How to Win Your Snake Draft

Many moons ago (actually six years to be exact), I began my fantasy baseball writing career with the Fantasy Baseball Generals. The site is long gone, but all the writers have gone on to greener pastures, including my friend Patrick DiCaprio who I broadcast the Fantasy Baseball Roundtable show with every Wednesday night. We had a loyal, albeit tiny, following and needless to say, my posts weren’t read by nearly as many people as they are here. So inspired by a reader comment, I decided to dig up a snake draft strategy primer I remembered having written, at which point I then learned that it was actually published at FBG. So this is an updated version of the step-by-step tutorial to winning your snake draft.

Draft Prep

1. Project at least the number of players that will be drafted, plus several more at each position to act as replacement level (if your valuation method requires this) and reserve round options. Either learn how to project players yourself, or choose a system like Steamer or ZiPS to save you all that work.

2. Calculate dollar values for every projected player using your preferred valuation method. You could use the SGP method described by Jeff Zimmerman.

“But Mike”, you ask, “why should I calculate dollar values if I’m participating in a snake draft, not an auction? You don’t bid on players in snake drafts silly!” What an excellent question dear reader. To begin with, I fail to understand how one could compile rankings without calculating dollar values from projected stat lines. Unless you have spreadsheet software embedded in your brain (and I’m becoming increasingly convinced that Steve Staude actually does), it is impossible to accurately compare two hitters who contribute in different categories. For example, consider these two imaginary players:

AB AVG HR RBI RUN SB
Player A 650 0.310 5 50 100 55
Player B 575 0.280 35 110 95 0

To make things simple, let’s also assume that they play the same position. Do you know which stat line is more valuable? I don’t have a clue. When you add positional differences and then pitching versus hitting into the mix, it complicates matters even further. So regardless of the method in which players are assigned to teams, calculating dollar values is vital.

3. You now have your list of players, projected stat lines and their corresponding dollar values. Next, sort your list by dollar value with every position, including pitchers, included to create a master list of players in descending value for something close to an overall top 300. Add ADP from a source that matches your league settings as closely as possible. If you’re in a two-catcher league, one-catcher ADPs are useless. If you’re in a league that counts OBP instead of AVG, an ADP from leagues using the standard five categories are useless. This is extremely important.

4. Do not come into your snake draft with a plan consisting of which position to fill in each round or a target list of players and when you hope to acquire them. While ADP will give you some idea of when a player might get drafted, you really cannot be sure who will be drafted when and who will be available for each of your picks. So all this planning will result in you having either a) wasted your time or b) been forced to follow a specific blueprint which then impeded your ability to maximize value.

Finally, it’s draft time!

1. Assuming you’re crossing off or deleting the players being drafted, your first move when it’s time for your selection is to look at the highest valued player on your sheet. If you used a good valuation method, any boost or reduction in value due to position scarcity (or lack thereof) and categorical scarcity will already be incorporated into your values. Do not bump up a second baseman even higher simply because you perceive the position that he plays to be scarce. That should already be accounted for in your dollar value! For many picks, especially your early ones, you will simply be selecting your top valued player still on the board.

2. After identifying the highest valued player still available, look down your list to see how many other players at the same position are within a couple of dollars of that top valued player. This check is going to come into play a lot more often after the first couple of rounds as players tend to be valued more closely together the further down the draft board you get.

3. If you see a multitude of players who qualify at the same position that are within a couple of dollars of the top player available, skip down to the next highest valued player at a different position. Repeat step 2 until you find a player at a position where there is a more significant drop-off to the next highest valued player available at that position. When you do find that player, draft away, but with one caveat.

You need to make a judgment call on how many positions to skip in search of a drop-off. Remember that you don’t want to leave too much value on the table by drafting a $15 player when a $27 player is still available. This is when your ADP values could help steer you. If it suggests that you could wait several more rounds for the $15 player, then forget him for now and go for the value. You also need to decide when to draft a starting pitcher. Because there are so many of them, there is rarely a time when there is a dramatic drop-off, except maybe in the early rounds when the top five or so starters are still available.

