rankings went up about a week ago. You can use the top menu (Player Rater and Projections) to access that or use the link earlier in this paragraph to access all the Razzball rankings pages. These will be updated all the way up to opening day. I stop then because it gets progressively easier after that date and I like a challenge. I prefer to focus on Rest of Season projections at that point.

Two industry colleagues of mine – Jeff Zimmerman and Tanner Bell – wrote a fantasy baseball e-book in the offseason called The Process and were nice/smart/foolish enough to ask me to read it before they saved it to PDF. I liked it enough to write a blurb. You would think Grey would have asked me to write a blurb for one of his e-books but he deemed it redundant since we both outsource most of our content to the same farm of 13-year old boys working out of a Dubai business park. Now show me your ankles!

Jeff and Tanner’s book focuses on something near and dear to me – formulating a process to improve one’s season-long fantasy baseball performance.

I am a firm believer in process. It is what I do. All the Razzball projections, player pages, etc. are just a series of processes. While there are parts to my process that are germane to being a blog co-owner (e.g., running projected values for way more formats than I play), their book did get me to think about the common denominator between the processes I use for the tools, for my teams, and my guidance for how our readers should run their teams.

Here are some vaguely organized thoughts on the book and my own process:

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It is better to be lucky than good. It is best to be lucky and good.

That is how I would describe the charmed 4-year run I have had in the 15-team ToutWars Mixed league where I have finished 2nd/2nd/1st/1st. I take a lot of pride in those finishes but it is not faux modesty that stresses the ‘charmed’ and ‘lucky’ aspect. All it takes is one or two big injuries to torpedo an otherwise strong draft – ESPECIALLY in a competitive league with weekly vs daily lineup format where there are less ‘grind’ points to gain by using Streamonator or Hittertron. I would feel even more special/lucky about it if the Nadal to my Federer (Adam Ronis) hadn’t gone 1st/1st/5th/2nd in those same years. At least I know I will have good company when the fantasy devil takes my soul and forces me to play in a 4 catcher 13 category H2H NL-only league for the rest of eternity.

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On March 6th, I took part in the Tout Wars Mixed Draft – a 15-team snake draft that is unique amongst expert leagues in that it is a 5×5 OBP league. Otherwise, pretty standard. Weekly transactions. 2 catchers. $1000 FAAB. This is the 5th year for the mixed draft (the AL/NL-only ones have been around longer) and my 4th year participating in it.

Last Year Recap (here was my post-draft recap and final standings)
FINALLY. After two straight close 2nd place finishes to Adam Ronis, I won this league (Even better, it was a Razzball Tout sweep as Grey won Tout Wars NL).

As the standings below suggest, I had a charmed season. Everything broke right for me. I think I drafted/managed a little bit better than the previous 2 years but no doubt I was probably the luckiest team in the league as well. Shout out to pal Scott White from CBSSports.com (1st year in league) and the always tough Ray Murphy of BaseballHQ who did great jobs but, unlike me, did not sell their soul to the fantasy gods.

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This is a post for the fantasy baseball drafters who use Excel, Google Docs, or some other war room software that automatically totals a drafted team’s stats while in the middle of a draft. Or perhaps for those of you who do mock drafts or simulated drafts.

The below grid represents my projected 75% mark in each stat category across 10/12/14/15/16 team ESPN and Yahoo default roster format leagues.

These numbers should only be used directionally. Please note that each projection source projects to a different league average so your team may look great if using a ‘bullish’ source and look poor if using a ‘bearish’ source. These are based on the Steamer/Razzball projections.

While I stand behind these numbers as they are part of the foundation behind my Player Rater $ estimates, I do not use these as part of my draft. I prefer to add up the dollar values per category. Same difference I suppose but it is easier to see counting totals for ratios and it lets me fixate less on the numbers (e.g., I see $7, I know they are good…I don’t fixate on 20 SBs vs 25 SBs).

The 2018 Razzball Commenter Leagues are now open! Free to join with prizes! All the exclamation points!

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