If you’re not a fan of The Walking Dead or haven’t watched last week’s episode, then you can just skip this paragraph. Am I that only one that cheered when that arrow shot through Denise’s eye? That was awesome. Her insufferable rant made me want to jump into the television and drop the People’s Elbow on that thang. Thankfully the writers took care of that for me. I also loved seeing Daryl reunited with his crossbow. Welcome back! With only two episodes left I’m on the edge of my seat waiting to see what will happen. Here’s my theory. A major character has to die. It’s happened every season. So who’s going to die? My money is on Glen. Here’s why? The writers have already teased his death. Back in episode 3 “Thank You” Glen appeared to meet his demise after he fell off the dumpster. It wasn’t until episode 7 “Heads Up“, four weeks later, that we found out he survived. I believe the writers were testing the waters to see how the fans would react to killing off Glen. That’s my theory. With that said, if they kill off Daryl I’m going to lose my sh*t. Literally!

If you skipped the previous paragraph because you don’t watch, you don’t know what you are missing. If you skipped because you don’t like it, I think less of you. If you just haven’t watched Episode 14: “Twice as Far”, what are you waiting for?

For those that read my posts last year you will know that, in points leagues, I won’t touch a hitter that strikes out a lot with a ten foot pole. Unless I was in a league that didn’t subtract for strikeouts. But that would never be the case because I wouldn’t participate in such a league. A player like Chris Davis is NEVER going to be on my roster. Neither is Kris Bryant or Chris Carter. Does having a first name that phonetically sounds like “Chris” mean you are more prone to striking out? I have a feeling Joey Gallo and Miguel Sano are going to find themselves on that list very soon. I’m really hoping that as Bryant matures he is able to bring down his strikeout rate.

Let’s play the SAT game for a moment. Do high school students still take the SAT? Am I dating myself? Who cares. He you go. Strikeouts are to hitters as [blanks] are to pitchers. The correct answer is “walks”. I can’t stand pitchers that walk batters. Just about nothing good ever comes from a walk. Walks lead to earned runs, losses and quickly increase a pitchers pitch count resulting in an early exit from the game. In points leagues they should also result in at least one negative point. Walks are a lose/lose type of thing for a pitcher.

Clayton Kershaw is projected to issue 1.83 walks per nine innings. Among pitchers expected to start at least 25 games, only Phil Hughes, Michael Pineda, David Price, Masahiro Tanaka, Hisashi Iwakuma and Jordan Zimmermann project lower. Now let’s look at the flip side of this stat. This first name hurts. Carlos Rodon is projected to walk 4.06 batters over nine innings. I really want to love this kid. As I always say “projections are nothing more than projections”. I really hope his control improves as he garners more MLB experience. At least he has the high K/9 rate (9.27) to counter this atrocious stat. Trevor Bauer, Taylor Jungmann, Ubaldo Jimenez, Lance McCullers, Jorge de la Rosa, Hector Santiago, C.J. Wilson, Tom Kohler, Gio Gonzalez, Edinson Volquez and Jeff Locke all walk too many batters. Tyson Ross and Francisco Liriano do as well, but they both strikeout slightly more than a batter per inning. This is who I think Rodon can be with just a slight improvement.

And don’t get me started on closers that walk batters. In points leagues they should be minus five! That’s an exaggeration, but you get the point. Closers I am avoiding include A.J. Ramos, J.J Hoover and Fernando Rodney. I was probably avoiding them anyway.

I have attached an updated version of my projections and rankings spreadsheet at the bottom of this post. Projections have been modified and so have rankings. I have added a tab (worksheet) for DH, however when calculating FVARz for the overall rankings those players have been put with either 1B or OF. This is because most points leagues do not have a DH-only position in their lineup and had I ranked them as such, their numbers would have been out of proportion. So guys like Prince Fielder and David Ortiz have been added to the 1B pool to give them better overall perspective.

I have also added a column on the “Rankings” worksheet for league. Please note that filtering by league will not update FVARz or Z-Score values. That would take a whole lot of work which I do not have time for right now. Sorry to those in AL or NL only leagues. You can still use my spreadsheet to determine individual positional rankings. You just won’t have position adjusted overall rankings.

This latest version also includes up to date ADP values. The last one had ADP from over a week ago. In the last week there have been thousands and thousands of drafts that will help make the sample size much larger, and more accurate. The ADP values I use come from head-to-head points league drafts only. Most that you will find on the internet are from roto formats. Don’t make that mistake.

Here are a few bits of advice for those of you that are still awaiting your big draft.

  1. If you’re a drinker, do so after the draft. A guy in one of my drafts got so loaded that he drafted Adam LaRoche in the 18th round. That’s not a true story, but at least I didn’t say Oscar Taveras.
  2. Don’t ignore RP with SP eligibility. They can come in very handy during their two-start weeks. The pitchers that are eligible vary from league to league based on the the number of games required at a position. A few weeks ago Rudy provided us all with a list which can be found here: SP/RP Eligibility
  3. Take Mike Trout over Bryce Harper
  4. “K Rate” has been added for all batters. This number represents how often the player is projected to strike out as compared to the number of plate appearances (not at bats).
  5. For hitters I have also added a column which represents “points per week” (PPW). This is a bit experimental, but attempts to project the average number of points the player will score per week. A word to the wise. The number is practically impossible to project since players have streaks and slumps. Even the most consistent of hitters will have his up and downs in respect to points scored in a week. Consider this column for sh!ts and giggles. Points per plate appearance is a more useful stat.
  6. If I’ve learned anything from the three points league drafts I’ve completed so far this year it’s that after the first 6-8 rounds, ADP slowly starts to go out the door. By round 10-12 I’d suggest you start grabbing the guys you want. Just don’t take a guy in the 12th round that isn’t being drafted in the majority of drafts.
  7. In the early rounds (first 8) try and get the best players available. This is where ADP helps. Grab the “studs” that are pretty much guaranteed to not be there by the next round. Even if the best available player is not the one you wanted. Don’t pass up a good player by being stubborn.
  8. A walk is as not as good as a hit. It’s almost as good as a single, but a single has more potential to drive in a run.
  9. Cover yourself with multi-position players such as Ben Zobrist, Josh Harrison, Daniel Murphy and Anthony Rendon. They might not be studs, but they can come in very handy. I even like Addison Russell in the later rounds.
  10. Don’t forget, if you league has four keepers, then the first round in your draft is really the 5th round. Math is your friend.

On a side note, I am looking to start a new points league keeper league with some of my readers. Below are the basic rules. I am doing something a bit creative with the standings to help eliminate luck, but I can get explain that to those that are interested. I am thinking that the draft (auction) will be either Thursday (3/31) or Friday(4/1) night at 9pm EST. If you are interested, please let me know in the comments section below.

10 Teams, H2H Points League (Keepers), $50 Buy-in, Online Auction Draft ($300), 18-week regular season
Roster: 30 players (23 starters)
C, C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, CI, MI, OF, OF, OF, OF, OF, OF, UTIL
B, B, B, B, B, B, B
Scoring System:
1B(1), 2B(2), 3B(3), HR(5), R(1), RBI(1), HIT(1.5), SB(1), BB(1), CS(-1), KO(-1)
IP(3), K(1.5), BB(-1.5), H(-1), ER(-1), W(5), L(-5), S(7), BS(-3), WP(-1), HB (-1), PO (1)
Bonuses: CYC (25), NH (20), CG (5), PG (50)

Download the spreadsheet here!