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01-16

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20

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

10-30

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: Going All-In on Hyun-jin Ryu
by
Matt Collins

10-30

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Accept that Justin Upton is Quite Good
by
Wilson Karaman

10-28

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: Looking Back: Madison Bumgarner for Cy Young
by
J.P. Breen

10-24

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: Projection Season and the Recency Effect
by
Jeff Quinton

10-23

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Playoff Spotlight: Brandon Belt
by
Ben Carsley

10-21

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: Playoff Spotlight: Alcides Escobar
by
Wilson Karaman

10-20

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: My Personal Scorecard: Part 2 - National League
by
Mike Gianella

10-17

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Playoff Spotlight: Joe Panik
by
Ben Carsley

10-16

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Jon Jay
by
Jeff Quinton

10-15

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Playoff Spotlight: Lorenzo Cain
by
J.P. Breen

10-14

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4

Fantasy Freestyle: Looking Back: Prospect Predictions
by
Craig Goldstein

10-13

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: My Personal Scorecard: Part 1 - American League
by
Mike Gianella

10-10

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: Playoff Spotlight: Shelby Miller
by
Wilson Karaman

10-08

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Looking Back at Super Subs
by
Paul Sporer

10-07

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6

Fantasy Freestyle: Looking Back: My Favorite Endgame Targets of 2014
by
Bret Sayre

10-06

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: Playoff Spotlight: Sergio Romo
by
J.P. Breen

10-03

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: Playoff Spotlight: Denard Span
by
Wilson Karaman

10-02

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8

Fantasy Freestyle: Trades and the Importance of Hustle
by
Jeff Quinton

10-02

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: Edinson Volquez
by
Craig Goldstein

10-02

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: Are Elite Pitchers Becoming More Numerous?
by
J.P. Breen

10-01

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: Playoff Spotlight: Josh Donaldson
by
Paul Sporer

09-30

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: Playoff Spotlight: Eric Hosmer
by
Ben Carsley

09-29

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: 2014 Expert-League Recaps
by
Mike Gianella

09-26

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7

Fantasy Freestyle: Prospect Rankings Review
by
Craig Goldstein

09-25

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3

Fantasy Freestyle: Using FIP to Find Value
by
Wilson Karaman

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October 13, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: My Personal Scorecard: Part 1 - American League

2

Mike Gianella

In the first of a two-part series, Mike reviews how his junior-circuit bid value recommendations fared.

If you have read my work for any appreciable amount of time (either here at Baseball Prospectus or previously at my blog), you know that I am a significant believer in accountability. Many of us post our predictions in the spring. In turn, many of you rely on these predictions to construct your fantasy teams. Unfortunately, few fantasy writers revisit their work after the season and offer an honest assessment of how well or poorly they did. There are many reasons for this, and I could write an entire piece simply discussing why we as an “industry” are not very good at self-auditing. The short answer is that while it is human nature to pat ourselves on the back for our successes, we don’t really like to call attention to our failures.

I was guilty of this last year as well. After posting bids at BP for the first time in 2013, I wrote absolutely nothing about how I did (which kind of stinks, because I actually had a pretty good year). It is easy to criticize others for not auditing their work, but at a minimum I have to hold myself up to my own standard.

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October 10, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Playoff Spotlight: Shelby Miller

1

Wilson Karaman

After he held his own against Clayton Kershaw in the deciding game of the NLDS, is the righty's arrow pointing upward for 2015?

And on we march to the LCS! Unfortunately, one of the teams making that claim this year yet again is the Cardinals, who dispatched my Dodgers to the golf courses of Southern California for the second straight year. And one of the guys who helped set up their 412th-straight NLCS clash with the Giants was 23-year-old Shelby Miller, who pitched 5 2/3 reasonably strong innings in the Division Series clincher.

Now, if you rewind just two months to the beginning of August, this highlight would’ve been an improbable one to predict. At the time, Miller was staggering his way through a terribly disappointing sophomore campaign. His 4.14 ERA and 1.39 WHIP through July were paired with ugly strikeout and walk rates, resulting in a brief demotion from the rotation and an ownership rate that cratered at 67 percent in Sportsline leagues after the All-Star break. Hope for the breakout that many envisioned pre-season looked to be as fleeting as Miller’s command, and those with long-term dynasty league investments in the talented right-hander were exploring options to ship him for cents on the dollar as trading deadlines approached.