The point of this drop-off strategy is simply to maximize value, which should be your goal regardless of the player selection method your league chooses. What this method does is push you to draft the $15 catcher with the large drop-off in value after him, instead of the $17 first baseman that is followed by three other first basemen all valued in the mid teens. Assuming your luck isn’t terrible, there is a good chance that there will still be one of those mid teen first basemen still available when you pick again, whereas it is more likely that the catcher is gobbled up by another team. Since players should really just be treated as an expected statistical line, it shouldn’t matter which of those similarly valued first basemen you end up with. This strategy allows you to get both the catcher and that first baseman

4. Once you’re around two-thirds of the way through your draft, the above strategy essentially ends. This is especially true when drafting your reserve squad. At this point, you’ll be staring at a bunch of boring veterans or unproven youngsters. The vets may bear such names as “Marco Scutaro” or “James Loney”. Unless you’re in a deep mixed league (like 20 teams) or a mono league, you don’t want these guys. So have some fun and start drafting the young guns with upside, especially young starting pitching talent. Personally, I always load up on youngish starting pitchers with strong skills hoping expecting to land a breakout or two.

Other Consideratons

-Obviously, you cannot breeze through the entire draft selecting players solely based on the above guidelines. Of course, you must also take into consideration what positions you have filled and your categorical needs. I typically don’t care much to draft a perfectly balanced team, so I don’t pay too much attention to categorical needs. However, you don’t want to go completely overkill in any one category, especially speed, as you’ll be relying on making trades during the season that might not net you a satisfactory return.

-A savvy move is to monitor the positional needs of the teams drafting after your upcoming pick. If every team that drafts after your next pick already has its catcher(s), there’s no reason to grab one with that pick, since he’ll almost surely still be there when the draft snakes back to you.

-Utilize your ADP data! I instructed everyone not to ignore ADP a year ago and accounting for it is a must to avoid drafting an average team. Remember, if the goal is to maximize value, then drafting everyone at their exact dollar value is a losing strategy. The only way to accomplish a winning strategy is to draft players later than your calculated dollar value calls for. Your ADP values will guide you on around how long to wait before you should consider drafting the player in question in order to increase your team’s surplus value.

While the 10,000 foot view of a snake draft might make it appear to be void of any real strategy, there’s a true art form to successfully charming the snake (draft). Though I’m not a real proponent of mock drafting aside from just being a fun way to kill time and feed your fantasy baseball hunger, it might be worth partaking in one to test out a strategy like this to become more comfortable executing it.




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Mike Podhorzer produces player projections using his own forecasting system and is the author of the eBook Projecting X: How to Forecast Baseball Player Performance, which teaches you how to project players yourself. His projections helped him win the inaugural 2013 Tout Wars mixed draft league. He also sells beautiful photos through his online gallery, Pod's Pics. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikePodhorzer and contact him via email.


59 Responses to “How to Win Your Snake Draft”

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  1. PWR says:

    do you have the link for article that goes over how to adjust projections for different position eligibility? thanks

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  2. Joey belle says:

    Rookie question, even though I’ve been playing roto sine before the Internet: is it worth it to calculate your own values over just taking published values? And if so, how to you calculate $ values?

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    • RotoworldModsAreNazis says:

      Did you even read the article???

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      • Hunterfan says:

        I read the article, and I’m still not sure how much creating your own dollar values matters. I could spend a whole lotta time looking at steamer projections and inputting them into a spreadsheet, and calculating my expected values using the formula…or I could go to, say, Rotoworld and get their values.

        Are Rotoworld’s much more inferior to whatever I can gin up myself? And if they are worse, by how much? Considering I don’t play at the highest of competitive leagues, is whatever I lose by using Rotoworld’s values really worth X hours of my time creating spreadsheets?

        That’s what I’d like to know too.

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      • Tom B says:

        If you are using the exact same settings as the site you get your $ values from, then it won’t matter.

        If your settings or categories vary at all, then those dollar values are basically useless.

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      • Jay29 says:

        @Hunterfan, sites like Rotoworld make a lot of their rankings based on converting gut feelings into hard and fast rankings. It’s how “Joe Mauer should be healthier as a 1B and get 600 ABs” turns into a 1st-round grade, disregarding his injury history and increasing K-rate.

