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June 25, 2011

Fantasy Beat

Compete Against Resident Fantasy Genius Derek Carty for Cash

by Derek Carty

I'm a big fan of daily fantasy baseball leagues and write about them each week at FanDuel. Now, you'll have the chance to compete against me in a daily league for the chance to win cash. And the best part is, entrance is 100 percent free!  The contest will be held this Friday, June 24th at FanDuel.

We'll be competing in a FanDuel MLB Salary Cap 35k contest where you have $35,000 to spend on any nine players you want at the following positions:
P, C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, LF, CF, RF

The scoring system is points-based:

BaseballProspectus.com
MLB $200 Freeroll

Hitters: 1B = 1pt, 2B = 2pts, 3B = 3pts, HR = 4pts, RBI = 1pt, R = 1pt, BB = 1pt, SB = 2pts, Out = -.25pt
Pitchers: W = 7pts, ER = -1pt, SO=1pt, IP = 1pt

Prizes are structured as such:

1st - $70
2nd - $50
3rd - $40
4th - $25
5th - $15

Additionally, anyone who beats me, whether they finish in the top five or not, will receive $5.

So if you've always wanted to try daily leagues and never got around it, or have never heard of daily leagues but are intrigued, now is the perfect time to get started.  It's completely free to play this contest (you can play others for more money, at your option) with the chance to win cash! All you have to do is click here, sign up (takes less than a minute), and pick your team!  Make sure to sign up before Friday to make sure you get in!

If you haven't already signed up to play FanDuel, use this referral link to receive a free $10 when you sign up and make your first deposit.

Good luck!

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

BP Comment Quick Links

Richard Bergstrom

How many points for a triple? *guesses 3*

Jun 21, 2011 12:46 PM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

Also, the scoring system seems to rely most on the luck of the pitcher.

Let's say I throw 6 innings and get the win giving up three earned runs and without getting a strikeout. I'd get 9 points even if I gave up 6 hits and three walks for a 1.5 WHIP. In other words, a pretty bad "quality" start.

To get 9 points as a hitter, if I go 4-4 with four singles, I just get four points. If I went 4-4 with four doubles, I'd get eight points. If I go 2-4 with a home run, I'd get 6.5 points (counting the run and the RBI).

Let's try another extreme. A guy throws 9 shutout innings and gets the win for 15 points, regardless of how many hits he gave up.
A hitter would need something like:
4-4 1 BB, 2 1B, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI
4-4 1 BB, 2 1B, 2 2B, 2 SB, 2 R

In other words, a pitcher having a mediocre day generates more points (and has a mediocre day more frequently) than a hitter having a good to great day. In addition, a pitcher having a good day can outweigh the performance of two mediocre batting performances.

Jun 21, 2011 13:00 PM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

Actually 4-4 1 BB, 2 1B, 2 2B, 2 SB, 2 R is 13 points, not 15 points.

Jun 21, 2011 13:02 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Derek Carty
BP staff

Yes, pitchers score more than hitters. Pitchers average roughly 9 points per game in this format and hitters average roughly 3. That mirrors real life, though, doesn't it? In any given game, the starting pitcher will have a much larger impact on the outcome than any single hitter. SPs usually play 32 games per year, max, while hitters can play 162.

Also, while pitchers score more, they also cost more. Remember, you have 35k to spend. Top pitchers got for close to 10k while top hitters go for 4k. Additionally, you only get to pick 1 pitcher, but you need to select 8 hitters.

Jun 21, 2011 14:38 PM
 
Richard Bergstrom

Usually in fantasy, over the course of a season, a star starting pitcher will be worth slightly less than a star starting player unless the pitcher goes all Pedro on the league.

Still, I picked my team with the hardest part being the catcher's slot. I like my pitcher choice since I felt I could go for cheap quality with anything else being a roll of the dice (just like any other pitcher).

Jun 21, 2011 14:45 PM
rating: 0
 
Sky Kalkman

Also, you need to look at marginal points, not just raw points. If a crappy starter nets you 10 points while a good one nets you 12, the good one isn't going to be worth the extra money if that range is wider for hitters.

Jun 22, 2011 08:27 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Derek Carty
BP staff

Exactly.

Jun 22, 2011 12:08 PM
 
Richard Bergstrom

Which is what I did.

On another note, they sent me an email trying hard to convince me that it's not gambling because it's a skill game... which reminded me a lot of the online poker games I used to play...

Jun 22, 2011 16:45 PM
rating: 1
 
pobothecat

My thought exactly.

Jun 27, 2011 11:12 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Derek Carty
BP staff

Yeah, 3 points. Fixed.

Jun 21, 2011 14:34 PM
 
amazin_mess

Is there a catch? This is 100% free?

Jun 21, 2011 15:33 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Joe Hamrahi
BP staff

No catch. It's 100% free. FanDuel is running this as a special promotion.

Jun 21, 2011 15:50 PM
 
Richard Bergstrom

And the prize is... site credit?

