Author Archive

The Increasing Popularity of Deep Dynasty Leagues

Deep dynasty leagues are becoming increasingly popular. Today, I’d like to talk about my experiences with the format, things to look for when joining a league, and what this means for the fantasy baseball industry.

Let’s start by defining a “deep” dynasty league. This is a flexible concept. In a recent poll, I said the following: “Let’s define “deep” as any mixed league that rosters 700 or more players leaguewide or any AL/NL Only with 350 or more players. At least half of players are kept.”

Again, the exact definition can vary. What matters is that the league operates on a completely different level than the most common fantasy formats. Those are 12-team redraft with roto or head-to-head scoring. There are also dynasty leagues with similar dynamics to these more common formats. Participants in these leagues can use existing resources for redraft leagues with a little mental tinkering. The norms of the industry still apply in a general sense even if there are some specific quirks.

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Brad Johnson Baseball Chat: 1/15/2019

Here’s the transcript to today’s fantasy chat.

3:59
Need More Bangers: hi brad!

3:59
Brad Johnson: Hi Bangers!

3:59
Brad Johnson: We’ll get started in a couple minutes.

4:01
Gabe Kapler: Who gets more saves- Robertson or Seranthony?

4:01
Brad Johnson: Robertson is a pretty safe bet

4:01
Brad Johnson: Not a lock by any means, but it’s the percentage play

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Nobody Cares About This Fantasy Team

I am not immune to self indulgence. Once a year, I whip off the covers of my simulation league set 11 years in the past. It was originally founded by the Astros resident Rasputin, Kevin Goldstein and still includes other baseball giants. It’s not just a sim league, it’s a sim league with cachet.

Before you run away, let’s pause to set some expectations. No, you won’t be able to use this information to win your 2019 fantasy league. However, if you were watching baseball back in 2008, you might enjoy reacquainting yourself with some forgotten names.

It’s a 20 team keeper league. We use a software called Diamond Mind Baseball (DMB) to simulate a full season and playoffs. Essentially, we’re playing a dynasty league where we already know how the players performed. Now we just need to manage them into the right spots.

It’s not so different from how we play normal fantasy baseball. We already mostly know which names are and aren’t good. So we let some humans bearing those names simulate stats for us.

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How To Find Early-Draft Power Value in 3 Easy Steps

Step one, select Mike Trout.

I’m kidding. Finding a good value in the power department can be a challenge in the early rounds. Assuming you’re not picking at the very front of the draft, your options usually fall into one of two categories.

  1. 15 to 30 home runs, 15 to 30 stolen bases
  2. 40 or more home runs, no stolen bases

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Whither Willians?

The grind of baseball can sometimes sap the joy from the sport. Thus, it’s refreshing when a champion of the people emerges. Such a hero appeared on the scene late in the 2018 season – Twins catcher Willians Astudillo.

The catcher/first baseman hasn’t been viewed as a legitimate prospect since he was a teenager in the Phillies system. Even then, you had to dig deep to find him. Now 27, he’s become a folk hero for his base running, home run antics, and refusal to walk or strike out. Scouts call him bad-bodied. To a layman, it looks like their pudgy local plumber is running around on a field with a bunch of chiseled professionals. Just wait until he bends over…

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Mistakes Were Made: My Three Worst Recent Trades

Not every decision is a winner. That’s especially true of fantasy trades. In keeper and dynasty formats, there are so many moving parts that the “winner” of a deal won’t be known for years – even if your leaguemates will often express kudos or dismay based on present impressions.

Sometimes, a good process will parlay into a bad result. And on occasion, you just think you’re using a good process when in fact you’re making a devastating mistake. Today we’ll review my three worst trades of the last 18 months. These all occurred in the 20-team industry dynasty league The Devil’s Rejects. I co-manage the team with former RotoGraphist Chad Young. However, I was the architect for all three of these deals. Chad merely signed off. They’re my responsibility.

You’ll notice the motivations behind them are very different…

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Brad Johnson Baseball Chat: 1/8/2019

We had a chat. It went well. Read about it below in the transcript.

3:52
Brad Johnson: We’ll get started in a few minutes.

3:59
Walt: 5×5 Ottoneu. Is Wily Peralta a keeper at $5?

3:59
Brad Johnson: That’s an easy cut

3:59
Brad Johnson: The saves aren’t worth the pain in other categories

3:59
Brad Johnson: Good chance they find a better closer

4:00
MeDeKe: Of the next crop of SS – let’s say between AA and 2 yrs in MLB – who are the top 3 you would target to build a team around in a dynasty league? Who are a couple of prospect SS who are likely under the radar now, but might make that same list in 2-3 years? Thanks!

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Why It’s Easier To Contend Than Rebuild In Deep Dynasty Leagues

Do you play in a deep dynasty league? Perhaps you’ve noticed something. Judging by your rival’s (and perhaps your own) behavior, it often feels like the point of the game isn’t to win the league. Instead, it’s a race to the bottom to see which owner can compile the youngest roster with the most “value.” While value can win leagues, first one must convert that value into production.

This race to the bottom mentality can make it easier to contend than rebuild. As most of your rivals fight for every scrap of youth, fringy prospects may return legitimately decent major league performers. This process of cycling iffy minor leaguers for established veterans can help to extend a competitive window for many years.

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Five More Buyback Candidates

I’m not above “borrowing” a good idea from a colleague. Yesterday, Paul Sporer wrote about five players he’d give a second chance in 2019. These were names with a little helium attached who failed to deliver value for various reasons. I especially agree with Jorge Polanco who improved throughout his PED-shortened season.

Shall we get to it? To quote Paul, “the hype is gone, their price has tanked, and now is the time to buy!”

Five More Buyback Candidates

Bradley Zimmer | Cleveland Indians | ADP 512

By ADP, Zimmer has fallen straight off the face of the earth. After a mixed debut in 2017 which included decent power, surprising speed, and not nearly enough contact, a shoulder injury limited Zimmer to just 114 plate appearances in 2018. When he did play, he performed poorly. Even with only a 63 wRC+, he was on pace for a 1.5 WAR season. He’s a quality defender which will help ensure he plays.

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Trade Leverage Is A Hoax

When last we met practically a year ago (ahem, December 19), we discussed trade negotiations – specifically one of my standard processes. Although I think a forthright and (semi) honest conversation is the surest approach to building a mutually beneficial swap, not everybody likes the way I conduct my trade talks. Common complaints include that I’m asking the other owner to do all the work while giving up their leverage.

To the former point, um, no. To the latter point, also no.

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