        A Steamer/ZiPS spreadsheet will minimize the subjectivity of “expert” rankings and give you a more rational understanding of things like position scarcity and replacement players.

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    • Adam says:

      I think it’s really helpful to calculate your own values if you’re in a non-standard league (non-5×5). For example, I play in a 7×7 league with non-standard categories, and there’s no site that I’m aware of that produces dollar values for players in such a format. So I do it myself using an average of the different projection sites. Otherwise, in a standard 5×5, I think you have a point.

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  3. Atreyu Jones says:

    “To begin with, I fail to understand how one could compile rankings without calculating dollar values from projected stat lines. Unless you have spreadsheet software embedded in your brain (and I’m becoming increasingly convinced that Steve Staude actually does), it is impossible to accurately compare two hitters who contribute in different categories.”

    Uhh, it’s called making rankings with tiers … and it’s how 95% of snake-drafters do it.

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    • Shield Wall says:

      Dollar values or point values give a much more accurate idea of the options available. When you’re on the clock to make a pick, you don’t want to be looking at tiers of 5 players at every position to try to find the one you like the most. You want to have a clear top 3-4 players to choose from so you have time to consider how the players left fit remaining team needs, ADP’s, whatever notes you have on the players, etc.

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      • Atreyu Jones says:

        Sure, I can see them being useful. But I bristled at the faux disbelief – “I fail to understand…” – that one could rank players without assigning a dollar value, especially considering that’s how the majority of people do it.

        If you rank players (both overall and by position), and use tiers, you are giving yourself the same information as assigning hypothetical dollar values, just in a different form.

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      • Shield Wall says:

        I don’t think you do get the same information. For example, how would you demonstrate how much above replacement level a 2B is vs. a 1B using tiers?

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      • Atreyu Jones says:

        You can use a tiered ranking of all players (which therefore would include 2B and 1B).

        It wouldn’t give you a dollar amount difference. But then again, in a draft any information quantified in dollars would have to be “converted” back to information about draft position to be useful.

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    • Tom B says:

      Ranking with tiers still puts you in the same boat with the same problem. How to you quantify a SB guy vs a power guy on the tier list?

      Using $ values, that’s how.

      in a draft any information quantified in dollars would have to be “converted” back to information about draft position to be useful.
      No, the dollar values put the players in order for you, and they should generally be drafted in that order. If you arelooking more than 5 or 6 players down your dollar values list for your next pick, your list was no good.

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      • Atreyu Jones says:

        “Ranking with tiers still puts you in the same boat with the same problem. How to you quantify a SB guy vs a power guy on the tier list?”

        If they are in the same tier, they are within a few “dollars” of each other depending on their ranking within the tier. But what is the big benefit of quantifying that difference using dollars if you are not using dollars to acquire the players?

        I can see it being a useful way to coordinate your information, but I don’t think it gives you any substantial new information.

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      • Shield Wall says:

        As previously stated, it gives a much more specific idea of what the best players available are and how their production above replacement level compares to other players at the same position. Without some kind of a dollar or points value, you’re just ranking players arbitrarily into tiers based on how you feel about them. It doesn’t take the value of a SB vs. a HR in to account, not does it accurately compare a hitter’s value to a pitcher’s value.

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      • Atreyu Jones says:

        Neither tiered rankings nor assigning auction values is inherently more or less arbitrary than the other.

        For either method, you can incorporate or not incorporate the relative value of a HR and a SB, or the relative value of a pitcher versus a hitter, etc.

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      • Tom B says:

        “I can see it being a useful way to coordinate your information, but I don’t think it gives you any substantial new information.”

        I don’t understand you.

        It doesn’t provide any “new information” other than the only way you could possibly and reliably coordinate your list into tiers in the first place?

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      • Atreyu Jones says:

        How can you consider it impossible to arrange a ranking into tiers without assigning dollar values when that’s the way the majority of people in snake drafts do it?

        Assigning a dollar value is useful for several reasons, such as giving the process more precision, but it is definitely not necessary. You can rank players by expected value without converting that value into some auction system number. And then, based on what for tiering you choose, you look for gaps in expected value and mark those gaps as the border in between tiers.

