Showing posts with label Trade Advice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trade Advice. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Why Thinking Before You Trade Is So Important

So last week my local NL-Only league had its end-of-year banquet.  Over the course of the 2014 season I had traded all my minor league picks and all but one of my minor leaguers in my attempt to finish first. I fell from first days before the end of the season and finally finished in second place. I had a few early trades I wanted to propose in an attempt to rebuild my minor league system, hopefully while maintaining or improving my keepers as well. The banquet is usually a good place to make trade offers. The beer is flowing and everyone has baseball on the mind as we hand out the cash and watch the World Series.

One of the trades I had in mind was with one of the older veterans of the league. He is very good at this game but can sometimes focus on the surface value of a player over the long term value. Sometimes this gives him the reputation of trying to fleece other owners (which I'm sure he loves to do as much as anyone). The result is a weakness that creates an opening to acquire anyone on his roster that had a less than stellar season. I did my homework on his team and came up with a plan.

My plan was to offer the shiny and productive Daniel Murphy to my friend for one of his under performers and a sorely needed minor-league pick. My friend (call him Lee Roy), has a loaded roster and a full minor league system, including the much coveted Kris Bryant. I was not going to make an offer for Bryant (this league holds on to stud prospects like old-time prospectors would to a lump of gold). Instead, I wanted one of his early-round minor-league picks.I like Murphy but I fear the Mets will trade him (if he leaves the NL I just lose him) and did not see much upside as his value and salary basically broke even. Murphy was obviously too much to trade for a single pick. I targeted a player I am certain Lee would give up rather easily based on the prior season's results, Jean Segura.

Segura had a horrible season overall, that tragically included the death of his nine-month old son. But I really like the way he finished. He was walking more and being far less wreckless than he had been since the second half of the 2013 season and it was working. Fortunately his turn around was so far into his horrible season that few noticed or cared that he was showing improvement. I like him to rebound and have a strong 2015 season. I think he will hit .270 or better with around ten homers and 30-plus stolen bases. If he came close to that his salary would be a bargain. That plus the pick equaled Murphy for me.

So after putting all that thought into it, I made the offer to Lee and forgot to ask for the pick, that was so key to the whole trade. He instantly accepted and I agreed before I realized what I had done. So, you see what I mean?




Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Solving Rickie Weeks

Hey Jon,

Thoughts on Rickie Weeks?

Dennis
Hey Dennis,

Weeks has always made mediocre contact and struck out too much. This season he has struggled to make even his usual contact rate. He is swinging at fewer pitches out of the strike zone but is making much worse contact with those pitches. His power has slipped dramatically. The only thing that seems to be going well is drawing walks.

There is little doubt that part of this is Weeks at least initially pressing to justify his new contract. This happens to lots of players. That pressing has led to a huge slump that I am guessing is at least partly mechanical. His BABIP is low, he is hitting lots of infield fly balls. and his HR/FB is lower than usual.

I think there is at least some bad luck involved but I think he needs to get his mind straight before his batting will come together. I can't recommend him at this point. If I owned him I'd like to stash him on the bench if I could and hope for the best. I have him in a league where he is undroppable and I probably would not anyway.

If your league is a shallower one and there are viable options available I could see dropping him at this point. I think this might be an Adam Dunn (2011) season for him. But if your league is deeper I think the chances of Weeks having a big second half are better than say - Ivan DeJesus becoming a fantasy stud.

Good luck Dennis, I hope my ramblings have helped you at least a little.

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.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Some Trade Advice...

Hey I was searching google for fantasy baseball trade analyzers and ran across your article: http://www.advancedfantasybaseball.com/2009/05/ten-fantasy-baseball-trade-secrets.html. It said email you, so whether you still are around to help, we will see.

I give: kershaw and ellsbury
I get: hanson and J.Upton

My team is: My team looks like: Avila, Youkilis, Philips, Mcgehee, Tulo, Mccutch, Ellsbury, Stanton, Davis(rajai), Lomo... Would this trade be sideways?

I lead in Hrs, rbis and am in sixth for SB. Would Justin Upton power/speed combo be much better than Ellsbury superspeed?

It seems like you have a bunch of stolen base guys already - McCutch, Ellsbury, and Rajai Davis, so I'm actually a little surprised you are leading in homers and just sixth is sbs. If we ignore the stats, it seems like Upton's power is something your squad could use. On the other hand I believe Kershaw and Ellsbury to be a superior pair to Hanson and Upton.

Hanson's roto stats look slightly better than Kerhsaw's at the moment but not by much and I am still confident that Kerhsaw is the slightly better pitcher. Ellsbury is the better hitter for average and steals more bases and is also developing some power. Upton has far superior potential but has underachieved much like his brother. I love Upton and keep hoping for a breakout, but I don't think I'd deal Ellsbury for Upton.

I would suggest you find a better, more typical, speed for power deal. Something along the lines of Rajai Davis for Adam Dunn (who is hitting well of late).

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Keeper Advice By Request

Jon,


I am in need of deciding who to keep for the upcoming year. I am in a 10 man H2H points based keeper league. Pretty standard league, we start 4sp, utility, C,1b,2b,ss,3b, and 3 OF spots. We keep 6 guys. The players i am considering are Miguel Cabera, Dustin Pedroia, Jose Reyes, Ryan Zimmerman, Ryan Braun, Ryan Howard, Kershaw, Wainwright, and cliff lee. I do not have a rd1 (rd6 in normal drafts) because i delt it to obtain ryan howard. Who should i keep/trade/let go.

I was thinking of keeing, miggy, ped, zimmerman, reyes, braun, cliff lee. Trading howard and wain. However i love kershaw and think hes a future superstar and would love to keep him. I dont know let me know what you think. thanks

Rob

Hey Rob,

Apologies for taking so long to get back to you. I just started a new job and I'm still adjusting to it.

You have a loaded to group to choose from, that's always great news. You have tough decisions to make, but I think you have it right.

Miguel Cabrera
is and an easy KEEP. He is one of the top ten players in any league and probably deserves to be top five. He will provide you with huge stats in almost every category. He hits for average, smashes 40 homers a season, and even on the Tigers should be close to the century mark in both runs and RBI.

Ryan Braun is probably the player most analysts would rank second on this list. Unfortunately, Braun has seen his groundball rate drop for two consecutive seasons which has hurt his homerun totals. Still, I'm not ready to dump him. He should be a $30-plus player even if the power stays at its current level. Just be careful not to depend on his former reputation for power. KEEP

Ryan Zimmerman has been underrated in a lot of leagues but is one of the best players in baseball. He's actually better than the more popular David Wright. The Nationals lineup should be improved this season with stronger hitters in the infield and Jayson Werth filling in for Adam Dunn. He's in the prime of his career he could take a nice step up with better players around him. KEEP

Jose Reyes is coming off another injury plagued season. He is likely to be a free agent after the 2011 season which should provide him with some motivation to play at his best. The Mets should be a lot better than most expect. If everyone is healthy (the big question) their lineup should be stacked. All that is good news for Reyes. KEEP

Dustin Pedroia also struggled with injuries but he won't be had for a discount. Hitting second in the stacked lineup in Boston, Pedroia could score 120 runs easy. Even if the sox move him further down in the lineup he should still be extremely productive and one of the better second base options. KEEP

