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Archive for the ‘General Guidance’ Category

Deep League Bench Strategy

Saturday, April 28th, 2012 , by Rudy Gamble

One of the key differences in drafting and maintaining a fantasy baseball roster in deep leagues (NL/AL-only, 10+ teams) vs. shallower mixed leagues is the huge dropoff in playing time for ‘replacement level’ players.  While the shallow league replacement pool will often be stocked with less desirable major league starting players, deep leagues offer slim pickings varying from hitters who play in less than half their teams’ games, middle relievers with little chance at saves, or minor leaguers not hyped enough to get drafted. 

This huge gap in replacement level has several ramifications ranging from increased dependence on the draft and trades for team success to increased difficulty in overcoming injuries.  On the flip side, this gap between starter and replacement level also provides a bigger upside should an owner land players who can contribute at starter-level.

So what is the ideal strategy for stocking a bench?  Here is some of my thinking:

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The Reasoning Behind My Breakouts (Part 2)

Thursday, September 15th, 2011 , by Derek Carty

Last week, I looked at a couple of my players that have outpeformed most people's expectations this season and why I drafted them.  Last time I looked at Mike Napoli and Mark Reynolds.  Today, I'm going to look at Alex Gordon and Curtis Granderson.

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The Reasoning Behind My Breakouts

Friday, September 9th, 2011 , by Derek Carty

With my series on closers wrapping for the year last time out, today Eric has asked me to explain the logic behind drafting some of the players I selected back in March.  While I’ve had the good fortune of putting myself in the championship race (I’m currently in first by a point), my road to the title has been a bit of an unorthodox one.  Looking back at my post-draft day roster, Eric said that “it sure doesn’t look like a champion.”  That’s because I had some pretty spectacular misses, such as Dan Johnson ($10), Travis Snider ($15), Kevin Kouzmanoff ($9), Matt Thornton ($12), and Frank Francisco ($13).  Counterbalancing this, however, were some big hits in Curtis Granderson, Alex Gordon, Mark Reynolds, Mike Napoli, and Michael Pineda.

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Does Prior Experience Matter for a Closer?

Thursday, July 28th, 2011 , by Derek Carty

This season, I’ve been conducting a series of studies in an attempt to better understand which closers will accumulate the most saves—the primary reason we draft them in the first place.  Over the past couple of months, I’ve found that closers who begin the season with a tenuous hold on the closer’s chair tend to wind up with far fewer saves than those who begin the year with the job all to themselves.  I’ve also found that relievers with poor skills who “aren’t good enough to be closers” tend to accumulate nearly as many saves as relievers with elite skills.  Today, I thought I’d add a third variable to the mix: experience.

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Do only good closers keep their jobs?

Friday, June 17th, 2011 , by Derek Carty

A couple weeks ago, I began a series looking at closers and how to best identify the closers that will succeed in a given year.  Given that, on the whole, less than 50 percent of pitchers who begin the season as a closer end the year closing games, deciding which closers to choose for our fantasy teams is a tricky subject.

Last time, I looked at how often closers lose their jobs based on their start-of-year classification of sole closer, injured closer, injury replacement, or part-of-a-committee.  I found that, far and away, sole closers are the best bets while the rest are lucky to get double-digit saves.  This time, I’m going to put the theory of “draft skills, not roles” to the test.
 

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How FAAB is Endy Chavez?

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011 , by Peter Kreutzer

Cardrunners League gives each team $260 FAAB at the start of the year. It also allows FAAB to be traded, something that happens frequently, so that a team that spends can sometimes get back to a better position by making trades that include FAAB.

But the large amount of FAAB makes it difficult to gauge what a good bid is on a player. Earlier in the season I made aggressive bids on players (I thought!), llike $44 on Sam Fuld, only to have someone else bid $176. FAAB bids are always shaped as much by each team's needs as the projected value of the player, but my point is that having a larger budget makes it that much harder to assess exactly what a good bid is.

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How often closers lose their jobs

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011 , by Derek Carty

It would be an understatement to say that I've struggled with drafting competent closers in the CardRunners Experts League (a fact that Eric has little problem reminding me of on a semi-regular basis).  Last year, I drafted Frank Francisco, who lost his job two weeks into the season and, despite being one of the top non-closers in the game the rest of the way, never reclaimed the role.  This year, I drafted Matt Thornton and Francisco again.  Thornton was arguably the best non-closer in baseball before finally getting a crack at closing this year, but he had a rough (arguably unlucky) start to the season and lost the job in April as well.  Francisco managed to get injured after our draft and finally took the role back a couple weeks ago, but after a rough few days may be on thin ice again.

Given my storied unsuccess drafting closers, Eric suggested that I run some studies on closers and examine just what kind of return on investment one can expect from a closer.  Over the next few weeks, I'll be digging into the data and answering a number of questions about closers that should prove extremely useful for both myself in figuring out where I keep going wrong and for the population at large in their own closer decisions.

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Where We Blundered Pt 1

Friday, August 20th, 2010 , by Eric Kesselman

Now that the trade deadline is safely behind us, I thought it would be interesting to go through a few of the teams and look for where the owners made strategic mistakes over the course of the season.

I'm not so interested in exploring the tactical mistake, like a bad trade, lineup decision, or waiver wire claim. I'm more interested in exploring strategic choices (or non-choices) of which categories to pursue and when to do it. I'm not doing this to make anyone look bad, and I'm convinced we've really managed to gather a group of top notch fantasy players in the Cardrunners League. However, even top players can make mistakes, and I think exploring and discussing those choices can be edifying. 

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On luck, randomness, BABIP, and Dan Haren

Friday, July 30th, 2010 , by Derek Carty

There's an interesting conversation going on in the comments section of my post from Wednesday (far more interesting than the post itself), and my would-be-responses were very long, so I turned them into articles over at THT:

Do we use luck and randomness as a crutch?

How much do counts affect BABIP?

I thought I'd point them out for those interested.

$25 Haiku Contest Open to All

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010 , by Eric Kesselman

As our league is strict AL only, any player traded to the NL does not accumulate stats.

Therefore, in commemoration of Chris' Alex Gonzalez's being traded to the NL, I am awarding a $25 cash prize to the best haiku that captures the occasion. 

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