Thursday, January 31, 2008

Fantasy Man Maintenance

Today I posted The Fantasy Man's Shortstops Rankings Podcast which you can retrieve by clicking on the feed over in the right hand column of this blog or by visiting www.fantasybaseballexpress.com

I also posted a Draft Tool featuring Middle Relievers and the Holds category for leagues that utilize both. Check out the Draft Guide and click the link for this draft tool.

I just wanted to let everyone know that the Fantasy Man FEED is ready for registration for the 2008 season. Please visit www.fantasybaseballexpress.com and click the link for FM FEED for details and registration! This feature costs $20 and you'll receive an email once a week choc' full 'o' fantasy tips, strategies, and recommendations to help you win your fantasy leagues.

FM

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

2008's 5 Best Auction Buys

B.J. Upton, 2B/OF, Tampa Bay
I've been saying it since November, B.J. Upton is a "poor man's" Hanley Ramirez. Go ahead and compare the numbers....

Upton: .300/24/82/22/86runs in 474AB
Hanley: .332/29/81/51/125runs in 639AB
Lets's give Upton another 120AB and you have to be looking at potential .300+/30/100/30/100 basically saying in 120+ more AB's Upton can hit 6 more HR, 18 more RBI, steal 8 more bases and score 14 more times. In most 10-14 team mixed auction drafts, you can steal B.J. Upton for approximately $27, give or take a few bucks where as Hanley Ramirez, who might offer a slightly higher AVG and 10-15 more steals batting in the 3rd slot and can go from $45+ making Upton a fantastic value. Not to mention, he has multiple eligibility at 2B, a weak position this season, and the OF.

Lance Berkman, 1B/OF, Houston
Same concept here with Upton as far as versatility and potential to put up first round type numbers. Berkman had a tough year last year and disappointed many despite having numbers that turned out to be decent. His 3-year average is .295/34/107/5/89 and although Berkman doesn't have first round type numbers on average, he has the potential to hit .300+/40+/120+/90+ with a 5-10 Sb's mixed in there. I like his odds considering he has a chip on his shoulder from last season, table setters batting in front of him with Michael Bourn and Kaz Matsui and solid protection behind him with Carlos Lee and Hunter Pence. I like the potential for Berkman to be more consistent this season and he can be had in your auction draft between $26 and $30, which to me is a great value considering managers will pay close to $40 or more for Miguel Cabrera who has the same potential with with a higher average. There is no need to pay $10-$15 more for twenty or thirty extra points in batting average, as you can find batting average later in the auction. Plus, Berkman, although seemingly inconsistent, has shown that even in the worst of seasons, he can produce quality fantasy stats.


Justin Morneau, 1B, Minnesota
After winning the MVP over Derek Jeter in 2006, Morneau started the season with a bang hitting .295 with 24 HR in the first half, but then preceded to fade down the stretch to finish batting .271 with 31 HR. Talk about a monster slump. There are a few factors here that I cannot ignore. First, we have seen Morneau boast a fine offensive season in 2006, hitting 24 HR in the first half of last season show that he has possible 40+HR potential. Would anyone disagree? The other thing is that Morneau turns 27 in May. Ooooh, yummy yummy, that magical age of 27. Now, not every 27 year old breaks out, but considering the 2006 league MVP bombed down the stretch last season, I have to believe that he'll make a charge out of the gates in 2008. He's got a revamped lineup, not the best, but workable and he's got the youth and power, so I like his chances to rebound big here. What's more, Morneau can be stolen in the auction for $24on the low end and $30 on the high end. $30 for .295/35/120 is a far price, considering managers were spending close to and over $40 last season. If Morneau is nominated and waiting for a final bid of $27, go for it!


Carlos Pena, 1B, Tampa Bay
Pena burst in the scene last year banging 46 HR out of no where and turns out to be one of this years best keeper options in most auction leagues. Here's the thing about Pena, he hit 46 HR in 490 AB. Let's assume he comes back to earth, do you think he'll still hit at least 35 with an extra 100 or so AB? I do. Tampa Bay gave him a new contract so they must feel he is for real too. There are a lot of skeptical people out there but even if you expect the worst, .270/35/100 with a .400+OBP, that's worth $20 in the auction, right? Yep, that's what I am seeing Pena go for, anywhere between $17 and $24 depending on when he's nominated. The upside here is .280/40/120 really with potential to add a few stats or minus a few. Pena is one of this years auction draft best kept secrets. You are essentially investing in the same potential as Justin Morneau, just a few bucks cheaper, in a better offense, and smack dab in the middle of his prime turning 30 in May.