Cliff Lee has been dominate and after signing with the Phillies he will not only be a productive player but an exciting one to own. If you chose to trade him you could probably get whatever you liked right now. KEEP

Clayton Kershaw is awesome. You could easily decide to stick with Kershaw over Cliff Lee. But I think Kershaw was pitching slightly over his head and his control can still stand some improvement. Still I would trade him unless you can get max value for him. I would rather have him back in the draft than take a lesser deal and eliminate your chances of keeping him again. BACK IN THE DRAFT

Ryan Howard
is still a very nice fantasy player. He is extremely streaky and that hurts him sometimes but at the end of every season he is a great asset to a fantasy team. Someone will want him. TRADE

Adam Wainwright
is a great pitcher he just isn't going to bump any of the players in your top six unless there is some reason to believe pitching will be scarce. TRADE

Friday, October 22, 2010

Advice: 2011 OBP League Starting From Scratch


I received a very interesting e-mail from a long-time reader. Mike also presents some great ideas for those teams that may be considering re-building. My response to Mike is below. If you have questions feel free to e-mail Jon@AdvancedFantasyBaseball.com anytime.

Here's Mike:
For the first time in this century my favorite league (the OBP league) is performing a one time scratch draft reset. It will be critical to get the very best keepers (since we have no contracts or salaries, once a player is owned he can be kept forever among the team's 10 year-to-year keepers). I'll be trying to draft a competitive team for 2011, but my emphasis will be on getting the best of the best in draft/trades. I'd be interested in your $0.02 on who your top ten for targets and/or strategies might be.
Here are some of mine thoughts:
  1. If he's not in AA yet, unlikely to help in this scenerio. Bryce Harper might eventually be a A+ Stud, but I'd still be unlikely to carry him all of 2010 on the bench and as one of my 10 best keeper options headed into 2011.
  2. Hitters early an often. They're the best keepers, so maximizing my roster with big bats just makes sense.
  3. Best player drafting. Don't take a closer based on a run. In this scenerio, Andrew McCutchen and a waiver wire RP are better than Jenks and a ww bat,
  4. What Kutchera calls the Combo makes sense. Sure there's a warm place in my heart for 35HR guys, but 15/40 or 25/25 is very sweet.
  5. During the draft, remember to use the six bench slots AND the five DL slots. Plan to draft Strasburg. And who cares if I have four 3B? One can play 3b, one CI, and the other two either become excellent trade bait from the bench.
  6. Punt catchers. It's a one catcher league. If I'm drafting Doumit or Jaso as the last catcher off the board that's because I went strong earlier in the draft.
  7. Punt closers. Only once in the last 5 years have I kept a closer from year to year. At ten keepers/yr that's 1/50 times I've elected a closer to keep. Don't bother ... I can use that 11th round pick on another big bat who might actually have a chance to be a keeper.

I know, I know ... you always play to win. But having won this league the last two years, I can see finishing 3rd and ready for 2012. That seems better than scratching out another win in 2011 but having a lesser 2012 & beyond possibility.

Talk to me ... I value your input.

Big Mike

Hey Mike, I think you have a lot of great ideas already. While I do believe we should play to win every season I also know that sometimes timing and certain events (like starting from scratch) make it advantageous to consider a more long-term view. However, as much as I agree you should seek out the best possible keepers I don't think that is necessarily mutually exclusive from also trying to win in 2011.

Minor Leaguers: You suggest limiting any minor leaguers you acquire to those at the AAA-level and in general that is good thinking when considering the present season only. However, I think in the case of minor league players it is better to look at the resume and accomplishments of the hitter rather than the level they've reached. For instance, I'd take Angels outfield prospect, Mike Trout (who reached High-A in 2010) over just about any minor leaguer at a higher level. When it comes to minor leaguers I want the greatest star potential over experience. I would definitely consider carrying him on my bench for a year in a team-building situation.

Starting Pitchers: If you chase big name pitchers like the Phillies' Roy Halladay and the Giants' Tim Lincecum chances are you will have to overpay for them. It doesn't matter that they are the best at their position if they cause you to sacrifice in other areas. The key to building a cost-effective and winning pitching staff is to be ahead of the game.

Here are some pitchers that could potentially be undervalued for various reasons and also worth drafting in 2011 (in no particular order):
Catchers: In a one catcher league it does make sense to wait and pick the 12th ranked player rather than over draft a slightly better one. However, In a one catcher league having a catcher that is clearly superior to the other options can be a huge advantage. Consider using a pick in rounds four to six on Buster Posey or Joe Mauer. Mauer was banged up in 2010 and should be better in 2011, keep the faith. Posey is an extremely talented hitter and a capable catcher, he is a fantasy superstar in the making.

If you choose to pass on those guys here are a few sleepers I like at catcher in 2011:
Fantasy's Most Wanted: I am far from ready to present my sleepers and position rankings for 2011 but I do have some players I would like to see on a bunch of my rosters in 2o11. Some of these guys will be early picks and others middle round picks but all will be contributors on fantasy leagues of all types in 2011.
Thanks for writing Mike, I hope I sparked some ideas for you.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Searching for a Pitching Upgrade?

Hi Jon

Looking to improve my pitching and capitalize on what I think is a buy-low / sell-high.

I deal:
Carl Crawford, Billy Butler, Scott Baker and Carlos Marmol

I get:
Justin Upton, Juan Pierre, Dan Haren and Huston Street.

I'm thinking I net even on steals, saves and Ks and am sacrificing RBI and Average for improved pitching ratios and upside potential in both Upton and Haren.

What do you think?
I think we should start by looking at the stats of the players involved.

Carl Crawford - .310/.373/.488, with seven homers, 57 runs, 38 RBI and 27 stolen bases

Crawford seems to be past his shoulder problems. He hit .296/.380/.481 with 12 stolen bases in June. The last seven days he has hit .364/.364/.455 so he doesn't seem to be slowing down at all.

Billy Butler - .322/.377/.480, with 8 homers, 40 runs, 42 RBI and zero stolen bases

Billy Butler is having a nice season. He might be slower to develop the power we'd like to see out of our first basemen but there is very little to complain about here. For June he is batting .284/.333/.461 and .304/.385/.478 the lat seven days.

Scott Baker - 4.97 ERA/4.07 FIP/3.81 xFIP with six wins, 7.78 K9, 1.78 BB9, and 1.41 HR9

June has not been kind to Scott Baker. But most of the problem as illustrated by his xFIP has been poor luck. With a regression closer to his FIP seeming likely, I think he will have an excellent second half.

Carlos Marmol - 2.27 ERA/2.32 FIP/ 2.84 xFIP with two wins, 14 saves, 16.65 K9, 6.31 BB9 0.25 HR9

Marmol isn't always great in non-save situations. The Cubs losing ways don't help. However, Marmol has provided excellent numbers and a decent save total. He has a pretty firm grip on the closer role at this point.

Now, the return package:

Justin Upton - .269/.355/.472 with 14 homers, 48 runs, 39 RBI, 11 stolen bases

Upton began the season rather slow but has hit .312/.423/.548 with six homers and three stolen bases in June. Crawford has been better than him thus far but if Upton keeps up his current pace he will have been the better player at the end of the season.

