For most of you, been there, read this shizz already, but there’s Razzball newbies (Razzbabies?) that need some coddling occasionally. If you know PEDS, skip ahead into the comments and discuss my mustache.  For the Razzbabies, c’mon here and let Uncle Grey burp you.  Maybe I can get you to spit up everything you learned at ESPN.  So, there’s a BRAN (Balanced Roster After Nine) Drafting Strategy by Rudy “The Fro Knows” Gamble.  He’s also touched upon some fantasy baseball drafting tips.  It’s a year or so old, but it’s timeless so when you read it don’t bother looking at the clock.  There’s also a LIMA Plan (Low Investment Mound Aces) by Ron Shandler.  There’s been a ZIMA Plan by Matthew Berry; it involves a lot of stumbling around, groping and the hiccups.  There’s been a Punt One Category draft strategy.  There’s been a Punt Two Categories draft strategy, which was conceived by a leaguemate of Punt One Category who just couldn’t stand being upstaged.  And there’s the Forget When Your Draft Is So Your Team Is Autodrafted strategy.  I love when my leaguemates use that one.  Then there’s my fantasy baseball draft strategy, Performance Enhancing Draft Strategy or PEDS.

PEDS has five basic steps. If you follow these steps, you will place near the top in all of your leagues.  No plan is foolproof because, unfortunately, they still have to play the games, but PEDS puts you in the best position possible to win coming out of your draft.  Actually, this plan is foolproof and you should ignore the previous sentence that said no plan is foolproof.  No sentence is foolproof, that’s more accurate.  Okay, onto the steps:

1. Never draft a pitcher with your first two picks.

No Verlander. No Strasburg. No Kershaw.  You abstain!  They’re fantastic.  I love them all.  I’d eat sushi off their nipples.  I’d go to a drive-in theater with any of them and neck for a solid two hours even if the movie is only an hour and forty minutes long.  These starters give you the value of a 1st or 2nd rounder.  They do.  I said it.  The problem is the loss of one of your 1st two hitters is really difficult to bounce back from.  You, son, are putting yourself in a hole.  A hole?  Yes, you are.  The absence of Fielder or Pujols or whoever is too great.

2. Never take a closer in the first tier.

This is a tough one for some people. I’m going to be you for a brief moment.  Me as you, “Hey, everyone’s starting to take closers in the fifth round. There goes Kimbrel, Papsmear, Motte… Wait, I have to take a closer with my next pick, too!  And where are my pants?!  For the Lord’s sake, why don’t I have pants on?!”  See what happened there?  You done got swept up.  You did.   You got swept up in a closer run.  Ignore everyone who takes closers.  You don’t need a top tier one.  Stick to your own game plan.  Grab some schmohawks later that will get saves because, as we all know, SAGNOF.

3. Have your offense squared away before the final rounds and never take an offensive bench player unless it’s a flyer with massive potential (like Wil Myers, for instance).

This rule has been slightly adjusted from previous years.  Let’s call it the Mike Trout Effect Or Is It Affect?  The MTEOIIA is telling you it’s okay to grab a hitter for your bench if he has boat-tons of potential and could end up being worth a lot more than his draft value.  This addendum could’ve also been called the Bryce Harper Effect Or Is It Affect or BHEOIIA.  As for grabbing a guy like Chris Nelson for your bench?  Belch.  I know, you owned Chris Nelson last year and you guys got along thick as thieves.  Awesome!  Send him a postcard.   You’re not going to hold onto these late round offense guys anyway.  You’re going to get to the first week of the season and you’re going to wonder why you have Chris Nelson on your bench when there’s a hot hitting guy on waivers.   Instead of an offensive bench player, grab a middle reliever who seems like he has a good chance of taking over for the incumbent closer.   Or grab a starter.  (Note: This rule is for 14 team leagues and shallower.   If you’re in a 15 team league or deeper, offensive bench players can come in handy when there’s nothing, but scraps on waivers.  In fact, we just took the aforementioned Chris Nelson in a league for our bench.  It was a deep league.  If you’re drafting more than 350 players, you can take a bench hitter too.  Or in AL- or NL-Only leagues.  Or in leagues that only use Astros hitters.  Tyler Greene or die!  Or Ride Or Die Enchiladas.  Oh, my God, Worst Cooks in America is the best show that’s ever aired on any network ever…Sorry, Breaking Bad and The Wire!  If you’re not watching Worst Cooks in America, you’re missing life, or l’chaim for our Jewish readers.)

