Stacking up the backstops, broken down into fantasy-value-based bins.
Today, we kick off our positional tier rankings. Players at each position will be divided into five tiers, represented by a star rating.
Five-star players are the studs at their position. In general, they are the players who will be nabbed in the first couple of rounds of the draft, and will fetch mixed-league auction bids over $30. Four-star players are a cut below the studs at the position. They will also be early-round selections, and they are projected to be worth more than $20 in most cases. Three-star players are the last tier in which players are projected to provide double-digit dollar value in auctions, and two-star players are projected to earn single digits in dollar value in auctions. One-star players are late-round sleepers and roster placeholders. The positional tiers aren't simply a regurgitation of last year's values but rather offer insight into what we expect will happen in 2017.
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A list of names you should be familiar with for your first-year dynasty drafts this winter.
As we peel out from the holiday season and into draft season, it’s a good time to reflect on what we got. Maybe you got that PS4 you really wanted. Maybe you got a really nice bottle of wine. Maybe you got clothes. There’s nothing inherently wrong with getting clothes as a present. You need clothes. They literally prevent you from being arrested when you leave your house. Yet they are also extremely fickle. Sure, that sweater is looks really nice but it gets a little bunchy in the shoulders and it just doesn’t look right. Or worse yet, it does look great but then it shrinks in the dryer after the second time you wear it. It could always be worse; you could have gotten socks. You know you’d never actually spend $15 on a pair of socks, but the level of comfort over the 5/$20 pairs you already own is still noticeable—even if you can’t really figure out what makes socks comfortable.
Mike and Bret revise their preseason rankings, incorporating early-season performance.
This is an updated list of the Top 300 players as ranked by Bret Sayre and Mike Gianella. This list is a consolidated ranking of the positional rankings from earlier this week, and assumes the same eligibility requirements as those articles.
Breaking down this year's backstop group into fantasy-value-based bins.
Today, we kick off our positional tier rankings. For the fifth year in a row, we have made this into a collaborative effort. Players at each position will be divided into five tiers, represented by a “star” rating.
Five-star players are the studs at their position. In general, they are the players who will be nabbed in the first couple of rounds of the draft, and they will fetch mixed-league auction bids in excess of $30. Four-star players are a cut below the studs at the position. They will also be early-round selections, and they are projected to be worth more than $20 in most cases. Three-star players are the last tier in which players are projected to provide double-digit dollar value in auctions, and two-star players are projected to earn single digits in dollar value in auctions. One-star players are late-round sleepers and roster placeholders. The positional tiers aren't simply a regurgitation of last year’s values but rather try to offer some insights into what we expect will happen in 2016.
Comparing when the fantasy staff would advise you to take players to when they're actually being selected.
This article took shape thanks to the comments and suggestions of BP readers Tuck and TroJim. The former noted that a column elaborating on some of the larger discrepancies between Mike Gianella’s Top 300 list and current ADP numbers might be a helpful exercise in helping drafters determine value, and I agree. And then in a response to questions about the utility of our Darkhorses series focusing on generally known and highly drafted players, TroJim made the following excellent point: “Like the stock market... some people try to get rich on penny stocks and others find success in discerning which blue chips will perform the best.”
And lo, a column was born. I’m going to focus this article on the players with the largest gaps between our own ranking and ADP from the top 84 names on Mike’s list, as that cutoff represents the top six rounds of a standard 14-team league. I don’t think I’m breaking much ground with this declaration, but the top six rounds of a draft are extremely important rounds. These are your blue chip players, the foundation upon which your team is built. It’s possible to win with an underwhelming start, but it’s awfully difficult.
Thanks to an annual calendar and our current place on that calendar, we can write sentiments such as, “with 2014 soon coming to an end, baseball looks toward the horizon with excitement, knowing the 2015 season soon approaches.” For the fantasy baseball community, even closer than the actual baseball season comes rankings, sleeper, bust, and strategy season. Continuing this onslaught of excitement is the Positional Series that will be rolled out here at Baseball Prospectus. The plan is that this series will roll out using the same format as last season, just bigger and better. One-year, three-year, and dynasty rankings will be produced, players will be profiled, prospects will be analyzed for fantasy purposes, sleepers and busts will be selected, and relevant strategies will be discussed.
This is a safe place and no one would blame you if you were salivating just a little bit (if more than a little bit, one might consider a shawarma or a handful of almonds) because all this information, content, and analysis sounds like a great way to prepare for the upcoming season. Alas, there is a wrinkle here that once ironed out, should further improve this said preparation; that being what we take away from all this information. The first part—the rankings or how players compare—is obvious. The second and potentially more beneficial part—the thinking behind the rankings and analysis—is not as obvious. Below we will take a look at why we are too likely to get caught up in the former, all while overlooking the latter too frequently. We will also take a look at how to improve these tendencies for this upcoming offseason.