Juan Pierre - .249/.317/ .279 with zero homers, 39 runs, 13 RBI and 29 stolen bases

Juan Pierre is not a great hitter. However he has value to fantasy teams because the White Sox let him run wild. Unfortunately he provides zero power and not much run production. I would not expect his numbers to improve but they shouldn't decline much either.

Dan Haren - 4.56 ERA/3.90 FIP/3.43 xFIP with seven wins, 8.90 K9, 1.70 BB9, 1.47 HR9

Haren has not been as bad as Baker but they both have had rotten luck. This is especially surprising in the year of the pitcher. Haren has not been particularly great of late. He may be an upgrade over Baker but not a tremendous one.

Huston Street - his stats are irrelevant at this point

Street has just returned to the Rockies active roster after spending most of the season on the disabled list. I can ignore my code against trading for pitchers recently coming off the disabled list (even ones with shoulder injuries and a lot of bad injury history). However, I still have to point out that despite achieving his first save, manager Jim Tracy is insisting that the closer-by-committee is still in effect. This is not to say he won't re-earn the job, just that he does not yet have it secured.

In Conclusion
Whew...so. Our reader is looking for a pitching upgrade. There is probably one here, assuming Street stays healthy and becomes the closer again. Not an assumption I would make, but it is a fair possibility. It is a risk but one that is (as the reader surmised) at the cost of batting average, probably a few homers and some RBI production. I believe he'll actually gain in steals. But the actual difference in pitching is almost nothing. For perhaps a few points of ERA, you lose quite a bit if nothing changes.

The entire trade seems to hinge on Dan Haren pitching like the top ten pitcher he was expected to be. He has yet to show much of that Haren to this point. And although I don't really believe in labeling players first or second half players, Haren is definitely more of the later. Check out his last three years of stats:

By Day/Month ERA W L SV SVO G GS CG IP H R ER HR BB SO AVG
April2.10960017171111.283352692189.203
May3.07640016160111.18838381119103.214
June1.80910017171120.17726241123110.180
July2.771030016161107.199393362399.236
August4.97760017170108.213264602119112.295
September4.38460016161102.212253501127101.298
October7.5001001106.0955117.346

















Pre All-Star2.3427130056563385.02841151003370342.202

















Post All-Star4.3318140044441283.03261451363763279.286

I would save my trade ammo for a more certain upgrade. I think the risk that nothing is gained in the desired areas is too strong in this deal. I would pass and look to acquire a pitcher performing better right now. Perhaps one of these guys:

NameTeamK/9BB/9K/BBHR/9AVGWHIPBABIPLOB%ERAFIPE-FxFIP

Francisco LirianoTwins9.672.463.930.18.2591.26.35571.9 %3.472.201.273.01
Cliff LeeMariners7.340.4715.600.47.2350.92.28971.6 %2.452.340.103.31
Josh JohnsonMarlins8.922.253.960.33.2020.96.27081.9 %1.832.47-0.643.17
Roy HalladayPhillies7.751.186.590.69.2571.11.31580.3 %2.422.85-0.433.04
Tim LincecumGiants10.163.652.790.52.2311.25.31975.9 %3.132.880.253.22
Jered WeaverAngels10.452.124.920.97.2331.09.31175.3 %3.012.930.083.22
Yovani GallardoBrewers9.913.802.610.50.2231.23.30479.2 %2.562.97-0.413.46
Jon LesterRed Sox9.343.452.710.42.2051.11.27776.5 %2.863.02-0.163.44
Ubaldo JimenezRockies8.123.192.550.40.1991.05.25586.2 %1.833.08-1.243.68
Adam WainwrightCardinals8.602.413.560.68.2131.03.26981.3 %2.343.11-0.773.28
Any other opinions on this deal out there? Feel free to leave your questions, comments or even complaints in the comment section.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Filling Chase Utley's Shoes

I received the following e-mail this morning:
5X5 H2H league (OBP instead of Avg). My free agent choices are M.Tejada, Jose Lopez, Beckham, Pennington, Peralta, or S. Rodriguez. Obviously Utley is my MI (behind Kinsler/Rollins).

Whaddya think?
Big Mike
Tough decision. At least you have a mix of possibilities. You have the fading veteran in Tejada. The underachieving veteran in Lopez. The struggling phenom in Beckham. The slap-hitting speedster in Pennington, the disappointing Peralta, and the underutilized youngster in Sean Rodriguez.

Part of the decision has to be based on how your team is doing and what your category needs are.

Miguel Tejada, Baltimore Orioles - Tejada no longer provides much power. He hits for a fairly empty average thanks to being part of the underachieving Orioles lineup. In your league he is nearly worthless with just a .313 OBP.

Jose Lopez, Seattle Mariners - Lopez probably has more upside than Tejada at this point but his stats are even worse. He has a slash line of .244/.269/.337 and is showing zero power. Definitely pass.

Gordon Beckham, Chicago White Sox - Beckham is the most promising of the players on this list. He was expected to be a force in Chicago but has slumped through most of the season. He is swinging at more pitches out of the zone than he did in his rookie season. However, his contact rates are still pretty good and there is definitely a degree of bad luck. Unfortunately he does not walk much. There have been some signs of life this week, he hit his first homer in quite some time and seems to be coming around. If you can afford to embrace some risk this might be a good place to go.

Cliff Pennington, Oakland Athletics - Pennington is a mediocre hitter but he steals bases and walks enough to justify his reputation as a leadoff hitter. He has a slash of .247/.323/.359 and like the others has displayed little power. But mediocre is better than lousy and that makes him a real possibility.

Jhonny Peralta, Cleveland Indians - Peralta showed some promise a few years ago but seemed to lose it when he was moved off shortstop. Perhaps his defensive position is like Sampson's hair. Still, he has more powers than the others have shown (though nothing to go crazy about). He's a possibility if we're desperate for any homeruns we can get.

Sean Rodriguez, Tampa Bay Rays - Rodriguez hasn't been that great overall but has been hot in June. Hitting .292 with four home runs and three stolen bases as of the 26th. His potential is second only to Beckham on this list. I have a hunch he'd have been better playing everyday than he is sharing a job, but that's just a hunch. He's the hot hand.

So here are your options:

Shoot for the Stars - Gordon Beckham who has shown signs of life lately.

Take the stolen bases and the best OBP you can get - Cliff Pennington, probably the safest bet.

Desperate for Power - Jhonny Peralta, hope he gets back what he lost in the second half.

Play the hot hand - Sean Rodriguez, hope he keeps it up.

I tend to be an embrace risk type of fantasy owner and would grab Beckham. Play it safe types should probably grab Pennington. If you believe whoever you pick up is short term, Rodriguez is probably the one.

Good luck.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Bragging Rights Granted...

I received this e-mail this morning:
10 Team H2H League 25 Mixed


C - Brian McCann
1B - Prince Fielder
2B - Dustin Pedroia
3B - Adrian Beltre
SS - Jimmy Rollins
OF - Matt Holliday/Andre Ethier/Michael Bourn
UTIL - Troy Glaus/Nyjer Morgan
BN - Shane Victorino/Chris Coghlan/Aubrey Huff

SP - Gallarado,Wainwright,Cain
RP - Capps,Feliz,Wagner
P - Latos/Corpas/King Felix
BN - Anibal Sanchez,Ted Lilly,Brett Cecil
DL - Edinson Volquez
He did not ask any questions so I just started evaluating his team. Reproduced below.

