Should you choose the new Oriole or the new Astro to don the tools of ignorance for your fantasy squad this year?
The NFL playoffs have started, which means you have no reason not to start preparing for the 2017 fantasy baseball season. The Baseball Prospectus fantasy staff will analyze each position on a weekly basis, kicking it off with catchers starting yesterday. Every Tuesday I'll bring the Tale of the Tape: a category-by-category breakdown of two similarly ranked players resulting in a verdict toward one or the other. Behind the dish, Brian McCann and Welington Castillo fared comparably in 2016 and project to do so again in 2017 -- as low-end options in standard mixed leagues.
In clearing the catcher job for Gary Sanchez the Yankees got good value in return for Brian McCann.
The New York Yankees. They’re 27-time champions, they’re home to some of the greatest names in baseball history, and they’ve been out of the heat of contention for an uncharacteristically long time now.
The Yankees have been lining up pieces for what they hope is a new era of Bronx dominance since they sold off the big parts of their bullpen, Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller, in July, leading baseball folks to wonder “what are they up to?” Well, now general manager Brian Cashman is making it clear.
Ben devotes more than 70 percent of his $260 budget to bats.
On Friday, March 21, Mike Gianella released Version Four of his mixed league Bid Limits, which spurred an idea from Bret Sayre called Model Portfolios, wherein the fantasy staff (and anyone else on the BP roster who wants to participate) will create their own team within the confines of a standard 23-man, $260 budget. The roster being constructed includes: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, CI, MI, OFx5, UTx2, and Px9 along with the following standards issued by Sayre:
The Dodgers' ace is the priciest player on Craig's Roto dream team.
On Friday, Mike Gianella released his latest mixed league Bid Limits, which spurred an idea from Bret Sayre called Model Portfolios, wherein the fantasy staff (and anyone else on the BP roster who wants to participate) will create their own team within the confines of a standard 23-man, $260 budget. The roster being constructed includes: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, CI, MI, OFx5, UTx2, and Px9 along with the following standards issued by Sayre:
A look at the hitters who could outperform their PECOTA projections in the power department.
One of the fun ways we all try to outsmart our opponents in fantasy is by searching for hidden value in players who, for one reason or another, we suspect have the ability to outpace their projections (and, relatedly, their draft cost). Our Darkhorses series features staff picks for players who could very well outpace their PECOTA projections for the year and provide the top overall production in one of the standard five-by-five categories. We’ve all picked one player currently projected by PECOTA to fall outside of the top 10 and one longer shot player currently projected outside of the top 25. We’ll take a look at offense this week and pitching next. Yesterday’s look at batting average is here. And, without further ado, here are some players capable of teaching Chris Davis a thing or two about hitting dingers this year:
A look at how catchers stack up for fantasy purposes between now and 2016.
Everyone in fantasy sports loves to look ahead. Even in the throes of a pennant race, you can fire up a conversation about next year’s first round and it will go on for an hour. With that in mind, the BP fantasy team will be taking a long-view look at every position this offseason with three-year rankings (composite value over the next three seasons). Since it is Catcher Week, the backstops will kick things off. Catchers are particularly difficult to project over a three-year period because you have guys that shift off of the position entirely while the learning curve for young guys is so sharp given all of their defensive duties.
With Joe Mauer done at the position after this year, he’s not going to rank on the list, as even a first-place finish this year wouldn’t be enough. Meanwhile there is some projection to be done with guys who could move off the position so you will see some of those guys much lower than you might anticipate since I have them delivering zero value at the position in year three.
Notes from the fantasy staff on several backstops you should consider selecting in your drafts this spring.
As our eminent leader Bret Sayre outlined in the Baseball Prospectus draft prep guide, the fantasy staff here at BP is aiming to bring you a comprehensive look at each and every position on a weekly basis. From prospects to veterans, superstars to scrubs and sleepers to potential busts, we want you to have a thorough understanding of every player at every position when you hit your drafts this winter and next spring.
With that in mind, we’ve polled the fantasy staff here for a player to target and a player to avoid for each position, to run every Monday and Friday, respectively. We don’t always agree on every player, which is why you’ll see some names pop up more than once, but we hope those debates give you even more insight as to who you should or shouldn’t select on draft day.
A fantasy-oriented look at the present and future behind the dish.
The beginning of each week of pre-season positional coverage here at BP is going to kick off with a high-level view of that position before we start diving too deeply into rankings, individual players and the like. And as a reminder, here is what the rest of the week’s schedule will look like:
Robinson Cano is gone, but the Yankees have added intriguing fantasy options in Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann.
This preview’s first incarnation was dramatically different from its second, which in turn has been torn down and rebuilt from the ground up. The original draft came after the signing of Brian McCann, but before those of Jacoby Ellsbury and Kelly Johnson. Thanks to a change in schedule though, we’re coming back to you after the departure of Robinson Cano and with the additions of Carlos Beltran and Hiroki Kuroda. In this third iteration, there is plenty of fantasy goodness to be had.
While a greatly diminished Yankee lineup managed to produce a valiant playoff run, these recent reinforcements should make them more formidable going forward. There are still flaws with the Yankees, notably in the rotation, at second base and at third base, but these new signings will make plenty of noise (and fantasy value) all the same. While there will be a Cano-sized hole in this lineup, this will still be an explosive offense thanks to the additions of Beltran, Ellsbury, and McCann. Health is going to be the key ingredient to the Yankees season, as they continue to approach talent like a connoisseur approaches cheese or wine, where older is better.