2016 Fantasy Baseball Rankings (w/ Steamer Proj’s)

It’s Holiday time. Here is my Holiday present to you: 2016 Fantasy Baseball Rankings and $ Values using Steamer Projections and NFBC’s Format: (2)c,1b,2b,3b,ss,ci,mi,(5)of,u,(9)p and (17)bench spots.

For review, I’ll discuss the approach after the rankings, but you can check out Zach’s FVARz series of posts as well. Zach and I do a few things differently, but I use this template over others, such as SGP because I like how hands-on it allows you to be when ranking your projections. It allows for both pragmatism (drafting a certain number of players within a specific position for your league format) and objectivity (focusing on the Z-Sum/5×5 value of each player). I will describe below:

There are three tabs: Hitters, Pitchers and the posted “$” for dollar values and combined Hitter-Pitcher rankings.

The Approach:

I’m going to attend only to hitters, but the same approach is used for pitchers (separating SP and RP from each other though…feel free to comment with questions).

I exported each position within Steamer’s projections, removed duplicates and players that likely won’t reach the majors/will retire. I also associated players to their most scarce positions. DH’s, such as David Ortiz are with 1B’s.  For your convenience, in the hitters tab, you will find the 1B’s highlighted in Red if they DH only.

Finding Means and Standard Deviations for Z-Scores:

I combined all hitters and sorted by Plate Appearances. For 40 roster spots * 15 teams, I determined that in general, 360 hitters will be drafted. I therefore sort by PA and pull the mean and standard deviation for each 5×5 stat (HR,R,RBI,SB,AVG) for the first 360 hitters (hitters with 237+ PA).

The 5×5 Z-Sums are in the 10th column (in the Hitters tab).

Position Adjustments:

Now comes the pragmatic objectivity. Stick to the Hitters tab. It’s currently sorted in the way that will make the most sense to you. For the means and standard deviations, we used the universe of hitters that will be drafted (360). Here, we are looking at the number of hitters that will be on active rosters (210) = 14 hitting roster spots * 15 teams. There are therefore 210 hitters “Above Replacement Value.” We have to find the replacement value/player within each position; take their Z-Sum and adjust all other players in that same position by that Z-Sum.

For example, in this format, approximately 30 1B will be drafted for 1B, CI and U slots. The replacement player is therefore the 31st 1B (Justin Bour). Bour’s Z-Sum is -0.12. We therefore add .12 to him and all other 1B. His “PosAdj” (column 11) value becomes 0.00, which will turn into $1.00 when we associated a dollar value.

The objectivity is adhering to the Z-sums. You don’t want to put another few 1B’s above replacement value, because the next 1B will have a Z-Sum that approaches our 2B/SS replacement value, and we know that middle infielders are more scarce than 1B. Scroll to the right in the hitter tab for the replacement players and associated Z-Sums used for the position adjustments:

C: JR Murphy = -5.04

1B: Justin Bour = +.12

2B: Johnny Giavotella = -0.58

3B: Jake Lamb = -0.63

SS: Brad Miller = -0.86

OF: Rusney Castillo = -0.61

SP: Jeremy Hellickson = -1.56

RP: Jason Grilli = -0.98

Now you should know exactly what you’re looking at in the Hitters (and Pitchers) tab.


The Auction conversion is right from Zach’s series: [(260-(1*23))/23]*(FVARz / average FVARz for above-replacement players) + 1.

260 = Budget

23 = # of active players per team

FVARz = Position Adjusted Z-Sum

Average FVARz for above-replacement players = the average Position Adjusted Z-Sum for all hitters and pitchers “above the replacement value” i.e. our active roster players. Our avgFVARz = 3.27.

For example, Mike Trout had a 5×5 Z-Sum of 12.70. It was adjusted by Rusney Castillo’s -0.61 to jump up to 13.31. This outputs $42.95 = [(260-(1*23))/23]*(13.31/3.27)+1.


The embedded file was updated on 12/22 at 10:32 EST.

Miguel Sano was moved from 3B to 1B (highlighted in red in the Hitters tab since he is currently Util-eligible only).

Keep in mind that Steamer has known closers at 65 IP and 28 Saves. In reality, Dellin Betances would sky rocket in value with more IP and more saves if the Yankees trade Andrew Miller.

Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard are 18 spots apart at #26 to #43. That’s awesome. Let’s go Mets!

We hoped you liked reading 2016 Fantasy Baseball Rankings (w/ Steamer Proj’s) by Daniel Schwartz!

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Daniel Schwartz contributes for RotoGraphs when he's not selling industry leading thermal packaging. You can follow him on twitter @RotoBanter

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Bluebird in Boulder
Bluebird in Boulder

Troy Tulowitzki will go undrafted? Can I join your league?