Hey Jay,

Well, you didn't actually ask me a question so I'll assume you're just interested in a general impression of your team.

Brian McCann has been okay but hardly the dominating force at catcher we were hoping. He has shown some signs lately and I think he will have a big second half.

Prince Fielder has been shockingly mediocre. He has swung at a few more pitches out of the strikezone than he typically has but I'm not certain this is anything other than bad luck. He also is hitting fewer homers per flyball. I would hang on to him and hope things get back to normal.

Dustin Pedroia
is awesome. If the rest of the team had not started so slowly his numbers would be even better. He's a potential MVP for both your team and the American League.

Adrian Beltre
is having a very good season. His best in a few years. You won't do much better short of the David Wright, Evan Longoria class of player.

Jimmy Rollins has struggled to stay healthy and that is most of the reason for his lack of production but otherwise he's having a great season.

Matt Holliday/Andre Ethier/Michael Bourn - Holliday is heating up as he typically does in the second half. You could ask for more from Andre Ethier but it would be a selfish and ungrateful thing to do because he's having a great season. Bourn is not repeating his 2009 season bt the runs and stolen bases are there and that's why yo draft a player like him. He'd be much better on a real major league team (not the Astros).

Troy Glaus/Nyjer Morgan - Glaus has been one of the most productive first baseman. He has lead the league in RBI. Nyjer Morgan has been disappointing to those expecting a repeat. But he still steals bases and unless someone better becomes available he has a place on your roster.

Shane Victorino/Chris Coghlan/Aubrey Huff
- This is a great bench, it is versatile and productive in several different areas. Victorino hits for power and steals bases, he's like a poor man's Matt Kemp most years, this year he is Matt Kemp. Coghlan started slowly but has come on of late. I think he'll be better next season when he's playing a more natural position. Huff has been underrated all season and worthy of a place on any fantasy team.

Gallarado,Wainwright,Cain
- Three aces on solid teams. Nothing to complain about here.

Capps,Feliz,Wagner - You could complain about Capps a bit for his high ratios but why bother with a team like this? Feliz has been one of the best closers in the AL.

Latos/Corpas/King Felix - Who were you drafting against? You need to be in a tougher league.

Anibal Sanchez,Ted Lilly,Brett Cecil - a nice group of extra arms.

Edinson Volquez - He should be solid next year, I probably wouldn't hold him on most teams but you shouldn't be feeling much pressure.

So, you're winning right? If you aren't, I hate to see what the other guy's team has. Even in a ten team leage you should be doing very well.

Anyone in a deeper league have a dominating roster like this?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Know When to Hold 'Em - To Trade or Not To Trade

I received an e-mail from a frequent reader this morning. He has been in regular contact of late while he attempts to strengthen his team via trade. The trade he was being offered was a fair one. It was a pretty good outfielder and a pretty good starter for his closer. On the surface this was a good deal for him because dollar for dollar he would win the deal and the names involved probably made it look even better. I advised him to pass on the trade.

There are lots of owners out there obsessed with the idea of winning trades and fair deals. This is not the goal of a good fantasy trade. The object of a trade in fantasy leagues should be to bring yor team closer to winning the championship. In the example above the reader in question had a strong outfield already. He admits that the pretty good outfielder he received would be sitting on his bench. From what I know of his roster he was looking at the starter as a short term fill-in for a couple of better starters presently on the disabled list with short term injuries. For this he was thinking of trading his only true closer.

When making trades owners should hold out for or design trades that will result in a climb up the standings. Worry less about perception and fairness and concentrate on your league standings. I usually make projections of the rest of the season for any players I am thinking of acquiring and calculate how much the trade will help me in the standings.

What is your process when making deals?

Friday, April 30, 2010

Patience is also a Virtue for Fantasy Owners


Photo from fOTOGLIF


The toughest moves to make in Fantasy Sports is none at all. Everyone preaches patience this time of year but inevitably some owners will overreact to Grady Sizemore hitting .192, Mark Teixeira batting .139, or Aramis Ramirez hitting .159. These stats are horrible and they hurt your fantasy squad but dumping these players just because they're slumping would be a huge mistake.

The second toughest move to make in fantasy is to acquire a player like this while in the midst of such a slump. I do recommend it. Especially if you can trade a hot hitter unlikely to last for one of them. Players like Kelly Johnson ( I love the guy, he was one of my sleepers, but if you believe he's going to hit the 60 homers he's on pace to hit there is a bridge I'd like to sell you), Paul Konerko (on an incredible hot streak but I'll eat my hat if he leads the league in homers), or Austin Jackson (a rookie hitting .330, please).

I'll leave you with The Three Most Important Aspects of a Good Trade:
  1. Mission Accomplished - You went into the trade talks with a clear objective, and even if the players changed you still accomplished what you set out to accomplish. (You acquired the steals you needed, Re-Built for next year-- wuss, Or sold high on a player with an inflated value.)
  2. Feeling Good - You are happy with the package you received in return. You should love your side of a trade or at the very least be satisfied that the package you received will accomplish your goal of improving your team. (If you feel bad or uneasy about a deal DO NOT MAKE IT!)
  3. Integrity Intact - Your deal doesn't need to make your league mates happy but it should past the smell test. You should not have deceived your trade partners in any way. You did everything by the rules of your league. (Sometimes the rules are not so clear, its okay to test those rules as long as you do not break them. Maybe the new rules will be named after you.)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Brian Fuentes Demoted? Matt Kemp Rising! Tomko Dealing?!?!

To baseball in a minute. Has anyone out there seen Whiteout yet? Its based on this Graphic Noveland stars Kate Beckinsale. It has to be worth seeing, right?



Los Angeles Angels manager, Mike Scioscia, is calling Kevin Jepsen a co-closer to Brian Fuentes. "Both guys have been an important part of the back end of the bullpen," Scioscia said on Monday night. "But if there are some matches that could be advantageous [to use Jepsen], we will try to take advantage of [them]." Jepsen is probably gone in deeper leagues but any Fuentes owners still in contention should be checking the waiver wires. I doubt this is a situation that would continue into 2010 but it may be worth grabbing Jepsen in keeper leagues where he is still available. You never know.

I think the St. Louis Cardinals made a serious mistake this season. While I love Matt Holiday and his impact on the Cards playoff chances is undeniable, they should have found a way to do it without losing top prospect Brett Wallace. The Athletics had to deal Holiday. They had no shot at retaining him and offering a player like Holiday arbitration in uncertain financial times can be extremely risky. Wallace may not be a stellar defensive player at third base. He may not even be average. But to dump him when your team has such a glaring hole at the position and such a need for a bat like Wallace...It continues to boggle my mind all these weeks later.

Instead the Cardinals continue to use Joe Thurston at third with a very rare dose of Troy Glaus when his fragile bones allow. Glaus has managed just 18 at-bats this season. Is the defense from Joe Thurston and Glaus so much more valuable than a potential all-star bat? I seriously doubt it.

