Author Archive

Bust Candidates According to Steamer: Infielders

I ran the 2016 Steamer projections through Zach Sanders’ Fantasy Value Above Replacement system and compared the results to early ADP data. Below I’ve got a player at each infield position that the Steamer projections think are unlikely to live up to their draft day price.

Matt Wieters, C, Baltimore Orioles

Wieters coming off the board as the ninth catcher on average makes little sense. For one, drafters are counting on a big bounce back in health from a now 30-year-old catcher. Wieters has a combined 394 plate appearances in the last two seasons. Staying healthy and getting enough PA to be a relevant fantasy option in shallow mixed leagues will be Wieters’ biggest obstacle this season.

But let’s not forget that he wasn’t that great in his last healthy season in 2013. Per our end of season valuations for that year, Wieters was barely starter-caliber in 12-team mixed leagues. His biggest issue that season was a .235 batting average, which was undoubtedly somewhat affected by some bad luck on balls in play. But since that time Wieters has been striking out more, as his strikeout rate was was a career-high 23.8 percent last year in 282 PA. So even assuming better health and an absence of bad luck on balls in play, Wieters seems unlikely to hit for much average. Steamer has a low-but-reasonable projection for Wieters’ BABIP and a 20.3 percent projected strikeout rate with a projection for his average of .244.

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Tiered Shortstop Rankings: August

With two months to go, we’ll do one more reboot of the tiered shortstop rankings. Perhaps next month we’ll do some keeper rankings. The rankings below were derived by running our rest-of-season depth chart projections through the z-score method with a few names getting moved around by moi. Read the rest of this entry »

Differences in Daily Scoring Systems — Pitchers

I frequently hear/read about the importance of strikeouts on DraftKings. A strikeout is worth two points on DK, so hitting double digit strikeouts is a good way for a pitcher to put up a good total for the day. But 10-plus strikeouts is obviously a good thing no matter how much a strikeout is worth. That’s why I’ve always found the seemingly shared idea that strikeouts are king on DK to be a bit strange. On the other major DFS platform, FanDuel, a strikeout is worth only one point, but the average pitcher score on FD is a lot lower than it is on DK, so the simple “2>1” math isn’t really relevant. Read the rest of this entry »

Bounce Back Candidates According to Steamer

As I so often do, I ran some numbers through the z-score method yesterday. I ran each player’s 2015 numbers through as well as the Steamer rest-of-season projections and compared the results. Given the cumulative nature of fantasy production, I looked at each player’s production, actual and projected, on a per plate appearance basis to get an idea about who the projection system thinks is going to bounce back in the second half. Read the rest of this entry »

Filling Categorical Needs at Shortstop

Most add/drop questions I get on Twitter ask from the perspective of which player has the highest overall value. My response generally requests additional information, usually about what the team’s categorical needs are. The lack of this information in the original query could sometimes be due to the fact that it’s hard to ask a question and provide background info in 140 characters, but it seems that more often the categorical needs of an owner’s team are not a major consideration.

I’m tasked with writing about shortstops on Mondays, so I wanted to look at the shortstops owned in less than half of leagues who can best help you address categorical needs. I’ll only be addressing home runs, steals and batting average as there would be some overlap were I to discuss runs and RBI separately. I’ll try to list a player owned in less than 50 percent of leagues and one owned in less than 10 percent of leagues to try and help out deeper league players. Read the rest of this entry »

Tiered Shortstop Rankings: July

An even-thinner-than-normal shortstop position got some reinforcements in June with Carlos Correa and Francisco Lindor getting the call. If you’re not convinced that shortstop is as shallow as ever, consider the following, which shows that a steadily declining position has seen a big decline this season. Read the rest of this entry »

Talent Versus Opportunity in the Bullpen

Many a fantasy article has pointed out that opportunity is a major factor in a player’s fantasy value, sometimes moreso than their actual talent level. I would argue this applies more to fantasy football than it does to fantasy baseball. In fantasy football, one guy for each team throws passes. One guy generally gets the bulk of the rushing attempts. Simply being in that role will allow a player to accumulate fantasy points and thus have value, even though that player might not actually be that good. Read the rest of this entry »

Bradding Miller

Too big of a reach on the title?

As I tend to do on Sundays when considering a topic for my Monday post on shortstops, I was perusing the leaderboards and settled on Brad Miller as today’s topic. What caught my eye with Miller was that he has the lowest BABIP of any healthy shortstop with a wRC+ north of 100. Read the rest of this entry »

Factoring Bullpens Into DFS Decisions

About three or four times each week I create projections and player rankings for DFS contests. As an example, you can find my breakdown of tonight’s DFS action here ($). My projections start with the rest-of-season ZiPS projections, which I break down to a per-game basis. I then adjust each projection for matchup and ball park.

For hitters, the matchup adjustment is based on the wOBA allowed by the starting pitcher they will be facing against hitters of the same handedness since the start of the 2014 season. When small sample sizes apply, I manually set the matchup adjustment. But it recently occurred to me that adjustments for matchup should probably include the strength of the opponent’s bullpen. To date, starters are pitching an average of 5.88 innings per game this year, meaning my matchup adjustment is ignoring roughly a third of each hitter’s plate appearances. Read the rest of this entry »

Francisco Lindor’s Fantasy Value

With Carlos Correa playing in his first major league game last Monday, the fantasy gods provided me the most obvious topic for a Rotographs post as the guy on the SS beat on Mondays. Well, the gods have smiled on me again with Francisco Lindor getting the call and likely to start his first major league game tonight. Read the rest of this entry »