Hey malamoney! What? The points league community called. And? They want the damn spreadsheet. Ohhhhh… the spreadsheet. I could do a two hour rant on how much I dislike creating the spreadsheet. I’m not kidding. I absolutely love having it on draft day, and enjoy sharing it with you fine individuals (well most of you at least), but to say that putting it together was a chore would be an understatement. Perhaps it would be easier if I used a single source for projections, but that feels dirty to me. I like to gather multiple (reliable) sources and average them together along with my own homegrown blend. Then I take that result and average them all together again, but this time I include the results of the first averaging. I’m pretty sure it’s some flavor of the kind of math they teach in the elementary schools these days.

Once I have the projections, which I have generally referred to as “estimations” over the years, I have to manually plug them into the spreadsheet. If only it were that easy. I’m not going to get into the minutiae of it all, but I’ve been burning the midnight oil these last few nights to get this damn thing done. Unfortunately I ran into an Excel error that I just can’t seem to resolve so there isn’t going to a spreadsheet this year. I’m really sorry, but I’m sure you can just “use the force” or something. My suggestion would be to take some roto rankings and hope for the best. After all, that’s what everyone else in your league is doing. Just have a couple shots and beers leading up to and during your draft and you’ll do fine. The waiver wire is your friend. I’ll make it up to you next year. Providing Grey doesn’t choke me out before then.

Ok. Fine. I am just kidding. I really hope at least of few of you started to buy into the “no spreadsheet this year” story. Sorry, not sorry.

For those that have used my spreadsheet in years past, nothing has changed. I’ve had some planned enhancements bouncing around in my head for some time, but never any time to implement. For those new to the spreadsheet, I’m going to point you at the posts I’ve written in years past to keep myself from having to reinvent the wheel. And by “reinvent the wheel” I mean rewrite what I’ve already written several times. I don’t want to have to sue myself for plagiarizing myself. Can I even do that? Can I get a ruling.

I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus these last few weeks, but my plan is to start providing you with points league content starting today. If you have any suggestions or requests for topics, please let me know. After years of doing this I really feel like I’m starting to sound like a broken record. In points leagues there are a handful of basic rules/strategies that I have repeatedly discussed over the years that I believe make up the core of a successful points league campaign. I’m not going to dive into them again today, but I will do so over the coming weeks.

As you know, points league rankings are entirely dependent on the scoring system of the league. As you’ll read (or re-read) in one of my older posts referenced below, points league are far from the “one size fits all” pattern. In order to compare/rank two players I need to know your scoring system. Anyone that says they do not is giving you a half ass answer. If you are looking for half ass advice you are at the wrong site. We like full ass in this dojo.

Here’s a simple example. Who’s the top ranked 2B in points leagues? I don’t know. Are stolen bases worth one or two points? If they’re one, then I’m going with DJ LeMaheiu, but if it’s two then Ozzie Albies and Whit Merrifield enter the conversation. I’ll touch on this more in future posts.

For the sake of discussion, I have used the following scoring system for my posts in previous years. However, moving forward I am considering making stolen bases +2 points. One point just feels too cheap. The stolen base needs a little more oomph.

RUN (+1), RBI (+1), 1B (+1), 2B (+2), 3B (+3), HR (+4), BB (+1), KO (-1), HBP (+1), SB (+2), CS (-1), SF (+1)
WIN (+5), LOSS (-5), IP (+3), K (+1), BB (-1), SAVE (+7), BLOWN SAVE (-3), ER (-1), HIT (-1), IP (+3)

Given the above scoring system, here is what the spreadsheet is telling me.

  • Gerrit Cole is the top ranked player, with Jacob deGrom nipping at his heels. Top SP are extremely valuable in most points leagues. I say “most” because you could easily craft a scoring system that diminishes the SP or elevates hitters.
  • Juan Soto is the top hitter, but World Champion Mookie Betts is closer than the rear view mirror appears. So is perennial powerhouse Mike Trout.
  • J.T. Realmuto is in the top twenty-five when you factor in position. I’m not saying I’d draft him in the top twenty-five (use his ADP to guide that effort), but I’m just pointing out his overall value. I call this the Buster Posey Effect.
  • Trea Turner > Francisco Lindor > Fernando Tatis – but it’s really close.
  • Kenta Maeda and Carlos Carrasco are the top RP because they are also SP.

