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01-08

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: A Look at Preliminary ADP Data
by
Wilson Karaman

01-08

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11

Fantasy Freestyle: Bounce-Back Candidates: Starting Pitchers
by
Keith Cromer

01-08

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7

Fantasy Freestyle: Dominican Winter League Retrospective Valuations
by
Greg Wellemeyer

01-06

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Fantasy Freestyle: Desert Dynamos
by
J.J. Jansons

01-05

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5

Fantasy Freestyle: Inflation 101
by
Mike Gianella

01-04

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6

Fantasy Freestyle: Surveying the Uncertain Closer Landscape
by
J.P. Breen

12-24

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Fantasy Freestyle: A Recommendation Retrospective
by
Wilson Karaman

12-22

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3

Fantasy Freestyle: Adjusting for Different Types of Auctions
by
Mike Gianella

12-14

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15

Fantasy Freestyle: Watching Mike Make the Sausage
by
Mike Gianella

12-08

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Fantasy Freestyle: Explaining the Pie
by
Mike Gianella

12-04

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Second-Half Slumpers
by
Matt Collins

12-02

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3

Fantasy Freestyle: 2015 Endgame and Waiver-Wire Recap: NL-Only Pitchers
by
Keith Cromer

11-06

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Fantasy Freestyle: Players to Avoid: A Retrospective
by
Wilson Karaman

11-05

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16

Fantasy Freestyle: Player Valuation: A Practical Application
by
Mike Gianella

11-04

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: 2015 Endgame and Waiver-Wire Recap: NL-Only Position Players Hitters
by
Keith Cromer

10-30

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5

Fantasy Freestyle: Players to Target and Avoid: A Look Back
by
Bret Sayre

10-27

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Fantasy Freestyle: A Tale of Two Closers
by
George Bissell

10-21

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Fantasy Freestyle: 2015 Endgame and Waiver-Wire Recap: AL-Only Pitchers
by
Keith Cromer

10-14

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Fantasy Freestyle: A Look Back: Endgame Targets for 2015
by
Bret Sayre

10-13

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Fantasy Freestyle: The Next Bartolo Colon
by
George Bissell

10-08

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: Andrew Friedman's Search for the New Zorilla
by
J.J. Jansons

10-07

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Fantasy Freestyle: Endgame and Waiver-Wire Recap: AL-Only Hitters
by
Keith Cromer

10-02

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Pitchers Who Put 'Em Away
by
Wilson Karaman

10-01

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Dynasty Prospects or Suspects, Part 1: Position Players
by
J.J. Jansons

10-01

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Fantasy Freestyle: Yogi Berra the Fantasy Star
by
Greg Wellemeyer

09-24

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3

Fantasy Freestyle: Searching for Silver Bullets
by
J.J. Jansons

09-24

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: R.A. Dickey's Return to Relevance
by
George Bissell

09-24

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3

Fantasy Freestyle: Prospecting in the Dominican Winter League
by
Greg Wellemeyer

09-17

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Fantasy Freestyle: Reexamining Park Factors
by
Greg Wellemeyer

09-16

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: What Happened to Marcell Ozuna?
by
George Bissell

09-10

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Fantasy Freestyle: The DRA vs. ERA Divide
by
George Bissell

09-10

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Fantasy Freestyle: An Ode to Odubel
by
J.J. Jansons

09-03

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Fantasy Freestyle: Two Position Players Angling for 2016 Roles
by
J.J. Jansons

08-27

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Fantasy Freestyle: Better Late Than Never
by
J.J. Jansons

08-26

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5

Fantasy Freestyle: Raisel Iglesias on the Rise
by
George Bissell

08-26

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Second-Half Pitching Trainwrecks
by
J.P. Breen

08-19

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Fantasy Freestyle: On Hard-Hit Balls and Batters Who Hit Balls Hard
by
Wilson Karaman

08-18

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: The Jacob deGrom Gambit
by
George Bissell

08-11

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Fantasy Freestyle: The Case For Carlos Correa
by
George Bissell

08-04

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5

Fantasy Freestyle: The Middle-Relief Monster: Carter Capps
by
George Bissell

07-28

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3

Fantasy Freestyle: What's Wrong With Carlos Carrasco?
by
George Bissell

07-16

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Fantasy Freestyle: Francisco Liriano: Back Among the Elite?
by
Greg Wellemeyer

07-14

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21

Fantasy Freestyle: Bryce Harper Goes Boom
by
George Bissell

07-10

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: Is Taijuan Walker on the Cusp of Stardom?
by
Greg Wellemeyer

07-09

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: Grading The Buyer's Guide, Part One
by
J.P. Breen

07-08

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26

Fantasy Freestyle: Predicting the Second Half Fallers
by
Mike Gianella

07-02

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Fantasy Freestyle: The Evolution of Rubby De La Rosa
by
George Bissell

07-01

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: How We Got Here
by
Mike Gianella

06-24

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11

Fantasy Freestyle: The Injured Starter Market
by
J.P. Breen

06-23

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Fantasy Freestyle: What Can We Learn From Mookie Betts Exit Velocity?
by
George Bissell

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January 8, 2016 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: A Look at Preliminary ADP Data

0

Wilson Karaman

It's never too early to see how drafts are shaping up for the coming fantasy season.

