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March 4, 2011

Fantasy Focus

A Tour of the 2011 Player Forecast Manager

by Marc Normandin

Every spring since launching the Player Forecast Manager, we at Baseball Prospectus have tried to improve it to make it more useful for our subscribers. The PFM, for those who haven't tried it, is a tool that uses our Depth Chart projections to create player values for use in fantasy baseball drafts. It's popular among our users—enough that its use has occasionally bogged the entire site down in the past—but its potential has still not been fully realized.

Since last year, the PFM has been given a major overhaul by Ben Murphy, Rob McQuown, and others, who entirely rewrote and streamlined the code to improve the speed of the program. The PFM itself was also moved to a separate server so that it would run faster (and keep it from slowing down the rest of the site), and it was given a new coat of paint that is part aesthetics, part user interface. Today, we'll run through some PFM basics, while explaining the additions we've made, and some still to come.

The Player Forecast Manager—which you can reach through the new, easy-to-remember address of pfm.baseballprospectus.com—gets its strength from customization. Is your league rotisserie, or points style? Are you using a standard 12 teams, or just six? How about 30?  Maybe you play in an AL- or NL-only league, rather than mixed. All are customizable options. Even if your league uses a complex scoring system that involves statistics like RBI + R + HR, or Saves + Holds, or Quality Starts, you can set the PFM to base its calculations on those as well.

Once your league settings are in place, the PFM will spit out dollar values and draft rankings that reflect your choices. For instance, there are often discussions about how someone like Adam Dunn would be worth more in a league that uses on-base percentage—the PFM can tell you exactly how much the difference is. (For reference, the answer is $21 for standard, $28 for OBP leagues.) If your league uses two starting catchers and five outfielders, the values for those positions will change, as more of them are required—Logan Morrison is worth $5 in an OBP league (with everything else standard), but in a league with six outfielders and 14 teams, he's worth $10, thanks to new scarcity and replacement levels.

Those are the base values, but they can change as a draft progresses. This is why we include inflation. Let's say the first five outfielders in this hypothetical OBP league are all auctioned off at $40 apiece as the first five players, which is somewhere between $8 and $12 more than they are worth. The PFM will recognize that there is less money in the pool and that there are fewer outfielders to choose from, and will adjust prices accordingly. In this scenario, Hanley Ramirez's price drops by roughly 10 cents, but as a draft goes on (and depending on how high or low you set the inflation influence), those numbers will continue to drop, assuming people continue to overpay. Conversely, if players all go for less money than expected, more money will be in the pool to spend on the remaining players and their values will rise accordingly.

If you want more details about these different areas of customization, check out our detailed help page, which you can also find in one of the orange buttons atop the new PFM. And that's as good a segue as any for getting into the meat of the shiny new things the PFM can do for 2011.

For one, those orange buttons, which are very much not hidden:

 

The help page, as mentioned, is new. The "News & Updates" button also leads to a new page, which details the changes within the PFM and which version we are currently running. (For example, the last major change was made to version 2.2 of the PFM on February 23, when (H+BB+HBP) was added as a scoring category.) The two buttons at right export spreadsheets with all of the data contained within the PFM, minus the calculations for customization. Think of it as a depth charts projection spreadsheet. (You can also export whatever customized setup you output to the PFM, for further sorting/customization/offline usage.)

Beneath those buttons is another new area for saving your inputs. Maybe you're tired of adding in the same stat customizations for your league every single time you enter the PFM, or you don't want to continue to bookmark each league and its various rules in order to visit them later. You don't have to now, as you can save your setups and return to them at any time—they are saved to your account, and so as long as you are signed in to Baseball Prospectus, you can access the data. I, for one, am thrilled that I don't have to revamp the offensive categories every time I want to check prices for players in one of my personal leagues, and we hope that you get the same kick out of being lazy.

You may have noticed the Configuration Options section looks very different as well:

See those little blue circles with the "i" in the middle? Those are tooltips. Mouse over the circle, and a message will appear detailing what that specific option does. Observe:

You don't have to keep checking the detailed help section if you don't want to, and the mystery surrounding some of these options has been removed.