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October 8, 2014 10:50 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Looking Back at Super Subs

2

Paul Sporer

Paul thought these players might break out with regular playing time; how did they do?

I personally enjoy looking back on some early season predictions, even when they didn’t turn out as well as you might’ve hoped. I think things can be learned from the processes that hopefully make you sharper when going forward. Not every incorrect prediction came because of a poor process, nor does every successful prediction validate your process.

Let’s take a look back at a set of predictions I made this past spring. We’ll look at the results from a deep-dive into some substitute players who impressed enough to suggest that they might be big fantasy assets with a full-time role.

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October 7, 2014 10:21 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Looking Back: My Favorite Endgame Targets of 2014

6

Bret Sayre

Reviewing the good, the bad, and the Edwin Jackson.

Welcome to the 2014 installment of “Bret looks back on his preseason endgame targets and conveniently forgets that he recommended Edwin Jackson yet again.” It’s always a fun time of year—even moreso with the craziest start to a post-season I can recall—but with atonement being en vogue this week, it’s time to focus there so that we can all move on. My favorite column to write every year looks at my favorite endgame sleepers just as spring training is coming to a close. As this column has evolved over the years, it’s acquired more quantity, and this year’s crop of 22 was the largest yet.

As you can tell by the list below, it runs the gamut from very strong picks to almost laughable ones (okay, you can remove the almost in one or two choice examples). And as a reminder, any players who were in the top-250 in ADP at the time of the column (March 26) were ineligible here, so we’re not dealing with abstractions—at least using the assumption that ADP data (NFBC) in late March is not an abstraction. Either way, it’s the best we’ve got.

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October 6, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Playoff Spotlight: Sergio Romo

1

J.P. Breen

The slider-happy righty has pitched well since losing his ninth-inning duties, but his long-term outlook hinges on a return to the closer role.

Player Background
Romo has served as the Giants closer in some capacity in each of the past three seasons. He owns a combined 2.38 ERA over 283 2/3 innings since the beginning of 2010, so fantasy owners have grown to expect dominance. The nasty frisbee-like slider, low arm slot, and above-average control combine to bring sterling results. The right-hander is a prime example of a low-velocity reliever who cruises because he does something special, and while a triple-digit fastball affords a reliever plenty of wiggle room on the mound, success at the major-league level is about consistency and having something special in the arsenal. And Romo hasn’t posted a whiff rate under 20 percent on his slider since before the 2010 season. It’s money. It’s why he has the 12th-best ERA among relievers who have thrown at least 200 innings since 2010.

What Went Wrong in 2014?
The first half of the season.



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October 3, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Playoff Spotlight: Denard Span

0

Wilson Karaman

The outfielder has transformed his offensive game since coming to D.C., but can he sustain the improvements into 2015?

Welcome to the most glorious of days: the first of maybe two (if we’re lucky) days annually when we get a full schedule of four playoff baseball games. Several of my colleagues have already kicked off our Playoff Spotlight series with looks at the various fantasy values of several players who either are or were at one time playing in this year’s post-season. Pieces on Eric Hosmer, Josh Donaldson, and Edinson Volquez all await your consumption.

Today I’d like to turn my attention to a player I have a long personal history of fantasy entanglement with, Washington leadoff hitter Denard Span. Span’s coming off his best fantasy season since his first full year in the Majors back in 2009. His .302 average, 31 steals, and 94 runs combined to catapult him into the top 15 overall fantasy outfielders in 2014, just like I drew it up in the preseason when I was completely sold on the likelihood of that happening. So how did Denard get his groove back, and what’s the likelihood that what he did this year is repeatable in 2015?

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October 2, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Trades and the Importance of Hustle

8

Jeff Quinton

A look at ways to avoid a moment that all fantasy owners dread.

