CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

<< Previous Article
Premium Article On the Beat: On the Ro... (08/06)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Hot Spot... (08/05)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Weekly P... (08/06)
Next Article >>
Prospectus Hit List: H... (08/06)

August 6, 2010

Fantasy Beat

Fantasy Suggestion Box

by Marc Normandin

We've undergone many changes this season in terms of what we provide to those readers with a fantasy subscription, but with the end of the (fantasy) season coming up relatively soon, we wanted to pick your brains to see what it is you would like to see from us. In just a few weeks, head-to-head leagues will move to the playoffs, and in many cases, more teams in roto leagues are out of contention than are in it. There are more of you thinking about your 2011 fantasy teams than your 2010 ones because of this, so we want to make sure we strike a proper balance with coverage for both. We have the whole offseason to talk about 2011 plans in detail, but getting a head start on that now wouldn't hurt.

What has worked for you this season? What should we be doing more of? Less of? Do you want more list-based pieces from myself, or should I stick to covering a few players in detail at a time (or a mix of both!). We're still trying to work out how we can get a mailbag (one of the earlier wants from both myself and readers) to work--because we've been so active in the comments, it seems as if requests for help via e-mail have been more limited in the past, reserved for the occasions where a reader has a problem very specific to their own context (or a case they don't want divulged publicly because their league mates also read the site). We're thinking of ways to utilize that knowledge of a preference for comments into something that works like a mailbag that would be present on the site, but gauging your own interest in this is important as well. It's more content for you, and we're directly answering your questions, making it a win for everyone involved.

Besides that, I'll mention a few things I've been considering. Once again I want to go through my preseason rankings to see where my thought process was spot on and where it could use some work, with the point, of course, to be working towards improving the 2011 rankings in the same way I feel the 2010 ones were superior to 2009. I'm also considering a fantasy team blog series where I chronicle one of my team's seasons from start to finish, and maybe even run the team with a little crowd sourced help rather than doing it on my own. I have more I'm considering than just those things, but I would like to hear what you have to say.

Use this thread to tell us what's on your mind, and we'll do our best to implement some of these ideas into our last two months of coverage for the 2010 fantasy season. As always, thank you for reading.

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

BP Comment Quick Links

mikebuetow

Marc, whereas there is always room for improvement, not much comes immediately to mind. I have to say I've been really pleased with your work on the fantasy beat this year. Specifically, the Hot Spots are a real plus, and I also liked how you grouped like players in the preseason rankings.

Aug 06, 2010 14:43 PM
rating: 1
 
Behemoth

More solid information aimed at people who are new to Fantasy would be useful. As someone who is playing their first ever league this year, I found it hard to find any decent general strategy info. The sort of things that I mean would be how to draft effectively, how to tell if someone's hot streak is real or luck, how much to pay attention to match ups (things like, if I have Gonzalez and Ortiz as 1B options, how much better a pitcher does Gonzalez need to be facing before I might slot Ortiz in, and obviously the same for pitchers (how much of a difference can you anticipate pitching against the Astros as opposed to the Yankees). Also, some stuff on trading would help (even looking at common myths/theories - when does the guy who gets the best player not win, to what extent is a good hitter better than a good pitcher). I know most of this is probably basic for most people here, but I would find it useful.

Aug 06, 2010 15:18 PM
rating: -1
 
krissbeth

The only thing that comes to mind is a trade advice column. But that really, really requires a lot of people consistently writing in. You know best whether you have that kind of demand.

Aug 06, 2010 15:45 PM
rating: 0
 
Behemoth

This might work if it was more to do with roster evaluation - this is my team and the position I'm in, these players are available on the wire, who should I be looking to drop/trade, and so on, rather than should I trade A&B for C&D.

Aug 06, 2010 16:36 PM
rating: 1
 
Marc Normandin

This is the kind of thing we would hope to cover with some sort of "mailbag", be it actual mail or comments or what have you. That way we can personalize some content for the readers searching for that help, but also have it be available for anyone to see who has a subscription.

Aug 06, 2010 17:03 PM
rating: 0
 
Behemoth

If you wanted a volunteer to try this, let me know. I'm really not bothered if anyone else in my league reads this - it may allow you to talk a little about some of the issues I mentioned in my first comment, although some of the stuff may be a bit basic for some readers.

