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May 14, 2010

Fantasy Beat

A BP Fantasy Baseball Game

by Marc Normandin

We have made many changes to our fantasy baseball product here at Baseball Prospectus recently, adding new content, new authors, and a fantasy-specific blog to go along with the tools and projections we have always offered. Next up we want to offer you something that many have clamored for: a fantasy baseball game of our own.

I'm going to be deliberately coy with details for now, but just know that we are hard at work building a game that should be able to satisfy a wide range of fantasy owners. What I want from you, in the comments section in this post (or via e-mail or through Twitter @Marc_Normandin, I'm basically connected to both all day long) is to let us know how you feel about this and what would make this a fantasy game you would want to play.

We have a lot of ideas we are implementing, but this is a game for you, so we want to know what it is that you want from it as well. We look forward to your feedback, and at some point I promise I'll let a little more slip than "there's a fantasy game coming!"

23 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

dcarroll

I would want a sim game better than Scoresheet, which is a tall order IMHO. I don't play roto.

May 14, 2010 11:06 AM
rating: 1
 
Ben F.

I'd love a roto game that includes some meaningful defensive stats.

May 14, 2010 11:22 AM
rating: 0
 
bronnerea

I'd prefer a points-based league, as opposed to a category-based competition.

May 14, 2010 11:23 AM
rating: 1
 
jtrichey

Yeah, for real unexplored territory it would have to be a sim type game that at least did things differently than Scoresheet, IMO. I enjoy Scoesheet quite a bit but there are some things that could be improved upon.

May 14, 2010 11:23 AM
rating: 1
 
jlebeck66

I'm more of a simmer myself. If that's the route taken, I'd like to see something that maybe incorporates the DT stats in a way to play across eras. Or another thought along those lines, use minor league translations and make all 4500+ guys in pro ball available to be used in the sim.

May 14, 2010 11:26 AM
rating: 0
 
CRP13

Head to head! Sorry, that makes six completely different answers now, doesn't it. I do like H2H though.

May 14, 2010 11:27 AM
rating: 0
 
leites

For me, robust capacity to support dynasty keeper leagues, starting with being able to draft any minor league prospect, even the guys in low-A ball..

May 14, 2010 11:42 AM
rating: 4
 
Michael Bodell
(89)

Yeah, put me down for a sim game better than Scoresheet. For instance one that truly uses random numbers based on the past week without trying to "fit" the numbers closer to what actually happened the way Scoresheet does.

May 14, 2010 11:46 AM
rating: 1
 
Noel Steere
(965)

I love the league I'm in (13th year in existence), and would love to see our format used more often:

Points-based (forumula for hitting similar to Runs Created, formula for pitching somewhat like Game Score [5 points is really good for a start, Kerry Wood's 20 K game was about 13 points]). You fill position slots every two weeks (all 8 fielding positions + DH, 4 Starting Pitchers, 1 Reliever (no saves), 1 Closer (saves included)) from a 25 man roster, position eligibility is pretty tough: 27+ games from last year, 1/6th of games played this year.

Here's the kicker: You fill the lineup slots retroactively, so your entire roster is in play every two week period. This encourages depth, but still makes positional surplus/scarcity meaningful. It's worked really well for us, and allows for a casual experience (no scouring for two start starters or matchups) that still has a good level of involvement (you have to look every two weeks to see how all your players have done).

May 14, 2010 11:48 AM
rating: 0
 
Wade

I like standard 5X5 roto...adding a bunch of esoteric categories makes the game a crapshoot, imho

May 14, 2010 11:51 AM
rating: 0
 
Jack G

1x1 WARP roto

May 14, 2010 12:06 PM
rating: -1
 
BillFisher

I, too, would be interested in some sort of Scoresheet-type league. And some acknowledgment of defensive value.

May 14, 2010 13:13 PM
rating: 0
 
jrmayne

Yah, Scoresheet. But I don't think you can beat Scoresheet; a non-luck balanced/non-ERAish Scoresheet preceded the existing version and led to rioting.

I don't think you can out-Scoresheet Scoresheet.

