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11-24

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Fantasy Team Preview: Detroit Tigers
by
Nick Shlain

11-21

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5

Fantasy Team Preview: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
by
Wilson Karaman

11-20

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1

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

11-20

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Retrospective Player Valuation: National League Pitchers
by
Mike Gianella

11-19

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4

Fantasy Team Preview: Kansas City Royals
by
Ben Carsley

11-18

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3

Retrospective Player Valuation: National League Hitters
by
Mike Gianella

11-18

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9

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

11-17

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Fantasy Team Preview: Oakland Athletics
by
Keith Cromer

11-14

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Fantasy Team Preview: Seattle Mariners
by
Nick Shlain

11-13

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7

Retrospective Player Valuation: American League Pitchers
by
Mike Gianella

11-13

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

11-12

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9

Fantasy Team Preview: Cleveland Indians
by
Matt Collins

11-12

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2

Five to Watch: More Post-Hype Prospects for 2015
by
Ben Carsley

11-11

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Fantasy Team Preview: New York Yankees
by
Bret Sayre

11-11

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1

Retrospective Player Valuation: American League Hitters
by
Mike Gianella

11-10

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7

Fantasy Team Preview: Toronto Blue Jays
by
Wilson Karaman

11-07

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Fantasy Team Preview: Tampa Bay Rays
by
Jeff Quinton

11-06

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5

Five to Watch: Post-Hype Prospects for 2015
by
Craig Goldstein

11-06

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2

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

11-05

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Fantasy Freestyle: Curb Your Pitching Enthusiasm
by
Nick Shlain

11-05

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Fantasy Team Preview: Chicago White Sox
by
J.P. Breen

11-04

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4

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

11-03

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2

Fantasy Team Preview: Boston Red Sox
by
Ben Carsley

10-31

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4

Fantasy Team Preview: Houston Astros
by
Keith Cromer

10-20

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

10-03

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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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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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Fantasy Freestyle: Playoff Spotlight: Josh Donaldson
by
Paul Sporer

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

09-25

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: Theory-Driven Versus Context-Driven Strategy
by
Jeff Quinton

09-25

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1

They Hold No Quarter: Starting Pitchers
by
BP Fantasy Staff

09-24

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10

Dynasty Dynamics: Jumping Ship
by
Ben Carsley and Craig Goldstein

09-23

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12

Fantasy Freestyle: Backing Off Backstop Prospects
by
Ben Carsley

09-22

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1

Interleague Report: Week 26
by
Jeff Quinton

09-22

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2

Fantasy Freestyle: DFS and the State of Fantasy Baseball
by
Mike Gianella

09-22

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Fantasy Freestyle: Circling Back to The Holy Trinity
by
J.P. Breen

09-19

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Daily League Strategy: Coors, Coors, Coors
by
Paul Sporer

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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 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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September 26, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Prospect Rankings Review

7

Craig Goldstein

A look at two pitchers who ranked back-to-back in our preseason top fantasy prospects rankings.

The dust hasn’t yet settled on the 2014 but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to look back at some of our pre-season work and look at how we did. Before the regular season started, we (Bret Sayre) released our fantasy prospect rankings and while there are innumerable (okay, fine, 101) interesting aspects to that list, some stood out more than most.

Two of my favorite prospects in all of baseball, much less fantasy happened to be ranked back to back as though they were striking a pose for an action/spy movie poster. Baltimore’s Kevin Gausman checked in at 15th and Kansas City’s Yordano Ventura ranked 16th. Let’s take a look at what we said then, how they did, and why we were right or wrong.

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September 25, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Using FIP to Find Value

3

Wilson Karaman

Examining some pitchers whose second-half ERAs belied strong peripherals to see whether a breakout 2015 might be in store.

Well, it’s that magical time of year. The season is winding down, and here we sit preparing to begin our annual stare into the frozen, dead abyss of a fantasy-baseball-less winter. Fortunately, those of us in keeper and dynasty leagues are somewhat exempt from this situation because, as the saying goes, there is no offseason. This is actually, legitimately one of my favorite times of the year for those formats, as it’s the time when we can start to analyze the breakouts and the disappointments of the past season and begin to construct rudimentary target lists for upcoming trade talks over the winter and, in shallower formats, drafts next spring. I play primarily in head-to-head leagues, and particularly in this format I’ve found the following exercise to be quite valuable as a quick and dirty starting point. Since head-to-head championships are determined by player performances during weekly format playoff matchups the it tends to open up opportunities for acquiring players on the relative cheap who performed poorly down the stretch and may have contributed to a league-mate losing his or her final matchup. This “recency bias” plays off exactly the kind of negative memory impact my colleague Jeff Quinton took a long and engaging look at last offseason, and I highly recommend the read for context.