In the bottom-right corner of the Configuration Options, under "Display," is a new setting: "Show Expert Rankings." I'm a little more humble than that option suggests, but you can find the rankings series I just wrote, in PFM form, by selecting this option:

Second base is an example of why this is a useful service—while PECOTA and the PFM see Brandon Phillips as an impact second baseman, I'm a bit more pessimistic, and would prefer any of the three second basemen who follow him in the PFM rankings. This doesn't mean you have to agree with me, but it does show you that this player's 2011 isn't an open-and-shut case. By clicking on the "Tier 3" text in Phillips' row, you can open up the second base rankings where I commented on him, and see why I'm more pessimistic than the PFM is. (We hope in the future to make these comments available within the PFM simply by mousing over them, just like the tooltips.)

Another new addition can be found under the "League Used" setting under "League." For those of you who play in custom fantasy leagues that don't employ any of the mixed, AL- or NL-only options—maybe you only pick from certain teams, or divisions, or what have you—we now have you covered, as you can choose any combination of 30 teams, and the PFM will offer output only on players from those selected clubs. (Testing for this option made me want to play in a six-team league that uses just American League East clubs.)

Those are the major changes—you can read about the smaller ones in the News & Updates section—but it's not the end of them. We have one final addition, which is the player health ratings produced for the Team Injury Projection series. In the past, these were released as their own spreadsheet, but now, just like the Expert Rankings, they can be switched on in the PFM and exported. The PFM will now allow you to see its own customized valuations, my fantasy rankings, and the health ratings of every player covered, all in one place on your draft day.

The Team Injury Projection series (formerly the Team Health Reports) are an important fantasy baseball cornerstone, and they will be coming in their new format soon, courtesy of Corey Dawkins and myself. The health ratings for those players will appear in the PFM before they release in article form, for those who need that information for their drafts. That's courtesy of our brand new injury projection system, which you will be hearing much more about in the coming weeks and months.

There, in a 1,600-word nutshell, is your 2011 PFM. (Just as a reminder, the PFM, depth charts, and injury risk ratings are available to both fantasy and premium subscribers.) We won't rest there, though, as we have more ideas for future versions of the program, and are always taking feedback from you, the reader. Let us know in the comments what you think about the new PFM, and what else you would like to see implemented in the future. We're always listening, and always tinkering. 

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

BP Comment Quick Links

R.A.Wagman

I know there used to be a SS/score (or something similarly named) for Scoresheet players. Any plans to roll that back into the fold?

Mar 04, 2011 04:38 AM
rating: 6
 
BP staff member Ben Murphy
BP staff

Yes we do plan to develop and publish a new and improved version of the SSSIM value metric. Look for more details soon.

Mar 04, 2011 06:34 AM
 
Karl T

Most scoresheet drafts are well underway. Would have been very nice to have upside and SSSIM or its replacement at the time of the PFM rollout. I know this is not the biggest marketshare for fantasy baseball, but it is arguably the market most likely to subscribe to BP.

Mar 04, 2011 13:49 PM
rating: 5
 
Bob

this is the third year in a row that BP has failed to deliver their top-notch quality product in a timely manner.

Mar 04, 2011 14:46 PM
rating: -3
 
jpjazzman

And yet you are still a subscriber...

Mar 04, 2011 17:22 PM
rating: 0
 
Bob

After last year's PECOTA debacle, I was given a free subscription, which hasn't expired yet.

Mar 05, 2011 06:46 AM
rating: 2
 
BP staff member Ben Murphy
BP staff

I appreciate the need for SSSIM on an earlier timeframe--I'm in the middle of multiple Scoresheet drafts myself, actually. I apologize for the delay in delivering it and I hope that the new SSSIM meets your needs, if not your timeframe. I'd also encourage you to check in this week to Rob McQuown's chat on Wednesday for plenty of Scoresheet content.

