Beat the Shift Podcast – Auction Strategy Episode w/ Derek VanRiper

The Auction Strategy Episode of the Beat the Shift Podcast – a baseball podcast for fantasy baseball players.

Guest: Derek VanRiper

Strategy Section

  • Auction Strategy
    • How Snake Drafts & Auctions differ in preparation.
    • Constructing Auction Values
      • Should you strictly hold to values?
      • What to use as a Hitter/Pitcher % split?
    • Generating Market Values
    • Nomination Strategies
      • General – It has to have a purpose.
      • Should you nominate players you want to buy, or players that you believe are overvalued?
      • The Economic Box
    • Bidding
      • Starting Bids
      • Jump Bids
      • Price Enforcing
      • The ‘9’s
    • Draft Inflation

ATC Player Discussion


  • Draft Yeli or Belli?

Injury Update – Reuven gives us the injury updates.


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Ariel is the 2019 FSWA Baseball Writer of the Year. Ariel is also the winner of the 2020 FSWA Baseball Article of the Year award. He is the creator of the ATC (Average Total Cost) Projection System. Ariel was ranked by FantasyPros as the #1 fantasy baseball expert in 2019. His ATC Projections were ranked as the #1 most accurate projection system in 2019. Ariel also writes for CBS Sports, SportsLine, RotoBaller, and is the host of the Beat the Shift Podcast (@Beat_Shift_Pod). Ariel is a member of the inaugural Tout Wars Draft & Hold league, a member of the inaugural Mixed LABR Auction league and plays high stakes contests in the NFBC. Ariel is the 2020 Tout Wars Head to Head League Champion. Ariel Cohen is a fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) and the Society of Actuaries (SOA). He is a Vice President of Risk Management for a large international insurance and reinsurance company. Follow Ariel on Twitter at @ATCNY.

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Big fan of (fellow?) poker-playing statistician fantasy sports writers! Quick question: Don’t fantasy players have to be a bit cautious about using z-scores as a shorthand for value across categories?

Just for a hypothetical example, suppose 90 percent of draftable pitchers had a projected 4.00 ERA. A starter with a 3.80 ERA is just a little bit better, but might have a high Z-score because the variance is so low in the pool of pitchers. Now suppose 45 percent of draftable pitchers have a projected WHIP of 1.1 and 45 percent of pitchers have a projected WHIP of 1.3. Say the same good pitcher with the 3.80 projected ERA has a projected 1.1 WHIP. His WHIP Z-score will be favorable but smaller, even though he improves the average drafted team’s WHIP by a larger percentage. That seems counter-intuitive

Saves and steals seem even weirder to mix with other categories, because they are nowhere near normally distributed.

Thanks for any thoughts on this. Great podcast.