Tomorrow, we will all flip the calendars to 2015, at least for those of you who still have physical calendars. Or have multi-year calendars, since you’d likely just trash the 2014 one and move on. Do they even make multi-year calendars? Or 16-month calendars? I swear that used to be a thing. Regardless, without wasting any more time on my calendar knowledge (or lack thereof), we’ve reached the time when the combination of fantasy football season being over and the hot stove slowing down to a warming drawer brings keeper deadlines, auctions, and drafts. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, despite what Andy Williams or Nissan might say—and we’re going to start preparing you in full force on Monday.
A lot of the content we will be rolling out over the next three months will be familiar to subscribers, as most of it started last year. However, with more staff this time around, we will be supplementing that with additional articles that will really allow us to dive deeply into each position. And speaking of our increasing staff, here are some names that you’ve already likely seen on the site, but will be seeing more of in the future:
- Nick Shlain was a former fantasy writer at Rotowire and comes to us with years of fantasy experience and barrels of rap references that I do not understand.
- Matt Collins is our expert on all things weather-related and has been shown the back of Peter Gammons’ Twitter hand, but he’s a hard worker and a reliever buff.
- Keith Cromer is a veteran fantasy player and owner of either the best or worst Twitter avatar of all time. He will also hunt you down if you say anything bad about Alex Patton. But, honestly, why would anyone do that?
On top of these three newcomers, everyone’s favorite Scoresheet analysts are returning, both in print and podcast form starting next week as well (on Fridays). Ben Murphy, Ian Lefkowitz, and Jared Weiss will walk you through each position alongside the rest of the fantasy team, but will also (by popular demand) be releasing their rankings prior to the standard public league deadline this year in spreadsheet form. And of course, the Scoresheet Draft Aid will be featured at BP once again—so if you haven’t tried playing the game, now is always a great time to start.
Now, the content. Here are the pieces that you can expect to read for all positions, which you hopefully enjoyed from last year:
The State of the Position
This will officially kick off our coverage each week, and a very capable fantasy writer will give you a full macro overview of the position, from the current year and long-term depth to advisable strategy in mixed leagues. It’s the primer on which we will paint.
Like last year, there will be three separate rankings for each position. On Tuesdays, you’ll find the 2015 tiered rankings using the same one-through-five star system that you’re accustomed to. Then on Wednesdays, we’ll be continuing the three-year position rankings—targeted for owners in medium-term keeper leagues. Finally, on Thursdays, yours truly will be putting out full positional dynasty rankings.
Get to Know: Prospects
In this weekly piece, we’ll take you through all the prospects you need to know at each position—from the names that will be relevant in 2015 redraft leagues to long-lead high upside players for dynasty formats.
Players to Target/Avoid
With larger staff, we’re tackling these staff posts slightly differently, but in the same general manner. On Mondays, five of us will dive into players we’re looking to target at their current going rates, and then on Fridays, the other five of us will do the opposite. So that half of us aren’t constantly writing about players we don’t like, we’re going to switch groupings every week. Play along at home (the comments section)!
The Tale of the Tape
Each Tuesday, to go along the tiered rankings, we are going to be deep diving into a singular decision point in that week’s list. We’ll go through the process, each categorical breakdown and additional factors like health risk, etc before declaring a winner (note: the winner may not necessarily be the player ranked more prominently). Then, unlike last year, we’re going to add another one of these on Thursdays, but purely in a dynasty league context. It could be prospects, rookies, or just young major leaguers—but like the Tuesday show, they will be names that show up next to each other in my list.
Once again, Mauricio Rubio will be returning with a graphical interpretation of the 2015 tiered rankings. These will also run on Tuesday, alongside the rankings and the TOTT.
As mentioned above, our triumvirate of Scoresheet knowledge will come at you with lists, written works and spoken words every Friday.
So, with that as a base, here are some of the new items that you can look forward to this draft season:
I haven’t fully run this column name by Wilson, who will be manning it for this year, so now I’ve very much boxed him into a corner. Regardless of name, he will be digging into where the standard 5×5 valuations start morphing when it comes to alternate formats. So whether it’s something as benign as on-base percentage or quality starts for pitchers, or where players move to/from in points leagues, Wilson will have you covered.
If you enjoy his freestyles as much as I do, you’ll be excited to know that Jeff Quinton is going to be doing his process-focused thing for each position—taking on a specific topic or deficiency in how we operate when it comes to our analysis. I’ve seen the high-level details, and they will make for very interesting reads. These articles will run on Mondays, and be paired with the State of the Position.
The Only Landscape
This one is pretty self-explanatory, but Nick and Keith will bring their AL/NL only experience into focus to help those approaching mono format drafts. From strategy to targets, they will walk you through what you need to know.
You also know the drill here, but in addition to all of the coverage above, we’re going to do full fantasy profiles of a couple of particularly interesting names at the position.
In addition to all of the things mentioned above, both Flags Fly Forever and There Is No Off-Season, our two traditional fantasy podcasts, are going to be returning to a weekly schedule starting next week. Both podcasts will offer a wide variety of additional insight into both the tiered rankings and dynasty rankings; though the processes are somewhat different. On FFF, Mike and I will have civil conversations about valuation and strategy. On TINO, I’ll defend my dynasty rankings from a fire-breathing Craig.
Of course, this isn’t the only coverage that is going to be in the fantasy section here at BP over the next few months. We’re going to have plenty of other great stuff to look forward to, starting with my Top 50 list for dynasty drafts on Tuesday, January 6th. Beyond that, we’ll have tons of expert league coverage, the Dynasty 101, Mike Gianella’s bid limits, and all of the mock drafts/auctions you could ask for—including the Expert Dynasty mock.
And if you thought we couldn’t get any more exhaustive here, we will be starting weekly fantasy chats again next week, which will roll straight through until draft day. And if we don’t get to your question there, you can find us all on Twitter—where we’ll also have informal chats as the off-season continues on. Of course, if you want to cut straight to the front of the line, a Super Premium membership will do the trick, as you’ll get access to the Bat Signal—out fantasy answering service. You provide the question; we provide the answer within 12 hours. Write a one-sentence question or write a novel, you decide. We’ve seen them all.
So hope every enjoys a safe and happy New Year, and we’ll see you back here in this exact spot on Monday for the start of a brand new season of fantasy coverage here at Baseball Prospectus. It’s going to be the best one yet.
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