There is a LOT of information available for fantasy owners to try and digest these days. New writers and podcasts emerge every day (over 500 different fantasy analysts by last count). New stats and ways of slicing and dicing existing data are constantly emerging. Don’t get me wrong – I love the latest Statcast research as much as the next guy. But fantasy writers often pile up the acronyms and exotic statistics, as if 2000 words on spin rate has inherent interest just because it’s in-depth. It can be hard to find actionable fantasy moves in a table with 10 varying components of xStats.
I’m kicking off a new series today, utilizing data visualization to try and narrow in on fantasy baseball insights. Good visualization helps you achieve your goals by channeling success onto your subconscious until your reality lines up with your drea….I’ve been watching too much late-night Tony Robbins. Good data visualization takes complex raw data and translates it into easily-understood, actionable images.
Between preparing for drafts and actually doing the drafts I’d be lying if I said I feel refreshed now that it’s over. In fact I’m quite exhausted and have found myself walking around in a zombie-like fashion the past two weeks. And it doesn’t help that I don’t drink coffee. Never have. Most people find it fascinating when I tell them that at 42 years of age I have never had a single drop. It’s just not my cup of tea. I mean coffee. Whatever. Truth be told, drafting season is my favorite part of the whole experience. Watching the season play out is often stressful, disappointing and underwhelming. This is generally true even during successful championship seasons. Anticipation is often greater than realization. I’m looking forward to watching Carlos Correa, Trevor Story and Javier Baez fall far short of their ADPs.
We all believe in Grey. That is why we are here. It is why we read every recap, every buy/sell, and why we all spend hours, and countless reams of paper, printing Grey’s rankings. We want to dominate our fantasy baseball drafts and our leagues and do everything in our power to humiliate and destroy our friends (which is what true friendship is all about).
Razzball was built on the power of Grey’s Greydar and his ability to spot fantasy baseball studs before anyone else. It works because Grey’s Greydar is a million times better than anyone else’s Greydar since he is Grey and everyone else is not. Keep in mind, however, that ranking players is not black and white. There are many shades of grey, which explains why Grey is the best Grey there is.
Nevertheless, even the best will have a few misses when ranking hundreds of players. This is why I have been tasked with questioning the Greyness of Grey’s great Greydar, specifically the players that Grey may have overrated for this upcoming season. We are calling this analysis: Over the Greydar.
In this first installment of Over the Greydar I focus on an older pitcher who has been dominate (most of the time) over his career and is coming off a season in which he finished 4th in the NL Cy Young race. While this pitcher needs to be ranked somewhere near the top, I think that Grey may be a little too high on him this season:
It’s finally February, football is in the rear view mirror, spring training is on the horizon, and it’s time to start breaking out the player ranks and loading up the mock drafts (or waiting for Yahoo to let us). While we wait for any MLB team to sign a free agent I have been struggling on which players I plan on keeping this season in my keeper leagues. I’m not talking about Dynasty leagues, where you keep every player, but the leagues where you only can keep two, three, or at most five players every season. These types of keeper leagues seem to be a mainstay for dedicated players and leagues as of late. I have noticed it’s rarely the same players you’re keeping every season, especially if you have so few to keep…
Keeper leagues can be tough because every draft is going to be so unique. Whether each team is keeping two players or five your draft is going to look very different when missing multiple draft day studs forcing you to go into the draft with a completely different strategy. Do you want to keep a great player but forfeit a top pick or somebody not as proven but for a much lower pick? Do you go with the respected fantasy players you can count on like Mike Trout and Clayton Kershaw or with the young guns with the high ceiling and questionable floor like Cody Bellinger and Luis Severino?
What factored into my list was how much you can trust each player, what round they were taken the previous season, how good of a fantasy contributor have they been throughout their career, their team, age, etc. Even though every league has different keeper numbers and keeper rules I have ranked out 10 tiers of my top 40 keepers. This list is mainly skewed for leagues with just a handful of keepers. Most of the rankings consist of top players going in the first couple rounds or players that majorly outperformed their ADP last season. I did leave off some guys who I would take in the earlier rounds like Corey Seager, Francisco Lindor, and Justin Verlanderbecause the juice just might not be worth the squeeze. Getting Aaron Judge or Cody Bellinger in the last few rounds this year is almost laughable and hard to pass up even with your 2nd or 3rd overall pick. Below is my Top 40 separated into tiers of how important I see these players going into keeper leagues.