Oliver Perez, SP, New York Mets
Depending on when players are nominated, Perez can be had from $5 to $1 in normal 12 team drafts. I like to compare him too Scott Kazmir who can cost anywhere from $15 - $20 depending on nomination. Look at last year's stats....
Kazmir 13-9/3.48/1.38/239 in 206 IP
Perez 15-10/3.56/1.31/174 in 177IP
Looking at this, and considering that Perez is only 26, you can see that he has considerable upside when compared to a Scott Kazmir who is only 24. With Perez, you get the opportunity to grab more wins and little better WHIP. ERA is close to a wash and Kazmir obviously has the K advantage while Perez has the same K potential(as we have seen in past years). My theory here is why pay $15-$20 for Kazmir when you can have possibly 3-5 more wins, the same potential ERA, the same potential chance to break out, but just 30-40 less K's? We have seen Perez nab 200+K's a few years ago, so we know the talent was there. 2007 for Perez was certainly a step in the right direction towards respectable. I believe Perez grows on last year's success and you see another season of growth. Best part is, he's super cheap on draft day. Steal Perez for $3 and run. Even if Kazmir slips to $15, steal him too and laugh all the way to a championship!

FM

Clueless Kevin and the 12 Draftees

A timeless classic...... Enjoy! I forgot to send this out last month so here it is....

Ahhhhh, the smell of the holidays in the living room, the extra tinsel stuck to the side of the couch, finding pine needles stuck in the carpet until July, looking at all the gifts already wrapped under the tree...none of which have my name on them, and the sight of Mrs. Claus bending over to unplug my computer Christmas morning so I'd spend more time with the family instead of reviewing mock drafts and 2008 player rankings.

Ahhhhh, I love the Holidays! What I love the most about the holidays is that once they are over, Fantasy Baseball begins its ascent into the minds of fantasy players around the country and the research begins. So why do we do this research? So we can all torment each other on draft day, thats why! Every year, the same 12 characters show up for what we all think will be an easy going, fun, and exciting draft day with friends and/or co-workers. Instead, some of us walk out of the draft room as if we just won the lottery while others walk out wondering..... what the hell was I thinking?! What makes Draft Day so unique though, is the 12 characters around the table that we all know and love.......

Draftee #1, lets call him "The Laptop Guy" -
Spreadsheets? Word? Fashion Design? What the hell is this guy looking at? Just before his pick he dips his head in front of the laptop screen and pecks away at his keyboard as we all wait impatiently. Finally he blurts out the most uninteresting pick of the draft, " Ok, I'll go with ...... Bartolo Colon." Next year, no laptops allowed!

Draftee #2, "The Star Gazer" -
This is the quiet guy in the corner staring into space. He showed up a bit late so he did not get a normal seat around the table. This is the guy that has to pull up the uncomfortable folding chair or stool and sit at the corner of the table always feeling like he is far from the action. Its his pick now, but he has no idea. The draftee is staring into space probably thinking about school girls and sugar plums.

Draftee #3, Homey Homewrecker" -
Homey Homewrecker is the guy who doesn't tell his wife that he has a fantasy baseball draft because he knows she'll be upset being that they can barely afford to pay the rent. However, he seemingly has enough money to waste on fantasy baseball......and still finds a way to walk out at the end saying...."what the hell was I thinking?"

Draftee #4, "The Gambler" -
No, I don't mean Kenny Rogers, but I mean "gambler" literally. This guy is the compulsive gambler. Every year he suggests we raise the league entry fee and every year his team sucks! He's also the clown who sends out offers asking for Carl Crawford and Scott Kazmir for Mike Jacobs and Casey Blake. Just because Blake was hot for a few weeks doesn't mean I'm trading my best player! Then, he's the guy who, when we say no and decide to trade with someone else who is more reasonable, he goes and veto's that trade. Stupid.

Draftee #5, "Mr. Unorganization" -
This is the easy to spot guy with the crap all over the table. Loose papers, rankings all scribbled out, magazines in bad shape, and of course his lunch with his half eaten tuna salad sandwich half falling off his plate, stinking up the room, and rubbing up against my magazine....uggghh! This is also the guy who spills his beer all over table with cheese doodle crumbs all over his face and shirt. He laughs at your jokes but we all know he doesn't get any of them. Then, once its his pick, he has no idea who to choose nonetheless that its actually his turn. He goes sifting through all his crap, can't find what he wants and asks the guy next to him (me)..... "Hey bro, can I borrow your mag?"

