It is almost impossible to believe, but it is that time, when fantasy baseball enthusiasts start preparing in earnest for the upcoming season. Once again, Baseball Prospectus is here to provide the best wall-to-wall coverage in the industry. For the fourth year in a row, we're expanding our already exhaustive slate of articles to make sure that you're ready for your draft or auction. Whether you play in a shallow mixed league, a deep dynasty league, or nearly any format in between, we're here to make sure that you're ready to kick ass and take names on Draft Day.
If you're long-time reader, most of the features outlined below will be quite familiar. Feel free to skim this article, or skip it entirely if you're a particularly brave soul. Once again, we have expanded our fantasy staff, which will allow us to add a few new features as well as augment our already high level of existing coverage. Raising the bar gets tougher every year, but we believe that the new writers listed below are more than up to the challenge:
Mark Barry hung onto his Todd Van Poppel Rated Rookie card way past its usefulness. He is here for the right reasons.
Alex Chamberlain does fun stuff with econometrics and overuses adverbs. He's a sucker for switch-hitting contact artists, so he's glad his enduring love for Jose Ramirez has finally been validated.
Tim Finnegan is a humble fantasy owner and Matt Harvey's no. 1 fan. He is from the Jersey Shore, and fortunately has not run into any cast members from MTV's show.
Bryan Joiner went to Mike Boddicker baseball camp when he was young. A crusty old instructor hit him hard on the head for, by way of explanation, saying the word sucks, and Bryan hasn't been the same since.
Eric Roseberry is pleased as punch to be joining the Baseball Prospectus team for the 2017 season. When he isn't grabbing coffee for the rest of the staff, he spends his time trying to convince anyone who will listen that this is the year Billy Hamilton figures it out at the plate.
Starting on Monday, January 9, here are the articles that you will see for every position, starting with catcher.
State of the Position
Every Monday, one of Baseball Prospectus' senior writers 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.
For those of you who enjoy deeper dives into fantasy strategy and tactics as much as I do, you'll be pleased to hear that Jeff Quinton will be back for another year of his process-oriented review of each position. No one can match Jeff's inimitable style or ability to review what we're doing wrong and what we should be doing. This series will run on Mondays alongside the State of the Position.
Early ADP Analysis
Introduced in 2016, this series investigates early ADP trends and examines players who are being drafted either far too early or far too late. The NFBC drafts offer a useful framework into draft preparation, but an expert second opinion can go a long way in helping you construct your team.
Here is the juicy, delicious meat of our coverage: our position-by-position rankings that are presented in three separate articles. Every Tuesday, I will compile our 2017 tiered rankings using the same one- to five-star system that you all know and love. These lists are designed for redraft leagues. On Wednesdays, the positional rankings shift to our three-year positional rankings, which are designed to help fantasy managers in medium-term keeper leagues. Finally, Bret Sayre will be releasing his full positional dynasty rankings every Thursday. While each of these positional rankings will be compiled by one author, there will be staff input across the board on every single list.
Get to Know
Ben Carsley and his Kris Bryant-esque eyes return for another year of running down all the prospects that you should – nay, must – get to know at each position if you play in any kind of format. Whether you're looking for names to help you in your 2017 redraft league or players to help you in your dynasty league this year, Ben has you covered.
These articles all sound great. But I'm in an OBP league that also uses quality starts for pitchers. What about me? I can hear many of you lovingly saying inside of my head. Never fear. The Adjuster returns with plenty of in-depth analysis on what to do if you play in an alternate format. Eric Roseberry will examine where the standard 5×5 valuations differ in other styles of play. Whether it's on-base percentage, holds, or points leagues, Wilson has you covered.
Players to Target/Avoid
Here is where everyone on our staff gets to make his case about a player at each position every week to give our readers a comprehensive list of players that we do or don't believe in this upcoming season. As in the past, our writers will rotate between target and avoid pieces every week. These articles are primarily focusing on where players are going in drafts and whether they're worth targeting or aren't worth the trouble.
If Bret's exhaustive dynasty rankings aren't enough for you, fear not. In this second-year feature, Wilson Karaman dives even deeper, providing a review of honorable mentions at each position to make sure you don't miss out on a single sleeper.
Tale of the Tape
This series was so popular last year that it will be expanded in 2017 to four separate installments. On Tuesday and Wednesday, one of our fantasy writers will analyze two players in a ranking tier for non-keeper leagues, breaking down categorical strengths and weaknesses, health risk, team strength, and other factors before deciding which player is "better" for this season. On Thursday and Friday, we'll run the same series for our dynasty league readers. This series will analyze players bunched closely together in Bret's dynasty rankings.
The Only Landscape
For you masochists who play in AL or NL-only leagues, we have you covered as well. Scooter Hotz will cover 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. This column is where you're likely to find this year's versions of Hernan Perez and Eduardo Nunez.
Our triumvirate of Scoresheet knowledge – Ben Murphy, Jared Weiss, and Ian Lefkowitz – return to bring you a new round of lists and podcasts every Friday that will help guide all of your Scoresheet decisions for the upcoming season. Combine their analysis with the Scoresheet Draft Aid and you get the most comprehensive analysis for this format on the planet.
In addition to all the coverage above, we will be running two fantasy profiles a week on a couple of interesting names at the position who have not been covered in depth within our other content.
If 19 articles a week isn't enough for you, our fantasy podcasts return for yet another year of mirth and merriment. On Flags Fly Forever, you can listen to Bret Sayre, George Bissell, and me discuss our positional rankings and delve into deeper discussions about our differences of opinion. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll groan at my puns. Over on TINO, Bret, Craig Goldstein, and Ben provide a more, um, offbeat approach, as they touch on everything you need to know to win your dynasty league.
But wait, there's even more! Bret's Top 50 list for dynasty drafts kicks of the festivities this coming Thursday. Those of you who love player lists will be able to avail yourselves not only of our position-by-position rankings every week but our Top 300 overall, the Dynasty 101, and my bid limits for AL-only, NL-only, and 15-team mixed league auctions. Then there are the mock drafts, which will feature a mix of both your favorite Baseball Prospectus fantasy experts as well as experts from throughout the industry in an effort to help you prepare for your own drafts and auctions.
Finally, it wouldn't be Baseball Prospectus without a series of heartwarming online chats to keep you informed and amused as we gear up for 2017. Every week will feature an online chat 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 in that medium. Of course, if there's a question you just can't wait to get answered, our Bat Signal is always there waiting for your questions. Our fantasy answering service is like nothing else offered in the industry. You ask the question, we generally answer it within 12 hours, and the answer is confidential, away from the prying eyes of your opponents.
Our march to Draft Day starts on Monday. Every year, I'm excited to work with the best team of writers and analysts the industry has to offer. Every year, I'm thrilled that our coverage continues to rise to yet another level of excellence. Returning readers, thank you for your continued support. New readers, welcome aboard. Let's do this.
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