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04-30

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6

Fantasy Freestyle: Checking in on April Leaders
by
J.P. Breen

04-29

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Daily Leagues and Strikeouts
by
J.P. Breen

04-28

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6

Fantasy Freestyle: AL-Only Adds
by
Nick Shlain

04-23

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: Preaching Patience
by
Nick Shlain

04-22

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9

Fantasy Freestyle: Early-Season Stat Line Scouting
by
Wilson Karaman

04-21

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8

Fantasy Freestyle: CC Sabathia's Early-Season Promise
by
Nick Shlain

04-16

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5

Fantasy Freestyle: New Managers and Stolen Bases
by
J.P. Breen

04-15

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Streaming Two-Start Pitchers
by
J.P. Breen

04-14

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3

Fantasy Freestyle: Early Returns
by
Nick Shlain

04-09

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Is Now the Time for Zach McAllister?
by
Nick Shlain

04-08

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15

Fantasy Freestyle: Five Bold Predictions
by
Wilson Karaman

04-07

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: Celebrating National Jump to Conclusions Day
by
Nick Shlain

04-01

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10

Fantasy Freestyle: Endgame Targets for 2015
by
Bret Sayre

03-30

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6

Fantasy Freestyle: Shadow Auctioneering
by
Mike Gianella

03-27

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5

Fantasy Freestyle: BP Rankings vs. ADP
by
Wilson Karaman

03-26

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: Endgame Picks
by
Nick Shlain

03-24

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: 2014 Graduated Prospects, Part 2: 26-50
by
Ben Carsley

03-20

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14

Fantasy Freestyle: 2014 Graduated Prospects, Part 1: 1-25
by
Ben Carsley

03-18

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6

Fantasy Freestyle: Spring Training Battles to Watch
by
J.P. Breen

03-16

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13

Fantasy Freestyle: Case Studies of Two Auctions
by
Mike Gianella

03-11

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: ADP Underachivers: Hitters
by
Wilson Karaman

03-10

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22

Fantasy Freestyle: A Different Dynasty Top 101 List
by
Ben Carsley

02-12

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22

Fantasy Freestyle: LABR Mixed Recap
by
Mike Gianella

02-06

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3

Fantasy Freestyle: PFM vs. the 'Experts,' Part Two (Pitchers)
by
Mike Gianella

01-30

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15

Fantasy Freestyle: PFM vs. the 'Experts,' Part One (Hitters)
by
Mike Gianella

01-16

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22

Fantasy Freestyle: Stop Looking for Sleepers, Start Looking for Value
by
Mike Gianella

12-31

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: How NOT to Consume the Positional Series
by
Ben Carsley

12-30

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Consuming the Positional Series
by
Jeff Quinton

12-23

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: Still Holliday Season
by
Wilson Karaman

12-22

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: Is Marcus Stroman the Real '6 God'?
by
Nick Shlain

12-18

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Don't Forget the Vets
by
Matt Collins

12-17

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: Undervalued NL Starting Pitchers
by
Keith Cromer

12-16

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10

Fantasy Freestyle: The Trouble With Tiers
by
Mike Gianella

12-12

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9

Fantasy Freestyle: Shortening Your Dynasty Rebuild
by
J.P. Breen

12-11

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: Jose Quintana, Forever Underrated
by
Matt Collins

12-10

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: American League Speed Options on the Cheap
by
Keith Cromer

12-09

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: Is Yordano Ventura Overrated Now?
by
Nick Shlain

12-05

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: The Moderate Rebuild
by
Craig Goldstein

12-04

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: Hey, So What Happened to Mike Minor Last Year?
by
Wilson Karaman

12-03

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6

Fantasy Freestyle: Relief Help
by
Keith Cromer

12-02

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: Keeper Decisions
by
Nick Shlain

11-25

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: Christian Yelich is Poised to Break Out
by
Matt Collins

11-25

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Offseason Trades and Responding to the Default Effect
by
Jeff Quinton

11-25

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: 40-Man Additions to Know
by
Craig Goldstein