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      • I’m baffled Atreyu. How could you place players into tiers if you don’t know what their projected stat line is worth? That’s the whole point of calculating a dollar value.

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      • Atreyu Jones says:

        Mike, you usually do have to estimate what the projected stat line is worth, but you don’t need to convert that into auction dollars.

        If you thought it was a necessary step, and one that everyone already did, why would you even include it as a tip?

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      • Atreyu Jones says:

        In fact, it’s not even necessary to quantify the relative value of players in order to rank them in rough tiers. I thought the meat of your tip is that it is very helpful to do so.

        E.G., as long as you know that a C who hits .300/20/70/70 is worth more than a 1B with an identical stat line but less than Miggy, you can create rough rankings with tiers. It is imprecise, but it is what the majority of snake drafters do rather than boil down each player’s value to a single number (whether auction dollars or some other unit).

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      • Chickensoup says:

        I guess im just confused why Atreyu is confused. The numbers dont HAVE to be in dollars, its just convenient for comparison to other sites. what units the values are in doesnt matter. heck say that Miguel Cabrera is worth 43.7 monkeys and it means the same thing as $43.7

        The important part is that the players are compared numerically to the last draft-able player in the pool and you know what a SB is worth compared to a HR or strikeout. you can tier them after if you want, but i prefer to just manually check positions as i go.

        If you are not talking about attaching a number to the player then differences just become arbitrary and is completely different from how Podhorzer is saying it should be done. arbitrary rankings and tiers based off feelings about where players should go is a recipe for losing in the long term.

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      • Chickensoup says:

        Atreyu Jones says:
        March 4, 2014 at 7:19 pm
        In fact, it’s not even necessary to quantify the relative value of players in order to rank them in rough tiers. I thought the meat of your tip is that it is very helpful to do so.

        E.G., as long as you know that a C who hits .300/20/70/70 is worth more than a 1B with an identical stat line but less than Miggy, you can create rough rankings with tiers. It is imprecise, but it is what the majority of snake drafters do rather than boil down each player’s value to a single number (whether auction dollars or some other unit).

        this is fine and dandy in the first 3 rounds where the differences are larger but you potentially leave a lot of value on the table not putting a number there. You just dont have a reference point for which of the following is worth more without knowing what each stat is worth.(avg/hr/sb):

        .300/12/18
        .280/23/2
        .285/9/26

        tiering players arbitrarily is a good way to be average because you are not extracting values from the draft. the better the league the more prepared others will be for draft time. just doing a rough tiering for your local league is fine, but i would never put money on the line in such a haphazard manner

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      • Atreyu Jones says:

        You’re overstating the necessity of boiling down each player to a single number and underestimating the roughness of doing so, given the imprecision of all preseason projections of value. If you have all players ranked against each other, going the additional step of giving them each a single quantity does not provide as much additional precision as it would appear, although it is helpful.

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      • Chickensoup says:

        all we are saying is that its the easiest method to quantify what different stats give to you. of course its not perfect or exactly precise, no one knows for certain what a player is going to give you as far as stats go throughout the year. players under and over perform every single year and the best drafters predict which ones are going to do better or worse than what others think.

        but you are suggesting to add extra uncertainty to the already uncertain by not comparing the different stat lines you project each player to perform at. i suppose you could leave a number completely off of your list, but if you are not using some sort of equation how are you comparing? the most simple question to ask then is which is more important, 30 HR or 30 steals, and by how much? If you cannot answer this question you are just following some rough ADP/ranking list that someone else makes up and you gain no advantages throughout the draft and your chances of winning come down to luck on top of the already existing luck that fantasy baseball has.

        If you read Larry Schecters Winning Fantasy Baseball, you would see what preparation and getting your projected stat line into a precise number gives you. He’s won like 10+ expert leagues. granted most are auctions where you have to have the dollar value, but in snake drafts (which he does as well) he still has a number attached to each player and he wins because of it. The best you can do on draft day is try to extract as much value as you see on the table with each pick as you possibly can given positional constraints. I don’t know how you do this by just doing rough tiers of players at positions and not comparing stats in some kind of formula

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      • Atreyu Jones says:

        Again, my initial quibble was that the author acted as if using auction dollars was the ONLY way to compile a rankings list. He didn’t acknowledge using a single number for a player that was in a different unit than auction dollars, or the fact that the majority of snake-drafters (especially those who have never been in an auction league) compile rankings without combining a player’s expected value into a single number.