This spreadsheet is designed to tell you a story about your league. Plug in your scoring system and find out what lies ahead for you. It’s like a freaking choose your own adventure.

If you notice something off with the spreadsheet or projections, let me know and I will see what I can do. But I make no promises.

Here are the links to the previous posts I mentioned above detailing the spreadsheet.

Points Leagues: Start Spreading The Sheets, I’m Sharing Today

Points Leagues: Not The Spreadsheet. Just Kidding, It’s The Spreadsheet. One Size Does Not Fit All!

 

malamoney’s 2021 Points League Spreadsheet

 

Follow malamoney on Twitter at @malamoney

 
  1. Foxman says:
    (link)

    Malamoney,
    Nice work. I am a novice to points leagues, so this is very helpful. I find this sheet very easy to use.
    Just scrolling through, and noticed Pat Corbin was fairly high on the list. I am buying him often in leagues, but always because of his value in later rounds. I don’t know about his ADP on your list, as I haven’t seen him go that high in any draft I’ve taken part in. I would think that he would have a huge draft score on this list.
    Thanks again for putting in the work on this. Just figured I would point it out, sorry for being that guy. This really is a great tool.
    Appreciate ya

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
      (link)

      Thanks Foxman. I will check him out tonight. I pulled the ADP from CBS head to head leagues. How many points league drafts have you done?

      • Foxman says:
        (link)

        Malmoney,
        I dipped my toes in the water last year with my first points league.
        I have been in the same two H2H leagues for the past 10 years, and one roto league. I had never tried points, but wanted to be a more well-rounded fantasy player.
        I know I didn’t give enough value to pitching, and I didn’t have the right hitters for the league setup. This is a helpful tool to remind me where I should be valuing my players. Thanks
        And maybe Corbin is ranked higher on CBS, as I will be honest, I have done all my drafts on ESPN and Fantrax.

        • malamoney

          malamoney says:
          (link)

          It’s hard to find ADP for head-t0-head leagues. Like I said, I’m using CBS for that. I will see if I can find something better. I’ve looked in years past with no luck. Most ADP you see published are for roto.

          One thing I will say is that SP tend to have much higher ADP in points leagues. The other problem with me picking a set of ADP for my spreadsheet is that who knows what scoring system was used for the leagues that drafted. I guess for CBS they are most likely using the CBS standard for points league, but you never know. The ADP is really just there to be an indicator to help guide about when you should draft a player and the relative value you are getting by doing so. Just get in some mock drafts and see where he lands.

          I participated in a CBS “expert” H2H points league mock and Corbin went off the board at 54.

          https://www.cbssports.com/fantasy/baseball/news/2021-fantasy-baseball-mock-draft-selling-out-for-starting-pitchers-in-an-h2h-points-league/

  2. Milkman says:
    (link)

    Just bought the ad free Roto package today. What a coincidence that you drop your spreadsheet. Won 5/7 points leagues but was dropped from the league and am venturing into fantrax. 30 man roster. No negative for hitter ks. How would I adjust your spreadsheet for that?
    Thanks a bunch

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
      (link)

      Set strikeouts for hitters to 0 and just use 29 roster spots. That extra roster spot won’t really make a difference.

      • hotmilk8 says:
        (link)

        Thanks so much… Ive always waited until round 4/5 for SP in the past. I have the 12th pick… who would you be targeting and when would you draft your first SP knowing you have 12/13th/36th/37th pick? Appreciate all the help

        • malamoney

          malamoney says:
          (link)

          What’s your scoring system?

          • hotmilk8 says:
            (link)

            The fantrax H2H points system. no negative for hitter ks

            • malamoney

              malamoney says:
              (link)

              Here are the players likely to be there at the 12/13 spot:

              Trevor Bauer
              Freddie Freeman
              Christian Yelich
              Trea Turner
              Clayton Kershaw
              Lucas Giolito

              Here are the players based on your league specific rankings:

              Trevor Bauer
              Jacob deGrom
              Bryce Harper
              Christian Yelich
              Manny Machado
              Cody Bellinger
              Aaron Nola

              If you can get Bauer/Freeman, I think that’s your best option. But if your pitcher ends up being one of Giolito, Nola or Scherzer I wouldn’t complain.