11-20

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: Offseason Trades and the Default Effect
by
Jeff Quinton

11-18

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9

Fantasy Freestyle: Five Fantasy Busts
by
J.P. Breen

11-13

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: Five Fantasy MVPs of 2014
by
J.P. Breen

11-06

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: What to Make of Odrisamer Despaigne
by
Keith Cromer

11-05

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: Curb Your Pitching Enthusiasm
by
Nick Shlain

11-04

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: Three Players Looking for Bounce-Back Power
by
Matt Collins

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April 1, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Endgame Targets for 2015

10

Bret Sayre

A closer look at 20 players obtainable on the cheap in drafts and auctions this spring.

With the weekend of our first regular-season game approaching, it’s time for my final and favorite column of the preseason.

We’ve been doing rankings and analysis here for the last three months and hopefully they’ve been helpful to you as you sort through all of the information that leads (or has led) to your most important draft decisions. And so as we arrive at the endgame of draft season, it seems only fitting to focus on the endgame of drafts. It’s the most interesting aspect of team construction, as individual owners’ valuation only gets more divergent as initial roster construction draws to a close. As I’ve said many times, finishing out your draft strong is a must if you want to win your league.

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March 30, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Shadow Auctioneering

6

Mike Gianella

Mike uses a few examples to show why PFM values aren't the end all, be all heading into an auction.

A popular question I get around this time of year is along these lines:

The PFM ranks Steven Souza much higher than your bid limits/draft rankings do. I don’t understand. Why is it so different? What’s the deal? Huh, huh, huh, Huh, Huh, HUH?!?!?!?!?!?”

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March 27, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: BP Rankings vs. ADP

5

Wilson Karaman

Comparing when the fantasy staff would advise you to take players to when they're actually being selected.

This article took shape thanks to the comments and suggestions of BP readers Tuck and TroJim. The former noted that a column elaborating on some of the larger discrepancies between Mike Gianella’s Top 300 list and current ADP numbers might be a helpful exercise in helping drafters determine value, and I agree. And then in a response to questions about the utility of our Darkhorses series focusing on generally known and highly drafted players, TroJim made the following excellent point: “Like the stock market... some people try to get rich on penny stocks and others find success in discerning which blue chips will perform the best.”

And lo, a column was born. I’m going to focus this article on the players with the largest gaps between our own ranking and ADP from the top 84 names on Mike’s list, as that cutoff represents the top six rounds of a standard 14-team league. I don’t think I’m breaking much ground with this declaration, but the top six rounds of a draft are extremely important rounds. These are your blue chip players, the foundation upon which your team is built. It’s possible to win with an underwhelming start, but it’s awfully difficult.

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March 26, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Endgame Picks

4

Nick Shlain

A few possible bargains with which to round out your auctions.

Much of my writing for Baseball Prospectus so far has been about AL-only deep league targets, but even though the following players each reside in the AL, for the purposes of this article these recommendations are intended to be for the endgame in mixed leagues.

Daniel NorrisToronto Blue Jays

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March 24, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: 2014 Graduated Prospects, Part 2: 26-50

2

Ben Carsley

The second installment in the series looking at the future performance of last year's top promoted prospects.

Last week, I brought you the first installment in this series. This installment follows it, sequentially.

The disclaimer: Let’s take a look at all of the graduated prospects from Bret’s 2014 list, examine how they performed last year and what we can expect moving forward. For each player, I’ll simply render an “overvalued,” “properly valued” or “undervalued” verdict at the end of each writeup, based on current ADP (from FantasyPros.com) and to be used for the 2015 season only.

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March 20, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: 2014 Graduated Prospects, Part 1: 1-25

14

Ben Carsley

Reviewing the most highly regarded young'uns from our fantasy top 101 who debuted last year.

Fantasy prospect lists are great. We publish them, we debate them, we answer questions about them, and we refer to them in our work.

And four or five months after they go live, no one gives a damn about them anymore.

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March 18, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Spring Training Battles to Watch

6

J.P. Breen

A few job competitions to keep an eye on in Cactus and Grapefruit League play.