        I agree with most of your points, but I still think the difference between using a boiled-down number and using a more vague understanding of relative value is being overstated. E.G. if you are comparing a certain SP and a certain SS, you might calculate the SP as worth 87.3 MegaFonzies and the SS as worth 84.2 MegaFonzies. But given the nature of the variables that go into the calculation, the margin of error for these calculations is big enough that if you instead simply ranked them within the same general tier within all players, you are giving yourself almost the same information to take into the draft. And if you have a little fantasy experience and understanding, it is possible to place that SS and P into the same general tier without doing a calculation.

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      • Tom B says:

        You are entirely too confused by the word “dollars”. It’s simply a unit of measurement. You have to do something” to projections to value and rank the players before you can then break them down into tiers.

        What you call the number you are using to do the ranking is irrelevant.

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      • Atreyu Jones says:

        I understand perfectly that “dollars” are just a unit that you can choose.

        But, no you don’t need to boil down each player to a single number (of whatever units) in order to rank them with tiers. Again, the vast majority of snake drafters who add tiers to their rankings don’t calculate this single number.

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      • Atreyu Jones says:

        For example, if I asked someone who is knowledgeable about fantasy baseball (and who understood their league’s format and quirks) to rank Jon Lester, Tulo, and Kimbrel using only a projection, they might come up with

        Tulo
        *big gap*
        Lester
        *tiny gap*
        Kimbrel

        Now, the subsequent calculations might give
        Tulo 133.2
        Lester 67.3
        Kimbrel 62.2

        Or it might be
        Tulo 120.6
        Lester 88.3
        Kimbrel 72.2

        But either way, it is the same basic information but in a more precise form. Figuring out the calculations is helpful, but it is certainly not necessary. And considering the large margin of error for that type of calculation, it is of limited value for a snake draft to know whether the first or the second calculation is more accurate.

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      • Tom B says:

        I think you have no idea what the vast majority of people do then.

        You are right, it is not necessary to figure out values for every player to put them into tiers. You only have to do that if you want the list to be good and useful.

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      • Atreyu Jones says:

        I think you’d be surprised if you asked people who do exclusively snake drafts about their preparation.

        I’m glad at least I was able to get across that tiered rankings are possible, although they do not provide the emotional comfort of false precision.

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      • Chickensoup says:

        I’m still just confused as to what just putting people into tiers is supposed to be for. How do you choose between two players? what makes McCutchen better than Goldschmidt or the opposite true? Heck what makes Trout better than Cabrera? Without a value attached to a player, you don’t know, just feelings.

        That might be ok in a public Yahoo league or playing with your buds from work, but then again you can win those just knowing the players in the back half of the draft better than your opponents and not punting categories. In money leagues like NFBC you will get destroyed doing this because you have little info to actually go off of.

        Tiering as an only strategy may be what most Yahooers do, but its not what people competing in leagues with a lot on the line do. If that’s your point then sure, ok you win. But it’s not a “good” thing, just what people do if they dont have a lot of time on their hands. Heck you can import projections into excel, make an extra column for values, and just put an SGP formula in that block and go off of that, it takes like 10 minutes and very little work on your end. And its more precise and gets you what real tiers would be, backed up by at least someones numbers

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  4. ML says:

    You don’t need to calculate dollar values if you use SGP method. The value derived from that method (marginal SGP) is your comparison.

    I’ve seen a number of posts talk about how the SGP adjustment for 2 catcher leagues is too punitive (ranks catchers too highly) and that you should stick with 1 catcher SGP’s. I completely disagree with this. Marginal SGP should be objective. What are your thoughts on this?

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    • You are correct in that technically the marginal SGPs could be left that way and not converted into actual dollars. Any method that results in a unit rating that you could use to sort players by value will work fine in a snake draft since you’re not bidding. But you do need to know where the drop-offs occur and a unit of value gives you that. I don’t use SGPs, but catchers are generally undervalued compared to where valuation systems value them.