Aug 07, 2010 11:18 AM
rating: 0
 
flirgendorf

I'd like to see some form of midseason player rankings that incorporates pecota updates as well as other data that pecota doesn't include, such as SIERA. The hot spots are useful for waivers in deep leagues but a full ranking would be more useful for trades. The pecota updates are useful for fantasy but not sufficient because of the missing batted ball data.

Aug 06, 2010 15:56 PM
rating: 3
 
Patrickj

'hot spots' is great. Given that so much of the fantasy GM's time is spent on managing the guys at the fringe of our rosters - that 5th outfielder, the extra starter - these can be a nice help. It's a good place to find that diamond in the rough player who has suddenly had a hot week and won some playing time.

'Hot spots', though, only seems to touch on guys who have recently gained value, though. I'd like to see a bit more coverage on guys who have a sudden decline in value, particularly because they're starting to strike out, or are losing playing time, or whatever.

Otherwise you guys have been great!

Aug 06, 2010 16:25 PM
rating: 3
 
AlexMcCrum

Something I'd find useful would be a little more coverage for those of us that don't play the standard 5x5 leagues--maybe as footnotes or comments to the player rankings. Something like Billy Butler's 50 doubles last year moves him way, way up on the 1B list in a points league, but doesn't help so much in standard roto.

For the rest of this season, something like a watch on pitchers likely to get two starts in the first week of September (because they'll also get two starts in the last week, more likely than not and have extra impact on the playoffs) could be very useful, even with the way rotations fluctuate.

More generally, it could be helpful to know which pitchers are liable to get shut down or just get extra rest for August/September and which pithers are likely to get CC Sabatia workloads for the playoff push could also help.

Aug 06, 2010 17:16 PM
rating: 1
 
varmintito

I give a hearty second to the suggestion of some sort of in-season ratings that incorporate more than Pecota. I love the Pecota-based PFM updates, but sometimes Pecota just seems "stubborn" -- this is especially true with older players who have begun to decline. For example, using my league parameters, the 7/31 PFM update still has Alex Rodriguez rated as the 7th best hitter and Lance Berkman the 25th (we use a mix of 14 owner-selected MLB teams to draft from, so they might be more like #12 and #45 in regular mixed leagues). As much as I wish it were true (because I paid $39 for him), there is no way Arod warrants that sort of rest-of-year projection after 4 months of obvious decline.

On the flip side, I have to thank you for your preseason player rankings. I took a $1 flyer on Jose Bautista (until I read your rankings I would have guessed he was no longer playing if I had been asked), based solely on your projections. You projected 20 HR, which I thought was a pipe dream but figured what they hey he can't be any worse than Travis Buck. It looks like Bautista will double his projection and then some.

Aug 06, 2010 17:22 PM
rating: 1
 
Wade

about the only thing that I can think of is to highlight "streamers" each day for those of us in leagues that can add/drop players on a daily basis

Aug 06, 2010 17:48 PM
rating: 0
 
dbertelli

I'd like to be able to see current-year comments at the bottom of PECOTA cards.

Aug 06, 2010 19:36 PM
rating: -1
 
Guancous

I understand the printer will not allow current PECOTA comments. How about weekly (or real-time) projections?

That would BP at the forefront again.

Aug 06, 2010 21:40 PM
rating: -1
 
ostrowj1

This may seem like an odd request, and I am not sure it will apply to many people. I am in a daily league with limits on the number of games played at each position. As a result of injuries, I often am on pace to fall well below my allowable limit. For instance, I am on pace to be 20 games below the limit on catching. When looking for a 2nd string catcher, it would be nice to have easy access to the number of days left in the season where team X (employing a prospective catcher) plays a game and team Y (employing my current catcher) does not play. That way I will be more likely to use up more of my games. Similarly, for OF, it would be nice to see what teams match up will with 3 teams of my current OF starters.

Aug 06, 2010 21:55 PM
rating: 0
 
Hokieball

How about a 1:1 correlation between players as listed in PECOTA, and as listed in the various sortable reports? Guys are named differently (e.g. Manuel Corpas v. Manny Corpas) and sometimes even teams are (LAA v. ANA). Some of us use BP data to come up with our own in-season predictors, and since the sortable reports do not include HoweID or BPID there is no way to reconcile them without a manual translation. Big PITA...

Aug 07, 2010 05:35 AM
rating: 1
 
ncassino

I think the coverage is excellent. Two things I would love to see if possible: (1) a daily summary of how the transactions of the day affect the fantasy world (ie. Call ups, trades, injuries). Christina does a great job on the summaries but doesn't really focus on the fantasy side and (2) perhaps a bit more attention to deep AL-only and NL-only leagues and also to keeper leagues.
Thank you.