Though many fantasy baseball leagues have already completed their drafts, many leagues are still holding out to ensure injuries have time to occur and spring training battles have largely been sorted out. After all, it becomes tricky in late-round situations, if you’re trying to guess whether Pitcher X or Pitcher Y will secure the fifth-starter spot—as the other guy gets sent to Triple-A and is a fantasy non-factor.

Which spring training roster battles should you be tracking over the next couple weeks? Here are a trio of competitions that could affect late-round draft strategy:

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March 16, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Case Studies of Two Auctions

13

Mike Gianella

Mike examines the rosters purchased by a couple of experts in AL- and NL-only auctions.

On March 7 and 8, LABR held their AL and NL-only auctions in Phoenix, Arizona. Last week, I recapped both auctions for Baseball Prospectus (links for the American League and National League). Today, I thought I’d take a deeper look at some of the auction strategies for two participants: Chris Liss of Rotowire in the American League and Doug Dennis of Baseball HQ in the American League.

I didn’t randomly select their auctions out of a hat for review. Liss and Dennis both had very strong auctions, even though they have completely different approaches and philosophies regarding auction management and roster philosophy. By analyzing what they did and how they performed, I hope to provide assistance to Baseball Prospectus readers preparing for their own auctions later this month and in early April.

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March 11, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: ADP Underachivers: Hitters

0

Wilson Karaman

Given where they're going in drafts right now, you might do well to pass on these five bats.

It’s here! Your draft is finally here! Yes, one of the most wonderful times of the fantasy baseball year is upon us, and that means narrowing down our target lists. One of the best ways to do this is by comparing you own player valuations with finally relevant ADP compilations as a means to figuring out who you may be able to secure the best surplus value potential by acquiring. Your basic goal above all else on draft day should always be to maximize the potential surplus value you can generate with your picks. That means targeting guys who are the most likely to outperform their draft positions, thereby giving you the greatest cumulative advantage in value production over your opponents.

One of the best ways to not accomplish that goal is by ending up with guys who have poor chances to produce value equivalent to the cost you paid to acquire them. In other words, if I draft a guy in the fifth round who goes on to produce numbers that are equal to a guy someone else drafted in the ninth round, my player has generated negative value for me. Not good.

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March 10, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: A Different Dynasty Top 101 List

22

Ben Carsley

Ben takes on Bret with a competing ranking of the best fantasy-relevant talents in the minors.

Fun fact: I used to "compete" with Bret Sayre when it came to this stuff.

Before the days of Craig Goldstein and I joining the fantasy team, I considered Bret to be something of a rival in the niche world of dynasty fantasy writing. We both published top-100 lists every year. We both wrote extensively about minor leaguers. Neither of us were very good at Twitter. We were on a collision course.

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Mike shares and explains his picks from the recent experts draft.

As they like to say in high society, let’s dispense with the damn pleasantries. This is Bret Sayre and my second year in LABR mixed, what an honor it is to be invited, this is a tough draft room of experts, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. If you’re reading a fantasy article at Baseball Prospectus you know what LABR is. Let’s dive right in.

Last year, Bret and I finished 14th out of 15 teams. Some of this was due to an unfortunate, never-ending run of pitching injuries and some of this was due to a series of Hail Mary passes we started throwing in June, with the mindset that it is better to shoot for first than hit the ball down the middle of the fairway, play for seventh or eighth, and mix your sports metaphors. These are also excuses, which I hate almost as much as I hate losing.

Read the full article...

Part two in a two-part series comparing the PFM's performance to those of owners in experts leagues.

Last week, I took a look at how Baseball Prospectus’s PFM did against the CBS, LABR, and Tout Wars expert leagues. Today, I will shift over to the pitchers.

Last week, I concluded that the expert leagues pay too much for the top hitters while the PFM pays too much for the guys at the bottom of the pile. I thought that if you are going to redistribute your money, the best way to do this would be to redistribute it toward the middle, not at the top. I was amazed at how reliable the PFM was at “predicting” the earnings curve for hitters and wondered if the same thing would apply for the pitchers.

Read the full article...

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