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April 28, 2015 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: AL-Only Adds

6

Nick Shlain

A few players who could help your squad in junior-circuit formats.

It’s the fourth week of the baseball season, which is right about time to start to cut bait on draft-day ideas that went awry. If you’re one of those out there who’s hurting, these three should help you in AL-Only leagues.

Jimmy ParedesBaltimore Orioles

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A look at how the wise guys spent their money in expert leagues this week.

Depending on how long you have been a Baseball Prospectus subscriber, welcome or welcome back to the Expert FAAB Review. Every week, I’m going to take a look at the players and the process behind the bidding in LABR mixed, Tout Wars NL, and either LABR AL or Tout Wars AL (I will alternate every week). Bret Sayre and I participate in LABR mixed while I have a team in Tout Wars NL, so I can provide some insights behind the reasoning on the bids. Budgets in all three leagues start at $100 at the beginning of the season.

Random Quote of the Week: “I don’t recall saying good luck.” – “Cracker Factory Executive” The Simpsons, A Milhouse Divided

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April 27, 2015 6:00 am

Free Agent Watch: Week Four

7

Keith Cromer and Mike Gianella

Examining potentially available players who might pique your interest depending on the format of your league.

Welcome to Week Four of The Free Agent Watch, Baseball Prospectus’ weekly free agent advice column. This column is designed to offer a brief glimpse into the top free agents in 12-team mixed, 15-team mixed, and AL and NL-only formats, with the idea being that while we can’t address every unique free agent situation in your league, we can guide you through the waters and help with the broader strokes of the decision making process.

Mike will be tackling all the mixed-league formats, while Keith will be handling the only-league duties.

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April 24, 2015 6:00 am

Deep League Report: Week Three

4

Keith Cromer

Examining players who might pique your interest in deep leagues.

As we all know, some FAAB weeks are chock full of exciting options, and some weeks, well, not so much. This week falls in the second bucket, but that does not mean there aren’t a few players sitting on the waiver wire who are worth bidding on. In weeks like this, where the free agent pool is admittedly thin, it’s not a bad idea to pull the trigger on some spec plays, if you have an open roster spot and can afford to take a low-risk gamble.

While there are some repeat appearances of names this week (in combination with the Free Agent Watch article that runs every Monday), at least the information provided here each Friday is somewhat on the mark since I have not had to recycle many player capsules after the first three weeks. Again, the audience here knows the challenges of finding serviceable fantasy options week in and week out on the waiver wire, so I feel confident you will not chuckle to heartily at the names I am throwing out below.

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A look at how the wise guys spent their money in expert leagues this week.

Depending on how long you have been a Baseball Prospectus subscriber, welcome or welcome back to the Expert FAAB Review. Every week, I’m going to take a look at the players and the process behind the bidding in LABR mixed, Tout Wars NL, and either LABR AL or Tout Wars AL (I will alternate every week). Bret Sayre and I participate in LABR mixed while I have a team in Tout Wars NL, so I can provide some insights behind the reasoning on the bids. Budgets in all three leagues start at $100 at the beginning of the season.

Random Quote of the Week:
“Even my job seemed as dry and bitter as a hot prairie wind. I found myself driving past convenience stores…that weren’t on the way home.” —H.I. McDunnough, Raising Arizona


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April 20, 2015 6:00 am

Free Agent Watch: Week Three

13

Keith Cromer and Mike Gianella

Examining players who might be useful additions if they're available in your leagues.

Welcome to Week Three of The Free Agent Watch, Baseball Prospectus’ weekly free agent advice column. This column is designed to offer a brief glimpse into the top free agents in 12-team mixed, 15-team mixed, and AL and NL-only formats, with the idea being that while we can’t address every unique free agent situation in your league, we can guide you through the waters and help with the broader strokes of the decision making process.

Mike will be tackling all the mixed-league formats, while Keith will be handling the only-league duties.

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A look at how the wise guys spent their money in expert leagues this week.