Is Brett Tomko an improved pitcher or is this just a nice run of good luck for him? His 5.39 FIP says it isn't. His strikeout rate is still a barely mediocre 5.18, less even than his career 5.98 rate. His walk rate is down this year to 2.04 per nine innings. But walks have never really been Tomko's problem. The HR9 starts to get at his problem. He has a career rate of 1.26 which is bad enough but this year it stands at 1.88 which is probably still a sign of bad luck even for Tomko. His FB rate is up significantly but since it hasn't really hurt him I think it is safe to assume that he is being aided greatly by Oakland Collesium (or whatever they call it now). The A's defense and bullpen have also helped Tomko build a 84.8 LOB% which is another sign that luck is playing a huge factor in his performance. I'm sure he's tempting to those that are streaming pitchers down the stretch. I would still stay away. Rostering Tomko is like trading your cow for a sack of magic beans.

RotoCommunity.com has lots of great articles you should check out. But of particular interest may be their expert league fantasy football draft results. My team got destroyed in week one. It didn't help that my thin receiving core was counting on Anthony Gonzalez to step up into a quasi-number one type. I have serious work to do. It is not too late to gain some value from looking at this draft. It could confirm an idea or turn you off on another one.

Over at FanGraphs, Dave Cameron is predicting the rise of the center fielder.
There is so much talent in center field that we could be seeing the dawning of the greatest group of talent to ever play the position at the same time. Seriously, just take a look at the current crop of players manning the position.
This spawned nearly 100 comments from readers. Many had a problem with the groupings that Dave used which in my opinion is a little silly. The groupings have little to do with the overall point -- that this is a historic period for center field talent. A few seemed to have a problem with how Matt Kemp was classified. Some arguing that he is overrated and others that he is potentially the best in the game. A couple of the older guys suggested that the Duke Snider/Mickey Mantle/Willie Mays era was easily the best. This is interesting reading that you'll want to check out.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Advice on 2010 Keepers

I recently received the following e-mail request for advice...

Jon- I am a long time reader of your site, and I need some advice.

I know it's early, but I'm in second to last place in my 13 team 5x5 Roto league, and I am thinking about keepers for 2010. We get to keep 6 players. I made some trades lately to bolster my potentials, but I'm still unsure what to do.

Here is my list of potential keepers:

Rivera, Mariano RP NYY
Suzuki, Ichiro RF SEA
Sizemore, Grady CF CLE
Votto, Joey 1B CIN
Choo, Shin-Soo RF CLE
McLouth, Nate CF ATL
Quentin, Carlos LF CHW
Morgan, Nyjer LF WAS
Webb, Brandon SP ARI
DeRosa, Mark 3B/OF STL
Branyan, Russell 1B SEA
Gonzalez, Carlos OF COL

First of all, I know I have too many outfielders. But my biggest two questions are Carlos Quentin and Nyger Morgan. Are they worth keeping over Choo and McLouth? And What about Webb? I'll need a lights out SP next year, but he's a big question mark.

What are your thoughts?

Thanks a lot-


Hey Bill,

Thanks for reading. I really appreciate it.

You have plenty of good candidates. It's hard to believe that you finished so low with so many quality players on your roster. I'm guessing your pitching was a problem? Anyway...which six to keep?

The No Brainers
Joey Votto - If he can get past his injury and mental problems he should one of the best.
Ichiro Suzuki - I think he has another high average/high steals season left in him.
Nyjer Morgan - He should recover just fine from the broken finger and hopefully follow up his great debut with a 50 steal season.

Hard to Throw Back
Mariano Rivera - Although he is getting older and the nagging little injuries are popping up more frequently, until he isn't a top three closer I still want him.
Shin-Soo Choo - He has had a fantastic season. The only reason he isn't a no brainer is because he has been very injury prone and this is his first real successful season.
Nate McClouth - He is pretty good when healthy but he is not great and health has been a frequent obstacle. Still, when a player is a 25/20 threat you give him all kinds of chances.
Carlos Quentin - He has serious problems with his heel. Almost exactly the same that ruined a few years of Mark McGwire's career. But he can seriously hit when he's right.
Russell Branyan - The batting average isn't pretty but when a player can approach 40 homers while taking a ton of walks and hitting .250-.260 you love when you can pair him up with guys like Ichiro and Votto who's high averages will more than compensate.
Carlos Gonzalez - He has amazing potential. he could be another 30/30 type of guy. I have trouble believing that will be in 2010 though. But people drool over his tools.

Injured or in Recovery
Grady Sizemore - He's been playing with a bad elbow all season and will require elbow surgery at the end of the year. That makes him very tough to keep but as a first round pick when healthy you can make the case.
Brandon Webb - He was a brilliant starter for his entire career until now. I would not keep him as a pitcher coming off major surgery who is also a free agent.

The Rest

Mark DeRosa - He's a solid player that qualifies all over the field in some leagues. I believe he'll become a free agent but the cardinals should attempt to re-sign him.

I would keep these players:

1B Joey Votto
CR Russell Branyan ( Due to a combination of readers making some excellent points (that I was nuts! see the comments) and retracing my thoughts I may change my mind about this. I was approaching this incorrectly. I was thinking as if this was an auction league and Branyan was an under value keeper. But in a straight draft league you want to keep the players you project to have the highest value. However, I'm still not sure that is Sizemore, due to the significant injury risk. It is still very early and we don't have enough information to pick Sizemore with confidence. I might choose Mariano Rivera or even Carlos Gonzalez. Gonzalez is going to be a highly sought after commodity in fantasy leagues this year.)
OF Ichiro Suzuki
OF Shin-Soo Choo
OF Nyjer Morgan
OF Carlos Quentin

Then I would be shopping the rest of the guys on this list in hopes of upgrading a keeper or two. This list obviously leaves you very outfield heavy but that isn't the end of the world. You can trade one or even two of those guys with the other players on your roster to teams with fewer keepers. Try to get guys who are obvious first round picks like Pujols, Utley, Hanley and so forth.

Good luck! Let me know if I can help any further.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Roundtable: Does Your Trade Pitch Work?

This week's Fantasy Baseball Roundtable has been posted at The Hardball Times. Derek Carty poses a question regarding trade talks:
Have you ever "pitched” or “marketed” a player in a trade and changed a potential trading partner's opinion about the player? Or, conversely, have you ever had you own opinion about a player changed by an opponent's pitch? Or could pushing a player actually have a negative effect and make a deal less attainable?
It is an interesting question that resulted in some interesting answers. Please, check it out by clicking here.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Trade Advice: Selling High and Going with Your Gut

Here is the content of a recent e-mail I received from a frequent reader:
Hey Jon,

Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I drove 16 hours to Chicago to catch the Cubs/Astros 4-gamer. That's not the full truth, though... I also delayed a response due to the shame I felt for going against your advice. I accepted the trade I mentioned in my last email. Don't worry - I paid for it. I was drinking $7 beer at Wrigley when Oswalt was helped off the field in the 2nd inning. It sounds like he's heading for the DL, too... yippee.


OK, so here's a quickie: Who would you rather own, Carlos Pena or Jason Bartlett? I'm pretty torn. Pena's batting average annoys me, but I feel like Bartlett is a good sell-high candidate. It seems inevitable that his power numbers decline... in fact, this seems to have already begun. Bartlett does, though, give you BA, Runs, & SB while providing decent HR & RBI numbers for his position.

