CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

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

Fantasy Freestyle 

Search Fantasy Freestyle

All Blogs (including podcasts)

Active Columns

Authors

Article Types

Archives

07-27

comment icon

11

Fantasy Freestyle: Four Things I Believe
by
J.P. Breen

07-22

comment icon

0

Fantasy Freestyle: Yasiel Puig's Missing Pop
by
Wilson Karaman

07-13

comment icon

5

Fantasy Freestyle: First-Half Awards
by
J.P. Breen

07-08

comment icon

8

Fantasy Freestyle: Second-Half... Bounce Backs?
by
Mike Gianella

07-07

comment icon

1

Fantasy Freestyle: Gimme Some of That Sweet Ratio Love
by
Wilson Karaman

06-30

comment icon

3

Fantasy Freestyle: Dynasty Prospects: A Few of My Favorites
by
Wilson Karaman

06-24

comment icon

4

Fantasy Freestyle: Bargains and Busts, Midseason Edition
by
Mike Gianella

06-17

comment icon

0

Fantasy Freestyle: So What's Going on with Jose Abreu, Anyway?
by
Wilson Karaman

06-17

comment icon

1

Fantasy Freestyle: On Average, We'd Rather Not
by
Mike Gianella

06-10

comment icon

0

Fantasy Freestyle: Keeper-League Trading: A Primer
by
Mike Gianella

06-09

comment icon

0

Fantasy Freestyle: Evaluating the California League All-Stars
by
Wilson Karaman

06-09

comment icon

6

Fantasy Freestyle: Building a Contender in TGDX
by
J.P. Breen

06-08

comment icon

4

Fantasy Freestyle: Mark Trumbo and Being Wrong
by
Jeff Quinton

06-02

comment icon

1

Fantasy Freestyle: Yes, You Can Stream Jeff Locke, Except You Can't
by
Wilson Karaman

05-27

comment icon

0

Fantasy Freestyle: Batted-Ball Trajectory and BABIP Overachievers
by
Wilson Karaman

05-19

comment icon

2

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

05-13

comment icon

1

Fantasy Freestyle: What Happened to Last Year's Hot Starters
by
Mike Gianella

05-12

comment icon

0

Fantasy Freestyle: Prospect Tweet Bag
by
Wilson Karaman

05-06

comment icon

3

Fantasy Freestyle: We're Doing it Wrong
by
Mike Gianella

05-05

comment icon

1

Fantasy Freestyle: Early-Season Ramblings
by
Wilson Karaman

04-28

comment icon

3

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

04-22

comment icon

2

Fantasy Freestyle: The Art of the Steal
by
Mike Gianella

04-20

comment icon

0

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

04-15

comment icon

1

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

04-13

comment icon

2

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

04-12

comment icon

0

Fantasy Freestyle: My Fantasy Investment Portfolio
by
Scooter Hotz

04-08

comment icon

10

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

04-06

comment icon

6

Fantasy Freestyle: Bold Predictions for 2016
by
Wilson Karaman

04-01

comment icon

3

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

03-29

comment icon

4

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

03-29

comment icon

4

Fantasy Freestyle: Distributing Dollars
by
Mike Gianella

03-24

comment icon

4

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

03-24

comment icon

4

Fantasy Freestyle: Auction Bargains
by
Scooter Hotz

03-24

comment icon

10

Fantasy Freestyle: Endgame Targets
by
Bret Sayre

03-18

comment icon

0

Fantasy Freestyle: Recapping the 2015 Model Portfolios
by
Greg Wellemeyer

03-17

comment icon

4

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

03-17

comment icon

0

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

03-15

comment icon

8

Fantasy Freestyle: Spring Training Velocity Watch
by
Matt Collins

03-14

comment icon

5

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

01-08

comment icon

0

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

01-08

comment icon

11

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

01-08

comment icon

7

Fantasy Freestyle: Dominican Winter League Retrospective Valuations
by
Greg Wellemeyer

01-06

comment icon

0

Fantasy Freestyle: Desert Dynamos
by
J.J. Jansons

01-05

comment icon

5

Fantasy Freestyle: Inflation 101
by
Mike Gianella

01-04

comment icon

6

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

12-24

comment icon

0

Fantasy Freestyle: A Recommendation Retrospective
by
Wilson Karaman

12-22

comment icon

3

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

12-14

comment icon

15

Fantasy Freestyle: Watching Mike Make the Sausage
by
Mike Gianella

12-08

comment icon

0

Fantasy Freestyle: Explaining the Pie
by
Mike Gianella

12-04

comment icon

2

Fantasy Freestyle: Second-Half Slumpers
by
Matt Collins

<< Previous Column Entries Next Column Entries >>

This is a BP Fantasy article. To read it, sign up today!

April 13, 2016 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Batted Balls and Team Defensive Context

2

Wilson Karaman

Examining the pitchers whose worm-burning and flyballing styles mesh best and worst with their clubs.