Mar 05, 2011 12:41 PM
 
Bob

Thanks, Ben. Sorry if my previous message was a bit rude. The truth is, nobody delivers a better product than BP; otherwise, I wouldn't be so eager to get it.

Mar 05, 2011 14:06 PM
rating: 0
 
robustyoungsoul

Kudos to all involved on the improvements. This tool gets more useful every season.

Mar 04, 2011 06:10 AM
rating: 5
 
eliyahu

Is there any way to make it more effective in evaluating trade proposals?

Mar 04, 2011 06:49 AM
rating: 5
 
Marc Normandin

It's one of the top priorities for the future.

Mar 04, 2011 07:33 AM
rating: 0
 
doog7642

Love all that you have done, especially the easier save feature. Thanks for making this a user-friendly tool.

My draft is over, but please get us upside scores ASAP. That, in my dynasty league, is immensely helpful for trade evaluation. Would have been helpful for the draft, but, you know, spilled milk and crying and all that.

Mar 04, 2011 07:01 AM
rating: 9
 
Bob

Agreed. Without upside, keeper league drafters are in the dark. I was told by customer service a couple days ago that it would be ready "soon, soon, soon."

Mar 04, 2011 07:19 AM
rating: 3
 
evo34

The player cards with 10-year projections as well... No ETA, no mention from anyone at BP in over two weeks. I think a status update is in order.

Mar 04, 2011 10:38 AM
rating: 3
 
dianagram

My big issue is that PFM can't be "downloaded" to run on one's own computer ... that it needs to "talk" to the BP server after every iteration. Is there a particular reason(s) why it can't be made into a standalone EXE application?

Mar 04, 2011 07:36 AM
rating: 6
 
Brian Kopec

YES. This this this.

PFM is useless to anyone who doesn't have internet access at their draft.

Mar 04, 2011 10:23 AM
rating: -2
 
Marc Normandin

"Useless" is just a wee bit strong, considering you can export a spreadsheet with all of the customized information in it to use offline. "Unable to use inflation features offline" is more accurate.

Mar 04, 2011 10:57 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Steven Goldman
BP staff

I'm not mocking this request at all, but I'm really curious if that's a big issue in this day and age. Are there really locked-room drafts with no net access?

Mar 04, 2011 12:39 PM
 
Brian Kopec

Yes.

In fact, I was invited to join a new league last year that specifically prohibited internet access during the draft and considered my request to bring my laptop very suspiciously. (I was dumbfounded as well.) It's a very old league with several 'older' members who aren't technologically savvy. The draft lasts 10-12 hours long and they were concerned that I would have access to fresh injury/trade/cut news during the draft.

Even if internet access were allowed, last year's draft was held in a cinder-block community rec room. No internet available unless you had 3G.

Mar 04, 2011 13:05 PM
rating: 0
 
raygu1

wow-10-12 hours? I thought my 5-6 hour auction draft was long.

Mar 04, 2011 21:25 PM
rating: 0
 
rotoman21

Steven,

I'm one of them. Our league drafts at a clubhouse in one of the owners subdivision.

We draft there because Its very large with plenty of table space and room. The drawback, it has no internet access.

Mar 06, 2011 10:57 AM
rating: 0
 
Brian Kopec

Ok...not useless. But I can get free projections and values from other sources. The unique value of the PFM (to me anyway) is the inflation.

Mar 04, 2011 13:12 PM
rating: 1
 
ecsedy

I had a conversation with Ben a couple of years ago about PFM being split into two parts, a WSDL interface that would return the dollar values for a league as XML and a UI, web based or otherwise, that would do the in auction part. The "secret sauce" of deriving the values would remain exclusively in BP's domain hidden behind the web service. The current PFM front end could then read the XML from the web service or from storage but it would also open it up to third party front ends. This approach would have the drawback of bringing the inflation logic out from behind the server and into the client. You would want to take security measures if those algorithms are proprietary. Also, the saving the league parameters and players frozen/chosen would be done via a web service call.

