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04-28

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: The Best Fastballs of the First Few Weeks
by
Wilson Karaman

04-22

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: The Art of the Steal
by
Mike Gianella

04-20

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: Batted-Ball Profile and Team Defensive Context, Part 2
by
Wilson Karaman

04-15

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: It's Early, Calm Down
by
Mike Gianella

04-13

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Batted Balls and Team Defensive Context
by
Wilson Karaman

04-12

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: My Fantasy Investment Portfolio
by
Scooter Hotz

04-08

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10

Fantasy Freestyle: The Problem With the Rules in Standard Leagues
by
Mike Gianella

04-06

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6

Fantasy Freestyle: Bold Predictions for 2016
by
Wilson Karaman

04-01

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3

Fantasy Freestyle: Spring Training Risers
by
J.J. Jansons

03-29

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: Juan Nicasio: Is it Too Soon to Buy in?
by
George Bissell

03-29

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: Distributing Dollars
by
Mike Gianella

03-24

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: The BP Local Fantasy Baseball Guide
by
Baseball Prospectus

03-24

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: Auction Bargains
by
Scooter Hotz

03-24

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10

Fantasy Freestyle: Endgame Targets
by
Bret Sayre

03-18

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Fantasy Freestyle: Recapping the 2015 Model Portfolios
by
Greg Wellemeyer

03-17

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: Analyzing ADP to Identify Bargains
by
J.P. Breen

03-17

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Fantasy Freestyle: Risers and Fallers in OBP Leagues
by
Scooter Hotz

03-15

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8

Fantasy Freestyle: Spring Training Velocity Watch
by
Matt Collins

03-14

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5

Fantasy Freestyle: Targeting Under-the-Radar Prospects for Rebuilds
by
J.P. Breen

01-08

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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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0

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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0

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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1

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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1

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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1

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

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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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November 6, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Players to Avoid: A Retrospective

0

Wilson Karaman

A look at how you would've done had you followed Wilson's advice to let someone else draft these players last spring.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Bret’s retrospective last week of his targets and avoids from our pre-season series, and I’d recommend it highly if you missed it. I decided I’d wade into those waters myself, as it’s a solid exercise in accountability and a nostalgic trip down memory lane to the state of things heading into this past season, all rolled into one exercise. This week I’ll take a look at my list of guys to avoid, and next week we’ll look back at the guys I was hot for.

Starting Pitcher to Avoid: Andrew Cashner, San Diego Padres

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November 5, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Player Valuation: A Practical Application

16

Mike Gianella

Mike explains the process that helped him earn this year's Tout Wars crown.

Last month, I discussed how I successfully executed my plan in Tout Wars. Today, I am going to take a deeper dive into my approach, with an emphasis on how using player valuation helped me to succeed last year.

Prior to 2015, my approach tended to focus far more heavily on player valuation than on anything else. This may sound common and mundane, particularly in expert leagues, but one of the most surprising things I have discovered about playing in expert leagues is that most experts don’t rely on player valuation as much as I do. The majority of experts I have talked to about this do use player valuation to some degree but tend to favor roster construction over valuation and frequently base their decisions on a balanced roster model over player valuation. There is even a smaller cadre of experts who don’t use valuation at all, and rather go by instinct (some would say gut) to make decisions during their auctions or drafts.

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The senior circuit's best fantasy bargain bats from the past season.

My last two articles profiled AL-only position players and pitchers who were hovering near the bottom of our preseason sheet prices or were off our draft-day radars entirely, but proved to be fantasy assets in deep formats. This week we’ll turn our attention to the senior circuit to recognize endgame and FAAB position-player finds that provided substantial dividends for their owners despite accounting for a fraction of auction salary dollars and FAAB budgets.

Matt Duffy, IF, San Francisco Giants

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October 30, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Players to Target and Avoid: A Look Back

5

Bret Sayre

Bret reflects on his preseason fantasy recommendations, and whether the processes that led to them were sound.

Earlier in October, we looked back at some player-specific predictions that I made for endgame sleepers—and as expected, some went well and some went poorly. However, looking at where you went wrong in identifying individual players is both important and relatively small in the grand scheme of fantasy evaluation. The most useful information that can come out of a look back is where the process went right and where it went wrong, so I will channel my inner Jeff Quinton and go through the recommendations I made for players to target/avoid during January and February. But rather than judging based on the players selected, we're going to judge based on what led to those players being selected, and whether there are process improvements that can be made here, or whether we've moved beyond some of the reasons why these decisions were made.

As you may (but probably don't) remember, we alternated the positive and negative in the pre-season, so there's only one of either direction at any given position. So let's start at the very beginning. Seems like a very good place to start, no?

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October 27, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: A Tale of Two Closers

0

George Bissell

How Wade Davis and Jeurys Familia went from failed starters to dominant closers...

Fantasy owners', particularly keeper and dynasty owners', aversion to investing heavily in closers has been well documented and is certainly warranted. The risks often outweigh the rewards when you consider the relative instability of the position overall. Due to a toxic combination of injuries and ineffectiveness, there is more turnover on a yearly basis among closers than among player at any other position. As a result, elite fantasy stoppers have a tendency to emerge out of nowhere, as was the case with both Wade Davis and Jeurys Familia this year.

A pair of premier setup men a year ago, their performance once they ascended into their respective teams' closing roles made them two of the best values in fantasy baseball this season. According to the end-of-season valuations compiled by my Baseball Prospectus colleague Mike Gianella (who won both Tout Wars NL and LABR Mixed with Bret Sayre this year), only Andrew Miller ($23) earned more than Davis ($22) in the AL, while Familia ($23) finished behind Mark Melancon ($25) in the NL this season.

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