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The start of the season is closing in on us, so now is the time to ask all of you, the readers, what it is you would like to see from myself and our new fantasy crew this year. In the past, it had just been me, writing two pieces per week, trying to cover a variety of topics in the allotted time. This has always meant that many areas would have to go uncovered, as there was only so much to be done in the old format with one writer. Now though, we have not only multiple writers, but the Fantasy Beat blog, which means more updates and without the restrictive confines of scheduling.

You have already seen the work of newly added Craig Brown, as well as the guys from Heater and their daily Hot Spots column covering positional battles and playing time. I have not blogged much as of yet (thanks , fantasy rankings!) but this will not be the case as the season approaches and begins. This is where you come in–what is it that you want to see on the blog?

I have ideas already, and am mulling over additions to that in order to get you content as often as possible, but I want to open the floor to you folks in order to see what would cause you to not just make the Fantasy Beat blog a daily stop that will tailor itself to your needs. Here's where I am right now for my own ideas (at least, the ones I'm pretty sure we will be doing):

  • A fantasy mailbag: I already tried this out once to see the response, and it was positive in both comments and e-mails, so this is something I hope to do weekly. That all depends on you guys and gals though, as you will need to provide me with questions to answer. I wanted to write one today, but all of the e-mails I received this week that would have fit in nicely had "Do not publish" checked off, which kind of defeats the purpose. I also plan on answering some chat questions I could not get to, or ones that merited a longer response, via the mailbag as well. 
  • Stat Report leaderboards: Want to know who is leading in TAv, or SIERA, or RBI Opportunities? Maybe who is at the bottom? Instead of just checking up on these stats every now and then, we can take a look at one or two a week, pulling from the top and bottom to see who is leading the field and who has been left behind. This is a good way to find some players who are breaking out, falling apart, or set to come back to earth for good or bad, and to do so from some different angles. I could setup some kind of rotation for these, so we aren't covering the same players all of the time, but still often enough that we can track their progress and know how to treat their season (buy, sell, hold, and so on.)
  • Weekly matchups: For Sundays or Mondays. A look at a few exciting pitching matchups for the week, whether they be exciting for players at the plate or for the hurlers on the mound. This way you can see that, yes, you should start Jon Garland this week thanks to two starts in Petco, one of which is against the [insert awful 2010 offense here], or yes, you should start those San Francisco Giants hitters on your bench because they are playing in Colorado in a four-game set and get to miss facing Ubaldo Jimenez.


The matchups and leaderboards can be written weekly, and like I said, I am hopeful we can do a weekly mailbag as well, but some feedback on these ideas, as well as whatever you may have, would be appreciated, whether it's for the blog or even for the Fantasy Focus column. The floor is yours.