One of the primary places I like to direct my efforts at the start of each off-season is the FIP bin of second-half pitching performances. Particularly given that starting pitchers will usually only get one shot, maybe two, to contribute in a head-to-head matchup a poor finish to the year can sting that much more. And the metric also provides a valuable opportunity to sniff out some emerging talent among guys who may have started to come into their own at the big league level but might not quite have the production (or, subsequently, the hype) to back it up just yet.

To this end, here are the top 20 pitchers with the biggest gap between their second-half ERA and FIP numbers:

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September 25, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Theory-Driven Versus Context-Driven Strategy

1

Jeff Quinton

Distinguishing between the two approaches and explaining why the latter is far superior in fantasy baseball contexts.

As this fantasy baseball season ends and a new fantasy baseball off season begins, I thought it would be helpful to take a look at why I take the approach I do when writing about fantasy baseball. Consequently, I do so.

As I see it, there are two styles of strategy that can be used in fantasy baseball: (i) theory driven and (ii) context driven. While I write about theories and concepts in the majority of my articles, I am a firm believer in context-driven strategy, especially for fantasy baseball. Before I go any further, please find my definitions for theory driven and context driven strategy below:

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September 25, 2014 6:00 am

They Hold No Quarter: Starting Pitchers

1

BP Fantasy Staff

These hurlers aren't widely owned, but they might be useful fliers for keeper-league owners looking ahead to 2015.

If there’s anything we love more than baseball around here on the fantasy staff, it’s collaborating with each other. So, at the behest of myself, we’re going to be doing one final group series of the year to close out the last seven weeks of the season. For this series, we will each select one player who is below 25 percent owned in either ESPN or Yahoo! leagues who could be someone to consider grabbing before the end of the season with an eye toward a keeper spot. Now, given the depth we’re dealing with here, these recommendations are not for owners who can keep five or seven players from season-to-season—it’s more for those of you who play in leagues where keepers take up more than half of your roster (and possibly more, in the case of some recommendations contained within).

Kevin Gausman, Baltimore Orioles
“In most years, Gausman's 3.57 ERA would be enough to advertise on its own, but in 2014, it was barely above league average, and he didn't have a ton of peripheral value, which probably explains why he's unowned in the vast majority of leagues despite a ton of prospect hype. Still, there's a lot to like here, and it's based mostly on pedigree and raw ability more than it is borne out in the numbers.


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September 24, 2014 6:00 am

Dynasty Dynamics: Jumping Ship

10

Ben Carsley and Craig Goldstein

Examining some veterans, prospects, and post-prospects you won't regret dropping.

“I will go down with this ship,” Dido sings so eloquently on her smash hit, White Flag. “I won’t put my hands up, and surrender.”

Dido was an idiot. Abandon the sinking vessels that these players represent in dynasty leagues. Get out while there’s still time.

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September 23, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Backing Off Backstop Prospects

12

Ben Carsley

A look at the perils of falling in love with promising catchers down on the farm.

There’s nothing quite as alluring as a stud fantasy catching prospect.

Predicting which catchers beyond the obvious names will produce on a yearly basis is a tedious, difficult exercise that often leads to disappointment. Just ask people who drafted Miguel Montero, Wilson Ramos, or Matt Wieters this season, only to see the likes of Yan Gomes, Dioner Navarro, and Kurt Suzuki outperform their backstops by a long shot.

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September 22, 2014 6:00 am

Interleague Report: Week 26

1

Jeff Quinton

Examining how the upcoming AL-vs.-NL and NL-vs.-AL matchups, and how they might affect teams' lineups.

Please note that in the “DH” column, the player listed is the player that has been added or removed from the lineup, not necessarily the player in the DH slot. For example, if the Phillies move Domonic Brown to DH and put Tony Gwynn Jr. in the OF, then I will list Gwynn Jr. in the “DH” column because he is the player who is gaining at-bats.

Last Week

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September 22, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: DFS and the State of Fantasy Baseball

2

Mike Gianella

Will daily leagues one day supplant rotisserie and head-to-head formats?

If you play fantasy sports, you are familiar with DFS, even if you don’t play DFS. Short for Daily Fantasy Sports, in the past two years DFS has gone from a novelty to a mainstay, carving out a significant share of the fantasy sports marketplace. As a result, most websites that cater to fantasy baseball have started devoting a portion of content to DFS and/or partnering with a DFS service. Baseball Prospectus is no exception; in 2014, BP and Draft Street entered a working partnership, which then became a partnership with Draft Kings when Draft Kings purchased Draft Street earlier this year.

DFS arguably represents the biggest paradigm shift in fantasy sports since the Internet changed fantasy gaming from a game you played with friends in your neighborhood or your college to a game you could play with anyone anywhere in the world who had a working modem. Even if you haven’t played DFS, the appeal of the game is obvious. There are a number of great things about DFS, but the three biggest positives to in my mind are:

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