In lieu of traditional sleeper picks, the Outcomes recommend some player types to consider.
Scoresheet drafts are like snowflakes—cold, unforgiving, and increasingly filled with garbage after a few weeks. Oh, and no two are alike. Sorry, some of us are from the Northeast. When advising on potential mid-round sleepers, we have to keep in mind your draft, as fit issues and potential handcuffs are far more important in a simulation than in a traditional fantasy league. With that in mind, instead of offering a list of names of sleepers to you, we’ll instead look at categories of players that some of you may want to keep in mind.
The Lefty With A Giant Platoon Split
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This week, the Outcomes talk with the BP fantasy guru Bret Sayre about drafting prospects in Scoresheet.
Imagine MLB with a relaxed version of the reserve clause, and you’re well on your way to understanding the reason to go for prospects in Scoresheet. The vanilla Scoresheet format allows for unlimited minor league keeper protection, at the mere cost of a team’s lowest draft pick. When combined with the 13 perpetual hard keeper slots at the major-league level, it means that going prospecting is one of the few ways to reliably improve your team’s lot in life.
Focusing on minor leaguers doesn’t mean, necessarily, that you should build your team directly through the players on your farm. When we hear Scoresheet owners sometimes complain that prospects are being overvalued in their drafts, we wonder if they are using their farm wrong, focusing on the bust rate of a prospect as opposed to the relative commodity value of the asset. Developing your prospects in order to trade them is a perfectly acceptable strategy, much like a bad team hoarding talent at a position or drafting easy-to-flip middle relievers for future picks would be. With that in mind, even owners who doubt the return on investment in a prospect should still consider playing the market.
The Outcomes puts a new crowdsourcing tool at your disposal.
Our update this week is short and sweet, but may be helpful as you prepare for your Scoresheet league draft. While we’ve shared our keeper preferences over the past few months, we recognize that we are but three lone voices shouting Braff-style into the abyss. However, now that the public keeper deadline has passed, we have some quantifiable information that tells us more about the true nature of keepers.
One of our own, Ben Murphy, developed a tool that measures whether players are currently rostered in Scoresheet leagues, and then aggregates these findings together into an average ownership percentage. So here, for the first time, are the Scoresheet average keeper rankings for 2015.
A conceptual look at how you should treat pitching in Scoresheet formats.
Since keeper season is over for many, and our Keeper List is already available to the public, we’re going conceptual in our discussion of pitchers this week. If you’re still making keeper decisions, please feel free to check out that link, or email us at email@example.com with anything specific.
Many Scoresheet leagues are on the precipice of making keeper decisions. For those who may have missed it earlier, we’ve put together a guide to keepers for your reference or dismissal, whichever you prefer.
As some public and private leagues do not require keeper lists to be submitted yet, we’ll be joining our fantasy compatriots across the positional ranks once again. Outfielders in Scoresheet have a tendency to be overvalued, as there are generally more good outfielders available in the middle or even towards the end of the draft than there are acceptable middle infielders. On the other hand, the position is stronger at the top than it’s been in years, and you may be looking to bundle some players together to trade up.
As you've probably been reading in our sister fantasy positional articles this week, middle infield has borne the brunt of the offensive downturn. When playing Scoresheet, factors such as handedness, defensive prowess, and durability also are in play, the back end of the shortstop rankings in both leagues can best be described as "a pile of mush." We're happy to help you dig.
As always, these rankings are developed for a continuous 10-team keeper league playing under standard Scoresheet rules, with 13 keepers and up to two league crossovers. Also as always, your mileage may vary.
Both in real life and fantasy, it's a joy to watch the current crop of third basemen play. The position most neglected historically is having maybe its best era, with great peak talents, future Hall of Famers exiting their prime, and a few youngsters getting ready to approach greatness. What's more, this list doesn't even contain Kris Bryant yet.
As ever, our house rules for these rankings. The keeper rankings assume that your team is in a 10-team continuing league with 13 hard keepers, including up to two crossovers, operating under standard Scoresheet rules. The more your league differs from normal, the more your lists may vary.
The Outcomes stack up the keystone for Scoresheet leagues.
This week we tackle second basemen from a Scoresheet perspective. As a reminder, our rankings are based on a continuing 10-team, 13 hard keeper league with two crossovers. If you are in an NL league, you might want to keep some bleach on hand to spritz in your eyes after reading this list, because it gets very ugly very quickly. The junior circuit is a little better, but there's still a pretty significant drop after the first half-dozen players. Tune in to the podcast for a more in depth discussion, but if you don't have one of the few stud (or stud-ish)second basemen, there might be some merit to the strategy of aggressively cutting your 2Bs and using your keeper slots elsewhere, since so few of the players seem to have upside, and the ones that do can likely be taken a few rounds into the draft.
As our positional Scoresheet keeper coverage heads to first base, it's worth keeping in mind that this is a much more fluid ranking than you'll find in Roto. Not only are players such as Pedro Alvarez and Ryan Zimmerman soon to qualify, but a true first base protection list can include pretty much every player in baseball. We generally tend towards building up the middle where you can, which means that we assign lower value to this position as a whole than most.
As a refresher, our rankings reflect the rules of a traditional public league: 10 teams, 13 keepers, of which two may be crossovers from another league. Also, these rankings are being created for a hypothetical continuing league, so age matters.
The Outcomes return with a Scoresheet-oriented look at the catcher position.
Welcome back to Scoresheet season! Scoresheet baseball, for the uninitiated, is a fantasy league that acts as a hybrid between traditional roto leagues and sim games such as Strat or Diamond Mind. If that's of interest to you, we definitely recommend jumping in feet-first. We'll be sticking around all season to help.
In most leagues, setting a keeper list is the key decision point of your offseason. Scoresheet rosters tend to be larger than traditional roto rosters, so many teams have set their starting lineup and pitching rotation once their keepers are locked in. Also, as Scoresheet more closely mirrors real life, many traditional keeper rankings won't be adequate. Our rankings reflect the rules of a traditional public league: 10 teams, 13 keepers, of which two may be crossovers from another league. That leaves the keeper line pegged at about the 115th-best player in each league. Naturally, if your league varies in composition, please feel free to adjust accordingly. And, of course, if you disagree with any particular player ranking, you should certainly go with your instinct. The game is more fun that way.
The Outcomes go out on a high note with a guest appearance from Scoresheet co-founder Jeff Barton.
This week in the podcast:
This week is our last podcast for the 2014 season, and we go out with a bang. We’ve got the co-owner and co-founder of Scoresheet, Jeff Barton, along for an interview. We cover all topics Scoresheet, including Jeff’s personal history, his preferences, his advice on strategy, his thoughts on the mistakes beginners and seasoned veterans make, and what makes Scoresheet so much fun. We wanted to thank Jeff for coming on the podcast and helping us close out our first season on a high note.
We do plan to return when off season action heats up, probably around the end of the calendar year. We’ll try to cover the mock draft as it happens and also start 2015 with the same kind of positional previews and predictions as we did in 2014.