Like I said, I'm torn.
The reason I ask is I plan to trade 1 of the 2 for a closer. I've picked up Carlos Guillen to fill the void. This will probably change based on matchup. Well, thanks again for all the advice. Maybe this time I will listen. And, as always, if you're short on time, no worries. I've been keeping afloat for this long... just need to get healthy. Have a good one, Robert


Hey Robert,

No need to feel shame, I'm just offering second opinions here. I say all the time that you sometimes have to follow your gut in fantasy sports. You won't always be right but at least you won't feel the pangs of regret from not doing something that felt right to you.

I wish I could get away for a day to drive to other stadiums. I haven't been on a vacation in a long time, even of the one or two day variety. I'm in Cambridge, Massachusetts so it's Fenway Park or nothing most of the time.

In a vacuum I prefer players that hit for average and steal bases over low-average sluggers. So, I guess that puts me in the Bartlett camp. I actually like both guys to be productive if not stellar players over the balance of the season. Pena swings and misses a lot which leads to a lot of bad streaks where he offers very very little. Bartlett has some on-base skills. He takes a few walks and steals bases even when he isn't exactly tearing the cover off the ball.

A lot of owners misunderstand what the idea of selling high is about.. The purpose is to get maximum value for a player that is not likely to repeat his peak performance, which gives your team a steady production at a very high level. This does not necessarily mean that the player will become worthless at some point. Sometimes a good sell-high player is also a pretty good keeper. For example, Cliff Lee in 2008 was performing at a level that no one expected he could continue given his track record and skills. But if you owned Lee for a reasonable price he was worth keeping even if you expected a 20 percent decline.. Sure enough Lee was worth keeping for everyone that owned him in 2009. Though I expect there are more than a few AL-only guys banging their heads against a wall.

Good luck Robert.

Jon Williams
Advanced Fantasy Baseball

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Reader Advice: Is Miguel Montero Really Wally-Pipping Chris Snyder?

Miguel Montero has been really hot lately (4HR and .406 in last 8 games ... 32AB). He's available in my 10 team H2H keeper league that uses OBP instead of Avg. He's certainly been better than my Chris Ianetta (1HR, .267 in last 9 games).
  1. Is Montero for real?
  2. What happens when Chris Snyder returns?
  3. Who should I drop?
My Roster:

C=Ianetta

1B/CI/3B=Fielder, Berkman, Mig.Cabrera

2B/MI/SS=Utley, Kinsler, Hardy

LF/CF/RF/OF/OF=Bay, Sizemore, N.Cruz, Crawford, Victorino

Util=Thome

SP(4)=Johan, Josh Johnson, Vazquez, Kuroda

P(3)=Jer.Weaver, Edw.Jackson, Lester

RP(4)=Fuentes, Soria, Qualls, Lidge

Bench= Theriot, Hart, Ludwick, S.Baker, Valverde, Wuertz

DL=Webb, T.Hudson, Kuo, K.Johnson, Beltre

Thanks in advance!

Big Mike
Hey Mike,

1. I like Montero, I always have. He's 26-years old and has previously demonstrated the ability to be a strong hitter at the catcher position. His walk and strikeout rates are consistent with his previous skill levels. He has begun to hit more groundballs and fewer fly balls which explains his higher batting average. Groundballs fall for hits more often than fly balls. His power is about the same as always thanks to a career-high HR/FB ratio (nothing outrageous just a few points higher than usual). He's for real. In a full-time role I would expect him to hit around .270-.275 with 10-12 home runs.

2. The D'Backs have always preferred to split their catcher at-bats with Montero receiving about a third of them. Chris Snyder is out with a back injury. Back injuries always have to be taken very seriously especially when playing such a physically demanding position. I can see the team using a more even 50/50 split when Snyder returns. Though any player who can return from fractured testicles has to get the benefit of the doubt when his toughness is in question. Both players are similar defensively (by RF/9) over the last couple of seasons so their production with the bat is more important than it would be if one were significantly better than the other. Montero seems clearly the more skilled hitter in my opinion Snyder takes more walks but strikes out more often and has less power.

3. I would drop Mike Wuertz. With your collection of closers he is very unnecessary.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Aftermath of Your Trades and FAAB Signings

If there is a lesson we can all take from the Royals and general manager Dayton Moore it is to believe in yourself and the moves you make. You will make mistakes. It is inevitable that even the best owners will sometimes make a screwy transaction. The key to learn from your mistakes. That said, just because others believe you have made a mistake does not mean that you actually have.

Not every trade looks brilliant on the surface. In fact good owners will often make deals that to others will look strange and uneven at best. This is usually because you're looking ahead and they are looking back. This is especially true in keeper leagues. A year ago trading for Scott Downs and Phil Hughes while signing Nelson Cruz may have seemed a little odd unless you were paying attention to what the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees and Texas Rangers were saying about each player and their future roles.

By the same token, moves that look great can often result in disaster. Maybe this time last year you thought that trading Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton for Carlos Gomez was a good move for your rebuilding team. You could have cut your one dollar Russell Branyan to take a shot at Jeff Clement. As Dayton Moore would tell you it isn't always about the numbers (this is not to say you should emulate Moore and just ignore them) you can learn a lot just by paying attention and not following the crowd.

Do not let anyone make you feel bad about a move you feel good about making. If you have sound reasons for going against the current then go ahead and do it. You will not always be right but you may be surprised how often you end up being right.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Making a Winner of the Jackson Buzz: Part One

A few weeks back I boasted that with half the season still available any team could still make a run at first place. It would require being aggressive and taking some chances but it could be done. Steve, who owns the Jackson Buzz is willing to let me guide him in this experiment. I've broken done this process into a few steps so that they make for an interesting mini-series of articles.

Step One: Evaluating the Buzz and their situation

Step Two: Evaluating the other rosters for trade possibilities

Step Three: Scanning the Waiver Wire for Free Talent

The Jackson Buzz are part of a 14 team mixed league with 5x5 scoring. This is a fairly deep league but not so deep that we can't find the occasional gem on the free-agent list. Here is what Steve had to say about his own team:

All right Jon, you're on.

I've attached Excel spreadsheets with the rosters for the whole league, and the current standings. We've got weekly lineups, unlimited FAAB and free roster moves. So I can troll the waiver wire for whatever help I need. I've got a lot of faith in the guys I have (I just recently acquired Morneau for pretty cheap) and people in the league will deal when it makes sense.

So here's my thinking. I'd like to see if I can't craft a deal for a decent 2B. I was offered Aaron Hill in a classic sell-high deal but he wanted far too much for my taste. The offer was Hill and Micah Owings for Gavin Floyd and Matt Garza. I think that an SP for a decent 2B wouldn't be a bad idea at all. I'm also thinking that it might not be a bad idea to pick up some solid middle relief and try to cheat my WHIP and ERA down with guys like Belisario, Troncoso, Darren O'Day, Okajima, etc.

My roster is the last one on the spreadsheet. If you need these in another format just let me know. I look forward to hearing what you think. And one other thought: this is my league to experiment, so I'm down with any idea, no matter how off the wall it may seem.

- Steve
Here is the Buzz roster with salaries

C Joe Mauer 13
C John Baker 2

I expected better from John Baker this season but Joe Mauer has been pretty awesome since returning from the disabled list. I think Baker will bounce back a bit in the second half. Overall this is a solid couple of catchers.