              And if you end up with Yelich, Harper, Machado or Bellinger, I’d say you made out ok.

              At the 36/37 spot, it’s harder to predict, but I’d be hoping for:

              Ozuna/Bogaerts/Bregman/Albies
              Corbin/Berrios/Flaherty/Lynn

              • hotmilk8 says:
                (link)

                WOW, Awesome!! Thanks so much….are you recommending Hitter and SP as my b2b picks for first 4 rounds?

  3. Rob says:
    (link)

    Thank you so much for the spreadsheet.

    We’re not worthy, we’re not worthy!

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
      (link)

      You’re welcome. I hope it helps.

  4. B. Rabbit says:
    (link)

    Oh happy day! Thanks a bunch for always putting this together. So helpful!

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
      (link)

      You got it B. Rabbit…

  5. Butters

    Butters says:
    (link)

    The people ask and the man delivers.

    • Jeremy says:
      (link)

      You guys are the best, thanks Butters.

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
      (link)

      A few days late, but I made it to the party…

  6. Jeremy says:
    (link)

    So happy to see this post/spreadsheet. Last year entered my first h2h points league and it was a keeper league and most of the teams were starting out with great keepers, while i had none. Used your spreadsheet mixed with Greys rankings/sleepers and won the league going away.
    Thanks man.

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
      (link)

      Great to hear!

  7. Adam Paul says:
    (link)

    You know those aren’t the actual lyrics, right? “Were laid spread out before me”

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
      (link)

      Of course. Been a Ten Club member since the late 90s. I just wanted something racier.

  8. Alexander Varaksa says:
    (link)

    Even though it’s a chore to make, I want you to realize how much I value it! Thanks for the hard work.

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
      (link)

      Thanks. The reason I do it is because I know many of you appreciate it based on the feedback I’ve gotten over the years.

  9. thehombre says:
    (link)

    You are the goat for this.

    My league just raised sb to 3 to MATCH hr at 3. I was so excited, I traded the world for Mondesi.

    I’ll use the spreadsheet, but with this kind of change, is there anyone you’d love to target?

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
      (link)

      Thanks. That’s obviously going to elevate all base stealers. Just plug in the numbers and see what the sheet says. I don’t have it in front of me at the moment.

  10. Hebrew Hammer says:
    (link)

    Sheet of Integrity

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
      (link)

      Dropping the hammer!

      Thanks!

  11. Kevin says:
    (link)

    You the man for this! Being able to customize your league settings in there is so helpful. Have gone back to back in my points league using this. Let’s get this three-peat!

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
      (link)

      Glad it helps.

      Here’s to a three-peat!

  12. Charles In Charge says:
    (link)

    Yesssss!!! I was hoping you’d release this before my draft this weekend. I won my league 4 years straight then last year we drafted before you released your sheet. Hoping to get back to the top. The only categories we use that aren’t included are Cycles, No Hitters (rare anyway), and more commonly negative points for hitting into Double Plays. Our settings brought Cole down by 80 points! Thanks for your hard work again!

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
      (link)

      Anything for Scott Baio.

      Cycles and no hitters are not worth attempting to project. Well they are are projected at 0. Anything more than a 0 is a bonus.

      I think I used to do GIDP, but moved away from that as well.

      Good luck!

  13. RicoSuave says:
    (link)

    Thanks for the great work Malamoney!

    16 team H2H weekly points league…redraft

    i got the 14th pick. What do you recommend the strategy should be at that spot? SPs and Hitters are pretty balanced

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
      (link)

      No problem.

      What’s your scoring system?

      • RicoSuave says:
        (link)

        BATTING

        1B Singles 1 point
        2B Doubles 2 points
        3B Triples 3 points
        BB Walks (Batters) 1 point
        CS Caught Stealing -1 point
        GSHR Grand Slam Home Runs 1 point
        HP Hit by Pitch 1 point
        HR Home Runs 4 points
        KO Strikeouts (Batter) -0.5 points
        R Runs 1 point
        RBI Runs Batted In 1 point
        SB Stolen Bases 2 points

        PITCHING

        BBI Walks Issued (Pitchers) -1 point
        BS Blown Saves -1 point
        CG Complete Games 3 points
        ER Earned Runs -1 point
        HA Hits Allowed -1 point
        HB Hit Batsmen -1 point
        HD Holds 2 points
        INN Innings 3 points
        K Strikeouts (Pitcher) 0.5 points
        L Losses -3 points
        QS Quality Starts 3 points
        S Saves 5 points
        W Wins 5 points

        Thanks again!

