A dollar doesn’t buy you much anymore in this world. It’s disappointing how much the value of the dollar has diminished over the last many years. I gave a bank teller a George Washington and he handed me back 90 cents. Who am I to argue with a teller. I gave a homeless woman a dollar the other day and she called me a pathetic cheapskate. Did she really have to use the word “pathetic”? Even the Wu Tang Clan is looking to replace the words dollar bill from C.R.E.A.M. Is the dollar on life support? I just don’t know. But I’ll tell you one thing a dollar can buy you… fantasy baseball players that will make you the owner of a first place team.

Rostering only players that cost $1, including players that were not drafted at all, I could easily assemble a first place team. I’m including players that were not drafted because they could have been for a dollar. I realize that hindsight is 20/20, but let me show you what $10 could have gotten you in your 2016 fantasy baseball auction draft…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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The inaugural draft of the Team-Based Razzball Elite League 2 concluded this past week after more hiccups than my newborn daughter gets after crying for five minutes, and some unmentionable Commenters choosing to bail on the league, oh, ya know…the night before the draft. The nerve! Shunned! However, the Razzball Commenter community is so robust and incredible that we were able to find replacements rather quickly and finalize the setup to get along with the better of the two REL leagues. Yeah, I said it, JB! We can podcast tic-tac-toe fight soon to see which league is truly better.

REL2 mirrors REL1 in every aspect, except for the site we use for the league. REL1 chose Yahoo, while REL2 is housed on FanTrax. Neither are perfect options, but I have a personal vendetta against anything Yahoo fantasy sports, with their poopy app and convoluted interface. I also realize that I sound incredibly elitist with that comment, but it’s the ELITE league! I’m giving myself a pass.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

Howdy Razzballero! Starting next week we’ll dive right into the weekly regular season content (trash/treasure and bear/bull), but I’d like to take this opportunity (since we’re in the thick of draft season) to share a few thoughts on how to approach your fantasy baseball draft. I’ve made my share of mistakes on draft day over the years, and I’d like to share some of the lessons that I’ve (hopefully) learned from those mistakes with you today. Think of me as the guinea pig who’s the first one to cross the explosive pond, and then you swoop in like John Rambo to save the day. Only we’re talking about fantasy baseball, so it’s even MORE IMPORTANT! Sorry, too much coffee. But hopefully you’ll find one or two of these tips to be helpful when preparing for your drafts.

Here are a few things to consider as your draft day approaches:

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Last week, we looked at a few metrics that I like to use when evaluating hitters for fantasy baseball. This week, it’s time to take a look at some of the key pitcher stats that are useful for projecting future performance. If you’re a fantasy nut like me and have several more drafts lined up over the next thirteen days (six more for me, to be exact), it’s probably a good idea to dispense with the jibber jabber and get to it!

With that in mind, here are some things that I look for when evaluating pitchers for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

If you visit the comments section on a regular basis, you’re probably familiar with some of the most common questions that are posted there. “Who should I draft – player X or player Y?” “Why do you have player X ranked ahead of player Y?” “Why do you love/hate player X so much? He was great/awful last season!” The answers to these questions will vary depending on who you ask. Grey will tell you to avoid players in their 30s and draft Delino DeShields at all costs. “Take DeShields.” “But I need a pitcher…” “DeShields!” Rudy will direct you to his dollar values and remind you why positional scarcity is a myth. Sky would probably advise you to load up on power. Jay might extoll the virtues of Cory Spangenberg. While all of these opinions have merit, the question is: whose opinion should you value the most? The answer is… yours!

In this article, I’ll be sharing some of the basic, but important, things that I look for when evaluating hitters for fantasy baseball. I’ll provide brief explanations of the specific things that I focus on as well as why I believe these things are significant in the evaluation process. Hopefully, you’ll be able to use one or two of these tips to improve your own player evaluations.

Without further ado, here are some of the things that I look for when evaluating hitters for fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

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.

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).

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

I was thinking about ideas for a draft strategy post to complement Grey’s recent draft strategy post when I concluded that the vast majority of my strategic thinking goes into my draft preparation. The draft itself is more just execution. So I figured it might help some of you if I laid out my draft preparation and then some notes on how my strategy might change based on league format.

My larger goal with any draft is to be in control. With the right preparation, I can take advantage of whatever advantages the draft room is giving me. I drafted the 2nd and 3rd pitchers off the board in this year’s Tout Wars and was the last player to take a pitcher in LABR.  Yet my hit/pitch split for the two teams was within one percentage point (63.7/36.3 vs 64.6/35.4).

