FanGraphs: The Game – FAQ

Since there have been some FanGraphs: The Game questions, specifically about how choosing a team impacts your player and why it locks at some point (among other questions), I thought I’d take a post to clarify. I’ll add this to the game rules later for easy access.

How does the team you choose for your player impact The Game?

The team you choose is simply the team your player is on. It does not affect who you can pick each day, and it does not affect how your stats are accumulated.

You should choose the team you want your player to be associated with; most likely (though not necessarily) your favorite team.

Then what is the point of choosing a team?

Since one goal of the game is trying to be the best player at your chosen position on your specific team for bragging rights, it will affect which depth chart you’re a part of. There are also some team-centric periodic awards that are handed out based on your team.

Why can’t I change my team mid-season?

Teams lock because we don’t want players switching teams and changing depth charts during the season. After the season is over, you’ll be able to put your player on a different team for the following season if you want.

Won’t it be more challenging to be #1 on the depth chart if you choose a popular team/position combination?

Yes. Just like in real baseball, there are varying levels of competition for starting spots on different teams.

Which players can I pick from each day?

You can pick any player that is qualified at your player’s position that is on any active 25 man roster. Picks making their major league debut are currently not available to be picked, but you will be able to pick them in their second major league game.

Can I opt not to make a pick on any particular day?

Yes, if you don’t want to make a pick for the day, you don’t have to. There are about 180 “days” in a season of baseball and there is a game cap of 162 games (140 games for catchers), so there are about 20 days during the course of a season where you may want to not make a pick.

What if I want to see how my player stacks up against a group of friends (or enemies) and not the entire player base?

Just like on the FanGraphs leaderboards, you can set up a custom player list on The Game’s leaderboards for only the players you want to see. This link can be shared and/or saved as a custom report for easy access.

I created a player by mistake, can I delete it?

Players cannot be deleted. You can hide your player in the settings page if you don’t want him to show up in your list of players. Please remember that hidden players with their autopick setting on will continue to make picks even if they’re hidden.

Can I give a different name to a specific player?

At this time, no. However, year-end winners at each position will be able to give their winning player a unique nickname.

Will pick prices change throughout the season?

Yes. Pick prices will shift based on how well a player is doing during the season and the overall quality of the position at the Major League level. Price changes will be fairly gradual throughout the season and will not have wild swings.

If my pick plays both games of a double header, do I get both games stats added to my player?

No. When you make a pick for that day, you will have to choose which game of the double header you want to count towards your player’s stats.

I still don’t understand.

Try creating a player and making a pick and see what happens. Then come back the next day and make another pick. Right now it might seem confusing since no one has ever played the game before, but once you start playing, we feel that it will be a fairly intuitive and fun game to play.

Feel free to ask us questions either here, or on our twitter account @fgthegame. We will also be holding a FanGraphs: The Game chat in the near future.




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David Appelman is the creator of FanGraphs.


46 Responses to “FanGraphs: The Game – FAQ”

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  1. V says:

    I’m confident my Pirates SP and Padres SS are going to light up the leaderboards!!! MUAHAHA.

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  2. Table says:

    How will this be fun? It seems like having a daily fantasy team…which requires an awful lot of work.

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    • dbake005 says:

      Nobody has a gun to your head.

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    • chuckb says:

      I wish there was an option for those potential players who don’t think the game will be fun. Maybe they could put some sort of option like that in for next season.

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  3. Shizane says:

    I created a Mariners 3B but yet my player pool is only real-life Mariners 3B……it sounds like you are saying I could chose Evan Longoria on a particular day if I wanted to, but I do not see how to do it.

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    • dbake005 says:

      Mariners play tomorrow, which may be why he is able to be chosen.

      I don’t think you can choose Longoria everyday, either… due to the budget and different pricing of good/bad players.

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    • asl2cj says:

      Right now you can only pick for tomorrows game between the A’s and Mariners.

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    • byron says:

      As dbake says, you can only pick players who are going to play, and Evan Longoria did not make the trip to Japan with the two teams he’s not on.

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  4. SC2GG says:

    Here is the process as far as I can see it.