Gosh I miss ProTrade.

Jun 21, 2011 16:19 PM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Derek Carty
BP staff

Not really. The prize gets deposited into your account, but you can withdraw it as real cash at any time.

Jun 21, 2011 18:23 PM
 
jpjazzman

I think I prefer FanGraph's PickSix game: http://ottoneu.fangraphs.com/picksix/

also free to play and compete against friends, enemies, etc.

Jun 21, 2011 16:38 PM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

Well, we're just talking about a one day promo here, so it's no massive undertaking or time commitment off my back to pick a team for a day.

Jun 21, 2011 16:49 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Derek Carty
BP staff

Well, FanDuel is a bit different than that. This contest is free to play with the ability to win real cash. Normally, though, you put up cash to win even more cash. Though they have free games, many of the games are with cash on the line, which FanGraphs doesn't do, as far as I can tell.

Jun 21, 2011 18:22 PM
 
BP staff member Joe Hamrahi
BP staff

The earnings get deposited into the user's FanDuel account, but they can be withdrawn as cash at any time. So, it is real cash.

Jun 21, 2011 17:59 PM
 
amazin_mess

Speaking of games, whatever happened to HACKING MASS?

Jun 21, 2011 22:35 PM
rating: 0
 
dianagram

and Predicatron (sniff)

Jun 22, 2011 05:34 AM
rating: 0
 
amazin_mess

yeah! I know MASS didn't have the participants it used to, but it was fun.

Jun 22, 2011 06:28 AM
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Richard Bergstrom

What is your id on fanduel btw?

Jun 24, 2011 16:13 PM
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Richard Bergstrom

Never mind I found it.

It's a shame that there isn't a way to look back and see what salary people on each team were bought at.

Jun 24, 2011 16:29 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Derek Carty
BP staff

Yeah, that would be useful. For anyone else looking, my FanDuel handle is DerekCarty. Currently in third, but I'm not sure how long that will last once other pitchers start going. A bunch of great matchups in the 10 o'clock set tonight. Volquez has been pretty unspectacular for me today with just 4 points so far. It was a debate between him and splurging for Lowe. Wishing I'd skimped a bit on offense and gone for a surer thing. If Volquez can manage to pull out a win I'll be happy.

Jun 24, 2011 17:44 PM
 
Richard Bergstrom

I went with Harrison for pitching for a good price and I'm very happy with his 17 points. Looks like Shields really paid off though with 24. Currently in 9th place.

Jun 24, 2011 19:59 PM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

Oh and Jose Reyes was my big bust. Most expensive and only 0.25 points.

Jun 24, 2011 20:03 PM
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Richard Bergstrom

Heh the team in fourth took mostly Cubs... and I thought I was a Cubs fan ;) Not sure why people thought Casper Wells would do well though.

Jun 24, 2011 20:08 PM
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Richard Bergstrom

Ended up tied for 7th. Whee.

Jun 24, 2011 22:21 PM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

Oh that's kinda weak. It clears out the final standings of the other players so I can't even see who ended up ahead of me or where you finished at Derek... also says I lost the game for being 7th out of 197.

Jun 24, 2011 22:25 PM
rating: 0
 
cdt719

Finding the entire league standings is a pain but if you go to "my account" there's a link to the league. The direct link seems to be here:

http://www.fanduel.com/e/Seat/_650812

Jun 25, 2011 00:40 AM
rating: 0
 
pobothecat

Note that they faced arguably the most vulnerable starter of the night ... Bruce Chen.

Jun 27, 2011 11:14 AM
rating: 0
 
Guancous

Derek came in at 145th out of 197 people. That's roughly $725 that he has to give out not counting the $200 in prizes to entice people to join.

I signed up for a few more days so I imagine that Fanduel made their money back on this clever promotion.

I can't speak for everyone but I'm not quitting until I profit. Or lose my $10 outlay.

Jun 24, 2011 22:49 PM
rating: 1
 
Richard Bergstrom

I'm not sure if they made enough money back... I looked into signing up for another tournament and there are only about 15 posted, most of which cost more than the $5 I've earned. In other words, I'm not sure they have the kind of traffic that they need in order to make money. In addition, is this something that really needs to be paid for? There are free daily leagues hosted under other formats, some of which give cash prizes and I'm not sure there's anything really unique enough about fanduel to encourage a loyal fan following.

Also, as I noted earlier, the interface can use a bit of work. I imagine a 2.0 would be pretty neat, but I can't see any history of how I or my opponents used their salary cap or where I ranked in relation to them (besides the overall ranking).

Jun 24, 2011 22:55 PM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

Correction, I can see now where I ranked in relation to others, though I still can't see the salary cap usage.

Jun 24, 2011 22:58 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Derek Carty
BP staff

Well, FanDuel isn't just tournaments. You can play in tournaments with big cash prizes on the line, but they also have smaller contests. There are head-to-head matchups with other players that have entry fees of $5 to $100 and slightly larger five and ten people contests.