        • RicoSuave says:
          (link)

          what do you think?

          • malamoney

            malamoney says:
            (link)

            Based on ADP, here are the players likely to available at the 14 spot.

            Trea Turner
            Clayton Kershaw
            Lucas Giolito
            Bryce Harper
            Christian Yelich (unlikely)

            Based on your league specific rankings, here’s the order in which I’d take those players.

            Harper, Turner, Scherzer, Giolito, Kershaw

  14. Cliff says:
    (link)

    Thanks for the sheet! I’m doing a 12 team Ottoneu points draft in a couple weeks. I have the first pick so I’m thinking Soto or Trout. Do you have any general thoughts on Ottoneu drafting/plan on making posts on it? Thanks!

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
      (link)

      Nothing specific to Ottoneu. Just plug in the scoring system (I think I have it canned unless it’s changed) and see what it says. I like to use ADP and spreadsheet rank to guide who and when to pick.

  15. dfattizzo says:
    (link)

    Going on my 3rd year now of using this sheet so first and foremost, thank you!!!! However, it never seems to fail how I can NEVER remember how to change the scoring. I always run into “The cell or chart you’re trying to change is on a protected sheet. To make a change, unprotect the sheet. You might be requested to enter a password.” HELP!!!

    • dfattizzo says:
      (link)

      Disregard malamoney as I’ve figured it out!!! Many thanks for this once again!!

      • malamoney

        malamoney says:
        (link)

        All good. You are welcome.

  16. oz says:
    (link)

    Love this sheet, my go to! There used to be a Tiered out section and prospect arrival breakdown, anywhere I can find that?

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
      (link)

      I know nothing of this tiered out section or prospect arrival breakdown.

      Those were not parts of my posts.

  17. Cable says:
    (link)

    like the spread….but one problem we don’t use -1 for Batter K

    my loss

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
      (link)

      You can enter your league specific scoring system on the “Settings” tab. Just set batter strikeouts to 0.

  18. Cable says:
    (link)

    extra large $$$$$ 12 team league drafting #6 and its going to be SPer..SPer… and debating SPer with 3rd pick….. can always find hitting during season

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
      (link)

      The first four picks should be Cole, deGrom, Bieber and Trout in no specific order. I know Soto is popping in near the top, but after those three SP, there is a fair drop off.

  19. Daniel Bowen says:
    (link)

    Love this article, helps a ton in my draft each year. Had a question about my keepers for this year, get to keep two in certain rounds. My options:
    (6) LF Ozuna
    (11) SP Lynn – Locked in
    (21) CF Kyle Lewis
    (23) SP Marco Gonzales

    Settings:
    Hitting – 1B(1), 2B(2), 3B(3), HR(4), RBI(1), R(1), SO(-1), BB(1), SB(1), CS(-1), HBP(1)
    Pitching – IP(1), W(5), L(-5), SV(1), BSV(-1), K(1), ER(-1), QS(3), CG(5), SHO(5)

    Starters – C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, 1B/3B, 2B/SS, LF, CF, RF, OF, UT SP(5) RP(2) Bench of 5

    Side question – When I put my scoring system in, your rankings have Cole (1), DeGrom(2), Bieber(6), Bauer(9, Scherzer(11), Nola (18)… Am I crazy to go SP, SP with 1/2 and then just go bats after?

    Thanks again, love this every year! Appreciate the time you put into this!

    • DB says:
      (link)

      Sorry forgot to add, its a ten team league! thx!

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
      (link)

      Thanks.

      It all depends on who’s available when it’s your turn to pick. Looks like you’ve already got Lynn. I like him, but I’m not comfortable with him being my top pitcher. You’ll probably have to grab one with your first two picks for sure, but I’m probably not taking two SP with 1/2.

      As for your keepers, I’m leaning Ozuna.

