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08-18

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: The Unsung Heroes of the Shortstop Revolution
by
Wilson Karaman

08-17

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Recent Top Performers: Pitchers and Outfielders
by
J.P. Breen

08-10

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: Trade Deadline Post-Mortem
by
J.P. Breen

08-04

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Fantasy Freestyle: Early Returns on the 2016 Draft Class
by
Wilson Karaman

07-27

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11

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

07-22

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0

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

07-13

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5

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

07-08

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8

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

07-07

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1

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

06-30

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3

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

06-24

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4

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

06-17

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0

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

06-17

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1

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

06-10

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0

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

06-09

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0

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

06-09

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6

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

06-08

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: Mark Trumbo and Being Wrong
by
Jeff Quinton

06-02

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1

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

05-27

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0

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

05-19

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2

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

05-13

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1

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

05-12

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: Prospect Tweet Bag
by
Wilson Karaman

05-06

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3

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

05-05

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: Early-Season Ramblings
by
Wilson Karaman

04-28

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3

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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0

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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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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0

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

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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:

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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

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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.

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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.

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March 17, 2016 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Risers and Fallers in OBP Leagues

0

Scooter Hotz

Using the PFM to identify players whose values soar or sink in leagues that use OBP instead of AVG.

More and more fantasy team owners are playing in otherwise standard 5x5 AL-only and NL-only rotisserie leagues that replace AVG with OBP. It makes sense from a sabermetric standpoint if the goal of the league is to capture actual offensive value since OBP is a better measure of a player’s contributions than AVG. However, since OBP isn’t standard, a lot of expert guides set their bid limits using the more frequently used AVG. I used the Baseball Prospectus Player Forecast Manager (PFM) to see which players PECOTA thinks have the biggest swings in valuation in standard 5x5 AL-only and NL-only roto leagues.

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March 15, 2016 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Spring Training Velocity Watch

8

Matt Collins

A look at the hurlers who've seen their radar-gun readings perk up and dim down in Cactus and Grapefruit League play.

At this point, I think we all know that there is very little value to anything that happens in spring training. For fantasy purposes, the only thing we really need to pay attention to is injury news. There have been enough March superstars that turn into regular season duds to teach us to not get fooled again. With that being said, one thing we may be able to look into is spring training velocity. A few years ago, Mike Fast did a study for BP and found that there was some predictive value to velocity changes from the end of the previous season and the following spring. Now, there are usually some reasons for the changes that can’t be seen in the data, particularly with velocity decreases. Maybe the pitcher is hurt, or he’s a bit behind in schedule and is still building up his arm strength. It’s still a potential piece of information to seek out in a time where those instances are few and far between, so let’s take a look at a few pitchers who have seen some early spikes this year.

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March 14, 2016 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Targeting Under-the-Radar Prospects for Rebuilds

5

J.P. Breen

Dynasty-leaguers taking the long view might want to target these underappreciated young'uns in trades this spring.

Dynasty leagues have increased in popularity in recent years for multiple reasons, including a boom in prospect knowledge and a desire for year-round fantasy activity. It’s a format that allows hardcore baseball fans an excuse to obsess over minor-league development. It’s also a format that gives everyone, from the owners in contention for a championship to the owners toiling at the bottom of the standings, a reason to remain committed to the league at all times. In fact, Baseball Prospectus has an aptly named podcast—There Is No Offseason—that’s dedicated to these kind of leagues, and they’re the leagues that overwhelmingly inspire questions in our “Bat Signal” queue.

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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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