Draftee #6, The Man we call "Expert" -
Every league has its very own fantasy baseball expert, or at least thinks he is. This is the guy who seems to win every single year and is usually the commish. He's the guy nobody wants to trade with because we all think he knows something we don't. The minute he offers a deal, the first question that comes to mind is, "What's wrong with his players?" He's the guy who barracades himself in his cubicle at work from 9am to 5pm M-F and studies player projections, rankings, stats, player tendencies, scouting reports, percentages and even the current wind speed and temperatures at every major league ballpark! Then goes home and emails MLB teams for inside information. He then sends constant retarded trade ideas through email, AIM and text message all at the same time to the point you just tell him to stop sending you offers all together! He's the guy who sends you a trade offer, you accept, and then he voids it because he didn't think you would do it and he's wondering how you think you got the better of the deal..... because why do a trade if you don't think you got the better of it? (This is not me by the way - FM)

Draftee #7, The Sympathy Drunk" -
This is the guy who make stupid picks every round that has other draftees scratching their heads. Everyone will ask, "Why did you just pick that player?", only to get a reply of "I don't know, I just woke up. I was out until 4am last night and I was soooo drunk. I didn't have time to study and I didn't even buy a mag. I think I'm still drunk!" "Boo-hoo we all feel bad for you and nobody thinks your cool so stop *%&cking* up the draft!"

Draftee #8, Clueless Kevin -
Guy #1 - "Kevin, your up, 7th round pick, Guy #12 your on deck." [10 seconds go by], "KEVIN!!!"
Kevin - "Oh, what? Is it my pick?"
Guys #1, 2, 3, & 4 - "Oh my god!" "Jesus Christ!" "Is this guy serious?" "Pay Attention!"
Kevin - "Ok, umm hold on. I need to figure out who I want...."
Guy #8 - "Just pick anyone!"
Kevin - "Ok, i'll go with ummmmm... Johan Santana!
Guy #12 - "DUDE! he was gone like 6 rounds ago!"
Kevin - "Oh, I didn't know..... geez. You don't have to yell, I'm sorry, I just didn't think he'd go that early."
Guy #12 - "WHAT? Are you kidding? Aren't you crossing out players as they're picked?"
Kevin - "What?"
Guy #12 - "Just pick someone already!!!"
Kevin - "Ummmmm okay i'll take ...... Carl Pavano
Guy #7 - "Why the hell would you take Pavano here? Are you ser....? Nevermind!"
Guy #1 - "Ugh, NEXT!"

Draftee #9, "The Who" -
This is the guy who is not really a big baseball fan but is in the league for fun. Most likely, we needed him as a replacement manager but the chances are, he won't update his team past the All-Star break. He's one of our friends, but we don't mind taking his money. Three quarters of the way through the draft he asks, "What's OBP?" Then proceeds to make his next pick....... "Ummm I'll take GAG - KNEE" .........We all say in unison, "WHO?"

Draftee(s) #10, The New Guy and his Brother" -
This is a team of two or three or "co-managers" as we simply like to call them. They are usually brothers or best friends where one guy has the fantasy smarts and the other guy has the money. They don't laugh at anyone's jokes, value their young players to high, never answer trade requests, and consult with each other via whispering before a pick. They actually go through the trouble of covering their mouths with their magazines so we can't see or hear what they are saying. Its a keeper league so they think they're slick by taking stud rookies 10 rounds before they're supposed to be picked. "Building for the future", they say. The never pick anyone over 30 yrs. old. We all sit around and snicker as they whisper sweet nothings during their pick, but deep down we're really pissed because they just took our rookie sleepers in the 8th round, 10 rounds to early.

Draftee #11, The Steal of the Draft" -
This is the guy who thinks every pick he makes is the best pick, or the smartest, and is also the first to say.... "You guys ready for this pick? This is the .....The Steal of the Draft". He also says things like, "I can't believe you guys haven't picked this player yet!" "Oh my god, I can't believe this guy is still out there!' "Yeah, my team is pretty solid!" "This pick is my boy!" and my personal favorite, "My team is always up for trade talks, everyone is available!" However, it takes two weeks & endless emails to get a deal done!