Mar 04, 2011 14:34 PM
rating: 0
 
acheck10

Is there a way to make the PFM output a list of all projected major league starters at a given position, no matter their projected $ value?

For example, in my 10 team league, I set the minimum value at $0, and ran the PFM. It outputs 10 catchers, but it would be nice to see who it thinks #11 would be. I tried putting the minimum value < $0, but this seemed to make the whole thing give weird results.

I know I can look in "depth charts" or in the fantasy rankings by position to find out who #11 might be, but it would be easier if more players were automatically included in the spreadsheet.

Mar 04, 2011 07:54 AM
rating: 2
 
Marc Normandin

For the fantasy rankings, I set the minimum value displayed to -99 dollars. The results are not so much weird as they are clearly tilted towards AL- and NL-only leagues after so many players at a position.

Mar 04, 2011 08:22 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Ben Murphy
BP staff

You should be able to list a very low number for minimum dollar value to display (on the right near the bottom), like -99 as Marc said, and it should not impact the valuation of the players, only the content that is output.

If you change the minimum league salary, that will impact valuation and not the output.

Mar 05, 2011 12:44 PM
 
bkwasnick

My league dropped the IP limit this year from 1600 to 1500. I'd love to see IP limits incorporated somehow into the PFM; obviously a situation where you can stream starting pitching reduces the value of all SP but I don't see how this is taken into account here.

Mar 04, 2011 08:03 AM
rating: 5
 
BP staff member Ben Murphy
BP staff

I also play in a league with IP limits and there are some ways you can adjust usage of the PFM to simulate something like an IP limit. I would like to upgrade the logic behind the scenes to adequately account for both period minimums (weekly head to head leagues have min IP usually) and season maximums (many roto leagues have max IP to prevent people from abusing SP rotation cycles). Such an upgrade is unlikely to make it into production this season, but it will remain on our list for improvements heading into 2012.

Mar 05, 2011 12:46 PM
 
ecsedy

When I've used it in a live auction I've had to batch up player buys because it has been too slow to do each buy individually. Not a big deal since it is unlikely that 5-10 player buys will distort the market that much until late in the draft. A larger issue is that PFM "times out" after a certain period of inactivity and the entire page has to refresh, slowly. This is annoying.

Mar 04, 2011 08:25 AM
rating: 2
 
Marc Normandin

Are you talking about in years past, or this year?

Mar 04, 2011 09:32 AM
rating: 0
 
ecsedy

Years past, like as long as PFM has been around. I am hopeful that the individual player updates will be quicker this year but am still concerned that I will have to refresh the page every 5 minutes or have to start PFM from scratch because it timed out.

Mar 04, 2011 14:17 PM
rating: 1
 
tdogg217

Just setting up the league settings and keeper salaries, this years PFM is faster by leaps and bounds. I imagine it will be fine on draft day.

Mar 04, 2011 19:02 PM
rating: 2
 
BP staff member Ben Murphy
BP staff

We do expect that the PFM will be fast enough to use in real time this year, as mentioned. Additionally, I am not aware of any reason why the page would time out--it has a form loaded on it and you should be able to submit that form to the server at any time, regardless of how long you last submitted it. You might want to investigate your browser settings to see if this is a browser triggered event and not a server triggered event.

Mar 05, 2011 12:48 PM
 
krissbeth

How are the servers, or whatever? In past years, what's been dicey has been the long refresh times after a pick has been made. It sometimes consumed as much as a minute of my draft clock reloading. The concern is that as more people use this service towards the end of the month, the harder it will be for it to be fast and responsive.

Mar 04, 2011 08:25 AM
rating: 0
 
Marc Normandin

As stated in the article, the code has been optimized and the PFM moved to its own server. We're hoping that will be able to withstand the crush of usage much better than in the past.