  20. JD says:
    (link)

    Thanks for uploading the sheet. It looks like the 1B and 2B tab is missing the player names.

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
      (link)

      I think you just need to scroll to the left to make those columns visible.

      • JD says:
        (link)

        And I’m an idiot. The other tabs weren’t that way so I assumed it was cut off. Sorry.

        • malamoney

          malamoney says:
          (link)

          No worries.

  21. Alex Howe says:
    (link)

    Thanks again. Love this every year. I’ve entered my custom league stats, but for some reason the rank, FVARz and draft score don’t show (#NAME?) on the rankings sheet. The points for each player have updated in each sheet however. Any ideas?

    Also, it was formatted to xlsm as it had to be opened through Sheets instead of Excel. Thanks for the help

    • Alex Howe says:
      (link)

      Zscore missing from position pages as well

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
      (link)

      I have no idea if it works in Sheets. I never tested it. I only use it in Excel. Considering I haven’t had anyone else complain, I’d try Excel.

      Perhaps you deleted a player or modified something you shouldn’t have. Try downloading a fresh copy and try again.

  22. Capital_Dave says:
    (link)

    Hey Malamoney! Great work as always.

    I think your spreadsheet has an error when it comes to the Util-only guys like Alvarez and Cruz. No matter what the points system, they always bunch at the bottom of the rankings. You have a tab that is labeled just “U” that is blank. Maybe that’s supposed to be “UT” and pull in the DH’s and that’s somehow ruining their Average FPTS and Replacement Z and driving them to the bottom of the list?

    Other than that, spreadsheet looks good.

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
      (link)

      I got lazy with the DH-only players and I lumped them in with the OF. They shouldn’t be at the bottom however.

  23. Matt McClure says:
    (link)

    **Warning** I have a lot to say and believe it or not this is actually the summary version.

    Love it, very useful tool and I can appreciate how much work it takes to put it together. It would be impossible to create a forecasting tool that accounts for every single factor of a business (or fantasy league) in an accurate/meaningful way. That’s why the best forecasting tools used in the business world are designed to provide maximum flexibility for manual overrides (by humans). When a company ends up with a glut of obsolete inventory, a supply shortage during peak season, miss-interprets a 1-time event as seasonality, or lose their ass on a sales promotion because they failed to recognize the cannibalization risk from a similar product or a sale period pull-in at a lower margin – the reason for all of these avoidable failures is usually the same thing. They either failed to put in the effort to incorporate logic driven overrides or they simply ignored the forecast reality. This tool provides far more ability for overrides than any other tools I’ve come across, but all fantasy tools are still limited by one major Achilles Heal… the depth and quality of the input data.

    The modern stat projection tools (ZIPS, Steamer, etc.) used to fuel fantasy tools are a tremendous advancement in our hobby. I mentioned “depth and quality” above, but I don’t really have concern about the “quality” component. However, the lack of depth or completeness found within the stat projection tools is maddening. As an example, Steamer is missing 4 scoring categories from my points league (GIDP, Induced GIDP, Shutout, and Inherited Runner Scored). There is also a 5th cat that they included in Steamer (GS) that is not included in your model. Not relevant to my comments, but the reason for including GS was to help balance hitting/pitching. The trend of using “openers” really threw a kink in this cat. I’d love to replace GS with other cat modifications but I’m not the Commish.

    My guess is that the cats mentioned above are deemed too random to project. If that is the case, I strongly disagree. I’ll use a parallel from a Fant Basketball league I’m in that also includes somewhat “random/variable” cats with fairly high point values – triple doubles and double doubles. I couldn’t find any projections so I built my own based on offensive system, role, and past performance. I ignored rank and ADP and drafted Jokic and Westbrook with my first 2 picks (and others with high TD/DD potential throughout the draft), listened to the “snickering” commentary, and with over 1/3 of the season remaining I’m destroying everyone.. again… really it’s over at this point. I’m mentioning this because no scoring cat should be treated as an after thought. Without the TD/DD points, I’d be in a real dog fight right now.