4. When deep into a position, take a flyer on upside.

Nobody in the history of fantasy baseball has ever won a league by playing it safe in the late rounds. In 1995, I tried drafting Mike Greenwell as my fifth outfielder; just didn’t work.  A darn fine year by Klesko wasted!  You play it safe in the early rounds.  You take solid contributors early.  You take flyers late.  You’re looking at either Alfonso Soriano or Adam Eaton, who do you choose?  Omar Infante or Zack Cozart?  Watching Reality Bites again and cringing at Ethan Hawke’s goatee or watching something new that you’ve heard good things about?  You get the picture.

5. When in doubt, draft your third, fourth and fifth starters from NL teams.

Self-explanatory.  No DH, pitchers hitting, weaker offenses.  They bunt in the NL!  Does this mean I don’t want Morrow?  No, I’m saying when in doubt.  Bailey or Hughes?  I’m taking Bailey.  Garza or Milone?  I’m going Garza.  Marco Estrada or Mike Fiers?  Ah, trick question.  But I’d go Estrada.  Have I mentioned I like Estrada?  Yeah, I think so.

If you follow these five simple steps, I guarantee you will be in the top three in your league battling for your championship.  PEDS is so easy, it should be illegal.  You’re welcome.

 
  1. Hats for Bats says:
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    For the sale of positing a question, in a 12 team snake draft, what round do you think is appropriate to start drafting closers? This is assuming one follows basic PEDS strategy, your pitcher & hitter pairings, punting catchers til late, no speed only OFs and drafting first pitcher around greinke tier (did I miss anything?)

  2. Beardcrabs says:
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    cust curious: do you have a template for recycled posts like this where you just input updated names and jokes? if you do, much respect…

    Or do you just update it from the previous year…

    • costaricanchata says:
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      @Beardcrabs:

      closer articles .

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Beardcrabs: This is a recycled post as I said in the first sentence…

  3. barker says:
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    16 team keeper league keep nine 1 catcher Lf Cf Rf slots and 1 util

    obvious 4 prince kemp pence verlander

    pick 5 allen craig carl crawford ike davis kipnis lawrie sal perez wilin rosario gallardo moore motte casilla pineda ( no)

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @barker: Lawrie, Moore, Kipnis, Crawford, Davis

  4. Racehorse says:
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    Grey,

    16 team dynasty league mixer…

    Who do you like more for 2013, Ross Detwiler or Jorge De La Rosa?

    Thanks!

  5. bossmanjunior says:
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    Columbus discovered America. Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb. Henry Ford popularized the automobile. Grey Albright forgot to shave.

    • apoxonbothyourhouses says:
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      @bossmanjunior:

      uh oh…

      a.) Columbus discovered America is wrong on so many levels. Let’s ignore the fact that millions of humans already inhabited this land later to be called the Americas, having discovered it millennia before. And let’s ignore that whole Leif Ericson voyage to Greenland and modern-day Canada around 1000 C.M.E. If Columbus discovered America, he himself didn’t know. Until his death he claimed to have landed in Asia, even though most navigators knew he didn’t. What Columbus “discovered” was the Bahamas archipelago and then the island later named Hispaniola, now split into Haiti and the Dominican Republic. On his subsequent voyages he went farther south, to Central and South America. He never got close to what is now called the United States.

      b.) Thomas Edison didn’t invent the light bulb. He stole it. Plenty of people messed around with the idea of the light bulb, (Jean Foucault, Humphrey Davy, J.W. Starr, some other guys you’ll never read about in a history text book), but Heinrich Goebel was likely the first person to have actually invented it, back in 1854. He tried selling it to Edison, who saw no practical use in Goebel’s invention and refused. Shortly thereafter, Goebel died and, shortly after that, Edison bought Goebel’s patent, (you know, the one he saw no merit in), off of Goebel’s impoverished widow at a cost much lower than what it was worth.

      c.) Ford popularized the assembly line method. Qin Shi Huangdi started the assembly line method (and, one could argue, was the first to “popularize it”) and then influenced Adam Smith’s theories of “division of labor”. Ford just took those ideas for himself.

      In other words, each of your statements is “wrong”. Perhaps Grey meant NOT to shave and didn’t forget at all.

      • Jay29 says:
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        @apoxonbothyourhouses: Owned. I would like to see more breakdowns of traditionally-worshipped historical characters with questionable bonafides.