At this point, points leagues should be over or wrapping up today (Sunday). I hate when fantasy leagues carry on into the last weeks of the MLB season and teams are handicapped when their players, usually pitchers, are shut down. In my main points league the World Series ended with week 22. No championship should be decided because one team lost its ace because he had reached his innings limit. Although there are some that will contend that is all part of the package when you roster said player. After all the Nationals did shut down Strasburg in 2012. Regardless, it is now week 25, sh!t or get off the pot!
Now that the points leagues season is over, at least as far as I am concerned, I have decided to announce my 2016 Points League Awards. Television has the Emmys. Broadway has the Tonys. Movies have the Oscars. Music has the Grammys. And points leagues have the Malamoneys.
Just a quick explanation. The “Best” category is awarded to the best overall player at a position. The “MVP” award considers other factors such as average draft position and position eligibility into its equation.
Stephen Strasburg hitting the disabled list puts the punctuation mark on the end of my fantasy baseball season. This has not been a season I’d like to remember. Despite having the third most points scored in my head-to-head points league, I am sitting one spot out of last place. The only take home is that I will have the second pick in next year’s draft. Can’t wait. Seriously though I couldn’t be more ready for fantasy football at this point. However, I still have an obligation to my four readers. Wait, do I? Grey? Ok fine! Not everyone is in the same position as me (or is it “as I”). I guess it’s whatever I write. It’s not like the grammar police is one of my four followers. And if they are, what are the chances they will correct me.
So where did I go wrong this season? Coming off a championship season, how did I fall so far? Was it just bad luck or bad decisions? Or was it the fact that I had last pick?
Note: My Fantasy Football RCL is almost full and drafts tonight! Join here…
Not even a back injury can keep Clayton Kershaw from the top spot in my points leagues rankings. I thought about going with “He’ll Be Back” as my title considering his current DL designation, but I’m not really sure of the extent of his injury. However, Clayton Kershaw can probably get you more points while on the disabled list than several other pitchers whom are not. That’s actually a true statement considering multiple pitchers have turned in negative performances. Edinson Volquez, Eduardo Rodriguez, Dan Straily and James Shields are among those that have recently subtracted points from their teams’ totals. Plus, then I would have had to fill this post with both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Terminator references.
Last week I promised I’d focus on pitchers in the following week. Today is next week. It almost feels like time travel. Weird. Since I am a man of my word, here you go. Like last week, today’s pitcher rankings are based 70 percent on year-to-date performance, 30 percent on rest of season projections and 10 percent on experimental formulas.
A good salesman can sell ice to an eskimo. Notice I did not say honest salesman. I also said salesman instead of salesperson. Hopefully that did not offend my one female reader. After all, she does make up ten percent of my followers. Sorry token girl reader. Back to the guy that’s going to sell you a mattress when all you came into the store for was a pillow. For years, used car salesmen have been considered the prototypical charlatan. I’m not sure if charlatan is the right word, but I really want to use it, so it’s been crowbarred into today’s post.
What in Grey’s name does this have to do with fantasy baseball? One word. Trades. When making a trade in fantasy baseball, what we are really doing is selling one or more players in return for other player(s). Your opportunity to make a favorable trade relies upon your ability to sell your players for more than they are worth, or buy your opponents players for less than they’re worth. And if you can do both, perhaps you should open a used car lot. Razzcars! They sound fast.
How do you like your eggs? Sonny side up or with a side of space cakes? I guess that depends if you’re from Oakland or Colorado. Speaking of space cakes, did you hear Tim Lincecum is making a comeback. In two minor league starts for the Salt Lake Bees he is 0-2 with 11 strikeouts, 5 walks and 5 earned runs in 10 innings. The only number I don’t like there is the five walks, but for a guy that hasn’t pitched since June 27 of last year perhaps these numbers aren’t that bad. Maybe Tiny Tim has something left in the tank. I’m not dropping anyone of consequence for him, but if I had a guy like Phil Hughes, Shelby Miller or Mike Fierssitting on my bench, I might take shot on the two-time Cy Young Award winner. It’s a long shot, but you never know.
Don’t let the title fool you, I am by no means a Styx fan. I actually had to look up who sang this song when I decided to use it. Does anyone even say “look up” any more or has the term been officially replaced with “google”. Speaking of Google, whatever happened to the “I’m feeling lucky” button. I wonder how many times Clint Eastwood clicked that thing? I wonder if he sued Google to have the button removed. I have questions that need answers. In the meantime, let’s talk points leagues. For weeks I’ve been promising to focus on pitchers in one of these posts and today’s the lucky day. Do you feel lucky?