As you’re hopefully aware, over the next several weeks we here at Baseball Prospectus will be getting all down and dirty on just about every possible split, projection, and angle in our positional series. For the full syllabus I encourage you to take a gander here, and it’s worth noting that our own George Bissell will be penning a position-by-position look at ADP trends. To kick things off, I figured it might just be worthwhile to take a stroll through the preliminary ADP data that’s starting to trickle in for early-drafting NFBC leagues. A couple procedural notes, NFBC leagues play in a 15-team format, so the language below regarding rounds reflects that league depth. The data is also both relatively thin and updating in real time at that link, so by the time you read this the draft position number I reference may have migrated minimally.

Getting to it, it is abundantly clear at first glance that there is a startling changing of the guard underway in the second half of the first round. Once you’ve traversed the top five, the next four players exiting draft boards (Carlos Correa, Nolan Arenado, Manny Machado, and Kris Bryant) are all unable to rent cars. Combined with Trout and Harper at the top, this is a remarkably young top 10 that skews three full years younger than last year’s list (25.2 years old versus 28.2 in 2015). Only Josh Donaldson will play the season at age 30, so managers in the early going are betting on the young wave of elite talent to anchor their teams.

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January 8, 2016 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Bounce-Back Candidates: Starting Pitchers

11

Keith Cromer

These hurlers are coming off poor or injury-plagued seasons, but there's reason to believe they could fare better in 2016.

Matt MooreTampa Bay Rays
2015 stats: 63 IP, 3-4 record, 5.43 ERA, 1.540 WHIP, 6.6 K/9, 3.3 BB/9

After missing most of the 2014 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, the talented southpaw returned to the Rays rotation this past July and heads into 2016 hoping to pick up where he left off prior to the surgery. An All-Star in 2013 at the age of 24, Moore was 17-4 with a 3.29 ERA and 8.6 K/9 that season, and was a highly targeted arm in 2014 fantasy drafts. After a lost 2014 campaign, Moore struggled early in his return to the Rays this past season, but finished the year strong, posting a 2.97 ERA and 1.156 WHIP over his last six starts with a 7.2 K/9 and 2.9 K:BB ratio. When the 2016 season begins, it will be nearly two years removed from his TJ procedure and I am bullish that Moore can return to his 2013 form.


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January 8, 2016 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Dominican Winter League Retrospective Valuations

7

Greg Wellemeyer

Examining how players' performance in the DWL might impact their major-league hopes in 2016.

With another Dominican Winter League season in the books and the playoffs in full swing, now is a good time to look back at the players who made or broke our Dominican fantasy leagues.

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January 6, 2016 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Desert Dynamos

0

J.J. Jansons

Examining three prospects who improved their dynasty stocks with strong play in the Arizona Fall League.

The offseason has been moving at such a dizzying pace that memories of the recently concluded Arizona Fall League have already begun to fade. This post was originally scheduled to coincide with the end of the AFL slate in November, but was delayed due to a combination of various factors including the lineup placement of various Rockies hitters as it relates to runs scored and the greatness that is D.J. LeMahieu, and being upset about having the third pick in the TDGX dispersal draft that featured Carlos Correa and Paul Goldschmidt, so I appreciate your understanding.

With many dynasty leagues set to have their offseason minor-league drafts in the not-too-distant future, let’s take a look at three prospects who improved their stocks with their performance in the desert. As has been pointed out thousands of times before, it’s important not to put too much stock into AFL statistics, but there can be bits of useful information to be gleaned from the inherently small sample sizes of action.

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January 5, 2016 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Inflation 101

5

Mike Gianella

Examining a few items to consider in keeper leagues where there's more money to spend than the available players are worth.

If you play fantasy baseball in an auction league, one of the additional wrinkles that you have to navigate is freezes and calculating player inflation in the auction. On one level, this is a simple mathematical exercise. However, in order to master keeper-league auctions it isn’t enough to simply perform a rough mathematical calculation and walk away. There are other aspects that may have to be factored in depending upon your league, which players are frozen, and how other fantasy managers behave.