Mar 04, 2011 10:59 AM
rating: 0
 
sebajoe1

I play in a points league and PFM no longer lets me include any rate stats when generating a list. I understand the error message that rate stats cannot translate into points. However, in the past I have used PFM and assisgned a value of zero to rate stats because I like to have the rate stats as part of the picture when I am looking at the rankings generated by PFM on draft day. This seems like something that would be simple enough to fix in the new system.

Mar 04, 2011 09:11 AM
rating: 3
 
BP staff member Ben Murphy
BP staff

Thanks for the feedback on this issue. I'll look into a way to allow rate stats to appear in the output for points leagues.

Mar 05, 2011 12:49 PM
 
McLovins

Thanks for allowing hybrid league settings. That's a big time saver for those of us in funky leagues, and I also like the display capability for your Tiered rankings and eventually the injury ranking. I think that's a big added plus to the PFM output. To expand on that, and something I think has been commented on in the past, is could it be possible to allow the PFM display other line items only without incorporating them into the value calculation? For example, I like to note the Upside, as many seem to here, next to the player's perceived value as well as the Beta that Pecota feels for that projection. I like to have those two measures there to see so when I come across picks of similar current value I can use those two metrics to help me decide either whom to go for or whom to spend that extra buck on. It would be a massive time saver for me to be able to have PFM display that rather than having to do it mannually. Other examples for useful columns would be on the pitching side like K/9, K:BB, GB% etc... Thanks again, I think this is really some of the best PFM improvements in years.

Mar 04, 2011 09:16 AM
rating: 2
 
SC

Let me echo the thanks for allowing fully customizable league settings. Finally I can use PFM for my Easts only league (plus DET and as a legacy from the old divisions).

Mar 04, 2011 12:48 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Ben Murphy
BP staff

This sounds like the same request as above with points leagues being able to display rate statistics. Basically, any construct where there is a separation between valuation categories and display-only categories. I will look into implementation of such a display-only feature.

Mar 05, 2011 12:51 PM
 
Mountainhawk

Does PFM consider who we have drafted and the position limits, or are the position limits just for a scarcity calculation? I have all 10 batter positions filled in my team, but the output still includes batters.

Mar 04, 2011 09:32 AM
rating: 2
 
prs130

I was having this problem too... I did a mock draft to see if PFM was working for me and ended up with 7 OF and zero pitchers after 10 rounds

Mar 04, 2011 12:41 PM
rating: 1
 
tdogg217

It does take into account who you draft, so long as you mark the player as selected to your team and have the league settings correct. Be sure to have the User Centric Inflation turned on and check the box when you select players and it updates your roster. Hope that helps.

Mar 04, 2011 19:09 PM
rating: 0
 
Mountainhawk

I have User Centric inflation turned on, and my players are all on the right-hand box.

However, I have 10 batters and 5 pitchers (with 10 batters openings {1B,2B,3B,SS,OF,OF,OF,C,Util,Util}) and I still have batters in the output. I understand that the batters may still have more 'value' than the pitchers left, but if I say that I only have 10 batter spots, PFM should recognize that and stop showing them.

Mar 05, 2011 09:10 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Ben Murphy
BP staff

To clarify here, user centric inflation is something that adjusts the valuation of the stats categories by comparing the average stats for players on the user's team to the average stats for players not on the user's team. This helps during the course of a draft when you have runs on closers, for example.

Currently the PFM does not anticipate your roster positions enough to be able to discern whether players you have taken fill your roster or not. So even though you may have filled your roster for hitters, it will still evaluate hitters based on the overall league budget and money available.

Clearly it would be useful for PFM to be able to anticipate your roster (and your league mates' rosters as well). Ideally it will be something that is customizable where you can ask the PFM to consider either stats, roster positions, or both when using user-centric inflation. As a result of this complexity, these features are on our road map for inclusion into the valuation updates in 2012.

Mar 05, 2011 12:58 PM
 
Mountainhawk

Thanks for the info Ben. Obviously it would be awesome to include, but I can see the difficulties since different sites have different eligibility rules, and it's hard to know where a player is planning on putting a utility guy with eligibility in 4 positions.