I also strive for zero ‘instant regret’ picks. Those are the picks where you are ‘under the gun’ and pick someone that you regret while the draft is still going on. I think most drafters get ‘lost’ during snake drafts more than they’d care to admit. I can say with full honesty that I only made one of those picks combined between LABR and Tout (LABR – Yasmany Tomas in 16th when none of my planned bats were still on board and Storen went the pick before).

You do not need to follow each and every step (you could just from my $/projections and edit from there) but I do think all this research makes for a smarter, more efficient draft.

Please, blog, may I have some more?
 

On Tuesday March 8th, I had the honor of taking part in the Tout Wars Mixed League Snake Draft for the second straight year. Last year, I finished in 2nd place after a brutal September (one spot above 3rd place Grey who will be taking part in Tout Wars NL-only this year!).

There’s no place to go except up, down, or finish in the same spot.

Before I break into the recap, here are two unique differences between this Tout Wars draft and the LABR mixed draft I recapped earlier this preseason:

  1. This is 5×5 OBP not standard 5×5 (w/ AVG). Otherwise it’s generally the same (NFBC roster format of C/C/1B/2B/SS/3B/OF/OF/OF/OF/OF/CI/MI/UTIL/9 P/6 bench)
  2. There was a requirement that we needed to draft a ‘starting 23’ before reserve rounds – e.g., you couldn’t wait until the last couple rounds to draft your 2nd catcher.

Here are the results of the 2016 Tout Wars Mixed League Draft. (If you hate reading, here’s a podcast with my pal Alan Harrison at The Fantasy Fix where I talk about Tout Wars and other things) I suggest opening it another tab while reading this post. Apologies it isn’t all pretty and color-coded but OnRoto.com doesn’t support that yet.

My team:

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Be sure to read Part 1 here and Part 2 here!

Dominate your draft! Conquer your league! Humiliate your friends! It’s the time of year when some non-Razzball sites try to lure you into paying $19.95 by promising you success not just in fantasy baseball but in military takeover.  Destroy! Obliterate! Decimate!  I don’t know about you, but I’m turned off by fantasy baseball ads that sound more like commands from a war general than ways to improve how you look at some numbers.

There are three keys to fantasy success, and those kind of sites aren’t selling any of them.  

The first is Time Invested.  

The second is Skill.  

Before I tell you the third, is anyone else addicted to this stupid Safeway Monopoly game? I know I’m not going to win, but I keep hearing this voice inside my head saying “maybe no one else is trying as hard as you are… maybe you’ve got one of the rare pieces that they only make one of…” If you ever thought fantasy baseball was a waste of time, lady and gentlemen, I present Safeway Monopoly.  I swear I spend over an hour each week going through those annoying little stickers, all of which I already own.  Success in Safeway Monopoly is different than success in fantasy baseball. There’s no skill – anyone can lick stamps and put them on a board. There’s no benefit to the time you invest – I have some friends who haven’t won squat despite shopping exclusively at Safeway and scouring the internet to find rare pieces.  Yet, another friend of mine won $200 on it with no effort.  You know why?  Luck.  Those who win at Safeway Monopoly have one thing: luck.  And so do some fantasy baseball players. The third component to fantasy baseball success is luck.  

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Welcome back campers to the second season of Razzball’s homegrown dynasty baseball league, “The Razznasty”, filled with readers, writers, commenters, and J-FOH. It’s with great pleasure that I ring in the second year of updates. Since we last left you a few teams have changed hands, a commissioner switch took place, a whole lot of trades before the winter trade deadline, and our inaugural 10 round draft comprised of the unkept, free agents, 2015 draftees and internationals. A couple of teams with ownership changes included, J-FOH pulling a Jay-z and retiring for like 5 seconds after winning last year, and then handing the M-I-C to commenter and hip-hop aficionado Nick the Dick. This was then followed by the “Hatest that ever did it” coming out of retirement to manage the first vacancy available. We also welcomed Smokey into the fold, as he stepped in to take over an up and coming squad. Finally this club will have the quality ownership to match it’s competitive roster. In addition to those three changes, we were gifted a real wheeler and dealer by the name of Raskals. An owner, that from his first day in the league, has aggressively built what seems to be a formidable contender.

In our latest installment we’ll discuss a couple of the trades from the deadline, and hear from some of the members of the Razznasty on their takeaways form the draft. Yes there were takeaways, just like the Oscars, but more like the swag from an insurance conference. Yeah another stressball!!! Well here it is Razzball’s 2016 dynasty baseball league.

Please, blog, may I have some more?