Tuesday, February 28, 2012

More Free Draft Kits

This isn't the WWE where they often pretend that other wrestling leagues do not exist. That's why I can gladly point you at more Free 2012 Fantasy Baseball Draft Kits.

ClubHouse GM
  • Rankings
  • Projections
  • Auction Values
  • Position Tiers
  • Sleepers
  • Dual Threat
  • Park Factors
  • Pitchers to Target
  • and Much More!


Fantasy Baseball Cracker Jacks

  • Position-by-position rankings, including top 75 outfielders and starting pitchers.
  • Full player projections for standard 5×5 stats, plus a few extra for those leagues that dig a little deeper.
  • Top 251 rankings.
  • Tiers, sleeper, and health risk thoughts.
  • Extras like a draft worksheet.
  • Formatted to be easy to read, print, and mark all over.
  • 28 pages, completely free!
And the Advanced Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy Guide makes a nice compliment to those.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Rotojunkie Mock One Draft

The RotoJunkie Mock One Draft is a twenty-team league with just one catcher drafted, nine pitchers, and five bench spots. It penetrates pretty deeply into the player pool. We do slow draft that runs from January to late February most of the time.

My plan was to draft a strong offense and look for pitchers I could get later in the draft that might rebound to an earlier round value. I did not plan to skimp on saves but a run on closers caught me with my pants down and almost 40 picks between turns. I think the team is pretty good and we'll let it play out on Yahoo.com. I'll keep you updated.

Let me know what you think and what your strategy might be for winning this league. In the comments or shoot me an e-mail.

C Chris Ianetta 20.20
1B Ryan Howard 5.01
3B Alex Rodriguez 3.01
CR Freddie Freeman 6.20
2B Ryan Raburn 16.20
SS Jhonny Peralta 11.01
MI Jamey Carroll 17.01
OF Matt Kemp 1.01
OF Michael Bourn 2.20
OF Delmon Young 10.20
OF Bryce Harper 13.01
OF Gerrardo Parra 22.20
Utl Paul Goldschmidt 7.01

SP C.J. Wilson 4.20
SP Ubaldo Jimenez 8.20
SP Derek Holland 9.01
SP Chris Sale 12.20
SP Johan Santana 14.20
P Ryan Dempster 15.01
P Shelby Miller 21.01
RP Joaquin Benoit 19.01
RP Sean Marshall 18.20

R1 Alberto Callaspo, 3B
R2 Julio Borbon, OF
R3 Rex Brothers, RP
R4 Clint Barmes, SS
R5 Josh Lueke RP

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Continuing Search For Wins...

After linking to last year's article in yesterday's Free Draft Kit post, I was asked by a few people for an updated list of the pitchers most likely to add wins to your roster. Remember that the keys are tons of innings, at least a 7.5 K9, and a strong groundball rate. I like the GB rate to be at least 40 percent but I'm flexible if the K9 rate is very high.

I included pitchers with 160-plus innings this year with the hope that we might find a few pitchers ready to make an innings leap. Not many made the cut, due to our high standards.