    1 – Create official Fangraphs account (ie, no just entering your name in the comments)
    2 – Click on The Game at the top
    3 – Click on “Add Player”
    4 – Choose the Team / Position (this really doesn’t matter, just that more popular = a little harder, due to more competition)
    5 – Go to “Make Your Picks”
    6 – For example, you selected “Blue Jays – Catcher” as your only player. That will show up now in the Make Your Picks tab. Now, click “Edit Pick”.
    7 – It will show a list of the days possible player matchups. If you do that today, it will show you all the Mariners vs Athletics matchups. Pick one.
    8 – Now that’s your catcher. It doesn’t matter that John Jaso is not a Blue Jay – he is for this day.

    At this point, I’m going on assumption.

    9 – Jaso’s performance, if good, will help your team. If he sucks, you get nothing and you’re out $5. If he hits 4 Grand Slams, you probably got good value.
    10 – Repeat this process with every player position you chose, with every matchup available, every day until the end of the season.
    11 – You have a limited budget. Each choice costs money. There are 162 games, so you need to save your money sometimes.
    12 – Autopicking by selecting a dollar value will autopick to a max of whatever the listed value is, in case you’re not able to login that day? I think? Unless it’s turned off, then if you’re unable to choose yourself, you won’t get anything.
    13 – Profit!

    Was that a reasonable writeup?

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    • Yep, this is pretty much correct.

      For 9. I would word it as If Jaso’s performance is good, it will help your player. (If he goes 2-4 with a double, triple, 3 RBI’s and a 1 walk, etc…. those all get added to your players stats). If he sucks, you still get his stats for the day added to your player. Probably stats you wish you didn’t have.

      And for 12. Just for clarification, if you autopick, it will try to make a pick at the value you set your autopick at and then work its way down $1 until there is an available player in that price range. But it will always try to make a pick first at the autopick value you set.

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  5. mdecav says:

    What is the point of choosing an MLB team when adding players? If I choose at catcher, why do I care if I pick the Angels?

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    • SC2GG says:

      As stated in the FAQ above, as the 2nd question:

      Then what is the point of choosing a team?

      Since one goal of the game is trying to be the best player at your chosen position on your specific team for bragging rights, it will affect which depth chart you’re a part of. There are also some team-centric periodic awards that are handed out based on your team.

      Thank you for reading the article before posting, it makes everyone’s day a little brighter.

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      • mdecav says:

        There are two kinds of “teams”. Your team of C-1B-2B-3B-SS-OF-SP-RP, then there is an MLB team when you choose your individual player/players.

        Try limiting your snark – it makes for a brighter day for others.

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  6. MustBunique says:

    Well now that the cat’s out of the bag I’m going to switch all my players to “popular” teams. Or will I?

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  7. jjdouglas says:

    When it comes to leaderboards (whether it be overall, or just team/positional) does it increase your chances to create multiple accounts and thus accumulate greater totals for you overall profile? For instance, someone who creates 50 players would accumulate higher point totals than someone who would create 1. Or, is each individual player only judged against others at his position when developing the overall leaderboards.

    My current understanding leads me to believe that, for example, Yankees SS is only judged against others who picked Yankees SS. However, If “John” creates multiple accounts then his chances of gracing the overall leaderboard are higher just due to volume? Am I correct.

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    • So, each account can only create 1 player at each position and there’s no way to tie accounts together. Basically each player is his own entity and can’t be lumped together with any other players when it comes to the leaderboards.

      In your example, if “John” wanted to put in the work and create 50 different accounts and 50 different Yankees SS, to give himself better odds of having one of his 50 different players top the Yankee SS leaderboard, well, good for him, I guess. That doesn’t seem like a lot of fun to me, but there’s really nothing stopping someone from doing it.

      There are a lot of variations over the course of a season for each player. Pretty much 30^162 power, so there’s still no guarantee “John” would even win.

      If something like that ever does become an issue and ends up essentially ruining the game, we may take steps to prevent it.

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  8. Jose Lind says:

    Any reason Cespedes isn’t available in the OF? If this is very obvious, please ridicule me uproariously.