1B Justin Morneau 27
3B Garrett Atkins 13
CI Billy Butler 6

You can immediately see a problem at the corner positions. There just isn't close to the power you need from these spots, especially in a mixed league. This is an area we will work to upgrade. Justin Morneau is great but he may help us more if he can be moved for two more boring but productive corners. Garrett Atkins has been better lately but he could also be traded and wind up on a contender's bench.

2B Ian Stewart 5
SS Christian Guzman 1
MI Willie Bloomquist 0

You have to love Ian Stewart at $5, he looks like he just might be an above-average third baseman. Christian Guzman is a very solid shortstop who hits for average and steals a few bases.

OF Fernando Martinez 0
OF Juan Rivera 1
OF B.J. Upton 29
OF Justin Upton 5
OF Shane Victorino 17

This outfield will be better in the second half than it was in the first. B.J. Upton should provide the Buzz with a large upgrade in production. Juan Rivera has been solid and is gaining the respect of the Angels coaching staff. Fernando Martinez is a weakness right now.

U1 Nate Schierholtz 0
U2 Jim Thome 3

Nate Schierholtz is moving up the rankings quickly and should be huge for us in the second half of the season. Jim Thome also seems to be heating up a bit.

SP1 Gavin Floyd 2
SP2 Matt Garza 5
SP3 Zack Greinke 9
SP4 Gil Meche 7
SP5 Rick Porcello 2
SP6 Kevin Slowey

This is a fairly good pitching staff made even stronger by Zack Greinke's hot start. Rick Porcello has been pretty good but may be even better trade bait as a hot youngster. Kevin Slowey came to the Buzz with Matt Capps in a recent trade of Dustin Pedroia.

RP1 Brad Lidge 20
RP2 LaTroy Hawkins 0
RP3 Brian Wilson 13
RP4 Dan Meyer 0

There is plenty of potential for saves here and we'll probably trade some of it for our other needs.

The Buzz Bench

1B Ryan Garko 1
OF David Dejesus 1
OF/1B Daniel Murphy 1
OF Ryan Spilborghs 1
OF Marcus Thames 1
OF Carlos Gomez 5

SP David Price 3
SP Jordan Zimmerman 1
RP Matt Capps

The Buzz Injured List

Akinori Iwamura
Connor Jackson 9
The next step is to look at the standings and identify categories where we can make progress relatively quickly. Overall the Buzz is 48points out of first place. Not ideal but with half the season left and Steve willing to take chances we can make a strong effort. It should be more fun than sucking anyway.

Batting Average is a difficult category to predict. But the Buzz is batting .275 in seventh place, just .008 out of first place. With a little luck we can gain points in this category without making radical changes.

Home Runs is the worst category for the Buzz. Steve is in last place in the category with 61 homers between the Buzz and first place. But two points are just four homers away and we'll be sure to get those points at least. Sixth place in the category is just 23 homers away and we'll make that a long term goal.

Runs is a decent category for the Buzz. Steve's team is fifth in runs and just 46 runs out of first place. The next three teams in the standings are just 20 or so runs ahead. We'll make this category a priority.

RBI is another weak category. Our team is in ninth place and 130 RBI out of first place. This will be tough. But there are a couple of teams just 30 or so RBI ahead so we'll just target those points for now.

Stolen Bases is another strong category for the Buzz. The team is in sixth place but just six stolen bases out of first and just 13 stolen bases out of first in the category. This will be another priority for the Buzz.

Offensively the Buzz is a .300 hitting, 61 homers, 46 Run, 130 RBI, 13 stolen base player out of first in every category. If we are to hit our more modest goals we need to hit around .290 and gain 23 homers, 46 runs, 40 RBI, and 13 stolen bases which is definitely doable. That alone would gain us about 23 points.

ERA is okay for the Buzz. The squad is in fifth with a 3.99 ERA, just 0.45 out of first. This is a difficult category to gain in without gaining a ton of quality innings. But we'll do our best.

Strikeouts
is not a good category for us. The Buzz is in ninth place, 100 K's out of first place. This isn't undo-able but it would require gaining a lot of innings which might work against us a bit. We can hit sixth in the category by gaining 45 strikeouts so we'll try to do that.

Saves the Buzz is okay with. Steve's team is in third with 45 saves, seven out of second and 16 out of first place. We probably won't try to gain in this category, in fact we might make it worse by trading a closer.

Wins is a tightly packed category in this league. From worst to first in the category the teams have 38, 39, 39, 40 (the Buzz), 40, 40, 44, 46, 48, 49, 50, and 54 wins. We can probably make some gains in this category without too much effort.

WHIP is pretty tightly packed as well. The best team has a 1.24 WHIP, the Buzz in tenth have a 1.39 WHIP but are just 0.09 from third place. This can be done with a little luck.

Pitching is not as serious a problem as the offense. If we could make all of our net gains in just one player he would need to pitch well over 100 innings over the balance of the season with 10-12 wins, an ERA around 3.00 or better, a WHIP of 1.15 and at least a strikeout per inning. If it happened we would gain close to 30 points which would put us way over our goal.

In Part Two we will look at the other rosters and see if we can find trades to make that will move us towards our goals.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Mail Bag: Trade for Grady Sizemore? and More!

I am mostly caught up with e-mails from last week. If you haven't seen a response or you've been holding back for some reason, now is the time. You can reach me at Jon@advancedfantasybaseball.com I usually respond within 24 hours and usually much much less than that. And remember the more information you give me the better my response will be. Thanks everyone, please spread the word!

I am in a 4x4 league with American League ONLY & a cap of $26.00 AND I am in 4th to last place & I have Francisco Liriano locked in at $2.10 / 2007-2010. I have been offered Chris Ray (see below) by a contending team, now I sort of still have faith in Liriano but was wondering if it would be worth it to me to trade Liriano for 1 of the following to get out of locking me into him next year at $2.10? Like I said I was offerd Chris Ray but I can counter with 1 of his other bench / injured guys? Your thoughts on the following:

1.) Should I trade Liriano for one of the guys below?

2.) If yes, then who would you want? Please give me top 3 choices if there are even a top 3 choices to list.

Ray, Chris RP BAL .10 2008
Lowell, Mike 3B BOS 1.80 2009
Lowrie, Jed SS BOS 1.00 2008
Aviles, Mike SS KC .30 2008
Matsuzaka, Daisuke SP BOS 1.50 2007 - 2010
Brignac, Reid SS TB .20 2009

Thanks, Jay
Hey Jay,

I still have faith in Liriano coming around but at $2.10 (especially in a 4x4) I can see why you might like to get out from beneath the contract. Chris Ray at .10 isn't a bad option. His talent is great, unfortunately George Sherrill is pitching very well and saves may not come for a while. But at that price I think he'll have value as a quality middle reliever. I'm assuming that you are more in dump mode than fight for every point mode. I would ask for two off this list of players and see if he bites.