Zack Greinke 171.2 16 10.54 4.47 47.30% 0.318 2.36 2.66 2.56
Brandon Morrow 179.1 11 10.19 2.94 36.00% 0.299 3.46 3.31 3.53
Clayton Kershaw 233.1 21 9.57 4.59 43.20% 0.269 2.08 2.81 2.84
Anibal Sanchez 196.1 8 9.26 3.16 44.30% 0.31 2.93 3.29 3.25
Cliff Lee 232.2 17 9.21 5.67 46.30% 0.291 1.62 2.72 2.68
Tim Lincecum 217 13 9.12 2.56 47.90% 0.281 3.57 3.46 3.36
Michael Pineda 171 9 9.11 3.15 36.30% 0.258 2.89 3.36 3.53
Yovani Gallardo 207.1 17 8.99 3.51 46.60% 0.291 2.56 3.22 3.19
Justin Verlander 251 24 8.96 4.39 40.20% 0.236 2.04 2.99 3.12
Matt Garza 198 10 8.95 3.13 46.30% 0.306 2.86 3.31 3.19
Gio Gonzalez 202 16 8.78 2.16 47.50% 0.287 4.05 3.78 3.73
David Price 224.1 12 8.75 3.46 44.30% 0.281 2.53 3.27 3.32
CC Sabathia 237.1 19 8.72 3.77 46.60% 0.318 2.31 3.14 3.02
Ubaldo Jimenez 188.1 10 8.6 2.31 47.20% 0.314 3.73 3.74 3.71
Mat Latos 194.1 9 8.57 2.98 42.80% 0.284 2.87 3.48 3.52
Felix Hernandez 233.2 14 8.55 3.31 50.20% 0.307 2.58 3.22 3.15
Jon Lester 191.2 15 8.55 2.43 50.50% 0.286 3.52 3.59 3.62
Bud Norris 186 6 8.52 2.51 39.70% 0.294 3.39 3.73 3.73
Ryan Dempster 202.1 10 8.5 2.33 44.10% 0.324 3.65 3.79 3.7
Roy Halladay 233.2 19 8.47 6.29 50.90% 0.298 1.35 2.79 2.71
Madison Bumgarner 204.2 13 8.4 4.15 46.00% 0.322 2.02 3.18 3.1
C.J. Wilson 223.1 16 8.3 2.78 49.30% 0.287 2.98 3.44 3.41
A.J. Burnett 190.1 11 8.18 2.08 49.20% 0.294 3.92 3.89 3.86
Josh Beckett 193 13 8.16 3.37 40.10% 0.245 2.42 3.43 3.58
Chris Capuano 186 11 8.13 3.17 42.70% 0.311 2.56 3.6 3.67
James Shields 249.1 16 8.12 3.46 46.20% 0.258 2.35 3.29 3.25
Cole Hamels 216 14 8.08 4.41 52.30% 0.255 1.83 3.03 3.02
Max Scherzer 195 15 8.03 3.11 40.30% 0.314 2.58 3.63 3.7
Ian Kennedy 222 21 8.03 3.6 38.60% 0.27 2.23 3.44 3.5
Wandy Rodriguez 191 11 7.82 2.41 45.20% 0.289 3.25 3.8 3.72
Colby Lewis 200.1 14 7.59 3.02 34.10% 0.265 2.52 3.88 4.1
Javier Vazquez 192.2 13 7.57 3.24 34.20% 0.279 2.34 3.78 3.87
Jered Weaver 235.2 18 7.56 3.54 32.50% 0.25 2.14 3.67 3.8

The names I find most interesting as potential bargains are Anibal Sanchez, Ubaldo Jimenez, Bud Norris, Ryan Dempster, A.J. Burnett, Chris Capuano and Max Scherzer. These pitchers are the ones on this list I would give the greatest odds of having a breakout season as well as coming at a potential discount for various reasons.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Free Advanced Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide

As Fantasy Preparation starts to kick into overdrive, I thought it might be helpful to put together a collection of some of this site's more useful articles. Within these links you'll find advice for almost every type of league and a ton of strategy and trade tips. Everything from calculating inflation to building an auction budget to scouting pitchers. So hopefully this post will save you a bunch of time searching the internet, time you can now devote to finding cheap tickets to MLB's Opening Day! This article provides you with info rarely found in most magazines and internet Draft Guides, and it is entirely free.

Building Your Auction Budget

Lucky breaks down his strategy for building the optimal Auction Day Budget. This is one of the keys to fantasy prep that many owners skip - to their detriment.

Auction Strategy and Tactics

This is another of Lucky's Greatest Hits (it looks like he'll have more for you soon, keep those fingers crossed). This article breaks down the auction into its various components and shows you the keys to exploiting those elements to your advantage.

Looking for Wins?

Wins are the most unpredictable category but they still represent ten percent of your potential fantasy points. This article gives you the keys to maximizing your chances at putting more wins on your championship roster.

The Ten Step Non-Wussy Guide to Re-Building Your Fantasy Team

Do you have a weak keeper list after trading your way into a Championship? This article shows that you do not have to take a year or more off from winning if you're willing to put the work into it.

The Secrets of Sustained Success

Why do some owners continually sit at the top of the standings while others only get there once in a while? This article breaks down the elements of sustained success.

Patience is a Virtue for Fantasy Owners

Do you find yourself regretting certain trades or FAAB bids during the season? This article preaches the virtues of patience.

A Quick Guide to Calculating Inflation and Building a Freeze List

So many fantasy owners are overwhelmed by even the idea of inflation. This article makes it easy to understand and implement into your draft prep.