    Bringing it back to baseball, 3 of the 4 cats I mentioned above can be reasonably forecasted (with IR Allowed to Score (IRA) being the exception). I could even make an argument that IRA can be forecasted based on trends. How often does the manager allow the starter or reliever to finish his last inning? What are the contact rates and GB/FB splits of the pitcher? Do these trends show up in a pitchers past performance (spoiler alert – they do)?

    Does including fringe stat cats really matter? Hell yes it matters if your 30 HR first baseman also grounds into 25 double plays. If the league penalizes -1 for GIDP and gives +1 for SB, those 25 GIDP just wiped out the 25 steals from your 2B. More obvious, those -25 points have a high probability of impacting the player’s placement within 1B rankings. Even if a forecasting system chooses not to include the categories in a ranking system, there’s absolutely no reason the stats can’t be included in the model, providing the user an easy way to manually incorporate these fringe cats. The alternative is an extremely time consuming Excel gymnastics exercise… even for people who are comfortable with VLookups, Pivot Tables, Text-to-Columns, etc. thanks to inconsistent player name nomenclature and the lack of universal player keys. Wouldn’t that be nice if the industry established a standard player key.

    Finally, there are subtle factors that aren’t directly category/projection related, but of equal or greater importance. To foreshadow, I’m assuming that’s the intent of “Reduce RP Weight”.

    1) Deep vs. Shallow FA Pool: There are numerous iterations of # teams and # roster slots but they all reduce to a single number (the number of rostered players). I don’t know why the importance of this variable for drafting purposes isn’t more obvious to people. I’m listening to a podcast as I write this message and the fantasy analyst (who I actually respect) just said he’s filling his bench slots with players he knows are going to get regular playing time instead of lottery tickets. That’s not inherently a good or bad strategy. The question is once the season starts is the FA pool going to be deep enough that at any given time you have your choice of 1A, 1B, or 1C to fill your gap or will you be grasping at straws to find someone with value. In my previously mentioned basketball league there are 12 teams, starting 18 players, and rostering 25 players. The top players available are rarely if ever mentioned in in-season “deep sleeper” articles. In this case, players in the 7-9 rotation slots are much wiser picks than upside rookies or G-League darlings. No matter how good your team is, there is a limit to how many DNPs or 2-5 minute appearances you can take without negatively impacting your chance to win. The point is draft upside/ceiling players in a shallow league. Draft players with a safe floor and safe playing time in deep or AL/NL only leagues. For modeling purposes this could be incorporated with a slider scale. I know starter and roster size are included in this model but I can’t fully discern how the variables factor in. I know they do though, but I’ll get to that in a moment.

    2) Some of us are risk averse and others are risk takers. It would be a nice feature to allow a user to incorporate their preferred weighting of past and expected future performance. It’s another variable that could be included as a sliding scale.

    3) A high value “lottery ticket” indicator would also be a useful feature. When you’re scouring a list of 800-1000 players it can become challenging to separate unproven players with high upside from low impact players. I follow the minor leagues and am fairly familiar with the “names to know” but there are limits to our knowledge that could become overcome statistically. A player’s MLB draft round, presence on major Top XXX minor league player lists, highest minor league level, players age (maybe with a cutoff at 20 eliminating them from getting flagged), and minor league stats could all be used in concert to flag potential diamonds. In deeper redraft leagues or leagues that allow NA slots, one of the biggest mistakes I see is drafting a HUGE name with a 0% chance of playing that season. The poster child for this last year was Wander Franco.

    4) Daily vs Weekly transaction leagues. In daily transaction leagues, the number of SP or OF slots is meaningless. If you have 5 SPs in “starter” slots and 3 SPs on the bench, you effectively have 8 SP starting slots. The same applies to OFs but to a slightly lessor extent. The player you draft as your 8th SP or 4th OF is infinitely more valuable than your backup infielders (excluding multi-position eligibility but that’s the next topic). In practical terms, this means the better #3/#4 rotation pitchers are more significant to YOUR team than the 11th ranked SS in a 10 team league because they are effectively a starter on your fantasy team. In your model I selected 7 SPs (since 8 wasn’t an option) instead of the 5 actual SP slots in my league to account for this issue. It made a HUGE difference. SPs above rank #100 jumped an average of 2 rounds in the rankings.