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      • Chickensoup says:

        Really converting it to dollars is the best fact check because every fantasy baseball site has players in dollars. So you can figure out if you are bat crazy on players or not. It also lets you use the same list provided its the same size and scoring system

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  5. Adam says:

    Thanks for the post, Mike. Do you have a source for ADP in different types of league settings? One thing that annoys me is that I play in a non-standard 7×7 Yahoo league, and Yahoo’s “O-Rank”/ADP information seems to be statically tied to the traditional 5×5 format. I try to use this to my advantage because others in my league still think Ellsbury is the bees knees even though SB is 1/7 of the equation in our league rather than 1/5.

    There’s one thing on which I disagree with your strategy: I don’t think you should ever (even in the early rounds) draft simply based on your projected value. There’s always a counterfactual. For example, based on my calculated values, Giancarlo Stanton is worth much more than David Wright as a first or second rounder, but there are virtually no third basemen who carry positive value. Not picking Wright (or Longoria) early would mean I’d end up with negative-value 3B. I could recoup the difference between Stanton and Wright with a mid-round OF pick at a good price, though. Basically, I think your advice for the middle rounds should apply throughout.

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    • Atreyu Jones says:

      Shouldn’t your calculated values already include the fact that 3B options are weaker?

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      • Adam says:

        That’s a good point. Personally, I don’t transform my value scores to reflect position scarcity. I like to just know exactly how much a player will contribute to my team, irrespective of position. I make positional decisions with that knowledge in hand. Maybe that’s the difference in our approaches.

        I’ve toyed around with rescaling value scores based on positional scarcity, but I haven’t come across a method that I really trust.

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    • Shield Wall says:

      I think your example stresses the importance of ranking players by how they perform above replacement level for their position and not ranking them by their raw dollar or points value. It also stresses the importance of considering ADP. For example, I’m in a 16 team points league where Joe Mauer projects to be the 10th most valuable player in points above replacement level. But Mauer isn’t being drafted until the late third round on average, and his value isn’t much different from Posey or Santana. So it wouldn’t make any sense to draft Mauer in the first round when I could take someone who would score more points overall (like a first baseman for example) and then still draft Mauer in the third or fourth round. And if someone reaches for Mauer and I miss out on him, I could still draft Posey or Santana with my next pick and not lose a lot of value. You have to consider ADP, total production, production above replacement level, and how much more valuable a player is than other players left on the board.

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      • Adam says:

        Yes, one of the first things I do after calculating my own values is to subtract my rankings from Yahoo’s rankings to determine value above ADP.

        I completely agree with your above-replacement valuation, too, but I still like to keep my value scores in position-independent units. I calculate points above median and points above replacement for each position, too, but when it comes to filling an MI, CI, or Utility spot or deciding between a pitcher or hitter in a certain case, I like to know exactly how much value each player represents, irrespective of position (based on other people’s projections, of course).

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      • Shield Wall says:

        Same here. On my draft sheets I have a player’s rank in points above replacement level and ADP to the left of player names and total points and actual points above replacement level on the right of player names.

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  6. Andrew says:

    Is there any chance you guys will post a consensus top 150 or 200 or 300 players list? Your by-position rankings are excellent, and a great help, but as you note in the article it’s extremely valuable to have a ranking of all positions as a cheat sheet and some people don’t have the time or statistical savvy to do the dollar valuations.

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  7. Student511 says:

    My league has keepers, and we have a snake draft. How do you recommend that we determine what round everyone will be drafting their kept players? So if I keep Bryce Harper, what round should I be able to “draft” him? The way it works now, is that we get the average of where the player was drafted last year and the O-Rank(yahoo), a.k.a. yahoo’s ADP and round up. We’re allowed to keep a third if we keep a player that we drafted in the last round last year; thereby rewarding those that took gambles. So using this system I’d be able to draft harper in the 8th round (drafted with the 144th pick last year + 9 O-Rank divided by 2 and round up). Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

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    • David says:

      The way that usually works is that you keep him at the round you drafted him, plus some predetermined set inflation value. Such as +3 rounds, or whatever works for your league

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    • Atreyu Jones says:

      I think your league should have probably decided that prior to last year…

      I like having no connection between the keepers and the draft. I.E. you choose your keepers (every team gets a certain number), and you simply build around them in a draft in which everyone has a pick in every round.