Mar 06, 2011 16:04 PM
rating: 0
 
batts40

Love all the new features, PFM is better than ever.


One thing I do miss, though, is the feature that told you what your max bid was based on your roster size and players remaining. It's not that hard to figure out on my own, but it was a nice touch.

The improvements more than balance this out for me, though.

Mar 04, 2011 10:54 AM
rating: 1
 
varmintito

I love the changes -- I have been lobbying for customizable player pools for several years, and was delighted when I saw it had been added.

A trade evaluation tool sounds terrific.

Also, I would love to be able to import the inflation feature to my computer -- I was forced to abandon it when I tried using it in the past because my auction league is far too fast-paced. With the code modifications and migration to a stand-alone server, I'll probably give it another shot.

Mar 04, 2011 11:42 AM
rating: 1
 
ChicagoOriole

One thing that will be unclear is whether or not a given injury projection is baked into Marc's rating or not baked into Mark's rating. The inability to separate that will confuse some valuations where different aspects are important. For example, I am in two keeper leagues. One with a deep bench, and one with a shallow bench. I can use great-when-healthy in the deep one, but low injury is necessary in the shallow one. (I cannot tell you how grateful I am for Raphael Furcal in the deep one.)

Mar 04, 2011 11:57 AM
rating: 1
 
evo34

Ideally, the projections would have a column for "expected PA/IP missed due to injury." That way, people could figure out how much of the playing time forecast is based on injury expectations, vs. other causes of less than full playing time (platooning, position competition and other benching).

Mar 06, 2011 15:19 PM
rating: 0
 
fguttman

It would be nice if there was an option to normalize playing time across players. I understand that playing time projections are baked into PECOTA but they skew the rankings quite a bit, e.g.:

I don't see any reason to project:

Tommy Hanson 143.3 proj. IP
Josh Johnson 140
Jonathan Sanchez 138

While at the same time projecting:

Johan Santana (!!!) 210 IP
Javier Vazquez 201 IP
Livan Hernandez 199.7 IP

Daric Barton 619 PA vs. Jose Bautista 548 PA vs. Josh Hamilton 515 PA

It would be helpful to be able to ignore PECOTA's projected playing time factors and display the data based on per PA/per AB producion. Yeah, I can do that in an Excel sheet but that's less handy.

Mar 04, 2011 12:48 PM
rating: 2
 
Marc Normandin

The playing time projections used in the PFM are not the PECOTA projections from the spreadsheet. They are from the depth charts, and are modeled after expected playing time. So Johan Santana for instance, in the depth charts and in the PFM, is projected for 76 innings.

Mar 04, 2011 12:52 PM
rating: 0
 
evo34

Would be nice to have a single page that lists which teams' depth charts were adjusted on a given day. Right now, the only way to see which teams have been updated recently is to go to every team's page and look at the time stamp.

Mar 04, 2011 14:14 PM
rating: 0
 
Karl T

Why would Kila monster, whom the PFM is gaga for, be listed by PFM as a .300 Tav, while his 2011 projections on the player page list him as a .268 Tav? Is this also a depth chart thing?

Mar 05, 2011 14:56 PM
rating: 2
 
evo34

The projected TAv's in the PFM do not match the player card projections for many (most?) players. No idea what is going on.

Mar 06, 2011 15:12 PM
rating: 1
 
BStephen

marc

love the changes.
one idea..is there away to take a player out of the pool w/o giving him a salary?
my league allows guys to put reserves on active roster after draft, so it doesn't count during auction.

great job!

Mar 04, 2011 16:00 PM
rating: 0
 
Richie

PFM looks great. Operates great. Is technologically superb.

And isn't, cannot be, one bit more effective than its underlying data base. In this case, the Depth Charts. Which, for one thing, project that 14 out of 15 last-place Seattle Mariner pitchers will finish with records over .500 That 15th one, the negatively-VORPed Lucas French, it projects for a .500 record.