Draftee #12, "The Fantasy King" -
This guy is one of the leagues Founding Fathers, one of the leagues original members since its inception four years ago. It just so happens, this guy won the league in that first year thanks to a fluke year from JD Drew...... and man, have we been hearing about it ever since! Despite 2 consecutive last place finishes, he still claims himself to be a fantasy king even though he is still loyal to guys like Randy Johnson & Eric Chavez and just about any living or breathing Braves player. He even signs his emails.... "The Fantasy King!" Your time has come and gone my friend!

So there you have it, the 12 Draftees of every years fantasy drafts! They are all there. Take a look at the managers around you on draft day, there is no doubt you will see atleat 2 or 3 of these guys. Without them, what fun would a live draft be? The holidays are almost done and I'm starting to get that itch.......its almost draft day baby!!!

Good luck to all this season. Feel free to send along any questions regarding your draft preparation and upcoming drafts! Remember to visit
http://www.fantasybaseballexpress.com/ for free draft guide, tools, strategies, player rankings, mock drafts, cheat sheets and more!

The Fantasy Man
Fantasy Baseball Express
http://www.fantasybaseballexpress.com/
Member of the Fantasy Baseball Writers Association

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Johan Santana to the Mets?

According to Bob Nightengale of Usa Today , The Twins and Mets have agreed on a deal to send Johan Santana to the Mets in exchange for prospects Carlos Gomez, Phil Humber, Kevin Mulvey, and Deolis Guerra.

"The deal is pending the Mets and Santana reaching agreement on a six- or seven-year contract extension and that Santana passes a physical; they have been granted a 48 to-72-hour window to do so. Santana has a no-trade clause that he will waive if agreement is reached on a contract extension" according to USA Today.

Fantasy wise, this deal has some sweet implications. With Santana, you now have a possible 20 game winner on a winning team with a decent bullpen. In Minnesota, we projected Santana to be a 15-18 game winner, but now with the Mets, 20+ games is possible. Santana should jump into the end of the first round in most normal 12 team drafts while still commanding close to $35 in the auction. Make sure you do not get caught up in the hype. Santana was still a $35 player even if he stayed with the Twins, so don't get stuck in a bidding war. Although there are a few differences that could help Santana have a better fantasy season, its not enough to over pay for. You get potentially a few extra wins, that's about it. ERA/WHIP should still be stellar and you'll still get 200+K. Minnesota is a nice picther's park but Shea isn't too bad either. The grass infield at Shea and the wider dimensions at the Metrodome are a wash. Playing on grass as opposed to the 'rug' should actually help slow the ball down a bit and decrease Santana's overall ground balls that sneak through the holes.

As for the Twins with Carlos Gomez, the current outfield is listed as Craig Monroe, Delmon Young, and Mike Cuddyer. There's no guarantee that Carlos Gomez will start in LF or RF. However, the infield currently consists of 3B Mike Lamb, SS Adam Everett, and 2B Nick Punto so there's a chance Lamb or Punto become utility players shifting Cuddyer to 3B and creating space for Gomez. Or, there's a possibility no one moves and Gomez has to out play Monroe. Don't get too hyped up with this deal, chances are that Gomez will start the year in Triple A. If that's the case, he's a candidate to be called up for good by mid-season assuming he tears up the minors. If I have room, I might draft Gomez as a late round flier or for a buck and stash on my bench.

Phil Humber hasn't proved he can handle the big leagues yet but he does have some talent. He'll most likely start the year in Triple A as well. Maybe Humber is someone to grab in leagues with minor league systems or in deep dynasty leagues but for playing time he'll have to beat out Scott Baker, Glen Perkins, and Nick Blackburn who all have a shot at the 4th and 5th spots with Santana gone. Kevin Mulvey and Deolis Guerra are talented prospects but should not be drafted in normal leagues.

Have a keeper league and need help deciding on who to pick or trade? Possibly as a direct result of this trade? Email me

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Drafting for Categories vs. Position Scarcity

You probably heard it a thousand times, the best way to draft is for position scarcity or the best way to draft is to load up on categories. Although its possible to do both, its tough. I am here to put the debate to rest and prove why its better to draft for categories instead of drafting for position scarcity in the early rounds. At the end of the draft, it doesn't matter as much because everyone is filling holes and position scarcity certainly comes into play.