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      • cs3 says:

        So you like leagues with no player turnover, that dont last more than a couple years, or at best where only a few teams have a legitimate chance to win, and with no strategy involved in keeper decisions whatsoever?

        Sounds like fun.

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      • Atreyu Jones says:

        That’s a lot of needless attitude for someone who is completely wrong. I am in a long term league in which zero of those things apply. Maybe in some hypothetical league with terrible parameters those would be issues…

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    • cs3 says:

      “So using this system I’d be able to draft harper in the 8th round (drafted with the 144th pick last year + 9 O-Rank divided by 2 and round up). Any help would be appreciated.”

      How in the world was Harper drafted at 144 last year? You added an extra “4″ right?

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    • Tom B says:

      I run a keeper league this way.

      Whatever round a player was drafted in, you have to draft that player 2 rounds higher the next season to keep them.

      You can only keep a player 4 times.

      If a player was drafted in the first or second round, it costs an additional pick to keep a player of this type.

      This allows you to build value late in drafts for multiple seasons. This value then regresses every time you keep the player.

      We also allow a rookie to automatically be set to 20th round value and not count against the 4 years the first time you keep them.

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  8. jpg says:

    I play in a league with some quirky rules (it’s the 17th season of our league and back in those days it was hard to get reference points so we kinda just winged it when coming up with the rules) and could use some guidance. It’s a standard 5×5 league with 10 teams and we use a snake style draft. We use a $330 cap with a 22 man roster. All players accumulate stats with no bench spots. We use set rosters with 5 SP, 3 RP, 5 OF, 1 of each IF, 1 middle infielder, 1 corner infielder, 1 UT, and one guy who has to qualify at DH. Where it gets wonky is that we use a price book that assigns each player a salary based on last season’s actual earned income value, with all rookies being $0. So to give you an idea of the prices, Trout is $50, Ellsbury is $39, Verlander is $11…

    Based on historical drafting tendencies, a guy like Verlander at that price will go in the first round, whereas a guy like Ellsbury will probably go in the middle rounds. A typical first round will have the major studs like Cabrera, Trout, Kershaw types to go, along with established stars coming off down years like Verlander, Stanton and Bautista going early because of the potential ROI. Needless to say, our draft is very unpredictable. This year I have the last pick so I have back to back picks every other round. I’ve taken the “get the best value” and the “best guy regardless of price/worry about cost later” approaches in the past with equal success and failure with both.

    What would you guys say is the best way to attack my draft? Based on probing, the locks to go (it would seem) in front of me Trout, Miggy, Braun ($10), Kershaw, and Verlander. I’m seriously considering going with Tanaka and/or Billy Hamilton if they fall to me, which for reasons stated above, is hardly a guaruntee. How much stock should I put in those guys? Sorry for the lengthy post and thanks for any suggestions.

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  9. bdsparty32 says:

    Is there a spreadsheet anywhere that averages ZiPS and Steamer projections?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Adam says:

      Pretty easy to do with any statistic software.

      It would be a nice convenience, though, if the Fangraphs guys would run this quick and add it to the projections site. Pretty please?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • If you are familiar with Excel, just do a vlookup using the player’s FG ID to bring over one of the systems’ projected stats into the sheet with the other. Should be fairly quick that way.

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    • Tom B says:

      cough *rotochamp.com* cough

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  10. garett68 says:

    Quick Side note, Looking to fill out the rest of a new Otto League. Auction Draft, Fangraphs Points, group arbitration $99, draft on 3/28. Email me at garettmarcum@gmail.com

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  11. Cybo says:

    I say screw putting my own dollar values you on guys. I don’t got time for all that with pesky work always getting in the way. That’s why I got the internet! They got all these crazy sites out there where people just rank guys and put dollars on them for you. Its sweet! They got all kinds of people just paid to do this stuff its great :D

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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