This coming Tuesday is the day you’ve been eagerly awaiting ever since the Los Angeles Dodgers recorded the last out of the 2020 World Series. That’s right, it’s time to start gearing up for fantasy baseball or, if you’re anything like me, ramping up your existing preparations tenfold. Baseball Prospectus has been spending all winter preparing our 2021 fantasy coverage. As we almost always do, we’re bringing back all our articles from last year and offering additional content to prepare you for your leagues. Whether you play in one 10-team mixed league or in double-digit leagues with multiple formats and have forgotten your spouse and children’s names, BP has you covered.
We’re excited to be bringing back eight of the editors, writers, and/or contributors that were in the fold in 2020. We’re even more excited to announce the following top-notch additions to the BP Fantasy Team.
- Nathan Grimm joins Baseball Prospectus after having written for Rotoworld since 2013 (he couldn’t keep up with their bad pun quota anymore). When not writing about fantasy baseball, Nathan enjoys musical theater, mid-aughts pop punk, and Fighting Illini football, for some reason.
- Howard Megdal has covered baseball for multiple outlets for over a decade and has published four books on the subject, most recently The Cardinals Way. He has played fantasy baseball since 1990, when he played mail-order Rotisserie Baseball and Jamie Quirk was his catcher.
- Tim Jackson is a writer and educator. He started playing fantasy baseball to topple his brothers. When not writing about the game, he enjoys spending time with his wife and making up new nicknames for their dog.
Starting on Tuesday, January 19, here is a list of nearly all the articles that you will see for every position, starting with first base:
(NOTE: Monday is a holiday, and no new articles will be posted. But starting on Monday, January 25, we will follow the schedule listed below.)
State of the Position
Every Monday, Jon Hegglund will provide a positional overview that lets our readers know what trends will impact their drafts, both in redraft and keeper leagues. This is our leadoff hitter, the article that sets the table for the rest of the week.
NEW for 2021: Breakout/Regression Review
Every week, there will be two complimentary pieces at each position, examining one player who exceeded expectations in 2020, along with one who fell flat. This will be a comprehensive review, highlighting what these players did in 2020 but, even more importantly, examining whether 2020 was an outlier or a sign of things to come.
Here is the juicy, delicious meat of our coverage: our position-by-position rankings that are presented in two separate articles. Every Tuesday, I will compile our tiered rankings using the same one-star to five-star ranking system that you all know and love. But if you play in a keeper or dynasty league and that isn’t sufficient, Bret Sayre and Jesse Roche will be releasing their full positional dynasty rankings every Thursday. While each of these positional rankings will be compiled by one or two authors, there will be staff input across the board on every single list.
The 10/90 Scale
Darius Austin takes a deep dive into player projections, with a look at a specific player’s high- and low-end PECOTA projected outcomes and a detailed review of how likely these projections are to happen from a statistical as well as a scouting perspective.
Tale of the Tape
Half of this series will focus on players in non-keeper leagues, while the other half will be devoted to dynasty leagues. Categorical strengths and weaknesses, health risk, team strength, and other factors will be reviewed in each Tale of the Tape article.
Get to Know
Mark Barry runs down all the prospects you should get to know at each position. Whether you’re looking for names to help you in your 2021 redraft league or players to help you in your dynasty league, Mark has you covered.
Welcome to Splitsville
For leagues with deep benches and/or liberal lineup rules, knowing how to manage your lineup and awareness of player splits is vital. Tim McCullough examines these splits and offers instruction on how to optimize your lineups and pickups, both during your draft and in-season.
The Mono League Report
For masochists who play in AL- or NL-only leagues, we’ve got you covered as well. Nathan Grimm will examine the NL, while I look at the AL, taking a deep dive into trends, auction strategy and tactics, and players who you should or shouldn’t add to your rosters.
If Bret and Jesse’s exhaustive dynasty rankings aren’t enough for you, fear not. Every week, the two of them will dive even deeper, providing a review of “honorable mentions” at each position to make sure you don’t miss out. This is where you’ll find the true “sleepers” who will help you in the deepest of leagues.
Early ADP Analysis
Every Friday, I will investigate early ADP trends and examine players who are being drafted either far too early or far too late. The NFBC drafts offer a useful framework for draft preparation, but an expert second opinion can go a long way in helping you construct your team.
Rebuilding a Dynasty
No one wants to be stuck in a rebuild, but it’s inevitable that you eventually will find yourself retooling in a dynasty league. If you’re struggling with how to put together your next great squad, this column is for you. J.P. Breen will walk you through the types of players to target and which specific ones you should be looking to add to your squad.
Players to Target/Avoid
Here is where everyone on our staff gets to make their case about a player at each position every week to give our readers a comprehensive list of players we do or don’t believe in this upcoming season. As in the past, our writers will rotate between target and avoid pieces. These articles primarily focus on where players are going in drafts and whether they’re worth targeting or aren’t worth the trouble.
And, of course, we’ll have our usual Fantasy Freestyle articles every week, including featured columns by Howard Megdal and Tim Jackson.
If this smorgasbord of articles isn’t enough, our fantasy podcast will keep you informed and entertained throughout the spring. On Flags Fly Forever, you can listen to me, Jon Hegglund, and Samuel Hale discuss our positional rankings and delve into deeper discussions about our differences of opinion.
But wait, there’s even more! Bret and Jesse’s Top 50 list for dynasty drafts kicked off the festivities Thursday. Those of you who love player lists will be able to avail yourselves not only of our position-by-position rankings but our Top 300 overall, the Dynasty 101, and my bid limits for AL-only, NL-only, and 15-team mixed league auctions.
Finally, it wouldn’t be Baseball Prospectus without a series of online chats to keep you informed and amused as we gear up for 2021. Throughout the winter, we will feature periodic chats with one of our fantasy writers from January right up until Draft Day. If you miss us there, you can find almost all of us on Twitter, where we’ll try to answer as many questions as we can … and may even hold an informal chat or two. Of course, if there’s a question you just can’t wait to get answered, our Bat Signal is always there for your most pressing questions. Our fantasy answering service is like nothing else offered in the industry. You ask the question, we answer it within 24 hours, and the answer is confidential, away from the prying eyes of your opponents.
Our march to Draft Day starts Tuesday. Every year, I’m excited to work with the best team of writers and analysts in the industry. Every year, I’m thrilled that our coverage continues to rise to yet another level of excellence. I look forward to reading our top-notch coverage as much as you do, and I can’t wait to see what 2021 has in store for what should be yet another amazing year from the fantasy team here at Baseball Prospectus.
Thank you for reading
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