Building A Better Pitching Staff

This article is about Zigging while they Zag. Everyone is using the 70/30 hitting to pitching ratio. If you have been thinking about trying something different, this article may provide some inspiration.

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Fantasy Owners

This article takes the ideas of a popular self help book and applies them to your fantasy team. It works better than you may believe.

Ten Fantasy Baseball Trade Secrets

Are you a big trader in your leagues? Even if you are not, this article provides some guidelines to becoming a great trader.

Your Favorite Fantasy Expert Poll

This article isn't about advice so much as who you should listen to. Check out the comments and you may find some great fantasy experts you have not been following.

Auction Keeper League Strategies

Looking for an advantage in your keeper league auction? This article may be the advice that puts you over the top.

Anti-Dumping Strategies

Are dump trades getting you down? Try some of these ideas to make it a non issue in your league.

Winning Takes More Than Player Knowledge

Think you know the player pool better than everyone else in your league but still can't find your name on a championship trophy? Even the very best player analysts need to understand what it takes to win.

Ten Questions to Consider in Keeper Leagues

Ask yourself these questions and you may find you start to think differently regarding your freeze list and draft strategy.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Ryan Braun Speaks

Ryan Braun spoke out today regarding the process he took to proving himself not guilty of taking any illegal substances. There isn't much there that we haven't heard from other sources but it is interesting to hear the way he defends himself.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Deep Head-to-Head Strategy Ideas

I received this e-mail recently:
Hey Jon

I'm being thrown headfirst into the deep end. Having never been in over a 12 team league I draft a terrible slot in my 1st 20 team league. I am open to ANY advice on how to draft from that slot. Setting are below
20 teams but 4 divisions
Scoring Type: Head-to-Head , but no playoffs … regular season winner = winner
Player Universe: All baseball
Allow Draft Pick Trades: Yes
Waiver Type: FAAB w/ Continual rolling list tiebreak
Max Acquisitions per Week: 5
Min Innings Pitched: 15
Roster Positions: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, LF, CF, RF, Util, SP, SP, SP, RP, RP, P, P, BN, BN, BN, BN, DL, DL
Categories = std 5X5
Thanks in advance,
Big Mike
In my opinion Head2Head is the most difficult style of fantasy to have consistent success. The luck factor in H2H looms larger because of the weekly games. It becomes more important that you roster players that provide consistent production from week to week. It also requires that owners are extremely diligent in setting their lineups. In roto-style leagues, a week of inactivity can pass without incident, that is rarely the case in H2H. You are always looking to maximize pitching match-ups and get two-start pitchers into your lineup.

Five Deep H2H League Strategy Tips
  1. Pitching, Especially Starting Pitching is Emphasized - H2H leagues tend to have a smaller roster of hitters than in roto leagues. Fortunately, Big Mike is not in a points-based H2H league which would make good pitching even more vital. The balance of hitters to pitchers is closer. I would make a greater effort than usual to roster a couple of top starters. Overall, you want safer starters and in a deep league they will run out fast. Readers familiar with BaseballHQ.com would target pitchers with high PQS scores. Simply put, it is about minimizing the potential for disastrous outings.
  2. Take Fewer Risks - As fantasy owners we love the upside of less experienced batters. Guys like Bryce Harper and Mike Trout are bound to find a place on the ends of our rosters. But in H2H leagues you want players you can count on. Sure, Harper may hit 40 homers but is as likely to to spend half the year in the minors and to struggle in his initial opportunity. This is not to say you should not take any risks. It is hard to win a fantasy league playing it completely safe. What you want to do is take better risks. Instead of betting on rookies or players coming back from injuries, focus on players who have been productive but who have the skills to do more. One example might be Logan Morrison. Morrison has shown he has the ability to hit for average with above average power but he hasn't displayed all those skills in the major leagues, this might be the season he does it.
  3. Dumping Categories is NOT a Bad Idea - In H2H your aim is to win more categories in a given week than your opponent. In deeper leagues, power has become a scarce commodity. Dumping homers to load up on avg, runs, and steals is a way to gain an advantage during your draft. This strategy would allow you to draft a few top starting pitchers early and build a surplus in 6-7 categories while your opponents struggle to build a more balanced lineup.
  4. Avoid the Injury Prone - I am usually one to draft a Chipper Jones or a J.J. Putz if they come at a discount. However, in deeper leagues the quality of the replacement player is far less. In a twelve-team mixed league I might be able to pick up Placido Polanco or a similar replacement for Chipper (maybe even better) but in a deep league that replacement is more like Greg Dobbs (if you're lucky) and you may have to overbid to get him.
  5. Plot Your Strategy Carefully - For experienced owners, the player pool in a twelve-team league is well known. In a twenty team league, even with smaller H2H rosters, the later rounds can be hazardous when you are breaching that depth for the first time. Avoid targeting specific players but put together short lists for each round so you have a target range. Remember, the deeper the league the more important your initial draft becomes. So do not wing it.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Johan Santana Update