We tend to operate with certain assumed axioms in the world of fantasy baseball, one of which is that pitchers who generate ample groundball contact and avoid the tightrope of excessive flyball contact are preferable. And the risk-reward is certainly apparent in the numbers: Last year big-league hitters mustered just a .144 average on flyballs but slugged .443, compared to a .243/.263 line on grounders. Sure, you give up more base hits on the ground, but they tend to be singles with limited potential to really do stand-alone damage. Flyballs, on the other hand, leave yards and lead to runs.

But all pitchers, and all pitching contexts, are not created equal; there are some guys whose stellar groundball rates mean less because they pitch in front of porous infield defenses, while others who walk on the wilder side in the sky are better bets on account of stellar fly-catching troupes patrolling the grass behind them. Now, the variance here isn’t extreme for most pitchers, but it isn’t insignificant either. Major-league leader Brett Anderson induced 380 grounders last year, and had he done so in front of the most efficient infield unit (the Giants) he’d have benefitted from an extra 26 out conversions over the course of his 180 innings relative to the worst unit (Philadelphia).

The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.

Not a subscriber?

Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.


Cancel anytime.


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

This is a BP Fantasy article. To read it, sign up today!

April 12, 2016 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: My Fantasy Investment Portfolio

0

Scooter Hotz

Scooter runs down the players he owns across many of his half-dozen leagues this year.

On Sunday I finished my final auction of the 2016 season. After a Founders Red’s Rye and a Tired Hands Alien Church with a few of my fellow owners, I went home and started to compile a list of players I owned in each league, with an eye toward figuring out which players I had most frequently across my six leagues.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

This is a BP Fantasy article. To read it, sign up today!

April 8, 2016 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: The Problem With the Rules in Standard Leagues

10

Mike Gianella

Mike identifies the flaws in the rules that typically govern basic fantasy formats.

No! Wait! Don’t leave! I know that the last thing anyone wants to talk about when it comes to fantasy baseball are rules. Many, many years ago, I was in a home league where at least half of the league was populated by attorneys, and we would spend at least an hour before each auction discussing the league’s constitution. This is as gut-wrenchingly awful as it sounds. There were a few years where we held our auctions in metropolitan high rises and I would keep wistfully looking at the window, wondering if there was any way at all to unbolt it and fly away to sweet, sweet freedom.

Now that I write for Baseball Prospectus, I play in many more expert leagues than I used to and have been exposed to more combinations of rules and formats than I would have ever imagined possible. Tout Wars, the expert league formed by Peter Kreutzer, Lawr Michaels, Ron Shandler, and Jeff Erickson in 1998, is particularly innovative, offering several twists on the “traditional” Rotisserie rulebook that in some cases have been adopted by the fantasy industry at large.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

This is a BP Fantasy article. To read it, sign up today!

April 6, 2016 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Bold Predictions for 2016

6

Wilson Karaman

Wilson goes out on a few limbs, putting big-time stock in Delino DeShields, Mychal Givens, and others.

A few weeks ago we pooled our staff predictions into a one-stop shop, but writing a full “bold” predictions column is one of my favorite annual exercises, and that didn’t quench my thirst. So here, then, I present to you a half-dozen things that I foresee to be inevitable fantasy outcomes of the 2016 calendar year.

Delino DeShields, Jr. Will Be a Top-10 Outfielder
By last year’s standards my claim here would essentially mean I’m predicting DeShields to earn $27 this year, and roughly equal, in bulk value, the season that Mookie Betts—he of the 16th-best overall ADP this spring—just produced. That’s a tall mountain to climb, but hear me out. Last year DeShields sneakily earned $15 in less than 500 plate appearances, and he did it largely on the back of 25 steals (which was somehow good for 11th-most in the majors). In his prior three seasons in the minors he’d stolen over 200 bases. This is one of the fastest players in Major League Baseball, and last year’s total feels about as light as the laws of physics allow. He made some intriguing adjustments as the season wore on last summer, cutting his whiff rate by three percentage points in the second half and overcoming an early tendency to pop balls up on the infield. And then there’s the spray chart: Check out the line-drive distribution over the last three months of the 2015 season. He always got on base at a robust clip in his minor-league career, and that translated very well in his big-league debut. Elite speed, plus above-average on-base abilities, plus a batted-ball distribution favorable to maximizing that speed… yeah, I’m buying. Give him 40-50 steals and all of the Runs that come with leading off every day for a solid offense, and suddenly the earnings levels I’m talking about are there for the taking if he can coax a .270 average out of his bat.


The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

This is a BP Fantasy article. To read it, sign up today!

April 1, 2016 10:59 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Spring Training Risers

3

J.J. Jansons

Notes on a handful of players who upped their fantasy stocks last month.