Aug 07, 2010 05:47 AM
rating: 0
 
brucegilsen
(999)

The content is fun to read, but most of it doesn't apply to me since I play in an old school 4x4 roto league: 12 teams, 10 pitchers, 15 hitters, $280, NL only. 22nd year of existence fwiw. Oh, and in-season salary cap of $325 until the all-star break, then $340, then $360 on 8/30 and $370 in September.

I realize that there probably isn't enough of a constituency to justify much content for this niche, but we live in a different universe where free talent is really scarce and teams dump so they can contend for the following season.

Aug 07, 2010 10:23 AM
rating: 0
 
eliyahu

The Hot spots blog updates for deeper leagues have been fantastic. Next big breakthrough, to my mind, would be a tool to evaluate trade proposals (beyond asking should I trade so-and-so for so-and-so). A robust tool that can be used in such a fashion is something I'd pay for.

Aug 07, 2010 13:20 PM
rating: 0
 
pobothecat

Would it be useful to divide up some of your efforts into "basic" and "deep-league"? I've noticed that discussion a few times in comments, where what's obscure to one reader is spot-on useful for the next.

As for the 'stubbornness' of PECOTA (well-put), maybe an ongoing, once-a-weekish, make-the-interns-do-it PECOTA-related ranking feature (with or w/o light commentary). You know --- a simple formula the results of which show us who's outperforming and underperforming his 50% PECOTA, by how much and, very importantly, for how sustained a period. (Or would this just re-express what's by then already common knowledge?)

This third and final thought is a bit amorphous and is born of fantasy football. I remember seeing, three years ago maybe, a semi-useful attempt to rank wide-receivers by their week-to-week consistency. (Assumption being that a 25 pt. week followed by a 3 pt. week is less valuable than two 14 pt. weeks.) I find myself wanting something similar in baseball.

With so many baseball leagues playing H2H, a player's ability to contribute numbers consistently is an attribute every bit as desirable as the numbers themselves. I guess, then, I'm wondering aloud about a BPro-exclusive volatility index. Like every stock has a Beta,(how much, how often, how wildly its price fluctuates) so too does a baseball player's weekly production. We just don't know what it is.

It would be very useful to be able to weed out the batch-producers in roto leagues as well. Who wants to wait around for 17 weeks for Mike Napoli to hit all 12 of his home runs in week 18? We see Ty Wigginton get picked up and dropped over and over again because people don't understand that all his numbers came in like a two and half days in April.

Love the mailbag idea, too. Nothing more fascinating to fantasy players than themselves and their teams --- and there's nothing more boring to their family and friends. I have no doubt this would be a very popular feature.

Aug 07, 2010 14:07 PM
rating: 0
 
varmintito

As noted in an earlier comment, I play in a league where the owners select a blend of teams from the Al and NL. This year we have 9 owners and 14 teams (5 from the NL, 9 from the AL) in the player pool.

I would love an option in the PFM where you could select specific MLB teams for the player pool rather than the three default options of AL/NL/Mixed. I am able to do a rough and dirty translation by choosing mixed league and overstating the number of owners in my league to get the ratio of teams in the league to teams in the player pool right.

It would love to be able to get PFM values based on my league's actual player pool, especially before the league auction.

Aug 07, 2010 16:26 PM
rating: 0
 
Scott D. Simon

Get PFM live earlier in spring training. Update PFM more often during the season. Make sure PFM is working all season long -- right now the only stats I can see are for pitchers.

Aug 07, 2010 19:22 PM
rating: 2
 
redspid

PECOTA being accurate (like 2 years ago) would be nice

Aug 07, 2010 19:40 PM
rating: -1
 
ronb626

Every offseason, top 11 prospects for each team is published. I'd like to see that revisited during the season. Maybe, after the season is into it's midseason stage, start going back through the teams and update the list. Sort of like, revisit the list every 6 months. Oftener would be better, but, a mid-season update would work just fine for me.

I'm not in fantasy leagues, as such. I play APBA games and when I'm out of the pennant races, I'm more into next years draft. Since all my leagues are keeper leagues, that means that I'm looking at rookies/prospects more than who can help this year.