    • apoxonbothyourhouses says:
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      @bossmanjunior:

      oh, and for the record…

      i’m just messin’ with you

      :-)

  6. Powerslave says:
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    Beckett or Hammel??, Apply # 5 ??

  7. Allan Brownridge says:
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    Grey,

    I have 2 questions:

    1. The strategy of ignoring the top tier starters and closers is becoming super popular. Are you seeing that in the industry? and if so, are we getting close to the point where that strategy needs some tweeking? (I guess there’s still a huge audience here that plays in boner leagues where this will work for 10 more years due to poor competition…)

    2. Do you know why there aren’t more bench spots in standard ESPN, Yahoo, etc. leagues? I’ve run my own league for years now – we use the standard ESPN setup, but I have 6 bench spots. I typically don’t have more than 2 or 3 hitters on the bench, but extra bench spots encourage managers to look at daily pitching matchups, L/R splits, etc. and rotate their bench players in as necessary. It’s also one of the only ways to actually use up all 162 allowed games at each starting position.

    Curious to hear your thoughts. Thanks.

    • Rabbit says:
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      @Allan Brownridge: On your first point, I’ve posted comments in years’ past on Grey’s annual PEDS post on pretty much just that issue: if a strategy gets adopted by everyone or almost everyone, then the advantage you get by adopting that startegy is minimized or disappears, because everyone’s doing it. At that point, you may be better off adopting a different strategy that utilizes the fact that everyone else is playing the first strategy. Or as Grey has put it before, if everyone’s zigging, you zag. I’ve made the case in the past that if everyone else in your league has adopted the Don’t Pay for Saves approach, then (1) the cost (either in auction value or round taken) of the top closers will reduce substantially, because lower demand = lower price, and (2) the competition for acquiring saves off the waiver wire will increase substantially, as everyone tries to acquire “cheap” saves (which then aren’t so cheap because you have to spend a lot of FAAB money on them or get lucky and use your high waiver pick on them).
      2012 was an outlier because of the Closepocalypse, but in previous years, in sophisticated leagues, I have had success taking one top tier closer who came at a discount because everyone else was not paying for saves (think $8 salad instead of $12 salad–I still had some quarters left over to make the bed vibrate). One might argue that the 2012 Closepocalypse is the wave of the wave of the future, much the same way that the series of “historic” storms that have hit the East Coast in the past two years (Snowpocalypse I in Feb 2011; Hurricane Irene in Aug 2011; the Oct 2011 snowstorm (10 days without power!); Superstorm Sandy in Oct 2012; and now Snowpocalypse II last week) are harbingers of new, more severe weather patterns caused by Global Warming. Perhaps, but until I see more evidence that the 2012 Closepocalypse is attributable to Closer Warming caused by methane released by Bartolo Colon, I’ll continue to look for the Zag and try to nab one top-ish tier closer at a discounted price.

    • Pepe Silvia says:
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      @Allan Brownridge: @Allan Brownridge: This is a good question. In one of my drafts, Kimbrel still hasn’t been taken and we’re well into the 80s (it’s a slow ass Google docs draft). My next pick is pick 90 and if he’s still on the board, I’m sorely tempted to take him. Is the value too good to pass up or should I continue zigging?

      • @Pepe Silvia: That’s crazy on Kimbrel. Definitely take him. He’s the only top tier closer this year and is a good value pick starting in Round 5 (i have him valued as early 4th round value). Pick 90 is insane. I have him worth $4 more than the next 2 closers (Pap, Motte) which is the equivalent of 4 rounds in a 12-team league.

      • Allan Brownridge says:
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        @Grey:

        Thansk Grey. I personally like a few extra bench spots. It allows me to go all Billy Beane on people can use some players with great L/R splits….a strategy you can’t use in a league with only 3 bench spots.

  8. TheNewGuy says:
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    Ah this never gets old. Simple yet such effective advice, the definitive advice for any fantasy newbies!

    I should print this out and have it pinned on the wall for every draft….FOREVER!

  9. Stupid Sexy Flanders says:
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    In my league, it’s imperative that you use most if not all 162 games for each batter. That is impossible w/o bench spots. Are you saying “don’t draft bench spots” b/c you can fill them in within the first few weeks?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Stupid Sexy Flanders: Don’t draft them except for huge upside guys… You can fill them though post-draft…

    • The Rock says:
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      get the best bench guys and fill all 162 games for each batter. Even if you miss a couple of games,those 2 or 3 runs could mean the difference between 1st place and 2nd place. I leave one spot open for a “potential player”…..