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SaberTJ
3/24
I think all of your suggestions would be great.
rawagman
3/24
I like the weekly matchup thing - reminds me of Caleb Peiffer's old gig highlighting 3-4 games a day - I miss that series.
yankeehater32
3/24
Ahem. Caleb and I both wrote that ;-)
rawagman
3/24
And you good a great job, Marc. Why not reintroduce a similar column?
RunnerWM
3/24
Marc, This goes more to draft prep than in-season content, but is there any chance of getting a Top 250 over the next week, along with ordered 1B and 2B tiers? Thanks for all you do!
theguarantee
3/24
I think the Stat Report leaderboards is the best idea in my opinion. Only suggestion I would make is to drop the "leaderboard" part of it. Or you could leave it as such..but I think highlighting players with stats you feel are telling (ie they might be ready to break-out or fall apart, etc) would be great. These players might not always be at the top of bottom of these statistics though, what if a guy is unexpectedly in the middle? Mailbags are always good.
yankeehater32
3/24
Agreed, the leaderboard part doesn't necessarily need to stick. Just where I was in the thought process at that point. Chances are good I'll drop it so I can focus elsewhere, and maybe just will look at top/bottom certain weeks as I rotate for fresh names.
jbatkins
3/24
How about every week, you write a column on my roster and how it could possibly be reclaimed from a trainwreck of a draft? I kid, I kid. I think all of your proposals are spot-on. One other possibility may be a weekly or fortnightly article highlighting a player at each position that may be a potential fill-in, based on match-ups or recent play/playing time, for those positions where one's lineup may have had injuries or may have a sub-standard player (e.g., my team, where Cristian Guzman is my starting SS). I think throughout the season it could be useful to have a list of those players that won't appear high on a search for year-to-date leaders at a position, but that may be able to help our teams based on recent events/performance. Thanks, and thanks for all the awesome work.
TADontAsk
3/24
I enjoy reading mailbags. The problem I often have with them is that they often consist of questions like "Would you keep X or Y" or "Would you trade A, B and C for J and K?" When one stops to consider how many different kinds of leagues there are, and that these kinds of questions can really only be properly answered by knowing the league setup, roster makeup of the rest of the teams, and the current standings, then they're often useless - to the readers, any maybe even to the person asking since the author doesn't have all the necessary information when forming an opinion. In one league the trade might be good. In another, not so. That said, I'd still end up reading!
JoshC77
3/25
I know exactly what you are talking about and I agree... However, a question of trading player X for player Y can be construed into a discussion of the relative merits of players X and Y. Hopefully, a more general discussion can not only help the person asking the question, but also assist other readers, irrespective of the league format.
TADontAsk
3/25
I also agree with your second part. And that's the very reason that I still read mailbags. Because you just never know when an answer will give you an insight that you haven't thought of before, or maybe even a player you might not have considered useful before. I think they're helpful in that general sense.
woodruff11
3/24
Stat Report leaderboards would be great. I'd be interested in some instant analysis when a player is called up from the minors. I know KG does that but not always from a fantasy perspective.
BurrRutledge
3/24
Agree! In fact, I want to know before he's called up. I'd love to see an ongoing "down on the fantasy farm" list, showing some of the top prospects in the minors, how they're fairing, and when they might be expected to come up, and/or what event might trigger their callup (who is blocking them, etc.). Last year I had a sucking vortex of doom in center field (thanks, cameron maybin/dexter fowler!). If I hadn't picked up McCutch the day McL was traded, my season would likely have been a long struggle.
AlexMcCrum
3/24
Speaking of instant analysis for minor league call-ups, how plausible is a forecast of potential call-ups? Like a, "Desmond Jennings has been hot in AAA--look for Tampa Bay to call him up within the next two weeks." Having an idea about who might be called up before they are would be a nice leg up in a lot of leagues... Obviously, this would be pretty inexact but I think it'd still be useful. I know Will Carroll runs the UTK, but a running list of ALL (fantasy useful) injured players and their expected return date would be really helpful. It wouldn't have to be anything more than a list thanks to Will's analysis, but there's nothing more frustrating than waiting for UTK only to discover that there's no update on when Jose Reyes is likely to come back. Nothing, of course, except owing Reyes last year...
AlexMcCrum
3/24
I can't hit "Post Reply" for some reason, but now two of us want early call-up notice so now you have to do it.
sam19041
3/24
Marc, sounds great. If you plan to do a weekly matchups post, it would be very helpful to have it accessible by mid-day on Sunday. I think most leagues set lineups well before such columns are usually posted, which renders them pretty useless.
stewbies
3/24
I agree with Sharky on having weekly matchups posted by Sunday late afternoon as many leagues have Sunday night FAAB deadlines. Can we get 2009 SIERA numbers for relievers too? Thanks!
mrharrier
3/24
Agree completely on the likelihood of folks from the minors getting called up. Also, just a general highlighting of guys in the minors who are playing really really well (and for whom you expect the trend might continue) would be helpful for spotting prospects in dynasty leagues.
luftmich
3/24
I've never seen an article devoted to fantasy relevant players' platoon splits. I think this is a relatively untapped area hardcore fantasy players could exploit to get a leg up on the competition. It would be cool to see a semi-frequent blog highlighting stars who should sit against certain match ups, waivers fodder who put up great platoon numbers, or highlight certain platoon stat players who have favorable match-ups for the upcoming week. I don't know if this would appeal to others, but I wanted to throw it out there.
luftmich
3/24
I guess this is somewhat covered by the weekly matchups column...
JosephC
3/25
It'd be helpful, but only if we properly regress platoon splits. Even analysts who understand that April means nothing seem to be ready to assume that "Joe Blow can't hit lefties" after 100 PA.