At the most basic level, calculating inflation is a simple matter of dividing the amount of money left to spend in your auction by the amount of value available in the auction. As an example, if your league has $1,400 to spend on $1,200 worth of talent, your league’s inflation rate is 16.7 percent. If you would have paid $40 for Mike Trout in a non-keeper auction, you would pay $47 for him in an auction with 16.7 percent inflation. This concept is rudimentary, and if this were all there was to it, everyone would be playing on a fairly level playing field, and there would not be much of a tactical advantage to gain. Beyond simple math, below are a few other factors to consider when it comes to inflation if you play in a keeper league.

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January 4, 2016 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Surveying the Uncertain Closer Landscape

6

J.P. Breen

Eyeing a handful of teams whose ninth-inning roles might be up for grabs.

“Super bullpens” have become a league-wide trend, especially among contending teams. The Boston Red Sox shipped a pair of top-100 prospects, and then some, to San Diego for Craig Kimbrel. They went on to add the Mariners’ 2015 closer, Carson Smith, to perhaps be their seventh-inning guy. The New York Yankees proved that talent and winning always matter more than morality when they traded for Aroldis Chapman, who conceivably could miss the entirety of the 2016 season due to abuse allegations. Finally, the Houston Astros traded a massive package of prospects to Philly in return for the young, fireballing reliever Ken Giles.

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December 24, 2015 8:26 am

Fantasy Freestyle: A Recommendation Retrospective

0

Wilson Karaman

One final look back before the end of the year.

Last month I took a look back at the players I recommended to avoid as draft day approached last off-season, and overall I think I did some solid work there. Three out of four of those recommendations bore out, and while the one that didn’t was a spectacularly failure by result, I still feel good about the process that went into identifying the player. Can’t win ‘em all, right? So now today we’ll flip the script and talk about the players I recommended for targeting on draft day.

First Baseman to Target: Matt Adams, St. Louis Cardinals

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December 22, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Adjusting for Different Types of Auctions

3

Mike Gianella

How to tweak your strategy based on those of your opponents.

One challenge with dispensing advice is that one size seldom if ever fits all. It is a tired bromide but one of the most significant challenges any fantasy analyst has is attempting to guide readers in their drafts or auctions when every league is different. They’re not quite like snowflakes (today is cliché day, I’m afraid) but depending on a variety of factors, how you should prepare for your league and how you should behave during your draft or auction can differ dramatically.

The examples below are not meant to be all inclusive. Rather, they are designed to give the reader a glimpse into my thought process and how I leverage my knowledge to create a successful experience when your draft or auction doesn’t follow a “standard” path.

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December 14, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Watching Mike Make the Sausage

15

Mike Gianella

A look inside the process that yields the bid limits you see.

For the past three years, I have published my bid limits for auction formats for AL-only, NL-only, and mixed leagues here at Baseball Prospectus. While I do talk quite a bit about how I change bid limits for individual players over the course of spring training due to breaking news, I spend little if any time talking about my larger process, and how I construct a series of bid limits across the board for an entire player pool. This article is a step-by-step review of this process. It is not intended to be a granular review of what I do but it is meant to be more than merely the cursory look at how I arrive at the bid limits that I provide in March.

While there are a number of steps that I do take, I have to start with a step that I don’t take, because otherwise it will trip everyone up completely.

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December 8, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Explaining the Pie

0

Mike Gianella

Breaking down pitchers' fantasy earnings from the past season in search of takeaways to use in 2016.

Over the past few weeks, I examined retrospective fantasy valuation, along with how past earnings may impact future earnings trends. One of the things that I discovered is that the 10 best National League pitchers in 2015 earned $320. This is more play money than the top 10 earned in a season since 2010 in either the American League or the National League.

Table 1: Top 10 National League and American League Pitchers, 2010-2015

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December 4, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Second-Half Slumpers

2

Matt Collins

Don't overlook these players just because they fell apart down the stretch.

It is human nature to heavily lean on the most recent information, even when we know it’s not in our best interest. This comes into play in fantasy drafts and auctions, as some of us will think back to the latest memories we have about a player and that will shape our perceptions of his performance to come. With that in mind, here are some a few position players who had rough second halves that may overshadow what they did in the first half of 2015. Some may be good buy-low candidates next spring, and others may have been foreshadowing more struggles to come.

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December 2, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: 2015 Endgame and Waiver-Wire Recap: NL-Only Pitchers

3

Keith Cromer

Reviewing the senior circuit's bargain pitching buys from the past season.

In my last Freestyle article, I profiled NL-only position players who were hovering near the bottom of our sheet prices, or were not even on our draft-day radars, but proved to be fantasy assets in deep NL-only formats. This week we’ll turn our attention to senior-circuit hurlers who provided substantial dividends for their owners this year despite accounting for a fraction of auction salary dollars and FAAB budgets. We’ve broken out by starting pitchers and bullpen arms so each get their respective dues.

Starting Pitchers

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