Depending on how long you have been a Baseball Prospectus subscriber, welcome or welcome back to the Expert FAAB Review. Every week, I’m going to take a look at the players and the process behind the bidding in LABR mixed, Tout Wars NL, and either LABR AL or Tout Wars AL (I will alternate every week). Bret Sayre and I participate in LABR mixed while I have a team in Tout Wars NL, so I can provide some insights behind the reasoning on the bids. Budgets in all three leagues start at $100 at the beginning of the season.

Random Quote of the Week
“Remember that old Schoolhouse Rock cartoon about the bill who sings a song about how he becomes a law? Hey, and what about the Snorks? Remember them?” – America (the book)


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April 13, 2015 6:00 am

Free Agent Watch: Week Two

7

Keith Cromer and Mike Gianella

Examining some players who might be available to help your teams, depending on the format of your league.

Welcome to Week Two of The Free Agent Watch, Baseball Prospectus’ weekly free agent advice column. This column is designed to offer a brief glimpse into the top free agents in 12-team mixed, 15-team mixed, and AL and NL-only formats, with the idea being that while we can’t address every unique free agent situation in your league, we can guide you through the waters and help with the broader strokes of the decision making process.

Mike is tackling all the mixed league formats, while Keith will be handling the only-league duties.

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A look at how the wise guys bid on free agents in their leagues this week.

Depending on how long you have been a Baseball Prospectus subscriber, welcome or welcome back to the Expert FAAB Review. Every week, I’m going to take a look at the players and the process behind the bidding in LABR AL, LABR mixed, and Tout Wars NL. Bret Sayre and I participate in LABR mixed while I have a team in Tout Wars NL, so I can provide some insights behind the reasoning on the bids. Budgets in all three leagues start at $100.

For week one, the LABR auctions and mixed draft were held earlier than Tout Wars, which influenced the bidding significantly this week. This week, LABR held their bids a day early on Saturday, so the news from the blockbuster Braves/Padres trade did not impact the bidding in that league.

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July 17, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: Midseason Keeper League FAAB Strategy

8

Jeff Quinton

A look at how you should spend your free agent budget in keeper leagues to maximize value.

I was originally going to write this article on the impact of the winner’s curse on FAAB bidding, but in Google-checking my ideas before beginning to write them up, I came across this Erik Siegrist article. Am I the biggest fan of the name Eric(k) ending with a K? No. Is the article excellent and a must-read for those in keeper leagues? Absolutely. Does the article’s excellence make me feel self-conscious as a fantasy baseball writer? Yup (he pretty much wrote the article I wanted to write and wrote it better than I imagined I would). Anyhow, go read it.

The part I wish to expand on is midseason strategy. Come midseason, the FAAB market in keeper leagues tends to be markedly different than the market in the beginning of the season. Players who can help teams in the hunt almost always go above “keeper” value, leaving only players who will be of seemingly no use this year to potentially go at value or at a bargain. We have seen before that at this time of the year, when the goals of owners in keeper leagues diverge, discussion of strategy is important. Consequently, we will briefly discuss the winner’s curse and how that should impact the decision-making of owners depending on their competitive position.

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June 18, 2014 6:00 am

Fantasy Freestyle: A Deeper Look at FAAB in Deeper Leagues

2

Mike Gianella

Mike examines whether clinging to FAAB dollars or trading for more to use deep into the season is a good idea.

Last week in Tout Wars (NL-only) I made a trade, flipping hot prospect Kris Bryant (yes, it is a non-keeper league, why do you ask?) for Tony Cruz and $50 in free agent acquisition budget (FAAB). I needed space on my reserve list and wasn’t going to deal Bryant (I had planned on cutting John Mayberry or a middle reliever) but the $50 FAAB was too good to pass up so I made the deal.

The trade left me with the most FAAB to spend by far; I had $141 compared to the next-highest team’s $96. I wasn’t going to cut Bryant, so I can’t quite look at the trade like it was something for nothing, but with Bryant’s ETA an open question I didn’t have a big problem making the move. The gamble is that 1) Bryant won’t be up until at least August, and 2) the best free agent who comes over from the American League is better than Bryant.

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Bret and Mike take some deeper dives into important fantasy topics of the week.

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