luftmich
3/25
Of course. One idea I had in mind when I suggested platoon splits analysis was an article written by Derek Carty at the THT last year. He wrote a piece on the relative value of Rickie Weeks plus replacement level 2B (for when Weeks goes on the DL)versus the other 2B likely to be around when Weeks gets drafted. The conclusion was Weeks plus replacement level 2B is extremely valuable. Something like his analysis could be applied to platoon splits as well. Here's an imperfect example. J.D. Drew murders RHP, he's pretty much Nick Markakis or better versus RHP. Most people don't value him like Markakis. So perhaps there could be some analysis on Drew v. RHP plus waiver fodder with good platoon splits (to fill in when Drew faces a LH starter) relative to other outfielders valued around J.D. Drew.
acflynn
3/24
I'd suggest a weekly piece on the new climbers and hot pickups each week (easily identifiable in the major ESPN/CBS/Yahoo leagues), providing analysis as to whether their presence and stats are sustainable, what we can expect from them going forward, and a FAAB "buy" or "avoid" recommendation.
Hokieball
3/24
Non-closer relievers. Anyone can count saves or holds, but I'd love some analysis on who's doing the best job in innings 7 and 8, even for teams where the closer isn't going anywhere barring injury. I consider BP to be a specialty site, one that can and should delve into a level of detail that others don't usually bother with.
dianagramr
3/24
Don't think this is totally relevant here, but did someone change the column order on the PFM? It used to read HR/RBI/SB. Now its HR/SB/RBI. Which means another (admittedly minor) manual step to be done before updating my draft sheet. Sigh.
LynchMob
3/25
I agree that this is an odd adjustment ... splitting up HRs and RBIs? That looks like one of those web-site-changes done by a contract programmer who's never looked at baseball stats ...
Richie
3/24
I vote for general research (just how much cold weather affects hitters, how many run and rbi opportunities average for each batting slot, about how many more SB opportunities are there for leadoff as opposed to 'batting 2nd' hitters, and so on). But then I'm an oddball that way. And roto in the shark tank, the national challenge games, rather than the weenie local leagues all you guys play in. And have zero chance of getting this request answered anyway. Oh well.
yankeehater32
3/25
He says in the comment thread for an article where I asked you all to tell me what it is you would like to see more of.
luftmich
3/26
Despite this idea's poor presentation, it is really growing on me. I like the idea of a fixed library in the archive of general fantasy advice and research. I like the topics Richie threw out there. Moreover, the fixed library could also serve as a good introduction to BP as it widens it appeal to a larger audience. For example, I'm sure the BP archive is loaded with articles dispelling much of the lazy, clichéd fantasy advice available on other sites (e.g., age 27 breakouts, enhanced contract year performance, ect.).
Oleoay
3/26
I remember discussion about some kind of library/network/archive on sabremetrics work during the Idol competition, but I don't know if anything came of it. As I remember, Will Carroll seemed to be an advocate.
Guancous
3/25
Starting in May, I'd love a weekly article about positive and negative outliers vs. their PECOTA projections. Is Player X really enjoying a 90% season or is it an unsustainable fluke?
mrharrier
3/25
This would be great.
cjrhgarmon
3/25
I like all of these suggestions. I would also like to see the depth charts updated regularly to reflect injuries, substandard performance, minor leaguers who've improved their shot at being called up, etc. For each update, it would be forward looking (i.e., reflect the best estimate for the rest of the season). If it were paired with in-season updates to PECOTA, I'd be in heaven.
mrharrier
3/25
Both parts of this suggestion would also be great.
jrichstar
3/25
I agree with those that would like to see hot weekly pick-ups in some kind of rank order, including guys who could be considered pick-up but are really "pretenders." Also, like the idea of weekly matchups, with some quantitative analysis on why a pitcher looks like a particularly good start that week.
JosephC
3/25
We hear all kinds of rudimentary analysis on other sites along the lines of "David DeJesus is facing a righty AAA callup in Comiskey, you should start him." I'd love to see you guys put some meat on it. *How* much better would you expect him to be? Would you start him over, say, Carlos Lee facing Lincecum in SF? Perhaps there'd be a way to use that excellent run environment analysis Tim Kniker just published to help with this.
hessshaun
3/25
I remember last year that you wrote a sort of how to article, and isolated BABIP with associated links. I loved that, because it really helps to differentiate regardless of where you are looking at a free agent pick up. It also now significantly helps me determine if I should hang onto a player or drop them. I really can't see that sort of thing becoming a weekly column, but if you could throw something like that out there once a month, that would be great.
LynchMob
3/25
Can we get E-BABIP and SIERA added to PFM? Then how soon into the season would it make sense to look at these year-to-date numbers and "forecast" rest-of-year performances that might not be obvious based on the classic 5x5 stats? After May? After June?
Oleoay
3/25
I'm not sure how feasible his is, but each time Christina posts a Transaction Analysis, can one of the fantasy writers post the Fantasy take in the comments section?
luftmich
3/25
I like the idea, but fantasy subscribers do not get access to the Transaction Analysis articles.
Oleoay
3/26
... maybe they should then.
Richie
3/25
Another "can't 'Post Reply'-er" here. Ummm. What was odd about my comment thread?? Since none of you other doofuses ask for general roto research, it'd be a waste of you guys' valuable time to provide it. Never mind how useful it'd actually be. Ergo you shouldn't and ergo ergo thus won't. Ergo ergo ergo I do have zero chance of getting my request answered. Understandably.
krissbeth
3/25
I'd like research on the value of bench slots, which then would go into an update for the PFM for next year. 'Cause I'm not thrilled with the idea of leaving out the bench all together in the settings or guessing the H/P split and filling in the Util/P slots with that guess.
ronb626
3/26
I'd like to see progress reports on future stars. Both in MLB and MiLB. Who's hot, who's not, who's due to come up and go back down.