1. Mike Avilles .30 - Just announced he'll miss the rest of the season after having Tommy John Surgery. But this isn't as big a deal for hitter as it is for pitchers. I think he will greatly improve on his value in 2010.
2. Reid Brignac .20 - He proved in a recent call-up that he has some skills. The Rays are going to have to play him or trade him next year if they want to get any value from him. He is a former top prospect that underachieved for a while. I think he'll still be a top 10 SS in the AL in the not too distant future.
3. Jed Lowrie 1.00 - Pretty obvious that SS is a weak position in the AL. I like Lowrie to have a Pedroia-like development. This is not to say I think he'll have a MVP season but I think he'll be a very solid middle infielder.
4. Mike Lowell 1.80 - Lowell is hurting right now but I still believe he'll have an impact after the break. he just needs to have regular rest. At 1.80 he is a decent keep for 2010 if he stays in the AL.
5. Chris Ray .10 - A solid middle reliever who has a chance at saves in the future. See comments above.
6. Dice-K 1.50 - Dice-K needs to get straight again but I like his chances at a comeback. His stuff is still too good to ignore.
***
Hi Jon,

First off -- want to say that I love the site. Found you via a link on Razzball (another favorite of mine) and really appreciate the insight you provide.

Decided I'd take you up on the free advice offer. I have a trade in the works that could really define my season and I'm torn. I'm in a 10-team 6x6 roto league that counts OPS and Holds. I'm in a position where I need to clear an OF spot because I have Manny and Josh Hamilton coming back within the next several days-- both of whom I think will produce as expected. I also have Braun, Justin Upton, Crawford, Nelson Cruz and Brad Hawpe starting for me so I'm deep.

I have the opportunity to trade Cruz and Hawpe for Roy Halladay and Sizemore. Normally I would do this in a heartbeat but Grady's elbow (and the news that he will most likely need surgery in the offseason) scares the bejesus out of me. I can sweeten this deal by getting Slowey for Lowe as well (is that an upgrade?) and do need to gain significant ground in wins, WHIP and ERA so Halladay would be huge. I just worry that I'm giving up way too much offensive production for a guy that might get shut down in August because his team is 30 games out of first. On the other hand, if Grady stays healthy and produces then this appears to be a steal for me.

Is this trade worth the risk? Really look forward to your thoughts on this one.

Thanks Jon!
You have a pretty interesting situation here. You obviously have a stacked outfield.

Manny Ramirez
Josh Hamilton
Ryan Braun
Carl Crawford
Nelson Cruz
Brad Hawpe
Justin Upton

This is a very deep group. Any combination of five would be a winner for you and adding Sizemore to the mix just makes it that much more exciting. If you did the trade you would be left with an outfield and utility of Ramirez, Hamilton, Sizemore, Braun, Crawford, Upton -- even in a ten team league that is impressive. If Sizemore is healthy he is likely better than either Cruz or Hawpe. Trading one of these guys for Halladay is a great move for you. The question becomes is gaining Halladay worth the risk of trading Hawpe for Sizemore. I would have to say that it is.

In your best case scenario Sizemore can finish the season and plays up to his normal standards and provides you with close to 20/20 in the second half and you get an ace starter in Halladay. The worst case scenario is Sizemore gets hurt and you have to find a new utility player. You still get the upside of adding Halladay. You are definitely taking a risk but I think a good one. You always run the risk of injuries. Any one of your other outfielders could be hurt at any time, its just part of the game. Sizemore would not be the first player to play through this type of injury. I also would not be shocked to see the Indians DH Sizemore quite a bit and give Hafner some starts at first base.

I would do this deal. Thanks for sharing with me.

***
Hi Jon,

Need some more pitching advice for week 14. Again, I start 6 (min. 4 SP, min 1 RP and 1 utility) in a 12 team points based H2H League.


• Correia @ ARI (Davis), @ SF (Zito)
• Cueto @ PHI (Hamels), @ NYM (Santana)
• Dempster vs. ATL (Vasquez), vs. STL (most likely to happen if CHI reshuffles its rotation right before the break
• Greinke @ DET (French)
• Jackson vs. CLE (Lee)
• Marquis vs. WAS (Stammen), vs. ATL (Jurrjens)
• Danks vs. CLE (Pavano)
• Nolasco @ ARI (Haren)

• Franklin @ MIL (3), @ CHI (3)
• Aardsma vs. BAL (3), vs. TEX (4)
• Soria @ DET (3), @ BOS (4)

Thanks,

Sean
Hey Sean,

Hopefully I can do better than last week for you...

Greinke @DET is a must start.
Jackson vs CLE
Danks vs CLE
Nolasco @ARI
Correia @ARI and @ SF
Soria
Franklin

Good luck!

***

Hey Jon

Wanted to get your thoughts on a few trade offers I'm thinking about. This league includes OPS so please bear that in mind.

Jason Bay's owner is looking to move him and pick up some speed. Here are 2 offers he's posed to me:
1. Bay & Stephen Drew for Kinsler & Victorino
2. Bay & Zimmerman for Victorino & Adrian Gonzalez

Thanks a ton!

Dan
Hey Dan,

I'm not excited about either deal for you. I would not do the Kinsler deal. The Gonzalez deal is doable (I would not do it but it isn't an awful deal) but if he's really desperate for steals I would expect him to make you a better offer. One that doesn't end up taking away more power than you actually get back. Offer him Victorino for just Bay that is much fairer than you throwing in a top player for a mid-tier performer.

Good luck.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Fantasy Owners

There is more to being a Champion than having a good draft or making killer trades. They obviously help but if you really want to win you need to adapt the attitude of an effective owner.
  1. Be Proactive - An effective owner is always looking for ways to improve his team. Building an effective team starts at the draft but it is not all about trading after that. Without making snap judgments you need to identify your shortcomings and work to fix them. This is not all about trading. The waiver wire and FAAB are very useful tools that are in place to allow you to fill holes and make small improvements. Even small upgrades can make a large impact over the course of the season.
  2. Begin with the End in Mind - Before the draft or auction, before making a trade, or even making a waiver claim the effective owner knows exactly what he hopes to achieve with any given move. He has considered the consequences and the benefits of his plan. Every move you make should be to further your ultimate goal of winning. If it does not move you towards a championship you should reconsider.
  3. Put First Things First - Do not waste the time you spend managing your team on fruitless pursuits. David Wright may be your favorite player but trading Evan Longoria for him would be a mistake. Realize that your first priority is to win and not to build a collection of your favorite players. All of your focus should be on moving your team towards a championship.
  4. Think Win/Win - Any deals you make should be made without sacrificing the good relationship between you and the other party. Don't use trickery or any other form of deception to complete a deal. Because if you do you may ruin any chance of making further deals with that team. Your trading partner should leave the table satisfied that he accomplished something even if they did not accomplish as much as you did.
  5. Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood - Before you can make an effective deal you need to understand the needs of your potential trading partner. By providing your rival with what he needs, you increase the opportunity to gain what you in turn require from the deal. Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself if you would make the same deal as the owner of the other team. When you are satisfied from both their perspective and yours, you will have created a good offer.
  6. Synergize - Work to create good relationships with the other team owners. The more open the lines of communication in your league the stronger the league will be as a whole. A strong league has fewer conflicts and misunderstandings. Work with the other owners to write a constitution and set of rules that satisfies all of the owners. Why have rules that a majority of the league does not like? A group of happy (or at least content) owners makes a stronger league.
  7. Sharpen the Saw - Effective owners never stop learning. They constantly investigate new strategies and advanced statistics. They study the players at all levels of competition. They watch baseball and think about the game. Effective owners never think they have an unbeatable strategy because they know that eventually it will be countered. When an owner no longer studies the game he ceases to be effective.