There is a moment of dread that almost all fantasy baseball owners have faced, the moment when you are informed that a player you have been intending on targeting gets traded to another team. The metaphorical sibling of this moment is when you are informed that player has been traded and at that moment you realize that you should have been targeting that player, especially given the price tag. The typical response to such a trade usually goes like this (I have removed the profanity and replaced it with the meaning behind the profanity): “That’s really unfair, Team X did not get enough in return.” The best part follows: “I would have given Team X more for that player/those players.” Sometimes, we even get the cherry on top: “Well, we can all pack it in now and hand the trophy to Team Y (the trade partner of Team X).”

Allegedly unbalanced trades usually result in complaints of injustice from team owners who were not involved with the trade and even end up with owners trying to veto trades (my solution: do not play in leagues with vetoes). This is typical human response: Get worked up about unfairness and demand fairness, but do not attempt to fix the root cause, especially when the fixing involves action on our behalf. J.P. Breen (smart dude) sums this phenomenon up nicely in these two tweets:

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October 2, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Edinson Volquez

0

Craig Goldstein

The Pirates righty's fine season came to an end yesterday, but can we expect more of the same in 2015?

This is going to come to you a day late, and likely a dollar short. Edinson Volquez took the mound last night, but I’m writing this in the afternoon so the results of his one-game playoff performance aren’t yet known, nor if he’ll get another shot. That said, we do have a 31-start sample from which to analyze this year, allowing us to determine how we feel about Volquez going forward.

Player Background
Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2001, Volquez matured gradually, not appearing on a prospect list until 2004. From there he took off, ranked by Baseball America as the Rangers no. 1 prospect following the 2005 season, in addition to ranking in their top 100 for the first and final time. He was a member of the Rangers vaunted DVD trio (Danks-Volquez-Diamond), and thought to be part of the wave of pitching prospects that would save Texas.


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October 2, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Are Elite Pitchers Becoming More Numerous?

2

J.P. Breen

We might be in the "Era of the Pitcher," but does that mean that the league is teeming with top-shelf arms?

Early last week, I reintroduced the concept of the Holy Trinity and outlined the 19 starting pitchers who qualified for the elite status. Furthermore, I argued that Holy Trinity pitchers, on average, significantly outperform the league-average pitcher. While that’s not a groundbreaking discovery, the estimated margin of 1.00 ERA for any HT pitcher over the league-average starter is remarkable enough to perhaps persuade fantasy owners to specifically alter their draft board in order to target them.

However, the HT list from 2014 is merely a piece of the puzzle. It begs the question: Are HT pitchers increasing in frequency as pitching continues to dominate across Major League Baseball?

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October 1, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Playoff Spotlight: Josh Donaldson

1

Paul Sporer

A look at the A's third baseman's 2014 campaign and what the future holds for him.

Ben Carsley got our Playoff Spotlight series kicked off on Tuesday with a breakdown of Eric Hosmer. At the time this is being written, Oakland is still in the playoffs. Of course, so is Kansas City, as the game hasn’t started, so players from both clubs are technically still fair game. I actually expect Oakland to win so they’d still be in the playoffs when this is posted, but you’ll forgive me if they aren’t, I hope. Let’s stay on the hitting side and take a look at Josh Donaldson from the A’s.

Player Background
A first-round pick back in 2007 (48th overall by CHC), Donaldson was a tertiary part of the Rich Harden deal in July of 2008. He started out behind the dish, but also saw time at the four corners (1B, 3B, LF, and RF) in the Oakland farm system. He spent two years in Kevin Goldstein’s second 10 for the Athletics prospects with power as the carrying tool, though it didn’t grade at a plus level.


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September 30, 2014 10:35 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Playoff Spotlight: Eric Hosmer

1

Ben Carsley

Evaluating one of Kansas City's successful failures.

Happy playoff season, fantasy fans.

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September 29, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: 2014 Expert-League Recaps

2

Mike Gianella

Mike looks back at how he did in a couple of NL-only expert leagues.

You are a worthless scumbag if you talk about your fantasy team. While these words have (probably) never been uttered, the sentiment certainly exists. Talking at length about your fantasy team is a combination of egotistical and boring, and nobody cares but you and the 11 other nerds who are in your league.

The naysayers do have a point. The story of how you overcame that six-point deficit in the last three weeks is captivating if it is your league, and especially riveting if it happened to you. If it is someone else’s league, the tale loses its luster quickly. I love fantasy baseball, and even I don’t want to hear more than a 60-second recap of what happened in your league.

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