Two years ago Heath Capps, a fellow fantasy sports writer, invited me to join a daily fantasy baseball league he was running. Every Friday about twenty of us self proclaimed wannabe fantasy experts would compete against each other in MLB DFS using FanDuel’s Friends Mode. Each week the results were combined with the previous weeks’ contests as Heath maintained an overall leaderboard. The league was named DFS Wars and it was as much an experiment as it was competition. Nonetheless I was a big fan of the format and enjoyed participating.
Here’s why. All of these daily fantasy games are essentially just one day points leagues against the entire league. As I have said on many an occasion, I literally hate the head-to-head aspect of points leagues as it really comes down to luck of the draw of the schedule. You could have a monster week and score four hundred points (you’re best week ever), but you happen to play the one team that scored four hundred and five. Meanwhile some team put up a measly 175 and his/her opponent scored 170. That team with 175 points gets a win you walk away with a loss. It’s absolute bullsh*t. I considered putting together an Absolut Bullsh*t ad, but I was just too lazy. If my previous example were a DFS contest you would have finished in second place and taken home second place money. The best teams/entrants are the ones that are rewarded.
I’m not sure what happened in 2018, but the league did not return. Just when I was about to give up, DFS Wars has been brought back to life in 2019. After a year of careful consideration, rule tweaking and brainstorming, Heath has returned with a new and improved system. For fifteen consecutive Fridays (beginning April 12th), twenty-three of us will compete in a daily fantasy points contest hosted by Fanball. Each contest is a free event, but we all ponied up a buy-in before week one. Each week the top five places get paid and the scores are added to the overall standings. It was decided that we would eliminate each team’s lowest score. This was mostly put in place so that we could still add league members after week one. I’m not a big fan of dropping the lowest score, but I understand why it was done. At the end of fifteen weeks the top two teams in the standings will find their bankrolls slightly padded.
And that’s it. Simple yet sleek. Did I just say that. I might not have said it, but I certainly wrote it. Unless Grey edited this post before it went live. Grey? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Fine, I did it.
Truth be told, I have actually been running a football league just like this for the last four years. I run a handful of different fantasy leagues across baseball and football and this is, by far, the most liked of them all. In fact, I have received several emails from members over the seasons specifically saying that this is their favorite fantasy league. The league runs twelve weeks. After twelve weeks that top four teams in the standings make the playoffs. The one seed gets to pick whether they want to play the third or fourth seed in a two week head-to-head matchup. The two seed versus the remaining team. The winners face off in a two-week Super Bowl. Yes, I do introduce the hated head-to-head aspect, but it’s minimal and the top team picks its poison and the matchup is two weeks. Two week contests give a better team/owner a chance to recover from a lesser opponent having one very good, untimely week.
In our inaugural season we had ten teams. That number grew to twelve and is now at sixteen teams. I’ve actually been playing around with the idea of running a second identical 16-team league and having the two champions play against each other in week 17. Give it the AFC/NFC vibe. I’ve got to think about that a little more. Heck, I could have several of these leagues and have all of the champs play in a tournament of champions in week 17.
It seems I’ve gotten a bit off track. So far after seven weeks I am currently in second place. I have yet to win a week outright, but I have finished third in four of those seven weeks. Week eight is live as I type, but I won’t have the results before I am done writing. For those unfamiliar with Fanball’s scoring system, I’ll share.
Pitching: W (+6), QS (+6), IP (+1.5), K (+2)
|Team||Week 1||Week 2||Week 3||Week 4||Week 5||Week 6||Week 7||Total|
We are just a little over halfway done, but so far it’s been a lot of fun. Hats off to Heath for getting this together. Heath Heath hooray!
In other news…
Shame on everyone that overlooked Carlos Santana. During my preseason prep I told you all that you should own him. His ADP was about 137 and his league rank was around 44. These numbers will vary depending on your scoring system, but they serve as good enough baseline. Santana’s draft score was 93. That meant he was severely undervalued on draft day. My top three undervalued draft day players were Ketel Marte (104), Josh Bell (95) and Santana. Bingo. Bango. Bongo. Carlos Santana is currently the fifth ranked first baseman in points leagues behind Cody Bellinger, Josh Bell, Anthony Rizzo and Freddie Freeman. In 2018 he finished the season ranked fifth. In 2017 and 2017 he was eighth. The point is “oye como va” or some shit.
Somehow Hyun-Jin Ryu has the second most points of all starting pitchers. I can barely spell his name. In 12-team leagues he was drafted in the fifteenth round on average. Not a bad return for a late round pick.
Last week I took a bit of slack for not mentioning Peter Alonso’s place in the NL Rookie of the Year race. This week I took a closer look at Alonso. To go along with his 19 home runs, he has 160 points in 226 plate appearances (0.707 PPPA). He’s a top ten 1B, trailing Luke Voit and Rhys Hoskins, coming in at eighth just above Hunter Dozier. He’s been a top notch rookie and is definitely going to give Chris Paddack a run for his money. Especially if Paddack is put on an innings limit. But for the time being, Paddack is averaging 19 points per start. To put that into perspective, Gerrit Cole is averaging 20.3 and Luis Castillo is at just over 19. As Mr. Myagi might say “he pretty ok too”.
Follow malamoney on Twitter at @malamoney.