I'll grant you progress, in that previous year's Depth Charts were often horrible. The current one is OK. But it appears you ignore them unless/until something DRAMATIC! happens, a la with Wainwright. You've still got a few dozen clear errors in them, a la projecting 160 games out of Pablo Sandoval.

Fixing the Depth Charts would accomplish something of substance.

Mar 04, 2011 16:52 PM
rating: 6
 
Nailfan

I had not noticed the distortion in pitcher's W-L records until Richie pointed them out. Looking at the staffs of about half the teams, I could only find 3 that had as many as two pitchers with losing records. (Nice to see the Yankees are one of them.)

Mar 04, 2011 17:39 PM
rating: 2
 
evo34

I would be interested to know what exactly the W-L projection algorithm is. Clearly, it's not even close to working properly (e.g., LA Angels). Commenters have pointed this out on individual team pages since as far back as Feb 21, but no acknowledgement or fix from BP as of yet.

Mar 04, 2011 21:38 PM
rating: 0
 
tdogg217

In the name of being lazy, how about a player search feature? Not major since I wind up sorting by name if/when my eyes glaze over from the cigar smoke and a six pack of loud mouth soup.

Mar 04, 2011 19:14 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Ben Murphy
BP staff

You could also use the browser's search feature if sorting is cumbersome.

Mar 05, 2011 13:10 PM
 
BillyB

In years past, the PFM results would adjust from time to time as spring training progressed. I figured it was because there could be some changes accounted for in projections. I have not noticed any change in the past 10 days or so when there would have been in prior years.

Has anything changed in PFM that would account for this? What is that? Thanks.

Mar 05, 2011 04:23 AM
rating: 5
 
evo34

There has been a significant and inexplicable lack of response to major issues raised by BP users over the past three weeks. E.g.,

Where are the player card updates (incl. 10-year forecasts, percentile forecasts and upside projections)?

Why are the projected records of teams different between Depth Charts and Post-season Odds pages? (Are they using different schedule assumptions; if so, how/why?). No, Colin's article (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=13040) does not answer these questions.

Why are some of the projected team records from PS Odds Report different from the "Exptected Win Pct" on the same report? E.g., Cards expected win pct. is .522 and expected wins is 85.8; Brewers expected win pct. is higher (.524) but expected wins is lower (85.2).

Why are the projected win-loss records of individual pitchers so far off from what they should be? Wins are being massively inflated, as has been pointed out by several users.

How often and how aggressively are the Depth Charts being updated? (Jason Castro, e.g., is still being projected with 400 PA, ~48 hours after a season-ending injury).

All of these questions are not new; rather, they have been raised repeatedly over the past several weeks by a wide range of users. I have yet to hear a definitive answer from anyone at BP -- either via customer service email, or via comments.

Mar 05, 2011 17:28 PM
rating: 5
 
doog7642

I have a general PECOTA (not PFM) question that I'll ask again, and please be clear, there is no snark intended: Why do breakout scores for hitters cap at 10%, while for pitchers they go as high as 29%? Is this a function of the changes made to PECOTA, or is this something flukey that happened this year? Shortly after PECOTA was released, there was an article on potential breakout hitters, but I can't imagine that there's no signifcance to this change. In 2004, the highest major league hitter (Dunn) had a breakout % of 59. In 2008, Ricky Ledee's was 42%. Last year, Alex Gonzalez was at 31%. What would cause such a drastic overall drop?

Mar 05, 2011 18:22 PM
rating: 3
 
eliyahu

In the constant interest of telling others when we are thrilled and telling the proprieter when we are not...

What about the PFM cards? In my keeper league, I decide how long to give a contract to a player based, in part, on how the player cards tell me he is likely to age. It seems that there's been tremendous investments in other parts of the BP universe, but the player cards are not yet ready, and many, many keeper league keepers are past due.