  10. William says:
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    Grey, Good stuff as always. You seem to like Hyun Jin Ryu a lot more than most. Where should I be looking to draft him? I was thinking round 15 or 16. Thanks.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @William: If you can get him there… I’d think around 120 overall…

      • Drexel Hill Dragons says:
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        @Grey: I would be surprised if you had to draft him there unless the hype starts growing in the Spring. His conditioning has already been brought into question in the first week of camp. If you want to be ultra safe, sure, around 120 will secure him for you. But if you like to gamble and wring the value out of each and every pick, I think you have an 80% chance of getting him more around the 175 range (current ADP is 220+). Now, if you know other league mates are Razzballers, then better safe than sorry. He’s definitely a guy that I’d like to keep a close eye on in exhibitions.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I’m pretty surprised by his lack of attention (or positive attention)… Be interesting to see him in some live game action…

  11. Fungazi says:
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    A perfect draft sort of annoys me. Two weeks into the season there are about 5 guys that everyone is scrambling to pick-up and have no one to drop for them. I think this year I’ll use a late pick on a Beachy or someone that will start on DL.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Fungazi: Then you’ll probably want to drop them before the season starts for someone but you won’t have a DL spot…

    • Drexel Hill Dragons says:
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      @Fungazi: You could solve this pretty easily by creating your own teams version of the NFL draft’s Mr. Irrelevant (the final player chosen in the draft). Just choose a player with your final pick that has little to no upside and maybe an injury or two already. He’s sure to be “the chosen one” when in Week 2 you have your eyes on that hot hitting youngster that was tearing it up in Spring and has continued to hit in the regular season. I’m thinking this sacrificial lamb should have a Razzball glossary term associated with it.

      Any ideas? “Player to be replaced later” PTBRL, “Switch Hitter”, “Cup of Joe” – in reference to a generic player (Joe Schmo), and also getting a brief taste of the bigs (a cup of coffee)

  12. Booya says:
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    Would you be able to do a quick post ranking the top 20 or 30 holds guys? The “You’ve got a hold on me” posts are nice but they don’t really rank them or give any sort of projection…

    • Cheese says:
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      @Booya: I second this

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Booya: I’ll look into it…

  13. Scott Luke says:
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    Is there a version of PEDS for auction leagues?

    Would you say basically the same principles apply for prices of players (don’t spend too heavy on your ace or pretty much at all for your bullpen, have your offense squared away before you’re looking at $5 and under fliers….etc etc?)

    • Jay29 says:
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      @Scott Luke: Honestly, I think it’s far simpler for auctions, once you do the initial dirty work. Just make a spreadsheet, plug in your favorite projection system (or your own), calculate z-scores, adjust for position, convert to $, and draft based on the $ value it spits out, with minor adjustments based on things like floor, consistency, and upside. Once the auction is underway, monitor dynamic inflation rate so you can pay the right price at the time.

      • TheNewGuy says:
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        @Jay29:
        Simple then…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Scott Luke: I’ll have an auction strategy post in the next week or so…

  14. fri-guy says:
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    What’s the prevailing wind on Bruce Rondon saying? I did a couple of mixed league mock drafts last night trying to gauge his value and he was available to me in rounds 18 and 22. I looked him up on MDC and he’s got a much later ADP than I expected, which fits in with where I nabbed him. Is anyone seeing him go higher? I don’t want to make the mistake of missing him. When I grabbed him, it started a 4-team mini run on closers.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @fri-guy: I think it’s only about 30% chance he makes it to the season as the closer… He has solid stuff though, so could be a decent MR if they play in your league…

  15. Jon says:
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    I agree with the guy above. I’d love to see a short list of a some non-saves RPs you’d target late in a draft, i.e. Jansen, Robertson, etc. I’m not in a holds league but I love the rations/Ks/vulture saves.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Jon: For non-Holds leagues the important ones were in my last Closer Look…

  16. OaktownSteve says:
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    Top o’ the mornin’, Albright. Yesterday I did some bad acid…er…bad math on your site. Wanted to apologize and correct myself. I overstated the value of BA relative to standings. Post pretty much got glossed over but I wish one of all y’all had said, “hey wait a minute, that looks borderline bonkers.” Anyway, for a long time I’ve wanted a better way to think about the effect of one player’s average on the standings (ERA and WHIP too) because the rate stats are slippery. So here’s another pass presented with both more and less confidence. I encourage somebody, anybody, to poke a hole in this.

    Average team ABs in 2012 RCL=7111
    Average team hits in 2012 RCL=1898 (.267 avg)

    let pAB=projected at bats for a given player
    pAVG=projected batting average for that player

    (pAB-547)+7111= adjusted AB team total (aAB for short)

    aAB x .2694 = number of hits (aH) needed to hit .2694
    aAB x .267 = average number of hits

    (aAB x .2694) – (aAB x .267) = hits needed to go up one standings point (SP)

    so (pAVG x pAB)-(.267 x a AB)=extra player hits (xH)

    xH/SP= player effect on standings pSP

    so if you have a guy projected to hit .300 in 650 ABs lets see if it works:

    (600-547) + 7111=7164

    7164 x .267 = 1912.7
    7164 x .2694 = 1930

    1930 – 1912.7 = 17.3 hits to move up a point (SP)

    (.300 x 650) – (.267 x 650) = 21.5 xH

    21.5/17.3 = 1.24 standings point gain (pSP)

    or roughly equivalent to a guy who hits 30 home runs but is average in every other category or steals 23.5 bases but is average in every other category.

