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July 16, 2012 5:00 am

Resident Fantasy Genius: To Platoon or Not to Platoon?


Derek Carty

Derek lists the factors you need to consider before deciding to platoon two players on your fantasy team.

On Thursday, reader “jimcal” asked me in the comments section of my article to give my thoughts on platooning players in fantasy baseball. While platooning is a bit of a complicated subject, I’ll do my best to tackle it all in one article today. When considering platooning, there are two main concepts that the discussion can be distilled down to: sample size and opportunity cost.

What most people don’t realize is that very few players truly need to be platooned. We tend to look at a player’s performance versus same-handed pitching either for the current year or even over a three-year period when making such decisions, but this isn’t nearly enough data to make a reasonable guess as to whether the player is best used in a platoon (absent scouting data that supports his performance, which makes this a more complicated decision).

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In a return look at Russell Carleton's original study, Derek tries to find at what point stats stabilize and can be trusted.

Four years ago, former BPer Russell Carleton (then monikered “Pizza Cutter”) ran a study at the now-defunct MVN’s StatSpeak blog that examined how long it takes for different stats to “stabilize.” Since then, it has become perhaps the most-referenced study in our little corner of the internet.

It has been a while since the initial study was run, and since there are a few little pieces of the methodology that I believe could be improved, I decided to run a similar study myself.

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