So far so good for Johan Santana. Santana is going cheap enough that he is worth the risk given the current information.

Nice Jerry Dipoto Article

I believe that to be the very best at Fantasy Baseball you need to understand where teams are coming from with the moves they make. This doesn't mean you need to agree with every move but rather be able to see what the general manager was thinking. For this reason, I try to know as much as possible about the GM of each MLB team. Jerry Dipoto seems to be one of the better young minds running a baseball team.

Check out this piece on Jerry Dipoto:

It began in July 2010, when he took over as interim general manager in Arizona upon Josh Byrnes' dismissal, then eased the D-backs' payroll, restocked their barren farm system and put them on the path to an eventual playoff berth with the savvy trades of Edwin Jackson, Chris Snyder and Dan Haren (now the Angels' No. 2 starter).

It happened through two interviews with Angels owner Arte Moreno and president John Carpino, who met Dipoto over breakfast and dinner in Arizona and ultimately chose him over a wide-ranging list of candidates.

And it happened on a grease board at his Winter Meetings suite, where it took Dipoto only 20 minutes to impress even the saltiest of scouts.

"Some of the guys that had been around for a while came out of there just in awe saying, 'Man, that's unbelievable,' and, 'We're in such good hands,' said Tim Schmidt, who worked for Dipoto in Arizona and is now one of his special-assignment scouts. "I look at them and say, 'Oh geez, guys, he's just getting started. He's got a lot more than that.'"

He had plenty more in the January organizational meetings he set up at the club's Spring Training site in Tempe, Ariz. Scott Servais, one of Dipoto's new assistant general managers, was in charge of putting together the agenda and needed to fill three hours. He figured Dipoto would take up one of them, so Servais was looking for somebody to open and close the day-one session.

No need. Dipoto took up the entire time breaking down his philosophies for constructing a 25- and 40-man roster.

"There was not one person who left those meetings there for two days and couldn't feel the energy and the passion he has for doing the job and taking the time to kind of pull back the curtain," Servais said


Jesus Montero

Check out Jesus Montero as he works on hitting to the opposite field, via Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times. Word is that Montero is also working hard behind the plate.

Montero, 22, will likely play catcher several games a week and designated hitter the rest of the time as the Mariners look to get his potent bat in the lineup. There have been questions about whether he's ready to be a Major League catcher, but manager Eric Wedge -- himself a former backstop -- says so far, so good.

"I watch him catch and work the drills and do everything," Wedge said Friday after the Mariners wrapped up the pitchers and catchers portion of camp. "He's going to continue to work and get better. But he's looked well so far. There are always things you feel you can help a young player with and he's no different. Because we're not in a hurry with it, [catching and third-base coach] Jeff Datz will do a fantastic job with it and they'll develop that bond and working relationship day to day. He's handling himself well."

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Auction Budget Split, 70/30?

I received this e-mail recently:
Hi there, I just read your entry here:


I'm writing to ask a question regarding the building the budget paragraph. I'm in a 16 team (5x5) weekly H2H league. We can have 22 players on our roster. That means 352 total players are available in the pool. Given this, would you still project to a 70/30 split on finances? How do you arrive at the 70/30 number in the 1st place. I feel like that is the one thing not touched upon in this article.

Many thanks,

Hi Michael,

The 70/30 split for hitting/pitching is based on the belief that hitting is easier to project than pitching. It takes into account the difficulty in projecting and unpredictable nature of some pitching stats by reducing your risk. Less money spent on pitching equals less risked. This is not by any means a ratio that you need to stick with. In reality the value of players should be 50/50 since there are typically the same number of hitting and pitching categories.