Author Archive

Daily Fantasy Strategy – 9/24/13 – For Draftstreet

It’s almost over now. With just a week or so left of regular-season baseball, the time is now to use your late-season knowledge to win as much as you can in daily fantasy. Can you take advantage of too many fantasy mavens focusing on Peyton Manning and LeSean McCoy* instead of Yu Darvish and Jose Bautista?

* – For Canadians, feel free to replace Manning and McCoy with Phil Kessel and Erik Karlsson.

As always in fantasy, knowledge is power — but even more so as we hoof it to the finish line. The best thing to do is stay up to speed on which players are now going to be out for the rest of the season. Let’s go over a few missing persons and their potential replacements as the season comes to a close.

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Daily Fantasy Strategy – 9/3/13 – For Draftstreet

I think sometimes, we have a tendency to move our brains towards simple heuristics and narratives, even when we’re trying to be analytical and precise. For example, one of the maxims I’ve used in the past is this one: after September callups, overall hitting skill decreases and pitching skill increases throughout the league, as a result of the expanded rosters. After all, managers have the opportunity to have more pitching changes, due to the increase in available arms at the major league level. They can afford to give their best guys rest … or to run them ragged in pursuit of a playoff spot.

But is this simple heuristic actually worth anything? It’s worth making a brief investigation.

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Daily Fantasy Strategy – 8/27/13 – For Draftstreet

There’s a difference between a sample and a trend. While we don’t want to tread too deeply into the world of small samples, looking at a team’s recent performance can be another one of those small nudges in one direction (or another) when lining up your daily squad.

FanGraphs has a split filter that you can use to examine how a team has fared in the past seven, 14, or 30 days, and I like to occasionally use this as a judgement on a team’s overall offensive production, especially when choosing an opposing starting pitcher. Then, when examining these splits, I tend to look at things like slugging numbers, or simply wOBA / wRC+ to see if a team has been on a good offensive run or a bad one, especially compared to the team’s overall season numbers.

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Daily Fantasy Strategy – 8/13/13 – For Draftstreet

Happy Ace Day, everyone! Today’s slate of games features many of the best and most exciting young pitchers in baseball, and in honor of that, I’m going to talk a little bit about how terrific pitching performances could affect your daily fantasy team … and what we need to be looking for when we pick starters in formats like DraftStreet.

Points given for a win are much more valuable than points taken away for a loss

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Daily Fantasy Strategy – 8/6/13 – For Draftstreet

One of the maxims that I used to follow in my fantasy baseball journey was a simple one: stay away from rookie starting pitchers. There was just too much risk, too little reward. Despite huge pedigrees, wicked stuff, or all the hype, the math just didn’t work for rookie starters. Most often, there was a very serious learning curve for even the top rookie starters — and while some players were dangerous from day one, plenty of them were ineffective.

Things have changed. Top rookies like Shelby Miller and Jose Fernandez are dominating major league hitters out of the gate. Unheralded rookies like Nick Tepesch and Dan Straily are good enough to play in your fantasy leagues. While rookie pitchers have always been a risky proposition, these days it appears that the risks have been somewhat mitigated by continued solid performance.

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Daily Fantasy Strategy – 7/30/13 – For Draftstreet

Ah, hot stove season! In less than 48 hours, the first of the two trade deadlines will have passed, and we’ll be looking at a few players in new places. As much as I love the deadline, it can also make for a rather frustrating couple of days for the daily fantasy player.

For example, here’s a piece from the Chicago Tribune detailing how Jake Peavy will be missing his start today, in favor of Andre Rienzo. Peavy, a hot name on the trade market this summer, may be traded today or tomorrow — he also may not. Regardless, Peavy will sit today, and Rienzo will start — despite what the names on your roster for your daily fantasy team tell you. And Peavy isn’t the only guy who might be missing a day today.

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Daily Fantasy Strategy – 7/23/13 – For Draftstreet

The trade deadline is upon us, and guys are on the move. Yesterday, it was Matt Garza heading to the Rangers. Today, it sounds like it could be Alfonso Soriano moving back to the Bronx.

Daily fantasy, like any other fantasy format, requires us to keep a careful eye on the guys moving from one situation to another. Unlike in most formats, though, we don’t have to play guessing games or acquire a player hoping that his situation will change. All we have to do is read, analyze, and react in daily leagues. So what do we want to keep in mind when a player changes their situation?

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Daily Fantasy Strategy – 7/9/13 – For Draftstreet

What’s the biggest thing we look for when putting together our daily fantasy offenses? Home runs. Homers are the fastest way to rack up points, and they absolutely can lead to big days.

Though in a scoring system like Draftstreet, players get the same number of points any way that they get to their total number of total bases, when a player hits a home run, that’s four points you lock up in just one plate appearance. Conversely, it takes a 4-for-4 night with a player only hitting singles, to get to that same total. (Runs and RBI apply separately.)

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Daily Fantasy Strategy – 7/02 – For Draftstreet

When I’m gathering up starting pitchers for a daily fantasy game, I often find myself staring at a mess of mediocre options in the middle of the pack. Sometimes I’ll see a bunch of okay starters facing good offenses, or poor starters facing poor offenses. When I look at the ERAs and the FIPs and the strikeout rates and find too many options that are too similar, I need some sort of push to pick one guy over another. At that point, I’ll consider looking at a pitcher’s ground ball rate.
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Daily Fantasy Strategy – 6/25 – For Draftstreet

There’s a truth in baseball these days: prospects, rookies, and other young players garner much of the hype and excitement in the media. Whether it’s because they represent near-infinite potential or simply because they’re the fun new toys for everyone’s favorite teams, young players are the best. It’s hard not to get excited about the new, hot thing — whether it’s a smartphone or it’s a 7-raw outfielder making his ML debut.

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