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    • chuckb says:

      Hasn’t played a major league game yet. As the FAQs state (and I’m not trying to be an ass, so, sorry if it sounds that way), he’ll be eligible in his 2nd game since he would have already played 1 game.

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    • tmorgan1970 says:

      He falls in the category of “rookie”, and thus won’t be available until after he’s played a game.

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      • tmorgan1970 says:

        Man, the one time I try to be helpful and I’m just slow as balls… and thus unhelpful. I really should just stick to snarky.

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  9. GTW says:

    Is there a certain number of starts/games/innings a player needs to reach to be eligible at a new position? For instance, I’m assuming Jesus Montero isn’t listed under the Catcher option yet because he only squatted 3 times last year.

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    • chuckb says:

      See the thread immediately above yours starting with Jose Lind’s question.

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      • GTW says:

        How did I know someone would say that. See the article above…

        “Picks making their major league debut are currently not available to be picked, but you will be able to pick them in their second major league game.”

        Montero isn’t making his debut. If David meant rookie I think he would have said so.

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  10. craigtyle says:

    I’m not clear how scoring works – does defense count? For pitching, is it primarily FIP-based a la fWAR? Does babip or LOB% matter at all?

    Sorry if I missed this somewhere.

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    • The player you create will get the stats of the players you choose each day. Your player will get a WAR number all of his own. He is the player of your dreams!

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      • I translated some of this from the Japanese, if it sounds weird.

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      • craigtyle says:

        I get that – my question is what stats matter. In particular (1) do defensive stats matter at all? (I presume no) and (2) for pitchers, is it more FIP-based or ERA-based?

        Arigato gozaimasu!

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  11. Jason says:

    RP will be strange since you never know when a reliever will pitch. Will be difficult to maximize the games.

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  12. chiefglockandhummer says:

    so no defense i guess? it’s just offense and positional adjustment and like at bats used to calculate the WAR?

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  13. gryfyn1 says:

    1) you will wind up with both era and fip not sure if xfip will make it, but fangraphs war is bases on fip.
    2)if you make 160 guesses on RP you only news to be right 30% of the time.

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  14. TomahawkChopper says:

    Will this morning’s picks be included? If so, will we be able to pick from tomorrow’s game?

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  15. Dre17 says:

    when will we see today’s game stats show up and have the picks page open back up for tomorrow morning’s game?

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  16. I hope to have tomorrow’s picks available in the next couple hours. We’re waiting on data to come in, but typically picks for the next day will be available by 6am ET.

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  17. zvazda says:

    Mine doesn’t say that I’ve spent $$ yet. Did I do it wrong?

    David, Mr. Appelman, sir –

    This looks awesome. Fantasy Baseball is too involved for me to do well, this is gonna be a blast!

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  18. TomahawkChopper says:

    So does mine…It does look awesome, but if it takes this long to add data from just 1 game, I’m sorta concerned with how its going to work once the season actually starts.

    And I want credit for taking Ichiro and Hernandez.

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    • These are day 1 issues with getting stats delivered to the site. They really have nothing to do with The Game and everything will typically be updated by 6am, just like FanGraphs typically is.

      I’m also working on getting stats / leaderboards to update in realtime, so there will be no waiting.

      In the meantime, I’m trying to get at least the leaderboards partially updated and then the depth charts etc… later tonight when stats are delivered.

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      • zvazda says:

        Great, that’s what I figured from previous comments etc., just wanted to make sure I hadn’t messed it up.

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  19. Jaumiusk says:

    I picked Felix yesterday and he pitched 8 innings; however, only 1.2 innings and 1 strikeout is credited to my pitcher. How does this work? Is everything just divided by a certain number to simulate a “full season”, i.e. 200-ish innings? I’m just interested in the mechanics of it.

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    • monkey business says:

      That’s why you can pick him again tonight! Seriously though, starters stats are divided by 5 so they look like starter stats at the end of the year.

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  20. tmorgan1970 says:

    Formatting note to devs:

    Catchers are currently listed with $1000 available, but are apparently supposed to have only $850 to reflect a 140 games max played.

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