I don't know how much you use market research and focus groups to understand your customers' needs, and I, obviously, have no access to that proprietary information. But, if you do use these comments as a source of understanding what the customers want, please consider this a resounding request to focus on the needs of fantasy players. There are lots of great contyent streams on BP, but I suspect that many pay the $35/year because of PECOTA, PFM, and player cards (i.e. the fantasy stuff). Please, get that right early.

Mar 06, 2011 05:40 AM
rating: 2
 
cdluzier

I'm with eliyahu. I use the information from BP almost year round for trades and pick up info, but my MAIN reason is for drafting in my Dynasty league. Player cards are VERY helpful in the respect as well as UPSIDE in the Pecota sheets.

Mar 08, 2011 16:21 PM
rating: 0
 
bpars3

Hey guys -

The PFM seems to be better than ever. And, in reading through the comments, it looks like there are bigger changes to come, which is great.

I do have a request, would it be possible to add 2B3B (double and triple total bases) as a category? Currently, I produce two spreadsheets, one with total bases as a category and the other with doubles and triples as separate categories.

From there I try to figure out which is the better projections.

Thanks, Brian

Mar 06, 2011 12:31 PM
rating: 0
 
cdgarosi

Looking at the pitchers it also seems there is a cap on wins at 15. No pitcher is predicted to win more than 15 games this year - I can't imagine this is a hard cap in the system? Perhaps a best fit curve issue that's not being taken into account properly?

Mar 06, 2011 20:48 PM
rating: 0
 
modofacid

I assume this is a major change that won't be possible for this year; but i'd love to be able to see pfm allow me to pick the percentage projection for each player from pecota...like say push out everyones 80% projection instead of their weighted mean.

Would really help for picking breakout/rebound candidates.

Mar 07, 2011 08:22 AM
rating: 5
 
pobothecat

Here's one. I'm in an ongoing, offline draft and have been using PFM. Other vagaries aside, I was, like some above, a bit frustrated at the lack of depth PFM showed. So I took Mark's suggestion and, where I'd previously had "0" as my minimum salary setting, I substituted "-100". Suggested inflation-adjusted salaries suddenly went from a high of $62 to $1,238.
Meanwhile, no more players were revealed. (The lower the adjusted min-salary the higher the top salary settings.)

Mar 07, 2011 09:40 AM
rating: 0
 
Mountainhawk

Not minimum salary. Minimum dollars displayed.

Mar 07, 2011 13:11 PM
rating: 2
 
Chad

A question--how should Bench positions be treated in the PFM setup?

Mar 12, 2011 12:05 PM
rating: 0
 
fatted

Just wanted to say job well done with this. It was very easy to use and extremely helpful in the draft I did last week.

Apr 02, 2011 14:04 PM
rating: 0
 
adubs1984

Hi there--

Great product. How are the PFM values going to be updated throughout the year? Will they be projections for season totals as they change, or for remaining season results?

Thanks again!

Apr 24, 2012 16:33 PM
rating: 0
 
sliders

In PFM there is a section for "taken players" how do I add players drafted to that section?

Feb 15, 2013 20:20 PM
rating: 0
 
Matt Martin

I have configured my options, now how do I keep track of players taken? My league has a keeper system, and I want to input the keepers before the draft. I can’t figure out how to enter players taken at all. Not an easy interface.

Thanks,
Matt

Mar 24, 2013 08:35 AM
rating: 0
 
gobobbygo

Ha! After 2 years, I have FINALLY figured this out! This is done through the inflation boxes.

When someone else takes a player, check the left-most box in the inflation column.

When YOU take a player, check both boxes in the inflation column.

Then, when you hit update, those players will be added to the "your team" and "other teams" taken lists, as appropriate. It's actually pretty cool.

Mar 30, 2014 06:37 AM
rating: 0
 
sdbaker2

I've noticed that the PFM values stolen bases much more heavily than other valuation systems, particularly for the players who steal 50+. Is there some sort of manual adjustment being made for players that steal a ton of bases, or is this occurring naturally from the method you're using?

Mar 19, 2015 17:25 PM
rating: 0
 
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