After sending spring training darling Matt Davidson—who was hitting a cool .413/.438/.783 in 46 at-bats—down to Triple-A on Tuesday, White Sox GM Rick Hahn dropped a nugget of wisdom that should apply to fantasy owners everywhere: “You try not to fall too much in love with young players or out of love with veteran players based on spring results.”

With those important words of advice in mind, let’s take a look at five players who have increased their fantasy value, both in redraft leagues and in dynasty leagues, with their solid performances this spring:


The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

This is a BP Fantasy article. To read it, sign up today!

March 29, 2016 6:00 am

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

4

George Bissell

The Pirates righty has been dominant in spring training, but should you rush to grab him in fantasy formats?

Mulder, the human mind naturally seeks meaningful patterns and configurations in things that don't inherently have any. Given the suggestion of a particular image, you can't help but see that shape somewhere.” –Dana Scully in The X-Files episode “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose” (1995)

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

This is a BP Fantasy article. To read it, sign up today!

March 29, 2016 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Distributing Dollars

4

Mike Gianella

Why Mike believes his unconventional spending in the recent NL Tout Wars auction was the right approach.

Last week, I wrote about my NL Tout Wars auction. This auction was one of the strangest auctions I have ever had. I didn’t spend over $18 on a player, and only spent under $5 on one player: Taylor Jungmann of the Brewers. This was hardly by design. Based on the prices in LABR NL earlier this month, I fully expected to spend aggressively at the top of the food chain, particularly on the hitters. My bid limits were structured in a way that thought I would walk away with one or even two hitters at $35 or above. As you have probably read by now, it didn’t work out that way.

Table 1: Tout Wars NL 2016, 12 Most Expensive Hitters

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

Some thoughts from those who pay closest attention to their teams.

Nothing truly signifies the end of a long winter full of trades, rumors, position battles, and injuries like the start of Fantasy Baseball Draft season. When you see that draft calendar begin to count down in days instead of weeks, it means spring is finally here, and real games are just around the corner. It also means that you’re running out of time to get ready. You need to finish your research. There are a number of great fantasy resources available, especially right here at Baseball Prospectus, but you often need to dig through so much information to get find what you really want. So we’ve decided to help you about.

Read the full article...

This is a BP Fantasy article. To read it, sign up today!

March 24, 2016 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Auction Bargains

4

Scooter Hotz

After his first auction of the season, Scooter identifies his best buys and why he chose them.

On Sunday I participated in my first auction of the 2016 MLB season. For this week’s column, I decided to write about the five players I think were my biggest bargains in the auction. It’s a home league and the configuration is a little quirky compared to standard 5x5 roto, so don’t get too hung up on the actual prices. Focus on the reasons these players were available below par value and keep these two points in mind:

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

This is a BP Fantasy article. To read it, sign up today!

March 24, 2016 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Endgame Targets

10

Bret Sayre

Notes on Bret's favorite cheap contributors, across -only, mixed, and various-sized formats.

For me, this column is the sign of the offseason coming full circle. The sign that we have made it through another winter without baseball, and have hopefully given you, the reader, some good knowledge to take with you into your drafts and auctions this month. And the timing is only fitting because we’re talking about the endgame here, just as we hit the endgame of our draft coverage. Before I hurt myself stretching into new parallels, here are twenty 19 players who I think make for good targets at the end of various-sized leagues.

12-TEAM MIXED LEAGUES

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

This is a BP Fantasy article. To read it, sign up today!

March 18, 2016 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Recapping the 2015 Model Portfolios

0

Greg Wellemeyer

Looking back at what went right or wrong with the fantasy staff's ideal 2015 squads.

Our positional coverage is all wrapped up and draft season is drawing to a close as Opening Day nears. One feature we’ll be rolling out before then is My Model Portfolio, wherein our staff members will each pick a roster using Mike Gianella’s final auction values. You’ll see those values shortly and our individual authors’ model portfolios will follow the week after next.

Before we get there, though, how about a little accountability on last year’s picks? Easy for me to say since I wasn’t here yet. I’m judging these purely based on how much difference there was between Mike’s preseason auction values and his postseason valuations. There is no consideration for roster balance or categorical strength, this is purely an evaluation of whose draft day roster created the most raw profit over the course of the season.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

This is a BP Fantasy article. To read it, sign up today!

March 17, 2016 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Analyzing ADP to Identify Bargains

4

J.P. Breen

Based on where they've been selected in drafts to date, these players could provide a significant return on your preseason investment.

Throughout the offseason, the Fantasy Team has analyzed every position group in multiple ways. We have offered tiered rankings, three-year rankings, dynasty rankings, and various kinds of player profiles. We have even suggested players to target and avoid at each position, though that’s more of a compilation of individual opinions than some kind of overarching consensus. I’d argue that no other site has provided such a comprehensive preview, both in terms of breadth and depth, of the 2016 fantasy season.

The remainder of this post cannot be viewed at this subscription level. Please click here to subscribe.

<< Previous Column Entries Next Column Entries >>