Drafting for Position Scarcity

Every season, catchers, second basemen, and shortstops are always the weaker positions meaning that after the first few players there is a huge drop off production wise. With the position scarcity strategy, the thought is to draft one of the top players at a weak position so you don't get stuck drafting a "loser" later on when pickings are slim. For example, this season, 2B is somewhat weak. The idea here is to draft one of Chase Utley, Brandon Phillips, B.J. Upton, Brian Roberts and Robinson Cano sometime in the first 6 rounds. After that, you have Rickie Weeks, Ian Kinsler and Howie Kendrick, all with potential and after that, the 2B position levels of immensely with risky or less potent options. The consensus is that taking a weak position like C, 2B, or SS strengthens your team because there are many players available at deeper positions like 1B, 3B, OF, and SP. So since 1B is deep this year, let's say you choose Chase Utley at 2B with your first pick instead of going for monster power numbers with Prince Fielder. You obviously choose Utley for scarcity. Now at the end of the draft you still need that 1B and you take Connor Jackson, who has some upside. If you combine the potential stats of Chase Utley and Connor Jackson, you get somewhere in the ballpark of .295/40/175/20 give or take a few stats. I have Utley at .315/25/100/120/15 and Jackson at .280/15/75/5

Drafting for Categories

Drafting for categories is as simple as this.... load up on all categories regardless of position scarcity. Look, the fact is, we can always find value later in the draft, even at weaker positions. Its all about knowing the players. if you know who will be available in say the 16th round, then you can adjust your strategy and not be forced to take a weak position early. When drafting for categories, you'll find early in the draft that your going after 1B's, 3B's and OF's more often. These players are at a deep position, but in most cases provide a better bulk of stats. Let me explain.

Let's say its the first round of a 12 team draft. You have the 10th pick. 2B Chase Utley falls and you are stuck deciding between Utley and Prince Fielder. You think Utley for position scarcity but if you pass on Fielder, you'll probably miss out on Ryan Howard on the wrap around. Fielder will provide your team with .290avg/50hr/120rbi/90+runs while Utley could be a .315avg/25hr/100/120/15 hitter. When drafting for categories, you are loading up here on HR's & RBI's knowing that you can find cheaper sources for SB's, runs and AVG later in the draft. A 50 HR player is tough to come by after the first few rounds. However, its more likely to find a cheaper 2B option later in the draft that can put up decent numbers. If you drafted Fielder or Howard at pick #10, then take say Brandon Phillips, a possible 30/30 candidate at pick #15 after it wraps around, that's much more power stats than if you picked Utley and say Carlos Lee.


Here's the most realistic scenario I can give you. Let's say with that 10th pick you take Ryan Howard. Would you agree that he is capable of at least 50HR/130RBI? You'll also get about 100 Runs out of him too but no SB's and maybe a .275AVG. If you wait until later in the draft, you can steal a 2B like Felipe Lopez in the 16th round who also is eligible at SS and is onlt 27 years old, the age some believe a player tends to "break out". Combine Howard/Lopez and you get .275AVG, 65HR, 200RBI, 175R, 30SB. I project Lopez to be a .275/15/70/75/30 hitter with more upside with a potential break out.

The Results
Both scenarios are realistic. First, with the position scarcity strategy, we take Chase Utley in the first round with the thought that we want to fill our weaker positions first and we can add a 1B late in the draft because 1B is so deep. In this scenario, we choose Chase Utley and Connor Jackson who combined potential stats for 2008 are in the ballpark of .295AVG, 40HR, 175RBI, 200R, 20SB give or take a few. Now, take the drafting for categories scenario and with that same 10th pick, we choose Ryan Howard, strictly trying to load up on power while worrying about AVG, Runs and maybe SB's later in the draft. With this in mind, we steal Felipe Lopez in the 16th round to fill our 2B or SS positions. Combined, this puts you in the ballpark of 275AVG, 65HR, 200RBI, 175R, 30SB as explained above. Which scenario would you rather have?

Looking at this, I'd rather have the extra HR, RBI, SB numbers in a 5x5 roto league. Those are the most important. At any time during the draft you can pick up a guy like Derek Jeter, Johnny Damon, Ichiro Suzuki, Michael Young, Grady Sizemore, Rickie Weeks, or whoever to score the 100+ runs you seek. Same goes for AVG. In the 3rd round, opt for Magglio Ordonez or Ichiro Suzuki instead of Alex Rios. In the 4th round, opt for Jeter and his .320+AVG instead of Derrek Lee or Nick Markakis. This is how you draft for categories. Load up early (the first 3-4 rounds on power) and then fill the rest of your offense with high average and speed guys. Also, always look for players who do everything. Choose Shane Victorino over Juan Pierre for those extra bit of HR's. Take a rick on Matt Kemp who could be a 20/20 guy instead of taking Austin Kearns, Josh Willingham or Aaron Rowand. This is how you load up on categories. Draft HR, RBI early and then fill with AVG, SB, HR, R with every pick there after.

