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C  -  1B  -  2B  -  SS  -  3B  -  OF  -  SP  -  RP

10 Top 100 Fades

Spring is the time for optimism. That’s why you see a lot more articles about breakouts and sleepers than busts. It’s easier to see the good in a player and how things can go right. But not today. It’s time to journey over to the dark side.

The truth of it is that many flops have some sort of injury component tied to them. The obvious ones are where they miss a ton of time and don’t really perform once they return. But then there’s ones like Brian Dozier’s 2018. We didn’t learn until late in 2018 that played most of the season with a deep bone bruise that undoubtedly played a role in his 90 wRC+, a six-year low. Sometimes a player just falls back and fails to meet expectations, though.

I’ve identified 10 players within the top 100 that I’m fading. Cost plays a major role here as I could see myself buying some of them if they became available several rounds later. In addition to their draft cost, I’m going to focus on their skills profile for reasons why I’m fading them and not just lean on potential injury.

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Will the Dark Knight Rise in Southern California?

Once upon a time, Matt Harvey was good. Awesome, in fact! Then the Mets overused him. Harvey suffered through Tommy John surgery, thoracic outlet syndrome, and just general ineffectiveness before the former draft day darling was essentially forgotten this year. Right now, the erstwhile Dark Knight of Gotham is being drafted outside the top 120 pitchers and top 400 players. That’s for good reason; last year’s 4.94 ERA and 4.57 FIP don’t inspire much confidence. But it also makes the Dark Knight someone who makes a remarkably good sleeper, especially in a traditionally starting pitching class. Harvey might have the most upside of any undrafted pitcher this year – because we know what he can do at his best, and that’s a top-5 pitcher in baseball.

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National League Lineup Analysis

I decided to dive into the latest Spring Training lineups to see if any possible trends are emerging. Today, I’ll start with the National League.

Note: I just looked through the lineups and didn’t read up on each team. There is probably a good chance the manager has stated a different plan during the season.


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Is 2019 A LIMA Year?

Consensuses make me nervous. When everybody agrees, there’s usually a way to profit with a contrarian approach. This season features perhaps the most monolithic consensus I’ve seen in the last decade. Ace starting pitchers are the key to life, liberty, the cosmos, and a rockin’ bikini bod. You can’t possibly contend without at least one ace. Multiple aces are preferred. This leads me to ask a question…

Is 2019 a LIMA year?

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2019 Pod vs Steamer — ERA Upside

Let’s continue our comparison of the 2019 Pod Projections (last year’s most accurate non-aggregate forecasting system!) and the Steamer projections. Today, we move on to pitchers, where I’ll compare our ERA projections. First, it’s worth noting that Steamer is far more pessimistic on ERA than Pod is, so there are more upside guys than downside. It’s not a big deal for fantasy baseball though, as value is driven by projected stats versus replacement. So whether the league ERA is projected at 11.00 and Chris Sale is at 9.50 or the league is at 4.50 and Sale is at 3.00, it doesn’t make a difference from a valuation perspective.

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Justin Mason Baseball Chat: 3/20/19

Here is the chat transcript for the start of the game. If you are interested in me doing it again for the next game, please say so in the comment section.


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The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 659 – Late Round Hitters to Target


The latest episode of “The Sleeper and the Bust” is brought to you by Out of the Park Baseball 20, the best baseball strategy game ever made – PRE-ORDERS AVAILABLE NOW on PC, Mac, and Linux platforms for the March 22nd release! Go to ootpdevelopments.com to order now and save 10% with the code SLEEPER20!

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Late Hitters I Like

ADP (select Main Event in the second column)

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Brad Johnson Baseball Chat: 3/19/2019

A wild chat transcript has appeared. Throw pokeball!

Brad Johnson: Let’s get the queue rolling. We’ll start in a few minutes.

Brad Johnson:

The Trout Deal…

Team Wins (24.5% | 51 votes)
Trout Wins (11.0% | 23 votes)
Both Win (64.4% | 134 votes)

Total Votes: 208
JC at the Bat: Hi Brad –  10 Team NL only auction.  Deciding between my last 2 keepers.  I am thinking either Strop / AJ Minter (theoretically could not have to bid on a closer) or L Castillo / Marquez (2 low floor, high ceiling lottery picks).  The Auction calculator say to go with the latter, and I hate wasting keeper spots on closers….but SAVES!  Any advice?

Brad Johnson: Definitely go for the SP

Brad Johnson: I think I still prefer Marquez by a small margin (was asked the same Castillo or Marquez in past weeks)

Brad Johnson: They’re both very talented pitchers with some ballpark and track record issues.

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Tout Wars Auction & NFBC Draft Recaps

I’m headed back from a weekend in New York City after participating in the 15-team Tout Wars mixed auction and a NFBC Main Event league. It was great catching up with everyone and meeting some new faces such as our first president. The weekend didn’t completely consisit of bagels and beers. I had work to do and compiled a couple of teams. Here are my thoughts which other fantasy owners may find helpful.

Pre-weekend thoughts (written before either event).

  • Historically the Tout Wars hitter/pitcher split has been a steady 70%/30%. With pitchers being taken earlier and earlier this season, I wonder if this split will change. I’m creating my values with the 70/30 split but know I may need to adjust the split on the fly. Read the rest of this entry »

Draft Review: Tout Wars Head-to-Head Points

This past weekend was Tour Wars weekend in New York City. The committee extended me an invitation, likely by mistake, into its head-to-head points league auction. I’ll take a moment to self-indulge and say it’s pretty surreal to finally, like, reach the pinnacle, in a sense. I appreciate and am endlessly grateful for the kind words folks have extended my way in the past few weeks and months and years.

Rudy Gamble, of Razzball fame and a delightful human being whom I finally met in person Friday night, passed along to me positive feedback about my recent draft recaps (NFBC, TGFBI, Rotoballer mock), which seem to have been a helpful prep tool this preseason for some folks. I endeavor to provide a recap that goes beyond a simple list and self-aggrandizement — it would fundamentally misrepresent my rampant self-doubt. Besides, I think it’s helpful to articulate a plan and, when a plan falls apart, how a plan changes mid-draft.

This draft review differs from previous reviews in that the Tout Wars head-to-head points league spawns from an auction draft and not a snake. (A classic auction, each of the 12 teams was allocated $260 to fill 24-man rosters.) Thus, the structure will vary and may be a bit rough around the edges. Still, let’s give this a shot.

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