    5) Position flexibility is a bit more tricky of an issue, but I still think math can be applied. As an example, let’s say I’m trying to choose my first backup infielder. Player A is SS eligible and my projection is 300 FPts. Player B is 2B/SS/3B eligible and my projection is 260 FPts. I wouldn’t want to mess with FPts projections but I would want to manipulate my player ranking. Assuming the ranking system is numerical (and not manual logic) then a bonus hidden cat could be incorporated with a slider for a % bump for each additional position. In this example if I set the lever to +10% then Player B would receive a 52 point bump (2 extra positions), for a new hidden total of 312 FPts. Player B is my guy. To relate a practical implication, you are not going to exceed more than about 120 games from your Catcher slot without a backup, and your “on-the-hot-seat” closer would feel a lot less risky if you also had the setup man who is next in line (and also generating useful stats). These are two luxuries we often forgo in exchange for a flashy name 11-15 position ranked backup infielder. While your flashy backup SS sits behind your 4th ranked SS and is used for just 14 games in your active roster, that boring backup catcher you hate ends up playing 45 games for you. Who do you think is going to contribute more fantasy points to your team? The only reason it was possible for you to roster that crappy backup catcher was because you have several multi-position infielders on your team. I’d call that value worthy of accounting for numerically in a model.

    6) Year-in Year-out, my favorite cheat code is probably still the SP/RP eligible pitcher. For anyone reading this, how many of you think Chad Green and Gregory Soto are going to be important enough to be difference makers? Well I do and let me tell you why. Based on my league settings they are projected to be the 176 and 250 highest scoring pitchers respectively. The model places them 268 and 351 in the rankings, in other words undraftable based on either of these perspectives. If you play in a league with a fairly low max innings limit and firm SP/RP slots, those RP slots are extremely valuable. Neither Green or Soto are likely to be worthy of occupying the 3 RP slots in my league. I’m going to segue way for a second and then real it back in the point. In leagues with an innings cap there is only one stat that matters at the end of the day, and that is Points/per IP (assuming you max your innings – and if you don’t my thoughts aren’t for you). There are MANY relief pitchers that will finish with an average Pts/IP well above even the elite SPs. Way more than could fit into the 3 RP slots across 10 and 12 team leagues. However, there are very few who are slated to open the season as a closer or #1 setup man and also come with SP/RP eligibility. They will almost certainly help raise your overall Pts/IP and because of their SP/RP designation they can remain in your active lineup throughout the season. The same type of logic can be applied to SP/RP starting pitchers for leagues with only weekly lineups. Earlier I mentioned incorporating a hidden field to incorporate the value of batters with multiple position eligibility and same logic for building SP/RP value into the rankings can be applied.

    7) I saved a variable I think is extremely important but also extremely challenging to model for last, and that is the IP limit most daily transactional leagues use. The dynamics of incorporating a running accumulated total of predicted IP is only possible during a draft in progress, and even then the logic gets extremely difficult (maybe impossible) to execute in a meaningful way. Since I can’t think of a way to properly model it I won’t belabor the point. I will say that you should definitely keep a manual running total of your expected IP while you’re drafting so you don’t go overboard or come up too short.

    I enter every fantasy season with the mentality that the only way someone other than me is going to win this league is if they hit on an unusually high number of “lottery tickets” or my team suffers an insurmountable number of injuries. It’s not cockiness, it’s a byproduct of knowing that in all likelihood there is an extra gear or two in my data analysis compared to my competition. It’s a belief that once past the 4/5 round, the player I draft is going to beat generic expected value by 1-2 rounds (or higher) for the remainder of the draft. The accumulation of this value is what wins leagues, not the players picked in the first 4 rounds. Knowledge is power is fantasy sports and the more refined that knowledge is, the better chance we have of beating skilled opponents. Thanks to models like this we don’t have to refine that knowledge alone in a vacuum.

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
      (link)

      This is a fantastic comment. I don’t have the time right now to give you a hearty reply, but I will get back at you when I do.

      • Matt McClure says:
        (link)

        Thanks, I’m definitely interested in your thoughts when you have time. I hope my comment came across as complimentary because that was the intent, along with providing (hopefully) a few new ideas. It’s all about continuous improvement! We all have to release information in a timely manner or hit deadlines, but the answer to the question “when is it finished?”, is never.

Comments are closed.