Making Sense of it All

I have tried both strategies over the 12 years I have been playing fantasy baseball and one thing I know for sure is, drafting for categories is the way to go and I have provided examples to prove it. Every year I find my teams in the hunt for a championship and I honestly dedicate that to loading up on categories on draft day. We all have strategies that we feel work. I am not here to say that the position scarcity is wrong. Its not. It makes sense to draft the best players at weak positions. However, if you know the players well and you have a sense at when they are usually drafted, you can make solid guesses and draft a quality team. If you draft for position scarcity and you don't know your players late in the draft, you could really bomb your draft.

Sometimes readers send me questions through email and say "FM, I just did my draft, what do you think?" And everytime it shows the first 4 picks with guys like Chase Utley, Grady Sizemore, Ichiro, Alex Rios, Nick Markakis, etc.... Yes, these guys are young (except Ichiro) and have potential, but I always end up saying, "Where's your big power bat?" Look, simply put, you need a horse, a big time power guy to be the backbone of your offense if you want to win a championship. Grady Sizemore, as talented as he is fantasy wise, is not a guy yet who should be your backbone. I'm talking a 40+HR/120+RBI/100R player. The ARod, the Pujols', the Fielder's, the Howard's, etc. Yes, even guys like David Wright and Miguel Cabrera are quality 1st round picks because Wright could be 30/30 with a .320+ AVG and 100+ R and 100+RBI. Not a 40 HR guy yet but tops in the league in everything else. Cabrera is the same thing with out the SB's. Reyes, Rollins, Hanley and Crawford are all special because you can get 40+SB while still getting close to or more than 20HR.

Questions on how to perfect the Drafting for Categories strategy..... email me

FM

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Rickie Weeks Saga Continues

Almost once a day I get an email from fantasy baseball addicts asking me whether or not I think Rickie Weeks is worth keeping, or whether or not he can be a 20/20 guy this year, or potentially 30/30. My answer is always the same.... "How the heck should I know?"

Weeks has incredible talent and some have even compared him to a young Gary Sheffield, as Weeks seems to have that same fearless and agressive style at the plate. Problem is, the guy can't stay healthy. However, it appears Weeks could finally be healthy and primed for that break out season according to this article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal last week.

Fantasy wise, Weeks has at least 20/20 ability but honestly, sky's the limit! We haven't seen Weeks at his full potential yet but showed promise late last year when he hit .327 in August and hit 9 homers in September according to the Sentinal. In normal 12 team fantasy drafts, Weeks has been selected in the early 9th - 10th rounds but since this article came out last week, Weeks has been seen as being selected as early as the 6th round but the norm seems to be in the 8th round like in MDC's 2nd Live Expert Draft. If you want my advice, if you really want Weeks on your team, you need to make your move by the late 7th round, after that, there's no guarantee he'll be there in the 8th. No one predicts Weeks to have a great batting average but seem to think he'll go 20/20. I on the other hand feel he can be in the .280+ range with 25/25 and yes, possible 30/30 potential. He's certainly worth a 7th round pick and if he falls under $15 in the draft, steal him. Sometimes we fantasy people get carried away with all the hype and potential. Don't get burned here. $20 is over-paying. Use your head and know when to say when.

FM

Saturday, January 26, 2008

A Strategy from a Reader....

"Looking forward to reading strategies/thoughts from you and all of your readers.
I guess I'll start it off .....

Based on the half dozen or so mocks that I've done so far, this is going to be my strategy going into 2008 drafts (12 team "vanilla" leagues):
1st 10 rounds - I'm targeting the following positions: 1B, 2B - Only if you can grab Utley, Cano, Roberts, or Cano, 3B, SS, C - Only if one of the top 5 fall a bit from their ADP, 2OF, 3 SP - first one no sooner than round 6. I'm targeting closers starting with round 12 and taking 3. Middle & late rounds - fill OF, MI, CI, 2nd Catcher, & last starter or closer.