    There…that feels better

    I did it for WHIP and ERA too, but I’m not going to post it lest heads start exploding like in Scanners (starting with mine)

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss223 says:
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      @OaktownSteve: Checks out to me. Only thing I noticed is you used 600 for pAB in your calc instead of 650. No difference though, you still get 17.3 hits to move up a standing point whether you have 7164 aAB or 7214 aAB. Interesting data though…17 extra hits, that’s not many. Now the trick is finding a guy to hit .300 over 650 ABs.

      • MattTruss

        MattTruss223 says:
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        @MattTruss223: Oh yea, and I have to think this same type of calculation gets used by Rudy for his Point Shares

        • @MattTruss223: Yeah, that’s roughly the Point Share way I handle all rate stats. I just swap in a player’s H/AB into an average team’s projections and swap out the average player’s H/AB. It gets more confusing when you factor in position (I use 75% position average/ 25% drafted hitter average) and how I calculate the value of a standings point.

          So you could look at the Point Shares to get a comprehension of how much a player’s value is affected by AVG.

          • OaktownSteve says:
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            @Rudy Gamble:

            Nothing like reinventing the wheel. Tomorrow I am going to discover fire.

            • Ha! Well, at least you went down the right path. We’re all just reinventing wheels more or less.

              • OaktownSteve says:
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                @Rudy Gamble:

                One thing I am curious about that might be different is what are you using as you benchmark for average player and average positional player. I think from projections. I derived mine from RCL data and I am wondering what that means. To my mind, what I did here incorporates the actual behavior in actual leagues in terms of number of ABs and Hs required, but is very specific to not only RCL format but RCL in general whereas using projections would probably yield different numbers though by how much I can’t say.

                By the way, I had the first addition of that Alex Patton auction value book about 3 decades ago or whenever it first came out and here I am still reinventing it.

      • OaktownSteve says:
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        @MattTruss223:

        Something is still wonky. The number of hits to move up a standings point stays constant regardless of number of At Bats so I think, in mathematical terms I don’t need aAB. I can reduce both sides of the equation and make SP a constant.

        But you do get more xHits the more ABs you have (21.5 for .300 AVG at 650 ABs and 19.3 for .300 AVG at 600 ABs)

        Still tricky. Open to other reviews.

        Rudy does something a little different in that he’s measuring versus average player and average player at the postion in a 25%/75% blend.

        • I don’t think you can use Hits to determine a player’s impact on AVG.

          The formula is basically:

          (Total Team projected H – Average Player H + Hitter’s H) / (Total Team projected AB – Average Player AB + Hitter’s AB) – Team AVG = Player AVG +/- contribution. That contribution divided into what you determine as the difference between standing points for AVG (VinWins calculated this at .0024 for last year’s RCL)

          You can swap out Average Player for Replacement Player if you prefer a WAR/WARP-like calculation (i’m in the minority on average vs. replacement).

          • OaktownSteve says:
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            @Rudy Gamble:

            I’m not using hits exclusively. I am doing basically what you are doing. When I calculate your method for a .300 hitter with 600 at bats, I get 1.13 standings gains points and when I use mine I get 1.14.

            The reason that I’m centered on hits is that I think that xHits if it’s mathematically viable and I’m still parsing through this, is a cool way to think about the impact of average. It’s just easier to say Player A gives you more xHits than player B and get on what that means. I’m also doing that because as you know, most folks, yourself included, do a positional adjustment to their ratings and I want to see mine unadjusted so I can’t just go look at the AVG component of point shares or Last Player Picked. I want to put your equation and mine side by side and see the differences, but I am seriously starting to get dizzy.

            • You can have an xHits but you then fix the ABs. 20 hits in 60 AB has a much greater impact than 20 hits in 100 ABs.

              Thus, you can create a xHits/y ABs (e.g., 30 hits per 100 ABs) or something like that…but if you’ve got two variables, it’s more complicated than just using AVG in my opinion.

              • OaktownSteve says:
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                @Rudy Gamble:

                I think you’re right. What I’m trying to do is make sure that xHit reflects both the extra number of hits and the number of ABs in which the extra hits were achieved and I am not sure I am there yet. And I think both you and Grey are right, might not be that useful anyway. Now I’m just trying to do it to do it.