What I'd really like is a market with payoffs. That is: Each action done by a player earns money/points/whatever, or reduces earnings. At the end of the year, it pays off. That's sort of like PROTRADE, but PROTRADE didn't have a system where trades were balanced by the market, so you end up with injury runs and vast point gains through gaming the system.

I want to compare my projections to the markets. And at the end, when I'm right, I want the others' cash in my pocket. (Please note: I express no opinion on the legality of this setup in all jurisdictions. You could probably ask the guy who wrote "Fantasy Baseball and the Long Arm of the Law," but I'm guessing he's no more help than I am.)

--JRM

May 14, 2010 13:57 PM
rating: -1
 
bowdrie42

Support for keeper leagues would be a selling point for me. This support would take the form of draft/auction integration and wildcard fields for salaries and contract years.

May 14, 2010 15:17 PM
rating: 0
 
R.A.Wagman

That is awesome news - all my virtual baseball needs under one virtual roof! I would recommend very flexible scoring, full use of all stats available to BP, including proprietary ones, and anything defensive. I am a new Scoresheet convert and would love that style, with dynasty settings available. Minor leaguers are a must for a BP-crowd. The possibilities are (and should be) endless!

May 14, 2010 15:55 PM
rating: 0
 
ccgrealm

Some sort of minor league system integrated into a dyntasy/keeper league setup would be great.

May 14, 2010 15:59 PM
rating: 0
 
TonyinAsia-Pacific

value for in some mathematical sense for catcher ERA; meaningful defense especially since so many MLB teams are now paying a lot of attention to that aspect of the game; why not some BP stats value/catagories?

May 14, 2010 23:47 PM
rating: 0
 
DAra

I think any game that utilizes the proprietary values that BP is well known for or have pushed to the forefront of the "mainstream" press (VORP, BABIP, etc.) would be very interesting. I'm in Box Baseball which has a beta game involving strictly minor league players, so it would be interesting to see the market acceptance of that. The main game departs from Scoresheet in that instead of being artificially constrained by ERA as Scoresheet is, they equally weigh hitting and pitching. It's also daily. The consequence is that in the backdrop of a daily game (rather than weekly in Scoresheet), short term variations are much more apparent. Also, how do you resolve a situation where a pitcher who pitches a perfect game faces a hitter who goes 4 for 4 with 4 HRs, hypothetically? Of course, this only applies in a sim game where a pitcher faces a hitter. It wouldn't apply if BP is thinking of a Roto or Points-based league format.

May 15, 2010 10:42 AM
rating: -1
 
DAra

To reach the mass market, it seems apparent that Roto and points-based is the easiest to digest and manage with minimal time requirements. Sim-type games are geared towards enthusiasts. Finding that sweet spot would be a goldmine for BP. Considering how they've pushed awareness of terms like VORP etc to the forefront, that would be a challenge well worth taking up.

May 15, 2010 10:50 AM
rating: -1
 
Ankiel66

Would you need to be a BP subscriber to play? Most of my friends who I play fantasy baseball with every year are not BP subscribers. If they didn't have to be one, then perhaps I could convince them to switch from yahoo to here.

May 15, 2010 14:34 PM
rating: 0
 
R.A.Wagman

Good point - but I think it would also be a great challenge to play in a league where you know that the other participants are avid fans/students of the game. In a way, each league would be a potential experts' league.

May 15, 2010 15:56 PM
rating: 0
 
kprince

I would be very interested along long as the product is different from what is already offered elsewhere. I like head to head a la Strat-o-matic, but with one game a day (rather than a series) with more sophistiscated gameplay.

May 15, 2010 18:52 PM
rating: 0
 
scolby83

Flexibility is key. The more options you include, and the easier it is to customize the leagues, the better.

I've played in several keeper leagues that assign players a salary and a contract length. Those two things have always had to be dealt with outside of the league page via message board or email. I'd love to see a customizable system that can deal with assigning and extending contracts and bidding on free agents en masse during the off season.

May 16, 2010 08:45 AM
rating: 0
 
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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Contractual Matters: T... (05/13)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Hot Spot... (05/13)
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Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Weekly P... (05/14)
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