That's the basic strategy and it seems like I can draft a well balanced team with a strong offense , of course, you have to be able to adjust on the fly and a lot will change between now and draft day."


Anyone have any comments on this strategy???

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Fantasy Man Blog Cracks Down

Today, I have officially decided that I am going to make a better effort in continually posting on the blog. That means more strategies, thoughts and fun. I want to try to make the blog informational but also enjoyable while at the same time making it a bit more interactive.

So as I post, please leave comments. I will respond to them all of course but hopefully everyone can respond together.

So there it is! I said it! Now....I guess its up to me to actually try to post every day!

....we'll here goes nuthin'

Please help me get started and subscribe to this blog by clicking the link in the upper right side bar!

The Fantasy Man

Monday, January 21, 2008

2008 Draft Strategies by AL

From time to time, fantasy managers like to share their ideas and strategies with the FBE Community....they like to be the "expert" too and share their thoughts to help other managers. Since I am in-tune with this, Al, a loyal reader/listener of Fantasy Baseball Express has offered his draft strategies for 2008. Remember, these are the ideas of fellow fantasy players with their own unique ideas and thoughts. Don't be a hater and criticize but be helpful and offer unique insight. We are here to help make each other better, not to criticize other people's ideas.

So take a look and if they help, great! Sometimes someone else's perspective other than mine or yours is helpful! Enjoy!

**If you would like to design and share your own strategies/rankings/draft tools, email them to me in a word document and I will gladly post them here on The Fantasy Man's Blog! Email Me

Draft Strategies
By AL

1. Start preparing for next year’s league after the World Series
2. Start with previous year’s stats, but keep in mind injured players (may have to look at their previous year)
3. Look at projections from all sources: magazines, web sites and newspaper articles
4. Develop your own tier system based on stats from previous year
5. Your tier system should look at the categories your league is using
6. Have a cutoff on where you want your tier system to start based on stats and positions
7. Look at scarcity of positions, but don’t necessarily base your draft on that
8. Draft players that will give you at least 2-3 different categories
9. Draft hitters for the first 3 to 4 rounds, then 2 SP, RP and then 2 hitters and then alternate
10. Draft players based on what position you need and what a player can give you (2-3 different categories); don’t have to draft the next best player in that position
11. Look at ballparks for different advantages, hitters park versus pitchers park
12. Look at team stats and records
13. Develop a sleeper list of players based upon projections from resources
14. Once draft is completed, analyze your team for any needs and look for trades or free agents
15. Always look at your league 2-3 times a week for free agents and/or possible trades
16. Draft smart, don’t draft with your heart

Monday, January 07, 2008

A Look at OBP - PART 2

Here is a list of the Top 50 Offensive Fantasy Baseball Players for 2008. Next to each I have included their OBP.



Why this is helpful:

1. When drafting in any league, making the best possible picks in the first 4-5 rounds is critical. If you do not select the correct mix of players, your team is pretty much doomed. These first 4-5 players are the glue that holds your team together. these are the players you depend on to keep your stat totals in check and on point. With out your Power catalyst, say Ryan Howard or Prince Fielder, no matter what you do in the rest of the draft, you might always lack in the power department.

2. With that being said, now choosing players in the first 4-5 rounds with a higher OBP than other players could help a team in normal 5x5 leagues. For one, a higher OBP means more walks which ultimately could mean more runs and more stolen bases.

3. In leagues that count OBP, you can make a better decision when choosing between Hanley Ramirez (.386 OBP in /07) and Jose Reyes (.340 OBP in '07) for example. Hanley had 125 runs while Reyes had 119 and while Hanley was superior in the AVG & power departments, Reyes added 27 more stolen bases. Looking at the numbers overall, including OBP, Hanley seems by far the better fantasy choice.

1. Alex Rodriguez, NYY - .422
2. Hanley Ramirez, FLA - .386
3. Albert Pujols, STL - .429
4. Jose Reyes, NYM - .354
5. David Wright, NYM - .416
6. Chase Utley, PHI - .410
7. Matt Holliday, COL - .405
8. Miguel Cabrera, DET - .401
9. Grady Sizemore, CLE - .390
10. Jimmy Rollins, PHI - .345
11. Ryan Howard, PHI - .392
12. Prince Fielder, MIL - .395
13. David Ortiz, BOS - .445
14. Alfonso Soriano, CHC - .337
15. Carl Crawford, TB - .355
16. Carlos Beltran, NYM - .353
17. Brandon Phillips, CIN - .331
18. Carlos Lee, HOU - .354
19. Ryan Braun, MIL - .370
20. Vladimir Guerrero, LAA - .403
21. Mark Teixiera, ATL - .400
22. Lance Berkman, HOU - .386
23. Ichiro Suzuki, SEA - .396
24. Victor Martinez, CLE - .374
25. Russell Martin, LAD - .374
26. B.J. Upton, TB - .386
27. Curtis Granderson, DET - .361