    • Jack Full of Hate says:
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      @OaktownSteve: OS, how long do you plan on staying at that Holiday Inn Express?

      looks like some Good Will Hunting stuff to me but not Borderline Bonkers its Bonkers Bonkers but i like it. I use to do XBH to AB’s ratios and then turned it into probability problems.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @OaktownSteve: It looks right to me… Only thing is I’m not sure how practical it is to say you need a hitter that’s going to get you an extra 17 hits…

      • OaktownSteve says:
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        @Grey:

        Me also not sure practical, Albright. But I have always wanted a way to see AVG through the lens of a round number as it doen’t really tell the whole story to say a guy will hit .275. I’d rather see it more apples to apples with the counting stat format (round numbers).

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I hear ya, but it’s apples to apples though I’m not sure if those apples are usable…

          • OaktownSteve says:
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            @Grey:

            all things considered it might be time to make hard cider and drink up.

  17. Mr Gray: I’m curious to see the impact of your guidance will have on a Bailey or Estrada (listed too low on top your 400 IMO) draft positions

    In my practice drafts Estrada has been available in the 2oth RDs… ( Yes, some of this is down to auto picking – But that is not always the case) Bailey in the 17th…

    I happened to have these guys way up my charts… Other touts do too…. I think, that these guys are going to go as low a the 12th RD in your Razzball drafts. after the hype on here..

    You have nailed the pitching pretty much IMO… If folks follow your top 400 they may be there late…

    But then again, these guys are maybe not going to be there when you are ready to draft pitching according to your draft guidelines…

    *** Fiers is getting a lot of love out there too… much more than here … Have found him ranked far above Bailey and Estrada in place… One place right up there with Niese..

    One thing is clear… The BrewCrew and the Red Legs are getting a bunch of pitching love throughout FBB…

    I wonder, the impact on your drafts if 4 managers went pitching heavy… And broke away…
    Stealing that side of the board…. And sluff an O cat or 2… It could be a crowded table..

    If enough don’t take pitching early.. It kinda becomes self fulfilling prophecy Offense Only is the way to go…

    • @T Moore: Estrada being low = a high # in the 200’s

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @T Moore: Yeah, that’s the problem with saying someone’s a sleeper… They’re a sleeper so why not move them up your draft board? You move them up your draft board and are they still a sleeper? It’s like the chicken and the egg…

  18. Rags says:
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    So I guess here’s as good a place to post this as any.

    I know never pay for saves is a little different in a one-league format, and I play in an 11-team auction NL-only keeper. I have Motte in his option year, which means I can keep him at 8 this year but have to drop him after next year, or I can add extra years for five dollars each, but he becomes undroppable (unless on the DL).

    Now Motte is probably going to be worth $13 this year. Most closers in our league hit the low 20s and top tier guy might go in the mid to high 20s depending on crazy people get. But I wonder if he might not be worth the risk of getting stuck with him at 13 next year. The cardinals have so many arms in the pipeline (Rosenthal and Wacha come to mind) that probably one of them is going to end up in the bullpen at least.

    So do you think I let him walk, save $5 this year and $13 next (but pay more if I don’t get a rising closer off the waiver wire?). Or just bite the bullet and pay $13 for both years? Fwiw, Parnell at $1 is our only other closer right now, and a lot of closers are being kept this year, but there are a bunch of top set up guys who should be in the pool (Hernandez, Fujikawa, Casilla).

    • Rags says:
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      @Rags: Sorry, if it wasn’t clear, the options are $8 this year and then gone, or $13 this year and $13 next year and gone. (Or $18 for three, but I don’t think that’s worth it.)

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Rags: Go with him for $8

  19. Steve Stevenson says:
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    Keep 3, up to 3 years with a 2-rd penalty per year, in a 6X6 H2H (the extra cats are TB and QS): Desmond (rd 22), Medlen (22), Rizzo (22), Darvish (6), J. Zimmermann (10), Willingham (22). Start 3 OF and 2 Util.

    Thinking Desmond and Medlen for sure, with Rizzo probably the other one. That said, looking at the other rosters, there will probably be at least a dozen other SPs kept (including several of the guys you like later in the draft), and a couple owners always go SP heavy in the early rounds, so there’s something to be said for keeping a second SP (Zimmermann, who’s even better with QS added in this league) and loading up on bats even moreso than usual; maybe grab Wainwright or whoever’s best available in the 5th or 6th, and otherwise all bats through about 12. Which 3 would you keep?

    • Vacation says:
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      I’m no Grey Albirght but I’m guessing he says Medlen and Rizzo

      • Vacation says:
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        Like I said, I’m no Grey Albright.

