Author Archive

My NFBC Draft Champions Review

You have seen some Tout and LABR reviews for the past few weeks here on the site. We all can’t be so lucky to participate in such glorious leagues. On the other hand, we can all take part in NFBC leagues.

NFBC’s $150 NFBC Draft Champions leagues are a perfect format for me:

a) I have impending time constraints including my first child in June!

b) I didn’t have to ask my wife for permission to use our mutual bank account.

c) I was able to dwell on each pick if/when needed (8 hours to make a pick) and

d) There are no trades or free agent pick-ups once the draft is complete. This feature is my wife’s favorite, and I appreciate the preventative collusion measures. I am also much more interested in draft strategy and player projections/rankings/draft position than I am jumping on small sample sizes in-season.

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ADP – Draft Position Consistency

Average Draft Position or ADP is very valuable. I weighed NFBC’s ADP into my personal NFBC Draft Champion rankings equally to my position-adjusted composite projections (Baseball HQ combined with RotoChamp composites (Steamer, ZIP’s, etc.)) and the results were great. I used this, our pitcher arsenal scores and these hitter analytics  as my three main draft tools.

I wanted to take evaluating draft position one step further. I want to understand how consistent each player is drafted near their ADP.

Howard Bender, who manages Mock Draft Army provided me with the raw draft results of 19 expert drafts (NFBC format: 2c-1b-2b-3b-ss-ci-mi-5of-9p). It’s not the largest sample, but they are expert drafts, and the drafts that I have taken part in definitely provided great references.

The Approach:

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Dan Schwartz’s Bold Predictions for 2015 Fantasy Baseball

As I write this, Mike Trout is sporting a .556 batting average in Spring Training. I also had the pleasure of drafting him first overall in my NFBC Draft Champions league. To celebrate his feat and my luck, I am shooting for at least five of nine of the following bold predictions.

Here goes (extra ballsy right from the start):

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Two Last Draft Tools

I’m a dweller in general. In slow drafts, I am the ultimate dweller. In the past, I would have ten+ tabs open at a given time when my draft slots were approaching: FanGraphs player profiles; RotoGraphs consensus rankings; Brooks Baseball Player Cards; BP’s PITCHf/x leaderboard; Rotoworld player news; the list goes on.

Then, prior to draft season, Jeff, Eno and I worked on these Arsenal Scores so that you can compare pitcher repertoires. You now have a go-to pitcher matrix if you’re dwelling on a cluster of pitchers.

Last week, Jeff Zimmerman furnished this glorious Hitter Analytics post, which provided us with a go-to hitter matrix when we’re dwelling on a cluster of hitters.

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May this Schwartz be with you: 2015 Fantasy Baseball Rankings

Last week, we came out with our Top 300. The outcomes looked excellent and I would not hesitate simply using the presented composites for your drafts.

CoolWinnebago asked if we would present our approaches. I provided a high level summary under bago’s comment, but I’ll summarize and then embed my personal rankings (without all the highlighting of my targets of course).

Feel free to skip toward the bottom for my embedded rankings, but here is the context/approach:

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Marcus Stroman: Your AL East Jordan Zimmermann

Jeff Sullivan pointed out that Stroman discovered Roy Halladay’s Sinker and presented his arsenal change (Fourseam and Cutter swapped for more Sinkers):



Stroman upped his Sinker usage and was comfortable using the pitch despite the count situation. From Sullivan’s post on 2/13:

Stroman was comfortable using the sinker when behind in the count against all hitters. Same when he was ahead in the count. Same when he was even. Same on the first pitch. Same with two strikes. He’s got other pitches, a lot of other pitches, and he still has his four-seamer, too, when he wants to elevate some heat, but the sinker has given Stroman something he didn’t have: a groundball pitch he can locate and use to get quick outs.

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Orioles Bullpen: Thy Sinker

It’s time for our Depth Chart Discussions to begin. In an effort to suss out every team, we’ve divided them into four parts (infield, outfield, bullpen, and rotation) and will begin breaking them down for you over the next few weeks. You can find them gathered here.

Zach Britton’s Sinker… Eh? Eh???

In fact, according to BP’s PITCHf/x Leaderboard, five of eight Baltimore Relievers had above average Sinkers last year: Zach Britton (#1 overall obviously), Darren O’Day (#17), Wesley Wright (#24), Tommy Hunter (#32) and T.J. McFarland (#39). Five of the top 40 (out of 136) relievers who used a classified Sinker over 100 times were Baltimore Orioles.

Available out of the bullpen:

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Mets Bullpen: Fishing and Stomping

This post continues our Depth Chart Discussions. In an effort to suss out every team, we’ve divided them into four parts (infield, outfield, bullpen, and rotation) and will continue to break them down for you over the next few weeks. You can find the Depth Chart Discussion posts gathered here.

Closer/Setup Men:

Fishing for a closer?

Draft Jenrry Mejia and you may feel like doing this:

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Ultimate Bullpen Guide: Arsenal Score, xBABIP & Rankings

Contributing to RotoGraphs’ Bullpen Reports last year brought me much joy: opening infinite Brooks Baseball player cards for sabermetric outcomes and watching glorious GIFs. Oh, Marcus Stroman’s Two-Seamer:


My last Bullpen Report from October looked at possible closers through outcomes and presented BABIP differentials (actual BABIP versus expected BABIP using Inside Edge data).

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Mock Draft Review and Best of the Rest

Our Mock Draft is complete.

Team Schwartz/rounds drafted:

C: Travis d’Arnaud/17 1B: Victor Martinez/4 2B: Arismendy Alcantara/18 3B: Josh Donaldson/3 SS: Hanley Ramirez/2 MI: Jean Segura/19 CI: Prince Fielder/6 OF: Mike Trout/1; Mookie Betts/7; Ryan Zimmerman/10; A.J. Pollock/14; Steven Souza/20; Carl Crawford/24 U: Pedro Alvarez/21

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