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December 12, 2006 12:00 am

Fantasy Focus: Winter Meetings Effects

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Matthew Kleine

Four hundred million dollars later, how do last week's moves affect the fantasy value of the players involved?

Jason Schmidt signs with the Dodgers. Look for a big 2007 season out of Schmidt, as pitcher-friendly Dodger Stadium should be good for his numbers. While health is an issue, he should be able to eclipse the 200-inning threshold for the fourth time in the past five years. If the Dodgers can continue to score runs like they did in 2006, (which will be difficult with the loss of J.D. Drew) look for Schmidt to notch 16 wins or more. His value is slightly diminished in keeper leagues due to the fact that he will be 34 at the beginning of the season and no one knows for sure what the Dodgers lineup will produce in the next few years. If you can pick him up in the fifth or sixth round of your draft, you will have made a good pick.

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March 21, 2006 12:00 am

Who Are the AL-Kings?

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Jonah Keri

Jonah Keri introduces us to the participants in Baseball Prospectus' Celebrity Scoresheet League.

Even the most die-hard Rotisserie player would stop short of calling the game a perfect proxy for the real thing, though. Roto's focus on statistics such as RBI, stolen bases, saves and wins are enough to make any card-carrying stathead scurry for the soothing comfort of his VORP tables. Luckily there are games that do a better job of replicating real-life baseball. Strat-O-Matic incorporates such elements as defense and strategic decisions (taking the extra base, bunting, hit-and-run plays) into its game. Strat does fall short in one element though, as it relies on the previous season's stats to generate the action. "What, Derrek Lee hit another three-run homer? Shocking!"

Scoresheet Baseball, on the other hand, combines realistic game results with current-year statistics. If Eric Chavez goes 11-for-24 in a given week, you get the benefit of that offensive outburst and Chavez's Gold Glove defense during the corresponding week on the Scoresheet schedule. Scoresheet has a few flaws too. It doesn't account for park effects for one, making Rockies hitters and Nationals pitchers appear more valuable than they are in reality. Still, it's a challenging, fun-to-play game that's a departure from traditional rotoball.

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March 14, 2005 12:00 am

LABR of Love

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Jonah Keri

Jonah Keri recounts how BP's Player Forecast Manager matched up against 12 wily rivals at the recent NL LABR experts fantasy baseball draft.

Hosted by Sports Weekly's John Hunt, the League of Alternative Baseball Reality brings together some of the brightest and nicest guys in the fantasy baseball biz. It also includes several "regular guys," as LABR calls them--home league heroes invited to join the table, all smart as a whip, many of whom could recite more words from the latest edition of BP than I can. Baseball Prospectus has been a more recent invitee to the dance; it took six months of counseling before we could accept the concept of wins and RBI not being abominations on the world of baseball statistics. Since then, it's been a fun annual experience.

This would be my second LABR experience. Heading into last year's draft, I planned to follow much the same strategy I did in the 2003 Tout Wars National League draft: use the PECOTA Player Forecast Manager as a guide, and look for value picks where bidding stopped several dollars short of the PFM's predicted dollar value. The strategy worked better in 2003--when Nate Silver, Will Carroll and I teamed to finish second--than it did in '04--when I finished a decent but uninspiring fifth out of 13 teams. The difference lay mostly in execution: while the plan was the same both years, the in-draft dynamics fell in such a way that 2003 offered more bargains and fewer misses than my 2004 LABR team. (I also did a better job of landing quality free agents off the wire in '03, bolstering the roster throughout the year).

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