  20. Boston BF says:
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    Need some help in 5-keeper 10-team AL-only: k seager 5, jennings 16, sale 20, peavy 10, wilhelmson 10, trumbo 15, weiters 19, j montero 15 Not many pitchers are kept compared to hitters. Need 5, thanks

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Boston BF: Jennings, Seager, Trumbo, Sale, Peavy…

  21. Jay29 says:
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    The problem is that as a fantasy owner you always need to zag when the rest of the league zigs, which impacts how these rules should be implemented, especially #2 and #4. Leagues filled with experienced owners have been operating on these principles for years, to the point that everyone is waiting on closers and going hard after the same 10 sleepers.

    So you have to zag. You need to do an honest projection of closers, and if the player is available later (or cheaper, in auctions) than you project him to be, you take him. And the sleeper/veteran decision in advanced leagues is no longer Eaton vs Soriano; it’s more like Eaton vs Werth or Victorino or Ethier. At some point the young player’s floor is too low to justify passing on a reliable veteran.

    With countless sleeper posts online, there’s really no such thing as a sleeper anymore. So when everybody overpays for sleepers, banking on a breakout, you can sit back and let all the reliable players fall to you. It’s not sexy, but it can win you a league.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Jay29: It’s one way to go… But your Werth’s, Ethier’s and Soriano’s need to pan out to… Just because they seem safer doesn’t mean they are…

  22. Greenmountaincoffee says:
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    Keeper question—H2H league w/QS instead of wins. Gotta keep 3(2 hitters/1pitcher) and give up the draft round.

    Braun (Rd1)
    Bruce (3)
    Heyward (6)
    Lawrie (16)
    Rizzo (22)
    Trumbo (18)

    Baumgarner (5)
    Sale (17)
    B. Anderson (22)

    • deftones0012 says:
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      @Greenmountaincoffee:

      Man that’s tough when factoring in what round to give up. I think you play it safe with Braun, take the upside with Lawrie with only giving up 16th round, and again only give up the 17th with Sale.

  23. ShidestheLimit says:
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    So here’s a strategy I’ve seen over the past couple years (that I’ve seen work VERY well), but I’ve never tried it myself as I find it a bit cheap and boring.

    I’ve seen guys take all of the top tier pitchers with their first 8 or so rounds gobbling up all of the top SP and closer talent, then focusing the rest of their draft on speed. I’ve seen managers go 2-for-2 in championships with this strategy in a 5×5 mixed league (granted the second guy swooped Trout early off the waiver wire). What’s your take on this strategy?

    • JoeC says:
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      @ShidestheLimit: You’ve seen it 2 out of 2 times? That’s a pretty small sample size you’re dealing with there, junior. :)

  24. Dusty B says:
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    Grey,

    I’ve seen where you guys aren’t as high on Aroldis Chapman as some others; especially when forecasting his walks. Just curious as to why? What are you seeing that others might be overlooking?

    Thanks,

    Dusty B

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Dusty B: Huh? I thought I was high on him… I said he could be a top five starter this year…

  25. Di Ro says:
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    If you we’re in a keeper league that had 7 more years left, would you rather have Trout or Braun straight up for those remaining years?

    btw, followed this strategy last year and it worked so well I won my league. Lets see more info on upcoming sleepers for your 4th and 5th pitchers!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Di Ro: Trout… Nice! Yeah, I’ll drop some more sleepers in the upcoming days/weeks…

  26. Wife got the nuts but I got Fantasy says:
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    Figured I just on the bandwagon and throw my troubles your way. In a 14 team league, 6×6 (includes OPS and QS), I have 2 slots left to keep, choices are Gio at $13, V Martinez at $1 (talk about planning I threw him in a DL slot last April for this draft) and Peavy at $1. What do you think?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Peavy and Gio…

  27. The Revenge of DRey2013 says:
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    @Grey,
    I decided to do a 12 team mock draft over at ESPN. I was trying to talk myself out of it. I could not and ended up drafting out of the 10 slot.

    My first five picks look like.
    1.) Prince Fielder
    2.) Giancarlo Stanton
    3.) Ryan Zimmerman
    4.) Starlin Castro
    5.) Gio Gonzalez

    During my fourth and fifth picks, I did not observe and see that Paul Goldschmidt and Shin Soo-Choo had not been selected yet.

