FanGraphs Staff League 2 Season Preview

This marks the fourth year of the Second FanGraphs Staff ottoneu league, and we are setting up for a highly competitive year. Before each season, I set up projected standings to help me understand where my team stands and what I need to do to improve.

This year, based on the FanGraphs Depth Charts projections, my team has its work cut out for it, sitting within striking distance of first, but chasing two teams.

The projected standings show you points on offense and pitching, points per game and per inning pitched, and total points.

Num Team Owner Pts/G Pts/IP O Rank P Rank Off Pts P Pts Total Pts
1 Encarnacion Instant Breakfast Brad Johnson 5.508 5.637 1 2 9993.1 8455.3 18448.4
2 Clown Meat Cody Wiewandt 5.272 5.785 3 1 9581.1 8677.3 18258.5
3 Avon Old Farms Winged Beavers Chad Young 5.329 5.572 2 3 9673.0 8357.7 18030.7
4 The Duda Abides Steve Slowinski 5.140 5.342 5 5 9323.5 8013.2 17336.7
5 Sultans of Swing Jonah Pemstein 5.076 5.391 7 4 9079.2 8086.3 17165.5
6 The Razor Shines Robert Baumann 5.123 5.289 6 6 9200.3 7932.9 17133.2
7 Edmonton Trappers Ryan Campbell 5.002 5.226 9 7 9073.6 7839.3 16912.8
8 Piazza’s Back Acne Jeff Zimmerman 5.233 4.915 4 11 9492.2 7372.4 16864.6
9 sprattsprattspratt Scott Spratt 5.074 5.121 8 9 8890.1 7681.7 16571.8
10 Bang the Woodrum Brandon Warne 4.833 5.052 11 10 8766.5 7578.0 16344.5
11 David Wiers David Wiers 4.848 5.182 10 8 8414.8 7772.5 16187.3
12 The Huligans Marc Hulet 4.458 4.830 12 12 7881.4 7244.4 15125.8

A couple notes on the standings:

  1. I rank the pitchers and position players on each team by Pts/PA and Pts/IP and then start filling each position with the best options based on that ranking.
  2. For each position, I assume team’s will fill out 650 PA over the course of the season, so I take depth into account. If a single player is projected to surpass 650 PA, I basically consider that a bonus for that team.
  3. Pts/G is actually Pts/PA*4.3. Across MLB, the average PA/player/game was 4.21, but I assume that the typical fantasy asset surpasses that average, since they are more likely to hit near the top of the order.

checking this out, the first thing that jumps out is that the top three have created some distance here. The gap from three to four is roughly the same as four to nine.

Brad has established quite a lead for himself, and you can see why when you look at his roster. He starts with Mike Trout, Yasiel Puig, Edwin Encarnacion and Paul Goldschmidt. He adds an underpriced but talented rotation – Corey Kluber, Jon Lester, and Hishashi Iwakuma are his only $10+ starters.

Cody, whose pitching is tops in the league, has only two $10 starters (Madison Bumgarner and Max Scherzer), but has THREE $10 RP – Craig Kimbrel, Aroldis Chapman, and David Robertson, building an elite bullpen in a format that rewards elite bullpens.

In the meantime, I spent a quarter of my budget keeping $60 Giancarlo Stanton and $46 Felix Hernandez, and still had room for eight more players in double digits. Those 10 (25% of my roster) account for $241 (~60% of my budget).

For those teams outside the top three, this may serve as a warning, but it isn’t cause to panic – projections are just that, and are never to be completely trusted. A couple players break right or wrong and that could swing 500+ points without much trouble. Add in a big in-season acquisition, and you are right in the think of things.

That 400 point gap means that I have to out-manage Brad and Cody (or get lucky) to surpass them. I am going after this on two paths:

First, as a GM, I am (I think) closing in on a pair of deals that will allow me to upgrade my OF slightly, make a significant add to my rotation, and boost my pen slightly, as well. Ideally I will get these done while maintaining a couple young players to drop of big purchases late in the season, if needed.

Second, as a Manager, I spent some time with the ZiPS splits projections building out a day-to-day plan of attack, allowing me to take full advantage of the match-ups faced by my roster.

We’ll just have to see if it is enough.

We hoped you liked reading FanGraphs Staff League 2 Season Preview by Chad Young!

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Chad Young is a product manager at Amazon by day and a baseball writer (RotoGraphs, Let's Go Tribe), sports fan and digital enthusiast at all times. Follow him on Twitter @chadyoung.

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Wiers needs to change his team name to Proud Young Bronies

Chris Walker
Chris Walker