Jun 25, 2011 10:14 AM
 
Richard Bergstrom

Do you realize that, short of paying money to buy in, it'd be hard to accumulate enough freeroll wins to even pay a $50 entry fee over the course of a season?

The prize pot seems to be 90% of the total of all the entry fees, or in casino terms, the rake is at 10%. As a comparison, Hold'em rakes run $2 a hand on a 2/4 table for a hand worth an average of $20 a hand for a similar 10% rake and that's considered very expensive. The rake is important to be aware of because it drains money from the table and lessens the return on your initial gambling stake, causing players to retire from the game faster.

And yeah, if you invest money, you are basically gambling. Sure skill helps improve the odds, but with a payout in the top 5 of the players, actually getting money will basically come down to luck and whether Pitcher A's win was blown by the bullpen through no fault of his own. So basically, those who play are hoping to get lucky. Meanwhile, the entry fees are prohibitively high enough to discourage many free players to stick with the system.

Even then, I would find it hard for a very skilled fantasy baseball player to win enough freerolls to get $50 over the course of a season.

And I think FanDuel is seeing a bit of this.. I'm not sure how long they've been around, but here it's midseason and there are about 15 possible games to enter, suggesting the fan base isn't very large. Unfortunately, with few players, that also means fewer tournaments and less chances to win.

Jun 26, 2011 00:18 AM
rating: 0
 
BobbyRoberto
(907)

I finished 32nd, so I beat Derek. Woo hoo!

I also played in the DFBC Qualifier and got 20th, winning $40. Tim Stauffer had 21 points and I believe he cost about $3000 less than the top pitchers (Felix, Shields).

I've played 9 times at FanDuel this year, starting with a Freeroll promoted at The Hardball Times. It's been fun. So far, I'm ahead.

One thing I did today was check the weather reports and avoided players with games in ugly-looking weather. You have to watch for last-minute lineup changes too.

Jun 24, 2011 23:17 PM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

That's why I avoided Jamile Weeks, though more from rumors that Mark Ellis would start since he just got off the DL.

Jun 24, 2011 23:34 PM
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amazin_mess

Wow....I didnt realize it was for one day! I started Bud Norris!! LOL 192 out of 197, so the rest of my guys sucked too. I'll stick to traditional roto - but thanks Derek, that was fun!

Jun 25, 2011 04:45 AM
rating: 0
 
Charles Kurz

How do I find what place I came in (magoo66)

Jun 25, 2011 07:03 AM
rating: 0
 
Charles Kurz

scratch that

Jun 25, 2011 07:03 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Derek Carty
BP staff

Congratulations to those (many) of you who came out ahead of me yesterday. Edinson Volquez was my downfall, getting me just 4.33 points. So it goes with the strategy I've been using this year, which I talked about here if you're interested (http://www.fanduel.com/insider/2011/04/29/my-fanduel-strategy/). If you're smart about it, going cheap on a pitcher, in my estimation, increases your net expected winnings, but you're prone to a big loss when your cheap pitcher gets rocked. Still, if you manage to hit on your cheap pitcher - like anyone who picked Stauffer (who had an even better matchup but was a little more expensive) last night knows - you're going to be in terrific shape.

Jun 25, 2011 10:22 AM
 
dianagram

OK ... I created a paid account .... I guess that will FanDuel happy :-)

Jun 25, 2011 16:21 PM
rating: 0
 
Brian Hays

I've just opened a new account there as well because of this, and I'm going back and forth with this same thing. Stud pitcher with a luscious matchup vs. cheaper pitcher with a greater chance of implosion. So far (small sample) stud pitcher seems to be the best guarantee for points, but damn it makes it a lot harder to fill out the rest of that roster.

But Edinson Volquez???? Man I learned my lesson with him earlier this year. Dude can't be far enough away from my fantasy team if he was in the minors.

Jun 25, 2011 21:41 PM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

I avoided Vazquez. Harrison was my first choice based on the weak Mets offense he'd be facing and his recent track record of quality starts, as well as his cheap price. My second choice would've been Maholm if he hadn't been facing the Red Sox (and he still did well).

Jun 26, 2011 00:22 AM
rating: 0
 
archilochusColubris

Q: do you have to make a deposit to earn the $5 reward for beating Derek?

Jun 25, 2011 22:11 PM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

No idea, I know I don't have my $5 yet.

Jun 26, 2011 00:23 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Derek Carty
BP staff

Have you guys gotten your $5 yet? They said they should be going out today.

Jun 28, 2011 17:06 PM
 
jtanker33

I finished 196th. Out of 197. Ouch.

Jun 27, 2011 05:16 AM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

That's what happens when you draft Mark Prior.

(couldn't resist)

Jun 27, 2011 09:38 AM
rating: 0
 
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Prospectus Perspective... (06/24)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Your Wol... (04/27)
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Fantasy Beat: My Razzb... (03/30)
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The Week in Quotes: Ju... (06/27)

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