    Would you have selected Goldschmidt and Soo-Choo with your fourth and fifth round picks?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I would’ve took Choo over Gio… You had Fielder so Goldy wasn’t necessary…

      • The Revenge of DRey2013 says:
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        @Grey,
        Thank you. For the most part, I can find my answers in one of your articles or in the comment section. The more I kept playing it over in my head. I came to the conclusion that you would go with Soo-Choo over Gio. I should not have ask that question. The Castro and Goldschmidt pick was giving me the most trouble trying to put my finger on which way you would go. Due to the fact you have Paul 13 spots higher than Castro and you also do not like to use a high draft pick on the SS slot.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          No problem…

  28. Justin Cook says:
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    I have filled out my active hitter lineup, my pitchers are Matt Moore and Bum-diggity, along with Hanrahan closing. We are around pick 150, and Ike Davis is on the board. Do we break the rule and draft a hitter to the bench?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, if it’s great value…

  29. Ryan says:
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    10 team keeper league. I’ve got 9th pick in draft, and we keep 4 players. I’m def keeping E.Encarnacion, so which 3 of these should I keep — Round I’d keep them in after each name.

    Braun(1), Beltre (4), Gio(10), Darvish(11), Jennings(16), Chapman(18)

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Gio, Jennings, Chapman…

  30. your best friend says:
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    grey,

    6 keepers in h2h points

    jupton, votto, longoria, kershaw, felix, are my go to kids

    agordon (proj for 660 points) and carlos santana (proj for 590 points) are on the bubble.

    normally id lean to more points (gordon), but catcher is F’d after the top 5 in the scoring system… who you got?

    spanks

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Gordon…

  31. CadeWTM says:
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    I’ve played in a 9×9 keeper league for the last 11 years. One of our pitching categories (Complete Games) drives half the league nuts due to its complete randomness, unpredictability and such rare occurrence. The problem for the last few years has been the debate as to what to change the category to.

    My question to you Mr. Albright and all you commenters out there, what would you change it to? HRallowed, K/BB, K/9? Anything?

    Or would you change 2B and 3B on offense to just XBH and just make the league 8×8?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Change hitting to XBH or ninth pitching category to K/9…

  32. Steve Stevenson says:
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    12 team OBP roto league, start 1 C, 3 OF, no CI/MI, 1 Util. Which keeper to pair with my Harper (10th rd)?:

    Medlen (9th)
    Rizzo (9th)
    Lawrie (8th)
    C. Santana (6th)

    Thinking Medlen or Lawrie; though Santana’s OBP and power always entice me, 6th round is getting a little steep for him.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Rizzo

  33. Spencer says:
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    The whole “don’t draft backup hitters” is obviously heavily influenced by roster size; I don’t think you’re telling anyone to take Dave Burba Jr or the like at the end of your draft. I’m more of an Auction Snob now (yes I have a monocle), and in an auction format, I prefer to get four or so outfielders for 15-20 bucks rather than Ryan Braun and two Tony Plushes. I try to target guys who may improve due to age, or are coming off a bad season and may bounceback. So you have to cast a wide net in this midrange to get three guys who pan out.

    Okay, back to Snake Drafts, and my totally unrelated Keeper Question! Have you received any of these questions yet? (You need a designated sarcasm font on this site.)

    Okay, here’s my situation. 12 team, 5×5, standard cats, you keep the player in the round you picked them, and you keep them FOREVER. 5-7 keepers, two must be pitchers. And the nominees are:

    1st round: David Wright
    4th round: Matt Kemp
    5th round: Jay Vruce (I’m leaving the V on purpose, it looks cool.)
    6th round: Nat Gio
    10th round: Robinson Cano
    11th: Mike Stanton
    14th: David Ortiz
    16th: Madison Bumgarner
    17th: Jim Jones, I mean Jim Johnson

    Kemp, Cano, MadBum, and Stanton are givens. But what about my Final Three? I don’t feel Wright is a first rounder any more, but with so many keepers gone, he’ll go in the first. Just Help me Obi-Grey, you’re my only hope.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Ha! Will look into adding that font… Gio, Bruce, Ortiz… If Ortiz has 1st base eligibility in your league, otherwise Wright…

      • Spencer says:
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        @Grey: Thanks Grey, that’s what I was thinking, too, but I am a nervous baby.

        Ortiz does indeed have 1b eligibility.

        One last option I forgot to mention, because I’m smart: Billy Butler in the 5th. I’m sure his numbers will be better than Ortiz, definitely a bit safer, but 14th round Ortiz is gooood value in my book.

        Thanks, stay gold.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Ortiz in the 14th is good value, I’d just go with him… No problem…

  34. BuffaloRunner says:
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    but what happens if all 12 people in an RCL employ the same strategy?

    i am going verlander / kershaw at the turn if I pick 12th, sure I’ll finish dead last but at least everyone else in the league will love me.