And, in general, remember that many of your subscribers are of this type of "fantasy" leagues, not rotissiere leagues. Not the majority, I know, but, we are out there.

Aug 08, 2010 02:30 AM
rating: 3
 
RedsManRick

A roto team analyzer in which you could input your team and get an automated summary stats projection and analysis relative to historical standings (allow us to put in current totals) would be very helpful -- and different than anything I'm aware of.

Aug 08, 2010 08:44 AM
rating: 2
 
wayne

I would really like a section that deals with who will be called up to the majors. It's much more valuable to me to know who will be called up and when. Will Hosmer have a chance this year or next year? Are any of the Brave pitchers coming next year? The same with the Royal pitchers. I know this is not exact but it still would help.

Aug 08, 2010 09:07 AM
rating: 0
 
rjblakel

More keeper/dynasty articles. Thanks.

Aug 08, 2010 15:24 PM
rating: 0
 
SaberTJ

I love your ideas for new topics Marc.

Aug 09, 2010 06:43 AM
rating: 0
 
Dan W.

1. More for those of us who are in Scoresheet and other leagues that put value on individual and rate stats rather than RBIs, runs scored, wins, saves.

2. Fantasy mailbags are useless. On all but the most obvious of questions (which aren't worth answering anyway), you can't possibly give an informed opinion without knowing full details about the league structure, standings, owners, entire rosters, etc. And even if you can, it's not applicable to the rest of us.

Aug 09, 2010 07:45 AM
rating: 3
 
spepple

As a commissioner, I would like to see an article that analyzes what format comes the closest to truly managing a big league baseball team. I have settled on a points league but I struggle every season with determining how to value each aspect of the game.

Aug 09, 2010 08:02 AM
rating: 1
 
Michael Bodell
(89)

I'd like to see more coverage of very deep leagues, I feel that's what most BP people will be in (or need most help with).

I'd also like to see more for Scoresheet/keepers.

I'd also encourage mid-season updates both covering players declines/spikes but also covering updated usage patterns and expected playing time.

I echo the comments that the hot spots blogs showing players that are available in most leagues are great. Unfortunately most of those players are gone in my leagues (too deep), but occasionally they aren't and I think they are a great value.

Aug 09, 2010 16:23 PM
rating: 0
 
nickdemola

Daily updates on dollar values for players, both in league-specific and mixed league terms. That would help.

Aug 10, 2010 00:00 AM
rating: 0
 
You must be a Premium subscriber to post a comment.
Not a subscriber? Sign up today!
<< Previous Article
Premium Article On the Beat: On the Ro... (08/06)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Hot Spot... (08/05)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Weekly P... (08/06)
Next Article >>
Prospectus Hit List: H... (08/06)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Premium Article Painting the Black: Pedro Alvarez's Trip Fro...
Premium Article Minor League Update: Games of Thursday, Apri...
Premium Article What You Need to Know: April 17, 2015
Going Yard: How Bryant Can Crush
The Call-Up: Kris Bryant
Premium Article Rubbing Mud: So You Want to Trade Your Draft...
BP Boston

MORE FROM AUGUST 6, 2010
Premium Article Manufactured Runs: Weight of the World
Premium Article Prospectus Perspective: Rays and Yankees: A ...
Prospectus Hit List: Hello Goodbye
Under The Knife: 28 Hours to Texarkana
Premium Article On the Beat: On the Road to Where?
Premium Article Prospectus Q&A: Brennan Boesch
Premium Article Ahead in the Count: The 2010 Trade Deadline

MORE BY MARC NORMANDIN
2010-08-16 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Young AL East Hurlers
2010-08-11 - Premium Article Prospectus Perspective: Resetting Their Cour...
2010-08-09 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: A's Call Up Chris Carter
2010-08-06 - Fantasy Beat: Fantasy Suggestion Box
2010-07-31 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Pre-Deadline Trade Roundup Par...
2010-07-31 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Trade Deadline Roundup
2010-07-30 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Pre-Deadline Trade Roundup Par...
More...

MORE FANTASY BEAT
2010-08-08 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Weekly Planner Bonus
2010-08-06 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Hot Spots: Starting Pitchers
2010-08-06 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Weekly Planner #19
2010-08-06 - Fantasy Beat: Fantasy Suggestion Box
2010-08-05 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Hot Spots: Relief Pitchers
2010-08-05 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Padilla Cleans Up With A Soap ...
2010-08-04 - Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Hot Spots: Outfield
More...