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C  -  1B  -  2B  -  SS  -  3B  -  OF  -  SP  -  RP

Spring Training Notes: 2/25/18

Brewers vs Angels

The rest of the media covered Shohei Ohtani in depth but I needed to see him for myself. Here are my thoughts.

  • I was not impressed. He looks to be a good pitcher, just not at ace level.
  • The fastball was straight. The curve is slow and loopy. He had little feel for breaking balls. His split-change did look good though. It’s early but he did not impress.
  • He’s a little slow throwing to home from the stretch with an average time of 1.5 seconds (below league average). He has a little early pause. I’d not be surprised if he has problems controlling the running.

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2018 New Pitch Tracker

This marks the fifth consecutive spring for tracking new pitches at Fangraphs. In 2014, the series was launched with a piece featuring both a retired and current pitcher and their insight into adding new pitches during the offseason and/or in camp. The 2015 tracking was done at RotoJunkieFix where I serve as the CIO which is just a fancy title for the guy that keeps a 20+ year old fantasy community up and running in his spare time. By popular demand, the 2016 New Pitch Tracker gained front page real estate here and I updated it throughout the spring with help from Jeff Zimmerman and others scraping the stories from the web and the crew at BrooksBaseball helping validate the pitches. There was quite a bit of activity on the 2017 New Pitch Tracker, but it has been rather quiet in 2018.

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Spring Training Notes: 2/24/18

I’m not sure how often I’ll go through the league each day during spring training but it should be fairly often. I’m going to focus on the players whose status is up in the air and could see their values change.

Detroit vs New York Yankees

Miguel Cabrera swings (8 and 1:02-minute mark)

I am no trained scout but even though he got a single in his second at-bat, there was no power behind any of his swings. I’m not buying any improvement for now.

Mets vs Braves

Zack Wheeler was one of the few pitchers who threw Friday I wanted to see how he performed after missing the two months last year with an arm injury. It was only an inning of work and the camera angle was rough but he looked fine. Here are his pitch velocity’s from the broadcast radar gun.

  • FB 94-97
  • SL 87-88
  • CU 77 12-6

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Batter Hodgepodge: Undervalued, Hurt, Sharing Time

I’ve been prepping for two AL-only leagues, so the today’s thoughts only involve mainly AL hitters but can be extended to either league. While working on my evaluations here are some observations.

Create a plan for the injured X-factors

The two hitters who could carry a fantasy team, if healthy, are Michael Brantley and Miguel Cabrera. If (BIG IF) they get a full season of healthy plate appearances, I’d not be surprised if they were top-20 hitters. Owners aren’t showing a ton of faith since Cabrera’s ADP is at 95 and Brantley’s at 245.

No one knows for sure how they’ll perform so owners need to know before the draft where they feel they can gamble on rostering them. Owners need to make this decision ahead of time, not on the fly in a draft or auction. Come up with a plan you can live with and stick to it. Their evaluations can be adjusted as detailed reports become available from spring training on their health.

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Paul Sporer Baseball Chat – February 23rd, 2018

Spring Training has started!! Let’s talk some baseball!

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Pitcher Spotlight: The Best-Case Scenario For Joe Biagini

Last week I wanted to discuss the chance that Kyle Gibson becomes fantasy relevant in 2018 despite going undrafted everywhere and destined for your waiver wire. In the same light, it’s time to talk about Joe Biaginithe Toronto Blue Jays arm that seems oh-so-close to becoming a stable choice across the board.

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2018 Ottoneu FGPts Rankings- SP/RP

Over the past week and change I have shared our ottoneu FanGraphs points player rankings for C/1B/3B , 2B/SS, and OF, and today we wrap things up with SP/RP. This year the rankings will include values from myself, Trey Baughn, and the default values from the FanGraphs Auction Calculator using the ottoneu FanGraphs points preset (Steamer projections). We are presenting our individual dollar values, plus the weighted average of all three rankings (2:2:1 weighting with the Auction Calc weighted less). In addition, the tables below include ottoneu eligibility (5 games started/10 games played in the prior year). Players are ranked only at their most valuable position, and the hierarchy we are using is C/SS/2B/3B/OF/1B (with 3B and OF being a coin toss in terms of replacement level, we chose to include 3B/OF eligibles at 3B).

Prior Rankings: C/1B/3B, 2B/SS, OF

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Lessons from my Second-Year Ottoneu Auction

On Wednesday night, one of my Ottoneu baseball leagues had its second-year auction. I’m a bit of an Ottoneu junkie—I’m in three different baseball leagues and one football one—but this is the first time I remember completing a draft before March. As such, I thought it would be fun and hopefully useful for readers for me to share some of the results from the auction as well as my thoughts and strategies.

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New Proposed Stat: Win Or Quality Start

Although it’s not quite an age-old debate, we in the fantasy baseball community like to argue the relative merits of using the win or quality start (henceforth QS) for measuring pitcher performance. Obviously, in a general baseball sense, we mostly agree that neither stat is important. However, for fantasy purposes, a count of good starts does seem a useful category. And we only have two ways to do it – either use wins or QS. I’m here to propose a third alternative.

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The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 525 – Scorching Hot Stove!


The latest episode of “The Sleeper and the Bust” is brought to you by Out of the Park Baseball 19, the best baseball strategy game ever made – available NOW on PC, Mac, and Linux platforms! Go to ootpdevelopments.com to order now and save 10% with the code SLEEPER19!

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