28. Derek Jeter, NYY - .388
29. Justin Morneau, MIN - .343
30. Magglio Ordonez, DET - .434
31. Travis Hafner, CLE - .385
32. Manny Ramirez, BOS - .388
33. Nick Markakis, BAL - .363
34. Alex Rios, TOR - .354
35. Bobby Abreu, NYY - .369
36. Chone Figgins, LAA - .393
37. Aramis Ramirez, CHC - .366
38. Garrett Atkins, COL - .367
39. Eric Brynes, ARI - .353
40. Gary Sheffield, DET - .378
41. Michael Young, TEX - .366
42. Derrek Lee, CHC - .400
43. Brian McCann, ATL - .320
44. Troy Tulowitzski, COL - .359
45. Miguel Tejada, HOU - .357

46. Joe Mauer, MIN - .382
47. Brian Roberts, BAL - .377

48. Robinson Cano, NYY - .353
49. Hunter Pence, HOU - .360
50. Adam Dunn, CIN - .386


Possibilities in OBP Leagues:
- Posada may be a better option than McCann, Posada falls just below the top 50
- Considering Tulowitzki's potential, he could be a better option that Tejada, however, Tejada should have a better year as he only struck out 55 times in 514 AB in 2007 as opposed to Tulowitzki who K'd 130 times

- I have declared B.J. Upton the Poor Man's Hanley Ramirez
- Bobby Abreu did not show the type of OBP last season that everyone thought he would, now that he's in his decline stages, its possible his OBP won't increase but will probably stay about the same
- Depending on your first 1-2 picks, choosing between VMart and Russell Martin could be a matter of need, if you want the power/average, go with VMart, if you want the SB's, go with Martin
- In leagues that do not count average or K's, Adam Dunn probably moves up 10-15 spots on this list

Thursday, January 03, 2008

A Look at OBP - PART 1

Every fantasy league is different, but many leagues count OBP (On Base Pecentage) as a category. Even when OBP plays a major part, most fantasy managers overlook it. The reason we overlook OBP is because there is a lack of useful OBP draft tools available on the internet. This will be the first attempt at dealing with OBP and revolutionizing helpful draft tools. I will also post this in The Fantasy Man's FREE 2008 Draft Guide at Fantasy Baseball Express. This is Part 1......

The Following List includes the Top 10 highest Mixed League OBP's for players with over 1200 AB since 2005
AB OBP
1. Albert Pujols 1,691 .429
2. Todd Helton 1,612 .427

3. Chipper Jones 1,282 .416
4. David Ortiz 1,708 .416
5. Alex Rodriguez 1,760 .411
6. Travis Hafner 1,485 .409
7. Lance Berkman 1,565 .405
8. Miguel Cabrera 1,777 .404
9. Manny Ramirez 1,486 .403
10. Derrek Lee 1,336 .402

The Following List includes the Top 10 highest NL ONLY OBP's for players with over 1200 AB since 2005
AB OBP
1. Albert Pujols 1,691 .429
2. Todd Helton 1,612 .427
3. Chipper Jones 1,282 .416
4. Lance Berkman 1,565 .405
5. Miguel Cabrera 1,777 .404
6. Derrek Lee 1,336 .402

7. Ryan Howard 1,422 .398
8. David Wright 1,761 .395
9. Pat Burrell 1,496 .391

10. Chase Utley 1,731 .386


The Following List includes the Top 10 highest AL Only OBP's for players with over 1200 AB since 2005
AB OBP
1. David Ortiz 1,708 .416
2. Alex Rodriguez 1,760 .411
3. Travis Hafner 1,485 .409
4. Manny Ramirez 1,486 .403

5. Derek Jeter 1,916 .397
6. Joe Mauer 1,416 .395
7. Vladimir Guerrero 1,701 . 392
8. Jorge Posada 1,445 .384
9. Magglio Ordonez 1,493 .384
10. Victor Martinez 1,681 .380